Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Limits In The Notre Dame Debate

The following is taken from the Diocese of Orlando's website.

All are Invited to the Mass of Reparation

As Catholics we are aware of the many shortcomings and transgressions committed against the dignity and sacredness of human life in our world. That is why it is inconceivable that Notre Dame University, a Catholic institution of higher learning, should receive and honor anyone who promotes policies that are contradictory to who we are as a people of faith. (Actually, it's the University of Notre Dame. I would hate to see all this reparative prayer not work because people have the wrong university in mind.)
As our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI stated in his visit to the U.S. last year in reference to Catholic university presidents, "to justify positions that contradict the faith and teaching of the church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission."

Mass of Reparation
May 3 at 6:00 p.m. Cathedral of St. James 215 N. Orange Avenue Downtown Orlando

Come and pray with Bishop Wenski for all of our transgressions against the Gospel of Life.
Reparation is the making amends for a wrong done or for an offense against God. By his death on the cross, the Son of God offered his life out of love for the Father to make reparation for our sinful disobedience (CCC #614). (Does God recognize the soul of a corporate entity like a university? If so there should be all kinds of Masses of Reparation said for all kinds of corporate entities, starting with every diocesan corporate entity that moved abusing priests around.)


This is kind of a bizarre concept. I'm really still trying to figure out who this Mass is for and about. If it's about personal reparation for personal transgressions against the dignity and sacredness of human life, that's one thing. Except that this does mention Notre Dame specifically, and that to me takes it out of the realm of personal and into the realm of, dare I say politics?

Amy Welborn on beliefnet, tries to put a good spin on this initiative of Bishop Wenski and does a pretty good job, but I don't buy it. I do suspect that Bishop Wenski will attract a lot of people who are politically motivated by President Obama's visit to Notre Dame and they will put a lot of reparation into the cathedral collection baskets. I bet the Cardinal Newman Society wishes they could lead Masses of Reparation.

This is just all too much. Does this mixing of religion and politics know any limits what so ever?


  1. Colleen, I believe you're right in your conclusion, "I do suspect that Bishop Wenski will attract a lot of people who are politically motivated by President Obama's visit to Notre Dame and they will put a lot of reparation into the cathedral collection baskets."

    This is about getting the Republican faithful riled up. During the election, Wenski published an op-ed piece in a local secular newspaper calling for a continuation of the culture war. This was clearly slanted in favor of the Republicans. The issue he tried to use at that point as his rallying cry for Catholic voters was same-sex marriage.

    I think that Wenski and the Episcopal and Methodist bishop of Florida all work hand in hand in trying to keep church members thinking their only option is voting Republican. They're developed a particularly nasty brand of Christianism in the area in which they have pastoral sway.

  2. I turned on the TV this am to face an ad with several couples holding children, and the voice over telling families to go to the state capital Tuesday to speak in defense of the traditional family, that the bishop would be speaking there, against the "gay marriage bill". It noted that the ad was paid for by the Roman Catholic Diocese. And it showed up in the bulletin Sunday. And it was read in a letter from the pulpit. Where did separation of Church and State go?

  3. I don't know what to think anymore. Mixing politics and religion seems to be the Republican national pastime--well than an the pointless tea bag demonstrations.

    As the Republican party degenerates into a bastion for the least savory of righwing radicals, the American Catholic Church will go down with the Republican party.

    Bill, you say it's a nasty brand of Christianism, and you are right. This is an 'ism' which is profoundly influenced by the nasty tactics of the Republican Southern strategy, Karl Rove, and the Swift Boaters ad campaign strategies. It is not influenced by the Gospels.

    Coomom, one of the strategies which I and others are finding so offensive in the Catholic context is that separation of Church and state is a one way street.

    Apparently the 'mice that roar' in our hierarchy care little for how they themselves are trampling on the rights of other religions, muc less citizens, especially in the gay marriage crusade.

    If they don't watch it, some bright legislator, hopefully on the federal level, is going to introduce a bill in which equal marital equal rights are going to be assured for everyone, and that will be done by dismantling and removing all extra rights currently enjoyed by married couples.

    This might have a shot, because single people are getting tired of being taxed to death at a rate that is higher than married people, and having their property taxes raised to fund school districts in which they have no personal vested interest and no representation.

    Thank God most of us understand the necessity of providing opportunity for the next generations, but the hubris being shown by the Prop 8 crowd is beginning to grate.

  4. The question we should be asking is, why is there such a push by the bishops and the others for the republican party?

    What is the real connection between the two?

    The abortion issue is a smokescreen, and nothing more. Thre is something else that is motivating that union, something that is still hidden.

    If you havent done it, it would be a good exercise to visit Fred Phelps web site, then compare the rhetoric there with the rhetoric we see regarding Obama, Notre Dame, the election, gays, etc. I have already done it, and was really amazed at how much alike the two have become.

    Fred Phelps = USCCB = "one true church". That would be a good bomb to drop on NCR and see how many of the "faithful" vapor lock over it.

  5. Here is a thought I have had: could the connection have something to do with the sexual abuse committed by the church? If memory serves me correctly alot of that happened during Bush's time. And it seems like I remember during the 04 election he could not understand why more catholics at the time did not come out in groves to support him? Maybe the USCCB got some litigation support from the republican administration at the time to help the church withstand all the litigation against them in exchange for all the rhetoric in support of the republican party?

  6. I remain totally confused as I watch the hysteria from our diocese about the gay marriage issue. Now they are coordinating with the Christian right group to bring busloads of supporters to the legislative hearing? Why IS it so important to them??
    And the voiceover in their tv ad says, "They say they want respect. Respect is earned as an individual, not by marital status."
    I thought we got respect by being all God's Children???

  7. Yes indeed, why is it so important?

  8. Annonymous, I think you have a point and I think this quid pro quo kind of thing actually goes back to JPII and Ronald Reagan.

    JPII allowed Reagan's CIA to funnel money through the Vatican to support the Solidarity movement in Poland.

    In exchange for the CIA money, Reagan asked JPII to put a muzzle on the USCCB who had been coming out with letters against Reagan's arms build up and questioning the involvement of the CIA in Central and South America. (This was back in the days when the USCCB actually took real stands about real issues--unlike the current letter on Reiki.)

    The biggest thorn in Reagan's butt was Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle who had publicly stated he would not pay that portion of his personal taxes that went to nuclear weapons programs. It didn't take long for Hunthausen to find himself in retirement.

    This beginning was collusion at the highest levels, but the current situation where lowly bishops are now involved in bringing out the vote, maybe the only example we have of 'trickle' down theory actually working.

    What was good for communist Poland, is not necessarily good for the democracy of the US. Unfortunately our clerical powers that be can't seem to see a distinction, and in fact are trying to make Obama out to be a communist.

  9. In meditating upon this, we have all noticed over the years the constant rumblings from the Vatican on especially marital or sexual issues that they have charged against and designed dogma to dissuade, prevent, disallow the faithful from contemplating intellectually and spiritually on their own regarding contraception, for example. The theology of the body by Pope JPII takes these notions to their absolute extreme. Those who ever have confronted the Vatican on fictitious dogma and/or theology are steadily plucked out as if the Vatican were conducting their own judgment day. Issue by issue it is the same scenario conducted to control everyone in an ever deeply personal way.

    I see this issue of promoting the traditional family, at the expense of gays relationships, as a step towards even more restrictions for Catholics, such as divorce and annulment. If they can charge Catholics up enough to blame the scapegoats/gays for ruining the concept of marriage they will have no limits therefore in all matters of "marriage" and relationships of any kind. At the same time they will be eliminating any "feminist" ideas.

    None of this is about the Gospels as Colleen points out. It is about fear, control and power. Anything that is determined intellectual or beyond the scope of their acceptable fictitious dogma is considered heresy. It is a convenient way for delusional and/or paranoid totalitarians to have their way and to mobilize their "troops" against all who don't "obey" their authority.

    It seems that Catholicism is splitting up very much the same as the Jewish faith has split up. The fundamentalist and literalist are one dimension of the Jewish faith and the more secular Jewish are quite another and are more open to dialogue with people of all faiths than are the more rigid fundamentalist. This is happening also in just about all religions in which the fundamentalist wish to dominate.

    Now, the mixing of politics and faith while not a new concept historically, it marks our time conspicuously as the continuity of what is truly a desire by some to return to a time when the Church was the all powerful ruler in politics and faith. US Republicans see this to their advantage, as do the fundamentalist who are also Republicans and/or conservatives. They will use each other up to a certain point and then ban and discredit each other over religious and political disagreements.

    Beneath all this is the idea of Judgment Day and the false notion that one's religion can save souls. It is not by religion that souls are saved, but by free will, the use of the intellect, having an open mind and heart to receive blessings and life through the life spirit of God. We call this life spirit the Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised to send to the world. Yet the Church says in its doctrine that the deposit of faith, the Holy Spirit, only comes through the succession of the authority of the Bishops or the Pope. This is a great lie that the Church continues to preach.

    The fundamentalist conservatives cling to the concept of the Old Testament wrathful God. Yet Jesus truly was not wrathful and shatters that notion. Jesus died on the cross at Calvary to bury that notion of the wrathful God. What greater crime could there be than kill God? Yet, God did not destroy the world for crucifying Christ. Old religions that hold onto the concept of the old wrathful God prior to the Advent of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection believe in this time that God sends Jesus as a warrior King. Somehow they believe that in their wacky theology of Revelations that they are following Jesus as the warrior King, whom they believe is against gays. As with the issue of abortion, the fundamentalists believe that unless these sins are stopped, the wrathful God will destroy us all.

    This is in essence what they believe. They will quote scripture and tell you this is so. Masters of proof-texting, they deny they are proof-texting, but they will always accuse others of proof-texting. They are unable to think clearly past their own noses as they truly have not met the Messiah in their own interior castle/soul because in their doctrine He is external, have not been recognizing Him on the roads they have been walking. They have become Doubting Thomases and they will not believe until they reach into the wounds of Jesus Himself, wounds they continue to create, wounds they cannot see themselves creating against gays, nor shall they take the trouble to visit Him in gays, so they prevent themselves and others too from walking with Christ.

    The fundamentalists belief in Jesus has become unbelief through doctrine and dogma and obedience to the law, instead of obedience to Christ's teachings. They are a shadow of themselves and they are fast becoming a dark shadow upon the world into the depths of darkness. The darkness, however, cannot overcome or devour the light.

  10. Wow, you packed a lot in this comment butterfly, and it prompted me to use the article I will post on today.

    The notion of the Warrior Christ is alive and well in Catholicism.