Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cleansing Sin From Within

I don't normally read Gawker but a few weeks ago I ran across a rather disturbing article which exposed a secret homosexual love fest among one bishop, priests, and seminarians in Florida. I was shocked to say the least.  One good thing happened out of all this though: faithful Catholics stood up and said enough is enough and they eventually were able to put a stop to this culture of corruption.

A group of lay Catholics calling themselves Christifidelis had been documenting these problems as part of their request to the Vatican for action.  From their report it has been shown that Bishop John C. Favalora ran a homosexual cabal in his Florida diocese. After reading the article I was horrified at what I had found out what went in the various churches under the "supervision" of Favalora.

Here are a couple observations/questions I have about this scandal.   I searched for additional information on these events but could not find anything in any of the major media news sources.   Hmmmm How come? Is it because this story would have put homosexuality in a bad light?  The media have no compunction about highlighting anything to do with priest sex abuse scandals within the Church so why wouldn't they cover this important homosexual Church scandal?

From Gawker:

"Favalora, who was the most powerful Catholic official in Southern Florida from 1994 until last year, stands accused of cultivating what one group of pissed-off Catholics describes as a corrupt "homosexual superculture" in the 195 churches, schools, missions, seminaries, and universities that constitute the Miami Archdiocese. If their allegations are to be believed, for sixteen years Favalora ran his organization like the don of a lavender mob, rewarding his favorite homosexual sons and forgiving their many indiscretions—rampant sex, hedonism, embezzlement, alcoholism, and the railroading of chaste priests among them—while punishing those with the temerity to complain."

In 2005 Christifidelis undertook their own extensive investigation of priestly misbehavior in the Archdiocese. Last year Archbishop Favalora was replaced by a conservative Archbishop named Thomas Wenski and it is very likely that the findings of Christifidelis played a huge role in Favalora being forced out.  A binder filled with their documented findings is called, "Miami Vice: A Preliminary Report on the Financial, Spiritual, and Sexual Improprieties of the Clergy of the Miami Archdiocese". Gawker has posted portions of that documentation to the public here.

"Andrew Dowgiert was, most claim, a good priest; a priest who had never been in trouble, who saved St. Justin Martyr when its pastor was nabbed for boy-rape. A great many of All Saints most devout senior parishioners liked and admired him. They wondered: Why was the Archdiocese defending a non-celibate homosexual with a history of unpriestly behavior, and casting aside a devout, heroic priest who'd single-handedly rescued one of its parishes?

"First they wondered privately. Then they wondered aloud. When a lay minister at All Saints named Gloria Luca was fired for wondering too loudly, they sought answers. Christifidelis was born." 

"Miami Vice" goes into great detail in explaining just how gay the Archdiocese of Miami is and was under Archbishop Favalora. Here is a list of the gay escapades of the Archdiocese of Miami as of 2005:

- A priest who's been previously mentioned in this story was known to plan regular "sleepovers" with seminarians at his rectory in southwest Miami, and owned a "luxury" property.

- A homosexual priest in Coral Gables owned "luxury" property and regularly used illicit drugs.

- A homosexual priest who served as principal at one of the Archdiocese's high schools poached sexual partners from among the seminarians at St. John Vianney.

- A homosexual priest in far, far south Miami kept attractive young men living in his rectory.

- A homosexual priest in the town of Miramar was co-habitating with his lover, who's also a parishioner.

- A homosexual priest in Miami had a lover who was also a priest in the Florida Keys. They co-owned a condominium at a Yacht Club.

- A member of the Archdiocesan Tribunal owned a condominium on ritzy Bayshore Drive, in Miami, with his male lover.

- An Archdiocesan official sought out "young boys from third-world countries, from unprivileged backgrounds, and recruited them for the Archdiocese's seminaries. These men [were] groomed to engage in sexual relationships with the older homosexual priests of the Archdiocese." Until 1998, this official owned a home with a male lover in northern Miami.

- Two homosexual priests, each with his own Miami parish, co-habitated in Miami Shores.

