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Media Assault on Catholic Church over Homosexuality Continues

On the heels of the now-national outcry over the justified firing of the pro-homosexual “marriage” teacher in St. Louis, comes this story.  

The other day, a priest in the Washington, D.C. area denied Holy Communion to a lesbian living in an open and notorious relationship with another woman.  The Mass was a funeral Mass for the woman’s mother.  

The media outcry was predictable.

Perhaps also predictable was the undermining of the priest by the Archdiocese of Washington

The criticism by the Archdiocese assumes a set of facts that we don’t know, namely whether or if the priest advised the woman privately not to present herself for Communion.  But regardless, the Archdiocese’s failure to give the priest the benefit of the doubt is appalling.  “Lack of pastoral sensitivity”?  Puke.

Why, I wonder, do the bishops expect support from Catholics in the fight against the contraception mandate?  For which one of us will they go to the mat
when we get targeted by their liberal friends?

How many Apostles stood by the cross of Jesus?

You have to read the stories linked above.  The water is at 211 degrees, friends.

Another Thing

The picture on the previous blog post (and I put it above as well) about the firing of the music teacher who publicly announced his fake marriage is from a manuscript of Dante’s Inferno.  It depicts a scene in Canto XV where Dante and Virgil encounter Brunetto Latini, a former teacher of Dante’s who is consigned to eternal torment in hell for the grave sin of sodomy.

This Canto is a very poignant one, and presents Brunetto Latini’s many favorable characteristics and his positive influence on Dante.  He is noble, he is wise, he is a sympathetic character. Dante addresses these words to him:

Within my memory is fixed-and nowmoves me-your dear, your kind paternal imagewhen, in the world above, from time to time 

you taught me how man makes himself eternal;and while I live, my gratitude for thatmust always be apparent in my words. 

And yet, at no point does either Dante or Latini rail against God for the sentence under which the teacher suffers.  Nor does either defend sodomy as a lifestyle.  In fact, part of the sympathy Latini’s character engenders comes from his acceptance of his sentence, which his behavior shows is justly imposed.

My point is that the behavior of sodomy, which scripture includes as one of the sins that “cry out to Heaven for vengeance,” is condemned because it contravenes the natural law and leads souls to hell.  Any particular person who is tempted to this sin may have many outstanding qualities.  In fact, his struggle against the force of this temptation may be truly heroic, especially since nearly everyone in society today would tell them that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the act.  The duty of a Christian is to help them, not to encourage them to continue down a path that leads to temporal and eternal ruin.  Charity must inform our actions towards these persons; but charity must be supported by the truth.

Archdiocesan School Fires Teacher Who Purported to Marry Same-Sex "Partner"

It is always difficult to write about matters relating to same-sex attraction and the Catholic Church.  Not because there is any doubt about the moral law or the rectitude of Catholic teaching, but because of two things:  1) the moral depravity of our culture encourages immoral behavior to such an extent that it becomes a mere “lifestyle choice”; and, 2) neither those persons who suffer from such attraction nor most Catholics in general have been formed well enough by the very same Church that should have been more zealous for souls than it has been for the last fifty years.  These two factors create a situation where the teaching of the Church– and the natural law itself– appears arbitrary and subjects the Church to gleeful attack from her enemies when she does act to uphold the moral law.

Yet, it must be said that the Archdiocese did the right thing in firing the “openly gay” music teacher at St. Ann School in north St. Louis County who publicly announced his fake marriage to another man, whom he describes as his long-term “partner”. And expect the Archdiocese to be pilloried in the press.  The linked story is from STLToday, and I won’t repost it here, but there are a few comments I’d like to add:

1.  The teacher is described as “popular”.  Of course, because we know the Church is “unpopular”.  The truth is always opposed by the world.

