Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ben at this is an adventure posts a nice account of Father Richard Neuhaus' wake and funeral, complete with a great picture of him enjoying his brandy and cigar. My favorite part was this:

"The church was packed to the brim and every New York Catholic of note was there, it seemed like, interspersed with people who just knew him as “Father Richard, who baptized my son or my daughter,” and had no knowledge of his other work. They seemed amazed to learn what he had achieved."
Another police department has learned from the Marty Tankleff case:

Nassau to videotape interrogations in some cases

Friday, January 16, 2009

Anniversary is coming:

January 18th in history:

336 - Saint Mark elected Catholic Pope

474 - Leo II briefly becomes Byzantine emperor.

1562 - Pope Pius IV reopens the Council of Trent for its third and final session.

1896 - The X-ray machine is exhibited for the first time.

1996 Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson in NY

2003 - Gen X Revert blog is started

Thursday, January 15, 2009

From Fr. Z comes word that the long awaited report is out on the 2005-2006 visitation of all US seminaries. The visitation was one result of the public outrage over priestly molestation of young people (85% were boys). The word is that the situation in the seminaries has improved, something all of us know, but that there are still problems such as:

"an atmosphere that discourages traditional acts of Catholic piety – which begs the question as to whether the faculty’s ideas of spirituality are consonant with Church teaching and tradition.”


"Other points of Church teaching, such as ordination being restricted to men alone, are also questioned. Such a lack of sentire cum Ecclesia is often not overt, but the students receive the message clearly nevertheless. In a few seminaries, and particularly in some some schools of theology run by religious, dissent is widespread.”

Both of these statements should not surprise Catholics who have followed Church stuff over the past couple of decades. The good thing is that as the situation improves, the increase in vocations can be seen, which then has the effect of encouraging more vocations. Fidelity to Church teachings means growth and success, heterodoxy means decline and death. This simple lesson was lost on many over the past 25 years, and even today there are those who dispute it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

George Weigel remembers Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, whose funeral was today, in Newsweek.
Bernard Madoff still free, outraging alleged victims

"A federal judge is refusing to revoke Bernard Madoff’s bail and send the accused Wall Street swindler to jail - angering many of the man’s alleged victims.

“People are outraged because they see Bernie Madoff as the economic equivalent of Adolf Hitler,” said Boston lawyer David Apfel, who represents some of those who lost money in Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

New York attorney Stephen Weiss, who also represents Madoff investors, said he sees “a thirst for blood. . . . There is a feeling (that) folks like Bernard Madoff get a different brand of justice than the guy in the street.”

Feds probe Suffolk hate crimes

"The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that three federal agencies have formally opened a joint investigation into what critics contend were hate crimes against Suffolk County Latinos that never were investigated or were mishandled by police.

The Justice Department's civil rights division, the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District have started the inquiry, said Scot Montrey, a spokesman for the Justice Department's civil rights division."

Better late than never I guess. Now if the feds would get involved with the Marty Tankleff case, maybe Suffolk County would start to become something more than a joke.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fr. Z asks: How Large is the 'fallen away Catholic' denomination?

The comments section has some interesting thoughts on why people fall away from the Catholic Church, an area of interest of mine. I will list some of the things mentioned there:

the Church's 'rules' on divorce and re-marriage

Touchy-feely watered down liturgy, with touchy-feely false teaching got us into this mess

Poor liturgy, apathetic laity, priests that don’t understand their own ordained powers, poor formation, the constant battering of the liberal media, political correctness, even fear of being open about our beloved Faith

sense of sin has evaporated, nothing matters, ‘everybody is right, you are a good person, I’m a good person’

It wasn’t apathy or the lure of the outside world that drove us away from the Church, it was the behavior and the attitude of the clergy and the religious themselves.

The #1 reason may be the overwhelming sense that God is missing in the life of most parishes/Catholic schools.

Lack of attention to transcendence

The comments section has some good thoughts on how to get people to return, some of which may be right or wrong, but the important thing is that Catholics (especially priests) make the attempt. I think the cleansing of the priesthood that really began in 2002 and hopefully is continuing, will help, as well as the reforming of seminaries. The religious communities that are faithful also can inspire Catholics to deepen their faith and practice. Although many people still try to deny it, orthodox thinking, preaching and living is what attracts people and there is plenty of proof of this for those who have ears and eyes.

And to answer the original post's question, inactive or 'former' Catholics make up the second largest 'denomination' in the USA, right behind Catholics.