30 June 2022

Let the Latin Mass Remain in D.C.

It is said that the Devil hates Latin. Is it just a coincidence that modernists like Gregory also have a deep hatred for the language of the Latin Church?

From The Washington Post

By Kenneth J. Wolfe

June 28, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

Kenneth J. Wolfe has sung in the Gregorian chant choir at St. Mary Mother of God Church in D.C. for more than 26 years.

The Archdiocese of Washington, led by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, might eliminate all traditional Latin Masses in its parishes in D.C. and Maryland, forcing the existing seven public Sunday Masses using the centuries-old rite to merge into one new location, most likely the Franciscan Monastery in Northeast D.C. Among the parishes currently offering Latin Masses is St. Mary Mother of God church in Chinatown, a church that has been offering the traditional Mass since the mid-1980s (and 1845 through 1969), when permission was granted to designate that location for a restored Latin liturgy.

The archdiocese said that Cardinal Gregory has not yet announced his intentions related to Pope Francis’s motu proprio “Traditionis Custodes,” the directive given last year on the traditional Latin Mass.

The process that might lead Cardinal Gregory to shut down all Sunday and weekday Latin Masses has saddened, surprised and angered hundreds of Catholics who attend these liturgies. Personal invitations to the cardinal — even by priests — to visit a local Latin Mass have been declined. Alternatives to keep a few Latin Masses alive at parishes in the archdiocese have been dismissed. For a cardinal who has prided himself on the virtues of justice and charity, many Catholics in the pews over the past few weeks have been shut out of any serious discussion, instead resulting in what can fairly — and ironically — be characterized as injustice and intolerance by the archbishop of Washington.

One would think that of all the problems in the Archdiocese of Washington, faithful, practicing Catholics attending Latin Masses would not be considered among them. Cardinal Gregory’s two predecessors (Cardinals Theodore McCarrick and Donald Wuerl) resigned in disgrace, costing millions of dollars. Sex abuse payouts have been enormous. Pews are nearly empty at many, if not most, Catholic churches in D.C., and the archdiocese is likely on the verge of bankruptcy. According to the financial report released for the most recent fiscal year, parishes ran an operating deficit of $2.3 million in just that one year, and the priests’ retirement benefit trust and medical and care funds have unfunded liabilities of tens of millions of dollars. Contrary to some assumptions, the Archdiocese of Washington is actually quite small, having only double the number of parishes as Virginia’s 70-parish Diocese of Arlington), which makes these large monetary deficits staggering.

Yet, Cardinal Gregory is considering shutting down the Latin Mass at St. Mary’s, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of that parish’s income, 100 percent of the church’s volunteer singers and about 90 percent of its volunteer base. Taking away the traditional Mass at St. Mary Mother of God would crush the parish, which was falling down — and nearly empty — until the Latin Mass community was a given a home there in the mid-1980s by Cardinal James Hickey. The flower guild is comprised entirely of Latin Mass attendees. Same with the altar boys. Same with the families who organize and pay for coffee and doughnuts after Mass, every Sunday of the year. When the clock tower needs daylight saving time updated manually, or the bells of St. Mary’s need fixing, or a parish picnic needs a coordinator and cooks, the job always falls to laity in the pews from the Latin Mass.

Why would Cardinal Gregory do such a thing to a vibrant, successful parish that not only is self-sustaining but also actually subsidizes failing parts of the Archdiocese of Washington, including the cardinal’s own cathedral? He claims he is bound to belittle the Latin Mass by order of Pope Francis. Where this story falls apart, however, is the fact that almost no other bishop in the United States has even contemplated such an extreme, uncharitable act of injustice. Why would they, with all of the serious problems currently on their plates, take thriving Latin Masses and merge them into a traditional Catholic ghetto?

No one — even within the chancery — is known to support this. In fact, high-ranking, appointed officials in his office have proposed alternatives. Several of the cardinal’s loyal pastors have pleaded for him to reconsider such a harsh move. Priests who do not celebrate the Latin Mass have expressed opposition to slashing more than a half dozen such liturgies.

The sad part in shutting down the traditional Latin Mass at St. Mary Mother of God church is that it would devastate the parish, which has worked hard to help the neighborhood and those in need. People, including me, who were married at St. Mary’s, who served as godfather for baptisms at St. Mary’s and who have volunteered thousands of hours — and contributed thousands of dollars — will go elsewhere. I will go to a welcoming parish that offers a traditional Latin Mass, just like St. Mary’s, but in the Diocese of Arlington. And I will spend my time, talent and treasure there. But I will still be sad every time another D.C. parish closes, as I now know it was likely because of a tone-deaf cardinal who, when invited to a parish he intends to destroy, had absolutely no interest in even visiting it.

Anti-Roe Justices a Part of Catholicism's Conservative Wing By Peter Smith Today

A predictable 'hit piece'. No mention of the fact that Roe was bad law based on a non-existent 'right to privacy' that Blackmun invented out of whole cloth.

From AP

By Peter Smith

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade at a time when it has an unprecedented Catholic supermajority.

That’s not a coincidence. Nor is it the whole story.

The justices who voted to overturn Roe have been shaped by a church whose catechism affirms “the moral evil of every procured abortion” and whose U.S. bishops have declared opposition to abortion their “preeminent priority” in public policy.

But that alone doesn’t explain the justices’ votes.

U.S. Catholics as a whole are far more ambivalent on abortion than their church leaders, with more than half believing it should be legal in all or most circumstances, according to the Pew Research Center.

Notable Catholics who support abortion rights include President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats. Democratic-appointed Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Catholic, dissented in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that overturned Roe.

But the justices in the Dobbs majority aren’t simply cradle Catholics. Several have ties to intellectual and social currents within Catholicism that, for all their differences, share a doctrinal conservatism and strong opposition to abortion.

“It’s not simply choosing Catholics,” said Steven Millies, professor of public theology at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and author of “Good Intentions: A History of Catholic Voters’ Road from Roe to Trump.”

“It is because they are particular kinds of Catholics, traveling in particular Catholic circles that not everyone in your local parish is identifying with,” Millies said.

In Dobbs, five justices voted to overturn Roe — Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas. A sixth, Chief Justice John Roberts, balked at overturning Roe but voted to uphold the Mississippi abortion restrictions in question.

All six were raised Catholic.

Most went to some combination of Catholic high schools, colleges or graduate schools. The one exception, Dobbs author Alito, has fondly described growing up in a home where “church and the family” were preeminent. Five of the six justices still identify as Catholic, while Gorsuch has attended an Episcopal church more recently.

The Supreme Court was dominated by Protestant justices for much of its history. The majority have been Catholic since the 1990s, and for several years in the last decade, the court had six Catholic justices, three Jews and no Protestants. (Newly sworn-in Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson identifies as Protestant.)

