Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Francisco de la Cigoña on the Worth of the Papal Office

“Must the Pope bless every pizza at a restaurant in Trastevere before running cameras?”

(Madrid/Rome) The Spanish Church Historian Francisco Fernández de la Cigoña, who is the Spanish speaking world famous Catholic, non-Traditionalist blogger, is among the most bitter critics of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio as Archbhishop of Buenos Aires. That of all things the Argentine Primate had, of all the Cardinals, been considered as the possible successor of Benedict XVI. the fisher of men, a few hours before the election of Pope Francis, while he criticized him in connection with the most recent occupation at the Cathedral of Buenos Aires, must have been quite a shock.

De la Cigoña has commented on the Habemus Papam therefore with as much professional discipline, as Catholic devotion: “Cardinal Bergoglio is dead, long live Pope Francis!”

On multiple occasions he has stressed since that there is little sense in criticizing someone during the first 100 days of their office. Much more, he published several times the statements of the new Pope, which made him “feel very good”. After 20 days of the new Pontificate it seemed that at least at one point the self-imposed threads of patience are torn. On Eastern Monday he published a long commentary under the title The Pope is Neither a Pastor Nor a Bishop. Then he addressed the most striking gestures of the Pontificate in the first weeks, which to give the to the faithful instead of blessing, a media staged, but less religious one with the thumbs up high after which the motto appeared “Everything is super, everything great”. Had anyone had noticed this, that this gesture is not universally hailed as positive throughout the world, like in Turkey, where it is understood as an invitation to homosexual depravity?

We have documented the following commentary by Francisco Fernández de la Cigoña in English from another German translation (since no one has a Spanish one yet):

 The Pope is Neither a Pastor Nor a Bishop

by Fernández de la Cigoña

As always I am opposed to giving you my personal opinions, which should not be shared. It is not the voice of the Church, if I also try to speak of this. Sometimes I am successful, other times not. Not from a lack of will, but from a lack of knowledge.

What is expected of Pope Francis, so to us, at least until now, have been sold this picture of the Pope as pastor or of the Pope as Bishop: he is so simple and so humble, that he doesn’t want to be Pope. And he conceals his Papalness, where only he can. With his shoes as with his ring, with his pectoral cross and with his clothes, with his living quarters and with his bearing… he lives with everyone, he talks with everyone and it seems, as if he wouldn’t know anything else. He has not once been a Primus inter pares. Not to the Cardinals, and not once to the Bishops, to the priests, the gardener…

At the end of his daily Mass he greets the concelebrants and the faithful, who have participated, at the chapel door as a pastor. He calls his friends on the telephone, in order to wish them Happy Easter, he hurries then to pay for his lodging and some days we will see him on television, as he is polishing his already famous black shoes. Some already play the game “Where is the ring?” with the question, if he will wear the ring of the Pope today, of a Bishop or even none.

Nothing of this must be the object of criticism, even when one must not be pleased by them, which not many do. And although he also is still does the opposite of those things, which happened in past pontificates: “He is also good and not Bendict or John Paul”. Even if the wish of Pope Francis may be strange.

We have been moved by a minimalistic Pope in his appearance as Pope. We were not accustomed to it. We normal Catholics, excepting those, who would only rely on our judgements, but dismiss the Church, have such a special respect for the representative of Christ, that all forms of earned respect seem too little. And in the course of the centuries many forms have taken root. Some were already untimely by the turn of the century, like the Sedia Gestatoria and the Tiara. It was time, that they were taken away to become museum pieces. Without that something is passed. I think however, that it is good, that the representative of Christ, should be addressed with respectful love. And that it would not be good for him to be stripped in this respect or that he should strip himself of these things.

In Spain we had a pitiful Bishop “shoe I will call Ramon”, who, though he is still living, will be forgotten by everyone. I will not say that this is the case, but there is already a certain similarity which horrifies me. It is not attractive for all, nor is it however repellent for many. To seek out those nearby is surely good, but without overfamiliarity and tastelessness.

God uses the unexpected ways, so that His Grace can enter the hearts of men. And some of them can without a doubt be the frugality and humility of a Pope. It can be. Surely it is, however, not. Does one receive these assurances when the Pope on one day blesses the pizza in a restaurant on Trastevere? And kisses the lady cook, because she has prepared it so well? And all of this before running cameras? I have the impression, it can be, that I am wrong, that everyone doesn’t like this, completely on the contrary.

The Pope has possession of an office, which ranges far above that of a priest or a bishop. Every one will feel according to his personal inclinations. Yet he must partly order the personal inclinations according to his immense responsibility, which has loaded this office on his person. And because the eyes of the whole World are upon him.

This is my opinion. Right or wrong. And this is how I sum it up as such.

Übersetzung: Giuseppe Nardi 
Bild: UCCR
Translation: Tancred 
Link to Katholisches…

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Berlin's Archbishop Understands Car Burners' Pain

"These acts are a cry for help: When people burn altar-tables, then it's a protest and an expression of their hopelessness.'
( Besides the so-called Neonazis or a Traditionalist, you can be anything in Nazi-mad Germany.

Even car burners.

In an interview with the "Swabian Times" for the 3rd of September, Archbishop Rainer Woelki of Berlin found sympathetic words even for these last mentioned. Their acts are "a cry for help", answered the all-understanding one to the question, if whether the waves of leftist car burning in Berlin bode a new kind of terrorism. He continued: "when people burn cars, it is a protest and even an expression of their helplessness."  

So much understanding for the non-believing

  The Archbishop says he has developed, after only a week, a "deep understanding for the spiritual life of the overburdened, unbelieving people of the city of Berlin". He invites the motorists of the city, to consider the Bishops' words:  

"We should go and ask ourselves sincerely in our hearts, if we were not overly quick in our harsh judgment of those hopless people, who cried out to us for help with their bbq lighters. How could we assume, they are simple criminals?

Let us ask the Lord for forgiveness!“

It was even a nice Protest

Archbishop Woelki's may not sit well with many of Berlin's motorists. The faithful Catholics of Berlin, however, are deeply grateful for his words. Because in the same sense that Msgr Woelki has certain understanding for this even, he would understand how those horrible altar-tables in Berlin churches could be ignited.

That would be a wonderful sight in the light of the coming Papal visit, to express "hopelessness", which burdens the modern Liturgy in Germany.

Every burned up altar-table would be a real cry for help for the faithful people, who can't go into the Church any more, to have to endure the self-satisfied Conciliar comic, who has planted himself in the place of the Holy of Hollies. [Many NO spaces have a "Presider's Chair" where the Eucharistic Lord should be.]

 Link to

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Right-Wing Liberal Group Think and Rash Condemnations of the SSPX

What happens when you get a group of self-educated, conservatively minded Midwestern women together on a website so they can complain about society and the men who run it?

In this case, we have a young woman in her anger, rashness and hardness of heart getting her facts wrong and exaggerating her ability to move heaven and earth to excommunicate the SSPX. In her haste to issue her res terribilis, based we assure you on nothing more than some real or imagined slights she's suffered from SSPX adherents, condemning an entire group of people because she imagines that the rumor mentioned by Bishop Williamson that a Motu Prorio was in the works was actual, and that not only had this Motup Proprio been published, but that it had been rejected by the leadership of the Society.

If such a Motup Proprio existed, we have no idea what the Society would have done with it, but we at least on this end have no idea what is going to happen. Certainly some members of the SSPX are not pleased, either, with things they imagine to be going on.

The fact is, no one knows about the Motu Proprio, except for those who need to know about it, and a group of women, no matter how conservative or self-educated they happen to be, can make the Pope do something he hasn't done.

Anyhow, she doesn't like the Society, despises Bishop Williamson and will not be moved either way. There are many people, who, as in this case, out of ignorance, condemn this or that person and hold for dear life upon that misapprehension, to their eternal discredit, and possibly damnation.

If she's not more careful, she could be one of the best apologists for the society. Her wild accusations and factual inaccuracies could lead to not a few people taking the time to find out a little bit about the Society of Saint Pius X, human nature and perhaps a little bit about themselves?

Cheeky Pink Girl: I Declare SSPX to Be An Officially Separated Religion From the Catholic Church

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 17th, 1947: Protecting young from university, dancing and books

FROM THE ARCHIVES: In his instructions for Lent in 1947, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of Dublin set out uncompromising views on a number of his favourite concerns, including education and “mixed” marriages.

– PARENTS, THE Archbishop says, had a most serious duty to secure a fully Catholic upbringing for their children in all that concerned the instruction of their minds, the training of their wills to virtue, their bodily welfare, and the preparation of their life as citizens. In the education of Catholics every branch of human training was subject to the guidance of the Church, and those schools alone which the Church approved were capable of providing a fully Catholic education. Therefore, the Church forbade parents to send a child to any non-Catholic school, whether primary or secondary, or continuation or university.

“Deliberately to disobey this law is a mortal sin,” added His Grace, “and they who persist in disobedience are unworthy to receive the Sacraments.”

Read this fascinating article further...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Church Services are too Feminine

Men don't want to sing 'love songs to a man' while the 'vicar wears a dress'

Ruth Gledhill posted an article citing a statistic that the church attendence is down 49 percent with males under the age of 30 in the last 20 years because services are too sissy. This is one attempt by the Church of England to alleviate the problem, but then, I don't know, why not beef up the church services by restoring the Traditional Latin Mass? We've noticed that there are quite a few more men there than are at the women dominated Novus Ordo Mass.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cheeky Pink Girl: Latin Mass Funeral - Part I (Or Why the SSPX [explitive])

Link to the original article, while it lasts.

We'd like to address a sociological reality which most people have experienced with their families and/or who love someone or is loved by someone who is what is commonly referred to as the "Traditional" Catholic. We noted a Catholic Blogger called, "Cheeky Pink Girl" who seems like the kind of girl who lives on the periphery of an SSPX Community and possibly even has a few relatives who belong to it. She herself is fairly conservative, probably fairly pious, goes to communion on Sundays, every Sunday, and regularly goes to confession. In short, she's the kind of person we tend to respect and look up to as an example, even if she "participates" at the Novus Ordo and doesn't wear a veil. She's one of us, right?

And yet, perhaps under the pernicious influence of folks (neo-cons) like Mark Shea, Michael Mazza or Scott Hahn, she thinks the SSPX is a cult and moreover, thinks it is somehow harmful, although she is at some pains to identify just what it is about the SSPX that is harmful. We think it is presumption on her part to make these kinds of rash judgements she's making about the SSPX and a woman who appeared at an approved Diocesan, Latin Mass, with a head covering, sat in the back row and didn't "participate" in her mother's funeral. Unfortunately, this blogger erroneously believes that the SSPX is in schism:

Instead, what I think is sad is that she believes she's bigger and more right that the Body of Christ, which is represented by the Holy Church. It's sad that at her own mother's funeral, she believes that schismatic rupture [Wow! How about love thy neighbor, or your relative?] provides a (loving?/prideful?/necessary?) [How about loving her in return instead of judging her motivations on the basis of a false principle?] testimony to the gospel of Christ, not to mention the Christian fruits of humility and obedience. Throw in patience, too.

Perhaps the blogger is unaware of the fact that we're allowed to attend SSPX chapels and even give them financial support according to Ecclesia Dei Commission and Cardinal Hoyos and that the SSPX is NOT in Schism?

As an anecdote to illuminate the story a bit, we hope, this author was once afrighted of the behaviors he saw in chapels and the kinds of people he met there. Unfortunately, some people are broken and shattered by life's woes and not everyone is "well-adjusted" or even wholesome or undivided in their loyalties. Many of us are not as single-minded as we'd like to be, and some Catholics are scoundrels, or mad as in crazy, but that is certainly NOT something we'd say about the Society of Saint Pius X or the majority of the people who attend their chapels. Most of them are sane, well adjusted, kindly people who are terribly devout and sincere. Perhaps those of you who are afrighted by the sartorial conservatism of the chapel-goers should get to know them better before hosting a bitter fire of angry and contempt inside for them?

We think this is a fairly common sort of occurance, even among "Traditional" Catholics, a sociological phenomenon related to being around human beings, especially those people who are part of a movement of dissent from an established ecclesial norm and it's really nothing to get too afeared of, unless you might, perhaps, fail in your Easter Duty and don't go to confession...

Having said that, this blogger, "Cheeky Pink", talks about a funeral where a woman sits in the back and doesn't "participate" and presumes to judge the person's state of mind and seems to say that she is herself "presuming" to judge the Church when she doesn't go up to communion at her sister's funeral Mass.

Funerals are emotional things and it might be hard to make a rational case to this individual blogger about the legitimate aspiration of the woman (presumeably a relative) who sits in the back and doesn't "participate".

Actually, if this blogger knew anything about participation, she'd know that to participating in Holy Mass does not necessarily equate to dancing, holding hands or going up to embarrass themselves by giving a eulogy.

It's not just that this blogger agrees with the "reforms" of Vatican II, or the various deviations from sound liturgical practice that took place in its wake, it's that she despises what Catholicism was before the council, and what it is today.

Now, we shouldn't be too hasty to participate in the same pharisaism as the blogger does when she criticizies the veiled woman (most likely a relative), quietly praying in the back of the church and grieving at her mother's funeral. But in many of these cases, what we feel is the issue is a kind of angry reaction based on not possessing something that another person has, whether that's integrity, piety, modesty or what not. Seeems that liberal women, the kind who don't wear veils at Mass out of a spirit of rebellion (we're not talking about women who do so either out of ignorance or for other reasons we don't understand), or people in general who aren't as observant a Catholic as another, might be "put out" by shows of piety and even the kind of shunning behavior we see here.

We think we detect the vice of jealousy. It's the kind of jealousy which Joseph suffered at the hands of his brothers when he was thrown into the bottom, of a well, and it's the kind of intolerance for diversity which breeds hate. Our response to all of this should simply be, "what are you doing next Sunday, want to come to an SSPX Mass?". We should renew the invitation too even when we're put off and make a firm resolution to get our relatives, conservative or liberal, to come to the Immemorial Mass of Ages and participate in the Sacrament of Penance.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Liberalism is Destroying the French Church

By Hilary White

ROME, January 12, 2010 ( – The Catholic Church in France, among the places where the fashionable “liberalism” of the 1960s and ‘70s has most taken hold, is dying out, with Mass attendance, priestly vocations and seminarians at record lows. At the same time, the growth of the doctrinally and liturgically “traditional” movements, who tend to be strongly pro-life and pro-family, is continuing.

The Institut français d'opinion publique (IFOP Institute) has just issued its survey on the situation of the Church in France and reports that the French Catholic Church is in freefall. Between1965 and 2009, the number of French identifying themselves as Catholics fell from 81 per cent to 64 per cent. The number attending Mass once a week or more fell from 27 per cent to 4.5 per cent in the same period.

The statistics, published in the Catholic weekly La Croix, show the effects of institutionalized “liberalism” in Catholic teaching. Sixty-three per cent of those who still consider themselves Catholic believe that all religions are the same; 75 per cent asked for an “aggiornamento” in the Church to reconsider Catholic teaching forbidding artificial contraception, while 68 per cent said the same thing for abortion.

According to official Catholic Church statistics, the total number of Catholic marriages (-28.4%), baptisms (-19.1%), confirmations (-35.3%), as well as priests (-26.1%), and religious sisters (-23.4%), has continued to fall between 1996 and 2006.

Statistics compiled by the traditionalist Catholic group Paix Liturgique show that the decline is sharpest in the most doctrinally “liberal” dioceses with regard to priests and future ordinations. Due to the critical shortage of vocations to the priesthood, it is estimated that up to a third of the dioceses of the Catholic Church in France - some dating to the second century AD - will be forced to close or amalgamate by 2025.

In November last year, Paix Liturgique reported that only 9000 priests are serving the Catholic faithful in France. In 1990, the total number of ordinations in the country was 90. Paris had 10, with two for a local independent religious order. Seven are predicted for 2010, and four for 2011.

There are fewer than 750 seminarians currently studying for the priesthood, with about a hundred of these being for religious orders, not dioceses. The diocese of Pamiers, Belfort, Agen and Perpignan have no seminarians. The drop in vocations to the priesthood will result, the group said, in at least one third of French dioceses either effectively ceasing to exist or being forced to amalgamate over the next 15 years.

But in small pockets where traditional liturgical practice, combined with traditional moral doctrine, is encouraged, French Catholicism is flourishing. Two years ago, Pope Benedict issued the document “Summorum Pontificum,” allowing the use of the pre-Vatican II Mass in Latin. Despite it remaining a “taboo” subject to the liberal faction of the French episcopate, the older rite, what is now being called the Extraordinary Form, is acting as a catalyst for growth in the few areas where it has been accepted by bishops.

More than 14 per cent of ordinations in France were for the Extraordinary Form in 2009, according to Paix Liturgique, with 15 French priests ordained for it. Almost 20 per cent of seminarians, 160, are destined for the Extraordinary Form. The group notes that if the current trends continue, in a few more years more than a quarter of all French seminarians will be studying for the older form of the liturgy, a rite that naturally selects against doctrinal and moral “liberalism.”

According to a CSA poll taken in September 2008, a third of practicing Catholics in France said they would willingly attend a traditional Mass if it were available.

In September, Archbishop Dominique Rey of the southern diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, ordained two priests to his diocese in what is now being called the “Extraordinary Form.”
This move, though heavily criticized by many in the liberal factions of the French Church, followed the ordination of 14 priests and 11 deacons in the newer “Novus Ordo” form in June, demonstrating that the two forms can live side by side.

Paix Liturgique reports that the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon has about 80 seminarians in the only seminary in the world that trains priests in both the pre-Vatican II and the newer rite.

In July, Paix Liturgique reported significant growth in Mass attendance in areas that have allowed the use of the older form. In addition to the existing 132 “authorized” places of worship and 184 served by the canonically irregular Society of Saint Pius X, an additional 72 new chapels and churches have been allowed for the use of the Extraordinary Form. This represents an increase from 55 per cent in two years, compared to an increase of between 2 and 5 per cent between 1988 and 2007.