- Two homosexual priests, each with his own parish, were lovers; one liked to go shopping "with the girls" on Lincoln Road for feminine cosmetics; the other used to date one of the Archdiocese's male IT personnel.

- A homosexual priest in Sunny Isles liked to jog nude on the gay-dominated, clothing-optional beach at nearby Haulover Park.

- A monsignor liked to flash his willy at young men.

- A monsignor slept with his female (!) parishioners.

- A priest got busted attempting to buy sex from an undercover male cop.

- A homosexual priest pissed off parishioners by using a banana to demonstrate proper condom usage to young children, contrary to the birth-control method prescribed by the Church (abstinence).

- More recently, an associate pastor had received full pastorship at a church in the Florida Keys after being caught en flagrante delecto with his male lover—while the person who caught him, a Philippino priest, was booted from the Archdiocese.

While it is true that The Gawker makes jabs at the Catholic Church's belief that homosexual acts are a sin, the writer of he article does a good job of simply reporting the facts so I recommend that you read the entire article for yourself. One of my main points is that the Church needs to clean house from within and without any interference from the secular sphere.  This is a good example of Catholic laity taking on corruption and cleaning house from within.

Here is a link to the Gawker article.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ohio Catholic School Cancels Ramadan Dinner: Right Thing To Do or Not?

As Catholics we are called to both ecumenism and interfaith dialogue. It is important that we share our faith with others and vice versa.  When I was in grade school I had the privilege of taking part in a Seder Meal.  It was a wonderful experience for me. In Cincinnati, Mother of Mercy Catholic School was going to share an Iftar, an evening meal, with the local chapter of the Council On American Islamic Relations but there is one problem, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas Jihad Terror funding case. Due to numerous complaints from both parents and citizens who follow the activities of CAIR's national office Archbishop Dennis Schnurr requested that Mother of Mercy School cancel the Ramadan dinner.  Now the Iftar will be held in a Catholic Center, which isn't a school.

Was it right for the school to associate with a terrorist linked organization - CAIR?  Do you think that it was right for the Catholic school to share an Iftar meal with Muslims? Do you think it was right for the Archbishop and school to cave under pressure and cancel the dinner, or move it to a place that isn't a school?

My inclination is that to associate with CAIR is a big mistake.  I am sure that there are plenty of other Muslims who don't have questionable ties and are peaceful that the school could have shared an Iftar meal with.  In general I have no problem with the students in the school sharing in interfaith dialogue with Muslims but their needs to be prudence with which Muslim organizations we associate with and whether the specific organization has ties to terrorism or not. In Today's times we just need to be extra careful who we trust.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Via Father Z: Should the altar girl decision be reversed? My position as a former altar girl

From Father Z: The formidable William Oddie, a columnist of the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald, has an opinion piece on the 1994 interpretation of the Latin Church’s Canon Law which permitted service at the altar by females.   Keep in mind that this service was already being done abusively in many places before this interpretation of the law.   Many people at the time thought that this decision was a mistake.  Many people today think that the decision was a mistake.  William Oddie thinks the decision was a mistake.
At the end, I will include a WDTPRS POLL.  RELATED POLL HERE.
With my emphases and comments.  Remember: there is also a combox open on the site of The Catholic Herald.
The 1994 statement permitting girl servers was a mistaken tactical retreat which led to a fall in priestly vocations. It’s time to withdraw it
Undoing the damage will take time: the sooner the Church starts to clear up the mess, the better
By William Oddie
The rector of the Catholic Cathedral of Phoenix, Arizona, has decided that girls will no longer be allowed as altar servers (though they will continue elsewhere in the diocese). [For links... here. NB: the decision in Phoenix is sparking meaningful conversation across the globe.] His reason is simple: he thinks that an all-male sanctuary promotes vocations to the priesthood. “The connection between serving at the altar and priesthood is historic,” he says: “it is part of the differentiation between boys and girls, as Christ established the priesthood by choosing men. Serving at the altar is a specifically priestly act.” I’m not sure, to be pedantic, that that’s entirely orthodox (in the context of the Mass, only the priest himself performs specifically priestly acts), but one knows exactly what he means: what the server does is intimately related to the Eucharistic action and can be seen as an intrinsic part of it: the server is a kind of extension of the priest himself; if there were no servers, the priest would do what they do. According to Fr Lankeit, 80 to 95 percent of priests served as altar boys.  CONTINUED 

