Monday, June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling: "The end of the beginning."

Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of religious liberty, one of the foundations of our teetering civilization. Certainly we are happy with the ruling--because anything else would have been catastrophic.

But let's step back a little, historically. The fact that a government of the United States could blithely, without a second thought, compel U.S. citizens to violate their deeply held religious convictions, is outrageous. And remember: the HHS mandate not only violates the First Amendment, but threatened conscientious objectors with fines of $100 per day per employee. And for what? Free contraceptives.

Rush Limbaugh put this in perspective today:  

"In the Hobby Lobby case, narrow though it may be, the Supreme Court, by 5-4 majority decision, defended liberty. And it should be noted that even after this decision, birth control remains widely available. It is dirt cheap no matter where you want to go get it. The fact is, if you wanted to be entirely -- well, not entirely -- if you wanted to be somewhat negative about this, you could say that the most appalling thing about today's decision is that we had to even endure it, that we had to even go through this.

We had to sit on the edge of our seats to find out if people who own a for-profit company will also be allowed to exercise their religious views under our laws. The fact that that was up for grabs is an indication of where we are nationwide and where we're heading. I think it's just amazing, given that we're supposed to have freedom of religion enshrined in the Constitution, it should never have been an issue. The only reason it is is because we have a political party today conducting an all-out assault on the Constitution because they don't like it."  Emphases added.

I think that is the correct way to view today's decision. Yes, it is a victory--but we are taking back ground that should never have been lost in the first place. Our situation reminds me of Churchill's statement after the second battle of El Alamein. The Nazis still held most of Africa and continental Europe, so the great Englishman, while happy with the victory, knew it needed to be put in perspective:

"This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Supremes Uphold First Amendment, End "Buffer Zones"

Good news for those of us who peacefully witness in front of abortion businesses, and for anyone who values freedom of speech. We'll see how wide the 9-0 decision can be applied.

The full opinion can be read here.

Congratulations to the attorney's who argued the case, and to our dear friend Walter Hoye, unjustly imprisoned under just such a law. Walter's attorneys had filed an amicus brief in the case.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Requiem Mass Sermon for Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP

On Friday, June 19, Star of the Sea in San Francisco celebrated a Requiem Mass for Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP, the young Phoenix priest who was murdered.

Here is the very powerful sermon given at the Mass by Fr. Paul Nicholson, taken from the website of the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco.

Fr. Nicholson will be leading the New Evangelization Parish Mission this week (Monday through Thursday) at Star of the Sea. The Parish Mission begins with Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 6:30 PM, followed by the Mission talk at 7:30, and confessions at 8:30.

Star of the Sea is at 8th Avenue and Geary Street in San Francisco.

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Pastor, Parochial Vicar for Most Holy Redeemer

An edited version of this article appeared last week in California Catholic Daily. They did not include what we consider to be one of the most interesting things about MHR, and why it is so hard for pastors there, addressed with utmost brevity in our second to last paragraph (in bold).

On June 2, Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco announced the clergy changes that will take effect in the coming year. The changes included the news that Fr. Brian Costello will be leaving the City’s notorious Most Holy Redeemer parish. Fr. Costello will be replaced by Fr. Jack McClure C.PP.S, who will serve as pastor, and Fr. Matthew Link C.PP.S, who will serve as Parochial Vicar. C.PP.S. is the acronym for Missionaries of the Precious Blood.

 On June 6, the National Catholic Reporter ran an article titled “San Francisco’s largest gay parish to get new pastors.” From the article:

 “(Fr.) McClure said when Link learned in January that Most Holy Redeemer would be looking for a pastor, he approached McClure and suggested they apply as a team. Eventually, the men met with Auxiliary Bishop William Justice, who heads pastoral ministry for the archdiocese….The Precious Blood Fathers have had an outreach to the LGBT community since 2007. They say the ministry was developed to foster dialogue, reconciliation and justice with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.”

