Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Don't Honor an Abortionist !!!

Laura Ingraham gets it why can't Fr Jenkins of ND, why is this so hard to understand, you don't HONOR AN ABORTIONIST. There, see, simple.

The Egyptian

From Freedoms Lighthouse


Passing this along from Fr Longnecker, you really ought to read his life story, from Bob Jones U to Episcopal priest to Roman Catholic to Catholic Priest ,with a wife and children, this Man has insight.

read his good post

the Egyptian


A reader has sent me a link to this female Episcopal priest who does not take the usual liberal line that abortion should be 'safe, legal and rare.' Instead she preaches that abortion is a blessing.

Here's the quote:"And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight -- only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done."

Here's the whole sermon. Is there any sense at all in which the Catholic Church should be in 'ecumenical dialogue' with such people? Let's call it straight. What fellowship has light with darkness?

At least the Rev Ragsdale would agree with me on that much. She and her kind would spit at the Catholic Church. They are just the sort I wrote about some time ago as representative of the 'new anti-Catholicism.'

PS: This is really nothing new in Anglicanism. I remember my horror and disbelief when I was an Anglican priest in the early 90s. A parishioner came to me distraught because her daughter was being counseled to abort her child who the doctors suspected might have Downs' Syndrome. The worst part was the Anglican hospital chaplain who encouraged the pregnant woman to have an abortion because, "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come unto me.'"

How gruesome can you get?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fr Jenkins Digs His Own Hole

Sadly but says it all, a mighty Catholic Institution falls because of the arrogance of its leader, lets here it for notre dame.

The Egyptian

Card. DiNardo on SSPX excomms and Pres. Obama at UND

Fr Z comments, there is no need for mine

The Egyptian

CATEGORY: SESSIUNCULA — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 1:15 pm

His Eminence Daniel Card. DiNardo has something to say about the lifting of the SSPX excommunications and the visit of President Obama to the University of Notre Dame.

This is in the Texas Catholic Herald.

My emphases and comments.

A Shepherd’s Message

By Daniel Cardinal DiNardo

Two weeks ago, the Holy Father sent a letter to all the bishops of the world concerning the events surrounding the lifting of the excommunications of four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988, a sanction imposed by the Holy See at the time since they were consecrated without the mandate or permission of Pope John Paul II. It is to be noted that the lifting of this most severe penalty did not “regularize” their status in the Church but only opened a door for discussions with them and the followers of their traditionalist society for an eventual hopeful restoration of Catholic unity. Pope Benedict XVI had a concern for the goal of eventual reconciliation. The action, however, was overshadowed by the views of one of the said bishops, Bishop Williamson, on the Holocaust and on his anti-Semitic statements. This led to what the pope called an “avalanche of protests both inside and outside the Church.” These protests “laid bare wounds deeper than those of the present moment.”
Pope Benedict XVI then went on to clarify and assess the whole situation. He states that an initial effort at reconciliation was construed somehow as a kind of repudiation of the reconciliation between Christians and Jews, a reversal of the work of the Second Vatican Council and other dire consequences. Further, some Catholics also displayed hostility to the very person of the Holy Father. He likewise mentions “our Jewish friends who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the day of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist.”

[So far we are only summarizing.]

The pope admits that the Holy See would need to pay future attention to sources in the Internet which had already revealed the anti-Semitic sentiments of Bishop Williamson. He also admits that it was a mistake not to clearly and adequately explain the extent and the limits of the lifting of the excommunication at the very moment of its publication. It was a disciplinary matter for four individuals and not a statement on the doctrinal level, a matter that still needed and would need much further work before the restoration of unity with the Catholic Church could take place with the Lefebvrist movement. In fact, the pope also announced that he was joining the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” which had worked on the reconciliation, with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican agency that addresses doctrinal questions, particularly issues of the Second Vatican Council and the teaching authority of the Magisterium and of the pope. In doing this, the Holy Father reminded all sides that the Church’s teaching authority did not end in 1962, the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, but also, on the other hand, that authority embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. The fruits of the Tree of Faith and teaching do indeed grow, but they are not severed from the roots.

The motivation by the Holy See for an attempt at reconciliation with the four bishops and their followers was to embody the hard work of faith, hope and love, the constant preoccupation of the Church and the unity of all believers. It is not easy to break down obstinacy and narrowness on the part of some just as it is not easy to soften the arrogance and one-sidedness of others. Disunity and hostile disagreement do not serve the unity of faith or the credibility of believers. Various groups in the Church cannot bite and devour one another without destruction, a line that the pope draws from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 5:13-15.

[Thus endeth the summary.]

I think that the Holy Father’s letter is timely advice for us all during the Season of Lent, a time of genuine interior purification and renewal. I sometimes receive letters from people who mar their otherwise intelligent or well-taken arguments by such nasty invectives that the whole argument or point of view is put in jeopardy. Vigorous and heartfelt discussion, even debate, needs to be placed in the arms of charity for effectiveness. My hope is that this will be the case for all of us in our own local Church. [How many times have, for example, rather more traditional Catholics short-circuited their initiatives by being nasty to those who might otherwise be able to give them what they want? Sorry… rhetorical question… let’s go on.]

In light of what I wrote above, I want to venture a comment on the recently released statement of the University of Notre Dame; that statement noted that the President has accepted an invitation to give the Commencement Address this year as well as receive an Honorary Law Degree. The news release then outlines the fact that a number of other Presidents have given the Commencement Address at Notre Dame and have thus highlighted, in effect, the university’s importance. [And we now get to the important point…] I find the invitation very disappointing. Though I can understand the desire by a university to have the prestige [a good way to put this] of a commencement address by the President of the United States, the fundamental moral issue of the inestimable worth of the human person from conception to natural death is a principle that soaks all our lives as Catholics, and all our efforts at formation, especially education at Catholic places of higher learning. The President has made clear by word and deed that he will promote abortion and will remove even those limited sanctions that control this act of violence against the human person. The Bishops of the United States published a document a few years ago asking all Catholic universities to avoid giving a platform or an award to those politicians or public figures who promote the taking of unborn human life. [NB…] Even given the dignity of Office of the President, this offer is still providing a platform and an award for a public figure who has been candid on his pro-abortion views. Particularly troubling is the Honorary Law Degree since it recognizes that the person is a “Teacher,” in this case of the Law. [Excellent point.] I think that this decision requires charitable but vigorous critique.

I like that "charitable but vigorous".

It is hard… very hard… to figure out what "vigorous" includes but charity prohibits. This changes from era to era.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Obama's Hitler Youth Will Not Be Allowed to Express Religious Beliefs

Everyone practice, all together now, Sieg hiel, sieg hiel, sieg hiel, this is what you chicken crap liberal catholics got us, and all the social justice and happly clappy hand holding and hugging won't help either. My third cousin came to this country from Germany after the war, she is now in her late 70's, she just cries, this is how Hitler got started. Ist they closed the Parochial schools and instituted state run education, For the good of the children. then the Hitler youth, first as a summer camp then all year around, soon the only time you saw the boys was at planting and harvest and it was not your children. when the rounding up of the Jews started many parents protested, the young men replied, you did not raise us the Fuhrer did, we are his not yours. Watch out America mob rule is coming, read your history and weep, this progressive learned well

The Egyptian


The House passed the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act on Monday. The bill includes language indicating young people will be forced to participate in mandatory national service programs. The bill also states that "service learning" will be a mandatory part of the youth curriculum.
That doesn't sound much like "volunteerism" does it?

