Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Lioness Roars

Alice von Hildebrand once wrote a book entitled "Heart of a Lion."  The book is a biography of her late husband Dietrich, one of the great Catholic minds of our time.  Dietrich was a friend of Pope Benedict while the two were living in Germany, and his thought is clear, precise, and charitable.  Any Catholic wanting to grow deeper in their faith would do well to pick up anything written by Dietrich, open to a random page, and start reading.

Mrs. Alice Hildebrand, however, has a bit of a roar herself, and after reading a recent article by her entitled "A Plea to Confused Catholics", I thought I'd pass it on.  A few quotes:

"It would be difficult to convince a peasant that a purely abstract projection (cuts in Medicaid will lead to more abortions) justifies voting for someone who is “pro-choice,”  endorses not only late term abortion, but also the murder of those little ones who survived this “scientific” torture. This is typical intellectual prestidigitation, a sleight of hand of such “cleverness” that it justifies the words of St. Peter Damian: the Devil was the first grammarian: he “taught us to decline god in the plural.”

"Am I wrong in suggesting that when St. Paul writes that there are things that “should not even be mentioned among Christians,” he might had had “same sex marriage” in mind, an inevitable consequence of the endorsement of homosexuality so severely condemned by Plato – a pagan – as being not only against nature, but as being a moral disease of such gravity that it inevitably leads to the downfall of any society. History teaches us a lesson: the great nations of the world now extinct, were victims of the immorality of their customs. Their problem was not economic; it was moral."

Click here to read the entire rebuttal of Professor Schneck.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Jim Gaffigan, Gregorian Chant, and the GIRM

Unfortunately, my mic messed up at the beginning, and so I cut out that part of the video. I talked at the beginning of the homily about my favorite comedian, Jim Gaffigan, who has a joke about chant. He says that his wife is the good Catholic in the family, and that in fact, she takes her faith so seriously, that she's like a Shiite Catholic! He also said she drags him to Mass and that it is really long, and he jokes how it seems like Catholics drag Mass out forever. He goes on to do a sort of mock chant "ah ah ah" looks at his watch "ah ah ah" and then he screams out "just say "AMEN" already!"

I noted that whether someone is joking about Mass or, as in a recent Hardees commercial, someone is really trying to convey the spirit of the Mass, what is referenced is chant.  The rest is in the homily. 

Yes I did preach for almost 20 minutes, but I think it was important, so get off my back! :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New "Lincoln" Film

The last line from the trailer for the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie "Lincoln"

"This settles the fate for all coming time...not only of the millions now in bondage...but of unborn millions to come...shall we stop this bleeding?"

This looks like a beast of a film, and I think it stars about 400 actors and actresses who have been nominated for an Oscar at some point.  Daniel Day Lewis is known for only taking a role every three or four years because he immerses himself so deeply into his character.  This should be quite the film!

Also, with the long-noted link between the Civil Rights Movement and the Pro-Life Movement, I think this will be an especially important film for our country to see.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"In This Election, the Catholic Church Analyzes Candidate ________"

We may hear that phrase someday, maybe sooner than we think.

There is a group of Protestant pastors who, since 2008, have been analyzing specific candidates from the pulpit on key issues with relationship to the Bible and their specific congregation's teachings.

Here's an interesting video talking about the how:

It seems the goal is to actually GET the IRS to take someone to court because once that happens, then a suit can be filed to challenge the Johnson amendment.  The claim is that the IRS uses the amendment as a fear tactic to silence churches, but that they won't ever prosecute anyone because if they do, they know the Johnson amendment itself will get challenged and overturned.

Here's another look at the movement:

Very interested to see where this goes.  Supposedly a bunch of pastors participated in 2011, sent their videos and sermons to the IRS...and none of them were prosecuted.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Faith vs. Works, St. Paul vs. St. James, The Bishops vs. Pelosi

We have some priests, some sisters, and some politicians who call themselves Catholic who tell everyone "I'm doing the works of God" but who turn around and reject this Church teaching or that Church teaching or don't like the Pope or don't like the Bishops. Listening to some of these priests/sisters/politicians, it is clear they believe that, in fact, one CAN simply work one's way into Heaven, and not only CAN work one's way into Heaven, but that in fact one's resume of spiritual work is ALL that matters. This, however, is the same works-based righteousness that St. Paul condemns, and it is the same works-based righteousness that Martin Luther was reacting to.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Muslim Violence and the "Neo-Colonialist Anti-Neo Colonialists"

So President Obama (and many of his ivy league cohort) seem to despise what they refer to as "neo-colonialism."  During the colonial period there was an overt domination of the countries that were colonized by European powers like Spain and England.  Countries in Africa and South America, colonized by England and Spain, were brought to their knees as often their countries were mined for natural resources, the natives often being coerced into having to work as quasi-slave labor. 

