Friday, September 19, 2008

Traditional Catholicism 101

Part Two

The Revolution:
"The Spirit of Vatican II"

In 1870, the First Vatican Council ("Vatican I") was interrupted when Masonic revolutionaries invaded Rome and forced the unification and centralization of Italy. There followed in the next decades the Mexican Revolution, the warnings of Our Lady of Fatima about Russia spreading its errors throughout the world, the Russian Revolution, World Wars I and II, the end of European monarchies, the Spanish Civil War, and other tumultuous upheavals that shook the social order and proved that the enemies of Christ were quite busy and very powerful.

Popes Pius XI and Pius XII considered convening a second Vatican Council in order to address these issues -- especially Communism -- but both shied away from it, knowing that the enemies Pope Pius X had warned about could "hijack" their efforts. Cardinal Billot warned Pius XI that such a Council could be "maneuvered by the Church's worst enemies, the Modernists" who were already preparing a revolution in the Church, "a new 1789."

In 1959, however, less than three months after his rise to the papacy as the successor of Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII -- "the Good Pope," as the media dubbed him -- told the world that he wanted to convene an Ecumenical Council. Unlike all other such Councils which were convened to combat heresy or to clarify dogma, this Council was called because Pope John XXIII wanted "to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in." The Council he convened, called the Second Vatican Council or "Vatican II," was opened by him on 11 October 1962 and in his opening address to this Council, he scoffed at the "prophets of gloom and doom" who were mindful of the Church's enemies -- but, blessedly, set the tone for the Council with these words:

“The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all.”

“For this a Council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.

In other words, this Council wasn't about dogma and doctrine themselves; it was pastoral in nature -- i.e., it was about how dogma and doctrine were to be presented and handed down.

For an entire two years before the Council, preparations were made; commissions worked diligently to produce seventy-two outlines and orders of business called "schemata" -- but in the very first general session of Vatican II, those schemata were thrown out, an act that served as a clear signal that those who worried about the Council being "hijacked" were right.

By the time the Council was formally closed by Pope Paul VI on 8 December 1965, the following sixteen documents had been produced (links go to the documents at the Vatican website and will open in new browser windows).

The Sixteen Documents of Vatican II

The Four Constitutions:

Dei Verbum On Revelation

Lumen Gentium On the Church

Sacrosanctum Concilium On the sacred liturgy

Gaudium et Spes On the Church in the modern world

The Three Declarations:

Gravissimum Educationis On Christian education

Nostra Aetate On relations with Non-Christian Religions

Dignitatis Humanae On religious freedom

The Nine Decrees:

Ad Gentes On mission work

Presbyterorum Ordinis On the ministry and life of priests

Apostolicam Actuositatem On the laity

Optatam Totius On priestly training

Perfectae Caritatis On adaptation and renewal of religious life 13.

Christus Dominus On the pastoral office of Bishops

Unitatis Redintegratio On ecumenism

Orientalium Ecclesiarum On Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite

Inter Mirifica On the media of social communications

These documents -- which I urge you to read -- are very ambiguously written, i.e., one can, with some difficulty in areas, read them with Catholic eyes and claim they support the Holy Faith -- or one can read them with the eyes of a Modernist and claim they support revolution. It is a matter of debate among traditional Catholics as to whether any teach -- or even can teach -- outright error. Some traditionalists work very hard to read them as perfectly Catholic, seeing the ambiguities as simply that: ambiguities which must be read in the light of Tradition. Others believe that positive error is contained in them. All agree, though, that no solemn definitions that a Catholic must accept de fide (as an article of the Faith) were promulgated. That this is true is supported by papal statements regarding the Council's intent (such as the opening address) and in the fact that none of the documents are marked by the language used in infallible definitions.

No matter the case as to the exact nature of the documents in themselves and how they may have been intended to have been read, it is a fact that the ambiguities have been exploited in a revolutionary way. This revolutionary attitude -- called "the spirit of Vatican II" by conservatives and traditionalists -- has swept through the human element of the Church, leaving destruction and confusion in its wake. How often are Catholics told that "since Vatican II, the Church no longer teaches/practices/believes" various aspects of Catholic doctrine? How often are we told this even by priests, Bishops and Cardinals?

The leftist (including the "neo-conservative") media aid the revolution by constantly reporting on Church affairs in a self-serving and/or simply ignorant way. If the New York Times reports that "'the Catholic Church' says X," then in the average layman's mind "the Church" most definitely now teaches "X," even if there are no official documents even remotely attempting to exercise any level of the Ordinary or Extraordinary Magisterium. If a Cardinal or Pope expresses his personal opinion Y, we are told that "the Church" or "the Vatican" now teaches Y. And people believe it. At work here are the same tactics that have, in a mere forty years, transformed Western culture from one that, for example, saw active homosexuality as a grave sin that one doesn't talk about unecessarily around children, to a normal "lifestyle choice" that should be celebrated, paraded through our city streets, and described to kindergartners. It is simply the power of the media and of popular culture, allowed to spread their errors with little resistance from undisciplined Bishops.

Part One of this series can be found here.

From our friends at

Please take a moment...

and say a prayer to resolve some health issues for a fine priest in our Diocese.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

So, the Bishop's brother had a fish shop...

The ignorance regarding Catholicism is at times astounding.

Take yesterday for instance. On WILK, most of radio host Steve Corbett's talk show was about Catholicism, mainly about the New York Times' faulty claim that Bishop Martino has in fact barred Little Joey Biden from receiving the Eucharist, or whether or not Bishop Martino SHOULD enforce Catholic teaching by doing so.

Corbett, a former Catholic, had many callers, some correct in their comments, others not so much. But there was one woman in specific who insulted Catholics and our beliefs, calling us "insane". To his credit, Corbett rightfully chided the woman, but I feel the need to remark on something she said.

I wish I had a transcript, but one of her accusations was alledgedly the reason for our Friday abstinence. She said "The bishop's brother had a fish shop and sales were down. That's why they eat fish." When Corbett questioned her on the date this happened she said: "It's a part of history", as if her word was enough to prove her assertion as fact. I actually laughed out loud at that one.

In the Latin Church, abstinence means refraining from eating the meat from mammals or fowl, and soup or gravy made from them. Fish is allowed, hence Fridays are known as "Fish Fridays." Traditionally, the laws of abstinence apply to all aged 7 and over, but the new Code of Canon Law applies it to all who have completed their 14th year.

In the time of Christ's Incarnation, practitioners of the Old Testament religion fasted or abstained on Mondays and Thursdays, but Christians opted to take Wednesdays (the day Our Lord was betrayed) and Fridays (the day Our Lord was crucified) as their penitential days.

Wednesdays and Fridays are still days of penance in most Eastern Catholic Churches (and among the Orthodox), but in the Roman Church, only Fridays, as memorials to the day our Lord was crucified, remain as weekly penitential days on which abstinence from meat and other forms of penance are expected as the norm. 1 From the 1983 Code of Canon Law:
Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.

Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

In the case of the Church in America, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has decided that it is too difficult for Catholics to abstain year round, so Catholics in America are not bound to it. But it is still a good practice to follow as some extra penance for the sins you commit cannot hurt.

If Corbett talks about Catholicism today I will try to call and put a stop to the misinformation being spouted by supposed Catholics, but with my work it is difficult to do so. If you are secure in the knowledge of your faith, call Corbett up let him know what you think about the issues facing Catholics today.

And don't talk about about the Bishop's brother. We've been hiding that little secret for years...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Violating the rights of parents since 2005

Here's something else chapping my ass in the Diocese of Scranton. All you parents out there in fantasy land sending your kids to CCD class and the elementary you really know what's going on? I bet not.

The Diocese has implemented VIRTUS since the spring of 2005. Our ordinary has decided to take the job of teaching our children about the dangers of sexual abuse out of the parent's hands.

Sometimes an event is so tragic that people react in a way that only makes it worse. Such is the case in the U.S. Catholic Church since the explosion of sex abuse cases came to light in 2002. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, financially bleeding from the bad publicity, concocted a Charter for the Protection of Children, which, upon closer examination, appears to be a lot of empty window-dressing to appease the masses, including an alleged mandate for "safe environment" programs in every diocese.

So what are our dioceses doing to create this "safe environment" for children? Implementing programs like VIRTUS for all parish volunteers who come in contact with youth (read: "CCD teachers") and TALKING ABOUT TOUCHING programs for the children, as well as fingerprinting all volunteers and even doing criminal background checks.

