Buckle Up, Fellow Catholics!

Thanks to those who told me they couldn’t wait to hear my thoughts on the youth synod.  There’s probably been enough said, and I’m quite sure I’ve mentioned how I sometimes get lost when there’s too much material (and it is never-ending) but I feel like I’ve let you down, so let me sum it up for you:

(via GIPHY)

You have to admit that Rome has become a bit of a dumpster fire as of late. Not sure we can expect much more than that in the near future. If Cardinal Sarah declines the commenting job, what can I hope to achieve?

This article, however, did catch my eye. As we go over it, I will definitely draw your attention to something that I’ve been predicting.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Can Coccopalmerio Remain a Cardinal Another Day?

Sadly, in this pontificate, the answer is “Yes, he can.” In fact, he can remain so for many, many, pathetically sad more days.

(Rome) Cardinal Coccopalmerio is already the second close confidante of Pope Francis to make revelations about a degenerate double life. At noon today, the Vatican announced another sensational move in connection with the McCarrick case and the Pennsylvania report: Cardinal Donald Wuerl was retired as Archbishop of Washington.

I’m not sure I’d call it sensational. They were always prepared to throw Cardinal Wuerl under the bus if they had to. What should have been done weeks ago was finally done after many other efforts failed to distract us from Cardinal Wuerl. It was simply a “live to fight another day” move, a bone to the faithful who didn’t quietly go away.

What’s wrong with this pontificate?

Well, for starters, it seems like many in Rome think they are made of Teflon. Only now, their proverbial eggs are starting to stick to the pan and they can’t figure it out. For years they’ve gotten away with it. They’re completely in denial about how this is going to go from now on.

The events come thick and fast. At the end of July, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was forced to renounce his cardinal status because he had led a degenerate double life abusing his position and engaging in inhumane sexual contact with subordinate priests and seminarians. It was the first denial of this kind in Church history.

Not fast enough. I mean, that was three months ago, and Cardinal McCarrick was just drop shipped to a cozy monastery. When’s the canonical trial going to commence???

Since then, his successor as Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, has been in the crossfire. Wuerl was accused of knowing McCarrick’s misconduct and covering it. Pope Francis had to drop his friend McCarrick, but tried to hold on to Wuerl. However, a few weeks ago it was speculated that Francis might also drop Wuerl to rescue at least one other McCarrick protégé, Cardinal Kevin Farrell. Farrell had been called to Rome by Francis, allegedly on McCarrick’s recommendation, and made Prefect of the new Dicastery for Lay, Family, and Life, and made cardinal. Farrell lived with McCarrick in the same house for several years, but the Pope does not want to hear about his homosexual double life. Not everyone believes that.

Oh, yeah, Cardinal Wuerl was hardly the worst of the worst. He was just the one closest to retirement caught up in this debacle and the easiest one to whack. The were totally covering Cardinal Farrell’s behind. So, what we have to do now is to keep voicing our outrage about him. No way you live with a notorious dude like Cardinal McCarrick and don’t know. Again, as Bishop Lopes said, EVERYONE knew McCarrick was a dog.

Two days ago, the next scandal burst already. LifeSiteNews lit the bomb Coccopalmerio, another pope confidant. Cardinal Coccopalmerio was President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts until last April. After the revelations, the US news portal Church Militant wrote:

“True. We have our own well-placed sources in Rome, which confirmed it to us weeks ago. Cardinal Coccopalmerio was present at the gay drug orgy by his secretary. Capozzi got busted. Coccopalmerio got off scot-free. Now he advises the Pope on sanctions against Viganò.”

Does anyone really have trouble believing this anymore? At best, Cardinal Coccopalmerio knew about Msgr. Capozzi and was still trying to get him made bishop.  At worst, he was partying right along with him. Personally, I find the latter more believable. The guy is just creepy.

On August 26, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former nuncio in the United States, had sounded with a dossier with which he made serious accusations against Pope Francis and demanded his resignation. He accuses the ruling Pope of having known about the “perverse and diabolical” homosexual double life of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick since June 2013, but did nothing. Rather, Francis made the scandal cardinal into his personal confidant for the United States.

Cardinal Ouellet pretty much stated that the Holy Father knew but just didn’t care enough about an old dude who was about to retire. That might have been believable a while ago, but Pope Francis asked Archbishop Vigano about Cardinal McCarrick AND got Cardinal McCarrick involved with the China mess. If the Holy Father just couldn’t be bothered with an old guy about to retire, he sure gave him an important assignment.

In his dossier Viganò listed numerous names, which he assigned as working in the Vatican “gay lobby”. It was only with the help of this gay lobby that it had been possible to cover up McCarrick’s machinations and to keep his personnel file clean.

If only Archbishop Vigano were the first to do so. Look at those names. They have been implicated time and time again.

Coccopalmerio is examining how Archbishop Viganò could be punished.

And here is the part to pay particular attention to. It backs up some of my worst theories about what could happen. Let me say this, if Rome is smart, they will leave Archbishop Vigano alone and simply act as if he never existed. My feeling, however, is they are going to try to pin him with schism. Yes, it would be ludicrous, but after reading Cardinal Ouellet’s letter, that is a BIG concern of mine.

Read here for context, but here are the super troubling parts (emphasis mine):

Is not communion with the Successor of Peter an expression of our obedience to Christ who chose him and sustains him with his grace?

I think it is abhorrent, however, for you to use the clamorous sexual abuse scandal in the United States to inflict an unmerited and unheard of a blow to the moral authority of your superior, the Supreme Pontiff.

Dear brother, how much I wish that I could help you return to communion with him who is the visible guarantor of communion in the Catholic Church.

but you should not finish your priestly life involved in an open and scandalous rebellion that inflicts a very painful wound to the Bride of Christ,

and come back to better feelings towards the Holy Father

that profoundly harms the communion of the Church.

This letter was the shot across the bow. I also think Cardinal Ouellet was dispatched to test the waters on how far they could sanction Archbishop Vigano before they lose more favor. So, boys and girls, I think it’s time that you read all about what “schism” is. I don’t think it’s going to be too long before you hear it, even though it would be a really, really bad move and would be completely divisive to the Church at large. We’re not talking Lefebvre level event. We’re talking about giant meteor impact type event. Long version:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13529a.htm Short version: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P2H.HTM

Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

There was no declaration of refusal of submission to the Holy Father by Archbishop Vigano. In fact, Vigano asked the Holy Father to do what only the Holy Father can do. I actually think Archbishop Vigano dropped his testimony and went into hiding to prevent an all-out rupture in the Church. From what I understand, there are some canonical reasons they need to find and essentially serve him. Until then, nobody has to make any judgment calls as to who is cast as Athanasius in this little play. It also gives the searchers for truth time to uncover things that move this all along to an ending. What that might be, I know not!

On 5 September, the Roman historian Roberto de Mattei warned that Pope Francis would not clean up after the revelations, but let heavy sanctions against Archbishop Viganò be tested. De Mattei asked, “Will Archbishop Viganò be punished for telling the truth?”

De Mattei wrote:

Pope Francis is examining this possibility. If true, as confirmed by several sources, he has consulted Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and several other Church lawyers to study possible canonical sanctions to be imposed on the Archbishop beginning with the suspension of a divinis.

Geez! They might want to do some polling. Like I said, this isn’t one order they’re contending with. There is an overwhelming number of the faithful who are ticked off beyond belief, and there are more people paying attention now than ever before.  Sending Cardinal Ouellet out there to say, “I can only surmise that some of those prelates are not of your preference or the preference of your friends who support your interpretation of matters,” shows a complete lack of understanding of how offended the laity is over the abuse scandals. He might as well have said, “I’m going to get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” while ignoring the fact there’s a bazillion Tin Men, Cowardly Lions, and Scarecrows out there. And, while they like to repeatedly point to McCarrick as the lone bad guy, they might also want to look at the crazy amount of grand jury investigations. So, just what do you think is going to happen if they suspend Vigano a divinis? Honestly, it will be ugly.

If this news were correct, it would be extremely grave and a bit surreal, especially as the ‘expert’ called to punish Msgr. Viganò would have been Cardinal Coccopalmerio, who was accused by the former nuncio of being a part of the United States “gay lobby” that is at work in the Vatican.

It should not be forgotten that the Cardinal’s secretary, Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, is involved in a case of homosexuality, in which the position of his superior has yet to be clarified. The real problem is of course another. The Catholic Church as a visible society has a criminal law because it has the right to punish the faithful who have violated their laws.

This is one of the reasons I hope Archbishop Vigano remains in hiding until a bit of house cleaning can be done.

On October 10, the Canadian press agency LifeSiteNews revealed that in the “case of homosexuality” not only the secretary Capozzi, but Cardinal Coccopalmerio was personally involved.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Can’t confirm or deny, but I hope some of the law enforcement called in grow a conscience and spill, if this indeed happened.

“Silence is not a solution”

Famous Spanish columnist Francisco Fernandez de la Cigoña today indignantly raised the question:

“Can Coccopalmerio stay cardinal for another day?”

The revelations are either “compellingly denied, or a drug addict and practicing homosexual can no longer be Cardinal.”

One would hope. One would hope.

The Catholic publicist went even harder into court:

“Silence, which suddenly now seems to be pleasing to this pope, whose pontificate has so far been conspicuous, does not solve anything and does not give Francis much time when others of his charges are involved in even greater scandals and disgraceful impudence.

Above all, it would be painful if the pope, whose sympathies were obviously in many respects with the wrong persons, would distrust even the decent ones now.

I think it even goes beyond that. Seriously, it would be nice if he put his own house in order before dealing with Archbishop Vigano. Who’s a greater threat to the Church right now? Is it those who may have engaged in drug fueled homosexual orgies, or Archbishop Vigano??? Can we deal with the worst of the worst first?

This afternoon, Cardinal Wuerl announced his retirement as Archbishop of Washington. He still remains cardinal and can thus participate in an upcoming conclave. However, the pontificate of Pope Francis loses important supports. McCarrick and Wuerl controlled another McCarrick pupil, Bishop Michael Brandsfield, a million-dollar foundation in the US that can be described as this Pope’s “private account”.

And a whole new scandal. Honestly, I’m losing track of them. I’m not even that upset that Wuerl is still a voting cardinal. If I were him, I’d figure out quickly that I was a serious scapegoat for even worse people and vote the polar opposite of the way they would like.

Of the three, only Wuerl is left. McCarrick lost his dominating position with his cardinal dignity, his protégé, who was president of the foundation, had to be retired by Francis in mid-September. He was accused of sexual abuse in the Pennsylvania Report.

Oh, replacements just as bad will probably be appointed unless we pray for some serious divine intervention.

At the moment, some things are falling apart, and that could even be the pontificate of Pope Francis.

I have no idea of what’s going on in his head, but I’m sure his “advisors” are wickedly bad at their jobs. Or maybe they are just wicked. Either way, I’m also reasonably sure they’re just watching out for themselves. Archbishop Vigano could have been his best “employee” had he just listened. He was probably once far more on the Holy Father’s side than any of the people surrounding him now.

Buckle up, my fellow Catholics! I’m afraid the ride is about to get bumpier. Remember, we can and must still pray like crazy for a little help down here.


Canon 212: Some People’s Worst Nightmare


Wealthy Catholics to target Cardinals with ‘Red Hat Report’

Christopher White Oct 1, 2018 NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT

The title? It’s Crux. Not sure what else you’d expect. The only good Catholic is a poor Catholic, I suppose? I would like to say that I know of some of the people who went (or at least they told me they were there after I gleefully sent them the story).  I think influential might be the better word, but that would ruin the Crux narrative.  Just so you know, I don’t engage in the class war so I DON’T CARE WHO GOT THIS BRILLIANT IDEA OFF THE GROUND.  My Facebook and Twitter followers might remember, after the McCarrick investigation request was shot down, that I posted this:


 Thank you to whoever is responsible for my prayer being answered!!!

ROME – As U.S. bishops work to formulate an official response to clerical sexual abuse and cover-up, a new watchdog group backed by wealthy Catholics is seeking to take matters into their own hands.

A new organization, which held an RSVP-only event on Sunday evening, plans to spend more than $1 million in the next year investigating every member of the College of Cardinals “to name those credibly accused in scandal, abuse, or cover-ups.

First of all, there were invitations and I didn’t get one?  Whatever.  

Next, hellooooo!!!!  The U.S. bishops have ZERO authority over the cardinals.  The guy who did have authority turned down the request to investigate them, so what is the laity left to do??? They have to take matters in their own hands, as is their right and DUTY. See Canon 212.

Like I said, I know some of these people and they are not the “take down cardinals they don’t like” kind of people.  My gosh!  Who in their right mind wants to see any of our cardinals go down for an unwarranted reason? This whole thing is scandalous.  We (and I mean the laity) want our house clean of immorality and these heinous crimes.  Those of you not liking this “Red Hat Report” idea, don’t you, too?

“The Better Church Governance Group” held its launch on the campus of the Catholic University of America (CUA) with the stated intention of producing its “Red Hat Report” by April 2020.

The U.S. bishops founded the Catholic University of America, and all six residential U.S. cardinals are members of its Board of Trustees.

And? If they have nothing to hide, then there will be nothing to find. By the way, in case anyone would like to know who the six residential cardinals are, they are Cardinals Dolan, Cupich, Tobin, DiNardo, Farrell and O’Malley. I guess they’ve accepted Cardinal Wuerl’s resignation even if the Holy Father hasn’t? Four of them are mentioned in the Vigano testimony, so do we really think they’re going to investigate themselves?

In a statement to Crux, a CUA spokesperson said, “A space on campus was reserved by a student in accordance with our space reservation procedures. The event was not sponsored by The Catholic University of America nor a university-sponsored organization.

