Let’s Turn This Ship Around!

Who thinks Archbishop Cordileone is awesome? This girl! Well, me and all of the faithful Catholics in the United States! Here’s his latest effort to turn the ship away from the iceberg before it is sunk. Sadly, the elitist 100 Prominent Catholics ™ and their ilk are going to be none to happy about this one. This is from the from September 11, 2015 issue of Catholic San Francisco’s High School Information Booklet.  See: http://catholic-sf.org/ns.php?newsid=4&id=63807

For Catholics each child has a human nature, that is, a body tightly linked to a soul. Every child has the same basic organs – heart, skin, bones, brain, etc. The soul, however, is unique to each child, in part because it is what makes Mary Jane distinct from Mary Lou. Children have capabilities that can be developed in a variety of ways. Some skills will develop pretty much just by social interaction. For others, such as reading, writing, making rhymes, or learning about nature, children have to be challenged and cajoled in order to reach high levels of performance.

Does this sound familiar to you? If you’re a Catholic who studies the Faith, it should, but those protesting Archbishop Cordileone might not be so sure. I’m also sure the “Concerned Parents and Teachers” will be foaming at the mouth against the Archbishop without knowing they’re really railing, once again, against the Catechism (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P1B.HTM).

The body, as God created it, is linked to the soul, but that is being challenged by dissenters at every turn lately. It seems that society is just fine tearing apart the body and the soul and putting them at odds with each other.

Catholic schools challenge students in two ways. First, as is the case for all schools – public or private – each teacher helps students “stretch their academic capabilities.” That is, the teacher uses different motivations to help a student find satisfaction in high accomplishment: Writing more complex sentences, reading more challenging books, memorizing poems, or doing mathematics in one’s head, not only on paper. All teachers do that.

In a Catholic school, the teacher also challenges the student to develop a relationship with God, the source of his or her human nature. The Catholic school teacher knows the child has a soul which the Holy Spirit can guide and foster a love for Christ and others. The closer the child moves to Christ and develops as a student, the more the student becomes like Christ, the new Adam, the new person who lets Christ lead the child to loving others and great academic accomplishments.

Woot! He’s kind enough to say the “Catholic school teacher knows” the child has a soul, but in reality, a good chunk of them don’t seem to think the soul is a priority. They teach the children to BECOME their sin instead of encouraging them to rightly form their conscience so they become more Christ-centered and less “me centered.”

I know he’s hoping and praying they eventually get it, for their sakes and for the sake of their students. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had entire schools with this mission? That’s what it used to be and what it’s always supposed to have been.

In Catholic schools, the goal includes not only excellence in reading, writing, and math but also growth in talking to Christ and letting Christ lead the child to full human development. In short, teachers in Catholic schools show students how to accept grace and love from Christ in their lives.

Amen, Your Excellency, amen! Let the real education begin! These goals are what are most important in this temporary life to gain everlasting life!

Understanding: When Did That Become a Bad Thing?

This. Is. Amazing! (http://bit.ly/2bRU34T) The title is mistaken at best or maybe downright disingenuous: “Here Is The Loyalty Pledge Philly Catholic Schools Are Making Parents Sign.” Interestingly enough, the document already had a title: “Memorandum of Understanding”.  Of course, they had to change the title because it doesn’t fit the narrative they’ve got going for Archbishop Chaput.

One has to ask, why doesn’t Philly Magazine think it’s a good thing for parents sending their kids to a Catholic school to understand what the schools are all about? If I were the Archbishop, I would want people to understand that. Why would anyone have a problem with it? Nobody is “making” anyone sign the document. People are free to attend a Catholic school, and they are free not to. No guns to anyone’s head. That said, if they are going to attend, they darn well better be prepared to adhere to the rules of a Catholic school and support the Catholic identity of said school. After all, it’s not a Protestant school. It’s not a Muslim school. It’s a Catholic school, for goodness sake.

The key is really in the very last line of the memo. We know that Catholic schools accept families of different faiths. The Catholic Church doesn’t expect them to convert to attend the school. However, they do expect them to:

… pledge support for the Catholic identity and mission of this school and by enrolling my child I commit myself to uphold all principles and policies that govern the Catholic School.

Let’s go over that again. The Church expects them to support the fact that it’s a Catholic school. Duh! If you don’t want to respect this fact, what should you do?  How about finding a school that doesn’t make you uncomfortable?  It also asks them to uphold the principles and policies that govern the school. Again, if you can’t do that, why the heck would you want them there anyway? I mean, it’s a little crazy to say, “I hate the teachings of the Church, therefore I’m going to put them in a Catholic school,” isn’t it?!? It’s a whole other thing to say “Well, I don’t agree with all of the teachings of the Catholic Church, but I respect the right of the school to teach Catholicism by word and deed.” What sane person would expect any less?

I think this would be a lovely thing for the Catholic schools in the Bay Area! Maybe Archbishop Cordileone could insert this somewhere in a parental handbook but the teachers should have something similar.  I’m reasonably sure the “Concerned Parents” crowd would be none too pleased. They would probably decry it as draconian to ask them to say they understand it’s a Catholic school and that they will not try to undermine that. Oh, the horrors!

AB Cupich Lectures Us Instead of SCOTUS

I didn’t see Archbishop Cupich’s statement on the SCOTUS ruling until after I posted last night.  Wow!  And here I was complaining about McElroy’s ambiguous statement!  I think I’d take that over the Cupich’s statement!  It seems this Archbishop thinks a lot of his ability to send a message without really saying anything at all, and he also seems to think he’s getting the “red hat” no matter what the heck he says or doesn’t say.  Where is the Catholicism in his statement (below)?  I’m really going to hope and pray the “red hat” doesn’t head to Chicago anytime soon.  We need a Cardinal Cordileone, not a Cardinal Cupich!  We need someone who’s going to bleed Church doctrine, not one who wants to confound and confuse everyone.

So here’s Archbishop Cupich’s statement:

STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP BLASE J. CUPICH

ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO

June 28, 2015

This week the Supreme Court of the United States issued two rulings with particular meaning for the Catholic Church.

In the first, the Court preserved subsidies for the 6.4 million low-income Americans who depend on them to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We have issues with provisions of that legislation and will continue to advocate to preserve our religious freedom. However, we understand that for millions of individuals and families, most of them the working poor, this decision preserves access to health care and the promise it offers of a healthier, longer life.

In the second decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that two persons of the same sex have a constitutional right to marry each other. In doing so, the Court has re-defined civil marriage. The proposed reason for the ruling is the protection of equal rights for all citizens, including those who identify themselves as gay. The rapid social changes signaled by the Court ruling call us to mature and serene reflections as we move forward together. In that process, the Catholic Church will stand ready to offer a wisdom rooted in faith and a wide range of human experience.

First of all, the Supreme Court didn’t “rule,” the Supreme Court legislated.  It rewrote existing law AND it rewrote the Constitution (no amendment process needed according to them!).  Sorry, Archbishop Cupich, the equal rights of all were already protected, and marriage, quite frankly, never fell under the equal rights clause.  There have always been constraints on marriage, which is why we needed a license for it.  There was never an open season to marry whomever you loved.

How, Archbishop, are we supposed to move forward together?  “Gay marriage” is and always has been an affront to the Truth and the dignity of the person.  The Supreme Court further tore the fabric of society.  It’s not time for “mature and serene reflection.”  It’s time for the Catholic Church to do something.  Do you want us just to accept it simply “because it’s the law of the land?”  Are we also just supposed to accept transsexual restrooms?  Participate in gay weddings?  Sorry, Archbishop, I have children, so I will fight this line of thinking tooth and nail for them.  Peace in our country is out the window now just as your fellow bishops in Colorado and others have told us.

It is important to note that the Catholic Church has an abiding concern for the dignity of gay persons. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” (n. 2358). This respect must be real, not rhetorical, and ever reflective of the Church’s commitment to accompanying all people. For this reason, the Church must extend support to all families, no matter their circumstances, recognizing that we are all relatives, journeying through life under the careful watch of a loving God.

Umm, we DO care about the “gay persons.”  The Church has and the Church always will care about and for them.  We care about their immortal souls and their temporal well-being.  What you fail to clarify here is that we cannot support homosexual unions in any way, shape, or form, for the good of their soul.  We must encourage them to lead a heroic life of chastity and virtue.

Let’s look at your “oh well, we all just need to get along” statement juxtaposed to Bishop Strickland’s very pastoral statement (and the statement all bishops and cardinals should be making now):

While taking a strong stand for marriage is the duty of all who call themselves Christian, every type of unjust discrimination against those with homosexual tendencies should be avoided. We must treat these individuals with loving kindness and respect based on their dignity as human persons. Christ rejects no one, but he calls all of us to be converted from our sinful inclinations and follow the truth He has revealed to us. Nevertheless, our continued commitment to the pastoral care of homosexual persons cannot and will not lead in any way to the condoning of homosexual behavior or our acceptance of the legal recognition of same-sex unions. (https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2015/06/bishop-stricklands-statement-on-u-s-supreme-court-decision/)

See the difference, Archbishop Cupich?

It is also important to stress that the Supreme Court’s redefinition of civil marriage has no bearing on the Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony, in which the marriage of man and woman is a sign of the union of Christ and the Church. In upholding our traditional concept of marriage, we are called to support those who have entered into this sacred and loving bond with God and each other.

Nice of you to note six paragraphs in that there was a redefinition of civil marriage and it doesn’t equal the Sacrament of Matrimony.  There is no “traditional CONCEPT of marriage,” there is a traditional TRUTH of marriage!  How about we use the actual definition used by the Church?

 1601 “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”84 (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a7.htm)

There’s a lot of other good stuff there which you left out, Archbishop Cupich.  You might want to give it a read.  At least your flock might want to read it, because I’m not too sure they’ll ever hear it from you.

This will be especially important for the members of our own Church as we walk together, respectful not only of the political demands of equality, but above all else, guided by the higher claims of divine revelation. Our aim in all of this will be to hold fast to an authentic understanding of marriage which has been written in the human heart, consolidated in history, and confirmed by the Word of God.

What the heck does that even mean?  Umm, no.  I don’t have to respect the false political demands of equality.  In fact, I shouldn’t.  There’s only one kind of marriage, and there is NOTHING equal about it.  Suffice it to say that Church teaching was rather lacking in this statement.  There’s no surprise that there was not one mention of the children who are going to be harmed by this.

This isn’t the first time Archbishop Cupich has failed on this issue, though.  The state of Washington voted in favor of gay marriage when he was in charge of the Diocese of Spokane. (Thank God for Bishop Daly!) His statement now was just as bad as then (http://www.dioceseofspokane.org/bjc_2012/letter-74.htm) :

A Letter to Parishioners: Referendum 74

by Bishop Blase J. Cupich

August, 2012

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

On Nov. 6, Washington voters will decide the fate of the law passed by our state legislature and signed by the governor, which redefined marriage to include same sex unions. If a majority of voters “approve” Referendum 74, the same-sex marriage law will go into effect on Dec. 6, 2012. If a majority votes “reject,” the law will fall, but, “registered domestic partners” will not be deprived of any of the rights granted to them in laws passed in 2008 and 2009, namely all the rights of traditional marriage. “Registered domestic partnerships” just will not be called “marriages.”

Admittedly, the conflicting positions of this issue are deeply held and passionately argued. Proponents of the redefinition of marriage are often motivated by compassion for those who have shown courage in refusing to live in the fear of being rejected for their sexual orientation. It is a compassion that is very personal, for those who have suffered and continue to suffer are close and beloved friends and family members. It is also a compassion forged in reaction to tragic national stories of violence against homosexuals, of verbal attacks that demean their human dignity, and of suicides by teens who have struggled with their sexual identity or have been bullied because of it. As a result, supporters of the referendum often speak passionately of the need to rebalance the scales of justice. This tends to frame the issue as a matter of equality in the minds of many people, a value that is deeply etched in our nation’s psyche.

Likewise, many opponents of the law redefining marriage have close friends and family members who are gay or lesbian. They too recognize the importance of creating a supporting environment in society for everyone to live a full, happy and secure life. Yet, they also have sincere concerns about what a redefinition of marriage will mean for the good of society and the family, both of which face new strains in our modern world. They are asking the public to take a serious and dispassionate look at what a radical break with centuries of marriage law and practice will mean.

My genuine hope is that we all can value the coming vote on Referendum 74 as an opportunity to have a substantial public debate regarding this critical issue, carried on with respect, honesty and conviction. When addressing issues of depth and passion – indeed, most importantly at such times – we should be committed to the proposition that our public dialogue must be marked by civility and clarity, and that it should generate light rather than heat. As a means of contributing to that effort, I ask your careful consideration of the attached reflections which outline some of the reasons for the Catholic Church’s position recommending that citizens vote “reject” on Referendum 74, and thus overturn the law that redefines marriage. I offer these thoughts with respect, but also out of a sense of duty to contribute to the debate for the good of our state.

But, I also want to be very clear that in stating our position the Catholic Church has no tolerance for the misuse of this moment to incite hostility towards homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity. As the 2006 statement, Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination, of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops unequivocally states:

All people are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess an innate human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected. In keeping with this conviction, the Church teaches that persons with a homosexual inclination “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358). We recognize that these persons have been, and often continue to be, objects of scorn, hatred, and even violence in some sectors of our society. Sometimes this hatred is manifested clearly; other times, it is masked and gives rise to more disguised forms of hatred. “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, Oct. 1, 1986, no. 10.)

In the peace of Christ,

Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich Bishop of Spokane

Did that make you as nauseated as I am?  The only Church teaching he managed to muster again and again and again was how we cannot treat homosexual people in an un-Christian manner.  Duh!  Did you have large numbers of your flock doing this, Archbishop?  I missed all those news stories on how wholesale violence against homosexuals is occurring in progressive Washington State.  Why is it you think you’ve done such a poor job with your flock that they’d be anything less than charitable towards their homosexual brethren?  Why is it that you equate being against homosexual acts and the homosexual lifestyle with hate?  I might remind you that the Church calls homosexual acts sinful.  Is that hate?

Look, I’m not sure if you think we’re all living in some sort of ivory tower, but we don’t.  We have homosexual family members, co-workers, customers and fellow parishioners.  Our kids go to school with children of homosexuals.  We coach our teams with homosexual families, etc., etc., etc.  We probably know far more, as Catholics, about how to live and interact with homosexuals than you ever will.  It’s a day-to-day thing for us.  It’s not a platitude or photo-op for us.   It is life and it didn’t just start on Friday, June 26, 2015.  We don’t need the lecture.  We need authentic Catholicism where we’re taught about sin, how to deal with it, and how to overcome it in our lives.

Hey, here’s a novel idea!  How about a quoting the full Church teaching on homosexuality to help those suffering with homosexual inclinations?  That was absent from both of your missives.  Maybe you could prevent things like souls being lost to their sins?  Wow, what a concept!

It was at least nice that Archbishop Cupich attached Church teachings on the issue to the Referendum 74 letter.  That’s more than he did on the recent SCOTUS ruling.  That said, it might have been really nice if he actually taught the Church teachings rather than including them as an aside to “contribute to the debate” though.

Before someone asks, no, I can’t read the Archbishop’s mind, but I can tell you that he is not communicating the Church teachings on lovingly ministering to his flock with the homosexual inclination.  His lack of clarity on Church teaching is deafening.  I don’t know if he just doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable or if he actually thinks the Church is wrong on homosexual acts.  My guess has to be the latter because I’ve yet to see him talk about sin or those in jeopardy of losing their immortal soul.  I’m hardly alone in that guess.  I mean, he can’t even quote Church teaching on it!  Bishop Strickland has shown more compassion, wisdom, and love to the homosexuals in his flock than Archbishop Cupich has EVER shown.  But Archbishop Cupich has made it clear the “positions of this issue are deeply held and passionately argued.”  The phrase “Thanks, Captain Obvious” comes to mind. Too bad we’re just not sure where the heck he stands on homosexual acts after all the ink spilled.  It would seem they are just fine with him as long as we don’t call it marriage!

I was really hoping Archbishop Cupich was going to rise to his new station.  Sadly, it doesn’t appear this is going to be the case.  All he’s done is to continue to dilute Catholic teachings (or at best, just act like they’re a guide to further the discussion) for our brethren with homosexual inclinations and those living in adultery (in case you didn’t know, he wants to give Communion to the divorced and remarried). There doesn’t seem to be anything resembling an effort to get them to lead a life of heroic virtue.  There only seems to be an attempt to make them feel comfy.  I hope the “red hat” is going to go to someone who supports the Holy Father’s desire to truly minister to those with homosexual inclinations and who will truly defend marriage and the family.  This is about far more than “deeply held positions”, Archbishop Cupich.  This is about Truth and people’s immortal souls.

The Tragic Error

I know “THE RULING” came out on Friday, but if you didn’t hear a homily this weekend that at least mentioned the SCOTUS marriage debacle or Religious Freedom, that might be why we’re in the mess we’re in today.  A disaster of this epic proportion at least deserves a nod, don’t you think?  Let’s hope by next weekend, we’ve all heard about it from our individual pastors.

Thanks to Catholic World Report, I was able to spend the day reading the comments from many of the U.S. Bishops (http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/3985/bishops_across_the_country_weigh_in_on_scotus_ruling.aspx). I’m sure they’ll be posting more as they come in, but I have to say, I was underwhelmed by most of them.  I realize these are just preliminary statements, but you’d think that something of this magnitude would deserve more than just a short paragraph or two.  Some of them didn’t even bother mentioning the children who are affected.  As a mom, it has been just devastating to me to think about how this is going to affect my children, grandchildren, and children in general.  Thank you to those bishops and cardinals who took the time to mention that all children deserve a mom and a dad as the norm (you can keep your anomalies to yourselves; nobody is trying to offend you by not listing them all).  Considering how long it’s taking us to turn around Roe vs. Wade in the mind of the public, it is likely going to affect my great-grandchildren and beyond.  Kennedy was Reagan’s worst mistake

I really can’t decide whose statements are the worst.  Many were just lacking.  I have to admit I’m a tad bit annoyed at the bishops who reminded us that we must be civil and respectful of all human beings even if they disagree with us.  I missed who was advocating something other than being Christian.  It seemed more of a media play.  One comment I wasn’t particularly thrilled about was this ambiguous one from Bishop McElroy:

The Catholic community of San Diego and Imperial counties will continue to honor and embody the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman as a gift from God–in our teaching, our sacramental life and our witness to the world.  We will do so in a manner which profoundly respects at every moment the loving and familial relationships which enrich the lives of so many gay men and women who are our sons and daughters, our sisters and brothers, and ultimately our fellow pilgrims on this earthly journey of life.

Why wouldn’t we respect loving, familial relationships of people with homosexual inclinations?  There’s certainly nothing wrong with those.  Is he separating the words “loving” and “familial” for a reason?  What kind of familial relationships are we talking, NON-loving familial ones?  Ask me why I’m asking. Why, thanks!  Back in the Archbishop Quinn days, Bishop McElroy (then Msgr. McElroy) appeared to be part of the club that rejected the Vatican’s prohibition of homosexual adoption and the broad extension of civil rights to homosexuals.  He didn’t feel it was binding on them but rather an advisory (https://web.archive.org/web/20080906233415/http://www.ignatius.com/Magazines/CWR/charities.htm). Of course, that’s how most things from the Vatican were received in the SF Archdiocese during the Archbishop Quinn days.  They were simply opinions to be ignored, so forgive me for being skeptical about Bishop McElroy’s current statement.  If Bishop McElroy is hinting that we must be respectful of homosexual acts or their desire to adopt children, nope we don’t.  Given the history, it’s really hard to tell.  Now’s not the time for unclear statements.

As far as the good statements, here’s an amazing one from Bishop Strickland of Tyler, TX.  Your Excellency, thank you for giving one of the biggest tongue lashings on this one.  I’m going to quote it in its entirety, because I don’t want anyone to miss one line of it (https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2015/06/bishop-stricklands-statement-on-u-s-supreme-court-decision/):

Bishop of Tyler

TO THE PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED RELIGIOUS AND CATHOLIC FAITHFUL OF THE DIOCESE OF TYLER, OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF OTHER FAITH TRADITIONS, AND ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL IN THE THIRTY-THREE COUNTIES OF NORTHEAST TEXAS THAT MAKE UP THE DIOCESE OF TYLER:

On the morning of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a 5-4 decision establishing the legal right of two individuals of the same sex to legally marry in all 50 states. By doing so, the Court has acted in contradiction to their duty to promote the common good, especially what is good for families. I join with the Bishops of the United States in calling this decision a “tragic error.”

Let me unambiguously state at the outset that this extremely unfortunate decision by our government is unjust and immoral, and it is our duty to clearly and emphatically oppose it.  In spite of the decision by the Supreme Court, there are absolutely no grounds for considering unions between two persons of the same sex to be in any way similar to God’s plan for marriage and the family. Regardless of this decision, what God has revealed and what the Church therefore holds to be true about marriage has not changed and is unchangeable.

Marriage is not just a relationship between human beings that is based on emotions and feelings. Rather, our Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Traditions tell us that God established true marriage with its own special nature and purpose, namely the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.

While taking a strong stand for marriage is the duty of all who call themselves Christian, every type of unjust discrimination against those with homosexual tendencies should be avoided. We must treat these individuals with loving kindness and respect based on their dignity as human persons. Christ rejects no one, but he calls all of us to be converted from our sinful inclinations and follow the truth He has revealed to us. Nevertheless, our continued commitment to the pastoral care of homosexual persons cannot and will not lead in any way to the condoning of homosexual behavior or our acceptance of the legal recognition of same-sex unions.

While some of us may have family members who have same-sex attraction, and there are even some who are members of our local churches, this decision to require the legal recognition of so-called marriage between homosexual persons should in no way lead us to believe that the living out of this orientation or the solemnizing of relationships between two persons of the same sex is a morally acceptable option.

We know that unjust laws and other measures contrary to the moral order are not binding in conscience, thus we must now exercise our right to conscientious objection against this interpretation of our law which is contrary to the common good and the true understanding of marriage.

Given this and recognizing my responsibility and moral authority as the shepherd of this Church of Tyler, I will shortly issue a decree in this Diocese establishing, as particular law, that no member of the clergy or any person acting as employee of the Church may in any way participate in the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages, and that no Catholic facilities or properties, including churches, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or any places dedicated or consecrated, or use for Catholic worship, may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages.

Finally, I call on the Catholic faithful of the Diocese to turn in prayer to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, asking their intercession for our nation that all of us may come to a greater understanding of the beauty, truth and goodness that is found in marriage as revealed to us by our Savior.

I instruct that this letter is to be publically read by the priest-celebrant following the proclamation of the Gospel at all Masses of obligation in the parishes, missions and chapels of Diocese of Tyler on the weekend of July 3-4, 2015.

Given at the Diocesan Chancery On the 26th day of June Friday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen

Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland Bishop of Tyler

Now, I don’t really know the Diocese of Tyler or Bishop Strickland (I just simply have more going on then to know them all – sorry, it’s a mom thing – I barely can keep my kids straight some days), but I’d have to say the faithful there have been blessed by this statement.  It is clear in every respect, and when he said, “let me be unambiguous,” he meant he was going to be the opposite of Bishop McElroy!  This is how it’s done!

Bishop Strickland is right!  We should not just sit here and resign ourselves to it. We should work, no matter how long it takes, to overturn this sucker.  Yep, it’s likely to take as long as overturning Roe vs. Wade, but we must chip away at it constantly and save as many of our children as we can.

Bishop Strickland is the one bishop I saw who used the “dignity” statement and yet clarified to the hilt that we couldn’t condone sin and we ALL should turn away from our sinful inclinations.  Bravo!

I am really glad Bishop Strickland is in Texas, for his sake, because I’m just guessing he’ll be a little better received there than if he were in San Francisco.  If the “100 Prominent Something or Others” here in the San Francisco area thought their teacher handbook had inflammatory language in the beginning, they’d be out of their minds with this one.  (Let’s hear it one more time!)

Given this and recognizing my responsibility and moral authority as the shepherd of this Church of Tyler, I will shortly issue a decree in this Diocese establishing, as particular law, that no member of the clergy or any person acting as employee of the Church may in any way participate in the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages, and that no Catholic facilities or properties, including churches, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or any places dedicated or consecrated, or use for Catholic worship, may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages.

I pray this man continues defending the Faith in this amazing and concise way! God bless Bishop Strickland!

I also want to give a few other tips of the hat.  Once again, Cardinal Wuerl seemed to have put a lot of thought and effort into his statement, which I appreciate, because this is so crucial.  Here are a couple highlights (http://cardinalsblog.adw.org/2015/06/the-implications-of-the-supreme-courts-ruling-on-same-sex-marriage/):

Our faith is not based on human preferences but the revealed Word of God.

<snip>

The ancient Maxim “love the sinner but hate the sin” is central to our behavior because it refers to all human beings. The Lord asks us to “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect,” but he does so in reference to how we are to love one another (Matthew 5:48). In the Sacraments, he also gives us the grace to do so. The Church has and always will meet people where they are to bring them closer to Christ.

Bishop Wenski made a short but strong statement that shows us what we’re in for in this country, and it’s not pretty. He shows the history of bad laws and their consequences (http://www.miamiarch.org/CatholicDiocese.php?op=Article_Statement+by+Archbishop+Wenski+on+Supreme+Court%92s+decision+on+same-sex+marriage):

Roe v. Wade has resulted in more than 50 million abortions.  Yet, abortion still troubles the conscience of America and an increasing majority of Americans reject “abortion on demand”.

This decision redefining marriage will also bring bad consequences. Losing the understanding of marriage in our culture as a conjugal union of a man and a woman in a permanent and exclusive commitment conducive to welcoming and raising the children born from such a union weakens the family as the basic cell of society; and it imperils the human flourishing of future generations. Allowing “an act of the will” to be substituted for “legal judgment” is a recipe for tyranny.

The Michigan bishops’ joint statement (http://www.micatholic.org/advocacy/news-room/news-releases/2015/bishops-respond-to-decision-to-redefine-marriage/) heavily focused on the rights of the child (we miss you out here Archbishop Vigneron!):

Every child has a mother and a father and even though each child deserves to be loved and raised by them together, we are conscious of and loving toward those circumstances in which this arrangement of a married mother and father in the home is not reality. Married couples unable to conceive children or family structures that differ – single parents, widowed parents, adopted children and those being raised by grandparents or other family members – merit compassion and support for their life situations, which at times can be difficult and challenging. The Church and her ministries must remain conscious of and respectful toward these differing dynamics, especially when support, counsel and love is sought.

The Colorado Bishops’ Conference also defended the rights of children and predicted doom and gloom. Sadly, I’m sure they are correct (https://t.e2ma.net/message/mm60g/ew4jvd):

The coming months will likely be filled with more questions than answers, given the thousands of laws nationwide related to marriage that will be adversely impacted by the court’s action. We are concerned that hateful rhetoric and discrimination against those, whose religious and moral beliefs support the true definition of marriage that has existed for millennia, will intensify. We will continue to pray that people with differing views on marriage will be able to express their beliefs and convictions without fear of intimidation or hostility, and more importantly that religious freedom and liberty will be supported and defended.

The days, weeks, months and years ahead will require courage, strength and prayer. All people of good will must remain united in defense of marriage between one man and one woman, while bearing witness to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

I’m sure Archbishop Coakley will get dinged for using rhetoric, but he chose the correct adjectives – tragic and devastating.

(http://www.archokc.org/top-news/5514-archbishop-coakley-statement-on-supreme-court-ruling-for-same-sex-marriage).

Read them and weep my friends. These are indeed the times that try men’s souls. Maybe some trials are very good for the souls. I suppose something has to wake up the slumbering and a little persecution will do that. I just pray for our future generations. If our cardinals, bishops and priests stand up and lead, we’ll be fine. If not, it’s going to be a long, long road of tragedy and devastation.

Retreat? Reality Check! You’re Being Flanked!

Just more of the same awesomeness from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone this week!  After a nice week and a half of quiet, Sam Singer and his ilk are back tilting at the windmills.  They’ve been spinning (AKA lying) about how the Archbishop can’t show his face in San Francisco and has “retreat[ed] to the suburbs” (https://twitter.com/samsinger/status/606663339976957952).  Sam cites the Archbishop’s speaking engagement in Santa Clara to 500 people a couple of weeks ago as an example of him cowering in a corner or something.  Ahem!  The Archbishop has been speaking all over the country lately, not to mention ordaining a great group of awesome, young, faithful priests the last two weekends right in the belly of the beast.  I suppose it’s got to be a bit depressing for the “100 Prominent CatholicsTM,” but they might want to come back to this beautiful place we call reality.  I think people can figure out that our Archbishop has now become a well sought after speaker – so yeah, he hasn’t been here every day.  I believe he’s doing this little thing called his job. I guess they might just be hoping people didn’t notice?

This week, Sam’s Spinners (my new pet name for them) have tried to chomp down on the Archbishop’s comments made on “gender ideology” at the Sacra Liturgia conference.  Yep, it’s got me scratching my head, too.  Was this a shock to them?  I mean, the Pope has spoken about it, too.  Haven’t read the Archbishop’s great speech yet?  Here it is: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:-BKAGAIWsMgJ:cal-catholic.com/%3Fp%3D18909+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.  Now, some are saying he was smug for pointing out that the list of “gender identies” has grown along with the insanity. Somewhere (although I haven’t seen a direct quote) he noted the acronym for “not heterosexual” keeps growing.  Do they always consider reality smug?  Maybe they consider pointing to something predicted to happen and having that prophecy fulfilled a problem?  Not really sure, but you don’t have to be a psychic to have seen that one coming.  I believe the reference to “alphabet soup” was actually coined by the types opposed to the Archbishop.

So, no, the Church doesn’t agree with transgenderism.  Shocked?  I’m reasonably sure you knew.  With the news of the week, why would anyone be shocked that the Archbishop would refer to it?  How does he differ from Pope Francis’ belief about transgenderism?  He doesn’t.  What is a bit shocking (although the stupidity of some doesn’t really shock me anymore) is that those who have appealed to the Holy Father to remove the Archbishop (and the publications that support that effort – AKA National Catholic Fishwrap) would make a thing out of this, since the same Holy Father said (as reported in the same National Catholic Fishwrap):

“Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings,” he continues.  “Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” the pope says. “The true custody of creation does not have anything to do with the ideologies that consider man like an accident, like a problem to eliminate.”

“God has placed man and woman and the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth,” Francis says. “The design of the Creator is written in nature.”

http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-strongly-criticizes-gender-theory-comparing-nuclear-arms

Again, the Holy Father and Archbishop Cordileone are on the same page.  Quite frankly, it’s pretty darn funny that those appealing to the Pope to remove the Archbishop are so “offended” that the Archbishop points to the schizophrenia in society that results in the acceptance of transgenderism, when the Pope Francis put nuclear arms and “gender theory” on the same plane!  They just don’t seem to get that the Archbishop is echoing the Holy Father.

By the way, big thumbs up to the Holy Father!  Thanks for pointing out what the liberals don’t seem to understand they are saying about God.  Now, to be fair, some of these liberals are atheists, so I’m not including them here.  However, the Christian ones (which include the ones whining about the Archbishop and saying he’s not following Jesus’ teachings) are saying that God creates mistakes (or accidents, as Pope Francis puts it).  Yes, they never come right out and say it, but that’s what they believe, or at least they’ve never actually thought it through, which is entirely possible.  Think about it: Bruce Jenner thinks that God blew it.  He believes God puts women in men’s bodies and vice versa.  What?  Was God tired that day?  Sleeping on the job?  He knows the number of hairs on their heads but just forgot which sex they were?  At least the atheists are more intellectually honest.  They just say there is no God and it’s all random.

Just to further ruin Sam’s Spinners’ day, this was also noted in the same article linked above:

Francis’ remarks on gender theory in the book follow similar remarks he made in a press conference on the papal plane in January in which he criticized what he called “ideological colonization” of less developed countries by those with more resources.

Recounting the story of a public education minister he knew who was offered money to construct new schools for the poor, Francis said that, to receive the money, the minister had to agree to use a course book with students that taught gender theory.

“This is the ideological colonization,” the pope said. “It colonizes the people with an idea that changes, or wants to change, a mentality or a structure.”

“It is not new, this,” he continued.  “The same was done by the dictators of the last century.  They came with their own doctrine — think of the Balilla [youth groups of Fascist Italy], think of the Hitler Youth.”

Oh-ho-ho-ho, “100 Prominent CatholicsTM!”  In case you didn’t catch that, the Holy Father just called you dictators like the ones who ran the Balilla and Hitler Youth!  Don’t blame me!  You’re the ones trying to use your money and power to oust the Archbishop who is trying to follow the Pope.  I believe he also called you Herod earlier in the article, but I’ll leave you to read that yourselves.

One last little depressing thing for Singer, the Concerned Parents, and the “100 Prominent CatholicsTM” club…This recent little speech kind of blows the whole “The Archbishop is retreating because we’re so awesome!” thing out of the water – again.  Sorry!  Archbishop Cordileone is going to speak the truth and he’s going to support the teachings of the Holy Father no matter what “gotcha moments” you think you can make of that.  When trying to get the Pope to do your bidding, you might actually want to know what HE says before you bash the Archbishop for saying the same thing.  That’s really just one of your downfalls in life.  You don’t have a clue what the Church or the Holy Father teaches.

Doing the Pastoral Thing!

Somebody sent me a beautiful talk given by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone at a conference at St. Patrick’s Seminary early last year entitled, “Doing the ‘Pastoral Thing’ Will Always Be Harder, but Right.”  It seems to have been a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Normally, I would put the link to the entire talk, but it looks to have been delivered in response to some unknown controversy at the seminary (I’m sure those there know about it, but we don’t need to!), so I’m just going to quote some parts of it that were amazing.  These are the parts that seminarians everywhere should hear, as should those who are opposed to his efforts to help the SF Archdiocese.  I’d love to think they’d like to know what makes the Archbishop tick, but I’m reasonably sure they’d just like to throw that alarm clock out the window.

Of course, there is a valuable lesson of life here, especially for your future ministry as priests, God willing. Sometimes doing the right thing will be emotionally difficult. The temptation will be not to take decisive action in order not to create conflict and to keep relationships harmonious. Yes, often things can be worked out in less disruptive ways, and that is the course of action to take whenever possible. But other times you just have to bite the bullet, man up, and do the right thing regardless of how you feel about it.

Anyone else standing on a chair clapping right now???  I’ve run into a few good priests who have literally said to me, “I don’t want conflict,” and not acted on things they know they should have done.  It’s really frustrating for us laity to essentially watch your siblings throwing a temper tantrum and getting away with it.  I can tell you, as a parent, your children are not always receptive to what you are telling them, and sometimes all the explanation and conversation in the world doesn’t reach the rebellious child, so you just have to put the proverbial foot down. These priests are our spiritual fathers.  They don’t (or rather shouldn’t) just get to check out when life gets uncomfortable.  They do need to “bite the bullet,” as the Archbishop says.

None of what he says means love goes out the window when you have to be the adult in the room.  If you can really get to know “your child,” you can figure out the best way to reach him/her, but in the end, what needs to be done needs to be done.  More from the Archbishop on that later.

There is another valuable lesson of life here.  Some of you may not like the decision that was made, or the way that it was done.  You might feel that your loyalties are elsewhere.  When you don’t have all of the information, it is easy to second-guess and foster a hermeneutic of suspicion.  But I’ve learned that when you assume greater roles of responsibility over an organization, you become privy to information that not everyone has, and you begin to see things in a different light.  Quite often when you make a decision some people will get mad at you.

You always see this when a new president takes office.  In the election he says he’s going to do x, y, and z, but when the CBO comes back with numbers or he gets the daily intelligence briefings he wasn’t privy to before, he gets a far better picture of the problem and what needs to be done.  I’m sure this is similar for a Bishop/Archbishop, or even a Pope.  In the dioceses in the Bay Area, I don’t think anyone can quite comprehend the level of disaster the last thirty years have created until you’re trying to repair all the damage.  I remember getting frustrated about some bishop not dealing with some situation and I finally said something to him.  He politely asked me, “Do you know how many other fires I’m trying to put out right now?”  Again, I’m not privy to the daily briefings.  While the archbishop’s last comment was aimed at the seminarians who were living with the “issue”, I really think it can apply to all of us.

On the day you are ordained – God-willing that it happens – you will make a promise of obedience to your bishop.  That promise is not conditioned on any extenuating circumstance.  You do not promise to obey your bishop so long as you like him, and obey his decision so long as you agree with it.  That’s not obedience, that’s just being self-indulgent. Obedience only counts when you submit yourself to the will of the authority even when it’s unpleasant for you – that includes the authority of conscience, as I mentioned above when doing the right thing is emotionally difficult for you, but it also includes the legitimate ecclesiastical authority.

Archbishop Cordileone really nails what has been missing around here for a long time!  We had bishops/archbishops who ran the dioceses here more like a club than an organization with a hierarchy.  Maybe it’s because many of the bishops and priests were in school together and they never made the leap to being the bishop of people who were once their brother priests.  It could also be for the same reason the Archbishop is talking about – sometimes you just have to accept that not every decision you make is going to be understood (because some are missing the parts) or embraced.  They just didn’t want to be unpopular.

This is all the more important when it comes to obedience to your bishop, and other legitimate authorities, such as here at the seminary.  Otherwise, you begin to connive against the authority, and work to get your own way, which tears down any sense of solidarity or common purpose.  It all eventually leads to chaos.  And yet, it’s been my experience that those who are most conniving and challenging to authority, complaining about lack of consultation, are precisely the ones who are most dictatorial once they are in charge.  That is why it is so important that you learn the proper spirit of priestly solidarity, common purpose and serene obedience here and now, during your years of priestly formation, precisely so that you will be a just, generous and wise leader once you are entrusted with pastoral responsibility.  To expand upon what Bishop Daly told you in a rector’s conference a few months ago, I would also say that a conniving, insubordinate, narcissistic seminarian will be a conniving, insubordinate, narcissistic priest.

I hope you weren’t drinking as you were reading this because I’m reasonably sure your computer would be soaking right now!  AWESOME!  Translation: When the patients are left to run the asylum, you get more craziness!  It’s like he just spelled out the plot of Lord of the Flies!  Children cannot raise themselves without proper knowledge of authority or it will be every man for himself with the bullies in charge.  This was the history of St. Patrick’s Seminary.

The ideologue simply imposes his own ideas on everyone else, regardless of how it will be received and without trying to understand the people who have been entrusted to his pastoral care.  The lazy priest, on the other hand, simply lets people do and believe what they want; he avoids conflict at all cost, and builds everything around his personal life, his ministry included.

Whaaaaaat? I’ve NEVER seen that happen in the Bay Area, or anywhere else for that matter.  (Dramatic eye roll goes here.)  Archbishop Cordileone has been showing us for months just what he meant when he said this at the seminary!  Here’s a little more:

This is being pastoral: encountering the other, establishing a relationship with them, being lovingly present to them. A priest cannot possibly hope to help his people grow in holiness if he is not present to them. His loving, pastoral presence to them at those most critical moments of life – the loss of a loved one, the birth of a child, marriage, times of crisis – all of this prepares the ground for him to, when necessary, challenge them for their own ongoing conversion. So make no mistake: truly doing the “pastoral thing” will always be harder, it will always place demands on you, sometimes inconvenient and uncomfortable demands; it will require you to work hard.

Again, he’s been a living witness of this since he took over the Archdiocese of San Francisco.  He wasn’t just telling these young seminarians to do something he’d never do.  He’s ever going back to the opposition with love and compassion, trying and trying again to explain to them why he is doing what he’s doing.  He’s had meetings with the teachers and parents.  He’s had meetings with the press.  He’s still doing what needs to be done, but he’s doing it with painstaking patience.  (It’s been painful for me because I have the natural protective mom inclination to say, “Stop messing with my Archbishop you jerks!”)

Archbishop Cordileone went on to link the quotes above to how we have to treat the liturgy, probably because of the battles the faithful often get into over the music, the décor, etc., etc., etc.

 To have credibility, we have to model that first and foremost at the liturgy: we are the servants of the liturgy, not its creators. This takes a great deal of discipline, restraint and humility on the part of the liturgical ministers, and most especially the celebrant.

Can I just say that credibility has been missing around here for a long, long time? We’ve had four wonderful bishops come to our area in the last twelve years (one has sadly left).  They made great improvements, but we have a way to go!  A lot of those who think they are creators of the liturgy have retired or will soon.  Now these great new bishops have a lot of untangling to do.  In fact, I’m sure Mary, Undoer of Knots, is probably their favorite novena these days!

Now, some people might say that this is all fine and dandy, but it’s irrelevant because it’s not what’s happening in our parishes. Well, if you see a discrepancy between what is in the pages of the Church’s documents and what is going on in our parishes’ liturgies, it’s not because the documents are wrong!

This is where the three approaches can be so easily illustrated. The ideologue will simply start mandating changes without talking to people, seeking to understand them, and, most importantly, teaching them. He’s in charge, so he does what he wants, and even if what he wants is what the Church says we should be doing, he alienates people. The lazy priest simply lets things drift off on their own, and get further and further away from what the Church teaches about how we are to worship. This, too, will inevitably begin to affect how and what his people believe, and so weaken their faith. But the pastoral priest will educate his people about what the Church teaches, what the Council really had in mind for authentic liturgical reform; he will begin to introduce changes gradually, probably targeting one principal Sunday Mass to build it up as the one with special solemnity. He also will not take anything away from his people; he will keep the contemporary music at the other Masses, and teach the musicians how to do it well. In this way, he will facilitate liturgical renewal organically. And it can be done. I’ve seen it done. I know pastors who inherited a parish in shambles (in one of them, the kids’ swing set was in the pastor’s back yard!), and, by approaching it precisely this way, they have completely transformed their parishes: the Masses are full, there are long lines for confessions, the full spectrum of ministries abound – even including the teaching of Natural Family Planning – and people are on fire for their faith.

This won’t happen with the ideologue or the slouch. When the ideologue discovers that the high school kid is having a great time banging away at the drums at Mass, he’ll tell him to take a hike. Never mind that this was his one connection to the Church, and maybe even hope for keeping out of trouble. Of course, the slouch will just let it continue, maybe even encourage it, and pretend as if it’s enjoyable. The true pastor will befriend the young man, guide him as to how he can use his instrument in a way that supports the singing rather than drown it out, and begin to sensitize the musicians to their proper role. When the young man graduates and leaves for college, there is an opportunity to make a subtle change of direction.

The documents of the Church aren’t wrong?  Say it isn’t so!  They’re archaic, at least, right?  Really, this cannot be said enough!  The documents of the Church are not wrong!  We just got it wrong for so many years!  Archbishop Cordileone is very clear: something has to be done about our liturgy.  He’s training these men up in the way they should go and hoping they don’t depart from it so they can do the same for us and our children.

Archbishop Cordileone goes on to mention a few specific things in the liturgies around the Bay Area that are actually theologically incorrect and some that even encourage narcissism.  Narcissism is so big around here; it’s pretty much a hobby for some!  I’m hoping that all of his effort can stem that because, if you are familiar at all with Greek Mythology, you will remember that Narcissus drowned due to his love of himself.  What happens when you can no longer tread water?  You end up like the “100 Prominent Catholics,” sinking further into the abyss!

We cannot thank you enough, Archbishop Cordileone!   We know you’ve taken the harder road so many before you have failed to do.  Despite the media spin and the efforts of the “100 Prominent Catholics,” your love for the people in your care shines through!  You are the true shepherd that we need for our local area as well as for the whole country. May your efforts be blessed!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THE CORDILEONE SUPPORT FUND

We’re on a Mission from God!

While Ireland burns, this past week has been a dream for the faithful Catholics in America, especially ones in the San Francisco Bay Area who felt like they were going it alone with their Archbishop Cordileone.  Maybe a little persecution has been healthy for us.  Maybe Ireland was a wake-up call.  Maybe the Church hierarchy realized the laity really does back them up.  Maybe they can’t stand the thought of losing another soul to secularism.  Maybe prayers have simply been answered.  Who knows?  Whatever it is, it seems like the hierarchy here in the United States are on a mission from God!  (OK, that’s kind of obvious just based on their calling but you’ve got to quote the Blues Brothers when you can!)

missionfromgod

In California, Bishops Barber and Vasa already won their morality clause wars. Archbishop Cordileone has the overwhelming support from the laity in his fight. He even has the support of many non-Catholics, because, well, it just makes sense that a Catholic school should BE Catholic.  Bishop Vasa, in conjunction with Archbishop Aldo de Cillo Pagotto of Brazil and Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, co-authored “Preferential Option for the Family — 100 Questions and Answers Relating to the Synod” to tackle misconceptions on their three different continents in preparation for the Synod.  They’re countering the silly Germans, Swiss, and French for us!  To top it off, there’s revolt in those countries against those trying to influence the Synod toward liberalism.  It seems that at least some Germans remember the little incident with Martin Luther.

Even more encouraging, the youth are stepping up and supporting these courageous clergy.  I’m seeing more and more youth blogging, tweeting, and making Facebook and Google Plus posts in support of the perennial teachings of the Church and her cardinals, archbishops, and bishops.  My own kids are chomping at the bit, too.  They’re also on a mission for God!  (Jake and Elwood would be proud!)  The media would have you believe that the youth all think like the “100 Prominent Catholics.”  Guess what?  The majority of those leading the charge against the Archbishop Cordileone are the gray-haired.  It’s the same usual suspects we’ve been seeing for years.  I just stumbled across a petition in support of Archbishop Cordileone from an under-30 Catholic for under-30 Catholics (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-stand-with-cordileone).  Help them by spreading the word.  They’re hoping to get 150 signatures, but I have no doubt they’ll get more.  Also, young Catholic Twitter users – why don’t you let @samsinger know just how you feel about Archbishop Cordileone.  I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.  In fact, you can sign the petition and then let him know at @samsinger with a link.  Oh, and let him know how old you are.  You can also throw in #meetthelaity.   That will really thrill him and the “100 Prominent Catholics” – or not.

In the past week, we’ve also had Cardinal Wuerl (Washington, D.C.) put out an awesome pastoral letter (you can find the link here: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tang-or-fresh-squeezed/ and you can send that to @samsinger too) and Bishop Lennon of the Diocese of Cleveland has explained to his teachers that they are expected to exemplify the Church in word and deed (http://bit.ly/1LVVKaX).  Heck, even Seton Hall recently removed pro-same-sex-marriage priest, Fr. Warren Hall.  By the way, despite the media reports, he wasn’t fired because he was homosexual, he was fired because he chose to publicly rally against Proposition 8 (the traditional marriage proposition in California).

I know there are more of the American hierarchy that I haven’t mentioned who have made good moves in the past few months and years.  I’m just looking at the names from this week.  It’s almost seems like light bulbs have started going on in the United States , and our Church leaders here realize the youth are the ones they need to focus on to turn this ship around, and everything is getting a bit brighter. The youth need to be protected and taught true Catholicism by word and deed. Bravo, gentlemen!  Bravo!  Profound thanks to those who have already made moves to clean up the schools and seminaries in your dioceses.  Hopefully the light bulbs that are not quite screwed in all the way will soon be shining bright and we can have all of our cardinals, archbishops, and bishops say in unison, “We are the Catholic Church and we are here to protect, teach, and lead you!”

So, to those American cardinals, archbishops, and bishops out there who are thinking about or preparing to jump into this wave of protecting and educating our Catholic youth in this country (It’s all of you, right?), please remember there is a lot of help and safety in numbers.  Don’t let the wave pass you by!  Now is the time!  Every time one more of you stands up, it sends a clear message to the rest of your brothers: “I AM WITH YOU IN DEFENDING THE FAITH!”  Germany never seemed to learn from history and is doomed to repeat it over and over again.  Their history (Church and national) shows them cannibalizing each other again and again just as they are doing today.  We are America!  We pull together when times are tough, and this isn’t just in our country’s history.  It’s also found in our Faith.  Christianity can only take back America if YOU take back the Catholic Faith here first!  We are all on a mission from God!