Sunday, August 28, 2016

Our Parish Times And Strange Social Justice Opinions

I've written before about my opinion of Our Parish Times, the periodical published by the Catholic Business Network.  When it first appeared, it was a welcome alternative to the Catholic Standard.  Whereas the Standard's tilt was definitely to the left (after Tom Rowan retired), OPT took on issues and viewpoints that the Standard was reluctant to touch.  However, something happened to OPT.  In my perspective as a reader, it seems that the Archdiocese of Washington somehow neutered OPT.  Is that why their excellent columnist Bob McCarthy has disappeared from the OPT pages?

But they still retain Chuck Short, a former ADW official who is now working for Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggitt.  Two weeks ago I wrote how he has given donations to Chris Van Hollen as the latter runs for the US Senate seat being vacation by "katholyc" pro-abortion Barbara Mikulski.  In so doing, Short is subverting the campaign of the GOP pro-life candidate Kathy Szeliga; he's choosing abortion over life in this election.  Yet OPT sees fit to retain Short as he blathers about his left-wing perverted view of "social justice".  Do they keep him simply because of his connection with Leggitt?

His latest blather is entitled "Street Mercy".  Among other things he discusses the explosion in the numbers of those who panhandle at street corners and meridian strips.  Many, like myself, are concerned that the money they collect will be used to procure drugs and/or alcohol.  Short poo-poos such concerns, whipping out the "who am I to judge" canard, misquoting Jesus Christ in the process.  To be fair, Short is merely following the example of Pope Francis.  Make no mistake about it; while tippy-toeing around the matter, Short is suggesting that we engage in sentimentality as opposed to rationality, not consider to what we may be materially contributing, and blindly fork it over.

In that portion of his paragraph, Short demonstrates his lack of credibility in opining about Catholic social teaching.  Was St Katherine Drexel "judging" when she counseled against giving cash directly to beggers?  For many panhandlers, what they do is a racket (I've seen evidence of that at Shady Grove and Frederick).

I'll relate another incident that occurred at my parish several years ago, with the pastor immediately prior to our current one.  A "family of indigents" appeared in front of the churh doors, begging for money.  It was still going on when the pastor, from the pulpit, gave us the full story.  After they first appeared, the St. Vincent De Paul Society and other parish ministries approached them to see how they could assist.  The "family" declined their assistance, preferring instead to receive only cash.  The pastor suggested that we not give money to them.  Was Father being judgmental?  Our Lord did caution us to be discerning, something that Short fails (or refuses) to consider.  To his credit, Short does suggest a number of parish outreaches where we can volunteer.

What is the mission of the OPTanyway?  Is it simply to be a forum in which members of the CBN can advertise?  I don't see a mission statement in their publication.  If I missed it, please advise where it is located.  At any rate, their readership is being ill-served by columnists such as Chuck Short.

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Plumber To Be Boycotted

Why?  Because he is cooperating formally and materially with the mortal sin of murder.  By installing the plumbing for the Two Rivers Planned Parenthood Abortion Mill in northeast DC, he is no different than those who constructed the Nazi death camps of 85 years ago.  Moreover, he's quite cavalier and callous about the matter.  He admits he's doing it only for the money and that he would do so for the Ku Klux Klan.  Well, I suppose he's at least honest and consistent regarding his moral depravity.  But would you want him in your  home doing your plumbing?

Here's the DC permit with his contact information so that you can make an informed decision.  Below that is the video in which he struts his immorality.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

When Jesuits Confer, Heresy Can Result

During World Youth Day last month in Krakow, the pope conferred with 28 Polish Jesuit priests.  He had some things to say about properly forming priests - or deforming them.  Among other things, he said:
  • "Some priestly formation programs run the risk of educating in the light of overly clear and distinct ideas, and therefore to act within limits and criteria that are rigidly defined a priori, and that set aside concrete situations,"  Overly clear??  I must admit this is the first time I ever heard that phrase!  Now the phrase, "overly ambiguous" makes perfect sense - but "overly clear"?  Are we hearing some kind of Freudian slip here?  What does he think of the Ten Commandments?  "Thou shalt not commit adultery" seems to be quite clear to me and most certainly does define set limits and criteria.  Do these Jesuits think the Ten Commandments should be rendered the Ten Guidelines?  As far as these "concrete situations" that don't fall within the "limits and criteria"?  There's a word for them, as old as revelation itself - sin.
  • "Many people leave the confessional disappointed. Not because the priest is bad, but because the priest doesn't have the ability to discern situations, to accompany them in authentic discernment."  Let me take a stab at translating this glop.  "Ability to discern situations" means the knack for engaging in "situation ethics" and/or Amoralis Lamentia mental gymnastics to justify heinous sins while deluding the poor soul into thinking that he/she is acting virtuously while in reality they are damning their immortal souls.  However, in the case of a priest who actually understands that he is "alter Christus" and who actually cares for immortal souls enough to rebuke the sinner, well, the sinner who is unrepentant can be "disappointed" that his/her sin isn't being condoned.
  • And we continue.. "In life not all is black on white or white on black. The shades of grey prevail in life."  How many "shades of grey" are there?  Dare I guess "fifty"?  And why, oh why, do they prevail?  How about God's clear, unambiguous commands "prevailing", at least within His Church?
In another account of the meeting, we see other quotes from the pope.  For instance, he said, "Young people speak directly.  They want the truth or at least a straight response."   But as we saw in the preceding quotes, he wants priests to be trained to offer them anything but direct truth - or maybe offer them progressive flim-flam while calling it truth.  Talk about wolves dressed as shepherds.

All this is merely one of the logical outcomes of Amoralis Lamentia.  In addition to prayer, expect more of this and be prepared to refute it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

George Soros: Puppet Master For Hillary And The Vatican?

When I wrote my post this past Sunday (two days ago) about the anti-life motives of the climate-change crowd, I asked the question "how much Soros money is in this Catholic climate movement thing".  Some news today gives the answer to that question: billions of dollars.

Elizabeth Yore, an attorney affiliated with the Heartland Institute, wrote an article that was occasioned by some proceeds of the wikileaks data dump.  In the information was also details of plans to leverage Pope Francis' influence to sway the presidential election to Hillary Clinton.  Through his Open Society Institute, Soros planned to grant $650 billion to PICO and Faith in Public Life to engage the bishops regarding "income inequality": that is, apologetics for socialism.  Yore's article appears in the Remnant and on LifeSiteNews we see more details.

Yore mentioned that in 2015 both Vatican officials (Cardinal Maradiaga key among them) and Soros personnel collaborated on an Apostolic Exhortation on Climate Change and backing for the Paris Climate Treaty.  I wrote a bit about that at the time, noting the progressives that were wined and dined at the Vatican; see this anthology of posts.  In that first post I wrote, "I would like to think that the Vatican is just being naive and easily led when it comes to climate change.  However, I now believe there are powerful forces within the Vatican - the same ones controlling the USCCB - that are pulling puppet strings and doing their utmost to promote progressive agendas upon the whole world."  Now we know, and it makes perfect sense.  In USANews, we find remarks that Soros made about himself, remarks that seem to be quite candid to say the least.  He apparently holds himself to be some sort of "god" who controls Hillary and most likely the Vatican.  Obviously he's got the "god" part wrong, but he does wield massive influence over the leftwing in this country and in the Vatican.

The realization of Soros' influence at the Vatican seems to put many things in a new light:
  • The bizarre resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
  • The personnel shake-ups at the Vatican: Burke out, the formation of this "gang of nine", with Soros ally Maradiaga at the helm
  • The none-too-disguised manipulation of the two family sin-nods
Of course they may all just be coincidences.  But there's so many of them - like so many dots out there just begging to be connected.

We must pray for our Church, and we must understand just what is happening to her in order to do so.

Pray For Your Own Salvation And For Our Nation

Yesterday's Gospel was from Luke 13:22-30, regarding the fewness of those who will be saved.  Our Lord said "strive to enter through the narrow gate for many will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.."  Indeed, our homily discussed the dangers of presuming on God's mercy while thumbing our noses at his commands.  I'll post below this a video regarding mortal sin, hell and the 6th and 9th commandments.  Why those?  Because Our Lady of Fatima warned that sins of the flesh, that is, sins against God's commandments regarding our faculties for procreation of human life will be the leading cause of eternal damnation for souls.

Before I do so, I'd like to link to the current parish bulletin (see page 2), where Father highlights some worthy prayer efforts.  I might also add to that the 54-day Rosary novena, sponsored by Cardinal Burke.  We all know our poor nation and world need God's grace, and prayer is essential for obtaining that grace.  Such prayer will also be crucial as we ourselves seek to enter the narrow gate.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Climate-Change Hoax Perpetrators Revealing Their Anti-Life Motives

I was informed yesterday that my Catholic Media Coalition colleague, Stephanie Block wrote an article about a UK-based outfit called Catholic Climate Movement.  It caught my eye because a few days prior, on the aggregater site, I saw articles in which the authors question the "morality" of having babies as the world deals with "global warming".  In this latter article, we see the anti-life underpinnings of the "climate warming" hysteria becoming more manifest; the protagonists aren't concealing it anymore - or at least not as much.

As Ms. Block says, this "Catholic climate movement" things makes reference to Laudato Si, a papal writing that is fraught with difficulties, not the least of which is the false legitimacy it lends to leading proponents of population control, such as Jeffrey Sachs and others.  I've written about these in the past.  To refresh your memories, I suggest you read these posts and the linked material, paying special attention to this expose that Michael Voris did several years ago regarding the "global warming" hoax.

In the past several years that I've been looking at these outfits, I've learned that much can be gleaned from these outfits by looking at their members, directors, and other resources, usually readily available on their sites.  This "Catholic climate movement" is no different.  Looking at their member organizations, we see quite a few of the "usual suspects":
  • Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
  • Pax Christi
  • Leadership Conference of Women Religious
  • Franciscan Action Network - By the way, this November they are presenting a "Cardinal McCarrick award" to Karenna Gore, director of "Center for Earth Ethics".  They conveniently forget to mention that she is a daughter of Al Gore and most likely pro-abortion in her own right.
  • Catholic Charities - Recall that its national CEO, Msgr John Enzler, donated to the the campaigns of two pro-abortion politicians.
That first organization, being a recipient of money from George Soros, makes me wonder how much Soros money is in this "Catholic climate movement" thing.  We know that Soros' money had a role in the murder of Terri Schiavo.

Take a look at these facts and understand how the "movers and shakers" of the climate-change hoax are playing the "social-justice" crowd for dupes.  Please warn your family, friends, etc not to swallow that kool-aid.  Ms. Block finishes her excellent article by stating that "you don't need to be Catholic to sign a climate petition".  I might have amended that to read "no real Catholic should sign this climate petition".

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Subtle Heresies In Hymns At Mass

That is what I encountered last weekend at the 11:15 Mass at St John Neumann in Gaithersburg.  It was one phrase in the Offertory hymn that was so problematic as to be heretical.  I find that often happens in songs with a "social justice" theme.

The hymn was When Jesus Came Preaching by Fred Pratt Green, a now-deceased Methodist minister in England.  Here's the embedded heresy: "so let none of us swerve from our mission to serve that has made us his church from the start".  That phrase displays a totally inverted and perverted view of the Church.  I'll contrast this with some facts from the Baltimore Catechism, facts that I learned in the first grade.  I'll list questions 136-138.
  • 136 What is the Church?  The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him.
  • 137 Who founded the Church? Jesus Christ founded the Church.
  • 138 Why did Jesus Christ found the Church?  Jesus Christ founded the Church to bring all men to eternal salvation.
According to Green, this "mission to serve" caused the church to come into being.  For him, the question isn't even who spawned the Church but what.  In his thinking, Jesus Christ Himself has been substituted by this "mission to serve" as originator of the Church.  This is de facto idolatry.  I'm sure that was not the intention of any of St John's music minstry to promulgate heresy and idolatry, but nonetheless that is in fact what happened, with many decent Catholics in the pews singing this right along, not realizing until too late what was happening (assuming they were alert enough to sense a problem).

Additionally, this "mission to serve" is never quite defined.  Since we did have a guest priest who spoke on behalf of a charity to serve the third-world impovershed (and it sounds like a very good organization), I venture a guess that this song was picked with "social justice" in mind.   Question 138 states quite plainly God's intention for the Church: to facilitate eternal salvation, that is, to save people from hell and get them into heaven.  Any charitable endeavor, important though it is, is ancillary to the salvation of immortal souls.

Too many are losing sight of the primacy of eternal salvation.  Indeed, far too many don't believe in hell and don't seem to care that one unconfessed mortal sin at the time of death will result in eternal damnation.  Jesus spoke about hell many times during His earthly ministry, yet today we rarely (if ever) hear the word "hell" mentioned from the pulpit.  This constitutes a gross disservice to the wayward Catholic in the pew, who will never benefit from the warning to avail him/herself of Confession.  Now that is a true "social injustice", one that will have everlasting consequences.

At any rate, I'd suggest that when we arrive at Mass and are waiting for it to begin, that we give the hymns a glace to make sure that we won't be singing something that doesn't conform to Church Teaching..

Thursday, August 18, 2016

At The Vatican, Personnel Is Poison

On August 16th it was revealed that Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia to head both the Pontifical Council for Life and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.  He already heads the Pontifical Council for the Family.  Please note that it was the latter council that published a "sex education" program during World Youth Day that can accurately be described as pornographic and disrespectful of the authority of parents.  It was also Paglia who stated that during last year's World Family Meeting in Philadelphia last year, gays would enjoy the same status as other attendants, in implementation of the proceeds from the sin-nods at that time.  See here and here for more details.  Given the job he's done so far, what could possibly go right with this new dual appointment?

The 1P5 piece mentions that the former head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, was excluded from the two sin-nods although he is a staunch defender of the Church's teachings in these matters.  Hmm..  Perhaps that preceding sentence might be a tad more accurate if we scratch the "although" and instead substitute "because".  I was aware that no one representing the JPII Institute was present for either sin-nod, perhaps for the same reason.  There is also some expectation that Professor Josef Seifert will be ejected from the Council for Life, both for his defense of the Faith and for being a vocal critic of Amoris Laetitia.

A Catholic News Service piece that appears in Catholic Register stated that the Pope made these changes to "focus more clearly on the horizon of mercy" for "even in theological study, a pastoral perspective and attention to the wounds of humanity should never be lacking".  Here we see the false dichotomy between truth and mercy being ever so slyly interjected here.  Without the sharpest focus on God's truth, there is no real mercy.  What we will see is an allowance of the "anything goes" attitude that Paglia already displayed at the Philadelphia meeting.  No one can seriously doubt that the pope is systematically establishing godless progressivism inside the Vatican.

Now for the second Kasperite dissident bishop..

Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Archdiocese of Dallas will be taking the reins of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.  He too has proven himself an enemy of Church moral teaching.  Recently he appointed as pastor of one of his churches a priest who was associated with "St. Sebastian's Angels", a network of flaming-gay priests.  Vox Cantoris exposed that, plus Farrell's hissy-fit against Catholic bloggers (he'd do Rosica proud!).  A Blog For Dallas Area Catholics revealed that Farrell is giving support to a dissident "gay ministry" in area parishes.  The fact that this group calls itself "Always Our Children" is its own red flag.  This bunch has links to both New Ways Ministry and Dignity groups.  Again, one wonders what could possibly go right with such an assignment.  But having things "go right" is obviously not the intent.

Cardinal Burke has called for a 54-day Rosary novena for the intention of bringing our nation back to sanity.  It couldn't hurt to include Holy Mother Church in that prayer intention as well.  We clearly need it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What Do Alan Keyes And Cokie Roberts Have In Common?

They both evince an irrational animosity towards Donald Trump while completely ignoring the evil that a Hillary presidency would bring.  Yesterday Alan Keyes had an article published in Renew America that is quite frankly filled with sanctimonious non sequiturs as he tries to justify people not casting a vote for Trump in this election.

His article seems to be an attempt to rebut an article written by a Christian pastor that urges a vote for Trump.  Take a look at the first paragraph as he quotes a statement from Mr. Gallup's that questions how a Christian can in good conscience allow Hillary to take the White House.  Keyes then tries to put words in Gallup's mouth by suggesting that Gallup was advocating fear.  No, Gallup was not advocating fear; he was questioning the workings of the consciences who would allow a Trump vote.

I don't have time to go through the whole mess, but I will focus on this question that he asks in the middle of the article: "So God will hold us responsible for Clinton's evil because we refused to embrace Trump's?"  There are some key problems with this question.
  • There is a tacit assumption that the evil of a Clinton presidency would be no worse than that of Trump.  Anyone who believes that hasn't been paying attention to events of the past several years, or even of the past several weeks as Clinton's body count seems to be increasing.  It's either that or they are engaging in intellectual dishonesty to justify their own irrational animosity towards Trump.
  • In terms of Catholic moral theology, the question might be more accurately rendered, "Will God hold us responsible for Clinton's evil because we refused to do what we could to prevent it?"  The answer is a resounding "YES".
  • The question is followed by Jesus' admonition to "be perfect".  That is one of many non sequiturs.  "Being perfect" means, among other things, dealing realistically with situations that don't always offer clear black-vs-white options.  It doesn't mean refusing to deal with these situations while attempting to absolve oneself of responsibility for the consequences of such abdication of Christian duty.
The Roman Catholic Church, in her wisdom, has always recognized that there are situations in which we must ponder carefully our choices.  That is why she has given us guidelines to assist us in so doing, as I have attempted to do in recent posts.  Keyes is Catholic, yet nowhere in his article do I see any reference to the principles on which I touched, or any other reference to Catholic moral theology for that matter.

Then there is another Catholic, news commentator Cokie Roberts.   During an episode of "Morning Joe" this past Tuesday, she opined that those supporting Trump are "morally tainted".   She said nary a peep about Hillary, save to warn that she might commit an error  (like Bengazi, or the email deletions, support for baby-murder and sexual immorality, etc) and Trump achieve victory as a result.  Some of my friends believe that Cokie Roberts is pro-life.  I had my doubts then and now I'm left with no doubt that the unborn don't rate a blip on her radar screen.

Roberts' screed was none too surprising, but Keyes' was.  I don't know how he jumped the tracks but I sure hope he corrects that.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Why It Is Most Likely Immoral To Deny Your Vote To Trump

We've all seen and participated in some discussions in which Christians have said they won't vote for Trump because he's merely the "lesser of two evils".  When the political landscape has been rehearsed before them, they invariably say that they must be guided by their "consciences".  While there's some truth to that, they omit a large part of that picture.  We Christians, if we are to utilize our consciences properly, must ensure that we are forming and informing our consciences in accordance with Church teaching, particularly in accordance with the principles of Catholic moral theology.

In my most recent post on this matter I linked to a video by Michael Matt regarding this very topic and also linked to other attempts (here and here) to examine this matter through the prism of Catholic moral theology.  I call to attention a comment on that post to which I replied on August 5th.  In that comment I noted that Hillary's body count is growing; indeed, since that time there have been 4-5 additional "mysterious" deaths.  The quotation from Mr. Gruden that I cited is now even more relevant: "Can I in good conscience act in a way that helps a liberal like Hillary Clinton win the presidency?"

In that first link, I quoted from Father Peter West who cites three aspects of a human act.  All three aspects must be good or at least morally neutral in order for the act to be good.  If one of those aspects is evil, then the act is evil.  Those aspects are: 1) the inherent nature of the act 2) intention of the one placing the act, 3) circumstances surrounding the act.  He does a decent job explaining these.  The only thing I might elaborate on is the intention.  One can have a number of valid intentions to placing a vote.  Namely, one can vote for Candidate A because they believe that Candidate B would be worse than A, understanding that either Candidate A or Candidate B and no others will have a chance at victory.

I've also dealt with the Principle of Double Effect, a principle recognized by the Church since some acts can have both positive and negative effects..  There are four criteria that must be met under this principle for an act to be morally good.
  1. The act itself must be good or at least morally neutral
  2. The evil effect and the good effect must proceed equally from the act.  The good effect cannot be a result of the evil effect
  3. The intention must be good; we may not directly will the evil effect.
  4. There must be a proportional reason for tolerating the evil effect.  
In previous posts I've brought all these factors to bear on the question of casting a vote for Donald Trump.  So have others.  Even some #nevertrump folks believe that a vote for Trump is at least morally permissible.

However, just as the decision to vote for Trump must be subjected to rigorous scrutiny under the lens of Catholic moral theology, so too must the decision not to vote for Trump be subjected to the same rigorous examination.  It fails.  Right off the bat, looking at the fourth factor of the Double Effect principle, we see no proportional reason for tolerating the election of Hillary Clinton.  Bear in mind that she has promised to expand abortion, promote the gay agenda, fund Planned Parenthood, stack the Supreme Court with pro-aborts, and we see her body count ever-growing.  What "proportional reason" can be offered for tolerating that?

When I've posed that question to some (mostly on facebook discussions) the great majority of them will reply, "but at least I vote my conscience" as though that's a supreme good in and of itself.  I link now to an article found on American Thinker.  Mr. Lopez states, "Of course who wins the election is more important than your precious conscience or how you feel about voting.  Your country matters more than you do.  Has America become so weak and self-absorbed that people no longer understand what it means to say, 'It's not all about you, honey'?"  He has a very valid point.

The role of our conscience is to assist us in selecting acts that are in obedience to God.  That is why we need to form and inform them in accordance with Christ's teachings as revealed through Holy Mother Church (that includes Catholic moral theology).  It is a means to an end, the end being to please God.  We do not seek to assuage or please our own consciences for their own sakes.  If consciences are not informed by and subordinate to objective Catholic morality, they are not much more than pride and sentimentality disguised in sanctimonious veneer. When I hear some of the #nevertrump crowd say "no one can deter me from my conscience" and "I won't sell my soul" I have to suspect that they may well be turning their consciences into de facto idols.

I think for some of the #nevertrump crowd, their animosity towards Trump is a very strange sort of pride.  Allen West (himself a one-time candidate for president) has some words to consider.  He's correct about the tantrums being pitched by these "nevertrump" folks.  Don't we find it odd that they spend more time and energy kvetching about Trump than they do about Hillary?  In their disregard for any consequence of their trash-talking against Trump, they seem quite willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces.

I've asked this before and will repeat myself.  If there are objective reasons (as opposed to subjective resonations with consciences) why one thinks they can just let Hillary waltz into the White House by not supporting Trump, please advise.