Friday, August 28, 2015

POPE FRANCIS AND THE CHURCH THAT IS POOR--WHAT MESSAGE WAS AND IS THE HOLY FATHER REALLY SENDING?


We know that the most scandalous aspect of the Vatican and now for decades is its bank. Mega bucks (euros) were gained for the Church and embezzlers using corrupt practicing, investment philosophies and the like became mega rich. The runner up to the Vatican Bank is the Church in Germany that invests in pornography producers and distributors and earns big bucks especially from the government tax of baptized Christians, a thoroughly corrupt practice.

I can remember even as a child when my Protestant proselytizers would tell me that the Vatican would invest in companies that manufactured birth control pills and devises and promoted abortions and a whole range of other immoral activities. I thought they were just being anti-Catholic with what I thought were falsehoods, but they were more than likely correct, not lying.

Of course any of us who have investments have to realize that the institutions investing our monies are investing them in corporations which do immoral things. That's the way it is. And most of us have cable TV, internet or Satellite TV where providers make mega bucks off of the most vile and crude forms of pornography. None of us blinks an eye. Even getting free-TV over an antenna supports stations owned by companies that provide pornography and do other immoral things.

This brings me to our funeral discussions about mafia dons getting elaborate Catholic funerals and their counterparts, Catholic politicians who are pro-choice, pro-same sex marriage and the like getting the same thing.

One wonders how much rich Catholics who are anything but Catholic morally are giving to bishops and parishes and none of the clergy want to alienate them for fear of losing their contributions. Am I being cynical here?

Saint Patrick's Cathedral has undergone mega millions of dollars for restoration, I mean, mega millions! How much of that money given is dirty money? Should dirty money be accepted and does it lead cardinals, bishops and priests to look the other way in order to keep the bucks coming?

And now, I think, we know why Pope Francis in some of his first words as the newly elected pope in the Sistine Chapel said he longed for a poor Church. It frees us from corrupt monies. He knew and knows the corruption that money has brought not only to the Vatican but to local dioceses and parishes throughout the world.

MURDER TURNED INTO REALITY SHOW FOR CNN AND THE EXPLOITATION OF GRIEF FOR RATINGS!

The murder of two reporters and the wounding of the one being interviewed in Virginia on live morning television was shocking and newsworthy. Reporting the facts is necessary.

But as usual, the 24 hour news stations have turned it into a reality show. CNN seems to be the mot exploitative. I have to wonder if it isn't this kind of reporting that motivates the mentally imbalanced with a tendency toward violence to commit such heinous crimes?

The first full hour yesterday and then throughout the day of the  news on CNN exploited the grieving fiance of the woman reporter who was murdered. It was as if Chris Cuomo wanted to make the man cry, as this is supposedly good television, by the inane, ridiculous personal questions that were asked.

This poor gentleman, clearly in shock and denial about the implications of what had happened and thus unemotional about the death of his girl friend, weakened throughout the day and by the afternoon it was sinking in and he was actually crying on camera, which made the afternoon anchor feel good--it was good television and good show and good for the ratings!

I doubt that these reporters exploiting the tragedy of other reporters realize how exploitative they are and idiotic their questions are of a grieving person! Contempt for the grieving and the privacy those who grieve need and must be given is par for the news these days.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

PERHAPS THE MOST HUMBLE POPE EVER, BOTH IN LIFE AND IN DEATH

In life, His Holiness Pope John Paul I was a humble pope. He embraced the trappings of the papacy simply because these were the trappings of the papacy, placed upon him, not chosen by him.

In death, His Holiness Pope John Paul I is a humble pope. No one really remembers him. His papacy was about a month in 1978. He was known as the smiling pope as Pope Paul VI had become so dour and depressed looking about the state of the Church in the 1970's and the loss of a best friend murdered by an Italian terrorist organization.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WE HAVE OUR WORK CUT OUT FOR US--MEANING FORMING CATHOLICS IN THE FAITH, THE TRUE FAITH

 The following is true I fear. However, I have to wonder if the percentage of faithful Catholics is much higher with those who actually attend Mass. I don't know. I do know that Catholics are being cooked in the crock pot of secularism, not from evil motives, but from ignorance and not wanting to appear too much different than their peers in the world.

It seems to me that when Catholics give into the culture and its fads or trends as opposed to being faithful to Christ and His Church that this opens the door for them to leave the Church when they realize they can't have it their way. They either join liberal Protestant denominations or they simply become "nones" like Dr. Bill Cummings. What do you think about these findings?:

On Almost Every Major Issue, Catholics Are More Progressive Than The Average American

For years, liberals have decried the conservative theology of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, lamenting U.S. bishops’ efforts to push back against LGBT equality, for example. But a new study illustrates a widening ideological gulf between Catholic leadership and people in the pews. In fact, typical Catholics are not only more left-leaning than the Church, but also more progressive than average Americans on most major issues — sometimes by significant margins.

