Saturday 29th November 2014

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

A Potpourri… Biting The Bullet, And Other Matters

March 10, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By GEORGE A. KENDALL

The Church has made some moves in recent years toward a restoration of Catholic tradition and orthodox teaching, but it strikes me that there is a bullet she has yet to bite — namely, open and uncompromising teaching in areas where Catholic teaching is widely rejected and hated, especially sexual ethics — contraception, abortion, and homosexuality in particular.
These issues are regarded as matters not to be touched with the proverbial ten-foot pole. Even generally quite orthodox bishops are afraid to tell their priests to preach against these things. That is understandable, since a lot of the priests would refuse to obey and many might even leave the Church. And where these matters were preached on, many of the laity might leave, given that so many practice or have practiced them. Yet a bishop who, out of cowardice, fails to take this step is likely to have a lot of explaining to do when Judgment Day comes for him.
Everyone is afraid that the Church will lose members if she clearly teaches Catholic doctrine, particularly in this sexual area, and they are right to be afraid. The problem is that a drastic shrinkage of membership in the Church, at least in the short run, is probably inevitable. There are two ways this can happen:
1) The Church teaches what she has to teach without compromise, and the Catholics who are not really Catholics leave. The Church gets a lot smaller but those who remain will in general have deep roots in the faith and will be better equipped to bear witness to the Catholic truth in their communities — to be a leaven in the world. They will also have bigger families. Because of both of these, the Church should begin to grow again in time.
2) She continues to evolve in many regions into a liberal Protestant church. People won’t leave this church because they are offended by what it teaches, but they will leave. They will drift away as they find this kind of religiosity profoundly unsatisfying, failing to answer their questions about the meaning of their existence. If you are going to live a meaningless, self-absorbed life, you might as well live it without the inconvenience of getting up for church on Sunday mornings.
If we choose the second alternative rather than the first, Catholicism will disappear in the Western world, as it already nearly has in Western Europe. The Church’s only chance of surviving in the West is to go with the first option. But I’m not optimistic. So many of our bishops, like the scribes and Pharisees, seem totally unable to read the signs of the times. Not to mention being gutless.
Of course, for the Church, this is an age-old dilemma. Christ came to save all mankind, hence her mission is universal, hence she cannot become narrow and sectarian without compromising her mission. On the other hand, she has a Deposit of Truth to safeguard, and if she compromises that, then she loses the truth which is the basis for her universal mission to mankind. So she walks a tightrope. She has an obligation to be there for mankind, including those who reject her, to love them, to pray for them, to try to carry on some sort of dialogue with them, but that always has to be on Christ’s, and the Church’s, terms, not on theirs, with no concession to the legitimacy of their unbelief. A good trick, if you can do it.

+    +    +

At the moment, we are in the midst of a renewed push for universal pre-school. At first sight, that seems obviously irrational, considering that programs like Head Start, which are supposed to get kids from disadvantaged homes some early education to prevent them from falling behind, have been studied over and over again since the 1960s, and have invariably been found to provide no permanent benefits.
Is this just a case of the triumph of ideology over the facts, along with the usual inability of governments to ever admit making a mistake, or is there something more going on here? I find that an easy question to answer. The educational establishment is not really interested in educating people, at least not in the way that those of us who were educated before the onset of the dark ages think of education. Their goal is first of all to indoctrinate, to brainwash the young to be passive and compliant pawns of the total state. To achieve this they have to minimize the influence of families on children.
Preschool programs substantially reduce the amount of time very young children, at the most formative time in their lives, spend with their parents and their families. The same thing is behind the push for year-round schooling. Summer vacation means three months when the indoctrinators lose access to the kids, who may actually end up spending time with their parents, and even worse, grandparents. Those people could do unspeakable things to the children’s minds. They might even teach them Christianity, maybe even (gasp!) Catholicism. That must be nipped in the bud.
So when are we going to put an end to totalitarian “education” by getting rid of government schools?

+    +    +

A note connected to the dictatorship of relativism: Relativism is incompatible with the idea of the common good. Under relativism, there can be no such thing as truth, hence no such thing as a truth common to all, a truth regarding order and meaning and goodness in reality, an order in which we can all participate. Another way of putting this would be to say that truth and goodness are one, being both aspects of being, transcendental attributes of being. If there is no truth there can be no good, hence no common good.
Once this is gone, the only basis for governing, for holding a society together is force. Hence, with relativism comes the total state.
A society characterized by diversity can work only as long as, underlying the diversity, there is some kind of commitment to a shared truth which could be a basis for the idea of a shared good — i.e., a common good. That is what made America work through much of her history. In the beginning, Christianity, of a generic kind, to be sure, held us together, then later, some kind of Judeo-Christianity, which united us to some degree in spite of all our conflicts and the multiplicity of ethnic groups which made up our society.
Today, as we descend into the abyss of relativism with its denial that there is truth at all, the only thing that will be able to hold us together at all will be a state that governs by force alone.

