Friday, November 21, 2003

Good News from the Rockford Diocese

Pro-Abortion Speakers Formally Banned From Access to Catholic Institutions in the Diocese of Rockford!

“In the Diocese of Rockford permission to speak at or use diocesan, parish, or institutional property shall not be granted to individuals who hold any view that is contrary to the Catholic Magisterium’s moral teaching and practice.”

We can certainly pray that this same policy spreads thoughout the U.S. What a blessing it must be to have a faithful and solid bishop leading his people toward Christ and salvation!

Catholic Campaign for Human Development?

If what is being reported is true, then it demonstrates even more problematical issues with this USCCB agency. Catholic Citizens of Illinois reports:
"The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is an annual collection taken up in Catholic parishes around the United States. Over one third of their grants go to Alinsky-styled political organizations. The largest are the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), Pacific Institute for Community Organizing (PICO), Direct Action and Research Training Institute (DART), Gamaliel, and ACORN."

"These so-called community organizations DO NOT provide direct services to relieve the suffering of the poor, nor do they provide economic development grants for the poor. Rather, they organize institutions - particularly in and around churches - to fight for political power.

"Illinois Catholics are advised that in spite of laudable CHD undertakes, your donations are also being used to sabotage Church teachings. Catholic donors to CHD are paying for organizations who fight for health clinics that dispense contraceptives and make abortion referrals. Catholic donors to CHD pay for political organizing that supports pro-abortion politicians. Catholic donors to CHD pay for organizing that trains Catholics to dissent from Catholic teaching. Until CHD agrees to commit its resources exclusively to non-political charitable relief, and it has NOT done that, Catholics will continue to fund a network of subversive and anti-Catholic political organizations masquerading as not-for-profits."

I have rarely contributed to this collection, preferring, instead, to donate to various Catholic charities which work "directly" with the poor and needy.

If this and other articles are true, should not all Catholics be informed of this? Since this is a part of the USCCB, it would appear that it must undergo some serious reform.

You migh also want to read this from CCI entitled "Just How Bad is the Campaign For Human Development? Thirteen News Reports With Information You Need To Share With Your Fellow Catholics"

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Is there a disconnect here?

Look at this recent "News Brief" that appeared at Catholic News Service on 11/20/03. Why is it that this organization, which I understand is under the direction of the USCCB, continues to promote dissenters like Joan Chittister in their publications?
Benedictine sister aims to bring more women to table of peace

CLINTON, Iowa (CNS) -- As the Women's Partnership for Peace in the Middle East was meeting in Oslo, Norway, last summer, a suicide bombing took place in Israel. One of the delegates to the peace conference, who was unable to attend, lost a grandchild in the tragedy. The grandmother telephoned the conference's participants and urged, "Keep the dialogue going. Maybe you can save somebody else's granddaughter." Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, also a delegate to the Oslo conference, shared that story with an audience of about 300 people Nov. 2 at The Franciscan University in Clinton. The Benedictine lecturer, author and peace promoter from Erie, Pa., was in town to receive the 2003 Clare Award from the Clinton-based Sisters of St. Francis. Recipients of the Clare Award -- which has been presented only four times since its establishment a decade ago -- are women who exemplify "the characteristics of St. Clare and the values of the Clinton Franciscans: to live active nonviolence, pursuing peace with justice in right relationship with all creation."

And yet, right above this story was this 'News Brief':

Cardinal George says modern culture leaves people without firm values

ROME (CNS) -- Modern culture's exaltation of individualism and its pandering to changing whims are leaving people without firm references to the values and ideas that can draw them together and give them a common identity, said Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago. "Modern culture fosters the dissolution of human community, for it lacks any single publicly acknowledged system for integrating, legitimizing and evaluating human experience," the cardinal told a conference in Rome. The cardinal spoke at Rome's Lateran University Nov. 20 during a conference marking the 10th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's encyclical, "Veritatis Splendor," on moral theology.

Ok, first Cdl. George addresses the exaltation of individualism (pride, disobedience?), then CNS touts Sr. Joan.....

What gives? No wonder Catholics, and others, are so confused!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

An excellent example of some good priests!

