Today's Lesson: Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather (Matthew 24:28).
PRAIRIE MESSENGER. A few delightful stories to report regarding this Fabianist outfit from the Flatlands. First and foremost the earth shattering news that Archbishop James Weisgerber has signed a pledge against bottled water. Thrilled this blogger was upon hearing the announcement. Why the folks at CNN didn't have a newsflash on this item is a mystery. Such dastardly people, they are. Reportedly, Sparkles has decided to support Development and Peace's campaign against bottled water. He signed a "campaign card pledging that he would not drink bottled water where public water is available". Now the first thing that popped up in my head upon reading this glorious news regarded D+P's involvement with this issue. Why is money from the collection plate wasted on silly things like this? Aren't they supposed to be facilitating
...the pope’s pronouncements to the impoverished masses of people in large parts of the Third World will cruelly worsen and condemn them to a life of squalor that will only worsen while hastening us all on a path of planetary ecocide. We must condemn the reprehensible and suicidal policy of the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to birth control. That is what I call an eco–sin.How quaint... and don't forget to check out PM's links page for other goodies. There you can quickly click to The Steven Lewis Foundation, National Catholic Reporter and "Essays in Theology by Rev. Richard McBrien".
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER. Perhaps some of you are aware that WCR website has recently undergone a facelift. This is an exciting development (at least for me) as that heretofore pasty yellow background/template at the site conjured up disturbing images of 1970s talk show set designs (don't get me started on the pink background at the Prairie Messenger, I'm very suspicious). Apparently, the redesign is part of a revamping process: "The WCR board of directors has launched a process to revision the mission and role of the newspaper in the light of the Church's call for a new evangelization". Edmonton Abp. Richard Smith, VP of The Star Chamber, is overseeing the matter. The study is being undertaken by a certain Bryan Froehle of St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, director of the Practical Theology program. Formerly, Froehle was Executive Director of CARA, acronym for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. In the past he conducted work for The Star Chamber's brother conciliarists south of the border. Currently, he also works at firm called Essential Conversations, based out of Chicago. Its mission "is to support organizations that seek to build a better world. Our focus is on helping non–profit and faith–based organizations become... healthy and vibrant". Past clients include the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Education. Grantocracy Alert! Getting back to WCR, there seems to be a concern that "many readers mistakenly consider editorial content to be actively endorsed by the archbishop as publisher". Now that statement is interesting. Why would WCR readers maintain such a view? Does the chancery office, ever in need of secrecy for the commission of the hippy aggiornamento, want to disassociate itself from the overtly leftist agenda of its allies at WCR? The claim for revision is "due diligence and proper governance... standard business practice". Still, something is going on here. Note that a readership survey formed part of WCR's "revision mission" and its results on this particular issue, too, are interesting. Or, I should say, revealing:
Most readers (75 per cent) understand that the paper is sponsored by the archdiocese to serve the Catholic community rather than an "official newspaper" meant to always reflect the thinking of the archbishop on matters of the day, or to focus on letting people know about the work of the archdiocesan offices.Does that statement seem confusing to you? Bureaucratspeak, it is. If WCR is archdiocese–sponsored to "serve" Catholics in the pews (the money source), why shouldn't Westerners be allowed to be informed on "the work of archdiocese offices"? Why cannot they be of "focus" every so often? Is there something to hide? Why the secrecy? As any Catholic who keeps apprised of Church political news knows, the chancery office is the root and source of all kinds of dissenting mischief. Again, something is going on here. Other revelations from the survey: the average reader's age is 61, 84% of readers "want to continue to read the newspaper in a print format" and "most expressed their highest satisfaction with Ron Rolheiser's work". Accordingly, there's a leftist–V2 baby boomer factor involved. Moreover, a miniscule 2% of readers view WCR online, evidencing that younger, tech–savvy Catholics effectively have no interest in WCR. Clearly, these statistics show that only graying social justice liberals are WCR orientated. But what happens when boomers and outmoded print media soon fade away? Will the upgraded website attract the kids? The hard data say negatory. The WCR Board of Directors must be very worried. No need to despair, however. For their viewing pleasure, TH2 embeds a most wonderful video for reminiscing purposes, most conducive to letting flow that nostalgia for the good old days. Indeed, it was a very good year.
NOVALIS PUBLISHERS. Like WCR, the Novalis' website recently has been "refreshed", according to Publishing Director Joseph Sinasac. I also notice this refreshment now admits funding support by the feds: "We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund for business development activities". Good to know my tax dollars are being put to heretical use. In a recent internet message, Sinasac further informs us that Novalis acts as distributor for 20 international religious publishers, including the Marxists at Orbis Publishers. Nice. Strange is his claim that missalettes published by Novalis since the 1930s "represented the beginning of a publishing enterprise that has served the Church faithfully in many ways for three–quarters of a century". Well, I would reduce that figure by 40+ years to circa 1960s as Novalis' publications in recent years have been far from faithful. If not already, the reader might take some time to read a splendoriffic analysis of Novalis here. You are forewarned. Apostasy Joe's claim that Novalis has "served the Church faithfully" is, of course, a howler. But if I'm wrong, why has Novalis newly advertised James H. Cone's book A Black Theology of Liberation? Website descriptor: "Combining the visions of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., Cone radically reappraised Christianity from the perspective of the oppressed black community in North America". Hmmmm... something isn't right here. Maybe we should let Cone speak for himself:
The white man has brainwashed us black people to fasten our gaze upon a blond–haired, blue–eyed Jesus! We're worshiping a Jesus that doesn't even look like us! Oh, yes!... The blond–haired, blue–eyed white man has taught you and me to worship a white Jesus, and to shout and sing and pray to this God that's his God, the white man's God. The white man has taught us to shout and sing and pray until we die, to wait until death, for some dreamy heaven–in–the–hereafter... while this white man has his milk and honey in the streets paved with golden dollars here on this earth!Ah, yes, it's whitey's fault. Does Novalis' distribution of Cone's book (let alone the rest) evidence that Sinasac endorses this over–the–top Marxist–based racial Christianity? Both JP2 (in 1984) and B16 (in 2009) have explicitly censured liberation theology. A few months back I saw Sinasac on Salt+Light TV's Perspectives program. He seemed a mild mannered fellow. "Radical" did not come to mind. Still, why does he permit such blatant heresy to be disseminated? Could it be that the position of Publishing Director is merely symbolic, without real control, and that fruitcakes behind the scenes are running the show? Is it publicity and prestige? Or maybe he just doesn't give a rat's ass? Regardless, I now have this picture in my head of Fr. Gutiérrez laughing uncontrollably from the heights of some Peruvian mountaintop. Qué passe?
CATHOLIC REGISTER. As per usual, shenanigans continue to eventuate at Sinasac's old outfit. Yet some of the credit for the analysis below goes to investigations conducted by Fr. Alphonse de Valk, the hero priest marginalized/ignored by the Canadian Catholic MSM (Fr. de Valk is editor/founder of Catholic Insight magazine, Canada's best. Subscribe here). Let's first give some context: For some time homosexual activists have been making headway into Catholic school curricula. One example relates to the bureaucratic busybodies at the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA), which grovels before the pro–abortion labour unions. Fr. de Valk mentions a December 12, 2010 article by Sheila Dabu Nonato in the Catholic Register entitled: "Gay teacher's network aims to recruit Catholics", wherein we are told, with a morally neutral undercurrent, that an openly homosexual teachers group has been created to "reach out" to Catholic schools so as to provide a "safe environment" for students with homosexual tendencies. Turns out that OECTA is a "partner" of Egale Canada, "a national organization that advances equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans–identified people and their families across Canada".
Another article on the same date has the title: "Catholic boards' denominational rights will trump provinces' equity strategy". A rather self–assured sounding title. By either obliviousness or committing the sin of omission (the Register is very good at the latter), the piece states that "all is well in Catholic schools". Then this incongruous statement follows:
When it comes to asking questions on sensitive information such as sexual orientation, school boards' hands are tied by the Ontario Human Rights Code, which prohibits employers from enquiring about this type of information.How can all be "well" when the school boards' hand are "tied"? Everything is fine, according to the Register, don't you worry. Move along, nothing to see here. This shrewd wordplay was on display again with an editorial just a few days ago. Some background first: The Halton Catholic District School Board recently reneged on a policy banning "alliance" clubs between homosexuals and heterosexuals (Why not use "straight"? Okay, then let's use "warped" for the homosexual antonym. Is not "unhappy" the opposite of "gay". You see? Precise language matters). HCDSB gave in after an outcry from activists. It also helped that one of the boards' trustees is a sodomite. LSN gave full coverage of the affair. Pathetic was the stance of the Ontario bishops. Speaking on their behalf, Toronto Abp. Thomas Collins issued this statement:
The bishops of Ontario agree with a January 13, 2011 Globe and Mail editorial when it says, "It is not for the Church, by itself, to run Catholic education in Ontario"... There are numerous partners involved in the formation of our young people, all playing critical roles in the educational journey... In our publicly funded Catholic schools, however, as bishops it is our role to help to weave the thread of faith in our schools by offering guidance, as well as pastoral leadership and support, to our partners in Catholic education on a host of issues relating to the faith foundation of our schools.Oh my, what a disappointment this Collins has turned out to be. A dud. Taking advice from the Globe and Mail? You're kidding? Right? With flowery phraseology like "educational journey" and "weave the thread of faith in our schools" it appears that his canonist advisors have got the hots for Lonergan's Aquikantianism. Now let's go transatlantic and check out what the boys in Rome have to say on this subject:
...it is for the Church to establish the authentic contents of Catholic religious education in schools. This guarantees, for both parents and the pupils themselves, that the education presented as Catholic is indeed authentic. The Church identifies this task as its own, ratione materiae, and claims it for its own competence, regardless of the nature of the school (State–run or non–State–run, Catholic or non–Catholic) in which such teaching is given. Therefore, "The Catholic religious instruction and education which are imparted in any schools whatsoever are subject to the authority of the Church... It is for the conference of bishops to issue general norms about this field of action and for the diocesan bishop to regulate and watch over it". (TH2 italics)If the abovementioned is too complex to apprehend, or if the Commodore 64 disallows access to the Vatican's website, then perhaps it would be a good idea for Collins simply to refer to the Catechism, that is if there is even a copy down there at St. Michael's chancery office. Maintaining the party line, the abovementioned editorial at the Catholic Register leads off with this Politically Correct title: "Schools are Tolerant". Notice: this is a headstrong assertion. The editorial is so conniving that fisking is necessitated [TH2 analysis in bolded square brackets]:
Last November the Halton Catholic District School board passed an equity policy that explicitly banned gay–straight alliances.[which was consistent with Catholic teaching]. Following an outcry from gay activists [i.e. homosexual fascistas to whom liberal Catholics cower], a new board of trustees [including a sodomite who hid his activist agenda] cancelled that policy and replaced it with one that, although making no mention of gay–straight alliances [i.e. sin of omission] was widely interpreted as an endorsement of the controversial after–school clubs and a victory for those who would see Catholic values trumped in schools by secular morality.[Is the CR editorial staff ignorant to the fact that a gateway to further permissiveness has been opened? Apparently.]So there you have it [BREAK]... This just in: LSN is reporting that "gay activists are targeting the St. Clair Catholic District School Board in an effort to launch a gay-straight alliance at one of the board’s schools". Thank you very very much, CR editors, for all that you do.
If that were indeed true [yes, it is true], it would be a sad day for Catholic education [sad, indeed]. The primary role of trustees is to be faithful guardians of the morals and values that are the bedrock of Catholic education [...and they have failed, big time]. So what happened in Halton? [a bloody catastrophe, that's what happened]
For starters, despite media interpretations [what about "interpretations" from orthodox Catholic commentators?], the board has not approved gay–straight alliances.[be specific, they are fearful of confronting opponents from an authentically Catholic perspective] It replaced the policy that banned the clubs with an interim one that still allows the board to ban them [how convenient, avoid the issue, such a lovely thing procrastination is], although it remains unclear if that will happen.[come on, nothing will happen so long as scaredycats are on the board of trustees]
Halton has joined several other Ontario jurisdictions in adopting the so–called Catholic template policy drafted last year by the Ontario Education Services Corporation in consultation with [oh no...] Ontario bishops and Catholic educators.[...and lo!, the apostasy continues afar and unencumbered] That policy meets requirements for schools to proactively promote tolerance, equity and inclusiveness.[how nice, in a Oprah Winfrey sort of way] While the government endorses gay–straight alliances [i.e. immorality], it recognizes the constitutional right of Catholic boards [wink wink] to stay faithful to Catholic teaching [indeed, a sucker is born every minute], and therefore the government proposes [i.e. enforces] gay–straight alliances as an option, not a requirement.[if CR believes that, then may I ask what is your favourite Kool–Aid flavour: Looney Lemon or Goofy Grape?]
So, as it stands, the government policy is in alignment with the position adopted in Halton [ROFLMAO!] and supported by the [spineless] bishops [what a surprise] even though there is disagreement on gay–straight alliances.[i.e. bishops do not uphold Catholic moral principles, due to complacency and/or cowardice] For that matter, Halton’s November policy also conformed with the positions of the government and bishops.[that matters not now, the repeal changes everything]
The Church gets a bad rap on this issue.[primarily, it is the Ontario bishops who should be criticized] The government enacted its equity policy in 2008.[unfortunately, due to Premier McGuinty, nepotist, antinomian, lapsed Catholic] Many Ontario Catholic schools, following recommendation by the bishops in 2004 [they are not there to recommend, but to "regulate", see above], put policies in place years before that to create learning environments that strive to be free of bullying and harassment – for all students.[the Catholic ethic as such, heck, the Second Commandment, prohibits these; a confusion of being with behaviour]
Catholic schools have been at the forefront of promoting tolerance and charity.[how "spirit" of Vatican 2ish] So it is grating [tough, drink a glass of milk, have a cheese sandwich] when educators and Church leaders are themselves objects of derision, called homophobes among various slurs, because their strategy for combating intolerance differs from methods preferred by activists and others who seem blind to the irony of advancing their own beliefs through bullying.[CR fails to understand that the homosexual lobby is becoming increasingly domineering, where Catholics are cast as villains unless they comply to its dictates, not "recommendations". Any backlash of harsh words from Catholics are a result of frustration after realizing that the bishops and so–called Catholic media outlets are the "useful idiots" of this lobby, due of their Oprahesque "tolerance", lukewarm faith and desire to be accepted in the secular world]
There are lessons to learn from this episode.[now CR starts to condescend the reader, we're right, you're wrong] Educators must never waiver in promoting the distinctive religious values of Catholic education.[they already have waivered and continue to do so] Also, along with the bishops, they need to be better communicators to counteract the misinformation that makes tantalizing headlines [good job LifeSite News, keeps fighting the apparatchiks] and, ultimately, could threaten the very existence of publicly funded Catholic education.[Catholic education has already gone down the tubes in Canada, hence the emergence of homeschooling]
DEFUNCT/ALLIANCES. Catholic Insight is reporting that the Atlantic Catholic (Antigonish, NS) and the Catholic Times (Montreal, QC) are ceasing publication. These closures are part of an emerging trend in Canada. With the challenges now being posed by the new media, diocesan papers/outlets and "centres" for social justice now have to compete. After decades of not having a rostrum to express/disseminate their views about the terrible state of affairs in the Church today, Catholic (mainly orthodox) news/commentary websites and bloggers are presently coming into the forefront. Although old school print outlets (defenders of the status quo party line) are shutting down, the strongest of the remaining agencies are forming alliances and combining forces as they themselves transition over to the internet so as to counteract the new kids on the block. One example: the Catholic Register and the B.C. Catholic just recently embedded Salt+Light TV videos into their websites. There is a war on the horizon and all signs indicate that it is going to be vicious. I will be addressing this subject in detail in a future post.
NOTES / REFERENCES
1. M. LeMaître, "Weisgerber signs water pledge", Prairie Messenger, January 11, 2011. LINK
2. J. Rait, "An issue that won't cool down in autumn", Prairie Messenger, September 15, 2010. LINK
3. J.E. Cadham, "History has proven that all it takes is one fanatic", Prairie Messenger, September 22, 2010. LINK
4. G. Schmitz, "An appeal for dialogue, for the love of this planet", Prairie Messenger, November 3, 2010. LINK
5. G. Argan, "WCR to 'revision' mission of the newspaper", Western Catholic Reporter, September 20, 2010. LINK
6. CARA also operates the blog 1964. LINK
7. G. Argan, "Raise your voice in deciding the WCR's future", Western Catholic Reporter, November 1, 2010. LINK; R. Baier, "Readers give strong response to WCR Survey", Western Catholic Reporter, December 27, 2010. LINK
8. Quoted in S. Kurtz, " 'Context,' You Say? A Guide to the Radical Theology of Rev. Jeremiah Wright", National Review, May 19, 2008, vol. LX, no. 9. pp. 28–36.
9. Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Certain Aspects of the "Theology of Liberation" (Libertas nuntius), August 6, 1984. LINK In a December 2009 address to Brazilian Bishops, Pope Benedict reminded them of the Libertas nuntius Instruction, stating the "theses and methodologies" of liberation theology have Marxist origins: "Their more or less visible consequences, of rebellion, division, dissent, offense, anarchy are still being felt, creating amidst your diocesan communities great pain and a grave loss of living strength... deceitful principles of liberation theology...", etc. Cf. "Pope Warns against 'Deceitful' Marxist–Based Theology to Brazilian Bishops", LifeSite News, December 8, 2009 (author not indicated). LINK
10. See A. de Valk, "Bowing Before Idols", Catholic Insight, January 2011, vol. XIX, no. 1, p. 3; A. de Valk, "The Enemy Within: Subverting Catholic Education", Catholic Insight, January 2011, vol. XIX, no. 1, pp. 25–28.
11. P.B. Craine, "SHOCK: Ontario Catholic board voting to repeal ban on homosexual clubs tonight", LifeSite News, January 11, 2011. LINK; P.B. Craine, "Catholic school board votes to abandon Catholic teaching on homosexuality", LifeSite News, January 12, 2011. LINK; J.-H. Weston, "Ontario bishops to schools: use anti–bullying programs faithful to Catholic teaching", LifeSite News, January 17, 2011. LINK; P.B. Craine, "Canadian Catholic school board 'bullied' into scrapping pro–family policy", LifeSite News, January 19, 2011. LINK
12. Quoted in P.B. Craine, "Evangelicals disappointed at lack of Catholic leadership on homosexuality push in Ontario schools", LifeSite News, January 26, 2011. LINK
13. Congregation for Catholic Education, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Bishops' Conferences on Religious Education in Schools, sec. III, paras. 13–14. LINK H/T to Socon or Bust for the link to this document.
14. Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2242): "The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directive of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demand of the moral order, to the fundamental rights or teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community" (cf. Matthew 22:21).
15. "Schools are Tolerant" (Editorial), Catholic Register, January 26, 2011. LINK
16. P.B. Craine, "Catholic 'safe schools' policy recommends homosexual youth hotline", LifeSite News, January 31, 2011. LINK