Question: There was also a development this week regarding the issue of celibacy for priests. A group of priests in Milwaukee had urged that celibacy be made optional. But now, 600 conservative priests have reaffirmed their support of celibacy. What's the significance of all that?
Response: Well, I think those 600 priests are in the minority. And the polls reflect that. Basically, the polls show well over half -- up to even 70 percent of the 45,000 priests in the United States -- wish that celibacy would be an option, and they believe that it's coming. They believe that the shortage of vocations, among other things, is really driving a need to change this thousand-year-old tradition of celibacy in the Church.
So if 160 'priests' (some of those 160 have actually left the priesthood) are not the minority of 600 priests - where did he learn statistical reasoning?
The fact is the overwhelming majority of priests dismissed the whole thing.
Not in this pontificate will it happen, nor will it happen in the following pontificate if what St. Don Bosco saw comes to fruition.
Try to picture yourselves with me on the seashore, or, better still, on an outlying cliff with no other land in sight. The vast expanse of water is covered with a formidable array of ships in battle formation, prows fitted with sharp spear-like beaks capable of breaking through any defence. All are heavily armed with cannons, incendiary bombs, and firearms of all sorts - even books - and are heading toward one stately ship, mightier than them all. As they try to close in, they try to ram it, set it afire, and cripple it as much as possible.
Anthony Massimini books, Leonard Swidler books, VOTF, Call to Action, the Boston Globe...etc., heading for the Mighty Ship.
"This stately vessel is shielded by a flotilla escort. Winds and waves are with the enemy. In this midst of this endless sea, two solid columns, a short distance apart, soar high into the sky: one is surmounted by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin at whose feet a large inscription reads: Help of Christians; the other, far loftier and sturdier, supports a [Communion] Host of proportionate size and bears beneath it the inscription Salvation of believers.
Pope John Paul II, fortifying our vessel with Mary and the Eucharist - Ecclesia de Eucharistia and Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
"The flagship commander - the Roman Pontiff [the Pope]- seeing the enemy's fury and his auxiliary ships very grave predicament, summons his captains to a conference. However, as they discuss their strategy, a furious storm breaks out and they must return to their ships. When the storm abates, the Pope again summons his captains as the flagship keeps on its course. But the storm rages again. Standing at the helm, the Pope strains every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns from whose summits hang many anchors and strong hooks linked to chains.
"The entire enemy fleet closes in to intercept and sink the flagship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, cannons. The battle rages ever more furious. Beaked prows ram the flagship again and again, but to no avail, as, unscathed and undaunted, it keeps on its course. At times a formidable ram splinters a gaping hole into its hull, but, immediately, a breeze from the two columns instantly seals the gash.
Pretty amazing isn't it. The VOTF ships as they now describe their launching actually too describe the ramming:
If the mother ship of the Church seemed stilled and anchored to a structure and culture that contradicted the Christian message and mission that launched it, perhaps we could nudge it. Perhaps we could turn the ship around.
They call this violent ramming "nudging".
"Meanwhile, enemy cannons blow up, firearms and beaks fall to pieces, ships crack up and sink to the bottom. In blind fury the enemy takes to hand-to-hand combat, cursing and blaspheming. Suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded. He is instantly helped up but, struck down a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy and wild rejoicing sweeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly that the news of the Pope's death coincides with that of his successor's election. The enemy's self-assurance wanes.
Our sweet Pope falls wounded and dies and our enemies Planned Parenthood, SIECUS, Call to Action, NCEA, VOTF, We are Church, Women's Ordination Conference, CORPUS, CITI, COR, Coalition of Concerned Catholics, Catholics for Free Choice, DIGNITY, GLAAD, SOS, STTOP, AARC, Future Church, WATER, Boston College, Regis College...and dance with delight thinking their attack will overcome the Vessell.
VOTF calls it:
"New Sea, New Ships"
It is described exactly as Dm Bosco said it would.
They do not even bother being clever.
But the selection of the new Pope who takes over the helm:
"Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers his ship safely between the two columns and moors it to the two columns; first to the one surmounted by the Host, and then to the other, topped by the statue of the Virgin.
I believe, as many others do, it will be Cardinal Arinze.
At this point something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other. Some auxiliary ships which had gallantly fought alongside their flagship are the first to tie up at the two columns.
The trickery is exposed. They fight each other and some of these groups defect the army of Christ's enemies and return Home.
"Many others, which had fearfully kept far away from the fight, stand still, cautiously waiting until the wrecked enemy ships vanish under the waves. Then, they too head for the two columns, tie up at the swinging hooks, and ride safe and tranquil beside their flagship. A great calm now covers the sea."
Those quietly waiting for the seige and war on the sea to subside - join us as tranquility is achieved.
At this point Don Bosco asked one of the priests present for his views. He replied that he thought that the flagship symbolised the Church headed by the Pope, with the ships representing mankind and the sea as an image of the world. The ships defending the flagship he equated with the laity and the attackers with those trying to destroy the Church, while the two columns represented devotion to Mary and the Eucharist.
He did not mention the death of the Pope and neither did Don Bosco in his reply, in which he agreed with what the priest had said, while adding that the enemy ships symbolised persecutions:
"Very grave trials await the Church. What we have suffered so far is almost nothing compared to what is going to happen. The enemies of the Church are symbolised by the ships which strive their utmost to sink the flagship. Only two things can save us in such a grave hour: devotion to Mary and frequent Communion. Let us do our very best to use these two means and have others use them everywhere."
One Small Faith Community
New Sea, New Ships
Submitted by Carolyn Wharton & Ray Classen
A Small Church Community (SCC) is a vessel rightly built for staying buoyantly afloat in the Catholic Church today. It is a group of perhaps 8-12 people who meet regularly to reflect on scripture, on paintings, literature or music that expresses spirituality, or on the news or whatever feeds the inner spirit and puts faith into action in the community.
Sound spacey yet?
Such a group is much more to the Saints Dymphna and Rocco Small Church Community in Portland, Oregon. Formed ten years ago, the group has ridden the tides of change within its membership and within the Church that called it to be. For this group, the SCC is a ship whose form and shape have morphed through the years.
Is the spaceship in sight yet?
Keep reading - they are still in the water..
At first, our group was a rowboat, launched from the mother ship of the Church during a cycle of parish revitalization through the Renew program. Renew provided us a plan, pre-scripted with agenda, ritual, and rubrics, with selected scripture, prayer and activities. It was guidance and education, a model that proved flexible. Our pastor joined our group for a few seasons. When a member dealt with breast cancer, the priest brought sacrament to the group, offering a healing ritual at one of our gatherings.
They don't mean he brought The Blessed Sacrament.
Read it again.
They mean the priest did a "healing ritual". Believe me when I tell you they aren't talking about Viaticum.
Later we navigated our own waters, customizing our boat into a crew scull. Canned programs felt more apt for groups in their first seasons, and so we chose our own, sometimes adrift at sea, sometimes confidently rowing forward, creating our own ritual and praying spontaneous prayers. We felt what it was like to move the boat with our unified, collaborative effort. It took each member, working with his/her unique strength and unified toward common goals. We shared responsibility for the direction of the group, for selecting programs/activities and presenting them; we became practiced dragon boat racers, rowing in unison and taking turns as coxswain. We moved outward beyond group and parish gatherings, to work with the Metropolitan East Portland Interfaith Hospitality Network, providing meals and overnight companionship for families in need.
A flowery way to describe pagan rituals isn't it?
As seasons passed, we invited speakers: lay spiritual directors, local Catholic clergy, women who served as deans of Catholic seminaries and as Episcopal priests. At times our sails luffed, losing wind when our rituals were lifeless or our examination of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey proved flat and a bit silly. At other times, our sails filled, billowing with the energy of what was true and challenging and vital. We were with each other through divorce and children marrying, through sickness and babies born, through struggles with faith and new beginnings of belief and social action. We became ready to act sacramentally within our group and at the local level. With songs, rituals of healing, of reconciliation, of new beginnings, of celebratory nourishment for body and soul, we grew able to naturally enact our spirituality. We had been trained well enough by the Church as children. We were ready to be adults in Church activity, no longer children.
Who needs priests and Bishops when they can peform their own sacraments. They are all grown up now.
Most recently, we have felt a new impetus. In the spring of 2002, we wrote a White Paper - A Response to the Multiple Incidence of Child Abuse by Priest-Pedophiles Within the Catholic Church. We shared it at the annual parish goal-setting gathering, with suggestions for Church action. Later, we drafted a letter, signed by over 300 parish members, asking our archbishop, John Vlazny, to take the concerns of the parish to the bishops' meeting in Dallas last summer. When the pastor of the parish was reassigned, we brought requests to the parish meeting that a lay committee be formed to interview candidates for pastoral leader and to send recommendations to the archbishop.
While not all of our suggestions came to fruition, there was a sense of a new role for our SCC, for Small Church Communities in general. If the mother ship of the Church seemed stilled and anchored to a structure and culture that contradicted the Christian message and mission that launched it, perhaps we could nudge it. Perhaps we could turn the ship around.
Why it is preposterous for us to say that VOTF is about leading people away from the Mother Church.
Pay no attention them whatsoever. They are not misleading Christ's flock.
What follows is a list of recommendations for Small Church Communities:
Stay in touch with what's going on through books, newspapers, organizations (SNAP, Voice of the Faithful)
Listen to new ideas, even radical ones
Rock the boat: Let your parishioners, pastoral leadership, bishop know what is meaningful to you
Enlist ideas from many sources inside and outside the established Church: invite members and guests from other faiths
Take a stand: speak out on issues that concern you and are important to the group
Seek the support of other groups for worthwhile causes
Listen to the ideas of others, even those who may disagree with you
Don't just sit there; do something: make a difference with some social action
Include film, music, literature, poetry, art, essays, speakers in your programs
Don't forget the Space Odyssey!
Question the status quo
Demand accountability of leaders
Break out of the box of dysfunctional rules and tradition
Foster what is good in the institutional Church
Tap resources within the group for shared responsibility to create stimulating, thought-provoking gatherings
Discover priestly mission in the group membership
Create sacrament within the group
Support one another in illness, deaths, divorce
Celebrate the joys of weddings, births
Make eucharistic nourishment in group meals and treats
Share human weaknesses and failings; enact reconciliation
This is why it is essential for the dissidents to pretend that we don't have to pay any attention to them.
Why the Church would not kow tow to these people.
It is their purpose to stay inside of it to mislead people away - and they need to be in our basements in order to do it.
I am posting this early - it is Sunday's Homily from Fr. Stephen..
Today is September 14th.
This day is a very different day from any other day of the year. On September 14 Christ’s disciples everywhere are being confronted by a mystery that gives every Christian a deep view into their transformed being since and because of our Baptism.
Few people grasp what happened to them, when they were baptized. Few can even recall what they were taught about the meaning of Baptism. On the day, when a beliver is plunged into the mystery of Baptism, life for that blessed person is changed in every meaningful way.
September 14th, when the assembly of Christ’s disciples the world over celebrate the Triumph of the Holy Cross, reveals to the believer, a true disciple of Christ, God’s greatest Mystery. Just as a cross is a meet-ing point between a vertical and a horizon-tal bar, everyone born anew from water and the Holy Spirit, through the water of Bap-tism, was plunged into the supernatural, divine life of the Most High Deity, the Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier Triune God of the all life and of the universe. This greatest of all reality is given to us as a great gift without any merit of ours, simply because God so wills it. No one knows what life actually is. No scientist of the greatest minds even in our advanced computer age understands life, let alone what "existence" means. In this dark world God sent his Son to reveal to us who He is, who we are and what our purpose here is. It has come to be known by mere human experience that we tend to fear what we do not know. Our Creator God knows that. That is why every time Our God sent any of his messengers, which in Greek means, angels, the first thing they do is to comfort fearful men, bring them peace, and so every time God’s true messenger said, "Do not be afraid." In fact this caring concern is missing on the part of those other so called spirits, whom God did not send. Jesus himself is God’s beloved news Bearer, who both announced God’s Kingship among men and also revealed all things necessary for our eternal Happiness. Even in our today’s Gospel we heard Our Lord Jesus’ sharing with us God’s design, of having "so much love for men, that He gave his only begotten Son to assure all believers’ eternal salvation," Life with God. Our Lord Jesus himself assures his faithful disciples his unbounded love, that is seen by the fact that he would and did lay down his life for his friends. He added, "I made everything known to you, for the Father loves you," -- all those in the world who would believe in God and his Son, whom the Father sent.
Therefore, we see, that we are not left to ourselves, but God claims us as his own. Only faith in him is being required of us.
This is where the mystery of the Cross reveals our own mystery of being. The Cross, on which Christ chose to give his life, is identical of what Jesus asked also from everyone of his disciples. Since every one here today claims to be the disciple of Christ, we need to recall and must never forget, what he said, "If you will to be my disciple, you must accept, and take up your cross everyday of your life and thus follow me. For no one comes to the Father but through me."
What does this Cross entail? Self-sacrifice is what lifted up a world from darkness. Self-sacrifice is what identifies Christ himself in his Father’s presence. This is confirmed when we came to know that Christ obeyed his Father. Christ came not to do his own will, "but the will of my Father." This was his self-denial. This was his sacrifice. Christ instructed us, that when we pray, say, "Thy will be done!" By our daily prayer we are reminded to conform our will to the Holy Will of God. The world will find its peace and comfort, that would last forever, only if, and when God’s holy will is being conformed to. Christ came to make God’s will known to men and realized by him on earth in our world, among men.
Something most stupendous and eye opening is being revealed to us about God’s will. We have come to believe and thus have come to a spiritual knowledge about God, being first and foremost as the Supreme Authority, the very Creator of our world. Christ revealed that in this act of creation he, the Son, was asked by his Father to empty himself of his divine glory. We just heard St Paul telling us, that "Christ emptied himself," he gave up his own will and bowed to that of God by taking on the vocation to be God’s instrument of Creation, and later to be instrument of his salvation. Both St John and St Paul tell us that God created everything through his Son. In creating our world God, the Divinity, bowed "down" in doing so, by his supreme Sacrifice: We hear Jesus telling us today in the Gospel that "God gave his Son." In our world’s term, this means, that when something is given away, one does not cling to it. The act of God’s creation, grasped in terms of our world, means "giving up", thus a true "sacrifice." God in giving his Son, sacrificed, as far as he was concerned, --from our point of view, -- gave away for us, deprived himself as well, -- again, in our this worldly terms, -- sacrificed his Son for our sake. All this for our sake!!! Jesus explained it so: "For God so loved the world."
This reveals to us that sacrifice is by which our world both had its beginning and has its being. It is through sacrifice that keeps our world continue in existence.
Thus sacrifice is a divine reality. Sacrifice began with God! Sacrifice both in divine terms as well as in our Christian spirituality is a supernatural power. When Christ died, -- again for us, for the life of the world, -- he died on the Cross, where the vertical dimension, God’s dimension meets, intersects the horizontal, this world’s and our dimension, meaning, that in the Cross we can for an instance grasp God’s dimension. By the Cross we are not only introduced into God’s being, but are ushered into the eternal reality of God’s own supernatural, divine mystery. By Christ’s invitation to be his, and to be his disciple, the true believer is given God’s super-natural, divine share, a union, a true communion. By the Cross the disciple of Christ is handed over supernatural, divine power to be enable him to act as God acted, as Christ acted in our world on the Cross given him. Whenever out of love for God we make an act of self-denial in a state of sanctifying Grace, we act exactly as God acts, and we, in this state of Grace, are both sharing in and contributing to the supernatural divine power of the redeeming act of Christ in his act of redeeming our sinful, if only repentant world of ours.
Here we are given the view into the one and same identity of Our God’s divine and everlasting Life. As Christ was obedient, so, as a member in our world, disposed his humanity for the divinity in Himself and in his Father to raise his humanity into what he left "behind" his Glory with the Father. Jesus confirmed this view, when He prayed before he died, "Father, glorify your Son." Also, "Father, give me back the glory I had before the world came to be."
Thus the circle of our reflection is complete. The triumph of the Cross is real. Christ’s self-denial and his Resurrection brought it about. Thus the Cross of Christ and indeed our same Cross is Holy. Today’s feast celebrates Christ’s victory and the true divine identity of the true disciple of Christ. God’s everlasting glory is promised to all Christ’s faithful disciples. Glory to our Eternal God and to his Son, our only Savior, Christ Our Lord! May God bless you on your journey to Home! Amen.
A great example of the dissidents use of trickery is their attempt to thwart the removal of the liars from Christ's Church by saying that She will never concede to women priests, homosexual marriages, abortionists...etc., so therefore stop wasting your precious time defending Truth.
The reason why they do this is because is because they need the liars to degrade the minds of the people in attendance so they can recruit and persaude people that the Catechism is wrong.
Everyone knows the Church will not concede to the lies.
Our motives to have the liars removed from their posts is the salvation of the souls they are misguiding into sin.
If the dissedent speaker comes in, tells Christ's people in the pews that it is okay to use contraception - to support abortion, sexual activity outside of marriage - then people will have sexual relations outside of marriage, buy contraceptives, abort unborn children.
This is the goal which the last 40 years have proven to be succesful. They don't want us to remove the liars now - this is a crucial period - a new generation must be convinced that the Church is has lost its moral authority to teach Truth.
These people are well-trained in their tactics.
They presumed the Blessed Mother wouldn't be guiding and instructing people to see through their foolishness and trickery.
"Most of the clients I have talked to have said, `I'm leaning toward it' and `I will probably take it,' " Durso said. "And that's good, because it is really important for them to make their own choices. Our clients really need to decide this for themselves, because choice was pretty much what was taken away from them by their abusers."
The alternative is going up against the statute of limitations and the 20,000 legal cap on non-profits.
"I feel like we had some leverage and my first fear is that when I sign this paper, it's gone,"
That is an interesting statement. What is he attempting to use leverage for?
"All the quotes I hear about closure . . . this has been with me for 35 years. A check isn't going to close it for me. I just fear that it will close it for [the archdiocese]."
"Closure" is something that you give to yourself when you are victimized. Nobody can do that for you. Christ brings closure. Only Christ.
This has run its course. People whether you like it or not get tired of hearing about your woes over and over again.
Victims can see the results of that in the relationships in their lives. Even those who befriend them, thinking they are God and can "heal" them, eventually find out that some victims choose to stay stuck and they want you to stay stuck with them. Eventually people tiptoe away and the victim is alone again.
All the relationships in the lives of victims who choose to remain caught in the trap - are destroyed.
Leverage is needed for destruction.
That kind of leverage went the way of the buffallo with the epiphany that Michael Paulson simply isn't credible. He lost the average pew warmer months ago. That is he was yanked to the back row. They were never able to get the momentum going again.
Once everyone got a good look at the "protesters" - - and what they were doing to innocent people, priests, families, children - the sympathy which drove most to attend meetings was diffused.
Combining it all - everyone moved on to phase where they give cursory glances like they do to the obituary pages.
O.J. Simpson's antics still hit the press, but the country is not mezmorized as they were back when the story had leverage to feed the curiosity.
The curiosity, even on the settlement is flatline. Those of us who are moving on to the fix shuffled our focus there months ago.
That is where the struggle is.
The sexual liberators who used their money and influence to cozy up to our Bishops for decades and demoralized our country think they have won the battle. They are going to be in charge of the fix.
Now in their positions at the bunker they are moving for the forward passes. I see it every day. Every day there is something new. The dissident fires being stamped out here in Boston without it ever hitting the press would astound you.
They abandonded the VOTF and Mary Jo Bane/David Zizik scheme and have moved onto other venues here in Boston:
A mailing went out from the National Catholic Education Association from the RCAB to DRE's asking them to join a "National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors".
"Excellence in Catechesis by:
Parish Catechetical Leaders.
Be on your guard in your diocese.
There is a whole new game plan.
The NCEA is working with Call to Action and We are Church, Women' Ordination Conference and the sexual liberators camps.
In a letter written to a lawyer seven months before defrocked priest John J. Geoghan was strangled in a cell, an inmate said that he had seen guards abuse Geoghan in Concord state prison and that he had written to top state corrections officials about the abuse of Geoghan and other inmates.
In his letter, a copy of which was provided to the Globe, the inmate cited a dozen examples of abuse he said he witnessed in the protective custody unit at the Concord prison. He offered in the letter to testify against guards if his lawyer decided to bring a complaint against the state Department of Correction.
According to the letter, dated Jan. 31, the inmate had previously complained about the protective custody unit at Concord to the office of the Correction Commissioner Michael T. Maloney.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly confirmed yesterday that a letter from the inmate was received on April 9, 2002, but she said the attorney general's office declined to investigate the inmate's allegation of being beaten by a guard. She declined to provide other details.
He is as interested in the abuse of children going on at the hands of the sexual liberation movement and being paid for by the Commonwealth as he is inmates at the prison.
I will tell you the other details - the Boston Herald reported yesterday that they are going to shuffle the guards. Transfer them.
How is that for irony.
The AG says he declines to investigate, declines to comment and is going to shuffle the abusers.
O'Malley and Archdiocesan Chancellor David W. Smith, in interviews in The Pilot yesterday, made clear the insurers are putting up a struggle.
``If we had worked with the insurance companies first, the process could have gone on for years,'' O'Malley said. ``So we chose to deal first of all with the victims and now we will deal with the insurance companies.''
Smith, according to The Pilot, said, ``The insurance companies have a legal obligation (to pay the claims). In what dollar amounts, whether that is before or after litigation is required, is unknown.''
And they will have to pay but not before making their client hire a lawyer and go to court.
If a claim is presented for payment - you will get a cancellation notice. That is how it works.
But attorneys for plaintiffs say an independent analysis of church insurance policies going back several decades puts liability coverage at $90 million to $100 million.
I love this quote:
``The evidence of a coverup is, after all, acute,'' an insurance lawyer not involved in the case said on condition of anonymity.
A lawyer who is not involved in the case and evidently gets the facts from the Boston Globe says that there is evidence of a cover up.
First, let me tell you that this e-letter is going to contain some unpleasant material -- material that's unsuitable for children. Nevertheless, it's vital that I get this information out to you...even though it may cause you some uncomfortable reading.
Alright, you've been warned.
I know a lot of parents, myself included, have been casting around for ways to better protect and educate our kids in the wake of the Church's sex scandal. Like all things related to the scandal, Boston is once again the focus of attention, as Catholics and the media alike watch to see what kind of programming the diocese will implement to clean up its act.
To that end, and since April was designated Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Boston archdiocese has chosen to institute a program called "Talking About Touching" (TAT). Created by the Committee for Children, a secular group in Seattle, the program is designed to teach kids in kindergarten through grade 4 "safety, self-protection, and assertiveness skills" to help protect them from dangerous situations.
Sounds great, doesn't it? I mean, what parent wouldn't want his or her child armed with some good safety tips as they go out into an increasingly dangerous world?
But there are some parents in the Boston archdiocese who aren't so thrilled with TAT. And after investigating the program and the way it's being implemented, I can understand why.
First, there's TAT itself. The title alone sets off warning bells in my mind -- "Talking About Touching"? After being billed as a program that covers everything from car and fire safety to assertiveness skills, I'm a little suspicious that they chose to focus solely on touching in the title. It makes it sound like a sex-ed program, which some parents may be uncomfortable with. When kids are this young -- 5 or 6 -- shouldn't the parent be able to decide the appropriate age to "talk about touching"? And isn't it the parents' job to do the talking in the first place?
