Archive for the ‘Catholic Church’ Category

Lacrimosa – Day of Tears
July 11, 2010

From Zbigniew Preisner’s Requiem for my friend

Lacrimosa die illa

Qua resurget ex favilla

Judicandus homo reus

Huic ergo parce, Deus

Pie Jesu Domine

Dona eis requiem.

Translation:

Ah! That day of tears and mourning!

From the dust of earth returning

Man for judgment must prepare him

Spare, oh God, in mercy spare him!

Lord, all pitying, Jesu blest

Grant them Thine eternal rest.

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Help Haitian Earthquake Victims
January 13, 2010

 

Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours

Patronne de Haïti

Priez pour vos enfants Hatian.

Please donate to Catholic Relief Services here.

A Holocaust Survivor Learns to Forgive
January 4, 2010

No, not that Holocaust; rather, the one that occurred in Rwanda in 1994. The Rwandan Holocaust lasted only 91 days, but claimed almost a million lives. This is the story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, a young Tutsi woman, who survived the genocide perpetrated by the Hutu tribe by hiding for 91 days in a bathroom with 7 other women. This is one of the most moving stories you’ll ever hear, and one that could have ripple effects throughout the entire world – if only we would listen.

Immaculée was a college student in April 1994 who was home for Easter vacation when the plane carrying the (Hutu) President of Rwanda was shot down. Immediately the Hutus sought revenge against their Tutsi neighbors, most of whom they had lived with and been friends with for years. The Hutus comprised about 80% of the population and the Tutsis about 20%, but the Tutsis were the better educated of the two tribes and had good jobs and standards of living. (This is more likely the real cause of the genocide: envy.) Immaculée’s parents were both teachers, well-respected in their village, and had always been helpful and kind to their Hutu neighbors. But there would be no mercy for them when the Hutus stormed their home.

As Immaculée describes in her book, Left to Tell (read 421 Amazon customer comments, average 5 star rating), when the genocide began, her parents ordered her to run to a minister’s house 3 miles away and ask him for protection. Immaculée’s parents, two brothers, and grandparents were all slaughtered by the Hutus. One brother survived because he was studying outside the country. The minister who sheltered Immaculée (and 7 other Tutsi women) in a 3′ by 4′ bathroom for 91 days was not only a Hutu, but also a Protestant minister (Immaculée and her family are Catholics).

This calls to mind the parable of the Good Samaritan, where we are called to assist our neighbor in trouble, regardless of tribal, religious or ethnic affiliation. If the minister had been caught harboring Tutsis, both he and his family, along with the 8 Tutsi women, would have all been killed.

This is not only a story of survival amidst unspeakable horror, it’s also an inspiring story of faith, love, and forgiveness. In her book, Led by Faith: Rising From the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide, Immaculée describes how she was spiritually transformed during those 91 days of terror by turning to her faith in God and meditating on the words of the Lord’s Prayer:

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

For me, this is the most amazing part of the story. Immaculée later sought out the man who had killed her family and offered him her forgiveness. She asked him why he had done it, and he replied that they had all been promised banana plantations and riches if they would slaughter all the Tutsis. Instead, he ended up spending 11 years in prison, and lost everything he had. Immaculée is now married with 2 children, is a motivational speaker, and the author of 4 books on the genocide. She has appeared on CNN, 60 Minutes, EWTN, and many other forums. Always her message is of forgiveness and reconciliation.

This brings to mind other survivors of Holocausts and the very different ways they have reacted. Without mentioning any names, there are those who still live on the bitterness and hatred, and who pass that sentiment onto their descendants. Regardless of whether the most famous Holocaust happened as has been purported, there were human rights abuses committed during World War II, and millions of people were killed – not only those of a certain group. The tens of millions of Russians who were worked, frozen and shot to death by the Communists have never gotten justice. Their story has rarely ever been told and most in the West have no idea it even happened. Some Holocausts are more equal than others.

We have all been victims of injustice, either as individuals or as groups, in one form or another. But perpetuating the hatred only leads to more violence, and on and on it goes. I hope the story of Immaculée’s survival, and her message of forgiveness, will inspire people to forgive those who have trespassed against them – and to work for peace on earth. Forgiveness does not mean no justice, it just means you don’t continue the cycle of violence. Peace.

[Read her blog here.]

Sister/Doctor Teresa Forcades Warns Against Flu Vaccine
November 8, 2009

Sister Teresa Forcades is a Benedictine nun who also happens to be a physician specializing in internal medicine. She also has a Ph.D. in Public Health as well as a degree in theology from Harvard. So she’s obviously an extremely intelligent and well-educated woman, highly qualified to speak out against a medical crime against humanity. She herself admits that if she were still practicing medicine in a hospital setting (in other words, for money) she might not be brave enough to speak out against the medical/pharmaceutical cartel. But as a nun, she has no personal stake in maintaining the status quo (in other words, money) and can use her medical knowledge as a spiritual work of mercy. I think it’s of paramount importance that anyone considering getting the flu vaccine listen to what Sister (Doctor) Teresa has to say. As she says in the video “money cannot buy health or life.”

Sister Teresa explains that in February 2009, the pharmaceutical giant Baxter sent 72 kg. of the seasonal flu vaccine to 16 labs in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Germany to be distributed to the populations in the next two months. But thanks to the scrupulosity of one Czech hero who worked as a lab techician, an evil, genocidal plan was uncovered. This Czech lab tech decided to run a test on the vaccine material received from Baxter by injecting the material into ferrets in the lab. All the ferrets died from the vaccine.

Only then was it discovered that live Avian (Bird) flu virus was mixed in with the seasonal flu vaccine sent from Baxter pharmaceutical. This would have had the effect of creating a new virus by recombining the seasonal flu virus with the Avian flu which would have produced a highly contagious, highly lethal vaccine. Once this vaccine was innoculated in the general public, being both highly contagious and highly lethal, well, you get the picture. Only due to the extra efforts of a single Czech lab tech, was a catastrophe of epic proportions averted. Sister Teresa asks why this explosive news was not covered by the media or the politicians. By the way, she says that it is virtually impossible that this was an accident, given the extremely high standards employed in laboratories, and for 2 virii to be found mixed together like that is just inconceivable as an accident. It was a deliberate contamination of vaccines that were to be administered to the general public.  She even says that one must assume malicious intent, given the series of extraordinary coincidences which would have been necessary for this to have been an accident.

