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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, 203-889-0408; or see our website:


Contributor: Paul A. Zalonski
Catholic Connecticut
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East Haven, CT 06513-1216 USA
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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:
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

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