Tuesday 28th May 2024

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A Leaven In The World… Butker, Dogma, And The Pope

May 23, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on A Leaven In The World… Butker, Dogma, And The Pope

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

May has been a month of conviction and consternation, conflicts, contrasts, and criticism.

In the matter of conviction, the award goes to Harrison Butker.

Benedictine College is a place where the college president leads the student body in the prayer of the holy rosary on his knees. It’s a place of Eucharistic revival, you might say. That’s because it’s a place of authentic Catholic faith.

Small surprise, then, that Traditional Latin Mass altar boy and champion Super Bowl kicker Harrison Butker was invited this spring to deliver the commencement address at the college.

In his remarks he dared to criticize the feminist dogma that women can always have marriage, children, and career and always be happy “having it all.” Sounds exhausting. Though some women actually choose it.

His mistake, it appears, was in praising his wife’s decision to be a homemaker exclusively.

He didn’t, however, dogmatically suggest that any woman who pursues employment outside the home is doing something wrong. Some women have very loudly disagreed with his praise of his wife’s choice to exclude paid employment outside the home. And that’s okay. What doesn’t sit right is the violent attack upon Butker and his family, which included doxing by someone in the Kansas City government. There is something diabolic at work here in addition to the rather worn trope of women choosing to part-time parent.

People think their homes are important. A home is for the typical family the biggest investment they will ever make. Families expend much time, money, and effort in making their homes beautiful, as a worthy place to spend their free time. What’s wrong with spending more time enjoying one’s family, home-schooling, and doing it in the most important place for any family: At home?

Being a homemaker is difficult. Raising children and managing a home is just as demanding and rewarding as any other task. Perhaps more so: one cannot stage-manage the special moments that just naturally occur in the development of a child. Time and attention are necessary.

The reaction of consternation on the part of so many was odd. Was it perhaps a case of “Methinks thou dost protest too much”? Was it perhaps guilt?

It is children who are asked to make a sacrifice, of time with their parents, when both adults work. Time which cannot be grabbed back once children are grown. Women do not typically express regret about the choice of sacrificing something else, frankly less important, in order to be more present in the sacredness of the home and with their children.

Is there anything children need more than their parents? Especially when parents are charged with handing on the Faith?

This is also a month of contrasts.

In the U.S. this month the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage kicked off. Four processions from four points of continental extremity will converge in a few weeks at Indianapolis where the main events for the revival hosted by the USCCB will take place.

Archbishop Cordileone was joined by eight young adult “perpetual pilgrims” who will make the entire walk to Indianapolis from the west coast on one pilgrimage of witness to Christ’s Eucharistic Presence through the traditional means of a procession. This while at the same time in Europe, the Paris-Chartres pilgrimage saw a capacity crowd of 20k or more, mostly young people, again this year. These thousands, among them many Americans, sought out the hardship of a three-day walk, after traveling thousands of miles from all over the world, not escorted or invited by a bishop but, rather, as a spontaneous expression of youthful and vital faith. And they’ll be back next year. No “Eucharistic revival” needed there. The San Francisco procession across the Golden Gate swelled to 4,000 people.

Then there was criticism: the 60 Minutes interview with Pope Francis. Specifically intended for the U.S. audience as it was, some of us were bracing for more blows. This given the Pope’s track record of beating up on Catholics while going out of his way to accommodate enemies of the faith. And we were not disappointed. Well, actually we were.

According to MSN, the Pope said the U.S. bishops and others who criticize him are defined as “conservative,” meaning “one who clings to something and does not want to see beyond that. It is a suicidal attitude. Because one thing is to take tradition into account, to consider situations from the past, but quite another is to be closed up inside a dogmatic box.”

When it comes to Eucharistic revival we’re talking ultimately about a faith revival. Among churchgoing Catholics, those who practice their faith rather than merely speak of it, Eucharistic faith is also strong. It is Christ in the Eucharist who “draws them to Himself.”

The Pope’s 60 Minutes interview comes at a time when the U.S. bishops are grappling precisely with a dogma problem: The Church teaches the “dogma” of the true and Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because it’s true. The crisis the bishops face, and which spawned the whole effort of the Eucharistic Revival in the first place, is precisely because so many, seven out of ten Catholics, reject the dogma of the Real Presence.

Young Catholics like Butker find the truths of dogma freeing. They know that they please and love God by putting Him in first place, along with their vocation as parents. Butker emphasized the way in which His wife keeps him grounded by reminding him football is not first. Truth brings happiness now as a foretaste of future glory.

No, Holy Father, dogma is not a “box.” It is rather a helpful crystallization of truths handed down through Scripture and Tradition from Christ Himself. Anyone who has truth problem, has a Jesus problem. Dogma enshrines the truths to which we must assent for the sake of salvation. The truth frees; it doesn’t restrict. Bad choice of metaphor.

The 60 Minutes interview also comes during presidential election season. One candidate is a bad Catholic and the other a bad Protestant. One of the two, however, the Democrat is totally in the pocket of Planned Parenthood and an enthusiastic and unapologetic cheerleader for abortion at any time, for any reason.

Catholics in the pews have a problem with this Democrat’s reception of the Eucharist at Holy Mass, a public scandal. And rightly so. His ferocious advocacy for legal child murder and his regular public desecration of the Eucharist are two sides of the same coin: the truth of the sacredness of human life and the truth of Christ’s Presence Eucharistically are dogmas. By ignoring them Biden disserves his own life by risking eternal damnation. He needs to be a little clingier with the truth, not less. ZeroHedge.com published commentary on the issue:

“To locate Joe Biden’s electoral problem, you need only to look on Sunday morning. Polling shows the Mass-attending Catholic president trails Donald Trump by 10 points among those who attend religious services a few times a year or more. The score is reversed with voters who report they seldom or never attend church, with Biden leading by 10.”

Biden is a dogma-free Catholic. He believes whatever he wants like there is no such thing as truth. He does whatever he wants to chase the political wind. Doesn’t sound to me like a poster boy for the Catholic Faith. But that, it seems, is what Pope Francis wants, according to his comments on 60 Minutes.

Dogma is not a “box,” Holy Father. It is the truth which frees us for acting now with eternal life in view. Dogma is ultimate freedom, for obedience to the truths it espouses frees us from bondage to sin and for eternal happiness.

It doesn’t like we have a dogma problem to me. It sounds like the opposite: not enough.

Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

apriestlife.blogspot.com

Biden Agrees To Debate Trump… A Kind Of Candidate Faceoff Never Before Seen For Prez

May 19, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Biden Agrees To Debate Trump… A Kind Of Candidate Faceoff Never Before Seen For Prez

By DEXTER DUGGAN

Announcing that he would “debate” Donald Trump twice for this year’s presidential race, arrogant Joe Biden in a video, pathetically trying to appear to be a tough guy, blustered, “Well, make my day, pal.”

But impaired Democrat Biden wasn’t tough at all in the May 15 video. He wouldn’t agree to appear before a live debate audience but only in a closed studio, and he insisted that the microphone of the debater who wasn’t speaking at the moment be cut off lest delicate Biden be interrupted.

Biden’s a real slugger as long as he has concrete in his boxing gloves — and assistants to help him hold up his trembling hands — while his opponent is nailed against the wall, with his hands tied tight against his sides.

That’s the way Biden “governs.”

Considering that bad Catholic Biden needs to wear special shoes just so he has less chance of falling over on his face during the day, how does he plan to whale away at the pinioned Trump in the debate ring? Maybe Biden can have a steel rod run up his backside to help him balance?