This begs these two questions, since the overwhelming majority of abuse cases were committed by clergy (most of them homosexual clergy):




It should come as no surprise that most dioceses, including the Diocese of Scranton, are employing the controversial VIRTUS program, a hoop all volunteers must jump through before they can work with minors. The VIRTUS program is noted for hitting its subscribers over the head with statistics that emphasize that homosexuals are not responsible for the majority of clerical sex abuse problems. A rather absurd assertion, when you take into account this statement from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights:

Almost all the priests who abuse children are homosexuals. Dr. Thomas Plante, a psychologist at Santa Clara University, found that “80 to 90% of all priests who in fact abuse minors have sexually engaged with adolescent boys, not prepubescent children. Thus, the teenager is more at risk than the young altar boy or girls of any age."

The fact is, programs like VIRTUS attempt to shift the blame away from homosexual priests--thus shifting the focus of the problem away from the truth of the problem. Again, no surprise, since it is rooted in pro-homosexual propaganda.

Some of VIRTUS' programs begin as early as kindergarten-age, exposing children to sexual information that most of their parents probably would not find age-appropriate.

Further, VIRTUS, even though mandated by the USCCB charter, is in direct contradiction to the Pontifical Council for the Family's The Truth and Meaning of Sexuality, which provides guidelines for education within the family:

It can be said that a child is in the stage described in John Paul II's words as "the years of innocence"[106] from about five years of age until puberty - the beginning of which can be set at the first signs of changes in the boy or girl's body (the visible effect of an increased production of sexual hormones). This period of tranquillity and serenity must never be disturbed by unnecessary information about sex.

A close reading of the document also makes it clear that VIRTUS usurps the authority of Catholic parents:

The Pope insists upon the fact that this holds especially with regard to sexuality: "Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centres chosen and controlled by them. In this regard, the Church reaffirms the law of subsidiarity, which the school is bound to observe when it cooperates in sex education, by entering into the same spirit that animates the parents".

Fortunately, not all of our bishops are playing the game. Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, wrote in 2005 that he could not comply with the USCCB Charter until more questions were answered:

"Are such programs effective? Do such programs impose an unduly burdensome responsibility on very young children to protect themselves rather than insisting that parents take such training and take on the primary responsibility for protecting their children? Where do these programs come from? Is it true that Planned Parenthood has a hand or at least huge influence on many of them? Is it true that other groups, actively promoting early sexual activity for children, promote these programs in association with their own perverse agendas? Do such programs involve, even tangentially, the sexualization of children, which is precisely a part of the societal evil we are striving to combat? Does such a program invade the Church-guaranteed-right of parents over the education of their children in sexual matters? Do I have the right to mandate such programs and demand that parents sign a document proving that they choose to exercise their right not to have their child involved? Do such programs introduce children to sex-related issues at age-inappropriate times? Would such programs generate a fruitful spiritual harvest? Would unsatisfactory answers to any of the questions above give sufficient reason to resist such programs?

"There are many concerned parents who have indicated to me that the answers to all of these questions are unsatisfactory."

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska (now there's a bishop!) also made the decision not to introduce this rot into his diocese and was criticized by Patricia O'Donnell Ewers, Chair of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children. Here is Bishop Bruskewitz' public response:

Some woman named Patricia O'Donnell Ewers, who is the Chair of something called "A National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People", has said that her Board "calls for strong fraternal correction of the Diocese of Lincoln." The Diocese of Lincoln has nothing to be corrected for, since the Diocese of Lincoln is and has always been in full compliance with all laws of the Catholic Church and with all civil laws. Furthermore, Ewers and her Board have no authority in the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Lincoln does not recognize them as having any significance.

It is well known that some of the members of Ewers' Board are ardent advocates of partial birth abortion, other abortions, human cloning, and other moral errors. It is understandable then how such persons could dislike the Diocese of Lincoln, which upholds the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.

The words attributed to Ewers seem to confirm the suspicion that the members of her Board are unfamiliar with Catholic teachings, Catholic ecclesiology, and even the basic rudiments of the Catholic Catechism. Rather than concerning themselves with the Diocese of Lincoln about which they appear completely ignorant, Ewers and her colleagues would occupy themselves in a better way by learning something about the Catholic religion and the traditions and doctrines and laws of the Catholic Church.

The Diocese of Lincoln does not see any reason for the existence of Ewers and her organization.


