For this Year of Faith, Pope Benedict has encouraged you to study and reflect on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Well, here’s an easy way to do it. Simply subscribe to this List and – starting October 11, 2012 – you’ll start getting a little bit of the Catechism emailed to you every morning. Read that little bit every day and you’ll read the whole catechism in a year.
According to my Archbishop, John Vlazny, we Catholics enter into National Migration Week (Jan. 8-14) with open arms and hearts. Yet, the layman below states within his own article that despite what the U.S. Bishops say, church doctrine is not pro-immigration. The Archbishop declares that immigration laws are unjust, and the layman puts forth a compelling argument that declares such laws are supported by the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Okay. So which is it? And what’s your position? (I recommend reading both commentators. And remember, please be charitable in your comments, lest you force me to boot your electronic butt out of this part of the universe…)
Catholic Layman Says: Despite The U.S. Bishops, Church Doctrine Is Not Pro-Immigration!
By AW Morgan on January 10, 2012 at 10:59pm
Think about this:
If a fellow shows up at your door, penniless, starving and thirsty, and beaten by thugs, the Catholic Church says you have a normative Christian duty to help him. Consider the rancher in Arizona who gives drink to the thirsty illegals who cross his path in the desert.
You have a greater duty to protect your family. The Church says they are your primary obligation.
The latter, not the former, describes immigration, legal and particularly illegal.
Of course, to hear the Catholic Left tell it, Church teaching demands that you surrender your house to the mob—i.e. throw open the borders, regardless of the effect on the federal and state treasuries, crime rates and American cultural coherence. They quotebiblical texts, from the Infant Savior’s flight to Egypt with Mary and Joseph to the teaching of Christ on welcoming “strangers,” in a way that resembles the irrational fundamentalism of erroneous Protestant scriptural exegesis. And they ask the clichéd question:WWJD?
As a Catholic myself, I say: bunk. Whatever the radical left and their feminist nuns, collarless priests or mitred mandarins in the sexually corrupt Catholic chanceries may say, Catholic teaching does not demand, and has never demanded, that a country open its borders to limitless numbers of immigrants.
Nor does it confer upon “migrants” an unfettered right to travelwherever they wish, whenever they wish.
Far from suggesting that a nation must throw open its doors, the Church says political authorities can control and even stop immigration if they judge it necessary.
The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.
Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens. [Emphasis added]
Similarly, the U.S. Catholic bishops in their official teaching (as opposed to what they lobby for) outline three principles of immigration. The first is that “People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families.” The third: “A country must regulate its borders with justice and mercy.”
But the second principle we don’t hear much about. Here it is:
‘While individuals have the right to move in search of a safe and humane life, no country is bound to accept all those who wish to resettle there. By this principle the Church recognizes that most immigration is ultimately not something to celebrate. Ordinarily, people do not leave the security of their own land and culture just to seek adventure in a new place or merely to enhance their standard of living.Instead, they migrate because they are desperate and the opportunity for a safe and secure life does not exist in their own land…
Because there seems to be no end to poverty, war, and misery in the world, developed nations will continue to experience pressure from many peoples who desire to resettle in their lands. Catholic social teaching is realistic: While people have the right to move, no country has the duty to receive so many immigrants that its social and economic life are jeopardized.
For this reason, Catholics should not view the work of the federal government and its immigration control as negative or evil. ‘[Emphasis added]
When was the last time you heard that “[m]ost immigration is not something to celebrate”?
But the U.S. Conference Of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrantscampaign website does not even mention “respecting the law”—let alone “the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them”. Nor do the bishops stress it in their endless public pontifications.
Authentic Catholic teaching on immigration is not leftist. Rather, it is rooted in human reason and reality, meaning the way things are versus the way we wish them to be —as is all Catholic teaching,which is conservative by its nature.
Indeed, in noting that “no country has the duty to receive so many immigrants that its social and economic life are jeopardized,” the U.S. bishops themselves acknowledge the right of a nation to defend itself—as well as the duty of the state to provide for the common good of its own citizens.
Thus, we may rightly and justly send illegal aliens home, not least because they have not obeyed American immigration laws.