The organizers of the Better Church Governance group confirmed that it was a private event, and in an e-mail to Crux said there was no association between the university and the organization.

As if this has ANYTHING to do with ANYTHING. 

The Red Hat Report, dubbed as the group’s “flagship project,” is designed to audit all 124 current papal electors. Organizers say it will be conducted by a team of, to date, nearly 100 researchers, academics, investigators, and journalists, with the aim “to hold the hierarchy of the Catholic Church accountable for abuse and corruption, and to develop and support honesty, clarity, and fidelity in Church governance.”

What? Honesty, clarity, and fidelity in Church governance?  Beastly!

In an audio recording obtained by Crux of the event’s launch, Better Church Governance’s Operations Director, Jacob Imam, said the organization was not meant as an attack on Pope Francis, though he asked the crowd of nearly forty attendees: “What if we would have had someone else in 2013 who would have been more proactive in protecting the innocent and the young?”

“Had we had the Red Hat Report, we may not have had Pope Francis,” stated one of the slide presentations accompanying his remarks.” 

Kind of a valid question. What if we’d known about McCarrick, Chile, Ireland and, here’s a big one, Argentina?

Imam, who is currently a Marshall Scholar of the University of Oxford and converted to Catholicism from Islam three years ago, alleged that following the 2013 conclave that elected Francis, many major news outlets based their knowledge of the newly elected pope on what they could find on Wikipedia.

While insisting that he wasn’t maligning the pontiff, he added: “I think it’s fair to say that a defender of traditional values is not something he would identify himself with.”

Given the lack of knowledge many electors have about each other, Imam argued, it is an “extremely precarious situation…when the doors of the Sistine Chapel close.”

The appointments of Cardinals Cupich, Farrell, Tobin, Bishop McElroy, and a myriad of others might make that arguable now.  One or two of them, maybe. 

According to its prospectus, the Better Church Governance Group aims to produce its report before the next papal conclave. The estimated first-year expenditures are listed at $1,126,500.

“Many of us who were raised in a liberal democratic society don’t always know how a hierarchy can be reformed,” Imam told attendees. “But there are many tips and tricks that history gives us, and we at Better Church Governance started to systematize some of these strategies. We are here to help create transparency in the Church and we’re here to help support integrity.”

There are definitely strategies to getting around the gatekeepers. All it takes is a little creativity, and I’m sure that $1,126,500 will help with that!

At present, the Report’s organizers are seeking graduate students to serve as research assistants with plans to offer an hourly rate of $25, working alongside a team of academic researchers and investigators.

Yay for the grad students!

The launch of the organization comes after a brutal summer of sex abuse fallout in the United States. The downfall of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned from the College of Cardinals in August after revelations that he serially abused seminarians and at least one minor, has led to calls from numerous individuals for greater lay leadership in holding bishops accountable for cover-up.

Why does everyone want to limit this to bishops?  I want anyone who participated in cover-up gone. Doesn’t everyone?  There have many calls for lay leadership.  I’m reasonable sure this ain’t what they were going for but, as shown when the Papal Commission for the Protection of Minors called for a release from Pontifical Secrets, the laity has no authority and are ignored.  Even Crux admits there is zero authority to make the four dioceses they want to investigate comply as shown here:

Such an investigation, however, will be limited to the voluntary cooperation of the four dioceses involved as the USCCB does not possess canonical authority to mandate compliance. 

All the laity can hope for is to shine a light on the abuse and keep it on until somebody does something!  I can tell you from experience that tenacious lay people can only be ignored for so long.

Further, the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing seven decades of abuse by more than 300 abuser priests has resulted in a pledge from the U.S. bishops for a full review of their policies on reporting and accountability.

Imam said that report revealed that local individuals were aware of ongoing abuse and cover-up, hence the Red Project Report will seek to, whenever possible, carry out its research where each cardinal is based.

Local individuals were aware?!? More like EVERYBODY WAS AWARE!  More proof the laity isn’t going to be listened to by the people who find us inconvenient.  You’d think preventing abuse could possibly be a common ground in the so-called liberal/conservative divide, but nope. We say, “Hey!  You might want to look into these people!”, and the liberal hierarchy says, “You just don’t believe in being welcoming!” They condescendingly pat people on the head, tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about, that they are spreading scandal, that they aren’t building bridges, and then send them on their merry way.  You’d think the voluminous amount of money they have to pay out might make them pause, but nope again.  So why in THE world would anyone think the dirty-dozen (I wish there were only a dozen) would ever give up their pet peeves until they are caught dead to rights?

He went on to describe the two-fold purpose of their report: to provide information to every cardinal in hopes of better informing them about their fellow papal-electors, as well as to make the information available publicly so that lay Catholics can have access to it.

