Friday, February 25, 2011

More Protestant Heresy in Action (Luther's Legacy of Death)

If you want an example of how Protestantism destroys the image of God in society, watch this video. It is plain, Protestantism is the underlying catalyst of abortion on demand. Once you reject God's teaching concerning sexuality, you completely destroy the image of God in man. It starts with contraption and ends in abortion.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Trace of Catholic Marian Dogmas in the Early Church?

No Trace of Marian Dogmas in the Early Church?
Matthew J. Bellisario 2011

    It is a fact that without Mary’s divine motherhood, there is no incarnation of Jesus, who is God incarnate. The divine person of Jesus, being consubstantial with the Father, now having two natures, the divine and human, is not made manifest to the human race without the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a bitter hard pill for the pretended “reformer” to swallow, and most of them would like to ignore this fact rather than recognize it for fear that the Catholic Church just might be right when it teaches this divine revealed truth of Jesus Christ. In order to obfuscate this fact the protester usually will defer to their ability to reason through their biased ideas of Church history. Far from adhering to Scripture as their only authority from which to base their beliefs on, they look intently for any early church writing that may even hint at refuting a Catholic teaching so they can justify their denial of a core teaching of the Church. Context is not in most of their vocabularies when it comes to the Church Fathers. Once they have cut and pasted their favorite historians and a few quotes from Church Fathers taken out of context, they then pontificate from their laptops sitting on their sofas at home. They go to their blogs and then tell their readers that Catholic doctrines and dogmas, especially those pertaining to Mary, were made up many centuries after Jesus and His apostles.

    One such character is the Protestant apologist Corey Tucholski. On his blog the other day he made the following comment as if it were an objective fact. “Nothing like the Catholic Marian Dogmas can be seen until the sixth century.” Now I want to stop here and look at this outrageous claim. If I can find evidence of any of the four Marian dogmas claimed by the Catholic Church before the sixth century, this would prove this statement to be false. In fact, I can do more than find mere evidence, I can find entire churches living the dogmas before the sixth century, and I can even find ecumenical councils driving the entire Church stating certain Catholic Marian dogmas as being absolute truths of the Christian faith. I truly cannot understand why these Protestant apologists keep making such implausible claims. I want to look at only one of the four Marian dogmas and then see if what Corey says has any substance to it. Once we see that his claim does not hold up to scrutiny, I will wait for his apology to all of the people has deceived on his website by making this fallacious statement. Likewise I will wait for him to formally recant his statement, since any honest man who sees his position to be fallacious should by all accounts be willing to admit he was wrong. It is one thing to disagree with a certain position, but don't make things up that have no probability whatsoever of being true. We will see how this apology pans out. What typically happens is that once these Protestants realize that they made an incorrect statement, they will try to roll the clock back on you. Since the sixth century argument doesn’t pan out for them, they will roll back another couple of hundred years until they think that their argument can hold. For now we will take his bold claim as it was given. “Nothing like the Catholic Marian Dogmas can be seen until the sixth century.” We will see about that.

    There are four Marian dogmas held by the Catholic Church, but her divine motherhood is the wellspring from which all the others flow from, since it is intimately united to Jesus Christ and His incarnation. So I will address this one dogma which defines her as ‘Mother of God.’ This dogma is a core belief for any Christian, being that God chose to bring salvation to mankind through the divine motherhood of Mary. This means that the Church teaches that Mary is the Mother of God incarnate, mother of the person of Jesus Christ, who is true God and true man. Properly speaking, no one is a mother to a nature alone, but to a person. Jesus is a person, and Mary was His mother. That makes her the mother of God. You would think that this would be common sense for most people, and indeed it was to those faithful to the gospel in the early Church. It is impossible for Jesus to be born as a nature only, which is what you have if she is not the Mother of God. Was this teaching of the divine maternity taught before the sixth century? Corey Tucholski tells his readers no, history and the Church however tell us otherwise.

