When you look at the South Park situation, the reaction of comedy central and the sudden concern at offending religion that seems to pop up as long as that religion isn’t Christianity in general or Catholicism in particular, it tends to make the average Christian sick.

You have seen the Lord berated, your forms of worship mocked. You find yourself called every name in the book in movies and film, you endure the wrath of the mainstream media for your willingness to stand against sin and when like all men, you succumb to sin of any sort they pounce with glee.

For Catholics in particular, the religion that brought you hospitals, education of the non-noble classes, the preservation of some of the greatest knowledge of antiquity, t religion that feeds, clothes, and shelters more people worldwide than any other and has done so for centuries. The religion whose dedication to educating the poor is so great that even atheists donate to our schools. To see comedy central happily insult Christ and the Pope while bleeping out even the name of Islam’s prophet, its gotta be another twist of the knife.

But worse than that, it is a temptation. It comes from jealousy. It is a little voice that is saying: “Hey you know that Christ is worth defending, you see how the media and almost everyone in Hollywood cringe and bow all it takes is an ambiguous phase.” Just one little suggestion, you don’t even have to do anything, that sort of a “me too” thing, than maybe just maybe they will decide to leave you alone too. It’s not so bad, after all it will keep them from violating the second commandment, it will keep kids from getting the idea they can make fun of the Lord. Maybe even save a soul or two.”

It’s the same kind of voice that the kid who works at the local grocery store for minimum wage hears when he sees a neighbor who is dealing with a $500 iPhone. It’s the voice the girl working two jobs to pay student loan hears when she sees another working three days at the strip club or maybe turning a trick, with money in the bank.

But most important of all it’s the same kind of voice that whispered to Scott Roeder, telling him it was alright to murder.

That voice should not be unfamiliar to us. it whispered to Herod to remove the children who might be a threat to their rule, it told Peter that it was ok to deny Jesus to save his skin, that told Pilate that it was better to kill an innocent man than to risk rebellion and told Judas that he was doing the right thing to deliver Jesus to the High Priest.

For a Christian that is the real significance of the South Park incident. Not what has actually been done, Christ and the Church has been the subject of ridicule as long as there have been Christians, it is the attempt to tempt away from our church, our faith and our very identity.

What should our response be? Prayer for Parker and Stone, Prayer for the Islamic barbarians who want to kill them, and prayer for that same media that scorns us.

It is through that prayer that we will not only save ourselves and others because in the end that is the bottom line. It’s what’s at stake, if we look at it otherwise, then we commit the sin of pride. There is a reason why it leads the list of deadly sins. As Christ said:

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. John 15:18-23

This is the way things are, and we’d best act like it.

The Anchoress informs me of an incredible suggestion:

So here is my question for you. What if our bishops chose to do public penance? What if they lay prostrate or knelt in front of their cathedrals as penitents before each Mass on the weekend closest to the feast of St.Peter and Paul or on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or some other appropriate day or days? Or, even better, on the first Friday of every month for the next year starting with the feast of the Sacred Heart or Sts.Peter and Paul? And what if we, as their deacons, as an order in the Church, in all humility, not only called on our bishops to do public penance, but offered to join them in it?

To those who do not understand Catholicism this might not seem like much but within the Church it would be earth shattering, and the suggestion of inclusion of the laity is even better:

As a lay person, I would participate in this prostration, with my pope, my bishops and priests and all the rest. I would participate as a means of communicating to the victims that I have heard them and that I am united to them, angry for them and ashamed on their behalf, and also to express to the whole world that I too am a sinner, in need of mercy. I would prostrate myself as to express unity with the clergy and religious, that they are no more outside of redemption than the rest of us, that they are valued and their healing is as necessary to the Body of Christ as is the healing of the victims.

My participation would also demonstrate my intention to remain within this injured body, contributing to both its weakness and its strengths, because I know my redeemer lives, and that we all shall rise again.

Count me in.

It is available here a snippet:

I remain within, and love, the Catholic Church because it is a church that has lived and wrestled within the mystery of the shadow lands ever since an innocent man was arrested, sentenced and crucified, while the keeper of “the keys” denied him, and his first priests ran away. Through 2,000 imperfect — sometimes glorious, sometimes heinous — years, the church has contemplated and manifested the truth that dark and light, innocence and guilt, justice and injustice all share a kinship, one that waves back and forth like wind-stirred wheat in a field, churning toward something — as yet — unknowable.

The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. A small minority has sinned, gravely, against too many. Another minority has assisted or saved the lives of millions.

To say that the whole thing should be read is the understatement of the year. She has gotten interesting comments, about which she says:

Speaking of which, the comments at NPR are interesting and a little amusing, to me. Scorn is so incredibly simple and simplistic, and faith is so incredibly hard, and yet somehow the “world” thinks it’s the other way around – that my faith is simplistic and unthinking, but scornful kneejerkism is profound and deep.

