Mindless Perpetuation...

"Wait for complete life stability before you get married."

"Two children families are the perfect size, especially if you have one boy and one girl."

"The homosexual lifestyle is normal and should be accepted or even celebrated in our culture."

"Women must work to fulfill what it means to be a true woman in our culture."

"Freedom comes from management and control of fertility."

"Sterilization is encouraged for those who have already had children."

"Contraception should be free and available to all."

"Abortion is a woman's right."

Readers of this blog should be disgusted by those statements. Our current culture is being taught to accept this nonsense, and to provide sophistic argument to support it. Men and women both rattle off these slogans of population control without giving them a second thought. People cling to these concepts as if they were sacred religion, and those who rail against this insanity are treated as blasphemers of this new found fertility goddess. The birth of this "Venus" is the death of our civilization.

Today I came across an article by Abby Johnson about the Jaffe Memo. I believe that the memo is authentic and I have no reason to doubt it. Even if the memo was forged, the listed population control concepts are proposed in other eugenic based literature. The memo lists a number of the concepts covered in the above quotes.

When I worked at Planned Parenthood, there was something that we were not allowed to talk about. If we didn’t talk about it, then maybe no one else would either. It was called the Jaffe Memo. In 1969, Planned Parenthood was asked by the government to produce some ideas to help with overpopulation. They did just that. What is in the memo as a “solution” to overpopulation is astonishing. And, I’m sorry to say, it looks like the Jaffe Memo is starting to show its face in our culture.

I encourage you to read through the article, and look over the memo. Also note that RealCatholicTV.com has produced some documentaries on the subject of population control. To list a few: "CIA : Global Warming Unmasked, the Hidden Agenda", "CIA : The Rockefeller Foundation", and "CIA : The Contraception Deception".


The Trees and the Axe

As with most of Aesop's fables there are various "morals" that can be gathered from the story. Without searching the internet for an answer, what "moral" can you provide? This is intended to be a creative exercise, and not an in depth conversation on Aesop's contradictory morality.

A man came into a forest, and made a petition to the Trees to provide him a handle for his axe. The Trees consented to his request, and gave him a young ash-tree. No sooner had the man fitted from it a new handle to his axe, than he began to use it, and quickly felled with his strokes the noblest giants of the forest. An old oak, lamenting when too late the destruction of his companions, said to a neighboring cedar: "The first step has lost us all. If we had not given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have retained our own privileges and have stood for ages."

Need and Want...

Here we are the day before the holy season of Advent begins. Here we are the day after "Black Friday". The reports of materialism driven shopping violence fill the media headlines. I recognize the desire of people to be frugal and to make their dollar stretch, but I see the "Black Friday" sales as a psychological gimmick that also happens to be very telling.

The masses who participate in the madness to gain mere gadgets and gizzmos provide a glimpse of another possible scenario. Imagine a situation where these people are not salivating over iPods and plasma screens... but instead are starving from lack of nutrition and thirsting from lack of clean water. If our fellow man can act as they do over their "wants" how might the act over "needs" if the resources for them are lacking?

I am not criticizing all of the people who went out shopping yesterday. I am not criticizing those who purchase electronic devices, or spend money on entertainment. I only desire to point out the danger of forfeiting even simple common respect for our fellow man for worship at the altar of materialism.

Pius XII wrote:
45. But the world, which today affords so many justifiable reasons for pride and hope, is also undergoing a terrible temptation to materialism which has been denounced by Our Predecessors and Ourselves on many occasions.

46. This materialism is not confined to that condemned philosophy which dictates the policies and economy of a large segment of mankind. It rages also in a love of money which creates ever greater havoc as modern enterprises expand, and which, unfortunately, determines many of the decisions which weigh heavy on the life of the people. It finds expression in the cult of the body, in excessive desire for comforts, and in flight from all the austerities of life. It encourages scorn for human life, even for life which is destroyed before seeing the light of day.

47. This materialism is present in the unrestrained search for pleasure, which flaunts itself shamelessly and tries, through reading matter and entertainments, to seduce souls which are still pure. It shows itself in lack of interest in one's brother, in selfishness which crushes him, in justice which deprives him of his rights -- in a word, in that concept of life which regulates everything exclusively in terms of material prosperity and earthly satisfactions.

48. "And I will say to my soul. the rich man said, Soul, thou hast many good things laid up for many years; take thy ease, eat, drink, be merry. But God said to him, Thou fool, this night do they demand thy soul of thee."

49. To a society which in its public life often contests the supreme rights of God, to a society which would gain the whole world at the expense of its own soul and thus hasten to its own destruction, the Virgin Mother has sent a cry of alarm.

This Advent, consider prayers and fasting against materialism as one way of preparing for Christmas.


If you could will it to be so...

A question for any and all readers of this blog who are same-sex-attracted:  If you could, by a single act of the will, cease to be attracted to persons of your own gender, would you make that act of the will?


The Shepherd's Rod and Staff

Psalm 22:
A psalm for David. The Lord ruleth me: and I shall want nothing. He hath set me in a place of pasture. He hath brought me up, on the water of refreshment: He hath converted my soul. He hath led me on the paths of justice, for his own name's sake. For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly is it! And thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.

Pope Benedict XVI - Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
"Your rod and your staff – they comfort me": the shepherd needs the rod as protection against savage beasts ready to pounce on the flock; against robbers looking for prey. Along with the rod there is the staff which gives support and helps to make difficult crossings. Both of these are likewise part of the Church’s ministry, of the priest’s ministry. The Church too must use the shepherd’s rod, the rod with which he protects the faith against those who falsify it, against currents which lead the flock astray. The use of the rod can actually be a service of love. Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love when conduct unworthy of the priestly life is tolerated. Nor does it have to do with love if heresy is allowed to spread and the faith twisted and chipped away, as if it were something that we ourselves had invented. As if it were no longer God’s gift, the precious pearl which we cannot let be taken from us. Even so, the rod must always become once again the shepherd’s staff – a staff which helps men and women to tread difficult paths and to follow the Lord.


Behold the Heart Which Has Loved Man So Much

Please listen to the latest sermon posted on Audio Sancto titled: "Behold the Heart Which Has Loved Man So Much"

Sermon synopsis:

The activity and power of Satanists is greater now than at any time in history. The "great ceremony" of the Satanists is the Black Mass at which consecrated hosts -- the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ -- are ritualistically desecrated. In 1675, Our Lord Jesus appeared to Saint Marguerite Marie Alacoque and said: "Behold this heart which has loved man so much, that has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself in order to testify it's love! And in return, I receive, from the greater part, only ingratitude by their irreverence, their sacrelidge, by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in the Sacrament of Love. But what I feel most keenly is that the hearts which are consecrated to Me treat me thus." Christ asked for a feast honoring His Sacred Heart and that solemn acts of reparation be made for the indignities and insults offered to Our Lord.

