Monday 22nd December 2014

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Sign Of The State’s Dysfunction . . . A California Parish’s “Four-Minute Specials”

November 14, 2013 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES LIKOUDIS

Anyone who is knowledgeable about political affairs is aware of the dysfunctional state of California’s politics. The state’s entrenched liberalism has resulted in anti-Christian legislation and judicial decisions injuring marriage and family life. If contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage have become part of the American Way of Life with the deplorable support of politicians who claim to be Catholic, it is not too much to say that California has led the way.
Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation allowing non-physicians to do abortions. This is the same Brown who in his youth attended Catholic schools, intended to be a priest, and entered a Jesuit seminary. He became, however, a leading Democratic Party politician who won the governorship twice. There was never any question that he was a “champion of a woman’s right to choose” and an advocate of “gay rights” who appointed a number of homosexual and lesbian judges.
It is not too much to say that Gov. Brown is a poster child for those Catholic politicians who betray Catholic moral teachings to cause injury to both Church and state. So much for Vatican II’s resounding call to the laity to be a leaven in society with Christian principles and legislation to protect marriage and the family and to counter a statism that attacks fundamental human rights.
Sad experience has shown that upholding the moral teaching of the Church is hardly to be expected where catechesis on essential doctrines of the faith remains muddled, questioned, or outright denied, thereby causing confusion and loss of Catholic identity.
As is well known, various California archdioceses and dioceses have suffered terribly from the doctrinal and liturgical excesses entrenched in parishes and chanceries. One particular parish (Christ the King Church, Pleasant Hill, Calif.) in the Diocese of Oakland comes to mind since its pastor’s “Four-Minute Specials” explaining Catholic doctrine are prominently displayed on the parish web site.
Fr. Brian Joyce assures his readers about “The Real Presence of Jesus in [sic] the Bread and Wine” and of “the real presence of Jesus in the entire Mass.” He further states that the Church “excludes belief in a material physical or molecular change in bread and wine….The fundamental purpose of Christ’s presence is not for Him to be adored and not for our isolated private devotion and piety.”
Fr. Joyce’s eucharistic teaching appears confused and ill-formulated and clearly betrays the influence of the trendy liturgical writers of the 1970s and 1980s who muddled the real, substantial Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and downplayed adoration of Christ in the Eucharist. But there is yet more elitist and condescending dismissal of traditional Catholic doctrine. He writes:
“Whatever happened to Original Sin? When I was in the fourth grade, I knew all about ‘Original Sin.’ Adam and Eve had disobeyed and that really irritated God. (Whom, I was told, gets very easily upset.) God immediately threw them out of the Garden of Eden and made the rest of us pay the price by locking the gates of heaven and leaving the stain of ‘Original Sin’ on each of us. The gates could only be unlocked by Christ and the stain could only be removed by Baptism.
“Original Sin is quite real, but it is also something quite different from that fourth-grade version….The Bible which talks about Original Sin, not in Genesis with Adam and Eve, but in the New Testament with Christ, tells us that, just as sin has entered the human race and is universal, so the reconciling victory of Jesus is even more powerful and universal. The significance of Baptism is that if we are plunged (baptized) into a community of brothers and sisters who work at proclaiming God’s love and living by Christ’s gospel and Spirit, then the world becomes a safer place for us, and we ourselves can be transformed. Now the upside-down, backwards way of saying that is ‘Baptism takes away Original Sin’.”
The presentation of original sin geared to the understanding of a fourth grader is more faithful to Catholic doctrine than the California pastor’s updated revision of it, which eliminates the significance of Adam’s fall from divine grace narrated in Genesis that led to the human race being separated from God’s divine life, thereby suffering the punishment of being deprived of access to Heaven.
Fr. Joyce admits that “every one of us has a dark side” and is “quite prone to sin” and says that “some would attribute that to the whole evolutionary process where it was survival of the fittest, me-first, natural selection, and self-survival that got us this far in the first place.”
With this perspective the doctrine of original sin is emptied of its substance. Ignored is the teaching of the Church that in the person of Adam all his descendants were included and all (except our Lord and His Immaculate Mother) inherited the sin of Adam and the results of that sin. Those results are guilt, a damaged human nature, and both spiritual and physical death. Fr. Joyce’s fourth grader would have a more lively sense of Adam’s sin resulting in mankind’s being deprived of the holiness of God and being placed in a condition or state of sin (thus “stained” with original sin). He knew what Fr. Joyce clearly downplayed: Baptism is necessary to remove that stain.
It is distressing to note that too many poorly instructed catechists appear to believe with our California pastor that the good and loving God does not punish. He does not punish Adam for his sin of disobedience nor does He punish with the suffering and pains of Purgatory. In his “Four-Minute Special” on Purgatory, Fr. Joyce informs that the Church rejects the fantasies of Dante and medieval artists reveling in the image of Purgatory as “a fiery prison, and the impression of our God acting like a punitive warden rather than the loving God revealed by Jesus.”
This is a caricature of Church teaching and ignores the reality of the “cleansing fire” and the “purifying fire” that ready imperfect souls for attaining the Beatific Vision. Though the precise nature of the “fire of Purgatory” and its sufferings has never been defined by the Church, the pains are real. Fr. Joyce says: “I don’t think that the Church’s praying for the dead…is really to get our loved ones an early pardon from purgatory or to help them escape from a divine ‘lock up’.”
St. Padre Pio was known for his great devotion to the holy souls in Purgatory. His was not a cavalier attitude, but one of heroic and generous intercession for suffering souls and of motivating others to offer prayers, alms, and sacrifices for their needy brethren in Purgatory.
Surely, it has become glaringly evident that Catholics malformed by bad catechesis will not be in a position to vigorously act in our increasingly Godless society on behalf of the social doctrine of the Church.

