Wednesday, October 15, 2014


 At the Catholic League's web page there are two stories. One is on the television show that I have never watched starring Tom Selleck, called Blue Bloods. Evidently the story is about a Catholic family whose patriarch is in law enforcement and the show has Catholic sensibilities.

This past Friday's episode, however, bashed the Catholic Church and the Bible for their "anti-gay" stance. In other words, the Church and the Bible are being painted as promoting bigotry, similar to those who opposed civil rights for African Americans during the civil rights movement beginning in the 1950's.

We have to keep in mind that the painting of the Catholic Church as behind the times as it concerns gay rights and worse yet as bigoted is a worldwide phenomenon which will only increase over the next few years.

Certainly the shoddy preliminary report from the Synod on the Family has this in mind. How can the Church evangelize if it is painted to be like the KKK opposing "gay rights"?

Even some of the comments on my blog show a certain "bigotry" embedded in the comments. You should read some of the ones I delete. How do we call sinners who sin against Scripture and natural law to chastity? Do we need to use shrill language? We all know that many heterosexual couples married or living together engage not only in what the Church would label natural sex but also unnatural sex. In their case it would seem that unnatural sex would be even more sinful since they have a choice! But how many here who make ill-advised comments, use nasty derogatory epitaphs for these sinning couples?

So the Synod on the Family is discussing how to reach out in a positive way to sinners and bring them to Christ and the Sacraments which are meant to be the means by which God offers us His grace of conversion. While we can certainly fault a horrible document that is ambiguous on Church teaching, I don't think we can fault finding better ways to proclaim the good news to a changed world.

What I find appalling in so many conservative commentaries and comments, even on my blog, is the idea that one would leave the Church if a more pastoral approach is taken toward sinners in the Church especially those who sin against chastity, whereas the commenter's own sins against charity (the greatest gift God gives us by the way) is okay and publicly espoused!

Bill Donohue states the following about the Synod which all orthodox Catholics should applaud as do I:  

It should be noted that the Catholic League exists to defend the right of the Church’s voice to be heard. Whatever the teaching body of the Church decides, the Magisterium (the pope in communion with the bishops), is what we defend.

My final comment: Keep in mind the Synod on the Family will not have an official magisterial teaching until Pope Francis presents it after next year's Synod. So don't expect anything until about 2016! Whatever trickles out between now and then is purely opinion containing no magisterial authority except when proclaiming magisterial teachings already defined.  


Gene said...

The issue is not quite that simple…the question arises once more if there is a point at which the Church is no longer the Church…and a point at which her actions and "pastoral" approach become God's judgement and chastisement rather than His blessing.
This question has been manifested in history on several occasions, the Reformation being the most compelling embodiment of this argument. The Church survived the Reformation, but Christendom was mortally wounded and is still bleeding. Though Luther may have been impetuous and misguided, Calvin (raised Catholic) attempted to recover Christologically and doctrinally what he believed to have been lost. His theology reflects a severe emphasis upon the sovereignty of God and Christ the Righteous Judge and sole head of the Church in an effort to prevent similar Church abuses and doctrinal error in the future. The Roman Catholic Church needs her own Calvin at this point, or perhaps another Augustine. I see nothing ahead that will rescue us from the progressivist/humanist encroachments that have oriented the Church toward man instead of God. This was exactly Luther's argument…scorn him if you like, but there was a prophetic warning in his work.

Anonymous said...

So the Church is going to be teaching that mortal sin is understandable and it's fine to remain in that state and there is value in living in mortal sin and to make it palitable we will call it gardualism. It's kind of like referring to abortion as a choice.

And we are being told that a sinful life can teach us something. So basically we are being told that there is no need for the Cross.

We are being told we do not have to have contrition, make a purpose of amendment, go to confession, receive absolution, do penance and amend that sinful life.

And we can't use words like adultery, sin, evil, disordered, when referring to sin. In what way is this not evil?

And we are being told it not only okay but a good thing to make a sacrilegious communion. That doesn't sound like the Catholic Faith to me. But then again I'm probably a self aborbed neo palagian. Well then I am happy to be a self absorbed neo palagian.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Church was still the Church even though popes allowed the sale of indulgences to raise money to build St. Peters. The Church was still the Church when corrupt popes existed, such as Pope Alexander; when they fathered children, gave into nepotism with their children and other family members and had homosexual, ephebophilia and pedophilia tendencies.

Anonymous said...

Is it an error to leave Christ's Church due to the real or imaginary errors of its stewards? Where else is there to go? Having been revealed the Fullness Of Truth and The Real Presence of Christ, the errors of others is no excuse for one's own errors. Yet, we must tolerate the people and the errors. Can The Church tolerate itself? Absolutely!

Tolerate (from Latin toleratus) means "to endure". Some people mistakenly think that tolerate means to condone or permit. Not so! The laity must endure the storm, the priests must endure the storm. Tolerate.

Christ did and does. We are called do no less.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Excellent! A+

Gene said...

I agree, Fr., but the question is still a valid one and often discussed in theological circles. One cannot simply ratify or excuse anything the Church formulates or any action of the Church by saying, 'Oh, well, she is still the Church." Corrupt Popes, nepotism, deviant sex acts among her curia, etc. the Church can and has survived. But, de facto doctrinal/dogmatic changes or de jure doctrinal changes…well, we have a very different problem there.

Gene said...

The SSPX already understands this.

Anonymous said...

Just a question.

Was Jesus hateful when He said a man who divorces his wife and takes another commits adultery?

Gene said...

