Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How much do you love God?

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind."
 – Luke 10:27
Do you love God the way that Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens loves football? Would you fight for Him, and sacrifice for Him, and give Him all you've got?







"Position yourself so when God gets ready to pour out blessings, that you're in a position to receive those blessings.... keep fighting, keep fighting, keep fighting.... It's His will. Let His will be done.... God is amazing!"
 – Ray Lewis after Baltimore Ravens amazing comeback win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football, November 6, 2011.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
 whom shall I fear?
 The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
 of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me,
 uttering slanders against me,
 my adversaries and foes,
 they shall stumble and fall.
Though a host encamp against me,
 my heart shall not fear;
 though war arise against me,
 yet I will be confident.

  – Psalm 27:1-3
Do you love God the way that Joe Frazier loved boxing?





Requiescat In Pace, Smokin' Joe.

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St. Joseph, pray for us.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Humanist President says God backs federal bailouts

I am like a green olive tree
 in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
 for ever and ever.

  – Psalm 28:8

I don't think God cares one way or another what bills are passed through Congress unless they affect people's spiritual lives. This whole idea that God is in favor of "social justice" is a very humanist reduction of the Gospel message. Yes, we should help the poor, but we need to do it by creating a culture of life that fundamentally transforms our society. Anything else is just putting bandaids on the problem, at best. And at worst, it creates a society which is dominated by an atheistic central power.

All of these bailouts so far have only managed to save a few very rich and powerful people from going bankrupt, while burdening the rest of us with huge government debts. So when President Obama says that he believes that God wants a new jobs bill he is not only promoting bad economics, but also making a mockery of the Christian faith.



Jesus, I trust in You!

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UPDATE 1 [Nov 4]:

In the video when Obama says "In the House of Representatives, what have you guys been debating, John?" he is addressing Speaker of the House, John Boehner. So not only is he showing disrespect for Christians, but he is also directly mocking the Republican House Speaker.

The reason that the resolution to affirm that "In God We Trust" is the official motto of the United States was needed is because President Obama had declared that the US motto was "E pluribus unum" -- Latin for "Out of many, one" -- in one of his speeches. Given Obama's secular humanist policies that have the intent of erasing religion from public life in America, I'm convinced that this was no accident.

What has he done to help the economy? How does promoting "homosexual marriage" help to make us a stronger country at this time of crisis? It doesn't. It only serves to divide and weaken us. And no one is falling for Obama's charade that he is a Christian. He isn't.

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UPDATE 2 [Nov 4]:

Ron Paul says that he is against the resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the official US motto. Paul said, "I would have voted 'no' not because I don't like the motto and don't think we can use it but 'no' because we were telling the states what to do." (He didn't vote because he was not in Washington at the time due to his presidential campaign schedule.)

I for one am tiring of Pauls' excuse of "states rights" on so many issues. Shouldn't Congress have the right to enforce a national motto? Does he want to reduce the United States to a loose confederation of states like the European Union? The strength of the United States is in our unity. If we give too much power to the individual states then we are constantly threatened with rebellion every time a crisis comes along. Just look at what is happening with the EU over the economic crisis in Greece.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What is Man?

When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
 the moon and the stars which thou hast established;
what is man that thou art mindful of him,
 and the son of man that thou dost care for him?
Yet thou hast made him little less than God,
 and dost crown him with glory and honor.

  – Psalm 8:3-5

The lyrics of this song are based on a poem titled "What is Man?" by Welsh poet Waldo Williams. I heard the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, quote from this poem during his speech at the Assisi gathering for world peace on October 27:
What is it to be alive? To dwell in a great hall
Between narrow walls.
What is it to recognize? To find a single root
Beneath all the branches.

What is it to have faith? To stay still at the hearth
Until we are ready to receive our guest.
What is it to forgive? To find a way through the thorns
To stand alongside our old enemy.
When I went looking for the rest of the poem, I quickly learned that the original was in Welsh not English. So I came across various translations (here and here) of the words. I ended up modifying Waldo Williams' original poem while trying to stay true to his meaning. Ultimately, I didn't use the whole poem. This is one translation of the other verses that I used.
What is it to sing? To receive breath
From the genius of creation.
What's work but humming a song
From wood and wheat.
[...]
What's the world to the all powerful?
A circle spinning.
And to the children of the earth?
A cradle rocking.
Then as I was working on the song, I was reminded of Psalm 8:3-5 and incorporated those words into the lyrics as well.

I originally was attracted to this poem by the opening lines, "What is it to be alive? To dwell in a great hall between narrow walls." It took me a bit of contemplating to reach an understanding of this. To me this means that we are confined to see only a small part of God's infinite creation. We live in the physical world, which can lead us to believe that this is all there is to His creation. We occupy human bodies and yet there is a sense that there is so much more to our existence.




What is Man?
© Michael of PublicVigil 2011

What is it to be alive? To dwell in a great hall
Between narrow walls.
What is it to realize? To find a single root
Beneath all the branches.

What is it to believe? Guarding the faith
Until acceptance comes.
What is it to forgive? Fighting through thorns
To comfort my enemy.

Where’s the magic in a song? It’s in the first breath
Of creation.
And why must we sweat and toil? To create a symphony
From the forests and the fields.

What's the world to the strong?
A circle spinning.
And to the children of the earth?
A cradle rocking.

When I look up to the heavens
I see the work of your hands.
The moon and countless stars
Which you alone created.

What is man that you are mindful of him,
And the son of man that you should care for him?
Yet you made him little less than yourself,
And you crowned him with glory.

Where’s the magic in a song? It’s in the first breath
Of creation.
And why must we sweat and toil? To create a symphony
From the forests and the fields.

What's the world to the strong?
A circle spinning.
And to the children of the earth?
A cradle rocking.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

White supremacist Pat Buchanan on EWTN

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
 – Galatians 3:28-29
I hope that Raymond Arroyo gets a ton of emails complaining about inviting Pat Buchanan to come on his show. Buchanan has demonstrated time and again that he is a white supremacist. In fact the book that he is currently promoting has a chapter titled "The End Of White America". Here are a few quotes which are obviously designed to stir feelings of racial hatred towards Hispanics and Blacks.
The white population will begin to shrink and, should present birth rates persist, slowly disappear. Hispanics already comprise 42 percent of New Mexico's population, 37 percent of California's, 38 percent of Texas's, and over half the population of Arizona under the age of twenty. ... Mexico is moving north. Ethnically, linguistically, and culturally, the verdict of 1848 is being overturned. Will this Mexican nation within a nation advance the goals of the Constitution-to "insure domestic tranquility" and "make us a more perfect union"? Or has our passivity in the face of this invasion imperiled our union?

...Those who believe the rise to power of an Obama rainbow coalition of peoples of color means the whites who helped to engineer it will steer it are deluding themselves. The whites may discover what it is like to ride in the back of the bus.
Supposedly Buchanan is a Catholic and that justifies him being on the program. There is also a chapter in the book titled "The Death Of Christian America". I have certainly shared my concerns about the attacks by Our Secular President on Christianity, but Buchanan twists this into another racist argument by denying that Hispanics also come from a predominantly Christian culture.

I give credit to Arroyo for initially challenging Buchanan on this subject. But I have to say that I was very disappointed that he did not confront Buchanan about his repugnant reply.
UPDATE 1 [Oct 30]:

After reviewing a list of the chapters from Buchanan's book (see update below), I have to ask: which of these was Arroyo calling "a chapter on immigration"? The one that it seems he was most likely referring to is "The End of White America". Arroyo and EWTN should be ashamed to be promoting such a blatantly racist book. Arroyo clearly knew what type of answer to expect from Buchanan about Hispanic immigration. I have had issues before with Arroyo over his conservative politics, but this goes far beyond standard political ideology. This is racism at the level of the KKK.