The USCCB has no authority whatsoever to impose these programs on the Catholic children of America. My pope trumps your bishops conference every time.

If you are being forced to go through this dishonest training to teach CCD, offer up your suffering for the souls in Purgatory. If you are being fingerprinted and investigated for clearance, you have nothing to fear if your record is clean, but you still shouldn't have to go through this.

If your parish is forcing your children to suffer through VIRTUS or some similar "safe environment" program, I suggest that you follow these directions from The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality:

It is recommended that parents attentively follow every form of sex education that is given to their children outside the home, removing their children whenever this education does not correspond to their own principles.

Madrid on pro-murdering-babies-in-the-womb candidates

by Patrick Madrid
The Pilot

There are many peaceful, legal, and constructive ways to oppose abortion and work for the overturn and elimination of the existing laws that allow for this hideous crime against children, but the most direct and far-reaching method is to vote for pro-life candidates for political office. Or, at the very least, to not vote for candidates who are avowedly anti-life, (i.e. pro-abortion). Regardless of what your or my political affiliations and inclinations might be, we all should take a moment and reflect on what Scripture says about how our votes will promote or prevent the continued legalization of the crime of abortion.

The first passage to ponder is Exodus 20:13, where God commanded Moses, “Thou shalt not kill.” The literal meaning of this command is “thou shalt not murder” -- the intentional killing of an innocent life. (The term “murder” does not apply to those who are guilty of crimes [cf. CCC 2267]).

The unborn child is a human being made in God’s image and likeness:

Genesis 9:5-7 -- “For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it and of man; of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, bring forth abundantly on the earth and multiply in it.”

It’s interesting to note here that in this passage, the truth that humans are made in God’s image is linked to the command to “be fruitful and multiply,” alluding to begetting offspring.

The unborn child is utterly innocent of any evil act, and therefore cannot under any circumstances be intentionally murdered through abortion or any other means. Those who, through their political actions and/or their voting, intentionally promote and perpetuate the crime of abortion, are complicit in the sin of murder. Look at what God says about those who don’t have the courage to stand up and speak out against this crime (and the way we vote is surely a way to “stand up and speak out” about this issue):

In Jeremiah 7:8-10, the Lord speaks words that apply well to Catholics today who countenance abortion, and even promote it: “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’ -- only to go on doing all these abominations?”

Wisdom of Solomon 12:1-6 -- “For thy immortal spirit is in all things. Therefore thou dost correct little by little those who trespass, and dost remind and warn them of the things wherein they sin, that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in thee, O Lord. Those who dwelt of old in thy holy land thou didst hate for their detestable practices, their works of sorcery and unholy rites, their merciless slaughter of children, and their sacrificial feasting on human flesh and blood. These initiates from the midst of a heathen cult, these parents who murder helpless lives, thou didst will to destroy by the hands of our fathers ...”

Ezekiel 3:18-21 -- “If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have saved your life. Again, if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and you will have saved your life.”

Isaiah 5:18-21 -- “Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes . . . Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!”

When you vote in elections that will decide whether pro-abortion versus pro-life candidates will be elected to office, consider carefully this passage from Scripture and what it means, both for those evildoers in public office who promote abortion and for those citizens who knowingly and intentionally assist them by voting for them:

Isaiah 10:1-3 -- “Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey! What will you do on the day of punishment, in the storm which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth?”

Indeed, God is the one who creates each human soul and infuses it, at the moment of conception, in the unborn baby’s tiny body, just created by the physical act of his parents’ union. To intentionally destroy that unborn life is murder, no matter what it may be called in polite society. To be complicit in the continuation of the murder of unborn babies through abortion is to be complicit in that sin, no matter what it might be called in polite society.

The Catholic Church’s Declaration on Procured Abortion:

“It must in any case be clearly understood that whatever may be laid down by civil law in this matter, man can never obey a law which is in itself immoral, and such is the case of a law which would admit in principle the liceity [legality] of abortion. Nor can he take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; November 18, 1974; No. 22.)

Patrick Madrid is an author, public speaker and the publisher of Envoy Magazine. Visit his web site at

Bishop Finn Rocks!

Here's a Bishop that understands the mission of Catholic schools. He understands it is about forming our children in the faith, not drilling "social justice" or "just war" into their heads to further a liberal agenda item.

