Monday, September 24, 2018

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy, of Ransom.


B. Mariæ V. de Mercede
 
Merciful Father and God of all consolation,
you have shown yourself
to be wonderful in the glorious Virgin Mary,
Mother of Christ, and have given her to us
as the Mother of Mercy.
May all of us who venerate her with devotion,
always experience her powerful intercession,
and enjoy Your immense mercy.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

How urgently we need you now, Mother of Mercy ...

Sunday, September 23, 2018

This is the best comment ever. (In regard to Fr. Kalchik and the Cardinal.)



From Fr. Z's post on the story:

Fr Sean Coyle says:22 September 2018 at 1:24 PM
“Thirdly, the cardinal thinks you should get a psychological evaluation.” 
Edition 2, 2018 of Maria Legionis, the magazine of the Legion of Mary, gives the text of a talk given by the Servant of God Frank Duff, founder of the Legion of Mary, on “Legion Humour”. It includes this story: 
“Another example would be St. John Bosco in whom humour was as a running river. Like many another saint, he was accused of eccentricity. And on one occasion this caused him to be put into the custody of two Canons to convey him to a mental home. Arriving there, he got out of the vehicle first and formally handed over to the custodians of the institution the two high dignitaries who were with him. He explained that they would probably be a little violent at being held, which certainly proved to be the case. All the excited expostulation of the two Canons and their efforts to explain things were not heeded. John Bosco, who was calm itself during the incident, finally took his leave and departed in the vehicle leaving his former escort struggling in the hands of their captors.” - Fr. Z's Blog

Thank you Fr. Coyle!  Thank you Fr. Z!  Thank you Fr. Bosco!

Sounds like a scene from "Harvey".


Elwood's sister, Veta Louise Simmons, 
tries to have him committed to a sanatorium. 
In exasperation, she admits to the attending psychiatrist 
Dr. Lyman Sanderson that, 
after so many years of putting up with the invisible rabbit, 
she sees Harvey every once in a while herself. 
This causes Dr. Sanderson to let Elwood out and lock Veta up. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Please pray for this priest, Rev. Paul Kalchik

Rev. Paul Kalchik 

If reports are true it appears Fr. Kalchik has been hospitalized - sent for 'evaluation'.  


My readers will know his story, supposedly Fr. K burned a controversial Rainbow flag outside his parish and prayed prayers of exorcism, disobeying Cardinal Cupich's orders not to do so.  This poor priest is now the focus of LGBTQ protests and detraction.  New Ways Ministry has written an offensive post on how hurt LGBTQ Catholics happen to be, and other sources are repeating verses from the catechism on how LGBTQ people are supposed to be treated, and suggesting burning flags will lead to burning people.  They are already smarting from the fact that many of us are insisting the abuse scandal is in fact a gay scandal.  (The McCarrick case changed everything and pretty much exposed what many call gay network among clergy.)

Fr. Kalchik spoke out because he himself had been sexually abused by a priest when he was 17, I think.  Pray for him.  I'm praying for him and all priests who stand up for the truth.  Fr. Z actually has the latest on developments related to Fr. Kalchik.

(I know I'm linking to sources some of my readers do not like, so maybe don't read me on these issues.)

Catholics are in denial.

Dr. Mirus has a comprehensive article, In denial about not ordaining homosexuals, which I very much agree with.  Mirus lists fallacies regarding the abuse crisis and Catholic teaching.  He also lists every official Catholic Church prohibition against ordaining homosexuals.  As I have often repeated, Mirus also points out that dispensations abound to those rules.

I think Mirius may go a step too far by suggesting 'homosexuals be eliminated from the priesthood' which sounds like those already ordained be laicized.  Canonically that would only work in the case of actual sexual misconduct - I think.  That said, some priests with a homosexual inclination, already ordained, are faithful, chaste and celibate, and in no way advocate for LGBTQ causes.  These men should be left alone.  I'm of the opinion such priest not be made bishops or put in charge of formation.  But that's my personal opinion.  The place to start is to follow the instructions as to who can be admitted to seminary and religious life.
This contemporary issue was first settled in 2002 in response to a question from a bishop, which was answered on May 16th by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: 
Ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. - Mirus

Note;  I don't 'follow' Catholic Culture nor Dr. Mirus - I know little about the site, I just happen to agree with much of what he had to say in the article.  I also have compassion for Fr. Kalchik and thoroughly understand a priest is to be obedient to his bishop, however, this case seems to me to be taking on a highly politicized tone, and it seems to me the bishop in this case needs to stand with the priest as regards Catholic teaching.  Ordering psychiatric evaluation seems a bit like the clericalism the Holy See condemns these days.

Song for this post here.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I want to live here ...



Yesterday I did a silly post on FB on having to run an errand, adding how I never go anyplace, and so on.  It was meant as a joke.  Later, when I thought about it, I was a little embarrassed, since it was kind of true.  I really do live a rather quiet, withdrawn life.

Since I couldn't be a proper pilgrim-recluse like Benedict Joseph Labre, and since I wasn't able to be a Carthusian, I still always wanted to live that sort of life as closely as possible.  So I live an ordinary life, as if my house and yard is a little hermitage.  I pray as much as I can - especially now since I am retired, and in imitation of the desert fathers, I paint.  They made baskets of course, but it's similar - work with my hands joined to prayer.  Likewise, I garden.  Now I take care of a friend as well - which is a great gift.  So in a way, I'm living my dream, as odd and imperfect as it is.  It is a surprising grace.

I love the Immaculate Conception, and want to live here ... in her ... forever.  She is my paradise upon earth.  I have no need to go elsewhere.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Feast of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi




St. Francis began to contemplate most devoutly the Passion of Jesus Christ and His infinite charity; and so greatly did the fervor of devotion increase within him, that he was all transformed into Jesus by love and compassion. And being thus inflamed in that contemplation, on that same morning he beheld a seraph descending from heaven with six fiery and resplendent wings; and this seraph with rapid flight drew nigh unto St. Francis, so that he could plainly discern Him, and perceive that He bore the image of one crucified; and the wings were so disposed, that two were spread over the head, two were outstretched in flight, and the other two covered the whole body.
 And when St. Francis beheld it, he was much afraid, and filled at once with joy and grief and wonder. He felt great joy at the gracious presence of Christ, who appeared to him thus familiarly, and looked upon him thus lovingly, but, on the other hand, beholding Him thus crucified, he felt exceeding grief and compassion. He marveled much at so stupendous and unwonted a vision, knowing well that the infirmity of the Passion accorded ill with the immortality of the seraphic spirit. And in that perplexity of mind it was revealed to him by Him who thus appeared, that by divine providence this vision had been thus shown to him that he might understand that, not by martyrdom of the body, but by a consuming fire of the soul, he was to be transformed into the express image of Christ crucified in that wonderful apparition.
Then did all of Mount Alvernia appear wrapped in intense fire, which illumined all the mountains and valleys around, as it were the sun shining in his strength upon the earth, for which cause the shepherds who were watching their flocks in that country were filled with fear, as they themselves afterwards told the brethren, affirming that this light had been visible on Mount Alvernia for upwards of an hour. And because of the brightness of that light, which shone through the windows of the inn where they were tarrying, some muleteers who were travelling in Romagna arose in haste, supposing that the sun had risen, and saddled and loaded their beasts; but as they journeyed on, they saw that light disappear, and the visible sun arise. - Fioretti, taken from NLM

Prayers for our Holy Father Pope Francis.


O Lord Jesus Christ, who when the world was growing cold, in order that our hearts might burn anew with the fire of Thy love, didst in the flesh of the most blessed Francis renew the sacred marks of Thy passion; mercifully grant, that by his merits and prayers, we may ever carry our cross, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance. (Collect from Mass)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Speak of the Devil: The Weakland Memoir



Redux

I cam across the 2009 NYTimes interview with Archbishop Weakland, evidently updated.  I was thinking of him in connection to the McCarrick scandal.  McCarrick was acting out as a young priest, Weakland, being a monk, didn't act out until he became Archbishop.

If for no other reason, the following statement seems to me reason enough why the Church should not ordain gay men:

[Weakland] "He said he had been aware of his homosexual orientation since he was a teenager and suppressed it until he became archbishop, when he had relationships with several men because of “loneliness that became very strong.” - NYT

Language

It's all about language and always has been.  Weakland says gay - I know the arguments for and against it.  I don't care.  The very real problem is how dissidents really want to change Catholic teaching.  Weakland says the Church is wrong, and that 'objectively disordered' is a pejorative term.  Fr. Martin praises Weakland as gifted and brilliant, and so on.  Really?  When an Archbishop tells people he thinks a term from moral theology to express  objective immoral behavior as objectively disordered is pejorative?  We are in big trouble.
Archbishop Weakland, 82, said he was probably the first bishop to come out of the closet voluntarily. He said he was doing so not to excuse his actions but to give an honest account of why it happened and to raise questions about the church’s teaching that homosexuality is “objectively disordered.” 
“Those are bad words because they are pejorative,” he said. - NYT
Actually, the Archbishop does speak to excuse his actions, because as he states in the interview after saying the Church is wrong, he explains:

“If we say our God is an all-loving god,” he said, “how do you explain that at any given time probably 400 million living on the planet at one time would be gay? Are the religions of the world, as does Catholicism, saying to those hundreds of millions of people, you have to pass your whole life without any physical, genital expression of that love?” - Weakland
Clerical change agents.

One thing useful about the Weakland interview is that he also speaks to the difference of peadophilia and abuser priests and the issue of homosexuality. "Archbishop Weakland is still pained that his scandal, involving a man in his 30s, became intertwined with the larger church scandal over child sexual abuse." As we all know everyone freaks out if one even suggests that just being gay disposes one to seek out teens for sex, and or, prepubescent boys for sex.  Weakland speaks disparagingly about how bishops trusted therapists advice and were more concerned for the priests than the victims:
In the interview, he blamed psychologists for advising bishops that perpetrators could be treated and returned to work, and he blamed the Vatican’s tribunals for spending years debating whether to remove abusers from the priesthood. - Weakland
As one friend remarked, "This idea that homosexuality has nothing to do with it... or that people are saying all gay people or all gay priests are potential pedophiles - it’s deliberately glossing over things and conflating things to hide an agenda.  It also makes the assumption that it is wrong according to Catholic teaching, research, and common sense that homosexual sexuality is the same as heterosexuality."

Gay clericalism.

That's what Weakland and Fr. Martin are saying.  So if you spend a lot of time correcting language, just be aware of how much you are doing exactly what the apostles of equality want you to do. Talk about ontological terms all you want,  Weakland already considered himself as gay and was instructed by Rome not to say that.  It didn't stop him from advocating for change in Catholic teaching.  The real language they are concerned about is telling people homosexual acts are sinful, and the disposition towards same sex activity is objectively disordered.  You know what I'm saying.

As my friend noted: "This refusal though to see that there really is an effort to overturn church teaching on sexual issues - especially gay sexual issues - and that it is in some way related to clericalism and the abuse crisis is bonkers."

Unless McCarrick himself speaks,
we may never know how and why
he ascended the ranks despite his sexual misconduct.
As in Weakland's case it may be deemed to be
more “of a private order,” 
And strictly an “administrative affair."


Friday, September 14, 2018

Exaltation of the Holy Cross



Since 'they' insist that icons are 'written', I do not need to write anything today.  Read your icons, class.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Standing with the Pope.



I am not ashamed to stand with the Pope and remain faithful to the Holy Catholic Church.

O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons,Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. In this faith I intend to live and die. Amen.
That said, with the help of grace, I will embrace the confusion, the temptation to discouragement and doubt, and every fear, confident in the promises of Christ and the protection of the Mother of God.

I read an essay from Emmett O'Reagan who writes Unveiling the Apocalypse.  It's very long but quite helpful - to me at least - in putting things in perspective.  A huge, immense perspective, if you will.  I copied a section to share here:

Emmett begins this particular selection, writing:  As I have already explained in the post Pope Benedict XVI on the Chronology of Apocalyptic Events ...

In the vision of Saint Hildegard, the face of the Church is stained with dust, and this is how we have seen it. Her garment is torn – by the sins of priests. The way she saw and expressed it is the way we have experienced it this year. We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal.
Now notice the similarities here between the words of the Holy Father and those of Sr. Lucia during her interview with Fr. Fuentes:
Sister Lucy also told me: "Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that offends God the most, and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God, because in this way the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them." 
"That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell. The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of laypeople and thereby lead them to final impenitence. He employs all tricks, even going so far as to suggest the delay of entrance into religious life. Resulting from this is the sterility of the interior life, and among the laypeople, coldness (lack of enthusiasm) regarding the subject of renouncing pleasures and the total dedication of themselves to God."
A connection between these words of Sr. Lucia and St. Hildegard's vision of "filth" within the Church clearly seems to have been on Pope Benedict's mind here, since he uses basically the same themes and symbolism during his visit to Fatima in 2010:
"As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church, and that the Church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness on the one hand, but also the need for justice."
Cardinal Ratzinger again alluded to St. Hildegard's writings describing the current state of the Church as a woman whose garments are soiled in his famous Way of the Cross sermon in 2005, just before he ascended the papacy:
"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!" 
"Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church... You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all." - OL of Knock, Jacob's Ladder, and the Short Time of Satan

The very worst is upon us right now - people within the Church are violently attacking the Holy Father - especially online.  Many people are calling for his resignation and so on.  He needs our prayers and sacrifices even more now than ever.  If he has made mistakes, Our Lord will correct him.  How worldly interpretations of the crisis distract us from a supernatural perspective is frightening to me.  The section quoted from Sr. Lucia helped me understand a bit better, that the proper response for me is deeper prayer and penance - renouncing pleasures - and to accept purification-chastisements in a spirit of sacrifice - at least to try.

