Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ever concerned about the environment, in the spirit of Amoris Letitia, Pope Francis warns new Cardinals about 'polarization'.

Along with the red hat, Cardinals were given 
polarized sunglasses.

Card. Timmy is credited for the change, 
since he anticipated the mandatory 
addition to the cardinal's vestry
several years ago.

Others insist the change 
is by divine intervention ...
those without this protection 
will all perish.
All told, about a third of humanity.

Song for this post here.

The Translation of the Relics of Archbishop Sheen ... Once Again Exiled From NYC?

I'm against it.

I said that in the com box of a friend - joking - but later I thought about it more seriously, and now I think it is just wrong. Here's the story:

TV Bishop Fulton Sheen is finally going home to Peoria, Ill. — nearly 37 years after he died — thanks to a Manhattan judge’s ruling against the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. 
The archdiocese had been feuding with Sheen’s family over his final resting place. - Read more here.

He belongs in NYC.  He was exiled to Rochester by Cardinal Spellman in the mid-1960's - he shouldn't be exiled again.  He belongs in Manhattan.  That is where he evangelized.  And NYC needs him now.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Ask Father: Are you attached to money?

The Holy Father had to something interesting to say about the money-changers today.

"Pope Francis appealed for God to grant believers the courage to embrace Christian poverty, saying people cannot forgive a priest who is attached to money ...
Taking his inspiration from the day’s Gospel reading where Jesus drove out the traders from the temple, accusing them of transforming it into a den of thieves, the Pope’s homily was a reflection on the power and allure of money. He said Jesus’s action helps us to understand where the seed of the antichrist is contained, the seed of the enemy that ruins his Kingdom: attachment to money.
“Our Lord God, the house of our Lord God is a house of prayer. Our encounter with the Lord (is) with the God of love. And the money-lord that enters into the house of God, is constantly seeking to enter inside. And those people who were changing money or selling things, they were renting their places, right? – from the priests… the priests were renting out those places and then received money. This is the lord that can ruin our life and can lead us to end our life in a bad way, without happiness, without the joy of serving the true Lord who is the only one capable of giving us that true joy.”
Following the lord of money leads a priest to be the head of a firm or be a prince or we can go even higher…”
'May the Lord, give us the grace of the poverty of working people, those who work and earn a fair wage and who do not seek any more.'” - VR

Ask for a clarification?

A few days ago Fr. Sirico said he would ask the Pope what he meant when he criticized the 'capitalist system' and condemned the love of money as “an idol that rules instead of serves, which tyrannizes and terrorizes humanity.”   Fr. Sirico, responding in the interview stated, I would ask for clarification.”

What if Fr. Sirico just got that clarification in today's homily?

He maybe didn't.

Acton Institute President, Fr. Sirico in Rome office.

Cappas in a bundle, they're going to confront the Pope: "We need to talk about your flair..."

Looks like a storm...*

It pretty much started Day 1 of the Pontificate.

The Pope didn't wear enough flair.  It's that simple.  He said, "Carnival is over" but they are resisting him to his face.

It's kind of like what Stan, Chotchkie's Manager told Joanna in Office Space:
 People can get a cheeseburger anywhere, okay? They come to Chotchkie's for the atmosphere and the attitude. Okay? That's what the flair's about.
It could be true.


The Cardinals contra Amoris blow-up is getting big.

So anyway, I love this from Dr. Mirius - which clearly annoys some Priests for a Prelature on the Digital Continent and other monsignori hopefuls:

There is no juridical possibility in the Church for any official correction of a pope, such that the position of the pope’s critics becomes definitive or take precedence over what the pope himself has said or done.
The last question and answer in the interview suggests that Cardinal Burke has not slipped into any error on this issue, but he could have answered far more clearly:
Pentin’s question: “If the Pope were to teach grave error or heresy, which lawful authority can declare this and what would be the consequences?”
Burke’s answer: “It is the duty in such cases, and historically it has happened, of cardinals and bishops to make clear that the Pope is teaching error and to ask him to correct it.”
The only problem with this answer is that it does not adequately parse the question. It would have been far better if Cardinal Burke had first clarified the double misunderstanding the question appears to imply. Burke could, and probably should, have begun by making two critical points:
  1. We are not talking about Magisterial teaching of grave error (or heresy) by the Pope. That is impossible. The Holy Spirit protects the Church against that. This is a key factor in the very constitution of the Church.
  1. Because of this Divine protection, it is not necessary that there be a “lawful authority” that can correct the pope, and in fact there is none. But in matters of serious confusion, or of personal errors which foster bad pastoral care, or of ecclesiastical administration for dubious ends, or even of particular sins, fraternal correction can be very important.
With these two points clearly in mind, Burke’s actual answer is right on target. But without emphasizing these points, considering how the question was phrased, I am concerned that some readers might misunderstand the issue. - Catholic Culture

Concerned that some readers might misunderstand the issue... not to worry, Fr. Z is in full Action Alert!  Instructing the ignorant.  Counselling the doubtful.  Admonishing sinners.  Bearing patiently those who wrong us.  Forgiving offences.  Consoling the afflicted... and so on.  As is his style.

Disclaimer:  Just pushing buttons here.  This problem is like opening a Diet of Worms and is way above my head.  Pay no attention to crack-pots-online.  Nothing to take seriously here - move along.  And have a nice day.

And please use the sharing buttons-
we need to get our message out.

*Detail, Siege of La Rochelle 1881 Henri Motte

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I think people want to be deceived ...

That's why they resort to fortune tellers and mediums, as well as locutionists and seers and visionaries ... who tell them what they already thought they knew.

They hear what they want to hear... 'everything is really, really bad.  But it will get better.  Er ... after it gets worse ... maybe.'   And we say, 'I knew it!'

Just thinking out loud after visiting a few of the online mystics and reading the comments.

'Tiz the season to ask for donations too - so expect more prophecies and warnings and formal acts of correction, as well as add-on fund raising campaigns for travel expenses.

. . .

Oh! Oh!  I read someplace that people on Facebook are dropping out or just staying off the site because of all the stress caused by mean comments, fighting, and anger over the elections.  So that's what people do when they do not hear (or read) what they want to hear.  See how that works?

. . .

I hate pious platitudes - no one wants to read that stuff either.  Scroll through some sites - it's one after another - does anyone have an original thought? Ever?  It's like we can't think for ourselves, or can't speak for ourselves.  (I know - I use a lot of gifs.)

. . .

Is this a Quick Take post?  Look!  I'm like those famous bloggers!

The Narcissist's Credo - Something Meryl Streep never said ...

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me... etcetera, etcetera, and so on and so forth ... 

Pretending to be an actress ...

I came across the quote online and almost immediately I became suspicious.  If Streep really said that, it had to be one of her characters, I thought, because it simply did not sound like something she would say.  Perhaps some of the sentiments expressed could be something she might think or say, but not with that sort of insistence, or finality.  I don't know her, but I've seen several interviews with her and it just didn't sound like something she would 'declare' to the entire world.  It's too self-centered and narcissistic for someone truly stable in their 'state in life'.  An accomplished, successful professional would hardly be so dismissive of others.

"The quote is actually from the pen of Portuguese self-help author/life coach José Micard Teixeira – not a woman, and not an elder, but a younger man who is suddenly becoming the “not Streep” Internet celebrity of the month." - Finish the story here.

The quote was attributed to Streep by a Romanian blogger.  The quote isn't all that bad in itself, but I think it says more about those who post it than what is intended by the author.  I may be wrong.  Perhaps the fact some embrace the quote as an affirmation of their determination to 'thrive' and inspires them to do better in dealing with fellow human beings - without allowing themselves to be manipulated by their negative behavior, but it still comes off as arrogant and pretentious.  It seems to me it is simply a facade to shelter behind.

It's also antithetical to the Beatitudes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Due to a lack of interest ...

In the Catholic Church we have some – many – who believe they possess the absolute truth and they go on sullying others through slander and defamation and this is wrong. - Pope Francis

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy will conclude this Sunday, Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe... But no Jubilee Year of Justice has been proclaimed.

The mercy of God is not exhausted.

Already some of the Holy Doors in Rome's basilicas are closing, as is the custom at the conclusion of Holy Years, or Jubilee Years.

It never means that anyone is shut out or deprived of grace and mercy - it simply means the Jubilee Year and the special indulgences attached, as well as the particular celebrations, have concluded.  The mercy of God is not exhausted, the Church remains open - plenary indulgences are still available for the faithful.  Only the extraordinary Jubilee Year concludes, yet the mission of evangelization and mercy continues - the fruits of the Jubilee Year mature and ripen in and through the works of mercy.

I say this because some people have the mistaken notion that after the Year of Mercy, the day of justice will come.  Many seem to base their conclusions on the revelations to St. Faustina, specifically the following:
"Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice." - Jesus to St. Faustina
Others believe the Fatima Centenary, which we observe next year, is somehow going to signal a final chastisement of sorts, linking it to the Divine Mercy revelation cited above.  As intriguing as all of that may be, I think it is a mistake to read into the conclusion of the Holy Year such apocalyptic prophesies.  Even when it coincides nicely with the readings at the end of the Liturgical year.  It is providential, no doubt, but I'm pretty sure the Holy See will not declare next year to be the Year of Justice, and all hell is going to break loose.  (Which seems to have been happening all along, despite the Jubilee Year.)

If anything, I think the grace of the Holy Year is meant to spill over and renew the spiritual life of the Church; edifying and increasing the virtues of faith, hope and charity in the faithful.  Returning from pilgrimage to their towns and homes as it were, to proclaim what God has done in their lives, and showing the same generosity towards those they live among.  It seems to me the fruit of the Holy Year should lead to the spreading the message of Divine Mercy more fervently and with a sense of urgency, as a result of the Jubilee experience.

Just remember, if we are entering a period of Divine Justice, it is up to the Church, the Holy Father and the bishops in communion with him, to discern and guide the people of God through difficult times.  Watch out for false prophets and impostors making claims based upon their private interpretation of scripture and personal opinion.

Waiting for an answer ....

Four Cardinals sent a letter to the Pope, and after two months they are still waiting for an answer.

I wrote to Pope John Paul and it took a long time to hear back, and then it was from a secretary - or so I was told.  I know - it's not the same.  I do think these guys would have had better luck if they sneaked into the Casa Santa Marta disguised as cleaners and talked to him face to face.  They maybe didn't want to dress down to do that though.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Ping-pong Tournament

Bunny Bixler and I were in the semi-finals - the very semi-finals, mind you - of the ping-pong tournament at the club and this ghastly thing happened. We were both playing way over our heads and the score was 29-28. And we had this really terrific volley and I stepped back to get this really terrific shot. And I stepped on the ping-pong ball! 
I just squashed it to bits. 
And then Bunny and I ran to the closet of the game room to get another ping-pong ball and the closet was locked! Imagine? We had to call the whole thing off. 
Well, it was ghastly. 
Well, it was just ghastly. - Gloria Upson

The Trumps on 60 Minutes

It was like the Modern Family version of the Romanovs.

I thought it was rather telling ...

I can't remember how many times Trump mentioned 'power'.  He seemed humbled by the win, but his awakening to the power he holds wasn't so much about humility as it was awe.  He really was impressed by the power of the office.  The calls of congratulations from foreign leaders demonstrated for him the power of the Presidency.  He was just as impressed by the number of followers he picked up on social media, Twitter and Instagram.  That made me laugh - because followers on social media doesn't necessarily mean people like you, but he sees it as a popularity marker and a sort of approval rating.

He's too obsessed with power.

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.” - Lord Acton

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Leon Russell ...

Leon Russell 

Say hello to our friends ... 

I love you in a place where there's no space and time
I love you for my life, you are a friend of mine ...

On Homosexual Inclination

"You're a homosexual" - Church Lady on SNL last week

Do we understand the homosexual inclination?

I don't think we do - but Deacon Jim Russell sheds some light on the issue here.  It's a good, solid essay as usual, and worth reading - more than once if it seems upsetting at first glance.  Online so many of us skim through posts, get an overview, often seen through a very subjective, negative lens, that we fail to see the essence of the article, and we snap-judge the over all work.

So anyway - there is nothing wrong with what Deacon wrote.  It's a subject I no longer deal with much, but it seems to me the essay is important for parents and confessors to consider in trying to understand the homosexual condition.

If I was a gay Catholic returning to the Church, it could be off-putting on some levels - a little too much emphasis on rejecting gay identity and friendship.  That seems a virtual impossibility for people who consider themselves gay.  The Church doesn't really ask that either - the first thing it asks is chastity, pastoral care ministers to the other questions which arise over time.  I think Deacon is specifically addressing the gay-Catholic, spiritual friends movement - which is another group I no longer keep track of.

I contend that if a person prays - genuinely prays - frequents the sacrament, especially confession and holy communion, practises mortification and seeks to acquire the virtues, and if so fortunate to find a decent priest as spiritual director, he will mature to the point where much of what mattered in the so-called gay identity fades away and becomes meaningless.  Take being a Madonna fan for instance, Vogue is still a fun song, and you might even dance around to it when you're alone - but Madonna as a star has risen and fallen and she's old and ugly without the make-up.  In other words, you see through the pretentiousness, the meaningless sex, all the cosmetic and materialistic trappings, and you look for what is true.  Healing, wholeness takes place gradually - if one stops and freaks out about something like 'feelings' or 'attractions' as being bad or even sinful - one easily stops trying.

Likewise, Deacon speaks about gay Catholics who think they can abstain from actual sex while cuddling, kissing, even petting your boyfriends chest, and yet remain chaste.  When I first read that I thought, "who the hell does that?"  Then I realized some of the gay-Catholic spiritual friendship crowd believes that is kosher.  It's not.

That's why I say if one really prays, not just says prayers to pray away the gay, but really pray, you come to understand how self indulgence is incompatible with an authentic spiritual life.  (That doesn't mean you have to live like a monk either.)  Prayer is unsustainable without some degree of self-abnegation, petting your boyfriend may make him feel good - or loved, but for sure, it's selfish self indulgence on your part.  You are deriving sensual pleasure from it - pleasure is not wrong - but in this case it would be more akin to foreplay.  Besides - if you truly seek God you are neither seeking yourself or your boyfriend, that wouldn't be how to act.  Know what I mean?

Anyway - read Deacon Russell's essay closely to understand it better.  The gay Catholics aren't breaking commandments in their joy of being gay and Catholic, they are simply deluding themselves and their followers into believing everything is okay, just as long as you don't ejaculate.  "Love and do what you will" doesn't work like that.

It's a tired subject - but you really can get over it (the sin) if you persevere ... by patient perseverance we will save our souls - that's Today's Gospel.

Here's a pious thought: Today's Collect asks for 'constancy' to serve God.  Remember, repenting each day, even going to confession every day - if need be - is a form of constancy and requires patient perseverance.  God is pleased with our efforts - even if it takes a lifetime - which it usually does.

St. Irene attends to the wounded St. Sebastian.
One must be patient, and attentive in removing defects (arrows)...
usually a person can take care of only one wound at a time.

Boy, you gotta carry that weight 
Carry that weight a long time 
Boy, you gonna carry that weight
 Carry that weight a long time...

“And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity?"

So here's the deal Papst.

This is probably the first time the Holy Father has me a bit nonplussed.

Perhaps there is more in the book that explains Pope Francis' reasoning in saying that about those young people who prefer the Extraordinary Form of Mass, as well as a more careful interpretation of Catholic teaching.
Pope Francis told Father Spadaro he wonders why some young people, who were not raised with the old Latin Mass, nevertheless prefer it. 
“And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.” - Crux
There is nothing wrong with the Pope wondering about the attraction to the traditional Mass, but I sort of expected he would understand it more than he does.  The Holy Father expressed  suspicion over what motivates them.  Perhaps it stems from his experience in Argentina.  The 'old' Church was pretty much always linked to right wing politics and corruption, and perhaps that colors his perception.

Health Class for SSPX high school students.

It makes me wonder if the Holy Father thought of a special Year of Mercy outreach to young (and old) people attached to the Extraordinary Form - I realize the Holy See has granted Jurisdiction to SSPX Priests to hear Confessions during the Jubilee Year - but I haven't heard of any special celebration for Traditionalists.

That said, I hope those close to the Holy Father can help him understand this better.

I have doubts.

The young people are not the ones hiding something.

The younger people, and many of the older ones who prefer the Extraordinary Form of Mass are far better Catholics than myself.  I have known a few over the years who maybe had some issues, but the majority of those I know are wonderful people.  Deeply religious yet well integrated in contemporary society.  Some may 'fear' the signs of the times, yet their concerns/fears are not at all irrational.  In fact, many of the much younger EF traditional Catholics I know exude charity and love.  They are far from being paranoid/fear-full or insecure in their state in life.

I know families who are model Catholics, healthy, devout, successful, providing for their children, contributing to the Church and charity - faithful and filled with joy.  Solid in their faith, they know the faith, they know Catholic teaching - some are highly educated in theology and philosophy which informs their life and work in ordinary life.  If there is any 'defensiveness' on their part, it is their willingness to defend the faith and witness to the Gospel.

They are hiding nothing - their life, their faith, their devotion is held up for all to see.  I sincerely believe they may indeed be the "Heart of the Church" in our times.

Some may have issues, as I've noted, but so do many mainstream Catholics and so-called 'progressives'.  Ironically, it is probably  safe to assume that those who prefer the Traditional Rite do so because they were tired of the novelty and circus atmosphere present in the Ordinary Form of things in the Church.

I'm not criticizing the Holy Father, but I hope someone will help him understand and appreciate the faithful witness of Traditionalist Roman Catholics, especially the youth and young families who are faithful to the Church and the Holy Father and the bishops and priests in communion with him.

So Georg - Archbishop Gänswein - could you and Pope Benedict help the Holy Father understand that these people aren't hiding anything - and that some can't be that rigid if they accept me as their friend.

Big hug to Pope Francis and Georg and Benedict.  Beers for everyone.

Trads rock!