    Every Church Father who writes of Mary’s motherhood always refers to her as the mother of the person of Jesus, or as mother of the Savior, or even as mother of God. You find that few if any refer to her as mother of His nature alone. And those who tried to claim that she was not the mother of His entire person, they were labeled as heretics because it directly relates to Jesus Christ as the incarnate third person of the Trinity. The Protestant completely misses the boat here, and then you wonder why so many of their errors fall into the area of degrading Christ's human nature. It is almost as if they find his incarnation repugnant. I am sure most do not think of it that way on the surface, but this is truly a reality when you converse with them on theological questions. Protestantism does not have a firm understanding of person-hood and the hypostatic union of Christ as it relates to the nativity. The great Charles De Koninck writes in his astounding work ‘Ego Sapientia’, “Now, nativity looks first of all and principally at the being of the hypostasis and of the person. Consequently, since the Blessed Virgin is the mother of Christ according to the hypostasis, she is really mother of God and of the man.” True Christianity views the entire person of Jesus, which includes both of His natures, not just one of them as being born from Mary. If only a nature was born from Mary, then we do not have a hypostatic union in one person. This is the tangled web the heretic weaves when they deny a core dogma of the Christian faith.

Before I go to the Church Father’s writings, I want to look at Sacred Scripture, because it also gives us a witness to this Dogma. Read Galatians 4:4-5. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: That he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons.” It is fairly evident here that Jesus, God’s Son, was made of a women. This certainly implies divine motherhood, since His entire person was made in relation to the women. It did not say only God’s nature was made of a women. No, it said his Son, that is the person of Jesus Christ, true God, true man was made of a women. As far as origin goes in relation to God incarnate, that is as He takes on a human nature, the very point of origin is through Mary as His mother. There is no way of getting around this, say what you will. Again I quote De Koninck, "The mother is not understandable without the Son, nor is the Son-Redeemer understandable without the mother. She proceeds from the One who made her so that He, Himself, could proceed from her." If we then turn to Luke 1:43, Elizabeth states that Mary was, “the mother of my Lord.” She did not say she was the mother of my Lord’s human nature. This makes it fairly clear that Mary was the Mother of God. These Scripture texts are well before the sixth century, no? This teaching originates from the beginning of the proclamation of the gospel in the world.

Now I want to move forward to some early church writers and fathers who also back this dogma. Alexander of Alexandria calls her the Mother of God in 325, and there is a papyrus manuscript, ‘Sub Tuum’ that may date the actual formal Greek term Mother of God, Theotokos, to the year 270. The dating of the manuscript is debated so I will not hinge everything on that. However, we do have the entire Church using and properly defining the exact term at the Council of Ephesus in 431, which was by the way, an ecumenical council. "If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh, let him be anathema." The early Church understood how crucial this dogma was and how it underpinned the foundations of who Christ was as God incarnate. No one can separate the dogmas pertaining to Mary from Christ Himself. Saint Athanasius and St. Gregory Nazianzen well before the Council had already used the term very specifically, and they also presented the teaching as a test of orthodoxy. “If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, he is severed from the Godhead." Gregory of Nazianzus, To Cledonius, 101 (A.D. 382) The great Latin Father, Saint Ambrose in the fourth century used the Latin term ‘Mater Dei”. That is ‘Mother of God’ for those who are rusty on their Latin. Both East and West were unanimous in this Marian dogma. How can the Protester plead otherwise with a straight face? I must point out that every one of these individuals listed here are well before Corey’s sixth century cut off date, which he so boldly told us these Catholic Marian dogmas could not be found. I could continue on with more evidence, but I will stop with this quote. “To the question: 'Is Mary the bearer of Man, or the bearer of God?' we must answer: 'Of Both.'" Theodore of Mopsuestia, The Incarnation, 15 (ante A.D. 428).

