Sunday, December 30, 2018

More Damage Control From The Archdiocese Of Baltimore

Remember how, in the DC archdiocese, the geniuses in that office thought that we'd be fooled if the Campaign for Human Development second collection was renamed "Communications and Human Development Campaign" (or something to that effect)?  Not too many people were fooled by that charade.  The Archdiocese of Baltimore did not learn from that mistake.

They are renaming their "Archbishop's Annual Appeal" collection to "Annual Appeal for Catholic Ministries".  Of course we aren't learning this from the Catholic Review, but the Baltimore Sun.  Supposedly we are to be fooled into thinking that none of the money will be going towards the sex scandals but only to the various ministries of the archdiocese.  Well, not quite, and to understand why, we need to take a look at the concept of fungibility, particularly as it is used in non-profit budgeting.

Here is an article that explains the concept well.  Applied to this Archdiocesan situation, funds earmarked for "Catholic ministries" could well free up other funds to be used elsewhere in the budget - such as sinking funds for anticipated legal expenses.  Michael Hichborn did a video that explains how Planned Parenthood uses fungibiity in relation to government grants.  My advise is this: don't give one red penny to any archdiocesan collection, for at least some portion of it will go to where it shouldn't.  Instead, send your money directly to worthwhile charities.

Back to the Sun article.  Notice how the archdiocese is trying to reassure the Catholics that sex abuse matters are paid out of an insurance trust that was set up?  Well, that's nice, but... who pays the premiums?  And aren't those premiums most likely going through the roof now?  What kind of dunces do these people think we are?

Apparently some of them think we're stupid enough to believe that "music can unite the faithful" - at least according to one "music minister" in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.  His name is Zachary Stachowski, working at St Ignatius of Loyola in Ijamsville MD.  He wrote a song after the abuse crisis jumped in our faces again and that is the subject of that interview.  Apparently the song is being used quite widely.  I wonder how much he may be garnering in royalties?  I have no problem with that, for the song is his intellectual property.  The premise that "music can unite the faithful" is simply a bunch of hooey, though.  Authentic unity can come about only when all accept the teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed through Holy Mother Church.  Along those lines, Stachowski seems to be keeping company with some who blatantly oppose those teachings.

One of his buddies is David Haas - yes, him.  According to his twitter page, he and Haas teamed up to do a "singing workshop" at that heretical hootenanny known as the LA Religious Education Conference.  See here and here for a flavor of what goes on there.  While I know little else of Stachowski, what I do know leads me to question just what he thinks "unity" is.

I have made it a point to skip all archdiocesan collections and to plan my parish donations so that they aren't assessed by the Archdiocese of Washington.  I certainly suggest to my Baltimore friends that they do the same, and those in many other areas of the country should do likewise.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Have Some Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers Taken Leave Of Their Senses?

LifeSiteNews reports that some pro-life pregnancy centers are applying for Title X funding.  The HHS is withholding them from outfits that commit abortions and now some cpc directors are finding it difficult to resist the federal funding siren call.  The LSN article reports that pro-aborts are upset about this seeking after federal funding.  For vastly different reasons than those of the pro-aborts, I too look askance upon this funding endeavor.

First, let's be honest about the term "federal funding".  From where do these "federal funds" come?  Hint - take a look in the mirror.  That's right; federal funding really means that the money is taken from the pockets of each and every taxpayer in this country.  That is not a charitable donation, for the term "charitable donation" means a free-will gift.  Once upon a time, many decades ago, the federal government understood its constitutional limits.  It understood that it was not in the business of determining which endeavors deserved access to our wallets.  That understanding faded many years ago, and now has apparently faded from the understanding of otherwise good people.  This "federal funding" amounts to income-redistribution, teetering very close to socialism.  I am baffled that those who otherwise call themselves "conservative" let themselves be seduced by the easy lure of "free" money.

Now is that money really "free"?  Of course not!  There is a saying, "he who has the gold, rules".  That certainly is true when it comes to governmental grants.  Always there are strings attached - at least eventually.  Maybe the Trump administration will be relatively benign, but what would happen if these pregnancy centers became dependent on federal grants to fund their budgets - and another Clinton or Obama were to win the White House in future years?  How many attempts have we seen over the past several years to get Christian charities to hire LGBT people, to "tone down" their pro-life convictions, etc?  To be blunt, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stands as a stark example of a Catholic organization that has literally sold its soul for federal dollars.  No other organization, should it start lusting after federal dollars, will be immune from that temptation.  Why are they literally courting disaster?

These pregnancy centers, if they go after federal grants, will be digging their own graves.  They will literally place themselves in a position of having to muzzle and compromise their beliefs.  They will also find themselves in the unenviable position of benefiting from the immoral confiscation of the hard-earned money of US citizens.  They need to abandon these foolish and fatal endeavors.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Situation Of Father LaCuesta

Let me preface this post by saying that my own family is no stranger to suicide, as are the families of some close friends of mine.  I have seen and experienced that pain.

A young man in the Detroit area recently committed suicide and his requiem Mass was conducted by Father Don LaCuesta.  It appears that the parents met with Father beforehand and requested that Father "celebrate how Maison lived, not how he died".  Well, I understand that the parents were grieved, but that doesn't give them leeway to dictate to the priest his homily.

So the Mass happened, and Father proclaimed the truth about suicide.  I understand that twice during that homily the parents got up and asked him to stop - during Mass.  That is simply unacceptable conduct, grief notwithstanding.  Then they went to the media and Archbishop Vigneron to complain about the homily.  Here is the text of the homily about which they complained.  I find nothing objectionable about the homily that proclaimed God's love many times, but yes, reaffirmed the objective sinfulness of suicide.

The parents are demanding that Father LaCuesta be laicized (more on that later).  Vigneron promptly forbade LaCuesta to preach at future homilies and to have "all other homilies reviewed by a priest mentor".   He even has to submit to "help from professionals - on human, spiritual and pastoral levels".  There's that word "pastoral" again but they forgot the word "accompaniment".  We may only shudder to think who these "professionals" may be.

Perhaps Archbishop Vigneron was simply trying to deflect media attention from himself, for he has acquired a boatload of that.  He has, for several years, allowed Dignity almost free rein in his Archdiocese, with the founder of Dignity being one of his auxiliary bishops.  It is said that he fears a "rebellion" among the gay priests.  Well, why doesn't he sack them, just as he sacked LaCuesta?  He has been called out on the denial of the role of homosexuality in the problems in his own archdiocese - something being brought to bear on him by the Michigan attorney general.  It seems that Vigneron is preparing for a lawsuit - by shifting archdiocesan assets to a holding company where they will be sheltered from lawsuits.  So yes, we can see why Vigneron might want to keep the media wolves at bay by tossing to them a sacrificial lamb in the person of Father LaCuesta.

Let me get back to a point that I wanted to make earlier, when I said that the deceased's parents were demanding the laicazion of Father LaCuesta.  This is strikingly similar to the treatment of Father Marcel Guarnizo in my own parish over six years ago.  In that situation, he withheld Holy Communion from a practicing lesbian at her mother's funeral.  The medial lambast started that same week and Father Guarnizo was ejected from the Archdiocese of Washington.  I wrote about that almost exclusively from Feb - April in 2012.

Now the long knives are out for Father LaCuesta.  One wonders if this incident was simply a handy excuse to remove a faithful priest and even destroy his vocation.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Pope Francis Thumbs His Nose At Predecessors Regarding The Death Penalty

Pope Francis has for several years been advocating for an end to the death penalty, claiming that it is immoral.  Of course such opinions are in direct contradiction to the 2000+ years of Church Tradition.  I have long suspected that he has gone after that precisely because many good Catholics are ambivalent about usage of the death penalty today.  Perhaps he thinks that he can tinker with it to the point of heresy since he is not too likely to receive strenuous blow-back from such heretical attempts.  Therefore, if he weakens and compromises Church doctrine regarding that topic, he will have set a precedent for mutating other Church doctrine. 

Earlier today, the pope addressed a delegation from the International Commission Against The Death Penalty.  During that address, he dared to state that his predecessors "ignored the primacy of mercy over justice".  Of course he set up one of his infamous false dichotomies between "mercy" and "justice", as though justice is not an attribute of God's.

We must continue prayers for this pope.  While doing so, we must also study the Faith on our own, for many simply don't have access to faithful teachers of Church tradition.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Papal Betrayal Of Faithful Chinese Catholics Continues

A tweet from Raymond Arroyo caught my eye:
Actually, Pope Francis threw two faithful bishops under the bus.  See here and here.  So they were ordered to submit to godless, atheistic dictators for "the general situation of the Chinese Church".  That last part in quotes is cleverly worded, from their disgusting perspective.  Notice the words "general situation" and not "benefit"?  The Chinese Church is not benefiting at all from this farce.  The words of Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese civil rights activist rightly calls the deal a "slap in the face to millions of Catholics and other religious people in China".

I for one do not believe for a second that the pope is simply being naive about the nature of Communists.  He and the Vatican hope to gain something, and that "something" has nothing to do with any real benefit to faithful Catholics in China.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Texas Federal Judge Declares Obama Hell Bill Unconstitutional

Yesterday a Federal judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act, aka the Obamacare Hell Bill, is unconstitutional in its entirety.  See here and here.

Of course it has always been unconstitutional.  However, the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that because Obamacare contained a tax provision, that it fell under Congress' purview to levy taxes and therefore passed constitutional muster even though it violated the Interstate Commerce Clause.  Last year Congress repealed that tax, commonly known as the individual mandate.

Texas and 20 other states argued that without that tax, the whole ACA is now unconstitutional and Judge Reed O'Connor agreed.  He did not grant an injunction against Obamacare.  It appears that this matter will again head to the Supreme Court.  Bear in mind that in 2012, it was only because of the tax provision that the Court ruled it constitutional.  That tax provision no longer exists.  The Court admitted in 2012 that without the tax, Obamacare is unconstitutional.

It should be noted that O'Connor was appointed by George W. Bush.  Does anyone believe that any judge appointed by a Democrat president would have ruled correctly?  Elections matter - even when the candidates are not sterling.

Now about the Catholic hierarchy - when are they going to start crabbing about this development?  Many of them were supporters of the Hell Bill, abortion provisions notwithstanding.  Will they once again make fools of themselves?  Of course that question is rhetorical.

As for the president,

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

"Baby It's Cold Outside" Reveals Reactionary Behaviors Of Some Catholics

While it may seem like I'm beating a dead horse with continued discussion about the 1940s song "Baby It's Cold Outside", I think this controversy has laid bare some problems in the thinking (or maybe more accurately non-thinking) in which some good people - even Catholics - are engaging.

Let me link to previous posts: here and here.  Now here's an article in which the author appears to take pride in his mindlessness.  Notice this sentence: "In fact, I never really cared for the song, Baby it’s Cold Outside, but now I do, and I’ll request it wherever I am and play it as often and as loudly as I can."

 He is defending the song, not on its own merits, but simply because some leftists oppose it. In other words, he is taking his cues from them as opposed to his own independent ideas about the song. He goes so far as to call it "the greatest Christmas song" when the the word "Christmas" is mentioned not once in it, let alone any mention of the birth of Jesus Christ. Is this the sort of brainlessness that Catholics should adopt?

Many leftists describe us conservatives as knuckle-dragging neanderthals who only know how to react and who have no cogent reasons or basis for their actions.  Sadly, the conduct of many conservatives in this matter serves only to justify such stereotypes.

More importantly, many Catholics are embracing this song simply because some leftists oppose it.  This is actually a rather serious problem, since the lyrics of "Baby It's Cold Outside" depict the back-and-forth between a man and a woman who are not married to each other.  These lyrics depict the man trying to seduce her into the mortal sin of fornication, with the woman wavering in her own convictions.  Some leftists complain of the implications of date rape in the song.  Regrettably, the line "say what's in this drink" shows their complaint to have some basis.  At the very least, the man and woman are teetering close to the mortal sin of fornication.

Appallingly enough, some Catholics are in denial of what the lyrics are saying.  They want to approve of the song simply out of a knee-jerk reaction to the leftists' claim of date-rape, so they are willing to deny the other sinful implications of the song.  If these are the mental contortions in which they'll engage with this song, will there be other scenarios in which they will jettison their sense of Catholic morality?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Buffalo Bishop Commits Sacrilege Against The Eucharist

HT -

A possible Eucharistic miracle may have occurred at St Vincent de Paul Church in Springbrook, NY.  When notified of the miracle, Bishop Malone (yes, him), instead of ordering a proper investigation, ordered that the Host be destroyed.  His reasoning?  He is quoted as saying, the Host had already dissolved and "Christ was no longer present".

Pictures clearly show the Host intact.  Moreover, if the Host truly was already dissolved, there would be nothing left to destroy.  Right, Your Excellency???

Bishop Malone's dismissive attitude towards the Blessed Sacrament is deplorable.  He may now be guilty of sacrilege against our Eucharistic Lord.  One of the commenters on the CM site believes that Malone may have automatically brought about his own excommunication.

The bishop needs to feel some heat for his refusal to follow proper procedures for investigating the possible miracle and for his cavalier attitude towards the Eucharist, leading to probable sacrilege.  The diocesan website is here.  All readers, no matter where they are, can call and/or email this diocese.

Many faithful Catholics in that area are righteously outraged.  In addition to contacting that chancery, I'd suggest a complete boycott of all diocesan donations.  I'd suggest that if you see the bishop in person, that you challenge him regarding his brash decisions and derelictions of duty.  Let him know that bishops should act like bishops and not crass businessmen.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Aristotle And Aquinas

I myself haven't watched the entire clip but I too believe that many of us faithful Catholics have suffered from lack of adequate intellectual formation in our Faith.  This clip is worth a listen, from what I've seen of it.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Strange Defense Of Baby It's Cold Outside

A radio station recently announced its decision to ban "Baby It's Cold Outside" from its airwaves.  It cites its allegiance to the #metoo movement as its reasons.  Immediately the whining and kvelling commenced, with most complaining that the station simply is kowtowing to politically correct sentiments.  They mock the notion that "baby" promotes date-rape - although the lyrics lend credence to that allegation.

What truly baffles me is how many Catholics are defending the song, claiming that:
  • It's a Christmas classic (even though Christmas isn't even mentioned)
  • The lyrics are silly and harmless, especially compared to today's rap music.
First, let's take a look at the lyrics, and a piece that I wrote about the matter three years ago.  As I read the lyrics and notice the line "what's in this drink", I acknowledge the possibility of date rape being implied in this song.  Even if it weren't, the singers are flirting - not only with each other but the mortal sin of fornication.  Someone attempting to defend the song said "it was written in a sane time when they wouldn't be contemplating sex".  Why, oh why, should I accept that theory?  He's asking her to stay the night.  If nothing else, that constitutes near occasion of mortal sin, does it not?

Others cite the course music of today.  Yes, rap is truly raunchy - but did music degrade to its current state only within the past several years?  No, it's been a gradual process.  Many decades ago, the proverbial envelope was pushed, little by little, to the current dismal state of affairs today.  "Baby It's Cold Outside" was a definite push of the envelope.  Is that so difficult to understand?

This song isn't worthy of the ears of decent people.  It certainly isn't worthy of the defense that Catholics are lending to it.  My fellow Catholics, we can - we must - do better than that.  There is so much decent, uplifting music to help us dwell on the Birth of Our Lord.  That is real Christmas music.