Will you join in consoling the Sacred Heart of Jesus which has loved you without measure?

Prayer Given by the Angel at Fatima

Oh Most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
I adore Thee profoundly.
I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world,
in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and
indifferences by which He is offended.
By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

Miserentissimus Redemptor
Encyclical of Pope Pius XI
On Reparation to the Sacred Heart


What doth it profit the Church?

The longer version of the title for this post is "What doth it profit the Church to gain dignity for immigrants but not help them save their souls?" and it's a follow-on post from my previous musing whether American bishops care more about salvation or immigration, which I think is a fair question to ask.

Let's ask the question a little differently: which is more important, to care for the bodily needs of your neighbor or his spiritual needs?  Certainly both are important: caring for the corporal and spiritual needs of your neighbor are the theme of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Concern for immigrants falls under the Corporal Works of Mercy -- give drink to the thirsty, food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, etc. -- and these works are good and meritorious but they are INFERIOR to the Spiritual Works of Mercy -- instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish the sinner, etc.  The former tend to the need of our neighbor's mortal body; the latter to his immortal soul.  Hence the title of this little rant: What does it profit the Church to obtain dignity for immigrants if the souls of those immigrants are lost because they received less attention than arguments about legislation in Washington?

The minute my bishop and his priests starts issuing regular communiques about the need to repent, be forgiven, and amend one's life lest they go to hell I will be front and center organizing the soup kitchens and homeless shelter drives at my local parish.  I'll be doing everything I can to bring in the needy and homeless -- even the ones who habla espanol-- because my work of tending to their corporal needs will being them into proximity to the Truth they need to hear, the Truth that can set them free from sin and the punishments of hell... the truth that the only thing that can make a human being more dignified than dirt is Sanctifying Grace.

Without concern for the needs of the soul, corporal works of mercy are little better than a waste of time.


Is it too much to ask...

This news from Kansas: Kansas bishops seek federal immigration reform with 'dignity'

Um... is it too much to ask that bishops express more concern about their flock getting into heaven than about Mexicans getting into the United States?


Is Cain Pro-Life?

Herman Cain seems to be floating some odd logic lately when queried on his stance against abortion.

He starts out by saying he believes that life begins at conception, and that he supports "abortion under no circumstances." When Morgan presses him on the government's role in enforcing that belief -- an exchange that at least begins with a hypothetical question about a rape exception -- Cain begins to sound a lot like a "personally opposed to abortion, but still pro-choice" candidate.

But it’s worth mentioning that, as I noted the other day, Cain chose not to run for Senate in 1998 partially because he was unsure his views on abortion would be compatible with the most ardent pro-life voters. ”[W]ith the pro-life and pro-abortion debate, the most vocal people are on the ends. I am pro-life with exceptions, and people want you to be all or nothing,” Cain told Nation’s Restaurant News, adding that he was “not a social-issue crusader” but a “free-enterprise crusader.” However, whatever his concerns were in 1998, he did run as pro-life (no exceptions in cases of rape and incest — the only exception he ran on was for the mother’s life) in the 2004 Georgia senate race, and won an endorsement from Georgia Right to Life that election cycle.

Links of interest:
Whoa: Is Herman Cain Pro-Choice on Abortion?
Herman Cain Might Actually Be Pro-Choice and Not Know It
Herman Cain’s Muddled Abortion Logic


Purpose of Parents

On occasion, a parent finds themselves in a situation where children must be taken care of without the help of the other parent. Sickness, family visits, work, etc... are common reasons. This time at home certainly is different as each spouse does not serve the exact same role as the other. Parents are not redundant or interchangeable in a family structure, they are complementary. The way a father runs a house is different that the way a mother runs the house, God has intended it this way for a reason.


Economic Classes...

Christopher Blosser has a great post over at The American Catholic. Here is a preview:


Sacred Scripture

Every part of Sacred Scripture is given to us by the divine spirit of God. The men who wrote Sacred Scripture were inspired by the divine spirit of God. Sacred scripture is only to be interpreted by the spirit of God, which he left, and promised to his Church to guide her in all truth to the end of the world. Sacred Scripture cannot be properly expounded by private judgment or personal insight.

2 Peter 1:19-21
And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation. For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost.

A moral solution for Peoria?

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

It seems that the Diocese of Peoria has given up the fight and walked off course in regards to the State of Illinois adoption fiasco. It has been reported that the Diocese of Peoria has dropped the legal challenge to a state law requiring equal treatment for same-sex couples in adoption and foster-care services. The Diocese instead has come up with what they feel is a solution [emphasis mine]:

The Peoria office of Catholic Charities, which faced the loss of government contracts [so what?] because it would not comply with the new state law, has chosen to set up a new organization, without formal ties to the Catholic Church, to handle adoption and foster-care cases. The staff of Catholic Charities will join the new organization, which will abide by the new regulations.

This false solution was simply to remove "Catholic" from the name of the organization. The fact that the diocese is still responsible for setting up an organization that performs a function incompatible with the Catholic Faith is disappointing.

"I have a responsibility to assure that Catholic Charities operates consistently with the teachings and values of the Church," said Peoria’s Bishop Daniel Jenky in explaining the decision to drop the legal case. The newly established office will not follow the precepts of the Church, but it will not operate under the "Catholic" label.

Bishop Jenky, thank you for continuing Catholic Charities in some capacity, and withholding the "Catholic label" from the organization that certainly is not Catholic. However, responsibility does not simply end at appearances. How is this non-catholic private adoption organization an example of fighting the fight? Where is the perseverance that some of the other Illinois Dioceses are showing?

Dr. Jeff Mirus writes:
The good news is that Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky is aware of his responsibility “to assure that Catholic Charities operates consistently with the teachings and values of the Church.” Thus Catholic Charities will divest itself of its State adoption/foster care contracts. Indeed, the Chicago Tribune reports that Catholic Charities will gradually give up all State contracts, which now total some $23 million, and will soon rely exclusively on private funding. That is a highly moral stance, and it also takes at least one diocesan Catholic Charities system in a direction from which it should never have deviated in the first place.

But the bad news is truly troubling. While Bishop Jenky recognizes his responsibility for the moral character of Catholic Charities, nothing has been reported to indicate that he is equally aware of his responsibility for the moral conduct of the persons who make up the staff of Catholic Charities.

