Friday, May 18, 2012

Another $1.5 Trillion Added to National Debt

There was a very interesting article on on November 3, 2010 when the Republicans took over the House of Congress.   John Boehner, who was elected as Speaker of the House, was interviewed and said the following:
John Boehner, set to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives, said Americans had voted for "smaller government".

He pledged to repeal Mr Obama's healthcare reform "monstrosity", to cut spending and to create jobs.  [Oh yea, and how did that go?] 
Mr Boehner vowed to start work on the "people's priorities".

"They want the president to change course. Change course we will," he said.
John "Pinocchio" Boehner
Mr Boehner insisted that halting the president's flagship healthcare reform was a top priority.  [Let's see, how has that gone?  Well, now Catholic Church institutions have been told they must supply free contraception to their employees.  Guess "halting" healthcare reform hasn't exactly happened.]
While there will be much talk of compromise and reaching deals, many Tea Party supporters' explicit aim is to block and undo Mr Obama's agenda, our editor says. [And just what part of "Mr. Obama's agenda" has been blocked?  I haven't seen a single issue of Obama's agenda blocked.]
Now let's fast forward to the present, and today there was an article on which tells us that the federal debt per household has increased since 2010 by $12,984.  Oh, those Republicans are really halting Mr. Obama's agenda, aren't they?  Here is the article:
$12,984--Increase in Debt Per Household Since First 2011 Bipartisan Spending Deal
By Terence P. Jeffrey
May 18, 2012
The White House and the congressional leaders of both parties in Congress have begun maneuvering this week over the issue of the federal debt and what to do when the government hits the latest statutory limit on that debt--$16.394 trillion—which Congress and the president agreed to when they cut a deal on the debt limit last August.

The federal debt is currently $15.709 trillion, or about $685 billion below the limit.  [Really putting the brakes on that spending, aren't you Republicans!]  
The first spending deal the White House and leaders of both parties in Congress made last year was on March 2 [with all those new Republicans who were going to halt Mr. Obama's agenda]. On that day, the president signed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded past March 4, when the previous continuing resolution, passed by a lame-duck Congress in late 2010, expired.

The March 4 CR kept the government funded for two weeks and was approved by a bipartisan 335-91 vote in the House and a bipartisan 91-9 vote in the Senate [Hey Republicans, I thought you were going to stop all the big spending when you got voted into office in 2010.]

Since that March 4, 2011 bipartisan continuing resolution, the federal government has been funded by a series of bipartisan deals cut between the White House and congressional leaders.  [Speaker Boehner, what happened to to your promise to cut spending?]
In the meanwhile, under these bipartisan spending deals, according to official figures published by the U.S. Treasury, the federal debt has climbed from $14,182,627,184,881.03 to $15,708,753,671,767.64.

That is an increase of $1,526,126,486,886.61. [Kinda hard to even read a number that big]

Given that the Census Bureau estimates there are about 117,538,000 households in the United States, the per household increase in the federal debt since Congress enacted its March 4, 2011 bipartisan spending deal has been approximately $12,984.
So there you have it, folks.  Really big difference between the two parties, right?  We can sure count on those Republicans to stand up to the big bad, high-spending Democrats, can't we?

Prayer Is A Gift of God

"The Holy Spirit is, as it were, the interpreter who makes us, and God, understand what it is we wish to say."

Prayer has never come easy for me.  I can easily talk with other people - sometimes I don't know when to shut up! - but when I come before my Creator, it often seems I don't know what to say.  There is so much in my heart I want to say, but I have no idea how to form the words.  Pope Benedict XVI addressed this very problem in his weekly audience on May 16, 2012 when he continued his series on prayer. 

As I read through his remarks, which were delivered extemporaneously, I felt he was talking right to me.  The Holy Father explains that prayer is not a work that we do or even the work of the Holy Spirit or Jesus Christ, but rather, a fruit of the presence of the first Person in the Trinity, the Father.  Pope Benedict tells us that our weakness, our very inability to pray becomes our prayer and the Holy Spirit interprets our prayer not only to God, but to us as well.  Pope Benedict discusses in this message the transforming power of prayer, changing us "from men bound to material realities into spiritual men." 

I found this message of the Holy Father to be one of the most inspiring and encouraging I have ever read.  Instead of being discouraged by our weaknesses and our apparent lack of spirituality and inability to pray, the Vicar of Christ tells us that the Holy Spirit transforms this weakness into our strength, "this very lack of words, this absence of words, yet this desire to enter into contact with God, is prayer that the Holy Spirit not only understands, but brings and interprets before God." 

