Friday, October 20, 2006
HOW ABOUT A LITTLE HELP ?
Some of my readers have requested that I add some positive blogs occasionally to offset all the negative stuff. An example of this might be the "why are you still Catholic" kind of thing, or "the Church does this really well" thing.
Frankly, I see a lot more negative stuff than positive stuff right now in the Church, so I could use a little help. If you're Catholic, or even if you're not, and you see something positive, how about adding a comment about it here and pick up everyone's spirits a little.
Let me see if I can get it started...I'm still Catholic because it would be impossible for me to give up Jesus Christ. For all that is wrong with His Church, there is still nowhere else to go for me, but to Christ. I can't imagine not believing in the Catholic faith story. Life would lose all meaning without it. Most of my thoughts and all of my actions proceed in some way from the faith I believe in. Sure, I screw up and fail to live the faith too often, but it is still always there as a faithful guide to what is right and good.
As frustrating as the Sunday to Sunday find-a-Mass odyssey can be, I know that there is a wealth of beautiful art and music inspired by the faith, that there are charitable institutions formed through the noble self-sacrifice of the saints down through the centuries, that the Catholic way of life faithfully lived can produce a culture that welcomes children and supports family life in cooperative living, that we have a rich and long history that is certainly spotted with the foibles of men, but is still redeemed by the grace of Christ, and that the Church will be here until He returns.
Now it's your turn...
CATHOLIC SLOGANEERING - "SEE, JUDGE, ACT"
In the early part of September I blogged about the Sillon, an extension of the Gallican Church associated with the Polish Catholic Communist organization PAX, a forerunner of Pax Christi. You an read that background at the following links:
9/8 From Gallicanism to Sillonism
9/11 Errors of the Sillon
9/12 From the Sillon to Pax Christi
In a webpage devoted to "Vatican II and the Lay Apostolate Movements" Sillon.net tells us that
The Specialised Catholic Action generation identified above all with Cardijn and the G8[lay apostolate] movements, whose common denominator can be found in the "see, judge, act" methodology and spirituality, and which drew to a close at around the time of Vatican 2 (Cardijn himself died in 1967).
The Sillon laments that "Vatican 2 marked the 'end of an era' rather than a new beginning." It did not mark the end of "see, judge, act" however.
The method itself was pioneered in France according to Sillon.net:
Fittingly, the year 2002 also marks the centenary of the First National Congress of Study Groups in France organised by the Sillon on 23 February 1902. These were the groups which pioneered the method of enquiry as a means of popular education, a method later perfected and popularised by Cardijn and the G8 movements under the name See-Judge-Act, Enquiry method, Review of Life, etc. as the basic methodology of lay apostolic formation.
The year 2002 is therefore a particularly timely moment to launch a broad, far reaching international study of the role the lay movements in the 21st century, a study which could perhaps provide the foundations for the emergence of a 4th generation of lay movements of the 1848-Sillon-Cardijn tradition.
The Cardijn Lay Community is alive today on the web and promoting the New Pentecost. In their April 13, 2006 Newsletter, the Cardijn Lay Community explains itself:
This year is the fifth year of CLC activities since our beginnings at a small conference entitled "Networking for Development" in Bangkok on 20-21 July 2001.
Our original name was Cardijn Liaison Committee. The name was chosen because most of us at the founding meeting had previously belonged to the YCW, YCS or IMCS so Cardijn and particularly the See Judge Act was our common point of reference. At that time, we saw our goal as "linking" people up - hence the word liaison. And we were also wary about creating a new "structure" so we called ourselves a "committee".
Our first major event was the Vatican II in the Age of Globalisation conference held in Bangkok from 8-11 October 2002 with 60 participants from around 13 countries.
The following year, CLC members played a key role in organising the first Young People for Development (YPD) exchange and training program for 60 young people mostly from South East and East Asia.
CLC changed its name to Cardijn Lay Community in 2004 in order to better reflect our desire to be a community rather than simply a committee as well as our commitment to the spirituality and vision of lay apostolate as understood by Cardijn.
