Dress for Success
If You See Something, Say Something
"It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble" – Matthew 18:6.
For years The Defender has been giving Millstone Awards to clerics who are prominently doing harm to our children, and for years we have been criticized by some for being negative about our priests. We disagree. Bishop Sheen once said, "Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious." We have the duty to save out Church, and never has there been more of a need for it (in my lifetime) than right now.
Seven years ago the president of the University of Notre Dame, Father Jenkins, invited President Obama to speak at their graduation and in addition gave him an Honorary Law Degree. Father Jenkins had the arrogance to declare the statement from the USCCB, “Catholic in Political Life,” did not apply to him. The statement reads, “The Catholic community and Catholic institution should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which suggest support for their actions.”
It did not take long for the protests to begin. Father Jenkins had 88 protestors arrested and put in jail on the day of the award. The charge was trespassing on an open campus, where previous demonstrations by gay rights and like organizations had been ignored. Jenkins’ arrogance resulted in: 85 bishops who rebuked him, 330,000 people who filed protests, a key speaker who refused to attend and who turned down an honorary degree, plus alumni who almost immediately wrote and cancelled up to $81 million in donations. None of the 200 bishops supported him. There has been substantial loss of income to the university. The Defenders gave Father Jenkins a Millstone award.
Father Jenkins is at it again. In the words of the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics, on pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden. This time, however, the offense is even greater: a pro-abortion Catholic politician is being honored yet again discounting the fact of public scandal.
In truth, the University’s praise and honor for Vice President Joe Biden creates a toxic religious environment on Notre Dame’s campus and in the broader public, betrays the University’s religious mission, and sends the clear message that a Catholic who unrepentantly and publicly opposes Catholic moral teaching deserves a Catholic university honor for being a model Catholic citizen.”
Catholic Biden has compromised his fidelity to Church teaching on intrinsic evils far too many times in his career in the interest of political compromise. He has publicly supported Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion, legal redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples, taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research, and the list goes on.
For this, Father Jenkins is given his second Millstone award by The Defenders of the Faith. It appears he learned NOTHING from the Obama scandal that he caused in 2009.
Before we had time to recover from Notre Dame, “Catholic” Georgetown University’s president, Dr. John J. DeGioia, invited the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, to speak on campus in April. Georgetown's invitation to Richards tells students the Fifth Commandment is really not important. It also dishonors the memory of all the Jesuit saints and martyrs who gave up their lives for God and the Church. “Catholic” Georgetown cannot be true to its Catholic identity and at the same time give a platform to the most notorious abortion provider in the world. Beyond abortion, Planned Parenthood attacks God's institution of sacramental marriage between one man and one woman. It also targets our youth on a national scale with filthy and inappropriate "sex-ed" material. How can a Catholic Georgetown invite Cecile Richards to speak when her hands are stained with the innocent blood of 2.8 million victims?
Finally Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, does what he is expected to do as ordinary in his archdiocese! However, it is not enough. He only laments and prefers. The religious order needs the bishop’s permission to operate in the diocese. If the bishop thinks that whatever needs to be done to remedy the situation is ultra vires, i.e., beyond his legal power, then he can ask for relief from a higher authority, i.e., Rome. He never has to throw up his hands and say there is nothing he can do.
One wonders what Georgetown’s president, Dr. DeGioia, would do if the students requested a porn star be invited in to give an invigorating talk. In either case I believe the selection reflects the type of education these students are receiving. In the world today the students and this generation in particular suffer in the absence of ecclesiastical leadership to teach the real "freedom" of Christ, the teaching that we are not of this world; in it, yes, but Christ was not a social director for worldly affairs. Both Guardini and Sheen address this in their respective books.
For this, both Dr. DeGioia and Cardinal Wuerl are given a Millstone Award from The Defenders of the Faith.
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola Marymount University’s choice to honor the disgraced, pro-abortion former President Bill Clinton as its spring 2016 commencement speaker on May 7 is a new low in the University’s repeated betrayal of its Catholic mission. Former President Clinton is an extremely poor choice for honor and presents a very bad moral example to their students. The University’s President Dr. Timothy Snyder touted Clinton in the commencement speaker announcement as “one of the great statesmen of our time.”
President Clinton’s record is one of scandal, immorality and support of abortion. He was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice. He disgraced his office by engaging in an adulterous, sexual relationship with a young White House intern, then sought to cover up his behavior. He worked to ensure legal abortion, permitted abortions on U.S. military bases, sought taxpayer funding for abortions, and even used his veto to protect the barbaric practice of killing babies who are partially born. Since leaving the White House, he has expressed strong support for same-sex marriage and worked to overturn marriage laws. President Dr. Timothy Snyder’s deliberate choice to honor former President Clinton is a scandal to the faithful and betrays the Church. The Defenders of the Faith hereby awards President Dr. Timothy Snyder a brand new Millstone Award.
Catholic Relief Services
According to Charity Navigators (an unbiased charity evaluator) Catholic Relief Services (CRS) rates only three stars due to its inefficiency. It receives money from the US government; therefore, it is totally beholden to the wishes of a very pro-abort and anti-Christian organization. This is the answer to the question of why a Catholic agency is working so hard to destroy the souls of God's children.
