Saturday, August 01, 2015

A couple of quick comments...

Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed.
Stop the cover-up.

The Planned Parenthood video expose.

Thank God it was done - we need this stuff right in our face.  This is an important step.  Moralists tried to dismiss Lila Rose for using deceptive tactics to expose Planned Parenthood in the past.  Moral perfectionists continue to criticize covert operations such as the latest undercover videos exposing PP body parts trade.  Yet not all that long ago Edward Snowden was lauded as a hero for leaking classified information which upset a very dishonest Administration and the NSA - and the world cheered.  The only people condemning Snowden seemed to be the operatives he exposed.

Sidetracking an intrinsically evil, immoral act by arguing that we need to focus upon lesser evils has not stopped the practice of abortion.  Blurring the lines with the 'seamless garment' - 'consistent ethic of life dialogue' has not been effective.  Abortion has grown into a major industry - politicians such as Hilary Clinton insist there can be no progress without it - women's equality is dependent upon it, women can make no progress without it:
“There is one lesson from the past, in particular, that we cannot afford to ignore: You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights,” Clinton said near the end of a speech marking International Women's Day. “That is a bedrock truth.” - Hilary Clinton, CNN
Reproductive health and rights is about abortion.

So - there are more issues Christians need to be concerned about other than such non-negotiables as abortion, or, women's reproductive health?  Mrs. Clinton doesn't think so:
“Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” Clinton said.
“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she explained. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.” - The DC
Sounds pretty non-negotiable to me.  Clinton is very single-minded - a one issue lady if there ever was one.

Don't take your eye off the target.

We have to stop soft-pedaling to please profiteering politicians and politically-correct hierarchs - there is nothing civil about abortion and dismemberment of newborns - be they killed in the womb or at partial birth.

. . .

"A blind eye is a species of collusion." - MM

There is another topic that needs some explaining - as well as some reparative restoration after the clericalist-collateral-damage perpetrated at the Church of Our Saviour in Manhattan.

When it comes to honesty and transparency as well as accountability - the hierarchy doesn't do well.

 Maureen Mullarkey has another very good article - sort of an expose in itself - regarding the debacle at Our Saviour Church in Manhattan: Wherein the removal of icons - which were funded by donations from two parties, and which ought to have remained - is called an "instance of clerical corruption, a fiduciary and ethical betrayal."

She's exactly right - and something stinks in the Archdiocese of New York.  Something smells.  It truly is a fiduciary and ethical betrayal - the icons were donated in good faith to beautify and sanctify the sanctuary.  They were of the highest quality - there was no need for 'restoration'.  The new pastor spent excessive amounts redecorating his rectory - there is nothing - no thing - Franciscan about either action.  (Pope Francis doesn't do that stuff.)  Ms. Mullarkey nails it when she says:
Nothing explains Fr. Robbins’ behavior, or supposed archdiocesan ignorance of it, except institutional rot. This is an instance of clerical corruption, a fiduciary and ethical betrayal. The treason of the clerisy is an assault on the integrity of those moral ideals they are pledged to preserve. It is an assault on their own calling and on our fidelity to it. - First Things

Churches belong to the Church - not to the pastors or bishops or choir directors or liturgists - but to the Church: the People of God.  What happened at Our Saviour was sneaky and underhanded clericalism.
No sensible steward destroys the heart of the renascence with which he has been entrusted. Those icons were sign and symbol of that very rebirth craved by the New Evangelization. - MM

Ed. note: Sometimes when doing links and copy and paste - formatting and text gets lost or messed up - I corrected those errors - I think. 

The photo at top shows the original Beatles album cover revealed after the secondary cover had been papered over to hide the original.  It's known as the Butcher cover - the group is dressed in butcher coats with baby-doll parts as if they were cuts of meat - or body parts.  It was deemed offensive at the time and recalled, recovered, re-released with a new cover shot.  We've been hiding such visuals ever since.

Dead babies for sale - we need an intervention. A big one.