These priests who put together this parish letter are to be commended
for educating their parishioners. Sometimes these days, it seems
that many Church leaders are reluctant to take a stand and defend Holy Mother Church against those who seek to undermine her teachings.

I am sending them a "Thank You" letter for having the courage to inform and protect the faithful entrusted to their care.

From Zenit
Code: ZE03111926
Date: 2003-11-19
Critique of "Voice of the Faithful"
What Faith Are They Trying to Keep?

HYANNIS, Massachusetts, NOV. 19, 2003 ( Several priests
in the Diocese of Fall River recently sent out a pastoral letter to
parishioners, to clarify the nature of Voice of the Faithful, a group
that gained attention in the wake of the clergy sex-abuse scandals.
Here we reprint the letter.
* * *
A Pastoral Letter From Your Priests

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In recent days, several parishioners have asked us for clarification about the group called "Voice of the Faithful," which is trying to make inroads on Cape Cod and within our Diocese of Fall River. Because we think that many parishioners beyond those who have approached us might have similar questions, we thought it would be appropriate to respond by means of a parish letter.

Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) was founded in the basement of a Wellesley church in January 2002 by those who wanted to express their concerns about the clergy sex-abuse scandals. Over the course of subsequent months, many good Catholic lay people, who were horrified (as were we!) by the scandals, joined the group as a means of expressing their justifiable outrage and firm commitment that this dark page in our Church's history must never be repeated.

When VOTF had its first major convention in Boston on July 20, 2002, many of us followed it closely to try discern its spirit. We were saddened to see the direction it took. The star speakers that day were well-known and oft-quoted critics of the Holy Father who publicly dissent from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. There's a truism that you can often learn a lot about someone from the people with whom he chooses to associate. The same goes for VOTF, the leaders of which, of course, invited and paid for these speakers to come to address those at the convention.

When faithful Catholic clergy and lay people criticized what was coming out of the convention, spokesmen from VOTF publicly stated that the group does not take any formal positions on the controversial issues being advanced by several of the convention speakers and VOTF members. But this is not sufficient. It is impossible for a group that wants to be authentically Catholic not to take a position on issues such as the ordination of women, sexual morality, abortion, and the divine foundation of the papacy -- all of which the Church has taken a position on. Not to take a position on such issues is to take a position; one cannot be both "agnostic" and "Catholic."

In short, because VOTF has given no indication that it fully supports all the defined teachings of the Church, we have grave misgivings about it and cannot recommend it to you.

As your priests, our foremost duty is to teach and defend the faith that has been handed down to us by Christ through the apostles and their successors. This is the Church's treasure and is the source of our unity as disciples of the Lord. The Church is not a society of independent thinkers with equally-valuable opinions, but the community of believers founded by Christ that remains faithful to His voice and follows His teaching as it has been handed on to us faithfully by the Church he founded. To be truly Catholic, you can't pick and choose some truths to follow and others to ignore. Embracing the Catholic faith means embracing all of it.

We have particular concern for those Catholics who want to remain faithful to the Church who now belong to an organization that calls itself Catholic but refuses publicly to embrace authentic Catholic teaching. VOTF says its motto is "Keep the Faith; Change the Church." But if the leaders of VOTF are unwilling to assent fully to Catholic teaching, what faith -- Catholics could legitimately ask -- are they trying to keep? And if organization is not really keeping the Catholic faith, then its proposals to "change the Church" should be viewed by faithful Catholics with justifiable suspicion. We encourage faithful Catholics who belong to VOTF to demand that the leadership of the organization explicitly avow Church teachings. If the leaders are not willing to do that, then we urge faithful Catholics to leave the organization.

The burden of proof is, of course, on VOTF to demonstrate its complete fidelity to Church teaching, by dissociating itself completely from groups and individuals that are obviously in dissent from Church teaching and gladly and willingly affirming their Catholic faith in all the defined teachings of the magisterium. No organization could never honestly claim to be the voice of faithful Catholic lay people without doing so -- as several parishioners, angry that the group claims to speak for them, have pointed out to us.

Until such time that VOTF demonstrates a transparent faithfulness to the teachings of the Church, no priest who takes his responsibility before God seriously to promote, preserve and defend the faith would countenance allowing the group to use Church property for their meetings. The people of ancient Troy learned a valuable lesson once and pastors would be derelict in their duty to do otherwise. We love you and love Christ too much to do otherwise.

If you find some of the statements of Voice of the Faithful to be attractive, we want you to know that we do, too. For instance, we agree with several of the organization's stated objectives:

1) We all support those who have been abused and want to prevent any recurrence of abuse.

2) We all support "priests of integrity" (although you might find it interesting that no priest from any of the parishes on Cape Cod present at our last meeting stated that he has received any sign of support from VOTF, which makes one wonder whether for VOTF this is just a paper objective).

3) We agree that there is a need for "cultural change" in the Church, if we define cultural change to mean a transparently greater cult (worship) of Christ among all of us in our daily decisions. The scandals resulted from the failure of priests to be faithful to Christ and to their promise of celibacy and of bishops to protect the flock from wolves in shepherd's clothing. But this grew within a general culture that was taking its moral obligations before God less seriously. Truly positive change will be directed toward a culture of greater fidelity to Christ in all the persons and activities of the Church.

4) We agree that there is a need for greater education of the laity in the teaching and ways of the faith, which is why, over the course of this year, we will be doing an extensive adult education series and why we have already started discussion sessions for parents of those in our CCD program and school.

5) We also welcome and strongly encourage a greater lay involvement in the mission of the Church, bringing Christ's teaching and love as leaven into our world.

In all of these areas priests and laity are already working together and, with God's help, bearing much fruit. If these were the only objectives of VOTF, the organization would not be objectionable.

The reason why VOTF is controversial, however, and why we cannot support it or recommend it to you is because VOTF has given indications by its deeds that its objectives transcend these publicly stated ones. By its failure to subscribe openly to the whole deposit of faith while at the same time publicly associating with groups that oppose the faith, VOTF has done nothing but strengthen suspicions that, while appearing to promote dialogue and cooperation, it actually promotes an agenda in conflict with the teachings of the Catholic faith.

There is a better alternative than VOTF for lay Catholics who want truly to "keep the faith and change the Church" in ways that are manifestly consistent with our Catholic faith. We invite them to become more involved in the mission of the Church here at St. Francis Xavier. We encourage them to join their priests and fellow lay people as together we strive to fulfill the mission which the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II have entrusted to us: to live the faith and thereby, with God's help, strengthen the Church so as to change the world.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Thomas A. Frechette
Fr. Paul T. Lamb
Fr. Roger J. Landry
* * *

The Massachusetts Bishops Speak...

As reported by Catholic News Service here:
Reacting to an "alarming" decision by Massachusetts' highest court to overturn a ban on same-sex marriages, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of Boston said he hopes the state's legislators "will have the courage and common sense to redress this situation for the good of society."

In a separate statement, the Massachusetts Catholic Conference said the decision "defies reason" and was a rejection of "an understanding of marriage tested over thousands of years and accepted nearly everywhere as the key to a stable society."

It remains to be seen if this judicial ruling will be overturned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Bishop J. Kevin Boland, who spoke last week about the Q&A pamphlet called "Between Man and Woman:Questions and Answers About Marriage and Same-Sex Unions" which the U.S. Bishops approved, stated yesterday that the legalization of homosexual "marriages" would be "another diminishing of society, just like abortion.....Marriage is, in many ways, in a crisis in this country," Boland said. "... I see it as another diminishing of society, just like abortion." Read the story here.

The world, and especially the U.S., seems to slip further and further into the abyss of darkness every day, rejecting the light of Truth. Does not a day go by, in which we see the furthering of decadence and immorality on a level that seems to be greater than any other time in history? And what are we teaching the youth of today?

More prayers, fasting, and mortification are needed, at least to strengthen those who may yet accept the gift of grace which God offers to all of us.

Judicial Activism in Massachusetts

Catholics, other Christians, and all people who believe in Divine, moral, and natural law may soon become the targets of a new judicial mandate. The Massachusetts Supreme Court today ruled that the state must allow some form of "marriage" for homosexuals.

