Sunday, June 28, 2015

Supreme Court Legalizes Sames Sex Marriage: Why Catholics Should Not Judge Or Condemn

"Why would a guy want to marry a guy?" When the scene from this 1959 movie, "Some Like It Hot", was first shown, audiences roared at this line. The idea of a guy marrying a guy was absurd and thinkable only in comedic farce.

However, 56 years after this movie was first shown, five Supreme Court justices made this absurd idea a reality for the entire United States.  Unfortunately, this is nothing to laugh at.  What are the real implications of this ruling?  In 2010, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) spelled out the real meaning of same sex marriage and the dire consequences for society.  Cardinal Bergoglio wrote the following to the Carmelite Nuns of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires on June 22, 2010 when Argentina was preparing to legalize same sex marriage [HERE];
The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy.

I recall words of Saint Thérèse when she speaks of the infirmity of her childhood. She says that the envy of the Devil tried to extort her family after her older sister joined the Carmel. Here, the envy of the Devil, through which sin entered the world, is also present, and deceitfully intends to destroy the image of God: man and woman, who receive the mandate to grow, multiply, and conquer the earth. Let us not be naive: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a "move" of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.

Jesus tells us that, in order to defend us from this lying accuser, he will send us the Spirit of Truth. Today, the Nation [patria], before this situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Ghost that may place the light of Truth amid the shadows of error; it needs this Advocate who may defend us from the enchantment of so many sophisms with which this bill is being justified, and which confuse and deceive even people of good will.

That is why I turn to you and ask from you prayer and sacrifice, the two invincible weapons which Saint Thérèse confessed to have. Cry out to the Lord that he may send his Spirit to the Senators who are to place their votes. That they may not do it moved by error or by circumstantial matters, but rather according to what the natural law and the law of God tell them. Pray for them, for their families; that the Lord may visit, strengthen, and console them. Pray that they may do great good for the Nation.
As you can see from this letter, Cardinal Bergoglio saw the legalization of same sex marriage as disastrous for his nation. He called it a tool of the devil to destroy the plan of God. Truly, this is not something that can be taken lightly. This is a direct assault on not only the family, but on the very Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We in the United States are now joined with Argentina and many other parts of the world in having to deal with this grave evil. This is going to affect our lives as Christians in a profound manner.  It is only a matter of time before anyone who opposes this law, even based on religious belief, will be officially labeled a bigot and a hater and be subject to criminal prosecution.  Churches will be forced to perform same sex marriages, or lose their status as a legitimate religious organization.  Our priests and bishops will be on the front lines of this assault.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Burke Endorse Radical Traditionalists

Cardinals George Pell and Raymond Burke
Cardinal George Pell and Cardinal Raymond Burke are among two of the most well known and influential cardinals in the Catholic Church.  Cardinal Pell, former archbishop of Sydney, Australia, is currently the Prefect of the newly created Secretariat for the Economy.  Cardinal Raymond Burke is a canon lawyer and former archbishop of LaCrosse Wisconsin and St. Louis, Missouri and former head of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest Court in the Catholic Church.  He is currently patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Burke joined forces last year with three other cardinals when they wrote a book defending against Cardinal Walter Kasper's call for communion to the divorced and remarried.  

It seems Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Burke have once again joined forces. Both have written letters in support of the 23rd Annual Summer Symposium of the Roman Forum. Below are the letters:

The "Dr. Rao" to whom Cardinal Pell's letter is directed is Dr. John Rao, an associate professor of history at St. John's College in Queens, New York. He is also head of The Roman Forum founded in 1968 by Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, and whose headquarters is now at Dr. Rao's office in Greenwich Village. I have personally met Dr. Rao and attended several of his lectures. He is no slouch. He earned a D.Phil. in Modern European History from Oxford University, and has done extensive writing and speaking.

Dr. Rao is a prime example of why it is so easy to get sucked into the message of radical traditionalism.  Dr. Rao is no kook.  He is a highly educated and highly intelligent individual.  He speaks to the real issues of our time.  And he seems to give real answers to the problems.  

Except that he doesn't.

Dr. John Rao

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Catholics Leaving The Church and The Need for Vatican II: Part 2

In the first part of this post [HERE], I wrote about the crisis in the Catholic Church here in the West in which so many have left the Church in the last 50 years.   No one can point to any one reason for this crisis.  Western society in general has become spiritually and morally depraved, and it is inevitable that the Church has been infected to one degree or another.  But as I pointed out in my post, we need to look at the pre-conciliar Church and how and what was taught to the laity.  I showed that on the local level, the pre-concilar Church taught about  the evil of sin, but not enough about the love and mercy of God.

As a result, many of us were taught an unhealthy fear of a God who must be appeased before he struck us down for stepping out of line in even the slightest way. We never came to really know the great loving and merciful God who created us and poured His Life out on the Cross to save us from death. I was one of those who left in that time, and as I wrote, I left because the Church had become a burden to me. I had come to see God as a bogeyman out to get me. At age 14 I rejected a life of fear as I had come to know it and, like millions of others, that meant rejecting the Catholic Church

It is vital that the Church teach about sin and the consequences thereof, both physical and spiritual. But to discuss sin WITHOUT discussing the love and mercy of God is actually dangerous. This can lead to fundamentalist thinking in which obedience to rules and law is an end in itself, and the love of God and of neighbor is forgotten.

It was from this kind of thinking that much abuse originated in the Catholic Church. In the pre-concilar Church era  it was common to hear about abusive nuns and priests who would slap a child for the slightest, often unintentional infraction. This would at times escalate, and then we had the following as described in an article from TIME Magazine [HERE], regarding the abuse in Irish Catholic schools in the 1950's:
James Quinn and his classmates called it the blackjack — five layers and 18 in. (46 cm) of leather, studded with coins and other metal objects. The priests at the school Quinn attended in rural Ireland in the 1950s each carried a blackjack and used it, along with bamboo rods and other objects, to dole out almost daily beatings to hundreds of children. "Whatever class you went to, you got a beating from whoever was in charge," says Quinn, now 70. "But knowing what other people went through, I know I was one of the lucky ones."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Catholics Leaving The Church and the Need for Vatican II: Part 1

When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, Catholic churches were packed every week for Sunday Mass. There were 5 to 6 Masses or more, and the pews were filled for all of them. There were long lines for confession on Saturday. Many Catholics defined their lives by their neighborhood parish.

However, as we are all well aware, all churches in western society, including Catholic churches, have been emptying out for the past 50 years. Religious belief and practice now play a very minor role, if any role at all, in most lives. Many conservative and traditional Catholics say it is not rocket science to figure out what happened in the Catholic Church. These people tell us that before Vatican II, when people were held to a "stricter standard" and "knew" Church teachings, the Church was strong. Then the Second Vatican Council happened, which many feel watered down Church teachings, and that caused a mass exodus out of the Church.

A typical response to the situation was laid out by Father John Zuhlsdorf, who did a blog post in August 2013 entitled, "Institutional collapse: a fruit of Vatican II?" [HERE]. Father Z quotes from an article by Louie Verrecchio, a bomb throwing traditionalist who writes his own blog entitled "Harvesting the Fruit of the Vatican II" and who has all but completely denounced Pope Francis as a heretic. In fact, a couple of weeks ago Verrecchio called for the bishops to denounce Pope Francis as a heretic and recently posted an article on his blog entitled, "Pope Francis Hates the Catholic Faith". That should tell you everything you need to know.

In any event. Verrecchio based his article cited by Father Z on another article written by Dr. Ralph Martin who succinctly describes the current situation of the Catholic Church in the West:
"There is something like an institutional collapse going on, evidenced by the vast numbers of schools closing, parishes merging, clustering and closing and the multiple assignments that many young priests now are asked to manage. Besides the institutional collapse, there is evidence of a widespread repudiation of the teaching of Christ and the Church by vast numbers of Catholics."
Verrecchio agreed with Dr. Martin's assessment but complained that "he [Dr. Martin] leaves the disease undiagnosed."