Please - stop the killing.

Stop dismembering and selling infant body parts.


Forget all the other distractions taking our attention away from the horror, the terrorism that has been allowed to grow and prosper - because we ignore the killing of unborn children ... including those just born.

We could have known, we might have known, and we should have known.  There has been a concerted effort not to offend the sensibilities of mothers, women who have aborted children, and you and I - who just can't stand looking at a dismembered newborn infant.

Stacy Trasancos, mother of seven and a former research scientist turned homemaker, writer, editor, and educator, makes it clear that the use of fetal and embryonic body parts and tissues is nothing new.

From her post at Catholic Stand:
Maybe the undercover investigation conducted by the Center for Medical Progress needed to happen so people could see and hear the gruesomeness of Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and sale of fetal body parts. Maybe it was too easy to ignore without video-taped evidence in plain, gory language. Maybe it is not enough to be outraged at abortion on its face because, I don’t know, killing is somehow worse if body parts are sold.
But anyone who has followed the Human Genome Project, cloning, genetic, evolution, and stem cell research knows that the use of fetal and embryonic body parts and tissues is nothing new. I am not complimenting myself for knowing about this. I have been interested in reading science papers for decades. Now I am urging more people to pay more attention because, while I remain unsure how to stop the horrific conduct in some areas of the scientific community, there is no doubt that information is a fundamental necessity. You cannot change what you do not know about.
Now that we know ...
What do we do about it? Well, I assure you that getting angry over a sensational video from an undercover investigator will not make this end, but maybe it is a start to getting people to pay more attention.
In no way do I mean to scold anyone for not reading scientific papers before. What I hope I have done is encourage you to be confident that you can read them. You can see why it is important in this particular matter, but reading scientific papers is also a useful skill for any area of science you want to follow. If you are not a researcher doing the work, then reading the papers is the next best way to know what is done.
There will need to be pleas from us for the harvesting of fetal organs to stop, pleas to stop the research, pleas to stop funding the research, pleas to stop publishing the research, but the pleas will be ineffective if a case is not made that the knowledge gained from the research about human origins and human development is not worth donated fetal human lives. The people engaged in research using fetal body parts for decades think it is perfectly ethical. They have based entire careers on it. They are probably wondering why pro-life advocates are just now acting like they care because of the sensationalism of a few videos. I imagine their reaction is to shrug and get back to work.
We have to start making the case that research using fetal body parts is wrong and needs to stop, and there is only one way to know how to make that case if you are not the actual researcher. You have to know about the research by reading the papers. - Trasancos

Please be shocked.  Please be sickened.  Please be upset.  Please feel guilty, feel miserable, suffer - suffer the little children.  Don't ever get over it.  Don't take anti-depressants to keep from feeling depressed.  Don't distract yourself from the horror.  Stop it.

Stop killing babies.  Stop abortion. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ze nu Boy Scoutz

This ideological colonization “is not new, the dictators of the last century did the same. They came with their own doctrine. Think of the BalilLa (The Fascist Youth under Mussolini), think of the Hitler youth." - Pope Francis

The first readings from the 17th Week in Ordinary Time in art.

You have laid down your precepts
to be obeyed with care.

May my footsteps be firm
to obey your statutes.

Then I shall not be put to shame
as I heed your commands...
Psalm 119:1-8

St. Ignatius Loyola

I wonder if there are any traditional Jesuits?


Occupy yourself in beholding and bewailing 
your own imperfections rather than 
contemplating the imperfections of others.

Saint Ignatius

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Remember when the Holy Father spoke about the Shoah?

And he called attention to the Allies failure to stop it?

"The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn't they bomb (the railway lines)?" - He spoke of the "tragedy of the Shoah," using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

We too have pictures now.  (But some people don't want us or anyone else to see them.)

Now we, and the entire world have seen the Planned Parenthood expose videos, proving the organization actually dismembers and sells baby 'parts' - that is, they 'harvest organs and tissue' from infant human beings who were alive moments before - for research and profit:  We have to ask ourselves why we do not stop it?

The Allies knew about the Holocaust - in retrospect, the Pope wonders why the 'great powers' didn't do more to stop it?

What about today?  It didn't just start with the undercover videos - it's been going on for years.

Why don't we stop it?

Boy Scouts of America will now allow gay troop leaders.

Just say no.

Apparently there is some concern about that.
Churches and other religious organizations will determine whether or not to accept homosexual adults as leaders in chartered troops, packs and other Boy Scout units, now that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has removed its ban on homosexual adults from serving in leadership and volunteer positions throughout the organization. 
Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston, S.C., the episcopal liaison for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS), told the Register the NCCS was “cautiously optimistic” that Catholic organizations could still be involved with the BSA, so long as the policy on paper became the policy in practice. 
“We have to look at how all this plays out,” the bishop said. “The NCCS has indicated we can use this program and keep it within the parameters of Catholic teaching based on what is said and what is promised.” - NCRegister
At face value, there's a sense of irony in all of this.

Considering the recent discussions which have taken place about admitting gay/ssa men to seminary and ordination - within the parameters of Vatican guidelines of course.  Yet as Bishop Guglielmone pointed out in his statement, so ought it to be for seminaries: "So long as the policy on paper became the policy in practice."  Yet we know that hasn't always been the case when it came to admitting homosexuals to seminaries and holy orders.

Things are different now of course.

However, if it turns out that Catholic troops end up making exceptions, local chapters might consider adapting the Vatican guidelines for seminaries.  For instance, when a gay Boy Scout grows up and returns to accept a troop leadership position: 
Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem - for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before advancing to Troop Leader.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In Memoriam Cecil

In Memoriam Cecil

One day from out of the vast, trackless desert a proud lion 
appeared suddenly before Gerasimos’ cell. 
The great beast approached the hermit, 
bowed his tawny head and held out a huge paw.
The desert lion had come to stay. 
He joined the tiny,
 isolated community which consisted of the saint, 
a disciple and a donkey. 
Guided by the saintly hermit, 
man and beast lived together
 in perfect peace and harmony.

Being right online...

Or somebody is wrong on the Internet.

This past week I came across a site with a ton of comments which turned out to be pretty much just an argument between two or three people.  I was struck by one authoritative commenter insisting, "I'm right on this!"  Back and forth, back and forth the comments totaled up.  Why would anyone do that?  If you believe you are right - state your case and move on.

We all want to be right - and when we are convinced we are right, we often refuse to listen to those who contradict us or just want us to consider their plight from another point of view - especially concerning topics about which we either know very little or find baffling.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cecil the Lion - Killed by a Minnesota Dentist.

I think dentists maybe make too much money.

Cecil the lion – the most famous creature in one of Zimbabwe's national parks – was killed by an American hunter who has boasted about shooting a menagerie of animals with his bow and arrow, The Telegraph can reveal.
Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, is believed to have paid £35,000 to shoot and kill the much-loved lion with a bow and arrow. The animal was shot on July 1 in Hwange National Park. Two independent sources have confirmed the hunter's identity to the paper, which has also seen a copy of the relevant hunting permit. - Finish reading here. - Telegraph

The lion was lured out of the park and shot with a bow and arrow.  Rich people spend a ton of money to have these hunts set up.  The hunter doesn't risk much - the hunt is unfair to begin with - and unnecessary killing at that.  Of course Palmer did not know the lion was a park animal and protected...  even after the kill?  Who knows?  What a wicked thing to do.

It's wrong.

Big man Palmer with leopard.

Something else from Dorothy Day: On the practice of 'unnatural sex'.

Before the corruption of minors became curriculum.

