Tuesday 31st March 2015

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:

Lying About Card. Burke

Both Michael Sean Winters of the Fishwrap and David Gibson of RNS posted intellectually dishonest hit pieces against Card. Burke. They purposely misread what Card. Burke said in order to put him in the worst light they could. At least…Continue Reading

Pope says prayers, not ‘gossip,’ needed for successful synod on family

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — No matter how weary, wounded or sinful a family has become, the church will always do everything to try to help family members heal, convert and reconcile with the Lord,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke says confusion spreading among Catholics ‘in an alarming way’

LifeSiteNews: Since the extraordinary synod on the family, we have entered a period of uncertainty and confusion over several “hot-button” issues: communion for divorced and “remarried” couples, a change of attitude towards homosexual unions and an apparent relaxing of attitudes…Continue Reading

Bishop backs Catholic school’s removal of teacher over pro-marriage Facebook comments: cites Pope Francis

SOMERVILLE, NJ, March 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Catholic school has decided not to rehire a theology teacher who rejected the argument in favor of gay “marriage” on her private Facebook page, her family has announced. The controversy began last…Continue Reading

Creepy Catholicism.

Martin O’Malley is the latest Catholic politician to come out as a duplicitous “Catholic.” Deacon Kandra posts an excerpt here from an interview in which O’Malley displays some amazingly twisted thinking to support homosexual marriage–even though he’s a Catholic. As far…Continue Reading

Polish Bishops’ Conference rejects Holy Communion for divorced and “remarried”

The Polish Bishops’ Conference has issued a communiqué firmly rejecting the proposals that divorced and “remarried” Catholics should be admitted to Holy Communion without amendment of life. The communiqué, published on 12th March, includes the following statement: “In view of the…Continue Reading

Celtic Catholic priest and friends pile on archbishop

On Monday March 16, KALW radio’s City Visions will host a program “Can Bay Area Catholics and Archbishop Cordileone find Common Ground?” Scheduled guests are the Reverend Vincent Pizzuto; Most Holy Redeemer parishioner and teachers’ union representative Ted DeSaulnier; and…Continue Reading

The Traditional Case for Capital Punishment

A group of Catholic publishers recently issued a joint statement urging an end to capital punishment. I have great respect for all of them – I have written for all of them at one point or another. I disagree with…Continue Reading

Cardinal Müller: Pope Is Not Above the Word of God and the Catholic Faith

Edit: Rorate tends to understate things.  They want a sober response.  We’d like to offer this translation of Giuseppe Nardi’s appreciation of their take on Cardinal Müller’s recent letter appearing in the Osservatore Romano and additional commentary from other important Italian…Continue Reading

Is the Synod Secretariat Stacking the Deck Again?

The Vatican today announced that the vice president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family will be a consulter to the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. Professor José Granados‘ appointment,…Continue Reading

Gay activist: Of course our goal is to ‘indoctrinate children into LGBTQ agenda’

TORONTO, March 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A homosexual activist has candidly admitted that gay-themed materials and policies pushed in grade schools across North America are for the sake of “indoctrinating” children into an unquestioning acceptance of homosexuality. “I am here…Continue Reading

Pope . . . giving holy Communion to remarried divorcees “won’t solve anything”

On the second anniversary of his pontificate, the Holy Father gave a lengthy interview to a Mexican television journalist. – CNA/Bohumil Petrik VATICAN CITY — In a new, wide-ranging interview published Friday on the second anniversary of his election, Pope…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 makes Curial nominations for Education, APSA

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has named the former President of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, the new Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. The Congregation for Catholic Education is responsible for houses of formation of religious and secular institutes; universities, faculties, institutes and higher schools of study, either ecclesial or civil dependent on ecclesial persons; and schools and educational institutes depending on ecclesiastical authorities. In addition, the Holy Father…Continue Reading

Pope Francis on Palm Sunday: remember persecuted Christians

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis remembered the persecuted Christians in the world on Sunday – Palm Sunday – during Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Following the proclamation of the Passion according to St. Mark, Pope Francis delivered a homily, in which he reflected on the plight of all those who endure humiliation because of their faithfulness to the Gospel, all those who face discrimination and pay a personal price for their fidelity to Christ. “We think…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Palm Sunday Homily

pope742

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily at Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday – Palm Sunday – the beginning of Holy Week, 2015. Please find, below, the official English translation of the Holy Father’s prepared remarks. ***************************** At the heart of this celebration, which seems so festive, are the words we heard in the hymn of the Letter to the Philippians: “He humbled himself” (2:8).  Jesus’ humiliation. These words show us God’s way…Continue Reading

Pope: Life Of St Teresa Of Avila Can Help Renew Consecrated Life

st thera avila

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said the life of St Teresa of Avila, characterized by “total self-giving to God,” is a “great treasure” that can help to renew consecrated life today. The pope spoke of the witness of St Teresa in a letter, issued Saturday, to the Superior General of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, Fr Xavier Cannistrà, to mark the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the saint’s birth. Listen to the report by Laura…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Solid Scholarship On The Middle Ages

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Fried, Johannes. The Middle Ages, trans. from the German by Peter Lewis. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2015. Pp. Xi + 580. The Middle Ages are generally considered to be the period between 500 and 1500 AD. That thousand-year period in Johannes Fried’s narrative begins with Boethius under the reign of the…Continue Reading

“What Is Historical Church Teaching On Contraception?”

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 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Part 1 “Contraception cannot be an expression of total self-giving, because in contraception, something is…Continue Reading

Transforming The St. Patrick’s Day Parades

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON St. Patrick’s Day, which is a holy day of obligation for Catholics in Ireland, has been corrupted in America by homosexual activists who flaunt their opposition to Catholic doctrine. Celebratory parades have been co-opted for dissident political purposes. Since the seventh century, St. Patrick has been revered as the patron saint…Continue Reading

How Far Can One Sink?

By DONALD DeMARCO “With [Premier] Wynne’s sex education curriculum, we have at last splashed down in a miasmal sewer in which it’s hard to sink any further.” So writes Harley Price, who has taught philosophy at a number of prestigious universities. Many, including outraged parents and indignant members of the medical establishment, agree with him.…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . A Spiritually Sound Approach To Depression

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY The Catholic Guide to Depression, by Aaron Kheriaty, MD, with Fr. John Cihak (Sophia Institute Press, 228 pages). Visit www.sophiainstitute.com or call 1-800-888-9344 for more information or for ordering. + + + This book has a lengthy introduction, and is then divided into two parts. The first is entitled “Understanding Depression,”…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

Message From Cardinal Burke

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . The Lessons Of Holy Week On Faithful Love

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK As Holy Week is upon us once again, and we join in with the condemnation of the crowd, crying “Crucify Him, Crucify Him,” we relive the betrayal of sin which marks every human life. We accompany the Lord Jesus Christ on His way of the cross and journey with Him all the way to Calvary.…Continue Reading

Is Mary The Mother Of God… Or Only The Mother Of Jesus?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 Responding to a common misconception among separated brethren and ill-informed Catholics: What did the Early Christians believe about the Catholic doctrine on the divine Motherhood? Those men, women, and children who sacrificed everything for the true faith in Jesus — even their very own lives? They were imprisoned, tortured, murdered. Some were burned…Continue Reading

Divine Revelation: Gradual And Progressive

By DON FIER We left off last week reflecting on God’s motive for revealing Himself to us in a supernatural manner. In a word, His sole motive was that of boundless love for mankind. God gratuitously and unconditionally chose to “communicate His own divine life to the men He freely created, in order to adopt them as His sons in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: As readers of this column know, we like to quote Fr. George Rutler from time to time because his weekly bulletin columns at the Church of St. Michael in New York City are sources of both information and inspiration. After starting his March 22 column by noting that history is “replete with the failures of famous figures,” such…Continue Reading

We Have Been Raised With Christ

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Easter Sunday (YR B) Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Col. 3:1-4 John 20:1-9 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about Peter and John entering the Lord’s grave after they had been informed by St. Mary Magdalen that Jesus had been taken away. We are told that when the Beloved Disciple saw the burial cloths there and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marguerite D’Youville

By CAROLE BRESLIN By 1701 the European colonies in North America had expanded beyond the Appalachian Mountains. The Anglo population in the English American colonies had reached 275,000. The French had recently established a colony in Detroit. Catholics, however, were persecuted as Massachusetts passed a law ordering all Roman Catholic priests to leave or face execution. New York passed a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Faustina And Divine Mercy

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Divine Mercy Chaplet had never been one of my favorite devotions until my aunt died. As she lay in the hospital during her final hours, I sat in the room, visiting with the endless stream of visitors who stopped in to see their fellow volunteer. By six o’clock, the room was quiet. I decided to read…Continue Reading