Saturday, January 16, 2016

Pope Francis granted a private audience to Google CEO Eric Schmidt ...

Whispers in the lobbia posted commentary:
In terms of protocol, the sheer occurrence of the sit-down and its announcement alongside the usual crop of routine meetings with prelates is nothing short of extraordinary. - Monsignor Palmo
Abbey-Roads reporter Nancy Drew informed me about this yesterday, immediately after the release of Friday's Noontime Bollettino of the Holy See Press Office with the following communique:

Dateline: Fri 1/15/2016 10:26 AM 
Google is taking over the Church! Eric Schmidt had an audience with the Pope!

I of course thought she was already drunk, being the weekend and all.


After the New Year Gang Rape in Cologne: Where is FEMEN?

... took you for a dancer ... 

You know - those women who throw pies, along with their bare breasts, into the faces of Catholic clergy, and who stage lewd protests in Catholic churches in the Cathedrals of Europe?

Where are these tough broads when ordinary women are raped and sexually molested by Muslim fanatics?  Can they confront real-time, actual religious suppression, oppression, and Islamic ritualized rape - with any effect?

I don't think so.

Song for this post here.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Paging Randy Engel! Paging Bella Dodd! Decoding the 'gay lobby'...

Whatever do you mean?

From John Allen:
[W]hen Italians say there’s a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, they don’t mean an organized faction with the aim of changing Church teaching on homosexuality or same-sex marriage. 
Instead, what they have in mind is an informal, loosely organized network of clergy who support one another, keep one another’s secrets, and help one another move up the ladder. The group is perceived to have a vested interest in thwarting attempts at reform, since they benefit from secrecy and old-guard ways. 
It’s called “gay” because, the theory goes, a Vatican official’s homosexuality can be a very powerful secret, especially if he’s sexually active, and threatening to expose him can be an effective way of keeping him in line. It’s hardly the only such possibility, however, and, in any event, the emphasis is not on sex but secrecy, as well as the related impression of people getting promoted or decisions being made on the basis of personal quid pro quos. 
That’s not to say that the perception of a widespread presence of gays in the clergy isn’t a strong part of the picture, especially in light of the furor last fall over Polish Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, the former Vatican official who outed himself on the brink of a controversial Synod of Bishops on the family. 
Yet the speculation over a “lobby” isn’t really about sexual orientation, but the impression of a system in which people living personally conflicted lives look out for one another. In that sense, the term “gay lobby” is often synonymous for Italian-speakers with corruption, secrecy, and a sleazy sort of personal patronage. - John Allen

Get it?

To paraphrase:
The emphasis is not on homo-sex and orgies and bathhouse shenanigans, much less lace and leather - but secrecy, as well as the related impression of people getting promoted or decisions being made on the basis of personal quid pro quos. Such as I kept your secret so you keep mine and give me a nice parish.

Why does John Allen understand this when clerics who have lived and worked in the Vatican don't?  Or at least say they don't.

BTW:  Did they ever find the eleven hundred Communists Bella Dodd claimed weaseled their way into seminaries and rose to the top of the hierarchy just in time to call a Council and destroy the Church?  You would have thought she'd have a list with names, locations, and titles.


St. Paul of Thebes

How to be a hermit ...

Remove all your clothes and furnishings, empty all of your bins, and walk away...

Take nothing with you.


"When, stripped of everything, you can only see in the world an unfurnished house, and in yourself total poverty with no facade, think of those shadowy eyes open in the center of your soul and fixed on things that are beyond all words, for the Kingdom of heaven is yours." - Madeleine Delbrel

Here's a thought ...

On conversion and healing ...

Someone who is free of his infirmity is ...

"someone who no longer attracts attention ..." - Adrienne Von Speyer

That's it.

That's what has been wrong here.  Conversion story blogs keep picking at the sores - the wounds.  For ten years I've been dancing around this stuff, calling attention to my wounds, my sins, my disabilities.  Licking my wounds, as it were.  Protesting too much.  Then convincing myself that I have something to say about this or that or the other thing.  Seeking and attracting attention - to myself.

Some bloggers do that a lot.

I just saw a thing from a guy whose evangelization and apologetics is more or less based upon his conversion story and pursuit of some sort of online ministry - he was quoted at length, writing about how imperative it is for Christians to judge; because everyone says 'do not judge' when some one calls another one out... and although Christ said 'do not judge' we always seem to do it anyway.  Some apologists - much like this guy - spend a great deal of time explaining why they are correct in judging, suggesting that "not to judge is not to love."  Oddly enough - this same fellow misjudged me once.  A good lesson BTW, since I have misjudged many in my life ... but I digress.

Ones conversion experience does not justify the feeling that one is one of the "elect". - Pope Benedict

Someone who is free of his infirmity ...

One has to want to be free.  One has to want to be healed.  One has to believe, or at least hope God will free him - all of that is true.  All of that takes time, and it definitely takes humility.  Humility often comes through hard falls, hard knocks, harsh judgments endured - some true, others maybe a penance supplying for hidden faults unknown to others.  Humiliations are the stepping stones to humility, as Mother Teresa said.