Please write to EWTN at viewer@ewtn.com or call them at 205-271-2900 to let them know of your displeasure. And if you are a financial contributor, you should tell them that you are not going to contribute to them anymore and let them know why. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!
It is people like Buchanan that give Republican conservatives the label of "racist". There is no better way to get Hispanics and Blacks to run into the arms of the Democrats than to allow him to continue to spew his racial hatred. Hispanics and Blacks are attracted by the pro-Life and pro-Family messages of conservative Republicans and would seem like a natural fit, but the overt racism displayed by Buchanan screams out to Hispanics and Blacks that they are not welcome.

Here is the video from the "World Over Live". You can come to your own conclusions. (The exchange about Hispanics begins at 18:10 and ends at 20:30.)



The whole Republican Party position on immigration has huge anti-Hispanic overtones. The other day at the CNN debates the Republican candidates were asked directly about what their message is for Hispanics. The only reply was that they would produce more jobs -- they ducked the issue entirely. The only person that had any positive message for Hispanics was Rick Santorum, who stood up for the pro-Family values of Hispanics. (Buchanan, on the other hand, specifically chooses to attack Hispanic family values.)

I was especially disappointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry. He could have said something positive about the large number of Hispanics in Texas. Instead he just made a generic statement about creating jobs for everyone. In his first debate, Perry spoke proudly of having helped Hispanic immigrants to be able to achieve a college education. But after coming under fire for supporting Hispanics, he has assumed the racist immigrant stance of his fellow Republicans.

As much as I would like to vote for a Republican for President based on the vital pro-Life and pro-Family issues, it will be very hard for me to do if they continue to attack Hispanics by using the issue of immigration as a cover for their racism.

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San Juan Diego, ruega por nostros.

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UPDATE 1 [Oct 30]:

Below are excerpts from each chapter in Buchanan's book titled "Suicide of a Superpower". It is racists like him that give Christianity a bad name. To him, "Christian America" and "White America" are synonymous. What makes it worse for me is that he calls himself a "Catholic". Usually it is the Protestants that spew this kind of hatred. Please rest assured that Buchanan does not represent the Catholic Church which embraces people from all backgrounds and of all nationalities.

I have to wonder if Buchanan is really working for the Democrats in disguise. This type of polarizing politics can only help Obama. But if the Republican candidates do not publicly denounce him then people will assume that he is speaking for them. And maybe he is.
Chapter 1: The Passing of a Superpower

“We have accepted today the existence in perpetuity of a permanent underclass of scores of millions who cannot cope and must be carried by society -- fed, clothed, housed, tutored, medicated at taxpayer’s expense their entire lives. We have a dependent nation the size of Spain in our independent America. We have a new division in our country, those who pay a double or triple fare, and those who ride forever free.”

Chapter 2. The End of Christian America

If [Christopher] Dawson is correct, the drive to de-Christianize America, to purge Christianity from the public square, public schools and public life, will prove culturally and socially suicidal for the nation.

“The last consequence of a dying Christianity is a dying people. Not one post-Christian nation has a birth rate sufficient to keep it alive....The death of European Christianity means the disappearance of the European tribe, a prospect visible in the demographic statistics of every Western nation.”

Chapter 3. The Crisis of Catholicism

“Half a century on, the disaster is manifest. The robust and confident Church of 1958 no longer exists. Catholic colleges and universities remain Catholic in name only. Parochial schools and high schools are closing as rapidly as they opened in the 1950s. The numbers of nuns, priests and seminarians have fallen dramatically. Mass attendance is a third of what it was. From the former Speaker of the House to the Vice President, Catholic politicians openly support abortion on demand.”

“How can Notre Dame credibly teach that all innocent life is sacred, and then honor a president committed to ensuring that a woman’s right to end the life of her innocent child remains sacrosanct?”

Chapter 4. The End of White America

“[W]hite America is an endangered species. By 2020, whites over 65 will out-number those 17 and under. Deaths will exceed births. The white population will begin to shrink and, should present birth rates persist, slowly disappear.”

“Mexico is moving north. Ethnically, linguistically and culturally, the verdict of 1848 is being over-turned. Will this Mexican nation within a nation advance the goals of the Constitution -- to “insure domestic tranquility” and ‘make us a more perfect union’? Or have we imperiled our union?” (Page 134)

Chapter 5. Demographic Winter

“Peoples of European descent are not only in a relative but a real decline. They are aging, dying, disappearing. This is the existential crisis of the West.” (Page 166)

“Not any Iranian weapon of mass destruction but demography is the existential crisis Israel faces....By mid-century...Palestinians west of the Jordan river will out-number Jews 2-1. Add Palestinians in Jordan, it is 3-1.”

“In a startling development of history, Russia’s population has fallen from 148 million in 1991 to 140 million today and is projected to plunge to 116 million by 2050, a loss of 32 million Russians in six decades.”

Chapter 6. Equality Vs. Freedom

“Those who would change society begin by changing the meaning of words. At Howard University, LBJ changed the meaning of equality from the attainable -- an end to segregation and a legislated equality of rights for African-Americans -- to the impossible: a socialist utopia.”

“Where equality is enthroned, freedom is extinguished. The rise of the egalitarian society means the death of the free society.”

“A time for truth. As most kids do not have the athletic ability to play high school sports, or the musical ability to play in the band, or the verbal ability to excel in debate, not every child has the academic ability to do high school work. No two children are created equal, not even identical twins. The family is the incubator of inequality and God its author.”

Chapter 7. The Diversity Cult

“The non-Europeanization of America is heartening news of an almost transcendental quality,” Wattenberg trilled.4 Yet, one wonders: What kind of man looks with transcendental joy to a day when the people among whom he was raised have become a minority in a nation where the majority rules?”

“Historians will look back in stupor at 20th and 21st century Americans who believed the magnificent republic they inherited would be enriched by bringing in scores of millions from the failed states of the Third World.”

Chapter 8: The Triumph Of Tribalism

America’s war of revenge against Japan was a race war. Newsreels, movies, magazines, comic books, headlines treated “Japs” as a repulsive race whose extermination would benefit mankind....Only well after the war was over was it re-branded a war to bring the blessings of democracy to...Japan.

We may deny the existence of ethnonationalism, detest it, condemn it. But this creator and destroyer of empires and nations is a force infinitely more powerful than globalism, for it engages the heart. Men will die for it. Religion, race, culture and tribe are the four horsemen of the coming apocalypse.

Chapter 9. ‘The White Party’

“Through its support of mass immigration, its paralysis in power to prevent 12-20 million illegal aliens from entering and staying, its failure to address the “anchor-baby” issue, the Republican Party has birthed a new electorate that will send it the way of the Whigs.”

Chapter 10: The Long Retreat

“We borrow from Europe to defend Europe. We borrow from the Gulf states to defend the Gulf states. We borrow from Japan to defend Japan. Is it not a symptom of senility to be borrowing from the world so we can defend the world?”

“Are vital U.S. interests more imperiled by what happens in Iraq where were have 50,000 troops, or Afghanistan where we have 100,000, or South Korea where we have 28,000 -- or by what is happening on our border with Mexico?...What does it profit America if we save Anbar and lose Arizona?”

Chapter 11: The Last Chance

“We are trying to create a nation that has never before existed, of all the races, tribes, cultures and creeds of Earth, where all are equal. In this utopian drive for the perfect society of our dreams we are killing the real country we inherited -- the best and greatest country on earth.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

China's coming one-grandparent policy

No more shall there be in it
 an infant that lives but a few days,
 or an old man who does not fill out his days,
 for the child shall die a hundred years old,
 and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.

  – Isaiah 65:20
The mainstream press is finally beginning to warn of the disastrous consequences of China's population control policies. It isn't being reported on CNN, but at least AFP writer Pascale Trouillaud has written an article titled "China's one-child rule turns into a time bomb".
China's one-child policy has prevented almost half a billion births but has turned into a demographic time bomb as the population ages, storing up huge economic and social problems for the country.

Three decades on, demographers, sociologists and economists are warning of a looming crisis as China becomes the only developing country in the world to face growing old before it grows rich.

By 2050, a quarter of China's population will be over 65, the Commission for Population and Family Planning said, compared to just nine percent today.

The upside-down pyramid -- whereby a single child shoulders responsibility for two parents and four grandparents -- is a major headache for the government.

China has barely begun to put in place a universal social security and retirement system, and over two-thirds of the rural population does not have a pension.
The solution is obvious for a country that has already implemented a brutal "one-child policy" -- an equally brutal "one-grandparent policy" would not be beyond the realm of reason.

Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute has been battling to warn the world of the dangers of population control policies for years. I was almost finished writing this article, when it occurred to me to check his site for information on euthanasia in China. I was amazed to find him come to the same conclusion that I had -- even calling it a "one-grandparent policy".
Finally, there is the demographic snare that the one-child policy has set for the Chinese people. Because of the radical cutback in births, the Chinese population is aging faster than any human population in human history. The worker/dependency ratio is unsustainable. How can an only child support two parents and four grandparents in retirement? I am afraid that this will lead the Chinese government to embark upon a “one-grandparent policy” in years to come, in which tens of millions of elderly Chinese will be urged to accept euthanasia, perhaps in return for their only grandchild being allowed to go to college. Forced abortion and forced euthanasia are two sides of the same debased coin.
And as usual there will be a practical equivalent for American society as well. We don't have an official one child policy, but we have Planned Parenthood, contraception and abortion. Do we really have a "choice"?

And unless we start fighting now, we will soon have legalized euthanasia -- another "choice".

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pro-Life Anderson passed away

I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows -- and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.
 – 2 Corinthians 12:1-4

Pro-Life Anderson
I learned through a twitter message from Father Frank Pavone of the death of Pro-Life Anderson. I had never heard of him before. There are many unsung heros in the pro-Life crusade.

His message was a simple one. He got down on his knees and prayed:
"For the love of God, love of country and love of life ... protect the unborn in anyway you possibly can. Through your prayers, your actions ... anything else. Without life there is no liberty or pursuit of happiness."
Father Frank remembers him this way:
“Over the years I have been inspired by many pro-life activists and have tried to pattern my own life on them, but among those who have inspired me the most was ‘Prolife Anderson.’ This humble, energetic man – who was an orphan -- served our nation in the Air Force for two decades, receiving medals of commendation twice. But it was his passionate devotion of unborn children that most dramatically shaped his long life. Whether in Reno, Nevada, or Savannah Georgia, or any of the cities he visited in between, Prolife Anderson spoke publicly his pro-life message to anyone who would listen – and to those who would not listen.

“Many called him crazy. It was an honor, however, to stand with him in city after city against the atrocity of abortion, and to be called crazy with him. As he and I often discussed, we are crazy with love for our unborn brothers and sisters.

“He wore red socks to signify that we are all wading in the blood of the innocent. His car was covered with bumper stickers that gave voice to the voiceless. And in 1987 he had his first name legally changed to “Prolife.” His commitment to our youngest and most vulnerable brothers and sisters – those still in the womb – was absolute and all-consuming.

“That’s what I have learned from him over these years, and that’s how I will honor him, by calling numerous others to join me and my colleagues in a lifetime commitment to ending abortion.”



Here is some more information about him:
Pro-Life Anderson was born Charles Frederick Anderson in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1927. He had his name legally changed to “Pro-Life” in 1987.

Anderson never knew his father, friends say, and moved to Savannah at the age of three, after his mother died, to live with his grandparents. A self-described juvenile delinquent, Anderson was sent to St. Joseph’s orphanage after his grandfather died, and his grandmother, who had to go back to work to support the family, struggled with him and his brother, Allie.

Anderson grew up in a Protestant family but converted to Catholicism at the orphanage. He went to Benedictine Military School but said he dropped out to help support his grandmother. He spent 20 years in the Air Force and married Marie Patricia Cecelia Moore, a 38-year-old widow with a 9-year-old son, in 1964. They moved to Reno, Nevada.

Anderson started campaigning against abortion in Reno the late 1970s, inspired, he said, after his stepson’s girlfriend had an abortion. His wife died in 1984, and he moved back to Savannah in 1997.
Requiescat in Pace.

Here is the funeral information for those in the Savannah, Georgia area:
Visitation for Anderson will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Gamble Funeral Service, 10 Stephenson Ave. A vigil service will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Gamble Funeral Service Chapel. Mass will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, 222 East Harris St.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, are being accepted at Priests for Life, P.O. Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314; at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 1003 East Victory Dr., Savannah, GA, 31405 and at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, 222 East Harris St., Savannah, GA, 31401.
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All the angels and the archangels, pray for us.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Father Rodríguez parishioners show their support

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.
 – Revelation 12:7


Michael Voris traveled to El Paso, TX to document the support of parishioners of San Juan Bautista Iglesia for Father Michael Rodríguez, for the Traditional Latin Mass and for authentic Church teachings.



Here also is a video of the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass by Father Rodríguez at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (built in 1890, in what was then known as a mining town, now considered a "ghost town"), located in the small town of Shafter, Texas (population-40). Please note the un-"renovated" traditional altar in this humble but beautiful Catholic church. The homily begins at around 33:00. It's mostly in English with some parts in Spanish. The music of the Mass is very beautiful and solemn.



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Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us
in battle, be our protection against the
wickedness and snares of the devil. May
God rebuke him we humbly pray; and
do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host,
by the power of God, cast into hell Satan
and all evil spirits who wander through
the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.
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Related articles:

Homilies by Father Frank Pavone

Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.
 – 2 Timothy 4:2-5
Father Frank Pavone

Please keep Father Frank Pavone and Bishop Patrick Zurek in your prayers. Here are the last few homilies by Father Frank that were broadcast on EWTN just prior to his departure on September 13 to Amarillo, Texas at the request of his bishop.

Homily 09-10-2011 - Fr Frank Pavone - Saturday Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Homily 09-11-2011 - Fr. Frank Pavone - Tenth Anniversary of September 11 2001 Terrorist Attack


Homily 09-12-2011 - Fr Frank Pavone - The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Homily 09-13-2011 - Fr Frank Pavone - St John Chrysostom - Bishop - Doctor of the Church


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Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
St. John Chrysostom, pray for us.

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Related articles:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bishop Zurek finally breaks media silence ... to cast aspersions

Take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
 – Matthew 18:16
We finally got a direct quote from Bishop Zurek in the Amarillo press. It comes after Father Frank Pavone did not appear for a scheduled "private" meeting with his Ordinary on October 13. Here are some quotes from an article titled "Despite bishop's meeting request, Pavone a no-show":
“I would welcome a meeting with Father Pavone, face to face, a meeting as his bishop,” Zurek said. “I am still waiting for a favorable response to that.”

“This is a delicate internal Church matter that needs to be resolved between a bishop and his priest,” he added. “This is parallel to a human resources matter in the secular workplace. And it is even more sensitive when you factor in the relationship between a bishop and his priest as one similar to a father to a son or a brother to a brother.”

“In this case, right now, a real concern for me is Father Pavone.”
The bishop is obviously no stranger to the spin room. Following this deprecatory statement, there was a flurry of denigrating articles from the usual suspects. I'm thinking in particular of the Catholic Culture article (no author -- I guess the article wrote itself) where Phil Lawler has been leading the charge on libeling Father Pavone's good name.  And of course the ever pesky gadfly Mark Shea felt it necessary to chime in without all the facts. How's this for showing "respect" for a Catholic priest in good standing:
"This kind of petulance makes the bishop look smarter every day. This is your bishop we are talking about, Fr. Pavone. Show some respect." – Mark Shea
And true to form, Edward Peters -- self-proclaimed canon lawyer extraordinaire -- could not wait for the facts to become clear before excoriating Father Pavone for missing the meeting. (Please see my previous article titled "Ed Peters' dogged defense of Bishop Zurek".) Without anymore information about the situation than you or I have access to, Ed Peters has declared himself to be the ultimate authority on all things related to Frank Pavone and Bishop Zurek. Once again, Peters can find absolutely no fault with Bishop Zurek -- even after he learns some more about the nuances of the situation from Fr. Deibel's account. Will Ed Peters have the manly courage to apologize for his libelous treatment of Father Frank after the fact? So far there are no signs of this ever happening. If Peters is as naïve as he sounds about human nature and Church politics from his posts on Father Pavone, then he has no business being a canon lawyer. I sure wouldn't want to be his client if I were a priest that had been accused of wrongdoing by my bishop.

If they had all waited a short while for a response from Father Frank or had made some attempt to contact Priests for Life, they would have heard the other side of the story. From LifeSiteNews in an article titled "Canon lawyer advised Fr. Pavone not to attend private meeting with bishop" we learn that things are not as simple as Bishop Zurek has attempted to portray them in the Amarillo press.
Fr. Pavone’s canon lawyer has said that he advised Fr. Pavone not to attend the meeting without a mediator present.

“The details and history of the present situation are such that moving forward to a resolution is no longer simply a matter of getting together and talking,” said Canonist Fr. David Deibel.

Fr. Deibel, in his official statement released today,  says that requests to have a mediator present at any meeting between Pavone and the bishop have not been acknowledged. “Several Church officials have made it clear that they believe mediation is necessary, and that they are willing to undertake a role as mediators,” he said. “Unfortunately, Bishop Zurek has not responded to or even acknowledged any of these requests.”

“Instead,” added Deibel, “he wrote to Fr. Frank, asked him to come to a one-on-one meeting with him, and asked him in writing not to speak to anyone about the meeting. Then, the next day, before Father Frank even had an opportunity to respond, the Bishop announced the meeting on the front page of the website of the Amarillo diocese.

Fr. Deibel said that Priests for Life would prefer that the process of discussing the disagreement take place in private rather than in the media.  He said that Priests for Life remains hopeful that Bishop Zurek will respond privately to the requests for mediation and that the matter will be resolved shortly.

Fr. Deibel said however, “As his canonical consultant, I advised Father Frank not to have this private meeting until the process of mediation is underway.”
I suppose that Father Frank's detractors will just use this as more evidence of his lack of "obedience" to his bishop.

I wrote a comment at another website just shortly before learning of the response from Priests for Life. I have to give myself a pat on the back for understanding how this situation has been playing out. Here it is:
I'm not as disturbed by Father Frank's no-show as you are. I never expected anything good to come out of this meeting anyway.

As for possible explanations, I can think of a few. Of course it would be better to wait until there is a statement from Father Frank himself. But first remember that the main issue here is not about a skipped meeting or even "obedience". I'm reminded of the famous quote from Cool Hand Luke, "What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

Keep in mind also that the Bishop said this would be a "private" meeting - but he publicly announced it. And also keep in mind that the Bishop himself was a "no-show" for a month. Anything said in a private meeting can be spun any which way by the Bishop, and if Father Frank would have tried to give an alternate explanation of what happened he would again be labeled "disobedient" for contradicting his Ordinary -- or even for just speaking out according to some people.

So one scenario is that he was advised by canon or civil lawyers not to meet with the Bishop unless he could have someone else in the room with him that could represent him. Or at the very least to be a witness to what is discussed.

Or it could be that Father wants to delay the meeting because he is waiting for a reply from some other Church authorities.

I don't know. But this is the way that "witch hunts" are conducted. First a bogus accusation is made and then the allegations widen and the "lack of cooperation" by an innocent person attempting to defend himself is thrown in as "suspicious behavior". Until anything a person says or does not say is touted as proof of their guilt.

You know, like throwing someone in the ocean with an anchor tied to them and if they sink then they are innocent (but dead) because we all know that a witch would use his powers to be able to float.
As I have from the beginning, I remain "In full support of Father Frank Pavone".

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Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

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Related articles:

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UPDATE 1 [Oct 14]:

Amarillo.com has published a follow up article titled "Priests for Life defends no-show" giving Father Deibel's explanation of why Father Frank did not meet with Bishop Zurek. Here is the full statement released by Father Deibel as it appears on the Priests for Life website:
Official Statement from the Rev. David Deibel, Canonist

As Canonical Advisor to Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life, I have, on numerous occasions, communicated on their behalf with Bishop Patrick Zurek, asking for a mediator as a first step in restoring trust and facilitating healing in the relationship between the bishop and his priest. I can attest that Fr. Pavone is eager to restore with Bishop Zurek the trust and communication that should exist between any priest and his bishop. Fr. Pavone remains in Amarillo as directed by his bishop, and remains faithful and obedient.

The details and history of the present situation are such that moving forward to a resolution is no longer simply a matter of getting together and talking. Several Church officials have made it clear that they believe mediation is necessary, and that they are willing to undertake a role as mediators. Unfortunately, Bishop Zurek has not responded to or even acknowledged any of these requests.

Instead, he wrote to Fr. Frank, asked him to come to a one-on-one meeting with him, and asked him in writing not to speak to anyone about the meeting. Then, the next day, before Father Frank even had an opportunity to respond, the Bishop announced the meeting on the front page of the website of the Amarillo diocese.

As his canonical consultant, I advised Father Frank not to have this private meeting until the process of mediation is underway. All of us want this entire process to be carried out in private rather than through the media. He remains hopeful and prayerful that the bishop will respond privately to requests made of him, and that this situation will be resolved shortly in a truly Christian and ecclesial manner. I ask all to respect Father’s prayerful wishes in this regard.

Reverend David L. Deibel, JD, JCL
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UPDATE 2 [OCT 14]:

True to form, Mark Shea brushed off Fr. Deibel's statement in an impudent comment:
"How thoughtful to deign to explain this the day after he blows off his bishop. Sorry, but he’s being childish. It’s like watching a divorcing prima donna spouse only talking to her husband through a lawyer. How about a little humility?"
Seriously, when is National Catholic Register going to give this gossipy columnist the boot? It is obvious that NCR is withholding judgement on the whole AmarilloGate mess that the bishop has fabricated. There have only been a few carefully worded articles on the site on this topic. I'm sure this has a lot to do with the fact that NCR is now affiliated with (owned by??) EWTN where the Priests for Life TV show "Defending Life" is seen.

And yet columnist Mark Shea has been constantly fanning the flames of controversy with his statements on his own blog. On top of that, Shea's general liberal Catholic pronouncements are far out of line with EWTN's goal of creating an orthodox Catholic presence on TV, radio and the internet. I think Shea would fit in much better at the heterodox National Catholic REPORTER -- also known as the National Catholic fish-wrap.

It was also interesting to see Ed Peters commenting over at Mark Shea's site. You would think that Mr. Peters would chastise Mr. Shea over some of his derogatory comments. But no. Does this mean that Peters shares Shea's open disdain for Father Frank Pavone? Well, until I see Peters publicly single out Shea for criticism, I have to come to that conclusion. Which casts a whole different light on some of Peters' supposedly lawerly statements.

Is there an organized campaign among certain prominent Catholic persons online to damage the reputations of Father Frank and Priests for Life? I'm waiting to hear next from the opinionated Gerald Nadal, who has made it very clear that he doesn't need any facts to come to the conclusion that Father Frank is guilty of .... well, something!

Is this the same gang that attacked Lila Rose and Live Action for their use of undercover tactics to expose Planned Parenthood? Who's side are they on?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tough anti-immigrant Alabama law leads to ... slavery?

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you also are in the body.
 – Hebrews 13:1-3


This video exposes the absolute hypocrisy behind the anti-immigrant movement. Below are some comments that I left at the LifeSiteNews website on this subject. (That was before I had seen this video.) How is it that farmers have the nerve to even speak up about their labor shortage problems? Shouldn't they be immediately arrested? They were the ones that were knowingly hiring undocumented worker for years and paying them miserable wages. But no one seems to be angry at them, they were all too happy to buy cheap fruit and vegetables from them in the past. Now what are they going to do?
I started out as a Michele Bachmann supporter. But Rick Perry has won me over with his compassion for the Hispanic immigrants that are only here trying to support their families. If we are pro-Life and pro-Family we should feel some compassion for those who have fled poverty in their homelands.

Bachmann’s goal to build a wall between the US and Mexico seems to me to indicate a lack of vision on the issues. It’s easy to build a wall, but it doesn’t solve the problem. Many immigrants arrive legally with tourist visas and then just overstay their visas. Building a wall and demanding identification documents restricts the freedom and rights of everyone.

Part of the culture of death is the decline of Christian morality. If business people stopped exploiting immigrants out of greed, then that would reduce the attraction for many people to come here in the first place.

I wonder what solutions people propose who are so anti-immigrant. Should we just abort hundreds of thousands back to the countries where they came from? Or imprison them in concentration camps? Should we also promote “population control” in those countries to solve the problem?

Most immigrants come here to work. They clean your dishes after you have had a relaxing dinner at a restaurant. They change the sheets of your bed at a hotel that you enjoyed your last vacation at. They maintain your lawns so that you can spend more time with your wife and children on the weekends.

Yes, there is an immigration problem, but let’s not pretend that we aren’t part of that problem.

If the pro-Life community wants to be taken seriously then it must respect the personhood of people that are unwanted at all stages of life. Most of these "unwanted immigrants" have committed no crime other than to be in the country without going through the proper paperwork. Most of them have taxes automatically deducted from their paychecks -- including Social Security taxes.

In the past the doors have been wide open to massive numbers of European immigrants, but the doors have never been open to our neighbors from Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

If not for the immigrants, US population would be declining and we would be facing a much more severe economic crisis -- similar to what Europe is currently facing. I don't think most people realize the positive benefits for the economy of immigration. It stimulates housing and retail. Why do you think corporations engage in so much Spanish language advertising? They aren't stupid. If it didn't help their bottom line, they wouldn't be spending so much money.

We all benefit through lower prices for goods and services. We may not like to admit that inflation is kept in check by cheap immigrant labor at home and even cheaper labor under slave-like conditions abroad, but it's the truth.

Certainly we need to control our borders and control immigration, but we have a leaky border by design because it has certain benefits for the economy. Now that the world is going through tough economic times everyone looks for a scapegoat and immigrants have historically been easy targets because they can't speak up and defend themselves. Sound familiar?

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.... as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me." (Mt. 25:40,45)

The root of the problem is “illegal business practices” not “illegal immigrants”. By the way, you don't call someone speeding on the highway -- which most of us have done -- an "illegal motorist". He or she is a person who happens to be doing something illegal at the time. Keep in mind that these are real people who are trying to do the best for their families and are faced with tough decisions. Most people would prefer to remain living in the country where they were born with their family and friends.

My main point is, how do you take somewhere between 10 and 20 million people -- men, women and children -- and remove them from their homes and ship them off like cattle to the countries of their origin without a massive police and military operation which would most certainly involve a high level of brutality. And this would also require massive detention centers. What kind of militaristic state bureaucracy would need to be created to accomplish such a task and how do we know that this organization would not turn its sights to other unwanted elements in society once it was created? Once this sort of thing is established it inevitably becomes a permanent element of society. And you and I will be required to constantly prove that we are legitimate citizens. Think of the impact this will have on our freedoms and rights.

Imagine the impact, not just directly on the families, but also on the communities. There would be severe social and economic impacts in instituting such a policy. And what about the impact on the countries to which these people would be displaced?

The pro-Life community rightfully laments the loss of about 52 million children through abortion since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Why not think of the undocumented workers as those who have been called by God to help fill the void for those who never had the chance to breathe their first breaths?

I hope this helps.
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Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Latest news on Father Michael Rodríguez

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
 – Ephesians 5:11
This news video features an interview with David Rodríguez, the brother of Father Michael Rodríguez.



Father Michael was removed from his position at San Juan Bautista Church in El Paso, Texas for his public statements in defense of Catholic teaching on marriage and homosexuality according to a press release from Bishop Armando Ochoa.

Does a Catholic priest have a legal right to speak out on issues of morality that have a bearing on politics? Certainly, a priest has a moral obligation to spread the Gospel and to uphold Church teaching. But can it be considered an act of engaging in "partisan politics" to condemn the actions of politicians that are contrary to Church teachings?

Currently there is a bill before the House of Representatives called the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358). This bill is supported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Is this a case of "partisan politics"?

Why is it OK for the USCCB to speak out publicly on a political issue at the national level, and not OK for a local priest to do the same thing at a local level?

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Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

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Related articles:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Remnant Newspaper interviews Father Rodriguez

Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for My sake. Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.
 – Matthew 5:10-12
Father Michael Rodríguez
There is a new interview with Father Michael Rodríguez online at the website of the Remnant Newspaper titled "Priest Under Fire: An Interview of Father Michael Rodriguez".

This is a dynamite interview. Here are some excerpts, but please do yourself a favor and read the full interview. We have been waiting a long time for a priest like this. Our prayers are answered. Thank God! Alleluia!
I began to study the prayers and theology of the Traditional Latin Mass. The more I studied, the more my awe and amazement grew. I was "discovering" not only the true Catholic theology of the Mass, but also the true Catholic theology of the priesthood, and so much more! Throughout my first nine years of priesthood, I had struggled to make sense of the very serious problems which exist in the Church. At this point, it was obvious that an extreme crisis pervaded the Church and her hierarchy, but why? I just couldn't quite understand how all of this "diabolical disorientation" had come to pass . . . until the brilliant light of the true Catholic Mass ("Emitte lucem tuam et veritatem tuam . . .") began to penetrate my priestly soul. This "discovery" of the Traditional Latin Mass has been, by far, the greatest gift of God to my poor priesthood.
[...]
The dismal response of both civil and ecclesiastical authorities to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church in regard to homosexuality demonstrates how extreme the current crisis of faith actually is. It really can’t get much worse. There’s hardly any faith left to lose! Even a pagan, bereft of the light of faith, can arrive at the conclusion that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil. Reason, natural law, and consideration of the male and female anatomy more than suffice to confirm this moral truth.
[NOTE: I Posted this earlier as UPDATE 2 at "Father Rodríguez parishioners want him back in El Paso" but decided to repost it here so that it gets the prominence it deserves. Please see the earlier article for more background information on Father Rodríguez.]

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St. John the Baptist, ora pro nobis.

Our Father's seven sacraments

"Lord, teach us to pray."
 – Luke 11:1
As I was in prayerful meditation this morning and saying the Our Father, God revealed something very beautiful and profound to me and I want to share it with you.

I was in my morning meditation in which I simply ask God to let me spend time with Him, in the presence of His infinite love. And as I was saying the Our Father, He revealed to me one after another the hidden sacraments inside this prayer that Jesus Christ gave us when His disciples asked him to show us how to pray. And He also revealed within the Our Father the commandments that Jesus gave His disciples, which are to love God and to love our neighbor.

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Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed by Thy Name
Here we see the first commandment that Christ gave His disciples, which is to love God. Jesus says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind." There is also a sense of the act of creation through the almighty power of God; both the creation of the world and the miraculous act of creation of each of us through conception and birth

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Thy Kingdom come
Here we have a reminder of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. Which is when we are welcomed into the Kingdom of God. There is also a reminder of when Jesus himself was baptized in the River Jordan by St. John the Baptist and the Heavens opened up and God spoke saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

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Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven
Here is the Sacrament of Confirmation, through which we become active participants in bringing God's Kingdom to earth. We are reminded that Jesus was God incarnate, and the living embodiment of the Holy Trinity. And we are reminded of Christ reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah and then saying, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

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Give us this day our daily bread
Here we see very clearly the Sacrament of the Eucharist, through which we receive the Bread of Heaven. We are also reminded of the Last Supper when Christ broke the bread and said, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

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And forgive us our trespasses
This is also very clear, and it is the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. We are also reminded of Christ when he heals the crippled man and says, "your sins are forgiven."

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As we forgive those who trespass against us
Here we are reminded of the words of Christ, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."

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And lead us not into temptation
This is not so clear at first glance, but it is the Sacrament of Matrimony; because Holy Marriage removes the temptation to fall into original sin. And for those who choose the religious life, this becomes the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Christ reveals the importance of Holy Marriage in God's plan when he declares, "Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery."

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But deliver us from evil
This is the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. This sacrament is a spiritual comfort that delivers us from evil at the hour of our death and leads us into everlasting life. It also reminds us of Christ's sacrifice for us on the Cross, and His Resurrection which declares His Triumph over evil.

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Amen

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Father Rodríguez parishioners want him back in El Paso

"You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."
 – Psalm 110:4
Father Michael Rodríguez
Many faithful Catholics around the country were saddened by the recent news that Father Rodríguez of El Paso, Texas was removed from his parish by Bishop Armando Ochoa for speaking out on the issue of marriage in the midst of a recall election. The good news is that the parishioners of Father Rodríguez are asking their bishop to return him to El Paso.

The following statement was released by David Rodríguez, the younger brother of Father Michael Rodríguez:
For the past 9 1/2 years, Fr. Michael Rodríguez has served as parish priest of San Juan Bautista in central El Paso. Recently, Bishop Armando Ochoa reassigned Fr. Rodríguez to Santa Teresa de Jesús Parish in Presidio, TX, and the surrounding missions of Candelaria, Redford, and Shafter, TX. We, the parishioners of San Juan Bautista, and hundreds, probably even thousands, of other Catholic faithful from around the diocese and southern New Mexico, want to make a public appeal to our Bishop: please restore the traditional Catholic parish life that we had at San Juan Bautista. We are convinced that this parish life is, by far, the greatest spiritual treasure of our city.

The Catholics of El Paso have now been left without the priest who was the lone voice speaking the truth and upholding all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Anyone in El Paso can tell you that the most reverent Mass offered was at San Juan Bautista. Fr. Rodríguez had Confessions five times a week and often stayed past midnight absolving our sins. He had a Holy Hour almost every day, and all-night Adoration at least once a month. The Rosary was prayed daily at San Juan, many times more than once. Every Friday, after the evening Mass, Fr. Rodríguez led the Stations of the Cross in Spanish, and others prayed them in English every Friday at 12:30 p.m. At San Juan Bautista, we had many other devotions, novenas, blessings of sacramentals, processions, and additional Masses for First Friday and First Saturday. There were also numerous classes in the faith for both the adults and youth of the parish. Fr. Rodríguez was the only priest speaking out in public to defend Marriage as the union between one man and one woman. In addition, he was the only priest of the diocese offering the Traditional Latin Mass. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has made it very clear that the Traditional Latin Mass should be offered generously throughout the world wherever the faithful are requesting it. Here in El Paso, hundreds of us are requesting a daily Traditional Latin Mass, just as it was being offered at San Juan Bautista. We respectfully ask Bishop Ochoa to do nothing more than obey the directives of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Moreover, in just two years, the small parish of San Juan Bautista has had five men go to the seminary and two women to the convent. Another two men and two women will probably go this year to seek a religious vocation and many more youth are discerning a religious vocation thanks, in part, to the example and spiritual direction of Fr. Michael Rodríguez. Finally, Fr. Rodríguez was the only priest in the diocese who was openly promoting true Catholic education and supporting those who wish to homeschool within their family.

Many Catholics will attest to the fact that no other priest in El Paso was working harder than Fr. Rodríguez for the sanctification and salvation of our souls. And now he is gone, and so is the rich and magnificent spiritual life that we formerly had at San Juan. The grief and sorrow which many of us are experiencing is unimaginable. We've lost our spiritual father! Many of the faithful are utterly devastated. They simply do not know where to go for the feeding and care of their souls. Hundreds of letters have already been written to our Bishop, and we intend to make it thousands upon thousands. The injustice is palpable, especially for those who prefer the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as the poor, the elderly and children who relied on him for their spiritual nourishment. Their pain and hopelessness is written all over their faces.

This morning we presented Bishop Armando Ochoa with a petition of more 180 signatures, and are still in the process of gathering more. Our hope is to have 500 by next week and then grow that number even more. We are urging our Bishop to be obedient to Pope Benedict XVI, and provide El Paso with a parish life centered on the Traditional Latin Mass. Secondly, we are pleading with our Bishop: please, please send Fr. Rodríguez back to us. We love him, he’s sacrificed so much for us, and El Paso desperately needs the light and strength of his priesthood.
If you would like to help, here are a few things you can do.
  1. Offer prayers and fastings for the speedy return of Fr. Rodriguez to San Juan Bautista.
  2. Call the El Paso Chancery at (915) 872-8400 even if you are from another part of the country. Let them know how important it is to have a priest who will defend and proclaim the truth.
  3. Vote "YES" in a poll by the El Paso Times asking "Should Rev. Michael Rodriguez return to El Paso?" Link: http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_19081998
  4. Spread the word through blogs, Facebook, twitter, email, comboxes, etc.
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St. John the Baptist, pray for us.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

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Related articles:
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UPDATE 1 [Oct 11]:

Here is some additional information from a Catholic blogger in Dallas:
An update on San Juan Bautista.  There are no Traditional Latin Masses at the parish at present, although there is a promise to train a priest or two in the timeless Mass of All Ages and to have a Sunday TLM there at some indeterminate point in the future.  There are no other Sacraments offered, none of the daily catechesis classes Fr. Rodriguez offered, none of the daily prayers and devotionals, the whole parish life is essentially gone.  There is apparently an offer to undergo prep like First Communion or Confirmation at a neighboring parish that is apparently very problematic, and then to have the actual Sacrament at San Juan Bautista, but that’s hardly a replacement for a vibrant parish life. 

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UPDATE 2 [Oct 12]:

There is a new interview with Father Michael Rodriguez online at the website of the Remnant Newspaper titled "Priest Under Fire: An Interview of Father Michael Rodriguez".

This is a dynamite interview. Here are some excerpts, but please do yourself a favor and read the full interview. We have been waiting a long time for a priest like this. Our prayers are answered. Thank God! Alleluia!
I began to study the prayers and theology of the Traditional Latin Mass. The more I studied, the more my awe and amazement grew. I was "discovering" not only the true Catholic theology of the Mass, but also the true Catholic theology of the priesthood, and so much more! Throughout my first nine years of priesthood, I had struggled to make sense of the very serious problems which exist in the Church. At this point, it was obvious that an extreme crisis pervaded the Church and her hierarchy, but why? I just couldn't quite understand how all of this "diabolical disorientation" had come to pass . . . until the brilliant light of the true Catholic Mass ("Emitte lucem tuam et veritatem tuam . . .") began to penetrate my priestly soul. This "discovery" of the Traditional Latin Mass has been, by far, the greatest gift of God to my poor priesthood.
[...]
The dismal response of both civil and ecclesiastical authorities to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church in regard to homosexuality demonstrates how extreme the current crisis of faith actually is. It really can’t get much worse. There’s hardly any faith left to lose! Even a pagan, bereft of the light of faith, can arrive at the conclusion that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil. Reason, natural law, and consideration of the male and female anatomy more than suffice to confirm this moral truth.
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Fatima and Father Pavone

The LORD preserves the simple;
 when I was brought low, he saved me.

  – Psalm 116:6
God forgive me for having such thoughts.

I can't help but notice that the day that Bishop Zurek has set to meet with Father Frank Pavone is October 13 -- the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. But instead of an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Father Frank will have the rare opportunity to witness an appearance of Bishop Zurek.

The Fatima children -- Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta -- were shown a vision of hell by Our Lady. From all accounts this had a profound effect on the three young seers, and inspired great devotion in them towards the Blessed Mother and her Son. Lucia has testified to what a horrifying vision this was.

Under most circumstances, one would not expose children to such shocking images. But Our Lady certainly knew what she was doing.

In Amarillo, some pro-Life advocates are publicly displaying images of aborted children. This has caused quite a bit of controversy. Personally, this is not an action that I would have taken. But maybe, there are some young children that upon seeing these gruesome images will be motivated to become zealous protectors of the unborn.

One does have to wonder if Catholic parents nowadays shield their children from the sight of a Crucifix. If they have truly taught their children about Christ's passion then they should have been prepared to witness the suffering of unborn children. We Christians need to return to the old traditions that give more importance to Holy Week than to Christmas.
"I love Our Lord so much! At times, I seem to have a fire in my heart, but it does not burn me."
Blessed Jacinta Marto

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Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, pray for us.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

More adults, less children

They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
 they shall play the harlot, but not multiply;
 because they have forsaken the LORD
 to cherish harlotry.

  – Hosea 4:10
We have gone from being a child-centric society to an adult-centric society. And we can see the results all around us. Even the definition of marriage is being challenged to suit the needs of adults rather than children. Where did we go wrong?

We simply don't have as many children in society compared to the number of adults. This is the result of contraception and birth control. "Planned Parenthood" means smaller family sizes.

And young adults wait longer to get married. So there are more adults without children. Again, this is a product of contraception. Single adults have very different needs and desires than a married couple with children has.

In our mobile society we have lost the idea of extended families. Grandparents often live hundreds of miles from their grandchildren. So that once our children leave the home, our lives quickly revert to being centered around the needs of childless adults.

The result is that society has shifted from being child-centric -- where the needs of the child are most important -- to being adult-centric. Children need protection; adults desire freedom.

Society reflects this change by producing more TV programs and movies that cater to adult preferences. The "mature content" may be harmful to children, but it is left up to the parents to figure out how to protect their little ones from exposure to these sexual and violent images.

A child-centric society would not allow such shows to be so freely available. Society's sense of morality would restrict such activity. And where morality failed to be sufficient, then laws would be enacted to place barriers on such harmful activities. We used to have such a society before contraception became widespread, but over time these laws were abolished and morality declined.

Contraception and "planned parenthood" have had an astounding effect on the nature of society. Certainly, the Margaret Sanger's of the world must be pleased. She wasn't just an advocate of contraception and abortion; she also favored "free sex" and altering the nature of the family.

Contraception has tipped the scales in favor of adults over children. Pope Benedict XVI has talked about "the ecology of man". Here we see one of the "ecological" disasters that results from tampering with the natural balance.

Ironically, this shift began with the "baby boom" of the 1950s. One of the unique features of baby boom society was a generation of children that grew up without babies in the family. Whole neighborhoods were formed in the suburbs consisting of  young families with two children. As those children entered school, they didn't experience pregnant mothers or the birth of younger siblings or the aging and dying of grandparents. And they thought that this was a normal society, because this was all that they had ever experienced.

The baby boom was shaped by contraception, and the boomers went on to shape the adult-centric society of today.

Legalized abortion is the very embodiment of this adult-centric society. It says everything. Abortion is the act of the adults in society sanctioning the killing of a child in order that adults may pursue a more comfortable existence.

More adults, less children.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

CCHD and how the Catholic Church was infiltrated by Alinsky followers

When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
 – John 8:44
This video by Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV titled "The CCHD and Saul Alinsky" explains a lot. It explains how the Church was infiltrated by Alinsky followers. It explains why Chicago is a source of so much heterodoxy. There's even a tie in with Father Frank Pavone's situation. You see Bishop Zurek's mentor, Bishop John McCarthy of Austin, was one of the founders of CCHD. (See the article below that mentions Fr. John McCarthy as an assistant to Msgr. George Higgins -- a rather famous labor activist at the time. Sure, it's OK for Catholic priests to be pro-labor activists, but not pro-Life activists.)

Alinsky's "community organizers" are nothing but a front for his socialist agenda. And CCHD was founded specifically to funnel Catholic Church funds into the network of "community organizations" founded by Alinsky. Note also that the "community organizer" Barack Obama got his start in Chicago working with some of Alinsky's disciples, and reportedly received funds from CCHD.



Please watch the video first and then read the following excerpts from the article below simply titled "Catholic Campaign for Human Development" by William Droel. He is a board member of the National Center for the Laity -- a heterodox Catholic organization from Chicago. I'm not sure when this was written. Please note that this is written from a liberal perspective, but what I am interested in pointing our here is the history of how CCHD was founded and the fact that it still supports the Alinsky community organizing network.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is a Washington, D.C.-based, anti-poverty foundation, founded by the Catholic bishops of the United States in 1969. Replenished annually by a November collection in Catholic parishes, the $15 million foundation gives grants to a wide-range community organizing groups, including those associated with Industrial Areas Foundation, ACORN and other community organizing networks, as well as independent organizing efforts. In addition, CCHD funds worker and community owned development projects.

Generally, these efforts are not affiliated with the Catholic Church. CCHD is one of the largest, if not the single largest, funders of Alinsky-tradition community organizing in the United States. Its origins are in the Catholic Committee for Urban Ministry (CCUM), a 1960s group that brought together clergy, women religious and lay leaders working in our nation's cities for racial and economic justice.

Critics

CCHD came under criticism from some organizing groups and "progressives" who cried "foul" because in 1998 CCHD re-emphasized its institutional connection with the Catholic Church and reiterated its policy that funded projects "must conform to the moral teachings of the Catholic church." For example, Francis Calpotura then-director of the Center for Third World Organizing, said CCHD was making "a rightward turn" and driving "a wedge against progressive organizers [who] are pro-choice."

[...]

Interestingly, some people from the liberal/left side, like Calpotura, fault CCHD for giving too much money to IAF organizations and to those affiliated with Pacific Institute for Community Organizing, precisely because those two networks are "safe" on the abortion issue; that is, they don't support abortion. The "progressives" are disappointed that, by one estimate, over 40% of CCHD allocations now go to church-based community organizations that use a method similar to that of the IAF's.

CCHD and IAF

It is no coincidence that CCHD has a positive relationship with IAF community organizations and others of a similar ilk. The IAF was founded in 1940 by Saul Alinsky with the help of Chicago bishop Bernard Sheil who, with many other Chicago Catholics, joined Alinsky in organizing the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council in the late 1930s. It is even possible that Alinsky took the name of his organization from Pope Pius XI and Catholic philosopher Heinrich Pesch who, in fleshing out the implications of Catholic social thought, were in the 1930s promoting "industrial area councils." Alinsky's diverse IAF board included prominent Catholics, among them George Shuster, former president of Hunter College and former editor of Commonweal magazine, and the late Msgr. John Egan of Chicago. Alinsky, who died in 1972, was an influential advisor to Catholic Charities and, on many matters, to the Archdiocese of Chicago. The IAF staff and its pool of organizers always included several ex-seminarians, notably its longtime director Edward Chambers. Today there are several women religious among the IAF organizers. The IAF has certainly found a permanent ally in the Catholic Church in this country.

In a recent article for Theological Studies, Lawrence Engel details the specific, though indirect, influence Alinsky had on the founding of CCHD. The United States Catholic bishops, Engel writes, had through the 20th century issued periodic statements on race relations, poverty and the urban crisis; notably one in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King. At that time the bishops formed an Urban Task Force to which they appointed priests and lay leaders, most of whom were familiar with one or another Alinsky community organization. The Task Force included Msgr. Egan, Msgr. Gino Baroni of Washington, Fr. John McCarthy of Galveston then an assistant to Msgr. George Higgins at the Catholic Conference, Fr. Patrick Flood of Milwaukee and Fr. P. David Finks, who previously was very involved with Chambers and the IAF's FIGHT organization in Rochester, and who later authored a fine biography of Alinsky. In June 1969 the Task Force proposed that the bishops "establish an annual collection for human development." In language that carried over to the founding resolution of CCHD, the Task Force directed the annual collection to be allocated toward "organizing groups...to develop economic and political power in their own communities."

CCHD is an ingenious program. It stands in contrast to the substantial "reparations for injustice" being paid in the late 1960s by some Protestant denominations in response to various "black manifestoes" and assorted demands from charismatic leaders.

These same denominations, it should be added, were often financial supporters of IAF and similar community organizing groups and, particularly important to the development of broadly-based community organizations, were willing to provide seed grants which national CCHD does not do.

CCHD targets emerging groups of "white and minority poor" that have potential to address their own problems and train lay leaders. In the context of the late 1960s, Alinsky's approach was much more in harmony with the Catholic sensibility than other responses, reflects Fr. Finks. "I didn't see anything else on the horizon."

[...]
Pray for the Church.

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UPDATE 1 [Oct 8]:

If you would like to read more on this topic, there is a an excellent and very comprehensive article published in 1998 titled "The Influence Of Saul Alinsky On The Campaign For Human Development" by Lawrence J. Engel. It's 17 pages long and I have only read parts of it at this time, but it appears to give a very accurate and detailed history of CCHD up until 1998.

The entire article is available online here:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb6404/is_4_59/ai_n28718506/
http://www.realcatholictv.com/cia/01cchd/alinsky.pdf (PDF version)

For the latest on the CCHD controversy, please visit the website of the Reform CCHD Now Coalition:
http://www.reformcchdnow.com/

Reform CCHD Now has released its latest report which is available as a PDF:
http://www.reformcchdnow.com/media/CCHD%20Report%20for%20web%2010.3.2011.pdf

Please remember that the CCHD collection is usually taken up on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We still have time to make our voices heard before then. In the past few years some bishops have refused to collect money for the CCHD because of their funding of groups that support abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and/or Marxism. Given that 21% of the groups currently funded by CCHD continue to promote such causes, one would expect that some bishops would continue to decline to support CCHD.

I think there is an even more fundamental problem with CCHD which is that it promotes the "community organizing" model that Alinsky developed. This approach has not been shown to have any significant impact on poverty and it is usually tied to political organizing for liberal causes. This tends to provide political support for the Democratic Party and other more left wing groups. So naturally, these groups tend to also support the "culture of death".

The Catholic Church should be funding Catholic groups instead of secular groups who claim to be promoting "social justice". It is only through the changing of souls that true justice can emerge. Material progress which is not accompanied by spiritual progress is empty and can even be harmful to the individual and society.

At this time in history the Church should be focused on creating a culture of Life. I can't imagine that the Holy Spirit could speak to our hearts any more clearly. This does not require one to be a prophet. We only have to listen through our prayers. We only have to open our eyes and see the signs all around us.

This is the new evangelization that Blessed Pope John Paul II called us to and that Pope Benedict XVI has continually asked us to engage in.

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Blessed Pope John Paul II, pray for us.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

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UPDATE 2 [Oct 11]:

Here are a couple of quotes that speak for themselves.
SAUL ALINSKY:
“Well, the first thing I did, the first thing I always do, is to move into the community as an observer, to talk with people and listen and learn their grievances and their attitudes. Then I look around at what I’ve got to work with, what levers I can use to pry closed doors open, what institutions or organizations already exist that can be useful. In the case of Back of the Yards, the area was 95 percent Roman Catholic, and I recognized that if I could win the support of the Church, we’d be off and running. Conversely, without the Church, or at least some elements of it, it was unlikely that we’d be able to make much of a dent in the community.

BARACK OBAMA:
I got my start as a community organizer working with mostly Catholic parishes on the Southside of Chicago that were struggling because the steel plants had closed. The Campaign for Human Development helped fund the project and so, very early on, my career was intertwined with the belief in social justice that is so strong in the Church.”
Here is some more historical background information.
While organizing in Chicago, Alinsky gained many Catholic allies. He began working in 1938 with local leaders to combat juvenile delinquency. Alinsky teamed up with Catholic activist Joseph Meegan, who ran a local recreation facility, to create the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council.

“Among friends, he could be openly contemptuous about not only Catholic rituals but religious rituals in general,” wrote Alinsky biographer Sanford Horwitt. But despite his atheism, Alinsky found common cause with religious leaders on political matters.

Alinsky concentrated his efforts on unions, while Meegan focused on churches and community groups. Meegan helped Alinsky ingratiate himself with the Chicago Archdiocese. His brother, Monsignor Peter Meegan, served as Bishop Bernard Sheil’s secretary.

Over time Alinsky’s organizing efforts in the Back of the Yards in the Southwest Side of Chicago, gained the support of Sheil, a liberal who founded the national Catholic Youth Organization. Alinsky also worked with Jack Egan, a student at Chicago’s Mundelein Seminary, who later became a crusading left-wing priest.

Monsignor Egan became an important Alinsky ally and a member of the board of Alinsky’s IAF. Later he played a significant role in the creation of CCHD and the Catholic Committee on Urban Ministry (CCUM).