Saturday, October 04, 2008
COINCIDENCE IN THE MAILBOX
Yesterday two Catholic publications arrived in my mailbox at the same time--"New Oxford Review" and "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam". Both contained articles on Pope Benedict's American visit. Both interpreted it in a similar way with regard to the Papal apology. Both publications spoke specifically about the Pope's response to John L. Allen Jr.'s question, presented on the papal plane, about Benedict's response to the suffering of American Catholics over the scandal.
From the NOR editorial titled "A Loss of Nerve?":
Benedict...replied, "It is a great suffering for the church in the United States, for the church in general, and for me personally that this could happen....We will do all that is possible that this cannot happen in the future....We now have also norms to react in a just way. I would not speak in this moment about homosexuality, but pedophilia, [which] is another thing. We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry, this is absolutely incompatible. And who is really guilty of being a pedophile cannot be a priest." (The Pope's response is repeated here verbatim from Allen's transcript from the papal plane; Benedict is not a native English speaker.)Not yet superseded? It's a pretty fuzzy distinction between that and "deep-seated" tendencies. As Leon Podles writes in Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church..."The source of the [clerical] scandals was homosexual priests who were stuck in adolescence and sexually attracted to adolescent males." There doesn't appear to be a discernable difference between being "stuck in adolescence" and an "adolescence not yet superseded."
What are the "norms" to which Benedict refers? In May Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone sent a letter approved by Pope Benedict to the bishops of the world that reaffirmed the 2005 "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations With Regard to Persons With Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and Holy Orders" as being universally applicable without exception. Cardinal Bertone's letter and the Instruction restrict from seminary "those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture.'"
But that hardly covers all varities of the homosexual inclination, and in fact leaves massive loopholes through which homosexuals can waltz into the priesthood, including, as expressed by the Instruction, those for whom homosexuality was "only the expression of a transitory problem--for example that of an adolescence not yet superseded."
Contrary to the Pope, and with all due respect, pedophilia is a red herring; homosexuality is the root of the problem. (October 2008, pg. 18)
It could be said, based on Benedict's statement, that the Pope cares for the laity's children until they reach puberty. After that they are fair game for the priesthood.
Stephen Brady writes in AMDG (Summer 2008):
There is a final statement worthy of attention in Benedict's response to reporters en route to the US. He assured Catholics that he would do everything possible to see that "this" [the sexual abuse crisis] would not happen in the future by keeping pedophiles out of the seminaries: "I will not speak in this moment about homosexuality, but pedophilia, [which] is another thing. We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry, this is absolutely incompatible."New Oxford Review editor Dale Vree rightly noted that "the priesthood will continue to be or become a 'gay' profession, thanks to this document." (pp 12-13) (emphasis in original)
He clearly states that in his opinion, homosexuality and pedophilia are two different things, not to be compared or confused. Here he supports the progressivist contention that has spread to prevent public furor against pedophilia from striking at homosexuality. Certainly there is a difference between the two crimes when studied by scholars and punished by the courts, but regarding pedophile priests in the clergy, it so happens that the two vices are intimately related. Benedict ignores this fact.
He affirms categorically there is no place for pedophiles in the Catholic priesthood, but what about homosexuals? He says nothing against the homosexual subculture that has established itself in the American Catholic Church since Vatican II.
His actions since assuming the papal office confirm his soft stance on homosexuality in the priesthood. To replace him as head of the CDF, he chose his friend Archbishop William Levada, known for complacent handling of pedophile priests when he was Bishop of Portland, and for his friendly approach to homosexuals when he became Archbishop of San Francisco. Then he appointed as Archbishop of San Francisco George Niederauer, who openly supports "tolerance" for homosexuals and opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex "marriage."
In 2006, Pope Ratzinger signed an unmistakably "soft" document setting out new guidelines regarding homosexuals entering the seminary. Instead of condemning the sin against nature and firmly barring those who practice it or have tendencies toward it from the sacred priesthood, the document takes a more tolerant view. Only those with "deep-seated tendencies" toward homosexuality are barred from priesthood; those with "transitory problems" or "chaste" homosexuals can be accepted.
Brady writes something else that is in harmony with my own thoughts at this particular time. In speaking of the compromises that priests who have said the Latin Mass under the indult necessarily had to make, he writes:
...discretion must be used in attending such Masses, especially when the Holy Communion distributed at these Masses includes Hosts from a priorNovus Ordo Mass which may or may not have been a valid Mass, depending upon the additional tampering with the liturgy that might have been committed by the "presider" at that Mass. Additional caution must be exercised if the homilies at such Masses depart from the authentic Catholic Faith. We cannot endanger our souls or those of our families by exposing them to doctrinal error. (p. 20)
We may be able to find a priest at any given parish who is true to the Faith. But what about those hosts. Technically, they are valid if the priest who consecrated them intended what the Church intends. But how can intention be defined, and how can one receive with confidence when one was not present when the particular hosts were consecrated, and so did not see what took place at the Mass where the consecration took place.
The obvious solution is to receive only from the priest who is saying the Mass we are attending. That is not always possible, however. Lately, when I have any sort of doubt about the host, I refrain from receiving.
The scandal, coming on top of 40 years of liturgical abuse; on top of churches stripped of Catholic symbolism, with corny liturgical music which is at times heretical; and coming on top of the renewed talk about birth control in H.V. and my discoveries in reading about the Papal Birth Control Commission of the way in which this encyclical was promulgated; and coming on top of the information Randy Engel provided in THE RITE OF SODOMY about the pope who promulgated H.V.; I find that more and more my faith is being eroded by the multiplication of scandal.
There are Sundays when I have to decide if it is better when I die to have an unblemished record of Mass attendance to present to the Judgment Seat, or whether it is better to still believe in Jesus Christ at the time of my death. Too often these two choices seem to be mutually exclusive, and I see no signs that this situation is going to improve in my remaining lifetime.
Brady has made the decision to get away from this filthy state of the Church and attend only Masses such as the SSPX provides. I don't see this as a viable option because the Church provides the validity for the sacraments we seek. Those outside of the Church, even if teaching the authentic faith, are still without the authority to validly present the sacraments. Only God can know whether the SSPX and other groups in schism have valid sacraments. But when the validity question arises every Sunday at Mass, faith cannot survive for long before the scandal in the Church moves faith in Jesus Christ to the margins for the faithful.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for me!
Friday, October 03, 2008
PAPAL BAN ON BIRTH CONTROL
Benedict has once again defended the papal ban on birth control according to an AFP article.
With that statement he once again condemns married women of child-bearing age who are facing treatment for cancer to choose between their religion or their life since NFP is not viable when cancer treatment interferes with the female cycle, and all cancer treatment interferes with natural cell production, potentially causing defects in a developing fetus.
PSYCHIC FAIR - ENTERTAINMENT OR RELIGION ?
An Associated Press article at Newsday.com poses the question what is a psychic fair?
Rev. Jason McGuire, denomination unspecified, the legislative director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, claims the Albany, New York psychic fair crosses the line separating church and state.
Not so says the state Office of General Services which claims this second annual Psychic Fair and Halloween Festival "is just good clean fun". The OGS spokesman Brad Maione says "these vendors...are strictly entertainment" and "the fair isn't a cost to state taxpayers." Incredibly, OGS officials claim the "fair was not connected to the occult or religion." So psychics, astrologers, mediums, dream interpreters, and tarot card readers, all of whom will be a part of this psychic fair, are not part of occultism? Who knew? Given this delusion on the part of the Office of General Services for Albany, I'm darn glad I live in another state!
Among those listed as appearing at the fair are "people who talk to angels". Hmmm. Did they invite Opus Angelorum, one wonders?
Speaking of O.A., I ran across this blog last night in which a nun is promoting talking with your guardian angel as a good thing. A commenter has promoted the work of O.A. as a help to learning how to do this.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
The U.K. Spectator is running a four-part report about Medjugorje written by Simon Caldwell, on their website. The following is the first part:
The Medjugorje story begins early in 1976 when a Franciscan monk in the former Yugoslavia, Father Tomislav Vlasic, starts an affair with a nun who becomes pregnant. Frightened he will be exposed as the child’s father, Father Vlasic persuades her to move away to Germany. She hopes he will honour his promise to leave the ministry and marry her. She writes a sequence of increasingly anxious letters when this does not happen, telling her former lover she is so miserable that she is praying she will die in childbirth. But he piously orders her to ‘be like Mary’ and accept her destiny in a foreign land — and never to tell a soul who the father really is.
Unfortunately for him, some of his letters fall into the hands of the woman’s landlord who, scandalised, copies them and sends them to a friend in the Vatican.
Six years later Father Vlasic is ‘spiritual leader’ of six children who say the Virgin Mary appears to them daily in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina. But the local bishop is having none of it. The priest writes to Pope John Paul II to say that Satan is working through the bishop and to request direct intervention against him. But, worse luck, the Vatican official with copies of his love letters takes an interest in the case and sends them to the bishop in question.
Disgraced, the priest then heads for Italy where, with a new mistress, he sets up a mixed-sex religious community devoted to the apparitions and continues to party like a bad dog for the next 17 years until the Vatican official who ruined everything for him becomes Pope Benedict XVI.
Part 2 contains the de facto schism within the Franciscans out of which Medjugorje grew; the Croatian nationalist from the second world war, Father Miroslav Filipovic, who sided with the Nazis and who was dubbed "the Butcher of Jasenovac"; and Father Jozo Zovko, a rebel friar.
In Part 3 can be found another priest, Father Iveca Vego, who also made a nun pregnant, and who Bishop Zanic believed was "puppet-master to the seers and a principal source of the messages imparted by the apparitions", and who turned Medjugorje into a worldwide cash cow. Also in part 3 is Agnes Heupel, who claimed to be cured from paralysis at Medj, and who, together with Vlasic, "founded their community in Parma in 1987" and who "shared a room together [with Vlasic] which was locked at night."
Part 4 discusses the various investigations into the phenomenon, the various misinterpretations of official statements, the wealth of the seers and the claim that "All the evidence indicates that the phenomenon is a calculated and cynical con." Part 4 concludes with the following:
So while those involved in the Medjugorje industry fight a rearguard action, Vlasic stews in a monastic cell pondering whether to confess all or to remain obstinate until the end. It would be best if he confessed. Of course wonderful things happen at Medjugorje and many good people have an incredible time. But if it’s based on a lie, it’s best exposed.
Whatever Vlasic decides, he will not have Miss Heupel at his side. Evidence of a split emerged in 2004 when she entered a debate on a Dutch online chat-room in which Catholics were discussing an alleged Marian apparition in Amsterdam. She proclaimed that ‘Our Lady of Medjugorje is NOT TRUE ...with love from Medjugorje, Agnes Heupel.’
Well, she should know.
Continue reading the article with part 2 which can be found here.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
VOTING PECULIARITIES AND FRIENDS OF OBAMA
Early absentee voting is already taking place here as reported by the Akron Beacon Journal last Tuesday:
This is the first presidential election year in which people can vote absentee without an excuse, such as being out of town on Election Day. The change greatly boosted the number of absentee voters in the primary — and even more are expected to take advantage of the convenience this fall, when it is estimated that a third of the state will vote early.
In the Akron-Canton area, more than 60,000 people have applied to vote early — and the absentee period is just starting.
The early voting changes have sparked controversy and partisan wrangling, including a Republican lawsuit challenging an overlap between the start of absentee voting in Ohio and the registration deadline on Oct. 6. The Ohio Supreme Court sided with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in a decision released Monday, saying voters can register to vote and cast an absentee ballot during this time period.
When we go to the polls here, our name has to appear on the list or we can't vote. So what happens if a person decides to vote twice, registers and votes absentee on the same day in a district that is not his own, and then votes in his own district on election day? Would the fraud be caught, or would it slip through the system undetected?
Meanwhile at U. Mass. credits for working the Obama campaign. Nothing offered for the McCain campaign. Hmmmm. Good thing this one got squashed in the birthing.
University of Massachusetts officials yesterday quashed efforts by an Amherst campus chaplain to offer two college credits to any student willing to campaign in New Hampshire this fall for Democrat Barack Obama.
Chaplain Ken Higgins told students in a Sept. 18 e-mail, "If you're scared about the prospects for this election, you're not alone. The most important way to make a difference in the outcome is to activate yourself. It would be just fine with McCain if Obama supporters just think about helping, then sleep in and stay home between now and Election Day."
Higgins added that an unnamed "sponsor" in the university's History Department would offer a two-credit independent study for students willing to canvass or volunteer on behalf of the Democratic nominee.
Then there is the radicalization of schools through Obama affiliated ACORN as reported in the Wall Street Journal:
Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.
The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.
The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just "a guy who lives in my neighborhood," and "not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis." Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I've recently spent days looking through them....
The CAC's basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda....
In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC....
The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.
Well I remember when Cleveland's inner city burned. It happened around the same time that the shooting occurred at Kent State University after the ROTC barracks had been set on fire and burned to the ground and merchant windows in downtown Kent were smashed in an evening riot. It was this activity that brought the National Guard to Kent and that culminated in the Kent State shooting. Was Ayers instrumental in the Cleveland riots? This is the kind of community organizing we sure can do without!
Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns....
Mr. Ayers's defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system. He likes to stress that he learned of his first teaching job while in jail for a draft-board sit-in. For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin.
Mr. Ayers is the founder of the "small schools" movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to "confront issues of inequity, war, and violence." He believes teacher education programs should serve as "sites of resistance" to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR BLOGGERS
New Oxford Review has linked a Times Online article by Ruth Gledhill on the above topic. Find it here.
The Commandments are:
Ten commandments for bloggers
1 You shall not put your blog before your integrity
2 You shall not make an idol of your blog
3 You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin
4 Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog
5 Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes
6 You shall not murder someone else's honour, reputation or feelings
7 You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind
8 You shall not steal another person's content
9 You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger
10 You shall not covet your neighbour's blog ranking. Be content with your own content
Hmmm. Does posting Fr. Euteneuer's weekly comments violate No. 4?
A hardly noticed brief note from the Vatican Press Office on Sept. 24 announced the appointment of new consultants for the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. It did not mention, however, the importance of the new appointees.