The Hitler Youth Plan was just passed by the US House this week.

German youth praising Hitler.

The mandatory youth plan requires America's youth to participate in mandatory service youth programs.
But that's not all.
The mandatory youth plan also forbids members from attending religious services and forbids youth from witnessing their religious beliefs.
The Voice Magazine reported, via Free Republic:

Is this the change you really voted for? President Obama has only been in office for two months. Now we have HR 1388. The Bill was sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) with 37 others. The Bill was introduced to the floor of the House of Representatives where both Republicans and Democrats voted 321-105 in favor. Next it goes to the Senate for a vote and then on to President Obama.

This bill’s title is called “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education” (GIVE). It forms what some are calling “Obama’s Youth Brigade.” Obama’s plan is require anyone receiving school loans and others to serve at least three months as part of the brigade. His goal is one million youth! This has serious Nazi Germany overtones to it.

The Bill would forbid any student in the brigade to participate in “engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.” That means no church attendance or witnessing.

Again, is this what America voted for? Here is part of the HR1388 Bill’s wording:


Section 125 (42 U.S.C. 12575) is amended to read as follows:


(a) Prohibited Activities- A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:

(1) Attempting to influence legislation.

(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.

(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.
Hat Tip Mike Moseley

House Passes Hitler Youth Bill

More... Beto Ochoa reminds us that this bill directly goes against the US Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech,
or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Not that this bothers the Democrats.


Just when you thought this Leftist bill could not be any more disturbing...
The Senate just voted to allow ACORN funding in the Youth Brigades Bill.

The Senate on Friday killed an amendment that would exclude funding for ACORN in Obama's Youth Brigades bill (53-43). The Senate bill will provide "$5.7 billion to aid 250,000 volunteers across the country in the arenas of health care, energy, environment and education."
It's a Leftist's dream come true!
Doug Ross discovered this report:

The U.S. Senate killed an amendment Thursday offered by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., that would have prohibited federal volunteer funds from going to the community group ACORN and its affiliates.

Vitter singled out the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a nationwide community organization of low- and moderate-income people. He laid emphasis on the fact that group members have been arrested for fraudulent voter registration.

Vitter contended that no charitable group with a political arm should receive the volunteer funding. “At the heart of this debate is whether this new federal bureaucracy would, in effect, politicize charitable activity around the country, which we certainly do not want,” Vitter said.

The amendment was offered to the National Service Act being considered by the chamber.
So the Senate will allow funding to ACORN, but they won't allow any religious expression in the youth brigades?
This is unbelievable!

Friday, March 27, 2009

TLMs are not hard for the young… on the contrary

Some day maybe here, Many more are interested than the deanery knows about I am sure.
I call again, any one interested in a Latin Mass Society in Southern Mercer County?
Really as far as I can count from the Deanery site there are 38 Sunday and 17 Saturday night Masses, would it be so terrible to have one of the in the Extraordinary Form, would it kill the Bishop, actually Pope Benedict took it out of his hands anyway, so how about ?

The Egyptian

Lovingly swiped from Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's WDTPRS

We all know… especially the liberals know… that the young take to the TLM like little ducks to water.

It is amazing how quickly boys can learn the Latin responses with some coaching and a good example. They like serving the TLM, with its clear structure.

Taking a cue from the grownups, they know they are doing something important and they revel in it.

A reader sent an interesting note (edited):

While news from South Africa has not been encouraging perhaps you would consider posting this story.

While some in SA are finding minor liturgical changes difficult, two young boys from the inner-city have started serving the Traditional Latin Mass. The boys only saw the TLM for the first time recently. But from that time they have been very eager to learn to serve the "old" Mass. Their mother made sure that the boys practiced their Latin at home and very soon they were word perfect.

The boys worked very hard never missing a single practice. They are now eager to learn more about the mass, continue with further server training and have even expressed an interest in learning a bit of Latin.

It would be a great encouragement to the boys and the cathedral faithful if your readers would send them congratulations and good wishes either in your comment box or at http://unavocesa.blogspot.com/
I remember some years ago a reader of my articles in The Wanderer and the blog sent me a book to read… which he wanted back!... a book for boys, actually… about a cadre of altar boys in a parish in, perhaps, the 1930’s – my memory isn’t clear.

I wish I could remember the title. It would be perfect for a reprint project.

From what I have seen in parishes on two continents, the TLM and formation of young men in good things, discipline and especially the virtue of religion, are a strong match.

We should give young men a fighting chance to acquire the virtue of religion in this age of the war on boys and manhood.

Sadly needed

Sign seen at the door of San Secondo d'Asti Church in Guasti Calf. Good idea, but kind of sad that it is required, sort of think it would be a good idea around here
brought to my attention by Lost Lambs

The Egyptian

PS Beautiful church in a Spanish mission kind of way, take a look

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Anglican Church follies

Giggle-snork, wiping my nose, leave it to the brits, this is what happens when religion is run by committee and worried about being up to date with the secular world

From Gloria Tv

Makes you wonder, doesn't it

From Gateway Pundit

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wealthy Abortion Provider's Family Dies In Mysterious Plane Crash in Catholic Cemetery Next to Memorial to Unborn

More on the tragic Montana plane crash-

Picture provided by the Montana Standard shows a small, single-engine plane bursting into flames in Holy Cross Cemetery on the outskirts of Butte, Montana. US investigators are searching for clues after a small plane taking children to a ski trip crashed in a cemetery in the state of Montana, killing 14 people on board.
(AFP/The Montana Standard/Martha Guidoni)

Family of Irving 'Bud' Feldkamp, Owner of the Nation's Largest Privately Owned Abortion Chain, Dies in Montana Plane Crash.
Christian News Wire reported:

Some of you may have seen the major news story of the private plane that crashed into a Montana cemetery, killing 7 children and 7 adults.

But what the news sources fail to mention is that the Catholic Holy Cross Cemetery owned by Resurrection Cemetery Association in Butte - contains a memorial for local residents to pray the rosary, at the 'Tomb of the Unborn'. This memorial, located a short distance west of the church, was erected as a dedication to all babies who have died because of abortion.

What else is the mainstream news not telling you? The family who died in the crash near the location of the abortion victim's memorial, is the family of Irving 'Bud' Feldkamp, owner of the largest for-profit abortion chain in the nation.

The plane went down on Sunday, killing two of Feldkamp's daughters, two sons-in-law and five grandchildren along with the pilot and four family friends. The plane, a single-engine turboprop flown by Bud Summerfield of Highland, crashed into the Catholic cemetery and burst into flames, only 500 ft. from its landing destination. All aboard were killed.
What a tragedy.
May they rest in peace.

