“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

July 28, 2010

A visual reminder of the importance of 1 Peter 5:8-9

For the purposes of this video, I offer an analogy:

Alligators are to humans in a boat on a river what the devil and his minions are to humans in the Barque of Peter steering toward salvation. They can't get you if you're close to the Lord, are properly armed, and remain inside the boat. But heaven help him who loses his weapons of the spirit and ventures out of the boat into the water. Just listen to what Fr. Corapi says about that.

It's a potent reminder of why, after imploring the Lord for our spiritual safety, we should also remember to invoke the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Michael the Archangel. After all, they know how to deal with the infernal "alligators" out there right now, just looking for someone to devour.

Do you ever feel like telling someone to shut up and sit down?

That's basically what canon lawyer Edward Peters did the other day to Steve Kellmeyer, though he did it temperately, which I'm sure gave his message all the more impact. Dr. Peters reacted to Kellmeyer's vituperation against Dr. Janet Smith, a widely respected professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, and one of Christopher West's defenders in the recent imbroglio over the latter's "Theology of the Body" methods and message. Kellmeyer has been a fierce and persistent critic of West, as Mark Shea recently observed with great bemusement.

(Note: Legitimate criticism of Christopher West's methods is not the problem. Plenty of thoughtful Catholics have come down on both sides of that controversy. Rather, the problem is the acrimonious way in which some, such as Steve Kellmeyer, have prosecuted the issue.)

I cannot say that I know Dr. Smith well, though I have had brief conversations with her, here and there over the years, and my wife and I once shared a very pleasant private meal with her in Munich after a conference at which Dr. Smith and I spoke. I have nothing but respect and admiration for her and her long history of excellent service to the Catholic Church, and thus it pained me, as it obviously pained Edward Peters and, I'm sure, her many friends and admirers, to see her unjustly attacked. That's why I'm glad to see people come to her defense, especially Dr. Peters' response to the canon law argument which Steve Kellmeyer unwisely employed in his recent foray against her.

As for Steve, I've known him for many years, though not well, and my impression of him has always been that he is a highly intelligent and gifted man with a sincere desire to explain, defend, and promote the Catholic Faith. To the extent he uses his gifts prudently and charitably to accomplish that goal, I applaud him and wish him all success, especially of the spiritual variety. But to the extent that he undermines that worthy goal by being gratuitous, mean-spirited, petty, and querulous (as, sadly, he has been toward people like Janet Smith and Christopher West) Peters, Shea, and the others who are telling him, essentially, to shut up and sit down are rendering a much needed service. Not everyone who is nice to you is a friend, and not everyone who is harsh with you is an enemy. I hope he heeds their admonitions, cools down, and then resumes his work calmly and without the acerbity from which it currently suffers.

Did you hear the one about how Archbishop Burke was "promoted out" of the US?

That's what a great many of his Stateside critics would have you believe. But given the Archbishop's steady rise in prominence, influence, and his accumulation of real power within the Roman curia, I'd say his critics are really just whistling past the cemetery. They know that he represents and champions the very things that a great many of them are implacably opposed to (e.g., the Usus Antiquior Missae, a clear, unambiguous, orthodox presentation of Catholic doctrine, confronting obstinately dissenting "Catholic" politicians and others who promote abortion, Catholic moral teaching on issues on sexual issues, etc.).

Thus, the higher Archbishop Burke rises and the more powerful he becomes, Deo volente, the more effervescently will evaporate their hopes and dreams and fantasies of such things as women in the priesthood, the Church's abandonment of its teaching on the immorality of contraception and homosexual acts, etc.

Catholic commentator Diane Korzeniewski provides the salient facts about His Grace's ascendancy plus a thought-provoking question about just how high he might rise.

To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up,
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.

Fish don't fry in the kitchen;
Beans don't burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin',
Just to get up that hill.
Now we're up in the big leagues,
Gettin' our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it's you and me baby,
There ain't nothin wrong with that.

Well, we're movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up,
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.