Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Students For Life And New York Times

When I last wrote about the attempt by Students for Life to meddle in the affairs of the Heritage Academy, I ended it with a question regarding the role of the New York Times in bringing undue pressure upon the school administration.  I'd like to continue with that thought, for reasons that will be made clear as this post progresses.

First, here is the original SFL post.  Now here is the NYT article.  Please notice that both of these were published to the internet on May 20.  However, the SFL post mentions the NYT article.  Was the SFL piece published as a response to the NYT article?  I may be incorrect, but that SFL post seems like it was written in advance, given the work that had to go into the content, layout, etc.

Now look at the NYT article.  Kristan Hawkins is quoted as saying, "she made the courageous decision to choose life, and she definitely should not be shamed."  I don't see that statement anywhere else: not on the SFL post..nowhere.  If that exact quote does exist elsewhere and that quote originated before May 20, please advise via the comments section.  Assuming that it doesn't, then I think it reasonable to assume that Hawkins granted an interview to the New York Times regarding the Heritage Academy situation.

Let that sink in for a moment.  The New York Times has made no secret of its hostility towards Christians, especially conservative and pro-life Christians.  Yet it appears that the New York Times was brought into this situation to put more pressure on the school administration to do the bidding of Maddi Runkles and Students for Life. Because of its own animus towards Christianity, NYT could have been only too willing to take a swipe at Heritage Academy.  Was that NYT attitude exploited by SFL to garner some publicity?

On Monday, David Hobbs, president of Heritage Academy, issued a statement regarding the situation on the HA site.  He stated the reasons that the administration acted as they did.  Kristan Hawkins yesterday issued her response on the SFL site.  Basically she said that Hobbs' statement didn't cut the mustard for her.  Well, so what?  Who appointed her to a position of oversight for the school?

To the right is an opinion of another faithful Catholic whose opinion on the matter differs from that of SFL.

One might ask me for my opinion on the matter.  I decline to give it for it is irrelevant to the deliberations of the HA administration.  So too is the opinion of Students for Life and all those who might be clamoring for HA to back down.  Suffice it to say any decision is that of the school administration and it should be respected.

I'm going to propose a course of action.  You have the HA site.  Why not pop them an email suggesting that they tune out all the noise and flak that they are receiving as a result of this SFL-instigated barrage?  Assure them of your prayers and encourage them to proceed as they deem best.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Students For Life Imperiously Demeans Heritage Academy

NOTE - Update at bottom
A lot of Christian sites are atwitter with a situation that has originated at Heritage Academy, a private Christian school in Hagerstown, MD, an hour's drive away from my home.  I learned of this primarily through news feeds from Students for Life.  They have posted an account of it on their site.  To their credit, they seem to have stated all the facts, although their disdain for the school is evident.

This is what I gather.  Heritage Academy is a private K-12 Christian school.  Its students sign a pledge (perhaps when they are old enough to understand it) promising to abide by Christian values; among other things, they promise not to engage in premarital sex, do drugs, drink alcohol.  A graduating senior named Maddi Runkles violated the pledge and became pregnant as a result.  It appears that the boy with whom she fornicated is not a student of the Academy.  Prior to that she occupied leadership positions in the Key Club and Student Council.  She was removed from those positions and will not be allowed to participate in commencement ceremonies.  She will receive her diploma.

Her father was president of the school board.  He resigned in protest over the disciplining of his daughter.  The Runkle family made contact with Students for Life through another agency and the result is the campaign that you see on the SFL site as they try to gin their followers into browbeating the Heritage Academy to do their bidding.

Maddi did toy with the idea of abortion.  To her immense credit she did not go that route and will give birth to her baby.  No one would think of condemning her.  What I must denounce, however, is the de facto demonization of the Heritage Academy administrators.  The SFL post is full of pejorative language aimed at the school, as are many of the comments on SFL's facebook page.  I will now unpack some of it, bit by bit, in "bullet" style.
  • The very title "you won't believe what her Christian school did" is designed to introduce the initial bias against the school.  This is a clear case of none-too-subtle peer pressure.
  • "what they did to Maddi for her mistake was unnecessarily cruel and set a bad example of what it means to be a pro-life Christian"  Dear SFL, with all due respect, you've no basis for sitting in judgment over the decisions of this school.
  • "Punishment without Compassion"  Who is defining the language here?
  • "Doesn’t that break your heart?"  And it better break your heart, or else you are judgmental and lack compassion.  Notice the manipulation?
Kristin Hawkins said she tried to convince the principal to see things her way, but he didn't bite the bait.  Did it not occur to her that he isn't answerable to her for his decisions?  Perhaps there are facts and other considerations that the principal won't divulge, simply because they are none of our damned business.  For that reason alone, SFL does not know what is the correct course of action in this matter; nor do I.  I, however, do not pretend to know it, let alone presume to urge others to strong-arm Heritage Academy to following any arbitrary dictates.

Too many commenters (and other bloggers) are following SFL's leads, allowing themselves to be swayed by the emotions ginned up by SFL's irresponsible post.  Some of the ridiculous comments include:
  • "punished for choosing life"
  • "the administrators should be ashamed of themselves"
  • "the school is not showing Christ's love"
Now precisely who are being the judgmental and condemning ones?  One comment said the school should "remove the plank from their own eye".  I might suggest that SFL and some of these commenters follow that excellent advice.

UPDATE - Something just dawned on me.  The SFL post mentions that New York Times did a write-up.  Indeed they have.  Bear in mind that on the national scale, Heritage Academy is a relatively small school, not one to be easily noticed.  So how did the NYT come to hear of this in order to do a piece?  Who told them?  Why?  Something about this whole situation does not pass the "smell test".

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Good News From Our Parish Times!!

On page 2 of the May issue (or page 3 from the online pdf) we read of the Catholic Communications Campaign that is scheduled for May 27-28.  At the end of the article, we are advised that additional information is available at the USCCB site - and so it is.

"So why is this news particularly good?", inquring minds might ask.  Because it is a way that Catholics can contribute towards communication efforts without any of these donations being diverted to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  For years now, I and many other faithful Catholic bloggers have been sounding the alarm about the CCHD being a front organization whose only function it is to divert Catholic dollars towards progressive anti-life and anti-God organizations.  This fact leapt into the public eye during the ACORN scandals - an organization to whom the CCHD granted millions of our dollars throughout the previous years.

We do notice one curious thing, though.  Even though the Communications efforts appear to have their own collection, the Communications name is still linked to the CCHD on the archdiocese's schedule for second collections.  The collection scheduled for August 5-6 is still called "Catholic Communications and Human Development".  So does the chancery think that Catholics have such short memories and attention spans that we'll forget in August that a collection for Catholic Communications was held less than three months earlier?  That this name and date change for the CCHD collection is a deliberate obfuscation is beyond doubt.

As August approaches, we'll have more information regarding the boycott of the CCHD collection in August.   Suffice it for now to say that any such boycott does not have to impact Catholic Communications.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cardinal Burke Calls For The Correct Consecration Of Russia To Mary's Immaculate Heart

On Tuesday Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes (of Germany) confirmed the statement of Father Amorth (Vatican exorcist) that Pope John Paul II did not consecrate Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart in 1984.  Apparently he wanted to do so, but allowed himself to be persuaded by Vatican diplomats not to mention Russia for fear of causing political conflicts.

We all know that he consecrated "the world" to Mary's Immaculate Heart.  While that consecration was undoubtedly beneficial in and of itself, it was not done in the manner that Our Lady specified to the Fatima seers in 1917.  The LifeSiteNews posts reminds us that the Fatima apparitions are not part and parcel of the Deposit of Faith and one may be a true Catholic and not believe them.  That is true enough.  However, one either believes that the Blessed Mother spoke at that time, or they don't.  If they do believe that she spoke, then why the reticence about taking her at her word?  Why demure in complete obedience?  Why place the pleadings of Vatican officials over the requests of the Mother of God?

Today at the Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Burke called for the consecration of Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart per her exact specifications.  He too stated that the consecration in 1984 was not in accord with Our Lady of Fatima's specifications.  His exact quote is: "Certainly, Pope Saint John Paul II consecrated the world, including Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984.  But, today, once again, we hear the call of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in accord with her explicit instruction."

There are those good Catholics who insist on pretending that the Fatima requirements were satisfied in 1984.  They probably are loathe to believe that Pope St John Paul II might have faltered in being completely obedient to Our Lady of Fatima.  They fail to consider that while he was still on this earth, he was subject to his own sin-weakened human nature, as are we all.  However some others who don't have any intention to honor God have their own reasons.  One individual on Facebook believes that these faux-katholycs fear a large-scale return to Faith and Tradition if Russia is properly consecrated.  I think he's onto something, especially in light of the bad-mouthing that Cardinal Burke received from Cardinal Maradiaga (head of the pope's "gang of nine" because of his dissidence).

