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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Parish life in 2014...dismal at best



I’m not a cradle Catholic.  I fell in love with the Catholic faith because of its immense beauty.  Beauty that I found in its Sacraments, writings, architecture, stained glass windows, Gregorian chant, complete Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Catholic hymns, incense, rites, ornate altars and vestments, Holy Water/Oil, sacramentals, devotions, feast days and the order and reverence of the Mass.  All the big and little things that set the Catholic faith apart from any other Christian faith.  

It was all the things that made the Catholic Church catholic that drew me in.  I wanted it.  I wanted to BE a part of the only Church Jesus Christ created on earth and I wanted all the things that made it Catholic.  Even before I was officially Catholic I set about immersing myself in all things Catholic.  I bought hundreds (literally) of Catholic books.  I bought Catholic statues, Holy cards, incense, crucifixes, rosaries and candles.  I transformed my home into a Catholic home complete with a home altar and kneeler.  

As a convert to the Faith, there was a great deal I was ignorant about.  I’m not talking about the Dogma’s and doctrines- I studied those intently before becoming Catholic and I know that is an ongoing education.  I am talking about being totally ignorant of parish life.  

I thought, one Catholic parish was as good as another because the readings would be the same, the Rubrics in place (I assumed all priests naturally followed them), all Masses would be the same- that is what I ignorantly thought.  

In reading hundreds of books about the Catholic Faith, not once did I read about Catholic parishes that didn’t seem Catholic.  Not once.  

When I joined RCIA back in 2006, I had already spent years educating myself in the Catholic Faith.  I read the catechism, books on Saints, Papal encyclicals, Papal Bulls, the Vatican II documents and anything else I could get my hands on.  I talked to priests and nuns and other converts and educated Catholics.  I contacted EWTN and they answered my questions in email and on television shows like The Journey Home.  I wanted to know what the Church was all about BEFORE I joined RCIA. 

Because I had educated myself, I knew right away there was something very wrong with the RCIA program in my parish.  I should mention, that at the time my town had ONE Catholic parish- so I didn’t have a variety to pick from and it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to “shop around” for a Catholic parish- I thought that was a protestant thing and again, I thought all Catholic parishes were the same.  So I joined the local Catholic parish for three reasons 1) I thought they were all the same, 2) I wanted a Catholic parish where my children would attend religious education with their school friends and 3) I wanted a close local parish where I could easily volunteer and participate in activities (I had always been active in my Baptist community and wanted to do the same as a Catholic).  

Now, back to my RCIA experience.  The RCIA at the time (it has now changed DRAMATICALLY for the better with new leadership), had a “group team” of RCIA teachers (about a dozen) who all taught RCIA together as a group effort.  Not a single RCIA instructor in that group had read the Bible or knew the Scriptures.  They even admitted that to me.  

The RCIA director told me I “scared the hell out of her” when I joined because I could quote Scripture and knew where it was in the Bible without having to look it up (something every Baptist child has instilled in them throughout their childhood).  During RCIA, when a question came up about something in Scripture I had to find it for them and not one of them could tell the Catholic interpretation of it.  This was extremely disappointing to me because I had/have a great love of the Scriptures.  So from the beginning, Sacred Scriptures was basically off the table for RCIA class.  But the worst was still to come.  Apparently, I knew more about the Catholic faith than any of the dozen teachers I had.  Each one of them attempted to teach me that 1) women would one day become priests, 2) birth control was a personal choice to be made with your own conscience and 3) absolutely NO discussion on abortion, morning after pill (hot topic at the time here in CT) or how a Catholic should vote politically on these issues was EVER to be allowed in any RCIA discussion.   

The liberal RCIA instructors would simply not allow the Church’s official teaching on these things to be taught.  I was only a few months into the RCIA program when I had my first fight with all twelve RCIA instructors over women priests.  At first, they gave me that sympathetic look that said “ignorant convert-to-be just doesn’t understand yet”.  They even gave me a condescending smile that said “just you wait; you’ll see women priests one day”.  But God intervened in that class. 

While I was sharing with them what the catechism said and what Pope John Paul II had written on the subject, our parish priest walked in.  The RCIA director (sure she was correct and I was wrong) waved Father over and said something like “Father, we’ve had a discussion come up that we’d like you to clear up for us.  We were discussing the possibility of women one day becoming priests.  I’m sure Julie would like it if you could clear this up for her.”  And she sat back fully expecting me to be put in my place for daring to argue with the entire RCIA staff.  I smiled to myself because I knew what was coming. I knew this priest was an orthodox priest- I'd already had a LONG detailed meeting with him about the Faith.  

