Saturday, September 29, 2012

Are Catholics Allowed to Question the Church?

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to
guide us into all truth
One of the greatest things about being Catholic is that you don't have to ever second guess the Church.  We know the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ, and He has promised never to leave us.  He gave us the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Trinity, to guide and comfort us and to bring us into all truth, as our Lord told us in John 16:13, "But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth."  To reject the Church He founded is to call Jesus Christ a liar.

Sadly, this doesn't mean that individuals in the Church will never go off the rails.  We still have our free will and so are still very capable of rejecting the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  That unfortunately includes bishops and priests.  In fact, bishops and priests might be more susceptible of falling to the wiles of the devil than even the laity are.  St. John Chrysostom, a doctor of the church who lived from 347 A.D. to 407 A.D., said that "few bishops are saved and many priests are damned".  This is why we must pray for them always.

We actually need to be aware that we don't have to accept everything that comes out of the mouth of a priest or bishop without question.  If something doesn't seem right to us, we need to question it and/or the person saying it, even if it is coming from a priest or bishop.  Not only can we hold our priests and bishops accountable for their words and actions, it is important and even imperative that we do so.  As I have previously quoted the Venerable Fulton Sheen:
“Who is going to save our Church? Not our Bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops like bishops and your religious act like religious

You will notice that Bishop Sheen does not include the Pope in this statement.  When it comes to faith and morals, there is one person we must never, never second guess, and that is the Holy Father.  We are given an ironclad promise that the Pope can never be wrong in matters of faith and morals.  This does not mean that the Pope will automatically be a holy and righteous person, but despite their personal failings, not one pope has ever led the Church astray on faith and morals.  The Holy Spirit makes sure of that. 


However, not every word and action of the Pope is infallible. We've had some fairly bad popes in the 2000+ year history of the Church. Pope Alexander VI, a thoroughly corrupt pope who even fathered children, comes to mind. The infallibility of the Pope does not extend to prudential matters.  As shown in the example of Pope Alexander VI, the Holy Father can be wrong in political decisions or personal matters.  For instance, I think Pope Benedict XVI was wrong when he recently praised Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini upon the Cardinal's death.  The Cardinal was very liberal and I feel was dangerous to the Church.  And His Holiness was sure wrong about his butler!  But this is not a matter of faith and morals, and the Pope is not infallible on these points. 
 
Another example is during the persecution of Catholics in Mexico in the 1920's, Pope Pius XI, after consultation with the United States government, told the Mexican Catholics not to fight the immoral government that was literally killing them.  In obedience to Rome, the Cristeros laid down their arms.  As a result, they continued to be hunted down and killed by the Masonic Mexican government until the 1950's.  Pope Pius XI was wrong in his command to the Cristeros.  The infallibility of the Pope does not extend to matters such as these.  In all of these examples, the Pope was not speaking ex cathedra, "from the chair."  The point is that being wrong in matters such as these does not invalidate the Pope. 

A shining example of how the Pope cannot be wrong in faith and morals is Humanae Vitae, the famous encyclical in which Pope Paul VI condemned the use of artificial birth control.  Pope Paul VI was and is considered one of our most liberal popes.  His legacy includes the creation of the New Mass, which many of us feel is one of the darkest spots in Catholic history.  Yet this Pope is also the one who gave us Humanae Vitae, possibly the most important document of the 20th Century.  Our world would be completely different if we had just followed this document.

There was much anticipation and speculation before Pope Paul VI released his encyclical, Humanae Vitae, with many priests telling their parishioners to feel free to use birth control because it was sure to be approved.  However, Pope Paul VI surprised them all by resoundingly condemning birth control and prophetically saying that it would lead to the downfall of society.  This was truly the work of the Holy Spirit which, in his office as the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI could not resist.  Pope Paul VI, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, was dead on in his predictions of the effect of contraception:
On July 25, 1968, Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae re-affirmed the Catholic teaching on life, love and human sexuality. In that document, he listed the consequences of life lived outside Catholic teaching.

He predicted that:

1. Contraception would lead to conjugal infidelity.

2. Contraceptive practice would lead to a “general lowering of morality.”

3. Contraception would lead men to cease respecting woman in their totality and would cause them to treat women as “mere instruments of selfish enjoyment” rather than as cherished partners.

4. And finally, widespread acceptance of contraception by couples would lead to a massive imposition of contraception by unscrupulous governments.

In other words, Pope Paul VI predicted that contraception would evolve from “a lifestyle choice” into a weapon of mass destruction. How dreadfully his prophecy has been vindicated by population control and coercive sterilization programs, fertility reduction quotas and the promotion of abortion literally everywhere in the world.
I am not showing that Pope Paul VI was a great prophet.  He was able to predict these things only because, as the Vicar of Christ on earth, Pope Paul VI was guided by the Holy Spirit, who would not allow His Holiness to say anything else.  If Hugh Hefner had been pope (God forbid!), he would have been forced to write Humanae Vitae just as Pope Paul VI wrote it. 

