Georgetown Has an Identity but it Ain’t Catholic!

Hey, Georgetown, I’m disappointed in you! Really? You couldn’t come up with anyone more offensive to Catholic Doctrine than Cecile Richards? I guess Hitler’s dead, so he’s out. Xi Jinping, president of China, maybe? Come on, stretch your mind! I’m sure you can do it! At least you did manage to come up with someone more obnoxious than Larry Flynt. Cecile will be hard to top, but I’m quite confident that you can and will do it, unless someone finally gives you the time out you deserve.

http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4738/BREAKING-Planned-Parenthood-President-Cecile-Richards-to-Speak-at-Georgetown.aspx

I’m sure the usual Jesuit gymnastics will kick in soon. You know, “Freedom of speech!”, “We listen to all point of view”, “How can we reach out to them if we don’t know them…”, “it’s not us, it’s a student organization”, etc. In other words, the usual load of Jesuit hooey.

None of this is going to change the fact that Cecile Richards is responsible for the death of almost 3 million babies via surgical and chemical abortion, and who knows how many more through contraception. Sorry that you care so little about the women at your university that you’re even letting her name be uttered there, much less giving her the royal treatment. I hope you have to pick up the pieces of the shattered lives you are contributing to so you learn.

What is Cardinal Wuerl going to do about this? The Cardinal Newman Society has already submitted a Canon Law case to him a while back: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/catholiceducationdaily/detailspage/tabid/102/articleid/2277/canon-law-case-against-georgetown-submitted-to-cardinal-wuerl.aspx  Is Cardinal Wuerl going to stand by his most amazing piece of writing from last year that I discussed here: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tang-or-fresh-squeezed/? Or is he going to wimp out and do nothing?

Before he acts(or doesn’t), I’d like to remind Cardinal Wuerl of his words (http://www.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Being-Catholic-Today-Pastoral-Letter.pdf):

The Church is not a business, a club, or a special-interest group. The Church is not the result of like-minded people coming together and deciding to form an organization, nor are her moral teachings decided by popular vote or societal trends.

And this:

When we come to the institutions of the Church – its parishes, schools, universities, charitable organizations, health care facilities and more – these too must reflect a genuine Catholic identity with visible communion with the Church, both universal and local, and fidelity to Catholic teaching. As Pope Francis has implored, each of these institutions and those involved in their operation must be oriented toward the mission of the Church (Evangelii gaudium, 27). The purpose of these entities – and the task of those who work for them – is to lead people to Jesus.

Is Cecile Richards helping Georgetown accomplish the mission of the Church, or is she doing just the opposite? Forget about Richards, what about Georgetown itself? I’m reasonably sure it’s a resounding “No!” It’s high time we cut them loose. They are an embarrassment. They’ll probably refuse an order to stop calling themselves Catholic, but at least the Church will have stated that they have lost that Catholic identity. Doesn’t sound like a big deal until you consider donors who want to donate to a Catholic label. That’s where it really hurts, and it’s all about the bottom dollar in places like Georgetown that don’t place a priority on being Catholic.

So, Catholics and pro-lifers everywhere should contact Cardinal Wuerl and let him know that, regardless of his honorary degree from GU, you think inviting Cecile Richards to Georgetown is an affront to the Faith and he should do something about it. The Archdiocese of Washington doesn’t seem to want to make contact too easy, so I’ll help you out:

Cardinal Wuerl on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cardinal_wuerl

Archdiocese of Washington on Twitter (maybe they’ll flag it for him): https://twitter.com/WashArchdiocese Mailing address: 5001 Eastern Ave, Hyattsville, MD 20782

Generic email: digitalmedia@adw.org

Phone number: 301.853.4500

Facebook (probably have to use the comments section, since they don’t allow you to post to the page): https://www.facebook.com/adw.org/

Personally, I recommend tweeting – a lot. Anyone got a clever hashtag? Please share. I also recommend joining the protests that will occur. I’m sure faithful Catholics and other pro-lifers are not going to sit on the sidelines while this happens. The Cardinal might want to note that this will not be quietly swept under the rug.

This is where the rubber meets the road, dear Cardinal. Either you think Catholic identity is important, or you do not. Either you care about the eternal souls of those under your care, or you do not. Either you are going to do your job, or you are going to turn a blind eye. Who said this again?

Furthermore, a particular responsibility is incumbent upon the bishop with regard to Catholic institutions and their Catholic identity (Veritatis splendor, 116). His is the responsibility to see that our Catholic institutions are places where the faith permeates the culture. Our schools, for example, at all levels, should provide the environment where revealed truth, reason and charity are engaged in an ongoing effort to shed greater light on the human condition. In whatever area of endeavor, the Catholic identity of the effort should be found, for example, in a mission statement. And the message it voices should exhibit a vision of life that is rooted in Christ, articulated in his Gospel and manifested in his Church.

Oh, yeah, it was you, Cardinal Wuerl. Please exercise your responsibility! If not now, when? Could there really be a worse situation you are waiting for? If you don’t act now, I’m sure that Georgetown will accommodate. Finding people to slap the faces of the faithful seems to be their hobby.

 

 

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Cardinal Wuerl Must Have Seen a “Call to Battle!”

This: http://cardinalsblog.adw.org/2015/12/at-the-service-of-the-truth-and-love-of-jesus-christ/  Please read while I’m putting my eyes back in my head, tongue back in my mouth, and getting my chin off the floor! What the heck?! Can we get more of THIS Cardinal Wuerl? Better yet, can he please write responses for the Pope on this issue?  Just a couple of months ago I was lamenting his ambiguous synod comments and now this?

 

First, any person who struggles in trying to live according to the revealed truth of Catholic teaching should know the Church recognizes his or her dignity as created by God and that the person need not face life’s challenges apart from the grace of the Lord and his Church, which seeks only the highest good for everyone.

The Church recognizes that we all need to grow in faith and in closeness to the Lord. Simply acting contrary to Church teaching on occasion would not preclude serving as a ministerial employee or volunteer. For us to acknowledge that we are sinners, as we do, is to admit that occasionally we too have at times not lived up to the truth. On those occasions, we are expected to acknowledge our failings and seek to amend our lives in Christ.

However, if one persists or effectively insists that they are right and the Church is wrong, in the face of such irreconcilable differences it is not discrimination or punishment to say that continued ministerial service is not possible. It is not a question of personal private activity, but the social consequences of conduct which undermines the Church’s ability to fulfill her mission. When there is the potential for scandal that might lead people astray regarding the Catholic faith, continued service becomes untenable. (Emphasis from here on out, all mine!)

<Snip for brevity – it’s all awesome though!>

“We all are at the service of the mission of Christ,” and particularly for those in ministerial positions, “no one can claim a right simultaneously to work for the Church and to work against her belief” (23). When a person involved in ministerial activity offers a counter-witness to Catholic teaching by words or public conduct, however earnest they may be, experience shows that it can lead people away from the truth and otherwise have an adverse effect on our mission. The Church not only must be free to then take corrective steps, it has an obligation in charity and truth to do so.

<snip>

And no official would ever continue to employ someone who in his off-hours publicly demonstrated that he was opposed to the official’s policies or campaigned for the official’s opponent.

That last line harkens back to Archbishop Cordileone’s comment during his handbook fight. It’s a big “Duh!” the liberals just don’t seem to get or it’s the double standard they want us to simply take with our mouths shut.

The Church we serve is not ours, but Christ’s. The greatest mercy of the Church is to be faithful witnesses of his truth and love. It is precisely through the witness of authentic Catholic teaching, which is the revealed truth of the Gospel, that the parishioners in the pews, the young people in our schools, the people served in our charitable ministries, and the world at large will find salvation.

