Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cardinal Burke, a true spiritual father

Father Z (http://wdtprs.com/blog/) linked to a story on his blog yesterday (my, that priest can sure get a lot of blog posts up in a single day!)  from a former homosexual who left the Catholic Church when he chose his "gay" lifestyle but reverted some years later. I found the story very touching, especially his contact with Cardinal Burke.    

Cardinal Burke is regarded by some as too traditional, too "Catholic", too rule-oriented. I have never found him to be so. In fact, after hearing him in an interview, he reminded me of a dear priest whom many of you know. They both are sticklers on Catholic dogma, but they are able to hold their positions with great love, as they are always gentle with all those people who cross their paths. Those of you who live in Barry's Bay will know to whom I refer.

Back to the story of Eric Hess. Eric describes briefly his becoming homosexual; he traces it to his alcoholic father, with whom he wanted no association. He sought the affirmation he needed from other men and became the victim of a predator.
From 1990 to 1994, I went to Mass off and on. In 1995, I told my “partner” that I couldn’t go anymore because I was very angry with the Church. I boxed up all my crucifixes and Bibles and dropped them off at the office of the bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin with a letter renouncing the Catholic faith.
 To my surprise, Bishop Raymond Burke replied with a kind letter expressing his sadness. He wrote that he would respect my decision and notify the parish where I had been baptized. Ever so gently, Bishop Burke said that he would pray for me and look forward to the time when I would reconcile with the Church.
 As one of Wisconsin’s most outspoken “gay” activists, I thought, “What arrogance!” Then I replied to Bishop Burke with a letter accusing him of harassment. I told him that his letters were unwelcome and I asked how he could dare to write to me.
 My efforts failed to put him off. Bishop Burke sent one more letter assuring me that he wouldn’t write again—but if I should want to reconcile with the Church, he would welcome me back with open arms.

Some time later, Eric found his way back to the Church, first through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He wanted to let Cardinal Burke know that he had returned to the Catholic Church so he called the then Archbishop's office (Cardinal Burke was AB of Wisconsin at the time) and the secretary told him that the Cardinal wanted to meet with him.
A month after my reconciliation to God and the Church, I went to Bishop Burke’s office, where he embraced me. He asked if I remembered the belongings I had turned over to him with my letter of renunciation. Of course I remembered and Bishop Burke had saved them in the diocesan archives because he believed that I would return.

Eric Hess has nothing but kind things to say about Cardinal Burke, a man whom he hated viciously for a long time. Doesn't it remind you of the father of the prodigal son, welcoming home the wayward boy who spurned his father and family and later came to repent and seek forgiveness?
Ever since my mystical experience, I rejoice because of Raymond Burke, now the prelate of Saint Louis, Missouri. While some malign Archbishop Burke for his fidelity to God, Church and all souls, I say that he is a true shepherd of the faithful and a presentday Athanasius. I tell you that he remains a mentor and an inspiration to me. Although my own biological father rejected me, Archbishop Burke became my spiritual father by lovingly representing our Father in heaven. Like the Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity, Archbishop Burke was and is absolutely faithful to me.

Love is not always tolerant; love wishes the best for the other person. Cardinal Burke sincerely wanted this man's salvation and he prayed for that. How marvellous that he saw the day when this man returned to the Lord. This is the doctrine of the Catholic Church; salvation is there for those who acknowledge their sin and come to the foot of the Cross. It is only there that we can be saved. Anything else is cheap grace.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Is the Catholic Church Turning Pro-Gay?

A very interesting article by Steve Wood of Family Life Center International, www.dads.org

 Millions of Catholic wives wonder why their husbands don’t want to go to Mass with them. Likewise, thousands of bright and beautiful young Catholic women wonder aloud, “Where are the marriageable young Catholic men?” I’m afraid it’s goodbye to many good men because of the effeminate atmosphere of the contemporary Catholic Church. The contemporary homosexualized church atmosphere is the penultimate level of feminization, and it stinks in the nostrils of normal men.
 Reporting on the defective interim report of the Family Synod, the secular media was delighted to broadcast worldwide that there is a pro-gay seismic shift in the Catholic Church. While the final report of the Synod backtracked on the morally defective statements on homosexuality and communion for those living in adulterous relationships, make no mistake, the lasting worldwide damage is done. For the man on the street, the Catholic Church is just one more institution caving in to our culture’s gay-friendly transformation.

