Father Z opines over today’s apparent lack of belief in God and the Church – and the reality of Hell

fourlastthings

Christ, God, gave us the Catholic Church.  It is the Church He founded.  He gave us the sacraments as the ordinary means of salvation.  He gave His own authority to the Church to teach about faith and morals.  He gave us a visible point of reference for unity and security of knowledge for our membership in His Church: Peter and his successors and the apostles and their successors with Peter.

Knowingly reject the Church – and Peter – and the Church’s teaching and her discipline of Christ’s sacraments, and you place yourself on a path that might just land you in hell for eternity.

If nothing else from this rant gets through to readers, and this is especially my plea to priests and bishops, I beg you on my knees, I implore you: make it a habit to think about the Four Last Things at least once a day.  We are all going to die.

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Submitted by Jola S.

Jesus Never Said…

jcneversaid

Submitted by Bob Stanley

And now … for the “Don’t Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out Department” …

AMSTERDAM—Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest at its opposition to gay marriage, according to the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information.

Link

Seen on the web: Pro-Life vs Social Justice Catholics

Posted by george2007

There is a huge error in depicting these two camps of Catholics as being cafeteria Catholics simply making different selections.

The  Church has no teaching or doctrine on how much the federal government should spend on the poor or on how the federal (or any other level of) government should go about assisting the poor.  The Church has a crystal clear doctrine on the protecting of life at all stages and that it’s the government’s role to protect life. This is inarguable. Get this through your heads, everyone.

Paul Ryan is neither viloating nor ignoring any Church teaching in his budget or any other proposal.  This characterization of cafeterianism is a huge category error.  It’s not just a matter of degree, where he’s ignoring one teaching to focus on a more important teaching, as  some say.  It’s a category error.

The reason for the rift is a misunderstanding of church teaching. So bad is this misunderstanding that the culture of death is at best excused and at worst actively abetted by millions of American Catholics.

Link

Many CCD teachers resort to arts and crafts because of a genuine fear and ignorance in teaching the Catholic faith to students.

St. Augustine-the Father of Catechetics describes catechizing the ignorant in this way:

The best method for instructing ignorant men in Christian doctrine, one that will bear much fruit is to ask questions in a friendly fashion after the explanation; from this questioning one can learn whether each one understood what he heard or whether the explanation needs repeating.

In order that the learner grasp the matter, we must ascertain by questioning whether the one being catechized has understood, and in accordance with his response, we must either explain more clearly and fully or not dwell further on what is known to them etc.

But if a man is very slow, he must be mercifully helped and the most necessary doctrines especially should be briefly imparted to him.

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Editor’s note: St. Augustine figured this out way back around the 4th century. What a shame the Catholic Church threw out all the old, thoroughly proven ways when, for reasons known only to God, it decided to liberalize the church.

Archbishop Dolan provides a clear explanation of the nature of church doctrine.

One would think that leaders in “the Vatican” occasionally meet to decide what “rules” they should issue or reinforce today, or what changes in procedure they should introduce to guarantee that the Church is more relevant.

While this seems to be the presumption of most people who attempt to report on the Church, it is, indeed, a presumption that is invalid.

“The Vatican” is a plot of ground the size of an eighteen-hole golf course on the banks of the Tiber River in Rome.  It happens also to be the home of the successor to the man buried on this acreage under the splendid basilica which bears his name, St. Peter’s.

These 108 acres, “the Vatican” have absolutely no authority at all to alter the teaching of the Church.  Its sacred duty, rather, is to preserve and hand on the deposit of faith we have received from revelation, from the Bible, from Jesus, from His apostles.

So, to imply that the Successor of St. Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, and his closest aides regularly meet as some political entity to read the latest poll and “change Church policy,” like that of ordaining only men, is silly.

Call it whatever you went — “the Vatican,” “Rome,” “the Pope,” “the Holy See,” “the Magisterium” — whatever you call it, it does not “make up,” “change,” or “issue” new doctrines.  It inherits them, receives them, “handed on” (from the Latin word tradiitio,) by Tradition.

Yes, it may rethink how the truth entrusted to it might be better explained, or more credibly presented, or expressed in a more contemporary way.

Yes, it might become concerned when it’s clear that a good chunk of people no longer follow a particular teaching or moral precept.

But it does not then call a meeting and vote whether or not to change the teaching.

At times it – “the Vatican,” “Rome,” “the Pope,” “the Holy See,” “the Magisterium” — might even wish it could change certain teachings.  For instance, I would wager most bishops, priests, deacons, pastoral leaders, and maybe even the Holy Father himself has, at one time or another wished the Church could alter the teaching of Jesus that marriage is forever, and that one cannot break that sacred bond asunder.

But it can’t, because it didn’t make up the teaching to begin with.

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25 Important Things My Mother Taught Me

1. My mother taught me
TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.

“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside.
I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.

“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.

“If you don’t straighten up,
I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.

“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.

