Cardinal Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) and Prophecy in 1976

Presently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is meeting in Baltimore (thanks, KFD). Timothy Cardinal Dolan, outgoing President of the USCCB, on behalf of the Conference, welcomed Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio (essentially, the Holy Father’s “ambassador” to the U.S.), to deliver an address to the assembly yesterday evening. You can read the full text of Archbishop Vigano’s address here. It’s interesting.

Giovanni_Paolo_I_e_II

John Paul I and Cardinal Wojtyla, 1978

There’s a quote in the Nuncio’s address that caught my attention, given by Cardinal Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) in an address during the Eucharistic Congress in 1976 for the Bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He said:

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously…”

That was nearly forty years ago. We can continue to pretend that the world isn’t afflicted by something…. very dark…. We can continue to believe that the instant times are notdifferent than times before…. but JPII makes our denials seem all the more…. ridiculous.

We must become like barnacles and firmly attach ourselves to the Rock, lest we get swept away by rising tides. Jesus says that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Rock. He doesn’t say that all Christians will be saved. So long as we are the Rock, and the Rock is us, we are safe!

Archbishop Cordileone emphasizes that marriage cannot be redefined : News Headlines – Catholic Culture

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, has issued a statement following ballot victories for same-sex marriage.

“November 6 was a disappointing day for marriage, as the effort to preserve the unique meaning of marriage in the law lost by only a narrow margin in four states, even though vastly outspent by those who promote the redefinition of marriage,” he said.

Read more , , ,

Makers and Takers

Well the takers are in control. That means that workers have been abandoned to an unfortunate future that discourages investment in business or in some cases working at all. It will be very easy for those approaching retirement to simply sign up for early retirement and try to get by on their social security rather than try to get ahead of the curve and preserve some wealth for their retirement and their posterity. What’s the use when half of the country wants to benefit from those who must pay for those benefits?

It is not simply, the American worker that has fallen into this trap, for it has been going on for years by state governments and agencies, cities and counties, corporations, and yes, even the churches. The old mantra of, there is no such thing as free lunch, becomes obviously clear. For every dollar that is received from a Government agency has always come with bureaucratic and political strings attached. Those strings over the years have increased in size, weight and strength as they now more closely resemble chains and fetters. Their beneficiaries look and act more like enslaved cattle than men or women; fattened and cared for until the inevitable slaughter – for physician assisted suicide is gaining momentum and it is only a matter of time that the old or sick will serve no purpose in our society as it did for those useless babies in our mother’s wombs. Human dignity was the price and we have now a country where half of its populace is willing nay, eager, to give away their freedom, dignity and personal liberty.

We are the Romans of old that demand bread and circuses who don’t give a fig about being enslaved to a government who will provide these temporal pleasures, conveniences and financial help.

In the Catholic Church in America, our USCCB has long tried to play ‘nice’ with the government, lauding any program that helped the poor though the type of help that was being doled out was paramount to slavery. They played ‘nice’ on green agendas that were perpetrated and even manipulated to gain power and to raise revenues through permits and land leases and paybacks in the form of political contributions. The USCCB has looked like a cheering squad for the reckless spending of the power hungry bureaucrats that infest Washington and it almost seems that it is no more than a payoff to keep the federal government from launching an all out assault on the Church. So our USCCB has become an enabler of political positions that do not square with the teachings of the Church at all unless one is a master at playing verbal gymnastics in order to explain their actions in the light of the Church’s teachings on social justice. It’s power and relevance to Catholic thought is looking more like the Church’s version of the United Nations; impotent, misguided, controlling, and speaking without any real authority on the issues. But Catholics seem to believe, wrongly, that they speak for the Church. They do not. They speak for themselves.

The hope was that the USCCB had finally awakened a ‘sleeping giant’ that was more forceful and intent on never letting go of essential Church doctrine. However, the response was next to pathetic and the number of diocese’s and individual bishops that did anything of relevance in getting their priests to address the issue of Religious Freedom was all bark and no bite — as usual. I fear it awakened a church mouse, if that. The few individual priests and bishops who did things of significance and did not pander to the seamless garment loophole in Catholic doctrine are to be commended. But they were few and far between.

So I am going back to my old view of the USCCB and will no longer pay them any attention. I will look to my individual bishop as, at least I am commanded to do so as long as he is not teaching something in direct violation of the defined teachings of the Church. How hard have our shepherds fought the fight against contraception, abortion, euthanasia, or homosexual unions in the past? Where was the vigor and the public disgrace foisted upon those Catholic politicians that folded to the demands of secular society? Why are they content to see millions of Catholic laymen remain completely in ignorance about these doctrines and feel free to vote for those who promote intrinsic evil? I fear that we will have to wait for a new generation of bishops and priests to ever see the New Evangelization take hold. I pray that God will send us good and holy priests so that this temerity is ended once and for all; that the divisions between priests and bishops don’t continue to cause confusion within the laity. A divided country is one thing but a divided Church cannot evangelize itself much less the secular world.

