Saturday, March 22, 2014

Is Toonces a Saints Name?

St. Toonces Felinomena*

What about Fulton?

Anyone ever hear of a St. Fulton?  Not yet, you say?  You are telling me Fulton Sheen could be canonized?  Then there would be a St. Fulton?

Really?  Having read recently that Catholics are not bound to give canonizations the absolute assent de fide we always were taught was required, why bother with saints in the first place?  Or why worry about giving kids a saints name at baptism?  Fulton Sheen wasn't given a saint's first name.  (If he's ever canonized do you think those devoted to Sheen will claim it's invalid?)  So anyway.

Why not call a kid Toonces?  When he dies, he could become the first St. Toonces - like St. Fulton.  Ah!  But is it Irish?


I love the saints - for me, beatification is enough - oh heck - venerable is enough.  If someone is designated servant of God - that's enough too.  One can't be holier than the Church, can one?  Especially the Church triumphant.

Now what if someone accepts Archbishop Sheen is a saint but rejects John Paul II or Paul VI as a saint?  I mentioned the other day that some people reject JoseMaria Escriva as a saint - despite the fact he has been canonized.  You just can't make up stuff and pick and choose what you want to believe.  If you decide that the JPII canonization is not de fide - then why would anyone have to believe Pius X is a saint?

After the Council, when the new calendar was drawn up and implemented, secular media declared that certain saints were no longer saints.  That was not entirely true.  Some were simply removed from the liturgical calendar because historical evidence wasn't able to support the hagiography.  There was also the rare occasion when some saints grew out of legend, who may have been the personification of myth, and from a time when there wasn't a process as we have today. Others may have been removed from the calendar because their 'cult' may not have been as 'universal' as it once was, thus allowing more contemporary saints to take their place.  Though the calendar was reformed, the Martyrology remained and continues to expand with the times.

I may be wrong, but I think canonization implies that the saint is entered into the Canon of the Mass, although liturgical norms remain and the Canons remain intact, nevertheless, the saint's name may be inserted, such as; "with St. Toonces, and all the saints".  The new saint is venerated and invoked in prayer, that is, publicly and universally celebrated, especially liturgically - with a collect and Mass, and so on.  I may not explain the process perfectly, but you get my point that this is very serious stuff - nothing to take lightly, much less to pick and choose who or what you want to believe in, especially when it comes to the liturgical life of the Church.

I hope you can see why it is wrong to sow doubt amongst the simple believers, who are told they must pick a saints name for baptism and confirmation, and who are, by baptism, called to be a saint.  Thus, when the Church proclaims someone a saint, you better believe it.

Don't dis the saints, Poodles.

* Patron saint of drivers.  And Felinomena appears to be an Italian name.

"Why is this Nelson freak
still allowed to blog?"

The Papacy That Was.

I've been researching some historical details for a painting, a search which takes me through many websites and books in my personal library.  I was specifically looking through some books on Pope Pius XII to find a photo of him as a seminarian, and came across my copy of Sr. Marchione's Pictorial Life of Pius XII.  

I distracted myself with all the photos of Papal grandeur, now nearly completely absent from Papal ceremonies.  As everyone knows, since Vatican II, very much has changed - and since the election of Pope Francis - it is changed for good.  Popes are no longer 'prisoners' in the Vatican, slaves to courtly custom and ceremonial tradition, and so on.

I have a personal devotion to Pius XII, yet looking through the photos, one cannot help but notice that everything in the Papal court was very stiff and formal, if not forbidding.  Even during the papacy of Paul VI, royal protocol remained intact - there was a definite distance enforced between the Holy Father and ordinary people.  Pope John Paul II helped to change all of that in and through his travels, World Youth Day, the Wednesday audience, and so on.  Pope Benedict continued in that vein as well.  His taste for traditional vestments and liturgical decorum never seemed to me to present a distancing of his person from personnel or visitors, diplomats or pilgrims.  I never felt Pope Benedict intended a return to courtly protocol or royal decorum.  It seems to me this was demonstrated by his rejection of the papal triregnum as well as the sedia gestatoria, not to mention his fidelity to the celebration of Mass in the Ordinary Form.

Nevertheless, Pope Francis, in a very short time, seems to have finally extricated the papacy from the royal trappings which enveloped the Petrine Office.

I can't imagine going back.

(I found the photo of Pius XII I was looking for, BTW.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Pastoral Letter On Blogging From the U.K.

Using social media for abuse or to attack the reputations of other people ... a direct sin against the Eighth Commandment.

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth described the uncharitable use of blogs, Facebook and Twitter as a “grave matter.”

Using social media for abuse or to attack the reputations of other people was a direct sin against the Eighth Commandment, forbidding people from “bearing false witness” against their neighbors, he said in a pastoral letter released March 19.

“We must exercise discretion, respect others and their privacy and not engage in slander, gossip and rash judgment,” the bishop wrote in the document that was to be distributed in parishes the weekend of March 22-23.

“We must avoid calumny, that is, slurring and damaging people, and not spread abroad their sins and failings,” he said.

The bishop encouraged the faithful to ask themselves “How do I use Facebook or Twitter? Am I charitable when blogging? Do I revel in other people’s failings?

“All this is grave matter,” he said. - Lifted from Deacon's Bench

We who blog cannot avoid sin.

I told you.  Although I suppose people will say it doesn't apply to us, or anyone outside Bishop Egan's diocese.  Just like some people say you can wave off the Holy Father in his off the cuff daily homilies or Wednesday audience talks.  Speaking of ignoring Catholic teaching, I just happened upon a post suggesting Catholics may not be bound to give canonisations the absolute assent de fide we were taught was required.

I really think Bishop Egan knows what he is talking about.

O God, put a guard on my mouth, 
and upon my lips an effective seal, 
that I may not sin by them.

Where words are many, sin is not wanting;

but those who restrain their lips do well. - Proverbs 10:19

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Transgender claims innocence in murders of Washington State prostitutes.

"I didn't do it - he did."
Authorities in Washington State believe that a series of murders of prostitutes in 1990 were committed by Washington resident Douglas Perry. Now Perry has been captured and charged with the murders, but Douglas has become "Donna," a transgender woman who claims that she is not responsible for the murders because Douglas no longer exists. - Breitbart
Donna may have put a stop to the killings, but maybe she should be charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive, harboring a murderer, covering up evidence, as well as another murder charge for killing Douglas - in addition to the existing murder charges.

I should be a lawyer.

H/T Nan

Bill Donohue wants to march in the Gay Pride parade.

I know!

Story here.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, says he has filed an application to march in the New York City Gay Pride Parade this year. - Source
Who am I to judge?

Song for this post here.

"Yeah!  Get one of them
pink Cadillac convertibles,
I wanna sit on top of the back seat."

I wonder what St. Therese would say ...

About the so-called "Magisterium of Nuns"?

"The thought that there were some religious communities who were submitting to unjust laws against the Church promulgated by the anti-Catholic secular power, filled me (Celine) with indignation. One day in Therese's presence I exclaimed, 'My entire being rises up in in rebellion when I witness such a spirit of cowardice. I would be cut into a thousand pieces rather than belong to any of these communities or to assist them in any way.'

The Saint answered:

'We should not be concerned about such matters at all. It is true that I would be of your opinion and act perhaps in the same way had I any responsibility in the matter. But I have no obligation whatsoever. Moreover, our only duty is to become united to God. Even if we were members of those communities which are being publicly criticized for their defections, we would be greatly at fault in becoming disquieted on that account.'" - "My Sister, St. Therese" - Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sayings of The Fathers...

A hermit said, "Do not judge an adulterer if you are chaste or you will break the law of God just as much as he does. For he who said, 'Do not commit adultery' also said 'Do not judge'". - Sayings of the Desert Fathers

The Lord says it in the Gospel: “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap”. This is the “generosity of heart” that the Lord presents through “the image of those going to collect grain who enlarged their aprons in order to received more”. In fact, Pope Francis said, “you can receive far more if you have a big heart!”. And he added: “a big heart doesn't get entangled in other peoples lives, it doesn't condemn but forgives and forgets” as “God has forgiven and forgotten my sins”. - Pope Francis

Solemnity of St. Joseph

In thanksgiving for the patronage of St. Joseph.

Happy feast day!

Going out to the existential peripheries...

The so-called 'New Homophiles'.  

I haven't quite been able to understand them.  Thanks to the new video series the group is developing, and listening to their conversation - which is easier to understand than some of their writing and which can be challenging at times - many of my reservations have been quieted.  (I still don't like 'genderqueer' - but I kinda sorta get the intent.)  "They" may not all be comfortable with everything either.  From Joseph Prever, aka Steve Gershom:
My own position within the Side B world is, I think, a little weird. Ruse’s piece made me uncomfortable and annoyed, largely because it made us seem more heterodox than we are. Some Side B stuff, on the other hand, makes me uncomfortable and worried, because bits of it bear the smell of, or the smell of the danger of, self-deception: the line between “my homosexuality is a gift and a blessing because of all the gifts and blessings that have come with it” and “my homosexuality, per se, is a gift” is blurrier than I’d like. In some cases it’s not blurry at all, but just nonexistent. I don’t think I’m okay with that, but I have yet to formulate exactly why. - Source
It all kind of clicked for me when Eve Tushnet describe the church she attends in Washington.  She described it as a faithful Catholic church where all sorts of same sex attracted people attend - including some who may not be comfortable with the entire content of Catholic teaching on sexuality - yet.  The point is they are there and people like Tushnet and the others are there to meet gay people where they are at in today's reality.

It's very Franciscan - in the Pope Francis sense.*  It seems to me they are on the peripheries.  I'm more a Courage kind of guy, but there is room in the Church for another approach - so long as it is faithful.  Especially if we want avoid 'tying up burdens too hard to carry - without lifting a finger to help them' for people.  It's a different approach than Courage - but I don't think their work is a negation of Courage - just another approach.  I say that, because their video conversations really sounds like stuff Courage people discuss, and certainly what many young people discuss when it comes to living chastely and celibately.

I had a really nice lady write to me about one of her children who recently 'came out'.  That's a critical time for someone - especially the new found sense of freedom one experiences.  Naturally, most people see the Church as restrictive and rejecting to gay people.  My friend is worried, as any parent would be.  What to do?  Someone just coming out may not be ready, or interested in the Courage format when they 'just come out' - but they might be inclined to listen to - or at least watch the videos offered by the Sexual Authenticity-Spiritual Friendship group.   It may help them understand they are not excommunicated for discovering in themselves an a homosexual inclination or attraction.  (Courage doesn't teach that either, but neophytes may still be in identity celebration mode, and not interested in being told, "don't say you are gay".)

That said, I think we have to avoid segregating people and groups.  Our evangelization efforts should not be 'sectarian' as it were, or devolve into factions such as the EF vs OF Mass issue.  My point with this post is to point out that I see nothing contrary to Catholic teaching in the videos promoted by this group.  Not long ago I was accused of  being a 'new homophile' - a term now becoming more or less pejorative - so I know what it feels like to be accused of not being a faithful Catholic or embracing some sort of 'homo-heresia'.  I may not agree with everything these folks say or how they express themselves, I may not always understand it, but I believe they are faithful and uphold Catholic teaching in their work.

*I want to include some things Fr. Paul Check said in an interview not long ago, which may be helpful in understanding where I'm coming from - Fr. Check was commenting on something the Holy Father said, and I think what Fr. Check said may relate to the Spiritual Friendship group:
Fr. Paul Check is Director of Courage Apostolate, and in a recent interview with CNA, Fr. Check shares his insight into what the Holy Father may have intended with his comment. Fr. Check's words are very helpful and may offer a more spiritually hospitable and conciliatory understanding of the attitude taken by the Holy Father, while putting at ease those who think the Pope made a mistake - or was indicating a change in Church teaching.
In the Scriptures, Jesus does not hesitate to teach doctrine and basic truths to large groups, as in the sermon on the mount. Yet he also “engages people in another way, a very personal way, one at a time.”

“I think that the emphasis Pope Francis is bringing to us right now is on the second way: very personally, listening to people and speaking with them and 'walking with' them, guiding them, bringing them to Christ,” explained Fr. Check.

“I am not an authoritative interpreter of the Pope's comments,” he cautioned, “but here's the way I understand them.”

The priest then turned to the story of Jesus' meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well who has had five husbands.

“Our Lord knows well that there is a moral question here that's involved, and indeed it's a chastity question. The woman is living in an 'irregular' way. But he doesn’t begin the conversation with her about the moral problem. Instead, he talks with her about her interest – and more than her interest, her desire for God.”

“So he engages her in a very personal way about something that is already resident in her heart…he speaks with her about God, and then he speaks with her about the life of God…(and) also about her desire for eternal life, which is something that we all have,” Fr. Check continued.

Jesus “engages her in this very lovely sequence, and he keeps the conversation going with her until he reaches that point when it is appropriate to say, and when she can receive, what it is that she’s about to hear about the irregular condition in which she’s living, and she doesn’t deny it.”

“But he has established a relationship with her, and I think this is very much what our Holy Father is suggesting: that we are to walk with people, to get to know them, (although) of course, we don’t have the benefit of knowing what’s in someone’s heart the way that Jesus does, so all the more reason that we have to take care,” Fr. Check noted.

“I think that personal engagement, the walking with, is something that he is proposing,” and “I think the Holy Father is very prudent and charitable in wanting to think about how people receive the message of the gospel today and to find ways in which that teaching can be announced in a way that people can receive it.” - Finish reading here.

When Pope Francis talks about evangelization, he acknowledges there will be mistakes - but they can be corrected. Pope Benedict said something similar when speaking of priests who work in youth ministry, that in searching for a way to convey Church teaching sometimes mistakes are made - but they can be corrected. Sounds a bit lenient in our day when errors abound, but 'that's the way love goes'... I think.

Just a reminder:  I'm a Roman Catholic, a single man - I'm not part of any group, sect, movement or cult.  Every thing here is simply my personal opinion and observation.

Honey!  This sounds like a cult!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Calling Cardinal Dolan a what?

Yesterday I checked out a link to a blog called Motley Monk. The author, a priest I know nothing about, linked to a another blogger who called Cardinal Dolan a "jackass". I was surprised that a priest would post such a derogatory quote.

A Protestant Allegory: The four evangelists stoning the pope, 
together with hypocrisy and avarice.

We who blog cannot avoid sin.

I've read too many other blog posts which make snide remarks about the Pope and what he says and does.  I've read posts which suggest the pope suffers from delusion, that he is ignorant, incompetent, and not Catholic.

There are of course a few Catholic priests who speak and write critical commentary against bishops, cardinals and the pope.  A couple go so far as to call out bishops (not their own) in the way these bishops deal with clerics who are under their obedience.

Yesterday I came across a comment on another blog asking the administrator of the blog to go after a novice in a particular religious order because of accusations from the candidate's past.  The commenter was suggesting the author devote a blog post exposing the man.

Such posts foment suspicion and mistrust and lack charity.

It seems to me many of us who blog may be Catholic - but I'm not at all sure we are always Christian.

At bottom there is always hidden pride at work when criticism of the Church adopts that tone of rancorous bitterness which today is already beginning to become a fashionable habit. Unfortunately it is accompanied only too often by a spiritual emptiness in which the specific nature of the Church as a whole is no longer seen, in which it is only regarded as a political instrument whose organization is felt to be pitiable or brutal, as the case may be, as if the real function of the Church did not lie beyond organization, in the comfort of the Word and of the sacraments which she provides in good and bad days alike. Those who really believe do not attribute too much importance to the struggle for the reform of ecclesiastical ritual. They live on what the Church always is; and if one wants to know what the Church really is one must go to them. For the Church is most present not where organizing, reforming and governing are going on but in those who simply believe and receive from her the gift of faith that is life to them." - Cardinal Ratzinger: "Introduction to Christianity." Holy, Yet Mingled with Sinners: The Church of the Pope Theologian

Monday, March 17, 2014

"I wish he'd never been born."

Peter Lanza said that about his son Adam.

Such a terrible story, one can understand how he could say that, after all that happened.  I read the New Yorker story and feel so sorry for the families - Peter Lanza and all the families of the victims and survivors.  I looked for the magazine in a couple of stores this weekend, but it was sold out.  I found the story online here.

Read it.  It may help you understand why joking about taking people out and shooting them is not funny and is extremely inappropriate hyperbole.

Read it.

"I wish he'd never been born."

What caught my attention is the statement "I wish he'd never been born."  I think I understand how and why Mr. Lanza could say that.  Especially after reading the article, and of course, after learning the details of the massacre, and the innocents who were killed - I can understand.  Yet it was that statement which prompted me to read the story.

It's a terrible thing to say.

I say that, because it reminded me how my mother used to say such things to me - "I wish you'd never been born." - she had undiagnosed mental illness - most likely bipolar, and she drank.  Once she threatened to slash my throat with a kitchen knife.  I never thought she meant it - but I never felt secure in my parent's home either.  (My dad displayed life-threatening behavior as well.)  As an adult, while they were still alive, I kept a distance from them, unable to understand why they insisted they wanted me to come home to visit or stop by.  They truly never liked me - as a child I was a terrible burden for them.  I was there when they died - and they died peacefully, thanks be to God - but I never really knew them.


Parents, love your kids - don't leave them alone - no matter what.  Moms and dads - be good, be holy.  Don't be unfaithful.  Don't leave.  Don't divorce.  Don't hate your kids.  Don't shirk your responsibility towards them.  Love them.  Sacrifice your self for them.

Art: Stefano Di Stasio

Why I am Catholic ...

Frank Weathers.

I like how this guy thinks.  I think we are Catholic for the same reasons.

Weathers has an interesting post on Bill and Melinda gates and a possible inching towards Catholicism, as well as the hope for a death bed conversion of Fred Phelps.  Check it out here.

Like I said, I like how this guy thinks - and lives his faith.

Let's pray for one another.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Beyond Gender Ideology ... Therianthropy-Otherkin.

Dog-headed St. Christopher

I've discussed 'gender ideology', which I now call 'beyond gay', yet beyond all of that is Therian-Otherkin people - and there is a Christian version of it too.  Hold onto your shorts Richard Rohr!  But he knew that already.  Therians have their misappropriated saints too ... St. Christopher ... St Mary of Egypt ...

Mary of Egypt covered with hair.

Therianism is related to shapeshifting mythology, werewolves, weredogs, werepoodles - werepoodles!  I made that up - but it is known as kynanthropy or cynanthropy with a "C".  (Like Katherine or Catherine - you know how girls like to make the distinction?  Although Crescat is not a Therian.)

I knew a person who believed she was a dragon - I'm sure I've written about her in the past - she requested I respect her anonymity.  She had identity issues - not unlike an online married-genderqueer writer who discusses gender issues in her books and blog.  It seems to me there are similarities insofar as the person I knew believed she was a lesbian - until she became Catholic - then she went through deliverance prayers and intense spiritual direction, bringing her to a point where she believed she was free of all that.  Subsequently, she was more or less directed to dress more feminine and get rid of her butch haircut and style.  Which she did.  She also became a severe traditionalist - until she couldn't take it any longer.  I think it was only about three years into her new life of being the most knowledgeable more-Catholic-than-the-Pope-Traditionalist-Catholic, and realizing she was still a misfit - that she went back to Wicca.  That's when she soon began to figure out she was Otherkin - Therian.  I'm not sure what she is now, nor do I have any idea how she resolved the homosexual inclination.  She was a troubled soul, came from a home of neglect, abuse, and poverty.  She desperately needed to find her identity.

Since many people - like my acquaintance - generally reject the idea of psychological or moral disorders - especially as it applies to sexual desire, identity and gender, the idea that one is a dragon, a cat, even a poodle is not at all far fetched for them.  Especially when it is brewed together with a more or less novel spirituality and religious practice.  (The contemporary theory/interpretation/embodiment only dates back to the early 20th century.)  The roots of such spirituality is not Christian of course, but is derived from shamanism and earth-based religions, as well as Eastern Asian and ancient Egyptian religious cult and mystical influences.  New Age Catholics sometimes embrace these principles and they influence not a few Catholic 'mystical-bear' writers, apologists, retreat masters, and speakers.  Hence their doctrine is contaminated by the 'world's slow stain'.  One cannot trust the Holy Spirit is at all guiding them in such concoctions.

Kevin Spacey as Keyboard Cat.

Therianthropy may be likened to gender dysphoria, only Therians might call it species dysphoria.  Here is a quick wiki-overview on the subject - not exhaustive, I might add.

"Dogs are people too, Sherman."


I've discussed this in the past - here.  These issues become so idiosyncratic it is nearly impossible to categorize the phenomena.  It seems to me to be a sort of manic individualism.  I'm convinced it is related to gender ideology and the push for a new anthropology.