Saturday, May 03, 2003

I just received a package of books I ordered from Roman Catholic Books. This is a company that publishes “Catholic Classics” and I have been receiving their catalog for awhile and finally decided to try them. They seem to use the same distribution center as Ignatius Press and I received an Ignatius Press catalog with the books so they must have some connection. Roman Catholic Books is more traditionally oriented. The books I have are:

The Nazarene by Eugenio Zolli----Zolli was the chief rabbi of Rome who converted in 1945 and took the name Eugenio in honor of Pope Pius XII. This book looks like a scholarly treatment of the Bible, when thumbing through it I saw lots of strange looking phrases and words in Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew.

The Charitable Anathema by Dietrich Von Hildebrand----This is going to be the most fun and interesting to read. It is a collection of lectures and essays from the man Pope Pius XII called a “20th Century doctor of the Church”. These writings cover 1966-1976 so they cover the beginnings of the problems we are dealing with today. I already read one essay and probably will finish this book quickly.

Return to Tradition by Francis Thornton---- a reproduction of a massive anthology that was first published in 1948. I was looking through the Roman Catholic Books catalog because I wanted to get some real traditional Catholic stuff, and this book was on sale so I knew I had to get it. It contains selections of Catholic authors from 1800-1948 and shows the great Catholic revival of that time. The sections of the book are The English Revival, The French Influence, The Irish Revival, The American Revival, and The Liturgical Revival.

Any Friend of God’s is a Friend of Mine (A biblical and historical explanation of the Catholic doctrine of the Communion of Saints) by Patrick Madrid----This book was on sale for $3.99 LOL. I have bought a few apologetic books like this because, as a cradle Catholic with 16 years of Catholic school education, I need to learn the basics in easy to understand language. I envy the converts (and reverts like Madrid) and appreciate those who write and teach because this stuff went in one ear and out the other in Catholic school. As a movie character once said, “Don’t talk to me about God, I go to Catholic school, God is like our homework.” For cradle Catholics like me, reading apologetics is like finding brand new stuff in your attic, stuff you always had but either never knew it or forgot all about it.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Six Degrees of St. Blogs

The May 2003 issue of Crisis Magazine (not yet online) features an article on seminaries by Rev. Robert Johansen of the Thrown Back blog. This article quotes Todd Reitmeyer of the Musings of a Catholic Seminarian blog. The same issue contains a guest column written by Rev. Bryce Sibley of the A Saintly Salmagundi blog and a letter to the editor praising the previous issue's article on the prison system written by Eve Tushnet of the Eve Tushnet blog.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

When I started this blog I wanted it to be a totally positive place to write about Catholicism. My experience in the Church has personally been nothing but positive. But things are so bad that I have occasionally used this blog to complain or write about the corruption. Here is an article I found from St. Catherine’s Review written by the great Michael S. Rose in 1998. It is interesting to read this article about Mother Angelica and see what has happened since the article was written. Some excerpts followed by my updates:

“For the past few months Mother has been bitterly criticized by members of the Catholic press, bishops, and priests for her public criticism of Cardinal Roger Mahony’s pastoral letter on the liturgy, "Gather Faithfully Together: A Guide for Sunday Mass" (September 4, 1997)”

*Update: Cardinal Mahony has proven to have covered up child molesting priests within his diocese and has lost most of the credibility he may have had. The pedophilia crisis has been exposed in his diocese and his influence is greatly diminished. Thanks be to God for that!

“Bishop Tobin wondered what drives Mother Angelica and others to be so critical of bishops and cardinals of the Church. "Could it be that some members of the Church have become so outspoken, even defiant," he suggested, "because their legitimate complaints about abuses in the Church have not been taken seriously by Church leaders? Their concern about fuzzy teaching or liturgical aberrations have too often been neglected, sometimes even belittled… Church leaders need to address well-founded complaints seriously, or we will continue to see the marginalization of many good people who just care about the spiritual well-being of the Church."

*Update: Church leaders continued to ignore the legitimate complaints about abuses in the Church and the marginalization has exploded. Some of the worst bishops were forced to resign and others have lost all credibility. Thanks be to God for that!

“In 1994, Archbishop Rembert Weakland led the Catholic crusade to rid Milwaukee airwaves of Mother Angelica. Likewise Emil Wcela, auxiliary bishop of Rockville Center led a similar campaign on Long Island, New York. (Weakland’s diocesan newspaper even rejected running a photograph of Mother in an EWTN ad because she was clothed in a traditional habit)”

*Update: Weakland has been exposed as a fraud. He has retired after the public became aware that while trying to silence Mother Angelica and EWTN, Weakland stole $400,000 from the people of his diocese and gave it to his homosexual lover. The lover wanted to make “Christological dramas” with the money. Weakland was replaced by Timothy Dolan and his installation Mass was carried live on EWTN. On Long Island, thousands rallied in support of EWTN and the diocese tv station still carries EWTN but significantly cut down the hours it is shown. The coverup of priestly pedophilia on Long Island by bishops including Bishop Wcela, has been publicly exposed by the Suffolk County Grand Jury Report. Bishop Wcela, a biblical scholar who denies that Jesus actually performed some miracles described in the Bible, was former Bishop McGann’s hand picked successor. Thankfully, McGann’s plan failed and our diocese has been given more faithful bishops from outside the diocese. Thanks be to God for that!

