Apr 30, 2006

Cardinals meet with pro-abortion Catholic pols

What did I tell you about "liberal" Catholics never being able to get over their addiction to pro-abortion Catholic politicians?

On Friday last, April 28, Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal McCarrick (Washington, D.C.) and Cardinal O'Malley (Boston), lobbying about amnesty for illegals, met with the fanatically pro-abortion Catholic Senators Teddy Kennedy (Massachusetts) and Richard Durbin (Illinois).

True, those three Cardinals did meet later with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tennessee); and Cardinal Mahony and Cardinal Keeler (Baltimore) had met earlier in the day with White House aide Karl Rove. But, big deal! Rove and Frist are not for unlimited millions of abortions on demand, as Kennedy and Durbin are.

What should we think the chances are that the Cardinals admonished Kennedy and Durbin to stop supporting the abortions of millions of babies? Or that the Cardinals rebuked Kennedy for the Catholic priests and lay people put in prison under the pro-abortion laws he pushed? As the 'way old-time pitcher Dizzy Dean used to say, the chances are: slim and none.

If the Cardinals did speak of these things, they should let us and all America know about it.

Apr 29, 2006

LMU hosts Hindu fakir (honest!)

Loyola Marymount U. has hit a trifecta, only it is a bizarrely and spectacularly bad one. Not one of these three things should happen in this or any Archdiocese. Will Cardinal Mahony denounce them or punish them? (This is a rhetorical question.)

First, LMU, as we have heard, is having pro-abortion L.A. mayor An-phony-o Villaraigosa give its commencement address on May 6.

Second, LMU's Presidential Donors, as we have also heard, are promoting a reception and showing of the blasphemous, anti-Catholic new movie, "The Da Vinci Code," at Sony Pictures.

And third, which we have not heard until now, LMU tonight and last night was hosting appearances by, as LMU calls him, "His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar." LMU also calls him a "Hindu leader and humanitarian" and "a gifted exponent of the ancient Hindu scriptures."

Last night (Friday), Shankar was to employ "dialogue, meditation and music." Tickets for that one set you back $15 (bleachers), $25 (general) or $100 (VIP).

Tonight, Shankar was to hold a "Leading into the Light" workshop, LMU says, "to further address a person's spiritual needs." This one was $50 for students and $100 for the public.

LMU, have you forgotten? Jesus Christ tells us in John 8:12, " I am the Light of the World. He who follows Me does not walk in the darkness but will have the light of life."

Imagine what great St. Francis Xavier, Apostle of India and one of the first seven Jesuits, would say about this travesty. Let us make reparation for it.

Apr 28, 2006

LMU touts "Da Vinci Code" showing

Everyone at Loyola Marymount U. is getting into the act. One, the administration has named a Catholic pro-abort (L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa) as its 2006 graduation speaker. Two, the LMU Presidential Donors are touting their annual "Night at the Movies" -- "a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception and private screening of The Da Vinci Code" at Sony Pictures on May 23.

Isn't that cute? They are going to entertain themselves with a lying, blasphemous, anti-Catholic propaganda film that millions of people will believe is "fact-based" -- a movie that viciously attacks Jesus and the Church He founded (which includes you and me, directly).

No Catholic or Protestant, or for that matter any civilized person of good will, should accept on-screen blasphemy and anti-Catholicism. Let us hope some or many LMU Presidential Donors will have the faith, courage, intelligence and common decency to object to the event well beforehand and to demand that it be cancelled.

No one should fall for the phony "You can't criticize it if you haven't seen it" dodge. No one has to see "Birth of a Nation" to know it is racist; same thing applies to this evil movie.

We should all find the Catholic websites that debunk this rotten movie. And we should make reparation for its blasphemy, both by ourselves and in groups that we could ask our Cardinal, our bishops and our pastors to lead -- say, with Benediction and Holy Hours.

By the way, we should all spell it and pronounce it as "The Duh Vinci Code" to stress its incredible stupidity. Yours truly saw it spelled that way as the topic of an EWTN talk show with Amy Welborn as a guest; I don't know if she or someone else thought up the "Duh."

Apr 27, 2006

93-yr.-old prays at abortion business; what is our excuse?

The April edition of the excellent independent lay Catholic newspaper San Diego News Notes (click on this post's title; note that the file is a pdf) carries a photo of Priests for Life's Father Giacomo Capoverdi at a pro-life prayer vigil in February outside an abortion business in Chula Vista with St. Rose of Lima parishioner Julia Fiumara, age 93.

This poses a question for each of us, and it is a simple but blunt one: If 93-year-old grandmas are going out in public to pray and to help moms and save babies, what is my excuse?

Even if we just go once in a while, we should each have the courage, and the love, to go out with our fellow pro-lifers to the local Calvary where Jesus is being crucified all over again and again. Our presence and our prayers make a difference. And we should invite our pastors, assistant priests, deacons and religious brothers and sisters to come along with us.

Never go alone, though; go with experienced pro-lifers, so you will each have a witness in case any abortion business's deathscorts make false claims against you. Take some holy water, too, and wear your St. Benedict medal. So many preborn Angelenos and their moms need our help!

Apr 26, 2006

LMU pro-abortion speaker, May 6

There is a report that this year's commencement speaker at Loyola Marymount University at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, will be Antonio Villaraigosa, L.A.'s pro-abortion mayor.