Yet when the U.S. bishops discuss “justice,” they don’t often mention that—or this item in Catholic teaching on justice: the state’s duty “to protect its subjects in their rights and to govern the whole body for the common good.”
That segues into the duties of citizens, where I have recourse to the Catechism again:
Those subject to authority should regard those in authority as representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts… “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution. . . . Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.”[Pet 2:13,16]Their loyal collaboration includes the right, and at times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.
It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.
Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country. [Emphases in original].
Upshot is, citizens are enjoined to be patriots. They must love and defend their country, and are obliged to pay taxes, vote and rectify unjust laws and living conditions.
That raises a few questions about the millions of Mexicans who simply abandoned their country, not because they didn’t have work but because they wanted to improve their living standards, and even worse, endangered the lives of their children by dragging them across the desert.
Were they not obliged by Catholic teaching to stay in Mexico—to become active politically and to fight for economic justice from the ruling kleptocracy?
What of the Mexican authorities who never cease lecturing Americans about their duties to illegal aliens? Is the Mexican president and his legislature governing the country for the “common good” in surrendering to the depredations of the drug cartels?
Certainly, Mexican political authorities sin in permitting citizens to live in squalor, thus encouraging them to cross the border in defiance of American law. Certainly, they sin when they provide instructional manuals on how to evade the authorities. Certainly, they sin by instructing Mexican-Americans that they are Mexicans no matter what their citizenship.(“You’re Mexicans — Mexicans who live north of the border,” President Ernesto Zedillo told Mexican-American politicians in Dallas in 1995..[Mexico Woos U.S. Mexicans, Proposing Dual Nationality, by Sam Dillon, NYT, December 10, 1995]
All these acts, whether by omission or commission, violate Catholic teaching.
As for the duties of illegals who are here, apropos of the Catechism and the teaching Pope John Paul II, they are obliged to obey the law—which just might mean surrendering to authorities and returning home.
Catholic teaching does not entitle them to stay forever as illegals. Catholic teaching mandates obedience to the law.
Most American Catholics, regardless of what they think of immigration, are unaware of these fine distinctions because of the way the U.S. bishops and their leftist allies systematically misrepresent Catholic teaching on immigration. (A notableexception, to my mind, is Catholic apologist blogger Jimmy Akin)
Which brings us back to Christ.
WWJD? He would tell the alien: Render unto Caesar. Obey the law. Go back home and work in your own country. If you wish to come here, get in line with everyone else.
And, if Americans decide that they don’t need even legal immigration, respect that decision too.
A.W. Morgan [Email him] is fully recovered from prolonged contact with the Beltway Right. He now lives in America.
A comment from this NCR fish wrap article:
“The best thing to do with the [Catholic] Catechism is to bury it deep in the library. It is far too long and too dense to be an effective vehicle of evangelization or learning tool for most of us…”
END OF POST
What follows is the full text of the teaching on homosexuality according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1997).
Full Text of Catholic Catechism Regarding Homosexuality – 1997
#2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
#2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
#2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
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An Analysis of the Catechetical Program “Generations of Faith”
By Cate VanLone-Taylor
Saint Don Bosco, pray for Catechetical Truth
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17)
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matt 7:15-20)
In the past three decades, a great change initiated by liberal Catholic educators and theologians has attempted to revolutionize the methodology of catechetical instruction. The models used are drawn from the ‘whole community catechesis’/‘shared Christian praxis’ model originated by Thomas Groome and Bill Huebsch.
This model seeks to involve the entire faith community, thus providing lifelong catechetical formation for parishioners of all ages. A strong emphasis is placed on the sharing of “faith stories” a type of ‘lived’ theology, instead of textbooks, citing the General Catechetical Directory, #158 which states: “the community is proposed as the source, locus and means of catechesis.” Detailed below are some of the dangers involved in such an approach.
Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) Green Bay,WI : Attention has also been drawn to the program “Generations of Faith,” which is designed for “parish faith-formation,” but is distinguished by its lack of clear Catholic teaching. The proposed “antidote” to programs such as this is the use of texts such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Faith and Life catechism series.
Catholic Answers Forums: Generations of Faith: “Its only as good as your priest. If your priest takes the reins, and is a good teacher of the faith, and has some control of the people who teach the other “segments” (e.g catechists or teens) then it can be great. Its good because it actually revolves around the liturgical year which is something lost on Catholics in the U.S., and has the entire family coming, rather than using children’s religious education as a baby-sitting service. THAT SAID, if the priest is not the one in control, if it goes the way of much catechesis in many parishes, then it can be a disaster because more people are influenced.”
Catholic Answers Forum: Our parish is instituting this Generations of Faith with is led by two laywomen who are rather liberal. Thier idea is to direct all “spirituality” to the lowest common denominator so they “get the love of Jesus in their hearts” Well it goes downhill from there and I’m on the “core team” who advises on content. I’m only there to try to make it seem Catholic otherwise it would be CINO – same stuff you could get at any Baptist parish! (sigh)
Catholic Culture (written by noted Catholic author Donna Steichen): John Roberto founded the Center for Ministry Formation in 1978, and served as its director until 2000. While at CMF he founded the Generations of Faith Project, developed it with funding from the Lilly Endowment, and now, as its director and project coordinator, conducts training workshops across the US for staffs at the growing number of parishes that are initiating the Generations of Faith program. Seven hundred parishes in 60 dioceses are already using GOF; 21 parishes in the Raleigh diocese signed on last December. Roberto consistently argues against textbooks, citing such varied authorities as the General Catechetical Directory, #158 (“the community is proposed as the source, locus and means of catechesis”), and Maria Harris (more on her below), has openly stated: “the church is the curriculum, content, and catechist.”
Faith formation is event-centered, developed around the events of our shared life as Church. Faith formation demands a unified, life-long catechesis. Through events, Generations of Faith has a 6-year curriculum: the Church year of feasts and seasons, sacraments and liturgy, rituals and prayers, spirituality, justice, and service. Beliefs and practices for living as a Catholic emerge from the life of the faith community. The content emerges out of the event. A text is not the curriculum; the curriculum is the life of the Church. An introductory video for Generations of Faith offers colorful footage of cheerful intergenerational groups, with adults mingling, eating (food is always part of the event), chatting, and praying in parish centers and churches, while happy children construct craft projects or paint primitive symbols, dramatize Bible stories, or sing in choirs. These parishes appear to offer the kind of warmly welcoming ambiance Protestant converts often say they keenly miss when they become Catholics.
In place of weekly catechism classes for children, these programs feature a single monthly assembly or “faith festival,” where parishioners of all ages gather for a meal, see a dramatic presentation of a Bible story, hear an address about a community problem, or celebrate the event of the month (cited as examples were Advent, Lent, Thanksgiving, and Kwanzaa). After a general prayer service, all break into peer clusters for discussion, singing, or art projects. The entire group joins together for closing prayer. On their way out, participants pick up take-home materials that will reinforce the evening’s theme, help prepare for the next event, or suggest some form of community service or political activism.
Illiteracy and Alienation
Because the problems of religious illiteracy and alienation are authentic and acute, the presentation was attractive even to skeptical listeners, daring to hope that it might mean the beginning of real change. Generations of Faith is endorsed by NCCL as an initiative to revitalize American Catholic life. In the right hands, with sound doctrinal instruction as its centerpiece, the social component of whole community catechesis certainly could enrich parish life. There is enormous hunger among the laity to hear and understand the eternal truths and moral teachings that neo-modernists in the catechetical movement long ago jettisoned.
The Generations of Faith film, like other “whole community catechesis” literature on display, skims over questions about specific doctrinal content. (“The parish is the content.”) Detailed examination of the GOF materials and their sources reveals alarming resemblances to the hollow Renew I and II and RCIA projects that engage the laity in uninstructed, heterodox “faith-sharing” without authentic “indoctrination” to let them know what the Church really teaches. GOF credits the contributions of a feminist former nun Maria Harris, and such other “foundational thinkers,” as Anglican John Westerhoff; Sister Catherine Dooley, OP, of the religious education department at Catholic University of America; and progressive Francoise Darcy Berube, whose 1996 book, Religious Education at a Crossroads exhorts educators not to “turn back in fear” to the catechism model of the rigid “good old days.”