Forget the will of the people & the legislature! This is just too reprehensible to even address. Read all about it at

I suppose we are, indeed, lucky that the U.S. Bishops just addressed this issue last week. Who will be the first Massachusetts bishop to loudly condemn this ruling by a wayward bunch of, as Ted Kennedy says, "neanderthals"!

American Catholicism on the verge of collapse?

Well, so writes Garry Wills in his book review of Peter Steinfels' book, "A People Adrift".
As long as these people keep trying to remake the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, they are correct and their 'church' will collapse!

I, rather, will continue to believe Jesus when He said about His Church, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

If you can stomach the same old, tired song and dance from those dissenters whose only authority comes from within, then read his review here.

Monday, November 17, 2003

New Toledo Bishop-designate defends celibacy

Another Bishop defends the disciplinary rules of the Church.

"Toledo Bishop-designate Leonard Blair, having just returned from a U.S. Catholic bishops conference in Washington, said yesterday that the church must continue its diligence in protecting children from sexual abuse, but said officials should "stay the course" rather than look to radical changes.

"Saying that he is still becoming familiar with the diocese he will lead starting Dec. 4, Bishop Blair said he saw some positive signs at the three-day meeting of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"Bishop Blair said he does not think the church should discuss optional celibacy for priests, as proposed by a group of 160 Milwaukee priests and supported recently by 25 retired Toledo priests."

See the full story at

Georgetown Condemns Cardinal Arinze for Pro-Family Speech

See a related story at

Contact: Matt Mauney
(202) 276-5982

November 12, 2003

Georgetown University Student Government Condemns Catholic Cardinal for Pro-family Speech

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a stunning blow to Georgetown University’s religious heritage, the student government of America's oldest Catholic university turned its back on a normally routine resolution thanking Nigerian Archbishop Francis Cardinal Arinze - thought by many to be next in line for the papacy - for his commencement speech last spring.

In his speech, Cardinal Arinze stood up for traditional Catholic teachings on the family and sexual morality, saying, “In many parts of the world, the family is under siege. It is opposed by an anti-life mentality as is seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. It is scorned and banalized by pornography, desecrated by fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions and cut in two by divorce.”

Cardinal Arinze’s commencement address ignited a firestorm on campus that has continued in the current academic year. Theology Professor Theresa Sanders and several students walked out during the graduation speech on May 17th, 2003. Nearly 70 faculty members followed up with a letter to College Dean Jane McAuliffe to protest the address. Then, in October, the Georgetown University Faculty Senate passed a resolution prompted by the Arinze speech which called on the university to reaffirm its commitment to an “inclusive, pluralistic community.”

On November 4, 2003, the student government—known as the Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA)—debated a resolution sponsored by junior representative Matt Mauney that thanked Cardinal Arinze for an “appropriate and meaningful commencement address in keeping with Catholic teaching and the Georgetown University mission.” It also called on teachers and students who protested the speech “to affirm their commitment to an inclusive community.” GUSA rejected the resolution 3-11.

Mauney denounced GUSA’s actions saying, “By rejecting this resolution, the student association has said that the expression of Catholic faith is unwelcome at perhaps the most important university event for students. In doing so, it has pitted Georgetown’s Catholic identity against tolerance, implying that faithful Catholics, indeed the whole university, are bigoted.”

Nicholas Lizop, a GUSA representative who voted against the resolution, commented that “[I] would expect to be able to go through Georgetown without having to hear Catholic doctrine.”

“Unfortunately, there are many people on campus who are ignorant of Catholic teachings and Georgetown’s tradition,” Mauney said. “No one is compelled to agree with the Catholic Church, but as a non-Catholic, it is unconscionable to me that people who freely chose to come here are so hostile to the intellectual and moral tradition that founded this university. This decision undermines the 200-plus year tradition of America’s oldest Catholic university, and the students who opposed the resolution should be ashamed.”

GUSA’s actions have caused some students to reflect on whether conservative and traditional Catholic voices are really welcomed on campus. Jack Ternan, the chair of the student association and a Catholic, commented, “I can’t count the number of times I have been called a racist, sexist, homophobe, etc in an attempt to discredit or silence me.”