In the Colonial Period, then, European powers forced their way of living onto other countries through a damaging colonization.

The "Neo-Colonial" (meaning new colonial) Period, then, has been going on for at least several decades.  While countries are pulling out of directly occupying other countries, "neo-colonialism" is the sometimes indirect imposition of our Western beliefs on other countries.  The way we accomplish this oppression as "neo-colonialists" is through media (our movies/songs/TV that everyone in other countries craves), through using our wealth to exploit other countries and peoples, and sometimes even through war when a country has something we really want, like oil.

So, I was watching a movie called "Demographic Winter" which chronicles the now well-known policy of both President Clinton and Obama, that of tying our foreign aid to most third world countries to contraception programs.

In short, we tell other countries, especially poor ones, "We aren't giving you a dime unless your country starts implementing contraceptive procedures for your people."  The brutal, racist, and Aryan thought here being "if we get these inferior poor people to stop breeding, poverty will go away."  This practice, although more Americans are aware of it, still continues to this day. 

In the "Demographic Winter" movie, one of the Africans interviewed described this disgusting procedure of tying foreign aid to contraception as a "new colonialism" - the forcing of our contraceptive culture on to people who want nothing to do with it.

So...many of our liberal leaders go around lamenting the "new colonialism" that America has been engaging in, but they don't recognize how "colonialistic" their own "contraception for food" program is. 

A little known fact, Muslims have very similar teachings to the Catholic Church on contraception...but, unlike Catholics, Muslims actually put their ban of contraception into practice.  So while we continue to assume that Muslims hate us because of our risque television shows, Snoop Dogg's music, and because of the stuff coming out of Hollywood, maybe they also hate us because we have the disgusting arrogance right now to go to their poorer brothers and sisters and tell them "we won't give you food or aid unless you all start wearing rubbers and taking the pill."

In no way am I excusing the unspeakable tragedies that have occurred this week (or ever) whereby Muslims have attacked the Christian West; all I'm saying is if we want to get to the heart of why they hate us, perhaps we should quit blaming Eminem and start looking at how disgustingly offensive, arrogant, racist and colonialist our current foreign aid policy is.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fr. Scanlon on Sexual Abuse and Sam-Sex Attraction

"We owe it to generations of Catholics to get to the heart of the issue, and examine what kind of man would sexually pursue post-pubescent males."

Click here to read the article you're going to hear about sooner or later anyways.

Cardinal Martini - "Pope of the Liberal Catholics"

Cardinal Me artini of Milan passed away last week.  Many referred to him as the "Pope of liberal Catholics."  He was for abortion, same sex marriage, condoms in Africa, etc.  In his last interview before his passing, the Cardinal famously noted that the Church is 200 years behind the times.  William Doino on First Things blog has a lovely response:

"Cardinal Martini was vastly underestimating the situation. The Church is not 200 years out of date—it is 2,000 years out of date, and will remain so, for the eternal truths of Jesus Christ are timeless and not subject to the trends of any particular age, however “forward” it thinks it is."


We Already Have Our Share of Uninformed Catholic Voters

Especially when we were in the midst of lots of academic work, my rector in the seminary would often remind us that "the world already has its share of dumb priests...it can't afford anymore."  It was a joke.  Kind of.

We have also reached our quota of uninformed (or wrongly informed) Catholic voters and it is key that we begin to reverse the trend.

Yesterday, I listened to a VERY important show that I hope every Catholic listens to or watches during this election season.  The show presents both sides of the argument that Catholics have.  Both sides of the debate are presented very articulately and clearly, and in a way that you rarely see in the same place.

In the first interview of this week's World Over Live, Raymond Arroyo interviews Stephen Schenk, the President of Catholics for Obama, a professor at Catholic University of America.  Following that interview, Arroyo turns around and interviews Bishop Robert Morlino.