 Here is my response from Father Z's blog: 

As a former altar girl I agree with Oddie, at least for the most part. I grew up in a small town in MD which was actually in the Wilmington, DE diocese where I started out being an altar server at the end of 5th grade and I graduated from 8th grade in 1991 so I guess my diocese or parish interpreted the law in this fashion before it was declared in 1994. I had a few pro-feminist nuns in my parish so it’s actually not much of a surprise that the rules would have been broken. I would limit the girls to being a cross bearer. This way the girls can still feel like they are still involved with the Church but without doing any of the more overt seminarian functions. I really enjoyed my time as an altar server and having assisted priests and bishops at Mass. It was truly an honor for me and probably helped my faith to flourish in a number of ways and that is why while I would eliminate girls as being altar servers I would say that they should still be allowed to be cross bearers. Just have them sit with their families during Mass. I think having girls serve alongside boys as altar servers is confusing to the guys when the Church only has male priests. It sends mixed-signals to the guys – girls are okay to serve alongside me now but it’s not okay later. The role of altar server should be a stepping stone to the priesthood, in their discerning whether they are called to the priesthood or not.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Joe Biden and China's One-Child Policy

In the 1970's China instituted a one-child policy for population control purposes. China's one-child policy limits couples to one child in urban areas and limits couples in rural areas to two children if the first child is a girl.  Forced abortions and sterilizations are widespread across China.  

 Joe Biden said this statement on China's one-child policy: 

“But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China.  You have no safety net,” Biden said. “Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family.  The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people.  Not sustainable.”

Why would Biden say that he fully understands China's one-child policy which forces abortions and sterilizations upon women if he really opposes this policy?  I know he was in China when he stated this but I believe he went a bit too far toward condoning China's one-child policy in his statement.  There was a statement released today which said that Biden is opposed to China's one-child policy but I am hesitant to believe it since I know that Biden is an abortion supporter. 

He shouldn't be condoning China's one-child policy in any shape or form.  Abortion is murder whether women make the choice or it is forced forced upon them. The Catholic Church is opposed to abortion and has declared that abortion is an intrinsic evil so for Biden to say the above statement is absurd and unconscionable.  Abortion is morally wrong in all circumstances. He is going against his faith, the Catholic Faith.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Could The Obama Administration Be More Hostile to Religious Freedom than the ACLU?

The Obama administration has been more hostile towards religious freedom than any other administration in my lifetime.  The case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC focuses on the Ministerial Exception. Obama has targeted the Ministerial Exception which is applicable to religious organizations. 

From The National Catholic Register Patrick Archbold points out that the "Ministerial Exception allows for religious organizations 'to decide for themselves, free from state interference, matters of church government as well as those of faith and doctrine.' "

Based on this right, twelve federal circuits have recognized the “ministerial exception.” (The Federal Circuit has no jurisdiction over cases that could present the issue.) The ministerial exception bars lawsuits that interfere in the relationship between a religious organization and employees who perform religious functions — most obviously, lawsuits seeking to compel a religious organization to reinstate such an employee or seeking to impose monetary liability for the selection of such employees. As the first court adopting the ministerial exception explained: “The relationship between an organized church and its ministers is its lifeblood”; allowing the state to interfere in that relationship — effectively allowing judges and juries to pick ministers — would produce “the very opposite of that separation of church and State contemplated by the First Amendment.” McClure v. Salvation Army, 460 F.2d 553, 558, 560 (5th Cir. 1972).

