Saturday, December 2, 2017

Father Ray Blake and Poor People

I recently wrote a blog post in which I showed the deceitfulness of a a blog post by Father Ray Blake which was linked to by Father John Zuhlsdorf.  Both of these priests are radical traditionalists who believe the Catholic Church is basically in apostasy with the exception of the traditionalists, who are the only real Catholics left in the world.

In my post, I referenced another blog post by Father Blake in which he talks about the poor and homeless and what a pain in the a-- they are.

Father Blake's post about the poor received attention from the secular media because of its harsh description and apparent rejection of the homeless by a Catholic priest.  However, I did not mention that Father Blake tries to redeem himself at the end of his post.
. . . even in our pain and suffering we can grow complacent, 'the poor' challenge our complacency. They interrupt our comfort, our prayer, our routine bringing the mess of their lives into our lives.
 . . . 
The sin of the Pharisees, of the rich man in the story of Dives and Lazarus is complacence. The rich man didn't even notice the mess that Lazarus created at his front door, he didn't respond to it, he needed someone to bring him out of his complacency.
My big difficulty with confession at the moment is that I have grown complacent in my lifestyle, I don't want it changed, the message of the Gospels seem to be let the poor into it to mess it up a little.
There were not just a few bloggers who rushed to defend Father Blake against the charges brought by the secular media.  One person who commented on my blog respectfully suggested that I also need to revise my opinion of Father Blake's attitude towards the poor.  After all, he does say they help us spiritually, doesn't he?

So Father Ray tells us in the first part of his article how disgusting and disruptive the poor are, but he mitigates this by stating that we need the poor to shake us out of  complacency.  First he is disgusted by them, and then he says that he needs them for his own salvation.

But there is a very important element missing from Father Blake's message. He tells us, "The sin of the Pharisees, of the rich man in the story of Dives and Lazarus is complacence."  Complacence?  Was "Be Not Complacent" the message of Jesus Christ?

Where is Father Blake's concern for the poor and homeless?  Can he possibly get past his own needs and how he is either disgusted or how he benefits?   Where does Father Blake tell us that we must actually learn to love the poor?  That just does not seem to figure into his message.  Would you feel loved by someone who said you are disgusting, but you have worth because you are good at shaking people out of complacency?

Look at one of the greatest saints of the 20th Century, St. Teresa of Calcutta. She lived her life caring for the poor and homeless.  She would literally go into garbage dumps and pull people out. She would lift people out of the gutters and carry them on her back.  We can only imagine how "disgusting" that was. These people were probably covered with rotting, stinking garbage, flies, maggots and their own wastes.  Did she secretly feel these people were disgusting but she helped them anyway because it benefited her?  

What was Mother Teresa's attitude towards these poor souls?
“I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.”
- Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa loved Jesus Christ with her entire being, and she served others because she knew that was the best way she could serve Our Lord.  Did Mother Teresa see the poor as "disgusting"?  She saw Jesus in the poor, and that filled her with love, not disgust.  She didn't hold her nose and help the poor because it was "good" for her.  She didn't give her life to the poor because it would shake her out of complacency. It never occurred to her to give to the poor because it would be beneficial to her in any way. She gave to the poor because she loved their Champion, Jesus Christ.

I must admit that for most of my life I felt completely disgusted at the sight of homeless people.  I would never think of giving to anyone begging for money.  I didn't even go so far as Father Blake in thinking that it might benefit me to help the poor.  I would just hurry by them and put them out of my mind as fast as I could.

The truth is, I was much poorer than any of those asking for help.  That drunk laying in the gutter was likely much closer to God than I ever was.

Jesus directed his ministry to the poor and rejected of society.  He never shunned them in any way. Our Blessed Mother put it so well:
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.

Father Blake is right.  We do need the poor. But Father Blake is so wrong when he says the greatest sin of the Pharisees or of the rich man is "complacency."  Their sin, as with all of us, was their inability to love.

The poor can do far more than shake us out of complacency.  They can teach us how to love, truly love, with no thought for ourselves.  They can teach us how to completely give of ourselves.  We can give them material goods, but they will lead us to Christ.