That would seem to violate the instruction that the U.S. bishops gave in 2004, in their document "Catholics in Political Life": "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

"Liberal" Catholics in the universities and chanceries will NEVER end their disgusting, twisted, disgraceful love affair with pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

Apr 25, 2006

They all rose bodily -- except Jesus?

In the April 14 issue of The Tidings, Father Richard McBrien commendably quoted Scripture about the Resurrection. But then he began picking away. He even wrote, "The literalist, or fundamentalist, interpretation of the Resurrection ignores the metaphorical character of the biblical language and the symbolic imagery used by [Saint] Paul..."

Fortunately, at least Father McBrien did end up by saying, "the Church's traditional affirmation of faith...is that [the Resurrection] is the foundation of our hope in our own bodily resurrection into eternal life."

We should ask Father McBrien what he thinks about the other "resurrections" that the Evangelists reported: Christ's raising bodily from the dead the daughter of Jairus ((Matthew 9:18-26), the son of the widow of Naim (Luke 7:11-17) and Lazarus (John 11:1-44). Were they fact or metaphor, real or symbol?

We also should ask Cardinal Mahony and the editorial board of The Tidings to replace Father McBrien with a far more solid columnist; not that we haven't asked them that repeatedly.

Resuscito, resuscito, resuscito, alelulla!

Apr 24, 2006

"Stop it!"

The April 21 issue of The Tidings carries a little box on page 2, headlined "F.Y.I."

The box says, "Child Safety tip: Teach children to say, 'Stop it,' to instructions that might encourage them to do things they do not really want to do. Reinforce the rule that children should say, 'Stop it,' to requests or demands that make them feel uncomfortable, even if they think they should obey..."

Okay, we are spiritual children of this Archdiocese and this Ordinary. So, like good boys and girls, let us put this "Stop it" tip from The Tidings into action right now against "requests or demands that make [us] feel uncomfortable..."

Against manipulative drives to wreckovate our churches into tabernacle-less, sanctuary-less clones of liberal Protestant churches, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against liturgical abuses such as glass flagons for the Precious Blood, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against the notion that we must stand during and after Holy Communion, instead of kneeling for our thanksgiving, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against having our sanctuaries overrun during Mass with lay "altar egos" when priests, deacons, and sisters are available to distribute Communion, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against sermons that never, ever explain why we need to form our conscience in line with the Church and go to Confession, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against the evident Archdiocesan homily policy that never, ever lets priests relate the Gospel and the Readings to our Catholic duty to fight the rampant mortal sins and crimes of abortion, contraception and fornication, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against the moral torpor and indifference with which too many parishes fail to save Catholic and other babies and expecting mothers from the many abortion centers in our midst, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against the refusal to make the Tridentine Latin Mass widely available at convenient locations and times, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against having REC speakers who are dissenters and who recommend "Brokeback Mountain," we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against the evident policy of turning away orthodox "conservative" applicants to the seminary and claiming there is a vocations shortage, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Against the anti-clerical policy of planning to turn over parish after parish to be run by sisters and laity instead of priests, we say, "Cardinal, stop it!"

Apr 23, 2006

Did your pastor promote Divine Mercy Sunday?

As we know, Jesus Himself told St. Faustina in the 1930's that He wanted the Sunday after Easter every year to be Divine Mercy Sunday. On that day, He pledged, He would open wide the floodgates of His mercy to any and all souls who would call upon Him, even if their sins were as scarlet. "Jesus, I trust in Thee!"

The Church made this feast a universal one a few years ago. The Divine Mercy Sunday privilege we can gain is incredible: If we receive Communion worthily that day, make a worthy Confession within around 20 days before or after, and venerate a Divine Mercy image, we obtain remission of all temporal punishment for our sins. Of course, Jesus demands "deeds of mercy" from us; we must be merciful ourselves.

So, the question is: Did your pastor and assistant priests promote the Feast of Divine Mercy? Did they tell about it in the parish bulletin? Did they mention it in sermons? Did they have it mentioned in the announcements at the end of Mass? Did your parish have a Divine Mercy Celebration?

Hope you have some edifying good news to report from your parish. And if not, maybe you can start a big push for Divine Mercy Sunday in your parish for next year.

Sorry to see, incidentally, that this week's (April 21) issue of The Tidings contained no mention of Divine Mercy Sunday and its magnificent privilege.

Apr 22, 2006

On giving to the Church

In the current Tidings (click on this post's title), Carole Norris Greene writes, "I think people who've bailed out on the [C]hurch financially in the wake of the sex abuse scandals need to rethink their response and why it took the direction it did."

Miss Greene must not realize that Catholics can still give to their local church without giving to the Archdiocese.

Lots of Catholics just ask their pastor about what kind of restricted funds their parish has, and they make out their checks accordingly. Those funds stay 100% in the parish. One pastor, and probably there are more, tells his parishioners that if they contribute specifically to his parish's restricted funds, none of that money will go to the Archdiocese or to pay for the Cathedral or the abuse awards.

Contributing that way fully meets our obligations to Holy Mother Church. Catholics who do this ask why any Catholic would think of doing anything else.

Apr 21, 2006

Another transcript from "Congress"

"Anonymous" has provided the following transcript of a talk at Cardinal Mahony's 2006 Religious Education Congress by Father James Martin, S.J., an associate editor of America magazine, about the recent Vatican instruction prohibiting admission of men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" to seminaries. Father Martin was part of a panel with Dr. Thomas Beaudoin and Dr. Greer Gordon on "Homosexuality, Celibacy and the Priesthood: Continuing the Conversation" on Saturday, April 1.

"Anonymous" remarks, "It's a masterpiece of twisting, nuancing, and 'picking apart' the Catechism. Martin portrays gay priests as innocent, undeserving victims of some people's 'wrong' idea that homosexuals are somehow the same as pedophiles, and compares them to the 'new lepers' of today."

Father Martin wrongly claims that the instruction contradicts the Catechism. Incidentally, it is telling that he admits that "many bishops and religious superiors are interpreting the [Vatican] document...more liberally..."

Actually, if Father Martin wants to know who the REAL lepers in the Church are, all he has to do is look around him and see the priests gulagged for being orthodox and for objecting to the lavender mafia; the seminary applicants turned away for being orthodox; the laity reprimanded for kneeling for Communion and the thanksgiving; the laity ostracized for petitioning for widespread Tridentine Latin Masses; and the pro-life activists slandered and undercut for trying to save babies and help moms.

The Lord be with you. It’s a joy to be here today with you and an honor to share the stage with Dr. Gordon and Dr. Beaudoin, both of whom have done important work on behalf of the gay and lesbian Catholic community.

As a way of continuing our conversation, I’d like to take a look at what is on many people’s minds, which Dr. Beaudoin mentioned: the recent Instruction from the Vatican on gay priests, which I like to call ‘Ecce Homo’ (audience laughs and applauds).

Released in November, the document raises many issues of concern for the Catholic Church and its relationship with gays and lesbians. That’s why I think it’s an important thing to look at initially.

First, what does the Instruction say? And I won’t repeat too much of what Tom just said. It says . . . that those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies cannot be admitted to seminaries or be ordained priests.

Now, as with most things in life and in the Church, there is an ‘on the one hand’ and ‘on the other hand,’ or there is good news and bad news. The good news and bad news will depend on what you think about the topic. The good news for one person might be bad news for another.

So I’ll just say, on the one hand, the Vatican means what it says. ‘Deep-seated tendencies,’ I would like to point out to you, is the exact term that the Catechism uses for homosexual orientation, because the Catechism does not want to say that homosexuality is an orientation, since that would place it on par with heterosexuality. Comments, as Tom was saying, from Monsignor Anatrella and Archbishop Grocholewski, from the Vatican officials who wrote this document, are very clear about this: ‘Deep-seated’ means a person who understands his sexual attraction as permanently directed toward others of the same sex. As the English theologian James Allison wrote, this is what you and I would call ‘gay people.’ It does, in my mind, little good to pretend otherwise.

On the other hand—and this is either bad news or good news for you—under Canon law, every Vatican document must be interpreted, something like laws being interpreted by the courts in this country. What the document means, therefore, depends on its interpretation. And if you have your big fat Code of Canon Law, that’s number 17. I’m sure someone sells it downstairs, so . . . (laughter).

And though the writers may have intended one thing, the Instruction, as Tom was saying, is being interpreted very differently from some influential Catholics and bishops and religious superiors—for example, Timothy Radcliffe, the Congregation of Major Superiors for Men, Bishop Skylstad, as Tom was saying, the Swiss Bishops’ Conference, and so on. Many bishops and religious superiors are interpreting the document in this way—more liberally, I would say, or more broadly—primarily because they know many healthy, gay, celibate priests.

Now, what will all this mean? At least from my vantage point, I see five groups of people who will be affected—some immediately, some further in the future.

First: gay men in the priesthood. Despite the more liberal interpretation—excuse me, gay men interested in the priesthood. Despite the more liberal interpretation, this document, on balance, will make some gay men less likely to enter because some—not all—but some self-aware gay men will simply feel turned away. These men won’t need any bishops or superiors or rectors or vocation directors who will interpret it liberally, because they simply won’t be interested in even inquiring about a group that they see as excluding them.

The second group is celibate gay men already in diocesan seminaries and religious formation programs. They face a dilemma: set aside the Instruction and rely on years of discernment that have confirmed their vocations, or set aside their vocations and leave their seminaries or religious orders. What seems to be happening among the people I’m speaking with is that most are choosing the first option, trusting in their original call and staying. But they are still upset.

The third group: celibate gay priests. Many feel demoralized, hurt, offended, and angry because not only is [it] official Vatican policy that their kind is no longer welcome, but there was in the Instruction not one word of gratitude, or even acknowledgement of, the ministry of celibate gay priests.

Fourth: gay and lesbian Catholics, gay and lesbian lay Catholics. Many were offended, especially when they read the document comment that Tom mentioned, that homosexuals cannot properly relate to men and women. That statement, which is unsupported by any empirical evidence in the document, was deeply offensive to many gays and lesbians. And, I should point out, it goes beyond what former documents have said.

