Sinful Silence

The homily this morning, Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, stung me. The newly ordained priest is still full of the zeal. Fr. W has just returned from Rome where he visited the catacombs said to have been a one-time “home” to both St. Peter and St. Paul.

With gospel fire in his voice he asked us, “How is it that the Early Christians risked everything to evangelize, but we are unwilling to risk an arched eyebrow at the neighborhood BBQ. Social discomfort is the most a typical American or Canadian will experience when sharing the gospel, but we chicken out! What if martyrdom comes, my people? Who of us will be able to stand?”

It was a short homily.

He said, “There are 1.3 Billion Catholics on this planet. If only 10% spoke up, what a noise that would be! Do you hear it? DO YOU HEAR IT? Neither do I, my people. I hear silence. A sinful silence. If you have not stood up for your Catholic beliefs you have denied Christ–because you are His people, His voice. Ours is a sinful silence, my people. There really isn’t a need to say anything more.”

New entries at News Digest and Snapshots.

Abortion and Bishops

NOTE: SUMMER READING at Inside Catholic

BISHOPS Probed by US Gov.

In January 2008 the Richmond Virginia chapter of Catholic Charities
arranged for and transported a 15 year-old to an abortion facility.
(See Washington Times story below).

Some of you know have already written to me about Catholic Charities.
In the past I've written about Catholic Charities and the(deservedly!)
much criticized Campaign for Human Development. This one abortion is
likely to be one of many--it's simply that THIS is the one
that was discovered.

Catholics are called to be "good stewards."
 Increasingly, donations made to Catholic Charities and CHD
as well as other national charitable organizations are questionable
at best. Many of you are alumni of Catholic colleges whose
Catholicity is a memory only. Perhaps it is time that we
Catholics reconsider donations made
to such institutions.
Please consider sending a portion of your tithe monies and
donations to those groups (charitable, educational)that heroically
maintain a true CATHOLIC identity.

Some good choices are Women for Faith and Family (WFF),
Catholic Answers and Women's New Life Center.   WFF is laudable
for its fidelity.WFF publishes  Voices
And, I know you'll find that their website is a fantastic source of
information and inspiration. 

Catholic Answers is known to most Catholics. It is the
premier apologetics apostolate. Their straightforward and
tightly presented defense of the most difficult of doctrinal
teachings has helped many a convert and re-verts.  

Women's New Life Center struggles to offer services to women
in hurricane stricken New Orleans.  I've  had the pleasure of sharing
the podium with Susan Mire, the foundress of the Center.
She is a delightful young woman with a mission and that
gentle Southern manner.

AND, for Karen's groupies, the Women's New Life Center will host the
FIRST ANNUAL FAIS DO-DO this fall (That's a Cajun hoedown, folks!)
honoring the Jesuit Pro-Life Club.(For fun, check out my review
on A Cajun Christmas )

We want to keep in mind, too, that our local parishs or diocese may
have its  own worthy apostolate that needs your help.  

At every conference I am asked,
"What can I do? I'm just one person?" 

All of us make an enormous contribution to reconverting
the culture when we support truly Catholic endeavors. 

Keep the faith! 

Virginia law eyed in girl's abortionBishops alerted to U.S. probe

Washington Times
www.washtimes.com/news/2008/jun/18/virginia-law-eyed-in-girls-abortion

The CATHOLIC THING

A group of faithful and intelligent Catholics have launched a new website, The Catholic Thing. Some of these Catholic writers are known to me as mentors, friends and colleagues. I’m confident that all are worth your time–a most precious commodity (!)

Here you will find erudite commentary, informative news articles and inspiring faith.

ENJOY!

Also, here is a link to the newest issue of Canticle Magazine with many articles of interest.

Gay Agenda Gears Up for Election Season

Expect to see increased news coverage of gay-related events as we head into the election season.

Obama has pledged to prevent the marriage amendment. The gay lobby is anxious to convince voters that their lifestyle choice is normal, all American and only bigots would say other wise.

The Catholic left participates in this strategy. Here is an example from”Catholic” Boston College:

Boston College Hosts Panel Promoting Gay “Love Across Boundaries”

Manassas, VA – On Monday, June 16, Boston College hosted the annual Bloomsday Boston, which included a panel discussion entitled “Love Across Boundaries.” According to the advertisement for the event on Craigslist, “A highlight of the evening will be a conversation with notable Bostonians whose love lives extend across boundaries of all kinds.”

Highlighted panelists are Paul McLoughlin II, Assistant Dean, Harvard College and his partner Jason Shumaker, Asst. Director of Financial Aid, MIT.

According to the ad., “McLoughlin and Shumaker are an openly gay couple, who were featured in the cover article in the NYTimes magazine –Young Gay Rights, April 27, 2008, about the trend of gay men marrying in their 20s.”

The event was sponsored by a Boston-area cultural center in partnership with the Office of the Provost at Boston College. Boston College’s Bapst Art Library provided the venue for the panel.

* * *

See also Snap Shots of June 19th

Churches become mosques in Europe

Churches in Belgium are to be turned into mosques as Christian congregations decline while Muslims demand more places to worship.

Two generations of Europeans have steadily drifted from their Christian roots. This process has shaped a new secular and largely amoral leadership throughout Europe. Now, with churches standing empty–or turned into commercial enterprises–is it any surprise that cities are urging church owners to sell their sanctuaries to Muslims?

Hinge Moments in History

NOTE: Henry V & St. Crispin in SnapShots

Over the years I’ve read historians who surmise that our forebears rarely knew when they stood at the hinge of history–those key moments that made the turn for this or that direction for a people, a nation, an era.

I’m not so sure. In Shakespeare’s Henry V (see Snapshots) King Henry is portrayed as having known full well that he and his “band of brothers” stood athwart just such a moment in history.

The journals of Lewis and Clark indicate they understood that their efforts would have national and historic import.

In some lives of saints we glean that they too knew–even if for the moment hidden from view–that their sufferings and sacrifices tipped the world and history the right way…and we can surmise that where saints are lacking that events take an unholy turn.

We could list a dozen such moments and people…but what of us??

The prior post feature’s a comment about Europe and how Pope Benedict XVI sees this era in Church history. It is sobering. It seems to me he is calmly announcing that we are standing at a hinge moment.

We Americans are on a precipice. We are headed into an election cycle that could determine our history for a century to come.

Unless we muster saints-in-the making to actively combat the spectre of same-sex marriages, children raised and abused in polygamous camps, abortion, cloning , embryonic stem cell research–the whole horrific assault on the human family–we will have only ourselves to blame for the rapid plunge into gaping atheistic darkness.

We’ve had the fight bred out of us with mushy platitudes of political correctness, misquoted scripture and multicultural threats.

I appreciate the call to pray, and to pray more fervently. We must. But history is summoning us to active combat too.

When out children where in their early teens they had a Catholic version of THE WAY, a vernacular translation of the bible. For the most part this version is woefully insufficient. But For our purposes in this reflection let me quote from THE WAY ‘s translation of Exodus 14:

The Children of Israel have fled, Pharaoh is hot pursuit, and the people are wailing and moaning, crying out to God in despair. Moses yells out “Just stand where you are and watch…you won’t need to lift a finger!”

Then God corrects Moses, “Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward March!”

Get the people moving. That means YOU and ME, we must get people moving. It is much harder to regain ground you’ve lost (think abortion) than to hold the ground you have–ask any soldier. If we lose what is left of a Christian culture in this nation, the momentum of the slide becomes sucking vortex downward. It will be centuries before we can recover what we so callously refuse to defend now.

Speak out, speak up, speak everywhere. Wrote editors, call radio talk shows, email the TV talking heads, hold sessions at the water cooler…we must get moving.

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