This posting is not about birth control, so what is all of this leading up to?  As Catholics we must always be aware of those who judge and condemn the Holy Father.  Sedevacantism - the rejection of the Holy Father as the legitimate Vicar of Christ - is always a sign of diabolical actions.  No human being has the right to judge the Pope in his official role as Vicar of Christ.  Only the Founder of the Church - Jesus Christ - can do that.  Run as far and as fast as you can from anyone who rejects the Pope as head of the Church, no matter how convincing their arguments may be.  To reject the Pope is to reject the Church founded by Jesus Christ.  And that is a sign of the devil.  We can and are actually commanded to pray for the Holy Father, but we are not free to judge him. 

However, this is exactly what a now breakaway group from the Society of St. Pius X has done.  They are very upset with the Society's attempts to reconcile with Rome, and have now rejected Rome and the SSPX and pledged their allegiance to the late Archbishop Lefebvre, a move that I am sure the good Archbishop would condemn.  This is what Archbishop LeFebvre wrote on November 8, 1979, which is taken directly from an SSPX website:
We wish to remain attached to Rome and to the Successor of Peter, while refusing his Liberalism through fidelity to his predecessors. We are not afraid to speak to him, respectfully but firmly, as did St. Paul with St. Peter.

And so, far from refusing to pray for the Pope, we redouble our prayers and supplications that the Holy Ghost will grant him light and strength in his affirmations and defense of the Faith.

Thus, I have never refused to go to Rome at his request or that of his representatives. The Truth must be affirmed at Rome above all other places. It is of God, and He will assure its ultimate triumph.

Consequently, the Society of St. Pius X, its priests, brothers, sisters, and oblates, cannot tolerate among its members those who refuse to pray for the Pope or affirm that the Novus Ordo Missae is per se invalid. Certainly, we suffer from this continual incoherence which consists in praising all the Liberal orientations of Vatican II and at the same time straining to mitigate its effects. But all of this must incite us to prayer and to the firm maintenance of Tradition rather than to the affirmation that the Pope is not the Pope.
In conclusion, we must have that missionary spirit which is the true spirit of the Church. We must do everything to bring about the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the words of our Holy Patron, St. Pius X: Instaurare omnia in Christo. We must restore all things in Christ, and we must submit to all, as did Our Lord in His Passion for the salvation of souls and the triumph of Truth. "In hoc natus sum," said Our Lord to Pilate, "ut testimonium perhibeam veritati."

 “I was born to give witness to the Truth."
* * *
Jesus giving St. Peter the Keys to the Kingdom
which have in turn been handed to each successor of St. Peter

As Catholics, our allegiance is always to the Church first and never to any man.  This breakaway group of the SSPX has followed exactly in the footsteps of Martin Luther, the great heretic who was the father of the Protestant Revolution.  They say their allegiance is to Archbishop LeFebvre, but they have denied him with their actions. 

Here is the article from Angelqueen which posts an article from traditio.com, a questionable Catholic website, to say the least, as you will see from this article.  Traditio presents this story as something to be applauded rather than condemned.  Their glaring contempt for anyone who supports the Pope shows that they are not in communion with the one, holy Catholic church founded by Jesus Christ. 

Priests Break away to Found an “SSPX of the Strict Observance”
 
 ["The die is cast." The content is relatively accurate, based on a longer raving, "War Aims by Fr. Chazal," at Ignis Ardens]

THE NEO-SSPX SPLIT BEGINS:
Priests Break away to Found an “SSPX of the Strict Observance”

From: TRADITIO.com
September 27 [sic; actually 24], 2012


Frs. Francois Chazal and Joseph Pfeiffer Founding the SSPX of the Strict Observance

On September 21, 2012, the announcement came forth like the trumpet of the Apocalypse: a new Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance was founded on August 10, 2012, by the Vienna (Virginia) Declaration. The founding members are five leading priests of the SSPX. 25 more SSPX “resistance priests” have been identified so far and are expected to form the core of the SSPX-SO.

Described in the words of the Declaration as a “united core of priests faithful to the position always maintained by Archbishop Lefebvre,” Frs. Joseph Pfeiffer, Ronald Ringrose, Richard Voigt, David Hewko, and Francois Chazal, coming from various areas around the world, signed the founding documents. Joining the priests in the SSPX-Strict Observance are a number of SSPX religious and laity, to name just a few: Mother Ann-Marie Simoulin, Dom Thomas Aquinas (Benedictines of Brazil), and Dr. David White, who has previously given classes at the SSPX seminary in Winona, Minnesota.

The five founding fathers have elected Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer as their leader for a term of two years (compared to Fellay’s dictatorial 24 years). The fathers have refused to give up the name “Society of St. Pius X” because “we did not change the message; the official line of the [Neo-]SSPX has changed.” Although the founding fathers note that Fellay has not yet signed any “sellout deal” with Newrome [this sentence shows that the author of this article is just as much of a heretic as Martin Luther], they publicly “withdraw the exercise of obedience to him for motives of Faith until this crisis is over,” in order for the priests to maintain obedience to God in their sworn Anti-Modernist Oath. Ironically, this was the same Anti-Modernist Oath to God that Fellay himself swore when he entered Major Orders with Archbishop Lefebvre.