But scornful or faithful she welcomes comments.

BTW you might note we have been very Catholic this week, even more than normal, well this is Holy week and if there was ever a time for religion to be first, this is it.

Funny you should ask via Fr. Z links to an article at the LOGIA that describes themselves as a quarterly journal of Lutheran theology in it John Stephenson looks at the attacks on the Pope and has this to say:

The secular press has had it in for Joseph Ratzinger for going on three decades. Before his election as Pope in the spring of 2005, he was routinely derided in his homeland as the Panzerkardinal (“tank cardinal”) and caricatured in North America as the “Enforcer” or even the “Rottweiler.” The roots of this negative reputation stretch back at least as far as the book-length interview he granted to the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori that catapulted him to global fame when published as The Ratzinger Report in 1985. Prior to that juncture, as a heavyweight German academic who had leapfrogged over a major episcopal see (Munich-Freising) to become a leading official in the Roman curia (as cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) under the still new John Paul II, Ratzinger’s was hardly a household name.

But shrewd observers must wonder about the startling disproportion between the enormous hue and cry artificially whipped up by the media and the softly spoken real life figure who seems always to have avoided hyperbole like the plague.

Let me reiterate that this is from a Lutheran journal. A denomination that refers to the Roman Catholic Church as, in the words of one Lutheran priest: “that institution that is rightly labeled as Antichrist in our Lutheran Confessions”. How bad must things be if the media has these guys defending the Pope? They have their own issues, big ones, yet they have at least eyes enough to see this for what it is. Here is the big finish:

As Easter of 2010 approaches, though, if for no other reason than that we remember Martin Niemöller’s post-war regret at not having spoken up for the Jews in due season, we might fitly major in sympathy, understanding, and prayer for the courteous and learned aged prelate who is right now a walking target for innumerable hellish darts launched by theological Modernists and by the unbelieving world that have between them zero tolerance for any crisp, clear, and confident confession of Christ Jesus our Incarnate God.

If any protestant church proclaiming Christ thinks that the media is their friend their errors are more than simply theological.

Exit question for professed Christians: Do you think it is an accident that the Roman Catholic Church is primary target of the secular media? And if it is not what does that say about the Church as opposed to other denominations that do not seem so worthy of their scorn?

Although I have and will continue to hit back at those maliciously attacking the Church in General and the Pope in particular, none of this changes our obligation to pray for these people and to keep them in our prayers.

If we fail to do so, we fail as Christians in general and Catholics in particular

…to my knowledge they still haven’t read the links I suggested. Pat again hit them on the Milwaukee Case, but thanks to The Hermemeutic of Continuity we have yet another good link to offer them.

It is too good to simply quote, they and you should read the whole thing.

It’s as if his pastoral letter when he said this:

6. To the victims of abuse and their families:
You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated. Many of you found that, when you were courageous enough to speak of what happened to you, no one would listen. Those of you who were abused in residential institutions must have felt that there was no escape from your sufferings. It is understandable that you find it hard to forgive or be reconciled with the Church. In her name, I openly express the shame and remorse that we all feel. At the same time, I ask you not to lose hope. It is in the communion of the Church that we encounter the person of Jesus Christ, who was himself a victim of injustice and sin. Like you, he still bears the wounds of his own unjust suffering.

and this:

7. To priests and religious who have abused children

You betrayed the trust that was placed in you by innocent young people and their parents, and you must answer for it before Almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals. You have forfeited the esteem of the people of Ireland and brought shame and dishonour upon your confreres. Those of you who are priests violated the sanctity of the sacrament of Holy Orders in which Christ makes himself present in us and in our actions. Together with the immense harm done to victims, great damage has been done to the Church and to the public perception of the priesthood and religious life.

I urge you to examine your conscience, take responsibility for the sins you have committed, and humbly express your sorrow. Sincere repentance opens the door to God’s forgiveness and the grace of true amendment.

and this:

11. To my brother bishops

It cannot be denied that some of you and your predecessors failed, at times grievously, to apply the long-established norms of canon law to the crime of child abuse. Serious mistakes were made in responding to allegations. I recognize how difficult it was to grasp the extent and complexity of the problem, to obtain reliable information and to make the right decisions in the light of conflicting expert advice. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that grave errors of judgement were made and failures of leadership occurred. All this has seriously undermined your credibility and effectiveness.

This is all from his pastoral letter from two weeks ago that apparently the Morning Joe crowd managed to miss.

Until they bother to try to get, you know facts, rather than the gospel according the the NYT they will be worthy of scorn. As they hit him with Eugene Robinson’s “me too” column (you can find it on the Washington post site, I’m not linking him on this) they display their astounding willful and deliberate ignorance. As for John Heilemann on the “crisis of credibility” I suspect there will never be a time when the Catholic Church does not have a crisis of credibility for him.

