Monday, February 29, 2016

In the Spotlight



Before we go into this topic, there are a few things I need to disclose:

-I don't live in the Boston area
-I have never lived in the Boston area
-As of this post, I have not actually seen the film in question

Having said that though, with the film Spotlight winning the Best Picture award, it's time for me to talk about a topic everyone has heard but still seems to have great misconceptions over: the priest sexual abuse scandal.

I know this whole event has lead to people either leaving the Church or (if they were never members) no longer even consider being part of the Church but this is also a topic where people have let their emotions trump the facts.
So here are some facts we've let fall to the wayside:

1. The VAST majority of priests in America have NEVER been accused of sexual abuse.
    That's right: out of the total accusation numbers, only 4% of all American priests between 1950 and 2002 have ever had a mark this black on their character. This then means 96% of all priests were living their lives in holy obedience to the Church. If you think I put that statistic out of nowhere, that number came from a story from the Boston Globe…the very same newspaper that broke the scandal.
Now what about those who were accused?

2. On average, 2 out of 5 accusations against priests and as many as 3 out of 4 do NOT hold up under tough scrutiny.
In the middle of all the media hype, a study was done to look into all the accusations and it found 40% of the charges had to be thrown out because either not enough evidence existed to go to trial or the accuser later admitted to making everything up.
Damn that pesky "innocent until proven guilty" saying, eh?

Now, I know the nay-sayers will say something to the effect of "What about the priests that do have credible charges, some that go back decades? What about them?"

3. You have to look closer at the accusations.
If you did, you will find all the alleged incidents happened within the same few decades and nearly nothing after a certain point. In addition, you will further find all the incidents happen in the same few cities…namely Boston, New York City, Los Angeles and other areas notorious for their liberal leanings.
Note how none or next to no priests in politically conservative areas have ever been accused.

4.This scandal is NOT reflective of the Church as a whole
This is partially because of how few priests are accused but mostly because of the reforms implemented in problem areas, a key one being gay men are not allowed in seminaries anymore.
Furthermore, accused priests seem to also stem from certain religious orders such as the Jesuits and none at all from orders like the Dominicans or the FSSP.

"But what about all those priests who abused multiple children and all the Church did was move them to another area?"

 5. The Catholic Church was following the advise of supposed experts at the time.
As part of the investigation, it has come to light Church leaders forced the accused priests to seek a therapist and every time the expert told them the priest was suited for work again.
The blame in other words falls on the therapists, not the Church.
If you think that's a cop-out, this recommendation was first printed in the Boston Globe…the same newspaper that broke the scandal.

So the message is clear: the Church should be allowed to govern themselves and not give an inch to secular-atheism: not only can they not explain how child molestation is wrong but they're a bunch of idiots too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Father Honors His Father


Friday, February 12, 2016

Lenten Fast On a Church Level

                                               +Ad Jeseum Per Marium+


During Lent, Catholics are called to examine their lives and see how well they live according to the word of our Lord and Savior. Yet…

Can't it be also said that the Church hierarchy should do the same thing, especially when it comes to how they preach the faith? After all, the Ash Wednesday prayers tell us we will all return to dust and the clergy--regardless of rank--will have more to answer for than laypeople.

Shouldn't they start now and do the best course of action for this?


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On Ash Wednesday



Grant us, O Lord, to begin with holy fasts our Christian warfare: that, as we do battle with the spirits of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial. Through Christ our Lord. -Pre-Vatican II Ash Wednesday prayer

One quick note before we get to the article: note carefully what you are told when the ashes are placed on your head. What you should hear is "remember thou art dust and unto dust you shall return"; what you should NOT hear is "repent and believe in the Gospel [or the Good News]."
The second one is NOT the correct phrase from the Latin and diminishes the main point of the Lenten season.

Now, onto the article:

In Genesis 3:19 we hear God tell us "for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return," but nowadays, when someone dies, they are rushed from deathbed to funeral home to be embalmed and to be worked over by a make-up artist so that that "dusty reality" is hidden from us. Their deaths are spoken of as almost an embarrassment; "he passed," they say, or "he is no longer with us." These comforting but sterile luxuries weren't an option in the past when plagues felled so many people that there weren't enough survivors to bury them, when bodies had to be stored all winter until the ground was soft enough to dig, when most of the children a woman bore died before they were able to grow up. In our culture, with our medicines and "funeral sciences," we are afraid to look at death, and we are a poorer people because of it. No matter how long science can prolong life, no matter how much embalming fluid is pumped into a corpse, nature will have her way. This is Truth. And when nature has her way, we can either rest in the knowledge that the ultimate Victor is Christ, Our Lord, Who walked out of His tomb 2,000 years ago and offers resurrection to us, or we can believe that decay is all that is left. This is the meaning of Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday is the day for being reminded of and contemplating our mortality, of which Ecclesiasticus 1 reminds us:
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh...
When a new Pope processes to St. Peter's Basilica to offer his first Mass as Pope, the procession stops three times and, at each stop, a piece of flax mounted on a reed is burned. As the flames die, the Pope hears the words, "Pater sancte, sic transit gloria mundi" ("Holy Father, thus passes the glory of the world"), to remind him not only that he is a mere man, but as a man, a mere mortal whose end is like the end of all other men. The things of this world are transient, and Christians must always keep one eye on the world to come.

Recalling this Truth is one of the principles behind the use of ashes on the forehead today: to remind us that we are mortal, subject to the rot and decay our Western culture now desperately tries to euphemize away, and that we are radically dependent on -- solely dependent on -- Jesus Christ to overcome this fate.

They are like a yearly contemplation of the tombstone inscribed with:
Remember friends as you pass by,
as you are now so once was I.
As I am now so you must be.
Prepare for death and follow me.
While death should, of course, be avoided as the evil it is, we should accept the reality of it with the attitude behind the words attributed to the great Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse: "It is a good day to die" ("Hoka hey"). Death should not be feared in itself; what should be approached with trepidation is the judgment that follows -- not because God is a malicious Father who wants to inflict pain, but because He is as just as He is merciful. We need to repent, accept the reality of death, and not only consider our judgment, but be ready for it.

(For the whole article, click here)