Archives for 2016



Friends, as you have noticed, my blog activity has slacked-off. It is not from lack of interest, illness, Islamic terrorists or even Vatican albino monk assassins. My daughter is marrying a fine young man tomorrow!

This month has been a whirlwind of activity. Yours truly, as Father of the Bride, has been mightily preoccupied with wedding and reception preparations. Blogging has necessarily had to temporarily take a back seat.

Next week should be back to semi-normal, while out-of-town guests begin returning to places far and wide. Look for an archive post (always a set of 3) next week and, next Saturday being the first of the month, another edition of New Evangelists Monthly.

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #197)

7 Quick Takes Friday the 13th

This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly awaits your perusal. The USCCB offers a video on the critical importance of true religious freedom. Target chooses extreme political ideology over your family’s safety. College students speak on reality (apparently, they have no idea what that is). Will a $15 dollar minimum wage help or hurt? One husky says “no” to getting out of bed. Political candidates, as the media paints them vs. testimonials to the contrary.

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New Evangelists Monthly

Issue #41, May 2016, of New Evangelists Monthly is ready for your enjoyment! Scores of faithful Catholic bloggers have contributed their very best pieces from April. Contributing authors this month include:
David Wong, Melanie Jean Juneau, Ellen Kolb, Virginia Lieto, Lorenzo Fox, Edwin Rodrigues, Fr. John Paul Shea, Christopher Ziegler, Fr. Stephen Morris, Birgit Jones, John Schroeder, Jennifer Short, Bonnie Way, Blythe Kaufman, Mike Landry, Margaret Felice, Frank Rega, Ellen Gable Hrkach, Chris Capolino, Gregory Watson, Dianna Kennedy, Adam Crawford, Brian Mullins, Stephen Korsman, Rich Maffeo, Tucker Cordani, Nancy Ward, Mary Cooper, Barbara Hosbach, Rick Becker, Dn. Scott Dodge, Larry Peterson, Nancy Shuman, Catherine Prady, Fr. Richard DeLillio, Rita Buettner, Michael Seagriff, John Donaghy, Dave Wanat, Vijaya Bodach, George Sipe, Joseph Shaw, Robert Collins, Lisa Ponchak, Elizabeth Reardon, Molly Oshatz, Fr. Ben Hadrich, Tracy Smith, Melody Marie, Bartimaeus Timeo, Kathleen Laplante, Leslie Klinger, Anthony Layne, Fr. Adrian Danker, Sr. Maresa Lilley, Tony Agnesi, Erika Vandiver, Tom Perna, Dn. Chris Anderson, Alexandrina Brant, Lisa Laverty, Carissa Douglas, Carolyn Astfalk, W.L. Grayson, Fr. Errol Fernandes, Rick Rice, Barbara Szyszkiewicz, Tara Baker, Reese Cumming, Kirby Hoberg, Larry T, Leti Adams, Erin Cupp, Stephanie Calis, Eric Johnston, Julian Barkin, Sarah, Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Roxane Salonen, Monica McConkey, James Milliken, David Torkington and Emily Davis.

This monthly “meta-magazine” showcases faithful Catholicism from theology to family life and “everything in between.” Enjoy it now at

Read Now

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We are doomed without religious freedom. Real religious freedom, to live openly by our beliefs — not redefined as the right to hold private beliefs practiced outside of public view. You may be tired of this subject (I am), but it is under serious and sustained attack. Previous generations would never have dreamt we could possibly sink to this low point.

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):

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Speaking of hard-to-believe topics and personal freedoms, gender identity issues are “a thing.” I suppose a minuscule percentage of the population has always suffered this mental health problem. Except now it is celebrated as a personal freedom. These people need help. Accommodating their delusions in political correctness can directly lead to dangerous environments for the 99.999% of normal people.

Ignoring the safety of the families who shop there, natural law and their fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, Target has chosen to allow all men free access to women’s restrooms and dressing areas (if they feel like a woman at that moment – who are we to judge?).