According to the list provided by CRS, one organization alone, Africare, received $1,286,882 from CRS in Fiscal Year 2014. Africare bills itself as “a leading non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to addressing African development and policy issues by working in partnership with African people to build sustainable, healthy and productive communities.”
The sad thing is what Africare considers “health” includes the distribution of condoms and the increased use of modern contraception.
CRS operates in direct violation of what you and I believe as Catholics faithful to the Magisterium. CRS continues to provide funding and a seal of approval to organizations committing abortion, performing sterilization and distributing contraception. Its justifications are completely unsatisfactory. You decide whether or not donating to CRS is going to feed the poor... or hand them a box of condoms instead. Also, realize the president, Carolyn Y. Woo, receives a salary of $397,216 per year.
Charity Navigators indicates the Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley is the chairman of the organization and it rates as one of the least effective of like organizations rated by Charity Navigators. For this, Rev. Paul S. Coakley is given a Millstone Award by The Defenders of the Faith.
Homosexuality in the Parishes
Nothing is as depressing as reading one article after another pertaining to homosexuality and the acceptance of homosexuality by our clergy. Our good friend and Defender of the Faith, Jack Ames, recently published an article in his monthly newsletter, Defend Life, about the homosexual lifestyle at St. Matthews Catholic Church in Baltimore, Maryland. An organization for the homosexuals of the parish meets on church property and dares to hold fundraisers at the church to promote their message. The group is called “LGBT Education and Affirming Diversity” (LEAD) and it does what it says. The article written by Ames states this activity is not only condoned by the pastor, Father Joseph Muth, but he is rejoicing at the marriage of two of the LEAD women members. Muth promotes not only acceptance but outright approval of active homosexual and other LGBT behavior in both St. Matthew’s Church and the Catholic Church in General. Reports of this have appeared in Newsweek, WMAR-TV, the National Catholic Reporter and in other news media.
Articles published by LEAD in Church publications are nothing less than a platform for active homosexuals who reject Church teaching. LEAD is not to be confused with the Catholic organizations, Courage and Encouraged, which are in direct opposition to LEAD. Courage is designed to assist those directly involved with homosexual to return to normal. Encourage assists those who have family members who are homosexual.
Father Muth met the local vicar, Bishop Denis Madden, who has not only condoned the group but has visited it three times and (reportedly) also congratulated the married lesbian couple.
Baltimore’s Archbishop William Lori who is also the chaplain of the Knights of Columbus apparently condones the group. After meeting with Lori the LEAD group felt inspired to participate in the Baltimore Gay Pride Parade. Several requests for an explanation from the Archbishop have met with no response. He has yet to comment on the actions of Bishop Denis Madden or the action of LEAD. What message does this shepherd send to his sheep? To our knowledge, neither the USCCB nor the Knights of Columbus have inquired as to the rational of Lori’s stand in this matter.
Unfortunately, this story of St. Matthews is repeated multiple times across the world. The Defenders of the Faith hereby awards Father Muth, Bishop Madden, Archbishop Lori and others like them a brand new Millstone Award.
Homosexuality in the Clergy
his Book of Gomorrah, Saint Peter Damian first attacks the problem of
clerical moral laxity and sexual perversions from the top down, beginning with
members of the Catholic hierarchy such as
When he speaks of “do-nothing” superiors, the reader can almost feel the earth shake under him: “Listen, you do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests. Listen, and even though you feel sure of yourselves, tremble at the thought that you are partners in the guilt of others; those, I mean, who wink at the sins of their subjects that need correction and who by ill-considered silence allow them license to sin. Listen, I say, and be shrewd enough to understand that all of you alike are deserving of death, that is, not only those who do such things, but also they who approve those who practice them.” (Rom 1:32)x
Having launched that thunderbolt, Saint Damian then attacks with even more vehemence those reprobate bishops and religious superiors who themselves are guilty of heinous sodomite acts and who prostitute their own spiritual sons – seminarians, priests and monks under their care. (The above was taken from an article by Randy Engel)
Corruption within certain Archdioceses
Much has been written many times about Cardinal Dolan and his chicaneries within the Archdiocese of New York. Church Militant has been at the forefront of exposing the slime and corruption within that archdiocese. In particular, they helped shed the light on the sex-and-embezzlement case regarding Father Peter Miqueli. This case, combined with the stonewalling by Dolan et al that parishioners received as they attempted to seek redress in accordance with canon law protocols, has caused these parishioners to resort to legal action. We hope they prevail in court.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Miqueli situation is simply one tip of the iceberg. Again, Church Militant has attempted to get clarification from the New York chancery. The chancery has engaged in their usual stonewalling. Meanwhile an employee of the Archdiocese of New York agreed to an interview with Church Militant under cover of anonymity.
The informant stated the New York scenario is most likely being repeated all over the country, if not the world.
In addition to this, Cdl. Dolan continues to support the homosexulized St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York. When New York City mayor Bill de Blasio dropped his boycott of the parade, saying since it now allowed homosexuals to march proudly and openly in it, he could now support it. Cdl. Dolan basically indicated he supports this in his response to the mayor. He is allowing the St. Patrick's Day Parade to be co-opted and corrupted by the admission of groups hostile to Church teaching. For this, Cardinal Dolan is given his second Millstone award by The Defenders of the Faith.
If we examine the situation occurring at either Georgetown or Notre Dame we cannot help but be concerned their students will be damaged by these events. Young students may in fact come away with the impression that the Catholic Church has no objection if one supports abortion and still claims to identify as Catholic. Will the Vatican reprimand Notre Dame and Georgetown for caving in once again to American secular humanism? Or could it be the Vatican is silently nodding in approval, pleased that America’s leading Catholic university is refusing to “obsess” about things like abortion and homosexuality?
When we look at homosexuality in our seminaries and in our parishes will the Vatican discipline those clergy who are molesting our children or those who cover up the molestation?
As stated in Luke 17:2 “It would be better for him if a large millstone were tied around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” Awarding such clergy with a millstone is an act of mercy compared to what they will receive on their judgement day.
Defending the Faith
There are, I believe, many millions of American Catholics who would be quite willing to defend their faith against the attacks being made against it, both internally and externally, by the forces of anti-Christian secular humanism. But these many millions lack effective leadership. For the most part their bishops and parish priests, though on the whole good men, are not fighters. In a line from John Milton’s “Lycidas” he states, “The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.” This is so true today
Faithful Catholics please keep your eyes and ears open. There is a saying that many of us see displayed over interstate highways from time to time: "If you see something, say something." Please do so! If you receive no satisfaction from official church channels, please start organizing among yourselves and take some actions such as organizing collection boycotts. You are not helpless, especially if you stick together. As stated at the beginning of this article, Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that it will be up to the laity to save the Church. That time is now!
Edouard Cardinal Gagnon was appointed by St. Pope John Paul II to the office of President of the Pontifical Council for the Family in 1983. He stressed the importance of dealing with abuses on the local level where possible. He said: "Local fights have mainly to be fought at the local level, and I encourage associations of parents and other groups to fight and be ready to work at the parish and diocesan level." The following is a great article for your review! www.fatimacrusader.com/cr15/cr15pg15.asp.
Bishop Rene Gracida, insists that we have more than enough people in the Church telling us what the truth is. What is missing is lay people standing up and calling out leaders who are teaching wrongheaded notions.
Above all else, please pray for our clergy!
Jim Fritz Cardinal Raymond Burke, for example,
Dress for Success
Most of us have probably heard idioms such as “Clothes make the man,” “Put on your Sunday best,” or “Dressed to the nines.” Does it really matter how we dress? Shakespeare’s Polonius, in giving advice to his son, Laertes, said: “For the apparel oft proclaims the man, and they in France of the best rank and station are of a most select and generous chief in that.” People do indeed judge us on our appearance, and first impressions do define us. What others think of us is important, but what we think of ourselves is even more so, and when we are “dressed to the nines” we feel as though we have the whole world in our hands.
In a study conducted by Professor Adam Galinsky at Northwestern University, he introduced the term “enclothed cognition” to describe the effect that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes. In his study, students wearing white lab coats performed much better than those without coats. They were more attentive and more careful in carrying out their assigned tasks. Galinsky stated: “Many pieces of clothing carry a symbolic meaning. For example, a judge’s robe signifies justice. An expensive suit signifies power, and a white lab coat signifies focus and attentiveness. Our research indicates that wearing clothes exerts influence through this symbolic meaning.”
Our behavior, our posture, and our self-esteem are also affected by how we dress. When we dress formally in a tuxedo or evening gown our behavior is much different than when we are wearing jeans and a tee shirt. I recently encountered a young man who was home on leave from the Marine Corps. He was just lounging around with some of his pals and was wearing jeans and a flannel shirt. His appearance and attire spoke nothing of who he was other than a typical American young adult. On Christmas Eve I saw him again at church, and he was wearing his dress blue uniform. He stood tall and erect. He had an air about him that proclaimed authority and confidence. He was the epitome of the U.S. Marine Corps. The clothes not only changed my impression of him, but one could tell by his demeanor that it also changed his impression of himself.
When you visit someone, dressing well not only offers you a feeling of self-respect, it also shows respect for the person you are visiting.
So, what is my purpose in writing this? If it is important to dress in such a manner as to deserve respect from and show respect for those you are visiting, don’t you think it is even more important to “put on your Sunday best” when you are visiting God? There is nothing more disgusting than seeing men in church on Sunday dressed in shorts or jeans with a tee shirt emblazoned with crude images or words. Or, how about the woman with the low-cut top and the too-short skirt? What impression are you giving when you present yourself before God dressed as though you’ve only stopped on your way to the beach or a ball game?
Yes, I know there are those who will say God is not looking at your clothes; He is only concerned with your soul. That may well be true, but it does not relieve you of your responsibility to yourself; your responsibility to “put your best foot forward,” your responsibility to SHOW respect, even if it is not required. Putting on your Sunday best also shows respect for your priest or minister as well as all of the people in the pews with you. In the words of motivational speaker Zig Zigler, “You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.”
Close this window to return to current Commentary page