THURSDAY     March 30, 2000    vol. 11, no. 64    SECTION ONE

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW - Today's Scribes and Pharisees
  • THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS - Wednesday Papal Audience
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OUR FAITH: Installment 142 - The God-Man part two


  • Recognizing today's Brood of Vipers!
    The dissidents are trying to squeeze the hierarchy of the Church by rattling the ramparts of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

       In his column today, Pat Ludwa exposes the true Scribes and Pharisees today who point their accusatory finger at the Magisterium and the Vicar of Christ in condemning the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church because they refuse to kowtow to their demands which are diametrically opposed to Church doctrine. Like the Scribes and Pharisees of Our Lord's time, groups like A Call to Action, We are church, WomenChurch, 'catholics' for a Free Choice, and the rest of today's "brood of vipers" coil in readiness to strike with venomous vituperation, sinking their farcical fangs of falliciousness into the bloodstream of the Mystical Body of Christ. Pat shows, through the Word, that there is no difference from those Scribes and Pharisees who hoodwinked the masses and masterminded Christ's death to the modern Scribes and Pharisees who follow the same slithering path. For his column today, Today's Scribes and Pharisees , see VIEW FROM THE PEW

    Today's Scribes and Pharisees

          Legend has it that as the Emperor Nero was about to begin his persecutions of the Christians, and St. Peter was escaping Rome he came across Christ carrying His cross toward Rome. "Quo Vadis" (Where are you going?) Our Lord answered that He was going to Rome to die again. We know that Peter returned to Rome and was martyred there on Vatican Hill. He literally followed Christ's cross. Peter's and the Christians deaths were for political reasons. But what about Christ? Why did He die? (Other than the obvious one that He died so that we may live) Why was it necessary for the Sanhedrin to seek His death? Why was every string pulled, every avenue approached, in order to assure His death. After all, according to Roman law, He committed no crime, especially no crime warranting crucifixion.

          To some, Christ was marked for death because He was a social revolutionary, upsetting the status quo. But this isn't so. "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17). "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21).

          Christ followed the law. He never taught to ignore any teacher of the faith. "Then said Jesus to the crowds and to His disciples, 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you,'" (Matthew 23:1-3).

          So, obviously, Christ wasn't a social revolutionary as some try to portray Him. He observed the Sabbath, He did everything the law of Moses required Him to do. He even told the people to pay their taxes to Caesar. But He also chastised the tax collectors for taking more than they should. And He also chastised the Scribes and Pharisees who thought more of themselves and their wants than of God and His wants. "They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men" (Matthew 23:5-7).

          They were drawing attention to themselves, looking for the praise of men rather than God. Now, today, who do we see being trotted out as 'enlightened, good' Catholics? Cardinal Ratzinger? Pope John Paul II? Cardinal O'Connor? Mother Angelica? No, we see Fr. Andrew Greeley, Charles Curran, Hans Kung, Rosemary Ruether, Archbishop Weakland, et al, being given the place of honor. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matthew 23:27-28).

          Giving the appearance of righteousness, they, in fact, are far from it. They were far from the light, even rejecting it since it would mean a change in their lives. "For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (John 3:20).

          So, they had to find a way to blot out the light, to get rid of Jesus who exposed them for what they were. First, they tried to get the people to turn away from Him. They tried to make Him appear, not to be from God, but from satan. "Then a blind and dumb demoniac was brought to Him, and He healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, 'Can this be the Son of David?' But when the Pharisees heard it they said, 'It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons'" (Matthew 12:22-24).

          Besides anti-Catholic fundamentalists who attack the Church as the church of satan, we have so called 'catholics' who say the same thing - that the Church opposes the will of God and does evil by her teaching. So, in this regard, we see that truly, the new Scribes and Pharisees seem more to be in the camp of Call To Action than anywhere else. "But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against Him, how to destroy Him" (Matthew 12:14). "we need people with chisels inside (the church) chiseling away at that institution or it is never going to fall." (Sister Maureen Fiedler at the 20th anniversary meeting of the Women's Ordination Conference in the Washington D.C., November 10-12, 1995). "Now the chief priests and the whole council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death; but they found none. For many bore false witness against Him, and their witness did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against Him, saying, 'We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.' Yet not even so did their testimony agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, 'Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against You?' But He was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked Him, 'Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?' And Jesus said, 'I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of Heaven.' And the high priest tore His garments, and said, 'Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard His blasphemy. What is your decision?' And they all condemned Him as deserving death" (Mark 14:55-64).

          The Church teaches that Christ is the Son of God, yet we read how that claim is challenged with 'enlightened' catholics. Christ vs. Sophia goddess. Rosemary Ruether once spoke of Jesus as a 'symbol' some might want to retain. ("Women and Spirituality; Mankato State Univ., Minnesota) A symbol? In fact, one of the hallmarks of the 'liberal consensus' (their own term) is that Jesus was not, and never claimed to be divine. We hear them rush to the defense of those like Fr. De Mello who "considers Jesus as a master alongside others. The only difference from other men is that Jesus is "awake" and fully free, while others are not. Jesus is not recognized as the Son of God, but simply as the one who teaches us that all people are children of God." (NOTIFICATION CONCERNING THE WRITINGS OF FR. ANTHONY DE MELLO, SJ June 24, 1998; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) This isn't Christianity, but a New Age notion of ascended 'masters'. Again, who truly sounds like the Scribes and Pharisees?

          "Then the whole company of them arose, and brought Him before Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, 'We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ a king.' And Pilate asked Him, 'Are you the King of the Jews?' And He answered him, 'You have said so.' And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, 'I find no crime in this man' "(Luke 23:1-4). Here we see Christ's enemies working to get the governing authority to condemn Christ. They claimed that He opposed paying the taxes to Caesar and placing Himself over Caesar (which would be treason and punishable by death). Yet the charges are false and trumped up. We hear the same today.

          Frances Kissling of "'catholics' for a Free Choice" with other pro-abortion groups, have worked long and hard to portray the Church as un-American, and recently have renewed their efforts to have the Vatican removed from the United Nations. "March 24 1999 New York, NY - Distraught by the Catholic Church's efforts to offer a pro-life perspective within the United Nations, Catholics for a Free Choice launched an effort to revoke the Vatican's non-member state permanent observer UN status. The group's leader, Frances Kissling-whose organization has no membership, no standing within the Church, and is funded primarily by the Ford Foundation-questioned the legitimacy of the Vatican state. 'Why should a few acres of office space and tourist attractions in the center of Rome have a voice in making United Nations policy?' she asked." Again, who sounds like the real Pharisees? "But they were urgent, saying, 'He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place'" (Luke 23:5).

          "The anti-choice cause did not win in the nation's courts. They did not win in the court of public opinion. They did not win in the nation's elections. And its advocates will not prevail by trampling our traditions or trafficking in terror. These appalling attacks are assaults not merely against a single building or a single gender but against America's deepest principles. In nations with different traditions, they believe that power comes out of the barrel of a gun. But in this nation we know that true power comes out of disparate voices of a free people." (Transcript of Vice President Gore's Remarks Before NARAL; January 21, 1997) Is this a veiled attack on the Church? A strong anti-choice (pro-life) advocate. Is he implying that the Church implicitly or explicitly advocates violence? Among militant gays and their supporters, they claim that Church teaching condemning homosexual sex is a hate crime advocating violence toward gays. 'Stirring up the people.'

          "March, 1999 Los Angeles, CA - Former talk show host Phil Donahue ( a graduate of St. Edwards Catholic High School in Cleveland, Ohio) spoke to a gay and lesbian bash in Los Angeles and 'railed against the Catholic Church's 'promotion of homophobia.'" Again, who really sounds like modern day Pharisees?

          The Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus; day pretty much forced Pilate to choose. The truth, by which he would release Christ since he found nothing that He was guilty of...or political survival? "Upon this Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, 'If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar'" (John 19:12).

          Pilate turned Christ over, not because it was just, or because He was guilty of any crime, but because it was politically expedient to do so. Turning the people against Christ, and peppering the crowd with their supporters, the Scribes and Pharisees managed to coerce the governing body of Jerusalem, to act against Christ. Like wise, we see the same thing today. "In closing let me say, especially today, thank you, NARAL, for pushing through the important legislation that must be a bulwark against this violence--legislation like the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act "(Transcript of Vice President Gore's Remarks Before NARAL; January 21, 1997) That Act, of course, had nothing to do with protecting those who work in abortion clinics or going into them, but simply to silence pro-life protests and demonstrations. Just as they reworded laws protecting people from racketeering to include those people and organizations which demonstrate against abortion. And just like they'll use so-called 'hate crime' legislation to silence the Church in regards to abortion and homosexual acts.

          As Al Gore pointed out in his speech to NARAL; "And on this anniversary of Rove vs. Wade when some will try and tug us backward to a time before that historic moment, we must commit ourselves to moving forward beyond a debate about just abortion. We are not and we never have been pro-abortion obviously. We are pro-choice, pro-reproductive health, pro-education, pro-strong families, pro-women, pro-Constitutional rights, pro the spirit of the United States of American which will forever stand." Since the pro-abortion faction is "pro-choice, pro-reproductive health, pro-education, pro-strong families, pro-women, pro-Constitutional rights, pro the spirit of the United States of American which will forever stand.", then obviously, the Church is (supposedly) 'anti-choice, anti-reproductive health, anti-education, anti-strong family, anti-woman, anti-Constitution, and anti-spirit of the United States.' Just as the Scribes and Pharisees portrayed Christ as such for His day.

          Where may we find the true Scribes and Pharisees of today? Not in the Magisterium, but in the ranks of Call To Action, Dignity, WomenChurch, FutureChurch, etc.

          Where will we find the true followers of Christ? "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on My account, because they do not know Him Who sent Me" (John 15: 18-21).

          Contrast that with Call to Action, et al, who preach that the Church has to change to suit the world. If you still need a sign to see where the followers of Christ are? "Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in Heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets" (Luke 6:22-23).

          And of the Pharisees of today? "Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets" (Luke 6:26).

          Hate and intolerance are not found in the Church within the halls of the Vatican. You won't find it in the Pope and the Magisterium. The Holy Father proved that emphatically during his inspiring Papal pilgrimage last week. The real hatred and intolerance lies in those organizations and people who are the Scribes and Pharisees of today. Those who call themselves the 'liberal consensus'. Like the 'whitewashed tombs' Christ spoke of, they 'appear' pure and bright, but are in fact, full of dead men's bones and corruption.

      Pax Christi, Pat

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    John Paul II's prayer in recalling his "Jubilee Journey" last week: "Make me an instrument of Your Peace."

       Today we bring you the Holy Father's regular public Papal Audience from this past Wednesday afternoon, his first since his return from his historic "Jubilee Journey" last week. Addressing the crowd in St. Peter's Square, he enthusiastically recounted his past week in the Holy Land as the highlight of his twenty-one and a half year pontificate. In his short discourse, His Holiness expressed gratitude to God and shared with all his constant prayer to the Almighty to be with him and, in the words of Saint Francis "make me an instrument of Your Peace." Those in attendance heard first hand the depth of meaning that each step held for the Holy Father and for all of us who walked in spirit with him in the footsteps of Christ Himself. See THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

    Holy Father's Wednesday Papal Audience in Saint Peter's Square on Wednesday, March 29, 2000

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,

          Following the commemoration of Abraham and my brief but intense visit to Egypt and Mount Sinai, my Jubilee pilgrimage to the Holy Places brought me last week to the land which witnessed the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the Church. With inexpressible joy, I thank the Lord for the gift of this visit, to which I had looked forward for many years. I am deeply grateful to the Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian Authorities whose assistance and hospitality made this journey possible. The joy and understanding that I carry in my soul because of this gift from the Lord, which I had so deeply desired, are impossible to express.

          In a certain sense, I began my travels precisely through the view of Moses, and the figure of John the Baptist pointed me to the trail of Christ. I found the Faith in Jordan rich in religious zeal, and well established within the social context of that country.

          In Nazareth, in praying with Mary at the Basilica I was overwhelmed knowing this was where God became man, where man regained his dignity, and his vocation became a higher one. With emotion, I knelt in the grotto of the Nativity, where I felt the spiritual presence of the entire Church, of all the poor people of the world, at the site where God chose to 'plant His tent' - the God Who, in order to lead us toward Him, made Himself an exile and a refuge. In situation in Palestine prompts all to pray for peace to allow us finally to find solutions to this sad problem.

         The Mount of Beatitudes was a moment charged with hope and my journey from Galilee to Nazareth I was immersed in thought of how the Church had spread from such small towns to embrace the world. I think that Peter always held that thought in his heart, and so does his successor today.

          The memory of Jerusalem is indelibly impressed on my spirit. Despite the great difficulties which it is now undergoing, Jerusalem is called to be a symbol of peace for all those who believe in the God of Abraham and submit to His law. These ancient stones are mute, yet eloquent witnesses of the central and culminating event in the history of salvation: the Paschal Mystery of Christ. Last Sunday - the Lord's Day - I renewed the proclamation of salvation which echoes down the centuries and millennia: Christ is risen! That was the moment when my pilgrimage reached its high point. And that is why I felt the need to return to pray that afternoon on Calvary, where Christ shed His blood for mankind.

          My visit to the various shrines was, in a sense, a return to the roots of our faith, and there I prayed for a renewal in faith and zeal in all the members of the Church. I asked the Father of mercies to strengthen the desire for unity and peace among all who have received the gift of new life through the saving waters of Baptism. I prayed that He would bless efforts to promote reconciliation, mutual understanding and practical cooperation between Christians, Jews and Muslims. At the dawn of a new millennium, Christians can look to the future with steadfast trust in the glorious power of the Risen One to make all things new. With His help we will have the strength to overcome our divisions and to work together to build a better future for all humanity.

          I welcome the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s audience, especially those from England, Japan, Australia and the United States. I pray that your faith will be strengthened during your Jubilee pilgrimage and that you will be filled with a desire to serve God and neighbor, and to work for unity, justice and peace in the world. May God bless you and your families.

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    Appreciation of the God-Man

        Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. Today we present, appropriately in following up the Holy Father's "Jubilee Journey" last week, the second part of the catechesis on Christ the God-Man as explained in My Catholic Faith for it was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies that God would become Man in order to redeem all mankind from the limbo man was placed after the sin of Adam. For the 142nd installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 142:
    The God-Man part two

          Jesus Christ is called the "Word." Just as the thought in our minds finds expression in a word, so the Son of God dwelling in the bosom of His Father was shown to the world when the Word became man. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:1, 14). Jesus Christ is man because He is the Son of the Blessed Virgin, and has a body and soul like ours.

          The birth of Jesus Christ is a fact of history. He was born of Mary, who was espoused to a carpenter named Joseph, who lived in Nazareth of Galilee. The archangel Gabriel said to Mary, "The Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God."

          Jesus Christ is true man, because He has a body and soul like ours. He derived His human nature from His mother. History tells us of Jesus Christ, Who preached in and about Jerusalem over two thousand years ago. Many records tell of His appearance, of His words, of His actions, of His teachings. Nobody doubted that Jesus Christ was a Man, for He could be seen and touched like other men. He lived and died just as men of all times live and die. His Holiness John Paul II, Christ's Vicar on earth, experienced this last week during his historic "Jubilee Journey" in his Papal Pilgrimage through the Holy Land retracing the footsteps of the Savior and shared with all via live coverage on EWTN and news coverage in the DailyCATHOLIC which can be reviewed by going to A review of the Pope's "Jubilee Journey" to the Holy Land.

          We can prove that the religion God has revealed through Christ is worthy of belief, because Jesus Christ, announcing Himself as the true Son of God, whose coming was foretold by the prophets, preached doctrines which He said all must believe. If Christ is God, then the religion He established is true, and the Church He founded is the true Church. We can believe everythng He says, even without understanding it, because God cannot err.

          If Jesus Christ were not God, then Christianity would be a farce, and the sooner it were done away with the better. If Christ were not God, then He were an impostor who, by claiming divinity, has led billions into error for 2,000 years. We know that is not possible for He truly is the Son of God.

          Christ worked wonderful miracles, which showed that the God of truth approved His teachings. Christ worked so many miracles publicly that all flocked to Him to be cured. "But when John had heard in prison of the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples to say to Him, 'Art Thou He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?' And Jesus answering said to them, 'Go and report to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the poor have the gospel preached to them' " (Matthew 11:2-5).

        (a) Christ permormed miracles on inanimate objects, as when He changed water to wine, calmed the storm, multiplied loaves.
        (b) He healed in an instant the sick, the blind, the lame. He expelled devils.
        (c) He raised the dead to life; as the daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow of Naim, and Lazarus. Even His enemies acknowledged His miracles. The Pharisees planned to kill Lazarus, because the Jews believed in Jesus as a result of the miracle.
        (d) He worked miracles on His own Person, as in the Transfiguration, Resurrection, and Ascension.

      Tomorrow: Our Lord Jesus Christ part one

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    March 30, 2000     volume 11, no. 64
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