No, he was not hateful. He never closed the doors of His mercy to any sinner, but he did not refrain from speaking the truth, either. Christ taught an impossible ethic…an eschatological ethic that can only be approximated among sinful men and a fallen world. None the less, He commanded us to live as close to His teachings as possible. But, He and His Apostle Paul warned against utopian schemes or placing our trust in man made systems or human efforts at creating a Heaven on earth. We are not to compromise truth in an effort to win followers or make the Faith more appealing to the world.

Anonymous said...

Gene just so you question was sarcastic because Kasper said we can't use the word adultery because it offends people. And Cardinal Kasper was the one especially appointed to speak at the meeting in February and at the synod by Pope Francis. I'm trying to be charitable so I don't go to hell and so that Father will publish my comments. If you notice he is getting a little sensitve.

Anonymous said...

Typically wise words today from Fr. Hunwicke:

"I would add a word of my own, to another anxious correspondent: A Catholic is obliged to be in communion with the See of S Peter (both when, as now, it is occupied, and also when, as during interregna, it is unoccupied). One is under no strict obligation to like the currently reigning Pontiff, nor to agree with him, nor to think that he is a man of prudence (although I think it is a mark of the mens Catholica to give him the benefit of any doubt). Many bishops, and even cardinals, did not like Benedict XVI, did not agree with him, did not admire his prudence. Indeed, not a few of those hierarchs, as soon as Benedict abdicated, came crawling out of their corners and said so. Presumably, as soon as Francis is either buried or abdicated, the same thing will happen."

"You have to be in communion with him and to accept anything he defines ex cathedra to be the teaching of Christ. When, in his Ordinary Magisterium, he affirms the Church's teaching (and Francis has done a lot of that) you are thankful for it. When you have a problem with some word or action, you lean over backwards to see it in the best possible light. But your duties of faithfulness to Christ do not mean that you have to be pathologically sycophantic towards whoever happens to be the current bishop of Rome."

"And you avoid the temptation to panic every time some daft bishops, or even some daft cardinal, says something ... daft."

Jdj said...

Bottom line: The gates of hell will not prevail against Christ's church.
Are we worried? Yes, but that only shows our love for our mother the church.
Should we battle evil? Yes, everyday, with prayer and in crises, with prayer and fasting.
Are we allowed to question? Yes, of course. In the garden, even Jesus did.
Should we despair? No, never.

JusadBellum said...

Let's examine the origin of the 'panic' shall we?

Those who are responsible for the moral upbringing of minors or those dealing with loved ones who are struggling with various temptations, seek help wherever we can find it.

All things being equal, having a hierarchy that reinforces the creed, doctrine, CATECHISM etc. in living language and action is better than having uncertain trumpets or scandalously out of tune shepherds whose words and actions contradict the deposit of faith we seek to hand on to our loved ones...

So sure, I can laugh at someone acting daft. I can ignore whole groups who are daft and shelter my loved ones from their misbehavior.

But when the hierarchs in question get global, daily, ubiquitous secular media coverage, when their scandalous words are broadcast to the 4 winds, or when some odd turn of phrase is easily torn from its proper context and there is no immediate clarification coming....

it becomes really hard to protect the innocent or the struggling from the effects of bad example.

Thus the 'panic'. It's not like we live in an age of general intellectual and moral maturity. We don't. We live in an age teetering on the brink of utter barbarity and corruption on all levels. Today's children may be tomorrow's martyrs.

So parents and others do indeed have a stake in the matter. St. Paul was very clear on how we ought to be delicate with a brother's weak conscience so as to not kill his faith. This is what this is about: a stray word can kill someone's faith in Christ by encouraging them to seek their salvation in the world, flesh, and devil's pomps.

Gerbert d' Aurillac said...

It is true we must remain in communion with Peter, to cause a schism is a grave SIN!! I think the main problem so far is how the more progressives have spun the initial happenings of the synod, Forte and Erdo in an obvious attempt to hijack the synod let out a report which does not reflect what the fathers as a whole are saying. When I reflect on the parable of the Good Samaritan I see how man in his weakness can turn from God and be pulled deeper and deeper into sin, at the same time God so loves man that he picks him up brings his grace to him, ask the Church to heal him, and that he will provide everything needed. I also reflected on the Prodigal son, the father loves his son even when he walks away, and when the son is at his lowest, he gazes toward the father and he is welcomed back with great joy! I also see how Jesus reacts in the temple when it is defiled, are we not to be a temple of the Holy Spirit, how much do we hurt when we defile his temple with sin. I truly believe that at the heart of these issues the Church is looking for a way to bring Christ to all of man kind, in a real way. The Bishops must be very careful how they will implement the law of graduality this is a slipper slope if not managed with great care. The Church must be true to Natural Law, which is absolute and true. I would hope many of the Bishops will remember the words of St Theresa of Avila "If I should say anything that is not in conformity with what is held by the Holy Roman Catholic Church, it will be through ignorance and not through malice" I would welcome a strong defined pastoral approach as long as it does not jeopardize the faith. pray for our Bishops, pray for the Pope, prayer is a cure that is most beneficial.

Gene said...

Anonymous, I understand. I did not know that was you. Yes, Fr. is getting a little sensitive. I imagine devout Priests like him all are tearing out their hair and biting their nails trying to defend the indefensible.

Gene said...

No one is panicking…we are to busy vomiting. "Peter" is not pressed between the pages of CCC or trapped somewhere in the nave…just as I say to protestants that Jesus is not pressed between the pages of the King James Version. The freedom of the Holy Spirit transcends Rome, the Pope, and Papal stupidity. Do not try to marginalize those who have serious concerns about the future of the Church by saying we are "panicking." You'll know I am panicking when you find me sitting on the steps of St. Jo's re-reading Calvin's Institutes or wearing a t-shirt to Mass that has TULIP on the front.