Saturday, March 31, 2012

Support the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming (Chant CD)

If you like Gregorian Chant, then support the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming in buying their chant CD. The CD contains 14 tracks and is available for 15 dollars.

Sacred Music Under Attack In Vatican?


Bishop Fellay And Ecumenism

Here is an excerpt from a talk given in 2010, where Bishop Fellay makes some valid points on ecumenism in today's Church. I appreciate his airplane analogy, only one will fly! The talks are still ongoing between the SSPX and Pope Benedict XVI. We will see how that pans out soon. The excommunications have been dropped and the status of the SSPX appears to be in a state of limbo at this point. Although Archbishop Lefebvre, the founder of the Society, got into hot water over the SSPX ordinations, he was never accused of any heresy, nor have any of the SSPX bishops been charged with any accusations of heresy. Let us pray for unity.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Book Notice: Aquinas Commentary on St. Matthew

There is a new book out worth checking out. It is a newly restored English transcription of the lectures given by St. Thomas Aquinas on the Gospel of Matthew. It is available through Angelus Press.

From Angelus Press

In the mid-thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas gave a series of lectures, commenting on the Gospel of St. Matthew. However, when this commentary became published, it was considered "incomplete" and "defective". This centuries-old mystery was finally resolved in 1955 with the discovery that fraudulent, sixteenth century substitutions had tainted two chapters. A manuscript, containing the actual writings of Aquinas, was discovered a year later in Basel, Switzerland. Now, for the first time since its rediscovery, this newly translated English edition restores the true text, giving one of the most complete and authentic reading of this major work by the Angelic Doctor to date. Particularly useful as an aid for preaching sermons, this masterly commentary contains many detailed explanations and numerous cross-references to Scripture, Church Fathers, as well as other works of St. Thomas, which are continuously interwoven throughout this simple but profoundly enlightening text.

1002 pp. Hardcover.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fr. Robert Barron on LA Congress "Its the Happening Place"

As some of you may know who stop by here regularly, last year I wrote a piece on Fr. Robert Barron concerning his error on the death penalty. He proclaims himself to be a Thomistic scholar, yet his smorgasbord class of theology does not support his claim. He often prefers crippled minded theologians like Hans Urs von Balthasar over the Angelic Doctor. That being said, I ran across this video of an interview with him from 2011 when he was at the LA Religious Education Congress, which as we all know is a complete disgrace. See these two posts (one and two) for more on that. If you think that the type of behavior is OK, then you can dismiss this post and go on your merry way. For those of you who can see that the Congress is a complete sham and a mockery to the Catholic faith, then this video may interest you. Fr. Barron asks, After being asked "What brings you to this religious congress," he answers, "Well, what would keep you away? This is the place to be. It is maybe my 7th or 8th visit here. And its one of the greatest events in the Catholic year.....Its the happening place." No need for a retort here, the videos of what happens at the event, and his endorsement of it speaks for itself.

Monday, March 26, 2012

This Is Your Brain on Protestantism

Having a little fun here. This is what happens to your brain after 500 years of Protestantism.

Its Skittles and Hoodies for Fr. "Flavor Flav" Pfleger

Its hoodies and Skittles for the political activist/wannabee rap star priest Fr. Michael Pfleger. The madness goes on for the rebel priest of St. Sabina in Chicago. A political activist and troublemaker since his seminary days, Pfleger adds fuel to the fire over the now controversial shooting of Trayvon Martin. Read the full story here.  I am currently reading a biography on Pfleger and I will be putting up an article on it when I am finished. There is much, much more to this guy than most people realize. There is a reason why none of the bishops dare touch him.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

LA Congress 2012- Sponge Bob and "Youth Day Liturgy"

Hang on to your hats folks. It looks like not much has changed in L.A. under Archbishop Jose Gomez, who took Mahony's place recently. The ridiculous Religious Education Congress is underway again in all of its glory. The first video is the opening ceremony of their Education Congress, complete with liturgical dancers and incense bowls being carried around a square altar as if it is some pagan festival. If you want to save some time, fast forward to about minute 9 of the video. It gets worse as it progresses. I watched to about minute 20 and had enough.

It only gets worse. The second video is the Youth Day Liturgy. Pagan drumming from the Orient begins the Mass along with some pagan chant. Sponge Bob Square Pants makes his appearance in the back. That's right look for him around the 2 minute mark. This almost looks like the Thanksgiving parade on TV. The rock band kicks in shortly after the drum session ends. Then the great conservative Archbishop Gomez appears introducing this as the Holy Mass. How many liturgical laws can you break at one time? Cardinal Mahoney is then introduced and the madness goes on.

Things of interest..

Go to the one hour mark and watch them set up the altar.
1:09 minutes we see the wicker baskets, etc.
1:12 The Consecration.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Apologetic Minute I: Ave Maria, Gratia Plena

If you are interested in brushing up on your Catholic apologetics, the Lapide Commentary is a great resource, and it is online. It was penned in the early 1600s when the Protestant Revolt was raging, and it answers almost every false accusation made by the pretended "Reformers." When you run across those who assault the Blessed Mother, and claim you are an idolatrous Catholic who is going against Scripture, you will have an answer for them!  Here is an excerpt covering part of Luke 1:28.

Hail, Ave. It is very probable that the angel used the ordinary salutation of the Hebrews, שלום לך, Peace be to thee. Unless the opinion of Serarius is to be preferred, that ave is the Hebrew חוה chave or have, that is, “Live;” so that there is an allusion to the name of Eve, which is in Hebrew חוה chava, that is the mother of all living (Gen. iii. 20), so that the meaning will be, Eve was not the mother of life but of death, because by sin she delivered over all her children to death, but thou, 0 Mary, art truly called Eve, because thou art the mother of life, grace, and glory. Hence in Latin ave is Eva reversed, because Mary turned the maledictions of Eve into blessings.

Highly favoured. Gratia plena, Vulgate, full of grace. Greek, κεχαζιτωμένη, which Beza translates gratis dilecta, freely loved; for he thinks that the just have no inherent and intrinsic, but only an extrinsic righteousness, which consists in this, that, although they be sinners, God of his own good will holds and reckons them as just; which is heresy.

But κεχαζιτωμένη answers to the Hebrew נחנה, filled with grace or made acceptable; for χαζιτοω, signifies I make acceptable, I render beloved or dear, I fill with grace. For God judges nothing to be acceptable except what is truly in itself acceptable; wherefore when He makes any one just and acceptable to Himself, He bestows upon him the gift of justice and inherent grace. Wherefore κεχαζιτωμένη is the same as full of grace: as it is rendered in our version and the Syrian, &c.; also by S. Ambrose and others of the Fathers. This word therefore signifies—1. That the Blessed Virgin had a gift of grace bestowed upon her by God, and that, in a full measure of excellence beyond other just and holy persons, for this epithet is applied solely to the Blessed Virgin, to the end that she might be made worthy to become in time the Mother of God.  2. That she by means of this gift of grace was wonderfully well-pleasing in the sight of God and of all His angels, and in their eyes altogether lovely and beautiful, so that Christ chose her before all others for His mother.
You will say that Christ was more full of grace than the Blessed Virgin. Others also of the saints are said to have been full of the Holy Spirit, as Stephen.

I answer that they are said to have been full of grace, but in different ways. For, as Maldonatus rightly says, a fountain is full of water, so is a river, so are streams, although there is more water and purer in a fountain than in a river, and in a river than in streams. Christ is full of grace, like a fountain where grace gushes forth and is collected as in a reservoir, and from which it flows forth to all men, as from a head to the members. The mother of Christ is full like a river very near a fountain, which although it has less water than a fountain, yet flows with a full channel. Stephen is full like a stream.

S. Augustine (Serm xviii de Sanctus) says, “Mary is filled with grace, and Eve is made clear from guilt; the curse of Eve is changed into the blessing of Mary.” Toletus (annotat. 67) shows that the Blessed Virgin was full of all grace, both in body and soul. For she was free from concupiscence (fomite concupiscentiæ), so that in her the flesh was subject to the reason and the spirit, as was the case with Adam in Paradise through original righteousness. Wherefore he adds that in her, nature conspired with grace and co-operated with it in every respect. See also what I have said concerning her in the Commentary on the Canticles, especially on those words (c. iv. 7), Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee. 

