Archives for October 2012

Voting Catholic

We count in our numbers as Catholic literally millions of people who will put Jesus in second place on election day – behind their political party and its candidate. I hope for the sake of their eternal salvation, that their actions are mitigated by true ignorance or deep confusion sewn by highly heterodox groups (e.g. “Catholics” for Choice).

For the rest of us, our choice will be based upon true Catholic moral teaching and understanding the difference between intrinsic evil and prudential judgement.

Intrinsic evils are moral choices which are always wrong and unacceptable. Abortion is the most important example of this because it involves life itself. The destruction of innocent lives is such a heinous act that it must be given priority above all else. Note that direct involvement in abortion automatically incurs latae sententiae excommunication whereas the murder of an older person, while also an extremely grave mortal sin, does not. Such is the weight given by Holy Mother Church in the name of our Lord.

Some other examples of intrinsic evils include so-called “gay marriage,” suicide (including physician assisted), embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning.

Prudential judgment reflects our personal choices on competing (moral) positions. For example: the most effective means of helping the poor, how to make healthcare more accessible to more people, immigration reform, when a specific war is just, when the death penalty is justified, the proper balance between solidarity and subsidiarity, specific government programs, tax plans, and so on. Often the choice is not between “right” and “wrong,” but between competing solutions to recognized problems. It is therefore debatable, among Catholics of good faith, which candidate’s or political party’s position will ultimately be most helpful to the poor, providing healthcare, creating jobs, defending the country and so on.

However, intrinsic evil must always be given precedence over prudential judgements. Therefore, no matter how much better we judge a candidate’s position on aid to the poor, healthcare, immigration, war, death penalty, etc. – if they embrace intrinsic evils, then that fact must be given the greatest moral weight. In this presidential election, it is NOT debatable which candidate fully embraces abortion or unnatural marriage (both grave, intrinsic evils).

When your bishop or priest speaks of the importance of voting a properly formed conscience, he is referring to one rooted in true Catholic moral teaching. He is NOT referring to some fuzzy feeling you may have or some emotional attachment to one party or candidate. For a number of reasons, he unfortunately can not simply tell you “therefore, in this election it would be highly immoral to vote for candidate so-and-so.” Do not interpret that to mean there are not disqualifying, immoral positions.

In this presidential election, neither candidate is perfect but one candidate alone embraces several positions which are intrinsically evil and alarmingly to the maximum extent possible. No faithful Catholic with a well formed conscience will vote for Barack Obama. We may vote for his challenger, Mitt Romney, for a third party candidate or if necessary for no candidate – but we can not vote for Barack Obama. We may even admire his vision, his social programs and his character – but we can not vote for Barack Obama. To do so makes us personally complicit with his gravely sinful positions.

The same moral requirement of well formed consciences must guide our votes not only in the presidential election, but for every race.

This video presents Catholic moral teaching, as applied to voting, very well:

Cardinal Raymond Burke (Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and Archbishop Emeritus of St. Louis), has presented an excellent pastoral letter on voting that also addresses these points. Here (with my highlighting) is the Catholic News Agency’s (CNA) coverage from two years ago (he was Cardinal-designate at the time):

Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke stressed to Catholic voters in a recent interview that they have a “very serious” obligation to uphold the truth of “moral law” in the upcoming mid-term elections. He specifically cited protecting unborn children from abortion and defending traditional marriage.

The American Vatican official, who was recently named by the Holy Father as a future cardinal, spoke on Oct. 20 to Thomas McKenna, president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, just hours after the Pope’s announcement.

Cardinal-designate Burke opened his remarks by saying that “as a bishop it’s my obligation, in fact, to urge the faithful to carry out their civic duty in accord with their Catholic Faith.” Clarifying that he does not endorse particular candidates, the prelate also spoke of his duty to relay “principles” to the faithful to help inform their vote.

