Saturday, July 12, 2014

Poodles and profile photos ...

I'm pro-file.


A fluffier blog.

This photo of Paris Poodle Madeleine is my favorite style of poodle.  Is that the right way of saying that?  I like the natural look and the beige to camel color is very nice.  Those paws are so fluffy.  I had a dream last night that I had a poodle just like this one.  We laid on the couch together and watched TV.

A new direction.

I'm no longer going to write about Church stuff and all of that Catholic stuff, because it just upsets people.  Instead I'm going to write about the sick and twisted people in Catholic media.

Wanna see my best profile photos?  

I don't mind if you do.

I'll post them to my wall - oh wait - I'm not on Facebook any longer - because of the persecution...

I'll post them here instead:

My most popular ever.
I actually had priests from Rome 
writing to me when this was up.
I'm not kidding.

This is actually how I think I look.

Just remember Christine Niles -
I looked like Redford first!
Michael Voris stole my thunder
when he came along.

Too short to remain.

My 30 Rock look.
It's close.

This was a popular image,
I call it "my intellectual pose."
I could be a writer for the the Paris Review
with this one, and it's more
age appropriate I'm told.

I thought if I ever needed a
photo of myself as an old man,
this one would work.

Good grooming was always important 
in my family.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cardinal Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin takes over Cologne Archdiocese ...

"If two homosexuals take responsibility for each other, 
if they are loyal to each other over the long term,
 then one should see this in the same way as heterosexual relations."

That's it!

I give up.  Why even bother blogging about Catholic teaching any longer?

(Reuters) - The Vatican has appointed the archbishop of Berlin, seen by German media as part of a "new generation" of less dogmatic clergy, to take over the Cologne archdiocese, the largest and richest in Germany, it said on Friday.

The move makes Rainer Maria Woelki, who turns 58 next month, one of the most influential Roman Catholic cardinals and is an indication of the type of person Pope Francis wants to see in prominent Church roles.

Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper called him "the prototype of a new generation of bishops ... not grumpy and dogmatic ... these men speak of mercy and mean it. They're open to people, even their critics, to a point and have a heart for the disadvantaged. Still, they're theologically conservative."
In 2012, he said: "If two homosexuals take responsibility for each other, if they are loyal to each other over the long term, then one should see this in the same way as heterosexual relations." - Source

Theologically conservative?

Who am I to judge, huh?


The Cardinal's statement was clarified/explained back in 2012:
Press Secretary Stefan Förner explained that media reports had severely truncated [the Cardinal's] words. It is the Cardinal’s desire that homosexuals are “not discriminated against.”
The press secretary then explained [the Cardinal's statements] word for word to KATH.NET: “Cardinal Woelki set long-term homosexual relationships in which two people have already made a life-long commitment to one another in relation to [certain] heterosexual relationships which indeed are not in any case “in [proper] Catholic order” (the unmarried, those lacking commitment, etc.). A comparison with sacramental marriage between man and wife was absolutely not the theme.”
Press secretary Förner explained in concluding to KATH.NET: “Sacramental marriage between man and woman retains its special role. I see no cause for confusion.” - American Conservative
Many thanks to a reader who supplied the link.

That about covers it.


Diane at Te Deum has the last word on this here:  No, Cardinal Woelki didn't say that.  (Part 2)

H/T Creative Minority Report 

Those who say the Church needs to do more ... need to do more themselves.

The importance of the laity.

Years ago, the NCR posted 'vocation ads' - I'm sure they still do - I don't receive Catholic newspapers and rarely read the online versions unless I run into a link to a subject I have an opinion on.  I get the news I need and avoid the superfluous that way.  But I digress.  In the 'personal' or 'want ad' section, start up religious groups sometimes advertised seeking vocations.

Among these ads were those maybe classified as, "Women suffering from the effects of abuse from this or that religious order support group" - a sort of recovery program and nascent religious congregation offered for the rejects.  Likewise, from time to time I recall ads for a new Benedictine or Franciscan community - strictly contemplative of course - organized just for gay/ssa men.  I always wondered who these people were, had I ever met them when I was discerning or living a quasi-hermit-monastic-contemplative life myself?  There always seemed to be a ton of start up contemplative groups - wearing habits with a nunish horarium - although a couple I actually encountered always struck me as maybe just a little too "comfortable" - and maybe a bit off their "rule".  Which may help explain why I'm usually rather skeptical about new religious groups.  In retrospect, I'll admit I have been too critical, since a few I mistrusted are still around.

