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Why are we suffering again with this “he said” and “he did not say” business? Did no one learn a lesson from the earlier confused ramblings of this aging atheist who interviewed the Pope soon after the election? Does no one keep reliable transcripts or recordings? I had hoped the Vatican would learn now that the left-leaning publications are not to be trusted. They want scandal and will spin anything if it gets what they want, in other words, a diminished Church and lots of publicity and sales. I can appreciate that the Pope would call sexual abuse “leprosy in our house.” That is not surprising. But did he really say there were abusers among the cardinals? I really doubt it. They would have been expunged by now. It would signify the worse possible self-recrimination. Already the Vatican is saying the statement was inaccurate. In other words, the newspaper La Repubblica is LYING! Let us call it what it is. This being the case, why should we regard any of the rest as a reliable interview with Pope Francis?

Of course the damage does not end there. The paper’s founder Eugenio Scalfari offers the article as a “reconstruction” of his one-hour conversation with the Pope. This is the day of digital recording; why must we suffer inaccurate and controversial reconstructions? The Pope is quoted as saying, “Many of my collaborators who fight with me (against pedophilia) reassure me with reliable statistics that say that the level of pedophilia in the Church is about two percent. This data should hearten me but I tell you that it does not hearten me at all. In fact, I think that it is very grave.” The world press grabbed this statement and headlines blasted across the globe that two percent of priests were pedophiles or child molesters! While he probably meant throughout the whole Church, not just the ministries, what is the basis for such an assessment? Is it the statistical average in the world population, Catholic or not? I do not recall any polling or phone calls asking about orientation or perversions. Are these just made-up numbers? Again, if we knew for sure we had potential child molesters in the ranks of the priests, why have they not been removed? Are we just guessing that they might be there given past misconduct?

People are doing the math. As of 2012, if there are some 414,000 priests then at 2%, how many pedophiles does that make? The answer is 8,280! I do not believe it. I think the figures are mere conjecture. Seminary formation would have prevented many such men from being ordained. Others have already been ousted. I would contend that most priests today are no threat to children or other people at risk.

Again the Vatican issued a warning statement that Scalfari has a habit of reconstructing interviews from memory, not recording or taking notes. Why he is one of Italy’s best known Italian journalists is beyond me. It seems to me that he is highly unreliable. The Vatican is telling us that the newspaper is seeking to “manipulate naïve readers.” If that is the case, then why talk to this anti-Catholic newspaper, anyway? It makes no sense to me. These are not our friends. Indeed, it seems that both the Church and the truth are casualties to such interviews.

When recently talking to the victims of abuse, the Holy Father rightly spoke about this as a cause for weeping and how there was a real need for reparation. He compared predator priests to the evil of cults and black Masses. He vowed zero tolerance and that bishops would be held accountable for how the dealt with charges and situations. I would add that we must also be careful not to scapegoat the Church’s ministers as wicked and dangerous men. This would do a disservice to the many saints who sacrifice everything for God and his people.

SLATE: Pope Francis Interview on Pedophilia and Celibacy in the Church

WASHINGTON POST: Did Pope Francis Really Tell a 90 Year Old Atheist Journalist that 1 in 5 Priests are Pedophiles?

POST COMMENTS AT BLOGGER PRIEST.COM

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Given the importance of this matter, and how it is a special teaching moment, here is an article from the archdiocesan newspaper . . .

Incident at St. John Neumann spurs reflection on significance of Holy Communion

Special to the Standard

Recent news accounts have reported an incident at St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg, where a woman was initially denied Communion at her mother’s funeral Mass (she did, however, receive Communion from a Eucharistic minister) and the celebrant did not attend the burial. (Another priest did preside at the graveside service.) In response, the Archdiocese of Washington issued a statement (below) and Auxiliary Bishop Barry Knestout, vicar general, personally contacted members of the family.

This is the statement issued by the archdiocese on February 27:

“In matters of faith and morals, the Church has the responsibility of teaching and of bringing the light of the Gospel message to the circumstances of our day. When questions arise about whether or not individuals should present themselves for Communion, it is not the policy of the Archdiocese of Washington to publicly reprimand the person. Any issues regarding the suitability of an individual to receive Communion should be addressed by the priest with that person in a private, pastoral setting.

“The archdiocese is looking into the incident at a funeral Mass that was celebrated by Father Marcel Guarnizo and will handle this as a personnel issue.”

This situation provides an opportunity to refresh our understanding of the Eucharist, its importance and the guidelines on how it is to be administered and received.

For Catholics, the Eucharist is the most important of the seven sacraments because we believe that through this mystery, we literally receive the Body and Blood of Christ. It is not just a symbol. Jesus is truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is an intimate encounter with Christ, in which we sacramentally receive Christ into our bodies, and become more completely assimilated into his.

Therefore, because the Eucharist is Christ himself, who is the center of all Christian life, the Church teaches that Catholics must be properly disposed to receive the Eucharist worthily. Catholics should examine their conscience and make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation if they have committed grave sin before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

The following guidelines, issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, clarify how Catholics should prepare prior to receiving the Eucharist:

“As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental Confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for Confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the sacrament of penance is encouraged for all.”

The priest has an obligation to make sure that the sacraments are respected. Since it is difficult to know what is in a person’s heart, it is also important that when doubt arises regarding whether a person is properly disposed to receive the Eucharist, it is handled in a pastoral and compassionate manner, privately between the priest and the communicant.

The reception of the Eucharist is a blessing and a grace. We should receive Jesus with the intention of becoming more like him. No one is entitled to the Eucharist. It is a free gift that should be received with humility and reverence. It is also a sign of unity with the Church’s teaching on faith and morals.

CLICK for Guidelines for the Communion Line

CLICK HERE to see MORE COMMENTS AT BLOGGER PRIEST

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Dr. Kenneth Howell, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois, Champaign, who taught classes on the Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought, was fired for teaching and explaining in an email to students the Catholic teaching on homosexuality. While the Catholic position is based upon the clear Scriptural prohibition, the meat or substance for our position is a reasoned stand applying Natural Law.

The universal catechism is very clear:

[CCC 2357] Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

The context of the current controversy was an upcoming test on the theory of utilitarianism. He contrasted it with the Catholic appreciation of natural law. Apparently, the university wanted him either to be silent regarding such Catholic teachings or to encourage dissent. Because he honestly taught what he was charged to teach, he was terminated. A friend of the student complained that the explanation he gave amounted to “hate speech.” This is precisely the kind of repercussion that we were told by liberals would not happen when legislation redefined such speech. Professor Howell has also suffered the loss of his position at the campus Catholic center. I suspect that the school will now seek out lapsed and/or bad Catholics to replace him. No “good” Catholic would take such a position since that school has unveiled its blatant anti-Catholic bias. 

