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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pro-Life Conversation...The Worm Turns...

Photo: This is what we all looked like at 12 weeks in the womb. Legal to kill in all 50 states.  Anyone think its not a person?  Pass this along.  It literally might save a life.

This photo started a conversation on pro-life.  My counterpart Darcy will be in red and I will be in black.

The caption started this.

The caption is:  Very powerful picture and message...This is what we all looked like at 12 weeks in the womb. Legal to kill in all 50 states. Anyone think its not a person? Pass this along. It literally might save a life. 

My counterpart is named Darcy ...she begins with this:

What if it takes the life of the woman carrying it? It's not just one life at stake...It's a hugely complicated issue, made more ridiculously complicated by the many who are simultaneously against reproductive rights AND want to limit women's access to birth control. Hello? The single most effective cure for most non-health-related abortions is preventing the unwanted pregnancies in the first place! I think this is more about controlling women and not wanting them to have sex at all. (Which is hilarious, since Viagra is covered by so many insurance companies - so who are all these men having sex with in the first place?) Sorry, this whole mess has me very emotional.

To which I responded:

 Ok, Darcy, you ask, what about the mother. If the mother dies to save the life of the baby, then she dies a natural death. If the baby goes with her, then the baby dies a natural death. In both of those cases the life was not exterminated due to unnatural means, ie abortion.

There is nothing about controlling women. That is an absurd argument. Actually, the best way for controlling unwanted pregnancy is to not have sex. A novel concept I know, but nevertheless it is what is most responsible. It is also the only way 100% of the time to avoid pregnancy.

We do not have the right to take another life, regardless of the means. This includes abortion. If the child in the womb is a human person, then should it not be afforded the same rights as any other human person?

Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

Andy...maybe life does begin at conception. But as soon as any life depends on another life for its survival, then the issue of privacy enters the picture. If someone with a rare blood type that I happen to be a good match for desperately needs my blood for survival, that person does not have the right to demand that s/he use my body's resources to in order to survive. Birth control pills are used for many other purposes other than avoiding pregnancy, by the way. So you're saying that as long as the mother dies a "natural death" - that could have been prevented - then it's okay? Are you aware that the medical term abortion simply means "termination of pregnancy", regardless of whether it was ended by medical or natural means?

 Darcy, there is no maybe to it. Life does begin at conception. And there are many times during life where one is dependent upon another for survival. An infant doesn't have the ability to survive on it's own, so you have the right to drop it in a dumpster? I don't think so. An elderly stroke victim can no longer care for himself, therefore he has lost the right to life? I don't think so.

You're comparing apples to oranges when you speak about blood types v. the life of an unborn child. The person in the womb does have the right to life and that right is not incumbent upon the wants of the mother. The obligation of that mother is to care and nurture that child.

What is the main purpose of a birth control pill? I don't hear it being called a period regulator pill. I don't hear it being called a hormone suppressor pill. It is a birth control pill. That is a fallacy and a bad argument to say that there are other uses for the pill. Bottom line, the pill is designed for one thing, the regulation of births in an unnatural way. It is a drug. And it is a drug which is aimed at one thing, population control. That was the end when it was developed, that is the end now.

I am aware that the term abortion means this according to American Heritage dictionary: Also called voluntary abortion. the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy.

According to American Heritage Medical Dictionary: The expulsion of an embryo or fetus before it is viable.

So, I'd say it means a little more than just "termination of pregnancy."

Anti-choice...interesting use of words. What are those pro-choice people choosing, exactly? Answer. They are choosing to support the ending of a life by unnatural means. What are those who are "anti-choice," to use your words choosing not to do? They are not supporting the cessation of the ending of life by unnatural means. This isn't a choice issue.

 As for the argument that 77% are men...well let's look at this: In 2011, the last time Gallup did a study on abortion views, an equal percentage of men and women polled said that they believed abortion was “morally wrong”. 51% of both genders agreed on this. Furthermore, 5% more women than men felt that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. Nearly a quarter of all women polled would be in favor of making abortion illegal in all cases.

The 77% statistic is based on the fact that there are more MEN elected to public office than women. This is true for both Democrats and Republicans. If you were going to make a percentage for “leaders” that are pro-abortion, it would be pretty close to the same thing.

If you look at the leaders of the major pro-life organizations, many of them are women. Some examples include women such as Abby Johnson, Live Action’s own Lila Rose, Charmaine Yoest who is President of Americans United for Life, Carol Tobias who is President of National Right to Life, Marjorie Dannenfelser who is President of SBA List, Concerned Women for America, and Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The idea that having a uterus is the only way you can have a valid opinion on abortion ignores the genetic truth that a baby is just as much the father’s as the mother’s. In a world where we expect men to take responsibility for their actions, it makes no sense that a father has no way to protect their children in the womb. If women want to be treated “equal” to men, then they should be required to take responsibility for the children they create – at least for 9 months.

I just don't buy your hype. It doesn't follow.

Andy...I have no delusions about changing your mind about any of this, but I do feel the need to correct you on several points. 

