The Power of the Green Scapular!


By Fr. Richard Heilman, Roman Catholic Man:

I knew someone who was dating a girl he really loved. But, she was not at all interested in his faith. She thought religion was a sham. He didn’t know what to do, especially if he decided to marry her. He very much wanted a devout Catholic family. And, there seemed to be nothing he could say to open her heart to God.

I went over to a very special case I have and opened it up. Part of the case’s contents was a few Green Scapulars I had touched to over 160 first class relics of saints. I gave him one and explained he should hide it in a place she spends a lot of time in … chair, bed, car, etc.

He decided to tape it under her car.

It was almost immediately that he noticed a change in her. She became more inquisitive about his faith and more open to the possibility of this faith for her.

Then, one day, she found the scapular taped under her car. She figured it was him and, when she asked, he admitted placing it there, and explained it’s significance.

Instead of getting mad at him, she saw it as a thoughtful gesture.

She started carrying the scapular in her pocket at all times. And, most important, she started going to church with him.

Green Scapular Power … Just sayin’

Read about the Green Scapular HERE.

The Dangers of Attacking the Validity of the Novus Ordo

Courageous Priest Note.  Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke is a “say the black and do the red” kind of priest.  This article is not about which form of the rite is better.  The abuses occurring during  Novus Ordo Masses are well-documented.  What Father makes clear is that the abuses are the fault of the priest.  They do not affect the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass.  The two issues must be separated.  Abuses do not change the validity of the Mass.  It perfectly acceptable to hate the abuses occurring.  It is even fine to have a strong distaste for the Novus Ordo.   Let’s remember, Rome has spoken.  Let us consider someone who attacks the Novus Ordo Mass so successfully that someone decides not to attend Mass.  Who’s culpable?  In all things charity.  Personally, I love the Extraordinary Form and drive many miles to attend a faithful one.  I detest the abuses and irreverence which can (and do) occur in the Novus Ordo, but that does not change whether the Mass is valid or not.  Charitable discussion is encouraged.

By Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke:

Unwarranted criticism of the ‘Novus Ordo’: “Instead of incurring sin to ourselves through such unwarranted and ignorant criticism of a valid liturgical Rite, we can quietly begin to attend the Mass in any of the other Rites that are in communion with Rome…” unless, of course, we think that the other Rites too are defective. Let us focus on living our faith.

Someone recently posted: “The Novus Ordo is feminized. It represents divergent spiritual expression and theology; it avoids homilies on hard teaching, and teaches the primacy of conscience over a well defined set of rules for our conduct. The Novus Ordo represents the subjective and shifting sand”. It is wrong to define a liturgical Rite on the basis of defects encountered among individual priests and members of a congregation. A Rite represents a church tradition about how the sacraments are to be celebrated. There are about 20 liturgical Rites present in the Church today. Of these, the ordinary form of the Latin Rite, despicably referred to as the Novus Ordo by some people, has been the target of unremitting negative attacks. The way the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered in the ‘Novus Ordo” is stipulated in the Roman Missal. What is to be said by the priest is printed in black and what he is to do is printed in red. If the rubric were followed, as stipulated, the ‘Novus Ordo’ mass would be reverential as it is meant to be.

When a priest offers the Mass in a distracted manner, then that is his personal fault that has nothing to do with the Rite. If a priest were to add words and make gestures that are not in accord with the laid-down rubrics, then that is his fault. If a priest were to preach uninspiring homilies at Mass, then that is a personal problem that has nothing to do with the Rite. If the congregation were irreverent at Mass, then that is their fault for there is no place where the Church officially stipulates that the Mass be participated in irreverently. If anyone thinks otherwise let him or her present the document.

It is about time we stopped conflating individual defects with a perfect liturgical Rite into a liturgical entity despicably referred to as Novus Ordo. Instead of incurring sin to ourselves through such unwarranted and ignorant criticism of a valid liturgical Rite, we can quietly begin to attend the Mass in any of the other Rites that are in communion with Rome…unless, of course, we think that the other Rites too are defective. Let us focus on living our faith.

Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke

The Cure for Spiritual Cancer

By Fr. Daniel Doctor:

As a priest, one of my roles is to be a spiritual physician.  So, when those sick from sin and evil and its effects can come to the sacrament of confession, they can be relieved of them. The priest plays a vital role in our spiritual lives because he can diagnose the root cause of these spiritual illnesses that a soul can suffer from and can offer relief. As a priest in many different parishes throughout our diocese, but also looking at the America Catholic Church at large, my diagnosis as a spiritual physician is that our world, our culture, and in some cases even our Church, is suffering from a form of spiritual cancer.  This form of spiritual cancer is unlike anything we physicians have seen before.  This form of spiritual cancer metastasizes at a very fast rate and affects everything that it comes in contact with.  It even seems, at times, that no solution or remedy… that no matter the spiritual practice, penance, or acquired virtues we develop, seem to be able to weaken its hold on us or even slow its rate of growth once it takes hold.

When we look back over the great Traditions of our Catholic Church, the great craft Our Lord has given to us priests to wield brings about our own personal holiness and our neighbor’s as well.  This craft, this art, these skills which have been passed down to us by all those great saints, great spiritual physicians of old, we come to an understanding that our spiritual lives are not based on our feelings or ruled by our emotions.  As a physician, I can’t offer cures that don’t work, or just based on how I feel today. My priestly action to help Our Lord cure or relieve the sufferings of others or the effects caused by sin is based on a rational science taught for over 2000 years.  It is called the Science of the Saints and this Science offers a cure for the evils and sinfulness we see in the world and in our own lives.

According to these great Saints, the only known cure for this kind of spiritual cancer that is affecting our lives and our world is Eucharistic Adoration.  When you come before our Lord in
Adoration, Our Lord’s mercy and love radiate the spiritual cancer within us (that is, the sin and evil and its harmful effects.)  And if we spend enough time in His presence, it radiates to the cellular level. As St. Paul taught “the wages of sin is death” and death is at work within those who live in sin. Our Lord, on the other hand, replaces the damage done by sin and evil at the deepest level within us, with His very presence transforming death into life.

We priests offer no other cure than the Divine Physician Himself! Who wants to penetrate our very selves at the deepest level with His most gracious and incredible Love, at the very level of
our cells if you will.

Therefore, God begins to do His work in us:  healing us, transforming us, helping us to be Holy, to be like Him.  And as the cure works its course throughout us, we begin to be created anew, transformed into His very self.  The cure for all the spiritual cancers and evils in our world is Jesus Christ and His wonderful presence in the Blessed Sacrament.  Remember the words of our Lord, “Go and learn these words; I desire mercy not sacrifice,” and that Our Lord came to “call sinners not the righteous.” So, have we gone and learned the meaning of these words? Do we put them into practice? We all need Eucharistic Adoration in our lives if we ever hope to make it safely into the harbor of Heaven.

If we admit, and rightfully so, that we have sinned and are now infected or affected by those sins, we need the cure that radiates from the Heart of our Savior in the Holy Eucharist. To
overcome being sick from the effects of our former way of life, we need a nurse to bring us all the way back to health. This nurse, God also provides in the healing and loving help we receive from the Mother of God, most especially from her Rosary.

You see, my brothers and sisters, the Rosary has two very important effects in those who pray it.  First, it is a formidable weapon (!!) against any further infection from sin.  It is a defense weapon against evil and its effects. Secondly, it teaches us the moral virtues, by reflecting on the mysteries.  It is an offense weapon, offering to us a sure way of attacking the sins we need to learn to overcome, so that we live in a way that we no longer commit them.

The Blessed Virgin, being both a good Mother and life-giving Nurse, not only wants us to heal and get well.  She does not wish any further or future damage to come to us. The greatest
way to avoid future evil is by developing the virtues, which Mary’s Rosary gives to those who pray it.  These the spiritual strengths and grace given to us by Our Lady help or fortify us against any future evil or its effects.

That’s why I love Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.  He personifies the very core of what the Science of the Saints teaches us.  At a very early age, he began sneaking out of his house very early in the morning to attend Mass. At the age of 7, he started Eucharistic Adoration giving an hour everyday and no one in his family knew.

His friends remarked of him, “you never saw him anywhere without his rosary in hand.” What an awesome thing to say of any Catholic! At the age of 14, he make his first Holy Communion and continued to received Our Lord every day until his death at the age of 24.  He once said he was so blessed that Christ came to him in Holy Communion everyday that he had to return that love in acts of charity.  When asked by his friends why he was always so happy, he responded, “How can I not be? I have Christ within me.”  When a friend retorted, “How can you be so sure?” He responded, “I receive Him everyday and he has never refused me His presence.”

As Giorgio grew older and had more control over his schedule, while he was at college studying mining engineering, he would love to spend all night in Adoration.  When asked what do you pray for he said, “I pray for all the youth of the world who are sinning” and for their conversion. At a very profound level Giorgio understood something we do not and it came to him in all those hours of Adoration, in all those countless rosaries, and bouquets of flowers he would bring to our Lady.  It was a love story and the love story was about how God came down to a soul, the soul of a little boy, and transformed him into a Saint.

Giorgio was an athlete, a world class skier and mountain climber, a social leader and a political activist of his time even getting arrested for his religious beliefs.  More than once he got into a fist fights to defend it.  He was a college student working on his advanced degrees in Engineering.  At his funeral Mass, over a thousand people from his hometown of Turin, Italy showed up.  Why?  Because of all those hours of love that he received from Our Lord and our Lady.  He could not contain it, he had to spread it around.   And so between all his social, political, and religious activities, as well as all his studies and family responsibilities, he still fed and took care of the health and physical needs of thousands of people. He would go into the poorest areas of Turin to care for their needs. Giorgio was one of the wealthiest Bachelors in all of Italy.  Yet no one knew, not his friends, not his family, all the secret works of charity and acts of devotion to Our Lord and His Mother that he performed.  But, even in all that he gave to poor, it is believed that he caught polio meningitis from them. Giorgio gave every ounce of himself to love others, even though in the end that is what killed him.

And now I think my spiritual best friend Giorgio looks at us with some pity, but with great encouragement.  As Pope Benedict said of him, “Giorgio shows us that holiness is possible for all of
us.”  Why? Because what he did to become holy and a saint is something all of us can do, all of us should do:  Eucharistic Adoration most especially at night and over night and praying the Rosary. That’s it, nothing less, nothing more.  Just those two simple things, done with great love and persevering devotion directed his life and can make us saints, too.  It did it to Giorgio and it can for you, too.  Because these two devotions, more than any others, can make us holy.

Blessed Pier Giorgio was “no pie in the sky” Saint.  He was quite practical and he had a vision of how we can and must help each other.  As he said, the great gift that we Christians have is the gift
of persuasion but we seldom use it. We don’t persuade others to be holy.  We rarely persuade others to Eucharistic Adoration or to pray the Rosary.  We have all these wonderful opportunities to help others become holy, if we would just persuaded them to do it.  When you take the time to read over the letters that Giorgio sent to his friends and that his friends sent to him, you can see the great influence he had on their holiness and their belief that they could become holy.  Because they could see it in him and he always encouraged and persuaded them to keep going to the top, to
keep climbing in their search to find and reach for God.

One of his closest friends once remarked, “He could convert you by making the sign of the cross.” Wow!! Simply making the sign of the cross could convert somebody!! How often we make it so
sloppily and without much thought, like we are swatting flies, and all the while we could be converting somebody by our actions, by our devotions done reverently. This is what I think, and what most people, especially the youth, find so attractive about Blessed Giorgio.  He is just like us, trying to make friends, trying to get though life, trying to get though college, and all the complexities of family and friends that go with it, and reaching – trying to get to heaven. But by some great miracle, that we all seem to miss, it was simply right in front of our face… all time.

As your priest and a spiritual physician, I hope I have persuaded you to take care of your spiritual health and to visit your spiritual physician often.  Also, I hope I have given you a guide to
better-improve your spiritual health. This is the power that the Communion of Saints have.  They teach us, reveal to us how to be holy, how to be friends of Christ, how to save our souls.  It is beyond words to express how important it is to read the lives of the Saints and realize what we can learn from them, beyond words to even describe the wonderful grace-filled effects that come to us from Eucharistic Adoration or praying the Rosary.  So fill your lives with them.

The Enemy is Satan

5 Easy Ways to Overcome Satan?

Fr. James Farfaglia, Fr. James Homilies:

Chapter Thirteen of Saint Mathew’s Gospel is comprised of seven different parables.  Jesus taught the seven parables on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, sometimes called Lake Gennesaret or Lake Tiberius.

“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.  When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well” (Matthew 13: 24 – 25).

The enemy that Jesus is talking about is Satan.

The Bible tells us who he is.  In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says: “I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10: 18).  In the Gospel of John, Jesus calls Satan the father of lies (John 8: 44).

Saint Peter exhorts: “Stay sober and alert.  Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, solid in your faith” (1 Peter 5: 8 – 9).

Turning to the Catechism of the Catholic Church we find these words: “The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite.  He is only a creature.  He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign.  Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries – of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature – to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history.  It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but we know that in everything God works for Good with those who love him” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 395).


Pope Paul VI (1963 – 1978), who was widely ridiculed when he warned that the smoke of Satan had entered through the cracks of the Church, said at a 1972 Wednesday General Audience: “So we know that this dark disturbing being exists and that he is still at work with his treacherous cunning; he is the hidden enemy who sows errors and misfortunes in human history. It is worth recalling the revealing Gospel parable of the good seed and the cockle, for it synthesizes and explains the lack of logic that seems to preside over our contradictory experiences:   ‘An enemy has done this.’ He is ‘a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies,’ as Christ defines him.

He undermines man’s moral equilibrium with his sophistry. He is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities. He can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations.”

Satan has convinced the world that he does not exist.  He has lied to the world that there is no sin.  He continues to dupe everyone into believing that everyone is going to Heaven.  Satan is not only the father of lies, he is a lie.  When dealing with Satan, we deal with chaos and pure evil.

Satan has destroyed the modern world through sexual sin.

The murder of an unborn child is reproductive health.

Fornication is cohabitation.

Sodomy is gay.

We are engaged in a gigantic battle against evil.

What are the 5 weapons that we must use?

First of all, we must be completely convinced of the ultimate victory of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13: 43).   

We must persevere. Do not allow discouragement to overcome you.

Secondly, we must stay connected with Jesus.  Left to our own resources, our fallen human nature cannot resist evil.  Daily, structured and organized moments of prayer are essential if we are to survive.

As our physical immune system needs to be well nourished in order to resist disease, so too does our spiritual immune system need daily sustenance“The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8:26).   

Daily Mass, daily meditation on the Scriptures, daily recitation of the Rosary, frequent Confession and the solitude of Eucharistic adoration are the preferred moments that provide health and strength to anyone who desires to continue the good fight.

Thirdly, your family life needs to be strong.  Get back to basics: order, discipline, have dinner together, limit all the crazy activities, build up a healthy emotional life by building up a healthy social life.  If there is peace and happiness in your family life, it will be very difficult for Satan to attack your home.

Fourthly, be very, very careful about the use of the TV and the Internet.  Pornography is a very serious and common addiction.

Finally, get back to the regular use of the Sacrament of Confession.  This is your greatest weapon against Satan.  Don’t play with mortal sin.  Many people walk around with caked on mortal sin.  They never go to confession and they continue to receive Holy Communion every Sunday.  We must always remember Saint Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “In fact that is why many of you are weak and ill, and some of you have died” (1 Corinthians 11: 30).

When our Blessed Mother appeared to the three children of Fatima in 1917, they were allowed to see a vision of Hell.  Thousands of poor souls were falling into Hell, and our Blessed Mother told the children that more souls were being lost because of sexual sin than any other sin.

“An enemy has done this.”

Use these proven methods against the attack of Satan in order to gain the eternal salvation of your soul.  “Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Slight editing.

Bishop Paprocki Responds to Fr. Martin (with Video)

“Father Martin gets a lot Wrong in Those Tweets”

By Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, Catholic Times:

There has been quite a bit of consternation since I sent an internal communication to my clergy and staff last month that was unfortunately leaked to the public concerning my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” While the underlying doctrinal issues are not new, these norms were necessary to address situations in the pastoral context arising from the new reality in the law and in our culture, given that same-sex marriage is now recognized by legislative action and judicial decision as legal throughout the United States. This decree prohibits same-sex weddings to be performed by our diocesan personnel or to take place in Catholic facilities, restricts persons in such unions from receiving the sacraments or serving in a public liturgical role unless they have repented, and says that deceased persons who had lived openly in a same-sex marriage giving public scandal to the faithful are to be deprived of ecclesiastical funeral rites unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death.

There has been quite a bit of consternation since I sent an internal communication to my clergy and staff last month that was unfortunately leaked to the public concerning my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” While the underlying doctrinal issues are not new, these norms were necessary to address situations in the pastoral context arising from the new reality in the law and in our culture, given that same-sex marriage is now recognized by legislative action and judicial decision as legal throughout the United States. This decree prohibits same-sex weddings to be performed by our diocesan personnel or to take place in Catholic facilities, restricts persons in such unions from receiving the sacraments or serving in a public liturgical role unless they have repented, and says that deceased persons who had lived openly in a same-sex marriage giving public scandal to the faithful are to be deprived of ecclesiastical funeral rites unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death.