With the aid of Chico Whitaker, the Cardijn Lay Community is promoting a New Pentecost in the Global South. The question that occurs is whether this is a Communist New Pentecost given the involvement of the Polish Catholic PAX organization with the Sillon? Or is it perhaps a Martinist New Pentecost given the prevelence of Martinism in Lyon, France where the Sillon was launched, and given that Martinist lodges also form study groups? Or to reach even further, are they all one and the same thing?
In any case, Call to Action has welcomed the methodology with its links to Small Faith Communities, two of which are noted for using the See, Judge, Act method. The Lay Movements are growing.
The Franciscans also have welcomed the See, Judge, Act method. It is the method of "The Course" linked on the left of their Rediscovering the Franciscan Spirituality" webpage. According to the explanation given the Franciscans:
...see our individual and communal responsibility, our possibilities and our limitations. ...We JUDGE the Reality from Faith's point of view. ...The goal of our action is the utopia, the ideal situation which we would like to achieve, and of which we know that we can never completely realize.
The utopianism of the Pentecostal Movement? The utopianism of the occultists? The utopianism of the Communists? Utopianism is not a part of Catholic spirituality.
CCC 675: Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.
CCC 676: The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatalogical judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.
Suddenly, it would appear, the non-judgmental left has rediscovered the advantages of judgment, but have they rediscovered the value of Jesus Christ?
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have also taken up see, judge, act methodology. In their "Living the Present with Enthusiasm" Pastoral Actions and Recommendations, which appear to be directed primarily at the Hispanic Ministry, "see-judge-act-celebrate-evaluate method" appears in section "IV Plan with the Community, not for the Community". Small parish-based communities and apostolic movements play a part in this Hispanic ministry, as can easily be seen in the Cluster Parish Holy Family Catholic Community in Fond du Lac. How far removed from the Communist base communities of Liberation Theology is this new American USCCB venture? How far removed from the Sillon condemned by Pope Leo XIII? In THE CHURCH OF THE WORD INCARNATE by Cardinal Charles Journet, available at the EWTN website"
Here we must quote a passage from Piux X's letter of 25th August 1910 on the Sillon: "The Sillon locates public authority primarily in the people, from which it derives to those who rule, but in such a fashion that it continues to reside in the people. This doctrine was formally condemned by Leo XIII. "There then follows the first text from Diuturnum Illud...Pius X goes on: "Doubtless, the Sillon holds that the authority which it locates primarily in the people descends from God--but in such a way [and here the Pope quotes Marc Sangnier] that it comes from below, while, in the organization of the Church, power comes from above.(Chapter VIII)
The expanded "see, judge, act, evaluate, celebrate" is being used at
The Cuernavaca Center for Intercultural Dialogue on Developmentis (sic) an intercultural, ecumenical Christian retreat center rooted in an inclusive and liberating theology. CCIDD's mission is to provide opportunities for churches and other groups from the U.S. and Canada to encounter the presence of God in the struggle for justice in the Americas and to empower them to work for social transformation.
Talk about a collection of slogans!!
They also have gotten out the "preferential option for the poor" that every social action group within the Roman Catholic Church flaunts. It's the typical liberal BS.
A Catholic article on "Writing Ideas and Tips" recommends
For those who may have the opportunity of obtaining theological training, it is good to construct articles according to a particular theological method. The method this webauthor will use is the SEE-JUDGE-ACT method of doing theology. ...
If we write our Catholic articles according to this theological construct, then three paragraphs would be the core of our article. One each for SEE-JUDGE-ACT. We can add an introduction at the beginning and a summary at the end to cap it all.
The concept leaves out the Catholic essential..."Pray", but then God doesn't have much of a place in social justice Catholicism, which is about man fixing up his own messes.
Duquesne University uses "See, Judge, Act in its Spiritan Campus Ministry.
A post-denominational website, The Community of Affirmation, dedicated to Christian meditation, promotes "Lectio Divina", another trend in today's Catholic Church, and recommends the "See, Judge, Act" methodology. It's obviously not just for Catholics anymore.
At the Recovering from Christianity website we are told that
Preaching in this kind of community follows the "see, judge, act" "technique, originated before World War II in the Young Catholic Movement in Europe. Members of the community learn from the Gospels to look at the social, political, and economic situations around them, judge what they see in the light of Jesus' teaching, and then act to change things for the better through ministries such as involvement in racial and economic justice, commitment to peace, foster-parenting, prison ministry, refugee sponsorship, religious education, counseling, or the like.
Preaching in this kind of community becomes the voice of a resistance movement that critiques the dominant culture that is incompatible with the way of Jesus, and refuses to accept that the church..is "a mere adjunct to the market." This organization also works with study groups.
This ministry does not wish to recover a transcendent God, but rather seeks to move toward a secular faith.
For centuries since the middle Ages Christians in the Western Latin tradition ended their prayers, “in saecula saeculorum,” usually translated “for ever and ever.” But the words mean, literally, “into the secular of the secular,” or, “into the ages of the ages.” In the modern period, and in a curious topsy-turvy switch of meaning, that and only that is where we live: the secular. There’s nowhere else to go.
It’s time–now that we are well into the 21st century–to leave aside ideas of God as an unseen spiritual being that created the world, hopes of a supernatural heaven, and particularly notions of God that are illusory or infantile or just plain nuts. Hiding behind the smokescreen of what Lloyd Geering calls “the illusory security of yesterday’s beliefs” is an evasion that Christians can no longer retreat to. So whatever faith in the 21st century may mean, it has nothing to do with a supernatural world above the bright blue sky and nothing to do with believing that the world’s future is in the hands of a personal and benevolent God.
Using God to move away from God. Secular Christianity. What a concept. Is this where "See, Judge, Act" is ultimately destined to lead, to peace and justice without God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? If it has Communist roots, that is certainly a possibility. If it has Martinist roots, it still remains within the realm of possibility. If it is truly Catholic, there isn't a chance.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
PRAYING WITH THE ISLAMIC STUDENTS
From the religion writer, Akron Beacon Journal:
Sam Goddard is accustomed to kneeling during Mass at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Wadsworth.
But he got a new kneeling experience during an afternoon prayer at the Islamic Community Center.
``I'm used to kneeling and standing but this was different -- it's harder on the knees,'' said Sam, 14, referring to the kneelers at his church and only a carpeted floor in the center's prayer hall.
Sam was among the 69 seventh- and eighth-graders from Sacred Heart School who visited the Islamic Center in Cuyahoga Falls on Wednesday to learn more about Ramadan and the Islamic religion.
It would appear that the Catholic students at Sacred Heart School in Wadsworth prayed with the Islamic students:
Those were some of the specifics the students from Sacred Heart learned during a presentation. They also toured the center, talked with the students of the Islamic Academy and prayed with the students and other members of the Islamic community during the afternoon.
The obvious question, of course, is who did they pray to? And then does it matter to these students who they prayed to?
I'm all for getting to know people from other cultures, but I do think worship must not be integrated.
USCCB ATTEMPTS TO REGULATE LITURGICAL HYMNODY
According to the USCCB website, these are the new guidelines:
1. The approval of liturgical songs is reserved to the Diocesan Bishop in whose diocese an individual song is published. He is supported in his work by this directory and by the USCCB Secretariat on the Liturgy.
2. The Diocesan Bishop is assisted in his review of individual texts through the formation of a committee for the review of liturgical songs consisting of theologians, liturgists, and musicians. The committee shall assure that each text is suitable for liturgical use based on the principles articulated in this directory.
3. Within three years, the Committee on the Liturgy will formulate a Common Repertoire of Liturgical Songs for use in all places where the Roman liturgy is celebrated in the United States of America. While songs outside the core repertoire may also be used in the Liturgy, this core repertoire will be included in all worship aids used in the dioceses of the United States of America.
