Saturday, September 03, 2016

The remains of Jacob Wetterling have been found.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The remains of Jacob Wetterling have been found after Danny Heinrich, who authorities had named as a person of interest in his 1989 kidnapping, agreed to cooperate and provide information. 
The sources say Heinrich led investigators to an undisclosed location in central Minnesota where the remains were found. DNA tests are currently being conducted to determine if they are in fact the boy's remains. 
Saturday morning, Jacob's mother, Patty Wetterling, texted media outlets “Our hearts are broken. We have no words.” - Story here.

I have no words either.  It is so sad. 

Murder and sexual abuse of children...

 Protector of the kidnapped or abducted, 
especially those children of any age 
who have been similarly caught up
 in vice, drugs, slavery, 
difficult circumstance and life problems.

Another local story of murder and child abduction has emerged with new details.

The girlfriend of a man charged with kidnapping a 5-year-old girl in Bemidji had plotted with her boyfriend to abduct the child “for the purpose of sexually assaulting her,” according to new court documents in the case. 
These details, as well as others about defendant Jacob Kinn’s child pornography collection and the couple’s sexual bondage practices, are among the contentions included in 11 search warrant affidavits filed in Beltrami District Court in connection with the kidnapping case. 
The girlfriend, 35-year-old Melissa Norby, was found dead about the time of the girl’s abduction in her fire-ravaged residence on June 22 in Hillcrest Manor mobile home park. Norby’s hands were bound over her head, and her feet were also tied together. She was taking care of the girl for a close friend. 
The court documents also disclosed forensic evidence confirming that the girl was sexually assaulted. - Finish reading here.

Just recently another 5-year-old Minnesota girl was sexually assaulted and murdered by a friend of her family.  That story here.  I couldn't post about it because the story is so disturbing.  In July a similar story emerged from Atlanta, the 5-year old was sexually assaulted but not killed - that story here.  A week or so ago, a 4-month-old was beaten to death by her father - I wrote about that here.  Just this week a gay couple ended their lives because they were involved in sexual contact with a minor. I wrote about that here.

Many people of good will are mystified by such crimes - why is it happening now?  With such frequency?  Many want to relate it to child porn and child sex trafficking.

Sad to say, I no longer can believe this is a new phenomenon.

I think it has always happened - the sexual abuse and murder of innocent children.  In Medieval times Christians blamed it on the Jews, who became a convenient scapegoat.  It was called blood libel.  Some of the child victims were venerated as martyrs.  Today all sorts of assumptions are made, relating it to Satanic-ritual, homosexual predators, drugs, and so on.  It is what it is however - totally evil.

The stories of the medieval saints are extremely controversial and widely disputed - two especially, St. William of Norwich and St. Simon of Trent were said to be tortured and murdered by Jews out of hatred for Christ - during Holy Week, no less, a time when antisemitism was especially inflamed among Christians in former ages. The feast days of these saints often falls in Passiontide, Simon commemorated on March 24, William on March 26. In 1965 the cult of Simon was officially abolished.

Of course, there are other saints and supposed victims of 'blood libel' who were said to be ritually murdered by Jews as well. Little St. Hugh of Lincoln is another, although he was murdered outside Paschal time. The stories fired the imaginations of ordinary folk as well as clergy and religious.

There is evidence these stories are based in a fanatical antisemitism and in some cases may have been used by civil authorities for monetary gain from the Jews. In the case of Hugh, the accused murderer was tortured into a confession, wherein he also implicated the entire Jewish community. Nothing in Jewish tradition ever called for any type of ritual murder of children.

In every case of so-called martyrdom by ritual killing, Jews were put to death, properties confiscated, and greater restrictions enforced against them. Sound familiar?

That being said, I think our vantage point in the 21st century may help us understand what may be a more plausible explanation as to why these so-called ritual killings gained such credibility among the general populace. In the 1980's there was widespread 'hysteria' over ritual abuse in day care facilities - these stories captured the interest of ordinary people and became a staple for daytime talk shows and kept investigators busy. If I remember correctly, most of the stories of abuse were unfounded and greatly exaggerated.