In an editorial posted May 15, The Wall Street Journal — no friend of Trump at all — cautioned: “The two men agreed to a debate on June 27, hosted by CNN, and another on September 10 hosted by ABC. Let’s hope the moderators are fair-minded, but don’t underestimate how hard that will be given the heavily anti-Trump culture of both media organizations.”

This editorial’s subheadline was, “The two will debate after all, though Trump may regret the moderators.”

Of course, Biden correctly expects that dominant media will go out of their way to smooth the way for him and assault Trump.

In a recent interview with Erin Burnett of pro-Biden CNN, Biden went so far as to claim that when he took office, inflation was roaring away at 9 percent. In fact, it was only 1.4 percent. But Burnett didn’t express doubt about his lies — which the anti-Biden New York Post later calculated to be nearly one a minute, 15 lies in 17 minutes.

If Burnett didn’t know the exact figure, she at least could have said something like, “Just a minute, Mr. President. That doesn’t sound right. Could someone in the booth please give us the actual number?”

Trump avoided debating opponents in the Republican presidential primaries for this November’s election, apparently not wanting to give them added visibility, but he was eager to take on Biden.

Calling Biden “Crooked” as if that were his name, Trump said in part at his Truth Social site the afternoon of May 15 (including Trump’s capitalizations):

“Crooked is also the WORST President in the history of the United States, by far. It’s time for a debate so that he can explain to the American People his highly destructive Open Border Policy, new and ridiculous EV Mandates, the allowance of Crushing Inflation, High Taxes, and his really WEAK Foreign Policy, which is allowing the World to ‘Catch on Fire.’

“… I would strongly recommend more than two debates and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds. — That’s only because he doesn’t get them. Just tell me when, I’ll be there,” Trump added.

The June debate is unique because it would occur before either of these candidates is the formal nominee of his party. In addition, this debate arrangement goes its own way by dispensing with governance by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Also, Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is excluded from participation — a restriction that the debate commission might not have allowed.

The Wanderer asked two sources for their reaction to the debate announcement.

National conservative commentator Quin Hillyer said on May 15: “The idea of two deteriorating, ethically challenged has-beens sharing a debate stage should excite nobody. The best result would be that both participants are so bad that their respective parties find some way to replace them with better candidates who also are better men.”

Conservative Republican political consultant Constantin Querard said on May 16: “My sense is that Biden ditched the formal debates because under the commission rules he likely would have had to share the stage with Trump AND Kennedy. By proposing his own head-to-head debates, he can duck Kennedy and keep it all about Trump.

“I also think it’s a great test run for Democrats,” Querard said, “because if Biden face-plants, they have plenty of time to swap him out at the convention, and if he holds his own, then there is only one debate left in the whole race. So, they can roll the dice while they still have a way out. What is less clear is why Trump is agreeing to these things, plus more left-wing moderators.”

National radio talk host Sean Hannity, recalling on May 15 that the Democratic Party had been pleased with Biden’s State of the Union speech earlier this year, wondered how much caffeine or Red Bull energy drink Biden can hold.

The Democratic Party is absolutely desperate to win the presidential election this November. But not so desperate so far that it has told its dead-weight incumbent president who insists on running again that he won’t be allowed to.

As for Joe Biden’s monstrous agenda of depravity and degeneracy, why that’s the very core of the Democratic platform and the reason its leaders think he must win to keep ramming this down Americans’ throats.

Which shows how little good sense is behind Democratic leaders’ thinking. But after all, if they could be gleeful with San Francisco bad Catholic and elderly pro-abortion fanatic Nancy Pelosi for years as U.S. House speaker, why not Delaware’s elderly and bumbling Biden?

Considering Democrats’ accomplishments as an electoral cheating machine, a Biden victory this November isn’t out of the question. But his HONEST victory would be all but impossible.

Boston Globe conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby called attention to a remarkable editorial posted on May 8 by the left-wing Washington Post. It wondered what are the proper lengths for a campaign to go while pandering for votes when the campaign’s victory is deemed to be absolutely essential — in this case, defeating Donald Trump.

In this case, black lives should NOT matter so much, the Trump-hating Post pondered.

“In recent months, the Biden administration has unveiled new positions and policies that clearly pander to core constituencies in the run-up to a November election in which the stakes, for both President Biden and the country as a whole, are as high as they have ever been,” the Post editorial said. “The problem is that some of these policies are quite bad — even dangerous.

“The implicit rationale is that the ends — denying former president Donald Trump another four years in office — justify the means,” the editorial said, citing as one such case black men’s preference to smoke menthol cigarettes.

The Post noted that Biden had delayed, for a second time, a ban on these cigarettes, a ban that long had been considered by the Food and Drug Administration.

“The FDA estimates that a ban on menthols could prevent about 255,000 premature deaths over the next 40 years,” the Post said, calling such a potential result “huge progress,” considering that menthol smokers are disproportionately black.

However, said the Post, thoughtfully rubbing its chin, “In political terms, however, a ban might anger the 25 percent of usually Democratic Black voters who oppose the ban and whom Mr. Biden can ill afford to alienate in this close election.” And “Democrats are scrapping for every vote.”

Saving hundreds of thousands of black lives? Or letting Trump win? Well, harumph, harumph, the Post concluded: “So trim your principles, Democrats, and pander away. Just remember: The only thing worse than playing Machiavelli for a good cause is playing Machiavelli for a good cause and losing.”

Please imagine if the Post were to discover that Trump had a secret plan to kill hundreds of thousands of black men so he’d be re-elected president. The Post’s reaction — and that of all of its left-wing dominant-media allies — would be as fierce and fiery as if a million atomic bombs exploded.

But when the widely influential Post ruminates over this very idea publicly in the print of its editorial pages in order to help Biden, well, that’s the way leftists have to play to win.

It’s that kind of election this year.

“Pagan” Catholics?

May 3, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on “Pagan” Catholics?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Our church buildings that haven’t yet been closed as a result of Catholics embracing contraception and abortion with gusto in the 60s, along with the enemies of Christ, are increasingly under pressure from a growing pagan lobby, swelling like a cancer threatening the lifeblood of the Body of Christ.

Many of those who weekly come forward to receive Communion at Sunday (or Saturday evening) Masses rejected the Catholic Faith long ago. The abortion and LGBTQ lobbies have grown stronger like a “woke mind virus” among many of the baptized who have retained only a Catholic muscle memory. They show up habitually for Mass and receive Communion like they’re sleepwalking through the Catholic Faith while they vote pro-abortion and LGBTQ, show up for the pro-abort “Woman’s March” and sport rainbow flags on their bodies every June.

A parish vocal minority in Michigan rose up and engineered the expulsion of their pastor for supporting parents who reached out to him with concerns about a man invited to read a book to children in the parish school. They were alarmed that his civil union with another man might cause confusion among members of the community. To oppose the concerns of Catholic parents in regard to the purity of their children in support of an adult who has chosen the unforced error of a sinful “lifestyle” should be easily recognized for the inversion which it is. Alas, for some that was not so.

When remaining silent might be construed as approval someone must speak out. Here we have a case of a priest with the courage to do his job, as the only one charged with the responsibility of speaking out. When he did so there were cries of “off with his head!” Such is not unusual and not to be unexpected. Priests doing their job indeed say things that meet with disapproval. What has changed is the seemingly sincere shock and indignation on the part of those who attack the priest for preaching against sin and damnation.

To leave such apparent approval unaddressed risks confusing the young and impressionable. How to do so while respecting and loving the sinner is indeed a sensitive matter. Fr. Tom Held, the pastor, issued a statement via the parish Facebook page that addressed only the relevant issue involved, as brought to his attention by parents of schoolchildren, and which did not impugn the author involved nor mention his name. The statement in fact exonerated the author of any suspicions of inappropriate behavior.

