Saturday, July 28, 2012

My neigbors are vandalizing my hedge, and other reflections on urban life...


Vine-kill update: Growth after 1 month.

The discreet charm of the Bourgeoisie...

She, a public school teacher, using chemicals to kill out my Engleman Ivy hedge,
which should look like the photo below.  Her husband is a flight attendant... scary.



The healthy hedge - street side of my backyard.
Easy maintenance:  I simply remove the trailers when I mow the lawn.

It's all relative.

Did I tell you I live across the street from a church?  it used to be a Lutheran church, but now it is Seventh Day Adventist - they believe the pope is the Antichrist BTW.  Anyway - their doors were open this morning - they go to church on Saturday - and their hymns are exactly the same as what we use in my Catholic parish.  No applause however.  The preacher was fiery this morning - I heard him yell, "And she deserved death!"  He seemed to be speaking on the woman caught in adultery.

So anyway, I started to think about how these folks go to church on Saturday, clearly thinking the rest of us are wrong because we go on Sunday.  They think the pope is evil and Catholics idolatrous, yet they pray and worship the same God.  They are obviously good people - a couple of them gave me literature on how homosexuals are going to hell, someone else told me the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon, and of course, I shouldn't have idols in my yard - that guy must have seen my statue of St. Joseph.  Most have noted the Vatican flag which flies from time to time - but why the homosexual warning?  I'm a masculine guy.  Oh wait - two men in one house.

So, who can be saved?


More thoughts on embracing the 'gay' in Catholic.




"This sexual identity crisis has breached the church where labels such as "gay Christian" and "gay celibate Christian" are becoming more commonly used and accepted." - Jeff Buchanan

I'm still trying to make sense of that whole thing.

Seems to me that in acknowledging or 'professing' gay as a sexual identity will inevitably be a game-changer for so many other realities in life.  The short list:  Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality, politics, morality, the traditional definition of family, 'gay' marriage, gay adoption of children, and so on.  There is so much written on the subject these days, it gets to be very confusing.

The New Sexual Identity Crisis - Jeff Buchanan

We live in a culture addicted to identity labels. We seek to summarize everything essential about an individual in a word, phrase, or 140 characters. With every label and category there comes another level of segregated identity, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the realm of sexual identity.

One can look at the gay community and see the level of identity fragmentation represented in the use of acronyms such as LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Ally). The sexual identity label has become a method of reducing individuals to a micro narrative of sexual orientation. In man's created need to transcend himself, this self-referencing label creates a personal crisis of identity and purpose.
Culturally Dictated ConfusionSome would argue that language is always evolving and the use of a "gay celibate Christian" identity would be acceptable based upon dictates of today's culture. While it is true that definitions are subject to change, this reasoning doesn't translate in the realm of gay sexual identity. The term "gay" can have vast socio-political and cultural connotations, and it raises such question as whether the person holds to a traditional orthodoxy on the issue of homosexuality. Are they choosing abstinence to remain chaste as a single person with same-sex attractions, or are they waiting until they can enter into a same-sex marriage? The use of this label to conveniently communicate one's experience actually promotes confusion and misunderstanding. - Full article here.
Gay fusion...
I'm probably the Michele Bachmann of Catholic bloggers on the subject of gay-Catholic identity, in so far as I see it as a sort of movement or trend which poses the threat of blurring the lines - so to speak, towards a new gay inclusiveness within Catholic teaching/anthropology, establishing a special spirituality for the unique, rare and gifted, 'homosexual' person.  I can't help but view the trend as part of the 'coming-out' - 'we're here and we're queer' campaign to normalize homosexuality.

I've asked a locally well known progressive-Catholic and gay-activist-educator, Michael Bayly of Wild Reed*, for his comments as to how such thinking can compliment or benefit his efforts in advancing a greater inclusiveness in the Catholic Church.  I'm hoping he will address this latest development amongst SSA Catholics, either on his blog or here in the com box. 

*Never mind.




h/t to Letters to Christopher for the Identity article.

2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremonies

"Everything popular is wrong." - Oscar Wilde


Carry On Nurse?

All I can say is, I wonder what the Queen really thought of all that noise and psychedelics?  She must have said to Philip, "Is this what it has come to?  Is Great Britain's legacy now simply punk-rock-sex-drugs and the www?" 

From the looks of the opening ceremonies, ordinary life in the U.K. has turned into A Clockwork Orange.

Just my impression, BTW.  I enjoyed parts of it - especially the Industrial Revolution segment.

What?


Seriously - it was pretty fantastic over-all - especially The End - loved the pyrotechnics.

Friday, July 27, 2012

An excellent essay on being "faithful to the theological anthropology of the Church."

“River Front No. 1” by George Wesley Bellows (1915)*


Daniel Mattson on why I don't call myself a gay Christian.

The man writes well and says it better than I could.  I think his is an important clarification concerning what I personally refer to as the 'gay-Catholic' movement, comprised of SSA persons, faithful to the mandate for those with homosexual attraction to live chastely, while embracing and nurturing a 'queer identity' and promoting a 'queer spirituality'.  Though professing fidelity to Catholic teaching - and I have no reason to doubt that they are faithful and sincerely so, it seems to me at least some of these persons may be doing more for the LGBTQ 'equality' political campaign than groups such as Dignity or New Ways Ministry.  It seems to me they are essentially attempting to codify a 'third way' - for inclusion into new ways style Catholic theological anthropology.  I cannot help but see this development as a direct result of Catholic educator's neglect of doctrine in our parochial system, in order to be more focused upon aspects of inclusion and diversity in an effort to be more marketable in a more pluralist society.  (Not to mention the over-riding influence of progressive priests and bishops and women religious.  Again, I digress.)

 "The label “gay” does not accurately describe who (or what) I am."

That said, and more to the point, what follows are a few excerpts from Mattson's very important post from On The Square:   
Joshua Gonnerman recently wrote a provocative piece for this column, “Dan Savage Was Right.” What began as an advocacy for the Church to become family for the homosexual community soon became a discussion of the validity of Gonnerman’s matter of fact description of himself as “a Christian who is committed to chastity and who is also gay.”
[...]
I too am a Roman Catholic, living with a homosexual inclination and committed to chastity. But I do not identify as “gay.” Rather, I say that “I live with same-sex attraction.” Like “consubstantial,” it is an awkward phrase, nearly absent from common usage. I refuse to identify myself as gay because the label “gay” does not accurately describe who (or what) I am. More fundamentally, I refuse to use that label because I desire to be faithful to the theological anthropology of the Church.
[...]
With confidence in the Church, I embrace this teaching about my identity in the same way that I have accepted the word “consubstantial” in the Creed. I accept all of the words of the Catechism concerning who I am in nature and in grace. I take no umbrage at the phrase “objectively disordered” and feel no shame that it truthfully describes my sexual desires. I view my same-sex attraction as a disability, in some ways similar to blindness, or deafness, and I view it with the same hope communicated by Jesus about the man born blind: It has been allowed in my life, so that God’s work would be made manifest in me (cf. John 9:3)
I think it is a mistake to view homosexuality as a gift, in and of itself. Those who identify as gay speak of the great gifts that supposedly flow from their homosexuality. But of course, any goods that are supposedly unique to homosexuality are common to man, and all that is good in man is the result of being made in the image and likeness of God. My career in the performing arts is not even indirectly caused by my same-sex attraction, but instead because God is the creator of music and beauty. I believe that great good can come as a result of living with this disordered inclination, but it only comes when I acknowledge it as a weakness, and in response, fall to my knees before the good God who looks upon me daily with “a serene and kindly countenance,” and comforts me with the words “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
[...]
If we desire to bring the gay community into the family of God, it will not be through a celebration of homosexuality, or by changing the language of the Church in order to make it feel more welcoming to them. The path of evangelization is the cross. In recalling St. Paul’s success at evangelization, Ratzinger reminds us that “The success of his mission was not the fruit of great rhetorical art or pastoral prudence; the fruitfulness was tied to the suffering, to the communion in the passion with Christ.” - Source
 YES! 

[Likewise, one doesn't go around announcing, "I'm an SSA guy" either.]


H/T Tina for the On The Square tip.

*Art commentary:  The Bellows piece was part of an exhibit in 2011 at the National Portrait Galllery, dealing with gay identity.  I found the following commentary interesting in relation to the subject of 'gay identity':
Gayness was invented in America. That’s the thought that slowly formed in my mind while perusing the show “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. I’m not saying that America invented homosexuality, of course. That goes a little further back. What America did was to give gayness its specific difference, to make “gay” into an identity you could have publicly like any other. - Morgan Meis
.

Like an idiot.

ROFLOL!


Old "slut" - excuse my French.

What?  That's what they called her.  Story here.

Get Fr. Groeschel on the phone.

Absolutely Fabulous Torch-bearers at the London Olympics



I think the athletes should be able to drink.
H/T Larry

Chick-fil-A


Savaged...

I haven't been following this.  I know - it's like a really big story.  At first I thought it had something to do with Savage Chickens - but I didn't inquire any further.  Because I'm dyslexic - I never recognized the name when they mentioned it on television.  Whenever I came across the name in print, I thought it was Chick-A-flick, although I had no clue what it meant.

Eventually I found out it is the name of a restaurant or fast food place where they make mock fillet mignon out of chickens and sell them as sandwiches - gross!  Anyway - I'm fairly certain there are no such restaurants in Minneapolis, which was another reason I failed to pay much attention to the story.  I also do not eat chicken - unless it's organic, free-range and is given last rites before being killed humanely and I prepared it - but I don't like doing that any more.  Of course, I'd rather eat a real fillet than some vacuum-formed chicken thing any day. 

Interestingly, I've gotten along just fine by not reading or listening to much that has been said about the 'issue' - I guess it's an 'issue' now.  I'm here to tell you however, that there is life outside of these 'issues' - did I say that right?  Don't let it control your life.  Think of real cloistered religious, who have no Internet access, no TV, and no newspapers - they don't know what is going on, and they get along just fine.  So why get all worked up about this stuff?  (BTW - the Catholic Bishops said Michele Bachmann was wrong to try and persecute Muslims just because they are foreigners.  But I digress.)

So.  Back to the Chick-a-flick issue.  I did my homework - just because it is an ever present story and I have nothing to open with today.  Thus I forced myself to read a tiny bit more to find out what exactly is going on. I learned that the owners of the business are in trouble for saying they do not support gay marriage.  What's the big deal?  They can say that.  People do not have to approve of gay marriage you know.  I don't support gay marriage either. 

So stop bullying these people.  Eat crow instead.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blog is dead.


The 'new wave' of Ham Radio.
"Can-it Babe!"

Catholic bloggers complaining about low traffic levels, comments, and stats.

"It's a crisis in the making!"  Stated a well-know blogger, famous for his money making apps attached to his website. 

It's just not the bloggers - the advertisers are worried too, one woman promoting online donation schemes complained:  "It's patheotic!  It's almost like a famine... near-Biblical proportions!"   

What's happening?

Lack of originality?  Too many copy-cat posts?  Too much people pleasing and wanting to impress others with posts about stuff people already knew but had forgotten?  Or are people getting sick of  sensationalizing stories the MSM has already finished with?  (Dark Knight - so last week.)  Too much holier-than-thou conversion stories?  Not enough exposes and scandal mongering?  Too much drinking and blogging?  The experts aren't sure.

Aside from the demise of any credible or meaningful Blogger Awards competition, I'd say the economy is partly to blame.  People are losing their Internet connections: they can no longer afford computers.  They might have lost their homes, their cars, their jobs, their families, their credibility, and now, finally, they've lost their web access.  That's what I tell myself anyway.  Although many people are probably just on vacation, and many more just aren't interested.

Anyway, the blog is dead.  I think Ham Radio is where it's at today!

For Rent!
[Speaking of vacations!]
This lovely, right-on-the-North-Shore
 canned-ham trailer hideaway
is available for rent next week!
Sleeps 8 priests comfortably,
and roomy enough for conferences.

That's just about it!

16th Century Apparitions and Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success of Quito.



Too accurate to be true?

The prophecies of Our Lady to the 16th century Conceptionist nun Mother Mariana at Quito - only to be fully disclosed in the 20th century, when they will be understood - reminds me very much of the Third Secret of Fatima.  In so far as how the final part of the Fatima vision was kept secret until the time it would be 'better understood', as Sr. Lucia noted.  Thus, the Quito apparitions bear an element of authenticity for me.

Today Fr. Z discusses the Quito apparitions after reading William Oddie's post on the same.  I was caught by the message of the revelation several years ago during the priest-abuser-covered-up-by-bishops scandal.  At the time, I was nearly bowled-over as they say.  The revelations described everything that was and is going on, with uncanny detail!  I searched all the English print material on the subject, and everything appeared well documented and 'approved' by successive bishops and churchmen - although some sources claimed that was not the case.  It has been my understanding that approval applied to certain writings of Mother Marianna, but not necessarily the messages from Our Lady.  My initial enthusiasm was quelled somewhat, I began to have reservations - especially after I discovered promoters of the apparitions published hostile and contemptuous criticisms of recent popes and Vatican II, thus contributing to suspicion and division amongst Catholics.

Doubts and reservations can be a good thing - permitting a more detached, critical appraisal - that is, a guarded, cautious discernment; prudence requires us to submit our personal judgement to that of the Church.  That said, I find the messages intriguing, the devotion attractive, but nothing can take precedence over Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium.  Perhaps the growing interest might spark an official inquiry by the CDF?  Having said that, I'll post a few excerpts of the messages as well as link to the source.
Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador. 

"I am Mary of Good Success, the Queen of Heaven and Earth... As His Mother, I carry (the Child Jesus) here, in My left arm, so that together we might restrain the hand of Divine Justice, which is always so ready to chastise this unfortunate and criminal world.
"In My right hand, I carry the crosier that you see, for I desire to govern this Convent as Abbess and Mother... Satan will begin to try to destroy this work of God... But he will not succeed, because I am the Queen of Victories and the Mother of Good Success, and it is under this invocation I desire to be known throughout all time..."

"Thus I make it known to you that from the end of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century, in what is today the Colony and will then be the Republic of Ecuador, the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of customs (morals), for Satan will reign almost completely by means of the Masonic sects.

"They will focus principally on the children in order to sustain this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times! It will be difficult to receive the Sacrament of Baptism, and also that of Confirmation... Often during this epoch the enemies of Jesus Christ, instigated by the Devil, will steal consecrated hosts from the churches, so that they might profane the Eucharistic Species...

"As for the Sacrament of Matrimony... it will be attacked and deeply profaned... The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of the Faith will gradually be extinguished... Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations.

"The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised... The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests...

"Further, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury, which will ensnare the rest into sin and conquer innumerable frivolous souls, who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. In this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent." - Finish reading here.
 Be cautious and test everything.  Pray the rosary every day.

Vatican calls for action against climate change...



Breaking:  The Vatican’s annual message for World Tourism Day is devoted to the theme of sustainable energy, arguing that “tourism not only contributes to global warming: it is also a victim of it.” - Catholic World News

Oh.  Tourists - it's the tourists then.  World Tourism Day - they have a day for everything, don't they Gloria?

Feast of St.s Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary



Who?

A long time ago, a woman who worked for me asked how Catholics know the name of Our Lady's parents, asserting that there is nothing in the Bible to support such a claim.  She was a member of an Assemblies of God church, although she had been baptized a Catholic.  She also liked to accuse Catholics of idolatry, and make remarks about the pope being the Antichrist, and so on.  That day she wasn't interested in St. Anne or inquiring about the faith.

I replied to her challenge,  "I don't know for sure."

"So why do you accept it as a fact?"

I smiled and shrugged, and said, "Tradition?"

She smirked and went away triumphant - satisfied she won a battle against a Catholic - proving how dumb I was.

I continued my work in peace. 

Evangelization isn't about winning debates and arguments.  Sometimes it is better to lose.


Art: St.s Joachim and Anna at the Golden Gate, Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua.  Incidentally, the names attributed to Our Lady's parents is part of Sacred Tradition, arising from early apocryphal texts.  For a quick history of the saints click here.

Bonus Factoid:  The Blessed Virgin was conceived naturally by her parents, though preserved from Original Sin in her conception, hence her name:  Immaculate Conception.
"We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful." - Ineffabilis Deus

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Is Sr. Mary Martha really a nun?

"Offer it up!"


So many people have asked me that question - and I've always said "yes".  Today I think I have proof:
On animals in Heaven:
... your dog DOES NOT have an immortal soul, if your dog is in heaven, it's just some kind of hologram dog, because your dog's soul did not live on as yours will.
[...]
because dogs have no souls...

Then she yells at her poor readers:
 YOU CAN'T EAT SOMETHING THAT HAS AN IMMORTAL SOUL.
What you personally believe is not relevant. And your thinking is nonsensical.
[ ... ]
... what you personally believe is not relevant to this discussion. What the church teaches is. The church teaches that animals do not have immortal souls. That's why you're wearing some of them on your feet. When we start wearing each other on our feet, we'll talk.
 
"Offer it up!" - Ask Sr. Mary Martha

Yup!  She's a nun alright.   She says she likes dogs - she probably eats them too.

What? 

Loosen up: What does the youngest Cardinal, Woelki have to say about gay?

"I see things differently." - Woelki


The gay-Catholic 'movement' appears to have a Cardinal patron...

Maybe not, but Cardinal Woelke is certainly understanding and accepting of gay - as an alternative lifestyle.  He's been quoted before - or misquoted, depending upon which side of the fence his defenders happen to be - or not.  Confused?  Me too.  Ze Cardinal:
ZEIT: From the Catholic Congress a statement is quoted that has given you a lot of trouble. You said about homosexual relationships: "I think it is conceivable that, where people take responsibility for each other, where they live in a stable homosexual relationship, that is to be regarded in a similar manner to heterosexual relationships," Do you stand by this?
Woelki: "You must be careful not to mark down someone in an unfair way (literal translation of German- official English translation Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided) says the Catechism about people who have homosexual tendencies. If I take that seriously, I do not view in homosexual relationships "a violation of natural law" view, as expressed in the Catechism. I try to also perceive that as people they always assume responsibility for one another, loyalty to each other and have promised to provide, even though I cannot share such a life plan. The life plan for which we stand as the Catholic Church is a sacramental marriage between a man and a woman who is open to the transmission of life. This is what I said at the Catholic Congress in Mannheim immediately before the statement you quoted. Final section soon but that is the end of the passage on homosexuality- next is about the call to disobedience in the German and Austrian churches.
[...]
Article continues ZEIT: Why is the Church so hard about this? Woelki: Maybe it's a problem that today in the church everything must be almost over-correct. It must also be possible to be Catholic without every last detail being always checked. - Catholic Church Conservation
Which reminds me of the gay-Catholic thing and Courage...

I'm not sure where the new 'indulgence' is going, but the gay-Catholic thing seems to be making great strides.  This past Sunday was the conclusion of this year's annual Courage Conference, which featured a speaker who promotes 'queer' spirituality as well as supporting the notion of 'gay-Catholic'.  This is a departure from traditional spirituality as well as the objective of Courage apostolate - at least as far as I've always understood it.  Unfortunately I'm not in contact with anyone who attended the conference, so I am curious how this issue was handled and or addressed - if it at all.

That said, I'm not a member of Courage, but I highly recommend the original spirituality of the apostolate.  It should be noted that SSA Catholics have no obligation to attach themselves to any group, however, much of the research and writings of Fr. Harvey, and those authors he recommended, are very helpful to men and women seeking both to understand themselves and to live chaste lives in accordance with Catholic teaching.  Some people are not comfortable with groups, while others may find such group support helpful in difficult times.  I don't know if these groups are necessarily life-long commitments - it seems to me what is most important is attaining an integrated and balanced life in communion with the Catholic Church.

It seems to me the ultimate goal of the Christian life is one's sanctification and salvation - all that which is incompatible should be relinquished.  One can do that without a support group - which is important to note these days, since many of the 'gay-Catholic' voices criticize Courage as a 'coversion/reparative therapy' apostolate due to their close connection to NARTH.  That however, is an unfortunate mis-characterization.  The Catholic Church does not teach or require persons to change their orientation - the call is to chastity and sanctity.  Unfortunately, many 'gay-Catholics' - both the faithful and the 'progressive' portray the apostolate as a reparative therapy group.  It is not - or at least, it wasn't ever intended to be that.   The Church doesn't lay seemingly impossible burdens on people to carry, and most assuredly the Church does not require a person to spend their life savings on expensive therapies and such.  However, what is impossible to man, is possible to God - therefore, those who want to be 'healed' can be if God wills it - but that is not my discussion here.

Having said all of that, I think things are changing however:
I see things differently. For me, those souls who are critical are first of all Christians who love their church and are concerned: they suffer from the church or from some of her positions, but they are in church, and they are fighting for their church. - Woelki
TECHNOLOGIES OF THE SELF PERMIT INDIVIDUALS TO EFFECT BY THEIR OWN MEANS OR WITH THE HELP OF OTHERS A CERTAIN NUMBER OF OPERATIONS ON THEIR OWN BODIES AND SOULS, THOUGHTS, CONDUCT, AND WAY OF BEING, SO AS TO TRANSFORM THEMSELVES IN ORDER TO ATTAIN A CERTAIN STATE OF HAPPINESS, PURITY, WISDOM, PERFECTION, OR IMMORTALITY - Author unknown.
Confused?  Remember the words of Our Lord to St. Paul:
  "Courage!  My grace is enough for you!"

Santiago Matamoros

Saint James the Moor-slayer
-Juan de Flandes


July 25 is the feast of St. James, who happens to be my baptismal patron.  Many years ago, as I attempted to live a pilgrim's life, I wanted to imitate as far as possible the early Franciscans, and make a pilgrimage to the Saint's tomb to renew my baptismal vows.

I arrived at Compostela with a family of French Traditionalists/Royalists.  They were very kind - the dad quite holy, I think.  The family invited me to ride along with them from Garabandal to Compostela.  My pilgrimage actually began in Assisi, and instead of walking the entire route, I mostly hitched rides, although trusting in providence for lodging and food. 

We arrived at the pilgrim center at Compostela, after the friar guest-master for pilgrims was told that I needed lodging for the poor - he laughed me off and insisted I was lying, explaining, "Americans can't be poor!"  Thus I found perfect joy in being eyed with suspicion and refused hospitality.  The French couple and their son took pity upon me and allowed me to share a room with their son.  Together we venerated the Saint's tomb after Mass the next morning, and I was left alone to pray for some time.  As I was getting ready to depart, the family insisted I accompany them to Porto (Vilar) - where Sr. Lucia first entered religious life and where the vision of the Holy Trinity took place.  The loneliness of pilgrimage may explain why I allowed myself that consolation, and why, after only a short time, we felt very close to one another.  Thus, when it was time to finally part at Porto, as I was going on to Fatima, it was very sad for the four of us to say good bye.  I pray for them today. 

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Condemning bishops and clergy ...



"If we could see each other's thoughts, no one would be considered good." - Saint Stephen of Muret


I knew a priest who once publicly referred to his bishop as 'the antichrist'.  It's almost impossible for me not to recall his contemptuous condemnation every time I hear that bishop's name.  When priests do that stuff, it scandalizes their hearers.  The result of such scandal generates a tendency amongst their hearers to rash judgment and the critical spirit.  God knows I've fallen into that quagmire - all too often.  Earlier, I read a critique calling a Cardinal of the Church a pornographer.  In the past few days, accusations and condemnations of gay clergy have multiplied - and yes - I posted on it.  I've done so in the past as well.  To no avail, BTW.  It does absolutely no good and changes nothing.  Even if I would have had a catholic tv show - it changes zip.  Did M. Angelica accomplish change by her criticism of Cardinal Mahoney and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles?  Really?

A few months ago I came across an insightful article in Homiletic and Pastoral Review on the subject - I will reprint an excerpt below.
In the thirteenth century many priests were involved in seeking wealth and having a pleasant life. They hardly preached at all, virtually never studied, and paid for important positions so that they could get even more money. A number of priests openly lived with women, causing great scandal. Some of the bishops lived in unbelievable wealth, and would sell Church positions to keep their rich life style. Many of the people were just as bad as their leaders.
As a result, many so-called prophets had appeared, some good, some not-so-good, who promised terrible punishments if people did not reform. Peter Waldo was one of the reformers who had a great beginning. He gave up his riches to live in poverty and spread the faith. He had many followers who also lived as poor men, and did penance. However, when they began to preach without permission against the lazy and sinful priests, the Archbishop of Lyons, France, excommunicated them.
[...]
In time they got into all sorts of errors, such as placing their interpretation of the Bible over the authority of the pope, denying both purgatory, and veneration of the saints. They also refused to go to confession to immoral priests, preferring to confess to good people who were not priests. As a result, the Waldensians were excommunicated by the pope in 1184.
[...]
Despite their sincerity, and their living radical Gospel poverty, they all fell astray. They lost the faith. But, their contemporary, Francis of Assisi did not. Why not? Because he never went anywhere to preach the Gospel without permission of the priests. Furthermore, he would never criticize the priests and bishops—even the most lazy and immoral ones—nor would he allow his friars to do so.
[...]
Today there are many priests and even bishops who seem to invite criticism by what they say and do, but most are far less culpable than the priests and bishops of St. Francis’ time. The recent scandals in the U.S. priesthood are much uglier but they have been dealt with far more strongly than those lesser but more widespread faults of the thirteenth century.
[...]
Perhaps the example of the Waldensians and Albigensians gives us an insight into what happens when people focus on the sins of priests and bishops.
I believe such criticism can feed our own pride, and make us feel superior to our Church leaders. From that point it is not a great leap to begin to lump their teaching in with their behavior, and to begin to reject the doctrines of the Church. The danger is real.
Jesus warned his followers not to reject the doctrines of the scribes and pharisees despite their shameful behavior... Rev. Thomas G. Morrow - Read more
"Remember, my brothers, that the winning of souls is what pleases God, and we can do this better by working in harmony with the clergy than in opposition." - Saint Francis of Assisi, Mirror of Perfection - 54

The more things change, the more they stay the same ...

Innocents.  Painting by Holocaust survivor.

The camps kept it hidden from view.
-today the clinics do the same.

Not far from us, flames were leaping up from a ditch, gigantic flames. They were burning something. A lorry drew up at the pit and delivered its load-little children. Babies! Around us, everyone was weeping. Someone began to recite the Kaddish. I do not know if it has ever happened before, in the long history of the Jews, that people have ever recited the prayer for the dead for themselves .... Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp .... Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent sky. - "Night" Elie Wiesel

To discriminate or not to discriminate?

So, let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore...
- Hebrews 13:13


Or justified discrimination?

Today, July 24, marks the 20th anniversary of the release of a 'clarification' by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Some Considerations of the Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons.  I've reprinted excerpts of the original document below - I know - my apologies for the length.  I had to print what I did to maintain context.  As it is, younger readers may be struck by how narrow and restrictive, not to mention discriminatory appearing, the document reads in our all-inclusive, pluralistic culture.  It clearly demonstrates just how much popular-secular-opinion has changed since the document was published.  Not to mention Catholic opinion and acceptance has changed - including a fair number of bishops and priests, who would disagree with the Considerations as stated (see previous post).  I'm quite sure that in a very short time, if not already, these and other such instructions will be deemed unjust discrimination and most likely hate speech. 

Some Considerations of the Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons.
Recently, legislation has been proposed in various places which would make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation illegal. In some cities, municipal authorities have made public housing, otherwise reserved for families, available to homosexual (and unmarried heterosexual) couples. Such initiatives, even where they seem more directed toward support of basic civil rights than condonement of homosexual activity or a homosexual lifestyle, may in fact have a negative impact on the family and society. Such things as the adoption of children, the employment of teachers, the housing needs of genuine families, landlords' legitimate concerns in screening potential tenants, for example, are often implicated.

While it would be impossible to anticipate every eventuality in respect to legislative proposals in this area, these observations will try to identify some principles and distinctions of a general nature which should be taken into consideration by the conscientious legislator, voter, or Church authority who is confronted with such issues.

1. The letter recalls that the CDF's “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics” of 1975 “took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions”; the latter are “intrinsically disordered” and “in no case to be approved of” (no. 3).
NB: All of the CDF documents and statements stress the objective and intrinsic disorder aspect in the homosexual condition, especially as noted in the next two paragraphs.
2. Since “[i]n the discussion which followed the publication of the (aforementioned) declaration..., an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral or even good”, the letter goes on to clarify: “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.
Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed towards those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not” (no. 3).

5. “There is an effort in some countries to manipulate the Church by gaining the often well-intentioned support of her pastors with a view to changing civil statutes and laws. This is done in order to conform to these pressure groups' concept that homosexuality is at least a completely harmless, if not an entirely good, thing. Even when the practice of homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people, its advocates remain undeterred and refuse to consider the magnitude of the risks involved” (no. 9).
Concerning crimes of violence against homosexuals.

7. “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
Note the repetition: The condition itself is disordered:
But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase” (no. 10).

10. “Sexual orientation” does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder (cf. Letter, no. 3) and evokes moral concern.
Examples of 'just' discrimination:

11. There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.
12. Homosexual persons, as human persons, have the same rights as all persons including the right of not being treated in a manner which offends their personal dignity (cf. no. 10). Among other rights, all persons have the right to work, to housing, etc. Nevertheless, these rights are not absolute. They can be legitimately limited for objectively disordered external conduct. This is sometimes not only licit but obligatory. This would obtain moreover not only in the case of culpable behavior but even in the case of actions of the physically or mentally ill. Thus it is accepted that the state may restrict the exercise of rights, for example, in the case of contagious or mentally ill persons, in order to protect the common good.
The following has already happened in most Western nations.

13. Including “homosexual orientation” among the considerations on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights, for example, in respect to so-called affirmative action or preferential treatment in hiring practices. This is all the more deleterious since there is no right to homo-sexuality (cf. no. 10) which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims. The passage from the recognition of homosexuality as a factor on which basis it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead, if not automatically, to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality. A person's homosexuality would be invoked in opposition to alleged discrimination, and thus the exercise of rights would be defended precisely via the affirmation of the homosexual condition instead of in terms of a violation of basic human rights. 

14. The “sexual orientation” of a person is not comparable to race, sex, age, etc. also for another reason than that given above which warrants attention. An individual's sexual orientation is generally not known to others unless he publicly identifies himself as having this orientation or unless some overt behavior manifests it. As a rule, the majority of homosexually oriented persons who seek to lead chaste lives do not publicize their sexual orientation. Hence the problem of discrimination in terms of employment, housing, etc., does not usually arise.
Homosexual persons who assert their homosexuality tend to be precisely those who judge homosexual behavior or lifestyle to be “either completely harmless, if not an entirely good thing” (cf. no. 3), and hence worthy of public approval. It is from this quarter that one is more likely to find those who seek to “manipulate the Church by gaining the often well-intentioned support of her pastors with a view to changing civil statutes and laws” (cf. no. 5), those who use the tactic of protesting that “any and all criticism of or reservations about homosexual people... are simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination” (cf. no. 9).
In addition, there is a danger that legislation which would make homosexuality a basis for entitlements could actually encourage a person with a homosexual orientation to declare his homosexuality or even to seek a partner in order to exploit the provisions of the law.
15. Since in the assessment of proposed legislation uppermost concern should be given to the responsibility to defend and promote family life (cf. no. 17), strict attention should be paid to the single provisions of proposed measures. How would they affect adoption or foster care? Would they protect homosexual acts, public or private? Do they confer equivalent family status on homosexual unions, for example, in respect to public housing or by entitling the homosexual partner to the privileges of employment which could include such things as “family” participation in the health benefits given to employees (cf. no. 9)?
16. Finally, where a matter of the common good is concerned, it is inappropriate for Church authorities to endorse or remain neutral toward adverse legislation even if it grants exceptions to Church organizations and institutions. The Church has the responsibility to promote family life and the public morality of the entire civil society on the basis of fundamental moral values, not simply to protect herself from the application of harmful laws (cf. no. 17). - Source

There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account...

It seems to me that many faithful Catholics can take that counsel further than what the document intended.  I also think the following paragraph has contributed to a change in attitude amongst the new gay-chaste-Catholics.  Which may explain - in part - the subtle promotion of homosexual equality, as gay/ssa persons are encouraged to 'come out' - whether they are living in fidelity to Church teaching/observing chastity, or are just gay-Catholic.
The “sexual orientation” of a person is not comparable to race, sex, age, etc. also for another reason than that given above which warrants attention. An individual's sexual orientation is generally not known to others unless he publicly identifies himself as having this orientation or unless some overt behavior manifests it. As a rule, the majority of homosexually oriented persons who seek to lead chaste lives do not publicize their sexual orientation. Hence the problem of discrimination in terms of employment, housing, etc., does not usually arise.**

Michael Voris - Vorti-leaks Presents: Gays in the Clergy.

Monk


Old news back in the news.

Although, by this time I would expect most people know that there are priests and bishops, along with religious men and women, who are ssa, homosexually inclined, gay, gay friendly/protecting, what have you.  Many are faithful - I hope - others maybe not so much.  A friend of a friend tells me about... Never mind -  that is just hearsay.

A few of the gay-ordained seem to me to be a problem to the extent they encourage ssa people they encounter to be proud of being gay and to be out - in other words, affirming and promoting the lifestyle, and denying that homosexual behavior is sinful.  Clergy who are simply gay-friendly create problems when they encourage the gay priests they know to come out in the hopes that the Church will change Catholic teaching.  Of course, the Church has no authority to do such a thing.  There are other problems of course, not in my competency to address. 

Nevertheless, ssa men continue to be ordained - what to tell Michael?  I don't know.  I'm not sure what good his current expose can do either - it's not as if the powers that be aren't aware of it, after all, they are the ones who ordain these men.

From churchmilitant.tv


Gays in the Clergy
vort-2012-07-23
Hello everyone and welcome to The Vortex where lies and falsehoods are trapped and
exposed. I’m Michael Voris coming to you from St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

It’s a subject no one really wants to discuss in the open. Every now and then it emerges
in an article or book .. but then gets the short shrift as clergymen pass over it as quickly
as possible.

The subject? The powerful and influential homosexual sub-culture .. or should we say
semi- sub culture.

Here in Rome .. it is no secret .. and if you get in to discussions with the right people who
are well informed .. the homosexual mafia is not only a given .. but their power and
influence are more far reaching than almost any Catholic in the pew would ever imagine.
These homosexual clergy and their allies have caused tremendous damage to the Church
and it’s about time the issue was talked about plainly and openly. - Finish reading here.
Whatchagonnado?

H/T Ray @ Stella

St. Charbel, the Wonderworker


St. Charbel is one of my favorite saints.  I especially admire his devotion to the Holy Liturgy/Mass.  He said Mass at mid-day, prayerfully preparing to do so the entire morning, and after Mass, offering his thanksgiving the entire afternoon.  He was particularly devoted to the Eucharist and the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin.

Do you prepare for Mass, especially if you are going to receive Communion?  Do you spend some time after Mass praying in thanksgiving?  The easiest way to practice mental prayer, and to acquire the prayer of recollection, is to spend time after Holy Communion in prolonged thanksgiving. 

Though the Saint died on Christmas Eve, his feast is celebrated today, July 24.
"...a hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed...a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriching, by his example and his intercession, the entire Christian people... May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance, and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God..." - Paul VI

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reality-Action Star: Bad Actor - James Holmes



Holmes showed up in court today - acting insane - or drugged.

A few people seem to believe that by ignoring the events which took place, and not mentioning the 'joker's' name - will make this stuff go away.

Others see nothing wrong with our culture and choose to believe this 'terrorist attack' is just an isolated incident - unrelated to the Batman franchise, the entertainment industry's glorification of violence and death, or the consumers desensitization to the same.

Even more wonder why bad things happen to 'good people', while ignoring the terror attacks and murders which have become commonplace in places like Syria, Nigeria, Iraq, Israel, Chicago, North Minneapolis, Planned Parenthood, and so on.  All isolated incidents? 

Really?

Causes for the canonization of Paul VI and John Paul I moving on up.



This is such good news.

I love both of these Popes.  I was so fortunate to see Pope Paul VI several times while staying in Rome.  Sadly I never saw Pope John Paul I, the kind, smiling Pope - yet I was immediately attracted to him and felt a deep love for him.  I esteem both Popes as saints, although I am always surprised when I discover not everyone thinks as highly of them as I do.

I'll never forget being corrected by an eminent priest, who in response to my saying I thought Paul VI was great, proceeded to tear him apart by pointing out all of his failures and assigning blame to His Holiness, personally - for all the troubles after Vatican II.  Similarly others have dismissed John Paul I as ineffective since his reign had been 'aborted' by death - although most would likely affirm, if he had lived, "he would have promulgated the errors of VII".  Human judgments Christ might condemn.

Another friend once told me that not one blessed/saint has ever been canonized who attended or celebrated the Novus Ordo.  That is not true BTW, yet how ironic if every Pope since the Council turns out to be a saint?
No date has been announced for the beatification of Popes Paul VI and John Paul I, but it is possible that it could occur during the Year of Faith (Oct. 11, 2012-Nov. 24, 2013), which begins with the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. Both popes were present at the Second Vatican Council. - Source

The Tragedy of Unexpected Death...

Soviet poster circa 1925. Title translation:
"Abortions performed by either
trained or self-taught midwives
 not only maim the woman,
 they also often lead to death."


Adding to the heartbreak of unexpected pregnancy.

I read a story about a Chicago family, grieving over the death of their daughter and sister; a young mother of a one year old son.  The young mother, unmarried though engaged, died from complications after a routine medical procedure, which has been described as "a cervical dilation and evacuation". 

The woman died at Planned Parenthood:
She died after she’d had an abortion at Planned Parenthood at 18 S. Michigan Av, according to the medical examiner’s office.
The death is so unusual considering PP's expertise in cervical dilation and evacuation of human tissue, which somehow develops within women's bodies after unprotected, or failure to artificially-control, coitus* with ejaculation - leading to fertilization-conception-implantation, and so on.

Killing the infant (foetus) is one thing, but the mother (patient) too?  What a senseless tragedy. 
“We were born the same day. She was my other half,” Toni said.
Toni Reaves said the family is trying to get through this.

“It happened so fast. She was just fine one day and then the next day she was gone. We’re just trying to figure out what happened… what happened,” she said.

Toni Reaves said her sister was engaged to be married and had one son – Alvin – who just had his first birthday. - Story here.
What happened?  What happened?  Women have abortions all of the time - some women even have more than one - they are repeat patients.  [Of course, it is not their fault.]  But the abortions are supposed to be safe and clinical medical procedures - that is one of the main reasons they are legal.  They are routine.  What happened?

*coitus - sexual union between a male (man) and a female (woman) involving insertion of the (male) penis into the (female) vagina.

We reap what we sow.

Mother of Divine Grace



July 23.  Carmelite feast of Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace.
That Mary obtains for us and distributes to us all graces is a certain doctrine, according to what we have just said about the mother of all men. As mother, she is interested in their salvation, prays for them, and obtains for them the graces they receive. In the Ave Maris Stella we read:
Break the captive's fetters,
To the blind give day,

Ward all evils from us,
For all blessings pray.
In an encyclical on the Rosary, Leo XIII says: "According to the will of God, nothing is granted to us except through Mary; and, as no one can go to the Father except through the Son, so generally no one can draw near to Christ except through Mary." (24) 
The Church, in fact, turns to Mary to obtain graces of all kinds, both temporal and spiritual; among these last, from the grace of conversion up to that of final perseverance, to say nothing of those needed by virgins to preserve virginity, by apostles to exercise their apostolate, by martyrs to remain firm in the faith. In the Litany of Loreto, which has been universally recited in the Church for many centuries, Mary is for this reason called: "Health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comforter of the afflicted, help of Christians, queen of apostles, of martyrs, of confessors, of virgins." Thus all kinds of graces are distributed by her, even, in a sense, those of the sacraments; for she merited them for us in union with Christ on Calvary. In addition, she disposes us, by her prayer, to approach the sacraments and to receive them well. At times she even sends us a priest, without whom this sacramental help would not be given to us. - Three Ages of the Interior Life

Life doesn't have to be ugly...



"When the world went to my closet, to Imelda's closet - they did not found skeletons.  They found shoes, beautiful shoes." - Imelda Marcos


H/T Scala Regia
 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Now back to regular programming... In the News: Pentagon gayer than ever.



Less than 24 hours after WND reported at least one member of the U.S. Air Force had been authorized by commanding officers to march in a “gay pride” parade while wearing service-issued uniforms – upsetting a generations-old policy about how service members are allowed to display the image – the Department of Defense granted blanket permission for members of the Armed Forces to do the same. - WND

The film clip I chose for this post clearly demonstrates what will happen to our US troops now that they have gone gay.

Although military veteran friends of this blog inform me gays have infiltrated the military - for decades - and they have marched in gay pride parades as well - just not on an official basis.

Anyway.  I forgot to mention what a woman from my parish told me yesterday on my way in to church.  She mentioned that the Obama Administration is building internment/re-education camps to house U.S. citizens who say anything against the gays.  She couldn't tell me more because one of her friend's sons is in the construction business and his company, which has contracted with the Federal Government, is building the facilities.  Now that definitely could happen.    I'm just not sure where.  I suggested we move to Colorado for safety.  She and her husband thought Utah might be a better bet.  I laughed and said, "Anywhere but North Carolina!"  Kat, you know.  Makes me shiver.

St. Mary Magdalen

St. Mary Magdalen in ecstasy.


Today is the traditional feast of St. Mary Magdalen, who happens to be another monastic archetype, and a favorite saint of mine.  Legend suggests the penitent ended her life at Sainte-Baume in Provence - not far from Marseilles.  The Sanctuaire Ste-Baume preserves the cave wherein the Magdalen supposedly spent the last part of her live.  I believe the site remains the custody of the Dominicans.  In the mid-1970's I visited there, at that time the Dominicans no longer believed the legends surrounding the saint.  I'm not sure anyone does today.

C'est dommage. Eh?

Mass Chat: Gather Us In ...



All Are Welcome.

After the applause welcoming all the visitors, as well as special guest con-celebrant, Fr. Legion of Christ on home-visit with his Mom; when the din of greeting everyone around us finally died out, Mass began as usual.  I was surprised that during the prayer of the faithful not a prayer was uttered for those who died in Colorado this past weekend - nothing was mentioned in the homily either.  Not that such a prayer is required - and I realize I probably shouldn't expect such prayers at Mass - after all, what does the incident in Aurora, Colorado have to do with us?  Besides, we don't usually pray for the victims of the weekly massacres in Nigeria or Syria either. 

Although we always pray for good weather for the parish festival and walk-a-thons and stuff.

Walk in the Reign.