Don't let your motivation be only how you benefit.  Ask Christ to fill you with true love for the poor as we saw so beautifully in St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Ask Our Lord to let you see Him, just as she did.  Forget about yourself, and follow St. Teresa of Calcutta's lead, and just love.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Traditionalists Twist the Truth To Defame Catholic Church

I find it ironic to the extreme that those who present themselves as the only faithful Catholics left in the world openly declare their complete contempt for the Church's Magesterium over and over again.  This is no where better personified than in Father John Zuhlsdorf.  Father Z, like every good radical traditionalist, feels that the only salvation for the Church and the world is not Jesus Christ but the pre-1962 liturgy.   According to Father Zuhlsdorf, every problem in the Church and the world can be traced to the Second Vatican Council and the implementation of the "Novus Ordo" garbage, er, Mass.

This assertion was seen in all its glory in a recent post by Father Zuhlsdorf in which he linked to a post by another rad trad priest, Father Ray Blake.  I have never previously read anything by Father Blake.  However, he is considered quite controversial in his native England, especially when he blamed the poor for making a mess in his church:
A priest has launched an attack on the poor and homeless describing them as ‘lying and messy’ people sent by God to test his faith.

Outspoken Father Ray Blake even said one who regularly turned up at his church pleading for money was ‘an irritating little b******d’.

He accused the beggar of making a mess of his prayers as he passed his cap around his congregation looking for donations.

The controversial Catholic cleric said in a blog post: 'The trouble with the poor is that they are messy.

'There is a secluded area between the church and our hall, a passage, occasionally we find someone has got a few cardboard boxes together and has slept there, and if it has been raining leaves a sodden blanket, cardboard there to be cleaned up.

'Often it also smells of urine and there is often excrement there and sometimes a used needle or two.'
You can read more about Father Blake's *loving* attitude toward the poor HERE.

The post by Father Z in which he links to Father Blake is entitled, "Liturgical worship… priestly vocations… Is what we are doing working or not?"  Father Blake's post can be found here: "Has it worked? The question we dare not ask."

The theme of Father Blake's blog post is that the Second Vatican Council has caused the destruction of the Catholic Church.  This argument is supported by half lies, whole lies and a distortion of the truth.  Father Blake presents a very narrow picture, leaving out anything that might disprove his argument.  Father Z loudly supports and applauds this method because this has always been his MO.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Why I Continue To Support Father James Martin

There seem to be two great burning issues on the Catholic blogosphere these days, and they both involve showing mercy and compassion to sinners.  One issue is how to deal with divorced and remarried couples in the Church, and the other involves the Church's outreach towards the gay community.  The Catholic blogosphere has personified these issues in two people:  Pope Francis and Father James Martin.  Those who self identify as the only true Catholics in the world today have relentlessly attacked and vilified Pope Francis and Father Martin, accusing them of heresy and basically saying they are agents of the devil.

I have recently written a couple of posts regarding Pope Francis.  Today I am focusing on Father Martin.  An article from Catholic World Report by Janet Smith encapsulates this issue very well.  She starts her article by claiming that Father Martin's approach is "full of ambiguity."  She pointed to a talk at Villanova University in which she pulled exactly one small quote from an hour long conversation Father Martin had with Brandon Ambrosino, a gay Catholic man.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Blogosphere Shows Its Ignorance

Today is the Feast Day of St. Jerome, a great saint and doctor of the Church who gave us the Vulgate Bible. Vulgate is another word for "the speech of the common people and especially of uneducated people". St. Jerome translated the Bible so that the ordinary person could read and understand it.

Despite this great gift given to us in the Fourth Century, the Church has not always promoted study of scripture. The Council of Trent prohibited even owning a Bible, much less reading it, without special written permission from the local bishop. Traditionalists love to quote from the Council of Trent, considering it at least as infallible as Sacred Scripture. They certainly quote from it much more often than they quote the Holy Bible. The Filial Correction, which accused Pope Francis of spreading heresy, used innumerable quotes from the Council of Trent to prove their points.

Did A Priest Convicted of Sexual Perversion Sign The Filial Correction?

Maybe those who have drafted and signed the Filial Correction need to take a closer look at who is supporting them.

I was looking through the names of the signatories to the Filial Correction and came across one name, Father John Houston, which gives no description of who he is or his place of origin.  So I did a Google search.  The only item I found for a Father John Houston was an article from an Australian website called "Broken Rites Australia" which is self described as "researching the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church."

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fillal Correction: The Traditionalists Could Not Be More Wrong

There is a definite war between the conservative, traditional factions of the Catholic Church and the Church's Magesterium.  This has never been made more clear than in the Filial Correction signed by a growing number of traditionalists.  And yes, they are all hardcore traditionalists.

The signatories to this document include such hardcore radical traditionalists as:
  • Dr. John Rao (history professor) who has completly denounced Vatican II and the *Novus Ordo* Mass; 
  • Chris Ferrara (lawyer, secular not canon) who makes his living bashing the contemporary Church and publicly denouncing Pope Francis; 
  • Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the SSPX, a group that refuses to recognize the validity of Vatican II and the *Novus Ordo" Mass; 
  • Roberto de Mattei, an Italian journalist who has been described as "a renowned apologist for ultra-traditional Catholicism"
  • Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society;
  • Deacon Nick Donnelly, whose blog was shut down by the bishop of his diocese of Lancaster, England.  Deacon Donnelly now contributes to OnePeterFive, a radical traditionalist blog which is in constant conflict with the message of Pope Francis;
  • Father Claude Barthe, a radical traditionalist priest and foe of the Second Vatican Council.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Father Zuhlsdorf Leads Traditionalists In The Art of Dissembling

There is a conference in Rome celebrating the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum from September 14 to September 17. On February 11, 2017, the group which organized this pilgrimage, Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum, described the purpose for this conference as follows:
At the press conference, it was confirmed that, on Thursday, 14 September 2017, there will be a colloquium on the tenth anniversary of the motu proprio at the Pontifical University of Angelicum, during which Archbishop [Guido] Pozzo, among others (their names will be communicated over the coming months), will take stock of these ten years of renewal of the traditional liturgy in the Church.
So they are taking "stock of these ten years of renewal of the traditional liturgy."  But was "renewal of the traditional liturgy" the reason for Summorum Pontificum?  This is certainly not the reason given in the Motu Proprio, which plainly says that, despite the Second Vatican Council's desire "that the respect and reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time", some in the Church were still holding on to the Traditional Latin Mass.  Pope Benedict felt that since the TLM was and always will be holy, there was no reason to withhold this Mass from them.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Who is Right: Cardinal Sarah or Father Martin?

As Christians, we have been given a very specific job to do on this earth:  proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God and bring people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ so that they can be cleansed of their sins and given a new heart.  In the words of Our Lord (Matthew 28:19-20):
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
These are the three steps in the order given to us by Jesus Christ:
  1. Make disciples of all nations
  2. Baptize them
  3. Teach them to obey everything commanded by Jesus Christ
There is a reason why this is the order specifically given to us by the Founder of Christianity. If this order is not followed, we will fail in our mission. Unfortunately, many people, including priests and bishops, have turned this order on its head. As a result, many people who could have been saved have instead been lost.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Has America Ever Been A Christian Nation?

At one Church which I attend, the priest often prays that America will repent of her sins and return to God.  Many Christians lament that America is forgetting her Christian heritage.  Certainly there can be no doubt that the majority of the founding fathers of our nation were Christian.  Our laws were most certainly based upon Judeo-Christian values found in the Bible, i.e., the ten commandments.

But has America ever been a truly Christian nation living by Christian principles?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Obedience Is Not Enough

Ask most people who will get to heaven, and they will give you a succinct answer:  "Good people".  And ask most people if they are "good", and they will answer with little hesitation that, of course, they are good.  They don't kill, steal or do other terrible things.  Oh, sure, they're not perfect, but that doesn't mean they are bad.  They basically do all the right things.  So why shouldn't they go to heaven?

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