He understands I should be able to ask them to name the cardinal virtues, without them looking at me like I have three heads. They should understand that what is most important is to spread the culture of life, not to support political candidates and ideologies that actively search for ways to declare total war on the unborn.

I wouldn't send my children to a diocese run school if it were free. Which it sure as hell isn't. Maybe I should send this article to Bishop Martino. :) Anyone dare me?

We Want Authentic Catholic Schools that Help Form Saints

By Bishop Robert W. Finn
from The Catholic Key

As we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary's Assumption, our schools begin to open. Students all over the diocese get their back packs together, some put on uniforms, and everyone begins getting up a bit earlier and ready for school. The studies, sports teams, and school clubs will soon be in full gear. The new year begins and our Catholic schools remain a big part of it: for many generations - and for thousands of students.

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is blessed with Catholic schools from early childhood through university. The mission and goals of our schools overlap in a variety of ways with the educational targets of the public schools. But there is something more that must define our schools.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his visit last spring to the United States met with Catholic educators from all over the country in Washington, D.C. He challenged the leaders of our schools to make "Catholic identity" something more than the numbers of Catholic students or even the particular excellence of certain fields of study.

Catholic identity, the Holy Father said, "demands and inspires much more: namely that each and every aspect of your learning communities reverberates within the ecclesial life of faith." Our schools must be defined by a unique culture of faith, hope and charity.

Catholic identity certainly starts with sound, authentic presentations of the teaching of the Church. This is that "without which" we would not be providing helpful formation in the tradition and life of the Church. Living and life-giving Christian Faith is also necessary: faith in God the Holy Trinity, and faithful participation in the life of the Church. Our students should know the sacraments, not only from having studied them in coursework. They must live them, and practice them as the foundation stones for their Catholic lives.

Pope Benedict, himself a university professor for many years, had a special challenge for the leaders of our Catholic universities. Acknowledging the importance of academic freedom, the Pope insisted that appeals to academic freedom "to justify positions that contradict the faith and teaching of the Church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission." This is the very core of the challenge extended to Catholic universities in the document "Ex Corde Ecclesia" which - some years ago - called all teachers of Theology to seek the "mandatum" or license of the local bishop to teach.

Schools sponsored activities and organizations, as well, must reflect the meaning and dignity of the human person. Secular or spiritual in focus, such opportunities must be totally consonant with the life of authentic faith and help the student in his or her healthy and holy development.

Catholic schools exist for a supernatural purpose. They are not only about measurable outcomes, or even helping students learn essential facts and marketable skills that prepare them for employment. They are about the formation of men and women in all aspects of life and living. Each student must be what God intends him or her to be. They must be helped toward their eternal salvation. It would seem to go without saying that "salvation" is discussed and taught in Catholic schools, but education in our schools must lead to the development of men and women who live virtue, understand better the mystery and meaning of life, and who will be set on a path which acknowledges the mystery of the Cross and has heaven as its ultimate goal.

Catholic schools must be based on a Catholic anthropology, that is, an authentic vision of what a person is and what his or her eternal destiny entails. We are not made ultimately for material success or sexual gratification, or just any kind of relationship. Rather, we are made for life-long faithful commitments that appropriately express our gender, our vocation and utilize our talents generously. Because we are called to holiness we must be helped to see how our daily work can be sanctified and sanctifying. Our moral life must take precedent over personal satisfaction or partisan political tendencies. The transcendent and unchanging truth of the value of human life must animate our convictions and guide all our decisions.

Catholic schools are a catalyst for growth in communion. We are more than individuals. The building block of society is the family which has the primary responsibility for the formation of children, and which must be safeguarded for the good of all society. We are beings - social and interactive by nature - who are incorporated through Baptism into a community of believers. We must be helped to see the differences and complementarity by which we actively make up the Church. We are meant to contribute; to give of ourselves as a response to the love and life we have received - first from God, and also from others. Obedience to God's law and cooperation for the good of the whole are necessary in any society. In the Catholic community our giving has a supernatural motive and is infused with Christian faith, hope and charity. Service toward others and a strong sense of mission and apostolate marks us as members of an apostolic Church which has been entrusted with the message of the Gospel for all to hear.

In our schools we pray. We need to pray. Prayer is a response to our sense of God's presence with us always, our readiness to be intercessors for one another, and the realization that we are persons constantly in need of God's light and grace. God is first, and when we put Him first, all the other good things find their proper place. We worship him in the community of the Church and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the font and highest expression of our life.

I pray that in our schools - from early childhood to university - we will be forming saints. Through obedience to the Holy Spirit, and His light entrusted to the Apostles, may our students begin to be more like Jesus Christ to the glory of the heavenly Father.

As we celebrate Mary's Assumption into heaven, let us entrust ourselves, our students and teachers - the whole mission and work of our schools - to her maternal love.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Profound Renewal. Ha!

I stole this from The Catholic Watchdog. Be sure to check out the page.

Heavenly Father, hear our prayer. Moved by your Holy Spirit dwelling within our hearts, we humbly ask you, Father, to bless the Diocese of Scranton at this time of profound parish renewal.” - from the Prayer for the Diocese of Scranton

All priests of the diocese of Scranton have been mandated by Bishop Martino to read this prayer in place of a proper collect at the conclusion of the General Intercessions at all Sunday and holy day liturgies. The renewal, however, remains elusive, as evidenced by the following lists:


St. Andrew, Blossburg (2007)

St. Mary of Czestochowa (2007)*

St. Joseph’s Mission, Morris Run (2007)

St. Stanislaus Mission, Arnot (2007)

Holy Rosary, Ashley (2007)

St. Hedwig, Kingston (2007)

St. Mary, Plymouth (2006)*

St. Stephen, Plymouth (2006)

St. Vincent, Plymouth (2006)

St. John the Baptist, Pittston (2008)

St. Casimir, Pittston (2008)

St. Joseph, Port Griffith (2008)

St. David, Keyser Valley (Scranton) (2007)

*Building renamed and now serves as a consolidated parish


St. Mary, Avoca

Sacred Heart High School, Carbondale

Bishop O’Hara High School, Dunmore***

Saint Anthony, Dunmore

Sacred Heart, Dupont

Bishop Hafey Junior/Senior High School, Hazleton

Regis Elementary, Forty-Fort

Bishop O’Reilly Junior/Senior High School, Kingston*

Sacred Heart, Luzerne

Pope John Paul II, Nanticoke

St. Mary, Old Forge

St. John the Baptist, Pittston

Seton Catholic High School, Pittston

Bishop Hannan High School, Scranton***

Holy Rosary, Scranton

Bishop Hoban High School, Wilkes-Barre**

St. Boniface, Wilkes-Barre

Sacred Heart, Wilkes-Barre

*Building retained as a merged regional elementary school

**Building retained as a merged regional high school

***Both buildings maintained, but reorganized into one high school

Today's Political Cartoon

We Irish'll get ya every time!

I needed a good laugh after my first post today. You'd better like this:

An Irish priest and a Rabbi are involved in a car accident. They both get out of their cars and stumble over to the side of the road.

The Rabbi says, "Oy vey! What a wreck!"

The priest asks him, "Are you all right, Rabbi?"

The Rabbi responds, "Just a little shaken."

The priest pulls a flask of whiskey from his coat and says, "Here, drink some of this it will calm your nerves."

The Rabbi takes the flask and drinks it down and says, "Well, what are we going to tell the police?"

"Well," the priest says, "I don't know what your aft' to be tellin' them. But I'll be tellin' them I wasn't the one drinkin'."

What's in a name?

Nothing if you are one of the 35 or so parishoners of St. Patricks in Wilkes-Barre that attended a special meeting to discuss "Called to Holiness and Mission" yesterday.

Father James McGahagan, new parish "administrator" officiated the meeting yesterday in which nothing actually got done. The popular opinions of the attendees swayed from one viewpoint to another like a sapling in a strong breeze. The meeting was often derailed by Father McGahagan's long winded explanations as to why he felt we should accept whatever Bishop Martino decided, including the changing of the name of our church.

We'll get back to that in a moment.

I wasn't even going to go to this meeting, because I had a feeling how it was going to go, and besides, I was still pretty pissed over a meeting I had with Father M. over two months ago.

He and I sat down for a formal discussion of things at the parish. I spoke to him about the lack of parish life, I told him what I feel was and still is the truth, that the spiritual life of the parish was dead. There is no Eucharistic Adoration, no devotions to Saints, no novenas, no rosary before Mass, no anything.

He told me about his protestant music director at his former parish, and how the protties love our music. I had to laugh, considering the piss poor "catholic" music in our parishes today. He told me how big his church had become and how much money they made at their bazaar.