Verrechio then gives us his diagnosis:
With the intellectual currents of the Enlightenment, the subsequent anti-religion rebellion of the French Revolution, and the profound intellectual rejection of the Christian worldview symbolized by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, forces were unleashed in Western culture that eventually led to not only a repudiation of the church-state relationships that had evolved over many centuries but a repudiation of religion itself as a legitimate shaper of culture.
What Martin leaves unaddressed is the degree to which these “intellectual currents” were unleashed, not only in Western culture at the hands of determined secularists, but in the very heart of Catholicism via the Second Vatican Council at the hands of determined churchmen.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Father John Zuhlsdorf Bans Me From His Blog

A few weeks ago I wrote about a cyber encounter with Father John Zuhlsdorf, which you can read HERE. As you will see from the post, Father Zuhlsdorf wrote a post in which he stated his disagreement with official Catholic church teaching that the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass are two forms of the same rite.  Father Z says that while he accepts that juridically the two Masses may be one rite, he says that "liturgically and theologically" they are two separate rites.

Pope Benedict XVI declared that the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms are one rite in his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum dated July 7, 2007, and he restated this teaching again in his letter to the bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum. This same teaching is stated once again in the further instructions released by the Vatican in 2011.

I commented on Father Z's blog post that he was in disagreement with Pope Benedict XVI and put screen shots of my comments to Father Z in my post. It can be plainly seen that I was very respectful. However, Father Zuhlsdorf had what he would call a "spittle flecked nutty" and called me nasty. Father Z then blocked my home IP address and from that time on, whenever I would try to view his blog from my home IP address, I would get only a blank screen. I have had no further encounters with Father Zuhlsdorf in any way since that time.

Today when I tried to view Father Zuhlsdorf's website, I received a screen with the word "BANNED!", as shown above. It seems pretty obvious that somewhere along the way, Father Zuhlsdorf has read my blog posts, and he has had another spittle flecked nutty, to use his words, and this time it was on steroids. I am sure that Father Z will eventually see this post as well, so I am directing the rest of my post directly to him.

Father Zuhlsdorf, you are showing that you have a massive ego problem. Nothing I wrote either on your blog or on my own blog was in any way disrespectful or "nasty" as you claim. I did not even give my own opinion. I used the words of Pope Benedict XVI, whom you claim to honor and respect. You became upset because I showed that you were wrong, and your ego went into overdrive. May I remind you, Father Zuhlsdorf, that as a Catholic priest, your mission is to serve God's people. As Christ, the Good Shepherd, laid down his life for His sheep, so you are to do. And part of laying down your life for the sheep means getting rid of your ego. I can only say that you have failed miserably in your reaction to me, and by literally banning me from your site, you have only escalated your failure.

One of the basic characteristics of a shepherd must be to love the people entrusted to him, even as he loves Christ whom he serves. “Feed my sheep”, says Christ to Peter, and now, at this moment, he says it to me as well. Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God’s truth, of God’s word, the nourishment of his presence, which he gives us in the Blessed Sacrament.
Pope Benedict XVI

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Part 2: Fear Is A Tool Of The Devil

In Part 1 of this blog post [HERE], I discussed Pope Francis' recently homily he gave regarding the dangers of living in fear. I showed that the motivation of true followers of Christ is love. God does not deal in fear. Fear comes from the devil. As II Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment."

I also said in this post that much of the Catholic Internet is motivated by fear: fear of the world, fear of changes in the church, fear of church authority, fear of one another. In my opinion the poster boy for all of this fear mongering is Michael Voris. His entire "apostolate" (which his bishop forbids him to label as "Catholic") is based upon instilling fear into his followers. A recent Vortex episode illustrates this in magnificent Voris form. This Vortex is entitled, "It's In the Eyes".

