Friday, December 30, 2016

Esteemed Colleagues

Facade Orvieto Cathedral detail.

One Peter Five

I was interested in just who writes for 1P5 other than Steve Skojec.  It appears he's assembled a rather distinguished group of contributors - here.

[I checked it out because 1P5 is one of many sites with pop-ups requesting donations to finance the site whenever you click on the home page.  Does that mean contributors are paid?  I also came across something on another site linking to a Catholic Fundraising site, offering training for Catholic fundraising.  There must be a lot of money in pious gossip, speculation, detraction and dissimulation.  Of course there are good fundraising causes as well, such as replicating grand medieval abbeys in the countryside.]  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Keep trying ...

Some thoughts ...

Here for the cure?

You know.

For some reason the recent celebrity deaths have been the focus of many news programs, as well as filling social media with commentary.  I liked all three personalities who have just died, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, but I only knew them by their celebrity, and though I liked them, I didn't know a great deal about them.

Carrie Fisher was better known to me than her mother, because she was so vocal about her bi-polar condition.  George Michael I knew more about because I liked some of his music, thought he was good looking, and he was gay.  He also liked risky, public sex, and frequently got himself in trouble for that.  He famously, unabashedly defended himself saying, "That's what gay people do."  I think he was 'partnered/married' at the time.  I often referenced that statement because I wanted people who think gay behavior is just like monogamous heterosexual relationships/marriage to know that in most cases, it probably is not.  (I say it like that because I have friends who insist that it is no different than heterosexual marriage.)

Having said all of that - I just read a really good article on Crisis Magazine by Dr. Nicolosi discussing The Traumatic Foundations of Male Homosexuality.  Though I really no longer read gay-Catholic blog posts on the subject, nor do I follow other SSA Catholic writers on the issue, I will from time to time read people like Dr. Nicolosi.  I may not be a big fan of reparative therapy as a general 'antidote', I find the studies to be valuable for an individual to understand  himself and the phenomenon.  (It seems to me that older individuals - in their mid-30's and older, are normally not interested in reparative therapy, but rather in living chastely and 'whole-ly'.)

You can't change a person if they don't want to change.

Back to George Michael.

He died young.  He filled his life with a lot of superficial glamour and celebrity.  He sought relief in stuff 'gay people do'.  These are all traits one can connect to difficulties associated with male homosexuality.  I'm not judging, I'm just saying.  Of course not 'all' gay men are like that, or what Dr. Nicolosi describes - but I've known very few gay men who did not fit the profiles Nicolosi talks about.  One can't know or understand this stuff unless one lives an examined life.  I'm just not sure how George Michael was able to do that since he used so many escape mechanisms to avoid pain.

Recently, a public school teacher and his husband Aric Babbitt, 40, and Matthew Deyo, 36 were in the news again.  They used teen boys for sex, taking them to hotels and resorts for sex - late last summer they killed themselves to avoid arrest.  They were convinced they did not do anything wrong, they believed the 'sex' was consensual, and so on.  It was incredibly manipulative and abusive to do what they did.  Somehow, they convinced themselves they were not doing anything wrong, and laws had to change.

I mention this because that type of abuse, is sexual molestation - not paedophilia, but rather homosexual molestation-abuse.  It's important to understand that.  It's important, even critical for the 'victims' to know that, so they may live a healthy, whole life.

I thought of maybe writing one more chapter if you will, in my story I began on this blog several years ago.  In high school, I had relationships similar to what happened to the guys involved with Babbitt and Devo.  Maybe I will, maybe not.  These are issues I feel are more or less resolved in my life now that I'm old.  Nevertheless, I think it's important to know oneself - self-knowledge is necessary for salvation.  Humble, self-knowledge.  Prayerful discernment is absolutely necessary to avoid living a sinful life.  I think Catherine of Siena stresses the 'cell of self-knowledge' as the soul's necessary dwelling place to know and love the Truth.

Anyway, I will conclude this jumbled post with an excerpt from Nicolosi's essay, which demonstrates the problem of using young men and boys for sex - and the trauma it causes - even when the younger male 'consents'.

Still, the general rule remains: If a child is traumatized in a particular way that affects gender, he will become homosexual, and if you do not traumatize a child in that particular way, the natural process of heterosexual development will unfold. 
Many gay men report sexual abuse by a same-sexed person during their boyhood. Sexual molestation is abuse, because it comes disguised as love. Here is one client’s account of an older teen who molested him: 
"I wanted love and attention, and it got all mixed up with sex. It happened during a time when I really had no sexual interest in other boys… I thought he [the abuser] was cool. He never gave me any attention unless he wanted to fool around. When we did get sexual, it felt special… It felt exciting and intense, something between us, a shared secret. I had no other friends and my lousy relationship with my father didn’t help. I was looking for friendship…[but] the intensity of the memory… I hate it. The whole thing is just disgusting, disturbing….This is the root cause of my same-sex attraction." 
This client had made the following association: “In order to receive the good: i.e. ‘love’ and ‘attention,’ I must accept myself as shameful and bad: engaging in activity which is ‘frightening,’ ‘forbidden,’ ‘dirty,’ and ‘disgusting.’ ” - Traumatic Foundations

I hate writing about this stuff, pretty much because it goes against the politically correct attitude towards the issue, and the general acceptance that homosexuality is a natural variant of human sexuality.  Nevertheless, I thought this was important enough to repeat at this time, after all the news stories and celebrity deaths.

Battered Bishop ...

St. Thomas Becket was killed by loyal knights who misinterpreted their king's words ...  they felt obliged to kill the bishop.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I think I get it now ...

Don't make eye-contact, don't bring it up in public.
Just give interviews about it ...

The last interview in which Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke suggested a “formal correction” of an alleged error the Pope made in his Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” has sparked a heated discussion. By brandishing “formal correction”, an institute that cannot be found in canon law, Burke seemed to be presenting Francis with some form of an ultimatum in light of the five “dubia” over the interpretation of the “Amoris Laetitia”. 
In an interview with Vatican Insider, another of the three signatories of the “dubia”, German cardinal Walter Brandmüller, was keen to stress that a potential “fraternal correction” of a point made by the Pope must take place “in camera caritatis”, in other words not in public by means of published acts or written documents. - Source

The Circus at the Vatican ... "camera caritatis"

Making Cardinal Burke and the dubia disappear.
Works for me.

It's called, 'camera caritatis' ...

“I believe,” Brandmüller adds, “that Cardinal Burke is convinced that a fraternal correction must in the first instance be made in camera caritatis”. In other words not publicly. “I must say,” he explained, “that the cardinal has expressed his own opinion in complete independence and may of course be shared by the other cardinals too”. Brandmüller thus leads us to believe that in the interviews following the publication of the “dubia”, Burke was not speaking as a spokesman for the four cardinals who signed the document. - Source

"And you thought Carnival was over! LOL!"

My favorite little painting ...

Prophet St. Elijah
T. Nelson

I was working on a series of little items for the Etsy shop, but didn't get many finished.  My Elijah turned out to be my favorite.  I had some blank panels - little 4"x6" wood panels from a craft store - which I gessoed years ago, I finally got around to painting them.  Sometime ago, in the early 1990's, I did small things like this for a design studio/antiques dealer - mostly using duck and ostrich eggs. I still had my tracings to work these out. They retailed from $125.

I like this one too:

S. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
(Faux-Ivory background.)
T. Nelson

I updated the art blog accordingly, and I'll be updating Etsy soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Venerable Matt Talbot update ...

Matt is going to a church in California.

Thanks be to God!

My apologies, the photos are not very good.

He will be packed and shipped this week.

The Wonderful Coincidence of Hanukkah and Christmas ...

The eight days of Hanukkah is a great reminder to Christians that Christmas is twelve days.

Christmas is not just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  So often people say, 'now that Christmas is over ...' - I heard it on the news yesterday.  It was a lead to discuss the eight days of Hanukkah - which is fine - but just like Hanukkah which began on December 24, so did the Christmas 'season'.

Liturgically, Catholics refer to it as the Octave of Christmas, which is eight days - in other words, Christmas is eight days too.  However, Christmastide is even longer, traditionally concluding on Epiphany - or Twelfth Night - yet very truly extending to February 2, Candlemas, the fortieth day of Christmas-Epiphany season.

