Thursday, January 17, 2019

St. Anthony of the Desert

The accuracy of this quote attributed to S. Anthony is in question - I only used it since it segued nicely with the Holy Father's homily for today. TN

Compromising Christians, slaves to seduction

Finally, in order to help us understand how not to slip into the risk of having a perverse heart, the Pope reflects on the word “seduction”: the seduction of sin, used by the devil, the “great seducer”, “a great theologian but without faith, with hatred”, who wants to “enter and dominate” the heart and knows how to do it. So, concludes the Pope, a “perverse heart is one that lets itself be seduced; and seduction leads him to obstinacy, to closure, and to many other things”:
And with seduction, either you convert and change your life or you try to compromise: but a little here and a little there, a little here and a little there. “Yes, yes, I follow the Lord, but I like this seduction, but just a little...” And you’re starting to lead a double Christian life. To use the word of the great Elijah to the people of Israel at that moment: “You limp from both legs”. To limp from both legs, without having one set firmly. It is the life of compromise: “Yes, I am a Christian, I follow the Lord, yes, but I let this in...”. And this is what the lukewarm are like, those who always compromise: Christians of compromise. We, too, often do this: compromise. Even when the Lord lets us know the path, even with the commandments, also with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but I prefer something else, and I try to find a way to go down two tracks, limping on both legs. P.Francis homily 1-17-19

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Turn in your cappa!

So they are going to take McCarrick's cappa back?

The literal term is laicization - return to the lay state, or more correctly, "‘dismissed from the clerical state,’ because this is a juridical status.” That's the news today - that the Pope wants him to be a sort of trophy to offer to the bishops when they gather for their conference in February.  That's so Law and Order talk.  Secular news is promoting the story.

Pope Francis, who has the final say in the case, wants it completed before heads of national Catholic churches meet at the Vatican from Feb. 21-24 to discuss what is now a global sexual abuse crisis, three sources said. 
The meeting offers a chance for him to respond to criticism from victims of abuse that he has stumbled in his handling of the crisis and has not done enough to make bishops accountable. 
“It (the defrocking of McCarrick) would be like a trophy to show that the pope is indeed serious about dealing with this. That is the process that seems to be unfolding,” said Kurt Martens, professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington. - Read more here.
For me the biggest problem with McCarrick is the corruption, not so much the sexual predation of young men and priests.  Some have even claimed the occasions with 16 year old could have been considered consensual.  People call it a gay cabal or gay lobby, which protected McCarrick and helped him climb the ladder.  The emphasis is placed on gay, the homosexual lobby.  Nevertheless, after months of thinking about this, it seems to me it really goes back to clericalism, power, privilege and money.  The sexual crimes seem to me to be a byproduct, a symptom of the corruption.  The fact that McCarrick was a major fundraiser for the Church seems to me to account for his being protected and supported, and covered for when rumors and allegations emerged.

I too got caught up in the homosexual blame game, but the situation could just as well have involved sexual predation of women.  No doubt, the secrets and lies associated with closeted homosexuality probably motivated SSA priests and bishops to look the other way, or even deny - refusing to believe - the stories of McCarrick going after seminarians, and so on.  It's similar to Maciel, founder of the Legion.  People were covering for him and refusing to believe he led a double life.  He wasn't 'defrocked' - rather he was sent into exile to do penance.  A similar case involving Fr. Gino Burresi resulted in his exile to a life of prayer and penance.

Calling for public repentance and confession is not any one's call, save for the Pope.  Reduction to the clerical state seems unlikely to me, McCarrick most likely has repented - resigning his title as cardinal seems to me to signify that.  Going into solitude to do penance seems to me to be enough.

I doubt the Pope is willing to make McCarrick a scapegoat to atone for the abuse crisis, much less as an example to reform the clergy.   The  McCarrick story points to a more serious corruption in the clergy.  How crazy is it to imagine a young man claiming "McCarrick used his authority to coerce them to sleep with him when they were adult seminarians studying for the priesthood."  What?  Why?  Adult men coerced?  Trying to get through seminary by cooperating that way?  Where is their faith?  Why would they think they were qualified to enter priesthood with that type of compromise?  You see, I don't know the answers to those questions, but it clearly points to corruption stemming from a crisis of faith and morals.

Oh.  I could be wrong.

Song for this post here.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Is Vigano pen-happy?

My mother used to say that about me when I was little.

I used to write letters to everyone, relatives, the pope, politicians, movie stars, and so on.  When I wrote to relatives, what I said would get back to my mother and she would freak out and yell at me, "You're pen-happy!"  It still cracks me up.

That said, I wonder if Archbishop Vigano is 'pen-happy'?  

He wrote another  public letter - open letter - to McCarrick calling for him to repent publicly.  On the surface it reads very holy, but is it appropriate for a bishop to supercede the Vatican courts and call for a public confession, repentance and penance from McCarrick?

Why is Vigano so public with his information and judgement now, when he knew way back when and was glad-handing and congratulating McCarrick in photo ops and at banquets?

Dear Archbishop McCarrick, 
As has been reported as a news by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the accusations against you for crimes against minors and abuses against seminarians are going to be examined and judged very soon with an administrative procedure.

No matter what decision the supreme authority of the Church takes in your case, what really matters and what has saddened those who love you and pray for you is the fact that throughout these months you haven’t given any sign of repentance. I am among those who are praying for your conversion, that you may repent and ask pardon of your victims and the Church. 
Time is running out, but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly, since they have themselves become public. Your eternal salvation is at stake. - Finish reading here.
As the NCRegister article makes clear, Pope Francis suspended Archbishop McCarrick from public ministry last June, pending the completion of a canonical process against him.  So why is Vigano now jumping the gun and calling for McCarrick to go public?  Something is off.  Many Catholics online celebrate Vigano as a saint, praising him for his courage.

Something is off.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

This story is very hard to believe.

Promiscuous gay man becomes attracted to women only after living a celibate life for one year.

Just one year.  He's 27 and straight for life.  "The young man said he is now looking for an “open-minded girl I can lose my virginity to."

One year and he's totally straight.  God bless him, but the guy who wrote the article isn't helping anyone with this type of news.  Just saying.

UNITED KINGDOM, January 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A 27-year-old man who had identified as ‘gay’ since age 14 has realized he is not a homosexual after choosing to remain celibate for a year.
Dominic Hilton, after performing homosexual acts with up to 150 men and engaging in 4 longer-term relationships with other males during his young life and working as a ‘male escort,’ clearly surprised himself with the discovery that he isn’t ‘gay’ after all.
“If you’d have asked me in the past if a person can change their sexuality, I’d have said no – but I’m living proof that you can,” Hilton told The Mirror. “Sex is always something I enjoyed, but this past year, that sexual attraction to men has just gone.”
“It was a gradual thing – not like someone flicked a switch and I was straight – but now I am actively seeking a girl to settle down with,” said Hilton.

Following the break up with his ‘boyfriend’ on Christmas Day, 2017, the 27-year-old from Bournemouth, England resolved that in the new year he would abstain from sexual activity and dating. - LifeSite

He can identify however he wants. 

Friday, January 11, 2019


I've been painting.

I try to paint every day.  I've been doing 'studies' for a couple of subjects.  I've been planning to paint a panel depicting St. Nunzio, and I am working on a study, which I will finish, but now I'm not so sure I will do a final painting.  I can across an image of the saint which is better than any I've seen so far.  I show it at the top of the post.  I'm sorry I do not know who painted it.

That's all.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Big Tent Traditionalism?

I love this.  I posted it on FB with the caption
"I want to go back."
It was immediately misunderstood.

Bad title for a Catholic article.

The problem is that it is a political term adapted to describe the Church, in this case, Traditionalist Catholics.  It's been used before as an inclusive term for the Church - big tent Catholicism.  Along these lines, I suppose Mark Shea might call them Christianists, since the traditionalists would pretty much whole-heartily endorse Trump and his policies.  I don't want to get into the politics or the online feuds these topics arouse, but Pat Archbold's post fails right there in the title - Patrick's guide to big tent traditionalism - he's composed a guide to help guide people just waking up to the distress of this papacy (who) may not yet have realized how they got hereSteve Skojec recently complained how he gets heat for what he posts when in reality he's just trying to help people.  They all seem to feel a vocation to help people - help people reject the Pope, Magisterium, Novus Ordo, Vatican II, and embrace Traditionalism.

Does Archbold actually say that?  Does Skojec?  Kinda, sorta.  Steve says the Novus Ordo is a 'bad Mass' - I believe echoing an Emmerich prophecy.  While Archbold, in one of his guiding points says:
That's kind and generous of him.  He's wrong however.  Not one Pope has ever declared the Mass of St. Paul VI a bad Mass, nor have they declared the reformed liturgical rites as not good.  As Pope Benedict affirmed, it is the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite.  All of these critics, the people who condemn the NO are people who have received the sacraments of the Novus Ordo - from sacraments of initiation to the sacrament of penance.  They probably still do in many cases.  To be sure, they must have received communion or adored the Blessed Sacrament confected in the Ordinary Form of Mass at one time or another?  Certainly there have been abuses and they may even continue in some places, but the Ordinary Form itself is not a 'bad Mass', or an evil rite.  When you read statements which claim the OF is a bad Mass, know that it is not authoritative and not Roman Catholic to make those claims.

I frequently post lovely traditional photos of the EF Mass, or especially edifying photos of receiving communion on the tongue, and when I do it's like people come out of the woodwork cheering and hoping 'I come back', as if I'm in another denomination.  When I say things "I want to go back" what I mean is that I want to fan into flame, in my heart, that 'early love' Jesus calls us to in the Book of Revelation.  "Return to your early love."

I grew up in the pre-Vatican II Church, and I learned Latin in the Latin Rite.  When I returned to the sacraments I returned to the Latin Rite, now known as the Ordinary Form.  I attended Mass at Assumption in St. Paul, MN.  In 1972, the Monsignor there never turned the altars around, he said the 'new Mass' but he did so in Latin.  When the Mass was said in the vernacular, it remained ad orientem.  It was the same Mass, without innovations.  At the time I wasn't educated to notice any reform.  I knelt for communion and received it on the tongue.  When I found out I could receive it on the hand, I was thrilled, and I did so with even greater devotion.

There is one Mass in two forms, or uses.  It is one Mass - the same Mass. We have one Faith, one Baptism, one Mass, one, holy, Catholic Church, and one reigning Pontiff as Vicar of Christ.  That is not exaggerating his importance, nor is it papalatrous to believe that.

Monday, January 07, 2019

My house being now all stilled ...

      One dark night,
fired with love's urgent longings
- ah, the sheer grace! - 
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

       In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
- ah, the sheer grace! - 
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

       On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

       This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
- him I knew so well - 
there in a place where no one appeared...   
                                                     -John of the Cross

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Epiphany and Russian Christmas Eve!

Altar of the Three Kings. Elmen's parish church, Tyrol, Austria.

St. Petersburg

If you didn't keep Christmas well, you can start all over again with Russian Christmas.

Friday, January 04, 2019

I believe in God ...


Peter Martyr, my patron.  I believe in God.  Not in anyone else.  Jesus Christ is Lord.  I believe in God.