Friday, January 29, 2010

Liberal Bishop Robustly Confronted by French Parishioners

I am a recent convert to the Catholic Church, an escapee from the moral relativism and grossly distorted gospel message that is being presented by today's U.S. Episcopal Church. It has been my happy experience to enter a Church that I find to be solidly orthodox among all the clergy and leaders I have encountered. Nevertheless, even an institution that is simultaneously human and divine, as I believe the Catholic Church is, has a few all-too human leaders who sometimes stumble into the same moral relativism that is proclaimed by the Episcopal Church. It would be unreasonable to expect that every Catholic priest and bishop would always avoid heresy. Our reasonable hope lies is in the ability of the Church to continually be on guard against such teachings and to correct its priests and bishops when they stray from Truth. Beyond that, we all, as Catholic Christians, must challenge even clergy and bishops if they refuse to follow the teachings and directions of the Holy Father and the doctrinal statements on faith and morals that have been proclaimed by the Church through history. To paraphrase G. K. Chesterton, the Church is a messenger who rigorously transmits rather than edits the message with which it has been entrusted. When a messenger tampers with the message, it is up to all of us to voice our objections.

Below is a video of a French Bishop, wearing rather flamboyant rainbow vestments, arriving at a church in Thiberville, France, to announce the replacement of a long time, much-beloved parish priest whose "crimes" have been to occasionally use the extraordinary form of the Mass and to adhere to the teachings of the Church and the Holy Father. While some may find the disrespect shown this bishop by the church parishioners to be disturbing, we may also remember that many of the saints we revere as doctors of the church were not always polite by modern standards when confronting heresy.

I am happy to pass along this report that the Apostolic nuncio for France, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, subsequently met with this bishop and that the pastor of church in Thiberville has been restored to his position. We give thanks To God for the oversight that the Vatican provides to the Church around the world.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Defending Hannah Arendt

The Times Literary Supplement printed an article by Bernard Wasserstein last October attacking Hannah Arendt and accusing her of being racially-biased against her own people. This was one incident in a long history of ideologically-inspired attacks against her that followed the publication of Eichmann in Jerusalem. Although her work is continuously criticized unfairly, it continues to attract new followers. Irving Louis Horowitz’s essay in the latest issue of First Things defends Arendt against Wasserstein’s charges.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Top Baseball Prospect Enters the Priesthood

In a very surprising and inspiring bit of news, one of the top minor league baseball prospects for the Oakland Athletics has decided to hang up his cleats and enter the seminary. Twenty three-year-old Grant Desme, second-round draft choice of the Oakland Athletics in 2007 is the A's No. 8 overall prospect and was MVP of the Arizona Fall League last season. He was the only player in the entire minors with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases last season. The young star was well on his way to the major leagues when he responded to God's call.

"General manager Billy Beane 'was understanding and supportive,' Desme said, but the decision 'sort of knocked him off his horse.' After the talk, Desme felt 'a great amount of peace.'

'I love the game, but I aspire to higher things,' he said. 'I know I have no regrets.'"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys

If little boys didn't have toy guns to play with, the next generation would never go to war --ISN'T THAT RIGHT?

Sally Thomas over at the wonderful blog, First Things, begs to differ.

What I think I have come to understand about boys is that a desire to commit violence is not the same thing as a desire to commit evil. It’s a mistake for parents to presume that a fascination with the idea of blowing something away is, in itself, a disgusting habit, like nose-picking, that can and should be eradicated. The problem is not that the boy’s hand itches for a sword. The problem lies in not telling him what they are for, that they are for something—the sword and the itch alike. If I had told my aggressive little son not, “Be gentle,” but, rather, “Protect your sister,” I might, I think, have had the right end of the stick.

Read it all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti Earthquake - A Judgment from Communion and Liberation

The Lay Catholic Movement Communion and Liberation wrote a judgment on the terrible earthquake that struck Haiti (the following is my translation from the Italian):

Our Life Belongs to Another
"Our life belongs to Another. Inevitability is in a way the most clarifying synonym of this fact that the thing does not belong to us and, above all, that from which all things derive does not belong to us: our life belongs to Another.

In this sense you understand why man's life is dramatic: if it did not belong to Another it would be tragic. Tragedy is when a building falls and all the stones and the pieces of marble and pieces of wall crumble.All of life becomes nothing, is destined to become nothing, because of what we lived in the past, of what we lived up until an hour ago, up until five minutes ago; nothing is formed, nothing is constructed any longer. And this is tragic. Tragedy is the nothing of the finish line, the nothing, the nothing of what is.

While if everything belongs to Another, to something of Another, man's life is dramatic, not tragic. I recognize that I belong to you, recognize that time was not mine, didn't belong to me, just as up to today time does not belong to me, it isn't mine. Take my life, I accept that it doesn't belong to me, I recognize that it doesn't belong to me, I accept that it doesn't belong to me.

What possesses our time died for us, presents itself to our eyes and to our heart as the place where our destiny is loved, where our happiness is loved, so much that He who possesses time dies for our time. The Lord, He to whom life belongs, is good."
(Luigi Giussani, Is It Possible To Live This Way? Vol. 2: Hope)

"In these days, our thoughts go to the dear population of Haiti as we heartily pray for them. I follow and encourage the effort of the numerous charitable organizations that are taking charge of the great necessities of the country. I pray for the wounded, the homeless, and for all those who lost their lives."
(Benedict XVI, Angelus, January 17 2010)

It is the certainty of this belonging that sustains our hope and makes us feel as ours the drama of our Haitian brothers.

For this reason, we respond to the Pope's appeal and sustain the collection of funds organized by AVSI to intervene in favor of the population and face the grave sanitary emergency in the island. AVSI (The Association of Voluteers in International Service)has been present in Haiti since 1999 with some projects to sustain the local reality.

Communion and Liberation
January 20, 2010


To make a donation to AVSI-USA on-line or by check, please go to http://www.avsi-usa.org/

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thine Eyes - A Witness to the March For Life

A great and truthful documentary on the March of Life. Check it out at http://www.thineeyes.org/

Nancy Pelosi's "Free Will"

Archbishop George H. Niederauer wrote a piece for the Catholic San Francisco Online Edition correcting Nancy Pelosi's misconception of 'free will'. The House Speaker said in a December interview for Newsweek that women who choose abortion are exercising their free will and that her position on abortion is consistent with her Catholic faith.

Here are two passages from Archbishop Niederauer's article:

"However, human freedom does not legitimate bad moral choices, nor does it justify a stance that all moral choices are good if they are free: “The exercise of freedom does not imply a right to say or do everything.” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1740) Christian belief in human freedom recognizes that we are called but not compelled by God to choose constantly the values of the Gospel—faith, hope, love, mercy, justice, forgiveness, integrity and compassion.

It is entirely incompatible with Catholic teaching to conclude that our freedom of will justifies choices that are radically contrary to the Gospel—racism, infidelity, abortion, theft. Freedom of will is the capacity to act with moral responsibility; it is not the ability to determine arbitrarily what constitutes moral right."


Read the full article "Archbishop’s Journal – Free Will, Conscience and Moral Choice: What Catholics believe."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hollywood Strikes Against Marriage...Again

What happened to good old romantic comedies where after eventful courtships a man and a woman finally declare their love to each other and get married? Or to classic movies like It's a Wonderful Life where families do struggle a lot, but always remain faithful to each other? As we all know very well, Hollywood doesn't like these good stories anymore, but opts instead for crap like He's Just Not That Into You. I watched it recently at home and many things really stood out for me as being against marriage and the family. Here is a list that you can very easily apply to many other movies that we see nowadays in theaters:

- cohabitation is the norm; all non-married characters live together or frequently sleep over at each other’s place
- marriage is reduced to a mere formality (one of the character says you don't need a piece of paper to show that you are friend with someone, so you don't need a piece of paper to show you love a person) or something you do to avoid braking up with your girlfriend (normally is the woman who pushes for marriage because she wants commitment)
- wedding ceremonies are not celebrated in church (do we even see that anymore??) and the one here is celebrated by a woman (on a boat, of all places!).
- husbands are portrayed as real jerks, sitting on the couch, drinking beer and watching football all day
- there are no children in the movie; couples start ‘talking about’ having children only after years of life together, when their grand homes are done and their relationships seem to be getting boring
- It’s perfectly legitimate, even encouraged, to seduce a married man; the woman who enters in this relationship is actually advised that if you meet the man of your dreams you cannot let him pass by, whether either one of you is married (after all, what’s a piece of paper in comparison to real love!).
- Homosexuals men are included in the story and actually a gay parade scene was also part of the movie but it has been deleted; it is available for viewing though in the extra features
- religion is absent but some sort of spirituality is referred to in the context of Hinduism

Unfortunately everything we see on tv or in theaters seems to have these messages, often presented in comic ways, so we just laugh about what we see and don’t worry too much about their morality, thinking it is the norm. It’s obvious that Hollywood is trying to push an agenda that is against Church teachings and traditional views of marriage and the family.

