Category Archives: Religion

Chicago archbishop and U.S. EPA in this “fight” together: Take that, climate change!

The archbishop and the EPA administrator co-author Sun-Times op-ed.

The Most Reverend Blaise Cupich and the head woman of the nation’s whole damn Evironmental Protection Agency, also known as its Employment Prevention Agency, take us from clean air asthma-protection (who can object to it?) to this:

The fight against climate change isn’t a sprint — it’s a marathon. But with continued leadership and committed action from the archdiocese, from Chicago, and from congregations and communities across America, we can turn the challenge of climate change into an opportunity to build a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous future.

A month ago, Pope Francis asked, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”

We all know the answer, and that’s why we’re working together — faith leaders, public officials and private citizens — to make it a reality. [Italics added]

To make what a reality? Give me antecedents to match those pronouns.

And turning challenge of such and such into an opportunity? To build a cleaner, healthier, etc.? How about cleaning up the air for asthmatic children and letting it go at that?

This is such a play for national visibility as to unleash a flood of disbelief. What about flood-prevention while we’re at it?

The crafty Mundelein loved FDR and boosted the New Deal, however. There’s precedent for this, sad to say.

via Opinion: We have a moral obligation on climate change | Chicago.

Fr. Barron gone, Abp Cupich can further remake Chicago, says Crux writer

The seminary’s the thing, social justice to be king?

As rector of Mundelein, Barron reworked the curriculum to focus on the New Evangelization, an idea promulgated by Pope John Paul II and institutionalized at the Vatican in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI aimed at engaging contemporary culture with the Catholic faith.

Whether Cupich’s choice to replace Barron changes the focus of that curriculum — and in what direction — will be closely scrutinized by Church-watchers.

Bye-by New Evangelization, hello Social Gospel?

(BTW, the former is “in a nutshell . . . salesmanship,” wrote Crux’s John Allen from Rome in March of ’13, in his National Catholic Reporter days, which is linked above.)

Chicago-based Media Star Priest Off to Hollywood

From Midwest to Far West, into the belly of the media beast: (per Wall St. Journal via Google)

LOS ANGELES—A Catholic media star is coming to Hollywood.

On Tuesday, the Vatican announced that FatherRobert Barron,a popular Catholic commentator, author and television host with a significant social media following, would relocate to the Los Angeles Archdiocese from Chicago afterPope Francisnamed him an auxiliary bishop.

The move is expected to boost the Catholic church’s voice in a region that is the center of the entertainment industry and home to the nation’s largest Catholic diocese.

Father Barron will continue running a robust media operation that includes his “Word on Fire” media ministry, as well as posting video talks on his YouTube channel. His videos have been watched more than 13 million times

He’s happy as a clam:

At the announcement of his appointment in Los Angeles Tuesday, Father Barron said that he plans to carry on the mission of “evangelization of the culture, bringing Christ to the arenas of media, politics, law, education, the arts. I can’t think of a more exciting field for this sort of work than Los Angeles, which is certainly one of the great cultural centers of our time.”

. . . .

In an interview Tuesday, Father Barron said he’s eager to “meet some of the players out here, the screenwriters, actors and producers and directors.”

He has plans:

The priest’s videos and writings have a conversational tone, and often reference pop culture, history and politics. His slickly produced videos, usually about 10 minutes long—often show him sitting in a library or sanctuary. He’s tackled topics such as original sin and belief in God, but also the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on gay marriage, comedian Bill Maher and “The Hunger Games” movies.

Father Barron said his strategy is “not to scold the culture for what it’s doing wrong” but to find common points of interest.

For instance:

After criticism [by some] of the movie “Noah,” [for deviating from the Biblical original]  Father Barron brushed aside its critics.

“It’s remarkable to me how this movie preserves an awful lot of what I call the biblical logic of the story of Noah in a way, I must say, that’s rather remarkable for a major Hollywood movie,” he said. “God is clearly affirmed throughout the movie.

The ball is in Chi Archbishop Cupich’s court as to who should succeed Barron as rector of the Chicago and regional seminary, a very important post as to the quality and pastoral orientation of presumably many ordination classes of priests.

McCarthy: Pastors, staffers prepared to deal with Supreme Court marriage decision – Illinois Review

McCarthy: Pastors, staffers prepared to deal with Supreme Court marriage decision – Illinois Review.

Frequent commenter to this blog Margaret McCarthy covers  Daniel McConchie, Vice President of Government Affairs for Americans United for Life, in a Grayslake IL presentation, including threats to conscience, including:

Here in Illinois, [where] Holy Family Catholic Church in Inverness is faced with a lawsuit over employment discrimination by Colin Collette because he was fired when he married his male partner.

In Illinois, we have had The “Illinois Right of Conscience” [as] one of the strongest protections for religious objections . . . successfully used to protect a Catholic pharmacist from civil penalty when he refused to supply a customer with abortificient drugs.

Currently, SB 1564 . . . passed and . . . before the General Assembly, would weaken those protections.

Chicago Tribune columnist and blogger Dennis Byrne gave us a look at this book in April as applying to abortion.

As if we weren’t looking, pro-choice forces this week are pushing an anti-conscience abortion bill through the Illinois Legislature.

Illinois Senate Bill 1564, which rewrites theHealth Care Right of Conscience Act, is designed to cripple or shut down  pregnancy resource centers, such asAid for Womenand theWomen’s Center, that offer womenalternatives to abortion.  Ironically, the bill reduces choices for women and takes direct aim at health care providers whose conscience (whether religiously inspired or for logical reasons) does not allow them to participate in abortions.

That means that workers atpregnancy crisis centers would have to violate their conscience by describing the “benefits” of abortion and refer clients to abortion clinics.

The bill is presumed also to cover same-sex confrontations, McCarthy reports:

For several years, the homosexual lobby has been aggressively seeking out businesses whose owners refused on religious grounds to provide services for their prospective weddings. When refused, the couples sued, citing discrimination based on already existing laws permitting gay marriage. 

McConchie cited numerous cases across the country of florists, caterers, wedding chapels, bakers that were singled out for attack.  Some were defended successfully, others were fined and/or put out of business.

McConchie was blunt about it, warning his Christ Church “Crossroads” audience, “You may not be interested in politics, but if you don’t pay attention, politics will roll over you.”

Jihadists rock to jihadist poetry

The Rhyme and Reason of Jihad | Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The Rhyme and Reason of Jihad

The Rhyme and Reason of Jihad

Clifford D. May
10th June 2015 –The Washington Times

You probably didn’t know it but Osama bin Laden was a poet. In fact, according to Yale’s Robyn Creswell and Princeton’s Bernard Haykel, “of all jihadi poets, bin Laden was the most celebrated, and he prided himself on his knowledge of the art.”

They add (in the June 8 edition ofThe New Yorker): “A large part of bin Laden’s charisma as a leader was his mastery of classical eloquence.” Here, for example, he elegizes the mass-murderers of 9/11/01: “Embracing death, the knights of glory found their rest. / They gripped the towers with hands of rage and ripped through them like a torrent.”

Professors Creswell and Haykel further report that a wide range of Islamist groups are now producing “a huge amount of verse.” This art is an expression of the “the culture of jihad” which, they say, we should regard as a “culture of romance. It promises adventure and asserts that the codes of medieval heroism and chivalry are still relevant.”

– See more at: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/may-clifford-d-what-rhymes-with-decapitate/#sthash.OtrmyAOt.dpuf

This provides a vision,

Which leads us Christians and Jews to poeticize our tradition?

Which calls for an impassioned embrace of our doctrines.

Our Scripture is full of the poetic, the vision, the sheer otherworldiness. So much of it in undiluted form is nonsense to the man and woman, but especially the man, of today. We should do what we can, in schools, for instance, to encourage embrace of the poetic — a reasonable embrace of it. There I go, two sides of the issue.

Hearing trivia from the pulpit? What’s this Last Coming thing anyway?

The Advent season conundrum:

At some point during this Advent season, there will undoubtedly be a priest somewhere with a smattering of biblical-critical trivia he picked up in seminary who will confidently inform his congregation that Paul changed his mind on the coming of Christ.

Early on in his ministry, he’ll say, Paul believed Christ would return soon, during Paul’s own lifetime . . . .

Later, however, it is claimed, Paul supposedly came to the disappointed realization that Christ was not returning “soon,” and that he (Paul) would be dead when Christ came.  . . . .

Confused parishioners may then be allowed to swing hopelessly in the winds of confusion. There’s nothing some people like better than showing how much more intellectually sophisticated they are than the supposedly “naive” early Christians.

Oh those early Christians, oh those early Christians (to the tune of Oh Dem Golden Slippers) . . .

What do do? Well, for starters keep this in mind:

The Catholic way of reading Scripture is based on the faith that Scriptures weren’t merely a random jumble of books by various authors gathered together by some Church bureaucrat in the Fourth Century, but that the Holy Spirit inspired all of it, so that we can use texts from one book to illuminate our reading of others.

What Christ tells us in the Gospels about the end times is that “no one knows the day or the hour” (so for the life of me I can’t figure out why people keep listening to people who claim they do); that it will “come like a thief in the night;” that in the meantime, we should, like the wise virgins, “keep oil in our lamps,” “be sober,” and “stay alert,” for when the time comes, a man on his roof won’t have time to come down and go inside. There’ll be no time for grabbing one’s coat or packing up a few nice things for the trip. When it’s time to go, it will be time to go.

Beyond that,

we should live our lives, caring for our children, planning prudently for the future, finishing our little projects, and doing all those things that we can do to be “provident” in the image of the God in whose divine providence we participate.

And yet at every moment we should also be asking ourselves the ultimate . . .  question: If Jesus were to return right now, and I were to be asked to give an account of my life and my soul, what would I want the Lord to find me doing and thinking about?

Good advice.

Tradition-oriented African cardinal to head Vatican Office of Divine Worship

Being African means never or almost never starting mass with “good morning”:

The Church in Africa has a clear and sharp understanding of the division between immanent and transcendent, sacred and profane.

Having been to many liturgies in Africa, I have never had the experience I have had in some European countries of attending a Mass that seemed more like a school assembly.

This sense of the transcendent and sacred, which permeates the whole of life in Africa, is also seen in an attention to ceremonial that never seems out of place. [italics added]

It’s good to be friendly, but public signs of being so are not always what you want, eh?

Later: But if you scroll down to comments, you find a different kettle of fish, much of which is inside Vatican baseball which is fascinating to some, including me:

paulpriest • 2 hours ago
Unfortunately this is a stunt.
Cardinal Sarah is indeed an orthodox behemoth – one of the best Cardinals the Church possesses.
BUT – As Head of [the pontifical council] Cor Unum he was getting under the skin of the uber-progressive Caritas International – they loathed his interventionism and his having the Dicastery authority to thwart them.
[remember the top-level firings in CI?]
But Cardinal Sarah cannot be accused of anything but performing his job masterfully and devotedly
…and given the Kasper comments against African Bishops?
Moving out one of the Only Two Africans in the Curia would have been impossible…even for His Holiness….
Cardinal Sarah had to be removed from Cor Unum to keep those who have the papal ear happy
So he had to be transferred – not fired.
The CDW [after the purge from 3 wks ago] is now filled with Bugninites and [abp] Marinites….whatever His Eminence might intend to do at the CDW – he can guarantee that his underlings in middle-management will do everything in their power to counter and thwart it [with backing from those who are close to His Holiness].
Just as Cardinal Pell was moved to finance to ensure he was kept away from everything else Curial.
Cardinal Sarah is being moved away from where he was most crucially effective – in ensuring the Church’s missions, initiatives, proposals and teachings on social justice – remained Catholic.
This is NOT a good day for Holy Mother Church.
But Thank God His Eminence is still a sprightly 69 and will still be able to run rings round his enemies – and still get a few things past the wolves…
AND it means he will still be present at #Synod 15 – where ++Burke won’t be and ++Pell may not be…
Steve paulpriest • 2 hours ago
“Cardinal Sarah is being moved away from where he was most crucially effective – in ensuring the Church’s missions, initiatives, proposals and teachings on social justice – remained Catholic….This is NOT a good day for Holy Mother Church…”
Ok but the Church’s liturgy is central to the mission to the Church and he seems throughly Catholic in his comments on things, so I for one am rejoicing, especially when the doom mongers predicted that we would have an anti-Catholic appointed. Jesus Christ be praised.

paulpriest Steve • an hour ago
Do you SERIOUSLY think that Abp Marini will not hold massive influence regarding the future of all things liturgical if those all-too-close to His Holiness have their way?
Remember there was an almighty purge of the CDW less than a month ago…as well as the Congregation of the Clergy..anyone who even had a nodding acquaintance with Pope Benedict was given the ceremonial order of the boot…
Look out for who will be getting a compensatory red hat sooner than later!
Abp Marini will be a Bri-Nylon Bugninite thorn in our side for ages to come…
And Cardinal Sarah most certainly couldn’t [under this Pontiff] have been transferred to the Congregation of the Clergy – that would have been too earth-shatteringly wonderful for the orthodox and those of a traditionalist ilk…His Eminence would be countering every ‘move of the wolves’ at every turn…
Cardinal Sarah anywhere is wonderful for Holy Mother Church – he is God’s man – but he was more effectively an adversary of the wolves – and governments and big business and secularising culture-of-death promoting leviathans at the UN etc while he was head of Cor Unum…and that’s why he was ousted.

The black-robed regiment on call . . .

Clergy to the pulpit barricades!

AURORA IL – Sunday evening, the Illinois Family Institute hosted several hundred Illinoisans who gathered at Aurora Christian School to hear Pastor, Author, and Oklahoma State Representative Dan Fisher call for Illinois clergy to “wake up” and join a modern day Black Robed Regiment.

 

The Black Robed Regiment was the name the British placed on the American clergy during the Founding Era (a backhanded reference to the black robes they wore). The British blamed the Black Robed Regiment for American Independence, and American leaders agreed

” We’re all Catholics now,” the Episcopal priest said at a rally in the Federal center a few years back, referring to the impingements on religious liberty fostered by ObamaCare.

Trouble is, in N. Illinois the RC priests are mostly liberals politically, if not in every other way.

However, I heard an excellent sermon pre-election day 2012 at St. John Vianney, Northbrook, at the 10 a.m. Latin mass. Quite good indeed.

Pope Francis exposed . . .

. . . as a shrewd and focused opponent of a very bad curia:

The first non-European Pope was elected to do one thing: reform the Roman Curia, the pitifully disorganised, corrupt and lazy central machinery of the church. He is determined to pull it off — but he’s 77 and has part of a lung missing. When he looks at his watch during long Masses in St Peter’s, it’s not just because elaborate services bore him. He knows he may not have much time. ‘Two or three years and then off to the house of the Father,’ he said this week. Was he serious? You can never tell.

That’s from an all-out detailed, informative, original rundown on Pope Francis by the prolific Damian Thompson in the (UK) Spectator, where he is associate editor.

Some especially good stuff:

Jorge Bergoglio has little in common with Joseph Ratzinger apart from an intense, orthodox Catholic faith and a love of classical music. Like many Jesuits, Francis isn’t interested in liturgy. This is actually good news for traditionalists, because it means he won’t clamp down on the Latin Mass (with one baffling exception: the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a new order whose use of the Old Missal has been brutally restricted). [Italics added]

And:

The Pope has declared a spiritual culture war on the bureaucrats who forced the resignation of his predecessor, the most intellectually gifted pontiff for 200 years. Cardinal Ratzinger was once known as ‘the Rottweiler’. How ludicrous that nickname seems in the light of his eight years as Pope, during which he allowed curial officials — including his incompetent secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone — to plunge the church deeper into financial and sexual scandal while they fought their own factional battles. Benedict was too old and too kind to knock heads together.

And more more more where that’s from . . .

“ISIS beheading children systematically”

A plea for prayers from Crisis Relief International via e-blast:

“We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are
beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling
food too. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10
minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city
of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated it’s staff in Erbil. Our team is
unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!”

Wow.

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