Tag Archives: religion

Nine Ways of Being an Accessory to same-sex marriage

Lay Catholic Logo

Nine Ways of Being an Accessory to same-sex marriage
  1. By counsel
  2. By command
  3. By consent
  4. By provocation
  5. By praise or flattery
  6. By concealment
  7. By partaking
  8. By silence
  9. By defense of the ill done

See trailer for movie of same-sex attracted Catholics who left the LGBT lifestyle here.  “Desire of the Everlasting Hills.”

See movie of same-sex attracted Catholics who left the LGBT lifestyle here.  “Desire of the Everlasting Hills.”

Derived from “Ways of being Accessory to Another’s Sin”
As published in BLESSED BE GOD A Complete Catholic Prayer Book © 1925 and THE MAN OF GOD Catholic Prayers and Devotions For Men © 1927 by Very Rev. Charles J. Callan, O.P., S.T.M. and Very Rev. John A. McHugh, O.P., S.T.M. and Roman Catholic Daily Missal 1962, © 2004

Egyptian Catholic Bishop counters 10 myths about the revolution, Muslim Brotherhood, Christian persecution and more

The following excerpt is from a story published by ‘Aid to the Church in Need.’ ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ is a Catholic charity helping Christians who suffer persecution worldwide:

Bishop Kyrillos and Herman van Rompuy

Think Again: 10 Myths about Egypt’s Second Revolution

During a recent visit to the EU in Brussels, organised by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, the (Egyptian) Coptic-Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Kyrillos William Samaan (pictured above left) delivered the following report: “Think Again: 10 Myths about Egypt’s Second Revolution”.

In this document the Bishop responds to the more common queries about what is the nature of the situation in Egypt and what is reasonable to expect. These are responses he offered to EU policy-makers during the 17-19 September meeting and all remain relevant. The bishop referred to these questions as “myths” because of their power in the imagination of the people he met, and tries to dispel these myths at every opportunity. “We have to give the Egyptian constitution and the Egyptian people the chance they have been fighting for”, he said.

1. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) represent the majority of Egyptians. In Europe we have Christian Democrats – are not the Muslim Brotherhood ‘Muslim Democrats’?

No.  The MB, in its political party form, obtained only 12 (million) out of a possible 50 million votes in the elections of 2011. Their rate of support fell sharply to as little as 5% when the Morsi government eliminated a pluralist Parliament and replaced it with one in which they were the absolute majority, was stopped short from replacing 3500 judges by people they knew would uphold Sharia law over the existing more secular laws, and declared illegal the work of foreign-funded pro-democracy and human rights NGOs. The MB, however, has an important detachment of press officers abroad still propagating a message of massive support with little or no bearing on reality in Egypt.
The above short list of exactions bears no comparison to any form of Christian Democracy as known in the West.

2. There are massive, peaceful pro-Morsi demonstrations still taking place and being suppressed.

They are an illusion fueled by the lack of presence of foreign correspondents outside Cairo.  A few hundred supporters still gather intermittently but they have worked with broadcast media owned by well-known Sunni Sheiks, even using images of the anti-Morsi demonstrations labeling them as pro-Morsi.
The demonstrations are not peaceful.  Extremists have attacked police stations with rocket-propelled grenades (Kerdasa, Aswan, Menya) killing many policemen. Many MB members are on camera threatening Christians of genocide and raising Al-Qaeda flags in the sit-in areas. Dr. Morsi himself is recorded on video calling the Shia “filth worth only of extermination”. Protestors have also paid families to resist the calls of the police to clear the area or face being expelled.

3. There was a coup and there is now a military government.

It was not a coup, but the military supporting the will of 33+ million Egyptians demonstrating in the streets under the slogan “Food, Freedom, Social Justice and Human Dignity”.

The MB international spokespeople have insisted on isolating two events as if they were disconnected: the elections that brought Morsi to power and his removal from office. There is little mention of what happened in between: the dissolution of the nascent democratic structures such as the pluralist Parliament in favor of the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly and the single-handed appointment of 13 MB regional leaders (out of 27).
The interim government is not military. It is a civilian government and the army has no intention of taking up power. In February 2011, when Mubarak listened to the people and stood down, he surrendered the government to a military council who proceeded to organize elections and a civilian government was installed. The lesson learnt then is replicated now and the interim
government is promising to have a new full government in 9 months, shorter again than the previous transfer of 15 months following Mubarak.