Please boycott Target and let them know. I signed the pledge and ask you to join over 1.2 MILLION other sane shoppers who have done the same HERE. Stick by it until they reconsider, if ever. We can not continue to ignore these things. We must make it financially dangerous for businesses to embrace extreme political activism, even if only 1 at a a time.

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I feel like a gender-neutral dragon today. Want to make something of it?

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A rising tide lifts all boats. Should not all workers be lifted out of poverty if they work (regardless of the economic value of their contribution and poor life choices)? Should not every worker have a government mandated “living wage”? Of course! Unless you think it through…

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This is cute. This husky does not want to start the day. I sympathize.

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I do not like either of the probable presidential candidates (just making that clear). As you know, I also hugely distrust the mainstream media who works tirelessly to misrepresent the truth pretty much in every area. It is amazing what they get away with.

Recently I stumbled on these two videos which I found interesting because they credibly present a reality so extremely different than that hammered-home day-after-day by the media.

The first is from a letter by a black, female executive who works for Trump. She has a real, responsible job (not a show position like “VP of Inclusion” or other such nonsense) and is speaking without permission.

The second is from a black police officer who attended a Trump rally off-duty.

I am not suggesting here that you vote for anyone in particular, just do not depend on the media to fairly present the candidates. As much as they vilify one, they protect and promote the other. Beware.

BTW, I was surprised to find quite a few videos featuring blacks and Hispanics enthusiastically explaining why they are supporting Trump without reservation. From what I see in the media, this should be an utter impossibility.

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!

New Evangelists Monthly – May 2016, Issue #41

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From the archive (set #18)


This Saturday 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 — Is Hell empty?.

Is Hell empty?

If these few academics were correct, then heaven is ours regardless of what we do. We would be free to reject God’s will, ignore his Church, believe whatever we wish, live in sin or perhaps even worship Satan. While these things would affect our life here, we would still have a “reasonable hope of salvation.” That friends, is hogwash!

…read it all:   Is Hell empty?

Civil vs. divine law

Politicians capable of rational thought and who actually cared about children realize that the confessional seal is helpful. First, this is probably the only place the penitent will actually face his crimes and the terrible harm done. Second, the priest will probably be the only voice they hear telling them to make amends by turning themselves in. Third, were the Church to agree to cooperate with such laws (it never will), does anyone actually think that child abusers would actually confess their crimes before they are caught? They are disordered but not stupid.

…read it all:   Civil vs. divine law

Hijacking CST

The real Magisterium, the one instituted by Jesus and protected by the Holy Spirit, reminds us of our obligation to love each other. In that, we each have a PERSONAL obligation to the poor and vulnerable in what we call the “preferential option for the poor.” We are to share the gifts of time, talent and treasure loaned to us by God with others in need. Catholic charities have always had this focus and do more in this regard than any other charity on the planet.

…read it all:   Hijacking CST

Amoris Laetitia conclusions

Amoris Laetitia conclusions

It has now been 11 days since Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) was released to the public. It is the Holy Father’s reflections and conclusions on the Synod of Bishops meetings on the family. Apostolic Exhortations in the hierarchy of document authority are below Papal Bulls, Apostolic Constitutions, Motu Proprios, and Encyclicals. They are not legislative documents nor do they contain dogmatic definitions or changes to discipline. Amoris Laetitia is unusually large, weighing in at over 250 pages.

Pope Francis has long been rightly concerned with Catholics who feel estranged from the Church. He knows, due to secular propaganda and poor catechesis, that fallen-away Catholics feel rejected and do not participate in the life of the Church. These include those in same sex relationships, those struggling with gender identity and – the largest group – those who are married but living in an attempted “remarriage” outside of the Church.

Amoris Laetitia in many ways is a beautiful presentation, and even defense, of the teaching of the Church. It is also an invitation to those who have separated themselves to return and join all of us in responding to the universal call to holiness. Additionally, it is a document for the faithful intended to strengthen marriages and families.

