Wednesday 29th July 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:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Catholic officials, others react to Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly gay leaders

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The top leaders of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting have made an uneasy peace with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision July 27 to allow openly gay troop leaders and employees to serve in their ranks…Continue Reading

The Remnant REALLY? . . . Is This How We Support Fellow Catholics Battling A Cause We Should All Be Behind?

Planned Parenthood Hires PR Firm to Run Damage Control After It’s Exposed Selling Aborted Babies

The Planed Parenthood abortion business is so desperate to put out the public relations fires that have developed in the wake of it being caught numerous times selling the body parts of aborted babies that it has hired a top…Continue Reading

More than Half of Young Catholic Families Are Latino Despite Recent Decline

More than half of young Catholic families (53 percent) identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic compared with 32 percent of all Catholics, according to a recent survey. Could the presence of Hispanic families in the Catholic Church indicate Latino congregational…Continue Reading

New York Catholic churches closing after decades of service

Parishioners in New York are losing their churches as the Catholic Archdiocese carries out an aggressive consolidation plan. The cuts are driven by declining membership, fiscal insolvency of churches, and fewer priests, according to church officials. While there are 2.8…Continue Reading

Kenyan President to Obama: You Will not Impose The ‘Gay Rights’ Agenda In Kenya

We need to speak frankly about these things” says President Kenyatta in response to Obama’s statement that Kenya must share the same values as the United States on sodomite rights issues. Kenyatta, at the press conference this morning in Kenya,…Continue Reading

Nancy Pelosi: Ignore Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies, Investigate Pro-Lifers

nancyp

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has no interest in digging deeper into the revelations that the Planned Parenthood abortion business is selling the body part of aborted babies Instead, she wants the Obama administration to investigate the pro-life activists who…Continue Reading

Carly Fiorina to Planned Parenthood: You Deny Ultrasounds to Show Women Life Within Them, but Use Ultrasounds to Preserve Organs of Their Dead Babies

Venezuela’s bishops caution against the adoption of no-fault divorce

The Venezuelan bishops last week warned that marriage and families in their nation will be weakened as a result of a court decision ruling that spouses can divorce without any evidence of wrongdoing on either’s part , Christian Telegraph reports…Continue Reading

Rationing? Obamacare Health Care Plans Have 34 Percent Fewer Doctors, Hospitals

According to the Washington Examiner, a new study reveals that Obamacare plans have 34% fewer doctors and hospitals than other health insurance plans. The information was released today by Avalere Heath and proves that exchange networks actually provide fewer heart…Continue Reading

Cdl. Vincent Nichols to Expand LGBT Ministry

WESTMINSTER, July 21, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales, is pushing to expand the Church’s ministry to those in the LGBT community. Monsignor Keith Barltrop, parish priest of St. Mary…Continue Reading

LA gets three new auxiliary bishops, including Fr. Robert Barron

Los Angeles, Calif., Jul 21, 2015 / 07:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Known for his online videos which tackle everything from the saints, to the “new atheism,” to the latest blockbuster film, Fr. Robert Barron will have a new responsibility: auxiliary…Continue Reading

Newsmax

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 su
bscribe 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: Multiply good works like the loaves and fishes

pope113

(Vatican Radio) Before the recitation of the Marian Prayer before the faithful in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recalled Sunday’s Gospel about the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. The Pope explained that “Jesus satisfies not only material hunger, but the most profound of hungers, the hunger for meaning in life, the hunger for God.” He went on to say that  “in the face of suffering, loneliness, poverty and difficulties of so many people,…Continue Reading

How PPFA Manipulates Women Into “Donating” Their Babies’ Organs

By DAVE ANDRUSKO (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News Today, July 15, 2015. All rights reserved.) + + + We’ve discussed at some length a shocking hidden-camera video in which two undercover investigators are shown discussing with a high-ranking PPFA official how these supposed “procurers” of fetal tissue could work with Planned Parenthood affiliates to harvest intact baby body parts. I would also like to talk about…Continue Reading

Analyzing The Heterodoxies Of The “Shadow Council”

By MAIKE HICKSON As some readers might recall, on May 25, 2015, the presidents of the German, Swiss, and French Bishops Conferences had organized a private conference at the Gregorian University in Rome. This “Shadow Council,” as it soon was called, was criticized for its secrecy and obliqueness. The suspicion arose that this meeting was intended for preparing some revolutionary strategies and argumentation in order to promote the liberalizing agenda at the upcoming October 2015…Continue Reading

In the meeting on climate change and modern slavery, the Pope warns against the idolatry of technocracy

Vatican City, 22 July 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon Pope Francis greeted the participants in the meeting “Modern slavery and climate change: the commitment of cities” and in the Symposium “Prosperity, people and planet: achieving sustainable development in our cities ”, held in the Vatican’s Casina Pio IV by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, whose chancellor is Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. The events were attended by the mayors of major cities, local administrators and various…Continue Reading

Aggressive Obama, Passive National GOP . . . Is Third-Party Option Starting To Look Better?

By DEXTER DUGGAN House Speaker John Boehner said the recently released sting video of a national Planned Parenthood official at lunch, munching away and chatting about how to “crush” unborn babies to harvest their organs for money, was “disgusting.” Republican Boehner finally seemed to have found his voice in a Washington where he usually blends…Continue Reading

Is This What Determines Our Position On Common Core?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The mail that we receive at First Teachers is overwhelmingly opposed to Common Core, the federal government’s effort to establish education standards for the country. Certain of our correspondents object to what they see as a liberal bias in Common Core’s curriculum, while others object to what they believe are confusing…Continue Reading

When Trump Talks, People Should Listen

By REY FLORES How many of you recall the old E.F. Hutton television commercials where everyone on an airplane would stop and listen to one man when he says, “My broker is E.F. Hutton, and E.F. Hutton says….” The voiceover would then state: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Donald Trump can do the same…Continue Reading

Thinking About The Church And Our Lives As Catholics

By PHILIP TROWER (Editor’s Note: This essay is an abridged version of a 2009 talk Philip Trower gave to the David Foster Summer School in England.) + + + I want this evening to share some thoughts with you about what being a Catholic has come to mean to me since I was received into…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Like A Prophet Warning Of A Nightmare

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, by Anthony Esolen (Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Wilmington, DE, 2015); 222 pp. Available through www.isibooks.org. When many hear the word compulsion, they think of a totalitarian society or a state of imprisonment or associate the word with some addiction like drugs…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Like Love, Assent To Faith Is A Matter Of The Will

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Reaction to my column last week titled “Where Is There Room to Disagree With Jesus? In Hell!” included the following note from a Facebook follower. Kim wrote, “Perhaps the question posed to you was not worded correctly. How about this onea. . . . Is there a line where Catholic teachings are not something Catholics…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Why Is The Gospel Message Unique Among Religions?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 12 In this series of articles on apologetics, we have followed a logical sequence, moving from the simpler to the more complex. So, first we saw how it makes sense that truth is objective, and not subjective; that is, our minds do not create the truth, they learn it, discover it, and grasp it from…Continue Reading

The Four Marks Of The Church — Catholicity

By DON FIER Part 3 As we continued to examine the third mark of the Church last week, that she is catholic (or universal), we saw that all mankind is called to belong to the one true Church, the new People of God. Christ’s clear mandate to His apostles was to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In our parish it is a custom following the final blessing at Mass for the priest to lead the congregation in a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and a Hail Mary. This past Sunday during that prayer, I was reminded of the tradition in the late 1940s and the 1950s to offer prayers for the conversion of Russia following…Continue Reading

Put On The New Self

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 Eph. 4:17, 20-24 John 6:24-35 In the second reading today St. Paul calls his Ephesian converts to a deeper conversion, emphatically stating: “I declare in the Lord.” He could not have used any language that would have been stronger to make his point. And what…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Martha

By CAROLE BRESLIN A popular pilgrimage among the Catholics of southern France takes visitors to the Grotte de la Sainte-Baume, located in the hills of Provence about 20 miles east of the port of Marseilles. To reach this holy site, the driver must cover miles of winding, ascending roads to the foot of the mountain. Then the pilgrim ascends a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading