ELECTION DAY

These shall fight with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because he is the Lord of lords, and King of kings, and they that are with him are called, and elect, and faithful.  Rev 17:14

Just who are these “elect”?

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the “elect” are theologically equivalent to “chosen as the object of mercy or Divine favor, as set apart for eternal life.”  In the Old Testament, these are the Hebrews, the “chosen people”; in the New Testament, the elect are members of the Catholic Church, the Body of Christ.

Lest we forget–and prosperity Gospel preachers notwithstanding–Rev Tevye reminds us that to be Chosen ain’t always a bed of roses:

Among Alaskans, Catholics are underrepresented; even the Catholic Anchor’s most generous 2015 estimate puts Catholics at 14 percent of the state’s population.

And yet, we have two Catholics for U.S. Senators: Dan Sullivan and Lisa “I Stand With Planned Parenthood and Archbishops” Murkowski.

WHO WILL BE AMONG THE ELECTED?

Today’s statewide election features another two Catholics running for Governor: Mike Dunleavy and Mark Begich.

Dunleavy states that the most  important constitutional right “is the right to life, because if this right is not sacred, all other enumerated rights are meaningless.  Being pro-life is at the very center of my understanding of constitutional rights.”  Alaska Right to Life endorsed Dunleavy.

 

 

 

Begich, on the other hand, states that Alaska was “ahead of the curve” when it legalized abortion in 1970, and that, “as the only pro-choice candidate running for Governor, I will continue my record of fighting for women to have . . . the right to make their own health care decisions.”  Planned Parenthood endorsed Begich.

Guess which candidate spoke at a Catholic Church this past Sunday?

It is unclear to me whether Begich was merely speaking WITHIN the Sanctuary of St. Andrew Kim’s, or WITHIN AND DURING the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass itself.  It appears, however, that there are altar girls standing behind him.  These girls appear similar to the altar girls who assisted during Archbishop Etienne’s celebration of the Holy Sacrifice depicted on the Archdiocesan website:

Begich’s political appearance at St. Andrew Kim’s is scandalous on a number of levels.  First, Begich has very publicly, and very steadfastly, adhered to a pro-abortion position.  This contradicts the inalienable right to life, as enumerated in CCC 2273.  “The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law.”  Such public support for abortion is, arguably, “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin.”

Second, per Canon 915, those persons who have obstinately persevered in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.  Whether Mr. Begich is one of these unfortunates is left to the judgment of the local ordinary.  Please pray for Begich, and for our local ordinary to intervene for the salvation of Mr. Begich’s soul.  [NB: Of course, in our enlightened, antinomial ecclesial epoch–now unburdened from disordered attachments such as doctrine, tradition, and other unsavory accretions–canon law no longer guarantees what will happen, what ought to happen, or even what formerly happened; rather, it exists to execute the arbitrary will of its wielders.]

Third, if–I say IF–Mr. Begich was speaking WITHIN AND DURING the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (and I dearly hope that he was not, for the sake of all involved), there are likely additional consequences, which I plan to address in another post.

IN SUM, PLEASE PRAY FOR ALASKA; PRAY FOR OUR ARCHBISHOP; and PRAY FOR OUR ELECTED CATHOLICS AND THOSE CATHOLICS SEEKING ELECTION, THAT, IN SEEKING A WORDLY ELECTION, THEY DO NOT FORFEIT THAT ELECTION WHICH IS ETERNAL.

Please also consider respectfully asking Archbishop Etienne to look into Mr. Begich’s untoward appearance in the sanctuary of a Catholic Church.

AND GO VOTE!

 

GUEST POST: The Fall and Future Rise of Catholicism

Pope Leo XIII at Mass in Sistine Chapel

By Bob Bird

Satan: “Give me one hundred years and I can destroy the Catholic Church.”

God: “You have it.”

This visionary exchange was not an obscure rumor from a small backwater village, but from Pope Leo himself, in 1884, after he collapsed saying Mass one morning in the Vatican. When he came to, he immediately composed the famous Prayer to St. Michael and ordered it read aloud at the end of every Mass. Many Catholic parishes still do.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike have a right to know what is going on in the Catholic Church. A confusing and inconsistent pope is augmented by homosexuals within the Vatican and in many of the key positions. Papal appointments point to ominous signs of continued confusion.

Just when this hundred years began, and whether it was a literal hundred years, we do not know, but others insist that we do, see below. But fast forward to the Fatima visions of 1917, warning of Russia’s role in the destruction of freedom and the Church, and then when Joe Stalin ordered the historically acknowledged infiltration of the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1920s. That he ordered the same to be done to the Catholic Church was only logical. Himself a former seminarian, Stalin realized that homosexuals would be his best agents, men who had lost any sense of natural law, sacrilege, conscience, or fear of Judgment.

The Fatima visions of 1917 asked for the pope and the Church to consecrate Russia to the Blessed Virgin, and reiterated in 1929. Why this was not done by Pope Pius XI or XII is a matter of endless speculation, but it never was. The fact that Pope John Paul II consecrated “the world” to her in 1984 indicates that the hundred years of Pope Leo were literal, and that communism’s satanic influence had successfully escaped the boundaries of the USSR, even while it was suffocating from the internal inconsistencies of Marxism. Recognizing this, John Paul did not waste time closing a barn door after the horses had escaped, but addressed the grim reality that the entire world was now in a dire grip that needed miraculous intervention.

While Russia even now is rediscovering Christianity, the influence of communism continues in the west. Dietrich and Alice von Hildebrand were close personal friends of Pope John Paul II before and after his rise to the papacy. Dietrich takes his place with the great Catholic intellects of the 20th century who opposed both fascism and communism.

Dietrich privately interviewed ex-communist Bella Dodd, an admitted Stalinist agent, after she had testified before Congress in the 1950s. She returned to Catholicism under the aegis of America’s most famous Catholic in America, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Dodd said that she herself placed 1200 communist/homosexuals into American seminaries and knew that the number was over 3,000 from the work of other agents.

Alice, about thirty years Dietrich’s junior and now in her 90s, gave a long interview with the Catholic news site Church Militant, the thorn in the side of the USCCB. She stated that as each subsequent generation of homosexual prelates wormed themselves into the hierarchy, they made sure that faithful seminarians were ousted and good priests were punished and marginalized, even while pliant ones and those who were seduced were brought into the matrix. They would be rewarded with influence and appointments, then coached into promoting the denigration of the rich legacy of Catholicism.

Becoming drum-beat supporters of socialism was part of the agenda, rather than the far more effective and selfless reputation of Catholic institutions. Contraception and abortion were to be scorned or sidelined in importance. Instruction in the faith was to be insipid, and liturgical “reforms” transferred the essence of the Mass from an unbloody sacrifice of depth and mystery into a shallow, informal celebration where the focus became Man rather than God. Thus, we can now understand the completely unauthorized changes that came under the false “Spirit of Vatican II”. They now have generations of momentum behind their acceptance.

The earthquakes of confusion initiated by Pope Francis are now seen in the light of this homosexual or Lavender Mafia. It explains the marginalization of faithful Catholics who have begged for relief from the many ills plaguing the Church, from liturgical abuse, pulpit heresies and weak faith formation programs and instructors. This also includes the mysterious staying power of “Catholic” politicians, who have worked in concert promoting the sexual revolution, socialism, homosexuality, contraception and abortion.

Even as prayers were said in churches throughout the United States this week, the focus was only on the victims, unquestionably just and necessary but utterly incomplete about what the true malady is that is infecting the Church. Not once did the prayers or letters mention the word “homosexuality” and refused to confront the foundational evil that has infected the Church: bishops and priests who are practicing homosexuals themselves, engaging in continuous violations of their vows of celibacy with other adult men, or protecting those who are, whether willingly or through intimidation.

The almost daily exposure of this is likely an answer to prayer. Catholicism has an uncanny ability to resurface after every crisis brings it to the edge of annihilation. Since Christ’s Passion, this has been discovered in roughly three-hundred year increments by the Romans, Arians, Moslems, Norsemen, Albigensians, Protestants, and the French Revolutionaries.

Unless these are apocalyptic times, we await the certain rebound of the Church. It will be smaller, but stronger. It is the solution Jesus took when his disciples walked away from him in John 6 because of His “hard sayings”. It might even reunite much of Christendom. It will take a while.

But it will happen.

NOTE: This essay first appeared in Joe Miller’s e-letter, “Restoring Liberty,” and reappears here with permission of the author.

Homosexuality and Bishops

The Catholic Church’s perennial teaching on the four sins that “cry to heaven for vengeance”:

CCC 1867: The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner.

[NB: Most catechisms combine the Israelites’ cry with the orphans, widows, and aliens under “oppression of the poor”; hence, the number four].

For those of you who have been under a rock for the last month, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal McCarrick from the College of Cardinals after allegations of homosexual abuse of young boys.  McCarrick is the first Cardinal to have his cardinalatial powers removed in almost 100 years. 

Then, this past weekend, Carlo Maria Vigano, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, publicly alleged that Pope Francis knew of Cardinal McCarrick’s serial homosexual abuse well before this time — at from June of 2013, when Vigano met with him in person.

Giving a press conference on a jet plane, Pope Francis refused to address the allegations.  In a papacy that has been marked by an untethered approach to questions of morality, theology, and a purportedly “impromptu, pastoral” tone, this is uncharacteristic.  Or perhaps it reveals the true character of this papacy.  Either way, our dear Holy Father needs prayers.

As Anchorage Archbishop Etienne has noted on his blog, McCarrick’s removal was “an unprecedented step signaling the gravity of these reports.”  True.  But removal does not even begin to address a looooooong line of inferential facts: that (1) McCarrick had been doing this for a long time, (2) other bishops knew about it, but either did nothing or actively covered up his misdeeds, (3) other American bishops had no problem letting McCarrick continue to operate as the face of the American Catholic hierarchy, particularly during the 2002 scandal eruption, (4) journalists and priests who attempted to address this story were intimidated, (5) a homosexual subculture (if not mafia, replete with the omerta code) exists in the American hierarchy, and (6) is spread throughout the Church, even into Rome.

One insight – formerly swept aside, but now addressed by Church Militant – was that the “seeding” of the homosexuals in American seminaries began long ago by Communist operative and Catholic convert Bella Dodd.  Interestingly, it was Bishop Sheen who piloted Dodd back into the arms of Holy Mother Church.  One imagines Dodd’s conversion story firing the vehement furnace of Bishop Sheen’s famous blasts against Communism.  But it is also remarkable that Sheen seems not to have addressed the matter of homosexuals in Catholic seminaries, at least externally.  Even more remarkable is Bishop Sheen’s long-suffering silence in the face of Cardinal Spellman’s attacks on him, now that there is accumulating evidence that Spellman lived a closeted homosexual life as Cardinal of New York.

So what does this all mean for Alaska Catholics?

I am not sure, other than this vileness has, indeed, cried to heaven for purification.  I do not know whether the seminaries attended by our Alaskan priests were corrupt, but I have heard anecdotal evidence that they were, in the recent past, hotbeds of homosexual activity.  I do not know whether any of our Alaskan bishops are part of the homosexual network, nor if they have been prevented from proclaiming the Church’s teaching on homosexuality because of threats of blackmail to expose an active homosexual lifestyle.  But these things now seem increasingly credible.

Of this I am sure: that God, Triune God, Creator and Origin of all life, will not be mocked.  Nor will the Divine Son permit His Bride, Holy Mother the Church, to be forever violated by such craven, perfidious, demon-infested men.  And I am sure that we have received such predatory clerics as our “shepherds,” at least in part, because of our own failures to live a life according Our Lord’s injunction to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him.

Going forward, there are two other things that I fear as a result of this hellish revelation:

1. The Church’s inability to govern its own corrupt hierarchy will force the intervention of public authority (this has already happened in Chile, and seems likely to happen in Honduras).  Rather than decry this intervention of the State into Church matters, faithful Catholics – justly enraged – will cheer it on.

2. The global aspect of the corruption – which now seems to extend even unto the Roman Pontiff – will result in a global intervention.  And the likeliest apparatus to undertake this is the United Nations.

Once the bulwark of the Church has been removed as an efficacious brake on global agents of social change (e.g., George Soros), I tremble for what may follow.

May God have mercy on us, cleanse Holy Mother Church, and restore and preserve the just sovereignty of the nations of the world!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

 

 

 

 

 

No, tax dollars are not charitable giving.

What are you doing?!? Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, dogg!

I.

It is one of the six precepts of the Church that a good Catholic must “assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for the works of the apostolate and of charity, and for the decent support of ministers.”  Can. 222, s. 1.

A good Catholic is also obliged to promote “social justice and, mindful of the precept of the Lord, to assist the poor from their own resources.”  Can. 222, s. 2.

And what is “social justice”?

A fine three-part article from 2013 can be found here at Catholic World Report.  But, as the author points out, the Pope of “social justice” was — not Francis — but Pius XI, who wrote Quadragesimo Anno (1931).  There and then, in the face of rising socialism and the depths of global economic depression, Pius XI taught:

“By this law of social justice, one class is forbidden to exclude the other from sharing in benefits.  Hence the class of the wealthy violates this law no less, when, as if free from care on account of its wealth, it thinks it the right order of things for it to get everything and the worker nothing, than does the non-owning working class when, angered deeply at outraged justice and too ready to assert wrongly the one right it is conscious of, it demands for itself everything as if produced by its own hands, and attacks and seeks to abolish, therefore, all property and returns or incomes, of whatever kind they are or whatever the function they perform in human society, that have not been obtained by labor, and for no other reason save that they are of such a nature.”  (No. 57).

So what is to be done by Catholic in a rich nation such as ours?  Pope Pius XI is also clear that

“A person’s superfluous income, that it, income which he does not need to sustain life fittingly and with dignity, is not left wholly to his own free determination.  Rather the Sacred Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church constantly declare in the most explicit language that the rich are bound by a very grave precept to practice almsgiving, beneficence, and munificence.”  (No. 50).

Get that?  If you have superfluous income, the Church’s perennial teaching is to give it to the poor (almsgiving), the Church (beneficence), or reinvested to provide more jobs (munificence).  Not the State, nor the Church through the State’s threat of force.

(See 1:42 of above.)

II.

From “archbishopetienne.com”, 07/29/18.

This may seem obvious.  Alas, would that it were.  There are powerful Alaskans who are totally at odds with this teaching on social justice.  As reported on our local episcopal blog, gobs of US taxpayer money goes to Catholic Relief Services (CRS):

Some of the congress men and women made it known that sending US money overseas when we face so many challenges at home is often not understood by their constituents.  One Senator said very frankly: “Even though it is the right thing to do, it does not get us votes.” 

As an Alaskan, U.S. citizen, taxpayer, and loyal son of the Church, I say that it is not the right thing to do to take my tax dollars and give them to CRS.

There is NO constitutional authority for Congress to use the power of the purse for charity, as Davy Crockett discovered over 150 years ago.

The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.

And a tax is a tax, not a tithe.  As Dinesh D’Souza and others have pointed out, the volitional act of giving is destroyed when the State’s gun is forcing the wallet to open.  Ergo, what formerly was a corporal work of mercy becomes an act of more or less reluctant obedience — and not to the Church or its apostolic succession, but to the State!

And, finally, CRS has its own, severe issues with following Catholic doctrine regarding contraceptionAnd these issues won’t go away.

Unfortunately, none of this new, as socialism has always preyed upon good-hearted Christians:

Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage, against the state?  Has it not preached in the place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy and mortification of the flesh, monastic life and Mother Church?  Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.  — Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto, Ch. III.

Please say a Hail Mary, right now, for our Archbishop and our congressional delegation – especially the two Catholics!

Sen. Murkowski must hear from Alaskans on Supreme Court vote

AKCatholics4Truth.com

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski may well become a center of national attention as debate heats up over the next justice for the U.S. Supreme Court.

With Justice Anthony Kennedy stepping down after 30 years on the bench, there is now an opportunity for President Trump to appoint a solidly pro-life justice to the high court, a move that would give the conservative block a clear majority. Kennedy was long considered a “swing” vote as he often sided with decisions in favor of gay marriage and abortion. His replacement could allow the court to finally roll back key aspects of Roe vs. Wade, the court ruling that ensured legal abortion throughout the nation.

With Republicans holding a extremely narrow majority in the U.S. Senate Murkowski has emerged as a critical vote in confirming a new Supreme Court justice as activists from both sides of the abortion debate lobby legislators. A self-identified Catholic, Murkowski is also a supporter of abortion rights who has shown a willingness to disregard Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life in the womb and the right to life of unborn babies.

National reports this week indicate that Murkowski will be under immense pressure from both sides when she deliberates how to vote on the next Supreme Court nominee.

This is no time to sit on the sidelines or quietly hope for the best. Each and every pro-life Alaskan needs to contact Murkowski and respectfully but forcefully reiterate that we want her to vote for a conservative judicial nominee who will uphold the original intent of the U.S. Constitution.

The pro-abortion side will most certainly make a strong effort to influence Murkowski. We cannot let our voice go unheard. Please contact Murkowski through letters, phone calls and emails. The more correspondence the better. She must be made aware of the fact that most Alaskans are pro-life, we are counting on her vote and we are watching closely to see how she votes.

Click here to contact Murkowski.

Lisa Murkowski, Abortion, and Holy Communion

A fine plea for human life was recently made by Alaska’s most prominent cleric, Archbishop Etienne, on his blog:

How many couples get married today already having decided how many children they will have? How many decide they do not even want children? Or, sadly, how many couples when they conceive a child decide it is ‘inconvenient’ and do not accept this gift of new life? Without judging any of those particular situations, I simply beg the questions: Can we not be more open to God? to God’s plan? Do we have the faith and love to accept God’s will in our lives, even when it ‘blows up’ our plans and trust that God’s plan is better than our own?

Regrettably, these questions do not seem to affect Alaska’s most prominent lay Catholic, who has taken to the state’s most prominent public forum to share that she doesn’t “adhere to all the tenets of my faith,” “I’m not hesitant to question when I think that my church, my religion, is not current,” and that “if you don’t like abortion, the best way to deal with it is . . . through contraception“?

Here’s what Evangelium Vitae states:

“Be Not Afraid!”

Laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every individual; they thus deny the equality of everyone before the law.

Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection.

In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to “take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it”.

 

As pointed out by Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute, here’s how Cardinal Ratzinger would have responded to a politician who “does not adhere” to the Church’s teaching on abortion or euthanasia:

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

 

In contrast, here’s how Cardinal McCarrick would have responded:

“Based on our consultation process –said  Cardinal McCarrick,- there is significant concern about the perception that the sacred nature of the Eucharist could be trivialized and might be turned into a partisan political battleground.”

“Expecting a minister of Holy Communion to make these judgments would create great pastoral difficulties. We do not want to encourage confrontations at the altar rail with the Sacred Body of the Lord Jesus in our hands. This could create unmanageable burdens for our priests and those who assist them and could turn the Eucharist into a perceived source of political combat,” the interim  report added.

The Washington Cardinal also said that denial of Holy Communion “could further divide our Church and that it could have serious unintended consequences. For example, it could be more difficult for faithful Catholics to serve in public life because they might be seen not as standing up for principle, but as under pressure from the hierarchy.”

“We also fear it could push many people farther away from the Church and its  teaching, rather than bringing them closer.”

“In light of these and other concerns, the task force urges for the most part renewed efforts and persuasion, not penalties,” Cardinal McCarrick’s report also said.

And here is Deuteronomy:

I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live!

St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

Catholic Education: One Man’s View

Pope Francis leads a ceremony of baptism during a solemn mass in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican“The steady decline in Catholic school population has been the subject of a vast amount of comment, most completely off the mark.  The Catholic population in the United States did not suddenly plummet to the bottom of the economy after 1971.  If anything, the general income level of Catholics after 1971, when the decline of Catholic schools began to take hold, was as good or better than their level of income in the 1950s and ’60s, when they–infinitely better off than their immigrant ancestors who founded American Catholic schooling–had managed to sustain a vast number of schools throughout the nation.  Indeed, during the 1950s and into the late 1960s, new Catholic schools were being built.

“Economics has not been the real reason for the steadily diminishing Catholic school population.  Nor has the decline in female (and male) religious vocations been the essential cause.  Nor has Lemon v. Kurtzman.  Paraphrasing Cassius, a Catholic is forced to say: ‘The fault, dear Catholics, lies not in our laws but in ourselves.’  Like the leadership in many mainline Protestant churches, many Catholics of influence after the Second Vatican Council departed from traditional beliefs, disparaged all authority but their own, and embraced novelty as though it were ‘renewal.’  If there is a return, now, to a profound sense of the sacred among Catholics, to discipline, and to the careful teaching of doctrine, Catholics may have hope for a resurgence of Catholic fervor and fidelity.”

–Wm. Bentley Ball, Mere Creatures of the State (Crisis Books, Notre Dame, IN: 1994).

Et tu, Brute?

Here is a good visual of a restoration of the sense of the sacred.  May Alaska’s bishops and priests hasten this restoration in our fair state, through the intercession of St. Therese and Our Lady of the Snows!

Heart v. Head = Jansenism

Certain Alaskan ecclesiastical circles have recently revived the old “Heart v. Head” chestnut, e.g., “for too long we have simply focused on the intellect, and not done nearly enough to engage the hearts of believers.” Or again, the “starting point is not the teaching, but the person of Jesus.”  Along with that fusty old Baltimore Catechism, it now seems that the Divine Commission to teach all nations has outlived its usefulness.

Historically, this sentimental journey occurs in Alaskan pulpits when the peons in the pews clamor for authentic Catholic formation.  But it is not limited to Alaska, nor even the clerical state. The classic “heart-over-head” exponent was that brilliant Jansenist sympathizer, Pascal, who wrote in his Pensees:

The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things…It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason.  This, then, is faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason.

Feelings…whoa-oh-oh…nothing more than feelings. See?  Pascal wrote that, not Morris Albert.

It is good to draw distinctions here. Pascal lived a saintly life, and died yielding his room and board to a destitute family.  May we meet merrily in heaven!  But Pascal, along with his fellow Enlightenment geniuses Leibniz and Newton, veered into weird heresy when he applied his mathematical mind to the things of God.  Interestingly, Jansenism, for all its modern reputation as a heresy of “moral rigorism,” was originally a kind of Catholic determinism.  Quoth Fr. Hardon:

According to Jansenius, man’s free will is incapable of any moral goodness. All man’s actions proceed either from earthly desires, which stem from concupiscence, or from heavenly desires, which are produced by grace.  Each exercises an urgent influence on the human will, which in consequence of its lack of freedom always follows the pressure of the stronger desire.  Implicit in Jansenism is the denial of the supernatural order, the possibility of either rejection or acceptance of grace.

Trust your feelings. Unless they involve Magisterial teaching.

Jansenism thus leads to a Calvinist idea of predestination. The human will is overwhelmed, determinism ascendant, and man is not free.  Rather than love – that is, man freely willing the good of another person – Jansenism produces an anxiety whereby a man is uncertain whether he is among the saved.  And how does one know whether one is saved?  Says Obi-Wan, er, Pascal: trust your feelings.

There are, of course, echoes in the Gospel that make the heart-first, head-later ideology initially attractive. Our Lord spoke at length about the human heart:  Where your heart is, there also will your treasure be.  Love the Lord your God with all your heartBlessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.  Our Lady, too, pondered all these things in her heart.

But there is a distinction with a difference here. The recent Alaskan trend views the heart essentially as sentiment, an effusion of “warmth, compassion, mercy, and love.”  Such gushing language calls to mind the embrace offered to Wormwood by dear Uncle Screwtape.  Or, Barney.

See the source image

I love you, You love me, Encounter and accompany…

The Gospels, on the other hand, regard the heart as the utter interiority in man – that is, that ineffable inner sanctum wherein one either accepts or rejects God. What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a manThis people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from meYou shall indeed hear but never understand, for this people’s heart has grown dull.

Yet God forces Himself on no one. Howsoever corruption may take hold, the human heart remains essentially free to choose, even in the natural order.  St. Paul, wonderfully, drives this home:

When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law unto themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them.

But can they call upon him in whom they have not believed, in him of whom they have never heard? As the Baltimore Catechism (shudder) suggests, can you love, honor, and serve Someone without knowing Him first?  Is faith, as Pascal said, “God felt by the heart, not reason?”

No, no, and no. St. Paul tells the Romans, “Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ.”  Better yet, Our Lord tells us, “Go and make disciples of all nations, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Please pray for the Pope and our Bishops and Priests, that they may preach and teach Christ and His doctrine – not sentiment.

Special Topic: Gender Theory – Part 2

By ANTONIO MALO

What kind of effect does gender theory have on society?

Gender theory affects society on two levels. On the political and legislative level, gender theorists pressure for change in the physiognomy of marriage and family. They call for the legalization and social acceptance of new models of marriage and family in the name of progress, tolerance and equal rights, including the right to adopt children. This so-called “progress,” however, will only contribute to the self-destruction of the human person and society (cf. Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia 2008). On the cultural level, gender theory seeks to change the governing mentalities, beginning with those most vulnerable in indoctrination: children and adolescents. Under the guise of educating them in tolerance, they are encouraged to “explore” and “experiment” with their sexuality so that they can choose that which best suits them.

Why does the church denounce gender theory as an ideology?

The church, which has always been interested in that which concerns man and woman, denounces gender theory as an ideology because she has the right and duty to intervene when the natural and supernatural good of persons and society are at stake. She has received from God a “responsibility for creation” (Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia 2008, 4). For this reason, the church promotes a “human ecology” that helps nations and states to differentiate between that which constitutes true progress and that which is instead a step back, resulting in the disintegration of people and the social fabric. (Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia 2008)

What is this “human ecology” that the church promotes?

In her responsibility towards creation, the church must first and foremost protect mankind, which forms part of creation. Human ecology means respect for the human person and “the natural and moral structure with which he has been endowed” (CA 38). This includes the promotion of the values or femininity and masculinity as the foundation of the humanization of persons. “Every outlook which presents itself as a conflict between the sexes is only an illusion and a danger: it would end in segregation and competition between men and women” (MW 14).

On a more concrete level, human ecology applies to social policies concerning education, family, work, access to services, civic participation and so on. On the one hand, we must combat any unjust sexual discrimination. On the other hand, and at the same time, the promotion of equal dignity “must be harmonized with attentive recognition of the difference and reciprocity between the sexes where this is relevant to the realization of one’s humanity, whether male or female” (MW 14; cf. CCC 2358). (CA 38-39; CV 51)

Gender theory has been referred to as an “ideological colonization.” What does this mean?

Gender theory has been called an ideological colonization because it attempts, using every means at its disposal, to impose a vision of sexuality, marriage and family that it inhuman, and therefore capable of enslaving people (cf. Francis, In-flight Press Conference from the Philippines to Rome January 19, 2015).  Gender theory seeks to mask this manipulation. It claims to offer greater freedom, when in reality it is its denial. It claims to help each person discover his or her sexual identity, when in reality it prevents man and woman from recognizing and accepting his or her sexual identity. It fails to recognize that the physical, moral and spiritual difference and complementarity between man and woman are directed towards the goods of celibacy or marriage and the development of family life. (CCC 2333)

What should Christians do to counteract the negative influence of gender theory? 

This task begins in the home. Christians should actively participate in the education of their children, because through it the Christian culture is passed on and progresses from generation to generation. Furthermore, the family environment has to be such that children learn to love in being freely loved, to respect others in being respected, and to know the face of God firstly through a father and mother who are attentive to them. This way, daughters and sons discover the beauty of maternity and paternity and therefore of the femininity and masculinity that they respectively embody. When these fundamental experiences are absent or lacking, there is a loss of humanity in society; society as a whole suffers and in turn becomes a creator of violence. (CSDC 242-243; MW 13-14; CCE, Educational Guidance in Human Love 1983)

Antonio Malo is Professor of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

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