(LifeSiteNews.com) - The United States Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a Utah city can display the Ten Commandments in a public park without giving quarter to a different religious viewpoint.
In a landmark 9-0 decision, the Court ruled that the City of Pleasant Grove, Utah, need not accommodate the demands of a small religious sect known as the Summum, who sued the city for rejecting a monument of the religion's "Seven Aphorisms" for display in the same park.
The sect had earlier convinced an appeals court that their free speech was violated by the city council's rejection, which had cited a requirement that park displays be related to city history or be donated by groups with longtime community ties. The Summum were founded in Salt Lake City in 1975.
"It is hard to imagine how a public park could be opened up for the installation of permanent monuments by every person or group wishing to engage in that form of expression," wrote Justice Samuel Alito in the Supreme Court's decision.
The decision to uphold Pleasant Grove's right to display the Commandments could have widespread impact suggest commentators...
read full story here
Thursday, February 26, 2009
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The future of Bishop Williamson remains unclear. He has been fired from his post at the SSPX seminary in Argentina. He has been silenced from speaking on secular matters by the superior general of the SSPX. He has been given until the end of February to repent before being expelled from the SSPX. The Holy Father (Pope Benedict XVI) has demanded that he repent before he can be fully received into communion with the Catholic Church. He has been expelled from his home in Argentina, and is currently seeking refuge in the UK, where he may be extradited by the German thought police for "hate crimes." (Remember, free speech is not protected in Germany.) He has been vilified in the worldwide news media as an Anti-Semite and a hate monger. His unfair trial by media has permanently stained his reputation. (Remember, Holocaust denial doesn't necessarily mean you "hate" people. It could just mean you're an idiot. It would seem the latter is more true of Bishop Williamson.) I would imagine there are probably enough people in the world who would like to harm him that his very physical safety is in danger. In the midst of all this, Bishop Williamson issues the following public apology....
The Holy Father and my Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy.To the leftist Europeans driving this whole scandal, no apology would be sufficient. For the rest of us, we must ask, how much is enough? 'The Catholic Knight' is no defender of Bishop Williamson or his views. However, as offensives as his comments were, I must admit that Holocaust denial is not heresy, even if it is stupidity, and as far as motivations are concerned, nobody has been able to prove this man had malicious intent when he made those comments.
Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.
On Swedish television I gave only the opinion (..."I believe"..."I believe"...) of a non-historian, an opinion formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available and rarely expressed in public since. However, the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St. Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said before God I apologise.
As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.
London, 26 February 2009.
Is this apology enough? I would say it's a good step in the right direction, but his journey of repentance is not yet complete. I think Bishop Williamson should be given the opportunity to redeem himself, and that can't happen if the leftist Europeans have their way, or the German thought police get a hold of him. I think Bishop Williamson would be wise to visit the United States and apply for citizenship, where he cannot be easily extradited for "thought crimes" by the modern German gestapo. Here in the USA he could continue is research into the facts surrounding the Holocaust, and eventually make some act of contrition toward the large Jewish community in New York. Unlike European leftists, the American people can be very forgiving, when approached in the right way, and this applies to American Jewry as well. If Bishop Williamson is reading this, and there is a good chance he (or one of his assistants) might be, consider it an invitation.
For those who don't understand the whole Bishop Williamson affair, let me sum it up by saying that the man is a conspiracy theorist. He's bought into several conspiracy theories, and the problem with conspiracy theories is they often implicate some kind of person, or people, as a scapegoat. Occasionally these scapegoats are justified, and there is a hint of truth to their conspiracy. Sometimes these scapegoats are not justified, and they end up victimizing innocent people unfairly. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories often find it difficult to distinguish between true and false scapegoats. As a result, innocent people can get hurt. In this case, Bishop Williamson appears to have subscribed to multiple conspiracy theories, some of which involved Jews, and because of that he made hurtful comments on a Swedish television station, in which he denied the size and scope of the Holocaust. Bishop Williamson need only repent of one thing to correct this matter. He needs to repent of his tendency to subscribe to conspiracy theories that don't have sufficient evidence to stand on their own. By doing this, he would automatically repent of the conspiracy theory surrounding the Holocaust, and that would put him in a good position to explain his folly and make contrition toward those whom it has harmed.
It's easy to want to "hate" this man, and wish to dispose of him as some sort of human garbage. That attitude is not consistent with Christianity, nor is it consistent with Judaism mind you, and I think both Christians and Jews owe it to our respective faiths to give this man another chance. He's already taken his first step in the right direction, which indicates a desire to change, and he needs to be given the opportunity to allow this repentance to fully manifest. Let us pray for him, not crucify him.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
(CWNews.com) - A key Vatican official has called for "bold and courageous" decisions to address liturgical abuses that have arisen since the reforms of Vatican II.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: This public call for the pope's intervention may very well be the precursor to some action. I suspect the pope has already planned for this and is prepared to act.
Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, cites a flawed understanding of Vatican II teachings and the influence of secular ideologies are reasons to conclude that-- as then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said in 1985-- "the true time of Vatican II has not yet come." Particularly in the realm of the liturgy, Archbishop Ranjith says, "The reform has to go on."
read full story here
Thursday, February 19, 2009
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The gauntlet has been thrown, and the fight is on! There are two doctrines at stake here, but only one truth. On the left, we have the "Cafeteria Catholicism" of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who accurately represents the views of most Catholic members in the U.S. Congress, as well as a sizable number of American Catholics in general. On the right, we have Pope Benedict XVI, who represents the established orthodoxy of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Each person espouses a different Catholicism, and the whole world it watching.
It has been revealed that Speaker Pelosi had a private meeting with her own bishop on February 8 of this year. During that meeting, Archbishop Niederauer reminded her of the clear teaching of the Church on human life, and that Catholic politicians are not permitted to oppose it in either word or action. Having not gotten the answer she wanted, she went directly to the top, and inquired of the pope instead in a closed door meeting. From the Holy Father she received the exact same response, and was lectured for no less than 15 minutes on the responsibilities of Catholic politicians toward protecting the sanctity of human life. The Vatican released a statement giving a brief description of the meeting. Pelosi's press office also released a statement in which she failed to mention a word about the most important topic of the meeting - human life. It would appear that the Speaker intends to continue espousing her own views on this matter, and voting accordingly, regardless of what she was told by the pope and her bishop.
So just what are Speaker Pelosi's views on abortion? Let's let her explain herself in her own words...
Speaker Pelosi is playing a dangerous game, but she knows that if she wins, the established orthodoxy of the Catholic Church will be suppressed for at least a generation or two. Nobody old enough to remember this event will survive long enough to see it's undoing. Pelosi's version of American style Cafeteria Catholicism will have won the day, having defeated the Successor of Peter, and imposed it's own "orthodoxy" on the worldwide Church. How will she do it? Simple. All she has to do is NOT get excommunicated. All she has to do is REMAIN within the Church. So long as she continues to hold to her heretical position on abortion, and the leaders of the Church are unwilling to back their words with action, she wins. If she continues with this charade indefinitely, she will have demonstrated to all Americans, and Catholics throughout the world, that the faithful need not adhere to the Church's teachings on the sanctity of life. Any Catholic anywhere can support abortion-on-demand, and the bishops of the Church will be powerless to do anything about it. Even the pope of Rome will have to look the other way.
There is however, a lot more at stake than just that. Even if the pope, or her local bishop, finally decides to excommunicate her, she still has one card up her sleeve, and that is the issue of fairness. If she alone is excommunicated, and other politicians like her are not, she can claim the whole thing is all a political stunt, designed by the pope and/or her bishop to interfere in American politics. In other words, she's got a way to undermine the hierarchy even if they do the right thing by ejecting her from the Church. By claiming her excommunication is just a political stunt, she is effectively saying it's invalid, and thereby reasserting her previous position that it's okay for a Catholic to hold to a "pro-choice" stand. How can she do this? Simple. She can do it by simply pointing to her fellow Catholic politicians, who also happen to be "pro-choice" on abortion, but have not yet been excommunicated. Why was she excommunicated, and not them? Nothing could explain this other than a political stunt, and therein lies the rub. She's got the Church cornered, and she knows it. One way or another, the authority of the Church will soon be undermined in the worst way possible.
However, there is a way out, and it happens to be the right way. All the pope needs to do is insist, through official edict of the highest order, that the established law of the Church be enforced, and all pro-abortion Catholic politicians be excommunicated immediately. They can be given the customary thirty days to repent before the excommunication takes effect, but once it does, it has to be real and substantive. Speaker Pelosi, and her "pro-choice" Catholic gang in the U.S. House of Representatives have already been sufficiently warned. We could say the same of the U.S. Senate. Their excommunications should be immediate, and the pope himself should issue them.
If the Church takes some kind of action similar to that described above, it would be very difficult for Pelosi to counter with a credible argument. She could claim it was all a political stunt, but it's unlikely that anyone would believe her. It would also send shock waves through the whole Catholic world and beyond. Everybody would know that every single "pro-choice" Catholic member of the U.S. Congress has been excommunicated. The same would be trickling down to every state congress, as well as county and city governments. "Pro-choice" laity, not involved in politics, would certainly have their eyes opened and suddenly, people would start taking the Church's teaching on life seriously again.
Only God knows what will happen next. For now the pro-life teachings of the Church are viewed as little more than a paper tiger. Speaker Pelosi is calling the pope's bluff, and her gang of "pro-choice" Catholic politicians are ready to pass the "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA) to back her up.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Pope Benedict XVI (while Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) clearly stated the nature of the Second Vatican Council was pastoral, as the council defined no doctrine infallibly, and sought to maintain a lower profile than previous ecumenical councils....
The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.This echoes the words of Pope Paul VI, who concluded the Second Vatican Council, and also stated it was purely pastoral in nature, having not applied the "note of infallibility" to any particular document....Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVIgiven July 13, 1988, in Santiago, Chile
In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document.So why is this important? Well, ever since the close of the council, and the institution of the new mass five years later, many Catholics have treated the Second Vatican Council as if it were the definitive explanation of Catholicism for our time. They treat it as if all the previous Church councils were rendered obsolete or somehow irrelevant. In fact, according to Pope Paul VI and Pope Benedict XVI, the Second Vatican Council holds a lesser place in history than the First Vatican Council, or the Council of Trent, etc. Why? Because these councils clearly exercised the note of infallibility, defining doctrine in no uncertain terms. In effect, they were doctrinal councils, of the highest importance. While Vatican II was merely pastoral, outlining the desire for new methods and standards, but in no way defining new doctrine or exercising infallibility. Catholics need to understand this. THE CHURCH DID NOT CHANGE WITH VATICAN II. The Second Vatican Council MUST be interpreted in the greater context of the Church's previous two councils, which according to the popes, hold a higher place in history.Pope Paul VIGeneral Audience, 12 January 1966
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The Holy Father has PERSONALLY issued what could be interpreted as a FINAL WARNING to US Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all US Catholic politicians. Oppose abortion, and support the development of human life in all it's stages - or else. I suspect after this we may not see any more Vatican warnings. Apparently the pope spent about 15 minutes lecturing Speaker Pelosi on this issue....
From the Vatican...Speaker Pelosi gave no indication today that anything the pope said got through to her...
Following the General Audience the Holy Father briefly greeted Mrs Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, together with her entourage.
His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development....
From Speaker Pelosi's Press Office...
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today following a meeting at the Vatican with his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI:
“It is with great joy that my husband, Paul, and I met with his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI today.
“In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church's leadership in fighting poverty, hunger, and global warming, as well as the Holy Father's dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel.
“I was proud to show his Holiness a photograph of my family's Papal visit in the 1950s, as well as a recent picture of our children and grandchildren.”
Monday, February 16, 2009
We are currently in the early stages of this chapter in Church history, which began quietly about a decade before the Second Vatican Council. This is when the first inkling of a problem began. It was perhaps the vague and generalized nature of the Second Vatican Council itself that gave rise to the Modernist takeover of the Church in the years following it's conclusion. This found it's apex achievement in the new "ordinary form" of the mass known as the Missal of Pope Paul VI. In it's most pure form, when celebrated properly, according to the rubrics of the previous form (Missal of Saint Pius V), the new ordinary isn't too bad. It has within it the potential to rise to the level of it's predecessor. However, that isn't how things played out. What followed the introduction of the new ordinary was four decades of liturgical innovation and abuse. Along with the reinvention of the liturgy came the reinvention of Catholicism, and that included a new Catholic doctrine taught by clergy, religious and theologians, which was never approved by the Vatican. Lex orandi, lex credendi. "The law of prayer is the law of faith." As the liturgy was transformed, so was the faith of Catholics all over the world, to the point where each region had it's own particular nuance of faith and sense of entitlement.
The pontificate of John Paul II was strong on orthodox teaching, but weak on practical administration, and the fact that it lasted 27 years was both a blessing and a curse to the development of the post conciliar Church. What Pope Benedict XVI inherited was a mess, and a schism waiting to happen. Naturally, when Benedict matched practical administration with orthodox teaching, the reaction by the mainstream Church was visceral. The schism once hidden from view, was now brought to light for all the world to see. Traditional and orthodox Catholics hailed the decisions of Benedict with adulation, while modernist and liberal Catholics greeted them with disdain. Benedict's motu prorprio (Summorum Pontificum), which liberalized usage of the Missal of Saint Pius V as the "extraordinary form" of the mass, set the stage for the Modernist Rebellion of the early 21st century. Initially, some Modernist priests and bishops threatened immediate schism if the pope so dared to liberalize the celebration of the previous missal. Those threats turned out to be idle, or at least premature. What followed was nearly two years of scheming for a way they could break with Rome and make it look like it was the pope's fault.
The opportunity presented itself in two ways in the early days of 2009. In January, Pope Benedict XVI graciously lifted the excommunications of four bishops illicitly ordained by traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988 for his "Priestly Fraternal Society of Saint Pius X" (or SSPX). Shortly thereafter, he appointed Father Gerhard Maria Wagner to the office of Bishop for the Diocese of Linz in Austria. There were only two problems. One of the bishops of the SSPX, Bishop Richard Williamson, who's excommunication was lifted, happened to be a Holocaust denier, and Father Wagner referred to Hurricane Katrina as God's punishment upon the immorality of New Orleans. While Father Wagner's controversial comments are at least understandable when you look at it a certain way, Bishops Williamson's Holocaust denial is inexcusable on so many levels. Naturally, the pope reacted with shock, as he was previously unaware of Bishops Williamson's beliefs on this matter. However, it should be pointed out that even if the pope did know, it would have had little bearing on the decision to lift the excommunications, since the excommunications themselves were over procedural matters, having nothing to do with private beliefs held by those excommunicated. Still, the whole thing looked bad, and indeed it was planned to work that way. It now appears that the whole thing was carefully crafted by a Vatican insider disloyal to the pope. The Swedish television interview, in which Bishop Williamson made the remarks was taped on the 1st of November in 2008, but kept on ice until the day the pope officially signed the document lifting the excommunications. This happened on the 21st of January in 2009, but the pope would not announce this to the public until the 24th of January. The Swedish interview was aired on the 21st, just hours after the document was signed, and only a select few would have known about it's signing. The idea here being that Swedish television would have three full days to air the dirty laundry of Bishop Williamson, only for the public to hear the news about the pope lifting his excommunication immediately afterward.
