Thursday, May 24, 2018

Catholic College Ministry

Not saying we need to spend one dime less on the groups we are spending money on, but this is a graph I put together for a presentation to our Council of Priests.



We lose about 90% of our Catholic students in college right now. It is a war zone. Pray for us. We have some proposed plans for how to really up the game funding wise, but please pray for every diocese and every Catholic campus outreach in the country, because this is a pretty standard breakdown for most dioceses in the U.S.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

"Eat, Pray, Love" and Pentecost



a majority of this homily came out of reading and reflecting on a particular chapter from Ross Douthat's book "Bad Religion - How We Became a Nation of Heretics"



“Eat, Pray, Love” is a book by author Elizabeth Gilbert that spent 187 weeks at the top of the NYT bestseller list

Married, successful author found herself pleading with God – “I don’t want to be married anymore, I don’t want to be married anymore, I don’t want to live in this big house, I don’t want to have this baby”

And someone spoke back.  She says “It was not an Old Testament Hollywood Charlton Heston voice, nor was it a voice telling me I must build a baseball field in my backyard.  It was merely my own voice, speaking from within my own self…How can I describe the warmth of affection in that voice, as it gave me the answer that would forever seal my faith in the divine?”

She felt her voice was telling her to leave her marriage

This phenomenon of “spiritual but not religious” is what NYT Catholic columnist Ross Douthat calls “The God Within” theology that, as he notes, “Is the insight offered by just about every spiritual authority ever given a platform in Oprah Winfrey’s media empire”

Followers do not say they are rejecting Christ, they say they are being truer to Christ than churches with rules – and truer to Christ certainly than the Church with the MOST rules – the Catholic Church

Pope Francis has often noted that his favorite book is the novel “Lord of the World” – and in this fictional telling of the coming of the Antichirst, and then the coming of Christ and the end of the world – the Antichrist does not sell himself as the opposite of Christ but as the fulfillment of Christ – not as rejecting Jesus and His Church but as doing a better job of being Christian than the Church

I would like to note the problems of this mindset of “The God Within” theology or the Church of “spiritual but not religious”

1)      Problem: Nothing they say is “uproariously on the face of things” wrong
                The God Within theorists do not say abandon Christ and they certainly don’t say
Follow the evil one.  “Spiritual but not religious” or the Church of “The God Within” because a pretty easy pill to swallow for Christians and even an easy pill to swallow for Catholics

Related problem: Some of what is believed in this ideology is Christian.  The Church says, in some ways, God is NOT comprehendable.  God isn’t completely comprehended in one sense of that word.

Solution: There is the fact that we can never FULLY comprehend God, but our Catholic Faith also says there are important things that we must know and believe and profess
We can’t ever fully comprehend the Resurrection event, nor can we fully comprehend the Birth  of Christ nor can we fully comprehend today’s celebration which we’ll get to in a moment the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit…we can’t get our arms around it, but that doesn’t mean we can deny it.  It is, in one sense, what makes our Creed so important. 

3)      Problem 3: Sometimes the God Within isn’t God at all, but just the ego or the libido using spirituality as a convenient gloss foits own desires and impulses

Solution: John of the Cross very strongly cautions that using spiritual visions and ecstasies is something that the Devil can just as easily and readily use as God, so a faith based on religious emotions and feelings can lead a person very quickly down the wrong path, eventhough that path might be coated with lots of phrases and ideas that sound like Christianity making them even more dangerous, while also making them more readily desirable to our Western Culture

4)      Problem 4: This “God within” stuff is that it turns us into narcissists – where my own promptings and desires become God speaking.  University of Michigan found that today’s college students scored 40% lower than their predecessors in the 1970’s on their ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes.  Isn’t that interesting: we think we’re better at putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, but we’re actually way worse.

Solution: My “Voice within” has told me to do some awful things, some very selfish things, and evil things, and other “voice within” was God speaking: our Christian tradition is very clear: there are several “voices within” competing against each other – and if I think they are all God, I am setting myself up for misery

Problem 5: As narcissism has exploded by every standard measure, what has typically served as a critique to narcissism has been eroded.  Christianity, despite being lived imperfectly by every Christian in the history of the world besides the mother of Jesus, has traditionally held in check the individual ego

Christianity: you might want to do __________ but don’t.  You might not want to do _______ but you must. 

But now there are tons of people foisted on the culture telling everyone that “your ego is God’s voice, and Christianity is bad and it is rules, and it is mean and burdensome and must be cast off!”

