Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Archbishop Dolan's missing homily

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.... A man's foes will be those of his own household.... He who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.... He who loses his life for My sake will find it.... He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.... He shall not lose his reward."
 – Matthew 10:34,36,38,39,40,42
St. Benedict of Nursia – patron of Europe
Yesterday, July 11, was the feast day of St. Benedict. Lately I have been watching the daily Masses on EWTN. It's a poor substitute for actually attending Mass at my local parish, I know.

I have missed Sunday Mass for the last two weeks. I have begun wondering why I should even bother attending. The reaction of the Church in New York to the imposition of "homosexual marriage" indicates to me that many (if not most) of the bishops of the Church don't really believe what the Church teaches.

I have begun wondering if I should even bother remaining a Catholic.

Imagine a child being born today and raised in the Church. Would that child have a good chance at achieving the salvation of its soul? There are so many unorthodox teachings that are widely accepted within the Church and tolerated if not supported by the bishops that I don't know how much being a member of the Church brings us closer to God.

As a result of the publicity that has been shined on the Church by the "homosexual marriage" debate, I have learned that there are "homosexual parishes" in Boston and New York. How can this be? Why do the archbishops of Boston and New York tolerate this?

The sex abuse scandal within the Church is undeniably linked to poisonous teachings that found there way into the seminaries. One of those teachings was that homosexuality was not a sin.

We hear that the sex abuse scandal is behind us. But I disagree. The fact that the American bishops do not thunderously express their opposition to "homosexual marriage" says that the moral crisis in the Church continues and in fact is even deeper entrenched than 20 or 30 years ago. This moral crisis is the ultimate source of the sex abuse scandal.

The bishops have now institutionalized immoral teachings. The reason we don't hear a deafening denunciation of "homosexual marriage" from the bishops is that the teaching that homosexuality is a sin has been abandoned by many of them.

Don't they understand that the teachings of the Church come from God?

The proof of this – if one needs proof – is the way that the teachings form a divine architecture. Each piece is like a keystone. If only one piece is removed the whole building collapses and comes crashing to the ground.

Father Joseph Mary has delivered a stunning homily on this topic. He does not rant as others sometimes do when addressing these same topics, but in his homily he clearly shows us the consequences on society of the loosening of the moral order.

Once we abandon our common moral principles and each individual is allowed to form his or her own morality, then the society loses its cohesiveness. This leads to a never ending power struggle among different factions in society. This instability causes a breakdown of society which threatens to end in anarchy. In a desperate attempt to avert disaster society turns to a despot to restore order.

Father Joseph also reminds us that Archbishop Dolan of New York was one of the signers of the Manhattan Declaration. Here is the concluding statement from that declaration.
Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan would do well to study Father Joseph's homily in order to learn how to preach the Gospel without compromise.

St. Benedict of Nursia, patron of Europe, you brought the light of Christ to the world through the monasteries you established. Ora pro nobis. Pray for us.


UPDATE (July 12): 

Here is an excerpt from the speech by Cardinal Raymond Burke titled "The Fall of the Christian West" given in March 2011. (Father Joseph refers to this speech at the end of his homily.)
Finally, there is the martyrdom of witness, the most common form of martyrdom, the martyrdom which is inherent to the Christian life. It can take the form of suffering personal hostility or simply indifference in giving the witness of holiness of life. The Servant of God Father Hardon describes the martyrdom of witness with these words:
All that we have seen about the martyrdom by violence applies here too, but the method of opposition is different. Here the firm believer in the Church's teaching authority; the devoted servant of the papacy; the convinced pastor who insists on sound doctrine to his flock; the dedicated religious who want to remain faithful to their vows of authentic poverty, honest chastity and sincere obedience; the firm parents who are concerned about the religious and moral training of their children and are willing to sacrifice generously to build and care for a Christian family – natural or adopted – such persons will not be spared also active criticism and open opposition, But they must especially be ready to live in an atmosphere of coldness to their deepest beliefs.
The hostility and the even more pervasive indifference to the beliefs we hold most dearly tempts us to discouragement and even to avoid the more public witness to our faith. But the martyrdom to which we are called and for which we are consecrated and fortified by the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, requires us to offer tirelessly our witness, confident that God will bring forth the good fruit. Given the breakdown in family life, the wholesale attack on innocent and defenseless human lives, and the violation of the integrity of the union of marriage in our society, the call to the martyrdom of witness is ever more urgent.


  1. I recently heard Tim Staples speak. One thing in particular that he said really stuck with me. He was talking about a friend of his who was disillusioned with the Church, and especially with liturgical and other abuses by bishops. Tim's advice was "don't abandon Jesus because of Judas".

    Christ is always waiting for us in the sacraments. Sometimes he is hidden and hard to see. But even the disciples on the road to Emmaus didn't recognize him as they walked along the road. Only in the breaking of the bread were their eyes opened.

    Hopefully this message inspires you to jump up, find a good priest, make a good confession, and be reunited with Christ in the Eucharist. Pray for your bishops and priests, and for the pope, who is still Christ's vicar. With St Paul, as God to manifest his glory in the very weakness that characterizes our Church.

    I'll say a prayer for you too.

  2. Thank you for your prayers Tim and God bless you. I was thinking of St. Teresa of Avila and how she fought against the corruptions of the Church in her time. Where is our St. Teresa? I suppose the people living through those times asked a similar question. I'll pray for a renewal of my faith.

    Christians are having to re-examine their beliefs in the light of this crisis. What is marriage? What are the teachings of the Church on sexuality?

    I just keep wondering about that child born today into a Catholic family....

    I hope you get a chance to listen to this homily. I've listened to it a few times and it gives me hope. The light of the Holy Spirit is still flickering in the Dark.

  3. It makes sense to bookend the Garabandal post with this one. In the interview with Mother Angelica, Joey says that during the Warning it will be the sins of omission that will be acutely felt. The same idea (not speaking out) is echoed in Father Joseph's timely homily.

    Oh, something that crossed my mind. From http://faith-for-the-journey.blogspot.com/2006/10/pope-innocent-iii-and-st-francis-of.html :

    For me personally, one frescoe stands out in particular from this inspiring group: "The Dream of Innocent III." As the title indicates, the frescoe depicts a dream that Pope Innocent III had in 1208. On the viewer's right side of the frescoe, a richly adorned Pope Innocent III sleeps in an ornate bed chamber. On the left side, the Lateran Basilica in Rome leans dangerously. Its collapse is prevented by a humble man dressed in a simple robe who physically uses his shoulders to hold up the Basilica.

    At the time of Innocent III's dream, St. Francis had gathered a small group of followers and was making his way to Rome to seek Papal authorization for their fledgling monastic order. The Pope interpreted his dream to mean that St. Francis would been instrumental in reforming and strengthening the Catholic Church. Accordingly, the Pope not only received St. Francis but also approved his order.


    It's up to us to be little Francises of Assisi to rebuild and renew the Church which has so often been on the brink of ruin. I'll pray for you too! :)

    St Francis of Assisi, pray for us!

  4. Anon. What name would you like to be called by? I read the post you linked to and viewed the painting of "The Dream of Innocent III." I suppose it's easy to forget how many times the Church has passed through times of crisis before. BTW, Father Joseph of EWTN is a Franciscan priest!

    Yes, it is a sin of omission to remain silent in the face of evil. This is not tolerance. Father Joseph brings this up with his reference to the peace of Christ not being the "peace" that the world speaks about.

    As I was pondering over the words from the Gospel reading: "and a man's foes will be those of his own household". I wondered if the "household" in this case could be interpreted as the Church at times like these. There is tension within the Church herself as even Father Joseph alluded to.

    Thank you for your prayers and may God bless you. :)

  5. UPDATE: I added an excerpt from the speech by Cardinal Raymond Burke titled "The Fall of the Christian West".

  6. Anon. Father Joseph actually uses the words, "a false peace of compromise and tolerating every sort of evil" in his homily.

  7. Michael, I feel for your pain. I have often wanted to throw in the towel myself because I feel I go against the grain of the current culture we live in. What keeps me going is this. The wonderful priests that taught me told me and my classmates that we had an obligation to use our minds (our education) to glorify God and follow the true teachings of the Church. And if we found ourselves in a parish that wasn't to our liking, we were to stay there and bear witness so that it became more faithful, not less. To this day, I try to live by this message. It's one of the reasons I decided to better live my faith by teaching religious education in full agreement with our Church. I always ask for Mary's help, and she has never let me down.

  8. Sassy. You and everyone else are being incredibly supportive. Thanks and God bless you. Please say a prayer for me.

  9. Michael, already done!

  10. We live in difficult times, and being a Christian in this culture is not easy. But we are the Church, a family. If we give up then what will be left?
    This is the time to remain stronger with the help of the Holy Spirit, don't give up :)

  11. Hi Ride. Thanks for your words of encouragement. I won't give up. I suppose this is part of what it means to be a Catholic in today's culture. The Church is certainly not immune to the influences that surround it. But as you say, with the help of the Holy Spirit we will prevail.

    I read an article today that more people are turning to the Bible. And it attributes this in part to high unemployment. Sometimes we need to lose what we have in order to be reminded of where all those things come from ultimately, which is God. We put our trust in the Baals to bring the rain; until the drought comes and all our prayers to false Gods are of no use. Then finally we turn back to the one true God. If only we humans would spend as much time in prayers of thanksgiving as we do in prayers of lament.