Saturday, March 31, 2012

Maryland Primary Elections - This Tuesday, April 3rd

If you are registered, you should have received your sample ballot.  Please look it over carefully.  The recent redrawing of US Congressional District maps has changed things considerably.  I was quite surprised to learn that parts of St Patrick's parish in the Norbeck area of Rockville are in US Congressional District 6 - a district that was previously isolated to the northwestern part of the state.  By the way - that means for the first time in decades, I'm not ashamed of the person currently representing me in Congress.

If you haven't received your sample ballot, go to this site http://www.mdelections.com/, click "verify voter information" and fill in your information.  It will tell you your registration name, polling place and your Federal and MD districts.

Let me mention (once again!) before I get started that Faithful Catholics of MD/DC Inc. is NOT a charity as recognized under IRS code 501c.  That means I can make any political statement that I please (sorry, liberal lawyers!).  I am registered Republican, so I'll only comment on the GOP races; I have no knowledge of the Democrat primary races.

In a previous blog, I mentioned that I was supporting Rick Santorum.  Such is still the case.  I don't agree with him on all things, but of the current crop he has been the most consistently pro-life.  For US Senator (Ben Cardin's seat), I personally recommend Robert Broadus.  I've met him several times at Tea Party and other events and believe him to be solid.  That doesn't necessarily mean none of the others are solid, just that I have little knowledge of them.

For US Congress, Maryland Right to Life Federal PAC has put out their list of endorsed candidates.  They are:
  • District 1 - Andy Harris
  • District 2 - Nancy Jacobs
  • District 5 - Tony O'Donnell
  • District 6 - Roscoe Bartlett
  • District 8 - Dave Wallace
There is only one GOP candidate running in each of the other three districts; they will be facing pro-abortion incumbents in the general election.

As far as the Board of Education races, I'm not knowledgeable enough about them, save this one tip.  You might see that the literature of a given candidate sports an apple, indicating endorsement by your county's Education Association.  That will be a local chapter of the National Education Association - a pestilence of which I've written in previous posts.  See here, here and here.  In other words, I hold that "red apple" as an indication of someone for whom I should not vote!

Ladies and gentlemen, whatever else you do that day, make sure you get yourselves to the polls and vote!  Your vote counts!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pravda On The Potomac

That is the nickname many of us gave to the Washington Post many years ago, owing to its leftward tilt in both its editorials and reporting.  Only a few days ago did I learn just how correct we were.

This report from LifeSite News details how the Washington Post has been allowing itself to be an outlet for propaganda arms of both China and Russia.  I commend the LifeSite News to your reading - no need to rehash it here.

I will emphasize one thing.  Accuracy in Media hypothesizes that the Post is prostituting itself because it (Post) has been losing money.  Well why do you suppose that is?  Is it because many people (such as me) who once subscribed got sick of throwing their hard-earned money at shills for progressives?  Ya think?  I wonder just how much this little fiasco will cost them?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The "Social Justice" Crowd Helped Create This HHS Mandate Mess

I present for your consideration an article written by Father Philip De Vous that appeared in Renew America a few days ago entitled Leviathan, Civil Society and National Morality.  I think Father does an excellent job in laying out just how it is the inherent nature of a socialistic government to arrogate to itself overarching authority over the lives of citizens, becoming a tyranny.  The Founding Fathers of this nation understood that concept, which is why they set in the Constitution strict limits on the power and authority of federal government.

The "social justice" crowd within our clergy and hierarchy, particularly in the USCCB and the state Catholic Conferences, in their entreaties to the federal government to "care for the poor", have bestowed upon that same government dangerous levels of power and authority, believing that such actions would improve the lots of the poor.  Well, we see what a stellar job the Great Society of the 1960s did now, don't we?  Most of these hierarchy simply forgot that "a government big enough to give you everything is also big enough to take everything from you."  A few - maybe more than a few - occupied high positions in Church hierarchy precisely so that they could utilize this trend and turn the Church into a tool for advancing socialism and progressivism.

I differ with Father when he says, "On the whole, these are matters that are to be handled through the work of parents, priests, preachers, friends, and family, not by presidential candidates. Certainly a president needs to be a man of character, the fact that government has grown so large and invaded every aspect of life is why presidential candidates are talking, or are feeling forced to talk, about these personal things rather than things that pertain to the broad issues that constitute the national agenda."  I for one do believe that law has a role to play.  In terms of the Constitution, we see that a legitimate role of government is to defend its citizens against unjust aggression.  That would include abortion and yes, contraception for many "contraceptives are in fact abortifacients.   As the late Dr Martin Luther King Jr once said, "The law cannot make my white brother love me; but it can keep him from lynching me."  Law does have an educational component to it, and that is to teach the bare minimum standards of civil conduct, namely, what behaviors cannot be tolerated in an orderly civil society.

However, his main point is well-taken, that we must shrink government back to its Constitutional limits.  Thus the Church must stop placing demands upon it to act as a nanny; in other words, the Church needs to rediscover the principle of subsidiarity.

I now present the latest Vortex.  Michael Voris makes an even stronger case against progressive encroachment inside the Church.  I am of the view that unless we purge these elements from our leadership (an excellent start would be to do away with the CCHD), the Church's moral voice will be fatally compromised.   Click here if you cannot see embedded video.

A Canonical Defense Of Father Guarnizo

Such is the title of the article on Pewsitter written by a priest and canon lawyer.  He wishes to remain anonymous; it takes no great imagination to fathom why.  His points remain valid nonetheless.  Should an irate bishop learn of his posting and prevail upon him to take it down, I have copied it and now post it in its entirety.  It's a long read (but well worth it), so I'll put it after the jump break.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Father Guarnizo Speaks At Weekend Rallies

With approval from the office of Bishop Knestout, Father Guarnizo spoke at two rallies this weekend.  I post now some videos.  These videos were taken by attendees, not professionals.  Thus the quality is not professional.  Nonetheless, I thank these individuals for making them available.  I will post others as they become available so that you may hear the full messages.

Both of these are below the jump break so...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Star Parker At DC's Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally

Click here if you cannot see embedded video.

Last Week's New Ways Dissent-Fest

I direct your attention to the New Ways blog's own article on the event last week.  The title of the post seems to be based on a sentence in Barbara Johnson's address to the meeting, "All that matters is love".  Doesn't it have a ring of the old Beatles song "All You Need Is Love"?  Shades of the 1960s' hippie-dom!

The article has so many errors in it that there won't be space enough here to touch on them.  Notice the second paragraph where DeBernardo claims that Johnson was the victim of "liturgical abuse".  He has it precisely ass-backwards.  It was Johnson who was trying to force Father Guarnizo into committing liturgical abuse by facilitating her sacrilegious Holy Communion.  Of course he stood firm and tried to prevent it (I say "tried to" because she committed it anyway by going to the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, who was unaware of her status).

Then there's this erroneous notion of "love" that was bandied about at that meeting.  They seem to confuse it with a blind passive acquiescence to any violation of God's laws regarding life and its generation.  If God is love, how can blatant violations of His laws be countenanced "in the name of love" - except that such a notion of "love" be counterfeit?

Pray for all these people.  They have been blinded by a myriad of devilish lies.  And yes, please pray for her deceased parents as well.

A Tale Of Two Barbaras

It appears that there are two Barbara Johnsons in Maryland - both lesbians and living in the DC metropolitan area.  We bloggers (of all viewpoints) seem to have been conflating the two.  This one from Metro Weekly, while speaking of the funeral incident, has as its second footnote an article that is really about the different Barbara Johnson.  Other blogs (including this one) have cited that article.

