Sunday, April 30, 2017

When the Writings of Saints Are Deemed to be Politically Incorrect...

You may or may not have heard the story coming out of Orlando this past week concerning a catechist at a Catholic school who had passed out printouts of St. John Bosco’s 1853 essay “The Catholic Educated in his Faith.” The teacher was reprimanded, but to what extent is unclear. From the local article:
The Diocese of Orlando issued a statement about its decision to reprimand the teacher to the Huffington Post. Diocese officials said they would issue the same written statement to the Star-Banner, but that had not been received by press time.
The Diocese of Orlando officials would not answer questions to discuss details about the exact extent of the punishment.
Jacquelyn Flanigan, an associate superintendent with the Diocese of Orlando’s Catholic school system, said in a statement to the Huffington Post that she had spoken with Blessed Trinity’s Principal Jason Halstead and Smythe.
Flanigan stated that after speaking with the two men, the school district decided to “reprimand the teacher for this unfortunate exhibit of disrespect.” Flanigan also said in the statement that the material is also “not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
It seems we've come to the point where even local dioceses are being too careful of upsetting the PC police. Here's a sampling of St. John's readings, and even I can admit that they aren't PC:
"We could say the Koran is a series of errors, the most enormous ones being against morality and the worship of the true God.  For example, it excuses from sin those who deny God out of fear of death;  it permits revenge; it guarantees its followers a Paradise filled only of earthly pleasures.  In short, this false prophet’s doctrine permits things so obscene, that the Christian soul is horrified just naming them."
But here's the thing... so what if his writings aren't PC? One could argue that Jesus Christ wasn't politically correct either, so to claim that St. John Bosco's writings go against Catholic teaching is simply mistaken. Let's see why that's so.
St. John Bosco and students

Friday, April 14, 2017

An Open Letter to a Catholic University Chaplain

It's no secret that many of North America's (and Europe's) Catholic colleges and university have had a streak of unorthodox practices and dissent for several decades. A great example of a college that once upheld Catholic teachings, and now possesses a most questionable attitude to the doctrines of Christ's Holy Church, would be the University of Notre Dame. Many other places of higher education could be named, but we don't need to go down that rabbit hole. We'll instead go down another, where I noticed a certain Catholic university had been displaying images near the school's chapel that were dangerous to the faith of those not well grounded in their faith, and were crafted by a man who had clear intentions to subvert the Truth revealed to the Catholic Church. Below is the letter I made up for the chaplain of this university:
North Quad at Notre Dame

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Thoughts on the Jesuit General's Apparent Relativism, and a Reply to His (non-Catholic) Supporter

A little over a month ago, a very controversial interview with the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, was released. In it, Fr. Abascal claimed that all Church doctrine must be subject to discernment. While technically true, he failed to mention that all need to submit to what the Church has declared. That is so, because Jesus is Head of the Church. All doctrine that the Church gives us comes directly from Jesus Christ Himself. Here are a couple relevant excerpts:
Q: So if conscience, after discernment, tells me that I can receive communion even if the norm does not provide for it… 
A: The Church has developed over the centuries, it is not a piece of reinforced concrete. It was born, it has learned, it has changed. This is why the ecumenical councils are held, to try to bring developments of doctrine into focus. Doctrine is a word that I don't like very much, it brings with it the image of the hardness of stone. Instead the human reality is much more nuanced, it is never black or white, it is in continual development. 
Q: I seem to understand that for you there is a priority for the practice of the discernment of doctrine. 
A: Yes, but doctrine is part of discernment. True discernment cannot dispense with doctrine. 
Q: But it can reach conclusions different from doctrine.
A: That is so, because doctrine does not replace discernment, nor does it the Holy Spirit.
After reading the full interview of what the Jesuit General had to say, I have to say I find his words very disheartening. It sounds as if he's completely embraced moral relativism. Fr. Dwight Longenecker made some good points:
"This is astounding. Let’s be clear. While Fr Abascal thinks Jesus’ words are difficult to understand, Fr Abascal’s are easily understood. He is saying that we can’t really know what Jesus’ words were so it is all up for grabs."
The Scribe Stood to Tempt Jesus- James Tissot