Fifth: straight Catholics. They may feel embarrassed or angry over the Instruction if they know any gay priests. Or, if they wrongly believe that pedophilia and homosexuality are the same thing or that gays can somehow not be celibate, they may be delighted. But either way, straight Catholics, along with every other Catholic, will discover over time somewhat fewer priests in their parishes, retreat centers, schools, hospitals and universities—and chanceries (audience laughs).

Overall, even if the document is interpreted broadly, fewer gay men will enter seminaries and religious orders, which will most likely mean fewer priests. And the idea that straight men will somehow rush in to fill the gap seems wishful thinking (audience laughs). Sister Katerina Schuth, one of this country’s leading experts in seminary training, has said to the New York Times that anyone who believes this has obviously spent little time around seminaries.

But even if this document is somehow set aside or is interpreted broadly, there is another effect that has gone unremarked upon. It may contribute to a feeling of hypocrisy among the Catholic community; that is, a document observed more in the breach than in the observance.

But let’s look at some other issues raised by this document. First, the document implies, in essence, that homosexuals are not fully human. They are not fully human not simply because they are objectively disordered, which is the theological argument, but also—and this is very new—because they cannot reach affective maturity and cannot properly relate to others.

Those last two statements are arguments not from theology but from psychology. Yet, if the theological arguments are accepted by some in the theological community, that psychological argument is accepted by almost no one in the psychological community. In fact, those arguments can be disproven. Whether or not one believes theologically that homosexuality is an objective disorder, there are in fact gays and lesbians who are affectively mature and do relate well to others.

Now, how do we know this? Because others attest to this, and not simply gays and lesbians. Other straight men and women attest to this—family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. To use some traditional scholastic language, the community sees that they are, in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, ‘flourishing’: holding down jobs, loving their families and friends, and contributing to the Catholic Church through a variety of mainstream ministries, as well as to the larger community.

In setting aside the experience of gays and lesbians and those who know them, the Instruction may also promote the stereotype of the subhuman gay person. Therefore, I would submit, it may actually contradict the Catechism, which says that when it comes to gays and lesbians, “every form of unjust discrimination” is to be avoided.

It may be inconsistent with Catholic teaching in other ways as well. The Catechism—if you haven’t read it, you should read this part—teaches that if they are celibate, gays and lesbians can and should—can and should—approach Christian perfection, which surely includes affective maturity. The Instruction, however, says that gay men, even celibate ones, should not be priests because they cannot approach affective maturity. Once again, this may be both confusing and inconsistent with the rest of the Church’s teaching on this matter.

Also advanced is the premise that gay priests are responsible for the sexual abuse crisis. The Instruction states that it comes in response to “certain urgent questions,” which means either the sexual abuse crisis or the visitation of seminaries, which is in turn a response to the sexual abuse crisis. Either way, it may conflate homosexuality with pedophilia in some people’s minds, which again may promote stereotypes and confuse Catholics regarding the Catechism’s caution against unjust discrimination.

Also, unstated but implied in the document, is the premise that gay priests are unable to live celibately, which also contradicts the Catechism, which says not only that gay men should live this way but that they can. So the Instruction may be inconsistent with some traditional Church teaching. And if in time it is understood as such, this could vitiate its intent—for a house divided, as Jesus said, cannot stand.

In the end, I believe, this document will most likely do two things: Finally—a first—even if applied liberally, it will, on balance, decrease vocations, demoralize many gay seminarians and priests, disturb some gay and lesbian Catholics, and depress many lay Catholics who may see fewer priests in the future.

Second, it might be seen as a source of scandal, in the original sense of the Greek word skandalon, a stumbling block, something that is an obstacle to people’s faith. The Church may find itself wanting to apologize for this document in the future, much as the Church has for other activities that have contributed to the dehumanization of other groups. For the Instruction as written, at least, and as intended, at least, seeks to cast out—and keep out—from seminaries and religious orders celibate gay men. They are to be considered—at least officially—unwelcome, or are to remain unseen.

And the document also seeks to set aside the historic contribution of celibate gay priests, who often labor in silence in the vineyard of the Lord. These men—these seminarians and priests who have responded generously to the voice of God in their lives, who have lived celibate lives as the Church asks of gay men and asks of its priests, and who have dedicated their adult lives to the service of the Church and to the people of God—these men and those like them are to be officially cast out of the community and blamed for its sins, much as another group of persons were cast out in the time of Jesus of Nazareth. These seminarians and gay priests are the Church’s new lepers. Thank you.

Apr 20, 2006

Eleven more

The following headline and opening paragraphs from today's (April 20) L.A. Times (click on this post's title for the full story) are not pleasant reading -- and neither is the rest of the story. Later on in it, by the way, Cardinal Mahony's spokesman, Tod Tamberg, says there was no intent to mislead.
Details on 11 Priests Missing in '04 Report
By Jean Guccione and William Lobdell

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony acknowledged to Los Angeles Catholics in his 2004 "Report to the People of God" that he left five priests in ministry despite complaints that they had molested children.

But a Times analysis of church records released since then shows that he left 11 other priests in ministry for periods up to 13 years after parishioners raised concerns about inappropriate behavior with children.

Seven of these 11 cases were not detailed in the People of God report. The other four were mentioned incompletely; the report said they were removed when complaints were lodged but did not disclose that the Los Angeles Archdiocese had received earlier reports of misconduct. [...]

Apr 19, 2006

Even the NY Times is after the Cardinal

The New York Times, in an editorial today entitled, "Cardinals and the Law," talked about Cardinal Mahony and the U.S. Supreme Court's Easter Monday refusal to hear his request to not have to turn over the personnel files of two accused priests.

It gives me, and no doubt all of us, no pleasure to be bringing this up, and to be quoting or reading anything from such a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual newspaper. But the editorial is out there now, and here is some of what it said:

"After years of stonewalling, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles has run out of excuses for blocking the prosecution of rogue priests...While other bishops and cardinals cooperated with the authorities, Cardinal Mahony became a study in arrogance who only compounded the [C]hurch's embarrassment...

"Cardinal Mahony's resistance to civil authorities is a reminder of the one factor in the scandal that has not been fully scrutinized: the misbehavior of ranking churchmen who fiercely protected and even reassigned guilty priests to prey again upon their flocks."

Let us pray for the victims of the molesters, and for our Archdiocese and Cardinal.

Court of last resort

Probably you have heard that on Easter Monday the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Cardinal Mahony's request that he not have to turn over to a grand jury the personnel files of former priest Michael Baker and retired priest George Miller.

The Archdiocese now will have to hand over the documents within a few days. The L.A. Times notes that they will remain confidential for a while, during the grand jury proceedings, but they could become public if criminal cases ensue.

The Archdiocese also now might end up having to turn over similar files in other cases.

So, as the old sayings go, "Katy, bar the door!" and "Hold on to your horses!" And let us pray that the Archdiocese and the Church as a whole will emerge holier and stronger from the long tragedy of the scandals. "Jesus, mercy; Mary, help! Amen."

Apr 17, 2006

Don't forget the other "communities"

No doubt you have spotted the propagandistic language manipulation and sheer phoniness in tying the word "community" to "gay," as in, "gay community."

"Community" is a word that sounds friendly and positive and has good connotations. Calling a bunch of people a community dignifies and legitimizes them.

For that matter, using the word "gay" instead of "homosexual" is another propagandistic language manipulation.

But the point is, why shouldn't we broaden the use of "community" to other groups?

We could say, "the fornicator community," for instance. Or "the adulterer community." "The self-abuse community." "The pornography-user community."

And why restrict "community" to people who commit or are obsessed by homosexual and sexual sins? Shouldn't we be fair to people who are enslaved by all the other sins, too? "The liar community." "The miser community." "The wrath community."

And shouldn't we also try to understand these communities, just as Cardinal Mahony's 2006 "Congress" keynote speaker Father Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., said we should try to understand homosexuals? We could ask our neighbors in the liar community what movies and books we should watch in order to understand their fixation with lying.

Well, as you can guess, the point of all this is that we have all sinned and fallen short, and we do not need "understanding" and manipulative language titles, which amount to nothing more than enabling. What each of us really needs is contrition, Confession, prayer and penance; we need Our Redeemer, Christ the King. Amen!

Apr 15, 2006

America's great bishops

When you reflect on Catholic America's long heritage of great bishops, many beloved names from the past come to mind -- heroic defenders of Faith and flock.

No doubt you have your own list of super-shepherds. For me, just some of the ones named John make up quite a sample: John Carroll, John Lancaster Spalding, John Ireland, John Lamy of New Mexico and "Dagger John" Hughes of New York. These giants of the Faith built up the Church in the face of hardship and anti-Catholicism.

And yes, my heroes of the hierarchy include our own James Francis Cardinal McIntyre of Los Angeles. May we see his like again.

Now, to my point: What do you think these noble Catholic bishops would say about, and do about, the recent absolutely surreal spectacle of Cardinal Mahony's Religious Education Congress keynote speaker telling an audience of tens of thousands to understand homosexuals and to do so by watching obscene entertainment?
But on this Holy Saturday, good night, and may the Light of Christ always inhabit our souls and guide us aright. "Resuscito, resuscito...He is risen, alleluia!"

Apr 14, 2006

Cardinal's recipe for "being church"

Here are a few more remarks on the interview that Cardinal Mahony recently gave the National Catholic Reporter (click on this post's title).

The Cardinal opined that ever since the homosexual (he didn't call it that) clergy abuse scandal, the U.S. bishops have been leery of sticking their heads above the sandbags, as he put it, on political issues. And he said that in order "to be church to the community," the bishops need to start speaking out on the issues.

Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, the 4,000 babies who are being aborted daily in this country did not make the Cardinal's list of "issues" on which the U.S. bishops could "be church." That was the subject of my most recent post.

That tragic omission is bad and sad enough, but there is another problem: The Cardinal's apparent assumption that "being church to the community" is about politics. You would think that "being church" is about spiritual matters; but the Cardinal brought up political matters.

It would be a wonderful way "to be church to the community" if the Cardinal would lead an all-out effort to catechize all Latin American immigrants, legal and illegal, with genuine Catholicism as found in the catechism of the Catholic Church, and to make the Mass, the Sacraments and our Catholic "full Bible" present to them.

It would also be a great way of "being church to the community" if the Cardinal, his bishops, his priests and his permanent deacons, parish by parish, led a Catholic prayer presence daily outside every abortion center in the Archdiocese. Prayer vigils have closed hundreds of these places; it should be happening more in L.A.