And then there's the program's contents... A Web site started by concerned parents in Norwood, MA, outlines some of the scenarios taught to the kids in the program. http://www.germino.biz/scsparents/
Again, remember that this is geared to children in grades K through 4:
"This is Kerry. She is worried about something that happened to her last week when she spent the night with one of her friends. Her friend's older brother came into the bedroom, put his hand under the covers of the bed Kerry was sleeping in, and touched her vagina (private parts). She said, 'Stop that!' in an assertive voice. He stopped, but then he told her to keep it a secret. Kerry is wondering what she should do."
I don't know about you, but I find this outrageous -- especially, when you consider the ages of the children who would be hearing it. The thought of my 5-year-old son Cyprian being subjected to this kind of thing burns me up. Frankly, I wouldn't stand for it.
And that's the problem.
You see, if my family lived in the Boston archdiocese, I wouldn't have a choice. That's right...the archdiocese has made it mandatory for every child in Catholic schools, and no parent is allowed even to sit in on the class with his or her child.
Even if TAT were a completely legitimate program, the fact that parents are not given a say in how their young children are taught about sexuality is outrageous. It's the parent's responsibility to make these decisions, not the school board's.
What's more, the Church agrees. Consider this passage from Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II's encyclical on the family: "Those in society who are in charge of schools must never forget that the parents have been appointed by God Himself as the first and principal educators of their children and that their right is completely inalienable" (#40).
That's pretty clear, I think. And what's also clear is that these parents in Boston are being denied that right. Some parents, like those at St. Catherine of Siena school in Norwood (where TAT just began this week), are raising questions about the program and petitioning the school and the archdiocese to allow them to pull their children from the class. I hope they're successful, and that their success might encourage other parents to do the same.
In the wake of the scandal, it's vital for us to talk to our kids about safety. But as far as talking about sexuality, parents must be allowed to teach their own children when and how they see fit. It's not only our duty, it's also our right.
We haven't drawn fire yet because our parents have not seen the whites of their eyes...but it is coming up this month.
“These programs, I can say with confidence, are still being promoted through the CDC — even though they are trying to hide it,” Rector said.
This is the understatement of the year.
How did it happen?
Well - while our Bishops were distracted - they moved it in.
Ms. McChesney - who consults with Call to Action and VOTF brought it in. She is accountable - but is refusing to accept accountability. She keeps dodging the ball - giving me names of people whom she says "endorse" the program - but it is a slippery slope.
When I saw her in D.C. the other day - we spent a few moments discussing and updating - and she now says that a nun in the USCCB reviewed it and approved it. That is how all of our catechesis is being either accepted or rejected by the USCCB.
It is excrutiating getting names of people who they say are the "experts". I am still waiting for an email back with name of "the nun".
Perhaps we have determined the epicenter of the catechetical nightmare.
All I can say about her endorsement of this program is that she is either incompetent or on the other side because this program is based upon helping the children understand that that they get to decide who touches them when and where. The program is only about empowering them to make the decisions - as children. The sexal rights agenda is all over it.
We need to brainstorm to work together to combat it with our Bishops who are being taken advantage of...
Strategy needs to be put into play.
“It’s more than just about the plumbing, about how the body functions,” said Adrienne Verrilli, spokeswoman for the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (search) (SIECUS), which has so far received over $500,000 from the CDC as part of a five-year cooperative agreement for school health projects.
They used the same logic in the Archdiocese. The sexual abuse of our children happened because our children did not know the names of their body parts.
I am not making this up. They are saying that Roman Catholic Parents are incompetent or "afraid" to talk to their children about sex - and the first step is teaching them where their anus and vulva and vaginas are - and that their uncle may be sexually after them so watch out.
This is slated for kindergarten CCD this year.
Essentially - they are going to line up our kindergarteners through grade four and let the dissidents take over the sexual education of our children. VOTF is ready and waiting.
We are ignorant about the human body and sex. That was the problem.
It is a wonder how we have procreated for 2000 years, isn't it?
The present scandal revealed the hierarchy’s ignorance of the nature of the human body and of sex and sexual development. This ignorance is rooted in history.
Now-with the help of the Attorney General who collaborated and schemed with the Blue Ribbon Commission, helped by Kathleen McChesney who consulted with Call to Action and Voice of the Faithful --
The Voice of the Faithful/Call to Action/Planned Parenthood sexual liberation program is now in place in the Archdiocese of Boston.
We need to do more talking about Talk about Touching.
We need to pull together and start making the phone calls, getting the information out and showing it to our Bishops. Enforce.
The secrecy and and lack of accountability which has caused this crisis is carried over to the very people who are assembed to dismantle the secrecy and hold people accountable.
It is staggering.
“It’s not as if every word in them is bad, but they have a considerable amount of material that no sane parent is going to want their kid exposed to,” he said.
"Sane" isn't exactly the work they call us here. The radically wrong refer to us at "the radical right".
Call us what you will - this program is unacceptable.
The Commonwealth's programs in our secular schools include graphic sexual seduction techniques and provisions are given to our children to use during sexual intercourse right through the local schools. They are promised "privacy" told their parents will not be given any information, given medical care and diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases.
Here in the Archdiocese of Boston, we were actually told that our children would not be entitled to the Sacraments - - it was "mandated" in order for our families to participate in the life of Christ's Church. We were ti be forbidden from the room while they talked to our kids.
SIECUS, comprised of a public health and education network as well as a lobbying arm that works with the leading gay and lesbian organizations, feminists, HIV/AIDS and pro-choice groups, has developed its own “Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education.”
The guidelines, published in 1991, cover 13 very broad subject areas "from communications skills to proper medical information to assisting parents with talking to their kids," Verrilli said.
Mary Jane England, whom many of you may recognize as attending the dissident individuals who met with our Bishops was also a Blue Ribbon panelist. She is President of Regis College - which is the epicenter of the feminist sexual liberation agenda. She ran a conference on how women can fix the Church. Another dissident assembly of the usual suspects - including Mary Hunt of WATER
An influential Vatican cardinal is about to endorse Mel Gibson's PASSION, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
The controversial Mel Gibson-directed drama about the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ will be praised -- unconditionally -- by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
The endorsement may pit the Vatican against the Anti-Defamation League, which expressed concerns that scenes depicting Jesus' crucifixion at the hands of Jews and others will fuel anti-Semitism.
What about the Roman's? No concerns it will fuel anti-Romanism?
"We, the people, must insist that real reforms now take place .."
They dug out the slogan the "four-sided table":
The challenge ahead now focuses on (a) settling remaining cases, of which there are many; (b) developing a healing process that brings together -- at one table -- survivors, clergy, the Catholic laity, and the Archbishop. Until all sides of this "four-sided table" can freely, openly, and honestly talk with one another, the Church cannot truly heal.
One thing for sure - we have a long way to go to pry out the corruption.
We have to stay awake and active to ensure that we oppose any placement or exhalation of any dissident to any leadership position inside of the Church.
Leaders of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops Wednesday gave ''general support'' to amending the U.S. Constitution in order to define marriage as a union of a man and woman. They also condemned legalized same-sex unions.
The 50-member administrative committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, meeting privately in Washington, acted after a strong Vatican call to defend traditional marriage and the decision of Canada's government to draft a new law defining marriage as being between ''two people.''
Canadian bishops encouraged Catholics in that nation Wednesday to lobby against the measure ''in a spirit of love and deep respect for all people.''
I bet the Boston Globe never thought it would happen.
The U.S. bishops said they ''strongly oppose any legislative and judicial attempts'' at the federal or state levels ''to grant same-sex unions the equivalent status and rights of marriage by naming them marriage, civil unions or by other means.''
I am not sure that people understand what is happening.
There is a plan to unleash complete moral anarchy.
We have to work hard to lobby against any kind of legal recogniton that two women or two men is morally equal to a woman and a man in union.
It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. The Holy Family, a woman and a man.
Be it done to me according to your Word.
There is no stopping incest or pedophilia from being legally protected. It is simply a matter of time. The destruction will be slow but sure.
The move plunges leaders of the nation's largest religious body, with 66.4 million members, in the middle of a growing national moral debate that could conceivably become as divisive as the one over abortion.