+    +    +

(James Likoudis is president emeritus of Catholics United for the Faith.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

CACG: Faux Catholic Front Group Still An Outsider?

At Catholic World Report Anne Hendershott revisits the notorious democrat front group, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and gives us an idea of their set of 2016 tricks. Promising yet again to “move beyond partisan and ideological divisions,”…Continue Reading

The Catholic Weakness

A large proportion of traditional, Mass-going Catholics don’t believe basic Church doctrine. Why not? By Maggie Gallagher   Last week I wrote about one piece of data that jumped out from the Austin Institute’s fascinating new study, Relationships in America:…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke . . . “The Church depends on sound Catholic family life, and it depends on sound Catholic families.”

An Interview with Cardinal Burke  On Vatican II Q. Your Eminence, you grew up before the Second Vatican Council. How do you remember those times? A. I grew up in a very beautiful time in the Church, in which we…Continue Reading

Did Pope Francis really say all dogs go to heaven? UPDATED

That nice man, Pope Francis, says you get to see your pets again in Heaven. But Pope Benedict is a mean old Grinch who wants to remove the animals from your Nativity scene Christmas decorations. Oh, really? Please don’t believe…Continue Reading

Catholic Church in Australia links celibacy to child abuse

By Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney, and Nick Squires in Rome 8:04PM GMT 12 Dec 2014 Priests’ vows of celibacy may have led to paedophilia, the Roman Catholic Church in Australia has said, in what is believed to be the first such…Continue Reading

Pope Calls For More ‘Integration’ Of Divorced Catholics, Gays

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church must consider various ways to integrate the divorced and civilly remarried in the life of the church — not merely allowing them…Continue Reading

‘I’m not worried’ about resistance, Pope Francis says in new interview

Vatican City, Dec 7, 2014 / 11:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an interview with the Argentine daily “La Nacion” published Sunday, Pope Francis spoke on a variety of topics, giving specific attention to the ongoing reform of the Roman Curia,…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Severs Ties with Agency over Gay Adoption Ruling

The Catholic Church in Northern Ireland is pulling the plug on a long-standing relationship with the Family Care Society, a Catholic adoption agency, after a judge ruled that all adoption services must be willing to place children with same-sex couples…Continue Reading

Reaction to Chicago archbishop’s remarks on pro-abort pols receiving Communion

n a radical departure from the position of Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Blase Cupich – said to have been handpicked by Pope Francis for Chicago – has presented giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians as a positive move. Asked Sunday…Continue Reading

Pope Francis dodges reporter’s question on treatment of homosexuality in Synod’s controversial mid-term report

Since the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, reporters around the world have been wondering where Pope Francis stands on the controversial language about homosexuality in the mid-term Synod report.  The opportunity to ask the pope…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cupich Says Yes to Communion for Pro-Abortion Politicians

In October of last year veteran Italian journalist Sandro Magister wrote of the new path that many believed the Church was embarking upon. Magister observed: “In Italy, but not only there, it was the cardinal and Jesuit Carlo Maria Martini…Continue Reading

Francis calls for a change mentality in the Church, easier homilies and flexible times

Francis addresses participants of the International Pastoral Congress on the World’s Big Cities: “Go out and facilitate”, don’t be afraid of multicultural contexts or of proclaiming Jesus DOMENICO AGASSO JR ROME Francis was honest from the start: “I don’t want…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: At Christmas Jesus Knocks At The Doors Of Your Heart

POPE701

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday invited the faithful to listen carefully when God knocks at their door. “Too often – he said – Jesus passes by in our lives, he sends an angel and we are so caught up in our thoughts and concerns we do not even notice”. Speaking to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for…Continue Reading

Pope Francis receives John XXIII Community

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received nearly 8 thousand members and associates of the Pope St. John XXIII Community on Saturday. Now recognized as an Association of Lay Faithful, the  Pope John XXIII Community was founded by Fr. Oreste Benzi of the clergy of the Diocese of Rimini in 1968, on the basis of his decade of experience with young people…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: The Church Is Not An Entrepreneur But A Mother

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis said on Friday that there is much sterility within the Church and the people of God, a sterility that comes from power and egoism.  The Church, he stressed, is a mother and not an entrepreneur. His remarks came during his homily at morning Mass celebrated at the Santa Marta residence. The Pope’s reflections on the themes…Continue Reading

General Audience: Jesus Chose To Come To The World As Part Of A family

POPE700

Vatican City, 17 December 2014 (VIS) – The family is the “great gift that the Lord has given to the world ever since the beginning, when he entrusted to Adam and Eve the mission of multiplying and filling the earth; the gift that Jesus confirmed and sealed in His Gospel”, said the Holy Father during this Wednesday’s general audience, in…Continue Reading

Anna’s Wish

By DEREK BECHER Anna lay still on her hospital bed, which was tilted slightly upward, while she slept. Her parents sat beside her, with their hands clenched together, sharing a prayer as they watched their only child laboring with each breath. She had only just turned nine, but the brave little girl had fought the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Piacenza To Confessors.. Remember The Priceless Ministry Of Confession At Christmas

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is a letter to confessors from Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, major penitentiary, released Gaudete Sunday, December 14. In the letter, the cardinal emphasized that “the time of Advent, and especially the days of the beautiful novena of Christmas, are characterized by a particularly attentive waiting, not only by men for God…but…Continue Reading

Archbishop Of Karachi . . . Says “The Taliban Will Stop At Nothing Now”

By JOHN PONTIFEX LONDON (ACN News) — Innocent people in Pakistan — young and old alike — are now at increased risk of terrorist attack, according to the leader of the country’s Catholics, who has called on the government to step up security in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre. Archbishop Joseph Coutts of…Continue Reading

Ten Complacent Maxims

By DONALD DeMARCO Mark Strand, Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. poet laureate, passed away recently (November 29, 2014). He was a staunch atheist, declaring that he had never met God and had never been to Heaven. He said: “Although there are a lot of people claiming that God is telling them what to do,…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Abortifacient Brief: Depo-Provera”

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 chapter 2 of The Facts of Life, “Abortifacients,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Depo-Provera is an injectable contraceptive drug that sometimes has an abortifacient effect. It also possesses…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity… Didn’t Jesus Have Brothers And Sisters?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His Mother called Mary? And are not His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all His sisters with us?” (Matt. 13:54-57; also Mark 6:2-3). “And His Mother and…Continue Reading

The Canon Of Scripture

By DON FIER Part 2 We ended last week’s installment by showing that the apostles and early Christians accepted the 46-book Septuagint as the authentic Old Testament right from the Church’s beginning. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches, these 46 divinely inspired books constitute “an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture” (CCC, n. 121) and “bear witness to…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Questions And Answers About Christmas Q. Do we know the exact year in which Jesus was born? A. No, we do not. In the sixth century, a monk named Dionysius Exiguus drew up a calendar that fixed the birth of Christ in the Roman year 753, but scholars today agree that Dionysius miscalculated by a few years. So it is…Continue Reading

The Law Of The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Feast Of The Holy Family (YR B) Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 Col. 3:12-21 Luke 2: 22-40 Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. In a particular way this refers to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. However, it also refers to all families that are striving to live according to the ways of holiness and truth.…Continue Reading

Pope’s Message For World Day of Peace . . . “No Longer Slaves, But Brothers”

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the text of Pope Francis’ message for the 48th World Day of Peace, which is celebrated on January 1, 2015. For a text with footnotes, go to www.zenit.org. + + + At the beginning of this New Year, which we welcome as God’s gracious gift to all humanity, I offer heartfelt wishes of peace…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Urban V

By CAROLE BRESLIN The year 1309 marked the beginning of the Avignon papacy, under Pope Clement V, who was French. The Popes of Avignon built a papal palace, increasing it in size over the next 70 years. The first crack in the control of the papacy by the French began when Pope Urban V left Avignon to reside in Rome…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Sabbas

By CAROLE BRESLIN Silence. Quiet. The search for peace, serenity, and calm has led many in today’s world to take up Yoga, Eastern mysticism, or life in remote areas to escape the noise of our modern world. This is not a modern quest. The quest for quiet has been with man for millennia. Although St. Anthony the Great (died 356)…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