4. The Tamarod was organized by the military and pressured citizens to sign the petition.

No.  Tamarod is a youth movement, which started in May 2013 and the timeline of events demonstrates that the collection of the 22 million signatures (with full identification) started well before the army decided to ask Morsi to listen to the people. The Tamarod set a 30 June deadline for Dr. Morsi to respond to the demands, which included calling for early presidential elections.

5. Egypt had bad elections and a bad Constitution. There is no sign this time that things will be better.

Yes and No. Yes, the elections could have been better; Morsi came to power with 12 million votes in an election with approximately 43% turnout of the 50 million registered voters. Moreover, the multiple claims of fraud taking place outside Cairo had no electoral tribunal for recourse (pre-filled ballots, repeated voter names, etc.). Elections can only be improved with a truly independent electoral body and tribunal. In addition, a controversial move of the MB was to first hold the presidential elections and only afterward address the Constitution. This effectively prevented the majority of Egyptians, not members of the winning political party, to participate in the Constitutional process.
Lessons have been learnt. The new Constitution is now being drafted before elections, the Committee has a clear deadline in November, and it includes 50 Egyptians from all backgrounds, including Salafists and one former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, committed to “the creation of a constitutional Nation State, democratic and modern, founded upon a text approved by the nation supporting the separation of powers. Its current Article 3 defines “citizenship as the sole criterion of responsibility within society” (Source: interview of Mahmoud Azab, counselor for Dialogue to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, La Croix 16sept2013).

6. There are waves of arrests against the MB; news media are being harassed.

Most MB members are free to live and participate fully in civil society. Judiciary mandates have been issued against individuals who have incited hatred and violence: committing murder (such as those caught on camera throwing youngsters off a roof in Alexandria), as well as perpetrating acts of violence against Egyptians, victimizing not only Christians but also the majority of Muslims. At the same time, the sources of funding used to buy weapons and explosives are also being investigated – and many lead to the MB. This is the origin of the order to banish the MB’s activities, as the investigation continues. The MB is constituted of several operating arms: political party, NGO, social services providers, etc. making the investigation difficult.
As to the alleged media harassment, the broadcasting and social media units that were closed (seen abroad as news media), are rarely more than the medium of expression of well-known foreign Sheiks financing their own objectives. Al-Jazeera is Qatar-funded, largely like the MB, and in Egypt Al-Jazeera has never pretended to be impartial. Most of these broadcasters have little to do with what the West considers as free and responsible media, necessary to a democratic society. (These are facts and are proved with relative ease). Meanwhile, language barriers also
play an important part in the misunderstanding abroad of what goes on in Egypt. Multiplying information sources is still the only way to overcome this challenge.

To read the rest of the story including myths 7, 8, 9 and 10 by Bishop Kyrillos click here.

Definition of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Given by Pope Pius IX

Immaculate Conception

Definition of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The following is the definition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, given by Pope Pius IX, December 8, 1854.

“For the honor of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian religion, We declare, pronounce and define, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Our own, that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, was, by singular grace and privilege of God, in view of the merits of Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the Human race, preserved free from every stain of original sin, has been revealed by God and is therefore to be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful. Wherefore if any should presume, which God forbid, to think otherwise in their hearts than We have defined, let them know and be certain that they have been condemned by their own judgment, that they have made shipwreck in faith, that they have fallen away from the unity of the Church; and furthermore, that, should they dare to manifest in word or writing, or in any other external way, what they think in their hearts, they subject themselves by this very act to the penalties prescribed by law.”

Source: Catechism of the Council of Trent, Appendix I

Catholics for America: A new organization to defend Catholic teaching in American society and politics

CFA logo for FBA new organization has been created to engage Catholic laity in the public and political spheres.  Their name is Catholics for America and they introduced themselves today in the social media world.  Be sure to follow Catholics for America on their Facebook page by clicking here and on their Twitter page by clicking here.  You can also Join them and receive emails by clicking here

Catholics for America will need the financial support of lay persons who want our Catholic teachings defended.  To contribute financially to Catholics for America, click here.