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Sure Sign of a Heretic or Reprobate

Here are a few words to ponder.

"The most infallible and indubitable sign to distinguish a heretic, a man of bad doctrine, a reprobate, from the predestined is that the heretic and the reprobate regard with indifference the Blessed Virgin Mary, and try by word and example to diminish her cult and the love of her, openly or tacitly , and sometimes with good pretexts. Alas. God the Father has not told Mary to make her dwelling with them because they are Esaus." (St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion, n. 30.)

The Writings of Charles De Koninck Vol I and II

I got my two volume set of 'The Writings of Charles De Koninck' a few days ago. What a pleasant surprise. Each hardback volume is like 400-500 pages each packed with essays and articles, and they are nicely bound. In the second volume there is an incredible essay on the Blessed Virgin Mary titled 'Ego Sapientia.' De Koninck (1906–1965) was a Canadian Thomist philosopher from the University of Laval in Quebec. Those interested in serious studies of Thomistic philosophy and theology will enjoy these two volumes. Both volumes were translated by Dr. Ralph McInerny a great Thomistic scholar in his own right, who was also a student of De Koninck's. These are books that you will read and reread. Such essays include 'The Primacy of the Common Good Against the Personalists' and 'In Defense of St. Thomas' among many others. You can get them on Amazon or at the University of Notre Dame Press bookstore online.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP on St. Thomas

Two Sermons on Scandal

I think it that these two sermons by Father Brian Austin, FSSP go along very well with the last article I posted.

Authority, the Media, Scandal and the Laity

Authority, the Media, Scandal and the Laity
(Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight)
By Matthew J. Bellisario 2011

    This piece is perhaps more of a suggestion, or food for thought, than it is to an answer to today’s crisis in the Church concerning modern communication. In the modern age the Church faces a new threat never witnessed before in her glorious 2000 plus year history. The means of modern communication and those who drive it, have been more than a thorn in the Church’s side. In fact, it can be argued that it has been the preferred tool of the Devil. One heretical statement made by a bishop or priest can be carried across the globe in seconds, and the media will make sure they are supported. If you remember, videos of Fr. Michael Pfleger and his mad rant a few years ago was aired across the nation and pumped into every television across America just minutes after it happened! This of course is a weapon that has been used to pry people away from the Catholic faith. Likewise the internet poses the same danger. The modern media entities, which despise Christ and His Church, are always looking for ways to promote their secular agenda. The most effective way to successfully lay siege to an enemy stronghold is to have an ally inside the castle you are trying to take down. Let us remember how the mighty city of Constantinople was first ransacked. Those outside her walls could not penetrate her capable defenses, but a few disgruntled sympathizers inside the gates allowed the enemy to break into the city. This same strategy holds today. The media looks for sympathizers inside the Church, and they use the modern means of communication to wreak havoc.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fr. Romanus Cessario, OP: The Image of God & the Sacraments of the Church

If you have an hour to listen to a great Thomist, this video is for you. Fr. Cessario pulls no punches in dealing with those who falsely call themselves Thomists, yet do not follow Thomistic principles. Thomism is not dead, and there are Catholic priest theologians like Fr. Cessario who are very capable of promoting it. Be sure to listen to the question and answers at the end. Watch and learn.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Indulgences and the Crusades-Romanus Cessario, OP

If you really want to be able to understand and defend the Catholic faith then you need to read orthodox scholars who actually devote their lives to studying the Catholic faith. One such scholar is Romanus Cessario, OP. As the old saying goes, the more I learn, the more I learn how much I don't know. So this blog will be taking a yet further shift in directing you to good Catholic sources rather than to my own material. If you want to understand indulgences, and get a bit of apologetic material to go along with it, then you will certainly enjoy this article. The article deals with how the indulgence of a Crusader applies to one who dies on the way to the crusade. Take the time to read the 20 or so pages here so you can really come to a firm grasp how indulgences are to be understood in Catholic theology. There are a couple of observations to be made from this article if you are interested in apologetics.