“Outreach to the LGBT community” won’t be necessary at Most Holy Redeemer. On page 29 of Jesuit Father Donal Godfrey’s chronicle of MHR Gays and Grays: the Story of Most Holy Redeemer Parish, he describes events in the parish, circa 1983: “The two gay men (on the MHR advisory board) suggested we start a gay and lesbian outreach. And that was approved 12 to nothing.” Further down the page he writes: “The Gay and Lesbian outreach Committee—so unique, so bracing, so critically what the parish needed when it needed it—eventually withered away, a victim of its own success, when the entire parish had taken on the work it was formed to begin.” In other words, “gay and lesbian outreach” was no longer necessary because the entire parish had become a locus for the celebration of homosexuality. By 2002, the New York Times was reporting “…about 80 to 90 percent of the members are gay.”

Fr. Brian Costello, the outgoing pastor, truly had the spiritual welfare of his parishioners at heart. Some parishioners did not see it that way. The NCR reported that Fr. Costello had requested a transfer last August, and quoted him:

"It just didn't work out. I did the best I could. My best was just not good enough for a lot of people here," he said. "There are real challenges here, and the truth is I just didn't have the gifts to meet those challenges."

One example of the tension between Fr. Costello and “a lot of people here” occurred early in his tenure. On April 19, 2012 CalCatholic reported that in the previous week transvestites had MC’d/judged a Castro Country Club fundraiser at the parish. The MC went by the name “Laybelline” and the judge “Syphilis Diller.” In October of 2012 the same group wanted to come back, but the Archdiocese and Fr. Costello nixed the event. The homosexual oriented Bay Area Reporter covered the story, and quoted Fr. Costello ““I am the new pastor…There is a new archbishop. The archdiocese told me straight out, ‘No drag queens.’… “I am big on compromising.” Fr. Costello said “[Castro Country Club] would not work with me. It was all or nothing. And they got nothing.”

The Archdiocese eventually made the ban more generally applicable, thus appeasing homosexualist activists. Following the ban, Costello had received push-back from parishioners, which MHR’s business manager, Michael Poma, described as “education.” Poma was quoted in Bondings, the blog of New Ways Ministry: “‘Father Brian wasn’t educated about the importance of drag queens in the gay community…We are part of the community here and to think that we’re banning drag queens is obnoxious and ridiculous.”

Another example was related by Fr. Costello himself in the March 3, 2013 MHR bulletin:

“Two weeks ago, after Pope Benedict XVI had announced to the world that he would be resigning the office of Peter as of February 28th, I put the Pope’s picture, that usually hangs in the rectory, in the church. A handful of people told me that they would rather it not be there. They explained that the feeling was while he was Pope, as well as his time as a Cardinal, Pope Benedict had made hurtful and hateful statements regarding the LGBT Community and thus, his picture should not be placed on the altar of MHR. I was also warned, many parishioners would walk out of Sunday Mass if the picture was not removed. I spoke with a close priest friend of mine, and even though both of us were saddened by this, the wisest course, I felt, was to remove the Pope’s picture.”

The difficulties Fr. Costello experienced, and that Frs. McClure and Link will face, are formidable. Psychologically, the parishioners at MHR are “a chosen people”—a group formed by the shared minority experience of same-sex attraction, followed by the shared experience of an apparently hopeless and fatal epidemic, but one which against all hope was overcome, followed by the shared experience of undreamed-of political victories and power. That “chosen people” attitude was expressed by Fr. Godfrey on page 130 of Gays and Grays: “A parish such as MHR calls the rest of the institution to conversion.” Such an attitude is not conducive to salvation. One comes to the Catholic Church not to convert, but to be converted.

That’s difficult material to work with. If Frs. McClure and Link have an easier time of it than did Fr. Costello, it’s probably a sign they’re doing something wrong.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Watch Marriage March Live!

UPDATE: A home run by Archbishop Cordileone. His segment begins at 17:54 into the video.

His Excellency Archbishop Cordileone speaking now!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Pelosi Excommunicates Cordileone!

Hot from the boys over at Eye of the Tiber:

Pelosi Excommunicates Cordileone

June 17, 2014 by Admin

"Washington, DC––In an astonishing move today, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and Mouthpiece of God in the United States Nancy Pelosi has excommunicated San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

The move comes just a day after Pelosi sent Cordileone a letter asking him not to attend the National Organization for Marriage march in Washington D.C., calling the event “venom masquerading as virtue.” In response to the letter, Cordileone issued a response saying that the March for Marriage “is not anti-LGBT, but rather, it is a pro-marriage march.”

