Monday, March 24, 2014

A Korean Phoenix rises from German ashes.

This is really good and exciting news that escaped my notice last October: the formerly defunct parish of St. John the Baptist de la Salle in Stapleton  has been reborn as a Korean Catholic church. As far as I can tell from their website, they are up and running. Congratulations to them! As wonderful as this news is, it is so sad that the Church's only "strategy" seems to be to rely on immigrant priests and immigrant congregations to replace our own apostate flocks and reinforce our own miniscule vocations. That is the strategy of passive incompetents.

An interesting reflection on some St. John history here.

Also, this site says that St. John was being used by a Protestant congregation as recently as 2010. WHO was responsible for allowing that kind of sacrilege to occur??

Follow-up article here.

Censoring God's politically incorrect Word

Today's Gospel reading dealt with Jesus' meeting at the well with the Samaritan woman (John 4:5-42). It was a long reading, yes, and a "short form" was available in which several long parts were omitted, but one extremely short passage in the middle was_very_conspicuously excised, perhaps in conjunction with the push to end the indissolubility of marriage. It was the section where Jesus supernaturally perceived that the woman was living in some sort of adulterous pseudo-marriage and confronted her about it by saying, “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband." (JN 4:16-18). As these kinds of relationships are so popular with modern American Catholics, our Cardinals, bishops and priests are so terrified to even bring up the topic that they have now officially edited the liturgy to avoid speaking Jesus' "offensive" words. Does the cowardice of our clergy know no bounds?

Some time ago I started a petition to abolish this sacrilegious "short form" option. As one of the (grand total of two) people who signed the petition said: "The short-form option is frequently used to skip passages that challenge us to piety and say the consequences of impiety." Please sign this petition if you are as sick of it as I am.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Marriage and its Enemies

We have entered into an age when, seemingly, Satan has been loosed upon the earth in order to test and sift the Faithful in preparation for the End. In a matter of a handful of years, society's values have been utterly transposed, and almost everything we had held good or sacred has been rejected and their opposite embraced. One of the most horrifying- and successful- tactics of the Enemy has been to attack marriage, the foundation of the family. True marriage, between a man and a woman who contract a permanent union before God in a church, has been undermined in a hundred different ways: the Sexual Revolution, Feminism, contraception, abortion, easy divorce, easy annulment, pornography, the internet, media mockery and now its dark counterpart, so-called "gay-marriage," are all weapons in the devil's arsenal to minimize, desacralize, disparage and destroy marriages and Marriage.

Even the secular world's sentimental and improperly-formed idea of marriage, as practiced casually and serially by non-believers, is falling by the wayside as young and old alike seem to be eschewing its hypocrisy in favor of mere fornication and cohabitation, with one person after another so long as the feeling lasts.

One could weather these attacks, by the Grace of God, if it didn't seem like our bishops were actively trying to undermine us as well.

To wit, they often issue the correct, formal written statements about these matters (which counts for little) but never, never do anything about them, e.g. the bishops_never_preach about marriage, or any of these hard issues that undermine marriage, but gleefully run an annulment factory of easy "Catholic divorce"; they provide little to no opposition to legalized homosexual pseudo-marriages and, in many cases, even abet them; yes, they have sued Obama over his contraception mandate, but, in a lot of cases (including in our New York Archdiocese) the Church already provides contraception in its health care plans and hospitals, thus fatally undermining our position; they never, never discipline the politicians who defy the Faith, such as "Catholic in good standing" Andrew Cuomo, who not only supports abortion and homosexual marriage, but is a divorced man shacking up with a concubine. Frankly, most of our bishops are either actively working for the other side or are just too cowardly to wear a miter.

Now, the Fifth Column in the hierarchy are taking off the gloves and, for the first time, openly lobbying to overturn not just Catholic praxis but Catholic doctrine. A well-organized campaign is being hatched in the Church to repeal God's law on the indissolubility of marriage.

Led by the German bishops, who are already defying the Church and denying our Faith by giving Communion to people who have divorced their spouses and remarried, they have chosen as their spokesman the modernist and dissident Cardinal Walter Kasper, whose own career and continuing preeminence is a mystery and a festering scandal. For months now, these forces have been leaking hints to the media that the upcoming Synod on the Family will change Church teaching on marriage and permit the reception of Communion by the divorced and remarried. In the recent opening discussions for this October Synod, Cardinal Kasper stated his case with Luciferian persuasiveness...

He begins by pointing out the hard cases of those divorced and remarried people who genuinely desire to be reconciled with the Church. Striking a pose as a loyal son of the Church, he affirms Jesus' clear teaching on the indissolubility of marriage while denying it in the next breath by subtly describing the Church's teaching as a "tradition" and calling for these adulterous relationships to somehow be made valid in the eyes of the Church. (Funny how this bleeding heart has no tears to shed for the millions of children who have had to endure broken homes over the past 5 decades). He exhibits his reasonableness by arguing that this would only take place in very limited and individual circumstances, and only after a period of penitence.


He, and everyone, knows that this is intended to be the camel's nose under the tent. As if it were possible to only defy God's law in a limited way, it is patently obvious that the modernists in the hierarchy are using this issue to "officially" overturn and nullify the Sacrament of Marriage and thus the infallible consistency of the Catholic Church, which is the ultimate goal, of course. For who could trust a Church or believe in a Faith that would contradict its own most basic dogmas? The Catholic Church will have finally slit its own throat if this change is allowed to pass.

What makes it even more disturbing is that Pope Francis has tolerated these proposals and even appeared to approve of them. We will recall one of his first interviews, when he favorably referenced the Eastern Orthodox approval of second marriages. And the Pope's very questionable advisor, the constantly-smirking leftist Cardinal Maradiaga, has been extremely vocal in his support of this new morality.

Sensing the rising zeitgeist, the then-Archbishop (now Cardinal) Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and not theretofore known as any sort of staunch conservative, issued a preemptive blow to this dangerous conspiracy. Entitled, Testimony to the Power of Grace, it is the most powerful and, indeed, beautiful apologia for and encomia to Marriage that I have ever read. It is intellectually substantial but eminently comprehensible. I encourage everyone to read and re-read it, until its message is internalized: 1. Marriage cannot be dissolved, because Jesus said so, clearly and definitively, 2. the Church has solemnly and dogmatically reaffirmed that teaching throughout the ages, and 3. therefore, the Church couldn't teach anything different even if it wanted to.  God bless the Cardinal. To his credit, he is standing strong against his enemies' attacks, but their campaign continues.

I know this isn't a Staten Island issue (unless one considers the epidemic of divorced Catholics here) but this campaign to change doctrine is so exceedingly dangerous to our Faith that I feel we should be aware and be vocal. Read Jesus' words on marriage in the Bible; read Muller's essay; and reflect upon what a glorious gift God has given us in Marriage.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Good Shepherd and his lost sheep

Fun Fact: The "Dr. Rev. Daniel Mercaldo," the pastor of the Gateway evangelical megachurch, publicly brags that 90% of his very large congregation are ex-Catholics. The image seen below is advertising one of his upcoming classes that are meant to solidify the apostasy of the people he has seduced away from Mother Church to his personal sect.

An excellent opportunity for undercover Catholic apologists, hint, hint...

And in response to this and similar kinds of spiritual aggression from the ravaging wolves of the sects, our local Church leaders do....what exactly? Well, they organize symbolic charity events with Moslems,  they expend all their spirit, intellect and energy figuring out how to close down parishes, they agitate for immigration amnesty, and they throw a big ecumenical hootenanny every year (coming up this week), where they will smile at and embrace people like the Rev. Dr. Daniel Mercaldo and others of his ilk, who are doing their best, day and night, to completely destroy Christ's Church.  Our local yoga instructors seem to show greater leadership and evangelistic fervor than our Catholic priests and bishops.

Granted, even our best priests must recoil in horror when they see the quality of the lay people they are given to shepherd, but that's the thing about leadership- we are shaped by our pastors, not the other way around. When our priests are lazy, ignorant, unfaithful, uninspiring and uninterested, that's the kind of congregation that will be produced. And when our priests and bishops not only don't care that 70% of American Catholics have left the Church, for either the sects or for secularism, but even treat these sectarians and heretics as allies and friends, then we have a situation where the Parable of the Good Shepherd has been inverted: The shepherd has lost 99 sheep, but instead of going out to rescue them, he sits on his rear end and declares to the one remaining sheep that all the world is beautiful and the fold has never seen better days.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Catholic Church Shopping, Part XIV: The Sardine Can

I have attended the Sardine Can a few times. I call it such because it is inevitably packed to the rafters with a standing-room-only-crowd. It is the oldest Catholic church building in Staten Island and is located in what was once a sleepy maritime village on the southern part of the island. The village has been mostly obliterated and its original inhabitants scattered to the four winds first by a devastating brush fire in the early 1960s which displaced 500 people and destroyed 100 homes, and then by the construction of the West Shore Expressway, the Verrazano Bridge and subsequent overdevelopment. Now, one can spot a humble older house here and there, nestled in between the McMansions and endless vistas of attached townhouses. White flight from Brooklyn and the North Shore of Staten Island has made this neighborhood extremely popular and its 19th century church extremely well attended. I could just as easily call it The Death Trap, as its single small exit would make it a tomb for hundreds in the event of a fire.

In any case, it's a charming edifice, with beautiful stained glass windows, traditional Stations of the Cross and other iconography. Its congregation appears to be mostly Italian American. For some reason the parish is officially combined with a booming, opulent parish a few miles down the road. Even though this parish is always packed, one doesn't get the impression of any special fervor. No
one really sings, or genuflects, dresses appropriately or shows any interest. The back of the church is full of gossiping adults; the foyer is full of tweens and teenagers tapping away on their phones or video games. Many people flee right after Communion. The rotating cast of priests never say anything worthwhile. The sermon last Sunday was memorable though, but for all the wrong reasons.

The priest, a handsome bearded man who couldn't have been more than 40 and who spoke with a theatrical voice and articulate delivery, gave a sermon on the Gospel story of how Jesus' divine paternity was revealed to Joseph in a dream, thus convincing Joseph not to divorce Mary after he learned of her pregnancy. The centerpiece of his entire message was that Joseph had not intended to divorce Mary because he thought she was unfaithful- that would have meant that Joseph did not trust Mary and that would have made him cynical, an unthinkable fault- but that he was going to divorce her because he thought she had been raped by a Gentile during her visit to Elizabeth, which would have rendered the child non-Jewish under the Law of the time, making their marriage illegal as well. According to the priest, this compelled a devout man like Joseph to divorce Mary, as much as he no doubt didn't want to.

No trace of this fanciful construction is found in the Bible at all. It was entirely a figment of this priest's imagination. Even if it could be argued that it was so, I am at a loss as to how there is any lesson in it that would be relevant to us today. I don't know anyone who ever faulted Joseph for wanting to divorce his pregnant wife whom he never had relations with. In any case, how does this story edify us or inspire us to be better Catholics? This was truly one of the most bizarre sermons I've ever heard, which was a shame since the priest was a very good orator, with a persuasive and passionate delivery.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Where crucifixes go to collect dust

The Times reports that a warehouse on the grounds of Mount Loretto is the final resting place for sacramental and liturgical objects from closed churches around the archdiocese. The article notes that it was only in 2004, when a bishop walked into a bar and noticed an object from his first church decorating the shelves of the drinking establishment, that the archdiocese thought about crafting some regulations about how to dispose of crucifixes and vestments and other holy objects that were no1st degree relics being sold on ebay and Brooklyn hipsters using Catholic chalices for candy bowls.) The article also notes that this policy became especially significant when the archdiocese reneged on its 2007 promise not to sell any closed parishes to developers.
longer needed. (What a poignant commentary on the short-sightedness of our hierarchy. If someone had opened their eyes to this glaring issue, we would be spared the sight of

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Catholic Church Shopping, Part XIII: Meh

I attended Mass today at a mid-island parish founded in 1914. The age of the church building was uncertain. It looked old from the outside, but the interior had some modern elements. Overall it was quite attractive, with beautiful stained glass windows and traditional Stations of the Cross. The mass was attended by about 200 people. About 65% seemed to be in their 60s and 70s, 25% in their middle age, with the rest a smattering of young families, which was surprising since this parish also has a school. The priest was American and quite young, perhaps no more than 35, so I was eager to hear him speak. Although it was obvious that he had faith, he really said nothing of any consequence. With tomorrow being the feast of the Immaculate Conception, he noted how Mary needed to be extremely holy in order to bear our Lord, and that we all need to let God into our hearts this Christmas season. That was it. It wasn't a  stupid sermon; it wasn't heterodox; it was just extremely disappointing. The choice of music was uninspiring, rather than banal. The parish has a Bible study and some brief hours of Eucharistic adoration and novena which are, no doubt, attended solely by senior citizens, judging by the makeup of the congregation. Still, it seemed like the church was thriving, at least by the low standards of anemic modern American Catholicism. They paid off their debt and they were able to send over $8,000 to the Filipino typhoon victims. But when all the seniors die off, who will pick up the slack?

To me, this parish is at a place where a lot of failing parishes were 20 years ago. By the numbers it is successful. A stable neighborhood has resulted in a school with enough enrollment to pay for itself. The number of parishioners are enough to sustain the parish and throw a few nice parties a year. The people are cheerful rather than spiritually fervent in any way. Then the old folks start dying off. The young people go to high school and college, move away from home and fall away from the faith. If they marry at all, they marry late and artificially limit their families. Of the few that retain the faith, they will live somewhere else. A certain percentage of the retirees start moving to New Jersey or Florida. And then all it will take will be a city social service agency placed nearby, or a few dark faces moving in, and the neighborhood will quickly "change," and this model parish will then resemble St. Peter's or Immaculate Conception or St. Mary's. We've seen it all happen before.