This is kind of the perfect response I wish the Holy Father had given, rather than the “Who am I to judge?” response.  I think every cardinal and bishop should bookmark this one. No need to re-invent the wheel. Clear. Concise. No backpedaling and, most importantly, NO APOLOGIES for doing what the Church is supposed to do! Did I think I’d be giving kudos to Cardinal Wuerl twice in a year’s time? I’m not sure I thought I’d even do it once.  Here’s hoping 2016 sees that trend continue and here’s hoping our cardinals and bishops continue to focus on strengthening the mission of the Church in this new year!

 

 

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.

Imagine: Is This How John Thought It Would Turn Out?

I think we have seen enough people commenting on Laudato Si today.  I’m not going to touch that one.  There would seem to be a lot of different interpretations around from various people I’d tend to consider faithful Catholics.  I’ll have to hunker down and read it soon.  I, myself, wasn’t too worried, but others seemed to be in a near panic about its release.  From what little I’ve read, “Be good Catholics!” has seemingly been the message.

Instead, I am going to focus on the terrible shooting in South Carolina and what’s been coming out of the liberals mouths ever since: “Guns! It’s all the fault of the guns!”  Sorry, Mr. President and all your loyal followers, this is your fault that this has happened over and over again!  When you teach the nation’s children on a daily basis that belief in God is wrong, killing children in the womb is right, and morality is whatever you want to make of it, this is what you get.  There is no belief that life is sacred.  I’m not really sure how any of you liberals can honestly look America in the eye and call this shooting evil.  I can, but can you?  You’ve said time and again that murder is a choice and reality is what you want it to be, not what it actually is.  What did you expect?  I’m sure this young man had a reality all his own.  You rubber stamped his right to his reality so his wishes and whims superseded everyone else’s.  What?  That’s not what you meant?

Archbishop Wuerl spoke to the AFL-CIO the other day (http://saltandlighttv.org/blog/general/cardinal-wuerl-the-catholic-ideal-of-solidarity-and-the-new-evangelization).  The speech didn’t get a lot of play, but it was, once again, actually pretty good.  I’m not yet used to “bold Catholicism” coming out of his mouth, but it is so refreshing!  Somebody always has to chime in with, “Yeah, we’ll see about that,” but frankly, I don’t care what the man did or didn’t do yesterday, he’s been kind of awesome as of late.  Keep it up Cardinal!  To the rest of us, give credit where credit is due.  One part of the speech, in particular, hit me when I heard about the shooting in South Carolina:

A number of years ago I was invited to speak at the Catholic Center at Harvard University. The designated theme was “The Role of Faith in a Pluralistic Society.” At the conclusion of my presentation, a skeptical professor who self-identified as an atheist and who taught in the law school was the first to present a question. He asked, “What do you people think you bring to our society?”

The reference to “you people” was to the front row of the audience that was made up of representatives of a variety of religious traditions, all of whom were in their appropriate identifiable robes.

Since he was a lawyer, I asked if he would mind if I answered his question with a question of my own. When he nodded in agreement, I asked: “What do you think the world would be like if it were not for the voices of all of those religious traditions represented in the hall? What would it be like if we did not hear voices in the midst of the community saying, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness?

What would our culture be like had we not heard religious imperatives such as love your neighbor as yourself, do unto others as you would have them do to you?

How much more harsh would our land be if we did not grow up hearing, blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the peacemakers?

What would the world be like had we never been reminded that someday we will have to answer to God for our actions?”

To his credit, the man who asked the question smiled broadly and said, “It would be a mess!”

Well, America, welcome to the mess that’s been created by vilifying the unborn, the elderly, Christianity in general, Catholicism in particular, and ignoring morality. You reap what you sow, and you’ve sowed it well. Guns are not the evil that killed these people. The lack of respect for God, the devaluing of human life, and the blatant disregard of the consequences of our actions led to this tragedy. Give yourselves a pat on the back for this one, liberals. You wanted to “Imagine” it like John Lennon, and you’re seeing what it will be like if Christianity doesn’t fight back with everything they’ve got.

Cardinal Wuerl goes on to say:

Recent popes have spoken about certain social and cultural challenges in our world today, including relativism, which denies the existence of objective truth and the natural moral order; secularism, which treats religion as a solely private matter and thus dismisses appreciation of God and the importance of religious faith, values and institutions in the public square; materialism, which can all too easily focus attention on personal gain at the expense of the common good and the needs of others, and individualism which can center on the self and lose sight of our dependence on others as well as the responsibilities that we bear towards each other.

There also persist in our culture various ideologies and mentalities which view all of social life through the lens of economic class, ethnic, racial or sexual identity, ideology or political party preference. Here, we see the separation of people into competing interests.

Pope Francis with his clear words and inviting ways offers a powerful counterpoint to these forces. He speaks often in opposition to a “globalization of indifference” and a “throwaway culture” in our world today, “according to which everything is disposable. A culture that always leaves people out of the equation” – the unborn, young people, the elderly, the sick, those who are deemed to be of no use (Interview, Radio of the Archdiocese of Rio, July 27, 2013).

Can anyone look around the world we’ve seen lately and deny that we live in a throwaway culture?  We literally throw human beings away on a daily basis! Society no longer says there is an objective truth a la Dolezal and Jenner. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone (#cardinalcordileone) knows all too well that natural moral order went out the window a long time ago for those railing against him.  Now we have 9 dead because society convinced a kid that none of the people he shot had intrinsic value.  Heck, he might not have thought them people at all because objective truth went bye-bye.  There was no thought about the consequences of his actions, let alone about God or life. People are going to have to stop blaming everything other than the what is actually causing this to happen. Plain and simple – society has made these kids this way. The liberals pushed for moral relativism, and the Catholic Church let them roll right over them for the sake of political correctness.  Basically, a few good men did nothing.  Edmund Burke was right about that one.

I’m hoping the new generation of a few good men will do something or we will just keep living in a dystopian novel of insanity and violence.  The Catholic Church has got to lead the way on this one.  Not only do they need to rally each other, they need to rally all of Christianity.  The laity must urge our cardinals and bishops to lead this fight as much as we possibly can because I hate to imagine the insanity that awaits our future grandchildren if we fail.

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!

Tang or Fresh Squeezed?

Wow! Bad week for those opposed to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone! I’m sure some are still passed out celebrating the Irish referendum but while they were on the floor, Cardinal Wuerl dropped a 10-chapter (not counting introduction and conclusion) pastoral letter on why they are wrong. On the heels of that, the Vatican Secretary of State said the Irish vote legalizing gay marriage was a “disaster for humanity.” Completing the trifecta, Pope Francis (you know the guy they are counting on to be so “compassionate” – in other words, the guy who was supposed to rubberstamp sins with a big OK) has said about 100 times in a week or so that “marriage between a man and a woman.” Don’t think Truth is going anywhere anytime soon, no matter how you wish it away or insist it depends on popular vote.

Cardinal Wuerl’s letter can be found here: http://www.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Being-Catholic-Today-Pastoral-Letter.pdf

An article with Cardinal Parolin’s and the Holy Father’s comments here: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/vatican-stands-by-cardinal-s-remarks-on-referendum-1.2227805

Do you think Sam Singer’s going to tweet these? Really, you don’t? Yeah, I guess not. Not exactly following his game plan of having Archbishop Cordileone removed by the Holy Father. His poor head must be exploding right now. Cue a bunch of nasty tweets out of frustration about Archbishop Cordileone in 3 … 2 … 1. Knowing Sam, however, he’s probably hoping that the Pope will now remove Archbishop Cordileone AND Cardinal Wuerl.

At some point, the dissenters are going to have to stop the silly game of pitting Pope against his Archbishop. I can’t figure out if they really think the Pope doesn’t know what goes on around here and they think they can shame him into removing our good Archbishop, or if they really don’t grasp the fact that the Pope and the Archbishop both teach the same things. Either way, the dissenters are both confounded and confused, or they seek to make everyone else so.