Before 'they' started teaching in schools that same sex attraction and gender dysphoria is 'natural', Dorothy Day and most anyone born before 1960 hardly knew anything about such things until at least high school.  (And if they did know, it wasn't discussed.)  In those days 'queer' actually meant queer - that is, strange, unusual, a deviation from what is normal, and so on.  Today, kids learn about this stuff in pre-school, therefore, it's interesting to read Dorothy Day's thoughts on 'unnatural sex' and her reaction to it.  She never considered her attraction to girls she admired to be queer at all - because her attraction was not sexual or romantic or possessive.

Duty of Delight - The Seventies

September 9
I awoke with a heavy sense of a problem nagging at my heart.  It is early morning - just light.  Having prayed briefly and pondered long, I must write now.  I must try to be brief.  St. Paul, who wrote so beautifully, so warmly of love, said 'Let these things be not so much as mentioned angst you,' so great was his repugnance to homosexuality and lesbianism, unnatural sex.  And now - in this perverse generation, it is proclaimed from the housetops.
I must set down my own insights which came to me after prayer.  I only go into this because two of our friends have now written and spoken to me of their acceptance of lesbianism.  Whether this means they are 'practicing it' I do not know.
I am always being confronted in mind and conscience with these words of Christ, 'Do not judge.'  And also these words of Paul, 'Let not these things even be mentioned among you.'
But this practice of 'unnatural sex' is now being 'proclaimed from the housetops' in America.  (Maybe I exaggerate.) Because my heart is troubled.  Why do I have to deal with it, write about it at all?  It's been among us before - and judged with horror and coldness by some in the CW movement and with faithful friendship which endured till death by many others.  One of the latter brought to my attention a treatise on friendship written by St. Aelred centuries ago.
How wide and beautiful is our understanding of the word love - love of children, love of one's brethren, and how it warms and strengthen the heart ... Even in so-called 'natural love' it must be controlled and, if not enlightened by grace, can become a 'delectation in temptation.'
I am sure we all know enough of love to know that first thrill of adolescence when we can exultantly say, 'I have a friend, a bosom friend,' the phrase used to be.
The sun shone brighter, unexpected beauty appeared all around us in all our relationships, in fact, we were in a way in love. -Duty of Delight

Friendship, 'hero-worship', bosom buddies - normal.

I want to stop right there.  Day goes on to describe her feeling for a girl in school - her admiration and fondness for her - though she didn't know her.  What was missing in her account was any notion of lust or desire, any inclination to possessiveness or control, much less envy.  She admired the girl's beauty and intelligence and her example propelled her, inspired her to emulate the ideal the fellow student represented to her.  Dorothy states, "I worked harder at my studies.  She was in a way, a model to me."  This is pure 'same sex attraction' if you will - uncorrupted.  A 'school-girl crush'.  Later she falls for a boy, a handsome football player, and she was physically attracted to him.

Dorothy writes of another attraction, after her conversion.  She was taken with a young woman - attracted to her piety and stately beauty and grace - her example inspired in Dorothy greater devotion to Our Lady.

These examples point to the right ordering of friendship - especially same sex friendship - her examples give us an insight into what disinterested friendship means.  I find it odd we even have to define the term, disinterested - yet that is how screwed up everything has gotten to be.

Continuing her discussion about the lesbians who confided in her their love for one another - a situation which clearly troubled Dorothy's conscience, I will conclude with what amounts to her conclusion on the matter - though she kept it to herself:

I do not narrow that important command of Christ ('not to judge') down to small meanings.
One must judge what is right and wrong and if one considers oneself of the Judeo-Christian faith, one must remember that admonitions in both Old and New Testaments about unbridled sex, practiced today in every form and fashion ... 
... one must be grateful for the state of 'in-love-ness' ... It is this glimpse of Holy Wisdom, Santa Sophia, which makes celibacy possible, which transcends human love.  Oh if only we could grow in faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these virtues is love. 
- The Duty of Delight, The Seventies, September 9, 1975

That's what she said.

One of the reasons I want to write is not only to get the help for myself which comes of writing about such things, also to try more and more to see them in the light of faith. - Dorothy Day

It's interesting - I took that quote from Day's diary, The Duty of Delight - The Sixties.  At that time, the most common difficulty priests encountered were related to alcoholism.  In the same entry, immediately following the above quote, Dorothy Day describes the 'fallen' priest:
''When I think of this or that alcoholic priest, so fallen from so high estate, so filled with self-justification, so well dressed, well-fed, driving the latest model car, enjoying all the luxuries and comforts of a modern rectory, in a wealthy suburb ... I can only forgive him for his banal talk and most boring presence by suddenly seeing him as a victim soul."
I know!  Is she nuts?  A victim soul?  She continues:
"I'm sorry to use these old fashioned expressions but I do not know how else to speak of it.  He is suffering for the vast accumulation of self indulgence and luxury of the priests and lay people who 'can take it' and don't let it drag them down.  Whenever I see or hear of these well-stocked bars, I cannot help thinking of the cost of liquor and tobacco, and remember Fred on Skid Row, too much the thieving drunk, the brawling drunk to have in the house.  Another victim." - Dorothy Day, February 3
That's why she's considered a candidate for sainthood, I guess.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

This is providential: The Forgotten Vice in Seminary Formation

An essay written by Fr. James Mason, Rector and President of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Fr. Mason speaks of the vice of effeminacy:
St. Thomas includes effeminacy under the vices opposed to perseverance. It is from the Latin mollities, which literally means “softness.” Mollities is the verb used in 1 Corinthians 6:9 which deals with the sexual sin of sodomy. It involves being inordinately passive or receptive. What St. Thomas means by persevering is when “a man does not forsake a good on account of long endurance or difficulties and toils.” An “effeminate man is one who withdraws from good on account of sorrows caused by lack of pleasures, yielding as it were to a weak motion.” Thomas states that this effeminacy is caused in two ways. First, by custom, where a man is accustomed to enjoy pleasures and it is, therefore, more difficult for him to endure the lack of them. Second, by natural disposition, less persevering through frailty of temperament, and this is where Thomas compares men with women, and also mentions the homosexual act of sodomy, and the receiver in this act as being effeminate or like a woman. The vice of delicacy for Thomas considers those who cannot endure toils, or anything that diminishes pleasure, and thus delicacy is a kind of effeminacy. Thomas quotes from Deuteronomy 28:56, “The tender and delicate woman, that could not go upon the ground, nor set down her foot for softness.” It may be true that some cultural prejudices are being revealed here with this comparison because a vice is a vice, whether it is found in a man or a woman, but it is also true that some vices are more perverse or disordered when found specifically in men or women. Effeminacy is more pronounced in a man than a woman because women are more susceptible to this vice. Just as the vice of drunkenness is more pronounced or perverse when found in a woman than a man. - Homiletic and Pastoral Review

I'm not going to write another essay on the subject - I've written too much as it is, but it strikes me as fortuitous to come across this article, from a discerning priest/rector of a seminary who is very much aware of these issues.  I highly recommend reading the entire article here.


Fr. Mason addresses modesty for the seminarians, but he isn't regulating it to bathrobes.  He's discussing the deeper understanding of modesty.

St. Thomas also speaks on modesty concerning the outward movements of the body. Here, he quotes Saint Ambrose in stating that, “Beauty of conduct consists in becoming behavior towards others, according to their sex and person.” Thomas states that, “Outward movements are a sign of the inward disposition” and quotes Ecclesiastics 19:29-30, “You can tell a person by his appearance … the way a person dresses, the way he laughs, the way he walks, tell you what he is.” St. Ambrose adds that, “The habit of mind is seen in the gesture of the body,” and that “the body’s movement is an index of the soul.” Ambrose goes on to say, “Let nature guide the movement: if nature fail in any respect, surely effort will supply the defect.” This effort is lacking in most seminary formation. Such things should be noticed and discussed by seminary faculty in both external and internal formation, as they can often be signs of deeper issues.
St. Thomas, moreover, asserts the truth that it is often from our outward movements that other men form their judgment about us. Thomas encourages us to study our outward movements so that if they are inordinate in any way, they may be corrected. Such things need to be addressed in formation because they have a definite effect on our ability to be, and to bring, Christ to others. Does the seminary deal with a seminarian that sways when he walks, who has limp wrists, who acts like a drama queen, or who lisps? It must. This is not about a witch hunt, but about being honest enough to admit that such external behavior affects our ability to share Christ. I knew a seminarian that spoke in a very effeminate manner, and to his credit he recognized this impediment to his future preaching the Gospel, and on his own sought help from a speech instructor. However, the seminary did not see this glaring problem, nor move this man to get assistance. That is the problem.
St. Thomas also speaks on modesty of outward apparel. Moderation, of course, is the rule; and here he warns that the lack of moderation may arise from an inordinate attachment to clothes, with the result being that a man sometimes takes too much pleasure in them. In describing a friend as a “man’s man,” G. K. Chesterton said it best when he stated, “He was not in any case a dandy; but insofar as he did dress well, he was totally indifferent to how other men who were his friends might dress, which is another mark of purely masculine companionship.” The three guiding virtues in dress are humility, contentment, and simplicity. Here, one must always consider the appropriateness of a situation, and the personal motivation behind wearing certain apparel. This is not a new problem, as St. John Chrysostom addressed it in the fourth century in his writing on The Learning of Temperance, when he speaks of the folly of over-adorning oneself with jewels. - Fr. Mason
 One more excerpt - what can be done?
The question, then, is what can be done in helping form and ordain more manly priests? First, seminaries and bishops must recognize effeminacy as a formation issue. In choosing faculty to teach and form our future priests, the question must be asked: Does the candidate exhibit manly or effeminate qualities? Also, bishops need to realize that just because a priest requests an assignment, this does not automatically make him the right man for the job. This is especially true if the priest desires to work in liturgy, campus ministry, teaching, or seminary work where a manly model of priesthood is most needed and, unfortunately, often most often missing. Bishops need to take an active role in knowing and forming their priestly candidates. It is, perhaps, not only his most important decision, but also the decision for which he will be held most accountable. Bishop Carlson is one of the few, if not only, bishops in our country who has every seminarian live at least a summer in his residence. He knows the men he will ordain. He recounts a story of a seminarian he inherited who had already been through five years of formation, and was extremely effeminate. In working with this seminarian, he asked him about his sexual orientation. The seminarian responded he did not know. At that time, he was two years away from being ordained, and neither the rector, nor seminary faculty, saw this as a problem. This is the problem. - Fr. Mason
Archbishop and mentor.

Fr. Mason mentions Archbishop Carlson.  Archbishop Carlson is a bishop who smells like his sheep.  It's my understanding, when he was here as auxiliary, he pretty much formed the diocesan fraternity of priests known as The Companions of Christ in the archdiocese of St. Paul - Minneapolis.  This community of priests is awesome - the priests are men  close to their sheep, solid in their faith, faithful to the discipline of the Church.  They pretty much embody the ideal Fr. Mason promotes in his essay.  One of these guys is the new pastor at my parish.  I can't say enough good about him.

Pray for seminarians, priests and bishops.  A priest models Christ and ministers in his name.  Christ became man and dwells among us.  Men and women need priests to be men - who can correctly relate to us - no matter our weakness.

H/T: D

Catholic Churches Closing in NYC, Our Saviour Catholic Church Sacked by New Pastor ...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Obama in Kenya: Ambassador for the "ideological colonization" of African family life - American-style.

Obama clashes with Kenyan president over gay rights.
Barack Obama says “bad things happen” when countries don’t accept their citizens’ right to be homosexual ... - Source
Perhaps, after this visit to his homeland, the President would be kind enough to visit ISIS-held territories and encourage them to accept the rights of citizens in those counties to be Christian, and live in freedom from Islamic oppression?   Maybe he could stop by Saudi Arabia and school them while he's in the region.