One of the African cardinals remarked that the damage had been done when the preliminary report came out, and no amount of backtracking can undo that damage.

I was dismayed to hear that the three paragraphs that did not get 2/3 vote from the bishops and cardinals was kept in the final document, at the instructions of Pope Francis. That is a mistake. If the majority of the clergy present voted to delete those paragraphs, why were they kept in?  That sends the wrong message.

One parish priest here shared with my husband during his confession that he feared that a faction within the Church was going to succeed in throwing away 2000 years of Catholic heritage. Wish that most clergy knew, as this priest does, what is at stake here.

We don't know what is going to come in the days ahead in the Catholic Church. In most parishes, life will continue as usual, but when priests are faced with these difficult questions of how to welcome homosexuals or divorced and remarried people within the Church, they are not going to know what to do. And what usually happens in those cases, is that people tend to go with their feelings of compassion. They really don't know how to care for people when truth must be brought to bear along with compassion.

Clarity has been sacrificed. And we are left with a Church that is less able to instruct the faithful in the way that leads to salvation.
Despite the Family Synod’s backtracking in the final report, we can be sure the damage from the worldwide broadcast of the initial report will be lasting and profound. In the popular mind, the Catholic Church finally caved to the sexual revolution. The Family Synod has given the appearance that the last worldwide moral restraint on sexual sin has given way.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Renewing the Church

Finally, I firmly believe that the restoration, renewal, reinvigoration, restitution of our sacred liturgical worship is the sine qua non which must accompany, if not precede, every other initiative that we undertake in the Church at every possible level, whether in the parish, in the diocese, in the nation, or in the Roman Curia.  For the family home, which is the domestic Church, the daily common prayer of the Rosary – with specific intentions for the good of bishops and priests, renewal of our sacred worship, safety from harm of disease and the attacks of debased movements – can be the mortar which holds fast the foundation of the Church.  We are the Church’s living stones.  We must play our role in the building and the defense of the Church.  When Nehemiah set about to rebuild the walls of the city, the workers wore their swords in case of attack.  Let your Rosaries be your sword and your trowel.


I think there is a huge need for great music in our churches. As well-intentioned as Matt Maher may be, I don't think his music deserves a place in the liturgy of the Mass.  What we really need is music that will help to create an atmostphere of reverence and the sense that something holy is going on. 

I recall as a child being awestruck, and I do mean awestruck, by music in my church. I loved going to the special celebrations of Christmas, Easter, Good Friday to hear the glorious singing from the childrens' and the adult choirs. You could lose yourself in that music. And in a building in which the sound reverberated without the use of any sound system, the effect was something else. As a small child, I could sense the beauty that was in the liturgy even before I had any idea what was going on in the liturgy.

This is what we need now. All the music and liturgical changes since Vatican II have not brought people back to church or helped to renew their faith; the opposite is true - they are leaving in even greater numbers. But I dare to suggest that, give the congregation some glorious music to listen to in church, and they will come back. Perhaps they are only coming for the music, but if the music is selected in order to build faith, we will see changes begin to happen. 

Mass is essentially about the Eucharist. You could leave everything else out, and you would be left with the Consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ, and that would be sufficient. So our liturgies should all be directed to that one end: helping people to recognize what is happening during the Consecration. We will see faith growing by leaps and bounds if we do that.

Let's begin with some really sacred music. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Beware of the victimhood analysis

I am sure that, after the events of yesterday's shootings in Ottawa, there will emerge many versions of what happened. But I predict that one thread that will become quite dominant will be the portrait of the shooter as a "victim". 

Rather than admitting flat out that this was a discontented young man who became radicalized as a Muslim extremist, there will be many who will try to analyse what went wrong, with the conclusion that this man was a victim of a broken home, drug addiction, jail trauma, etc, etc.

It doesn't matter if this guy was too bricks short of a load, he self-radicalized and became a terrorist, killing one innocent Canadian person.

Perhaps he was someone who suffered from personal trauma; but concentration on that will make us lose the picture. What most people don't want to admit is that the Islamist jihad tactics are here on our own soil. And we have to fight them for what they are.

To my shock, the Toronto Police department issued a statement to Toronto mosques that was completely uncalled for. They said that they hoped the Muslims of Toronto would not fear a backlash from the day's events, given that the young man appeared to be a Muslim. Where is the statement to young soldiers who are actually being attacked? where is the statement to Jews and Christians who are being attacked and beheaded by Muslim extremists?  Shouldn't the statement be coming from the mosques to the rest of Canadian society, apologizing for this man who has committed such violence purportedly because he is a Muslim?  I don't think any such statement will be coming.

Last night, Ezra Levant listed all the plots that have been subverted by the Canadian security system and they are numerous. Almost every month over the past year, there has been a jihadist plot that has been scuttled. Why don't we hear about these?  Well you can, actually, if you listen to the right sources. Certainly not on the CBC, the national network, but you will hear about them on Sun News.

Someone said to me that he doesn't watch or read Ezra Levant because he is too-extreme. I think that is wrong; I think the situation is extreme and Ezra is simply reporting it.

At least, our Prime Minister Stephen Harper has the courage to call terrorism "terrorism" when he sees it, unlike certain leaders who cannot use the word easily but prefer to call certain acts "workplace violence". 

Something that is very concerning and that we as Canadians need to change, is the open immigration policy that we have. Thousands of people immigrate to Canada each year, with a good majority of them coming from countries like Pakistan which is known to be a seat of Muslim extremism. While the US is letting thousands of Central Americans leak through their southern border, we are opening the door, with almost no questions, to people who may be planning our destruction.

We have a mosque just around the corner from our house and I often wonder what goes on inside that mosque. The park beside it, which is a Halifax city park, has become almost exclusively theirs now. They have done this by having a school that uses the park regularly, so much so that other people don't feel welcome to go there. I recall when this park was used by the local public school for soccer games; I haven't seen that for a few years now. The only kids you see playing in the park now are boys and girls with hijab coverings.

It is happening by stealth, this takeover of society by Muslim immigrants. But it doesn't matter how it happens, the result will be the same. The consequence of political correctness and tolerant multi-culturalism is bringing a reality of violence to our country that we would never tolerate if we could see it for what it is.

But we have been duped into thinking that all cultures are alike, that all cultures and religions are equal. They are not. The Islamic faith that permits and condones acts like this is not something that anyone should tolerate. And the fact that moderate Muslims don't condemn such violence speaks volumes; they are all terrified of the violent factions within their own ranks. When I hear people speak of Islam as a religion of peace, I feel incensed; reading the Koran would certainly dispel that claim in short time. The majority of people who attend the Mosque probably don't know what is in the Koran, but there are plenty who do and moderate Muslims do not condemn them. That should tell us something. If Christians were treating people unjustly, we would certainly hear about it from everyone, it is simply not the case. But Muslim injustice goes unchecked by the majority of Muslims because they are simply afraid of the extremists who must be setting the tone.

If we don't stand up against this, we will soon be a country with pockets of this violence everywhere. There are many discontent young men out there who will gladly become Muslims and then self-radicalize. In fact, our government is keeping track of 90 at present who are in that state. They have had their passports removed, but they are still at large. Michael Zihaf-Bibeau was just such a young man.

I predict that Justin Trudeau will talk about the background of this young man and he will lead the victimhood narrative. This shows just how out of touch Trudeau is. Hopefully, Canadians will realise that he hasn't got the backbone nor the sense to lead this country and will get rid of him come election time. 

Just as after the Boston bombings, there were people who talked about the sad histories of the Tsarnaev brothers, there will be accounts of Bibeau's sad past. This is no time for armchair analysis when someone's personal background has turned them into a terrorist. For the sake of everyone else involved, they must be seen first as a terrorist in order to reduce further attacks.

People are hoping that this was an isolated incident and that hopefully this will all die down in  a few weeks and life can go back to normal. That is an ignorant worldview. The fighting that is going on in Syria and Iraq has come here in its own terms, and we need to be prepared for it. Otherwise, we will be caught like deer in the headlights, stunned as we are rolled over.   

Shooting in Ottawa, Business as Usual for Abortion Clinic

Things are back to normal on Bank Street, in fact the abortuary never stopped doing abortions, even when Bank Street was under lock down, they still continued work as usual.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Canadian Catholic Church and the State

Last night, I listened to the Erasmus Lecture given by Archbishop Chaput. This is sponsored annually by First Things and this was the 26th or 27th lecture. 

First Things is a publication begun by Father John Nieuhaus who felt the need to equip Christians to witness to their faith in the public square. He obviously could foresee the threats to religious freedom that were coming from the secular culture and from the ever-growing body of government.

The talk is now online at this link.


Archbishop Chaput is a marvellous thinker and I have never read anything by him that wasn't relevant to today's issues.

Last night, he began the lecture by telling the brief story of the province of Quebec. From a province that was 95% Catholic with extremely high church attendance, Quebec has dropped to one of the most secular places in the modern world. I am not quite sure of the numbers, but I thought he said that only 11% of Quebecers now state that they are Catholic and only a small proportion of those attend Sunday Mass.  It has an abortion rate of 48% (pretty close to half of all pregnancies are aborted). The "silent revolution" took people away from institutional faith and the result is a province that is openly hostile to the Church.

It is important to remember that Canada's ruling party, for the most part, has been the Liberal party. And the majority of leaders of the Liberal Party have been Catholics from the province of Quebec. What does this portend for Canada as a whole on the issue of religion and state, religious freedom, upholding of the traditional values that were the underpinnings of this country?

I keep telling my husband (ad nauseum) that our archbishop here is a product of Quebec and, to understand him, you have to keep in mind that he has spent his entire life growing up in a province that is increasingly anti-Catholic, a province that has been making concessions all along to the secular government and is abandoning any Catholic/Christian roots. Our bishop's thinking is bound to be formed by those 60 years, the majority of his life. It should come as no surprise that he doesn't understand those Catholics who think that inviting a "Catholic" abortion-supporting politician to speak at the annual Archbishop's dinner is beyond problematic. It is a disgrace.

I am re-reading the book Catholics Against the Church, a history of the pro-life movement in Toronto in the years 1969-1985. I think it is the doctoral thesis of Michael Cuneo. A second reading brings things out much more clearly: the roots of the antipathy between pro-life Catholics and their bishops, the reluctance of the Catholic Church to be vocal on the pro-life issue (unlike the American church that has many outspoken advocates amongst the clergy). And always there is the thread running through the history of abortion in Canada:  that it was Catholics with political power who made abortion legal in this country.

The  more I read, the less sure I am of where the answers lie. How do we motivate our pastors and bishops to speak out on injustice?  how do we engage them in the "public square" when they firmly believe that they shouldn't be there in the first place?  How can we make advances in key areas, such as abortion politics and the drive towards legalizing euthanasia when our clergy have been advised decades ago to keep clear of all that controversial stuff?  When people like Cardinal Carter of Toronto set the tone by meeting privately with Prime Minister Trudeau, a meeting in which he gave Trudeau his support for the new Charter of Rights and in which he got in return the continued funding of Catholic schools in Ontario. Although this cannot be proven definitively, it certainly looks as if that is the way it went and there were definitely collusions between Liberal politicians and Church hierarchy at the time. 

I have always suspected that our clergy have been closet Liberals, and some (heaven forbid are NDP), but there is some solid evidence there for that suspicion. There is a shroud of compromise and shady deals that has covered the Canadian Catholic Church for a long time.  How do we tear that shroud away?  Or will it simply take a brand new generation of priests to accomplish that?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Appeal from Africa to the Synod

An incredible appeal made to the cardinals and bishops attending the Synod and of course to Pope Francis. 


Our heart-felt appeal for Gospel values to be upheld is indeed a cry for survival of our people. Because in this year alone many African nations and leaders have been terrorised and threatened by powerful and well funded homosexual lobbying groups who have tried to bend us or break us into acceptance of their lifestyle. We have seen humanitarian aid withdrawn by Western nations at the insistence of these totalitarian groups. We have seen a new brand of "comprehensive sexuality education" targeted at our African children. We have suffered the scourge of abortion lobbyists from the West. We have been forced to welcome extremely rich western philanthropists bearing the unwanted "gift" of contraception.   -  

Obianuju Ekeocha