The pope demanded Bishop Williamson recant his remarks on the Holocaust, while the Superior General of the SSPX fired him from his seminary job, and silenced him from public speaking on any matter related to the Holocaust. That wasn't good enough for the secular Modernists in Europe, who immediately called for the pope's resignation. Jewish groups in Europe were eventually satisfied by the pope's way of dealing with the problem, but Modernist Catholics continued the full assault anyway - just to keep the story going in the news cycle. One modernist theologian (Hans Kung) actually suggested that American President Barack Obama, a militant supporter of abortion-on-demand, would make a better pope than Benedict XVI. This was followed by the open rebellion of the Diocese of Linz against the papal appointment of Father Wagner, causing the priest to request that his appointment be withdrawn. From this point on, various cardinals and bishops began posturing themselves for the eminent schism about to take place in the Roman Catholic Church, the likes of which not scene since the Protestant Rebellion nearly five-hundred years ago. The future of this schism is not yet known. Perhaps if we're lucky it will be small. If not it may become another mass exodus from the Catholic Church.
(Telegraph) - Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has refused to allow Archbishop Raymond Burke, one of the Vatican's most senior prelates, to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass at Westminster Cathedral in June, according to authoritative reports.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: As the Modernist Rebellion goes into full swing, the latest episode involves an English cardinal, and one of the pope's most favored archbishops. His Excellency Raymond Burke, former Archbishop of Saint Louis, and current Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, is widely known to celebrate the extraordinary form of the mass upon invitation, and was instrumental in the implementation of the pope's motu proprio liberalizing it's use. So Carindal Murphy-O'Conner's withdraw of the invitation, for Burke to celebrate the extraordinary form at Westminster, should not be seen as anything personal toward Burke, but rather a direct stab at Pope Benedict XVI. The cardinal's actions are designed to make a statement here. The pope is under attack by Modernists all over Europe, and around the world, for just about every little thing imaginable now. This is becoming a full scale revolt the likes of which not seen since the Protestant Reformation nearly five-hundred years ago. Cardinal Murphy-O'Conner is posturing himself, and his diocese to stand against this pope, and with the Modernists. Until the cardinal clarifies his action in a credible and reasonable way, that's how it should be interpreted.
The Latin Mass Society had asked Archbishop Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and a former Archbishop of St Louis, to celebrate its annual solemn Mass. He had accepted. Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, who is the bishop of Westminster Cathedral, has now reportedly forced the LMS to rescind the invitation.
Archbishop Burke, one of the Pope's right-hand men, is now welcome to take part in the ceremony but not to celebrate, I gather. This news is hardly credible - yet I have it on impeccable authority. I'm profoundly dismayed that the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales should take this step, at a time when Pope Benedict's enemies are trying to sabotage his liturgical reforms....
read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: What Pope John Paul II referred to as the "silent apostasy" within the Church in Europe, is not so silent anymore. The bishops of Austria are now in open revolt against Pope Benedict XVI, having successfully repelled his appointment of Father Wagner as bishop to the Diocese of Linz, they now propose to "help" the pope in his bishop selecting process to make sure he is following the proper procedures of canon law.
THIS CANNOT BE TOLERATED!!! The Bishops of Austria are now in open rebellion against the pope. If Benedict backs down from this, the authority of his papacy will be compromised in Europe permanently. He'll go down in history as a weak pope, who let the "tyranny of relativism" walk all over him. The office of the papacy itself will be significantly weakened in Europe. The Holy Father MUST put down this open rebellion as soon as possible, before the damage is irreversible. Not since the Protestant Reformation nearly five-hundred years ago as there been such widespread and open rebellion in the Catholic Church.
PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE AUSTRIAN BISHOPS
The Austrian diocesan bishops gathered on Monday to search in common prayer to discuss the events in the last days which have caused worry and anger inside and outside the church. We owe to the people a word of clarification, but also want to express the hope that as with every crisis there are opportunities. This can for us as a church only mean that we focus on Christ and be open. Our talk of God must always also be a talk about people. For the interaction in the church, this means that we better listen to one another, to be able to see together "the signs of the times" with the eyes of faith. Thereby the church can serve all people.
1. The first word applies to the faithful, who share with the bishops the distress of a crisis, and yet have showed full confidence. The faithful have had to experience some criticism, even ridicule and rejection caused in part by errors in the church. Many people in this situation proved their loyalty and their love for the Church . We thank the many people who prayed, so the church endure and offer the people the blessings of God. We thank the bishops priests and deacons for their support of the episcopate,that it should be a aervant of unity. We thank the many major office holders and volunteers, who work generously for parishes, for young people, for the suffering, for the sick, for people in any emergency, and who strengthen a caring society. The thanks apply also to the many people in Austria, in different proximity or distance, trust that the Church has dealt with this difficult situation.
2. The Catholic Church in Austria is the largest community of our country and are part of the worldwide community of the Catholic Church. This involves actual communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Saint Peter. Just as we bishops know the loyalty of the faithful, we want to show our attachment to the Pope in the serious and stressful situations for him show our commitment - this is an expression of loyalty, which is precisely in difficult times has to be maintained. This attachment is also a inseparable element of Catholic identity.
3. In this context , we also want to make has statement about the "repeal of excommunication” for the four bishops illegally consecrated in 1988. Pope Benedict XVI has unequivocally stated that the Lefebvrist Bishop Richard Williamson has disqualified himself by the denial of the Shoah and that he must clearly take back in public his untenable denial of mass murder of the Jewish people. The measure of the "lifting of the excommunication" by the Pope is a hand outstretched to those who are separated from the church. It follows that in no case can these four bishops automatically hold office in the Catholic Church. Rather, the Lefebvriast community must give a clear signal on their part that they take this outstretched hand, and actually seek reconciliation. The prerequisite is of course, the unconditional acceptance of the Second Vatican Council. We hope that the inadequate communication processes in the Vatican will also be successfully improved so that the worldwide service of the Pope does not suffer damage.
4. There were questions of communication also in the recent appointment of a suffragan bishop for the Diocese of Linz. The bishops are aware that Fr Wagner asked the Pope to withdraw the appointment. The theme of Episcopal appointments is therefore important because since the mid-eighties in Austria it has been associated with a number of problems. For many, the controversy over episcopal appointments led to the painful conflict, and they have triggered splits in the church,. It is precisely in this area sensitivity is most appropriate. There is no question that the Pope is free to appoint bishops. The bishops do not want to go back in time where - as in 1918 - the Emperor alone chose the bishops. Even a "people's choice" of the bishops would divide the church into parties and conflicts would be inevitable. We bishops are convinced that the procedure provided for in canon law for the selection and the examination of candidates has proved its worth, if this procedure is really followed. Then before the Holy Father takes the final decision, reliable and thoroughly tested basic information must be provided on which he can rely. In Austria in the next few years a number of bishops are to be appointed. The faithful are legitimately concerned that the process of candidate search, examination of the proposals and the final decisions should be carefully undertaken and with pastoral sensitivity are possible. This can ensure that bishops are appointed who are not "against" but "for" a local church. We bishops will make every possible effort to support the forthcoming episcopal appointments in the sense of monitoring these procedures in close cooperation with the relevant Vatican offices.
5. It is a highly desirable sign of the unity in the church if the appointment of a bishop for the faithful means joy and encouragement. Despite reservations, it is possible ina good human and Christian atmosphere, to greet a newly appointed bishop with good will. It is also expected that a bishop will meet the faithful with sensitivity and thus win their confidence.
6. The situation in the vast diocese of Linz makes the bishops worry - this even after the resignation of Father Gerhard Wagner. There is much good news from this diocese, which is often too little seen, even if some problems should be mentioned. Upper Austria has a very vibrant church, with a dense network of active parishes and pastoral centers, a keen sense of the social dimension of the Christian faith, provides great help in the solidarity in the worldwide church with the poor and marginalized. Major monasteries and religious communities dominate the country. Catholic lay organizations are especially active. We also moved as bishops that in the Diocese of Linz once again there has been significant tension with the recent appointment. It is not just about differences of opinion in terms of structures and methods, but ultimately the question of sacramental identity of the Catholic Church. This especially this concerns the ordination for priests and deacons in relation to the general priesthood of all the baptized. The pastoral path can only be followed which is in accordance with the worldwide church. For all differences, this path of the church persevering in prayer and in conversation with the universal Church should be undertaken on the basis of the Second Vatican Council.
7. Trusting in God's help , we will overcome the crisis of recent weeks. But we must learn from the events and from the mistakes see the proper consequences for the future. Without ignoring other pending issues, we will again draw near primarily to the centre of faith. That means beholding Christ, who does not desert his church and whose word and deeds must be a measure of our words and our deeds. During this time, the major economic problems and the problems of day-to-day existence continue, Christians should have hands, heart and brain free for the task of living the Gospel and to pass the Good News to all people. To this end we ask at the intercession of Mary, the Magna Mater Austriae, the blessing of God the Father, the power of Jesus Christ and the light of the Holy Spirit.
Archbishop Christoph Cardinal SCHÖNBORN
Diocesan Bishop Egon KAPELLARI
Diocesan Bishop Klaus KÜNG
Military Bishop Christian WERNER
Diocesan Bishop Paul IBY
Diocesan Bishop Alois SCHWARZ
Diözesanbischof Ludwig SCHWARZ
Diocesan Bishop Manfred SCHEUER
Diocesan Bishop Elmar FISCHER
(AFP) — Visiting US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have an audience with Pope Benedict XVI during her weeklong visit to Italy, a Vatican official said Monday.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Well it looks like Speaker Pelosi is off to Rome to give the pope a piece of her mind - if she can spare it. Seriously, I would love to be a fly on the wall during this meeting. The Holy Father has a perfect opportunity to lay it all out for her while she's there. I understand some conservative Catholic groups have already sent files to Rome ahead of her arrival, informing the Vatican of her anti-Catholic rhetoric and voting record. Personally, I would like to see the meeting conclude with the pope handing Pelosi her excommunication papers, but I suspect he's far more likely to use it as an opportunity to lobby against passage of the 'Freedom of Choice Act' (FOCA). I do hope however, he will at least make it clear to her that voting for this legislation will result in her formal excommunication, and the excommunication of every Catholic member of Congress who joins her in this.
The meeting will take place on Wednesday, the official told AFP, saying it would likely occur after the pope's weekly general audience.
Pelosi, who describes herself as an "ardent" Catholic while advocating reproductive rights, will be the highest-ranking US official to see the pope since President Barack Obama took office last month.
The new Democratic administration is at odds with the Vatican over abortion, stemcell research and other bioethical issues.
Senior Vatican officials slammed Obama's rapid overturning of a ban on US government funding for family planning groups around the world that carry out or facilitate abortions....
read full story here
Of course there is always the possibility that Speaker Pelosi, filled with pride after last November's election victory, will use this opportunity to inform the pope that the American people have spoken, and he had better get on board with the agenda of this new messiah - President Barack Obama - or face being left behind in irrelevancy. Maybe she'll even seize on the moment to lecture the pope about the "folly" of his recent act lifting the SSPX excommunications after the Holocaust denial of Bishop Williamson. Maybe she'll even go so far as to instruct the pope on how better to manage the Catholic Church by allowing the ordination of female clergy and the use of artificial birth control.
As for what she would like to say, one can only wonder. It is far more likely however, that she'll play the role of a "good little Catholic girl," by donning the chapel veil upon entering the Vatican, bowing to kiss the Holy Father's ring, and graciously nod to everything he tells her. Then she'll come back to America only to continue her reign of terror and promptly do everything she can to undermine the pope and the Catholic faith he represents.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Many of the faithful are aware of the opposition which the Holy Father has faced in his efforts to reconcile the Society of Pius X. The current pressure from the media and others seems to not only threaten Pope Benedict’s work with SSPX. It also seems as though some would like to see it work as a means to undermine his very teaching and governing authority for his pontificate.
Given these oppositions which the Holy Father faces; given the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter's particular role in working as a bridge for those who have grown apart from the Church in the last forty years; finally, given that we hold St. Peter as our patron and have a particular attachment to his successor, the Fraterniy of St. Peter has asked all of its the members to offer increased prayers at this time for strength for Pope Benedict XVI.
A good number of priests and seminarians have contacted the General House to ask if the Fraternity could have particular prayers offered for this intention. All the members of the Fraternity are being asked to offer the following novena beginning on February 14 and concluding on the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. All the faithful in the Apostolates are encouraged to join in these prayers and that the Masses on that Sunday (Quinquagesima) would be offered for this intention as well.Novena for the Pope:
Pater Noster, 3 Ave Maria, Gloria Patri
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory be.
V. Orémus pro Pontífice nostro Benedícto.
V: Let us pray for our Pope Benedict.
V. Tu es Petrus.
V. Thou art Peter,
Let us Pray,
Mater Ecclésiæ, ora pro nobis.
V. Mother of the Church. R. Pray for us
Friday, February 13, 2009
(LifeSiteNews.com) - The dissident, leftist movement in the Catholic Church over the last forty years has severely undermined the teaching of the Catholic Church on the moral teachings on life and family, a prominent US Orthodox rabbi told LifeSiteNews.com. Rabbi Yehuda Levin, the head of a group of 800 Orthodox rabbis in the US and Canada, also dismissed the accusations that the Holy See had not sufficiently distanced itself from the comments made by Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) on the Holocaust.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Thank God for good rabbis like this! Here we have an observer from outside the Church, watching us from the outside in. What does he see? He sees the exact same thing I've been warning about on this blog. Conservative and Traditional Catholics have been clamoring about it for years. Pope Benedict XVI has been faithfully resisting it since his days as Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for Doctrine and Faith. The Church is under attack, from the inside out, by leftist liberals (i.e. Modernists) who seek to undermine everything the Church represents and overthrow what makes the Church great. Now what those of us inside the Church have been warning for years, has finally become visible to those outside the Church. Rabbi Levin is a good man, a leader in the Jewish world. Obviously, he understands the religious values taught by the Torah, which is the legal foundation of our own Catholic religion, and he knows that our falling away hurts everyone.
"I support this move" to reconcile the traditionalist faction in the Church, he said, "because I understand the big picture, which is that the Catholic Church has a problem. There is a strong left wing of the Church that is doing immeasurable harm to the faith."
Rabbi Levin said that he understands "perfectly" why the reconciliation is vital to the fight against abortion and the homosexualist movement.
"I understand that it is very important to fill the pews of the Catholic Church not with cultural Catholics and left-wingers who are helping to destroy the Catholic Church and corrupt the values of the Catholic Church." This corruption, he said, "has a trickle-down effect to every single religious community in the world."
"What's the Pope doing? He's trying to bring the traditionalists back in because they have a lot of very important things to contribute the commonweal of Catholicism.
"Now, if in the process, he inadvertently includes someone who is prominent in the traditionalist movement who happens to say very strange things about the Holocaust, is that a reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater and start to condemn Pope Benedict? Absolutely not....
read full story here
The leftists within the Church have now formed an unholy alliance with the leftists outside the Church, in an attempt to bring down Pope Benedict XVI and the work he is doing to restore orthodoxy and orthopraxy to modern Catholicism. They've tried to paint him as an anti-Semite. They characterized high ranking officials in the Vatican as incompetent boobs. They focused on the comments of Bishop Williamson like a laser beam, in an attempt to make every member of the SSPX look like an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory nut case. They capitalized on the suffering of the Jewish people in the Shoah (Holocaust); using them, deceiving them, and manipulating them, to do their bidding. Causing them to doubt the pope's sincerity, and in some cases attack his character.