+    +    +

The expression “counterintuitive” has been showing up a lot in public discourse in recent years: As in, “It seems counterintuitive, but. . . .” This often prefaces an assertion that most of us would, in fact see as rather far out there, flying in the face of common sense.
During the Terri Schiavo controversy, Fox News interviewed a doctor who claimed that, while it might seem counterintuitive, people who are starved and dehydrated to death don’t suffer.
I remember thinking at the time that if I had been there I would have said, “It’s counterintuitive because it isn’t true,” though I would have been tempted to put it more bluntly.
This is a variation on “contrary to popular opinion. . . .” Its purpose is to denigrate what most people have thought about things like murdering babies, homosexuality, and, yes, starving and dehydrating people to death. It is a way of saying that, while the common people have their simplistic views on things like that, their prejudices, I, who am telling you this, belong to an elite class of people who know better — who are privy to esoteric knowledge about such things, who are “in the know.” There is no one our egalitarian elites (an interesting expression) despise more than the common people.

+    +    +

(© 2014 George A. Kendall)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Chaput: It Isn’t Possible To Be Pro-life And Simultaneously Forget The Cries Of The Poor

Interview with the Archbishop of Philadelphia who is preparing to receive the Pope for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015: defending the unborn child is a vital part of the social doctrine of the Church. We need to…Continue Reading

Homosexual Activist Organization in New York Receives Catholic Grant

Washington, DC—The Lepanto Institute issued a report exposing the activities of an organization which received a $35,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  According to the report, the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) launched its…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Church teaching on sexuality must be clarified, and only Pope Francis can do it

In an interview with Ireland’s state broadcaster, RTE, one of the Catholic hierarchy’s most outspoken defenders of life and family and the Church’s sexual moral teachings again indicated Pope Francis needs to “clarify” that divorced and remarried Catholics, and active…Continue Reading

Pope Appoints New Bishop For Gary, USA

(Vatican Radio) The Holy Father has named an Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Donald J. Hying as the new Bishop of Gary, USA. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, whose resignation Pope Francis accepted upon having the age limit. On Monday…Continue Reading

TOP CATHOLIC BISHOPS AIDE ON EXECUTIVE AMNESTY: OBAMA’S ‘LAST CHANCE TO MAKE GOOD ON PROMISE’

In a statement last Friday in the New York Times, the top aide on immigration for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said that executive amnesty is President Barack Obama’s “last chance to make good on his promise…Continue Reading

Catholics Want To Learn More About Their Faith, Bishops Report

BALTIMORE – For three and a half years, members of several U.S. bishops’ committees have been trying to pinpoint what Catholics in the pew are thinking and why they accept or reject church teachings. To this end, they have conducted…Continue Reading

Vatican cardinal: Catholic charity ‘is not only giving food … but giving God’

The Vatican cardinal who oversees the Church’s charitable initiatives has emphasized again that Catholic charities cannot be satisfied with meeting the material needs of those they serve. “Charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity…Continue Reading

Prof at Catholic university tries to justify same-sex ‘marriage’ acceptance from Scripture

Professor Gerald Schlabach of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota recently published a piece for The Christian Century utilizing the writing of St. Paul to create an argument legitimizing acceptance of same-sex marriage. In light of Schlabach’s article, The Cardinal Newman Society…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Group: “We Will Not Obey the Obamacare HHS Mandate, Not Today, Not Ever”

The pro-life group Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that…Continue Reading

Court Says Obama Admin Can Force Pro-Life Group to Obey Pro-Abortion HHS Mandate

The pro-life group Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that…Continue Reading

Where Are Our Young People Going?