In addition to the 25 other priests whom Fellay has expelled or threatened to expel from his Neo-SSPX, the SSPX of the Strict Observance has announced that it will welcome “all the priests that Fellay sends them” — sardonically referring to the nearly three dozen priests whom Fellay has expelled, with more to be expelled, from his Neo-SSPX. Frankly, it is wonderful to see that the SSPX-SO has a sense of humor, as Our Lord had so often in Sacred Scripture, instead of the dictatorial, autocratic, humorless Fellay, who is more reminiscent of the corrupt leader of the Jewish Temple, Caiphas, who persecuted the Lord and took a cut of the Temple treasury, or more reminiscent of Judas, who stole from the apostles’ purse and betrayed the Lord. [Who is really the one who has betrayed the Lord - Bishop Fellay who accepts the God-given authority of the Pope, or these who reject the Vicar of Christ?]

The founding fathers indicate that anti-Fellay groups have appeared from everywhere, calling for help from the SSPX-SO and offering help to the new organization. The fathers say that it is not easy to cast them out of places that do not belong to Fellay and that they now understand Fellay’s adamant machinations to take legal possession of more and more properties away from the local NSSPX groups. It may well be that Fellay brought in the Jewish fund-raiser and Dresden lawyer Maximilian Krah to give him legal advice on how to do this. [What is the purpose of pointing out the ethnicity of Bishop Fellay's lawyer?  This says much more about the author of this article than it does about Bishop Fellay or his lawyer.]  The founding fathers are prudent enough to expect that the autocratic Fellay will unleash lawyers against them at some stage, but they say that they are prepared for this.

In a Declaration dated August 10, 2012, the founding fathers of the SSPX-SO stated that the Neo-SSPX crisis remains as long as its head, Bernie Fellay, teaches errors and allows errors to spread, thus dividing the flock.  Fellay is “excusing” the Modernist Vatican II Council instead of rejecting it. [Who are they to make this determination?] This Council’s chief advocate remains Benedict-Ratzinger [a term used to deny the authority of the Pope], who, the fathers state, is praising Vatican II continually, insisting that Mohammedans stay Mohammedans, preparing to Novus Ordo-beatify the successor of Josemaria Escriva (the Opus Dei cult leader), continuing to support the Focolari and other Modernist movements, et al.

The unCatholic teachings of the Modernist Vatican II Council are still raging in the person of one of its leaders, “Fr.” Ratzinger. Even if the “sellout deal” is off for the moment, Fellay remains committed to it. The fathers conclude by reminding Fellay’s Neo-SSPX of Archbishop Lefebvre’s direct words: “Had I signed [the sellout] agreement, we would have been finished in one year.”
* * *
The author of this article is the kind of person all Catholics should shun.  He mixes truth with lies and writes in a hateful and spiteful manner.  Referring to Pope Benedict XVI as "Fr." Ratzinger borders on blasphemy, if it is not actually blasphemous.   Pope Benedict is the chosen successor to St. Peter, and as such, he deserves the respect due to that high office.

In sum, as Catholics, we are never allowed to question the teachings of the Church.  We are promised that the Magesterium of the Church is directly inspired by the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.  Yet, it is for this very reason - our obligation to accept on faith the teachings of the church - that we can and must question those who do not abide by those teachings, and that includes priests and bishops and certainly the author of the article from traditio.com.  However, we are never allowed to judge the Pope.  He is the chosen Vicar of Christ, chosen and led by the Holy Spirit.  That does not guarantee that he will be a righteous and holy person, but it does guarantee that he cannot lead the church astray in spiritual and moral matters.  If we don't  believe that, then we are calling our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, a liar.  By doing so, we are disavowing His Sacrifice and putting our souls in danger of eternal hell fire. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bishop: Your Political Vote Could Determine Your Eternal Future


I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against, but I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy
Bishop John Paprocki


Far too many times I have posted here about my great disappointment with the US Bishops when it comes to denouncing evil.  As a case in point, not one bishop has said anything about the outrageous and scandalous statement made by Caroline Kennedy at the Democratic Convention, specifically "As a Catholic woman, I take reproductive health seriously." "Reproductive health", of course, is code for abortion.  It took a secular pundit, Bill O'Reilly, to point out how scandalous this statement is.  We still have not heard anything from the bishops on this matter and in particular, nothing from Cardinal Dolan, who is the bishop for Ms. Kennedy.

However, every once in a while a bishop will do or say something that makes my heart leap and do the Snoopy dance, as I posted about Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois who urged the faithful to turn to our Blessed Mother to combat the evil around us.   Bishop Jenky declared:  "I feel it very important that we turn to our Lady to help us and our country during these coming months. We can take comfort that her Immaculate Heart will triumph!"  It is a rather sad sign of our times that the act of a bishop taking the lead to protect his flock should be so out of the ordinary that it makes news, but that unfortunately is the current state of the Church.

Well, it's time to do the Snoopy dance again because another brave bishop has spoken up to warn the faithful that their actions could have eternal consequences.  This bishop is also from Illinois, Bishop John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois. (Whatever is in the water in Illinois should be given to all bishops!)  Bishop Paprocki has spoken out and warned the faithful that to vote for anyone who promotes intrinsic evil endangers the soul of the voter.  There can be absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that President Barack Obama supports evil, if for no other reason than the existence of the HHS Mandate, which is a direct attack on the Catholic Church. Of course, he is the first president ever to support same sex marriage and "gay rights" as well.  And we also have his horrendous record on abortion.  Just go here to Lifesite News and you will get a full picture.  This record starts from the time Obama was sworn into office up to the present time.  It's a fascinating read and includes such gems as this:


July 6, 2012 – Once again, the Obama administration has called “terrorists” the majority of Americans who support the pro-life view on abortion.
August 3, 2012 – Obama: I “Won't Give Any Ground” Defending Unlimited Abortion
August 22, 2012 – Unearthed Video Shows Obama Supporting Late-Term Abortions
September 4, 2012Michelle Obama: My Husband Stands for Promoting Abortion



Paragraph 2268 of the Catholic Catechism says the following:
2268 The fifth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. The murderer and those who co-operate voluntarily in murder commit a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.
Infanticide,  fratricide, parricide and the murder of a spouse are especially grave crimes by reason of the natural bonds which they break. Concern for eugenics or public health cannot justify any murder, even if commanded by public authority.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo leaving Mass
with his live-in girlfriend
If you vote for a politician who supports abortion, which is the intentional killing of an unborn child, you have cooperated in that murder and are held as accountable as one who actually committed the murder.  Therefore, you are in danger of hell fire.  Living in the City of New York, abortion capital of the United States, leaves Catholics with practically no one to vote for.  There are a few pro-life Republicans here and there, but they're about as rare as a 90 degree day in January in New York City.  A prime example is our pro-abortion, supporter of same sex marriage, divorced Governor Andrew Cuomo who marched down the Catholic Church aisle, along with his live-in girlfriend, on the day of his inauguration to receive communion from the bishop, who praised Mr. Cuomo:  "We know they [Cuomo and his girlfriend, both of whom are pro abortion], over the next four years, will be deeply immersed in the work of evangelization by bringing about the transformation of our state and our society, and we assure them of our prayers, of our support and of our best wishes for challenges they will face,” Bishop Hubbard said.  Unfortunately, our bishops here do not drink the same water as those in Illinois, so Governor Cuomo does whatever he wants with no interference from the Church.  Cardinal Dolan didn't even go to Albany when they legalized same sex marriage. 

In the United States, I would suggest that to align yourself in any way with the Democrat party is to put your soul in eternal danger.  Their convention a few weeks ago was all about death.  They literally celebrated abortion and same sex marriage and verbally attacked all those who disagreed with them.  As I mentioned in a prior post, the devil danced in the rafters at the Democratic National Convention.

Bishop John Paprocki spared no words when he condemned the actions of the Democratic party.  He spoke plainly and clearly and left no doubt that he considers the Democratic party to be the party of death.  And unfortunately, we are not just talking about physical death, as in abortion, but an even more serious matter.  We are talking about spiritual death.

Here is Bishop Paprocki's letter:
Bishop John Paprocki

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

Much attention was given at the Democratic National Convention held recently in Charlotte, N.C., to the fact that all references to God had been purged from the draft version of the party platform. After outcries of protest from outside as well as within the Democratic Party, the sentence with the same reference to God used in 2008 was restored to read, "We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.
Before anyone relaxes and concludes that all is well now that the Democratic Party Platform contains a single passing reference to God, the way that this was done should give us pause. Convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa had to call for the voice vote three times because each time the sound level for the "ayes" and the "nays" sounded about even, far short of the two-thirds necessary according to convention rules to amend the platform. That did not stop the convention chairman from declaring, "The ayes have it!"

What is troubling about that is the blatant disregard for the rules and for the apparent wishes of about half the delegates. The reference to God is back in the platform apparently because President Obama wanted it back in. That may be fine for now, but if a future president wants references to God taken out, apparently that can be done regardless of the wishes of the delegates if that is what The Leader wants. That does not bode well for democracy in the Democratic Party.
Even more troubling is that this whole discussion about God in the platform is a distraction from more disturbing matters that have been included in the platform. In 1992 Presidential candidate Bill Clinton famously said that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare." That was the party's official position until 2008. Apparently "rare" is so last century that it had to be dropped, because now the Democratic Party Platform says that abortion should be "safe and legal." Moreover the Democratic Party Platform supports the right to abortion "regardless of the ability to pay." Well, there are only three ways for that to happen: either taxpayers will be required to fund abortion, or insurance companies will be required to pay for them (as they are now required to pay for contraception), or hospitals will be forced to perform them for free.
 
Moreover, the Democratic Party Platform also supports same-sex marriage, recognizes that "gay rights are human rights," and calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law signed by President Clinton in 1996 that defined marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.
FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM
Freedom to Marry. We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.

We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.
Now, why am I mentioning these matters in the Democratic Party Platform? There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils. My job is not to tell you for whom you should vote. But I do have a duty to speak out on moral issues. I would be abdicating this duty if I remained silent out of fear of sounding "political" and didn't say anything about the morality of these issues. [Could all the rest of the bishops please have what Bishop Paprocki is having?] People of faith object to these platform positions that promote serious sins. I know that the Democratic Party's official "unequivocal" support for abortion is deeply troubling to pro-life Democrats.

So what about the Republicans? I have read the Republican Party Platform and there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin. [Unfortunately, the GOP Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney, does not fully support the GOP Platform, i.e., unlike the Republican platform, he supports abortion in cases of rape, incest and the health and life of the mother.]  The Republican Party Platform does say that courts "should have the option of imposing the death penalty in capital murder cases." But the Catechism of the Catholic Church says (in paragraph 2267), "Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm — without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself — the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."

One might argue for different methods in the platform to address the needs of the poor, to feed the hungry and to solve the challenges of immigration, but these are prudential judgments about the most effective means of achieving morally desirable ends, not intrinsic evils.

Certainly there are "pro-choice" Republicans who support abortion rights and "Log Cabin Republicans" who promote same-sex marriage, and they are equally as wrong as their Democratic counterparts. But these positions do not have the official support of their party.  [What about Mitt Romney, who supports abortion in "certain instances."]
Again, I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against, but I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.
VISIONS OF HELL FROM FATIMA
Lucia, the oldest of the three children, relates that the Blessed Virgin Mary opened her hands, and "rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.) The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for help, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so sadly: "You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. Thus, when you say the rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy Mercy."
I pray that God will give you the wisdom and guidance to make the morally right choices.
May God give us this grace. Amen.
* * *
So we know for certain that as Catholics, we can have no part in supporting the Democratic Party, which has made itself into the party of death.  And as His Excellency said, voting for a politician who supports intrinsic evil could actually result in loss of our salvation.

His Excellency has also told us that the Republican platform contains nothing objectionable as far as the Catholic Church is concerned.  But we must still judge each individual politician on his or her own merits.  And now even Paul Ryan has given us pause, as he has said that it would be wrong to reinstate "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  As Rep. Ryan says, “I think this issue is past us,” he added. “It’s done. And I think we need to move on.”  How do we support that?  What is it that Rep. Ryan expects us to move on to?   Approving of open homosexuality in the military?  How do we support the fact that Rep. Ryan recently voted to fund Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion Obamacare?  What of Mitt Romney, who supports homosexuals in the boy scouts, supports abortion in cases of rape, incest and life and health (whatever that means) of the mother, supports same sex civil unions as long as they are not called marriage?  Why did Mitt Romney have a fundraiser at the home of the manufacturer of the morning after pill?  I don't think the Church would consider it sinful to vote for Romney/Ryan because they are "basically" pro life and against the homosexual agenda, but in my opinion, they do not pass the smell test.

I can only repeat what I have posted here time and time again.  There is no salvation in politics.  Prayer and faithfulness to the Church and her teachings, which is faithfulness to Jesus Christ, is the only thing that will save us. 


s

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Only Solution to the HHS Mandate

Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential candidate, is now assuring us that if we will just vote the Romney/Ryan ticket into the office of the Presidency, they will get rid of the HHS Mandate on Day 1.  Voila!  All of our problems will be solved.  Really?

A week or so ago I posted here that the Republican-led House of Representatives, instead of passing a budget, which has not been done since April of 2009, voted for yet another Continuing Resolution in order to keep the government going.  Without the CR, the government will shut down.  (Would that really be such a bad thing?).  Among those who voted in favor of this Continuing Resolution, which includes funding for Planned Parenthood and Obamacare and the HHS Mandate, was Representative Paul Ryan.  Yes, that same Paul Ryan who says a Romney/Ryan administration will immediately rid the land of the HHS Mandate.
 
But how can someone who voted to fund the HHS Mandate be the same person who says he will make it disappear?  I can only think of the promise that Barack Obama made when he was running for president, that he would close Guantánamo Bay if elected president.  Obama even signed an executive order to that effect upon being sworn in.  However, Gitmo is still open to this day.  So how are we suppose to believe Paul Ryan when it comes to the HHS mandate?  He and all the other so-called Pro Life Republicans who voted for it will use the excuse that if they didn't vote for the Continuing Resolution, the government would be shut down.  But is it really better to keep a government running that continues to fund evil instead of just shutting it down? 
 
Paul Ryan
I very much want to believe Rep. Ryan, but if he really wanted to get rid of the HHS Mandate, then why did he vote to fund it?
 
Here's the story from Huffington Post:
Paul Ryan: Contraception Mandate 'Will Be Gone' On 'Day 1'
 
 
The Huffington Post | By Chris Gentilviso Posted: 09/22/2012 7:19 pm EDT Updated: 09/22/2012 7:31 pm EDT
 
GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sees no place for the Obama Administration's contraception mandate.
 
At a Saturday campaign event in Orlando, Fla., the Associated Press reports that Ryan was asked about whether he would press Vice President and fellow Catholic Joe Biden on his views in relation to the 2012 Democratic Party platform.
 
Ryan's answer turned straight to the piece of Obamacare providing birth control access. He vowed to remove that requirement for insurance providers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, on "day one."
 
