I mentioned the letter I sent to the Bishop of Worcester Mass. concerning my visit to Anna Maria College and the letter I received in response from Anna Maria’s president Jack P. Calareso.

I stated that I would hold off putting up my letter until I talked to him to get permission to put his response up. I’m pleased to say that he has not only given that permission AND said he would welcome questions or comments from readers about the college AND referred me to specific posts at his blog , AND sent me a copy of an article of his from the Catholic Free Press.

Anyway the letters are below the fold with a few comments after them… Continue reading “A tale of Two letters”

Via the corner and the Catholic key Archbishop Naumann bottom lines it:

I am also concerned personally for Governor Sebelius. Her appointment as Secretary for HHS places her in a position where she will have to make many decisions that will in all probability continue her personal involvement in promoting legalized abortion and her cooperation in this intrinsic evil.

I am also concerned that the appointment of Governor Sebelius places another Catholic supporting legalized abortion in a prominent national position. She joins Vice-President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and unfortunately a host of Catholic Senators and members of the House of Representatives who support legalized abortion contrary to the clear and consistent teaching of their Church. It saddens me that so many Catholics, to gain political advancement, have chosen to compromise their Catholic faith by their failure to defend the most fundamental of all human rights – the right to life.

I am reminded of the powerful scene in A Man for All Seasons, the play about the heroic Catholic English Martyr, St. Thomas More. After Richard Rich has perjured himself in order to make it possible to convict Thomas More of treason, the Judge asks Thomas More if he has any questions for the witness. Thomas More notes that Richard Rich is wearing a chain of office and asks what it signifies. He is told that Richard Rich has been appointed Attorney General for Wales. Thomas More then paraphrases the Gospel saying to Richard Rich: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul, but for Wales?”

This is where the rubber meets the road. The soul. If you are a Catholic Pol you have to decide if you actually believe in Catholicism or not. And if you do is your soul worth it? Ted Kennedy is near death. A knighthood won’t do him much good for much longer.

I may tweak these people with the ” …rest of your life after that it’s up to you” line. The Archbishop’s is actually trying to save their souls, to give the warning. May he succeed.

Update: The Curt Jester got there ahead of me.

The Curt Jester uses my favorite phrase in an article about another priest who needs a visit to his confessor:

The only reason to be Catholic is because it is true – that’s it.

He elaborates:

I just don’t understand what their ecclesiology can possibly mean other than just being a form of Catholic tribalism. If I believed what they believed of the Church I would denounce the Church as evil and would want no part of it. The Protestant so-called Reformers were at least honest in realizing their theology of the Church was quite at odds with the Church.

This is what drives me nuts about pseudo Catholics. When I sin I tend to know I’m sinning. It bothers me and my inability to conquer it is painful and embarrassing particularly when I’m trying to teach my kids. These guys along with people like Andrew simply re-define sin so they can have their sin without the guilt. I know I need confession, and I know I need the prayers of my fellow believers if I’m going to win the race. These guys are trying to convince themselves that they’ve already won. Madness.

But in the end it will be little comfort to me or anyone else if we all suffer the same fate. This is why we have lent to help us from that fate.

…but if you want to see a bunch of people decide to throw their souls away during lent, this is the way to do it:

pro-lifers hoped that the Obama Pro-Lifers might really oppose Obama’s pro-abortion policies. They dreamed that Doug Kmiec might actually do some good, by using Obama’s listening ear by convincing him to moderate his extremist abortion agenda.

This was sort of like figuring that China was going to be nicer if they got the Olympics or Buckley and Brooks assuring us the president is a moderate. Guess what:

The Obama Pro-Lifers’ letter has smashed any such hopes. They have declared full-scale war against Catholic and evangelical pro-life political activity. In its place they seek elevate themselves as the arbiters of their own Vichy Catholicism and liberal Christianity, which actually supports the specific goals of an abortion-loving government regime.

Doug Kmiec’s group is as much “Catholics United” as North Korea is a “Democratic People’s Republic”.

As they claim to be active Catholics and some are theologians they must know the three requirements for Mortal Sin. Grave Matter (Abortion), Understanding (They claim knowledge and faith), and Conscious decision (They put their names on the letter).

Hey I’m a sinner and I’m going to need to hit confession today myself in that spirit might I suggest that these people take advantage of the same sacrament. They have the rest of their lives to do it.

After that they’re on their own.

David Plotz blogged the entire bible and wrote a book on the experience. This column describes what he discovered:

Maybe it doesn’t make sense for most of us to read the whole Bible. After all, there are so many difficult, repellent, confusing, and boring passages. Why not skip them and cherry-pick the best bits? After spending a year with the good book, I’ve become a full-on Bible thumper. Everyone should read it—all of it! In fact, the less you believe, the more you should read.

He notices how much of our language and culture comes from it:

You can’t get through a chapter of the Bible, even in the most obscure book, without encountering a phrase, a name, a character, or an idea that has come down to us 3,000 years later. The Bible is the first source of everything from the smallest plot twists (the dummy David’s wife places in the bed to fool assassins) to the most fundamental ideas about morality (the Levitical prohibition of homosexuality that still shapes our politics, for example) to our grandest notions of law and justice. It was a joyful shock to me when I opened the Book of Amos and read the words that crowned Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Just as an exercise, I thought for a few minutes about the cultural markers in Daniel, a late, short, and not hugely important book. What footprints has it left on our world? First, Daniel is thrown in the “lions’ den” and King Belshazzar sees “the writing on the wall.” These are two metaphors we can’t live without. The “fiery furnace” that Daniel’s friends are tossed into is the inspiration for the Fiery Furnaces, a band I listen to. The king rolls a stone in front of the lions’ den, sealing in a holy man who won’t stay sealed—foreshadowing the stone rolled in front of the tomb of Jesus. Daniel inspired the novel The Book of Daniel and the TV show The Book of Daniel. It’s even a touchstone for one of my favorite good-bad movies, A Knight’s Tale. That movie’s villain belittles hero Heath Ledger by declaring, “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting”—which is what the writing on the wall told Belshazzar.

When you read the whole thing you find that it hasn’t helped his faith, mostly because he finds himself not wanting to believe in the God he finds but he does find that to have a solid base in the history of the west, you need to know what the Bible says.

And of course if you are a person of faith, you can’t understand that faith without scripture. It is scripture and tradition. We need to know both.

…apparently he forwarded it to the college president Jack P. Calareso who wrote me a letter that I received yesterday disputing my impression of the college.

You might remember I promised to post the letter I sent, I’m going to hold off a bit until I get permission to post the president’s response at the same time. As his letter was a private letter I’d rather not post it without consulting him first. That way you can get my opinion and his rebuttal at the same time and make up your own mind.

At least that is what the Anglican church of Canada states in it’s Lenten Reflection:

This not a story for people who need to think that Jesus always had it together, because it looks like we’ve caught him being mean to a lady because of her ethnicity. At first, he ignores her cries. Then he refuses to help her and compares her people to dogs.

But she challenges his prejudice.

The passage referred to is Matthew 14:22-27. Anglican Sazisdat is not happy:

Thus, Jesus was not God, made mistakes and had to be set straight. The reference to understanding his universality is undoubtedly an attempt to point out that, once the woman corrected him, Jesus came to the light as proscribed by 21st Century liberalism: inclusivity is all encompassing, paramount and – well, god.

This is an officially sanctioned document from the ACoC: it denies both Jesus’ divinity and the fact that he is sinless. The ACoC seems to be going out of its way to present itself as a non-Christian organisation; I think it has succeeded.

Damian Thompson has a theory:

Maybe someone has been on a “racism awareness course” and decided to redefine the divinity of Jesus in a way that flatters ethnic sensibilities. How very Anglican. How very Canadian.

And the most amazing thing is it makes the priest at the Rochester Institute of Technology Newman center entering Mass with a Mickey Mouse hat ,blessing a super-soaker and using it for distributing holy water seem orthodox.

UPDATE: The Anchoress notices the story.

Holy Smoke is not thrilled that Bishop Suspended Bishop Williamson is back in England:

This is a truly appalling man. I realised this last year, when – in a fruitless attempt to warn the Vatican what he was like – I commissioned a front-page exposé of his poisonous anti-Semitism in The Catholic Herald. Like most Holocaust deniers, Williamson has a soft spot for the Third Reich: that much is clear from his pathetic diatribe against The Sound of Music, of all films, for painting the German authorities in an unsympathetic light. He also thinks 9/11 was an inside job.

The SSPX has know for many years that one of its four bishops was a Far Right conspiracy theorist. It was irritated by him, it pushed him to the margins – but it allowed him to continue exercising episcopal ministry in the Society. That is a scandal that its leader, the arrogant Bishop Bernard Fellay, has never got round to addressing.

Williamson has done more to damage the conservative reforms of this pontificate than any other person alive. That is why the faces of Catholic liberals light up at the mention of his name. They are using the Williamson affair to sabotage Summorum Pontificum – with some success, it must be said. Catholic bishops in this country have employed this cheap tactic.

You have to be a really bad Nazi to get kicked out of Argentina but unfortunately England has always had its Lord Haw Haws.