But religious identity has mattered less of late than ideology, which is why conservative evangelicals have cheered on the Republican-nominated Catholics, said Nomi Stolzenberg, a University of Southern California Law School professor focusing on law and religion.

In fact, eight of the last nine Republican nominees to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, from the Reagan to the Trump presidencies, have had Catholic pedigrees.

That religious demographic may seem striking given Republicans’ loyal evangelical Protestant constituency.

But partly it’s a matter of the available talent pool: Catholic immigrants’ descendants have intensely pursued legal professions.

Catholic institutions built their own intellectually rigorous law schools to aid in social assimilation and upward mobility. Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh began as a night school for working class immigrants.

In time, Catholics were studying at Ivy League schools and reaching the judicial elite.

“It’s an immigrant story, how Catholics and Jews overcame anti-Catholic and antisemitic resistance and eventually flooded into elite schools,” Stolzenberg said. A 2017 study found 28% of federal appellate judges are Catholic, and 19% are Jewish.

Millies said some of the earlier Republican-appointed justices disappointed conservatives by voting to uphold Roe.

“Republicans were looking for an identifier in the selection process that would make them safe,” he said. “By the ’80s, it became Catholics.”

That, too, reflects the immigrant story, Millies said, as many midcentury Catholics sought to prove their American bona fides as staunchly anti-communist social conservatives.

“Catholics earned a marquee spot in American culture as being reliable, patriotic Americans,” he said.

Even the Catholic nominees weren’t all reliable. The now-retired Anthony Kennedy affirmed Roe and gay marriage. But later Republican administrations also scrutinized candidates’ judicial records and involvement in influential organizations such as the Federalist Society, Millies said.

Gorsuch, who like several in the Dobbs majority has appeared at multiple Federalist Society events, studied at Oxford University with Catholic legal philosopher John Finnis.

Finnis is a proponent of “natural law,” described in the Catholic catechism as “the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil.” Gorsuch himself applied that principle in a book opposing assisted suicide.

“It may be the case that Gorsuch is no longer a practicing Catholic — we don’t know,” Stolzenberg said. “What we do know is that his legal philosophy is shaped by the conservative Catholic philosophy of natural law.”

Barrett has long been affiliated with People of Praise, an ecumenical Christian group with a significant Catholic membership. It combines a doctrinal and moral conservatism, including opposition to abortion.

Thomas was raised Catholic in a largely Protestant extended family and briefly attended Catholic seminary, later attending an Episcopal church before returning to Catholicism. He has praised the Catholic nuns who taught him and the grandfather who raised him, a Catholic who “worked hard to provide for his family” and “a deeply religious man who lived by the Christian virtues.”

Thomas, concurring on Dobbs, went further in saying the court should reconsider other rights that past courts granted based on legal theories similar to Roe. Such precedents voided state laws against contraception, gay sex and same-sex marriage.

In a speech at Notre Dame University in 2021, Thomas paid tribute to the influence of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, long the court’s conservative stalwart.

Despite their different backgrounds — Thomas grew up in segregated Georgia in an African American family with limited education, Scalia in New Jersey as the son of a doctorate-earning Italian immigrant — “we were both Catholics, attended parochial schools and ... benefited from a common culture,” Thomas said.

Scalia — who regularly attended the Latin Mass, a rite that appeals to many conservative Catholics — influenced not only Thomas but other recent appointees.

“All of these people would say, ‘We are followers of Scalia,’” Stolzenberg said. “Scalia was a conservative Catholic. That very much stamped him and marked his legal philosophy.”

But with conservatives racking up win after win on the court — overturning Roe, loosening gun restrictions and expanding religious access to public forums and money — their coalition will be tested, observers said.

They long coalesced around the idea of “originalism” — that justices should interpret the Constitution based on how its writers meant or applied it.

But originalism, with its purported moral neutrality, is “not any longer going to serve the needs of the pro-life coalition,” said Bruce Ledewitz, a Duquesne University School of Law professor focused on constitutional law and religion. Some are talking about legislation declaring fetal personhood, and “originalism doesn’t get you there,” he said.

Cornell University Library Removes Abraham Lincoln Bust, Gettysburg Address

'The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.' - George Orwell

From The Post Millennial

By Katie Daviscourt

The display had been prominently featured in the Koch Library since 2013.

The Cornell University Library has removed a sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln and a plaque of the Gettysburg address after an alleged complaint was filed, according to Fox News.

Cornell biology professor Randy Wayne was shocked to find that the Abraham Lincoln display, which featured a bust of the President and a bronzed plaque of the Gettysburg Address, had been removed from the Kock Library.

"Someone complained, and it was gone," Wayne told College Fix.

The display had been prominently featured in the Koch Library since 2013, Wayne said.

According to College Fix, Wayne first noticed that the display was missing a few weeks ago. When he asked librarians what happened, they told him the display was removed after receiving a complaint.

However, Cornell University has not yet confirmed those allegations and told Fox News that the display was removed because it was meant to be "temporary."

"President Lincoln's bust was part of a temporary exhibit on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. The bust was on display in the Rare and Manuscript Collections from 2013 to 2021," Rebecca Valli, director of media relations at Cornell University, told Fox News on Tuesday.

"Cornell proudly possesses one of five known copies of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln’s hand. The original is safely sequestered, with a digital facsimile on permanent display. Additionally, five electronic Lincoln exhibitions are available for 24/7 viewing online," Valli added.

After learning of the display's removal, professor Randy Wayne emailed the university's president requesting reason for why the display was removed, and was told decisions are made by library staff.

"President Pollack isn't typically made aware of changes with exhibitions in the library, which I believe are decided upon by library staff," a staffer for president Martha E. Pollack told Wayne.

Wayne detailed his frustrations to Fox News and said that he takes his students to the RMC to have them read the Gettysburg Address, which moves him to tears.

"When I take my students to RMC each semester, I have one of them read the original in Lincoln's hand. I am in tears each time I hear a student read those words," Wayne told Fox News.

"The Gettysburg Address is an incredible speech," he added in comment to the College Fix. "We have a handwritten copy in Lincoln's hand. It is known as the Bancroft Copy. It comes with an envelope signed by Lincoln (using his franking privilege), and a letter to Bancroft, thanking him for requesting a copy of the address to put in a book to be sold for charity."

Dawn Eden Responds to the Roe Decison

Another 'Catholic' very upset at the overturn of Roe Vs Wade. At least the 'seamless garment' heretics are showing their true colours.

From Daffey Thoughts

By David Griffey

 By regurgitating the old pro-abortion canard that pro-lifers don't care about poor mothers or children

I liked her response to Neil.  Until all pro-lifers have lived up to her standards, she sees no reason to think she has anything particular that she wanted.  And no Ms. Eden, we don't get to equate political legislation to the Gospel call to feed the hungry and clothe the naked.  

Oh, I'd like Ms. Eden to provide the statistics that show pro-life individuals are any less charitable, or giving toward poor mothers and children, than anyone else.  My first experience with giving a flip about abortion was in an evangelical church that spend copious amounts of energy and funds in helping a pregnancy center for mothers and children.   I think they staged one protest while I was there.  The rest was centered no helping the mothers and their children. That was as often as not par for the course in my Protestant days. 

It's worth noting that I see Ms. Klassen doing more on a rainy day to halt the horror of our abortion culture than everything I've seen Ms. Eden do for more than a decade.  Just saying.

Shea in Mourning

Mark Shea is VERY upset with the overturn of Roe vs Wade. Pray for him and for his return to the Faith, and for other 'Catholics' like him.

From The American Catholic

By Donald R. McClarey, JD


Mark Shea, as part of his ongoing decades long hatenanny against the Republican party, predicted that Roe would never be overturned and that the GOP was simply using the abortion issue to swindle pro-life voters.  Go here to read one of his typical rants on the subject. Now that Roe is one with Nineveh and Tyre,  Shea, the born again pro-abort, seizes upon Leftist tropes to say that this is terrible:

Go here to read his screed. Shea is living proof of one of his adages: sin makes you stupid. I would add another adage: hate tends to drive you crazy. Pray for him. Shea is well down a very dark path.

Thomistic Epistemology

Lesson Nineteen of God and His Creation, with Fr James Brent, OP, PhD, STL, Asst Professor of Philosophy, Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC.

Human beings do not invent the truth, but discover it. Skepticism and relativism are really forms of despair. In the philosophical tradition that comes down to us from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, one of the fundamental convictions is that there is truth. Further, that this truth is eternal and that human beings are capable of knowing it.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Zanchetta?

Francis is still protecting his convicted pervert pal, now by trying to dig up dirt on Zanchetta's accusers. But, it 'has nothing to do with the Zanchetta case'!

From Catholic World Report

By Christopher R. Altieri

(Not like this.)


Pope Francis has sent the canon lawyer who represented his friend and former colleague in the Argentinian bishops conference, Gustavo Zanchetta (who is now a convicted sex offender serving time in prison), to investigate some of the very clerics who denounced their erstwhile bishop to the Vatican and testified against him in the secular criminal trial that saw him convicted of sex crimes against seminarians and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.

The Vatican is billing the investigation into suspected (supposed or alleged?) conduct by certain ecclesiastical personages in Orán, Argentina, as normale amministrazione, but local papers aren’t buying it.

To hear the lawyer tell it, the one thing – whatever it is or may be – has nothing to do with the other. “I perform tasks as defender in some cases,” said Javier Belda Iniesta, “and in others I perform the role of investigator, notary or even judge.”

“There is nothing strange about it,” he said. “In this case, I already knew the place.” Belda Iniesta was short on detail in remarks to local media, but he did spare a word for what he says the investigation is not: “[I]t has nothing to do with [Zanchetta], these are facts unrelated to him.” Also, this is only a “preliminary” inquiry apt “to determine whether certain facts are possessed of verisimilitude,” and whether said facts may be imputed to “someone” – who? – after which the business could go somewhere or not.

Church investigators, Belta Iniesta among them, have already summoned some witnesses involved in both the civil and canonical processes against Bishop Zanchetta. Other witnesses expect to receive a subpoena from the Church any day, now. Belda Iniesta, meanwhile, isn’t saying who sent him or who or what he’s investigating. “I can assure you that I have absolutely not revealed to anyone what I am investigating or to whom, so as not to put anyone’s good name at risk,” Salta12 quoted him as saying. “It is a matter of prudence,” Belda Iniesta explained.

Belda Iniesta did also confirm for local media that the canonical process against Bishop Zanchetta “is still open.” (Sp. que sigue abierto.)

So, the guy who represents a bishop (one already convicted of sex crimes in secular court) in a “still open” canonical process dealing with the same charges, is also conducting an undefined investigation into unspecified possible misconduct possibly committed by some of the very people who blew the whistle on said bishop – his client – and have been witnesses against said bishop, his client, in both Church and civil jurisdictions.

“Anyone who conducts himself uprightly has little to fear,” Belda said. Boy, howdy. The whistleblowers doubtless feel better already. Note to Churchmen: It was Lavrentiy Beria who said, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” He was not a fellow renowned for his cultivation of justice. Also, Kafka’s The Trial is not a vademecum of best practices in conducting judicial processes.

Anyone vaguely acquainted with investigative arms and prosecutor’s offices in both the civil sphere and the Church knows that assignments like this can go to anyone, and also sometimes go to the worst possible fellow when considering the “optics” of the business. So, it wouldn’t necessarily be that someone thought this was a good idea, but only that no one realized how terrible an idea it was to give this assignment to this fellow.

To hear the ecclesiastical judge tell it, however, this assignment came straight from Pope Francis. “[T]he appointment [of Belda Iniesta],” said Judge Loyola Pinto y Sancristóval, “was direct from the Holy Father.” Welp, there you have it.

Sometimes, the question isn’t, “Who thought this was a good idea?” Sometimes, the question is, “Who didn’t realize this was a terrible idea?” In this case, it appears the head man thought it was a dandy idea, so it didn’t matter at all what anyone else may or may not have thought of it.

Pope Francis has already fudged on what he knew about Bishop Zanchetta and when he knew it.

Pope Francis let Zanchetta resign under pretenses of ill health rather than face investigation and removal.

Pope Francis created a sinecure for Zanchetta in the Vatican’s central bank despite suspicion that Zanchetta had engaged in financial impropriety.

Pope Francis suspended Zanchetta from his Vatican job and then invited him on retreat with the rest of the Roman Curia.

Pope Francis let his chief-of-staff tell an Argentinian criminal court that Zanchetta was needed in the Vatican “to perform his daily tasks” despite Zanchetta’s supposed suspension from his Vatican office duties.

One may be forgiven the impression that Pope Francis considers his efforts heretofore in Bishop Zanchetta’s behalf inadequate. After all, Francis gave Zanchetta his mitre and his ring and his see, very shortly after Francis came into Peter’s.

One supposes Pope Francis is not really intent on ruining the psychological and spiritual health of the clergy in Orán, Argentina. One supposes Francis does not care to destroy what little confidence in his own leadership may remain among the faithful of that place. One supposes Francis does not intend to make a mockery of law, government, and common sense.

One supposes all that over and against a very great deal of what we know about Pope Francis’s conduct in the case of Bishop Zanchetta, inexplicably emeritus of Orán in Argentina.