Much of Amoris Laetitia is very good. It could have been in the same league of Humanae Vitae, but it sadly falls short due to critically muddled messages. A small part of it (particularly in chapter 8 and footnote 351) addressing pastoral care are ambiguous and problematic to the point of overshadowing the rest of the document. The text in question leaves open, for those inclined to interpret it in a certain way (debatably including Pope Francis), “pastoral practices” which are contrary to the timeless teaching of the Church everywhere and in every place, the direct words of Christ Jesus and the explicit warnings of St. Paul on receiving (“taking” is a more appropriate word in this instance) communion unworthily.

That scandal has already begun. Scandal, BTW, means evil actions which occasion others to sin. “Liberal” minded bishops (particularly in Germany, but other places too such as Chicago) have already declared these ambiguous words to be a game changer. For their part in the scandal, the biased liberal media was quick to affirm the same. To wit:

Amoris Laetitia Headlines

While Amoris Laetitia officially changes nothing, certain priests and bishops through their own interpretations of the ambiguity, are quite likely to offer a path to receiving communion for the “divorced and remarried.” To be clear, these are people who are already married to others and either have not sought a declaration of nullity or whose previous marriages were found to be valid but are unwilling to live in continence (i.e. as “brother and sister”) with their new partners. This acceptance over true repentance may be devastating to their eternal souls. The scandal will be harmful not only to the partners, but their children, their parish and the entire Body of Christ.

Amoris Laetitia, for all of its true and beautiful text, fails to clearly identify such immoral unions as sinful. Quotes from prior documents seem to selectively exclude that too. Instead, the immoral unions are normalized as simply “irregular.” Yes, they are indeed irregular because of their mortally sinful nature. Calling them irregular is misleading.

Likewise, the clear teaching of Christ on marriage, while strongly affirmed, is referred to as the “ideal.” It is ideal only in that any lesser sexual union is mortally sinful. Then again, Jesus’ teaching is described as “proposed” which it is, in the sense of free will to accept or reject Christ.

It is understandable for a pastor to (initially perhaps) use gentle words like irregular, ideal and proposed to open a dialog with those who have strayed. When they appear in an official teaching document and facilitate an interpretation implying acceptance of sin, which some appear determined to do, then they lead to scandal.

Lastly, Amoris Laetitia gives prominence to the “internal forum” and the person’s conscience. A well-formed conscience (i.e. in concert with God’s will) is valid and ancient Church teaching, but internal forum is somewhat technical and readily abused by misunderstanding. Without giving clear direction, the text in Amoris Laetitia can easily lead to the heresy of relativism. Already, America Magazine has declared simply and without qualification “the role of [sic] conscience is paramount in moral decision making” as a key takeaway from the document. With all due respect, that is absurd.

FWIW, my predictions are:

  • Amoris Laetitia will fail in its goals, but will be seriously divisive for the Church.
  • Those who are “divorced and remarried” will increasingly receive communion (and thereby, as St. Paul warned, “eats and drinks judgment on himself”) — with and without pastoral guidance.
  • In areas where bishops tolerate (or worse, promote) this abuse, actual applications for annulments will decline in preference to this express approach.
  • Young people contemplating marriage, will have ever more reason to doubt the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. What they see in actions will speak much louder to them than the words to the contrary.
  • Likewise, struggling marriages will be weakened as a new acceptance for “remarriage” may appear to be normalized.
  • A future “pope of clarity” will have to unambiguously correct this and other official ambiguities which have appeared in recent years.

Amoris Laetitia has much to recommend it, particularly for those who will read it with faithful eyes. Many who have been closely following the shennigans surrounding the Synod on the Family have feared it would be worse. For that at least, they are relieved.

EWTN’s highly respected news program The World Over with host Raymond Arroyo had excellent coverage of the issues raised by Amoris Laetitia last Thursday evening:

I strongly recommend further reading:

Fr. Zuhlsdorf has insightful posts on the topic too: