Archives for 2016

From the archive (set #15)


Tomorrow is time for New Evangelists Monthly to begin a new edition. Today, I would like to bring to your attention 3 original, brief essays that you may have missed. If you don’t have time to read all three, I especially recommend the first one — Only prayer.

Only prayer

Sometimes we (and by “we,” I mean “I”), without thinking, forget that we do not have the power to fix everything that is wrong or to right all that is unjust. We witness or hear of terrible suffering and our first thought is to do something about it. That impulse is good and should be acted upon, but we err (a more polite description than “are delusional”) when we think that we alone can save the world, even subconsciously. Our real hope rests with God.

…read it all:   Only prayer

Reform the reform (part 1)

I also believe that while it as sacred as ever, Vatican II “spirit” changes have made it less reverent. Not just the extreme liturgical abuses such as “liturgical dance,” but smaller abuses and practices. What exactly Mass is becomes lost. The poorly catechized may not see it as particularly different than any Christian worship service. Their sense of the real presence of Christ becomes questioning. Ultimately they may leave. The zeal of the faithful is also diminished.

…read it all:   Reform the reform (part 1)

Reform the reform (part 2)

The bottom line is not that the liturgy of the Mass and other practices is wrong, broken or less sacred. It is that post-Vatican II “spirit” changes made in haste and/or with questionable authority should be reversed to restore greatest reverence. That is the point of reforming the reform.

…read it all:   Reform the reform (part 2)

Elsewhere: abortion losing ground


It is easy to get discouraged in the fight to end abortion. One political party is dedicated to its preservation. They insist on funding Planned Parenthood, whose evil should now be obvious to everyone. The question of when life begins, as the left loves to say in other contexts, is “settled science” – yet it somehow does not matter in the case of these innocent lives.

Despite the lack of progress with that political party, the American people are increasingly paying attention. There has been a real shift in perspective on abortion. It is increasingly seen decoupled from the (fake) women’s rights / war on women issue it never properly was. The humanity of unborn babies is increasingly apparent.

The Knights of Columbus has sponsored a Marist poll for almost a decade on abortion attitudes. It documents a solid shift, apparently invisible to liberal politicians and their proxies in the media. While we still have a long way to go, in America today 8 out of 10 people favor significant restrictions on abortion. Not perfect, but good news.

Carl Anderson, head of the Knights, wrote recently about the latest poll results for the National Review:

The idea that the “pro-choice” label represents a monolithic lobby made up of half of all Americans favoring an unrestricted right to abortion is simply not true. Instead, there is a new normal favoring substantial restrictions on abortion – and that consensus is made possible because of the agreement of a majority of Americans who call themselves “pro-choice.”

Despite the rhetoric of some in politics and the media, a substantial majority of men and women – including those who say they are “pro-choice” – consistently support increasing restrictions on abortion.

Those who say they are “pro-life” reliably support abortion restrictions in overwhelming numbers.

But it would likely shock most Washington pundits that the majority of those who say they are pro-choice also support such restrictions. And yet, surveys conducted by Marist, one of the country’s top polling groups, show that this is exactly the case.

Consider the data from the most recent Marist poll on the issue: Eight in ten Americans (81 percent) would restrict abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. This includes 66 percent of those who identify as pro-choice.

About six in ten Americans, and about the same number of pro-choice adherents, would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. More than two-thirds of Americans (68 percent), and a majority of those who call themselves pro-choice (51 percent), would ban taxpayer funding of abortion.

Politically, “pro-choice” has come to mean supporting abortion rights throughout pregnancy and opposing all restrictions. But that’s not the way the average person thinks when he says he is pro-choice.

The idea that we should abort a seven-pound baby the day before its due date is just out of step with the vast majority of Americans.

The idea that we should abort a seven-pound baby the day before its due date is, while political dogma in some quarters, just out of step with the vast majority of Americans. And it’s out of step with the vast majority of pro-choice Americans too – about eight in ten of them reject this extreme position.

