Tag Archives: The Catholic Thing

Catholic Schools….the tumble continues.

George Dunlap, January 31, 2021. As we relinquish control to the central and away from the local. We will always be confused about what is truth. God Bless.

David’s article below is a well written expose on the downward spiral …..our Catholic Schools are continuing. May God help us see the truth. Let us try to reverse the tumble as we begin “Catholic Schools Week” tomorrow.

Saving Catholic Schools

David G Bonagura, Jr. Saturday, January 30, 2021

The plight of American Catholic schools over the last half-century is well known. The nuns fled, tuitions rose, Catholicity retreated. A precipitous decline in enrollment followed. In 1960, there were 5.2 million students in 13,000 Catholic schools; these numbers have tumbled to 1.7 million students in 6,200 schools in 2020. Over these decades, declining school enrollment and closures ominously preceded declining church attendance and church closures.

Multiple efforts have been made to save Catholic education, including the establishment of “Catholic Schools Week,” which begins tomorrow, to celebrate Catholic education and market it to prospective students. For years, the marketing angle typically proclaimed the benefits of including faith as part of the educational enterprise. This year’s theme, for example, is “Faith. Excellence. Service.” This is why, the sales pitch says, parents should choose Catholic education over the free public education available down the block.

Judgment about this marketing campaign lies in the numbers: enrollment has still been dropping, schools have still been closing. Selling a faith-centered education to Catholics whose faith is nominal has not worked. Let’s face it: parents will not be attracted to – or pay for – what they only marginally believe in themselves.

We know, however, that parents will pay enormous sums to help their children advance in the secular world – athletic and music lessons, SAT prep tutors, and, yes, private schools – so long as these schools promise an edge in college admissions and getting ahead in the rat race.

Catholic schools’ primary purpose is to lead their students to Heaven, not to Harvard. But so long as a vast majority of Catholics prefer the latter for their children, Catholic school marketing should meet that reality. That is, Catholic schools must unabashedly offer an academic education that is more rigorous in content than in public schools, and one that is free of the bogus pedagogical theories and secular dogmas that have destroyed American schooling.

Once students are enrolled, Catholic schools can begin to catechize the children – and, through them, their parents – through a robust religion curriculum and a pervasive Catholic identity. If schools do their job well, students and their parents will graduate with their hearts set on Heaven, and with the goal of converting Harvard. *

Image: The Class of 1960 at St. Wenceslaus School in New Prague, MN

Catholic school curricula, then, have to differ from public schools in content and in delivery. Catholic school’s widespread adoption of the Common Core education standards removed the last vestiges of Catholicism’s distinctive academic program that flourished for centuries: a deep grounding in traditional mathematics and language arts study. As a result, academically speaking, there is nothing that distinguishes tuition-charging Catholic schools from their free, state-sponsored counterparts. Given this fact, it is no mystery why Catholic schools are closing.

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Biden – Ignorance will get you to Hell, or at least Purgatory.

Hosea 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

We must all understand that we all will be held accountable…….

Biden as an “Authoritative Type”

Hadley Arkes Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Aristotle recognized that the political man, raised to high office, becomes an “authoritative type.”  His attributes, his manner, draw a closer attention, for, after all, his elevation carries this sense of things:  that these are the features of a man so admirable that we have lifted him to high authority over us;  his style and character are so commendable that he offers us a model to be emulated.   President Kennedy favored a rocking chair for his back and went to concerts of Haydn, and suddenly more people were buying rocking chairs and seeking out the music of Haydn.

I offer all of this as a note of sobering warning to some of our friends who have been altogether too beamish in hoping for the true Catholic to come flowering in Joe Biden now that he may have less reason to conceal it. Biden has offered over the years the visible public example of a man in high office who can regard himself as serious Catholic and yet support, as a good thing, a right to kill 860,000 to a million innocent human lives each year in abortions.

Biden has been nothing if not a weathervane for winds blowing in his party, and that party has become ever more aggressive on the matter of abortion, brooking virtually no limits on that killing, even at the point of birth for babies who survive the abortions. And yet, nothing could be more central in the moral teaching of the Church – no, not climate change or the ravages of air-conditioning – than the concern for the meaning of the “human person,” that being who is both the subject of the law and the prime object of its protection.

What Biden’s example offers day in and day out – that is, in a way that cannot be missed – is that one can be a good Catholic and yet, in the most insouciant manner, just wave Catholic teaching aside as a matter not to be taken seriously.

One would have to be blind to the ways of the world to believe that this kind of a lesson, taught by the most visible public figure in the land, will not have the most profound, corrosive effect.

Robert Royal got it so right last week when he anticipated that Biden’s ascension was more likely to be destructive for Catholic institutions, and more surely teach a disrespect for Catholic teaching.  How long until a gesture of disrespect, widely absorbed, will give way to contempt?

What I’ve wished for years for the bishops to say to the Bidens and Cuomos is something in this vein:  “We cannot presume to instruct you on your job, but the problem now is that you are creating ‘scandal.’  You are seriously mis-instructing many Catholics on the teaching of their own Church, and in that way sapping the convictions that sustain that teaching. We would not make heavy demands on you, but we would plead simply that you ‘do no harm.’”

Just when I thought that there was nothing more to learn about Joe Biden, Fr. Donovan appeared on the stage. Fr  Leo Donovan, SJ, former president of Georgetown University, doing the Invocation at the Inauguration.

We were told now that Donovan had been a close friend and counselor of Biden for many years.   And yet had it never been possible for him to plead to Biden that he was giving a false account of the reasoning of his Church on abortion – and what was so unreasoned then in his own position?

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Our First Anti-Catholic “Catholic” President, and yet 49% of Catholics Voted for this Anti-Catholic…. President.

A vote for Joe Biden…supports Abortion, the killing of the UN-Born Child.

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

George Dunlap, January 22, 2021. Can you imagine trying to explain to God, why you refused to stop the savage killing of millions of un-born children?

By Robert Royal, Frinday, January 22, 2021

In recent days, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago has described the pre-inauguration statement issued by USCCB President and Archbishop of Los Angeles José Gómez as “unprecedented” for what – in any non-partisan perspective – were actually quite temperate warnings to President Biden that the Church will not ignore his departures from clear Catholic teachings. In fact, the Chicago Cardinal has become rather obsessive, tweeting out what some have called a Twitter “storm” about the whole affair.

Cupich’s criticisms of his fellow bishops are themselves also quite unprecedented. Then again, the thing that’s most “unprecedented” – that’s given rise to these recent in-house Catholic squabbles – is the election of a self-described “Catholic” president, who not only believes personally that abortion, gay “marriage” (he performed one as vice-president), transgenderism (“the civil rights issue of our time”), and much more are matters of overriding political urgency, despite the long teachings of the Church and American history. He’s determined – actually seems to be going out of his way – to impose those views. On all of us.

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VACCINES, A MORAL ISSUE REGARDING ABORTED BABY TISSUE

GEORGE DUNLAP, JANUARY 31, 2020. My last post of the year, and my challenge is do I finish the year with a “feel good” piece or …… I choose this topic since we find it difficult to discuss such morality, in our Catholic Churches today. Do we accept a good from a most serious evil? When can a Bad Thing be a Good? That is the case that we as Catholic’s must consider when we are not celebrating the New Year with Family and Friends. If we choose to sit on the side lines, we will be held to the same standards as those we blinding allow to continue in their abortion services…supported by Christians of all faiths. We as Catholics must be the standard bearer of the truth and always protect the unborn child. To Vaccinate or not….. May God Bless you and your family. Don’t you think it is time we have an honest conversation….?

A PASTOR ON THE VACCINES

By Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Vatican and the U.S. bishops have affirmed the morality of several of the recent anti-COVID vaccines, some developed using testing that involved embryonic stem cells. They have evaluated the methods employed for each of the vaccines currently approved and encouraged the use of those least morally compromised. But where options are limited, they say, the faithful will not be sinning by being vaccinated. This teaching follows the orthodox moral analysis that has existed for decades, including the papacies of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI. There remain, however, a few loose ends.

We sin when we choose an evil action. We know it is wrong, and we freely do it anyway. We cooperate with the sinful acts of others when we approve of or facilitate their sin. When we vote for a politician because of his pro-abortion positions, we formally cooperate in the evil he promotes. If we oppose his pro-abortion policies and vote for him anyway, we materially cooperate in the evil he supports. If the material cooperation is avoidable (it’s possible to vote for a candidate that has comparatively more morally upright policy positions), we are guilty of the sin.

A nurse who disapproves of abortion but assists an abortionist during the medical procedure also shares in the guilt with “proximate material cooperation.” Hospital maintenance personnel who mop the floors of an abortion facility may or may not be guilty of sin. The clean-up is “remote material cooperation,” but there is an obligation to seek employment elsewhere then, if possible.

These moral analyses are rational, but there are hard cases. In 1972, for example, an airplane crash stranded the Uruguayan rugby team in freezing weather. The survivors ate the bodies of their dead comrades to survive. As grotesque as the situation was, their moral status is certain. There was no formal cooperation in the death of the passengers. Their circumstances were desperate. Finally, there was little or no chance that the cannibalism would encourage murder. But one could hardly blame a person who chose to die rather than to dine on a teammate.

Among the notorious Nazi experiments on concentration camp prisoners (see here):

Doctors immersed prisoners into tanks of ice water for hours at a time, often dying of exposure, to discover how long German pilots downed by enemy fire could survive the frozen waters of the North Sea.

To develop a vaccination serum against tuberculosis, doctors injected live tubercle bacilli into the lungs of prisoners. They also removed lymph glands from the arms of twenty Jewish children.

Doctors amputated the shoulders and legs of inmates in futile attempts to transplant the limbs onto other victims.

Thousands of inmates had their genitals mutilated to discover cheap methods of mass sterilization.

Is it morally permissible for us today to use Nazi research to save lives? Doctor John Hayward, a Biology Professor at Victoria University, justified his use of the murderous Nazi hypothermia data with the same logic as the bishops and Holy See have applied to some COVID vaccines: “I don’t want to have to use the Nazi data, but there is no other and will be no other in an ethical world. . . .But not to use it would be equally bad. I’m trying to make something constructive out of it. I use it with my guard up, but it’s useful.”

Moral analyses using formal, proximate, and remote material cooperation apply to all of these examples. Yet, there remains an emotional factor. Could we blame family members of the victims for torching the research papers and rejecting those who blithely promote using the findings in the service of the common good?

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AMERICAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS – ELECTION 2020

Dear Catholic Bishops, The poet John Milton wrote: “The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.” Church leadership is called upon to do the right thing, especially in difficult times: to speak the truth boldly and lovingly and to watch over those entrusted to their care. When bishops fail to fulfill this sacred obligation, the lay faithful are left feeling confused, neglected, and abandoned.

Such is the situation as we approach our national election in which a clear and obvious divide exists on essential matters related to earthly wellbeing and eternal welfare: the protection of God-given life from conception to natural death; the safeguarding of the family and the wellspring of sexuality; the dignity of all persons, including the rights of conscience and the freedom to live and worship without interference from the state or persecution from the culture.

The Democratic Party that once championed the civil rights of all has now become hostile to Christian faith and those who practice it. Their shrunken tent has no room for those who are pro-life, no room for those who profess what has been called mere Christianity, nor for any who believe in the value of patriotism insofar as patriotism embodies a natural preference for one’s own country.

Moreover, the Democratic presidential candidate himself can be considered Catholic in name only, for in nearly a half-century of public life he has routinely, repeatedly, and systematically rejected what the Church teaches: on life issues, on sexual morality, on religious liberty. When asked recently whether he would support an eight-year old’s decision to change gender, he answered in the affirmative.

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“Columbus and the Crisis of the West”, with ROBERT ROYAL. DO YOU KNOW THE HISTORICAL TRUTH?

GEORGE DUNLAP, OCT 5, 2020. If you are seriously curious about Columbus, slavery, and the European transit to the Americas. I offer you a history lesson… by Robert Royal.

Earlier this year, statues of Christopher Columbus were torn down by mobs in cities like Baltimore and Richmond. In recent decades, some authors have questioned the legacy of Columbus. Robert Royal, Catholic author and the President of the Faith & Reason Institute, gave a defense of Christopher Columbus during a lecture at the Basilica on October 1. Royal is the author of Columbus and the Crisis of the West and 1492 and All That: Political Manipulations of History.

Royal clarified that he did not want to give a “full-throated defense” but added that Columbus has been unfairly demonized and that it is a topic that “very few people know anything about and that a lot of people are agitated about.”

Robert Royal is the founder and President of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. and Editor-in-Chief of The Catholic Thing. He is author of over 10 books, including Columbus and the Crisis of the West and 1492 and All That: Political Manipulations of History. His articles have appeared in scholarly journals and publications including First Things, The Wilson Quarterly, The Catholic Historical Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and National Review. He is a frequent contributor on EWTN and can be regularly seen on “The Papal Posse” segment on The World Over. Thomas More College in New Hampshire recently named Royal their first Saint John Henry Newman Visiting Chair in Catholic Studies.

BLUE AND BLACK

George Dunlap, September 30, 2020. Two Catholic writers I really enjoy, Brad Miner, alive and kickin’ it, and G.K. Chesterton, a man for all ages. This awesome article by Brad Miner is about Chesterton’s…… Blue Tigers and today’s lack of clear understanding.

Brad Miner Monday, September 28, 2020

Do you know about G.K. Chesterton’s example of the blue world? He writes in Orthodoxy of a reformer whose passion is to make the world blue – not in the sense of unhappy, mind you, but actually the color blue.

“He could have heroic adventures,” GKC writes, “the putting of the last touches to a blue tiger. He could have fairy dreams; the dawn of a blue moon. But if he worked hard, that high-minded reformer would certainly (from his own point of view) leave the world better and bluer than he found it.” It’s a silly example of reforming, he admits, but therefore simple to grasp.

However, “if he altered his favourite colour every day, he would not get on at all. . .there would be nothing to show except a few blue tigers walking about.”

Chesterton’s famous summary is this:

So it does not matter (comparatively speaking) how often humanity fails to imitate its ideal; for then all its old failures are fruitful. But it does frightfully matter how often humanity changes its ideal; for then all its failures are fruitless.

This seems to me a paraphrase of Edmund Burke’s sage counsel that:

it is with infinite caution that any man ought to venture upon pulling down an edifice which has answered in any tolerable degree for ages the common purposes of society, or on building it up again without having models and patterns of approved utility before his eyes.

2020 is the Year of the Iconoclasts, and it remains to be seen if it ushers in an Era of Iconoclasm – a sorrowful period during which not just stores continue to be looted by rioters but more of our history and culture too: library shelves stripped, and bonfires built. I doubt it will come to that, but even less likely is that a phoenix would rise from the ashes if it does.

When Girolamo Savonarola set ablaze the “vanities” on February 7, 1497, his intention was to cleanse the Catholic morals of Florence, not to destroy Florence itself. This is clearly not true of our contemporary iconoclasts: Antifa, Black Lives Matter (BLM), and the rest of the neo-totalitarian mob, whose lawlessness and seditiousness have only rarely been condemned or suppressed, even in the cities they’ve besieged. Indeed, they’ve often been praised by local officials – so much so, in fact, that some mayors have marched in solidarity with them, unmasked against COVID-19, even as they have imposed draconian measures against church attendance in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

If I recall correctly, it was in the aftermath of the death of the career criminal George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, that the basketball player LeBron James popularized the hashtag “#Kap was right” – “Kap” referring to Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling at NFL games was in protest to what Kaepernick asserted is an extreme number of racist murders by white police of black suspects.

*Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images [Note: ACAB = All Cops Are Bas***ds]

But Mr. Kaepernick is wrong. It is the heart of his argument (and of Black Lives Matter) that white police apply fatal force to black suspects at a rate and frequency that “proves” systemic racism. But if that’s so, why do the facts say otherwise?

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Crisis: Clergy Abuse in the Catholic Church. A Timely Podcast..

George Dunlap, September 3, 2020. We must demand the Truth and no longer look the other way. Something to consider as you listen to this well informed podcast program. May God Be With us All.

Coming Soon….. Sept 9, 2020.

By Stephen P. White Thursday, September 3, 2020

For much of this strange and difficult year, my colleagues at The Catholic Project (Catholic University’s response to the abuse crisis) and I have been working to produce a podcast. It is called “Crisis: Clergy Abuse in the Catholic Church” and the first episode launches next Wednesday, September 9.

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Restoring MLK’s Dream

BY: George Dunlap. I remember April 4, 1968 well, the day Dr. King was killed. I just turned 13 years old the week before. I was in 8th grade, Cutler Ridge Jr High School, Cutler Ridge, Florida. I remember it well and I will never forget how my parents talked to my brothers and I. Telling us that as faithful Catholic/Christians we are to love all of God’s children. My father told me that God, created us all, in his vision, and we were to always be kind. As I read Eduarado J. Echeverria post below, I relived that time of the school segregation challenges and the death of Dr. King. It was a very troubled time and by the grace of God we worked hard to build a better community. I remember Dr. King and the times well, I will not forget.

By Eduardo J. Echeverria Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a Dream” speech before a huge crowd at the August 28, 1963 March on Washington, D.C. The key to understanding King’s speech is his appeal to the notion of a “promissory note,” of principles asserted in the “Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”

Martin Luther King, Jr, I have a Dream 8/28/63

Significantly, King was not a proponent of “identity politics,” of black power, because he argued, as the African-American scholar Shelby Steele correctly states, “whites were obligated to morality and democratic principles.” Steele adds that black Americans are obligated “to principles,” not “to black people as a class.”

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Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers on BLM and more

We as Catholic’s care about the events unfolding around us daily. The challenge is to understand those topics that not only affect us but also affect our families and neighbors. This interview with Raymond Arroyo with EWTN and Deacon Burke is spiritual and enlightening. This conversation will prepare you to better share the Catholic solution with your family and neighbors.