Please read and share Catholics for America’s post titled ‘Introducing, Catholics for America’ HERE and below that introduces their efforts to protect and defend Catholic social teaching in the United States:

Today, November 21st, on the Feast of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are pleased to introduce Catholics for America.

What is Catholics for America?

Catholics for America is a not for profit organization whose mission is, “To educate and encourage Catholics in the United States of America to actively support Catholic social teaching and to protect and defend those teachings in the public sphere.”

Why was Catholics for America founded?

Catholic teaching needs protection and defense by lay persons. The Church calls on the laity to be active in politics and society in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 899 and 2442.  Also, on January 19, 2012, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called for the Catholic Laity to become engaged through his address to the Bishops of the U.S.:

*Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) – section 899

899 The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:

Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.

*Catechism of the Catholic Church – section 2442

2442 It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens. Social action can assume various concrete forms. It should always have the common good in view and be in conformity with the message of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. It is the role of the laity “to animate temporal realities with Christian commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace and justice.”

*Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ON THEIR “AD LIMINA” VISIT, January 19, 2012:

“… it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion… Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed CATHOLIC LAITY endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the FUTURE OF AMERICAN SOCIETY.”

Catholics for America will help the laity to engage in the public sphere on moral issues central to our faith like; Life, Marriage, Poverty, Labor and Religious Freedom to name a few.

How can you help Catholics for America?

  • Tell your friends about Catholics for America by using the social media sources you use like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
  • Donate $5 or an amount you can afford to the efforts of Catholics for America.
  • Join Catholics for America by signing up for our emails

Please include us in your prayers.

We pray that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bless our work.

Catholic Sisters file suit for being forced to break their vows under Healthcare law (video)

Sr. Mary Bernard LSPThe Healthcare law (PPACA, aka Obamacare) has many victims.  One of the law’s mandates, known as the “HHS Mandate” requires the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs for its employees.  A law that forces Catholic sisters to break their vows to Jesus Christ is a bad law.  A law that must be repealed.  Until the time for repeal arrives politically, the sisters will have to fight by filing suit to save their ability, ” …to live for Him (Jesus) and for Him and the elderly.  That’s our life,” says Sister Mary Bernard in the video below.  Sister Mary Bernard (pictured above) also weeps as she describes how the Sisters’ see Christ in the elderly and bring Christ to them through themselves when elderly in their care pass away, “…and when they finally find the hand of God…  You know they’re there…  It’s a happy moment…  I’m crying.”

Little Sisters of the Poor 2

The Democratic Party and President Barack Obama consider the Healthcare law to be their signature achievement.  An achievement that separates Jesus Christ from those who are vowed to Him is no achievement.

Watch the emotional video below from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty about the Little Sisters plight.  After watching the video, read the Becket Fund’s press release from September 24, 2013 about the Sisters’ class-action lawsuit.

Video:

Press Release and its link:

Little Sisters of the Poor seek protection from IRS fines for following their vows

For Immediate Release:  September 24, 2013
Media Contact: Emily Hardman, ehardman@becketfund.org, 202.349.7224

Washington, D.C.,  — Today, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order of Sisters dedicated to caring for the elderly poor (see video).  Without relief, the Little Sisters face millions of dollars in IRS fines because they cannot comply with the government’s mandate that they give their employees free access to contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.  The Little Sisters are joined by their religious health benefits providers, Christian Brothers Services and Christian Brothers Employee Benefits Trust, and a class of other religious organizations facing similar fines, in the first class action lawsuit against the Mandate.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are an international Roman Catholic Congregation of women Religious founded in 1839 by St. Jeanne Jugan.  They operate homes in 31 countries, where they provide loving care for over 13,000 needy elderly persons.  Thirty of these homes are located in the United States.

“Like all of the Little Sisters, I have vowed to God and the Roman Catholic Church that I will treat all life as valuable, and I have dedicated my life to that work,” explained Sister Loraine Marie, Superior for one of the three U.S. provinces in the Congregation.  “We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government’s program to provide access to abortion inducing drugs.”

Little Sisters of the Poor

Although the Little Sisters’ homes perform a religious ministry of caring for the elderly poor, they do not fall within the government’s narrow exemption for “religious employers.”  Accordingly, beginning on January 1, the Little Sisters will face IRS fines unless they violate their religion by hiring an insurer to provide their employees with contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.

“The Sisters should obviously be exempted as ‘religious employers,’ but the government has refused to expand its definition,” said Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and lead counsel for the Little Sisters.   “These women just want to take care of the elderly poor without being forced to violate the faith that animates their work.  The money they collect should be used to care for the poor like it always has—and not to pay the IRS.”

The lawsuit is the first of its kind both because it is a class-action suit that will represent hundreds of Catholic non-profit ministries with similar beliefs and because it is the first on behalf of benefits providers who cannot comply with the Mandate.

The lawsuit was filed in federal District Court in Denver.  There are now 73 lawsuits challenging the mandate.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 18 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law.  They recently won a 9-0 Supreme Court victory in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Emily Hardman, Communications Director, at ehardman@becketfund.org or call 202.349.7224.

###

Additional Information:

Becket Fund

Please share the Sisters’ story.  Forward it to everyone you know.  Though the Democratic Party and its politicians knew that their Healthcare law would violate the vows of religious persons like the Little Sisters of the Poor, surely individual Catholics who identify as Democrats did not want such effects on their religious sisters, nor would they want such a bad law.  Surely, these Catholics never believed their religious sisters would have to choose between obedience to God and obedience to government run by the Democratic Party.

Pray that the sisters will be free to live the Evangelical Counsels of voluntary poverty, chastity and obedience.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Website for the Little Sisters of the Poor:

http://littlesistersofthepoor.org/

Courageous Egyptian Catholic and Orthodox bishops under threat of martyrdom warn about Muslim Brotherhood

Bishop KyrillosCatholic and Orthodox bishops in Egypt (also referred to as Coptic Catholics and Coptic Orthodox/Coptic Christians) are under daily threat of being martyred for their faith by the jihadists of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Yet they show exceptional courage in the face of this threat.  Bishop Kyrillos, the Catholic bishop of Asyut in Upper Egypt (pictured left) said:

“I can’t discount the possibility of single acts of violence by the Muslim Brothers… “

He states the Muslim Brotherhood’s name in a country where he could be murdered by them at anytime.  Catholic and Orthodox priests and laity are being murdered and their churches burned down by jihadist muslims.  Read the full story here about Catholic Bishop Kyrillos and Orthodox bishops in Egypt.  Read a previous story about the courage of Egyptian Catholic bishops in the face of Muslim Brotherhood terror here.

American Catholic bishops do not currently live under the immediate threat of martyrdom that the Egyptian Catholic bishops do from the Muslim Brotherhood.  But, the Muslim Brotherhood does exist in America.  See minutes 8:25 to 9:23 in the video below from the Center for Security Policy:

American Catholic bishops should allow experts on the Muslim Brotherhood threat to America to speak at Catholic meetings in their dioceses.  American bishops who will not allow this type of information in their diocese can reflect on the bravery of their brother bishops in Egypt.  Egyptian Catholic bishops, who speak openly about the jihadist muslim threat knowing they could be murdered by the jihadists of the Muslim Brotherhood for doing so.

Thank you to our American Catholic bishops who endorse the Catholic radio stations who cover the subject of radical Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and its existence in America.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Prayer for the United States of America

Fortnight flag

Prayer for the United States of America
Prayer of St. Augustine (†430)

BEFORE Thine eyes, O Lord, we bring our sins, and we compare them with the stripes we have received.
If we examine the evil we have wrought, what we suffer is little, what we deserve is great.
What we have committed is very grievous, what we have suffered is very slight.
We feel the punishment of sin, yet withdraw not from the obstinacy of sinning.
Under Thy lash our inconstancy is visited, but our sinfulness is not changed.
Our suffering soul is tormented, but our neck is not bent.
Our life groans under sorrow, yet amends not in deed.
If Thou spare us, we correct not our ways: if Thou punish, we cannot endure it.
In time of correction we confess our wrongdoing: after Thy visitation we forget that we have wept.
If Thou stretchest forth Thy hand, we promise amendment; if Thou withholdest the sword, we keep not our promise.
If Thou strikest, we cry out for mercy; if Thou sparest, we again provoke Thee to strike
Here we are before Thee, O Lord, confessedly guilty; we know that unless Thou pardon we shall deservedly perish.
Grant then, O almighty Father, without our deserving it, the pardon we ask; Thou Who madest out of nothing those Who ask Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
V. Deal not with us, O Lord, according to our sins.
R. Neither reward us according to our iniquities.
Let us pray.—O God, Who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy suppliant people, and turn away the scourges of Thy wrath, which we deserve for our sins. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

How Alinskyianism entered Catholic parishes (and intersects with “Common Core” standards)

By Stephanie Block

alinskysmall

Recently, while preparing an article on Common Core national standards, someone suggested that I might be interested in the “open letters” written by a group called Catholics for Truth in Education operating in Illinois from 1974 into the 90s.  Interestingly enough, a set of these “open letters” just happened to have been sitting on my bookshelf for over a decade, waiting to be examined.
There may have been other Catholics for Truth in Education publications, as well, but the materials in my possession begin around the time of the first Alinskyian Call to Action conference[i] in 1976, an event that galvanized dissent within the Catholic Church of the United States and attempted to manipulate the bishops into supporting it.  The ecclesial and social landscape which the “open letters” describe was chaotic, experimental, and hostile to traditional worship.
The first “open letter” examines a 1977 planning document titled the “Position Paper on Networks of Regional Parishes for Corporate Reconstruction” written by the (since deceased) industrial/organizational psychologist Dr. Robert R. Newsome.[ii]
Newsome was on the cutting edge of “parish renewal.”  To pioneer various renewal strategies and incubate a reformed Church, he conceived of an “alliance” of Chicago parishes, the Parish Corporate Renewal Network, which would operate unmolested until other structures replaced it.    A 1977 request grant request for the network wrote that “the project faces a challenge of dramatically changing the way Catholic parishes serve themselves and the secular community of which they are a part.  Heretofore, parishes have principally focused upon the salvation and grace of their members.  The purpose of this project is to unleash the capacity of parishes to be apostolic organizations with a new vision, mission, and capability for developing the greatness and well-being of mankind.” [iii]
For a Catholic to separate “the greatness and well-being of mankind” from “salvation and grace” is quite extraordinary but Newsome proposed to accomplish it in three phases.  The first targeted parish staff and created five teams of laity for re-education and training.
Once properly prepared, they would function like a virus inside the parish community, moving with “a clear, shared vision and mission” but anticipating “rejection.” (page 5) Small faith communities with the unappealing title of “Corporate Reflection Centers” were to be formed throughout each parish during this next (second) phase and each would model the new vision: “This vision of corporate man is one in which unity in diversity rather than uniformity is values.”
By phase three, the parish was ready to move out into the community at large, seeking “partnership” “with all men of good will for the sake of the transformation of the urban community and the world.” (page 6)  Unsophisticated by today’s standards, where we no longer alert people that they are to be transformed but simply launch into the process, Newsome’s project was remarkable forthright.
jack egan
Then, there was Msgr. John (Jack) Egan – who not only served on Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation board but co-chaired the 1976 Call to Action conference’s plenary sessions –and who also served on the Board of Advisers for the Parish Corporate Renewal Network.  Incarnate in Father Egan, the elements of organized Church dissent, organized secular political activism, and a reorganized parish were intrinsically related to one another.  Easy enough to see in hindsight.
Msgr. Egan writes:
     Working with parishes through my diocesan post in Chicago’s Office of Urban Affairs, I saw the parish as a neighborhood institution with great potential for influence.  Neighborhood issues of housing, police protection, education, availability of health services and sanitation affected the daily life of parishioners.  The parish priests and people could not afford not to be involved.  Citizen-parishioners along with their clergy became key actors in community organizations which not only improved the quality of life in their own neighborhoods, but had a great effect on the life of the city of Chicago.
     Today there are more cities in the nation boasting of strong citizen groups than ever before.  Generally speaking, the growth of community organization in our urban areas has been supported both financially and morally in large measure by parishes which recognize the critical relationship between critical human problems and the dignity of persons in their neighborhoods.  I would venture to say that without Church support most of the community organizations would either have been neither developed nor sustained.[iv]
By the second “open letter,” five months later, the US bishops had responded to the 1976 Call to Action recommendations, many of which were too radical for implementation.  However, a “Project for Parish Renewal” was approved as a “major priority” for every US diocese[v] and Catholics for Truth in Education watched the process, as it unfolded in Chicago, closely.
From the advantage of 35 years in the future, one can see that, for some, “renewal” was an honest endeavor.  To them, it meant simply a reinvigoration of parish life that might include building new schools, improving resources, or developing ministries.  For the reformers, however, “renewal” was consciously and deliberately ordered toward ideological “transformation.”  A transformed parish would have little resemblance to a Catholic community.  The third “open letter” documents the push of various Network clergy for women and married priests, acceptance of divorce, homosexuality, and birth control, as well as belief in a non-hierarchical Church structure that was to be separated from Rome.  The Network “theological adviser,” a philosophy professor[vi]  hired to conduct talks in Chicago-area parishes about Network’s vision for restructuring, is quoted spouting pure liberation theology. “Someday this world will be The Kingdom,” he assures listeners.  “The Kingdom is the state of affairs – the here and now.”
saul-alinsky-poster
Maybe somebody’s Kingdom, but not Christ’s.[vii]
One gets lost in among the interconnected names and groups who are pushing this transformative, un-Catholic form of “renewal.” Equally numbing are the grey, bureaucratic details that comprise this or that version of the new structure.  The interesting bit, however, is where the action leads.  Once parishes are restructured and “properly” retrained, what are they primed to do?
Catholics for Truth in Education concludes by letter #4 that, for one thing, they are to be drawn into Alinskyian community organizations and their activism.  Letter # 9, five years later, describes an archdiocesan program structured exactly along those lines, including parish listening sessions to make people “feel important” (yes, that’s what the archdiocesan materials say), analysis of these sessions for purposes of developing strategic plans, provision of “theological reflection and leadership training,” all aimed at ecumenical political activism.  “A major part of this renewal is getting the Catholic laity involved in performing the social ministry of the Church,” Dr. Newsome opines, “including the building of better neighborhoods and communities.”[viii]  Community organizing is a means to this end.
But there are others.  Letter #5 takes the reader on a romping survey of the most exciting liberationist activity at the time – which is where, oddly enough, it intersects with contemporary Common Core national standards (and why, I suspect, I was encouraged to read the “open letters”).  In the middle of discussion about theological movements in Latin America and their challenges to Church teaching, the reader is introduced to a process for controlling groups of people called “Management by Objectives.”  (MBO)
MBO had initially been introduced into the business world as an accounting system.  Like education reform pedagogy called “mastery learning” – later called “outcome based education” and still later reintroduced through the Common Core national standards – or psychology’s value clarification techniques, MBO was a systematic attempt to reprogram the individual’s values and actions.  Simply stated, the process begins with predetermined goals (or standards) to which the individual is held accountable.  Of concern to Catholics for Truth in Education, several dioceses around the country were using MBO strategies as part of their pastoral planning for renewal.
Almost prescient for a time that predated a global Internet and cell phones, Catholics for Truth in Education worried about computerized data collection schemes that supported MBO aims.  What must have seemed paranoid to most readers then has an air of prophesy to a generation that lives with the reality of government monitoring of citizens.  The people who recoiled from Huxley’s Brave New World couldn’t have fathomed the level of invasiveness that would become possible and tolerated.
The “letters” written throughout the 1980s[ix] drown the reader with descriptions of specific programs, practitioners, and tactics.  So many Catholics were dancing behind the Pied Piper of “change” with little curiosity about where he was leading.   Catholics for Truth in Education examined dozens of re-education programs in the Chicago Archdiocese – among them the once ubiquitous RENEW[x] – and explained the relationship of each to Call to Action dissent and a socialistic world view.
The end product, however, was never about the Church, not really, but about society.  The Church had to be transformed so that it wouldn’t be an obstacle to transforming society.  Catholics for Truth in Education harangues about Marxist infiltration and apostasy are easy to dismiss as alarmist but, after decades of chaos, the Church in the U.S. faces serious persecution for holding on to the last shreds of Catholic integrity.  The old, bureaucratic liberals, who still push their un-Catholic agendas – JustFaith and Nuns on the Bus, Alinskyian organizers and New Agers, I’m looking at you – are comfortable with that.
Historical facts are hard to dispute – and they have led to the results that are very much what Catholics for Truth in Education feared: too many Catholics who reject Church teaching.  After her death, the son of Catholics for Truth in Education’s founding president, Mary Catherine Davis, wrote, “The more that time passes the more things big and small I see my mother was right about.”
Yes, she was.
Change Agents V1Spero columnist Stephanie Block edits the New Mexico-based Los Pequenos newspaper and is the author of the four volume Change Agents: Alinskyian Organizing Among Religious Bodies, which is available at Amazon.
[i] For a detailed history of the relationship between Alinsky-trained clerics and the Call to Action dissenting movement in the US Catholic Church, see “Underground Call to Action:” http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=1318&CFID=66214206&CFTOKEN=51725830
[ii] Robert R. Newsome also wrote a book, The ministering parish: methods and procedures for pastoral organization, Paulist Press, 1982.
[iii] “Request for Foundation Assistance from Parish Corporate Renewal Network (Internal Corporate Renewal Network),” August 1, 1977, page 1.  Six foundations were approached using this document: DeRance, Inc., George Halas Foundation, Lewis Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Inc., Raskob Foundation, and the Dr. Scholl Foundation.  The last of these foundations publically distanced itself from the whole business, according to “open letter #4.”
[iv] Msgr. John J. Egan, “Do we need parishes?” Parish Ministry, Nov-Dec 1980, pp 2-3, as quoted in Catholics for Truth in Education “open letter” #9, part 2 (June 1983).
[v] “A Call to Action: Five-Year plan of Action” Origins 8, 5-28-78.
[vi] The November 1984 “open letter” quotes this Network theological adviser telling his students, “ We affirmed the Church is dead and found it a liberating revelation,” and “Isn’t being a Catholic one of the biggest blocks to being a Christian?” 
[vii] See John 18:36…and Romans 14: 17. 
[viii] Jack Houston, “’Parish renewal’ project sparks a Catholic battle,” Chicago Tribune, 5-31-79.
[ix] “Open letters” #6-9 sport the by-line of Peter S. Newman, editor.  The other issues carry no attribution.
[x] See also Mary Jo Anderson, “Buried in the Fine Print: An Inside Look at RENEW 2000,” Crisis, March 1999; Frank Morriss’ “Restructuring the Church into Their Own Image: The Link Between RENEW and the New Biblical Scholarship,” Wanderer Forum Foundation Quarterly, June 1992;  Beth Drennan, Esq., “Background Check of RENEW 2000 Contributors Reveals RENEW 2000 Texts Laced with Call to Action Names,” Women Faith and Family, 1998.  Drennan has also published another discussion of the Call to Action elements found in RENEW 2000 in “Paulists’ RENEW 2000 Is Just a Front for Call to Action,” The Wanderer, 9-10-98.
the-love-song-of-saul-alinski2

Catholic Bishops’ Conference grant funds group that protested Kansas Secretary of State’s home

PICO sunflower protestersThis is a scandal made possible with the money of unwitting Catholics across the United States.  The 300 protesters that were led by bull-horn in the front doorway of the home of the Kansas Secretary of State on Saturday June 15, 2013 are from the community organization called PICO National Network and its affiliate, “Communities Creating Opportunity” (CCO) and a partner named “Sunflower Community Action.”  On March 5, 2012 PICO National Network was granted $150,000 from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) anti-poverty agency, known as the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD.)

UPDATE:  PICO may be a beneficiary of power given to community organizations in the Immigration reform bill (CLICK HERE for more.)

This grant was made to PICO for its “Campaign for Citizenship” as announced on the USCCB website (click here) and in the graphic below:

CCHD grant to PICO per USCCB website

PICO National Network’s “Campaign for Citizenship” and Communities Creating Opportunity meets at a church prior to protesting at Kansas Secretary of State’s home.  Notice the CCO logo worn by an attendee below:

PICO CCO logo worn at church

Sunflower Community Action recorded the entire day in photographs.  Click here to see photos of the lead up to the protest.

Below is a close up of PICO National Network’s “Campaign for Citizenship” sign with the “Communities Creating Opportunity” (CCO) logo on it prior to the protest:

PICO Campaign for Citizenship sign

Protesters carrying the same PICO National Network’s “Campaign for Citizenship” signs with “Communities Creating Opportunity” (CCO) logo on them at the Kansas Secretary of State’s home below:

PICO sunflower protesters

Below a protester bull-horns in Kansas Secretary of State’s front doorway:

PICO protesters at KS SOS home

This $150,000 grant money must be removed by the USCCB and PICO and its affiliates removed from Catholic Churches immediately.  Click here to learn how to remove PICO.  PICO’s tactics are inconsistent with Catholic social teaching and have scandalized all Catholics.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Elbert Guillory, a Catholic and Black Louisiana Senator leaves the Democratic Party “Free at Last”

Lay Catholic LogoA Catholic who is black has left the Democratic Party in Louisiana.  He is Senator Elbert Guillory of Opelousas, Louisiana.  See his biography at www.elbertguillory.com

At his website you will see that his Catholic biography includes membership in the following:

  1. Member of Holy Ghost Catholic Church
  2. Knights of Peter Claver
  3. Knights of Columbus
  4. Order of H. C.
  5. Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre

Please watch his eloquent presentation in the video below and the text of the video beneath it:

Below is the text of Senator Guillory’s video presentation:

“Hello, my name is Elbert Lee Guillory, and I’m the senator for the twenty-fourth district right here in beautiful Louisiana. Recently I made what many are referring to as a ‘bold decision’ to switch my party affiliation to the Republican Party. I wanted to take a moment to explain why I became a Republican, and also to explain why I don’t think it was a bold decision at all. It is the right decision — not only for me — but for all my brothers and sisters in the black community.

You see, in recent history the Democrat Party has created the illusion that their agenda and their policies are what’s best for black people. Somehow it’s been forgotten that the Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an abolitionist movement with one simple creed: that slavery is a violation of the rights of man.

Frederick Douglass called Republicans the ‘Party of freedom and progress,’ and the first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was the Republicans in Congress who authored the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments giving former slaves citizenship, voting rights, and due process of law.

The Democrats on the other hand were the Party of Jim Crow. It was Democrats who defended the rights of slave owners. It was the Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who championed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, but it was Democrats in the Senate who filibustered the bill.

You see, at the heart of liberalism is the idea that only a great and powerful big government can be the benefactor of social justice for all Americans. But the left is only concerned with one thing — control. And they disguise this control as charity. Programs such as welfare, food stamps, these programs aren’t designed to lift black Americans out of poverty, they were always intended as a mechanism for politicians to control black the black community.

The idea that blacks, or anyone for that matter, need the the government to get ahead in life is despicable. And even more important, this idea is a failure. Our communities are just as poor as they’ve always been. Our schools continue to fail children. Our prisons are filled with young black men who should be at home being fathers. Our self-initiative and our self-reliance have been sacrificed in exchange for allegiance to our overseers who control us by making us dependent on them.

Sometimes I wonder if the word freedom is tossed around so frequently in our society that it has become a cliché.

The idea of freedom is complex and it is all-encompassing. It’s the idea that the economy must remain free of government persuasion. It’s the idea that the press must operate without government intrusion. And it’s the idea that the emails and phone records of Americans should remain free from government search and seizure. It’s the idea that parents must be the decision makers in regards to their children’s education — not some government bureaucrat.

But most importantly, it is the idea that the individual must be free to pursue his or her own happiness free from government dependence and free from government control. Because to be truly free is to be reliant on no one other than the author of our destiny. These are the ideas at the core of the Republican Party, and it is why I am a Republican.

So my brothers and sisters of the American community, please join with me today in abandoning the government plantation and the Party of disappointment. So that we may all echo the words of one Republican leader who famously said, ‘free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to breath into Mr. Guillory and that he will have the strength to withstand any new sufferings that come his way.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.