Sunday 1st March 2015

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:

Hit job on Card. Pell because he’s doing his job

His Eminence George Card Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to oversee cleaning up the finances of the Holy See. He is doing his job. And so as Pell drills into the financial corruption and is getting closer to the…Continue Reading

Oil company hit man has Archbishop Cordileone in his sights

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 27, 2015 / 05:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Sam Singer’s public relations firm spun a Chevron oil refinery disaster in California and fought back a legal ruling in Ecuador that could have awarded billions of dollars to…Continue Reading

What about Henry VIII?

Interestingly, Jesus’ hard teaching that “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19:6) follows not long after his insistence to Peter on the necessity of forgiveness (see Mt 18:21–35). It is true that Jesus did…Continue Reading

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some…Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Must Save Students from Pornography Epidemic, Says Counseling Expert

Catholic colleges and universities owe it to their students to do everything within their power to help combat the destructive effects of pornography, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Kleponis, a licensed clinical…Continue Reading

Imagine: A Catholic Archbishop!

If it weren’t so predictable, it would be infuriating, but because of that, it is infuriating to thinking people. It’s happening again as San Francisco drops the hammer – again – on the Catholic Church and especially Archbishop Cordileone. He’s…Continue Reading

As storm brews, San Fran archbishop strikes back at school guideline critics

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 20, 2015 / 03:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Politicians have targeted San Francisco Catholic schools’ teacher standards, but Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone says they are a matter of Catholic mission and common sense. “Would you hire a campaign…Continue Reading

University of Scranton to end all abortion coverage

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – The University of Scranton plans to end employee health care coverage for abortions in cases of rape, incest and to preserve the life of the mother. The Times-Tribune of Scranton (http://bit.ly/1JstU9i ) reports Thursday that the…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Scandals under Fr. Jenkins Are Rooted in Diminished Catholic Faculty, Alumni Say

February 20, 2015, at 11:02 AM  |  By Kimberly Scharfenberger  | Following the election of University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C. to his third term, Notre Dame alumni spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society to share their…Continue Reading

Cardinal Napier: African Bishops Have Higher Priorities Than Communion for Divorced and Remarried

by CNA/EWTN NEWS 02/19/2015 Cardinal Wilfrid Napier speaks at the Vatican Press Office on Oct. 14, 2014. – Bohumil Petrik/CNA ROME — A leading African cardinal says the continent’s bishops want the upcoming Vatican synod to zero in on strengthening…Continue Reading

LGBT Catholic group gets special seating during Pope’s weekly address

(CNN)Members of New Ways Ministry — an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics — have made three pilgrimages to the Vatican, under three different popes. But only once have they been treated like VIPs. That’s the treatment…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl attacks “brother bishops” as “dissenters”

It is an open secret in Washington, D.C., that Donald Cardinal Wuerl has effectively banned Raymond Cardinal Burke from entering the Archdiocese of Washington.  Several sources have confirmed this to Rorate over the years, stemming from Wuerl’s disdain for any priest…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

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

Today . . .

Pope Francis at the close of the Spiritual Exercises – With a piece of Elijah’s mantle

2015-02-27 L’Osservatore Romano The meditations this morning, Friday 27 February, in Ariccia were the last of the Spiritual Exercises in which the Pontiff and members of the Roman Curia participated. Meditations were led by Carmelite, Fr Bruno Secondin, in the chapel of the House of Divin Maesto belonging to the Pauline Fathers. At the end of his reflection Friday morning, Pope Francis wanted to thank the preacher. “On behalf of everyone, myself included,” the Pope…Continue Reading

Pope Francis returns to Vatican after Lenten retreat

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia have returned to the Vatican at the conclusion of their  5-day Lenten retreat held in the town of Ariccia near Rome. The spiritual exercises began last Sunday (February 22nd) and took place in the Casa Divin Maestro centre in Ariccia. In brief remarks at the conclusion of the retreat the Pope thanked Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin for leading the spiritual exercises with them. Please find…Continue Reading