It's an article called "Still Laughing".  This article links a Barbara Johnson with a Kathleen DeBold.  Note that the article is written in 2005 and states their ages at that time to be 49 years.  Today in 2012, they'd be 56 years old.  There is a picture of them that suggests that this Barbara Johnson has long blond hair.   This article from QNotes has the same picture, and it confirms who in fact that Barbara Johnson is.  The article seems to intimate that this is the Barbara Johnson who wrote the lesbian-oriented books.  This Barbara Johnson is not the same one who was at St John Neumann Church last month.

Here is an obituary of the deceased parishioner of St John Neumann.  Note that it links her daughter Barbara with a Ruth Gresser.  We've also seen numerous interviews and such that state her current age to be 51 years old - that is, 5 years younger than the other Barbara.  Moreover, this coverage on the March 17th New Ways Dissent Fest Symposium makes plain that the woman who blocked Father Guarnizo in the sacristy is Ruth Gresser.  The next post will deal with that symposium as its own topic.

Friday, March 23, 2012

USCCB's Progressive Problem - Limbaugh Understands, Why Not The Bishops?

During a telephone conversation with a caller last week, Rush Limbaugh spoke truth to how the Catholic hierarchy swallowed the socialist koolaid.  He echoes a point that this blog, and many others, have been making over the years.  I link to the transcript here and encourage its full reading.  Here is a key statement of his:"One of the things that I learned was the reason the Catholic Church (all the way back to the days of FDR) got roped into the liberal socialist agenda is that they became convinced that welfare was charity, and churches are big on charity.  And they thought that it would sound good for them to support massive government wealth-transfer programs, welfare programs, under the guise that it was charity.  So the Catholic Church and its hierarchy in this country slowly but surely migrated to socialism, in terms of its political preferences." 

I believe that is true for the majority of Catholics.  But there were some nefarious elements who noticed this shift and took full advantage of it - folks like Father Hesbergh, Msgr Jack Egan, etc who saw in this shift the perfect opportunity to use the Church as a tool to advance socialism.  I give credit where credit is due - they executed their strategies well.  I'm not sure who's to blame more: these not-so-covert socialists or those naive Catholics (who, by the way, forgot all about the principle of subsidiarity) who basically slept while the former had their way.

Limbaugh seems to think that the hierarchy is waking up.  I wish I could share his optimism.  Some are, but too many show signs of remaining obdurately in the progressive camp.  One sad sign emanates from the Archdiocese of Washington.  I refer of course, to their disgraceful treatment of Father Marcel Guarnizo, formerly of St John Neumann Church in Gaithersburg, MD.  Here is a priest who understood his call to proclaim the truth "in season and out of season".  The chancery, in its apology to the lesbian who received Communion sacrilegiously, not only punished a good priest but completely abdicated their own duty to "admonish the sinner" for the sake of her own soul.

Let's look at the Stand for Religious Freedom Rallies, that occurred in at least 140 cities today.  If you were relying solely on the website of the USCCB for your information, you would have learned nothing of them.  In fact, take a look at their calendar.  Do you see any mention of the nation-wide rallies on March 23?  Nope!  But what do you see on the USCCB calendar for this weekend?  Why, it's the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress!  According to this Lifesite News report, this year's dissent-fest features a bevvy of speakers who advocate for Obama, gay priests and all manners of sexual vice.  That's par for the course for this LA conference; such has been the diet they've been serving for years.  So why, oh why, does the USCCB shill for this and remain silent on the Stand for Religious Freedom rallies?  Because the progressives who run the USCCB insist on ramrodding it down the path to socialism.

If the bishops are truly starting to get serious about being bishops, they need to dismantle the USCCB.  Then they need to rediscover the principle of subsidiarity and start obeying Canon 915.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Abortionist Gives Sidewalk Counselors Handy Tips!

Yes, that post title is a tad sarcastic, but it fits in well with the silliness of this abortionist. First, ht to Jill Stanek who first posted this on her blog.

Ann Furedi, CEO of British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the UK's largest independent abortion perpetrator, had some (ahem!) "words of wisdom" to share with sidewalk counselors.  I won't bother to repeat the self-serving screed in its entirety here.  But I'll quote the last line and offer a "translation" for it is quite revealing not only of her arrogance, but her sheer stupidity in believing that any pro-life activist would actually take her nonsense seriously.

Here's the line. "Outside a clinic is the wrong place, and women in immediate need of care are the wrong audience."

Here's my translation. "Outside a clinic is the wrong place, for it reduces our daily bank deposits and hurts our profit margins.  These women are the wrong audience for they're supposed to be our customers and cash cows."  Don't you think that's much more accurate?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pro-Abortion Summer Internships

At what left-wing institute of higher learning can the aspiring student have opportunities for summer internships at these progressive, pro-abortion groups?

  • Human Rights Watch
  • People for the American Way
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Feminist Majority Foundation
  • Emily's List
GW University?  Any other state-run university?  Well, yes, but you'll also find these on the webpage of the Political Science Department of - University of Notre Dame!  Yes, this is the less-than-fine institution that forfeited its Catholicism when it hosted Obama as its commencement speaker in May 2009.

Look, I know on that website there are many other organizations, some of which could be called "right-wing".  The ones listed above are pro-abortion, and Notre Dame still calls itself "Catholic".  What we're watching is yet another chipping away and discarding of ND's Catholic heritage.

HT - TFP Student Action and Pewsitter

A Well-Reasoned Post On The Fr Guarnizo Situation From A Canon Law Perspective

The blog Rorate-Caeli published an excellent treatise from a reader who addresses the matter from a perspective of canon law while making clear that canon law serves moral and divine laws, not vice versa.  I post to the article now.  It's a long read, but well worth it in my opinion.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bishop Lori To Be Archbishop Of Baltimore

It has been announced that Bishop William Lori will assume Cardinal O'Brien's position as Archbishop of Baltimore.  Before he was bishop of Bridgeport, Bishop Lori was an auxiliary bishop within the Archdiocese of Washington.  Lori has chastised the Obama regime repeatedly over the HHS contraception mandate.

Cardinal Wuerl's Dereliction Of Duty

This is the title of George Neumayr's article from yesterday's online edition of the American Spectator.  I think the article is aptly named, as it details the way in which the Archdiocese of Washington completely bungled the handling of Father Guarnizo's situation.  He starts with the oft-repeated quote from St. John Chrysostom: "The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bad bishops."   Considering that St. John is a Father of the Church, one must conclude that the problem of lack-luster bishops in the Church is by no means new.  However, the damaging effects of poor actions are not thus mitigated.

The America Needs Fatima blog posted a similar piece, noting how the chancery literally gave the gay rights bunch a big victory as they threw a good priest under the bus.  Compounding their shame is that they did so when we in Maryland are facing off against this movement to salvage the status of traditional marriage in Maryland.

Wanna Be A Congregation Captain?

Try not to swoon (or fall asleep from boredom) as you watch this clip from the Messiah Most Miserable.  He's pitching for campaign volunteers.  He assures all that his "campaign is powered by folks at every level, taking ownership where it matters most: around the kitchen table, in barber shops and beauty salons, in your faith community..."  Whoa!  Stop the presses!  Faith community?  (At the 1:08-1:09 marks) Now what was all that high-falootin' talk of keeping politics out of churches, as they so often chide the Catholics to do?  And yes!  At the 1:30 mark, he suggests being a "congregation captain"!  Hmmm!  Click here if you cannot see embedded video.



As Dr Nadal says on his post, there can be no more straight-faced objections to Catholics and other conservative-oriented groups organizing, publishing voting guides, etc in their places of worship.  Certainly in Maryland there can be no legitimate objections to collecting signatures for the gay marriage referendum effort on our church grounds.

Barbara Johnson Accuses Father Guarnizo Of Lying

That is the statement of Barbara Johnson and her family in their reactions to Father Guarnizo's statement that he released this past Thursday.  In this interview, Johnson says, "I never introduced him to my partner."

Hmmm...  Then just how could Father have known of their relationship?  Remember - he never saw the family prior to the day of the funeral.  I await a plausible hypothesis on that one - but I won't be holding my breath!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stand Up For Religious Freedom Friday March 23rd

Christians and other people of good will are coming together Friday March 23rd in rallies across the nation at federal buildings everywhere, starting at 12 noon (local time zone).   Please go to the "Stand Up For Religious Freedom" site to find the location nearest you.   Those of us in Montgomery County MD have a choice between attending the one at the HHS building in Germantown or the HHS facilities in Washington DC.  Details for each are found on the main website.

This blog has been focused a bit on the plight of Father Marcel Guarnizo.  While I do not intend to let him drop off the radar (to the consternation of some misguided souls), I will be commenting further on the Church's role.  I'm glad they're starting to step up to the plate.  However, the hierarchy must admit to its own abysmal role in propelling the federal government to such a position of power that it now arrogates to itself divine prerogatives and assumes tyrannical roles.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two Newspapers Earn Booby-Prizes For Lousy Reporting On Father Guarnizo's Situation

First booby-prize - the Washington Post (again!)

I suppose we can all be thankful that there are no looming disasters in the world that are of note.  How else could a rehash of the February 25 incident with Father Guarnizo have made it onto the front page of the Washington Post's Sunday edition?

Michael Rosenwald and Michelle Boorstein try to compare Father Guarnizo and Barbara Johnson, claiming that they are simply just two very different Catholics.   While that itself is laughable on its face, there are more things in this article to tickle the funnybone.  So let's proceed to unpack this sloppy excuse for journalism.

First, when the Post writes that Father "has essentially accused church officials of lying", they are referring to the statement that Father released this past Thursday.  I reproduced that in my post that day.  He simply relayed the facts as he saw them.  Had he remained silent, he himself would have lied in doing so.

A few paragraphs down, we read that Father "was known as a particularly intimidating protester in weekly demonstrations outside a Germantown abortion clinic."  That clinic would be the late-term facility operated by Leroy Carhart, who murders late-term babies.  Father has been instrumental in convincing some mothers not to have this done to their babies.  I suppose from the abortionists' perspective, anyone or anything that cuts into their profit margin is "intimidating".  Otherwise, the notion of Father being intimidating is silly when one considers that Father stands about 5'6" and is 130 pounds tops.

Moving on, we see mention of "much-debated canon law".  Canon 915 is actually quite clear in and of itself.  Yes, this is a canon that ministers of Holy Communion are bound (not "requested" but bound) to obey.  It is quite scandalous that the Archbishop of Washington DC holds this Canon in disdain.  Father upheld it.

Then we read of Mother of God Community, a charismatic community located across the street from the St John Neumann Church.  Father Guarnizo is a priest of the Archdiocese of Moscow.  The two religion writers of the Washington Post write this incredible statement: "The Catholic archdiocese in Moscow appears to be part of that community."  Do you think these "religion writers" should have done just a little research on these two entities?  For the Mother of God Community, all they had to do was search the Post's own archives for articles written in 1997.  Actually the history of Mother of God Community (at least a good-enough synopsis) is on the Post's own website!  Now here's an article from Wikipedia on Roman Catholicism in Russia.  Do these writers really believe that an entire archdiocese is an arm of a group of charismatic Catholics that runs out of a relatively small office complex on Goshen Road?  Do they have common sense?

Then the Post writers quote this less-than-authoritative comment from Fr Thomas Reese, SJ.: "If I was Cardinal [Donald W.] Wuerl, I’d buy him a one-way ticket to Moscow.   These days, arch-conservative priests feel much more comfortable attacking their bishops than do liberals because they feel they’ll get support from conservative Catholic blogs and maybe some in the Vatican."  The article states that Reese is the former editor of the liberal Catholic magazine "America".  They fail to mention why he's the former editor - in a nutshell, Pope Benedict XVI gave Reese the "heave-ho" as one of the first acts of his pontificate.  I mention that only to give an idea of Reese's credibility - or lack thereof.

Second booby-prize  - Our Parish Times!

What did they have to say?  Nothing!  Nada!  Zippo!  The page for St John Neumann is filled with the usual happy-clappy stuff - but not one peep about the funeral incident.  Please don't tell me that the paper went to print before it happened for I saw reports of other events that occurred as late as March 3, a week after the incident hit the Post and other media outlets.  The silence is deafening and disingenuous.  I might have expected that from the Catholic Standard, the Archdiocesan mouthpiece that would be itching to cover up the chancery's malfeasance.  But I thought that Our Parish Times was independent of the chancery's control.  That paper has gone downhill since Bob McCarthy's column disappeared.

At Spring Street Planned Parenthood In Silver Spring On March 17

Despite the fact that I haven't posted much on our pro-life witness in front of the Spring Street Planned Parenthood on Saturdays, it has been ongoing and will continue as long as babies are being murdered therein.

The 40 Days for Life Campaign for Lent 2012 is occurring at many baby-killing centers throughout the world - including the one at Spring Street.  Yesterday marked the mid-point for this current campaign and it was marked with a rally.  I'm estimating 30-40 pro-life activists were in attendance.

That began at 10:00am.  Before that, we had a rather interesting encounter with a guy who was obviously pro-abortion.  He went so far as to declare (sarcastically I hope) that "I want to kill a baby".

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Guess Who Was At The New Ways Conference In Baltimore Yesterday?

"New Ways Ministry" is an organization of dissident Catholics based in Mt Rainer, MD (Prince George's County).  They had a conference in Baltimore yesterday.  Scheduled to appear (according to the Baltimore Sun were:

  • Governor Martin O'Malley, who signed the "gay marriage" legislation in Maryland, which we will be bringing to the ballot
  • Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lt Governor of MD.  She wrote a book called "Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way".  I'll speak more on this book later.
  • Last but not least (drum roll, please) - Barbara Johnson!  Gee-willikers!  I assume she's removed the Buddhist hat and put on the Catholic facade - not that it would make much difference with that crowd.
All of these people (not just the three cited above) are in deep need of prayer - and the medicinal remedies of Canon 915.  They are risking their eternal salvations by fostering mortal sin.

Several Journalists Correct Themselves After Father Guarnizo's Statements

Apparently Phil Lawler had penned an earlier article regarding the February 25th incident.  On Thursday, he released this article on "The Betrayal of Father Guarnizo" in the wake of Father's statement.

Mark Judge of the Daily Caller likewise wrote an earlier article that espoused a dim view of Father Guarnizo.  Upon receiving Father's statement, he too had the grace and integrity to issue his correction.

Dare we hope for similar actions from Cardinal Wuerl and Bishop Knestout?  I do - but I'm not holding my breath!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Open Letter To The Nuncio

Note: I sent this via email to: nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org



Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W 
Washington, DC

Your Excellency,

I write to you as a Catholic in the Archdiocese of Washington and as a parishioner of St John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  No doubt you are aware of the matter regarding Father Marcel Guarnizo, former parochial vicar at St John Neumann.  On February 25, 2012, Father offered a funeral Mass for one of the parishioners.  Shortly before Mass, the daughter of the deceased came into the sacristy while Father was vesting with another woman.  The daughter presented the other woman to Father as “her lover”.  Father was prevented from addressing the daughter further.  When the daughter came forward for Holy Communion, Father discreetly advised her that reception of Holy Communion was impossible due to her ongoing mortal sin of homosexual conduct.  Much controversy has erupted over the matter.  I have catalogued much of it on my blog http://restore-dc-catholicism.blogspot.com .

I regret to inform you that the behavior of both Cardinal Wuerl and Bishop Knestout towards Father Guarnizo has been rather utterly despicable.  They immediately announced that Father Guarnizo had acted improperly and apologized to the woman for not being allowed to commit the sin of sacrilegious Holy Communion reception (In fact, she did receive from another minister who was unaware of her status and previous interactions with Father).   When several of us in the blogosphere successfully uncovered facts about the daughter that lessened her credibility as an accuser of Father Guarnizo, charges of “intimidating behavior” were immediately lodged against Father.  Needless to say I hold the timing of these charges to be highly suspect.

A week later Father Guarnizo was informed that his assignment at St John Neumann had ended and that his priestly faculties were removed.  I think it is only Father’s status as a priest for the Archdiocese of Moscow that shielded him from being suspended as a priest.  Two days ago Father released a statement that detailed the February 25 funeral and subsequent events from his perspective.  My blog links to the several sources of that statement; it is worthy of your study.

Cardinal Wuerl’s record of obedience to Canon 915 has been deplorable.  He himself has made plain that he has no intentions of obeying Canon 915 as plainly written.  See http://www.calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=dbc84fb0-aacd-4dad-bfb5-2b27538150cd for his own admission.   Now it seems there is a vendetta against any priest who might take seriously the protection of the Blessed Sacrament from blasphemy, profanation and sacrilege, and his treatment of Father Guarnizo is the latest manifestation of such.

Your Excellency, I hereby request that you commence your own investigation into this disturbing matter.  Surely you can see what the treatment of Father Guarnizo will do to the morality of priests not only in this diocese but throughout the world.  This matter has garnered much attention.  I am copying this letter not only to the Archdiocese of Washington but to my own blog for all to see.  Please be advised that I am urging like-minded parties to cease contributions to the Cardinal’s Appeal collection.  Whatever else the 6th Precept of the Church means, it does not mean throwing one’s hard-earned money at an organization that is bent on destroying the vocations of good priests such as Father Marcel Guarnizo.  Only when I am certain that Father has received justice and yes, his own apology will I consider rescinding my call for a boycott of Archdiocesan collections.

Your Excellency, for the sake of all concerned, I urge your immediate action.

Thank you
Webmaster

ADW's Deficiency In Teaching

From today's Vortex we hear the Holy Father stating that he and the bishops must own up to the deficiencies in teaching of the Faith, citing in particular the failure to "communicate the rich heritage of Catholic teaching on marriage as a natural institution elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament."

Given the events following the funeral Mass on February 25th, does anyone think that the DC chancery has learned its lesson?  Sadly it seems not.  In contradicting and even punishing Father Guarnizo when he withheld Communion from a practicing lesbian, the chancery not only failed to communicate Catholic teaching regarding authentic natural marriage, but undermined the priest who attempted to communicate the teaching to those obviously misguided individuals.

"Tell the truth!  Make it very clear!  We've had enough silence!"  At least don't submarine the priests who do tell the truth!  Click here if you cannot see embedded video.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Referendum Effort Is On To Allow Marylanders To Vote On The Gay Marriage Bill

As most Marylanders know, Governor Martin O'Malley recently signed into law a measure that makes Maryland a state that recognizes "gay marriage".  Of course we realize that it means the majority of those occupying high places in Annapolis don't recognize what real marriage is, but we'll revisit that when the 2014 elections draw near.

For now we need to collect at least 57,000 signatures from Maryland voters so that the measure can be put on the ballot.  The official site is http://www.marylandmarriagealliance.com/  From there you can create your personal petition (as well as for your family).  Consider volunteering to collect signatures (the requirements for valid signatures are exacting, so training will be required).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Father Guarnizo Speaks Out! Bravo, Father!

Father released a written statement today, giving his account of the events of February 25th.  His statements are corroborated by others that have been cited on this blog (and others).  Moreover, he makes plain that the lifting of his faculties has everything to do with the funeral events and not with the bogus (my word, not his) allegations of "intimidating behavior".  Of course I hope that anyone who has at least two brain neurons firing in syncopation would be able to see through that smoke-screen - or did all these people become "intimidated" just as Barbara Johnson's fabrications were falling to shreds?

Catholic News Agency carries his statement here.  One can also find it on CNSNews.  But I'll also copy it below.  Here it is...  (Begin statement)

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo’s Response to the Eucharistic Incident


I would like to begin by once again sending my condolences to the Johnson family on the death of Mrs. Loetta Johnson.

I also feel obliged to answer questions from my parishioners, as well as from the public, about the incident on February 25th.

Here are the facts:  On Saturday February 25th I showed up to officiate at a funeral Mass for Mrs. Loetta Johnson. The arrangements for the Mass were also not my own. I wish to clarify that Ms. Barbara Johnson (the woman who has since complained to the press), has never been a parishioner of mine. In fact I had never met her or her family until that morning.
The funeral celebration was to commence at 10:30a.m. From 9:30 to 10:20, I was assigned to hear confessions for the parish and anyone in the funeral party who would have chosen to receive the sacrament.
 
A few minutes before the Mass began, Ms. Johnson came into the sacristy with another woman whom she announced as her “lover”. Her revelation was completely unsolicited. As I attempted to follow Ms.Johnson, her lover stood in our narrow sacristy physically blocking my pathway to the door. I politely asked her to move and she refused.

I understand and agree it is the policy of the Archdiocese to assume good faith when a Catholic presents himself for communion; like most priests I am not at all eager to withhold communion. But the ideal cannot always be achieved in life.

In the past ten days, many Catholics have referenced canon 915 in regard to this specific circumstance. There are other reasons for denying communion which neither meet the threshold of canon 915 or have any explicit connection to the discipline stated in that canon.

If a Quaker, a Lutheran or a Buddhist, desiring communion had introduced himself as such, before Mass, a priest would be obligated to withhold communion. If someone had shown up in my sacristy drunk, or high on drugs, no communion would have been possible either.  If a Catholic, divorced and remarried (without an annulment) would make that known in my sacristy, they too according to Catholic doctrine, would be impeded from receiving communion. This has nothing to do with canon 915. Ms. Johnson’s circumstances are precisely one of those relations which impede her access to communion according to Catholic teaching. Ms. Johnson was a guest in our parish, not the arbitrer of how sacraments are dispensed in the Catholic Church.

In all of the above circumstances, I would have been placed in a similar uncomfortable position. Under these circumstances, I quietly withheld communion, so quietly that even the Eucharistic Minister standing four feet from me was not aware I had done so.  (In fact Ms. Johnson promptly chose to go to the Eucharistic minister to receive communion and did so.) There was no scandal, no “public reprimand” and no small lecture as some have reported.

