***March for Life brings out the bishops! The March for Life always brings out a full retinue of U.S. prelates. Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Washington, D.C.’s head, was prominent among them. As celebrant and homilist at the early morning Mass closing the prayer vigil at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Archbishop called for an end to the “spiral of violence and death.” He compared abortion to slavery and World War II concentration camps saying, “One wonders how such activities could be accepted by any people anywhere at any time.” The archbishop said no argument could justify “taking…the innocent life of the baby in the womb…. Countless unborn infants are reaching out to hold onto us with all of their strength since we are the only voice they have in the struggle to find a place, a home, a life in this world.” [Wow! What eloquence.]
***But actions speak louder than words How can “such activities” be accepted, AB Wuerl asks? Easy…Talk about the horrors of abortion but wink at public figures who enable and promote it. It’s hard to take the archbishop seriously in view of his consistent refusal to deny Communion to obstinately pro-abortion politicos. He ignored pleas from pro-lifers, including American Life League’s Judie Brown, to prevent the public scandal of Speaker Nancy Pelosi receiving Communion from equally pro-abortion Fr. Robert Drinan at Trinity University during her coronation festivities. [Review Pelosi’s 100% pro-abortion voting record at www.ontheissues.org/CA/Nancy_Pelosi_Abortion.htm]
Wuerl’s non-action was consistent with his equally lax attitude toward Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy who sacrilegiously took Communion at his installation Mass. The rich and powerful write their own ticket.
Recently, Wuerl had an exchange with World Net Daily reporter Allyson Smith who asked, "Do you intend to discipline [Pelosi] at all for being persistent and obstinate about supporting abortion and same-sex marriage?" Wuerl responded: "I will not be using the faculty in that, in the manner you have described." Smith then asked if he would instruct priests and deacons in the archdiocese to refuse Pelosi Communion. Wuerl said, "You're talking about a whole different style of pastoral ministry. No thank you." [And that, Your Excellency, explains how “such things” happen – with the complicity of those who have the power to discipline and refuse to use it.]
***Then there’s Cardinal Egan of N.Y. Some of his best friends are pro-aborts. He recently told NBC’s David Ushery that presidential wannabees Hillary Clinton, George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani, all radically pro-abortion, are his buddies. “I think I'm a good friend of all three of these people,” he said. “And I wish them all the best, and they've been very good to us. And I will vote, I assure you, right here in New York, and that will be one vote. I won't ask you to vote the way I think you ought to vote.” [Well, God forbid that a bishop should instruct his people to disqualify politicians who advocate killing unborn children. With the 2008 campaigning gearing up and a broad field of pro-abortion candidates, including CINOs (Catholics in name only) like Joe Biden, get ready for the rationalizing to begin…er…to continue.]
***On the other hand there’s hope… We don’t often have an example of courage from our bishops, but here’s one from a courageous deacon in Buffalo. During his homily Sunday January 21, Tom McDonnell suggested that parishioners discuss with Congressman Brian Higgins his support for embryonic stem cell research. [i.e. stealing cells from and killing the tiny victims] Higgins, a Democrat who in 2002 was labeled “anti-choice” by NARAL, has gone the way of many democrats before him. By ‘05 and ‘06 he received 100% ratings from Planned Parenthood and NARAL as well as their endorsement for re-election. McDonnell delivered the same homily at several Masses including one attended by Higgins who walked out with his family. According to Life Site News, the pastor, Fr. Art Smith, and Bishop Edward Kmiec fell over themselves “in the haste and abjectness of the apologies.” Fr. Smith lamented to the media that he was turned away from a reception at Mr. Higgins’ home because of the incident. [Play the violins. Not for the butchered babies but for the crimp in Fr. Smith’s social life.] Smith told Buffalo News on January 23, “I can't tell you how terrible I felt….While we have to always uphold the church's teachings regarding life, [when we preach in the shower] I don't think it's ever fair to publicly criticize someone who serves our community and our parish so well.” [Gosh, Jesus was really unfair when he told the Pharisees, “Woe to you hypocrites.” After all, they were serving the synagogue so well.]
***More good news from our foreign office Salzburg Archbishop Adreas Laun raised a ruckus in Austria when he stated that businessman Richard Lugner has excommunicated himself by providing facilities for an abortion mill in a shopping center he owns and manages. When asked in an interview with the Austrian Catholic news agency KATH.NET whether Lugner had incurred excommunication by his action the archbishop replied, “Certainly. The catechism says: 'The formal cooperation in an abortion is a grave delict. The Church punishes this violation with the penalty of excommunication.' Because Lugner cooperates in abortions, by letting them happen in his shopping mall, the norm applies to him and he is excommunicated.” [Wow! Compare that clear, unequivocal teaching to the mealy-mouthed pabulum of so many American bishops. Archbishops Wuerl, Niederauer, and company, please take note and do likewise with Nancy Pelosi et al.]
***While we’re talking about pabulum meet a priest who serves red meat, Fr. James Farfaglia of the diocese of Corpus Christi. In a recent article, [See: http://www.renewamerica.us:80/columns/abbott/070217] Father described why the liturgy is in a “state of emergency” using the example of his own parish growing up. “Early into 1968, St. Mary’s Parish in Ridgefield (CT) became a battleground…madness struck. Karl Marx and Mao Tse Tung posters appeared on the walls of the church and the school, and wild liturgical abuses began. Numerous families left the parish….As the chaos and polarization continued the Tridentine Mass movement began to take shape.” Father tells of meeting with his bishop, Walter Curtis, shortly after ordination. “As I told Bishop Curtis that I was from Ridgefield, I sensed from his reaction he was only too well aware of this sad history. He looked embarrassed…. He had attended the entire Second Vatican Council and was known as an excellent orthodox moral theologian. Why, then, did his diocese fall apart after the council?.... Here’s the answer. At the end of our meeting…. Bishop Curtis turned to me and said: ‘Well, Jim, I never thought it was my place to tell my priests what to do.’… I was a newly ordained priest and still very respectful of any bishop of the Church…. what I should have asked my home bishop was, ‘Well, whose place is it?’” To address the emergency, Father says, “First and foremost, bishops need to be courageous shepherds.” Amen! Thank you, Father.
***Herald’s wedding issue offends again! The Catholic Herald hit a new low [and we do mean low] with its February 8 wedding issue. Almost every bride pictured in both articles and ads wears an immodest gown. Two photos are embarrassing – one showing the side of the bride’s breast and another (form-fitting spaghetti strap) with a plunging neckline and cleavage. [We think she got her nightie confused with her bridal gown.] Where is the common sense of the fathers of these brides and the “fathers” officiating at their weddings? The Catechism says, “Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness …Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing…. [It] inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.” Priests who allow these immodest gowns in their churches fail to uphold modesty. They miss an important teaching moment. No wonder foolish Catholics parents allow their pre-teen little girls to dress like Britney Spears. It started in church on their wedding day.
***Now when will Fr. Haley be reinstated? While we’re on the subject of chastity Bishop Loverde’s pastoral on pornography is a good document emphasizing the evil and danger of porn use. We quote: “Those who engage in [it] with full knowledge and complete consent commit a mortal sin. Such actions deprive them of sanctifying grace, destroy the life of Christ in their souls, and prevent them from receiving Holy Communion until they have received absolution through the Sacrament of penance.” When priests and religious use pornography it’s “more grave because of the scandal it brings to the Church.” The bishop calls pornography a “deception” that “will feed, rather than subdue, temptations….In fact, it is often the use of this ‘fetish’ pornography that solidifies the temptation….The repeated use of pornographic images and fantasies transforms the temptation into a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.”[In other words, those who use porn are likely to act on it to sate their lust. How many priests molesting children were porn addicts first?] Addressing the priests, the bishop promises that “If any priest should find himself a party to this sin, he should seek assistance from his bishop or religious superior. Such failure does not necessarily mean the end of one’s ministry. I would want to assist you in obtaining the spiritual, psychological and sacramental healing that will be necessary for a return to your labors.” [This document vindicates Fr. Haley’s concern about the porn use and immorality of Frs. Verecchia, Ehrbacher, and Hamilton. However, in each case when Fr. Haley went to the bishop with proof, instead of taking action with the immoral priests, Bishop Loverde punished Fr. Haley. The porn-using priests were left in their assignments to endanger souls. It was only when the scandals became public that the bishop finally responded. In Fr. Hamilton’s case the bishop knew for over a year, and allowed Fr. Hamilton to continue as Pastor, Head of Deanery V, and Judge on the Marriage Tribunal. Only when his shocking behavior became public did the bishop finally act. In view of this document, Your Excellency, we look fort the same compassion toward Fr. Haley that you promise to porn-addicted priests.]
***Embezzlement plagues 85% of dioceses Researchers at Villanova University released a study in December showing 85% of dioceses reported embezzle-ment in the last five years. In 93% of the cases police reports were filed. Some cases involved homosexual priests supporting their lifestyle to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from their parishes. [The moral of the story: Don’t contribute to temptation. Never ever put cash in the collection basket. It’s too easy to steal.]