Many priests of this country should be ashamed that in this election we have allowed (and in some cases) encouraged our laity to vote for and support unholy programs from a regime that pushes socialistic programs, abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage and enslaving welfare practices (all condemned by the Church) without providing any plan to create jobs and restore America’s moral values and the dignity of the human person. It is a record that will not be enviable in the annals of Catholic history. God forgive us: too few of us have any idea of what we do.

As a side note: The most pro-death administration this country has ever put in office won both the Jewish and the Catholic vote. Good job, priests and rabbis, at getting the Judeo-Christian teachings understood and  accepted by those people you were tasked to shepherd. I’m afraid I’d have to give you a failing grade for your efforts.

CNS STORY: Defending life, liberty part of the new evangelization, archbishop says

CNS STORY: Defending life, liberty part of the new evangelization, archbishop says.

In his homily, Archbishop Lori pointed out the irony in those advocating “freedom of choice” are trying to force people of faith to violate their religions’ teachings. “Our ‘right to choose’ — our right to choose to practice the faith we profess, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment — seems to mean little or nothing to many who wield power.”

The archbishop noted that many secular threats to religious liberty “seem to hinge on the church’s teaching with regard to the sanctity of life — whether it’s the church’s teaching on the immorality of abortion, or the obligation of couples to be open to the God-given gift of human life, or marriage as between one man and one woman.”

Archbishop Lori said the link between the God-given gifts of life and liberty was noted by Thomas Jefferson, who once said: “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy but cannot disjoin them.”

Ryan, Biden, and the Bishops

Ryan, Biden, and the Bishops.

Some Bishops chimed in after the VP debate and here is some of what they had to say from the above article. (please read the whole article if you have time)

Following the interview, the bishops weighed in with vigor:

  • Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, issued a joint statement “to correct the misrepresentations” of Church teachings advanced by Biden. Indeed, they argued that “the senator’s claim that the beginning of human life is a ‘personal and private’ matter of religious faith, one that cannot be ‘imposed’ on others, does not reflect the truth of the matter.”
  • Speaking explicitly of Biden, as well as those Catholic politicians who share his position, Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, said, “they really should not be presenting themselves for Holy Communion because it is a scandal.”
  • Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin released a statement by the bishops’ Administrative Committee, the highest authority of the USCCB outside the conference’s plenary sessions, affirming support for the position as outlined by Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Lori. “As teachers of the faith, we also point out the connectedness between the evil of abortion and political support for abortion.”
  • Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput said of Biden: “I certainly presume his good will and integrity and I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for Communion.”
  • Bishop Paul S. Coakley of Salina said, “Senator Biden confused the matter [of abortion] further by saying that he ‘knows when (life) begins for me,’ but that this is a ‘personal and private issue.’ That life begins at conception is a scientific fact, not a personal or subjective or philosophical or religious opinion.”
  • Denver Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley joined with Archbishop Chaput in accusing Biden of “poor logic” and “bad facts.”
  • Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan accused Biden of taking it upon himself to “explain Catholic teaching on abortion to the nation — and blundered badly.”
  • Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington labeled Biden’s position “simply incorrect.” He said, “The Didache, probably the earliest Christian writing apart from the New Testament, explicitly condemns abortion without exception.”
  • When Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton was asked what he would say to Biden, he restated his position that “No Catholic politician who supports the culture of death should approach Holy Communion.” He added, “I will be truly vigilant on this point.”
  • Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City slammed Biden for using a “false argument to justify [his] cooperation with evil.”
  • Boston Archbishop Sean Cardinal O’Malley complained that he finds it “disturbing when politicians and others try to dismiss us [the bishops] as people with merely an ecclesiastical or religious sectarian point of view or opinion.”
  • Bishop John Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee said Biden’s position indicated “a profound disconnection from [his] human and personal obligation to protect the weakest and most innocent among us: the child in the womb.”
  • Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa blasted Biden for his “erroneous beliefs” about the beginning of life and for creating a “division” between “privacy and social responsibility” that was “tenuous.”
  • Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington chastised Biden for not recognizing that “When life begins is not a matter of faith, but a matter of science.”
Read more on Newsmax.com: Ryan, Biden, and the Bishops

Communion Statement Stirs Controversy

This is from an article published 6 years ago and shows that the USCCB has not changed much. They have problems speaking out clearly on moral issues though the statement at the end of the article by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz is interesting in as much as it makes clear that the USCCB has no binding power on Catholics. The power actually resides in each of the local Bishops and they are the one’s that should be setting the rules in their own diocese. Unfortunately, few take these issues on directly and seemingly hide behind these non-binding statements from the USCCB.

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St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said Catholics who write or vote for pro-abortion laws are rampant and cause widespread scandal and confusion by defying canon law and receiving Communion.

“Why is it that whenever one of these politicians is notorious for voting against the natural moral law ultimately he gets his picture in Time magazine receiving holy Communion?” Archbishop Burke asked. “It’s an open affront to the Church and her most sacred teaching. It’s profoundly confusing to the faithful, and we should clear it up.”

Read more . . . Communion Statement Stirs Controversy | News | NCRegister.com.