The Church is not required to vacate her adoption and foster care role in Peoria because she has some peculiar disciplinary requirement concerning her formal institutional role. Rather, she is required to vacate this role because it is immoral for any person to place adoptive and foster care children with gay couples. Not only does it place such children at increased risk, but it directly participates in the mythology of gay marriage, which is based on a deep denial of reality with serious and inescapable moral consequences.


Contrary to what is apparently a widespread belief, moral behavior is not required of us only when we happen to work for official Catholic agencies which are actively seeking (as is not always the case) to maintain a specifically Catholic reputation. Moral behavior is required of all of us all of the time.


October 7th: Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary

Today marks a feast day in the Catholic Church in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. Numerous popes and saints have written about the efficacy of the Holy Rosary. Pope Leo XII wrote:

O Venerable Brethren, We desire that, this year, this prayer should be offered with such greater fervor of heart as is demanded by the increased urgency of the need. We well know the Rosary's powerful efficacy to obtain the maternal aid of the Virgin. By no means is there only one way to pray to obtain this aid. However, We consider the Holy Rosary the most convenient and most fruitful means, as is clearly suggested by the very origin of this practice, heavenly rather than human, and by its nature. What prayers are better adapted and more beautiful than the Lord's prayer and the angelic salutation, which are the flowers with which this mystical crown is formed? With meditation of the Sacred Mysteries added to the vocal prayers, there emerges another very great advantage, so that all, even the most simple and least educated, have in this a prompt and easy way to nourish and preserve their own faith.

Also of interest this day is the reason that feast day was set. In the late 1500's the Battle of Lepanto was fought. The details of the battle from a historic standpoint are something of interest. The victory came by the intersession of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the use of the Rosary... thus the reason for the feast day being set.

The Battle of Vienna should also be of interest. Again, the success of the battle is attributed to our Blessed Mother, and by it the feast of the Holy Name of Mary was set. The Polish King and leader of the Hussars sought the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa before entering into battle. The dates of the battle should look familiar, as they tie into a modern day retaliatory attack. (I do not believe the date similarity to be coincidental.)

If you regretfully have no devotion or very little devotion to the Holy Rosary, I encourage you to persevere.

I also advise you to become familiar with these two historic battles. Without the success of Christendom in these battles, historians believe that our world would look very different today. Western Civilization would have stagnated while the Ottoman Empire went on to rule the world.

As usual Audio Sancto has a few sermons on these topics that should be of great interest:
There Is No Problem That Cannot Be Overcome By The Rosary
Why Can the Muslims Take Over Europe?
Our Lady of Czestochowa and How To Get The Most Grace From The Rosary


2010-2011 CCHD Update

The 2010-2011 list of CCHD grantees was released in January of this year. The review (PDF) produced by the American Life League produced some disappointing facts.

From the findings of the review:
  • 218 organizations funded
  • 14 are directly involved in activities contrary to the Church
  • 40 are actively involved in coalitions with activities contrary to the Church

Almost a quarter of the groups funded by CCHD are involved in work contrary to Holy Mother Church. The reforms the CCHD attempted to put in place in recent years are not adequate.


Dangerous Ambiguity

What does the Church teach on the death penalty? Have the times changed such that the teachings of Christ's Church are no longer relevant?

The NCR seems to think so... in fact the NCR seems to have completly re-written what the Church teaches on capital punishment. I guess it should not come as a surprise.

Here is another view on the topic. "The Purposes of Punishment" by R. Michael Dunningan, J.D., J.C.L.

"Catholic teaching on capital punishment is in a state of dangerous ambiguity. The discussion of the death penalty in the Catechism of the Catholic Church is so difficult to interpret that conscientious members of the faithful scarcely know what their Church obliges them to believe."

St. Aquinas also has quite a bit to say on the subject. For starters:
"The slaying of an evil-doer is lawful inasmuch as it is directed to the welfare of the whole community, and therefore appertains to him alone who has charge of the community. Now the care of the common good is entrusted to rulers having public authority; and therefore to them is it lawful to slay evil-doers, not to private individuals."


If a Serpent Bite in Silence...

St. Thomas Aquinas says:
"Just as one man injures another by deed in two ways--openly, as by robbery or by doing him any kind of violence--and secretly, as by theft, or by a crafty blow, so again one man injures another by words in two ways--in one way, openly, and this is done by reviling him, as stated above (Question 72, Article 1)--and in another way secretly, and this is done by backbiting. ..."

In recent weeks Audio Sancto has provided two Catholic sermons on the topic of backbiting. "Backbiting destroys three classes of people. Those who are guilty of it, those who listen to it, and those who are slandered."

There are times when speaking of the faults of another may not be considered backbiting. The Catholic Encyclopedia states:
There are times, nevertheless, when one may lawfully make known the offense of another even though as a consequence the trust hitherto reposed in him be rudely shaken or shattered. If a person's misdoing is public in the sense that sentence has been passed by the competent legal tribunal or that it is already notorious, for instance, in a city, then in the first case it may licitly be referred to in any place; in the second, within the limits of the town, or even elsewhere, unless in either instance the offender in the lapse of time should have entirely reformed or his delinquency been quite forgotten. When, however, knowledge of the happening is possessed only by the members of a particular community or society, such as a college or monastery and the like, it would not be lawful to publish the fact to others than those belonging to such a body. Finally, even when the sin is in no sense public, it may still be divulged without contravening the virtues of justice or charity whenever such a course is for the common weal or is esteemed to make for the good of the narrator, of his listeners, or even of the culprit. The right which the latter has to an assumed good name is extinguished in the presence of the benefit which may be conferred in this way.

The employment of this teaching, however, is limited by a twofold restriction.
  • The damage which one may soberly apprehend as emerging from the failure to reveal another's sin or vicious propensity must be a notable one as contrasted with the evil of defamation.
  • No more in the way of exposure should be done than is required, and even a fraternal admonition ought rather to be substituted if it can be discerned to adequately meet the needs of the situation.


Catacombs or Christendom?

Pertinacious Papist has re-posted an article by James Tillman titled "An Apology for the Confessional State" I post some of it here, but encourage you to read the entire article itself.

There are perhaps but two views of the state's purpose. In the traditional view, the state helps men to some definite idea of perfection by inculcating virtue in them through good laws; such an ideal has been advanced by Aristotle, Aquinas, and various Popes. In the classical liberal view, the state allows men to pursue whatever they want by protecting their freedom of action; such an idea has been advanced by Locke and various Protestants.


Rights are meant to delimit a sphere of action, within which each individual may do what he wants and the bordrs of which government is supposed to protect. Under such a system, government does not look to whether property is used for good or for ill; it simply protects one's right to have it and use it. Government does not look to whether free speech spreads lies or truth; it simply protects one's ability/right to speak. Deliberation regarding laws centers on how best to protect the various rights, not onl whether laws will help men be better men. Like that of the Wiccans, the classical liberal motto is "If it harm none, do what ye will."

In reality, however, such an idea of rights cannot ultimately be enforced without appealing to a specific standard of morality and thus without enforcing a specific standard of morality. To see why government cannot enforce rights without an appeal to morality, we must examine a few rights in the concrete.

When such rights are examined, we find quickly that they are not absolute. Freedom of speech infamously does not give one the right to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. Neither does it give one the right to put a sign on one's lawn advocating the lynching of African-Americans. The right to freedom of speech is outweighed by the right to life. The majority of cases, however, are not so clear. Does freedom of speech permit me to sell books advocating a subversive and Communist political philosophy? Does it permit me to sell books on how to conduct a coup d'état? Does it permit one to put up billboards quoting the Levitical laws against sodomy? Such cases are not easy to decide and will require significant prudential deliberation regarding the goods to be gained and lost by each course of action. In each case the so-called "right" to freedom of speech is clearly not an absolute right; those who make decisions do not make them based upon clear and unambiguous laws, but upon prudential weighing of the various goods involved.

Similarly, the right to freedom of religion requires prudential decision-making. Some religions involve smoking marijuana; others involve polygamy; others involve the execution of those who decide to leave that religion and the establishment of a world-wide theocracy beneath religious law. Such religions may be offensive to Catholics, just as the Catholic religion is offensive to those who believe that it teaches people to hate homosexuals, that it represses man's natural instincts, that it advocates the subjugation of women, or that it leaves one ultimately loyal to a monarch in the Vatican rather than to the United States. When government decides what sort of religion to allow and to what extent to allow it, then it does not simply take into account the right to religious freedom; one also takes into account a host of other moral evaluations regarding the importance of various goods. Similar instances might be given as regards education, the right to private property, and so on and so forth.

[...] Inasmuch as the Republican -- or even the Democrat -- agenda agrees with the Catholic, to that extent they can be made temporary allies; but we must never mistake such an alliance for a friendship. There is no agenda for the Catholic but the Catholic agenda, which would require decades of unremitting effort for its realization and which would require men to transcend most of the issues currently dividing political parties. The Catholic agenda requires us to admit what the rest of society yet hypocritically denies -- that between rival moral theories there can be no peace.

Catacombs or Christendom? Society slides and wavers between the two; but there can be no third way.


Offensive Greek Etymology...

Out of fairness I start with a general warning. Due to vast varieties of reasons the following Catholic sermon will be found offensive by many.

The sermon itself speaks of the theological mystical significance of particular ceremonies in the Church... sacredness beyond the observed material world. When we see a holy image, the Church wants us to move from the visible image before our eyes to considering the invisible spiritual realities that those images represent.

It is truly right and just, O God our father, that every day and in all places we should praise and thank Thee for all Thy mercies bestowed upon us through Jesus Christ our Lord. We invite all the Angels to help us to thank Thee worthily, and we join with them to sing thy praises.

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus.

Please listen to the Catholic seromon: "What time is it?". If you choose to listen to this short (16 min) sermon, I encourage you to follow it to the very last word.


Scan our bar code...

If you have a smart phone, this bar code (really a "QR Code") should work with those fancy "apps" that scan bar codes and re-direct you to a website. We encourage you to print off this bar code image and post it up some place that it might get used. Link to the image from a facebook post, or in a forum. You might consider creating your own bar codes with direct links to websites of your choice.


Ironic Statistics of the Canine Variety

Interesting information of the day... a source knowledgeable to the traffic statistics at Audio Sancto has noted a large spike in traffic lately. The interesting part is that it is coming from the infamous black sheep dog website that has been so widely talked about in recent weeks. It seems commentors on that website have even posted recommendations to the "author" on sermons about the religious life.

Dominate through meekness...

Dominate through meekness...

Meekness is an antidote to anger, pride and self love. Please listen to the Catholic sermon posted at Audio Sancto: "How to Extinguish the Fire of Anger"

Also note Msgr. Charles Pope's article on Anger: "Is Anger Always a Sin?"


Examine yourself...

"The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being." ("ho de anexetastos bios ou biôtos anthrôpôi" — "ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ") -Socrates (Apology, 38a)

A public coward...

Quinn defends state ending foster care, adoption pacts [emphasis mine]:
Gov. Pat Quinn defended his administration’s decision to butt heads with his own religion [Catholicism] Monday in a dispute over the Catholic church’s refusal to place any of the nearly 2,000 state wards it cares for with same-sex [read: disordered homosexual] couples.

On Friday and Monday, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services notified Catholic Charities in the Joliet Diocese and three others that DCFS would terminate their foster care and adoption contracts because of the church’s unwillingness to abide by Illinois’ new civil unions law.

"They made a choice," Quinn said of the dioceses. "They have a law in Illinois. It's the civil unions law. I signed it into law. We're not going back."

I hope and pray that Quinn finds the courage to "butt heads" with the pro-gay union crowd... or at least the courage to find his lost Faith. The choice "they" (the Catholic Dioceses) made was not actually a choice. The value of a marriage between man and woman existed for secular and religious reasons long before Quinn's lame attempt at "law". Civil union laws attempt to apply that value where it cannot belong. Being forced to place a parentless child in the arms of a mock family is not a valid choice.


If I were Dictator of the US...

It won't happen, but if I were the U.S. Dictator this would be my secular agenda (separate from consecrating the country to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary and establishing the Social Kingship of Christ):

1. Emergency measures to protect the financial system:
     a. Immediately outlaw credit-default swaps
     b. Federalize all intersate banks and financial institutions with a market share greater than 5%
        i. Re-privatize once the financial system is stabilized
     c. Replace all Federal Reserve notes with US Treasury notes
2. Cut spending:
     a. Recall all overseas troops and naval assets
     b. Close all foreign military bases and draw down troop levels
     c. Cease all foreign aid
3. Simplify and lower taxes:
     a. Eliminate all deductions
     b. Eliminate income taxes, replace with Fair Tax
4. Increase manufacturing:
     a. Phased in import tarrifs
     b. Direct-investment in manufacturing capability and capacity
5. Reduce government:
     a. Deregulate, deregulate, deregulate!
     b. Apply the subsidiary principle as broadly as possible
     c. Narrowly interpret the Constitution's enumerated powers
     d. Eliminate federal funding for state and local programs
     e. Reestablish State's rights as being higher than federal gov't (except for enumerated powers)

Of course, this would only be a starting point, but until I'm in a position to implement the above and more, I'll leave it at this point for now.