The Brits Get it

I know this is supposed to be a Catholic Blog, but at the rate that the Omessiah is doing us all in the I couldn't resist ripping this from the Catholic Cavemen, some one forward this to Barry, PLEASE, He needs this video programed into his teleprompter, so he actually sees it

While we are on t he subject of the Anointed One :
Oh ND what have you done, the haughty Liberals have destroyed a great one, Fr Jenkins may your reward in heaven be commensurate with your tenure here, God have mercy on your soul

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Let Us Pray, and Pray, and Pray

I hope so, we need to pray that this is true, the happy clappers will literally lay a large one, the wailing and gnashing of teeth will be heard, the priestesses will shriek and rend their tie died pretend vestments, tantrums will be heard and toys will be thrown out of prams. Gads, this sound like fun!!!!

The Egyptian

Pope to abolish Novus Ordo; new Missal being planned

According to leaks from sources close to Archbishop Burke, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Pope Benedict XVI is set to abolish the Novus Ordo by introducing a New Missal of Benedict XVI. It is reported that the proceedings are being carred out behind closed doors but some leaks have come through of what it will entail:
  • The Liturgy of the Eucharist will more closely reflect the Mass of the Faithful in the Missal of Pius V.

  • The expanded lectionary will remain intact for the Liturgy of the Word.

  • The "peace" will be moved away from the eucharistic prayers and more toward the beginning of the mass, or just after the creed.

  • Various eucharistic prayers from the Missal of Paul VI (Novus Ordo) will be entirely suppressed. The calendars for both the Novus Ordo and Tridentine will be reconciled

It is also being said that the new 'Benedictine' Missal will contain rubrics for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Mass, presumably in an attempt to mould the Ordinary Form into the dignified liturgy VaticanII had intended.

FSSP gets it right and takes the Holy Fathers back

from Ulster Taig

At least some one has the hangy down things to stand up and defend the Holy Father and expose the truth, mark up another one for the Traditionalists, all the libs are too busy worrying about peace and justice to see ( or care) that their General is being attacked, popularity is more important than reality, lets all just hug and kiss and it'll all get better, Bullcrap !!!!

The Egyptian

Friday, March 20, 2009

FSSP France responds to politicians

In response to the recent attacks on Pope Benedict for his recent restatement of Catholic doctrine on condoms, the French District of the Fraternity of St Peter has issued a robust defence of the Holy Father and the reasoning behind his approach to AIDS prevention:

During the first prevention campaigns against AIDS, one of repeated slogans assured: "The condom protects against everything, everything except love".

By daring to say that the condom is not a solution but that it may even aggravate the spread of the problem, the Pope has simply told the truth.

It is recognized that when it comes to the subject of contraception, condoms are far from being 100% effective. How could they then then be a barrier against AIDS?

It is criminal to believe that the use of condoms truly protects against contamination. How many of our young people have fallen into the disease when they believed they were being protected "against everything, everything except love". Would they have adopted the same behaviour if they'd known that the condom only diminishes the risks of contamination during sexual intercourse? If they had understand the repetition of so-called protected experiences was nothing other than a form of 'Russian Roulette'?

French politicians before howling with the wolves against Benedict XVI should remember the blood contamination scandal: at that time the public authorities closed their eyes in knowing of a marginal risk of infection. But after this marginal risk, there were a good number of people dead.

In the face of a risk of being poisoned to death or transmit the cause of death, the only responsible discourse is the one that tells the truth, all the truth, that does not hide the risks and which remembers that only abstinence and fidelity are the only ways of fighting AIDS. In an era where one glosses so much on the 'precautionary principle' in the context of supposed nuisances for public health, should that not also apply in a case as serious as AIDS?

One ought not play with the lives of men. One ought not create a false sentiment of security by deceptive propaganda which trains people to adopt an ultimately suicidal as 'at risk'. One ought not play with moral and physical health of young people who totally ignore the shortcomings of condoms. On the contrary, one must educate them with a sense of responsibility.

If tomorrow the victims of AIDS who had contracted it through the use of condoms turn against the Ministry of Health, that would only be fair.

Those who lecture the Pope should be wary of a possible 'boomerang' effect of their murder charge.

Friday, March 20, 2009

complaining to Ecclesia Dei does work !

lifted from Clerical Whispers

Is this what it takes to get Bishops to obey the Pope ? What in the world are they afraid of, loosing control, hatred of tradition, not knowing the Latin Mass themselves, being outed as a 60's holdover, more Catholics attending mass or more vocations upsetting their plans to close parishes. What is their PROBLEM !


Vatican clamps down on Killala Latin Mass move

A high-profile Vatican office has ordered Bishop John Fleming to make provision for the traditional Latin Mass in his Killala diocese.

The move, from the powerful 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission comes after the Killala Council of Priests decided that no provision should be made for the celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

In July 2007, Pope Benedict's letter, Summorum Pontificum, eased restrictions on the pre-Vatican II Mass, the so-called Tridentine Rite and established that any Catholic priest can celebrate the traditional Latin Mass without first seeking the permission of his bishop.

Prior to the coming into force of Summorum Pontificum bishops had the right to restrict access to the Latin Mass.

Initially, the Killala Council of Priests, an advisory body made up of both elected members and priests appointed by Bishop Fleming, advised that no provision should be made for the Latin Mass pending a request for clarification from the Vatican on aspects of the Pope's letter.

This advice was accepted by Bishop Fleming and an announcement made that the Mass would be unavailable in the Killala diocese.

However, The Irish Catholic has learned that the matter came to the attention of the Holy See as a number of people in Killala wrote to the Vatican to express their frustration at the lack of provision.

The Irish Catholic also understands that a number of diocesan priests who believed the decision countermanded papal legislation, contacted Bishop Fleming to register discontent.

The 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission, headed by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, then wrote to Bishop Fleming insisting that the restriction was forbidden under Church law since Pope Benedict had made universal provision for the availability of the Mass in the extraordinary form.

In its letter, the Commission insisted that neither Bishop Fleming, nor the Council of Priests, had the right to place a restriction on a right approved by the Pope.

Bishop Fleming has now designated the Church of the Assumption, Ardagh, Crossmolina, Co Mayo as the centre for the traditional Mass in the Killala diocese and the celebrant will be Fr John Loftus, a priest of the diocese.

The Moral of the Story

the ending is funny and the kids answers are a riot, but it is also sad, it really is child abuse.
And the Liberals are worried about the SSPX ? Hell this crap is what is doing the harm, let the SSPX alone and lets get our house in order, in fact put the SSPX in charge, maybe things will improve

The Egyptian

gleefully copied from the Creative Minority Report


This past weekend my seven year old son had his first confession. Unfortunately, along with this important occasion was the usual abuse of my sensibilities.

A few weeks ago I had to endure an hour of the DRE lecturing us parents in preparation for first confession and communion. She went on, and on, and on about how the religious education team was always careful never to use the word sin during their lessons about reconciliation. She insisted that the children were too young to understand the concept of sin. The idea that you cannot really ask for forgiveness without understanding sin seems to have been missed.