What Do Plummeting Catholic Numbers Mean for Germany's Synodal Way?

Another look at the effects the heretical 'Schismatic Way' is having, not only on the Church in Germany but on the wider Church in Europe.

From The Pillar

By Luke Coppen

The news that a record number of people formally left the Catholic Church in Germany in 2021 will rekindle the debate about the country’s controversial “synodal way.”

The German bishops’ conference announced on June 27 that 359,338 people exited the Church last year, a huge increase from 2020, when 221,390 left. The previous high was 272,771, recorded in 2019.

The latest official figures suggest that departures from the German Catholic Church are accelerating. What does that mean for supporters of the synodal way and its opponents?

The supporters’ view

For the synodal way’s advocates, the grim figures are a confirmation that the Catholic Church in Germany requires a radical overhaul. The initiative’s organizers have always acknowledged that the local Church is in crisis, arguing that the synodal way is the necessary response.

The German bishops decided to launch the reform initiative in 2019, following a landmark abuse report known as the MHG study. The synodal way brings together the bishops and laypeople to discuss four main topics: power, priests, women’s role in the Church, and sexuality. Its defenders argue that these subjects were derived directly from the MHG study, though critics disagree and accuse the synodal way of “instrumentalizing” the abuse crisis.

Responding to the latest statistics, bishops’ conference chairman Bishop Georg Bätzing admitted that they were dismal.

“The figures for 2021 show the profound crisis in which we find ourselves as the Catholic Church in Germany,” he said. “There is nothing to sugarcoat, and I am … deeply shaken by the extremely high number of people leaving the Church.”

He noted that those departing were not just Catholics with little connection to their parishes. There was increasing evidence, he said, that people once highly engaged in parish life were also leaving. Indeed, there are even cases of senior priests abandoning the Catholic Church for Germany’s Old Catholic community.

Anticipating the criticism that the synodal way has had no impact on the outflow, Bätzing said that the “departure” that the initiative represents “has evidently not yet arrived here in contact with believers.” In other words, the changes that the synodal way’s champions hope to enact haven’t happened yet — and that is why the numbers remain bleak.

Bätzing added that the 2021 figures challenged him “to courageously continue on the path the Church has chosen,” as well as to raise awareness of German Catholics’ contribution to society and the global Church.

While the bishop did not make this argument, other synodal way advocates are likely to claim that many 2021 departures were related to upheaval in the Archdiocese of Cologne, which dominated the German Catholic news last year. Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki — a synodal way skeptic — has struggled to govern the country’s largest and reputedly richest diocese amid a major abuse report and an apostolic visitation ordered by Pope Francis. But the cardinal’s supporters would deny that Woelki’s troubles are the cause of the record departures.

It’s worth noting that there was some good news in the latest figures. The number of baptisms jumped from 104,610 in 2020 to 141,992 in 2021. There were almost twice as many church weddings compared to the year before (11,018 in 2020; 20,140 in 2021). First Communions also rose, from 139,752 to 156,574. This may, however, simply be the result of looser coronavirus restrictions.

The opponents’ view

The synodal way’s critics will also see the new statistics as a vindication. They are likely to argue that the initiative has been up and running for more than two years yet has failed to make the slightest impact on the figures.

They may also see the numbers as further proof that the synodal way is an elite venture, an exercise conducted by insular “professional Catholics” (the Catholic Church is Germany’s second-largest employer after the state.) In support of their argument, they might point out that a synodal way meeting last October was abruptly suspended as there weren’t enough participants to form a quorum.

Critics could also highlight that only 1,500 people joined the Church in 2021, while 4,116 people were formally readmitted — suggesting that German Catholicism is doing little to attract newcomers while pouring energy into internal debates.

Skeptics are also likely to argue that the radical positions adopted by synodal way members are accelerating the German Church’s decline. Participants have backed draft documents calling for women priests, same-sex blessings, and changes to the Catechism of the Catholic Church on homosexuality.

Members of a German Catholic initiative called “New Beginning” say that the synodal way’s trajectory is alienating a significant number of the country’s believers, as well as alarming Catholics around the world.

Worryingly, the number of Mass-goers dropped below the 1 million mark last year, to an average of 923,000, compared to 1.3 million in 2020.

Pope Francis’ intervention

Both supporters and opponents of the synodal way seek the pope’s backing. When discussing the initiative, Pope Francis has always referred to his 2019 letter to German Catholics. He recently underlined that he spent a month writing it himself, without involving the Roman Curia. He has said repeatedly that the letter sums up everything he wants to say about the matter.

There are, however, sharply divergent interpretations of the letter in Germany. Synodal way advocates see it as broadly supportive, while offering some points of fatherly guidance. Critics underline passages where the pope lamented the “decay of faith” in Germany and called for vigorous efforts at evangelization — a topic they say is notably absent from the initiative’s agenda.

A ‘very good Evangelical church’

Pope Francis’ most recent public comments about the synodal way contained a real zinger at the expense of Bishop Bätzing. The pope recalled that he had told the bishop that “In Germany, there is a very good Evangelical church. We don’t need two.”

The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), a federation of 20 Lutheran, Reformed, and United regional churches, ordains women as priests and permits same-sex blessings — changes likely to be endorsed by the synodal way when it concludes in spring 2023.

The EKD reported in March that 280,000 people formally left it in 2021. That is fewer than the 360,000 people who exited the Catholic Church in the same period and so could be seen as a point in favor of synodal way supporters. Yet there were fewer evangelicals to begin with: there were 21.6 million Catholics in Germany in 2021, compared to 19.7 million Protestants.

For opponents of the synodal way, meanwhile, the hemorrhaging of the Evangelical Church shows that women priests and same-sex blessings do nothing to stop disaffiliation.

A continental crisis

The new figures are therefore a kind of Rorschach test: both supporters and opponents see different patterns in them. But for both, they are a confirmation of their deeper convictions about the merits or dangers of the synodal way.

The Church is losing Catholics at an alarming rate not only in Germany, but also elsewhere in Europe. The numbers seem especially stark in Germany because it has the continent’s largest population (outside Russia) and Church officials meticulously track the figures.

But across Europe (including strongholds like Poland and Malta), the Church is being eroded by deep historical processes usually summed up by words such as “secularization” and “modernity.” The synodal way is the current flashpoint for debates about how the Church should respond to these long-term challenges. But it seems unlikely that the German initiative will offer any kind of resolution.

Brendan Hodge contributed to this report.

BREAKING: Francis Issues A New Key Document On The Traditional Mass

What exactly does he mean by 'liturgical formation'? He declares that the Church can never go back to the preconciliar liturgy.

The Assault on the Holy Eucharist

Satan used the protestants to attack the Eucharist 500 years ago. Today he's using Catholic politicians and Bishops to achieve the same goal.

