Thursday, December 21, 2017

Pope Francis' Pre-Christmas Address to the Curia.

Pope Francis addresses the Roman Curia during 
his annual Christmas greeting Dec. 21, 2017.
This is the first year for a Festivus Pole, 
which I believe can be seen to the Holy Father's right.

Festivus and the Airing of Grievances.

As everyone knows, Festivus begins with the 'airing of grievances' which Pope Francis delicately weaves into his pre-Festivus-Christmas address to the Roman Curia.  In keeping with the holiday spirit, the Pope started off the Festivus celebration with the following:
In his closely watched pre-Christmas address to the Roman Curia, Pope Francis again spoke about its reform and focused on the Curia’s crucially important relationship ad extra: to the world outside the Vatican City State. This was his fourth consecutive talk on the Roman Curia; the first three were on the inner life of the Curia. This year he focused on the Curia’s relation to the external world.
Francis emphasized that the Curia must act out of of service, or “diaconal primacy” as he called it, not only to the Petrine ministry (the papacy) but also to the outside world, as it seeks to follow in the footsteps of Christ who made himself a slave for our sakes.
First, those who lose contact with the real world of faith and life and join in the “unbalanced and degenerate logic of conspiracies or of the small circles that in reality represent—notwithstanding all their justifications and good intentions—a cancer that leads to self-referentiality, that infiltrates itself into the ecclesiastical organisms as such, and in particular into the persons that work there.” When this happens, he said, the joy of the Gospel “is lost.”
He described the second group as “the betrayers of trust and the profiteers of the motherhood of the church.” These are “persons who have been carefully chosen to give greater vigor to the [ecclesial] body and to the reform but, not understanding the high levels of their responsibilities, allow themselves to be corrupted by ambition or vain glory, and when they are delicately removed [from those positions] they erroneously declare themselves to be martyrs of the system, of ‘the pope who is not informed,’ of ‘the old guard,’ instead of reciting the mea culpa [‘through my fault’].” - Finish reading here.

Tomorrow is Festivus Eve!

The Vatican Nativity and a provocative presentation of the seven corporal works of mercy...

Naked man, man nursing at woman's breast ... OMG!

Snap out of it!

So many Catholics seem to be making a big deal about the Vatican Nativity with a naked man representing the work of mercy, 'clothe the naked'.  Have you people been to Rome?  Haven't you people seen naked sculptures all over the city, in the Vatican, in the Sistine?  What is wrong with you?  Have you ever seen a real Neapolitan Nativity (Or a Spanish one for that matter?) with an awful lot of real life going on around the central scene?  While Joseph and Mary find a place in the midst of all the clamor and life happening to allow the birth of Christ to take place?  It didn't happen in a sterile clinic, in the comfort of a nice home or palace, it happened in a stable where animals were kept.  Our Lady appeared to Bernadette in a dump.  The Mother of God also appeared to Bruno Cornacchiola - in a cave where prostitutes turned tricks and homosexuals had sex - across the road from Tre Fontane, outside Rome.  What is wrong with you people?

Clothe the naked.

"Many nuns in Rome say they are shocked and are very worried about the message these decorations are sending to the youngest." - Robert Moynihan


OMG!  Naked Angels!

But Father!  But Father!  Butt!

The website for Antonio Cantone here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A perfect icon for Advent ... Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel. - Isaiah 7:14

The root of Jesse has blossomed,
the star of David has risen. - Antiphon

In the bush seen by Moses
as burning and yet unconsumed,
we recognize the preservation 
of your glorious virginity,
O Mother of God.
- Antiphon

Detail of Our Lady of the Burning Bush
similar to OL of the Sign.

Spanish Colonial Example
Our Lady of the Sign
The Virgin Birth of Christ.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

When Cardinal Burke was here ...

Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cozzens assisted Cardinal Burke

I was pleased to see that our Archbishop and Bishop attended and assisted Cardinal Burke.  I also noted in some of the photos on the All Saints site that there was room in the church and I even saw a couple of guys in jeans - there was even room to park the car.  I could have attended after all.

Having said that, I still don't get the cappa stuff and vesting at the altar.  Yes, I know what it symbolizes but why?  So that seems like a lot of theater - but who am I to judge?  

Last evening I watched a documentary from the reign of Pius XII which showed the splendor, pomp and circumstance surrounding just about every ceremony involving the Pope, as well as the consistories for new cardinals.  I recall a similar documentary which aired on television when Pius XII died in 1958, and I was thrilled by how grand everything was.  The world has changed dramatically since then, and I understand completely why it was necessary to simplify the papacy and do away with the monarchical extravagances.  

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A beautiful life.

Sister Mary Ann Sullivan, ocso 
of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey,
died on May 13, 2017.
More here.

This morning I had a sense that a friend died.

Afterwards, I opened an envelope containing the newsletter from Our Lady of Mississippi Abbey, and sure enough, Sr. Mary Ann was on the first page.  Moments before, I thought - I should open my mail, I bet Sr. Mary Ann died.  (I don't open my mail as soon as I receive it, I like to pretend it's an exercise in detachment to set it aside until Sunday.  I'm not at all detached though - just nuts.)

Anyway, Sr. Mary Ann was always very kind to me. I thank God for her holy life and fidelity. It is a great thing to persevere in the monastery until death.