Friday, March 24, 2017

USCCB Releases Amnesty Screed After Illegals Brutalize Young Girl

The entire nation has heard what happened a few days ago at Rockville High School, less than a half-hour's drive from my own home.  A 14-yr-old girl was brutally raped by two immigrants, with at least one of them here illegally and facing deportation due to another crime.  Although the immigrants are 17 and 18 years old, they were allowed to register in that school as freshmen.  Of course the lame-stream media did their best to cover up the illegal status of the thugs but thanks to the internet the truth is out.  I don't have time in this post to go into details.  Suffice it to say that county and school officials are in major cover-up mode since they do hope to have Maryland declared a "sanctuary state".  The Superintendent of Schools has gone so far as to accuse concerned parents of being racists and xenophobes.  Governor Hogan is demanding answers from Montgomery County - as well he should.  We pray for that poor young lady as she recovers from the trauma of her brutal rape.  If there is one thin silver lining to this cloud, it may be the awakening of the parents and some citizens; at least one woman is rethinking her former liberalism.  Let us remember this in 2018.  We must vote out that entire school board, certainly that superintendent and those in Annapolis who are behind this cockamamie "sanctuary state" crap.

Meanwhile, London is reeling from a Muslim terrorist attack at the Westminster Bridge and the grounds of Parliament.  Five people are dead.  Although the Mayor of London, himself a Muslim, is downplaying the Muslim connection, the Islamic State is claiming responsibility for it.  London authorities are investigating other potential terrorist threats.  Again we see signs of realization on the parts of some, but will it be too little and too late?

Others, though, continue to dig in their heels regarding the farce known as multiculturalism and unbridled immigration and amnesty for those who break immigration laws (like the two rapists in Rockville).  I speak primarily of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Yesterday they released a screed called "Living As A People Of God In Unsettled Times".  As you read this gobblygoop, you'll notice the ever-present obfuscation of the real concerns of faithful Catholics.  Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but we simply want our immigration laws to be respected for the sake of all concerned - especially for the sake of those immigrants who are honorable and who enter the country via already-established channels.  These good people don't deserve to be vilified as "racists", "xenophobes", or whatever epithets the progressives like to fling about.

The bishops sure like to misquote the Scriptures, don't they?  "When an alien resides with you in the land, do not mistreat such a one."  Is it "mistreating" the alien to expect him or her to abide by the laws of the land, just as everyone else does?  I could go on and on about this and maybe will do so in a future post.   I will say two things, though.

First, bear in mind that the impetus behind this guilt-trip attempt may not be entirely altruistic.  The USCCB and Catholic Charities have a lot of Federal grant money tied up with the facilitation of mass immigration.  I have written much in general about the USCCB's blind following of the progressives in regards to illegal immigration.  When it comes to this issue, the US Catholic hierarchy may well be motivated by their financial bottom lines.  See this and this

Second, consider that the USCCB spewed forth this vomit right after the events in Rockville and London.  These acts of violence were perpetrated by thugs who had no intentions of assimilating in their host cultures.  The governments of both Montgomery County and London, being run by progressives, have been way too cavalier in their admittance of harmful immigrants, to the detriment of their citizens.  The USCCB is likewise acting irresponsibly - or maybe, in their case, greedily.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

As If We Needed Another Reason To Boycott CRS Collections!

Last month the Catholic Relief Services, ever on the cutting edge of crusading for true justice and charity (Stop that snickering right now!  Shame-shame!), issued a clarion call to the Trump administration to address what it holds to be the most crucial issue of the day.  Is it the murder of babies in the womb?  Is it the ever-encroaching demands that flagrant gays are making on Christians to celebrate their perversions?  Oh, wait - CRS itself has been caught harboring gays.  None of these.  They are clamoring for an end to - climate change!

The CRS, with the USCCB, sent to President Trump a letter to that effect.  They said, "Sadly, environmental issues can be politicized for partisan agendas and used in public discourse to serve different economic, social, political and ideological interests."  They should know for they are the experts in doing precisely that at the bidding of their puppet-masters and sugar-daddies.

With the Catholic Climate Covenant, they are lobbying for support of the Green Climate Fund and Paris agreements, both of which really promise to be huge drains on cash as they further empower the United Nations.  I for one note with pleasure that the President plans to remove us from the Paris agreements and to curtail funding of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Some might remember the Catholic Climate Covenant as promoting a progressive stunt called the Lenten Carbon Fast.  I can no longer find their version of the "carbon fast calendar" online, but other similar calendars exist that feature the same nonsense as did the CCC version.
  • This gem from the Global Catholic Climate Movement urges us (see March 19) to "let our dishwashers breathe".  Ladies and gentlemen, if you notice your dishwashers breathing, might I suggest that you call an exorcist?  What these envirowhackos do not consider that it is that "energy-intensive drying cycle" that sterilizes the dishes, helping to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Some Catholic envirowhackos from Austrilia have their own calendar, one that has particular focus on their locality.  On March 23rd they suggest the consumption of kangaroo meat as opposed to beef or lamb because, well,..methane!  Need we go into detail?  Bad little cattle!  Bad little sheep!  Killing the planet via flatulence!
So that is one way that the Catholic Relief Services is squandering the donation dollars of faithful Catholics. Pleading with their higher-ups has proven to be an exercise in futility.  The only language they seem to understand is that of "$ ka-ching $".  It is our silence with regard to that language that they need to experience.  

Speaking of "donation dollars", the second collection for the Archdiocese of Washington during the weekend of March 25-26 will be for the CRS.  That is in addition to the lenten Rice Bowl shakedown.  As we are boycotting the rice bowl thing, let's boycott this as well and in the same way.  I suggested what to do with the Rice Bowl two weeks ago.  I'd suggest putting that same note in your envelope and dropping that in the collection basket this weekend.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Yoo-hoo! Chuck Short! USCCB! Wakey-wakey!

You who dare prostitute the moral authority of the Catholic Church to do the bidding of your progressive puppet-masters and sugar-daddies in your shilling for unbridled immigration, face these two accounts of what happened here in Montgomery County (here and here) right now!  Because of your reckless clamoring to have our national borders effectively dissolved, you share much of the moral guilt for what happened to that young girl!

Are all the federal grants that you receive for being the good little progressive lemmings really worth it?  Sadly, I suspect you would answer in the affirmative.  Hopefully, under President Trump's watch, despite your callous disregard for the people of this country, the story cited above won't be repeated - at least not as often as you might allow.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Co-Opting St Patrick To Shill For Immigration Law Breakers

Well why not?  Liberal Catholics doing the bidding of progressives and George Soros have no compunctions about grabbing onto whatever straw they can to make their immoral case for border-crashing illegals.  Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, North Ireland is a direct successor to St. Patrick himself.  He had the audacity to call his sainted predecessor an "unlearned refugee and an undocumented migrant".

The liberties he takes with the facts of St Patrick's life are grossly inaccurate, if not downright dishonest.  Patrick never sneaked into Ireland as a refugee and migrant.  He was brought to Ireland by Irish as a slave, very much against his will.  He could only be called a "refugee" when he fled his masters - and returned home.  When he did return years later to spread the Faith, he certainly was no refugee and there is no reason whatsoever to believe that he broke any law in so doing.

Not to be outdone in fact-twisting is Chuck Short, former Secretary for Justice and Service at the Archdiocese of Washington.  He has a piece in the March issue of the Parish Times (page 1 that continues to page 34) that does the same gross injustice not only to St. Patrick but to all faithful Catholics who call for law and order as we assimilate immigrants into our society.

"The Irish who we celebrate this weekend"  This is a direct quote, something I would never write for two reasons.  First, the grammar is terrible.  It should read "the Irish WHOM we celebrate this weekend"  When referring to the object of a verb, "whom" should be used.  The second, and far more important reason is that we are celebrating St. Patrick on March 17, not the Irish (By the way, if it makes a difference, I am of predominantly Irish descent.)  This insistence on adulterating feast days with ethnic gee-gaw only serves to distract from the Faith.