The two opposing political philosophies that Catholics bring to the voting booth are laid out clearly.  I actually think Arroyo could have done a bit better in the interview with Schenk because Schenk was very clear on the one point that he was making, and Arroyo seemed to struggle to grasp it.  The position that Schenk outlines is side 1:

"I, as a Catholic, lament the redefinition of marriage, I lament embryonic stem cell research, I lament abortion on demand regardless of ability to pay, I lament the attacks on religious freedom...


if someone will do what I determine to be a better job of caring for the poor, that outweighs all the stuff I just mentioned because if there is less poverty, the other stuff will diminish."

That is position 1.  Some people taking position 1 will substitute either support for the death penalty or support for a specific war as justification for voting for a candidate in support of intrinsic evils.

A couple of questions I wish Arroyo had asked Schenk:
1) "So, Professor Schenk, you feel like cuts to programs for the poor of our country will lower abortion rates.  How will leaving such programs for the poor in place reduce embryonic stem cell research or push back against the redefinition of marriage?"

2) "Professor Schenk, you acknowledge that the Democrats ignore every aspect of the pro-life agenda.  How is continuing to vote for those who oppose every element of the pro-life platform going to send a message?  Wouldn't NOT voting for such people send a stronger message than continuing to vote for them?"

One of the things I think Arroyo nailed was when he played the clip of Bishop Lori saying essentially that a Catholic can't vote for someone who supports abortion, embryonic stem cell research, the redefinition of marriage, etc.  Schenk's line was something like, "Well, I know Bishop Lori well, he baptized my kids, he's one of my favorite prelates, but with all do respect he's offering his opinion."

Bishop Lori isn't spouting his opinion, he's reciting Church teaching.  Schenk very clearly demonstrates the ease with which many Catholics today simply dismiss the teaching of their bishops and instead create from scratch their own Church, their own doctrines, and they make themselves bishop of their own world.  Schenk's dismissal of Archbishop Lori sounded like a guy dismissing the advice of a drinking buddy on how to bet on an upcoming NFL game.

Anyway, on to side 2.  Bishop Morlino is the second half of the show, and is also worth the watch.  He comes out and cogently, pastorally, and succinctly answers Schenk (and all in his camp's) argument that there are non intrinsic evils that can outweigh intrinsic evils.

WATCH the video, I'm on my knees begging you to watch it.  Fastforward through the first 10 minutes to watch Schenk's interview and then stick around and watch Bishop Morlino's interview will be worth the investment.

The average Youtube viewer tunes out after a minute and a half.  I urge you to spend 30 minutes and watch both interviews in their entirety.  And then send this video to others and encourage them to watch it. Engage Catholics in this discussion.  Because we already have our share of uninformed Catholic voters.

There are a lot of Reasons to Give Up

But God says to hearts that are frightened, "be strong! Fear not!"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm a "Lion Breathng Fire"???

The Indiana Catholic Men's Conference on Saturday, October 20th, is titled "Lions Breathing Fire" (as it has been called for several years).  EVERY single person I've heard from about the conference has said it is AWESOME!  This year the main speaker is George Weigel.  Followers of this blog will know I'm in the Weigel cult!  He's an awesome speaker and I'm looking forward to hearing him this year.

I have also been asked to speak at this year's conference.  I believe I am giving a homily during adoration, and my talk will be on "It is our duty and our salvation."  I'm looking forward to attending the conference for the first time.

I hope, if you live in or near Indiana, you consider attending the one day action packed conference which is held at the convention center.  You can register online and view the speaker list and a schedule by clicking here.  Talks, confession, Mass, fellowship with other Catholic men from the area all crammed into one awesome day. 