"That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell. The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of laypeople and thereby lead them to final impenitence. He employs all tricks, even going so far as to suggest the delay of entrance into religious life. Resulting from this is the sterility of the interior life, and among the laypeople, coldness (lack of enthusiasm) regarding the subject of renouncing pleasures and the total dedication of themselves to God." - O'Reagan


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Will the truth about Archbishop McCarrick ever be revealed?



Inquiring minds would like to know.

I was reading an article about what Pope Francis can and can not clarify about the Vigano accusations.  I was reminded of a local case involving a gay priest which brought down the reign of Archbishop Nienstedt and the local curia in the Archdiocese of StP/MPLS.

It appears to me the general stance in the Church these days is that there is nothing wrong with being gay ... and that it is not an impediment to ordination.  (Dispensations freely made.)  I say that because in the case of former priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, the reports of homosexual behavior received by the archdiocese were initially dismissed and posed little or no problem to his promotion as pastor of a local parish.  The same parish he was arrested at for having sexually abused teen boys.  Before this, he was caught cruising in parks, trying to pick up young men in a bookstore, and so on.  He's gay.  He's a gay man who likes young guys.*

After his arrest I recall our former vicar general, Fr. Laird, said something to the effect that diocesan officials simply believed Wehmeyer had a gay problem with chastity.  In other words, officials didn't think he posed a problem for minors.  At least that is the impression I got.  Laird has since left the priesthood.

I mention this because, as an NPR article detailing the history of this case reveals, Church officials can and do know about the sexual misconduct of priests and bishops, but will cover it up if it isn't criminal or doesn't involve minors: 
Top archdiocese leaders knew of Wehmeyer's sexual compulsions for nearly a decade but kept him in ministry and failed to warn parishioners, according to canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger, who resigned in April, and dozens of other interviews and documents. - NPR*
I'm not revisiting this story except to make some parallels on the silence and cover-up surrounding Theodore McCarrick's elevation in the Church.  Informants weren't believed.  If it didn't involve minors, it was apparently okay, and so on.  Look at the history of Archbishop Weakland of Milwaukee - a male lover was apparently not a problem.  There are other situations I could list, but the upshot seems to be, gay is okay - gay is neutral - gay is good.

Yet that goes against Church teaching.  Being SSA is okay though.  Suffering from SSA is even better.  Maybe that's how it was with Wehmeyer - troubled childhood, suffered from SSA, but posed no threat.  McCarrick maybe suffers from SSA, posed no threat to kids, but slept with young priests and seminarians to console himself.
Accounts of McCarrick’s immoral behavior with seminarians and priests, while certainly sinful, may not necessarily have been enough to launch a full-scale canonical prosecution. But in cases where a person is suspected of having done something immoral, or of posing a future risk, a precept is often issued. A precept is essentially an authoritative canonical instruction to do or not do something; it often includes direction on where a cleric must live. - CWR

So we may never know the truth.  The only thing he might have done wrong in the eyes of the finance committee and lawyers is touched a couple of altar boys inappropriately and did something with an 11 year old boy.  Compromising the vocations of seminarians and having a club of gay priests and bishops is not a crime.  Corrupt as hell, but not a crime.  Maybe it is all about money then after all?
“When he would visit Rome, Cardinal McCarrick was well-known for handing out envelopes of money to different bishops and cardinals around the curia to thank them for their work,” a curial cardinal recently told CNA. “Where these ‘honoraria’ came from or what they were for, exactly, was never clear – but many accepted them anyway.” - CWR

Money and power corrupts.  One wouldn't even have to be gay to be involved in a homosexual network, they could be SSA, or just like the money.

Hopefully the Holy Father will clean house and come clean.  Prayers for the Pope.



*NB:

It isn't a problem of pedophilia when the minors are teen boys or young men.  Two years ago I posted on a local situation which ended in a husband and husband team committing suicide - they liked teen boys and young men - just like McCarrick and company - it was indeed gay - nothing to do with power or control - just sex:
"Mr. Babbitt was a popular teacher.
He liked boys and young men. Teen boys. He and his husband Matthew both liked them. In some ways, Mr. Babbitt, popular teacher, may have kind of groomed some boys? I wonder? One teen told police Mr. Babbitt was his teacher in grade school, then later, he was his mentor. The teen was gay. I'm sure Mr. Babbitt didn't make him gay - but he took a special interest in him because he is gay ...
Here's the story, Mr. Babbitt and Mr. Deyo killed themselves after police found out they were involved in sexual contact with a 16-year-old boy and at least two other boys. They felt they had 'no way out' in the investigation. That's an unfortunate decision on their part. Murder suicide is a tragic end.