The first is the obvious fact that the authority of the Church played a huge role in the way St. Thomas worked through this theological disputation. Fr. Cessario's quote from Aquinas is clear enough. "Therefore, dispensation of this treasure belongs to the one who is in charge of the whole Church; hence the Lord gave to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16, [19]). Accordingly, when either the well-being or absolute necessity of the Church requires it, the one who is in charge of the Church can distribute from this unlimited treasure to anyone who through charity belongs to the Church as much of the said treasure as shall seem to him opportune, either up to a total remission of punishment or to some certain amount." This article should put to rest any ideas that Aquinas believed in any form of Sola Scriptura, a faulty proposition often put forth by Protestants such as William Webster.

Secondly we can see that St. Thomas was very familiar with the mind and works of the Church Fathers like Saint Augustine, who is quoted in this article as giving a solid foundation to the theology of indulgences. Another ploy used by Protestants is to quote the Church Fathers out of context. If I learned anything from the conference I attended this past week, it is a fact that most "apologists" out there, both Catholic and Protestant, are not well versed in any of the Church Father's writings. Although I do not consider myself to be an "apologist", I also fail in this department. What I mean by this is that it takes more than reading some quotes from a book on the Church Fathers, cutting and pasting some quotes from Catholic Answers, or even reading through a few works in English yourself from any of the Fathers. Sure this is good to do, but it truly takes a competent person who has thoroughly read the Fathers with the philosophical/theological mindset that is unique to each Father and their writings. Translations and the meaning of particular words are very important in how we read and understand the Fathers. We must also remember, context, context! I always return to an old quote by Adrian Fortescue. “We must not forget that the early Fathers did not write their letters or preach their sermons with a view to supplying evidences of the faith of their time for future controversialists.” This quote is one that many should have pasted to their foreheads. This is another reason why God gave us His Church. Here in this article Fr. Cessario notes that St. Augustine is referenced by Aquinas in the proper context when he cites St. Augustine with the following quote, which certainly broods with the Catholic understanding of sin and indulgences. "Augustine says in Book XV of the De Trinitate that to take out the arrow is not the same as to heal the wound: the arrow of sin is removed by the remission of sin; the wound, however, is cured by the restoration of the image [of God], which satisfactory works alone accomplish." Leaving you with these two thoughts, I now point you in the direction of Fr. Romanus Cesarrio's article, 'St. Thomas Aquinas on Satisfaction, Indulgences, and Crusades.'

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ave Maria Conference In Honor of Ralph McInerny

I just got back from a great Thomistic conference at Ave Maria University. All of the speakers were excellent and they were all top notch Thomistic scholars. Thursday started the conference with four doctoral students giving their presentations. Friday and Saturday were each packed full with 8 lectures lasting between 25 and 30 minutes each, followed by question and answers. I really enjoyed the question and answer part as the theologians discussed and occasionally debated certain points on the lecture, and it was quite amusing at times as they challenged one another. It seemed that we were running behind schedule the entire time; but what do you expect when you have that many theologians under one roof? I have been to many Catholic conferences over the years and I must say this one has been the most enriching experience I have ever had.

The Dominican theologians present were all top notch, and I enjoyed the breaks in between the lectures as much as the lectures themselves because I was able to pepper them with a few questions! I enjoyed all of the talks, but my favorites were Fr. Charles Morerod's talk on philosophy and theology, Fr. Romanus Cessario's talk on Mariology, Fr. Thomas Joseph White's talk on nature and grace and Fr. Timothy Bellamah's talk on the mediaeval desire to know Scripture in its causes. After listening to these guys it makes me want to go and delete everything I have ever written on my blog! I also picked up some great books while I was there. What a surprise! Catholic U had a 25% off sale so I couldn't pass that up could I? On a side note. I would love to see one of these theologians debate someone like James White sometime, just to shut him up. Truly, it wouldn't even be a contest. They are not even in the same league. Anyways, below is a picture I took with my phone during the keynote lecture given by Fr. Charles Morerod, OP. I talked with Fr. Matthew Lamb who organized the conference and he said that the lectures would be available in book form in the future. I look forward to that because time constraints often forced the theologians to cut their talks short.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Protestants Fold on Homosexuality

It is no surprise that the Protestants as whole are going further and further off the deep end theologically. As time moves on their separation from the one true Catholic Church grows deeper. Now a group of 33 retired "bishops" from the Methodist sect are calling for homosexual "clergy".  One fact is proven from history. When you break from the Church in any formal doctrine or dogma, further consequences are sure to follow. There is no limit to how far off the heresies will go after you take that first arrogant step away from Christ and His Church. Once you step off the cliff, you are going all the way down. Think before you step away from the Church.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fr. Anthony Ruff's Open Letter to the Bishops on the New Translation.

As you already know, there has been constant bickering over this new translation of the Novus Ordo Liturgy for the past year or so. Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB has been vocal in rejecting the new translation. I believe he has a right to do this, as many of us have even critiqued the Novus Ordo Mass text in general, so why would it be out of bounds to scrutinize a translation of it? So I will not criticize Father Ruff for voicing his opinion on the matter. I am however a bit disappointed in the lack of substance in his letter.  Below is the complete open letter that he wrote concerning the translation. I want to stay away from personal attacks here, and instead focus on the few comments that he did make. I will offer my observations in between the indented paragraphs of the letter.

Your Eminences, Your Excellencies,

With a heavy heart, I have recently made a difficult decision concerning the new English missal. I have decided to withdraw from all my upcoming speaking engagements on the Roman Missal in dioceses across the United States. After talking with my confessor and much prayer, I have concluded that I cannot promote the new missal translation with integrity. I’m sure bishops want a speaker who can put the new missal in a positive light, and that would require me to say things I do not believe.
So far so good. Fr. Ruff here has apparently prayed about the matter and has decided that he cannot go along with the translation. Not much to comment on here.

I love the Church, I love the sacred liturgy, I love chant in Latin and English, and I treasure being involved with all these as a monk and priest. It has been an honor to serve until recently as chairman of the music committee of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) that prepared all the chants for the new missal. But my involvement in that process, as well as my observation of the Holy See’s handling of scandal, has gradually opened my eyes to the deep problems in the structures of authority of our church.
Here I have to take him at his word that he loves the Church, etc. What is interesting here is that he was involved in ICEL which prepared the chants for the new missal. This involvement however supposedly opened his eyes to problems of authority as well as a perceived problem with the Holy See involving scandal. He does not elaborate here and gives his readers no idea as to what he is even referring to. This may be an effort to avoid further scandal, or it may be something to the likes of not getting his way, so he sees that as a problem. Yet it is a bold move to criticize the Holy See on the handling of a supposed scandal with no substance whatsoever to back it up. We can only speculate here, so we will move on.

The forthcoming missal is but a part of a larger pattern of top-down impositions by a central authority that does not consider itself accountable to the larger church. When I think of how secretive the translation process was, how little consultation was done with priests or laity, how the Holy See allowed a small group to hijack the translation at the final stage, how unsatisfactory the final text is, how this text was imposed on national conferences of bishops in violation of their legitimate episcopal authority, how much deception and mischief have marked this process—and then when I think of Our Lord’s teachings on service and love and unity…I weep.
This paragraph here gives us a little more insight into his thoughts on his view of the hierarchy involved. There are a couple of observations here. Fr. Ruff apparently does not like top down authority. Unfortunately for him, he is on the wrong Church if he does not like top down authority, because, although the pope and bishops certainly serve the Church, they also decide what is better for the faithful, including liturgical changes, for better or worse. And at the top of that hierarchy is Jesus Christ. He says he is upset that priests and laity were not consulted. Considering all of the bickering going on between the priests and the laity over this mess, is it any wonder they tried to bypass the peanut gallery? As far as hijacking goes, an authority cannot hijack what it has a right to. The bishop's conferences do not stand on their own and they are subservient to the papacy and those authorities appointed by the papacy. He also thinks the translation is unsatisfactory, yet he never gives one example as to why it is unsatisfactory. I am more interested in why he thinks it is unsatisfactory than his opinion on authority. As far as deception and mischief goes we can only speculate since no examples were given, which I must assume was again done to avoid a perceived scandal. As far as Our Lord's teachings on unity go, they are intimately tied to Saint Peter and the bishops in union with him, not individual bishop's conferences. The less than stellar accomplishments of the USCCB in promoting the authentic Catholic faith speaks for itself. It seems that Fr. Ruff somehow thinks that the bishop's conferences have an absolute right to determine liturgical translations, which is not the case. 

I see a good deal of disillusionment with the Catholic Church among my friends and acquaintances. Some leave the Catholic Church out of conviction, some gradually drift away, some join other denominations, some remain Catholic with difficulty. My response is to stay in this church for life and do my best to serve her. This I hope to do by stating the truth as I see it, with charity and respect. I would be ready to participate in future liturgical projects under more favorable conditions.
Here we get to the reasons he thinks that people leave the Catholic Church, and quite frankly none of them are valid, nor can any of them be excused. If you are convicted to leave the Catholic Church then you are convicted by a deceiving spirit. If you gradually drift away and then and join another "denomination" then again, a deceiving spirit led you on that journey, not a Holy One. One has to wonder why Fr. Ruff even included this in the letter. It is as if the decision on the translation made by these higher ups is going to result in more people leaving the Church? One can only speculate. I am glad to see that Fr. Ruff is not going to join some of his friends in their dangerous decisions to abandon Christ and His one and only Church. Again, I can appreciate Father's decision to reject the new translation. I would have expected a bit more of an explanation in reference to the text itself however, rather than hear about all of the supposed secretive political games going on behind the scenes. In my opinion, all of this controversy gives us yet another reason as to why the Church needs to go back to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. A top down change like that would be a most welcome remedy for what plagues the Church today.

I am sorry for the difficulties I am causing others by withdrawing, but I know this is the right thing to do. I will be praying for you and all leaders in our church.

Pax in Christo,

Fr. Anthony Ruff, O.S.B.
Link to article here.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Upcoming Movie: The Eagle

I like a good action film and the new movie coming out called 'The Eagle' looks quite engaging. I am a fan of ancient history and warfare so naturally this movie has caught my attention. The movie takes you back to the year 140, just 20 years after the legendary loss of Rome's Ninth Legion, which is the point of focus for the film. It is rated "Rated PG-13 for battle sequences and some disturbing images", according to the IMDB database. Here is a video advertisement for it.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

New Theologians Rebuilding the Tower of Babel

"The greater number of men have by far too high an opinion of their own worth and too great a confidence in their own strength, but of their own vocation, of the end to which they are destined, they have in general, a sense far too low. They do not believe in it." (Maxims of Christian Chivalry- by Kenelm Digby)

Fr. Anthony Ruff has put up a new post on the Pray Tell blog titled, 'A “Year of Departure”: German-speaking theologians call for reform.' (Added Note: to be clear, he is referring to a letter signed by several German theologians) After using the scandals in the Church to set the stage for their proposed solutions, Fr. Ruff shows the list of all of the things these theoloigans consider to be priorities in the Catholic Church that will supposedly correct the problems in the Church today. A regular tactic used by theologians in the Church today is to use an atrocity to get people's attention, and then they use that as their doorway to getting their liberal polices in place. That is what the liberals in Washington do to. What I found most alarming in Fr. Ruff's article, is that there is no focus whatsoever on the salvation of souls! Sure social justice is mentioned, participation and application in Church structure is mentioned, and he does mention freedom of conscience, and the shallow list of propositions goes on. But what he does not say is even more important, and I must say, alarming.