From TAN♦Direction

By Fr Kevin Drew

“I am not allowed in these columns to discuss politics or religion, which is inconvenient; as they are the only two subjects which seem to me to have the slightest element of interest for a sane man.”

That was the English convert to Catholicism GK Chesterton writing in the Illustrated London News in 1908.

Chesterton became known as the Apostle of Common Sense. Another word for common sense is “natural law” which means the way things work, the way they were designed to be used. The Catholic Church teaches that “natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie” (CCC, 1954)

The Catholic Church then is common sense. For it keeps a person sane. Look around the world today: it has gone insane. This is because it is living the lie. And when the Church calls people out on
the lie, what do many people do? Do they say, “Oh, thank you. I didn’t realize I was living a lie. I am going to change my life now, and maybe even go to confession”?

No, that seldom happens. Instead, they say things like: “You religious people shouldn’t be talking about politics. And you shouldn’t be judging me or anyone else with your rigid and antiquated belief system. In fact, religious beliefs need to be changed to accommodate modern times.”

“Religious beliefs need to be changed” is by now a common mantra. Hillary Clinton said that to a fawning group of abortion supporters in 2016. That was a chilling statement coming from a person running for the nation’s highest office. And just how would a career politician change religious beliefs? How would that work? Would she somehow convert hearts? Or would she use the force of law which would include threats to people’s livelihoods and their physical safety?

Religious beliefs were changed by politicians in Chesterton’s beloved England about 500 years ago. Listen to a scholar describe how they did it:

“Thus if the sacrilegious rebellion was to succeed, the Mass had to be eradicated. All references to a sacrifice were eliminated from the service. Altars were torn down and replaced by
communion tables. Belief in transubstantiation was considered a heresy punishable by death. Cranmer’s assault on the Holy Eucharist provided the impetus for laws passed by parliaments to
exterminate the Mass from England and later from Ireland.”

Tragically, the man Cranmer, mentioned above, the one who assaulted the Holy Eucharist, was not a member of Parliament, or some other government official. No, he was the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the top priest in all of England. The secular government could not have toppled the Church without top players on the inside. There was nothing new in this. It started with Judas, and continues on to today. There are people in positions of power in the Church who are non-believers. And they seek to change the teaching that Christ put in place. They seek to change the belief of those “rigid and backward” Catholics who hold on to the belief in transubstantiation.

The term “transubstantiation” is a term given to us by the Church that means “change of substance.” It means that the essence of a thing, what a thing is, changes. Transubstantiation takes place at Holy Mass when the priest, standing in for Christ says, “This is my Body …  This is my Blood.” When that happens the substance of the bread and wine changes to Christ’s Body and Blood. It becomes the holiest thing on earth. How could it not be?

Look up “Declaration Against Transubstantiation” to get an idea of what English Catholics were once up against. The “Declaration Against Transubstantiation,” a 1691 government statute mandated anyone taking civil office to declare:

“I [ name] do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God profess, testify, and declare, that I do believe that in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper there is not any transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, at or after the consecration thereof, by any person whatsoever; and that the invocation or adoration of the virgin Mary, or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now used in the church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous” (English Statute 3 William and Mary, chapter 2, section 5, in Danby Pickering, ed., The Statutes at Large, vol. 9, 1764, p. 131).

Superstitious and idolatrous. Really? Friends, all the Church Fathers, from the very beginning, preached that Holy Mass was a sacrifice; that Christ was the priest and victim of the sacrifice; and that the bread and wine became His Body and Blood during the sacrifice. That is what was passed on to them.

That is what was passed on to St. Paul which he shared to the Corinthians in 54 AD, that which was heard read today at Mass. In the 1970 Roman Missal, “experts” cut off the end of the passage. It’s the part that says one eats his own condemnation if he receives Holy Communion unprepared. Why did they cut the passage off? Did they do that perhaps because it was an obvious declaration for transubstantiation? It makes one wonder, since religious beliefs have radically changed since 1970. Only a minority of Catholics now believe in transubstantiation. A great many then approach the altar in a serious state of sin, and say “amen” to something they think is akin to a cracker. They then commit the twofold sin of sacrilege and idolatry. This is the truth, however inconvenient.

This is the truth that self-described “devout” Catholic politicians ignore at their own peril, as well as their bishops who are supposed to love them and give them the truth about the eternal danger sacrilegious Communions present to their souls. The bishops are silent, and these same “Catholic” politicians have been silent as Christian (mostly Catholic) organizations and churches are being targeted by often paid mobs bent on violence.

Friends, I’m afraid we have a big problem on our hands. We are living in a time of sacrilegious rebellion like the Church has not seen in a long time; a time of all-out assault on the Holy Eucharist. Who is going to help us? Our Department of Justice, or “Catholic” politicians? No, I’m afraid our government wants our religious beliefs to be changed. Shall we change them? Or should we rigidly hold on to what was passed on from the beginning?

Friends, transubstantiation is the truth, because Christ said so. Transubstantiation delivers us Christ’s Body and Blood – instead of a cracker. Without transubstantiation we, as Christ warned, have no life in us. But with transubstantiation we keep the commandments, become zealous for the Lord, and strive to become saints.

So you see? Transubstantiation is common sense. And this common sense is needed if we are to solve the modern problems we face. In response to the question of how Christ would solve modern problems if He were on earth today, Chesterton responded:

“I must answer it plainly; and for those of my faith there is only one answer. Christ is on earth today; alive on a thousand altars; and He does solve people’s problems exactly as He did when
He was on earth in the more ordinary sense. That is, He solves the problems of the limited number of people who choose of their own free will to listen to Him.”

My friends, be part of that limited number. Look to the only answer, who hangs on the cross for you in His eternal sacrifice. Listen to Him say: Religious beliefs have to be changed. So go do your part to change beliefs and save souls. Strengthened with my Body and Blood you will laugh at the danger and violence coming your way.

And if it comes to it, you will laugh and rejoice when you are convicted of heresy for your belief in transubstantiation. You will remain sane in a world headed for hell by being able to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie.

The Angelic Doctor Against the Errors of the Greeks - Part Two - Chapter 26

The general conclusion: that the Spirit proceeds from the Son.

After so many testimonies, however, certain adversaries Footnote (meaning the Greek theologians opposing the Latins from the time of Photius) of the truth refuse to confess the true faith, saying that although the Holy Spirit has been shown to exist, to be spirated, to emanate, and to flow out of the Son, nonetheless that he proceeds from the Son is not to be admitted. For this is not contained in any of the cited authorities; nor in any authority of Holy Scripture, which states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, without however joining the Son in this to the Father, when in John 15:26 it is said: When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father. Accordingly, it must be shown how on the basis of the foregoing it necessarily follows that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.