6)      Final Problem: It doesn’t help in the face of adversity.  Starvation.  Torture.  Martyrdom, Cancer.  “The Voice Within” has never helped me in the face of suffering.  The Mass did.  Eucharistic Adoration did.  Repeating the Divine Mercy “Jesus I trust in you” in the midst of the desert helped me.  What some would call the rules, the burdensome Catechism and the thou shalts and the thou shalt nots – that helped me and it sounds like, from the 2,000 years worth of the writings of the saints, it was precisely the dogmas and the rules of the Church that have helped in the face of loneliness, suffering, pain, temptations to despair and temptations to anxieties

But what every available psychological study also shows us is that people today are also lonelier, more isolated, and more depressed than ever.  That is to say that the new “spiritual but not religious” “just listening to the God within me” is failing

And here’s the point, tying it back to what we are celebrating today – the feast of Pentecost.  If you want to have your world ABSOLUTELY ROCKED, pray this prayer – come Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is jet fuel coursing through the veins of the Body of Christ.  It burns away all that is impure.  The Holy Spirit will lead you to all Truth.  The Holy Spirit does not ever point away from the Church, it comes from within the Church and points us back there.  The Holy Spirit sometimes confirms our ego’s desires, but other times it contradicts and reprimands our egos and our desires.  It calls us out of ourselves to the margins, it calls us to keep the ten commandments, it calls us to Mass, it calls us to our marriages and our vocations, it calls us to sacrifice, and it tells us that sin is wrong, no matter what your voice within is saying

Come Holy Spirit.  The three most dangerous words you will ever pray.  The three most powerful words you will ever pray.  Come Holy Spirit.

If you want to continue to only listen to yourself, do not pray those three words

But if you think that perhaps the common wisdom that has been stored up in the 2,000 years of lived experience of billions of Catholic people in good times and in bad in persecution, amidst struggle and difficulty, if you think that Christ actually did found a Church on Peter that would serve as a help through the maze of life’s experiences.  If you’ve tried it on your own but have found it only leads to numbness, despair, anger, frustration, unhappiness and misery, then pray now, and mean it, Say from the depths of your soul “Come Holy Spirit”

The Holy Spirit will lead you to the Church
The Holy Spirit will lead you to all Truth.  Nothing else will.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Some pretty shocking Mass statistics from Archindy

We offer 374 weekend Masses in the Archdiocese with a total seating capacity of 200,483


There are 223,815 Catholics in the Archdiocese


A Gallup poll from 2017 reports that 39% of Catholics attend any given Sunday, which means that we see 87,287 Catholics each weekend in the Archdiocese


So at our 374 Masses there are 113,196 open seats


In other words, we could cut 56% of our Masses and still have a seat for everyone


Cutting our Masses by 56% would take our number of Masses from 374 to 211


374 Masses per weekend requires 94 priests to each say 4 Masses per weekend. 


211 weekend Masses would require only 70 priests to say only 3 Masses per weekend, reducing the number of Masses per weekend by one for every priest in the Archdiocese and also freeing up 24 priests who could do other assignments, vocation recruitment, high school, college and hospital chaplaincies, associate pastors, etc.



Below is our first attempt, as an Archdiocese, to address the issue with a process called "Connected in the Spirit" which was led by a consulting firm

The process, by my count, netted a cutting of 13 Masses throughout the Archdiocese



There are certainly other advantages to a "Connected in the Spirit" process, but dealing with the glut of Masses would seem to be one of the top priorities.  And using the first round of our "Connected in the Spirit" process as the benchmark, we would need 12 more "Connected in the Spirit" processes at a length of 72 years to get down to 211 Masses.


As a diocesan priest in this climate, I am hopeful that the first time through this "Connected in the Spirit" process was "more gentle" because it was the first time through, as an attempt to help prepare people for the more dramatic changes to come the second time we move through the process.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

#MeToo

As the movement (the movement encouraging all victims of sexual harassment and/or assault to come forward publicly) thankfully progresses forward, can we have the discussion that part of the problem is music/TV/film/etc.?
I saw a major car commercial yesterday centered around a famous rap song with the chorus:
“You’re a real fine woman, won’t you back that thing up”


The "chorus" was "scrubbed" for TV, as the actual chorus, as it was played millions of times on radio stations across the country in its unedited format, says "You're a da** fine woman, won't you back that a** up"


And in case anyone is wondering, no, the chorus is not sung in some sort of Rico Suave tone of voice where some artist at least TRIES to pretend that they love the person they are sexually harassing with their music.  "You're a real fine woman, won't you back that thing up" is sung with the voice that says, very clearly, "you are a piece of meat, I care nothing about you, and I just want to use you and be done with you."


Every legitimate company in the country is rightly in support of the #MeToo movement, but the fact that those same companies don't connect the dots between sexual harassment/assault with their willingness to air commercials on major TV networks that "sing" "You're a real fine woman, won't you back that thing up"...that shows just how far we still have to go.



Saturday, May 5, 2018

You too, U2?


Achtung, Baby” was the 4th or 5th record I purchased for myself as a youngster saving up allowance money.  I’ve always like U2’s music, but as I became a young adult who actually started paying attention to lyrics, U2’s appeal only grew for me.


In one of U2’s most famous songs, “When Love Comes to Town”, Bono sings with B.B. King that the Crucifixion of Christ conquers “the great divide”.  Love Rescue Me”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, and so many of U2’s catalog of songs have strong Christian overtones.


As the divide between “secular” and “Christian” in Western culture grows exponentially today, a band like U2 that is willing to make popular music that occasionally mentions Christ or Christian themes becomes something to latch onto as a sign of hope. 


So when U2 came out this week in favor of abortion in Ireland in the run-up to that country’s very important vote on the issue, it was such a disheartening announcement for so many.


But, as a Catholic, the betrayal of U2 (after the shock wore off) served as a helpful reminder:  U2’s betrayal is yet another reminder that a dogma-less “mere Christianity” is ultimately a house of sand on which nothing meaningful can be built.  Christ left us a Church for a reason.  He built it on “rock” for a reason.


In “When Love Comes to Town” Bono says that he’s ”Seen love conquer the great divide.”  But for many Christians, far from helping Christ conquer the divide, U2 just helped widen it.



Bono, lead singer of U2, singing songs on tour dressed as the Devil

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

An AMAZING Quote from Blessed John Henry Newman for our own times as well

"From the date of this Council [Constantinople], Arianism was formed into a sect exterior to the Catholic Church; and, taking refuge among the Barbarian Invaders of the Empire, is merged among those external enemies of Christianity, whose history cannot be regarded as strictly ecclesiastical. 

Such is the general course of religious error; which rises within the sacred precincts, but in vain endeavors to take root in a soil uncongenial to it. The domination of heresy, however prolonged, is but one stage in its existence; it ever hastens to an end, and that end is the triumph of the Truth. 

"I myself have seen the ungodly in great power," says the Psalmist, "and flourishing like a green bay tree; I went by, and lo, he was gone; I sought him, but his place could nowhere be found." And so of the present perils, with which our branch of the Church is beset, as they bear a marked resemblance to those of the fourth century, so are the lessons, which we gain from that ancient time, especially cheering and edifying to Christians of the present day.  Then as now, there was the prospect, and partly the presence in the Church, of an Heretical Power enthralling it, exerting a varied influence and a usurped claim in the appointment of her functionaries, and interfering with the management of her internal affairs. Now as then, "whosoever shall fall upon this stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Meanwhile, we may take comfort in reflecting, that, though the present tyranny has more of insult, it has hitherto had less of scandal, than attended the ascendancy of Arianism; we may rejoice in the piety, prudence, and varied graces of our Spiritual Rulers; and may rest in the confidence, that, should the hand of Satan press us sore, our Athanasius and Basil will be given us in their destined season, to break the bonds of the Oppressor, and let the captives go free."


Blessed John Henry Newman
"The Arians of the 4th Century"





The Stoning of Paul the Apostle


Anxieties have you thinking about running away from your problems?

”They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered around him, he got up and entered the city.” - Acts 14:20

Adventure = going where Christ calls us!  We must go, and not be afraid!


Remember, Paul was nearly stoned to death and went right back into the same city!



Thursday, April 26, 2018

#AlfieEvans

This situation with this child Alfie Evans has disturbed and saddened me for several weeks in a way that not much else has in my priesthood.

1) Starving a child to death
2) Not letting Italy fly the child to try experimental treatment
3) Obliterating parental rights to care for their child
4) The social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook) and the traditional media silencing the pushback 

It is all sickening and disturbing on a MASSIVE scale

All I can do is say “Jesus, I trust in you”

Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation is helpful too:
“Woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time.”

Two English mothers - one gets attention and excitement of the media and the world and England and would get all the care England could muster and the other England has decided to starve to death and not let the parents take him to Italy for experimental procedures





May God have mercy on our world

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Homily: Racism and Vocations




Most of you have seen DePauw in the news this week for incidents of racism. Just wanted to say here at the beginning that I’ve been REALLY proud of our Catholic students in standing in solidarity with all those who are suffering, and also working to try to be a light of hope to the campus.

Some in the past week, even some writing from a Christian perspective, have sought to minimize or even explain away the incidents themselves.

Two things about that. First of all, I minister at Putnamville prison a few miles from here. A few months ago, I attended an annual training night for all those who volunteer there at the prison. They went through all the gangs in the prison so we’d know what to watch out for. They went through the Mexican gangs, the black gangs, etc. but what blew me away was that while there were 5 or 6 of each of those gangs, there were close to TWENTY white supremacist gangs. Racism is still alive and well.

Archbishop Thompson wrote a letter a few months ago on a lot of issues facing our Archdiocese, including RACISM

At the heart of these issues (racism, drug use, abortion, immigration, gun violence, religious liberty, euthanasia) Archbishop pointed to HUMAN DIGNITY!

Archbishop notes: “We are one in Christ. This is not a metaphor.”

How true! So often we think “oh, one in Christ, that’s nice, we could make it a song title or we think “what a lovely image” but Archbishop Thompson makes it clear – this is NOT a metaphor. This is NOT poetry. We are to be ONE.

That’s also what we hear in the Gospel today. ONE flock.

Archbishop goes on: “It is a fundamental truth…This fundamental belief, which we accept as a fact, dramatically influences the way we are called to live our lives. We do not merely exist for ourselves and our own kind.”

It DOES dramatically influence the way we live our lives. If you think about it, this was precisely one of the key RADICAL notions that the Christian Church proposed to the world. Show me a culture, prior to Jesus Christ, that taught that every human person had dignity! You can’t! It didn’t exist. In every culture before Christ there were SOME people who had dignity, but then there was a group of the population that was “trash” that was disposable, they could be slaves or they could be killed or treated harshly because they were LESS human. The early Church, in bringing the Gospel to the various cultures and continents taught precisely this new idea, that, according to Jesus Christ’s teachings and the teachings of His Church that he left behind on Earth, EVERY person has dignity because they are made in the image and likeness of God!

We have proof of this in our second reading. We hear Saint John: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” He’s saying “WOW! This is so amazing!

Finally, to conclude with the Archbishop’s excerpts, I’d like to finish with this line: “The Catholic Church opposes racism, sexism, nativism and all forms of prejudice against people who are perceived to be different from us, including strangers and enemies.”

There’s the great warning of Christ: SATAN DESIRES TO SIFT YOU LIKE WHEAT! He desires to breakdown relationships, marriages, families, universities, parishes, communities, states, countries, etc. He is an agent of DISunity. Whereas Christ says today that He is an agent of unity. “ONE flock. ONE shepherd!”

Turning for a moment to the teaching of the universal Church, The Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching, 144: since all people have the same dignity as creatures made in his image and likeness[281]. The Incarnation of the Son of God shows the equality of all people with regard to dignity: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28; cf. Rom 10:12; 1 Cor 12:13, Col 3:11).
Since something of the glory of God shines on the face of every person, the dignity of every person before God is the basis of the dignity of man before other men[282]. Moreover, this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people, regardless of their race, nation, sex, origin, culture, or class.

Compendium 431: For those who live a new life in Christ, racial and cultural differences are no longer causes of division

431 continued: From the day of Pentecost, when the Resurrection is announced to diverse peoples, each of whom understand it in their own language, the Church fulfills her mission of restoring and bearing witness to the unity lost at Babel. Through the Church, the human family is called to rediscover its unity and recognize the richness of its differences!

Let me state this clearly: “If you harbor racist beliefs or outlooks, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has not taken root in you yet”

Look at that prayer card – you know why it is so powerful and speaks a thousand words – because of the collar – because of the visible representation of the Presence of the Church

Is the Church present in those who don’t wear a collar or habit? OF COURSE!!!!
Can we work for unity without a collar or habit? OF COURSE!!!!
But we need people who are willing to be VISIBLE signs of the Church BEING the glue, VISIBLE signs

Precisely in the fact that celibacy is a sign that we are all heading for an eternal home not of this world, religious and priestly vocations are also, at the same time, able to GIVE THEMSELVES COMPLETELY to THIS world to help work for that unity full time!

One thing I didn’t know until I became a priest – people stare at you a lot when you wear the Roman collar. I’ve become somewhat more used to it, but it is still startling
1) I see fascination/surprise
2) I see hope too – something that instantly seems to get them thinking about eternal things

In a world that so often looks for VISIBLE things to be divided over – skin color, race, clothing, wealth, - a GREAT way to fight back against that is to be a VISIBLE sign of UNITY

G.K. Chesterton said “Each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it most.”
If you want to convert our culture, help pray for, encourage, and foster young men and women who will come forward to contradict the culture of division and disunity

A response to Rod Dreher on events at DePauw

I am certainly a big fan of Rod Dreher, author of “The Benedict Option” among so many other things, and so when I saw that he had written a piece on DePauw University and the racial issues that have popped up there, I looked forward to reading his take.

After reading his post, I would say, though, that some of it misses the mark.

Some of Dreher’s thoughts are certainly on target

1) The University is, in a sense, destroying itself. As with the entire secularist agenda, it is REALLY easy to tear something down, but what is to be built in its place? A situation where chaos is acceptable every time there is a grievance leads to chaos on a massive scale. But “Chaos University” or (to take it to the governmental national level) “The United States of Chaos”, is not a place where people CAN live, and certainly not a place where people WANT to live. Institutions (universities, states, companies, nations, etc.) have to both allow for protest, but also draw lines and say “there are also laws and due process”. The French Revolution showed us what happens when things are ruled via a mob mentality – 10,000 a day killed by the guillotine. Western liberalism rightly steered away from that approach.

2) The sad thing is that SOME (if not most or even all) of these ideas are being taught to students from WITHIN the University. So the university is teaching its students the ideas that are destroying the university.

3) Dreher also rightly points out that the University telling white people what they shouldn’t do (under the label “white fragility”), has an inherent and thus HIGHLY problematic flaw.  Here’s the excerpt from a DePauw email: “WHITE FRAGILITY TAKES THE FORM OF RAGE, ANXIETY, GUILT, FEAR, TEARS, REFUSALS TO ENGAGE, WILLFUL IGNORANCE, SILENCE, INTELLECTUALIZING, SEEKING COMFORT, ARGUMENTATION, AND LEAVING/OPTING OUT OF DIFFICULT DIALOGUES AND SITUATIONS.”

The problem with this is, of course, that the responses described in the email cover EVERY possible response. So, according to this email, no matter what a white student does, it is wrong. This email from the DePauw administration is literally setting up every white person for failure. This is, as Dreher points out, sheer lunacy, and, far from helping, this email literally makes the problem worse because a person who is upset can point to every white student on campus, and, under the rubric of this email, claim “That person is GUILTY!”

But here is where I diverge from Dreher.

1) As a factual correction, all of the incidents DID occur on campus. The nature park, the “Inn at DePauw” and the “Fluttering Duck” are all elements that are a part of the campus. None of the incidents were “off campus”.

2) More importantly as a rebuttal, though, is that racism is a serious problem in the communities I serve (two neighboring parishes in addition to DePauw). As I shared in my homily this weekend, I am the Catholic chaplain at the local state prison, and in my annual training update there a few months ago, we went through all the gangs that are currently operating in the prison. They showed us tattoos and behaviors unique to each gang. They went through the Hispanic gangs, then the African American gangs, etc. The thing that I found to be really surprising: there are twice as many white supremacist gangs as there are any other type of gang.  Racism is certainly real and present in our communities.

The Archbishop of Indianapolis recently wrote a letter talking about the issues he sees in our communities (drug use, abortion, euthanasia, gun violence, how immigrants and refugees are viewed and treated) and he identified racism as one of those issues that we still battle in our Archdiocese.

So my main concern is that all the instances of racism seemed to be either minimized by Dreher or even possibly explained away completely. I don’t have nearly as hopeful a belief about these incidents. When students say that there have been white people in pick up trucks yelling things at students of color, the proper response isn’t to minimize that at all, but to instead stand in solidarity with those students and to ask them how we can help.

A final conclusion, if I may. While standing in solidarity with those who are affected, we can and should propose again the Christian message by asking the question to everyone: “What is a path forward?” “Where can we get the language that will show us a way forward?” “On what can we build again a culture of unity?” And the answer to that seems to me to be exactly the revolutionary proposal of Christ in the Gospels, echoed throughout the New Testament letters, the early Church, the saints, the Catechism, the social doctrine of the Church, and Archbishop Thompson: the COMPLETELY RADICAL and, until the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth, completely unheard of notion that EVERY human person has EQUAL dignity and the fact that every human person has dignity completely changes EVERYTHING!

We recognize that elements of the Truth are found in other faith traditions, but in this area in particular, the Christian proposal to the world stands out and needs repeated: there is no other credible way to build a system around the dignity of the human person without the foundational notion that the dignity of every person comes from the fact that they are created in the image and likeness of God.

Some will say, “Slow down there, Catholics, you all have failed in this realm of racism too!” To that we say, “We know, and we’re deeply saddened by the failures of the past and present, but we have these teachings not about things we’re all living perfectly but about things we still FAIL at. If they were things that we all could do automatically without teaching and guidance, we wouldn’t need the teaching. But we can also note that the criticism of the behavior of those who’ve failed in the past comes FROM the Christian notions of right and wrong. Put another way, the very notion of racism would not have even have been developed if not for the completely radical teaching of Jesus Christ and His Church on the dignity of the human person.

This seems like the discussion to be having with the form of liberalism that has stripped itself of its Christian roots. It seems like the best way to have that discussion is to start by standing alongside those who are expressing hurt and grievances, and, while standing alongside them, start to have the discussions about how we go about reestablishing a greater respect for every human person once again!


Sunday, April 15, 2018

My Position on Amoris Laetitia Footnote 351

“You are well aware that often the fidelity of priests — indeed, let us say, of the Church — to this truth and to the consequent moral norms taught by Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio often must be paid for at a high price. One is often mocked, accused of misunderstanding and harshness, and more...This is the fate of every witness to the truth, as we know."
- St. John Paul II -

I post this for two reasons:

1) My conscience requires it of me.

2) As a mathematics major in college, I am a subscriber to "Chaos Theory", the mathematical theory that "if a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon, it eventually has an effect on the weather in Tokyo".  I am a priest in rural Indiana, I am thus, hopefully like Therese, "small".  In posting this my hope is that this post, particularly as it is joined to other priests and bishops who have already or who will in the future make similar statements, might have an affect on the "weather" in Rome, if that be the Will of God.



The point of my post is this:

In case it matters to anyone, if it is ever said that the Church now teaches that it is at times permissible for individuals to potentially receive Holy Communion who
1) have divorced
2) that marriage, despite the divorce, has not been declared null by the Church (no annulment) and the original spouse is still living
3) are civilly remarried/cohabitating/etc.
4) are not willing to try to live as brother and sister (abstain from sexual intercourse)
Then I will not only not teach that, I will teach that this is, in fact, wrong

There is an orthodox reading of footnote 351 in Amoris Laetitia (that couples who are described by numbers 1-3 above can attempt to live as brother and sister and have recourse to the Eucharist and Confession because they are not engaging in adultery)
There is also a heterodox reading of footnote 351 in Amoris Laetitia (that couples described by numbers 1-3 above, without striving to live as brother and sister (abstain from sexual intercourse), can receive the Sacraments)

If the heterodox reading of footnote 351 is proposed as Church teaching, I will not teach it, but will teach and preach against that interpretation of Amoris Laetitia footnote 351 as often and as frequently as my conscience obliges me to.




Thursday, April 12, 2018

Porn Addiction Ritual for Catholics

The priests of the Archdiocese were blessed in Lent to have a day of reflection with Fr. Sean Kilcawley on addictions, pornography, authentic love, etc.

Fr. Kilcawley's AWESOME work can be viewed by clicking HERE



I found this part of his presentation both informative and also easily shareable



The Typical Pornography Addiction Ritual for Catholics

1. Feeling vulnerable
2. Have time alone
3. Check Facebook, social media, email
4. Feel alone
5. Recheck social media
6. Trigger
7. Youtube soft core stuff
8. Tell yourself: "I'm not looking at porn"
9. Tell yourself: "I might as well be looking at porn"
10. Ask yourself: "Can I get to confession?"
11. Act out
12. Feel worthless
13. More behavior
14. Lots of shameful/negative self talk
15. Sacramental confession
16. Resolve to never act out again
17. Feeling vulnerable (back to number 1 above)