Real hope

Now that the Catholic moment has passed
Archbishop Chaput at First Things talk

Archbishop Chaput at Oct. 20 First Things talk

The following comes from an Oct. 29 posting by Robert Royal on The Catholic Thing.

One of the most noteworthy recent events in the Church occurred after the Extraordinary Synod closed on October 18. On October 20, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput gave the annual Erasmus Lecture for the magazine First Things in New York. Media coverage focused almost entirely on a remark the archbishop made in passing during the Q&A about the confusion that emerged from the Synod. But don’t waste time on that – misleading – sideshow. The really important, truly lasting thing was the lecture itself.

First Things will bring it out in its own good time. For now, you can watch it here. (I myself had to – I was not in New York but en route between the Synod and a lecture of my own at Aquinas College in Nashville, a subject for another day.) It’s worth your time because the good archbishop deftly sums up and offers remedies for our dire situation as believers, which is likely to get worse. It’s simple realism for all of us, especially future priests, to be prepared for a culture that, in the next quarter century, will be “drastically different and much more unfriendly.” We will be – in large part already are – “aliens in an alien land.”

Do not think Chaput is all gloom and despair. Quite the opposite. He speaks with calmness and clarity, but also with conviction and hope. As I listened, I was reminded of the Virgin Mary’s advice to King Alfred before battle in Chesterton’s The Ballad of the White Horse:

I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.


Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?

There is always hope – but not the facile kind that really wants the consolations of unreal optimism. For Chaput, our hope lies precisely in our faith. We must be people of worship first, and action second. What he means is that mere action, unconnected to the Creator, is not true service. It’s when we go out to love and serve our neighbor – as we must – because of our love and adoration of God that we really do something. Humility and sanity flow from that deep root….


As a bishop, Chaput also acknowledges the responsibilities of bishops for our plight – particularly in the malfeasance and nonfeasance connected with the sexual abuse crisis. Only a few years before that erupted in 2002, it was still possible to think of a coming “Catholic moment” in America (Richard John Neuhaus’ phrase). But that opportunity was lost.

So what, now, is to be done? The rapid rise of the gay “marriage” movement is “a uniquely powerful sign value” of the exclusion from the public square of not only the Biblical perspective but of public reason and argument. The mission of faith and reason, therefore, is more urgent than ever. We should thank God for this moment, says Chaput, because it requires the Church and individuals to purify themselves, even as it has clarified the nature of the opposition.

Multiple renewal movements have arisen in this country and around the world. We will face stiff resistance, perhaps even legal and financial penalties. But if we are to succeed now, we will have to meet those challenges and actually develop new initiatives and arguments that work, not merely cling to the old forms and programs that grew up in the past to deal with a different situation. When people really believe and act on that belief, it leavens the whole society. Otherwise “religion is just another form of self-medicating….”

To read the entire posting, click here.




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  1. MIchael McDermott says:

    From Judge Shopping to craven cowardice in avoiding the ‘icky’ Facts about the physically harmful / Pathological consequences of Homo-Anal Coprophile Behaviors…
    – to the outright fleeing in panic from the realities of the Separatist / Neo-Exterminationiist MISANDRY (Hatred of Men & Boys, Masculinity & Normal Heterosexuality) that pervades the Dyke Coven,

    To the BLACKMAIL while in office of ‘Der Arnold’ over his allegedly ‘secret’ Extra Son – known to many but kept Censored by the bought and paid for ‘free press’ – and those who Fear them…

    We have Failed Our Children and Our Future – just because fighting such Evil is ‘too icky, and might have personal consequences to our own cozy comfort.

    The same things as happened before, when the Homo-Nazi reich took over the former Weirmar Republic and boy raping coprophile pederast leaders like Ernst Rohm & his prostitute protege Hitler used the media to silence any dissent – let alone facts about what they were actually doing.

    “All that is required for the Triumph of Evil (aka the Abomination of POTUS Down Low Soetoro) is that Good People Do Nothing?”

    Best keep quiet about it though – or you too might get targeted by the Gaystapo for one of their Stalkers Lists.

    How the pro-family movement helped spread ‘gay marriage’ across America

    …The incompetence of the pro-family legal side

  2. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    McDermott’s link is worth the look. Unfortunately for what he is trying to promote, he buries it within his own blather as he so often does. However…

    That being said, the article he cites actually starts out well in trying to explain how same sex marriage has taken the country by storm. It goes off the railes in important points, but the early parts of the article are kind of close to the mark.

    Here is where the article gets it wrong in a major league kind of way. Two ways really. First is his misunderstanding of the fourteenth amendment. I’m not a lawyer, but even I can see that he doesn’t even get close to what it means, how it has been interpreted over time, or why it is so important for the idea of marriage as a right for all Americans. But I can leave that for lawyers and historians to explain further.

    The really big point that the article misses, is that this is most of all a movement about love. Love. That most basic of all human desires. Back in Harvey Milk’s day, he promoted the idea of coming out about our sexuality as a means to gain equality. But the movement for marriage equality is not so much about our sexual liberation (which was won a decade ago), but about our right to love. Love. A lifetime of love and commitment. It’s not so much about sex, really, it is about the capacity of two people to want more for each other than they can ever hope for themselves.

    If you think you can mount a legal argument or a political movement against two people who just want to love each other, who have demonstrated to each other and to their family and friends the awesome power of that love…well. Good luck. Because any of us who have been touched by that kind of love know just how powerful it is.

    • a nice fluff response…where does the NATURAL LAW enter into your equation…

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        What about Natural Law? If natural law had something relevant to say, it wouldn’t be just religionists, mostly fundamentalist Catholics and Baptists who have opposed same sex marriage, because natural law is supposed to be something that is discernible for every human being who is willing to apply logic and thinking to a situation, not just the faithful. Yet the more logic is brought to bear on the question, the more the “reasons” for opposing same sex marriage dissolve. That is why you have conservative Republicans changing their mind. That is why most of the judges who have ruled in favor of same sex marriages were appointed by Republican presidents. And that is why more Americans have changed their minds on this issue than any other public policy question, and faster, in history.

        I know that people think that the more blustery they sound, the more hyperbole they use, the more people with “wake up” and agree with them. But it just isn’t true. Throwing wild accusations at a situation, especially without so much as a shred of evidence, as McDermott does so often, really doesn’t help his cause. In fact, it actually helps those who are pro same sex marriage because anyone who could be remotely influenced by the best arguments get lost in the inability to get to the point. Remember in school being taught to have three points? There is a reason for that. People who try to have 20 points and try to use flowery language that nobody understands usually don’t get good grades.

        • “What about Natural Law?” = Flowery blustery language used by those who were eventually annihilated in Sodom and Gomorrah.

          • Pope Francis explained that both scientific theories (evolution and big bang) were not incompatible with the existence of a creator –arguing instead that they “require it.” “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said.He added, “he created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfilment.” “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

    • Ann Malley says:

      “…he buries it within his own blather as he so often does.”

      This is the only portion of what you wrote that makes sense, YFC, and only if you restate as much looking in a mirror. So much of what you spout is blather, it boggles the mind. And yet that is likely why, when confronted with the truth, you cannot comprehend it.

    • St. Christopher says:

      “Anonymous”: You really do not know much about Catholicism, do you? Who knows what American courts will ultimately do with the homosexual marriage issue? You may be correct, and the courts might find that the 14th Amendment covers sexual deviancy from the norm as a “protected class”. Yet this means nothing, by itself, regarding what Catholicism means.

      Sexual relations among the same gender is prohibited, scripturally and within the Tradition and doctrines of the Catholic Church. This is not a conditional doctrine, depending, say, on what American jurisprudence requires; it is an absolute. Your comments try to blur the line between the Faith and whatever garbage courts or legislators create. (Note, of course, that the judicial process in increasingly corrupt, just look at the intellectual, and factual farce put on by Judge Walker.)

      Yet, homosexuals crave, and demand, more than mere legal definition. They want the Church, the sole remaining force declaring homosexual sex to be un-natural and a perversion against God and Man, to renounce its own belief and embrace vile sodomy as providing “gifts” to us all. And, in your corner, you have lots of homosexual-loving bishops and some cardinals (and many priests) that ache to give you what you want.

      And, if homosexuals do not achieve what is desired, they have created the Homofascist brigade to follow all objectors home and make their lives difficult, and livelihoods difficult to honestly earn.

    • Your Fellow Catholic or Your False Catholic, which is it?

      If, as you say, it is about love, then what really matters is not your affection for each other but supporting each other in getting to heaven. Obstinate mortal sin is not a wise path. Satan has tempted you with warm feelings and emotions and sex, but don’t mistake those for love.

      You wrote, “it is about the capacity of two people to want more for each other than they can ever hope for themselves.” I have no idea what you want for the other that you can’t have for yourself, but whatever it is, it has nothing to do with authentic hope. Authentic hope lies in salvation, a gift freely offered to all. Sadly, too many choose temporal rewards, including sinful relationships, instead of the eternal rewards of being with Our Lord in heaven.

