Apr 4, 2008

Church must be Confiscated

The Topeka Capitol-Journal reports that U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett has placed a lien on the Westboro Baptist church of minister Fred Phelps, Sr. The lien is a preliminary step to sell the Topeka church, with the proceeds being applied toward $5 million in damages Judge Bennett imposed on church members for picketing a military funeral.

The $5 million penalty is the result of a lawsuit filed against three of the church's principals by Albert Snyder, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, whose funeral was picketed by church members.

The senior Snyder contended the picketing caused emotional distress and invasion of privacy.

Westboro Baptist members regularly picket funerals of members of the U.S. armed forces, contending the deaths are God's punishment for the country's support of homosexuals.

Ladies and Gentlemen, regardless of what you think about Fred Phelps, you ought to be terribly concerned about the government taking over any church because of the actions of its pastor and members.

Much Better than We Know....

The two Bishops of the Greater Kansas City Area are Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and Bishop Robert W. Finn, who are moving firmly forward to restore the Church. They will likely be judged in history as outstanding Catholic Bishops--much better than we now know or deserve.

I was particularly impressed by Bishop Finn's remarks given at the Acton Conference on Catholic Education on February 4, 2008. He starts out with:
I believe that our schools have to be so undeniably and unabashedly Catholic that they risk being thought of as almost fanatical. Lukewarm will not be enough.... It is not enough for Catholic schools to offer an occasional all school Mass, two penance services a year, Religion three times a week, and a requirement for Confirmation students to do a service project. It is not enough.
Bishop Finn's presentations can be found here and here.

The weekly letters of Archbishop Naumann also are very good and are published in The Leaven newspaper (which still leaves some things to be desired, although it has gotten better). For example, Archbishop Naumann's letter of March 21, 2007 asks and answers the critical question on suffering "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
All human suffering is in some way the fruit of man's rebellion against God. Sometimes we can see a direct correlation between sin and the suffering it creates in one's own life... My own father was the victim of murder almost 60 years ago. He was in no way responsible for the evil inflicted upon him by his attacker. Nor did my mother have any responsibility for this crime that made her a young widow with the responsibility of raising two young children by herself.
Archbishop Naumann's podcasts of selected talks are found here.