Bonus:  Carnival begins on Epiphany, so if you still love to party - you can do so until Ash Wednesday.  Rock on!

Full of grace
 and truth.

One of my favorites for Christmas ...

Monday, December 26, 2016

Feast of Stephen

Merry Christmas and happy feast day to all deacons who serve the Church, especially those permanent deacons and their families.  

The Peace of Christmas

The triumph of Christmas.
Christmas Mass in Aleppo's
Old City, in the war ravaged Cathedral of St. Elias.

Before and after.

Peace to men and women in the war-torn land of Syria, where far too much blood has been spilled. Above all in the city of Aleppo, site of the most awful battles in recent weeks, it is most urgent that assistance and support be guaranteed to the exhausted civil populace, with respect for humanitarian law. It is time for weapons to be still forever, and the international community to actively seek a negotiated solution, so that civil coexistence can be restored in the country. - Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi

Sunday, December 25, 2016

It's freezing rain in Minneapolis ...

Winter in Siena

Of all the years I've stayed a stranger at Christmas, this year I intended to make surprise visits to family and friends.  Sadly, icy roads and freezing rain, made it too treacherous to drive in.  I should have at least sent Christmas cards!  Maybe next year.

Buon Natale! Ti amo!


Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2016

This is my prayer now too ...

Christmas is the feast of God’s loving humility. - Pope Francis 

“If for us the experience of (your) infancy is so difficult, it is not so for you, O Son of God. 
If we stumble along the way that leads to communion with you because of your smallness, you are capable of removing all the obstacles that prevent us from doing this. 
We know that you will not be at peace until you find us in your likeness and with this (same) smallness. Allow us today, O Son of God, to draw near to your heart. 
Grant that we may not consider ourselves great in our experiences. Grant us instead to become small like you, so that we can draw near to you and receive from you abundant humility and meekness. 
Do not deprive us of your revelation, the epiphany of your infancy in our hearts, so that with it we can heal all our pride and all our arrogance. We greatly need… for you to reveal in us your simplicity, by drawing us, and indeed the Church and the whole world, to yourself. 
Our world is weary and exhausted, because everyone is vying to see who is the greatest. There is a ruthless competition between governments, churches, peoples, within families, from one parish to another: Who of us is the greatest? The world is festering with painful wounds because of this great illness: Who is the greatest? But today we have found in you, O Son of God, our one medicine. We, and the whole world, will not find salvation or peace unless we go back to encounter you anew in the manger of Bethlehem. Amen." - Fr. Matta el Meskin, a monk of our time.

Who is the greatest?  Who has the most friends and followers? Hits? Tweets? Cards? Presents? Donations?

I came across some comments on a couple blogs by those who are scandalized by the Holy Father and ordinary bishops, priests, and laity, dismissing them as sycophants, and Novus Ordo neo-cons, and other things.  If priests especially feel insulted by the Holy Father, they should read what traditionalist laity say about those who are considered to be 'conservative, orthodox, John Paul II style' priests and bishops.  To be faithful is evidently no longer 'good enough' for them - except of course when they need to go to confession anonymously.  Among this elite circle, there is very definitely a 'who is the greatest' mentality.

A dramatic conversion, a few years study, a bit of experience at the parish or diocesan level, many of these people become experts after devoting themselves to Tradition and the extraordinary form of things.  To the point of warning people not to trust their bishops, stay away from the local ordinary, even seek refuge is the SSPX.

As I read some of this stuff, more and more I understand Pope Francis warning about rigidity.

I can assure you people, you make a huge mistake when you assume you know what motivates a bishop as he governs his diocese - especially in our times.  You have no idea the extent of his concern and what goes on behind the scenes to avoid scandalizing the faithful when rather painful decisions need to be made.  I was just looking through a book on the history of our Archdiocese and marveled at all the changes and growth we experienced here.  From a log cabin chapel to a great Cathedral.

I noted all the bishops and priests of the Archdiocese, so many long gone, a few pictured in the book, still around.  Some tainted by scandal, but the majority not.  Faithful men and consecrated women.  It must have affected me deeply because I had a dream of one priest, I fell at his feet, weeping for anything bad I ever said about him.  It almost seemed more than a dream.  Our words not only wound, but they kill as well.