Father said something along the lines of: “Women can never be Catholic priests; this is not something that can change.  The Church does not have the authority to ever ordain a woman a priest.  Jesus Christ created a priesthood of men…” and he went on to talk about the typology of the Levitical priesthood, the twelve Apostles and some quotes I can’t recall anymore.  

That RCIA director was furious.  I could nearly see steam coming off her head.  You see, she has a brother who is a priest (liberal priest) who for decades taught her these errors.  As soon as Father left the room, this [now retired] RCIA director said “Father is just giving his opinion; women WILL one day be priests”.  She refused to be corrected by anyone – even her own priest.  This woman was the RCIA director in my parish for nearly thirty years teaching these liberal things to everyone who walked through those parish doors.  So it’s no wonder my parish is as it is today.  And that is what I want to talk about.

When my family and I began attending our parish, we attended the Saturday Vigil Mass (this was familiar to me because as a child I attended the Vigil Mass with my paternal Catholic grandparents at least monthly even though I was raised Baptist).  The Saturday Vigil Mass was (to me) affectionately called the “old people’s Mass” because it was very reverent, had organ music and we sang beautiful Catholic hymns.  

The Sunday Mass’s had/have bongo drums, a Grand piano, sometimes guitars etc, and never any organ music and rarely old Catholic hymns.  It’s more like a rock concert complete with people swaying and tapping their feet in the pews. 

I avoided the Sunday Mass the best I could for years. 

Then a few years ago, my parish was “yoked” to a parish in another town, and our beloved devout priests were moved to other parishes.  Now we have one new priest for our two yoked parishes, no Vigil Mass at my parish, no confession at my parish and he’s added “the children’s liturgy” -where just before the readings he calls up all the children ages 3 to 8 for a blessing then sends them down stairs for their own liturgy.  The kids climb over people trying to get out of the pews, race up to the altar where they are blessed then they race down stairs where they laugh, make loud music and talk loud enough that those of us upstairs hear all they are doing down stairs.  Then DURING the Consecration, while we are on our knees looking at the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity being held up by the priest, the children come racing back upstairs and begin climbing over kneeling people trying to get to their parents while waving in the air the pictures they colored during their 'children's liturgy'. 

Chaos.  

The reverence is nearly non-existent now.  The Holiness of the moment is broken as all eyes stop looking at Jesus and turn to the children.  The moment is lost.  It’s all very disruptive, yet in our parish bulletin I noticed this week it said the “children’s liturgy has been very successful”.  For the life of me, I can’t imagine what anyone could find “successful” about that chaos and loss of reverence.  And I wonder WHO has determined its success and what standards were used to come to that conclusion?

But it’s not all the fault of the newly instituted “children’s liturgy”.  As I’ve mentioned above for years now I have failed to find reverence at the Sunday Mass.  The ushers talk before and during Mass- during the Consecration and after Communion when people are kneeling and praying.  They jingle the change in their pants pockets, talk about sports and the weather all through Mass.  They are clueless to what is going on at Mass and they don’t seem to care at all if they bother the people trying to worship at Mass.  If you look at them [the ushers] and catch their eye to say “hey, I’m praying here” they look at you WHILE they continue talking.  No reverence, no respect and no basic common courtesy for others.  They’re a void.

My parish is small.  We have small stained glass window inserts in large clear windows.  My parish is made of concrete blocks painted off white.  There are some statues and a few paintings a parishioner painted years ago that hang on the wall.  The altar is wood- the original marble altar lost years ago during renovations (no one can answer how the altar was “lost” or where the relic that was inside it went).  We have no relic in our altar now.  The Tabernacle is simple and plain- I hardly think it does justice to the One it contains. 

There isn’t much in my parish that says “This IS a Catholic parish”.  As a matter of fact, it could easily be mistaken for any number of non-Catholic communities if it weren’t for the Sacraments themselves.  Just looking at or seeing the Mass said in this parish, has nothing to distinguish it from so many others- not with the bongo drums, folk music, “children’s liturgy” and complete lack of reverence for the Eucharist.  The “catholic” in this Catholic parish is sadly lacking. 

You might wonder why I don’t leave. 

That’s a good question and one I’ve asked myself nearly every week in 2014.

Why do I stay?

The Sacraments are valid. 

It’s local. 

It’s where my children were Baptized and Confirmed and where we all entered the Catholic Church together.  We’ve got history here and good memories and people we love attend here. 

I teach RCIA and some years CCD in this parish.  The new RCIA director who knows I’ve been considering leaving has asked me to stay and continue teaching RCIA because I am the only other instructor she has. 

And because of my own personal history in RCIA, I feel compelled to teach, to make sure NO ONE else is taught the errors that for years had previously been taught at this parish by other [now gone] RCIA instructors.  If I stay, maybe I can make a difference. 