The current surge in anti-immigrant sentiment is an affront to this sacred history of American Catholicism as well as our American values.  Notice they typical deliberate obfuscation of the differences between those who literally crash our borders versus those who respect our laws and customs and follow the law in so doing.  Such obfuscation is not only blatantly dishonest but it is the sin of slander against faithful Catholics who do not believe that we should be rewarding the sinful conduct of illegals in this country.   I and others will continue to call progressives like Chuck Short on the carpet when they pull dishonest stunts like that.  They will not be allowed to define the terms for addressing this matter of illegal immigration.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Culture Of Death In The Vatican

Recently, Paul Ehrlich, long-time mouthpiece for "population control" (in other words, sterilization, contraception and abortion) was invited by two Papal Academies to speak at a "Biological Extinction" conference last week.  Some might remember him authoring "The Population Bomb".  It helped galvanize the population control fanatics, despite the fact that the only things that are bombing are the ridiculous predictions put forth in that book.  In some ways that Vatican conference might have been right up his ally, for he seems to have made it his life's mission to make mankind "biologically extinct".

LifeSiteNews had a piece about him, exposing why the only place he should have gone in the Vatican is the nearest confessional - or baptism font if not Catholic.  Here's an interesting quote from him: "If you can’t take care of the [poor] people in your own society, when you live in a rich society, and so on, it tells us we really need very fundamental changes in our attitudes, our ethics, our morals, how we run the world."  He also said that there was "agreement" that a "driver" of extinction is "human overpopulation".  That is to say "there are too few people because there are too many people".  Gotta love the logic!  Keep these statements on a "back-burner in your brain as we take a look at another progressive spewing his poison in the Vatican.

I refer now to Archbishop Paglia.  He is not only the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, but he is the one who had a picture of himself painted on his cathedral wall with him depicted as engaging in homosexual relations - that one!  A living-will bill is before the Italian parliament.  Of this bill, Paglia opines that it should stop "excessive" treatment for the terminally ill.  When he states, "While the will of the patient on access or not to therapies must be respected, a will guaranteed by Constitutional dictates," he is flat out lobbying for the establishment of death panels.

Here's another telling quote.  As you read this, bear that Ehrlich quote in mind: "Furthermore, we must combat on the one hand all forms of excessive treatment and on the other give ample space to palliative treatment so as not to let patients suffer.  It is equally urgent to help sick people live for as long as is decently possible,"  Decently possible!  Who will determine what's "decent"?  Why, the death panel, of course!

There is definitely a common undercurrent in the thinking behind those two statements.  That is, "if we are to care for the majority of people, we must be willing to expend the unborn/dying/etc.  It will require a fundamental change in our morals but that must be done"  So apparently one of the fundamental changes in our morals should be the abolition of the Fifth Commandment, according to both Ehrlich and Paglia and most likely others in the Vatican; else these two wouldn't enjoy the bully pulpits that they now have.  Does that include Pope Francis himself?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Another Abortuary Bites The Dust!

VOILA!


It was March of 2004 when we started our pro-life presence of prayer, sidewalk counseling and general Christian witness in front of this place at 1400 Spring Street, Silver Spring, MD.  It was a branch office of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan DC.  Now thirteen years later, they are closing shop.

They seem to be consolidating their operations at their new abortuary in NE Washington.  I think it's quite possible that our presence there, week after week, year after year, contributed to their decision to close their Maryland abortuary.  Perhaps we cut into their revenue stream so much that they couldn't justify, from a business viewpoint, the expenses of keeping that place open.  Whatever the reason, the air in Silver Spring, fetid with progressivism as it is, will be just a tad bit fresher with the removal of one baby-murder center.