Here is the transcript of this most inspiring and important message.
On Prayer in the Spirit 
 "The Holy Spirit is, as it were, the interpreter who makes us, and God, understand what it is we wish to say"

VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2012 ( Here is a translation of the Italian-language catechesis Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience held in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope continued his reflection on prayer.

* * *
Dear brothers and sisters,

Apostle Paul Writing From Prison
In the last catecheses we reflected on prayer in the Acts of the Apostles. Today I would like to begin to speak about prayer in the Letters of St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles. First, I would like to note that it is not by chance that his Letters are introduced and conclude with expressions of prayer: at the beginning, thanksgiving and praise; at the end, the wish that the grace of God guide the journey of the community to whom the writing is addressed. The content of the Apostle’s Letters develops between the opening formula: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:8), and the final wishes: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you” (1 Corinthians 16:23). The prayer of St. Paul manifests a great wealth of forms -- from thanksgiving to benediction, from praise to petition and intercession, from hymns to supplication: a variety of expressions, which demonstrate how prayer involves and penetrates all the situations of life, those which are personal as well as those of the community he is addressing.

Our Prayer is Not Our Work But
The Fruit of the Presence of the Father
A first element that the Apostle wants us to understand is that prayer should not be seen merely as a good work that we carry out for God, an action of ours. First and foremost, it is a gift, the fruit of the living, vivifying presence of the Father of Jesus Christ in us.  [The Holy Father is telling us that prayer does not originate with us but is a fruit of the presence of the Father in us, a gift from God.] In the Letter to the Romans he writes: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words” (8:26). [Being mortal, sinful human beings, we do not know how and are not worthy by ourselves to go before the throne of God.  The Holy Spirit - our Guide and Comforter - intercedes for us.] And we know how true the Apostle’s saying is: “We do not know how to pray as we ought”. We want to pray, but God is far off, we do not have the words, the language, to speak with God, nor even the thought to do so. We can only open ourselves, place our time at God’s disposition, wait for Him to help us to enter into true dialogue. [So often when we pray, we do not even know what to say.  The Holy Father is telling us that is the time to just be open to God and His Presence, and He will do the rest.] The Apostle says: this very lack of words, this absence of words, yet this desire to enter into contact with God, is prayer that the Holy Spirit not only understands, but brings and interprets before God. This very weakness of ours becomes -- through the Holy Spirit -- true prayer, true contact with God. The Holy Spirit is, as it were, the interpreter who makes us, and God, understand what it is we wish to say.  [This is one of the most comforting statements about prayer that I have ever heard or read.  Our weakness, our inability to pray,  actually becomes our prayer to the Almighty God through the intercession of the Holy Spirit.]

In prayer we experience -- more than in other aspects of life -- our weakness, our poverty, our being creatures, for we are placed before the omnipotence and transcendence of God.  And the more we advance in listening and in dialogue with God, so that prayer becomes the daily breath of our souls, the more we also perceive the measure of our limitations, not only in the face of the concrete situations of everyday life, but also in our relationship with the Lord. The need to trust, to rely increasingly upon Him then grows in us; we come to understand that “we do not know … how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8:26). [The Holy Father is telling us that through prayer we are able to see ourselves as we really are - weak, frail and sinful - because we are entering into the presence of the Great Almighty God. This is why so many saints whom we see as spiritually strong, will often describe themselves as the worst sinners. The closer we get to God, the more aware we become of just how utterly lacking we are. There is no hiding and no pretending in the Presence of God.  Ergo, the more we pray, the more we become aware of our sinfulness and weakness, and the more we will depend on God and grow spiritually.  Our weakness becomes our strength.] 

The Holy Spirit takes our prayer before God
and interprets and transforms it
And it is the Holy Spirit who helps our inability, who enlightens our minds and warms our hearts, guiding us as we turn to God.  For St. Paul, prayer is above all the work of the Holy Spirit in our humanity, to take our weakness and to transform us from men bound to material realities into spiritual men. In the First Letter to the Corinthians he says: “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths in spiritual terms” (2:12-13). By means of His abiding in our fragile humanity, the Holy Spirit changes us; He intercedes for us; He leads us toward the heights of God (cf. Romans 8:26). [Our spiritual growth comes from the Holy Spirit, not from anything we do. Just as our Blessed Mother conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, so Christ is formed in each one of us through that same Holy Spirit.]

Our union with Christ is realized by this presence of the Holy Spirit, for He is the Spirit of the Son of God, in whom we are made children. St. Paul speaks of the Spirit of Christ (cf. Romans 8:9), and not only of the Spirit of God. It is obvious: if Christ is the Son of God, His Spirit is also the Spirit of God. Thus, if the Spirit of God -- the Spirit of Christ -- already drew near to us in the Son of God and Son of Man, then the Spirit of God also becomes the spirit of man and touches us; we can enter into the communion of the Spirit. It is as if to say that not only God the Father became visible in the Incarnation of the Son, but also that the Spirit of God revealed Himself in the life and action of Jesus, of Jesus Christ, who lived, was crucified, died and was raised.

The Apostles reminds us that “no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’, except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). The Spirit, then, directs our hearts toward Jesus Christ, such that “it is not longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us” (cf. Galations 2:20). In his Catecheses on the Sacraments, reflecting on the Eucharist, St. Ambrose affirms: “He who is inebriated with the Holy Spirit is rooted in Christ” (5,3,17: PL 16, 450).

And now I would like to highlight three consequences for our Christian lives when we allow the Spirit of Christ, and not the spirit of the world, to work in us as the interior principle of all our actions.

First, prayer animated by the Spirit enables us to abandon and to overcome every form of fear and slavery, and so to experience the true freedom of the children of God. Without prayer that nourishes our being in Christ each day in a steadily growing intimacy, we find ourselves in the condition described by St. Paul in the Letter to the Romans: we do not do the good we want, but the evil we do not want (cf. Romans 7:19). [It is only through prayer - union with God - and the Holy Spirit's intercession that we can overcome our sinful nature.  We cannot do it by ourselves.]

And this is the expression of the alienation of the human being, of the destruction of our freedom due to the condition of our being that is brought about by original sin: we want the good that we do not do, and we do what we do not want, evil. [This is the human condition boiled down to one sentence.] The Apostle wants us to understand that it is not our will that first and foremost frees us from this condition, nor is it the Law, but rather the Holy Spirit.  And since “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17), through prayer we experience the freedom given by the Spirit: an authentic freedom, which is freedom from evil and from sin for the good and for life, for God. The freedom of the Spirit, St. Paul continues, is never identical with libertinism or with the possibility of choosing evil but rather with the “fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22). This is true freedom: the ability to actually follow the desire for the good, for true joy, for communion with God and not to be oppressed by the circumstances that take us down other roads. [The world defines freedom as the ability to make our own rules and "do our own thing" which, because of our sinful nature, leads to enslavement to our desires and no freedom at all].

A second consequence that comes about in our lives when we allow the Spirit of Christ to work in us is that our relationship with God becomes so deep that it cannot be affected by any circumstance or situation. ["Thou wilt keep him in Perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee" Isaiah 26:3] We then come to understand that, through prayer, we are not delivered from trials or sufferings, but we are able to live them in union with Christ, with His sufferings, with a view to participating also in His glory (cf. Romans 8:17).  [So much of the world, especially the Protestant world, sees suffering and trials as a sign of God's displeasure with us.  But it is our sufferings that unite us with Christ in his sufferings.  Suffering actually brings us closer to our Lord.]

Many times, in our prayer, we ask God to be freed from physical or spiritual evil, and we do this with great trust. Yet we often have the impression that we have not been heard, and then we run the risk of becoming discouraged and of not persevering. In reality, there is no human cry that God does not hear, and it is precisely in continual and faithful prayer that we come to understand with St. Paul that “the sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). Prayer does not exempt us from trial and suffering; indeed -- St. Paul says -- we “groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23); he says that prayer does not exempt us from suffering, but that prayer allows us to experience it and to face it with new strength, with the same trust as Jesus, who -- according to the Letter to the Hebrews -- “in the days of his flesh offered prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to God who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard on account of his complete abandonment to Him” (5:7). God the Father’s response to the Son, to his loud cries and tears, was not deliverance from suffering, from the Cross, from death; rather, it was a much greater fulfillment, a much deeper response; through the Cross and death, God responded with the Resurrection of the Son, with new life. [It was through not delivering Christ from cross but allowing him to suffer that we were given new life] Prayer animated by the Holy Spirit leads us, too, to live the journey of life with its daily trials and suffering in full hope and trust in God, who responds as he responded to the Son.  
True Prayer, sustained by the Spirit of Christ,
takes us out of ourselves and unites us with others
And, third, the prayer of the believer opens [us] out to the dimensions of humanity and of the whole creation, by taking on the “eager longing of creation for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). This means that prayer, sustained by the Spirit of Christ who speaks in our interior depths, never remains closed in upon itself, it is never only prayer for me; rather, it opens out to a sharing in the suffering of our time, of others. [The Holy Father is saying that prayer enlarges us and unites us with the rest of humanity.  We are never alone when we pray.  We are united with others in a way that can come only as the result of prayer] It becomes intercession for others, and thus freedom for me; a channel of hope for all creation and the expression of that love of God, which has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit who has been given to us (cf. Romans 5:5). And this is a sign of true prayer, that it does not end in ourselves, but opens out to others and so liberates me, and so helps in the redemption of the world. [If prayer is not uniting us with others, it is not true prayer.]

Dear brothers and sisters, St. Paul teaches us that in our prayer we must open ourselves to the presence of the Holy Spirit, who prays in us with sighs too deep for words, in order to bring us to adhere to God with all our hearts and with all our being. The Spirit of Christ becomes the strength of our “weak” prayer, the light of our “extinguished” prayer, the fire of our “cold and arid” prayer, by giving us true interior freedom, by teaching us to live facing life’s trials in the certainty that we are not alone, and by opening us to the horizons of humanity and creation “which groans in travail until now” (Romans 8:22). Thank you.

[Translation by Diane Montagna]

[In English, he said:]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn to the teaching of the Apostle Paul. Saint Paul’s letters show us the rich variety of his own prayer, which embraces thanksgiving, praise, petition and intercession.For Paul, prayer is above all the work of the Holy Spirit within our hearts, the fruit of God’s presence within us. The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness, teaching us to pray to the Father through the Son. In the eighth chapter of the Letter to the Romans, Paul tells us that the Spirit intercedes for us, unites us to Christ and enables us to call God our Father. In our prayer, the Holy Spirit grants us the glorious freedom of the children of God, the hope and strength to remain faithful to the Lord amid our daily trials and tribulations, and a heart attentive to the working of God’s grace in others and in the world around us. With Saint Paul, let us open our hearts to the presence of the Holy Spirit, who prays with us and leads us to an ever deeper union in love with the Triune God.
For those of us who struggle with prayer and feel  so often that we have failed, the Vicar of Christ has explained that the Holy Spirit interprets this weakness, this apparent failure, directly to the Father and then what we perceive as weakness becomes our strength.  Our prayer is not our work or our action, but, as the Holy Father tells us, " it is a gift, the fruit of the living, vivifying presence of the Father of Jesus Christ in us."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Christ Ascends to Heaven in His Glorified Human Body

Alleluia, Christ the Lord, who hath ascended
into heaven,
O come, let us worship, alleluia.

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.  (Acts 1:10-11)

Jesus With the Apostles after the Resurrection
Today officially marks the end of Easter Season.  It has now been 40 days since Easter, which commemorated the resurrection of our Lord and his victory over sin and death and the opening of the gates of heaven to all mankind.  Our Lord spent 40 days on earth with his disciples after his resurrection, teaching and admonishing them, and leaving no doubt in their minds that he had truly risen body and soul from the grave.  It took some time for all the disciples to come to truly believe that our Lord, who had died so brutal a death on the cross, had risen from the dead.  But Christ's 40 days on earth after his resurrection was not just for the disciples' benefit at that time, but for all who followed them down through the ages right up to our time. 

The Traditional Breviary has a reading today from St. Gregory the Pope in which he tells us that we have more to learn from the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe Christ had risen, than from Mary Magdalene, who believed immediately.

Thomas inspecting the
Risen Christ's wounds
I may be allowed to say that the disciples' slowness to believe that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead, was not so much their weakness as our strength. In consequence of their doubts, the fact of the Resurrection was demonstrated by many infallible proofs. These proofs we read and acknowledge. What then assureth our faith, if not their doubt? For my part, I put my trust in Thomas, who doubted long, much more than in Mary Magdalene, who believed at once. Through his doubting, he came actually to handle the holes of the Wounds, and thereby closed up any wound of doubt in our hearts.

To confirm to our minds the trustworthiness of the fact that our Lord did indeed rise again from the dead, it is well for us to remark one of the statements of Luke : Eating together with them, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem : and a little afterward : While they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. Consider these words, note well these mysteries. After eating together with them, he was taken up. He ate and ascended : that the fact of his eating might shew the reality of the Body in which he went up [a spirit cannot eat.  But the fact that Christ ate proved that he was not a spirit but a risen human being]. But Mark telleth us that before the Lord ascended into heaven he upbraided his disciples with their unbelief and hardness of heart [even after being with the Risen Lord for 40 days, the apostles were still struggling to believe]. From this I know not what we should gather, but that the Lord then upbraided his disciples, from whom he was about to be parted in the body, to the end that the words which he spake unto them as he left them might be the deeper imprinted on their hearts.

When, then, he had rebuked the hardness of their hearts, what command did he give them? Let us hear. Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Was the Holy Gospel, then, my brethren, to be preached to things insensate, or to brute beasts, that the Lord said to his disciples : Preach the Gospel to every creature? Nay ; but by the words Every creature, we must understand man, in whom are combined qualities of all creatures. Being he hath in common with stones, life in common with trees, feeling in common with beasts, understanding in common with angels. If, then, man hath something in common with every creature, man is to a certain extent every creature. The Gospel, then, if it be preached to man only, is preached to every creature.  [END OF SERMON]

Ascension Thursday marks the day that our Lord rose to sit at the right hand of the Father, as we say in the Creed, "from whence he shall come again to judge the living and the dead".  As Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, he is constantly interceding for us, and the 5 wounds in his hands, feet and side are, as stated in a rosary meditation that I do, "an endless plea before the Father on our behalf." 

This is a wonderful, joyous feast day, bittersweet to an extent because our Lord no longer walks the earth with us.  But we know that he is always with us in the Eucharist, and as we will see in 10 days, he has given us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to guide and lead us in all righteousness. 

It is very sad that most of the United States dioceses no longer celebrate this day as a holy day of obligation but now celebrate "Ascension Thursday" on Sunday.  I feel this takes away great meaning from it, for it was 40 days after the resurrection that Christ ascended into heaven, not 43 days.  I pray that someday the Church as a whole will return to the orthodoxy that will strengthen the faith of her members and lead them into heaven with the resurrected and glorified Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of his father.

Obomney - Our "Choice" For President

I haven't posted much about the presidential race in the past couple of months because I have just found it too depressing.  As always, we are given a choice between two men who are, in all important respects, a carbon copy of each other.  The media and the talking heads will tell us that there are great differences between the two, but when you scratch beneath the surface, you find that the differences are merely cosmetic. 

The lack of choice in the 2012 presidential election is nothing new.  We are always voting for candidates who says they will make "real changes."  Then they get into office and everything stays the same.  Witness all those new Republicans who were voted into office in 2010 and told us they were going to "take the country back."  Seen any changes?  I sure haven't.   The economy continues to spiral out of control.  We've added another trillion dollars to the debt, we are into even more wars, Obama signs executive orders that allow him to literally confiscate everything we have and put us into forced labor, the president tramples all over religious freedom - and nary a peep from our "activist" Republicans.  The key issue for me - abortion, the taking of innocent and defenseless life in the womb - isn't even touched by the Republicans, even though they all say they are pro life.  They tell us there are too many other "important" issues.

Now our choice for Republican presidential candidate is Mitt Romney, who was adamantly pro choice until he decided he wanted to run for president. Then he underwent a "conversion" when, he tells us, he realized just how terrible abortion is.  Now he has announced to the world that he is pro life, against abortion.

Back a few years ago when Romney was running for governor of Massachusetts, this is what he said (from
I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country; I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate,” he said then. “I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it.”
At the time, Romney explained his support for abortion rights by pointing to a personal experience.
“I have my own beliefs, and those beliefs are very dear to me,” he said. “One of them is that I do not impose my beliefs on other people. Many, many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time that my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that.”
The article goes on:
During his 1994 campaign, Romney said the question of Medicaid abortion funding should be left to the states and “endorsed the legalization of RU-486, the abortion-inducing drug, and appeared in June at a fund-raiser for Planned Parenthood. Ann Romney gave the group $150.” In 2001, Romney — eying higher office after his success at the Olympics — initially objected to a newspaper editorial describing him as “pro-choice”, but as a gubernatorial candidate “expressed support for Medicaid funding for the procedure, efforts to expand access to emergency contraception, and the restoration of state funding for family-planning and teen pregnancy prevention programs.”
No, Romney wouldn't waver on his pro choice position UNTIL he decided to run for president on the Republican ticket.  Then he suddenly became aware of how terrible abortion is and did one of the neatest flip flips seen in political history.

We fast forward to the present time.  Our president has now come out in full force for same sex marriage.  Barack Obama has put the stamp of approval on sodomy and now it's only a matter of time before same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.  How has Mitt Romney responded?  Well, he is not for same sex marriage, but he has no problem whatsoever with homosexual couples adopting children and exposing the children to this perverted lifestyle. 

All you conservative Republicans, and especially you Catholics out there who think you have a real choice between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama - think again!  For an example of the vast "difference" between Obama and Romney, see the article below on Romney's views towards homosexuals adopting children.

Romney Says He's 'Fine' With Gay Couples Adopting Children 

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Thursday that while he opposes same-sex marriage, he is “fine” with gay couples adopting children. The presumptive nominee also declined to criticize President Obama’s reversal on the issue, saying he would “respect the right of the president to reach the conclusion he has.”  [Romney will not even speak out against Obama endorsing same sex marriage.  Silence can sometimes speak volumes]
In his most detailed comments to date on the issue of civil rights for gay people, Romney told Fox News host Neil Cavuto, “I know many gay couples that are able to adopt children. That’s fine. But my preference is that we ... continue to define marriage as the relationship between a man and a woman.”  [Not exactly a resounding condemnation of Obama's endorsement of same sex marriage.  Don't want to offend the gay voters out there, do we!] 
The statement seemed to put Romney in the position of condoning same-sex families with children as long as the parents do not marry.  [Well, it's his "preference" that same sex couples not marry, anyway.] 

And if two people of the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship, or even to adopt a child -- in my state individuals of the same sex were able to adopt children. In my view, that’s something that people have a right to do. But to call that marriage is something that in my view is a departure from the real meaning of that word.”  [Notice how he keeps using the words "in my view."  He does not categorically state as a matter of moral law that homosexual marriage is wrong.  That leaves the door open for his "view" to change, whenever it may be convenient for him.  Right now, for the foreseeable future, Mitt Romney sees homosexuals adopting children as fine - which is in complete opposition to Catholic Church teaching - but it's his "view" that calling this homosexual relationship "marriage" is crossing the line.  But who knows when Romney will feel it's time to move that line.]

Obama on Wednesday said he was in favor of same-sex marriage after months of saying his views on the matter were “evolving.” During his campaign for president in 2008, and as a candidate for the Senate in 2004, Obama said he opposed gay marriage. [Hmmm, same thing Mitt Romney is saying now.]

After declining to comment on the president’s reversal, Romney told Cavuto, “This is an issue where you can’t really convince someone about. It’s something where you either believe one way or the other. It’s very much like the issue of life. [All you pro life people out there, take note!  Mitt Romney is giving ample warning that he cannot be counted on to support you.  You have been warned.]  And we come down on different sides of this issue after giving it careful thought and consideration. I respect the right of the president to reach the conclusion he has [Is anyone hearing this?!] , and I presume he respects my right to hold to the position that I’ve had from the beginning of this topic being raised.”

Asked whether he would be at a disadvantage politically if gays galvanize behind Obama’s reelection campaign, Romney said, “Hopefully, people are focusing on the major issues of the day [this is such an unimportant issue - why is anyone even paying attention to it?  It only affects the survival of the family.], which relate to our economy, getting people back to work, dealing with Syria.... But I know for many people, the issue of marriage is going to be a defining issue, and they will make their decision on that basis. That is their right. [But please don't bother Mitt Romney with this "unimportant" issue]  But you don’t change your position to try to win states or certain subgroups of Americans. You have the positions you have, and you know, for a long time, I think since the beginning of my career, I have made it very clear that I thought that marriage should be a relationship between a man and a women.”  [But it's perfectly fine with Mitt to allow children into a perverted relationship as long as you don't call it marriage.]
I wonder if all those people who tell us we have a choice in this election are listening to this.  What choice do we have?  The lesser of two evils?  I don't even see that anymore.  The biggest problem is that it doesn't matter what candidates say when they are running for president.  They have shown us over and over that they cannot be held to their word.  Once they are in office, they are going to do whatever strikes their fancy or whatever they are told to do by the real powers. 

I'm through with politics.  It's a false messiah.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

From the SSPX: We Are In 2012 With Pope Benedict XVI

Are we seeing the reunification of the
SSPX and the Vatican?
I have posted below a wonderful article written on May 11, 2012, about the potential, and seemingly imminent, reunification of the Society of St. Pius X and the Vatican. The article is written by Father Michel Simoulin, who has been an SSPX priest for 35 years. Father Simoulin speaks very respectfully of Pope Benedict XVI and of the Vatican, which I find very encouraging. He says very plainly in this article that the SSPX, of and by itself, is not the Church, that the Church is the Vatican. As he says in his article: "The Society is not an army raised up against Rome, but an army formed for the Church."

He also explains that the initial split between Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican came about not because of doctrinal differences between the Society and the Vatican, but because the Vatican would not allow the Archbishop to ordain his own bishops.  This led Archbishop Lefebvre to fear that, by relinquishing his authority to Rome, adversary forces in Rome would step in and destroy the SSPX.  Knowing the contemporary history of the Church and the many forces inside and outside of Rome who hate anything that promotes traditional Catholicism, specifically and especially the Latin Mass, one can only conclude that Archbishop Lefebvre was most probably correct in his fears.

I find this article to be very enlightening and encouraging.  Father Simoulin is basically trying to encourage members of the SSPX to trust their bishop, the Holy Father and God himself to do what is right.  This viewpoint and attitude can only be applauded.  I long for the moment when I can come here and joyfully give the news that the SSPX and the Vatican have reunited.  As I have previously posted, the Church desperately needs the spiritual strength and resolve of the SSPX, and they need to be reunited with Vicar of Christ. 

Editorial from L’Seignadou on the relations with Rome, by Fr. Michel Simoulin (May 2012)

Fr. Michel Simoulin, chaplain of the Fanjeaux community wrote this editorial for Seignadou (Sign from God). He served alongside Msgr. Ducaud Bourget at Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet from 1980 to 1983, was rector of the University of St. Pius X, director at the Econe seminary, prior at Lyon, France, and SSPX District Superior of Italy. read at DICI >

I do not know what the situation will be at the time of the publication of this bulletin, but I think that it is useful to reflect together on the current events. I do not speak about this “republican” masquerade we are living through [the elections in France], but about our relations with Rome.

Recently, somebody sent me a text with this question: “When will we return to the fundamentals of our Society? When will we have the humility to respect the heritage of its founder?”

I believe that I know a little our Society – of which I have been member for 35 years – and thus to have the right to remind all that our “fundamentals” are engraved in golden letters in our statutes:
the goal of the Society is the priesthood and all that refers to it and only what relates to it, i.e., such as Our Lord Jesus-Christ wanted it when He said: Do this in memory of Me. [The SSPX is all about the priesthood]
Bishop Fellay with newly ordained priests
Such is the heritage of our founder, such are our “fundamentals”; we do not have any others, and we do not want to have others. The Society is not an army raised up against Rome, but an army formed for the Church. [The SSPX is completely and wholly Catholic and has never been anything but that.]
Then, allusion is made to Archbishop Lefebvre’s refusal to follow the path towards an agreement in 1988. And the Archbishop is quoted: “With the protocol of May 5th we would have died soon. We would not have lasted a year…” All this, of course, intended to warn us and to invite us to refuse any Roman offer, something that we should do “under pain of death”. [The protocol of May 5, 1988 was an agreement between Archbishop Lefebvre and then Cardinal Ratzinger. According to an SSPX website, the following was written on July 28, 1988: "For Archbishop Lefebvre, the essential problem with the May 5 Protocol was its failure to promise a bishop for the Society of Saint Pius X with unobstructed power to protect the faithful from modernist influences. On the contrary, the Protocol offered, for mere psychological reasons, a single bishop purposely lacking this power. In over a decade since its foundation the Society of Saint Peter still does not even have one traditional bishop, powerless or otherwise."  Father Simoulin is warning that there are those who are using the situation from 1988 to refuse to work with Rome in 2012.  Father goes on to show that everything has changed since 1988.]
Yet another echo reaches me: “in Rome serious things are happening, very serious… but I cannot tell you more!” Not that this [is] of much help for me! [Making general ominous statements only adds to confusion and fear.]

Then, let us be reasonable. To do so, it will be good to remember a little the events of 1988. After having signed the draft of an agreement on May 5th (which was not yet an agreement, but was nonetheless a very imperfect and even dangerous text, and which did not let Archbishop Lefebvre sleep in peace), on the morning of May 6th the Archbishop wrote a letter to Cardinal Ratzinger, not to retract his signature -
Yesterday, with a real satisfaction, I put my signature to the protocol prepared on the previous days. But, you noted yourself a deep disappointment at the reading of the letter that you gave me with the answer of the Holy Father about the episcopal consecration
 - but to urgently require that this consecration could take place on June 30th, in order to be certain of having a bishop to continue his work. This letter of May 6th is entirely and exclusively concerned with this one point:
If the answer were to be negative, I would find myself obliged, in conscience, to proceed to the consecration, based on the approval given by the Holy See in the protocol for the consecration of a bishop member of the Society.
Thus, the reason for stopping the process was neither a doctrinal question nor the statute offered to the Society, but the date of the consecration of the bishop that had been granted. [According to Father Simoulin, Archbishop Lefebvre felt that if he was not allowed to consecrate a bishop from within the Society who could lead it when he, Archbishop Lefebvre died, the society would be destroyed by the forces in Rome who were lined up against it.  This is not relevant in 2012.] And it should be noted that the rupture of the relations was decided then, not by Archbishop Lefebvre, but by Cardinal Ratzinger, who refused this episcopal consecration for June 30th.  
If, indeed, Archbishop Lefebvre had accepted that the protocol of May 5th were not to have been followed by this episcopal consecration, then, yes, “with the protocol of May 5th we would have died soon. We would not have lasted a year…”, because without a bishop, we would have been delivered to the good (or bad) pleasure of Rome and the bishops 
After our Jubilee [pilgrimage] of the year 2000, Rome took the initiative of new relations. Today, the same cardinal become Pope has told us that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated (July 7, 2007):
It is thus allowed to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass according to the standard edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated;
he rehabilitated our four bishops (January 21, 2009); he accepted that we hold doctrinal discussions during two years… all things that Archbishop Lefebvre did not require in 1988. It is not exaggerated to say that Bishop Fellay obtained more than what Archbishop Lefebvre required, without however having the same prestige or moral authority. Then, must we be even more demanding than Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Fellay? [Father Simoulin is stating here that more healing of the differences between the Society and Rome has occurred under the leadership of Bishop Fellay than even Archbishop Lefebvre required for unification.  To demand more than Archbishop Lefebvre required is unreasonable and nonproductive.] 
Whatever the state of Rome is, whatever still remains worrisome in Rome, simple good sense and honesty should lead us to consider the current situation with different eyes than in 1988! [The good Father here is stating that circumstances are much different than 1988, and the threats faced by the SSPX in 1988 are not relevant to 2012] To take up the formula of one of our bishops, we should not fall into “eighty-eightism!” [Fr. Simoulin makes reference to Bishop Williamson’s warning about the dangers of getting stuck into “1950ism,” that is, into a particular period of the history of the Church.]
We are no longer in 1975 with Paul VI nor in 1988 with John Paul II, but in 2012 with Benedict XVI. [This is truly a positive and hopeful statement coming from the SSPX!] You can tell me as much as you want that the state of the Church is still very alarming, that our Pope has a sometimes strange theology, etc… we have said it enough, it seems to me, but you cannot tell me that the state of things is the same as in 1988 or even worse. To do so would be contrary to reality and to the truth, and can only be the effect of a more or less secret refusal of any reconciliation with Rome, perhaps even of a lack of faith in the holiness of the Church, composed of poor sinners but always governed by her head, Jesus-Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost [Father is stating here that those who say nothing has changed since 1988 would seem to have a secret desire not to unite with Rome under any circumstances, and this even exhibits a rebellious attitude and lack of faith]  The SSPX is not the Church  and it can “respect the heritage of its founder” only by preserving his spirit, his love for the Church and his desire to serve her as a loving son, in fidelity to the founding blessings.  [I cannot applaud this statement enough.  This should remove any suspicion of Sedevacantism among the SSPX leadership]

I do not know if all realize the weight of this decision, which belongs only to Bishop Fellay, a decision that was entrusted to him again last October by our Superiors meeting in Albano, a decision considered together with his assistants: What does the Church expect from the Society in 2012? How must the Society answer to the “needs” of the Church today?  
This requires a highly supernatural virtue of prudence, to a degree that none of us has the grace to reach, because it does not pertain either to our abilities or to our responsibility. Only Bishop Fellay and his assistants have, by definition, the totality of the information required to judge rightly about the current situation. The question that each one must rather ask himself refers to our benevolence towards authority and, especially, to our trust in that authority. For twelve years Bishop Fellay has been arguing with Rome, with ups and downs, to finally arrive at the results quoted above, and even to an amazing result that perhaps nobody has even noticed: these doctrinal discussions, which did not make any noise in the market place, have enabled us to say to Rome what we think… to the point of making the discussions end abruptly! [Father is telling us that Bishop Fellay and the SSPX have been talking with Rome, and Rome has been listening for the past 12 years.] 
And yet, what hasn’t been said about the silence of the superiors around these discussions and about the documents exchanged these last months, and about their great discretion out of respect for Rome and the Holy Father? [Notice that Father Simoulin refers to Pope Benedict XVI as the Holy Father, showing his deep respect and acknowledgment of the office of Pope.] It has all been interpreted as a form of dissimulation, and even the beginning of a compromise. How can anyone doubt the uprightness of our superiors in such a gratuitous and arbitrary way?  
No one knows yet the conclusion that Benedict XVI will want to give to these twelve years of slow work, of searching for a better understanding, and to the prayers and rosaries accumulated. The time is now for prayer, as we were asked by Bishop Fellay, and for trust in the Church. The Immaculate Virgin, who we will particularly honor during this month of May, will obtain for us all the necessary graces, if we want nothing other than the victory of Her Son and of the Church.  [This statement shows the completely sincerity and purity of Father Simoulin's position.  With this kind of attitude, we can only expect good things to happen with the reunification of the SSPX and the Vatican.]
Father Simoulin has given us a beautiful explanation of just how different circumstances are in 2012 than they were in 1988.  He shows great respect and reverence for Pope Benedict XVI and feels that the Holy Father's actions - removing all restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass, removing the excommunication of the SSPX bishops and engaging in a a continuing dialog with the SSPX for the past 12 years - show that he can be trusted to do the right thing.  This is an article written by a member of the SSPX who virtually says there is no reason for there not to be a reunification between the SSPX and the Vatican. 

This gives me the greatest hope and optimism I have felt yet.  We are told that that Pope Benedict XVI will make the final decision by the end of May.  I feel beyond hopeful that we will all be celebrating and welcoming back our brothers and sisters of the Society of St. Pius X.

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