At the same time, the decree says that a child with a Catholic parent or parents living in a same-sex marriage may be baptized if there is a well-founded hope that he or she will be brought up in the Catholic faith and that such a child who is otherwise qualified and properly disposed may receive first Eucharist and the sacrament of confirmation. Moreover, the decree states that children living with persons in a same-sex marriage are not to be denied admission to Catholic schools and catechetical and formational programs on those grounds alone. However, parents and those who legally take the place of parents are to be advised that their children will be instructed according to the church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality in their fullness and they must agree to abide by the Family School Agreement.

In the decree I also remind all who exercise a ministry within the church that, while being clear and direct about what the church teaches, our pastoral ministry must always be respectful, compassionate and sensitive to all our brothers and sisters in faith, as was the ministry of Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd and our everlasting model for ministry. People with same-sex attraction are welcome in our parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois as we repent our sins and pray for God to keep us in his grace.

All of this is totally consistent with Catholic teaching about the sacraments and the understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman that has prevailed for millennia in all of society, not just in the church. The fact that there would be such an outcry against this decree is quite astounding and shows how strong the LGBT lobby is both in the secular world as well as within the church. People have been quick to quote the famous in-flight statement of Pope Francis in 2013 when he said, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?” But the pope quickly added, “The problem is not having this [homosexual] tendency, no, we must be brothers and sisters to one another, and there is this one and there is that one. The problem is in making a lobby of this tendency: a lobby of misers, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of masons, so many lobbies. For me, this is the greater problem.” So while we certainly leave the eternal judgment of one’s soul to God, we still must deal with objective realities here on earth and even Pope Francis recognized that the gay lobby is a great problem.

Critics have been urging me to rescind my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” However, this decree is a rather straightforward application of existing Catholic doctrine and canon law to the new situation of legal marital status being granted in civil law to same-sex couples, which is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. All clergy before they are ordained take an Oath of Fidelity which includes the statement, “In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it. I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.” Pastors and bishops repeat this oath upon assuming their office to be exercised in the name of the church. Thus, deacons, priests and bishops cannot contradict church teachings or refuse to observe ecclesiastical laws without violating their oath, which is a promise made to God.

My Response to Fr. James Martin

Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest who lives in New York, posted my decree on Twitter and said in a series of tweets, “If bishops ban members of same-sex couples from funeral rites, they must also ban divorced and remarried Catholics without annulments … women who have children out of wedlock, members of straight couples living together before marriage, anyone using birth control … To focus only on LGBT people, even those in same-sex marriages, without a similar focus on the sexual or moral behavior of straight people is in the words of the Catechism a ‘sign of unjust discrimination.’” Father Martin gets a lot wrong in those tweets, since canon law prohibits ecclesiastical funeral rites only in cases of “manifest sinners” which gives “public scandal,” and something such as using birth control is a private matter that is usually not manifest or made

public. Moreover, my decree does not focus on “LGBT people,” but on so-called same-sex marriage, which is a public legal status. No one is ever denied the sacraments or Christian burial for simply having a homosexual orientation. Even someone who had entered into a same-sex “marriage” can receive the sacraments and be given ecclesiastical funeral rites if they repent and renounce their “marriage.”

Father Martin also misses the key phrase in the decree that ecclesiastical funeral rites are to be denied to persons in same-sex marriages “unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death.” This is a direct quote from canon 1184 of the Code of Canon Law, which is intended as a call to repentance. Jesus began his public ministry proclaiming the Gospel of God with these words: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). In other words, those living openly in same-sex marriage, like other manifest sinners who give public scandal, can receive ecclesiastical funeral rites if they gave some sign of repentance. This does not mean that unrepentant manifest sinners will simply be refused or turned away. Even in those cases where a public Mass of Christian Burial in church cannot be celebrated because the deceased person was unrepentant and there would be public scandal, the priest or deacon may conduct a private funeral service, for example, at the funeral home.

Father Martin’s tweets do raise an important point with regard to other situations of grave sin and the reception of Holy Communion. He is right that the Church’s teaching does not apply only to people in same-sex marriages. According to canon 916, all those who are “conscious of grave sin” are not to receive Holy Communion without previous sacramental confession. This is normally not a question of denying Holy Communion, but of people themselves refraining from Holy Communion if they are “conscious of grave sin.” While no one can know one’s subjective sinfulness before God, the Church can and must teach about the objective realities of grave sin. Speaking objectively, then, one can say the following:

Those who have sexual relations outside of a valid marriage, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives. This includes the divorced and remarried without an annulment. An exception would be where the couple agrees to live as brother and sister, as long as there is no public scandal. Similarly, if there is no public scandal, two men who live chastely with each other as friends or as brother and brother, or two women who live chastely with each other as friends or as sister and sister, may receive Holy Communion if there is no public scandal.

Those who have had an abortion or have assisted in performing or procuring an abortion should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives.

Those politicians and judges who helped to make same-sex marriage legal and who aid and abet abortion, for example, by voting for taxpayer funding for abortion, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives.

Those who use artificial contraception should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives.

Those who miss Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, unless it would be impossible due to a grave cause such as serious illness, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives.

These are just a few examples, but in fact all those who are conscious of any grave sin should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives. Those who do receive Holy Communion while conscious of grave sin compound the moral offense by committing the sin of sacrilege.

My recent decree did not address all these various other situations because they have long been part of Church teaching. The decree was needed to add the novel concept of same-sex “marriage” to those instances considered to be objectively grave sins.

The truths of the faith revealed by our Lord in Scripture and Tradition are not always easy to accept, especially in a world that seeks to make all truth subjective. The fact is that some truths are objective and unalterable. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). There is no greater happiness than to see God. Saint Paul reminds us that we are all in need of daily conversion in that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).” Let us pray for each other, that each of us may come to an ever deeper understanding of God’s call to discipleship in our lives, the same God who “wills everyone to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2: 4).

May God give us this grace. Amen.

Blessed are You When . . .

By Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke:

Blessed are you when people exclude you for the love of Christ: “We should not give in to the fear, anger and frustration generated by the experience of everyone turning against us. We stay faithful to Christ and resist the temptation to compromise so as to regain the friendship of those that shun us.”

Blessed are you when peopleA young Catholic lady, who apparently is beginning to take her faith seriously, recently complained that people about her age always seem to lose interest in being her friend and quit talking to her for no reason. She confessed to being left confused, hurt and disappointed. This is nothing new, and every sincere disciple goes through a similar experience. We console ourselves with the words of our Divine Master, Christ Jesus: “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven (Luke 6:22-23). We should not give in to the fear, anger and frustration generated by the experience of everyone turning against us.

We stay faithful to Christ and resist the temptation to compromise so as to regain the friendship of those that shun us. In the time of our isolation, we meditate as frequently as possible on the passion of the Lord; we pray the Rosary, read the lives of the saints, study the Catechism, and receive the sacraments. With time and prayers, the Holy Spirit will fill us up and we will never feel lonely again. We gradually transit from loneliness to solitude, in which we begin to enjoy being alone with Christ. Meanwhile, our detractors are closely watching, and when they observe that being excluded is not producing the desired misery in us, they suddenly come back to us. But do not be flattered and fall for this trap. All they desire is to disrupt our relationship with Christ.

The truth is that there can never be a sincere relationship between one, who totally embraces Christ, and one who does not. A sheep is a sheep and a goat is a goat. Meanwhile we prayerfully seek out spiritually empowering friendships with fellow Christian pilgrims, as we continue to pray for the salvation of all people for that is the will of God.

Liberal Catholics Who Think it’s Smart to be “Cafeteria Catholics”

“They’re Hypocrites and Usually They are not only Hypocrites but Heretics.”

By Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on My Head:

The attack on hypocrites in religion typically focuses on the uptight, self righteous conservative Catholic who judges others while they themselves are guilty of the same sin.

You know the schtick: “Mildred is always saying what terrible sinners young people are for sleeping around, but it turns out she’s been having sex with her neighbor’s husband!”

or “Those Catholics are such hypocrites. They’re always talking about helping the poor, but they’re sitting pretty in their big houses and driving their posh cars.”

The first thing to observe is that every Christian is a hypocrite to a certain extent simply because we uphold a moral standard that is impossible to achieve until we have become saints. In other words, we fail. We stumble and fall. Furthermore, we cover up our failures and we hide our shame.

So we’re all hypocrites. My hand is up. I’m a hypocrite. You’re a hypocrite. If we are not yet saints, then we are still a work in progress and we must admit that we stand for a heroic standard of behavior that we are still trying to attain.

What nobody ever talks about, however, are the particularly Catholic form of hypocrites which are paraded in front of us all the time with absolutely no shame. In fact these hypocrites wear their lying, two faced hypocrisy on their sleeve and seem to be proud of it.

I’m talking about liberal Catholics who think it’s smart to be “cafeteria Catholics”.

Politicians like Nancy Pelosi who hold their head high and brag about being “devout Catholics” while they support Planned Parenthood are the most blatant hypocrites imaginable, but who calls them on it?

Joe Biden flashes that fake smile of his and assumes his mock sincerity and talks in hushed tones about his “deep Catholic faith” while supporting same sex “marriage”? The two faced, lying hypocrite! That’s not what the Catholic Church teaches and furthermore, he knows it and still wears his Catholic hypocrisy on his sleeve like some sort of badge.

Instead the establishment figures like too many of our bishops smile and ingratiate themselves with these people of power. If they wear their Catholic hypocrisy in public they should be called on it in public. Their pastors should speak out publicly and correct their lying hypocrisy and call it what it is and say, “Nobody likes a hypocrite and I’m sorry Ms. Pelosi, but I need to correct your understanding of Catholicism.  You can’t make up your own version of our faith.”

I’m not done. The same snakes are in the field of journalism.

On various websites and papers “Catholic” writers discuss “spirituality” in reverent tones and say how much they love the church while they support abortion, same sex marriage, women’s ordination and the whole progressive agenda. They’re hypocrites. As Pope Francis has pointed out, a Cafeteria Catholic is not a Catholic. They say they believe one thing–the Catholic faith–but they publicly and formally renounce the Catholic Church’s teachings and they think they’re just fine in doing so.

It gets worse. The real snakes in the grass are the liberal hypocritical priests and bishops. You know there’s a sort of media darling priest who smiles and writes clever books and goes on TV to give seemingly sage spiritual advice who then turns around and supports the LGBT agenda.

Only these priests are cagey. They know how the church works. They pose their points as “compassionate questions” and “observations” They are very smart and  know how to walk the tightrope–never going too far, but all the time undermining true Catholic teaching with their talk about “listening” and “dialogue” and “acceptance” and “accompanying”.

They’re hypocrites, and the worst kind of hypocrites because they assume the outward form of being good, faithful and true Catholics better than anybody else.

They’re not true and they’re not faithful. They’re wolves in shepherd’s clothing and Our Lord spoke clearly about the rustler who comes in to the sheepfold to rob and kill.

It’s time to blow the whistle on these hypocrites and call them what they are.

But do you know what will happen if you do?

They’ll play the passive aggressive game. If you blow the whistle and declare that the emperor is naked they’ll come over all offended and hurt.

They’ll put out their bottom lip and assume the spanked puppy dog look and say, “How could you be sooo judgmental and harsh? How could you be so unaccepting?”

They’ll sneak back in with their serpentine smiles and say, “Come, let’s be friends! Let’s forgive one another! Let’s talk. We need to listen to one another more!” Which means “You listen to me. I’m going to filibuster this debate until you give in. I’m going to talk and talk and use false logic and human reasoning and emotional blackmail and spiritual bullying until I wear you down and you change your mind.”

Don’t be taken in by them. They’re hypocrites and usually they are not only hypocrites but heretics. They divide and destroy Christ’s church and imperil souls.

Here endeth the rant.

Who Knew? A Courageous Canadian Bishop.

A Pro-Life Letter by Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland,P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
[email protected] 
[email protected] 

Dear Minister,

Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI

Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI

I am writing to express profound concern with your speech on Canadian Foreign Policy, which you gave in the House of Commons on Tuesday 6 June 2017, and on which Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau further elaborated on 9 June. In it, you equated women’s rights with the right to abortion and “sexual reproductive rights” and said “[t]hese rights are at the core of Canadian foreign policy.” You went on to say that these were also human rights and that they would set Canada’s current and future foreign policy agenda. While the Catholic Bishops of Canada share your concern for advancing the respect and dignity of women – an issue to which the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholics give great importance – we feel the need to point out, with all due respect, that your statement above is erroneous, confusing, and misguided.

First, to state that abortion, inter alia, is “at the core” of Canadian foreign policy is simply not the case. There is no precedent to support such a claim in fact. Indeed, you yourself offered many examples in your speech of a tradition of Canadian foreign policy marked by the goals of international peace, just order, free trade, foreign aid and global stability. There are, of course, many women’s issues that actually ought to have been raised as legitimate points of international engagement, but these were passed over in silence. They include Canada’s economic partnerships with countries in which female infants are murdered for not being male; those in which women earn less than men for the same job or where they do not enjoy the same privileges under the law, including the right to education or protection from rape, physical violence, and other forms of abuse. Canadians recognize these as grave violations of human rights – indeed, as heinous crimes in certain instances – far more readily and unanimously than opposition to abortion and artificial contraception. If we add to all of the above the fact that abortion and certain kinds of contraceptive technologies carry profound risks for women, including psychological and emotional harm, sterility, and even death itself, it is difficult to comprehend how the policy agenda you have advanced truly represents the interests of women, particularly those that are already at risk.

Second, to state that abortion, inter alia, is a Canadian value, is also incorrect in principle. How could such a statement be made in Parliament when the Supreme Court of Canada itself held in R. v Morgentaler (1988) that there was no constitutional basis in the Charter for the right to abortion on demand? An examination of the ruling by former PEI Supreme Court Justice Gerard Mitchell in his 2014 letter published in Charlottetown’s newspaper The Guardian pointed out, contrary to the popular belief, that in actual fact all seven judges of the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn! 1

The attempt to insinuate abortion advocacy in Canadian foreign policy, predicating it on a very particular understanding of feminism, also runs against the thrust of your overall argument. It contradicts the very idea, as you yourself stated, that “it is clearly not our role to impose our values around the world. No one appointed us the world’s policemen.” Such a desire cannot be easily reconciled with the rationale you offered for Canada’s pursuit of a two-year term on the UN Security Council, namely our “wish to be heard” and to “lead” by imparting our “broadly held national values” on others. What ever happened to Canada’s longstanding tradition of respect for cultures, values, and histories, including different religious and moral traditions? What happened to the acute understanding that in confronting global challenges listening is just as important as being heard? How is this consequent to your own words that “the path we choose must be one that serves the interests of all Canadians and upholds our broadly held national values”? More specifically, with respect to a foreign policy based on abortion advocacy and “sexual reproductive rights,” has Canada forgotten that for a considerable population (both within Canada and abroad) the unborn child is regarded as a human being created by God and worthy of life and love? This moral position can be found among Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Orthodox Christians, a number of Protestant Christians, Roman and Eastern Catholics, in addition to many other people of good will, including non-believers. We question whether it was wise or responsible to claim abortion advocacy and “sexual reproductive rights” as the core of Canadian foreign policy – as national values with which to enlighten others – knowing full well that they are not only legally contentious but completely contrary to the deeply held convictions of many both within and beyond Canada’s borders.

In these uncertain times, when Canada’s voice and leadership do matter on everything from climate change to global peace, political ideology cannot be allowed to dictate foreign policy and to override common sense and our humanitarian responsibilities to those in dire need. We saw this last March when the Prime Minister used his personal commitment to feminism to justify a public pledge of $650-million to facilitate abortion advocacy and sexual reproductive rights on a global scale. This amount contrasts sharply with his government’s response to the severe food shortages in South Sudan, Yemen, northeast Nigeria and Somalia, for which it had only pledged $119.25-million – a difference of $530.75-million. The UN, meanwhile, was already calling the situation in these regions the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, with 20 million people at risk of starvation. Should this unfolding disaster not have prompted the Prime Minister to prioritize relief and aid over politicking at the lavish expense of hardworking taxpayers in Canada? Unfortunately, even the Government’s recent announcement to match 1 “Clarifying facts on Canada’s abortion law, or lack of” private donations 1:1 is too modest in light of what is really needed and of what Canada is capable of delivering both in terms of humanitarian aid and example.

The Catholic Bishops of Canada would agree with your statement that “seventy years ago Canada played a pivotal role in forming the postwar international order.” There can be no question that a new century presents us with new challenges and that the “unique experience, expertise, geography, diversity, and values” gleaned in recent times can help us in confronting them. But whatever our efforts, they will be deeply compromised if we neglect the obvious reality that moral traditions shape people’s perspectives, that perspectives therefore differ, and that it is not a failure of the other person if her or his views do not map onto your understanding of “Canadian values.” The idea that everyone can somehow just agree that abortion and contraception are universal human rights is neither convincing nor credible. Indeed, even here at home, where we live side by side with peoples of so many different backgrounds, moral and religious traditions, the belief that there is universal agreement on a single set of Canadian values is itself contrived.

If Canada’s foreign policy needs a stable ground it cannot possibly be abortion advocacy and “sexual reproductive rights.” And if the dignity of women is to have a universal moral foundation it cannot be based on principles that override the rights of the unborn child.

Douglas Crosby
(Most Rev.) Douglas Crosby, OMI
Bishop Of Hamilton and
President of the Canadian Conference
Of Catholic Bishops