When we arrived at Silver Spring in March of 2004, we had just seen the closing of Hillcrest Women's Surgi-Center, a 30-year old abortuary on Georgia Avenue, just south of the MD-DC border.  We celebrated when that murder center closed and will do so again.  Stay tuned for details on that, and where we'll be next (so you can join us!).  Meanwhile please pray your rosaries for the closure of more of these hell-holes.  I'd also suggest checking out 40 Days to see where you can participate in their efforts.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Many Catholics Will Dishonor St Patrick This Friday

In way of review, please re-read my post from six years ago.  This year, St. Patrick's Day falls on a Lenten Friday, a day when we Catholics abstain from meat.  Yet even now we hear of Catholics asking for dispensation from the already-lenient Lenten discipline to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Sadly - because many chanceries care not one whit about Lenten discipline nor even of eternal things in general, these chanceries will grant the dispensations without a minute's thought.

As I said in the post, I myself am of predominantly Irish descent.  Moreover, I grew up in the 1960s, when most Catholics were also of Irish descent and who were closely descended from Irish immigrants.  Yet never did I hear the slightest hint of suggestion that the Lenten practises should be set aside when March 17 fell on a Lenten Friday.  In fact, that was during a time when every day during Lent (not just Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) was a day of fast.  It is true that in Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a Holy Day of Obligation, owing to St Patrick's pivotal role in the founding of their nation.  But those who came to the United States understood that they were leaving behind their national customs and were prepared to observe the customs of their new homeland.

On social media, particularly facebook, I'm seeing otherwise faithful Catholics chortle over the dispensations, like naughty little children about to get away with extra dessert.  To me that betrays a bit of reluctance to subject oneself to necessary disciplines.  How they salivate over corned beef has nothing to do with honoring the saint who is at least partially responsible for their Faith and more to do with satisfying their taste buds and stomachs.

We can - we must - do better than that.  Honor St. Patrick by honoring Lent.  Abstain from meat, dispensation notwithstanding.  Do not drink to the point of sinful intoxication (yes, all intoxication is sinful).  Do not trifle with leprechauns and other accoutrements of pagan practice.  Understand that there is nothing special about the color green.  Instead, go to Mass, pray a Rosary and/or stations of the Cross - practices that would truly please St. Patrick.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cardinal Wuerl Tries To Talk Up Pope Francis

A few days ago, the Jesuit heresy-rag known as America published an interview that they conducted with Cardinal Wuerl.  No one should be the least bit surprised that Wuerl would converse with them for they seem to be kindred spirits.  We read in this piece a number of stinkers plopped by His Eminence.
  • He said the pope "is changing the papacy".  Uh-uh!  No can do!  This is an office created by Our Lord Himself.  The pope is the chief shepherd of the Church and he must see to the salvation of its members, guarding the Deposit of Faith.  Note: that verb is "guarding" not "changing".
  • He also said the pope is "completely refocusing the role of bishop".  Don't you just adore the fact that no specifics are given regarding this "refocusing"?  What is meant by that?  Are we to be kept guessing?  I think that's the idea lest we take action to protect the office of bishop.
  • He carried on about the pope restoring "the Vatican II themes of collegiality and synodality".  But as LifeSiteNews reminds us (and as I've written in the past), all that "collegiality and synodality" went out the window as Pope Francis and his cronies (Wuerl being one of them) ramrodded through the two reports from the synods of the family.
  • Of Amoralis Lamentia, he said "It told us that we have to get back, as the council said, to a moral theology that rests on scripture and Jesus’ command to love and to the virtues that are the signs of a moral life, not the rigid following of the letter of the law."  Notice how the false dichotomy trick is being implemented here: that is, taking two aspects of Jesus' teachings and pretending that they're at odds with each other, usually done to vilify Catholics faithful to the doctrines of Our Lord Himself.  I for one remember Jesus saying in the Gospel of John "he who loves me obeys my commandments.  For all you faithful moral theologians out there: is not this juxtaposing of various words of Jesus against each other its own form of blasphemy, to insinuate that God contradicts Himself?
I could spend all night unpacking this mess but time forbids it.  Christopher Ferrara has an analysis of the mess.  I will conclude with this thought.  The cardinal said, "This Holy Father has recognized that marriage in the culture in which we live needs to be totally renewed. But you can’t do this without recognizing that this is a different moment in history to 25 years ago, and the people the church is talking to don’t understand the words the same way as we do."

NEWS FLASH!  Many people inside the Church - and in high places - are either ignorant of the Church's teachings or they hold them in utter contempt.  For example, Bishop Sorondo, at the Biological Extinction Conference, said, "Many times, we don’t know exactly what is the doctrine of the Church – we know some part but not all the doctrine of the Church about the question of the fecundity."  Mind you, this is a highly-placed bishop, the chancellor of two pontifical academies, blithely admitting ignorance of basic teachings that any Catholic school child of two generations ago would have learned before graduating.  And now I'll leave you with Gloria TV.


When Emotions Trump Intellect, Sin And Death Are The Results

When I went to Catholic schools, before the "spirit of Vatican II" stupefied religious instruction, we learned that mankind was made in the image and likeness of God.  Along with a body, we have the faculties of intellect and will.  These two are the highest faculties that we possess and they (among other things) differentiate us from animals that do not possess these.

Note that emotions are not among the faculties that differentiate us from animals.  We all know that animals have emotions (especially pet owners).  Before original sin, man's faculties were perfectly ordered, with intellect and will controlling the others.  Today, though, because we are marred by original sin and its effects, we often find our intellects darkened and our wills weakened as our passions and appetites overrule those higher faculties.

Anybody who has even the slightest knowledge of current affairs not only sees the effects of emotions run amok, but they even see that usurpation celebrated.  How often have we been told that we must tolerate the invasions of perversion out of so-called "compassion"?  Witness the ridiculous behaviors of those opposed to Trump after his victory; when they weren't rioting in the streets and committing vandalism, they were sucking their thumbs in their "safe spaces" doodling with crayons and coloring books - because their feelings were hurt!  I could go on and on with that, but you get the picture.

Now who remembers several years ago when a Cracker Barrel employee (who happened to be an elderly war veteran) was fired for giving food away to indigents?  Does it sound heartless of Cracker Barrel?  Well, consider these details: the employee never bought the food himself, he was giving away food that belonged to his employer.  He had already received four or five warnings about the matter but still he persisted.  When he was discharged for blatant theft, all hell broke loose on social media.  Many people, most likely liberals who don't appreciate the Seventh Commandment, berated Cracker Barrel.  Clearly they were letting sinful sentimentality cloud their thinking.  I'm not going to rehash my points now.

Today in facebook we saw another such case and I'll now post the link.  Let's leave aside the consideration that this is probably a fabricated story for the ensuing discussion is indicative of the clouded thinking of so many of those mis-educated in public schools.  If those excusing the kids are parents, we can see how so many kids today are morally adrift.

So we see two examples of goodly numbers of people obviously letting their emotions run roughshod all over their brains.  I'm sure many readers have their own myriads of examples.  Unfortunately we see this among Catholics as they consider matters of faith and morals.  This sin of letting emotions rule over intellect (sin against prudence) permeates Amoris Laetitia and other pronouncements coming from Pope Francis and the Vatican.  How often have we heard the pope carry on about "mercy", "compassion", "accompaniment", "pastoral", etc?  Let's not forget his railing against "rigid", "neo-palagians", "rosary counters", etc.  All this is code talk for the pope's new notions that we must jettison Christ's timeless and immutable teachings out the window and be carried away with every emotional whim and fancy of the moment - and carried away to sin and perhaps damnation.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Close Papal Confidante Flaunts His Perversion In His Cathedral - Part Of The Deconstruction Of Tradition

Last August Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Paglia as head of the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute On Marriage And Family.  He's also head of the Pontifical Academy For Life (and perhaps its only member).  It was under his direction that a particularly lurid sex education program was foisted on young people attending the World Youth Day this past summer.  At the World Meeting For Families in Philadephia last year, he mandated that practicing gays would have the same status as faithful Catholics in attendance.  I point out that the latter two incidents occurred before Paglia's appointment to the Institute On Marriage And Family.

One other very troubling event occurred before that as well.  News has arisen that in 2007, Paglia commissioned a piece of pornographic art to be painted in his cathedral church.  It is explicitly homoerotic.  It shows Jesus pulling into heaven via fishnets dozens of people.  In the nets, the people are engaged in various erotic acts.  One of those people bears the face of Paglia himself while semi-nude and embracing another scantily-clad man.  This LifeSiteNews report has more details and pictures.  All this was done on instruction from Paglia himself.  The depiction of Paglia in such a pose leads one to deduce that Paglia himself might be a practicing homosexual.  Obviously the painting within a Catholic church is grossly blasphemous.  As it was done in 2007, no one can doubt that the Pope knew of this.  Because the pope appointed Paglia to his high positions, we can only conclude that the appointments were done not so much in spite of Paglia's flagrant perversion but because of it.  There is an attempt afoot in the Vatican - led by the pope, let's admit that - to deconstruct the Sacred Tradition of Holy Mother Church in favor of some "new world order".

This and so much more points to the horrid place to which Pope Francis is steering the Church.  For the benefit of my friends who insist on remaining in denial regarding this harmful papacy, I now link to a piece written by Jeffrey Mirus of Catholic Culture.  He explains well the role that the Holy Spirit assumes in the process of selecting a pope.  He also points out why it is erroneous to presume that the Holy Spirit directly chooses each pontiff.  As you read the list of poor pontiffs of the past, bear in mind that there is no reason to presume that the same couldn't be happening right now.

I post now a video released by Michael Matt of the Remnant.  Listen closely.  He first elaborates on the scandal of Paul Ehrlich being allowed to speak at a Vatican conference.  At the 4:48 mark he says "If you're not seeing what's really going on here, I'm sorry, but it's just a case of you not wanting to see.."  At the 10:00 mark Matt said he and others sent an open letter to President Trump to investigate possible Democrat influence in the ouster of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis.  LifeSiteNews today released an interview with Archbishop Luigi Negri who is close with the Pope Emeritus.  He too states that Benedict resigned "under tremendous pressure".  A few weeks ago I hypothesized that Pope Francis is the de facto designated mouthpiece for worldwide progressivism.  Here's the Message from Modesto that Matt mentioned.   All this is part and parcel of the mangling of the Church into some progressive new world order idol.  Did I say "mangling"?  A thousand pardons, please!  I meant to say "maturing" - you know, like the "maturing" we were supposed to do after the Extraordinary Synod!

Now listen at the 21:00 mark when Matt speaks of obedience to the pope and moral limitations on so doing.  He correctly states that "obedience is subordinate to the Faith".  Starting at 21:57, he says, "when a superior, even a pope, commands that we do something wrong including the instruction to believe something false and contrary to our religion and beliefs, what we were taught as Catholics, the Catholic response is to resist him".  Now going back to that Modesto debacle, McElroy and others pledged to "disrupt" Trump's immigration policies.  We now have major disruption in our Church.  It's time we start considering how we faithful Catholics will - as it were - disrupt the disruption.

We are approaching the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.  She promised the children that "in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph".  Of course that is true but that does not excuse us from taking on the task of Church Militant for if we don't, more souls will go to hell.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dangerous Centering Prayer Touted In Word Among Us Magazine

Imagine, if you will, that a meal is set before you.  It is well-balanced, nourishing, smells appetizing.  There's just one little problem.  You are aware that it contains just the smallest amount of poison.  The amount of poison is really quite minuscule to the amount of the otherwise nourishing, healthy meal set before you.  Would you take one tiny mouthful of that meal?  I didn't think so, and neither would I.

I believe that is how the devil seduces faithful Catholics: to surround his temptations with things that are good and perhaps spiritually beneficial in and of themselves.  We see this with the Medjugorgie apparitions; many conversions might well be happening, but the apparition is fomenting disobedience to the local bishop and the heresy of indifferentism.  Today I was alerted to another manifestation of the devil slyly insinuating poison into a seemingly harmless publication.

I am referring to an article found in the Lent 2017 issue of the Word Among Us magazine.  The analogy in my first paragraph applies with some adjustments. Owing to its rather questionable past relationship with the Archdiocese of Washington from events of over 20 years ago, I look askance upon the overall "health of that meal" in general.  I may delve more into that in a future post, but for now I refer you to this Washington Post series from 1997 for some background.  Normally I don't recommend anything from the Washington Post, but in this instance I can vouch for its accuracy owing to my own 20+ years affiliation with the Mother of God Community.

Getting back to the Lent issue of this magazine, I refer you to the picture at the right.  The name of the article in question is "A Simple Plan", discussing how one might implement the three lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  The picture shows "different ways" to pray.  One of those "ways" (at the bottom of the highlighted list) is "centering prayer".

Ladies and gentlemen, "centering prayer" is fraught with spiritual danger.  It arose in the 1970s as a misguided attempt to mish-mash Christian prayer with practices found in eastern pagan beliefs.  The end result can leave the practitioner open to diabolical harassment.  This link to Catholic Culture gives an excellent treatment of the topic of "centering prayer", detailing its history and precisely why it is dangerous and to be avoided.  One interesting paragraph tells of its introduction at a large charismatic event.  Those involved in the "charismatic renewal" tend to be susceptible to temptations that promise "experiences"; I speak as an ex-charismatic.  It is worth noting that the Word Among Us magazine has its roots in the "charismatic renewal".

This magazine supposedly has "theological advisers".  How such a serious error bypassed them baffles me - unless they just "rubber-stamp" their approval on these articles.  At any rate, I'd suggest being very careful when reading this magazine.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

First Sunday In Lent - Time To #sayno2crs - Boycott Operation Rice Bowl

Today and tomorrow mark the First Sunday of Lent 2017.  This is the weekend when the ubiquitous Catholic Relief Services rice bowls will sprout like kudzu in the lobbies of most Catholic parishes in the United States.  Last year many of us Catholic bloggers urged a boycott of this CRS collection.  When we do so, we always hope that the offending target of the boycott will heed the message of the boycott and take corrective measures to make themselves more worthy of Catholic donations.  Alas, our hopes are dashed this year as CRS has proven itself to be even more unworthy of Catholic dollars than they were last year.

So what have been the lowlights of the Catholic Relief Services since Lent of 2016?
Such are the relatively current scandals of the CRS.  For some of their older scandals, see here, here, here (with some videos), here (w/more videos).  You can also put "crs" or "Catholic Relief Services" in the search box at the top left to see much more material.  The scandals abound.

Last year I suggested a way to do an effective boycott of the rice-bowl effort. I reiterate the suggestion below.
  • Pick up one of those "rice bowls" from your church lobby and assemble it.
  • At the bottom of the Lepanto article is a note that you can use to let CRS know why you'll not contribute.
  • Place that note in your now-assembled "rice bowl".  I intend to sign mine, but that's optional.
  • When your parish announces that it's time to return the rice bowls to church, please do so. Yours will have the note and no money.
So why are the scandals so numerous?  I suspect that CRS, like its cousin CCHD, was never founded to be truly conformable with the Catholic mission of saving souls.  Please participate in our boycott and urge your family and friends to do the same.  Feel free to post this blog post to your own sites.  CRS is a beast that needs to be starved to death.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Matthew Kelly Is At It Again

Matthew Kelly, who runs an outfit called "Dynamic Catholics", has apparently come up with another gimmick to sucker Catholics into buying his wares.  He has dubbed this one as the "Best Lent Ever".

Long time readers of this blog will recall that I've sounded alarms about previous stunts of his.  He has written books that contain serious errors regarding faith and morality; I've detailed these problems.  FYI, I've sent emails to him regarding these errors, hoping to gets some sort of clarification or even correction of these problems.  I've yet to receive the courtesy of a reply.

I'm seeing signs like the one to the right in parishes in the DC area.  Now think about the arrogance that is all over the language in this poster.  Kelly has the chutzpah to say that his program will give to its users their "best lent ever"?  Moreover, he dares to make jokes about the time-honored tradition of mortification and self-denial, holding them to be inferior to his dubious programs?