This latest attack against the Holy Father MUST be the final straw! We cannot allow this to go on any longer. The leftist liberal (Modernist) wing of the Catholic Church MUST be dealt with. Its now come down to the survival of the religion itself. Let us first pray for the leftist Catholics, and after that let us call for their repentance. Simultaneously, let us also call for their excommunication if they will not repent. The Church has spent 40 years tolerating this generation of half-hearted liberal Catholics who could care less about the message of the Gospel, and more about their legacy of "changing the world."
Thursday, February 12, 2009
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I thought it only appropriate to write this on the 200th anniversary of the 16th president's birthday. Did you ever wonder why Abraham Lincoln is considered a "founding father" even though he became president about eighty years after the American Revolution? I'll tell you why. Lincoln is considered by many to be a "founding father" because the original United States of America died under his presidency, and was remade into something else because of it.
In my opinion as a student of history, Abraham Lincoln was hands down the WORST PRESIDENT the United States ever had, and quite possibly he may be the worst President the United States will ever have. Why? Well let me give you a modern illustration just to demonstrate.
Suppose a current president, like Barack Obama for example, were faced with a crisis of California, Oregon and Washington state seceding from the Union. The three states making up the entire West Coast declared their independence, and two of them did so by popular vote of the people. The third was scheduling an election for later that year, but already declared independence by an act of the legislature, and polls indicated the overwhelming majority of people supported it. These three states form a compact and create the 'Republic of Cascadia" (in reference to the Cascade Mountains that define the landscape of most of the region). The new nation wishes to become an eco-friendly "green" country. They are currently in the process of raising a militia to meet the challenge of securing their borders from illegal immigrants from Mexico and potential threats from China and North Korea. In response, President Obama refuses to recognize the secession of these three states. He refuses to relinquish the military bases along the California coast. He then sends ships into San Diego Harbor to arm and supply soldiers to continue collecting federal taxes from Californians by force if necessary. As a result, some hot head militia commander fires on one of these ships. Before anyone can really assess what happened, Obama declares the whole thing an armed insurrection and sends troops into the region. The newly formed Republic of Cascadia responds by attempting to defend their homeland. They are eventually defeated by the superior firepower of the United States army and in the course of the conflict some 600,000 to 700,000 soldiers die. There are over a million casualties in total after accounting for the civilian population. The entire infrastructure of California is devastated. Washington and Oregon see heavy damage as well. It is estimated that repairs will cost trillions of dollars. Now I have to ask; if such a situation actually occurred, what would your opinion be of President Obama? If it had happened under the Bush administration, what would your opinion be of him? I dare say if either one of these presidents allowed something like that to happen under his watch, he would be considered the worst president in American history.
So that being said, why do we glorify a man who really did see these things happen under his watch. Instead of the "Republic of Cascadia," it was the "Confederate States of America." Instead of the West Coast, it was the Old South. Instead of a fictional war, it was the Civil War. Yes, Lincoln caused most of it. It was well within his power to put a stop to it. He could have prevented the whole thing. Yet he didn't. He allowed his advisors to tell him the war would be short and victory assured. He listened to them, and plunged himself into a war he could not easily back away from. What kind of president does that? What kind of president authorizes the slaughter of his own people by the hundreds of thousands? They say Lincoln saved the Union. I say he destroyed it. For before his administration, these United States were held together simply by a gentleman's agreement - a compact of fraternal charity that was well understood anyone could back out of at any time. After his administration these United States were held together only by fear - fear of what the federal government would do to them if they dared to secede again. Yes, Lincoln saved the Union all right, by turning it into an Empire, wherein the states are held together by the threat of force, and not by the bonds that united them in 1776. So now you understand why Lincoln is not my favorite president.
On July 7th, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI liberalized celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in his motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum. In spite of all their threats, not a single dissenting bishop left the Church.
A few bishops are now making similar threats about the lifting of the four SSPX excommunications, and their impending full reconciliation with the Church. This time they are aided by Leftist activists both inside and outside the Church, along with willing accomplices in the mainstream news media. A few have called on the pope to resign. Some are calling his actions "destructive," and one has even said the pope is making the Church into a "sect," by embracing the SSPX. One modernist theologian, Rev. Hans Kung, actually said Barack Obama would make a better pope than Benedict XVI. Such open rebellion against a reigning pontiff is unprecedented in modern times. Compound this with the rival convention of modernist Catholics in the United States in 2011, and what we have here is the perfect recipe for a modernist schism with the Roman Catholic Church.
Oh if only we should be so lucky! No longer would the general Church have to concern itself with these liberal hacks. They would simply excommunicate themselves, and expel themselves from our midsts. Wishful thinking? I'm afraid so.
I find it humorous that moderates and traditionalists within the Church actually worry about schism with these people. They caution about not taking any sudden action, or making radical changes, for fear that there might be a schism with the modernists. What a joke! Modernists don't leave churches - they ruin them!
The funny thing about modernists, liberals, progressives (whatever you want to call them), is that the only thing they're really good at is complaining, throwing tantrums and making idle threats. Very few of them have the courage to actually back their words with action. They say they'll break with Rome, to which we could only hope they would, but so far they've never done it. Modernists are far more content to remain as dissident Catholics. Something about protest invigorates them. Something about "being different" makes them feel special. I dare say that most of them wouldn't know what to do if they actually joined a religious institution that agreed with them.
There is nothing new about modernist arguments. They've already won in parts of the Protestant world. Let's take for example the Episcopal Church USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada. Both of them essentially "catholic" in practice. One could scarcely tell the difference between an Episcopal/Anglican mass and a Roman Catholic mass according to the ordinary form. Many Episcopalians/Anglicans keep Catholic customs, such as the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross. They have their own Divine Office, and some even have a profound devotion to Mary. Yet when it comes to social issues, the Episcopal Church USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada, are essentially "modern" or "liberal" in their approach. For starters, they permit female priests, even women bishops. All clergy can be married, and of course, being gay is okay. In fact, it's even celebrated in some Episcopal/Anglican parishes with gay weddings and the ordination of gay clergy. The issue of abortion is considered a personal matter in these churches - a matter of private choice. Artificial birth control is not only permitted, but even recommended sometimes, and divorce is no big of a deal in these churches. Many Episcopal/Anglican beliefs are shall we say "flexible," allowing for differences of opinion on so many issues. They consider themselves "catholic" in the general sense, some even going so far as to call themselves "Anglo Catholic." The Episcopal Church USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada, have provided this kind of "catholicism" for some 40 years now. Yet there have been no mass conversions from the Catholic Church. The Episcopalians/Anglicans have in essence offered modernist Catholics everything they've ever asked for. They've handed it to them on a silver platter. All they need do is drive a little further down the street on Sundays to the local Episcopal/Anglican Church. Yet that hasn't happened, at least not in large numbers.