Even more unexpectedly, the requests to dioceses from the laity for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form, have also dramatically increased. Paix Liturgique reports that more than 350 groups of French Catholic families have formally requested the older form of the Mass from their dioceses all over France and more than 600 groups have formed to promote the older form and have asked for it informally, making direct requests to parish priests.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Come, Drink the Coolaid at Medjugorje

In a testament to the persistence of false religious beliefs and the gullibility of mankind, Spirit Daily Drinks the coolaid at Medjugorje. They gloss over details like Medjugorje's heretical and modernist "locutions", of Cardinal Schönborn's rank infidelity to Catholic teaching, his snubbing of the Austrian Pro-Life movement, scandalous promotion of blasphemous art and worst of all his disloyalty to the Holy Father. We think there are two possible causes for this and one is financial and the other is psychological.

Spirit Daily

The rumors last autumn swirled. After long years of confusion among the flock, after virulent debate -- and diatribes, especially from those who opposed it -- and after periods of outright befuddlement, the Vatican was going to issue guidelines on the famous apparition site of Medjugorje, said the Cardinal of Sarajevo, with hints that those guidelines would not be interpreted as favorable. It would come, they said, by the end of the year.

"I don't think we must wait for a long time, I think it will be this year, but that is not clear... I am going to Rome in November and we must discuss this," said Cardinal Vinko Puljic last October.

Read further...

Incredibly, there is even another or related website out there endorsing the Cardinal thusly:
Cardinal Schonborn is a towering figure in the Catholic Church, a member of the powerful Roman Curial, he sits on the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and is a close friend of Pope Benedict XVI. When he speaks people should listen but we are not sure the American Catholic press is really listening.
It's hard to see how he could be such a powerful figure in the curia at this point if he was so ill-informed about the meeting in Rome between the SSPX and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; probably because he was kept in the dark. Surely, these kinds of statements bespeak a certain kind of desperation on the part partizans of Medjugorje.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Pray, Tell", Collegeville's Answer to Liturgical Restoration

The good folks at Commonweal are talking about a campy new blog from Collegeville and Liturgical Press called, "Pray, Tell". Perhaps it should be "Prey".

The Jesuit editor of America, Father James Martin SJ, thinks it's worth a look. He goes more deeply, if less revealingly than he ought, to discuss the blog's connection with Worship:

The blog chiefs quote from the first issue of Orate, Fratres, one of the great liturgical magazines (now Worship) that helped foster the liturgical renewal that led to the Second Vatican Council's document Sacrosanctum Concilium. "Our general aim is develop a better understanding of the spiritual import of the liturgy. … [We hope] that many persons may find in the liturgy the first answer to the intimate need of their souls for a closer contact and union with the spiritual and the divine.” The new blog, the progeny of Orate, Fratres, is nothing if not candid

The New Liturgical Movement reports on it as well, and is less enthusiastic, some of the commenters note the unwillingness of the moderator to allow dissent, despite the Blog's claims of "openness".

What NLM doesn't tell you, and what Father Martin above omits to say is the connection of the Blog's print publication, Worship (Previously Orate Fratres when it was founded by Fr. Virgil Michel in 1929 at St. John's Abbey in Minnesota), to one of its editors, a credibly accused homosexual Fr. Dunstan Moorse, or one of the notorious and early collaborators who designed the cover art for the first issue of the magazine, Eric Gill, whose own revolutionary liturgical efforts are no less suspicious than the current sponsors of "Prey, Tell".

Saturday, January 2, 2010

English Conservatives Lament that they have No Rush Limbaugh

One of the respondents to an Op-Ed piece, commenting with relief that Rush Limbaugh was recovering from his operation, in the Telegraph today focused on the lack of any conservative voice at all in the British Media. Despite a few writers on the staff at the Telegraph like Gerald Warner, the Media is completely dominated by Liberals there. It should remind Americans that they are fortunate to have at least one media segment not slavishly devoted to the party line. At the very least it should keep alive the fiction of free-speech.

Well, where is our Rush Limbaugh? What media outlet in the UK caters to conservatives? I cannot find it, if there is one. The BBC (British State Television) is blatant propaganda, but the same ideas are retailed on ITV, Channel 4 and Sky – Sky is majoring on environmental issues at the moment. The newspapers are uniformly left-wing, including the Daily Telegraph, which makes a point of including some genuinely conservative content but ultimately always backing the centrist line of the likes of Cameron. What about those who want to withdraw from the EU? stop all immigration? End the global warming, health and safety and race relations nonsenses and their associated bureaucracies? Abolish income tax? Abolish the welfare state? The DT leader writers would have a heart attack. Even on these blogs it is noticeable that nearly all blogwriters are well to the left of their audience (Delingpole, Gerald Warner and a few others are exceptions for which I am indeed grateful!) YOu seem to be socialists and supporters of a big state who are trying to straddle a divide and keep the real conservatives on board somehow, although the main DT editorial line cannot be described as conservative. The Daily Mail? The same story – some support for conservatism while careful not to overstep the multiculti establishment’s red lines. Where is our press?

