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Anchor Editor Fired

In Alaskana, Common Sense, Culture of Death, The Church on 17 December, 2010 at 10:59 am

Thanks again to AngelsDefendUs, who has posted on Joel Davidson’s firing here and here.  You can read the details–hazy as they are–over there.  I would like to highlight the chronology of events as seen via the article that got Joel fired.

1. November 2010: Joel Davidson pens an article about Planned Parenthood’s participation at the Mitzvah Mall [NB: Mitzvah = “good deed”], a popular holiday bazaar run by Congregation Beth Shalom, Anchorage’s Reform Jewish Community.  In that article, Joel erroneously reports that Planned Parenthood will be accepting donations for abortions, as they have done elsewhere as part of their “Choice on Earth” campaign.  [NB: this article was subsequently pulled from the Anchor website.]

2. November 28, 2010: Catholic News Agency (CNA) features Joel’s article on its website.

3. December 1, 2010: Joel corrects the error, and reports that Planned Parenthood will accept donations at the Mitzvah Mall to pay for “birth control, educational opportunities, and other services,” but not abortion.  Both CNA and Joel immediately run corrected versions of the article, entitled in the Anchor “CORRECTION: Planned Parenthood to participate in Alaska holiday bazaar, but gifts can’t pay for abortions.”  Other than the headline and the relevant text, the article is substantially the same as the one that ran  in the Anchor in November, and includes a link to the Mitzvah Mall’s website.

4. December 3, 2010: The Anchor runs a headline entitled “Catholics, Jews, and Evangelicals Join Forces to Provide Meals for the Needy.”  There is no article, but a color picture appears with a caption crediting Congregation Beth Shalom as helping St. Patrick’s and Catholic Socal Services to assemble 1,000+ meals for the Thanksgiving holiday.

5. December 15, 2010: Joel Davidson is fired.

More to come.

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Of Guadalupe, Episcopal Ordinations, and Adrian Dominicans.

In Alaskana, Culture of Death, The Church, Uncategorized on 9 August, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Hat-tip to Joe at Defend-Us-In-Battle for bringing to light this forthcoming abomination.  Joe has followed up his superlative initial post with a second post about authentic ecumenism.  Rather than plowing old ground, here we will discuss why Our Lady of Guadalupe was the natural choice for such scandal.

Sr. Lorraine Reaume, O.P., is the “Pastoral Associate” at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.  Among her other duties, she is a board member of AFACT and regularly preaches homilies during Sunday Mass.  This latter action directly contradicts Canon Law, which states that the homily is “part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon”.  Tellingly, Sr. Lorraine is an Adrian Dominican Sister, which warrants a further discussion.

Adrian Dominican sisters currently occupy some significant seats of power at the Chancery, as Sr. Jackie Stoll, O.P. is the driving force behind the Safe Environment Training mandated for all Archdiocesan employees and volunteers, and Sr. Ann Fallon, O.P., is the superintendent of Archdiocesan schools.  And these sisters do some very good work, especially as pertains to the Corporal Works of Mercy.  For example, the Anchorage Liberal News ran a front-page Sunday feature on Sr. Jackie venturing out onto the streets of Anchorage to care for the homeless earlier this year.

However, it must needs be said the theology of the Adrian Dominicans is deeply flawed, with a tendency towards gnosticism and witchcraft.  This post over at Living His Life Abundantly pretty well sums up the occult dabblings of many of the Adrian Dominicans.  For further reading, check out Ecospirituality or a pagan Summer Solstice celebration in California (where “yin, the feminine principle of the Earth Goddess, is born and begins to wax strong”) — all of which are linked to from the Adrian Dominican home website.  And it would be remiss not to mention that Adrian Dominicans stood in solidarity with Planned Parenthood in promoting 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

Now I do not know where Sr. Lorraine stands on all these issues.  Perhaps she disagrees with her fellow sisters.  But here are the facts:

1. Sr. Lorraine regularly preaches the homily at Our Lady of Guadalupe, an act of disobedience to the law of the Church.

2. The Adrian Dominican sisters are inclined to heresy.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a heretical woman-bishop is welcomed to conduct an “ordination” at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

CHESTER’S TAKE:

Because “it is the duty of all bishops to promote and to safeguard the unity of faith and the discipline common to the whole Church” (Lumen Gentium 23), it is our opinion that Archbishop Schwietz would do much to safeguard the unity of the Church in his archdiocese by cancelling this confusing abuse of a consecrated space.  Moreover, because “religious should carefully consider that through them, the Church truly wishes to give an increasingly clearer revelation of Christ” (Lumen Gentium 46), we further suggest that Sr. Lorraine cease and desist her unauthorized preaching, and clearly state that she brooks no part with witches, ecospirituality, or the evils of Planned Parenthood.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Catholic Siskel and Ebert. Thumbs Pending.

In Uncategorized on 28 July, 2010 at 8:50 am

Catholic blogophiles may have seen this link over at National Catholic Register billing two Catholic film critics, David DiCerto and Steven Greydanus, as the Catholic version of Siskel and Ebert Lean Hisskill and Codger Eggbert.  I’m reluctantly optimistic, and here’s why.  We need Catholic film critics.  But at this stage of gross malformation of the American faithful, we need fewer pundits that help moviegoers “make informed judgments about what films are appropriate for them and their families,” and more saints who declare “If you withdraw from theaters and go to church, you have cured the lame foot.”  I am aware that Mr. Greydanus does not like this message.  I do not like it much myself either, because I like movies.  But my likes and dislikes cannot overcome the fact that most of the stuff on the screen these days is not worth risking your soul to see.

Granted, this is a hard message for a film critic to deliver, not in the least because he’s got bills to pay and children who need clothes.  Actively campaigning against watching most (not all) movies at the local cineplex is a Catch-22 for any movie lover, much less a professional critic.  If he’s a failure at such a campaign, he loses credibility as a critic.  If he’s successful, he eventually eliminates the demand for film critics like himself.  The Catholic film critic’s situation is not dissimilar to the dilemma facing the politically conservative bureaucrat in our rapidly expanding Federal government.  Sure, the Constitution only allows the Federal government to own land for the purpose of erecting forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings — but is a man working for the National Park Service going to point this out at the expense of losing his job, or at least calling its very legitimacy into question?

The godly film critic and the honest bureaucrat are caught between Scylla and Charybdis.  I propose to give them a little breathing room by explaining why and how Catholics should avoid going to the movie theatre in most cases, while cultivating a genuine film counterculture at home and in society.  Stay tuned.

UPDATE:  Coincidentally, Joe at Defend Us In Battle has just blogged about the vices of TV and the virtues associated with box set DVDs.  Good show, old boy.

Obedience and the HFC Visitation.

In Uncategorized on 22 July, 2010 at 1:00 am

A few people have chided some Alaskan Catholic bloggers for expressing their opinions about the visitation at Holy Family Cathedral.  Fair enough — the 1st Amendment abides, for the time being.   However, most of these comments have little to do with addressing the issues brought up by the bloggers – such as why a “problem parish” dominates the community life section of the diocesan newspaper –  and instead choose to level personal attacks at the bloggers, doubtless embodying the real Spirit of Vatican II.   A typical combox critic demands blind obedience to the Archbishop or else casts aspersions upon the personal prayer life of the blogger.  This latter tactic ranks as one of the more curious traits among Spirit ‘O’ Vatican II’ers.  Although most of the Kumbaya crowd can’t much give you a straight answer on how to pray, they certainly know how to tell when you are praying wrong, and helpfully offer a vaguely transcendental or Buddhist valediction, e.g. “real conversion begins within” or “you must find yourself before helping others find themselves.”  As if that was how St. Patrick converted the Irish or Our Lady won the hearts of the Aztecs!   In any event, his latter type of attack deserves no further discussion, but the idea of blind obedience really has some merit.  I am speaking now of the type of blind obedience as practiced by Padre Pio when his corrupt Bishop persecuted his ministry, removing all St. Pio’s faculties sans a daily private Mass:

The local bishop, whose reputation was quite bad, had some priests and parishioners sign an accusation of supposed scandal at the monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo, which led to long legal proceedings at the Court in Rome. As a consequence of serious calumnies, severe measures were taken against Padre Pio, by the abused ecclesiastical authority, starting in June 1922. He was forbidden all spiritual correspondence, even with his spiritual directors; he was forbidden to celebrate Mass in public; he was to be transferred to another monastery. In fact, the last two measures could not be enforced due to the outcry of the local population.

You can read more about St. Pio here.  Two things strike me about this episode in St. Pio’s life:

1) St. Pio, like St. Jean Vianney and innumerable other saints, was meekly, cheerfully, and blindly obedient to his bishop; “I only act to obey you, since the Good Lord has made me realize that that is the only thing that pleases Him, and for me the only way to hope for salvation and to sing victory.”   This was because he saw the test before him – should he choose to disobey the bishop for the sake of saving hundreds of souls who made pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo to be confessed by Pio?  Or should he be obedient TO HIS VOWS TAKEN AS A RELIGIOUS, and follow the will of God acting through his lawful ordinary AS FAR AS IT KEPT HIM FROM SIN?  Saint that he was, he chose the latter, and we are all better for it.

2) The outcry of the local population prevented some of the bishop’s orders.  Not because the Church was more democratic in 1920’s Italy than 21st century America (now that’s a funny thought), but because of a long and sacred truth revered by the likes of tyrants and despots such as Nero, and that is this: you can only mess with the mob so long before the mob messes with you.  Put another way, injustice eventually becomes intolerable.

So how does obedience apply here?

It could well be that Fr. Francis and the other Dominicans, with desire to fulfill their vows and in imitation of holy saints such as Padre Pio, will blindly obey the Archbishop up to and over the precipice of the Chilkoot and back down to the Lower 48.  If such a thing were to occur, who could say anything but that we have been in the presence of men who courageously seek holiness, to their self-abasement and in imitation of our Crowned Savior?  That is the sort of blind obedience that bespeaks the theological virtue of faith even more than an Education Center or a renewed catechesis and CCD program.

Fathers have vows too.  And those vows include the rearing of children.  And a father must ensure for the spiritual welfare of their children as they are able.  Therefore, as long as he is able, a father is obligated to tell his Ordinary, and his Ordinary’s chancery minions, and any other interested parties that something is rotten when necessary changes in catechesis are attacked as disrespecting “parish heritage.”  In doing so, a father obeys not only his own baptismal vows, but also those that were laid upon him at his child’s baptism.

Visitation at Holy Family Cathedral – Excerpts and Commentary.

In Alaskana, The Church on 18 July, 2010 at 6:52 pm

 

Below is Archbishop Schwietz’ letter to the parishioners of Holy Family Cathedral concerning the upcoming visitation.  This letter starts by addressing concerns about “parish heritage” and ends with not-so-veiled accusations of embezzlement.  Emphases in bold and comments in red.

July 8, 2010

Dear Holy Family Parishioners:

One of the more difficult tasks of a diocesan bishop is the exercise of his responsibility to oversee the proper administration of the parishes under his jurisdiction.  Each pastor has the responsibility to wisely care for the shared life of the people entrusted to him in the parish and all the facets of parish life.  [But, as the good Archbishop knows, some facets of parish life are more important than others, as “priests exercise their sacred function especially in the Eucharistic worship or the celebration of the Mass by which acting in the person of Christ and proclaiming His Mystery they unite the prayers of the faithful with the sacrifice of their Head.”  Lumen Gentium, 28.]  Every pastor brings his own unique gifts and style to this role.  At the same time each parish has a distinct history, heritage, and style that pastors must respond to and respect.  [Recalling Fr. Giebel’s forced “rehab” as pastor of St. Benedict’s – which was against the general will of the parish and dried the coffers right quick – this appeal to “parish heritage” rings pretty hollow.  And if you’re looking for a junior priest who changed the “parish heritage” behind a senior cleric’s back, you might check out this link.]  The often made analogy of pastor to people as a marriage is an apt one in the give and take that both require.