Part 1: Fear Is A Tool of the Devil

When the Church is fearful and when the Church does not receive the joy of the Holy Spirit, the Church is sick, the communities are sick, the faithful are sick.
Pope Francis
The ascension of Jesus, which we just celebrated, is a time to recognize the complete victory of Christ over sin and death, when He ascends to heaven to sit beside the Father and intercede for us.  I found an additional message in Pentecost this year.  I felt Jesus is also telling us, "Do not fear."  

From the gospel of the day, Mark 16:15-18,  the words spoken by Jesus Christ to His disciples before ascending:
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
Caption:  Snake handling at Pentecostal Church of God, Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky
September 15, 1946 (
National Archives and Records Administration).Photo by Russell Lee.
Some people have taken this scripture quite literally and have actually made a religion of handling deadly snakes believing that they cannot be physically harmed.   This, of course, is not the meaning behind this verse at all.  This verse tells us that as Christ's disciples living in a sinful world, we will be constantly surrounded and threatened by enemies threatening to destroy us.  But Christ is telling us that as long as we trust in Him, no spiritual harm can ever come to us.  Our Lord told us, His disciples. that we can face our enemies boldly and unafraid, knowing that we are already victors over all of our enemies through the Cross.  We don't even need to fear our ultimate enemy, death, because Christ has won the victory for us.
The world will persecute you, but have courage, I have overcome the world, alleluia.
Roman Breviary
Fear is never a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  On the contrary, fear is a powerful tool of the devil.

Pope Francis talked about the negative consequences of fear in a recent homily in St. Martha's House [HERE]:
“Fear,” Francis said, “is an attitude that harms us. It weakens us, it diminishes us. It even paralyzes us.” A person who is afraid “does nothing, doesn’t know what to do.” He is focused on himself, so that nothing bad will happen.” Fear “brings you to a self-centred selfishness and paralyzes you.”
Fear, as Pope Francis said, is primarily concerned with self, which is the opposite of love.  I John 4:18 says: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Christianity Is Not About Being Right: It Is About Dying

Credit:  www.
I use to be a political junkie. I listened constantly to talk radio and watched political talk shows every night. The aim of all this political talk was and still is to show how right one side is and how wrong and even evil the other side is. No one is looking for enlightenment or understanding. Both sides are convinced of their own rightness and nothing can make them budge from their positions. I finally came to see that arguing and demonizing those with whom you disagree never brings people together but serves only to foster hatred and division between people.

I have come to the same conclusion about the vast majority of the Catholic blogosphere. One would hope that the purpose of Catholic blogging is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to bring people to the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, to gain eternal salvation. Instead, most people use their blogs to "expose sin and corruption" in the Church and the world. Most Catholic blogs are nothing more than a mixture of yellow journalism and biased editorials. People write their blogs with the sure conviction that they have the answers to all of the problems of the Church and the world. Anyone who doesn't agree with them is a sinner headed to hell. Like talk radio, they demonize anyone - be it laity, priest, bishop or even the Pope - who does not agree with them. They look at a world living in opposition to Christianity and instead of reaching out with compassion and mercy as Our Lord showed us, they criticize and condemn.

A sad illustration of the divisive nature of the Catholic blogosphere is my recent interaction with Father John Zuhlsdorf, one of the heroes of the Catholic blogosphere, which I wrote about HERE. I had commented on his blog that a statement he made was in direct conflict with the teaching of the Church. I did not give my opinion, but quoted from Pope Benedict XVI. His response was to ban me so that not only can I not comment anymore, but I can't even view his blog on my IP address. Is this how an ordained priest spreads the saving message of the Gospel?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Father Z Continues to Shake His Fist at the Mass

Father John Zuhlsdorf recently did a post on his blog in which he criticized the prayers of the Ordinary Form of the Mass (HERE) . In this post, he stated his rejection of official Church teaching that the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass are two forms of the same Latin rite. He insists that the Masses are two different rites liturgically and theologically. When I pointed out on his blog that this is in direct contradiction to Summorum Pontificum and the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI, Father Zuhlsdorf had a hissy fit and banned me from his blog. He did not just ban me from commenting.  He has actually banned me from even viewing his blog on my IP address.  I wrote about this HERE.

