Archive for December 22, 2022

Here in the People’s Republic of Marxachusetts, the name of one of the two most sacred Christian holidays is treated very much like one of the most vile curse words imaginable.  Few dare utter it in public even though a significant majority of us celebrate Christmas enthusiastically.  I know the same holds true for wherever progressives make up more than a token minority of the population,  They are very good at bullying people into compliance with their demands.

It is most depressing to see town after town in my part of the world hold Holiday Tree Lighting ceremonies and Holiday Bazaars.  Not a single one of the couple dozen towns I’ve seen listings for on social media mention Christmas. 

Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s my town was lavishly decorated for Christmas. This included an elaborate Nativity Scene right on the Town Hall grounds.   The Nativity Scene disappeared decades ago to appease progressive bullies who claimed it violated the “separation of church and state.” 

Nowhere in the Constitution is the phrase separation of church and state.  Some claim that it is part of the Establishment Clause.  This is false because the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment only prevents the federal government from declaring an official religion for the United States.  This clause does not reach down to the state or local level.

Progressives turn a blind eye to the free exercise of religion clause of the First Amendment, along with similar clauses in all state constitutions.  I know the Massachusetts Constitution contains more than one clause protecting the free exercise of religion.

The war on Christmas is fought most fervently in schools.  In a great many school districts Christmas parties are verboten.  Candy canes and Christmas colored napkins are banned.  On the website for my local school district, the students will have the next week off for “Holiday Break.”  Christmas is not listed at all, however, New Year’s Day is listed.   

Christmas is treated like a vile swear word because progressives claim naming it will offend some nameless individuals.  That is claptrap.  Only whiny progressives are offended.  It is utterly shameful that we have catered to these wretched bullies.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: I’m glad you brought that up, Mr. Paynter, because that’s a very pretty point. You know, I left out one detail in the court martial. It wouldn’t have helped our case any. [to Maryk] Tell me, Steve, after the Yellowstain business, Queeg came to you guys for help and you turned him down, didn’t you?

Lt. Steve Maryk: [hesitant] Yes, we did.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: [to Paynter] You didn’t approve of his conduct as an officer – he wasn’t WORTHY of your loyalty! So you turned on him. You ragged him – you made up songs about him. If you’d given Queeg the loyalty he needed, do you suppose the whole issue would have come up in the typhoon? [to Maryk] You’re an honest man, Steve, I’m asking you. You think it would’ve been necessary for you to take over?

Lt. Steve Maryk: [hesitant] It probably wouldn’t have been necessary.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: There!

Ensign Willie Keith: [horror-stricken] If that’s true, then we *were* guilty.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: Ah, you’re learning, Willie! You’re learning that you don’t work with a captain because you like the way he parts his hair; you work with him because *he’s GOT* the job, or you’re no good! Well, the case is over. You’re all safe. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

The Caine Mutuny 1954

Go here for Part 1: The Errors of the Church

Mortal sin is a horrible thing and of the mortal sins murder ranks high on the list and abortion is one of the worst types of murder there is.

  • It is the murder of an entirely innocent person.
  • It not only kills the child but all those who would be descended from that child
  • It’s a murder that is done with the consent of the mother and often with the complicity of the father & grandparents

That is what makes it something to be fought and opposed but in terms of a sin deadly to the soul there is one sin that sin is pride.

C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters #7

Pride is the sin of the devil, pride is the sin that created hell, pride is the sin where we put ourselves up above God. Pride is the sin that offends the first and greatest commandment. Remember what Christ himself said when asked about the subject:

One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied,

“The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’ And ‘to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that (he) answered with understanding, he said to him,

“You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Mark 12:28-34

Note that Jesus put the love of God before the love of neighbor. To fight abortion is a fine and worthy cause but to love God comes before it.

And that’s where the danger to Frank Pavone comes in.

One of the primary vows of a priest or religious is obedience. Obedience to valid authority above him or her. The rule doesn’t say “obedience if the person is smart”, “obedience if the person is holy” it’s obedience.

The church has been around for 2000 years, Over that time we’ve had Popes and Bishops that ran the entire gamut from Saintly, to, mediocre to bad as is normal in any institution. This is also true for Priests, in my lifetime I have been in parishes with good priests, saintly priests, prideful priests and bad priests but the mass was still the mass and the Eucharist still the Eucharist.

Moreover if we want examples of obedience to a seemingly bad decision we can turn not only to the great saints but great saints in living memory. Padre Pio for example had his authority to hear confession and say mass removed from him for years before they were restored. Or consider this exchange between the Lord and St. Faustina when Christ commanded her to request permission for a particular mortification and was refused:

I apologized for taking up Mother’s time and left the room. At that very moment I saw Jesus standing at the kitchen door, and I said to Him. “You commanded me to ask for these mortifications, but Mother Superior will not permit them. Jesus said:

I was here during your conversation with the Superior and know everything. I don’t demand mortification from you, but obedience. By obedience you give great glory to Me and gain merit for yourself.

The Diary of St. Faustina Notebook 1 #28

I will concede that obedience, particularly to a request we might find unjust and when it seemingly impedes a beneficial end is not easy but again it cuts to two critical things

  1. Trust in God
  2. Keeping the priorities in order

CS Lewis put it very well:

Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means you have almost won your man and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours—and the more “religious” (on those terms) the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cageful down here.

C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters #7

Again I don’t know the details or the history concerning the former Fr. Frank Pavone, the Vatican or the individual Bishops he has crossed swords with. I don’t know what is true and what is not and my personal dealings with Fr. Pavone have always been great. He always struck me a priest dedicated to the cause of life.

If he were to ask my advice on the matter, I’d say submit in humility and in prayer, while still working with Priests for life. There is no reason why Mr. Frank Pavone can not advance the cause of life as long as he has God behind him and if God wills that he once again be Father Pavone it will happen.

He has already made one statement in his exchange with the folks at Church Militant on these events which is likely the single most important public statement he could have made.

It’s fair to say that as a priest Fr. Frank Pavone has done a lot to advance life and save souls but In my opinion this statement by Mr. Frank Pavone may do more to save souls that might be in danger than anything else he could do as it directly addresses the third great danger which will be the subject of my final piece in this series.

I’ll continue to pray for him and all involved in the case I suggest you do as well.