Tag Archives: Church Dissent

Angels and Demons: Facts, NOT Fiction by Fr. John Corapi

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Angels and Demons: Facts, NOT Fiction

 By Fr. John Corapi

An excerpt from the book, “Ever Ancient Ever New” by Father John Corapi

There have been a number of television shows, movies and various articles on the subject of angels and the demonic in recent years. Most of this material is pure fiction, yet the part that is not fiction is an acknowledgment that they both exist.

As part of the Church’s catechesis on creation it is necessary to speak of both the angels and the devil, Satan, or the demonic. “The Apostles’ Creed professes that God is the ‘Creator of heaven and earth.’ The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes ‘all that is, seen and unseen” (Catechism #325).

The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) affirms that God from the beginning of time made at once (simul) out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then (deinde) the human creature who as it were shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body.” (#327)

The Catechism clearly asserts that “the existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of the faith” (#328), the witness of Scripture being as unanimous as tradition. In other words, there is no question about it: the angels are real, not the figment of someone’s medieval imagination. It is a truth of the faith. This quite simply means that for a Catholic, one must accept this as part of God’s revelation. One may not understand it, but one must accept it on faith, and then seek the understanding that faith can ultimately bring. Although, it being understood, that we’ll never understand in this life God and all his mighty works perfectly. We would have o be God to understand him perfectly.

The angels are creatures, pure spiritual beings whose mission or office is to be messengers and servants of God (#329). “As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, [with the exception of the Mother of God] as the splendor of their glory bears witness.” (#330)

The Lord Jesus Christ is the author, center, and end of all creation including the angelic world. They are “his angels.” As the Catechism teaches, “they belong to him because they were created through and for him…They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan.” (#331)

The existence and activity of the angels is more than obvious in both the Old and New Testaments. To say, by the way, that they are mere “literary figures” in Scripture in the name of so-called biblical scholarship is an affront to and an attack upon true scholarship. All Scripture has to be read as a totality, in the light of tradition, and applying the analogy of faith. When this is done it is clear that the Church’s teaching s constant in that angels are really beings, not mere literary devices. They have played a key role in salvation history.

…[E]ach and every person benefits from the ministry of the angels. The Church has long taught that we have a “guardian angel” to guide and protect us through life. “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels’) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

The existence and malevolent activity of the devil or Satan and the fallen angels or demons is likewise a teaching of the church that must be accepted by all. “The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.” (#391)

Through the misuse of the gifts of intellect and free will the devil (Lucifer) and those who went his way chose irrevocably to reject God and his reign. Their choice is irrevocable because of their higher nature. Men get a second chance, and many more than that, but the angels clearly saw what they were doing. Hence, “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.” (#393)

Christ came to cast out the evil one and his works of lying and death and did so through the humble obedience which led him always to accept the Father’s will, even unto the death of the cross. The essence of the diabolic is that pride and arrogance which leads to disobedience. This leads to fracturing and division. Stepping outside of the truth who is God himself results in this division.

Those who are most powerful in christ through his Church, which is called to fight against “the liar and father of lies, the murderer from the beginning” (cf.. Jn 8:2f) (the devil), are those who are most humbly obedient to God’s authority working through the church. The devil can do nothing when he comes up against those who obey most humbly Christ’s church and her teachings. On the other hand, he is most powerful and untiringly active working through those who imagine themselves to be above the Church’s teaching authority. Humility leads to obedience, which leads to life. Pride leads to disobedience, which leads to death. This is the lesson of the book of Genesis. It is the lesson of the cross.

With the angels of the Lord we humbly and obediently praise and give thanks to the Father through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit for all that God’s creative and redemptive power has wrought.

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We say no to the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform: For our good, and the good of all His Church…

Dave's Visit 011

For our good, and the good of all His Church: Our family joins with Mary Ann Kreitzer, President of the Catholic Media Coalition, in pleading with Archbishop Nienstedt and Fr. Tegeder to disallow the July 15th meeting of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform at St. Edwards Catholic Church, in Bloomington, Minnesota.

[Ed. Note: Click Here for background on these dissident group(s), its danger to Church unity, and information on how you can help defend your family’s faith.]

Her letters to the Archbishop and Pastor at St. Edward’s follow:

Your Excellency:

You no doubt have had many concerned Catholics contacting you about the meeting of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) scheduled at St. Edward’s in Bloomington tomorrow evening, July 15th, from 7-9 PM. I recently read your excellent statement warning Catholics about this group and I want to thank you for your concern and express my great hope that you will not allow this.

I just sent an email to Fr. Tedeger, but there hasn’t been time for him to respond. I hope he will do the right thing and cancel the meeting of his own volition, but if he does not, Your Excellency, I beg you to take action to prevent this scandal from taking place.

I’m a mother of five and grandmother of 18. I have watched since my marriage in 1970 the devastation to the faith caused by the disobedience of priests and religious abusing their authority and fostering dissent. As a parent I saw my children damaged by the example of teachers who disdained certain aspects of the faith. My husband and I fought these things when they occurred to minimize the scandal, but what a source of pain and suffering. It made our job exponentially more difficult, especially when the dissent came from authorities in our own parish.

Your Excellency, the faithful are so in need of shepherds who will protect us from heresy and error. Please don’t allow this meeting to take place.

Sincerely in Christ,

Mary Ann Kreitzer

President, Catholic Media Coalition

http://www.catholicmediacoalition.org

“The first law of history is not to dare to utter falsehood; the second, not to fear to speak the truth.”

Pope Leo XIII

And,

Dear Fr. Tegeder:

I just became aware of the meeting of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) scheduled for your parish tomorrow, July 15th. You must not be aware of this meeting, Father or you certainly would stop it, so I thought it was imperative to let you know.

CCCR is affiliated with a large group of dissent organizations that are working to promote an American Catholic Council at Pentecost in 2011( or sooner). Among them are Catholics for Choice (formerly Catholic for a Free Choice, a radically pro-abortion group) and homosexual activist groups like Dignity and New Ways Ministries. Many of these organizations are listed as member groups on the CCCR website and also on the site for the American Catholic Conference. Their agenda is clearly opposed to the Church on many levels.

You are no doubt aware of Archbishop Nienstedt’s statement about the group:

The “Catholic Coalition for Church Reform” is a self appointed group that is advocating changes that are in direct conflict with the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. This group has no affiliation with the Archdiocese or its parishes.

I hope you are as concerned as I (and many others) are about this potential scandal in your parish. Please do not allow this meeting to go on tomorrow night.

I would appreciate a response.

Sincerely in Christ,

Mary Ann Kreitzer

President, Catholic Media Coalition

http://www.catholicmediaco alition.org

END

V.O.T.F Promoted Anti-Catholic Bill In Connecticut

judasbetrayal

 Editor’s Note: Follow-up Post Here    

To the Apostles and disciples gathered with him that night in the Upper Room, Jesus said, “one of you will betray me…” Shocked at the statement, the disciples began to ask among themselves who it might be…” Now, of course, in manifold ways this very same mystery of betrayal has continued on within the life of the Church privately and publicly down throughout the centuries… And so it is today in Connecticut.

      The web page of The Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut reads:

Catholics across the State of Connecticut mobilize
to fight the irrational, unlawful, and bigoted
Proposed Bill #1098/2009

      A text of the bill is found here. But simply described:

 The State of Connecticut will attempt to force a radical reorganization of the legal, financial, and administrative structure of Catholic parishes.

      As the diocesan website proclaims, this is:

 contrary to the Apostolic nature of the Catholic Church because it disconnects parishes from their Pastors and their Bishop.’

      Well, at least contrary in view of the vast majority of Catholics in America who faithfully adhere to the Apostolic nature and authority of the Catholic Church. But not so for dissident Catholic groups such as Voice of the Faithful (V.O.T.F). This group and others like it eagerly await and actively promote the day when “all Parishes would be run by boards from which Pastors and Bishops would be effectively excluded.”

“What you are going to do, do quickly”

      Faithful Connecticut Catholics should not be mystified by the State introducing this egregious bill, nor should they believe this is yet just one more example of the secularist state intruding upon the rights of the Catholic Church to govern herself and entities. The contents of the bill #1089 have been bantered around by various members of V.O.T.F for some time. Compare the text and gist of the bill with these words from the April 2007 V.O.T.F. article , THE MONEY TRAIL: Financial Management And Mismanagement In The Diocese Of Bridgeport, by Joseph F. O’Callaghan : 

“[…] The same principles should be applied to diocesan property. The diocesan corporation should include elected representatives from each of the eighty-seven parishes, who in turn would elect two directors from each of the five vicariates.

The bishop, one of the three vicars general, and the chancellor should be ex officio members, but elected representatives of the laity should comprise the majority of the diocesan corporation, its directors, and its officers.

Implementation of this proposal will necessitate changes in both canon and civil law.

And finally, this revealing tidbit from the same V.O.T.F. article,

“Attorney Tom Gallagher has already initiated discussion with state legislators about changing the law regulating parish and diocesan corporations. Members of VOTF should lend their support to this effort.”

      To be clear on the above: The works of V.O.T.F whether great or small, public or private within this situation can no longer be misconstrued as simply taking advantage of the child sex abuse crisis within the Church in order to push some ageing liberal agenda—an view long-held by many who’ve watched both support and finances of the group continually shrink in recent years. No, make no mistake here dear Catholic, this act against the Church is no mere argument among disciples about who is, or isn’t, the greatest within the kingdom as we journey together along the way; No faith upsetting continuation here of that tired old “spirit of Vatican II” argument offered up by the rebellious in the face of authentic authority. 

      What it is, is a serious attack upon the Church:

The specious use of government in the clear attempt to undermine the Apostolic nature and authority of the Catholic Church in America.

      This is the second salvo following the first last month, so to speak, by the newly formed cohort of dissident groups (Led by two V.O.T.F members) with the announcement of the coming American Catholic Council scheduled for the Fall of 2011, in Detroit, Michigan… And following their conquest of America in 2011, its on to Rome (at least in their minds) and Vatican Council III. 

      It remains to be seen in the days ahead just how actively involved Tom Gallagher, V.O.T.F. and other unidentified dissident groups were in promulgating and finally bringing about this public attempt to arrest and destroy Christ The King and His Bride, the Church (in the world) in Connecticut. I’ll leave that to the more qualified and intelligent, as well as, proper episcopal authorities to judge–and hopefully act upon. But one thing is for sure, there’s original precedence at work here–and we all know how that turns out in regards to Jesus Christ, the future of His Church, her mission in the world, and even, of Judas Iscariot… Hopefully, with strong episcopal leadership, the always stabilizing affects of truly faithful Catholics, this false vineyard being planted within the Church of God will fail to bloom, as in the past, and the American Catholic Council will find itself equally bankrupt of support in the future as its own website is today.

      In closing, whether it be recognized by men or not, our country along with many other nations of the world together find themselves in desperate straits today and in sure need of the Catholic Church and her mission of spreading the Gospel. For men have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) that God truly exists and are suffering serious decline at their own hands because of grevious sin, and thus, lack of divine blessings. Both the rich and the poor are imperiled alike within the very same Godless situation, which, as the history of such evil proves, has great potential of turning inhuman and animal-like for long long periods of time. And so, the times of dissent within the Church must come to their close, and the good works of the Church spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ must replace them for the sake of the world and souls. A world God so loves that He sent his only-begotten son to save it from destruction and death–a Son He still sends. 

      Ours is the same (and only) mission as His as we too pass through this world. Chronic addiction to Church dissent defies that mission, harms souls who’ve allowed themselves to follow such errors, is not of the Holy Spirit of God, and ultimately works to continually cripple this new evangelization we are all responsible for carrying out–for we ourselves have received much–very much: the saving power of the breathe of God, the Spirit Who has led us into the heart of Christ Jesus–so full of truth, grace, pardon, healing and salvation. This is what America and the nations need most of all, and nothing more—a return to God... 

      So in the truth of a world on the precipice of its own self-destruction, and from the heart of the only Savior that world needs to find, I repeat the words of another convert, +Michael Davies within his work [The Reign of Christ The King–In Both Public and Private Life–], here in his own quote from the book The Devastated Vineyard by Dietrich von Hildebrand, he writes:

“”Professor von Hildebrand warned that the Church can only help mankind to draw back from the precipice upon which it is poised “if the vineyard of the Lord blossoms anew. And therefore we must storm Heaven with the prayer that the spirit of St. Pius X might once again fill the hierarchy, that the great words anathema sit might once again ring out against all heretics, and especially against all the members of the ‘fifth column’ within the Church…”

Davies goes on to say, “We can do no better than begin by praying that they will ring out in Connecticut.””

      I concur. Let the vineyard of the Lord blossom anew.

Editors H/T: This story first broke on Father Z’s WDTPRS by another most faithful priest of God and educator, Fr. Greg J. Markey, He is pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Norwalk, CT. I ask my readers to join with me in offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this coming Sunday for both, and for all priests in these difficult times.

james mary evans  

Columnist Judy Bowman on Women in the Priesthood

Editors Note: This fine article written by Judy Bowman on June 18th is by far one of the best I’ve discovered on the issue of women’s ordination within the Catholic Church. Along with Judy, we pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the hearts of those women (and men) currently excommunicated opening the door to their swift return to Holy Mother Church…

Judy Bowman, Catoosa County News

Just three weeks ago, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a Decree of Excommunication. This isn’t something that happens every day. Excommunication is a serious action, which impedes the reception of the Church’s Sacraments in cases of particularly grave or serious sin (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1463). In this recent case, the Church excommunicated people involved in attempting the “ordination” of women as priests of the Roman Catholic Church.

God loves women. He chose a woman to bring Salvation to the world through Mary, the mother of God. Women have played important roles in the Church since the early days of Christ’s public ministry. Jesus went against the Jewish norms of His day by involving women publicly in His life on earth, as His cherished friends. It was Mary of Magdala who was chosen by God to be the first person to see the risen Christ and to spread that good news to His loved ones. Nearly all of the non-Jewish religions of Christ’s day had female priestesses, so choosing women for this role in His Church would have been socially-acceptable, especially in ministering to the Gentiles. But He didn’t choose women to be priests. He chose only men. Through these 12 men, a direct line of Apostolic succession has remained in the Catholic Church until today.

God doesn’t make mistakes. He came to save us through Christ at a precise moment in history and through the exact people He had chosen as His own. The priestly tradition of the Jews, a male tradition, was part of His salvation plan from the beginning of time. The passover lamb of the Jews, always a male, prefigured the role of Christ as the Paschal Lamb and perfect Sacrifice. Jesus is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world. The argument is sometimes made that, if Christ were alive today, He would choose women for the priesthood. Here’s a news flash, Christ IS alive today. He comes to us at every Mass when He becomes for us, the Bread of Life. He lives and acts in His church, who has taught from the time of the Apostles that the priesthood is a Sacrament reserved only for baptized men (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1577).

Each Sacrament established by Christ has two elements, form and matter. The form of the Sacrament is the way in which it is enacted. For Baptism, the “form” is the words used to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The “matter” of Baptism is water. In the Holy Eucharist, the “form” is the words of consecration spoken by the priest when he echoes the words used by Jesus at the Last Supper in the breaking of the bread and the offering of the cup. The “matter” of the Eucharist is the wheat bread and the grape wine. When someone is ordained to the priesthood, the “form” of the Sacrament is the bishop’s laying on of his hands onto the man desiring ordination. The “matter” of the Sacrament is the man himself, who has responded to God’s call of service as a priest. Just as the Church could never substitute something else for the bread and wine used in the Holy Eucharist, or for the water used in Baptism, the Church can never allow the “ordination” of women. The “matter” of this Sacrament is, and always must be, male. The Pope himself can never allow women to be priests. “I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful” (Pope John Paul II, 05-22-94).

This is not an issue of justice. It’s not unjust that men can’t give birth to babies. It’s a gift reserved for women. Likewise, it’s not unjust that women can’t be ordained. It’s a Sacrament reserved for men. No one has a “right” to the priesthood. Men are called by God Himself to this life. In Jesus’ humanity, He was a man. His gender was not an accident, because the Church is His bride. The priest reflects Christ whenever he celebrates any of the Sacraments that Jesus gave us. Women generously serve the Church in many important roles every day, and have done so throughout history. There are different roles within the Body of Christ, as St. Paul tells us. Men and women are equal in the eyes of God, but this equality is not synonymous with sameness. What a boring Church that would be! God blesses us in our unique roles and we are called to embrace that uniqueness and celebrate our varied gifts and graces. We give Him glory when we are most fully ourselves in His service, whatever our role may be. And we pray that those who struggle with these roles, in any way, may experience the love and guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives and may return to full communion with His Church.

Fratres Inside Scoop: A Sneak Peek Into The 2009 Northern California Call To Action Conference

Regarding Change Agents: Turn Around Is Fair Play

Before being exposed as fraudulent apostates this week, highly trained change agents sent by the editor of this blog infiltrated the infamous church dissent group known as Call To Action.

Miraculously successful (at first) my guys gained access into the higher echelons of the group, with one agent reporting back that he’d even been offered (well actually, he volunteered for) a empty post on the board of the steering committee responsible for the upcoming 2009 Northern California Call To Action Conference…

Deeply troubled and frustrated that my boys had been outed, I finally accepted the fact that the jig was up and asked for their full report on what, if any, information they might have gathered about next years CTA conference. The results surprised me, especially the video clip sneaked out from one clandestine liturgical practice… 

Here’s what we found:

Venue Problems – Past and Present

A venue has yet to be determined by the site committee group. Last year’s site was mentioned as an early possibility, but there seems to be some squabble between hotel management and CTA over billing for incense burns and water damage on the carpet in the hotel’s conference room…

Much ado about nothing has been made over the relative age of participants following the last conference, noting the many grey bears in attendance; however, there is no truth at all to the rumor that the seasoned citizens present were actually paid holdovers from the previous conference held at the Wyndham Hotel two weeks prior: The 11th Annual Seniors and Adults with Disabilities Advocating for Change (No, I did not make that up…Conspiracy theorists, start your engines!)

Name of Event Still Undecided, Tee-Shirt Logo Done Deal

My guys tells me that the name of the ’09’ conference has been whittled down to just two–“Called To Brother Bread, Sister Puppet”, (In reference to calming dissent among dissidents) or the more probable, “Divine Reality Comedy Circus”. There’s further evidence that this last will be the official title, as the shuttle bus for next year’s event has already had its logo painted…(note the video below).

After a fruitless search in the beginning, the Art and Environment Committee had recourse to the only artist who could accurately capture, as event organizer Lisa striebing has noted, “the role of the puppets within the community .”  The artist, for obvious reasons, desires anonymity but our guys got his number–TCJ–along with the logo… It’s a scream.

Communication Problems 

Wanting to follow-up on last years success, directives were sent out to all CTA member’s reminding them to please (please) post their personal conference videos and pics earlier this time on the worldwide web–as last year’s demand for them and interest in joining CTA had grown to such a fevered pitch that the site server was shut down for a considerable amount of time… Hmm.

Secret Liturgical Practices… 

Word was sent out early that the steering committee, after having reviewed last year’s liturgical extravaganza and finding it highly stimulating and successful, yet still, stinging because others described the same debacle as liturgical abuse,  found it necessary to hold closed door liturgical practices free from all press and feisty bloggers.

The problem is, this bit of information was discovered by us to be a ruse. As we found through our efforts that practices for the “09” opening liturgy have actually been ongoing for some time, but, not behind closed doors… Instead, we have video (below) documenting that the practices have actually been held at secret outdoor locations in rural Vermont… Strange? Perhaps. But, maybe a sure giveaway to next year’s venue… I’ll leave it to the conspiracy buffs to check the booking dates for… Yankee Stadium.

Here’s what we gleaned from the video,

1.      The celebrant has not only been chosen, but is working closely with organizers even now to insure a proper celebration of the sacred mysteries. While the same celebrant has yet to be publically named, (and the nature of the video prevents recognition-No, it’s not Steve Martin…) it nonetheless reveals the obvious fact that he/she is not only a priest in good standing, but, also tall in stature within the faith community.

2.       (Lively) sacred music has been selected that maintains last year’s sense of inclusiveness, especially towards our Protestant brothers and sisters, yet, without forgetting to reflect upon our own American Catholic tradition of sacred sound these past 45 years.

3.       And lastly, liturgical dancers will play an even greater role than they did last year! 

Enjoy, and let us know if you find out any clues about the whereabouts of next year’s puppets, so far that’s a secret…   

 

In Honor of the Beast?

IT WAS NIGHT.

The following is a pictorial report of the Palm Sunday 2008 Mass at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Mn. The commentary below are direct quotes taken from the parish website. The author is Nancy Lynch, a parishioner.

             “Palm Sunday is finally here. We are so prepared to participate in the liturgy…”

             “We start by singing “He Turned the Water into Wine,” while two children dressed the alter. The narrator, Kristin Aitchinson, read the gospel about Jesus entering into Jerusalem. Singing “Prepare Ye” several children enter and hand out palms followed by the Disciples and animal puppets also handing out palms. Lastly enters the Jesus puppet with a donkey at his side. Cyril Paul, who plays the voice of Jesus, starts singing “Lord of the Dance” as Jesus dances and the offertory baskets are passed…” 

             “Around the alter, the Last Supper is prepared as the Jesus mimics Father Jim Cassidy as he performs the Consecration and gathers us for the Our Father and exchanging the sign of peace. Singing “Lamb of God” we share in Communion…”

             “The narrator sets the mood for the betrayal. As Jesus sings “Stay Awake and Watch Me” he dances around as the Disciples divide the children into three groups surrounding him. The first Disciple denies Jesus, turning his face away. With musical emphasis all members of that group put up their masks, hiding their faces, shutting them off from God. After being denied three times the Jesus soloist stops singing and Jesus freezes. Silence surrounds us!”…

             “Again the narrator sets the scene for the lamentations while “Lord of the Dance” plays as an instrumental with Jesus again dancing, while all faces are masked. The narrator pulls her lamentation from around her neck and reads it. She then moves to put it on Jesus’ shoulder. Another member of the crowd rises and removes her lamentation and puts it on Jesus. The narrator speaks the sorrow of the crowd by reading lamentations with the music increasing in volume and becoming discordant. More and more people from the crowd cover him with their lamentations as the narrator speaks the sorrow loudly…”

             “The pace and intensity builds so that soon the narrator has only to say single key words as people lay their lamentations onto Jesus. The Jesus puppet’s movement becomes a distorted and a painful parody of his former beautiful dance. The music increases until it drowns out the narrator’s voice. Ultimately Jesus, weighed down by people’s lamentations, stops dancing, and is crushed to the ground. The music stops. All masked figures look at the broken puppet in silence…”

             “The narrator sets up the scene for insight. We listen to the song “Christ Has No Body Now But Ours”. One by one the masked figures lower their masks. Several from the crowd, plus the Disciples and some of the animals approach Jesus and make a semi circle around his body facing outward. They join hands while others nearby place their hands on their shoulders. All are connected as the music ends. The huge night puppet, having lain on the floor at the front of the church, suddenly shrouds us in darkness. With musical emphasis the night passes over our heads while Jesus, Cyril Paul, sings “Be Not Afraid.” …

“The light returns…”

After a pause, the narrator says,
“Go in peace…and be not afraid.”

EASTER SUNDAY REDUX

             “Easter Sunday, glorious Easter Sunday is here. “Jesus has Risen” echoes as the music starts playing “Lord of the Dance.” Father Jim calls our attention to the banner in the back of the church, over the door, stating “We are the Hands….of Jesus.” At that moment Jesus and the animals enter dancing around the room. This time there was an additional animal, a rabbit! They dance until the song finishes and then they exit…”

             “The rest of the Mass centered on Farmer Rick Klehr and his baby animals. We celebrated a New Life. It was a befitting end of our Lenten journey. What a glorious season…”

IN THE HEART OF THE BEAST

             In the Heart of the Beast is an puppet and mask theatre located in Minneapolis. The company was approached by members of St. Joan of Arc concerning training and construction in the ancient art of mask making in their preparation for the above production within both the Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday liturgical celebrations.

             Each spring HOTB creates and wholly produces the May Day Parade and Festival in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis. This years parade and festival were entitled, “A New Bridge, Infrastructure for the Future Beings.” Tens of Thousands join together following the parade and witness the raising of the “Tree of Life”…

IT WAS NIGHT.

To View the video, click here

“Heretic, Rebel, A Thing To Flout”: The Sole Revelation Of Truth Found Hidden Within The Mr. Potato Head Homily

                             According to Wordnet Dictionary, to paraphrase means to express the same message in other words. It also means to reword for the purpose of clarification: that is, unless one desires to omit or hide something that may offend or embarrass the audience–like the truth about someone or some organization. In that case, one might be tempted to parcel the original message or work and paraphrase for the purpose of obscuration. Such was the case concerning the lay homily offered by Florene Stewart Poyadue during the now infamous Mr. Potato Head Mass delivered up at the Northern California Call To Action Conference held in the Diocese of San Jose three weeks back… Click here to view the “Mr. Potato Head Liturgy”

             For the purpose of reader clarification Call To Action promotes: Democratic election of Priests and Bishops – Ordination of women to the Priesthood – Non-celibate Priesthood – Moral acceptance of (sexually active) homosexual lifestyles – Birth control – Abortion – Freedom of speech for Catholic educators and theologians who contradict the Church’s Sacred Teaching Authority – Acceptance of the state of divorced and remarried Catholic’s (Adultery). Click here to compare and contrast with Church teaching. (Hat Tip: Catholic Culture)

             Long story short–Call To Action promotes and advocates (worldly) issues within the Catholic Church that contradict sound doctrine in direct disobedience to the Church’s sacred teaching authority, which ultimately includes, Jesus Christ. Thus, according to this domestic church (our family), the organization Call To Action is not only a bar to the peaceful and authentic practice of our faith within the universal Church, but a true danger in regard to the salvation and destination of souls as well. This is why I promote and support the dissolution of Call To Action by the Catholic Church. [Click here to write your Bishop].

             Below I offer the full text of the Lay Homily presented to attendees at the Mr. Potato Head Mass. After reviewing this personal testimony encouraging ongoing opposition to the Catholic Church, I discovered that what was most telling about the work was the self-revelation of truth concerning Call To Action found hidden within the poem entitled, ‘Outwitted’ by Edwin Markham. A work Florene Stewart Poyadue referenced within her speech, yet, found necessary to edit in part, (er… paraphrase), for the sake of her audience. But, I don’t…

Outwitted
He drew a circle that shut me out–
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

If I were to paraphrase the following lay homily I would, for the sake of clarification, have entitled it: “The Disease of Change Agents”

Warning: this personal testimony advocates positions contrary to Catholic faith and morals.

Reflections delivered at the Western Regional Call To Action Conference, Wyndham Hotel, San Jose, CA, April 27, 2008 by Homilist Florene Stewart Poyadue

             As we come together this particular week-end to continue a quest for always rebuilding the church, we have come together at such an appropriate time in the church’s own calendar year. It is said in our first reading today: “The crowds listened eagerly to Philip.” Why was Philip in Samaria, and why were Peter and John right away sent there? Because– they were building Jesus’ church. They were re-building what was the religious structure before Jesus-the savior, the redeemer, the peacemaker came to extend God’s umbrella of love and acceptance to all, not just the chosen few.
             Yes, there was religious structure in place before Jesus. There was the temple, there were the laws, and there was certainly all the rules and regulations. Those in power who had formed those rules and regulations did not want some new idea seeping in from Jesus or anyone else.
             As we know well from our own modern history, those who are in power, resists new ideas, and almost never give up power willingly. They resist the hope within others for renewal, hope for rebuilding broader, more inclusive and just systems that can serve and meet the needs of all of the people more equitably.
             This rebuilding process reminds me of San Jose’s poet laureate Edwin Markham who said, (and I paraphrase) “He drew a circle that shut me out. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took him in.” Jesus, Philip, Peter and John all seemed to be about creating those ever wider more inclusive circles, just like many of you here today.
             I encourage you to keep in mind, and follow these poignant words that you have just heard in our readings today. Listen again, if you will, to those words. It says: “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” Those are caring and fairness words; and those are beautiful action words.
Listen– it says: “Yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” In our language: non- violence. That gentleness and reverence can become the harder part of the rebuilding process. But, be not mislead by the word gentleness. This is the gentleness of a Joan Chittister who says that “Gentleness is not about forbearance. Gentleness is about the ability to bring truth without, at the same time, bringing destruction. This time it is for us, like Mary Magdalene, to say our truth to power, to heal those crippled by the system, to cure the lepers of their social diseases, and to raise women from the deadening effects of sexism. To be gentle is to unmask the inequities around us without destroying those who prefer to maintain the masks.”
             We should all thank Joan for those very clarifying words on gentleness. Let’s give her a (one, all together) clap of thanks. (All make one unified clap!) Thanks Joan.
As you, as we all go about the work of rebuilding this wonderful, wonderful church, never let go of the fact that you have the example of the greatest change agent and re-builder as your model, as your guide, and as your mentor. You have Jesus, the greatest change agent ever, the greatest re-builder.
Jesus respected, but was not timid with the leaders of his time. As you will recall, he was anxious to be about his business and to get on with the work of his father.
             We talk a lot about rebuilding, or making change. How does change usually happen? I’m glad that ‘you’ asked that question. Rebuilding or change usually happens by evolution or by revolution. The former, evolution occurs much too slowly for institutional systems change. It does work wonderfully for nature. The latter change approach, revolt or revolution, is explosive and definitely happens fast enough, but, most often, is much too violent. It is definitely too violent for those who seek to rebuild a cherished institution that continues to hold much significance for them; one that is still the corner stone of their way of being in the world.
             Therefore, today I offer you a third possibility; a way to rebuild or cause change through a process that I call: “The Dis-ease of Change.” Excuse me — There is a lady in the front row asking, “Did she just say “disease?” And, of course the answer is, “No.” I did not say disease; I said ‘the dis-ease of change’… dis-ease meaning discomfort or pain.
             When one approaches the opposition on a rebuilding or change project, by embracing the dis-ease of change process, the first thing you realize is that ‘those with whom you are engaged, the ones you are trying to convince to do something differently, those opposing the change will enter the “loss/grief process.” What you are suggesting to them sounds bizarre, crazy and/or unthinkable. A total paradigm shift is needed.
             The fact that your suggestions have thrown them into the five stages of the loss/grief process is very good for you to know. Because now, you can shepherd them gently through these five stages of loss/grief, and help yourself and your cause at the same time. Actually, there are six stages. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross defined the first five stages, and I, discovered and defined number six.
Not only will you be able to help them through the stages; more importantly, you will not be discouraged by their denial and resistance, as you now realize that it is necessary for their growth toward acceptance, and finally, even appreciation for your new idea.
             Oops! That lady in the front row just asked another question. She wants to know “What are those six stages of loss/grief?” If she doesn’t mind, I will answer that in a minute, but quickly, if I may, the first question might be: “Why are they going into the grief process?” You merely want to make a change; no one has died, and yet they go into grief. They are grieving because they are mourning the loss of the familiar — that familiar majority power, the loss of that familiar comfortable control. They have always done it “this way.” They know this route very well. It is their ‘comfort zone.’ And you, you wish to take them out of their comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory. It is a shock to their system, and they begin the stages of grief. Now, back to answering that lady in the front row who wants to know the six stages.
             Stage 1 is called Denial. They deny that change is really needed or necessary. They deny any negative effects of ‘their familiar’; and, deny the harmful effects upon those crying out for something different. As the old slave masters said, “Surely it is better for slaves not to know how to read. Let us make it the law.” Better for whom??? And, it was said, “Surely Black people prefer to sit in the back of the bus with their own kind.”
             The opposition will make a mighty noise. Don’t you be confused. Sometimes, we confuse the magnitude of the size of the opposition noise of these mourners with the actual size of the change itself. For example: Rosa Parks was simply tired and needed to sit down. There is no big deal about bending one’s knees to sit in a seat (unless your arthritis is acting up). Taking a seat is a small simple change — opposition noise was huge, heard around America and the world. Rosa, like my friend the late Jim McEntee, knew that even a turtle knows that it has to stick its neck out to make progress. But remember, that turtle also knows to move deliberately, slowly, gently, and most important persistently.
             During this dis-ease process, you will need to be a good listener. You will need to be a great interviewer, because you will want to learn from them (the opposition): all that they think and believe; the facts as they see it; and, the feelings they have about those facts and beliefs. Ask many questions, and listen well as you navigate them through denial. You need to understand their side of the argument as well as you know your own.
             As denial begins to subside, they will enter stage 2 – Anger. “Good!” you will say to yourself. “They and we are making progress. So, let the anger begin!” Have you ever noticed how voices tend to raise, get louder, when it looks as if you have made a good point for your side of an argument. You will argue and negotiate your way through stage 2 – making progress much faster than evolution, and much less destructive than revolution.
They are about to enter stage 3 – Bargaining. Their bargaining will sound something like this: “If you insist on this kind of change, start over there first.” Or, “This may be needed, but we should not rush into anything…” When you have let them exhaust all of their bargaining chips; and perhaps you have even utilized some of them, they will enter stage 4 – Depression. They are depressed — You be happy, because they are making progress. Like all of the stages of loss/grief, depression too offers the griever a benefit. It allows them time to go inward and analyze things from a deeper/broader perspective. Until, finally they are ready to dip their toe into the cauldron of acceptance, which is the 5th stage.
             Please note, the mourners are accepting the fact that change is inevitable, that it is coming. But, they are not necessarily accepting your idea as a good, valid, or correct one. That will come later as they enter stage 6 – Appreciation. But, be not disappointed; going through this process, even for loss of just “the familiar” still equals “growth through grief.”
             I personally know this process well from both sides of the coin. The first side for me was when my son was born with Down Syndrome. I grieved the loss of the anticipated normal baby; denied the diagnosis, became angry that this would have a negative impact on my other 3 genius kids. I bargained with God to make it right; but to no avail. He or She just would not listen, so depression set in, and acceptance followed.
             Acceptance meant taking a responsibility for my son, and moving onward with my life, and creating the best life for my family. Of course I ended up helping thousands of families across the state, the country and the world after I discover the 6th stage of grief — appreciation of this crazy change in my life. It took me three years to get from writing the first line of this poem, called Fleeting Moment, to the last line: “Sometimes when I just glimpse my son I see, the little ole boy that was to be – damn chromosome.” “Three years have flown for you and me, and now with wiser eyes I see; you are the boy that was to be – welcome home!”
             The other side of the dis-ease of change made itself clear to me as I set about to make the world a better place for children with special needs and their families. I needed to change, doctors, nurses, social workers, schools, hospitals, legal, and political institutions. All of those people (the opposition) denied that these children and their families needed anything different; they became very angry that I, a mere parent, had the audacity to invade their professional domains; and they bargained like Hades to get me to ‘start somewhere else’. In the end, they too reached that all important 6th stage that I called appreciation.
             When one grows beyond acceptance, the opposition starts to say things like “Now I don’t know how we ever did without this.” And, parents of special kids begin to marvel at their kids uniqueness, and they speak of all that they have learned from their kids. They talk about what individuals with disabilities bring to the table of humanity — including unconditional love.
             You know well the church for which you long. I encourage you to use the Dis- Ease of Change to guide others gently through the loss of their familiar and on to greater heights for all. I implore you to continuously, like the gentle drip of water that makes its mark on a stone — show the others: the oneness of humanity, the strength of inclusiveness expressed through the beauty of diversity. Share and show the strength of the spirit and harmony of a church alive and continually striving to reach its full potential.
             And, of course all of this will be accomplished through actions in community; as you pray for strength; trust in God to be on the side of truth and justice. Persist like the nagging widow in the bible; who finally wore down the judge to get the justice she so rightly deserved.
             Speaking of nagging, another little old Black lady wisely encouraged us during the bygone days of the civil rights movement. She said, “A flea is but a tiny speck, but attached to a Great Dane, can keep that big dog moving.” Stay engaged.
             My final challenge to you as you go about gently, consistently molding and rebuilding the church into an ever-growing dynamic force, as you shepherd your resisting partners through the dis-ease of change. I ask you to be clear about your mission and vision. I strongly encourage you to work with your friends via, what I call mathematical collaboration: come together to add to each other’s expertise; subtract your differences; divide the work; and therefore multiply your successful accomplishments.
             It may sound simple, but I beg you not to confuse goals and objectives. Goals are “to have” statements. Objectives are things “to do” to reach those goals. For example, your goals may be “to have freedom, justice, equality for all, male, female, able, and disabled, etc.” Your objectives will be things you do to attain that goal. When you make your goals ‘to do’ statements, they may never be fully accomplished, because your goal becomes the doing. I hate to hear, for example, some organization say that their goal is “to seek a cure for cancer.” Unknowingly, “seeking” is their goal. Their goal is ‘to have a cure.’
             So, I further charge you to create the right language for forward movement. For example – I think we need to find a word to replace the word “racist.” Few if any consider themselves racists. And yet, they may be saying or doing things that cause racial harm, and/or disharmony. I believe that many of them are not racists. They may have ingrained biases and perhaps even subliminal stereotypes interfering with their way of being and acting. Once the word ‘racist’ is uttered, the conversation toward progress is derailed.
             Speaking of words, let us not confuse the usage of a couple of three-letter words (not four letter words), the words “can” and “may.” Most inequities in the world have little to do with the word “can.” For example, if I should say – “Can I be a priest?” The answer would be, “Yes, of course I can.” Meaning I can – I have the ability to do it. But “May I be a priest?” No, I may not; because I do not have permission. Let us be sure we do not confuse ability to do with permission to do. Those in power often withhold permission with statements that indicate or insinuate a lack of ability. Be careful and watch those words.
While you are choosing the right words, be sure that you put things in writing. “So let it be written, so let it be done.” Not everything written gets done; but, almost nothing gets done that isn’t written.
In the often-quoted words of George Bernard Shaw (by Robert Kennedy): “Some people see things as they are and ask, why? I see things that have never been, and ask, “Why not?” Go ahead. Ask “Why Not!”
             Finally, know by the words of today’s gospel that “you are not alone” — Jesus says: “I will ask the father, and he will give you another advocate to be with you always, the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But, you know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.”
             Go forth, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” (thanks Gandhi); then follow and give all praise to Lord Jesus Christ, the master architect of change. Amen.