Saturday, August 11, 2018

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

‘The Church is opposed, and the priests are despised because of the bad ones who give scandal. Help Me, by suffering, to repair for so many offenses, and thus save AT LEAST IN PART, humanity precipitated in a slough of corruption and death’. - Our Lord to Blessed Elena Aiello (1954)

Infinitely sad ...

Imagine how many souls are led astray ...

Sometimes I get really, really scared. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Gotta give it up ...

This is good - from Bishop Barron.

I have to let my participation in any discussion fade away.  I hurt too many feelings with my commentary.  I'm so sorry.

The McCarrick Mess | Word on Fire

So what should be done? The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has no juridical or canonical authority to discipline bishops. And even if it tried to launch an investigation, it has, at the moment, very little credibility. Only the Pope has juridical and disciplinary powers in regard to bishops. Hence, I would suggest (as a lowly back-bencher auxiliary) that the bishops of the United States—all of us—petition the Holy Father to form a team, made up mostly of faithful lay Catholics skilled in forensic investigation, and to empower them to have access to all of the relevant documentation and financial records. Their task should be to determine how Archbishop McCarrick managed, despite his widespread reputation for iniquity, to rise through the ranks of the hierarchy and to continue, in his retirement years, to function as a roving ambassador for the Church and to have a disproportionate influence on the appointment of bishops. They should ask the ecclesial version of Sen. Howard Baker’s famous questions: “What did the responsible parties know and when did they know it?” Only after these matters are settled will we know what the next steps ought to be. - Read more here

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Eradicating Networks ... and Lobbies

What's a Network?

I was thinking of Janet Smith's comments to LifeSite on getting rid of gay networks in diocesan culture.  “Eradicating the homosexual networks from the Church would do a lot to purging the Church of immoral priests,” said Smith, “and doing so should help us get at the other problems.” - Source

There is a lot of knee jerk responses to the current crisis, as Catholics online know and discuss in the com boxes of many popular sites, as well as on Twitter and FB and other social media sites.  Social media is a network.  Many groups network through social media.  Conspiracy theorists, every category of LGBTQ person, clergy and laity, Catholics and Protestants, and so on.  How do you stop that?  I'm exaggerating somewhat, but you get my point. 

Social media has been the main vein for gossip, rumor, and so on.  It's the main vein for sharing and caring, as well as character assassination and shaming ones enemies.  I've always thought Pope Francis has been pointing this out every time he speaks about the destructive evils of gossip and slander.  When he speaks of corruption, I think he sees a connection there.

What about eradicating lobbies?

The Pope recognized there are 'lobbies' - lobbies are comprised of groups who network.  Get rid of the lobbies and you get rid of the networks then, huh?  (He also noted there are other 'lobbies' or groups.)  Lobbies are networks - both lead to corruption, sometimes even spring from corruption.

Yet when 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. - Crux

There are visible gay networks around the country.  In a sense, Courage is one - which is approved.  Spiritual Friendship movement supports gay-chaste-celibate Catholics, then there is Dignity, New Ways Ministry, and others I know little to nothing about.  (Fr. James Martin and his supporters pretty much comprise a very visible 'gay lobby'.)  These are technically support groups, but it is also sort of a network - right?.

Members - friends, communicate with one another.

Nothing wrong with that, although they can also be rather secretive and act more like an 'underground network' when they do so.  They too support one another with hopes to enter religious life or seminary, or find acceptance and approval in their communities, frequently supported by clergy.  Should they be eliminated too?  Some yes?  Some no?  So how do you do that? 

The Church and especially the bishops need to focus on the corruption in the clergy, in the hierarchy.

Reform is the way to clean up corruption.  Eradicating networks, chipping away at lobbies only works in and through exposure to scrutiny.  That's what seems to be happening with the McCarrick scandal, a painful process indeed.  Painful and shameful.  It is precisely why people reject those who bring it to their attention - because it burst their little Catholic bubble. 

Secrecy is how and why networks and lobbies thrive.  The Church exists in 'mystery' as it were, and secrecy is part of that.  The seal of the confessional, the 'secret prayer' in the EF, and so on.  Our Lady always seems to impart secrets at every apparition.  Secrecy is very Catholic.

Corruption perverts our notion of secrecy - it seeps into clandestine movements and private exchanges.  Corruption operates in secrecy.  Corruption is the problem.  It's up to the Pope to 'break up any power group' bent upon changing Catholic teaching - or seeking to corrupt Catholic doctrine.  So far the job seems insurmountable.  Maybe it has gotten worse?  Or maybe what we are going through is the cure?  Exposing the corruption is the first step.

"For they have eyes always on the lookout ... for someone to seduce."

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Two Gay Catholic Factions

Lost Boys, John Kirby

I read the following today and it rang true.
N., an exceptionally well-informed lay Catholic, tells me that there are two basic tribes of gay bishops and priests. 
The first tribe is the Progressives — some sexually active, others not — who believe homosexuality should be normalized by the Catholic Church, and are pushing openly for the Church to change its teachings to reflect that. 
The second tribe are Conservatives who live a double life. Outwardly they advocate for traditional Catholic teaching on homosexuality, but they also live homosocially (in the sense of socializing with other gay conservative priests), and some have gay sex. They therefore live in a state of cognitive dissonance. - Source
But ...

Janet Smith recently did an interview wherein she says:
“Eradicating the homosexual networks from the Church would do a lot to purging the Church of immoral priests,” said Smith, “and doing so should help us get at the other problems.” - Source
So it's the old gay-lobby again.

I seriously no longer know what to think, what to do.  The homosexual network?  I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone.  Yes it exists, no it doesn't,  Yes it does.  No it doesn't.  Well it's not monolithic.  Well it's not tightly organized.  It's not there.  This yes and no crap is a major, major distraction.  It exists!  Damnit!

Homosexuals are called to chastity.
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. - CCC
What more do people want from those who live with a condition which 'constitutes for most of them a trial? These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.'

Most are doing the best they can at great sacrifice, now with the double life of McCarrick and other devils exposed, there is a sort of witch hunt.  Churchmen and Church ladies want to dictate to ordinary people how to live their lives, who to live with, and what self-help organizations they need to be on board with, in order to be admitted to the Church, and/or Communion in some circumstances.

Stick to what the Church teaches, stop anticipating possible changes to the wording of the catechism.  Stop placing heavy burdens on people too heavy to carry.  Follow the rules - your rules - you don't want gay priests?  Quit admitting them to seminary- that's the rule you always and everywhere break.  Laicize the abusers.  Reform the clergy.  Get rid of gay cardinals and bishops who keep writing letters to recommend admitting the cute ones to seminary.

Remember, active homosexual priests are predatory.  They use people.  They use ordinary lay people and gay Catholics.  Sometimes for sex, sometimes for social advancement, and so on.  The problem of homosexual clergy is a problem of corruption.  The existence of a so-called homosexual network is a product of a corrupt clericalism.  It is only a symptom of a more profound corruption. The more hidden and closeted, the more it is denied, the creepier things become. 


Since the problem is clearly within the the clergy and their efforts to change Catholic teaching on homosexuality - concentrate on the reform of the clergy and the hierarchy.  Pope Francis recently said 'if you have doubts about a candidate to seminary - it's better not to admit them.'  Just because someone belongs to a Courage group is no guarantee he will remain chaste.  Just stop admitting gay people to religious life and seminary life.   Govern the canonical structures that exist, reform the clergy.  Priest who do not accept Catholic teaching - give them chaplain jobs or make them Simplex priests.  

There are different ways in which this operates: from the theology that is taught in seminaries and in pontifical universities that calls into question "the truth about the human person" - as Ratzinger says, to the increasing pressures to bless homosexual unions; from the pastoral care for homosexual persons which legitimises their sexual activity, to the request for civil recognition of gay unions. Let's also cite just a few more recent cases: the multiplication of vigils last May against homophobia in Italian dioceses; the pastoral care for homosexual persons entrusted in large part to associations and groups that pursue the recognition of a homosexual lifestyle; the preparatory document for the Synod of Youth, which for the first time adopted LGBT terminology; the open alignment of the Italian Episcopal Conference in favour of the recognition of civil unions (albeit in a more moderate form than the law actually approved); the important role that the Italian bishops daily newspaper Avvenire has been playing for many years in trying to change the mentality of Catholics regarding homosexuality; the appointment of the Jesuit Father James Martin, a well-known activist who promotes the LGBT agenda, as a consultant to the Secretariat for Communication; and we could go on and on adding to this list. - Source
Anyway - I'm very frustrated and I think this has turned into a gay panic fest.  Focus people.  Screw the dubia and all your other excuses for perpetuating a decadent culture in the clergy and the Church at large, and reform yourselves.  Quit using WYD and gatherings such as World Meeting of Families for ideological colonization purposes - to promote acceptance of homosexual activity into family life.  

NB:  I'm not sure what to make of the following article from our CatholiSpirit, but I will link to it to fill out my own commentary here.  I don't think I'm quite on the same page as Tushnet and Belgau - but their POV is curious and an interesting contrast to a couple of the articles I link to in my post today.  Celibate gay Catholics fear backlash.

That's all for today.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Will our sons be safe in seminary? Who wants to know?

1994 film "Priest"

Will our children be safe in the Church, and will our sons be safe in seminary?

In 1994 there was a film Catholics called out as blasphemous and anti-Catholic. I saw it and thought it played true, the only negative for me initially is that it seemed to be a film arguing against clerical celibacy. There was more to the film than that however, which seems now almost prophetic.

The opening scene, if I remember correctly, featured a parish priest going across town with a huge crucifix that he smashed through the bishop's mansion window. It played out featuring a pastor with a 'wife' and a young curate attracted to men who acts out when the going gets tough ... just like real life folks.

So we gotta get a grip and stop and think - the film many resisted turned out to be pretty true to life. In fact, we were all told about what was going on way before the news stories broke. I was told too. Now every one of us seems to be reacting in anger as the priest in the opening credits did, when he attacked the corrupt bishop. Sometimes, as the film suggests, there is reason for that.


Watch out for the fanatics.

What's happening, right now, today, is online pundits and critics are talking about 'decimating' the bishops in a way that sounds more like the posse marching over to burn down Dr. Frankenstein's lab and kill the monster than thinking adults discussing what to do. Granted, bishops like Wuerl are suggesting some pretty dumb fixes, but so are people like those who call for an 'inquisition' - I'm not sure we know of what spirit we are when we suggest that type of thing.

Something needs to be done, that is for sure, but I think the crazy talk doesn't do much. I really think people need to listen to moms and dads this time. Real Catholic parents - faithful Catholic parents, like Katrina R Fernandez for one. The very worst thing about bishops and priests is they usually dismiss the women - like Christ's disciples did in the Gospel, they usually say, 'get rid of her'!  Like the corrupt judge in the Gospel, they won't even give them a hearing ...

What Cardinal McCarrick's abuse represents is an attack upon the family. He slithered into the trust of parents and corrupted their kids - the swimsuit photo makes that perfectly clear.

Start listening to parents, to moms and dads, now.

Recruiting vocations.

The wind was against them ...

For I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, Do not fear,
I will help you.

We have the choice of two Gospels today.  Both uniquely sufficient for the day - and the evil thereof.

The wind was against them, and they were terrified.  Anxious.  Attempting to cross over the lake amid a tempest, all by themselves.  Jesus demonstrates we can't do it alone - we need to remain where we are, with the companionship he permits, and he pulls us to himself, not letting one of his little ones to be lost... scolding us gently, calming the tempest, his face so close to ours, we can feel his breath - his lips speaking against ours.  "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

"Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.  So let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind ..."

I have grasped you by the hand in the depths of your misery, I know how to heal you, I know you, I have come to save sinners, I grasp you.  No one who comes to me will I ever reject.

If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.

Song for this post here.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Charlotte Rae

1926 - 2018

She played Sylvia in Car 54 Where Are You?
She was my favorite character.


The Feast of the Transfiguration of Hiroshima

It was the strangest thing ...

This morning at prayer, I began lectio with Exodus 24 - when the Glory of the Lord covered Sinai and God called Moses ... the Lord was seen as a consuming fire ...

My first thought was 'this is so amazing that this reading is used to commemorate Hiroshima.  I knew it was the feast of the Transfiguration, but I remembered  it is also the anniversary of Hiroshima, and in my mind ...  My 'confusion' was disconcerting for a moment - at my age that's a genuine concern.  However, I've long wondered about the mystery of light which occurred on Mt. Tabor, foreshadowed in Moses' encounter on Mt. Sinai, and the 'mystery of iniquity' which detonated over Hiroshima on this date.

The mystery of iniquity.

That was the word I woke up to this morning - and it influenced my meditation - hence my idea that Hiroshima was a sort of 'epiphany' of the mystery of iniquity... fortunately, my personal meditations are not to be trusted. 

Today is the anniversary of the death of Bl. Paul VI as well.  Now he was a prophet... 'somehow, through some fissure, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church ...'

I wonder what could mean?