In fact, about a quarter of those who call themselves pro-choice (26 percent) support what is commonly seen as a strongly pro-life position: They would limit abortion to cases only of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother. In other words, those who identify as pro-choice are more likely to share the position of those who identify as pro-life than they are to share the position of the abortion-rights lobby and its defenders in politics and the media.

Read the whole piece: The Surprising New Normal in the Abortion Debate.

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #192)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: Turning last Friday’s March for Life lemons into lemonade. The main stream media lost control of the narrative for once. 28 week old preemies hold hands. RISEN looks like it may be a wonderful movie this Lent. Jeff Harris illustrates the difference between the National Catholic Register and the schismatic tabloid with a similar name. A beautiful, special sunrise in Michigan. Your dreams of setting the Rubik’s cube speed record have just been obliterated.

— 1 —

Last Friday’s March for Life was a success, despite the weather. Dozens of buses heading west were snowed-in on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Stranded in place for many hours, what to do? Celebrate Mass on a snow altar!

— 2 —

USUALLY, despite almost a million marchers (half that this year), the liberal main stream media maintains a tight lid on the event. The media blackout is effective in keeping the march invisible to many. This time, with the snow altar Mass, they lost control of the narrative and news actually reached the public. The hand of God!

— 3 —

Kristiana and Kristian Rushford were born January 3rd at 28 weeks. Here they are a week later, holding hands while staying warm on dad’s chest:

— 4 —

RISEN is a new movie scheduled to be released this Lent (on February 19th). It is an interesting take on Easter, focused on (mostly fictional) events after the resurrection. Early reviews are quite positive.

— 5 —

Jeff Harris at Sword of Peter recently captured the difference between two publications. First, the highly schismatic National catholic Reporter (Fr. Zulhsdorf alternates between calling them the “National Schismatic Reporter” and calling them simply “Fishwrap”). Second, the faithful, orthodox National Catholic Register. Never get them confused.

Sword Of Peter Ncr Museum

— 6 —

Mechaele Loraff had to pull over on her way to work recently. This reason…   this amazing Michigan sunrise:

Merchaele Loraff Sunrise

— 7 —

If you hope to set a record one day in solving Rubik’s cube, give up now.

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

Sacrilege in the Vatican

Sacrilege In The Vatican

This is monumentally bad. Heaven weeps.

According to many reliable reports (National Catholic Register, LifeSiteNews, Christian Today) visiting Lutheran dignitaries were purposely given the Most Holy Eucharist at a Vatican Mass following ecumenical talks. The Lutherans approached with their arm crossed — even THEY knew that they were not properly disposed to receive (see my piece: The Body of Christ).

Sacrilege is in general the violation or injurious treatment of a sacred object. (The Catholic Encyclopedia calls this real sacrilege “the worst of all sacrileges”). IF priests knowingly gave the Eucharist to non-Catholics who could not possibly have been in a proper disposition to receive the Blessed Sacrament – then they profaned the Body of Christ, possibly incurred a latae sententiae excommunication and would be subject to possible dismissal:

A person who throws away the consecrated species or takes or retains them for a sacrilegious purpose incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; moreover, a cleric can be punished with another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.

Canon 1367

This is more serious than attempting to “marry” gays or attempting to ordain a woman. This is hugely scandalous to the faithful, a threat to unity and worse of all – a direct crime against God Almighty. We must not sugar-coat this.

There are many sects of Lutherans (they call synods) who, like many other Protestant denominations, believe different things from each other. This was a Finnish synod with which I am not familiar. In the United States, most Lutherans are in the largest synod here which is the ELCA. Among other things, they:

