Saturday, September 15, 2012

No Funeral Mass?



Liverpool doesn't have enough priests?

Evidently the Archdiocese of Liverpool has the priests, but there are more funerals than they can handle... therefore lay people are being trained to officiate at funerals - which means no funeral Mass.  That is the whole point of a Catholic funeral - right?  A Mass?  When people are denied a Catholic funeral* - most people think that only then are they buried without a Mass.  You can appoint anyone to say the prayers - but it's neither a priest's blessing nor a Mass.  The Mass is THE preeminent prayer for the dead.  This is such a shame.
"In some of our parishes in the diocese priests are being asked to celebrate over 120 funerals each year," Archbishop Kelly wrote.

"That does not neatly work out at two or three times a week," he wrote. "Some weeks there can be six or seven."

Archbishop Kelly said that the lay ministers -- some of whom are drawn from the roster of Eucharistic ministers, catechists and religious sisters -- would receive continuing support and training to ensure that the service they provide is "of the best quality" and was not seen by Catholics as "second-class." - US Catholic 
 
Really?  Well what are priests for?  Writing blogs?  Let them say Mass and let someone else go to the cemetery then.  In my parish if there is a funeral, daily Mass is not celebrated that day. 

It doesn't make sense.  I can understand in areas where there are no priests at all - but if you have the priests it seems to me they can handle it.  Imagine if St. John Vianney didn't show up for Mass or confessions because it was just him and he'd already had too many.

Maybe if priests were actually ordained for ministry there wouldn't be this problem.  (Think a few celebrity priests - with or without secular jobs... just saying.)

*Like Teddy Kennedy.  What?
 

See? Everything is okay. Or - Can't we all just get along?

"That’s why a crabby, griping, whining believer is an oxymoron!
That’s why we say, “Joy is the infallible sign of God’s presence.”
Cardinal Dolan


Cardinal Dolan and Stephen Colbert and Fr. James Martin, S.J. Comedy Hour.

Cardinal Dolan prayed at both conventions.  Cardinal Dolan was at Fordham last night.  Fr. James Martin hosted he and Stephen Colbert.  According to all reports, it was a fun and funny evening.  Cardinal Dolan is a great guy - I mean that with all of my heart.  I like Colbert and I like Fr. Martin too.  They are Catholics.  Fordham is Catholic.  Get it?  It's a wonderful life!  Life is beautiful!  Get it?  These people are Catholic.  Get it?

No, I don't think you do.  Because there are a lot of blogged-down-and-dirty Catholics who condemn these folks - for sure they condemn Fr. James Martin.  Who are you people?  Fr. James Martin, S.J. is a priest in excellent standing.  Therefore, if the Church doesn't condemn Fr. Martin, then I don't either. 

Oh.  So anyway, Cardinal Dolan writes about the Fordham event here:

Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life

Tonight I was privileged to be at Fordham University in the Bronx for a special evening on “Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life” with TV host Stephen Colbert and Father James Martin, SJ. I had a great time, and it appeared that the more than 3000 people — mostly students — jammed into the Rose Hill Gymnasium had a great time as well. - Here’s the text of my remarks.
"Lord save us from sour faced saints." - Teresa of Avila 
 
What?

 

St. Hildegarde of Bingen

Birth of the Antichrist


I do not know a great deal about the mysticism of St. Hildegarde, but I am familiar with a few of her visions.  Now that the Holy Father will declare her a Doctor of the Church - the Saint's writings assume a greater significance, don't they.  Some of her visions, especially as they are depicted in illuminations, are bizarre to say the least.  The illuminations seem very contemporary really, and in some instances, seemingly risque.  I've always thought she could be the patron saint of binge-drinkers, on account of her title, of Bingen.   And perhaps some of her visions were the result of hallucinogenic mold or wild berries found in the forest.  I'm kidding of course.  Or am I?

Inspired by the elevation of St. Hildegarde, I've decided to go forward and document some of the dreams I had many years ago, shortly after my conversion.  Creepy dreams of decadent clergy and bizarre rites...  way before the scandals broke out.

 
 

Our Lady of Sorrows



 
Prayer to Our Lady

O Mother of Sorrows, Mother of Mercy, Help of Christians, most faithful minister of Divine Providence, Mediatrix of all graces, remember that never in the world has it been heard that thou hast left him without comfort who has come to thee with true devotion. Wherefore, I, trusting in thy tender pity and in thy most generous providence, bend low before thee, praying that thou wouldst hear my prayer.

Obtain for me a holy provision for the future, namely, graces for all my spiritual and temporal needs, and most especially, the grace of a holy death.  Remember those dearest to me, those for whom I pray and offer my life.

I fervently recommend to thy loving motherly Heart our Holy Church, especially our Holy Father Benedict XVI, the conversion of sinners, the spread of the Catholic faith and those Souls chosen by Our Lord, who are suffering the tormenting flames of Purgatory, that they may soon be comforted with eternal refreshment. Amen.

Thank you for thy Maternal protection and all the graces for which I pray.  Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us now, and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I guess Brad Pitt threw his mother under the bus.



Or why should I care what celebrities think and say?

Why do we care?  What does it matter?  As Hurricane Isaac approached, Ellen Barkin quipped, “C’mon #Isaac! Wash every pro-life, anti-education, anti-woman, xenophobic, gay-bashing, racist SOB right into the ocean! #RNC"  So?

Brad Pitt supports gay marriage.  Yeah?  His mother doesn't.  So?  Jolie's dad supports Brad's mom.  So?  Angelina and Brad once said they wouldn't get married until everyone who wants to get married can do so.  That worked, huh?  No one is under that bus BTW.

Futhermore.  I once said if you allow gays to get married then everyone is gonna want to do it.  I said it first, Elizabeth...

Which reminds me, The Anchoress claims she did.  Kind of.  Then she tries to credit/pump stats for Fr. Longenecker with the Hollywood director story about how men and goats should be able to get married.  Of course Mark Shea is credited with the Cassavetes endorsement for incest - as if he originated it.  Excuse me!  I'm the one who rewrote the Brady Bunch script with everyone jumping into bed with one another after gay marriage gets approved!  So yes.  I'm the one who said: "If you legalize gay marriage, then everyone is going to want to get married."  Although, truth be told, I was actually thinking cohabiting heterosexual couples might be inspired to do so.  What?

Seriously folks - the film people telling you this crap are Hollywood personalities - they are just celebrities.  If anything, they are voice-overs for popular culture.  They live in Gaga-land.  Many of them already live amoral lives to begin with, and they have absolutely no civic or moral authority to change anything more serious than their hairstyle.  These folks are totally dependent upon ratings and fan-based approval.  If they are religious at all, they are probably Scientologists or something New Age - and yet we reprint their statements on this or that as if they make any difference.  Michael Jackson was way ahead of them and look how much he influenced music and dance - and that's about all.

My sister and her family support gay marriage and think I'm mind-controlled by the Catholic Church for opposing it.  Who cares?  Believe me - no one is under the bus.  Crap, there isn't even a real bus.

I'm starting a new category for my blog:  Patheos-watch.  Watch 'em go pick up some Hollywood chick to blog for them now!  It could happen.  What?


 

A Modern Faierie Tale: The enchanted, naked monk and the mystical berry-laden vine in the forest...

 
Are those berries I see in yonder bush?


nce there was a kindly young monk who decided to go into the forest and live as a hermit - for just a very short time, mind you - perhaps just long enough to get a taste of the experience to write a best selling book with movie rights. 

Now the monk, being a prudent fellow, prepared carefully for his retreat, packing provisions of food and drink, taking along a tent to act as his hermitage, as well as extra clothes for warmth and protection - not forgetting bug spray and a first aid kit.  Changing from his habit to sleek spandex biking shorts, with biker slippers and a bright skinny top, crowned with the latest bike helmet, the monk mounted his all-terrain-state-of-the-art bike and set off, into the woods - to live a solitary life in holy poverty and rigorous asceticism...


Into the woods!



he forest was immense, and dark, covered by the ancient canopy of giant trees of fir and spruce, oak and beech.  In the clefts of the rocks the holy monk came upon elves, carving wooden statues of saints, while others seemed to be making cuckoo clocks.  The monk was startled to discover that the elves cast a spell on the cuckoos and petrified them, rather than carving facsimiles from wood.  "Why all the donate signs?" The monk wondered.  "These gyrovagues request donations for bird feed, and yet they petrify their birds?"  The monk shook his head, congratulating himself that he is going to live a poor life as a hermit, hidden away in the woods - no Internet access, no outside contact whatsoever.