Cardinal Burke went on to list six requests of Our Lady of Fatima.  Five of them we should be doing regularly ourselves.  The sixth one has to do with the consecration of Russia.  Let us join the cardinal in acknowledging that the consecration to Russia has been inexcusably delayed and pray and call for its immediate fulfillment.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Defending Human Life And The Family

Several years ago, Cardinal Caffarra (one of the four "dubia cardinals") revealed the contents of a conversation he had with Sister Lucia, one of the Fatima seers.  She told him that the final battle between Our Lord and Satan will revolve around marriage and the family.  In this centenary of our Lady of Fatima's appearances to the children, we do see that battle ratcheting before our very eyes.

At the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast two days ago, Cardinal Robert Sarah called "gender ideology", "same-sex marriage" etc what they are: demonic attacks on humanity.  Earlier this evening, I attended a talk given by Doug Mainwaring on this very topic (see Tuesday's post).  He said very much the same things; I'll be posting reports on this within the next few days.

Today the fourth Rome Life Forum convened in Rome, spearheaded by Voice of the Family.  I now link to VOF's site so that you can follow along this important conference and will also post some commentaries on the talks as they proceed.  Today one of the speakers was Father Linus Clovis of Family Life International.  I would urge careful study of his entire talk, in which he names Amoris Laetitia as both a trojan horse and a cast-down gauntlet.

He reminds us of the three requests of Our Lady of Fatima: reform of our lives, the First Saturday devotions and the consecration of Russia.  We are certainly capable of fulfilling the first two, as they pertain to our personal lives.  We must pray that the pope and bishops finally consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Marriage, Family & Gender: Ground Zero For Spiritual Battle

For those in the Maryland area (and surrounding areas), I'd highly recommend attending this presentation at St. John Neumann Church in Gaithersburg MD.  Doug has been on the frontlines of this battle for some time now; the flyer below will speak for itself.

Pope Francis Continues To Clash With Sacred Tradition

The pace of the current pope's attempts to deconstruct the traditions as espoused by his predecessors is increasing to a pace that is difficult to match.  The pope recently referred to the death penalty as a mortal sin.  From America magazine we read how he equated the death penalty with slavery, saying erroneously that they were both considered acceptable.  Note - before some say that this article simply reflects America's progressive leanings, a careful read of the byline will reveal that this article is a reprint of a piece from Catholic News Service, the news outlet of the USCCB.  Why USCCB is clasping hands with this heretic rag will have to be a topic for a future post.  Suffice it to say that I've no reason to doubt the factual accuracy of the pope's quoted statements.

Nowhere in Scripture or Tradition is the practice of slavery condoned, let alone promoted as a social good.  Individual Christians may have been embroiled in it, but that does not mean the Church hierarchy gave official approval of slavery.  Sacred Tradition, on the other hand, has always held that the death penalty is a legitimate tool to be used by civil governments to facilitate the protection of the citizens under their care.  Even St John Paul II acknowledged the same when he made his own abhorrence of the death penalty known.

In the America article, the pope pretends to be able to take what Sacred Tradition always acknowledged to be a tool for the maintenance of the public good and to make it into a mortal sin.  He's trying to morph a moral good into an intrinsically moral evil.  I remember a quote whereby the Lord chastises those who call "evil" "good" and vice versa.  Let's move on.

Cardinal Coccopalmerio is President of the Pontifical Council For Legislative Texts.  He's responsible for interpreting much of canon law.  He recently said that Anglican orders may be, in some cases, valid.  That is a direct contradiction of Apostolicae Curie, issued by Pope Leo XIII.  In that papal bull, Pope Leo XIII declared (in section 36) "that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void".  Pope Leo could not have been any clearer.

Here's the last one for this post.  From Gloria TV we learn of the possibility that Humanae Vitae might be on the papal chopping block.  Well, it's all about being "pastoral", isn't it?  Will contraception be considered "pastoral" and "accompanying"?  That would be a violation not only of Humanae Vitae, but of Evangelium Vitae, Casti Connubi, and most likely others - all teachings of Jesus Christ Himself.

Any sitting pope can only guard the Deposit of Faith.  He cannot alter it.  I'm not a canon lawyer so I ask that if Pope Francis were to solemnly proclaim these errors to be truth, would said declaration show his papacy to be illegitimate?

Monday, May 15, 2017

What In Hell Is Behind These World Youth Days?

Over the years I have been growing more and more uneasy with the annual World Youth Day events, as over-emphasis on youth has led to increasing laxity in regards to faith and proper decorum, rock-concert ambiance, sacrilegious treatment of the Holy Eucharist, etc..  It appears that things are becoming much, much worse.

The logo for World Youth Day 2019 has been selected and unveiled.  Here it is, to the right.  Aleteia has two big glowing write-ups of the symbolism supposedly in this thing; see here and here.  But honestly - when you first laid eyes on it, what was your first impression?

My first impression is summed up in the image to the left.  Are gullible people being hoodwinked into accepting an image of the serpent (Satan) devouring Jesus Crucified?  I realize that it is quite the fad among some younger Catholics to scrounge money to make the trek to these dubious events, but perhaps parents and teachers may wish to sit up and take notice of what is really going on there, particularly in light of what is transpiring at high levels of the Vatican.  No doubt these youth are sincere in their faith, but they still need guidance and protection from their elders.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fatima, 100 Years Ago

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  It is also the 100th anniversary of her first appearance to the Fatima children.  She spoke of the need to repent of sin to avoid hell.  Later she appeared to a Japanese sister at Akita and basically continued her message.  There she said that "if men do not repent and better themselves the Father will inflict a terrible punishment."  Between 1917 and now, what has been the change?  Our Lady delivered her words to a world that still was nominally Christian.  That cannot be said anymore, with thousands of babies being slaughtered under cover of civil law, sexual perversion being celebrated, marriage being trivialized and God being openly scorned.

Our Lady of Akita also mentioned that the devil would infiltrate the church, setting clergy against each other.  We certainly see that these days, don't we?

Please pray your Rosaries daily for God's grace of repentance.  Our Lady is making abundantly clear that souls will go to hell if they don't repent and turn to God.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

When Katholyc Progressives Become Unhinged

We've all seen how frequently Pope Francis sneers at those who love Jesus by loving the Traditions of the Church that He established.  I link now to a few of my previous posts; other bloggers have also taken note.  Hitherto I have seen this attitude to be merely one of contempt.  While it might entail contempt, I wonder if it might also entail fear?  Perhaps there exists fear that we traditional Catholics simply will not roll over and play the subservient mice while he and his cronies attempt the deconstruction of Holy Mother Church.  That might be doubly true for those of us who are active in social media.

Pope Francis is a Jesuit.  That order has unfortunately become a bit of a hornets' nest, inculcating and sheltering all sorts of progressives.  Within the past few days, other dissidents have lobbed their own potshots at faithful Catholics who engaged the culture in various social media outlets.  They too, in their lashing and snarling, betray much resentment and fear of the truth.

Today the Not-At-All Catholic Reporter plopped this pile of pig poop into the internet world.  The object of Michael Sean Winter's vitriol is Church Militant TV.  In his title, Winters opines that Church Militant is "not authentically Catholic".  Recall that NCR's physical location is inside the Diocese of Kansas City.  In 2013, the bishop was Robert Finn.  He ordered the NCR to cease holding itself out as a Catholic publication while reminding them that his predecessor ordered the same thing.  So consider the hubris of this publication, itself ordered to stop calling itself a Catholic publication, in pronouncing Church Militant to be "not authentically Catholic".  Earlier today I posted a comment on that article to that effect.  Lo and behold, my comment is no longer there!  Fancy that!   Winters goes on to defend his progressive accomplices against us who hold the True Faith and who rebuke their wrongdoings: the abortifacient-peddling Catholic Relief Services, the dissident Cardinals Wuerl and Cupich and of course Father James Martin.  Speaking of Father Martin, we've heard much of his unabashed promotion of sexual deviancy lately.  Of course we rebuked him, and he doesn't like getting rebuked at all!  No-sir-ee!  In fact, he released his own snit-fit yesterday.

His Facebook page is public so I think you should be able to see this.  He calls the post "Catholic mean tweets".  A little progressive lexicon pointer: whenever one of them misbehaves, either in word or deed, and they are rebuked, they call both the rebuke and rebuker "mean" and "hateful".  In other words, they redefined to words "mean" and "hateful" to disparage any well-earned rebuke so that they won't consider themselves obliged to actually pay attention to it.  One almost has to pity the man as they watch this as he has no real cogent argument for his positions.  All he can do is call his opponents "mean".  In addition to pity, he needs prayers for indeed he puts his own soul at risk.

That last sentence goes for all the progressives.  While we pray for them, we must refute their errors, even though they whine and pout and sniff about how "mean and hateful" we are.