Over the course of time bishops are told lots of things about pastors by many people.  Some of these concerns can be dealt with on an individual basis.  Some are simply differences in styles or opinions.  Many lack any basis in fact.  However there are occasions when enough concern is expressed on a wide basis that a systematic review is in order so that a proper and informed response might be made.  Wisely  the Church provides a canonical process for this called visitation.  [So the Archbishop is aware that sometimes parishioners “blow smoke,” and not all complaints have equal gravity.  This is a good point to make.  But how does the “concern” at Holy Family reach the quantum necessary to provoke the visitation?  More specifically, how has Fr. Francis disrespected the “parish heritage”?]

I write today to inform Holy Family Parish that such a moment is upon us and that I have called for a formal visitation of the parish.  This is necessary so that I might have accurate and complete information in order to make appropriate decisions for the future direction of the parish.  [Here’s where things start getting 1984-ish.  “Appropriate decisions” and “direction” are not given any objective qualifications.   What exactly are appropriate “parish heritage” decisions and directions for Holy Family Cathedral?  One in which the Catholic pro-abort mayor and local TV news are invited into the sanctuary to discuss the homeless?  With interviews given in the sacristy?  Is it appropriate “parish heritage” to remove Jesus from the tabernacle for the sake of an AFACT colloquium?]  In doing this, I have been working in close collaboration with the leadership of the Western Dominican Province and their Provincial.  They have been generous in their support and openness.

[ . . . ]

It is important that everyone understand what a visitation is and is not.  In the first place it is a fact gathering process.  It is neither prosecutorial nor fault finding.  [Unless of course there is fault to be found.  Then the fact-finding becomes fault-finding.]  The visitation is meant to provide a process conducted by individuals with some objectivity so that they can determine and report an accurate picture to those charged with responsibility.  The current situation involves the staff of the parish and the visitation will be primarily with them.  It is not intended as a process that will involve the whole parish.  [How can the “parish heritage” be determined by only examining the staff?  Does the staff have a heritage in need of protection?  Is the Spirit of Vatican II in danger of being extinguished at pastoral council meetings?]  At the conclusion of their work the visitors will present a report of their findings to me and the Dominican Provincial so that we can move forward for the parish.

In preparation for the visitation I have asked that two things be done.  The first is that a public accounting firm [???] be engaged to do a compilation and audit of the sources and uses of funds for the cathedral center renovation projects.  [What does this have to do with “parish heritage”?  If the Archbishop wants to conduct a detailed financial investigation of a parish in his diocese, he might consider some of the concerns voiced by parishioners here at St. Andrew’s.]  I wish to stress that this is being done so that an accurate presentation of the finances of the center can be given to everyone.  There is no implication of wrongdoing on anyone’s part.  It is simply to get a clear and independent presentation of the expenditures and funding of the project.  As well I have asked that the Parish Administrator be place [sic] on paid leave until the conclusion of the visitation.  [Hmm.  I fail to see how placing the Parish Administrator on paid leave will help Fr. Francis better address the issue of “parish heritage” at HFC.]

[ . . . ]

When a decision has been reached it will be communicated directly to the parish.  In the meantime I ask for your patience and prayers for this process.

Sincerely yours in Christ and Mary,

Roger L. Schwietz, OMI

Archbishop of Anchorage

CHESTER’S TAKE.

It is no secret that Fr. Francis has made changes to the catechesis going on at Holy Family Cathedral.  But given the fact that the previous pastor announced from the pulpit that “the fact you are here makes you Catholic,” it seems that this was a needful change.  And the Archbishop is well aware of the fact that this diocese has a whopping total of 2 seminarians currently in formation.  Hard to remove the title of “mission territory” with that dubious distinction, and it’s hard to get young men to give their lives for a faith which they do not know, much less understand.

Given the recent history of the Archdiocese, there is a presumption that Fr. Francis is simply being harassed – and possibly run out of town – because he is orthodox.  Despite stating that the “parish heritage” of HFC must be respected, the letter above fails to list how this heritage is being abused or neglected.  Moreover, there are broad and needless implications of financial misfeasance or malfeasance.  Therefore, pursuant to this layman’s obligation to express his opinion concerning the good of the Church, I recommend that the Archdiocese withdraw its planned visitation and reinstate the Parish Administrator forthwith.

Please pray for Archbishop Schwietz and Fr. Francis Le.

Renewing the Dialectic on Modernism

In Common Sense, Culture of Death, Movies/Art on 15 July, 2010 at 8:49 am

I had the chance to sit down and talk with a skeptic friend this morning, and the following dialogue ensued:

1.  Why must you rail against Modernism?  Isn’t it just tilting at windmills, and aren’t we all postmoderns at this point?

Bernard, I applaud your “windmills” allusion to Don Quixote.  It is appropriate, insofar as  Cervantes wrote the first Modern novel — a paean to the pointlessness of virtue, the needlessness of war, the heedlessness of headlong masculine chivalry, etc.  I refer you to Lepanto.

First, what is Modernism?  This question is difficult to answer because part of the nature of what we call Modernism is that it has many heads and faces, like the chimeraPius X wrote that Modernism “presents its doctrines without order and systematic arrangement into one whole, scattered and disjointed one from another, so as to appear to be in doubt and uncertainty, while they are in reality firm and steadfast.”

Like the positive and negative terminals on a battery, two main poles provide Modernism with its energy:

1. Agnosticism.  This means that human reason is limited to the senses.  No more, no less.  Thou shalt not mention metaphysics, unless thou proceedest directly to phenomenology.  God is right out.

2. Vital immanence.  This means that the common religious urging felt by man is limited to and originates from him.  Hence, religion is only a movement of man’s heart, why or whence he knows not, and this we call sentiment.  Blech.

Now, we see these two aspects of Modernist philosophy storming the minds of the young on a daily basis.  Take for instance The Matrix.  When Morpheus tells Neo that there is a universal feeling everyone experiences “when you go to Church…when you pay your taxes,” he is telling Neo that 1) vital immanence is what causes any sort of transcendental yearning in man, and 2) his is merely a sensory existence, as evidenced by the ridiculous tubing apparatus through which man experiences the empirical reality known as the Matrix.  Cute metaphor for Modernism, no?

For Whom the Blog Tolls.

In Alaskana, Beer, Common Sense, Culture of Death, Movies/Art, Politics, The Church on 3 July, 2010 at 4:33 am

1.  The purpose of this blog is to advocate for the authentic springtime of the Catholic Church foretold by Pope John Paul II; and, particularly, in Alaska.

It is to advocate for a government that edifies, rather than attacks, the family.

It is for families, mothers, and children.

It is for good beer, good friends, and good conversation.

It is often about Saints for Sinners, but more often merely for Sinners, that we may cease to be so.

It is for those who have awakened to find themselves in the cratered war zone called Modernity and yearned for the cathedrals, castles, and simple hovels that Modernity destroyed.

It is for good movies, music, and art.

2.   This blog is not for any of the following:

Half-Measures

All too often, both in the Church and in the world, milquetoast “leaders” advocate for a half-poison, half-candy compromise in order to not offend anyone.  This only prolongs the agony, giving the dying man time to curse the fool who suggest he try the arsenic flavored chocolate bar.  If something is right, it is right.  If something is wrong, it is wrong.

Lies

We live in an age filled with lies — from pretty white lies, told to make someone feel better, to some of the Blackest lies in all the sad history of the human race.  You may not like it, but the following is true nonetheless:

The Church is the only Church.  Belonging to or defending Episcopagamethouniversalism just makes you look silly.  Eventually, the bill comes due.  I am not OK, and you are not OK; we are miserable sinners.  It is a baby, not a blob of tissue.    Atheism kills people, lots and lots of people.  Sometimes, Johnny is just an idiot.    Women were happier, on the whole, when they stayed home and made food, babies and trips to the grocery store.

Bad Beer

No further explanation needed.