Are you getting the picture? They had the vaccines all set to be shot into people’s arms, but a single Czech lab tech literally saved the world. Their nefarious plan was foiled. But the next “irregularity” she notes is that the World Health Organization (WHO) has changed the definition of a pandemic from a highly contagious infectious disease present in multiple countries with a high mortality rate, to just an infectious disease present in multiple countries. In other words, if only a few people in several countries have the same virus or symptoms (since they’re no longer verifying in labs whether patients even have the A-H1N1 virus anymore), then it’s a pandemic even if relatively few people are dying. Why is this significant? Because, says Sister Teresa, the WHO changed their regulations in 2005 stating that in the case of a global pandemic, the WHO can override national sovereignty and order countries to take certain measures with their populations. Dr. Margaret Chan, head of the WHO, declared in June that the swine flu is now a pandemic – even though hardly anyone has died. The WHO is an arm of the United Nations. So it appears that they’ve decided to go ahead with the “global pandemic” scenario anyway, the way they had planned it when they thought the lethal vaccines were going to be administered. More on this later. (more…)

Is the Pope Pro-Life?
May 17, 2009

pope in israelThat used to be as redundant as asking if the Pope was Catholic. Unfortunately, over the past 40 years since the Vatican II Revolution, many faithful Catholics have been asking themselves precisely those two questions. Of course, being Catholic and being pro-life used to be redundant. At the risk of enraging those Catholics who think the Pope can do no wrong, the Holy Father’s actions (or lack thereof) with regard to Notre Dame and Gaza leave many wondering just how pro-life Pope Benedict XVI really is.

It’s bad enough that His Holiness just gave a papal imprimatur to Israeli war criminals flush from dropping white phosphorus on Palestinian children; but the silence coming from Rome over the controversy at Notre Dame is truly deafening. I’m sorry papalolotors, but the buck stops at the top. The president of the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame means “Our Lady”) serves at the Pope’s pleasure, as do all the bishops around the world. One stroke of the pen and they’re removed from their posts and off to a monastery. So the fact that Father John Jenkins is gloatingly snubbing his nose at Rome and pro-lifers across the country by inviting the King of Abortion, President Barack Obama, to Notre Dame must meet with the Pope’s tacit approval. The Pope has near absolute power in the Church. So if he doesn’t use it, it must be because he doesn’t want to. If there’s another way of looking at it, please enlighten me.

When even the liberal Washington Post and Time Magazine criticize the Pope for his contradictory behavior in allowing pro-abortion policiticans to receive communion, you know we’ve got a problem. He did the same thing last year when he came to the United States and allowed pro-abortion “Catholic” politicans to receive communion at his papal Masses. I’m sure we all remember that great photo-op he gave the hideous Nancy Pelosi when she was snapped kissing his ring, as he beamed at her. She recently had a private audience with the Pope (no photos allowed – at least he learned that lesson), and lo and behold, she remains un-excommunicated. Then His Holiness failed to mention abortion in his speech to the United Nations (that purveyer of third world abortion) which even John Paul II did not fail to do. I never thought I’d find myself longing for the days of John Paul II, who despite his hostility to Tradition, was at least staunchly and vociferously pro-life.

Of course, those same liberal rags mentioned above, along with the rest of the anti-Catholic media, just had a field day picking apart the Pope’s words and actions in Israel. He apparently didn’t bow low enough before his Zionist masters. He used the word “killed” instead of “murdered.” And worst of all, the Pope didn’t impute collective blame to the German people as a whole or on the Catholic Church for the Holocaust. And last but not least, we were reminded ad nauseum that he was in the dreaded “Hitler Youth” as a child. [It’s interesting that Jews (rightly) reject collective blame for the Crucifixion, yet every German man, woman, and child, even those born after World War II, is somehow collectively responsible for the Holocaust.] That old photo of the young Joseph Ratzinger in his Hilter Youth uniform was dusted off and rubbed in all our faces over the past week; but to me, that photo just makes them look weak and vindictive. The Pope looked like he was about 8 years old in that photo, and the expression on his face shows that he wasn’t exactly thrilled. But anyway, how many of these liberal hacks (or their parents) were card-carrying Commies whose first pair of diapers were red? Did I mention that Communists were responsible for the Holocaust of tens of millions of Christians in the Soviet Union? Ah, but some Holocausts are more equal than others. Hypocritically, the Holocaust of unborn babies isn’t a crime to them.

What a kick in the teeth Pope Benedict’s silence is to the many pro-lifers who are right now being arrested at Notre Dame and will now have criminal records. Including an 80 year old priest who was arrested, roughed up, and dragged away by police like a sack of potatoes. They walk the walk, while the Pope talks the talk. Actually, he barely even does that. I’m sure my fellow Catholics want to crucify me right now for daring to criticize the Pope, but ask yourselves: am I lying? You know I’m not. St. Paul loved the Pope (St. Peter) and the Truth enough to admonish him for the sake of souls. I love the Pope enough to demand that he protect his flock. Who really cares more about the Pope: Those who insist that he do his job and punish those who promote what the Church considers an instrinic evil? Or those who enable him to shirk his responsibility? The Holy Father will be judged more harshly than any of the rest of us when he meets his maker. To whom more is given, more is expected. And as it stands now, he’ll have a lot to answer for in terms of sins of omission.

gaza25While in Israel the Pope dutifully mentioned the Shoah at every turn, and lamented Jewish suffering under Hitler’s regime. Fine. It is a valid point. Jews were singled out and died in massive numbers and that was a crime against humanity. Regardless of the controversy over how many Jews actually died during World War II, there is no doubt that the insanity of Hitler’s pagan (not Catholic) ideology of racial supremacism really was an atrocity and no decent person denies that. Granted. But what about the Shoah the Israelis have been perpetrating against the Palestinians for the past 60 years? How does the fact that they were victims of the Nazis justify them turning Nazi on the Palestinians? Does the Pope not notice this double standard? It’s not enough that the Pope visited a Palestinian refugee camp and stated that they deserved their own homeland, if he doesn’t mention how they came to be refuguees in the first place. They had their own homeland. It was called Palestine. It’s now called Israel. How did that come to be? The fact that the Pope also failed to mention the recent Israeli excursion into Gaza which killed at least 1,400 civilians, mostly women and children, does make one question his pro-life bona fides. What would Jesus say?

gaza45If the Pope really is pro-life, and I’m sure in his heart of hearts he is, it’s time for him to speak out unequivocally. It’s time for him to use his unlimited power to restore order in the Church, and he can begin by sacking Father Jenkins. If it costs him his life for speaking out against abortion and Israeli atrocities, then so be it. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. But so far, he’s been allowing his most vulnerable sheep to be slaughtered, and giving a free pass to their butchers. That doesn’t bode well for him on Judgment Day. In fact, taking a bullet for his sheep may be the only way he earns a ticket to heaven if he continues at this rate. 

I love the Holy Father. I appreciate his gestures toward Tradition, and I believe that he means well and loves his Church.

But I’m sorry, that’s just not good enough. The souls of aborted babies and incinerated Palestinian children cry out to heaven for justice. And they will be heard.

Prayer of St. Francis by Sarah McLachlan
April 30, 2009

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
February 24, 2009

 

O God who, among the many marvels of Your Grace in the New World, did cause to blossom on the banks of the Mohawk and of the St. Lawrence, the pure and tender Lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, grant we beseech You, the favor we beg through her intercession; that this Young Lover of Jesus and of His Cross may soon be counted among her Saints by Holy Mother Church, and that our hearts may be enkindled with a stronger desire to imitate her innocence and faith. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.  –   Imprimatur: Most Rev. Bernard Hubert, Bishop of Saint Jean de Québec  

 

My Favorite Movie: Black Robe
February 15, 2009

 blackrobe

Black Robe is a rare cinematic gem, a true artistic treasure. It’s the story of a young French priest who goes off to New France to bring the Catholic Faith to the Native peoples, the harshships he endures, and the cultural clashes between the two. Even if the film did not have a Catholic theme I would probably still have loved it. It would be worth watching for the beautiful cinematography alone, as well as the accurate portrayal of the Native American people. Not to mention the overall Frenchiness of  the film, which appeals to me as a francophile.