The report, created through a joint polling effort of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Religion News Service (RNS), was released on Friday in preparation for Pope Francis’ visit to the United States next month. It chronicled America’s ongoing love affair with the popular pontiff, but also pointed out the increasingly liberal politics of the country’s Catholics.
catholics-progressive
CREDIT: Andrew Breiner/ThinkProgress
The disparity between the Catholics and the rest of the United States — not to mention Church leadership — is especially evident on LGBT issues. Whereas 55 percent of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, a full 60 percent of Catholics say the same. This directly contradicts the Catholic Church’s official opposition to marriage equality, yet most Catholics (53 percent) do not believe same-sex marriage violates their religious beliefs.

What’s more, when Catholics were asked whether they favor laws that would protect LGBT people from discrimination, 76 percent say yes — as opposed to 70 percent of Americans overall. And while U.S. bishops have supported guaranteeing business owners the right to refuse service to customers who are LGBT by citing religious concerns, around two-thirds (65 percent) of Catholics oppose such policies. Most Americans also disagree with so-called “religious liberty” exemptions, but by a smaller percentage — 57 percent.

Lay Catholics are also more progressive than average Americans on climate change, although their opinion is more in line with Catholic officials such as Pope Francis, who recently published a formal encyclical calling on the faithful to protect the planet. Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of the general public believes the government should do more to address global warning, compared to some 73 percent of Catholics.

Meanwhile, Catholics mirror most Americans by sharing the pope’s fairly left-leaning approach to economics and immigration. Catholics (72 percent) and Americans writ large (71 percent) agree that the government should do more to help the poor eradicate income inequality, while 63 percent of the general U.S. population and 61 percent of Catholics say America should grant undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship under certain requirements.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of American Catholics (57 percent) also believe that the Church should focus more on economic and social justice issues than reproductive justice. While this may seem odd given the Church’s longstanding, passionate opposition to abortion, lay Catholics are closely aligned with the general populace here: A slim majority of average Americans (53 percent) and Catholics (51 percent) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Granted, several of these issues express themselves differently when Catholics are broken down along racial lines. For example, non-white Catholics express much stronger support for government action on climate change (86 percent) than white Catholics (64 percent). Similarly, non-white Catholics (81 percent) are far more likely than white Catholics (65 percent) to tell pollsters that the government should do more to address economic inequality. Conversely, roughly equal numbers of white Catholics (59 percent) and non-white Catholics (61 percent) support same-sex marriage.

Some of these trends reflect longstanding Catholic teaching, and other surveys have pointed out the progressive bent of Catholicism globally — including in places such as Ireland, where thousands of Catholics recently voted to legalize same-sex marriage. But the PRRI report also helps explain the wild popularity of Pope Francis among American Catholics, who have lauded the pontiff’s deeply progressive positions on climate change, economics, and immigration. And while Francis hasn’t changed the Church’s historical condemnation of homosexual acts and abortion, the first Argentinian pope has called for the church to be less “obsessed” with such issues, framing his papacy around other concerns.

Predictably, the survey found that while 80 percent of American Catholics say Pope Francis understands the needs and views of the American Catholic community, only 60 percent are willing to say the same for U.S. bishops. In addition, the 56 percent of Catholics report that their feelings towards Church have changed since Francis ascended to the papacy.

ARE THERE TIMES THAT THE CHURCH SHOULD DENY A FUNERAL TO A NOTRIOUSLY SINFUL CATHOLIC OR AT LEAST DEMAND THAT THE FUNERAL BE SOBER AND SOMBER?

Last week there was a lavish funeral for a mafia boss in Rome. It was controversial even there. Most of the lavish activities occurred outside the Church and beyond the control of the Church, except those providing the lavish send off of a notorious mafia crime boss where baptized Catholics, thus the Church was doing it like it or not!

Catholic News Agency reports  an outlandish funeral for an alleged Italian mob boss, complete with a horse-drawn carriage, flower petals strewn from a helicopter and a brass band playing theme music from the movie “The Godfather” was slammed by Rome’s politicians Thursday as an intolerable display of impunity.

Hundreds gathered outside the church of San Giovanni Bosco on the outskirts of Rome to pay their respects to Vittorio Casamonica, 65, who’s been identified as the leader of the Casamonica clan, which has previously been accused of racketeering, extortion and drug trafficking.

But don't we as a Church now do this sort of thing as a matter of course in the New Order of the Funeral Mass compared to the Ancient Order?  Aren't our Funeral Masses for the most part a canonization of the faithful or faithless departed person? Aren't accolades heaped upon the deceased to help the living feel better about the crudeness of death? Yes what happened in Rome is an extreme version of it but it happens consistently in almost every parish funeral in the world.