Link to original...

And don't forget that the Left owned and operated USCCB was lobbying to have Rush investigated for some strange reason. If Soros isn't pulling the strings, then very likely it is someone controlled by him.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Critique of Liberation Theology

Not so Liberating: The Twilight of Liberation Theology

by Dr. Samuel Gregg Tue, Dec 29, 2009, 02:02 PM

It went almost unnoticed, but on December 5th, Benedict XVI articulated one of the most stinging rebukes that has ever been made by a pope of a particular theological school. Addressing a group of Brazilian bishops, Benedict followed some mild comments about Catholic education with some very sharp and deeply critical remarks about liberation theology and its effects upon the Catholic Church.

Apart from stressing how certain liberation theologians drew heavily upon Marxist concepts, the pope also described these ideas as “deceitful.” This is very strong language for a pope. But Benedict then underscored the damage that liberation theology did to the Catholic Church. “The more or less visible consequences,” he told the bishops, “of that approach - characterised by rebellion, division, dissent, offence and anarchy - still linger today, producing great suffering and a serious loss of vital energies in your diocesan communities.”

Today, even some of liberation theology’s most outspoken advocates freely admit that it has collapsed, including in Latin America. Once considered avant-garde, it is now generally confined to clergy and laity of a certain age who wield ever-decreasing influence within the Church. Nonetheless, Benedict XVI clearly believes it’s worth underscoring just how much harm it inflicted upon the Catholic Church.

For a start, there’s little question that liberation theology was a disaster for Catholic evangelization. There’s a saying in Latin America which sums this up: “The Church opted for the poor, and the poor opted for the Pentecostals.”

In short, while many Catholic clergy were preaching class-war, many of those on whose behalf the war was presumably being waged decided that they weren’t so interested in Marx or listening to a language of hate. They simply wanted to learn about Jesus Christ and his love for all people (regardless of economic status). They found this in many evangelical communities.

A second major impact was upon the formation of Catholic clergy in parts of Latin America. Instead of being immersed in the fullness of the Catholic faith’s intellectual richness, many Catholic seminarians in the 1970s and 1980s read Marx’s Das Capital and refused to peruse such “bourgeois” literature such Augustine’s City of God or Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae.

Again, this undermined the Church’s ability to witness to Christ in Latin America, not least because some clergy reduced Christ to the status of a heroic-but-less-than-divine urban guerrilla and weren’t especially interested in explaining Catholicism’s tenets to their flocks.

Then there has been the effect upon the Church’s ability to engage the new Latin American economic world which emerged as the region opened itself to markets in the 1990s. Certainly much of this liberalization was poorly executed and marred by corruption. Nonetheless, as the Economist recently reported, countries like Brazil - once liberation theology’s epicenter - are emerging as global economic players and taking millions out of poverty in the process. The smartest thing that Brazil’s left-wing President Lula da Silva ever did was to not dismantle most of his predecessor’s economic reforms.

Unfortunately, one legacy of liberation theology is some Catholic clergy’s inability to relate to people working in the business world. Ironically, business executives are far more likely to be practicing their Catholicism than many other Latin Americans. Yet liberation theology has left a residue of distrust of business leaders among some Catholic clergy - and vice-versa. Distrust is no basis for engagement, let alone evangelization.

The good news is that the Church in Latin America is more than halfway along the road to recovery. Anyone who talks to younger priests and seminarians in Latin America today quickly learns that they have absorbed the devastating critiques of liberation theology produced by the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the 1980s. If anything, they tend to regard liberation theologians such as the ex-priest Leonardo Boff as heretical irrelevancies.

Indeed figures such as Boff must be dismayed that the Catholic Church has emerged as the most outspoken opponent of populist-leftists such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. As Michael Novak observed in Will it Liberate? (1986), liberation theologians were notoriously vague when it came to practical policy proposals. But if any group embodies the liberationists’ economic agenda, it is surely the populist-left who are currently providing us with case studies of how to drive economies into the ground faster than you can say “Fidel Castro.”

As time passes, liberation theology is well on its way to being consigned to the long list of Christian heterodoxies, ranging from Arianism to Hans-Küngism. But as Benedict XVI understands, ideas matter - including incoherent and destructive ideas such as liberation theology. Until the Catholic Church addresses the legacy of this defunct ideology - to give liberation theology its proper designation - its ability to speak to the Latin America of the future will be greatly impaired.

Dr. Samuel Gregg is Director of Research at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of Economic Thinking for the Theologically Minded (University Press of America, 2001) and On Ordered Liberty: A Treatise on the Free Society (Lexington Books, 2003).

Link to original...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

St. Thomas Becket Refused to Bend to the Power of the State

There are a great many Bishops in the Church, but would to God we were the zealous teachers and pastors that we promised to be at our consecration.’

'As successors of the Apostles, we hold the highest rank in our churches; we have accepted the responsibility of acting as Christ’s representatives on earth; we receive the honor belonging to that office, and enjoy the temporal benefits of our spiritual labors. It must therefore be our endeavor to destroy the reign of sin and death, and by nurturing faith and uprightness of life, to build up the Church of Christ into a holy temple in the Lord.'

by Deacon Keith Fournier

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – On December 29 we continue the celebration of the Octave (Eight days) of Christmas. The Church instructs us concerning the implications of the Nativity of the Lord in the selection of these feasts. In the Incarnation, which encompasses the entire saving life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, humanity was re-created in Christ the new Adam. He became like us in order to capacitate us to become like Him. That happens as we respond to the continual call of the Holy Spirit and receive the graces needed for our continuing conversion.

In our first reading for today’s Mass we find these words from the beloved disciple John: “Beloved: The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.” (1 John 2)

As members of the Risen Body of Christ, the Church, we are called to continue His redemptive mission; making Him present in every age until he returns to complete his work of redemption. We are called to “walk the talk”, even when such a bold and brave witness of life places us at risk of being persecuted. The Saints reveal the heroic virtue which is to be manifested in the vocation to which we are all called in our Baptism. We are to become Saints, no matter what our state in life.

On this Octave day of Christmas we consider the life and martyrs’ death of a Bishop named Thomas Becket. He faced a hostile government and refused to bend. He teaches us in our own day how vital it is to stay faithful to the Truth. For the Christian, the Truth is a Divine Person named Jesus Christ. We are called to bear His name and, in the words of the Apostle, “walk just as he walked.”

However, Thomas Becket is a special witness for our beloved Bishops. Today they face the growing hostility of a State which has no tolerance for their insistence on the fundamental human right to life from conception to natural death.Like Thomas, they must refuse to bend

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

America's Spiritual Jungle Stew

Google News

The problem with Ameicanism is the spiritual jungle, a phrase entered into the English language by Snclair Lewis to describe the chaotic and degraded conditions of human society.

When it comes to religion, many Americans like the mix-and-match, build-your-own approach.

Large numbers attend services of traditions other than their own and blend Christianity with Eastern and New Age beliefs, a survey finds.

The report Wednesday from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life also shows tremendous growth over the past three decades in the number of Americans who say they have had a religious or mystical experience.

Though the U.S. is an overwhelmingly Christian country, significant minorities say they hold beliefs of the sort found at Buddhist temples or New Age bookstores. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed overall and 22 percent of Christians say they believe in reincarnation, the idea that people will be reborn in this world again and again.

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Catholics vs Kennedies: New York Times

At last one of the pillars of Americanism is falling.

Hanging front and center inside the classroom of the grade school I attended were pictures of two men: Pope Paul VI, and John F. Kennedy, the first Roman Catholic president. Each was revered almost without question, although we were taught that one could never tell the other what to do in their separate realms.

My experience was not unique. And so it was jarring to many Catholics to hear last month of a bishop in Providence, R.I., advising a Kennedy to refrain from receiving communion because of a public policy position the congressman had advocated in Washington.

History has always been a strong subject in Catholic education, but Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence seems to have forgotten much of his, or at least failed to learn the lessons as they applied to American democracy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Balding Rock Diva and Priestess Comments on Church

What is even more bizarre than her pending comeback, is the elderly rocker's claim to speak for "Irish Aritists" and like a lot of poorly educated media personalities, express her anger and frustration about something in which she seems to have a vested interest, but very little undertanding.

We are angry at the child abuse engaged in by Irish "Artists", whose music corrupts more than it ennobles. Considering their tawdriness, and bad examples, Rock Stars should remain silent on moral issues like this.

IrishCentral editors received an email last night from Irish singer Sinead O'Connor — who once infamously ripped a photo of Pope John Paul II on "Saturday Night Live" in a bizarre protest against the Catholic Church — in which she rips into the Church again, and with seething rage.

In the email, which longtime Irish Voice music writer Mike Farragher verified is genuine in a telephone call with the star, O'Connor, 49, says she speaks "on behalf of all Irish artists" in protest against the child and sex-abuse scandal in which the Irish Catholic Church is currently embroiled.

As angry as her "letter to the editor" is, O'Connor went even farther in her conversation this morning with Farragher.

I feel strongly that we are proud of our faith and feel completely betrayed,” she told him. “They are withholding documents still. When they are asked to produce anything, there has been no reply, not even a refusal.

"'The Pope does not comment on these matters’ is what they say. That has made people even angrier. There is talk about calling for a boycott of Mass next Sunday. It will send a message if no one is in the pews. There is also talk about having the Irish ambassador withdrawn from the Vatican. [If you felt strongly for your faith, you wouldn't be recommending childish displays like this.]

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lutheran Pastor Bemoans Departures from Doctrine and "Orthodoxy"

A Lutheran pastor bemoans the increasing liberalism in his church, he laments the primacy of subjective personal opinion and the farce of authority. Perhaps this is not only the effect of the Protestant Revolt, but the philosophic nominalism which gave birth to it.

The recent trouble in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is not about sex; it’s about infidelity:

The ELCA has removed the Scriptures as the primary authority for salvation and Christian living. It has removed any authority of the Lutheran Confessions for teaching the faith.

The ELCA has failed to honor its own bylaws. Many bishops have coerced approved candidates for ordination into accepting allegiance to the historic episcope. Many bishops have failed to enforce the vision and expectations standards for ethical behavior of our clergy.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Clergy are cafeteria Catholics too

The clergy are aware that people are angry about this and some of them are probably more forthright about it than others, but this priest isn't atypical in his response. Seems like there's a real crisis of confidence. It's as if he were uncertain as to why he became a priest in the first place.

By Dianne Skripek

As a Catholic I was stunned when after Holy Communion the Pastor announced how there wouldn't be (but would be) a Second Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development last Sunday, November 22.

After offering a cursory, confusing explanation of the CCHD controversy, Father stated there wasn''t a collection in typical fashion of basket passing but designated baskets were available in the vestibule. If someone wanted to donate to CCHD, the parish office would send a check on contributors'' behalf. After googling for facts, I thanked God I don''t typically give to Second Collections unless it directly supports missionaries or the needy.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Let's Face it: Russia is Dying

Some of us look hopefully at a resurgence of the Orthodox Faith in Russia as part of the promise Our Lady has made to convert Russia, yet Russia is dying. No consecration of Russia has happened yet, but there are signs and expectations. What seems to be the case is that no one but Our Lady can save her.

Telegraph Blogs

The BBC reports that Mr Bill Browder, head of a company called Hermitage Capital and once the largest foreign investor in Russia, has now described that large and empty country as “essentially a criminal state”. One’s first reaction is that Mr Browder, who has had far better opportunities for observation than most of us, has taken rather a long time to realise this. But then none of us has been particularly quick off the mark in grasping what has been right in front of our noses for years. Their representatives are still polluting the G8, the Council of Europe and other supposedly civilised institutions. We still pretend politely to take Mr Vladimir Putin seriously.

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See especially Pat Buchanan's Death of the West.

Also see, St. Jean Raspail.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Priest Criticizes USCCB Study and the USCCB

The Post-Standard
November 19, 2009, 7:10AM
In today's Post-Standard, a Roman Catholic priest criticizes bishops' handling of reported sexual abuse by priests.

To the Editor:
As a Roman Catholic priest in good standing, I find myself in the midst of a great dilemma. Of which should I be more ashamed? The fact that less than 3 per cent of my priest brothers have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of minors? Or the fact that 97 percent of the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops seem to be in a state of invincible denial?

The assertion that “homosexuality is no factor in abusive priests” (Post-Standard, Associated Press, Nov. 18) is so utterly absurd as to defy rational credibility. Fact: Ninety-five percent of all reported cases of sexual abuse by priests involved the homosexual predation of teenage boys! What was the bishops’ response as this crisis was festering for more than 50 years? Instead of reaching out in a pastorally responsible and sensitive manner to the victims and their parents, they called in their attorneys to protect their assets.

This adversarial relationship that the bishops themselves created exacerbated the problem to the point where it became completely unmanageable. They have destroyed the morale of many good and holy priests and have alienated the faithful to the point where no one now living will ever see the healing of the injuries caused by this unspeakable abuse of power.

Memo to bishops: “Denial” is not the name of a river in Egypt!

Rev. Eric K. Harer