No, no sin here. The nuns in her childhood school, she told us, constantly talked about sin. Worse, in her mind, is that the nuns called things sin that weren't really sins. Fortunately she did not go into detail here or I might have lost it. Teaching seven year olds about sin in preparation for confession is too traumatic, she went on. Therefore, they told the kids that they were to tell the priest about their bad choices. Bad choices. Swinging at a high fastball is a bad choice, not a sin. Wearing white after labor day is a bad choice, not a sin. Voting for Megan Joy Corkery on American Idol is a bad choice, well that isn't a good example. Anyway, there is a big difference between a bad choice and a sin.

I left that meeting very frustrated. Of course, I do not leave my children's religious education entirely subject to the abstract religious stylings of the average DRE. I teach my kids what they have to know. So when I picked my kids up from their catechism classes after the meeting and on the drive home, I asked my son if his teacher ever mentioned sin. He told me that she had. It turned out that, regardless of the DRE's silly direction, she had taught them about sin anyway.

So Saturday we arrived for first confession. Fortunately the DRE, while present, was not the MC for this particular event. Unfortunately her influence was seen when we had to sit through Shine, Jesus, Shine and other such painful little diddies. Then a group of five children read a dumbed down version of the prodigal son. Why do they have to do that? Why can't they just leave well enough alone?

After the reading, Fr. Tom approached the children seated in the front rows. "What lesson did we learn from the Prodigal Son? What do you think it is that Jesus is trying to teach us?"

Pint size paws flew up from every corner. It seemed that every child had an answer at the ready. I thought to myself that they must have taught them all about the prodigal son during classes. Taught them about sin, about misusing the gifts of the Father, about repentance, and ultimately about forgiveness. I thought for a moment that I had been a little too hard (in my mind) on the religious education program, after all my son's teacher had told them all about sin. I thought this for a moment. A moment. Then came the answers.

"Jesus was trying to teach us that we should spend our money on good stuff!"

Fr. Tom, "Well yes we should but I think Jesus was trying to teach us something else. Anyone?"

"The older brother was mean."

"Yes, I mean no. Sometimes we act like the older brother too. But what else was Jesus trying to teach us?"

"That we should never move out of our Mom and Dad's house!"

"No no. It is ok to move out of the house when we grow up. After the son was sorry for what he had done. He decided to come home. When he came home, what did the Father do?"

"They had a party!"

"Yes, they had a party. Why did the Father throw a party? Was he still mad at the son for wasting all the money or was he glad to see him?"

Tentative voices offered, "Glad?"

"Yes, he was glad. The son was sorry for what he had done and the Father took him back and threw a party for him. What do you think Jesus was trying to tell us in this story? What was he trying to tell us about God?"

After a moments pause there came the lone and timid voice of a little girl. "God will forgive anything if we are sorry."

And there it was. More catechism is a few short minutes than it seems than the children had received up until that point.

"God will forgive anything if we are sorry." I hope DRE's everywhere learn this lesson.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just A Few Thoughts From Almost 200 Years Ago

stolen joyfully from The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen
Thanks guys

Some things never change

I thought you might enjoy (if not find thought provoking) from Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America. ~ Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

~ Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

~ Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.

~ The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.

~ There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.

~ America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good it will cease to be great.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We Keep Hoping

This guy gets it, He just expresses it better than me, by the way he is too young to be "too stubborn to change" Cardinal Mahoney


Cardinal Mahony: The Tridentine Mass was meant for those who could not make the transition from Latin to English [or other languages] after the Council. But there is no participation by the people, and I don’t believe that instills the spirit of Christ among us.

May we all be availed of this option locally and soon, of all the masses available in a 10 mile radius would it kill anyone to have ONE Extraordinary Form of the Mass available ? Sure seems to be the case

The Egyptian

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pope Benedicts Letter to the Bishops of the World about the SSPX

I believe it is amazing how critics of Tradition always bring up the Spirit of VII, and no matter how far out or silly or just plain scandalous it is, it's the Spirit of VII. VII Spirit types always want to talk about ecumenicism, but don't want to acknowledge the Traditionalist in the same spirit of ecumenicism. Remember Benedict helped draft the documents of VII and me thinks he has a pretty good handle on the true interpretation of then, and it's not anything goes!

The Egyptian


Via Fr Z with his comments

The persistent and charming Anna Arco of The Catholic Herald, perfect in German and English, has on her site a translation (unofficial of course) of the Holy Father’s letter to bishops about the SSPX excommunications.

My additional comments at at the bottom of the entry.

I am particularly moved by this:

Sometimes one has the impression that our society needs at least one group to which it needs to show no tolerance, which one is allowed to attack with hatred, unquestioned. And whoever dares to touch them—in this case the Pope— has also himself lost the right to tolerance and was allowed to be thought of with hatred, without shyness or restraint.
My emphases and comments.
Wednesday March 11
The Holy Father’s letter, sections of which have already appeared, in full, translated from the version which appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Dear brothers in episcopal service!

The lifting of the excommunications for the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre in the year 1988 without the mandate of the Holy See caused an uproar led with a ferocity which we haven’t seen for a long time, both within and outside of the Catholic Church for a multiplicity of reasons. Many bishops felt helpless faced with an event that came unexpectedly and that could barely fit positively into the questions and duties of the Church of today. Even though many shepherds and faithful were willing to gauge the Pope’s desire for reconciliation as fundamentally positive, the question of the appropriateness of such a gesture in the face of the real priorities of faithful life in our time stood against it.

A variety of groups on the other hand openly accused the Pope of wanting to reverse the Council; an avalanche of protests set itself into motion, the bitterness of which has made wounds visible which reached far further than the instance. So I feel pushed, dear confreres, to direct a clarifying word towards you, that should help to understand the intentions which led me and the respective organs of the Holy See in this step. In this way I hope to help to bring peace to the Church. [His Holiness is a great optimist.]

One of the for me not foreseeable glitch/breakdown existed therein that the lifting of the excommunication was overshadowed by the Williamson Case. The quiet gesture of mercy [this is a key point] towards four validly but not licitly ordained bishops appeared suddenly to be something completely different: as a rejection of the Christian-Jewish reconciliation, as a retraction of that on which matter the Council declared it to be the direction/path of the Church.

From an invitation to reconciliation for an ecclesiastical group that was separating itself from the Church, it became in this way the opposite, a seeming backtracking behind all the steps to the reconciliation between Christians and Jews which have been made since the Council—with which I have made it the goal of my theological work from the beginning to walk along with and move ahead.

I can only deeply lament the fact that this superimposition of two conflicting processes entered and for a moment disrupted the peace between Christians and Jews as well as the peace of the Church. [This is interesting: a direct mention of the use of the internet by a Roman Pontiff] I understand/hear, that careful following of the news available/accessible from the internet might have allowed one to become aware of the problem in time. I have learned from it that we at the Holy See shall have to be more watch this source of news more attentively in the future. [I am available. o{]:¬) ] I was saddened that also Catholics, who really should have known better, felt the need to lash out at me with jump-ready enmity. [Of course they did know better, but their enmity was greater than their respect or their sense of justice.] All the more do I thank the Jewish friends who helped to quickly rid the world of the misunderstanding and to re-establish the atmosphere of friendship and trust which—as in days of Pope John Paul II—also continued to exist through the whole period of my Pontificate and God be praised, will continue to exist.

A further mishap that I honestly regret exists therein that the border and the extent of the measure of January 21, 2009 which were not clearly enough explained with the publication of the process. The excommunications concern the persons, not the institutions. [good clarification] The consecration of bishops without a Papal mandate signals the danger of a schism [NB: "danger" of schism… not the present fact of schism.] because it calls into question the unity of the College of bishops with the Pope. Therefore the Church has to react with the severest punishment, excommunication, in order to to call back those that were thus punished to penitence and so to unity. Twenty years after the consecrations this goal has sadly still not been achieved. The lifting of the excommunications serves the same goal as the punishment itself; to once again invite the four bishops to return. [That is why he lifted the excommunications.] This gesture was possible after the involved parties expressed their fundamental acknowledgement of the Pope and his power as shepherd, even though with the exception of that which deals with obedience to his teaching authority and against that of the Council. [NB: "obedience to his teaching authority"] With that I return to distinction between person and institution. The dissolution of the excommunication was a measure in the area of Church Discipline: The persons were freed from the weight on their conscience of the heaviest Church punishment. This disciplinary field should be distinguished from the doctrinal area. [The doctrinal problems are still not resolved.] That the Society of St Pius X has no canonical status in the Church does not actually rest on a disciplinary but on a doctrinal foundation. [This is a very interesting statement. The point seems to me to be that the doctrinal differences are the real problem and not, in the mind of the Roman Pontiff, the matter of obedience to the Bishop of Rome in matters of discipline. There is a difference between respecting the Pope’s authority to govern the Church and the Pope’s authority to teach and the Church’s authority to have a Council and promulgate documents of any nature, dogmatic or pastoral.] As long as the Society has no canonical status in the church, their holders of office do not hold legal offices in the Church.

One must also differentiate between the persons as persons disciplinary level and the doctrinal level, [again the distinction…] with which both office and institution are in question. To repeat: so long as the doctrinal questions are not clarified, the society has no canonical status in the Church and therefore for that time its office holders, even if they are freed from the punishment of the Church, hold/practice no legal offices in the Church. [Good: The real problem is doctrine. I have been saying this all along. The liturgical or disciplinary problems can be solved with the stroke of a pen. The doctrinal issues must be hammered out.]

[This is important….] In the face of the situation, I intend to combine the Papal Commission Ecclesia Dei which has, since 1988, been responsible for those communities and persons, who have come from the Society of St Pius X or similar groups and would like to return to full communion with the Pope, with the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. This should make clear that the problems that are now to be dealt with are of a doctrinal nature, especially that which deals with acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-Concilliar teaching of the Pope. [This is very imporant. More on this below.] The collegial organs, with which the Congregation deals with the incidental questions (especially the regular meeting of the Cardinals on Wednesdays and the one to two yearly full meeting) guaranty that the prefects of the different Roman Congregations and the world wide episcopate will be brought into any decisions that will be made. [read: there will be wider consultation once the PCED is involved more closely with the CDF] One cannot freeze the teaching authority of the Church in the year 1962—the society has to be clear about that. [That was a direct instruction to the SSPX.] But some of those who play the great defenders of the Council, [I like that "play the defenders"... which isn’t really their role in the Church.] need to be reminded that the Second Vatican Council carries with it the whole teaching history of the Church. Whoever wants to be obedient to it, must accept the faith of centuries and may not cut the roots from which the tree lives. [Thus, a hermeneutic of continuity.]

I hope, dear brothers, that the positive meaning as well as the the boundaries of the measures of January 21, 2009 have been clarified. But now the question remains: Was it necessary? Was it really a priority? Are there not more important things? Naturally there are more important and urgent things. [The idea here is this: Why risk damaging relations with the Jews by doing this? Why give the impression that you are rolling back the Council? Etc. Pick your issue.] I think that I have made the priorities of this pontificate clear in my speeches at its beginning. What I said then remains my unchanged guidelines.

[Watch] The Lord unmistakably fixed the first priority for the successor of Peter at the Last Supper. “You however strengthen your brothers” (Lk 222, 32) Peter himself formulated this priority in his first letter anew: “Be constantly ready, to give everyone a speech and answer, who asks for the Hope that is in you.” 1 Peter 3,15) In our days, in which our faith threatens in broad stretches of the world to be extinguished like a flame which no longer finds food, it is the highest priority to make God present in this world and to open the access to God. Not just to any God, but to the God who spoke on the Sinai, to the God whose face in the love to the end (John 13,1) is recognized in the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ. [This next part is marvelous. It is a gem of the letter…. ] The actual problem of our point in history is that God is disappearing out of humankind’s horizon and with the extinguishing of the from God-coming-light the lack/inability to of direction breaks into humanity, the destructive effects of which we are seeing ever more of.

Bringing mankind to God, the God who speaks in the Bible, is the highest and most fundamental priority of the Church and the successor of Peter in these times. That we should be occupied with the unity of the Faithful will arise from that on its own. For her quarrel, her inner contradiction/disaccord — calls the speech of God into question. For that reason the struggle for a common witness of faith of Christians — for Ecumenism — is included in the highest priority. To that also comes the necessity that all those who believe in God search for peace together, attempt to come closer to one another in order to, through the variety of the their image of God, approach the source fo the Light together — the interreligious dialogue. Whoever proclaims God as love until the end must give the witness of love: turned towards the suffering in love, stave off hatred and enmity, the social dimension of the Christian Faith, of which I spoke in the encyclical Deus Caritas Est.

If the struggle for faith, hope and love in the world represents the true priority for the Church in this our (and always in different forms), then the smaller and the larger reconciliations also make up a part of it. [I like that: even small acts of reconciliation play a part in the larger reconciliation we must pursue.] We need to recognize that the quiet gesture of an outstretched hand became such a great noise [excellent] and so exactly the opposite of reconciliation. But now I still ask: Was and is it really wrong to come towards the brother “who bears a grudge against you” and attempt reconciliation (Cf. Mt 5, 23f)?

Should civilized society not also attempt to anticipate radicalization, to tie back her potential agents, if it is possible, with the great creative force of social life in order to prevent seclusion and all its consequences? Can it be completely wrong to strive for solutions to cramps and narrowing and to give room for the positive and which can be tied into the whole? [This is classic Ratzinger. It shows you something of his heart.] I myself experienced in the years after 1988 how much the internal climate of communities which were breaking away from Rome changed through their homecoming; how the homecoming into a great broad and common church overcame one-sidedness and unraveled knots, so that positive strength for the whole came out of them.

[This is good. It shows that those who resist Pope Benedict in this matter are really pretty small minded.] Can we be apathetic about a community in which there are 491 priests, 215 seminarians, six seminaries, 88 schools, two university institutes, 117 brothers and 164 sisters? Should we really allow them to drift away from the church with quiet minds. [That is what is happening and we must ACT.] I think for example of the 491 priests. [NB: I noted on many occasions that Summorum Pontificum was especially a gift to priests. Benedict is especially concerned for the priests of the SSPX.] We cannot know the weave of their motivations. But I think that they would not have chosen the priesthood if the love to Christ and the will to proclaim him and with him the living God. Should we simply exclude them from the search for reconciliation and unity as the representatives of a radical fringe group? What would happen then? [Excellent. I hope SSPX priests are paying attention.]

To be sure, we have for a long time and again on this given occasion heard many discordant notes from representatives of this community — arrogance and condescension, obsessing into the one-sided-nesses and so on. [SSPXers take note: This is PETER saying this to you.] To this I need to add for the sake of the Truth that I have also received a series of moving proofs of gratitude in which an opening of hearts was noticeable. [Again, this is PETER speaking.]

But should the larger Church not also be able to be generous in the knowledge of the long breath that it has, in the knowledge of the promise that was given to it? [People of good will should be able to disagree and work things out.] Should we not, like righteous educators, be able to overhear many an offense and strain ourselves to quietly lead out of the impasse? And must we not admit that discord has also come from Church circles? [This next part is fantastic!] Sometimes one has the impression that our society needs at least one group to which it needs to show no tolerance, which one is allowed to attack with hatred, unquestioned. And whoever dares to touch them—in this case the Pope— has also himself lost the right to tolerance and was allowed to be thought of with hatred, without shyness or restraint. [Amazing.]

Dear brothers, in the days in which I bethought myself to write this letter, it so happened that I had to explain and comment on a section from Gal 5,13-15 in the seminary in Rome. I was surprised who directly the sections spoke of the present of that hour : “Do not take freedom as an excuse for the flesh, but serve one another in love. The whole law is summarized in the one world: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. And when you bite and rip each other apart, then take care that you do not kill each other.” I was always inclined to see this sentence as one of those rhetorical hyperbole that occasionally appear in St Paul. In some ways it may well be. But unfortunately that “biting and ripping” is also present in the Church today as an expression of a badly understood notion of freedom. [The Holy Father’s personal experience has shed light for him on that verse of Scripture.]

Is it an wonder that we are not better than the Galatians? That we are at least threatened by the same temptations? That we need to learn the right uses of freedom anew? And that we always have to newly learn that highest priority: Love?

On that day, on which I had to speak about it at the seminary, Rome celebrated the feast of the Madonna della Fiducia, Our Lady of Trust. Indeed Mary teaches us trust. She leads us to the Son, whom we may all trust. He will lead us—even in turbulent times. So as I conclude I would like tho thank the many bishops who gave me moving tokens of trust and sympathy, but above all gave your prayers. This thanks also goes to all the faithful who gave me witness of their unchanging loyalty to th successor of St Peter. The Lord protect us all and leads in the path of freedom. [And interesting word, here.] That is a wish that has risen spontaneously, especially now at the beginning of Lent, a liturgical time when the inner cleansing is particularly beneficial and which invites us all to look with new hope at the glowing destination of the Easter feast.

With a special apostolic blessing I remain
Yours in the Lord

From the Vatican March 10, 2009
A couple things.

First, I was strongly moved by his description of a group to whom no tolerance may be shown and if anyone defends them, they too are harassed.

It is said that the last acceptable prejudice is anti-Catholic bigotry. But within the Church the same dynamic applies. I often refer to Summorum Pontificum as a kind of "emancipation proclamation". I describe not seldom, traditionalists as being treated in by progressivists in power as black were before the civil rights movment took hold in the USA: they can go to the back door of the restaurant for their food, but can’t sit in the nice chairs in the main room with decent folks.

Second, some would have thought that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei would be incorporated, perhaps, with the Cong. for Divine Worship. The Pope is saying rather that it should be with the CDF.

This to my mind signals a couple things. On the one hand, the liturgical issue is concluded in large part. The Holy Father established that there is one Roman Rite in two uses. Juridically the matter is concluded. Details can be worked out, but this is a done deal.

On the other hand, the more difficult problem remains, and it is not so must a matter of liturgical use but is rather doctrinal. Putting the PCED with e CDF opens the way to creating a framework for doctrinal talks with the SSPX. Issues of canonical status of the SSPX priests, the whole of the SSPX, etc…. that is a matter of paperwork, difficult paperwork, but paperwork nonetheless. The real sticking points are now doctrinal, as the Holy Father describes in the letter above.

What To Do With Useful Idiots When They No Longer Serve A Useful Purpose?

The attacks on Christians have just begun, the Catholic Church is the most hated by the Liberal elite because we refuse to bend (at least the true Catholics) alto some Bishops and Priests are more worried about being popular. The media though they had us by the nads with the abuse scandal, I remember reading an editorial from the NYT trumpeting that now we have the Catholic Church were we want them, we can force birth control, women priests and married clergy and acceptance of Gay lifestyle and marriage or we will sue them to death, well we didn't bend. But now its time for round two, grab your rosaries and pray, its going to be bumpy ride.

The Egyptian
from The Lair of the Catholic Cavemem

What To Do With Useful Idiots When They No Longer Serve A Useful Purpose?
The Nazis and the Democrats know...

I know this is kind of a long post, but hang in there with me. It's amazing that the Democrats are using the same tactics as the Nazis. Well... maybe not all that amazing.

Anyhow, Adolf Hitler knew exactly how to get the Catholic laity in Germany and Austria to follow him, as well as ignore the Catholic hierarchy. How? Simple... just promise plenty o' Change and heapin' helpin's of Hope.

Let's begin with what David G. Dalin (who, by the way, is Jewish) had to say in his defense of Pope Pius XII with these specifics; Any fair and thorough reading of the evidence demonstrates that Pius XII was a persistent critic of Nazism. Consider just a few highlights of his opposition before the war: of the forty-four speeches Pacelli gave in Germany as Papal Nuncio between 1917 and 1929, forty denounced some aspect of the emerging Nazi ideology.

In March 1935, he wrote an open letter to the Bishop of Cologne calling the Nazis “false prophets with the pride of Lucifer.”
Hmmm... didn't Bishop Martino of Scranton just state that Sen. Casey should "rescind his abortion vote or else be complicit in 'hideous evil'"? He sure did. History repeats itself, gang.

And what was in the planning stages when the Nazis had had enough with The Pope? Nazi Policy and the Catholic Church by Karol Jozef Gajewski is an excellent article, well worth the read. Here's some of it; (Emphasis mine) ...throughout the 1930s, Pacelli was widely lampooned in the Nazi press as Pius XI’s 'Jew-loving' Cardinal, because of the more than fifty-five protests he sent the Germans as the Vatican Secretary of State.

...the most eloquent testimony is the Nazis’ own. Fascist documents published in 1998 (and summarized in Marchione’s Pope Pius XII) speak of a German plan, dubbed “Rabat-Fohn,” to be executed in January 1944. The plan called for the Eighth Division of the SS Cavalry, disguised as Italians, to seize St. Peter’s and “massacre Pius XII with the entire Vatican”–and specifically names “the papal protest in favor of the Jews” as the cause.
Notice how the Liberal press ridicules the tiny handful of American Bishops who have the 'nads to lay it on the line with baby-killing Democrat politicians? After the name-calling such as 'fetus-lover' no longer shocks, what comes next? The Nazis knew.

And then comes this....

From CatholicCitizens.org; (Emphasis mine) N.Y. Catholics: Dems Trying to Bankrupt Church
2/28/2009 10:00:00 PM
By Richard Lawrence Poe -newsmax.com

Democrats have declared war on the Catholic Church, with new laws that threaten to bankrupt Catholic schools, hospitals, charities and parishes. Thus far, the worst attacks have come in New York.

