Sunday, April 12, 2015

Staten Island Catholics

The Advance is interested in interviewing Staten Island Catholics, whether practicing or fallen-away: click here.

I would encourage the faithful to respond to this survey so as not to let the results be skewed in favor of the bile-dripping, God-hating former Catholics so prevalent on this island.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cardinal Quisling's collaboration

In just two days our craven, cowardly, compromising joke of a Cardinal will, by his actions, publicly give sanction to mortal sin when he will serve as Grand Marshal of a St. Patrick's Day parade that has, for the first time, allowed a homosexual group to march under its own banner. Since he took his seat here, Cardinal Dolan has made it quite clear that he fully supports the gay agenda, by doing absolutely nothing to oppose gay marriage in New York, by publicly applauding the gay pride group at St. Francis Xavier, and by sending a "Bravo!" to gay NFL player Michael Sam on the occasion of his coming out. But those actions, while appreciated and valued by the homosexual movement, were basically passive. What he will do in two days is the final bending of the knee, the public act of degradation and submissiveness. To add insult to injury, he makes the childishly specious argument that his participation is acceptable because the group is not endorsing homosexual acts but only showing pride in being homosexual. Pray for the soul of this bad shepherd and for the souls of all those he is leading to damnation.

St. Patrick's Day parade, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Satan's laughing with delight

Despite the repeated reassurances of the Cardinal, Catholic parishes throughout his domain are dropping like flies. Five Staten Island parishes have received a death sentence and numerous others are being merged with other parishes in what is no doubt a preliminary move towards future closures. With an example of local Catholic culture making national news, it is no wonder. Our priests have failed; we, the laity have failed. We have gone a-whoring after false gods of material gluttony, sexual hedonism and self-worship. Is it any wonder that such a people would allow the temples of their God to fall into ruin?

Some brief histories of the doomed parishes can be found here. One of the churches slated to be shuttered dates back to the 1850s. Four of the five churches are located on the North Shore. Two are located in one-time "ethnic" neighborhoods that are now mostly black and Hispanic. One is located in a neighborhood that still has a significant Italian population. The outlier- St. John Neumann- is only a few decades old and is located mid-island. Its parishioners claim that their church is in the black and debt-free. And that got me thinking.

Why aren't we being given the actual numbers that are the basis for these decisions? Every so often, the archdiocese simply releases a list of the condemned parishes, like some commissar from Stalinist Russia. Wouldn't it help the flock to understand the decision-making process if we were shown some solid numbers that said, for example, that Parish X brings in only $10,000 a year from its 50 parishioners and has operating expenses of $100,000 and a $50,000 debt? Wouldn't it be helpful if the archdiocese further justified its decisions by citing relevant demographic data or pragmatic arguments by saying, for example, that Parish X's 50 parishioners are all over 70 years of age and the church building will be condemned unless it has hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs to its roof and foundation? Those are legitimate arguments that no reasonable person could contest. But when the archdiocese just condemns a financially successful parish like St. John Neumann to extinction, on the basis of unknown and seemingly arbitrary criteria, it makes the curious Catholic wonder just what is going on here.

Assumption in New Brighton I could believe had problems. It was a small parish, built for people who lived within walking distance of the church. It is located within a mile radius of about 4 other Catholic churches. It was built for a specific ethnic group (Italians) that have long since fled the neighborhood. But St. Mary's in Port Richmond? Whenever I've driven by that place on Sundays, it has always been overflowing with Mexicans. St. Roch's in Port Richmond was never packed when I visited but it was always moderately well-attended. Similarly, St. Mary's in Rosebank seemed to have a fair number of parishioners. What are the actual numbers that doomed these parishes? What are the arguments?

Apart from the complete lack of transparency and accountability, Cardinal Dolan is showing his usual alacrity when it comes to secular initiatives by quickly suggesting that the closed churches be used for affordable housing. This Cardinal has probably extinguished more Catholic churches than John Calvin. There is no plan to reverse this trend, no plan to evangelize, no plan to re-catechize. There is no plan and no clue at the top of this hierarchy. We are a rudderless ship without a captain. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

O tempora o mores

Some miscellaneous and disparate news items and observations:

  • Rorate Caeli has a brilliant article about the Orwellian language at play in the Vatican's transparent attempt to subvert Catholic doctrine and manufacture a new Gospel based on secular sexual practices. Obfuscation and language perversion is indeed a favored tactic of these men but, in a sign that they are confident in their unassailable position, it appears as if they are also taking the gloves off now and eschewing subtlety. The Vatican's own instructions for next year's follow-up Synod on the Family overtly demands that attendees avoid reference to doctrine when coming up with a "solution" to the irregular relationships of homosexuals and bigamists. The fix is in and it is looking more and more as if this Pope is fully behind the revolution: he wants Communion for the divorced and remarried and he wants integration for practicing homosexuals. The consequence of such "pastoral" contradiction of dogmatic teaching would have the most dire consequence, namely, the final and authoritative suicide of the Catholic Church. 
  • This wonderful interview with Cardinal Burke deals with the matter of the impending betrayal of Catholicism by our hierarchy, and other topics as well. 
  • I noticed that a local church had an advertisement in its bulletin for a book called "Romans 8" by someone named Teacher Shekinat Ayodele Ikioda (I'm not sure if "Teacher" is a title or a given name).The book's amazon page doesn't have anything that would indicate that it is a Catholic book. On the contrary, the book blurb trumpets its "Christian" message. Have we sunk so low that we're now marketing Protestant books? How they must be laughing in their sleeves at our stupidity!
  • The latest issue of Catholic New York included a pull-out color section which displayed, in yearbook fashion, all the seminarians and students at the Seminary in Yonkers. Not a single one was from Staten Island. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Catholic Church Shopping, Part XV: The Heresy Hut

I'm going to dispense with all the usual attempts at anonymity for this location because of the sheer egregiousness of the violation I witnessed. People need to be warned. I attended the Sunday evening Mass on October 19th at the St. Thomas half of the St. Joseph-St. Thomas parish.
First, a bit about the church. The only thing I knew about it before I first attended was that it had been hilariously described as a "Tabernacle of opulence" in a letter to the editor by an envious Protestant minister some years ago. It is indeed opulent; ugly as sin but still grand and, no doubt, expensively constructed. The shape of the church resembles a Mongolian yurt, with a statue of a dove hanging from the apex. The walls are brick and the stained glass windows- having been made in the early 1990s and thus avoiding the worst cartoonish excesses of 1970s modern church art- nevertheless still don't quite approach the standard of traditional Catholic beauty.  Again, avoiding the worst excesses of hippie-era Church architecture, it also has several alcoves with statues and relics and kneelers for devotional purposes (not that they are ever used). The stations of the cross were built, in a creative but ultimately unappealing way, into the brick walls using other bricks. There is a tiny, hermetically-sealed room at the back of the church, presumably for families with young children, where you can see the Mass through a window and strain to listen to it through a sub-par sound system. In practice, there are few families with babies in this church, so this room fills up with rowdy tweens who want to text and talk in peace, without much liturgical distraction. Any attempts to verbalize the Mass responses or- God forbid- sing, are met with heads whipping around to glare at you. The confessional is located in this tiny room, thereby precluding any self-conscious person from ever going to confession for fear of being overheard by the other people sitting 2 feet away. The music here is strictly limited to the effeminate treacle of the St. Louis Jesuits. No one sings.
Standard church wear for local Catholics
The well-to-do people who attend this church are some of the worst dressed and worst behaved congregants I have ever seen. All of the usual misbehavior can be seen here, but to a higher degree than anywhere else in my experience: unbelievably slovenly and slatternly dress, constant talking and phone use, and a complete lack of respect for or acknowledgment of the presence of God. It's not as if there's any example coming from the parish leadership, since the tall, blonde pastor, when he is not the celebrant, habitually wanders around the church before and during the beginning of Mass glad-handing and chatting up the crowd. (Bizarrely enough, when he is not saying Mass, he announces that he will be hearing Confession during the other priest's sermon). Mass is always well attended but I suspect that this has something to do with a requirement for the children at the booming parish school; one does not get the impression of any piety whatsoever from this group of people. The rotation of three priests serving the two constituent churches are nice enough but their sermons set the standard for banality and insipidness.

"Cool" priest prototype
I had heard this priest before and although his sermons are usually bizarre, this one took the cake for not only being strange but outright heretical. He came down from the pulpit in the usual pandering style of "cool" priests and started talking, with his customary histrionics, about Father Leonard Feeney (as if there were nothing more relevant to talk about than a 65 year old controversy that 99.9% of Catholics have never heard of.) Father Feeney, of course, rigidly interpreted the age-old doctrine of No Salvation Outside the Church to mean that one had to be formally baptized with water in order to be saved, and was eventually excommunicated for disobeying a summons to appear in Rome to defend himself. This priest didn't stop at condemning Father Feeney for denying the validity of Baptism by Blood and Desire, but went even further by preaching universal salvation. I kid you not.
He mused that God couldn't possibly damn a person who had never heard the Gospel and He couldn't possibly damn a person who was turned off by the Faith because they only knew bad Catholics and He couldn't possibly damn a person who was comfortable in their own non-Catholic religion. In fact, God really can't damn anyone at all, he preached, because if they are non-Catholic it's because God wanted them to be non-Catholic, which is all part of His plan (thereby reducing to worthlessness all the missionaries and evangelists and martyrs through two millennia of Church history). This priest repeatedly said that "every person made in the image of God will know God". He also repeatedly and vehemently underscored that this has always been Church teaching. He admitted that, yes, Christ said that no one comes to the Father except through Him and, yes, the motto of No Salvation Outside the Church was ancient and true, but he harmonized  his contradictions by explaining that Christ's sacrifice basically made every human being a part of the Church and ensured their salvation automatically, whether or not they were consciously Christian because, after all, "every person made in the image of God will know God".
How many souls did that priest murder that evening, I wonder.
I think I did the right thing by trying to contact the pastor privately, but several emails to the parish about this outrageous blasphemy went unanswered.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No Marriage=No Church

The following must-read article by John Zmirak is spot on and exactly what I have been saying: if these modernist, wicked bishops in the hierarchy manage to declare that Catholics are able to divorce their spouses and marry again, then that effectively negates all of the Catholic Church's authority and claims about its divine nature. This issue is that important. And if the Catholic Church turns out to be a fallible, human institution, then what does that say about the Christ who promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Abomination of Desolation

The Synod on the Family taking place in Rome right now is proving to be one of the most disastrous and significant events in the history of the Church. Satan has surely enthroned his servants in high places if our shepherds are seriously considering allowing Communion for the divorced and remarried, second and third marriages, allowing contraception, and recognizing fornicating couples and active homosexuals as comprising some sort of legitimate alternative to true marriage that must be valued. Our Church leaders have not only embraced the spirit of the age but have fallen down and worshipped this idol of lust. They are in the process of constructing a new Gospel that discards or makes powerless the clear words of Jesus Christ Himself. May God intervene!

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Matthew 24:15-16