The question which was raised in the Hosanna case was whether protections from discrimination lawsuits would extend to employees and whether or not they could be fired for religious reasons under the exception or not.  Apparently the Obama administration's DOJ has raised the stakes. The DOJ goes so far to say that there should not be a Ministerial Objection, at all.

The Obama administration is so far off the rails that even the militant secularists at Americans United For Separation of Church and State and the ACLU didn't agree the DOJ's argument. Ed Whelan writes:

DOJ’s position — which is even more hostile to the ministerial exemption than the amicus brief filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the ACLU — thus threatens to expose churches and other religious institutions to a broad array of employment-discrimination claims that the ministerial-exception has long shielded them from. 

Obama certainly is "fundamentally transforming" America into something like Communist China. We need to stop Obama and his minions from harming America any more than they already have. He needs to be booted out of office in 2012. I think the Obama administration is more of a threat to our religious freedom than any other entity in America. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Catholic Laity Dictate Church Teachings?!? How Absurd!!

I ran across an article on the HuffPo called How Progressive Democrats Remain Catholic that stated this " The house rules that apply are those set by believers themselves."  Wrong answer.  Church Doctrine is not decided by the laity or by believers but by Tradition that has been handed down for over 2000 years. CONTINUED 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blood Test Reveals Unborn Baby's Sex as Early as 7 Weeks: Ethical or Unethical?

Do you think that this is ethical or unethical?  If this test was just being used to find out the sex of the unborn baby earlier than before and there weren't any other motivations behind the test I would say that it is alright but I fear that this test is going to be used in an unethical manner.

From Bioedge, a bioethicist named Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania stated:

“Few will argue that finding out early in a pregnancy if a male fetus has a fatal form of muscular dystrophy or Rett Syndrome -- a nervous disorder that causes males to die in utero -- would be beneficial to many families. But outside of that kind of testing, everything about the early testing of fetal genes for sex identification spells ethical trouble. And, as the techniques for the analysis of fetal DNA become more and more accurate and affordable, it is likely to reshape the debate over abortion.” ~ New York Times, Aug 10; MSNBC, Aug 9

I hope that Caplan isn't hinting in his first sentence that abortion should be an option if the baby is found to have Rett Syndrome. It is evil and immoral to kill an innocent human being. I hope that instead he is indicating that it is better for the parents to know that their baby may have an awful disease so that they can prepare.
I believe that in most cases this test is going to be used unethically. 

Fr. Dominic On Fidelity of Marriage & God's Grace

Aug 12 - Homily - Fr Dominic: Gods Grace is... by AirMaria

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pope Benedict says we must trust the Lord Completely; But sometimes trusting God can be tough

As Pope Benedict reflected on the Sunday Gospel he stated: 

“It is an incident whose great significance the Fathers of the Church understood. The sea symbolises today’s life and the instability of the visible world. The storm indicates the many troubles that oppress man. The boat, instead, represents the Church built on Christ and led by the Apostles. Jesus wants to educate the disciples to bear with courage the adversities of life, placing their trust in God, the One who revealed himself to the prophet Elijah on Mount Horeb in “a tiny whispering sound” (1 Kings, 19:12).

The Pope also relayed to his audience this: “before we seek or invoke him, the Lord himself comes to us, lowering the Heavens to hold out a hand and raise us up to his height”. “He only waits for us to trust him completely. Let us call on the Virgin Mary, a model of complete trust in God, that amid so many concerns, problems and difficulties that trouble the sea of our life, our hearts may heed the reassuring word of Jesus, ‘Have courage! It is me; fear not!’, so that our faith in Him may grow.” 

I fully agree with Pope Benedict.  I would just say that trusting in the Lord can be extremely tough to do when going through life's struggles.  Here are some thoughts of mine.  I have to admit that it was much easier for me to trust in the Lord while growing up during my childhood and up through high school.  I had to deal with many struggles while growing up: challenges due to my being blind in one eye, my sisters had a lot of issues and caused complete chaos in my family, while attending Grade school I was more than just teased (taunted?) because of my being blind in one eye and this made my self-esteem plummet but I always knew that there was one person who I could count on to listen to me, God.  I trusted the Lord with all my heart, mind, and soul.  