The medieval child martyrs were certainly murdered, even tortured, but why they were killed and who the perpetrators were cannot be determined. Nevertheless, in our day, as recent news stories demonstrate, we learn of child abuse cases all the time, and as we know, the sexual abuse of children is a huge problem. Therefore I doubt pedophilia and the abuse of children is simply a 20th century phenomenon. Contemporary investigations reveal how perpetrators cover their crimes with lies and dissimulation. We know well how authorities such as bishops and priests have covered for perpetrators. We also know well that human nature, society, looks for a scapegoat to account for the most horrific crimes.

Hence, it is not at all unreasonable to suggest the deaths of these medieval children and youth were probably cases of child abuse, sexual abuse and sadomasochism - even fetishism... an evil ever present to fallen human nature.

That said - perhaps we should revive the cult of the child martyrs:  St. William, St. Simon, St. Hugh,  St. Gabriel, infant martyr of Białystok, and new martyrs, Bl. Albertina Berkenbrock, Karolina Kozka, Antonia Messina, and others.  Turning to them in prayer, fostering devotion to them to safeguard children and teens.  I believe these saints would be particularly helpful to survivors of sexual abuse and rape.

Dominick Luciano:
If I was God, I wouldn't let that happen to my boy.

Jacob Wetterling Case:
A suspect in the 1989 disappearance of Jacob Wetterling has led authorities to human remains that the boy's mother says are those of her long-lost son. 
"Our hearts are broken," Patty Wetterling texted to the Star Tribune this morning. "We have no words." - Finish reading here.

Fr. Warren Hall

Suspended for persistent homosexual advocacy.

Father Hall indicated that he thought his suspension showed that his Archbishop was out of step with Catholic thinking. - Source

Fr. Hall is a nice looking guy, looks friendly and approachable - in fact he just looks cool - not at all gay.  He looks like a normal guy.  I'm sure he's a good priest.

The problem seems to be that he thinks the Church has changed, or is in the process of changing Her teaching on homosexuality.  I hear the same sort of stuff from people who work at my parish.  It seems to be the general feeling among ordinary Catholics - the Church is more open and much more accepting.  I think that is true on some level.  Some level stopping short of approval for homosexual acts and gay marriage.

Catholic teaching on homosexual acts and marriage cannot change.

We need to 'lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us'.  And persevere, not allowing ourselves to be dissuaded by false promises.

Know what I mean?

Seniors are among the most vulnerable to online scams ...

Totally hacked. 

Friday, September 02, 2016

The choices that define us and their consequences ...

[The title for this post comes from a review on Tom Ford's new film, Nocturnal Animals.  This post has nothing to do with the film beyond that.]

The choices we make ...

The choices that define us - that made so much sense to me today.  I considered it in the light of Psalm 36.

The sinner has set his foot on evil ways,
he clings to what is evil.

If we chose evil ways, and then repent, can it be we continue to cling to what is evil?  Unconsciously, perhaps?  Perhaps like a stain or even a scar that remains?  Can we cling to choices that once defined us - or what we mistook or even accepted as our identity?  Even though we repent and renounced our former way of life, can we still cling to aspects of that life which defined us?  Just a thought.

To be sure, we have an immense capacity for self-delusion - live long enough, and one will come to know that, if one is honest: as Sting would describe it: When you're down and they're counting - When your secrets all found out...

People do not accept Christ's invitation to come to him when they are too self-assured and display the "pretentiousness of understanding reality perfectly well and the presumption of already having come to a definite judgment about things, which makes their hearts closed and insensitive to the novelty of God. [...] The capacity to be surprised, to be a child at heart, is missing." - Benedict XVI

"The capacity to be surprised..."  Sounds like something Pope Francis would say, huh?

My thoughts have seemingly swept over my past life these last few years, and I have discovered so much - I wish I could articulate it.  I thought of this while pondering Today's First Reading from 1 Corinthians, when Paul states: "I do not even pass judgment upon myself; I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord." [...] the Lord "will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts ..."

