SEPTEMBER 5, 2015
Bishops condemn the liberal National “Catholic” Reporter
The Bishop’s Role in Fostering the Mission of the Catholic Media
By Bishop Robert W. Finn, Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, in The Catholic Key, January 25, 2013
When I was editor of the diocesan paper in St. Louis, my office had a statue of St. Francis De Sales, Bishop of Geneva, and Doctor of the Church. Francis died in 1622. He is regarded as a patron of journalists and of the Catholic Press. His feast day is January 24, and has been observed by the Vatican for many years as World Communications Day. Again this year, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has used the occasion to give a message to us on Social Communications.
The Forty-Seventh World Communications Day Message is entitled “Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization.” Here the Pope speaks about the opportunities for evangelization made possible through social media. He also addresses the moral responsibility we have to use these media in respectful ways. For nearly a half-century these messages have affirmed the value of modern communication in the presentation of the Gospel.
The Church’s Canon law places on the local bishop a particular responsibility to use the media effectively in the work of the Gospel, and to call the media to fidelity in the use of means of social communications.
Canon 747: “It is the obligation and inherent right of the Church, … to preach the Gospel to all people, using for this purpose even its own means of social communication; for it is to the Church that Christ the Lord entrusted the deposit of faith, so that by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, it might conscientiously guard revealed truth, more intimately penetrate it, and faithfully proclaim and expound it.”
Canon 761: “While pride of place must always be given to preaching and catechetical instruction, all the available means of proclaiming Christian doctrine are to be used, … (including) the printed word and other means of social communication.”
Canon 831: “The Christian faithful are not, unless there is a just and reasonable cause, to write in newspapers, pamphlets or periodicals which clearly are accustomed to attack the Catholic religion or good morals.”
Canon 804: “The formation and education provided … through the means of social communication, is subject to the authority of the Church. It is for the Bishop’s Conference to issue general norms concerning this field of activity and for the Diocesan Bishop to regulate and watch over it.”
There is a Canon that deals with the abuse of the media, under the section of the Code – “Offences against Religion and the Unity of the Church.”
Canon 1369: “A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.”
I am very proud of the work of our diocesan Catholic paper, The Catholic Key, our writers, and all involved with its production for the conscientious manner in which they use the paper to teach Catholic doctrine, to provide trustworthy reflections on issues that take place in our culture, and to provide stories of apostolic life and work – particularly from our local diocese – that inspire us to live our Catholic faith more fully.
Similarly, the apostolate of Catholic Radio has blossomed locally. KEXS, 1090 AM, Catholic radio has helped Catholics to know and live their faith. Catholic radio is enjoyed by non-Catholics and has been the cause of many coming to the Faith and entering the Church.
In a different way, I am sorry to say, my attention has been drawn once again to the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper with headquarters in this Diocese. I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here. In the last months I have been deluged with emails and other correspondence from Catholics concerned about the editorial stances of the Reporter: officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.
My predecessor bishops have taken different approaches to the challenge.
Bishop Charles Helmsing in October of 1968 issued a condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter and asked the publishers to remove the name “Catholic” from their title – to no avail.
From my perspective, NCR‘s positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory in the intervening decades.
When early in my tenure I requested that the paper submit their bona fides as a Catholic media outlet in accord with the expectations of Church law, they declined to participate indicating that they considered themselves an “independent newspaper which commented on ‘things Catholic.'” At other times, correspondence has seemed to reach a dead end.
In light of the number of recent expressions of concern, I have a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the Faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name “Catholic.”
While I remain open to substantive and respectful discussion with the legitimate representatives of NCR, I find that my ability to influence the National Catholic Reporter toward fidelity to the Church seems limited to the supernatural level. For this we pray: St. Francis De Sales, intercede for us.
CRITICISM OF THIS MINISTRY BY THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER
MIRARI VOS (ON LIBERALISM AND RELIGIOUS INDIFFERENTISM) POPE GREGORY XVI JANUARY 6, 1928
SYLLABUS OF ERRORS
PIUS IX, DECEMBER 8, 1864
SYLLABUS OF ERRORS AND OATH AGAINST MODERNISM
PIUS X, JULY 3, 1907
LIBERALISM AND LIBERAL THEOLOGY
LIBERALISM IS A SIN
CHURCH CITIZENS VOICE OF DR JAMES KOTTOOR IS LIBERAL AND NEW AGE
IS CHURCH SPOKESPERSON FR DOMINIC EMMANUEL SVD A LIBERAL
IS THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOMBAY IN THE LIBERAL CAMP AT THE SYNOD ON THE FAMILY
Liberalism is a Sin
By Dr. Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany, 1886 (Bold and colour emphases mine –Michael)
AN EXTRACT FROM Chapter 13 – The Name “Liberalism”
The journal that seeks to be Catholic and at the same time has the name or reputation of Liberal becomes in the general opinion an ally of those who, under the Liberal banner, combat the Church in front and rear. Vainly will the editor of such a journal explain himself; his excuses and his explanations grow wearisome. To profess to be Catholic and yet subscribe himself to be Liberal is not the way to convince people of the sincerity of his profession.
