Monday, August 31, 2009

Priest Lashes Out On Kennedy Debacle

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Dear Everyone,

As a Roman Catholic priest, I feel a duty in conscience today to register, to the couple of hundred people to whom I have ready access, my emphatic dissent from a message that was projected around the nation and the globe this morning to millions of viewers and listeners by certain other members of the Roman Catholic clergy.

Kennedy's Funeral Mass is a Scandal

I refer to this morning's televised funeral Mass, celebrated in Boston's Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, for the recently deceased Senator Edward Moore Kennedy. It was a Mass I regard as a scandal comparable to, if not worse than, the scandal given several months ago when the nation's most prestigious 'Catholic' university bestowed an honorary doctorate upon Barack Hussein Obama, the most pro-abortion and 'pro-gay' president in U.S. history.

Why, you ask, should a Catholic priest raise such objections to a Catholic funeral for a Catholic legislator? Well, I am afraid this funeral was no ordinary Catholic funeral. For to those innumerable viewers and listeners of many religions (or none) who were aware of Sen. Kennedy's public, straightforward, radical, long-standing, and (as far as we know) unrepented defiance of his own Church's firm teaching about the duty of legislators to protect unborn human life and resist the militant homosexual agenda, this morning's Mass, concelebrated by several priests, presided over Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and adorned by a eulogy from the aforesaid U.S. President, effectively communicated a tacit but very clear message: the Church does not really take too seriously her own 'official' doctrines on these matters! I feel impelled, therefore, to make known to anyone willing to read these lines that there are many other representatives of the Catholic Church, such as the undersigned, who take those doctrines very seriously indeed.

How would our Church leaders act if they really did take seriously an official Church position from which a prominent deceased Catholic had publicly dissented? To answer that question, we need only imagine a situation in which some well-known Catholic legislator had for years supported the Church's social teaching 'across the board', in regard to human life, marriage, compassion toward the poor and underprivileged, etc., but had then, in old age, lapsed into supporting some ideological position that was strongly opposed not only by the Church, but also by the dominant Western elites in government, law, education, commerce and the media.
Suppose, for instance, that he had come to endorse white supremacism or holocaust denial. Now, when the moment for this Catholic legislator's funeral came, could we imagine for one moment that our cardinals, bishops and other leading clergy, mindful of this man's sterling and thoroughly orthodox contributions to the common good over so many years in Congress, would 'compassionately' overlook his latter-day lapse into racism or antisemitism? Would they agree to give him a free pass in regard to this defect? Would they speak and act as if it were non-existent? Would they grant him a televised funeral Mass in a large basilica, presided over by a cardinal, in which he would be publicly eulogized by both family and public figures?

These questions really answer themselves. Of course none of that would occur! The local bishop might go as far as allow our hypothetical Catholic racist or antisemite a Church funeral, if it was known that (like Senator Kennedy) he had confessed sacramentally to a priest before death. However, the bishop would allow the use of church property for this funeral on the strict condition that only close personal family and friends would be admitted. All media transmission or even presence during the service itself would surely be forbidden. (It would, of course, be unnecessary for the bishop to ask his fellow bishops and other high Church dignitaries not to
attend the service; for all of them, like the bishop himself, would already prefer to be anywhere else on earth than at the funeral of one who had lapsed so unspeakably from society's ruling canons of acceptable behavior.) Yes, society's canons. There, I am afraid, lies the difference between our two scenarios. Is it that official Catholic doctrine is incomparably more opposed to racism and antisemitism than it is to abortion and sodomy? Not at all. The big difference is simply that most members of the Catholic hierarchy in Western society today - and there are of course a number of honorable exceptions - are lacking in prophetic courage. They are ready and eager to take vigorous and resolute public disciplinary action only against those deviations from Church teaching which also happen to be excoriated by the cultural and media elites. But if it is our prelates themselves who will be excoriated by those elites - as would certainly have occurred had they required for Ted Kennedy's funeral the kind of severe restraint we envisaged
above for that of our hypothetical bigot - then all eagerness for just discipline will evaporate as fast as dew in the morning sun. "Pastoral Compassion", "forgiveness", "tolerant respect" and "Christian charity" will now be instantly invoked as reasons for cloaking in total silence the public enormities committed decade after decade by an ecclesially heterodox but socially orthodox legislator.

So, It's St. Kennedy Now?

So it was, in this morning's funeral Mass, that the homilist, Fr. Mark Hession (pastor of Kennedy's Cape Cod parish), made his sermon a eulogy about what a wonderful Catholic Christian Ted was, assuring us that we could be "confident" that he is already with Jesus in glory. So it was that the principal celebrant, Fr. Donald Monan, S.J., Chancellor of Boston College, not only repeatedly told those present - and the whole watching world - that Sen. Kennedy was a man of "faith and prayer", with a deep devotion to the Eucharist, but also assured us that this "faith and prayer" in private was precisely what inspired and motivated his public policies, so that there was (surprise, surprise) a real integration and unity between his private and public life!
Well, a lot of us didn't quite manage to see any private-public unity based on Roman Catholic principles. On the contrary, Kennedy's huge political influence, based on both the family's prestige and the personal dynamism of this "Lion of the Senate", if anything made his U-turn on
abortion (yes, he was pro-life in his younger days) an even more scandalous counter-witness: a sign of conflict, not union, with that Church to which he professed loyalty.

Here are two comments I have just lifted off a Catholic blog:
1. "There's this big, 'What if?'" said Catholic author Michael Sean Winters. "If Ted Kennedy had stuck to his pro-life position, would both the (Democratic) party and the country have embraced the abortion on demand policies that we have now? I don't think so."
2. "Russell Shaw, former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that when Kennedy defied the church on issues such as abortion and later, gay marriage, he reinforced a corrosive belief among Catholics that they can simply ignore teachings they don't agree with."

Public Scandal Is Grave Matter

I myself remember several years ago a conversation with a young woman who had been brought up Catholic but had recently been 'born again' as an Evangelical Protestant. One of the arguments she threw at me was, "Even your Church leaders don't really believe what Catholics are supposed to believe. Why don't they excommunicate Ted Kennedy? He's blatantly, 100% pro-choice! Yet they do nothing!"

What could I say to her? And what can I say now, after today's public scandal? That young lady's complaint was simply that this man remained a Catholic in good standing. I find I must now complain to you of something worse. Before the whole world this morning, my fellow Catholic clerics in Boston did not just accord him the "good standing" of a normal, flawed Catholic whose soul we can hope is in Purgatory. Rather, clad in triumphant white vestments instead of penitential violet (never mind the traditional black!), they have placed him on a pedestal, granting him an unofficial 'instant canonization'!

Scripture Warns Us

The Church's teaching is already abundantly clear that all this is very wrong. So perhaps we can legitimately discern the hand of God's Providence, which rules all things, in a 'coincidence' that suggests a manifestation of God's grave displeasure at this kind of mockery - injustice masquerading as "pastoral charity". In our liturgy, Sunday has begun as I write at the hour of Vespers on Saturday. But the earlier part of this day, August 29, including the time of the Kennedy funeral, was observed by Catholics round the world as the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. In normal Masses celebrated today, the biblical account of his martyrdom was read (Mark 6: 17-29.) The parallels are striking: (a) We see two powerful civil authorities; (b) both of them flip-flop in a morally bad direction (Herod originally respected and defended John, and Kennedy originally respected and defended the unborn; (c) both of them abuse their
power by authorizing the shedding of innocent blood.

As if that were not enough, the longest Scripture reading in today's liturgy also grabs our attention. It is prescribed not for the Feast of John the Baptist, but independently, for the Saturday of Week 21, in the 'Office of Readings', This is a part of the daily 'Liturgy of the Hours' which is required spiritual reading for us Roman Rite clerics. And today's reading just happens to be Jeremiah 7: 1-20, in which the prophet vigorously denounces - guess what? - the hypocrisy of Israel's religious leaders who proudly identify with the temple and the rites they celebrate within it, while at the same time they are living unrighteously (including "shedding innocent blood", v. 6) and even "pouring out libations to strange gods" (v. 18). God therefore warns, "my anger and my wrath will pour out upon this
place" (v. 20). Orthodox Catholics will surely ask whether God can be any less angered now by those clerics who today carried out temple rites giving undeserved honor to a legislator who for decade after decade poured out the 'libations' of his eloquence, influence and Senate votes in the service the 'false gods' of Planned Parenthood and NARAL -which regularly rewarded him
with 100% ratings for his 'pro-choice' record.

Enough. If, in your charity, you pray for God to be merciful to the soul of Edward Moore Kennedy, please pray for all of us Catholic priests as well - and be cognizant of the fact that some of us are profoundly indignant at what we saw our brethren doing today.

Father Brian Harrison, O.S.
Oblates of Wisdom Study Center,
St. Louis, Missouri

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sen. Kennedy; God Have Mercy!

Human Life International's Statement on the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy

We must, as a matter of precept, pray for the salvation of heretical Catholics like Senator Edward Kennedy, but we do not have to praise him let alone extol him with the full honors of a public Catholic funeral and all the adulation that attends such an event. There was very little about Ted Kennedy's life that deserves admiration from a spiritual or moral point of view. He was probably the worst example of a Catholic statesman that one can think of. When all is said and done, he has distorted the concept of what it means to be a Catholic in public life more than anyone else in leadership today.

Obviously we don't know the state of Senator Edward Kennedy's soul upon death. We don't pretend to. We are told by the family that he had the opportunity to confess his sins before a priest, and his priest has said publicly he was "at peace" when he died. For that we are grateful. But it is one thing to confess one's sins and for these matters to be kept, rightfully, private. It is another thing entirely for one who so consistently and publicly advocated for the destruction of unborn human beings to depart the stage without a public repudiation of these views, a public confession, as it were.

It is up to God to judge Senator Kennedy's soul. We, as rational persons, must judge his actions, and his actions were not at all in line with one who values and carefully applies Church teaching on weighty matters. Ted Kennedy's positions on a variety of issues have been a grave scandal for decades, and to honor this "catholic" champion of the culture of death with a Catholic funeral is unjust to those who have actually paid the price of fidelity. We now find out that President Obama will eulogize the Senator at his funeral, an indignity which, following on the heels of the Notre Dame fiasco, leaves faithful Catholics feeling sullied, desecrated and dehumanized by men who seem to look for opportunities to slap the Church in the face and do so with impunity simply because they have positions of power.

It is not enough for Kennedy to have been a "great guy behind the scenes" as we have seen him referred to even by his political opponents. It is also not praiseworthy to put a Catholic rhetorical veneer on his leftist politics that did nothing to advance true justice as the Church sees it or to advance the peace of Christ in this world. Every indication of Senator Kennedy's career, every public appearance, every sound bite showed an acerbic, divisive and partisan political hack for whom party politics were much more infallible than Church doctrines. Whatever one's political affiliation, if one is only "Catholic" to the extent that his faith rhymes with his party line, then his Catholicism is a fraud.

As the Scriptures remind us, there is a time for everything under the sun. This, now, is the time for honesty about our Faith and about those who are called to express it in the public forum. If we do not remind ourselves of the necessity of public confession for public sins such as Senator Kennedy was guilty of, then we are negligent in our embrace of the Faith and we are part of the problem. As Pope Benedict has reminded us recently, charity without truth can easily become mere sentimentality, and we must not fall into that error. A Catholic show of charity for the family must not eclipse the truth that is required of all with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul. He will not be missed by the unborn who he betrayed time and time again, nor by the rest of us who are laboring to undo the scandalous example of Catholicism that he gave to three generations of Americans.


Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bishop Darcy Says Notre Dame Must Repent

Wow! Bishop Darcy is not backing down. Read this for a long awaited example of what it means to be Catholic.

The real question posed by the situation is whether or not a Catholic university has a responsibility to give a public witness to the faith, D'Arcy states. "If not, what is the meaning of a life of faith? And how can a Catholic institution expect its students to live by faith in the difficult decisions that will confront them in a culture often opposed to the Gospel?" he wonders.

"In its decision to give its highest honor to a president who has repeatedly opposed even the smallest legal protection of the child in the womb, did Notre Dame surrender the responsibility that Pope Benedict believes Catholic universities have to give public witness to the truths revealed by God and taught by the church?" the bishop also asks.

Bishop D’Arcy then takes Notre Dame to task for its multi-year sponsorship of the play "The Vagina Monologues."

"Although he spoke eloquently about the importance of dialogue with the
president of the United States, the president of Notre Dame chose not to
dialogue with his bishop on these two matters, both pastoral and both with
serious ramifications for the care of souls, which is the core responsibility of
the local bishop," he says.

"Both decisions," Bishop D’Arcy reveals, "were shared with me after
they were made and, in the case of the honorary degree, after President Obama
had accepted."

Bishop Darcy says Notre Dame must answer for honoring Obama

Shared via AddThis

Monday, August 24, 2009

Submission As A Pathway To Sanctification?

My Dear People,

August 22nd is the traditional feast of the Queenship of Mary. We remember that Our Lady is head of all the Holy Angels and Saints in Heaven. From the moment of Her Conception within St. Anne's womb, Mary was never separated from the Divine Will of the Father. Mary always subordinated herself in obedience to Our Lord. This is why Mary is such a shining example for all of us. Every time we extinguish our pride, and humbly come before Jesus seeking His Authority over us, we imitate our Mother in Heaven.

St. Paul reminds us today, that "all of us" are responsible for being submissive to Christ. In that holy submission, we come to know more deeply our vocation in Christ. This also gives us the freedom to serve our Lord, benefiting from His many graces. Submission to Christ, sets us on the holy pathway to sanctification. Consecrate yourself and your families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Come to know her peace and mercy in your homes.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

May we find joy in serving the Lord with our time, our talent and our treasure.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Few Recognize Him

My Dear People,

One Can't Receive Our Lord in Serious Sin..

Before the Holy Spirit was given to the Church on Pentecost Sunday, He was to be found reflected in the writings of the Old Testament. In our first reading of today, we find the Wisdom of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity in Proverbs chapter nine. In it, Wisdom has built a house. Seven columns adorn it. A feast has been prepared at the table, bountiful and plenty. The Eucharistic Banquet in the Sacred Heart of Jesus was exposed to the Jews in His day. Most rejected the Feast. It was too hard to accept that Jesus was giving His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity to His Disciples.

Wisdom and Understanding lead us to this Holy Altar of Jesus' Heart. But all too few recognize it. It is at this heavenly banquet that we find LIFE in abundance, without cost. We only have to come properly disposed and free from serious sin. When you receive Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, are you properly disposed and ready to receive Him? Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and prepare you for this great Heavenly Treasure...the Holy Eucharist.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

May we make wise choices in how we live as God's stewards and may have the courage to turn away from foolish, trivial or selfish wants..

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Spiritual Energy"

My Dear People,

Prayer and Service are the Keys

Ever feel like the Lord seldom hears your prayers? Elijah, the prophet, felt that way. In our first reading today, we find the prophet exhausted from prayer and service of the Lord. He falls asleep under a desert tree. While resting, an Angel of the Lord awakens him. God's messenger brings a hearth cake and a jug of water for nourishment. Elijah was too exhausted to eat. He fell asleep again. The Angels stirs Elijah after his rest. Elijah then walked for forty days and forty nights.

Then, he prayed. Strengthen by the Lord, Elijah served the Lord with all his heart. Like Elijah, we too need to be strengthened by the Lord. Prayer and service keeps us on track. When we fail to pray, we run out of "spiritual energy". Only Our Lord, can refuel the souls. Take the time to relax, pray, and refuel with the Lord. If you have not yet visited our Adoration Chapel, make time to spend time praying and praising the Lord each week.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

By sharing in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, may we find the strength and courage to make our own sacrifices to build up our church, and provide faith for the future.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Eucharist, Faith and the Poor Blind

On the Traditional Calendar, today is the feast of St. John Vianney. Here is some food he has given us for thought.

"Ah, if we had the eyes of angels with which to see our Lord Jesus Christ Who is here present on this altar and Who is looking at us, how we should love Him! We should never more wish to part from Him, we should wish to remain always at His feet. It would be a foretaste of Heaven. All else would become insipid to us. But see, it is faith we lack. We are poor blind people; we have amist over our eyes. Faith alone can dispel this mist."

Let us pray, may God grant us a great faith to remove our blindness so we can have a greater love of our Eucharistic Lord.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

St. John Vianney on Sin


Sin is a thought, a word, an action, contrary to the law of God.

By sin, my children, we rebel against the good God, we despise His justice, we tread under foot His blessings.

From being children of God, we become the executioner and assassin of our soul, the offspring of hell, the horror of heaven, the murderer of Jesus Christ, the capital enemy of the good God. . . .

0 my children! if we thought of this, if we reflected on the injury which sin offers to the good God, we should hold it in abhorrence, we should be unable to commit it; but we never think of it, we like to live at our ease, we slumber in sin.

If the good God sends us remorse, we quickly stifle it, by thinking that we have done no harm to any body, that God is good, and that He did not place us on the earth to make us suffer.

Indeed, my children, the good God did not place us on the earth to suffer and endure, but to work out our salvation. See; He wills that we should work to-day and to-morrow ; and after that, an eternity of joy, of happiness, awaits us in heaven. . . .

O my children! how ungrateful we are! The good God calls us to Himself; He wishes to make us happy for ever, and we are deaf to His word, we will not share His happiness; He enjoins us to love Him, and we give our heart to the devil. . . .

The good God commands all nature as its Master; He makes the winds and the storms obey Him; the angels tremble at His adorable will; man alone dares to resist Him.

See; God forbids us that action, that criminal pleasure, that revenge, that injustice; no matter, we are bent upon satisfying ourselves; we had rather renounce the happiness of heayen, than deprive ourselves of a moment's pleasure, or give up a sinful habit, or change our life. What are we, then, that we dare thus to resist God? Dust and ashes, which He could annihilate with a single look. . . .

By sin, my children, we despise the good God. . . . We renew His Death and Passion; we do as much evil as all the Jews together did, in fastening Him to the Cross. Therefore, my children, if we were to ask those who work without necessity on Sunday: " What are you doing there?" and they were to answer truly, they would say, " We are crucifying the good God."