But even this was considered too much for the militants clustering around the school and parish. How many they number and whether any of those involved in digitally attacking Fr. Held attend Mass at the parish will never be known. The existence, and abuse of, social networks will forever obscure the facts with regard to whether those who represent themselves as Catholics online indeed practice the Faith and subscribe to the teachings of the Church.

In my experience, as one stalked digitally by a local woman who has for years falsely presented herself as an authority on all things Catholic, the opposite is often the case. I have never known the woman to once darken the door of the church in over thirteen years as pastor.​

A Facebook group named “Remove Fr. Held” was mustered to oppose him. This points to an abuse of social media, a growing source of mental illness and social unrest. Bishop Gruss visited and preached at a recent Sunday Mass at the parish after the damage was done.  A video of Bishop Gruss’ homily is posted on YouTube. In his remarks he did not completely exonerate the element opposing the priest and mentioned he might encounter a difficulty in finding a priest

willing to accept an assignment at the parish. I doubt the heretics involved would have a problem with that. Elsewhere some have abandoned parish life in favor of “Communion services” at their homes in an effort to hermetically seal themselves off from any authentic Catholic doctrine or

influence.

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw released this statement: “St. Joseph the Worker School recently had a guest visit a classroom to read to children during March Reading Month. The guest was warmly welcomed and treated with respect. Several days after the visit, the pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish was contacted by school parents and parishioners who expressed concerns about the guest’s civil union, which is contrary to the Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality and marriage. The pastor appropriately responded to those concerns within the parish community in a way that recognized the guest’s privacy.

“Our Catholic Faith respects the dignity of every person. The Church teaches we are all created in the image and likeness of God and called to love one another. With that love comes our obligation to uphold and live the teachings of the Catholic Faith, individually and within our institutions.”

I can say from benefit of experience, with over 30 years as a priest, that in many parishes an anti-Catholic and anti-Christian spirit has grown among those who, among other abuses, habitually clericalize the laity through the superfluous use of “extraordinary ministers” of Holy Communion, which dispense with the reality that the hands of the priest were consecrated at Ordination for the purpose of consecrating and handling the Eucharist. This amounts to a denial of the reality of the Sacrament of Ordination. So-called lay “active participation” has become in some locations in importance so exaggerated that lectors only show up for Sunday Mass on the day when they are scheduled to proclaim the Scriptures. And they, of course, on the occasion also receive Communion. This is not faith. This is profanation of the Holy Eucharist and falsification and undermining of true worship and authentic love of God.

When people leave a parish because they would “never go to Mass again if it was in Latin” or because having women or girls dressed as priests in the sanctuary during Mass is more important than receiving Jesus Christ, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, we’ve got a major problem. And the problem in this case isn’t solved by changing the Church; it’s solved only by changing minds in the grip of a heretic mind virus.​

The Church’s way of calling this matter to the attention of the heretic is called excommunication. But, while our bishops remained convinced that in a more kind and gentle Church we rule out recourse to such time-tested measures, wolves through scandal continue to ravage the flock. The incident in Beal City with heretics muscling a pastor out of the parish is not an isolated event.

How does any parish priest have a leg to stand on when it comes to Eucharistic devotion and reverence while the cowards in miters refuse to excommunicate Joe Biden? The scandal of his continued audacious sacrilege of receiving Communion while marshaling all the forces of the presidency to promote legal child murder is a massive defeat. The bishops’ continued silence is sending the wrong message.

The only solution for heresy is Catholic doctrine and the only way to fight lies with truth is to keep speaking the truth. Surrender isn’t an option. Revival of Eucharistic devotion is a dead letter as long as souls have no worth. The souls of the heretics in Beal City and in Washington, D.C., are calling out to all of our bishops for the kindness and gentleness of real love: that which defends their eternal salvation; that for which Our Lord in the Eucharist is truly present.

Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

apriestlife.blogspot.com

In His Battle Against The Family… Biden Launches Another Front

April 26, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on In His Battle Against The Family… Biden Launches Another Front

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Last week we saw how Joe Biden considers his support of abortion until birth to be his reelection campaign’s “silver bullet.”

But abortion isn’t the only round in his chamber. The Obama-era leftovers that populate the executive branch are skilled at utilizing their bureaucratic swagger to impose illegal and binding rules on the population at large in myriad ways, usually under the guise of “regulations.” A lot of them.

And while 2024 might be Joe’s last gasp, they are far from finished.

We have seen it with Biden’s “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) Executive Orders (nn. 13985 and 14035) that threaten any individual or institution that receives federal funding to conform to the Left’s ideological template. We have seen it in the administration’s defiance of immigration law that has allowed over ten million illegal aliens to swarm into unsuspecting communities nationwide.

And there we should note some intended but almost irreversible effects of illegal immigration. That massive crime is valuable to the Left for two reasons: strategically, it sows chaos — a lot of it. But its ideological goal advances more subtly and with a longer-lasting impact.

Consider: Most of the new illegals arrive from countries whose tyrants have told their subjects for generations that “Your poverty is America’s fault!” Buried in this message to those millions of “oppressed victims” is a silent but simple order: “These capitalist criminals have enjoyed their freedom and flourishing for years at your expense — Now it’s your turn! Steal all the free stuff you can; when you settle in, start demanding the reparations you deserve, and we’ll help!”

So, they’re killing babies and destroying communities. So far, so good. But every bureaucrat must have his (or hers, or “its”) day, and now the (unconstitutional) Department of Education enters the stage to aim at another Biden target: the family.

“The Biden administration released Friday [April 19] its long-awaited overhaul of Title IX, inserting “gender identity” into the watershed civil rights amendment aimed at eliminating discrimination against girls and women in education,” The Washington Times reports.

Of course, any amendments or additions to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 lie in the domain of Congress, not a gaggle of unelected bureaucrats. But hey, so what?? That’s old news.

“Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance,” wrote Biden’s Education Department on August 20, 2021. That means that the new rules published last week will apply to any educational institutions that receive federal funding — which means the vast majority of them nationwide.

And soon these rules will undoubtedly be applied to every other aspect of public, and even private life. No longer must one be a conspiracy theorist to imagine going to jail for “misgendering” a sexually perverted individual, or kicking a pervert out of the ladies’ room. It’s already happening in Canada and the UK.

The unborn, women, the family, the community: All are the enemy of the demonic hordes possessed by the libido dominandi, the lust for power that Augustine identified as the sin of Satan that has ruled the City of Man on earth since the Fall.

And “Catholic Joe” has waged war on them all.

A Requiem For Notre Dame

Joseph DeReuil graduates next month from “Our Lady’s University” next month. He has contributed several commentaries over the years to The Irish Rover, the faithful upstart that we have often celebrated as an alternative to the secular Observer that fell for the “spirit of the times” back around Vatican II and has never managed to get back up.

This week Mr. DeReuil’s final piece appeared, and it is stunning. “Yes, Notre Dame is dead,” he writes, “but only insofar as her image is herself. That is, she has been killed in the eyes of the large swaths of American Catholics who have populated her quads since her founding in 1842. This death is due in part to negative press brought upon herself — awarding Obama an honorary degree and giving Biden the ‘Laetare Medal’ come to mind immediately — but I know that we students who report on campus controversy from the inside have also played a role.”

And yet Mr. DeReuil has hopes for the soul of Notre Dame, as well as for his own: He will be joining the Norbertine Order in the fall.

We should pray for Mr. DeReuil, and for Notre Dame.