The humble man cannot judge.  He can't look down on others.  For shame - actually humility in another guise - leads the humble man to no longer attract attention to himself, much less judge the conduct of others.

When we fall into that trap of setting ourselves up as judge and calling attention to ourselves by calling out the faults of others, we can still repent, we can still begin again - while there is still 'time'  ... we can finally come to understand that everything is a grace, that it is sheer gift ...
As the pope stated in his book:  "For as long as we are alive it is always possible to start over, all we have to do is let Jesus embrace us and forgive us." 
"There is medicine, there is healing, we only need to take a small step toward God, or at least express the desire to take it," he continued, saying "a tiny opening is enough."

Best advice:  Do not judge.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What Pope Francis learned as a young priest.

"For as long as we are alive it is always possible to start over, all we have to do is let Jesus embrace us and forgive us. There is medicine, there is healing, we only need to take a small step toward God, or at least express the desire to take it - a tiny opening is enough." - Pope Francis

When Pope Francis was a parish priest in Argentina, he met a mother with young children who had been abandoned by her husband. 
She had no steady income. When odd jobs were scarce, she would prostitute herself in order to feed her children and provide for her family. During that time, she would visit the local parish, which tried to help her by offering food and material goods. 
One day during the Christmas season the mother visited and requested to see the parish priest, Father Jorge Bergoglio. He thought she was going to thank him for the package of food the parish had sent to her. 
"Did you receive it?" Fr. Bergoglio had asked her.  
"Yes, yes, thank you for that, too," the mother explained. “But I came here today to thank you because you never stopped calling me Señora." - Angelus

From the beginning of his pontificate, the Holy Father's spirituality always reminds me of stories of the Desert Fathers.

Brother, Be Careful ... 
There was a brother who kept a woman in his cell. The other fathers decided to go and expel him from the monastery. An abba heard about this and visited the brother beforehand. The brother hid the woman in a basket, before the abba came in the door. The abba then proceeded to sit on top of the basket and converse with the brother until the other fathers came to visit. The abba ordered the other fathers to search the cell and find this woman. Not finding her, because the abba (who had a gift of seeing hidden things) was sitting on the basket containing her. The abba then chastised the fathers for falsely accusing the brother and judging him. They asked for forgiveness and left. Then the abba got off the basket and told the brother, "Brother, be careful" and left. - Vultus Christi

So now there really is a gay lobby in the Vatican?

Because Maradiaga has confirmed it in an interview?

Highly suspect and harshly criticized in the past, 'the loquacious Maradiaga' - as Fr. Z called him - may be emerging as a real Catholic in the eyes of the Pope Franics-critics.  

No surprise here - Cardinal Maradiaga supports Catholic teaching on homosexuality and marriage: 
The Honduran Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, who coordinates the Council of Nine cardinals advising the Pope on reform of the Roman Curia and Church governance, was responding to a question from a Honduran newspaper reporter who asked him whether there had been “an attempt to infiltrate the gay community in the Vatican, or a moment when that had actually happened?” 
Cardinal Rodriguez replied: “Not only that, also the Pope has said there is even a ‘lobby’ in this sense. Little by little the Pope is trying to purify it.” He added: “One can understand them [members of the lobby] and there is pastoral legislation to attend to them, but what is wrong cannot be truth.”
Also in the interview with Heraldo de Honduras, Cardinal Rodriguez was asked whether the Pope would ever support same-sex “marriage.”

“No,” he replied. “We must understand that there are things that can be reformed and others cannot. The natural law cannot be reformed. We can see how God has designed the human body, the body of the man and the body of a woman to complement each other and transmit life. The contrary is not the plan of creation. There are things that cannot be changed." 
The cardinal also tried to reassure readers there would be “no major” changes to doctrine as part of the Pope's reforms. “We should not expect there will be major reforms in the doctrine of the Church. The reform is the organization of the curia.” - NCRegister

Now I wonder if these people will stop with their conspiracy theories and accusations that Pope Francis is a heretic and has surrounded himself with men who seek to undermine the Church?

Perhaps apologies are forthcoming?

All right - I'll stop.

I have to quit obsessing over and responding to these blogster stories.

The new me?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Why are Catholics being so critical of David Bowie and those who mourn him?

Just trying to make sure he's condemned enough, or what?

Pointing out the right way and the wrong way to mourn is so important for who?

I never cared for his 'act' but I also never made any attempt to judge his soul or moral choices ...

I think it is important to be kind to those who express sympathy, and to be compassionate - even if just for the sake of his widow.

Paul speaks about being kind and compassionate in Ephesians 4:32.

Maybe try it sometime.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Voris is saying 50% of Catholic priests are gay.

Ruggedly handsome.

Just because a priest is fastidious in his decorum...

I think Sr. Jeannine Gramick said the same thing - although she may have put it at 80%.  Voris' breaking news story here.

People say this stuff all of the time, but no one 'comes out' to prove it, or names names.  Everything moves along as it has always been.  It's innuendo, suspicion, conspiracy driven.  I think it's an exaggeration.  I think it's scapegoating.  I think it's a witch hunt.  I think it needlessly scandalizes ordinary Catholics to announce such things without backing them up with hard facts.

Today - what does it even mean?

Same Sex Attracted?  It's an inclination, a temptation.  What if a faithful priest, who loves Christ and loves chastity, simply experiences an attraction - yet is repelled by the very thought and recognizes it would be a sin?   What if everyone else just thinks this or that guy is gay - but he's never even thought about it?

Gay?  No one is 'gay'.  Right?  That's what 'they' say.

Sexually active homosexual?  Not a good fit for priesthood or religious life.

So.  Does Voris mean that 50% of clergy and religious are living in sin?  That they are active homosexuals in relationships with other men, or that they are promiscuous?  Is there some sort of registry for these men which one might consult to verify the stats?  Are there massive percentages of priests dying of AIDS?  Wouldn't that be front page news?

No doubt there are, and have been such men in the clergy.  No doubt there are adulterers and pedophiles as well - but these types of claims go nowhere.  They are meaningless - especially now days - where is the proof?  These stories feed anti-Catholic-anti-clericalism.  Where are the irrefutable stats and facts and confessions?  What about straight priests who fool around?

If the clergy is that corrupt - we'd know.  We knew about the scandals, we know priests can fall from grace - but to condemn 50% of priests and suggest they are destroying the Church is a very grave accusation and a genuine scandal.

Voris can get by on his rugged good looks for only so long.


See - told you so: Pope Francis on "Who am I to judge?"

And in the end ...

The truth wins out.

The journalist asked Pope Francis about his experience as a confessor to homosexual persons and about his “who am I to judge” comment, made during his in-flight press conference from Rio de Janeiro to Rome July 28, 2013.
“On that occasion I said this: If a person is gay and seeks out the Lord and is willing, who am I to judge that person?” Pope Francis told Tornielli. “I was paraphrasing by heart the Catechism of the Catholic Church where it says that these people should be treated with delicacy and not be marginalized.”
“I am glad that we are talking about 'homosexual people' because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity. And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love. I prefer that homosexuals come to confession, that they stay close to the Lord, and that we pray all together. You can advise them to pray, show goodwill, show them the way, and accompany them along it.” - CNA
I knew that.

Anti-papist Francis haters going to hate.

Please pray for Mark Shea ...

Apparently Mark Shea will be braving the cold and coming to St. Paul for a debate tonight.  Seriously - he is walking into an extremely hostile environment ...

It will certainly be an interesting, if not confrontational exchange, especially since the parish wherein the debate takes place has for it's pastor the Rev. John Echert, a former professor at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota, whose position on the subject of conversion of the Jews cost him his job at the University of St. Thomas:

That response also cost me my tenured position at our seminary and Catholic university. When I returned from the desert and was released from active duty, I was not allowed back into the classroom. I was falsely accused of being “anti-Semitic” by a bishop and a rabbi but I refused to retract my statement. In the end the controversial document Reflections on Covenant and Mission was dumped, as was I. But divine providence rescued me to become pastor of churches at which we offer Tridentine Masses daily. - JP Echert

God is good.

Good luck Mark.

h/t Badger

Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie Died

Never liked his work.

Too effeminate, too androgynous, too gay ...


Did you know the Ordinary Form Mass is not Catholic?

That's the opinion of commentators at Catholic Herald.

It is of course completely Catholic.  It is the Ordinary Form, the liturgical norm and usage throughout the Latin rite.

Francis Phillips who writes for the Herald and reviews books, posted on the subject: "...the Novus Ordo can be beautiful too."  Evidently Catholics in the UK never knew that?

I came across comments to the post which begged to differ, such as this one: It's not a question of the Novus Ordo being said reverently: it's a question of whether it is Catholic or not. It isn't.

Really, Margaret Thatcher?  Such eccentricities.

I replied: Amazing. One ought to inform Popes Benedict and Francis and surely notify the CDF. The Ordinary Form Mass is not Catholic?

What a wicked thing to say.

My parish just received a very good young priest as our new pastor - he prays the Mass beautifully.  Whenever he is away - his proteges from the seminary celebrate Mass instead.  The vestments are Gothic, the liturgy is celebrated solemnly - devoutly and prayerfully; right order is in place for the reception of the Eucharist - the rubrics are followed, the Mass is prayerful and dignified to the conclusion.  It is the exact same Mass celebrated by all the Popes since Bl. Paul VI.  The new pastor has adjusted daily Mass schedules and confession schedules to make them more available for parishioners and non-parishioners alike.

The suggestion that the Ordinary Form is not Catholic is offensive.  To say the Ordinary Form is not Catholic is in itself not Catholic.  It is exactly this type of journalism and commentary which scatters the seeds of division and doubt among ordinary Catholics.

I like...