Sadly, I have to say that it is different for me Today.  I go back and forth between being able to trust the Lord completely with all my heart, mind, and soul in some instances while at other times I struggle with trusting our Lord.  For instance I have trouble with endometriosis which is a disease which causes extreme pain and infertility among women.  I've always trusted that the Lord would watch out for me while going through all of my surgeries and other treatments but when it comes to going through the issues due to infertility I find it very hard to trust the Lord.  I am married and so far my husband and I haven't been blessed with a Little One and sometimes I get really down in the dumps about that.  Plus, its so expensive to adopt and my husband and I aren't that well-off financially.  I try to trust in the Lord but it is so hard in this case.  I can remember my doctor years ago saying to me that I would make a great mom and yet I wonder why I haven't gotten pregnant yet. I wonder what is God's plan for me? My husband and I? Is it to adopt? Are my husband and I meant to conceive and have a child?  I know that God has a plan for my husband and I but I just don't understand what it could be and that is so frustrating for me.  I am enormously grateful to God for saving my life when I went through an unimaginably horrible situation - you can read my Divine Providence Story here . But ever since I went through that horrible, traumatic incident I have not trusted the Lord like I used to.  Right now I take one day at a time and have been rebuilding (or trying to) my trust in him. 

Have a blessed day! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Catholic Culture Clash Links 8-7-11

The Dept. of Health and Human Services has put forth a proposal which mandates that insurance companies must provide free contraceptives to women. But some prescriptions covered under this mandate are not only contraceptives but early stage abortifacients - Ella and Plan B both cause abortions. This mandate would also include abortion inducing drugs like Ella and Plan B which would violate the conscience protections and religious beliefs of those who believe that contraceptives are immoral and that abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human being. This is yet another example of the intolerance of liberals. This whole mandate is tyrannical in my opinion and violates our constitutional religious liberties. Hopefully after the Supreme Court hears the case challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare  it will be thrown out in the garbage heap of history. 
I found this response to the government mandate over at Fr. Z's blog, WTPRS. I always enjoy Father Z's commentary.

My emphases and comments:
HHS Makes In-Your-Face Effort to Undermine Constitution’s Religious Freedom
Health and Human Services must think Catholics and other religious groups are fools.
That’s all you can think when you read HHS’s recent announcement that it may exempt the church from having to pay for contraceptive services, counseling to use them and sterilizations under the new health reform in certain circumstances. As planned now, HHS would limit the right of the church not to pay for such services in limited instances, such as when the employees involved are teaching religion and in cases where the people served are primarily Catholic.
HHS’s reg conveniently ignores the underlying principle of Catholic charitable actions: we help people because we are Catholic, not because our clients are[Do I hear an "Amen!"?] There’s no need to show your baptismal certificate in the hospital emergency room, the parish food pantry, or the diocesan drug rehab program. Or any place else the church offers help, either.
With its new regulation, HHS seeks to force church institutions to buy contraceptives, including drugs that can disrupt an existing pregnancy, through insurance they offer their own employees. This is part of HHS’s anticipated list of preventive services for women that private insurance programs must provide under the new health reform law.
The exemption is limited, to say the least. The pastor in the Catholic parish doesn’t have to buy the Pill for his employees, but the religious order that runs a Catholic hospital has to foot the bill for surgical sterilizations. And diocesan Catholic Charities agencies have to use money that would be better spent on feeding the poor tounderwrite services that violate church teachings.
Whatever you think of artificial birth control, HHS’s command that everyone, including churches, must pay for it exalts ideology over conscience and common sense.
Perhaps HHS is unduly influenced by lobbyists. No surprise there. Certainly a major lobbyist is Planned Parenthood, the nation’s chief proponent of contraceptive services. Contraceptive services make a lot of money for Planned Parenthood clinics, which (again no surprise) provide the “services” HHS has mandated.
HHS and Planned Parenthood are narrow in focus. Respect for religious rights isn’t likely a key concern for them. However, it ought to be a key concern for President Obama, who last year promised to respect religious rights as [wait for it....]he garnered support from the church community to pass the health care reform act[Did you get that?  Remember that?] To assuage concerns, President Obama went so far as to issue an executive order promising that the health care reform act would not fund abortion or force people and institutions to violate their consciences. HHS is on its way to violating that promise[What a surprise.]For the sake of basic integrity – the President’s keeping his word and for the protection of the right to religious freedom – President Obama needs to speak up now.

Cardinal Burke talked about the problem of moral relativism in our society during a speech at the Knights Of Columbus Convention. Here are some highlights from his speech.

From CatholicCitizens.org:

"We are witnesses of a society in which, in many respects, morality has ceased to exist," said Burke. "We are called ever more urgently to the new evangelization of our culture."

Cardinal Burke pinpointed the problem as "moral relativism," which he said "has even entered into the thinking of some theologians in the Church and which has provided an ideological foundation for a culture which is predominantly marked by violence and death."

The Pope, said Cardinal Burke, "described a moral relativism, called proportionalism or consequentialism in contemporary moral theology, which has generated profound confusion and deadly error regarding the most fundamental truths of the moral order."

He exemplified the erroneous thinking, saying:

We think, for instance, of the justification of the murder of the unborn child in the womb as the exercise of the right of the mother to choose, weighing other goods, whether to bring to term the baby she has conceived; the justification of the abhorrent practices of the artificial generation of human life and its destruction, at the embryonic stage of development, as the means to obtain supposed cures for crippling or deadly diseases; the justification of the so-called "mercy killing" of those who have the first title to our care, our brothers and sisters who have grown weak through advanced years, grave illness or special needs, as respect for the quality of their lives; and the justification of the sexual union of two persons of the same sex as tolerance of so-called alternative forms of human sexuality, as if there were a true form of human sexuality other than the form written in the human body and soul by God.

"Even as the first disciples faced a pagan world which had not even heard of our Lord Jesus Christ, so, we, too face a culture which is forgetful of God and hostile to His Law written upon every human heart," he said.

The "program leading to freedom and happiness" for each of us, said Burke, is "the holiness of life in Christ, in accord with our state in life and with careful attention to our 'time and culture'."
Burke described a holiness that would courageously proclaim Christianity despite the many voices seeking to exclude faith from public life.

"Religious faith and practice is important for the life of every nation, specifically for the right formation of the conscience of her citizens," he said. " When reason is not purified by faith in the political realm, the powerful and influential of the time exercise a tyranny which violates the fundamental rights of the very people whom political leaders are called to serve."

Bruke concluded: "Yes, we face a struggle with those who would falsely exclude the purifying and illuminating 8/service of faith to reason, those who would insist that, when it comes to civic life, we must bracket our religious faith, even to the point of violating our own conscience.
"But we know the truth about the critical service which our faith brings to political reasoning, and, therefore, we must remain steadfast in giving witness to it, even in the face of indifference and hostility."

Cardinal Burke is correct in emphasizing that moral relativism is a huge problem in our society with regards to abortion. The unborn child is an innocent human and under no circumstances is it permissible for the woman to murder her child intentionally.

   A priest made a bobble head doll of his bishop. This sounds kinda cool. Since the annual convocation was around Bishop Trautman's 75th birthday Father Detisch gave both the priests in attendance and Bishop Trautman each their own Bishop Trautman bobble head doll. The full story is here

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Photos of the Eucharist Around Time of D-Day

Here are just a couple of the pictures from Before and After D-Day in Colour

An American Army chaplain kneels next to a wounded soldier in order to administer the Eucharist and Last Rites

Holding services in dappled sunlight, France, 1944

There are more pictures by Frank Scherschel for Life Magazine here