So why hasn't that happened? Why no mass exodus of modernist Catholics to the Episcopal/Anglican churches? I think the answer if fairly simple. Modernist Catholics have no desire to really get what they want. They just enjoy protesting. They enjoy the process of trying to "change the world," but are dissatisfied once that change has been realized. Stop and think about it for a moment. The modernists wanted the mass in the vernacular languages. They got more than what they asked for in the ordinary form of the mass, wherein Pope Paul VI allowed for a complete change of the missal, which opened the mass up to all kinds of liturgical innovations. You would think the modernists would be pleased with these changes. Was that good enough? No. So the national councils of bishops began allowing for alter girls, female lectors and female eucharistic ministers. Was that good enough? No. So local parishes began redesigning their chapels to look more "modern," taking their central focus off the eucharist, and placing it on the people. Was that good enough? No. The list goes on and on. Every time the modernist Catholics make a demand, the Church bends over backwards to accommodate it. One would think the modernists would be appreciative. No. They just demand more changes. Meanwhile the Episcopal/Anglican churches offer them everything they demand, and then some, yet they don't switch over. (I'm sure that's got to be frustrating for the Episcopalians/Anglicans!) Why? Like I said, I think modernist Catholics are just more interested in protesting than anything else. I guess these children of the 1960s and 70s counterculture just have nothing better to do.
To any modernist, liberal or progressive Catholic who might be reading this, 'The Catholic Knight' would like to offer a challenge to you. Why don't you surprise us all and actually practice what you preach? Why don't you just shock us, and actually make good on your threat to leave us? There is an entire "catholic" denomination that's been waiting for you for 40 years now. It's called the Episcopal Church USA, the Anglican Church of Canada, and even the Church of England. Why not just show us all what you're made of and start going there? The most recent actions of this pope, coupled with the stubborn refusal to "change" by the previous Pope John Paul II, should have sent a clear signal by now. The Catholic Church is not going to "reform" in the way you want it to -- not now, not ever! So are you really serious about what you say? Or is it just a lot of hot air?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The Western world's experiment in Secularism has failed, and will have to be abandoned within a century if Western Civilization is to survive. 'The Catholic Knight' acknowledges that most people living today will not understand this assertion, and it is one I do not expect to be vindicated on anytime in the near future. Though the writing is on the wall in terms of demographics, it will be some time (probably decades) before the general population starts to feel it's effects. This will happen in Europe before the Americas.
Western society and culture is falling. If trends continue, and we have no reason to believe they won't, the complete and total collapse of the entire Western world is eminent - perhaps within two or three generations - if we're lucky. Islamic society and culture will eventually take over Europe, probably within one generation, and within another two generations after that, North America and Australia will follow. This will happen without terrorism, without extremism, and without anybody firing a single shot. Westerners will just hand the world over to Islam - on a silver platter. How? The answer is simple - demographics.
Islam will eventually conquer the world not by making war, but by making love, literally. Specifically I mean the kind of love making that produces babies - lots of babies.
While the innovations of abortion-on-demand, artificial contraception, and "alternative lifestyles" will remain a part of Western society and culture until it's demise, Islamic society can literally outlaw these things with a simple fatwa. Currently in many parts of Europe, nation-states have had to import potential new taxpayers from other counties just to keep their social security systems afloat. Why? Because native Europeans just don't make babies anymore - not in large enough quantity anyway. In a region heavily dependent on various socialist wealth-redistribution schemes, in order to make the system work, you've got to have more givers than takers. As the population ages, and begins to depend on that system more, you've got to have more young people than old putting money back into the system. You can't MAKE people have babies in a Secular society, so if the majority of them won't, then you've got to get your tax base from somewhere. That's why Europe has been importing Muslim immigrants from Africa and Asia for the last few decades, who happen to reproduce at four to five times the rate of native Europeans. However, these immigrants bring their Islamic religion and culture with them. The result; Europe is quickly becoming Islamic territory, and some areas are already governed by Shariah Law.
The decline and fall of Secular Europe to Islam will happen quickly, and most of the people reading this entry will see it happen within their lifetime. North America is not much different than Europe, except the trend here is slower. Yes, Islam will eventually get a strong foothold on this continent as well. Historically, the United States has tried to slow this trend even further by allowing tens of millions of illegal aliens from Mexico to settle within the nation, bringing with it a whole host of new problems. However, the secret hope of many American politicians is that in addition to building tomorrows tax base, once these people are legalized, their Catholic religion and culture (which shuns artificial contraception) will produce more tax payers for a future generation, thus holding off the Islamic invasion for another 50 years or so. The problem is that artificial contraception (and even abortion) is making strong inroads into Hispanic culture as well. So within another generation, America will be facing the same problem even among her Hispanic citizens.
In time, the only people reproducing at a sustainable rate will be Muslims. When that happens, Western nations will have no choice but to import as many Muslims as possible to support their social security systems. When that happens, it's over for Western society and culture. We will have faded into history like ancient Rome. How long do we have? Give it 30 to 50 years for Europe, and that's being conservative. Some trends indicate things might move along much faster in Europe. Give the United States and Canada about 60 to 100 years. Australia is in a similar situation. We can expect Central and South America to last at least 100 years, assuming they are not taken by force.
The root of the problem is Secularism, and particularly the moral relativism that seems to accompany it. Under ancient Christendom, human sexuality was viewed within the context of reproduction and ecclesiastical symbolism. Sex was reserved strictly for marriage, and within that context, sex was seen as a good thing. The result of such conjugal relations was almost always pregnancy, and once again, this was seen as a good thing. Within the Biblical and Christian world view, children are always considered a blessing, no matter what the circumstances of their conception. However, children within marriage was the ideal the Church and State always encouraged. This policy between Church and State resulted in a rising population, and thus the expansion of Christendom, furthering the development of Western Civilization.
The Secular problem, invented in the late 18th century and solidified in the 20th century, detaches cultural behavior from religious influence. Thus the state has no moral authority to instruct people how to behave sexually. With the invention of artificial birth control, coupled with Secular moral relativism, the demographic demise of Western Civilization was set into motion. The only solution to this problem is to outlaw artificial birth control, but that will never happen under a Secularist regime. Oh sure, some secular governments may try it eventually (out of desperation), but they will fail, and those laws will be overturned. Because you see a Secular government (completely detached from religion) has no moral authority to outlaw the use of artificial birth control, or make any laws regarding sexual behavior between consenting adults.
What Europe will discover in the not-too-distant future, and the Americas will learn shortly thereafter, is that if such moral laws regarding artificial birth control and marriage are ever to stick, they're going to have to be decreed by some other method of government. The Novus Ordo Seclorum ("New Order of the Ages"), known as the parliamentary systems and democratic republicanism has failed. It cannot sustain Western Civilization in the face of modern scientific advances. When people are confronted with the scientific wonders of controlling their reproductive destiny, they almost universally choose self extinction. That is the conclusion of the last fifty years, which will be made painfully obvious over the next fifty years.
When faced with the reality of failure, what will the people of the West do? The immediate reaction may very well be dictatorships and the return of fascism, a failed method of governance that nations may have to relearn one more time before finally figuring it out. Naturally, there will be an attempt by larger western governments to consolidate power, as we've already seen with the creation of the European Union, and the attempts in North America to create a similar type of international conglomeration. All of these will fail, because Secularism itself is the problem. The result will be a continued decline in population as Islam slowly takes over. The question is simply whether the people of the West will continue to tolerate this kind of mismanagement until they are completely taken over by Islam, or will they rise up and demand an alternative.
The only alternative that has proved to work effectively in Western history was Christendom. European nations may be forced to revive those old monarchies once again, and make sure the state is closely aligned with the Catholic Church, and/or Eastern Orthodox churches - the only Christian religions that have consistently opposed artificial birth control. These monarchies could then outlaw artificial birth control, mandate marriage as the norm for sexual relations, and point to the Church for their moral authority. It's the only way to save Western Civilization from demographic extinction. What of the Americas? Well, your guess is as good as mine. Historically, three European monarchies have laid claim to territories on the North American continent, and two on South America. These territorial claims may be obsolete today for all with the exception of Canada. The fate of the United States is unclear, while Central and South America may have to come up with their own versions of Christian monarchies or perhaps some kind of democratic theocracies.
Whatever the case, one thing is sure. The Secular system of moral relativism was broken from the start, we just didn't know it, and no amount of tinkering will ever fix it. It could not withstand the miracles of modern medical science. Once people were given the opportunity to control their reproductive destiny, they overwhelmingly chose self-extinction, and Islam rushed in to fill the demographic vacuum. Within this century, the people of the West will have to chose between extinction or return to Christendom. One way or another, Secularism will die, and the Western world will return to religious rule. Will it be Christianity or Islam? We the people of the West will choose, and the children born today will probably live to see the result.
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It seems so strange to me that so many Christians get all worked up about this issue. As a young man, indoctrinated by the secular humanism of today's public education system, I embraced the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution to the point of nearly denying the existence of God. Then after graduating from high-school, I got back in touch with my Christian roots, and became a Bible-thumping Fundamentalist. It was at that point I rejected evolution completely and embraced the neo-Morrisian theory of creation. Looking back on it now, I just have to laugh. It's funny how this scientific theory has become such a polarizing wedge in our society, so that many people of science think they have to reject faith, and many people of faith think they have to reject science.
Converting to Catholicism was probably the best thing for my sanity. On this particular issue, it allowed my faith and reason to be integrated once again, where I can now evaluate the theory of evolution with an open mind, and without any threat to my faith as a Christian. In truth, I think both Charles Darwin and Henry Morris added tremendous contributions to the debate, and I think that both of them will go down in history that way. What is needed in the whole creation/evolution debate is a little HUMILITY! And I say that to both sides. Evolution is a scientific THEORY, but then literal creationism is a theological THEORY as well. As the great astrophysicist Stephen Hawking once said: a theory is the best understanding of reality we have -- until a better one comes along. (That's my own paraphrase anyway.) A little humility on the part of both evolutionists and creationists would go a long way toward restoring civility to the debate once again. The simple fact is, none of us where there at the creation of the world. None of us, neither scientist nor theologian, eye-witnessed the biological processes that led to the creation of the first man. The best thing we have to rely on is a guess. Scientists look at the fossil evidence and make educated guesses. Theologians look at the scriptural evidence, and it's peripheral context, and also make educated guesses. It was Charles Darwin (a professing Christian) who guessed about natural selection and the origin of species. It was Henry Morris (also a professing Christian) who guessed about the effects of water dynamics on the fossil record. Both men have given us quite a bit to chew on, and I dare say that both men have given us just a shred of truth about what really happened. Between the two of them, maybe we can start to figure it out.
The following article demonstrates how Catholic Christians need not fear the theory of evolution, so long as certain theological ground-rules are understood. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did...
(New Oxford Review) - ...If we look at evolution and how it affects various religious stands, we see how the Church's teachings have such a solid foundation that they are never truly threatened by scientific ideas.
In contrast, fundamentalist Christians base their faith on a so-called literal reading of the Bible. This creates fundamentalism's most embarrassing problem. The fundamentalist must insist that the "days" of Genesis are the days of our week that God created man directly out of the dust, and so forth.
The same problem occurs whenever the Bible -- understood in a way that allows no interpretation, symbolism, or development -- must encounter the world.
The Catholic Church knows that the Bible requires symbolic readings in some places and literal readings in others. The interpretive and teaching authority of the Church gives guidance to the reader of Scripture. The believer is not left alone with what he can understand or imagine. Therefore, the Church does not trap her children in simplistic worldviews. Whatever views science develops about evolution, the Catholic Church will have the resources, in Scripture and tradition, to develop trustworthy understandings that can reconcile science's theories with the truths of revelation.
Liberal Protestantism has made the opposite mistake of fundamentalism. It has been too quick to make accommodations. Liberal Christianity readily accepted Darwinism -- and it also often accepted the pseudo-scientific hypotheses of Marxism and Freudianism and a host of destructive 20th-century "isms." It has become sort of a Vichy regime for modern secularism, doing the bidding of the materialistic mindset while trying desperately to keep alive a sham of independence.
Scientific dogmatism looks at its experiments, assumptions, and hypotheses, and can see nothing else. The Catholic Church is able to look on creation as a whole, and see that there are too many "coincidences" for this all to be random. She can see the handiwork of the Lord in the evolution of man, and in the rest of creation. She can embrace the universe's mystery and paradox. As Augustine wrote in his Confessions, addressing God, "You are the most hidden from us and yet the most present amongst us.... You are ever active, yet always at rest. You gather all things to yourself, though you suffer no need.... You grieve for wrong, but suffer no pain. You can be angry and yet serene.... You welcome all who come to you, although you never lost them."
With such insight, the Church can see that God allows mankind to evolve, yet He still guides that evolution. The same holds true for all other phenomena: They may look random, and many may be random, but the Catholic faith holds that God steps in, in mystery and in hiddenness, to control the ultimate outcomes.
The Catholic mind embraces 2,000 years of history and wisdom -- and many more years, if you include the Church's Old Testament patrimony. Therefore the Catholic worldview, with its long memory, knows that what "enlightened opinion" held to be undeniable truth in A.D. 30 was forgotten by A.D. 500. Thus the Catholic mind is not easily impressed by the latest headline or alleged discovery.
Non-Catholic worldviews are truncated and skewed. For example, to the liberal Protestant, everything before, say, 1965 is a black pit of ignorance and oppression. To the fundamentalist, everything between, say, A.D. 75 and 1500 is a gaping void. To the proud scientist, everything in his field before his latest grant proposal is foolish error.
The dogmatic scientist refuses to believe what he cannot see and measure. The fundamentalist refuses to believe what he cannot find in his King James Bible. The liberal Protestant refuses to believe what he cannot read in The Christian Century or on the editorial page of The New York Times.
Evolution, in asserting the role of random events, is joined by contemporary physics and chaos science in finding that there is randomness in the cosmos. So, to answer to Einstein: Yes, God does play dice.
This seems compatible with the understanding that man is free. Catholicism has always seen that there is a large element of freedom in our lives. God even seems quite willing to let us roll the dice ourselves. However, God is still in control. A controlling agent can allow much randomness, yet still have ultimate control.
God rolls the dice too. Sometimes, however, He slips in a pair of loaded dice. He is willing to play the game; He rigs, however, whenever we play so badly that we jeopardize the ultimate outcome....
read full story here
Basically it comes down to charity, and the message of Vatican II. By lifting the excommunications on the four SSPX bishops, Pope Benedict XVI is fulfilling the intentions of the Second Vatican Council, and anyone who would oppose this action, does not understand Vatican II.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Top Jewish Rabbi Pleased With Vatican - Accuses Left-Wing Liberal Catholics Of Fueling Attack On Pope
(LifeSiteNews.com) - A prominent Jewish Rabbi who represents over 1000 Rabbis in North America spoke to LifeSiteNews.com last week regarding the recent controversy around Pope Benedict XVI and his lifting the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). Rabbi Yehuda Levin says he sees the media attack on Pope Benedict as being more about the influx of morally conservative Catholics into the mainstream of the Catholic Church, rather than anything else, including the holocaust denial of one of the SSPX bishops, which has received widespread media coverage.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The good rabbi is right, and has good insight I might add. Yes, this attack on the pope no longer has anything to do with the Jews. Few would say it ever did. This is about one thing and one thing only. Liberal Catholics don't like this pope. They want to take him down, and they'll stop at nothing to do it. This latest controversy just serves as another vehicle of attack.
The SSPX faithful, in addition to offering the Mass in its ancient Latin form, are also known for their orthodoxy on moral matters. The mainstreaming of such Catholics into the Church would boost the numbers of pro-life and pro-family Catholics significantly, especially in Europe.
Rabbi Levin said that he believed that the Vatican has dealt appropriately with the controversial comments by SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson. However, he said this while will put to rest the "ridiculous" suggestions that the Pope is anti-Semitic, it will not end the controversy.
"At this point there has been a wonderfully strong renunciation of Bishop Williamson by the Vatican and therefore the Jewish community from their statements seems to be satisfied that things are going in the right way," he said. "This is just going to increase the frenzy of left wing Catholics, whether outside the Church or inside, because they now have to carry the ball in terms of keeping the attack on the Pope going....
read full story here
It's a long story, and one I can't do justice here in such a short amount of time to write, but basically it comes down to this. The Second Vatican Council was hijacked by liberal Catholics who sought to recreate the Church in their own image. The Council itself was perfectly legitimate, and 100% pastoral, as the opening statement of the council proclaimed, and Pope Paul VI confirmed after the council was closed. The objective of the conciliar bishops was to keep this council in low profile compared to the First Vatican Council and the Council of Trent. They did this by refusing to define any particular doctrine infallibly. They did make infallible statements of course, but only by restating what had already been defined as infallible by previous Church councils. Nothing new was defined infallibly, and the conciliar bishops simply sought to set new pastoral guidelines for the Church.
After the close of the council, however, certain elements within the Church - particularly liberal Catholics - invoked the "spirit of Vatican II" as a mantra to justify the additional changes THEY believed the council intended to make, but never actually got around to putting on paper. It is during this time period, in the late 1960s to early 1970s, that this conflict within the Church began.
Liberal Catholics took the low profile Second Vatican Council, which was intended to be pastoral, and elevated it to the level of "super-dogma." By that I mean they interpreted Vatican II in a vacuum, as if none of the previous ecumenical councils ever happened, and Vatican II took the Church back to the drawing board with a blank slate. They were starting over from scratch, and Vatican II was their launching pad. Invoking the ambiguous "spirit of Vatican II" they attempted to change everything; from Church architecture, to liturgical vestments, to traditional customs, to historical devotions, to prayer books, to catechisms, to parish structure, to Church governance, the list goes on and on. Their greatest achievement however was the Missal of Pope Paul VI, frequently referred to as the "Novus Ordo Mass," and officially known as the "Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite." The liturgy itself has a few problems, many of which will probably be worked out in the years ahead. However, the biggest problem with the Novus Ordo is it's relaxed rubrics, which allow for more innovation and experimentation.
The liberals gained almost complete control of the Church during the 1970s. The election of Pope John Paul II was the turning point. While Pope John Paul II did little to turn back the advance of liberal Catholicism, he did manage to stop it from progressing any further. Liberal Catholics were extremely frustrated by this, and toward the end of his papacy many of them longed for his death, hoping a future pope would allow them to advance their liberal agenda even further. What they got however was Pope Benedict XVI (formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger), a moderate theologian by overall historic standards, liberal by 1950 standards, but an "arch-conservative" in the eyes of today's liberal Catholics seeking full control of the Church. Since his election they have not failed to capitalize on every opportunity to criticize him and call for his resignation.
So here we are, nearly four years into his pontificate, and the usual suspects are at it again. This time its the lifting of an excommunication on a Holocaust denying bishop. Though the removal of the excommunication had nothing to do with the bishops private views, the Vatican sprung into action quickly, demanding full repentance for the controversial bishop. The SSPX has censured him, the Vatican has called for him to recant. In short, everything was done right, and the top Jewish leaders agree, many of whom have been very pleased with the pope's reaction to all this. The controversy rages on however, fueled no longer by Jewish concerns, but rather by left-wing liberal Catholics looking for another opportunity to take this pope down. This time they're using the suffering of the Jewish people to their advantage. It's starting to get obvious now. Even the Jews, who are the supposed victims in this latest uproar, are starting to see it for what it really is. They don't seem to happy about it.
(The Jerusalem Post) - Recent events demonstrate the relationship of German political culture today to anti-Semitism.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Translation: when it comes to Holocaust denial, the mainstream media will not tolerate it from Christians - especially a right-wing SSPX Catholic like Bishop Williamson. However, when it comes to Muslim denial of the Holocaust... well... that's a different story. Please do not misunderstand here. 'The Catholic Knight' in no way approves the Holocaust denial of Bishop Williamson. With the rest of the Catholic Church, I call upon him to recant this madness. Rather, the point I'm trying to make here is what cowards the mainstream media really are. They haven't an ounce of courage in them. If they did, they would hold the Muslims to the same harsh standard as Christians, and ferociously criticize them when they don't measure up. Furthermore, if the mainstream media were truly fair and unbiased, they would generalize and stereotype Muslims just as often as they do Catholics - particularly conservative and traditional Catholics.
On the one hand, one is not allowed to deny the Holocaust, as Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson found out. Chancellor Angela Merkel herself told the German pope in the Vatican that such an anti-Semite, member of the reactionary Pius X Brotherhood, could not be tolerated.
Just a few days later, Iranian government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham called the Holocaust "a big lie to settle a rootless regime in the heart of the Islamic world." That weekend, moreover, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani was invited to join the International Security Conference in Munich, where he said on Friday there were "different views of the Holocaust. I will say: It did not happen."
Was there any outrage in the case of the Iranians as there was in that of Bishop Williamson? German journalist Malte Lehming of the daily Tagesspiegel explained that Holocaust denial and genocidal hatred is not allowed if it derives from the Western world, like British Williamson. If Muslims do the same thing, nothing happens. This hypocrisy paradigm applies particularly - but not only - to today's Germany....
read full story here
They will never do this, however, because you see they are cowards. They FEAR Muslims. I'm speaking of all the alphabet television networks and the major print media. They're afraid that if they hold Muslims to the same harsh standard as they do Christians, they will soon find themselves targets of terrorism and worldwide demonstrations. On the other hand, by virtue of their actions, the mainstream media has demonstrated they not only believe Christians to be more civilized, but in fact they rely on it. For if Christians were not civilized, the wrath that would have come down on the news media by now, for all their years of harsh criticism, would have left their studios and print shops in rubble. Yes, the mainstream news media not only believes Christians to be more civilized, but they count on it! Otherwise they would treat us the same as Muslims, and dare not utter a word of criticism when one of our own denies the Holocaust, or makes some other foolish statement.
Monday, February 9, 2009
(WorldNetDaily) - As the Obama administration attempts to push through Congress a nearly $1 trillion deficit spending plan that is weighted heavily toward advancing typically Democratic-supported social welfare programs, a rebellion against the growing dominance of federal control is beginning to spread at the state level.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The defining political argument of the next ten years will not be Republican vs. Democrat, or Liberal vs. Conservative. Rather, the defining political argument of the next ten years will be State vs. Federal.
So far, eight states have introduced resolutions declaring state sovereignty under the Ninth and Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, including Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington.
Analysts expect that in addition, another 20 states may see similar measures introduced this year, including Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania.
"What we are trying to do is to get the U.S. Congress out of the state's business," Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Randy Brogdon told WND....
read full story here
What we are witnessing are the early stages of a political rebellion against the United States federal government. It's not a rebellion in the military sense, but in the political sense. The States are invoking their 9th and 10th amendment rights, and asserting their right to reclaim all government powers not specifically delegated by the Constitution. The resolutions simply assert their rights. They designate no specific action at this point in time. That will be determined over the next ten years. Perhaps in a decade, people will no longer ask if you're Democrat or Republican, but rather they will say: "Are you with the State or the Fed?"
So what should be the Catholic take on this? I refer my readers to Catechism 1883...
Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state [i.e. government] can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good."According to the Catechism, it would appear that Catholics would be morally obligated to side with the States based on the principle of subsidiarity. In other words, it is immoral for the federal government to interfere in the internal life of the state governments, depriving them of their functions.