Let’s look at THE letter of the week from Cardinal Wuerl. It’s directed at his area, but it’s the same type of shenanigans – dissenters saying the Church shouldn’t be Catholic. There are a lot of amazing passages which are not only aimed at his area but go right along with the San Francisco handbook flap. Excuse the heavy quoting, but it’s so awesome I just had to do it.

The Church is not a business, a club, or a special-interest group. The Church is not the result of like-minded people coming together and deciding to form an organization, nor are her moral teachings decided by popular vote or societal trends.

SAY WHAT?! What do you mean her moral teachings are not decided by popular vote or societal trends??? Crazy talk, Cardinal, just crazy talk! Apparently you have not consulted with Sam Singer, Fr. Donal Godfrey, Concerned Parents and Teachers, nor the “100 Prominent Catholics”!

Love this little story Cardinal Wuerl threw in there.

Years ago, in an effort to provide a fuller vision of life to a group of youngsters whose experience was confined to the inner city, we organized a day trip to the country. The day began with a breakfast that included genuine freshly-squeezed orange juice. Cautiously taking a sip, many of the children asked, “What is this stuff?” When told it was orange juice, they simply said, “No it isn’t.”

They had never known the real thing. The only experience they had of anything approximating orange juice was an artificial “orange-flavored drink” sometimes given as part of the free breakfast program. That occasion comes to mind when I reflect on the limited and even contrived version of our faith that some people hold.

Yes! Yes! Yes! We’ve been serving Tang to the kids in the Bay Area’s Catholic schools for at least 30 years! They really don’t know the taste of the True Faith! They have no idea what they are missing and how it can be the most flavorful thing they’ve ever imagined!  They’ve been robbed!

One may choose to be a member of the Catholic Church or not. No one is forced to belong to the Church. We never lose our baptismal dignity of being part of the family of Christ, but we are free to choose to participate or not participate in the life of our family. If one becomes a member of the Church, he or she is expected to believe what the Church believes and attempt to live it out as best he or she can, including participating in the Mass and other sacraments, providing a good example and witness to others, and helping others to know Christ.

So many people like to point this out to our handbook-opposing friends. I’m sure some don’t do it with the best of intentions, because frankly they are just tired and annoyed and they are giving in to it by trying to show our friends the door, but I really think this is important! The Catholic Church is all about free will. You can choose to believe it and the Church will love you, or you can choose to disbelieve it and the Church will still love you. Regardless, the Church will not change for you because it has your best interest at heart.

When we come to the institutions of the Church – its parishes, schools, universities, charitable organizations, health care facilities and more – these too must reflect a genuine Catholic identity with visible communion with the Church, both universal and local, and fidelity to Catholic teaching. As Pope Francis has implored, each of these institutions and those involved in their operation must be oriented toward the mission of the Church (Evangelii gaudium, 27). The purpose of these entities – and the task of those who work for them – is to lead people to Jesus.

Wait! I thought the purpose was to tolerate and accept everyone and whatever they want to do and to make everyone feel comfy and included? That’s what the Concerned Parents and Teachers, et. al., told me. I’m so confused!

Furthermore, a particular responsibility is incumbent upon the bishop with regard to Catholic institutions and their Catholic identity (Veritatis splendor, 116). His is the responsibility to see that our Catholic institutions are places where the faith permeates the culture. Our schools, for example, at all levels, should provide the environment where revealed truth, reason and charity are engaged in an ongoing effort to shed greater light on the human condition. In whatever area of endeavor, the Catholic identity of the effort should be found, for example, in a mission statement. And the message it voices should exhibit a vision of life that is rooted in Christ, articulated in his Gospel and manifested in his Church.

At this point I’d just like to say I TOLD YOU SO! Please see about half of my other blog posts. (Yes, that was a shameless plug!)