If you are a wife, consider signing your husband up for the day.  If you are a Catholic man in the area, I hope you not only think about going, but also think about dragging a few of your fellow Catholic men along with you.  This is a great conference for entire groups from parishes, like the Knights of Columbus or an entire Christ Renews team to try to attend together.  I hope you consider going this year.  Please pray for me and for all the speakers and attendees this year as well!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Call to Consider Getting Involved

When I was in the seminary, a few of us were sitting around having a nice chat about politics.  One of my classmates (thanks Tyler) let it be known that he had just donated some money to a politician he really believed strongly in who was in the midst of a campaign.  I remember being really surprised and impressed by that because it had never crossed my mind to donate to a political campaign.  Thanks to my classmate's inspiration, I started reflecting on it, and last year made my first donation to a political campaign.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I find a candidate whom I really believe in, it seems to me that the right thing to do would be to support he/she in some way and do what I can to help them get elected.  I remember in 2008 political commentators from all across the political spectrum noted that President Obama's fundraising had a lot to do with his success, and that his fundraising victory was due in large part to lots of people chipping in whatever they could, even if it was 10 or 20 dollars.  I was reading today where in 2008, President Obama raised 3/4 of a billion dollars!  That is an amazing feat! 

Anyway, I hope people will think about it, pray about it, and talk about it, and consider looking for a candidate to support not just with a vote but with financial backing as well so that those who are on the fence might be reached with the same message that has inspired you. 

Passing around articles about important issues on Facebook is good.  Bumper stickers are good.  Talking to people about important issues is good.  Perhaps it is time to consider taking that next step and actually putting some financial resources behind a candidate as well.

May God watch over and guide the United States of America.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Catholic Reply to John Fugelsang

So there's a rant against Christians who plan to vote Republican in the presidential election this year that is making its way around the internet.  It seems to be attributed to a guy named John Fugelsang.  Here it is:

"Jesus was a guy who was a peaceful, radical, nonviolent revolutionary, who hung around with lepers, hookers, and criminals, who never spoke English, was not an American citizen, a man who was anti-capitalism, anti-wealth, anti-public prayer (YES HE WAS Matthew 6:5), anti-death penalty but never once remotely anti-gay, didn’t mention abortion, didn’t mention premarital sex, a man who never justified torture, who never called the poor ‘lazy’, who never asked a leper for a co-pay, who never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes, who was a long haired, brown skinned (that’s in revelations), homeless, middle eastern Jew?  Of course, that’s only if you believe what’s actually IN the Bible.

Let's break it down from the Church's perspective:

Jesus was a guy who was a peaceful, radical, nonviolent revolutionary, who hung around with lepers, hookers, and criminals
The Church leads the way in terms of caring for the diseased (the modern lepers), prisoners, and those who have been pulled into the sex trades of our day.  The Church is for being peaceful, radical and nonviolent, and the Church is certainly revolutionary.  Violence and self-defense have long been considered different things, and so the Church has taught that it is acceptable to defend one's self and even to defend others from unjust aggression.  Jesus' admonition to "turn the other cheek" is one that doesn't mean just lay down and die - if it did, we'd all be exchanging currency with Hitler's picture on it.  Matthew 10:34: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

"[Jesus] never spoke English, was not an American citizen"
- I've never heard anyone say that he DID speak English or that he was an American citizen

"[Jesus was] a man who was anti-capitalism, anti-wealth"
Matthew 20:1 "“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a Denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard."  "Landowner" sounds capitalist.  Paying people a wage sounds capitalist.  Why would Jesus use a capitalistic setting to explain the Kingdom of Heaven if he were against it?

Again turning to Scripture (I'm beginning to wonder if it is actually Fugelsang who doesn't know what is IN the Bible) we can look at the parable of the talents.  Matthew 25: 31-46
"It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five.  He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’  His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’... Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said...out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant...Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

We see a) people not working are called Lazy in the Bible by a person Jesus says represents God the Father, b) we see the word "bank" in the parable - if Jesus were anti-capitalist would he use capitalism as a metaphor for His Kingdom?

in 1 Timothy (also from the Bible) we read: "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."  Note that it doesn't say "you can't have any wealth."

"[Jesus was] anti-public prayer (YES HE WAS Matthew 6:5), anti-death penalty..."  
- Jesus was not saying never pray in public he was saying if you are going to engage in private prayer don't do it publicly.  Jesus went to a synagogue often, and in the synagogue there was much public prayer that Christ would have taken part in.  Matthew 6:5 is not banning public prayer, it is banning people from drawing attention to themselves and trying to stand out by praying alone in public.

As for Christ being anti-death penalty the Church would agree for the most part, teaching that it is only justifiable in cases where the criminal poses such a threat to the safety of the community that the self-defense argument can be put into play.  John Paul II certainly felt that in the first world today, there was hardly a conceivable case where the death penalty would be needed.  As the Catechism notes: "the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor" (CCC 2267). 

"[Jesus was] never once remotely anti-gay, didn’t mention abortion, didn’t mention premarital sex"
- Working backwards, no serious Biblical scholar would ever posit that Jesus was in favor of premarital sex.

There are a LOT OF THINGS Jesus never mentioned but which, given the entirety of Scripture, given the belief as Catholics that God continues to help us answer questions that arise as we move forward, we as Catholics don't need to see EVERY possible scenario described by Jesus in the Gospels.  Jeremiah talks about how God says "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you (Jer. 1:5)."  Is the word abortion mentioned there - no; does any reasonable person read Jeremiah 1:5 (and the rest of the Bible) and think Jesus supports abortion - no way.  As regards the immorality of homosexual sex, St. Paul certainly speaks strongly against homosexual sex, so I would say to our author of this little ditty we're dealing with here: "How can you talk, at the end of your ditty, about 'what's actually IN the Bible' while dismissing the Bible's consistent teaching on homosexual sex in both the Old and the New Testaments?"

Jesus didn't mention lots of things in the Gospels.  He didn't mention stockpiling nuclear weapons (the Church is still against it), Jesus doesn't mention pesticides, capitalism, communism, fascism, television, the death penalty, the internet, cell phones, global warming, the Keystone Pipeline, comic books, going to the Moon, any of the U.S. Presidents, rubber bands, CNN, Fox News, the idea that God is a trinity of three persons in one being, China, Iraq, Turkey, Antartica, 'Lil Wayne, 'Lil John, nor does he mention John Fogerty.  Some of these things are picked up as consistent themes throughout the Bible, while others are certainly implied in Christ's teachings.  Those topics that aren't obvious are granted clarity to a Catholic through the teaching of the Church through the centuries.  I admit that if one rejects the idea that God continues to give wisdom and guidance to the Church as it encounters new problems and difficulties then there are a lot of problems that surface.  If a Christian rejects that God guides the Catholic Church today, and instead believes that all we have to go back to is the Scriptures themselves, then that is a most difficult spot to be put in.  I've avoided that difficulty my whole life by remaining in the Catholic Church.

"[Jesus was] a man who never justified torture"
- Catholics agree and teach that there is never a justification for it

"[Jesus] never called the poor ‘lazy’"
As we saw above, Jesus never calls the poor lazy.  He does call those who refuse to work but could lazy, and in fact it is precisely their laziness that has them thrown into the darkness where there is wailing and grinding of teeth.  That doesn't leave much to the imagination.

"[Jesus] never asked a leper for a co-pay,"
- As Catholics we agree that no one should be denied health care and we support looking at ways to reform the health care system, we just don't think that it must necessarily involve a simultaneous annihilation of our religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.  

"[Jesus] never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes"
- Here it is important to remember that language is critical.  When you talk about tax cuts, it seems like you are assuming that it is money that is rightfully the governments.  That is a dangerous precedent because we should always use language that acknowledges that anything a person has earned does not first belong to the government but rather to the person.  I'm all for taxes, but to assume that any amount of money that a person earns actually belongs FIRST to the government is dangerous.  As soon as the government begins losing sight of the fact that "the government's money" comes from its citizenry, we are in deep trouble.

I'll end with St. Pauls words (from the Bible - 2 Corinthians 10-11):
"But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere (and pure) commitment to Christ...if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached."

What In The Heck Is Marriage Anymore?

Driving around today, much to my joy, my favorite Adele song came on.  When the song was over, some bubbly DJ, in a really saccharine and smiley voice reported that "the rumor that Adele got married this weekend apparently isn't true.  She was maybe going to run off and get married this weekend, but it didn't happen.  We're also told her baby is due at any moment."

My instant reaction, as soon as the DJ said the phrase about her not getting married was "who cares?"  My own reaction shocked me because I DO care about marriage.  I thought about it more and realized that my reaction was more along the lines of "why does society care about marriage anymore?"

