See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Kids Are All Right... really?



Of dykes and men...
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I think I've mentioned before that I don't know much about lesbians.  I've only known a handful in my life and I have always sensed a sort of resentment towards men in those women I have been acquainted with.  I'm not the only guy to have said this, to be sure.  I've always been rather indifferent about lesbians.  My attorney is a lesbian, but I don't care to know about her private life.
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Yet private lives have become very public these days.  Gay pride more or less mandated as much.  People with same sex attraction have to 'come out' in order to live full lives, and that pretty much means telling their story - as they understand it.  That is how and why gay life is right in our face these days, in an effort to 'educate' the public, and convince the masses that homosexuality is normal.  It is especially important these days as the battle for same sex marriage escalates. 
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Lesbians lead the way in this precisely because they can become mothers without normal intercourse.  (They also pretty much formed the backbone of the radical femminist movent.)  Women can and do conceive and carry a child to term simply by using a sperm donor.  Kids with two moms - or just one - is becoming more common.  And that is what the movie "The Kids Are All Right" delves into - in a fun, loving way.
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No, I didn't see the film except for the trailers and listening to what friends tell me about it.  That doesn't mean I can't talk about it.  I have to admit I like the actors, so I'm sure I would enjoy the film - except for the sex scene.  I must say I loved the film "In and Out" - no sex scenes!  The film was a celebration of a teacher (Kevin Klein) outed before he himself even knew he was gay; all set to marry another teacher (Joan Cusack) at his school, he in turn falls in love with Magnum (Tom Selleck), the reporter sent to cover the story.  Happens all the time in real life.  Anyway.  The farce ends with his mom, played by Debbie Reynolds, conga-line-dancing into the sunset with the boys and the rest of the town to the Village Peoples' "YMCA" - or was it "Macho Man"?  Or maybe it was Diana Ross' "I Will Survive!"  Gosh!  Whatever it was, I wanted to dance.  Yes, in a queer way it was a heart warming film.  See how nice gay life is.  And so normal too...
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Seriously, these films are a form of propaganda meant to shape public opinion - this is usually confirmed at the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards when the subjects of films like "The Kids Are All Right" are hailed as cultural heroes.  Yes, the films are entertaining, and yes, stories about individual experience are heart warming and move the viewer to compassion, acceptance, and in many cases - approval.  That is their raison d'etre.  Thus when you go to the polls to vote for marriage, one is more likely to approvingly remember Annette Benning and Julianne Moore, their lovely family, and their hunky sperm donor.  Lesbians are people too you know, and kids need protection and the very best money can offer - it's all about family, isn't it.
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That said, real life situations are emerging in the courts and state houses around the country, as in the case of Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old engineering student at the University of Iowa.  He is the son of lesbian mothers, defending their right to marry and have a family before the Iowa House of Representatives, which BTW overturned the State Supreme Court decision permitting same sex marriage.  The defeat probably won't stick however, since the Senate will throw it out and Iowans will most likely not have a chance to vote on it.  Nevertheless Zach Wallis is convincing - and obviously fortunate to be raised so well.  Naturally there are success stories.  No doubt there are sad stories as well.
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Nevertheless, all of the stories are pretty much based on American secularist values, and they over look, ignore, and deny the real meaning of life - that we are made to serve God and share eternal life with Him.  Happiness in this life is no guarantee for eternal life.  Successful wanna-be parents like Elton John can provide all the material comforts, wealth, luxury, and opportunities for the best education and greatest success in life - while remaining impotent to provide the one thing necessary and train the child for heaven.
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As St. John of the Cross writes:  "It is also vain to desire children, as some do in upsetting the whole world with their longing for them.  For they do not know whether their children will be good and serve God, or whether the expected happiness will instead be sorrow, or the rest and comfort, trial and grief, or the honor, dishonor.  And because of the children they might, as many do, offend God more.  Christ says of these people, that they circle the earth and the sea in order to enrich their children, and they make them children of perdition twofold more than they themselves are. [Mt. 23:15] - Ascent, Bk. III, Ch. 17:4
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(Of course heterosexual couples are just as bad when it comes to IVF pregnancies and other artificial means.)
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Anyway - Why all this defense of marriage stuff on my blog lately?  Because on February 10, between Noon and 1 PM, the Catholic Defense League will gather at the Minnesota State Capital to counter-demonstrate in opposition to The Freedom To Marry Day rally scheduled by Out Front Minnesota for that day.  The CDL needs people to be there in defense of traditional marriage and to witness to Catholic teaching. The Catholic Defense League will not be there to engage in debate but rather to hand out information stating the Catholic Church's real position on the state of marriage. (Link:  http://cdlmn.org/Main_Page/index.php )

