Saturday, May 14, 2011

Frustration station

I guess I'm one of the only bloggers still waiting for restoration of her last post, so in the meantime, I will move along to some news and PSAs, hoping against hope that today will be the day that my blog is rendered intact!


First, an "I'm-not-surprised-at-the-hypocrisy-but-it-still-makes-me-crazy" note: Remember the good professor with whom I had a regrettable exchange a few months back? Well, I had a strange hunch that he was a signer of the recent chastisement letter sent to Speaker of the House John Boehner. Speaker Boehner, a Catholic Republican, is due to speak at Catholic University's commencement today.

Sure enough, there was the professor's signature attached to the letter!

He and the others are upset that Boehner's budget does not support the Democrats' agenda for social programs.

Here's the part that really gets me: The dozens of signatories sternly urge that Boehner obey the Church's Magisterium (yes, they actually invoke the Magisterium!) on what amounts to an issue of prudential judgement. The Church gives us freedom to disagree on policy issues and how best to help the poor, and yet the signatories (purposely?) mislead Catholics into thinking that supporting liberal social programs at the federal level is mandated by the Pope!

To assert that Boehner or anyone must support leftist fiscal policy or else be in defiance of Church teaching is all kinds of crazy. Not to mention that most of these professors (I would be willing to bet money) have never invoked the Church's Magisterium to demand obedience on any of the non-negotiable life issues, nor have they openly chastised leftist Catholic darlings Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden, who openly defy their Faith on those non-negotiables.

The professors (and all Catholics) are certainly free to disagree with Speaker Boehner's policy and budget votes, but they have no right to fraudulently elevate issues of prudential judgment to the level of Church doctrine!

Normally it would be a joy to see these august Catholic academics finally demanding obedience to the Magisterium of the Church -- if that demand were not in the service of distorting what the Church actually teaches, while ignoring or defying the truly binding teachings of our Church. As it stands, the whole thing smacks of hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty.

Fr. Robert Sirico has a good analysis of the problem here.


On a lighter note, wonderful Bubble reader and contributor Becky has a most amazing etsy shop called Roses for Mary. The rosaries she makes are some of the loveliest I have ever seen, and if you do nothing else, please click the link now and see what I mean! You won't be disappointed!


Last year, I told you about a book that changed my life. After the post ran, the author of that book, R. Richard Thomas, contacted me and told me about a second book he had written. I was thrilled! Recently he contacted me again, to tell me that those books, The Ordinary Path to Holiness and The Interior Liturgy of the Our Father are now available for the Kindle and the Nook. I am happy to recommend them!


I know I had something else to say. I can't remember. Sigh. That is how it goes with me lately. 

Enjoy a wonderful weekend!



  1. I read an article on that letter to Boehner and all I could think was: prudential judgment! Our Catholic Universities (esp. Theology departments) need to get rid of these professors who aren't truly faithful to the Church. Drives me nuts.

  2. Leila, check your edit page, my post that was deleted was in there. Blessings!

  3. Leila, you HAVE to get that post back. I need it for referencing. It was awesome.

    Some of my comments are missing still, and photos.

    Thank for the information about this issue too, I need to take some time and read the links. Thanks for putting it all together.

  4. Debi and Stacy, thank you! Here's how lazy I am: I actually have the post (posts get emailed to me each time I post). I was just hoping I wouldn't have to reconstruct the links and the video. And I also hate that I have lost the comments, although those are also in my email, and I could respost them, too…. I just was hoping blogger would magically restore the whole thing, like they finally did with everyone else! But, it is good news that I do have it all.

    I will be reposting it on Monday if it's not back by then.

    Sloth is my biggest temptation. Or maybe I am ADD.


  5. I read your link back to your conversation with the Prof. Very interesting. It's very difficult to know when to make a private conflict between believers public. It's very ugly to see, honestly. Even when I've done it on forums or blogs, I almost always regret it. Even though I'm sure it's helpful to those within the Catholic Church to understand the problems of "Catholic" higher education, to me, as an outsider of the RCC, it just shows that there seems to be just as much conflict within as without.

    Or maybe I am interpreting it wrong because I don't have the right context.

    Sidenote: Just learned about the Byzantine Rite & Eastern Catholic Churches this past week. Could somebody explain what these are? I don't know any Catholics IRL, so you're it for me!

    Someone should make "The Non-Catholic's Guide to the RCC". :)

  6. Eliz, great comment! You are so right, there is plenty of conflict within the Catholic Church (read my reversion story for more). Sadly, it's about dissent. The Catholic Church has a teaching authority (whether one agrees with the CC or not), and we are to live in submission to that authority on matters of faith and morals. The conflict comes in when dissenting Catholics do not want to live according to the teachings of the Church. This sort of thing has gone on since the beginning of the Church, but the authority of the Church has also always been there. So, for each believer, it is simply a choice whether or not to obey legitimate authority (the Church Christ founded) or not. Sadly, in America and the western world, since the 1960s, many have chosen to rebel. But the Church remains steadfast and unchanging in faith and morals:

    Eastern rite Catholics (like my parents) submit to the authority of the Pope. They are folks who left the authority of the Church a thousand years ago (with the Eastern Orthodox) but then came back. They maintain all their own traditional rites and spirituality. As Pope John Paul II put it: The Church breathes with the lungs of both east and west. Catholics are incredibly diverse and flexible, just not on matters of faith and morals (the Deposit of Faith which Christ left the Apostles).

    I will try to explain more just as soon as I can (it's my son's eighteenth birthday today!). Someone else may fill you in before I do! :)

    Glad to have you here! What is your church? I hope you meet some faithful Catholics IRL soon, but until then, we are glad to be the representatives! :) :)

  7. @Eliz.erazo

    The Eastern Catholic Churches are Churches in communion with the Pope, but they have their own liturgy, hierarchy, and canon law. Canon law describes everything from disciplinary action to be taken for a Priest that does X, to the extent and limits of the powers of a Bishop, or Pastor.

    The Eastern Orthodox Churches fell out of communion with Rome about a millenia ago, and the Easter Catholic Churches are the few that returned.

    You can read some history about Eastern Catholicism/Byzantine Catholics at New Advent, just click the encyclopedia at the top right handside of the page, or you can download this e-book. The e-book s a much mre detailed account about the history of the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. It also has some Roman Catholic Church history in there as well.

  8. The link to that book is here.

    It is by Fr. Adrian Fortescue, one for the foremost historians on the Eastern Churches at the beginning of the 20th century.

  9. That should read, At the beginning of the 20th Century, Fr. Adrian Fortescue was one of the foremost historians of the Eastern Churches. Not just the Eastern Churches at the beginning of the 20th century.

    Anyway, HTML isn't working with that URL. This is the URL for the book:

    You could copy and paste!

  10. Leila, they haven't restored my comments either...I'm starting to lose hope!

  11. Leila

    Just need to butt in here for a moment to say thank you for the reference to my little shop! Thanks!

    Hope you get your post back!

  12. Just read your Reversion story -- the dialogue with the prof makes even more sense when read with your story! Just to make sure I have this straight: the Church has teachings that the believer should follow out of submission whether they personally "agree" or not? Kind of like in a marriage: I may not agree with my husband, but submit to his decision because that is what God has commanded me to do. However, some Catholics disagree and DON'T submit. This is the dissenting. Is that correct?

    Also, about the doctorine & disciplines: is it set out anywhere what exactly is included in the doctorine and what is in the realm of disciplines?

    To answer your questions: I attend a non-denominational church in a small community, which was started by my father and two other community members (definitely not a cult of personality thing, tho -- they are all pretty awkward people haha). I've attended since I was about 12 -- before that I attended another non-denominational church with my parents. I pushed God out of my life in my twenties, got pregnant, got married, and have now truly discovered the grace of God in returning.

    I need to ammend something I said earlier, about not knowing any Catholics: I am MARRIED to a Catholic! hahaha ooops! The thing is, he's from South America and sees it as a cultural aspect of his life and not a truth that effects the way he lives. If somebody asked if he had a "saving faith", I would probably say no (not that I am in anyway qualified to judge that!). However, his personal loyalty to the RCC is very inspiring to me. He has made it clear that he will never convert because he IS RC -- it's not a choice he made, it's just something he IS in his very core: this is very foreign to me, since as an American & as a Protestant, personal choice is very important.

    Anyway, it is my dream that my family would someday attend church together, so I started investigating RCC, which led to being drawn in by Eastern Orthodoxy. And now I hear about the Eastern's all very interesting, and I'm just kind of sitting on all this knowledge I'm gathering until God tells me what to do with it.

    @Giuseppe Thank you for the resource! I will definitely look into it!

  13. Eliz, both you and your story are fascinating! I look forward to checking out your blog!

    Yes, I would say that your first paragraph is a fair enough analogy, with the obvious difference being that one's husband would not be guided to teach infallibly, though the Church is.

    As for the question on doctrine, it's essentially what is found in the Creed (what we believe, i.e., faith) and the Ten Commandments (how we live, i.e., morals).

    The disciplines are encapsulated in Canon law (changeable).

    I know you probably want a little deeper and more detailed than that, but I have to run out to my son's senior dinner early tonight…. But I am so glad to have this conversation and I will be back!


  14. I wrote a ranty blog post along the same lines earlier this week.

    I don't get it, I really don't.

  15. I thought this comment was interesting. It came from the comments section of the article on National Catholic Review and sheds light on a major part of the problem with the Church. Written by commenter Joe Cor:

    "Speaker Boehner has, by all accounts I read here at Nation Review, a stirling record on life issues. He tried, however ineffectually, to elimnate funding for Planned Parenthood from the Federal budget. It seems ludicrous for Catholic scholars to issue a blistering moral critique of the man.

    One turn of phrase in this essay caught my eye: "the Catholic Left — or whatever remains of it these days..." From where I'm standing, whatever remains of the Catholic left appears to be in quite a robust state of health these days. I have heard a sermon instructing me as to how I can justify voting for pro-abortion politicians, and another that criticized people who opposed Obamacare. I have heard still another sermon where the Iraq war was denounced as a culture of life issue. Catholic bishops started out as allies with the Clinton White House on Hillarycare, and only reluctantly came out against Obamacare over the issue of abortion funding. Barak Obama, whose politics can only be described as pro-infanticide, was given an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame University, whose president also actively lobbied for the passage of Obamacare. Georgetown University agreed to cover up Catholic insignia just for the privilage of having President Obama speak at it. Some of the most prominent pro-abortion politicians in America -- in addition to Ted Kennedy, the names Pelosi, Biden and Kerry come to mind -- are Roman Catholics. And of course, there is this critique of Speaker Boehner by Catholic academics that is the very subject of this essay. Yes, "whatever remains" of the Catholic left is doing quite well -- quite well, indeed."

    Catholics who don't follow the correct teachings, whether willingly or unknowingly hurt the Church more than anti-Catholics could ever dream of doing.

  16. I didn't think the Church was left or right but it is simply the Church. I've a hard time sometimes when people get overtly politcal and tell me I'm not "properly" Catholic because I don't swing this way or that. I hope that makes sense.


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