29 October 2011

Man Sues Catholic University of America for Being... Catholic

John F. Banzhaf III claims the school "[denies Muslim students] equal access to the benefits CUA provides to other student groups.... It is alleged that CUA does not provide space -- as other universities do -- for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion.
"It shouldn't be too difficult somewhere on the campus for the university to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus."
Oh, good Lord... what patience God requires with us...

German Bishops Ignore Dioceses' Profits from Porn

The Catholic Church in Germany owns 100% of the publishing company Weltbild, which includes pornographic material among its publications.
The 2,500 erotic books in their online catalogue, including those from Blue Panther Books, an erotic book publisher owned by Weltbild, are only one example. Their titles include: “Anwaltshure” (Lawyer’s Whore), “Vögelbar” (F—kable) and “Schlampen-Internat” (Sluts’ Boarding School).
In 2008, [a Catholic] group sent a 70-page document to all the bishops whose dioceses have shared ownership of Weltbild for 30 years, detailing evidence of the sale of questionable material.
More than half of the bishops failed to acknowledge the report.

Town Rejects Rosary as Offensive and the Prayers that Changed Everything

It all started simply. Mike Casey wanted to pray. As part of the nationwide “America Needs Fatima” movement, Mike wanted to hold a public rosary in the small Massachusetts town of Upton. It would be one of 7,515 Public Square Rosaries held across the United States on October 15th.
The Town Council denied his request, claiming fears that taxpayers might be "offended." Casey prayed at every turn--and help came in abundance.
“I didn’t want to push it out of pride,” he explained. “Sometimes people turn something true, honest, and good and into something rotten and bad because of their pride.”

His prayer for humility was interrupted by a phone call from a lawyer who told him that the town had just told him they changed their mind and that next year he could hold the rosary on public property.

Mike saw that phone call from the lawyer as Jesus’ answer to him. (I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the first time Jesus had acted through legal counsel.)
We attorneys are good for something after all... :)

Louis IX: King, Crusader, and Saint

The good king once said, "A Christian should argue with a blasphemer only by running his sword through his bowels as far as it will go."

Worthwhile article on the saint.

Sacred Hosts Found in Hymnals

Truly horrible, but, frankly, not surprising.
Heartbroken and with tears in their eyes, we have been approached by parishioners with open hymnals. What has caused the tears has been their discovery of the Body of Christ, partially consumed, stuck between the pages of a hymnal.

26 October 2011

Words of Wisdom

A Carmelite nun gives wise advice on how to curb sins of the tongue. She recalls the words of Fr. Thomas Dubay given during a retreat, on the obvious sins of the tongue, and the faults of speech:
Obvious Sins of the Tongue – “In a multitude of words, sin is not lacking” (Proverbs 10:19).

Detraction - speaking about another persons’ faults (faults that are true) without a good reason (Sirach 21).
Calumny - which is speaking about a persons’ faults (faults that are not true).
Bickering - speaking nasty or biting remarks
Nagging - the constant complaining, scolding or urging about a fault even if it is true; to find fault constantly (Proverbs 21:9).
Ego-centrism - constantly referring to what I did, what I said, etc. Constantly talking about ME
Breaking confidences - for there are natural secrets that should not be spread; people have a right to their reputation (Proverbs 11:13)
Dominating a conversation to prove a point - and most of the time we are unaware we are doing this.
Salacious talks/jokes - which has to do with speaking impurely (Ephesians 5:3-4).

Unrealized Faults of Speech

Talking can be a big waste of time - when the talking is empty and gossipy (Matt. 12:36)
Neglecting the spiritual in our speaking with others - which is the main business of our lives (Ps. 25:15; Eph. 1: Col. 3:12; Eph. 5:18-20)
Dissipation and draining of our psychic energies - leaving us fatigued, distracted, and unable to do our tasks at hand
Bad example - to our family, friends, co-workers, but especially to our children
Excessive comfort-seeking through words - which includes talking over and over again about one’s hurts
Excusing ourselves - when we should not
Vain discussions - when our time could be better spent (2 Tim. 2:16-17)
Meddling in others’ affairs (2 Thess. 3:11-12)
She ends with this rule:
NEVER pass on derogatory or uncomplimentary information about anyone, unless the Word of God has given you the specific authority and responsibility to do so, and the person you are informing likewise has responsibility in the situation and a need to know the information.
I know, it takes the fun out of much conversation--but are we here to deal in pleasantries or to become saints?

Person of Interest

I don't own cable and never have (to me, that would be like paying good money for garbage to stream into my home), and rarely watch TV. If I ever do, I'll catch the occasional show online. Considering all the nonsense that makes up most of television these days, I can heartily recommend CBS's new show Person of Interest, starring Jim Caviezel (whom we all know from The Passion of the Christ). It's written and produced by Jonathan Nolan (brother to talented film director Chris Nolan, and co-writer of his Batman series).

Four episodes into it, and it continues to please. There is a definite morality it promotes, one that values life rather than cheapens it, even as it deals with the lowest elements of society. Plus, it's just plain entertaining. And Caviezel's never hard on the eyes...

25 October 2011

The Dear Leaders are not to be questioned!

23 October 2011

More on the Madness in El Paso

To write El Paso Bishop Ochoa, you can send an e-mail to this address:


22 October 2011

Abortion Industry Corruption in Kansas: Sebelius Protected, and a Good Man's Name Smeared

HHS Secretary and pro-abort Catholic Kathleen Sebelius, when governor of Kansas, was so deep in the pocket of the abortion industry she went out of her way to protect Planned Parenthood from criminal charges for doctoring medical records.
[Pro-life attorney general Phil] Kline pursued the state reports as part of his intended prosecution of Kansas late-term abortion corruption. Sebelius tried hard to stop him, even trying to use a restraining order from Judge Thomas Marten in the Aid for Women case. Judge Anderson ignored those efforts, and found probable cause of criminality, allowing Kline to subpoena the state reports in 2004.

This left state reports “reachable” by Kline—reports that show abortion clinics did not have defendable reasons for post-viability abortions. So they destroyed the reports.
Planned Parenthood admits to having destroyed the reports; they will not say when they occurred or which employee was responsible, however. Based on this, PP faces 107 charges in a court hearing scheduled in just a few days.
The case has been sitting for years as political officials in Kansas were seen to deflect attention on the case away from the problems at Planned Parenthood and towards false accusations that Phill Kline abused his position.
Phill Kline is a modern-day David fighting the Goliath of Planned Parenthood; he has endured years of persecution, slander, and threats against his family as he courageously and doggedly fought to expose the corruption in the abortion industry. He's been cleared of all wrongdoing, but it's still worth offering up prayers for him and for the work that he began, and which is only now beginning to come to fruition.

St. Faustina's Vision of Hell

Vividly recounted here, and worth meditating on:
These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin.

I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like.
You can read the rest here.

If you really want to rile people up, share this anecdote with them, where a saint saw that only 5 out of 33,000 escaped such torments.

As predicted, some commentators responded to the description with typical objections, including, "I honestly can't imagine what kind of life you'd have to live in order to warrant the most horrible torture possible for the rest of eternity." Another objection: "How did God conceive of such a terrible place? [I]t is hard for me to believe that that many people are so evil. I believe most people, not all, are basically good."

The reason these people don't understand the horror of hell is because they don't understand the horror of sin.

Why did Our Lord go through the excruciating sufferings he did on our behalf? Because sin is "really not that bad"?

Watch "The Passion of Christ" or read Anne Catherine Emmerich's "Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." Our Lord clearly understood the price that sin--even the smallest--exacts from us, and His horrendous sufferings show that.

The fact that Our Lord spent more time warning us about hell than speaking about heaven in the Scriptures shows how most Christians selectively ignore His words in favor of their own interpretation. On the last day, though, we won't be able to offer any excuses. We can't stand there and say, "But I didn't know..." It doesn't get any clearer than this: "Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:9. Those who look at that list and think they do none of those things might want to recall Our Lord's words: "But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matt. 5:28.

And what of the rest? "Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day." Jn 6:54.

This statement alone excludes the whole swath of humanity that rejects the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist--yes, even our Protestant brethren. (I speak of the normative avenues of grace; can God save those outside the fold? In His great mercy, yes--but it's not something to be assumed or expected, but prayed and hoped for.)

And among the Catholics who do receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord? Seventy-five per cent don't bother attending Mass regularly, 80% are using contraception, and Catholics are divorcing at the same rate as non-Catholics. Of those who do attend Mass, 70% don't believe in the Real Presence and are most likely receiving in the state of mortal sin, thus adding to their sins that of sacrilege.

The more you think about it, the more the numbers make sense: only 5 out of 33,000 saved....

Ah, but Our Lord didn't really mean what you say he means, is the predicted response... Not according to the numerous saints who were granted visions of hell. Why did the saints wear themselves out, even to the point of death, for souls? Because they took Our Lord's words seriously, unlike so many of us complacent Catholics today, who would rather fill our lives with distractions than pay attention to the important things. Yes, I know I sound annoyingly preachy, but I care enough about souls to say them. Be annoyed if you wish; these things must be said.

Confusion About the Constitution

People are aware by now of Herman Cain's response in the recent CNN interview on the question of abortion.
[CNN asked] Cain if he would want his daughter or granddaughter, if raped, to keep the baby — which Cain said “was mixing two things.”

“It’s not the government’s role, or anybody else’s role to make that decision,” Cain responded. “[W]hat I’m saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family, and whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.”
Cain later clarified his statement:
I understood the thrust of the question to ask whether that I, as president, would simply “order” people to not seek an abortion. My answer was focused on the role of the President. The President has no constitutional authority to order any such action by anyone. That was the point I was trying to convey.
Cain is correct in that the Constitution gives the President no authority to order the end of all abortions by executive fiat. Unfortunately, that isn't what Cain originally said. His words were, "It’s not the government’s role, or anybody else’s role to make that decision...Not me as president. Not some politician, not a bureaucrat." He clearly includes here, not just the president, but anyone in government. Whether he means to limit it only to the federal government or he intends to include state government as well is unclear.

The issue of abortion has *always* been a state issue--up until that travesty of justice known as Roe v. Wade. And the travesty, legally speaking, was not the legalization of the murder of the unborn, but the abuse of power exercised by the Supreme Court, by reading a so-called right into the Constitution that was never there. At the time Roe was passed, about half the states had laws outlawing abortion, while the other half had legalized it. In an act of breathtaking arrogance, nine men decided a moral issue over which they (via the Constitution) had absolutely no authority. I would argue the same if the outcome had been the opposite, and the justices had decided to outlaw abortion everywhere (although they would have had a stronger constitutional claim to issue such a decision).

With federal government as bloated as it is (which began with the New Deal, or, even farther back, the end of the Civil War), many people are under the mistaken impression that government can pass laws on anything it wants. Not so.

Every power the federal government has--whether it be the legislative, executive, or judicial branch--derives from one source alone: the Constitution. There is nothing any of the branches can do without the authority given them by the Constitution. For instance, the Constitution gives Congress to power to tax, therefore we have federal tax laws. The Constitution does not give Congress the power to regulate marriage, which has always been within the domain of the states; this is why it would be an abuse of congressional authority (ultra vires) if it were to pass a law regulating marriage among the 50 states. It simply does not have that authority in the Constitution. In the same way, the Constitution grants the federal government no power to regulate abortion. The Supreme Court had no constitutional authority to legalize abortion (which is why the ruling in Roe v. Wade could only come about through an exercise of legal gymnastics); the federal Legislature has no constitutional authority to regulate abortion in the states; and the federal Executive has no constitutional authority to regulate abortion in the states.

The only way that abortion could become a federal issue is if the states went through the process of amending the Constitution to ban abortions in all the states. This is a move any pro-lifer could heartily support, because it would be following a legitimate process delineated in the Constitution.

Short of a constitutional amendment, abortion must remain a state issue, where each state is free to pass laws regulating abortion as its constituents see fit. This is where faithful Catholics need to be present in large numbers at the ballot box, making sure their representatives pass laws protecting life, else they'll be voted out in favor of someone more friendly to the unborn.

Odd Historical Question

Can a baby be validly baptized with beer?

Canterbury Tales provides the answer.

Vatican Dress Code for All Churches?

St. Peter's Basilica will refuse you entry if you're wearing:

-Shorts/skirts above the knee
-Sleeveless shirts
-Shirts exposing the navel
-Shirts for women that expose cleavage.

As it should. Ashley McGuire wonders why all Catholic churches couldn't adopt the same dress code, considering the atrocious way many come to the Holy Sacrifice these days. And the dress code, by the way, applies to all; Supreme Court justices and other famous public figures have been turned away at the door for violating the code.

On a related note, I was at a local parish waiting in line for confession, and it so happened that a funeral Mass was being held there at that time. I was amazed at the way the young women were dressed: short, clingy skirts, 9-inch heels, cleavage, etc. They looked like they were on their way to a nightclub. Even as a woman I nearly blushed and had to look away, nevermind the poor Catholic men, surrounded on all sides by this spectacle. Women demand to be treated with dignity, yet they walk around looking like high-class prostitutes. And as Catholic women, we ought to be helping Catholic men in their daily struggles to be chaste, but too often--out of cluelessness or carelessness--we make it much harder on them.
Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God, the angels, and the saints--they are your public.

--St. Jean Vianney

20 October 2011

Update from El Paso

On Fr. Michael Rodriguez, banished from his parish because he spoke out against the homosexual lifestyle, and the faithful who are now left without a reverent Traditional Latin Mass:

Halloween Haunted House

I like this.

Instead of the mindless spookiness and thrills of your run-of-the-mill haunted houses this time of year, Fr. Z recommends creating a haunted house based on Dante's Inferno. Frightening enough, and might move a few souls to repentance and conversion.

Fr. Jenkins: Bundle of Contradictions

In a laudable move, the president of Notre Dame University joined with the USCCB in protesting the Obama administration's proposed regulation to force Catholic institutions to provide contraception and abortifacients. Notre Dame and Catholic University of America were the only two major Catholic universities, out of 225 in America, that publicly objected to this rule. This is likely because many of these other so-called Catholic colleges were already offering contraceptive services to students.

One would think that, after seeing how aggressively Obama has proposed anti-Catholic initiatives, Fr. Jenkins would regret his decision to confer an honorary degree on the man in 2009 (an honorary degree from the law school from which I graduated, to its eternal shame). One would think.

Not so. He sticks by his original decision, says he would do it again, and naïvely claims the event “had influenced the President for the better.”

This would be funny if it weren't so sad.

This is the same president who appointed Obama supporter Nell Jessup Newton to be new dean at the law school in July of 2009. Newton contributed $2300 to Obama's campaign in 2007, and $500 to John Kerry in 2004.

19 October 2011

Martyrdom of St. Jean de Brebeuf

Fastened to stakes and summarily subjected to brutal torture the two blackrobes now faced their moment of martyrdom, and it had come suddenly and without warning.

Brebeuf was assailed with blows to his head, face, shoulders, loins and legs. Yet all he thought of was his beloved Hurons now fellow captives. "My children," he said to them, "let us lift our eyes to heaven at the height of our afflictions; let us remember that God is the witness of our sufferings, and will soon be our exceeding great reward. Let us die in this faith; and let us hope from his goodness the fulfillment of his promises. I have more pity for you than for myself; but sustain with courage the few remaining torments. They will end with our lives. The glory which follows them will never have an end."

"Echon," these said to him, "our spirits will be in heaven when our bodies shall be suffering on earth. Pray to God for us, that he may show us mercy. We will invoke him even until death."

For the next few hours it was torture by fire, necklaces of red-hot hatchets, burning-coals, mutilation, mock baptism with boiling water and scalping. "Father Jean de Brebeuf," writes his friend Paul Ragueneau, "suffered like a rock, insensible to the fires and the flames, with-out uttering any cry, and keeping a profound silence, which astonished his executioners themselves. No doubt, his heart was then reposing in his God. Then, returning to himself, he preached to those infidels, and still more to many Christian captives, who had compassion on him."

Death came for this stalwart blackrobe about four p.m., on that March 16, 1649. He who could be described as an apostle, a brave adventurer, a skilled writer, a careful ethnologist, a man of vision had now become a martyr. His goodness was legendary with all who had known him - Champlain, his Jesuit brethren who loved and admired him, Mere Marie de l'Incarnation and thousands of unknown Hurons.

18 October 2011

Occupy Wall Street in Rome

17 October 2011

More Cheerful News for the World

From St. Leonard of Port-Maurice's sermon:
Saint Vincent Ferrer relates that an archdeacon in Lyons gave up his charge and retreated into a desert place to do penance, and that he died the same day and hour as Saint Bernard. After his death, he appeared to his bishop and said to him, "Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell."
Five saved out of 33,000.

"Many souls go to hell, because there is none to sacrifice and pray for them."--Our Lady of Fatima

16 October 2011

Oh, I like this

Robert Downey, Jr. on his friend Mel Gibson, before a packed audience at the 25th annual American Cinematheque Award:
I asked Mel to present this award for me for a reason. When I couldn’t get sober, he told me not to give up hope and encouraged me to find my faith. It didn’t have to be his or anyone else’s as long as it was rooted in forgiveness. And I couldn’t get hired, so he cast me in the lead of a movie that was actually developed for him. He kept a roof over my head and food on the table and most importantly he said if I accepted responsibility for my wrongdoing and embraced that part of my soul that was ugly – hugging the cactus he calls it — he said that if I hugged the cactus long enough, I’d become a man.

I would ask that you join me, unless you are completely without sin in which case you picked the wrong f—ing industry, in forgiving my friend his trespasses and offering him the same clean slate you have me, allowing him to continue his great and ongoing contribution to our collective art without shame. He’s hugged the cactus long enough.
Followed by much applause and a visibly tearful Mel...

15 October 2011

Petition to Holy Father

Msgr. Brunero Gherardini (Canon of St. Peter's Basilica), Msgr. Antonio Livi (Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University), along with 47 other clerics and laymen, have publicly requested that Pope Benedict re-examine Vatican II.
For the good of the Church—and more especially to bring about the salvation of souls, which is her first and highest law (cf. the 1983 CIC, canon 1752)—after decades of liberal exegetical, theological, historiographical and “pastoral” creativity in the name of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, it seemed urgent to me that some clarity be created by answering authoritatively the question about the continuity of this Council with the other Councils (this time not simply by declaring it so but by proposing a genuine demonstration), the question about its fidelity to the Tradition of the Church....

A Pet Peeve...

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion giving blessings as if they were priests.

This article gives various reasons why it's a bad idea, among them:
A 1997 instruction, Ecclesia de Mysterio, on the collaboration of the lay faithful further indicates that the laity should never say prayers or perform actions during the Mass which are proper to the priest, as this may lead to a confusion of roles. Since the blessing of the congregation during Mass is reserved to the priest, lay persons must avoid doing so.
If you attend a Traditional Latin Mass, of course, this problem is avoided altogether...

14 October 2011

We don't need your stinkin' money anyway...

The Obama administration has denied federal grant money to the USCCB's Migration and Refugee Services because the organization refuses to offer referrals to contraceptive and abortion services.

The USCCB is apparently rather upset about all this, but I say, good. Federal grants always come with strings attached, and we already know the Obama administration is evil. Better for the Church to wean herself from dependence on the government and start turning to her own resources, and never more worry about being muzzled by this administration's nonsense.

12 October 2011

CCHD's Defense: Without Substance

Stephanie Block responds to CCHD's defense against what it calls American Life League's "ideological attack" on its grant-giving practices.

Eve Ensler's Incoherent Contribution

Speaking on the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, authoress of The Vagina Monologues says:
It is a spontaneous uprising that has been building for years in our collective unconscious. It is a gorgeous, mischievous moment that has arrived and is spreading. It is a speaking out, coming out, dancing out. It is an experiment and a disruption.
Apparently, the sit-in has produced a new form of communication:
There are certain hand signals that are used in the group to signify response. My favorite is the signal for agreement, or something you like a lot .

People lift their hands and wiggle their fingers. This has come to be called Upsparkles.
Upsparkles. Really.

For fear of losing further brain cells, I'll stop now.

11 October 2011

Diocese of Madison Realizes Something

It's about six years late, but better late than never, I suppose.
[T]he widespread American practice of offering both species at most Sunday Masses began here under an indult (special permission) given by the Vatican in 1975, which expired in 2005.

Almost no one realized that until very recently. Maybe we can be forgiven for forgetting that we were operating under a temporary indult. After thirty years, something can seem pretty permanent. But it wasn’t. The bishops of our country did apply for an extension of the 1975 indult, but that was denied.

So, all over the United States, we now find ourselves needing to bring our practice into conformity with current regulations (and with the rest of the world.
Ok. Two dioceses so far (Phoenix, AZ and Madison, WI) are in line. And the other 192?

09 October 2011

Let us think for a moment of how much God was glorified when the blessed one among women was changing the diapers of the King of the Universe. Great theologians would agree that angels in heaven had reason to envy her task.

--Alice von Hildebrand, Man and Woman: A Divine Intervention

Think, too, how God was glorified when the King of the Universe allowed his diapers to be changed...

The Bottom Line

Lest we forget our purpose as Catholics:
Many souls go to hell because there is none to pray and sacrifice for them.--Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady showed a vision to the shepherd children, who watched as souls fell into hell "like snowflakes." This is what St. Teresa of Avila saw herself: I saw souls falling into hell like snowflakes.

Why the large number of condemned? Our Lady of Fatima said,
More souls go to Hell because of the sins of the flesh than for any other reason.
It is little wonder so many are condemned; does not the great majority of mankind give way to impurity, whether it be through sex outside of marriage, use of contraception within marriage, pornography, or lustful thoughts? Our Lord said, "But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart." A hard teaching! But nonetheless true--and those who ignore it do so at their peril.

If our lives are not geared toward this one goal of saving souls--whether in work, prayer, or leisure--then we simply don't understand our purpose, nor do we understand its urgency. Many souls go to hell because there is none to pray and sacrifice for them.

Our time is not our own; our lives do not belong to us. "[Y]ou are not your own... For you are bought with a great price."--1 Cor. 6:19-20

This places a tremendous burden on us--on you, dear reader--because Our Lady makes very clear that it is for lack of people willing to pray and sacrifice for souls that they go to hell. Yes, salvation of souls very much depends on you--yes, you, sitting there at your computer, reading this post.

Mother Teresa said,
When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.
And what of souls starved of spiritual nourishment, who die cut off from God because you or I failed to act?

Yes, the salvation of other souls very much depends on you. Don't think for a moment we will not have to give an account of our time spent--either on self or on others--when we stand before God.

It's easy enough to dismiss the atheist, the feminist, or the heterodox priest with a smirk--I've seen plenty of my Catholic friends do it. But if we fail to pray for these lost souls, then we do Our Lord no favors, who "desires that none should perish but that all should have eternal life."

The gift of your Catholic faith--and what a profound gift it is--is not given to you to keep for yourself. There is a whole world out there wallowing in misery and sin that needs (whether it knows it or not, wants it or not) the truth that you are already blessed to have. The gift of your Catholic faith is not meant to be kept solely for your family, or for your little circle of friends--it is meant for everybody. Everybody.

And please let's not comfort ourselves with the false notion that the most people will go to heaven. That thought has become popular in the past 50 years, but it doesn't reflect the truth. The truth is quite the opposite, as said by Our Lord and echoed by the saints: very few will be saved.
Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.--St. Luke 13:23-24

How narrow is the gate and how straight is the way that leads to life, and few there are that find it!--St. Matthew 7:13-14

A multitude of souls fall into the depths of Hell, and it is of the faith that all who die in mortal sin are condemned for ever and ever. According to statistics, approximately 80,000 persons die every day. How many of these will die in mortal sin, and how many will be condemned!--St. Anthony Mary Claret

Many are the grains of wheat, but compared with the chaff, the grains are few.--St. Augustine

[O]n the threshing floor few are the grains carried into the barns, but high are the piles of chaff burned with fire.--Pope St. Gregory the Great
There is no prayer or sacrifice--no matter how small or brief--that Our Lord will not take into account on behalf of a soul. St. Thérèse said that the mere act of picking up a pin--if done for love of God--can save a soul. Rather than feeling overwhelmed at what little you can do, consider the great good you can do to some soul--made known to you only once you are in heaven--by the least prayer or sacrificial act.

07 October 2011

A Silent Backlash?

Fr. Raven asks prayers for three orthodox priests who are getting resistance from their less-than-orthodox superiors.
In all three cases these men are being isolated by what seems to be a silent backlash which knows that it can't openly dispute the current good things that are being promoted but do know that they have the means to at least limit the amount of priests that will actively promote them. [T]hese unknown 'little' men are just quiet 'plodders' getting on with the day to day business of being a priest. They are vulnerable, few will know that they are in difficulties, and they face a very uncertain future palmed off as 'unsuitable' by the use of under hand tactics.
This goes on far more often than most realize.

Catholic Blogging: A Criminal Offense?

Fr. Tim Finigan discusses why some church officials want to make blogging a serious criminal offense.
When bloggers can access the text of documents from the Holy See and compare them to what is actually happening on the ground, it must be difficult if you are trying to gloss over the Church's teaching and discipline and carry on as normal.
He then offers some points each blogger should consider before posting:
Do I promote:

-Loyalty to the Church
-Good information on the faith
-Growth in the faith

Do I fall into:

-Lack of charity
-Rash judgment
-Misuse of time
Worthy questions all.


06 October 2011

Our Lady Intervenes on Behalf of Priest

Beautiful story told by Fr. Stephen Scheier.

What Protestants have lost in rejecting Mary!

05 October 2011

Be at peace and put aside all anxiety. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

--St. Francis de Sales

7 Prayers that God Always Says No to

Acts of the Apostasy has compiled a list.

Notice the poor priest in the background looking on in bafflement.

Three English Martyrs

Father William Hartley, Father John Hewitt, and Robert Sutton were martyred in London today in 1588.

Fr. Hartley took refuge in the house of Lady Stonor, of the great recusant family of South Oxfordshire, which had also welcomed, among others, St. Edmund Campion. When Lady Stonor was arrested in 1581, she offered the following stirring defense of her faith:
I was born in such a time when Holy Mass was in great reverence and was brought up in the same faith. In King Edward's time this reverence was neglected and reproved by such as governed. In Queen Mary's it was restored with much applause, and now in this time it pleaseth the State to question them, as now they do me, who continue in the Catholic profession. The State would have the several changes, which I have seen with mine eyes, good and laudable. Whether it can be so I refer to your Lordships' consideration. I hold me still to that wherein I was born and bred, and find nothing taught in it but great virtue and sanctity, and so by the grace of God I will live and die in it.

04 October 2011

USCCB Re-releases Faithful Citizenship

As election time approaches, the USCCB makes its own contribution. Phil Lawler comments:
My eyes glazed over when I first tried to read the entire 44-page text of Faithful Citizenship, when it first appeared on the scene in the fall of 2007. In their instructions to voters, the bishops dutifully call for opposition to abortion. But they mix that admonition with so many other considerations that the overall effect is weak. Faithful Citizenship does not draw the necessary, clear distinction between the issues on which good Catholics might disagree (such as economic policy) and those that are non-negotiable (such as abortion)—not to mention the distinction between issues on which prudent compromise is wise (economics again) and those on which compromise is odious (abortion again).
Cardinal Raymond Burke believed "the lack of clear moral guidance" in Faithful Citizenship helped secure the Catholic vote in favor of Obama.

Now that Catholics who voted for him have seen exactly what sort of agenda the Obama administration pushes, will they vote for him again?
That feminism should have originated in Protestant countries is to be explained by the fact that they have lost a precious pearl: the devotion to the Mother of the Savior. Sigrid Undset remarks that this terrible loss has the inevitable consequence that women, having lost their role model, will inevitably lose the particular dignity of the feminine. A similar thought is mentioned by John Saward (now Father Saward). He writes, "I suspect that the reason why the Protestant denominations have been so vulnerable to the taunts of feminism is that their religion refuses to acknowledge the unique role of woman, of the Woman, of our Lady, in the drama of redemption." It is in turning to her that we shall find a holy salve that will heal the festering wound of impurity.

The virtue of purity, today either ignored or trampled upon, is rooted in a trembling reverence before a mystery clearly related to God. It is to live in God's presence.... It is living in front of Him, rejoicing that He sees us, and grateful that He sees every single thought that we have, every single wish that arises in our hearts, and every single difficulty that we have in our ascent up the holy mountain. He who lives in this consciousness cannot possibly nurture impure thoughts, let alone commit impure acts. What an abyss yawns between any impure act that necessarily tries to "hide" and takes place in darkness, and the reverent, grateful self-donation of the spouses in front of Him Who has permitted them to give themselves to each other.

--Alice von Hildebrand, Man and Woman: A Divine Invention

New Report on CCHD: Disappointing

In 2010, in the hope of reforming the USCCB's Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Reform CCHD Now coalition sent a report to every U.S. bishop detailing the pro-choice, pro-homosexual, pro-Marxist organizations that have received grants from the CCHD. In spite of the USCCB's promise to remove dissenting organizations from among its grantees, the latest report shows that the number of dissenting organizations has increased from 21% to 24%.
These 54 organizations received a total of $1,863,000 of the $7,608,000 distributed in CCHD grants in 2010-2011.
Yes, that's your money, friends--the money you put in the collection plate whenever the CCHD makes its annual appeal (which is slated for next month).

CCHD guidelines require that “no grantee may participate in or promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Church.” In spite of this, in the past year, the CCHD has given money to the following groups, among others:
NYC AIDS Housing Network ($30,000) –Distributes condoms and promoted Transgender Day of Remembrance

Southwest Organizing Project ($45,000) –Lead agency for a contraception promoting sex education program

DesisRising Up and Moving (DRUM)($35,000) –Promoted Transgender Day of Remembrance and received grant money specifically for LGBT activism

United Workers Association ($50,000) –Joined a coalition that supports same-sex marriage

Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center($28,000) –Promoted pro-abortion National Organization for Women and pro-homosexual P-FLAG on its website
The list is much longer; to view the complete list, read the 2011 report here.

The CCHD has offered its response to what it calls "attacks". The problem is that the CCHD's defense is vague and makes assertions without substantiating its claims; the CCHD basically argues that the allegedly dissenting organizations are not really in dissent--in spite of explicit language on these organizations' websites that claim they support, sponsor, or partner with groups that promote things contrary to Catholic teaching. It would be helpful, for instance, if the CCHD offered a point-by-point refutation of the very thorough RCN report, detailing how it is that, say, the Michigan Organizing Project--which has received thousands upon thousands of dollars for pro-homosexual activism--does not dissent from Catholic teaching. Until it does, the CCHD's protests ring hollow.

And here's this helpful little tidbit from the social justice arm of the USCCB:
CCHD relies far more on the experience and judgment of the local bishop and diocese than on the accusations of those with a long record of attacking the USCCB and bishops to advance their own ideological and ecclesial agendas.
And what if the local bishop is little concerned that the organization dissents from Catholic teaching? (It has been known to happen...)

Exactly what "ideological and ecclesial agendas" does the CCHD refer to here? The agenda that the Church only fund organizations faithful to Catholic doctrine?

And people wonder why there is so much anger at the bishops...

If you'd like to write a letter telling the CCHD you will not be contributing to them until they genuinely reform their ways, you can do so here:



1943: On the Health & Happiness of Baby

Fr. Rutler's continuing series on World War II, where the practices of Dr. Josef Mengele are contrasted with those of wartime England.

03 October 2011

How far have we come in the negotiations with the Society of St. Pius X?

Gloria.tv has the transcript of an interview with Secretary of Ecclesia Dei Msgr. Pozzo. An excerpt:
Why is it worthwhile to promote the Latin Mass?

Because the ancient rite of the Mass makes explicit and highlights certain values and certain fundamental aspects of the liturgy that deserve to be maintained, and I am not speaking only about the Latin or Gregorian chant, I am speaking about the sense of mystery, of the sacred, the sense of the Mass as a sacrifice, the real and substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the fact that there are great moments of interior recollection, interior participation in the divine liturgy. All these are fundamental elements which are particularly highlighted in the ancient rite of the Mass. I am not saying that these elements do not exist in the Mass of Paul VI's reform, but I am saying that they are highlighted much more and this can enrich even those who celebrate or participate in the ordinary form of the Mass.

