Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fr. Reese is not telling the truth

On July 29 the National Catholic Reporter published a column by Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese. Fr. Reese begins by discussing his experience last week celebrating Mass in San Francisco. In his second paragraph he writes: "Oh, yes, did I mention that the pastor who said something nice about homosexuals last month was raked over the coals in the blogosphere and reported to the archbishop?"


There is considerably more to it than that. Since Fr. Reese was discussing the homily he preached last Sunday at San Francisco's St. Ignatius Church it is reasonable to assume that the priest he is referring to is Fr. Greg Bonfiglio, SJ, the pastor of St. Ignatius. As we reported, on Sunday, June 30 (San Francisco's "Gay Pride" Sunday) Fr. Bonfiglio chose to read a long (1,098 words) letter at Mass which was written by the pastor of Seattle's St. James Church and published in that church's parish bulletin. In the letter the pastor discussed his participation in Seattle's "Gay Pride" parade. The same bulletin also encouraged parishioners to attend the parade.

"Gay Pride" parades are celebrations of homosexuality, and of course of homosexual acts. The "Gay Pride" parade which does not celebrate homosexual acts does not exist. Encouraging parishioners to attend a celebration of homosexuality--whether in a parish bulletin or at Mass--amounts to much more than "saying something nice about homosexuals."

Elsewhere in the article, Fr. Reese treats the Holy Father's recent statement on the "gay lobby" with the same level of honesty.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pope Francis Expounds Catechism, Press Tizzy Follows

Does anyone else remember the mass media's swoon over Pope Benedict's 2010 remarks on condom usage in his book "The Light of the World"?

We thought not, but at the time it was another "9-days wonder" with the media declaring some sort of transcendental change in Catholic teaching (see Diane Sawyer at left). Hey, whatever happened with that, Diane?

 Garrison Keillor once said that if you got your information about the world from watching television you'd know less than if you just stayed in bed all day drinking gin out of the bottle. That observation is certainly validated following the mass media's coverage of Pope Francis' statement about the homosexual lobby, given to reporters on his airplane journey home from world youth day.

Here's what the Holy Father said, in context:

"Addressing the issue of the gay lobby, Pope Francis said it was important to "distinguish between a person who is gay and someone who makes a gay lobby," he said. "A gay lobby isn't good."

"A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will -- well, who am I to judge him?" the pope said. "The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society. The problem isn't this (homosexual) orientation -- we must be like brothers and sisters. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby."


That is to say, Pope Francis repeated, using other words, the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (and indeed he noted he was doing this):

 
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
 
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
 
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
 
 
 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Light From the East


We, and of course others, have often noted the totalitarian nature of same-sex "marriage" activism. When one redefines a part of reality, one cannot stop there.

One group of people who are well attuned to this creeping totalitarianism are the Russians, which is not surprising, given their experience of the 20th century.

Here's is a statement from Kirill, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, reported on July 22 in Asia News: 

 
"The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, has spoken out against countries that have approved same-sex marriage - which he has termed as 'dangerous signs of the Apocalypse' - and warns about the risk of dictatorship of free will.

On the occasion of the liturgy held on 21 July in Kazan Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church denounced the presence of colossal forces which aim to 'convince us all that the only real value is free will, and that no-one has the right to violate this value, even when a person chooses evil or a socially dangerous behavior'. 'Everything goes as long as it does not violate the rules of the civil law,' he added, recognizing how these norms 'easily fool.'

'In recent times, in a number of countries the choice of sin has been approved and justified by the law, and those who in good conscience, fight these laws imposed by a minority, are repressed', denounced the Patriarch. This, he said, is 'a dangerous sign of the apocalypse and we must do everything to ensure that in the area of ​​Holy Rus this sin is never justified by the law, because that would mean that the nation has embarked on the path of' self-destruction".


The good young Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion, about whom we have posted before, echoed the Patriarch--(and both echo Pope Emeritus Benedict's description of "the dictatorship of relativism"), in an article published in Interfax on July 24:

"Modern Western states move to absolute dictatorship, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion believes. 
'Nowadays state sets a principle of secularity, independency from any outside authority that is authorized to point out to violations of morals or rights,' the metropolitan writes in his article published in the Pravoslavnaya Beseda magazine.