Similarly, those who agree to assist the Church in her mission and ministries represent the public face of the Church. Whether Catholic or non-Catholic, they should respect our Catholic identity and avoid behavior that contradicts the very mission of the Catholic institution.

The wider community benefits from the presence of authentically Catholic institutions and faithful Catholic disciples because the richness of Catholic teaching can engage the secular culture in a way that the light of the wisdom of God is brought to bear on the issues of the day. On the other hand, members of the Church, those who serve in Catholic ministries, those people served by them, and the community at large are all impoverished, not enriched, when the ministry’s Catholic identity is diluted or lukewarm.

Oooh! Did you see THAT? The Cardinal totally just backed up the Archbishop’s handbook. Don’t cry, Sam! Just embrace it! The Church is calling you back to your roots!

Pope Francis writes eloquently of the act of assent that is required of those who want to belong to the Catholic Church or who seek to share in her mission and work. His words were addressed specifically to teachers but are applicable to all the areas of Church ministry. “We need to remember that all religious teaching ultimately has to be reflected in the teacher’s way of life, which awakens the assent of the heart by its nearness, love and witness” (Evangelii gaudium, 45).

You do realize this is the guy that you are hoping will remove the Archbishop for saying what he just said, right?

Our failure to live up to the demands of the Gospel is a reality of life, but we are blessed with God’s mercy and forgiveness. The Lord’s capacity to forgive is infinitely greater than our ability to sin. However, failure to always fulfill our Christian obligations is not the same as the decision to reject specific obligations, teachings, commandments and requirements set by the Lord. It is inevitable – though no less deserving of our repentance – that we will sin. But our moral failings must not cloud our belief in the truth of Christ’s teachings. And believing in that truth, we must not fail to proclaim it.

OK, I’m going to get a little bit serious here. I get upset when I see people parroting “DUI!” As I’ve said before, the Archbishop’s handling of it is the perfect example of what we should do when we blow it. Own it! Confess it! Ask forgiveness and move on resolving not to blow it again! The thing that really breaks my heart is that “the opposition” – who are really our brothers and sisters in Christ no matter how annoying they might be – are continuing to ”reject specific obligations, teachings, commandments and requirements set by the Lord.” Our hope is at least purgatory. How about theirs? They’re continuing on with their resolve to sin some more and jump headlong into the near occasion of sin. Who’s praying for them and trying to help them? I’ll tell you who: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. People on “our side” like to say, “Just get rid of the dissenters.” He is holding out hope for them to embrace the Faith. He’s not naïve. He knows it’s a long row to hoe but he’s doing what a good bishop does. He’s going for the lost sheep (yes, there’s way more than one around these parts). We need to pray and pray like crazy he is successful in winning them back – not just winning the handbook battle (although that’s got to be a big goal to protect the students). He’s not going to win them all. Sad fact, but true. Still, maybe he can win some and protect the students which he will do because, well, he’s just that kind of guy. Back to Cardinal Wuerl:

Catholics grew up with the impression that their heritage was little more than warm, vaguely positive feelings about God.

Those years of experimentation left many Catholics weak, spiritually and intellectually, and unable to withstand the tsunami of secularism that came in recent decades. We lost many people because we failed to teach them about right and wrong, about the common good, about the nature of the human person. This left many no longer able to admit that we are sinners who need Jesus because many no longer know what sin is.

Sound familiar? Archbishop Cordileone and the Cardinal Wuerl have decided enough is enough! Quite frankly, we’ve been failed by the Fr. Jenkins (Notre Dame) and Fr. Godfreys (University of San Francisco) of the world and their “I’m OK, you’re OK” kind of Catholicism, while the Archbishop and the Cardinal (and more) are standing up for us all.

By the way, while he doesn’t specifically mention “Primacy of Conscience” argument that those opposed to the Archbishop have made, Cardinal Wuerl does allude to it and totally trashes their conclusions. Make sure you read this document. Most excellent!