“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck,
you’re not going to the store with me.”

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

“Make sure you wear clean underwear,
in case you’re in an accident.”

7. My mother taught me IRONY.

“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.

“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.

“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.

“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times.
Don’t exaggerate!”

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

14. My mother taught me about
BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.

“Stop acting like your father!”

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.

“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world
who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

“Just wait until we get home.”

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.

“You are going to get it when you get home!”

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.

“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes,
they are going to get stuck that way.”

19. My mother taught me ESP.

“Put your sweater on.
Don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.

“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes,
don’t come running to me.”

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.

“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.

“You’re just like your father.”

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.

“Shut that door behind you.
Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.

“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE.

“One day you’ll have kids,
and I hope they turn out just like you!

Submitted by Doria2

Father Corapi has many fans … but also many enemies.

With his ex-military persona and baritone, no nonsense lectures on traditional Catholic catechism, Corapi has won legions of fans, but also many enemies, especially from Catholics who prefer social justice sloganeering to faith and practice.

Corapi’s sudden suspension was triggered by the “Dallas Charter,” adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 to deal with priests accused of sexually abusing children. Pending investigation, the charter essentially sacks a priest from ministry.

“The policy the bishops have in place is to appropriately deal with crimes against children,” Manfredonia said. “I think if the policy is applied to those cases, absolutely it’s appropriate to suspend. But this situation, it’s not that. It’s a claim of sexual misconduct with adult women. It’s not a crime, it’s a sin.”

“If it happened, then it’s behavior unbecoming of a priest. We know father personally and have had eight conferences with him personally, and he’s a fighter. If these allegations were true, he would admit his failures, openly. I have no doubt about that. Even if the accusations are true, it does not diminish the truth of what he teaches from the Catechism, or the Catechism’s power, if preached with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to draw people back to the church.”

Read the whole article

“The Priesthood” by Father Peter Joseph

Introduction by Eamonn Keane

…Given the widespread misunderstanding regarding the origin and nature of the ordained priesthood both inside the Catholic Church itself and beyond, a problem that has been exacerbated by the clerical sexual abuse scandals of recent times, I thought it would be worthwhile to produce a series of articles on the priesthood. As the first in the series I publish below an article authored by Australian theologian Fr. Peter Joseph titled The Priesthood. The article was first published by the Catholic Adult Education Centre in Sydney in 2009 as INFORM 120: Faith & Life Matters. I am grateful to the editor of Inform for giving me permission to reproduce the article here in my RenewAmerica column. It is the first time it has been published online.

Read The Priesthood by Father Peter Joseph

Editor’s note: The most essential and primary role of the priest is to offer sacrifice to God, for the people. The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Holy Eucharist is the primary reason that we Catholics, for our ministers, require nothing less than suitably ordained priests.

And while every Catholic priest is indeed also a minister … not every minister is a priest … since only suitably ordained ministers (ordained in and through the Catholic Sacrament of Holy Orders, by the Catholic bishop’s duly authorized, laying on of hands) receive (among other things) the power from God to change ordinary bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, at Mass.

The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the holiest sacrament of the altar further underscores the fact that Catholic priests are true priests indeed … since at Mass, they offer up for us to God … nothing less than Jesus Christ … who remains the only acceptable sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Since priests carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ, literally acting in Jesus’ place … assisting the bishops in their task of teaching, sanctifying and governing … it’s not surprising that clerical failings and scandals wound so deeply the hearts of the Catholic faithful.

All the more reason we Catholics should demand strict oversight of our seminaries, and total accountability from those who are in charge of priestly formation and education … something which has been substantially out of control now, for several decades.

Seen on the web: The best clarification of the Pope’s alleged condom remarks yet.

A commenter on Steve Kellmeyer’s Blog points out:

There cannot be conception in homosexual acts; therefore, neither can there be contraception in homosexual acts. This is precisely the Pope’s point.

Editor’s note: The Pope used the example of a male prostitute, engaging in homosexual sex.

In the specific case Benedict cited, the issue of contraception and condoms is absolutely moot … since conception between homosexuals is physically impossible, in any case.

Hence, there is absolutely no change to the Catholic Church’s traditional teaching that PROHIBITS THE USE OF CONDOMS for CONTRACEPTIVE PURPOSES.

Similarly, the Catholic Church typically does not expressly prohibit the “creative use” of condoms or condom-like devices,  for totally non-sexual purposes that have nothing at all to do with contraception (i.e. props, waterproofing, water containers, balloons, certain non-sexual medical applications, etc.)

From a recent AP article:

“If a condom is used as a contraceptive, certainly it will be condemned by the church,” the Rev. Deogracias Yniguez of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines told the AP. “But to use it to avoid a disease in specific circumstances, the church can take another mindset.”

Editor’s note: Does anyone really think that Catholics who are already engaging in adulterous, homosexual, or other types of illicit sex are actually worried about condom use?