 The film is based on the novel of the same name by Brian Moore, an Irish “ex-Catholic” (the worst kind of anti-Catholic), yet it’s surprisingly fair to the Church and the young priest, except for the ending, which I’ll get to later. The movie does not romanticize the Native Americans or even the idealistic young priest, as both sides are shown to be painfully human, with warts and all. But what strikes me the most is the unshakeable faith and zeal of the missionary priest against the backdrop of absolutely stunning natural beauty. When the New York Times, New Yorker Magazine and Newsday give it rave reviews, you know it has to be something special. Even wiki gave it a good write-up:

Black Robe received praise for being a magnificently staged combination of top talents delivering a gripping and tragic story, and has been rated one of the most meticulously researched representations of Native American life ever put on film.

In other words, it’s not the Canadian Dances with Wolves. The film is centered around the young Jesuit priest as he is escorted by members of the Algonquin tribe up river into the far northern reaches of Quebec, into Huron territory, in order to establish a mission. The story is based on actual letters written by Jesuit priests from New France and recalls the stories of great North American Martyrs like St. Isaac Jogues and St. Jean de Brébeuf , et al., who suffered horrible deaths to bring the Faith to the Native peoples. Watching the movie, I can’t help but feel a deep sadness and sense of loss thinking of all the missionaries throughout the history of the Church who sacrificed their lives to bring the Faith to people in every corner of the globe, and how all their hard work is being undone by the Conciliar Church.

The new emphasis in the Church is on “inculturation” and respecting the pagan religions of the people instead of on conversion (as evidenced by the abominations at Assisi). That must come as a slap in the face to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, “The Lily of the Mohawks,” and first beatified Native American.  Not to mention to Christ Himself who told us to go out and evangelize the whole world. Blessed Kateri herself was converted by French Jesuits in upstate New York after smallpox wiped out her entire family, leaving her badly scarred and partially blind. 

Speaking of smallpox, the movie brings to mind the difference in treatment of the aboriginal peoples of America by the French (and Spanish) compared to our own country’s treatment of the Native Americans. When the Anglo-Americans were not brutally ethnically cleansing them off their lands, they were handing out smallpox blankets to them as a form of genocide. But the French and Spanish crowns were concerned about saving the people’s souls, not driving them off their lands. That difference was the Catholic Faith.[Political correctness alert:  This is not to say that no human rights abuses ever occurred among the French or the Spanish, since goodness knows this is a politically charged subject. But if Christians really believe that you need faith in Jesus Christ to be saved, then the only way to achieve that is to bring the Faith to those without it. In other words, through missionaries who care enough about the salvation of souls to travel to hostile lands and live under primitive and harsh conditions, to save as many souls as possible. Therefore, the souls of the Native American peoples who are happily enjoying paradise right now are grateful to the missionaries who loved them enough to live with them and die for them.]

Now, back to the story. To me the whole thing is about loving and sacrificing, even when your love is not returned and you don’t get to see the fruits of your labor. But those missionaries planted seeds of faith in the American soil that were watered with their own blood. Their sacrifices bore plentiful fruit for centuries, at least until the 1960s when Canada experienced its quiet revolution. It’s almost too painful to write about. We must be in the Great Apostasy.

The movie was met with rave reviews by the public as well, and not just by devout Catholics. That’s what’s so amazing about this film, that it’s actually not anti-Catholic and yet it’s a super high quality production. Devout Christians usually have to settle for movies that look like they were filmed with a camcorder, since Hollywood bigshots are anti-Catholic (recall Mel Gibson’s ordeal). As one impressed commenter wrote on IMDB: “One really can’t get the full impact of this [movie] through a review.” Exactly.

So on to the ending. The ending was ‘the best of times and the worst of times’ for me. The most beautiful musical score I think I’ve ever heard (I couldn’t catch the name of it in the credits), a stunningly beautiful sunset, with Latin words fading in the background. Then that stupid paragraph has to come up on the screen to try to ruin the whole thing. Without giving away the ending, let’s just say that the other tribes had not yet been converted, which means that the baptized are in paradise. Either we believe that as Christians or we don’t. Je crois.

See all the rave reviews here.

See the movie trailer here.

[Warning: this movie contains some scenes with brief partial nudity, some sexuality and violence. So it’s not for the Puritanical.]

Standing up to the O’Briens
February 12, 2009

bp_williamson3Bishop Richard Williamson gave a sermon in London in 2007 which has turned out to be quite prophetic for him. In the sermon, His Excellency discussed George Orwell’s 1984 and its implications for us Christians in the coming police state.  In fact, I would say that His Excellency’s words, although spoken to a Catholic audience, extend to all lovers of Freedom and Truth, particularly to those who would dare defend them.

As the entire world now knows, Bishop Williamson is being persecuted for thought crimes, and might even soon be prosecuted for them. As if that weren’t bad enough, he’s been thrown under the bus by his own Superior, and most of his flock are in hiding. And the Pope, unfortunately, is of absolutely no help, since he has sworn his support to the Pharisees. So just exactly which dogma has His Excellency denied that has led to this new Inquisition? He has not denied the dogma of the Resurrection like Cardinal Kasper, or the Immaculate Conception like Hans Küng, both of whom are in good standing with the Church, by the way. He has merely questioned the accuracy of an historical event, one that has nothing to do with the Faith. Yet His Excellency, like Winston in 1984, has been ordered to conform to the Party line or, who knows, he might face O’Briens’ torture machine:

Winston’s torture starts in real earnest and is presided over by O’Brien himself. At first it is sheer brutal physical torture, incessant blows all over, reducing him to a cowering animal confessing to anything and everything, implicating everybody if only the pain would stop. Then the guards are replaced by the intellectuals of the Party who inflict subtler kinds of pain and reduce him to an abject cringing wreck crying from sheer humiliation and exhaustion … In the last stage, O’Brien takes over personally, with Winston connected to an electric dial by means of which O’Brien can impose any degree of pain he wishes. O’Brien tells Winston that he is there to be cured of his mental fallacies.

Now it’s Bishop Williamson who must be cured of his mental fallacies, and he has three weeks to change his mind. It’s all so very – for lack of a better word – Orwellian. But just like Orwell said, in times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Which now makes the good Bishop a revolutionary, and Public Enemy Number One to the Party. In other words, he’s Winston, they’re O’Brien, and the two are about the meet. As his Excellency said in the sermon:

The Party wants to get inside people’s minds and souls, until the Party controls even two and two are four. If the Party wishes to say two and two are five, then two and two are five. Two and two will be what the Party says they are.

