Saturday, October 31, 2009
Somebody help me: I just want to know when we decide that public and prolonged rejection of the basic tenets of the Catholic faith merits an equally public acknowledgment of heresy.
When the prominent self- described Catholic wife of the governor of California, Maria Shriver, on television excoriates Christians who oppose same- sex unions, and the attempted marriage by such same- sex couples, as well as those who oppose ordination for women, as part of a TV news series on public and professional roles for women, she, in effect, denies the faith of the Church to which she purportedly belongs. Thus the idea that Catholic faith and morals are an “ accessory” that one adapts and fashions for personal use rather than a conviction and covenant that guides all of one’s words and actions in everyday life, professional and private, is perpetuated.
An aggressively pro- abortion Catholic senator, Ted Kennedy, was lionized and glorified in a public and televised Catholic funeral at which the most pro- abortion president in history eulogized him from the pulpit, which, by Catholic liturgical norms, must be approached only by a minister of the Word. Untold numbers of the faithful are further weakened and confused by such a public canonization of a politician who was ferocious and unapologetic in his many years of promoting the legal and funded murder of unborn children.
How far does a self- described Catholic have to go down the road of scandal and outrageous public repudiation of the faith and morals of the universal Church before we decide public correction becomes necessary? How much confusion must the universal flock suffer before pastors decide that consistent and public intervention has become necessary?
Apostasy, and the heresies that give rise to them, afflict the Church in this as in every age.
“In fact, ‘ in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church — for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.’ The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body — here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism — do not occur without human sin: ‘ Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers’” ( Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 817).
We are saved by grace through faith. There are four ways in which faith might be jeopardized: “Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. ‘ Heresy is the obstinate post- baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him’” ( CCC, n. 2089).
The engines of the media machine are laboring day and night to create and perpetuate the illusion that those who refuse to subscribe to the fashionable perversions of the day have been pushed to the irrelevant margins of Church and society. Public Catholic heretics and apostates are aiding and abetting these enemies of the Church. In any public society which seeks to protect itself, under ordinary circumstances, anyone who gives aid and comfort to the enemy is summarily and effectively dealt with in order to protect the common good of the greater number.
The idea that those Christians are marginalized who cannot “ adapt” to the fashionable pretense that marriage can be contracted by any combination of persons other than one man- husband and one woman- wife grows apace. The Christian confessions that repudiate the obligation to chastity considered normative for a celibate clergy are praised for their “ compassion.” Many Catholics have joined this chorus of rebellion against natural and divine law.
The New York Times this week simply could not resist condescending commentary about the new Anglican ordinariate announced by Rome to serve the needs of groups of Anglicans seeking union with the universal Church. In a lead article, published the day after the Anglican pastoral provision was announced, the Times insulted Anglicans, and the difficult choice many have prayerfully and with difficulty made, to enter into communion with the universal Church, by saying that they would do so only because they “ have nowhere else to go.”
Frankly, readers of the Times have many other places to go to find serious journalistic reportage about religion today. Could it be that many Anglicans are sincere Christians seeking to follow Christ, as the name implies, and find Him more fully present in the Church we commonly call Catholic? This possibility is cynically dismissed by journalists who seem more intent on publishing their own opinions than objectively reporting on the issue by talking to the Anglicans and Catholics actually involved in the story.
The Times and other media have, in truth, marginalized themselves by such superficial commentary which encourages readers to increasingly turn instead to other sources to find the serious engagement which faith merits. All of these and other indicators provide the background against which Catholics must attempt to live out their faith today.
Martyrdom will never go out of style for true believers.
(Fr. Cusick writes a weekly column for The Wanderer Catholic Newspaper. Photo of Pope Benedict at his Wednesday General Audience on 28 October 2009 by Fr. Cusick for The Wanderer.)
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The following article was submitted in a slightly shorter form to the New York Times as an op-ed article. The Times declined to publish it. I thought you might be interested in reading it.
By Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
October is the month we relish the highpoint of our national pastime, especially when one of our own New York teams is in the World Series!
Sadly, America has another national pastime, this one not pleasant at all: anti-catholicism.
It is not hyperbole to call prejudice against the Catholic Church a national pastime. Scholars such as Arthur Schlesinger Sr. referred to it as “the deepest bias in the history of the American people,” while John Higham described it as “the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history.” “The anti-semitism of the left,” is how Paul Viereck reads it, and Professor Philip Jenkins sub-titles his book on the topic “the last acceptable prejudice.”
If you want recent evidence of this unfairness against the Catholic Church, look no further than a few of these following examples of occurrences over the last couple weeks:
- On October 14, in the pages of the New York Times, reporter Paul Vitello exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. According to the article, there were forty cases of such abuse in this tiny community last year alone. Yet the Times did not demand what it has called for incessantly when addressing the same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests: release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency. Instead, an attorney is quoted urging law enforcement officials to recognize “religious sensitivities,” and no criticism was offered of the DA’s office for allowing Orthodox rabbis to settle these cases “internally.” Given the Catholic Church’s own recent horrible experience, I am hardly in any position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors, and have no wish to do so . . . but I can criticize this kind of “selective outrage.”
Of course, this selective outrage probably should not surprise us at all, as we have seen many other examples of the phenomenon in recent years when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse. To cite but two: In 2004, Professor Carol Shakeshaft documented the wide-spread problem of sexual abuse of minors in our nation’s public schools (the study can be found here). In 2007, the Associated Press issued a series of investigative reports that also showed the numerous examples of sexual abuse by educators against public school students. Both the Shakeshaft study and the AP reports were essentially ignored, as papers such as the New York Times only seem to have priests in their crosshairs.
- On October 16, Laurie Goodstein of the Times offered a front page, above-the-fold story on the sad episode of a Franciscan priest who had fathered a child. Even taking into account that the relationship with the mother was consensual and between two adults, and that the Franciscans have attempted to deal justly with the errant priest’s responsibilities to his son, this action is still sinful, scandalous, and indefensible. However, one still has to wonder why a quarter-century old story of a sin by a priest is now suddenly more pressing and newsworthy than the war in Afghanistan, health care, and starvation–genocide in Sudan. No other cleric from religions other than Catholic ever seems to merit such attention.
- Five days later, October 21, the Times gave its major headline to the decision by the Vatican to welcome Anglicans who had requested union with Rome. Fair enough. Unfair, though, was the article’s observation that the Holy See lured and bid for the Anglicans. Of course, the reality is simply that for years thousands of Anglicans have been asking Rome to be accepted into the Catholic Church with a special sensitivity for their own tradition. As Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s chief ecumenist, observed, “We are not fishing in the Anglican pond.” Not enough for the Times; for them, this was another case of the conniving Vatican luring and bidding unsuspecting, good people, greedily capitalizing on the current internal tensions in Anglicanism.
- Finally, the most combustible example of all came Sunday with an intemperate and scurrilous piece by Maureen Dowd on the opinion pages of the Times. In a diatribe that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish, or African-American religious issue, she digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests, and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription -- along with every other German teenage boy -- into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics, and his recent welcome to Anglicans.
True enough, the matter that triggered her spasm -- the current visitation of women religious by Vatican representatives -- is well-worth discussing, and hardly exempt from legitimate questioning. But her prejudice, while maybe appropriate for the Know-Nothing newspaper of the 1850’s, the Menace, has no place in a major publication today.
I do not mean to suggest that anti-catholicism is confined to the pages New York Times. Unfortunately, abundant examples can be found in many different venues. I will not even begin to try and list the many cases of anti-catholicism in the so-called entertainment media, as they are so prevalent they sometimes seem almost routine and obligatory. Elsewhere, last week, Representative Patrick Kennedy made some incredibly inaccurate and uncalled-for remarks concerning the Catholic bishops, as mentioned in this blog on Monday. Also, the New York State Legislature has levied a special payroll tax to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fund its deficit. This legislation calls for the public schools to be reimbursed the cost of the tax; Catholic schools, and other private schools, will not receive the reimbursement, costing each of the schools thousands – in some cases tens of thousands – of dollars, money that the parents and schools can hardly afford. (Nor can the archdiocese, which already underwrites the schools by $30 million annually.) Is it not an issue of basic fairness for ALL school-children and their parents to be treated equally?
The Catholic Church is not above criticism. We Catholics do a fair amount of it ourselves. We welcome and expect it. All we ask is that such critique be fair, rational, and accurate, what we would expect for anybody. The suspicion and bias against the Church is a national pastime that should be “rained out” for good.
I guess my own background in American history should caution me not to hold my breath.
Then again, yesterday was the Feast of Saint Jude, the patron saint of impossible causes.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
An Egyptian souvenir obelisque decorates the piazza at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva with a view of the Pantheon
Street corner shrines both shed light to discourage crime at night while reminding passersby to follow the inner "light" of faith in their daily walk of life.
Monday, October 26, 2009
For more info visit: http://iam71.org
I arrived this afternoon on the connecting BA flight from Heathrow at approximately 1600 local time.
My neighbors on the plane were a couple from Texas, he Church of Christ and she raised a Catholic. She said she has a problem with the pope because he lives in the Vatican surrounded by all that splendor, or something to that effect. You already know the old line well, "Sell the Vatican, feed the poor", right? Well, the only problem is: it was the poor that built the Vatican! IT GAVE THEM A PLACE TO GO TO GET AWAY FROM THEIR HOVELS! It gave them a sign here on earth by which to hope for the mansion God has prepared for them in heaven. The truth is, "Sell the Vatican and take away the hope of the poor".
We believe in the Lord who said, "Man does not live on bread alone". Man lives on hope, and hope is founded on God, and the Basilica of Saint Peter and every work of man raised to the glory of God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ His Son in the power and life of the Holy Spirit is a sign of hope for mankind, a milemarker upon his slow and sometimes painful march to the kingdom of God and the reward prepared for him from the foundation of the world.
And what of the many, rich and poor, who come, sometimes with difficulty, to see the vast collection of fine art and other treasures of the Vatican? Are they to be denied the privilege because of a false and insincere opposition set up by enemies of Christ and His Church between preserving this opportunity and the need and duty to feed the poor? Would not the devil love this? Man does not live on bread alone! He also needs hope! We can, and must, both feed the poor AND preserve the patrimony of mankind. This the Vatican does, under the leadership of our Holy Father and all those who assist him.
Oh, by the way, my neighbor on the plane admitted that if she had been catechised to understand her faith better she might have remained Catholic. Are you listening, catechists?
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thank you for your support and for visiting APL.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
My classmate from the Pallotti H. S. class of 1980 has participated in the past with the "Run for Vocations" team at the Marine Corps Marathon but was unable to do so this year. In tribute to John I have decided to run my first Marathon in his name.
This means that tomorrow I will be John Renehan for the purposes of tracking my time and bib number. Friends and family should type in John's first and last name to track my performance.
Thanks for the kindness of your prayers!
I share this note from the daughter of a Navy friend, CDR Phil Murphy-Sweet, who died in action in Iraq. She is running the Marine Marathon 10K race with her brother Seth tomorrow in honor of their father.
Perhaps you will be moved to help support TAPS. Whether or not you do so, please pray for the Murphy-Sweets and all those who have lost family members serving our country.
Here is Olivia's note:
"Dear Father Cusick,
"I am raising money on behalf of the TAPS organization that we used after my father died. I am running the 10K race in Washington DC with my brother Seth in honor of our dad, CDR Philip Murphy-Sweet.
"By being a member of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) “2008 Run and Remember Team” I am raising money and awareness to help support the loved ones of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country. This year, I will be running in memory of my dad, CDR Philip Murphy-Sweet. Please help me to honor their memory by supporting me in this race. Visit my website and make your contribution today!
"The funds I raise will flow directly into TAPS programming such as a 24 hour crisis and information hotline, peer support, Survivor Seminars and Good Grief Camps for both adults and children. No contribution is too big or too small. For example, your $250 donation could cover the cost of one child’s attendance to a TAPS Good Grief Camp, where he or she can work through their grief with other children and family members who share their journey. For a $50 donation, you could furnish a TAPS survivor care package to a newly grieving family.
"In addition to the hotline, peer support, seminars and camps, TAPS also offers a quarterly magazine, newsletters and a weekly chat line. TAPS provides these services at no charge to every branch of the service, including the Reserves and the National Guard. TAPS’ programs and services are available not only for spouses and children, but also for parents, siblings, fiancées, and friends.
"So please help me help the TAPS families in need by visiting my website and making your donation today. Let us honor those who have died on October 25, 2008.
Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support TAPS
For more info about how you can prayerfully consider sponsoring me as I "Run for Vocations" tomorrow in the Marine Corps Marathon click here. Thank you.
Friday, October 23, 2009
- to the school children of Jesus the Divine Word Parish for the gift of their prayers and hand made card on the occasion of the Year for Priests
- to the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration on 13th St. N.E., for prayers.
- to Sue W. of Huntingtown for your kind card expressing prayers for the Year for Priests.
- to Fr Dan Leary for the holy hour you offered for me to mark the Year for Priests.
- to the people of Saint Edward the Confessor Church for including my name in your parish bulletin to ask for prayers to mark the "Year of the Priest"
May you receive the reward of your kindness from the only One Who is good.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
For information on how to sponsor me as I "Run for Vocations" in the
Marine Corps Marathon on 25 October please click here.
Thank you for visiting APL.
In response to my request yesterday I have received my first pledge of
sponsorship for the running of the MC Marathon 25 October: $475 to go.
Will you prayerfully consider also sponsoring me?
For details please pagedown to yesterday's post about this.
Thanks and God bless you,
It is insulting to Anglicans and the difficult choice prayerfully made to enter into communion with the universal Church to say that they would do so only because they "have nowhere else to go" in a lead article in today's Times.
Could it be that these sincere Christians follow Christ, as the name implies, and find Him more fully present in the Church we commonly call Catholic?
The NYT is more marginalized by such superficial commentary which encourages increasing numbers of readers to turn instead to other sources for the serious engagement which faith merits.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Please prayerfully consider sponsoring me as I run in the Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday, 25 October.
My goal is $500 and the funds will support priestly vocations in the Archdiocese of Washington. Perhaps you can give one dollar for each of the 26.2 miles of the run. Whatever you decide to give will be gratefully remembered as I offer a Mass of Thanksgiving for the intentions of all donors at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome later this month.
Please email a message specifying the amount of your pledge to me at mcitl DOT blogspot DOT com AT gmail DOT com. Please make checks payable to "Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption", write "Fr Cusick/Marathon" in the memo block and mail to:
14908 Main Street
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
Whether you decide to give or not, messages of prayer are greatly appreciated as well.
Thank you and God bless you,
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Our poor human love is like that of the Apostles James and John: we think that whoever loves us must give us whatever we want. We think that greatness means being served by the rest. For those who choose Jesus Christ, however, it must be different: "The greatest among you is the one who serves the rest."
In our families and in our parish life, we must prayerfully discern our desire to "be this", to "do that". All of those who assist our priests and deacons must avoid the temptation to arrogate roles of service to themselves: "let us sit, one at your right and the other at your left". Our intentions are good, but must be leavened first by discernment of our gifts and call, lest we risk creating dissension and disharmony in the community rather than building up in love: "When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John".
Of first importance for all of us must be our sharing in the Lord's "cup" and in His "baptism". He serves us in baptism by clothing us in the dignity of grace, a white royal garment. He serves our salvation by offering a share in the cup of his suffering: the blood of His Eucharist poured out abundantly for us and for the world.
In our prayers, in our lives, let our first request be for the gift of the Holy Spirit, that we may discern the Father's will in imitation of Christ, who "gives His life as a ransom for many". In that same Spirit may we be truly "wise" and in the graces of courage and perseverance live out the calling to serve in His love.
God bless you, and Happy Sunday!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Receive the Savior, who gives the entire gift of Himself in the Word and Sacrament of each holy Mass, through the sincere and total gift of self. One gives oneself by means of reverent and whole-hearted participation in all the actions, gestures, prayers, and songs of the sacred Liturgy so that Christ becomes more and more the treasure possessed by each member of God's faithful people.
With God all things are possible. The joy of loving is fulfilled in God's gift of Christ. In Him alone do we find the "all" for which we hunger.
Do not go away sad. Meet and love Christ in each and every sacred Liturgy. He gives Himself without counting the cost so that you might have the grace to give in return, wholeheartedly because without attachment to any worldly thing. Give with joy.
God bless you and happy Sunday!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Just a brief look at the the photo gallery of the web site at Food for the Poor will be enough to convince you of the need.
My friend, our tears are beautiful signs of Christ's love in our hearts, but they are not enough. We must act. Thank you. ((((..))))
Food for the Poor has a 5-star rating from Ministry Watch, with a .6% average administrative overhead. More details can be found here.
Photo: Average human housing in Haiti would not be considered good enough for dogs in the United States. Photo by IRED.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Defend Life is partnering with David Bereit and 40 Days for Life to sponsor just one day for the fall campaign at the Planned Parenthood Abortuary in Annapolis, Maryland.
We will be meeting this Thursday, October 8th from 10am - 5pm at:
929 West Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
REMEMBER - YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE THERE ALL DAY!!!
This killing facility has only been protested ONE TIME in the last several years. We need every single person who can spare even just one hour to join us on this day!
Every person in Annapolis who drives by this facility needs to know they kill innocent babies' right there every single week.
We will be Praying, Fasting, and holding "Honk for Life" signs outside this Planned Parenthood site all day, but you can join us anytime from 10am - 5pm.
WE WILL NOT BE USING ANY FACE THE TRUTH SIGNS AT THIS EVENT!
I want to thank the handful of people how emailed me and let me know they are coming, but I need you to join us. If you can only do one thing in the month of October, please join us for this very, very important day.
INNOCENT CHILDREN ARE COUNTING ON YOU! WILL YOU ANSWER THEIR CALL?
If you can help, even for 30 minutes or an hour, please email me or call our Media/PR Director, Bill Simpson at (301) 300-3487.
Thanks again for all you do, and I hope I can count on you to join us this Thursday.
Bishop Saltarelli has always been a very private man, as you may well know... One of the brothers from my council works at the diocesan offices, and was told this morning that the Bishop's condition is grave. This brother asked that the prayer request be sent out.
I understand that Bishop Saltarelli is being kept as comfortable as possible in the hospice wing of the hospital. I understand that the diocese asks that vists be kept to family members, and that others just offer prayers that the bishop have a peaceful death. The Knights are losing a great brother and true friend, as well as an outstanding shepherd.
Leon J. Gratkowski
Delaware Knights of Columbus
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
The information about the Mass provided by the Diocese of Raleigh can be found here.
Thank you, Father Logan. May you be blessed abundantly during this Year of the Priest.
"What God has joined, man must not divide." In the one marital act, God has joined two gifts: life and love. The life-giving and love-giving aspects of the marital act are separated by the anti-life will necessarily involved by every use of artificial contraception. This is why the Church absolutely excludes its use as a moral evil in each and every circumstance.
"Let the children come to me" in the sacredness of the gift whereby husband and wife truly become "one flesh" in the sacrament of marriage, where every marital act is open to new life.
Church news sources, priest blogs, sources on the priesthood
- American Papist
- Anna Arco's Diary
- Annus Sacerdotalis
- Apostles of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim
- Archdiocese of Washington Blog
- Clerical Reform
- Damian Thompson
- Daughters of Mary, Spiritual Mothers of The Priesthood
- Father Jason Worthley
- Father Joe
- Father Joe: Blogger Priest
- Father Raymond DeSouza
- Forest Murmurs
- From the Inside: James Dean enters the Benedictine Order
- John L. Allen, Jr.
- Offerimus tibi Domine
- Opus Bono Sacerdotii: "Work for the Good of the Priesthood"
- Overheard in the Sacristy
- Priests' Secretary
- Roman Miscellany
- Rome Reports
- Rosary for the Bishop: Pray for our bishops
- Saint Mary Magdalene
- Sandro Magister in Rome: News, analysis, and documents on the Catholic Church
- The Heart of the Matter
- The Hermeneutic of Continuity
- Valle Adurni
- Voice in the Areopagus / Father Bill Stetson
- Vultus Christi
- Yorkshire Shepherd