The Gadfly Vol. XVI, Iss. IV
â€œTo persuade and reproachâ€? - Socrates, The Apology
April 1, 2012
To Hell With Good Intentions The following is an address by Monsignor Ivan Illich to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects (CIASP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on April 20, 1968. In his usual biting and sometimes sarcastic style, Illich goes to the heart of the deep dangers of paternalism inherent in any voluntary service activity, but especially in any international service "mission." Parts of the speech are outdated and must be viewed in the historical context of 1968 when it was delivered, but the entire speech is retained for the full impact of his point and at Ivan Illich's request. In my conversations today, I was impressed by two things and I want to state them before I launch into my prepared talk.
Poverty south of the border combined with total blindness to much worse poverty at home justified such benevolent excursions. Intellectual insight into the difficulties of fruitful volunteer action had I was impressed by your insight that the not sobered the spirit of Peace Corps Pamotivation of U.S. volunteers overseas pal-and-Self-Styled Volunteers. springs mostly from very alienated feelings and concepts. I was equally im- Today, the existence of organizations like pressed, by what I interpret as a step for- yours is offensive to Mexico. I wanted to ward among would-be volunteers like make this statement in order to explain you: openness to the idea that the only why I feel sick about it all and in order to thing you can legitimately volunteer for make you aware that good intentions in Latin America might be voluntary have not much to do with what we are powerlessness, voluntary presence as discussing here. To hell with good intenreceivers, as such, as hopefully beloved or tions. This is a theological statement. adopted ones without any way of return- You will not help anybody by your good ing the gift. intentions. There is an Irish saying that the road to hell is paved with good intenI was equally impressed by the hypocrisy tions; this sums up the same theological of most of you: by the hypocrisy of the insight. atmosphere prevailing here. I say this as a brother speaking to brothers and sis- The very frustration which participation ters. I say it against many resistances in CIASP programs might mean for you, within me; but it must be said. Your very could lead you to new awareness: the insight, your very openness to evalua- awareness that even North Americans tions of past programs make you hypo- can receive the gift of hospitality without crites because you - or at least most of the slightest ability to pay for it; the you - have decided to spend this next awareness that for some gifts one cannot summer in Mexico, and therefore, you are even say "thank you." unwilling to go far enough in your reappraisal of your program. You close your Now to my prepared statement: eyes because you want to go ahead and could not do so if you looked at some Ladies and Gentlemen: facts. For the past six years I have become It is quite possible that this hypocrisy is known for my increasing opposition to unconscious in most of you. Intellectu- the presence of any and all North Amerially, you are ready to see that the motiva- can "dogooders" in Latin America. I am tions which could legitimate volunteer sure you know of my present efforts to action overseas in 1963 cannot be in- obtain the voluntary withdrawal of all voked for the same action in 1968. North American volunteer armies from "Mission-vacations" among poor Mexi- Latin America - missionaries, Peace cans were "the thing" to do for well-off Corps members and groups like yours, a U.S. students earlier in this decade: senti- "division" organized for the benevolent mental concern for newly-discovered. invasion of Mexico. You were aware of
these things when you invited me - of all people - to be the main speaker at your annual convention. This is amazing! I can only conclude that your invitation means one of at least three things: Some among you might have reached the conclusion that CIASP should either dissolve altogether, or take the promotion of voluntary aid to the Mexican poor out of its institutional purpose. Therefore you might have invited me here to help others reach this same decision. You might also have invited me because you want to learn how to deal with people who think the way I do - how to dispute them successfully. It has now become quite common to invite Black Power spokesmen to address Lions Clubs. A "dove" must always be included in a public dispute organized to increase U.S. belligerence. And finally, you might have invited me here hoping that you would be able to agree with most of what I say, and then go ahead in good faith and work this summer in Mexican villages. This last possibility is only open to those who do not listen, or who cannot understand me. I did not come here to argue. I am here to tell you, if possible to convince you, and hopefully, to stop you, from pretentiously imposing yourselves on Mexicans. I do have deep faith in the enormous good will of the U.S. volunteer. However, his good faith can usually be explained only by an abysmal lack of intuitive delicacy. By definition, you cannot help being ultimately vacationing salesmen for the middle-class "American Way of Life," since that is really the only life you know. (See Illich on page 8)
St. Moses the Black, pray for us!
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Letter From the Editor: Dear Gadflies,
Welcome to another exciting issue of The Gadfly! At this time, I feel compelled to reaffirm the purpose of The Gadfly. The Gadfly exists in order to facilitate open dialogue and discussion amongst the students at Franciscan University. The Gadfly, has no political leaning. We are neither "conservative" nor "liberal." We publish and present the opinions of individual students at our fine institution. As the Editor-in-Chief, I don’t promulgate my personal political opinions through The Gadfly. If I express my personal politics in articles, it is because I wish to have an equal say about issues that I see at Franciscan University. I give my articles no preferential treatment. Therefore, I encourage all readers of The Gadfly to have their voices heard and to write articles. As editor, I oftentimes enjoy sparking controversy. Controversy for the sake of controversy is meaningless and empty. Rather, The Gadfly seeks to encourage controversy in order to call our fellow students on to issues around campus and to challenge each other intellectually. I hope to hear from you soon! Please email all article submissions to email@example.com. In Christ, D.R.D.
Letter to the Editor: As director of the new FUS Missionary the world of souls, Our Lord's living garOutreach program, I felt it necessary to den.‖ address the concerns raised in the article ―Does Franciscan Send Missionaries?‖ from The second half of the article raised a very your last issue. significant issue: it deemed FUS mission trips ―ineffective,‖ which is a critique that The first half of the article aims at this department takes very seriously – I ―describing what a missionary is in the life would encourage any student with such of the Church,‖ but fails to provide an ade- concerns to visit my office or email me perquate picture of the Church's missiology. sonally (firstname.lastname@example.org) to Allow me to expound: Francis Xavier's la- discuss them. However, I must point out bors are certainly an example of missionary that Brian's article seemed to label FUS work ―proper‖ – what the Church calls missions ―ineffective‖ based solely upon ―mission ad gentes‖ (Cf. Redemptoris Missio 31 their length-of-stay, which would beg the -40) – but said efforts are just one of many question: how long of a trip is ―long different manifestations of missionary activ- enough‖ to do ―effective‖ mission work? A ity. This stems from two underlying reali- month? A year? Furthermore, how ties: First, the Church is ―missionary by her ―effective‖ is ―effective enough‖? very nature‖ (Ad Gentes 2; RM 62), so everyone in the Church is called to be missionary, that is, to proclaim the Gospel. Second, this This is really the root of the fundraising task has ―one origin and one final purpose; question: What price tag should be placed but within it, there are different tasks and on Catholics proclaiming the Gospel? Conkinds of activities‖ (RM 31).The Church sider what FUS missionaries actually lives her mission in many different ways achieve on their ―vacations‖: They bring the because she is many parts but one Body. St. Eucharist to mountain villages who rarely Paul speaks of this: ―Are all apostles? Are see priests, baptize dozens of infants who all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all work- may never see a priest again, give Anointers of miracles?‖ (1 Cor 12:29) To this we ing of the Sick to those on the very verge of might add: ―Are all missionaries ad gentes?‖ death, pray healing over the infirm, offer The answer is no in each case. St. Therese physical and monetary aid to impoverished of Lisieux, the great patroness of missionar- areas (yes we make donations), give joy and ies, eloquently explains this truth: ―The affection to neglected and abused children, splendor of the rose and the whiteness of visit the sick and shut-in, teach teens the the lily do not rob the little violet of its saving truths of our faith, and much much scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If more – all for an average of $600 per stuevery tiny flower wanted to be a rose, dent per week. spring would lose its loveliness. So it is with (See Missions, on page 5)
St. Felicity, pray for us!
The Classics?! “An engaged woman is always more agreeable than a disengaged. She is satisfied with herself. Her cares are over, and she feels that she may exert all her powers of pleasing without suspicion. All is safe with a lady engaged; no harm can be done.” ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
In response to “Requiem for a Nightmare” NB: ―Requiem for a Nightmare‖ was an article published in the previous issue of The Gadfly in which the author criticized Residence Life policies.
but quite the opposite and quite in line with the university’s mission statement.
The author seems to be more angry with the fact that he is required to leave his bedroom These are silly arguments. door open when girls are in there, or leave The author criticizes Residence Life for estab- lights on in common rooms, even though he lishing rules that do not foster a sense of love has no intention of being unchaste. Remember that, despite the author’s claim that these poliand respect by forcing virtue upon students rather than letting them make virtuous choices cies ―regulate aspects of [student’s] lives that themselves. ―Without the opportunity to make are of no concern to the school‖, the opposite is true. The University has a reputation for fosbad choices, we lose the ability to make good tering an authentically Catholic environment. choices.‖ The author here has in mind rules The rules are designed to help to protect this designed to deter unchastity. reputation. The author then points out the futility of these Once you get ―out in the real world‖ you can policies: Sex on campus happens, even with rely on yourself to make good decisions with a these rules in place. What the author doesn’t realize is this pokes a big hole in his argument. member of the opposite sex in your bedroom, with the lights out, behind closed doors, late at Obviously, the students are able to make bad choices, some are doing it. The rules, contrary night. It should now be obvious why Resito his argument, do not remove the freedom of dence Life prohibits this. the students, although they encourage and direct the student to virtue. That doesn’t seem Respectfully, to foster disrespect or a loveless environment, Shane Dabney (no, I’m not an R.A.)
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Professor Quote of the Week:
NB: The Gadfly does on occasion allow authors to them regardless of rules. Since these people read and respond to replies to their articles. This is will make bad choices anyway, the option to make bad choices is not denied to them. done to further discussion, not to show preference. Mr. Dabney, Your critiques are valid. I do respond to logical assessment of my writings. The point that ―it still happens‖ does kind of poke a hole in my argument. I do have some counter-points for consideration. You are right that I am angry, but wrong about the object of my anger. I am angry at not being treated like a responsible adult. Part of being treated like a responsible adult is the assumption that I will act like a responsible adult. The point that ―it still happens‖ was made more to demonstrate: People who are determined to make immoral choices will make
The ability to truly grow in virtue comes from denying one-self the indulgence of temptation. When temptation is removed, one does not develop the strength to overcome them. If you are determined to lose weight, do you avoid the desserts in the Caf or do you avoid the Caf entirely? Isolating one-self from temptation is not possible ―out in the real world.‖ I would also like to respond to your last paragraph: If proper virtue is developed, it is possible to make good decisions in that situation. I’ve done it before. if I have relied on the school to develop my virtue, I would not expect chastity. True virtue can not be regulated, it must be learned through self-discipline. ~Asilus Magnus
Hey guys, we have to tackle these buts. These buts have to be tackled. ~Prof. Kurz
St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us!
Wine, Wit and Waggery The Last Night of Summer The following is the first of a series by Alexander S. Pyles. The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or events, is coincidental. This disclaimer is necessary for this publication’s desire not to be sued. Any resemblance to real publications, living or dead, or disclaimers is coincidental. Look for the next installment of Mr. Pyles’ story in the next issue of The Gadfly. Enjoy! The night was warm, while the sky faded slowly from pink to violet. The neat and pretty upper-class suburban neighborhood breezed by as Ellie watched from the passenger seat. She was on the way to the Pearson twins’ party, while her best friend Jenny drove her convertible bug. It was a Saturday night and for Ellie was a night to have fun, before reality demanded her attention again. Luckily, Sunday was Ellie’s natural recoup day. A strand of her wavy brown hair drifted down in front of her nose by the slight breeze. Jenny was humming to the song issuing from the radio, her fingers tapped the steering wheel with the soft beat. ―Do you think Van will be there?‖ Ellie asked, randomly. ―Probably, I mean he’s part of that whole clique that the twins are in. Why? Are you hoping to hook up?‖ replied Jenny. ―No!‖ she snapped back, quickly betraying her supposed sincere intention. Jenny looked sideways at her friend, with a wide, but thin smile on her lips. Without having to utter any sort of response back, they both knew the truth. The car sped along the rest of the way in silence. The summer was one of transition, a last hurrah before they left for their respective colleges. They had known one another since junior high and had since been tighter than make-up stuffed in a clutch. They both were making the most of their summers, despite opposing work schedules. Nights like
this were few and far between and both Ellie rolled her eyes and turned to walk needed a good party to unwind. to the Pearson house. The rapid clicking of Jenny’s heels struggled to catch up Ellie started to hum with the song, un- with her, but her best friend’s love of c on s c i ou s ly ha r m on iz in g with tight mini-skirts sabotaged her attempt Jenny. The two girls noticed at the to move quickly. Ellie did stop in her same time and started to giggle. Before walk, and grinned in soft amusement at either could say anything more, they ar- Jenny. rived at the Pearson’s house. The music was already pounding inside, with the ―Shut up,‖ said Jenny, flicking her hair windows silhouetting a crowded interior. back as she attempted to regain her composure. ―Looks like they started early, goodness,‖ said Jenny. Her eyes squinted as she It wasn’t long before the two girls came tried to see a spot in the long line of cars to the house. The music had taken on a along the curb. After searching for five thumping beat, while the profile of the minutes Jenny conceded with a spot a few crowd in the window had taken a conblocks away. trolled throb as bodies moved with the rhythm. Ellie pulled the door handle and stepped out into the comfortable twilight Jenny quickened her strut as they came air. Her flats slapped the pavement as up the impeccably primed sidewalk, arshe started to walk toward the house. riving at the front door. Ellie knocked, though she thought it was silly immedi―Wait for me,‖ called Jenny, with her car ately, considering how loud the music was. Yet, the door knob turned and the door ajar. door swung in releasing a loud pulse of ―Come on, you priss,‖ Ellie replied walk- the coalescing techno and hip-hop. ing over to the driver’s side. A girl, who had been in Ellie’s homeroom Jenny was hurriedly running a comb stood there with a cup in her hand and through her dirty-blonde ringlets. ―You she shouted over the noise, ―Come on can’t rush this,‖ she said, waving a hand in.‖ Ellie and Jenny stepped into the hot house, which was accompanied by the in front of her face. faint smell of alcohol. Jenny looked at Ellie for a quick moment, with another ―Well, hurry up, Princess, before all the large grin on her face and took the lead boys are taken,‖ replied Ellie. into the controlled chaos of the Pearson twins’ party. ―I am, I am,‖ said Jenny, ―I forgot your husband Van is waiting.‖ Jenny’s fascination with alcohol came from her parent’s habits of being daily (See Last Night, on page 5)
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St. Anthony, pray for us!