Now, of all the words relating to origin, the term procession is found to be more generic Footnote and less specific of a mode of origin. For according to accepted usage we designate as proceeding whatever is from another in any way whatsoever, whether this be naturally from another as Peter is said to proceed from his father, or emissively as breath proceeds from someone breathing, or flowingly as a stream proceeds from a source, or artificially as a house proceeds from a builder, or locally as the bridegroom proceeds from the bridal chamber.

Not everything, however, in any way from another can be described as being spirated, or begotten, or flowing, or emitted. Hence, the term procession is also particularly suitable Footnote to express the origin of the divine persons, for, as observed previously, Footnote the divine is better designated by generic rather than specific terms. So, from any of the points which have been discussed, namely, that the Holy Spirit exists of the Son, flows from him, or is spirated or emanates, it is necessarily concluded that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.” Footnote

Ecology and the Lie of Pride Flags

A look at the intentions of the designer of the 'Pride Flag'. ''We needed something to express our joy, our beauty, our power. And the rainbow did that."

From Catholic460


“The importance of ecology is no longer disputed. We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly. Yet I would like to underline a point that seems to me to be neglected, today as in the past: there is also an ecology of man. Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will. Man is not merely self-creating freedom. Man does not create himself. He is intellect and will, but he is also nature, and his will is rightly ordered if he respects his nature, listens to it and accepts himself for who he is, as one who did not create himself. In this way, and in no other, is true human freedom fulfilled.”  Benedict XVI, Bundestag, “The Listening Heart: Reflections on the Foundations of Law,” 2011

Section I: False flags and seeking wholeness for all sexual sinners

To those familiar with signs, symbols and sacramentals, the LGBTQ+ “Pride” flag is no more a peaceful sign of diversity and tolerance than the Confederate or “Rebel” flag is. The Pride flag inseparably signifies the specific value of accepting the “gay” lifestyle and the sexual acts which are intrinsic to defining one as homosexual. To the point, does anyone honestly believe that someone who hoists the Playboy bunny flag can separate it from support of fornication and adultery? Feel free to pretend you just like the cute sign of bunnies, but any culturally attuned adult knows the flag’s intrinsic sympathy and meaning.

CNN reported what the original designer had to say about the Pride flag: “He assigned a meaning to each of the colors: hot pink for [gay] sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for harmony and violet for spirit.” So, gay “sex” and “magic.” Admittedly, pink was later removed for simplification of manufacturing per the article. The designer summarized, “We needed something to express our joy, our beauty, our power. And the rainbow did that." Today’s activists and parades make clear that it was always first and foremost about “hot... [gay] sex”.

No amount of good intentions by some supporters of the LGBTQ+ movement can conceal the values to which the Pride flag is intrinsically tied. It is a flag of defiance, rebellion, and the culture wars: surrender or be destroyed. Corporate CEOs and bakers who have lost their jobs for not surrendering to the flag can testify it is not peaceful or innocent any more than a pirate ship hoisting its colors.

Rebel Flag: Its True Meaning

The Pride flag is ultimately a symbol of defiance and hate of Christian morals (which condemns sodomy along with fornication and adultery by heterosexuals). The flag symbolizes the desire to enforce normalization of the acts intrinsic to the LGBTQ+ lifestyles. It is anti-union with the only eternal and transcendent God. It is a rebel flag. The rainbow, God’s symbol of peace towards mankind, has been turned against God in an act of defiance and preference for deceit. Its founders took a symbol for God’s love and turned it upside down.

The Confederate or “Rebel” flag may have stood for States’ rights and a weaker federal government, but its primary origins inseparably stood for the status quo of bigotry, hatred, and maintenance of chattel slavery.  Confederate activists were clear that the war was more about slavery than States’ rights. Like the Pride flag, it likewise stood for dehumanizing ideologies, choices, and activities. The symbolic value of chattel slavery can never be removed from the Confederate flag’s founding symbolism and sign-value because chattel slavery is indissolubly linked to opposition to the Union; two values are inseparably linked in the flag. While people may try to hoist the “Rebel” flag today in defiance of today’s corrupt media, federal government, and supporting agencies, they cannot pretend the flag is all of the sudden empty of the sign-value it originally gave slavery. Otherwise, they deceive themselves.

Due to its opposition of God’s love for mankind – by its support of lying and dishonesty in support of “hot... [gay/sodomy] sex” – defiance of God can never be removed from the sign-value of the Pride flag. Firstly, because sexual love between intelligent beings (as opposed to some lower animals) is offered by Mother Nature for expressing union and faithful love with another. No real union takes place in sodomy…only distorted forms of mimicry which equate to mutual masturbation (so using the term “sex” is a bit of a misnomer). Fidelity is practically scorned by the LGBTQ+ activists. Secondly, since fornication and adultery are intrinsically forms of lying amongst heterosexuals, and universally condemned by all Wisdom traditions, then sodomy can never be seen as anything but a worse form of lying and perversion than fornication and adultery. It is not even “hot... [gay] sex,” it’s simply mutual use and lying within distorted bodily expressions. Empty of intelligence and perverse, it is neither intercourse nor honest.

Though housing many hypocrites - like every institution involving men - Catholic prelates are aware that symbols propagate a spectrum of ideas and meanings within the cultures that use them. Trained in signs and symbols and sacramental theology, even if they are currently silent, surely they are aware that the US Embassy at the Vatican (actually in Rome proper) is signaling the passive-aggressive hatred which activists have for Catholic foundational values of covenant, marriage and temperance when that embassy hoists the Pride flag. Except for the abuse of executive power in the Biden administration, it borders on comical that ambassadors pretend to separate the Pride flag from its intrinsic sign-value of sodomy (per the designer’s own words). The new power politics demonstrated by some American institutions reveals that Marxism - in its Engels form – has settled-in.

The well-intentioned Pride flag supporters who fight bigotry

Unwilling to admit the fuller sign-value of the flag, and ignoring how invading pirates hoist it, many people who support the Pride flag are kind-hearted and have relatives involved in the LGBT+ world. They do not want those relatives to feel unloved or abandoned. They are people who value inclusivity and recognize they too have sins and weaknesses; especially sexual sins. They do not wish to appear intolerant to the struggles of relatives who mistakenly identify with the LGBT+ community. They understand the struggles of their fellow man and do not wish to isolate them or increase their burdens. For most of these kind-hearted relatives and friends, that’s as far as the symbolism of the flag goes for them. They are like people who assume that hanging the Confederate flag only has the sign-value of States’ rights. Their natural affection for family is to be lauded even though their sign choices lack some discernment.

