|Mallon's Media Watch|
Thursday, July 25, 2002
Priests who marry say they're fulfilled, and filling needs. Don't let a little invalidity stop you!
Two more of my Steubenville columns. In the early 90s the Latin Mass movement was just beginning and there was unecessary tension between those who were more "traditional" vs the charismatics. I thought is was a false dichotomy, because it was all part of our heritage as Catholics. I want it ALL. Again, this is from my unpublished collection, Common Sense Spirituality: A Catholic Guide for Avoiding Spiritual Nonsense. If anyone wants a copy Send me $20. and I run out to Kinko's and run one off and get it bound. Email Me for details. I'll even sign it. Wow!
The Good Guys vs. the Good Guys: Part I
January 30, 1992
I came away baffled last semester by the debate, discussion—or whatever they finally decided to call it—on the subject of “traditionalists vs. charismatics.” It was another of those “only at Steubenville” events. “Why is this discussion even taking place?” I thought. “The whole world is going to Hell in a handbasket, and we are squabbling among ourselves over how we pray.” I sensed that many others also shared my sentiments. I don’t mean to put anyone down here, nor am I making light of anyone’s feelings. I understand that those who brought the issue to the fore did so with some courage and took some flak for it, and I respect people who are willing to take flak for what they believe.
Obviously, those on campus who are called “traditionalists” in this debate feel aggrieved. From what they said, one could conclude that they feel that some charismatics are being, well... pushy. And, probably, in some cases they (we) are. And that is not good. In my experience when someone is pushed they are invariably pushed away. Charismatics have been known to be guilty of this on occasion. As the Good Book says, “Without knowledge even zeal is not good.” (Proverbs 19:2a). But still, I think the whole question has been wrongly framed.
The problem, as I see it, has nothing to do with doctrine or orthodoxy, but is centered on style, personal taste, imprudent witness, peer pressure, and Original Sin.
My own position toward charismatic renewal is, “If I should forget you Jerusalem, let my right hand whither, let my tongue cleave to my mouth.” (Psalm 137). I will stand by charismatic renewal although I think charismatics (myself included) can sometimes behave in ways that may be silly or imprudent. But who doesn’t sometimes behave badly? If we were to give up on the Church, or a segment of the Church, over the behavior of its members, what would become of the Church? All have fallen short of the Glory of God.
The whole argument, having less to do with substance than with style, therefore misses the whole issue of what charismatic renewal is all about. The essence of charismatic renewal is not a matter of whether you raise your hands, or like guitar music at Mass, or how many times you can use the word “share” in one paragraph. It is about the Power of God. The Power of God as manifested by the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Charismatic style, jargon, and so on, have nothing to do with it. In fact, those things can—and have—gotten in the way of God’s power. Indeed, if charismatics are so attached to familiar charismatic structures that it keeps us from seeing what the Holy Spirit may be doing now, we are in trouble. If every prayer meeting, covenant community, festival of praise, and every sentence replacing say, speak, tell, give, or show with “share” were to collapse tomorrow, the Power of God would not. Perhaps charismatic renewal is giving way to charismatic assimilation as the charismatic gifts are restored to the normal life of the Church where they belong. Perhaps a renewal movement is like a scaffolding which should be removed when the restoration is complete. But this restoration is far from complete, although, I believe, it is underway.
My own entrance into the charismatic renewal, almost ten years ago, was signaled by high powered deliverance and healing prayer, for which I shall never stop thanking God. To my knowledge, at the time no one but charismatics had even heard of—much less practiced—deliverance prayer. Of course, it was always right there in the Tradition, under the name of private exorcism, but it was largely forgotten. Thank God for the Holy Spirit whom Jesus sent to “remind you of all that I told you” (see John 14:26).
It has been much the same with healing prayer with laying on of hands. Such things are not the province of a “spirituality,” they are part and parcel of the Gospel—the Tradition—the Church. It goes without saying that not everything charismatics do or say is from God, but no one can deny with any authority that the charisms themselves are of God when they are properly exercised—no one who claims to be orthodox. It is hard to find a more orthodox or traditional document than the Acts of the Apostles, and these things run through every page of it. St. Paul thanked God that he prayed in tongues more than all the Corinthians while being frustrated over their charismaniac antics.