The Netherlands

Holland is confronting two challenges: relativistic nihilism and radical Islam. The local non-immigrant population possesses a deep fear and a profound unhappiness that does not provide a means to respond to the inflow of foreigners wishing to overthrow the local culture. The Netherlands faces a massive movement of immigrants who have already established the Muslim capital of Europe in Rotterdam. This post-Christian country has produced a cultural life that is open to all forms of evil but, sadly, is closed to reality and is unable to deal with its present crisis.

Please read the articles concerning Rotterdam as they illustrate the coming trials for other European cities.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Recording of Prop. 8 Trial to Protect Traditional Marriage Advocates

Court proceedings on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's state constitutional gay "marriage" ban, are getting underway. Proponents of Proposition 8 have been the target of harassment, blacklisting, threats, and even violence at the hands of the nihilistic and tyrannical gay marriage movement. Those who even supported Proposition 8 by donating money to help it pass have been targeted by the soldiers of the culture of death in a very coordinated and concerted way:

"several Web sites have been designed that facilitate the easy identification and targeting of Prop 8 supporters. For example, one of these Web sites is a GoogleMaps "mashup" that combines donor information with an interactive map, allowing activists to ascertain the identity, employer, amount of donation, and approximate location of certain Prop 8 supporters in particular geographic areas."

Now that this issue is going to the courts, in order to protect the safety of those who will be appearing in court on behalf of traditional marriage, the U.S. Supreme issued an emergency order that will (temporarily) prevent the federal district court from recording the proceedings and putting them on the internet. Like the civil rights leaders of the past, the supporters of the culture of life must resort to the highest court in the land to seek protection from the fanatical forces of ignorance.

These courageous individuals who are literally risking life and limb to protect marriage come about as close as you can in modern America to martyrs. They desperately need and deserve our prayers.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

War for our Children's Minds: UN Seeks to Limit Parental Rights

Although this is not recent news, the Obama Administration has stated that it wishes to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Treaty. The document serves to give the state an opportunity to come between parents and their children. The treaty targets parental rights concerning education and removes the legal provisions protecting the rights of parents to homeschool their children. This treaty also takes away the parent's right to keep their children out of sex education classes. The treaty has given other countries the right to remove children from families who homeschool their children. There are groups who wish to use this treaty to define religious education as child abuse. Although this treaty has not received much media attention in the United States, it has the potential to profoundly change the relationship between the state and family. If it is ratified, this treaty becomes the law of the United States and all existing state regulations would be rendered invalid. This treaty is a grave threat to the family and something that needs to be taken very seriously.

It is important to write our Senators preemptively concerning this treaty to let them know that this treaty cannot pass. We must work to protect our families. If we lose this fight, it is our children who will suffer.

20 Things to Know about the Treaty

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Italy v. EU 1-0

Italy has won its first battle against the European Human Rights Court. The Italian highest court has decided that the EHRC ruling to remove crucifixes from all public school classrooms was a violation of Italian sovereignty. Also, the Italian Senate passed a bill requiring crucifixes to be exposed in all schools in recognition of the "value of religious culture of the historical heritage" of the country. Read the full article "Italian High Court Defends Crucifixes, National Sovereignty against European Human Rights Court" by LifeSiteNews.

Obama: a Fake Christian

An interesting article from LifeSiteNews wonders what happened to Obama's pre-election commitment to a Christian faith. Read the article "After Another Church-Less Christmas, Coalition Asks: Is Obama a Christian Fraud?"

The abhorrent decorations on the White House Christmas tree can be seen at this link.

President Surrenders US Sovereignty to World Police

Happy New Year Everyone!

I wish I had some better news to report, but we live in troubled times. Andrew Breitbart is reporting that President Obama just issued Executive Order 13524 on December 16th, 2009 (don't feel bad if you missed it, apparently most of the major news networks did not see fit to report it). The order grants INTERPOL (the International Criminal Police Organization) complete diplomatic immunity from Freedom of Information Act requests (most open and transparent government ever, right?), search of property and assets, and US taxes. This is extremely disturbing and potentially very dangerous. The language of the new order can be found here:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13524
and the old one here:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Executive_Order_12425