Christ came to divide.
Through free will we chose to stand by His Side, follow His Voice, bear His mark on our forehead..or we walk away.
It has been the devil's role from the dawn of creation to use trickery to lead people to disobey God. Eve fell and when she did she became a tool of the devil. All the cunning serpent had to do then was sit back and watch. Eve did his bidding for him.
Don't take the bait. We cannot be silent in the face of this temptation to be "nice".
Eve used her charm to bait and trap.
Evil doesn't wear an ugly face until it achieves its goal.
Only then do we see it.
The bishops' statement said ''the church's teaching about the dignity of homosexual persons is clear. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity,'' but that this does not mean changing marriage laws.
They said protection of marriage requires, among other things, advocacy for legislation and public policies that ''define and support marriage as a unique, essential relationship and institution.''
''At a time when family life is under significant stress, the principled defense of marriage is an urgent necessity to ensure the flourishing of persons, the well-being of children and the common good of society,'' the bishops said.
The Church supports the dignity of homosexual and heterosexual persons equally.
She does not support the dignity of their sins.
Prostitutes advocating for the legalization of their sins would be equally resisted.
The usual suspects don't disappoint:
David Smith, spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, a gay advocacy group, said ''we are extremely disappointed that the U.S. Catholic bishops would involve themselves in the political efforts of some groups that are trying to make sure gay and lesbian families never receive the rights, protections and security of civil marriage.''
Smith said gay organizations are not asking that churches be forced to recognize ''marriages not in keeping with their teachings,'' only for change in secular law.
But that is exactly what they ask and in fact, demand. Here in Boston they came right into our Church to bully us from teaching it to our people and our children.
It didn't work...but the bullying will intensify if we do not rise and defend Christ's Truth.
But the price of peace is very steep, and the church must now raise money and, potentially, cut services even as it attempts to heal the wounds opened by the scandal.
It is time for the rest of us. The victims of the victims. Our children, the poor, our priests, our elderly, our families.
Bishop Gregory talks about moving on:
The consequence of paying out these large amounts is going to be reduced services by the church and greater burdens on the parishes," said the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, editor of America magazine, a Jesuit weekly. "These large settlements are going to have consequences for dioceses for years, if not decades, to come, because we don't have a printing press for money in the basement. This money that's being paid out is money that will not go to support church services in the future."
That is the frosting on the cake. There will be no money for the programs which have been misguiding our families and children for forty years.
Here we were, all these years doing all we can to shut them down - - and finally, the Lord comes along and does it Himself.
Our prayers have been answered.
Jim's unscrews his head again:
"Anyone who has got their head screwed on right has got to feel that this is good news for the Catholic Church -- it's good news for survivors and good news for Boston, and it makes it possible for the archbishop to address a very large backlog of serious problems in the archdiocese," said James E. Post, the president of Voice of the Faithful, a lay organization. "But Archbishop O'Malley has got to make peace with the laity because these financial commitments are a mortgage on the future of the Archdiocese of Boston, and I don't think he can possibly do this without bringing the laity together in ways that haven't happened yet."
Time to let Voice of the Fablers take over as head of the Archdiocese, says Jim.
"The way we were hurt in the scandal was with people who were reluctant to write checks to us because they were concerned the money might flow to the diocese, which it never has," said Neal F. Finnegan, chairman of the Catholic Charities board of trustees. "If the church regains its footing as a result of the settlement, and is viewed more positively by the faithful, contributions will rise, and Catholic Charities might be helped,"
I thought Jim Post was taking care of Catholic Charities. What ever happened to the semi-annual check extortion? Remember that?
Every six months they would pull money out of their million dollar budget a year and use it to divide and conquer. Catholic Charities would choose money over Christs' head.
They are kidding themselves if they think they will ever recover from that betrayal. Those of us who choose Christ's Head, have stopped writing checks to Catholic Charities. We give elsewhere.
Hasn't six months gone by yet? Maybe we have that still to look forward to. They haven't tried that with O'Malley yet.
"The archbishop has created a very significant amount of good will, and a lot of people are beginning to say, `How can I be of assistance,' " said Jack Connors Jr., the chairman of the advertising agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos.
Jack Connors is still looking for his piece of the pie. I love the way he puts it. How can he be of assistance.
Maybe he will shut down the heretic show he is financing over at Boston College and give that money to the Archbishop. That woud be helpful.
"It doesn't help instruct the faithful when publicly dissenting Catholics are rewarded with positions of participation in official roles in the church, when they're asked to keynote Catholic dinners," said Crisis magazine publisher Deal Hudson, one of the summit conveners. "We asked them to think about what criteria they are using when they invite ... Catholic leaders who are dissenting, especially on the issue of life."
Well, things have finally settled down around here after the excitement of yesterday's meeting with the bishops. I want to give
you my general impressions, but first I need to thank you again for
your prayers and support. I think we were blessed with a fruitful
One of the agreements the attendees made during the meeting was to refrain from later paraphrasing or quoting the comments of others
(though, of course, we're free to talk about our own involvement).
This was actually for the protection of those at the meeting: None of
us want to have our comments or views inadvertently misrepresented by someone else (especially when the issues are as vital as the ones we discussed).
So, in the following report to you, I've gotten direct quotes today
from a number of the attendees, along with their permission to use
them in this letter.
With that said, let's get started...
There ended up being about 40 Catholic leaders and representatives,
both lay and religious, who attended the meeting, in addition to five
bishops (Wilton Gregory, president of the USCCB, Theodore Cardinal
McCarrick of Washington, DC, William Friend of Shreveport, William
Skylstad of Spokane, and Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg).
Some people have commented that the list, while having its share of
impressive leaders, didn't have many representatives of regular
Catholics. This is simply untrue: The attendees came from every walk
of life and every part of the country... professors, businessmen,
stay-at-home moms, journalists, presidents of Catholic colleges,
priests and religious sisters... they were all there.
Unfortunately, we were limited in the number of people we could
invite. And while a few of our invitees were unable to attend, we
ended up with a marvelous group. (I emailed you the list of attendees
Gene Zurlo, the president of the Catholic Radio Association, said he
was impressed by the "roomful of such smart people who love the
Church, who believe in the fullness of truth, and have such an
evangelical spirit.... These people are prepared to give their time
and talent to the bishops to further the Church's interest."
I think the title of the meeting sums up the general tone of the
day: It was definitely "A Meeting In Support Of The Church." Instead
of pointing fingers and spreading blame, the participants were there
out of love for the Church and a desire for constructive dialogue
about the problems currently plaguing her. While attendees voiced
their concerns and confronted the bishops with some pretty pointed
questions, the meeting never devolved into a shouting match.
Truth must always be accompanied by charity, as indeed charity must
always be founded on the truth.
We began the meeting promptly at 9:15AM in a second floor conference room of the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. The day was structured with five presentations, each followed by a moderated discussion. At the end of the meeting, we had a general question and answer session for the bishops.
Frank Hanna III, CEO of HBR Capital, Ltd. started the day with a
magnificent presentation on leadership in the Church. It was the
perfect way to begin the meeting. Frank was forceful and pointed, but
his tone was generous.
The other attendees were impressed. Barbara Henkels of the Catholic
Leadership Conference called it "a masterpiece... It was clearly
inspired, but he obviously had worked a great deal on it."
Frank's central point was a vital one: "We believe our bishops are
the successors to the Apostles," he told me. "We were there to
encourage and support them in that role, and to let them know that
when they are courageous and strong, the entire Church is courageous and strong."
The discussion that followed set the tone for much of the rest of
The first question came from Bill Donohue, president of the highly
effective Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights. "I asked
about the April 2002 meeting with the Holy Father, after which, [the
bishops] released a statement in which they said they would deal with dissent in the Church and that there would be reprimands. Well, where were the reprimands for the seventy professors from Georgetown University who signed a letter of protest against Cardinal Arinze for stating Catholic teaching on sexuality? And where was the reprimand for Fr. James Keenan, S.J. of the Weston School of Theology who testified for gay marriage before the Massachusetts legislature?"
