Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year. The Lost Art of Catholic Drinking

"Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable. 
G.K. Chesterton

 This article originally appeared in the November 2009 edition of Crisis Magazine by Sean P. Dailey has been the editor-in-chief of Gilbert Magazine.

There is Protestant drinking and there is Catholic drinking, and the difference is more than mere quantity. I have no scientific data to back up my claims, nor have I completed any formal studies. But I have done a good bit of, shall we say, informal study, which for a hypothesis like this is probably the best kind.

To begin with, what is Catholic drinking? It’s hard to pin down, but here’s a historical example. St. Arnold (580-640), also known as St. Arnulf of Metz, was a seventh-century bishop of Metz, in what later became France. Much beloved by the people, St. Arnold is said to have preached against drinking water, which in those days could be extremely dangerous owing to unsanitary sewage systems — or no sewage system at all. At the same time, he frequently touted the benefits of beer and is credited with having once said,

“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.”

Wise words, and St. Arnold’s flock took them to heart. After his death, the good bishop was buried at a monastery near Remiremont, France, where he had retired. However, his flock missed him and wanted him back, so in 641, having gotten approval to exhume St. Arnold’s remains, they carried him in procession back to Metz for reburial in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles. Along the way, it being a hot day, they got thirsty and stopped at an inn for some beer. Unfortunately, the inn had just enough left for a single mug; the processionals would have to share. As the tale goes, the mug did not run dry until all the people had drunk their fill.

Now, I’m not saying that Catholic drinking involves miracles, or that a miracle should occur every time people get together to imbibe. But good beer — and good wine for that matter — is a small miracle in itself, being a gift from God to His creatures, whom He loves. And as G. K. Chesterton wrote in Orthodoxy, “We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.” In other words, we show our gratitude to God for wine and beer by enjoying these things, in good cheer and warm company, but not enjoying them to excess.

Just what constitutes excess is for each person to judge for himself. However, we now approach the main difference between Catholic drinking and Protestant drinking. Protestant drinking tends to occur at one extreme or another: either way too much or none at all, with each being a reaction to the other. Some people, rightly fed up with the smug self-righteousness of teetotalers, drink to excess. And teetotalers, rightly appalled at the habits of habitual drunkards, practice strict abstinence.

It seems to occur to neither side that their reaction is just that: a reaction, and not a solution. If they considered it a bit, they might see a third way that involves neither drunkenness nor abstinence, yet is consistent with healthy, honest, humane Christian living.

Here we encounter Catholic drinking. Catholic drinking is that third way, the way to engage in an ancient activity enjoyed by everyone from peasants to emperors to Jesus Himself. And again, it is not just about quantity. In fact, I think the chief element is conviviality. When friends get together for a drink, it may be to celebrate, or it may be to mourn. But it should always be to enjoy one another’s company. (Yes, there is a time and place for a solitary beer, but that is the exception.)

For example: The lectures at the annual Chesterton conference are themselves no more important than the attendees later discussing those same lectures over beer and wine (we tend to adhere to Hilaire Belloc’s rule of thumb, which is to avoid alcoholic beverages developed after the Reformation). These gatherings occur between talks, during talks — indeed, long into the night — and we typically fall into bed pleasantly stewed. I cannot imagine a Chesterton conference without this. And yet I also know how detrimental it would be if we all stumbled back to our rooms roaring drunk.

Avoid each extreme — that’s how you drink like a Catholic. This is the art of Catholic drinking. There are plenty of our brethren who consider drinking somehow immoral, and there are plenty of others who think drinking must end with great intoxication. But the balanced approach — the Catholic approach — means having a good time, a good laugh, sometime a good cry, but always with joy and gratitude for God’s generosity in giving us such wonders as beer and burgundy. Remember that, and the lost art of Catholic drinking may not remain lost.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Twelve Days of Christmas: Dec. 25 - Jan. 6th Epiphany

Here is an explanation of the song we all love at this time of year. No matter what challenges the "world" gives Catholics, we find a way to remember the - REASON FOR THE SEASON

The Twelve Days of Christmas - December 25 until January 6th Epiphany.

Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829 were prohibited by law to practice their faith either in public or private. It was illegal to be Catholic until Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England in 1829.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas"
was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the basics of their faith. In short, it was a coded-message, a memory aid. Since the song sounded like rhyming nonsense, young Catholics could sing the song without fear of imprisonment. The authorities would not know that it was a religious song.

"The 12 Days of Christmas
" is in a sense an allegory. Each of the items in the song represents something significant to the"The 12 Days of Christmas" is in a sense an allegory. Each of the items in the song represents something significant to the teachings of the Catholic faith. The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help Catholic children learn their faith. The better acquainted one is with the Bible, the more these interpretations have significance.

The song goes, "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…"
The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, but it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. i.e. the Church.

1st Day: The partridge in a pear tree is Christ Jesus upon the Cross. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge because she would feign injury to decoy a predator away from her nestlings. She was even willing to die for them.
The tree is the symbol of the fall of the human race through the sin of Adam and Eve. It is also the symbol of its redemption by Jesus Christ on the tree of the Cross.

2nd Day: The "two turtle doves" refers to the Old and New Testaments.

3rd Day: The "three French hens" stand for faith, hope and love—the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (1 Corinthians 13).

4th Day: The "four calling birds" refers to the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

5th Day: The "five golden rings" represents the first five books of the Bible, also called the Jewish Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

6th Day: The "six geese a-laying" is the six days of creation.

7th Day: The "seven swans a-swimming" refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

8th Day: The "eight maids a milking " reminded children of the eight beatitudes listed in the Sermon on the Mount.

9th Day: The "nine ladies dancing" were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

10th Day: The "ten lords a-leaping" represents the Ten Commandments

11th Day: The "eleven pipers piping" refers to the eleven faithful apostles.

12th Day: The ‘twelve drummers drumming" were the twelve points of belief expressed in the Apostles’ Creed: belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, mad"e man, crucified, died and arose on the third day, that he sits at the right hand of the father and will come again, the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.