I’ve taught 7th grade CCD for a few years and those children and sadly their parents knew almost NOTHING of their Faith.  They didn’t know how many Sacraments the Church has or what they are.  They honestly thought the ONLY time a person should or needs to go to Confession is during Lent.  They believed you just saved up all your sins till Lent to confess them.  They didn’t know what Purgatory was and most of them couldn’t name a single Saint besides the Virgin Mary and the Apostles.  Most couldn’t remember basic Catholic prayers- hadn’t even heard of the Hail Holy Queen and didn't pray daily.  These were children who had been going to CCD for YEARS and would soon be preparing for Confirmation and they were clueless because no one had properly taught them their Catholic Faith.  I remember my youngest daughter in CCD class playing HANGMAN on the chalkboard for class- they had to use Catholic words like “Sacrament” or “Holy Eucharist”, but it was still hangman.  THAT is how the children were taught their Catholic faith the year of their First Holy Communion- is it any wonder this parish is falling apart? 

So do I leave and parish hop till I find (IF I can find) a parish that has more reverence or do I stay and attempt to make a difference? 

My personality (if you haven’t noticed from reading my blog) is I am a fighter.  Years ago, before I created this blog, I was defending and fighting for the Faith on other Christian and Catholic forums.  On one of them, I was dubbed the dreaded “Catholic Pitbull” because I wouldn't back down or give up defending my Catholic beliefs and the name stuck for years.  I don’t like backing off a fight – especially when it’s over my Catholic Faith.  I can’t honestly remember the last time I “gave up” and moved on from something important.  I’m just not wired that way.  And I actually LIKE to fight.  Some people hate it, I like it.  I’m not talking about fighting with family or co-workers, I mean fighting for or about my Catholic faith to defend it and my beliefs.  I like confronting error and I’ve got no problem telling someone “You’re wrong and here’s why…” 

I have a huge problem knowing someone is wrong about the Faith and not doing or saying something about it – like my old RCIA director attempting to teach me and everyone else in that RCIA classroom years ago her liberal views.  I didn’t care that I was a Baptist on the way to becoming Catholic and she was a cradle Catholic who had been teaching RCIA for decades.  She was wrong and I wasn’t going to shut up about it even though I “caused a scene” during class because I wouldn’t accept what she and the other instructors were teaching us.  I don’t think it’s in me to EVER walk away from that sort of situation.  

I can’t change the priest and his love of folk music, bongo drums, children’s liturgies, telling jokes at Mass and giving homilies while walking among the pews like a televangelist on TV.  He’s a different breed of priest – and I don’t like it one bit. My heart aches for an orthodox priest who will TEACH the people to BE Catholic and to embrace our Catholic Faith rather than trying to make it more protestant like. 

What I can do is pray for my priest and parish to change. 

I can stay and share the Catholic Faith as I KNOW it to be.  The beauty of the Faith- of all of it; the parts that have been lost in my parish that the parishioners don’t even know they are missing.  I know and it bugs the heck out of me each and every time I attend Mass in my own parish.  We are being ripped off.  There is so much more God and His Holy Catholic Church have for us and these liberal priests are robbing us of it.  It infuriates me. 

So do I leave or do I stay and fight? 

For now… I stay and fight - but I honestly don't know how long I will last if things don't improve. 

I don’t know what 2015 will bring, but I am praying, sacrificing and offering Masses for a change in my parish.  It’s time the Catholic laity take back their Faith and DEMAND our clergy stop denying us the fullness of our Faith and the beauty of our Faith. 

In my personal experience and opinion, 2014 has been a TERRIBLE year in my parish, but I am hopeful that 2015 will bring answered prayers from God and amazing changes in my parish and our priest.  I hope good things will happen in your parishes too.


May God bless us all in 2015.



In Christ,



Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

God's GREATEST joy is when people are happy, happy, happy!

Flipping through a mountain of emails today, I came across an email with a link to a story from the HuffPost Live hosted by Marc Lamont Hill about the televangelist Victoria Osteen (wife to the well known Joel Osteen).

Apparently one of Victoria Osteen's summer sermons has just now gone viral and people are finally speaking up about the sheer nuttiness of the beliefs held by these people and their followers.

Here is what she said...(emphasis mine)

Try reading this with the background song "Don't worry, be happy" playing in your head- I seriously think she must have been listening to that song when she came up with this sermon/theology/ideology.

"When we obey God, we're NOT doing it for God - I mean, that's one way to look at it.  But we're doing it for our self!  Because God takes pleasure when we're happy!  That's the thing that gives Him THE GREATEST JOY this morning.  So I want you to know this morning, just do good FOR YOUR OWN SELF.  Do good cause God wants you to be happy.  When you come to church, WHEN YOU COME TO WORSHIP HIM you're NOT doing it for God really - you're doing it for yourself!  Amen!"

Yeah, she REALLY said all that, and yes she and others really believe it.  And I guess she's just being honest about those mega churches... it really is just about themselves.  It's about how THEY feel, it isn't about worshiping God- Osteen admits it.



God's "greatest joy" is when people are feeling happy?  

Guess that means God is tickled pink with fornicators- cause we all know how happy they are frolicking in mortal sin.  How about all those rapists having a good old time raping?  Murderers, murdering?  Liars, lying?  Thieves, thieving?  Happy, happy, happy!

I never heard Jesus preach "The GREATEST joy my Father in Heaven has is when everyone is happy, happy, happy!  So don't obey my Father in Heaven because He said so, do it for yourselves!"

Where's that in the Bible?

A few quotes from the HuffPost interview:

Rick Henderson (Protestant pastor): "I'm not saying they're not Christians, BUT..." :)

Steve Camp (Protestant Pastor): "Victoria is sweet but uninformed" and "immature but sincere" - he also goes on to mention she's a good example of why women aren't supposed to be pastors.


May God save them from their happy selves.



In Christ, 

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner






Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Children telling the Christmas Story


I love hearing children tell the story of Christ's birth...





...just puts a smile on my face.


:)


In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

Saturday, December 13, 2014

What about all the scandal caused by Catholic laity?

I hoard collect old and rare Catholic books.  I love reading these old books and want to share them with my blog readers.  I’ve got bookshelves in my house filled with them in assorted sizes complete with that wonderful (to me) old musty book smell. ;)

One of them I want to quote from today is called “The Fountain of Catholic Knowledge” written in 1899 and published in 1900. 
It’s a large book and this is just a small sample of one topic in it.  The section I am sharing today, and the topic I wish to discuss is on the Church’s teaching of the terrible sin of scandal and how very damaging it is and how this sin ruins souls and causes the loss of salvation if not corrected and repented of.

Scandal is all over, but many hardly notice it, unless it’s coming from inside the Church.  The media happily (and correctly) calls the sin coming from the Church 'sin' and 'scandalous' but doesn't apply the same standard to sin outside the Church. 

Sadly, the media is also full of reporting priests supporting gay ‘marriage’, supporting women priests, abuses at Mass, child molestation and cover ups…you get the picture.  Depending on the media source and topic it may or may not call these things 'sin'.  But this isn't about the media, it's about us Catholics.

These ripples of scandal have spread across the globe causing numerous Catholics to leave Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.

But what about all the scandal caused by Catholic laity?

Are you still scandalized when you see a Catholic “remarry” outside the Church after a divorce, hence entering into public adultery?  Are you scandalized by adultery or do you happily attend the wedding and buy the adulterating couple a wedding gift?

Are you still scandalized by pre-marital sex or have you become so desensitized by it that the sin of fornication barely registers in your brain as you pick out a house warming gift for the fornicators in your family who insist on living together before marriage?

Are you getting the picture yet?

These sins are no longer taboo in our secular society.  Adultery, fornication, lies, lust, greed etc are the norm on television, in books, magazines, online… we are submerged in the ‘normalcy’ of sin.  Secular society has declared ‘sin’ to be…well, no longer sin at all.  There is no sin today according to our society.  Society tells us that if you live with your boyfriend/girlfriend before marriage that it’s “your own business” and no one else’s.

That is wrong.  

People don’t have to see you having sex to figure out if you are living with someone as boyfriend/girlfriend sharing the same bed you are committing fornication.

That is scandal. 

Scandal is the ripple effect of one person’s sin made public.  When was the last time you heard a homily on the sin of scandal?  I never have.  Thankfully, I am a Catholic bookhoarderworm so I read these wonderful old Catholic books that teach me the depth of these Catholic teachings.

Please carefully read the below quote and reflect on your own life any occasion that you might have caused scandal and the ripple effect that went out into the world because of it.  If upon reflection you are free from the sin of scandal, good for you!  If not… get thee to confession as soon as possible.

[quote]  “To cheat and to steal are, certainly, not virtuous actions; if we do either, we sin against God, our neighbor, and ourselves; but to give scandal to others is still worse, for this is one of the greatest dangers which can menace a soul.
 Scandal is the evil which we do to others by the bad example that we give them.
A man does wrong, no one knows it; he is guilty in the sight of God; he will lose his own soul if he does not repent.  This is very certain and very lamentable, but at least his example has perverted no one.  But suddenly a man hides his wrong-doing no longer, his evil life becomes known and spoken of, he even speaks of it himself, boasts of it, and appears to glory in a miserable notoriety.  Others, attracted at first by curiosity, begin to make a little circle around him, and to regard him with admiration.  “At all events this man must get some pleasure and excitement out of life!” they begin to say; and thus it follows that the evil which they regarded too closely strikes them, they are gradually overpowered by it; and next we may see them enjoying themselves after the manner of their model; they imitate him, and soon they desire to go still further than he!  This is scandal!
One man offended God; at this hour there are ten, a hundred, a thousand… Death strikes the author of this scandal; he goes to stand before his heavenly Judge and render an account of all those thousand souls lost by his example!
Thus you see how incalculable are the effects of bad example.  How is it possible completely to retrieve a scandal?  We may desire to do it, but often it is quite beyond our power.  Our Lord said, ‘Woe to that man by whom scandal cometh.  It were better for him that a millstone should be hanged around his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.’  He who knows everything, knew well that those who give scandal to their brethren stand upon the brink of their eternal ruin!  But, on the other hand, how happy a thing it is to give a good example!  It is to work in union with God Himself for the salvation of souls.  
 And how great is this power which each one of us possesses!  Consider the case of a young man who has been so unhappy as to give scandal to others by setting them an evil example; if he only examine himself, if he reflect, and consider the terrible account he will have to render, he becomes changed and converted; he was openly wicked, and is now openly a Christian!  His companions ridicule him; he pities them, he advises them to imitate him in his conversion; he sets an example of patience and temperance, of industry and morality, and, in the end, succeeds in saving a great number of those whom he would most certainly have led to destruction.
It is impossible to calculate the immense influence of example.  By means of this all-powerful influence whole families, parishes, schools, and communities are either saved or lost.  I have known a numerous family, worse than indifferent, become a model of religion and fervor, thanks to the holy influence of but one of its members, who, by turning to God with his whole heart, caused the light of faith to shine upon all who surrounded him through the force of example alone.  And I have known another family in which the apostasy of the eldest son led away into heresy a number of his brothers and sisters… How many parishes have been perverted, corrupted to their very centers by the scandal given by one priest!  In a college, in a school, one thoroughly bad child will entice into evil the greater part of his schoolfellows, and if the superiors do not arrest the contagion from its very commencement, by driving this black sheep out of their midst, the whole flock will surely be lost.  And finally, in a State, how incalculable are the evils, which, by a fatal necessity, are always produced by the immorality of a sovereign or by his irreligion!  Now, what is the conclusion to be drawn from all this?  That scandal is an immense evil.  He who has given scandal has but one chance of salvation, and that is by becoming entirely changed and setting a good example to those whom he formerly scandalized.
Human respect will often prove a stumbling-block; but we must gather courage; those who have dared to do evil must also dare to be repentant in the sight of all. [End quote]

We ARE our brother's keeper.

I've learned that each time I go to Confession, I have to very carefully reflect on the sin of scandal and take a good look at my life...sometimes I have more to confess than I first thought.



In Christ,


Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner





Quote Source: The Fountain of Catholic Knowledge – Published by the Office of Catholic Publications in the year 1900 [page 208-210]


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Just because I love it...

I confess, I am a big fan of the music group "One Direction" and when I saw this trending now video of a groom, his nephew and their backup crew sing and dance to "You don't know you're beautiful" (my favorite song by them) to the new bride... well, I just thought it was great.



Love the groom and nephew duo!



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Connecticut Catholic Event

Considering a Vocation to Religious Life? Interested in Learning about life as a Sister?

Spend time in prayer and discernment on a quiet, guided retreat this Advent with the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: December 12-14, 2014 on the beautiful property of Sacred Heart on the Lake in Higganum, CT.  The weekend for Catholic single women age 18-30 includes time for quiet and reflection, the opportunity to meet with a Sister for spiritual guidance, Mass, Eucharistic adoration, and community prayer. For more information contact Sr. Virginia Herbers, ASCJ:vocations@ascjus.org 203-889-0408; or see our website: www.ascjus.org

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Contributor: Paul A. Zalonski
Catholic Connecticut
255 Foxon Hill Road
East Haven, CT 06513-1216 USA
Contact Paul directly: CatholicCT@gmail.com
Follow Paul on Twitter @CatholicCT
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***Paul is the Catholic Events Contributor for Connecticut Catholic Corner***


Thursday, November 20, 2014

The loss of a friend...

My family and I lost a dear friend today that I have known since the day he was born.  Kevin was the son of my mother's best friend, as such we grew up together, sharing holidays, summer vacations and 'play dates'.  Kevin was the baby of his family and is survived by two older brothers and his father.

Sadly, his mother died on this exact date back in 1998 due to brain cancer.  An already hard date for his family and friends just got that much harder.


"Neighbors in Meriden watched in horror late Wednesday night as a house went up in flames with a man inside.
Witnesses said they ran to help, but they couldn't get to 40-year-old Kevin Appell, who was trapped on the second floor of the home, in time to save his life."


Read more: http://www.wfsb.com/story/27435517/police-identify-man-killed-in-meriden-house-fire#ixzz3JdsvIJor
WFSB 3 Connecticut

Besides hearing horrifying news that Kevin was dead, what has been even more horrifying for all of us who loved him, is that people could hear him screaming "Help me! Help me!" and no one could get him out.  He did not die quietly in his sleep unaware of the fire.  He was panicked and trying desperately to get out, but could not.

We are all in a state of shock and deep sorrow over his death.

Prayers for his soul and his family would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Kevin I will always remember you with a smile.  You were one of the few people who could make me laugh until I hurt, bringing tears of pure laughter to my face. I can't imagine you not still in our lives. You leave a huge void in the world, we will miss you all the days of our lives.


In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner



Saturday, November 15, 2014

About what Michael Voris said yesterday...


   On Friday (November 14, 2014) Michael Voris’ “The Vortex” (entitled The Razor’s Edge) was once again devoted to clarifying their position on Pope Francis and the fear running rampant among the faithful because of what is and isn’t coming out of the Vatican.

I am assuming (perhaps wrongly), this Vortex was done because the faithful are still contacting Church Militant TV with their concerns about the Pope and their possible confusion over where exactly Church Militant TV stands on the too often controversial hot topic of Pope Francis and the direction of the Catholic Church under his pontificate.

Here is "The Razor's Edge" from The Vortex: 


I listened to and read this episode of The Vortex over a half a dozen times – I do that quite often with what Church Militant TV produces because I respect them and want to make sure I am clearly hearing exactly what is being said- or in some cases NOT said. 

In “The Razor’s Edge” Voris gives his opinion of only two opposing sides of Catholics (the traditional leaning group who are running in fear over what Pope Francis says, does and seems to allow with his blessing) and the “Church of Nice” crowd- who refuse to admit anything is wrong at all.  Overall, Voris makes excellent points with what he says, my point in writing this is more with what he didn't say and about another side of opposing Catholics who don't fit in the groups he mentions.

Voris says:
“As of now, a careful middle seems to be being carved out – indeed, NEEDS to be carved out - amidst the flurry of hysterical responses from both extremes of the Catholic world – those angry mean-spirited Catholics who populate the ranks of so-called traditionalists – but, and this is VERY IMPORTANT – do NOT, repeat do NOT speak for the vast majority of faithful Catholics – even though they think and act like they do – AND on the other end of the spectrum – those Catholics who simply refuse to report on anything troubling – like recent affairs at the Synod, sugarcoating everything.
Battle lines have been drawn between a subset of traditional-minded Catholics who write and publish venomous screeds against the Pope, and those who pretend Rome is nothing else than a valley of lilies where everything is perfectly fine – denying the reality of what Bishop Athanasius Schneider has rightfully termed – the fourth great crisis in the life of the Church.
Both sides are wrong in their reactions because they each fail to take into account the DIFFERING damage they inflict on various individual Catholics.  Neither approach is – quite frankly “catholic”, meaning universal enough.”


Here I disagree with Voris in two respects.  Yes both sides mentioned are causing damage- though I think the damage they are causing is rather low.  Admittedly, I could be completely wrong on this.  I am sure the folks at Church Militant TV pay far more attention to many of these groups than I do.  

Yet, there is another opposing side of Catholics Voris failed to mention. 

Catholics who are not in the least bit tempted by the "subset of traditional minded Catholics who write and publish venomous screeds against the Pope" to leave the Church or the Church of Nice Catholics who bury their heads in the sand.

There are Catholics who believe the Pope is a legitimate valid pope, though not a very good one- so far at least (we still hold out hope things will improve).

Why do we feel this way?  Because we believe it is Pope Francis himself causing the MOST damage - not the hardcore traditionalists or even the Church of Nice crowd- though it is Pope Francis himself who strengthens the Church of Nice crowd when he says things like "Who am I to judge?".
 
It is Pope Francis’ OWN WORDS AND ACTIONS that are panicking people.  The hardcore traditionalists have been beating their drums for decades and the “Church of Nice” crowd has remained silent on anything and everything for just as long.

The difference now is, the Pope himself.  

Suddenly, the Church of Nice crowd have a pope leading their way to more progressive points of view INSIDE the Church (look at Cardinal Dolan and the upcoming St. Patrick's Day Parade- this is another direct effect of our current Pope on the Church).

The Pope’s words and actions are now lining up with many of the warnings the hardcore traditionalists have been warning about for decades. It's causing some Catholics to contemplate whether or not these hardcore traditionalists are right or not (their not).

So the Pope himself is sending people into the arms of religious groups OUTSIDE the Church.