"It will be gone," Ryan told onlookers at the University of Central Florida. "I can guarantee you that."  [But Rep. Ryan, why did you vote to fund it?]
Back on February 10, Ryan offered similar criticisms of Obama's contraception plan. In a statement released on his website, the Wisconsin congressman deemed it an "affront to religious liberty."
While I am a pro-life Catholic, I believe this mandate transcends the issue of personal religious beliefs about contraception, sterilization and abortion. The Obama Administration failed to recognize this mandate is in violation of our First Amendment right of religious freedom. ...
 
The President's policy continues to contradict the core principles of our nation. His decision disrespects not only the religious community, but it also disrespects the Constitution. By treating our rights as revocable privileges from our government, instead of inalienable gifts from our Creator, the President has put his personal political philosophies above the principles upon which this nation was founded. I will continue to monitor this issue closely and will work to see that this policy is reversed.  [And what concrete steps have you taken to rescind the mandate?]
Ryan appeared on ABC's "This Week" the following Sunday, calling the rule "an accounting trick" that should be "rescinded."
 
"It forces the insurance company that they have to pay to do the coverage," Ryan said. "So instead of making the institution itself, it reinforces the insurer. And a lot of these Catholic institutions are self-insured, and all insurers under this rule must provide these mandated benefits. So it really is a distinction without a difference."
 
The contraception rule went into effect on Aug. 1, 2012, ending co-pays for private-insurance patients seeking birth control. GOP Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) compared the plan to Pearl Harbor, calling that day "an attack on our religious freedom" that "will live in infamy."
* * *
I think it's great to speak out against the mandate, but talk means nothing if it isn't followed with actions.  Rep. Ryan voted to fund the HHS mandate and Planned Parenthood.  Romney Care in Massachusetts, upon which Obamacare is based, funded abortions.  When he was governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed a bill forcing Catholic hospitals to administer the morning after pill to rape victims.  Yet I'm suppose to believe a Romney/Ryan Administration will rescind the HHS Mandate on "Day 1."  Huh?

We are all looking for sanity in our world, we're looking for answers and solutions to the terrible mess in which we find ourselves, where our country is funding the killing of unborn innocent children and forcing the Catholic Church to go against her own teachings.  But after generations of voting for politicians who are always promising us the moon and then giving us the back of their hand instead, maybe we can finally admit that there is no solution in politics.  Blessed Mother Teresa gave this solution to the end of abortion and in effect, the HHS Mandate:  "If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic adoration, abortion would be ended."

Psalm 146:3 says:  "Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there."  But, you may argue, we can't just not vote.  Then Obama will get back in and we will have no hope at all.  How many who say that have ever just gotten down on their knees and given it to our Lord in prayer?  How many have spent time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and pleaded with our Lord for his intervention?

Msgr. Philip Reilly
An example of just how powerful prayer is and the wonderful miracles that can result from it has taken place where I live in the borough of Brooklyn here in New York City.  The largest abortion mill in the NYC area has been shut down, and much of it is due to the efforts of Msgr. Philip Reilly, who in my opinion is one of the holiest people alive on the earth today.  Msgr. Reilly, who founded Helpers of God's Precious Infants, has given his life and quite literally his face in trying to stop abortion.  I say he gave his face because he developed cancer in his face from standing outside in front of abortion mills hour after hour in prayer, and he has lost part of his face to the cancer.  He has been praying in front of one abortion mill in particular here in Brooklyn since 1990.  He was at this particular abortion mill, which was close to New York Harbor, on 9/11/2001 when everything here in NYC shut down because of the terrorist attacks.  But despite the horrors happening in downtown Manhattan, the abortion mill kept on killing babies that day, and Msgr. Reilly stayed even while a dark cloud and debris from the towers floated in the air around him.  That abortion mill is now closed.

Below is an article from the Brooklyn diocesan newspaper, The Tablet, in regard to this miraculous story:
Posted on 19 September 2012. by Ed Wilkinson
Msgr. Philip Reilly and the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants have stopped praying outside the Brooklyn Ambulatory Surgery Center in Sunset Park. For the past 22 years, the priest and his devoted group of prayers have been seeking an end to abortion at the Brooklyn site. Their prayers have been heard. The new owners of the building have explained that abortion will no longer be offered at the site when it reopens as the New York Center for Specialty Surgery.
To show their good will to the community, the new owners have invited Msgr. Reilly and Father Kevin Sweeney, pastor of nearby St. Michael’s Church, to bless the new facility, which they will do on Saturday, Sept. 29, following the 9 a.m. Mass at St. Michael’s.
Msgr. Reilly and his group outside an abortion mill
“It’s like a miracle!” says Father Sweeney, who has been praying with the Helpers since he was a seminarian. He announced the news to his congregation at a Sunday Mass to thunderous applause. Parishioners from St. Michael’s have been among the steady, dedicated volunteers who have been standing outside the building at Third Ave. and 43rd St., praying and offering alternatives to distressed mothers and fathers.
 