The discussion that followed continued in this vein. The point was
made that speaking with charity means speaking out of love for the
other person, which sometimes means confronting him when he's in
error. This is the very thing the bishops are called to do: correct
their flock when they go astray. If bishops lead in this manner,
people will follow.
The second presentation was given by Dr. Robert George, professor of
jurisprudence at Princeton University (you can read a profile of
Robby in the current issue of CRISIS). He focused on the challenges
the Church will soon be facing, especially in the area of bioethics.
George made a number of excellent points about the importance of
life issues and why we must be unwavering in our dedication to them.
This naturally led to a general discussion of Catholics in the public
eye who dissent in these areas. Many of the attendees questioned why pro-abortion Catholic Leon Panetta was asked to serve on the bishops' lay review board, sending mixed messages about our Church's dedication to the unborn.
Tom Hoopes, executive editor of the National Catholic Register, told
CRISIS that the repeated attention brought to life issues and the
scandal caused by Panetta's appointment just goes to show how deeply Catholics care about these problems. "If the bishops ever got the impression that pro-life Catholics are inordinately obsessed with one issue," Hoopes said, "George's comments went a long way toward explaining why we care so deeply about life issues."
Patrick Madrid, editor-in-chief of Envoy Magazine and popular
Catholic apologist, then gave a well-considered luncheon presentation
on the importance of priestly celibacy in the Latin rite.
Several of the attendees praised Bishop Gregory's recent letter
responding to the 160 or so Minnesota priests who signed a petition
advocating a married priesthood. For my part, Gregory's response
struck the perfect balance between charity and correction. This is an
example of the strong but loving leadership we so desperately need
from our bishops.
As the discussion moved on, the topic of pro-abortion "Catholic"
politicians came up. Especially troublesome was the appointment of
Leon Panetta to the Bishop's National Review Board (Panetta has a
long record of supporting abortion).
Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, . "While I'm
grateful the bishops who attended were willing to hear from some
faithful critics, I don't believe the meeting can be declared a
success until the likes of Leon Panetta no longer sit on the National
Review Board -- and officials who publicly support abortion are never
again honored by princes of the Church. For no matter how many strong pro-life statements a bishop or the bishop's conference may make, they're dramatically diminished by such public, blatant,
inconsistencies. Until the sanctity of human life (and the
preservation of marriage) is a top public-policy priority for the
episcopal conference, I don't think the meeting is over."
Many of the attendees praised Bishop William Weigand of Sacramento, for his firm stand against Grey Davis, the pro-abortion "Catholic" governor of California. The discussion then moved to the question of whether or not an open condemnation from the bishops would end up sending MORE votes to a pro-abortion Catholic politician (people love mavericks, after all). Barbara Henkels noted that, among the attendees, "the consensus was that the local bishop HAS to speak out, and the other bishops have to support him. One of my comments was that we need to be thinking of the long term effect, not just the short term result. And, of course, it's a simple matter of the bishop doing what's right."
Peggy Noonan, a popular writer and columnist for the Wall Street
Journal, gave the fourth presentation, focusing on the leadership of
John Paul II. Peggy is always wonderful, and it was a joy to hear her
speak forcefully on the pain and confusion many of us feel. But that
wasn't all she touched on.
"Peggy Noonan's remarks were filled with open-mindedness, love for
the Church, concern for the world, and care for the poor," Hoopes
said. "She represented the best virtues of faithful Catholicism in
Bishop Gregory gave a brief wrap-up presentation, followed by a
lengthy general discussion.
John Klink, former diplomat of the Holy See to the UN, noted the
recent phenomena of anti-Catholic bias in considering judicial
nominations. "My own comments focused on the danger of 'Catholics
Need Not Apply' bias that's evident in the recent filibusters of all
the Catholic candidates in the Senate," he noted. Few comments drew
more nods from the other attendees.
Leon Supernant, the president of Catholics United for the Faith,
made several important points. "I made a comment dealing with my
interest and support for a plenary council as a opportunity for the
bishops and Church to really seize the moment instead of continuing
with business as usual -- and not simply in defense, but to make the
most of the moment in a proactive way. Obviously, there's much to be
done with respect to prayer and action and there's a spiritual and
organizational dimension to address individually. But we also need to
address it as a Church. A plenary council or a similar gathering can
allow the Holy Spirit to get things going in a new way."
Patrick O'Meara, CEO of O'Meara Capital Partners, offered the final
comment -- a fitting close to the meeting: "I spoke to the fact that
we need to maintain our focus on the proper end, not to win the
battle ground of the media or political elections. We need the
bishops to preach the truth. The primary relationships they need to
foster are the ones with their own priests. They won't win the New
York Times but they WILL win Catholics by preaching the truth."
Most attendees thought the meeting went well. O'Meara told us that
he was "tremendously grateful to the executive committee for taking
the time out to meet and listen to those who love them. I'm very
pleased with the fact that so many laity were able to express their
support and give input on how to more heroically preach the Gospel.
The Church's fight today belongs to the laity and after listening to
the luminaries in that room, I rest more assured that the laity are
well-equipped for what lies ahead."
Klink noted that "The meeting offered an opportunity to express and
demonstrate the unity which exists between faithful Catholics in the
U.S., the Holy See, and the expressed positions of the bishops. I'm
confident that it will produce a continued dialogue on crucial issues
which affect the future of the Church in the U.S. between the USCCB
and the faithful laity."
Carol McKinley of Faithful Voice in Boston agreed. She thought it
was "A very productive and successful meeting where we established
the groundwork and accountability for the dissent which caused this
sexual abuse of our children. The silence, which has allowed Christ's
Truth to be hijacked, is no longer acceptable. Illegitimate and
dissenting organizations and individuals must be prohibited from
plotting the destruction of Christ's Church."
Donohue called the meeting "one of the finest assemblies of faithful
Catholics that I have ever attended. The tone was firm, yet fair.
Hopefully, what was said will be implemented."
And just how receptive were the bishops to our suggestions and
comments? Well, there were some questions and concerns that they
couldn't really answer, because there was no adequate answer.
But having said that, most of the attendees I talked to were
cautiously optimistic. Suprenant thought "it was refreshing to hear
the bishops give Catholics, who fully and unabashedly accept Church
teaching, an appropriate place at the table. I like the point that
was made [in the discussions] that while all people are welcome in
the Church, when it comes to leadership positions with influence, we
should be listening to people who support the Church."
Suprenant additionally felt that his comments were received "very
Donohue agreed. "I think that Bishop Gregory proved to be very
attentive and considerate of the sentiments expressed at the
So, what do I think? Well, all told, I think the meeting went better
than I expected. In considering the day, we need to make sure our
goals are realistic. It would have been great if the bishops loudly
agreed with everything we said, and pledged to move forward on all
our proposals. That obviously didn't happen, nor should we have
expected it to.
In the end, I wasn't satisfied with everything the bishops said. But
nor was I dissatisfied. They were there to listen, and they did so
(providing some very good comments along the way). The point of our
meeting was a simple one: We wanted to be heard. Too often, we
complain that faithful Catholics get the short end of the stick. This
is true. But if we give up the opportunity to speak to the leaders of
the Church when we're given the chance, we lose the right to complain that we're ignored.
This meeting was a sounding board... a chance to let the bishops
know that we want them to lead with courage and with truth. On that
point, the meeting was a success. And I'm truly grateful to the
attending bishops for giving up their day to meet with us. If we're
going to criticize their mistakes, we must also praise them when they
do something positive.
Let me close with something Father David O'Connell, the president of
the Catholic University of America, told us:
"I do not believe that anyone present could sense anything among the participants but great energy, love and passion for the Church. I
left the meeting with renewed enthusiasm and hope, despite the recent crisis we've experienced. People spoke from the heart but also with a carefully considered point of view. I thought that the advice given to the bishops present was both respectful and courageous.
Participants spoke with refreshing candor about the things that were
most important to them.
"After the meeting, I had dinner in my home with a group of bishops
and priests. They were curious about the day and I remarked that 'if
these folks are the future of the Catholic Church in the United
States, we have nothing to fear.'"
The Boston Archdiocese agreed Tuesday to pay $85 million to more than 500 people who claim Roman Catholic priests sexually abused them, giving victims a long-awaited formal recognition of their pain and the church a chance to move forward from one of the worst scandals in its history.
Says celibacy not to blame for abuse
By Alan Cooperman, Washington Post, 9/9/2003
WASHINGTON -- A group of 40 conservative Roman Catholics met behind closed doors yesterday with five US bishops here to press their view of the sexual abuse crisis in the church, which they said has wrongly been linked to celibacy.
One of the group's organizers said after the daylong session at the Cosmos Club that the real cause of the scandal was dissent in the church.
"I think that dissent is the major cause of the sexual abuse crisis because it has loosened priests and laity alike from their core beliefs, and particularly the core beliefs about sexual morality," said Deal W. Hudson, editor of Crisis magazine. Others said they urged the bishops, including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, to publicly reprimand politicians who call themselves Catholics but vote for abortion rights.
Robert George, a professor of politics at Princeton University, said they particularly objected to the naming of former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta to the bishops' National Review Board that is monitoring the church's response to the sex abuse scandal.
George said he also raised questions about Catholic politicians who support the death penalty. He maintained the church's teaching against the death penalty, however, is not as clear as its position against abortion. Supporting the death penalty is "problematic, but not as problematic," he said.
Hudson and Russell Shaw, a Catholic writer and former spokesman for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, organized yesterday's meeting after learning that some of the same bishops had met with Catholic liberals in July. Conservatives were alarmed by reports that "a secret meeting had taken place with Catholics on the left and that people like us had been kept in isolation," Shaw said.
Besides McCarrick, the bishops at yesterday's session were Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Ill., president of the bishops' conference; William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., its vice president; William B. Friend of Shreveport, La.; and Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla.
None of the bishops spoke to reporters after the session, which Hudson described as "very positive" in tone. "We said it weakens their leadership when they fail to clearly define and defend the teaching of the church," Hudson said, "and we urged them to defend that teaching."
After the meeting - we were sitting in Deal's Office waiting for the press conference to start..and Deal asked me to join the distinguished panel of Robert George, Frank Hanna, Russell Shaw and Deal. As we were sitting there - somebody summed up the moment and the day with a comment that gets to the heart of it:
This is exactly what the dissidents do...and it is about time we did it ourselves. A historic moment. New strategy.
We have been far too passive in defending Christ's Church.
The dissidents and the media have had a field day hijacking our priests and Bishops and the teachings of the Church. They have been misrepresenting fact, pulling publicity stunts, pretending that our clergy are sexually dangerous to children...and for far too long we didn't take command of the situation.
The dissident day of fun and frolic at the John Paul II Cultural Center was the end of the line.
The Roman Catholic Church is not a place where opinions are equivocal.
We don't attend Catholics for Free Choice Meetings unless we are advocates for abortion. If we see a Bishop attending a Women's Ordination Conference or a Call to Action Conference - we know where he stands.
The days are over when the Bishops and dissidents sit and and consult about the direction of the Church and somebody doesn't bang the door down to say enough. No more. It is one thing to be pastoral - to use discretion and prudence - - it is entirely another for them to engage in their conferences plotting the destruction of truth.
Furthermore - the pressure is on and it is going to remain on for our Bishops to identify what is Roman Catholic. There is room for discretion and prudence...but no room for silence.
Pulling together a group of powerful and influencial individuals who can network to defend our priests and Bishops when they are being attacked - and who will work together to prohibit silence from hijacking truth is off and running.
A task force networking both covertly and overtly.
The Bishops got the clear message that we are on top of who the dissidents are - and where they are...and we are going to be vigilant about what and who is being presented as authentic. Meet with them, listen to them - but set the record straight publicly or we will.
We love them and support them - - but Christ's Church and His Truth is on the line - you are either with us or against us. No more straddling the line calling for peace treaties between truth and lies. Take a side.
The dissidents got the clear message that Bishops can no longer collaborate with them either by ommission or commission without public scandal. They know what that means. When they plot and plan and invite the Bishops, use the media to distort the teachings of the Church - - everyone is taking a huge risk that the whole thing is going to blow up in their faces. You can take to the bank that the Bishops are going to decline their invitations.
The media got the clear message that we are at the front lines now and we are not just defending - we are advancing. Roman Catholics have not "lost their moral authority". We are on the field. The retreat is over. Revelry.
Today’s the big day. I'm on my way to the meeting with the bishops
that I’ve been telling you about, and in just a few minutes we’ll
begin discussing some of those issues and points you sent in. (And
thank you for your wonderful feedback.)
I obviously can’t write long, but I did promise to give you the
finalized list of attendees before heading to the meeting. It’s only
just now been confirmed, so here are the names, in no particular
Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the USCCB
Theodore Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, D.C.
Bishop William Friend of Shreveport, LA
Msgr. William Fay, USCCB General Secretary
Msgr. Francis Maniscalco, USCCB Communications Director
Kathleen McChesney, director of the USCCB’s Office of Child and
Raymond Arroyo, EWTN News Director
Pat Cipollone, Kirkland & Ellis partner
William Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and
Greg Erlandson, Publisher of Our Sunday Visitor
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Professor of History at Emory University
Dr. Robert George, Professor of Politics at Princeton University
Frank Hanna, III, CEO of HBR Capital, Ltd.
Barbara Henkels, Board Member of the Catholic Leadership Conference
Paul Henkels, CEO of Henkels & McCoy, Inc.
Tom Hoopes, Executive Editor of National Catholic Register
Mother Assumpta Long, Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the
Peggy Noonan, commentator and columnist for the Wall Street Journal
Robert Novak, commentator with CNN
Kate O’Beirne, Senior Editor of National Review
Fr. David O’Connell, President of the Catholic University of
Timothy O’Donnell, President of Christendom College
Russell Shaw, co-host of the meeting, writer and editor
Gene Zurlo, President of the Catholic Radio Association
Denis Coleman, Ambassador for the American Consulate in Bermuda
Bernard Dobranski, Dean of Ave Maria School of Law
Jeffrey Wallin, President of the American Academy for Liberal
William Plunkett, Jr., Plunkett & Jaffe partner
Leon Suprenant, President of Catholics United for the Faith
Sister Joseph Andrew, Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the
Patrick Madrid, Publisher of Envoy Magazine
Father Richard Gill, L.C., Director of Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat
Gregory Popcak, Director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute
Dr. Thomas Dillon, President of Thomas Aquinas College
Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, Office of Lt. Governor for the state of
Fr. Terence Henry, President of Franciscan University
Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
Carol McKinley, Faithful Voice
Rep. Michael Ferguson, U.S. House of Congress
Mark Ryland, Vice-President of the Discovery Institute
Kathryn Jean Lopez, Associate Editor of National Review
John Klink, former Diplomat of the Holy See to the UN
Leon Podles, Senior Editor of Touchstone Magazine
Cortes DeRussy, former President of Federated Capital Corporation
Brian Saint-Paul, Editor of CRISIS Magazine
As you can see, we’ve got a great and diverse group of people
attending. I'm sure the day will be productive.
I have to run, but I hope you'll keep us in your prayers today, the
feast of Mary’s nativity. May she pray for all of us in these
Thanks again for all your support. I’ll write in a couple days with
a run-down of the events of the meeting.
About 80 people gathered at the First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk on Thursday to attend a meeting held by the Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) in the Diocese of Bridgeport.