Don't You Judge Me

We have all heard that injunction before, in various different forms. Many times, we hear Luke 6:37 quoted, but without any direction on HOW or what this means. It has gotten to the point in recent times that this phrase, from overuse and rampant misuse, gives really no meaning whatsoever anymore. What does "judgement" mean? How is a faithful Catholic, seeking the practice of virtue, to respond when a statement in defense of Truth is met with: "How dare you say that! You judgmental, hateful person"? That faithful Catholic, who really is desiring to follow Truth, and to do so with the love of Christ, becomes torn, and maybe begins to wonder, "Is it more charitable to keep my mouth shut? But then, how am I to follow Christ's command to spread the Truth?"

In Story of a Soul, St. Therese of Lisieux offers wise and helpful words on this subject, that may perhaps help clear up some of the muddy waters we encounter in dealing with the details of everyday life.

Yes, I feel it, when I am charitable, it is Jesus alone who is acting in me, and the more united I am to Him, the more also do I love my Sisters. When I wish to increase this love in me, and when especially the devil tries to place before the eyes of my soul the faults of such and such a Sister who is less attractive to me, I hasten to search out her virtues, her good intentions; I tell myself that even if I did see her fall once, she could easily have won a great number of victories which she is hiding through humility, and that even what appears to me as a fault can very easily be an act of virtue because of her intentions. I have no trouble in convincing myself of this truth because of a little experience I had which showed me we must never judge.

During recreation the portress rang twice; the large workman's gate had to be opened to bring in some trees for the crib. Recreation was not too gay because you were no there, dear Mother (Therese is writing to her own blood sister, who is also her superior in Carmel), and I thought that if they sent me to serve as third party (the religious who accompanied the Procuratrix when laborers had to work in the monastery) I would be happy; at exactly that moment Mother Subprioress told me to go and serve in this capacity, or else the Sister who was at my side. Immediately I began to untie our apron but slowly in order that my companion untie hers before me, for I thought of giving her the pleasure of serving as third party. The Sister who was replace the Procuratrix was looking at us, and seeing me get up last, she said: "Ah! I thought as much that you were not going to gain this pearl for your crown, you were going too slowly."

Certainly, the whole community believed I had acted through selfishness, and I cannot say how much good such a small thing did to my soul, making me indulgent toward the weaknesses of others. This incident prevents me from being vain when I am judged favorably because I say to myself: Since one can take my little acts of virtue for imperfections, once can also be mistaken in taking for virtue what is nothing but imperfection. Then I say with St. Paul: 'To me if is a very small thing to be judged by you, of my any human tribunal, by neither do I judge myself. He who judges me is THE LORD.'

In order that this judgement be favorable or rather I be not judged at all, I want to be charitable in my thoughts towards others at all times, for Jesus has said: 'Judge not and you shall not be judged.'

St. Therese had ample opportunities to practice this form of humility, as indeed we all do. She saw these opportunities as gifts of God, and rarely if ever wasted them. Thus, when she was placed in a position of authority over the novices in the last years of her life, which required her to study them, seek out their imperfections, and help them improve, she was able to clearly see the imperfections without being blinded by any regard for herself or any attachment to her own ideas. Because of the time she faithfully dedicated to prayer and the practice of virtue, she saw everything through the lens of God.

Our judgement then, should rather be called a search for Truth, where we neither attempt to see into the heart of a person, nor allow ourselves to be shaken in our search.

Oh so close... but not really what a bishop should do.

From LifeSiteNews.com:

Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has called on Catholic schools and parishes not to invite state legislators to speak at or attend any events, and to refuse any honors bestowed on them by the governor or any legislator responsible for the bill’s passage.

The sanctions, however, do not include refusing Governor Cuomo or other Catholic politicians who supported the passage of same-sex ‘marriage’ Holy Communion.

What exactly is the message from the bishop here? You're welcome to consume the Body and Blood of Christ (to your own damnation!) but you had better not speak at Catholic schools and parishes? I'm not sure which is worse: Bishop DiMarzio making such a statement or Rome doing absolutely nothing about it.

Wheat from the Chaff...

  1. the husks of grains and grasses that are separated during threshing.
  2. straw cut up for fodder.
  3. worthless matter; refuse.
Growing wheat on a small scale is a labor intensive process that can make one appreciative of the inexpensive five pound sacks of delicious silky flour that can purchased in a grocery store. Putting aside the topics of planting seasons, weeds, soil conditions, and the birds / rodents that consume the seed in mass quantities before it has a chance to germinate... harvesting by hand is an endeavor that stands above them all.

Each wheat stalk produces a spike with rows of wheat seeds / berries. The wheat berries are covered with a thin husk and are firmly attached to the stalk. One method of separating the wheat berries from the spike and stalk is to literally beat and thresh them off. Various tools, sticks, and containers can be used... but each involves pummeling the wheat so that the chaff is detached. The process is vigorous and requires some effort to accomplish.

What remains is the desired edible wheat seed intermingled with the fragmented husks and straw. The chaff is easily separated by even a light breeze as the wheat is poured from one vessel to another. The heavy dense wheat is collected and refined while the undesirable chaff is blown away.

This post is somewhat of a follow up to Monday's post on being prepared. If you are not prepared to accept persecution, or prepared to move with the Will of God, your soul is at risk for being blown away like the chaff. We are all given the same directives; there is no protection if none is sought. One only has to look around to see the chaff being separated... sometimes in scandalizing ways.

Pray for the Church, our Holy Father, the bishops, and priests. Pray for your fellow man. Prayers and fasting. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.


Forgive me for not being "charitable" but...

The dysfunction of the liberal brain fascinates me in the same way that seeing someone drown in two inches of water would fascinate me. I don't root for this to happen but cannot comprehend how people can be so oblivious to simple realities. Case in point: the former Perjurer-in-Chief recently made the statement that laws requiring voters to show a State-issued photo ID is discriminatory against the young, the elderly, and minorities (who tend to vote for democrats). Considering that States which pass these laws also offer to provide a free photo ID to anyone who signs an affidavit affirming that they cannot afford the fee to get an ID (which is a whopping $11 dollars in my home State) I don't see where the alleged disenfranchisement is.

Just my $0.02 here, but if someone is so under-motivated, helpless, or incapable that they cannot get a photo ID -- even when it's free -- then I think our Republic is better served that these people not be allowed to vote.


On the topic of Scandal...

...we recommend the following sermon from Audio Sancto titled: "Corpus Christi: Sacrilege, Scandal, and Souls." The sermon is relevant to the constant and penetrating news that has been vomited around the Catholic media sources lately.


Only 235 years...

On today's 235th Independence Day remember patriotism.

Prepare for Persecution to Avoid Apostasy

Would you offer a pinch of incense to an idol to save your life and the life of your family? Would you approach the altar of the false idol with fear and confusion as to what you might do? Would run to embrace the false altar ready to denounce your faith? What is the greater tragedy... the mass death of those martyrs who kept the faith, or the mass apostasy of the cowards who left it to save their materialistic lives?

Is your faith solid and built on rock, or is it simply a veneer? If your faith is simply an act for those around you, or a faith that changes with the winds of difficulty... you are at great risk to losing your soul when persecution is placed on your shoulders. Laxity will certainly lead you to a faith that is only skin deep. Standing up for the faith will certainly lead to persecution.

Please listen to the Audio Sancto sermon titled "Prepare for Persecution Lest You Become an Apostate"


The Eucharist

The following is a chapter from a book written by Frank J. Sheed. Emphasis mine.

by F. J. Sheed
Chapter 18—Eucharist And Mass

The Real Presence
The Blessed Eucharist is the Sacrament. Baptism exists for it, all the others are enriched by it. The whole being is nourished by it. It is precisely food, which explains why it is the one sacrament meant to be received daily. Without it, one petition in the Our Father—"Give us this day our daily bread"—lacks the fullness of its meaning.

Early in his ministry, as St. John tells us (ch 6), Our Lord gave the first promise of it. He had just worked what is probably the most famous of his miracles, the feeding of the five thousand. The next day, in the synagogue at Capernaum on the shore of the sea of Galilee, Our Lord made a speech which should be read and reread. Here we quote a few phrases: "I am the Bread of Life"; "I am the Living Bread, which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world"; "He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him"; "He that eats me shall live by me."

He saw that many of his own disciples were horrified at what he was saying. He went on: "It is the spirit that quickens: the flesh profits nothing." We know what he meant: in saying they must eat his flesh, he did not mean dead flesh but his body with the life in it, with the living soul in it. In some way he himself, living, was to be the food of their soul's life. Needless to say, all this meant nothing whatever to those who heard it first. For many, it was the end of discipleship.. They simply left him, probably thinking that for a man to talk of giving them his flesh to eat was mere insanity. When he asked the Apostles if they would go too, Peter gave him one of the most moving answers in all man's history: "Lord, to whom shall we go?" He had not the faintest idea of what it all meant; but he had a total belief in the Master he had chosen and simply hoped that some day it would be made plain.

There is no hint that Our Lord ever raised the matter again until the Last Supper. Then his meaning was most marvelously made plain. What he said and did then is told us by Matthew, Mark, and Luke; and St. Paul tells it to the Corinthians (1 Cor 10 and 11). St. John, who gives the longest account of the Last Supper, does not mention the institution of the Blessed Eucharist; his Gospel was written perhaps thirty years after the others, to be read in a church which had been receiving Our Lord's body and blood for some sixty years. What he had provided is the account we have just been considering of Our Lord's first promise.

Here is St. Matthew's account of the establishment: "Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said, Take ye and eat: This is my body. And taking the chalice he gave thanks: and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins."

Since they deal with the food of our life, we must examine these words closely. What we are about to say of "This is my body" will do for "This is my blood" too. The word is need not detain us. There are those, bent upon escaping the plain meaning of the words used, who say that the phrase really means "This represents my body." It sounds very close to desperation! No competent speaker would ever talk like that, least of all Our Lord, least of all then;. The word this;, deserves a closer look. Had he said, "Here is my body," he might have meant that, in some mysterious way, his body was there as well as, along with, the bread which seems so plainly to be there. But he said, "This is my body"—this which I am holding, this which looks like bread but is not, this which was bread before I blessed it, this is now my body. Similarly this, which was wine, which still looks like wine, is not wine. It is now my blood.

Every life is nourished by its own kind—the body by material food, the intellect by mental food. But the life we are now concerned with is Christ living in us; the only possible food for it is Christ. So much is this so that in our own day you will scarcely find grace held to be Christ's life in us unless the Eucharist is held to be Christ himself.

What Our Lord was giving us was a union with himself closer than the Apostles had in the three years of their companionship, than Mary Magdalen had when she clung to him after his Resurrection. Two of St. Paul's phrases, from 1 Corinthians 11 and 10, are specially worth noting:

"Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord"; and "We, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread"—a reminder that the Eucharist is not only for each man's soul but for the unity of the Mystical Body.

I can see why a Christian might be unable to bring himself to believe it, finding it beyond his power to accept the idea that a man can give us his flesh to eat. But why should anyone want to escape the plain meaning of the words?

For the Catholic nothing could be simpler. Whether he understands or not, he feels safe with Peter in the assurance that he who said he would give us his body to eat had the words of eternal life. Return again to what he said. The bread is not changed into the whole Christ, but into his body; the wine is not changed into the whole Christ, but into his blood. But Christ lives, death has no more dominion over him. The bread becomes his body, but where his body is, there he is; the wine becomes his blood but is not thereby separated from his body, for that would mean death; where his blood is, he is. Where either body or blood is, there is Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity. That is the doctrine of the Real Presence.

Besides the Real Presence which faith accepts and delights in, there is the doctrine of transubstantiation, from which we may at least get a glimpse of what happens when the priest consecrates bread and wine, so that they become Christ's body and Christ's blood.

At this stage, we must be content with only the simplest statement of the meaning of, and distinction between substance and accidents, without which we should make nothing at all of transubstantiation. We shall concentrate upon bread, reminding ourselves once again that what is said applies in principle to wine as well.

We look at the bread the priest uses in the Sacrament. It is white, round, soft. The whiteness is not the bread, it is simply a quality that the bread has the same is true of the roundness and the softness. There is something there that has these and other properties, qualities, attributes—the philosophers call all of them accidents. Whiteness and roundness we see softness brings in the sense of touch. We might smell bread, and the smell of new bread is wonderful, but once again the smell is not the bread, but simply a property. The something which has the whiteness, the softness, the roundness, has the smell and if we try another sense, the sense of taste, the same something has that special effect upon our palate.

In other words, whatever the senses perceive—even with the aid of those instruments men are forever inventing to increase the reach of the senses—is always of this same sort, a quality, a property, an attribute no sense perceives the something which has all these qualities, which is the thing itself. This something is what the philosophers call substance the rest are accidents which it possesses. Our senses perceive accidents; only the mind knows the substance. This is true of bread, it is true of every created thing. Left to itself, the mind assumes that the substance is that which, in all its past experience, has been found to have that particular group of accidents. But in these two instances, the bread and wine of the Eucharist, the mind is not left to itself. By the revelation of Christ it knows that the substance has been changed, in the one case into the substance of his body, in the other into the substance of his blood.

