Sunday, May 31, 2009
First, let me say that it is not my place nor my intent to judge Father Cutie. Our priests are only human and the vow of celibacy is difficult. We should pray everyday for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our priests.
However, I am disturbed by how fast his vows as a Catholic priest were abandoned in order be a Protestant minister where he can marry his girlfriend and continue his career as a clergyman.
Presumably, as a Catholic priest, Father Cutie was supposed to believe that the Catholic Church is the one true church established by Jesus Christ. The Baltimore Catechism says "We know that the Catholic Church is the one true church established by Christ because it alone has the marks of the true Church. . . . We know that no other church but the Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ because no other church has these four marks.
1. One Faith, One Sacrifice, One Sacramental System, One Head.
2. Holy in its Founder, Holy in its Teachings, Holy in its Means of Grace, Holy in its Members who follow the Teachings and use the Means of Grace provided.
3. Catholic. It is not the Church of one nation or one race, but of all nations and all races.
4. Apostolic. It can trace its origin back to the Apostles on whom Christ founded the Church.
Only the Catholic Church has all four of these marks. It alone is the Church Christ founded. But we must convince men of this by love. . . ."
Of course, Father Cutie can engage in the High Church Anglican fantasy that "Anglicanism" is a branch of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. They can argue that Reformation Archbishop of Canterbury THOMAS CRANMER and other English bishops who became Protestants stood in apostolic succession and that the Protestant bishops whom they subsequently ordained were, therefore, in Apostolic succession. Therefore, so the argument goes, Anglican bishops are in apostolic succession and Anglican holy orders are valid. For a number of reasons, which are too detailed to go into here, the Catholic Church has always rejected this argument. As a former Anglican/Episopalian, I cannot believe that a Catholic priest would seriously accept this argument as correct. The harsh truth is that the Episcopal Church is a Protestant church with some trappings of catholicism.
Second, I am disturbed by the manner in which Father Cutie's conversion to Protestantism has been handled. Apparently, neither Father Cutie nor the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida bothered to notify Archbishop John C. Favalora of the Catholic Archdiocese of Miami that Father Cutie was going to be received into the Episcopal Church and then ordained an Episcopal priest. An article at Episcopal Life Online reports that Father Cutie had already undergone a two year discernment process for the Episcopal ministry, presumably under the nose of his Catholic superiors. It seems to the BAD CATHOLIC that it would have been polite to at least tell the Catholic Archbishop that this was coming and not make him hear it for the first time on the news. At the point that Father Cutie was even thinking about becoming a protestant, he should have notified his superiors and resigned from active ministry in the Catholic Church. I think that Archbisop Favalora is totally justified in saying that Episcopal Bishop Frade's actions are "a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us."
Episcopal Bishop Frade was quoted by Episcopal Life Online as saying "We welcome Father Alberto into the ministry of the Episcopal Church. Our ministry has centered on spiritual growth, love, forgiveness, and a sense of community. Guided by a spirit of fellowship and understanding, the Episcopal Church remains a beacon of hope and faith for all." This statement heavily implies that the Roman Catholic Church does not have "spiritual growth, love, forgiveness and a sense of community." Therefore, the Episcopal Church is "a beacon of hope" for Father Cutie and other victims of Roman Catholicism.
I know that many of my friends are members of the Episcopal Church. What I am about to say will probably hurt their feelings. Please forgive me. In my opinion, the Episcopal Church has theologically degenerated to the point that you can pretty much believe anything you want to and still claim to be a good Episcopalian. There is very little that one can do, other than fail to be politically correct under current cultural standards, that will be definitely condemned by the Episcopal Church as sin. So violating one's ordination vows is certainly no big deal. Father Cutie should make an excellent Episcopalian.
From The Acts of the Apostles:
"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly, a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4 (RSV)
From a sermon by a 6th century author:
"The disciples spoke in the language of every nation. At Pentecost God chose this means to indicate the presence of the Holy Spirit: whoever had received the Spirit spoke in every kind of tongue. We must realize, dear brothers, that this is the same Holy Spirit by whom love is poured out in our hearts. It was love that was to bring the Church of God together all over the world. And as individual men who received the Holy Spirit in those days could speak in all kinds of tongues, so today the Church, united by the Holy Spirit, speaks in the language of every people.
Therefore if somebody should say to one of us, "You have received the Holy Spirit, why do you not speak in tongues?" his reply should be, "I do indeed speak in the tongues of all men, because I belong to the body of Christ, that is, the Church, and she speaks all languages. What else did the presence of the Holy Spirit indicate at Pentecost, except that God's Church was to speak in the language of every people?"
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
A reading from THE LETTER TO DIOGNETUS was appointed for the Liturgy of the Hours for today, Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter.
FROM THE LETTER TO DIOGNETUS:
Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.
And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.
Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. . . . As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian's lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Yours truly, the BAD CATHOLIC, and SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED, traveled to sunny Miramar Beach near DESTIN, FLORIDA for a few days of much needed rest and relaxation.
