Saturday, August 18, 2012

In pointing out error, have you ever heard the Pope make mocking, sneering remarks against those who propagate them?



Have you ever read a Church document or heard of a disciplinary action which resorts to mockery?

No, you haven't.  The LCWR Barbara Marx Hubbard show never loses its punch-line though does it?  It always gets a laugh.  Religious stuff can be funny - I can laugh at the weird things liberals do - as well as the saffron scarves waved in homage to BMH during her entrance rite at the St. Louis Conference.  I get a laugh out of cappa magnas too.  Religious 'stuff' detached from its context does evoke a chuckle from time to time.  I'm no better than anyone else.  Of course, cappa magnas are part of ecclesial garb and I should have more respect.  Orange scarves waved about in a make-shift, New Age, para-liturgical, entrance-rite celebration should be a cause for concern however.  Both examples  signal something.  One signals something valid - the other signals something false, something disordered: even a threat to the faith.

We can mock the space-age gnosticism displayed at the LCWR conference - while we complain about all of the errors which continue to float about in our parish churches and peace and justice ministries, where this type of innovative liturgy continues to be performed.  As I keep repeating - these women still work in the parishes, they still maintain a remnant of their once vibrant communities - they continue to educate and 'indoctrinate' younger women.  And yet we laugh.  Are they really so ineffective?

Anyway - That's an introduction to a piece I want to highlight from Ratzinger's Spirit of the Liturgy.  The following section made me take a second look at what those women religious are really up to.  One blogger wrote an article 'blaming' their evolutionary theology on ageing and a fear of death.  That's close - but I believe it's a deeper phenomenon than ageing hippies simply getting older and avoiding death...
"The philosophies of cult go off in different directions...

In early Christianity the clash with Gnosticism was the decisive struggle for its own identity.  The fascination of such views is very great; they seem so easily identifiable with the Christian message.  For example, original sin, so hard otherwise to understand, is identified with the fall into finitude, which is why it clings to everything stuck in the vortex of finitude.  Again, the idea of redemption as deliverance from the burden of finitude is readily comprehensible, and so on. 
In our own times too, in a variety of forms, the fascination of Gnosticism is at work.  The religions of the Far East have the same basic pattern.  That is why the various kinds of teaching on redemption that they offer seem highly plausible.  Exercises for relaxing the body and emptying the mind are seen as the path to redemption.  They aim at liberation from finitude, indeed, they momentarily anticipate that liberation ..." - Spirit of the Liturgy
I may be wrong in understanding this passage, but it occurred to me that this is what the New Age Catholics are incorporating into their liturgical models - because that is what their assembly enacts - their vision of liturgical reform.  Again, we see it incorporated in liturgically liberal and innovative parishes, and more sensationally at gatherings such as the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Conference.  My point?  It's not funny, it's institutionalized liturgical abuse.  It's New Age, it's Gnosticism, it's Theosophy.

Just my opinion of course.  LYAO!


Loose ends...

Edward Hopper - Soir Bleu, 1914, Whitney Museum of Art, NYC.
Stuff

Some people may find my posts uncomfortable lately.  A couple anonymous commenters certainly do.  What can I say?

I have nothing to add to that BTW.

Instead, I've got a few points I want to document regarding what I know about sexual abuse.

Since I was first molested/abused as a kid, I learned about deception.  I too learned how to lie from the perpetrators and those who covered for them.  More importantly, I got to be really good at detecting liars.  The upshot is that I usually can see through, or around the facades men try to hide behind... the mask, the costume, the mime, as it were.   

That said - don't fool yourself - men who have sex with boys are gay or same sex attracted.  I don't know why I have to repeat that so often.  To be sure, not all gay men have sex with boys or young men - nor are they even interested, attracted, or tempted in that way.  Likewise, not all men who have been sexually abused turn out to be abusers themselves - in fact, most do not.  Most do not even turn out to be gay or bisexual.  Yet one cannot deny that there is a category within gay culture not included in its LGBTQ handle - and that is man-boy love - NAMBLA.


Random anecdotal experience #1.

I was aware of other men's interest in young men and boys at almost every stage in my early life.  From those who used me, as well as the neighborhood perverts and the boys who serviced them.  The neighborhood guys would buy kids booze in exchange for a BJ - so the pervs were servicing the boys?  As a kid I had a friend within that milieu whom I later came to find out slept with his much younger nephew - whenever the kid spent the weekend.  It went on for years.  As an adult the same friend complained to me that an acquaintance of ours forced himself upon my my friend (not the nephew) - they were both adults - but my friend pretended he was 'assaulted' or forced into it.  These people are liars and live in denial - they actually believe they are not guilty of crimes.*
I know - that paragraph is really random and ill constructed.

Random anecdotal experience #2.

When I began working in the presentation department of a major department store, I found out the predatory nature of gay men interested in young boys and younger men.  "Young and dumb and full of ___!" they said of them as if they were an entree on a restaurant menu.  I've mentioned before the president of the company seduced boys in the Varsity department fitting rooms - it was common knowledge.  One of my early managers was well known to prefer really young boys.  Management and the goodie two shoes amongst the department and general store employees knew his profile.  not unlike the recent Sandusky scandal - no one ever did anything but shake their heads and gossip about it.

Predator - enabler.