I never said that men aren't allowed to have opinions on women's pregnancies. But that men feel so entitled to LEGISLATE (as political leaders) - or push for legislation (anti-choice leaders) - about something that will never happen to them seems ludicrously unfair. It's like me, a totally privileged white woman, telling a black person what they're supposed to feel about racism. How presumptuous of me to think I could possibly know what it's like to be black. Likewise, these men will never know what it's like to be pregnant. Perhaps this doesn't matter to you, as you seem to have so little compassion for women who find themselves in possession of an unwanted pregnancy, or a pregnancy that threatens their lives. 

It is true that there is a causal relationship between poverty and abortion rate. Census data as well as international empirical evidence shows an undeniable causal relationship between overpopulation and poverty. Currently, minorities comprise a large percentage of the poverty demographic in our country. Making birth control more accessible to poorer communities is not an evil plot to eradicate minorities. That is so patently ridiculous I don't even know what else to say about it. If you think that providing access to birth control is the same as forced sterilization or legislating limits on the number of children you can have, then obviously I am wasting my time pointing these rather obvious facts out to you. 

Yes, the birth control pill is commonly known as such, and it is also known by its more commonly used moniker "the pill". I know *scads* of women, personally, who use the pill for reasons other than birth control. It's an excellent regulator of hormones and is thus used treat PMS, ovarian cancer, estrogen dominance, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Perhaps you don't care about these diseases. I hope for your sake no woman you ever care about ever has one of them. 

Andy, I wish you well. I do not wish to continue this debate because, again, I suspect these facts and points of evidence will do little to get past your desire to believe what you believe.

See Darcy, there is where we differ. I do hope to change your mind and it isn't a delsuion. I sincerely hope that you are open enough to see the horrors of the abortion movement in this country and around the world. So, I'll begin there. That is a huge point and I make no bones about it. I don't wish for any human person to be subject to an abortion, mother, father, or child.

You assumed as much by saying what you said about men though. Your stats were intentionally misleading. You can go on and on about legislating this and legislating that, but the last time I checked, it was SCOTUS which legislated abortion in 1973. And the last time I checked it was an all male bench. So, let's not play the legislation game. It is a house of cards and it is an appeal to authority which just doesn't work. Also, to use your analogy, a psychatrist can never REALLY help a crazy person, becuase the psychatrist isn't crazy nor has he been crazy himself. Poppycock. Notice that the only one in this conversation who is making distinctions of sex is you? I am speaking of the human person and I am being inclusive of all persons, while a man can never have the sensory feeling of being pregnant, he can certainly empathize with the woman who is going through the pregnancy. 

And btw, how dare you assume I have no compassion. I have more compassion that you can possibly EVER know. To make a blanket statement like that is just plain rude. I have spent a good number of years as a sidewalk counselor and have worked with many women and men who have been faced with abortion. One of my very good friends has had an abortion, something she regrets daily. And another friend, who is an MD, rescued a baby girl who was discarded during an abortion and she is now a happy and healthy 16 year old. So, let's not put on any have no right to assume my level of compassion or lack thereof. I have spent the better part of 20 years in front of Planned Parenthood and other abortion mills speaking, praying and talking with those who would or did not have abortions. The ad hominem attack lessens your argument. You were doing better (albeit only slightly) before you started attacking my person.

Making birth control available to minorities is EXACTLY an evil plot to eradicate minorities. I'd have you read Margaret Sanger. You'll be shocked at what the founder of Planned Parenthood has to say. Not only was she a racist and a supporter of the KKK, but also Sanger's eugenic policies included an exclusionary immigration policy, free access to birth control methods and full family planning autonomy for the able-minded, and compulsory segregation or sterilization for the profoundly retarded. In her book The Pivot of Civilization, she advocated coercion to prevent the "undeniably feeble-minded" from procreating. Although Sanger supported negative eugenics, she asserted that eugenics alone was not sufficient, and that birth control was essential to achieve her goals. So, please don't think me a fool. I know exactly what the purpose of birth control is about. I also know that while Planned Parenthood claims to distance themselves from some of Sanger's views, they still view her as a viable source for "reproductive health." Not a good place to be and not a good mark on the part of birth control advocates. Not to mention the very name...birth control. By default, if one controls births, then he is controlling the population. The facts aren't quite as obvious as they seem on your end now are they and they are a little, you haven't really given me any "facts" yet...just your opinion. Just sayin'...

As a matter of fact Darcy, more than a few of the women I am close to have had to deal with these issues. My sister included. The interesting thing...most of them (not all, because not everyone will buy into what I'm sharing with you) found a way to deal with those issues, including ovarian cancer WITHOUT resorting to birth control pills. Again, to assume that I don't care or that I don't have compassion severely weakens your position and simply paints you as someone who must tear me down as a person, rather than discussing the topic. I have as much care and compassion as the most liberal person you know.

Finally Darcy, if you don't wish to continue this discussion, fine. I have worked my way through this issue many times. I am open to discussing it as many times as necessary to show the fallacy which exists within it. Am I convinced that you're right? No. Can you convince me to abandon the need to support unborn, innocent babies like the one in the photos above? I doubt it. But if you think that I do this to spite women or to oppress them,'re not only wrong, but you're missing the point.

I am always available. I will always make time to discuss this issue with anyone who wants to have it. Good day!

As another bit of support for my position on birth control being a way to eradicate minorities, Sanger said: We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members. (Letter to Clarence Gamble, 1939). 

That is exactly the reason for birth control. Sanger's view on this goes on in her book, Family Limitation (catchy, no?): no one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception. This is the only cure for abortions.

Yes, there is something truly depraved about the abortion movement. And it isn't men who oppose it.

 Wow, Andy. The harm that the pro-life, anti-contraception movement has wrought on the world through furthering the spread of AIDS, overpopulation, and death of women in childbirth is undeniable. Research data proves that "abstinence only" programs do not work. (

I questioned your compassion because in a former comment, you alluded that it would be preferable that the woman die naturally rather than have an abortion to save her life. This, at least by my definition, is not compassionate. 

Clearly, Andy, you and I are at an impasse, and while I am amused that you thought you were going to change my mind with your highly questionable propaganda and pro-life hype, I do appreciate your taking the time to illustrate to me just how far we need to come as a country with regard to women's reproductive choice and health. Thank you, and have a good night. Respond if you like, but I am done.

 Sources on Third World Countries and contraception and abortion:

Darcy, Let me make sure that I am not misunderstanding you. You are blaming the pro-life movement for the spread of AIDS. You are blaming the pro-life movement for overpopulation. And you are blaming the pro-life movement for the death of women in childbirth. Ok. Where to start. Every single one of those claims is unprovable and unfounded. 

1. The spread of AIDS is due to one thing, sexual promiscuity. Had abstinence played any part in that and there would be a much less rampant spread of AIDS. A secondary point is that it was spread by bad blood transfusions, had those who were positive been honest with the doctors and disclosed their conditions, then perhaps that too would have been less, but it wasn't the pro-life movement which furthered this.

2. Overpopulation. According to whom? Who's standard are we applying this by. Russia's? The USA's? China's? Who exactly is the standard and who's society is the basis for this? Again, regardless of your answer, the pro-life movement cannot be blamed for this. There is a concept called continence which promotes responsibility within marriage with regard to the sexual action. There does come a time when the sexual action is neither necessary nor is it warranted. Love can develop from simply the erotic into agape. Or a love of the other which goes beyond simply the physical. The physical is important, please don't misunderstand, but it is not the end all be all of a relationship.

3. Death of women in childbirth. Really? Women have been dying in childbirth forever. This isn't a matter of pro-lifers causing anything.

Those arguments hold no water. They are absurd and they are specious, at best.

Because I support natural death rather than killing or murder, I am somehow uncompassionate? C'mon...please be intellectually honest about this. That argument is not only a stretch it is completely out of the realm of decency. Honestly.

I am sad that you think that this was a joke or something of amusement. I can assure you that it is not. I can back up any claim I have made with fact. I can provide you with proof after proof after proof. My motive is clear and my motive is honest. It is also utterly simple. To protect the life of the innocent human person in the womb, while promoting the dignity of the parents. I can assure you there is no propaganda, it is clear fact and sustainable truth, which does not compromise the life of the innocent human person.

Regarding your WaPo article, it is specious and logically unsound because in one sentence it states: This study isn't rigorous enough to show whether or not [abstinence-only] education works.

Then turns around and says: Abstinence-only was an experiment and it failed.

There is no basis for that AND the final quote is unsourced...absolutely unsound. The premise doesn't follow to the conclusion.

With regard to the second article, it is nonsensical. It makes no sense and it has very little to do with this conversation. If you can expound upon the second article, I would be all ears...

Andrea Hines Cutlip, I have no problem with you leaving this up. Actually, it is my hope that you do. It is important to understand that everything I've said is quantifiable and everything I've said is supportable as fact.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ordinariate Mass Time in Des Moines, Iowa

I had a conversation last night with Father Seraiah of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.  The new Anglican Use priest, in case you weren't aware of his name.

He is going to start having a regular Anglican Use Mass on Sunday mornings at St. Anthony's at 10:00am, in the crypt (basement) for now.  If there is enough support, he will petition Bishop Pates for a more stable place, but for the time being, this is where he will start.

Father Seraiah would like to invite any and all to assist at this Mass.  This does fulfill your Sunday obligation, it is 100% fully and completely Catholic.  It is a different "rite," so there will be differences from both the Novus Ordo and the TLM, but like assisting at a Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy, it is fully compliant with Holy Mother Church.  Please feel free to come and support the Ordinariate as much as possible and as often as you wish.

Also, I do believe that Father Seraiah will be available to visit after Mass and talk about the Ordinariate.

On a personal note, I've been doing a lot of studying over the last several months, with regard to the Ordinariate.  From what I've gathered and from the impressions that I have received, not only in conversations with Fr. Seraiah, but also in some contacts that I've made, this is a VERY traditional mindset.  The mindset dates clear back to the Anglican separation from Rome, without the "royal heresy" influence.  What am I getting at?  Well, the mindset is almost a medieval Catholic mindset unencumbered by Modernism.  So, parts feel very ancient, but at the same time, parts feel very in tune with what traditional minded Catholics are looking for in their search for orthodoxy.

This concept is very fresh.  This concept is very old at the same time.  While the Mass is in English, it is not modern.  It is an Elizabethan English which is very high.  And the liturgy itself, has the potential of being very high as well.  It will just take some time to establish that.  So, there must be a little patience as this takes off.  The theology is 100% Catholic.  The dogmas and doctrines of the Church are held from a traditional point of view.  Much of the "ambiguity" which came after Vatican Council II is not present, because they have not been influenced by the theology which emerged after Vatican Council II.  I will let Fr. Seraiah expound upon that more though, but those are the impressions that I received.

In short, I see this new venture of the Church having a slightly different feel.  By that I don't mean a feel that isn't Catholic, but rather one which has a slightly different philosophy.  And that, friends, is ok.  What do I mean?  Think of it this way...the Church from the time of Trent has really taken on a Thomistic philosophy (St. Thomas Aquinas).  It embraced the scholastic methods and mentality of philosophy.  And the theology of the Church followed.  That is the way of things.  With the mindset of the Ordinariate, it follows a much more Augustinian philosophy (St. Augustine of Hippo).  And the theology has followed that.  Is either view wrong?  No, as long as both are in communion with the Holy See.  Are both valid?  Yes, as long as both are in communion with the Holy See.  Are both licit?  Yes, as long as they are in communion with the Holy See.

As I said, this is a new venture.  This is something that will not be for everyone, but if I might be so bold...I think that this is something that everyone should try.  Just as I think that everyone should try any of the other Uniate Churches (Sui Juris, if I must be politically correct) when they get a chance.  Catholicism, by definition and by tradition, is universal.  The Church should cater to all men, while holding on to the truths of dogma and doctrine, theologically.  But the disciplines can certainly be diverse.

Please think about assisting in the coming weeks.  Or even assisting this weekend.  As I said, it is at St. Anthony's this Sunday at 10am, in the crypt (basement).  It has to start someplace.  And it has to start with someone.  I think enough of each one of you that I am inviting you on behalf of Fr. Seraiah to come assist at his Mass and experience a new form of worship within Holy Mother Church.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Passing of Deacon David Wadle

Death hits hard.  It hits hardest when the life is taken needlessly.  People die in accidents, people die from disease.  People die.  That much we can be certain.  Sometimes we forget to see that death isn't the end, but rather that death is merely the next step in our journey to salvation.

There isn't much that can be said in the way of condolence immediately following the passing of someone.  what can be said is that he loved his family.  He loved his friends.  He loved his Church.  He loved his Church so much that he sought ordination into the permanent diaconate.  He was a good servant.  He did his job.  He fulfilled two vocations.  First to Pat.  Second to his Church.

I always quote Wisdom 3:1-9 when someone passes away.

[1] But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. [2] In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery: [3] And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace. [4] And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality. [5] Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.
[6] As gold in the furnace he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them. [7] The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds.[8] They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. [9] They that trust in him, shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love shall rest in him: for grace and peace is to his elect.
We must keep in mind that this is not the end.  We know that they are in peace.  Their hope is our hope.  Immortality.  It is my prayer that God found David worthy of Himself.

This was the attitude of David:
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free!I follow the plan God laid for me.I saw His face, I heard His call,I took His hand and left it all...I could not stay another day,To love, to laugh, to work or play;Tasks left undone must stay that way.And if my parting has left a void,Then fill it with remembered joy.A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss...Ah yes, these things I, too, shall miss.My life's been full, I've savoured much:Good times, good friends, a loved-one's touch.Perhaps my time seemed all too brief—Don't shorten yours with undue grief.Be not burdened with tears of sorrow,Enjoy the sunshine of the morrow.
Pray for the repose of his soul.  Thank you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Deacon David Wadle

These are two letters that I recently wrote to a friend of mine and his wife.  Please pray for Deacon David Wadle.  He is in the end stages of cancer and his time may be short.  Please read on....

Dear Dave,

I want to take a minute to thank you.  I want to thank you for a couple of things, showed me a new side of Catholicism.  You showed me that love can be tempered with justice and that is a wonderful gift.  Second, you challenged me and helped me to grow, not only as a person, but also as a Catholic.  That is important.  You did your job as a deacon.  You did your job as a Catholic.  Thank you for that.  Third, you showed me that courage doesn't always have to be roaring like a lion.  I saw in you the courage to face each day and to do that with great humility.  Thank you for that.