The "contemplative" status always made me suspicious.  Especially the inner city attempts.  Getting by with the witness of the habit, preaching without words, and engaging people in conversations about the faith, then just returning home to their comfortable apartment monastery or an old re-habed convent.  Not that it's a bad thing of course.  Although they wanted to be poor and minister to the poor, there always seemed to be funds for beautifying the chapel, for travel to this conference or that religious gathering, as well as pilgrimage/vacation/retreat, and so on.  The homeless or mentally ill were left on the margins where they found them, and the contemplatives went home to sleep in a nice comfy bed.

Frati Minori Rinnovati
Doing it right.
This is their 'house' in Naples.
Railway cars as their friary.
I stayed there in the mid 1970's.
It hasn't changed and the order is thriving.

"Contemplatives" in the world.

Yesterday I mentioned something to the effect that we, the laity are the Church - that we actually have a role to play rather than cultivating the sense of expectation that the "Church" has to do something all the time.  I said:
So many people seem to believe they need a degree to do any sort of work for the Church or the poor.  So many people attracted to religious life think of contemplative life as opposed to serving the needs around them, completely unaware that the active life can be as contemplative as cloistered life.  The Missionaries of Charity demonstrate that.  But we do not have to be consecrated religious to follow a vocation.  Jean Vanier and L'Arche is a wonderful example of that.  

You don't need a costume or a habit or a degree or a title to help the poor, the marginalized.  The Church needs to do more?  You are the Church - we are the Church.

Ordinary life.

Today I remembered something Madeleine Delbrel wrote - I came across it in Magnificat as a meditation for the day.  She expressed the very same sentiments I came to understand as God's call in my life.  Albeit my interpretation is quite idiosyncratic if not eccentric, and I haven't been at all the 'good and faithful servant' Delbrel exemplified, barely even able to manage the 'only doing my duty' part.  Again I digress - but what Delbrel wrote expresses what I often try to say.

"To be people immersed as deeply as possible in the midst of the world, with no rules, no vows, no habits, and no convents separating us from the world; to be poor, but just like people you find everywhere; to be chaste, but like people from every social stratum; to be obedient, but just like people of every nationality.
We will not be the Church, and salvation will not reach the ends of the earth, unless we help save the people in the very situations in which we live.  And we will not be working toward salvation, we will not let it pass through us, unless in their very midst, we remain purely and unchangeably the Church." Magnificat, Wednesday Meditation, July 9, 2014

“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, 
but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don't talk about it; 
they are the ones who make a community live.” 
― Jean Vanier

Presence - our real presence mirrors the Real Presence of the Eucharist.

Over the years, this is what I have come to know as true.  Our lives witness to the truth of the Gospel.  If we are faithful, the Holy Spirit attracts those around us to the Church.  The Church waits with open arms, Catholic teaching is recognized as lovely and true.  The Church's ministers are there to reconcile those who return.  Evangelization is not about 'fixing' people or seeing success - it is about living - a living witness, even a silent, loving action at work in the midst of them.  "He walked in peace through the midst of them."  Without thinking of them as 'them' however, as if we, or I am different from  'them'.  As Delbrel explained, "To be people immersed as deeply as possible in the midst of the world ... just like people you find everywhere."  Christ dwells in our midst.

It's like that.  I just have trouble expressing it.  My apologies.

Pride goes before the fall.

I don't go to gay parades or raise Rainbow banners.  I'm Catholic.  All my friends know that.

Many of my friends are gay - a few are faithful Catholics, some not so much - other people I know may like me, but not the Church.  Others acquaintances are 'spiritual' but not religious.  Most are older now, but some are younger.  My doctor is gay, my barber is gay, my lawyer is gay.  Several of my neighbors are gay.  I have gay-bisexual friends married to women.  I have gay friends and professional acquaintances I'm in contact with who are sexually active, a couple are legally married, and so on.

Over the years, whenever I'd see these friends or socialize with them, I've never ever told them they are embracing a sinful lifestyle. Why? Because they already know what the Church teaches. The entire world knows what the Church teaches. If anything, Church teaching was clarified whenever they chided me for my Catholic faith and being in a Church that they enjoyed telling me hates me. Gay people already know what the Church teaches - which is why gay activists militate against it - therefore I have no need to repeat Catholic teaching to them.  If they ask - that is a different matter.  When they tell me the Church hates me, I explain to them why that isn't true.

I think that may be what Pope Francis means when he says things which confuse many good Catholics: what he may be saying is that we don't have to try to pound it home or make 'them' accept it.  Therefore, going out to the peripheries does not mean wearing Rainbow flags or marching in Pride parades.  It can never be about suspending Church discipline or the commandments, or working towards the development of doctrine to make the Church more inviting or to make people feel welcome, or worse, tell them conversion is not necessary.

"We will not be the Church, and salvation will not reach the ends of the earth, unless we help save the people in the very situations in which we live.  And we will not be working toward salvation, we will not let it pass through us, unless in their very midst, we remain purely and unchangeably the Church." - Servant of God Madeleine Delbrel

St. John Bosco - he worked the streets.

Song for this post here.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Making a novena.

You don't have to make a novena - but if you want to you can.  If you forgot to begin, or you didn't know one was being said, you can start at any time - joining your prayer to those who have been doing so already. (All Carmelites have been doing so.)  If you miss a day, you can just keep going the following day as if you never missed a day - knowing other people praying the novena never stopped.  It's not like a chain letter or anything - you can't be 'disqualified'.  It's not a test or a competition.  It doesn't even matter how you pray, or what prayers you use - or how many you say.  Oh!  Oh!  And you don't have to be holy to pray, you don't even have to be in the state of grace - but Our Lady is known to help with that.

So remember, Our Lady's feast is on the 16 of July, and she would like to hear from you.  She wants you to wear her scapular too.  You don't have to be a Carmelite to wear her scapular or make a novena to her.  If you don't want to wear a cloth one, you can wear a scapular medal instead - but you have to have it blessed.

O all-blessed, immaculate Virgin, ornament and glory of Mount Carmel, thou who dost look with most gracious countenance on those who have been clothed with thy venerable livery, look kindly also on me and take me under the mantle of thy maternal protection. Strengthen my weakness with thy might; enlighten the darkness of my heart with thy wisdom; increase in me faith, hope and charity. So adorn my souls with graces and virtues that it may always be dear to thy divine Son and thee. Assist me during life, comfort me in death with thy most sweet presence, and present me as thy child and faithful servant to the most Holy Trinity, that I may be enabled to praise and extol thee in heaven forever. Amen.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pictures on my wall: Everyone is talking about Michael Voris - again!

He's a chameleon.

So I thought I'd add my 2 cents.

I saw this screen shot and said to myself, "I think he's starting to look more like Aaron Eckhart now than Robert Redford."  (I always thought he resembled Redford.)  So I posted the photos to my wall for y'all to see.

"I like that one!"

It's uncanny!  Like they were separated at birth!

The issue of homelessness for queer youth

Symposium: a drinking party or convivial discussion, 
especially as held in ancient Greece after a banquet.  What?

An interesting piece found at the Patheos Symposium ...

I read Deacon Kandra all the time, he's one of Patheos best - and really, a news source for me since he often posts about the stuff I'm interested in, he's a Deacon, and I've become a big supporter of permanent Deacons, and he's friends with Lesley Stahl, whom I've had a crush on for years.

Patheos is conducting a Symposium in advance of the Synod on the Family this October.  I think it's a great idea.  Interestingly, before or during the Council - I can't recall when at the moment, Dorothy Day went to Rome to pray and fast for the Council Fathers (I'm sure she did some writing as well).  In contrast, rather than going to Rome to pray and fast, it looks as if Patheos people have opted to hold their own online Symposium on the the Synod, and what is offered so far is very good.

That said, Kandra's post, "How do Christians respond to the transgender issue" caught my eye, his post leading me to an offering from Kelley Cutler,  "a social worker and advocate for the homeless working and worshiping in the Archdiocese of San Francisco".  Her piece, Pastoral Care for the Queer Person: Questions for the Synod is provocative and well worth the read.  A couple of points from Cutler's article:

The first thing Jesus did, in seeking to save souls, was to acknowledge who was on the margins, and then reach out in love.
How can the Church follow Christ's example? What do queer people want and need to feel welcomed and supported in the Church where they may find him? How can the Church support queer people already in the pews, let alone the many on the street? What do they hope for from the Church, and how is the Church failing those hopes, thus contributing to a sense of hopelessness? 
These are some of the questions that will hopefully be seriously entertained during the Extraordinary Bishop's Synod for the Family, in October. Research suggests that social support is an essential factor for the physical and material well being of all marginalized people; everyone has a need for community, and a connection with others. For the spiritual well being of queer people, spiritual support is needed as well. Jesus showed us time and time again the importance of reaching out to the social outcasts by meeting them first where they were, and inviting them along. He first made genuine connections with them, and his love radically changed their lives.
I agree.

There is a lot there in the essay which goes beyond pastoral care and social outreach, which involves the social economic structure of society as well.  There are many forms of homelessness, and it isn't limited to LGBTQ youth, although I'm pretty sure queer youth have been ever present.

San Francisco has always been a gay mecca, as Kelley points out, but it has always been a mecca for a great variety of dropouts.  Haight-Ashbury in the 1960's for instance.  Many people simply showed up in San Francisco and environs and crashed wherever they could.  Los Angeles too.  In the 80's and 90's, Seattle was the place to go.  Squatters* flooded the city.  Punks, anarchists, queers - it is a blended culture.  Hence, there are many and varied reasons for homelessness among youth.  It is not simply an LGBTQ issue - it is much more complicated.  I trust Kelley Cutler understands that, being a social worker and advocate.  The inclusion of LGBTQ youth in the mix is in a sense, part of the anarchist cocktail.  Having said that, I'm not trying to invalidate what Cutler said.  As she points out, it is important to listen - recognizing, welcoming and caring for the person.

Closing churches and convents?
Find a new use for them.

The Church needs to do more.

We hear that all of the time.  Cardinal Dolan said it, adding he didn't know what doing more would entail.

These are the challenges that inspired the saints and founders of religious orders, religious societies, and religious people to go out into the streets to care for those most in need.  So the people who are calling out the Church need to realize they are the Church.  No one is stopping anyone from caring for the marginalized, one on one, after the example of the Good Samaritan.  I wonder if we are too dependent upon institutional care, organizational commitment, rather than taking personal responsibility?

So many people seem to believe they need a degree to do any sort of work for the Church or the poor.  So many people attracted to religious life think of contemplative life as opposed to serving the needs around them, completely unaware that the active life can be as contemplative as cloistered life.  The Missionaries of Charity demonstrate that.  But we do not have to be consecrated religious to follow a vocation.  Jean Vanier and L'Arche is a wonderful example of that.  In NYC there was Covenant House, but the founder took advantage of those he was supposed to be helping.

You don't need a costume or a habit or a degree or a title to help the poor, the marginalized.  The Church needs to do more?  You are the Church - we are the Church.

Kelley Cutler did link to an interesting site on welcoming people into the Church, it is called Landings:
Landings reaches out to inactive Catholics and empowers laity to welcome them home. "In parishes, groups of active Catholics join together with those who are returning. Over the course of 8-10 weeks, group members listen to one another tell their faith stories."
"The key to Landings is compassionate listening," Father Moran says.
Without politicking, I might add.  It sounds like an excellent form of "discipleship" to me.  I especially like this:

Landings IS NOT:

  • The "saved" welcoming the "sinners."
  • People pressuring others to return.
  • Full of answers to teach the unenlightened.
  • Blind to the hurt the Church may have caused someone... - Source

Anyway.  If you say the Church has to do more - then maybe you (we) are being called to do more.  We really are our brother's keeper.

Kelley Cutler
See how cute she is
Spiritual Friendship people?

*Dutch sociologist Hans Pruijt separates types of squatters into five distinct categories:
  1. Deprivation based — i.e., homeless people squatting for housing need
  2. An alternative housing strategy — e.g., people unprepared to wait on municipal lists to be housed take direct action (as discussed in the preceding paragraph)
  3. Entrepreneurial — e.g., people breaking buildings to service the need of a community for cheap bars, clubs etc.
  4. Conservational — i.e., preserving monuments because the authorities have let them decay
  5. Political — e.g., activists squatting buildings as protests or to make social centres

More stats for LGBTQ homeless youth here.

Unreleased Michael Jackson Song on the new Jeep ad...

So good.

Xscape video here.

With Timberlake here.

Good song.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Fr. Z joins celebrities such as Pamela Anderson, Brigitte Bardot, Sugar Shane Mosley, and others to "Defend the Seal" ,,,

Order yours here.


I knew he had a heart.

Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel

Did you know?

Aside from the apparition of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at Fatima within the promised miracle on October 13, 1917, O.L. of Carmel has a connection to the apparitions in Lourdes.  In fact, the 18th and last apparition to St. Bernadette occurred on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

The 18th appearance 16 July 1858
This was the final appearance. Because the grotto was barricaded by the local government, Bernadette knelt outside the fence by the riverbank. "I thought I was at the Grotto, at the same distance as I was the other times. All I saw was Our Lady ... She was more beautiful than ever."

What was the main message of Lourdes?  Prayer and penance for the conversion of sinners: "Penance! Penance! Penance! Pray to God for sinners."

Isn't that interesting?  The Blessed Virgin asked for prayer and penance.

Tell me again, how do we evangelize, how do we convert sinners?

O Queen of Heaven, you gave us the Scapular as an outward sign by which we might be known as your faithful children. may we always wear it with honor by avoiding sin and imitating your virtues. Help us to be faithful to this desire of ours.

Secrets of the Vatican - redux

The filth in the Church.

I watched the Frontline piece again last night...  The transcript here.  It makes so much more sense upon second viewing.

The filth in the Church.

Last night's rerun and all that has transpired in the Church since the show first aired afforded a new perspective on Vati-leaks and other conspiracy theories that were circulating around the time of Benedict's resignation and Francis becoming Pope.

It is very evident today that Francis is radically reforming the curia.  He's a kind and gentle pope who seems to have a ruthless streak when it comes to 'cleansing the temple' and overturning the tables of hypocrisy.

At times he may frustrate many of us, or at least confuse the hell out of us, but he is definitely reforming the Church.  I read a comment someplace saying that Francis has dumbed down the papacy.  It wasn't meant as a compliment, to be sure, but I would say it's about right.  People fear he is dismantling the Church when in fact he is simply dismantling the papacy as we've become accustomed to it.  He's breaking down the structure.

It's rather unsettling to many of us - it's a dirty job, but someones got to do it.

“I’m afraid the Pope doesn’t have the strength to expel the money changers from the temple.” - Benedict's butler, Paolo Gabriele on why he chose to expose the corruption in the Vatican. 

Pope Francis obviously has the strength to do what his predecessors couldn't.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as Patroness of Israel and the Middle East

Pope Pius XII made her patroness of Arabia - insofar as the image dedicated as Our Lady of Arabia was a copy of the famous statue of Our Lady on Mt. Carmel.  For several reasons I consider Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as the bridge between the East and the West, as well as the source of peace between Muslims and Christians and Jews.  She is also Our Lady of Victory over the apostasy that encroaches upon the Church - foreshadowed in the Old Testament accounts of the Prophet Elijah.

The Blessed Virgin has many titles, Our Lady of Jerusalem, Our Lady of Palestine, Our Lady of Bethlehem.  During the miracle at Fatima she showed herself within that apocalyptic tableau as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, as if to indicate her patronage for the troubled times that lay ahead and are threatening the world today.

Our Lady of Jerusalem

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  Today rockets have once again fallen upon Israel.  Story here.

Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel

Show Thyself a Mother.
House of gold, pray for us!
Ark of the covenant, pray for us!  
Gate of heaven, pray for us!

Please include in your prayers a man in Boston facing homelessness - he has tried to find housing and cannot - he needs a miracle.  His name is Stephen.

Calabrian Procession of the Virgin Passes by Mafioso's House ...

And they say it was in defiance of Pope Francis' condemnation of the 'Ndrangheta.

I'm confused.  The procession passed by the home of a mobster under house arrest.  On his visit to the region last month, Pope Francis said mafiose were excommunicated.  They say the procession detoured to honor the 82 year old mafia boss, but maybe it was more a way of reaching out to him - maybe the Madonna wanted to 'pass by' with her healing graces?  Isn't the man 'imprisoned' albeit house arrest?  The Pope just visited prisoners, didn't he?  Those in the procession were not distributing Holy Communion.  Isn't this what the Pope would do himself?  Detour from the scheduled route to visit the sinner?

Here's the deal:
The July 2 procession included clergy, the mayor, parents pushing baby strollers and dozens of local men carrying on their shoulders an ornate Madonna statue. 
Carabinieri officer Andrea Marino said he and his fellow officer walked away from the procession after the detour and headed to the church to complain about what happened. 
One of Calabria's anti-Mafia prosecutors, Nicola Gratteri, told The Associated Press that the detour to the mobster's house appeared to be a "challenge to the diktat" of Francis. 
'Ndrangheta, a global cocaine trafficker, is one of the world's most powerful crime syndicates. Religious rituals hold an important place in the mobsters' mentality. 
Oppido Mamertino's bishop, Monsignor Francesco Milito, said he would take undescribed "measures" against those exploiting the church procession to pay homage to the 82-year-old local boss. The mobster, because of his age, was allowed to serve out his life sentence at home for murder. - Source
I don't get it - how is that defying the Pope?  Especially when other mafiose in prison refuse to go to Mass any longer because the Pope said they were excommunicated: "reasoning if they were excommunicated it made no sense for them to attend anymore." 

The man, Peppe Mazzagatti is 82 - he's elderly and under house arrest,  Don't forget the Holy Father always reminds us to care for the elderly.  Pope Francis: “let us also think of those other exiles – I would call them ‘the hidden exiles’ who may be marginalized within their own families – the elderly for example who sometimes are treated like burdens”.

Paraphrasing a comment I received yesterday:  The big question is, how do we reach them? How do we bring them back to the Church? Do we do it by preaching at them, (excommunicating them) or do we do it by extending love and mercy, winning their trust, having a procession by their house, and then talking about how they have to change?


Monday, July 07, 2014

Novena: Beata Vergine Maria del Monte Carmelo

The novena begins today - if you are interested.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is my special patroness, her holy Scapular my protection.  Last night as I kissed it I thought of it like my bankie - my security blanket.  You know how little kids have bankies?  It is so much more than that of course.

I wear my scapular always - like an Orthodox Jew wears a tzizit.  

It is the sign of my consecration to Our Lady - I'm her servant and keep.  It's a habit.  A sign of the yoke of Christ, whose slave I am through the Blessed Virgin Mary of Monte Carmelo.  You do not have to be a Carmelite to wear one, although once enrolled you are connected to the Carmelite Orders - but you get to remain an ordinary Christian.

When I was little I liked the scapulars with pictures because that way I could always look at the Blessed Virgin and the Child Jesus.  Today I wear plain ones.  I still like pictures though.

So!  How you maka novena?

It's so easy.  Each day you saya* the prayers - the Rosary, the Hail Mary's, the liturgical prayer of the festa - hey?  Or you pray special ones like these here.  The bigga important part is to pray to the Madonna every day, ask her for what you need - tell her you love her, ask her what she wants you should do.  Wear her scapular and honor her images.  She's our Mother.  Be simple.  The prayers of the novena are meant as a preparation for her glorious feast - prepare - go to confession and pray - pray, pray, pray - especially the Rosary if you don't already.  Wear the Scapular.

Vergine Bruna

*My fake Neapolitan accent.

The most overlooked prophecies in the world have come from the Popes of the 20th Century.

And the 19th Century, I might add.

I made that comment on a post quoting Pope Pius XII - before he ascended the Throne of Peter:
"I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to little Lucia of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul... I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.

"A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, 'Where have they taken Him?'"

--Eugene Cardinal Pacelli, future Pope Pius XII, 1931 - Creative Minority Report
I've been printing select quotes which foretold our times as well - from the Popes and the Vatican Documents they commissioned and approved.  Some say Heaven complains messages from the Blessed Virgin are not heeded, yet perhaps an even more serious offense is that the teaching of the Popes have been deliberately ignored and repudiated.

The following, from St. Pius X:
Thus then, Venerable Brethren, for the Modernists, both as authors and propagandists, there is to be nothing stable, nothing immutable in the Church. Nor indeed are they without precursors in their doctrines, for it was of these that Our Predecessor Pius IX wrote: These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts.' (Encyclical Qui pluribus, November 9, 1846) 
These men are certainly to be pitied, and of them the Apostle might well say: They became vain in their thoughts. . . professing themselves to be wise they became fools(Rom. i. 21, 22); but, at the same time, they excite just indignation when they accuse the Church of torturing the texts, arranging and confusing them after its own fashion, and for the needs of its cause. In this they are accusing the Church of something for which their own conscience plainly reproaches them.” - Source

And just to drive a few points home, this from Paul VI:

In the present period, the corruption of morals has increased, and one of the most serious indications of this corruption is the unbridled exaltation of sex. Moreover, through the means of social communication and through public entertainment this corruption has reached the point of invading the field of education and of infecting the general mentality. 
In this context certain educators, teachers and moralists have been able to contribute to a better understanding and integration into life of the values proper to each of the sexes; on the other hand there are those who have put forward concepts and modes of behavior which are contrary to the true moral exigencies of the human person. Some members of the latter group have even gone so far as to favor a licentious hedonism. - Persona Humana

From the first Pope:

Know this first of all, that in the last days scoffers will come [to] scoff, living according to their own desires ...
There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will introduce destructive heresies and even deny the Master who ransomed them, bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their licentious ways, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.
In their greed they will exploit you with fabrications, but from of old their condemnation has not been idle and their destruction does not sleep. - 2 Peter 2

Why does the Catholic Church always talk about sex?

Ever hear people ask that question?

Of course you do.  Especially gay people or those who are more or less into - oh what did the old people call it?  "Free love"... "What could be more wholesome or natural?"

Almost 40 years ago, back when society was just emerging from horrible, institutionalized, sexual repression,* the Vatican - during the reign of Pope Pal VI, had the audacity to issue an official document entitled Persona Humana - Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics.

What's it good for?

One might ask that since it seems to me it has been largely ignored.  However the preface does indeed explain why the Church always seems to be talking about sex ...

According to contemporary scientific research, the human person is so profoundly affected by sexuality that it must be considered as one of the factors which give to each individual's life the principal traits that distinguish it. In fact it is from sex that the human person receives the characteristics which, on the biological, psychological and spiritual levels, make that person a man or a woman, and thereby largely condition his or her progress towards maturity and insertion into society. Hence sexual matters, as is obvious to everyone, today constitute a theme frequently and openly dealt with in books, reviews, magazines and other means of social communication.

In the present period, the corruption of morals has increased, and one of the most serious indications of this corruption is the unbridled exaltation of sex. Moreover, through the means of social communication and through public entertainment this corruption has reached the point of invading the field of education and of infecting the general mentality.

In this context certain educators, teachers and moralists have been able to contribute to a better understanding and integration into life of the values proper to each of the sexes; on the other hand there are those who have put forward concepts and modes of behavior which are contrary to the true moral exigencies of the human person. Some members of the latter group have even gone so far as to favor a licentious hedonism.

As a result, in the course of a few years, teachings, moral criteria and modes of living hitherto faithfully preserved have been very much unsettled, even among Christians. There are many people today who, being confronted with widespread opinions opposed to the teaching which they received from the Church, have come to wonder what must still hold as true. - Persona Humana

That makes sense, huh?  I strongly urge you to read the whole thing.  If you read the documents the Church promulgates, you won't have to depend so heavily upon online evangelists, pop-Catholic authors, or theologically screwed up parish religious ed people.

Included below are a couple of subjects not always taught in Catholic parishes, RCIA, schools, and other places of welcome:

The traditional Catholic doctrine that masturbation constitutes a grave moral disorder is often called into doubt or expressly denied today. It is said that psychology and sociology show that it is a normal phenomenon of sexual development, especially among the young. It is stated that there is real and serious fault only in the measure that the subject deliberately indulges in solitary pleasure closed in on self ("ipsation"), because in this case the act would indeed be radically opposed to the loving communion between persons of different sex which some hold is what is principally sought in the use of the sexual faculty. 
This opinion is contradictory to the teaching and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church. Whatever the force of certain arguments of a biological and philosophical nature, which have sometimes been used by theologians, in fact both the Magisterium of the Church - in the course of a constant tradition - and the moral sense of the faithful have declared without hesitation that masturbation is an intrinsically and seriously disordered act.[19] - Persona Humana
Homo.  Sexuality.
At the present time there are those who, basing themselves on observations in the psychological order, have begun to judge indulgently, and even to excuse completely, homosexual relations between certain people. This they do in opposition to the constant teaching of the Magisterium and to the moral sense of the Christian people. 
A distinction is drawn, and it seems with some reason, between homosexuals whose tendency comes from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; and homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable. 
In regard to this second category of subjects, some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, in so far as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life. - Persona Humana

Mortal sin.

The observance of the moral law in the field of sexuality and the practice of chastity have been considerably endangered, especially among less fervent Christians, by the current tendency to minimize as far as possible, when not denying outright, the reality of grave sin, at least in people's actual lives. 
There are those who go as far as to affirm that mortal sin, which causes separation from God, only exists in the formal refusal directly opposed to God's call, or in that selfishness which completely and deliberately closes itself to the love of neighbor. They say that it is only then that there comes into play the fundamental option, that is to say the decision which totally commits the person and which is necessary if mortal sin is to exist; by this option the person, from the depths of the personality, takes up or ratifies a fundamental attitude towards God or people. On the contrary, so-called "peripheral" actions (which, it is said, usually do not involve decisive choice), do not go so far as to change the fundamental option, the less so since they often come, as is observed, from habit. Thus such actions can weaken the fundamental option, but not to such a degree as to change it completely. Now according to these authors, a change of the fundamental option towards God less easily comes about in the field of sexual activity, where a person generally does not transgress the moral order in a fully deliberate and responsible manner but rather under the influence of passion, weakness, immaturity, sometimes even through the illusion of thus showing love for someone else. To these causes there is often added the pressure of the social environment. - Persona Humana

Do keep in mind that these documents were issued in the olden days before we were able to grasp the dynamics of conscious evolution and sexual fluidity and genderlessness.*

(Sarcasm intended.)

A note on Paul VI.

A year after the release of Person Humana the Holy Father underwent a smear campaign claiming he was a homosexual.  In a rare response to public libel, the Holy Father denied the accusations and linked them to opposition to the release of the document on sexual ethics, Persona Humana.  Story here.

Similar calumnies have been leveled against Archbishop Nienstedt of Minneapolis/St. Paul for his opposition to same sex marriage.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Remember ...

Never neglect your thanksgiving after Holy Communion,
stay as long as you can.

If I remember correctly,
St. Teresa of Avila recommended a quarter of an hour.

Here's something: On Gender Ideology.

Not to worry.

Worried about the upcoming Synod on the Family?  Planning discussion groups?  Drawing up a hit list of topics to be addressed?  The Pontifical Council for the Family appears to have been preparing for this for quite some time - I doubt the Synod Fathers will be able to over-look such a large body of work already cataloged.

From the Document: Family, Marriage and De-Facto Unions
(8) In the process that could be described as the gradual cultural and human de-structuring of the institution of marriage, the spread of a certain ideology of “gender” should not be underestimated. According to this ideology, being a man or a woman is not determined fundamentally by sex but by culture.  Therefore, the very bases of the family and inter-personal relationships are attacked.  Some considerations should be made in this regard because of the importance of this ideology in contemporary culture and its influence on the phenomenon of de facto unions.
In the integrative dynamics of the human personality, one very important factor is identity.  During childhood and adolescence, a person progressively gains awareness of being “him/herself”, an awareness of his/her own identity.  This is integrated into a process of recognition of one’s being and, consequently, of the sexual dimension of one’s being.  This is therefore awareness of identity and difference.  Experts usually make a distinction between sexual identity (i.e., awareness of the psycho-biological identity of one’s sex, and the difference with regard to the other sex), and generic identity (i.e., awareness of the psycho-social and cultural identity of the role which persons of a determined sex play in society).  In a correct and harmonious process of integration, sexual and generic identity are complementary because persons live in society according to the cultural aspects corresponding to their sex.  The category of generic sexual identity (“gender”) is therefore of a psycho-social and cultural nature.  It corresponds to and is harmonious with sexual identity of a psycho-biological nature when the integration of the personality is achieved as recognition of the fullness of the person’s inner truth, the unity of body and soul.
Starting from the decade between 1960-1970, some theories (which today are usually described by experts as “constructionist”) hold not only that generic sexual identity (“gender”) is the product of an interaction between the community and the individual, but that this generic identity is independent from personal sexual identity: i.e., that masculine and feminine genders in society are the exclusive product of social factors, with no relation to any truth about the sexual dimension of the person.  In this way, any sexual attitude can be justified, including homosexuality, and it is society that ought to change in order to include other genders, together with male and female, in its way of shaping social life.[6]
The ideology of “gender” found a favorable environment in the individualist anthropology of radical neo-liberalism.[7]  Claiming a similar status for marriage and de facto unions (including homosexual unions) is usually justified today on the basis of categories and terms that come from the ideology of “gender”.[8]  In this way, there is a certain tendency to give the name “family” to all kinds of consensual unions, thus ignoring the natural inclination of human freedom to reciprocal self-giving and its essential characteristics which are the basis of that common good of humanity, the institution of marriage. - Pontifical Council For The Family, 2000