The professor wrote:

  • In short, to judge an action wrong is not to condemn a person. A person and his/her acts can be distinguished for the purposes of morality.
  • Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to REALITY. In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same.
  • Men and women are complementary in their anatomy, physiology, and psychology. Men and women are not interchangeable. So, a moral sexual act has to be between persons that are fitted for that act. Consent is important but there is more than consent needed.
  • One example applicable to homosexual acts illustrates the problem. To the best of my knowledge, in a sexual relationship between two men, one of them tends to act as the “woman” while the other acts as the “man.” In this scenario, homosexual men have been known to engage in certain types of actions for which their bodies are not fitted.
  • I don’t want to be too graphic so I won’t go into details but a physician has told me that these acts are deleterious to the health of one or possibly both of the men. Yet, if the morality of the act is judged only by mutual consent, then there are clearly homosexual acts which are injurious to their health but which are consented to. Why are they injurious? Because they violate the meaning, structure, and (sometimes) health of the human body.
  • Thus, people tend to think that we can use our bodies sexually in whatever ways we choose without regard to their actual structure and meaning. This is also what lies behind the idea of sex change operations. We can manipulate our bodies to be whatever we want them to be.
  • Natural Moral Theory says that if we are to have healthy sexual lives, we must return to a connection between procreation and sex. Why? Because that is what is REAL. It is based on human sexual anatomy and physiology. Human sexuality is inherently unitive and procreative. If we encourage sexual relations that violate this basic meaning, we will end up denying something essential about our humanity, about our feminine and masculine nature.
  • I know this doesn’t answer all the questions in many of your minds. All I ask as your teacher is that you approach these questions as a thinking adult. That implies questioning what you have heard around you. Unless you have done extensive research into homosexuality and are cognizant of the history of moral thought, you are not ready to make judgments about moral truth in this matter. All I encourage is to make informed decisions.

To read the complete email, go to:  THE GAZETTE

This honest and good teacher taught for nine years at the University of Illinois. He told his students that they would be tested on their understanding of Catholic teaching, not judged upon their personal acceptance or beliefs.

The setting for the controversy was one of his lectures in the Introduction to Catholicism course. He wrote an email in May to his students in preparation for an exam regarding the application of natural law theory to a practical social issue, i.e. like judging the morality of homosexual acts. Despite acknowledging that many might disagree with Catholic doctrine, and the notion of natural law (like Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan), the good professor gave an accurate application to a pertinent issue from Catholic social teaching. Nevertheless, the school insisted that the teachings and email violated their standards of inclusivity.

Today, certain concerned administrators of the school have asked that the faculty committee determine whether or not academic freedom was violated. I suspect for many of us, even those unsympathetic to such views, would regard this as a no brainer. It seems obvious that a pro-homosexual litmus test usurped such freedom and an accurate, if offensive to some, Catholic teaching. Would he have also been fired for the application of natural law to the abortion question? Liberals hated Justice Clarence Thomas for his paper in such an application, drawing an analogy with the question of slavery and the violation of the innate dignity of human personhood.

It amazes me that a facility dedicated to open education could be so closed-minded. What are they saying to their students?

Truths are relative, unless they are liberal truths.

Judge no one but we can judge you.

All ideas are welcome, except those which are not politically correct.

Exercise your faith, unless you are a conservative Christian or Roman Catholic.

This professor was hired to teach Catholic thought. This university has not only wronged this man but sends the bigoted message that Catholic thinking is unacceptable on their campus. Perversion (my word, not that of the sensitive and gentle professor) is tolerated but no insinuation that such actions might be judged morally wrong. I suspect that this speaks ill both for the religious studies and the philosophy departments. If religious tenets and philosophical/ethical questions cannot be freely addressed, then any insistence of academic freedom becomes a hypocritical sham. Discussions about homosexuality, fornication, and abortion would be limited to the left or made taboo. The teacher gave a forthright answer. The students could have argued and disagreed with it. Instead, the professor was silenced. He attacked no one. He merely gave the Catholic position on a question of conduct.

Faithful Catholic students should complain that they are not really welcome to be fully engaged in the life of the school. Parents should consider sending their children elsewhere. I know one Catholic university which hired a renowned atheist philosophy instructor. The students and other faculty members often delighted in debating with him. They respected each other. But here is a case where a believer is punished precisely because he teaches views which non-believers or secular students will not tolerate. It is ironic that those who are the most fanatical about toleration are so often incredibly intolerant.

Dr. Kenneth Howell is an award winning educator (recognized by the university in 2009) and a convert to the Catholic faith. He has taught there for nine years. The word is out that even the local bishop is requesting his reinstatement. The professor was very careful to admit that he was a faithful practicing Catholic and thus he was sympathetic to the subject matter he was hired to teach. He slandered no one and even admitted that a critical eye to certain actions should not be interpreted as condemnation or hatred against others. Rather than a professional and academic debate, anonymous students and “politically correct” co-workers decided they would simply get rid of him. It reminds me of the spoiled child who takes his ball and runs home when he starts to lose in a game.

We are told that the university president, Michael Hogan, has received over 100 emails. Now he has asked that the matter be reviewed. Maybe more of us should say something about this as well?

UI President
uipres@uillinois.edu
http://www.uillinois.edu/president/

Executive Offices
http://www.uillinois.edu/administration/vps.cfm

Trustees
http://www.uillinois.edu/trustees/

Ethics Office
http://www.ethics.uillinois.edu/policies/index.cfm

My suggestion is that the professor be rehired or that the public school make it very clear that Catholic teachings are neither welcome in the classroom nor in regular discourse.  If they do the latter, they should also forfeit tax dollars and public support.  They can hang a sign on their doors, saying, “Catholics are only welcome if they shut up and compromise their faith and values!”  

Further, if he is reinstated, I would recommend that those administrators, faculty members and students who violated his academic and personal rights face, themselves, some sort of disciplinary censure.  They violated this man’s academic freedom, religious freedom and freedom of speech.  Where he was open to rational discourse, they were not.  He gave a coherent presentation of the subject matter he was charged to teach, Catholicism, without any foul language or attacks upon persons.  Those who fired him were not so noble or magnanimous. 

Is it not interesting that a liberal atheist professor at another university faced no reprimand when he urge the theft and desecration of the Eucharist while mockingly name-calling Christians and Catholics?  However, when a Catholic professor who stresses respect for persons and freedom for intellectual inquiry, shares ideas which are found offensive by a radical minority over-sensitive about homosexual rights, he is quickly terminated. 

Finally, I would urge other Catholic professors, students and those sensitive to matters of academic freedom, to take Dr. Howell’s email and to sign it themselves.  At present, he is a man who stands largely alone.  He did nothing wrong.  This could be done online and with hard copies sent to the university.  This should not be anonymous.  That is the route of cowards, like the one who started this mess for the good professor.  We should stand up and be counted.

We love our homosexual brothers and lesbian sisters. 

However, Catholic teaching rightly stipulates that homosexual acts are disordered and a violation of our nature. 

In any case, even if you disagree with Catholic teaching, given the public setting and the classes he was hired to teach, those who favor academic freedom should also support him.

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cartoonkennedyNARAL had awarded the Massachusetts senator a 100% approval rating.

He was the Catholic voice for the culture of death for a quarter of a century, supporting not only abortion but partial birth infanticide, the use of embryonic human beings for research, and same sex unions for homosexuals and lesbians. He also championed repression against free speech and religious liberties (at least for conservative, orthodox or biblical churches) by expanding “hate crimes” legislation to include criticism of gays.

He was also responsible for the increased politicization of the Supreme Court by his pro-abortion litmus test against the nomination of Judge Robert Bork, a strict-constructionist, in 1987.  Judge Bork came into the Catholic Church a few years ago.

At the time of his death, Senator Kennedy was advocating health care reform that would guarantee federal money for artificial contraception and abortions.

While many acclaimed him as a hero for women and the poor. Many pro-lifers regarded him as one of the nation’s chief enemies of motherhood and the poorest of the poor, innocent and voiceless children in the womb.

His was a life of many personal scandals and a general lack of discretion. However, I have no desire to enumerate upon those things in his personal life which are already public knowledge. Our reaction now should be one of prayer for a man who was baptized and raised as a Catholic. God will be his judge, even as we continue to repair the damage that he did to the witness of the Church and the moral standing of our nation. Indeed, for all we know, God’s grace might have brought him to repentance and conversion in the last moments of life.

Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgendered groups are certainly weeping the loss of one of their great defenders and proponents. It is too bad that they neither weep for the murdered children nor about the decomposition of morals and marriage.

It is also said that Ted Kennedy was a pivotal figure in the transformation of the Democratic Party and its agenda, making possible the Obama presidency. He certainly made his impact felt upon history. Now, the final chapter is closed. He passed away from his brain cancer on Tuesday night in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. First Joseph, then John, next Robert and now Teddy— the last of the Kennedy brothers has gone to God.

Rest in peace.

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1194984585936802019female_rollandin_frances__svg_medMary gave birth to a baby boy and named him Jesus.  Jesus grew up and he picked more boys to be his apostles.  They in turn ordained still more boys to be bishops, priests and deacons.  The priesthood is the ultimate boy’s club.  But radical feminists act as if it is a woman-hater’s club… it is not.  We all benefit from the ministry of priests.  Not all men are worthy of this vocation.  Women are called to other vocations, like religious life and motherhood.  Except for a misguided sense of egalitarian equality, a disproportionate focus upon one element of social jusitice and feminists hungry for power, there is little that commends a move to ordain women.  These dissenters would not only refashion the ministries but also Jesus would be remolded to their liking.  He would become an abstraction, a model for their agenda but not the historical Savior.  If God is not neutered, then he is likely made feminine.  Jesus becomes Jessica or the Kristi who hangs upon the cross, raped and defiled by male machismo.  They talk about equality; but this is a lie.  They seek dominance and payback for what they regard as past subjugation and oppression.       

I just read an article by Greg Archer over at THE HUFFINGTON POST entitled, “Roman Catholic Female Priests Growing in Numbers: An Insider’s Perspective.” I feel compelled to make a few comments. It is important that good Catholics not be confused by dissent on women priests or priestesses. There simply is no such creature within the Christian context. Christ has never given the Church the authority to ordain women. While our Lord counted women among his disciples, only men were selected to be his apostles. Jesus proved time and time again that he was willing to break the stereotypes of his day; however, upon this matter he retained a male leadership or hierarchy.

Many are surprised to find out that Catholicism only has one High Priest— Jesus Christ. Every man ordained to service is configured to Christ and participates in his one priesthood. The ordained priest is a living and breathing icon for Christ. His very flesh and his manhood resonate with that of Christ— making our Lord and his saving work present for the community. Historically, the Gnostic heretics had priestesses because they rejected matter as evil and denied the full incarnation of Christ as the God-Man. Catholics and/or orthodox Christianity take the incarnation seriously. Matter is not evil. Indeed, human nature is elevated and divinized by the coming of God among us as our brother. While the soteriological implications transcend gender, in baptism and faith all can know the gift of redemption; the parameters of sacerdotal ministry were clearly laid out. Only men could be bishops and priests. This did not deride the role of women. Holiness is available for all. It is just that God has intended that we fulfill differing roles.

Some have argued that the male-only priesthood gives balance to God’s life-giving love. Just as only women can physically conceive and give birth to a child; only a man (who is a priest) can spiritually confect the Eucharist and give us the bread of life. The Church also offers us the marriage analogy that passes down from Scripture. The priest signifies Christ who is the divine bridegroom; the congregation at Mass signifies the Church, his bride. Many of the centrist advocates for priestesses hate this analogy because it makes the notion of a woman priest into a kind of sacramental lesbianism.  Of course, the more liberal critics might like this analogy in that they also support the gay and lesbian lifestyle.

The article started off by mentioning Victoria Rue, a lady who “attempted” ordination back in July 2005. Although the author claims to be “an insider” he refers to the precious blood as a wine chalice. This might be Episcopalian terminology; but, it is not how informed Catholics would speak about the cup. In any case, his point is that she is only one of a quickly growing number of women who are becoming “priests”. I have to stop at that point and insist that he is wrong to assume that these women are truly priests. They can play dress up, but as far as the true Catholic Church is concerned, they are only posturing.

He pokes fun that the Vatican would solely acknowledge “those sporting an XY chromosome” and yet he fails to realize that gender is more than an accidental. Too many people have bought the lie that the sexes are interchangeable or essentially the same. Gender is more than facial hair and muscles; it is a core element of human identity. The saints in heaven will still be both men and women, not neutered monstrosities. The resurrected and glorified Christ was still a man. Mary, our Blessed Mother, is still a woman. Gender has more purpose and meaning than genital expression. It is who we are.

Seven women tried to become priests three years earlier on the Danube River, seeking to avoid canonical sanction from the immediate archdiocese. However, by January 2003, they were all rightfully judged  excommunicated. He also mentions Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Gisela Foster of a group called Womenpriests. They make a claim to ordination because their renegade bishop had apostolic succession. However, a woman constitutes “invalid matter” and cannot be ordained, even if the form is correct. They also like to confuse the issue of a celibate clergy (a discipline in the Church) with that of proposed women priests (which is doctrinally impossible).

Other women are also slowly joining the ranks of excommunicated wannabe priestesses. Rue claims that the Vatican has become quiet because they do not want an escalation. I suspect the real reason is because the Church has already made its position clear. There might also be an element of pity for these poor women who want something so desperately that they cannot have. The article gives the impression that this is all a game of strategy. But this is only the opinion of the dissenters. The Church is not playing. There is no game. It is a done deal. There can be no change… not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

These so-called women priests are really just creating their own church. They are Protestants with a few Catholic trappings. Some have gravitated toward the Episcopal communities that allow priestesses. As far as many of us are concerned, this movement is rather mute. Anglican orders, even for men, are probably largely invalid. Women priests merely represent the last nail in the coffin for a church that is no longer even Christian in its values. Adultery is routinely accepted.  Fornication is excused.  They welcome openly gay men and lesbians! What is left?  When mortal sin is regarded as a virtue, Satan has won the day!

The author cited a 2006 NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER survey of U.S. Catholics that said 62% of those responding favored women priests. An AP poll in 2005 found about 65% supported the change. But the AP is hardly sympathetic to Catholicism and such numbers make good news. As for the NCR, it is a liberal rag that gets the answers it wants. Traditional Catholics would likely not even respond to such garbage surveys. Further, who are these Catholics? Are we talking about NCR readership? Just because someone was baptized or went to Catholic school does not make a person a “real” or “practicing” Catholic. Only a quarter of our people still go to Mass. The rest are victims of modernity with its secular humanism, materialism, hedonism, and ignorance of faith. In any case, the truth and Church teachings are not open to polls. The Church is not a democracy. Christ is king and still in his heaven. The Pope is his vicar on earth.

While the 1975 report of the Pontifical Biblical Commission noted “no scriptural objections to ordaining women,” this summation is somewhat misleading. All it means is there is no direct statement from Christ about it. However, we do have the Scriptural teachings about Christ’s relationship to the Church (see St. Paul) and his example in appointing only men as his apostle-bishop-priests. Further, Catholicism is NOT a “sola scriptura” religion. We also have Sacred Tradition. There we do find explicit statements against women’s ordination. The early council of Nicea forbade the laying on of hands upon women (ordination).

Rue asserts in the article that there is archeological and Scriptural evidence for priestesses, but this is not true. She and her organization Womenpriests put a spin on dubious materials that cannot be substantiated. Conveniently for her, too much so, she complains that there was more evidence the Church destroyed and that the canonist Gracian wrote them out of the Church’s legal books and history. Her organization also sometimes fails to distinguish early heretical groups from the orthodox. They try to argue that boyish icons of priests are really females. They grab for straws and the author of the article swallows it uncritically.

And who is this know-it-all Victoria Rue who functions as his chief source? She is an ex-nun, seduced by militant feminism and angry with the Church. She left the Catholic Church. Her theological training was at a Reformed Protestant school in New York. She studied Liberation Theology, inherently Marxist in regards to its dialectic analysis of poverty, but she pursued it under the umbrella of radical feminism and lesbianism. She also studied at the GTU in Berkeley, California, a so-called ecumenical school known for its adherence to religious indifferentism and relativism, even in regard to blatantly and/or pagan non-Christian religions. She, along with other Womenpriests, are deceitful to gullible Catholics about their standing. As a teacher of propaganda in “women studies” and “comparative religious studies” she feigned being a real priest and offered a “weekly Catholic Mass” at San Jose State University. We are told that the diocese in 2006 rendered this statement:

Rue is not a validly ordained priest of the Roman Catholic Church. Members of the Roman Catholic Church should not participate in celebrations of the sacraments that are conducted by Victoria Rue, as those celebrations are not in union with the local or universal Church.

The fact that she regularly celebrates so-called Masses at an Episcopal church in San Francisco says it all. They might be in communion with her but she is not in communion with the bishops of the Catholic Church. She is a Protestant. All priestesses are either Protestant or pagan (understood as a reference to the old religions prior to Christ). Some of them even say that they worship the goddess. There is a popular crucifix with a naked woman upon it. However, Kristi is a model of the divine that has no place in genuine Christianity. It is Jesus Christ who offers the saving sacrifice and who forgives sins, not Kristi suffering with a bad hair day.

At the end of the article we are told that Rue is a lesbian who has lived with her partner for many years— big surprise— NOT!

Scriptural prohibitions against homosexuality and lesbianism mean nothing to her. She cites psychological views to the contrary. Of course, the American Psychiatric Association once referred to perversion as a disease. It was only when gays poured into the field that this verdict changed. Divine positive law and natural law take precedence over human whim. Rue says that her sexuality is important to her identity as a priest. This is an interesting statement, given that she renounced the Church’s prohibition of women priests based upon the importance of male gender as an element of identity in the priest.

The article concludes by telling us that there are now five RC bishop gals and almost 100 priestesses in the U.S. This is hardly a number about which the Church needs to be worried. Few practicing Catholics take these ladies seriously. Many of them are also quite advanced in years. They will not be around for long. Meanwhile, the numbers of young men entering legitimate seminaries are on the rise. Nice Catholic girls and women are entering religious orders with traditional charisms and structure. Rue traded in her habit for a collar. But the former she prized too lightly and the latter does not belong to her.

The article ends with the acclamation, “Hail, Mary!” But Mary would not be pleased. She is about bringing us to her Son. These women are preoccupied about themselves and power. In reality, the priesthood must always be about humility and obedience— servanthood. However, Mary must indeed be brought into the equation. All these wannabe priests should repent and come home to the true Church.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us Sinners!”

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lightepbishopI grieve for the Church. It was bad enough that Father Alberto Cutie was living a secret life. He seemed more apologetic about being caught than about having his scandalous doings with his lady-friend photographed on a Florida beach. But now we are told that he has joined the Episcopal Church. My heart drops at the news.

The wayward priest spent his designated “retreat” time hanging out with his girlfriend. He did not even try to reform. We have all been deceived. While he asked forgiveness and said that he did not want to be the poster-boy for married priests, he has abandoned the true Church entirely. He has done the very thing which he promised he would not do. He has brought both Church doctrine and discipline to ridicule. He has hurt the faith of simple people. Given his popularity as a pastor and as a widely-known media priest, the danger of his defection is incalculable. Who knows how many will follow him out of the Catholic fold?

The picture of a bishop here is not that of Father Cutie’s true spiritual father, but rather of a robber who comes to steal from the flock.  In this case, he did not get away with sheep but with the shepherd.  The Episcopal Bishop Leo Frade (pictured here) should be deeply embarassed by his disrespect to the priest’s legitimate bishop, Catholic Archbishop John Favalora.  Ecumenism is dealt a serious set-back.  I would not be surprised to see lightning bolts from heaven about this travesty.  The good Archbishop would have us pray for his prodigal son in the hope that he might return to the fold.  The Miami Archdiocese has a beautiful short video online which brings home the wrongness of what Cutie and Frade have done:

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS

The news of his infidelity only broke recently but he was unwilling to give the matter the proper amount of time and distance for sober reflection. I have to wonder how much of this was premeditated. There is even speculation that his girlfriend may have had some prior involvement with the photographer on the beach. But I think it is reaching to suppose he was setup to force his hand. Regardless of the machinations behind the scenes, the blunt of the blame must be borne by Father Cutie.

Although supposedly orthodox in his teachings, this latest act shows quite the opposite. He broke trust with his bishop and brother priests but now refers to Episcopalian priests as his “many brothers… [who] serve God as married men and with the blessing of having their own families.” This act sickens me. Episcopalian priests may be good Christians, but he sees no difference between the authentic priesthood of Catholicism and the empty shell of Anglicanism. He is not the first.  But, almost every one of them abandoned Roman Catholicism, not for deep-seated doctrinal reasons, but because of the desire to bed a woman and still retain a public or ministerial persona as a spiritual guru.

Catholicism receives many Episcopalian priests into her ranks, but they are drawn by doctrinal permanence over fluctuating instability, moral absolutes over relativism and a humility coupled with obedience to God and his Church over a selfish and earthbound liberalism. Those who become Catholic often sacrifice much in the way of salary, standing and home. While a few married Episcopalian priests have been ordained in the Catholic Church; many have sacrificed their ministries entirely to be a part of the Catholic family. They placed a higher premium on divine truth than upon a capricious religion easily swayed by the fads and fashions of the day.

How could he give advice about faith and relationships to others on television, radio and in writing when he was so personally messed up? People came to him for life-giving water; but he was really an empty well. Many of his supporters seem more “on his side” than in harmony with the mind of the Church. He made disciples, inadvertantly I suppose, less for Christ and his Church and more for himself. Sometimes I think the Church should rotate clergy in media settings. Left too long in front of the camera or on the radio– and a personality cult frequently develops. We should not hero-worship our clergy. If a popular priest should fall, he might take many souls with him. This business with Father Cutie has re-ignited the married priest debate even though most active priests prefer the status-quo in favor of compulsory celibacy. Who knows how dire this will be for the Church in Miami?

A television station showed parishioners of St. Francis de Sales Parish marching around their church in support of their former pastor. Evidently they did not care that their pastor had broken his promises and had lived a lie. When interviewed they compared Father Cutie’s transgressions favorably against the terrible crimes of pedophiles. The real comparison is with good and faithful celibate priests.

The situation was intensely precarious. Today, it became a great deal worse. The woman is identified as Ruhama Canellis. She stood by his side at Trinity Cathedral where they both entered the Episcopalian church. The Episcopal bishop and priests in attendance dressed up for the event. They pulled all the stops. Even priestesses were in attendance. He is planning to marry his lover and to become an Episcopalian priest. I suppose it is fitting. King Henry VIII stole the English people from the Catholic Church so that he might divorce and remarry. Canellis is a divorced woman. Did Father Cutie miss the class in seminary on basic Christian morality?  Are not fornication and adultery still sins?  This should matter to them both.  In addition to these concerns, he is now a renegade Catholic priest. If he accepts Protestant teaching, and plans to expound upon it, then he will be a heretic as well. He is digging a big hole for himself. My fear is that thousands might fall into it with him.

Well, it is a sad thing, but if the Episcopalian church wants our rejects then that is their trouble. Look how quickly they grabbed this fallen priest. We would have taken more time with one of theirs. His legitimate Catholic bishop was not even notified about his reception into the Episcopal church.  That shows how little respect Father Cutie had for him and the ROMAN Catholic Church.  The Episcopal diocese should be ashamed of itself.  But given the current fragmented status of the Episcopal communion, are they even capable of shame?  This was all quite sleazy and I suspect it was in the works for some time. I have no respect for men who do such things.

Father Cutie described his new faith affiliation as “a new family” and yet we do not subscribe to any form of religious relativism. Father Cutie disowned his family today. That should be the real headline. All churches are not the same. The Holy Father was clear. The Catholic Church is the true Church; Orthodoxy is a defective church; and all Protestant groupings are ecclesial communities, but not properly CHURCH. Many Protestant communities claim no priesthood or Eucharist; Episcopalians claim both but the Catholic Church judged their orders invalid and their Eucharist as false.

SEE APOSTOLICAE CURAE   (Pope Leo XIII, 1896)

They are not a branch of Catholicism but a foreign misbegotten creature that has delusions of grandeur while feigning a pedigree it does not really possess.

What clouds the issue is the presence of former Catholic priests in the Episcopal church. They are still priests, even if in mortal sin and excommunicated. Father Cutie says that he will continue to proclaim God’s Word; but what is a Catholic priest apart from the Catholic Church? Will he preach the Word of God or the word of Cutie?  Father Cutie is rejecting the Pope, the authority of his lawful bishop, the seven sacraments as clearly defined by Catholicism, our view of priesthood, our moral teachings on sexuality and marriage, the prohibition against divorce and remarriage, and the basics of Catholic ecclesiology. Will he be happy? Can he close his mind and heart to the many differences we have with Episcopalianism? He will be obliged to accept women priests, gay bishops and same-sex unions, a tolerance for abortion, artificial contraception and divorce with remarriage. He is leaving the Church of commandments for the church of anything goes. He says, “I will always love the Catholic Church.” But, he did not love her enough. The Church was his bride. Now he has traded her for two paramours: the divorcee and the mistress church of Henry VIII and Cranmer the despoiler.

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thornIsn’t the Father Cutie scandal just further evidence that it is wrong and dangerous for Catholic priests to suppress their natural desires for sexual intimacy with women?

The priest in question admitted he had a long-standing serious struggle with his sexuality and need for a wife and family. It may be that he sought ordination without open full deliberation and resolution of this concern with those to whom he was entrusted for formation. He may have been chaste in his behavior for many years but failed to surrender dreams and hopes for a family of his own. The man who would be a priest must let these things go. His hopes and aspirations should revolve instead around his prayer life and his goals and service as a pastor of souls. Men in seminary must also be realistic about their drives. As St. Paul reminds us, it is better to marry than to burn. Priests must also be very wary of their fantasies regarding choices not made and how other men might live. The grass might seem greener on the other side of the fence; but priests must not trespass where they do not belong. They freely embraced celibacy so as to enter into holy orders and become priests. Had they become married deacons, they would still be clergy in the Church. They could have lived saintly lives as laymen. But they made a choice. They made promises. These promises should be kept. Before ordination is the proper time for deliberation and soul searching, not afterwards.

The business about Father Cutie should have no meaning beyond this one poor priest, himself. He is not representative of the thousands of other priests in the United States who have never compromised their promises or their celibacy. The impression from the question is that men cannot be expected to have any semblance of self-control. This is silly and shows just how far our society and its views have been contaminated and distorted by excessive nudity, immodesty, and eroticism. We even dress our little girls like whores and then wonder why there is child abuse. Teenagers have their bellies exposed and shorts up to their crotches. Parents sometimes object but then cannot find decent stuff in stores. Television and movies celebrate fornication and give us scene after scene of simulated sex acts. Pornography has gone main stream and sexual gratification is viewed as a necessary rite of passage. It is into this mix that we find the celibate priest. Mothers want their sons married because they cannot see how a man might otherwise be happy. Fathers want their sons married because otherwise everyone will think they are gay. The truth is that celibacy can be very rewarding and liberating. Celibacy is not a denial of love but a special way of loving.