And what about eulogies given at Mass by lay people? Isn't the purpose of this to extol the dead person in a lavish way, albeit more sober than what the Catholics outside of Mass did for the mafia crime boss in Rome?

Isn't it time for the pope and the bishops of the world to reform the New Order of the Mass for Funerals and get back to what the Ancient Order accomplished? Just asking.

COUNTRY CLUB CHRISTIANS:WHY NOT JUST FIND A COUNTRY CLUB OR SOME OTHER KIND OF CLUB TO JOIN, OR NO CLUB AT ALL?

Everyone is in need of salvation even if they don't know they are. Not everyone needs to join a country club to meet the right people or to have a way to socialize or to have activities to do, although many people do need these venues whether it be a country club or some other kind of civic organization.

For most people, I suspect, the social connections they make at work or in the family are sufficient.

As Catholics, we should know that the entire Deposit of Faith is given to us by God to save our souls from everlasting condemnation in hell. It isn't just an individual thing, but individual it is. Becoming a follower of Christ or a disciple is a sign of that saving of one's soul.

The Holy Bible, both Testaments, ultimately point to the need for people to be saved from God's wrath and eternal condemnation. Both Testaments prove there is a True God and what our True God expect of individuals and communities. There is always a moral and ethical dimension both individually and collectively.

Our unworthiness, save for the grace of God, is emphasized over and over again. The ancient Order of the Mass emphasizes it more than the new Order of the Mass. In fact, the ancient Order of the Mass tends to form more humble Catholics who know who they are and what their unworthiness should gain them if not for the grace of God compared to those formed exclusively by the new Order.

The Church is meant to teach individuals what it means to be saved by God. Her moral teachings lead to the perfection in heaven. It begins with the individual and touches the very core of who we are, our sexuality and leads from there to an authentic love for God and neighbor, especially service to the poor, not just those without money or material possessions but those who are poor in faith and morals.

There are fringe benefits apart from the saving of one's soul but these are icing on the cake, not the core of Catholicism such as fellowship and fun activities, things to do in other words.

But when fellowship, fun activities and things to do become the most important, then Christians become Country Club Christians which boils down to consumers of religion.

Saving one's soul is the reason for being a Christian.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MACON AREA CATHOLIC HAS OP ED IN THE MACON TELEGRAPH TO CHALLENGE FORMER FATHER AND FORMER CATHOLIC BILL CUMMINGS


Dismantling Christianity and Western civilization — and replacing them with what?


Read more here: http://www.macon.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article32283264.html#storylink=cpy

DOES THE MACON TELEGRAPH'S EDITORIAL POLICY SUBSCRIBE TO ANTI-CATHOLIC IDEOLOGIES AS CHARACTERIZED BY CHICK PUBLICATIONS BUT EXPRESSED IN POLITICALLY CORRECT TERMS BY DR. BILL CUMMINGS, AN ANTI-CATHOLIC EX-CATHOLIC?

Is the Macon Telegraph aiding a new "Fr. Damien" in the former Father Bill Cummings by allowing him to offer anti-Catholic editorials? Fr. Damien is the former Catholic priest often cited by the anti-Catholic evangelical Chick publications:
 Dr. Bill Cummings, a former Catholic priest and former Catholic has a regular column in the Macon Telegraph's Sunday Newspaper. He  expresses views, albeit in a more sophisticated politically correct way, similar to the anti-Catholic views of the evangelical Chick publications.

This is how Wikipedia describes Chick:  

Chick tracts are short evangelical tracts created and published by American publisher Jack T. Chick.
 Although many of Chick's tracts express views that are generally accepted within Christian theology, such as the Incarnation of Christ,[1] several tracts express controversial viewpoints. Most notably, Chick is known for his strong anti-Catholic views, which are expressed in 20 of his tracts (along with several full-length comic books).

Often Chick Publications uses former Catholic priests and laity to spread their anti-Catholic diatribes similar to what the Macon Telegraph does as it allows Dr. Bill Cummings to do time and time again in his editorials. The odd thing is that Dr. Cummings' editorials are suppose to be on business practices, not religion, but his anti-Catholic streak is so deep that something anti-Catholic always seems to appear in his editorials.

What puzzles me about the Macon Telegraph allowing the anti-Catholic Dr. Bill Cummings to continue to write his hateful editorials about the Catholic Church is that the reader of the Telegraph which continue to dwindle are less than 1% or so Catholic. I suspect most readers of the Telegraph could care less about anything Dr. Cummings has to write, religious or not.