"This powerful energy today strives to finally break with Christianity, which controlled its totalitarian impulses during seventeen centuries. Eventually, it unconsciously strives to set up an absolute dictatorship that demands total control over each member of society. Don't we move to it when 'for the sake of security' we agree to obligatory electronic passports, dactyloscopy for everyone, and photo cameras occurring everywhere? All these things can be easily used in other purposes that can also be interpreted as 'strengthening security measures,' Metropolitan Hilarion notes.

He believes that latest developments in the world is 'constituent restoration of Pax Romana, global international supremacy.' The metropolitan also says that if Roman authorities were in certain periods indifferent to immorality, today they strive to make 'immorality normal.'"

Friday, July 26, 2013

"A light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower."




This amazing photograph from the Cassini spacecraft, showing the earth at lower center right, made me think of the verse from the first chapter of  John.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ovid on the Horror of Abortion

Father Z posts this beautiful poem, by Ovid, against abortion (his emphasis can be found at his post). As Father writes "The poet's rage and sorrow are nearly palpable." 

The post also includes this beautiful comment from Melody: "I once read a story in which a man talked with God, asking Him why such things as cancer had not been cured. He responded, “'The one I sent to cure it was aborted in the womb.'”


Book II Elegy XIV: Against Abortion

Where’s the joy in a girl being free from fighting wars,
unwilling to follow the army and their shields,
if without battle she suffers wounds from her own weapons,
and arms unsure hands to her own doom?
Whoever first taught the destruction of a tender foetus,
deserved to die by her own warlike methods.
No doubt you’d chance your arm in that dismal arena
just to keep your belly free of wrinkles with your crime?
If the same practice had pleased mothers of old,
Humanity would have been destroyed by that violation.
and we’d need a creator again for each of our peoples
to throw the stones that made us onto the empty earth.
Who would have shattered the wealth of Priam, if Thetis,
the sea goddess, had refused to carry her rightful burden?
If Ilia had murdered the twins in her swollen womb,
the founder of my mistress’s City would have been lost.
If Venus had desecrated her belly, pregnant with Aeneas,
Earth would have been bereft of future Caesars.
You too, with your beauty still to be born, would have died,
if your mother had tried what you have done:
I myself would be better to die making love
than have been denied the light of day by my mother.
Why rob the loaded vine of burgeoning grapes,
or pluck the unripe apple with cruel hand?
Let things mature themselves – grow without being forced:
life is a prize that’s worth a little waiting.
Why submit your womb to probing instruments,
or give lethal poison to what is not yet born?
Medea is blamed for sprinkling the blood of her children,
and Itys, slain by his mother, is lamented with tears:
both cruel parents, yet both had bitter reason
to shed blood, revenge on a husband.
Say, what Tereus, what Jason incites you
to pierce your troubled body with your hand?
No tiger in its Armenian lair would do it,
no lioness would dare destroy her foetus.
But tender girls do it, though not un-punished:
often she who kills her child, dies herself.
She dies, and is carried to the pyre with loosened hair,
and whoever looks on cries out: ‘She deserved it!’
But let these words vanish on the ethereal breeze,
and let my imprecations have no weight!
You gods, prosper her: let her first sin go, in safety,
and be satisfied: you can punish her second crime!

SB 131 UPDATE: Independent Colleges Register Opposition

The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, which includes such institutions as CalTech, Stanford, and the University of Southern California, has registered its opposition to SB 131, which we had blogged about here. The AICCU, sharing our concerns, writes (emphasis in original):

"The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), which represents seventy-four private, nonprofit colleges and universities throughout the state, opposes SB 131 (Beall). SB 131 suspends the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse claims against private and nonprofit employers during the 2014 calendar year. AICCU strongly supports the rights of sexual abuse victims, but opposes this retroactive expansion of the right to bring a claim against a third party because it only applies to private and nonproft entities while preserving immunity for public/governmental entities. If victim redress is really the focus, then every entity ought to be subject to the same suspension of the statute of limitations.

SB 131 provides that the current time limitations to commence an action for recovery for damages suffered from childhood sexual abuse be applied retroactively to any claim that has not been adjudicated to finality on the merits as of January 1, 2014. It retroactively extends by one year the time for which a cause of action can be filed against a private or nonprofit entity affiliated with the alleged perpetrator, while doing nothing to retroactively extend the time if the alleged perpetrator was affiliated with a public entity (e.g., public schools, universities, and local government agencies). This unequal treatment of victims and third-party defendants is unfair, particularly when the majority of children in the state attend public schools. All defendants deserve equal benefit under the law. Additionally, SB 131 does not extend the statute of limitations to claims against the actual perpetrator. 

For the above reasons, AICCU urges the Committee to oppose SB 131."

"Religion of Peace" : Report being raped in Dubai, YOU go to jail.

From the Daily Mail:

"The identity of the Norwegian woman who was sentenced to 16 months in prison for extramarital sex after she reported being raped in Dubai has been revealed for the first time today.

Smiling happily into the camera, Marte Deborah Dalelv looks like she doesn't have a care in the world.

But the 24-year-old was brutally raped while on a business trip in United Arab Emirates and was handed a prison sentence for having sex outside of marriage after reporting it to police.

Ms Dalelv reported the sexual assault in March this year, after which she had to spend days in a cell before she was allowed to use a telephone."

This is far from unusual, apparently.

"Earlier this year Australian Alicia Gali, 27, spoke of how she was thrown in a Dubai jail for eight months after she reported a rape.

Miss Gali was working at hotel chain Starwood when her drink was spiked in the staff bar.

She awoke to find that three colleagues had raped her, but when she went to a hospital for help, they turned her over to the police and she was charged with illicit sex outside marriage."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Prayers Needed for Thomas Peters!

We join the Catholic blogosphere in praying for Thomas Peters, the fine young man who created the American Papist blog and who serves as the media directer for the National Organization for Marriage. Tom was seriously injured in a swimming accident on Tuesday. LifeSiteNews has updates from Tom's father, Edward Peters:

"Okay, I am sorry, but here’s some news.

Thomas Peters was seriously hurt in a swimming accident Tuesday evening. He fractured his 5th cervical vert. and is at Univ. Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore). Natalie Zmuda Peters is there, and the moms Angela & Becky Z flew out a couple hours ago. He moved an arm on command and is undergoing more tests. He has responded pretty well to the immediate steps taken for him so far. I will stay in touch here. Your prayers and well wishes are deeply appreciated."
and:

"Thom can move his arms, docs are discussing the best treatment for his neck injury. Immediate concern is for the considerable water in his lungs. We are astounded at the expressions of prayers and support. Thom & Nat know about it. Please keep them up. Love from us all, EdP."

Mary Help of Christians, be with Tom and his family!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

PA Attorney General Follows California Lead--Will not Defend Marriage

That didn't take long. Another State Attorney General deciding which laws she will or will not enforce. From Catholic News Agency:

"The attorney general of Pennsylvania has said she will not defend a state law defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman in court because she does not agree with it.

Thomas Peters, a spokesman for the National Organization for Marriage, said the action shows that the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings favoring same-sex unions “set a bad precedent” that will allow elected officials “to not represent the will of the people when they find it expedient.”

Peters told the Washington Post that the attorney general’s move is a “pocket veto” of the law."


We've chronicled, ad inifinitum, how supporters of same-sex "marriage" have shown contempt for the law from the moment Gavin Newsom illegally directed his county clerk to issue "marriage" licences in 2004.

In other marriage news, the heroic Andy Pugno is asking the California Supreme Court to halt counterfeit marriages in California.

“The man-woman definition of marriage, as passed by the voters, is still a valid part of our state constitution. Yet county clerks statewide are lawlessly defying that law by issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses. We are asking California’s Supreme Court to restore the rule of law and the public’s confidence in the integrity of the initiative process,” said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for Proposition 8’s official proponents.

The lawsuit contends that at least 56 of the 58 county clerks must continue to follow Proposition 8 because they were not parties to the recent federal lawsuit against Prop 8, and that the state’s governor and attorney general have no legal authority to order local county clerks to disregard the state constitution."

You can suport Mr. Pugno's work here.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Texas to Pass Pro-Life Bill?

That's what Politico is reporting. The Texas Senators are preparing to vote now, God bless them!

Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, the supporters of the culture of death had brought bottles of urine and feces, presumably to throw at people. The bottles were confiscated by state troopers. Similar to the culture of death demonstrator's who chanted "Hail Satan!" last week.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Abortion without Euphemism

video


The video above shows the American Sign Language symbol for abortion. In a LifeSiteNews story about the symbol a couple of commenters made these excellent points:

"I think the 'brutally honest' perception stems from the fact that, as a visual language, ASL is relatively immune to efforts to infuse it with 'political correctness' as the spoken and written English language have so thoroughly been."

"This is so true! ASL doesn't have euphemisms. It's insane, I know: a language that prioritizes communication. Hard to imagine!"

Following Prop 8 Decision, St. Ignatius Jesuit Celebrates Homosexuality at Mass

An edited version of this post was published in yesterday's California Catholic Daily.

On Wednesday, June 27, the United States Supreme Court handed down two decisions—on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Amendment --that eviscerated legal marriage in the United States. The following Sunday thus offered Catholic priests a matchless opportunity to articulate the Church’s definition of what marriage is, and what it is not. Indeed, since the decisions had such civilizational import, such articulation was less an opportunity than an absolute obligation.

One priest did choose to address the issue. At San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Church, the 9:30 AM Mass on Sunday, June 30 was celebrated by the church’s pastor, Fr. Gregory R. Bonfiglio, SJ. But rather than presenting Church teaching to his audience, rather than, for instance, stating the simple truth that properly ordered sexuality leads to the creation of new life, while sodomitical relations lead, as San Franciscans know all too well, to physical death and to spiritual death, Fr. Bonfiglio chose to read a letter written by Fr. John D. Whitney, SJ, of St. Joseph’s Church in Seattle. In the letter, which is titled “Why Am I In The Parade?” and which runs to 1,098 words, Fr. Whitney justified his presence in Seattle’s “Gay Pride” parade. The letter was published in St. Joseph’s June 23, 2013 parish bulletin. Given the content of the letter (Fr. Whitney absurdly equated Church teaching on homosexuality with Old Testament dietary restrictions, and ignorantly repeats the long-debunked assertion that the word “faggot” derives from “faggots” of wood), and the timing of Fr. Bonfiglio’s homily, the Sunday immediately after the legalization of counterfeit “marriage,” the homily can be seen as nothing less than support of homosexual “marriage.”

During Fr. Bonfiglio’s reading of the letter, the Church was eerily quiet. At least one parishioner was seen leaving the church in tears. When queried she said “It’s not his church! It’s the Catholic church! I should be able to just go to Church! I want to go to a Catholic Church!”

The point is valid. All Catholics are obligated to attend Sunday Mass. Missing Mass on Sunday, without a very good reason (health, transportation issues, etc.) is a serious sin. In a sense, then, Catholics at a Sunday Mass are a captive audience. They have a right to genuine Church teaching, and at the barest minimum a right not to be subjected to the personal propaganda of an individual priest, in this case propaganda that is directly opposed to the Catholic Church. In addition to regular parishioners, the Mass was also attended by a family who had come from some distance because the intention of the Mass was for a deceased family member. In addition, a little girl was receiving her First Holy Communion at the Mass. Those families, one in the process of mourning and the second experiencing their daughter’s reception of Jesus Christ for the very first time, were thus forced to listen to Fr. Bonfiglio’s opinions.

It is unavoidable to observe that both priests involved in these event, Fr. Bonfiglio and Fr. Whitney, are members of the dying Jesuit order. St. Ignatius is San Francisco’s flagship Jesuit parish, the church of the University of San Francisco. The presence of open homosexuals among the California Jesuit priesthood, and among the faculty of California’s Jesuit Universities is well documented. The Associate Director of University Ministry at USF, Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ, is openly homosexual. The rector of the Jesuit community at Santa Clara, Fr. Michael Zampelli, SJ, is openly homosexual. The Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at USF, the Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, is openly homosexual. The former pastor of St. Agnes, San Francisco’s other Jesuit parish, Fr. Cameron Ayers, SJ, is openly homosexual. At least Fr. Ayers had the integrity to leave the Catholic Church and join the Episcopal Church.

Although that list barely scratches the surface, the open homosexuality expresses a deeper problem. The St. Ignatius Jesuits have actually replaced Catholicism with something else. In 2010, in an article we wrote for California Catholic Daily, we reported that the Jesuits had replaced the confessionals at St. Ignatius with an art gallery—an art gallery actually inside the church. The action was extremely significant. Removing objects with a critical Catholic sacramental function from a Catholic Church, and replacing them with an art gallery, an environment in which objects are considered under their aesthetic aspect alone could never have been done by a genuine Catholic.

Contacts:

Archbishop Peter J. Sartain
Archdiocese of Seattle
710 9th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
Archdiocese of San Francisco
One Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco CA 94109