Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Homosexual Agenda’

What does “Pride Month” really mean?

June 14th, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

“Bride month” for June seems clear enough. Many girls traditionally have wanted to be “June brides.” The weather has a chance of being favorable, temperatures are moderate, flowers abound. Clear enough. But what could “Pride Month” mean when applied to June? The word we need to look at and understand is “Pride,” as “Month” is clear enough.

The word “pride” occurs 56 times times in 53 verses in the Revised Standard Version of the bible, which excludes the seven “Catholic” books of the original Canon. But since much of the Protestant world is without those original books, for the sake of discussion here we will stay with the RSV itself (i.e. not the Catholic Edition RSV-CE). As we read through the use of “pride” in the biblical sense, the meaning does not seem generally to be something one would be, well, “proud” to be. See what you think and why any group would want to attach itself to a word perceived as fairly negative. Note particularly the verses in red. The content in brackets is for clarification of context with a preceding or following verse.

Gen 49:3 Reuben, you are my first-born, my might, and the first fruits of my strength, pre-eminent in pride and pre-eminent in power.
Lev 26:19 [and I will chastise you again seven fold for your sins] and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like brass;
2Ch 32:26 But Hezeki’ah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come upon them in the days of Hezeki’ah.
Job 33:17 that he may turn man aside from his deed, and cut off pride from man;
Job 35:12 There they cry out, but He does not answer, because of the pride of evil men.
Job 41:34 He beholds everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride.”
Psa 10:4 In the pride of his countenance the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
Psa 31:18 Let the lying lips be dumb, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.
Psa 47:4 He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
Psa 59:12 For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies which they utter, [consume them in wrath. There eyes swell out with fatness….]
Psa 73:6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
Pro 8:13 The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
Pro 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.
Pro 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Pro 21:24 “Scoffer” is the name of the proud, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.
Pro 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
Isa 2:11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
Isa 2:17 And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
Isa 4:2 In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel.
Isa 9:9 and all the people will know, E’phraim and the inhabitants of Sama’ria, who say in pride and in arrogance of heart:… [we will rebuild with dressed stones….]
Isa 10:12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem He will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride.
Isa 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant, and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless.
Isa 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pride of the Chalde’ans, will be like Sodom and Gomor’rah when God overthrew them.
Isa 16:6 We have heard of the pride of Moab, how proud he was; of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence–his boasts are false.  [… let everyone wail for Moab….]
Isa 23:9 The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to defile the pride of all glory, to dishonor all the honored of the earth.
Isa 25:11 [… Moab shall be trodden down , in his place as straw is trodden down in a dung pit.]  And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim; but the LORD will lay low his pride together with the skill of his hands.
Jer 13:9 “Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. [This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, … stubbornly follow their own god and have gone after other gods….]
Jer 13:17 But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock has been taken captive.
Jer 48:29 We have heard of the pride of Moab–he is very proud–of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance, and the haughtiness of his heart.[…I cry out for all Moab…I weep for you]
Jer 49:16 The horror you inspire has deceived you, and the pride of your heart, you who live in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill. Though you make your nest as high as the eagle’s, I will bring you down from there, says the LORD.
Lam 2:4 He has bent His bow like an enemy, with His right hand set like a foe; and He has slain all the pride of our eyes in the tent of the daughter of Zion; he has poured out his fury like fire.
Eze 7:10 “Behold, the day! Behold, it comes! Your doom has come, injustice has blossomed, pride has budded.
Eze 16:49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. [They were haughty and did abominable things before Me.]
Eze 16:56 Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride, [before your wickedness was uncovered?]
Eze 24:21 ‘Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and the desire of your soul; and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword.
Eze 32:12 I will cause your multitude to fall by the swords of mighty ones, all of them most terrible among the nations. “They shall bring to nought the pride of Egypt, and all its multitude shall perish.
Dan 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnez’zar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase.
Hos 5:5 [Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God.  For the spirit of harlotry is within them and they know not the Lord.] The pride of Israel testifies to his face; E’phraim shall stumble in his guilt; Judah also shall stumble with them.
Hos 7:10 The pride of Israel witnesses against him; yet they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him, for all this.
Amo 6:8 The Lord GOD has sworn by himself (says the LORD, the God of hosts): “I abhor the pride of Jacob, and hate his strongholds; and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.
Amo 8:7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.”
Oba 1:3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is high, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
Zep 2:10 This shall be their lot in return for their pride, because they scoffed and boasted against the people of the LORD of hosts.
Zec 9:6 a mongrel people shall dwell in Ashdod; and I will make an end of the pride of Philistia.
Zec 10:11 They shall pass through the sea of Egypt, and the waves of the sea shall be smitten, and all the depths of the Nile dried up. The pride of Assyria shall be laid low, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
Mar 7:22 […out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery,] coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. [All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.”]
1Co 11:15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride? For her hair is given to her for a covering.
1Co 15:31 I protest, brethren, by my pride in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!
2Co 5:12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to be proud of us, so that you may be able to answer those who pride themselves on a man’s position and not on his heart.
2Co 7:4 I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. With all our affliction, I am overjoyed.
2Co 7:14 For if I have expressed to him some pride in you, I was not put to shame; but just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting before Titus has proved true.
Heb 3:6 but Christ was faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope.
1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.

Although St. Paul turns self-pride into a justifiable pride in his flock, the people of God, most of the biblical commentary about pride is not favorable, not worthy of emulation. What can a title that includes a pride aspiration ultimately mean? It seems to be more of a warning than any achievement. What an odd choice of words. But do we not know that the evil one’s own pride cannot help but reveal himself in just such a way? Why? One reason may well be — for our benefit and protection.

Not Good, But Not a Gamechanger

May 22nd, 2015, Promulgated by Ludwig

Like many of you, I was distressed to learn of the appointment of Father Timothy Radcliffe to an advisory role on the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Also among the distressed was Al Kresta – revert to the faith and host of Kresta in the Afternoon on Ave Maria Radio.

Since discovering Kresta just a few months ago, I’ve been absolutely hooked. He provides a truly informed perspective on current events that I don’t find anywhere else on radio.

Since his local affiliate only carries the first hour of his program, most CF readers may have missed this segment from the second hour of his Monday, May 18 showKresta Comments: Pope Francis Appoints Pro-Gay Marriage Dominican to Pontifical Academy…What Are We to Think?

For context, Kresta spends the preceding segment recapping Radcliffe’s scandalous statements, with particular focus and criticism on this quote:

How does all of this bear on the question of gay sexuality? We cannot begin with the question of whether it is permitted or forbidden! We must ask what it means, and how far it is Eucharistic. Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift.

Listen to Kresta’s response to the appointment below:

00:00 Introduction
00:58 Bad appointments aren’t new: Bishop Kenneth Untener and The Rainbow Bishop
03:16 What is the role of a consultor?
06:05 Further critique of Radcliffe’s statements and their logical conclusion
08:30 Problems with the appointment: The dialog turns to internal matters
09:32 Pray for Pope Francis: Remembering the admonition to sin no more
11:24 Stray afterthought on speculative theologians

Language Matters

March 13th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Language makes a big difference, especially when there is an overt agenda to shape public opinion, and when the objective of the agenda runs counter to truth and morals.  Let’s revisit a few examples of hijacked language, to shed some light on the current question “What in the world is the Vatican thinking?”

CHOICE

least of theseThe pro-abortion lobby of 40 years ago didn’t use the term “pro-baby-murder,” and they made those who did into social outcasts. Insisting on a term like “baby murder,” would have better framed the battle, and revealed the real intent of the pro-death contingent. But, almost without consciously thinking, pro-lifers took up the words “pro-choice” to write and talk about the other side, and inevitably played into the hands of the culture of death.  After all,  isn’t having a choice a good thing?  Who can argue with having the right to pick and choose?   Aaah!  But choose what? That is where the agenda and the language run silent. Thus, the pro-death lobby was able to put the emphasis on the woman rather than on the child, and shaped the politics for 40 years and into the future, entrenching themselves on ceded ground by controlling the language and shaping the public conversation.

The rightly-named “pro-lifers” aided and abetted the pro-death lobby by using their language, by using the term “pro-choice” themselves, strengthening the culture of death, laying the groundwork for the current efforts  to characterize pro-lifers as terrorists.  Language does matter.  Now the same “right to choose” permeates the nascent wave of euthanasia. Many Catholics report that during the 42 years of shame they can count on one hand the number of sermons they heard against abortion.  Some say they never heard any such sermon.  It can pretty well be said that while language was being hijacked, “the pulpits were silent.”

MARRIAGE

A similar misuse of language permeates the same-sex unions agenda. Allowing that lobby to seize the word “marriage” distorts the entire issue,  and the irrational becomes difficult to rationally debate.  Using the word “marriage” to describe what the Judeo-Christian ethic (and others) saw as immoral and sinful for thousands of years isn’t even debated on the grounds of injury to the moral structure and/or good order of a country.  Use of the word “marriage” prepared the way for arguments not about the intrinsic identity of marriage, not about the care of children, but about perceived elements of marriage: as a good, a social institution, a legal structure, a celebratory event, a sexual relationship.   The elements, or the denial thereof, framed the argument for “same-sex marriage” even though it can never meet the test of true marriage.   Hence, it was necessary for that lobby to strike down the legitimately passed Defense Of Marriage Act, either in social practice, in the courts, or both.  The procreation of  children,  as a vital aspect of marriage, is naturally unachievable in a same-sex union, yet it has not prevented vain attempts to create trophy progeny.  And the pro-abortion lobby, by devaluing life and children, cultivated the ground for treating children as an afterthought to the argument.  

As in the case for abortion, the government’s role in driving the social engineering experiment is highly visible, from the early closing of adoption centers which refused to place children with same sex couples, to opening the military to all sorts of questionable permissiveness, to the economic pressures on African countries to force them to permit same-sex unions.  On a simple citizen impact level, when a baker is fined $100,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for such a union, there can be no doubt that cruel and unusual punishment is part of the strategy.  

By ceding the use of the word “marriage,” significant ground was overrun, which likely cannot be reclaimed on human effort alone, especially since people of good heart, though uncertain understanding, easily bought the civil rights argument.  And, again, “the pulpits were silent.”  Or mostly silent.  This past weekend, at the English Synod, Cardinal Burke (of recent heroic action) was quoted in LifeSiteNews as saying to “brace for martyrdom over marriage.”

GLOBAL WARMING / CLIMATE CHANGE

It appears to me that those who most embrace the political concept of Global Warming are those with the least knowledge of science, or those who are scientists getting paid for their work in “proving” that global warming exists (or will exist).  In a prior post on Cleansing Fire I gave my reasons against buying into this tenet of the Religion of the Environment (the one global religion to unite the masses.)   Usually when the agenda-shapers launch their efforts they grab language that will become the battle cry for an extended period.  It is my perception that “global warming” is more easily debunked than “climate change” — not because either is true, but it covers both directions.  It is hardly credible to stand on top of our winter whitestuff crying “global warming,” but the agenda shapers have switched to “climate change” and mumble about something happening somewhere else causing cold spots (or hot spots.)  (I remember when it was called “weather” and some humorist quipped “Weather!  Everybody talks about it.  Nobody does anything about it.”  Now we have people in elected office who misunderstood the humor and have decided to “do something about it.”)  Aaaahh!  The Lord must laugh at their choice of a battlefield. And we should remember, in this context, that we are awaiting an encyclical from Pope Francis on global warming / climate change which has the risk of making him the modern Pope Urban VIII.  For another view, see what you think of Newsmax yesterday “There is no Global Warming.”  

So “Climate Change” is all inclusive, because whatever happens weather-wise the agenda-shapers can say “SEE! We told you.”  The variation in natural swings are over long periods of time, and now will be ignored, and every hurricane, snow-storm or flood will be attributed to “Climate Change” — something we need to be taxed to prevent.  While we can’t predict any outcomes on plain foolishness (as we can on more glaringly moral issues), we can be sure increased taxes will be one result. How can we be so sure?  Because manipulating the language is easier to understand if we follow the money.  Same-sex unions create votes which translate to power and thence to money.  And the recipients of the abortion largesse (like Planned Parenthood) are grateful too.

DOESN’T THE VATICAN “GET IT?”

Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Vatican's UN Representative

Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Vatican’s UN Representative

All of the above would simply be a tirade on the use of language for abuse and manipulation were it not needed as a reminder on the latest mixed signals coming from “The Vatican,” reported in an excellent LifeSiteNews article (3/12/15) by Steve Jalsevac entitled: “Vatican use of Population Control Word ‘sustainable’ at UN worrisome.”   I encourage you to read the entire, short article.  Here are some highlights:

“Current Vatican representatives at the UN do not appear to understand the dangers of uncritically using key, population control invented phrases in official Vatican statements to the United Nations … that … are causing the Church to give huge international reinforcement to the deceits and manipulations of de-populationist agendas. The use of the phrases “sustainable environment,” “sustainability reports” and “sustainability-related impact and performance” in a March 9 statement by Archbishop Tomasi, the Vatican’s chief representative to the UN, is the latest example of this worrisome trend.”
(more…)

The New Homophiles and the “Gift” of “Gayness”

December 19th, 2014, Promulgated by benanderson

Do you remember the synod where changes were proposed to discipline and terminology in which it was assured that there would be no changes to doctrine? Of course, it’s not that easy. You can’t just do a 180 on discipline and terminology and expect doctrine to remain cogent, especially when there is no logical way to square the discipline with the doctrine. It’s common knowledge that the most disputed change concerned giving communion to divorced and re-“married” couples who have made no firm amendment to live in accord with God’s law. Another radical proposal made by the revolutionaries was to change the Church’s terminology regarding homosexuality. There was even language in the midterm Relatio addressing the gifts of homosexuality. The ambiguity as to whether homosexuals have gifts as humans just as everyone does or whether their gifts are unique to them as homosexuals seemed intent to apply the latter. Of course, all of these new ideas are not new at all. St. John Paul II along with Cardinal Ratzinger and later Pope Benedict XVI couldn’t have been more clear on both of these now “open” issues (of course they aren’t really open – this is all just one big game).

In my mind, the orthodox Catholic world has firmly and thoroughly squashed the idea of communion for the divorced and re-“married” (who live as though they are married). Not that it wasn’t squashed from the get-go, but it’s been discussed enough now that anyone paying attention really has no excuse to continue entertaining the idea. As to the question of the “gifts” of homosexuality and whether people ought to identify as homosexuals, this question seems to be getting less attention. To address this, I’d like to call your attention to Austin Ruse’s article in Crisis Magazine “Fifteen Minutes for the New Homophiles” where he provides a refute of the recent WaPo article celebrating what he calls the “New Homophiles”. Here’s the gist of it:

Conservative Christians, opponents of the gay agenda, opponents particularly of gay marriage, are so eager not to be considered bigots that the New Homophiles are acceptable to them. What a welcome relief. See, we’re not bigots. We like those celibate “gay” Christians! While dialogue and engagement are good things, Christians still need to take a closer look at New Homophile claims.

Prior to this article, Austin Ruse wrote a series of articles worth reading which provides a little more background.

The New Homophiles – December 20, 2013

The New Homophiles: A Closer Look – January 3, 2014

The New Homophiles and Their Critics – January 17, 2014

So what authority does Austin Ruse have? None that I know of, but I think he makes good sense. Nevertheless, we do have an important document by Cardinal Ratzinger as head of the CDF:
LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS

If you read this letter, you’ll find that the “new homophiles” bring nothing new to the table. Cardinal Ratzinger already said it all. It’s not like he forgot or missed something (same goes for JP2 on communion/marriage). The only thing left to say is – which side are we on?

* In these cases we’re not talking even talking about dreaded 50 year old teachings that existed pre-Vatican II. We’re talking about teachings that were decisive less than 2 years ago.

Update on “America” Rag-azine and its Dolan-ic Defense

September 9th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A few months ago, a new editor was named for the Jesuit “Rag-azine” titled “America.”  The publication’s title has always seemed rather presumptuous to me, perhaps never more so than now, in its current lack of any meaningful achievement for the Faith in America or for countering the pagan culture onslaught.   It is as if “America” has no role but to publish, rather than to teach, evangelize or plant a meaningful theological thesis or spiritual impulse.  We should judge by the fruits.  What are they?  Today, all things Jesuit can easily hide under the Jesuit aura of the Papacy, and perhaps receive more deference than has been deserved in a very long time.  But it doesn’t make them fruitful, or faithful.   I say that without in any way diminishing the historic contributions of Jesuits, especially their martyrdom to hold the British soil for the Faith.

Nevertheless, I took a quick read through the new editor’s ruminations, and found them somewhat lacking in cohesion and insight, a veritable potpourri of words without apparent direction.  For example, the September comments by the new editor, Father Matt Malone, is a transparent pulpit for Cardinal Kasper and his radical, damaging proposals to change Catholic Teaching (just before the Synod) and to permit divorced/remarried Catholics to receive Communion.  The buzzword “mercy” can hardly undo the Gospel words of Christ that no one can put asunder what God has joined together.

The  August column is a puff piece on the editor’s visit to Cuba and the late July  issue, while purporting to offer the two sides of the Hamas-Gaza vs. Israel conflict, in effect showcases far more anti-Israel sentiment than vice versa.  The early July column would lead the reader to never suspect there is any such thing as a just-war theory, or that Christ spoke the Truth when He said there would be wars and rumors of wars.

I didn’t go back any further than June in which the editor played the RACE card.  Father Malone offers the inflammatory words:  “I do know this: the notion that whites—even the most enlightened among us—“don’t see race” is ridiculous. It’s quite obviously the first thing that we see. I don’t forget that someone is black, any more than he or she forgets that I am white. That’s just something white people tell themselves in order to feel a little less complicit in the whole ghastly history of racial prejudice.”  Father Malone outrageously continues:  “Do we openly acknowledge our history, our complicity, our shame, while not forgetting our triumphs and joys and especially our hopes for healing?”  “What we need is plenty of honest conversation, painful conversation about what we have done.” This editor offers not much insight into who “we” is, but it isn’t me or most of the people I know.  The new editor is making the classic mistake of asserting that he speaks for all his readers.  
The most charitable thing I can say about “America” under its new editor is that “I am not impressed.”   But see for yourself.  The staff of “America” has been joined by the so-called public relations diva of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), Sister Mary Ann Walsh, R.S.M., who is now its “U.S. church correspondent.” And her “colors” really are the first thing I see.  Rainbow colors.  Go here http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/gay-groups-st-patricks-day-parade-cardinal-dolans-pastoral-choice   to read for yourself.
Cardinal-Dolan-laughing_810_500_s_c1
The pro-cardinal Dolan article is not surprising, given her long and close working relationship with him when he was President of the USCCB (which she fails to disclose in her article.)  Further, it boggles the mind that she could have been the voice of the USCCB to the media when her article in “America” so ignores and misstates the Catholic Church position on same-sex attracted individuals. Perhaps this is at least part of the root of the wider secular media not understanding the Church’s position?  She uses the word “gay” without in any way differentiating those who are same-sex attracted from those who choose to live a gay activist life-style, causing great and irreparable damage to the perception of what the Catholic Church really teaches.  Here are a few quotes, but please read and comment yourself.  It is a short, easy read if you can control your righteous indignation.

-‘This  [parade] is not a religious rite though some attend it religiously. It’s of course associated with Catholics, especially in New York where the saint is patron of the archdiocese’s (some say the nation’s) premier church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. The Catholic Church does not sponsor the parade, though the marchers go by the cathedral where the grand marshal traditionally greets the archbishop of New York. The parade also is preceded by Mass in the cathedral.”  [And this is the argument she makes that the NY Diocese isn’t involved or a key influence?]

-“Unfortunately a lot of faithful critics and culture warriors are taking issue with Cardinal Dolan’s tolerance of the parade’s gay and lesbian contingent. They seem to advocate an in-your-face approach to anything gay.’  [Notice the last inflammatory sentence, refusing to differentiate between what is gay and what is gay activist, as if the distinction didn’t even exist.]

-“Even the federal government eventually refused to defend the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman for the purpose of federal benefits in the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed with practically unanimous support and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. The government stopped defending the law in court in 2011 and two years later, the Supreme Court found the definition unconstitutional.” [and this is supposed to be an argument for same-sex “marriage”?  That “even” the government …. as if the government had some morality? As if 15 years can change something from immoral to moral?]

-“Nevertheless, Cardinal Dolan also has pastoral obligations. Many Catholics are gay, are related to gays, have gay friends.” [Again note the refusal to distinguish the gay lifestyle from the disorder of same-sex attraction.]

– “The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family voted in 1997 on a statement “Always Our Children,” that addressed the relationship between parents and their gay children. It drew fierce opposition from a number of people, but it cleared the air and comforted families who felt torn between what they understood to be church teaching and the natural love of mothers and fathers for children.”  [Oh, goodie — it made people “feel good” about their sins, and the sins of their family members.  There was much controversy and the USCCB’s position was entirely NON-BINDING on this matter; so Walsh is presenting a skewed view and cherry-picks a few points and ignores many others, but that is not surprising given her prior USCCB involvement, all undisclosed to the reader.]

-“Where to draw the line?” [How about between sin and no sin?]

-“Can a gay couple marry in the church? Since the church does not recognize such a union, this does not seem like something the church can approve of.”  [What kind of a question/answer is this?  “does not seem like something…?”  OBVIOUSLY, Sister Walsh, the answer is NO, and one could wish you had a stronger catechesis.  Could you be any weaker?]

-“Cardinal Dolan’s position on the parade is the pastoral one; you don’t reject people for who they are.”  [Sin is not “who they are;” but rather is what has hold of them, throttling by the enemy.  Clever word-smithing again, and consistently, does not address either Church Teaching on non-repentant sinful life style, or its effect on others.  And just how is promoting homosexual sin under a bragging banner “pastoral” to the rest of the Church?]

Finally, and also in my opinion, what Cardinal Dolan is doing is even worse and more significant than what we experienced in prior years in the DoR.  His audience is larger, his apparent push for normalizing the gay lifestyle is more aggressive and apt to cause division on a wide and deep scale, and he has greater influence.  If this is what he has done in just a few years, what can we expect in the future if he is not removed from office?  Moreover, with our experience in Rochester in speaking out for true Catholic Teaching, and in taking the words of Ezekiel seriously, we probably have more experience here and at Cleansing Fire than many groups in other dioceses, and it is easy to argue that to NOT speak out would be a dereliction of  our duty.  But, as I said, this is all “in my opinion.”  What’s yours?

Michael Voris Saved Me a Post

September 5th, 2014, Promulgated by Hopefull

While I was debating how much to say and how far to go, between calling for more catechesis and some therapy for Cardinal Dolan, or wishing for his resignation, Michael Voris said what needed to be said, with an ever-increasing perspective of what is really going on within Catholic hierarchy in America.  Well, maybe he didn’t say it “all”, but at least enough for the moment,  and saved my writing a new post.

I know some who follow Cleansing Fire do object to his style, or find bones to pick, as he too is a work in process, as we all are.  But Christ said we should be hot or cold, and it is clear which Michael is.  It is certainly not lukewarm. Please listen:   http://www.churchmilitant.tv/daily/?today=2014-09-05

LATE  ADDITIONS TO THIS POST:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be7ImroaKHU&feature=youtu.be

and

http://www.churchmilitant.tv/daily/?today=2014-09-08

“So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”  Revelation 3:16 (NAB)

Light Another Candle — September, 2014 — Cardinal Dolan & St. Pat’s Parade

September 3rd, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris
Torchlight Procession in Lourdes

Torchlight Procession in Lourdes

                                      A comment by Richard Thomas (shown below) is moved here from another post, to begin “Light Another Candle” for September.

And it is only September 3rd!

However, I will not have time to research the issue, so our readers are invited to do so, and we’ll post the additional information right here.

For example, is this a new occurrence or has it happened in previous years?

Does the Diocese of New York have any power over who marches and who doesn’t, except for their own participation?

Has the New York Diocese ever previously contested an LGBT presence in the St. Patrick’s Day parade?  Or in any other civic program?  If so,what happened?

I seem to remember that when he first arrived in NYC, then Archbishop Dolan told St. Francis Xavier parish in Greenwich Village that they could not march in the Gay Pride Parade with a banner that said “St. Francis Xavier” Church.  While the marchers complied with the letter of the Abp.’s order, they marched with a blank banner, wearing St. Francis Xavier tee-shirts.  So, it was “in your face” to Abp. Dolan!  Michael Voris also did a show on Abp. Dolan’s applauding the LGBT group at a Mass at St. Francis Xavier.  That’s all from memory.  Maybe someone can check it out, and give us links?

Here’s what Richard Thomas wrote to alert us to the unfolding scenario:

Richard Thomas says:

September 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I just learned that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will now allow gay and lesbian groups to march in the parade under their banner.

Bill O’Reilly from Fox, the O’Reilly Factor stated he had no problem with it.  O’Reilly is the Spokesman for the Parade.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Grand Chairman of the parade, said he welcomed their participation.

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And here is a gutsy article in the National Catholic Register, of all places!  Thanks “J” for the link.

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New York Post “…ending ban on gay groups”

LifeSiteNews  “End St. Pat’s Parade” — article from a Monsignor removed from Diocese of Washington Website

Washington Post – Gays Scoff

LifeSiteNews.com  – “Dereliction of  Duty”

Rorate-caeli     St. Patrick’s Day Massacre

Light Another Candle — July 2014 — Mercy HS Wambach’s its Soccer Stadium

July 23rd, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris
Torchlight Procession in Lourdes

Torchlight Procession in Lourdes

Some of our commenters, who aren’t CF staff writers,  have valid points of concern, news to share or even questions to ask. But usually their only way to raise such matters for the attention of the wider CF community is to append them to another post.   This is not a criticism of those who have introduced additional information or concerns into other posts; rather this is an attempt to make it easier to raise valid matters and get deserved attention.  What is sometimes called “hijacking a post” (I’ve used that expression myself, somewhat regretfully) I have come to see as a manifestation of genuine  concerns for our attention.  I see it now more as lighting a single candle as a witness, and much less like hijacking.

 So here is an experiment to air “issues of the moment” rather than disrupting other posts.   To begin, I am moving a comment by Ron from the recent post on ending lay preaching. The subject is regarding Mercy High.  It reminds me of the outpouring last year regarding two McQuaid boys dating each other for their prom — it received major commentary, and made the national press.   Such news may get more attention than it would in the comments attached to an unrelated post.   I’ve moved Ron’s comment below, to give it more room, if warranted, for further discussion.   And I invite him to add more information, sources etc.  SO– please comment on Ron’s news, or add other information, questions or comments in the combox.   

 If it works, maybe we can have a collective post like this each month for additional information and concerns from other commenters.  Here is a link to the beautiful Torchlight Procession at Lourdes.  Watching this video helped me to see how important it is to make room for all the candlelight.

Ron says:
July 23, 2014 at 6:52 PM 

Mercy High School has just announced it plans to name its soccer field after Abby Wambach – now out as a lesbian and “married” – and she will be there for the dedication August 8. Why would a Catholic high school honor a person who is clearly violating Church teachings? I don’t know if I’d want my daughters to go to a place that acts like that.

I know the Bishop doesn’t have control over the Catholic high schools, but I wonder how he feels about this?

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Uppity Liberals

June 14th, 2014, Promulgated by Hopefull
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The Vortex had a great message yesterday for families and friends torn apart

by Catholics not acting like Catholics; i.e. “Uppity Liberals.”

It sheds light on the “why,” on the anger and the motives for refusing to be called back to faithfulness.

 

 

 

Week 23 in Catholic Media, 2014

June 9th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A Dozen Headlines not dreamed of even 5-10 years ago,  

which need little explanation; but here are the links … 

All this in less than a week.

 

Vancouver School Board’s new ‘gender identity’ policy ignores parents: critics

105 Congressmen to Harry Reid: Allow a vote to ban abortion for babies who can feel pain

Christian baker must make ‘wedding’ cakes for gay couples, court rules

Taxpayers to fund sex change operations for seniors through Medicare: Obama administration

Judge orders hospital to reinstate abortionist’s admitting privileges one day after botched abortion

‘We will be whipping the vote:’ Trudeau says he will force Liberal MPs to vote pro-abortion

Lawsuit claims NY school took students to health clinic for birth control without telling parents

Catholic school board votes to back OECTA’s Worldwide Pride March

Parents outraged after teacher hands out sex toys to teens during drama awards ceremony

Quebec legislature votes 94-22 to enshrine euthanasia as ‘medical aid in dying’

Belgian Catholic deacon charged with ten counts of illegal euthanasia

Auckland city council subsidizes event on ‘queer polyamory’ relationships

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We are indebted to LifeSiteNews for their timely and accurate coverage of the events that matter.

If this kind of truth matters to you, please consider financial support to LSN at www.LifeSiteNews.com

Week 22 in Catholic Media, 2014

May 30th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Chinese Red Guards

Chinese Red Guards

Cultural Revolution destroying antiques and religious artifacts, circa 1966

Cultural Revolution destroying antiques and religious artifacts, circa 1966

                                                     

Invasion of the Conscience Snatchers…. (aka the Red Guard of the Thought Police)

enforcing a Culture-of-Death  Revolution    

1. Catholic physicians who want to follow their conscience must ‘emigrate….’

New Yorkers sat up and took notice when Governor Cuomo suggested that pro-lifers are akin to terrorists, and not welcome in NYS.  Now the country from which so many of our fore-parents fled in order to seek religious liberty is doing it again.  (Note: author’s comments are in red.)

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent for LifeSiteNews, reported on May 30, 2014 that a meeting of the Catholic Medical Association was told “Physicians who have strong moral objections to prescribing abortifacient drugs, including the morning after pill, should leave England … due to … a total conflict of culture….”

“On May 17, the CMA’s annual conference heard Charlie O’Donnell, a consultant in emergency and intensive care medicine, say that “orthodox” Catholics training in obstetrics and gynecology would have such huge obstacles they would have little choice but to “emigrate.” Physicians are routinely faced with requests for artificial contraceptives, artificial procreation treatments or Viagra for “gay couples,” and there is simply no room left in the profession for the Christian worldview in medicine in Britain…. To be a sound Catholic regarding sexual ethics it is not possible to train as a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist.”
“This year’s CMA conference addressed the question of conscience in the context of the physician’s work.  The conference brochure asked, “What is conscience? What does the Church say? What does the law state? How can we work in workplaces which are hostile to individuals’ consciences? What can a Catholic conscience bring to the places and services in which we work? ….”  Dr. O’Donnell, Tully said, “was being just very blunt and pragmatic about it. It’s gone beyond the point where conscientious objection is a practicable alternative for someone specializing in those fields.”  “Abortion is not the issue,” he added. “That’s morally equivalent to running old ladies down in the street. That’s not a moral dilemma.” The real matter is the total engulfing of the medical profession in the “culture of death,” he said. “Abortion is a consequence of that – a symptom, as it were.”
“Paul Tully added that at least a third to half of the practices now considered a normal part of obstetric medicine would be impossible for a conscientious Catholic…. Dr. O’Donnell [explained] it is not feasible to undertake training in the field because so many cases involve some major objectionable practice – non-therapeutic sterilization, IVF, gender reassignment and so on.” “It has gone beyond simply discriminating against individuals. The culture of death has ingrained itself so deeply in the National Health Service that everyday work in obstetrics and gynecology entails numerous instances of promoting evil. But he echoed Dr. Ward, saying, “The anti-life onslaught is international, and with the UK and its EU partners intensively seeking to destroy pro-life culture in every corner of the world there are few places left where this might be possible.”

Why should the result be any different under universal healthcare in the U.S.?

2. New Boy Scouts president: “Gay scout leaders acceptable”

by Dustin Siggins, May 27,2014, LifeSiteNews Parents who voted against, and pulled their sons out of Boy Scouts upon revision of the Scout Code to admit same-sex attracted youth to Boy Scouts, which was implemented earlier this year, predicted the inevitable would happen; i.e. that although the vote was predicated on promises that no scout leaders would be SSA, it took only 5 months to begin articulating a different opinion.  And look who can make it happen!  This is a “trial balloon” if ever there were one, notwithstanding the words of the new head of BSA.

IRVING, TX, May 27, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who led the military to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, says that he would have allowed homosexual leaders for Boy Scouts of America.  Gates, who was elected to head the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for a two-year term, last week said that he “would have supported having gay Scoutmasters, but at the same time, ‘I fully accept the decision that was democratically arrived at by 1,500 volunteers from across the entire country.'”
BSA allowed openly homosexual scouts for the first time beginning  January 1, 2014.  “The policy [now] reads that ‘No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.’”  Due to last year’s vote, the organization Trail Life USA was created. The new group says it aims “to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.” Furthermore, the decision by BSA to allow gay scouts has led to criticism from people on both sides of the debate. Homosexual activists say the group did not go far enough, whereas many Christian parents and groups say BSA is bowing to public pressure from homosexual advocates to affect its membership, despite its Christian roots.  Trail Life said it had 500 groups join it as of December 2013.
“Corporate pressure [to allow gay scout leaders] has been especially aggressive” [from Walt Disney World, Merck & Co., Ernst & Young, Major League Baseball, and AT&T, e.g.]. Over 70 percent of BSA’s membership consists of faith-based organizations, and many of its Catholic, Mormon, and United Methodist-affiliated troops have expressed concern about the new policy. The Southern Baptist Convention, which has 4,000 troops affiliated with it, condemned last year’s change.  BSA says its policies will protect its members from abuse by Scout leaders, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Those policies include a mandate that at least two adults are present at all times, and leaders are not allowed to touch Scouts.

So, is your parish still hosting a Boy Scout troop?  If so, why?  Aren’t there enough risks to the children?

3. Toronto’s Cardinal Collins inundated with praise after confronting Trudeau

BY JOHN-HENRY WESTEN,  Mon May 26, 2014, LifeSiteNews
Clearly Canadian liberal leader Trudeau is acting as Thought Police to require all liberal politicians to embrace his political pro-abortive policies.  But the principal defense against such Thought Police is a good offense, of Truth.  In face of the recent, egregious actions of Trudeau, five Canadian bishops have stood up for and articulated the truth for life. Cardinal Collins et al are on our list this week for Heroic Hierarchy.  (See discussion below).

Cardinal Collins

Cardinal Collins

TORONTO, May 26, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The office of Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins has been inundated with positive reaction to the Cardinal’s letter confronting Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.  The recent remarks by the self-professed Catholic politician insisting that all new Liberal candidates support the “right to choose,” has thus far been met with public opposition from five Canadian bishops.

In a letter to Trudeau earlier this month, Cardinal Collins expressed his deep concern with his stand, noting that had Pope Francis chosen a different vocation he would himself be denied the opportunity to run as a Liberal.  The  communications director for the Archdiocese of Toronto, told the Catholic Register that the huge reaction was “overwhelmingly positive, from both within and outside of the Catholic community.”

Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, said that having pro-life and pro-family advocates congratulate both faith and political leaders when those leaders do the hard work of public confrontation has been an aim of Campaign Life Coalition for many years.  “I’m happy to hear people responded so positively,” said Hughes. “I wonder if the Cardinal knows how muc h support for him is out there in the (pro-life) community and I hope this will encourage him to speak out more often.” The reality of the need for the grassroots pro-life and pro-family community to communicate their thanks to leaders who stick their necks out in the public square is keenly felt in politics as well as religion.   AMEN!

The bishops that have thus far spoken out against Trudeau’s missive include: 1) Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto 2) Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast 3) Calgary Bishop Fred Henry 4) Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith 5) Ottawa Auxiliary Bishop Christian Riesbeck The communications by the bishops have had an impact even in the political sphere. According to MacCarthy, “… a number of people … contacted our office by phone or email and indicated that they will no longer be members of the Liberal party.”

DISCUSSION POINT:  

Is it “heroic” to do one’s job as a bishop or cardinal?  Or does it become heroic when the onslaught of social pressure makes it difficult and painful?  Does the refusal of so many peers to take action make a single action “heroic?”  Or does it take much more to be “heroic”?  Join the discussion with a comment.

QUOTES TO CONSIDER:    

Luke 17:10:  “So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.”

Hebrews 12:3-4:  “Consider Him Who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint-hearted.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

Week 19 in Catholic Media, 2014

May 4th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

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A Headline Worth Noting:  

“New York committee kills Gov. Cuomo’s radical abortion expansion bill”

ALBANY, NY, May 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) by Ben Johnson – A bill championed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that would have radically expanded abortion in the state has died in a Republican-controlled state Senate committee.   The Reproductive Health Act (S. 438), introduced by Democratic conference leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, failed a vote in the Senate Health Committee by a party-line vote of 9-7.

"Say NO to CuomO"

“Say NO to CuomO”

“The Governor’s proposal is … radical, and would expand abortion rights beyond current federal and state law,” said Edward Mechmann of the Archdiocese of New York. “It would remove any obstacles to late-term abortions, and would allow non-doctors to do surgical abortions, even late-term abortions up until the moment of birth.”

In addition to allowing abortions to be performed by any “qualified, licensed healthcare practitioner” such as a nurse practitioner or midwife, the RHA sought to expand abortions after 24 weeks for the mother’s “health,” a nebulous term that in practice allows abortion under any circumstances.  It would have also forced all hospitals to refer patients for abortion or lose state funding, according to the New York State Right to Life Committee.

[After defeat of the bill last June] Cuomo later lashed out that people who support the “right to life…have no place in the State of New York.”

 

Two pieces of good news in the same day?  YES!

“U.S. nuns must give up New Age ideas or lose Vatican recognition: CDF head to LCWR nuns”

ROME, May 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) by Hilary White – The American Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which was placed under a mandate of reform by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last year, must drop its New Age ideas and return to the central teachings of the Catholic religion on Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the nature of the Church, or risk being expelled as a recognized Catholic institution.

Archbishop Peter Sartain

Archbishop Peter Sartain

In an address to LCWR officials in Rome , …Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, said that the Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church.”  “The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” they said.  Müller warned LCWR that the concepts introduced by a New Age speaker two years ago, and increasingly adopted by LCWR members, constitute a radical break with the most foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

This movement has been described as “Conscious Evolution” by its supporters, but the CDF said in reality it constitutes nothing less than “a movement away from the ecclesial center of faith in Christ Jesus the Lord.”  The … (LCWR) that has openly defied a mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church and sexual morality. One of the first public statements of Pope Francis’ pontificate was an affirmation that the investigation and reform of LCWR must continue.

Müller expressed his “concern” that “such an intense focus on new ideas” may have “robbed religious of the ability truly to ‘sentire cum   Ecclesia’ [think with the Church],” and that the divergence from basic Catholic doctrine had already occurred among the religious of LCWR. … The concepts proposed by Conscious Evolution, he added, “are not actually new. The Gnostic tradition is filled with similar affirmations and we have seen again and again in the history of the Church the tragic results of partaking of this bitter fruit.”   Full article is HERE.

And in a Trifecta of Good News,

“52 pro-life leaders worldwide call on bishops to deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians”

VATICAN CITY, May 3, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) by John-Henry Westen – At the first annual Rome Life Forum in Vatican City, fifty-two pro-life leaders from sixteen nations called on the bishops of the Catholic Church to deny Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians in a spirit of love and mercy.  The leaders signed a declaration noting that it is out of concern, and indeed love, for those same politicians that the pro-life leaders ask for this wake-up call to invite pro-abortion politicians back to authentic faith.  [They] called on the world’s bishops to honor Canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law. The canon states that those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.  Cardinal Ratzinger [had written] that a Catholic politician who votes for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws “must” be denied Communion after being duly instructed and warned.

Speaking at the public portion of the Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, reflected on “the grave scandal caused by legislators, judges, and political leaders who profess to be Catholic and who present themselves to receive Holy Communion…  he said  “It prevents them from committing sacrilege by violating the incomparable sanctity of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, and safeguards the Christian community and the community at large from scandal….”

But even three silver linings have clouds, and from the people who split the Anglican and Episcopal Churches, and whose personal pleasure trumped the needs of the souls affected, making a mockery of God’s Word, we bring the following “news announcement of the week”:  

NEW HAMPSHIRE, May 5, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church, whose election in 2003 helped split the squabbling denomination in two, has announced that he and his homosexual partner of more than a quarter-century are divorcing. They were “married” in 2010 after participating in the state’s civil union laws in 2008.”

Week 10 in Catholic Media, 2014

March 10th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris
V. P. Biden blesses himself after receiving communion at St. Patrick's.  Cardinal Dolan looks the other way.

V. P. Biden blesses himself after receiving communion at St. Patrick’s. Cardinal Dolan looks the other way.

Oh, yes…there is NEWS for Week 10, some of it quite challenging, haunting and daunting.  But when the drama and mystery is cleared away, and tragedy acknowledged in many diverse events and circumstances, and when the portents are reckoned rationally by assessing the likely outcomes, there is nothing, yes I do mean NOTHING, as significant this week as the content of Ben Anderson’s post on the latest lapse of Cardinal Dolan  as a prelate of the Catholic Church.  Do not miss the outstanding Michael Voris recap here [link corrected] which lends much credibility and perspective to a stream of such abuses by Cardinal Dolan since his arrival in NYC, against the essence of Catholic morality and against the souls of faithful Catholics influenced by what he says, and the cavalier way in which he says it.   Now, by mimicking the words of Pope Francis, Cardinal Dolan claims an inappropriate legitimacy for his opinions.

Contrary to a year-old rebuttal  defense of Cardinal Dolan, inserted here for balance, Voris’ attack is not an ad hominem attack, but rather is directly about the “fruit.”  Is it fair to judge Cardinal Dolan on what he says and does?  Yes, it is the only way to judge fairly–to judge not the man but the results.  Matthew 7:20 reads:  “Thus you will know them by their fruits.”  And Luke 6:4 says:  “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.”  Those who would say “judge not” on such vital matters are ignoring Christ’s clear words about the importance of fruit inspection.

I cannot help but sense there is something seriously amiss in the second largest diocese in the country.  Michael Voris generously attributes these failings in the public square to incompetence about handling the media.  Where the line falls between media incompetence and a character issue remains open for debate.  Yet, after 40+ years of abortion rampant in New York, we might also remember the old aphorism:  “People get the leaders they deserve.”  Unfortunately, there is little recent history of disciplining prelates who go astray, although recently Pope Francis sent the luxuriating Bishop of Bling to a cold monastery in Bavaria for the winter or maybe longer.    Where do Cardinals go who don’t teach what the Church teaches, who are intoxicated by the limelight, and who make fools of themselves, the Church, and those trying to be faithful?  Only Pope Francis can say and, as long as Cardinal Dolan remains Archbishop of New York, he answers only to the Pope, and, of course, ultimately to God.  But, in the meantime, as laity, we do have the obligation to care about the souls of our brothers and sisters in the Faith.  And that is why this story is more important than even, sadly, the missing Malaysian aircraft.   Even if/when it is found, with concomitant loss of life,  we remember what Christ has told us: in Matthew 10:28:   “…do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” 

With a few exceptions, stories sorted for the weekly update tend to be those which most endanger souls, whether it is German home-schoolers having their children taken away, or tribal warfare in Africa, or the weakening of Catholic Colleges.  Here are a few Week 10 highlights:

Update on Catholic Colleges in Lent from the Cardinal Newman Society:

“On Ash Wednesday, Georgetown University wrapped up its “Sex Positive Week,” including a pole dancing class. LeMoyne College plans a drag show on Monday. Loyola Marymount University is hosting a speaker who supports abortion rights, and Merrimack College is hosting an outspoken critic of the Church. ”

Breitbart Exposes Disney pro-Gay Culture

Parents could easily stumble into this one unknowingly.  Last year, as we know, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) caved in and began to allowing same-sex attracted youth to become scouts.  At age 18 they were to leave scouting, and the assurance at the time, in order to secure enough votes, was that no “gay” leaders would be permitted.  But the slippery slope is never satisfied to allow one to perch there, defying the mire.  The only question is who will give the next push down the slippery slope.  And, somewhat a surprise, especially to parents who buy all those cute character toys and matching pajamas, Disney gave the push.  On Monday, March 3, Breitbart (on-line) published an expose’ on Disney:  in which it seems that Disney thinks the BSA haven’t gone pro-gay enough.  Here are a few excerpts:

“Mickey Mouse is not happy with the way the [BSA] are treating gays.  The Walt Disney company will not be providing any type of financial support or grants to local troops and packs over the organizations policies.  According to a letter from Robert Utsey, BSA’s Central Florida Council Board President, ‘Disney World’s views do not currently align with the BSA.’” …. In addition to citing the restriction on same-sex attracted men over 18, Disney objects to the policy that the youth can’t wear their Boy Scout uniforms in so-called “gay-pride parades.”  [This may not continue to be an issue, because in some areas the marchers are pushing for nudity from the knees up.  See LifeSiteNews article here about Toronto.]  “[Disney] does not provide grants to institutions that operate or support activities that are counter to the policies of The Walt Disney Company.”  In a sense, this should all not be too surprising since the entertainment industry is a major source of pushing for broad acceptance of sinful lifestyles.  It’s just that we don’t often think we have to pick up every rock to peek under it.  Especially rocks with which we’ve become comfortable.

And, for their part, the Boy Scouts of America, having fallen away in their own moral issues,  now feel pressure they never had before when they strove to be “morally straight,”  when they had principles to uphold, and when even the Supreme Court upheld those principles.  When the backbone is gone, what is left to hold up values?  Playing to the approval of the masses, whether for a scouting organization or for a cleric on TV, can never be a successful strategy.

Indisputable Pro-Abortion Argument — NOT!

In a LifeSiteNews article last week, author Matt Walsh tongue-in-cheek (but not without great forensic argument) gives 10 reasons the “autonomous body” argument (“It’s my body; I can do what I want with it!”) is wrong, all without referring to Church teaching, the Bible, etc.  This is the kind of apologetics / evangelization adult Catholics need in order to stop dodging  arguments from friends and family, and speak up.  It is a short, easy-to-read article but well worth the read.

We are invited….

March 9th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

On Friday morning, March 28, 2014, from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM, a Natural Law Symposium will be held at St. John Fisher (Coleman Chapel-Murphy Hall) on “The Natural Law and Marriage betwen a Man and a Woman.”  The Forum is co-sponsored by the St. Thomas Lawyers Guild and the Knights of Columbus, Finger Lakes.

Natural Law Symposium 3-29-14 sjfWith so much discussion leading up to the Extraordinay Synod called for all the Bishops in the world later this year, it is indeed a timely and preparative opportunity regarding the subject: “Marriage and the Natural Law and its evangelization in the Public Square.”  

Our souls cannot afford to have our consciences formed by popular media.

The speakers are two noted and prominent scholars, Dr. Peter J. Colosi, Professor of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, and Dr. John C. Eastman, Esq., Former Dean of Chapman University School of Law.  Both are noted and respected authors.

I look forward to some information and help in answering the popular secular questions:  “But how is this (so-called “Same-Sex Marriage”) hurting anybody?  Isn’t LOVE a “good” thing? 

Week 06 in Catholic Media, 2014

February 9th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

 

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At the UN — collegial communications or a pseudo-tribunal?

In Week 03,  I skipped over a story in  Zenit and in the National Catholic Register about a presentation on January 16th in Geneva, Switzerland, to the UN by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer to the United Nations.  The main reason the story did not ‘make the cut’ that week was because it appeared to just be  a report, a speech, on a weighty subject but seemingly not being any more than a “communication.”  It seemed not to change anything in current practice, and most of the news stories covered here are about substantive changes or early warning alerts.  This one originally seemed to  be not much more than a gracious, international accommodation on a subject of mutual interest, and discussed between the parties, ‘from time to time.’  But this week the matter ‘exploded’ into front page headlines,  revealing an importance far greater than originally thought.  So, this week, the entire update is dedicated to the severe dictatorial UN report coming out of what seemed to be an innocuous ‘good faith’ presentation.  The last two articles are especially worth reading, to better understand the worldwide basis of attack on Catholic Moral Teaching.

Background:  On January 16, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi,  gave an address to the “UN Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocols.”  Click on the link to read the content of that address.  The reader will likely not find any surprises in the address, but rather pastoral concern, and a statement of commitment to obligations, as well as acknowledgement that the Catholic Church is among many organizations dealing with the problem of child abuse, made worse when it is propagated by those most trusted.  The Zenit story also noted:  “Aside from the Holy See, the reports of several countries were presented to the committee, including Russia, Germany, Portugal, Congo and Yemen.”

Abp. Silvano Tomasi

Abp. Silvano Tomasi

In part, Abp. Tomasi noted in his address:  “Today’s session, is an important occasion to reaffirm the value and the procedures of the convention and to accept any good advice that is given that can be helpful in the protection of children.”  There was also a timeliness, related to Pope Francis’ recent  approval of the establishment of a Commission for the protection of children and the pastoral care of abuse victims.  Abp. Tomasi expressed his assurance that the Holy See will fulfill its international obligations as well as to take the observations and comments of the committee “into due account.”  He said that the commission established by Pope Francis “will study the input and observations given by the committee.”   Now it sounds like the “input and observations” given, this week, went way beyond anything the Vatican could have anticipated.  Moreover, there are accusations that the feedback given, if it can be called feedback, substantially ignores everything  that was presented by Abp. Tomasi, even to the extent of rendering a report allegedly prepared even before his  presentation, with an agenda outside the expected, aka “with an axe to grind.”

 
Fr. Federico Lombardi

Fr. Federico Lombardi

On that same day, Vatican Spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi put out a statement on the reasons for the address to the U.N. committee.  The Zenit article is entitled:  “Vatican Spokesman Explains Background to U.N. Child Abuse Hearing.”  It goes on: “The Holy See is deeply saddened by the scourge of sexual abuse of minors, which harms millions of children throughout the world,” acknowledging that “sadly, certain members of the clergy have been involved in such abuse.”  Written in Italian, the note offers a history of the Holy See’s adherence to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as its response to questions posed by the committee.  The statement, unfortunately, comes across as somewhat defensive.  Zenit states:  “Fr. Lombardi explains that the enforcement of laws pertaining to the protection of minors lies with the civil authorities in countries that are party to the Convention, and are responsible for its implementation.”  He highlights the “Holy See’s position as a sovereign subject of international law, and the limits of the Holy See’s rights and responsibilities regarding the conduct of priests and religious worldwide.”  Fr. Lombardi says “it is not rare to find that the questions posed [by the committee] – above all where they refer to the sexual abuse of minors – seem to presuppose that bishops or religious superiors act as representatives or delegates of the Pope – [though this is] utterly without foundation.”   It was also mentioned that there had been reportedly anger that the Holy See would  not share the results of its own internal inquiry into sex abuse. The Vatican responded by saying it is “not the practice of the Holy See to disclose information on the religious discipline of members of the clergy or religious, according to canon law,” in order to “protect the witnesses, the accused and the integrity of the Church process.”

Slap-down by UN Committee ReplyWhether there was something in the Archbishop’s address to the committee, or something in the statement of Fr. Lombardi, that provoked a heavy-handed response from the UN, or not, remains a point of potential argument, but readers of the sharp UN reply observe that nothing in that reply evidences that they read or heard the address by Abp. Tomasi.  That observation almost implies a response was prepared in advance.  In any event, the original news stories that there was such a presentation in Geneva, and that the reasons were explained by Fr. Lombardi, are eclipsed by the follow-on words of the UN reply.  As the popular press would have it, the UN made nothing less than a call for the Church to change doctrine and Canon Law; i.e. to accept the immoral practice of the world, instead of the word of God.  It would seem to be one more evidence that “conscience rights” will increasingly be unrecognized and disrespected.

Reading even the highlights of the UN report, one can sense what appears to be a deliberate escalation of  hostility, especially of the UN toward the Vatican, and one has to wonder, “For what purpose?”  And THAT is the reason it is important to follow what is happening very closely.  In the best case, it is just a petulant backlash between figureheads of two organizations.  At its worst, it is a severe escalation of religious persecution of the Catholic Church.  Several writers clearly put forth the observation that it is the more onerous interpretation.  It is also an illustration of what happens when an organization loses the moral high ground, being no longer able to lead but instead becoming even more vulnerable to attack.  Unfair as the attack may be, there is one level at which Church leadership has only itself to blame.  Or, said another way, when the shepherds are struck, the sheep are scattered.  But in the heat of battle, we are probably 20-50 years too early for the analysis.  So, back to the unfolding story:

Fr. Lombardi: UN Report Shows “Serious” Lack of Understanding of Holy See

Vatican Spokesman Responds to UN Committee Recommendations on Sexual Abuse, Vatican City, Feb. 7, 2014

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, … made several clarifications regarding the reaction of the UN committee on the Rights of the Child report.  The following are excerpts from the statement published on Vatican Radio.

  • “The UN committee strongly reproached the Vatican for its handling of abuse cases, while not taking many of the implementations to the Convention that the Holy See observed into consideration. It also recommended that the Church change its stance on homosexuality and abortion.”
  • The committee’s recent report, he said, “has aroused extensive reaction and response” [and] appears “to present grave limitations.”
  • The recommendations “have not taken adequate account of the responses, both written and oral, given by the representatives of the Holy See,” … “Those who have read and heard these answers do not find proportionate reflections of them in the document of the committee, so as to suggest that it was practically already written, or at least already in large part blocked out before the hearing.”
  • Fr. Lombardi also called the UN committee’s lack of understanding of the nature of the Holy See, a “serious” matter.  “[Are we dealing with] an inability to understand, or an unwillingness to understand? In either case, one is entitled to amazement,” Fr. Lombardi wrote.
  • He said a more serious matter was the committee’s interference in moral and doctrinal positions of the Church regarding contraception, abortion and human sexuality.  Those interferences, he said, were made in light of “the committee’s own ideological vision of sexuality itself.”

Fr. Lombardi concluded his statement, saying the UN “carries the brunt of the negative consequences in public opinion, for the actions of a committee that calls itself [by the UN name].”  Over the next few days opinion within the Church seemed to swing more toward indignation and backlash against the UN reply.  An “early responder” to the matter was Fr. Boquet, whose reply was covered by LifeSiteNews and published by Human Life International.  While usually giving links, the content is so important in framing out where this confrontation seems to be headed, that we cover most of the article below.  See also, received today, Feb. 9th, Brian Fraga’s contribution:  “UN Committee to Vatican “Change Church Teaching.”   That NC Register link is http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/u.n.-committee-to-vatican-change-church-teaching/  and also see the NC Register link for an article by the founder of the Faith and Reason Institute, Robert Royal, on “The New Rights at the UN are Dead Wrong”  http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-new-rights-at-the-u.n.-are-dead-wrong/

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“UN Committee Statement Requesting Changes in Catholic Moral Teaching is an Egregious Attack on Religious Freedom”

Fr. Boquet

Fr. Boquet

 FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, Feb. 6, 2014 –The “Concluding Observations” on the report of the Holy See released Wednesday by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child are a flagrant and egregious attack on the religious freedom of the Catholic Church, her right and obligation to uphold the dignity of the human person and her estimated 1.2 billion members around the world….  “The audacity of the people who wrote this report is simply amazing in dictating to the Catholic Church what her moral teachings should be in order to advance false and dangerous notions of ‘tolerance’ and ‘rights’ so often pushed by those with an anti-life, anti-family agenda,” said Fr. Boquet. “While these are only the thoughts of a few members of one UN committee, we should take seriously any document coming from the United Nations telling a billion people worldwide that their deeply held moral beliefs are inappropriate and need to change.  They are using the priest abuse issue to delegitimize the moral teachings of the Church and attack her freedom and right to exercise those beliefs around the world,” he said.

The UN committee’s comments make several requests of the Holy See to amend Canon Law, the law of the Catholic Church, including Canon 1398 calling for latae sententiae excommunication for those who procure an abortion. The report also criticizes the Church’s moral teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.  The UN committee also requests that the Holy See identify in Canon Law “circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted,” an impossible task considering the Church’s teaching on the dignity and sacredness of human life from conception until natural death.

“In addition to their attack on the Church’s religious freedom, it’s quite alarming that a UN committee that exists to protect ‘the rights of the child’ would make a statement so supportive of killing children through abortion, really a criminal act against humanity, that it actually asks one of the world’s major religions to change its moral teaching in order to make it happen,” Fr. Boquet said.

“The report also makes an unjust and unsubstantiated charge that the Church’s teachings on homosexual behavior “contribute to the social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents and children raised by same sex couples.  This is a very serious charge, made very casually and without evidence,” said Fr. Boquet. “It is the type of calumny usually only seen in the most extreme ideological attacks directed at the Catholic Church, which is why it is so disappointing for an official agency of the United Nations to legitimize this slander by including it in an official document. Indeed, could one not also accuse the United Nations of encouraging violence against Catholics on exactly the same grounds, especially since the accuser does not need to provide evidence of actual incitement to violence in making the charge?”

“The Catholic Church and Catholics around the world deserve a correction of the deeply and thoroughly flawed Concluding Observations document which attacks the freedom of Catholics to express our faith without persecution,” said Fr. Boquet. “This type of language inciting hatred and violence towards Catholics cannot be allowed to stand.”

This issue is so serious, that we are only concentrating on a single issue this week. 

Next week, we’ll catch up on ‘the rest of the story.’

Week 01 in Catholic Media, 2014

January 6th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

 

Catholics Can Only Blame Themselves

While the U.S. election of the most pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage President ever has been laid at the feet of the alleged Catholic populace, one country which was long thought to be a bastion of Catholicity is Malta, 94% Catholic, and no abortion is permitted.  Catholicism is even the state religion of Malta.  But just as other “Catholic Countries” like Ireland, Italy, Philippines have caved or are close to caving, now Malta is on the brink of being lost too.  A socialist President was elected in 2013 by promising “gay marriage,” and is poised to make his promises come true.  A Bishop of Malta brought the news to Pope Francis.  Isn’t it interesting how the Pope can be misinterpreted in his widely touted interview aboard an airplane, but ignored when what he says is not to the media’s liking?  So it has  been with his responses to a Maltese Bishop, as reported in Zenit on January 3, 2014:

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Pope Reiterates View that Same-Sex Marriage is “Anthropological Regression”

Auxiliary Bishop of Malta Charles J. Scicluna has said Pope Francis is “saddened” by legislative proposals in Malta to extend equality legislation to homosexual couples and reiterated his view that same-sex marriage is an “anthropological regression.”   He expressed his concern to the Pope about the proposed law. “The Pope showed his sadness at this development, especially on the question of adoption.”  He added: “I told him that the promoters [of the bill] quote his words: ‘If a person is gay and seek the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge?’ but they don’t quote his words from 2010 when he was still Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Pope repeated the phrase of his letter of 2010: ‘It’s an anthropological regression.’”  In 2010, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio called same-sex marriage an “anti-value and an anthropological regression.” In a conversation with Rabbi Abraham Skorka published in the book “On Heaven and Earth”, he said same-sex marriage is a weakening of the institution of marriage, an institution that has existed for thousands of years and is “forged according to nature and anthropology.”