This thought is echoed elsewhere in scripture - "Do not judge" and "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?"  We give into presumption when we do that.  By the grace of God, perhaps through some humiliation, or some trial or fall, we might discover a hidden advantage of seeing the mote in our brother's eye, in so far as we just might be aware enough to realize the log in our own eye - mirrored in our neighbor's faults.

From my hidden faults acquit me O Lord ...

The Psalms tell the story - which is why they are so helpful for us to pray - not just recite.  It is also why self-knowledge is so important for us at every stage of our life - it is a necessary part of our 'purgation' or purification.

Sin speaks to the sinner
in the depths of his heart
There is no fear of God
before his eyes.
He so flatters himself in his mind
that he knows not his guilt. - Ps. 36

"Sin speaks to the sinner in the depths of his heart ... he so flatters himself in his mind that he knows not his guilt."  Like I said, we have an immense capacity for self delusion.  Which is why it is so advantageous for us to allow ourselves to be taught, to be corrected, even to be despised.

It's important to remember that the Lord accompanies us in and through these meditations in the deepest recesses of the cell of self-knowledge, as St. Catherine might say.  He was there when we knew not our sins and he is there when we uncover them, as it were.  We need to understand this so as not to get discouraged, even though we can say:

My sins so overcome me,
so that I can no longer see.
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head; 
my courage fails me. - Ps. 40

We need to trust in the Divine Mercy, as we struggle to  'lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us'.  Confidence and love.

O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life in listening to You, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from You. Then, through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light. O my beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may not withdraw from Your radiance. - Prayer of Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Are we prepared?

"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Mr. Babbitt and his husband Matthew are dead.

Mr. Babbitt was a popular teacher.

He liked boys and young men.  Teen boys.  He and his husband Matthew both liked them.  In some ways, Mr. Babbitt, popular teacher, may have kind of groomed some boys?  I wonder?  One teen told police Mr. Babbitt was his teacher in grade school, then later, he was his mentor.  The teen was gay.  I'm sure Mr. Babbitt didn't make him gay - but he took a special interest in him because he is gay ...

Here's the story, Mr. Babbitt and Mr. Deyo killed themselves after police found out they were involved in sexual contact with a 16-year-old boy and at least two other boys.  They felt they had 'no way out' in the investigation.  That's an unfortunate decision on their part.  Murder suicide is a tragic end.

Teacher Aric Babbitt, 40, and Matthew Deyo, 36, were found dead Thursday on Lopez Island, in the San Juan Islands in the northwest corner of the state about 100 miles north of Seattle. They died of gunshot wounds.
Babbitt, a teacher at Lincoln Center Elementary since 2002, was put on paid leave by South St. Paul schools after the district learned of the allegations Aug. 17, Superintendent Dave Webb said.
According to Dakota County court documents released Tuesday, a 16-year-old boy and his parents went to police Aug. 14 to report “an ongoing sexual relationship” with Babbitt and Deyo.
Further investigation revealed other underage boys had experienced similar sexual activity with the pair, who hadn’t been charged with a crime.
[...]The boy reported that Babbitt had agreed to be a mentor for him when he came out as gay to his family and that the teacher gave him gifts of underwear and small yoga shorts and also asked for photos before he was 16. - Source

You can't call that pedophilia - it's gay - or perhaps ephebophilia.  Many gay men like young men and teen boys, 'young and dumb and full of c..' as they used to say.  This case reminds me of the Curtis Wehmeyer case - the former Minnesota priest who took an interest in young boys and had sex with them.  A gay priest in close proximity to students, just like a teacher and his husband - can be trusted to look after the best interests of those under their care.  Right?  With Wehmeyer they called it pedophilia - but it was unlawful gay sex.  The same is true with Babbitt.

Just think how huge a story this would be if Babbitt and Deyo were priests or religious.