Details matter. Ms. Johnson was not kneeling when she approached for communion, she did not receive the cup as the press has reported she has stated. It is the policy of St. John Neumann parish never to distribute under both species during funerals.

During the two eulogies (nearly 25 minutes long), I quietly slipped for some minutes into the sacristy lavatory to recover from the migraine that was coming on. I never walked out on Mrs. Loetta Johnson’s funeral and the liturgy was carried out with the same reverence and care that I celebrate every Mass. I finished the Mass and accompanied the body of the deceased in formal procession to the hearse, which was headed to the cemetery. I am subject to occasional severe migraines, and because the pain at that point was becoming disabling, I communicated to our funeral director that I was incapacitated and he arranged one of my brother priests to be present at the cemetery to preside over the rite of burial. Furthermore as the testimony of the priest that was at the cemetery conveys, he was present when the Johnson family arrived, and in fact mentioned that being called to cover the burial rite is quite normal, as many priests for reasons much less significant than mine (rush hour traffic for example) do not make the voyage to the cemetery. He routinely covers for them. This change in plans, was also invisible to the rest of the entourage. Regrets and information about my incapacitating migraine were duly conveyed to the Johnson family.

I have thanked the funeral director and the priest at the burial site, for their assistance that day. Mrs. Loetta Johnson was properly buried with every witness and ceremony a Catholic funeral can offer. I did not and would not refuse to accompany Barbara Johnson and her mother to the cemetery because she is gay or lives with a woman. I did not in any way seek to dishonor Mrs. Johnson's memory, and my homily at the funeral should have made that quite evident to all in the pews, including the Johnson family.

I would like to extend again to Ms. Johnson and her family, my sincerest condolences on her mother’s death.  I would never intentionally want or seek to embarrass anyone publicly or increase anyone’s emotional distress during such a difficult time. I did not seek or contrive these circumstances.

But I am going to defend my conduct in these instances, because what happened I believe contains a warning to the church. Such circumstances can and will be repeated multiple times over if the local church does not make clear to all Catholics that openly confessing sin is something one does to a priest in the confessional, not minutes before the Mass in which the Holy Eucharist is given.

I am confident that my own view, that I did the only thing a faithful Catholic priest could do in such an awkward situation, quietly, with no intention to hurt or embarrass, will be upheld.  Otherwise any priest could-and many will-face the cruelest crisis of conscience that can be imposed. It seems to me, the lack of clarity on this most basic issue puts at risk other priests who wish to serve theCatholic Church in Washington D.C.

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. The meetings in question, occurred in our effort to document from people at the funeral Mass in written form a few facts about the nature of the incident. We have collected more than a few testimonies and affidavits, testifying to what really took place during the funeral liturgy.

My personal conversation with both parties in question were in my view civil, professional and in no way hostile. I respect both individuals in question and really do not know the nature of their grievance.

On March 13, I asked Bishop Knestout about detail on this matter but he stated that he was not at liberty to discuss the matter. I would only add for the record, that the letter removing me from pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Washington, was already signed and sealed and on the table when I met with Bishop Knestout on March 9, even before he asked me the first question about the alleged clash.

In the days to come I look forward to addressing any confusion about the above conversations if the Archdiocese or the persons involved wish to talk about it publicly or privately.

I am grateful for all the good wishes and prayers I have received. And sincerely, having lost my own mother not long ago, I again extend my condolences to the Johnson family. I finally wish for the good of the Universal Church, the archdiocese, my parish and the peace of friends and strangers around the world, that the archdiocese would cease resolving what they call internal personnel matters of which they cannot speak, through the public media.

I remain my bishop’s and my Church’s, and above all Christ Jesus’obedient servant,
Very truly yours,
Father Marcel Guarnizo   

(End of Fr Guarnizo's statement)  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

American Life League Weighs In On The Persecution Of Father Guarnizo

Judie Brown, President of American Life League, issued a press release today, stating that "Barbara Johnson Owes Mother and Catholic Church An Apology".  She raises many good points.  My only comment would be more of an addition: Ms. Johnson owes Father Guarnizo an apology, as does the Archdiocese of Washington.

From my friend at Les Femmes, here are some good ones.

An Open Letter from a Catholic in the Archdiocese of Washington



Monday, March 12, 2012

Some All-Too-Relevant Cartoons


Make no mistake about it.  This is exactly what is going on.  No sanctimonious yap-and-yammer will obfuscate the ugly reality.

Liberals, Democrats And Hell

That's the title of this Vortex episode.  There's more truth to this than some libs might care to admit!  Click here if you cannot see embedded video.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Some Thoughts Regarding The Archdiocese's Disgusting Treatment Of Father Guarnizo

I think it most significant that today's Gospel is the account of Jesus forcibly evicting from the temple the sellers of sacrificial animals and the money changers.  Mind you, He did not take what so many post-modern clergy would call a "pastoral approach".  Read John 2:13-25.  He drove them out with a whip and overturned all the tables, shouting "Stop making My Father's house into a market place."  I dare to speculate that the chief priests and those in charge of the temple might have had their noses put out of joint over the whole incident - and I dare to speculate that Our Lord cared not one whit.

Now just for review, I'm going to quote Canon 915.  It's very brief and very simple.  Here it is.  "Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion."  How can it possibly be more clear in its intent?    This canon binds upon ministers of Holy Communion - such as Father Guarnizo at that Feb 25th funeral.  Notice that it says that people in mortal sin "are not to be admitted" - period.  There is no provision for "pastoral options".  If a minister of Holy Communion knowingly admits such a person to Holy Communion, he/she has disobeyed Canon 915.  Moreover, he/she will have cooperated with that recipient's commission of another mortal sin of sacrilegious Holy Communion.  Such cooperation, being formal and material, would then constitute mortal sin for the minister him/herself.  That's it - pure and simple.  To understand this, one only need have a grasp of grammar and the ability to read a sentence.  No advanced theology or canon law degree is required here, for there is absolutely no nuance about Canon 915.

Five years ago, my Catholic Media Coalition colleague, Allyson Smith of the California Catholic Daily, interviewed then-Archbishop Wuerl when the latter made a trip to California.  She queried him on his refusal to obey Canon 915 in relation to Nancy Pelosi, who was using her high position to advance both abortion and same-sex marriage.  It seems that Canon 915 doesn't fit in with his "style of pastoral ministry".  The account of the interview is on the CalCatholic website for your review.

At the funeral on February 25th, Father Guarnizo obeyed Canon 915.  His obedience puts to shame the disobedience of Cardinal Wuerl.  Is this one of the unspoken reasons why Father Guarnizo is being punished?  And yes, it is a punishment.

Last month, when Chris Matthews sullied Blessed Sacrament Church by peddling his book there, we had petitioned the DC chancery to have that book-signing event cancelled.  Mind you, Matthews is an individual who has showcased his dissidence from Church teaching on abortion and gay marriage many times on his Hardball show.  He went so far as to invite Bishop Tobin to speak with him and then proceeded to revile him to his face.  I posted the youtube of that.  The chancery's response to this profanation of Blessed Sacrament was to say that they wouldn't bother to involve themselves with it.

Now contrast that indifference with their attitude towards a priest who had the courage to obey Canon 915 in the face of flak that he knew he would receive.  Certainly the chancery did not assume their patrician, hands-off indifferent attitude in this matter.  After the funeral, Barbara Johnson wrote a letter to Fr Guarnizo stating that "I will pray for your soul, but first I will do everything in my power to see that you are removed from parish life.."

