Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Elsewhere online, I encountered the assertion that we should wash off today's ashes before we appear in public. The reason given is that Jesus counseled us that when we fast, we shouldn't go around moping and otherwise showing off that we're oh-so-holy.

Yes, there's always the danger to our souls of pridefully glorying in our observance of the day. But the startling sight of ashes on our foreheads also show those around us that observant Catholics live among them, and that we humbly acknowledge that we're in need of repentance. In this secular age, I'd say that the good that can flow from this is worth risking what could, without diligence, be an occasion of sin. Since the Catholic faith is hardly a popular thing in American society, or perhaps I should say in the society in which most urban Catholics find themselves, it's more likely that we'd be derided for holding on to our superstitious beliefs, than praised for fasting and wearing sackcloth.

So I say: wear those ashes so the world can see them — and be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in you.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict resigns

This graphic, from, pretty much sums up my thoughts:

Monday, February 04, 2013

A rallying point in KC

Praise for Bishop Finn's action to rein in the notoriously dissident National Catholic Reporter from Michael Voris at

There remains virtually no area of Church teaching that the heterodox gang at the "Distorter" [MV's apt sobriquet for NCR] hasn’t—well—distorted. A rundown of their regular contributors should give plenty of evidence as to their extraordinarily NON-Catholic slant. 
Fr. Richard McBrien, for example—a man so delusional about what Catholicism is that when he wrote his book Catholicism—which he still, by the way, uses to teach from at Notre Dame—the U.S. Bishops condemned it. And that was years ago. 
Imagine: being so liberal that the US Bishops’ Conference actually condemns your work! Heck, that honor is almost exclusively reserved for orthodox faithful Catholics. So you know McBrien’s opus had to be really rotten. 
Then there is the pro-gay, never-met-a-Church-teaching-on-sexual-morality-she-wouldn’t-throw-overboard Sister Joan Chittister, a radical feminist who suffers from an obvious case of Pope Envy. As in, she wants to be Pope. 
The list of sad stories of shipwrecked faith goes on and on over at the Distorter, and for years—decades actually—they have used their incredibly shrinking newspaper as a sounding board for every personal grievance imaginable. All under the banner of "social justice" and the "New Church" and "Power to the People" kind of sloganeering. 
In reality, they really are little else than the dying embers of failed liberalism, but who still have a nasty and poison tongue which they turn against good bishops, faithful laity and the Church in general when She professes immutable dogmatic truths.

Friday, February 01, 2013

National Non-Catholic Reporter

Bishop Finn has dropped the hammer on that perennially ugly dissident publication, the National Catholic Reporter (not to be confused with the estimable National Catholic Register, which is now owned by EWTN). He has publicly told the magazine's editors to stop advertising and characterizing the Reporter as a Catholic periodical, reiterating an order issued by the late Bishop Helmsing of the same diocese forty-five years ago—which, true to form, the Reporter has ignored for the same forty-five years.

This story gives a summary with extensive quotations; see the full essay by Bishop Finn here.

Oh, and naturally he's been the target of vicious personal attacks as a result. Pray for him. And also for the long-deceived (and deceiving) editors, staff, and writers at the Reporter—they need prayer too, although for far different reasons than Bishop Finn.

By the way, you might check to see if your parish offices subscribe to the Reporter. If so, a request to stop spending parish money on a non-Catholic periodical might be in order...