So the rest of the way home I was thinking "is it possible to turn this Titanic moral failure of a country around?"  To this DJ, and to most of America, what in the Hell is marriage anyways?  If marriage isn't a sacrament (and we're quite clear as a country that it is not a sacrament), if I define what marriage means to me, then why do we care if Adele gets married or not?  If Adele, two days later, can walk back into court and undue what she just did two days earlier (with a nominal processing fee) why in the world would anyone care if Adele got married or not? 

As a society, we certainly don't care if Adele gets married because we are worried about the mental health of her child.  We have disregarded any study that would say her decision to marry or not would have any meaningful impact on her child's life, and we've disregarded any studies that suggest that if Adele married Stephanie or Brenda that it would have any meaningful impact on her child, so why do we care as country if Adele gets married or not?  Aren't we to the point now where, like in a Brave New World, people don't bother with the pretense of marriage any longer?  Why are we still hanging onto it when it doesn't mean anything to us as a society?

Three people can get married in Brazil.  Two guys can get married in several states in the U.S.  The public at large treats news of marriage like it is on par with whether or not a star received a new tattoo or not.  Assuming as our populace does that the Catholic Church has the completely wrong understanding of marriage, and assuming that it isn't a sacrament, can anyone explain to me what marriage is today for our country?  I'd love to hear it.  If you are a man with a boyfriend, or a girl with a girlfriend or you live in Brazil and you are preparing for your three person wedding, or maybe you are just a supporter of marriage rights for all people - can you please send me your understanding of what marriage is today. 

The only reason I can think that our populace cares if Adele gets married or not is because weddings were a big deal for people "in the old days" and so they are a kind of nice little cultural event, and so to recreate those nice little parties from the past is fun, like going to the fair or watching a movie at a drive-in theater or purchasing a hand-spun milkshake.

I know who wins in the long run, but I guess I'm just wondering if there is any hope for turning this country around?  On a positive note, I'm reminded of Abraham who bargains with God and talks him down to sparing Sodom and Gomorrah if Abraham can just find 10 good people living there.  Then I'm saddened when I remember Abraham didn't find 10 people and Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.  "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?" (Luke 18:8).  As with all of Jesus' questions, it is one worth pondering.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pope: If You Hate the Church, the Honest Move is to Leave

Aren't holidays awesome?  I've been catching up on some blog reading today and I came across this story on several different sites.  The Holy Father, during a recent Angelus address, said that if a Catholic doesn't have the Faith anymore, it would be more honest to leave.  Click here for the full story.

This confirms for me something I taught my students the past few years at Ritter - the idea that I have more respect for people who have thought through the issues and leave the Church than I do for the people who disagree with the Church on every conceivable issue of importance, but don't do the intellectually honest thing and leave.

I've said many times I'd much rather talk to an atheist than a cafeteria Catholic because while an atheist has taken false premises to their true conclusion, a cafeteria Catholic has taken true premises through to false conclusions while also lacking the courage to ACT on those false conclusions.  Is there anything more illogical than "catholics" who hate the Church?  There is no such thing as Twinkie fans who hate Twinkies, no such thing as Buddhists who hate Buddhism, and no such thing as football fans who hate football.

I'm glad to see the Pope confirm something I've felt for a long time - if people don't like the Church, they should do the intellectually honest thing and leave. 

The Abortion Convention?

The upcoming Deomcratic National Convention, where President Barack Obama will accept his party's nomination to seek a second term as president, is being described by people from both sides of the aisle as "the abortion convention."

Last week, the Democratic National Committee released the line up of speakers for the convention and key spots are given to the president of NARAL, the president of Planned Parenthood, and Sandra Fluke, the college student who is seeking to have Georgetown, a Catholic University, pay for her contraceptives. 

Certainly, Lifesite News has lamented the line up  with Lila Rose terming the convention "Abortion-Palooza", but the Wall Street Journal has also noted the abortion-heavy line up (click here for their take).  The Wall Street Journal article wonders if this won't ultimately hurt the Democratic Party.  Michigan Representative Bart Stupak, the de facto leader of the "pro-life Democrats" also is expressing serious concern over his OWN party's convention lineup.  Stupak and others are concerned that no pro-life person will be allowed to speak at this week's convention.

Is the Deomcratic Party's number one issue now abortion?   

Several Seminarians Talk About Priesthood Formation at St. Meinrad

This is a nice video about getting formed as a priest in St. Meinrad.  I have a brother Aaron who has begun his studies there this year