The new consultants include Monsignor Nicola Bux, professor at the Theological Faculty of Puglia (Southern Italy), and author of several books on liturgy, especially on the Eucharist. Bux recently finish a new book, Pope Benedict’s Reform, printed by the Italian publishing house Piemme, scheduled to hit the shelves in December.
More names are mentioned in the article which can be found at California Catholic Daily.
THE BIRTH CONTROL COMMISSION
TURNING POINT by Robert McClory - chapter 17
The chapter is titled "Survivors" and sets out comments from those still surviving members of the commission.
The roster of the Pontifical Birth Control Commission dwindles each year. Many of the lay members...have passed away. So also have some of the leading clerical members...(p. 160)
Dr. John Marshall, in his seventies and semi-retired, lives with his wife in a suburb of London....
In a lengthy article for the Tablet newspaper on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Marshall wrote about the encyclical's fallout: "People formed moral judgments that the teaching was wrong and that they could practice contraception and remain in full communion with the Church. A number of surveys have shown that this is precisely how many Catholics have reacted. None of this was achieved without great anguish...which for many of the older generation still persists. This could have been avoided had the Pope listened to his commission rather than to the Curia. (p. 160-161)
Doctor Laurent and Colette Potvin, both in their seventies and in semi-retirement in Quebec, said their faith was not affected by what occurred in the 1960s. "No, no," said Laurent, "we always used our own good judgment in these matters."..."Now all we hear about is that such-and-such a technique is forbidden." The majority of the young don't go to Church or care what it says."... Added Colettte, "It will take a long time for the Church to regain the people's confidence--fifty years, maybe many more."
Mercedes Concepcion, in her mid-sixties, now retired from the University of the Philippines, remains active in demographic research. She never married....Surveys, she said, show 40 percent of women practicing contraception yet the population, now at sixty-seven million, continues to spiral." (p. 161)
When Pat and Patty [Crowley] returned from the Commission in 1966, they shared their enthusiasm with their mentor, Monsignor Hillenbrand. But he said only, "We'll wait and see what the Pope says." After that, said Patty, Hillenbrand avoided further contact with them. In fact, it seemed to Patty that their participation in the Commission set up a kind of wall of estrangement between them and the many priests with whom they had formerly maintained warm relations. (p. 162)
McClory indicates the Crowleys set up a new forum funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. (p. 162)
CFM has never recovered from the slump, subsisting in diminished form, and, under new leadership, placing great emphasis on unquestioning loyalty to the Church as conceived by John Paul II. Some CFM leaders blamed the movement's decline on the Crowley's refusal to accept Humanae Vitae, but Patty argued that disillusionment with the Church after the encyclical drove far more couples out of CFM than anything she and Pat said....
"If Pat and I hadn't had each other, we could never have made it through this period," she said. "The Church was not right to publish this document. It would have been better for the Church to be silent than not to listen to the Commission it had appointed. Couples cried out for help....Almost all are now using their own consciences on birth control. Look at the small families. Who is kidding whom?" (p. 165)
What bothers her most is the deeply entrenched double standard at the Church's institutional level. "I just can't stand the hypocrisy," she said. However, she finds it hard to avoid. She sees it in the clergy who rant against abortion, yet never share their own views about contraception. She sees it in bishops who allow a mistake to perdure for generations rather than jeopardize their own lofty positions by honestly confronting higher authority. She sees it in official pronouncements that assume lay Catholics understand and accept the official doctrine on birth control when in fact they neither understand nor accept. Saying what you mean and doing it has always been very basic with Patty Crowley. This absence of integrity, this little secret that no one can talk about, frustrates her and probably always will. (pp 166-167)
Did the precedent of silence on H.V. foster silence on sexual abuse? Were the bishops groomed for silence by H.V.? Was the "don't ask, don't tell" attitude, suggested by the commission, the foundation for the same response to the sexual abuse scandal? This, it seems to me, is worth considering. Will condemnation of birth control from the pulpit help to regenerate the Church, or will it further erode the numbers in the pews, since there is no valid argument that permission for rhythm can stand on which will logically exclude other barrier methods?
The Church has been in a precarious state since H.V. was promulgated. The crisis has been deepened by the scandal. Today there is no Church leader who can lead us out of our disillusionment, though Benedict is certainly trying hard to do so.
POLYGAMY IS CATCHING ON
SYDNEY, Australia, September 4, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Australian Federal Parliament today introduced a bill that, if passed, would grant legal benefits to homosexual couples; but critics say it would also essentially legalize polygamy, since the bill would grant benefits to homosexual relationships regardless of whether either partner is currently legally married to someone else.
The Same-Sex Entitlements Bill follows upon a similar bill passed in May granting retirement benefits to same-sex couples, and would extend benefits to homosexuals in matters of immigration, taxation, employment entitlements, and worker's compensation, among other issues. But because the bill stipulates that these benefits must be given to homosexuals regardless of whether they are already legally married to a third party, the Federal Opposition attacked the bill for opening the doors to polygamy.
Polygamy is a hotly-debated issue in Australia due to the rapid rise of Islam, which considers polygamy a cultural option worthy of sanctioning by the federal government. Newsblaze.com reported only two days ago that senior Islamic leaders petitioned for legal recognition of polygamous marriage, but the government has so far remained steadfastly against amending its laws to allow polygamy. Some Australian Muslim women have also made the news in their protest against legalizing polygamy.
News Blaze goes into more depth regarding this debate in Australia.
Those seeking legalisation of polygamy cite that in traditional indigenous Aboriginal communities in Australia's Northern Territory, unofficially, such marriages exist and that these relationships are even recognised when the government grants welfare benefits.
In fact, in February this year, the United Kingdom ruled that it would grant welfare benefits to all spouses in a polygamous marriage, if the marriages had taken place in countries where polygamy is legal. Nearly 1,000 men are said to be living legally with multiple wives in Britain.
Polygamy is also common in Indonesia, but remains a controversial lifestyle choice. In the United States, polygamous sects such as the Mormons and practicing polygamists have conflicts with the law constantly.
"For religious men, polygamy essentially protects them from committing adultery. Adultery in Islam is strictly prohibited. If a man decides to have a sexual relationship with another woman, he has to marry her. In countries like Saudi Arabia, where polygamy is legalised, adultery or extra marital affair is rare," says Faten Dana, 45, President, Muslim Welfare Association of Australia.
"In Australia, one of the benefits of legalising polygamous marriages would be that men would openly talk about their relationships rather than under the garb of secrecy. Making these relationships formal will also grant the women and children in such relationships certain rights as men would have obligations and responsibilities towards them," says Dana, who migrated to Australia from Lebanon 19 years ago.
In 2006, there were 114,222 registered marriages, but there is no figure for polygamous marriages. The author of 'Islam: Its Law and Society', Jamila Hussain says, "The origin of polygamy dates back to the early days of Islam, to the battle of Uhud, when many men were killed. Men marrying more than one woman was a social welfare measure, ensuring that widows and fatherless children were looked after, as during those days there was no government social support system."
