Category Archives: catechism of the catholic church

Geronimo Rumplestiltskin, Meet Nergal the Catholic — faith formation…

The bizarre pagentry of  four 4′ x 12′ paper-mache Rasta Jesus puppets with human liturgical dancers in-tow frolicking to the reform anthem, “Sing A New Church Into Being”, was too much to stomach for thousands of faithful Catholics in 2008…

EDITOR NOTE: Over on The First Things Blog Joseph Bottum is replaying the still infamous “Mr. Potato Head Liturgy” Video from the 2008 Northern California Call To Action Conference held in San Jose, California. Geronimo Rumplestiltskin left this spicy zinger in the combox after viewing the video…

“Let us sing a new church into being…”. Gee, how’d that work out? In the 70’s and 80’s, though you and your ilk did fail in your attempt to sing, chant, screech, bloviate, bluster, and fart a new church into being, you did manage to raise the least-catechized generation in Church history. Congratulations…”  

Another blogger commenting on Geronimo’s sharp rebuke on liberalism’s 50-year effect on Catholic education in America said, ” it is one of the greatest blog comments of all time..”  I agree with the insight as a catechist, it’s tragically true, see here, here, here. However, we’re not alone with the problem…

Geronimo Rumplestiltskin, meet Nergal the Catholic…  

In 2007, Behemoth frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski reportedly called the Catholic Church “the most murderous cult on the planet” during a show in Gdynia, Poland, and ripped a Bible up on stage.

Although he was sued by the All-Polish Committee For Defense Against Sects for “promoting Satanism,” the case was thrown out of court because Nergal only had one accuser, and two complaints must be lodged before any formal charges with offending religious feelings in Poland.

A second complaint has now been filed against Nergal, according to, and he’s formally been charged with insulting Catholics. He’s pleaded not guilty and could face up to two years in prison if he’s found guilty.

“There are some organizations and institutions that think they have a right to judge what’s wrong and right,” Nergal told CHARTattack last year about the first complaint against him. “They tried to do something, they made attempts but they failed because they can’t really do much.

“They tried to bring me to court for tearing up the Bible on stage. They tried to stop the show, they sent out letters saying Behemoth is this and that, that we’re public enemy number one or that we’re dangerous. But it hardly has any effect, really.

BIO NOTE: Adam Darski was born in Gdynia, Poland, raised Catholic, and started playing guitar at the age of 8[2]. He goes by the stage name Nergal (naming himself after a Babylonian deity).



Denver Archbishop Chaput: Children of lesbian couple case in Boulder

“If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible..”

Archbishop Chaput

Catholic schools: Partners in faith with parents

by Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput

Denver news media have reported in recent days on the case of two children of a lesbian couple in Boulder.  The couple was informed by Sacred Heart of Jesus parish school that the older child, whom they were enrolling in kindergarten for next year, would be allowed to attend kindergarten but would not be able to continue into first grade the year after.  Their younger child would be welcome to finish preschool, but not continue into kindergarten.   Many have wondered why.  Sacred Heart of Jesus parish has borne the difficult publicity surrounding this issue, but archdiocesan policy was followed faithfully in this matter, and the policy applies to all Archdiocese of Denver schools.

Some background is important.  Then we’ll turn to the human realities involved.

Catholic schools began in this country in the early 19th century.  Catholics started them as an alternative to the public schools of the day, which taught a curriculum often hostile to Catholic belief.  In many ways times have changed, but the mission of Catholic schools has not.  The main purpose of Catholic schools is religious; in other words, to form students in Catholic faith, Catholic morality and Catholic social values. 

We take great pride in the academic excellence of our schools as well.  The reason is simple.  A strong, well-rounded academic education helps to create mature citizens who contribute to the wider community.  It’s also true that some of our schools exist as a service outreach in largely non-Catholic communities.  Many of our schools also accept students of other faiths and no faith, and from single parent and divorced parent families.  These students are always welcome so long as their parents support the Catholic mission of the school and do not offer a serious counter-witness to that mission in their actions.

Our schools, however, exist primarily to serve Catholic families with an education shaped by Catholic faith and moral formation.  This is common sense.  Other religious traditions do the same according to their beliefs, and at a heavy sacrifice.  We need to remember that Catholic families pay twice for a Catholic education: through their taxes, they fund public education; then they pay again to send their children to a Catholic school.  The idea that Catholic schools should require support for Catholic teaching for admission, and a serious effort from school families to live their Catholic identity faithfully, is reasonable and just.

That’s the background.  Now to the human side of a painful situation.  The Church never looks for reasons to turn anyone away from a Catholic education.  But the Church can’t change her moral beliefs without undermining her mission and failing to serve the many families who believe in that mission.  If Catholics take their faith seriously, they naturally follow the teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals; otherwise they take themselves outside the believing community. 

The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are “bad,” or that their children are less loved by God.  Quite the opposite.  But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman.  These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society.  The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

The policies of our Catholic school system exist to protect all parties involved, including the children of homosexual couples and the couples themselves.  Our schools are meant to be “partners in faith” with parents.  If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible.  It also places unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.

Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced.  That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents.  That isn’t fair to anyone—including the wider school community.  Persons who have an understanding of marriage and family life sharply different from Catholic belief are often people of sincerity and good will.  They have other, excellent options for education and should see in them the better course for their children.

Editor’s note:  Please see the comments of Father Bill Breslin, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish at for additional perspective.


Bishop Brennan Of Ireland Under Attack: Anti-Catholics at Work?


Opinion: Bishop Brennan Of Ireland Under Attack: Anti-Catholics at Work?

By F. K. Bartels

FERNS, IRELAND (Catholic Online) – Dozens of internet news services are reporting on the so-called outrage over the alleged suggestion Bishop Denis Brennan, the Bishop of Ferns, made on Monday. Reports indicate that he asked his 100,000 parishioners to contribute funds toward the diocese´s legal and compensation bills which were incurred as a result of the child abuse scandal in Ireland.

However, while speaking on a local radio show on March 5, Bishop Brennan denied that he had made specific requests for additional donations, stating that it was up to the parishes to decide if they wanted to sell assets or donate funds to meet financial obligations. “We have not ruled anything in or out. We need to get people’s reactions. We are trying to be as transparent as possible.”

Nevertheless, in typical anti-Catholic fashion, most internet sites are reporting that the Bishop´s remarks are drawing intense criticism and outrage, as if any sane person in the world—Catholic or otherwise—should be offended at such “heedless and insensitive remarks.”

The inflammatory comments of anti-Catholic Irish Singer Sinead O´Connor— whose shredding of a photo of Pope John Paul II was broadcasted on US television—are often quoted. In a letter published in the Irish Independent, Ms. O’Connor expressed her astonishment that Bishop Brennan should even suggest that his flock might pay the bills arising from the sex abuse scandal. “If Christ was here he would be burning down the Vatican. And I for one would be helping him.”
One question that comes to mind is “Why not?” Why not have parishioners donate funds? From where else does the Diocese of Ferns—or any other diocese for that matter—obtain its funds if not from parishioners? The old adage, “Money doesn´t grow on trees,” comes to mind. Money doesn´t fall from heaven either.
While the lopsided reporting of the so-called “outrage” over Bishop Brennan´s remarks are entirely consistent with the anti-Catholic rhetoric of today´s world, it is important to point out a few truths in the matter.

First, while no one denies that the Catholic clergy and religious who are involved in abusing children should be punished as the law requires, the child abuse scandal that was uncovered in Ireland includes more than just Catholic priests and religious. The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse recorded that “Witnesses reported being physically abused by religious and lay staff and others including: visiting clergy, members of the general public and men in work and holiday placements. Witnesses also reported being physically abused by co-residents” (Chapter 7: Record of Abuse (Male Witnesses), Nature and Extent of Physical Abuse Reported).
Where is the outrage over “members of the general public,” the “lay staff,” and workers in “holiday placements” who abused these children? The reason for the inattention toward these other individuals is obvious: shining a spotlight on them doesn´t aid the cause of attacking the Catholic Church.
Second, the assumption is often made that if parishes fail to meet these financial burdens, the Vatican itself will have to flit the bill, which will result in the financial ruin—and eventual destruction—of the Catholic Church. While we can easily visualize those who would rejoice in a “Catholic-free” world salivating at such an idea, it is nothing new. There have been perhaps thousands of financial attacks on the Catholic Church throughout her two-thousand year history. They have not yet succeeded in bringing ab out her downfall.

Nevertheless, one area of concentration of late by those who oppose the Catholic Church is the attempt to bankrupt dioceses through a process of unending litigation. These types of attacks are occurring not only in Ireland but in the US as well. Rev. Michael P. Orsi, Ph.D., observed that in New York a move is being made to “suspend statutes of limitations for civil suits alleging the sexual abuse of children. The bill is directed at non-profit institutions, most of which are religious (and, for the most part, Catholic). It specifically exempts all public workers and agencies. Similar laws have been past in Delaware and California, . . . [which] have cost the Church over $1 billion” (Fourth-stage anti-Catholicism, homiletic and pastoral review, January 2010).

In this notion of destroying the Catholic Church through financial ruin there is an obvious failure to understand the full dimension of the Catholic Church. The Church is both divine and human: she is not the sum total of her earthly members nor what is presently visible only. Should those who despise the Church set out to martyr every Catholic, plunder every iota of wealth, demolish every chapel and cathedral, the Church—the body of Christ—would remain: no earthly army of invaders can destroy Christ´s Mystical Body.
Further, the Catholic …

READ THE REST OF THE STORY AT: Opinion: Bishop Brennan Of Ireland Under Attack: Anti-Catholics at Work? – Catholic Online

YouTube – Pope Benedict XVI: The love of neighbour cannot be delegated

“There is no just ordering of the state that eliminates the service of charity. Whoever wants to eliminate charity is preparing to eliminate man…”

Pope Benedict XVI


Right or Wrong?: The disinterested friendship of Notre Dame with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

EDITOR: Notre Dame again… This from the Aggie Catholics Blog:

The Notre Dame student paper, the Notre Dame Observer, has printed a column by Dr. Charles Rice every two weeks about the Church’s teaching. They refused to print his latest column, because it was about the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

If you want to read the column, it can be found here.
It seems the editor decided the issue was too much of a hot topic and he didn’t want to deal with the fallout that might result. If this is the case, then it is shameful. The Church’s teaching is nothing to hide from. Now, I have also read that the paper is still dealing with a
cartoon that trashed persons who deal with same sex attraction (which has no place in Christianity). But, it is still no reason to avoid the truth.


Charles E. Rice
Right or Wrong?
March 1, 2010

A big issue at Notre Dame a few weeks ago was “sexual orientation” and the status of the Notre Dame Gay/ Lesbian/ Bisexual/ Transgender (GLBT) community. Enough time has passed to make it useful to review some of the governing principles as found in the teaching of the Catholic Church. That teaching includes four pertinent elements:

1. Homosexual acts are always objectively wrong. The starting point is the Catechism: “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction to 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.” No. 2357.

Homosexual acts are doubly wrong. They are not only contrary to nature. They are wrong also because they are extra-marital. The Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, issued in 1986 with the approval of John Paul II, said, “It is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good. A person engaging in homosexual behavior therefore acts immorally. To choose someone of the same sex for one’s sexual activity is to annul the rich symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals of the Creator’s sexual design.” No 7.

2. Since homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” the inclination toward those acts is disordered. An inclination to commit any morally disordered act, whether theft, fornication or whatever, is a disordered inclination. “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies,” says the Catechism, “is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.” No. 2358. That inclination, however, is not in itself a sin.

3. “[M]en and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies,” says the Catechism, “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” No. 2358. In a culture which tends to marginalize and disrespect those with physical or psychological disorders, it will be useful to recall the admonition of the 1986 Letter that “The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation…. Today the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she…insists that every person has a fundamental identity: the creature of God and, by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.” No. 16. The prohibition of “unjust” discrimination, however, does not rule out the making of reasonable and just distinctions with respect to military service, the wording of university nondiscrimination policies and other matters including admission to seminaries. As the Congregation for Catholic Education said in its 2005 Instruction on the subject, “the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.'” No. 2.

4. “[M]en and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies…. 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…. 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.” Catechism, nos. 2358, 2359.

The positive, hopeful teaching of the Church on marriage, the family and the transmission of life is founded on the dignity of the person as a creature made in the image and likeness of God. The “gay rights” movement is, instead, a predictable consequence of the now-dominant contraceptive ethic. Until the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930, no Christian denomination had ever said that contraception could ever be objectively right. The Catholic Church continues to affirm the traditional Christian position that contraception is intrinsically an objective evil.

READ THE REST FROM THE SOURCE: FUMARE: Charles E. Rice’s Latest from The Observer