If these guys aren’t embarrassed then it’s only because they have lost the capability to do so on this subject.

…who actually lives his religion:

when he was suddenly replaced with David James Elliott 3 days into the filming on ABC’s new series Scoundrels earlier this week, there had to be a story behind the story. The move was officially explained as a casting change. But, in fact, McDonough was sacked because of his refusal to do some heated love scenes with babelicious star (and Botox pitchwoman) Virginia Madsen. The reason? He’s a family man and a Catholic, and he’s always made it clear that he won’t do sex scenes.

According to the article this is costing him as much as $1 million dollars. There are plenty of men who would happily do heated love scenes with Virginia Madsen for nothing, but some people just can’t be bought.

Gawker makes an interesting point:

I don’t know about Hollywood, but in the real world, being fired for refusing to take your shirt off and make out with someone is called sexual harassment!

In case you don’t know who he is:


And this is the woman he turned down:

I tip my fedora to him.

Update: Fancast calls him the “anti-tiger

I would really like to see what “experts” are saying the Catholic Church is in turmoil. It is not for nothing that the story has a big correction at its head.

I submit that cafeteria Catholics and the media are seeing and trying to make turmoil where it doesn’t exist. As Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio… said

called upon the priests and people of the Diocese of Brooklyn to stand up with him and “besiege The New York Times. Send a message loud and clear that the Pope, our Church, and bishops and our priests will no longer be the personal punching bag of The New York Times.”

Bishop DiMarzio’s spirited defense of the Holy Father was based on the decision of The New York Times editors to, “Omit significant facts,” and ignore the reality that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Cardinal Ratzinger headed up, did not have competency over Canonical Trials in 1996. Moreover, Bishop DiMarzio continued “…the priest in question, Father Murphy was in the midst of a Canonical Trial. He died before a verdict was rendered.”

via Brutally Honest.

If the media bothered to look they would notice the huge attendance at events like the Catholic men’s conference among Catholics who actually believe and attend mass.

If Catholicism is so weak why was such a fuss made when dissenting nuns supported it? If Catholic opinion doesn’t matter why fund pseudo Catholic groups? In my opinion it is no coincidence that the scandals that struck the church were at their height as the church walked away from traditional practices.

I would suggest going to the Anchoress site and reading the whole thing as opposed to say Morning Joe trumpeting the BS class action case against the pope is a great example of this nonsense propagating the “big lie“:

Which brings us to Crimen sollicitationis. The document was crafted to ensure that if a Catholic were solicited to commit a sexual sin by a priest while going to confession, he or she could denounce that priest without being exposed to public scandal. Sinead O’Connor (and many, many others who have been flogging this particular Big Lie) have it precisely backwards. Crimen sollicitationis was not written to protect sexually abusive priests from punishment; it was written to enable the Church to get to the truth about predatory priests without embarrassing their victims or breaking the seal of confession. In fact, the protections required by Crimen sollicitationis encouraged victims of abuse to come forward. By requiring secrecy of the bishop and priests who handled any complaint about a priest-confessor who was a sexual predator, the Church tried to protect the confidentiality of the confessional and the privacy of the victim, not to prevent the crime from being reported to the police by the victim, who was never under any obligation of secrecy. The appropriate analogy is not to some Mafia-like international criminal conspiracy, but to the secrecy of those newspapers that choose not to print the names of rape victims.

The ignorance of American Catholics concerning their own faith in criminal, ironically foes of the church are using that ignorance to allow the former Bishops in Milwaukee to pass onto the pope their responsibility for turning a blind eye to their own problems.

Any Catholic who uses the New York Times in general and Maureen Dowd in particular as a source for their opinion of their church has real problems. Perhaps if they talked to the actual priest who served as the Judicial Vicar in the Milwaukee case they might learn something, oh sorry the NYT didn’t bother to even ask for an interview.

The fact that I presided over this trial and have never once been contacted by any news organization for comment speaks for itself.

My suggestion to Mika and Barnicle is to read the whole thing until they have done so their comments on the case are simply uninformed gibberish. Perhaps they should try talking to or interviewing Fr. Thomas Brundage themselves before they jump on the Dowd bandwagon.

Update: I of course meant the “Dowd” bandwagon rather than the “Down” in the last sentence. I’ve corrected it.

If you are sick of watching the Pseudo Catholics on capital decide to re-define “intrinsic evil” here are a few of the real things as they waited to enter the 10th annual Worcester Diocesan Catholic Men’s conference yesterday (March 20th 2010).

I should point out that although it is not apparent from the interview, I’ve known Hugh for a year and we are part of the same Knights of Columbus counsel.

Finally we have Mike Sullivan for Catholic’s United for the faith. This is NOT the Soros group that co-oped part of the name to disguise themselves.

There’s nothing like the real thing!