Charles Rice RIP

charlie rice

Word reached  us today that longtime Catholic activist and legal scholar Charles E. Rice died during the night of February 25. We ask our readers to pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and many friends and associates. An ardent crusader and defender of the Catholic faith, his presence will be missed. Joseph Matt, President, The Wanderer

Pope, Curia reflect on superficial religiosity

  (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and the Roman Curia are in the middle of their weeklong Spiritual Exercises in Ariccia, outside Rome. According to L’Osservatore Romano, the retreat master, Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin, has shared reflections with the Curia on the prophet Elias. In his reflection, Fr Secondin compared the worship of the false idols in Elias’ time with a modern-day religiosity that is interested in the superficial and in measures of faith “according to…Continue Reading

What If The Government Fears Freedom?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.? What if Reagan knew and respected the history of…Continue Reading

Our Lady And The New Evangelization

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 3 This article will look at the importance of the modern Marian apparitions, and particularly Fatima, and in this regard, this is what the Church, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 67) says about private revelation: “Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which…Continue Reading

Hanging Rudy Out To Dry

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Back in 1987, this writer was invited by friends to advise them on a press conference they had called to oppose President Reagan’s signing of an INF treaty to remove all nuclear missiles from Europe. My advice: Deplore the treaty; do not attack the president. The next day, Howard Phillips declared…Continue Reading

Darfur: Hell Without The Cameras

By JOHN J. METZLER UNITED NATIONS — In recent years, there has been a dearth of media coverage of Darfur’s humanitarian crisis. What had once been a focus for both diplomatic and high-profile celebrity efforts to detail human rights abuses during more than a decade of inter-ethnic conflict in Sudan’s troubled western region, has now…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Should Serodiscordant Couples Be Permitted To Use Condoms?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book The Case Against Condoms, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + There are times when priests, ministers, and pro-life activists encounter what might be called the “ultimate hard…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. As a longtime subscriber to The Wanderer, I am puzzled that your writers don’t hesitate to criticize and disagree with bishops and cardinals on particular issues, but when it comes to the Pope you automatically close shop, yet he is human just like the bishops and cardinals. There is no teaching in our Church that says one cannot disagree…Continue Reading

God’s “Foolishness” Is Wisdom

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sunday Sermon for March 8, 2015 Third Sunday Of Lent (YR B) Readings: Exodus 20:1-17 1 Cor. 1:22-25 John 2:13-25 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about our Lord cleansing the Temple because the people had turned God’s house into a marketplace. The people, naturally, were appalled at this action because the buying and selling…Continue Reading

Pope’s Message For 30th World Youth Day . . . “Blessed Are The Pure In Heart. . . .”

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the Vatican-provided text of the Holy Father’s message for this year’s World Youth Day, which will be held on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015, at the diocesan level. ZENIT News Agency published the text on February 17; all rights reserved. + + + Dear Young Friends, We continue our spiritual pilgrimage toward Krakow, where…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Lent: Season For Deeper Conversion From Death To Life

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Italians, when the subject of marriage and therefore also of children comes up, are quick to say, “Due è basta,” meaning, “Two children are enough.” Young people decide long before they even meet the person they will marry that it will be thus also for them. If you’ve learned to love Italy and the Italians…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustus Chapdelaine

By CAROLE BRESLIN Christianity has never been warmly welcomed by the authorities in China, but that did not stop the missionaries over the centuries who have gone there to save souls. Christianity has existed in various forms since the Tang Dynasty (eighth century). The first reports of Catholic priests going to China go back to the 13th century. John of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Jacinta Marto

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Catholic classic Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, we learn that wisdom is to be valued much more than knowledge. There is an entire book of the Old Testament called the Book of Wisdom. While holiness does not equal happiness, we can be sure that joy comes only from God. Little Jacinta Marto, the…Continue Reading