Factoid:  Like Christopher Isherwood's boys of Berlin - the boys were either dismissed as street life, or opportunists looking for advancement or money.  Perhaps they were.  Yet those who ignore, dismiss or excuse homosexuals who have sex with young boys are in fact enablers.  They help perpetuate the cycle of abuse.  Those who deny its existence do likewise.

Random anecdotal experience #3.

I almost forgot.  I had a priest friend once tell me about a brother in his community who taught in one of their schools.  (Not here.)  The brother's appetite for young males was thought to be insatiable - he was considered a sex addict.  He battled it, going to confession after each fall, seeking spiritual direction month after month, year after year.  My friend chuckled and said, "The poor brother will wrestle with this until he dies."  No one in authority put a stop to it.  The brother lived amongst enablers - enablers who protected him.
Factoid:  Did you know - historically - many of the men who like boys work in occupations where they can meet them?  Did you know some are dads or single mom's live-in boyfriends?  Many of the people I have met-known or known-of over the years, were teachers, coaches, priests, brothers, display directors, waiters, and even a florist and a barber. 

Stuff to think about.
*Bonus factoid:  Adult males are not victims of sexual predators - adults can usually resist and defend themselves - unless they are drugged or threatened with a weapon or something.  
Once someone told me that she slept with her priest.  She was an adult woman.  I don't see sexual abuse there - just cooperation in evil.

Policy note:  Remember, Anonymous comments will not be published, nor will comments with links embedded. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fr. Angel studied at Mt. Angel Abbey Seminary...


Do you like boys?  Do you like men? 
Do you Masturbate?  Do you use pornography?


From CNA:
Monsignor Richard Paperini, who was president of Mount Angel Seminary during Fr. Perez's final year there, told the Oregonian that he was “in absolute shock” over the news.
He explained that throughout a careful screening process, Fr. Perez had never displayed “any tendency toward children in an inappropriate way.” - Full story

What about homosexual inclination?   Just wondering.  The following 2005 transcript may point to a certain amount of indifference as regards sexual orientation of candidates for the priesthood. 

The Roman Catholic Church has ordered an inspection of the 229 seminaries in the United States and according to a soon-to-be-released Vatican document, it may result in the ban of gay seminarians from the priesthood.

The Mount Angel Seminary is among those labeled for review in the document, which should be released within the next six weeks.

The specifics of the review at Mount Angel Seminary have yet to be determined, said Seminary Rector Fr. Richard Paperini.

"The Vatican has scheduled a team to visit in January," Paperini said. "Every faculty member and seminarian will be interviewed.

"I'm sure it's a good thing," he added. "Everyone likes to think they have a good school; a review is a good way to see where you're at."

He said the review would focus on chastity, but beyond that he is unsure what it will entail.

"I have received no official word [from the Vatican] to know what their expectations are," Paperini said, adding he hadn't heard anything about banning gay seminarians.

"This is the first I've heard about it," he said. "I don't know how to feel about it."
- Source
For your discernment.


Comments are welcome but Anonymous comments will not be published, although they are filed.

Another priest, another boy.



Fr. Angel Armando Perez

The priest asked the parents if the boy could accompany him on a camping trip to the mountains, after a party of some sort, the boy went with the priest to stay the night at his house.  The priest was drunk and he and the boy - 12 years old - had another beer.  The boy fell asleep, woke up to find the priest holding the kid's genitals and photographing him on his iPhone.  Go here for full story.

Are you people nuts?  Who would let their 12 year old kid go home with an adult man with the intention of sending him on a camping trip alone with him?  I don't care if the guy is a priest - what the hell is wrong with the parents?

The boy had the courage to run away from the priest's house - the priest chased him, wearing only his underwear.  It's a disgusting story.  The kid was terrified - but he ran... and fortunately for him passers-by helped him and saw the priest standing in his underwear, hands on his hips.  The story is well documented - leaving little doubt.

I don't know what to say.  It reminds me of the Ryan Erickson story - that Wisconsin priest who killed two innocent men who were most likely initiating an investigation on him - two men who knew about his sexual attraction to young boys.  I wrote about that here.  Young boys who can be curious about their bodies changing, experiencing sexual development - these guys know that curiosity and vulnerability.  They are predators - they wait for opportune moments to take advantage of their victims - after winning their trust. 

Parents, don't ever give your kid to an older man.

Priests shouldn't be drinking alcohol in excess.  I think Fr. Hardon felt they shouldn't drink it at all.  Priests who are sex offenders should be laicized.  Never, ever should a priest with such sexual attractions be ordained.  Once ordained, a priest needs to be accountable - to someone:  a superior - his bishop, and so on.  After ordination, a priest's life is not his own.  He can't just slip by with a confessor or a spiritual director absolving him of sins of weakness - not when he has sexually disordered proclivities and issues with alcohol or substance abuse.  Although, even in the case of Ryan Erickson, that didn't prevent him from indulging his appetites and committing his crimes. 


The brother of the victim told police Fr. Angel pleaded with the victim's family:
"I am just one who serves in the church, and I have sinned; don't stop believing in the church,"  - Fr. Angel
He was not serving the Church, nor promoting the faith. 
" ... you travel around sea and land to make one convert, and when it has ... a single follower, and when you do, you make that person twice as fit for hell as you are." - Mt. 23:15
The Suicide of Ryan Erickson - T. Nelson
Narrative here.


At Fatima, Our Lady asked that we, "Pray for the conversion of sinners." 