During the 10:30 Mass in my parish a couple of Sundays ago 32 boys and girls stood in front of the altar, faced the congregation, and formally affirmed their desire to be confirmed. It was part of the preparation for…Continue Reading

US Bishops Elect New Secretary, Discuss Health Care Ethics Guide

Baltimore, Md., Nov 11, 2014 / 08:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted Tuesday on several committee leadership positions, also considering several liturgical proposals and moving forward with a New York canonization cause. At their fall…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope Makes First Stop at Mausoleum of Atatürk in Turkey

Ankara, November 28, 2014 (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves In his first stop on his Apostolic Visit to Turkey, Pope Francis visited the famed Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Upon his arrival, the Pope was welcomed by government and military authorities, as well as Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, Apostolic Nuncio. Shortly after landing, the Holy Father was whisked away to…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Depression And Hope

2014-11-27 Vatican Radio   (Vatican Radio) Reality can be ugly, but despite the suffering, corruption and indifference in today’s world as Christians we must hold our heads high in hope said Pope Francis at Mass Thursday morning in Casa Santa Marta. Basing his reflections on the Readings of the Day, Pope Francis spoke of the fate of the two cities…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Europe is like a poplar tree that needs nourishment

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday told European leaders that the development of today’s societies and their peaceful coexistence require constant reflection on the tenets that form the basis of Europe: human rights, democracy and the rule of law.  Like a tree, Europe also needs care and nourishment for healthy growth.  In a wide-ranging speech to the Council of Europe…Continue Reading

Pope Urges A “lonely” “Self-absorbed” Europe To Recover Its Soul

pope671

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on a “haggard” and “lonely” Europe to recover its role as a world protagonist, its identity as a defender of the transcendent dignity of man, the poor, the migrant, the persecuted, the old and the young, to recover its soul: Christianity. Emer McCarthy reports: In a lengthy address– the first of two on his one…Continue Reading

EWTN Brings Soldiers Of Christ To The Screen

By REY FLORES When I was given the opportunity to review this terrific new program produced by the StoryTel Foundation for EWTN, I knew right away that I would be writing a favorable piece because of my personal experiences with this wonderful order of holy priests. According to some of the promotional materials on the…Continue Reading

Laws Of Association And Their Contravention

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Contra Thomas Hobbes and his fictional state of nature, it is the family that is nature’s first form of association, for only within the family can human life survive. It is within the context of the family that the infant is nourished and for years provided with his basic needs, food,…Continue Reading

Are City Folks Less Christian?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK Are the people who live in America’s cities less Christ-like than those who live in small towns and rural areas? Michael Rossmann, a Jesuit scholastic (a member of the order, not yet ordained a priest), does not say that, not in so many words. But he comes close. Rossmann is now…Continue Reading

Giving Thanks

By DONALD DeMARCO The word “thanks” is etymologically rooted in the word “thought.” With this in mind, G.K. Chesterton could say: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” Chesterton had a genius for expressing expansive ideas in a concise way. Many of his…Continue Reading

Changing Their Tune

By PHILLIP DEAN (Editor’s Note: Music has always been especially important to Phillip Dean. Gifted as a singer and musician, the high school sophomore leads a Wednesday night youth band at his Rock Hill, S.C., church. And, though he completes his academic coursework online from home, he played for the last four years in the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Does the Catholic Church teach that no one knows who is in Hell? Well, it seems that goes against the Bible when Jesus says about Judas, “Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. Better for him if he had never been born” (Matt. 26:24). I cannot go against Jesus’ words in the Bible. Am…Continue Reading

Preparing A Way

By FR ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 2 Peter 3:8-14 Mark 1:1-8 In the first reading today God speaks to Isaiah telling him to give comfort to His people. This message comes at the end of a long period of suffering for the people of Israel during which their sins were expiated. Now…Continue Reading

Pope Francis’ Address At Colloquium . . . Complementary Is At The Root Of Marriage And Family

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the translation of Pope Francis’ address in the Vatican at the opening of the “Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman,” November 17-19. In his talk, the Holy Father stated: “Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Some Bishops Are Beginning To Find Their Voice

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In recent weeks the Pope hosted the “Humanum” conference in Rome. In his remarks of welcome he clearly reiterated his commitment to the right of children to have both a mother and a father while stating that marriages and families cannot be redefined by or subject to manipulation by ideologies. (See p. 4B of this…Continue Reading

Is The Rosary A Prayer Of “Vain Repetitions”?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 The visit I received from two Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs, for short) gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that repetitive prayer — especially the rosary — is entirely in line with Sacred Scripture. When they walked into my living room and did not miss the sight of my rosary on the mantelpiece, I knew…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Catherine Labouré

By CAROLE BRESLIN A miracle is a sensibly perceptible effect, surpassing the powers of visible nature, produced by God to witness to some truth or to testify to someone’s sanctity. During His life on earth, Jesus performed many miracles. Miracles did not end with Christ’s Ascension into Heaven. They have continued to be performed throughout the history of the Church.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Cecilia

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church has thousands of saints. For the last two millennia, people of great holiness, exemplifying heroic virtue, have been honored as saints, members of the Church Triumphant in Heaven giving honor and glory to God. Some have been formally declared saints by the Church, while others have been so honored from the beginnings of the…Continue Reading

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading