Archive for March, 2012

Dolan does say that a lack of clarity on Catholic teachings regarding sex is partly to blame for the recent furor over contraception; even many Catholics don’t understand the Church’s prohibition of birth control, and use it without scruple.

For this he faults the church leadership. “We have gotten gun-shy . . . in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality.” He dates this diffidence to “the mid- and late ‘60s, when the whole world seemed to be caving in, and where Catholics in general got the impression that what the Second Vatican Council taught, first and foremost, is that we should be chums with the world, and that the best thing the church can do is become more and more like everybody else.” (Source)

Well…better late than never.  Read the rest of this entry »

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The ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER

Two Different Versions.

Two Different Morals.

OLD VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house, and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE OLD STORY:

Be responsible for yourself!

MODERN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving. Read the rest of this entry »

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Moscow, March 26, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia advises Orthodox bloggers to direct their “enhanced energy” to real work.

“It’s enough to follow the discussions in blogs of believers, both laity and clerics. After reading them, you often think: “if to use this energy for good purposes!” the Patriarch said at a session of the Coordination Committee on Promoting Social, Educative, Cultural and other Initiatives under Auspices of the Russian Church.

He asked a question to the participants in these Internet discussions: “You speak very decisively – but what are your real work and your real deeds? What are your practical actions?”

“I don’t underestimate importance and need of deep, serious discussion among Orthodox believers, but I want to remind to its every participant, that the Savior speaks directly to you: “By their fruits you will know them.” By their fruit, not by their chats, jokes, desire to look strong, clever, convincing, biting and so on,” the Primate stressed. (Source)

It’s true…unless you are using the blog to effect meaningful change.

 

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The pro-aborts must be very worried.

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Good show Cardinal.  But it’s not just about religious freedom.

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Be there.

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- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s national broadcaster, will see its government funding slashed by $115 million — about 10 per cent. (Source)

And next year…another 10%.

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The Faithful should get another perspective from a canon lawyer on the Fr. Guanizo controversy.

Ed Peters has been getting just a bit too much attention.

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Because Development & Peace is a charity, they are required to report their financial information to the government by completing the T-3010 Charity return.  You can read Development & Peace’s compensation summary here.   The information is from their last filed return for their fiscal period ended August 31, 2010.  (Their 2011 Charity Return for their fiscal period end Aug. 31, 2011 should be up on CRA’s website any time now, since it’s due 6 months after year end.)

I have reproduced the information below for some analysis: 

Line Description Line No.   High Range Mid  Range
Total Compensation 390   $4,716,535 $4,716,535
Part-Time Compensation 380   ($474,833) ($474,833)
Employees           ($40K-$80K) 310   ($400,000) ($300,000)
Employees           ($80K-$120K) 315   ($480,000) ($400,000)
Employees          ($120K-$160K) 320   ($160,000) ($140,000)
Compensation, remaining Emp.   A $3,201,702 $3,401,702
         
No. of Full Time Emp. 300   66 66
Top 10 Compensated 310,315,320   10 10
No. of remaining Emp.   B 56 56
         
Avg. sal. of remaining Emp.   A/B $57,173 $60,745

When I first looked at the schedule on CRA’s website, I immediately noticed that the numbers did not appear to make sense.  If one subtracts the part-time salaries and the top 10 paid D&P positions, the average salary for the remaining D&P employees is between $57,000 and $61,000.

Something just doesn’t look right here.  The Schedule for 2009 yields similar results.  How can the average salary of a D&P employee be this high, when D&P is reporting that the 6th-10th highest paid positions are in the $40,000-$80,000 range?

I’m not sure what to make of this.  It’s a rather simple schedule to fill out (I’ve filled it out many times for the charities that I have served on).  Number of employees and the compensation that you pay them.  Pretty simple, right?   (At the top of the form, it specifically says that the number of employees (and therefore the compensation reported) should represent the number of positions the charity had, including both managerial positions and others, and should not include independent contractors.)

The only way this would make sense is if  those remaining 56 employees are also averaging $60,000 per year…which come to think of it…is really not that much of a stretch to believe for the Social Justice industry, is it? 

Socio-political activists, after all, make a good coin.

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No. 

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Check it out here.

Tell me why this looks so right:

I’ll tell you why: because it says,

“Play time and hippy days are over in the Church.”

“I’m serious”. “I’m different.”

“And I’m a radical for Jesus.”

Sometimes what you wear on the outside says a great deal of what you are on the inside.

The Catholic Church is back in black (or blue as the case may be).

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Check it out here.

Obama, you’re next.

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Yours truly offers his opinion over at LifeSite News.

OTTAWA, March 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As LifeSiteNews reported, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has slashed by 65% its usual funding to the Canadian Catholic Bishops’ international aid organization, Development & Peace, for its 2011-2016 programs. It appears that the Canadian government has realized something that the Catholic bishops of Canada have not: that Development & Peace has some major problems which need an immediate and dramatic response.

The great irony, of course, is that instead of the Canadian bishops cleaning up the mess in their own backyard, the Canadian government has gone a long way in doing it for them. Caesar has decided that Development & Peace doesn’t meet the government’s standards for good stewardship of taxpayer funds. As government spokesman Justin Broekema said: “CIDA is responsible, particularly in times of fiscal restraint, for ensuring Canadian tax payers’ dollars deliver value for money and the strongest results in the lives of people in need.”

In July 2011, Socon or Bust published a comprehensive entry on how Development & Peace was doing in relation to other charities in Canada. The source of information for the entry was an article from the Summer edition of Money Sense.

 

The findings of the report were very sobering indeed for Development & Peace. In the category of Overall Charity Efficiency, Development & Peace received a grade of “C+”, the lowest of all 15 Canadian international charities, while also receiving a “C-” in Governance and Transparency, tying 3 other charities (including Amnesty International) for the lowest ranking.

Seizing on this report, LifeSiteNews readers and the Catholic blogosphere illuminated government officials as to the problems with Development & Peace. The Money Sense article (an independent and credible analysis of the international charity industry in Canada) likely had at least some influence on the cut to Development & Peace’s funding program, since the government’s stated “value for money” criteria was far from being met by the Canadian Catholic Church’s official aid and development agency.

In Embassy magazine’s follow-up article to the funding cut, there was speculation that the reduced funding might also have been related to Development & Peace’s direct involvement with the overtly political, ecumenical group, KAIROS, whose membership includes both Development & Peace (as a founding member no less) and the CCCB.

KAIROS’s funding was cut in 2009 by the Federal government because of their political advocacy against the State of Israel, as well as not meeting the conventional objectives for international aid, including providing water, health and education in developing nations. Instead, they consumed themselves, like Development & Peace did, with the latest “social justice” avante-guard causes like climate change, “eco-justice”, and the rest of the social Marxist fromage.

As with Development & Peace’s financial stewardship scandal which Money Sense exposed, Pro-Life Media, Catholic magazines and the Catholic Blogosphere reported on the close relationship between Development & Peace and KAIROS. This cozy connection between the Canadian Catholic Aid Agency and KAIROS caused some in the social justice industry to speculate openly about whether Development & Peace’s funding cut was in part responsible by their relationship with KAIROS:

“Mr. Casey said he doesn’t know whether the funding decision had anything do with the group’s advocacy work, or its membership in KAIROS. But Tony Martin, a Catholic former NDP MP and Development and Peace supporter, said he sees a connection. “The pattern is that anybody who stands up and is critical or lobbies government opposed to some of the activity of Canadian multinational corporations are going to get cut off at the knees,” he said from his home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. He cited the KAIROS funding decision, and another government decision in December cutting funding to the Mennonite Central Committee, which is also a member of KAIROS.” (Source)

Mr. Martin’s observation was not too far off the mark. Concerned citizens’ complaints were not only restricted to abortion, but also included objections to taxpayer money being used to fund neo-Marxist revolutionaries in the Global South by these church organizations. During its never-ending abortion drama, Development & Peace, with its sordid 40+ year history of adopting socialist sensibilities, was also caught funding neo-Marxist groups who also freely admit to being pro-abortion.

For over three years now, both Socon or Bust (my blog) and LifeSiteNews (a news service – not a blog) have discovered at least 53 groups whose aims and policies are in direct contradiction to the Catholic Church’s teaching on human life. Some groups’ aims are more heinous than others, but all of them should be disqualified from receiving any Catholic aid whatsoever.

Despite the voluminous and troubling evidence discovered thus far, most, but thankfully not all, of the Catholic bishops of this country have not sufficiently understood the systematic and deep-rooted problems with the orientation of Development & Peace. This was evidenced, for instance, by the bishops’ recent “solidarity” trip to Haiti where they were led around the island by George Soros’ pro-abort feminist shills. Do they even know who George Soros is? Remarkably, this “solidarity mission” was made after newly-elected CCCB president, Archbishop Richard Smith, asked Catholics to “trust the bishops” in October of last year.

The Church in Canada is coming to a crossroads of sorts concerning Development & Peace. This ongoing and perpetual failure to clean up Development & Peace points to something more than just Church politics and image. It points rather to a fundamental philosophical and theological error which many Canadian Bishops have adopted since the Winnipeg Statement. It’s called proportionalism.

Instead of recognizing the possibility of the intrinsic wickedness in an act, proportionalism seeks to downplay the inherent nature of an act to focus on the consequences instead. According to Blessed John Paul II, it is a teleologism which…

…by weighing the various values and goods being sought, focuses rather on the proportion acknowledged between the good and bad effects of that choice, with a view to the “greater good” or “lesser evil” actually possible in a particular situation (Veritatis Splendor).

 

It was this fundamental guiding error the Canadian bishops used with the Winnipeg Statement in which they said “a Catholic could contracept in good conscience”. It’s the same principle today when they are effectively telling Catholics they can give to pro-abort groups “in good conscience”.

And yet, this is not what the Church teaches at all. In 1994, Blessed John Paul II founded the Pontifical Academy for Life to promote the dignity of human life in medical science. In its statutes, it clearly says that close collaboration with medical doctors and researchers is to be encouraged, but only insofar as these doctors believe what the Church believes on the sanctity of human life:

The scientific and interdisciplinary activity of the Pontifical Academy for Life shall maintain a close connection with the bodies and institutions through which the Church is present in the world of the biomedical sciences, of health, and of healthcare organisations, also offering its collaboration to medical doctors and researchers (including those who are non-Catholics and non-Christians) who recognise that the dignity of man and the inviolability of human life from conception to natural death, as enunciated by the Magisterium of the Church, is the essential moral foundation of the science and art of medicine. (Article, 6)

If this is true for one area of Church mission, it is true for all areas of Church mission. As we can only co-operate with non-Catholic and non-Christians who share the Church’s values on the sacredness of human life in bioethics, so too is that principle no less binding in the area of human development and aid in the case of Development & Peace.

This means, of course, that the cumbaya “solidarity” missions with pro-abort feminists, anti-Catholic bigots, Marxists with masks, and the rest of the Church’s enemies embedded should be over. And so should sentiments like those of Bishop Fred Henry who said:

“The group may not be perfect but they must be doing a lot of good work even if there are a few positions and actions that we will have to challenge them on,” (Source).

No one would believe that the Catholic bishops of this country would hitch their wagon to organizations devoted to human trafficking, child pornography, or (heaven forbid!) climate change denial, despite all of the other social “good work” that they might do in the community. For some inexplicable reason, however, when the sin is about abortion or contraception, all of this other “good work” that the pro-abort pushers do somehow overrides their efforts to legalize abortion. Then, it becomes all about “walking with Jesus” or some other nonsense.

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…Eventually, though, Moore would learn to love God and began to seek Him. Moore’s blog post says he finally sought God, and this time not merely as a solution to his homosexuality. He told CP that it is idolatry to simply seek out a “sexual conversion,” and churches need to understand this point.

“I think that their call out to homosexuals is, ‘Come to Jesus and he’ll make you straight,’ whereas the Bible doesn’t promise that…The Bible doesn’t promise that our temptations will end. Actually, it promises that temptations shall surely come…With some people it’s heterosexual lust, with some people it’s anger, with some people it’s homosexual desires,” said Moore….(Source)

This is a great story, and what he says above is actually the Catholic view.  We are all sinners in need of Grace and forgiveness.

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Today, my family and I had the great honour to attend the ceremony establishing the Queenship of Mary as a “private” association in the Catholic Church where four brave women professed their temporary vows, and received their habit and new religious names.  My own personal connection with this religious community involves being a long time friend of one of the Sisters, then Madeleine Thomson now Sr. Marie Madeleine de la Misericorde.  The particular charism of this association is evangelization and service.  (Read their January Newsletter: part 1, 2.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Ain’t no stoppin’ it, now.

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“…Msgr. Bridge told LSN said that Bishop Mulhall will continue withholding financial support to the CCODP “until the whole thing is settled with regard to the relationship between the Conference of Bishops and the Development and Peace group.” …(Source)

Bishop Mulhall is the only bishop in the Canadian Church who is completely clean and sober regarding Development & Peace.  He has broken free from the social justice koolaid.  Maybe he can share the program he used to get sober with his brother bishops.

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A prayer that our family prays during our nighttime routine…

Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord,
keep them, for they are Thine -
Thy priests whose lives burn out
before Thy consecrated shrine.

Keep them, for they are in the world,
though from the world apart;
when earthly pleasures tempt, allure -
shelter them in Thy heart.

Keep them, and comfort them
in hours of loneliness and pain,
when all their lives of sacrifice
for souls seems but in vain.

Keep them, and O remember, Lord,
they have no one but Thee,
yet they have only human hearts,
with human frailty.

Keep them as spotless as the Host,
that daily they caress;
their every thoughts and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

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