Favorite Catholic Speaker Vogt


The Argument of the Month Club welcomes Catholic Speakers.


Nice work if you can get it.

I had no idea there were so many Catholic Speakers.  Brandon Vogt has a cool list and event going on at his blog:  Vote Here!  The list is a long one too.  I noted Sr. Joan Chittister wasn't on it, nor was Fr. Corapi or Joe Biden or Barbara Marx Hubbard - or Sr. Patricia.  Snubbed again.

But look who is on it ... oh wait - the list is too long - go to Brandon's blog to read it and vote.

Ed Note:  I think this is a good way to recognize Catholic Speakers - I honestly did not know there were so many that we actually have a sort of Top 100 list.  Apparently, not a few were left out because there are so many.  It's a good thing - so I'm not making fun of it Lady Grantham.  Imagine if Kat were a speaker.  She would be very dramatic and glamorous, I'm sure.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How I will end this blog...

Please go here to see what I mean.  Thank you.



Or just watch it here.

"You didn't build that..."



"Where's Waldo" Catholicism.



You see, it isn't looking for Catholics in the public square that is so all important, but recognizing Christ in others.*

In mercy you have seen fit today to show me, poor as I am, how we can in no way pass judgement on other people's intentions.  Indeed. by sending people along an endless variety of paths, you give me an example for myself, and for this I thank you.  - St. Catherine of Siena
"I say to you, you must forgive, not seven times - but seventy times seven times." - Mt. 18: 21-19 


*I just made that up.

Cardinal Dolan and the Single Girl



I saw the photo at the Deacon's.  I liked it so much I had to post it.  It shows what a gentleman Cardinal Dolan is.  I'm really not all that concerned about the Cardinal's politics or his banquets - he's a Cardinal Archbishop and Cardinals and Bishops do what they do.  I have no say in how they do their job.

That said, Helen Gurley Brown is another story, isn't she.  She used to be on Carson a lot - in fact she always presented so prim and proper, though chic and sophisticated, that I found it hard to believe she was a 'sexologist'.  Her book, Sex and the Single Girl, did much to teach women about their new found freedom, as well as to level the sexual playing field between the sexes, on some level it is regarded as a contributing factor to the sexual revolution.  As it turns out, her persona came to be identified as something akin to a female Hugh Hefner:  Brown recognized her market and published for it - to great success.  Men - and the pill - permitted her to promote what she did.  She always claimed to enjoy herself doing it.

We all get old, and then we die.  The Cardinal was very charitable to show such kindness to an old lady.

RIP

+ + +

  "Each soul is the object of My special love. That is why I am so grateful to those who are resourceful in bringing back sinners to Me. Keep this in mind then. I gave My life for them in the most atrocious torture, for these poor beloved ones. A humble repentance, and they are already on My heart. So speak gently to them. Speak with tenderness. A brusque remark could drive them farther away." - He and I

Original article here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Joanna is boggled...



She too looks askance at Catholic wanna-be celebs...

Praising Cardinal Dolan, The British Auntie writes:
There's a new fashion for indignant, muddled young(ish) fogeyish Catholics who are less well formed in the Faith than they think they are, to announce themselves as commentators on the Internet. There are a great many good and large and generous things that they could be doing, but becoming a (sort of) Catholic wanna-be celeb instead is too big a temptation, so they get excited with camera and computer and talk a lot and post it on the web. Verbal bashing of the Cardinal and other pro-life leaders and workers is their current excitement. Time to chuck it, boys. There are great and noble tasks awaiting you in your generation, and you need to get on and seek out what God is asking of you. Being an active Catholic consists of more than feeling good and being rude about the grown-ups. - Well said Cardinal Dolan!

Well said Auntie! 

My, my.  She does have quite a high opinion of herself though, doesn't she.



Public art.




I wanted to write a story titled "Peeing in Assisi" and while searching for a photo, I came across the photo of a public fountain by famous Czech artist and sculptor David Cerny.  I decided to forget the  story and just run the photo.

Don't be pissed at me.

Cardinal Dolan says there is nothing to worry about the Obama invitation to din-din.

My favorite photo of Dolan.


There's always a place at the table folks...

So long as...
... an invitation to the Al Smith Dinner is not an award, or the provision of a platform to expound views at odds with the Church. It is an occasion of conversation; it is personal, not partisan.
... people of faith gathered in an evening of friendship, civility, and patriotism, to help those in need, not to endorse either candidate.
... you can accomplish a lot more by inviting folks of different political loyalties to an uplifting evening, rather than in closing the door to them.

In the end, I’m encouraged by the example of Jesus, who was blistered by his critics for dining with those some considered sinners; and by the recognition that, if I only sat down with people who agreed with me, and I with them, or with those who were saints, I’d be taking all my meals alone.* - Cardinal Dolan

Works for me.

Although probably not for the Catholic blogosterium.

I know, I know, it is not the same thing...


*I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Pope Pius XII did exactly that - he ate alone.  God save the Church from an American pope!

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin



Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders of the perfumer? - Little Office BVM, Matins, First Lesson, Cant. 3


+

Intercede for Syria, O Our Lady,
in this grave hour when from all around
blow furious winds, bringing cries of death
against Your Son and against civilization
founded on His teachings,
 deceiving minds, perverting hearts and
lighting the fires of hatred and
revolution in the world.
Help of Christians, pray for us!*


+ + +


*Would you please join in praying with Archbishop Nassar of Syria - the Act of Consecration of Syria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which he will make at 6pm (Syrian Time) on August 15th 2012- Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. Wherever you are in the world on that day at 6pm– or when you can - please join in this consecration in support of the Archbishop. - Consecration text here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mysterious readers from Collegeville Minnesota...