(Last Night, from page 4)
drinkers. Ellie, being her best friend, had been towed along with this fascination, but she had developed a taste for it all her own. Jenny grabbed a beer from the open case sitting on the kitchen table. Ellie did likewise and both girls started sipping the bitter beer. It wasn’t long before a couple of guys came up to the two of them and started to chat. Ellie picked up on their intentions within half a minute. Their clumsy attempt at sincerity was dashed by the look in their scanning eyes that went from the girl’s feet to their lips. Their breath smelled thick with beer and a new bottle was already in each of their hands. The conversation went far enough for both girls to turn the exchange back and deter the would-be hook-ups. Jenny looked at Ellie and motioned for her to follow her, ―Let’s get into this crowd.‖ Ellie finished her can, draining it before setting it down and followed her best friend into the sweaty mob. After a couple of songs, both girls went to pound another pair of beers and repeated the process a couple more times. Ellie could feel the buzz. She loved that contented warmth and fuzziness, which made the music even smoother for her.
toward the boy, without a second thought all that noise,‖ he said rubbing his face which wouldn’t have come with her pre- with both hands. sent buzz. Ellie sat down next to him, smoothing Van could feel eyes on him and turned his her dress nervously, her mind excited, gaze to her, which normally would have but scared of how her crush was right caused her to stop, but with music perme- next to her. ating her body and alcohol swirling in her veins she didn’t. The two started ―So, Ellie you drink right?‖ he asked, sitdancing with the crowd, as she drew ting up. Ellie only nodded. ―Have you close, but it was Van that broke the ever had whiskey?‖ wordless exchange. ―You’re Ellie, right?‖ he asked, over the noise. ―No,‖ she managed to say. ―Yeah,‖ Ellie replied, trying her best to ―You aren’t nervous are you? You match Van’s movements. shouldn’t be nervous,‖ Van said, pulling a bottle of caramel colored liquid from a ―How have you been?‖ he asked. drawer in the night table. ―I know the twins well enough from lacrosse to know ―Good,‖ she shouted back. that they stash alcohol,‖ he said with a grin and a swig of the whiskey. ―Wanna get out of here?‖ he asked. Ellie watched him and took the bottle ―Sure,‖ said Ellie and her heart skipped a when he offered it to her. She took a beat. Van didn’t say anything more and swig, but did not expect the harshness on grabbed her hand leading her off the her throat and she coughed. ―Oh I should dance floor. He led her upstairs, weaving have warned you,‖ said Van patting her past the crowded stairwell and hall- back and touched her hand. way. The music had softened as Van walked with Ellie further down the hall- The buzz had grown louder in her and way to a guest room. she grabbed Van’s hand. The boy froze and the two stared at each other for a The Pearsons were famous for their suc- long moment. Then with alcohol heavy cessful researcher parents, who had nu- on their breaths and minds, the two merous guests from all over. The room kissed and Ellie only felt warmth and a was simple, a neutral colored decor, with sweet embrace. only a bed, dresser and night table occupying the space.
It was then Van arrived on the scene. Ellie spotted him first in the crowd as the music took a particular throbbing tempo. He was beautiful, chipped from a block of sandstone. His firm torso stretched his shirt in all the right places, while his hazel eyes sparkled Van went in and closed the door before ~A.S.P with a certain amusement. Ellie glided slumping on the bed. ―Finally away from (Missions, from page 2)
these efforts enough?
will leave you with the words of Bl. John Paul II: ―Today, as never before, the Church has the opportunity of bringing the Gospel, by witness and word, to all people and nations. I see the dawning of a new missionary age‖ (RM 90). Let's do our part!
Furthermore, FUS Missionary Outreach DOES send missionaries to the local area weekly (and during spring break): visiting and feeding the homeless in Steubenville and Pittsburgh, reaching out to the elderly, the youth, the needy families, the mentally challenged, the at-risk teens and the women considering abortion... Are
THEY ARE NEVER ENOUGH. My door is always open; I ask students to feel free to come to me personally with suggestions on how we might more effectively proclaim the Gospel to the world. But first, come experience one of our local outreaches for yourself! We can al- ~Kevin Kacvinsky ways use more zealous hearts out there. I
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St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us!
Commentary and Reflection on the Medjugorje Phenomenon In the history of Catholicism, there have been many instances of apparitions, visions, locutions, prophecies â€“ what we call "Private Revelation". It is the legitimate ecclesiastical authority alone which is the determinative factor as to what we should believe and what we must regard as inauthentic. We trust that God works primarily through the Church, not through any extra-ecclesial source to give us what we need to get to Heaven. It is never to visionaries, mystics, nor private revelations which Catholics look to - but to the public revelation entrusted to the Church. Most of us have heard of the contemporary alleged apparitions to six children in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a small village called Medjugorje. There have been claims that Our Blessed Mother has been continuing to appear since June 24, 1981 and that she is giving messages to the world. Both of the local Bishops have voiced disbelief in the apparitions' authenticity, but the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has long ago clarified that the position of the local Bishop, in the case of Medjugorje, is NOT the official position of the Church. Early on in the ecclesiastical investigation of these occurrences, the higher authorities of the Church have chosen to supersede the local Bishopâ€™s judgment because they have felt that his negative views are not definitive in the matter. The Vatican has recently declared that its decision will be made by 2013, so we are all regardless of our particular views on Medjugorje, interested and excited to hear about what
the Church - the one exclusive ark of sal- I am extraordinarily grateful to God for vation as in the days of Noah - will de- the opportunity to have been graced in clare about Medjugorje. the presence of Our Blessed Mother appearing to Ivan and just as much for his amazing testimony. He made it clear that I would like to share thoughts about a the Medjugorjian message is about going recent public apparition and testimony back to God - who could argue with this given by Ivan, one of the visionaries, at in our times of world crisis, the rampant St. Regis Church in Pittsburgh, PA, on sin of abortion and all other assaults on Sunday, Feb. 26. We began by praying human life which promote the sad culture the Rosary, with several of the Mysteries of death? With peaceful joy, he exhorted after which Ivan began to kneel down in us as to how we are to overcome the asfront of the altar to receive his daily appa- saults of the devil. His talk radiated joy rition from Our Heavenly Mother. The and peace in the midst of the sadness of talk which he gave radiated authenticity. our modern culture. He told us that Our According to the general criteria used for Lady is NOT giving us "anything new", discerning the authenticity of private and he mentioned how he is asked why revelations, it seems likely that Med- we would need these messages when we jugorje will soon receive official Church already have the Sacraments, the Tradiapproval. The phenomena have been tion, and the Church. The answer he gave tested by experts and it has been proven was, we DO have these necessary things, that there is "something happening" but "do we live them?", explaining that which is beyond this ordinary world, Our Blessed Mother comes and gives though psychologists restricted to their these messages of motherly Love in order field are unable to interpret what that not to teach us anything new, but to help means theologically. This occurs when us to awaken to the Truth that we have the visionaries have been tested, that to make much better use of what we altheir ecstasies are authentic and in line ready have and are not living. Real myswith what has traditionally happened tics and visionaries always say that and when saints and mystics have been in the live by it - they don't point to themselves ecstatic state. The messages are in con- but like Our Lady Herself, the perfect formity with the Catholic Church's teach- model Christian, Mother, and disciple, ings on faith and morals. The fruits are they just bring us back to Jesus. It was arguably greater than any other Marian the early heretics such as Gnostics and apparition, with the sole exception of Our Montanists who falsely preached "new Lady of Guadalupe. revelations" and to our own times there has tragically been no dearth of "new (See Medg, on page 7)
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St. Anthony, pray for us! (Medg, from page 6)
teachings" coming from the wide variety of diversified Protestant sects, which to varying degrees diverge from the Fullness of the Truth which we are blessed to have in the Church - and even more so from the various new religions which have become more popularized in recent times such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, among others. Our Mother calls us to pray, as She mentioned in Her message from September 25, 1987: "Dear children! Today also I wish to invite you to prayer; let prayer be life for you. Dear children, dedicate your life only to Jesus and He will give you everything you are seeking. He will reveal Himself to you completely. Dear children, Satan is strong and is willing to test each one of you. Pray that he may neither be able to injure you nor block you on your way to holiness. Through prayer, grow all the more toward God from day to day. Thank you for your response to My call." Our Blessed Mother uses these humble visionaries – as Ivan himself admitted, he is "not a Saint" and unworthy of this great responsibility, to transmit Her messages. And what are these messages about? Ivan noted that the content of Our Lady's messages has nothing to do with the "end times", the Second Coming, or apocalyptic themes as with the Evangelical belief in the "Rapture". Our Mother doesn't come to scare - but out of love, to warm and welcome us to Heaven, our true
home, and this joy is present. Mary's messages are about prayer with the heart, monthly Confession, the Eucharist, fasting on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays, and reading Sacred Scripture. She is not giving us long, strange messages which lose focus and are centered on "new revelations" such as the sad case with the claimed revelations of Holy Love which were cautioned against by the local Bishop. Neither is she using erroneous apocalyptic language as with the case of Bayside where the local Bishop also voiced caution. We must pray for these cases of sad divergence from the peace and joy characteristic of authentic Marian apparitions.
us through Mother Mary, the Queen of Peace. Our Blessed Mother answered the question posed by the visionaries as to why she appears so beautifully and radiant with the joy of Christ. She responded: “I am beautiful because I love. If you want to be beautiful, love.” The messages are all about peace, joy, love, humility, and kindness - exactly what we would expect from the Mother of God. Mother Mary comes to awaken in our hearts greater love of God, which just about everyone who has read the messages will come to know and love the more they open their hearts to them. I would like to end with a prayer given to Jelena Vasilj, the locutionary from Medjugorje: "O Immaculate Heart of Mary, ardent with goodness, show Your Love towards us. May the Flame of Your Heart, O Mary, descend on all mankind. We love You so. Impress true love in our hearts, so that we have a continuous desire for You.. O Mary, humble and meek of heart, remember us when we are in sin. You know that all men sin. Give us, by means of Your Immaculate Heart, spiritual health. Let us always see the goodness of Your Motherly Heart, and may we be converted by means of the Flame of Your Heart. Amen." Our Lady of Medjugorje, pray for us!
In spite of the arguments advanced against the authenticity of Medjugorje, some have claimed that these messages are imbued with heretical tinges of indifferentism or "ecumenicalism" which betrays the Faith. These claims are unfounded, for Our Lady has stated that "It is not equally efficacious to belong to or pray in any church or community, because the Holy Spirit grants His power differently among the churches ministers. All believers do not pray the same way". To those who claim that there is disobedience she has stated that "It is intentional that all apparitions are under the auspices of the Catholic Church." So why should we bother with Medjugorje? Because through these messages we are able to come to a deeper understanding Edward Abdallah and gratitude for the love of God given to
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Page 8 (Illich, from page 1)
A group like this could not have developed unless a mood in the United States had supported it - the belief that any true American must share God’s blessings with his poorer fellow men. The idea that every American has something to give, and at all times may, can and should give it, explains why it occurred to students that they could help Mexican peasants "develop" by spending a few months in their villages.
St. Ansgar, pray for us!
Latin America some years ago. But increasingly this commercial alliance must be protected by weapons which allow the minority who can "make it" to protect their acquisitions and achievements.
neighborhoods where your friends make jokes about "spits" and "wetbacks." You start on your task without any training. Even the Peace Corps spends around $10,000 on each corps member to help him adapt to his new environment and to guard him against culture shock. How odd that nobody ever thought about spending money to educate poor Mexicans in order to prevent them from the culture shock of meeting you?
But weapons are not enough to permit minority rule. The marginal masses become rambunctious unless they are given a "Creed," or belief which explains the status quo. This task is given to the U.S. volunteer - whether he be a member of CLASP or a worker in the so-called Of course, this surprising conviction was "Pacification Programs" in Viet Nam. In fact, you cannot even meet the majorsupported by members of a missionary ity which you pretend to serve in Latin order, who would have no reason to exist The United States is currently engaged America - even if you could speak their unless they had the same conviction - in a three-front struggle to affirm its ide- language, which most of you cannot. You except a much stronger one. It is now als of acquisitive and achievement- can only dialogue with those like you – high time to cure yourselves of this. You, oriented "Democracy."I say "three" Latin-American imitations of the North like the values you carry, are the products fronts, because three great areas of the American middle class. There is no way of an American society of achievers and world are challenging the validity of a for you to really meet with the underconsumers, with its two-party system, its political and social system which makes privileged, since there is no common universal schooling, and its family-car the rich ever richer, and the poor increas- ground whatsoever for you to meet on. affluence. You are ultimately-consciously ingly marginal to that system or unconsciously -"salesmen" for a deluLet me explain this statement, and also sive ballet in the ideas of democracy, In Asia, the U.S. is threatened by an es- let me explain why most Latin Americans equal opportunity and free enterprise tablished power -China. The U.S. opposes with whom you might be able to commuamong people who haven't the possibility China with three weapons: the tiny Asian nicate would disagree with me. of profiting from these. elites who could not have it any better than in an alliance with the United States; Suppose you went to a U.S. ghetto this Next to money and guns, the third larg- a huge war machine to stop the Chinese summer and tried to help the poor there est North American export is the U.S. from "taking over" as it is usually put in "help themselves." Very soon you would idealist, who turns up in every theater of this country, and; forcible re-education of be either spit upon or laughed at. People the world: the teacher, the volunteer, the the so-called "Pacified" peoples. All three offended by your pretentiousness would missionary, the community organizer, the of these efforts seem to be failing. hit or spit. People who understand that economic developer, and the vacationing your own bad consciences push you to do-gooders. Ideally, these people define In Chicago, poverty funds, the police this gesture would laugh condescendtheir role as service. Actually, they fre- force and preachers seem to be no more ingly. Soon you would be made aware of quently wind up alleviating the damage successful in their efforts to check the your irrelevance among the poor, of your done by money and weapons, or unwillingness of the black community to status as middle-class college students on "seducing" the ―underdeveloped" to the wait for graceful integration into the sys- a summer assignment. You would be benefits of the world of affluence and tem. roundly rejected, no matter if your skin is achievement. Perhaps this is the moment white-as most of your faces here are-or to instead bring home to the people of the And finally, in Latin America the Alliance brown or black, as a few exceptions who U.S. the knowledge that the way of life for Progress has been quite successful in got in here somehow. they have chosen simply is not alive increasing the number of people who enough to be shared. could not be better off - meaning the tiny, Your reports about your work in Mexico, middle-class elites - and has created ideal which you so kindly sent me, exude selfBy now it should be evident to all Amer- conditions for military dictatorships. The complacency. Your reports on past sumica that the U.S. is engaged in a tremen- dictators were formerly at the service of mers prove that you are not even capable dous struggle to survive. The U.S. cannot the plantation owners, but now they pro- of understanding that your do-gooding in survive if the rest of the world is not con- tect the new industrial complexes. And a Mexican village is even less relevant vinced that here we have Heaven-on- finally, you come to help the underdog than it would be in a U.S. ghetto. Not Earth. The survival of the U.S. depends accept his destiny within this process! only is there a gulf between what you on the acceptance by all so-called "free‖ have and what others have which is much men that the U.S. middle class has "made All you will do in a Mexican village is greater than the one existing between it." The U.S. way of life has become a create disorder. At best, you can try to you and the poor in your own country, religion which must be accepted by all convince Mexican girls that they should but there is also a gulf between what you those who do not want to die by the marry a young man who is self-made, feel and what the Mexican people feel sword - or napalm. All over the globe the rich, a consumer, and as disrespectful of that is incomparably greater. This gulf is U.S. is fighting to protect and develop at tradition as one of you. At worst, in your so great that in a Mexican village you, as least a minority who consume what the "community development" spirit you White Americans (or cultural white U.S. majority can afford. Such is the pur- might create just enough problems to get Americans) can imagine yourselves expose of the Alliance for Progress of the someone shot after your vacation ends_ actly the way a white preacher saw him(See Illich on page 9) middle-classes which the U.S. signed with and you rush back to your middleclass
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!
Pop Culture Quote: “And there I am, blushing and confused, made
beautiful by Cinna’s hands, desirable by Peeta’s confession, tragic by circumstance, and by all accounts, unforgettable.” ~Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games (Illich, from page 8)
self when he offered his life preaching to the black slaves on a plantation in Alabama. The fact that you live in huts and eat tortillas for a few weeks renders your well-intentioned group only a bit more picturesque. The only people with whom you can hope to communicate with are some members of the middle class. And here please remember that I said ―some" -by which I mean a tiny elite in Latin America. You come from a country which industrialized early and which succeeded in incorporating the great majority of its citizens into the middle classes. It is no social distinction in the U.S. to have graduated from the second year of college. Indeed, most Americans now do. Anybody in this country who did not finish high school is considered underprivileged. In Latin America the situation is quite different: 75% of all people drop out of school before they reach the sixth grade. Thus, people who have finished high school are members of a tiny minority. Then, a minority of that minority goes on for university training. It is only among these people that you will find your educational equals. At the same time, a middle class in the United States is the majority. In Mexico, it is a tiny elite. Seven years ago your country began and financed a so-called "Alliance for Progress." This was an "Alliance‖ for the "Progress" of the middle class elites. Now. It is among the
members of this middle class that you will find a few people who are willing to spend their time with you. And they are overwhelmingly those ―nice kids" who would also like to soothe their troubled consciences by "doing something nice for the promotion of the poor Indians." Of course, when you and your middleclass Mexican counterparts meet, you will be told that you are doing something valuable, that you are ―sacrificing" to help others. And it will be the foreign priest who will especially confirm your self-image for you. After all, his livelihood and sense of purpose depends on his firm belief in a year-round mission which is of the same type as your summer vacation-mission. There exists the argument that some returned volunteers have gained insight into the damage they have done to others - and thus become more mature people. Yet it is less frequently stated that most of them are ridiculously proud of their "summer sacrifices." Perhaps there is also something to the argument that young men should be promiscuous for awhile in order to find out that sexual love is most beautiful in a monogamous relationship. Or that the best way to leave LSD alone is to try it for awhile -or even that the best way of understanding that your help in the ghetto is neither needed nor wanted is to try, and fail. I do not agree with this argument. The damage which volunteers do willy-nilly is too high a price for the belated insight that they shouldn’t have been volunteers in the first place.
If you have any sense of responsibility at all, stay with your riots here at home. Work for the coming elections: You will know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how to communicate with those to whom you speak. And you will know when you fail. If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go to hell. It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you are so linguistically deaf and dumb that you don't even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you. And it is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as "good,‖ a "sacrifice" and "help." I am here to suggest that you voluntarily renounce exercising the power which being an American gives you. I am here to entreat you to freely, consciously and humbly give up the legal right you have to impose your benevolence on Mexico. I am here to challenge you to recognize your inability, your powerlessness and your incapacity to do the "good" which you intended to do. I am here to entreat you to use your money, your status and your education to travel in Latin America. Come to look, come to climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers. Come to study. But do not come to help. ~Msgr. Ivan Illich
St. Catherine of Alexandria, pray for us!
Catholic Identity is Non-Negotiable It has been suggested that we should lie down, roll over, and play dead. It has been suggested that there is nothing we can do except agree to disagree It has been suggested that one side cannot convince the other. For the record, this has nothing to do with the HHS mandate. It has to do with Elizabeth Wong’s ―Letter from the Editor‖ in the Troubadour on March 8, 2012 Admittedly, I was reading the article with a sense of bewilderment. Why this? Why now? I have found that most periodicals on campus, when grasping for material, simply refer back to the liturgical debate. Traditionalism and Charismaticism are buzzwords. They boost readership, stir the pot, and fill space in the paper. It’s like protesting a Santorum event: it is easy and fun to do but really, it accomplishes nothing. Wong’s article did bring up an important issue, one which will benefit any debate regarding Catholic identity, although I think she missed it entirely. In these debates, there can be no compromise, especially one regarding our Catholic identity. And, before it is asked, the liturgical discussion is the prime issue regarding our Catholic identity. In today’s Church, there seems to be a certain disconnect when it comes to the Liturgy. Wong’s article points it out succinctly (emphasis mine): ―We’re all Catholic. We are going to differ on our opinions of appropriate liturgical instruments and how much Latin should be used in a Novus Ordo [Missae]. But the actual truths of our faith… are not open for debate.‖ I will grant her that the Eucharist, Marian devotion and apostolic succession are not open for debate (although, feel free to debate the Marian devotion issue). It must be noted though that the lex orandi has been completely disconnected from the lex credendi in the aforementioned quote. Is the Liturgy not at the heart of the faith? Is the Liturgy not the home of the Eucharist? Does the Liturgy not need to reflect what we actually believe about the Eucharist? Wong gives the impression that
incense, bells, Latin, chant, the organ, etc ... have no place in the Liturgy today. She gives the impression that what was old is just that: we live in the now, and we can just be different. I do not feel it necessary to point out that Sacrosanctum Concilium encourages all of these things. I do not feel the need to point out that Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI have all encouraged the Sacred Arts, and their beauty as being an intrinsic necessity of the Mass. No, there is no point to that. Rather, I want to point out this idea of Catholic plurality. Grab that phrase and dissect it. Catholic, universal, one. Plurality, separate but equal. This is not purely an etymological issue, by the way. Flatly speaking, we are not able to reconcile these two things. We are opinionated, but we are Catholic. We do have different tastes, but we are Catholic. Like Wong, I often think ―Why do the veiled girls and hand-raisers argue so much?‖ I am then reminded that there is this disconnect of between Liturgy and Life, between Prayer and Belief. I would argue that many traddies are purists, to their own detriment whereas the charismatics seem to be minimalists, to their detriment. Each side has its pros and cons. I come from a charismatic background, yet see myself now as a quite moderate traditionalist. I won’t quibble about language, but I will argue language is important. I won’t be upset when I hear awful music, though – especially at Franciscan – we have the ability to do much better. Our faith is reflected in our liturgy, and the way liturgy is celebrated will reflect in our faith. That is the meaning of ―lex orandi, lex credenda”—the law of prayer is the law of faith.
tials for that reason. We have to nurture the nonessential and let it grow. If the Eucharist is the heart of the Faith, then the Liturgy is the veins coursing the Life of Grace out to us, the hands and feet of Christ. Are your veins nonessential? In the same way that the veins are important for our physical lives, the Liturgy is important for our spiritual lives. It should be a guide, a beacon, guiding us toward the shores of Heaven. I have heard many a priest say that the crisis of faith stems from a crisis of liturgy. When we say that the Eucharist is Christ Himself but our music is little more than secular and our feelings have become more important than the interior participation demanded of us, is our liturgy really reflecting our belief? When pantomime Good Friday services throughout the country are a norm, folk and praise & worship groups far outnumber scholas (or even single cantors), are we even really remembering the purpose of our Liturgy? Are we even reflecting the Beauty of God, or have we reduced Him to suit us? Have we, as Catholics, rejected tradition because it is old? Is what is new really benefitting the Church and reflecting the heritage that came before? How can we expect to change the world when our identity seems so expendable? The Church has its directives. It has its opinions. Who are we to disagree with that? Is my opinion greater than the Church’s? The USCCB has given its thoughts. The Second Vatican Council has given its thoughts. The Liturgical Movement (and the New Liturgical Movement) have given its opinions. I won’t argue Traditionalist vs. Charismatic. I won’t argue Extraordinary vs. Ordinary Forms. I won’t argue the Jubilate Deo vs. Canticle. That is a bigger debate for another time. What is not up for debate is Catholic identity.
The Church’s liturgy is a living and breathing thing. It started however it did in the Upper Room, on through the Patristic Age, growing constantly until Trent, ironing itself out thereafter, and the dramatic shift after Vatican II. Many scholars agree that the Novus Ordo was a break in continuity, but the essential is there. Dietrich von Hildebrand ~Joseph Antoniello said that we cannot count out the nonessen-
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Published on Jan 6, 2014
The April 1, 2012 edition of the Gadfly. Features: "To Hell With Good Intentions," a speech by Monsignor Ivan Illich, "In response to 'Requ...