Australian legislation attempting to guarantee gay rights is spilling over into the heterosexual community as well. Heterosexual live-in relationships, called "de facto relationships" under the law, qualify for property rights that protect homosexual live-in relationships as reported at FindLaw
Imagine the live-in girlfriend qualifying for a portion of a man's inheritance from his parent who dies during the live-in arrangement of the son. Imagine the woman in an adulterous relationship qualifying for part of the man's estate when he dies, taking financial benefits away from his legal wife and children.
Homosexual rights have the potential to change our entire social system.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
KIDDIES SINGING FOR OBAMA
As though kiddies know what they are singing about. Someone should teach these kiddies that you don't just take up the cause without asking questions. You have to ask what changes he has in mind, and you have to support those changes he tells you about before you sing campaign songs.
SPREADING THE BLAME AROUND
Was Barney Frank's homosexual lover Herb Moses director of housing initiatives at Fannie Mae? Someone at Free Republic thinks so and posts some links to back up the belief. According to the post Barney Frank "lobbied hard to widen Fannie Mae's ability to give mortgages to high-risk borrowers".
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE
Have you seen the YouTube video with that name about the financial meltdown and Obama's part in it?
It appears that the Obama campaign isn't happy about it according to an article at Free Republic, and has tried to suppress it.
"Burning Down the House: What Caused our Financial Crisis" is a video the Obama campaign does not want you to see.
The first YouTube posting of this video received over one million hits in less than five days.
It was removed by YouTube after a copyright complaint by Warner Music.
The second posting of this video has also now been removed from YouTube after receiving 100,000+ plays in one day
According to the Free Republic poster “This video has been mentioned by Glenn Beck, Mark Levine, Dick Morris, and was posted for a day on The Drudge Report.”
It's back online this morning with classical music replacing the former background music.
THE BIRTH CONTROL COMMISSION
TURNING POINT by Robert McClory - chapter 16
In this chapter McClory describes the aftermath of H.V.
Is this non-reception or disobedience or what?--Yves Congar, O.P.(p. 147)
WhetherHumane Vitae is indeed a finger in the dike against rampant immorality or is itself a contributor to promiscuity by reason of its unbending rigor, the fact is that most Catholics show no interest in its teachings. (pp 147-148)
Could it be, theologian Yves Congar has asked, that this encyclical is the rarest of breeds--a doctrine that is "not received"" Congar and others have argued that no Church teaching has validity unless it is received and accepted by the Church. (p. 149)
Jesuit Avery Dulles is among several moderate theologians who have written on the subject. In 1986 he noted that in past history a consensus by the people has overturned opposing belief and won full Church acceptance. One example he cited was "the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist," acclaimed by the faithful in opposition to official Church authority in the ninth century and later accepted as an absolute dogma....He quoted Cardinal Newman's dictum that "infallibility does not belong either to the hierarchy alone or to the believing people alone" but to the "remarkable harmony of the Catholic bishops and the faithful." Without mentioning birth control, Dulles warned that Church officials will fail miserably if they try to force a belief or a doctrine on the faithful that doesn't make sense: "Church history affords several instances in which the 'non-reception' of devout believers or Church authorities has been a factor in overturning the teaching of popes and councils." (p. 150)
Paul VI never wrote another encyclical, though he reigned for another ten years. After Humanae Vitae he entered "a period of dark night, of depression, of deep agonizing over his stewardship," according to his biographer Peter Hebblethwaite. (p. 150)
The Pope may have felt some relief in 1972 when Cardinal Suenens, the very embodiment of the progressive forces in the Church, moved out of his life. Suenens had repeatedly stirred the Vatican Council in the direction of reform and most recently had publicly criticized the Pope for not dealing with birth control in a more collegial way. But now, he told Paul, he had discovered the Charismatic Renewal Movement and was virtually pleading to leave these old battlefields to march with an altogether different (and less troublesome) army. Paul promptly responded by charging Suenens with the mission of "accompanying" the movement henceforth, almost like the Pope's personal representative, and thereby getting the energetic Belgian off his back. (p. 151)
In 1978 Archbishop Karol Wojtyla enters the picture. As Archbishop, Wojtyla is listed as a member of the commission, but he did not attend the sessions according to McClory.
As Pope John Paul II, he immediately took an agressive stance onHumanae Vitae, practically making it the foundation stone of his papacy. He has been greatly aided in this by a curial staff of cardinals including Silvio Oddi of the Congregation of the Clergy (who stated that anyone disagreeing with Humanae Vitae is automaticaly out of the Church), Edouard Gagnon, head of the Committee for the Family (who has insisted the encyclical is infallible) and, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (a younger, more articulate reincarnation of Cardinal Ottaviani). Full and explicit agreement with Humanae Vitae (as well as opposition to women's ordination) became a prerequisite for anyone nominated to become a bishop. (p. 152)
If all of the bishops appointed by JPII were in agreement with H.V., why has there been only silence on the topic? Could it be assumed that the agreement was merely given lip service, as in that "don't ask, don't tell" policy proposed by the commission?
...argued Ratzinger: these negative reactions were largely due to the ideas spread by Curran and his sympathizers. Among these sympathizers on record were some seven hundred other U.S. theologians, the Catholic Theological Society of America and his colleagues at Catholic University.(p. 152)
Was Curran responsible? Or is it more likely that the encyclical is lacking in justification for the prohibition, and thus has failed to convince, containing as it does approval of one form of contraception which uses mechanical means, while disapproving of other forms of contraception on the grounds that they are not natural?
Chastened by the Curran banishment, theologians, especially those at Catholic institutions, have been exceedingly reluctant to even raise the subject of birth control unless they support it.(p. 153)
What about the claim that the appointment of bishops under JPII was conditioned upon the acceptance of H.V.? There was some pressure to support it, but those bishops did not do so.
An attempt to bring the subject back into the open was made by JPII in 1980, when bishops were asked to talk to the laity and then come to a top level meeting during the synod.
On the first day of the synod, Archbishop John Quinn of San Francisco, head of the U.S. bishops conference, arose and said Catholics, "men and women of good will," do not "accept the intrinsic evil of each and every act of contraception....The fact that in practice the widespread non-observance of the teaching is coupled with widespread reception of the Eucharist and that in the realm of theory a notable body of theological opinion reinforces dissenting practice, means that the moral issue as such has been resolved by many." Quinn also implicitly criticizedHumanae Vitae itself by stating that in the future magisterial documents ought to be written "in a language which would be directly comprehensible to a moderately educated people in today's world." The synod, he said, must address the problem by initiating a dialogue between the Holy See and theologians including "both those who support the Church's teaching and those who do not," with the talks based on the principle that "the Church has nothing to fear from the truth." (p. 153)
To the best of my knowledge the suggestion was not take up.