"We've taken a lot of hits this year," Dennis Poust, spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, the policy arm of the state's Catholic bishops, tells Newsmax. "Outside the government, the Catholic Church is the largest provider of health, human services and education in [New York]. But some legislators are so driven by malice that they're willing to see our charities and schools go under."

The Empire State's Democrats are attacking on three fronts.

A proposal to require all hospitals to perform abortions, or lose their state license would put Catholic hospitals out of business.

Major funding cuts for Catholic schools by Gov. David Paterson, who continues to force the parochial schools to run state-mandated programs at their own expense.

An effort by Democratic lawmakers to abolish the statute of limitations on sex abuse lawsuits against the Church, allowing people to sue over decades-old cases in which the alleged perpetrators are dead.

The proposed sex-abuse law applies only to private institutions such as the Church and the Boy Scouts. Public schools are exempt. Yet sex abuse is more common in public schools than in private institutions.

"The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests", concluded a 2002 study by Hofstra University scholar Charol Shakeshaft. It estimated that 6 to 10 percent of U.S. public school students had been sexually abused by teachers and school employees.
Personally, I'd like to see no statute of limitations at all for any sex related crimes. But with that said, when the government designs laws that prosecute one segment of society (The Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, etc.), but turns a blind eye to another segment (the Teachers Union), isn't that the textbook definition of... dare I say it... official government persecution?

Heil Obama, baby

Payback for Catholic stand on Abortion and Gay Marriage

Hope and Change folks, this is Liberal Caring. I am convinced this is just the beginning of a long string of paybacks for the churches stand on gay marriage and abortion


from the blog of Connecticut Sen Michael McLachlan

The Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly, chaired by Senator Andrew McDonald and Representative Michael Lawlor, seems to have run off into a ditch this session.

First we have an over-reaching attempt to codify the Connecticut Supreme Court's Kerrigan decision legalizing gay marriage - Senate Bill 899 - and now we have a bizarre attack of First Amendment rights against the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut - Senate Bill 1098.

I'm going to focus on Senate Bill 1098 -- "An Act Modifying Corporate Laws Relating to Certain Religious Institutions." The stated purpose of this bill is "to revise the corporate governance provisions applicable to the Roman Catholic Church and provide for the investigation of the misappropriation of funds by religious corporations." The real purpose of this bill is payback to the bishops and pastors of the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut for opposing gay marriage.

Unfortunately, I think some well-intentioned, unhappy Catholics from Darien are being used as pawns by Senator McDonald and Representative Lawlor in a thinly-veiled attack on the Church.

This legislation seeks to eliminate bishops and pastors from all financial decisions of the Church. Currently, local parish corporations are governed by the bishop, diocesan administrator, pastor and two lay trustees as required in Canon Law. Senate Bill 1098 will change this to an elected board of directors of seven to thirteen lay members and will exclude the bishop and pastor. The pastor of the parish corporation will report to the board of directors.

This proposal turns the Catholic Church of Connecticut into a congregational church structure. The proponents claim this is necessary because of financial impropriety of two pastors from Darien and Greenwich in the past several years. McDonald and Lawlor claim the parishioners approached them for assistance making changes to the Catholic Church to hold the bishops accountable for their decisions.

Some would say this is an incredibly bold move by McDonald and Lawlor but the constitutional scholars say their proposal is a clear attack on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Connecticut Catholics are outraged by the proposal and are likely to fill the halls of the State Capitol and the Legislative Office Building on Wednesday, March 11th for the Judiciary Committee's public hearing on the bill.

I suspect this public hearing will be more like a zoo with the tone of an inquisition. Chances are the topics for discussion on Wednesday will go far beyond the bill proposed. I fear that we'll be hearing all kinds of attacks on the bishops, pastors and priests of the Catholic Church.

I pray fervently that we can dispense with this brutal attack on the Roman Catholic Church very quickly. Catholics don't deserve this attack and the proponents of this bill will hopefully hear this message loud and clear.

You can read about S.B. 1098 here:

You can reach members of the Judiciary Committee here:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The coming evangelical collapse

" Two of the beneficiaries will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue, with more efforts aimed at the "conversion" of Evangelicals to the Catholic and Orthodox traditions."

Brick by Brick, they are not coming over for more of the same that the evangelical churches gave them.

The Egyptian

From the Christian Science Monitor

An anti-Christian chapter in Western history is about to begin. But out of the ruins, a new vitality and integrity will rise.

We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.

Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.

Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.

Why is this going to happen?

1. Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress. Public leaders will consider us bad for America, bad for education, bad for children, and bad for society.

The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can't articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap ofbelieving in a cause more than a faith.

2. We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.

3. There are three kinds of evangelical churches today: consumer-driven megachurches, dying churches, and new churches whose future is fragile. Denominations will shrink, even vanish, while fewer and fewer evangelical churches will survive and thrive.

4. Despite some very successful developments in the past 25 years, Christian education has not produced a product that can withstand the rising tide of secularism. Evangelicalism has used its educational system primarily to staff its own needs and talk to itself.

5. The confrontation between cultural secularism and the faith at the core of evangelical efforts to "do good" is rapidly approaching. We will soon see that the good Evangelicals want to do will be viewed as bad by so many, and much of that work will not be done. Look for ministries to take on a less and less distinctively Christian face in order to survive.

6. Even in areas where Evangelicals imagine themselves strong (like the Bible Belt), we will find a great inability to pass on to our children a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith.

7. The money will dry up.

What will be left?

•Expect evangelicalism to look more like the pragmatic, therapeutic, church-growth oriented megachurches that have defined success. Emphasis will shift from doctrine to relevance, motivation, and personal success – resulting in churches further compromised and weakened in their ability to pass on the faith.

•Two of the beneficiaries will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue, with more efforts aimed at the "conversion" of Evangelicals to the Catholic and Orthodox traditions.

•A small band will work hard to rescue the movement from its demise through theological renewal. This is an attractive, innovative, and tireless community with outstanding media, publishing, and leadership development. Nonetheless, I believe the coming evangelical collapse will not result in a second reformation, though it may result in benefits for many churches and the beginnings of new churches.

•The emerging church will largely vanish from the evangelical landscape, becoming part of the small segment of progressive mainline Protestants that remain true to the liberal vision.

•Aggressively evangelistic fundamentalist churches will begin to disappear.

•Charismatic-Pentecostal Christianity will become the majority report in evangelicalism. Can this community withstand heresy, relativism, and confusion? To do so, it must make a priority of biblical authority, responsible leadership, and a reemergence of orthodoxy.

•Evangelicalism needs a "rescue mission" from the world Christian community. It is time for missionaries to come to America from Asia and Africa. Will they come? Will they be able to bring to our culture a more vital form of Christianity?

•Expect a fragmented response to the culture war. Some Evangelicals will work to create their own countercultures, rather than try to change the culture at large. Some will continue to see conservatism and Christianity through one lens and will engage the culture war much as before – a status quo the media will be all too happy to perpetuate. A significant number, however, may give up political engagement for a discipleship of deeper impact.

Is all of this a bad thing?

Evangelicalism doesn't need a bailout. Much of it needs a funeral. But what about what remains?

Is it a good thing that denominations are going to become largely irrelevant? Only if the networks that replace them are able to marshal resources, training, and vision to the mission field and into the planting and equipping of churches.

Is it a good thing that many marginal believers will depart? Possibly, if churches begin and continue the work of renewing serious church membership. We must change the conversation from the maintenance of traditional churches to developing new and culturally appropriate ones.

The ascendency of Charismatic-Pentecostal-influenced worship around the world can be a major positive for the evangelical movement if reformation can reach those churches and if it is joined with the calling, training, and mentoring of leaders. If American churches come under more of the influence of the movement of the Holy Spirit in Africa and Asia, this will be a good thing.

Will the evangelicalizing of Catholic and Orthodox communions be a good development? One can hope for greater unity and appreciation, but the history of these developments seems to be much more about a renewed vigor to "evangelize" Protestantism in the name of unity.

Will the coming collapse get Evangelicals past the pragmatism and shallowness that has brought about the loss of substance and power? Probably not. The purveyors of the evangelical circus will be in fine form, selling their wares as the promised solution to every church's problems. I expect the landscape of megachurch vacuity to be around for a very long time.

Will it shake lose the prosperity Gospel from its parasitical place on the evangelical body of Christ? Evidence from similar periods is not encouraging. American Christians seldom seem to be able to separate their theology from an overall idea of personal affluence and success.

The loss of their political clout may impel many Evangelicals to reconsider the wisdom of trying to create a "godly society." That doesn't mean they'll focus solely on saving souls, but the increasing concern will be how to keep secularism out of church, not stop it altogether. The integrity of the church as a countercultural movement with a message of "empire subversion" will increasingly replace a message of cultural and political entitlement.

Despite all of these challenges, it is impossible not to be hopeful. As one commenter has already said, "Christianity loves a crumbling empire."

We can rejoice that in the ruins, new forms of Christian vitality and ministry will be born. I expect to see a vital and growing house church movement. This cannot help but be good for an evangelicalism that has made buildings, numbers, and paid staff its drugs for half a century.

We need new evangelicalism that learns from the past and listens more carefully to what God says about being His people in the midst of a powerful, idolatrous culture.

I'm not a prophet. My view of evangelicalism is not authoritative or infallible. I am certainly wrong in some of these predictions. But is there anyone who is observing evangelicalism in these times who does not sense that the future of our movement holds many dangers and much potential?

Michael Spencer is a writer and communicator living and working in a Christian community in Kentucky. He describes himself as "a postevangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus-shaped spirituality." This essay is adapted from a series on his blog, InternetMonk.com.

making our grandchildren pay for the extermination of our children

From Creative Minority Report

Yep Yep Yep, I agree, see previous post contraceptives-and-economic-collapse

The Egyptian
We're in a deep financial crisis and yet President Obama still feels the need to spend taxpayer money on abortions and embryonic stem cell research. In fact we've spent so much money that our government has now emptied the pockets of our children and is currently robbing our grandchildren.

So our country is essentially making our grandchildren pay for the extermination of our children.

Disturbing, right? Sorry if I'm weirding you out. Bad day, I guess. But this latest embryonic stem cell research thing really bugged me.

And one more thing just because I'm in that kind of mood. All these programs that our children and grandchildren are supposed to support will be, in fact, unsupportable unless we actually have children and grandchildren. Duh!

I foresee nothing but doom for Western civilization. Doom, I say.

I will be better later I promise. Sorry for the temporary doomsaying. Silliness and snark will resume shortly.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yes I Mean LOTS Of Work

At last, the truth about America: it's becoming less religious

Here is the same story from a British view, from Damian Thompson at The Holy Smoke Blog

Thanks Damian
The Egyptian

A huge survey of American religious belief was published today, and the results are devastating for those who believe that the USA, unlike "secular" Europe, will always be a nation of churchgoers.

Many Americans worship themselves (photo: 7E55E-BRN)

The percentage of Americans who call themselves Christian has dropped 11 per cent in a generation. And I think this is the beginning of a very long slide.

"More than ever before, people are just making up their own stories of who they are," says Barry Kosmin, co-author of the survey. "They say, 'I'm everything. I'm nothing. I believe in myself.' "

The new American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) is based on 54,000 interviews carried out last year, updating a database of 113,000 interviews carried out in 1990. The new figures show that the percentage of non-believers has nearly doubled from 8 to 15 per cent in the past 18 years.

Non-believers now outnumber every religious group in America except Catholics and Baptists. This is not a surprise to me - though it may surprise British people who are regularly fed garbage by our media, who insist on portraying Americans as people of simple and sunny faith, whatever form it takes.

You only have to read the blogs to realise that there is a vast number of young Americans out there who share a liberal contempt for religion. It was no coincidence that Sam Harris's apocalyptic tirade against religion, The End of Faith, sat in the New York Times bestseller lists for 33 weeks.

YouTube is crawling with videos of young Americans expressing their contempt for the politics of the Christian Right and, increasingly, the whole concept of the supernatural. Here's an example of a young American who begins every video by denying the existence of God.

Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today gets it right:

When it comes to religion, the USA is now land of the freelancers. The percentage. of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more than 11% in a generation. The faithful have scattered out of their traditional bases: The Bible Belt is less Baptist. The Rust Belt is less Catholic. And everywhere, more people are exploring spiritual frontiers — or falling off the faith map completely.

Catholics are doing OK - thanks to immigrants. As Grossman writes: "Catholic strongholds in New England and the Midwest have faded as immigrants, retirees and young job-seekers have moved to the Sun Belt. While bishops from the Midwest to Massachusetts close down or consolidate historic parishes, those in the South are scrambling to serve increasing numbers of worshippers."

But mainline Protestant denominations - especially Methodists - are in big trouble, as are Jews: the number of people identifying their religion as Jewish has fallen from 1.8 per cent of the population in 1990 to 1.2 per cent today.

I've seen this coming for a long time. Five years ago I was doing academic research on evangelical religion, and I was struck by just how secularised even born-again, Bible Belt Christianity had become. US Christians whom the BBC would describe as "fundamentalist" were becoming increasingly focussed on a narcissistic spiritual journey in which the figure of Jesus was sometimes little more than a disposable spirit guide or a life coach.

The fast-growing evangelical churches of America base much of their appeal on experiential excitement and therapeutic storytelling; everything is turned into a commodity, including courses of sermons. No wonder there is a signficant (if unacknowledged) overlap with the New Age.

The trend towards religious apathy and improvisation is clearly illustrated by the Obama administration and its supporters: never have there been so many young atheists and agnostics working in the White House and on Capitol Hill. At the moment the Democrats have absorbed most of the non-believers, but secularisation will come to the Republicans, too: don't expect the Religious Right to determine the outcome of future elections.

In many ways, the erosion of this Christian identity is desperately sad: we're having to let go of the idea that the unregulated vibrancy of US Christianity would enable it to pull off the unique trick of preserving religious observance in a globalised marketplace. But the truth is that the stereotype of the churchgoing American has been out of date for years, and now we have the statistics to prove it.