NewsMon Aug 31, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST
Priest: Imagine the Funeral if Kennedy was an Anti-Semite Rather Than Pro-Abortion
The following is adapted from an email from U.S. priest, Fr. Brian Harrison , O.S. from the Oblates of Wisdom Study Center,
St. Louis, Missouri written on August 29, following the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy.
August 31, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As a Roman Catholic priest, I feel a duty in conscience today to register my emphatic dissent from a message that was projected around the nation and the globe this morning to millions of viewers and listeners by certain other members of the Roman Catholic clergy.
I refer to this morning's televised funeral Mass, celebrated in Boston's Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, for the recently deceased Senator Edward Moore Kennedy. It was a Mass I regard as a scandal comparable to, if not worse than, the scandal given several months ago when the nation's most prestigious 'Catholic' university bestowed an honorary doctorate upon Barack Hussein Obama, the most pro-abortion and 'pro-gay' president in U.S. history.
Why, you ask, should a Catholic priest raise such objections to a Catholic funeral for a Catholic legislator? Well, I am afraid this funeral was no ordinary Catholic funeral.
For to those innumerable viewers and listeners of many religions (or none) who were aware of Sen. Kennedy's public, straightforward, radical, long-standing, and (as far as we know) unrepented defiance of his own Church's firm teaching about the duty of legislators to protect unborn human life and resist the militant homosexual agenda, this morning's Mass, concelebrated by several priests, presided over Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and adorned by a eulogy from the aforesaid U.S. President, effectively communicated a tacit but very clear message: the Church does not really take too seriously her own 'official' doctrines on these matters!
I feel impelled, therefore, to make known to anyone willing to read these lines that there are many other representatives of the Catholic Church, such as myself, who take those doctrines very seriously indeed.
Imagine Church Leaders Actually Did Take Seriously the Wrong Actions of a Prominent Deceased Catholic
How would our Church leaders act if they really did take seriously an official Church position from which a prominent deceased Catholic had publicly dissented?
To answer that question, we need only imagine a situation in which some well-known Catholic legislator had for years supported the Church's social teaching 'across the board', in regard to human life, marriage, compassion toward the poor and underprivileged, etc., but had then, in old age, lapsed into supporting some ideological position that was strongly opposed not only by the Church, but also by the dominant Western elites.
Suppose, for instance, that he had come to endorse white supremacism or holocaust denial. Now, when the moment for this Catholic legislator's funeral came, could we imagine for one moment that our cardinals, bishops and other leading clergy, mindful of this man's sterling and thoroughly orthodox contributions to the common good over so many years in Congress, would 'compassionately' overlook his latter-day lapse into racism or anti-semitism?
Would they agree to give him a free pass in regard to this defect? Would they speak and act as if it were non-existent? Would they grant him a televised funeral Mass in a large basilica, presided over by a cardinal, in which he would be publicly eulogized by both family and public figures?
These questions really answer themselves. Of course none of that would occur! The local bishop might go as far as to allow our hypothetical Catholic racist or anti-semite a Church funeral, if it was known that (like Senator Kennedy) he had confessed sacramentally to a priest before death.
However, the bishop would allow the use of church property for this funeral on the strict condition that only close personal family and friends would be admitted. All media transmission or even presence during the service itself would surely be forbidden. (It would, of course, be unnecessary for the bishop to ask his fellow bishops and other high Church dignitaries not to attend the service; for all of them, like the bishop himself, would already prefer to be anywhere else on earth than at the funeral of one who had lapsed so unspeakably from society's ruling canons of acceptable behavior.)
Yes, society's canons. There, I am afraid, lies the difference between our two scenarios. Is it that official Catholic doctrine is incomparably more opposed to racism and anti-semitism than it is to abortion and sodomy (as a visitor from Mars might suppose on observing the radically divergent reactions of our bishops to the two respective ex-politicians)? Not at all.
The Lack of Prophetic Courage
The big difference is simply that most members of the Catholic hierarchy in Western society today - and there are of course a number of honorable exceptions - are lacking in prophetic courage. They are ready and eager to take vigorous and resolute public disciplinary action only against those deviations from Church teaching which also happen to be excoriated by the cultural and media elites.
So it was, in this morning's funeral Mass, that the homilist, Fr. Mark Hession (pastor of Kennedy's Cape Cod parish), made his sermon a eulogy about what a wonderful Catholic Christian Ted was, assuring us that we could be "confident" that he is already with Jesus in glory.
So it was that the principal celebrant, Fr. Donald Monan, S.J., Chancellor of Boston College, not only repeatedly told those present - and the whole watching world - that Sen. Kennedy was a man of "faith and prayer", with a deep devotion to the Eucharist, but also assured us that this "faith and prayer" in private was precisely what inspired and motivated his public policies, so that there was (surprise, surprise) a real integration and unity between his private and public life!
Well, a lot of us didn't quite manage to see any private-public unity based on Roman Catholic principles. On the contrary, Kennedy's huge political influence, based on both the family's prestige and the personal dyamism of this "Lion of the Senate", if anything made his U-turn on abortion (yes, he was pro-life in his younger days) an even more scandalous counter-witness: a sign of conflict, not union, with that Church to which he professed loyalty.
Here are two comments I have just lifted off a Catholic blog:
1. "There's this big, 'What if?'" said Catholic author Michael Sean Winters. "If Ted Kennedy had stuck to his pro-life position, would both the (Democratic) party and the country have embraced the abortion on demand policies that we have now? I don't think so."
2. "Russell Shaw, former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that when Kennedy defied the church on issues such as abortion and later, gay marriage, he reinforced a corrosive belief among Catholics that they can simply ignore teachings they don't agree with."
I myself remember several years ago a conversation with a young woman who had been brought up Catholic but had recently been 'born again' as an Evangelical Protestant. One of the arguments she threw at me was, "Even your Church leaders don't really believe what Catholics are supposed to believe. Why don't they excommunicate Ted Kennedy? He's blatantly, 100% pro-choice! Yet they do nothing!"
What could I say to her? And what can I say now, after today's public scandal? That young lady's complaint was simply that this man remained a Catholic in good standing. I find I must now complain to you of something worse.
Before the whole world this morning, my fellow Catholic clerics in Boston did not just accord him the "good standing" of a normal, flawed Catholic whose soul we can hope is in Purgatory. Rather, clad in triumphant white vestments instead of penitential violet (never mind the traditional black!), they have placed him on a pedestal, granting him an unofficial 'instant canonization'!
Uncanny Relevance of Scripture Readings of the Day to The Scandal
The Church's teaching is already abundantly clear that all this is very wrong. So perhaps we can legitimately discern the hand of God's Providence, which rules all things, in a 'coincidence' that suggests a manifestation of God's grave displeasure at this kind of mockery - injustice masquerading as "pastoral charity".
In our liturgy, Sunday has begun as I write at the hour of Vespers on Saturday. But the earlier part of this day, August 29, including the time of the Kennedy funeral, was observed by Catholics round the world as the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.
In normal Masses celebrated today, the biblical account of his martyrdom was read (Mark 6: 17-29.) The parallels are striking: (a) We see two powerful civil authorities; (b) both of them flip-flop in a morally bad direction (Herod originally respected and defended John, and Kennedy originally respected and defended the unborn; (c) both of them abuse their power by authorizing the shedding of innocent blood; and (d) both of them do so under peer-group pressure and at the behest of unrighteous women (then, Herod's guests, his wife and her daughter; now, the radical feminists and their fellow travellers).
As if that were not enough, the longest Scripture reading in today's liturgy also grabs our attention. It is prescribed not for the Feast of John the Baptist, but independently, for the Saturday of Week 21, in the 'Office of Readings'. This is a part of the daily 'Liturgy of the Hours' which is required spiritual reading for us Roman Rite clerics.
And today's reading just happens to be Jeremiah 7: 1-20, in which the prophet vigorously denounces - guess what? - the hypocrisy of Israel's religious leaders who proudly identify with the temple and the rites they celebrate within it, while at the same time they are living unrighteously (including "shedding innocent blood", v. 6) and even "pouring out libations to strange gods" (v. 18). God therefore warns, "my anger and my wrath will pour out upon this place" (v. 20).
Orthodox Catholics will surely ask whether God can be any less angered now by those clerics who today carried out temple rites giving undeserved honor to a legislator who for decade after decade poured out the 'libations' of his eloquence, influence and Senate votes in the service the 'false gods' of Planned Parenthood and NARAL -which regularly rewarded him with 100% ratings for his 'pro-choice' record.
Enough. If, in your charity, you pray for God to be merciful to the soul of Edward Moore Kennedy, please pray for all of us Catholic priests as well - and be cognizant of the fact that some of us are profoundly indignant at what we saw our brethren doing today.
Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.
I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:
Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.
Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.
After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.
The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.
So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.
When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.
Target boycott climbs to over 1 million
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.
The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”
Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.”
The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says.
The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children.
“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked.
There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins
CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.
Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.
At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.
“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.
“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”
“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”
Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.
But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.
The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.
Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.
“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”
Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:
The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.