Cardinal Basil Hume of Westminster said married people are the best theological source for solving the dilemma, "first because they are the ministers of the sacrament of matrimony and, second, because they alone have experienced the effects of this sacrament." These couples, he said, "cannot accept that the use of artificial means of contraception in some circumstances is intrinsically wrong as this matter has been generally understood." Cardinal G. Emmett Carter of Toronto then noted that since the living Church seems to be moving away fromHumanae Vitae, we may be seeing here a manifestation of the sense of the faithful. Ignoring it, said Carter, would be to "run the risk of speaking in a vacuum." (pp 153-154)
Since procreation was deemed permissible only through the natural intercourse of husband and wife, artificial insemination, even that between spouses, was ruled immoral....One exception was allowed: couples having difficulty conceiving normally could collect the husband's sperm with a syringe after intercourse and aspirate it toward the ovum. But this could only be done morally, said the Vatican, through the use of a perforated condom that would allow some sperm to escape, so that the integrity of the marital act was preserved. (p. 155)
What happened to "natural" in this instance? I can't conceive of anything less natural than taking time to perforate a condom before applying it in the midst of the marital act. Even if the perforation were accomplished before the act began, we are still faced with approval of the use of a condom. With this as precedent, the argument for "natural" goes out the window on wings. With this kind of bizarre logic, is it any wonder H.V. has been ignored?
The dissent was growing.
The Church, wrote John Paul, is no longer facing "limited and occasional dissent, but an overall and systematic calling into question...of traditional moral doctrine on the basis of certain anthropological and ethical presuppositions."(p. 155)
When an impossible demand is made in the name of morality, and that impossible demand is buttressed by illogical arguments, is it any wonder that the laity began to question the validity of other demands being made? Again I harken back to the dispute between St. Peter and St. Paul over circumcision--a dispute not won by the first Pope. A decision was made against St. Peter in the name of not driving the faithful away. It has never been reversed, so apparently the first Pope had gotten it wrong. Today we are seeing another decision made by a Pope against the advice of the majority of the advisers he had hand-picked, that has sharply divided the Church.
JPII's encyclical, Splendor Veritatis, "intended to guarantee once and for all that the sort of uprising that almost happened at the 1980 bishops synod would not happen again. (p. 155)
John Paul addressed the encyclical not to the general public but to the bishops of the world. The Pope told them to adopt "appropriate measures to ensure that the faithful are guarded from every doctrine and theory contrary" to his teaching.(p. 156)
What would have happened if St. Peter had imposed his will his dispute with St. Paul and any male deciding to join the Church would have had to undergo circumcision? Would it have killed the growth of the Church among the Gentiles as St. Paul speculated?
If natural family planning were to become 100 percent effective (as Church officials have long hoped), a Catholic couple could practice conjugal relations in good faith and with the blessing of the Church, even though they do not intend to conceive and know there isn't the slightest possibility of doing so. They could do this because the Church would regard their conjugal acts as theoretically "open to the transmission of life" and "possessing a baby-making ordination."[Comission member John] Hellegers and most of his colleagues viewed this rationale as absurd at the time, and, despite the volumes on the library shelves, the debate hasn't moved any distance since. (p. 157)
Monsignor George Kelly of New York wrote a series of books lamenting the permissiveness that had come to the Church.
In Kelly's view, the Commission was the victim of a "coup" by "contraceptionists" who persuaded weaker and inept Commission members to tread where they should never have stepped. Non-theologians like the Crowleys and Potvins should not have been on the Commission in the first place, he argued, because they could have nothing to contribute to the discussion.(p. 157)
That statement is patently absurd. The Crowleys were the founders of a worldwide movement for families and conceived four children. The Potvins were the founders and leaders of a clinic devoted to the teaching of the rhythm method. What makes a celibate priest more knowledgable of the inner workings of marriage than a married couple who have been faithful followers of the teachings of the Church? What does a celibate have to contribute to a discussion of the marriage act?
NFP is a less effective form of birth control that current Church doctrine would insist must be used to prevent conception in the face of medical treatment known to harm a fetus--treatment that could even encompass the use of the drug Thalidomide to treat cancer. Is it any wonder married couples ignore H.V.?
We can see today that H.V. has divided the Church. We can see it in the empty seminaries which were full at the time of H.V. We can see it in closing churches and schools. We can see it in the growth of "Catholic but not Roman Catholic" congregations. And we can see it in the wholesale rejection of the Sacrament of Confession. The trend isn't showing signs of turning around.
If a pope wanted to destroy the Church, a possible strategy might be to impose an impossible requirement and stand the papacy on this requirement. In light of the tragedy of sexual abuse of the laity's children and the cover-up that followed, it looks like there has been an attempt to destroy the Church.
Chaos generates an open field for change. We have chaos in the Church. As I've noted in quotes from Randy Engel, posted below, Pope Paul VI was a student of those who wanted to generate a change from belief in God to belief in man. Proponents of such a change have not gone away, and this controversy over H.V. is fueling their cause. What is one to make of that?
ALINSKY AND THE FUTURE POPE PAUL VI
(All bolding in the following passages is mine.)
First, from the Wikipedia entry for Saul Alinsky, under the subheading "Alinsky's legacy" I found:
Many important community and labor organizers came from the "Alinsky School," including Ed Chambers and Tom Gaudette. Alinsky formed the Industrial Areas Foundation in 1940. Chambers became its Executive Director after Alinsky died. Since its formation, hundreds of professional community and labor organizers and thousands of community and labor leaders have attended its workshops. Fred Ross, who worked for Alinsky, was the principal mentor for Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. In Hillary Clinton's senior honors thesis at Wellesley College (access to which was restricted after Bill Clinton became President), an analysis of Alinsky's work, Clinton noted that Alinsky's personal efforts were a large part of his method. She later noted that although she agreed with his notion of self-empowernment she disagreed with his assessment that the system could only change from the outside. Alinsky's teachings influenced Barack Obama in his early career as a community organizer on the far South Side of Chicago. Working for Gerald Kellman's Developing Communities Project, Obama learned and taught Alinsky's methods for community organizing.
Next, if you have a copy of Randy Engel's book, THE RITE OF SODOMY, turn to page 1142 where, in the chapter headed "Pope Paul VI and the Church's Paradigm Shift on Homosexuality" you can read:
Once in Milan, the 57-year-old Montini found himself suddenly free, after 30 years, from all Curial oversight and papal restraint. Archbishop Montini set a new course for himself that would leave an indelible mark on his bishopric and future pontificate. He gathered about him a coterie of like-minded liberal fellow travelers, anarchists, Communists, Socialists, Mafiosi, and members of Milan's artistic and literaryavant-garde. As virtue attracts men of virtue, so vice attracts men of vice. The rumor mills of Milan began to run full throttle.
It soon became very clear that Montini was not a Marian priest. He was, in fact, a Maritainist priest, an altogether different being.
From almost the first day of his arrival, the Milanese, who have a great devotion to the Mother of God, started to complain that Archbishop Montini lacked "Marian sensitivity," a charge reinforced by the archbishop's conspicuous absence from traditional May crowning festivities and pilgrimages to Loreto, and his non-participation in the public recitation of the Rosary. Pope Paul VI's biographer Hebblethwaite tried to soften the criticism by claiming that Montini favored a "Christ-centered mariology" instead, but even this verbal concession fell short of the mark.
In truth, the theology of Battista Montini was anthropocentric not theocentric. It was man-centered not God-centered.
Montini was the greatest and most influential disciple of Jacques Maritain and his "Integral Humanism" aptly described by H. Caron in Le Courrier de Rome as embracing "...a universal fraternity of men of good will belonging to different religions or no religion at all. It is within this fraternity that the Church should exercise a leavening influence without imposing itself and without demanding that it be recognized as the one true Church."
The Abbe George de Nantes captures the spirit of Maritain's "Integral Humanism" in his anacronym MASDU--a Movement for the Spiritual Animation of World Democracy (Movement d'Animation Spirituelle de la Democratie Universalle) in which the Declaration of the Rights of Man replaces the Gospel of Jesus Christ, World Democracy has become analogous to the Kingdom of God on earth, and the function of religion is to provide inspiration and Spiritual Animation for mankind thus regenerated--the end product of MASDU being the complete annihilation of Religion, and "its metamorphosis into atheistic Humanism."
It was said of the new Archbishop of Milan that he didn't hear church bells, he heard factory whistles.
It is not surprising therefore that on one of his visits to the Archbishop's residence, Jacques Maritain, the once great Thomistic philosopher, brought with him, Saul David Alinsky, the "Apostle of Permenent Revolution." Montini was so impressed with the man who Maritain called his "warm personal friend" and "one of the really great men of this century," that the archbishop invited Alinsky to be his guest for a fortnight in order to consult with him on the Church's relationship to local Communist unions.
Born in Chicago in 1909, Saul Alinsky, a non-believing Jew, was a graduate of the streets of Chicago and the University of Chicago. In 1940, he founded the Industrial Areas Foundation as a showcase for his revolutionary tactics for mass organization for power. Alinsky's closest associates were to be found among the Catholic hierarchy and clergy including Cardinal Mundelein, his protege Bishop Bernard Sheil, and activist-priest Msgr. John Egan, a prime mover in Call to Action. Alinsky's principle source of seed money and support was the Rockefeller family, the wealthy and secret Communist Marshall Field, and the United States Catholic Conference and AmChurch. Alinsky worked closely with the Communist Party/USA until his break with the Party after the signing of the Nazi-Societ Pact.
In "Jacques Maritain and Saul David Alinsky--Fathers of the 'Christian Revolution,'" Hamish Fraser, editor of Approaches wrote of Alinsky:
Alinsky himself is a product of both Freemasonic and Revolutionary Marxist naturalism both of which appreciate the necessity of elites to the seizure and the maintainence (sic) of effective power...Alinsky was an unbeliever to whom the very idea of dogma was anathema...Given Alinsky's naturalism it is not surprising that there is no room in his "social ethics" for any absolutes, for anything intrinsically "good" or "evil." Divorced once and legally married thrice, he spoke contemptuously of "the old culture when virginity was a virtue...Alinsky's "church of today and tomorrow" is to be neither Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist nor Animist, but a one-world syncretism, synaptic amalgam of all and every existing belief.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
THE BIRTH CONTROL COMMISSION
TURNING POINT by Robert McClory - chapter 15
"Ottaviani's I-told-you-so revenge was Humane Vitae"--Peter Hubblethwaite
Monsignor Ferdinando Lambruschini introduced the world to Humane Vitae at a press conference in Rome on July 29, 1965.
...Lambruschini was tagged with the job of explaining that the Pope had indeed chosen to reaffirm tradition.Casti Connubii (and of John Ford) survived intact....Wrote Pope Paul, "The Church, calling men back to the observance of the norms of the natural law...teaches that each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life." And a little later: "Excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation, whether as an end or a means...Consequently it is an error to think that a conjugal act which is deliberately tendered sterile and thus is intrinsically dishonest could be made honest by an otherwise fertile conjugal life." (pp 138-139)
Though he noted twice that the encyclical did not represent infallible teaching, Lambruschini said it was an authentic pronouncement of the Magisterium requiring "loyal and full assent, both interior and exterior."...
Paul himself had labored over the final version, removing specific references to mortal sin and adding a paragraph about tolerance and charity toward sinners....
Beneath the personalist tone, the essence of
NFP is an action which before sexual intercourse is "specifically intended to prevent procreation". NFP frustrates the "norms of the natural law" by interfering with the conjugal act. How then, can the Church permit NFP while at the same time condemning other barrier methods? There is nothing natural about a thermometer or a calendar or the question "Is it a good day?" asked before engaging in the conjugal act. IMHO, the acceptance of the rhythm method is tantamount to the acceptance of all barrier methods. NFP, at least in theory, renders the conjugal act sterile by intention. It is, admittedly, the least effective barrier method, and it can also be used to increase the chances of conception, though it is seldom used that way. Neither of these facts negate the fact that the conjugal act is interrupted by NFP when one spouse first suggests intercourse, and then has recourse to the calendar or temperature before continuing, if the intention is not to conceive.
The Pope did not respond to the content of the Majority Report other than to present his categorical dismissal: "The conclusions which the Commission arrived at could not be considered by us as definitive...because within the Commission itself no full agreement of judgment...had been reached, and above all because certain criteria...had emerged which departed from the moral teaching on marriage proposed with constant firmness by the teaching authority of the Church."(p. 139)
The encyclical hit the Catholic world like a comet--all the more so because this was not the decision generally expected. At the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Charles Curran and nine other theologians gathered in a basement meeting room on the afternoon of the encyclical's release, read the document slowly, and drafted a short statement. By the next morning they had the signatures of eighty-seven theologians, including Bernard Haring, on the statement and they presented it in a press conference at the Mayflower Hotel. (p. 140)
That, I believe, was the moment of birth of modern dissent in the Church.
Within a few weeks, some six hundred theologians worldwide added their signatures to the statement.(p. 140)
Two days later, on August 1, two members of the Birth Control Commission, Dr. Andre Hellegers and Thomas Burch, along with John Noonan, who had been the Commission's expert on the history of contraception, appeared at a news conference in Washington. Noonan, speaking for all three, said the encyclical suffers from "internal inconsistency" since the central teaching that every marriage act must remain "open to the transmission of life" contradicts the encyclical's parallel teaching that "the rhythm system of contraception may be used for appropriate reasons."
Obviously I agree with Noonan. The secrecy enforced on the Birth Control Commission was also an issue:
Also, said Noonan, "it is, to say the least, surprising that what is alleged to be the design of God could only be discovered in the utmost secrecy of a military character and without subjecting the statement of the alleged design of God to the scrutiny of moral theologians...or the comment of the faithful."(p. 140)
In England, Dr. John Marshall expressed astonishment in an open letter to the London Times. Even the Commission's minority, he noted, admitted "they could not demonstrate the intrinsic evil of contraception on the basis of the natural law." The majority had based its conclusions on years of study, research, and interchange, he wrote, only to see them not refuted but ignored. The Pope's claim that contraception would lead to wholesale immorality "casts a gratuitous slur" on married couples who practice contraception "and whose family life is an example to all." Marshall wondered what were the "criteria" that the Pope said the Commission had "departed" from in reaching its conclusions. The failure to specify these criteria creates a theological impasse, said Marshall, since "theology cannot advance without being in danger of falling into the same alleged errors." (p. 141)
Dr. Hellegers made a similar point in an article in US Catholic magazine: "I am not among those who believe the only course open to Pope Paul would have been to accept the data and recommendations of the...Commission. The Pope is obviously correct when he said that the conclusions which the Commission arrived at could not dispense him from a personal examination of this serious question. Moreover, it is clear that if he found the data and conclusions preferred by the Commission to be erroneous he should disagree with them. The problem of a scientist in studying Humane Vitae is that nowhere does the Pope disagree with the data but in essence pronounces them irrelevant--since they lead to conclusions different from those of the past." Because of this, said Hellegers, scientists "will have difficulty in seeing where the scientific method has any relevance to the Roman Catholic Church." (pp 141-142)
The reactions of many major Catholic theologians, though more nuanced than Burch's, were largely negative. (p. 142)
One member of the U.S. episcopacy, Auxiliary Bishop James Shannon of St. Paul-Minneapolis, resigned his position as a result of his inability to accept Humane Vitae. He told his superior, Archbishop Binz, a member of the Commission, "I must now...admit that I am ashamed of the kind of advice I have given some of these good people, ashamed because it has been bad theology, bad psychology, and because it has not been an honest reflection of my own inner reflection." Shannon took a leave of absence, and eventually resigned from the priesthood and married. (p. 144)
...fewer than half of the world's bishop conferences received the encyclical with a total embrace....