Listed beside the General Directory for Catechesis and various USCCB documents, among course texts and resources for a Certificate in Lifelong Faith Formation to be offered in January 2005 by the Center for Ministry Development, along with Bill Huebsch and Maria Harris , are the names of still other architects of the specious “catechetical renewal”: Sister Kathleen Hughes, RSJC, James D. Davidson, William D’Antonio, Jane Redmont, William Shannon, Loughlan Sofield, ST. These professionals are deeply implicated in the present decline in religious literacy, yet they still seem certain they’ve been heading in the right direction these forty years. Why haven’t they arrived at their destination, then? There simply hasn’t been time yet, they explain.
Bernard Lee, SM, is director of the Institute for Ministry at Loyola University, New Orleans, and a member of the Call to Action Speakers Bureau. In his presentation on Small Christian Communities, he said that “reform” councils like Vatican II produce a backlash. He counseled: “Until the backlash is out of your system, you can’t really get on with the reforms.”
At the banquet where he accepted NCCL’s 2004 Catechetical Award, former Christian Brother Gabriel Moran (whom NCCL correctly credits with “reshaping the field of religious education”) said turmoil is to be expected after a council, and new building cannot begin until the resistance is cleared away. Moran is near the end of his career, and his wife Maria Harris is now too ill to travel; they do not expect to see the triumph of their lifework. But Moran still thinks triumph will come, despite general recognition by their peers that religious education has been devastated.
It seems odd that NCCL chose to present its award to a man who bears so much responsibility for the devastation. It is rather like elevating a horse to the college of cardinals.
*Donna Steichen is the author of Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminism, and Prodigal Daughters: Catholic Women Come Home to the Church, (both from Ignatius Press).
Fashion Me a People Conference—This Conference was recently held in Orlando (January, 2008) sponsored by the Center for Ministry Development (CMD) in partnership with Harcourt Religion Publishers, the purveyors of textbooks to the schools of the Orlando Diocese. Their curriculum resources highlight “Generations of Faith Online”, a service of CMD, which has been funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment, a Protestant Foundation seeking to undermine the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church in order to encourage ecumenism with other Christian religions based on the lowest common denominator of beliefs. They promote worship exploration teams to develop ideas for visual enhancement of the sanctuary and innovative “worship services.”
The speakers at this Conference included the curious theology of Thomas Groome, a dissident ex-priest and consultant to Harcourt Publishers, noted for his zeal in undermining the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to promote catholicity (note the small “c”) of ecumenism with other Protestant groups.
Research on Authors / Contributors of Generations of Faith:
Bishop Robert Morleno, Diocese of Madison: (Regarding dissenting theologians) “Associations with “anti-Catholic groups” such as Call to Action, Catholics for a Free Choice, Women’s Ordination Conference, FutureChurch, CORPUS, DignityUSA, and others which profess “serious departures and denials of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church could “certainly be grounds for removal” for a person who is responsible for teaching catechesis and “passing on the Church’s teaching.”
Sister Kathleen Hughes: Sister Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ, (Lay Presiding: The Art of Leading Prayer). Sister Hughes, a feminist liturgist, was for many years a member of ICEL, a group that provided problematic English liturgical translations. (Helen Hull Hitchcock, Adoremus Bulletin)
Unitarian Universalists of America: http://www.uua.org/documents/recc/reader_curriculum_guide.pdf“
Unitarian Universalists of America: http://online.sksm.edu/Syllabi/IntroToLiberalRE.FinalSyllab011410.Spr10.pdf
Read the entire article– http://www.uuroanoke.org/sermon/050710Source2.htm
Iimplicit theology and null theology http://liberalfaith.blogspot.com/2005/12/implicit-and-explicit-theologies-part.html“
This article is excellent–names the promoters of the liberal religious education /whole community catechesis/shared praxis movement. Note paragraph three: ” http://www.losangelesmission.com/ed/articles/2006/0606ds.htm“
From Amy Welborn’s Blog: (Zhou’s Comments)
“Young Catholics languish in ignorance because no one ever taught them the content of the faith. Many of those who are old enough to have been catechized in pre-conciliar times are now uncertain whether the Church still holds as true the tenets they learned in their youth, because they have heard those beliefs mentioned so seldome–if ever–during the past 30 years. Hispanic Americans, unsatisfied by what they are taught in Catholic parishes, are streaming out to hear Jesus preached in evangelical churches. As measured by public behaviors and attitudes, Catholic sexual morality is no better than that of any other group, and worse than some. Can this wasteland be restored? If reform is possible, the first step must be to understand our present predicament.
The catechetical collapse of the past 35 years has not been an isolated phenomenon. One of the most prominent partisans in the campaign that produced the “new catechetics,” Father Berard Marthaler, cheerfully concedes that it “has had a symbiotic relationship with biblical scholarship, the liturgical movement, and the ‘new theology.'”
The “new catechetics” movement, already established in Europe and taking root in the United States, seemed before the Second Vatican Council to be a generally benign attempt to teach the faith in a more vital way. What–or who–turned it into a catechetical revolution? Why did the Catholic religious and academics who embraced it first stop teaching Catholic doctrine, and then (with courageous exceptions) begin to ridicule the very notion of teaching it, and even to denigrate those who objected? Candidates for the title of chief culprit are abundant.
Most of those involved in this movement seem to have been acquainted each other, often through encounters at academic centers, especially the Catholic University of America (CUA). Their influence seems to have been more a function of their positions and their efficient collaboration than of the intellectual force of their ideas, which tend to sound naive today.
It may be impossible to name one person as most responsible for the current state of religious instruction in the United States. But no one has a stronger claim than Father Gerard Sloyan who, in 17 years in CUA’s Religious Education department–ten as chairman–reorganized the entire curriculum, and thus changed the religious attitudes of a key cohort of religion teachers. It was he who first hired dissenter Charles Curran, in 1964. His 1967 book, Speaking of Catholic Education–by its praise for Dutch Catechism, its clear distaste for the term “transubstantiation,” its displacement of personal sin by a “fundamental option” for or against God, and its call to defer First Confession until after First Communion–proves that the toxic ideas of the revolution were fully formed by the mid-1960s.
Children, Father Sloyan declared, cannot learn doctrine; they can only experience religious emotions. Let them participate in the liturgy, treat them with respect and kindness, and their religious emotions will develop. He implied that rote memorization of theological propositions was the sum and substance of traditional catechesis, when in fact it was only one valuable element in a living culture that was also built on sacramental practice, liturgical and devotional prayer, stories of saints, Bible stories, and frequent reference to the social obligations imposed by membership in Christ’s Mystical Body.
In 1967, Sloyan left CUA to teach at Temple University, remaining there for 25 years. Later he returned as a “distinguished lecturer,” but the move seems not to have sweetened his temper. “Is Agape Any Match for Fear and Loathing in the Religious Psyche?” Sloyan’s contribution to The Echo Within, a 1997 collection of essays published to honor Berard Marthaler on his academic retirement, is a fuming denunciation of orthodox Catholics. Characterizing them as ignorant, rigid, repressed, ideologically infected, infantile, censorious, malicious, and uncharitable, he says he offers these diagnoses, “in the friendliest possible spirit.”
Given the views of his mentor, it seems small wonder that Sloyan’s protégé, former Christian Brother Gabriel Moran (Maria Harris’ husband) , strayed from orthodoxy. Many observers, admirers and critics alike, propose Moran as the most influential man in the catechetical revolution. Michael Warren, editor of Source Book for Modern Catechetics, says, “Few persons in the United States have made a contribution to the catechetical scene as complex and difficult to assess as Gabriel Moran.“
Moran’s work influenced many in the catechetical movement to reject divine revelation–the Church’s deposit of faith–in favor of “on-going revelation”–in effect, the interpretation of one’s own experiences as private revelation. This meant not simply that catechists should enliven the students’ understanding of the Gospel by connecting it to their life experiences, but that the students could find revelation only in their own experience. A student “would have to reject any document from the past pretending to divine revelation,” Moran wrote. As Msgr. Michael Wrenn has observed, that category includes the Gospel.
Moran was not alone in his opinion. Piet Schoonenberg, SJ, a Dutch theologian linked to the Dutch Catechism, was making the same point In the same era. In 1970, Schoonenberg wrote:
“From a mere approach to the message, experience has become the theme itself of catechesis. Catechesis has become the interpretation of experience. It has to clarify experience, that is, it has to articulate and enlighten the experience of those for whom the message is intended.”
The most phenomenal thing about this thesis was its reception. To an astonishing extent, Catholic educators and publishers proved willing to jettison Christian belief and substitute a radically individualistic “noble savage” romanticism straight out of Jean Jacques Rousseau. According to a 1997 essay in The Echo Within, Moran was then unaware of its antecedents, but he has not changed his mind over the ensuing 30 years. “In adopting ‘revelation’ as central, Christianity prepared for its own undoing,” he writes.
“Christian writers cannot get anywhere by assuming the existence of or investigating an object named ‘Christian revelation,'” Moran argues, declaring the theory of revelation to be “a modern invention and a disastrous one.” God continues to speak today, he says, but speaking does not mean revelation, a term that implies “assertions of truth.” Speaking, he explains, could mean compassion, care, love, or forgiveness. As to truth, he says “much contemporary thought” holds that “the first thing to ask of a statement is not whether it is true but whether it is interesting.” At most, “God’s speaking” can only provide human understanding with “a glimpse of the truth.”
Finally, Moran tells us that Christians must stop equating “‘Jesus Christ’ with ‘God and man,'” because that “has the effect of creating the great middleman, who is then neither divine nor human. ‘Jesus Christ’ becomes the name of a storehouse of truths, the revelation of God.”
After leaving the Christian Brothers, Moran became a professor of (non-denominational) religious education at New York University. His wife, Maria Harris, a former Sister of St Joseph of Brentwood, also represents herself as a religious educator, and has taught women’s studies at several institutions. Most notably, she combined those genres in a post-Christian guide to feminist self worship, Dance of the Spirit: The Seven Steps of Women’s Spirituality.
I think that really the Catholic Church in the US experienced a “revolution” no less damaging that the Cultural Revolution in China or what went on in Cambodia. It is the job of those who come after to clean up the damage of the craziness of their elders.
†Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam† website:
Writes for “America”, “National Catholic Reporter”,”Commonweal” and “Ligourian”: all liberal Catholic publications. Google for many articles to read. It is worth noting that he does not write for more orthodox Catholic publications such as ‘First Things’.
Jane Redmont (“ Acts of Hope “)
‘Jean chose the Catechism over “sharing her story” with the rest of the Wednesday night R.C.I.A class…’
Fr. Gerald Mendoza, OP, over at In Spiritu Et Veritate (In Spirit and Truth) has a great post on words and phrases we could all live without hearing this year… A couple of my favorites:
1. “Spirit of Vatican II”: The only spirit of Vatican II was presumably the Holy Spirit that led to the documents of Vatican II. Can we please rely on them a bit more in the coming year rather than in the amorphous “spirit of Vatican II,” which means anything to anyone who invokes it as mere opinion?
2. “Representative Church”: As used for example, by the American Catholic Council, which purports to found a New Catholic Church in America. Loosely extrapolating, what might be interpreted as a democratic Church with “one person, one vote.” We can lizard-gaze in to that prospect all we want but it has never been and never shall be.
Go here for the rest of the post (and add your own…).
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‘God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil. But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil. Christ crucified is thus “the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men”.
Catechism of the Catholic Church , 272
Feast of Christ the King…
Homily for Mass at Birmingham University Catholic Chaplaincy:
‘A Personal Manifesto for Catholics of the UK’
Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue, Emeritus Bishop of Lancaster
Today the Catholic Church throughout the world celebrates one of the great solemnities of the Lord, the Feast of Christ the King. The Church in England and Wales has also chosen this day to celebrate Youth Day, and it is an honour that I have been invited to be with you, the Catholic students of Birmingham University, on this doubly important day.
A first impression about this feast of Christ the King could be that it is an anachronism, a reference to something that is out-of-date and remote to our lives in the 21st century. The age of monarchy is long gone, replaced by democratic government. Though we have a constitutional monarchy in this country, the monarch’s role has been reduced to a ceremonial role, with all political and legislative power concentrated in Parliament.
But even though the age of human Kings has passed into history, the image of Christ the King still has the power to inspire and motivate us.
In Dachau Concentration Camp there is a memorial that was built to honour the memory of the 200,000 prisoners imprisoned there during the Nazis’ reign of terror. This memorial is called the Chapel of the Mortal Agony of Christ, and it contains two powerful works of art.
The first is a piece of black metal work suspended above the camp – an enormous crown of thorns. The second is a sculpture of Jesus wearing the infamous camp uniform of striped jacket and trousers. And on his head he also wears a crown of thorns.
To my mind these two pieces of art, set in the context of Dachau Concentration Camp, reveal the true nature of Jesus’ kingship, and the reason why Christ the King remains an important symbol for everyone here today.
What does the Crown of Thorns symbolise? To understand this we have to turn to what Holy Scripture tells us. In today’s reading from the Gospel of St John we hear the dialogue between Pontius Pilate and Jesus, between human power and divine power.
Pilate is the Prefect of the Roman Province of Judaea, and is the representative of Caesar, the king of the Roman Empire . Under questioning from this agent of worldly power Jesus reveals part of his true identity, He is a King, but his kingdom is not of this world.
Though the peasants, prostitutes and outcasts of Galilee could glimpse the kingship and power of Jesus, those associated with worldly power either saw him as a perplexing enigma, a dangerous subversive or a misguided fool.
The Crown of Thorns represents worldly power’s mockery of Jesus ‘the fool’. It also represents the soldier’s judgement that Jesus was sub-human, a thing with no rights over which they had the power of life and death. To worldly power the Crown of Thorns is the sign of Jesus’ powerlessness and weakness.
But from the Christian perspective – which is God’s perspective – the Crown of Thorns represents the mystery of God’s apparent powerlessness. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it:
‘God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil. But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil. Christ crucified is thus “the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men”.‘ (CCC, 272).
From this perspective, the Crown of Thorns represents the love and transforming power of God appearing under the guise of weakness and humiliation.
The full force of the Roman Empire came down and appeared to crush, humiliate and kill Jesus on the Cross, but within less than 300 years the Roman Emperor would be a Christian, and the Church – the sacrament of the Kingdom of God – would have spread throughout the Empire.
In the 20th century, both Nazism and Soviet and Maoist Communism have sought to oppress and destroy the Church, but the Crown of Thorns has survived and outlasted both the Swastika and the Hammer and Sickle.
Now it is our turn to take the Crown of Thorns as our symbol of resistance to worldly power. Some of the worst expressions of this harmful worldly power we face are shown in the treatment of the weakest members of our society – the unborn, the old, the sick and disabled.
Since the passing of Abortion Act in 1967 the Church’s upholding of morality in this country has been defeated time and time again. This country has rejected the right to life of unborn human beings; it has rejected the rights of embryonic human beings to be protected from experiments; it has rejected the rights of children to be brought up in heterosexual marriages, and, now it is in the process of gradually rejecting the rights of the sick, disabled and mentally ill to life.
Before this onslaught against the dignity and rights of human beings, the Church appears to be powerless and weak. We are mocked by many politicians, journalists, and scientists as misguided, superstitious, fools and dangerous fundamentalists.
Therefore, my advice to you, as Catholic students, during these times is to remember the truth and power of Jesus’ Crown of Thorns. It is the sign of our resistance to all worldly power that seeks to oppress, that seeks to reduce human beings to being sub-human, to be things with no rights over which they had the power of life and death.
Through our allegiance to the Crown of Thorns we announce to the world that Jesus’ love for the vulnerable reigns in our minds and hearts; that through our powerlessness and weakness – accepted in faith – God’s almighty power will work through us to transform the world.
SOURCE: H/T (w/Thanksgiving) Catholic Mom of 10 Militant
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