Mangy Donkey

In honor of the Feast of the Guardian Angels, Linen on the Hedgerow has a nice story about the life-saving intervention of one priest's guardian angel.
As he approached the Cathedral steps he noticed a sinister looking man walking purposefully towards him across the piazza. The man’s hand was going towards an inside coat pocket, very obviously going for a gun; if ever there was an assassin in the making, this man was the one.

As the priest frantically looked about him for routes of escape he saw a large thuggish looking man moving swiftly to head off the assassin.
Read the rest here.

Pope Reveals Why He'll Attend Assisi

In a letter written to a Lutheran minister who had expressed concerns over the upcoming Assisi gathering, the Holy Father offered this response:
I understand quite well your concern regarding the participation at the Assisi meeting. However, this commemoration would have to have been celebrated in some way and, all things considered, it seemed to me that the best thing would be for me to personally go there being thus able to determine the direction of it all. I will nevertheless do everything in order that a syncretistic or relativistic interpretation of the event will be impossible and so that what will remain is that I will always believe and confess that which I had called to the attention of the Church with [the Declaration] 'Dominus Iesus'.
(emphasis added)

America Magazine's Campaign to Save Altar Girls

I'm not linking to the article. If you want to find it, google it, but be warned: reading it will cause loss of brain cells.

Case in point--this is one of the most doltish things I've ever read:
These moves to limit laywomen’s access to the altar threaten to drag the church back into the pre-Vatican II world. [And what's so wrong with that, praytell? -ed.] One wonders if next the altar rail will return, another barrier between the priests and the people.
(emphasis added)

The Resilient French Church

Let us not forget that the French Church has had all its property confiscated and its religious orders exiled not once but twice, the second time by the government of Émile Combes. And yet, despite these efforts, which seemed pretty successful at the time, the French Church keeps on coming back. Now why is that?
Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith answers.

For background on the 1905 French law of separation of Church and State and its wideranging effects on Church property, priests, and religious, see this. Pope St. Pius X issued the encyclical Vehementer Nos in response to the law, condemning it as most pernicious:
Our soul is full of sorrowful solicitude and Our heart overflows with grief, when Our thoughts dwell upon you. How, indeed, could it be otherwise, immediately after the promulgation of that law which, by sundering violently the old ties that linked your nation with the Apostolic See, creates for the Catholic Church in France a situation unworthy of her and ever to be lamented?

Anti-Christian Censorship & New Media

According to Fr. John Flynn, LC, the biggest offenders are Apple and Google, although Facebook has been guilty of anti-religious bigotry as well.

[T]he only apps that Apple has blocked due to the views expressed in them are ones that reflect Christian views, according to the report.

In November of 2010, Apple revoked its approval of the Manhattan Declaration App. This declaration was a statement of Christian beliefs about marriage, the sanctity of life and religious liberty. The reason given was that one of the points in the declaration was that homosexual conduct is immoral and this, in Apple's view, was offensive.

Later, in March 2011, Apple also censored the app for Exodus International, a Christian ministry that helps people to leave the homosexual lifestyle. Once again Apple declared that this was offensive and violated its guidelines.

Then, in July 2011, Apple pulled iTunes out of the Christian Values Network, a portal that contributes funds to charities. The report said that this action was caused by complaints that some of the charities had policies critical of homosexual rights initiatives.

[Apple's] guidelines on religion define [that] content should be prohibited if it is "offensive, mean-spirited" or if it contains material that has "abuse," or is "inappropriate" or "unacceptable." Using such fuzzy terms means that Apple has very wide discretion to determine which religious ideas they prefer and which they will censor, the report pointed out.

There is no doubt, the report concluded, that Apple's policies on religious content would be found "extraordinarily wanting" if they were matched up against the standards for free speech that the Supreme Court has established under the First Amendment.


Turning to Google the report noted that it refused to place a Christian pro-life advertisement from the Christian Institute on its search engine. The ad was refused on the grounds that Google's "policy did not permit the advertisement of Web sites that contain abortion and religion-related content."

The Christian Institute then took Google to court and as a result the ad was allowed and Google changed its policy to allow ads on abortion from religious groups so long as they are framed in a factual way.

Google's policy is still, however, to block any ad on abortion that contains the phrase "abortion is murder," as this is deemed to be "gruesome."

Another problem outlined by the report related to Google's guidelines for its Web tools available for non-profit groups. The free or discounted use of these tools is not allowed for churches, faith groups, or organizations that take religion or sexual orientation into account in hiring employees. According to the report Christian churches who have applied to Google for non-profit status are being rejected.
You can read the rest of the article here.