They were teachers.  There is a whole gay lgbtq equality push in education - no bullying, and so on.  Interestingly enough, Mr. Babbitt's dad was involved in a court case in 2001 involving a student banned from wearing a 'Straight Pride' sweatshirt in response to 'Gay Pride' messages popular at the time.

On January 17, 2001, Principal Dana Babbitt met with Elliott and told him that he could not wear the shirt again in light of the offense taken by other students and the Principal's safety concerns for Elliott and other Woodbury students. - More info here.

I'm not implying Principal Babbitt's action has any relationship to the suicides of Aric and Matthew, I'm simply noting that the normalization of lgbtq-gay has been ingrained in public education for some time now.  Thus a gay couple mentoring, or just hanging out with young boys wouldn't, and shouldn't raise eyebrows ... or maybe it should?  But it doesn't - because pedophilia isn't gay and all of that PC stuff.  Hence gay is good but pedophilia is still bad.

Of course not all gay men and women, teachers or coaches or priests or religious, have these problems, proclivities - or sexual interests in young men.  Even if they did, they wouldn't act on it ... would they?   Oh, and some straight teachers and coaches and priests do exactly the same thing - fall in love and have sex with their underage students.  That's still bad, right?

I guess I was unfair in my assessment here then?

Public Service Addendum:  On open boundaries.

Many, many gay men, and I would suggest gay women, have a sort of 'open' boundaries issue when it comes to friendship, especially with younger people they may want to be 'buddies' with.   Not all gay people, but I suggest many do.  Especially regarding sexuality and sexual behavior and discussions with peers and younger people.  (Cam on 'Modern Family' has exhibited this 'over-sharing' tendency.)  Gay people often need to be 'with it' and need to easily relate to younger people.  Why?  Because I'm convinced they are emotionally stunted - aka, they suffer from a sort of arrested development syndrome.  Often innocently, and decidedly disinterestedly (in the other, that is), they can impose themselves upon those they seek to 'mentor' or help, or just be friends with.  The other person, younger or older, can interpret their interest - especially the over-sharing - as 'coming on' to them.

It has happened to me in the past.  Once, a younger relative (in his mid-late 20's) thought my 'over-sharing' was me trying to seduce him.  It was an embarrassing, unfortunate misunderstanding - and to be sure - I never had any prurient interest, whatsoever.  I was and continue to be totally disinterested, and never, ever would have been remotely interested.  That said, same sex attraction can intrude upon so-called normal, or regular friendship in a similar manner.  Especially if a straight friend or co-worker feels uncomfortable with a perceived familiarity.  


How old is Hillary Clinton?

Grandma thank she's gots entitlement.

Why are these old people running the country?

Hillary will be 69 in October.

Next year she will be 70.  Trump will be 71.  What is wrong with that?

I'm not sure.  As Catholics we have always had an old Pope - we pretty much esteem the holiness and wisdom of the aged, but things should be different with politicians - one would think.

Especially when there's all this blame the Boomers for all that is wrong in this country and the world - which now rings kind of hollow when the only two candidates running for President are Boomers - with a lot of Boomer baggage.

Hilly and Billy Boomer.

Just look at Hillary.  It's Grandma in a pantsuit.  Trump is Grandpa with yellow hair that looks like a wig.  Clinton is supposedly the 'best prepared and qualified' while Trump is the 'least prepared and qualified.'  Grandma needs help going up the stairs, getting in and out of chairs and vans, while Grandpa - in her case Bill - is still looking down women's blouses.  Grandpa Trump has to be told what to say and contradicted when he mis-speaks and insults anyone he thinks is against him.  Grumpy old man.

Why are these the only two 'viable' candidates?    How do they fit in with the whole idea of democracy, when every vote is supposed to count, and they are almost universally disliked - by wide margins.  No one likes them.  Yet they are the nominees. (Hillary believes she is entitled to it - she's worked so hard to keep abortion legal.)