The attitude communicated in this poster is at best flippant and smart-alecky: two attitudes unbecoming the Catholic who purports to offer spiritual benefits.  Please don't reward this snarky behavior.  Pass up this dubious offer and stick to the Church's time-honored prescriptions for Lenten penance and reform.  They are the three activities described in yesterday's Ash Wednesday Gospel: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  Of course be certain to make a good Confession this Lent season.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Taking The Mantle Of Church Militant

Faithful Catholics are the Church Militant.  That sounds like a rather simplistic, trite statement, doesn't it?  Well, perhaps that term "church militant" may take on more significance for us.  For several years now, we've been watching this papacy unfold into something that threatens the integrity of Holy Mother Church.  So far much of the mischief has been confined to the Vatican, but the spiritual poison is working its way into the souls of the Catholics in the pews.  Many of us have been offering prayers and intercessions for the Church, but we are also called to act.  The phrase in Latin is "ora et labora".  Most of us are down with the "ora" part, but some of us get downright squeamish when it comes to the "labora" part.  We're comfortable praying within the confines of our churches, homes and small gatherings of like-minded Catholics, but balk at the thought of stepping out of our comfort zones into the public arena where we might well face forces hostile to us.  But that is precisely what we must be prepared to do.

Two days ago, Lianne Lawrence of LifeSiteNews reported on Pope Francis' growing alliance with pro-death elements of the United Nations.  The latest sign of this alliance is the Vatican's support of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.  I'm not going to rehash all the horrors behind this alliance as the LSN piece does an admirable job of that.  It links to an analysis done by Voice of the Family.  Therein we see the role that Amoris Laetitia plays in facilitating the SDGs.  The analysis ends by saying that "Catholics must resist in the manner most appropriate for their position with the Church, this alliance".  Most people reading this blog are lay, as am I.  Our "position" is much more far-reaching than the "pray, pay and obey" motto that informally defined the role of the laity in the Church.

Phil Lawler of Catholic Culture said something similar.  In the early days of this papacy, Lawler had done his level best to put the performance of Pope Francis in the most favorable light possible.  However he seems to realize that despite all the lipstick one might put on a pig, the pig is a pig.  While acknowledging that Pope Francis is indeed the pontiff, he then asks, "In a large family, how should a son behave when he realizes that his father’s pathological behavior threatens the welfare of the whole household? He should certainly continue to show respect for his father, but he cannot indefinitely deny the danger. Eventually, a dysfunctional family needs an intervention."

We the Church Militant are being confronted with the same question.  How will we, the laity, answer it?  I for one do not think that our default stance should be to sit on our hands and suffer the insults in silence.  The insults fall not on us alone, but on our children and those for whom we care and who may well be scandalized by all the progressive skulduggery in the Vatican to the point of losing their souls.

Yesterday I posted on Catholic street activism.  That's part of the answer.  However, what are we going to do when:
  • we see flaming gays strutting up the Communion line (as happened at my parish five years ago).  The Rainbow Coalition pulls this stunt quite frequently.
  • pro-abortion people (politicians and even abortionists) receiving Holy Communion
  • we are confronted with liturgical dancers strutting their stuff, as in the video below
  • vile heresies spew forth from the homily pulpit
  • we see the nave turn into a social hall before or after Mass
  • women get their feet washed during Holy Thursday Mass
The above list is by no means exhaustive.  We must start thinking about these matters and contemplate what we are willing to do.  Several years ago, a group of Catholic gentlemen, distraught by pro-aborts brazenly taking Holy Communion, banded together to take action.  Calling themselves "Ushers of the Eucharist", they would walk up to a candidate for Canon 915 treatment in the communion line and entreat him not to receive.  This caused quite a stir.  For some reason, this effort was short-lived.  As I said, it caused quite a stir, but the Ushers didn't cause scandal.  The scandal laid with those who were complicit in the sin of sacrilege.  Perhaps Catholics in the pew might want to revisit such actions and consider them for their own situations.  As you watch the video below, you might opine that this parish (Sts Simon and Jude in Huntington Beach CA) might benefit from some intervention.  Comments welcome.