This is the time of martyrs too, St. Stephen and the Holy Innocents. May 2011 be a year when we remember those who have suffered real losses for Christ. Let us continue to bring real peace and justice to earth by valuing the sanctity of life.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours,

"The more we are proud that the Bethlehem story is plain enough to be understood by the shepherds, and almost by the sheep, the more do we let ourselves go, in dark and gorgeous imaginative frescoes or pageants about the mystery and majesty of the Three Magian Kings." - Christendom in Dublin, Ch.3 by GK Chesterton

Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Our Lady of Guadalupe Day. A Pregnant Mary So Wonderfully Honored.

The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

An elder Mexican man makes his way to Mass in the early morning twilight of December 9, 1531. He is a peasant, a simple farmer and laborer, and he has no education. Born under Aztec rule, he is a convert to Catholicism, and each step he takes this morning is a step into history.

The morning quiet is broken by a strange music that he will later describe as the beautiful sound of birds. Diverting his path to investigate the sound, Juan Diego comes face to face with a radiant apparition of the Virgin Mary.
Juan Diego is 57 years old. He has just encountered the Virgin Mary on Tepeyac Hill, the site of a former Aztec Temple. His wife has died two years earlier, and he lives with his elder uncle, scratching his living from the earth as a humble peasant farmer. Why should this unlearned, man be chosen by Our Lady to carry a message to the Bishop? Perhaps because she would find none other as humble as Juan Diego.

Juan Diego is dazzled by the incredible beauty and miraculous nature of Our Lady's appearance. She appears as a native princess to him, and her words sound more beautiful than the sweetest music ever made.

Our Lady calms the startled traveler, and assures him of who she is. She instructs Juan Diego to visit his bishop and ask that a temple be built on the site of her appearance, so that she will have a place to hear petitions and to heal the suffering of the Mexican people. "Now go and put forth your best effort," Our Lady instructs.

Visibly shaken, Juan Diego approaches the Bishop who is initially very skeptical of his account. What did this peasant truly want? Does he merely seek attention? Notoriety? Money? Or is he possessed by demons? Has Juan Diego been tricked by the Devil?

The Bishop patiently listens to Juan Diego's accounts and dismisses him. The humble farmer has failed.

Juan Diego begins to doubt himself. He returns to Tepeyac Hill where he hopes for some conformation of what he's experienced. Indeed, Our Lady does not disappoint, for she appears again, as radiant as before. Juan Diego tells Our Lady what she already knows, that the Bishop did not believe him. She instructs him to return the next morning and ask again.

The Bishop is beside himself. Why did this peasant insist on telling this story? How could he know if the peasant was lying or perhaps insane? At their second meeting, the Bishop asks for a sign. Juan Diego makes a promise he won't keep, saying he will return the very next morning with a sign from Our Lady.

But that evening, Juan Diego returns home to find his uncle, Juan Bernadino, who is 68 years old, and suddenly, terribly ill. The illness is known to the people there and it brings a burning fever so hot, it's almost always fatal. Juan Diego cannot leave his uncle's bedside to keep his pledge to the Bishop. He spends two days with his uncle, trying to save him. When it becomes apparent his uncle is about to die, he leaves to find a priest who can prepare him for death.

Frightened and saddened, Juan Diego sets off in a great hurry, time is running out, and Juan Diego is afraid his uncle will die without a last confession. On the road, in his way, Our Lady appears for a third time. Upset and afraid, Juan explains himself. Our Lady replies, "Am I not your mother? ... Are you not in the crossing of my arms?" she asks.

Shamed by the admonishment, but emboldened by Our Lady's presence, Juan Diego asks for the sign he promised to the Bishop. He knows he is wrong to doubt Our Lady. Juan Diego is instructed to climb to the top of Tepeyac Hill where he will find flowers. He is to pick the flowers there, which are unlike any he has seen before, and he is to keep them hidden in his tilma until he reaches the Bishop.
Juan Diego is skeptical again. It's December, what flowers could grow on the summit of the hill in this cold?

Nevertheless, he obeys and atop the hill he finds a great number of flowering roses which he picks and hastily gathers into his cloak.

For the third time, Juan Diego is ushered in to see the Bishop. The skeptical cleric has waited for two days to see what sign Our Lady has for him. Juan opens his tilma, letting the roses cascade to the floor. But more than the roses, both men are astonished to see what is painted on his humble tilma - an exquisite image of Our Lady.

In the image, she stands as she appeared, a native princess with high cheekbones. Her head is bowed and her hands are folded in prayer to God. On her blue cloak, the stars are arranged as they appeared in the morning darkness at the hour of her first apparition. The black sash around her waist indicates she is with Child.

Under her feet, is a great crescent moon, a symbol of the old Aztec religion. The message is clear, she is more powerful than the Aztec gods, yet she herself is not God.

At the same time Our Lady is appearing to Juan Diego, and directing him to cut the flowers on Tepeyac Hill, she also appears to his uncle, Juan Bernadino who believes he is about to die. As soon as she appears, the fever stops and Juan Bernadino feels well again. She tells Juan Bernadino, she wants to be known as "Santa Maria, de Guadalupe."

Our Lady of Guadalupe did not appear again, for her mission was complete. The temple was built and remains there today, in what is now a suburb of Mexico City. Juan Diego's tilma, woven from cactus fibers, with a shelf-life of just 30 years at best, remains miraculously preserved.

The symbolism of Our Lady's dress is obvious to over eight million Native Mexicans, whom all speak different languages. She is brighter than the sun, more powerful than any Aztec god, yet she is not a god herself, and she prays to one greater than her. Her gown is adorned with stars in the correct position as in the night sky, and the gold fringe of her cloak mirrors the surrounding countryside.

Millions of natives will convert at the news of what has happened. Millions more will make pilgrimages over the next five centuries to see the miraculous tilma, and to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. Great miracles continue to occur, even today.

On October 12, 1945, Pope Pius XII, decreed Our Lady of Guadalupe to be "Patroness of all the Americas." Her feast day is December 12, and it is a Holy Day of Obligation in Mexico.

Our Lady of Guadalupe had this to say to Juan Diego:

"Know for certain, least of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of heaven and earth. It is my earnest wish that a temple be built here to my honor. Here I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes."

Thanks to Catholic Online for the story.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Macy’s: We No Longer Donate to Planned Parenthood Abortion Business - List of those still hanging on.

National   Steven Ertelt   Dec 7, 2016   |   6:28PM    Washington, DC 

Another large corporation has decided to cease donations to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
After today, pro-life customers can resume shopping at Macy’s — which had been on a list of corporate contributors to the Planned Parenthood abortion company for some time. But today representatives of a pro-life group that tracks corporate donations to the Planned Parenthood abortion organization says Macy’s has ended his relationship with it.

In the spirit of thankfulness and celebration that comes this time of year, we have a special update to share with you,” Lance Wray of the pro-life group 2nd Vote told in an email.

You may remember how four companies (AT&T, Coca-Cola, Ford, and Xerox) publicly distanced themselves from Planned Parenthood last year after our research exposed forty-one companies with direct financial ties to the abortion giant,” he elaborated. “Well, we are happy to report that we can take another company off that list—Macy’s, who confirmed with 2ndVote last week that they no longer give nor match donations to Planned Parenthood.”

We wanted to share this great news with you because the credit is due to our 2ndVote members who have engaged Macy’s and other companies for their position on the Life issue. This victory wouldn’t have been possible without your involvement,” Wray said.

This latest development comes in the wake of undercover videos that showed Planned Parenthood executives talking about the sale of fetal body parts. Planned Parenthood is facing both federal and state investigations—and the possibility of losing taxpayer funding.

Corporate donors make a difference. Planned Parenthood receives $1.3 billion in yearly revenue, and of that, “over 25% comes from private donations, including corporate contributions,” according to 2ndVote.

Here is a list of the companies that still fund Planned Parenthood, according to the group:
  1. Adobe
  2. American Express
  3. Avon
  4. Bank of America
  5. Bath & Body Works
  6. Ben & Jerry’s
  7. Boeing
  8. Clorox
  9. Converse
  10. Deutsche Bank
  11. Dockers
  12. Energizer
  13. Expedia
  14. ExxonMobil
  15. Fannie Mae
  16. Groupon
  17. Intuit
  18. Johnson & Johnson
  19. La Senza
  20. Levi Strauss
  21. Liberty Mutual
  22. Macy’s
  23. March of Dimes
  24. Microsoft
  25. Morgan Stanley
  26. Nike
  27. Oracle
  28. PepsiCo
  29. Pfizer
  30. Progressive Insurance
  31. Starbucks
  32. Susan G. Komen
  33. Tostitos
  34. Unilever
  35. United Way
  36. Verizon
  37. Wells Fargo

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Archbishop Sample to Downsize. Also moved Catholic Sentinel to Pastoral Center.

Making room for parish, archbishop to downsize
Cathedral will make good use of his current quarters there 
 Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel
Archbishop Alexander Sample and future archbishops of Portland will live in a 3,500-square-foot wooden house to be built on the edge of Mount Calvary Cemetery. Including its chapel, the house will be about a third of the size of the Northwest Portland building archbishops have occupied since the mid-1980s.

“There is a lot of wasted space,” Archbishop Sample says of the residence next to St. Mary Cathedral. 

When the archbishop noticed that Cathedral Parish leaders wanted to boost community life with a parish hall and meeting rooms, he offered to make way by moving out of the three-story former school, built in 1915. 

“I can live anywhere, but the cathedral can’t locate their facilities anywhere,” Archbishop Sample says. “It’s time to vacate that space so the cathedral can use it.”

Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel
Since the 1980s, archbishops have lived in the old Cathedral School building in Northwest Portland, with 9,000 square feet of space and high utility bills. The cathedral wanted to use the space for parish ministry, prompting Archbishop Alexander Sample to offer to move and downsize. “I think it’s really good stewardship of the church’s resources, both for the cathedral and the archdiocese,” the archbishop says. 
Since the 1980s, archbishops have lived in the old Cathedral School building in Northwest Portland, with 9,000 square feet of space and high utility bills. The cathedral wanted to use the space for parish ministry, prompting Archbishop Alexander Sample to offer to move and downsize. “I think it’s really good stewardship of the church’s resources, both for the cathedral and the archdiocese,” the archbishop says.

The cathedral has long needed space for community gatherings, says Msgr. Patrick Brennan, the pastor. The lack has been an impediment to building up parish life. 
“It has been very limiting,” Msgr. Brennan says. “We are grateful to the archbishop that he has made this decision.” 

The building now occupied by the archbishop was a school, then a convent. It also housed a few archdiocesan offices. When Archbishop William Levada arrived in 1986, he lived at The Madeleine Parish briefly, then had the old cathedral building renovated. 

Growth at the cathedral and an increase in activity means the square footage for parish functions is most welcome, Msgr. Brennan says. 

The cathedral now has no space for funeral luncheons or wedding receptions. Big events — like gatherings after ordinations — take place in the school gym. That’s workable only on weekends, and a kitchen is lacking.  

The former archbishop’s residence could house a large parish hall, classrooms and perhaps additional space for the parish school. Many groups would be welcome to hold events there.
“We’d like to make the cathedral an open and welcoming place for all parishes,” Msgr. Brennan says.  

The old school building will need seismic upgrades. Meetings are underway to plan the project and parishioners will be asked for input. 

The archbishop’s advisors say his move makes sense economically.  

The archdiocese pays rent and unusually high utility bills at the vast cathedral residence. In the course of 30 years, those costs likely would run at least $900,000. Being relieved from those obligations will more than offset the cost of building the new house, which sits on land already owned by the archdiocese. 

“I think it’s really good stewardship of the church’s resources, both for the cathedral and the archdiocese,” Archbishop Sample says. 

The new two-story house will have three bedrooms, as opposed to the five at the cathedral residence. Archbishops regularly host out-of-town guests, including bishops and the papal nuncio. Unlike archbishops of the past, Archbishop Sample has no live-in housekeeper, but he does care for his mother at his residence and his mother gets help from Holy Spirit Sister Emiliana Moshi, who comes in during the day. 

An architect’s rendering of new quarters for archbishops.

Included in the square footage of the new house is a chapel that will seat about a dozen people. When the archbishop hosts groups at the house, the gathering could include Mass. He says that, with an actual home, he likely will host more gatherings. 

The old school served well as an archbishop’s residence, but now it makes sense to turn it over to the cathedral, says Delia Wilson, longtime property manager for the archdiocese. 
“Archbishop Sample wants something more modest and simple,” Wilson says. 

The new house for archbishops will be built on two acres between Skyline Road and Burnside Road. There are neighbors across the street. The garage will hold two cars and the back of the two-story house will have a deck and patio.

Is the archbishop glad to live next to a cemetery? He jokes about how quiet the neighbors will be, but says seriously that he will feel privileged to live near “holy ground.” 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Coming Soon!! CCHD: It's all about funding Alinsky groups, not helping the poor!

From the President of Catholic Media Coalition, Mary Ann Kreitzer 




This coming weekend Catholic churches all over the country will once again be taking up a collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, It is heavily advertised as helping the poor, but about 50% of the grants go to enrich and enable Alinskyite community organizing groups with agendas directly opposed to the Catholic faith and using means that are fundamentally immoral. That, in itself, is not surprising since, like Machiavelli, Alinsky believed accomplishing his ends justified any means.

This year, like every other, the bishops assure us that the "charity's" action of squandering millions to advance the progressive agenda of abortion, contraception, assisted suicide, gender insanity, educational "reform", and electing Democrats, etc. is a thing of the past, but while money is not given directly to perform abortions or dispense contraception, many groups supported by CCHD promote these evils through education and referral.

But we continue to be told...."Nothing to see here; move on!" Move on, indeed, but hold onto your wallets!

CCHD continues to heavily support Alinskyite community organizing groups like PICO which has received millions of dollars to engage in comprehensive immigration reform. Many Alinsky organizations like PICO use immigrants going door-to-door to support progressive Democrats who hold positions in direct conflict with Catholic teaching. Do a search on the USCCB website for PICO and see the many millions funneled into their group. Interestingly PICO recently garnered attention during the Wikileaks dumps. George Soros gave PICO and Faith in Public Life, another left-wing organization, $650,000 to influence the direction of Catholic teaching during the pope's visit. According to LifeSiteNews:
The post operative report on the funding to influence the papal visit comes in the 2016 report entitled, Review Of 2015 U.S. Opportunities Fund. The Soros group was pleased with the result of their campaign and saw statements by various bishops against presidental candidates who are using "fearmongering" - likely a reference to the GOP lineup, and perhaps Trump specifically - as one outcome of their efforts. “The impact of this work and the relationships it has fostered can be seen in the broad range of religious leaders hitting pointedly back at presidential candidates for their use of fearmongering,” the report said....
The grant specifically targeted the ‘pro-family’ agenda, redirecting it from defending marriage to being concerned with income equality. “FPL’s media, framing, and public opinion activities, including conducting a poll to demonstrate that Catholic voters are responsive to the Pope’s focus on income inequality, and earning media coverage that drives the message that being ‘pro-family’ requires addressing growing inequality,” says the May report....
Concluding their report reflecting on the success of the grant to influence the papal visit, the Soros group was very pleased with the results. Looking to the future, they are excited that the long-term goal of shifting the priorities of the Catholic Bishops in the United States “is now underway.”
Can anyone really believe that PICO is able to serve both God and George Soros?

One of the most insidious efforts of groups funded by CCHD is what they are doing in education: undermining parental authority and promoting a top down approach that directly conflicts with the Catholic principle of subsidiarity. Stephanie Block wrote an article in October 2015 which identifies exactly how the Church's support of Alinsky groups enables and promotes the federal government's takeover of education. She offers a detailed analysis of grants to organizations in New Mexico and how they are undermining parents and insinuating government into the family from the cradle. In another 2015 article, Why Not Give to the CCHD, she reports the Lepanto Institute's findings that prove the problems continue. One group denied funding in 2012 after an expose of their homosexual activism latched onto the CCHD teat again in 2014 while they, guess what, continue to support homosexual activism. This is where your money "for the poor" is going.

Because of its origins, CCHD is unlikely to change. Michael Hichborn wrote an article last year on the Marxist Core of the CCHD. Its history is dark. In fact, the organization was founded in order to funnel Catholic money to atheist Saul Alinsky's programs. Is it any wonder that CCHD still heavily invests in Alinsky community organizing groups?

The wolf is in the sheepfold gobbling up the sheep and the shepherd is in on it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

God Bless Us All on this Election Day. And a GK Chesterton Poem for Us.

O God of earth and altar,
Come down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die,

The walls of gold entomb us,
The sword of scorn divides,
Take not thy thunder from us,
But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches
From lies of tongue and pen
From all the easy speeches
That comfort cruel men

From sale and profanation
Of honor and the sword
From sleep and from damnation
Deliver us Good Lord!

Tie in a living tether
The prince and priest and thrall,
Bind all our lives together.
Smite us and save us all,

In an ire an exultation
Aflame with faith and free,
Lift up a living nation,
A single sword to thee.

—- G.K. Chesterton

Monday, October 31, 2016

Alert! Catholic League: Donohue's Role in FBI-Weiner Probe

  Thank you to Nina for pointing this important development out. VOCAL


Donohue's Role in FBI-Weiner Probe

October 31, 2016
Bill Donohue comments on his role in the FBI probe of Anthony Weiner:

Two months ago to the day, I asked for an investigation of Anthony Weiner on suspicion of sexually abusing his four-year-old child, Jordan. I was subsequently notified that my complaint had been honored: a formal investigation was underway.

Never did I think that my call for a probe might evolve into an FBI investigation into electronic devices belonging to Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin. I will explain my involvement in this matter after I offer a summary of recent events as reported by Yahoo on October 28 in an article (also found on titled, "Everything You Should Know About the Anthony Weiner Sexting Investigation—And Its Impact on Clinton's Campaign."

The article cites seven key developments leading to the FBI investigation of new emails found on the joint laptop of Abedin and Weiner.

The first item reads: "Weiner's third scandal in August 2016, when the New York Post reported that he had been sexting another woman." It goes on to say that the text exchanges included "an image he sent of himself lying in bed next to his 4-year-old son with Abedin, Jordan."

The third item reads: "Child Services launched an investigation into Weiner's parenting amid the scandal." It then says, "The New York Post reported in October that the Administration for Children's Services had launched an investigation into Weiner's care of his son."

My role in triggering the investigation is as follows.

On August 31, the same day that the most explosive story on this issue was published in the New York Post—it showed Weiner using his son as a "chick magnet" to lure sexual relations—I filed a
complaint with the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS), the New York branch of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

That same day, Daily Mail Online, a British media outlet, reported that "a ACS  spokesman said: 'In order to protect children and their privacy, ACS does not comment on specific cases of allegations of child maltreatment, regardless of whether or not allegations have been reported, are being investigated, or have not resulted in an investigation. It came after Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, urged the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to investigate Weiner for sexually abusing his young son.'"

On September 26, I received a phone call from ACS. I was told that my complaint has been accepted and that Weiner would be investigated. The next day, the same ACS official called to question me further. A week later, on October 3, FBI agents seized Weiner's laptop, phone and tablet.

Why did I trigger this investigation? As I said in my news release of August 31, "I am well aware of the plague of child sexual abuse that marks virtually every sector of society, including, regrettably, the Catholic Church. I am writing to express my concerns about the emotional and physical well being of Jordan Weiner, son of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin."

The political fallout that is now apparent must be laid squarely at the doorstep of Hillary Clinton. Had she not had her own server, the FBI would have nothing to investigate.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Archbishop Sample in Italy When Earthquakes Struck. and update.

Archbishop Sample on Facebook today October 30th.

I am just heartbroken this morning in Rome. Another earthquake has struck central Italy. Reports are that it was 6.6. I was awakened in Rome by the tremor that was felt even here. The chandelier in my room was swaying. But this is nothing compared to the destruction in Norcia. The Basilica of St. Benedict has collapsed. I was just there a few short days ago, and although badly damaged, it was still standing. Please pray for the monks of Norcia and all this affected by these earthquakes.

 US archbishop, pilgrims were celebrating Mass in Norcia when earthquakes struck

Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland, Ore., poses with Benedictine monks after celebrating Mass at the San Benedetto in Monte monastery overlooking the town of Norcia, Italy, Oct. 27. Archbishop Sample said he was preparing to celebrate Mass when an earthquake struck in Norcia Oct. 26. (CNS photo/courtesy Populus Summorum Pontificum) See ITALY-EARTHQUAKE-SAMPLE Oct. 27, 2016.US Archbishop Alexander K. Sample was preparing to celebrate Mass with Benedictine monks in Norcia on 26th October when the first of two powerful earthquakes struck.
“I had no sooner finished (the vesting) prayer to be protected from the assaults of Satan when bang: It just hit and it hit with a vengeance. It didn’t last very long, but it really shook the building we were in,” Archbishop Sample of Portland, Oregon, told Catholic News Service.
No casualties were reported from the quakes. According to the US Geological Survey, an earthquake measuring 5.5 struck shortly after 7pm local time and a 6.1 magnitude quake followed two hours later. Both were centred in Italy’s Marche region, not far from Norcia.
Archbishop Sample and other Portland pilgrims were visiting Norcia, the birthplace of St Benedict, during a trip to Italy for the fifth annual Populus Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage, an international gathering for Catholics devoted to the extraordinary form of the Mass.

Picture: The Archbishop of Portland, Oregon, Alexander K. Sample, poses with Benedictine monks after celebrating Mass at the San Benedetto in Monte monastery overlooking the town of Norcia, Italy, on 27th October. Archbishop Sample said he was preparing to celebrate Mass when an earthquake struck in Norcia on 26th October. (CNS photo/courtesy Populus Summorum Pontificum).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Soon there will be the annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) collection.

CHD morphed into CCHD to facilitate more money and open the pocket books of Catholic pews.

EWTN is still following in the footsteps of Mother Angelica and exposed this deception.
A brilliant new EWTN film unmasks the man behind community organizing and what has greatly contributed to today's chaotic culture.


A look back on the life, ideals, and works of 1960s community activist, Saul Alinsky, through the lens of a Catholic perspective.
Duration: 01:30

CC  TV-14
Thursday, 10/27 @ 12:00 AM
Friday, 10/28 @ 07:30 PM
Saturday, 10/29 @ 02:00 PM
Friday, 11/04 @ 10:00 AM
Sunday, 11/06 @ 12:30 PM

09/24/2016 National Catholic Register (short version)
Do you want an understanding of where so much of society’s problems originated and how things went radically wrong in everything from culture to family life to politics?
The film is no less than riveting. By the brilliant team of Richard and Stephen Payne, the father-son filmmakers who head Arcadia Films, it explores the life and beliefs of one Saul Alinsky, often called the father of community organizing.

Sure, he said he wanted to help the poor, but we see how his tactics were no less than wrong and anti-Christian. He deceived many and used and abused elements in the Catholic Church in the process.

Richard Payne explained that St. Matthew gave the filmmakers the classic three-act structure in 7:15-20.

Act One: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.” In this act we get the story of the rise of Alinsky, where he got h
is ideas, and how as a socialist/Marxist he began applying them to manipulate people and society.

Act Two: “By their fruits you will know them.” Was there good fruit in his work, or did it lead to a basket of rotten goods?

Act Three: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.” Here comes the assessment of the fruits which look ready for the trash heap. People at this point should be asking themselves, How did we get to this precipice and is there hope to back away.............

........Born in 1909 into an Orthodox Jewish family where the father was a successful middle class tailor, Alinsky became an agnostic and wanted to help the poor rise out of their condition. But how?
In college he took a social pathology course that, among other things, devalued marriage and family and ideas were constructed in Marxist terms.

“Treat persons not as persons but symbols,” says Alinsky in one of the vignettes throughout the film, punctuating Alinsky’s ideas in his own words. Actor Jim Morlino of Navis Pictures portrays Alinsky as that disguised wolf yet shows his sinister and dark edge, like a commentator in a 50s film noir.
“Life is a corrupting process…he who fears corruption fears life…” he says another time.

“Truth is relative and is changing,” he asserts. Get the picture? There’s a healthy dose of relativism already here in early to mid-20th century. Make truth what you want it to be at the moment.
In his sheep’s clothing he says again, “The end justifies almost any means.” And “You do what you can and clothe it in moral garments.”

That he did, we learn. It all sounded so good, helping the poor improve their lot. Who could be against that? But with what we learn are Marxist, Socialist, Communist tactics? 
Of course, he must have picked up a thing or two from Chicago’s mob bosses. Studying criminality on a fellowship, he got to known the ruthless Al Capone and then Frank Nitti who took over for Capone.  By his own admission, Alinsky said of Nitti, “I called him the professor and I became his student.”

In sheep’s clothing, Alinsky linked with the trade unions to help backside workers in Chicago’s meat packing industry. A noble goal to get them out of squalor. He befriended a Catholic who introduced him to members of the Church and subsequently parish leaders who didn’t spot the wolf beneath.
The Paynes reveal some telling examples of the way Alinsky worked among the sheep who maybe didn’t realize the philosophy behind the tactics he was about to use.

One of the good examples we get is the conflict when the University of Chicago attempted to expand its campus into a poor neighborhood. Alinsky got the chance to apply his Marxist conflict theory using division and deceit to conquer, casting the university into the role of the big rich bully enemy against his poor group.

As we get other examples, one of the experts briefly interviewed in the film says the organizing talk used was the language of peace and light, but all this was putting into place something different — a great evil coming in like a fog where people no longer see things distinctly. His idea to help the poor was good, but the means were evil.........

.....The Paynes bring us some shattered news in the way we learn a number of Catholics thought Alinsky’s way was the way to go to help empower the poor. One was Msgr. John (Jack) Egan who became a close associate and prompted Alinsky to write what would be his last book, Rules for Radicals (which is linked to Marx).

We learn that Cardinal John Cody of Chicago shut down the priest’s office when he realized what was going on with the organizing. But Msgr. Egan was invited to the Notre Dame University where he stayed for several years, working with five priests — four were Alinsky supporters — to form the Campaign for Human Development, convinced Alinsky’s approach was the best.

Msgr. Egan was appointed co-chair of the first Call to Action conference where radicals took over. One recommendation was training Alinsky organizers. At a news conference Cardinal John Krol said that “rebels have taken over our conference.”

It should be no surprise that Msgr. Egan up to a month before he died called for ordinations of women and married priests.

In this fascinating film, the Paynes are cinematic investigative reporters showing us how after Alinsky died, the organization used its Marxist, socialist progress causes to influence every facet of American political power and culture. Alinsky organizing has vastly impacted our society’s culture, marriage, family life, morality and even spiritualty. Over 800 Alinsky organizations are spread throughout American communities today..........

...........The film helps us understand how these goals have affected our society, politics (some top politicians were Alinsky followers. VOCAL adds Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama), media, entertainment, families, morality, culture and even, sadly, some inside our Church. We have to be aware of that. St. John Paul II called this culture of death.

We’re reminded the names of the devil are his tactics — liar, deceiver, divider, accuser, adversary, lawless one, destroyer. Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer. Sadly, and tragically, Alinsky said if there is a heaven or hell, he would choose to the latter where he could organize. We’re told not to hate Alinsky but pray for him.

Despite all this the Paynes don’t leave us stranded because ultimately, they said the film is not a political one but a spiritual one. The last part, beautifully intertwined with the delicacy of lace yet the strength of steel, shows us that despite what has been done to America, by seeing what we have to reclaim there is hope of restoration.

The filmmakers spell out the way with uplifting visual details that multiply the effect of the narrative line which Stephen Payne delivers in a way that brings the viewer to trust the facts as coming from a caring authority who is also a friend.

We see what are the true social principles of the Catholic Church, how to restore our country to a nation recognizing that rights come from God and our God-given heritage, and how important our Blessed Mother is in this reclamation.

The Paynes end as they began, with the story of a wolf — only this one ends differently.
Don’t miss this most timely film about the wolves in sheep’s clothing at this critical time in our country and world.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bishop "AMDG" on The Election, Catholics and Faithful Citizenship

VOCAL  - Here is a Bishop's hope for all Catholics.  The question I asked him was about handing out Voter's Guides as in elections past; non-answers regarding the Intrinsic evils, this year no mention of them, and Cardinal Bernardin's "seamless garment", which is giving equal moral values, although the "Seamless Garment" theory has been in existence since social activism began, it was first applied to pro-lifers in 1976 by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in Dallas.  The election of 2016 seems to have morphed the seamless garment of old by mixing up all the evils and assuming they have the same value.  This has been observed by many.
From Bishop AMDG: 

"In some ways we need not worry since both CA and OR are so deeply ingrained in the culture of death that there is NO possibility that our vote will turn the tide. The heart of pharaoh was 
hardened and I sense that the hearts of our Catholic people are hardened as well. 

This calls for, not more INFORMATION, there is plenty of that, it calls for prayer, mortification and penance that the heart of the unrepentant will be converted. I am not a believer that more or better voter guides would miraculously convert the hearts of the unrepentant. Are some people truly ignorant (that is, do they really(?) not know).
The Battle of Lepanto - Our Lady's Victory
                The present voter guide, Faithful Citizenship, is written in such a way that only the devious and the intentionally corrupt could misread it or interpret it so say that there is an equivalence of issues.
The liberal left will intentionally misinterpret even the Catechism of the Catholic Church calling it nonbinding guidelines. If they do that with the Catechism does this prove that the Catechism is what they say it is? 
Yet, if we say back to them, 'Gee, we were so sure but we see that you are right' then we abandon this sure and true document in favor of their warped interpretation. 

We tend to do the same with Faithful Citizenship. 
Is it perfect? Certainly not. But if we read it with the right heart and spirit then it is entirely accurate. 
Does the left intentionally and maliciously misinterpret it? Absolutely!
What then do we do? Wring our hands and say 'o, only if the bishops were more clear, etc. etc.' 
yet, even if it was as clear as the fifth Commandment, thou shalt not kill! they would still find a way to get around it.
Thank God for His Creation..simplicity in prayer.
They would then argue that the document lacks moral authority, that it is not infallible, that the Bishops when they speak as a body lack the authority of the Pope and the Pope has not issued any such document.

The document is intended as a guide for the faithful not a club for the faithful to try to beat into submission those who would not believe even if one would rise from the dead. 
This is why the document is more than adequate for those who are faithful but will never stand as convincing 'proof' for those who have no openness of heart or any genuine desire to know the truth.
This is why what we require is prayer, fasting, penance for these are suitable weapons 
and faithful citizenship will never substitute for these!"

"Carolyn: If people read FC with a faithful heart then I do believe it meets proper moral standards. Can it be misinterpreted? Absolutely. You may share my remarks acknowledging that imperfection is a part of our present human condition."

God Bless +"AMDG" *   

“The man of conscience is he who never succumbs to indulgence, wellbeing, success, public prestige and the approval of public opinion at the expense of the truth.” John Henry Cardinal Newman


*VOCAL - name pseudonym


Monday, October 17, 2016

Guest Article: How Our meeting went at the Chancery regarding the Public School's desire to push their immorality on Catholic chlidren and inviting Satan in.

VOCAL.  Some Oregon Catholics are seemingly censored by the Pastoral Staff and the Catholic Sentinel.  It is sometimes hard to get your experiences addressed. When things bring children into the mix, we are there too.
 From a reader:
"A couple of months ago, I and a good friend had a meeting with Todd Cooper and Jason Kidd. We are members of a group called Parents Rights in Education. You may recall we stopped the Adolescent Sexuality Conference (among other things).2015 Adolescent Teen Sexuality Conference at Seaside CANCELED. Videos for Adults Only
Often at our meetings, we are asked by our Protestant associates what is the Archdiocese’s position on this or that issue pertaining to the state’s invasion of privacy regarding parent’s rights in sexual matters. (Deep down they really do think the Catholic Church has Authority). We often have to say that we will find out. That avoids us having to say that they have no position or at least publicly stated position on these matters ( for example, School Based Health Centers dispensing contraceptives in elementary schools). 
Our meeting was about the time that the Oregon Department of Education announced its very pro-transgender “guidelines for Oregon public schools”. Most Oregon Catholic children attend public schools. So why doesn’t the Church speak out?  It is frustrating. So we contacted Todd Copper and arranged a meeting for lunch with him and Jason Kidd.
We actually thought we might get some help from the Archdiocese or the Archbishop or someone in the Chancellery. After about two hours, we left to return to the coast. We could not get an answer out of either Cooper or Kidd as to how the Archdiocese could help Catholic parents whose children were being subjected to the State Department of Education’s propaganda about transgender “rights”. 
Riding back to the coast, we finally looked at each other and said “Did we just very smoothly get sandbagged?”. It was like talking to a politician. Nothing substantive was ever uttered by either person although I felt Kidd was more sincere. (He has only been employed by the Chancellery for about two years). All they wanted to talk about were “processes”.  I think Cooper is just a  bureaucrat. I still have no idea what his convictions about the issues that were important to us were. Nice salaries, health care, pensions, hob nob with the in-crowds, etc. but not really accomplishing much to help Catholic parents stand up to the propaganda of the State of Oregon or the Federal Government.  The Chancellery just seems to be a small version of the USCCB. “ArchPrincess” Mary Jo may be gone but the stable still needs cleaning. 
 A recent example: A Satanic organization is now organizing to have a number of Satan Clubs in Oregon’s elementary schools. One is being organized for Nehalem Elementary School which is located in my town. What is the Archdiocese’s response or position to this group’s targeting of elementary children in Oregon? Don’t hold your breath. 
One of the reasons why Oregon is such a mess is that the Chancellery won’t confront issues such as these. Oh, they will tell you that they are waiting for something bigger to stand up to and they don’t want to “waste” resources.
If you recall, when Rudy Giuliani became Mayor of New York, he instituted a program of targeting small crimes, in effect nipping aspiring criminals when they were beginning to stray from being good citizens. It worked. During his eight years, crime dropped dramatically. Those tempted to commit crimes knew they could not get away with breaking windows much less stealing cars, etc. 
The Archbishop needs to take this approach. The immoral crowd running the Oregon public education system and the State of Oregon have no fear of losing the Catholic vote because there is no Catholic vote anymore. Up until the late 1960’s Catholics were a force to be reckoned with in our country. 
Then the USCCB began its love affair with Federal money.
Maybe the Catholic Church in the United Church should stop feeding at the Federal trough.  Then if some bureaucrat or agency or politician proposes something that violates moral laws or imposes such on Catholics and their children, thunder can again come out of Chancelleries with nothing to lose!
Many of us Catholics would stand up and cheer. 
Nothing is going to change with the Todd Coopers as the “firewall” between us and the Archbishop."  

James Welch

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Election 2016 Part Two - Email from 2004 and NOW - Between Todd Cooper and VOCAL

Part I

  "And it Begins -The Election of 2016"
Part II

Several years before the 2008 election, I had an email exchange with Todd Cooper who was the special projects director for Archbishop Vlazny. 

My concern as a convert was that Todd confused me by something he said, paraphrasing him, "We believe in a different Catholic Church  in Portland".  I knew in my heart, that this had to be an erroneous statement. I could see what he was thinking, but still feel it's wrong.

At that time the Archdiocese of Portland did not know who Priests for Life were.  So Father Pavone sent Catholic materials to Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) during the 2008 election, where I worked. and I passed them out to Oregon Catholic churches and some Protestant ones too.  Due to health issues had to retire from ORTL in 2010, and part of my job was Catholic Church liaison. Catholic education is the church's responsibility and I believe ORTL has stepped away from taking on this mission.

However, during 2008 was Catholics for McCain/Palin-Offical Oregon Campaign Blog was formed. (Click on the link and for a walk down memory lane.) ORTL was greatly involved and VOCAL began
Catholics for McCain/Palin 2008
as a political focal point since many Oregon Catholics were concerned about religious issues and had no place that seemed to listen during the election season.

The same question was asked of Todd Cooper in 2004 regarding the "seamless garment" that Archbishop Vlazny agreed with, it seems. In 2016 the same question of "seamless garment" was asked to Todd Cooper who is the agent of Archbishop Sample.  

In 2016, Todd didn't answer the "seamless garment" question" nor acknowledge or say the words themselves.  He didn't answer my last email, but I don't think we speak the same language.

Here are the emails.

FROM 2004 - (Yes, I kept it for twelve years. Also it was written in run-on sentences with no paragraphs.  These were added by VOCAL for easier reading.)

Subject: Catholics and voting
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 18:37:11 -0700

Dear Carolyn,
Thank you for the extended conversation this morning.
You asked for clarification on the question of whether or not it is morally acceptable for a Catholic to vote for a political candidate who is pro-abortion, particularly if there is a pro-life candidate alternative.
The answer of the Church and of Archbishop Vlazny is "Yes, it is morally acceptable so long as the Catholic is not voting for a candidate precisely because that candidate is pro-abortion, and so long as the Catholic has proportionate reasons for doing so."

You seem to be arguing that there are no proportionate reasons.  However, according to the Church, a Catholic in good conscience can conclude that there are proportionate reasons.  The Catholic Church preaches a consistent ethic of life, a "seamless garment" based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching which have their foundation in the dignity of the human person.  Any violation of that dignity is a moral offense. 

We make distinctions between grave offenses and lesser offenses.  Abortion is a very grave offense - it is intrinsically evil.  In some way, however, sin cannot be qualified.  Christ himself noted that "if a man looks lustfully at a woman, he has committed adultery with her in his heart".  We can break this down and say that a look of lust is a venial sin, while outright adultery is a mortal sin. 

The point, however, is that in some real way, a sin is a sin.  A "lesser" sin still requires the Cross.  We live in a world fragmented by sin. 

Abortion is a more serious sin than striking someone.  However, both are attacks against the dignity of the human person.  How can we truly separate the right to life from the right to eat?  From the right to receive proper care? 

We cannot.  And yet we do.  And we must, because we are not angels.  Sin has fragmented us and divided us.  But God cannot be divided.  The truth cannot be divided. 

How can a "pro-life" politician also be in favor of the death penalty? Or homosexual unions? Or "pre-emptive" war? Or no health care for "aliens"?  It doesn't make sense - it is not consistent.  It is not a consistent ethic of life.  Are these issues as grave as abortion?  Not in a fragmented world.  However, they are all cut from the same cloth. 

There are many "pro-life" politicians who do not have a consistent ethic of life and who are not even standing clearly and purposefully against abortion.  There have been 3 Republican administrations in the last two decades and abortion has hardly even been limited.  What is my pro-life vote changing?  It is not making the difference that it should.  

That is why a Catholic in good conscience and with proportionate reason can vote democrat.
I hope these comments are helpful.
Todd Cooper
Special Projects Director
Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon
Election 2016
NOW - VOCAL's return email to Todd Cooper.  Finishing up our email exchange 
from written in late September 2016.  "And it Begins -The Election of 2016"

Thanks for explaining why Bill Allen was not the go-to-guy to ask questions about the Oregon Catholic Conference.  It would be really helpful if perhaps the Archdpdx, OCC webpage was a little more comprehensive and transparent.  Having the members, I'm sure there are more than you offered, listed would be helpful for Oregon Catholics.

The laity needs to see that the Archdiocese has a cross-section of political views. We know the Church should be non-partisan, however in Oregon and especially in Portland, that might be very difficult when even putting together a webpage.  

By the way, the information in the USCCB website regarding Faithful Citizenship would be confusing for people new to politics. 

They need to know that "the seamless garment" meaning abortion, euthanasia, homosexual "marriage" (that they didn't say out loud) isn't equal in moral equivalent to the "sin" of littering.

Also, learning that Cardinal Bernardin's seamless garment isn't in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, should be mentioned.  

The loss of a person's soul isn't mentioned as something to worry about when voting.  That would part of the voting decision.

"The challenge for Catholics is to allow their Catholic faith to inform their politics.  In the case of many, it is their politics that inform their Catholic faith."   Your words are of interest and most people don't want "politics to inform their Catholic faith that is why I'm writing.
We all need help especially in this election.  

"If people read FC (Faithful Citizenship) with a faithful heart then I do believe it meets proper moral standards. Can it be misinterpreted? Absolutely. You may share my remarks acknowledging that imperfection is a part of our present human condition."

 Bishop Robert F.Vasa                                                                                                         
 “The man of conscience is he who never succumbs to indulgence, wellbeing, success, public prestige and the approval of public opinion at the expense of the truth.” John Henry Cardinal Newman

God bless,