The following is the editorial from Dr. Cummings that appeared in this past Sunday's Telegraph, just one more of his many anti-Catholic swipes against the Catholic Church. Below it is a letter to the editor that I wrote which I am not sure will make it into the Telegraph:

Is Christianity dying in America? No, but it is declining, that’s for sure. In 1892, our Supreme Court declared: “This is a Christian nation.” In 2009, Barack Obama, said: “We don’t consider ourselves a Christian nation.” He could say that because 26.2 percent of Americans are atheist, agnostics, secularists, Muslim, Jewish or Hindu; the greatest decline of Christians (34 percent) is among those born after 1980, so the trend looks irreversible.

Example: for every one person who joins the Catholic Church, six leave. There are 3 million less Catholics in America since 2007, and 5 million less mainline Protestants.

All sorts of reasons are given. Pat Buchanan blames the Supreme Court for purging Christ from the public schools, and he condemns our media and movies for continuing the counter-culture of the ‘60s. Father Allan McDonald, the pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon, wrote in his blog that he blames his parish decline on 500 funerals in 11 years, the white flight out of Bibb County and the lack of new industry.

Whatever the real reasons, more and more Christians find fishing on Sunday morning or just relaxing with the family more fulfilling than going to church. And that’s a fact. So, why go to church?

Well, both Catholics and Protestants have two fantastic things to brag about. One is “community” and the second is called “outreach.” It’s like going to Rotary every week with your friends and joining a committee to distribute food to the hungry. Churches are like clubs. They bring together people with the same backgrounds and interests and provide them a forum for charitable action. So how do we explain the fact that we still have so much segregation in our churches but not in our clubs? Blacks and whites can’t seem to get it together — for God’s sake.

The mainline Protestant churches (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Episcopal) have two more distinct things to offer. One is Sunday School. These are small vibrant groups who meet an hour before the church service and discuss biblical or current issues of interest without the help or hindrance of the pastor. The second is the emphasis on good preaching. Pastors can’t all be Joel Osteens or Billy Grahams, but if the pastor can’t preach, he or she is gone.

The Catholic Church has one distinctly different offering. It’s called the Eucharist. For Catholics, when Jesus said “This is my body,” he meant it literally. It was not a metaphor like “the lamb of God.” It was a magical miracle, and every priest performs this exact same miracle every Sunday morning. You can see how the 33 percent decline in American priests causes a terrible problem. Without the priest, there is no Eucharist. Without the Eucharist, there is no Catholic Church. Based on these statistics, Ireland could become non-Catholic in 20 years.

But there is one thing about going to the Catholic Church that Protestants don’t have to worry about. If Protestants go to church, it’s because they want to. If Catholics go to church, it’s because they have to. Really. If a Catholic rolls over when the alarm goes off and says, “the hell with it,” that’s exactly what he’s going to get. You see, deliberately missing Mass on Sunday is a mortal sin for a Catholic. That means if he dies before he confesses this sin to a priest, he goes straight to hell. That’s a pretty big incentive.

It was unreasonable incentives like this that created Protestantism in the first place. You remember the Rev. Father Martin Luther, a Catholic priest and monk, who, on Oct. 31, 1517 posted 95 “protests” on the door of his Catholic church in Wittenberg, Germany, and began the Protestant Reformation. Luther protested against church doctrines like indulgences, usury, confession, purgatory, papal arrogance and infallibility,

Maybe we need more Father Martins today, priests and pastors willing to question things like segregation, gay bashers, global warming, birth control, divorced Catholics and discrimination of all kinds. Maybe if our churches produced more questioners like Martin Luther and Pope Francis, instead of men who hide behind the infallible comfort of their black cassocks and robes, more people would go to church and be willing to stand up and say: “Now Sunday is worthwhile.”

Dr. Bill Cummings is the CEO of Cummings Consolidated Corporation and Cummings Management Consultants. His website is www.billcummings.org.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article31954338.html#storylink=cpy

My Letter to the editor yet to be published:


Dr. Bill Cummings a former priest and non-practicing Catholic is the poster child for Catholics who choose to leave the Church and become “nones”. Some in  Dr. Cummings' generation, he is almost 84 years old,  are divided between two major camps, those who saw Vatican II in the early 1960’s in continuity with the Church’s 2000 year tradition and those who viewed Vatican II as a rupture in that tradition and produced a completely different church. The first group is correct and Dr. Cummings'  group is dead wrong. Liberalism in Catholicism and Protestantism  accounts for the majority of departures from the Church. It is deadly!

  The confusion and damage inflicted on the Catholic Church by some in Dr. Cummings' generation is incalculable and in part accounts for some of the Church's loss of membership.

  While growth in the population of the Church is a laudable goal, fidelity to the truths of the Church are more laudable even if this means a smaller, but purer Church. Mustard seeds, the smallest of shrubs grow into the largest of bushes. Catholic history is cyclical and there is nothing new  as it concerns today’s death and tomorrow’s resurrection!

  Dr. Cummings is correct in asking people to question things. I recommend questioning Dr. Cummings who not only  denigrates practicing Catholics but all  orthodox Christians. He arrogantly pontificates; but he's no Pontiff!

  Fr. Allan J. McDonald

Pastor

St. Joseph Catholic Church

My final comment: The Telegraph is owned by the McClatchy Corporation rather than by a local owner. Thus its editorial policy, much to its detriment which may explain in part its dwindling readership, is far from the opinions held by the majority of Macon's residents. Macon is a relatively conservative town and very religious and conservatively so. The Telegraph continues to ignore this reality in its editorial policies but to their detriment.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

THE STEWARDSHIP OF OUR CATHOLIC FAITH: MY HOMILY FOR THE 21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME



Today is commitment Sunday as a part of our annual Stewardship Renewal always held in August. But I’ve decided this year not to focus so much on the stewardship of our “Time, Talent and Treasure” but rather to focus on what these are meant to support in our spiritual and moral lives as Catholics, as Roman Catholics, the stewardship of our Catholic Faith and the splendor of truth that our Catholic Church gives to us, or rather, what God gives to us through His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I want to make the main point of my homily, the main point that Joshua makes in our Old Testament Reading which is a dramatic challenge to his people of his day. In the Sacred Assembly of Joshua’s time and in the presence of God in that place, Joshua boldly confronts his people who had chosen to follow the false gods and religion of his region and he boldly confronts us today in our similar Catholic context of the Mass. This is what Joshua states to them and to us with my paraphrase of his words:

If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve, the true God of your Catholic Faith or the false gods of secularism and its fierce individualism; the false gods of consumerism or the false religions that protest the true Catholic faith and lead souls into schism and heresy. Then Joshua declares and I paraphrase, “As for me and my household, we will serve the true Lord and God and His Holy Religion.

Topic Statement: At the very heart of Catholic Stewardship is the preservation of the true Catholic Faith in each person’s soul and life. It means serving the true Lord and God and His Holy Catholic Church, the true Church. I will not mince my words about that and neither should anyone in this sacred assembly.

1.     The image of the Sacrament of Marriage between one man and one woman and for a life time who subordinate themselves to one another becomes the image of Catholics who are subordinate, meaning holy obedience, to Jesus Christ, the head of the Church and her bridegroom. For this reason the Catholic Church would understand the civil redefinition of marriage to be an attack on the very nature of the Church described metaphorically as a Divine Marriage between Jesus the Bridegroom and His Holy Bride the Church.

A.    Our second reading from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is one of 13 choices brides and grooms have for the New Testament reading at their Wedding Mass or Nuptial Liturgy. Usually the bride is the one who makes these selections. In my 35 years as a priest, I think I can count on one hand the number of times this reading about wives being subordinate to their husbands has been chosen. This indicates a complete lack of understanding of this extremely important letter for today and perhaps a lack of understanding of the very nature of the Church as Christ's holy Bride! Yet, this reading is at the very core of Catholic marriage which is meant to be a sign of the marriage of Christ to His bride the Church, all baptized souls. Keep in mind that the word “soul” in Latin and many European languages is a feminine word unfortunately lost in English. The Catholic family that flows from Catholic marriage is meant to be the Church in miniature. Wives and husbands are subordinate to one another as our Catholic Church, meaning all of us, are subordinate to Christ. Our obedience to one another is not based on disrespect or pagan lusts, or domination. It is based upon the Love of God. When subordination is based upon the love of God it is never a domineering or controlling subordination that offend the dignity of the husband or wife.

B.    Saint Paul knows that in his culture, pagan men dominated their wives. He knew that infidelity was rampant in pagan culture which had so influenced even the Jews and some followers of Christ. Infidelity in marriage was a sign of infidelity to almighty God in His marital union with us deserving retribution and divine punishment. Husbands did not love their wives; they used their wives for their own personal needs and selfish pleasures. Saint Paul tells these men so corrupted by their pagan culture, like Catholics can be today, to love your wives as Christ loves the Church. Husbands should love their wives as they love their own body. This isn’t domineering or insulting or detrimental in any way when the subordination is linked to Christ and his loving actions on our behalf to save us from sin and damnation.

2.     The stewardship of our Catholic Faith is consummated at each and every Mass when our Lord gives Himself to His Bride the Church, when He gives us His most holy body, blood, soul and sacrificed for our eternal salvation.

A.    The last four Sundays and concluding this Sunday the Church has given us the “Bread of Life Discourse” from Jesus in the Gospel of Saint John. The Catholic Church’s dogma about the Real Presence Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist in large part derives from Jesus Words in these Gospel passages from Saint John.   In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, our Savior who is the Bridegroom married to His Holy and Spotless Bride which is the Church gives Himself completely to us. In fact, simply attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass even if one cannot receive Holy Communion due to breaking the fast, having committed a mortal sin or some other impediment, Jesus is still giving us is Sacrificed Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity for our salvation!
 Some of the Jews to whom Jesus is speaking, do not like what Jesus is saying. This kind of intimacy is too much for them. They grumble and quarrel among themselves. They simply do not believe that Jesus is God and they are offended by the imagery he uses of eating and drinking His Body and Blood as the means to eternal life.  But does Jesus adjust his teachings to please those who are quarreling and will eventually reject Him. He is not a politician who adjusts his message based upon the fickleness of his hearers. No! He does not change his teachings even if this means that the number of people following Him will be small in number. Jesus isn’t selling used cars; He isn’t selling anything. He is demanding fidelity to Him as He is the true God. If people reject Him and the Splendor of His truth—so be it—it is a sign that they wish to live as though God and true religion do not exist. They bring eternal condemnation on themselves. If we do what they did, we would bring eternal condemnation on ourselves too.

B.    The model of how we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our inward and outward dispositions is the liturgy of the Heavenly Jerusalem, described in the Book of the Revelation. It is characterized by seven elements, such as kneeling, deep inclinations, prostrations; incense; sacred songs, not performing worldly or sensual music being free from concentration on oneself; praying and singing together with the Angels; a prolonged time for silence; putting Eucharistic Christ in the visible centre of the church building and our lives. Doing these actions, this practices in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the foundation of the stewardship of our true Catholic faith.

Conclusion: I thank all of you who have returned your stewardship commitment cards to us. For those who haven’t done so, please fill out the card now and place it in the collection basket. Let us understand our time, talent and treasure as a generous effort to do what Joshua says he will do: “As for me and my household, we will serve the true Lord God and His Holy Religion.”


YIKES, THIS IS A BOMBSHELL THAT I DON'T THINK WILL WORK IN TODAY'S CHURCH OR WORLD!

 I lift the following from The Deacon's Bench Blog! The Springfield, Illinois Diocese is requiring this!!!!: The Family School Agreement would also require that non-Catholic families to attend Mass weekly and contribute to Catholic parishes, even while in most instances paying higher tuition rates at those schools. 

(My Comments on this bombshell at the bottom!)

New school policy targets parents “not living in accord with church teaching”

800px-Roman_Catholic_Diocese_of_Springfield_in_Illinois.svg
It also requires non-Catholics to attend Mass and contribute to the parishes.
Details, from The Springfield State Journal Register: 
The Springfield Catholic Diocese’s new school policy could call into question parents’ lifestyles, especially if they go against Catholic teaching, and takes a new approach toward a more Protestant tradition of tithing.
The Family School Agreement would also require that non-Catholic families to attend Mass weekly and contribute to Catholic parishes, even while in most instances paying higher tuition rates at those schools.
The agreement, modeled after a Wichita, Kansas, plan, was issued by Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki on July 20, but some Springfield schools haven’t made parents or legal guardians sign it.
In a letter to pastors and principals, obtained by The State Journal-Register, Paprocki acknowledged that the agreement was initiated in part when a same-sex married couple tried to enroll their adopted children at a Springfield elementary school, later identified as Christ the King.
One of the points of the agreement — which was recommended by the diocese’s Presbyteral Council, a 20-member senate of the bishop that acts in a consultative nature, and approved by Paprocki — is the expectation that parents, adoptive parents or legal guardians of children enrolled in Catholic schools meet with their parish pastor if they are “not living in accord with church teaching.”
Read more. 
If this sticks, I’ll be curious to see how the enrollment is doing in another year or two.

My Comments: As one who has only been in parishes for 35 years with schools, I have seen in the post-Vatican II period the Catholic identity of our schools erode in order to keep more people using these schools. Of course it isn't the Catholic identity of our schools which is the problem but the high cost of Catholic education today.

But, the fact remains that the primary reason for Catholic schools has been obfuscated in the recent post-Vatican II past. These exist to strengthen the Catholic Church and her mission by forming Catholics in the faith and morals of the Catholic Church to include canon law and its enforcement.

Canon Law is not just for the hierarchy, (bishops, priests, deacons and religious) but for the Church, clergy and laity together. If Catholics are breaking Canon Law, shouldn't the Catholic School be the place to make sure it is enforced, especially as it regards the Sunday Mass obligation not to mention the Church's laws concerning marriage?????

However, if this diocese also requires Protestants and other non-Catholics to attend Catholic Mass each Sunday and support the Catholic parish they are asked to attend with their tithes in addition to a higher tuition, I think we will see a drastic decrease in non-Catholics attending our schools. But maybe this is the plan of the Springfield diocese?

We have to keep in mind that in Springfield, there may not be as many Protestants and other non-Catholics using our schools as in the south where we have always allowed non-Catholics to attend, but giving Catholics preference (meaning if a class can only have 25 kids, Catholics are chosen first and what is left over is open to others.)

But when a Catholic school becomes predominantly non-Catholic (and two of our three Catholic schools in Macon are this way and St. Joseph is approaching the status quo on this also) it gets harder and harder to maintain the philosophy and reason for Catholic Education to hand on and live the faith, morals and canon law of the Church!

In addition to this, people use our schools for all the wrong reasons, becoming consumers of education for their children and also simply to escape public schools. For these people, the less Catholic the Catholic school is, the better! And when you have a "mob mentality" on non-Catholics insisting on this, that and the other, how can a Catholic school maintain its reason for existing, that of evangelizing those who attend with the Catholic faith, not just a generic Christianity, and handing on and living the Catholic faith, morals and canon law?

In our Diocese, though, to implement something like this will lead to a very, very small but purer Catholic schools system but one also that won't be viable any longer.  We'll go out of business in other words. 

HOLY FATHER ATTENDS AD ORIENTEM MASS AT SAINT PETER'S BASILICA (SOME PUNDITS BELIEVE IN ORDER TO EVALUATE CARDINAL SARAH'S PROPOSAL THAT MASS IN THE ORDINARY FORM BE CELEBRATED AD ORIENTEM!) AND MY BOMBSHELL PREDICTION ABOUT POPE FRANCIS AT THE END!

As usual, Pope Francis has created another stir. On Friday he attended Mass and sat in the congregation for the Memorial of Saint Pope Pius X.  Progressives are delighted that a pope would simply attend Mass and received Holy Communion as lay person would. I wonder if His Holiness received on the tongue or in the hand???? I suspect on the tongue as in the hand technically isn't allowed in the Vatican City State.

Progressives didn't comment on the style in which the Holy Father received Holy Communion as a lay person might.

Neither did progressives point out to anyone or show any pictures of the Mass the Holy Father attended. It was an Ordinary Form Mass but celebrated at the attached altar of Saint Pope Pius X in the Basilica, a side altar.  In other words, horror of horrors for ill-informed progressives, the priest had his back to the Holy Father and the rest of the congregation! It was celebrated toward the apse or better yet the liturgical east.

Of course Pope Francis has celebrated Mass ad orientem a number of times at the Vatican.

 But I suspect His Holiness hasn't experienced it from the congregation's point of view (POV). Perhaps the Holy Father is discerning with Cardinal Sarah a rubrical change (to make more explicit what is already allowed) for the Ordinary Form of the Mass in terms of Ad Orientem? We know that Cardinal Sarah, the Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship has already promoted ad orientem as something that should be the norm and Cathedrals should model!!!! Have you heard any progressive blogs comment on that??? In fact, except for my blog, have any blogs made comment on that bombshell?
Keep in mind that Pope Francis had already celebrated a private Mass earlier in the morning and was simply making a pilgrimage to the Basilica to pray before the altar of Saint Pope Pius X but at the same time that a Mass was being celebrated there. Was the Holy Father during the Mass praying a devotional prayer to Saint Pope Pius X for whom Pope Francis has a great devotion? Was His Holiness also praying the Holy Rosary at the same time? Horror of horrors if true. 

It is well known that Pope Francis has a great admiration and respect or devotion for his predecessor, Saint Pope Pius X. Horror of horrors for progressives is to see what Saint Pope Pius X did in his papacy. He is surely one of the greatest popes of the 20th century and a great defender of the true Faith:

From Wikipedia: Pius X is known for vigorously opposing modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox theology. His most important reform was to order the codification of the first Code of Canon Law, which collected the laws of the Church into one volume for the first time. He was also considered a pastoral pope, in the sense of encouraging personal holiness, piety and a daily lifestyle reflecting deep Christian values. 

Pius X was particularly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the specific title of Our Lady of Confidence; his papal encyclical Ad diem illum expresses his desire through Mary to renew all things in Christ, which he had defined as his motto in his first encyclical. Pius X believed that there was no surer or more direct road than by the Virgin Mary to achieve this goal.[4] Pius X was the only pope in the 20th century with extensive pastoral experience and implementation at the parish level, which led him to favor the use of the vernacular language in teaching catechesis, while the encouragement for frequent reception of holy communion became a lasting innovation of his papacy.

Pius X defended the Catholic faith against popular 19th-century attitudes and views such as indifferentism and relativism which his predecessors had warned against as well.