In my opinion, there are a few dead giveaways to shallow liberal theologians like Father Ruff. (He posts stuff like this but he usually does not commit himself as endorsing it. Yet he seems to post them quite a bit.) They will go on ad-nauseum about social justice, democratic structure of the Church, freedom of conscience (despite Church doctrine and dogma) and they will often go off into an "intellectual" diatribes on liturgy, where liturgical renewal involves everyone pitching in to create their own liturgy. But one thing that gives them away every time is that they never give us the eschatological focus of why we are even living the Catholic faith in the first place. They never mention God's grace, they never mention the true love of God and man, which is oriented at the salvation of souls and eternal happiness with Him in heaven. Read through the post and look at his main points of focus. Its as if these theologians are trying to build the Tower of Babel all over again. Its as if they are calling Catholics to come and build their own Church. Damn the torpedoes folks, we are going to do it ourselves! All of this nonsense has nothing to do with God. Its all about them. The things they are advocating is what caused the scandals in the first place. Lets look at a couple of quotes from the article. (Quoted by Fr. Ruff.) See if you can read between the lines.

“What applies to all should be decided by all,” more synodal structures are needed at all levels of the Church. The faithful should be involved in the naming of important officials (bishop, pastor)."

" The faithful stay away when they are not trusted to share responsibility and to participate in democratic structures in the leadership of their communities. Church office must serve the life of communities – not the other way around. The Church also needs married priests and women in church ministry. "

"Respect for individual conscience means placing trust in people’s ability to make decisions and carry responsibility. It is the task of the Church to support this capability. The Church must not revert to paternalism. Serious work needs to be done especially in the realm of personal life decisions and individual manners of life."

"The liturgy lives from the active participation of all the faithful. Experiences and forms of expression of the present day must have their place. Worship services must not become frozen in traditionalism."

I think it is easy to determine what these types of "theologians" are after, and its not about God or the salvation of souls. Its about getting what they want.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Visit the New Papa Stronsay Website

The Transalpine Redemptorists have just launched their new website, check it out.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Distributism versus Freemarket Austian Economics

There is some healthy debate these days regarding Catholic economic theory. The two positions most widely held by Catholics today are the distributist and the free market Austrian theories. Personally, I have to do more investigating on the two positions before I can commit to one side or the other. Thomas Woods has a great blog and has written many books on the subject of Austrian economics and the free market. The Von Mises Institute also has tons of free reading material on this position as well. On the other side we have a couple of groups that promote the distributist theory like the Chesterton Society and the Distributist Review. This is one area where Catholics can engage in healthy intellectual debate. At this point I am leaning more towards the Austrian theory, but that could always change as I learn more. I thought that this post was interesting that Thomas Woods put up that criticizes the distributist theory. On the other side, this Distributist Review article rails against the free market position. Any thoughts on the subject?

The Cave Churches of Cappadocia

If you are interested in Catholic history, the cave churches of Cappadocia in Turkey are quite interesting to learn about. The volcanic ash formed rock formations over many years which were then carved out and used as houses and churches. These formations contain hidden entrances and passages and during times of persecution they were used as shelters. Saint Paul even traveled to this area in his efforts to spread the gospel. The Christian images preserved in these cave churches are another testimony to Catholic Tradition. You can learn more about it here and here.

More from the Jerk Mark Shea

OK, I am really getting tired of Mark Shea now. Now he has really gone off the deep end. Aside from his usual pompous, loud mouthed rhetoric, he has now accused me of commenting on his blog as a guest, when he banned me from it months ago! I just tried to comment over there to retort to an accusation made against me and it won't even allow me to comment on it. Here is the deal. Shea put another antagonizing post on Fr. Euteneuer today. A friend of mine calls me up and asks if I had commented on it. I had not. Then he goes on to tell me that Shea is calling me out on his blog for something an anonymous guest commenter posted in the combox. Go to the post above and read through the combox. It appears that someone commented against Shea, and he just assumed it was me and that I was afraid to make my presence known. Now, anyone who knows me, clearly understands that I could care less what people think about me concerning my views on Catholicism, or even my opinions in general for that matter. In fact I have addressed Shea numerous times directly on his blog as well as mine, yet after an anonymous commenter posted something he didn't like, he wrote a nasty accusation against me. This really lets you know what kind of guy Shea is. Again, I call Catholics to quit inviting this jerk to your parishes and make the guy get a real job, because he has no business doing Catholic apologetics.

Here is the charity that Shea regularly shows on his blog.

"By the way, "guest".  If you are Matthew Bellisario could you grow a pair and acquire the guts to sign your name to your carping, nasty, accusatory posts?"

What is he talking about?  I tried to respond to this false accusation. But I checked with my buddy and he tells me it has not posted. Why? Because he had banned me months ago from his blog because he did not like my comments. So tell me, how can the anonymous comment be from me when he has my computer blocked from commenting? I guess he forgot that part before he opened his mouth. 

I responded with the following. 

"Nice Mark. This really shows how big of an ass you really are. Have I ever commented and not signed my name to it? A buddy of mine called me and told me about this comment. If I have something to say son, I say it. I am not afraid of making my comments public. I would think that you can see that by my posts on my blog where I address you and your assinine comments directly. Don't ever get on the net and accuse me of anything like this. We can all see how slanderous you are towards fellow Catholics, and I for one don't care for it. Your maximum death accusations have all been addressed, and as always you come off looking like an ass. If I were (you) I would worry about your welfare as a Catholic apologist. Because from (what) I can see, many people seem to be gettting tired of your empty rhetoric. You are a real jerk."

Lets see how bold Mark Shea really is. Here is my public challenge. I will debate him in public or in writing concerning his "maximum death" accusations concerning the death penalty. Lets see who has the guts to put his money where his mouth is. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Reminder on the Darkness of Freemasonry

Awhile back I wrote a piece on Freemasonry regarding its incompatibility with the Catholic faith. It seems that there are many Catholics today who now think the Church has changed its teaching regarding the Freemasons as if it were now permitted for Catholics to be members. I ran across this video which sheds some light on the Masons from a spiritual side, and I thought it was worth putting up for viewing. As always, Fr. Ignatius tells is like it is. Its only 5 minutes so check it out.

Wyoming Carmelites Go Back to the Middle Ages

If you have not seen this it is worth checking out. The Carmelite monks of Wyoming are building their own slice of the middle ages as we speak! Seeing this being built makes me want to go and sell everything I have and join them!

Official Statement by Fr. Thomas Euteneuer

There is now an official statement by Fr. Euteneuer, the well respected priest who has unfortunately taken quite a beating on various blogs since his departure from HLI. Much of what was published on these blogs was not true, which is why you never judge someone's actions until you know all of the facts. Up until this statement there was no reliable source of information to corroborate any of these blog posts. Yet we had Catholics putting up posts like this linking to these blogs passing judgment on Fr. Euteneuer writing things like, "priest fails again" before he could even speak for himself or before any official statement was released. As always, Fr. Tom handled himself with class and humility. Although I am saddened by his fall in this one particular incident, which he admits to, I am in full support of him as a priest and I greatly respect and admire his courage to admit his fault while not caving in like so many who have fallen before and then selfishly left the Catholic faith in apostasy. Father wrote, "I also wish to state that I have never entertained even the slightest thought of leaving the holy priesthood or the Roman Catholic Church as a result of my failings." May the Lord continue to bless and keep him, and may he overcome this fall and continue passing on the Catholic faith like he has done for many years now.