The Top 14 Reasons To Read The Bible

14 – Because God is the Divine author (2 Tim 3:16).

13 – It teaches us the ways of salvation (2 Tim 3:15).

12 – It helps raise up Godly children. (Deut 6:7).

11 – It helps give good counsel to others (Col 3:16).

10 – It has practical wisdom for everyday life (Psalm 119: 98).

9 – Because God teaches us His will for us through it. (Rom 12:2)

8 – Because the Devil has read it, knows it, and hates it. (Matt 4: 1-11)

7 – It helps fulfill the mission of the Church – to evangelize. (1 Cor 1: 17-25)

6 – It answers life’s biggest questions – “Who am I”, “Why am I here”, “What is life all about”, etc. (John 14: 5-27.

5 – It helps us fight temptations to sin. (Eph 6:17, Matt 4: 1-11)

4 – It tells us the history of God’s people – our heritage in faith. (Acts 7: 2-56)

3 – It is God’s encouragement through the rough times in life (James 1: 2-3).

2 – We cannot know Jesus personally or his plan for our lives without reading the Bible – as St. Jerome said “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”.

1 – Christ is present when we read the Bible (2 Thes 2:13).

Read more at Aggie Catholics

Leo XIII was the Pope who declared that Anglican ordinations, orders, priesthood, were invalid.


Leo XIII was the Pope who declared that Anglican ordinations, orders, priesthood, were invalid.

So,… the Pope of Rome goes into Westminster Abbey, a church dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles, and – while wearing Leo XIII’s stole – reminds them that he is the Successor of Peter.

And they applauded!

The title of this entry is a bit lighthearted, but the issues at hand are very serious.

Benedict XVI teaches through signs. Signs point to deeper issues. Vestments are signs.

In the person of Pope Benedict, Peter’s Successor came to Westminster. In Benedict, in a symbolic sense, Leo XIII came to Westminster as well.

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Still Trying to Interpret Vatican II… over 40 Years Later

Why the Council’s “true interpretation” remains elusive even to its staunchest defenders should be obvious after forty years of wandering in the post-conciliar desert: Except where it simply repeated a constant teaching of the Church, Vatican II is utterly meaningless. Insofar as its supposedly “distinctive” teaching is concerned, the Council is a collection of ambiguities that tend to cancel each other out, leaving us, in essence, with nothing.  It is precisely the nothingness of Vatican II that has led to the endless debate over what it means…

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Hard Hitting Article Explains Why the U.S. Government Promotes Abortion and Why After 40 Years the Pro-Life Movement Has Yet To Turn the Tide

ama

Although Judaism has no central authority, and its congregations are organized into three branches, Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed, often differing in interpretation of Jewish tradition, its position on the beginnings of human life contrasts sharply with Catholic theology.

The three branches of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed) all promote abortion on demand in one form or another and they have heavily influenced every stage of the 40-year debacle.

The Catholic response to the pro-abortion forces has also been severely compromised in recent years. Some of the leading figures, who on the surface appear to be waging a worthy battle, have in reality been bowing to political and financial pressures and have become useful idiots for a system that is corrupt at its core.

Read the whole article (PDF format)

Big collection of free Catholic on-line audio presentations by the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

sheen

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was the first television evangelist … preaching and teaching on prime time TV,  back in “the good old days”.

His wit,wisdom, style, and sense of humor makes listening easy, and his extraordinary understanding of the authentic Catholic faith also makes listening essential.

Just about the only presentations available today that are anything like Archbishop Sheen’s come from Father Corapi, who is a great preacher and teacher, in his own right.

Over 50 (typically 30 minute long) audio presentations are available free for the listening, on virtually every aspect of the Catholic faith.

Click here to visit the Archnishop Fulton J. Sheen audio site

Click here to visit Father Corapi’s website

God, Sex, and Babies

God, Sex, and Babies

What the Church Really Teaches about Responsible Parenthood

By Christopher West

 In my experience sharing Catholic teaching on marital love and sexuality around the world, one thing is certain: Confusion reigns regarding Church teaching on responsible parenthood. Perhaps the main problem is the failure to grasp the profound distinction between contraception and periodic abstinence (or “natural family planning”). While contraception is never compatible with an authentic vision of responsible parenthood, the Church teaches that NFP-given the proper disposition of the spouses-can be.

Failure to distinguish between contraception and NFP occurs not only among those bent on justifying contraception, it occurs also among those who think that any attempt to avoid or space children is a sign of weak faith or lack of trust in God. There are other people who accept the licitness of NFP but argue about what constitutes a serious enough reason for using it.

A tome would be needed to spell out all the valid points and counterpoints necessary for an exhaustive treatment of the issues. The goal of this article is simply to outline some of the common questions pertaining to responsible parenthood, with the hope of bringing some balance to the discussion. We’ll begin by outlining the inner logic of the Church’s sexual ethic …

For more, go to Catholic.Com