Some additional proposed criteria:
According to the proposed directory, theological adequacy may be judged in two ways:
Individual songs should be consonant with Catholic teaching and free from doctrinal error
The repertoire of liturgical songs in any given place should reflect a balanced approach to Catholic theological elements.
The directory warns of doctrinal compromise. For example, it notes:
Liturgical songs must never be permitted to make statements about the faith which are untrue
The doctrine of the Trinity should never be compromised through the consistent replacement of masculine pronominal references to the three Divine persons
Any emphasis on the work of the members of the Church should always be balanced by an appreciation of the doctrine of grace and our complete dependence of the grace of God to accomplish anything
The elimination of archaic language should never alter the meaning and essential theological structure of a venerable liturgical song.
Blogger credit to Spirit Daily for the link.
AS YOU'VE PROBABLY GUESSED BY NOW
the real world is making demands and I haven't been able to get to my computer. It looks as though this is going to continue for a few more days, so blogging will be sporadic.
NEW RULES FOR MINISTERING TO GAYS
According to Gay.com:
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops said Wednesday they are developing new guidelines for ministry to gay men and lesbians, reaffirming church opposition to same-sex marriage and adoption by the couples, while condemning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The draft document encourages parishes to make gays feel welcome and provide them pastoral support, and notes that many "are ardently striving to live their faith within the Catholic community so as not to fall into the lifestyle and values of a 'gay subculture.' "
But the authors repeatedly state that any such ministries must be led by people who uphold church teaching on sexuality, and assert that Catholic leaders have a right to "deny roles of service" in the church to people who violate that teaching.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
DISSENT ON THE RIGHT - CHEVALIERS DE NOTRE DAME
Imagine you are a bride-to-be planning your wedding. Would this write-up in Manhattan Bride Magazine look appealing? Bishop Douglas L. Trees, Bishop-Preceptor of The Catholic Order of Chevalier de Notre Dame, a 1,000 year-old religious order" will help you discover what makes a marriage last by sorting out the emotional baggage and helping the couple create "a more sophisticated attitude about marriage" and then to "encourage that in the vows you express to each other."
It might help to know that the priest is part of the order that "has married kings and queens, dukes and duchesses". It probably would appeal to Mr. and Mrs. Barry King III. The former Jean Marie Mink and Barry King III were married by The Rev. Trees, "a Roman Catholic priest" who "officiated at St. Andrew's Dune Road Church in Southampton, N.Y." together with United Church of Christ minister The Rev. Robert Benson, according to the write up in The New York Times.
This couple certainly appear to have the education necessary to know what they were doing. So do Jennifer Strum and Jeffrey Nuich, who also were married by The Rev. Douglas L. Trees.
But then again, maybe they visited Rev. Trees website and thought they were getting "Traditional Catholic Priests that Care".
It actually took me quite a while yesterday to determine that this organization is a schism within a schism. The order provides a webpage on the "Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'"
On their home page you will learn that "The Latin expression lectio divina means a prayerful reading of scripture to nourish prayer and to enter into communion with the mystery presented to us in the biblical text." You can discover the "Meditation - Ladder of the Monks". You can discover their ministry to the James Whitcomb Riley Childrens Hospital.
In another webpage you would learn that "The one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church extends to you and your loved ones a most cordial welcome to our Church and our Religious Order."
You might catch the red flag on the history webpage where the "Order was revitalized under the lawful authorities of His Eminence The Most Reverend Paul Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc, Holy Roman Archbishop of Hue, Republic of Vietnam" if you know something about the schisms on the right, but if not, your attention might focus on "Consultor to the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith and His Eminence Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Grand Master of the Ordre in France and the founder of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX)." Chances are any Catholic in the pews who has any love of the Mass knows about the SSPX. It is possible that when you read that Donald W. Trees "received numerous public awards for his devotion to and love of children" and that "His endowment to the Shriner's Children Hospital in Chicago remains to this day" you might remember that the Shriner's Hospital is a Masonic charity. But maybe not. What you would make of the "ecclesiastical authority of Archbishop Andre Barbeau, D.D. (now deceased) Cardinal des Chevaliers du Temple, an exempt Sovereign Military Religious Order" is anybody's guess. I didn't know what to make of it.
If you move on over to the Clerics and Staff webpage, you will be reassured by all those Roman Catholic Church Archbishops and Clerics. Rabbi Marcia Rappaport's appearance in the Interfaith segment of the webpage would be balanced by Sister Elizabeth; Sister Bonnie Lynn, NDS; Friar Neil, BS, NDS; Brother James; and Friar Thomas. Having a couple of Jewish lawyers is just good business.
The Ecclesia Dei Pontifical Commission webchallenge is so confusing that you would probably just skip over it entirely.
If you were that proverbial bride-to-be searching for a Catholic ceremony, you might move on to the Sacraments webpage and discover the "Presence of the Holy Spirit in Your Ceremony." The promise of a "stress-free and beautifully personalized ceremony" provided by "compassionate priests" would especially appeal to an interfaith couple like Mr. and Mrs. Barry King III. Wedding preparations have the potential to become STRESSFUL if you think in terms of Cindarella in Fairy Land and plan a big social occasion. Any promise of reduction of stress is bound to appeal. And if you happen to be located in the Diocese of Rockville Centre where "It's Priest's [are] attempting to SUPPRESS their own words regarding your rights and privileges to receive the Holy Sacrament of Catholic Matrimony" according to this page in their website, you might see these priests as just what you need.
And then there is the endorsements page. So many options are provided there that something has to work.
Just in case you have any doubts about this order, they remind you that "The Catholic sex-abuse scandal is not history!" so obviously you wouldn't want to seek out a priest that might be guilty, would you? You couldn't go wrong with the Chevaliers De Notre Dame. The ceremony page is even written partially in Latin.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
THE LIST OF DISSENTERS ON THE RIGHT
F. John Loughnan's list of integrist, schismatic and sedevacantist websites is a long one. Latin Mass Magazine is on there. Why?
In any case, considering the number of protests this list represents, I hope Benedict does something soon to legitimize Traditional Catholicism. Some of these organizations look quite legitimate to me. I'm sure they are fooling a lot of Catholics. That Latin Mass I attended recently at Sacred Heart of Jesus church looked more Roman Catholic than some of the Roman Catholic Masses I've attended lately. In any case, this list represents a good reason to be as wary of anything on the right as we have to be of anything on the left.
WE DON'T KNOW HOW GOOD WE HAVE IT -- THE GUBBIO PROJECT
We sit here at our computers reading the news and talking with each other, and we don't even have a clue how dismal and desperate life can get.
In San Francisco, the Gubbio Project in the Tenderloin district provides a place where the homeless can sleep without fear of being robbed or molested.
They line up each weekday morning -- not for food or clothes or welfare checks, but for the simple luxury of lying down and falling asleep.
For hundreds of homeless people in San Francisco, the wooden pews of St. Boniface Catholic Church in the Tenderloin are the only place where they can sleep for a solid nine hours.
Many say they're too frightened of being robbed or attacked if they sleep on the streets or in shelters at night, so they force themselves to stay awake until the church opens at 7 a.m. and they can drift off peacefully until 4 p.m.
The program is in financial trouble since keeping the church open for the homeless requires paying someone to oversee it, and the donations have dried up. It costs $140,000 annually to run the program. This lack of funds will cause the program to shut down at noon.
The opportunity to sleep in a safe environment has meant for Miley Wilson, 55, that
he has been out of jail since February 2005 - his longest period of freedom since he was 13. He said he recently kicked his crack addiction and attributes it, in part, to the staff at St. Boniface. ..."I have peace when I come here. I reach back to my old morals, to my parents and my grandparents," he said. "I'm not reaching for the drugs."
Jeffery Grant, 44 said that
he never has dreams when he dozes outside; he has to keep his guard up and resists the urge to fall into a deep sleep. At St. Boniface, though, he dreams. "Good dreams," he said. "About good things happening in my life."