      With charity and humility, I ask you to repent and sin no more, and don’t compound sin by involving others you claim to love.

      Although I was tempted to simply ignore your comment, I am commanded by Our Lord to love you, and I do. I want you and whoever else might be in a relationship with you to get to heaven.

    • Anonymous says:

      Love? Someone may love an alcoholic buy giving him a drink because he will get the DTs if he does not get the drink. Someone may love an alcoholic by paying for a clinic where he can get help and rehabilitation.
      Someone may love a child by giving him a piece of candy and a Coke when he is hungry. Someone may love a child by giving him a sandwich and glass of milk. Someone may love a child by giving him an apple and a carrot and a glass of water.
      Someone may love their spouse by having an affair so that they can stay happily married and not divorce her. Someone may love their spouse by going to counseling to understand and conquer his need for other women.

    • The 14th Amendment Sec 1 : “…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law… nor deny any person …equal protection within the law”.
      “Equal protection within the law” does NOT mean PERVERSION of the law.
      Sodomy and sodomy marriage are a perversion, just as marrying your dog would be. There is no excuse for legalizing sodomy.

      No one gets to do whatever they feel like in public.
      No one is stopping any consenting adults from sexual activities within their own home.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Dear Louis, the fourteenth amendment is what prohibits depriving LGBT people life and liberty. If two people are allowed to get married, it does not deprive you of any Constitutional protections. It is as simple as that.

        And besides that, when you say “no one is stopping any consenting adults from sexual activities within their own home”, yes that is true now. But it was only about 10 years ago that LGBT people had to win that right at the Supreme Court, as many states had such laws on the books, and they were prosecuted in states like Texas and Florida.

      • Louis, The 14th amendment was not written to protect bigots, so they could discriminate against homosexuals or any other minority for that matter. Religious opinion does not trump constitutional Law.

  3. St. Christopher says:

    The good Archbishop is correct, believers will certainly have to face financial and legal persecutions. Most dire, of course, is that the central persecutors will likely be within the Church itself. Just take a look at what Germany’s corpulent C. Marx said about the certainly of change regarding acceptance of “alternative” sexuality (where the Pope insisted on keeping in the published documents of the Synod, the unadopted paragraphs on homosexuality, which garnered over 1/2 of the votes of our wonderful, faithful, go-the-extra-mile, face-the-wolves fearlessly, bishops). See, the Creative Minority Report (10/30/14).

    Difficult to fight a two-front war, particularly where one front is directly behind you. It is probably that the Pope, the Church hierarchy, and local bishops and pastors, will insist that Gay-friendly welcoming Masses and all that, become the norm. And, how do you fight this?

    Unfortunately, you need to (1) use your own cash, (2) to find other Believers, (3) to publicly attack the growing heresy, and (4) also find ways to stop contributing time and treasure to the pastors and bishops that insist that you join in their apostasy. That is, stand up and shout that you are mad as Hell and will not take this anymore.

    But try to stay within a membership within the Church, as those that leave will be branded as schismatics. Stay, and fight.

    • “Stay , and fight.”… Thank you St. Christopher. Very loving advice. Yesterday it was Cardinal Burke and tomorrow it will be the faithful pastors and clergy who also uphold “all” Church teaching.

    • Anonymous says:

      The ONLY weapon that works is prayer, especially the Rosary.

      • Catherine says:

        “…Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able to still save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in Me will be saved.”

        Message of Our Lady of Akita

        “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see Cardinals opposing Cardinals, Bishops against other Bishops. The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other priests). Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
        “The demon will be especially implacable against the souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of My sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will no longer be pardon for them.
        “…Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able to still save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in Me will be saved.”

  4. Catherine says:

    St. Peter Damien, pray for us!

    “In the meanwhile I have also presented this file to a higher ecclesial authority. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith agreed with an eventual appointment, starting on 15 January 2014.”

    The “qualities and gifts” of homosexuality are being invited back into a parish.” Apparently with the permission of the hierarchy. Not a very hopeful sign…Prepare for battle.

    Taken from RORATE CÆLI:

    Great Flemish Idea: Put a Convicted Boy Molester Back in a Parish Filled with Young Men!

  5. Catherine says:

    Saint Peter Damian (1007-1072)

    Doctor of the Church, cardinal and a great reformer of the clergy, Saint Peter Damian wrote his famous Book of Gomorrah against the inroads made by homosexuality among the clergy. He describes not only the iniquity of homosexuality, but also its psychological and moral consequences:

    “Truly, this vice is never to be compared with any other vice because it surpasses the enormity of all vices.… It defiles everything, stains everything, pollutes everything. And as for itself, it permits nothing pure, nothing clean, nothing other than filth.…

    “The miserable flesh burns with the heat of lust; the cold mind trembles with the rancor of suspicion; and in the heart of the miserable man chaos boils like Tartarus [Hell]…. In fact, after this most poisonous serpent once sinks its fangs into the unhappy soul, sense is snatched away, memory is borne off, the sharpness of the mind is obscured. It becomes unmindful of God and even forgetful of itself. This plague undermines the foundation of faith, weakens the strength of hope, destroys the bond of charity; it takes away justice, subverts fortitude, banishes temperance, blunts the keenness of prudence.

    “And what more should I say since it expels the whole host of the virtues from the chamber of the human heart and introduces every barbarous vice as if the bolts of the doors were pulled out.”

    • Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 1:7

      St Paul – 1 Cor 11:27-30 about condemnation for receiving Holy Communion unworthily.

      Sodomy is a Mortal Sin.
      Un-repented Mortal Sins send Souls to Hell for eternity.

  6. Catherine says:

    Cardinal Burke: “There is a strong sense that the Church is like a ship without a helm” – Vatican Insider

    “Many have expressed their concerns to me. At this very critical moment, there is a strong sense that the Church is like a ship without a helm, whatever the reason for this may be; now, it is more important than ever to examine our faith, have a healthy spiritual leader and give powerful witness to the faith.”

    “I fully respect the Petrine ministry and I do not wish it to seem like I am speaking out against the Pope. I would like to be a master of the faith, with all my weaknesses, telling a truth that many currently perceive. They are feeling a bit sea sick because they feel the Church’s ship has lost its bearings. We need to set aside the reason for this disorientation because we have not lost our bearings. We have the enduring tradition of the Church, its teachings, the liturgy, its morality. The catechism remains the same.”

    • a statement from Cardinal Burke:
      As a priest, bishop and finally a cardinal, I have only ever sought to serve Our Lord’s Church in humble obedience to the Magisterium and to the Holy Father. Needless confusion regarding my motives does not help me in this service, especially when substantial questions of principle are at stake. I very strongly believe that one also serves loyally by expressing a contrary judgment, in accord with the pursuit of the truth, and that one only serves faithfully when one has dutifully and clearly spoken, in obedience to one’s conscience.

      I did not state that Pope Francis has harmed the Church. Rather, as the now published verbatim interview reveals, I was perfectly clear that it was a lack of clarity about where the Holy Father stands on issues related to marriage and Holy Communion that had caused the harm. It is precisely for this reason that I subsequently said that only a statement from the Holy Father himself could now remove this lack of clarity.

      • According to US-born Fr. Thomas Rosica, who now lives in Canada, is CEO of Catholic television network Salt + Light and English language assistant to the Holy See Press Office, “Francis speaks to everyone’s heart.” “He reaches all faithful,” directly, bypassing Episcopates in a way. “When this happens, he disturbs Church leaderships. The Pope’s words are not exploitable. What he says about the poor and his criticisms of a certain economy are deeply evangelical. They are not to be read through the “lenses” or on the basis of the contexts of individual countries.”

  7. MIchael McDermott says:

    The Final Official English Translation w/ PDF

    Synod14 ­ “Relatio Synodi” of the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops: “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization” (5­19 October 2014), 18.10.2014


    Part I
    Listening: The Context and the Challenges of the Family

    The Socio­Cultural Context
    The Importance of Affectivity in Life Pastoral Challenges

    Part II
    Looking at Christ: The Gospel of the Family

    Looking at Jesus and Divine Pedagogy in the History of Salvation
    The Family in the God’s Salvific Plan
    The Family in the Church’s Documents
    Indissolubility of Matrimony and the Joy of Sharing Life Together
    The Truth and Beauty of the Family and Mercy Towards Broken and Fragile Families

    Part III
    Facing the Situation: Pastoral Perspectives

    Proclaiming the Gospel of the Family Today in Various Contexts

    Guiding Engaged Couples in Their Preparation for Marriage

    Accompanying Married Couples in the Initial Years of Marriage

    Pastoral Care for Couples Civilly Married or Living Together

    Caring for Broken Families (Separated, Divorced and Not Remarried, Divorced and Remarried, Single­Parent Families)

    Pastoral Attention towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies
    The Transmission of Life and the Challenges of the Declining Birthrate

    Upbringing and the Role of the Family in Evangelization Conclusion

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