We believe we are a free people, self determining, and all of that 'greatest nation in the world' stuff.  Really?  But party delegates and super delegates determined who got the nomination.  Yes, that's how the system works - but come on.  These two are the best we got?  What was wrong with someone younger like Rubio?  Remember when all the conservatives and other republicans complained he was too young? Not pro-life enough?  Not conservative enough?  The alternatives to Clinton were mostly all seniors - Sanders is really, really old, but way back at the outset there was Martin O'Malley - he's 53 - what was wrong with him?  Obama had little to no experience when he got in.

I have another question.  Why did we get abortion on demand?  Did the people of the United States vote it in?  No.  It was imposed upon us by the Judicial system.  It is now the law of the land - and these old people in office take an oath to uphold the laws of the land.  How many years has abortion been legal?  How many administrations have promised pro-life judges?

Just saying.

Reminds me of the old Politburo before the collapse of the U.S.S.R. ...

Song for this post here.

I love this!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Here's a thought ...

Memento mori.

Missionaries of Charity Argentina

Their mission there focuses mainly on giving free care 
to terminally ill HIV/AIDS patients 
at the Queen of Peace Home.

The Blessed Sacrament was desecrated, the nuns assaulted. Story here.

It's happening ... 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Mother Teresa never said that... and John XXIII didn't cry all day after reading the Third Secret either ...

He thought it was the Octave of Pentecost and not Ordinary Time.

For years I have heard religious people insist that Mother Teresa condemned Communion in the hand ... turns out she didn't.  In fact, she once asked Fr. Rutler to set the record straight:

Mother did not want to be invoked in polemics. No sentimentalist, she ordered me to write a correction for a newspaper that had reported that she opposed Communion in the hand. - Crisis
Here are some more things Blessed Teresa never said: Quotes falsely attributed to Bl. Mother Teresa.

People make stuff up, or at best, exaggerate things they've witnessed or heard repeated by others.  They repeat it as if it were dogma - even if and when it contradicts what the Bishops have said or permitted.  Sometimes lay-mystics even make it part of their message.

Sometimes they repeat these stories to scare people into reverence or to shame and quilt them as bad Catholics destined to have their hands rot off at their wake...

Ever hear the one about the black box everyone would have in their homes through which the devil would enter?  As a kid, I first heard the prophecy attributed to St. Frances Cabrini. Later, after canonization, Mother Seton. I may be wrong, but it might go way back to some unknown ecstatic in the Swiss Alps. At any rate - I've never been able to verify the origins of the prophecy.  Before cell phones and computers, people thought it was the television, maybe before that it was the radio?

I've written about this stuff before.  My favorite  was from Fatima promoters before the Third Secret was revealed:  "Pope John the XXIII opened the Secret of Fatima in 1960 and cried all day."  That's not what happened.  He didn't share it with Khrushchev and Kennedy either.

The other one, Pope Paul VI wept on Pentecost Monday, when he realized there was not going to be an Octave of Pentecost any more. A bishop stated it as fact in his memoirs.

Then there is the report of what JPII supposedly said in 1980 at Fulda about the Third Secret of Fatima. It was roundly disputed at the time that he even said it - now it is claimed to be historically accurate. Oddly enough, Bl. John Paul never read the contents of the secret until after the 1981 assassination attempt. Yet the Fulda statement continues to be circulated as true.

I bet there are many sayings attributed to Padre Pio which may also be made up.  Pious people often make the mistake of accepting these statements as having more weight than Magisterial teaching and instruction.  They willingly believe a locutionist over proper ecclesial authority regarding the discipline of the sacraments.

H/T Mark Shea

Monday, August 29, 2016

Reading online mystics ... and other potential triggers.


Yesterday I was reading an online mystic.

Something happens when I do that.  I suppose it's like going to an apparition site and being so moved, after you get home you start having locutions or even visions ... and messages to fill a book.

So anyway - I wanted to post an earthquake warning but wasn't real clear about where it would happen.  Then, while searching Google for fun gifs, I came across Franco Zeffirelli, who has been on my mind lately - for whatever reason.  To make a long story short, I was curious if he had died without my having heard about it.  I discovered he is 93 - he was born the same year as my parents, 1923.  My parents are dead - so I'm thinking he may not have a long time to live.  Which explains my post suggesting he may need our prayers.  I am serious about that - he's one of my favorite artists in the world - and I really do pray for him.

I unconsciously phrased the request the way I did because I think I had been influenced by an online mystic and I just wanted to see if I would be 'right' about Zeffirelli.

Still confused?  Think I'm crazy?

I was reading an online mystic who talks about things to come ... the presidential elections, the economy, the US dollar, China, Obama, bad weather, and so on.  He wrote some stuff demonstrating he had been 'right' about this and that, as well as posting a couple of clarifications on predictions yet to materialize - just in case they don't turn out the way he predicted.  He also modestly boasted that old cronies, business friends, political friends, and others are coming around, admitting he was 'right' about this or that, and asking what they should do now - which is such a boost to his credibility - right?*

. . .

After reading enough of that stuff,  I kind of get in the mood and issue my own warnings sometimes.  One of these days I just might be 'right' too.

Here's my latest prediction:
Beer will soon flow in the streets of La Crosse, Wisconsin; beer will flow from all sides, people will act in unusual ways, almost as if they were drunk - pandemonium will ensue and all will be in tumult ... Yet just as quickly, the rescue will be made manifest.   I'm thinking the chaos will commence somewhere between the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel and the Feast of the Guardian Angels, 2016.  

Remember - you heard it here first.

Refugees fleeing La Crosse
It could happen.

*If a prophet wants to be right or modestly boasts that he was right, chances are his prophecies are his own and not from God.  I might be wrong - but I don't need to be 'right'.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Franco Zeffirelli

I get the feeling he needs prayers now.

Please pray for Franco Zeffirelli.

Thank you.

Pietor Rabbinsky

Barton rabbit

I saw him outside church after Mass.

He had been waiting for me - running out from under a yew, he scurried onto the grass and looked at me.

"Pietor!  That's you!  You followed me to church!"

He didn't answer of course - he was pretending he didn't know me.  Everybody does that with me.

Nevertheless, as I drove to church, he always seemed to be zig zagging across the street in front of me - showing off how fast he can run - sometimes I think he's enchanted and is able to bilocate.  He'd run out from under a car here, or from another yard there, trying to distract me, I thought.  By the time I got to the parking lot at church, he had disappeared.  I just assumed he had returned home - until I came out of church after Mass.  I never saw him again until this afternoon, all sacked out in the sun on the grass in the back garden.

You may ask how I knew the rabbit I saw on my way to church was actually Pietor and not just a bunch of different rabbits in the neighborhood (despite the fact the area is really over populated with them), it is because of the distinctive burnt sienna colored fur on the back of his head covering the tips of his shoulders.  I can also tell by his ears which are long and pointed, as well as the little white cotton tail.  I'd recognize him anywhere.

He's out in the garden right now.

Yep.  That's him.

Pietor's the one in the middle.

Art and meditation ... those unable to repay ...

A blind man carrying a lame man.

Two mendicants.

The blind beggar at the threshold.


When you hold a banquet, 
invite the poor, 
the crippled, 
the lame, 
the blind ... 
those who are unable to repay you.

Thus I realized and understood
my misfit state...
a debtor standing outside,
abject upon the threshold of
God's house,
unable to repay.

+ + +

Once again, I'm reminded of the Shakespeare Sonnet:

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, 
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, 
And look upon myself and curse my fate, 
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, 
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed, 
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope, 
With what I most enjoy contented least; 
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, 
Haply I think on thee, and then my state, 
(Like to the lark at break of day arising 
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;     
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings     
That then I scorn to change my state with kings. - Sonnet 29

"Haply I think on Thee" ... truly my only solace in the depths of my soul ...

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes ...

I am made content.

Paintings by Antoine Carte, dit Anto Carte

The perfect nun ...

A friend brought her up yesterday.

Song for when she left the Congo here.