The letter of excommunication begins with Pelosi regretfully informing the San Francisco bishop that, due to actions displaying disdain and hate towards LGBT persons, “I, Nancy Pelosi, Mouthpiece of God Almighty, Secretary of Defense Against Bigotry, Director of the Office of Tolerance, and Ambassador to the Alpha and the Omega, hereby impose a ferendae sententiae, excommunicating you from my Catholic Church. I ask you to ‘evolve’ and to mend your bigot ways.”

“We separate him, together with his accomplices and abettors, from the precious Body and Blood of the Lord and from the society of all Christian people,” Pelosi told EOTT as she stroked the point of her long red tail. “We exclude him from our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth; we declare him excommunicate and anathema; we judge him damned, with the Devil and his angels, to eternal fire until he shall recover himself from the toils of the Devil and return to amendment and to penitence. So be it!”

At press time, Pelosi’s uncle, Screwtape, is very proud of her."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Archbishop Cordileone, Archdiocesan Director of Communication Defend Faith, Marriage

Very good to see, from LifeSiteNews:

Archbishop to Pelosi, critics: No, I won’t drop March for Marriage

"San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has responded that, despite criticism from political leaders in his home state, he will attend the March for Marriage this week, because his position requires him to act as a defender of the Catholic faith.

In a letter released today, Cordileone wrote that he is required “as a bishop, to proclaim the truth—the whole truth—about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing ... especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife,” Cordileone wrote. “That is what I will be doing on June 19th.”

Christine Mugridge, the Director of Communications for the Archdiocese, was excellent as well:

"Dr. Christine Mugridge, head of the Archdiocese of San Francisco's department of communications and outreach, told LifeSiteNews that the politicians had allowed ideology to blind them to an archbishop's mission. 'They are forgetting the fact that he has an obligation to teach the faith,' she said. 'In the public arena, they are not responsible for every speaker’s opinion at a public meeting.'

 'It isn’t his personal opinion; it is the teaching of the Church,' she said.

Both letters quoted an off-the-cuff remark by Pope Francis, 'If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then
who am I to judge him?' The statement has been used to confuse the faithful and public at large about the Church's stance on homosexuality – confusion Archbishop Cordileone aims to dispel.

'The Holy Father is being misquoted repeatedly to defend acceptance of the gay lifestyle,' Dr. Mugridge told LifeSiteNews. 'The Pope has said he is a son of the Church and that he does not defend the gay lifestyle and opposed lobbyists for that lifestyle.'

 'His 'who am I to judge?' quote is now being used to condone the active homosexual lifestyle, which is in complete contradiction to our Catholic faith,' she said."

Absolutely right.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form for Fr. Walker Friday

Speaking of events at Star of the Sea, the home of the traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco, this Friday the parish will celebrate a High Requiem Mass for Father Kenneth Walker, FSSP,  the 29 year-old priest shot and killed by a robber in Phoenix last week.

Star of the Sea Church is located at 8th Avenue and Geary in San Francisco. The Mass is at 6:30PM. 

Eucharistic Pride Conference at Star of the Sea, San Francisco

This looks like a great series of events. From today's California Catholic Daily:

Eucharistic Pride 2014
San Francisco Mission Conference faces “challenges of modern paganism”

"From June 19-27, San Francisco’s Star of the Sea parish, the home of the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco, will host a parish mission conference called The Source and Summit of Catholic Life. The conference will be led by Father Paul Nicholson, a diocesan priest incardinated in the diocese of London, Ontario.

The conference begins on the Feast of Corpus Christi, Thursday, June 19, with a 6:30 p.m. Mass in the Extraordinary Form, followed by a Eucharistic procession. In each of the following eight days Mass will be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form. On Sunday, June 22, there will be a Solemn High Mass in the Ordinary Form celebrating Corpus Christi Sunday, which will also be followed by a procession...."

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SF Politicians try to dissuade Archbishop Cordileone from attending Marriage March

Good luck with that.

A group of San Francisco politicians is trying to convince Archbishop Salvatore Cordleone, the USCCB's point man for the defense of marriage, from attending June 19's March for Marriage in Washington, DC. The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about it this morning, and NBC Bay Area News did a segment on it, too, in which reporter Mark Matthews interviewed me.

They cropped my segment radically, which is a pity. They asked what the feeling about same-sex marriage was at Saints Peter and Paul, and I said that “the feeling here is the feeling of the Catholic Church in general: That marriage is only between a man and a woman, anything else is not marriage.” They only aired the last sentence. You can watch the story below.

They did not air the part where Mr. Matthews said he'd spoken to people at "100 Diamond Street" (which is the address of Most Holy Redemeer) who had said that the Holy Father said not to worry about marriage, and "Who am I to judge?" I put that in context for Mr. Matthews, and added that the Holy Father had said same-sex marriage is a tool of the devil, and that Holy Father, the Bishops of the Church, and Archbishop Cordileone are all on the same page.

NBC's lack of objectivity is non-existent: their text version of the story contains a link to the petition that asks the Archbishop not to attend the March. You can learn more about the March for Marriage by visiting

UPDATE: His Excellency is promoting the march in New Orleans.

From LifeSiteNews:

Defending marriage tops agenda on first day of US Bishops spring meeting

Much of the opening day of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 2014 Spring General Assembly on Wednesday was devoted to the defense and promotion of marriage.

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, led the charge by telling his brother bishops: “We are at a critical point in this country as it comes to defense of marriage in the law.”

Archbishop Cordileone outlined the rave situation for the defense of traditional marriage and resulting threatsto religious freedom. He noted that if the Supreme Court takes up one of the state marriage amendment cases, by next June 2015 we could have a decision.

“A negative decision by the Supreme Court would undoubtedly have a profound impact on the nation,” he said. The archbishop ended by promoting the March for Marriage in Washington, DC on June 19.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Four new Priests of God for the Archdiocese of San Francisco!

Today His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone ordained four men into the priesthood at St. Mary's Cathedral. I did not get a chance to attend, but those who did said it was like heaven on earth. The four, from left to right, are Fr. Mark Doherty, who will serve at St. Peter's in San Francisco and as part-time Chaplain at Sacred Heart High School; Fr. Roger Gustafson, who will serve at St. Hilary in Tiburon;  Fr. Andrew Spyrow, who will serve at St. Raphael in San Rafael; and Fr. Tony Vallecillo, who will serve at St. Matthew's in San Mateo and as part-time Chaplain at Serra High School.

(The news that two of the good young priests will serve as high school chaplains is very heartening to anyone who has been following California Catholic Daily's recent expose of the catastrophic state of the departments of religious studies at S.F. Archdiocesan High schools. CalCatholic's site was hacked but you can read the google cached versions of some the stories hereherehereherehere, and here.)

Archbishop Cordileone's homily for the Mass of Ordination is below.

June 7, 2014
(Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4; John 10:11-16)

The earliest examples of Christian art we have are wall paintings found in the catacombs of Rome.  There we see the first image of our Lord depicted in Christian art: the figure of a young man with a lamb on his shoulders and feeding lambs at his side – precisely the image of the Good Shepherd which we hear Jesus ascribe to himself in the Gospel reading just proclaimed.  From the very beginning, this has been one of the most beloved images our Lord uses to describe himself in the gospels.

          Pastoral Charity
It is a beloved image which goes all the way back to Old Testament times: there, through His prophets, God refers to Himself as the Shepherd of Israel.  But God had human instruments.  Recall the story of the choosing and anointing of David to be king.  He was the youngest of Jesse’s sons, not even present when the prophet Samuel came to him to determine which one of Jesse’s sons God had chosen.  No, David was off tending the sheep.  He is the shepherd-king; the role of a king is to rule, to govern.  But the kings of God’s people were to govern as a shepherd caring for his sheep.  This is indicated even in the very language spoken by God’s original chosen people, in which the word that means “to rule” also means “to shepherd.”  We just prayed the most beloved of all psalms: “The Lord is my shepherd.”  In Hebrew, this means, “The Lord rules me.”
Now, this might sound quite strange to our ears, we who are English speakers in this contemporary culture.  But let us think again of who this Good Shepherd is who rules us: “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep….  I know mine and mine know me … and I will lay down my life for the sheep.”  This is good!  It is also how we make sense of the fact that in our religious tradition the head is the servant.
I am very grateful to the faculty of Saint Patrick’s Seminary for the formation they give to our future priests.  I am grateful for many things, but one of them is the solid grounding the seminarians receive in the foundational document on priestly formation, Pastores dabo vobis.  There, St. John Paul II explains at length the key to understanding how it is that the head is the servant: it is pastoral charity.  He explains that Jesus presents himself as the Good Shepherd because “[h]is whole life is a continual manifestation of his ‘pastoral charity’” (n. 22).  Jesus lives out this pastoral charity through the compassion he shows to the crowds, feeding them spiritually and physically, healing them, teaching them, and, ultimately, offering his life for them through his death and Resurrection – literally laying down his life for them.  This pastoral charity of Jesus gives to the priest the very meaning and definition of his identity: “By virtue of their consecration, priests are configured to Jesus the good shepherd and are called to imitate and to live out his own pastoral charity” (n. 22).
Charity is love in action, the practical, concrete ways that love is lived out and realized.  For the priest, the highest expression of this kind of love in his vocation is his pastoral charity, which John Paul defines as “the virtue by which we imitate Christ in his self-giving and service.”  He says that pastoral charity “is not just what we do, but our gift of self, which manifests Christ’s love for his flock.  Pastoral charity determines our way of thinking and acting, our way of relating to people.  It makes special demands on us” (n. 23; emphasis added).
It makes special demands on us.  Those special demands manifest themselves in a whole myriad of ways: how the priest spends his time, his attention to detail in caring for the people of God, meeting them in their moments of need, instructing them, preaching to them, leading them in divine worship, being truly and totally present to them.  This is the way in which he lives his Priesthood with integrity, the way in which he fulfills what John Paul calls “the essential and permanent demand for unity between the priest’s interior life and all his external actions and the obligations of the ministry” (n. 23).

          Total Gift of Self
For the priest, a most particular and great demand which pastoral charity requires of him is priestly celibacy.  I fear that this ancient discipline of the Church is sorely misunderstood and under-appreciated in our time, seen as just a practical provision so that the priest can have more time to do his job, or, even worse, as something oppressive.  Rather, this is a way in which the Church seeks to preserve our understanding of the truth that the Priesthood is a vocation, and not simply a job.
In Pastores dabo vobis, St. John Paul makes a particularly compelling statement on the rationale for this extraordinary commitment of the priest.  He says:

It is especially important that the priest understand the theological motivation of the Church’s law on celibacy.  Inasmuch as it is a law, it expresses the Church’s will ….  But the will of the Church finds its ultimate motivation in the link between celibacy and sacred ordination, which configures the priest to Jesus Christ the head and spouse of the Church.  The Church, as the spouse of Jesus Christ, wishes to be loved by the priest in the total and exclusive manner in which Jesus Christ her head and spouse loved her.  Priestly celibacy, then, is the gift of self in and with Christ to his Church and expresses the priest’s service to the Church in and with the Lord [n. 29].

Total and exclusive: this is the love of spouses, which opens us up to the true meaning of the priest’s commitment to celibacy.  As John Paul also says in this passage:

In … celibacy, chastity retains its original meaning, that is, of human sexuality lived as a genuine sign of and precious service to the love of communion and gift of self to others.  This … makes evident, even in the renunciation of marriage, the ‘nuptial meaning’ of the body through a communion and a personal gift to Jesus Christ and his Church which prefigures and anticipates the perfect and final communion and self-giving of the world to come.

This is a profound truth of our human nature: chastity exists for the sake of communion, it enables the individual to live his or her vocation as the way God calls that individual to love according to what love truly is.  In the words of John Paul II – to cite that phrase of his used here and which he used repeatedly in all of his teachings, and is the key to understanding his thought – the true meaning of love is the “gift of self.”  The free and total gift of self is what love is and is how we attain true happiness in life, and chastity is what enables us to get there.  This is why, when treating the three evangelical counsels (poverty, chastity and obedience), the Second Vatican Council taught that, of the three, chastity is preeminent (Lumen Gentium, n. 42).
For the priest this means that his pastoral charity, as expressed and lived out in his priestly celibacy – a total and exclusive gift of himself to Christ’s bride, the Church – is paramount to all he is and does.

This brings into everyday reality those “special demands” that pastoral charity places on him.  That is, it doesn’t simply remain at the level of theory, but is played out in very real, concrete ways for the sake of his own personal holiness, so that he can then in turn sanctify his people.  It is one’s vocation that brings the demands of love down into the concrete.
Perhaps the prophet Jeremiah already foresaw this at the time of his call, and therefore is why he was resistant to that call.  He tried to find excuses to get out of it – he doesn’t know how to speak, he’s too young, and all that.  But in the end he can’t fight it; as with everyone else, God put that vocation in his heart at the very first moment of his existence, and to turn away from it would be to violate his very identity, no matter how high the price.  And for Jeremiah, that was a very, very high price.
So it is with the priest: the priest whose Priesthood has become a job has turned his back on his vocation, he has become the “hired man, who is not a shepherd” whom our Lord describes in the Gospel, who “works for pay and has no concern for the sheep”; he does not see the sheep as his own, and when he “sees a wolf coming [he] leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them.”  This can happen easily, even imperceptibly.  This happens when those special demands seem just overwhelming; it is then that the priest becomes stingy with his time, stingy with his affection, selective in what he does.  He easily refuses to suffer for the sake of the Gospel, in whatever form of suffering that might take, whether simply inconvenience or ridicule or loss of popularity.  Ultimately, the priest ends up not knowing his people.  Yet, charity is love, and love means presence.  When you love someone, the most important, most delightful, thing is simply to be with them.  The essence of pastoral charity is pastoral presence.
In his homily at the ordination of priests a month ago, Pope Francis cited the well-known sermon of Saint Augustine on this point.  He said:

[C]onsider what St Augustine said regarding pastors who seek to please themselves, who use God’s sheep to feed and clothe themselves, to invest themselves with the majesty of a ministry they knew not whether it was of God.  Finally, participating in the mission of Christ, Head and Shepherd, in filial communion with your Bishop, seek to bring the faithful together into one single family, so that you may lead it to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit.  Keep always before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve, and who came to seek out and save those that were lost.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our priests in the Archdiocese who do precisely that, who keep the example of the Good Shepherd before their eyes.  In the opportunities I have had to be with you in your parishes, I have seen your pastoral charity in action, your presence to your people and the positive rapport you have with them.  I have been encouraged by the love our people have for their parish and their priests, and their energetic commitment to the wide array of ministries in which they are involved.  Thank you!

And to you, my dear brothers and sons who are about to be ordained priests: it is now for you to continue this legacy.  You are no longer your own.  No, you now belong to Christ and his Church; you belong totally and exclusively to Christ’s bride, with all that this vocation demands.  You will live this out in concrete, day-to-day ways with those brothers and sisters of yours you are called to serve with your pastoral charity.  Love them with the love of Jesus Christ, and at all times live, proclaim and witness to his truth in charity, in compassion, laying down your life for them as the Good Shepherd for his sheep.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pope Francis: The Devil Wants to Destroy the Family

All on the same page...

In our last post, Bishop Paul Loverde quoted Pope Francis on the defense of marriage and the family. And here is what the Holy Father said on June 1 to 52,000 Catholics in Rome, from Vatican Insider:

Francis at Rome’s Olympic Stadium: “The devil wants to destroy the family”

"'Married couples are sinners just like everyone else, but they want to continue with love, in all its fecundity. They continue in the faith, bearing children.' This was Francis’ response to the words pronounced by a young bride who greeted Francis on behalf of all families. 'Let us pray to the Lord and ask him to protect the family in the crisis with which the devil wants to destroy it,' the Pope said. 'Families are the domestic church where Jesus grows in the love of a married couple, in the lives of their children. This is why the devil attacks the family so much,' Francis explained. The devil doesn’t want it and tries to destroy it. The devil tries to make love disappear from there.'”

The family is the image of the Blessed Trinity. We've all heard that at many homilies. That's why the devil hates it so much. He can't do anything about the Trinity, so he tries to destroy it's image, the family. And Pope Francis has been very clear from the beginning on the demonic nature of counterfeit, same-sex "marriage." Remember what he said in 2010, when same-sex "marriage" was being debated in Argentina:

"In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

Cardinal Bergoglio continued: “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

People don't like to hear that, it hurts, but it is true, despite those who have attempted to spin his "who am I to judge" statement. Let's also remember that in 2009, a year before then-Cardinal Bergoglio's statement our own good Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone (then-Bishop of Oakland) said:

"'The ultimate attack of the Evil One is the attack on marriage,' he said. 'If you take marriage apart, everything comes unraveled. It's been frayed at the edges, and now moving more and more toward the center. But you take marriage out, it all comes unraveled. It all comes tumbling down. And again, the evangelicals, they understand that. They understand this is an attack of the Evil One at the core institution.'"

Pope Francis, Archbishop Cordileone, Bishop Loverde, Archbishop Chaput, Bishop Paprocki...they're all on the same page.

Bishop Loverde of Arlington on Marriage and the Defense of the Family

Our Catholic Bishops (including the Bishop of Rome, our Holy Father Pope Francis) are united in defense of marriage and the family, God bless them! Here is a May 28 column by Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, VA:

Stand for Marriage, Stand for Faith

"Eight years ago, the will of the people of Virginia was expressed clearly and decisively as citizens cast their ballots to safeguard in the state constitution the age-old definition of marriage as between one woman and one man. At that time, along with Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, I wrote to you about 'the unique and vital role the institution of marriage has in society' and how the result of the referendum would have 'profound significance for the future of the family, the most fundamental social structure of our society.' We noted that marriage 'had a design and purpose long before any nation, religion, or law was established,' and that 'the proper role of both church and state is one of stewardship, to preserve our Creator's great gift of marriage from one generation to the next.' Now, these words are all the more true as the challenge seems ever greater.

In the time since the vote here in Virginia, when only Massachusetts, under pressure by state court order, had redefined its marriage law, seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized marriage between individuals of the same sex. It is true, we have seen public opinion shift to some degree under the relentless advocacy of those who would change marriage from its basic meaning and purpose. This is all the more reason for us to make the case for marriage and its importance to children, society, and, yes, God’s plan for us.

St. John Paul II spoke of the transcendent role of marriage this way:

'In a marriage, a man and a woman pledge themselves to one another in an unbreakable alliance of total mutual self-giving. A total union of love.

Love that is not a passing emotion or temporary infatuation, but a responsible and free decision to bind oneself completely, 'in good times and in bad,' to one's partner. It is the gift of oneself to the other.
The love of husband and wife in God's plan leads beyond itself, and new life is generated, a family is born. The family is a community of love and life, a home in which children are guided to maturity.'

And Pope Francis affirms this basic teaching:

'Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensable contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple,' (“Evangelii Gaudium,” n. 66).

These words truly convey the Lord’s plan for those called to marriage. It is the ideal, yes, and one we pray that all who enter into this union may achieve. Of course, there are failings sadly visible all around us — adultery and high rates of divorce, broken and suffering families — but that does not change the intrinsic worth of marriage and family willed by the Lord and proclaimed by the Church. Further, we know that traditional marriage bolsters society and is best for children. The social science is clear that children do best when raised by a mother and father in a stable marriage.

I know that some of you have resigned yourselves to the redefinition of marriage, or perhaps are not convinced that defending the true definition of marriage is essential to the well-being of society, but I urge you, by example and prudent and thoughtful words, to stand for marriage at this critical time in our history. This is a fight worth having, and the time is now! As I wrote to you when we voted on marriage here in Virginia, 'Preserving and promoting marriage is an integral component of our shared civic responsibility.'

Finally, I would encourage you to participate in the March for Marriage 2014 in Washington, D.C., being held this year on June 19th. The unchanging reality of marriage is being tested right now, perhaps to the point of no return, and our diocesan participation is very necessary. To learn more, go to"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Archbishop Cordileone at March for Marriage June 19!

On June 19 the March for Marriage will take place in Washington D.C. Our good Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone will lead a stellar group of speakers, including Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, former Arkansas Governor Tim Huckabee, Doug Mainwaring, a same-sex attracted man who supports natural marriage, Ludovine de la Rochere, the co-founder and President of France's La Manif Pour Tous (A March for All) who have brought millionsn of French people to the streets in support of natural marriage and more.

Brian Brown writes:

"We’re in a historic battle, a fight for one of the great truths of civilization – that marriage as one man and one woman is an essential element of a thriving society based on strong families. It’s not only God’s design for humankind, it’s been proven throughout history to be the most beneficial relationship for men and women, for any children born of their union, and for society as a whole. How fortunate we are to be able to demonstrate our support for preserving marriage in the law!"

If you can't go to Washington, you can be part of the Virtual March by going to the March website: Check out this video from the March organizers: