Wednesday, September 18, 2019

St. Joseph Cupertino and autism.

St. Joseph was called Brother Ass by his companions in the monastery.

In childhood he was made fun of and called the gaper - or 'open mouthed'.  He was unattractive - so not like the actor Maximilian Schell who portrayed the saint in the bio-pic, The Reluctant Saint.  In fact, he was pretty much considered good for nothing - yet he was favored with many mystical graces and rapt in 'the mystery of devotion' throughout his life.

I often think of him when recalling kids I knew in school, kids who were bullied because the were different, unattractive and slow.  I pray for them now, but as a kid I made fun of them at times as well.  We didn't know about autism as kids, but at least two classmates of mine demonstrated the same characteristics as St. Joseph Cupertino.  I found a piece written about him on Aleteia, which I'll share.

One of three saints who may have had autism.
Throughout his life, Joseph was highly misunderstood and ridiculed by everyone. His frequent visions and sudden outbursts of anger made him an object of mockery. Additionally, Joseph was very absent-minded, awkward and extremely sensitive to his surroundings. When the school bell rang, Joseph would jump and drop his books on the ground.
In school, Joseph earned the nickname “open-mouthed” because his mouth was always open. He could barely read or keep focus and often would forget to eat his meals. However, even though he barely progressed in education Joseph didn’t seem to mind or notice and sought to gain entrance into a monastery despite this deficiency. Joseph figured that at least he could beg for bread as a Franciscan.
This also did not go well for Joseph. The community did not understand him and his inability to complete simple tasks without breaking something, and the experiment proved too difficult to handle. He was expelled from the monastery, but with nowhere to turn, Joseph came back and begged the community to at least hire him as a servant. The Franciscans consented, enrolled him in the Third Order and assigned him the task of taking care of the monastery mule.
Joseph’s joyful demeanor was infectious and over time they gave him a second chance and allowed him into the community. Joseph was eventually ordained a priest and is most famous for his ability to levitate while saying Mass (they tied a rope around his leg so that he wouldn’t fly into the ceiling). Despite his lack of education, awkwardness in social situations and inability to complete basic tasks, Joseph was widely known for his extreme piety, simplicity and humility. - Aleteia

It was not 'his' ability to levitate while saying Mass.

I'd also like to include some solid mystical theology regarding supernatural graces such as levitation. It is a grace, a charism-gift, not an ability, the saints have no control over it.  Many people today discount these accounts, which were well documented by eye witnesses in the case of St. Joseph, and other saints such as the Discalced Carmelite, St. Mary of Jesus Crucified, The Little Arab.
By levitation is understood the phenomenon of the elevation of the human body above the ground without any apparent cause and in such a way that it remains in the air without any natural support. This phenomenon is also called ascensional ecstasy, ecstatic flight, or ecstatic walking when the body seems to run rapidly without touching the ground. 
The Bollandists relate numerous cases of levitation. They cite particularly those attested in the lives of St. Joseph of Cupertino (September 18), St. Philip Neri (May 26), St. Peter of Alcantara (OctoBer 19), St. Francis Xavier (December 3), St. Stephen of Hungary (September 2), St. Paul of the Cross (April 28), and others. It is related that St. Joseph of Cupertino, seeing some workmen having trouble in trying to put up a very heavy mission cross, took his aerial flight, seized the cross, and without effort placed it in the hole destined for it. 
In contradistinction to levitation, they cite cases of extraordinary weight of the bodies of certain saints: for example, when an attempt was made to violate and drag St. Lucy of Syracuse to a place of debauchery, her body remained fixed to the earth like the pillar of a church. 
Suggestion or autosuggestion of hysterical persons has never been able to provoke levitation. After an examination extending over several years, Professor Janet of Paris was able to establish that the body of the person was never raised, even a millimeter, even sufficiently to slip a cigarette paper between his feet and the ground.(21)
Rationalists have tried to explain naturally the levitation proved in the case of several saints by the deep breathing of air into the lungs; but, in the face of the manifest insufficiency of this reason, they have had to have recourse to an unknown psychic power ­ an explanation that is merely so many words. 
Benedict XIV states the traditional and reasonable explanation.(22) He requires first of all that the fact be well proved in order to avoid all trickery. Then he shows: (I) that because of the law of gravity, well-proved levitation cannot be naturally explained; (2) that it does not, however, exceed the powers of angels and the devil, who can lift bodies up; (3) that consequently the physical, moral, and religious circumstances of the fact must be carefully examined to see whether there is not diabolical intervention; and that, when the circumstances are favorable, one can and must see in it a divine or angelic intervention, which grants to the bodies of the saints an anticipation of the gift of agility which is proper to glorified bodies. - Garrigou-Lagrange

St. Joseph Cupertino, pray for us.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Feast of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi

Today's feast, once celebrated universally as an optional memorial, is now observed primarily by Franciscans. This feast had been permitted to enliven the hearts of men with the flame of love and devotion.
To enkindle love for Jesus crucified in the hearts of the faithful, Paul V extended the feast of the stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi (September 17) to the universal Church. The prayer for the Mass is as follows: "Lord Jesus, who at a time when charity was growing cold in the world, to enkindle our hearts with the fire of Thy love, didst renew the sacred stigmata of Thy passion in the flesh of the Blessed Francis, grant us, in Thy goodness, that by his merits and prayers, we may continually bear the cross and bring forth worthy fruits of penance. Thou who livest," and so on. In this prayer we see the great realism of the Church, which to the highest elevation of thought unites the effective practice of all the virtues. - Three Ages of the Interior Life

Sunday, September 15, 2019

"While he was still a long way off ..."

 Geliy Korzhev

"His father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion."

The prodigal son, while he was still a long way off - a long way from reconcilliation, a long way off from perfection - the Father caught sight of him, and was moved to compassion.  That is the meaning of mercy.  The Father runs to meet us - almost at the first thought of any movement towards him. 

Although many of us may be a long way off in understanding that, the Father does not fail to embrace and kiss us at the moment of repentance.  Again and again, that we might learn the meaning of mercy.

15 September and Our Lady of Sorrows

Evidence of the Madonna Dolorossa in modern times.

Today the feast of Our Lady is not observed liturgically because of Sunday, nevertheless, private devotion inclines many to seek to console the Sorrowful Mother through prayers of reparation.

Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows never went away, it used to be very much part of the devotional life of many Catholics.  During the 1930's in the United States, the Servites initiated a perpetual novena to Our Lady of Sorrows which was immensely popular.  

Over the centuries many pious customs have been developed to enter more deeply into the sorrowful heart of Mary. One such custom was instituted by the Servite Order, a group founded by the “Seven Holy Founders” in 1233. From the very beginning they were devoted to Our Lady of Sorrows and passed on that tradition to subsequent generations of priests and religious.
The Servites eventually made their way to the United States and founded a parish in Chicago in 1874. Several decades later in 1937 Archbishop Mundelein approved a “Perpetual Novena in honor of Our Sorrowful Mother.” According to a pamphlet describing its history, “The first Novena services were held on Friday, January 8, 1937. They consisted of the Via Matris (stations of the Seven Sorrows of Mary), six prayers culled from the ancient Servite Manual, two hymns to Our Blessed Mother, the Memorare, and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.”
Furthermore, “One year after His Eminence granted the Imprimatur, 73,000 people were making the Novena at 38 services each Friday in Our Lady of Sorrows Church. - Aleteia

Unfortunately, the devotion more or less fell by the wayside after Vatican II.  The Passionists also promoted devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows, exemplified by St. Gabriel of OL of Sorrows.  Of course the devotion lives on, yet there were times when it was far more popular and widespread.  In a sense, Catholics renewed the devotion as a result of Fatima, and the call to make reparation for offenses committed against the sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Our Lady revealed her heart, aflame, encircled by a crown of thorns, pierced by the sins of men and blasphemy.

I think of this frequently, remembering Our Lady's request for prayer and penance, as well as the Five First Saturday devotion of reparation, and the daily Rosary.  In the final apparition at Fatima, during the miracle, Our Lady showed herself as Our Lady of Sorrows - silently and without commentary.  Recently, I wondered about the prophetic character of that aspect of the apparition. 

Could it have been a sort of 'preview' of the Kibeho apparitions?

Seriously, I don't know, but since Kibeho has been approved, and apparently verified by the Rwandan* genocide, and so on, I'm inclined to believe so.  The apparitions and messages, as well as the call to renew devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows, and the resulting genocide, places Kibeho among the most important revelations in the 20th century.  Our Lady called for repentance and conversion, just as at Fatima and Lourdes. 

On July 2, 2001, the Holy See released the declaration of Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro, on the Apparitions that took place in 1982-83 in Kibeho. Here are some excerpts:
“Two study commissions, one of doctors and one of theologians, were immediately set up by the local Bishop; they have been at work since April 1982... The advanced state of the study commissions' work now offers sufficient elements to allow competent ecclesiastical authorities to pronounce definitively on this question.
“As a result, Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro, who represents this authority, has published his declaration concerning the definitive judgement on the Apparitions of Kibeho, Rwanda. This important event in the history of the Diocese of Gikongoro, as in the life of the Church in Rwanda, took place on 29 June 2001, on the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, during a solemn Mass concelebrated in the cathedral of Gikongoro. All the Catholic bishops of Rwanda, with the Apostolic Nuncio of Kigali, were present...
“The Bishop declared: Yes, the Virgin Mary appeared at Kibeho on November 28, 1981, and in the months that followed. There are more reasons to believe in the Apparitions than to deny them... The Apparitions of Kibeho are now officially recognized... The name given to the Marian sanctuary at Kibeho is "Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows".
“That Kibeho become a place of pilgrimage and of encounter for all who seek Christ and who come there to pray, a fundamental centre of conversion, of reparation for the sins of the world and of reconciliation, a point of meeting for all who were dispersed, as for those who aspire to the values of compassion and fraternity without borders, a fundamental centre that recalls the Gospel of the Cross.
“This Declaration makes it possible to respond to the expectations of the People of God and to bring new enthusiasm to the public devotion recognized already for 13 years”. (Taken from “L'Osservatore Romano”, weekly edition in English, July 11, 2001, page 8.)

"A brother asked a hermit, 'Is it good to be always repenting?' The hermit answered, 'We have seen Joshua the son of Nun; it was when he was lying prostrate on his face that God appeared to him.'"

I don't pretend to an authority, I'm just speculating on the connection to devotion to the Sorrowful Mother in modern times, and the appeals made by Our Lady.  Always calling for conversion, so often we fall back, fall into sin, and feel discouraged.  yet Our Lady never gives up, and supplies us with the means necessary to stay on the narrow way, despite how constricted the road.  

One of the three approved visionaries, Marie-Claire, who also died in the genocide, was told by the Blessed Virgin that people should pray the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows to obtain the favor of repentance:
“What I ask of you is repentance. If you recite this chaplet, while meditating on it, you will then have the strength to repent. Today, many people do not know any more how to ask forgiveness. They nail again the Son of God on the Cross. So I wanted to come and recall it to you, especially here in Rwanda, for here I have still found humble people, who are not attached to wealth nor money”. - OL of Sorrows
These requests are not unlike what Our Lady requested at Fatima, in the messages made public since 1917.  So many devotees, perhaps believing repentance and conversion is a one time event, directed their attention to the secrets, and the mysteries surrounding the Third Secret - which maybe even included a scenario not unlike Rwanda?  Interpreters of Fatima have distorted the message and muffled the actual call of Our Lady.  They've ignored the magisterium and accuse the popes of infidelity and ignoring Our Lady's requests.  They have even rejected the official interpretation of the Message of Fatima made by Cardinal Ratzinger while head of the CDF.

No wonder we go from bad to worse, no longer able to see our individual need to repent, do penance, and make reparation.  I hope to turn and beg the grace of repentance from Our Lady of Sorrows, the grace contrition, compunction, to repent every day.

*In the 100 days that followed the April 6, 1994 assassination of dictator and President of Rwanda Juvénal Habyarimana, 800,000 to over a million Rwandans were slaughtered by their countrymen and, in some cases, their next-door-neighbors. The Genocide was the culmination of intensifying animosity between the two ethnic groups – the Hutus and Tutsis – and the civil war that had preceded it.[7] Kibeho itself was the site of two huge massacres: the first at the parish church in April 1994, and the second a year later where more than 5,000 refugees who had taken shelter there were shot by soldiers.[8] Marie Claire Mukangango and her husband were among those killed in the April 1995 massacre. - Wki

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Fra Angelico

Pacino di Bonaguida


These images, though historically inaccurate, depict Christ eager to ascend the Cross - even with exultation - to accomplish his greatest work...  

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son ...

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!50 There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!"

Friday, September 13, 2019

Why do American priests always assume the Pope is criticizing them?

Wondering out loud.

I watched EWTN World Over Live with Raymond Arroyo last night.  Arroyo was agitated and acted like he was responding to personal attacks from the Holy Father.  The 'Posse' were discussing the presser on board the flight from Mozambique, especially this part:
Furthermore, I would like to emphasize an attitude that I do not like, because it does not come from God: rigidity. Today it is fashionable, I do not know about here, but in other parts of the world it is fashionable, to find rigid people. Young, rigid priests, who want to save with rigidity, perhaps, I don’t know, but they take this attitude of rigidity and sometimes – excuse me – from the museum. They are afraid of everything, they are rigid. Be careful, and know that under any rigidity there are serious problems. - Vatican
I am sad when popular priests such as Monsignor Pope, Fr. Murray (papal posse guy), Fr. Z, Fr. Blake, and numerous others all seem to take what the Pope says as if he is insulting them.  I'm not a priest so I can't speak for them.   I just don't believe the Pope is bullying or mean-spirited when he says such things.  It seems to me if I felt insulted, maybe there is something I need to loosen up over.  I do not believe the Pope is asking the priests to dispense with any rules or discipline, much less giving them the go ahead to stop teaching and ministering according to Catholic teaching.  Neither do I get the impression he is trying to outlaw the Extraordinary Form of Mass.  Yet many priests and laity are convinced he is, and it seems their minds are made up that every precaution from the Pope is directed against them.

Not judging.

I don't know the mind of the Pope, but even if he was speaking directly to me, I think I would examine myself and move on - following Christ.  But I'm not a priest, and I maybe don't get it.  To be sure, it's not my place to criticize those who feel slighted.  I would hope they could somehow take their concerns directly to the Pope - I think the Holy Father would embrace them with great love - humbled by their humility.

That said, at my parish we have a young, dynamic priest.  He loves being a priest.  He's solid, 'orthodox', faithful, and devout.  Not a speck of rigidity.  If the Holy Father met him, he would surely say something akin to what Christ said about Nathaniel, 'here is a true Israelite, in him there is no guile.'  At least one divorced and remarried couple came back to the sacraments, inspired by Pope Francis, and guided by our pastor.  The woman spoke about it this past Lent.  I mention it because this priest has also felt a bit bewildered by things the Pope says, yet he continues to minister and reach out to those on the peripheries.  He's a priest who smells like his sheep.  If the Pope met him, he would fall all over him.

If the Pope met Monsignor Pope or Fr. Murray he would most likely do the same thing.

The Pope with the relics of St. Pio and St. Leopold.
These saints are examples the Holy Father holds up.
He certainly doesn't condemn Pio as rigid.

So what is a rigid priest?

When the Pope warns against them, he frequently identifies them as young, newly ordained.  In the past couple of decades, the guys in my diocese are well trained and orthodox, and I don't know any who are 'rigid' - not even the more traditional Bishop Cozzens can be considered rigid.

Over the years, being a big fat sinner, because I went to confession frequently, I have met priests who are rigid.   A few of these are no longer priests - one or two had something to hide, I think.  In my experience a rigid priest is often best discovered in the confessional, or in the office -  often when Catholics who don't go to Mass show up seeking baptism for their newborn, or want to get married.

A friend of mine, shortly after ordination discussed with me, people who came to the rectory seeking a marriage blessing, an infant baptism, even though they weren't practicing Catholics.  I recall being shocked that he refused baptism to one family because they didn't go to Mass.  Opinionated as I was, I told him he should have them call me because I knew priests who would do it.  It was one of our first fights.  He let me know in no uncertain terms just exactly what he was taught in seminary and what was the discipline of the Church.  (He mellowed as he aged BTW.)

Another priest friend of mine refused to allow a couple have their marriage blessed because, as a civilly married couple they already lived together and would have to live separately before the sacrament of matrimony.  I asked why, and he looked at me like I was nuts and told me, 'It's a scandal.  They need to live chastely, I don't trust they can do that."  I told him about couples I knew who lived as brother and sister because one had been divorced, as well as friends who lived with each other without sexual relations, and so on.  Nope.  Too scandalous.

As for my own experience, as a kid I was yelled at in confession, and the entire church heard the priest when he shouted: "You're going straight to hell if you do that again!"  Another time, as an adult a newly ordained priest questioned me, "Why would you even do that?!"  Then he told me to go to the office and get a pamphlet on how to make a good confession, because I said more than I needed to - in other words, he wanted just the sins, number and kind.  Around the same time I ran into a priest in the adoration chapel, and as he was leaving I asked him to please hear my confession as I was in mortal sin, he dismissed me telling me when confessions were scheduled at the parish.   As a penitent I received these rebukes with in peace, taking them to heart with a deeper sense of contrition.  I only mention these situations to shed some light on what I think the Pope may be talking about regarding rigidity.

I may be wrong.  It's not my place to criticize a priest for how he feels after something the Pope has cautioned against.  So I have to let this stuff go, simply because it none of my business.  As Today's Gospel says:
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,'
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? - Luke 6

The holier, more prayerful the priest, the less rigid will he be.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Holy Name of Mary

Pope John Paul II restored the feast of the Holy Name of Mary one year after the events of 9/11 in 2002.

I love this ... the official text from the Apostolic Trip of Pope Francis to Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius...

In this document I see no “alarming manifestation of the confusion, error and division which beset the Church in our day.”

Furthermore, I would like to emphasize an attitude that I do not like, because it does not come from God: rigidity. Today it is fashionable, I do not know about here, but in other parts of the world it is fashionable, to find rigid people. Young, rigid priests, who want to save with rigidity, perhaps, I don’t know, but they take this attitude of rigidity and sometimes – excuse me – from the museum. They are afraid of everything, they are rigid. Be careful, and know that under any rigidity there are serious problems.
This effort must also extend to the vast world of the lay faithful. They too are sent out to the harvest, called to cast their nets and devote their time to their own apostolate, which “in all its many aspects, is exercised both in the Church and in the world” (Apostolicam Actuositatem, 9). In all its breadth, its problems and its varied situations, the world is the specific area of the apostolate where they are called, with generosity and a sense of responsibility, to bring the leaven of the Gospel. For this reason, I express my appreciation for all those initiatives that you have undertaken as pastors to provide training for lay men and women – thank you for this – and not to leave them alone in their mission to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. In this way they will be able to contribute to the transformation of society and the life of the Church in Madagascar. 
And please, make sure you do not clericalize the laity. Lay faithful are lay faithful. I heard, in my previous Diocese, proposals like this: “My Lord Bishop, I have a wonderful lay person in the parish: he works hard, he organizes everything ... should we ordain him a deacon?”. Leave him there, don’t ruin his life, let him remain a lay person. And speaking of deacons, deacons often have the temptation of clericalism; they see themselves as presbyters or pseudo-bishops ... No! The deacon is the custodian of service in the Church. Please do not keep deacons at the altar: let them do their work outside, in service. If they have to go on a mission to baptize, let them baptize: it’s ok. But in service, let them not be pseudo-priests. - Apostolic Trip of Pope Francis to Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius

And yet traditionalists are shaking in their boots over the Amazon Synod.

I read a claim somewhere that Pope Francis approved of deacons celebrating Mass in the Amazon.  He just said - very clearly in this very document: "And speaking of deacons, deacons often have the temptation of clericalism; they see themselves as presbyters or pseudo-bishops ... No! The deacon is the custodian of service in the Church. Please do not keep deacons at the altar: let them do their work outside, in service. If they have to go on a mission to baptize, let them baptize: it’s ok. But in service, let them not be pseudo-priests."

I think it was the com box of Church Militant where the subject of married priests for the Amazon arose - one woman said it was 'an abomination which will surely call down fire from heaven'.  Another said 'the pope is possessed'.  These people aren't rigid?  These people aren't driven by fear?  These people aren't tainted by ideology?

It seems to me a synod is a place to discuss these things - the pope wants to allow everything to be brought to the table - in the open - to discuss, dialogue.  A few cardinals and archbishops are telling Catholics the Pope is out to make a new Church.  They are fear mongers.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Speaking of discernment.

Pope Francis tells journalists: "to inform the audience of an event and to distinguish these facts from narrative...

"It is extremely easy to move from the facts to narrative," he said, "and this damages the news industry. It's important to stick to the facts."
Pope Francis said the Catholic Church and its media are not exempt from that danger. "Within the church, when there is a fact, it goes around the corner, and then it gets adorned, it gets embellished. Everyone adds their own contribution, and not even in bad faith."
But "the mission of the journalist is to always stick to the facts: 'The facts are these. My interpretation is this. I was told this.' It distinguishes you from the storyteller." - CNS

Yep.  Good advice. 

Lifesite, CM, The Remnant, many blogs and social media aggregates should take the advice to heart.  One of the most misleading practises is editorializing headliner-links, like Canon 212 does.   Echoing the Holy Father, I would say, especially regarding the sites I mention here: "Everyone adds their own contribution" oftentimes even in bad faith.  It's opinion and unverified claims and gossip - presented as fact.  It's deceptive and manipulative.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

And this is where Vigano goes off the rails ...

Jesuitism is alive and active in our day.
It flowered in the English Reformation
and thrives today.

A 'new' Church?

I don't care which academic posts links to the Vigano interview, or which devout commentator finds it credible and enlightening, it all reads like a chapter out of Anna Katherine Emmerich to me.  It's pretty much all conspiracy theory and unverified gossip.  Vigano cashes in on the ageless Jesuit-Masonic plot to overthrow the Church.  No wonder people who follow this nonsense are locked up in their own Windswept House phantasies, scared to death, stockpiling house scapulars and blessed candles.

"This is described in the book Infiltration by Dr. Taylor Marshall, so you may find some indication of this process there.
Then, I think it would be very much opportune to remind readers on this subject of the new Church what was published in April by Emeritus Pope Benedict on the project of founding a new church.
He said this would be a catastrophe. He was very severe on this point.
So what happened after Vatican II ended in 1965 was absolutely the opposite of a policy of continuity, which would have been the correct interpretation of the Vatican II documents.
Instead, there was another interpretation, of discontinuity, promoted by all the huge machine of media propaganda.
And, in a similar way, during this present pontificate, a similar media machinery, including photos of Pope Francis with Emeritus Pope Benedict, and so forth, has been used to argue that the “new paradigm” of Pope Francis is in continuity with the teaching of his predecessors.
But it is not so, it is a “new church”…
This phrase “new paradigm” is a strategy to cover up the true goal, because they do not want to say what exactly is covered by this word. For many, this word “paradigm” is something exotic, something sophisticated. Everyone is using it. But it is used to mislead, to deceive, suggesting a continuity without revealing that they are seeking a discontinuity… " - Vigano, Moynihan Letters, #48

Vigano even mentions - credits - Taylor Marshall's book, Infiltration.  Doesn't say much about Vigano's credibility for me.  Some day everyone is going to be surprised when the masks come off and the real conspirators are revealed in this farce.

Monday, September 09, 2019

A Synthesis of All Catholic Conspiracy Theories ...

Contained in Taylor Marshall's book, Infiltration.

Crackpot theories abound in Marshall's book - theories I've heard and even witnessed develop for years. Gratefully D.W. Lafferty writing for Where Peter Is, posted the first part of a series of articles more or less exposing the often dubious claims made by Marshall in his book.  It's great to read his interpretation of what he calls his summary of the grand conspiracy of Infiltration.
I am quite confident in asserting that, whatever Marshall says to the contrary, there is a grand conspiracy set forth in Infiltration, and the whole book is a contrived attack on Pope Francis. For the benefit of those who have not read the book—and I don’t recommend purchasing it unless you absolutely have to for the purpose of verifying its contents—I will provide a summary of the grand conspiracy that Marshall sets forth. I will be as generous as I can in my summary and not attempt to debunk any of the claims Marshall makes, since it is crucial to understand exactly what Marshall is saying before considering if it has any basis in truth. - D.W. Lafferty
As Lafferty states, he is providing a summary of what Marshall is saying - before considering if it has any basis in truth.  Whenever I've posted critiques, I often get friends responding with documentation and links to substantiate some of the claims made by the sources Marshall exploits in his book.  For instance, former Cardinal McCarrick and his association with the St. Gallen Mafia, sometimes cited  to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Pope Francis' election.  So Cardinals and bishops had confidential exchanges - before recent synods as well as in the past.  That's based in truth.  Statements made by the participants, if documented, are based in truth as well.  If and when they are incorporated into the conspiracy narrative - they get distorted and misleading, not to mention sensationalized.

I have trouble trusting most sources online.

Along with others, I've noticed many people buying into all of the anti-Francis stories online, as well as in books which purport to reveal the real Francis and his agenda.  A lot of the literature might be based on fact and/or personal experience, yet it is biased and contributes to the growing anti-Francis propaganda.  Now days, it is inevitable for many faithful Catholics to derogate Pope Benedict, and even St. John Paul II - just as they always did with St. Paul VI.  This type of propaganda has been circulated repeatedly until now.  Now it is considered true, simply because it has become embedded in the collective memory.  Not surprisingly, the conspiracies are sometimes repeated by fake locutionists, visionaries, and those who follow private revelations. 

Last evening I came across a post by Fr. Z on Pope Francis and his connection to Leonardo Boff.  He cites a Lifesite article: "The article drills into Boff’s view of Francis, and what Boff thought and thinks Francis is going to do to the Church. LifeSite cites and links various interviews Boff has given over the years."

Going to do to the Church?

Once again, an article might be based on facts - Fr. Bergoglio knew Boff, worked with him, and as Pope, evidently remains in contact with him.  In turn, Boff reveals their conversations along with his interpretation on what the Pope had to say.  Amazingly, Fr. Z considers this a great insight into understanding 'Bergoglio'.  The Lifesite article, again adds to the literature suggesting the Pope is a far-left heretic, and Fr. Z manages to confirm such suspicions with his endorsement.  Last night I was angry and posted on FB that the article is a faithless piece of crap and someone should report Z to his bishop.  Upon a more careful reading the post I noted everything is pretty much presented in an editorial manner by Fr. Z.  He never goes so far as to accuse the Holy Father, yet the commentary reveals the underlying 'hermeneutic of suspicion' - especially along the lines of the narrative, 'Francis is out to destroy the Church'.

Once again, nothing has changed in the conspiracy theory culture over the decades - connections are revealed to fuel the political agenda of many, to impute guilt, as well as to resist the Pope(s) and Vatican II. (E.g. Baysiders claimed Paul VI had a double - Fatimists claimed Lucia was replaced by a double as well.)  I'm not an expert, and to be sure, I don't personally know all the writers, but I've been around a very long time and I see bits of history repeated.  St. Oscar Romero for instance - the same doubts and accusations against him are repeated today, just as much as when he was alive.  It errodes trust and fidelity.  

It leads me to believe most North Americans and Europeans have little understanding of people in the Southern Hemisphere, especially Africa and Latin America.  Many resist the Pope's reaching out to the poor and accommodating migrants and refugees.  They justify doing so by calling him a Communist heretic - or at least insinuating as much.  It's evil. 

Crackpot theories.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Our Lady's Birthday

Hail Mary!  Full of grace!  Hail Mary!  Full of grace!  Hail Mary!  Mediatrix of all grace!  Have mercy upon me a sinner!  Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee!
"I am all thine, and all that I have is thine, O most loving Jesus,
through Mary Thy most holy and Immaculate Mother."