All alone in nature...

 
oving along, the monk made it to a small clearing overlooking the tree tops and there set up his hermitage.  Thrilled by the vista, in the distance he could see the sun just beginning to set.  Afraid that he would be eaten alive by mosquitoes, the adventurous monk removed all of his clothes to apply the non-aerosol spray bug-repellent, all over his body.  Once covered, the monk felt slightly nauseous and took some benadryl for his allergies and Tylenol for his aching limbs from biking for so long, on top of that, he took an ibuprofen for the headache caused by the bug spray.  He opened his flask of schnapps to wash down the meds, quite confident the alcohol wouldn't interfere with his earlier dose of anti-depressants.  Then it was that he noticed a patch of delicious looking berries, and feeling hungry, he picked some and ate them. 

 
Suddenly, out of the brush, a fox appeared and said, "You should have eaten the food in your provisions, since the berries you found so delectible are toxic and soon you will begin to feel disoriented and hallucinate all sorts of strange things - such as talking foxes and fairies and elves making clocks and carving statues - that kind of stuff."


"What did you say, Mr. Fox?"  Asked the incredulous monk weaving to and fro over a rock he thought was the fox dressed up like his grand mama.  Then, in the distance, the monk thought he heard music... disco music.  Off he went, looking for the bar, as the berries made him thirsty - but he was naked as a Jay-bird - although he imagined that he was covered in foliage, like the green men of the forest. 

However, the next day a hiker found the naked monk wandering near the edge of the forest.  It soon became clear the poor monk had accidentally eaten poisonous berries... The rest of the story is related here, without embellishment, I might add:
 The hiker called police in Unterw√∂ssen, a Bavarian town right near the Austrian border, after he spotted the naked, scraped-up man staggering around in the woods.

The mysterious man declined the do-gooder hiker's help, but when police came they found him disoriented and cold and hospitalized him.

It was discovered there that the man was a monk from a nearby town, Traunstein, on a camping trip by bicycle.

After accidentally eating poisonous berries, he had had hallucinations and partial paralysis, wandered off and couldn't find his way back to his tent.

The monk survived without any serious health problems, and police credited the hiker who found him with helping to ensure he didn't suffer any more than he did. - News Source
 
The moral of the story?  If you go into the forest to be a hermit, maybe bring along your cell phone and lap top like the others do.  And just say no to drugs and alcohol.  Oh, and keep your clothes on.  Then, if you can't ask for donations, maybe your online forest friends can do it for you.

What?
 

Acton Institute President, Fr. Robert Sirico on Raymond Arroyo 'World Over Live' last night.



Fr. Sirico is a regular guest on Arroyo's news hour.

I'm always surprised by that, considering Fr. Sirico's history.  Yes, I believe a man can change.  And yes, I believe men do change.  By the grace of God.

Which makes me wonder if EWTN will eventually cut ties with Fr. Sirico too?  I also have to wonder what Fr. Regis Scanlon might say about Sirico's ordination?  Finally, is the Acton Institute Catholic?*


*It's not.

Exaltation of the Holy Cross


It is a good day to renew your vows. 

The monastic fast begins today. 

In addition, many religious observe the anniversary of their profession this day, while new religious are received, or make their first or final profession as well.

Hail to you, Life-giving Cross!
Invincible standard of piety, gate to Paradise!
Support of the faithful and Rampart of the Church!
Through you corruption has been annulled
and the power of death has been vanquished and subdued,
and we have been lifted up from earth to heavenly realms.
Invincible weapon against demons, Glory of the venerable martyrs!
Our true adornment and Salvation from sorrow,
you have granted great mercy to the world.    -source

Pier Vittorio Tondelli



Tondelli was born this day, September 14, 1955. 

The controversial Italian writer, who died in 1991 due to complications of AIDS, had been reconciled with the Church before he finally succumbed to the disease. He died a Catholic. 

The Holy Father in Lebanon

Pray for the Holy Father.
 
Pray the Rosary every day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Greatest hits!

 


Generate online traffic.

Online hits and traffic:  Make advertisers happy.  Put money in website coffers and blogger pockets - and keep administrators employed.  Stats aren't just ego boosters.

I've learned a lot about blogging in the past few weeks.  We think we are independent and on our own and that blogger services are free.  Truth is, there are lots of spiders attached.

I think it was last week, or the week before that a blogger called it quits - more or less indefinitely.  The site she blogs for pays attention to stats.  A post of hers showed up on a Catholic blog/news index/portal a couple of times since then.  The hits generated when that happens can be enormous.  Once in awhile I've been picked up by news portals and the hits went over 5000 a day.  Imagine what someone like Fr. Z gets on a normal day.

Think of the hits generated by writing about contentious, negative topic and stories circulating in media - especially if you have a scoop, or happen to be a well known writer.  Think of the hits generated by repeated attacks upon individuals and groups who boil over the Catholic news sites.  Think of the hits blog wars accumulate, name-calling promote, and so on. 

All to make money.

Recently I did a post with a priests name in the title - the priest was the focus of a blog war between he and another blogger.  Other bloggers, always good for the fight, got themselves involved.  Think of all the hits they generated with their smear posts.  My post was literally a nonsense post - it was random and used names in unrelated sentences, unconnected to what actually happened.  The upshot is that it became one of the most popular posts I have ever done.  The runners up for all-time hits are interesting as well:  Bradley Cooper, and KamaSutra Catholicism - they still get the hits.  It's a hoot.  But I don't care - I don't make money on them.  Somehow Blogger does though.  Nothing is free, and everything has strings - spiders - attached.

If we think we are important because we get paid, or because we get the hits and the followers, etc. - that's too bad...
Your boasting is inappropriate.
Why not rather put up with injustice?
Why not rather let yourselves be cheated?
Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers.
Do you not know the unjust will not inherit the Kingdom of God?
Time is running out.
let those using the world
act as not using the world...
Knowledge inflates with pride,
but love builds up.*

So what is my point?  Nothing, really.  Just saying.

*Taken from this week's first readings at Mass, 1 Corinthians.

Killing me softly...


Maybe quick, but not nice.


People who think euthanasia is painless are nuts.  Even cats know that.

"It would be easier to train a monkey."



I thought of Basil Fawlty's line in reference to Manuel when I saw this photo of a new species of Cercopithecus lomamiensis discovered in Congo.  This monkey certainly looks trainable - he has such an understanding face...

The face resembles the work of some of the attempts at icon writing by some iconographers whose work I've come across from time to time.  There is an uncanny humanity in the eyes, don't you think?

Sam Becile



Anyone else think the name is a play on the word imbecile?  That the whole thing may be the work of  anarchists?  Get it?  Anarchists laughing?  While fomenting war between religious imbeciles/fundamentalists?

After the attack and assassination in Lybia, conservatives began calling the murder of Ambassador Stevens an act of war.  They will get their war, I'm sure.
“If the U.N. does not mobilize to stop this erosion, it will be Armageddon,” MK Talab el-Sana told the Israeli paper. - Source
 
Just a thought.

Photo:  Rev. Terry Jones

A dangerous mission.



The Holy Father  will travel to Lebanon on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
Despite fears in some quarters for the Pope’s safety, Fr. Lombardi was confident that security matters would not create any undue cause for concern during the visit.

“In Lebanon everyone sees the Pope as welcome and there is no form of hostility,” he said, “we must remember that the Pope is not being presented as a political leader but a religious one.”

Pope Benedict will arrive in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Friday, Sept. 14. His first official port of call will be the Basilica of St. Paul in coastal town of Harissa, 12 miles to the north of Beirut. It is there, in the presence of the episcopate of the Middle East, that Pope Benedict will sign his Apostolic Exhortation. - CNA
I can't help thinking of the Fatima secret whenever the Holy Father travels.  The third part of the secret, that is.  What if it only seems as if all the events have taken place?  The text of the third part of the secret here:
The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.
I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
 
After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.
Tuy-3-1-1944”.

Pray for the Holy Father.  Pray the Rosary every day. - Our Lady of Fatima 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And then is heard no more...

 
 

September 12, Feast of the Holy Name of Mary.



For those unfamiliar with Roman Catholic tradition and devotion...

A feast originally celebrated on the first Sunday after the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorating the triumph of the Holy Rosary over militant Islam.
.
Permission to celebrate the feast was given to various religious orders in a prudent manner as has been the custom throughout Church history regarding feast-days, their dates, offices, liturgical expression, etc. However, this Feast of the Holy Name of Mary would one day be joyfully extended to the Universal Church, and this on account of rather dramatic circumstances involving one of Poland's great military heroes, John Sobieski [1629-1696].
.
While acting as field-marshal under King John Casimir, Sobieski had raised a force of 8,000 men and enough provisions to withstand a siege of Cossacks and Tartars, who were forced to retire unsuccessfully and at a loss. In 1672, under the reign of Michael Wisniowiecki, Sobieski engaged and defeated the Turkish army, who lost 20,000 men at Chocim.
.
'When King Michael died, Sobieski, a beloved hero at that point, was crowned King of Poland. But, even before his coronation could take place, he would again engage and drive back the Turkish hordes in separate battles including the raising of the siege at Trembowla. Once crowned, he advanced to the Ruthenian provinces, where, having too few soldiers to attack the Turks, who outnumbered his men ten to one, he literally wore out the enemy, garrisoning his troops at Zurawno. Because of this heroic effort, he was able to regain, by treaty, a good portion of the Ukraine.
.
With both Turks and Poles weary from battle, peace reigned for a time . . . until the Turks set their sights on Austria, setting out through Hungary with an army of approximately 300,000 men. Fleeing from Austria, Emperor Leopold asked for Sobieski's assistance, a plea which was seconded by the Papal Nuncio. In July 1683, the Grand Vizier Kara Mustapha had reached Vienna and laid siege to the city, which was being defended by only 15,000 men. Sobieski set out for Vienna in August, his forces marching behind the banner of the Blessed Virgin. Passing by the Sanctuary of Mary in Czestochowa, they implored Our Lady's help and blessing. Writing centuries later to the bishops of Poland, Pope Pius XII recalled the supplications of Sobieski to Mary at the Sanctuary on Jasna Gora [i.e., "Bright Hill"], the site of the Shrine.
.
Battle was engaged before the walls of Vienna on September 12, 1683, with Sobieski seemingly put to flight by "the fierce Turkish forces. However, this retreat was a minor setback only. The Hussars renewed their assault and charged the Turks, this time sending the enemy into a retreat. The combat raged on, until Sobieski finally stormed the enemy camp. The Turkish forces were routed, Vienna was saved, and Sobieski sent the "Standard of the Prophet" to Pope Innocent XI along with the good news. In a letter to the Pontiff, Sobieski summed up his victory in these words: Veni, vidi, Deus vicit -----"I came, I saw, God conquered!" To commemorate this glorious victory, and render thanksgiving to God and honor to Our Lady for their solicitude in the struggle, Pope Innocent XI extended "The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary" to the Universal Church. Although the feast was originally celebrated on the Sunday after the Nativity of Mary, Pope St. Pius X [+1914] decreed that it be celebrated on September 12, in honor of the victory of the Catholic forces under John Sobieski.

The history of this feast reminds us in some ways of that of "Our Lady of the Rosary," which was instituted to celebrate and commemorate the victory of the Catholic forces over the Turkish navy at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571: "And thus Christ's faithful warriors, prepared to sacrifice their life and blood for the welfare of their Faith and their country, proceeded undauntedly to meet their foe near the Gulf of Corinth; while those who were unable to join them formed a band of pious supplicants, who called on Mary and, as one, saluted Her again and again in the words of the Rosary, imploring Her to grant victory to their companions engaged in battle. Our sovereign Lady did grant Her aid." [Pope Leo XIII, Supremi Apostolatus, 1883] - Source
.
Interestingly, Blessed Pope John Paul II restored the feast of the Holy Name of Mary one year after the events of 9/11 in 2002.  He never kissed another Koran either.
 
Pray the Rosary every day ... Our Lady of Fatima

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Euthanasia on my mind.



Kitty-Kat Heaven.
 

When can a Pro-Life Catholic do it?

My cat is old and she's been sick for several weeks.  She's been having elimination problems.  I take her back to the doctor tomorrow.  He will examine her again to see if she just has an infection, or something worse.  The cat has a good appetite, remains affectionate, but doesn't use the cat box.  I've always cleaned the cat box twice daily, now, thinking it is too hard for her to go downstairs, I brought the cat box upstairs.  It is not working.

I may have to euthanize the cat... but she seems so alert and responsive... yeah, but it may be time.

It occurred to me that we moderns have an inordinate attachment to our animals, our pets.  Contemporary pet owners literally regard their animals as family.  Single people and childless couples especially regard their pets as children.  Just watch the pet shows and the pet ads if you disagree with me.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say things like, "I like animals way more than people..."  Hence our reluctance to let them go or put them to sleep.  Although we convince ourselves it is more loving to euthanize them than to let them suffer. 

I think this is why euthanasia for people is becoming more acceptable in secular culture and amongst the poorly catechized.  We convince ourselves that our family members, like our pets, should never have to suffer... and many of us see no value in suffering...

The problem is we do not understand ourselves.  We do not understand that we have an immortal soul - animals do not.  We want them to have one - but it's pretty much determined they do not.  We do.  Therefore, we can euthanize a pet, but we can't euthanize our loved ones - mortal man, created in the image and likeness of God, has an immortal soul.  

If this is our future, why so much fuss about threats to religious freedom?



A quote from Cardinal Ratzinger now circulating the blogosphere:
From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge—a Church that has lost much. It will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. It will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices it built in its palmy days. As the number of its adherents diminishes, so will it lose many of its social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, it will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision. As a small society it will make much bigger demands on the initiative of its individual members. Undoubtedly it will discover new forms of ministry, and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Alongside this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly.

The Church will be a more spiritualized Church, not presuming upon a political mantle, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost it much valuable energy. It will make it poor and cause it to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. (…). But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. (…) It may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that it was until recently; but it will enjoy a fresh blossoming, and be seen as humanity’s home where they will find life and hope beyond death. - Cardinal Ratzinger, Faith and the Future, 1971
 
 
Pray the Rosary every day ... Our Lady of Fatima 
 
 
It seems to me the future is now - which is the best explanation I can think of for why there have been so many fallen stars, false teachers ... 

 

Patriot Day 9/11/12



On this day, the President requests that the American flag be flown at half-staff at individual American homes, at the White House, and on all U.S. government buildings and establishments, home and abroad. The President also asks Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 A.M. (Eastern Daylight Time), the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. - Source
 

Pray the Rosary every day ... - Our Lady of Fatima 
 
In her tribute, Adrienne posted the last homily of the chaplain for these guys raising the flag on 9/11.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Excommunicate the evil-doer from your midst.



The Bible tells me so.

Last night I read a couple of chapters in Deuteronomy.  Sometimes I just read from the Bible where I happen to open to - mostly when I'm tired after the night rosary.  Anyway - I opened to the precepts regarding marriage - who shall die for what offense, and so on.  "Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst."  Usually by stoning.  The Law was so strict that even a man who had a nocturnal emission during the night had to go outside the camp the next day, and purify himself before returning after dark.

I went to bed thinking the readings were interesting but didn't really pertain to our lives today.  Then after today's first reading at Mass, my lectio made more sense.  Paul told the Corinthians that the man living with his father's wife should be excommunicated "from their midst... handed over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh."  [1Cor. 5:1-8]  That's pretty severe.  Thus we are reminded that the early Church was nearly as severe as Old Testament Israel. (Pius V had some things to say about the 'filth in the Church' of his day as well.)  The Church today can also discipline, rebuke, sanction, or even excommunicate to clear out the old yeast and freshen the dough.

Yet the modern Church has been much more tolerant.  When I was little, Italian actresses, Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida were designated 'public sinners' by the Vatican.  It was big news in those days before the Council.  People were still publicly condemned, some excommunicated - but after the Council, not so much.

Not many days ago, Cardinal Burke spoke on how Canonical discipline was abandoned after the Council:

Cardinal Burke: anti-canonical priestly culture devastated Church after Vatican II

Lamenting a clerical culture dismissive of canon law in the decades following the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Raymond Burke addressed a Kenyan canon law convention on August 28 about "the essential service of canon law in the work of the new evangelization."
"After I began my studies of Canon Law in September of 1980, I soon learned how much the Church's discipline was disdained by her priests, in general," he recounted. "Institutes of the Church's law, which, in her wisdom, she had developed down the Christian centuries, were set aside without consideration of their organic relationship to the life of the Church or of the chaos which would necessarily result from their neglect or abandonment."  "The 'hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture,' which has tried to hijack the renewal mandated by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, is marked by a pervasively antinomian culture, epitomized by the Paris student riots of 1968, and has had a particularly devastating effect on the Church's discipline," he continued. "It is profoundly sad to note, for instance, how the failure of knowledge and application of the canon law, which was indeed still in force, contributed significantly to the scandal of the sexual abuse of minors by the clergy in our some parts of the world." - Source
 
"How much filth there is in the Church..."

Today some Catholics are clamouring for dissenters and abusers to be excommunicated - if not burnt at the stake.  Indeed, the Church has the power to cleanse itself from the filth Cardinal Ratzinger spoke about in his Way of the Cross meditations so many years ago.  Yet canonical discipline continues to be rarely implemented, and dissenters are rarely rebuked, save by ultra-traditionalists and some Catholic bloggers - who have no canonical status.

In the past, Cardinal Burke himself has been fairly lenient in enforcing the rules, at least as regarding religious discipline; nothing liturgical however...  he's pretty strict about that stuff.  Bishop Finn too.


What can I say?

I guess Bishop Finn is guilty as charged.


Bishops bathing in a river.  Fernando Botero

Failing in 'good faith' - kind of like, 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'.

I really wasn't paying attention to the Bishop Finn story, but some details were brought to my attention this past weekend by a couple of readers.

Rod Dreher, a former Catholic who left the Church mainly because of the way bishops handled the sex abuse scandal, recently wrote a post about growing disenchantment with the bishops amongst Catholics - his thoughts were related to the Bishop Finn case.  What did I think of what he had to say?  The best part of his post - for me at least - was Dreher's comment  concerning Catholics devastated by the failures of the institutional Church and its 'leadership class'*: "Many of the Catholics I know who have held on to their faith despite the scandal are people who always held the episcopate and the clergy in a certain unfavorable regard."

Works for me.  I only returned to the Church because Christ is really, truly present in the Eucharist, and sins are forgiven in the sacrament of penance.  I can't really say that I have an unfavorable regard for priests and bishops, but neither do I 'idolize' them, as some would suggest Catholics do.  Though I've known 'fallen' priests, and my distress and disappointment in their fall has been deep - not so much because I had placed them on a pedestal, but because I knew them, and was confident that they were faithful and solid and stable.  Rather than drive me away from the Church, their fall from grace has made me more aware of how frail, weak, and inconstant mortal man is, and more importantly, how unsure our salvation can be.

As for Bishop Finn?  I have nothing to contribute. 

The blog  Waiting for Gadot to Leave  has some interesting things to say however. 




*Interesting choice of words, others, who dislike the hierarchy, refer to it as a caste system.  In both cases, it suggests servility to clergy, and seems to issue from a certain anti-clericalism.  There is the 'anti-clericalism of the saints' and then there is the anti-clericalism of dissent.  Very often it is difficult to recognize the difference. 
 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Florida trailer park rebuilds after tornado spawned by Hurricane Isaac...



What?

Sunday's paper: William Jacobs - the Minneapolis pedophile no one stopped.



Sick and creepy.

The guy's photos at various ages and stages in his career head the front page article.  He's called a pedophile, but his victims were boys - mostly teenage boys.  I see that behavior as a homoerotic variant referred to as ephebophilia, yet legal and psychological experts use the term pedophilia, and that is the term homosexuals prefer as well, lest gay culture be tainted by its former association with NAMBLA.  Whatever terminology one chooses, it is sexual abuse of minors.  In mid-20th century parlance, Mr. Jacobs is a chicken queen.

No paper trail - don't ask - don't tell.

Before posting anything from the original article, I just want to point out a few things.  Jacobs moved from job to job - all the jobs and volunteer work provided him access to kids.  When caught or found out over the years, he was rarely fired, but trusted to refrain from acting out in the future.  He mostly changed jobs on his own volition.  None of his superiors reported the abuse to police.  In several situations, there were no records kept, or documentation left in his file.  As I've noted before, even if there had been, such information can not be divulged to potential employers.  Whenever I've tried to check employment records on future employees, I was only permitted to verify employment dates, and that was about it - legally, they could not even tell me if they would rehire the individual.

"I did everything in good faith. It was just a time before we really woke up to what could be happening."

At any rate, the story demonstrates how easily these things were swept under the rug, to avoid personal/corporate embarrassment and scandal.  It also helps us understand how psychologists and therapists could have believed a person would never offend again - and approve him to move on to another job.  What is perhaps more frightening is that Jacobs probably did not think anything was wrong with what he was doing - somehow he was able to justify his behavior.  Perhaps he didn't even know it was anything more than a cultural-societal taboo, or a sin against chastity?  Considering how one of his superiors acknowledged: 
Robert Telleen, (the director of YMCA's Camp Warren in Eveleth, MN, where Jacobs had worked as a camp counselor for 10 years), couldn't say whether he would have done anything different, such as go to the police.

"I don't know why I would have. Look, the times then were extremely different from now. At 31 years of age I'm not sure I'd even heard the term 'pedophile,'" he said. "I did everything in good faith. It was just a time before we really woke up to what could be happening." - Strib
"Bill claimed to have received a clear report from his own psychiatrist and social work(er)..."

Thus, for the person who became upset with me for saying parents are nuts if they let their kid do a sleep-over alone with a priest - or, as in this case, a teacher/camp counselor - or for that matter, anyone else... even uncle Bob; today's story is another reason I offer such warnings.*  And parents, just be mindful of the risks you take when you let your kids do such things.  Why do I say it over and over?  Because a neighbor used to take my brother hunting - just the two of them...  A friend I knew from school used to have sleep-overs with his teenage nephew - his nephew slept in his uncle's bed with him...  My parent's best friend had to use the bathroom, with me in it, while I was in the tub...  I've known a lot of perverts in my life - sad to say.

Uncle Bill...
In probing what would become one of the most disturbing cases of serial child molestation in Minnesota, the detectives also uncovered a history of missed opportunities and reluctance to expose a potential scandal. According to the investigative file, obtained by the Star Tribune under the Minnesota Data Practices Act, the detectives learned that in the early 1970s, Jacobs had lost as many as three teaching jobs because he fondled children, yet in each case, his supervisors kept the situations quiet.

They learned that in 1993, after Jacobs rose quickly in his new career as a police officer, a top state law enforcement official heard from someone who was molested years earlier by Jacobs but settled the issue with a private meeting. Jacobs' employer, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, was never told.

Not until a 15-year-old boy came forward to say the man he knew as "Uncle Bill" had been touching him for years did Jacobs finally face the consequences for his crimes.
In his first career as a teacher at prestigious prep schools, Jacobs' taste for boys kept getting him in trouble. Jacobs' first job after graduating from Northfield's Carleton College in 1965 was at the Taft School, a Connecticut boarding school, then all-male.

In a deposition he gave last May in exchange for being dropped from a victim's lawsuit, Jacobs said he was confronted by the headmaster for inappropriately "approaching" at least one student. Jacobs quietly left the school in 1971. Taft spokeswoman Julie Rieff said the school "has no knowledge of any improper conduct by Mr. Jacobs while at Taft."

He took his next job at the Blake School in Minneapolis. Around 1971, at least two students told their parents they were sexually abused by Jacobs. In his deposition, Jacobs said he was confronted by then-headmaster Jack Edie, who told him to finish the school year from home completing lesson plans.

Blake School spokeswoman Cathy McLane said officials cooperated with investigators and could find no documentation to determine whether Edie, who has since died, notified police of the allegations. - Finish reading.
 

Go to the Strib site to read the entire article - educate yourself.  Oh.  If a bill to lower the age of consent ever comes on the ballot in your state or country, just Vote No.

*Note:  Perpetrators are usually someone you know and trust.  Could be Uncle Buck, mom's boyfriend, a step dad, a dad, an older brother.  Friend of the family, a neighbor.  A teacher, a coach, a religious man, priest, minister... the tailor.  Seriously - remember Joey on "Friends"?  His tailor enjoyed taking accurate pant length measurements.  I mention it because when I was in high school, a guy at one of the stores downtown always took pant length measurements for the boys - and sometimes he serviced them further...

Mass Chat

 
Bruegel.1568.The Dutch inscription reads:
 'Because the world is perfidious, I am going into mourning'.


It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him; let him put his mouth in the dust - there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off for ever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. - Lamentations 3: 27-32

What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison – Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25). - Cardinal Ratzinger, 9th Station, Jesus falls the third time.

I was reminded of the Holy Father's meditation while reading this site.