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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Excellent Homily by Bishop Jenky in Peoria

April 15, 2012 Issue
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, delivers his homily April 14 at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria during Mass at the "A Call to Catholic Men of Faith" event.

Catholic Post photo by Daryl Wilson

Full text of Bishop Jenky's homily at men's march and Mass

Editor's note: Following is the full text of the homily of Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, at the Mass during the April 14 "A Call to Catholic Men of Faith" in Peoria. A podcast audio version of the homily is available at
The Bishop's Podcasts.
For a story on the annual march and Mass click here.
For several photos from the event, visit The Catholic Post's site on Facebook.
There is only one basic reason why Christianity exists and that is the fact that Jesus Christ truly rose from the grave.
The disciples never expected the resurrection. The unanimous testimony of all four Gospels is that the terrible death of Jesus on the cross entirely dashed all their hopes about Jesus and about his message. He was dead, and that was the end of it. They looked for nothing more, and they expected nothing more.
So as much as they had loved him, in their eyes Jesus was a failed messiah. His dying seemed to entirely rob both his teaching and even his miracles of any lasting significance.
And they were clearly terrified that his awful fate, at the hands of the Sanhedrin and the Romans, could easily become their awful fate. So they hid, trembling with terror, behind shuttered windows and locked doors.
When the Risen Christ suddenly appeared in their midst, their reaction was shocked incredulity. They simply could not believe their own eyes.
Reality only very slowly began to penetrate their consciousness when Jesus offers proof of his resurrection. He shows them the wounds on his hands, his feet, and his side. Jesus even allowed them to touch him. He breaks bread with them and eats with them. And only then could they admit to themselves what had seemed absolutely impossible – the one who had truly died had truly risen! The Crucified now stood before them as their Risen, glorious, triumphant Lord.
His rising from the grave was every bit as real as his dying on the cross. The resurrection was the manifest proof of the invincible power of Almighty God. The inescapable fact of the resurrection confirmed every word Jesus had ever spoken and every work Jesus had ever done.
The Gospel was the truth. Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah of Israel. Jesus was the Savior of the world. Jesus was the very Son of God.
There is no other explanation for Christianity. It should have died out and entirely disappeared when Christ died and was buried, except for the fact that Christ was truly risen, and that during the 40 days before his Ascension, he interacted with his Apostles and disciples, and on one occasion even with hundreds of his followers.
Today’s appointed Gospel reading for this Saturday in the Octave of Easter is taken from the 16th Chapter of Mark. It concludes with a command from the lips of Jesus, given to his disciples, given to the whole Church, given to you and me assembled here today: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
We heard in today’s Second Reading from the Acts of the Apostles that the same Sanhedrin that had condemned Jesus was amazed at the boldness of Peter and John. Perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, they recognized them as companions of Jesus. They warned them never again to teach, or speak to anyone, in the name of Jesus.
But the elders and the scribes might as well have tried to turn back the tide, or hold back an avalanche. Peter and John had seen the Risen Christ with their own eyes. Peter and John were filled with the Holy Spirit. They asked whether it is right “in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”
And Peter and John and all the Apostles, starting first in Jerusalem in Judea and Galilee and then to the very ends of the earth, announced the Resurrection and the Good News to everyone they encountered.
According to the clear testimony of the Scriptures, these Apostles had once been rather ordinary men – like you and me. Their faith hadn’t always been strong. They made mistakes. They committed sins. They were often afraid and confused.
But meeting the Risen Lord had changed everything about these first disciples, and knowing the Risen Lord should also change everything about us.
You know, it has never been easy to be a Christian and it’s not supposed to be easy! The world, the flesh, and the devil will always love their own, and will always hate us. As Jesus once predicted, they hated me, they will certainly hate you.
But our Faith, when it is fully lived, is a fighting faith and a fearless faith. Grounded in the power of the resurrection, there is nothing in this world, and nothing in hell, that can ultimately defeat God’s one, true, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
For 2,000 years the enemies of Christ have certainly tried their best. But think about it. The Church survived and even flourished during centuries of terrible persecution, during the days of the Roman Empire.
The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism.
And in the power of the resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.
The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS, and of the current majority of the federal Senate.
May God have mercy on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.
As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but as Christians we must also stand up for what we believe and always be ready to fight for the Faith. The days in which we live now require heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead be Catholics by conviction.
In our own families, in our parishes, where we live and where we work – like that very first apostolic generation – we must be bold witnesses to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We must be a fearless army of Catholic men, ready to give everything we have for the Lord, who gave everything for our salvation.
Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.
In the late 19th century, Bismark waged his “Kultur Kamp,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.
Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.
Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.
Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.
This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries -- only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the instrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.
No Catholic ministry – and yes, Mr. President, for Catholics our schools and hospitals are ministries – can remain faithful to the Lordship of the Risen Christ and to his glorious Gospel of Life if they are forced to pay for abortions.
Now remember what was the life-changing experience that utterly transformed those fearful and quaking disciples into fearless, heroic apostles. They encountered the Risen Christ. They reverenced his sacred wounds. They ate and drank with him.
Is that not what we do here together, this morning at this annual men’s march Mass?
This is the Saturday of the Octave of Easter, a solemnity so great and central to our Catholic faith that Easter Day is celebrated for eight full days, and the Easter season is joyously observed as the Great 50 Days of Easter. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ – risen from the grave – is in our midst. His Holy Word teaches us the truth. His Sacred Body and Blood becomes our food and drink.
The Risen Christ is our Eternal Lord; the Head of his Body, the Church; our High Priest; our Teacher; our Captain in the well-fought fight.
We have nothing to fear, but we have a world to win for him. We have nothing to fear, for we have an eternal destiny in heaven. We have nothing to fear, though the earth may quake, kingdoms may rise and fall, demons may rage, but St. Michael the Archangel, and all the hosts of heaven, fight on our behalf.
No matter what happens in this passing moment, at the end of time and history, our God is God and Jesus is Lord, forever and ever.
Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!
Christ wins! Christ reigns! Christ commands!

The leadership crisis continues...

Leadership is a gift, but it is also trained. There is a crisis in leadership crisis in Great Britain and America owing to the fact that the leadership training has stopped in schools, all schools, in favor of a dumbing down of gifts and the discouragement of an elite. The high schools in America moved from training a group of students to go out into the world and lead, to a democratic mode of group dynamics. This started in the 1970s. My high school and my college had leadership training as part of the classroom organization. This all disappeared when the liberal and radical agendas of the teaching unions pushed a socialist-communist order. Dewey with his ideas of social engineering also infected public education in the States. The State became all important, the creation of good citizens, as opposed to a thinking public, became the goal,. This may be called the creation of a non-elite, of a citizenry which no longer accepts hierarchical structures as the norm. Hierarchies demand leaders.

We have a crisis in Church leadership, to which I have been referring in this blog for months. The educational systems have created this crisis, and the false idea of collegiality, which claims that no one person should have more authority than the group. This mode of thinking is popular in some dioceses in Great Britain as well as in the States. Cardinals and bishops are afraid of taking a strong stand on any issues, not only for political correctness, but because they were not trained to be leaders. The old idea of noblesse oblige as disappeared in the Church. The over-emphasis on democracy as a mode of working has interfered with the idea that leadership is can be given as a charism to one or a few persons. The workers in the Church hate the word "elite", as if we are all equal in gifts and training.

A young man of the younger generation asked me the other day why people needed leaders. As an older person, I was bemused by the question. As a youth raised in a non-elitist society, he actually could not understand the idea of leadership and really wanted to understand why some young people could only follow. We need to be training leaders in the Church now, and not men who cannot accept responsibility. God gives His gifts to whom He pleases.

Christ is a Leader and was on earth. He instituted a Church which is, like any organization, based on levels of gifts and training. This type of discernment needs to happen in the seminaries. I have included a painting of St. Paul, one of the leaders in the Church.

And, now for something completely different-Maru, the Interview from my bloglist

Thanks to buzzfeed for this photo

What about anti-Catholic literature, which is everywhere in Britain?

Sharia in the UK: Church banned from using public market stall after distributing leaflet criticizing Islam; from the great Spencer's website

Do you think a group distributing a leaflet entitled "Why Not Christianity?" would have been banned? No, I don't think so, either. "Norwich church banned from using market stall after complaints about ‘hate-related’ leaflets," by Peter Walsh for the Norwich Evening News, April 14 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
A church has been banned from using a market stall to hold its weekly outreach service following a complaint about “hate-motivated” leaflets published by the group.
The Norwich Reformed Church held a weekly outreach bookstall from the Norwich City Council-owned site on Hay Hill, but has been informed it is no longer allowed to use the stall after the council received a complaint about literature on it. The complaint prompted a review of the materials produced by Reverend Alan Clifford, pastor of the church, and the council contacted police as materials, particularly the leaflet entitled Why not Islam, were considered to be hate-motivated.
The church has been prohibited from using the site, while the council-run Eaton Park Community Centre has also been contacted with a view to ceasing any further bookings made by the church.
A council spokesman said: “We received a complaint from a member of the public about material published by the Norwich Reformed Church (associated with the Farthing Trust) which uses council facilities. This was considered to be hate-motivated and, in accordance with the agreed Norfolk Multi Agency Protocol, we contacted the police.
“Although the police advised that no criminal offence had been committed, we have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to foster good relations between people of all backgrounds and religions. By allowing premises owned by the council to be used by an organisation publishing such material, we would be failing in that duty. People across Norfolk have recently been urged to stand up to hate-motivated and intolerant behaviour through a publicity campaign and as a council we have to play our part and take action where necessary.”...