262 dioceses (or 17 percent) fully accepted Humane Vitae; 866 (or 56 percent) clearly mitigated their acceptance; and 428 (28 percent) were uncertain.
The significance of this hypothetical breakdown is critical. It suggests that only 17 percent of the world's bishops gave total approval to Humane Vitae, while at least 56 percent preferred to soften or reinterpret the strong message, with the others somewhere in between. (p. 145)
It appears to me from reading this chapter that it was Ottaviani and Ford primarily who changed Pope Paul VI's mind from the thinking of the commission. If Pope Paul was not willing to see it as the majority saw it, why the commission in the first place? Why didn't he disband the commission and simply take the lead of the head of the Holy Office? What did he expect to get from the Birth Control Commission--some sort of argument in defense of rhythm?
It continues to nag that this pope who took matters into his own hand in opposition to most of his advisors is the same pope who Randy Engel alleges was homosexual. Was he even eligible for ordination with that proclivity?
In RITE OF SODOMY, Engel writes:
Pope Paul VI is identified as a homosexual in numerous homosexual publications and his name appears on virtually all lists of prominent homosexuals found on various Homosexual Collective websites.(Engel, p. 1152)
During the mid-1930s, Hugh Montgomery was assigned a diplomatic post at the Vatican as the Charge d'Affaires under Sir Alec Randall, the British representative to the Holy See. It was here that Hugh met an equally up and coming Italian junior diplomat, Msgr. Battista Montini, who allegedly shared Hugh's sexual proclivities and the two men allegedly engaged in an affair.
According to [Robin] Bryans, Hugh Montgomery and his friend Battista Montini fraternized with some pretty eccentric characters during those days including Viscount Evan Tredegar, an artistocratic convert to Catholicism who served as a Privy Chanberlain to Pope Benedict XV.
The Viscount enjoyed titillating his friends with tales of his sexual exploits and the occult including his first-hand experiences with the Black Mass using human blood, urine and semen. (Engel, p. 1153)
Engel presents more evidence of Pope Paul's alleged homosexuality, but that's enough for now.
DEMOCRATS BECOMING THE "PARTY OF DEATH"
Catholic News Service reports:
Archbishop Burke was asked if he knew that the August Democratic National Convention in Denver featured a guest appearance by Sheryl Crow, a musician whose performance at a 2007 benefit for a Catholic children's hospital the archbishop had opposed because of her support for abortion and embryonic stem-cell research.
"That does not surprise me much," the archbishop said. "At this point the Democratic Party risks transforming itself definitely into a 'party of death' because of its choices on bioethical questions as Ramesh Ponnuru wrote in his book, 'The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts and the Disregard for Human Life.'"
Archbishop Burke said the Democratic Party once was "the party that helped our immigrant parents and grandparents better integrate and prosper in American society. But it is not the same anymore."
Pro-life Democrats are "rare, unfortunately," he said.
Monday, September 29, 2008
BACKGROUND ON THE CRISIS
TownHall.com offers background on why banks participated in sub-prime mortgages--the government made them do it.
ANOTHER WEBSITE IMPLICATES OBAMA IN THE MELTDOWN
This one a YouTube video.
Meanwhile, after watching tonight's news, my husband is convinced that the next thing we're going to see is a race war resulting from this crisis.
Lou Dobbs has just made the ACORN-mortgage meltdown connection on CNN.
FROM THE NEW YORK POST
WHAT exactly does a "community organizer" do? Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.
In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes - and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.
In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.
THE seeds of today's financial meltdown lie in the Commu nity Reinvestment Act - a law passed in 1977 and made riskier by unwise amendments and regulatory rulings in later decades.
CRA was meant to encourage banks to make loans to high-risk borrowers, often minorities living in unstable neighborhoods. That has provided an opening to radical groups like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to abuse the law by forcing banks to make hundreds of millions of dollars in "subprime" loans to often uncreditworthy poor and minority customers.
Any bank that wants to expand or merge with another has to show it has complied with CRA - and approval can be held up by complaints filed by groups like ACORN.
In fact, intimidation tactics, public charges of racism and threats to use CRA to block business expansion have enabled ACORN to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions from America's financial institutions.
American Thinker is saying something quite similar.
America waits with bated breath while Washington struggles to bring the U.S. economy back from the brink of disaster. But many of those same politicians caused the crisis, and if left to their own devices will do so again.
Despite the mass media news blackout, a series of books, talk radio and the blogosphere have managed to expose Barack Obama's connections to his radical mentors -- Weather Underground bombers William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis and others. David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks.org have also contributed a wealth of information and have noted Obama's radical connections since the beginning.
Yet, no one to my knowledge has yet connected all the dots between Barack Obama and the Radical Left. When seen together, the influences on Obama's life comprise a who's who of the radical leftist movement, and it becomes painfully apparent that not only is Obama a willing participant in that movement, he has spent most of his adult life deeply immersed in it.
But even this doesn't fully describe the extreme nature of this candidate. He can be tied directly to a malevolent overarching strategy that has motivated many, if not all, of the most destructive radical leftist organizations in the United States since the 1960s.
Go to the website to read a whole lot more.
Thanks to a reader for the links.
Somehow I'm not surprised.