“This was the oldest and largest abortion clinic in New York City and for many years, in the United States,” said Msgr. Reilly. “I believe more than a quarter of a million unborn children lost their lives there.”
Msgr. Reilly before the cancer
Msgr. Reilly and the Helpers were accompanied by then-newly appointed Bishop Thomas V. Daily in the summer of 1990 when they first prayed at the site. They were met by a vicious band of pro-abortion supporters who tried to drown out their prayers and hymns of praise. For years, the pro-aborts continued to harass the Helpers during their monthly Rosary vigils there. Mostly young, they would blow whistles and hurl obscenities at the Helpers who held their ground as they prayed. The N.Y.C. Police always were on hand to assure safety and maintain peace.
 
Bishop Daily would tell the Helpers to obey the law and not to respond to the hecklers. After the recitation of the Rosary, the Helpers would process back to St.Michael’s for benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
“The Helpers are present outside of abortion clinics not simply to save babies but to save souls,” reminds Msgr. Reilly. “Indeed the Helpers are present not simply to witness to the truth but to convert people to the truth and change hearts. After so many years of good lay people, religious, priests and bishops praying and fasting outside of the Ambulatory abortion clinic … after so many years of dedicated laypeople offering help by sidewalk counseling to the pregnant women entering the clinic, the Lord has granted a complete victory.”
 
“I am pleased to confirm that the new center at 313 43rd Ave. in Brooklyn is opening as a multi-specialty surgery center to include outpatient surgical procedures. The center will no longer provide abortion services,” says Julia Ferguson, East Coast director of operations for Medical Forefronts, which will run the new center.
 
Fittingly, Sept. 29, when the new surgery center will be blessed, is also the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. The parish will be twice blessed on that day — once in the morning at the blessing ceremony and again later in the afternoon when Auxiliary Bishop Frank Caggiano visits to celebrate the patronal feast day. Truly it will be a day that the Lord will have made and everyone will have a reason to rejoice.
 * * *

Interestingly, Msgr. Philip Reilly is completely apolitical. He does not even go to the March for Life held in Washington D.C. each year because he feels it is more important to be praying at the abortion clinics. I heard Msgr. Reilly one time say that Planned Parenthood clinics will never be closed down through legislation because the government, through their funding, runs them.  He has no faith in politicians whatsoever.  He says that the only way Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned is not through legislation but by changing the minds and hearts of the people. 

Miracles happen when
prayer happens
Msgr. Reilly and his helpers closed down the abortion mill in Brooklyn through the power of prayer. Unfortunately, we still have several other abortion mills in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. 41% of all pregnancies in New York City still end in abortion, and over 60% of pregnancies in the minority communities end in abortion. The holocaust continues. But our Lord has given us a mighty victory through the prayerful and faithful efforts of Msgr. Philip Reilly and those who work with him. And with continued prayer, we can win many more victories.  But I think it is important to note that no politician had anything to do with the closing of the abortion mill in Brooklyn.

I'm not going to tell anyone not to vote.  But I will say that if you decide to vote, you should realize that it is highly unlikely that any politician, be it Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan or anyone else, is going to solve the evil in our land.  The solution to our problems lies in prayer and faithfulness to our Lord.   No solution will never be found with politicians.
 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

TV: From Vast Wasteland to Vast Cesspool

Over 50 years ago, on May 9,  1961, Newton Minnow, then chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, gave a speech in which he referred to TV as a "vast wasteland." This is what he said:

"When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.

But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.
You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it."
This was in the days of The Andy Griffith Show, Leave It To Beaver, Lassie, Father Knows Best, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and for some "racy" stuff, Peter Gunn.  Most people never had more than 7 channels, and that was in the city.  For those in the country, they were lucky to have 1 or 2 channels.  TV stations actually signed off at night and came back on in the morning usually with the national anthem and a patriotic video.  If you missed a TV show, there was no way to record it and go back and watch it again. 

But now there are hundreds of channels to choose from, and they are all on 24/7.  We have DVR's and other ways in which to record the programs and watch them when we want and however many times we wish.  My cable company allows me to watch not only on TV but on iPads, iPhones, iPods and laptops.  I can actually carry TV around with me wherever I go, even into the bathroom.


Some might think that the term "vast wasteland" is still a good moniker for TV.  However, I think "vast cesspool" is much more fitting. 

On what may seem an entirely different subject, but really isn't, the Collect from today's Traditional Latin Mass is:
"Grant, O Lord, unto Thy people grace to avoid all contact with the devil, and with pure minds to follow Thee, the only God."
Everything in this world comes from one of two sources.  It is either of God or of the devil.  Where you do you think most TV shows come from?  Are we avoiding contact with the devil when we watch TV shows that promote sexual perversity, brutality and moral ambiguity?  Below is an article from Media Research Center on the shows that are up for Emmys this year and just what they represent. 

2012 Emmys Honor the Profane
What does Hollywood value? Sex and lawlessness.
Published: 9/21/2012 11:08 AM ET


By Lauren Thompson
Author Archive

In typical Hollywood fashion the 2012 Emmy Awards are giving the high honors to television shows that trade in sexual depravity and even brutality. The ceremony, which will air Sunday evening on ABC, is sure to be a glamorous roll in the mud.

