For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Week

Here's a little something that appeared in our church bulletin recently that I wanted to share with you...

The Bear and the Atheist
An Atheist was walking through the woods, admiring the "accidents" that evolution had created.  "What majestic trees!  What powerful rivers"  What beautiful animals!" he said to himself.
As he was walking along side the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him.  Turning to look, he saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge toward him.  He ran away as fast as he could up the path.
He looked over his shoulder and saw the grizzly was closing.  Somehow he ran even faster, so scared that tears came to his eyes.  He looked again, and the bear was even closer.  His heart was pounding, and he tried to run faster.  He tripped and fell to the ground.  He rolled over to pick himself up, but the bear was right over him, reaching for him with its left paw and raising its right paw to strike him.
At that instant the atheist cried, "Oh my God!"
Time stopped.  The bear froze.  The forest was silent.  Even the river stopped moving.
As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky, "You deny my existence for all these years, teach others that I don't exist, and even credit creation to a cosmic accident.  Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament?  Am I to count you as a believer?"
The atheist looked directly into the light and said, "I would feel like a hypocrite to become a Christian after all these years, but perhaps you could make the bear a Christian."
"Very well," said the voice.
The light went out.  The river ran.  The sounds of the forest resumed.  Then the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed its head, and spoke:  "Lord, for this food which I am about to receive, I am truly thankful."

---Source unknown; submitted by David Holdaway, Scotland.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CCHD Collecting This Sunday ---Give Them A No-Thank-You Coupon Instead!

There isn't much time left to get the word out, but in the couple of days remaining we should all do what we can.  I am talking about the 2nd collection that will happen at this Sunday's Catholic Mass and Feast For Christ The King in many parishes across the country.  Though not in ours (we stopped collecting for this years ago), but in many other parishes, the Catholic Campaign For Human Development will be rattling the tin cup for some deserving charities.  And if it were limited to the deserving ones I would most certainly donate.  But the CCHD also funds Communist Groups, pro-abortion organizations, pro-gay marriage groups, and many others whose positions fly in the face of Catholic teaching and values.  It is time to put a stop to this!  It is time to REFORM the CCHD.  No more money until they clean up their act!

If you want to know more, click HERE and HERE for the details.  And click HERE for the coupon to drop in the plate or basket at Mass in lieu of cash, check, or money order to send the CCHD a message.  And by the way, watch the video above if you haven't already.  It is shocking, to say the least.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Law & Order ---The Abortion Episode (entire show)

A few years ago I almost completely gave up on network TV.  It seemed that every time I watched any of the shows that at one time or another interested me in the past, my sensiblities were being offended by their mono-slant to the left.  There was no room for debate.  All Christians or even priests were hypocrites at best and pedophiles or murderers at worst, and anyone on the political right was a crack-pot.

But last month an episode of Law & Order drew the ire and spite of pro-abortionists who weren't comfortable with an uncharacteristically even-handed approach that could only hurt their cause.  So even though it's a month late, I've decided to post the entire episode of that program here in case, like me, you missed it the first time.  Just click on the "close to play" button first to make the annoying ad vanish from your sight.  Then enjoy the show.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Obama Has Long Pattern of Indifference To Plight Of Others

I have seen a few postings online (like this one), and have heard a few radio talk show hosts touch on the oddness of Obama's press conference regarding the mass shooting at Ft. Hood a few days ago.  When President Obama is supposed to make a statement about the shootings, which should be top priority at that point to reassure the public that things are under control, he puts it down the list of topics to cover after laughingly giving a shout-out to a medal winner in the audience, etc...The general consensus is that Obama doesn't seem to care about the plight of others.  Each blogger or radio talk show host relating their outrage over Obama's insensativity also mentioned either the people rebelling in Iran and how Obama ignores them while they're being slaughtered, or our soldiers being hung out to dry in Afghanistan while Obama hems and haws on whether to send more troops to the rescue or pull them all out.  These are very good examples.  But after giving it some thought, I came up with several more:

  1. Turning 9-11 Anniversary from a day of infamy on which we were attacked by terrorists into a National Day of Service, thereby watering down the true meaning of the day and doing disservice to the memory of those murdered in the attack.  Is that not an insensative slap-in-the-face to the friends and relatives of those who perished?  Is that not an offense to New York City, the great city who was attacked?  Is that not an insult to every American who cried that day or felt fear?
  2. Although it seemed mildly bothersome at the time, Obama's visit to Ground Zero with Senator John McCain was quite revealing.  When laying roses at the exact site of one of the towers Senator McCain bent down, and with much care, gently laid his rose among the other items of remembrance put by others.  But Obama, while standing erect, tossed his rose on the pile like a piece of garbage on a heap.  He served to reminded one of a self-absorbed, aloof teenager being ordered by his parents to show respect he did not feel.
  3. Cap and Trade.  President Obama's environmental plans are at best draconian and at worst economically suicidal.  He has been quoted as saying that he will intentionally bankrupt the coal industry to "save the planet," thereby throwing hundreds of thousands of middle class people out of work.
  4. And worst of all--- The Born Alive Infants Protection Act was first proposed and passed by the Illinois State Legislators when Barack Obama was merely a state senator.  It was proposed because of a new type of abortion called the Induced Labor Abortion which caused babies to be delivered prematurely, after which they were either strangled outside the womb or left out on a table to die from suffocation  (those born prematurely cannot breathe on their own).  On the IL Senate floor, Obama was the only one to speak out against the bill banning this procedure.  When it came up for a vote he voted "present" thereby voting NO.  The You Tube video below showing then nurse Jill Stanek being interviewed by Bill O'Reilly fills in the details of the horrific procedure.  When a similar bill came before the US Senate, it was passed by a 98-0 vote.  Only the most cold-hearted could find a way to vote against this bill, and Obama is that cold-hearted.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Archbishop Dolan Takes Issue With Catholic-Bashing, New York Times

In response to a Catholic-bashing column by Maureen Dowd which appeared in late October in the New York Times, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan issued a slightly shorter version of his rebuttal seen below which the Times rejected. Like President Obama and other leftists, the Old Gray Lady cannot handle constructive criticism.

Here is the full article by Archbishop Dolan:

By Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York


October is the month we relish the highpoint of our national pastime, especially when one of our own New York teams is in the World Series!

Sadly, America has another national pastime, this one not pleasant at all: anti-catholicism.
It is not hyperbole to call prejudice against the Catholic Church a national pastime. Scholars such as Arthur Schlesinger Sr. referred to it as “the deepest bias in the history of the American people,” while John Higham described it as “the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history.” “The anti-semitism of the left,” is how Paul Viereck reads it, and Professor Philip Jenkins sub-titles his book on the topic “the last acceptable prejudice.”
If you want recent evidence of this unfairness against the Catholic Church, look no further than a few of these following examples of occurrences over the last couple weeks:

  • On October 14, in the pages of the New York Times, reporter Paul Vitello exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. According to the article, there were forty cases of such abuse in this tiny community last year alone. Yet the Times did not demand what it has called for incessantly when addressing the same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests: release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency. Instead, an attorney is quoted urging law enforcement officials to recognize “religious sensitivities,” and no criticism was offered of the DA’s office for allowing Orthodox rabbis to settle these cases “internally.” Given the Catholic Church’s own recent horrible experience, I am hardly in any position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors, and have no wish to do so . . . but I can criticize this kind of “selective outrage.”
Of course, this selective outrage probably should not surprise us at all, as we have seen many other examples of the phenomenon in recent years when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse. To cite but two: In 2004, Professor Carol Shakeshaft documented the wide-spread problem of sexual abuse of minors in our nation’s public schools (the study can be found here). In 2007, the Associated Press issued a series of investigative reports that also showed the numerous examples of sexual abuse by educators against public school students. Both the Shakeshaft study and the AP reports were essentially ignored, as papers such as the New York Times only seem to have priests in their crosshairs.
  • On October 16, Laurie Goodstein of the Times offered a front page, above-the-fold story on the sad episode of a Franciscan priest who had fathered a child. Even taking into account that the relationship with the mother was consensual and between two adults, and that the Franciscans have attempted to deal justly with the errant priest’s responsibilities to his son, this action is still sinful, scandalous, and indefensible. However, one still has to wonder why a quarter-century old story of a sin by a priest is now suddenly more pressing and newsworthy than the war in Afghanistan, health care, and starvation–genocide in Sudan. No other cleric from religions other than Catholic ever seems to merit such attention.
  • Five days later, October 21, the Times gave its major headline to the decision by the Vatican to welcome Anglicans who had requested union with Rome. Fair enough. Unfair, though, was the article’s observation that the Holy See lured and bid for the Anglicans. Of course, the reality is simply that for years thousands of Anglicans have been asking Rome to be accepted into the Catholic Church with a special sensitivity for their own tradition. As Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s chief ecumenist, observed, “We are not fishing in the Anglican pond.” Not enough for the Times; for them, this was another case of the conniving Vatican luring and bidding unsuspecting, good people, greedily capitalizing on the current internal tensions in Anglicanism.
  • Finally, the most combustible example of all came Sunday with an intemperate and scurrilous piece by Maureen Dowd on the opinion pages of the Times. In a diatribe that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish, or African-American religious issue, she digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests, and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription -- along with every other German teenage boy -- into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics, and his recent welcome to Anglicans.
True enough, the matter that triggered her spasm -- the current visitation of women religious by Vatican representatives -- is well-worth discussing, and hardly exempt from legitimate questioning. But her prejudice, while maybe appropriate for the Know-Nothing newspaper of the 1850’s, the Menace, has no place in a major publication today.
I do not mean to suggest that anti-catholicism is confined to the pages New York Times. Unfortunately, abundant examples can be found in many different venues. I will not even begin to try and list the many cases of anti-catholicism in the so-called entertainment media, as they are so prevalent they sometimes seem almost routine and obligatory. Elsewhere, last week, Representative Patrick Kennedy made some incredibly inaccurate and uncalled-for remarks concerning the Catholic bishops, as mentioned in this blog on Monday.   Also, the New York State Legislature has levied a special payroll tax to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fund its deficit. This legislation calls for the public schools to be reimbursed the cost of the tax; Catholic schools, and other private schools, will not receive the reimbursement, costing each of the schools thousands – in some cases tens of thousands – of dollars, money that the parents and schools can hardly afford. (Nor can the archdiocese, which already underwrites the schools by $30 million annually.) Is it not an issue of basic fairness for ALL school-children and their parents to be treated equally?

The Catholic Church is not above criticism. We Catholics do a fair amount of it ourselves. We welcome and expect it. All we ask is that such critique be fair, rational, and accurate, what we would expect for anybody. The suspicion and bias against the Church is a national pastime that should be “rained out” for good.

I guess my own background in American history should caution me not to hold my breath.

Then again, yesterday was the Feast of Saint Jude, the patron saint of impossible causes.

(h/t: Lisa Graas)