“Attorney generals for 17 Republican-led states have sued the Biden administration over its latest student loan debt forgiveness plan, arguing it does not have the authority to wipe out student loan debt for an estimated 30 million Americans,” the College Fix reports.

Note what’s going on here: For years, colleges have cashed in on Obama’s federal student loan program, coaxing students to stay long past the expiration of any chance of a real education.

Result? The college stays in business and the student stays in debt. Let’s face it: bribes are a critical ingredient of the student loan program. It pays off the faculty members, whose politics are as radical as those of the public school unions. And the students? Now Joe wants to buy the votes of thirty million dropout debtors with our money — with a grateful wink to all those leftie profs who apparently never taught their students how to earn a living and pay their bills.

Bishops + Politics = More Disasters

And let’s not forget the border. Catholic bishops have long branded critics of their secular border NGO’s as “bigots” and “racists,” but now one of their own officers confirms their critics.

Jose Antonio Fernandez, CEO of Catholic Charities San Antonio, confirmed to Catholic News Agency that the group did indeed help migrants with air travel from San Antonio to other locations in the United States, but he claimed that this was a licit use of funds under FEMA’s rules.

Cong. Henry Cuellar (D., Texas) disagrees. Federal funds from the FEMA Shelter and Services Program were never intended to pay for transportation or flights to other U.S. cities for migrants who cross the border into the United States. From the very beginning I said it would only be used for food and shelter, maybe transportation inside a city but not to be sending them [across the country],” Cuellar said. “The family or somebody should pay for that, not the taxpayer.”  

For months, bishops have denied reports that Catholic Charities affiliates are flying illegal aliens under cover of darkness to communities in virtually every state, without informing officials in those communities of their arrival.

Whitewater, Wis., is a typical destination: The town of 15,000 has been inundated with over 1,000 illegals, who crowd the schools and welfare offices. Reporter reports that one Whitewater resident, Steven Nasholm, has already been killed by Jorge Sanchez-Tzanhua, an illegal alien. Nasholm leaves behind a widow and three young children, Steve Cortes reports.

And our shepherds prove once more that they are really are bad at politics. On August 9, 2021, three USCCB committee chairs told Congress that, “we write in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, S.1486, which will make the workplace a safer environment for nursing mothers, pregnant women, and their unborn children.”

The USCCB “worked closely with and followed the lead of Democrat Congressional Members,” longtime pro-life legislator and lawyer Bob Marshall writes. We know how much USCCB staff enjoys that camaraderie, but now their bosses are in a bind: “Bishops are now opposing the Biden Administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) pro-abortion regulations as published on April 14, 2024. But these immoral regulations are a direct consequence of the PWFA. They were completely foreseeable, and the bishops ignored many pro-life warnings against supporting the Act,” Marshall continues.

The result? Pro-abortion EEOC regulations will now affect all employers in the United States with 15 or more employees. They’ll either have to provide abortions for their employees or pay their own lawyers like hundreds of Catholic groups did to defend themselves from Obamacare (also endorsed by the USCCB, by the way) and its notorious HHS Mandate.

Tucho Fernandez Strikes Again

April 13, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Tucho Fernandez Strikes Again

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

“Every human person possesses an infinite dignity, inalienably grounded in his or her very being, which prevails in and beyond every circumstance, state, or situation the person may ever encounter” — Declaration of Human Dignity, Vatican Dicastery For the Doctrine of the Faith, April 8, 2024.

“By sin, man loses a twofold dignity, one in respect of God, the other in respect of the Church. In respect of God, he again loses a twofold dignity. one is his principal dignity, whereby he was counted among the children of God, and this he recovers by Penance, which is signified (Luke 15) in the prodigal son, for when he repented, his father commanded that the first garment should be restored to him, together with a ring and shoes. The other is his secondary dignity, viz. innocence, of which, as we read in the same chapter, the elder son boasted saying (Luke 15:29): “Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandments”: and this dignity the penitent cannot recover” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II, Q.89, A3).

In his introduction to Fiducia Supplicans, the document released last December by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Tucho Cardinal Fernandez wrote that, “Since ‘the Roman Curia is primarily an instrument at the service of the Successor of Peter,’ our work must foster, along with an understanding of the Church’s perennial doctrine, the reception of the Holy Father’s teaching.”

Phil Lawler reports that last Monday, in his presentation of the new Declaration of Human Dignity, “Fernández read from the Code of Canon Law (n. 751), noting that the faithful are obliged to give ‘religious submission of the intellect and the will’ to statements of the Magisterium.”

Tucho is intent on proclaiming that every word that comes from his Dicastery is magisterial.

So, while the Declaration pretends to develop the “ontological” character of “dignity,” its core mission is to suspend Aristotle’s Law of Non-Contradiction. Only God’s dignity is infinite, but actually, so is ours — Everyman’s dignity is infinite.

Admittedly the logic is a bit sketchy, and the phrasing a bit awkward, but the message comes through nonetheless: We must give “religious submission of the intellect and will” to magisterial “truths” that clearly contradict one another.

Tucho’s statement last Monday sheds more light on an issue that arose some six years ago, when Pope Francis addressed “dignity” in a different context. “The death penalty is “inadmissible, because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” he wrote in 2018.

To be sure, Francis was contradicting two millennia of the Church’s Magisterial teaching, but he didn’t seem to mind. And the Dicastery’s statement last Monday can now be used as proof that “infinite dignity” can now trump that teaching.

And given Tucho’s invocation of Canon Law on Monday, the condemnation of the death penalty is now on the same magisterial level as the Incarnation.

The Truth’s Long, Hard Slog

For the past century and more, the Magisterium has had a tough ride. When we look at Rerum Novarum (Leo XIII, 1891), and its introduction of “Social Justice” (undefined) into the “magisterial” realm, that vague assertion, plus the equally vague and new meaning of “magisterial,” had a powerful impact on what became the Church’s “Social Teaching.”

“In 1931,” writes Thomas Patrick Burke, “Pope Pius XI used the term ‘social justice’ in his encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, giving it official recognition throughout the Roman Catholic Church. ‘The right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces. For from this source, as from a poisoned spring, have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic teaching’.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t lose any time in wrapping himself in the authority of the Catholic Church. In 1936, he quoted this encyclical in a speech before a large crowd in Detroit. “It is a declaration from one of the greatest forces of conservatism in the world, the Catholic Church,” he said, and it is “just as radical as I am…one of the greatest documents of modern times.”

He quoted from the Encyclical at length:

“It is patent in our days that not alone is wealth accumulated, but immense power and despotic economic domination are concentrated in the hands of a few, and that those few are frequently not the owners but only the trustees and directors of invested funds which they administer at their good pleasure….

“This accumulation of power, the characteristic note of the modern economic order, is a natural result of limitless free competition, which permits the survival of those only who are the strongest, which often means those who fight most relentlessly, who pay least heed to the dictates of conscience.

“This concentration of power has led to a threefold struggle for domination: First, there is the struggle for dictatorship in the economic sphere itself; then the fierce battle to acquire control of the Government, so that its resources and authority may be abused in the economic struggle, and, finally, the clash between the Governments themselves.”

Counseled and cheered by Msgr. John A. Ryan, author of the 1919 pastoral letter of the National Catholic Welfare Conference and its chief spokesman in the 1930s, Roosevelt and the American Democrat left have invoked “social justice” to mean whatever they want it to mean.

That vague (and often vapid) use of “Social Justice” — and its claim of Magisterial authority for whatever political opinion it is used to defend or assert — has caused untold confusion and real damage ever since. Popes since 1849 have condemned socialism on grounds of fundamental principle — but since Rerum Novarum, the “Catholic” Left has opposed that absolute and objective denunciation by countering it with “Social Justice.”

Filling The Vacuum Left By Ignoring Humanae Vitae

Today, that approach has rendered the truths of Magisterium optional: Hundreds of prominent theologians repudiated Humanae Vitae within weeks of its promulgation in 1968, and two generations of priests and bishops have ignored it ever since.

Meanwhile, the political opinions of the Left are now “magisterial” — from “Liberation Theology” to the thousands upon thousands of “pastorals,” “letters to Congress,” and other episcopal missives masquerading as the teaching of “The Church.”

Many Catholics welcomed the Dicastery’s document last Monday because it reaffirmed the evils of “gender ideology.”

Instead of the document’s endless word salad, why not make it brief and clear? Humanae Vitae is the Magisterial statement articulating all of the principles that render gender ideology a false gospel. Why not just state the obvious?

But that would not serve their purpose. With this new document, they can point to our “support” of the statement’s confirming the evils of gender ideology (as far as it goes) to justify their elevation of every other false assertion they’ve made over the years to the same “magisterial” level.

And we should not forget that in the time of Leo XIII, “Christian Socialism” was a new thing that captivated Catholic intellectuals both cleric and lay.

95 percent of the world’s population was living in abject poverty in that era. Today, that figure is no more than 10 percent, and most of those still suffering are living under socialism.

Pope Leo XIII would be astounded at the abundance that the free market has allowed the world to achieve since the nineteenth century. Today’s “Social Justice Warriors” know it. But they have to keep beating the same tiresome tune because they have nothing else to fill in the vast abyss they have created by turning their back on the Church’s moral teaching in Humanae Vitae, Casti Connubii, and two thousand years of the Church’s teaching on sex, marriage, and children.

It’s that teaching that is truly magisterial.

The Glory Of The Resurrection

March 30, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on The Glory Of The Resurrection

By DONALD DeMARCO

The natural lifespan of Christ’s existence on Earth extends from the Nativity to His death on the Cross. His birth was foretold by the prophets and was expected. The Magi followed a star, confident that they would find the newborn King. Their expectation was fully realized. Birth is

well known and easy for anyone to grasp. But the Resurrection, which followed Christ’s death, is something else. There is a finality about death. For Christ to rise from the grave is neither something that could be expected nor is it something that is well known.

In the dawn of Easter Sunday morning, several women approached the tomb where the Body of Christ had been laid. They brought spices with them with the intent of anointing the dead body. The thought of a Resurrection was furthest from their minds. As Bishop Fulton J. Sheen has commented in his Life of Christ, “The only thought the women had was to anoint the body of the dead Christ — an act that was born of despairing and as yet unbelieving love.”

Their love, however, was rewarded and their faith restored. When they reached the tomb, they found that the huge stone that was placed against it had been removed. They did not find the Body of their Master, as the Magi found the newborn babe, but encountered an angel whose countenance was “as lightning and his raiment as snow.” The angel said to the women, “No need to be dismayed; you have come to look for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified; He has risen again; He is not here” (Mark 12:6-8).

Easter, then, transcends Christmas because it transcends human comprehension. And yet, as St. Paul has remarked, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified

about God that He raised Christ from the dead” (1 Cor. 15). Good Friday without Easter Sunday would have been the premature death of Christianity. Ironically, if there had been no Easter, Christmas would never have been celebrated.

The Catholic Church celebrates the Nativity as a Joyful Mystery, but identifies Easter as one that is Glorious. Christmas invites us to be born again. Easter tells us that even if we should die, we shall live again: “I am the Resurrection and the Life, He who believes in Me even if he should die, shall live” (John 11:25-26). Being born again is but a prelude to life after death. It opens the door to eternal life. Life on Earth is but an apprenticeship to an afterlife that has no end. But it is an apprenticeship that exacts a quantum of suffering. As Bishop Sheen has stated, “Unless there is a Good Friday, there can be no Easter Sunday.”

The reality of the Resurrection was difficult for the Apostles to accept. Christ had said to them, “O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things before entering into His glory?” (John 24:25-26). Doubting

Thomas exemplified this slowness to believe until he placed his finger into the wound in Christ’s side before he could believe? (John 20:25).​

Easter tests the fullness of our faith. For many, Christ is merely an exceptionally good human being who said many wise things. The nonbeliever can accept this. But the true Christian must accept more. Easter teaches us that Christ rose from the dead and lives forever at the right hand of the Father and will come again in Glory. It also teaches us that in being united with Christ, we, too, shall live forever.

Unlike the Nativity (or even His Crucifixion and death), the Resurrection is an utterly new kind of event. At the same time, it is an event that is continually renewed in people of faith.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his book, Jesus of Nazareth, remarks that Christ “continues to knock gently at the doors of our hearts and slowly opens our eyes if we open our doors to Him.” The Resurrection attests to the fact that Christ is continually available to us. “Do not abandon

yourselves to despair,” St. John Paul II has advised: “We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” We might also say that Easter transforms the inevitability of death into the invincibility of life.

An insightful humorist once quipped that Easter is the only time that you can put all your eggs into one basket. His remark is well taken. In this instance, the basket symbolizes hope as a unifying principle, and the eggs as containing our better selves who will emerge when the shells

are cracked open.

Easter does not require a diversified portfolio. It is all about hope.

Easter is the most important feast day on the religious calendar because it represents a culmination. Yet, though it is the culmination of the life of Christ, it is also a beginning for all His followers. According to St. Paul, “death is swallowed up in victory” for those who trust in

Christ’s death and Resurrection. And, the First Epistle of St. Peter declares that God has given believers “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Finally, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI,            “The darkness of the previous days is driven away the moment Jesus rises from the grave and Himself becomes God’s pure light.”

(Dr. Donald DeMarco is the author of 42 books and a former corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy of Life. He and his wife, Mary, have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.)

A Leaven In The World … To Live, Die Daily

March 24, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on A Leaven In The World … To Live, Die Daily

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

We are in the midst of Passiontide as I write. The Church continues her focus on her Lord and Divine Master while the world spins. The Cross remains ever our constant beacon and source of hope. Lent reaches its spiritual zenith with Holy Week and the Passion, death, and Resurrection of the Lord. This is the holiest moment in the entire liturgical year because it leads to the greatest victory.

For the living death is always present. We bury parents and siblings. For priests funerals are a constant of parish ministry. Some people find death unpleasant because they are young and think it takes away from the carefree nature that they think life should have if it is to be joyful. Some flee from death through the madness and self-destructive nature of mid-life crisis. Some do not care that they are going to die because they don’t believe. This last is the most dangerous.

It is not the deadening of the senses and the conscience through sin that is mankind’s greatest threat. Those who believe tragically sometimes fall and can, through the mercy of Christ, get back up again. The believer is ever called to repent.  It is, rather those who with Satan reject Him, brandishing the rebellious cry of Non serviam, who are truly in danger of eternal damnation.

An immature inability to face the certainty of one’s own death can be outgrown. The damaged marriages, families, and lives resulting from adultery and divorce can result in conversion with enough prayer, grace, and cooperation. The quieting of the intellect and conscience through drug, sex, and alcohol abuse can be overcome with much humility and help. But the steadfast refusal to put faith and trust in God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier is that thing on Earth most like the “mountain” about which the Lord preached, and which requires a superhuman miracle to be moved into the sea.

The world seems more like it is dying than alive. Wars, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, sexual abuse, and transgender mutilation; so many crimes and sins cry out to Heaven for vengeance. So many human hearts call out ceaselessly to God for relief with need for justice, mercy, and love. How to understand all this? How to coexist with it or to find sense in the midst of senselessness and seeming chaos is a dilemma that so many with a conscience face daily.

For those of us who through a life of Catholic Faith have learned to love the Church, we suffer when we see her so sullied and attacked by prelates who are corrupt and corrupting others. We see hypocritical power mongers who say whatever they need to achieve whatever agenda makes them feel more powerful, while violating their own stated ethical and moral stands. The ends justify the means for these scandalous frauds. Some are falling into cynicism as a result of the constant exposure to criminality in the highest offices of the Church.

The need for serenity, despite the madness we encounter in the world, and the perennial ability to do what we call “processing,” amid the events and crises over which we have little or no control is what all of us are seeking.

Those who share our Faith know that it is not a simplistic and unthinking response to aver that the Lord is the answer. And, if the Lord is to be the perennial answer to our problems, questions, and needs, then never is He more so than in the hour of His greatest sacrifice, in which His Lordship was fulfilled as He died on the cross so that, in the flesh He shares with us He could rise from the dead.

All of this means that, for each of us, meditating on the eventuality of our own death is perhaps the most powerful help to living already the joy of the risen glory we can have only in Him. If it is only by dying that we can rise to eternal life, then dying like Christ, in His grace by means of which only can we be holy, is our goal.

How do we daily practice the art of dying to self so that the secret joy of already living the grace of the risen One can be our greatest treasure and firm foundation of hope? One way we describe it is mortification. By this we don’t mean embarrassment, the injuring of pride, so that someone recounting such says, “I was mortified.” No, true mortification, in its original root from the Latin, mortality, means death. It is the opposite of that pride which is at the root of the embarrassed reaction to the simple revelation of human weakness and fallibility true of every human person.

The idea or habit of mortification is rooted in the fact that we all will die. And by accounting for it and contemplating it through the means afforded by faith, we can arrive at the necessary honesty consonant with loving ourselves. It turns out, then, that “mortification” is the voluntary and virtuous habit of humbling ourselves with the knowledge that we share in the final earthly end of all flesh. And that we must live out in our words, actions, and choices the truth that greeted us with the imposition of ashes once again on Ash Wednesday: Memento homo, quia pulvis es. We originated in dust and will one day return to that source of humus, the earth, from which we came.

The concept of the mortification of the flesh is rooted in Scripture. Romans 8:13 reads, “For if you live according to the flesh you shall die; but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.”

The One who called us forth from that dust of earth is the One who desires to call us also forth from the tomb where mortal flesh is enclosed. The grave is not an end but a sign of hope for those who believe. We walk through the via Dolorosa, accompanying our Lord now, with the sure and certain hope that, as we are faithful in loving and clinging to Him unto the end, He will accompany and bring us to life eternal in Him.

The practice of mortification is not undertaken for its own sake. We do not contemplate our own death and burial in order to enter into a saddened or despondent state. We do so rather to arrive at a truly humble attitude of mind and heart, ready to more eagerly obey Him whom we love and serve now so as to be united with Him forever.

How do we die to ourselves? There are as many ways as there are people. All of us are called to growth as individual as our weaknesses. Overcoming bad habits that mitigate against growth in virtue. Learning to be silent and listen when that is best for us. Putting first faithfulness to the duties of our state in life before socializing, killing time by surfing social networks, and other forms of entertainment. Exercising appropriate control over our curiosity. Praying first and daily, and before making decisions. Minding our own business. Not using the fodder of other people’s family lives as a distraction from the proper concern for our own. Changing our concept of the priest, not as one whom we seek out to give us an excuse for doing less for Christ but, rather, one to whom we should look for suggestions as to what more we can do more to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Readily witnessing for the Lord in all circumstances as a light, rather than hiding our faith under a bushel basket out of fear of human respect.

To more fully draw on the serenity and security of life forever with Him one day, we must more readily die to ourselves daily.

Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

apriestlife.blogspot.com

Interview With John Yep… Five Thousand Catholics Rally To Pray The Rosary

March 15, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Interview With John Yep… Five Thousand Catholics Rally To Pray The Rosary

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Next Tuesday, March 19, on the Feast of St. Joseph, Catholics for Catholics (CforC) will hold a “prayer rally” in Mar a Lago, Fla. Yes, that’s Donald Trump’s home, and those gathered will be praying for Donald Trump and for the country.

In the spirit of Fr. Patrick Peyton, CforC founder John Yep of Phoenix has led prayer rallies in various U.S. cities since he founded the organization less than two

years ago. The group really hit its stride when, after the blasphemous sodomites of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” were honored (not a misprint) by the Los

Angeles Dodgers, he put together a coalition to demonstrate outside the stadium.

This event was a success in large part because many like-minded groups came together to pull it off. Virgin Most Powerful Radio, America Needs Fatima, and others rallied with us to get five thousand Catholics out in the streets to pray. That made it clear: The Rosary was our weapon. Like Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit (she probably led the apostles bursting out of that Upper Room!), we would take her, rather follow her to the public square to bear witness.

John Yep graciously granted The Wanderer an interview.

The Wanderer: On the Feast of St. Joseph next week, Catholics for Catholics is holding a “National Catholic Prayer For Trump” at Florida’s Mar a Lago Resort. That sounds pretty unprecedented — what’s that all about?

CforC: “In truth, it is unprecedented. It is a grace from Heaven that allowed us the possibility to host a prayer gathering at the home of the former President. President Trump — a sinner like the rest of us — is undoubtedly the clear choice for Catholics who have a correctly formed conscience. And the reason is simple:

President Biden and the Democrat Party represent the philosophical system of Socialist Marxism. President Trump and the Republicans hold the Constitutional banner of a Republic, one nation under God, who is the ultimate authority.

Socialism is inherently evil. Its lies have been condemned by virtually every Pontiff for two centuries. Our Founders bestowed upon the new country a form of government that protects the family and nurtures freedom — provided that it is buttressed by the faith and morals of its citizenry. Our mission is to be that faithful support for President Trump and the people he will appoint in his administration.

And that caveat is key: If we simply endorsed the GOP nominee, we’d be selling ourselves short as a Catholic group. We wanted to surround Donald Trump in prayer and teach the Catholic faithful that he is the only option to vote for in this upcoming election. He’s our only option if we want to preserve and protect our religious rights.

The Wanderer: What’s the program that evening?

CforC: When it rains it pours. That’s been the response of people from all over.

Countless Catholic leaders have asked to be a part of it. Several of them will speak — they know how vital the role of our prayers will play in the preservation of our freedoms.​

It’s a unique program — our speakers will focus on the key issues that Catholics should be concerned about in this election year — from the weaponization of the DOJ against Catholics, to abortion being on the ballot in some 10 states, to the human rights scandal of the transgender movement, and finally to the destruction of so many kids through human trafficking — we’re going to remind people just how important elections are. Elections have consequences, and, as a praying people, we have to do our part to exercise our rights and to preserve them.

At the end of the night, we will stand together and pray the Holy Rosary there at Mar-a-Lago. The event will culminate with a Prayer of Consecration over the country and President Trump: We will be pleading for the special intercession of St. Joseph, the Patron of those fighting against world Communism.

The Wanderer: A lot of Wanderer readers living in Florida may not know about this. Can they attend? How do they sign up?

CforC: “While most of the seats have been reserved, your readers still have a chance to register at our website, cforc.com. Those who can’t attend will be able to see a video of the event that we’ll post on our website after the event.

The most important thing, however, is to join us in prayer that night. When we pray together like the first apostles gathered around Mary in the Upper Room, we will win.

The Wanderer: Thanks, Mr. Yep. Clearly it’s the laity that are going to save our country and our Church. May God bless you and your work!

Alabama’s Court Decision Sparks Debate Over Ethics of IVF

March 3, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Alabama’s Court Decision Sparks Debate Over Ethics of IVF

By Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

— George Orwell

A few days ago, the Alabama Supreme Court surprised the country by doing something that is all too rare in today’s culture, i.e. it spoke the truth.

In a blockbuster 8-1 decision, the Court ruled that human embryos preserved cryogenically in in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics are “extrauterine children,” and are therefore protected under the state’s “wrongful death” law.

The case that elicited this decision, with such sweeping implications for the rapidly growing IVF industry, was brought forward to the courts by three couples who had human embryos preserved in an Alabama IVF clinic.

embryologist at a liquid nitrogen bank containing sperm and egg samples

Embryologist at liquid nitrogen bank containing sperm and egg samples

In 2020, a client at the clinic entered the cryogenic storage center and removed some of the embryos. The client then accidentally dropped the embryos, with the result that the embryonic children died.

The couples who had preserved the embryos subsequently sued the IVF clinic for “wrongful death.” However, the clinic argued that Alabama’s “Wrongful Death of a Minor Act” does not apply to preserved embryos.

A circuit court judge initially agreed with the clinic, and ruled to throw out the case, arguing that frozen embryos are property, not persons. The couples then appealed, and the case ended up before the state’s Supreme Court. In a strong ruling, the Court resoundingly affirmed that the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act does indeed apply to embryos preserved in IVF clinics.

In the majority ruling, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Jay Mitchell ruled that the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act “applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location.” He added:

It applies to all children, born and unborn, without limitation. It is not the role of this Court to craft a new limitation based on our own view of what is or is not wise public policy. That is especially true where, as here, the People of this State have adopted a Constitutional amendment directly aimed at stopping courts from excluding ‘unborn life’ from legal protection.

Republicans and Democrats Denounce Ruling

Perhaps the most telling thing about the reaction to the Court’s decision, is how widespread the outrage is.

The fact is, we live in a world in which reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization have been almost completely normalized. So normalized are they, in fact, that few people even ponder whether there might be any ethical problems with such technologies.

While one would naturally expect pro-abortion activists and Democrats to denounce the rule, it is telling that among those strenuously distancing themselves from this ruling are many so-called “pro-life” Republicans.

Indeed, Republicans such as Donald Trump and Kari Lake are not only distancing themselves from the ruling, but they are also actively coming out in support of IVF, suggesting that they should be made more readily available.

Lake, for instance, promised that she would “advocate for increased access to fertility treatment for women struggling to get pregnant.” She added that “IVF is extremely important for helping countless families experience the joy of parenthood. I oppose restrictions.”

Using explicitly pro-life language, GOP Senate candidate Bernie Moreno stated that he supports IVF because his “goal is to promote a culture of life.” “We have a crisis in this country of people not having enough kids at replacement levels,” Moreno wrote on X. “I’m in favor of anything that promotes people having more babies & strong families.”

In a post reacting to the Court’s ruling, President Trump called for “an immediate solution.”

“We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder!” said the former president. “That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America.” Trump added he supports IVF, like “the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans.”

IVF Is Not Pro-life

However, I can assure President Trump that he is wrong on one score: the large majority of pro-life leaders, i.e. those who are the most educated on the life issues, do not support IVF.

If you asked them, most would say that they oppose IVF for one simple reason: IVF is an intrinsic evil that transforms human procreation into a method of production, manufacturing our offspring — a process that dehumanizes and commodifies human life, leading to the creation and destruction of many human embryos, i.e. human persons in the earliest stages of their development.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes:

A child is not something owed to one but is a gift. The ‘supreme gift of marriage’ is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged ‘right to a child’ would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right ‘to be the fruit of a specific act of the conjugal love of parents,’ and ‘the right to be respected as a person from the moment of conception.’

In IVF, eggs harvested from a woman are combined with sperm harvested from a man, to create human embryos, i.e. genetically unique, living human beings. These are then implanted in the mother’s womb. However, because the embryos often fail to implant successfully in the mother’s womb, it is common practice to create more embryos than will be used. The “leftovers” are then frozen indefinitely in a cryogenic chamber or destroyed.

IVF is NOT Pro-Life! Let’s Take a Look

Frozen Embryos are Children Too

While the Alabama Court’s decision has horrified even many on the political right, who are clearly afraid that opposing IVF is a political loser, in reality the Court was simply acknowledging basic biological facts and applying consistent logic to the state’s pro-life laws. If the state recognizes the rights of preborn children, then it must recognize the rights of embryos frozen in the state’s IVF clinics.

As the court noted, the Alabama State Constitution is very clear that “it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life,” as well as to “ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate.”

In light of this, “The central question,” wrote the Court’s chief justice, “…is whether the act contains an unwritten exception to that rule for extrauterine children – that is, unborn children who are located outside of a biological uterus at the time they are killed. Under existing black-letter law, the answer to that question is no: the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location.”

Rather than running frightened from this decision, so-called “pro-life” American politicians should be asking themselves how it is they missed something so glaringly obvious, i.e. that IVF involves the industrialized commodification and destruction of human life in a way that clearly violates fundamental pro-life principles.

Related: Ethical Issues of IVF and Alternative Infertility Treatment Options

A Good End Doesn’t Justify Evil Means

It may come as a surprise to some people (though it certainly shouldn’t), but the Catholic Church has consistently maintained and taught that IVF is a grave evil, precisely because it distorts human procreation by assaulting the ends of marriage (Humanae vitae, no. 12) and ignores the right of the child to be begotten through a mother and father’s act of love (i.e., marital act), failing to see the child as equal in dignity to his or her parents.

The Church is despised by so many people not because it is imposing a religious view on the science, but rather because it is the only institution that acknowledges the science, and then consistently applies fundamental ethical principles to the science. “We all say we agree that all human beings have human rights,” states the Church. “But we alone have the courage of conviction to be consistent and to apply this in all cases.”

In the Declaration on Procured Abortion, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) states that, “from the time that the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already. This has always been clear, and … modern genetic science offers clear confirmation…”

In Donum vitae, the CDF draws out the sweeping ethical implications of this scientific fact:

Thus, the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to say, from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality. The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore, from the same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.

Children Born Through IVF Still Have Dignity

Unfortunately, the public debate on IVF is often extraordinarily shallow and uninformed. As we saw above, many people, including self-proclaimed “pro-life” politicians, view the Church’s position as self-contradictory. “You say you’re pro-life,” such people will say, “and yet you are opposed to infertile couples being given the gift of having children through this marvelous technology.”

Even more dishonestly, some people will suggest that by opposing IVF, the Catholic Church is somehow rejecting the children who are born through IVF.

Why IVF and Contraception are Sins: Catholic Morals

It can be infuriating dealing with such grotesque misrepresentations of the Church’s position. In many cases, these misrepresentations seem to be motivated by nothing other than a perverse desire to confuse and mislead. However, in other cases it stems simply from ignorance, and our own failure to teach clearly.

In responding to the kind of misrepresentations we saw above it is important that, in the first place, we emphasize that children who are born through artificial reproductive technologies are, in every single respect, as worthy as any other human being. After all, the children conceived through IVF had no part whatsoever in the choice of the mode of their conception. They bear no guilt, and the mode of conception clearly has no bearing whatsoever on their dignity and worth.

The Vatican clearly affirmed this principle in Donum vitae, writing, “Although the manner in which human conception is achieved with IVF … cannot be approved, every child which comes into the world must in any case be accepted as a living gift of the divine Goodness and must be brought up with love.”

Secondly, it is important that we emphasize the ethical principle that a good aim or intention does not make an evil act good. Yes, many couples who resort to IVF desperately desire children — a desire that is, in and of itself, a good thing. The children that come about through IVF are also good. However, the means that the parents have chosen to pursue the good aim of having children is evil, regardless of their intentions. As such, it must be opposed.

We Must Pray for the Protection of All Human Life

The Vatican’s teaching in documents like Donum vitae and Dignitas personae guide us concerning reverence for the dignity of the human person from the moment of conception and respect for the marital act in its unitive and procreative dimensions. They explain the various reasons why IVF is not acceptable, i.e. it destroys the unitive dimension of a couple’s love by conceiving their child in a lab through the actions of a third party, commodifies human life by turning it into a product to be bought, and results in the destruction of untold embryonic humans.

Right now, it is estimated that over one million embryonic human beings are in cryogenic suspended animation in U.S. IVF clinics. Many millions more are preserved in clinics elsewhere on the globe or are being created and experimented upon (and destroyed) in many universities. Tragically, our consciences have been dulled to this industrialized destruction of human life.

Let us pray that the Alabama Court’s decision will provide an occasion for some serious soul-searching about our society’s premature and unjustified acceptance of IVF. And in the meantime, let us educate ourselves on these complex issues by reading the Church’s rich teaching documents, so that we are better equipped to respond to the many distortions on this topic in the media and popular culture.

Related: Trusting God through Infertility

FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET

As president of Human Life International, Fr. Boquet is a leading expert on the international pro-life and family movement, having journeyed to nearly 90 countries on pro-life missions over the last decade. Father Boquet works with pro-life and family leaders in 116 counties that partner with HLI to proclaim and advance the Gospel of Life.

Shocking Sacrilege At St. Patrick’s

February 23, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Shocking Sacrilege At St. Patrick’s

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

By now most of our readers have felt the shock waves emanating from New York after news broke of the transgender desecration on February 15 of St. Patrick’s Cathedral at a funeral for a man who believed he was a woman, changed his name to Cecilia Gentili, and spent a good part of his life as a prostitute before dying as an atheist. Coordinators of the liturgy have admitted to deceiving the staff of the Cathedral.

One of the most alarming aspects of the sacrilegious abuse of St. Patrick’s is the extreme neglect it has uncovered. It’s called “Google”: “Know who’s using your church building” and “Know who’s using your church” is the basic duty of every good pastor: It takes minutes to Google and discover that the deceased for whom a funeral is requested is, first of all, an atheist. And transgender. AND an activist for evil.

Then you just say “no.”

I offered a wedding Mass at St. Pat’s as a newly ordained in the 90s. I was watched every minute by a young priest, likely a parochial vicar on the cathedral staff at the time, who was present in the upper church for the entire wedding Mass to ensure nothing untoward was done. People were free to visit the church during the wedding and the effort to prevent potential sacrilege is necessary for such a highly visible public space that represents the Catholic faith for so many people.

He was also there to make sure we “moved along” and did not overrun the time allotted for the Mass.

But it need be said that preventing sacrilege in every one of our churches is just Catholic.

Is it so hard? I didn’t resent the oversight and felt it was entirely appropriate for one of the most iconic and most highly visited churches, not just in NYC, but the world. The woman who deceived the staff of St. Pat’s in requesting the use of the church understands the church is iconic and chose it for that reason — in order to stage the outrageous and blasphemous transgender show that resulted. Does the staff of St. Pat’s understand that?

And let’s not be naive. Was this possibly an “inside job,” as they say? Heads should roll after this. Will the priest, who while seated in the sanctuary in view of the entire assembly, viewing closely the entire ugly and evil spectacle and doing absolutely nothing to stop it, be invited back?

The priest authoring the blog “Southern Orders” watched enough of the St. Patrick’s sacrilege funeral video to determine that Fr. Dougherty, the Maryknoll priest who “presided” over the event, is responsible for allowing the evil desecration to continue, whether or not he had any role beforehand.

As I suspected, the Cathedral indeed assigned a staff member, perhaps clergy, to be present who was coaching Dougherty as the event unfolded but who was also rebuffed by Dougherty when he tried to intervene to prevent further sacrilege as the out of control event unfolded. The primary intervention appears to be that, as the blogger writes, what perhaps started out as a Mass was changed midstream into a liturgy “outside of Mass,” that is, with Scripture, prayers, and remarks but without celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

This priest is the enemy inside the gates. If he is allowed to return, then not only does he have a problem, St. Patrick’s does as well. This may be a suspending offense, but I’m not an expert in canon law. Seems to me some disciplining of the priest would be in order, though. Dangerous precedent if he is not.

Remember that this follows another event in nearby Brooklyn where a half-dressed woman brought a crew inside a Catholic church and recorded a music video as a stunt to promote what clearly involves no talent on her part.

This issue is not going away. First it was publicized that the staff of the Cathedral offered a private Mass of reparation after the funeral service, which should have been public in order to make true reparation for a public act of desecration. And with the cardinal now calling Fr. Dougherty a “hero” when he largely enabled the evil event others are getting involved to correct the misrepresentation of the shocking and completely avoidable scandal, including Taylor Marshall and Maike Hickson, who reported at LifeSiteNews that the Cardinal appears to have a misunderstanding of the nature of the events.

From Southern Orders blog:

“FROM A FUNERAL MASS TO A FUNERAL LITURGY OUTSIDE OF MASS AND HOW THE DECISION TOOK PLACE:

“I watched the beginning of the Funeral Liturgy Scandal again. The priest, who Cardinal Dolan should hold responsible for the sacrilege and blasphemy in his cathedral, is dressed in a Chasuble which is used solely for a Mass, not a Liturgy outside of Mass. Outside of Mass a cope may be used, or cassock, surplice, and stole or alb and stole.

“After blessing the body of the deceased at the entrance of the Cathedral, the procession arrives at the altar. A priest wearing a cassock but with his surplice off and over his arm, speaks to the priest whose microphone is on. This priest, who may be the rector, I am not sure, says to him that this is not going to be a Mass but rather the Liturgy outside of Mass.

“Thus, the decision to change it from a Mass to a Liturgy outside of Mass was done after the Liturgy began, not before.

“I can’t watch the full liturgy as it turns my stomach, but when it is time for the eulogies to take place, the same priest, perhaps the rector, is miffed about the eulogies and tries to intervene, but the celebrant priest, who should be disciplined by the Cardinal, waves him off and more sacrilege/desecration takes place in the sanctuary publicly videoed for all to see and hear.

“God help us.

“The Church is a hospital, but the mentally and physically ill should not run the institution, they should be treated, restrained if necessary, and given bitter medicine which will help them in the long run. They should receive treatment, to include discipline and sedation if needed. They should not run the Church, I mean the hospital, or overrun it!

“The Church, which is a ‘hospital’ for the mortally sinful and spiritually dying, cannot be run by those whose sinfulness is highly contagious and corrupts the healthy if they aren’t quarantined. They can’t take over a sterile environment meant to cure their contagious and thus compromise the treatment the Church offers, which is God’s grace that convicts us of our diseased sinfulness and enables us to repent and believe God, not our own sick truth.

“God help us!”

In this age of rampant sacrilege and blasphemy we can all offer or have offered more holy Masses and more frequent prayers and acts of self-denial, particularly this Lent, to join our own efforts at reparation with those of other Catholics of goodwill everywhere.

Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

apriestlife.blogspot.com

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