Irish seminary trustees to meet as criticism of gay culture mounts : News Headlines

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Source: Irish seminary trustees to meet as criticism of gay culture mounts : News Headlines


hermitNotes:My first Catholic dilemma was the Catholic politicians that go against the teachings of their faith. The second Catholic dilemma was Catholic organizations that are not always in agreement with the Church they claim to serve. Both of these are groups that are not part of Church hierarchy. The politician is a representative of a government, the charitable aid agency is an organization that straddles between Church, State, and Citizen due to the way it procures its funding. Todays dilemma is a Catholic seminary infiltrated by a distinctly non Catholic gay culture. The dilemma is that the seminary is the place for the training of Church leadership, yet much of what is alleged to go on at the institution goes against Church teaching. One has to wonder if the institution is inhabited by those of gay culture so that they might change the teachings of the Church. That change can be by first through a confrontation and intimidation of seminarians who do desire to follow the magisterium of the Church. Secondly, the counter cultural seminarians are given access to those that fill parish churches. Those parishioners become a captive audience for the preaching’s of a liberal and unorthodox teaching of Christianity. Why did I find these three articles interesting and related? It is because they are three examples of challenges the Church faces in maintaining a true and orthodox Catholic doctrine. They comprise the waves and swells of that stormy sea that the Church must navigate through to bring its members safely to the shore. Not an easy task, and there are no quick answers.

Employees of Catholic Relief Services contribute heavily to pro-abortion political candidates : News Headlines

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A chief provider and curator of Catholic information on the web since 1996. Our editorial voice, always faithful to the teachings of the Church, assists and inspires Catholic clergy and laity

Interesting reading, click the link:

Source: Employees of Catholic Relief Services contribute heavily to pro-abortion political candidates : News Headlines


hermitNotes: If yesterdays article illustrated the problems of Catholic politicians, this looks at the problem of Catholic organizations and their employees. With Joe Biden, it is his parties platform that is supportive of many issues that go against his faiths teachings, specifically abortion and gay marriage. Often politicians such as Mr. Biden declare the difference between a personal belief and their political parties position. That particular argument fell short when Mr. Biden served as a witness to a gay wedding ceremony.

Today’s news article looks at a Catholic Institution that employs many people that have opinions that are counter to the Church that their organization represents. Catholic Relief Services is a major charitable arm of the Catholic Bishops. The Linked  article discuss the donation practices of the leadership of that organization. Somewhat surprising is that these CRS employees largely offer support to politicians and organizations that are in opposition to the views of the Catholic Church their organization (CRS) represents. The problem is further complicated because many of the programs CRS oversees also go against Catholic teachings. One part of the problem is that many of the management are not in agreement with the Church. There is a difference in opinion. The second issue that complicates matters is that CRS often distributes goods and services in a cooperative agreement with other organizations, and the government. How then does Catholic Relief Services stay Catholic? How can Catholics that give to this organization be assured that their money is being used in ways that are constant with their faith? That is one of the primary reasons for giving to a Catholic organization. I have read where catholic priests have not had their parishes participate in CRS programs such as the Rice Bowl for this reason. It’s a complicated issue for sure, proof that the Church does not exist in a vacuum.An illustration of the current stormy seas.

Pentecost.

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Locked in an upper room. Winds howling, angry mobs clamoring below. Fearful agony, and that room becomes a tomb. The winds shift and then enters a Holy Spirit, the Spirit of promise. Their fear is set on fire and turns to passion. They burst forth from that room to preach to the ends of the earth. The image of that room as a tomb cannot escape me, and neither can the thought of the disciples leaving that room. Crossing the threshold from death to life. A Church is born. The tomb of Christ, the orthodox priest exits with candles ablaze. Christ, the light of the world. That same image is of the disciples leaving the upper room. Tongues of Fire, Christ enters their souls and they become beacons. The Nativity, they are born a Church. The Crucifixion, the angry mobs and they defeat death. They defeat it through the Holy Spirit, a baptism of sorts, and water is often a sign of that Spirit. Remember the baptism of our LORD? The water, and the dove that emerged from the heavens. There is that bird Noah sent out too. The wind, the water, the bird and the fire. The Holy Spirit. The breath of life. The priest breaths across the baptismal waters. The Almighty breathes into a lump of clay. The priest speaks into a chalice. The breath of the Lord enters the disciples. Life.

The fear in the upper room, can anyone hear their pleading? Oh God save us! They called out in anguish, and He listened. Their call was answered, just as the LORD promised. But they needed to ask, to be receptive. They needed that passion so that out of fear could emerge love. The love of God. He time, fifty days, a time of devotion and reflection. A seed planted and that seed must die if it is to bear any fruit. The ground is broken, and a bud emerges. The Church. It grows and the birds nest in its branches, the faith the size of a mustard seed. A tree watered by the stream grows mighty indeed. The Holy Spirit.

The tree that emerges, the one that breaks through the ground. The seed that died. What is the purpose of that tree? It is to bear fruit, and if it does not it is fed to the fire. The disciples mission as they cross the threshold of the upper room? It is to bear fruit, to preach the good news and to deliver a bountiful harvest to the LORD. It is about the mission they were given, and they are guided by that spirit of Christ. They will be known as Christians. At first they spoke many languages, a confusion and lost, but now united by one spirit. United, universalis, Catholic. Neither Jew nor gentile, Roman or Greek, or Syrian; but Christian, Catholic united under one God. One God in three persons. The Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Pentecost.

Evangaline

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I ventured out of my own woods, and traveled to a (not all that far) distant land, and that land has a distinctly  Catholic flavor . It is the homelands of the Acadian’s, seventeenth century Catholic French inhabitants of Nova Scotia, who were eventually kicked about that region, and kicked as far as Louisiana. Distinctly Catholic, and so is their land. The (historical) Acadian land in Nova Scotia often can be identified by their flag. It’s a  French  flag with a yellow star . A yellow star? Yes, that star “Stella Marisa” represents Mary the Blessed Virgin of the Assumption , patron of the Acadians. Their flag flies everywhere along the Evangeline Trail that highlights their northern homeland.

That trail though is also a tourist trail, a tourist is one who travels through a land often for recreation. Tourist routes often feature tourist attractions, the world is full of them. They are the theme parks, the outlet stores, the worlds largest ball of string, alien landing sites, and all you can eat mega buffets. What though is the highlight of the Acadians tourist trail? A hint, it is distinctly Catholic. It is something the Acadians built with the hearts and hands early in the settlement of their lands , built long before the tourist trail and before their region became  a tourist attraction.

Their tourist trail highlights the magnificent churches these people built. Massive structures equal in beauty to Europe’s finest Cathedrals built by poor hard-working people with limited resources. They are stone, and plaster , and wood. Each unique. Their altars are like those of old, and intricately carved , and each church might contain several of these altars. Attention to detail can be seen in every part  of these building from the altar to the stations of the crosses, to the columns that extend to the roof. In these churches there are also the often brightly painted statues with their colors gently softened by age. These statues are everywhere throughout these churches. I also mention the colored votive candles that are plentiful by today’s standards.

The churches of the Evangeline are remarkable for their artistry, and the Evangeline Trail is remarkable for making them the focal point of a tourist route in the twenty-first century. How unusual to pull up to a church on a Monday afternoon and see its doors open. How refreshing to simply walk in. How unique to drive down a road and repeat this experience in one church after another. They are Churches too.They have not been converted to civic centers, or galleries, or restaurants , or banquet halls or breweries. They remain as what they were designed for , they are Catholic Churches. Unchanged, or minimally modified to accommodate the newer mass style. To these eyes, even seeing that second Vatican-two altar was good news. The Churches are in use  today. Not simply an attraction, but functioning parishes.

I wonder though, when I get back To my corner of the world will those churches have their doors wide open on a Monday afternoon, will I be able to simply walk in? Will someone stand at that door ready to answer any question I might have, will they encourage me to explore? Most of the people holding these doors open were simple parishioners, some students and others retired. At one of these churches (Acadian of another province) was a man slightly younger than middle age exclaiming “this is the most beautiful church of all the province.” He stumbled a bit with the handing out of the brochures describing that church, and he had an awkward gaze. It was only after entering the church that I realized he was correct, the church was beautiful with its pillars carefully painted  to resemble Italian marble, and its altar and statuary were equally magnificent . It was only after I entered that I realized the man who described the beauty was blind , and so he had an awkward stare. What a splendid Church he introduced me to!