Not all agree that the program is a good thing. Angela Alioto, a former San Francisco suprvisor, said
"Nobody should be sleeping in the day and up all night. It's just not humane. ...They won't assertively search for permanent, supportive housing if they think they can sleep in the church all day long."
We'll leave aside the obvious fact that there are countless Americans who work all night and sleep during the day, and who find it to be humane enough to continue doing it.
To contribute, make a check payable to St. Boniface Neighborhood Center and address it to 133 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102.
Monday, October 16, 2006
'V FOR VENDETTA'
"The message of ‘V for Vendetta’ could not be clearer," said Don Feder, president of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation. "Those involved in this cinematic hate crime are saying Christians want to establish a totalitarian state and impose their morality with a policeman’s truncheon."
"V" is set in Britain, circa 2020 - a nation ruled by a right-wing Christian dictatorship, a la "1984."
Said Feder: "It hard to imagine what else the movie could have done to tie a loathsome regime to Christianity. The state’s slogan is ‘Strength Through Unity; Unity Through Faith.’ Its symbol is a stylized cross. Its enforcers are a quasi-religious police. One of the leaders is an Anglican bishop, who’s also a pedophile."
The article goes on to accuse Hollywood of attempting to send the message that "Christians are hypocritical hate-mongers, with tendencies toward violence, who are waiting to seize the reins of government and persecute unbelievers," and makes the contrast between the fact that there is no Catholic dictatorship anywhere on earth, while there are Muslim theocracies which do persecute infidels.
It closes with a statement of purpose of the Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation which is to combat anti-Christian prejudice in the news media, the courts, and Hollywood as well as the ACLU and the Anti-Defamation League.
The article is dated March 22, 2006, making it old news. I can't say that I recall seeing anything else about this movie. Anyone else?
CAPUCHINS BUILDING A MOSQUE
When Catholics contribute to orders of religious, there is no guarantee that the money will be spent to build up the Kingdom of Christ.
Adnkronos International reports that a group of Capuchin priests in Genoa will help Muslims build a new mosque right next door to their convent. What's more, they have donated the land on which the mosque will be built in exchange for a nearby building. Since it was Muslims who recently beheaded a priest, it occurs to me that this will make doing so again very handy for them, if they once again take the notion. Italy is becoming a very exotic place religiously.
BINGO FUNDS ROBBERY
MOBILE, Ala. - Police in Mobile are searching for three men in the attempted robbery of a church bingo operation that wounded a security guard.
The guard, 60-year-old Thomas Aricer, of Mobile, fired at the robbers before being shot in the abdomen about 11 p.m. Friday. He is listed in serious condition at U.S.-A Medical Center.
PARIS (Reuters) - After almost two decades of schism, Catholic traditionalists hope the Vatican will soon take them back into the fold by granting two key concessions and leaving unresolved the main issue that drove them away.
Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), says the expected revival of the old Latin mass that was replaced in the 1960s by modern liturgy in local languages would be a "grand gesture" meeting one of his demands.
The Swiss bishop, successor to the late SSPX founder French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, also expects the Vatican to lift the 1988 excommunications of Lefebvre and four bishops -- including Fellay -- whom he consecrated without Rome's approval.
"Things are going in the right direction. I think we'll get an agreement," Fellay told journalists in Paris at the weekend. "Things could speed up and come faster than expected."
Getting an agreement now would mean the Swiss-based SSPX and its 470 priests could return to the Roman fold without resolving a dispute over its opposition to the modernising reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
Claiming a million followers, the SSPX is the vanguard of traditionalists among 1.1 billion Catholics worldwide. Its return would have no direct effect on most parishes but high symbolic value for arch-conservatives in the Church.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
NOT SO HIDDEN DANGERS AT THE UN -- NOMINATED BY OUR “CHRISTIAN PRESIDENT”?
That's the title of an Oct. 7 post over at Constance Cumbey's blog. Go read it and see what she has to say about Bush and the Moonies. Yikes!