  1. do NOT have apostolic succession and thus no valid holy orders
  2. their worship service, while superficially similar those times when communion is offered, is not sacrificial as is our Mass
  3. their understanding of the real presence is very different than ours
  4. regardless of their belief, lacking valid holy orders, their hosts are unchanged
  5. there is no tabernacle or reservation of consecrated hosts
  6. all baptized may receive (Lutheran or non-Lutheran; state of grace only loosely)
  7. they do not recognize sacraments as Catholics or Orthodox do
  8. they have many women pastors and “bishops”
  9. they embrace open homosexuality even among their clergy (who are free to marry)
  10. divorce and “re-marriage” is completely accepted
  11. they use the abridged Protestant Bible
  12. they believe in sola scriptura (rejecting both Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium)
  13. their clergy health care plans include full abortion coverage
  14. becoming a Lutheran (like most Protestant denominations) is a snap
  15. many other differences from Catholicism

I in no way hope to demean Lutherans. My family and many relatives are Lutherans, as was I for almost 60 years. They sincerely hold their beliefs and dearly love the Lord. I pray that they may one day be fully reunited with Christ’s Church. The point is that Lutheran beliefs have become significantly separated from Catholicism. There is no valid analogy between the Orthodox and Lutherans. The Orthodox are very close to Catholicism while Lutherans are far. In fact, Lutherans move further and further away from Catholicism every year (see my piece: Protestantism trainwreck).

So, in what ways were they not properly disposed to receive?

  • they are not Catholic or even claim to be

That should completely suffice, but to expand on the obvious:

  • they are not in communion with the Church and do not profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God (not even close)
  • in this incident, they acknowledged improper disposition by crossing their arm
  • they do not believe the communion species have transformed (only taken on, possibly temporarily, a dual nature)
  • not having confession (sacramental or otherwise), they easily may not be in a state of grace

Some have already suggested that this represents a first step in officially recognizing Lutherans as “close enough” for inter-communion. That thought leaves me (and probably all other Lutheran converts) dumbfounded and alarmed. It would herald a very dark time of many serious consequences including to our unity. As a thought experiment, imagine we were to officially welcome Lutherans to communion. Consider, besides the grave, on-going sacrilege:

  • there would be little incentive for converts to bother with the RCIA process if their goal is to join us fully at Mass – becoming Lutheran is quick and easy, then come and celebrate the Most Holy Eucharist with us
  • “married” gay Lutherans, no problem
  • Lutherans on their third or fourth spouse, no problem
  • Lutheran and an abortion provider? no problem
  • don’t like Sunday obligation? become Lutheran and come when you like
  • opposed to Catholic moral theology in other ways? keep your favorite sins and come as a Lutheran (what Lutherans consider sins and what Catholics consider sins are not the same)
  • presumably Sacraments of Penance and Anointing the Sick would also be opened too
  • such a new “tier 2” Catholicism might appeal to cafeteria Catholics and others with objections to Church teaching
  • would Catholics currently unable to receive communion be able to simply become Lutheran?
  • if Lutherans, why not Episcopalians and all other Anglicans who are at least as “close”?

Our fervent hopes and prayers are that Lutherans become truly reunited with us at the Eucharistic table of our Lord. That happens when they become Catholic. This is what converts do, what I did, what Anglicans do en masse via the ordinariate. The purpose of true ecumenical dialog is to lead others to the fullness of the Christian faith. Affirming them where they are, with no need to change accomplishes exactly the opposite and fulfills Satan’s desires not God’s.

Also reference this analysis on a previous sacrilege against the Eucharist.

March for Life

March for Life 2016

Lord God, Author of Life and Source of Eternal Life,

Move the hearts of all our public officials and especially our President, to fulfill their responsibilities worthily and well to all those entrusted to their care.

Help them in their special leadership roles, to extend the mantle of protection to the most vulnerable, especially the defenseless unborn, whose lives are threatened with extermination by an indifferent society.

Guide all public officials by your wisdom and grace to cease supporting any law that fails to protect the fundamental good that is human life itself, which is a gift from God and parents.

You are the Protector and Defender of the lives of the innocent unborn. Change the hearts of those who compromise the call to protect and defend life. Bring our nation to the values that have made us a great nation, a society that upholds the values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.

Mary, the Mother of the living, help us to bear witness to the Gospel of Life with our lives and our laws, through Christ, Our Lord.