A true glimpse of the modern Catholic Church in America. No true spirituality, just feel good about yourself and have a strong bottom line.

So, as our conversation went on, I made my formal request for the ExtraordinaryForm to be celebrated at St. Patrick's.

He did not reply.

I also told him that I thought St. Patrick's should, since we were going to be the church left standing when all is said and done, offer the FSSP our church facilities to celebrate the EF.

Again, he said nothing.

At the end of our meeting, I asked him to think about what I had said and to pray over it. And about what a boon the EF would be for St. Patrick's.

Again, nothing.

It seemed to me Father has an agenda. A no latin mass agenda.

So I went in yesterday with certain expectations: 1, it would be a waste of time, 2, it would be a disaffected catholics lovefest, and 3, nothing would be accomplished.

I was right.

It started out with Father McGahagan talking about population shifts, the lack of current seminarians (3), and other such items. Then the good stuff started.

I was planning on mentioning the "further recommend" No. 2, "You re-evaluate the need for the "extraordinary form" of Mass in the Wilkes-Barre area." But another parishoner brought it up for me. One of our female lectors asked that since Holy Rosary was closing, if we were going to get the latin mass.

Father did not want to speak of the extraordinary form yesterday. He said he did not know.

Then I started to speak, much to Father M.'s displeasure, for he knows he has a "traddy" on his hands.

I read the "further recommend" to the group, and made several points, saying Pope Benedict had already identified a need for the Mass, throughout the entire church. Wherever the Church reaches, the EF is to be there too. I told the group to ask the 60 or so people that attend the EF at Holy Rosary if there is a need. I mentioned that the recommendation by the planning committee stated that the hispanic ministry be located at St. Patrick's. I made the logical comment that if the hispanic ministry is to be relocated, why not the EF of the Mass as well? Then some people mentioned that they didn't know there was an EF at Holy Rosary. I told them the Mass was at 8am Sunday morning.

Then Father M. saw his chance and took advantage of a .037 second lull in the conversation to turn the floor over to someone else and end the EF discussion.

Then conversation turned to the name change. Some guy in the back I have never seen before started talking about how we need to go out of our way to be a welcoming church, to treat the closing of churches as a death, and treat the displaced parishoners with love and compassion. That we have to become a new parish to embrace and love and show our respect for and on and on it went. Everyone nodded and voiced their assent.

And my suggestion to fight the name change obviously meant that I was some kind of onomastic ogre.

Bishop Martino has stated that we are "inordinately attached to structures of the past." Funny because I thought the Church was the past. Our history and traditions are part of what make us Catholics. As Catholics we have 2,000 years of tradition and history to look back on.

St. Patrick's is not just a name. St. Patrick was chosen as the Patron Saint of our church. He's our protector, someone for us to model ourselves after, someone who intercedes for us and prays for the Church. His relics used to lie in the high altar. The parish and St. Patrick are linked together.

Are we now, in the name of progress, going to forget the history of our parish and do a disservice to our patron saint and the founders of St. Patrick's church, just to appear to be welcoming, because someone thinks the Mexicans or the Germans or the Italians won't go to an "Irish" church? It goes far beyond the close-mindedness of people that think we need to change to be welcoming. It goes far beyond ethnicity or a simple name. And come on, how many Irish really go to St. Patrick's? How many Slovak's really go to St. Joseph in Nanticoke? How many Germans really go to St. Boniface? Give me a break!

I call bullshit when I see it.

And the parishoners at St. Patrick's who refuse to stand up for their patron saint are covered in it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bishop Martino says "No!"

Congrats and kudos and yes, the coveted Rockin' Traddy award are all bestowed to Joseph Martino, Bishop of Scranton for speaking out against "catholic" politicians that support the war being waged on the unborn.

From the Daily Review:

“I will not tolerate any politician who claims to be a faithful Catholic who is not genuinely pro-life,” Bishop Martino said in a pastoral letter Sept. 15, 2005, and reiterated this week.

“No Catholic politician who supports the culture of death should approach Holy Communion,” Bishop Martino said. “I will be truly vigilant on this point.”

It's about time that Bishop Martino and Bishops from all over the country start standing up for what the Church teaches in a straightforward, direct manner.

Please pray for Bishop Martino and for all Bishops. Their job is especially difficult.