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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!

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.

Bathroom bill will ‘lose without Anchorage Catholics’

(ANCHORAGE) — A proposition to allow private businesses, parishes and outreaches in Anchorage the freedom to set policy on bathrooms and intimate spaces in accord with their convictions is doomed to fail without backing from area Catholics.

This was the message from Proposition 1 spokesman Jim Minnery in a Feb. 24 email to Catholics in Anchorage.

Read the full letter below:
From: Jim Minnery jim@akfamily.org
Subject: We’re Going To Lose Without Anchorage Catholics

I’ll be honest. If we don’t get members of the Archdiocese here in Anchorage more educated and motivated on why Prop 1 is so important to pass, we’ll lose this election and businesses, faith based groups and even women’s shelters will be forced to allow men into places where only women should be allowed. You might have seen or heard recently that the LGBTQ activists have raised over $415,000, mostly from outside Washington, D.C. based sources, to defeat Proposition 1. We’ve raised less than $40,000.

We don’t have to raise dollar for dollar what our opponents raise because we’ve been in this position before and we’ve won despite being significantly outspent.

But there is a difference this time. The Archdiocese of Anchorage is choosing to stay on the sidelines.

When we passed Ballot Measure 2 in 2010 that required physicians to notify parents before a minor could have an abortion, the Archdiocese of Anchorage provided extensive coverage of the issue through The Catholic Anchor, it’s newspaper. They allowed parishes to distribute church bulletins and leadership spoke up on the issue.  They took a stand. When we defeated Prop 5 in 2012 that would have discriminated against people for simply having traditional, Biblical views on sexuality, the Archdiocese did the same thing. They were instrumental in helping us achieve victory on these two important cultural fronts.

But the Archdiocese is purposefully staying out of Prop 1. You will not read anything in The Catholic Anchor about Prop 1 nor will you read or hear anything in the parishes.

It is heartbreaking for me to see.

Unfortunately, our recent polling shows that fewer than half of Catholics are planning to vote yes on Prop. 1.  In stark contrast, over two-thirds of self-identified “born again” Protestants say they will vote YES on Prop 1.

We’ve got to do something about it and soon as the ballots will be mailed on March 13th, less than two weeks away.

I’m asking you, as a faithful Catholic and one who has shown an interest in cultural issues to please stand with us today with a financial gift supporting our efforts to pass Prop 1. Although we can’t expect anything in The Catholic Anchor unfortunately or count on anything to be mentioned in any of the parishes, we can still educate and mobilize Catholics in the Anchorage area.

We can buy more radio and television ads. We can buy large Yes on 1 signs and place them, as space is available, within distance of as many parishes as possible. We can use technology to identify Catholic voters and have volunteers and paid individuals go door to door to tell the story of why a Yes on 1 vote is so important.

We are not counting the Catholics in Anchorage out. They have supported us so well in the past and they will again as long as we get the message to them.  Again, please contribute as soon as possible by making a secure, on-line donation HERE.

We need prayer as well. Please pray that our small campaign team will stay motivated, healthy and not get discouraged as the long days and nights of campaigning take their toll. Please pray that we will have discernment, efficiencies and wisdom as things heat up between now and April 3rd.

Finally, please forward this on to others in the Catholic community you think might be interested in helping us educate and mobilize Catholic voters here in Anchorage. Also, please feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions or thoughts on how we can get Catholics educated on Prop 1. We need them and we need you.

Godspeed!

Jim Minnery – President

Alaska Family Action

907.317.7268

 

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