Catholic Issues

Crisis Magazine has come out with a good and insightful article debunking the idea that the Catholic Church endorsed and promoted slavery. The modern anti-Christian, anti-history narrative takes it for granted that the Church was either a promoter of slavery, or at best complicit or it turned a blind eye.

This article by Paul Kengor puts that lie to bed and again affirms that the Church is correct and has always been. There are a lot of comments and discussion after the article on the website.

“Roman Catholics: the First Abolitionists” begins

FE13BEFBA30F4F64BB77DA807D255DC9Progressives eagerly remind America of its past of slavery and racism. So much so that The New York Times’ 1619 Project literally dates America that way, defining the country’s start by the year 1619 (rather than 1620 or 1776), with the arrival of the first Africans to Virginia that year. Mobs target statues of everyone from Washington and Jefferson to (curiously) Union generals like Ulysses S. Grant, who defeated the Confederacy before battling the KKK, and even Abraham Lincoln and (most bizarre of all) Frederick Douglass, the great black abolitionist.

Very often, the mob engages in bad history, targeting literal saints who sought to protect natives from persecution, such as Saint Junípero Serra, who is being hunted and torn down throughout California. For a downright chilling display, watch the video of a raging mob in Sacramento blowtorching Serra’s face, spray-painting the statue with obscenities, and then pouncing on it with hammers while cheering, chanting, and cursing in the dark of night.

The problem with mobs, you see, is that they behave like, well, mobs.

Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 9.50.06 AMWe Catholics know this will not stop with Saint Serra. Also in the crosshairs are the likes of Saint Louis, Christopher Columbus (obviously), and who knows who else. Last weekend, one of Serra’s mission churches in California went up in flames, with the cause of the fire not yet known. In the last few days, a statue of Mary was set on fire in Boston and another was vandalized in Brooklyn (among others). As to what Mary has to do with the modern anti-statue-racism movement is anyone’s guess.

Nonetheless, if the issue is (rightly so) a just condemnation of slavery and racism, and if one is genuinely seeking accurate history, then today’s activists ought to look back in admiration at the impressive track record of the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, now is a good time for Catholics to step up with a teachable moment regarding how their Church has long condemned human enslavement. This history goes back to at least 1435, over a half-century before Columbus set sail for the New World. This rich record spans from the 1400s into the modern era with Pope Francis.

For the whole article, CLICK HERE.

See below for my previous post about slavery and the Catholic Church….

Did the Church Ever Support Slavery?

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Mass with 2 Protestants and 1 Crucifix

by Steve Ray on July 14, 2020

CrucifixionChurch.jpgA while ago we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, as big as life — a CRUCIFIX with the Body of Our Lord hanging over the altar.

I knew what the Protestants were thinking — I used to think the same — “CATHOLICS ARE WRONG, JESUS IS NO LONGER ON THE CROSS, HE HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD AND IS IN HEAVEN.”  Of course they think Catholics are wrong to keep Jesus on the cross as though he had not risen and ascended into heaven.

Are they right?  Well, YES and NO.  Jesus DID rise and ascend into heaven and He IS glorified at the right hand of the Father and we are mystically seated there with him (1 Pet 3:22, Eph 2:6).  BUT the Catholic Church is ALSO correct to show Jesus on the Cross — not only to remind us of His suffering and death and to show what happens during the Mass — but because in a mystical way He IS STILL on the Cross.

God the Father sits on His throne in heaven.  And what does God see from his throne every time he “opens his eyes”?  He sees Jesus on the Cross!  Really?  Yeah, really!

PassoverLambBlood.jpgJesus is our Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7).  In the Old Testament the lambs were slain on Passover to save the Israelites from death.  The lamb was held over the altar, his neck was slashed with a knife and the blood was drained onto the altar.

This is why we have an altar in the Catholic Church! The altar represents the Cross (among other things). An Altar is where a Sacrifice takes place!  Jesus was slain as our Passover Lamb to save us from eternal death and to appease the wrath of God.  That sacrifice is re-presented at the Mass (see my talk Defending the Eucharist!).

Take a look at Revelation 5:5 and ask yourself — what John is telling us?  It reads,

Between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain . . .

LambInHeaven2.jpgWho IS the slain Lamb that is still standing?  Jesus is the Lamb!  Standing on a altar before the throne of God the Father is a Lamb still bearing the wounds of slaugher.  Jesus is that Lamb and he still bears the wounds of His sacrifice. That is what God sees when He “opens his eyes” — Jesus the sacrifice — Jesus on the altar — Jesus on the Cross.

Charles Wesley, the great Methodist minister and hymn writer agrees. In his hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise” in which he says the very same thing in very poetic terms.

“Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears; The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears, Before the throne my surety stands, My name is written on His hands. He ever lives above, for me to intercede; His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead: His blood atoned for all our race, And sprinkles now the throne of grace.”

But wasn’t Jesus crucified once and for all, never to sacrificed for sins again?  Yes, of course!  In   space and time  Jesus was crucified once and for all in AD 30.

In God’s eyes — in eternity which is not limited by space and time — Jesus was crucified before the foundations of the world (see endnote 1) and in “eternity future” He is still seen by the Father as a slain lamb on the alter in heaven, as the crucified Lord on the Cross. All salvation past, present and future is based on this one historical event.

In the Mass, Jesus is NOT re-crucified, but we partake in a mystical way in the re-presentation of the ONE ETERNAL SACRIFICE which is ever before the eyes of the Father (see Endnote 3).

I used to say “Jesus WAS our sacrifice. He cannot be crucified again on Catholic altars, so Catholics are wrong!”  But the Bible says, Yes, he WAS our sacrifice, but he also IS our Sacrifice. Look at what John says in his first epistle:

“[Jesus] is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (RSV-Catholic Edition).
The Protestant NIV renders this “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

ThomasWounds.jpgThe Greek word for IS (eimi) is in the present tense. Today, right now He IS our propitiation, our sacrifice. After His resurrection with His new spiritual body Jesus still has the wounds of his crucifixion (Jn 20:27). He has a body in heaven and still bears the wounds of the Sacrifice. He is presented before God as slain sacrifice — yet now alive.

So, what does God see when He “opens his eyes”?  He sees Jesus on the Cross!  If this is what God sees in heaven, then it is certainly proper for us to show Jesus on a Cross to remind us what he did for us — and to see what God sees every day and has from eternity.  So Catholic are right after all. Suprise!  Surprise!

Creche.jpgBy the way, once a Baptist said to me, “You are wrong, Jesus is no longer on the cross, He is in heaven.”  It happend to be Christmas and I noticed they had a Manger Scene (creche) on their table.  I said, “Why do you have Jesus in the manger?  He is no longer in the manger — he is in heaven.

“And oh,” I said, “isn’t that a cute statue of Mary!  I thought you Protestants considered statues to be idols?  Why do you have a statue of Mary in your house?”

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Endnote 1: There are two ways to translate this verse, but either way it comes out making the point. The best Protestant translations of Revelation 13:8 read: “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (NIV – New International Version).
“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (NKJV – New King James Version).

Endnote 2: Pictures: 1) Crucifix; 2) Passover Lamb slain by the modern day Samaritans; 3) Image of Jesus the Passover Lamb sacrificed on an altar before the Throne of God (could not make out the name of the author) 4) Caravaggio’s famous painting “Incredulity of St. Thomas.”; 5) Creche scene.

Endnote 3: Catechism paragraph 1367:  “The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: ‘The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.’ ‘And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory’.”

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Isn’t this homily a breath of fresh air?

by Steve Ray on June 24, 2020

Fearless, politically-incorrect and calling out those who need to be called out including the USCCB, the coronavirus hysteria, the Cardinal of Washington DC, and more. He actually discusses politics – how dare he?

He also challenges the media, LGBTQ, the attack against masculinity, the genuine role of men and fathers and reactions to sin in the world. I wonder how long he will be allowed a voice before he is silenced.

Contrasted with the general “happy, clappy, don’t ruffle feathers” homilies, this is a shocking and startling brilliant homily.

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Two New Zoom Podcasts: Matt Fradd’s “Pints with Aquinas” & “Reason and Theology”

May 26, 2020

On his podcast Pints with Aquinas, Matt Fradd and I discussed the Papacy. Very lively and wide-ranging conversation. Matt is an excellent interviewer. He entitled the show “A Conversation with the “Indiana Jones” of the Catholic Church” I interviewed on Reason & Faith on the Crisis in the Church with William Albrecht, Erick Ybarra and […]

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The Wuhan Coronavirus Pushback; Steve Ray with Guadalupe Radio Network

May 16, 2020

On Friday I did a show with Dave Palmer on the Guadalupe Radio Network on the coronavirus. With a bit of a contradictory position to the mainstream media narrative, the discussion was well received. People are beginning to push back against this continuing lockdown and we discuss why. How do we as Christians react to this […]

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St. Damian Feast Day: Sodomy Past and Present and Confronting the Clergy

February 21, 2020

There is a lot of homosexuality in the ranks of our clergy, even and especially with prelates in Rome. It is not mentioned, not rebuked.  Unhappily it seems to be ignored and condoned. Very few bishops have mentioned or addressed it. Laicized pervert McCarrick and his collaborators and protectors are good examples. He advanced all […]

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This is the Faith! Thank you Cardinal Müller!

January 21, 2020

Speaking into the confusion of our modern world, and unfortunately the Vatican. Bravo Cardinal Müller!

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Cupich & McElroy Embarrassed at Bishops Council

November 12, 2019

Just received from a friend: Just received this GREAT NEWS from a friend via text: ”Their Eminences Cupich & McElroy got up at the USCCB meeting and took on the Faithful Citizenship document changes stating that it wasn’t true to papal teaching because it says that “abortion is the preeminent issue.” Chaput & Strickland got […]

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Fr. Mitch Pacwa SJ of EWTN Condemns the Pachamama Idol

November 6, 2019

On Nov. 5, 2019, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., condemned idolatry on his weekly program on EWTN, Scripture and Tradition. He spends about 10 minutes talking about the idols that were praised and blessed at the recent Synod on the Amazon in the Vatican.   He says the introduction of the pachamama idol at the synod on the […]

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Free Webinar: Keeping Faith in a Hostile World

October 27, 2019

Keeping Faith In A Hostile World – Living as Catholics in a Non-Christian World Join Teresa Tomeo with guests Steve Ray and Al Kresta Free Webcast!  Wednesday, October 30th; 11am-Noon ET The culture has grown hostile to our faith, bombarding us with contradictory messages. With scandals and confusion even seeping into the Catholic Church, it can be hard to stay […]

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Did the Church Ever Support Slavery?

October 20, 2019

By Steve Weidenkopf   September 18, 2017 Many years ago I attended a conference organized by a national Catholic organization on the topics of marriage and human sexuality. One of the speakers was a professor from Creighton University who, in the middle of his talk on contraception, launched into a long tangent about how the Church had […]

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Was He Ready to Die?

October 19, 2019

It was just a normal morning — alarm clock, shower, espresso, dress and a saunter down the sidewalk to work. For Paul, it was another day with a whole lifetime ahead of him. But today was different. Someone else got up this morning too. They had their coffee dressed and jumped in the car. They […]

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“I Was Raised Catholic, You Too?” Must Read for Catholics Who Have Left the Faith

September 20, 2019

I was raised Catholic – You too? Maybe Time to Reconsider by Mike Cousineau Christian denominations speak to knowing the Truth, and rightly so!  All Christian denominations have, at least, some truth.  For instance, every denomination is in total agreement with, “The purpose of man is to know, love & serve God.” However, with over 35,000 […]

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My Respectful but Honest Radio Show concerning Pope Francis

September 13, 2019

Today I was invited on the Terry & Jesse Show to discuss the uncomfortable situation we Catholic find ourselves in with Pope Francis. Hope you appreciate the show. My interview starts 15 minutes into the hour.

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Sympathy for Cradle Catholics Who Can’t Explain or Defend the Faith

July 5, 2019

I thought of a helpful illustration to explain why “cradle Catholics” are often unable to explain and defend the Catholic faith. The example has its weaknesses, but it does help get the point across. As an American I asked myself this question: if some one trained to attack America intellectually approached me on the street […]

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Genuflecting a No-No?

May 5, 2019

Several years ago my wife and visited a new parish (new for us). I genuflected before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. Believe it or not, I was reprimanded by the Extraordinary Minister while he handed me the host. After Mass I spoke with the priest about it and he reprimanded me as well. I told them Quite […]

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