Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Sort of a Seven Quick Takes post that mommy bloggers do.

At least the Pope is nice to people like me.

I have to start being more honest.

I went to confession and I want to start all over again.  I want to stop trying to have everyone like me.  I want to be kind to others.  I also want to let others live and let live.  I want to be faithful to the Gospel.  I don't want to just post platitudes and parrot pop-catholic-cultural opinions and stuff like that.

Recently, an old friend from high school who friended me on Facebook started preaching his Protestant doctrine on why the pope is bad and why we shouldn't venerate Our Lady.  He's my age.  He should know better - especially hawking that crap in my direction.  Truth be told, I'm not engaging the guy who happens to be some sort of minister.  He has access to Catholic teaching, authentic Patristics and Mariology, and I'm not talking about the BS people come across online like 'my mother wears combat boots' or the crap the Fatamists and other cultists peddle, and to be sure the asinine prophecy crap from locutionists and so-called prophets who imagine quotes and personal relationships with the likes of Padre Pio as a form of credential. There is a catechism non Catholics can read, and even research the footnotes while they are at it.  They will be pleasantly surprised by the extent just about everything is based upon Scripture.

True, Catholics who blog would do better to write about those things that perplex non-Catholics, but it seems they would rather write about their stupid controversies and character assassinations of those who are placed in authority over them, than actually evangelize anyone.  Others enjoy writing their fiction and parodies about what the Church believes instead of being a witness to the faith.  But I digress.

A couple more quick takes ...

Earlier in the day I received a really nice note from a friend who confessed to me that he has problems understanding Pope Francis and some of the things he says and does. He was specifically referring to a Pentin article with a reference to an Italian woman, proponent of abortion who met with the pope and spoke to an Italian parish about immigration. I'll post my response here, without revealing my friend's name. The reason I want to post this is because it explains a lot about me and my faith in this so-called 'crises in the Church'.

Anyway ... My email response:

Dear Friend,

To be honest - I too have problems understanding some things, as they are reported, as they seem to be, as they are. (That's my discernment abilities at work - not very good, to be sure.) I just have a bigger problem with those who attribute evil intentions to the pope. My sense of the papacy is bigger than the man - but people think I idolize the pope or I'm blindly ultramontane and all of that crap. Not so. Not at all.

Years ago when I was in St. Peters, a mysterious nun appeared to me out of nowhere, she told me to look at the light coming into the Church, I turned to look at the light pouring in through the window at the front of the Basilica, I turned to say something to her but she was gone. It happened in a matter of seconds, and no one was around. She promised me we would meet again. I never knew what it meant, but soon after Paul VI died and eventually JPII came along to illuminate the Church with the mystery of light. What I take from that is we have Peter - at the helm - no matter what. If he is killed as in the 3rd secret and Don Bosco's dream, another Pope is soon elected to take the helm. So I can't worry or be distracted - although I am at times side-swipped by human frailty and misunderstandings within the hierarchy and clergy.

Be real.

I don't know what The Pope is doing at times either, but what I do understand, I like. I like a poor Church - Benedict predicted it. I can be confused or have a problem with things that happen - doesn't shake my faith. Take Fr. Martin's SJ recent book - I disagree with his joining with New Ways Ministry - but I get his concern and wanting to 'accompany' - and I'm convinced he's sincere and faithful to Catholic teaching. Sometimes people make mistakes. But there are horrid Catholics online calling him a sodomite, a homosexualist, a closet case, and so on - because he ministers to people who say they are LGBTQ.

Yet Joe Sciambra just wrote some stuff on Facebook about a gay sex fair he attended with the intention to evangelize. He conceded that he was hit on and flattered by the attention, but told the man he 'gave up sex for Jesus.' That's cool. He also posted he had bodily fluids splashed on him. He's at a sex fair for crying out loud!  He's in dangerous territory. Anyplace else it would be lewd conduct and against the law.  Nevertheless, he's accompanying people he calls gay until they follow him and then he says you can't say gay. The reality is, he's associating with people who identify as gay. Just like Fr. Martin.  Yet I doubt very much Martin would take in a gay sex fair.

Don't be crazy.

People will say, 'yeah but' - but what? Martin is a priest, he's straight, and reaches out to LGBTQ people and groups.

Sciambra is ssa - he identifies as formerly gay - and he reaches out to sex fair performers who splash bodily fluids on him. That's different alright. See what I'm getting at? It's maybe my version of a misperceptions theory, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one not getting it.

I think the Holy Father deals with reality, with real life - that's why I love him. He's honest. So is Sciambra - I hope - and so is Fr. Martin. I live in a place, you do too, where for the past 40+ years all sorts of people have spoken at Catholic universities and parishes. (We've hosted Gloria Steinem.) They've been protested, condemned, and Catholic teaching upheld. That's what bishops and clergy do, and in some cases laymen do too.

Leaving one's comfort zone.

I'm sort of tired of the double talk by anti-Francis people - almost as much as I am by so-called liberals and progressives - know what I'm saying? They agitate from both sides and fill cyberspace with exaggeration and lies, rumor and gossip, and discredit authority.

I didn't read the Pentin article, I don't like his journalism - he's a step above 1Peter5. That said, neither did I follow the story and blow back on the pope praising that woman for her support of immigration. P. Benedict may have done likewise - I can't remember where I've read some of his statements on dialogue and speaking and listening to 'gentiles' but I feel certain Benedict 'gets' what Francis says and does in speaking and associating with sinners. Call me naive and dumb - but what I don't understand, I surrender to God. If Ganzwein and significant others haven't resigned or abandoned ship, then I am not worried.

I could go on and on about the exasperation I can feel and sometimes experience as well - but I don't have the time or wit to do so. But I sometimes have problems too - I end up distrusting the news sources before I distrust the Holy Father. The things I don't get, I don't have to get. As Therese would say, I'm too little.

I'm not at all disturbed if you have problems with the pope, or disagree or anything like that. We are friends.

These problems will pass away.

One priest friend, well a couple, no longer message me. One friend reproved me telling me I didn't have to deal with all the people who come to him and say the pope ok'd this or that. I'm sure he didn't like it when I said that is the time to correct and teach the faith - with good humor. I told him what I'd say, "I don't know what the pope said or what people are saying he said, or what you think he meant - but this is what the Church teaches poodle, and it can't be changed." And then smile and say you are always available if they have any more questions.  Or just tell him the same thing matter-of-factly and let him go.

Another friend accused me of trying to channel Pope Francis - I thought that was funny and absurd at the same time. I have no authority to teach, nor would I dream of speaking for the Pope.  I'm capable of a healthy anti-clericalism all on my own, based upon experience, I might add.

'Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said 'It's going to rain', would that be bound to happen?'

That said, Francis is the kind of Pope I idealized when I first came back to the Church - a poor pope, a pope who walks across the street to pick up a man who stumbled. A free pope, unencumbered by pageantry and the trappings of office.  Paul VI could only act symbolically, giving away the tiara. JPI only hinted at mercy and forgiveness even for the most habitual sinner. JPII taught the little ones not to be ashamed of piety and devotion - and not to be afraid! Benedict was kindness and mercy and love - deeper than any intellectual comprehension. Francis is all of these. It's the papacy, the chair of Peter that Catholics venerate - the vicar of Christ - not the man. Neither do we venerate volumes of encyclicals and dogmatic interpretations of this or that, like the Torah or Quran.

Simple Catholics, ordinary Catholics, little Catholics live with sinners, they are sinners; when challenged, they rely on the catechism, the scriptures, the rosary, the Mass, and the priest - if he is available to them, and not off in some vacation condo, or at a seminar, or the Acton Institute, or when his schedule is all filled up with fund raising and dinner engagements.

So, that'll do for today.

Yeah - not really - but I need to lighten up and not take myself so seriously.


  1. I am more aware then ever how difficult clear, honest and genuine communication. We are overwhelmed by emotion. Conversations are more and more old-fashioned. Politeness, consideration and just plain kindness have all fallen by the wayside. As more people are intimidated by the bullies the silence grows. I have turned off the TV for long periods of the day, Left my cell phone on the kitchen cupboard, put the computer away and turned my attention elsewhere for more of the day. What a relief. The quiet is refreshing. You nailed it, at least for me with this post Terry. Technology is addictive, so is negative thinking and fighting to "prove" you are right. I think of the little league team sports my children participated in many years ago. The fun of playing the game was always lost when the parents acted stupid and stressed winning at all costs. In the 1990's it was popular to tell misbehaving children that they needed an "attitude adjustment." I think it is what is needed today. I am starting with myself.

    1. I'm trying to start with myself too. I don't have a cell phone or ipad - just a laptop - and my internet is up and down until fiber optic is installed next week. Television is horrible. Thank God I have a yard to work in.

  2. "he's straight" -- I don't think we know for sure, do we?

    1. There you go - if you go by the teaching of the Church no one is defined by their sexual preference - right? But seriously, I think he would have the integrity to 'come out' first since he also suggests gay priests should consider coming out. It's not as if the Jesuits turn away candidates with ssa. As I always say - this is why many priests do not want any connection to Courage or lgbtq ministry because they are accused of being gay.

  3. "I think he would have the integrity to 'come out' first since he also suggests gay priests should consider coming out." -- yeah, that's a good point. I don't mean it in a bad way, but he always struck me as a member of the LGBTQ.

    1. I just saw him on BBC News talking about this. He's very adamant that he is not proposing anything against Catholic teaching. Lately so many strike me as a member of the LGBTQ. Watch late night talk shows guys are always kissing and touching and acting gay. It's nuts. Colbert recently kissed some young stage actor on the lips.

    2. Terry,

      I need to watch some of what you are watching ; ) I always thought Colbert was kinda you know....( I have weird taste....)

      And you thought TV was gay...this fall ...."Will and Grace " return....(as long as it is funny again..unlike the last three years...and they never mention Leo again....)

      Sciambra got hit on? Well, it takes all kinds....

      Seriously, totally agree with you on Martin...its sad that people who profess to be good Catholics are the first to name call and guilt by association. Would they say that about Jesus?

    3. I only started liking Colbert after he began going after Trump - otherwise, I never thought he was funny. That said, he is kind of a fruitcake. I think as a Catholic if one seeks to defend Fr. Martin - in the least bit - you are immediately labelled along with him. Former gay people are so strict - except when they need to go to confession - then Fr. Martin is just fine. Just kidding. Or am I?

    4. I should say something about Sciambra - the irony of his going to a sex fair with all the in your face sex and nudity is amazing. I had a couple friends who used to ask me not to post pictures of leather guys - clothed mind you - sans shirts and just their suspender gear and cap. No nudity - but it was a temptation to look at. I had similar requests from other people - I got it and avoided illustrating my posts with that stuff. Yet they will post nude males on their sites from time to time. Go figure. Sciambra goes to evangelize the sex performers and Martin writes a book about accepting people where they are at, and everyone is fine with Sciambra doing what he does, but they call Martin a heretic. We live in a Trumpian universe now - people say one thing and do the other and lie about it. Fr. Martin is honest and he's called a homosexualist - because that's the only way they have to discredit somebody else. Call him a homo or homosexualist or a sodomite and so on.

    5. Joseph...well, they are fine with what he does as he tends to be..and this seems cruel, but the Traddies lap dog. He gives them exactly what they are looking for, which is the narrative that every homo is a depraved whack job doing all the things he supposedly did, and they in turn give him what he desperately needs, validation, acceptance and attention. They love when he goes to the street fairs, etc, as it fits their world view, Fr. Martin not so much.

      What is really strange is that they call Martin a homosexualist but I have read several of Sciambra's posts on those sites where he almost dreamily recounts...sodomy. He talks about the health and moral ramification but he also goes on about the feeling of connection that he felt during that..he almost talks romantically about it..and they eat it up..strange. But Martin, who asks them just not to stone someone, gets called out. An odd words we live in.

  4. "its sad that people who profess to be good Catholics are the first to name call and guilt by association." -- I'm not sure if this was directed at me, but just to clarify, I didn't think he was gay because he ministered to the LGBTQ community. It had more to do with his mannerisms. I've met quite a few priests who had queer ministries who didn't ping and I've assume are straight.

    1. Not at all - I'm sorry you got that impression. I was talking about a couple of old posters on this blog. The 'In and Out' guys. I've known guys who didn't ping either, and were. I just think Fr. Martin would reveal it if he was. I have to let this go now because the subject is maddening no matter what one thinks or says. There I did it again - said too much. :)

    2. M- I think you were quoting me..but no, I did not have you in mind at all when I was posting that. I am referring to other posters on other sites.

      I never saw a video of Martin so I have no idea what his mannerisms are like. There is a certain Cardinal who is the darling of the traditional set who really, really, really has gay mannerisms...(as they say, he opens his mouth and a purse falls out...)and if I had to bet the house I would be gayer then hell... but he doesnt discuss his sexuality and since clergy are supposed to be celibate what does it matter? I just think its funny that these people hating on Martion and calling him a Mo and wanting any other Mos to never be allowed near a seminary would (i.e Voris and his gang of misfits, the Lifesite people, Crisis posters...) if that were the case, have lost their big hero.


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