It is a serious mistake to confuse one’s own spiritual tastes, likes, and dislikes with orthodoxy. (A trap some “traditionalists” are prone to. I have already mentioned some charismatic traps.) The question is not do I like this or that, but is it of God? Is it of the Church? If it is, the only proper response is gratitude. Silence and contemplation are not the property of the “traditionalist.” Vocal praise does not belong to the “charismatic.” Both, and then some, are part of being Catholic.
The entire discussion, as posed, seems to be on very shaky ground. Fr. Giles recently delivered an excellent homily on this topic refuting the whole distinction through the use of St. Thomas and C.S. Lewis, and alluding to the Scripture: I belong to Paul... I belong to Apollos... More next week.
Good Guys vs the Good Guys: Part II
February 20, 1992
An experience I had around 1985 at Boston College can perhaps give us a perspective on our situation here with the “Traditional vs. Charismatic” debate. (I place this in quotes because theologically it is a false opposition.) Our little charismatic group at BC was going under, thanks in no small part to a chaplaincy who saw us as a benign nuisance, and were only too happy to see us disappear. In a nutshell, we did not practice “Politically Correct” Catholicism. We practiced Roman Catholicism. While student life on campus was going under morally and spiritually, the theology department, chaplaincy, and the administration were playing church in an ideological La-La Land of dissent and leftist politics.
I went to the chapel and cried out to Jesus, “Lord, when are you going to do something about this place?” I believed I heard Him answer me, saying, “I am going to pour my Spirit out in power on this place, but I’m not just going use the charismatics, so don’t get jealous!” I laughed, “Lord, I don’t care what you do! Just do something!” He did. I saw it happen. When we started to fight back, people gradually came out of the woodwork to support and join us. God built a little rag-tag army of faithful Catholics of every stripe. We worked together in common cause. I saw this become a national phenomenon with the emergence of Operation Rescue.
My point is that we cannot afford the luxury of false divisions on our campus (or allow them to turn into real ones). Charismatics may have to reevaluate our attitudes, vocabulary, and witness. Those who are non-charismatics maybe ought to check out a Life in the Spirit Seminar with an open mind. If you go through it and still don’t like it, forget it. If charismatics come on too strong, tell them to back off. If you don’t like tongues at Mass, ask God if He does. Ask Him why you don’t. Worship is given to God, after all, and His tastes ought to be considered before ours. I imagine He likes it all—vocal and silent—when it comes from a sincere heart, but I don’t imagine He enjoys our criticizing each other’s prayer. Why should we feel uncomfortable with someone else’s prayer? (For the record, there is no sound reason for anyone to feel “inadequate” for not having the gift of tongues. Any charismatic who says or implies otherwise is wrong. If you want the gift, ask for it; if you don’t receive it, ask God to reveal the gifts you do have and use them. For further information, read St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.)
Charismatics have been touchy and defensive about this whole debate because many of us came from places and parishes where we were regarded as screwballs, dismissed, or scoffed at for being what we are by liberals, certain types of traditionalists who think the Church started at Trent and ended at Vatican II, our pastors, and even our own families. Steubenville, for many of us, was seen as a haven, where we could raise our hands if we wanted to, with a whole congregation, pray in tongues, and sing. I grieved through many a liturgy butchered by political agendas and the theological distortions of “inclusive language”—but where any sign of charismata would be viewed with utmost suspicion.
In many of our parishes, we had to make the sacrifice of stifling ourselves in worship. We viewed Steubenville as ours—a place we could be at home. And to find our worship attacked here came as a shock. The University does not belong to the charismatics, of course, but to the Church, and I offer the above merely as an explanation of the intense reaction sparked in charismatics by this debate which evidently caught those who initiated the discussion off guard.
More and more, Franciscan University is becoming known not as the Catholic charismatic University, but as the orthodox Catholic University. And this is good. Orthodoxy is bigger and charismata is part of orthodoxy. In my travels around the country for the admissions office last semester I was privileged to see many forms of orthodox renewal breaking out all over the place.
At the Supernatural Rescue in Washington, D.C., I saw a conference attended by mostly traditional Catholics with all the enthusiasm for the faith that I used to only see at charismatic conferences.