2.  The fired teacher wrote his own letter to parents to tell them why he was fired.  In this letter, he strongly suggests that this only occurred because someone from the Archdiocese overheard a conversation about the faux wedding, and that the pastor and principal of St. Ann were supportive of the two men:

In his letter to parents, Fischer wrote: “I think the word has been well spread that this is not the fault of St. Ann School or its leadership, and I want to emphasize that I get that, too.” It added that the school’s principal and the parish priest “are still there for me in a big way.”

The letter encouraged parents to talk to their children. “A family conversation about whether or not justice was served here could be a great thing,” it read. “I do not want the lesson from this for the kids to be, ‘Keep your mouth shut, hide who you are or what you think if it will get you in trouble.'”

Now, support of the school is his allegation, and we cannot assume it is true.  If it were true, I wish I could say I was surprised.  But far from putting the school in a good light, it is a reminder that the Archdiocese should take a far greater interest in what goes on in their schools.  A school pastor or principal should be disciplined if they knowingly employ a person who publicly defies Catholic teaching at a Catholic school.  Again, we don’t know if they did, but there is very troubling indicia of it, including this gem:

Among his roles as an area musician, he is artistic director of the Gateway Men’s Chorus, which, according to the group’s website, “affirms and promotes gay culture and acceptance through excellence in musical performance and education.” A biography of Fischer on the group’s website includes a reference to his partner of 20 years.

3.  It is a mistake to think that the public espousal of sodomy by a music teacher at a Catholic school is irrelevant to his qualifications to teach there.  As you can see by his letter, he attempts (and almost certainly has attempted throughout) to persuade Catholic students that their Church is wrong in defending marriage.  Does the Archdiocese want to pay someone to do that?  This action shows they don’t, and they deserve credit.

4.  The Church around the world, including in this country, has presided over the general emasculation of the faith– I mean this in every sense of the term.  Our defense of doctrine is anemic; our priests have lost physical and mental vigor; our liturgy is emasculated; heresy is not only not rooted out but is even countenanced.  Items like this no longer surprise, and what does surprise is that the only surprise is when the Church takes a stand at last– like on the contraception mandate.  We continue to reap the whirlwind.

5.  The persecution is upon us.  The time has come to defend the faith without regard to the cost.  The Archbishop and those at the Archdiocese deserve credit for this decision, but they should also use the occasion to conduct a systematic and immediate review of the staff of every school. 

It’s That Day That Happens Once Every Four Years

I’m going to clean up my desk.

Well, and also leap day.  Furthermore, today is Ember Wednesday in Lent: 

Deliver me from my necessities, O Lord: see my abjection and my labor; and forgive me all my sins.  To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed; neither let mine enemies laugh at me.  For none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded: let all them be confounded that do vain things.

Tract from today’s Mass

Pray for our priests.

Blessed Are They Who Hunger and Thirst for Justice

Part of the ongoing series of sermons on the Beatitudes, Canon Michael Wiener of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest delivered this excellent presentation on the First Sunday of Lent:

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Why are those who hunger and thirst for justice called blessed?
When we hear about this beatitude our thoughts might be directed toward a predominantly secular notion of justice: “Social justice”, “justice for the poor”, “global justice”, “environmental justice” or “restorative justice” – all aspects of justice, which may come to mind.  “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought”, wrote John Rawls in 1971 (“A Theory of Justice”).
What kind of justice should we long for to be called blessed?
“Justice consists in rendering to God what is due to Him, and then for the love of God, giving also to the creature what is due to it.” (Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.).
Justice in the broad sense of the word means the perfect fulfillment of the law. Law in this context means the law that governs the entire life of man. Just, according to this understanding, is he who is and lives according to the law that was promulgated either by God as the highest legislator implicitly in nature or explicitly (Moses) or by man in accordance with the law of God (law of states).
Justice, understood in this broad sense, is equal to holiness.
We say that Adam and Eve were just, because they reflected perfectly God’s idea of man in their physical and moral integrity. It was only after the fall of Adam and Eve through their disobedience to the will of God that man had to be governed by positive laws.
In the Old Testament justice meant the complete fulfillment especially of the law given by God through Moses. But perfect fulfillment of the law was impossible due to the fallen and weakened nature of man.
Perfect justice became visible in this world through the coming of Christ who fulfilled the law of God and the need for atonement completely. This perfect justice, re-established on the Cross by Christ, is communicated to us through Sanctifying Grace.
Through grace we are made just: “Love therefore is the fulfilling of the law”, says the Apostle (Rom. 13, 10).
Justice respects order! The author of all order is God and without respecting Him as source and center of all order, no man may be called just.
Pope Leo the Great teaches: “This hunger [for justice] is not for bodily food, this thirst is not for any earthly drink: it is a longing to be blessed with justice, and, by penetrating the secret of all mysteries, to be filled with the Lord himself. Happy is the soul that longs for the food of justice and thirsts for this kind of drink; it would not seek such things if it had not already savored their delight.”
“The appetite comes with eating” – The more intimately we are united to Our Lord, the more we are having in common with Him, the true God made man, the more we long for an ever growing holiness. Love for justice is born in the love for our own sanctification. No true justice can be exercised or possessed without longing for one’s personal holiness.
“Bear in mind”, continues Leo the Great, “the kind of school in which you are to learn your skills, the rewards to which you are called. Mercy itself wishes you to be merciful, justice itself wishes you to be just, so that the Creator may shine forth in his creature, and the image of God be reflected in the mirror of the human heart as it imitates his qualities.”
Justice is not self-righteousness, we don’t make ourselves just, but we receive justice by receiving God’s grace and cooperating with it. “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture says: Out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
The just man’s thirst for justice won’t be completely satisfied here on earth, but in the beatific vision in heaven.  However, such a man will long for God’s grace not only for himself, but also in others. True justice which desires to give God what is His, wants also to exercise true justice towards his neighbor.
The just, if he is blessed, wishes to see the rivers of living water extend themselves also on the whole of creation. For this goal the just man works, prays and suffers. But such a man doesn’t separate any form of justice from God’s will and order. There is no such thing as social justice without respecting God’s will, there is no justice for man if man is opposed to God. 
He who wishes to establish perfect justice in this world without beginning to long for his own sanctification and without placing all hope and all desire in God as the source of all justice, is not blessed but self-righteous.
Blessed are therefore those who, as a result and fruit of their serious spiritual efforts and struggles, are moved – for example – to pray and work for the rights of the unborn, the sick, the dying.
Blessed are those who desire justice in this world which is based on an ever renewed understanding of the rights of God!
Blessed are also those who see the unjustly treated as individuals with a dignity as creatures of God, rather than seeing them as nothing more than pawns in political discussions about “social justice.”
The beatitudes are the most heroic and perfect gifts of the Holy Ghost in man. These beatitudes describe true happiness in this life and in the next. Those who long for justice will give themselves to works of justice. According to the teaching of St. Augustine and St. Thomas (ST II, II 139, 2) this longing for justice will be accompanied by the gift of fortitude – to help us overcome obstacles in the works of justice.
What do we need more in this life than God’s gift of fortitude to persevere in works of justice and to enjoy a foretaste of heaven in receiving this blessing of Our Lord?
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.

Credo Day of Recollection

If you are seeking to supplement your Lenten plan, here is a good opportunity for a day of recollection sponsored by Credo. 

Mark your calendars for the 2012 Credo Day of Recollection: March 3rd, 2012. We return this year to the Chapel of St.  Anselm at the Oratory of Ss. Gregory and Augustine in Creve Coeur, located on the grounds of The Priory at 530 Mason Rd. 

The Rev. Brian Harrison O.S. and Msgr. Arthur Calkins will be giving the conferences. Fr. Harrison is Credo’s Spiritual Adviser, and Msg. Calkins is a renowned Mariologist and for many years before his retirement had been an official of the commission Ecclesia Dei.