Interestingly enough, Bishop Williamson’ s problem with the Party also concerns a mathematical issue, but not two and two are five. O’Brien insists 6 million, but Winston says far fewer, based on the evidence he has reviewed. But who cares anything about evidence? This is a matter of forcing conformance to the Party on an honest man in order to break his will. Not to mention force an honest man to lie, which used to be a sin, last time I checked. Are you listening Bishop Fellay?

If the Party can convince you that two and two are five, then the Party is virtually in control.

And control is what this is really all about. Mind control, to be exact. Because the one thing I have noticed throughout this entire media drama is that not one person has suggested the obvious. Why not put an end to the whole debate, once and for all, by conducting a new investigation? They could use all the latest technology and employ the best scientists in the field, so then there could be no room for doubts. But the problem is:  scientists have conducted new investigations using the latest technology, but their findings contradicted the Party line. And so they were sent to jail. Now I don’t know how many Jews died during World War II, and any loss of human life is tragic. But as far as I’m concerned, even without looking at the evidence, if people are in jail for questioning the number 6 million, then someone has something to hide. Someone fears loss of control. His Excellency again:

 In between the Party and mankind is the question of Truth. If there is objective truth, then the Party will be sooner or later undone.

And who does His Excellency define as the Party? He states that globalism is a continuation of Communism, a soft form of Stalinism. World Government enforced by a police state. This makes me think of Archbishop Lefebvre who fought to have the Second Vatican Council issue a condemnation of Communism. But he was overruled by the highest authority in the Church. So the next time you hear the Pope or the President speak highly of globalism, be very afraid. Actually, I don’t have to tell some traditional Catholics to be afraid, they’re already losing control of their bowels. Poor Bishop Williamson. A lifetime in service of the Church, and he’s all alone on the battlefield. Those who should be bringing up reinforcements are praying that he will just recant. His Excellency:

If the truth makes you free, then the corroborative of that is: lies will enslave you.

But some people would rather be enslaved, if it means they won’t have to confront the O’Briens. They’d prefer just to go back to debating the validity of the new Mass, abstaining from meat on Fridays, and retreat into the catacombs. But this time, the catacombs are not going to be an option, because they have no intention of leaving us alone. They’re too close now to achieving their dreams of total world dominion. And there is absolutely no room in the new world order for the traditional Catholic faith. And I would remind my non-Catholic Christian friends, if you think this situation with Bishop Williamson only applies to the Catholics: think again. All of us are in this thing together. Remember that famous poem written by a Lutheran pastor who himself survived the Holocaust? First they came for the Catholics….yada, yada, yada.

Bishop Williamson explains in his sermon that since George Orwell was not a Christian, Winston caved in completely. That’s because he didn’t have any higher Faith. In other words, he didn’t have a higher Truth to fight for. But Bishop Williamson knows the Truth, has the Faith, and has not been afraid to speak out – even to those who can’t handle the Truth! Since he knows that this is ultimately a spiritual battle (Christ vs. anti-Christ), something Winston didn’t understand, he knows that he can survive O’Brien’s torture machine. Even if it costs him his life (or freedom). He has been given a rare gift that most Christians will never be offered: the opportunity to be a saint. Most priests and bishops toil away in obscurity, and pass from this life unnoticed. Very few are offered the gift of martyrdom like Saints Thomas More, John Fisher, Edmund Campion, and Margaret Clitherow. Bishop Williamson’s name could one day be added to that illustrious list of English saints. If he stands up for the Truth.

He must have had a premonition of his fate with the closing words of his sermon:

Ask God to strengthen your faith so that you and I will not crumble in the hands of today’s O’Briens.

I have confidence in His Excellency that he will not crumble in the hands of the O’Briens. After all, somebody has got to stand up to them – and be a hero of the Faith, a hero of the Church! Kyrie eleison.

SSPX Expels Father Abrahamowicz
February 7, 2009

abrahamowicz4Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), seems to be having a bit of a freak-out. I was going to say sell-out, but I’ll reserve judgment on that – for now.

The news out of Italy is that the SSPX has expelled Father Floriano Abrahamowicz of the SSPX Northern Italian District “for grave reasons of discipline.” Fr. Abrahamowicz, you’ll recall, is the SSPX priest who expressed doubts about the Holocaust just days after Bishop Williamson’s interview aired on Swedish television:

[Portion of the SSPX NOTE, according to several Italian news agencies:] “The action is in effect from Friday, February 6, and was taken for grave reasons of discipline. Father Floriano Abrahamowicz had expressed for some time positions distinct from the official ones of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X. The decision of the expulsion, though painful, was made necessary to avoid that the image of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X be distorted and, with it, that its work in the service of the Church be damaged.”

Now, that “grave matter of discipline” wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Fr. Abrahamowicz just let another cat of the bag when he dared to question the Shoah dogma, would it? Fr. Abrahamowicz, who is himself half Jewish, recently spoke out in defense of Bishop Williamson who dared to utter a truth that the Party has declared officially false. As Bishop Williamson explained in his sermon on Orwell’s 1984, the Party wants to get inside your brain to make you believe that 2 + 2 = 5. (Or in this case, that 6 million minus any number always equals 6 million.) This made Bishop Williamson Public Enemy Number One to the Party – but a hero to those of us who stubbornly maintain that 2 + 2 = 4.
 
Fr. Abrahamowicz stated in a January 29 interview with the Italian newspaper La Tribuna de Treviso that:
 
It’s truly impossible for a Catholic Christian to be anti-Semitic. I myself, on my father’s side, have Jewish roots. My last name even suggests this. This entire polemic regarding the statements of Bishop Williamson concerns the existence of gas chambers, and has been strongly instrumentalized for anti-Vatican purposes. Williamson simply expressed his doubts, and his ‘denial’ is not of the Holocaust – as newspapers have falsely said – but of the technical aspect of the gas chambers.
 
So far, so good. He calmly states that Bishop Williamson’s doubts revolve around technical issues, and that the whole thing was a set up by the “Swedish” reporter, which it most certainly was.  But here’s where he starts to get into trouble:
 
Who has ever talked about the Anglo-American genocide in the bombing of German cities? Who has ever talked about Churchill, who ordered the phosphorous bombing of Dresden, where there were not only many civilians, but also many Allied soldiers? Who has spoken about the English air force, which, in the bombing of the cities, killed hundreds of thousands of civilians? And the Israelis certainly can’t tell me that the genocide they suffered from the Nazis is less serious than that of Gaza, simply because they’ve taken out a few thousand persons, while the Nazis took out six million. This is where I fault Judaism, which exasperates rather than honoring the victims of genocide decently. It’s as if there were only one genocide in history, that of the Jews during the Second World War. It seems like you can say anything you want about all the other exterminated peoples, but no one at the global level has spoken in the terms in which people are speaking today after the declarations of Bishop Williamson.
 
Now see, that is not allowed. In his innocence, Fr. Abrahamowicz actually believed that the truth is a valid defense, and that all human beings have equal dignity and worth. That is in fact the basis of Catholic social teaching. But as George Orwell informed us, some are more equal than others. And certainly the least equal of all humans are the Germans and the Palestinians, and the good Father just happened to mention them both! Now who is it that hates Germans and Palestinians? Answer that, and you can see why Fr. Abrahamowicz had to go.
 
And what positions “distinct from the official ones” of the SSPX are they talking about anyway? You mean like the Church’s traditional views on the Jews that the SSPX has had on their website for years? Ooops. I should have said used to have on their website for years. It seems that a major “purging” has begun, a la Orwell’s 1984, in which anything that contradicts the Party’s (new) line ends up going down the memory hole. Nothing to see here, folks, move along. Except they obviously haven’t purged everything yet, because the letter from Bishop Proenca Sigaud is still there in which he talks about Jews, Communists, and Freemasons (but someone better start taking screen shots).
 
Archbishop Lefebvre himself wrote in a letter dated August 31, 1985 to Pope John Paul II that “Jews, Communists and Freemasons” were the enemies of the Church and were plotting to destroy her. So what has changed since Archbishop Lefebvre wrote that letter? Or since Fr. Denis Fahey, Mgr. George Dillon, Fr. Charles Coughlin, and many popes and saints were saying exactly the same things? The Second Vatican Council devastated the flock, leaving misery, death, moral corruption, and massive loss of faith in its wake. So why should we be so quick to dismiss advice from people who warned against making concessions to the enemies of the Church? Someone has to stand firm until the Church recovers from this catastrophe. That used to the role of the SSPX.
 
It’s possible that Bishop Fellay has negotiated some kind of backroom deal which doubtless includes a red hat for himself and a cozy office in the Vatican. I do so hope I’m wrong, but this sort of Soviet-like, politically correct – let’s call it what it is – pandering, used to be anathama to the SSPX. That is, until the excommunications were lifted last month, after a million rosary bouquet was offered to the Pope  (supposedly without negotiations). But when word came that a certain SSPX priest in a certain seminary was fired at the request of the Vatican, it seems there’s more to the story than just the Pope being moved by the rosary. It seems that something is rotten in Denmark – or could it be in Switzerland?
 
Judging by some of the mealy-mouthed reactions out in tradland, it seems the faithful think it’s appropriate to fire poor Fr. Abrahamowicz to fascilitate reconciliation with Rome. But these capitulators could have had full communion with the Modernists years ago by simply attending their local parishes. So why have they attended the SSPX chapels then, in disobedience to their bishops, if everything is kosher (so to speak) in Rome? There must be some reason they drive 100 miles roundtrip every Sunday to attend the Society’s Masses. What has changed now in the Vatican that everyone suddenly wants reconcilation after 40 years of resistance? I don’t see Tradition restored to Rome. I see a concession that the Latin Mass was never officially abrogated. But when are they going to abrogate the Novus Ordo Mass that was written by a Freemason and six Protestant “advisers”?
 
Poor Archbishop Lefebvre. He might as well have just signed the agreement in 1988 and saved himself a lot of trouble. But hopefully some of his sons will stay true to him and not capitulate to the Modernists. If reconciliation means that the enemies of the Church now indirectly dictate SSPX policy, then maybe it’s time to step back. Perhaps Bishop Williamson will seize the day and not capitulate to the Modernists. He certainly wouldn’t find himself alone. He can hire Fr. Abrahamowicz. He seems to be out of a job.
 
Rorate Caeli has updated its website to add that Fr. Abrahamowicz said the following after the lifting of the excommunications:
In fact, who ordered the injurious decree of “removal” was Joseph Ratzinger, who is still stuck in the Modernist ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, … , incurring the excommunication reserved to the Modernists. An excommunicate revokes a non-existing censure!

…Traditionalist Catholics CANNOT (sic) neither request nor welcome such a decree, even less embrace and kiss its authors, making believe that this act is a gift of Our Lady.

We pray for Joseph Ratzinger so that he may abjure Modernism and embrace the Catholic faith, and for the Fraternity of Saint Pius X so that it may remain faithful to the work of Archbishop Lefebvre.

But what has he said that the Archbishop didn’t say himself, like when he said that Rome was in apostasy and that the Pope (John Paul II) wasn’t Catholic? (And I find it hard to believe that Fr. Abrahamowicz’s views were totally unknown to the bishops until after he happened to question the Holocaust.)  Archbishop Lefebvre could have been made a Cardinal if he had gone along with the destruction of the Church. But he refused to betray his mission of handing down the Faith as it had been handed to him. I hope his spiritual sons are made of the same stern stuff.

As the Protestant Henry of Navarre once said (in order to claim the French throne): “Paris is worth a Mass.” Maybe some in the SSPX feel that a red hat is worth a Novus Ordo Mass.

The Holocaust is Now Catholic Dogma
February 4, 2009

pope-at-auschwitzThe last time a Pope of the Catholic Church defined an infallible dogma was in the year 1950. Pope Pius XII used this power reserved for the Vicar of Christ when speaking ex cathedra to define the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary. It was an extraordinary event because a pope using the power of infallibly to define a dogma is done so rarely, and most popes have never used this power. Before Pius XII, the last pope to invoke papal infallibly to define a dogma was Pius IX in 1854, when he defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Both of these dogmas referred to events that had occurred 19 centuries before , and that had been studied by the best minds of the Church for almost as long. That’s because when making an infallible statement – it goes without saying – it can’t contain any errors! Fast forward to 2009 and Pope Benedict XVI has just defined a new dogma regarding a secular event that has nothing to do with the Faith. Moreover, this ‘dogmatic event’ only occurred in the middle of the 20th Century-  and no one is allowed to investigate to see if it contains any errors!

A dogma is an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church that must be believed by every Catholic or they’re not in communion with the Church. In the past, a dogma referred only to a matter of Christian faith, and Catholics could believe whatever they wanted about historical events. But today’s remarks from the Vatican make it clear that the Jewish version of the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed in gas chambers, must be believed by every Catholic or they’re not in communion with the Church. That makes the Holocaust an official ‘dogma’ of the Catholic Faith (*sarcasm*). Here’s the news out of the Vatican.

On Jan. 28, the pope said he felt “full and indisputable solidarity” with Jews, and warned against any denial of the full horror of the Nazi genocide.

Bishop Williamson, in order to be admitted to episcopal functions within the church, will have to take his distance, in an absolutely unequivocal and public fashion, from his position on the Shoah, which the Holy Father was not aware of when the excommunication was lifted,” the statement said. The Shoah is the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

Jewish groups welcomed the Vatican statement, saying it satisfied their key demand.

“This was the sign the Jewish world has been waiting for,” said Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress.

Yes, this is the sign the Jewish world has been waiting for, but what exactly does this “sign” really mean? It means that in the post-Vatican II Church, the “Shoah” has replaced the Crucifixion as the central event in history. And do you notice the subtle switcheroo here? Now, instead of the central tenet of the Christian faith pertaining to the murder of the Christ by Jews, the new central tenet refers to the murder of Jews by Christians! This should come as no surprise to those who understand what really lies at the heart of the problem. At its core, this is a spiritual battle that’s being waged above our heads. It’s Christ vs. anti-Christ, and each of us must choose a side.

Lucifer wanted to be equal to God and out of pride refused to accept being a servant. When he uttered his famous “non servium” he took a third of the angels with him and set about waging war against God. When God sent His Son to redeem the world, Lucifer tried to prevent it. He took Jesus to the mountain top and tempted Him, saying “if you just bow down and worship me, I will give you all these things.”  Jesus told the devil to buzz off. The Jews who rejected Jesus as the Messiah did so out of racial pride and ambition. They wanted an earthly kingdom where they would always be the ‘Chosen Ones’ and did not want to share a kingdom with the gentiles. But Jesus emphatically said that His kingdom was not of this world and to share the good news with the gentiles. The Jews who accepted the Messiah became the first Christians, and those who rejected Him fell into spiritual blindness. Satan takes advantage of Jewish hatred of Jesus and uses them to battle against the Church of Christ. The Jews continue to wait for a worldly Messiah, but the Messiah they await is known to us as the anti-Christ. Therefore, all Christians must love and pray for the Jewish people to accept Christ as the Messiah, thereby snatching them from the jaws of Satan, whom they don’t realize they are serving. 

This battle between Christ and anti-Christ is 2,000 years old and all popes throughout history have waged it (at least until 1958). That’s what makes the Church’s post-Vatican II attitude toward the Jews so perplexing, since it enables them to continue in spiritual blindness and sets the stage for the coming of the anti-Christ. Pope Leo XIII had a vision at the end of the 19th Century in which he forsaw that the devil had been given extra powers for 100 years to try to destroy the Church. This seems to coincide with the shift in power that took place in the 20th Century when after two world wars, the Jews took Palestine and solidified their control over the West. This was also the century in which the Jews unleashed their most deadly weapon, Communism, which caused the deaths of millions of people.  But these people’s genocides go unnoticed and certainly have not been declared “dogma” by a pope of the Catholic Church. Another clue that something is amiss inside the Church is that the Second Vatican Council refused to condemn Communism, but declared that anti-Semitism was a sin (without defining what constitutes anti-Semitism).

Enter Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), and the man who’s currently being crucified, Bishop Richard Williamson. Archbishop Lefebvre himself had fought inside the Second Vatican Council to prevent the coup of the liberals. He also stated that the mere fact that the Council refused to condemn Communism was enough to call the Council into question. The Archbishop knew that something nefarious had happened inside the Church and sensed that he was waging a battle against powers and principalities. In terms of his plans to restore Tradition, in the Biography of Marcel Lefebvre by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, he quotes the Archbishop as saying (pp. 500-501):

The Council is a non-infallible act of the Magisterium and, therefore, it is open to being influenced by a bad spirit … Therefore, we need to apply the criterion of Tradition to the various Council documents to see what we can keep, what needs clarifying, and what should be rejected.

And that’s exactly the whole point of the negotiations between the SSPX and the Vatican that have been going on for almost 40 years. After the release of the Latin Mass and the lifting of the excommunications, the next phase is doctrinal discussions. But somebody doesn’t want that to happen. Archbishop Lefebvre founded the SSPX in 1970 in order to train priests in Tradition and not in the confusing, untraditional, Judeo-Masonic manner of the post-Conciliar era. The greatest threat to Revolutionaries is those who are not afraid to resist them to the face, i.e., the Counter-Revolutionaries. That is why Pope John Paul II would not allow Archbishop Lefebvre to consecrecate bishops, something that is usually rubber-stamped for every other order. John Paul II wanted the SSPX to go extinct after the death of its founder and put a stop to the Counter-Revolution. And if the Council really was influenced by a “bad spirit” as the Archbishop said, then certainly any attempt to exorcise this bad spirit would be met with the fiercest resistance by those who work for the anti-Christ.

This is where the controversy over Bishop Williamson’s remarks about the actual number of Jews killed in the Holocaust comes into the scenario. If the Jews are (wittingly or unwittingly) working to bring about the reign of the anti-Christ, then part of their strategy has to be to neutralize the Church. In their effort to overturn the crucifixion and replace it with the “Shoah,” they’re trying to utilize the Church to bring this about. And any force that appears to provide resistance to this switcheroo will be seen as the gravest possible threat. Because truly, it wouldn’t have mattered if Bishop Williamson had not said a word about the Shoah, they would have found something else to try to impede the Church’s return to Tradition. Because Christ and anti-Christ cannot co-exist on equal terms – one must naturally dominate the other. And the Church returning to Tradition and her normal role as the Church Militant is the one monkey wrench that could be thrown into the plans of the anti-Christ. No other challenger intimidates them, absolutely no one else causes them to tremble. But a fully traditional Church Militant with a billion souls in her army is the one thing that could defeat their plans. And that’s what this is really all about.

Bishop Williamson now finds himself in the center of a controvery that has been coming to a head for a very long time. In perusing the Catholic blogosphere, it appears that most Catholics (even trads) wish that he had just kept his mouth shut. But they would probably have said the same thing to Jesus, so as not to annoy the Pharisees. But I’m convinced Our Lord Jesus Christ knows what he is doing. Because it is time to confront the truth, as the the hour glass of time winds down, and get ready for the final conflagration. But it appears most Christians would rather retreat to the hills, than risk not being popular with the world. Thankfully, for the sake of our salvation, Jesus Himself was not so pusillanimous. And hopefully Bishop Williamson won’t be so pusillanimous either, since his founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, most assuredly was not. The Archbishop personally chose Richard Williamson to carry on his work after his death, to be a successor to the apostles. The only question that remains is: will he be like St. John or like the others who abandoned Jesus “for fear of the Jews’?

The Church and the Jews have been locked in this battle for 2,000 years, so this latest controversy is nothing to be surprised about. Satan uses the poor, blinded Jews to attack the Lord’s Church because he doesn’t want us or them to be saved. But at least in the past, it used to be clear which side the popes were on! The Pope and SSPX bishops need all our prayers and support right now, because they are going through a trial by fire. And, at least in this early stage, it appears Bishop Fellay is starting to get cold feet. Every day for the past several days he has issued a denunciation of his colleague, Bishop Williamson, each one more hysterical than the last. He even went so far as to refer to the Jews as our “elder brothers in the faith,” as though the Talmud has anything to do with our Faith. When I said last week that I wished Bishop Fellay would one day be pope, I didn’t mean in the mold of John Paul II!

Let us pray especially for Pope Benedict XVI, the keeper of the keys to heaven, that he prove himself a worthy successor of St. Peter, and that he not imitate Peter in his denial of Jesus Christ. Archbishop Lefebvre recognized that the day would come when the SSPX would be called on to save the Church. And judging by the howls and screams from the satanic press, that day might be just around the corner. Let us hope that we also have the courage to stand beside them, no matter how much the media attack and lambaste us. It’s for the Jews’ own good after all, for they know not whom they are serving. As the Archbishop wrote in 1966 (ibid, pp. 382-83):

When the Holy Father realizes that those whom he trusted are leading the Church to her ruin, he will find himself a group of bishops … who are ready to rebuild. Unfortunately, the time has not yet come, because the Holy Father himself must change what he is doing, and that conversion will be painful.

Let us hope that the time has come and that Pope Benedict will accept the help of the SSPX. It is time for the Holy Father to stop taking sides with the enemies of the Church and to stop defining  secular events as “dogma,” especially ones so riddled through with holes. May God save the Church through His servant, Pope Benedict, although the Pope’s conversion will be painful.

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The Crucifixion of Bishop Williamson
January 29, 2009

 

bpwilliamson_classroom As I observe the vilification of Bishop Williamson occurring in the Catholic blogosphere, I can’t help but recall the gospel account of the crucifixion of Christ Himself. For with the exception of the Blessed Mother and St. John, the rest of His apostles had abandoned Him, quaking in their boots  “for fear of the Jews” (John 19:38).

Fast forward 20 centuries and something eerily similar seems to be happening again. Only this time, the person being abandoned and crucified is Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X. And what was his crime, pray tell? It seems His Excellency has a penchant for speaking the truth to power, something Our Lord Himself was not afraid to do, including the following flamer – right to the Pharisees’ faces (John 8:44):

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.

Now that is politically incorrect! Good thing Jesus isn’t around in human form these days or He just might find himself in a German prison, like Ernst Zundel or Germar Rudolf, or anyone else who dares to question the Holocaust™. Because I am convinced that if Jesus were still alive on this earth in human form, there would be no shortage of Christians dutifully denouncing Him as a threat to Jewish-Christian relations! It really has become that pathetic.

Bishop Williamson is personally responsible for the fact that I am no longer a sedevacantist and that I pray day and night for the conversion of the Jews. I no longer feel that same level of toxic bitterness coursing through my veins when I think of all that we (of the post-Conciliar generation) have suffered as a result of having been thrown under the bus by those who should have protected us. I see it all in spiritual terms now, and I realize that it is not for me to understand why things have gone so wrong in the Church, and, by default, in society. But it is my duty to be the best Catholic woman I can be, to try to be a light to others, and always to speak the truth in charity. Charity is just another word for love. Thank you, Your Excellency.

And this is the man they’re persecuting! A man who for the last 20 years has brought the Traditional Latin Mass to millions of the faithful, baptized their children, heard their confessions, and maintained tradition, while staying faithful to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. To those traditional Catholics who are now throwing Bishop Williamson under the bus, I say, shame, shame, shame!  They would probably throw Christ Himself under the bus if He dared to question the Holocaust™. I don’t know definitively how many Jews died in concentration camps during World War II. But I do find it awfully suspicious that people are thrown in jail for questioning an historical event. (And even more disturbing that so many Americans don’t seem to have a problem with that, as we brag about our freedom of speech.) The Holocaust has become like a secular dogma that cannot be questioned on pain of imprisonment or shunning. But if six million Jews really were killed in concentration camps, you would think that professional investigations would be welcomed, using the latest forensic technology to verify the event. After all, I don’t know of any other group of genocide victims that refuses to allow investigations. But when even the Auschwitz museum has lowered the number of Jews killed there from 4 million to 1.5 million, and Red Cross records reveal far fewer than 1 million deaths, it does not bode well for the number six million. Unless there’s a new kind of math where six million minus any sum must always equal six million.

No one is denying that a significant number of Jews died in concentration camps under Hitler, who would not otherwise have died had they not been rounded up and placed in camps without due process of law. But there were many others who died in those camps besides Jews, and even many other Holocausts. Let’s start with the tens of millions of Christians killed in the Soviet Union under (mainly) Jewish Communists. It’s time for the truth to come out about all genocides. Let the healing begin.

By giving his honest opinion about an historical event, with no hatred in his heart, Bishop Williamson is now being shunned by the very people who should be standing beside him. But I’m convinced that many of these same turncoats wonder themselves why scientists are being thrown in jail for questioning the Holocaust, but they don’t have the ***** to say it out loud! If there’s any hope of restoring Christendom, it’s going to take men with courage and testosterone. Men like Bishop Williamson, who, despite his vow of celibacy, is more manly than the panty waists who can’t denounce him fast enough! These cowards are terrified that they won’t be able to get a rabbinic imprimatur for their next book, or God forbid, get their books published at all.

I understand what the trads are saying, that Bishop Williamson’s controversial opinions will somehow set back SSPX/Vatican relations in light of their recent rehabilitation. And I am grateful to the Holy Father for his kind gestures, namely, the lifting of the excommunications and the Motu Proprio allowing the Latin Mass. But the truth is that the SSPX should never have been excommunicated in the first place, unless all of our saints and ancestors should have been excommunicated as well. And my generation never should have been deprived of the Traditional Latin Mass in the first place, according to the infallible bull Quo Primum. So while it’s nice that they’ve (finally) acknowledged that the Latin Mass was never officially abrogated, that doesn’t do a whole lot of good for my generation whose birthright was officially stolen! How many lives and souls have been lost in the last 40 years as a result of this atrocity? Only the Good Lord knows, and we must trust in Him to enlighten the heart of Pope Benedict to turn back from this disastrous course (although I wouldn’t hold my breath). But it sure is nice to have a Catholic hero like Bishop Williamson who speaks the truth in charity, and who, history will show, was on the right side all along. As St. Paul once said (Gal. 4:16):

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Apparently so, in the case of Bishop Williamson. But in the words of Our Blessed Savior (John 8:32):

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Pope Lifts Excommunications of SSPX Bishops – Deo Gratias!
January 24, 2009

 pope-and-bp-fellay        

 On January 21, 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI remitted the (unlawful) ex-communications from the four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).  The four had been excommunicated on July 1, 1988 as a result of their consecration as bishops by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre two days earlier.  (The Vatican sure moves fast when it comes to excommunicating traditionalists! Of course, we’re still waiting for the excommunications of all those who have destroyed the Church over the last 40 years).  Nevertheless, it was an extremely courageous move by His Holiness and all of us long-suffering traditional Catholics are grateful, excited, and hopeful for more.

Because after Vatican II (1962-1965) the Church under Paul VI (of unhappy memory) underwent the most drastic, unprecedented, and disastrous changes it had ever experienced in its 2,000 year history. The “new springtime” they had predicted turned into the coldest of Arctic winters for the Church, even if Pope Benedict said recently that Vatican II had been a great blessing. Yeah, right. With all due respect to His Holiness, the seminaries, the convents, the monasteries, the schools, and most of those hideous-looking new churches, are empty!

For all his sincerity in wanting some kind of restoration in the Church, I do not believe that Pope Benedict will ever be able to be completely objective about just how catastrophic the Vatican II Revolution has been. And not only for the Catholic Church, but for the rest of the world as well. But Revolutionaries always believe they’ve created heaven on earth, even as the poor souls who suffer through them experience a living hell. And one thing’s for certain about Revolutionaries, their worst nightmare involves those who offer resistance, that is, the Counter-Revolutionaries.

Enter His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre of France. The Saint Athanasius of the 20th Century. Bishop Athanasius fought virtually alone againt the Arian heresy in the 4th Century and was even excommunicated by Pope Liberius. Now, no one even remembers Pope Liberius and yet Saint Athanasius is, well, a saint. Prediction: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre will one day be raised to the altar of saints, but history may not recall the post-Conciliar popes so kindly. Pope Benedict still has time to forge his legacy and (with the exceptions of entering synagogues, the U.N., and trying to redeem Vatican II) he has done a couple of incredibly important things for which he deserves praise; namely, his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum allowing the Latin Mass and now the lifting of the excommunications. But they never should have been excommunicated in the first place. Here’s what happened. (more…)

Dorothy Day: My Kind of Saint
January 12, 2009

 

dorothy-day-with-cigAlthough she is famous for saying “Don’t call me a saint,” many consider Dorothy Day the kind of saint that sinners like us can relate to.