Disagreement simply cannot be denounced as discrimination. Some commentators see this situation as a uniquely American way to live both freedom and diversity. It rests upon the understanding that diversity is real and disagreement is not discrimination. Such freedom cannot be negated by a newly created definition of discrimination.

Right! So Catholics who are faithful to the teachings of the Church aren’t bigots after all! Please take note, Concerned Parents and Teachers and the rest of the club.

The many challenges Catholics face demonstrate the need to be vigilant. We rejoice in the constitutional protection of our freedom, but we cannot take such safeguards for granted. We must speak out and clearly say, when speaking to the world situation: No Christian should be forced to convert to another faith. Closer to home, no Christian should be forced to accept a secular view of life with its own vision of morality. No Catholic institution should be denied its freedom simply because it wishes to follow the Catholic faith.

I would like to add that no Catholic institution should be denied its freedom simply because their teachers were allowed to unionize. Some have the mistaken notion that because there is a union, the Catholic Church must somehow ditch her missions and ministries. Wrong!

Sadly, it is not unusual to encounter Catholics who were raised in Catholic families, educated at institutions that identify themselves as “Catholic,” and who may attend Mass regularly, yet do not necessarily know or understand their faith or believe it.

Clearly the Cardinal has been to California.

One new effort to abridge religious freedom is the legislation that would require Catholic schools to retain teachers who by their words or actions publicly contradict the teaching of the Church. Some now wrongly claim it is discrimination for the Church to insist that those who teach in Catholic schools present Catholic teaching in word and in witness.

As Catholics, who we are cannot be separated from how we live. Jesus taught us to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and care for the sick and those in need, and the Catholic Church’s history of educating and serving the poor is long and well known. However, there is a false notion that the beliefs of Catholics can be separated from how we live. Ministries such as Catholic Charities, Victory Housing, and our high schools are not independent of the Church. They are as much a part of the Church as our parishes.

In according with religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment, Catholic organizations should be free to operate by the tenets of the Catholic faith, should not be forced to accept the government’s moral views, and should not be required to provide a platform for persons who oppose in both word and action the mission of the Church.

Other factors undermining our Catholic mission and identity come from within, either through explicit dissent, miscatechesis or personal conduct that tends to draw people away from the communion of the Church.

I read stories about other places in the country, and even in Cardinal Wuerl’s locale, but this sounds very, very applicable to the situation in the Bay Area.

More and more, however, measures passed in the guise of “anti-discrimination” are being used divisively to favor one group over another and deny equality to others. Suddenly terms like “discrimination,” “freedom of choice” and “human rights” have been distorted and turned upside-down to restrict religious freedom.

-to disparage as bigoted and mean-spirited anyone who seeks to uphold fundamental truths about the human person that have been recognized throughout history. In a time when for many the supreme civic virtue is “tolerance,” the Catholic faith is considered intolerable. In a time when prejudice has been all but outlawed, anti-Catholicism gets a pass. It is, as more than one scholar has observed, the one remaining acceptable prejudice.

However, there is a difference between one’s identity, which we are called to respect, and one’s actions, which we can very well find offensive even immoral. There are some things that the Church simply will not do, and it is not discriminatory to say, “We do not do that.”

Can I get an AMEN? He goes on to beautifully explain the concept of embracing the sinner but not the sin.

I don’t think I can quote the whole of Chapter 9, but it’s awesome and basically says, “Hey dissenters – We haven’t changed, we won’t change, and you telling us to change doesn’t mean a darn thing! You can try to make us change, but you will fail.”

Chapter 10 is about how awesome the Catholic Church is, and sadly, the conclusion uses the “M” word: martyr. Our martyrdom, thankfully, will likely not be a literal beheading (although you never can tell around here). It will likely be an attempted financial beheading via lawsuits (and that’s already been threatened). In order to prepare for that battle, I ask you to pray for Cardinal Wuerl and Archbishop Cordileone, and to donate to the fund below (and no, I have nothing to do with Catholic Vote but appreciate their effort).

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THE CORDILEONE SUPPORT FUND