Speaking on the contentious topic of abortion in the upcoming mid-terms, Cardinal-designate Burke said one “can never vote for someone who favors absolutely the right to choice of a woman to destroy a human life in her womb or the right to a procured abortion.”

“You may in some circumstances where you don’t have any candidate who is proposing to eliminate all abortion, choose the candidate who will most limit this grave evil in our country,” he explained, “but you could never justify voting for a candidate who not only does not want to limit abortion but believes that it should be available to everyone.”

The Vatican prelate also addressed the issue of same-sex “marriage,” asserting that maintaining the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is not unjust discrimination.

“Where there is unjust discrimination – “for instance, where you say that a fellow human being, because of the color of his skin, is not a part of the same race as someone, say, who is a Caucasian, that is a kind of discrimination which is unjust and immoral,” he said.

However, he added, “there is a discrimination which is perfectly just and good, and that is the discrimination between what is right and what is wrong.”

“Between what is according to our human nature and what is contrary to our human nature. So the Catholic Church, in teaching that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are intrinsically evil, are against nature itself, is simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities.”

In his interview, Cardinal-designate Burke also urged Catholic politicians who have caused “scandal” by endorsing positions contrary to moral law to repent through a “genuine reform of heart.”

“That’s done through the Sacrament of Penance,” he said, adding that political figures must publicly “renounce” their errors, recognizing and recanting the “evil” they have promoted.

Fans of Father John Zuhlsdorf (I am one!) may also wish to read his recent comments on the above. Cardinal Burke’s full interview, upon which the above text from CNA has been transcribed, is here:

As a voter, you may exercise free will in every election. In this election, you are presented with one clearly immoral choice. Bishop David Ricken (Green Bay) warns: “To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally ‘complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.” Bishop Thomas Paprocki (Springfield) similarly warns: “a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.

The last word goes to Father Daniel Doctor: “to attack life at any stage of development is to attack God Himself as the Creator – and then to call this a right or a freedom – is the most absurd of lies.”

Obama’s war on religion (update #10)

The administration’s unprecedented attack on religious freedom infringes on fundamental rights of Americans of every faith. Recently, the Cardinal Newman Society reported that non-Catholic colleges now outnumber Catholic ones in bring suit against the HHS mandate. That mandate FORCES us to fund highly immoral abortion inducing drugs and sterilizations for all. Over 100 plaintiffs (colleges and other institutions) have now brought suit.

Spreading Misinformation

In the recent vice presidential debates, Joe Biden falsely claimed:

With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution – Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital – none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.

NOT TRUE – Biden’s statement is completely false. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) immediately issued a statement exposing how blatantly wrong he is. This is not a matter of interpretation but black and white wrong.

I do not know why Biden made such an error-filled, outlandish claim. Paul Kengor makes some interesting points:

Joe Biden was wrong, and blatantly so. And it’s hard to imagine that Biden, a “pro-choice Catholic,” could not have known he was wrong. In fact, Biden has privately expressed misgivings with the policy.

According to the New York Times and Politico, both Joe Biden and Obama Chief of Staff Bill Daley urged the White House to carefully consider the backlash from the Catholic Church and Catholic voters over the HHS mandate. Unfortunately, they lost to Obama advisers Valerie Jarrett and Kathleen Sebelius. According to the Times, Biden even arranged for Cardinal Dolan “to meet with the president and express the church’s view.”

This means that Joe Biden privately did good work, whatever his motivation. Unfortunately, it means he didn’t do good work during the vice-presidential debate. Quite the contrary, during the debate, he misrepresented the mandate, and was factually wrong before a huge audience, surely convincing countless Catholic Democrats that the HHS mandate has been overblown. At the debate, Biden towed the party line and fell on his sword for Barack Obama. He did so before millions of fellow Catholics, and at the expense of his Church and religious liberty.

Some more articles on this blatant whopper:

How Obama’s Mandate Affects Businesses

Many business people – Catholics and other people of faith – have shared their stories. These are the job creators who will suffer costly penalties due to this mandate. That means, less jobs folks. Here are two recent examples:

The Green family talk about their Christian faith, their business (Hobby Lobby) and how religious freedom is being infringed.

Another businessman, employer and healthcare provider for many, speaks about the impact of ObamaCare on him. Listen to Autocam CEO John Kennedy:

Other Resources on Religious Freedom

Here are several good resources:

Further Reading

Here is a sampling of some new articles written on this topic in the last few weeks:

  1. America edging toward confrontation on religious freedom, Archbishop Chaput warns
  2. Amicus Briefs Filed in First Federal Appeal Regarding the HHS Mandate
  3. Appeals Court Grants Expedited Review of HHS Mandate
  4. August 1st: Mandate-day for Business Owners – A Dark day for Religious Liberty in America
  5. Ave Maria President: HHS Mandate Threatens Millions in Fines, Harms Faculty, Drains Resources and Endangers Future
  6. Becket Fund Testifies Before Congress
  7. Biden’s Remarks Debunked as Catholic Institutions and 13 States File Amicus Briefs Opposing HHS Mandate before DC Circuit Court of Appeals
  8. Cardinal George says mayor overstepped with Chick-fil-A remarks
  9. Catholic Doctors Tackle How to Survive in an ‘Increasingly Toxic Culture’
  10. Christianity Demands More Than Just Freedom To Worship!
  11. Conscience rights for pharmacists upheld in Illinois ruling
  12. Constitutional Experts Call Obama’s Abuse Of Power Historic
  13. Corporate Exercise of Religion and Other Thoughts on the RFRA Claim in the Mandate Litigation
  14. East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University Sue over HHS Mandate
  15. Federal Court Asked to Dismiss Lawsuit Against Montana Jesus Statue
  16. For This Employer, Faith Is No Hobby
  17. Former diplomat prods US to widen worldwide religious freedom efforts
  18. Hobby Lobby Sues over HHS Mandate
  19. Hobby Lobby responds to DOJ brief against religious freedom
  20. Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius
  21. Illinois cannot make pharmacists give ‘morning after’ pill-court
  22. Mayors chicken out of true family values
  23. New study finds rise in religious restrictions worldwide
  24. Obama Administrations attack on Catholics in healthcare
  25. Obama reaffirms support for HHS mandate, downplays controversy
  26. Obama vs. Religious Freedom: Why his administration threatens your right to worship
  27. Religion and the Election of 2012
  28. Reply Filed in HHS Mandate Case
  29. Supreme Court to Consider Hearing Weighty Church-State Controversy
  30. The Government’s Argument is Atrocious!
  31. Thousands join grassroots women’s movement opposing HHS mandate
  32. What’s Next for Conscience Rights
  33. Wheaton College Seeks Emergency Relief Against HHS Mandate

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #78)

This week: Archbishop Chaput speaks on the politics of abortion and being Catholic first plus Father John Fitch’s excellent homily on the same topic. Two successful businessmen talk about religious freedom and the HHS mandate. Catholic social teaching and subsidiarity (hint: it’s not solidarity alone). At one time we had a free press that wasn’t an extension of 1 party. The government’s role in marriage, explained simply. The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles have a new CD in the works. The Benedictine Monks of Norcia are brewing up something of their own.

— 1 —

Not Democrats, not Republicans…   not even Americans first. Catholics first. By that, Archbishop Charles Chaput means faithful to ACTUAL Church teaching first.

Father John Fitch (Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, FL) recently gave an excellent homily on the same theme as Archbishop Chaput. “The fact of the matter is I am neither liberal nor conservative. Simply put, I am Catholic.”

Note to Joe Biden – that also means not having a “private” set of morals and a “public” one. There is only the truth and opposing it is sin.

— 2 —

The Green family talk about their Christian faith, their business (Hobby Lobby) and how religious freedom is being infringed.

Another businessman, employer and healthcare provider for many, speaks about the impact of ObamaCare on him. Listen to Autocam CEO John Kennedy:

Here, the issue is explained in 15 seconds:

Note to Joe Biden – you can not leave your faith at home.

— 3 —

Does the Catholic social justice principle of subsidiarity still confuse you? If you care about social justice (and you absolutely should), then you must care about what the Church actually teaches.

Note to Joe Biden – large, every growing, powerful centralized government is NOT and never has been the Catholic answer.

— 4 —

A pillar of democracy, the fourth estate, relentless seekers of truth – yes, the American mainstream media, is the topic of this Bill Whittle video:

I am reminded of a line Elizabeth Scalia used recently describing a reporter who (this is the amazing part) is covering an important national story even though it is damaging to the media’s candidate. She wrote “CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson is committing journalism regarding Benghazi, on behalf of a citizenry that is entitled to know what the hell is going on.” See Elizabeth’s piece Benghazi Travesty: 7 Hours, 4 Lives: No Scheisskopf, Please.

— 5 —

Confusion about the nature, purpose and governmental role in marriage is not a US only problem. An agenda against so-called “traditional” marriage has sadly spread much wider. This video is for a British audience, but it’s message is simple and applicable everywhere:

Fine you say, but how does “gay marriage” hurt you? It does, a lot. See my earlier post but how does “gay marriage” hurt you. For a very quick summary:

— 6 —

The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, is an order outside of Kansas City. They are putting together a beautiful new CD entitled Advent at Ephesus. Here is a preview:

Spotted by Father Zuhlsdorf

— 7 —

The Benedictine Monks of Norcia at the Monastery of San Benedetto, Italy have a new means of support – a brewery! Birra Nursia has now launched in the birthplace of St. Benedict:

A nice video about their order is here.


Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

Credo of the People of God

Pope Paul VI

Pope Benedict XVI has announced the Year of Faith in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the universal Catechism. The year began on October 11, 2012 and ends on November 24, 2013. This is a time of renewal, conversion and evangelism.

Interestingly, it is not the first Year of Faith. The last time was in 1967 following Vatican II and was called by Pope Paul VI. It was in part, a response to actions already being taken falsely “in the spirit of Vatican II”. At the end of that year, the Holy Father published an extended creed to reinforce our non-changing doctrine and counter those taking heterodox liberties in the name of Vatican II.

The creed is in the form of a Motu Proprio named Solemni hac Liturgia (This Solemn Liturgy), also called the Credo of the People of God. Well worth studying:

Profession of Faith

We believe in one only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, creator of things visible such as this world in which our transient life passes, of things invisible such as the pure spirits which are also called angels, and creator in each man of his spiritual and immortal soul.

We believe that this only God is absolutely one in His infinitely holy essence as also in all His perfections, in His omnipotence, His infinite knowledge, His providence, His will and His love. He is He who is, as He revealed to Moses; and He is love, as the apostle John teaches us: so that these two names, being and love, express ineffably the same divine reality of Him who has wished to make Himself known to us, and who, “dwelling in light inaccessible, “is in Himself above every name, above every thing and above every created intellect. God alone can give us right and full knowledge of this reality by revealing Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose eternal life we are by grace called to share, here below in the obscurity of faith and after death in eternal light. The mutual bonds which eternally constitute the Three Persons, who are each one and the same divine being, are the blessed inmost life of God thrice holy, infinitely beyond all that we can conceive in human measure.We give thanks, however, to the divine goodness that very many believers can testify with us before men to the unity of God, even though they know not the mystery of the most holy Trinity.

The Father

We believe then in the Father who eternally begets the Son; in the Son, the Word of God, who is eternally begotten; in the Holy Spirit, the uncreated Person who proceeds from the Father and the Son as their eternal love. Thus in the Three Divine Persons, coaeternae sibi et coaequales, the life and beatitude of God perfectly one superabound and are consummated in the supreme excellence and glory proper to uncreated being, and always “there should be venerated unity in the Trinity and Trinity in the unity.”

The Son

We believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. He is the Eternal Word, born of the Father before time began, and one in substance with the Father, homoousios to Patri, and through Him all things were made. He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was made man: equal therefore to the Father according to His divinity, and inferior to the Father according to His humanity; and Himself one, not by some impossible confusion of His natures, but by the unity of His person.

He dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. He proclaimed and established the Kingdom of God and made us know in Himself the Father. He gave us His new commandment to love one another as He loved us. He taught us the way of the beatitudes of the Gospel: poverty in spirit, meekness, suffering borne with patience, thirst after justice, mercy, purity of heart, will for peace, persecution suffered for justice sake. Under Pontius Pilate He suffered-the Lamb of God bearing on Himself the sins of the world, and He died for us on the cross, saving us by His redeeming blood. He was buried, and, of His own power, rose on the third day, raising us by His resurrection to that sharing in the divine life which is the life of grace. He ascended to heaven, and He will come again, this time in glory, to judge the living and the dead: each according to his merits-those who have responded to the love and piety of God going to eternal life, those who have refused them to the end going to the fire that is not extinguished.

And His Kingdom will have no end.

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who is Lord and Giver of life, who is adored and glorified together with the Father and the Son. He spoke to us by the prophets; He was sent by Christ after His resurrection and His ascension to the Father; He illuminates, vivifies, protects and guides the Church; He purifies the Church’s members if they do not shun His grace. His action, which penetrates to the inmost of the soul, enables man to respond to the call of Jesus: Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect (Mt. 5:48).

We believe that Mary is the Mother, who remained ever a Virgin, of the Incarnate Word, our God and Savior Jesus Christ, and that by reason of this singular election, she was, in consideration of the merits of her Son, redeemed in a more eminent manner, preserved from all stain of original sinand filled with the gift of grace more than all other creatures.

Joined by a close and indissoluble bond to the Mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption, the Blessed Virgin, the Immaculate, was at the end of her earthly life raised body and soul to heavenly gloryand likened to her risen Son in anticipation of the future lot of all the just; and we believe that the Blessed Mother of God, the New Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven her maternal role with regard to Christ’s members, cooperating with the birth and growth of divine life in the souls of the redeemed.

Original Offense

We believe that in Adam all have sinned, which means that the original offense committed by him caused human nature, common to all men, to fall to a state in which it bears the consequences of that offense, and which is not the state in which it was at first in our first parents-established as they were in holiness and justice, and in which man knew neither evil nor death. It is human nature so fallen, stripped of the grace that clothed it, injured in its own natural powers and subjected to the dominion of death, that is transmitted to all men, and it is in this sense that every man is born in sin. We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, “not by imitation, but by propagation” and that it is thus “proper to everyone.”

Reborn of the Holy Spirit

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ, by the sacrifice of the cross redeemed us from original sin and all the personal sins committed by each one of us, so that, in accordance with the word of the apostle, “where sin abounded, grace did more abound.”

Baptism

We believe in one Baptism instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Baptism should be administered even to little children who have not yet been able to be guilty of any personal sin, in order that, though born deprived of supernatural grace, they may be reborn “of water and the Holy Spirit” to the divine life in Christ Jesus.

The Church

We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, built by Jesus Christ on that rock which is Peter. She is the Mystical Body of Christ; at the same time a visible society instituted with hierarchical organs, and a spiritual community; the Church on earth, the pilgrim People of God here below, and the Church filled with heavenly blessings; the germ and the first fruits of the Kingdom of God, through which the work and the sufferings of Redemption are continued throughout human history, and which looks for its perfect accomplishment beyond time in glory.In the course of time, the Lord Jesus forms His Church by means of the sacraments emanating from His plenitude.By these she makes her members participants in the Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, in the grace of the Holy Spirit who gives her life and movement.She is therefore holy, though she has sinners in her bosom, because she herself has no other life but that of grace: it is by living by her life that her members are sanctified; it is by removing themselves from her life that they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for these offenses, of which she has the power to heal her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Word

Heiress of the divine promises and daughter of Abraham according to the Spirit, through that Israel whose scriptures she lovingly guards, and whose patriarchs and prophets she venerates; founded upon the apostles and handing on from century to century their ever-living word and their powers as pastors in the successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him; perpetually assisted by the Holy Spirit, she has the charge of guarding, teaching, explaining and spreading the Truth which God revealed in a then veiled manner by the prophets, and fully by the Lord Jesus. We believe all that is contained in the word of God written or handed down, and that the Church proposes for belief as divinely revealed, whether by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal magisterium.We believe in the infallibility enjoyed by the successor of Peter when he teaches ex cathedra as pastor and teacher of all the faithful, and which is assured also to the episcopal body when it exercises with him the supreme magisterium.

We believe that the Church founded by Jesus Christ and for which He prayed is indefectibly one in faith, worship and the bond of hierarchical communion. In the bosom of this Church, the rich variety of liturgical rites and the legitimate diversity of theological and spiritual heritages and special disciplines, far from injuring her unity, make it more manifest.

One Shepherd

Recognizing also the existence, outside the organism of the Church of Christ, of numerous elements of truth and sanctification which belong to her as her own and tend to Catholic unity, and believing in the action of the Holy Spirit who stirs up in the heart of the disciples of Christ love of this unity, we entertain the hope that the Christians who are not yet in the full communion of the one only Church will one day be reunited in one flock with one only shepherd.

We believe that the Church is necessary for salvation, because Christ, who is the sole mediator and way of salvation, renders Himself present for us in His body which is the Church.But the divine design of salvation embraces all men; and those who without fault on their part do not know the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but seek God sincerely, and under the influence of grace endeavor to do His will as recognized through the promptings of their conscience, they, in a number known only to God, can obtain salvation.

Sacrifice of Calvary

We believe that the Mass, celebrated by the priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the Sacrament of Orders, and offered by him in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body, is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His body and His blood which were to be offered for us on the cross, likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real and substantial presence.

Transubstantiation

Christ cannot be thus present in this sacrament except by the change into His body of the reality itself of the bread and the change into His blood of the reality itself of the wine, leaving unchanged only the properties of the bread and wine which our senses perceive. This mysterious change is very appropriately called by the Church transubstantiation. Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery must, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, maintain that in the reality itself, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the Consecration, so that it is the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus that from then on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine, as the Lord willed it, in order to give Himself to us as food and to associate us with the unity of His Mystical Body.

The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord glorious in heaven is not multiplied, but is rendered present by the sacrament in the many places on earth where Mass is celebrated. And this existence remains present, after the sacrifice, in the Blessed Sacrament which is, in the tabernacle, the living heart of each of our churches. And it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore in the blessed Host which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word whom they cannot see, and who, without leaving heaven, is made present before us.

Temporal Concern

We confess that the Kingdom of God begun here below in the Church of Christ is not of this world whose form is passing, and that its proper growth cannot be confounded with the progress of civilization, of science or of human technology, but that it consists in an ever more profound knowledge of the unfathomable riches of Christ, an ever stronger hope in eternal blessings, an ever more ardent response to the love of God, and an ever more generous bestowal of grace and holiness among men. But it is this same love which induces the Church to concern herself constantly about the true temporal welfare of men. Without ceasing to recall to her children that they have not here a lasting dwelling, she also urges them to contribute, each according to his vocation and his means, to the welfare of their earthly city, to promote justice, peace and brotherhood among men, to give their aid freely to their brothers, especially to the poorest and most unfortunate. The deep solicitude of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the needs of men, for their joys and hopes, their griefs and efforts, is therefore nothing other than her great desire to be present to them, in order to illuminate them with the light of Christ and to gather them all in Him, their only Savior. This solicitude can never mean that the Church conform herself to the things of this world, or that she lessen the ardor of her expectation of her Lord and of the eternal Kingdom.

We believe in the life eternal. We believe that the souls of all those who die in the grace of Christ whether they must still be purified in purgatory, or whether from the moment they leave their bodies Jesus takes them to paradise as He did for the Good Thief are the People of God in the eternity beyond death, which will be finally conquered on the day of the Resurrection when these souls will be reunited with their bodies.

Prospect of Resurrection

We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in paradise forms the Church of Heaven where in eternal beatitude they see God as He is, and where they also, in different degrees, are associated with the holy angels in the divine rule exercised by Christ in glory, interceding for us and helping our weakness by their brotherly care.

We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are attaining their purification, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion the merciful love of God and His saints is ever listening to our prayers, as Jesus told us: Ask and you will receive.Thus it is with faith and in hope that we look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Blessed be God Thrice Holy. Amen.

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #77)

This week: It’s time to revisit Raymond Arroyo’s interview with Mitt Romney. Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus explains why he is “frightened to death.” Another successful businessman, Hungarian immigrant Thomas Peterffy, talks about the loss of opportunity and our dangerous path. Guess who defends traditional values in the face of attacks on it by US and other western powers. Just how bad is the debt crisis? Thanks to abortion, sterilizations and contraception – all western powers will be predominantly Muslim after the next generation. Marriage = biology, not bigotry. Eye of the Sparrow.

— 1 —

Many people oppose Mitt Romney based on 30 second attack ads produced by his opponent. That is a shame, as their vote will be uninformed. I invite fair-minded people to let him present himself, which he does here for EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo. Mitt speaks on religious freedom, prayer in his life, Paul Ryan, personal character vs. policy choices, robbing Medicare to pay for ObamaCare, permanent immigration reform, campaigning and his faith.

This is a few months old, but conveys well who he is. Two quotes that popped-out at me: “God’s work is to save souls and to bring, to return, to Him.” and “This is a time to get America back on track, not to vilify fellow Americans.”

— 2 —

We have inherited a great country and will leave it for our children in far worse shape than we received it. The $16,000,000,000,000 federal debt is crushing our economy today and particularly for future generations. Bernie Marcus, the founder of Home Depot, speaks candidly from the heart:

Spotted by my friend Tom

— 3 —

Thomas Peterffy created this ad as a concerned private citizen, concerned about the march to socialism that the Catholic Church has long denounced. This is where he is “coming from”:

Thomas Peterffy grew up in socialist Hungary. Despite the fact that he could not speak English when he immigrated to the United States in 1956, Thomas fulfilled the American dream. With hard work and dedication, he started a business that today employs thousands of people. In the 1970s, Thomas bought a seat on the American Stock Exchange. He played a key role in developing the electronic trading of securities and is the founder of Interactive Brokers, an online discount brokerage firm with offices all over the world.

Spotted by Matt Cassens

— 4 —

During the cold war, Russia was seen as a godless, communist force arrayed against the God-fearing, free people of the West. We stood for traditional values, they stood for anything but traditional values. My how things have changed. Now it is Russia, against western powers, who defends traditional values.

— 5 —

Our debt crisis is very real and will, at some point in time in the not very distant future, affect every single American. It will greatly hurt the rich and the poor. There can be no bail-out.

— 6 —

One of the most ironic aspects of leftism is how superior many feel over those who do not share their ideological views. Yet, consider the historical outcomes every time their way is tried. The western economic collapse is squarely on their shoulders IMHO. The culture of death and the destruction of the family is another result of their brilliance. Father Z posted this recently:

The video refers to “fertility rates” in the sense of babies who are not destroyed in the womb or whose conception was not blocked by artificial contraceptive means. This contrasts starkly with the natural notion of fertility.

Blocking births at the source, one way or another, is not the only culture of death offensive. Undermining or destroying the institution through which life is created and nurtured is another. Within an hour of Father’s post, Marcel happened to post this video:

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For a completely different presentation of the first presidential debate, Bad Lip-Reading presents Eye of the Sparrow:

Spotted by Patrick Archbold

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

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