Dorothy Day was born in New York City in 1897 and died there in 1980, having lived the kind of full and amazing life that  most of us could only dream of. She accomplished more in her life than almost anyone else in the 20th Century, comparable only to Mother Teresa herself (who, by the way, was an admirer of Dorothy Day, too!). But very much unlike Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day was a woman with a past. I think that’s why so many of us can relate to her in a way that we can’t with Mother Teresa. Everyone admires Mother Teresa, including non-Catholics and even atheists, but we all know that we could never reach her heights. But with Dorothy, it’s different. She makes us feel like we could do what she did, even with our own pasts.

Before she became a Catholic in 1927, she had been a Suffragette, a writer, a common-law wife, a single mother, an anarchist, friend of Eugene O’Neill, anti-war protester (for which she spent time in jail), and yes, truth be told, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party.  No boring layabout, she.

Mind you, that was before she became a Catholic. Dorothy Day was, of course, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement  (along with Peter Maurin), which sounds eerily similar to the movement in which she first started out, but was, in fact, a rejection of that anti-Christ movement. But like many young, well-intentioned intellectuals in Depression-era New York, she was attracted to the social justice platforms of the Communist Party. But later she came to realize that Marx’s philosophy amounted to a different kind of exploitation of the worker. She rejected Marx’s rejection of Christianity and his calls for violent revolution, becoming completely committed to peaceful, non-violent activism, although she always remained an anarchist. (She later became an ardent supporter of Distributism.) She started a newspaper called, of course, The Catholic Worker, which sold for one penny and – believe it or not – still sells for one penny today.

Today there are more than 185 Catholic Worker communities around the world whose motto remains:

We are committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and foresaken. Catholic Workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms.

I’ve been thinking so much about her lately because of the horrible violence in Gaza, and I’ve been wondering what she would say. I needn’t have wondered long. I found the website of the Washington, DC Catholic Worker Movement, and I should have guessed that they’d be right on top of it. Their website screams in capital letters: GAZA EMERGENCY, STOP THE KILLING NOW! Ol’ Dorothy would be proud. 

But it would be a mistake to consider her a liberal with the connotation that word carries today. We have all, even Catholics, become brainwashed into thinking that there are only two political points of view, liberal and conservative, and that we must fit ourselves neatly into one category or the other. But that is not correct – and that is definitely not Catholic. Before the 1970s, most Catholics were loyal Democrats, since the Catholic Church teaches us to care for the poor, the downtrodden, the marginalized and the victim. In other words, we have not been infected with Calvinism, which teaches that Jesus came so that we could have financial blessings (in contradiction to the Sermon on the Mount). By that vision, the poor are obviously not beloved of God and have obviously done something to deserve their fate. But that is not what Jesus taught. Dorothy herself wrote that she became attracted to the Catholic Church precisely because it was “the Church of the poor and the immigrant.” But when the Democrat party embraced the Culture of Death, Catholics headed to the Right. But only for the “life issues,” not for the vulture capitalism. Dorothy herself never belonged to a political party (other than the Communist Party, but we already talked about that!).

And there is no doubt that Dorothy Day was opposed to abortion, and not only because that’s the Church’s position. She learned the hard way that abortion is evil because before she eventually had her daughter, she had an abortion herself. Until the day she died, she always described the abortion as “the great tragedy of my life.” Unfortunately, people who are opposed to war, violence, racism, exploitation of the poor, the greed of the rich, capitalistic medicine, and other social evils are considered liberals or leftists, and it is assumed that they must be pro-abortion.  But Christians can never consider abortion a form of social justice because the unborn child is the most vulnerable and deserving of civil rights. After all, if you don’t have the right to life, all other civil rights are moot. Abortion isn’t liberal, it’s evil, and Dorothy never failed to speak out against it.

Dorothy also had mixed feelings about Vatican II. She liked the emphasis on “the preferential option for the poor,” but she lamented the changes in the liturgy.  So the idea that Catholics who fight for social justice are also big fans of the “clown Mass” is completely erroneous, too. Dorothy Day was a traditionalist, especially when it came to the liturgy. And that’s why Dorothy Day is my role model; because she appreciated tradition but also the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. The two are actually supposed to go together! Too many Traditional Catholics today care only for the Latin Mass, no meat on Fridays, and women wearing veils, but have forgotten about those works of mercy. But those works of mercy are as Catholic as the Latin Mass.

Dorothy Day is a saint for us sinners because she herself had made the big mistakes. She also graduated from the school of hard knocks. She even attempted suicide. Anything we could have done, she’s already been there and done that. But she pulled herself together, found the Catholic faith, and the rest is, as they say, history. Dorothy Day still lives on in the Catholic Workers around the world, in her several autobiographies (she was a writer, after all!), and even in the movie made about her life. The movie is called Entertaining Angels from 1996, and the title is apropos for her. It comes from the book of Hebrews 13:1-2:

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Gaza Is a Litmus Test for Christians
January 3, 2009

 

boy-israel_palestineAs I made my usual rounds in Catholic cyberspace today, I was anxiously hoping and praying that somebody, anybody, would be as outraged and aghast as I am about what is happening to the people of Gaza. But with a couple of notable exceptions, all I hear is crickets out in tradland. Where is the outrage? Where is the moral indignation at the slaughter of the innocents? Have we become Christian Zionists? I am shocked and embarrassed that Catholics, with the exception of Cynthia McKinney (you go, girl!) are not spitting nails, pulling out their hair, and leading the charge against this now 7-day atrocity. And on Jesus Christ’s own turf!

What is wrong with you people? Can you not take one day off from obsessing over Fatima and calling for the (now past its time) consecration of Russia, and focus on the here and now? Could you please stop splitting hairs for just one day over whether the Novus Ordo Mass is valid or whether the Pope is the Pope or if we  should accept the Motu proprio? It seems you just can’t find it in your hearts to stop fussing like a gaggle of old geese while innocent civilians are being massacred in the Holy Land (with our tax dollars). So I’m just going to come right out and say it: if you cannot muster up enough charity in your (sanctimonious) hearts to express horror at the genocide of the Palestinian people, then please do me a favor and shut the **** up. Yes, I said it. I don’t want to hear you parsing like Pharisees anymore over meat on Fridays or EENS. In fact, you might as well have yourselves a big, fat steak every Friday night because you’re probably going to hell anyway. I swear this makes me long for the Novus Ordo church where at least they still have charity in their hearts and care for their fellow man. Why can’t we have Latin and charity?

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El Día de los Muertos
November 2, 2008

statue-cemetery

Mother Teresa: Abortion Is the Greatest Destroyer of Peace
August 25, 2008

 

mother_teresa“I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today in the world is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we must remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta