THIS POST HAS AN UPDATED ADDITION BELOW MY HOMILY, BOTH OF WHICH ARE MUST READ!
As I reflect on the terrible, anti-Catholic bias in the liberal media (not all reporters though are so inclined) I can't help but wonder who will supervise them and call them to accountability, confession and repentance? Who will go back fifty and sixty years to scrutinize how stories were reported and lives and reputations ruined by simply reporting as fact something that was only alleged. Is there anyone in the liberal press who will investigate those who own and operate the New York Times, NBC news and other outlets? Can they whip up a firestorm against these media moguls that would make Wall Street Bankers blush? The power of the risen Lord portrayed in the magnificent painting above can save everyone, even those who libel and slander!
UPDATED! PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE I HAVE POSTED BELOW MY HOMILY BY GEORGE NEUMAYR OF THE CATHOLIC WORLD REPORT. IT TAKES THE PRESS TO TASK FOR THEIR BIASED, ANTI-CATHOLIC BIGOTRY AND HE MAKES IT CLEAR WHERE THAT HYPOCRISY AND BIGOTRY EMANATE. I USE TO BELIEVE THE PRESS WAS DOING US A FAVOR BY BRINGING THE SCANDAL TO LIGHT AND PERHAPS THE HOLY SPIRIT DID USE THEM FOR THAT PURPOSE, BUT THERE IS TRULY SOMETHING MORE SINISTER GOING ON NOW. THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET AND BLOGS, THE MALIGNANT, IRRESPONSIBLE PRESS OF THE PAST HAS OTHERS TO CHALLENGE THEIR DICTATORSHIP OF REPORTING, LIBELING AND SLANDERING ALL IN THE NAME OF A LIBERAL POLITICAL, GODLESS, SECULAR AGENDA. THE SECULAR PRESS CAN'T DO WHAT THEY DID IN 2002 AND GET AWAY WITH IT NOW THAT WE HAVE THE INTERNET AND BLOGS AS ALTERNATIVE NEWS SOURCES! PRAY THAT THE NEW YORK TIMES GOES OUT OF BUSINESS, IT WILL EVENTUALLY.
My homily for the Great Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday--the "rest of the story."
Introduction: “Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! Let me preface my homily introduction by stating clearly on the beautiful Easter morning that the Catholic Church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints! With that said, let us move on to more difficult and negative matters on such a glorious day! On Holy Tuesday, 8 years ago, 2002, Bishop J. Kevin Boland spoke to a filled Cathedral and almost every priest from our diocese at the annual Chrism Mass. It is at this Mass that we priest renew our priestly promises and the oils for sacramental use are blessed, the oil of the sick the oil of catechumens and sacred chrism. During his homily, the Bishop said the following regarding the priest sex abuse scandal that was erupting in our country. I quote Bishop Boland: “In the minds of Catholics and many others of different faiths, we priests have always been held to a high standard. This is as it should be. We are ordained to be prophets and witnesses of Christ’s love truth and justice. We were ordained essentially to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder that for the past several weeks the media is in a frenzy to report all of the tragic scandals that have beset us? In a twisted type of way, it is a compliment. The more respect and reverence one holds in a community, the more embarrassment and shame is involved in the failure to meet expectations. When anyone falls from grace, especially a religious leader, TV cameras and radio mikes are close at hand. One gets the feeling that every minute of every day the Church is on the front burner for lack of exposure of wrongs and hiding developing scandals. I say this not to vilify the media—they are doing their job. In the milieu in which the media lives, it is difficult to report good news. Paradoxically, priesthood is all about good news. And if I may say so, it will continue to be about good news.”
This past Holy Tuesday, Bishop Boland, eight years later, it was dejavu all over again. But Bishop Boland preached a bit of a different tune about the secular, liberal press that wants to paint the Catholic Church, the Pope, bishops and priests as intrinsically evil and not worthy to have any moral voice in our cultural worldwide debates in this modern era. But Bishop Boland went on to say that the Church is not intrinsically evil, that the pope, bishops, priests and laity of the Catholic Church are intrinsically good and our moral voice will always have a place at the worldwide table of cultural debates about morality and ethics.
I would say this is especially true of all the issues surrounding sexuality and the respect we should have for innocent life in the womb and human life at its natural end; and the sanctity of Marriage between one man and one woman and until death do they part as well as other hot-button topics that have secular elitists throughout the world enraged against us. If you do not think the persecution against the Catholic Church and our Holy Father in particular isn’t about a worldwide Godless secularism, then you have been living in a tomb! Come out!
Last Sunday, I preached in my homily on Jesus being the “Toast of the Town” at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and at the conclusion of Palm Sunday's Mass, Jesus is "Toast!" This is what I said:
In Jesus case, at the end of the day, the religious authorities of the day and the rank and file laity of Judaism and also the secular establishment were settling scores with Jesus. The audacity of Jesus to forgive sinners! Who does He think He is God? What about justice? What about all the families that the women caught in adultery broke up with her liaisons? What about all the people that the tax collectors swindled? What about all the victims of others' sins, MURDERERS, CHILD MOLESTERS, RAPISTS, TERRORISTS? How could Jesus forgive them? How negligent of Him? Doesn’t He care about or identify with the victims of sin? Really, just who does He think He is? He can't get away with His callousness! What did He know and when did He know it about these sinners that He has the audacity to forgive? Maybe He is complicit in their sins! Maybe He’s like those sinners! Forgiveness! Just who does He think He is? We’ll make Him know what it feels like to be a “VICTIM” to be the “VICTIM.” Crucify Him, crucify Him! And so they did and we departed church preparing for Holy Week and the Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday!
Does the Passion of our Lord sound familiar to you today? How odd that during Holy Week and Easter the Pope and the Catholic Church is enduring attacks from her own and from the world all focusing on issues of victimization, negligence, mismanagement and yes forgiveness. Why can’t the Church, her pope, her bishops, her priests and yes her laity identify with suffering victims of sin and crime? It all sounds so very familiar. Let us eliminate the Body of the Church (which in reality is Christ’s Body) from the face of the earth or at least neutralize her!
Then I concluded last week’s homily with this statement: COME BACK FOR THE EASTER TRIDUUM AND ESPECIALLY NEXT SUNDAY, EASTER SUNDAY, AND SEE WHAT JESUS DOES TO ALL THOSE WHO REJECTED HIM, MOCKED HIM, SCOURGED HIM, NAILED HIM TO THE CROSS AND KILLED HIM! COME BACK AND SEE WHAT JESUS DOES TO THOSE SINNERS WHO MAKE HIM FEEL WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE THE VICTIM! IT’S PAY BACK TIME. WHAT WILL JESUS’ PAY BACK BE? STAY TUNED.
And now like Paul Harvey, I give you the “rest of the story!”
Topic Statement: The pay back that Jesus Christ gives us on that first Easter morn is not revenge, but love, unconditional love for the sinner and the saint alike, for the abuser and the abused alike, for the violent and the non violent alike, for all the good and bad Catholics and good and bad Catholic priests alike. For Judas who betrayed Him and for St. Peter who denied Him; for good popes, bishops and priests who serve him well and for all those popes, bishops and priests who sullied their vocations through sin and abuse. For everyone who mocked him, scourged Him, beat Him, nailed Him to the cross and killed Him, do you know what the pay back is? It is unconditional, forgiving and redeeming love! What a scandal! What a heavenly scandal! O happy fault, o necessary sin of Adam that gained for us so great a savior.
No matter how bad things get in our world, in our church or in our personal lives, because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ we cannot and must not lose our faith, hope or love because God loves us unconditionally and God will see us through with Him when we poor miserable sinners stay connected to our crucified and Risen Lord through His holy and spotless Bride which is the Church washed cleaned of sin and death by our Risen Lord in Holy Baptism and sanctified in His Blood! Do I hear an Alleluia?
A. In the Good News, bad news world and Church we live in, who is our role model? Is it Judas, who so disillusioned with Jesus, loses his faith because Jesus did not deliver what he expected, and then he betrayed him for money. And worse yet, unable to see and understand the good news of Jesus, he looses hope, fails to ask forgiveness, and hangs himself in despair? He loses love too for he cannot turn to the unconditional love of Jesus, He cannot wait for the resurrection! Are we prone to such negativity and hopelessness? Or is it Saint Peter the apostle who is our inspiration? In many ways he was like Judas, he denied Jesus three times; yet his faith, hope and love were not destroyed. This faith and hope enables him to see Jesus Christ alive and well in His glorified body after the resurrection. Our faith, our hope and our love in this dark world of ours must be modeled after those who saw Jesus after he had died, ate with him and followed him even to the point of martyrdom.
B. Yes, I am scandalized when a brother priest falls from grace and brings horrible abuse to innocent children and teenagers and disgrace to this church of ours. I am scandalized when bishops seem to follow in the past not common sense but the bad advice of psychiatrists and placed predator priest back into a situation where abuse can continue. But I am also scandalized when I hear Catholics condemn not only those who have fallen from grace, but the very Church Jesus Christ gave us. I am scandalized by sexual immorality, greed, extreme poverty, divorce, adultery, fornication, terror, genocide, evil desires, idolatry, anger, fury, malice, slander, obscene language and deceitful practices of all sorts. I am scandalized by indifference and shallowness of faith. I’m scandalized by cafeteria Catholics. These things have no place in any baptized Christian’s life. But these sins and crimes are out there, These are the reality of our world, church and life! But my faith, hope and love are not shaken because of Easter Sunday and Jesus’ Christ’s glorious payback to sinners of which I am an undeserving sinner too. The payback is eternal life with our Crucified and Risen Savior and all those most miserable sinners He has redeemed!
C. (Tonight) (Last night) we (will witness) (witnessed) five men being baptized and putting on Christ. The rest of us will renew our baptismal promises, reject Satan and profess our belief in Jesus Christ and the Church he gives us. Trusting in Jesus pay back of unconditional love and forgiveness as shown forth in the Resurrection of our Savior, we can tell the world that glories in the bad news of the Catholic Church that the pay back God is giving us, He will give to them! Just join us and see what the payback will be!
Conclusion: Rabbi Harold Kushner has affirmed that religion is not primarily a set of beliefs, a collection of prayers or a series or rituals. Religion is first and foremost, a way of seeing. It can’t change the facts about the world we live in, but it can change the way we see those facts, and that in itself can often make a difference.” As we renew our baptismal promises and are nourished with the risen Lord in the Holy Eucharist, let us go forth from here grateful for Jesus payback to us poor miserable sinners and the Church, His Holy Bride He died for. That Church, the Bride of the Risen Christ with her warts, scandal, evil and sins galore, He loves unconditionally and will see her through in the worst of times and in the best of times. Jesus the Bridegroom will never divorce His Bride the Church, no matter what! He proves it by suffering and dying for her and giving us Himself as Bread and Wine to heal the sin sick soul and to give joy to those in despair and unconditional love to those who are hated and despised! He gives us, who are so undeserving, eternal life with Him in heaven! What a pay back! Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed. And we who are baptized are risen indeed too! Sing Alleluia.
FROM THE CATHOLIC WORLD REPORT! I POST; YOU DO POST OP!
The Pope and His Pharisaical Attackers
Editorial | Web Exclusive
By George Neumayr
The very secularists and libertine Catholics who wanted the aberrant sexual revolution to enter the Church in the 1960s and 1970s now hold Pope Benedict XVI responsible for its lingering effects. This takes considerable gall, but that has never stopped them before.
Moreover, what moral authority and “credibility” do they bring to the issue of protecting children, exactly? These are the same people who favor the abortion of unborn children. They favor the high-brow child abuse of turning children over to homosexual couples at gay adoption agencies. They think it enlightened to bring Planned Parenthood representatives into elementary schools. They celebrate on Main Street gay-pride parades that include the North American Man/Boy Love Association.
The moral authority of these Church-hating ideologues is nil. We are witnessing the repulsively absurd spectacle of a culture drenched in depravity lecturing the Vicar of Christ on moral responsibility. One doesn’t even have to agree with every action or inaction of Benedict's ecclesiastical career to see that these attacks on him have been appallingly stupid, glib, and Pharisaical.
Liberal pundits call for the resignation of the Pope with about as much consideration as they order a latte. The press interprets the Pope’s recent comment that faith leads one “toward the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion” as a response to these calls. It probably wasn’t, but if it was, he is right. This is just the petty punditry of petty people who preside over a culture increasingly defined by the corruption of children.
Pope Benedict has taken serious steps to address the abuse scandal in the Church. What steps have a degenerate liberal elite taken to protect children in society at large? The feverish drive to silence and smear the Pope—from the New York Times to pundits like Andrew Sullivan and Maureen Dowd to editorialists at the National Catholic Reporter—is not about the protection of children but the imposition of liberal ideology on the Church. Period.
Their real objection to Benedict is not that he has done too little to reform the priesthood but that he has done too much. It was the New York Times and the National Catholic Reporter that pounced on him for issuing, in his first year as pope, a ban on the ordination of homosexuals. It was the National Catholic Reporter that ran pieces casting the “zero-tolerance” policy as heartless and draconian to wayward priests.
These are not reformers of a permissive priesthood but proponents of one.
George Neumayr is editor of CWR.