That is the problem that *I* see and I believe the Vortex has not (and probably will not) address.

Voris has always made it very clear, that he and the folks at Church Militant TV have a deep concern over a SINGLE Catholic leaving the Church because of any sort of confusion or fear. 

Because of this Christian concern, Church Militant TV does their best to tread carefully in what they say and do.

That is commendable and why I have such respect for them.

This Vortex was no different in that respect.  Voris again reiterates the need to STAY IN THE CHURCH regardless of what we see and hear.

I agree completely- though I am very vocal in my distrust of our current Pope (see my sidebar for more on that- specifically those entitled "My Issues with Pope Francis: Part I and II").

One problem is, it is natural human nature to RUN when we feel fear and panic.  Most of us like our comfort zones and get very antsy when we are pushed out of it.

Sadly, Pope Francis IS pushing us out of our comfort zones- and not in any good way that I can see (I truly hope that perhaps one day I see things differently, because I don’t like the fact that I dislike and distrust my own Pope).  The result is fear and panic and for some a hasty exodus from Christ's Holy Catholic Church to something that LOOKS like what they believe is Christ's Holy Catholic Church.

I was not raised a “cradle Catholic”.  I came from outside the Church and personally KNOW how being on the outside has little to offer compare to the fullness of being inside the Church.  There is no man on earth, pope or not, who would make me look outside the Church for anything.  There is only ONE Church that Jesus Christ created on earth- there is no other.  In the words of our first Pope, St. Peter “To whom shall we go?” (John 6:68)

To whom indeed?  There is nowhere else to go.  Hold fast to what Jesus has given us, don’t allow fear to chase you from where our Lord wants you to be.  

We have a “flight or fight” instinct, yet right now too many are in full “flight” mode.  Stop.  Fight back that fear with the trust in our Lord.  He has not abandoned us- he won’t.  It is us who are abandoning Him when we leave His Holy Catholic Church for anything else.

I get it.  

Faithful Catholics are seeking comfort, stability and that homey feeling the Church used to give us, but is too often these days lacking.  I feel it too, but I won’t give in to it by abandoning the gift of the Holy Catholic Church from Christ to us because I don’t particularly like who the current Pope is.  It is MY problem to get over those fears.  It is MY cross to carry, not dump on the ground and go running for something outside the Church that gives me the “warm fuzzies”.  I belonged to the “warm fuzzy” Protestant denominations once upon a time, and I left that for a good reason.  There is no substance to those “warm fuzzies”, the true substance is with staying inside the Catholic Church no matter what.  Don’t be shaken.  Stand firm and trust in Jesus.  Period.

Voris goes on to say:
“This is the position of ChurchMilitant.TV.  We have never said the Pope, or more importantly his prudential decisions or misstatements or off the cuff personal thoughts are beyond the realm of critique.  What we consider simply out of bounds is the name-calling, Pope-bashing response of SOME, important distinction there – SOME, a few, in the more traditional minded crowd.
Here’s the bottom line.  Unless he is speaking directly on a question of faith or morals and makes it binding on all the faithful, whatever the pope says, or for that fact, ANY pope says, or sometimes doesn’t say, carries with it no guarantee of infallibility whatsoever.
THAT is why there exists a reserved set of circumstances in the first place for him to speak infallibly.  If he isn’t speaking in that very narrow set of circumstances, then it shouldn’t be regarded as infallible.”


Personally, I think Voris is dead wrong here.  

The “bottom line” isn’t about the Pope speaking infallibly – the entire world would know if the Pope was speaking infallibly- that would be clear news.  

The “bottom line” in my opinion is “WHO is driving people into a panic so awful that they are abandoning the Catholic Church for 'hardcore traditionalist' groups outside the Church?”  

In my opinion that is Pope Francis himself.  

It’s never (at least in my mind) been about infallible teaching…it’s been about the words and actions of this Pope.  

The ripple effect of “who am I to judge” and washing Muslim women’s feet during Holy week and horrible interviews and his removal of orthodox Bishops from positions inside the Church only to replace them with liberals and so on.  These actions speak VOLUMES to the “bottom line” problem Catholic laity are suffering now and it all points back to Pope Francis himself.

Pope Francis is the author of this storm we are all trying to weather.

With each news day more panic and fear is poured out to the faithful by way of off the cuff comments, liberal priests or heretical speaking Bishops.  See it for what it is…the Church is under attack.  This isn’t new or news.  But it is troubling- especially when the terror rippling across the world is seen as coming from the Vatican.

When our Holy Father FAILS to comfort his children (and let’s face it Pope Francis himself is too often the epicenter of the problems) the fear grows.

We want a Vicar on earth who will comfort us against the storms, not a Vicar who IS the storm.

The problem with that way of thinking is that good and bad Vicars come and go.  It would be WONDERFUL to again have a Vicar of Christ who kept us in our comfort zone, where we felt safe and protected against the evils in the world.  Pope Benedict did that for me.  And because he did, I naively thought ALL popes did that.  I was wrong.  Our comfort should be in our Lord himself.  Jesus sent the Great Comforter to us who will protect His Church against ALL the storms –inside and outside the Church.

Stop running OUT of the Church seeking the Comforter, you won’t find Him there.  He is INSIDE the Church- in Her Truth and official Teachings.  Find your comfort in the ONLY place it truly exists, inside the Holy Catholic Church with Jesus Christ himself.   You won’t find that anywhere else. On that, Michael Voris and I will always agree.



In Christ,



Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Priest: "I am coming out for gay equality because its what Jesus would do."


Openly gay priest, Fr. Gary Meier of the archdiocese of St. Louis speaks out for gay equality but refuses to tell homosexuals that homosexual ACTS are a mortal sin that will lead to eternal damnation.  

He has written books for gay rights and has begun his own gay rights activist outreach program called "Rising Voices of Faith" - don't be fooled, the Catholic Faith is nonexistent in this program.

Father Meier rejects Catholic teaching on homosexuality in favor of Pew polls.

No really...Here is what Father Meier states on his website:

link: http://www.risingvoicesoffaith.com/#!blog1/c13nz

Got that?  

This Catholic priest is teaching that a mortal sin is "a gift from God".




When Pope Francis said "Who am I to judge?" back in 2013, Father Meier said;

"At the very least, perhaps now others will follow the Pope’s lead and be a little less judgmental themselves.  If the only good that comes out of the Pope’s statement is that others will be less judgmental, than that would be a great place to start. For years, members of the LGBT community have been judged and told that they are disordered; that they have a disease like alcoholism; that they are defective in some way; that they are wrong when they should be right, that they are unfit and unworthy of ordination – and today, our Pope seems to be opening the door for what I hope will lead to a conversation about homosexuality in our church.  LGBT Catholics who have come to the church looking for love and acceptance have instead found an atmosphere of silence and shame.  And it’s not just the gay population who suffers, it is all those who have accepted a member of their family and all of those who have allied as friends.  They too have been silenced and shamed, ostracized by a church teaching and hierarchal positioning that will not allow us to support, love, nurture and foster positive gay relationships in our church I am optimistic, that our Pope’s comments can lead to greater love and acceptance of the LGBT community.  And at the same time, I am cautious – cautious that the change in tone and attitude represented by the Pope’s statement will not lead to a change in theology and doctrine which so desperately needs to change." 


Got that?  Another Catholic priest wants theology and Church doctrine to CHANGE so that what God calls mortal sin (homosexual acts) can be redefined as "love" and then allow Catholics (clergy and laity) to "support, love, nurture and foster positive gay relationships in our church."

"positive gay relationships"?

Are those anything like "positive adulterous relationships"?  How about "positive fornicating relationships"?

Where (if at all) do progressive liberals in the Church STOP attempting to redefine sin?  As if God made a mistake and now, after more than two thousand years of the Catholic Church He has decided to fix this teaching so that what was once mortal sin is now 'love'.  

Ridiculous and blasphemous at the same time!

I just can't understand how a priest (presumably well educated) can read Catholic doctrine, the catechism, the Saints, Papal Bulls, encyclicals etc. and yet still come out with this heretical drivel.

That these priests SEEM to believe what they are saying is the most baffling part of it for me.  How can *I*, a mere member of the laity- without the extensive theological education our priests have- see what is wrong with this sort of thinking, and they so oblivious?

Father Meier continues his harmful heretical rhetoric with assorted non-approved gay website links on his "Rising Voices of Faith" website.

But perhaps even more harmful and damaging is Father Gary Meier's personal website where he offers his services to guide and counsel people in HIS beliefs rather than the Church's official teachings.  He also offers to do speaking engagements to spread his heretical beliefs to others.



Why is this allowed?

Does the Bishop approve?

Does Father Meier have the SILENT approval of the Archdiocese of St. Louis?

Looks that way since nothing has been said about Father Meier's personal website offering his services or his gay activist outreach program.

As a matter of fact the only thing the Archdiocese has said has been about Meier's gay book.  

Does that mean they have no problem with his doing speaking engagements and guiding others in his beliefs that oppose Catholic teaching?

Again, it would seem so.



In Christ,


Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


Catechism on homosexuality:

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, 141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 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.
2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.




source: http://www.risingvoicesoffaith.com/
source: http://www.risingvoicesoffaith.com/#!“Gay-Priest-It’s-Time-to-Come-Out”/co43/3
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AX3RrM3wBI
source: http://www.fathergary.com/

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