Other good-willed supporters of the Pride flag are often-times victims of some form of unjust persecution, present or historical. They simply identify with anyone unjustly persecuted, whoever they are and without judgment on their personal lives. It is commendable. However, they fail to see that defending some lifestyle choices are as much a defense of lies as defending the lies of adultery or cheating on one’s spouse (which they do not support). They fail to discern that one can reject sinful activities while loving and wanting the salvation of the persons immersed in unhealthy and dishonest behavior. Nevertheless, such good-willed supporters of the Pride flag are rightly standing against the bigots who scapegoat those who experience homosexual attractions. They are right to stand against the bigots who attack innocent persons and those who the bigots perceive as “queer” or LGBTQ+.

Such bigots deserve correction as many “queers” have never pushed their politics on anyone, never hoisted the Pride flag, and never sued a bakery just to punish Christians for not supporting the sexual activity of gay “marriage” and “hot... [gay/sodomy] sex.” Many innocent “queers” have only silently suffered disordered emotion or desires (as do “straight” people), but never tried to justify acting upon them. Such “queers” are innocent of any sin and God has destined them in Christ to share in his Sonship and Resurrection.

Many humans have engaged in “queer” activity but repented of the lies. Somehow fantasy, desire, and anxiety got intertwined inside their psyche, not by a choice, but by the human condition itself. It led to powerful temptations. They are ashamed and repentant of bad choices they eventually made as much as the adulterer or fornicator is rightly ashamed of his activities. God loves and favors all repentant sinners; every lost sheep.

Innocence of the “gay” condition

We’re all sinners in need of salvation. The human condition is afflicted by the world (environment), the flesh (biology), and the devil (spiritual warfare). Such conditions afflict each and every human being conceived in this world. According to the Church, every human suffers some kind of concupiscence, a.k.a. disordered desires. There is not personal fault for its origins, but we are responsible for what we choose to do with the temptations engendered by concupiscence. We are intelligent and free beings and responsible for what we consciously choose to do with our desires. We are called to love in truth our fellow man and ourselves. Concupiscence’s effects differ. The conjunction and intertwining of fantasy (from the word “phantasms”), imagination, sexual desire, intelligence and anxiety can afflict a person’s psyche and memory and start the struggle with homosexual temptation…through no fault of their own.

A bit over-simplified, but this body-soul combination of the psyche (additionally affected by the world, the flesh, and the devil) can continue the indention of a struggle within the psyche like ripples on water from a rock. The whole body-soul composite is constantly reverberated in the struggle of intelligence with the emotions that shake it and imprint the psyche. The struggle to bring bodily-emotional desires into reasonable and truthful activity is the arena in which every human experiences concupiscence and temptation. Some powerful concupiscence can remain with persons their whole lifetime, but God loves them no less and rewards their faithfulness and struggles for truthfulness.

Some psychic struggles are easily compounded once concupiscence sets in and every time some kind of association triggers it. It seemingly becomes a part of the person’s nature and identity and often comes through no personal fault of their own. God greatly loves the people who are afflicted by such temptation, but such people are initially very confused and shaken by the temptations. They question if they are lovable and too often they get very poor guidance. They are lovable and God loves them deeply. Shame on those who do not love them and give false guidance.  Many so-called “LGBTQ+” people are no more pleased by this confluence in their natural powers than straight people with confused and unintegrated drives which lead to adultery, fornication or masturbation.

The persecution of humans who experience homosexual temptations or concupiscence is unjust. However, speaking-out against dishonest activity is not unjust, just like when the Church condemns acts of fornication and adultery. We all must struggle to live in honesty and truthfulness in how we relate to our fellow man if we are to love others truthfully and intelligently. Jesus promised he came to save and not to condemn us (cf. Jn 3:16; 12:47). He urges us to keep striving for wholeness, truthfulness and forgiveness. We cannot achieve it without Jesus who proved that God is love and loves us sinners. It is only the self-righteous and obstinate sinner who is in danger for not wanting God’s love and mercy.

Seeking integration with intelligence and wholeness through love

We all believe in truth and objective truth or we would not be offended when people lie to us or lie to others. It is because humans love the truth that we are upset when people lie to us. Lies steal our freedom while the truth makes us free. We could not experience betrayal if we did not love the truth and reality. Love of truth is inescapable for intelligent beings. Intelligence is the higher aspect of our lives and gives us dignity to not be governed solely by reactions to imagination and impulses like the other animals. Love of truth prevents us from being manipulated and gives us authentic freedom.

Not only do intelligent beings love the truth, we also do not like being wrong and do not want to live lives that are false. Admitting we were wrong is painful because it means admitting we have been living lives that are somewhat false and of less value because they lacked the value of truthfulness. No one wants to have to admit to himself that he has been living lies or falsity. Wanting things to be true can sometimes even lead us to deceiving ourselves when we cannot admit we were misled and took a wrong turn. Believing one’s own lies is one of the greatest of darknesses of which humans are very capable.

The truth is what makes us free and fulfilled, but it can be hard to discern the interdependence of truth and desires since human organisms experience desires at multiple levels: subjectively in body and emotions, and objectively in intelligence and the desire for truth (in shared language and shared space-time). Intelligence naturally desires truthfulness and honesty to provide for wholeness of the organism: the truth makes intelligent beings free and whole. Spiritual and higher realities are more important than bodily desires and so they must guide and lead bodily desires if intelligent beings are to maintain fulfilment and integrity. Intelligent and spiritual realities are higher and more important realities because only spiritual realities survive bodily death.

Sometimes the lower truths about bodily need come in conflict with the higher power and goods of personal intelligence, personal relationships, commitment, and integrity. Instead of choosing the higher values of honesty and integrity, too often humans value the lower fixes of immediate gratification of bodily or emotional want. Confusion sets in. Lying becomes a temptation in every human being; most dangerously, lying to oneself. Subjectivity interferes with finding fulfillment in higher realities when a person relativizes what is higher and lower than itself. Choosing the lower goods over and against the objectively higher goods – instead of integration with the higher and true goods – makes humans more like the lower animals and ruled by passion instead of intelligent love (the likeness of God) which opens to participation in eternal life.

Section II: If fornication, contraception and adultery are forms of lying, then what is sodomy?

If I tell a heterosexual man that he is a pig, a liar, and a user for cheating on his wife, no one is upset by it because deep-down everyone knows such a man has chosen to act as a scoundrel and follow base desire over and against truthful, honest, and loving relationships. Additionally, women should not be treated so cheaply (as does adultery and fornication) since women are left bearing the greatest costs and burdens. Every honest human loves his mother and knows he has value because of her caring love. He knows she bore the greatest cost.

Every human is the product of a sexual embrace (a real union of male and female); and every human has the dignity of being intelligent and the image of God. Human life is not cheap and should not be deprived of origin from an honest union between a man and woman. Human life comes from the excellence of male and female and elevation into intelligence through sharing in human nature. Human life is made in the image of God, the intelligence behind all creation and the arrival of intelligent biological entities.

Children naturally love their mothers, but men must act like fathers before they are worthy of love. Fatherhood means commitment, integrity, strength, and sacrifice. Indebted to our mother’s love and care since conception, every human knows that when I tell a man he is a pig, then it means his conscious sexual acts are inseparable from being intelligent and also meaningful acts; that with his freedom comes responsibility. Calling him a pig means that his acts are beneath fatherly human dignity of being intelligent, free, and responsible. No matter his immature protestations, acts of cheating are acts of betrayal against his spouse, his children, and his intelligent nature.

Adultery is an act of betrayal against his spouse because accepting her love meant cherishing her love and her person; showing gratitude and loyalty. She did not give herself away to have her love thrown away. Humans are not cars or slaves that can be traded for different models; they are the image of God and always more than mere objects for personal use. Cheating shows narcissism, arrogance, and being a user. Cheating makes men (and likewise women) thieves and liars; taking and pretending, but not giving and committing to what nature pledges within them as intelligent creatures.

Acts of cheating are acts of betrayal against his children because children are nature’s signs of the commitments he consciously made his spouse in shared bodily language in time and space every time they united; pledge after pledge after pledge. The face of a child is the face of innocence and honesty, the face of nature asking if the man will remain true and become fulfilled in fatherhood. We his children are signs of nature’s pledge and only liars seek to deny us what is our due from nature…a father and a mother.

All human languages communicate objective meanings. Promises are presumed to be truthful. For this reason, lying is universally detested amongst the human race and all Wisdom traditions. When shared by intelligent beings, sexual acts are a form of body language designed by Mother Nature, and they communicate truths. The intimate powers being shared between man and woman (intelligent biological entities) reveal a willingness to share a future life together in the bodily language of the gift of the self; a total unifying embrace speaking a primordial language of promise and pledge which communicates faithfulness. Only humans, because of intelligence, comprehend this language.

Being intelligent and free, the persons involved in sexual intercourse signify love and can bring into existence a new human life which should be cherished (and needs a family). The bodily union is inescapably a promise and a pledge spoken bodily through conscious and intelligent creatures and only such unions between male and female can be called sexual intercourse. Only a man and a woman – without any other humans involved – have the power to bring new intelligent beings into this world. With great power comes great responsibility.

The quote from Benedict XVI, now makes more sense: ““The importance of ecology is no longer disputed. We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly. Yet I would like to underline a point that seems to me to be neglected, today as in the past: there is also an ecology of man. Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will. Man is not merely self-creating freedom. Man does not create himself. He is intellect and will, but he is also nature, and his will is rightly ordered if he respects his nature, listens to it and accepts himself for who he is, as one who did not create himself. In this way, and in no other, is true human freedom fulfilled.”

No to Sodomy, Yes to Ecology

The heterosexual union is superior and unlike the distortions involved in sodomy. Sodomy can only mimic honest heterosexual intercourse, but never achieve real and natural unions. Nature approves and proclaims the reality of true union which is signified and proclaimed by the mystery of new life signified in the new child. Humans intelligently grasp our origins and debt to Mother Nature, which God gave us as a guide. Humans admire the elegance of symmetry, diversity in nature, the possibility of union with the “other,” and the mystery of life. Only male and female together unlock the mystery of life by themselves and with no one else involved. Mother nature could not be more clear about natural and sexual ecology. Attempted bodily unions which are not true unions – and which fail to respect the love pledged within marital relationships – fail to respect natural intelligence and so are a failure of human ecology.

Homosexual attempts at sexual union become a rejection of Mother Nature, an abuse of intelligence and piety, a lack of respect for the natural environment and ecology that led to human beings. Mother Nature needs to be respected for her ends which God the intelligent and loving Creator assigned. Mother nature is a book of wisdom and teaches us through common sense and experience about God’s purposes. We all naturally have mothers, and we all naturally know the difference between authentic unions and inauthentic unions; between truth-telling and falsehoods, between loving unions and lies. Fathers and mothers are our guides until we mature and preserve their wisdom and become mothers and fathers. Men are made for fatherhood, women for motherhood, and together they protect wisdom for future generations.

Even if intelligent humans agree just to use each other, even if they attempt to deny authentic human bodily union its inherent, intelligible, and primordial language of faithfulness and love (as assigned by Mother Nature), it just means both people agreed to accept a lie or engage in emotional prostitution (trading in pleasures). They are agreeing to be users of each other, but it doesn’t make them honest lovers of each other. Since when is purposely falling short of the truth, and the purposeful misuse of a human person, something to be celebrated with special flags…whether bunnies or rainbows?

Every act of contraception, especially amongst the married, is always an act of lying and something beneath human dignity. It too rejects Mother Nature and human ecology. It prevents true union in an act that Mother Nature elegantly designed to speak of total union. For what? To take pleasure from one another without care that each are debtors to a primordial language that has a purpose and meaning greater than themselves. Contraception blocks true union of mind and body and replaces it with the goals of mutual masturbation (false unions)…opening it to the charge of sodomy. The deepest and most intimate powers of one another – fertility – are blocked, rejected, and resented. Humans act like thieves. Contraception tells Mother Nature that mankind has the right to take advantage of her goodness and pollute her beauty and truth-telling. All the while humans lie and pretend to sing within Mother Nature’s harmonies of life, rhythm, and cycles. Really, contraceptors are lip-syncing and becoming liars and thieves.

If the misuse of sexual acts amongst heterosexuals inside of marriage – and even outside of nature’s institution of marriage – are acts of lying, then one can imagine how further misuse of sexual acts leads to further degradation in acts of sodomy. Acts of sodomy speak an even greater lie in the language of the bodies that Mother Nature provided. This essay will spare the reader of descriptions and explanations of sodomy (sins from which even demons turn their eyes). It is enough to say that common sense is sufficient to see that the Pride flag is a symbol that promotes sexual lying and use of humans  just like the Playboy bunny is a symbol that promotes the lying of fornication and adultery.

The Intelligence behind this intelligible universe lovingly admonished us, “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Take note that all sin is summed up as “liars,” so it is a lie to say, “Love is love” in order to defend acts of sodomy. Lies work against authentic love and one cannot have union with authentic love, with God, when one refuses to live within truthfulness. When fornicators and adulterers are on the path to perdition for their lies, did those who commit sodomy really think Christian cultures should celebrate their activities with special flags? Such flags are signs of the acceptance of lying as a way of life and do not set people free.

“The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).

Biography: Dr. Matthew A. Tsakanikas is an associate professor of theology. See the “Transcendence After America Project: Restoring Jesus Christ to the Public Square” at catholic460.com