Father Zuhlsdorf is not backing down from his position, and has done yet another post criticizing and denigrating the Ordinary Form of the Mass.  This post is entitled, "Notes on Eucharistic Prayer II" and can be found HERE.  He starts his post by telling us he refuses to use Eucharistic Prayer II on the rare occasions when he celebrates the Ordinary Form of the Mass:
Every once in the while, when I was saying the Novus Ordo far more often than I do today (last Sunday was the first in several months, after the EF and before an EF baptism), why I used the Roman Canon and never Eucharistic Prayer II. [Emphasis original]
It should be noted that Eucharistic Prayer II is an official prayer of the Church, completely valid and licit. It is honored by the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and when used, the great miracle of transubstantiation takes place in which bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. And yet Father Zuhlsdorf feels totally justified in rejecting this official prayer of the Mass.  In writing about it on his blog, he encourages his many followers to also reject this prayer. And of course, his loyal followers willingly comply.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Father Z's Spittle Flecked Nutty Against Pope Benedict XVI and Summorum Pontificum

I recently commented on Father John Zuhlsdorf's blog in which I pointed out that he, Father Z, was in profound disagreement with Pope Benedict XVI.  He admitted that yes, he did disagree with Pope Benedict XVI, but he considered my comment to be "nasty" and as a result, he has completely blocked me so that I cannot even access his blog on my home IP address, much less leave any comments.


Rev. John Zuhlsdorf

Current Position:President
Tridentine Mass Society of Madison
Parish(es) Currently Serving:Cathedral Parish of MadisonMadison

St. MaryPine Bluff
Year of Ordination:1991

Here's the story.

Father Z did a post in which he answered a reader's question, as follows:
I know a [priest] who uses the Old Offertory Prayers when he says an Ordinary Form Mass. Is this okay for a priest to do? Is it a liturgical abuse?
You can read Father Z's answer HERE.  One would think that the answer would be a simple yes or no, and if you have read Summorum Pontificum, you would know that mixing of the two forms of Mass is not permitted.  But Father Z's answer delved much deeper into this question.  He entitled his post, "ASK FATHER: Using the traditional offertory prayers in the Novus Ordo. Wherein Fr. Z rants."  

Father Z started his answer with this paragraph:
The legislation which covers the use of the Extraordinary Form spells out that there is to be no mixing of the two rites (I say “rites”, because I don’t think that they are, liturgically, the same rite… juridically there are two “forms”, but liturgically and in many points theologically there seem to be two… but this is a digression).
Father Z correctly states in his first sentence that there is to be no mixing.  Everything in that sentence is correct up to the word "rites."  As Father Z explains, he feels that the two Masses are not two forms of the same rite, but two distinct and separate rites.  This is in direct contradiction to the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI and Summorum Pontificum as written by Pope Benedict XVI.

I commented on Father Z's blog that Pope Benedict would not agree with his statement, and quoted from the Pope Benedict's Letter to the Bishops which accompanied the Summorum Pontificum document.  Father Z answered (his answer is in red):

  1. Brooklyn says:
    Father, you seem to be in disagreement with Pope Benedict XVI who wrote the following in Summorum Pontificum:
    “In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy. The last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration. It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites”. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.” [Yes, I disagree with that statement. Summorum Pontificum was clearly a juridical settlement of the disputed question of whether or not priests could use the older Missal. It doesn’t settle the liturgical and theological questions.]
    We may like the prayers of one form over the other, but Jesus Christ is present in both, and that is all that really matters. If Our Lord honors the OF, we should also. [Nice little speech. On the other hand, the content of the prayers, EF and OF parallels compared side by side (which I have done for a couple decades) are at times strikingly different.]

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