Well, it looks like she got the chancery to play along with her game of vengeance and to do her bidding like good little lap-dogs.  Did it occur to Cardinal Wuerl that in so doing, that he is confirming Ms Johnson in her mortally sinful lifestyle?  How does that fit in with any legitimate "style of pastoral ministry"?  Is he that afraid of the gay community's profanity-laced emails that he'll do anything to get them to stop?  Or could it be that niggling contrast between his disobedience of, and Father's obedience to, Canon 915?

By the way - the Abbey Roads blog has a copy of the letter read at today's Masses.

Father Guarnizo's Faculties Suspended - Time To Take Action

Today, at the 9:30 Mass at St John Neumann parish, Father LaHood read a letter from Bishop Barry Knestout announcing the suspension of Father Marcel Guarnizo's priestly faculties.  Did I say the letter was penned by Bishop Knestout?  Let's not kid ourselves!  This letter came straight from the top - Cardinal Wuerl.  I'll bet my bottom dollar that all Bishop Knestout did was change the wording slightly (so that he could call the letter "his" with a straight face) and sign the thing.  I really don't think he's to blame, as he is vowed to obedience, as is Father LaHood bound to obedience in reading this thing with the introductory comments.  I recorded it so you can listen to the entire thing right here.

You'll hear towards the middle of the clip that "the issue discussed did not have to do with the distribution of Communion two weeks ago.  The issue pertains to actions over the past week or so."  Then Father proceeds to read the letter from Cardinal Wuerl Bishop Knestout whoever.   He announced the suspension and that it was taken after he "received credible allegations that Father Guarnizo has engaged in intimidating behavior towards parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry."

Why, isn't it just the most peculiar of coincidences that these "credible allegations" are coming out of the woodwork on the heels of the Holy Communion issue two weeks ago?  Father Guarnizo has been at the parish a year now - so these "intimidating behaviors" are now just beginning to surface?   Just what is the nature of these "intimidating behaviors"?  Who are the offended parties?  Unless we see some real basis of these allegations, I'm willing to bet that - none exist!

I think we bloggers did too good of a job in revealing Ms. Johnson's utter lack of credibility.  It certainly did her no good that there were other eye witnesses at the funeral Mass that contradicted her account of the events there.  Thus the Archdiocese cannot act upon Ms. Johnson's complaints without being tainted with her lack of credibility.  In other words, Plan A is shot, so they come up with Plan B.

So where are all these offended parish staff?  Let's hear from them!  If you post, don't do so anonymously for I will ascribe to it no credibility whatsoever.  But I don't think there will be any such posts, for I believe there is really no such subject matter.

In the title of this post I said it's time to take action - perhaps it's way past that time.  What do I suggest?  Well, if you read the blog posts of A Washington DC Catholic, you'll see he suggested it first.  I'm talking of suspension of your Cardinal's Appeal pledges.  I agree with the other blogger when he says that's the only language that the bureaucrats in the chancery seem to understand from us.  Of course let the chancery know precisely why they should not expect one more penny from you.  Contact information is here.

So what to do with that money?  Recalling that we are bound, under the Precepts of the Church, to support its work financially, I'd suggest taking that money and giving it directly to a Catholic and/or prolife cause that you know to be worthy of your donations: a crisis pregnancy center, a solid seminary, soup kitchen - there are numerous worthy candidates for your donations.  Clearly "the work of the Church" does not mean throwing good priests under the bus when they uphold Canon 915 and I for one will not support that.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pope Instructs Marriage Prep Programs To Correct Cohabitation

During the Ad Limina visits with the US bishops, the Holy Father broached the marriage preparation programs in the American dioceses.   He said the bishops must recognize the "deficiencies" in the presentation of the Church's teachings during the past several decades and called for concentration on "“the serious pastoral problem presented by the widespread practice of cohabitation, often by couples who seem unaware that it is gravely sinful, not to mention damaging to the stability of society."  Read the whole article in Lifesite News.

Those of you who teach/administer the marriage prep courses, how many of you have taken notice that during course registrations, many of the engaged couples indicate that they are living at the same address?  I know in some parishes in this diocese, these "same-address" situations, in other words, co-habitating situations, are as high as 80% of the class attendees.  I also know that you don't utter a peep.  By not doing so, you are doing them no favors, as you, by their silence, confirm them in objective mortal sin.  I said "objective" because by virtue of the terrible catechesis they've received (and continue to receive from you), their culpability may be lessened (but not entirely eliminated, for there must be that unease in their consciences that lets them know that something is amiss).  You do them no favors by your silence!  Because of their ongoing mortal sin, they will receive no sacramental grace from the Sacrament of Matrimony for which they are preparing.  That may well be a key factor why the greater percentage of these cohabiting couples will find themselves in divorce court.

I am happily aware of one parish in which engaged couples are required, if cohabiting, to separate until they are married if they want to complete that parish's marriage prep course.  This should be the rule, not the exception.  I hope and pray that with the Holy Father's clear exhortation, such will become more prevalent.

Friday, March 9, 2012

An Open Letter To The Nuncio Regarding Father Guarnizo's Plight

Dan of the Eye Witness blog commented on yesterday's post regarding other sites' takes on the situation in the St John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg MD.  He mentioned an open letter to the Nuncio that he wrote and we both urge all to write to him.  Here is the letter that Dan wrote; please use the address to send your own letter.

Some Others Weigh In On Father Guarnizo's Situation

Newsbusters takes an understandably dim view of the lack of research done by the Washington Post before they published Barbara Johnson's sob-story account of the events of February 25th.  Read Tim Graham's article here.

Then we have this piece by Ann Barnhardt (you may need to scroll down to March 4, 2012).  I've come to appreciate her no-nonsense way of stating things.  Then we have Matt Abbott of Renew America writing of "A Lesbian's Wrath".

Now read this about "Fall Guy Priests".  This tells the stories of good priests who've been back-stabbed by their bishops/superiors, etc.  Herein we read of Father Guarnizo, Father Michael Rodriguez and others.

To the trolls of the Archdiocese of Washington - Please read these articles closely.  Take them back to the Cardinal.  Please advise him that we are not buying the partisan line that Father Guarnizo "acted inappropriately".  The chancery needs to take some lessons from Father Guarnizo, not vice versa.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Ecological Conversion"??

The Franciscan Action Network is taking its turn at banalizing and stupifying the Stations of the Cross to engage in the idolatry of environmentalism.  They actually do call it "ecological conversion".  I guess they had to drop the "lenten carbon fast" schtick, for most people woke up to the abysmal joke that it was.

We have real problems, the latest being the Messiah Most Miserable and his Minions Most Mindless trying to ram their insidious contraception/abortifacient mandate down the throats of all good people.  We are watching the First Amendment being stripped from us.  We see good priests like Father Marcel Guarnizo being slammed under the apparent direction of the Cardinal, vis-a-vis that disgraceful "apology".  And we're really supposed to jump on board with this tripe???

Oh, by the way.  About this bastardized parody of the Stations, we read that "The Stations were compiled by Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, parochial vicar at St. Camillus in Silver Spring with a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development of the Archdiocese of Washington."  Well, that explains a lot, doesn't it?  If nothing else, this serves as another illustration why we must not give one red cent to the CCHD and why it must be expunged from the Catholic Church once and for all.

Protest Rally At HHS Building This Saturday

RELEASE: March 8, 2012                 
CONTACT: Jean-Francois Orsini, JeanFOrsini@gmail.com 202-686-0849

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Concerned Catholics from throughout the D.C. area will hold a peaceful demonstration in front of the Health and Human Services building on Saturday, March 10, to protest the HHS mandate requiring religious organizations to pay (both directly and indirectly) for services and drugs that the Catholic Church condemns as immoral.
        This peaceful action on March 10 is being sponsored by a new organization, Catholics for Religious Freedom, and being held from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. at the HHS headquarters, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201. All concerned citizens are invited to attend.
        "We strongly oppose the new HHS mandate, which is against our faith, natural law, and religious liberty of all creeds," said Jean-Francois Orsini, the founder of the group.
        "We ask Catholics or non-Catholics who are concerned with the HHS mandate that abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization operations be considered 'standard procedures' that should be universally paid for by insurance companies and taxpayer dollars, to attend or give prayer support to our March 10 rally," Dr. Orsini explained.
        "Catholics for Religious Freedom denounces the unconstitutionality of the HHS mandate that obligates Catholics to act against their conscience, thus denying them freedom of religion. We will pray at HHS for the redemption of all those involved in this issue - including Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a nominal Catholic -- and for an equitable resolution of the issue. We hope other organizations who share our outrage will participate with us on Saturday," Dr. Orsini said.
        Catholics for Religious Freedom began as an outreach of the Immaculate Conception chapter of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, a Catholic organization affiliated with the Dominican Order. The Immaculate Conception chapter is based at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.  The purpose of the new organization is encourage citizens to get involved in public policy decisions that infringe on religious liberty.

        For more information, contact Jean-Francois Orsini at JeanFOrsini@gmail.com, or call 202-686-0849.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Maryland's Frankenstein Bill

It's HB 449, called "Health Care Decisions by Surrogates - Donations of Nonvital Organs".  It is authored by Dan Morhaim (D - district 11 Baltimore County).  He is its only sponsor; I pray there are no additional sponsors.  Right now it's in the Health and Government Operations Committee.  Contact the committee members and ask them to kill this bill.

Under the nightmarish provisions of this bill, a guardian of a person in a non-responsive state would be authorized to donate that person's non-vital organs to another.  Mind you, this is before the person is dead and the "donation" is without their consent!

By the way - Morhaim is a doctor who authored a book called "The Better End".  Ostensibly, it's about dying on your own terms.  Unless of course, you are disabled and then it's perfectly ok to have your guardian rip out a kidney, eye balls, etc while you're still alive.

Come 2014, it might behoove all of us to have this Franenstein-doctor retired from Annapolis.  But make sure you don't wind up in his medical care later!

Maryland News: Bad And Good

First I'll give the bad news.  It appears that State's Attorney Ellis Rollins (for Cecil County MD) dropped criminal murder charges against Steven Chase Brigham and Nicola Riley.  I've blogged on the sordid careers of these two baby-killers (put their names in the search box).  Operation Rescue has more on this.  Kinda makes one wonder what pressure was brought to bear on Mr. Rollins.

Now the good news.  In summer of 2008, several members of Defend Life's Face the Truth Tour underwent false arrests in Harford County, MD.  Eventually charges against all of them were dropped (almost right after the arrests, since they weren't even formulated at the time of the arrests).  Defend Life pursued justice, and now the Maryland Board of Public Works will be paying over $385,000 to the falsely-arrested pro-lifers.  Moreover, the Maryland State Police must implement a training program within 120 days to train its officers and employees in the meaning of the First and Fourth Amendments   Yes, there is justice, and the Bill of Rights still means something!

More Info On Lesbian Refused Holy Communion At St John Neumann

First, thanks to Tom Peters of Catholic Vote for this information.  He did the due diligence research on this that should have been done by the Archdiocese of Washington before Cardinal Wuerl and Bishop Knestout inserted their feet into their mouths with the apology that I analyzed yesterday.

It seems Ms Johnson dismissed her Catholic heritage not only for her lesbian lifestyle, but also for Buddhism.  I needn't rehash all of Mr. Peter's piece here.  Suffice it to say that this little tidbit certainly does lend credence to the theory that Johnson had an agenda and had in mind to set up Father Guarnizo for this firestorm.  Shame on the shills in the DC Chancery for playing along with this scheme.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Archdiocese of Washington's Apology

So much error - so little time!  But I'll give it my best shot.  Before I do so, let me state that what I'm writing requires no advanced theology degree - just the common sense that God gave to a billy goat!  Here is the piece of slop so that you can read it for yourselves.

First, I'm under no illusion that Bishop Knestout is solely responsible for this.  I wouldn't be surprised if this was written (or at least inspired) by someone else who then asked Bishop Knestout to put his name to it.  At the very least, Cardinal Wuerl would have at least reviewed and approved this before it was published.

My understanding of the purpose of the Requiem Mass is that it is held to commend the soul of the deceased to God's mercy and to perhaps lessen any time in Purgatory.  A secondary purpose is to encourage all in attendance to consider their final end - to remind them that they need to prepare now for their judgment before God's throne, as none of us knows the hour of our passing.  No where in that "apology" do we see mention of these essential purposes of the Requiem Mass.  Instead, we read of "comfort from the Church", "celebration of your mother's life" and "fond remembrance".  At best, these are ancillary to the proper consideration of the Last Things and for prayers for the deceased.

By her own doing, Father Guarnizo was made very aware of the precarious state of Ms. Johnson's soul.  She unambiguously declared before Father that she was living in a state of mortal sin - one that posed imminent danger of hell to her immortal soul.  Given the nature of the Mass that was about to take place, Father Guarnizo would have been incredibly remiss in his true priestly duties had he pretended that Ms. Johnson's situation was not as grave as it really was (probably still is).  Yet this apology suggests that is what Father should have done for the sake of mere sentimentality.  While Bishop Knestout disingenuously accuses Father Guarnizo of not being "pastoral", it is he (and the ghost writer of the apology) who display their true lack of pastoral sense in suggesting to Father, and to all the readers, that the proper thing to do would have been to ignore the dreadful peril of hell to which Ms Johnson was subjecting herself by her lifestyle.

The final paragraph voices hope for "healing and reconciliation with the Church".  I echo that hope, but realize that such healing and reconciliation will only occur if Ms. Johnson repents of the disordered lesbian lifestyle and avails herself of the Sacrament of Confession.  Nowhere in this "apology" do I see any entreaty for Ms. Johnson to make a good confession, and to do so soon.  Without the Sacrament of Penance, such a wish for "healing and reconciliation" is a siren call to a false and eternally deadly "comfort".  In voicing this baseless false comfort, the bishop is acting as a blind shepherd leading the blind sheep.  Father Guarnizo is the only cleric in this matter who has pointed the way to true healing and reconciliation - and for that he has been slapped down by the very people who should be supporting him.

This "apology" is an insult not only to Father Guarnizo, but to all good Catholics who strive to live by the Church's authentic teachings.  It is Father Guarnizo who deserves a real apology from the chancery.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sr Carol Keehan - Chair Of Providence Hospital Gala???

Cardinal George of Chicago has voiced his opinion that the HHS contraception/abortifacient mandate will cause all Catholic hospitals to close their doors within the next two years or to cease operating as Catholic institutions.  This mandate, of course, was foisted upon us by "katholyc" Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary, through mechanisms built into the 2000+ page monstrosity known as Obamacare.

Those of us who fought to stave off this disaster in March of 2010 were betrayed by Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, who wielded her influence to get the measure passed by the House of Representatives.  Oh, yes, she postured and waxed thoughtful when the mandates first came out - but then we learned that she actually facilitated the sham of a compromise.

Comes now the news that Sister Carol Keehan will be the "honorary chair" of Providence Hospital's 2012 Gala. The announcement is here.  (Should it "disappear", please advise via a comment and I'll make it "reappear")  Additional information is here.

Think of the horrid irony of it all.  Sister is her colluding with the Messiah Most Miserable to attack the foundations of Catholic health care.  But a hospital that is being threatened by Sister's treachery is allowing her to chair their fundraising event.  The hospital directors and staff are literally going to kiss the hand that stabs them in the back!

Please contact Providence and ask them to select another gala chair who won't accept their honors on the one hand and on the other hand, work to undermine them.  Contact information is on the links listed above.

Should they not reconsider, we may have to picket.  Sister Carol is somewhat familiar with our pickets, I might add.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Two Blog Posts Regarding Father Guarnizo's Situation

Catholics online are coming to Father Guarnizo's defense - both against the venomous progressive sites that act as water-boys for the gays, and against the feckless bureaucrats of the DC chancery.

V for Victory has an excellent piece entitled "The Persecution of Father Guarnizo".  In it, she states why she believes that the analysis provided by canon lawyer Ed Peters is remiss in considering key facts.  Read for yourselves.

I also commend to your reading the opinion of Judie Brown, president of American Life League, on this matter.  I join her in denouncing the regrettable "apology" issued by Bishop Knestout (with the approval, if not direction, of Cardinal Wuerl).

I will soon release my analysis (for what it's worth) of the very flawed "apology".

Saturday, March 3, 2012

How NOT To Pray For Father Guarnizo's Situation

I received yesterday a suggestion for prayer regarding Father Guarnizo's situation; many of you readers received the same thing so you'll know immediately to what I refer.  I respect the writer as a person of prayer and a faithful Catholic, but I think some things in his letter warrant some "due diligence" examination.

In regards to the specific situation, he expresses concern saying, "I see many of us upset because of injustice, perceived lack of ecclesial backing, love for Fr. Marcel etc."    PERCEIVED????   Not merely perceived - the injustice to Father Guarnizo is all too real.  I find the use of that adjective to be most troubling, as it can have the effect of causing others to doubt the clear evidence in front of their faces and to minimize the real harm being done to this good priest.

The writer of this call to prayer correctly notices that we are upset and even angry about what is happening to Father.  From my reading of this email, it seems that he believes our anger is a problem that can cause disunity.  Well, maybe it can - if it is not utilized properly.  One way it can be a problem is if it's treated as a problem rather than as a God-given emotion that can help motivate constructive action and yes, real prayer.  St John Chrysostom said "he who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins".  Here is what I believe to be a fairly balanced treatise on anger.

Let me be frank.  There is disunity, but it is being caused by the capitulation that is going on within the ranks of the chancery - the "apology" issued by Bishop Knestout (under the likely guidance by the Cardinal) being one prime example.  If there is to be true unity, must it not be founded on truth rather than emotional "calm"?  The "apology" contains a good bit of error; I'll touch on that in another post.

There is another line in that email that causes me concern.  It reads,"Through baptism in the Spirit we have the tools, the gifts that we need to act against the devil."   Does the author therefore imply that those who have not experienced "baptism in the Spirit" lack "the gifts and tools needed to act against the devil"?  On its face, that statement is incorrect.  "Baptism in the Spirit" is not the source of our gifts.  We have these through the Sacraments, through prayer, the Church's teaching and the practice of virtue.  "Baptism in the spirit", while it may be beneficial to some, is still extraneous to the Seven Sacraments.  Some of us (including the author of that email) will recall what Cardinal Hickey told the Mother of God Community when he came in September 1995 to address us: "baptism in the Spirit is not essential to the Christian life; those who do not receive baptism in the Spirit are not second-class Christians!"   The statement in the email smacks of the misunderstanding that the late Cardinal addressed in that part of his address (3rd paragraph under "teaching").  Any baptized and confirmed Catholic who is pursuing the life of grace via reception of the Sacraments, pursuit of prayer and virtue, has these same "tools and gifts".

I fear that this well-intentioned message will cause its readers to engage in "paralysis by analysis".  Of course we must pray as there is definitely a diabolical impetus behind the mischief being wrought against Father Guarnizo.  But we don't want to let a false humility lure us into a passive stance in this matter.  We must continue our efforts in petitioning the chancery to do the right thing and to stand by Father Guarnizo as opposed to throwing him under the bus to appease the ravenous wolves at their doors.  By the Sacraments that we have received, we have the wherewithal to do that.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lifesite News Report On The Denial Of Holy Communion Last Week

Lifesite News has more details on what transpired just before the funeral Mass last weekend at St John Neuman Church in Gaithersburg, MD.  Please read it.  You'll see that Father was actually impeded from having that "private, pastoral" meeting with Ms. Johnson.  Father had no choice but to deny her Communion.  Mind you, Ms. Johnson did not have to present herself for Holy Communion.  Indeed, Canon 916 binds her to abstain until such time as she makes a worthy Confession.  Again, all this was made clear to chancery officials at the onset, rendering all the more pathetic and inept the apology that Bishop Knestout pronounced.  Moreover, his reprimand of Father Guarnizo was utterly lacking in respect for the truth and the Eucharist, let alone justice for Father Guarnizo.

The Lifesite News article states that Ms. Johnson is the author of lesbian erotic literature.  Thus it can be asked if the woman who was denied Holy Communion last week is this individual?  Here's another.  Notice that this one is set in Delaware and DC, which makes understandable Lifesite New's allegation that this author was at St. John Neumann Church last weekend.  If "Barbara Johnson the smut author" and "Barbara Johnson who was at St John Neumann last week" are one and the same, this sheds new light upon her desire to see Father Guarnizo removed from the priesthood.  It also would make Bishop Knestout's apology appear all the more foolish.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Washington Post: Statement From Archdiocese On Holy Communion

Father William Byrne is Archdiocesan Secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns.  Today the Washington Post published a statement of his regarding the importance of Holy Communion to Catholics.  I commend its reading to you.

A statement from that article, relevant to the situation at St John Neumann last weekend is "The priest has an obligation to make sure that the sacraments are respected, and any person who obstinately perseveres in manifest grave sin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion.  Ideally, the priest will handle such a situation pastorally by discussing the consequences of such sin with the person privately before actually denying them Communion."  Two questions:

  1. Did the daughter "obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin"?  Consider: she introduced herself and the other woman to Father as "lovers".  She certainly had no bones about letting Father know her "orientation" in a most up-front manner.
  2. Did Father have the opportunity to "handle the situation pastorally and privately"?  I suspect he would have wanted to do so, but they hurried away before he had opportunity.  Now consider that the daughter had been a long-time Catholic school teacher; that being said, how could she not have known that homosexual conduct is mortally sinful?  Having lacked such opportunity, Father did what he had to do when he was deliberately set between a rock and a hard place.  He did not want to facilitate the woman's mortal sin of sacrilegious Holy Communion (which would have been sinful for him) and he wanted to protect the Eucharist from being treated disrespectfully.     
I thank Father Byrne for writing this and the Post for publishing it.  These statements make plain that Father Marcel Guarnizo was only fulfilling his duties as a Catholic priest and that the apology issued by Bishop Knestout is a lamentable farce.