New Interim President of Human Life International Get's It Right.

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula, HLI Interim President:
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The trial in which HLI finds itself today in some ways confirms us in our work, because the mission of our organization, like the mission of any other Catholic institution, is not based on the talents or virtues of one person, but in the commitment of the organization as whole.
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I will not elaborate here beyond our statement as to the specific nature of Rev. Euteneuer's departure, although I do ask for your prayers for him and for all harmed in this difficult affair.
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On many occasions I have stated that our main solidarity should be with those who have been harmed. In this case, this includes our supporters and any whose faith is shaken by this trial. In my role as interim president I am committed to do all that I can to be of assistance. But whatever I can do in this regard totally pales in comparison with the selfless dedication of two of our employees who have put many hours assisting the young woman gravely harmed in this case. May the Lord reward them for their dedication and charity. Also we are grateful for all the work that the bishops and Dioceses of Arlington and Palm Beach have done and are doing to try to set matters right.  - Source
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Thank God times have changed - today we finally understand that abuse gravely harms the victim.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Defense of marriage and martyrdom.



It could happen.
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People have died in defense of marriage.  Could it happen today?  I thought about this after reading today's Gospel.  It is the story of Salome, the seductive daughter of Herodias, whose dance aroused Herod's passion, moving him to offer her half of his kingdom.  At her mother's prompting, the girl asked for the head of John the Baptist instead.  Herod's illegitimate wife hated John since he had condemned their marriage pointing out, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." [Mk. 6:14-20]  Herodias looked for a way to have him killed after that.
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A more modern example of the faithful dying in defense of marriage - amongst other truths of the faith - would be the English martyrs, Thomas More and John Fisher, who died under Henry VIII.  Kind of a stretch?  Not really, they died because they would not take the Oath of Succession.  They refused to take the oath because it denied the authority of the Pope, while supporting the illegal annulment of the marriage of the king to Catherine of Aragon. 
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Today's first reading from the Letter to the Hebrews instructs us, "Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers." [Heb. 13:1-8]
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Art Upper:   The Beheading of St John the Baptist c. 1869 - Pierre-Cecile Puvis de Chavannes.
Art Lower: Feast of Herod, 14th C. - Master of the Life of St. John Baptist

Blaming the victim - a long Catholic history...



That miserable woman...
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It's all about Eve really, isn't it.  Even Teresa of Avila suggested as much:
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9. I began, then, by going to confession to that priest of whom I spoke before. He took an extreme liking to me, because I had then but little to confess in comparison with what I had afterwards; and I had never much to say since I became a nun. There was no harm in the liking he had for me, but it ceased to be good, because it was in excess. He clearly understood that I was determined on no account whatever to do anything whereby God might be seriously offended. He, too, gave me a like assurance about himself, and accordingly our conferences were many. But at that time, through the knowledge and fear of God which filled my soul, what gave me most pleasure in all my conversations with others was to speak of God; and, as I was so young, this made him ashamed; and then, out of that great goodwill he bore me, he began to tell me of his wretched state. It was very sad, for he had been nearly seven years in a most perilous condition, because of his affection for, and conversation with, a woman of that place; and yet he used to say Mass.
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The matter was so public, that his honour and good name were lost, and no one ventured to speak to him about it. I was extremely sorry for him, because I liked him much. I was then so imprudent and so blind as to think it a virtue to be grateful and loyal to one who liked me. Cursed be that loyalty which reaches so far as to go against the law of God. It is a madness common in the world, and it makes me mad to see it. We are indebted to God for all the good that men do to us, and yet we hold it to be an act of virtue not to break a friendship of this kind, though it lead us to go against Him. Oh, blindness of the world! Let me, O Lord, be most ungrateful to the world; never at all unto Thee. But I have been altogether otherwise through my sins.
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10. I procured further information about the matter from members of his household; I learned more of his ruinous state, and saw that the poor man's fault was not so grave, because the miserable woman had had recourse to enchantments, by giving him a little image made of copper, which she had begged him to wear for love of her around his neck; and this no one had influence enough to persuade him to throw away.
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As to this matter of enchantments, I do not believe it to be altogether true; but I will relate what I saw, by way of warning to men to be on their guard against women who will do things of this kind. And let them be assured of this, that women—for they are more bound to purity than men—if once they have lost all shame before God, are in nothing whatever to be trusted; and that in exchange for the gratification of their will, and of that affection which the devil suggests, they will hesitate at nothing. - Teresa of Jesus, Life, Chapter 5
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"The devil made me do it."
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St. Teresa was successful in getting the priest to stop wearing the amulet, and after surrending it to la Madre,  he soon quit the affair and returned to a devout life.  The priest died a holy death about a year later.  We do not know what happened to the 'miserable woman' - the slut who seduced the poor priest, evidently no one cared either, not even Teresa of Jesus. 
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Women!  As my mother always said, "Women are no damn good."
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Well.  Now you know.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Here's a little heads up...



FYI
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I would encourage you to subscribe to the RSS feed on my blog - that way you will get ALL of the posts I write - sometimes even before I edit them!  I also frequently remove posts if I decide they are... 'just too, too'.  Yet subscribers get everything as soon as I post.
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You may have noticed my Followers widget is down.  Strangely enough some Oriental pornographers and perhaps a few domestic homosexual terrorists registered and catapulted my count up to nearly 150 followers.  Imagine how surprised I was to see all the porno links.  I hope no one was deliberately sending these perverts over 'to boost my stats' - if you know what I mean. 
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So be sure and use the RSS feed and don't forget to link.
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That's all.

Our Fascination With Exorcism and Exorcists.



WARNING!  Video content disturbing and sexually suggestive. 
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Ed. note:  I posted the video because it is a fascinating interpretation of a historical case of possession of an entire convent of Ursuline nuns in France.  The story as we know it is based upon the non-fiction novel The Devils of Loudun, by Aldous Huxley.  The film clip is a bizarre representation of repressed sexuality, religious fervor, exaggerated mystical piety, and the idealization of priests; climaxing in sadistic public exorcisms as well as the bewitched, promiscuous, errant priest burned at the sake.  Somewhat analogous - in an exaggerated sense of course - to what is going on today.  I know many of you will most likely disagree.  I don't mind.
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Authority
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Most of us have a certain awe of exorcism.  That is one reason why movies are made on the subject.  It is also why strict protocols are established for the ritual, only to be conducted with authorization from the local Ordinary.  The local bishop.  As Catholics we hold our priests in great esteem, and exorcists seem to hold a very special fascination for most.  This is understandable since Canon Law states that the priest, chosen by the local Ordinary to perform exorcisms must be a priest 'endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence and integrity of life.' [C. 1172]  Thus we tend to have what appears to be a higher regard for someone we perceive as a holy man, a man of authority and power.  Frequently, it seems many people place more credence in what an exorcist says or writes publicly, about such things as apparitions of the Blessed Virgin or private revelation, than we do in what our bishops teach and caution about the same.  This demonstrates how much power and authority the exorcist can hold over the public imagination.
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Abuse.
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Exorcists are permitted by the local ordinary, therefore the priest does not act on his own initiative.  The ritual is public, although it is conducted in private with witnesses.  To conduct an exorcism without permission, and without witnesses is an abuse.  Therefore, I should think the vulnerable subject can rightly be considered a victim of abuse - even before sexual encounter.  Exorcism is a public rite of the Church - therefore, any abuse becomes a matter of public concern.
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My concern.
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I think I mentioned before that I have a friend whose vulnerable condition and state in life - an obedient novice -  had been taken advantage of by a priest she went to for counsel - this woman is still screwed up.  Like I said, I don't know who the priest is.  She wasn't a candidate for an exorcism, and to my knowledge, he was not an exorcist.  My point is that women seem to be the forgotten victims in abuse situations, and priests seem to be easily excused when it comes to heterosexual misconduct - consensual or not.
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When I think of my friend and her suffering, I get angry.  Prayer helps me through it.
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Please don't demonize the victims or the messengers.

"Don't mention the war!"



"I just did, but I think I got away with it."

St. Blaise Day



Priests traditionally bless throats today.

Sr. Carol Keehan: A Faithful and Obedient Catholic Nun

What?

Washington D.C., Feb 2, 2011 / 05:43 am (CNA).- Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Sr. Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), have exchanged letters affirming that the local bishop is the authoritative interpreter of religious and ethical guidelines in Catholic health facilities.

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The exchange also looked ahead to further cooperation on pro-life and religious freedom issues.
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Sr. Keehan’s Jan. 18 letter to Archbishop Dolan, the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, noted previous discussions with the New York archbishop and Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida concerning the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) which govern Catholic hospitals in the U.S.
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“I was happy to have the opportunity to assure you that publicly and privately, CHA has always said to sponsors, governing board members, manager and clinicians that an individual bishop in his diocese is the authoritative interpreter of the ERDs,” her letter continued. “We explain that a Bishop has a right to interpret the ERDs and also to develop his own ethical and religious directives if he chooses.” - CNA
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And yet...  faithful, Palin-loving Catholics condemned this poor sister, rushing to judgement against her, coming close to calling her an apostate and all sorts of horrible, despicable names.  How novel!  Rash judgement, detraction, calumny reigns supreme in the 'crackpot' Catholic blogosphere, doesn't it.  That wasn't a question. 


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"Crackpot websites" - The one thing Euteneuer probably got right.



Seriously. 
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I know!  Beginning with this one.
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Yeah - but now the crackpots are digging up Bayside messages to account for the revolution in Egypt and the weather in the United States.
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Sheesh!  No wonder people are so easily seduced.
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Maxims.
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"Never take a man for your example in the task you have to perform, however holy he may be, for the devil will set his imperfections before you.  But imitate Christ who is supremely perfect and supremely holy, and you will never err." - Minor Works, #78, St.John of the Cross
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Never follow spurious apparitions and false prophets. - Ignored Works, Terry Nelson
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Never trust a priest with wood. - Ignored Works, Terry Nelson
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Never join a priest's fan club. - More Ignored Works, Terry Nelson 

What?



"In our day and age, the greatest war we fight is the struggle to protect the sanctity of life, marriage and family. The attacks grow more relentless each day and the number of casualties is enormous. Will we fight with Him to defend the life of each and every unborn child? Advent is a time to ask ourselves that question and make sure that we are prepared for the battle and not playing into the hands of the Enemy through sloth or apathy. Will we defend marriage and the sanctity of the marital act from all immoral practices such as homosexuality, contraception, pornography and adultery? These are the main challenges of a slothful generation that has long ago given up fighting the most important battle – that is, the fight to save our immortal souls." - Fr. Euteneuer, Courageous Priest



Like a roaring lion... prowls the world seeking the ruin of souls.

The Presentation of the Lord... the end of Christmas.


La Chandeleur, Candlemas
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"This day, second of February, is la Chandeleur, know in English as Candlemas, or the Purification of Mary. It celebrates the Blessed Virgin’s ritual purification, forty days after the birth of Jesus, and the redemption of the first-born according to Jewish law.
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To illustrate this post, a miniature from what may be the most beautiful of all illuminated medieval manuscripts, Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry." - Versailles And More - Catherine Delors
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(I just came across this beautiful blog while searching for images suitable for today's feast day.)




The ruin of souls...



vanity, pride, vainglory, and presumption...

"I find there are seven kinds of harm that can be incurred through vain joy in one's good works and customs, and because this harm is spiritual it is particularly ruinous.

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The first is vanity, pride, vainglory, and presumption. For one is unable to rejoice over his works without esteeming them. This gives rise to boasting, the critical spirit, etc., as is said of the pharisee in the Gospel: he prayed and sought friendship with God by boasting of his fasting and performance of other good works. [Lk. 18: 11-12]
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The second is usually linked with the first. It is that a person judges others - comparatively speaking - to be evil and imperfect, supposing that their deeds and works are not as good as his own." - Ascent Bk III Ch 28

Tainted love...





"... Who fails to drink little or much from the golden chalice of the Babylonian woman of the Apocalypse? [Rev. 17:4] By the fact she is seated on that large beast with the seven heads and seven crowns, it is signified that there is hardly anyone of high rank or low, saint or sinner, who does not drink of her wine, subjecting his heart somewhat. For as is pointed out there, all the kings of the earth were inebriated with the wine of her prostitution. [Rev. 17:2] She reaches out to all states, even to the supreme and illustrious state of the sanctuary and divine priesthood, by setting her abominable cup in the holy place, as Daniel asserts [Dn. 9:27], and she hardly leaves a strong man who has not drunk a small or large quantity of wine from her chalice... As a result it is said that all the kings of the earth were inebriated by this wine, since so few will be found, no matter how holy, who have not been somewhat ravished and perplexed by this drink..." - St. John of the Cross, Ascent, Bk. III, Ch. 22:4

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer Speaks.


Dispelling rumors and ending the speculation.
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Fr. Euteneuer was given permission to make a statement regarding rumors that have swept the Internet.  It is a beautiful, humble acknowledgement of a moral failure and his subsequent repentance and penance.  If it is sincere, it is an edifying testament to God's mercy and love.
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Father's statement comes none too soon since many have been scandalized by all of the speculation in his regard, not to mention misled into imagining worse scenarios due to the lack of forthright information coming from those closest to the situation. 
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Garrigou-Lagrange and other moral theologians have written on how even very holy, faithful persons can sometimes fall into mortal sin, and by their sincere repentance, great humility and love, can be quickly restored to their former state of sanctity by the mercy of God - sometimes lifted even higher in the mystical life on account of their profound humility and faithful cooperation with grace after the experience.  Felix culpa - oh happy fault - which we sing in the Easter Exultet fits in well here to shed light on such a mystery.
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John Paul I, in a Wednesday allocution once said something to the effect - that God, who loves humility so much, sometimes allows certain souls to fall even into mortal sin, that they may learn and acquire deeper humility in and through their sincere repentence, trusting even more in the Divine Mercy as a result.**
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I am so grateful for good and faithful priests, and I pray for Fr. Euteneuer - let us all pray even more for him now that the truth is emerging.  What follows is an excerpt from his public statement:
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Statement of Fr. Thomas Euteneuer: ‘Setting the record straight’

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"While I would otherwise willingly suffer calumnies in silence to atone for my sins, and knowing how pointless it is to respond to every crackpot with a website, I cannot remain silent when such falsehoods threaten to damage the Church, the priesthood, and other innocent persons and organizations that are or have been linked to me. I therefore affirm and will never deviate from my affirmation that the following are true:


•My violations of chastity were limited to one person only, an adult woman;


•The violations of chastity happened due to human weakness but did not involve the sexual act;


•The accusation that I “targeted” vulnerable women or otherwise sought them out for spiritual direction is utterly false and a serious defamation of my character and ministry;


•With rare exceptions, my exorcism/prayer ministry was always conducted with prayer helpers (third parties) present; situations where prayer or pastoral care occurred without helpers present were exceptional situations where I believed it was necessary for me to act quickly in order to help the afflicted person; while not proper protocol, these departures from the norm were never done with a motive to be alone with vulnerable women;


•I repudiate any allegations of financial impropriety in conducting my prayer/exorcism ministry; I never, under any circumstances, solicited money for the ministry other than travel-related reimbursements, nor did I use HLI donor funds to carry out this work; any gifts offered to me were unsolicited and only accepted so as not to offend the giver and in most cases immediately given to those more needy than myself;


•I have no knowledge of any persons who received any financial settlement in this matter, nor have I asked for that to be given.


I pray that my two decades of faithful priestly ministry and my efforts in the defense of life will be seen in the light of the good fruits they have produced and not denigrated because of my moments of weakness in a most challenging ministry. I also wish to state that I have never entertained even the slightest thought of leaving the holy priesthood or the Roman Catholic Church as a result of my failings. Currently I am under obedience to my bishop who has allowed me to make this statement and in whose hands I leave all questions of continuing priestly ministry. I conclude with an expression of deepest gratitude for the prayers of the many generous supporters of my priesthood and of the prolife movement." - Statement of Fr. Thomas Euteneuer: ‘Setting the record straight’


Update 2/1/11 @5:30PM:  Bishop of Palm Beach reacts to Fr. Euteneuer release in internal memo to priests
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Update 2/2/11 @10:26AM: HLI Press Release:  There were more...


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** Papa Luciani said: "I will limit myself to recommending one virtue so dear to the Lord: He said, 'Learn from me who am meek and humble of heart." I risk saying an error, but I am saying it: the Lord loves humility so much that, sometimes, he permits grave sins. Why? So that those who have committed these sins, afterwards, having repented, may remain humble. One is not tempted to believe oneself half–saint or half–angel, when one knows that one has committed grave faults. The Lord so much recommended: be humble." - Translation thanks to Don Marco.






Agnes of God?


"Don't ever think for an instant your habit will protect you..." - Mother Mathilde to Sr. Luke, The Nun's Story
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Remember the film, Agnes of God?  Meg Tily played the role of Agnes, a very simple young novice who believed she had been impregnated by an angel.  Scandal erupted when the remains of the newborn were found hidden in her cell.  As was typical for the time, the movie was criticized as an anti-Catholic smear against the Church.
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I thought of the film while reading a story about a sedevacantist nun, a member of a religious cult/order called the Apostles of Infinite Love.  The woman claimed to have been raped by a big black man, who supposedly dragged her eight blocks to ravish her.  The woman has since recanted her story.  What really happened is that she sneaked a guy into the convent and engaged in consensual sex.  Story here:  East Flatbush nun recants accusation of rape. 
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It is understandable someone might lie to cover up an offense or a shameful act.  The woman obviously panicked and sought to maintain her religious image/decorum.  Fortunately she recanted.
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Novice beware.
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It doesn't matter if the religious is a member of a sedevacantist group, or a fringe diocesan community now suppressed, or the member of a well known order of Catholic nuns in good standing.  Sexual temptation and emotional entanglements can trip up the best of us if we are not vigilant. 
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I'm sure I've mentioned in another post or a comment elsewhere, the story about a novice nun, now a former-member of a rather popular order.  The young sister's spiritual director, a respected priest, advised her to have sex with him - loosely justifying the relationship with some bizarre, personal interpretation of Theology of the Body, as well as convincing her that it was for her 'healing'.  My friend told me the priest even got up in the middle of the night for his regular hour of adoration, while she remained in bed.  She refused to tell me who he was except that he was well known and I would be shocked if she told me.
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Such strange coincidences, don't you agree?
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Top image:  Ex-Apostles:  Breaking the Silence
Art:  The Novice

The Tomb of Fr. Solanus.




Our prayers are in his hands.
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The photo is of the tomb of Fr Solanus Casey - LarryD was there yesterday, and he prayed for you and me and everyone who asked to be remembered the next time he visited.  The folded notes on top of the coffin are the prayers of pilgrims - written out prayers, devoutly placed on the holy father's tomb.  Larry's prayer for us is amongst them.  Larry told me he asked Fr Solanus to bring his prayers before the throne of Christ, through the intercession of Mary, that they may be done according to the holy and divine will of God.
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As Fr. Solanus would encourage us; "let's thank God ahead of time", and let us thank Larry for his charity.
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Thank you Fr. Solanus.  Thank you Lord.  Thank you Blessed Mother.  Thank you Larry.



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I'm afraid it may be true...



"Not a good man left."
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If it is any consolation, it has always gone on - before and after the Council - we just seem to know more about it today.  Priests fall.  They always have.  Consider that monasteries were once considered to be hospitals for sinners - even penitentiaries - where men actually atoned for sin. 
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Remember that Christ told the disciples he saw Lucifer fall like lightning from the sky...  And yet the Holy Spirit groans aloud: 
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I said in my alarm;
'no man can be trusted'
all have gone astray,
there is not a good man left -
there is no one who does good,
no, not even one.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Alas!

Former Catholic Priest, Francis MacNutt



Slain in the spirit.
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In 1976 some Franciscan friars in Boston encouraged me to accompany them to Notre Dame for the annual Charismatic Conference.  They offered to pay my way, so I couldn't refuse.  The most positive experience was walking into the basilica as adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was underway.  Young people - my age - were sitting all over the sanctuary steps, praying silently, reading scripture, praying in tongues, and so on.  It was an incredibly beautiful, mystical experience and I felt as if I were on the Mount of the Beatitudes with Jesus truly present.  There seemed to be a heavy mist wafting around everyone and I recall everything feeling almost suspended in time and space, in complete silence.
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At the end of the Conference was the big Mass of course, and amongst the famous Catholic Charismatics who were there, was the Dominican, Fr. Francis MacNutt.  Father had conducted a healing service earlier and called out many people who were being healed as he spoke.  I was impressed by his charismatic appeal.  He was a very handsome man as well.  I distinctly recall whispering to one of the friars with me, "We need to pray very much for this man - he won't be a priest for long."  Call it prophecy or a good guess, I just knew that an attractive, famous charismatic priest is going to have a hard time remaining celibate.  Sure enough, MacNutt left the priesthood and married outside the Church a few years afterward.
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It was my understanding MacNutt initially went over to the Episcopal church after an invitation to continue his healing ministry.  Not long ago I found out he had been reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church, and his marriage validated in 1993.  Currently he and his wife continue their healing ministry and operate a well known Christian Healing Ministry Center.  MacNutt has recently published a 'how to' guide for Catholics on healing titled, "The Practice of Healing Prayer".  Spirit Daily is offering the book on their website.
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I doubt I would ever recommend anything from Francis MacNutt.    

Sunday, January 30, 2011

BREAKING NEWS SHOCKER! FR. Z ADMITS...





"I am picky about Soup Dumplings."
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Who would have guessed?
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Mass Chat: Hats on or off in church?



No longer a big deal.
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This winter I have noticed men with hats on in church - even during Mass and while they receive communion.  The past couple of weeks I have noted three different adult men doing so.  One guy had a beret on backwards - which is always a cool look to be sure, he was with his wife and kids, all finely dressed.  Traditionally men tipped their hats to ladies, or when passing a church out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, while etiquette dictated a gentleman always removes his hat indoors - especially when in church, or in the presence of someone/someplace holy, etc..
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Now it seems to me the men I've noticed doing the opposite should know this custom.  I only mention it because it surprised me.  I didn't much care, really.  I wasn't distracted but for a second in fact.  After all, it is winter and maybe these guys have that neuralgia disease Mother Delores Hart suffers from.  Or maybe they don't want to be seen with "hat hair" - although what's the difference between that and the ever popular "bed hair" look.  I can't tell the difference.
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Of course women were once obliged to cover their heads in church and now few do.  Again - not a big deal - although hats or scarves often look better than mantillas - in my opinion that is.  I hate mantillas worn with some out of date, worn and dirty ski jacket over a denim skirt hovering just above the tops of her Sorels.  But I digress.  I just find it interesting that men now wear hats in church and women rough it these days wearing nothing but hair-coloring on their pretty heads.  It's like a bit of role-reversal, gender confusion I think - very unconscious to be sure. 
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Of course priests and clerics wear birettas during Mass... and Knights of Columbus wear hats with maribou... but that's another Mass chat, isn't it. 

"Ward, I'm worried about the Beaver."



Crap!  Forget the revolution in Egypt - this is important!

Summit Entertainment insider is acknowledging that a studio DVD containing the Mel Gibson-Jodie Foster not-yet-released movie The Beaver is missing and appears to have been stolen from Mel Gibson's mailbox. - Full story!