The last thing I want to say to you is keep fighting!  Fight with all that you have.  Fight with your whole heart, your whole soul, and your whole mind.  Fight with your whole body.  I know that you are, but I think that it is important to hear this as well.

You are a good man, Dave.  You've been an example of charity, humility, honor, and love (agape).  Please know that as you continue your journey, this won't be forgotten.  I am proud and honored to call you my friend.

St. Ignatius of Antioch said, "It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all of the earth."

Dave, thank you.  Thank you for being my friend.  Thank you for being a mentor and thank you for being a good and faithful servant of the Lord.  Go rest, David, you've earned it...then wake up and FIGHT!


Dear Pat,

You are a champ.  You have stood in the face of adversity and you have borne it with a grace that was noticed by me.  Your courage rivals that of Dave and I want you to know that.  You are doing what is best.  You are there with him when he needs you most and that is so very important.  I wish that I were there to visit you and Dave.  I wish a great many things, but know that my prayers for Dave's recovery and that God's will be done are fervent.

My rosary is offered for David daily until there is resolution.  May God keep you both close.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Amice

From my esteemed friend over at WDTPRS, Fr. Zuhlsdorf has the following to say about the amice:

Quaeritur: If a priest approaches the sanctuary in the nude in preparation for Holy Mass, need he put on an amice? Since there would be no “ordinary clothing” to be covered, it 
would seem that he need not do so. Am I wrong? Inquiring minds want to know.
Hmmm… this is a serious question!
Let’s get some bare facts.
An amice, from Latin amictus, “a garment put on over other clothing”, in turn from the verb amicio “to throw round, to wrap about, to cloth”, is a rectangular linen cloth which has strings at two corners on one long side.  It is placed, first on the head, and then over the shoulders and around the neck.  The strings are then crossed over the chest, passed around the back and around to the front where they are tied, so as to keep the amice in place.
The naked truth is that an amice, by etymological definition, is something you put on over other clothing. If the priest has no other clothing, you don’t put it on, right?  C’mon!  Think it through!
If that weren’t enough in itself, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal says, in part,
336. “… Before the alb is put on, should this not completely cover the ordinary clothing at the neck, an amice should be used.”
If I am reading this correctly, Father is not be obliged to put on the amice before putting on any alb… in this scenario.
By the way, GIRM 336 goes on to say “…the alb may not be exchanged for a surplice…”, which is a very good thing … in this scenario.
On a related issue, however, when you see a priest’s “Roman” collar sticking up out of his vestments, that is a liturgical abuse.  His collar must be covered because his collar is “street clothes” as opposed to sacred vestments.
It can happen that the alb or amice will slip away to reveal his street clothes.  That is not an abuse.  That is an accident.  What is an abuse is purposely vesting in such a way that the collar is revealed.
I wonder… when priests do this are they trying to distinguish themselves from all the laypeople in the sanctuary to whom they have abdicated their own priestly role?  Hmmm…  But I digress.
In the older, venerable, traditional form of Holy Mass, in the Extraordinary Form, the amice is always used, regardless of the shape of the alb.  The priest first washes his hands, saying a particular prayer, and when the priest puts on the amice, he lets it rest on the top of his head briefly and he says the prayer:
Impóne, Dómine, cápiti meo gáleam salútis, ad expugnándos diabólicos incúrsus … Upon my head, O Lord, place the helmet of salvation, so that I may defeat the assaults of the devil. (cf Isaiah 59:17; Ephesians 6:17, 6:11)
I think seminarians and priests should memorize and use the vesting prayers, as of old, even before Mass in the Ordinary Form.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Anathema Sit!

This hits home, because it clear.

And So the Ordinariate Begins, in Iowa...

On Monday, I had a very long conversation with Fr. Chori Seraiah. He has asked me to start making contact with regard to the Ordinariate and the mission that he is starting.

He would like to get a sense of how many people would be interested in assisting at his Mass. He is not asking for a firm commitment, but rather something more exploratory.

Let's not forget that this is a completely new endeavor within the Church and it is something which is truly grass roots. I know of a couple of families who are already interested, but I would be remiss if I didn't approach the Traditional Catholics in Iowa group. There is something inherently Catholic about what the Ordinariate is doing and it starts with the faithful.

While it is a different look at being Catholic, it is Catholic and it is traditional. One of the big advantages to the Ordinariate is that it is insulated to a large degree from the Modernist tendencies of today's Novus Ordo liturgies. Also, the theological attitude is very traditional.

So, right now I'm trying to gauge interest. I know that there are a few who are interested, but Father would like to see who else might be. I can do my best to answer any questions which might arise, as I've already asked a lot to Father and he's answered them for me, but if there is something I can't answer, I'll certainly take it to him and get a response ASAP!

If there are questions, please put them into the combox and I will address them there.  Thanks!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Speck or the Plank...??