There is a renewal going on in apologetics with Karl Keating and his Catholic Answers organization, as well as the unprecedented popularity of Scott Hahn’s tapes (which probably amazes him more than anyone). I saw renewal in the realm of authentic Catholic womanhood at the Women for Faith and Family Conference in St. Louis—Catholic women standing up in the face of demonic feminism and saying “No! You do not represent me! We love God, We love men, we love the unborn, we love family, children, the home, and we love our Church! And we will defend what we love!”
There is renewal in Catholic publishing, Ignatius Press, Daughters of St. Paul, Sophia Press, and countless magazines like Crisis, Catholic World Report, This Rock, and First Things, (all of which I wish more students on this campus would read).
Mary Ellen Bork, William Bennett and others have formed a Catholic Coalition in Washington to go after the media and keep them honest. There is a renewal of Catholic philosophy and Thomism. I have been seeing orthodoxy make a comeback in Catholic education in high schools, and—it almost brings a tear to my eye to say it— even in some Catholic universities.
All of these above renewals are spearheaded and galvanized by the Pro-Life movement. The sight of Catholics and others going to jail—side by side—in America—for what we believe was a wake-up call to this nation, all Christians, and to all people of good will.
Nothing wakes up the Church like a good persecution—which we are presently under. When members of all these renewal movements heard I was a representative of Franciscan University of Steubenville, I was almost knocked over by their love. As they embraced me, I knew they weren’t just embracing me; they were embracing you—all of us—the Franciscan University family. They see us, look to us, and depend on us as a sign of hope.
I have seen God’s word to me on that lonely day in St. Mary’s Chapel at Boston College being fulfilled across the United States and Canada. Maybe “this place” He referred to was not just that campus as I thought, but our whole nation—continent—hemisphere—and, as we have seen Communism fall—our world. And behind it all shines the beautiful face of Mary.
God is bringing us all together through a Mother’s love, and many of Our Mother’s children are looking to us in Steubenville for hope and new blood. All of these renewal movements consist of charismatics and other renewed Catholics working together as one Church. We recently prayed the Octave of Christian Unity. Unity begins at home. Let us not fall for the scandal of false division. I congratulate those who brought the issue up; it took courage. There are already too many tigers in the basement around here. Now we must deal with it. Repentance is not just a word. With God’s help and Our Mother’s prayers, I have every confidence we will succeed.
Here is an essay from my unpublished collection of columns, Common Sense Spirituality for the Steubenville student paper, the Troubadour then edited by the now great and famous Domenico Bettinelli
Common Misunderstandings about Charismatics
1. Do I have to raise my hands? This question always struck me as odd. It is usually asked by a person invited or arriving for the first time at a prayer meeting. One wonders if they imagine that members of the Prayer Police are going to be patrolling the aisles, spot them and say “Hey you! Why don’t you have your hands up?” Also, at healing services newcomers turn to their friends and say “Do I have to fall down?” I was always proud to be able to reassure them as a Catholic charismatic that they didn’t have to do anything they didn’t want to do, or didn’t feel comfortable doing. Or if I was evangelizing someone I always had confidence that I could send someone to a Catholic charismatic prayer meeting and know that they wouldn’t be bothered if they just wanted to sit quietly in the back and observe, before deciding on any participation. They would be greeted or warmly acknowledged but left alone if that were their preference. I know I always felt uncomfortable at a Protestant service where I felt they wouldn’t let me out the door unless I promised to come back next week. I always liked the fact that Catholics have a healthy respect for another’s space during worship—except liberals, of course, when they are trying to force community, but then, they’re incorrigible anyway.
2. “Oh, that’s just emotionalism!” This one makes me mad. Says who? Does the speaker have a spiritual X-ray of the assembly? There are theologians went to one prayer meeting in 1971 to observe and now think they have the whole thing figured out. One of the most profound changes people report after experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a profound new love of contemplation, and a profoundly deepened interior life. The whole person is affected, which includes the emotions. What may appear to be emotionalism may be just the merest overspill of something going on deep inside. Sure, maybe there are some people there just faking it, or people who are mentally ill. So What? Where else can they go to be accepted and loved—and even healed—but to Christ who inhabits the praises of His people?
3. “Oh, I went through my charismatic phase.” Oh really? And what are you into now? Towards a theology of story based on a mythobiographical model of marxist/feminist hermeneutics in a setting of neo-Atlantian ecopoec base communities rooted in pelvic liberation? Really, Darling, I just adore Marxist thought, especially since their stunning victories in Eastern Europe.
4. “Those charismatics are passing off this ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’ as some sort of quasi eighth sacrament!” This one makes me real mad. It is a lie. This false accusation about charismatics was recently pulled on me by two guys who had gone Tridintine after bad experiences with charismatic renewal. I told them that I never heard any Catholic charismatic ever attempt to say any such thing in almost ten years of hanging around renewal leadership. They became very sheepish when I demanded they tell me if they ever had either while they were in the renewal. If anything renewal leaders have bent over backwards in life in the Spirit seminars and elsewhere to explain this is not the case. There is a kind of traditionalist who makes himself and his own tastes the measure of orthodoxy, and is unmoved by either facts or reason. This is neither tradition or orthodoxy but rather ignorance of tradition and orthodoxy if not outright ideology and pride.
5. “Charismatics! Oh, they’re fundamentalists!” This is what we’ve come to expect from The National Catholic Reporter crowd (or, as it’s affectionately known around campus, The National Catholic Distorter). Actually, this is what they consider believers. Or, at least, those who believe it all. I spent years at a dissenting institution arguing that Catholic charismatics were not fundamentalists but simply believed what the Church taught. To them it was the same thing. That is one reason I get annoyed when charismatics actually do behave like fundamentalists. It is not what we are. We are Catholics.
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
Here is the link to the John Bertolucci story I mentioned earlier today (below). Please do scroll down, I've just done a lot of blogging. I will also have more to say on the charismatic issue.
'Priest retreats to life of penance' - timesunion.com
From the Catholic Medical Association and Population Research Institute
23 July 2002
Saint Bridget of Sweden
To: Leadership and Friends of the CMA:
Terrific news! President Bush is withholding $34 million in US tax-dollar
support from the militantly pro-abortion UN Population Fund -- UNFPA! (These
funds will be channeled instead directly to needy women worldwide through our
own US AID Program.) Calls and letters to him from many pro-life advocates
have had a definite influence. If you were one of those who contacted the
White House - 34 million thanks to you! If not, here's a chance to make it
President Bush really needs to hear from us now -- with words of gratitude
and support. The radical left is howling! Over thirty liberal
congresspersons have written to President Bush, decrying his decision and
demanding an overturn; they want to meet with him in person to express their
We need to rally behind our President now. His decision is politically
costly; pro-abortion advocates, such as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, are
accusing him of caving in to the demands of radical right-wing fanatics, at
the expense of human suffering on the part of women all around the world.
The liberal press is quick to beam out the message.
OK, fellow "radical pro-life fanatics," let's let President Bush hear from us
now. "Thank you, Mr. President, for withholding US tax dollars from the
abortion-promoting UNFPA. Hold fast; please do not cave under pressure from
the left. We are solidly behind you."
The White House has set up a direct call-line and also a website specifically
to insure their awareness of your opinion. Your tax dollars are paying to
keep these communications available.
Please call: White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111. (call between 0900
and 1600, EST, Monday through Friday)
Or e-Mail: send your message to
Or write to:
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
Please share this message with fellow pro-lifers. Thanks!
Richard A. Watson, M.D.
NGO Representative to the United Nations for FIAMC
USA Cuts UNFPA Funding
PRI Applauds Decision to End Support of UNFPA Coercion
* FORCED ABORTION * FORCED STERILIZATION *
WASHINGTON, DC -- Population Research Institute President Steve Mosher today
applauded the decision of the Bush administration to cut US funding for the
UNFPA, pursuant to the Kemp-Kasten Amendment which prohibits US funds from
going to groups that support forced abortion and non-voluntary sterilization.
Mosher was the first American social scientist permitted to conduct field
research in China, and first documented China’s one-child policy of forced
abortion. Last September, he launched an independent investigation of UNFPA’s
program in China. “The victims of forced abortion in UNFPA’s program in
China stated without exception that coercion is as bad as ever in the history
of the one-child policy.”
PRI investigators returned from China with audio-videotaped and photographic
evidence showing the following:
* In an abortion facility, a nineteen-year-old woman says she is too
young to be pregnant according to the family planning policy. As she is
receiving a non-voluntary abortion in an adjacent room, her friends say that
she indeed desires to give birth to her child, but “the law forbids.”
* A victim of forced sterilization says women who wish to bear additional
children are forced in for abortions. Punishment for attempting to escape
forced abortion includes destruction of homes. “Right now things are very
strict,” she says.
* A woman whose home was destroyed for hiding her pregnancy says she knows
many other women whose homes have been destroyed for hiding their
pregnancies. “The majority [of women] have their children without proper
spacing and suffer the consequences,” she says. Consequences include
crippling fines, imprisonment of relatives and destruction of relatives’
homes. “The whole family was arrested,” a relative of this woman states.
“Everything in the house was stolen [by district family planning officials].”
* In a model residential area, a woman says: “We have to have [our IUD]
checked four times a year. The birth control workers come and tell you ‘it's
time.’” “Whether the birth control work is done well affects how much money
the village birth control workers get,” another witness states.
Both the Chinese State Family Planning Commission and the UNFPA state in
writing that they “work together” in this program. More than two-dozen
victims and witnesses said that coercion, only coercion and nothing but
coercion, exists in this UNFPA county program in China.
“The Bush Administration has acted on sound policy in defense of women in
China,” Mosher added.
To subscribe to the Weekly Briefing, send an email to: Mail to:
The Population Research Institute is committed to ending human rights
abuses committed in the name of “family planning,” and to ending
counterproductive social and economic paradigms premised on the myth of
Population Research Institute
1190 Progress Drive, Suite 2D
P.O. Box 1559
Front Royal, VA 22630
Media Contact: Scott Weinberg
540-622-5240, ext. 209
Please make it a point to visit the website for the Population Research
Institute at: Population Research Institute
Pope's Trip Is Bypassing the Anxious U.S. Flock
From Austin Ruse at C-FAM:
US Senate extremists are insisting upon voting the UN's dangerous CEDAW
treaty out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. They are going to
vote on CEDAW this Thursday morning. They seek to make this radical treaty
They must experience your anger.
You must call the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Joseph
Biden's office and tell them you are against CEDAW (telephone numbers
As you recall, CEDAW is the radical anti-woman treaty that seeks to
legalize prostitution, end Mother's Day, and violate US sovereignty!
CEDAW established a UN committee that
pressured China to legalize abortion,
pressured Ireland to legalize abortion,
pressured an Islamic country to reinterpret the Koran to fall
within committee guidelines
Thousands of people are needed to jam the switchboard at the Senate
Foriegn Relations Committee and the office of its chairman, Senator Joseph
We are asking you to make your calls starting Wednesday,
July 24 at 12:00 PM eastern time (9:00 AM Pacific Time).
Everyone should begin to call then. Get your spouse to call. Get your
children to call. Get Grandma to call. Call from overseas! Let them know
how we feel. Let them know you are angry. Tell them.....
"We, the American people are unalterably opposed to the UN CEDAW Treaty.
It is anti-woman and anti-mother. No CEDAW!" (CEDAW is pronounced See-Daw.
It rhymes with Hee-Haw).
Here are the telephone numbers:
Senate Foreign Relations Committee: 202-224-4651
Senator Joe Biden's Office: 202-224-5042
Call now. End CEDAW today. You can do it! Call now.
Next year I bet these two will be on the commencement speaker circuit and getting honorary doctorates from Catholic universities. Meanwhile, good for Lauralton Hall. ... And Stephen, we could use you back in the Catholic Church. Not all priests are homosexual and we are the original Bible-believing Church.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
FOR INTERVIEWS CONTACT - Irene Bennett, 1-800-832-3623
Stephen Bennett Ministries: www.SBMinistries.org
Lesbian Lovers To Be Ousted From All-Girl Catholic School
HUNTINGTON, CT - Two lesbian lovers are being forced out of their jobs at
Lauralton Hall, a private all-girls Catholic school in Milford, Connecticut.
Administrators learned last month that the female homosexual couple plans to
hold a 'commitment' ceremony. For gays and lesbians, a 'commitment'
ceremony is their version of the marriage rite, of course, without any legal
status or recognition by the church, the government or society.
School officials learned about the lesbian couple's plan to 'tie the knot'
at a private event shortly after the two women sent out invitations to
several members of Lauralton Hall's Catholic community.
Outraged, the school told the women to resign or be fired because Catholic
church law demands that employees of Catholic institutions abide by the
teaching of the Catholic church, sources said. Catholic doctrine forbids
the practice of homosexuality.
This embarrassing incident for the all-girls Catholic school is yet another
'notch on the post' to an already out of control problem of widespread
homosexuality within the Catholic church of Connecticut and nationwide.
Many Connecticut priests have been accused of homosexual molestation of
boys, and one recently even committed suicide.
The lesbian couple has secured Civil rights attorney Maureen Murphy, of
Murphy, Murphy and Nugent of New Haven, Connecticut to represent them.
Stephen Bennett, founder of Stephen Bennett Ministries, a pro-family
organization that advocates for the traditional family, the protection of
children and sharing the truth about homosexuality with America, commends
the Lauralton administration for their proper, swift response.
"First, these two practicing lesbians are working in a private Catholic
school - an all-girls school, I might add. Their homosexual lifestyle is
diametrically opposed to their religious institution's theology, and
frankly, I would not want to put my daughter under the teaching of women who
are in direct, outright rebellion to God's Word. If I were a Catholic
parent sending my daughter to that school and found out that there were
openly lesbian teachers instructing and influencing my daughter, I would
pull my child out of that school immediately," says Bennett.
He continues, "Second, even though they are fully aware that Catholic
doctrine condemns the practice of homosexuality, these two women have the
audacity to flaunt their aberrant, sinful lifestyle by actually sending
invitations to people with the school's religious community. Unbelievable."
The Rev. John Gatzak, a spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford,
Connecticut said, "The church obviously teaches the sexual union and
marriage relationship is between a man and a woman, and (homosexuality) goes
against the moral teachings of the Catholic church."
According to sources, the young influential female students were well aware
of the lesbian teachers' sexual orientation, yet it came as a 'surprise' to
the administration. It is also reported other known lesbians are employed
by the private Catholic school, yet no action has been taken against them.
Some are crying "double standard."
Several of the students and Catholic alumni are leading a petition drive to
stop the ousting of the well-liked lesbians.
What concerns Bennett is how the female students knew of the lesbians'
orientation, yet the administration remained 'in the dark.'
"Why would these lesbians' sexual orientation be so openly known with the
young, female students? How did they know these women were lesbians? Did
they 'come out' and tell the girls? If so, for what reasons? I suggest
these ladies resign immediately, drop any planned legal action against this
upright Catholic institution and take their openly lesbian lifestyles
elsewhere, where it will not influence teenage girls or offend practicing
Catholics," Stephen remarked.
Bennett, a former Catholic and homosexual, knows all too well the dangers of
having homosexual teachers in a same-sex, private Catholic institution.
Laurelton Hall happens to be the 'sister school' of Bennett's alma mater,
Fairfield Prep, an all-boys Catholic High School in Fairfield, Connecticut.
As a high school student in the late seventies through early eighties,
Stephen and many of the other students were well aware of homosexual
activity going on between several of the teachers, clergy and students.
Bennett says, "Almost ten years after graduating Prep, I was living as a
homosexual in Provincetown, Massachusetts - one of New England's largest
homosexual subcultures. One of my favorite priests, a former teacher, came
to Provincetown for vacation, greeted me with a kiss on the lips and told me
of his homosexuality. Several months later, he was dead from AIDS."
Another one of Bennett's teachers, a Catholic priest, made the newspaper
headlines almost twenty years after Stephen graduated Fairfield Prep. The
priest, a pastor of a large congregation and Chaplain of a local town police
department, was recently arrested for the third time for driving while
According to the local newspaper, the drunk priest responded to the officer
at the scene "Can't you just bring me home like you normally do?"
Charges of homosexual relations with a male student are also pending against
the Catholic priest. After being removed from serving as head of the
parish, his largely affluent congregation was shocked.
"I was telling people about this priest for years and no one believed me,"
Stephen continues, "I know first hand how some of these homosexual teachers
try to indoctrinate the students into homosexuality. I know of some
students who fell for the gay teachers' advances during my high school
years. I can't tell you how many times I was hit on and sexually
harassed. As a freshman, when walking by one of my teachers, he actually
pinched my bottom and smiled at me."
Bennett's ties to homosexuality within the Catholic church, unfortunately,
go much deeper.
Back in the eighties, Bennett lived with a former Catholic priest who was
actively homosexual. This gay ex-priest hosted 'gay pornography' video
parties at his house for others including active Catholic priests from CT,
NY and PA. The Sunday evening 'priest parties' were filled with alcohol,
cocaine and gay pornography. Bennett's gay ex-priest friend is dead today
Regarding the fate of the lesbian lovers, Lauralton Hall President Karen
Yardley would not comment, saying the case is a "personnel" issue.
As the deviant behavior of homosexuality becomes more widely accepted by
mainstream America, Bennett is no doubt on a mission to change the America's
view about homosexuality.
Bennett's firm message: "NO ONE is born homosexual, it has EVERYTHING to do
with the childhood, and COMPLETE CHANGE is COMPLETELY possible."
Stephen Bennett is a 38 year old Christian recording artist whose music can
be heard nationally on Christian radio. He is married for 9 years to his
wife, Irene, who knew him when he was homosexual and single. They are the
parents of two little children, a boy and a girl. Stephen lived as a
homosexual until he was 28 years old, sexually active well with over 100
men, many whom are dead today from AIDS. Bennett left the homosexual
lifestyle in 1992 after becoming a Bible believing Christian. Today,
Stephen Bennett is emerging as one of the nation's most outspoken and sought
after speakers on 'coming out' of homosexuality and the homosexual agenda in
For more information on Stephen Bennett and Stephen Bennett Ministries,
please go to www.SBMinistries.org
The joy of the Lord is our Strength
The loss of joy does not make the world better -- and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the courage and impetus to do good.
-- Josef Cardinal Ratzinger
I cannot blog now but I have many things I want to say in response to current blogs by MISS Emily (I really like that girl!) Dave Alexander, and my old pal, Chastity Babe-- Mary Beth Bonocci. But real quickly: I'm not much of a liturgy geek, but as far as I'm concerned we will have reached real renewal when we have charismatic Tridentine Masses. The charismatic renewal saved my life and it is infuriating when people with out a clue of the depth and beauty of it dismiss it because they met an immature charismatic once or lumped a loud Mass in with a liberal dececration. When Catholicism ceases to be joyful--as opposed to happy-faced--it ceases to be Catholic. When tradition freezes over it ceases to be orthodox.
RE: John Bertolucci: I have met him and If I saw him I would greet him as a friend, as I did Cardinal Law a few weeks ago. What he did was done 25 years ago, dealt with and repented of. Unfortunately some sins have longer shadows than others and are more damaging (as far as we can see). Recalling his fantastic preaching in the 80s I don't think of hypocrisy but of the lessons he must have learned through repentence. Now those old sins of his are in the headlines. All sin is evil, deadly and destructive, and does terrible harm, but from the article Dave linked (I will link later) Bertulucci is accepting the consequences like a man and with dignity. Bad as it is, I won't be throwing first stones at him. I'm grateful my humiliating sins don't make the headlines.
Meanwhile I hope to see as much of WYD on EWTN as I can and let myself be evangelized by the Pope and those beautiful young pilgrims.More later.
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
A stiff apology is a second insult.... The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Monday, July 22, 2002
Abuse victims flock to Law
by Robin Washington
Monday, July 22, 2002
In an extraordinary display of reconciliation among Catholics, a group of priest sex abuse victims and their advocates shed protest signs to join worshipers at Holy Cross Cathedral yesterday, receiving communion from Bernard Cardinal Law.
In response, the prelate asked them - including alleged victim Arthur Austin, whom he instantly recognized - to ``pray for me,'' words the Braintree man said reached directly to his soul.
``It was a very healing moment because it was not the archbishop or the cardinal who spoke to me. It was my brother, Bernie, who responded to me,'' said Austin, who wore a button saying ``reject Cardinal Law'' during the encounter.
``I touched him. I touched him literally and I touched him figuratively. And he was able to receive that. That's the radical grace of God in the world.''
The decision by Austin - who previously called Law ``a criminal, a murderer of children . . . an affront to Jesus Christ'' - and four other victims and advocates to seek communion from the cardinal capped a weekend of bridge-building among disparate groups of Catholics.
Much of that outreach occurred at Saturday's Voice of the Faithful meeting, where thousands of lay Catholics for the first time heard stories of alleged victims firsthand.
Though some VOTF members eschewed protests and more radical actions of victims' groups, their interactions blossomed into a march of 500 from both camps from the Hynes Convention Center to the South End cathedral.
Alleged victim Steve Lynch of Danvers, who only last January was the lone protester outside a convocation of Boston archdiocese priests, called it ``empowering and beautiful.''
``Walls came down,'' said Lynch, one of three dozen regular protesters outside the cathedral yesterday calling for Law's removal.
Others included Joe Gallagher and Lori Lambert of the Coalition of Catholics and Survivors, who recessed from the demonstration to join Austin and others in the communion line.
Gallagher said he did not know what to expect.
``I was curious what he might think of this button, whether he'd give me communion,'' said Gallagher, adding that he was prepared to insist on it.
Instead, the cardinal asked for his prayers.
In her moment with Law, Lambert said she saw ``brokenness and suffering'' in his eyes.
``Perhaps it is only compassion and love that will draw forth authentic contrition, which is precisely what the survivors need from the hierarchy in order to heal,'' she said.
Law, too, spoke of reconciliation and the ability to recognize one's own mistakes.
``Let us all call to mind those moments, those decisions, those actions, when we did not follow Christ,'' he said in his homily.
``We are responsible to God. God teaches us that our choices have eternal consequences.''
Those words moved Austin. ``I thought, `Oh my God, does he realize what he's saying, and what he's saying about himself?'
``That's not policy coming out of his mouth. That's the Holy Spirit coming out of his mouth,'' he said, adding that he would ask a protester to make a sign of the words to remind Law of them.
The Mass also celebrated the pilgrimage of Boston archdiocese teens to the World Youth Day in Toronto this week, whom Law also lauded in an appeal that echoed VOTF theme.
``We are the church when we gather as one,'' he said. ``Young and not so young, men and women, laity religious, deacons, priests, bishops. Unless it is all of us together then it is not the church.''
Kathy Kimble, an archdiocese youth worker accompanying the delegation to Toronto, said that message applied to the protesters and other victims.
``I appreciate their pain,'' she said. ``As a church in unity, we need to pray for healing for all of us, and especially for those who have experienced that pain.''
A reader sends this:
The following information was posted to the VOTF message board:
+ + +
[quote="marigold"]But for now, VOTF does offer victims of clergy abuse some
hope of being listened to by the lay Catholics and others in our
Among the "rays of hope" was Deborah Haffner, scheduled to speak "on ways
to have safe parishes."
Deborah Haffner is past president of SEICUS, an organization which has
promoted "the right to sexual pleasure" for young teens. But don't take my
word for it. Take theirs:
This is the best we can do?
+ + +
The thread was immediately locked. This after the same information was
removed the first time, as part of a letter by Kelly Clark, some contents
of which are being denied by the VOTF as "misinformation."
If you haven't been to this site since before the weekend please scroll down to the material on the ex-president of SEICUS "teaching the Catholic Church about sexuality" at the VOTF conference. It's important stuff.
Ted's got it right.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
BOSTON -- Ted Heneberry may not look like a pilgrim, but the lanky 17-year-old high school student clearly sees himself as a defender of his Catholic faith.
Heneberry spent Sunday preparing for the church's World Youth Day in Toronto and rebuffing critics who said Cardinal Bernard Law failed to respond swiftly enough to the church's child sex abuse scandal.
"Most of us just want the fuss to go away. We just want to worship and pray without people from the outside telling us what's wrong," Heneberry said after Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. "I don't think I've changed because of this. I don't think the youth of the archdiocese have changed."
Law rallies youth, but mum on reform group++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Some protesters who gathered outside the Cathedral said the Voice of the Faithful's criticism is too timid. They called on Boston area Catholics to refuse to attend Mass on Sept. 22 as a show of defiance.
Commit a sin! That'll teach 'em!
Sunday, July 21, 2002
Group [of dissenting Catholics] hands condoms to arriving pilgrims [at world youth day].
Boston Cardinal Grilled on Stand About Rejection of Abuse Settlement (washingtonpost.com)++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Sunday Washington Post, page 1
At Seminary, Unease Over Gay Priests (washingtonpost.com)