“In January, for instance, Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission reported on a letter sent to Mother Angelica from Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida. Bishop Lynch, former secretary for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote in his November 19, 1997 letter: "I pray that you will cease these personal and vicious attacks on those whom the Successor of Peter has chosen to lead the Church at this time." The bishop added, "you and your network are not helping me in my office as Shepherd, Pastor and Leader”

*Update: Bishop Lynch has since been accused of sexual harassment by a man who worked closely with him. He also has banned perpetual adoration in the St. Petersberg diocese. The Bishop was right though, when he said Mother Angelica and her network were not helping him. Thanks be to God for that!

“In a 1994 interview with Thomas Droleskey of The Wanderer, Mother Angelica "went to great lengths to explain that she loves and prays for the bishops; what angers her is that some of Christ’s shepherds are not faithful to the Holy Father.”

*Update: Dr. Drolesky has since left the Wanderer and is now a traditionalist Catholic who attends the traditional latin mass. He had complained about his parish priest, Msgr. Bud Ribaudo years ago because of the priest’s liturgical abuses and questionable theology. Ribaudo was recently accused of sexual abuse by several men and has been forced out of the active priesthood. Thanks be to God for that!

“Mother Angelica does not attribute her network’s great success to her own talents and persistence—although many others would; she gives all the glory to God, the prayers of her community, and perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at her monastery in Irondale, Alabama. Indeed the two pillars of EWTN’s efforts are profound Eucharistic piety and a great devotion to the Mother of God. Mother’s sisters, brothers and priests are first and foremost contemplatives. Their vocation is to the religious life. Their mission is to bring true Church teaching to the common people through the media.” –Michael S. Rose

*Update: Mother Angelica has since built a brand new monastery for her growing order of nuns. Her order of brothers and priests continue to grow as well. EWTN has continued to grow, both in reach and in influence, and many attribute this fact to the network’s independence. Michael S. Rose has since written a couple of books that exposed more of the corruption in the Church, including one that became a best seller. Thanks be to God for that!

Conclusion--Mother Angelica never covered up child molestation. Michael S. Rose never covered up child molestation. Both have worked hard for the Church and have done great work. The same cannot be said of Weakland, Mahoney and Wcela. That is why I will continue to focus on the Angelicas and Roses of the Church rather than the corrupt figures.
"The Crisis in the Catholic Church: The Anatomy of a Scandal" a lecture/panel discussion with audience participation.
Main speaker: Father Richard J. Neuhaus, Editor, First Things
Primary Discussants: James Kelly, Professor of Sociology at Fordham University and David Gregory, Professor of Law at St. John's University

When: Friday, May 9th at 9:30 A.M. to about noon

Where: Nassau Community College, Garden City, New York, 11530, the Multipurpose Room of the College Center Building (CCB)(next to the Tower)
Note: free of any charge, all are welcome; light breakfast items to be available at 9 A.M.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Homiletic and Pastoral Review magazine had a good letter from someone making fun of rationalists who try to explain away the miracles of the Bible. Since the magazine does not have a website, I may post the letter here when I have the time to type it all. Fr. Groeschel tells a good story of a Baptist minister with a teenage son reading the story of Moses parting the Red Sea. The know-it-all son tells the father that really what happened was a natural drying up of the Sea, a special extra low tide, and that there was only 6 inches of water so the Jews could cross. The minister shouts out “What a miracle! Praise the Lord!”. The son is incredulous “What miracle? This was a rare but natural occurrence perfectly explained by science”. The minister shouts “The whole Egyptian army drown in 6 inches of water! Praise the Lord for this miracle!”.
More good news from the local Church-
1) I just found out a former priest of our parish, who was assigned to us after graduating from the seminary 6 years ago, has just been assigned to teach moral theology at the seminary. I wasn’t reverted when he was at our parish but from what I remember he is a pretty good priest, like most younger priests, he seems orthodox. He will replace the awful priest that spoke on human sexuality at our parish recently. Maybe they won’t have to shut that place down after all.
2) Bishop Murphy has released a pastoral letter that sounds very good. He talks about the need for everyone to celebrate Liturgy according to the rubrics. I have never heard this type of talk from a Bishop in this diocese in my life! He also points out how Sundays have become like any other day and how we should start to make the Sabbath holy again. This is an important message and a good start for this Bishop.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Now for something completely different

The blog Catholic And Loving It! is a fun read. The blogger is a Catholic student in the UK which is another name for Great Britain which is another name for England. It's an old country so they have a lot of names. Fortunately, due to years of watching PBS Britcoms such as Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances and Monty Python, I am able to understand the exotic language on this blog. For example, "apologise" would mean apologize in American. Also "mum" would equal "mom" here. "Queue" would mean a line, or to line up. They should just use line because it is easier to spell. And "pub" means "bar". The "Super Monkey Ball 2" referred to is not familiar to me but I imagine it is like cricket, but with monkeys. With these translating skills of mine, perhaps I should be at the UN or ICEL.