Matthew 7:1-5:

[1] Judge not, that you may not be judged, [2] For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. [3] And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? [4] Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? [5] Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Sometimes in life we must look not just at what Sacred Scripture says, but also why and how.  When we feel slighted or hurt, this is often the passage from the Sermon on the Mount which is brought out.  I know that my aunt was famous for this, as was my grandmother.  What we must realize though, is that this passage works both ways.  While we might feel slighted by another, we must be EXTREMELY careful not to confuse right action with righteous indignation.  I know that I am guilty of that from time to time.  I know that it can certainly be a dangerous trap to fall into, because I've fallen into and I've watched family and friends fall into the same trap.

Yes, there are things which offend the senses.  Yes, there are actions which offend the person.  We are fallen people and we do not have a monopoly on what is right and what is wrong.  However, to bring forth Sacred Scripture and apply it where it is not necessarily applicable is not in anyone's best judgment.  And what normally follows is an explosion of pride.  Something along the lines of, "Well, I can't be and so is wrong."  "I was offended because of X."

When in all reality, if one does a TRUE examination of his own conscience, he will find that his actions leading up to the event are just as caustic and detrimental as any other.  As time passes, we must realize that we are human.  We must realize that we do make mistakes.  We must realize that one of the greatest gifts that God gives is the ability to forgive.  He forgives through Penance.  We forgive through our own selfless action and attributes toward others.

Like I said, my grandmother was notorious for using this line when she felt slighted.  But does she have the right, based upon the two-way nature of what Christ is saying to follow through on that.  Or should she have trusted that it would be neither her or the person she felt slighted who would remove the splinter/plank, but rather that it would be God.

A little later on in Chapter 7, Christ says and St. Matthew follows;

[26] And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, [27] And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof. [28] And it came to pass when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine. [29] For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes and Pharisees.

On both sides of this coin we find that the only One who we should be attributing the words to as far as judgment is Christ.  However, the forgiveness is to be given and freely accepted by all, who offer it and receive it.  Please understand, we are not the purveyors of judgment and justice, Christ Jesus is.  We are merely partakers.  We don't judge.  We don't presume to judge.  We presume to do what is necessary to love, honor and respect our fellow man, REGARDLESS of our personal feelings of slightedness.  If God forgives and gives absolution for the most serious and the most petty sin, then should we not do the same? 

Cardinal Burke Speaks!

That pretty much sums it all up, now doesn't it?  Not too much to add.  His Eminence nails it.

An Ordinariate First Mass, For One and For Many...

Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of assisting at the first Holy Mass of Fr. Chori Seraiah, of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.  I've had some time to reflect upon it and I have a few thoughts, which I would like to share.

First, I want to say that I think that Fr. Seraiah's celebration of the Mass is extremely reverent and extremely noble.  There are few priests I know who are more attuned to what they do, as was Fr. Seraiah.  That is a gift and I am very grateful that his attention to the celebration of Holy Mass is taken so very seriously.

Next, I would like to speak to the ceremony itself.  It was a Said Mass (low Mass), with one server.  As I was speaking with Fr. Seraiah last night,  I became increasingly aware that the Mass he said was Catholic.  It wasn't Latin Rite Catholic, it didn't have that feel to it, but it was Catholic.  Much like how the Byzantine's are Catholic.  It has it's own reality and it's own traditions attached to them, but as with many things which have come down through Holy Mother Church, when validity and licitness are applied to it, it takes on a Catholic quality.

It wasn't the easiest thing for me to wrap my head around, but once I started reflecting upon it, I thought of how the early Church adapted basilicas and pagan feasts and Jewish traditions into her bosom.  This is yet another adaptation or better yet acceptance of that reality which has existed from all time.  Will it take time to get used to?  Of course, but looking at it through the lens of the Church from within, as opposed to seeing it from without, there is something Catholic about it.  Of course, the liturgy that I witnessed yesterday has been celebrated, in a Catholic way for over 30 years, as part of the pastoral provision.

Next, I was taken aback by the profound respect that was given the Blessed Sacrament.  While there are some peculiarities I don't personally care for, the manner of respect with which the Blessed Sacrament is expected to treated is astounding, especially in today's Church.  One may receive in the hand, however, he does not self-communicate.  He is not allowed to touch the host, but rather he must carry the host resting in his hand to his mouth and receive in that manner.  While I personally don't receive Holy Communion in that manner, I can certainly see that this form of reception is far more acceptable than that which is practiced in 99% of churches today.  Another area which I find to be interesting is that if one chooses to receive from the chalice, he does so in a passive way.  There is nothing active in his reception of the Precious Blood.  And those are but options.  One may always receive the Sacred Host on his tongue and not receive the Precious Blood.  But the constancy through that is that the Communicant receives kneeling.  There is no standing.

Next, I can see where and how the Mass can be celebrated with all pomp and circumstance of a TLM Solemn Mass.  It is not a stretch and it is not a far move.  Clearly, the Mass, just like the Latin Rite Mass, is intended to be sung and it is intended to be High.  Many will say, oh don't get hung up on the ceremony.  That is something which will come.  I say, no.  Do get hung up on the ceremony.  For it is the fullness of the ceremony which will draw people in.  It may not be feasable in the first few months, but it should be done as soon as possible.  Why?  It is the ceremony which draws the senses of the faithful into the liturgical action of the celebrant.  The most ceremony allows the senses to see, hear, touch, taste and smell.  That is the draw to the liturgical action.  That is what has been missing since Vatican Council II and the reforms after.  That is what this liturgy can bring to physical, which has been missing.

Speaking theologically, I can see the use of the Roman Canon.  I can see the absolute importance of the altar.  I an see the importance of "bringing the Gospel" to the faithful.  All of these things speak theologically to the Anglican Use.  I will expound upon these elements in later posts, but I just wanted to take this time to give a very new view of a first Mass, not only for Fr. Seraiah, but also for the Des Moines area and for Holy Mother Church.

God is indeed, good.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ordinariate News.

This weekend, Deacon Chori Seraiah will be ordained to the priesthood.  I've been mentioning this for the last few months.  This is a great happening in the Church today and something that is very rare indeed.  It isn't often that we get to assist at an ordination of a married man who was a clergyman in an ecclesial communion not in union with Rome.

I was reading recently several homilies of recent ordinands within the Ordinariate.  I would like to share this homily with you, so you can reflect prior to Deacon Seraiah's ordination.  I will be posting that homily as soon as I get it.

Ordination Homily...
 for Fathers Charles Hough III, Charles Hough IV,
Christopher Stainbrook, Joshua Whitfield, Mark Cannaday,
and Timothy Perkins

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church
Keller, Texas
June 30, 2012

Dear Charles, Charles, Christopher, Mark, Joshua, and Timothy,
          We gather today from near and far to celebrate your ordination as Roman Catholic Priests, and we all do this with great joy from wherever we have come. As the Jewish people, when they would approach the sacred space of Jerusalem and the Temple would joyfully pray the “Psalms of Ascent”, we also joyfully join our voices in a grand chorus of praise to God “Praising God to the Holiest in the Heights” as we approach this sacred space and sacred time. And, as you will shortly say “I do...I do...and I do, with the help of God” there is a chorus of voices that surround you this day that have led you here. They are: The Word of God that you have chosen for this day - this Feast day [The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome], the voices of your Anglo-Catholic formation, family and friends who have helped you to hear this call, and I might add, from the “Communion of Saints,” the voices of those from the past but still from Eternity, sing to us this great day! And St. Augustine would say “Let us now sing, but keep going!”
          Let us turn first to the Book of Lamentations, the first reading for this day. At first glance one may wonder why this would be used on a day of priestly ordination, given its history and origin, dating from the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. Yet, it is the reading for the Mass of the day, and you have chosen it. It also echoes, it seems, a pilgrimage of Faith that each of you all made, from times of an uncertain destination (the “where, when, and how” of it all) to a destination and journey far beyond in which all at once the light of God illuminated the path and opened the door; the light of Christ which St. Paul speaks about in the second reading for this day!
          Toward the end of the Book of Lamentations for today, we find the words “pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord; Lift up your hands to Him.” As we all lift up our hands to the Lord this day, in thanksgiving and praise, let us imagine this praise being joined by two voices from Eternity, from the Communion of the Saints, in a manner of the antiphonal chanting of the Psalms with one voice answering the other: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and Blessed John Henry Newman! These witnesses of the Faith share the Anglo-Catholic heritage which your Ordination as priests, along with your communities, bring now into much sharper focus for the whole Body of Christ! This will be clearly evident in a few minutes when we pray the prayer of Basil Cardinal Hume, in gratitude for your history and formation as Anglo-Catholics!
          I have had the chance over the years to visit St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street in New York, where St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was received into the Church. One day, upon approaching St. Peter’s, she said: “A day of days for me, Amabilia. I have been—where? To the Church of St. Peter with the cross on the top instead of a weather-cock (that is mischievous)—but I mean I have been to what is called here among so many churches the Catholic Church. When I turned to the corner of the street it is in, ‘Here, my God, I go,’ said I ‘my heart all to you.’ Entering it, how the heart died away, as it were, in silence before the little tabernacle and the great Crucifixion over it. ‘Ah, my God, let me rest,’ said I—and down the head on the bosom and the knees on the bench.” [From Mrs. Seton, by Fr. Joseph I Dirvin, CM, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc. 1975]
          From this personal experience, a personal echo of Lamentations, another voice now answers in return from eternity, that of Blessed John Henry Newman. His own experience of Lamentations, when he was still at St. Mary’s in Oxford in May of 1843 speaks to us: “At present I fear, as far as I can analyze my own convictions, I consider the Roman Catholic Communion to be the Church of the Apostles, and that what grace is among us (which, through God’s mercy, is not little) is extraordinary, and from the overflowing of His dispensation…My office or charge at St. Mary’s is not a mere state, but a continual energy. People assume and assert certain things of me in consequence. With what sort of sincerity can I obey the Bishop? How am I to act in the frequent cases, in which one way or another the Church of Rome comes into consideration?” AND FINALLY, “By retaining St. Mary’s, I am an offense and a stumbling block.”
          Dear brothers, your lives, your prayer, and your discernment over these past years, not only find a resonance in the sacred history in the Book of Lamentations, but also in the words and lives of these two great figures enrolled among the Saints and Blesseds, whose history reflects in many ways your own. You, like they, having “Poured out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord,” and have been led by the providential care of the Lord to this great day of rejoicing!
          There is also, however, turning to the Gospel for this day, another echo for your lives. Like the centurion, who asked for his daughter to be healed, you will hear the Lord’s words not only for the centurion, but for yourselves, now and into your future ministry: “It shall be done to you because you have trusted.” And because you have trusted, the next words you speak will be your “I DOs” to the Lord in your Ordination as Roman Catholic Priests.
          You are being called to priestly ministry in the Catholic Church in which your role as a witness is very much needed. The first Martyrs of the Church of Rome, whose feast day we celebrate today, stand with you to call you forward in this mission: a task of being a credible witness to the essential nature of ecclesial communion in Christ, and a witness to the words of the same Christ who says in another place “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” Indeed, you are being called to the priesthood in an era in which the freedom to proclaim and live the truth is being threatened. Your voices and ministry are essential to the freedom of the Church in the proclamation of this mission.
          There is one more voice, one more place that sings to us this day: Canterbury! St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) said “That I may seek you desiring you, that I may desire you seeking you, that I may find you loving you, and that loving you I may find you again (cf. Proslogion, 1).”
          That would be another voice, then, that joins our chorus of praise today for you and for the whole Church, who together with the great St. Augustine says one more time “Sing then, but keep going.”

There is something to be gained from this.  Please take the time to reflect upon it.  I think that as Deacon Seraiah embarks upon his vocation, he will be well served by knowing that he is on a journey, but this is just the first step.  This is when his soul is marked.  But Deacon Seraiah shouldn't just rest once his ordination is complete, he needs to keep going.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Breathe...We All Need to Breathe....

Over the last week or so, we've all been subject to a bevy of emotions.  We've had highs, thinking that the HHS Mandate was going to be overturned.  We've had lows, when we realized that Roberts apparently didn't vote the way we wanted him to vote.  We've had ups, with the apparent reconciliation with the SSPX, we've had downs, with the leaks that the SSPX are not going to accept.

I was listening to the radio on my drive home from Des Moines last night.  As I was listening, I was listening to this commentator go on and on about how bad the state of things are right now.  Something washed over me and that the conservative pundits are buying into the hype.  I wonder what would happen if they just didn't.  I wonder what would happen if the conservative pundits didn't yell that the sky is falling every time the liberals did something?  I know that it would make for boring radio, but seriously, I think that we as a society would be in a better place.

Oh, they will tell you that they are "reporting" things as they see it, but in actuality, they are just as reactionary as the most liberal think tank.

What if rather than finding fault with all that Romney does, they extolled him for the good that he does?  What if rather than finding fault with all that Palin does, they extolled her for the good that she has done?  What if rather than finding fault with George W. Bush, they extolled him for the good that he did?  I wonder how the liberals would react to that?  I don't think that they would react very well, but I do think that the conservatives would be in a better place.

Why is it that we must spell gloom and doom?  Why is it that we should fear for our very lives and buy into the hype that "the sky is falling?"  What if we simply didn't buy into it?  What if we looked at the Roberts issue as one where he exposed Obama as a liar and a cheat.  What if we looked at Roberts not as a new champion of the liberal left, but as an exposer of the liberal left's idiotic positions?  What if we didn't look at the SSPX through the lens of the media which leaks private documents, which invariably are incomplete, but rather waited for Fellay to actually say something?

We live in a time of sensationalism, why?  Because we have too many access points to too many things.  What we don't have is patience.  We don't look at the big picture.  Our response to the HHS Mandate should be to call and write our Congressmen and Senators and let them know that this is unacceptable.  If we want a change in the executive branch, vote in someone new.  And we should not look at the Supreme Courts as legislators of law, but rather judging on whether something is viable as a law.

The more and more I research the ruling Roberts made, the more and more I think that he may be the fox in the hen house.  I am really starting to believe that he has ruined Obama's chances to be re-elected.  The more and more I think about the SSPX issue, the more and more I think that reconciliation will happen.  Look at what the SSPX has fostered:  A complete reversal of the attitude toward the TLM.  A growing understanding that Vatican Council II was not a "super-Council" filled with "super-dogma."  There are a number of other areas which they have affected too....

Bottom line, conservatives need to stop being Chicken Little.  We need to stand up, take a positive look at where we are and realize that we can win.  If Romney is elected President, we will most likely pull the Senate our way.  If the Holy Father REALLY wants the SSPX reconciled, it won't matter if Weakland is the Prefect of the CDF, it will happen.

Stop being reactionary...every election since Reagan has been the most important election since Abraham Lincoln.  And that is just reactionary.  Plain and simple.