And questions wondering if Cardinal Bernadin was really a filthy homosexual?

Seriously?  I have comment moderation on just in time this week, because the wing-nutz are out swinging.  It's making me crazy too.

Last week I got an email about Cardinal Bernadin being a homosexual and head of a lavender conspiracy.  These stories keep circulating, so they must be true, right?  I don't know what Bernadin was - I never paid much attention to bishops before I started blogging.  Never had much time for them - wasn't ever impressed by them.  However, I have to ask, did the Church officially condemn Bernadin as a bad man?  He's dead now, and I've heard people praising him for having forgiven a false accuser.  The man is dead. 

We know there were many SSA priests from back then and there remain many today as well.  So one must ask: Does the Church enforce its rules?  Has it ever?  Is every archbishop and bishop part of a lavender mafia because they continue to admit SSA men to the priesthood?  Really Fr. Sirico?

Likewise, is Cardinal Schönborn a pornographer/homosexual?  That's what at least one blogger claims, frequently calling him out as the "homo-porn Cardinal Christoph Schönborn".  Does the Pope call him that?  Is there a Vatican commission studying the allegations?  Why is he still a prince of the Church in that case?

St. John's Abbey in Collegeville. 

Yep - it once had the reputation of being a hotbed of homosexual behavior and I too have written about the gay retreats that have been scheduled there.  But if it continues to be so bad - that it is really more of a clearing house of all things gay and corrupt and exploitative of donors, alumni, students and Church, why isn't the place under interdict or closed down?  Why do bloggers keep blogging so-called exposes with impunity?  Obviously Collegeville is aware information is being published and circulated. 

I rarely check stats but did so today because I've limited comments over the past few days and wanted to see how it affects readership.  Anyway - that was why I checked and how I noticed some one from the abbey is reading my blog.  No surprise - posts come up in search engines.  So.  I know they know, and they know I know and we know who the other bloggers are, spreading the other stories.

Why?  How?  How does this stuff keep repeating.  It seems to be a cyclical thing.

It's like the Barbara Marx Hubbard speaking engagement at the LCWR conference, which everyone seems to enjoy discussing and no one takes seriously.  Even Archbishop Sartain, in charge of the doctrinal assessment, congratulated them on a job well done after the event concluded.

Confused?  Me too.  It's a WTF world.


This just in:  From today's com box queue:

From what I can see, he doesn't donate any of that money back to the Catholic church. When I see the UPS man drop off (approx 5 boxes per day) to his house, he doesn't seem to remove the item from Amazon. For instance, receiving 3 large screen TV's and the item remained on his wish list for several more months.  - Anonymous

I KNOW!


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Urgent! Prayers requested for Syria.



Editor's note:  A friend sent me this - I think it is very important.
Would you please join in praying with Archbishop Nassar of Syria - the Act of Consecration of Syria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which he will make at 6pm (Syrian Time) on August 15th 2012- Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven.
Wherever you are in the world on that day at 6pm– or when you can - please join in this consecration in support of the Archbishop.






Act of Consecration of Syria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
to be made by Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus in his Cathedral before the Shrine of Our Lady and the Martyrs of Damascus on August 15th 2012 Feast of the Assumption on behalf of the bishops, priests and people of Syria. The Act of Consecration will be made at 6pm Syrian time which means 3pm British time -hour of Divine Mercy.
Please join this courageous Archbishop in a union of prayer with this Act of Consecration of Syria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
“The Shepherds chosen by Your Son to watch over and feed in His name the sheep He has acquired at the price of His blood – in this “Land of Holy Mary”, whose name cannot be pronounced without pronouncing Your own – come today – as the official and consecrated representatives of their flocks, and in an act of filial “homage” (vassalagem) of faith, love and trust – to solemnly consecrate the Syrian nation to your Immaculate Heart. Take it from our fragile hands into Your own; defend it and guard it as Your own property; make Jesus reign, conquer and rule in it. Outside of Him there is no salvation…
We, the bishops of your people, feel a terrible storm raging round us, threatening to disperse and destroy the faithful flock of those who bless You because You are the Mother of Jesus. Afflicted, we stretch out our suppliant hands towards Your Son, as we cry out “save us, O Lord, for we perish!”… Intercede for Syria, O Our Lady, in this grave hour when from all around blow furious winds, bringing cries of death against Your Son and against civilization founded on His teachings, deceiving minds, perverting hearts and lighting the fires of hatred and revolution in the world. Help of Christians, pray for us!
Intercede for Syria, Our Lady, in this troubled hour when the unclean waves of an open immorality, which has even lost the notion of sin, exalt the rehabilitation of the flesh in the face of the very Cross of Your Son, threatening to choke in this world the lily of virtue nourished by the Eucharistic blood of Jesus. Virgin most powerful, pray for us!...
Intercede for Syria, Our Lady, in this hour of passions and doubts when even the good run the risk of being lost…Unite all the Syrian peoples around Your Son in the love of the Church and the cultivation of virtue, in respect for order and fraternal charity. Queen of Peace, pray for us!
Remember finally, Patroness of our country and Mother of Jesus that we now only have recourse to Your Immaculate Heart and Divine Mercy. O Blessed Virgin Mary through the powerful intercession of your Immaculate Heart, save Syria, by giving it Jesus, in Whom it will find Truth, Life and Peace.” Amen.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us
Immaculate Heat of Mary, Pray for us
St. Joseph, patron and protector of the Universal Church, Pray for us
Martyrs of Syria and the Middle East, Pray for us
Saints of Syria and the Middle East, Pray for us
St. Charbel, Pray for us

(Based on the form and text of the Act of Consecration of Portugal to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Portuguese Bishops in 1931 – this amazing Act of Faith in the Intercessory Power of the Immaculate Heart of Mary transformed the fortunes of the Church and State and turned them back from the brink of disaster.)

The Martyr of Charity




St. Maximilian Kolbe

In my spiritual travels I spent a summer with the Conventual Friars at their original Marytown in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  As a kid I was enrolled in the Militia of Mary Immaculate, the sodality founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe after his studies in Rome.  In Rome he witnessed the Masonic anti-Catholic actions against the Catholic Church, and this moved him to form the Knights of the Immaculata, Mediatrix of all Graces, in defense of the Catholic faith.  For well defined details, please visit this site.

I was attracted to St. Maximilian as a kid on account of his devotion to Our Lady, and of course, his martyrdom at Auschwitz.  As a child, Maximilian had a vision of Our Lady, who offered him two crowns, one for chastity, the other for martyrdom.  He explained:
"... the Blessed Mother appeared to me holding in her hands two crowns: one white the other red. She looked at me with tenderness and asked me if I wanted these two crowns. The white one signified that I would preserve my purity and the red that I would be a martyr."
[...]
In 1973 Paul VI beatified him and in 1982 John Paul II canonized him as a Martyr of Charity. - Source
St. Maximilian offered his life in exchange for a prisoner who was to be executed.  he died by lethal injection, after many days of starvation.  Kolbe's death was truly a heroic act of the most perfect charity by which he won his martyr's crown.  Since his canonization, the Saint's intercession is often sought for people addicted to drugs because of the manner in which he died.  However, I see his death foreshadowing the growing practice of euthanasia we hear about in our times: withholding nutrition and hydration, as well as lethal injection.  That is exactly how Kolbe was put to death - although much more cruelly, no clinical pretensions to comfort.  On account of this, Kolbe must be considered a major patron of the pro-life movement.  

̈“Charity should be open to all without discrimination; her only limit should be whatever is possible, which because of its spirit of sacrifice- should reach to the extreme.” (St.Maximilian)

Charity covers a multitude of sins.

b. 5 August 1912


“The Emmaus community is not made up of saints – They are ordinary men who are no less good than you, nor better. But amongst the rubbish they found a small excerpt from the Gospel that we had found too difficult and so threw it away: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.'” - Abbé Pierre

The French priest Abbé Pierre, if he had lived, would have turned 100 this year.  He was a very controversial, heroic priest, who founded the Emmaus Community, a world-wide organization which assists refugees, and the homeless poor.   He didn't get along with everyone.  The Jesuit Fr. Henri de Lubac told him on the day of his priestly ordination: "ask to the Holy Spirit that he grants you the saints' anti-clericalism".  I believe He did.  I think St. Catherine of Genoa had the same gift.

Who are you Lord and what am I?

Jacob wrestles with Angel
Jacob's dream of the
ladder of Divine Ascent.


The prayer of St. Francis.

I believe Br. Leo records that Francis repeated these words in ecstasy: 'Who are you Lord, and what am I?'  Similar perhaps, to what the psalmist prays, 'What is man that you should be mindful of him?' But not the same.  What did Francis mean?  If you have ever been touched by grace and lifted out of yourself, you might know something of that blessed confusion.  On the other hand, and perhaps even better, if you wrestle within the cell of self-knowledge, you have known how difficult it can be to accept what you are.  One reason why spiritual writers always urge that prayer, with confidence in the merciful love of God, must accompany us in this work, lest we become discouraged and give up.  It would be wonderful if we could always see ourselves in God's light, as God sees us - but we don't.  Ordinarily, we must wrestle, not unlike like Jacob wrestled with the Angel, in the darkest night, and like Jacob, we must not let him go until he shows us who he is... Then, even in that depth, we echo the prayer of the saint - making it our own, "Who are You... my God?  And... what, what am I?"

Where is this leading? 

I've been reading many things by Catholics who identify themselves as either same sex attracted, gay-chaste-Catholic/Christian, gay-Catholic, and so on.  I was confused by a lot of what I read.  Naively surprised that all Roman Catholics did not accept the program for sanctity which Courage offers.  A program I consider a good support and guide to men and women who have homosexual attractions and who desire to live a chaste life in fidelity to Roman Catholic teaching.  Instead, after six years of blogging about this stuff, I've encountered many different attitudes on the subject, and not all of them agree with the Courage model.  Of course, from the beginning, Courage was a hard sell, even to many bishops.  But that's another post.

What all seem to have in common however, aside from sexual orientation, is the very strong inclination that is summed up in the prayer of St. Francis I quoted, it seems to me, each in his own way asks, "My God, who are you?  And what am I?"

"Three ages of gay."

I realized this most clearly in my encounter with Melinda Selmys and her blog Sexual Authenticity.  Of course I've read Eve Tushnet, Joshua Gunnerman, Ron Belgau, as well as Thom of Faith In The 21st Century, CourageMan, and the popular guy, Steve Gershom, amongst others who have come and gone - especially in the com box.  I've read these people suspecting I'm a little bit more conservative than they are - and not nearly as well versed.  Nevertheless, their writing has forced me to see things differently - or at least to be more open minded as regards personality and spiritual experience.  In a sense, some of these folks who embrace their queerness, are not all that different from those we have come to regard as dissenters, Catholic gay activists - in my local are, the most well known would be Michael Bayly.  And yes, he is Catholic - a gay Catholic - he's written extensively on how he manages that.  Much like Melinda and the others I might add - differing only in what they accept in Catholic teaching as far as being gay and Catholic. 

To make a long post short, for now all I want to say is that I've come to see this matter as 'the three ways' or 'the three ages of gay Catholic life' as it were.  (Non religious gay is a world unto itself.)  I see it this way because of what amounts to as the new paradigm shift, or reality, wherein society is in process of accepting and recognizing homosexuality as a natural variant, especially as it gets closer to recognizing same sex marriage and same sex families with children.  It should go without saying, I'm against it.  I repeat it all of the time and I mean it.  I accept everything the Church teaches on sexuality and so on.  Likewise, I believe and accept that the Church cannot change her teaching, no matter what any one says or how they choose to live their life.

Having said that - no one person I know of in these three categories or ages of gay life have been excommunicated.  Some of the activist-dissenters have indeed been reprimanded, perhaps censured, maybe even had their views condemned, but to my knowledge, no one has been excommunicated or  placed under interdict.  Indeed, the faithful self-identifying LGBTQ group have pretty much been praised and encouraged by some Church officials.  Eve Tushnet is a popular speaker and writer, and she was accorded many compliments by the Bishop of Denver recently.  Likewise, Melinda Selmys addressed this years Courage Conference with good success, and has a popular book on her life.  Finally, there is the Courage-style SSA person - no queer-gay-monikers-for-me kind of men and women - not all of them may be in a Courage group, but they more of less live up to the same commitment.  Faithful to the core and on the narrow way of perfection.  Objectively speaking, all three categories remain Catholics in good standing, all three have access to the sacraments, and for all I know, all three consider themselves faithful Catholics.  I can judge the obvious - actions and words, but not another person's soul. 

My convictions remain the same.

Within each group are a variety of individual personalities, a variety of experience; and ironically, none of them are willing to be pigeon-holed - and yet they do it all of the time themselves.  Fiercely independent, with few exceptions, most individually struggle to understand, to know themselves - which is a very Catholic thing to do BTW.  Each in their own way wrestles with the same question every soul must wrestle with, "My God.  Who are You?  And what am I?"

I recognize that each person lives his or her life as best they can - I can't tell someone how to live their life.  I cannot know their soul, I cannot judge their conscience, I cannot change them, and I have no authority over their lives to do so.  Each person, like the philosopher and theologian, may speculate upon his existence, he may debate the problems associated with it, he may publish his convictions, but he cannot change Natural or Divine Law, nor Catholic teaching to suit himself.  Not even the Pope can change Catholic teaching on faith and morals. 


That said, I respect each persons right to know himself, even as he is known.

Going forward, maybe I'll add to these thoughts - maybe not.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ze Pep's butler's beg mestake...


The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

Paolo Gabrielle, the butler, did it because he wanted to shock and expose corruption in the Church.
Pope Benedict XVI's butler will be tried on an aggravated theft charge over the leaking of hundreds of secret papers from the pope's personal apartment to an Italian journalist, a Vatican spokesman said Monday.

The butler, Paolo Gabriele, acted out of a desire to combat "evil and corruption everywhere in the Church," according to a prosecutor in the case.

"I was certain that a shock ... would have been healthy to bring the church back onto the right track," the prosecutor, Nicola Piccardi, wrote in a report released Monday by the Vatican. - Source
He could have just started a blog using a pseudonym, such as Peter Canisius instead.  Or is that how he did it? 

Fr. Mark Kirby on Paul VI and His 'Credo of the People of God'



A time when "Many lost their footing in the faith."

Fr. Mark, Prior of Siverstream Priory wrote a sort of synopsis of what was going on when Pope Paul VI released his Credo - noting the indifference with which it was received.  This document predated Humane Vitae by less than a month - and history demonstrates how that was received.

What I appreciate about Father's post is his concise history of the 'moment'.  While he was faithfully seeking God - I at that time was indulging myself in the new found freedoms of the age.  Father's perspective is right on - something I came to understand in the summer of 1972.  The big difference between someone like me and Fr. Mark is that Father remained faithful to God throughout his life - I did not.  Perseverance is the key to sanctity.  But I digress.

I Survived the Summer of 1968
Pope Paul VI promulgated The Credo of the People of God on 30 June1968, less than one month before releasing his prophetic Encyclical Humanae Vitae. I lived through these events. I remember them well. It was a very hot summer; I was volunteering in a program for disadvantaged inner-city children. Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated earlier that same summer on 5 June.

Priests, religious, and seminarians were thrust into a whirlwind of liturgical, theological, and moral confusion. Many lost their footing in the faith. Even "enclosed" monasteries were affected. It was not uncommon to find that Zen Buddhism, so-called "Catholic" Pentecostalism, and a fascination with Garabandel and other apparitions had all made inroads into the same monastery. The Trappists, it seems, were especially hard hit by the rage for pluralism. The idea was that there should be something for everyone: "I'm OK, You're OK" (published in 1967) was the new Summa. Everything was subject to redefinition and reformulation. And, not to be forgotten: The National Association for Pastoral Renewal came out with the "Make Celibacy Optional" bumper sticker.

In Paris, student protesters and strikers launched the now famous social revolution of mai 68, the matrix of a generation of soixante-huitards (sixty-eighters), who, alas, would carry their groovy ideologies forward into the new millennium in both the world and the Church.

In the world of popular culture, the Broadway musical Hair opened in April 1968, offering young people a combination of music and lyrics that glorified every manner of sexual license and perversion. The pollution of the sexual revolution poured into the Church through the windows opened at the Second Vatican Council to let in fresh air. Young Religious of the Sacred Heart, formerly so ladylike and prim, discovered the joy of theological dialogue with edgy long haired Jesuit scholastics in jeans and sandals . . . and the rest is history.

Among Catholics, there was a heady feeling in the air, enticing even the brightest and the best to believe that everything in the Church and in society had to be re-imagined and re-created, beginning with the liturgy. Tampering with the liturgy led to tampering with the doctrine of the faith; and tampering with the doctrine of the faith led to a skewed moral theological and ethical praxis. - Finish reading here.
Fr. Mark knows how we got where we are today too.


"Allow yourself to be taught." - John of the Cross



Hate Groups in Minnesota?



Book-burners too.

Sunday's Minneapolis Star/Tribune ran a story titled, "Trying to track hate, in Minnesota and around the country" followed by "The Southern Poverty Law Center lists 12 hate groups in Minnesota, though the criteria for inclusion aren't always clear." For a listing, click here.
The same organization that was keeping track of the shooter at the Wisconsin Sikh temple has identified a dozen active "hate groups" in Minnesota.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed organizations ranging from a group founded by a member of the former American Nazi Party to a parents' organization that opposed repealing a controversial Anoka-Hennepin School District policy on issues of sexual orientation.

Leaders of those groups and others listed by the center dispute the "hate" label. Some call the Law Center hateful and slanderous. 
 "The only reason why some people would consider us a hate group is because they're too ignorant to open their eyes and see what we are really all about," said a man who identified himself over the phone as Mike Schmidt, public relations director for the National Socialist Movement, which the Law Center lists as "neo-Nazi." "There's nothing on our website that promotes hate. ... Our organization is about self-preservation of our own people and the promotion and advancement of it." - Star/Tribune


"Leaders of those groups and others listed by the center dispute the "hate" label."

That's an understatement, to be sure.  Be that as it may, I was surprised to see one group identified as a hate group, that being The Remnant Newspaper and Publisher.   The reason?  Rad-Trad.  Seriously.  Here is how SPLC  defines the danger:
“Radical traditionalist” Catholics, who may make up the largest single group of serious anti-Semites in America, subscribe to an ideology that is rejected by the Vatican and some 70 million mainstream American Catholics. Many of their leaders have been condemned and even excommunicated by the official church.

Adherents of radical traditional Catholicism, or “integrism,” routinely pillory Jews as “the perpetual enemy of Christ” and worse, reject the ecumenical efforts of the Vatican, and sometimes even assert that recent popes have all been illegitimate. They are incensed by the liberalizing reforms of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, which condemned hatred for the Jews and rejected the accusation that Jews are collectively responsible for deicide in the form of the crucifixion of Christ.

Radical traditionalists are not the same as Catholics who call themselves “traditionalists” — people who prefer the old Latin Mass to the mass now typically said in vernacular languages — although the radicals, as well, like their liturgy in Latin. They also embrace extremely conservative social ideals with respect to women. - SPLCenter

Hmmmmmmmmmm ...  I wonder if the SPLCenter tracks bloggers?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More Mass Chat: Cosmic Mass... Evolutionary.






Click here.  For the 11 second shot - go here.

"We are called to be whole-makers, to evolve by uniting, growing and becoming more complex. We are not to seek the living among the dead. Rather, we are to forge a new future, a new hope, a new life that begins with our own lives." - Sr. Ilia Delio

These people continue to influence the Church - here and there... through some crack... the smoke... still gets in.

Our Lady of Medjugorje at the Olymics! Croatia Wins Gold!


Croatia's Paulo Obradovic, top, shoots against Italy's Amaurys Perez during the men's water polo gold medal match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London.


I watched it happen too!  Then I napped.

Disclaimer: Photo from another event/sport. 



Kat has another nice faith story here


Yay Croatia!  Photo not from 2012 Olympics.



Comments are closed:  Please use the sharing buttons, and for heaven's sake, please donate and send Fr. Z to the UK.  Click here.



What?

Now they are talking... Lions and tigers and Barbara Marx Hubbard's heretical roots... oh my!

Hildegard Von Bingen, Tree of Life*



Witchy woman.

Now the influential bloggers are talking.  Now. 

I told you.  I asked, What is Barbara Marx Hubbard doing ...

and then I discussed, The Barbara Marx Hubbard LCWR Seedbed initiative...

No matter - at least the word is getting out.  Oddly enough - variations of the Barbara Marx Hubbard conscious evolution and social synergy movement toward an evolutionary politic has been around since the 1960's - in one reincarnation or another, that is.  It has influenced the formation of numerous seminarians and religious throughout the decades since - it has many Theosophical roots and branches...  The Enneagram, Transcendental Meditation**, Trance-dance, Esalen Institute, maybe a few Cenacle retreat centers and so on.  They are here and they are indeed queer - in the original sense of that word.  

And yet all of this time you just thought it was the communists and the gays in the priesthood, and you blamed it on the Novus Ordo.  Now it's right smack dab in your face, and you still don't take it seriously.

And who let this smoke of Satan into the Church?  The men in charge.  So hold onto your pom-poms guys, "Unfortunately, it is painfully obvious that the Church’s male leadership is not prepared to accept this new wave of educated women... "   Why did you ever let them wear the pants in the first place?

Maybe now you'll all wake up and smell the fusion...


*Hildegarde was not a witch of course, she is a saint and soon to be Doctor of the Church.  nevertheless her mysticism is esteemed by New Age cults and Catholic feminists.

**Did I ever mention I was into TM at one time? 

Mass Chat: The Heather King homily.

Léon Morin Priest, Jean-Paul Belmondo
plays a priest who has a profound influence
 on a cynical widow in Nazi-occupied France.


Under the influence.

All I've got for Mass Chat is to note the priest used a quote from Heather King for his homily.  He frequently uses the meditations and commentaries from Magnificat as a springboard for his homilies.  Nothing wrong with that.  I very much like Heather King's reflections myself, and enjoy reading her blog - so no criticism here.

The other day I received an email wherein the writer used the term, influential bloggers.  That thought popped into my head immediately as Father gave credit to Heather King in his homily.  "That's it!" I thought.  There is no A-list of bloggers - something I knew BTW - I write about it all of the time.  Nevertheless, there are groups of influential bloggers.  Some of these writers blog on their own, others do so for print media, or publishing houses, and so on.  Receiving a link on news portals boosts a blogger's stats, but it doesn't mean the blogger is automatically influential, unless it becomes a daily thing, perhaps.  However, frequent links from a news portal, round-up, index, what have you, may be a good sign of growing influence, or just friendly 'corporate' promotion.  I may be wrong, but I think the news portals use stats to measure how much traffic is generated by particular authors, sites, stories, and so on.  But I digress. 

It seems to me, for bloggers to be truly influential, they usually have to have a book floating around the marketplace, make the lecture circuit (it helps to be a published author or journalist), or possess some other claim to fame - such as the academia-nuts for instance:  "I'm Professor Puddlesworth and I head the Sexual Ethics Department at St. Trinnian's School for Girls."  Recent converts, recovering alcoholics and married homosexuals can have a bit of influence as well.  (I'm deliberately not mentioning the ordained who are influential because of their vocation.)

Truly influential bloggers influence discussion and debate, they attract the attention of VIPs as well as the average pewsitter - they have the stats and followers to prove it - and in some cases, the advertisers and donations to boot.   Sometimes they get book deals.  A-listers they are not however - they do not have that kind of glamour or pop-culture mystique.  Neither have they become elites.  Influential is the appropriate descriptive.  They are where they are for a reason, and more often than not, they deserve credit for what they do.  Nothing envy however.

As for me, I'm very careful about online influences - and never blog under the influence.

Professor Jane Puddlesworth
She's friends with Mrs. Brady.


The sacrifice of being displeasing to oneself, and even to others.



What some Carmelites who lived with St. Therese of Lisieux really thought about her.

After St. Therese's memoir, Story of a Soul, appeared in 1898, people began to report graces received at her intercession, and pilgrims came to Lisieux to pray at her grave. The question of her canonization arose. On October 15, 1907, Bishop Lemonnier, newly appointed bishop of Bayeux, called for information from those who had known Sister Therese of the Child Jesus; he was investigating her reputation for sanctity within the diocese. On November 9, 1907, Sister Therese of Jesus, who had lived in the Lisieux Carmel since before Therese entered, but who later left the Carmel at her own request in 1909, answered with him this letter.
Monseigneur,

I loved little sister Therese of the Child Jesus very much because of her youth. She was a good child, never making trouble, loving to give services. A good little character; she had her imperfections: everyone does.
I have never seen anything that suggests she could be raised to the altar. Getting up in the morning, filling her little day, never overloaded.
I lived 9 years and 6 months with her. I saw a child feted, cherished, adored, always placed on a pedestal. The Mother Prioress (then Marie de Gonzague) doted on her.
The blood sisters of little Thérèse considered her a paragon, always giving her compliments, telling her that she was a saint, and the rest. Ah! I thought: they are imprudent. Here is a child who is praised to the skies. When her hair was cut, they kept the hair as a relic. It is easy to be amiable when you are fawned upon."


Therese would rejoice in the above testimony. 

Christ is mine and all for me ...



I've decided it doesn't matter what other people do or say, or what kind of accommodations they make with their consciences to make it through this earthly pilgrimage.  I can't live their lives, and I can't tell them how to live their lives.

No matter what happens, what is said, what is done - the Church can never change her teachings.  Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  I am Christ's and Christ is mine...
"Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God Himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me." - St. John of the Cross

Remember Lot's wife, who turned into a salt-shaker after she went back to check her email one last time...