The editor of a journal purporting to be Catholic must be Catholic, not only in the profession he makes, but in spirit and in truth. To assume to be Liberal and then to endeavor to appear Catholic is to belie his faith; and although in his own heart he may imagine that he is as Catholic as the Pope (as several Liberals vaunt themselves), there is not the least doubt that his influence on current ideas and the march of events is thrown in favor of the enemy; and, in spite of himself, he becomes a satellite forced to move in the general orbit described by Liberalism.
And all this comes of a foolish desire to be estimated Liberal. Insane illusion! The usage of the word Liberal makes the Catholic who accepts it as his own one with all that finds shelter in its ominous shadow.
Rationalism is the toadstool that flourishes in its dark shades, and with Rationalism does such a journalist identify himself, thus placing himself in the ranks of the enemies of Jesus Christ!
Moreover, there is little doubt that the readers of such journals are little prepared to distinguish the subtle limitations drawn by editors of this character between Liberalism and Liberalism. Most readers know the word in its common usage and class all things Liberal in a lump. When they see an ostensibly Catholic journal practically making common cause with the Liberal creed by sanctioning its name, they are easily led into the dangerous belief that Liberalism has some affinity with their faith, and this once engrafted in their minds, they become ready adepts of Rationalism…
No, you cannot be a Liberal Catholic; incompatibles cannot be reconciled…
While we may admit the sincerity of those who are not Catholic, their error must always be held up to reprobation. We may pity them in their darkness, but we can never abet their error by ignoring it or tolerating it. Beyond dispute, no Catholic can be consistently called “Liberal.”
Most to be feared, however, is not he who openly boasts his Liberalism, but he who eschews the name and, vehemently denying it, is yet steeped to the lips in it and continually speaks and acts under its inspiration. And if such a man be a Catholic by profession, all the more dangerous is he to the faith of others, for he is the hidden enemy sowing tares amidst the wheat.
Chapter 18 – Liberalism and Literature
Liberalism is a system, as Catholicism is, although in a contrary sense. It has its arts, its science, its literature, its economics, its ethics; that is, it has an organism all its own, animated by its own spirit and distinguishable by its own physiognomy. The most powerful heresies, for instance, Arianism in ancient times and Jansenism in our own days, presented like peculiarities.
Not only are there Liberal journals, but there exists a literature in all the shades and degrees of Liberalism; it is abundant and prolific. The present generation draws its main intellectual nourishment from it. Our modern literature is saturated with its sentiments, and for this reason should we take every precaution to guard against its infections, of which so many are the miserable victims. How is it to be avoided?
The rules of guidance in this case are analogous to or almost identical with the rules which should govern a Catholic in his personal relations with Liberals, for books are after all but the representatives of their authors, conveying by the printed, instead of the spoken word, what men think, feel and say. Apply to books those rules of conduct which should regulate our intercourse with persons, and we have a safeguard in reading the literature of the day. But in this instance, the control of the relation is practically in our own power, for it depends entirely on ourselves whether we seek or tolerate the reading of Liberal books. They are not apt to seek us out, and if they are thrust upon us, our consent to their perusal is practically all our own doing. We have none but ourselves to blame if they prove to be our own undoing.
There is one point, however, worthy of our close consideration. It should be a fundamental rule in a Catholic’s intellectual life. It is this: Spare your praises of Liberal books, whatever be their scientific or literary merit, or at least praise with great reserve, never forgetting the reprobation rightly due to a book of Liberal spirit or tendency. This is an important point. It merits the strictest attention. Many Catholics, by far too naive (even some engaged in Catholic journalism), are perpetually seeking to pose as impartial and are perpetually daubing themselves with a veneer of flattery. They lustily beat the bass drum and blow all the trumpets of their vocabulary in praise of no matter what work, literary or scientific, that comes from the Liberal camp. They are fearful of being considered narrow-minded and partial if they do not give the devil his due. In the fulsomeness of their flattery, they hope to show that it costs a Catholic nothing to recognize merit wherever it may be found; they imagine this to be a powerful means of attracting the enemy. Alas, the folly of the weaklings; they play a losing game; it is they who are insensibly attracted, not the enemy! They simply fly at the bait held out by the cunning fisher who satanically guides the destinies of Liberalism.
Let us illustrate. When Arnold’s Light of Asia appeared, not a few Catholics joined in the chorus of fulsome praise which greeted it. How charming, how beautiful, how tender, how pathetic, how humane; what lofty morality, what exquisite sentiment! Now what was the real purport of the book and what was its essence? To lift up Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, at the expense of Jesus Christ, the Founder of Christianity! The intention was to show that Gautama was equally a divine teacher with as high an aspiration, as great a mission, as lofty a morality as our Divine Lord Himself. This was the object of the book; what was its essence? A falsification of history by weaving a series of poetical legends around a character, about whose actual life practically nothing is known. But not only this, the character was built up upon the model of Our Lord, which the author had in his own mind as the precious heirloom of Christianity; and his Gautama, whom he intended to stand out as at least the divine equal of the Founder of Christianity, became in his hands in reality a mere echo of Christ, the image of Christ, made to rival the Word made flesh! Buddhism, in the borrowed garments of Christianity, was thus made to appeal to the ideals of Christian peoples, and gaining a footing in their admiration and affections, to usurp the throne in the Christian sanctuary. Here was a work of literary merit, although it has been greatly exaggerated in this respect, praised extravagantly by some Catholics who, in their excessive desire to appear impartial, failed or refused to see in Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia a most vicious, anti-Christian book! What difference does it make whether a book be excellent in a literary sense or not, if its effect be the loss of souls and not their salvation? What if the weapon in the hands of the assassin be bright or not, if it be fatal? Though spiritual assassination be brilliant, it is nonetheless deadly.
Heresy under a charming disguise is a thousand times more dangerous than heresy exposed in the harsh and arid garb of the scholastic syllogism— through which the death’s skull grins in unadorned hideousness. Arianism had its poets to propagate its errors in popular verse. Lutheranism had its humanists, amongst whom the elegant Erasmus shone as a brilliant writer.
Arnauld, Nicole, Pascal threw the glamour of their belles lettres over the serpentine doublings [tricks, artifices] of Jansenism. Voltaire’s wretched infidelity won its frightful popularity from the grace of his style and the flash of his wit. Shall we, against whom they aimed the keenest and deadliest shafts, contribute to their name and their renown! Shall we assist them in fascinating and corrupting youth! Shall we crown these condemners of our faith with the laurels of our praises and laud them for the very qualities which alone make them dangerous! And for what purpose? That we may appear impartial? No. Impartiality is not permissible when it is distorted to the offense of truth, whose rights are imprescriptible [inalienable, absolute]. A woman of bad life is infamous, be she ever so beautiful, and the more beautiful, the more dangerous. Shall we praise Liberal books out of gratitude? No! Follow the liberals themselves in this, who are far more prudent than we; they do not recommend and praise our books, whatever they be. They, with the instinct of evil, fully appreciate where the danger lies. They either seek to discredit us or to pass us by in silence.
Si quis non amat Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum, Sit anathema [“If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema”], says St. Paul. Liberal literature is the written hatred of Our Lord and His Church. If its blasphemy were open and direct, no Catholic would tolerate it for an instant; is it any more tolerable because, like a courtesan, it seeks to disguise its sordid features by the artifice of paint and powder?
Light of Asia, published in 1879, was a poetic eulogy of Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism. Sir Arnold’s book was one of the first successful attempts to popularize Buddhism for a Western readership. It scandalized Fr. Sarda to the extent that he chose it for citation in his treatise on Liberalism and in which he calls it “a most vicious, anti-Christian book!” And, Arnold was Protestant, not Catholic.
What would Fr. Sarda say if he were around today when he would find occult, esoteric and New Age books authored by bishops, priests and religious, printed, published and sold in Catholic bookstores?
What would Fr. Sarda say if he were around today when one is hard put to find a Catholic magazine that is NOT Liberal (at least as far as Indian publications are concerned. In India, I do not know one single major Catholic weekly/fortnightly/monthly* that is NOT Liberal. Asia’s leading “Catholic” news agency UCAN and its associate CathNewsAsia are Liberal. In the West, we know which ones are — the National Catholic Reporter, America magazine, the US Catholic for instance — because conservatives have labeled them so)?
He would almost certainly declare that a vast section of the Church is without any shade of doubt Liberal!! –Michael *e.g. The Examiner (the Bombay archdiocesan weekly), The New Leader, Companion India
AN EXTRACT FROM Chapter 21 – Personal Polemics and Liberalism
“It is all well enough to make war on abstract doctrines” some may say, “but in combating error, be it ever so evident, is it so proper to make an attack upon the persons of those who uphold it?” We reply that very often it is, and not only proper, but at times even indispensable and meritorious before God and men.
The accusation of indulging in personalities is not spared to Catholic apologists, and when Liberals and those tainted with Liberalism have hurled it at our heads, they imagine that we are overwhelmed by the charge. But they deceive themselves. We are not so easily thrust into the background. We have reason—and substantial reason—on our side. In order to combat and discredit false ideas, we must inspire contempt and horror in the hearts of the multitude for those who seek to seduce and debauch them. A disease is inseparable from the persons of the diseased…
The authors and propagators of heretical doctrines are soldiers with poisoned weapons in their bands. Their arms are the book, the journal, the lecture, their personal influence. Is it sufficient to dodge their blows? Not at all; the first thing necessary is to demolish the combatant himself. When he is hors de combat [“out of the fight”], he can do no more mischief.
It is therefore perfectly proper not only to discredit any book, journal or discourse of the enemy, but it is also proper, in certain cases, even to discredit his person; for in warfare, beyond question, the principal element is the person engaged, as the gunner is the principal factor in an artillery fight and not the cannon, the powder, and the bomb. It is thus lawful, in certain cases, to expose the infamy of a Liberal opponent, to bring his habits into contempt and to drag his name in the mire. Yes, this is permissible, permissible in prose, in verse, in caricature, in a serious vein or in badinage, by every means and method within reach. The only restriction is not to employ a lie in the service of justice. This never. Under no pretext may we sully the truth, even to the dotting of an “i'” As a French writer says: “Truth is the only charity allowed in history,” and, we may add, in the defense of religion and society.
The Fathers of the Church support this thesis. The very titles of their works clearly show that, in their contests with heresy, their first blows were at the heresiarchs. The works of St. Augustine almost always bear the name of the author of the heresy against which they are written: Contra Fortunatum Manichoeum, Adversus Adamanctum, Contra Felicem, Contra Secundinum, Quis fuerit Petiamus, De gestis Pelagii, Quis fuerit julianus, etc.
Thus, the greater part of the polemics of this great Father and Doctor of the Church was personal, aggressive, biographical, as well as doctrinal—a hand-to-hand struggle with heretics, as well as with heresy. What we here say of St. Augustine we can say of the other Fathers.
AN EXTRACT FROM Chapter 27 – How to Avoid Liberalism
2. Good journals: Choose from among good journals that which is best, the one best adapted to the needs and the intelligence of the people who surround you. Read it; but not content with that, give it to others to read; explain it; comment on it, let it be your basis of operations. Busy yourself in securing subscriptions for it. Encourage the reluctant to take it; make it easy for those to whom it seems troublesome to send in their subscriptions. Place it in the hands of young people who are beginning their careers. Impress on them the necessity of reading it; show them its merits and its value. They will begin by tasting the sauce and will at last eat the fish. This is the way the advocates of Liberalism and impiety work for their journals; so then ought we to work for ours. A good Catholic journal is a peremptory or imperative necessity in our day. Whatever be its defects or inconveniences, its advantages and its benefits will outweigh them a thousand fold. The Holy Father has said that “a Catholic paper is a perpetual mission in every parish.” It is ever an antidote to the false journalism that meets you on every side. In general, do all in your power to further the circulation of Catholic literature, be it in the shape of book, brochure, lecture, sermon or pastoral letter. The weapon of the crusader of our times is the printed word.
U.S. CATHOLIC MAGAZINE ENDORSES NEW AGE-REIKI, YOGA AND ZEN
UCAN CONFIRMS IT FAVOURS WOMEN PRIESTS
UCAN CONFIRMS IT FAVOURS WOMEN PRIESTS-02
UCAN CONFIRMS IT FAVOURS WOMEN PRIESTS-03
UCAN’S SLANTED QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE CATHOLIC’S CHOICE FOR POPE
UCAN WANTS TO DO AWAY WITH THE PRIESTHOOD
CHURCH RESOURCES CATHNEWS-AN ANTICATHOLIC NEWS SITE
CHURCH MOUTHPIECE THE EXAMINER ACCUSED OF PROMOTING HERESY
COMPANION INDIA-WHY I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS MAGAZINE TO CATHOLICS
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