The senses can no more perceive the new substance resulting from the consecration than they could have perceived the substance there before. We cannot repeat too often that senses can perceive only accidents, and consecration changes only the substance. The accidents remain in their totality—for example, that which was wine and is now Christ's blood still has the smell of wine, the intoxicating power of wine. One is occasionally startled to find some scientist claiming to have put all the resources of his laboratory into testing the consecrated bread; he announces triumphantly that there is no change whatever, no difference between this and any other bread. We could have told him that, without the aid of any instrument. For all that instruments can do is to make contact with the accidents, and it is part of the doctrine of transubstantiation that the accidents undergo no change whatever. If our scientist had announced that he had found a change, that would be really startling and upsetting.

The accidents, then, remain; but not, of course, as accidents of Christ's body. It is not his body which has the whiteness and the roundness and the softness. The accidents once held in existence by the substance of bread, and those others once held in existence by the substance of wine, are now held in existence solely by God's will to maintain them.

What of Christ's body, now sacramentally present? We must leave the philosophy of this for a later stage in our study. All we shall say here is that his body is wholly present, though not (so St. Thomas among others tells us) extended in space. One further element in the doctrine of the Real Presence needs to be stated: Christ's body remains in the communicant as long as the accidents remain themselves. Where, in the normal action of our bodily processes, they are so changed as to be no longer accidents of bread or accidents of wine, the Real Presence in us of Christ's own individual body ceases. But we live on in his Mystical Body.

This very sketchy outline of the doctrine of transubstantiation is almost pathetic. But like so much in this book, what is here is only a beginning; you have the rest of life before you.

The Sacrifice of the Mass
Upon Calvary Christ Our Lord offered himself in sacrifice for the redemption of the human race. There had been sacrifices before Calvary, myriads of them—foreshadowings, figures, distortions often enough, but reaching out strongly or feebly towards the perfection of Calvary's sacrifice.

These represented an awareness in men, a sort of instinct, that they must from time to time take something out of that vast store of things God has given them and give it back to him. Men might have used the thing for themselves but chose not to; they offered it to God, made it sacred (that is what the word sacrifice means). In itself, sacrifice is simply the admission that all things are God's; even in a sinless world this would be true, and men would want to utter the trust by sacrifice. With sin, there was a new element; sacrifice would include the destruction of the thing offered—an animal, usually.

We can study these sacrifices, as they were before Calvary at once perfected and ended them, in the Temple sacrifices of the Jews, the Chosen People. The whole air of the Old Testament is heavy with the odor of animals slain and offered to God. The slaying and the offering—immolation and oblation—were both necessary elements. But whereas the offering was always made by the priests, the slaying need not be done by them; often it was the work of the Temple servants. For it was not the slaying that made the object sacred, but the offering. The essential thing was that the priest offer a living thing slain.

With Christ, we have said, sacrifice came to its perfection. The priest was perfect, for Christ was the priest. The victim was perfect, for he was the victim too. He offered himself, slain. But not slain by himself. He was slain by others, slain indeed by his enemies.

What he did was complete, once for all, not to be repeated. It accomplished three things principally—atoned for the sin of the race, healed the breach between the race and God, opened heaven to man, opened it never to be closed. His is "the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for those of the whole world" (1 Jn 2:1).

With such completion, what was still to be done? For something was still to be done. Christ is still in action on men's behalf, as the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us. Jesus has entered "into heaven itself, that he may appear now, in the presence of God for us" (9:24). He is "always living to make intercession for us" (7:25). What still remains to be done is not an addition to what was done on Calvary, but its application to each man—that each of us should receive for himself what Our Lord won for our race.

The "intercession" just spoken of is not a new sacrifice but the showing to God of the sacrifice of Calvary. The Victim, once slain, now deathless, stands before God, with the marks of the slaying still upon him—"a Lamb standing, as it were slain" (Rv 5:6).

We are now in a better position to understand the Sacrifice of the Mass. In heaving Christ is presenting himself, once slain upon Calvary, to his heavenly Father. On earth the priest—by Christ's command, in Christ's name, by Christ's power—is offering to God the Victim once slain upon Calvary. Nor does this mean a new sacrifice, but Calvary's sacrifice presented anew—in order that the redemption won for our race should produce its fruit in us individually.

In the Mass the priest consecrates bread and wine, so that they become Christ's body and blood. Thus the Christ he offers is truly there really there. The Church sees the separate consecration as belonging to the very essence of the Mass. It is a remainder of Christ's death—and he had told his first priests at the Last Supper that, in doing what he had just done, "they should show forth the death of the Lord, until he come (1 Cor 11:26). They should show forth Christ's death, remind us of his death, not, of course, kill him, any more than he had killed himself on Calvary.

The priest offers the sacrifice. But we are, in our lesser way, offerers too. Twice we are told so in the Ordinary of the Mass. We have already seen how after the Consecration the priest says, "We thy servants but also thy holy people [plebs tua sancta] . . . offer . . . a pure, holy and immaculate Victim." To see ourselves merely as spectators at Mass is to miss the opportunity to take our part in the highest action done upon earth.

One element in the Mass remains to be mentioned. We, united with Christ's priests, have offered Our Lord to God. And God gives him back to us, to be the Life of our life. That is what Holy Communion means. God, while retaining Christ for his own, also shares him with us. So that God and man, each in his own way, receive the slain and risen God-man.

Month of June...

This month keep close to your own the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for me is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Your alter (in Your presence) eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Your loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Your pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying for from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow You, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Your Law. We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against You; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against You and Your Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Your Vicar on earth and Your priest are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Your Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which You have founded. Would, O divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Your divine honor, the satisfaction You once made to Your eternal Father on the cross and which You continue to renews daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Your Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Your grace, for all neglect of Your great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent other from offending You and to bring as many as possible to follow You.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowing gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to You, so that we may one day come to that happy home, where You with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, God, world without end. Amen.



CIA: The Rockefellers

RCTV brings us a new CIA program on the Rockefeller Foundation.

The Rockefeller Foundation is actively undermining the Catholic Church and in the process attempting to erase man’s natural orientation to the eternal.
Topics discussed span from Eugenics, Birth Control, Immigration, Climate Change, and Infiltration into Catholic universities in America.

Please watch this half hour video titled: "CIA: The Rockefeller Foundation." The script for the video is also availible [PDF].


Waste of time...

I have little desire to drag a priest (guilty or not) through the mud. I have little desire to defend or condemn the the intricate intentions or actions of the latest (in a long line of) priests to be accused of some wrong. Frankly... I just don't understand the intentions, actions or writings of this recent accused priest to the point where my defense or condemnation could even be considered rational. I find myself quizzically reading clarifications that only act to add more questions in my mind. The best I can do is pray for all those involved, and avoid spreading rumors.

I personally know good priests who have been treated unjustly.... forced to say Mass in a warehouse, or forced to leave a country. I also know priests who made very bad despicable errors. Most of those priest I know were lucky enough to not be exposed to the hell known as online "Catholic" commentary/weblogs.

What is it that causes a person to speculate uncharitably about another person (let alone a priest)? What is it that causes people to read more into something that is not actually there? Maybe we are all so used to getting bad news that we "assume the worst" as a way to emotionally prepare for what we see as the inevitable. The weblogosphere seems to amplify all of this... folks in search of answers come across a well-known, accurate blogger who for one reason or another is quick to connect the dots. Those dots are connected to other dots... sometimes accurately, other times not. The recent result, is a tangled web of "facts" and accusations that don't always match up with information coming from the real or original sources.

The next oddity is how people use these facts and accusations. Most use this speculative information to strengthen their own personal assumptions. The personal assumptions show up on comment boxes in ways that the same "speculative facts" are used to support contradictory opinions. People defend their choice of "hero" or "villain" in the same ways that people will defend other frivolous choices such as "best sports team" or a teenager's choice in music. The problem is that the guilt of a fellow man (let alone a priest) is hardly a choice or a personal preference.

One of the many recent weblogs I came across [emphasis mine]:

There are many stories of saints who were censured by their religious superiors unjustly, or even imprisoned! What made them saints was their obedience to the Church and faithfulness to God. [Has this particular priest been accused of disobedience yet, or gone against a superior? Obedience is not vowed absolutely.]


[He] has left the Church [By who's judgment?] and is trying to make it seem like he is taking the high road by doing it. [Is this true?] He is confident that some authorities in the Church are out to get him and that he can’t get a fair result. [He was told that his superior and a bishop felt that leaving public ministry was the only way for a fair trial.] What he didn’t mention is that he’s complicated [Is this certain? It is a reasonable assumption, but is it an accurate one?] the investigation by filing a civil suit against his accuser because by accusing him she’s breached a non-disclosure clause that he makes people who work for him sign (which also makes you wonder... why would you need people to sign such a thing in the first place?) [It is curious... is it worth analyzing publicly online with what little details are actually known?] He didn’t mention that his religious superior reached out to him and offered him to be a quiet part of the community while this gets resolved, but he never even responded to him. [Does this specifically mean something? Yes I realize that there are many assumptions that could be made here.]

And he didn’t mention was anything about the Eucharist.

A few hours after hearing John Corapi’s announcement, I was leading worship for Eucharistic Adoration with 1,900 teenagers. Christ was moving powerfully that evening. Lives were changed. Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. John Corapi used to hold that presence in his hands, and he’s thrown it away because he feels his “ministry” is more important.

[While it is absolutely true that the Eucharist is central to the Priesthood and our Catholic Faith... what is actually being implied by this bloggers comment? Is it certain that this implication is true?]

On his website he mentions that he feels that his ministry will grow larger because he’s no longer a Catholic priest. [Where is it mentioned that it is felt that the ministry will grow larger? Who said he is no longer a priest?] What he doesn’t realize is that his ministry only existed because he was a Catholic priest. [I can see were this assumption might stem from... but is this blogger positive that this priest does not realize this?]

I’m praying for him [Yes, We all should be.], and I’m praying for the many who might follow him out of the Church [Also odd is the willingness of people to follow someone leaving the church... who actually isn't leaving.]. I’m also praying for myself and all the people I know who are in ministry [I hope by people in ministry it is meant the ministers of the sacraments... i.e... priest], that we might never make our ministry our identity and forget that it’s not about us, but about Him.

I am not immune from being a speculative blogger. I have had little desire to post anything in recent weeks let alone a post on a priest scandal. Today I was sent more than one web log post about the subject, and I had seen too much.


Kneeling at Communion Revisited...

In the past we posted about kneeling during Mass. There is a nice reminder from RealCatholicTV.com's Vortex today on kneeling at Communion, and receiving on the tongue instead of the hand. Some other videos are also provided by Cardinal Francis Arinze and Bishop Athanasius Schneider that pertain to the subject. Lets not exclude the document from the Congregation for Divine Worship on "certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist."


Using Babies for Gluttony?

Most of us are familiar with Aborted fetal cell lines being used to manufacture vaccinations. If that detail is not morbid enough, it seems a company is using human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce "receptors" that function as a means to measure flavor.

In 2010, the pro-life organization wrote to Senomyx CEO Kent Snyder, pointing out that moral options for testing their food additives could and should be used. But when Senomyx ignored their letter, they wrote to the companies Senomyx listed on their website as "collaborators" warning them of public backlash and threatened boycott. Food giants Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, Solae and Nestlé are the primary targets of the boycott, though Senomyx boasts other international partners on their website.

Senomyx website states that "The company's key flavor programs focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products....Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor."

Senomyx notes their collaborators provide them research and development funding plus royalties on sales of products using their flavor ingredients.

"What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors", stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for Children of God for Life, a pro-life watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years.

"They could have easily chosen COS (monkey) cells, Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, insect cells or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors", Vinnedge added.

In writing to their collaborators, it took three letters before Nestlé finally admitted the truth about their relationship with Senomyx, noting the cell line was "well established in scientific research".

After hearing Ms Vinnedge speak publicly on the problem, angry consumers began writing the companies. Both Pepsico and Campbell Soup immediately responded.

Shockingly, Pepsico wrote: "We hope you are reassured to learn that our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers. This will help us achieve our commitment to reduce added sugar per serving by 25% in key brands in key markets over the next decade and ultimately help people live healthier lives."

Campbell Soup was more concerned in their response: "Every effort is made to use the finest ingredients and develop the greatest selection of products, all at a great value. With this in mind, it must be said that the trust we have cultivated and developed over the years with our consumers is not worth compromising to cut costs or increase profit margins."

While Campbell did not state they would change their methods, still their response, gave Vinnedge hope. [Update: Cambell Soup is no longer in partnership with Senomyx.]

"If enough people voice their outrage and intent to boycott these consumer products, it can be highly effective in convincing Senomyx to change their methods", she noted. "Otherwise, we will be buying Coca-Cola, Lipton soups and Hershey products!"

Despite the cuteness of this angry baby picture, and my lack of ability to phrase a suitable title to this post... We should all be upset by the absolute ridiculousness of aborted children, and even more enraged about the use of those children for things such as vaccines and food. I'll take my clogged arteries and high blood pressure over food additives that were created through the help of aborted fetal cells. This is sick.