The priest promises perpetual celibacy but even married men promise a fidelity to a spouse which will require periodic chastity. Those who follow Natural Family Planning would understand how one must be creative in love, perhaps reverting back from time to time to the romantic and chaste acts of courtship during fertile periods. Celibacy is not merely a matter of priests suppressing their sexuality; rather, it is redirected to a love of God and a love of neighbor in sacrificial service. Priests, who say their prayers and stay busy, have neither the time nor the interest to pursue an exclusive relationship. If men in general cannot be expected to control themselves, then what happens when a spouse is sick or incapacitated or away? If the husband has military duty abroad or the wife has to travel back home to care for an ailing parent or there is an extended business meeting, would the man control his sexual urges or be compelled to commit adultery? If his wife is sick and cannot have sex with him, does he necessarily turn to her pretty nurse as a proxy? An over-sexed society suffering from an epidemic of fornication, perversion, adultery, pornography, prostitution and child endangerment can hardly speak in a credible way about priestly celibacy and marriage. The trouble with these fallen priests is not the Church but the fact that they themselves are more formed and affected by the fallen world around them. Secularists and hedonists criticizing priestly celibacy are like drunk boozers telling teetotalers to take a drink.

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Have you all seen the new GAY Quiznos commercial?  The double meaning is not even subtle.  The ad has run on most channels, even the children’s stations.  I suspect this will backfire.  It turns me off completely and I could not in good conscience buy their product given how the ad sickens and angers me.

This could really hurt their business.  What has gotten into them?  The commercial is not funny.  The Sci-Fi Channel ran the commercial repeatedly; not a big surprise given that the toaster oven speaks with a voice akin to Space Odyssey’s HAL.  They seem to like ads with a science fiction bent. 

Years ago we had a terrible local fiasco with a local pizza delivery man who because of bad treatment contaminated his delivery order with personal body fluids as revenge.  Reminding me of this, the ad insinuates that the employee has had a past relationship with the male toaster oven.  Disgusting!  Keep your sandwiches to yourself!

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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Through Scripture and Catholic teachings we are called to protect the life and dignity of all human persons no matter how young or old. Working to prevent child abuse is an important response of what we are called to do as a Church.

The Archdiocese of Washington is dedicated to promoting and ensuring the protection of all children. The archdiocese [wants] to help parents better understand how to protect their children from victimization, both inside and outside the home.

A long standing commitment to protecting children

The Archdiocese of Washington was one of the first dioceses in the nation to have a written Child Protection Policy, education on child protection and the first to use electronic fingerprinting for background checks. Our policy has become a model for dioceses nationwide and is available online at www.adw.org.

If you have worked with children in our parishes and schools, you know
that any adult who has substantial contact with children must complete an application, be fingerprinted for a criminal background check and attend a child protection education workshop. The program used for these workshops, Protecting God’s Children for Adults, is nationally recognized and held across the archdiocese throughout the year in English and Spanish.

Children in archdiocesan schools and religious education programs also
receive education on how to recognize abuse and protect themselves. In fall 2008, Touching Safety, a safe environment program that has been successfully used in 31 other dioceses, was implemented as the core curriculum for schools and parishes. The program supports the teachings of the Catholic Church, has age-appropriate lessons and connects with the education for adults.

An archdiocesan Child Protection Advisory Board of lay experts
(including at least one victim-survivor) monitors the archdiocese’s outreach and compliance with the Child Protection Policy. In addition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops audits all dioceses on their compliance with the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The auditors conduct interviews and review records and materials relating to education, background checks, compliance monitoring, reporting and healing. The archdiocese has been found in full compliance every year.

Since 1993, the archdiocese has had a Case Review Board to assist the Archbishop in assessing allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy and fitness for ministry.

Help, healing and support for victims

The Archdiocese of Washington has long been committed to the treatment and healing of those harmed. These are some of the ways the archdiocese has reached out to victims of abuse by archdiocesan personnel:

  • Apology and statement of remorse by a bishop and leadership.
  • Immediate offer of paid counseling, therapy and other assistance (1) of an individual’s choice, (2) for as long as needed to heal and (3) for family members, in some situations.
  • Assistance regardless of legal claims. The archdiocese has paid for counseling even after being sued and even after the suit was thrown out of court on its merits, because we believe it is the right thing to
    do.
  • Opportunity to meet with a bishop. Our bishops have traveled to meet with victims, provided them with a private phone number and e-mail, and set aside regular office time just for victims who would like to meet.
  • Immediate reporting of allegations and support for victims in pursuing criminal prosecution.
  • More than $6 million in direct assistance has been provided to victims and millions more spent on prevention efforts. Settlements have been made, if appropriate in an individual’s situation.
  • Licensed clinical social worker on staff to assist those coming forward and Office of Child Protection Services to assist victims and implement prevention programs.

Reporting abuse

  • If you suspect child abuse (sexual, physical or neglect of anyone under the age of 18) or have been a victim of child abuse, report it immediately to the local law enforcement agency or the local department of social services (Department of Child Protective Services in the District of Columbia).
  • If you suspect child abuse involving any archdiocesan personnel, also report it immediately to Marcia Zvara, MSW, LCSW-C, Director
    of Child Protection Services for the Archdiocese of Washington, at 301-853-5328.
  • The complete Child Protection Policy, which includes a form to report suspected abuse by archdiocesan personnel and details on where to report to civil authorities (Appendix A) is available online at www.adw.org.

Some signs that a child is being sexually abused:

  • Suddenly refuses to change for gym or to participate in physical
    activities
  • Reports nightmares or bedwetting
  • Experiences a sudden change in appetite or behavior
  • Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge
    or behavior
  • Becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease, particularly if
    under age 14
  • Runs away

Note: Victims of sexual abuse do not necessarily exhibit physical signs of the abuse and some sexually abused children may exhibit no signs of abuse at all.

By the numbers

Between July 2007 and June 2008 in the Archdiocese of Washington:

  • 97 child protection workshops were held for adults who work with children in the archdiocese
  • 5,800 people, including clergy, new employees and volunteers attended those workshops
  • 18,251 Catholic school children received safe environment  education
  • 22,281 children in religious education programs received safe environment education
  • 6,536 employees, volunteers and clergy were fingerprinted

Between 2003-2007 the Catholic Church in the United States:

  • Trained more than 1.8 million clergy, employees and volunteers in parishes in creating safe environments and preventing child sexual
    abuse
  • Prepared more than 5.8 million children to recognize abuse and protect themselves

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Do we see here the latest faces of evil?  While a certain anti-Catholicism has long been fashionable in the U.S., these bigots pull no punches in attacking the divinely instituted hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church:  Rep. Michael Lawlor and Sen. Andrew McDonald of Connecticut.  Why?  It is because these gay men hate the Church for her position against same-sex civil unions.  More about this below.

DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT VERSUS CONNECTICUT LEGISLATORS

Watch the video with Bishop William Lori where he warns of the crisis.

TEXT OF RAISED BILL IN JUDICIARY COMMITTEE #1098

A Bill that would strip Bishops of their authority over parishes!

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS ALERT!!!

Catholics must stand together against this attack upon the nature of the Church! 

loritroubleThe latest and most intrusive step so far against the Catholic Church is in Connecticut. True Catholics must pray and support the Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Bishop Bill Lori, formerly a priest of my diocese, Washington, DC, is headed for the fight of his life. What happens there will have repercussions for the Church throughout the entire nation.  Fortunately, he is up to the fight and is also Supreme Chaplain to the KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS.

This is not Red China with its puppet “patriotic” Catholic Church; but that is precisely what certain legislators in Connecticut must think. A bill has been put forward that would directly interfere with the internal activities and structure of the Catholic Church. Other churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples are ignored; the Catholic Church alone (at least for now) has been targeted by name. Bill 1098 would strip Catholic bishops of their direct oversight over their parishes. The state would force the bishops to hand their jurisdiction to an elected board of directors. Clergy would not be allowed on this board, only laymen and laywomen. The bishop or his representative could sit with the 7 to 13 members, but he would have NO VOTE.

The overall authority of bishops over their priests and congregations comes from the apostles and the charge given them by Jesus. This legislation rejects the Catholic stance and forces a reformed Protestant form of government upon the Catholic Church. The Church rejected boards of controlling trustees over parishes after the Revolutionary War. Only the Protestant reformers, and not all of them, suggested that the bishops be stripped of their authority. Such a measure would reduce bishops to figureheads, good for periodic Confirmations but nothing more. Pastors would be hired, fired and treated as employees by these boards.  Pastors would no longer be true pastors at all.  I am sure the Vatican would never have any of it. But what would happen then, a forced schism where the legitimate bishops would govern from exile and their priests minister under tents while the state flunkies took over Church properties and changed policies? Such a view by which the laity rules the Church has been condemned as heretical by the Magisterium. We each have our role to play and the bishops should not be stripped of theirs. How could anyone in government dare think they could rewrite the system of governance for the Catholic Church? This is an obscenity to the freedom of religion!

The diocese of Bridgeport has explained the situation as follows:

“This past Thursday, March 5, the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut State Legislature, which is chaired by Sen. Andrew McDonald of Stamford and Rep. Michael Lawlor of East Haven, introduced a bill that directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and our Faith.

This bill violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. It forces a radical reorganization of the legal, financial, and administrative structure of our parishes. This is contrary to the Apostolic nature of the Catholic Church because it disconnects parishes from their Pastors and their Bishop. Parishes would be run by boards from which Pastors and the Bishop would be effectively excluded.

This bill, moreover, is a thinly-veiled attempt to silence the Catholic Church on the important issues of the day, such as same-sex marriage.

The State has no right to interfere in the internal affairs and structure of the Catholic Church. This bill is directed only at the Catholic Church but could someday be forced on other denominations. The State has no business controlling religion.

The Pastors of our Diocese are doing an exemplary job of sound stewardship and financial accountability, in full cooperation with their parishioners.

For the State Legislature — which has not reversed a $1 billion deficit in this fiscal year — to try to manage the Catholic Church makes no sense. The Catholic Church not only lives within her means but stretches her resources to provide more social, charitable, and educational services than any other private institution in the State. This bill threatens those services at a time when the State is cutting services. The Catholic Church is needed now more than ever.

We reject this irrational, unlawful, and bigoted bill that jeopardizes the religious liberty of our Church. We urge you to call and e-mail Sen. McDonald and Rep. Lawlor:

Senator Andrew McDonald:
Capitol phone: (800) 842-1420; Home phone: (203) 348-7439
E-mail: McDonald@senatedems.ct.gov

Representative Michael Lawlor:
Capitol phone: (800) 842-8267; Home phone: (203) 469-9725
E-mail: MLawlor99@juno.com

We also ask you to come to Hartford this Wednesday, March 11, to be present at the public hearing. Details on bus transportation will be available on Monday. If you would like to attend, contact your Pastor.

It is up to us to stop this unbridled abuse of governmental power.

It is time for us to defend our First Amendment rights.
It is time for us to defend our Church!”

The First Amendment to the US Constitution is found in what is properly called the “Bill of Rights”. It contains these clear words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

This bill violates the rights of the Catholic Church and the faith of her good people. It is also unconstitutional and we can only hope that good sense prevails. But, even if we win this one; what about the next attack or the one after that? The Church has a hierarchical structure that comes down to us from Christ’s institution. This legislation is anti-Catholic bigotry at its best. Note that we alone are singled-out for such treatment. It is to be forced upon us because the Church refuses to be silent about such evils as same-sex unions and abortion. Do not think for one moment that these boards would be composed of good practicing Catholics who kiss the hands of their priest each Sunday. No, these would be the dissenters taking charge.

No doubt the scandal of a few bad priests and allegations of abuse weighs in the background for many people, but the rationale given here is that the bishops and Church cannot manage their own financial house.  Bishop Lori rightly finds this reasoning quite fantastic, given their high degree of accountability and good management.  By contrast, the State of Connecticut cannot close a one billion dollar deficit and the full story will never be told upon the government waste and corruption.  The real reason for this Bill is hatred of the Catholic Church and resentment about the tough moral stands she has taken.  It is no accident that the day before it was submitted, the same-sex marriage Bill was to be heard.  This Bill which focuses on the juridical structure of the Catholic Church is only a thinly veiled attempt to silence our voice.  Note that other churches are not targeted for such take-over.  The two main proponents are radically involved with the homosexual agenda and hate the Church for refusing to pander to perversity.  There can be no doubt, these men are out to destroy the Catholic Church as we know her.

Imagine for a moment what these boards might quickly put on the agenda if they should take charge:

  1. Their first objective would be achieved:  approval of same-sex couples, blessings over them and wedding ceremonies.
  2. Next would come condom and pill distribution from Catholic Charities and training sessions for CCD kids and parish youth groups.
  3. Parish pro-life groups would be disowned and replaced with Planned Parenthood or NARAL promoters.
  4. Married priests would be invited back, especially after orthodox celibates are fired.
  5. In short order, women would be ordained and received as priests in the parishes.
  6. Divorce and remarriage would be permitted.
  7. The protestant “open” communion table would be established, welcoming everyone  for communion, even your Buddhist friends.
  8. ACT-UP and Dignity would operate so-called gay-friendly activities using parish funds and property.
  9. The face of Jesus in churches would be refashioned to look like Obama— all hail the Messiah! (Who knows?)

MIKE LAWLOR ATTACKS CATHOLICISM AT GAY MARRIAGE HEARING:

The late Pope John Paul II told the young people at World Youth Day that they had to remain strong in the faith. He prophesied that many of them would face great persecution and maybe even suffer martyrdom. While he worked for a better tomorrow and reconciliation with groups which had historic grievances with Catholicism; nevertheless, when asked about the future he said he had a vision of BLOOD.

Many people assert that here in America we are safe to worship as we please. However, religion is about more than ritual, it is also about ideas and activism. Already there are politicians and organizations who oppose basic ideas and activities which touch core tenets of Catholicism. The question of the war aside, the Bush Administration was a momentary respite, an oasis in a storm that was looming ever closer and closer. Now that Obama is president, I suspect we shall find the ark of Peter frequently assailed and with few earthly friends to lend assistance. Catholics in the pews have grown timid to defend and help. They must be awakened from their moral slumber. As in many nations, certain Catholics have become the Church’s worst enemies. Even here in the United States, many Catholic pro-abortion politicians in the House of Representatives, the Senate and in the Executive branch oppose the Church’s efforts for the Gospel of Life. State governments are also turning against us. Many of these efforts are fueled by the big money that organizations like Planned Parenthood can muster. Add to this the general enmity that the ACLU and other such entities have against us, and well, this fight is going to have casualties.

Pretty much every year there is an effort here in Maryland to force Catholic hospitals to do abortion referrals and to distribute contraception, even if abortifacient. So far we have been on the winning side, but for how much longer? Maryland bishops have said they would close the hospitals before allowing any collaboration in murder and sin. The Church in Los Angeles took heat about their insurance plans for employees and was pressured to add same-sex partners to the mix. There is also growing insistence that artificial contraception be included in health plans, despite the Church’s view that such practices constitute mortal sin. The Church in Boston had to shut down their adoption program operated through Catholic Charities because the authorities insisted that they would also have to adopt children out to homosexual couples. No one thought the Archbishop would take such a step, but he had the courage to make the right move.  The new president has made no secret that he opposes any “conscience clause” for doctors, nurses and pharmacists who want nothing to do with abortion, embryonic destruction and artificial contraception.  Stripped of legal protection, many pro-life professionals and Catholics will have their licenses stripped and be removed from their jobs.

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[The initial post has been deleted given that the Blog in question deleted the citation and thread linked to a posting on this site. The material is being reworked as an essay.]

Finding myself cited on another Blog, I was quick to comment. I told the blogger that she was certainly welcome to discuss the views I put forward about priests and women. If her Blog was devised to give comfort and compassion to women who had been hurt in their relationships with priests, then I wished her well. I warned her and her readers that there was a certain tendency in my style toward exaggeration to make a point. I made no secret that we took very divergent positions and that I could never recommend organizations like CORPUS, Good Tidings or Rent-a-Priest. I suspect, given the tone and content of the responses, that a number of those who responded had actually broken away from Catholicism, probably defecting to the “anything goes” Episcopalians or to the similarly precarious independent congregations. (Many fail to appreciate that the married priesthood matter often disguises the deeper ecclesiological problem of disobedience against legitimate Church authority.) It is my view that the married priest movement has self-destructed by adding women priests and gay priests to their agenda. That which might have been possible within the context of a liberalized discipline will never include the acceptance of something judged doctrinally impossible or the failure to condemn immorality.

When I responded to the Blog citation; one commenter claimed that my remarks caused her suffering. This was not my intent and I seriously wondered if I should say anything more or just allow them to vent further. But questions were asked and I was under the impression that they might want the perspective of an average priest in good standing. There was real resistance to my ideas, no doubt because people blamed the Church and not themselves about what forbidden relationships with priests had wrought in their lives and in those of others. Do such traditional views as mine stymie discussion? Must discussions always be about only those things we want to hear?

The blogger thought my remarks were rather presumptuous of their motives when I wrote: “I suspect you would give the gravity to the heart and the corporal passions or emotions.” I guess she thought that assumptions about what moved people to do the things ascribed to women involved with priests left little room for dialogue. However, people sharing their commonly share animus against the Church is not real dialogue either. Further, there was a hesitance to acknowledge that priests who have counseled women in the past on such issues might have some insight into the thoughts and feelings that are so often operative. I will not lie about it; my mind is made up about the issue. This does not mean that I stop caring about those who have decided to change paths. We had one man who served as a good priest for many years, left ministry, got married and then became ill. A few of us fought for him to have compensation and benefits. Yes, there were some who insisted that “he left and we owe him nothing!” While outnumbered, we pressed our point home that we owed him, not merely from charity, but also something from justice.

As for the Blog experience, I shared my views, received thanks, and then in the next breath faced rebuke for towing the Church line. One of the reasons that I so rarely post on the Blogs of others is because the posture of openness is often a lie. I make no secret on my Blog that I have the last word, although I try earnestly to post comments from most everyone, albeit with appropriate responses if needed. Vulgar words and pages of cut-and-pasted spam are not welcome. Revisionist bloggers will quote me at length, but they often do not really want my responses. They want various points of view, but not my point of view— the perspective of one who is happy with compulsory celibacy and an all-male clergy. A recent blogger cited me and then later erased the whole thread because of my interaction.

It is apparent that certain bloggers who pose as Catholic really do not like the Church. They insist that the Church might proclaim Christ’s love but does not follow his example. I would take exception to this. The ministry of the Church expresses much in the way of reconciliation, love and caring. Such are hallmarks of the priestly life.

The blogger who debated with me later said she had no particular agenda other than to give women a place to speak, an oasis of safely to tell their stories. I did not say and would not oppose her attempt to create a community for sharing and healing. Indeed, it was out of a concern that my ideas might distress some of them that I offered no subsequent comment on her Blog. Then and now, I wish her well in reaching out to women and helping them, if that is indeed her purpose. The blogger was very gracious. She said that she was glad that I fully shared my views and thanked me for taking the time to write out my responses. Later she would rescind her kind words and changed her mind about my views.

I must admit I was hesitant to comment on a Blog for women in relationships and/or attempted marriages with priests. Such women may need a place to vent and to express themselves without the concern that a priest “such as me” would intrude. Given that I was cited to for the purpose of comments, I opted to enter the discussion. I honestly shared my opinions. They could disagree if they had to do so, but I never meant any ill will. I promised to pray for them all and for the priests with whom they were involved. It remains my hope that they will find happiness and peace. About this topic, the best for which we could hope would be to agree to disagree.

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