S. Jerome (Serm. de Assump. B.V.) says, “It is well said that she was full of grace, because on others grace is bestowed partially (per partes), but the fulness of grace in complete treasure was infused into Mary.” And again, “The entire fulness of grace, which is in Christ, came upon Mary, although in a different way.”

Suarez shows that the grace possessed by the Blessed Virgin in the first instant of her conception was greater than the grace which the highest angel possesses, who by one or two acts has perfected all his merits, and therefore she merited more than thousands of men merit through their whole life. Wherefore the Blessed Virgin in this first instant loved and praised God with such earnestness of intention that she exceeded the love, and consequently also the merit, of the highest angel. But in the second instant of her co-operation and love, by means of the increase of grace which in the first instant she had merited and had in reality received, she doubled the degrees of love and consequently also of merit; and in the third instant, by doubling the same she quadrupled both merit and grace; and so in every instant, by doubling continually the grace she had received, until her death in the seventy-second year of her age, she had increased the degrees of grace and merit to such an extent that she altogether excelled in them all men and angels taken together. Wherefore she by herself alone is more acceptable to God than all the rest; and God loves the Blessed Virgin alone more than the whole Church, that is, more than all men and angels taken together.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Our Sorrowful Age and The Seven Dolors

Our Sorrowful Age and The Seven Dolors.
Matthew Bellisario 2012

    There have been trying times for the Church in past ages. It is true that every generation perceives their challenges to be the worst, since they alone can claim to have experienced their trials. We cannot go back and experience the Arian heresy where Saint Athanasius woke up one morning and found himself surrounded by heretics. But we do however experience this age, where we witness apostates and heretics attempting to wreck Christ’s Church from within, while rabid atheists and secularists seek to dethrone God and exterminate Him from our culture. Abortion has become the sacred offering for a godless humanity spanning across the globe, driven by heartless materialism and sexual gratification known only to the pagan cults of times past. Yes, we can say that we are living in a sorrowful age.

     Despite the sex without “consequences,” the materialism gone wild, the “no commitment” relationships and the staunch relativism, where truth becomes anything you want it to be, we are a most miserable generation. If we are so enlightened and have apparently dug ourselves out of that repressed mediaeval mindset, why are antidepressants the third most prescribed drug on the market? If one has to drug themselves to be happy, are they at peace with themselves and their actions? Probably not. It is estimated that more than 11% of the US population is taking these antidepressant drugs, and a much larger percentage claims to be suffering from severe depression. Most people however do not realize that this is not just a mental problem, it is a problem that goes down to the core of a person, down to the fabric of their souls. Many are drugging their consciences to sleep. If they are not killing their consciences with drugs, they are doing it by trying to oust God out of their lives completely so they will not be reminded that they are God’s creation. This has been the insidious tactic of the politicians of our age, who have tried to remove God out of the public square for decades by creating laws which forbid God’s name to be used or any symbolism referring to God.

    The reality is, people today simply are not able to cope with the artificial lifestyle that they live today. We are living lives of grand delusion. How can a generation kill their offspring at such an alarming rate without being depressed? How can we go from one relationship to another, living lives of infidelity without some sort of traumatizing consequences? How many times have I heard the genius who is on their 3rd marriage tell me that people should live with the people they are dating before they get married, to “test drive” them out? That brilliant plan seems to have worked really well for them, no? Divorce rates are well over 50%, and children are growing up living in separated households, watching their parents engage in intimacy with someone other than their mom or dad. Do we think that all of this, which rebels against the fabric of human nature will not torture our consciences? Hence the antidepressants, and other “tools” to help people cope with “life.” Certainly there are people with real mental imbalances that may need medication to help them, but as a rule, the vast number of people on these drugs are just trying to dull their consciences. They cannot cope with reality, because they are trying to invent their own “reality.” We could say that this “depression” is the result of the sorrows of our age, which are driven by relativism and immorality being lived out to their extremes. We could go further by identifying all of this with humanity’s despair. Saint Thomas tells us, “That which leads men to sin, seems not only to be a sin itself, but a source of sins. Now such is despair, for the Apostle says of certain men (Ephesians 4:19): "Who, despairing, have given themselves up to lasciviousness, unto the working of all uncleanness and [Vulgate: 'unto'] covetousness." Therefore despair is not only a sin but also the origin of other sins.” So despair is what happens when we try and oust God out of lives, and hence our sins grow in proportion and gravity.

    The only remedy for the sorrows of our age; abortion, divorce, adultery, promiscuity, contraception, wars, famine, heresy, apostasy, atheism, and the many other “isms” plaguing our Church and our culture is for those who believe in Christ to live the Catholic faith with extreme tenacity and dedication. That means that we must pray more, we must spend more time with God and less time entertaining ourselves. As Padre Pio said, “Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God.” We must also spread the Gospel to others when we have the opportunity to do so. We must, when God gives us an opportunity, stand up for Him, and not let others exterminate the Catholic faith from our culture. We must begin with prayer, but we must not let opportunities go by to act and do God’s will. Remember, faith and works are married together. We must act when we are able to, both within the Church and in our communities, but we must act from a life steeped in prayer. There are enemies of Christ in the Church and outside the Church, and we must oppose them in both places.
    Christ has given us many weapons to combat the godless culture we find ourselves in today. We have recourse to Him in prayer and in the Sacraments of the Church. There are those around us who are professing Catholics who can pray for us, and we can support one another. Christ also gave us His Blessed Mother and His Saints to intercede for us as well. As Saint Thomas says, “The saints impetrate what ever God wishes to take place through their prayers; and they pray for that which they deem will be granted through their prayers according to God’s will.” We have so much which has been given to us, which we must not ignore, lest we do it to our own peril. One weapon not often used today is the chaplet of Seven Sorrows. This chaplet has been brought to my attention over and over again in variety of ways over the past month or so. It was God’s way of telling me to make it a part of my daily prayer. I am hard-headed so it takes God hitting me over the head a few times before I get it! First I made a consecration to Our Lady Of Sorrows. Then each day I now pray the litany of Seven Sorrows and the prayers dedicated to Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, given to us by Pope Pius VII, as well as the chaplet of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, which has its origins dating back to the 13th century. Of course the actual “sorrows” are rooted in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. These prayers are powerful, because they graft the passion of Our Lord and the sorrows of Our Blessed Mother into the fabric of our lives.

Pope Benedict XIII., on September 26th, 1724, granted an indulgence of two hundred days for every Our Father and every Hail Mary to those who, with sincere contrition, and having confessed, or firmly purposing to confess their sins, shall recite this Chaplet on any Friday, or on any day of Lent, on the Festival of the Seven Dolors, or within the Octave; and one hundred days on any other day of the year. Pope Clement XII added to these further,

1. A Plenary indulgence to those who shall have recited this Chaplet for a month every day - Confession, Communion and Prayers for the Church, required as usual.

2. An indulgence of one hundred years to all who should recite it on any day, having confessed their sins, with sincere sorrow, or at least firmly purposing to do so.

3. One hundred and fifty years to those who should recite it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and Holidays of obligation, with Confession and Communion.

4. A Plenary indulgence once a year, on any day, to those who are accustomed to recite it four times a week, on condition of Confession, Communion, and the Recital of the Chaplet on the day of Communion.

5. Two hundred years' indulgence to all who recite it devoutly after Confession; and to all who carry it about them, and frequently recite it, ten years' indulgence every time they shall hear Mass, hear a sermon, or reciting Our Father, and seven Hail Mary's, shall perform any spiritual or corporal work of mercy, in honor of our Blessed Saviour, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or any Saint, their advocate.

Of course now the indulgences are not counted in days or years, but as either plenary or partial, but the theology behind it is the same. Simply put, sin damages the fabric of humanity, and indulgences help to repair that damage by infusing God’s grace into the the world by an approved prayer or action given to us by God through His Church. We can see that by the Popes granting these indulgences, that this devotion has the authority of the Church behind it. While I have never been overly zealous about the approved private revelations of the Marian apparitions, I take notice of them in a reserved yet serious manner. While we have the widely known approved apparitions of Lourdes and Fatima for example, we also have approved private revelations of Our Lady that are not as widely known such as the one in Kibeho. While I am not going to elaborate on these events in this article, it is worth taking note of what some of the messages that have been reported to have come from it, for they do communicate a reality as to the crisis of our present culture. Below are some of those messages which communicate the stark reality we find ourselves in, and the solution to it.

“We must meditate on the passion of Jesus and on the deep sorrow of his Mother.”

“The world has turned against God.  We must repent and ask for pardon."

“Repent, repent, repent!”, “Convert while there is still time.”

“The world conducts itself very badly,” “The world hastens to its ruin, it will fall into the

 “The world is rebellious against God, it commits too many sins, it has neither love nor peace.”

“If you do not repent and do not convert your hearts, you will fall into the abyss.”

“What I ask of you is repentance. If you recite this chaplet (Seven Sorrows), while meditating on it, you will then have the strength to repent. Today, many people do not know any more how to ask forgiveness.”

"We must be converted, we must pray and mortify ourselves. Satan tries to ruin us. God wants our prayers from the heart."

Despite whether or not you find the Kibeho apparitions credible, I doubt that any serious Catholic would deny that the above comments are anything short of depicting the stark reality we find ourselves in, and how we can get ourselves out. We receive a tremendous amount of grace when we say these prayers of the Seven Sorrows. The chaplet consists of saying the Our Father and the Hail Mary while meditating on the Seven Dolors. Of course the Our Father comes from the lips of Jesus Himself, and as Saint Brother Andre Bessette once said, “When you say to God, Our Father, he has his ear right next to your lips.” The Hail Mary, of course also rooted in Scripture, has been exclaimed by the Saints throughout the ages such as Saint Cyril of Alexandria for example, “Hail to thee Mary, Mother of God, to whom in towns and villages and in island were founded churches of true believers." It is a wonderful prayer which has its focus on Christ’s incarnation as well as the love and obedience of Our Blessed Mother to the will of Christ. It also asks for the intercession of Our Lady as well. Padre Pio spoke of the importance of Our Lady’s intercession for all Christians in blunt terms, “Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother.”

The Seven Dolors that are meditated upon are, The Prophecy of Simeon, The Flight Into Egypt, The Loss of the Child Jesus, Our Lady Meeting Jesus on Via Dolorosa, The Crucifixion of Our Lord, Our Lady Receiving the Body of Our Lord From the Cross, and the Burial of Our Lord. We meditate on these events, praying the Our Father and asking for Our Lady’s intercession. While we find ourselves living in this sorrowful age, it is most fitting that we pray this chaplet, if not every day, then maybe on Fridays, before Mass on Sunday or perhaps make it a part of your Lenten prayers. There is no shortage of the sorrows brought upon us by our sinful generation, and so the image of Our Sorrowful Mother is a powerful one for us, and it should drive us to living a more devout Christian life.

Link to the consecration to Our Lady of Seven Sorrows and the daily meditations.
Link to praying the actual Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows.

Nota Bene

    One final and important note. Although it is easy to focus on the sins of others, we must first look at our own. We cannot make reparation for others and advance the Gospel of Our Lord if we ourselves are steeped in sin. So we must make sure that we are living a holy life, always examining ourselves before God Almighty as to how we may have offended him, and then repent and make reparation for our sins. We weep first for our own sins and then for the sins of others. So we examine ourselves each day, and then pray for forgiveness. When necessary we make a trip to the confessional and receive forgiveness in the sacrament. Making ourselves present before Our Lord at Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of obligation are mandatory not optional, while we should be trying to go to Mass as often as we can. I would hope that practicing Catholics are doing all of these things otherwise we are not part of the solution to our societal woes, but part of the problem. This beautiful devotion to the Seven Sorrows is not one that is only directed at the sinful world and the salvation of others external to us, but it is directed at our own salvation first, and remember, our past sins have also contributed to the crisis of our age. So even when we pray for our sinful generation, remember, we are also praying for ourselves, because we are part of it. We do not point our fingers in arrogance at the sins of others, but we weep for them and offer reparation for them along with our own.

Archdiocese of LA Will Again Mock Christ This Year

How many years will this LA Religious "Education" Congress nonsense be tolerated? Does this look like anything remotely close to the Catholic religion? Here is the advertisement for this years debacle, and below that is last years mockery of the Mass at the event. Ever wonder why it is so hard to get the SSPX to play ball? Year after year this happens, and yet, nothing is done. Some of this years list of speakers include Thomas Reese, SJ, Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI , and Dr. Megan McKenna. We should all pray for the reparation of this profanation of Our Lord. I will offer up my chaplet of Seven Sorrows for this today.

Religious Education Congress
March 22, 2012
(Youth Day)
March 23-25, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

iDoms Portal App

If you have an iPad, iPod or iPhone I recommend downloading the new revamped iDoms portal app from the Dominican Province of St. Joseph. It has daily updates of articles, videos and audio downloads. It is free, so check it out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Missa Cantata in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas

How cool is this? "Missa Cantata in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas that was celebrated according to the traditional Dominican Rite at Saint Vincent Ferrer Church in New York City on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. The celebrant for the Mass was Fr. Austin Dominic Litke, O.P., and Fr. James Dominic Brent, O.P., assistant professor of philosophy at the Catholic University of America, was be the preacher. The music for the Mass was Dominican chant sung by a schola of Dominican friars."

Dominican Rite Mass from Province of Saint Joseph on Vimeo.

Cardinal Dolan's Address and Anti-Triumphalism

I was listening to EWTN radio on Sirius a couple of weeks ago and the host of one of the shows was raving over the address given by Archbishop Dolan just before his in-cardination. The host spent the better part of the show talking about how great the address was. So I was curious and exited to go find it and read it. I read over it a couple of times, and although some of it was marginally inspiring, it was in my opinion nothing exceptional. More perplexing however was part of the text towards the middle of the address, under point #2, which seemed to me to be quite a downer. It essentially killed the rest of it for me. The Archbishop went onto an anti-triumphalism note, which completely turned me off. As you may know, many of the modernist "new theologians" have often lauded this "anti-triumphalist" attitude. What is triumphalism? It is properly defined as, "the attitude that one religious creed is superior to all other." Well, isn't that the Church's position? Isn't that Jesus' position? Are we not as Catholics supposed to be proud of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ our King, and proclaim Him as the King of Kings to all nations? Is this a bad thing? In reading Archbishop Dolan's remarks you would think so at certain points. In fact he almost seems to contradict himself at points during the address, pointing to Cardinal Newman and his opposition to liberalism, while at the same time making it seem that we should not act too proud of our faith. As I often have said, the writing style of those in the Church today often speak in a cryptic form, not that of the scholastics of old. Also, on a side note, I am aware that "triumphalism" has been used as an insulting term to define arrogance and superiority of a group of people or an organization. Yet, when I think of past Popes wearing the tiara or being carried in the chair in Saint Peter's, I do not think of that as arrogant, but as symbolic of the Vicar of Christ on Earth. That being said, let me continue.

As I read through Archbishop Dolan's address he referred frequently about the importance of a "new evangelization." So far so good. But soon after his introduction, in his second point he states, "After the Council, the good news was that triumphalism in the Church was dead." Really? This is the good news? He continues and gives yet another baffling exclamation, "The bad news was that, so was confidence! We are convinced, confident, and courageous in the New Evangelization because of the power of the Person sending us on mission — who happens to be the second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity – because of the truth of the message, and the deep down openness in even the most secularized of people to the divine." You would think that before the Council the second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity was on a long vacation. Dolan then ups the anti a bit further. "Confident, yes! Triumphant, never!" What is that supposed to mean? Were all of the popes before the Council mere triumphalist maniacs void of the second Person of the Trinity? The Church is never going to be triumphant in her mission? We should not act as if she is ever going to be triumphant? What is he saying here? Well, the next sentence kind of put the icing on the cake, and from this point on, the rest of the address was tarnished for me. "What keeps us from the swagger and arrogance of triumphalism is a recognition of what Pope Paul VI taught in Evangelii Nuntiandi: the Church herself needs evangelization!" For me, he may as well have called every Pope before Paul VI a swaggering arrogant triumphalist in need of conversion. I do not get the point here. Sure, he was addressing the Cardinals and the Pope, and perhaps he had some hidden intention directed at them, but I fail to see what it was.

Sure, there are always people in the Church who are in need of conversion. That being said, the Church herself in what she proclaims is never void of the absolute truth, and we should be proclaiming it from the rooftops. When Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me" was he a "triumphalist?" How about the infallible declaration of Vatican I, "The Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate...In this way, by unity with the Roman pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith, the church of Christ becomes one flock under one supreme shepherd. This is the teaching of the catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation." Was that triumphalism as well? We can only speculate what the Archbishop had in mind further, but this anti-triumphalism escapade was at best out of place, and at worst an insult to the entire Church before the "Council." I  for one am tired of hearing about how life since the "Council" has been the best thing since sliced bread.

The Archbishop continued on to talk about how secularism had choked the seed of faith. While secularism is surely a problem, it was largely the bishops who let secularism into the Church in the first place by being "anti-triumphant" towards the one true Catholic faith. He also talked about how poorly the faithful had been catechized, which is again, not the fault of secularism per se, but those in charge of catechizing. Dolan quotes the infamous theologian with modernist impulses, Henri De Lubac in referring to the new Church. He talks of a new Church, one that had apparently in some "venues" once lost the gospel only to newly rediscover it. "Over the fifty years since the convocation of the Council, we have seen the Church pass through the last stages of the Counter-Reformation and rediscover itself as a missionary enterprise. In some venues, this has meant a new discovery of the Gospel." Again, all of this talk can make it seem that the Church was a barren wasteland before the "Council." Why is it so important to put everything down before the "Council" for the bishops these days? Does the newly minted Cardinal really think that his generation of bishops has surpassed that of those many generations before him? I would hope not, because as they say, the proof is in the pudding. We must face the fact that we (That includes Cardinal Dolan) are the ones in crisis now, not them. Those arrogant swaggering triumphalists were the ones warning our future generation that this crisis was going to happen if modernism was not opposed with every ounce of strength that we had. As we know, it was not, and so now our generation is the one with the crisis.

Before closing here, I do not want to make it seem that everything that Archbishop Dolan had to say was worthless, nor that I do not respect his late stance against the HHS mandate. On the contrary, in the address he affirmed some important qualities which must accompany evangelization, which is joy and love. He referred to the many martyrs of the Church and how important they are for the faith. He is right in pointing out that many times we evangelize with a heavy hand rather than with the virtue of true charity. He is also forthright and prudent in making all of these valid points. The problem for me is that he seems to imply that all of this had been lacking in the Church before the Council, which was apparently caught up in this "triumphalism." Perhaps I am reading a bit into this? If my assessment regarding his stance on triumphalism is correct, I would beg to differ with him on that point. The many Saints that we had living and proclaiming the Gospel before the Council attests to the fact that there was nothing wrong with Catholic triumphalism. It is not an opposite or an ant-thesis to Christian charity to proclaim that Jesus and His one Church is where the one truth can be found. It is not a bad thing to point out that all who remain outside of the Church, including all other religions are grossly lacking in the truth, and do not offer salvation to mankind. It is not wrong to have all of the rich tradition of symbolism that our faith contains that points to this reality. It is also I think an error to even imply that the Church has ever been lacking in proclaiming the Gospel, as if she had lost it and then rediscovered it again. These are my thoughts on the address, perhaps you may or may not agree with me. Check out the address for yourself linked above, and if you like leave your thoughts in the comment box. I am curious to see how others perceive this anti-triumphalist portion of the address, and how it fits into the whole.

I would like to leave you with a quote from the encyclical by Pope Pius XI titled, 'Mortalium Animos.'

...But, all the same, although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor. Meanwhile they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal: but even if they could so act. it does not seem open to doubt that any pact into which they might enter would not compel them to turn from those opinions which are still the reason why they err and stray from the one fold of Christ. 
8. This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise? For here there is question of defending revealed truth. Jesus Christ sent His Apostles into the whole world in order that they might permeate all nations with the Gospel faith, and, lest they should err, He willed beforehand that they should be taught by the Holy Ghost:[15] has then this doctrine of the Apostles completely vanished away, or sometimes been obscured, in the Church, whose ruler and defense is God Himself? If our Redeemer plainly said that His Gospel was to continue not only during the times of the Apostles, but also till future ages, is it possible that the object of faith should in the process of time become so obscure and uncertain, that it would be necessary to-day to tolerate opinions which are even incompatible one with another? If this were true, we should have to confess that the coming of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, and the perpetual indwelling of the same Spirit in the Church, and the very preaching of Jesus Christ, have several centuries ago, lost all their efficacy and use, to affirm which would be blasphemy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Papal Encyclicals Online Digital Library

For those of you who like to go back and read the past encyclicals of the popes, 'Papal Encyclicals Online' has now converted many of them over to digital format so you can download them on your E-Readers! I have now loaded  many of them onto my Ipad. Very cool for taking a vast library with you. You never know when you may want to pull out 'Lamentabili Sane' during a pub discussion. Give it a look.

Thanks For The Endorsement Mr. Swan.. But..

Mr. James Swan,
     The extent your foolishness sadly increases with age. We can see that you are not able to build any kind of coherent argument for your man made religion, so therefore you can only invent fallacies and promote them as truth. This is what I call the 'Emperor's New Clothes' phenomenon. You just tell your lies long enough and then hope that people will begin to believe them. In this case Mr. Swan, you ignore the fact that Catholics put their faith in a different source than you and your buddies do. For you Mr. Swan, it is clear that your faith resides in yourself and the things that you deem to believe in, which are external to Christ's Church. For the Catholic, their faith resides in the living God who speaks through those whom He sent, through His one and only Church. This one and only Church of course includes the Sacred Scriptures, which folks like you Mr. Swan have sought to remove from the bosom of Christ and His Church. I have refuted the many fallacies that you have peddled over the years, and have gotten emails from Protestants who have come into the Catholic Church after having read my blog as well as several other Catholic apologetics websites. Your endorsement of my website Mr. Swan as being some sort of contribution to your cause is clearly unwarranted and I might add, quite childish. Be that as it may, I welcome the 10 or 15 people who may come over here to my blog from your 'Beggars All' blog. Welcome, and I hope you enjoy the material I have posted and will continue to post here regarding the one true Christian faith. As always, I welcome comments, and do not delete comments that disagree with mine like you do on your blog Mr. Swan. Just for old times sake I want to take a walk down memory lane and recap some of the times where you Mr. Swan fell on your face while attacking the Catholic Church. Receive this as my gift to you Mr. Swan, and the readers who may stop by from your blog, as kind of a greatest hits if you will, of the great fallacies you have promoted over the years. Enjoy!

1. Teaching Mr. Swan About Baptism. Part I, Part II.
2. James Swan Begging the Question on Sola Scriptura.
3. Teaching Mr. Swan About Saint Maximus
4. The Story of Swan and Van Til
5. Remembering Swan and Bugay Building Their Own Mustang
6. Remembering When Mr Swan Had To Close Down His Luther Thread
7. Explaining to Mr Swan Why His Religion Is Man-made
8. Answering The Swan Addendum

Yes, My Kind Of Priest!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Glenn Beck-"We are all Catholics now!"

Although I am not a huge Glenn Beck fan, he does have a valid point here. However, I am not nearly as convinced as he is that all of the new Cardinals are staunch "conservatives" as he labels them. The fact does remain, that if the Catholic Church is neutralized, then there is no hope for the disorganized and divided Protestants. Check out the video.

Deal With SSPX Looks Grim

I have been following the SSPX dialog with the Vatican that has been going on with great anticipation. For one, I think it is a good thing that the many varying interpretations of the Vatican II documents are being discussed for the enrichment of all Catholics. This includes finding out what this doctrinal preamble says, which will hopefully be released soon. That being said, I had my doubts as to how this reconciliation would go. As it stands at this moment, it seems that the Holy Father has rejected the SSPX's proposal. Perhaps something more will come from this situation yet. For now here is the news...

The Vatican has informed leaders of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) that doctrinal differences prevent the regularization of the traditionalist group.
The Vatican announced on March 16 that Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the SSPX, has been notified that Pope Benedict XVI could not accept the position put forward by the traditionalist group in its response to an offer from the Holy See....The Vatican made it clear in September that the SSPX would be asked to accept the “doctrinal preamble” as a condition for reconciliation with the Holy See. Although the contents of the document have not been made public, the Vatican was asking for an acknowledgment from the SSPX that the teachings of Vatican II are valid...
Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters that an agreement is still possible. “The question isn’t considered closed,” he said. An official Vatican statement indicated that Bishop Fellay “was invited to clarify his position in order to be able to heal the existing rift, as is the desire of Pope Benedict XVI.”. However, the prospect of an agreement now appears remote....In its March 16 statement, the Vatican said that it was seeking another response from Bishop Fellay in order “to void an ecclesiastical rupture of painful and incalculable consequences.”

Sin Of Onan Continued...

For those of you who want more information on the contraceptive act condemned in Genesis 38, Fr. Brian Harrison's article on the subject is worth a read. Sadly the pretended "Reformers" over on 'Beggars All' who are up in arms over this, have no where else to run, so they now must side with the liberals to justify their doctrinal shift away from their much heralded founders like Luther and Calvin. Again, it is quite obvious that Mr. Swan must start from the false premise he holds, and then go look for anything he can get his hands on to justify it, rather than going out and actually looking for the truth. Anyone who would attempt to take this passage of Genesis 38 and reinterpret it against the consistent Jewish and Christian interpretation of it is obviously either not being honest or they are consumed with the modernist Biblical nonsense pervading the "scholarship" of our faithless age. As for our buddy Mark Shea who appears to be consumed with Biblical modernism as well, no word from him. Read Fr. Harrison's entire article here. Below is Fr. Harrison's summary on the passage.

Our commentary on this passage can now be summarized. The cumulative weight of the evidence - the structure and sexual explicitness of the text itself and the much greater severity of Onan's punishment than that prescribed for levirate marriage infringements in Deuteronomy 25: 5-6 - leads us to conclude that while Genesis 38: 9-10 very probably includes disapproval of Onan's lack of piety toward his deceased brother, it is nonetheless the unnatural sex act in itself which is presented as the most gravely sinful aspect of this man's treatment of Tamar - the aspect for which God cut short his life. If the inspired author, while knowing the same historical facts, had evaluated them in the way most modern exegetes would have us believe he did (i.e., with complete moral indifference toward Onan's contraceptive act as such), then we would expect quite different wording: "spilling the seed," being irrelevant to the author's interest and purpose on that hypothesis, would probably not even have been mentioned. Instead, we would expect to be faced with an account stating more discreetly that even though Onan took Tamar legally as his wife, he refused to allow her to conceive, so that God slew him for his "hardness of heart," his pride, or perhaps his avarice (in wanting his brother's property to pass to himself and his own sons).

        Thus, the traditional interpretation of this passage as a divinely revealed condemnation of contraceptive acts - not as a provision of mere posititve law (cultic or disciplinary) given temporarily for a specific ancient cultural context, but as a particular manifestation of that divine will for the entire human species which had been revealed through nature ever since the Creation - must be seen as supported by serious exegetical arguments. Indeed, quite apart from those arguments, and even without any appeal to the Catholic theological principle that Church tradition must be our guide to the interpretation of Scripture, a purely historical awareness of the unanimity of Jewish tradition on this point highlights how implausible and anachronistic is the view we are criticizing. That view involves the gratuitous suggestion that the ancient author of Genesis 38 was a lone 'liberal' who, in contrast to every other known Jewish commentator until recent times, was unaccountably permissive about unnatural sex acts while at the same time, paradoxically, showing himself (and God) to be unaccountably severe in regard to infractions of the levirate mariage custom.

        The witness of Christian as well as Jewish tradition on this point should be emphasized in conclusion. That Onan's unnatural act as such is condemned as sinful in Gen. 38: 9-10 was an interpretation held by the Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Church, by the Protestant Reformers, and by nearly all celibate and married theologians of all Christian denominations until the early years of this century, when some exegetes began to approach the text with preconceptions deriving from the sexual decadence of modern Western culture and its exaggerated concern for 'over-population.' Sad to say, these preconceptions have since become entrenched as a new exegetical 'orthodoxy' which can no longer see even a trace of indignation in this passage of Scripture against intrinsically sterile forms of genital activity as such.

(Fr. Brian Harrision- Sin of Onan Revisited 1996)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Priest Gives Real Reason Behind His Suspension

For those who are interested in the suspension of the priest who rightfully withheld communion to an openly practicing gay person, here it is. It was reported that this priest was being suspended for something other than this incident. This however appears to be false. Again and again we have to wonder who's side these bishops are on? Read the entire letter from the priest here.

"...As to the latest allegations, I feel obliged to alleviate unnecessary suffering for the faithful at St. John Neumann and others who are following the case.

I wish to state that in conversation with Bishop Barry Knestout on the morning of March 13, he made it very clear that the whole of the case regarding the allegations of “intimidation” are circumscribed to two conversations; one with the funeral director and the other with a parish staff member present at the funeral. These conversations took place on March 7th and 8th, one day before the archdiocese’s latest decision to withdraw faculties (not suspend, since Cardinal Wuerl is not my bishop) on the 9th of March. I am fully aware of both meetings. And indeed contrary to the statement read on Sunday, March 11th during all Masses at St. John Neumann, both instances have everything to do with the Eucharistic incident. There is no hidden other sin or “intimidation” allegations that they are working on, outside of these two meetings."

Sin of Onan: Another Reason To Avoid The Theology of Mark Shea

We have the "Magisterium of One" Mark Shea, at it again making bold proclamations which remain outside his realm of expertise. Mr. Shea has now formally proclaimed that it is "wrong-headed" to refer to the "Sin of Onan" in Genesis 38, as being a support against contraception. I have written an article on this subject awhile back, which you can read here. In the linked article I fully explain in detail why the "Sin of Onan" is correctly identified with the contraceptive act, and I provide sources to back this proposal up. I want to make just one reference here in this post to make a point. Be very careful who you read for your information concerning your Catholic faith. I would also add, that this goes for me as well. I do always try and provide my readers with sources when I put forth an argument, so you can check the facts for yourself. Unfortunately, many don't provide their sources when they make bold proclamations on the internet. Anyways, always double check your facts. Now back to Mark Shea. In his article, 'What Does it Mean to Say Jesus has Fulfilled the Old Covenant?' he writes the following,

 "In the case of Onan, you are right that the common Catholic reliance on this passage as a proof text against contraception or masturbation is a weak one and wrong-headed.  The point of the story is that Onan dishonored the natural law by failing to provide an heir for his brother and his widow (recall that children were the sole “social safety net” that widows had, so the main sin in view in the text of Genesis is Onan’s betrayal of his family by refusing to give his brother’s wife children after his brother had died)."     (Mark Shea)
It is easy here to see that Mr. Shea falls into the error of "modern" Biblical scholarship. There is no question as to what the heinous act which Onan was killed for in Genesis 38. The "detestable" act was the intentional act of spilling his seed outside of intercourse. Does Mr. Shea ever wonder why the "Sin of Onan" has always throughout history been identified with the contraceptive act? Furthermore, just so that Mr. Shea will not come along and call me a flat-footed fundamentalist, like he often does with people who disagree with him, let's see where else this interpretation of the "Sin of Onan" has also been identified with the contraceptive act. If you guessed that it is the Catholic Magisterium, you would be correct. For Mr. Shea however, I am sure that Pope Pius XI and the great Saint Augustine would make his flat-footed fundamentalist list today.

"Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious. Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, "Intercourse even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it."(Pope Pius XI- Casti Connubii- para 54-55)

So here we have the Church in a formal document, concerning marriage and procreation, which clearly references Genesis 38 and the "Sin of Onan" with the contraceptive act. If you want to know more about this you can reference my other article to which I linked above, or check out this article by John F. Kippley which was published in 'Homiletic & Pastoral Review', in May 2007. His conclusion likewise states, "In summary, the Onan account is an important part of the Christian Tradition against contraceptive behaviors. Claims that Onan was slain by God simply for his violation of the law of the Levirate are not sustained by the text itself and are further disproved by the text of Deuteronomy 25: 5-10. The anti-contraception interpretation of the text was reflected by St. Augustine and confirmed by Pius XI in Casti Connubii."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

FFRF.ORG The Subversive Ideology of Atheism

On March 9th 'The Freedom From Religion Foundation' put an ad in the New York Times calling for Catholics to leave the Church. The add was nothing more than a propaganda piece based on the fantasies of an atheist ideology, which seeks to promote its agenda by giving you only part of the truth, rather than all of it. The latest ad can be found here. On their website, they also put up an article which accuses the Catholic bishops of being opposed to "women's reproductive rights" and "women's healthcare." I wanted to take a look at this article and respond to it. I will quote their "action alert" in indented paragraphs and then respond to it below each quote. 

Catholic bishops go after women’s right to contraception

(Action Alert by FFRF.ORG)

During church services on the last Sunday in January, Catholic hierarchy read what CBS News called a "blistering letter," assailing the Obama administration for an "assault on religious liberty." (Read a version of the bishops' letter proclaimed in every Catholic Church, urging Catholic congregants to contact Congress members.)

The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops has been gunning for President Obama, since the welcome decree on Jan. 20 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared that most health insurance plans must cover contraception with no co-pay. Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius formally announced: "Women will not have to forego these services because of expensive co-pays or deductibles, or because an insurance plan doesn’t include contraceptive services."
In my opinion, the bishop's letter was far from blistering, and could have been more explicit. The fact however remains, that a women, or any person for that matter, do not have an inherent right to any drug that they please, let alone having it provided to them by a government mandate. The US government under the Constitution does not have the authority to force private insurance companies to provide this mandated coverage. It is clear, that aside from the moral evils being supported here, abortion and contraception, we have a federal government which has usurped its authority to promote such atrocities.

The Administration specifically exempted churches themselves, along with any other employer who is explicitly focused on offering a religious message and primarily employs those who believe in that message. HHS additionally is giving religious groups more time to comply with the rule, to generally take effect on Aug. 1.

Catholic and other religious hospitals, schools and universities are substantial beneficiaries of all kinds of public funding, including but not limited to Pell grants. This new rule will ensure that a student going to a student health center at a Catholic-affiliated college will not find herself out in the cold when needing a birth control prescription, as currently happens at places like Fordham University. Rape victims in communities served only by Catholic hospitals (receiving huge federal infusions) are being denied the morning after pill. Working class women struggling to pay bills who must contribute to workplace health care premiums are being double-billed, forced to shell out as much as $100 a month for birth control pills that should already be covered.
As we know, there is really no exemption for religious groups, since the ball has been only kicked back to the insurance end, which Catholic organizations will have to pay for. So we see clearly that FFRF is not honest in presenting the whole truth on their website. The old atheist motto is at work here, any means justifies the end they are seeking, including lying or deceiving. The next line of course seeks to appeal to the emotions. It is all about rape and the morning after pill now. Not downplaying the heinous crime of rape, we must however realize that only about 200 women in the US each year see a pregnancy from a rape. But since this is such a heinous crime, it is a great way to grab the attention of the public and pull on their heartstrings. I proclaim that it is a sick tactic for a group like FFRF to try and exploit such a heinous crime against women to promote their own twisted godless agenda. Now back to the "pill." Why should anyone be forced to pay for someone's "pill?" Working class women if they seek to poison their bodies by using the "pill" should have to pay for it on their own dime, not mine. Why am I obliged to subsidize it? If the market demands that it costs 100 bucks a pill to poison your body to keep it from doing what is natural to it, than that is on your own dime, not mine! Secondly, this is not "healthcare." There is no disease being treated here.

Without such protection, women in one of the wealthiest countries in the world are reduced to reproductive rights paupers. Women are either denied benefits or are penalized for choosing birth control.

The Catholic Church is wrong. Requiring birth control coverage as part of health care is not a blow to Catholic religious liberty. No one is forced to use birth control, much less the church's professional celibates. Employees are ensured that dogma does not interfere with their private conscience and personal health needs and choices. The Catholic Church, the largest single denomination in the United States, claims, in a clear threat: "The federal government . . . has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people— the Catholic population." Yet studies show that 98 percent of Roman Catholic women have used birth control! It is hypocritical for the church to claim that this is a "heavy blow" to "the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful." Those "millions more" who are not Catholics are being denied health care on the grounds of religion, in a manner which disproportionately denies reproductive freedom and health care to women. Denial of contraceptive coverage is sex discrimination.
Protection? Penalized? What a load of trash being pedaled here. First of all, wealth has nothing to do with this issue. There is nothing here that relates to healthcare. Avoiding pregnancy is not an issue that I am responsible for, nor the government's.  There is a free way to achieve this goal. Don't have sex! What a new concept. Secondly, no the Catholic Church is not wrong. And yes, making the Church, and Catholics in the private sector fund contraception and abortion, is clearly against religious liberty as it is defined in the Constitution. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The free exercise of Catholics to practice their religion, which involves not paying for or providing what the Catholic religion teaches to be immoral, abortion, contraception, etc, is clearly being violated. Then, to side skirt the issue, they pull a statistic out of their butts and claim that 98% of Catholics are using birth control. How does this fit into the argument? What does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Even it is true, so what? Moving on, the FFRF author uses the term healthcare again, which the author claims is being denied. Again, this is a lie, and it is a dishonest use of the term, "healthcare." Finally to put the icing on the cake, as if this litany of asininity was not enough, the old discrimination card gets laid on the table. How is the funding of contraceptives being forced upon everyone an issue of discrimination? If the government does not mandate that all men receive insurance funding for Viagra, does that mean that all men now are being discriminated against? The fact is, the US government has no authority to force any of this nonsense on the private sector, period.

We have only to look at the vindictive response of the Roman Catholic reaction in Rhode Island toward appealing high school student and state/church plaintiff Jessica Alhquist, to be reminded that if the Roman Catholic church is permitted to dictate theology into our secular laws, the candles lit during the Enlightenment would be blown out. The Roman Catholic hierarchy, which is committed to denying all women worldwide contraception and abortion whether or not the women are Catholic adherents, has not successfully dictated its anti-contraception policies to its own female members. It must not be allowed to deny birth control to other women.

There is nothing vindictive here besides the dishonest organization, FFRF, who published this article, and the vindictive people who seek force this mandate down our throats. It would not be hard to prove that the "candles" were blown out during the "Enlightenment" and the extremes being taken against religion are being raised to a new level here in the US. The Catholic Church opposes acts which are against humanity, this group and the 'Big Zero' administration are waging a war against humanity. Anyone who couches contraception and abortion under the noble term of "healthcare" are liars. How is killing a baby now covered under the term "healthcare?" How does anyone have a right to take an innocent life which is not theirs to take? You see, they would rather identify human life in the womb as a "disease" rather than an innocent human being. Just like they re-define terms like "healthcare" they also re-define what human life is. They re-define it as being a scourge of disease rather than innocent human life. Our Mother of Sorrows surely weeps for all of the millions of innocent human beings killed under the noble term of "healthcare."

Unfortunately, in an election year, this correct decision by the Obama administration may be used to pillory him, not just by Catholics but by many anti-women evangelicals who are increasingly joining that church and working against contraception. The public backlash against the Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut-off of funding to Planned Parenthood should give public officials some reassurance. But that kind of public opinion needs to be harnessed now in support of the HHS rules.

Please take a moment to send quick thanks to the Obama Administration for not caving into Catholic bishops, for choosing women's health needs over dogma. Now is the time to influence public opinion via letters to the editor and posting pro-birth control comments at online news sources.

We should be glad that this moron tried to pull this off in an election year, and we should exploit this mandate for what it is, an over-reach of Federal power, seeking to push an atheist agenda down our throats. It should be plain to see that Planned Parenthood as well as these radical atheists are the ones who are anti-women. They could care less that women poison their bodies every day with the "pill", which deforms their bodies into rebelling against the nature of new life. They could care less that women have to live with the after effects of killing their babies, after being coerced into an abortion by Planned Parenthood. This administration and the atheist groups that are promoting this rubbish hate mankind, and are using terms under false pretenses to appear to be for a noble cause. It is rather a war against humanity, seeking to destroy the foundation of human society, the family. They hate the fact that women have the unique gift of bringing new life into the world, and would rather see them poison their bodies or kill their young instead of sharing their unique gift. These radical atheists accuse Catholics of being radical, what about them? How more radical can you get than to rebel against the natural gifts of the human body, or human life itself for that matter?

Make no mistake, this is not really about "healthcare," "women's tights", or even "religious liberty." Yes, it involves government control. But it is not for the sake of government control alone, it is for the advancement of an ideology which opposes religion, more specifically, Catholicism, on every level. The violation of religious liberty under the Constitution is only the vehicle being used to get what these godless people, want, the extermination of God, and everything that reminds them of their immorality. Without winning over the hearts and minds of people to the goodness which Christ, the creator of mankind seeks to give us, the religious liberty issue remains only a surface level issue. We should be looking to see why these people are attempting to do away with religious liberty in the first place. That is the issue the bishops need to address, and have not really done so as of yet. The violation of religious liberty is only a symptom of a lethal disease which has now spread like cancer among the American culture. Please fight the 'Big Zero' administration, and these radical atheists with every available avenue that is available to you. We are closer that you think to an all out persecution against the Catholic Church. These radical atheists would love nothing more than to see another "French Revolution" in this country, with all of our heads on a scaffold.

Priest Speaks Out Against the Big Zero's Mandate

A friend sent this sermon over to me. Take a listen.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Our Lady of Sorrows, Pray For Us.

There has never been a more critical time to promote devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows. I will be putting up a post on this topic in the near future. For now, check out this website. It has a ton of great information pertaining to Our Sorrowful Mother. Below is the consecration and litany of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Consecration to Our Lady of Sorrows
Most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, Mary, would that I could be in Heaven, there to contemplate the honors rendered to thee by the Most Holy Trinity and by the whole Heavenly Court! But since I am still a pilgrim in this vale of tears, receive from me, thy unworthy servant and a poor sinner, the most sincere homage and the most perfect act of vassalage a human creature can offer thee. In thy Immaculate Heart, pierced with so many swords of sorrow, I place today my poor soul forever; receive me as a partaker in thy dolors, and never suffer that I should depart from that Cross on which thy only begotten Son expired for me. With thee, O Mary, I will endure all the sufferings, contradictions, infirmities, with which it will please thy Divine Son to visit me in this life. All of them I offer to thee, in memory of the Dolors which thou didst suffer during thy life, that every thought of my mind, every beating of my heart may henceforward be an act of compassion to thy Sorrows, and of complacency for the glory thou now enjoyest in Heaven. Since then, O Dear Mother, I now compassionate thy Dolors, and rejoice in seeing thee glorified, do thou also have compassion on me, and reconcile me to thy Son Jesus, that I may become thy true and loyal son (daughter); come on my last day and assist me in my last agony, even as thou wert present at the Agony of thy Divine Son Jesus, that from this painful exile I may go to Heaven, there to be made partaker of thy glory. Amen.

Litany of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows
by Pope Pius VII

A litany is a well-known and much appreciated form of responsive petition, used in public liturgical services, and in private devotions, for common necessities of the Church, or in calamities — to implore God's aid or to appease His just wrath.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, pray for us
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us
Mother of the Crucified, pray for us
Sorrowful Mother, pray for us
Mournful Mother, pray for us
Sighing Mother, pray for us
Afflicted Mother, pray for us
Foresaken Mother, pray for us
Desolate Mother, pray for us
Mother most sad, pray for us
Mother set around with anguish, pray for us
Mother overwhelmed by grief, pray for us
Mother transfixed by a sword, pray for us
Mother crucified in thy heart, pray for us
Mother bereaved of thy Son, pray for us
Sighing Dove, pray for us
Mother of Dolors, pray for us
Fount of tears, pray for us
Sea of bitterness, pray for us
Field of tribulation, pray for us
Mass of suffering, pray for us
Mirror of patience, pray for us
Rock of constancy, pray for us
Remedy in perplexity, pray for us
Joy of the afflicted, pray for us
Ark of the desolate, pray for us
Refuge of the abandoned, pray for us
Shiled of the oppressed, pray for us
Conqueror of the incredulous, pray for us
Solace of the wretched, pray for us
Medicine of the sick, pray for us
Help of the faint, pray for us
Strength of the weak, pray for us
Protectress of those who fight, pray for us
Haven of the shipwrecked, pray for us
Calmer of tempests, pray for us
Companion of the sorrowful, pray for us
Retreat of those who groan, pray for us
Terror of the treacherous, pray for us
Standard-bearer of the Martyrs, pray for us
Treasure of the Faithful, pray for us
Light of Confessors, pray for us
Pearl of Virgins, pray for us
Comfort of Widows, pray for us
Joy of all Saints, pray for us
Queen of thy Servants, pray for us
Holy Mary, who alone art unexampled, pray for us

Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin, that we may be made worth of the promises of Christ

Let us pray, --- O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion, Who lives and reigns world without end, Amen.

Prayers in Honor of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Pope Pius VII approved another series of prayers in honor of the Seven Sorrows for daily meditation in 1815:

O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

1. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. Hail Mary…
2. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety. Hail Mary…
3. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the loss of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge. Hail Mary…
4. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. Hail Mary…
5. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel. Hail Mary…
6. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. Hail Mary…
7. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom. Hail Mary…
Let Us Pray:

Let intercession be made for us, we beseech You, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Your mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Your bitter Passion. Through You, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

Bishops Finally Speak Up? Really?

Check this out. We have thousands of heretical priests throughout the Church teaching heresy and misleading thousands of Catholics, yet this one is the one who gets barred? While you are at it, check this out. We have many Catholic politicians who openly campaign against Holy Mother Church, and operate to take away the Church's right to teach the truth, and yet, Limbaugh is the public figure who gets publicly ridiculed? Really? Limbaugh isn't even Catholic is he?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Answering the Swan Addendum

Answering the Swan Addendum

Here is part three of the exchange between myself and the Protestant blogger, James Swan. At least I got a few paragraphs out him this time. OK James, lets take a look at your proposal, shall we? I will put your text first indented, and then my response after.

“I see the Catholic Champion has been awakened and is engaging in his pro-wrestling-like method of dispute and dialog. For those of you who are new visitors, a few years back he used to post comments here, typically ornery and volatile. To his credit, he now contains much of his hostility to his own blog, and for that, I'm most grateful.”

Awakened? Pro-wrestling like? Who is the one calling me the “Catholic Champion?” Is it not clear after several years now that the name refers to the blog and not to myself? Do you refer to your buddy James White as Mr. Alpha and Omega? Enough said there. The reason why I do not comment on your blog is that there is no possible way to get a word in edgewise. So, for that reason, I will be content to refute your false claims on my blog.

“The Catholic Champion appears to be unaware of the point I was making, so I’ll simply state it for him:

First, Protestant creeds and confessions are nothing more than a group of people agreeing together as to what they think the Bible is saying. That is, the relationship of a confession to Scriptures is, in a sense, two-way communication: God speaks, we hear those words, digest what he said, and respond back saying what we collectively hear. That’s a basic sense of what a confession is. “Basic” is the key. Contrary to the Catholic Champion, there’s nothing in this that contradicts sola scriptua, any more than my writing a blog article citing Scripture is a denial of sola scriptura.”

You see James, that depends on your idea of what a creed is. Your definition does not coincide with what the actual Church proposes it to be. It is a symbol of faith, given by the authority of the Church. For your pretended “Reformers” to go off and rewrite a Creed is pure blasphemy. Have you read the documents of the early Ecumenical Councils? The point is, if a creed is to be worth the paper its written on, it must be more that a mere “dialog” on what a group of people think Sacred Scripture means. You are trying to have your cake and eat it too. The very fact that the entire ecumenical apostolic Church proposed a Creed on its own Christ given authority, which was then a required profession for all Christians, is another proof that Christianity was never based upon Sola Sciptura. You can try and change the idea of what a creed is, but if your definition stands, then it isn’t worth the paper its printed on. Contrary to your first article, it is apparent that your Protestant “creeds” are worthless.

“Second, Roman apologists like the Catholic Champion really function with Protestant capital. They set forth their opinions and interpretations of what the Roman Church means, while at the same time chastising Protestants for interpreting the Bible.”

This is an absurd accusation here. The issue at hand is where Christ’s authority lies. If it lies only within Scripture, then your opinion is as good as mine. However, if it lies with whom Christ gave His authority to, that is, a selected person or group of people, then your accusation falls flat. You see, you have no living person to go to who has the seal of Christian authenticity. The Scriptures cannot defend themselves from misinterpretation. Living beings guided by the Holy Spirit within the Church can. So the buck does not stop with me, but with the living Church which Christ has given me. Big difference my friend.

“Using Catholic Champion logic (that is, similar logic to that above in which a confession of faith disproves the sole sufficiency of Scripture), let's apply this same logic to that ultimate authority that has enveloped the Catholic Champion. Shouldn't it simply “be enough” for him to point me to the Vatican website or somewhere where the infallible interpretations of all things Romanist are found? In other words, the Catholic Champion violates the sufficiency of his own ultimate authority (an authority which is supposed to be his interpreter!) by putting forth his opinion as to what that authority means and says, this while saying confessions imply “scripture isn’t enough” for Protestants. Therefore, if confessions prove that "the scripture just isn't enough" the opinions of the Catholic Champion interpreting Romanist reality for me prove "Rome has spoken, it is settled" isn't enough for him either.”

Again, you fail to see the main point here. Perhaps a parable will suffice. Two men go the factory to assemble a BMW. The factory has engineers who draw up blueprints for the car. One of the two men  remains in the factory to help assemble the car under the supervision of those who drew up the plans. We will call him Matt. The car plant has everything necessary to interpret the blueprints, and produce the car. In fact, Matt can actually walk up to the drawing room, or send someone to the drawing room, to be sure that the car is being assembled properly. In other words, what matters here are not that the blueprints exist, but that there is a correct way to read them. The first worker, Matt, has live access to the those who drew them up. Enter the second, guy, we will call him James. James breaks into the plant at night and steals the blueprints. He gets them home, cracks open a beer and then presumes to go about building the BMW in his backyard. To cut the story short, no matter how brilliant you think you are, you are not going to produce a BMW. You have no access to anyone who knows what everything on them means. Nor do you have the resources or assembly process to bring the blueprints to life. Can you see the difference here? You my friend are going to be sitting on a lemon in your back yard with grass growing through the hood. This vision adequately illustrates the man-made religion of your pretended "Reformers." This ridiculous comparison of yours doesn’t fly.

“And one last thing: when the champion says: "I fail to remember the passage of Sacred Scripture where it says that man should go forth and make their own creeds" he implicitly is affirming that he understands the Bible, all on his own, just like one of those renegade protestant sects he so despises. To be consistent, he should have said, "I fail to remember the passage of Sacred Scripture interpreted by the Roman Magisterium where it says that man should go forth and make their own creeds."

Again, this is an untenable claim. All I have done is give you what has been handed on to me within the living Church. So no, I am not like yourself, the renegade protester who has committed grand larceny by stealing the Sacred Scriptures out of the Church as you have. I believe in the Creed given to me by the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Where did you get yours from? Certainly not from the Church Christ gave us. Thanks for at least writing more than a few three or four word sentences this time. I do appreciate the effort James.

Helping James Swan Defend His Man-Made Doctrines

Mr. Swan, I had a hard time believing your lame retort to my last post regarding your thoughts on Protestant creeds. You offered no substantial argument to refute anything that I wrote. Not one of your responses was longer than a few words. Let us examine at how you attempted to defend your proposition, and then I will give you some pointers on how to respond when someone challenges you in the future. Perhaps that will save you more embarrassment in the future. After all, just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean that I like to see you make a fool out of yourself. I really expected a bit more from you.

1. My first premise was: "It is a fact that no place in Sacred Scripture does it tell the Church to go forth and assemble a creed." Here is your lame response, "Strike one. Private interpretation." Are you serious? Don't get me wrong Mr. Swan. You have never been one to assemble any type of lengthy substantive rebuttal to any of my arguments over the past several years, but this is just lame. Can we be more specific here? Maybe narrow it down a bit, explain yourself a bit? Or do we have to wait for you to run to your pal who calls himself Turretin Fan to receive a coherent response? Let me give you a pointer here. James, you may want to actually explain how this is only my private interpretation. This would be done by actually finding a passage of Scripture, then figure out a way to tear it out of context, and then claim that it is my private interpretation. That would at least be something I could respond to. I can't even call this a strike out, because you are not even on the ball field son. You have to actually step up to the plate to swing at the ball to strike out.

2. Next I said, "a creed worthy of belief would only be capable of being so had it been assembled by the direct authority of Christ through His Church. In other words, it is worthy of belief because it is part of the Church's ability to say it is worthy of belief."
Again, your ingenious response,  "Strike two. Unproven presupposition held personally by the Catholic Champion." Now, James, this would only be an unproven presupposition if all of Christendom had not held this belief. I mean every apostolic Church in Christendom has held to the proclamations of the early Ecumenical Councils which claimed such an authority, but to you it is my personal unproven presupposition. Let me give you another pointer. Go and find where an apostolic Church that existed for before the pretended "Reformers" came along, that proposed a creed that was proposed to be worthy of belief, without asserting its authority to make it worthy of belief. That would of course involve actually reading through the Councils, the Canons, etc, and then finding a clever way to take something of context to try and support your claim. Then at least I would have something to work with.

3. I followed up further: "Christ had given Christians an apostolic Church with His authority stamp on it to form a believable and authentic Creed. Likewise the Church would formulate it further with that same authority at her Ecumenical Councils. No group of men merely claiming to be believers of Christ or followers of the Scriptures have any authority to assemble their own Creed."
Your lengthy response, "Strike three. Private interpretation of church history." Again, lame! We have only to look at the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church and the writings of the Church Fathers, one of which I quoted, to see that it is not my private interpretation of history. I mean at least I proposed some text to back up my claim. Let me give you a final pointer James. It would help if you actually proposed some explanation and documentation as to how this is only my private interpretation of church history. Just writing four words and claiming it so doesn't cut it. Truly, if this is the best you have to offer, you should really refrain from responding. At least give me something to work with! I know you can do better than this. I want to see what passages of Scripture, and which of the Church Father's you have to butcher to defend your faulty conclusions.

Perhaps James, you can explain why any creed would be worthy of belief without the direct authority of God behind it. When the early Church proposed the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed for example, it did so by claiming that it had the God-given right to proclaim it worthy of belief. For example the Canons of the Third Council tell us concerning the Creed put together at the prior two Councils, "When these things had been read, the Holy Synod decreed that it is unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Spirit in Nicaea. But those who shall dare to compose a different faith, or to introduce or offer it to persons desiring to turn to the acknowledgment of the truth, whether from Heathenism or from Judaism, or from any heresy whatsoever, shall be deposed, if they be bishops or clergymen; bishops from the episcopate and clergymen from the clergy; and if they be laymen, they shall be anathematized...And if any one shall bring forward a rule contrary to what is hero determined, this holy and ecumenical Synod unanimously decrees that it shall be of no effect." (Canons VII, VIII)

Here the Church claimed clearly that it had the authority of the Holy Spirit behind its assembly. That means the Council believed it had divine authority to make proclamations. Reading back further to the first two Councils, it is also clear that is was only with the authority of the Church and her bishops, again guided by the Holy Spirit, that made it possible to assemble a creed worthy of belief. If we look to the letter of the bishops gathered at the second Ecumenical Council we read in the very opening line who it is that is in charge. The sacred synod was built upon the bishops, which is apostolic in origin. "To the most honoured lords and most reverend brethren and fellow-ministers, Damasus, Ambrose, Britton, Valerian, Acholius, Anemius, Basil, and the rest of the holy bishops who met in the great city of Rome: the sacred synod of orthodox bishops who met in the great city of Constantinople sends greetings in the Lord." The Council proclaimed such things as, "The profession of faith of the holy fathers who gathered in Nicaea in Bithynia is not to be abrogated, but it is to remain in force." So I think that it takes a bit more than a few words to discount what I wrote concerning the apostolic authority claimed by the Church to assemble the Creed.

Finally, this clearly demonstrates that the Church never held to Sola Scriptura. It also indicates that if you are to take any creed seriously as being worthy of belief, it must have an authoritative backing to it given by God, otherwise it is useless. It is pure fiction and fantasy to think that your man-made protester creeds are subservient to Scripture. It puts itself at least along side Scripture in its practice and adherence to it. Unfortunately you cannot reason or philosophize your way around this. Sola Scriptura is only a figment of your imagination.

I hope that this helps you in your future response. As always, it is such a pleasure to converse with you over the blogosphere!