Pius X vehemently opposed modernism, which claimed that Roman Catholic dogma should be modernized and blended with nineteenth-century philosophies. He viewed modernism as an import of secular errors affecting three areas of Roman Catholic belief: theology, philosophy, and dogma.

Personally, Pius X combined within himself a strong sense of compassion, benevolence and poverty, but also stubbornness and a certain stiffness.[7] He wanted to be pastoral in the sense that he was the only pope in the 20th century who gave Sunday homily sermons in the pulpit every week. 

MY BOMBSHELL ANALYSIS OF POPE FRANCIS STYLE OF LEADERSHIP:

In light of the example Saint Pope Pius X gives to Pope Francis, I personally see the Church at an epochal battle between two polarized forces in the post-Vatican II Church. Those forces truly came to the surface during the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI. Under his papacy, it appeared that interpreting the Second Vatican Council within the hermenuetic of continuity with what had preceded Vatican II had finally won the day.  The Ratzinger school had finally triumphed over the more radical Kung and Schillebeeckx schools of thought completely in rupture with the past and the less radical, but very progressive Kasperite school of thought.

But the backstabbing and scandals in the Vatican thwarted the complete victory of Pope Benedict with his resignation two and a half years ago.

And now, under Pope Francis, whose papal hero is Saint Pope Pius X, we see a truly epochal battle between the two aging proponents of how best to interpret Vatican II and move forward. It appears to some that the Kung, Schillebeeckx, Kasper schools of ideology is in its last throws as this aging, dying faction in the Church is trying finally to win the battle (like dead monsters in horror movies who pop out of the water at the calm conclusion of the movie only to frighten the movie-goers into one last adrenaline rush!). 

My proven clairvoyance  tells me that Pope Francis is acting somewhat like a Trojan Horse to finally put to an end the destructive silliness of the  Kung, Schillebeeckx, Kasper school of thought and rupture by allowing their aging, dusty, corrupt ideologies to resurface out of the water like a once thought dead monster and allow once and for all open discussion on their hairless, toothless, wrinkled way of thinking in order to codify like Saint Pope Pius X did with canon law, what the Church actually believes in the post-Vatican II era when Pope Francis will finally side with and elevate to sainthood his immediate living predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI!

Like any infection in the body, the Kung, Schillebeeckx, Kasper infection in the Body of Christ must be brought to the surface, lanced and cleansed like a boil that has to pop to get rid of the infection once and for all in order to heal! Of course the infection in the boil is a mess as it comes out!

Pope Francis is a genius!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

HISTORIC AND DRASTIC FOR THE DIOCESE OF SAVANNAH! BUT IT IS ACTION THAT THE BISHOP FELT HAD TO BE TAKEN

 In the Macon Deanery there are two small parishes, Holy Redeemer Parish in McRae with 33 households and Saint Mark Parish in Eastman with 36 households.

For a few years now there has been great tension leading to serious divisiveness between a significant number of parishioners in both parishes and the priest who serves both parishes. One can say that it is Protestant congregationalism gone wild in two tiny south Georgia Catholic parishes. At the heart of the divisive crisis is the lost of Catholic Ecclesiastical Identity rooted in the Sacrament of Holy Orders and centered in the ministry of the Bishop of any Diocese who sends priests to parishes as a part of his ministry as the chief Shepherd of the Diocese. In other words, it is all about ecclesiology and the failure to observe a Catholic ecclesiology and the legitimate canonical and moral authority given to the  priests the bishop sends.

Thus Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer has had to take drastic and unusual steps never before seen in our diocese. You can read the public letter for yourself from our bishop:

August 21, 2015

Dear members of St. Mark and Holy Redeemer:

It is with deep regret that I inform you that Father Daniel Oghenerukevwe, MSP has resigned as administrator of both parishes effective immediately.  His resignation is due, in part, to the internal conflicts and discord that has existed in these communities in recent years. This is a serious and unfortunate situation that has not been able to to resolved.

The Diocese of Savannah is experiencing a shortage of priests. As a result, there is no priest available for pastoral care at St. Mark or holy Redeemer. Therefore, St. Mark and Holy Redeemer will remained closed for worship, religious education, and all social activities until further notice. The doors of all buildings on church property are to be securely locked. The Blessed Sacrament will be removed from both sanctuaries.

This weekend, August 22-23, all members of Holy Redeemer and St. Mark's are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. During the following weeks, I encourage all Catholics to worship at the closest parish of their choice. For those for whom this would be a hardship and grave inconvenience, the obligation of attending Mass on Sunday is lifted.

I strongly recommend the entire communities of St. Mark and Holy Redeemer bring this matter to prayer and reflection so that a suitable solution may be found to remedy this difficult issue.

My office will communicate with the parish leadership regarding further developments.

With prayerful best wishes, I am

Most Reverent Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv.
Bishop of Savannah