International Pro-Abortion Agenda Not Advanced for 20 Years, Says Pro-Life Leader Austin Ruse

On the “good news” side, Zenit reports comments by Austin Ruse who was a speaker at the 2012 Festival for Freedom, sponsored by St. Mary Parish Canandaigua.  Austin Ruse, the founding director of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), said  that pro-abortion forces have spent “hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-hours” over the past twenty years and yet they have “not advanced their agenda even a single syllable past what they got at the Cairo Conference in 1994.  The abortion movement is no nearer to gaining an international right to abortion than they were 20 years ago, and any slight gains they have made have faded. … The Cairo International Conference on Population and Development was used by some groups to try and introduce an international right to abortion. Their efforts failed thanks to an alliance of countries and the Holy See.”

“Let that sink if for a moment, because it is something that haunts the days and nights of the UN Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation,” Ruse wrote on C-FAM’s website.  “They have dedicated a significant portion of their lives to establish an international right to abortion and all they have achieved is vague language on reproductive health and rights that most countries soundly reject as having anything to do with abortion.”  “They are no nearer to an international right to abortion than they were when they began,” he said.  “This is why the UN remains one of the most important battlegrounds in the global fight for life and for family,” he said. He added that it is “quite remarkable” that a small band of largely unknown pro-life groups and individuals continue to defeat “some of the most powerful forces in the world.”  (Aided by the same God who stood by David against Goliath!)

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We have often commented here that LifeSiteNews does a spectacular job of following multiple stories, accurately, and are often the first to break the story.  In just the first few days of the new year, there are too many for us to detail, so we are just doing a list of what may be of most interest.  We don’t tend to report on a single event staged for publicity purposes, or a “calling for” certain action, but rather what can be documented or show emerging trends.  So here’s our pick for the “Good” vs. “Bad” list:

Good News:        

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor (Obama nominee) issues injunction against HHS Mandate for Catholic Nuns.  These sisters gave a great witness, just by using the words “mortal sin.”

Priests for Life wins injunction against HHS Mandate (from Appeals Court).  This case awaits the Supreme Court decisions in the Spring.

More Pro-life Laws passed in last 2 years than prior decade.  Even with some awakening of consciences, the exremists are becoming more extreme.

2013:  Clinics Close, Abortions Drop (Gosnell Convicted)  Horrible as this case was, perhaps it is only in perceiving the horror that some souls’ consciences can be moved.

Jahi McMath, “Dead” on Life Support, released to family (This is clearly a controversial case and some would call it bad news, not respecting a body after life has passed.)  I see it as a wonderful opportunity for God to do what God often does: a miracle, and a demonstration of life in a culture of death.  As people give odds, unlikely.  But still, I believe, worth praying about.  And if God wills death, then may it be with a dignity that wasn’t occuring in the hands of plug-pullers.  IMO)

Supreme Court Halts Gay Marriages in Utah:   Even thought it is just a “stay” it reverses the trend of judicial activism which leaves same-sex “marriage” in place UNTIL the Supreme Court hears the case, creating a momentum hard to then overcome among voters.  In this case, perhaps the Mormons of Utah will hold together better than the Catholics of Malta.

Komen sees 22% decline in donations following Planned Parenthood funding controversy.  It is encouraging to see that the public, part at least, has a memory.  JC Penney can’t reverse the gay image it created for itself and may go out of business.  Komen did the right thing a year or two ago and stopped funding PP for alleged mammograms which some say never happened.  PP brought out the big guns, a Komen officer got fired, and Komen went right back to funding PP.  How else to explain a 22% drop in Komen funding?  Once trust is eroded in an organization, it is very hard to restore.

Bad News:

Court denies Notre Dame HHS Mandate ReliefNotre Dame will comply.  Well, it isn’t as if this is the first time that Notre Dame willingly violated its Catholic principles.  Here is the irony, which desperately needs a comment.  What university first broke ranks to honor Obama, and have its own student protesters arrested?  And which university was lied to by its graduation speaker’s words:  “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”  And which institution of alleged higher learning now appears to be a citadel of gullibility?  Same answer to all 3 questions:  Notre Dame.  This is one appellant it is difficult to feel sorry for.ScreenShot390

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More Bad News:

The afa and Fox News reported on the Veterans’ Administration “Censoring Christmas.”  According to FoxNews’ Todd Starnes, an alarming trend of anti-Christian attacks took place just before Christmas.

  • The Veterans Administration censored a high school choir who came to sing at the VA hospital in Augusta, Georgia because their Christmas songs included the words “Christmas” and “Jesus.”
  • In Iowa City, Iowa, American Legion volunteers were told they could not hand out gifts to veterans if the wrapping paper included the words “Merry Christmas.”
  • In Montgomery, Alabama, a young woman delivering gifts to veterans was turned away because the wrapping included the words “Merry Christmas.”
  • And the Dallas VA medical center rejected handwritten Christmas cards from local school children because the cards contained phrases like “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless You.”

And this to Veterans who risked their lives and health to protect our Freedoms.  God help America.

Week 51 in Catholic Media, 2013

December 21st, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Commentary:

Popular media, and to some extent Catholic Media, ended last week fixated on trying to read the tea leaves about whether or not removal of Cardinal Burke from the Congregation of Bishops is a left-wing affirming action of the Pontiff (spun by secular hopes and Faithful Catholic fears).   Scroll to the very last article below, from LifeSiteNews, for the most balanced (IMO) treatment of the subject so far.

Implicit in much other news at week’s end is the question of whether or not the stance of any individual can be significant in the gay culture wars.  Yet oppression takes place one person at a time, and so too progress requires individuals to “stand up and be counted” even if, at first, it seems to make no difference, or if it is done imperfectly.  Like so many before him, Bob Newhart just caved under pressure and declined to entertain at a Catholic event to which it was reported he had agreed but received criticism from gay activists.   Yet, from an unexpected quarter, Duck Dynasty has held together for at least the moment, to reinforce its patriarch’s words.  Hollywood may indeed be where good vs evil eventually play out, not only on the screen but in real life.  Pastor Rick Warren, who may be remembered for having offered invocation at Mr. Obama’s first inauguration, is a staunch supporter of God’s Laws rather than CNN ratings.  He gave a powerful interview.  LifeSiteNews praises his charitable but firm assertions of Christian Teaching.   When we see how threatening laws cause damage one individual at a time, we can also see how mutual support in the Body of Christ is not only right, but really makes sense.

At the close of Week 51,  the current height of  international diplomacy and irrationality was exhibited by Mr. Obama in sending three openly gay athletes to Russia for the Olympics.  I rather think that Mr. Putin doesn’t rattle easily over such childish gestures, and that such antics show US President’s desperation and immaturity.  (See https://cleansingfire.org/2013/12/vlad-we-hardly-know-ye/ on this blog for more info on the issue.)

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Culture Shock for Curial Heads?

VATICAN CITY, December 18   (Quotes from EWTN and Catholic News Agency)
By the time a Cardinal heads up the Curia in Rome, he is often fairly distanced from the sheep.  Might he even forget, for example, the real pain in the pew among those who have their churches closed, while he himself reads appeals from those in that particular agony?  Should a Cardinal stay “close to the people” in order not to lose his understanding of their plight?  Perhaps Pope Francis is thinking so.  On December 18th, it was reported that just a few days earlier the Holy Father had “strongly encouraged the bishops and cardinals of the Roman Curia to spend time hearing confessions weekly at a local parish.”  Santo Spirito, a walk of about 5-6 minutes, from St. Peter’s Square, is dedicated to the Divine Mercy devotion.   It was further announced that the confession initiative “had been planned to begin in January, but this week, word came down that the Pope wished to begin immediately.”  Pope Francis is reported to go to Confession every two weeks.
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Cardinal Newman Society Takes Leadership Role in Confronting Common Core

The battle over the Common Core Curriculum has barely begun, but the Cardinal Newman Society is taking a leadership role in educating Catholics to the dangers.  One very significant point is that we already have a common core — it is our Faith.  Several bishops have blocked Common Core Curricula in their dioceses, including revising curricula to eliminate the celebration of same-sex parents in first grade materials.  Check out the link provided by the Cardinal Newman Society to learn more and be better informed.  They keep a finger on the pulse of activities at virtually all Catholic or allegedly Catholic Colleges, and a top-line rundown of current stories can be found here.

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Catholic employers exempt from Obamacare mandate

Religious schools and health systems that sued the Obama administration do not have to provide birth control and other contraceptive coverage mandated under the Affordable Care Act, a federal judge ruled in Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York v. Sebelius, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn). The decision is accessible online and applies to NYS but is likely to create some precedent which other judges can consider.

Crains NY Business Today’s Barbara Benson reported the above story on December 16th.  While other victories have been won, most have been delays until the Supreme Court decides.  This ruling applies now to NYS, and doesn’t wait for a SCOTUS ruling.  

 Here are some excerpts:

  • Religious groups who sued over the Affordable Care Act requirement that they provide birth control won’t have to comply with the mandate, a federal court in New York has ruled.
  • The plaintiffs, [Archdiocese of NYC, Diocese of Rockville Centre LI, Catholic Health Care Systems and LI Catholic Health Services, Cardinal Spellman HS, Msgr. Farrell HS] argued that Obamacare’s provisions violated their freedom of speech and their religious beliefs….
  • Judge Brian Cogan’s decision …  said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services could not implement the regulations, which require the Catholic religious groups and their health plans to provide insurance coverage to employees and their covered dependents for [FDA] -approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling, because they violate the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  • Catholic schools and health systems are covered under the mandate but, the judge said, don’t have to provide contraceptive coverage.

The Judge summarized:  “The Government has failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling governmental interest,” the judge wrote.   ScreenShot348

And, finally, from LifeSiteNews, a fairly balanced look at the questions about what is happening with Cardinal Burke, without the need to have all the answers.

Week 50 in Catholic Media, 2013

December 15th, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris

 

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Vatican Cardinal Burke interviewed on Pope Francis: says ‘we can never talk enough’ about abortion

by John-Henry Westen, December 13, 2013 

Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke has spoken publicly about remarks by Pope Francis that have been interpreted in the media to mean that the Church should focus on “essentials” rather than abortion or homosexual “marriage.”  “What could be more essential than the natural moral law?” said Burke in an interview which aired … on EWTN’s ‘World Over Live.’   “We can never talk enough about that as long as in our society innocent and defenceless human life is being attacked in the most savage way,” … “I mean it’s literally a massacre of the unborn.”  

 

Merry Christmas? This year Belgian children get euthanasia in their stockings

by Michael Cook, December 13, 2013

The outcome was expected, but observers overseas were astonished at the margin of victory. By a vote of 50 to 17 yesterday, the Belgian Senate approved euthanasia for children. When the bill finally passes – which now seems quite certain – there will be no age limit for choosing to die at the hands of a Belgian doctor.”  Note that Montreal is also trying to pass a similar euthanasia bill.

 

Australian High Court unanimously overturns gay ‘marriage’ law

by Thaddeus Balinski, December 12, 2013

“In a unanimous ruling …  the Australian High (Supreme) Court stuck down the same-sex “marriage” law passed less than a month ago  by the parliament of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), … a statutory territory created to house the federal seat of government….The Court ruled that the Australian Capital Territory’s Marriage Eaquality (Same Sex) Act 2013 was inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and was therefore unconstitutional.”  Yes, unanimously! 

 

A moral revolution at warp speed—now, it’s wedding cakes

by Albert Mohler, December 11, 2013

Six months. That’s how long it took to get from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act to the decision of a Colorado judge ordering a Christian baker to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony. Just six months….  The momentum of this revolution is breathtaking, and its threat to religious liberty is plain for all to see.”  The baker has announced he’d rather go to jail and go out of business than, as a Christian, bake a cake for a gay wedding reception.

 

Massive Facebook, Twitter campaign helps defeat EU proposal to declare abortion a ‘human right’

by Hilary White, Dec. 10, 2013

BRUSSELS BELGIUM  “A report that sought to declare abortion a “human right” and make explicit sex education mandatory for three year-old children, was narrowly defeated in a vote of with 334 votes to 327 at the European Parliament today.  One leading Brussels-based pro-life and family group called it a “historic setback for the abortion lobby and all their related stakeholders.”  [T]he effectiveness of the public campaign [is] a rarity in European Union politics that is regularly accused of shutting the public out of debates. It was mainly conducted through social media that saw 4,500 people joining the Facebook page [and] MEPs had received 80,000 emails asking them to defeat the proposal ….  The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has been a prominent adversary of the report since it was introduced. John Smeaton, SPUC’s chief executive, called the report “one of the most concerted recent attempts to get the European Parliament to exceed its competence and try to impose abortion on European Union member-states.” This is the second effort and is bound to come up again and again.  The classic problem is that such repeat introduction of a bill, often eventually passes, and then there is no legislative effort to repeal.  Perhaps there ought to be limits on how soon after a defeat and how often a bill can be introduced for revoting?   Since this is the country that just passed euthanasia for children, and which Bishops Pope Francis addressed strongly in their ad limina visit, it certainly has become a wild fringe in the moral wars.

  

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ESPN reverses decision to ban Catholic hospital’s Christmas ad

(Fox News; December 13, 2013) “ESPN has reversed its decision banning a Christmas commercial  from a Catholic children’s hospital because of its religious content — a stunning reversal in the face of widespread outrage from Christians.”

 

ScreenShot363Is it NEWS? 

Pope Francis, as is well known, was named by Time Magazine as Person of the Year this week. 

If one could really believe that TIME Magazine and those who influence the selection

understood who Pope Francis really is, and what he stands for,

it would indeed be News.  

But with the promise of the Holy Spirit’s protection, one just has to assume that the “world” has no idea. 

And THAT may itself be the News!

 

 

Boy Scouts Cave-in — now what?

May 25th, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris

LifeSiteNews is one of the best  “fingers on the pulse of a dying world” resources.  And serious threats of lawsuits have not suppressed them; articles are timely.  For anyone not getting the free daily subscription, something is missing!  Canadian based, focused too on trends south of their border, we can see in advance the toxic plants being grown in the secular hothouse up north.  Yesterday’s article by Peter LaBarbera is entitled:

The Boy Scouts’ folly: Putting sexual morality up to  a vote

Amen!  So much morality has been put up for a vote, for legislation, for secular enforcement, for court decision that it has become a way of life — as if a large enough vote could ever outweigh God’s Law. 

The author characterizes the Boy Scouts’ vote to admit homosexual youth “another tragic day for an America in decline.”   Such error is abetted by the “Scouts’ corporate-driven leaders….”  This debacle is a key reason why NOT patronizing companies which lack a moral compass is so important.  (See Hopefull’s post on Boycotting from February 2012.)  Who would have thought that Boycotting would be so important to Boyscouting?  Well, there was apparently not enough pressure on the companies who were pressuring the BSA:  LifeSiteNews reports these three in particular:  UPS, Intel and AT&T.  And author LaBarbera writes:  “the Scouts as we once knew them – a God-fearing, wholesome organization – were finished. “

Here’s the Scout Oath (Promise)  from BSA’s website: 

“On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.”
 
Let us hope that other “morally straight” organizations and leaders will arise to provide the kind of organization which BSA had been, and which its voting leaders have now violated.  Only wholesale departure (aka boycott of the boyscouts) can have any chance of making a difference now. 
 
It is anyone’s guess whether or not  “morally straight” will stay or be stricken from the words of the Oath (Promise)  but it has already been stricken from its heart.  We can hope that other “morally straight” organizations will rise up to compete with the “corrupted BSA”, to protect the children and give the parents a viable alternative.  Most important now is for the leaders to resign who do not agree with what the BSA has caved to;  if leaders don’t resign, why should the boys?  If so, perhaps eventually such a new organization will even incorporate “morally straight” into its name?
 
The author calls this disaster “a completely unnecessary capitulation.”   The Scouts had already won in a Supreme Court Decision in 2000 to “live by its own moral creed….thus rewarding the very homosexual lobby that tormented the BSA since its high court triumph.”  And, we might add, teaching the youth that the best solution to opposition is surrender.

By the time crucial decisions reach final votes, they are almost lost.  And if not, they will be re-voted again and again until morality is lost.  People don’t slide up slippery slopes.  So the Faithful need to be engaged much earlier in the process.  And that means using tools such as boycott as early as possible.  The only recent success I can think of is JC Penney.  But in that case it was the company flaunting its own pro-gay stance, causing great loss of value to its shareholders.  When pressure is from companies which are one-step removed, scaring volunteers and other leaders, they are less visible as the oppressors.  That’s all the more reason to track early and emerging issues.

Of what merit is this badge?

Of what merit is this badge?

 Author LaBarbera writes further:  “No honorable organization would confirm boys and young men in an immoral sexual “identity” associated with such disproportionate, massive health risks.  Shame on the Boy Scouts, and on their sponsors – most notably, the Mormon and Catholic Churches — for failing to use their considerable leverage with the BSA to stop this “gay” surrender.”   Whether there are churches even more responsible, I don’t know.  But it needs to be said that the Catholic Church seemed to have taken no leadership in working to prevent this vote.  When did we hear it from the pulpit?  Read it in Diocesan materials?  Receive a plea for activism by the laity?

Google “Boy, Scouts, Catholic and vote” and find the comment attributed to Bishop Robert Guglielmone, of Charleston, South Carolina, who is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ liaison to the NCCS, who made public a letter about the topic in which he stated:  “With regard to a possible BSA membership change, we will continue to uphold the truths of the Church’s teaching and strive to maintain our ties with the BSA.”  And a passionate plea for a gay-inclusive policy came from alleged Catholic theologian Richard Galliardetz, in — where else? — the National Catholic Reporter.   With that same argument of inclusivity, why aren’t men and women, boys and girls of ALL ages allowed to join the Boy Scouts?  Wouldn’t that be “really inclusive?”

The author states that “BSA leaders panicked out of fear of losing more Fortune 500 grants.”   And that is one of the many reasons that “money is the root of all evil.”  It could as well be said “the route of all evil,” i.e. a direct path to warp the soul.  If the BSA doesn’t understand it yet, they soon will, as pressure mounts to allow homosexual adult Scoutmasters, including on camping trips.  At what point will parents protect their sons?  As the author concludes:  “The BSA’s sellout … ensures that homosexual activists and their lawyers ultimately will win. Appeasement never works.”  So true.  Appeasement only strengthens the oppressor.

And now, from the National Catholic Register:  http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/boys-scouts-of-america-lifts-ban-on-homosexual-scouts?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-05-24%2022:07:01

Gay Cardinals

May 15th, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris
Gay Cardinal O'Brien

Gay Cardinal O’Brien

Michael Voris makes an important presentation today on the Gay Cardinal (O’Brien) in Edinburgh, Scotland, who was banned from the Conclave, and now the Vatican has banned him from even retiring in Scotland.  Further, the Vatican is not filling 5 other openings for Bishops in Scotland until there is assurance that none of the episcopal candidates is actively gay.   Pope Francis is off to such an incredibly wonderful start! 

Now it seems that these problems are likely not limited to Scotland, and that ALL candidates for bishop should be investigated and found free of homosexual affections before being elevated to office.  As will be the case in Scotland, this action it will delay new appointees, but that is a small price to pay to have good, holy prelates faithful to Church teaching. 

If you think this is a good idea for Rochester, if you have information which might be useful in selecting a bishop for the DoR, if you have specific concerns, the place to write is:

Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect

Congregation for Bishops

Palazzo della Congregazioni

Piazza Pio XII, 10

00193 Rome, Italy