HBO shows “Game of Thrones,” “Girls,” and “Boardwalk Empire” are all nominated in respected categories. “Game of Thrones” received harsh backlash for decapitating former President George W. Bush and even came under fire by liberal critics for a litany of gratuitous sex scenes.  [According to Wikipedia, "Game of Thrones" explores the themes of magic, social hierarchy, crime and punishment, civil war, sexuality and incest, and religion, apart from moral ambiguity of its characters.  From an interview:  Game of Thrones star Kit Harington has claimed that sex is "very important" to the show  The actor, who plays Jon Snow, hinted that the forthcoming second season would be even more explicit than the first.  "The second season doesn't hold back in that area," he told Vulture. "We go even further in our explicitness, because sex is being used as a weapon. It's such an important part of the series."]
George W. Bush's decapitated head in "Game of Thrones"
The gory, medieval drama is nominated for two Emmys.
“Girls,” is hailed by liberals as “a dawn of a bold and honest new era” for its ability to inflict on viewers graphic, ugly sex scenes, drug use and plots about abortion and masturbation.

Other nominees for bread-winning categories are “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” “Mad Men” follows the life of philandering advertising executive Jon Hamm and is always a favorite for an award. “Breaking Bad,” AMC’s popular show about a chemistry teacher turned meth manufacter, also receives regular praise and awards.

And what awards show wouldn’t be complete without a heavy dose of gay culture? ABC’s “Modern Family” is thought to be a lock to win in its respective categories. 
Homosexual kiss from "Modern Family"
[From Wikipedia: "Modern Family drew criticism from the LGBT community for its portrayal of Cameron and Mitchell as not being physically affectionate with each other. The criticism spawned a Facebook campaign to demand Mitchell and Cameron be allowed to kiss. In response to the controversy, producers released a statement that a season two episode would address Mitchell's discomfort with public displays of affection. Executive producer Levitan has said that it was unfortunate that the issue had arisen, since the show's writers had always planned on such a scene "as part of the natural development of the show." The episode "The Kiss" eventually aired with the kiss scene in the background which drew praise from multiple critics.]
Other sordid offerings include FX’s crass comedy show called “Louie C.K.” In one episode CK took part in a staged debate over masturbation against an opponent, labeled a virgin Christian, who had formed a group that was adamantly opposed it. CK berated the girl for her beliefs and ended the uncomfortable scene by telling her, “I’m going to think about you later when I masturbate, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”  [I am particularly offended by Greg Gutfeld who plays himself in this episode and who is a Catholic.  Why aren't the bishops saying something about this?]
From the Louis CK Show in which he debates about masturbation
This is entertainment and worthy of an Emmy?
 Lovely.
As vapid and self-congratulatory as the Emmys and other entertainment awards shows are, they perform one valuable service: they make it clear exactly who and what Hollywood values and celebrates. And it’s not ordinary Americans.  
* * * 
I don't quite get the last statement from this article.   If these values are not about ordinary Americans, then why are ordinary Americans watching these shows?   The last show mentioned in this article, Louis CK, stars one of the most immoral, anti-God comedians in our era.  He has picked up where George Carlin - pray for his poor, sad soul - left off.  If you can stand it, here is a routine from Louis CK in which he blasphemes God in telling the story of Abraham and Isaac.  The story of Abraham and Isaac is a beautiful story from the Old Testament which pictures the sacrifice of the Son of God to save humanity from eternal damnation.  Warning:  this video is completely blasphemous against the God of the Universe.




According to Wikipedia, this is the reception given to Louis CK's show:
Although initial critical response to the show was mostly positive but divided, Louie has gone on to receive almost unanimous critical acclaim. The first season earned 70 out of 100 rating based on 20 reviews on Metacritic. The stand-up segments received strong praise, as did the show's perceived "indie film" style, with some likening the show to the work of Woody Allen. Criticisms largely centered on the pacing and low-key delivery of the show's jokes, which often include long setups compared to the rapid-fire punchlines of a traditional sitcom.

Critical response to Louie improved since its debut, with the show appearing on 9 of the 28 "top show" lists tracked by Metacritic for 2010, and 22 of 39 lists in 2011, which included 3 lists where the show was ranked 1st. The first four episodes of the second season scored 90 out of 100 based on 7 reviews on Metacritic. The third season has received very positive reviews, scoring 94 out of 100 based on 16 reviews on Metacritic.
This show is up for Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. 

UPDATE:  Modern Family won Emmys for Best Comedy Series, Supporting Actor and Actress and Directing Comedy.  Louis CK won for Writing Comedy and Writing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special (C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre)

Why aren't the bishops speaking out against this?  People's souls are in danger of eternal hellfire if they keep putting this kind of garbage into their minds.  And yet our Bishops are silent.

Here are some excerpts from one of the best TV shows ever created, The Twilight Zone, from an episode entitled "The Obsolete Man."  This episode was originally broadcast on June 2, 1961, about one month after Newton Minnow gave his famous "vast wasteland" speech.  Towards the end of this episode, when Burgess Meredith's character is awaiting his execution, we hear him reading aloud from Psalm 23.  If this was a wasteland, may we please have it back?




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