If I could undo all the criticism and complaints and gossip I have made about bishops, priests, monks and nuns, and faithful laity too, I would do so.  O my God, I pray He alone will make all things well.  Laity and clergy alike do not always understand the workings of the hierarchy, pastors, or religious superiors.  We do not understand what Divine Providence is doing to make all things well.  When we snap judge, cat-call our objections, we harm ourselves and others - we scandalize others.  So very often there is a hidden pride, and self-interested desire for self-exultation, lying beneath our best intentions, a smug self-righteousness often motivating us.

Who is the greatest?

Just one, the least in the Kingdom of God.

As Charles de Foucauld liked to point out, "No one can take the last place from Jesus."

You want to save the world and the Church?  Remember when Little Brother Charles was murdered?  The small monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament - Jesus - was thrown in the sand.

"No one can take the last place from Jesus."

Christmas is the feast of God’s loving humilityPope Francis 

Shepherds! You that go ...
tell him I sicken,
suffer and die.
Pray for me
that I may be
holy like you.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Greccio ...The Second Bethlehem

St. Francis, recalling a visit he had made years before to Bethlehem, resolved to create the manger he had seen there. The ideal spot was a cave in nearby Greccio. He would find a baby, hay upon which to lay him, an ox and an ass to stand beside the manger. Word went out to the people of the town. At the appointed time they arrived carrying torches and candles. One of the friars began celebrating Mass while Francis himself gave the sermon. His biographer, Thomas of Celano, recalls that Francis stood before the manger, overwhelmed with love and filled with a wonderful happiness. For Francis, the simple celebration was meant to recall the hardships Jesus suffered even as an infant, a savior who chose to become poor for our sake, a truly human Jesus. - Source

I would love to be at Christmas Mass in Greccio. 

It's Festivus!

Festivus is that wonderful time of year for the Airing of Grievances.

I went to confession instead!

Happy Festivus!

See! Everything is just fine! Buon Natale!

All I want for Christmas is YOU!

They were playing Mariah Carey's Christmas album real loud.

Song for this post here.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Something I saw on Tumblr ...

Cardinal Burke met Pope Francis face to face today but didn't say a word about the 'Correction'.

Curia Christmas Party

In fact ...

The Holy Father, in his Christmas address to the Curia, made it clear he is going forward with his reforms.  After the Holy Father's address, Cardinal Burke greeted him and accepted the gift of a book  from the Pope.

Pope Francis has vowed to press ahead with Vatican reforms, denouncing those resisting change as being motivated by the devil and hiding behind "accusations and traditions". In his annual Christmas address to the Roman Curia, Francis set forward twelve guiding principles for his shake-up of the Church's headquarters, including an end to the old curial tradition of “demotion by promotion”, the practice of getting rid of people by promoting them. The Pope, who was elected with a mandate for reforming the Vatican, talked about a “hidden resistance” to change which comes from “hardened hearts content with empty rhetoric of a complacent spiritual reform” and a malicious resistance inspired by the devil and dressed up as tradition, accusation and self-justification.
In his speech the Pope insisted that reform of the Curia is not like a “facelift” but instead is an ongoing process. “It isn’t wrinkles we need to worry about in the Church, but blemishes!” Francis said. He added that the curia must also “conform to the Good News which must be proclaimed joyously and courageously to all, especially to the poor, the least and the outcast” while it “must be guided by ecclesiology and directed in… the service of the Bishop of Rome”.
Among those listening to Francis’ address inside the Vatican today was Cardinal Raymond Burke, who has threatened to make a formal “act of correction” to the Pope’s modernising plans on giving Communion to the divorced and remarried. After the Pope finished speaking the cardinal was seen briefly greeting Francis and taking his copy of Aquaviva’s book. - Source
So anyway.

A missed opportunity.  I would have breached protocol and simply asked, "Holy Father, did you get the memo?"


"They caught me, sorrow and distress' ...

Joy of All Who Sorrow

The words of Psalm 116 came to mind last evening, during the night, and then again this morning.

I realized that vain rejoicing in spiritual goods is a falsehood as well.

A huge failure in charity exposed my hypocrisy ...

Thank God for Christmas ...

The little Jesus welcomes sinners.

I called on the Lord's name.
O Lord, my God, deliver me!
How gracious is the Lord, and just;
our God has compassion.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cardinal Burke makes it clear he is NOT accusing the Holy Father of heresy ...

The Catholic World Report interview.

Another interview.  Repeating many of the same things.  In this case saying, kind of sort of, 'Yes, I am saying no, we are not accusing the Holy Father of heresy.'  To be clear and to quote the exact words in the article:

CWR: Some critics say you are implicitly accusing the Pope of heresy. 
Cardinal Burke: No, that's not what we have implied at all. We have simply asked him, as the Supreme Pastor of the Church, to clarify these five points that are confused; these five, very serious and fundamental points. We’re not accusing him of heresy, but just asking him to answer these questions for us as the Supreme Pastor of the Church. 
CWR: In raising these questions you've been accused implicitly by the Pope and explicitly by others of legalism, of being Pharisees and Sadducees. [Smiles, chuckles] You smile because you get this all the time. Why is this not legalism?
I know, you won't agree with me.  Yet CWR says critics accuse Burke of implicitly accusing the Pope of heresy.

Burke's response makes clear that he (they) have not implied that at all.  Though he accepts the CWR opinion that he (Burke) and the others have been implicitly accused of legalism and Pharisee-ism by the Pope himself.  So when did the Pope accuse Burke of being a Pharisee or accuse him of legalism?  When did he say that?  When did he signal Burke out for that public humiliation?

Cardinal Burke is a canonist, he was the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, that was his job, so naturally he would be concerned about canon law and legalities.  So why would he assume the Pope was pointing the finger at him?  When did the Pope condemn him or Canon Law?  Considering Cardinal Burke's position and experience, as well as his expertise, seeking a clarification from the Holy Father is perfectly in order.  Nothing wrong with that.  Did the Holy Father condemn him for it?  I never read that.

As an under-educated Catholic layman with an opinion, it seems to me, what is actually going on, is that they are building a case against the Pope; what is happening seems to be a sort of pre-trial debate - a grande jury style investigation as it were, albeit public and well reported, to determine if indeed there is a case against the Pope.  While pretty much implying that there could be a case, it then gets reinforced by social media and traditionalist supporters of Burke and Bishop Schneider, two of the most official and notable opponents of the Holy Father's policies and Amoris Laetitia.

Undoubtedly there is now - more than ever, a need for clarification - and the Cardinals have already publicly and directly asked for that:

The letter stated, in part, that "we the undersigned, but also many Bishops and Priests, have received numerous requests from the faithful of various social strata on the correct interpretation to give to Chapter VIII of the Exhortation" and asked the Holy Father "as supreme Teacher of the faith, called by the Risen One to confirm his brothers in the faith, to resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity..." - CWR
Nothing wrong with that.

So what is the problem?  The Holy Father has not directly responded, as yet - no doubt he will.

In the meantime many followers of the Four Cardinals continue to imply something is wrong with the Pope, and some of these critics of the Holy Father's not only imply, they even directly and publicly accuse the Holy Father of heresy, of being an anti-pope, and illegitimate.  These accusations grow with every interview Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider do - especially when they extrapolate on how a Pope could automatically separate himself from the Church and cease being Pope.

Sensationalist bloggers such as Vox Cantoris, Ann Barnhardt and several others, though marginal and on the fringe of Catholic life, exploit and expound upon the Cardinal's statements, and thereby instigate a deeper division within conservative circles, already made distrustful of the hierarchy since the sex abuse scandals.  Less extreme bloggers and news aggregates, pick up the thread and these stories take on a life of their own, feeding an appetite for the average conspiracy theorist, bordering on calumny and outright detraction, while fomenting general mistrust of the Magisterium.

When Cardinal Burke makes it clear he is not accusing the Holy Father of heresy, he pretty much makes it clear that an accusation has already been leveled against the Pope - somewhere, by someone(s) - they've already has implied as much - but not Cardinal Burke.  Cardinal Burke appears to disassociate himself on that count.  Yet Cardinal Burke says he has become their spokesman.

CWR: In hindsight, with all of the controversy that has surrounded this, should you have kept these concerns to yourself and just waited for His Holiness to answer your dubia? 
Cardinal Burke: No, not at all, because the faithful and priests and bishops have the right to have these questions answered. It was our duty as cardinals, when the Pope made it clear that he would not respond to them, to make them public so that the priests and the lay faithful who had these same doubts might know that their doubts are legitimate and that they deserve a response.

 I think it would be prudent for the Cardinal to avoid interviews and statements to the press on where they might go from here, if the Pope doesn't cooperate with their timetable.  The interviews need to stop.  The implications, speculation, and projections need to stop.  The letter is now public, the whole world knows, and is watching.  The Cardinals can indeed go to Rome and resist the Holy Father to his face with a formal correction, but they need to stop sensationalizing the dubia and hyping the Holy Father's delay, in the Catholic press and on social media, they need to stop giving more ammunition to the enemies of the Pope.

Just my personal opinion.

100 Years Ago ...


Christmas and Chanukah fell on the same day.

Isn't that cool?  Answering my own question, I guess so.  I say that because I'm told, and it has always been my understanding that Hanukkah isn't a big deal for Jewish people, except that it was something they could celebrate to take the emphasis off of Christmas - for the kids.  I may have over simplified that, but Purim might be more like Christmas - maybe not.  Fact is, the High Holidays are Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover - and now Chanukah.

Nevertheless, it is a nice coincidence that the two festivals of light coincide this year.

When polled, cats insisted they like Christmas the best
because of the trees and decorations, but Purim is fun too.
Still, cats love Jewish holidays and Shabbat
mainly because there is usually gefilte fish served.

100 years ago in 1917 ...

With the New Year, there are many significant centenaries.  Catholics are aware of the Fatima Jubilee, some attach ominous predictions to the hundred year celebration, and speculate endlessly on it.  Coincidental to the Fatima centenary, is the Russian Revolution - the Bolshevik Revolution in March of 1917.  Many martyrs emerged, great persecution of the Church, yet the Church survived ... That is important to keep in mind.

Another important anniversary for 2017 commemorates the 1917-1918 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, which completed the reforms begun in the late 19th century.  The Revolution impeded any implementation of the reforms within Russia, although the Church outside Russia adhered to the ideal proposed.  Although I don't know enough about Sobornost and I'm not sure how or what that means in Russia today.

It's interesting to note however, that the Council ended and tribulation followed.

Highest Authority of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1917.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A state of war.

"We must say that we are in a state of war, although some people, who always only want to see good, do not want to see this." - Klaus Bouillon, German interior minister.

Burke Announces a Formal Correction of Pope Francis to Take Place in Early 2017.

Stunning photo by Steve Skojec.

If the Pope doesn't respond to the dubia, that is.

Cardinal Burke revealed that in an interview with LifeSiteNews.  If the Holy Father doesn't respond to the Four Cardinals dubia, Burke says they will offer a formal correction to the Holy Father sometime after Christmas.  Steve Skojec wonders if there may be an Akita/Fatima-chastisement link related to the Akita 'cardinal against cardinal' prophecy - and because the correction would take place in the 2017 Fatima centenary.  The apparitions are connected to some extent, since both concluded on October 13 and stuff like that.

Did Charlie Johnston predict any of this?


Isn't that a cool photo of the Cardinal?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Once again ... It's beginning to look like Christmas ...

Assassination and Terror

The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot and killed in retaliation for Aleppo. Story here.

A terror truck slams into a Christmas Market in Berlin.  So far 9 are dead. Story here.

My first thought, it only took one assassination to begin WWI.

My mistake: Facebook

Since being on Facebook, former friends, co-workers, distant old friends and family are all there and they now know where I am - literally and figuratively.  Blogger friends who have read what I write, or happen to follow Abbey Roads over the past 10 years are there as well.  The mix on Facebook is interesting.  I know when old friends show up by the 'friend' suggestions which pop up.

I sometimes wonder what they think about the religious friends I have, and the really conservative people who link to me.  At times I'm a little embarrassed.

I seriously do not know who would be attracted to the Catholic Church these days with the types on Catholic social media condemning the pope, the president and anyone who disagrees with them, spreading gossip and rumors about homosexual priests, heresy, and deviltry controlling the Church.  I'm not talking about those people online who voice honest, constructive criticism, or counter false teachings with a charitable correction, without demeaning others, or hurling invective, including ad hominem attacks upon their lifestyle or political POV, whatever.

It's embarrassing.

Actually, it is repellent.

I always thought the locutionists and visionaries and apparition chasers were screwed up - albeit kind of funny - but the anti-papist Catholics and crazy politico conspiracy theorists strike me as total fruitcakes as well.  I love the AA saying - take the alcohol out of the fruitcake - you still have fruitcake.  I use that line for 'former' homosexuals as well as all the 'converted' sinners with a blog who now condemn everyone else who hasn't experienced conversion.  Amazing that these people write advice columns, or promulgate traditional Catholicism while denigrating everyone else as a liberal or CINO.  Some of these people spend a great deal of their time digging up dirt on their enemies and spreading gossip to undermine their reputations, all in the name of religion.  Only to claim persecution when they are called out or threatened with lawsuits.

That type of religion is bogus and no one is convinced by some pious soul waving the Syllabus of Errors in their face, or threatening them with a 19th century message from heaven filled with all sorts of scary threats to humanity.

You want a smaller Church - you'll get it - but it will not be Catholic.  The Church is where the Pope is.  Pope Francis is the Pope.

I watched an interview with Charlie Rose talking to Mark Shriver, he and his sister Maria are very enthusiastic about Pope Francis.  Mark had been disillusioned with the Catholic Church until Pope Francis came along.  It's interesting how many lapsed Catholics, lukewarm Catholics, as well as non-Catholics have been touched by Pope Francis.

Shriver says he has changed, he's become a better Catholic because of Francis.  His new book “Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis” is a credible testament to that.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him. - Matthew 21:32
If we lack joy, and if from the fullness of our heart only bitterness, scorn, and condemnation flows - something is wrong - something is wrong with us.

In closing, I have to say I'm edified by the daily Mass goers in every 'Novus Ordo' parish - especially mine.  Every single day they are at Mass, every Thursday they are at adoration.  They volunteer everywhere, some at church, some in nursing facilities, others at shelters - many go on mission trips.  Some are in neighborhood groups.  They are not gossips or busybodies.  They always have a smile and a greeting.  They don't wear chapel veils or scapulars on the outside of their clothing.  They stand for communion - receive with reverence but not ostentation, and so on.  They pray.  They live the Gospel.  I never hear a mean spirited criticism or complaint about the pope.  I never hear a word about impending doom.  Normal Catholic men and women - they are the backbone of the parish, and they are the heart of the Church.  Old and young.  Men and women, boys and girls.

These people would never embarrass me.


Let it be ... no one likes Catholic Christians who make you feel bad about yourself and others ...

Holiday advice:  NEVER listen to the negative voices of your family and friends.


You say, "Be kind to one another" and someone posts about how being kind is not true charity.

You say, "Don't think ill of one another" and someone calls you out for your shortcomings.

You say, "Don't judge" and someone posts a catechetical discourse on why it is important to do so.

What the hell is wrong with you people?

[Don't worry - I'll be letting you know what I think.]

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Neapolitan Christmas ... not looking good.

San Gennaro

This year, the blood of St. Januarius did not liquefy on the anniversary of the 1631 eruption of Vesuvius ...

In 1631 on December 16, a disastrous eruption of Vesuvius occurred, and therefore each December 16 the relic is brought out for veneration with the expectation - hope - that the blood will liquefy.  It didn't this year.  Throughout history, the blood has remained solid and not liquefied several times.  Historically, each failure to liquefy presaged some crises; the outbreak of plague, war, famine, civil unrest, and/or of course, the eruption of Vesuvius.  Immediately before WWII in 1939, the blood failed to liquefy again. - Story here.

The eruption of Vesuvius in 1631 - Domenico Gargiulo.

With all the talk of war these days, I'm thinking it may be a warning along that line.  It could be Vesuvius though - it's been a long time for that, and volcanoes around the world are active.

I'm just hoping it has nothing to do with Charlie Johnston's predictions or Locutions to the World stuff.