At the meeting, held on the first Thursday of every month, the audience was encouraged by officers and directors of the VOTF to sign a letter addressed to Bishop William E. Lori asking him to rescind his ban on allowing the VOTF to meet in Bridgeport parishes. Currently, the group meets at the First Congregational Church in Norwalk because Lori banned them from using church properties in Bridgeport for their meetings, said John F. O' Callaghan, the Bridgeport Diocese's VOTF chairman O'Callaghan said he has asked Lori a number of times to let them meet in the diocese's own parishes but received no response. In fact, Lori through his representatives on at an Aug. 12 meeting of the VOTF prohibited them from meeting on church property, he said. Stratford resident Virginia Doyles says she has been coming to VOTF meetings for almost a year now because she is concerned about the crisis in the church. "I wanted to find a way to help the church from within the church," Doyles said. But Doyle says that she is distressed that she is not able to meet on church property. "I have been active in the church my whole life," Doyle said. "I've done everything I could. This is my home." Joanne Gray, who is a member of the Bridgeport Diocese's VOTF, says the opposition to them stems from a superficial understanding about the group's intentions and reflects a rigidity on the part of the institution. "They feel threatened and are trying to hold on to structure and control in ways that don't take into consideration the presence of spirit in the larger community,"
Lets be clear about what they mean:
Further, they speak as though the moral points that these priests had discussed or expressed opinions about have all been definitively answered by "the Church." But the laity and priests have not discussed these points at all-in fact, they have been forbidden to discuss most of them. The whole church has not yet participated in the discussion of these points. Therefore, the whole Church doesn't yet know what it believes about these points. And, according to Vatican II's teaching on the sensus fidelium, the bishops and popes really shouldn't be teaching anything about these points. They should, instead, be calling for a full and open study and discussion by the whole Church, so that the whole Church can "test the Spirit," discern the truth and see what it believes about these points. In the world in which Weigel and Neuhaus live, Vatican II never happened. It's still the 16th century. The bishops and Pope are still "the Church." And the Church is still a pyramid of top-down, unquestioned authority. VOTF, by contrast, does not take any position in these matters but is working to ensure the full participation of all the laity in the discussion and discernment process, as the Church teaches. What does that chef on TV say? "Let's bump it up a notch!"
In other words, the Bishops and Pope have no right to teach. Vatican II says that the people in the pews must tell the Pope what Divine Law is - and furthermore, the Pope and Bishops have yet to ask the people whether they, being "the Church" will pass "the laws".
That is what the "congress-like structures" will be. They have not been consulted on morality...and the Pope and Bishops are all mixed up about sex.
Gray said. Seymour interjected that people can be open-minded and yet orthodox among the Catholic community and needed to talk about what had gone wrong in the church and address it's problems. While people were signing their names and parishes on a sheet of paper to go with O'Callaghan's letter, Mary Jane Range, the treasurer of the VOTF in the Diocese of Bridgeport, informed the audience that three charities had been chosen as recipients of $2500 each for the good work there were doing.
The three charities are Queen of the Clergy in Stamford, Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport and the Family Stages Program in Bridgeport.
Range told the audience that the directors of the two charities had thanked the diocese for the money but said they would be unable to receive them in person. She said the administrator at the Queen of Clergy had not responded to her numerous attempts at getting in touch after their initial conversation. One person in the group said he found the behavior of the charities' directors puzzling while another said that regardless of how they acted, the charities should be recognized for the good work they were doing.
So much for giving alms quietly. They want to blow the trumphet and be crowned for their contributions.
A person close to the matter said it appeared that the charities wanted the money on their terms without any pictures or special presentation.
They wanted a "special presentation"
The meeting also featured Paul Dinter, author of "The Other Side of the Altar: One Man's Life in the Catholic Priesthood," who spoke to the audience about his theological reflections on the corruption and scandal surrounding the Catholic church. Dinter said his intention was to broaden the people's sense of how the church mishandled the sexual scandals.
Inspired by the Second Vatican Council, Dinter, a former priest of the Archdiocese of new York, served for many years as the Catholic chaplain at Columbia University. After leaving the priesthood in 1994, Dinter says he remains a Catholic and directs an outreach program for the homeless in Manhattan. In his book, Dinter describes the everyday life of the priest and his own struggle to observe his wow of celibacy. He says in time he became increasingly distressed by a clerical subculture that tolerated priestly sexual abuse and prompted the Bishops to cover it up. Dinter concludes that the church must seek a deeper understanding of human sexuality and priestly celibacy. On being asked by a member of the audience about the future of the Catholic church, Dinter said he predicted that the church would lose a lot of people especially younger people. He also predicted a schism within the church where people would refuse to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome.
Dinter explained that would happen because "the model the Church hierarchy was forcing on the people was anti-democratic and not coming to grips with the greatest changes in human perception.
MA Winchester VOTF Evening of Sacred Song & Reflection
Date: Monday September 8, 2003
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Type: Meeting (Public)
Location: St Eulalia Church
The Winchester, Mass. Area Voice of the Faithful presents "An Evening of Sacred Song and Reflection", with Mary Keefe, Choir Director at Holy
Family Parish in Duxbury and Dan Burns, a Deacon at that parish.
See excerpts from The Pilot below regarding "the deacon from Duxbury, Art Keefe, husband of Mary Keefe, Choir Director at Holy Family Parish in Duxbury"
WHITMAN—Nearly 300 parish staff members, representatives of pastoral and finance councils and clergy from the South Region of the archdiocese filled the gymnasium at Holy Ghost Parish in Whitman April 9 to address the issue of the sexual abuse of children. The meeting, hosted by Bishop Richard Malone, regional bishop, is part of the Archdiocesan Regional Sessions that began April 8 and will conclude April 16.
The series, organized by the Office for Pastoral Ministries..."
"A parishioner from St. Gerard Parish in Canton said there are two crises the Church is facing: the abuse of children and the “total abuse of power by the hierarchy of our Church. We have an authority problem and we need to meet on how to fix that problem.”
A deacon from a parish in Duxbury stated, “We can’t begin to heal with
Cardinal Law still in place.” He added that he is concerned that these
sessions are simply “damage control” for the archdiocese."
Deacon Keefe's homilies are notorious. He once gave a homily which "apologized" for the previous week's homily done by a visiting priest who told them that sex outside of marriage was sinful..along with contraception and murdering unborn children.
He said the priest was judgmental and not inclusive.
He also once gave a homily that essentially said we must be open to elections of Popes and Bishops. Things have got to change.
A really sad case.
We attended a "listening session" once at Holy Family - my son and I. After Friday night' Benediction - somebody came and got me and asked me to listen to what was going on downstairs.
So - we went down. Every blasphemy you can imagine was purported to be legitimate Caholic Teaching. Deacons and pastoral council present and active in the conversation.
Want to know what the remedy to the "crisis" is at Holy Family?
They are all waiting for Pope John Paul II to die - then things will change.
The pastor who was in attendence said nothing. Except - he asked if anyone in the audience was from a newspaper and said he wanted none of this in the newspapers. "I am serious", he said.
I don't doubt he was - it would have been scandalous for his reputation. Insight into who is teaching what at Holy Family - despite the 120 "active ministries".
The pastor has long since given up control of his parish. A tragic community of misled and misguided souls.
The feminists over took the parish many years before I got there. The battle intensified when they hauled the Blessed Mother out of the Sanctuary and put her up back - out of the way. No kneeler nor room to venerate her image - and pray on your knees for her intercession.
I remember my son's reactions to ther heresy at the meeting. He was eleven at the time, and I was taken back as even at his age, he was able to finger each lie being presented. It was astounding really that he was able to not only identify what was truth and what were lies - but also at his own vehement rejection at the "authorities" using their power to overcome Christ's Church.
"That is not right!"
"Mom, they want our Pope to die!"
"How can Monsignor just sit there? He knows what they are saying is wrong! Why doesn't he do something about this?"
"This place is wacko"
"Why are we still coming here?"
Can't argue with that logic.
I wonder if Deacon Dan Burns will wear his WBCN shirt when he sings and reflects in Winchester. (WBCN - a music station which plays raunchy music and encourages drugs and rock and roll. It was used in youth ministry to recruit kids)
Dan says WBCN is "gray area" that must be used so the kids will think he is cool.
Maybe they will sing a few WBCN ditties for the folks in Winchester...or at least give away the WBCN trinkets which are left over after the Bishop pulled the rug from under their feet.