The Cardinal, bishops and pastors could also lead prayer and reparation protests against pornography, the homosexual agenda and incidents of anti-Catholicism.

A beautiful way "to be church to the community" would be for the Cardinal and his bishops and priests to lead many more public, highly visible Eucharistic processions and feast day processions in every community in the Archdiocese. That would put all our heads "above the sandbags" -- right where aspiring saints' heads should be!

Your Eminence, with all due respect, we dearly need SALVATION, not socialism!
In closing, on this Good Friday: "We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world."

From your buddy Quintero en el Este de L.A.: Feliz Pascua! Happy Easter!

Apr 13, 2006

Abortion a non-issue for Cardinal Mahony

Here is more about the National Catholic Reporter's interview with Cardinal Mahony(click on this post's title) about his support for illegal immigrants.

One thing that stands out the most, as you read the Cardinal's replies, is that you deeply wish he would make similar remarks about saving BABIES in the womb from being aborted, and that he would also implement a powerful, meaningful baby-SAVING action plan that would capture national attention and inspire pro-life action everywhere.

Imagine if the Cardinal would make the following comment about our duty as Catholics to save babies from abortion: "If it affects people, then it has ethical and moral dimensions. Nothing has more dramatic moral implications than immigration policy. It greatly affects people living in our midst, people whom we serve. So it is not just a political issue, or civic issue. It’s very much who we are. Go back to Jesus."

So, is it "very much who we are" to save babies from abortionists? Nope -- not judging by the Cardinal's following remarks. This is not anything new; but once again it is evident that saving BABIES is just NOT on the Cardinal's radar screen, even though he once was the U.S. Bishops' national pro-life chairman. If baby-saving was on his heart, he would mention it right away in his list of priorities.

"...we as bishops have had opportunities to have a public voice and role, but have been very hesitant, and just kind of sat out a number of these things. I’m thinking of local things -- for example, police abuse and overreactions...The gap, the chasm, between the wealthy and the middle class … the fact there’s almost no middle class left. The minimum wage, affordable housing, we just kind of sat it out, because we were afraid to appear above the sandbags. We were hiding...[We have] To venture forth and say [that the sexual abuse crisis] is not the only thing affecting the life of the church. We have a mission, and we have to follow it without hesitation. I’m hopeful this will free us up to be church again in the community."

Sorry, Your Eminence, but as long as you essentially ignore the ongoing, no-end-in-sight, WORST crime and injustice in the USA, the SLAYINGS of 4,000 INFANTS every day, anything else you substitute is going to FAIL to help you "be church again."

Apr 12, 2006

The Cardinal, his politics and the law

Thanks to commenter/tipster "FDS" for sending along the link (click on this post's title) to a new article by Southern California expatriate George Neumayr in National Review about Cardinal Mahony, his leftist politics and his apparent views on ignoring certain laws.

And thanks to commenter Jonathan for remembering that April 12 is the first anniversary of the first post here. As I have told him, felicidades, too, to you and to everyone in this little blogger-commenter cyber-corner of L.A. who seeks to build up the Faith and counter the dissenters. God bless!

Apr 10, 2006

"Positive developments?"

Remember when Cardinal Mahony said his closing of St. John's College Seminary was a positive development?

And remember the dissenter who said that the great exodus from the Church in recent decades has been a good thing because what we have left is "a thinking Church?" (If he thinks he is an example of "a thinking Church," he should think again.)

Well, those two abysmal statements came to mind last week, prompted by a small but tragic story in USA Today (I have the hard copy of the story, but did not date it).

The story said that "Bishop" Gilbert Thompson, founder of the Boston-area 7,000-member evangelical Jubilee Christian Church in Mattapan, is buying "a closed Roman Catholic parish in Stoughton" to "serve about 2,000 congregants in the Brockton and Stoughton areas." (The price is $3 million, by the way.)

Will we be seeing "positive developments" such as that in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles? Does Cardinal Roger "560 Lawsuits" Mahony have a potential closures-and-selloff plan worked out already? We should be telling him right now that we do not want ANY of our Catholic churches, schools or other facilities closed and sold.

Except for the Yellow Armadillo. Now, that would be a truly positive development.

Apr 9, 2006

Cardinal Mahony and the pro-aborts, once again

Prominent at Cardinal Mahony's Mass about illegal immigration, last Wednesday at the Cathedral, were two longtime pro-aborts, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and United Farm Workers co-foundress Dolores Huerta.

No doubt other pro-aborts were there, too, but the mayor and Mrs. Huerta were the ones the Los Angeles Times pictured. Villaraigosa has voiced his pro-abortion views in the past, and cast votes that way, too. Do a Web search on "Dolores Huerta" and "pro-choice" and you will uncover the long and sordid trail of her work with the Feminist Majority (oh, sure) Foundation and other pro-abortion groups.

The Cardinal thus added to his own long record of appearing in public with pro-abortion public figures. Can't the leopard ever change his spots? Que lastima! What a shame.

Apr 8, 2006

Quoting Cardinal Mahony and Father Radcliffe

The April 7 issue of the National Catholic Reporter (click on this post's title) carries Cardinal Mahony keynoter Father Timothy Radcliffe's "Brokeback Mountain and gay novels" quote from his speech at the Archdiocese's recent "Congress." It also runs an interview with the Cardinal by John L. Allen, Jr. Thanks to "Anonymous," a commenter on yesterday's post here, for this tip.

In the interview, Cardinal Mahony admits he phoned abortion zealot California Democrat Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to lobby them about immigration bills. He calls that issue "pro-life" and says he does not see how a Catholic politician could vote in good faith for the Sensenbrenner immigration bill.

Imagine if Allen had asked the Cardinal a few more questions, such as: "Did you also lobby those two reprobate pro-abort Senators in defense of preborn babies? Have you ever? If not, why not? And are you ever going to lobby them against aborting babies? If so, when, and will you tell us all about it?"

Apr 7, 2006

"Step into freedom"

The story on "Congress" in the April 7 issue of The Tidings (click on this post's title) notes that this year's theme was "Step into Freedom." The report quotes Cardinal Mahony's keynote speaker Father Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.:

"There is a deep anger in the United States against Catholics on the 'other side,'...We are not a sign of God's freedom in Jesus until we can dare to belong with each other across every theological boundary. That means we have to see with other people's eyes, hear with their ears, and feel with their skin regardless of whether they are Legionaries of Christ or militant feminists."

Sorry, Father, but you are not going to get me to see with the eyes of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual "militant feminists." And "to belong with each other across every theological boundary" sounds like the opposite of what Pope Benedict XVI just said at his Wednesday General Audience on April 5. LifeSiteNews.com tells the story:

"'The Church of love is also the Church of truth,'" said Pope Benedict XVI today, in an address to some 30,000 people gathered to hear his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square. The bishops, the successors of the Apostles, he said, carry out 'above all a service of love; and the charity they live and promote is inseparable from the truth they defend and transmit.' The Pope added, 'Truth and love are two faces of the same gift that comes from God.'

"In his teaching, the Pope spoke of 'the contrasts concerning the truth of faith and the subsequent lacerations of communion.'

"'That the early Church was also aware of these potential tensions within the experience of communion is clear from the First Letter of John,'" said the Pope. 'No voice in the New Testament rises with greater force to highlight the reality and the duty of fraternal love between Christians; yet the same voice addresses itself with drastic severity to the adversaries who were members of the community but are so no longer.'"

The Vicar of Christ cites St. John's "drastic severity to the adversaries" and Cardinal Mahony's keynoter Father Radcliffe says, "belong with each other across every theological boundary." Hmmm, who would you rather trust on this one?

Apr 6, 2006

What the Catechism says

"When all else fails, check the owner's manual," some wit said about how when we actually try obeying the Ten Commandments we find peace of soul.

Well, the same saying applies to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Naturally, we should each keep a copy of it handy (it is now in paperback), become familiar with it and use it as our guide.

Does the Catechism say anything about immigration? A commenter on the "Praying and Fasting" post this week kindly supplied the following passage from the Catechism:

"2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

"Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."

Do Cardinal Mahony's statements reflect this passage?

Apr 5, 2006

"Strong fraternal correction" can work both ways

Have you been following this news story? The U.S. bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection last week recommended "strong fraternal correction" for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. Lincoln's Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz has angered the bishops' board by never following its post-scandals "compliance" program.

Yes -- other dioceses and archdioceses have gone bankrupt or have as many as 560 sex abuse lawsuits pending against them (can anyone say, "L.A.") -- so the board criticizes not them but the Diocese of Lincoln.

The bishops' board's lack of perspective is amazing. But even more astounding, only in a good way, is that the board's target, Bishop Bruskewitz, refused to take the board's criticism lying down and in fact fired back and in no uncertain terms.

Here is what Bishop Bruskewitz said -- and to say the least, "strong fraternal correction" might be the word for it:

"Some woman named Patricia O'Donnell Ewers, who is the Chair of something called 'A National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People', has said that her Board 'calls for strong fraternal correction of the Diocese of Lincoln.' The Diocese of Lincoln has nothing to be corrected for, since the Diocese of Lincoln is and has always been in full compliance with all laws of the Catholic Church and with all civil laws. Furthermore, Ewers and her Board have no authority in the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Lincoln does not recognize them as having any significance.

"It is well known that some of the members of Ewers' Board are ardent advocates of partial birth abortion, other abortions, human cloning, and other moral errors. It is understandable then how such persons could dislike the Diocese of Lincoln, which upholds the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.

"The words attributed to Ewers seem to confirm the suspicion that the members of her Board are unfamiliar with Catholic teachings, Catholic ecclesiology, and even the basic rudiments of the Catholic Catechism. Rather than concerning themselves with the Diocese of Lincoln about which they appear completely ignorant, Ewers and her colleagues would occupy themselves in a better way by learning something about the Catholic religion and the traditions and doctrines and laws of the Catholic Church.

"The Diocese of Lincoln does not see any reason for the existence of Ewers and her organization."

Now, there is a bishop who knows how to "bishop!" Congratulations, Your Excellency!

Apr 4, 2006

Praying and fasting in solidarity

The Cardinal, as you probably know, has asked his flock to pray and fast on Wednesday, April 5, for "just and humane immigration reform," for the legislators who are debating the issue, and "in solidarity with undocumented immigrants."

All right, then: I am not going to get into a debate here about what is the right policy. But if we are going to do what the Cardinal asks, he ought to ask us to expand our understanding of what it means to really and truly love and serve, and to pray and fast for, our newly arrived neighbors. For example, the Cardinal could give us the following suggestions and then lead us in them by example:

-- People newly arrived here are not going away anytime soon; and in any case, they need to keep the Faith and not leave the Church for the sects. So we need to do what the sects do -- personally befriend them and give them concrete help, show them the ropes of daily life here and above all take them to Mass.

-- People newly arrived here need to save their preborn babies from the many demonic abortion mills that prey on them; so we need to tell them about, and if necessary take them to, our pro-life pregnancy counseling centers and Catholic Charities.

-- People newly arrived here need to shun the materialistic, contraceptive values of the USA; so we need to urge them to continue to be generous in having children.

-- People newly arrived here need to stay away from the pro-abortion Latino politician phonies who masquerade as their friends; so we need to tell them the real political situation and get them voting pro-life.

-- People newly arrived here need to know that they are entering a pornocracy; so we need to warn them to keep themselves and their children uncontaminated by filth.

-- People newly arrived here need to know that the public schools will indoctrinate their children into secularism; so we need to warn them to teach their children that keeping the Faith is more important than anything else in life.

Again, I do not want to get into a debate about which policy is right. I am just urging the Cardinal to expand his understanding of how best we can love and serve the people he asks us to help.

Apr 3, 2006

Photos from "Congress"...and funny captions

On its website, "Congress" has lots of photos of this year's youth Mass, but if you click on this post's title you can see the ones that the Curt Jester thinks are the funniest, along with his captions for them.

Now, don't get me wrong. Reaching out to Catholic youth through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is wonderful. But a Mass that is more like an entertainment production is not the best way.

To really reach out to kids, to give them an unforgettable Catholic treasure and something beautiful and awe-inspiring that most of them have never seen or imagined before, try a Tridentine Latin Mass. A low Mass would do just fine, and a high Mass with Gregorian Chant, too. Both would reach out to kids...and reach their souls.

The Cardinal's keynoter and other tapes

People say Cardinal Mahony's keynote speaker for "Congress," Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., told his audience to see the homosexual propaganda film "Brokeback Mountain" and to read "gay" [sic] novels. If you personally heard him, can you verify it and provide details? And if he said this, did anyone boo, otherwise object or walk out?

Just as a resource for the record, I should mention that tapes of "selected" talks from this year's "Congress" are available (click on this post's title to see).

But in any case, if he said what people say he did, what on earth would a CATHOLIC PRIEST at a CARDINAL'S religious EDUCATION conference be doing even mentioning a depraved "R" movie from Hollywood's fountain of filth? Reviews say the movie contains nudity and sodomy, so why would the Cardinal's keynoter ignore the Catechism of the Catholic Church's prohibition against using pornography?

With so many betrayals having assaulted us from all sides for years, we sometimes lose our sense of shock at reports like this. If the reports are true, we should all object, and then we should redouble our efforts to expose next year's "Congress."

And let's remember that last November, "Congress" coordinator Vikki Shepp told an inquirer, in writing, that the Cardinal selects and approves each of his speakers.

Apr 2, 2006

Cardinal Mahony approved ALL speakers

If you heard any speakers at "Congress" say anything out of line, just remember the following exchange, which is under "comments" on the "Congress" website.
Kathleen Cervantes, Nov. 22, 2005: "I am trying to decide whether to allow my teens to attend, and I need to know in advance whether or not [Dignity] or any of their representatives, will be speaking, or if any open dissent of Church teaching on sexuality will be advocated by any speaker. How are prospective speakers screened and chosen, especially for Youth Day, is a more general and also important question which I would like answered. Yours in Christ.


All Congress speakers are carefully chosen and approved by the Cardinal. There are no speakers from DIGNITY.

Vikki Shepp, Congress Coordinator

Apr 1, 2006

More REC picketing on Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

If you could not make it to the picket line at the Religious Education Congress on Saturday, here is good news: You can picket on Sunday, any time between noon and 6 p.m. So says Kenneth Fisher, leader of the picketing effort.

As we all know, it is really worthwhile to warn attendees that quite a few of the speakers are not orthodox -- that they have a verbal track record of dissent about the Mass, the priesthood, the right to life, sexual morality and so on.

So please join Ken and his companions on Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center. You will be doing your part for Catholic truth.

What have you seen and heard at "Congress?"

Hope you will check in here tonight, tomorrow or in the next few days with a comment or two on what you saw and heard at this year's Religious Education Congress. We will all be interested in any report you have on the good and the bad.

From late morning until mid-afternoon today (Saturday), about 15 picketers were out, and they were handing out "informative literature" to lots of attendees. Their signs ranged from the pithy ("Beware! Dissent Inside" and "Question Mahony, Not the Faith") to the extra-pithy ("Arrest Mahony" and "Jail Time for Mahony").

It really is a shame that "Congress" is not a showcase for liturgical abuse-less Masses, unanimous and unqualified support for the Magisterium and for orthodoxy in catechetics, and zeal for making our parishes actively and publicly anti-abortion.

Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy, Help of Christians and Refuge of Sinners, pray for us sinners who have recourse to Thee! Amen.
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