THE BIRTH CONTROL COMMISSION
TURNING POINT by Robert McClory - chapter 14
On June 28, 1966, three days after the Commission disbanded, Cardinal Julius Doepfner and Father Henri de Riedmatten personally presented the results of the work to Pope Paul....What they gave the Pope were the two documents representing the Commission's official legacy: the Majority Report written by the theologians and the Pastoral Introduction written by Bishop Dupuy. Both had been approved by an overwhelming majority of the membership. Also presented was a three-foot stack of background material--twelve bound volumes including summaries of all the meetings...(p. 129)
Meanwhile Cardinal Ottaviani, president of the last Commission session, did not make the presentation. Instead he, Father Ford and others not listed by McClory prepared an alternative unauthorized report which they submitted three days later to Pope Paul:
On July 1...Ottaviani met with Pope Paul and presented him with a document repudiating what the majority had decided. It was basically Ford's so-called Minority Report...endorsed only by Ford and three other theologians.(p. 130)
According to Bernard Haring, [Franciscan Ermenegildo Lio, who collaborated with Ottaviani] admitted to associates that Pope Paul was at first favorably impressed with the Majority Report and was attracted by its conclusions, but after two meetings with Ottaviani and Lio himself, the Pope realized his mistake and was "reconverted." (p. 130)
Paul VI was under pressure to make a decision:
...on October 29, in an address to the Italian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists...Paul praised the Birth Control Commission for the "great work" it had done but then added that its conclusions "cannot be considered definitive because of the fact that they carry grave implications...in the pastoral and social spheres, which cannot be isolated or set aside." Finding a solution, he said, requires a "supplementary study," which "we are resolutely undertaking...with great reverence for those who have already given it so much attention and tiring labor....This is the reason why our response has been delayed and why it must be deferred for some time yet."(p. 132)
His objective was to calm the public, but instead is caused more confusion:
...if it really was in doubt, how could Catholics be bound to obey a doubtful law? And just who was carrying on the "supplementary study?"....Clergy Review, was so irate over the seeming contradictions in the papal speech that he left the priesthood and eventually the Church. The statement, he said, "illustrated the subordination of truth to the prestige of authority and the sacrifice of persons to the preservation of an out-of-date institution." (p. 133)
Jesuit theologian Richard McCormick reported that the Church indeed was in doubt. "Once it is shown that there are intrinsic reasons...why the Church may change her teaching on contraception, it would seem that the foundation for a certain obligation [to obey] has ceased to exist," he wrote. English theologian Charles Davis, editor of the
Around the world, married couples, unwilling to put their marital lives on hold, made practical decisions on the morality of contraception--more and more often with the approval of priests and bishops....Cardinal Doepfner said those who practice contraception with reasonable motives ought not to consider themselves in sin and should continue to receive the sacraments. In the United States Charles Curran...took a similar stance.... (p. 133)
The National Catholic Register got access to the documents which were supposed to remain hidden and published them on April 15, 1967. The New York Times gave it front page coverage. At this point Curran was not considered to be a dissenter. It thus could be argued that this was what propelled Curran into his later activities.
Meanwhile the Commission's report was being discredited in Rome. (pp 134-135)
This was Ottaviani's final activity before retirement. It became his legacy to the Church. The Potvins who had run a rhythm clinic before participating on the commission went home to Ottawa no longer convinced of "the temperature method as the only Catholic form of birth control." (pp 136-137) Laurent Potvin accepted a post at Laval University in Montreal and the family moved. Their clinic in Ottawa was taken up by volunteers and continued to exist for only a short time. (p. 137)
In reading through this chapter it becomes even more clear that dissent was born over the teaching on birth control. The Church could not present a united front, nor could She present a logical and reasonable argument why birth control was wrong. Lacking such an argument, Catholic couples made up their own mind, and today we see that the majority practice birth control.
It is also clear that Pope Paul VI vacillated back and forth over this matter before H.V. was promulgated. He was not completely convinced that he was right, but he listened to the arguments of Ford and Ottaviani and went with them.
In all of this we are supposed to see the working of the Holy Spirit. It can be seen in the fact that had birth control been approved at the time H.V. was promulgated, it would have included abortifacient methods--something that today we know, but at that time we didn't.
The two arguments advanced for the prohibition are concern for the historical verity of the Church, and an argument from nature. Today we can easily see in the Papal apologies that the Church can be wrong and can change Her beliefs. So much for historical verity. The argument from nature is overturned by the approval of the Church for medical intervention in any number of illnesses. Then too, if nature is sacred, how can an interruption of the natural inclination of a couple to have conjugal relations be conditioned on a temperature chart?
Neither argument can be substantiated today, nor can a distinction be made between Natural Family Planning and other barrier methods of birth control. We are left with "it's wrong because the pope says so", a twist on the proverbial statement of a parent to a child who has asked too many questions the parent can't answer.
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 03, Number 36 | Friday, September 26, 2008
St. Michael Prayer Campaign and Ecuador
Fr. Tom Euteneuer
Dear Friends of Life,
On Monday, the Feast of the Archangels, our Prayer Campaign to St. Michael for the conversion of abortionists kicks into full gear. It coincides providentially with the CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM that is happening in ECUADOR on Sunday. As you may remember, this referendum will legalize abortion in this presently abortion-free Catholic country if the people approve the new Constitution. I urge you to pray generous prayers to St. Michael the Archangel that Ecuador will choose life!
In the piece below, my co-worker, Joseph Meaney, explains the whole rationale behind our prayer campaign. Please join us now and in the future for prayers to the Prince of the Heavenly Host, to vanquish the abortion demon and bring conversion to all who perpetrate the crime of abortion on humanity.
St. Michael the Archangel, Defend us in Battle!
By Joseph Meaney
Never have these words been more appropriate than today. We live in a world that refuses to prioritize basic values such as the worship of God and respecting the right to life of our most defenseless neighbors, preborn children.
The Feast of the Archangels, Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, which is celebrated on September 29th, is an excellent opportunity to examine our lives. All the angels, but especially St. Michael, remind us of God's infinite goodness and the spiritual warfare that surrounds us at all times. How often do we invoke St. Michael and our guardian angel for protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil?
It is abundantly clear from the pro-life situation internationally that a great spiritual battle is raging. The legalization of abortion in the land of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City, is a direct challenge to the Patroness of Life. In countries like Lithuania that are attempting to roll back their pro-abortion laws, the frenzied defenders of death can only be described as diabolical.
Human Life International (HLI) has seen the abundant fruits that come from the conversion of those heavily involved in the sin of abortion. Dr. Stoyan Adasevic of Serbia committed thousands of abortions before a dramatic change of heart made him a witness to the preciousness of life. His conversion came about in this way: He was aborting the baby of his own niece when she began to bleed to death. Dr. Adasevic made a promise to God that if she survived, he would stop aborting. Amazingly, they were able to stop her blood loss almost immediately. Now he travels around Serbia and central and eastern Europe proclaiming the Gospel of Life with HLI's assistance. Such conversion stories are seen wherever HLI works, but we need more prayers to pull all the lost souls out of the darkness.
That is why we see an urgent need for a prayer campaign to bring about the conversion of the agents of death. Pope Leo XIII composed the powerful St. Michael Prayer to counter the greatest threats to the Church. Today the culture of death is looming over our world. The total number of victims of surgical abortion is now counted in the billions. This is an almost unimaginable evil.
Join with us, the staff, and worldwide collaborators of HLI as we offer up the St. Michael Prayer daily for the conversion of abortionists. Many parishes and communities have continued or re-established the venerable practice of reciting the St. Michael Prayer after Mass. If your parish is currently doing this, or decides to do so, please indicate this by using the appropriate check box on the pledge form, as we are documenting this fact.
We have distributed over 600,000 St. Michael prayer cards already. Order them online for prayer groups and parishes. (The cards are free - we only charge for shipping.) Our hope is that millions will join us from all continents. The petition to ask our priests and bishops to lead the faithful in prayer to St. Michael after Mass is a great opportunity to counter the culture of death. To sign the pledge, click here.
May God bless you and your families in your spiritual commitment to creating a culture of life!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I've attempted to install new software and the computer is not cooperating. Until I can get it working properly, I won't be blogging anything more.