Day 1: Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I got up and went to Mass while SHE finished packing and went to the office. The famous Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes once said that "The law is a jealous mistress." And it's true, many times it feels like we are both married to a law practice. After leaving in the late afternoon, we arrived at our rented condo in Miramar Beach, Florida in the early evening and went for dinner at that famed establishment for fine dining BEEF O'BRADY'S where I drank Yuengling Beer for the first time. (It was love at first swallow).
Day 2: Thursday, May 7, 2009
I got up early, said Morning Prayer, and took a brisk walk down the beach. Before leaving, I had checked mass times.com for the closest Catholic Church and found that THE CHURCH OF THE RESURRECTION was right around the corner within walking distance from where we were staying. Believe it or not, my wife actually made an 8:30 A.M. mass on a weekday! God Be Praised! (It helped that it was 8:30 AM Central Time which would have normally been 9:30 AM to us.)
THE CHURCH OF THE RESURRECTION is a beautiful modern church. I was impressed by the Stations of the Cross and impressive crucifix located in a garden of palmetto and palm. The church was also very beautiful on the inside. However, THE BAD CATHOLIC is something of a traditionalist in these matters. Although the architecture of the church, round with glass walls from floor to ceiling, was very beautiful, this was one of those churches where the altar is in the middle of the church, there is no apparent front of the altar since it appears to be square, and no matter how hard you look you can't find the tabernacle. The choir is behind the lectern, like in a Protestant Church, and it appears to me that it would be difficult to conduct a Tridentine Mass in this Church since the pews are pretty much 360 degrees around the altar. I finally saw the tabernacle and it was kind of in a corner out the way. And that, my brothers and sisters, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with the "modern" church in architecture and in theology, it has a tendency to put us in the forefront and put Jesus away in a corner someplace. But enough about that.
The Pastor of Resurrection Parish, Father Tom, was celebrating his anniversary in the priesthood on Friday. When I spoke to him and he asked me where I was from and I told him, he said "Your priest is that guy who rides the motorcycle, if he's still there." And I said, yep, sure enough, the motorcycle riding priest is still there. I then laughingly told Father Tom that I had to get used to hearing him say mass since he doesn't have a Polish accent.
After leaving church on Thursday, we went out for breakfast. SHE wanted a WAFFLE HOUSE waffle. So we very carefully snuck the contraband into WAFFLE HOUSE in SHE'S massive purse. The contraband being 100% pure organic maple syrup. Then we hit one of SHE'S favorite places, THE GOODWILL STORE, and another thrift store run by a church mission group. SHE found a lot of bargains and I found a surprisingly large amount of good used books. We finished the day at LANDRY'S SEAFOOD HOUSE where SHE had grouper and I had the stuffed flounder.
Day 3: Friday, May 8, 2009
The day began with morning prayer and mass at RESURRECTION PARISH. We had lunch at POMPANO JOE'S on the beach in DESTIN. POMPANO JOE'S is right on the beach and has a Caribbean Bar theme to it. SHE had a fried grouper sandwich and I had a POMPANO JOE original, a GROUPER REUBEN. It was excellent.
Following this excellent repast, we saw the new STAR TREK movie. As an old Trekkie, I thought it was way cool, however, I still am a little bit worried about what they are going to do all of these beloved characters in sequels since they have ingeniously developed a plot line in which all the STAR TREK history that we know from all the TV shows and previous movies has been wiped out so they can do whatever they want with the characters, and in fact, they already have.
Following the movie, we hit THE OTHER GOODWILL STORE in downtown DESTIN.
We finished the day with a swim in the pool, a walk on the beach, and an excellent steak from WINN DIXIE plus our leftovers from LANDRY'S.
Day 4: Saturday, May 9, 2009
Began the day with Morning Prayer and a walk down the beach. Came back to the condo where my wife made me homemade pancakes with real 100% natural organic maple syrup. Watched Christopher Buckley talk about his new book about his parents on C-SPAN 2. (Uncle Sonny, A GREAT AMERICAN, once told me when he found me watching C-SPAN 2 "Book TV" on the weekend, "I didn't know that real people really watched this channel.")
Then we did SHE'S favorite pastime, we did more shopping. However, SHE made the mistake of keeping me occupied by putting me off at BOOKS-A-MILLION where I engaged in an occasion of sin and proceeded to buy things.
Lunch Saturday was at GILLIGAN'S on the porch overlooking the bay. SHE had another fried grouper sandwich and I had a combo platter of fried shrimp and oysters.
There were a lot of people around in DESTIN and it did not appear to me that THE RECESSION was keeping anybody away or causing anyone not to spend money. However, a closer look revealed that the place is way overbuilt and that many condos and beach houses are for sale at reduced prices or in foreclosure.
We ended the day with Mass at RESURRECTION PARISH and split the steak and potatoes we had leftover from Friday.
Day 5: Sunday, May 10, 2009
Unfortunately, we had to leave and come home. After a nice drive back to Tallahassee, we met our friend LAWYER LAURA for INDIAN FOOD. After hitting NEW LEAF MARKET another of the favorite haunts of SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED, we headed back to SOUTH GEORGIA.
Of course, SHE wanted to go to the office after we got back. It took me about 2 seconds of reviewing my messages to be totally sick of the legal profession once again. And so, now, here we are: BACK TO THE RAT RACE!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
An Old Friend of Mine found this bad video (it was shot on high speed audio tape by some toy camera made by Fisher Price, that's why it looks a sting operation video) It's me (I'm Flash) and Mark doing a post game analysis of a military simulation board game published by Avalon Hill called Victory in the Pacific in about 1985. LOOK AT HOW THIN I WAS!!!!! LOOK AT ALL THE HAIR I HAD!!!!! IT SEEMS LIKE IT WAS A MILLION YEARS AGO!!!!!! IT WAS A MILLION YEARS AGO!!!!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
This morning at Mass, my pastor announced that because of the danger of transmission of the Swine Flu virus, the Diocese of Savannah has made the decision that, until further notice, the communion cup will not be administered to the laity.
Father added that up until after the Second Vatican Council the host only was ordinarily received at Communion. He assured everyone that Jesus is just as present, body, soul, blood and divinity, in the bread as in the wine.
The Bad Catholic is glad that the diocese is worried about the health of its parishioners. The Bad Catholic wonders, however, if we are not over reacting a little bit. So far, it really doesn't appear to be any worse than the regular influenza virus that reportedly kills approximately 38,000 people every year that most of us hardly notice. Some talking heads I heard on the radio last week were saying that this strain of flu may not be as virulent as first thought. I suppose that if the CDC or the World Health Organization decides that this is not a major health hazard, or whenever there is an effective vaccine or treatment, that we can get our communion cups back. Until then, it looks like it is Jesus versus the Swine Flu.
And all joking aside, theologically speaking, it is Jesus versus sickness and death. Sickness and death came into the world as a consequence of sin. This is why there is death and decay. The world is not like it is supposed to be. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that suffering, illness and death are temporal consequences of sin. (CCC paragraph 1264).
Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death. . . . It is the experience of Israel that illness is mysteriously linked to sin and evil . . . Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that 'God has visted his people' and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. . . .
Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: 'He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.' But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the 'sin of the world,' of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraphs 1500 - 1505).
In the meantime, let us offer up the sacrifice of taking communion in both species as a penance, and use this as an opportunity to pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering from all kinds of sickness.
For an excellent discussion of the mystery of suffering and evil from a Catholic Christian perspective, I strongly recommend The Tears of God: Perservering In the Face of Great Sorrow or Catastrophe by Father Benedict J. Groeschel.
We laughed, told tall tales, looked at our friend's artwork (an example of which appears to the left) and drank copious quantities of Cheap Red Wine.
This talented young woman calls herself VENUS DE PAVO. Everyone needs to buy a copy of her book of poetry and art which is available through a link on her blog http://www.venusdepavo.blogspot.com/.
(Wonder if I am going to get in trouble having a picture of a belly dancer next to the portrait of my bishop? Well, after all I said I was a BAD Catholic.)
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Although the Bad Catholic would like to keep this blog non-political, he would observe that in today's heathen, pagan, post-Christian, post-religion, post-culture culture, that all of us who keep steadfast to orthodox belief can expect to be persecuted and to suffer for our beliefs. We, too, may soon face persecution, imprisonment or worse when our beliefs conflict with what is deemed to be politically correct.
The Bad Catholic does not wish to get involved in the current controversy over President Obama's impending commencement address at Notre Dame except to say that this entire controversy could have been avoided if the President was invited to speak without an honorary degree being conferred upon him. By the same token, if the current Administration had any sensitivity to and understanding of the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, which it is obvious, in this writer's opinion, that they do not, the President would have been advised to decline the honorary degree.
The Bad Catholic fears, however, that the ultimate agenda of the powers that be is to indoctrinate us to abandon the moral teaching of the Church. If we cannot be "re-educated" to correct thinking then we are probably to be persecuted, if not punished as criminals. The President said during the recent election that the people of Western Pennsylvania were "clinging to their guns and their religion." The Bad Catholic does not like guns, but states for all the world to hear that he is down in South Georgia rigidly clinging to his religion.
PRAYER: Father, You gave us Saint Athanasius, Your Bishop, to defend the divinity of Your Son. Grant that we may enjoy his teaching and protection and grow continually in our knowledge and love of You. Amen.
Friday, May 1, 2009
"Hail true body that was born of Mary, the Virgin, that truly suffered and was offered in sacrifice on the cross for man and that gave forth true blood from its pierced side. Be to us a foretaste of Heaven when we are in death's agony, kind, loving, and gentle Jesus, son of Mary."