That sounds a bit like transparency!  I’m not sure, though, because I haven’t seen it very often this millennium.

“Cardinals need to be held accountable publicly, so there has to be some sort of culture of shame,” he said. “They know if they vote for this person…the people that they shepherd, and their pastors, will know about it.”

“This is difficult. There is a dark side to this decision. We recognize that,” he added. “We are willing to take this on with prayer and fasting…because we can’t allow people to continue to allow our kids, the innocent, the young, seminarians to be devoured the ways that they are.”

Well, in fact, they won’t know who votes for whom, because what goes on in the Sistine Chapel stays in the Sistine Chapel.  That said, what it should foster is an awareness that we will do what we must to protect the vulnerable if they will not.  They, hopefully, will fear repercussion should they “scandalize one of these little ones.”  

Imam also said that 10 former FBI agents are involved in the investigation, with two individuals being the agency’s former lead investigators on ecclesiastic matters.

Geez! I didn’t even know the FBI had an ecclesiastic division.  How sad is that?

In an e-mail obtained by Crux, sent by the managing editor of the Red Hat Report, Philip Nielsen, to potential interested individuals last month, he outlined how each cardinal will be investigated.

“Each dossier will have a rating at the top for the cardinal’s connection to scandal and abuse, such as ‘severe guilt, credible accusations of guilt, clean.’ This final verdict on each will be based on our best evidence and the recommendations of best experts,” he wrote.

A revised rating system was distributed on Sunday with Cardinals receiving a rating based on “Strong Evidence of Abuse/Corruption, Some Evidence, Positive Evidence Against Abuse/Corruption.”

One would hope that the evidence for the findings will be in the dossier.

Imam said that, in time, they hope to expand to provide a full audit of bishops as well. He told those in attendance on Sunday that the organization did not seek to further an ideological agenda but will seek to answer how each cardinal is in “agreement” with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog.

When asked by one attendee if the report would note whether cardinals are homosexual, he replied that the report would follow civil law as necessary, but it would also follow the Church’s moral law, adding: “If there is a rumor of him being homosexual, it will be noted very carefully…but we need to be sure.”

It’s not a witch hunt, but I’m sure the likes of Austen Ivereigh already have that article all teed up and ready to go.

Although the organization’s official materials maintain that it does not intend to attack any of the cardinals, the Nielsen e-mail seems to suggest otherwise.

“For example, Cardinal [Pietro] Parolin, the very corrupt Vatican Secretary of State’s wikipedia page is currently very benign, with no links to scandal included, despite the fact that he has repeatedly been linked with banking scandals and was named in the Viganò letter,” he writes.

Umm, the citation is bad here, but am I to understand there was more to an email they cited earlier?  If you’re going to quote it, why not quote the whole thing so we can see it in context?  We know the group intends on investigating all voting cardinals.  We already know that some of them have problems.  And, quite presumably, the names in the Vigano testimony will get attention.  And?  I think that’s the whole point!  Stop acting like someone’s trying to hide something.

The reference was to an 11-page letter from Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former papal ambassador in the U.S., alleging that he briefed Francis in 2013 on misconduct concerns surrounding McCarrick, but the pontiff failed to act.

Whew!  Hadn’t heard.  So glad they cleared that up.

“We can change that … by the next conclave, he needs to be known, worldwide, as a disgrace to the Church. Our plan would be to make sure that his Wikipedia page shows “Church Watchdog The Better Governance Group, names Parolin, ‘Extremely Guilty of Abuse’ etc. with a link to the report. At the same time, we would add all the pull-quotes from other sources that connect him to all the financial corruption, etc.,” Nielsen continued.

So, this is a good example of what they will do if they find evidence to abuse.

<Snipping, frankly, boring info that doesn’t have much necessity.  See link above for full piece.>

In addition, three individuals are named as research editors for the Red Hat Report: Professors Jay Richards of Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Economics, and Michael P. Foley and Melinda Nielsen of Baylor University.

While the organizational materials insist “we are not a faction or a lobbyist group,” Richards has previously worked for the Acton Institute, a libertarian think tank, and has been a vocal critic of Francis. Foley and Neilsen have also been associated with a number of conservative institutions and publications, including Hillsdale College, Crisis, The Catholic Thing, and First Things.

Oh, the horrors! Are they faithful Catholics or not? That’s all I need to know.

In addition, the organizational materials list the Center for Evangelical Catholicism (CEC) as its “fiscal sponsor,” which is currently collecting donations until the organization is granted official non-profit status. According to its website, the CEC is a not-for-profit corporation in South Carolina that “seeks to advance the New Evangelization by forming Evangelical Catholics equipped to fulfill the Great Commission.”

OK, I’m just thinking that someone at Crux would actually love the idea of “Evangelical Catholics”, but I guess it’s not their type of Evangelical Catholicism?

Nielsen told Crux that while many participants working at certain Catholic universities would not want their affiliation made public, the larger network is much broader than conservative allies.

He added that the group seeks to make its “aims and objections something everyone can agree with,” adding that some of the worst cases of abuse dating back to the founder of the Legion of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel, were among groups or individuals typically identified as conservative.

Like I said, you’d THINK this effort would be “non-partisan.”  I knew a priest I thought to be very holy and what Crux would call “conservative”, but when we heard the evidence, he was very clearly not.  I have no trouble saying that at all. This isn’t “my guys vs. your guys.” It’s good vs. evil. If it happens to be “my guy” who did the evil, then I will be first to vociferously call for him to be locked away where he can do no more harm.

When asked by an attendee for the full timeline for the project, Imam replied “this project never ends.”

“We always have to be ready for a conclave,” he warned.

Sadly, this is the new normal. As I said before, if a cardinal or bishop has nothing to hide, they shouldn’t care if they are being investigated.C I’m sure many will have no trouble sleeping, but too many will lie awake at night wondering if they will be caught. #ResignNow

Re-blog, Re-post & Re-tweet


This young lady exemplifies what Fr. Martin and friends say is impossible. She says what they refuse to admit. She says clearly what they try to blur. She says TRUTH.

I am thankful that through her and others, people are coming to know the truth, peace and beauty that the Church teachings provide.

People don’t have to jump off the Bridge to Nowhere. We can struggle together in the arms of the Church. I hope to meet her someday just to say that she’s not alone in her struggles even though I know she understands that. While our crosses may be different, I’m right there next to her carrying mine.  I hope you help her words be seen! #Share

Control-F Does Not an Argument Make!

This is fun! Cardinal Cupich apparently doesn’t like anonymous commentators. So, of course, I would suggest more of them pop up in the future! If he doesn’t like them, that’s a good indication that it’s the way to go. He’s got no game, so he’s calling people out for their anonymity rather than what they say. He’s trying to make it look like he’s got substance but if you look at the references he gives, not so much. I think people are beginning to see that he’s all hat and no cattle.


On September 21, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles J. Chaput presented a critique of the Instrumentum Laboris for the 2018 Synod on Young People, sent to him by a respected North American theologian. Below we publish a response to this critique from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, followed by a note from Chaput.

Dear Editors:

The increasing use of anonymous criticism in American society does not necessarily contribute to healthy public discourse, but in fact can erode it. For this reason, the anonymous critique of the Instrumentum Laboris (IL) for the 2018 Synod, published by First Things on September 21, 2018, raises essential questions about the nature of theological dialogue in our Church and the problematic nature of some forms of anonymity. It also raises fundamental questions about why First Things would publish such an anonymous critique.

What’s the problem with anonymous critiques, Cardinal Cupich? My feeling is you’re just bummed that you can’t label this person a foaming at the mouth, alt-right Catholic because you don’t have a clue who it is. Poor you.

The mature vision of Donum Veritatis (On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian), speaks of dialogue that is public and forthright in the search for truth, generous in spirit, fair in critique and balanced in tone. The anonymous critique published by First Things rejects these elements, substituting selectivity, condescension, and the deployment of partial truths to obfuscate the fullness of truth. Worse, this piece distorts the truth at many points and shows condescension toward the issues raised by the bishops’ conferences of the world on which the IL is based.”

The ”mature vision” went out the window when you and your ilk decided to regularly go ad hominem instead of addressing the arguments made, or you try repeatedly to employ the “If I say it enough, it’ll be true!” tactic. I mean, just look at this paragraph! The critique rejects a balanced tone, deploys partial truth and shows condescension?!? How about you put that “mature vision” where your mouth is and dissect the anonymous critique point by point? Whining about how it’s anonymous doesn’t really make an argument against what it says, does it? Oh you will? Let’s see how that goes!

For example:

The critique represents a woeful lack of understanding of magisterial teaching in asserting: “The entire document is premised on the belief that the principal role of the magisterial Church is “listening.” Yet there are seven references to magisterial teaching in the document (see numbers 53, 87, 115, 193). The interest in listening is precisely so that the teaching may be effectively received (see discussion in 53).

I thought that, just maybe, you’d actually do a point by point, but nope. We’re going to selectively quote out of context. So, in charity, I will give the actual context from the anonymous theologian AND the actual context from the IL. Remember, the theologian sent this to Archbishop Chaput, it wasn’t really meant for prime-time play so he snipped some.


II.  An inadequate grasp of the Church’s spiritual authority

The IL upends the respective roles of the ecclesia docens and the ecclesia discens. The entire document is premised on the belief that the principal role of the magisterial Church is “listening.” Most problematic is §140: “The Church will have to opt for dialogue as her style and method, fostering an awareness of the existence of bonds and connections in a complex reality. . . . No vocation, especially within the Church, can be placed outside this outgoing dynamism of dialogue . . . . [emphasis added].” In other words, the Church does not possess the truth but must take its place alongside other voices. Those who have held the role of teacher and preacher in the Church must replace their authority with dialogue. (In this regard, see also §67-70).

And the context of the quote from IL that the theologian used:


Within this dynamic, the Church will have to opt for dialogue as her style and method, fostering an awareness of the existence of bonds and connections in a complex reality – which it would be reductive to see as being made of fragments – as well as the tension towards unity that, without being absorbed into uniformity, allows for the convergence of all its parts, preserving their individual distinctiveness and the richness they have together as a whole (cf. EG 236). No vocation, especially within the Church, can be placed outside this outgoing dynamism of dialogue, and any true effort towards accompaniment of vocational discernment will have to be measured against this horizon, devoting special attention to the poorest and most vulnerable brothers and sisters. 

Archbishop Cupich is asserting something the theologian didn’t state. The theologian did say, “The entire document is premised on the belief that the principal role of the magisterial Church is ‘listening.” However, he did NOT say there were no other references to magisterial teaching. That said, just for fun I went and looked at the references Cardinal Cupich made for magisterial teaching. While he provided a nice list, none of it proves that the critique “represents a woeful lack of understanding of magisterial teaching.” It does, however, show that Cardinal Cupich apparently has a reading comprehension problem. Here they are for you (my comments and definitions for abbreviations are in bold):

“53. In the ecclesial domain, the importance of the body, affectivity and sexuality is recognized, but not always convincingly presented as a key element in educational and faith journeys, by rediscovering and appreciating the meaning of sexual difference and the vocational dynamics that are peculiar to males and females. Sociological studies show that many young Catholics do not follow Church teachings on sexual morals. No BC (Bishops’ Conferences) gives solutions or prescriptions, but many believe that «the sexual question must be discussed in a more open and unbiased way». The PM (Pre-Synodal Meeting) highlights how Church teachings on controversial issues, such as «contraception, abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, marriage» (PM 5) are hotly debated by young people, both in the Church and in society. There are young Catholics who believe that Church teachings are a source of joy and would like the Church «to not only hold fast to them amid unpopularity but to also proclaim them with greater depth of teaching» (PM 5). (Not sure where the magisterial teaching is here.)

87.  The Second Vatican Council clearly recovered mankind’s vocational horizon when it used such terms to express both how all human beings are destined for communion with Christ (cf. LG 3.13; GS 19.32), and the universal call to holiness (cf. LG 39-42) (Lumen Gentium), locating individual vocations within this interpretative horizon: vocations to the ordained ministry and consecrated life, as well as lay vocations (cf. LG 31), especially in their spousal form (cf. LG 35; GS 48.49.52). Subsequent magisterial teaching developed along the same lines, recognizing the analogical character of the term “vocation” and the many dimensions that characterize the reality it designates with respect to each personal mission, and to the communion of all people.” (Document fails to identify the “subsequent magisterial teaching” to which they are referring.)

115.        For those who accept and draw inspiration from it, Christian wisdom offers valuable instruments such as the Word, the teachings of the Church and spiritual accompaniment; these are all aids to interact with the living norm that is Jesus, to get to know him intimately to the point of “having his heart”. Therefore, a true journey of discernment requires a listening and praying attitude, meekness towards our teacher and the willingness to make tough decisions. This is also what the young people of the Pre-synodal Meeting have discussed: «Spending time in silence, introspection and prayer, as well as reading the Scriptures and deepening self-knowledge are opportunities very few young people exercise. There is a need for a better introduction to these areas. Engaging with faith-based groups, movements, and like-minded communities can also assist young people in their discernment» (PM 9). A fundamental step in this direction is practicing what the tradition calls “examination of conscience”, which actually aims to make people aware of the signs of God’s presence and enables them to recognize his voice in the practicalities of our daily lives. For this reason, Pope Francis recommends this practice to all Christians, and even more so, to young people who are trying to find their way: «I ask all Christians not to omit, in dialogue with the Lord who loves us, a sincere daily “examination of conscience”» (GE 169) (Gaudium et Spes). Within this dialogue with Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, what one DV (Vatican Dicastery) wishes for young people can indeed take place: «A formation of their affectivity, that might help them to connect more to good and truth rather than their comforts and interests». (OK, I can get on board with GE being a magisterial document.  But, again, simply mentioning a magisterial teaching doesn’t mean that the critique about the document being “premised on the belief that the principal role of the magisterial Church is “listening.”) 

193.        In some contexts, catechesis takes place in schools and therefore the teaching of religion is very important for young people’s vocational growth. All this is an invitation to the Synod to think about the relationship between schools and Christian communities as educational alliances.

Those who do not agree with them, still wish to be part of the Church anyhow, and ask for greater clarity on this issue. Hence, the PM asks church leaders to «speak in practical terms about controversial subjects such as homosexuality and gender issues, which young people are already freely discussing without taboo» (PM 11). (Not even sure where he was going with this reference.)

Back to Cupich’s lame rebuttal:

Additionally, the critique falsifies the truth when the author focuses singularly on paragraph 144, relying on the fallacy that the absence of a matter in one paragraph means it is absent throughout the entire document. The anonymous author writes: “Nowhere, however, does it note there must also enlarge this view with the great certainty that there is a God, that he loves them, and that he wills their eternal good.” Yet the document recommends that we turn to the varied activities of God 78 times.

Cupich continues…

Then there is the section about naturalism and the absence of soul; just more examples of false reporting. The document refers to the body or embodiment on 20 occasions and 71 times on the spiritual.

I’m not sure why Cardinal Cupich is saying the author focuses “singularly on paragraph 144.” Even in the section where the author critiques paragraph 144, he cites several other paragraphs. It’s like he’s just going to say “Poof!  I make it true!” and hope nobody looks. In addition, I can’t stop laughing.  Cardinal Cupich seems to have hit control-F and wrote down the count for times “God” used instead of comprehending the entire quote.  Honestly, are his followers this dumb, or does he just think they are? I mean, I’ve seen atheists write entire articles with the name “God” throughout, but that doesn’t mean they accept the thought that God loves them and wills their eternal good. 

Instead of quoting in context, point by point, and disproving the points with actual points from the Instrumentum laboris, Cardinal Cupich does word counts for his smoking gun.  Sigh. Use your head, people. The author of the critique actually went painstakingly through the Instrumentum laboris and Cupich hit control-F and entered in “God”, “body”, and “embodiment” but I’m relatively sure that American Magazine and the National catholic Reporter will find Cardinal Cupich’s “arguments” to be THE most compelling arguments every made in the history of man! Sigh.

Seriously, here is the evil, anonymous author’s critique, in context:

  1. Naturalism

The IL displays a pervasive focus on socio-cultural elements, to the exclusion of deeper religious and moral issues. Though the document expresses the desire to “re-read” “concrete realities” “in the light of the faith and the experience of the Church (§4),” the IL regrettably fails to do so. Specific examples:

  • 52. After a discussion of the contemporary instrumentalized conception of the body and its effects of “early sexual activity, multiple sexual partners, digital pornography, exhibiting bodies online and sexual tourism,” the document laments only its “disfiguring the beauty and depth of affective and sex life.” No mention is made about the disfigurement of the soul, its consequent spiritual blindness, and impact on the reception of the gospel by the one so wounded.
  • 144. There is much discussion about what young people want; little about how these wants must be transformed by grace in a life that conforms to God’s will for their lives. After pages of analysis of their material conditions, the IL offers no guidance on how these material concerns might be elevated and oriented toward their supernatural end. Though the IL does offer some criticism of exclusively materialistic/utilitarian goals (§147), the majority of the document painstakingly catalogues the varied socio-economic and cultural realities of young adults while offering no meaningful reflection on spiritual, existential, or moral concerns. The reader may easily conclude that the latter are of no importance to the Church. The IL rightfully notes that the Church must encourage youth “to abandon the constant search for small certainties (§145).” Nowhere, however, does it note that she must also enlarge this view with the great certainty that there is a God, that he loves them, and that he wills their eternal good.

This naturalism is also evidenced in the document’s preoccupation with the following considerations: globalization (§10); advocating for the Church’s role in creating “responsible citizens” rather than saints (§147) and preparing youth for their role in society (§135); secular goals for education (§149); promoting sustainability and other secular goals (§152-154); promoting “social and political engagement” as a “true vocation” (§156); encouragement of “networking” as a role of the Church.

The hope of the gospel is noticeably missing. In §166, in the context of a discussion of sickness and suffering, a disabled man is quoted: “you are never prepared enough to live with a disability: it prompts you to ask questions about your own life, and wonder about your finiteness.” These are existential questions for which the Church possesses the answers. The IL never responds to this quotation with a discussion of the Cross, redemptive suffering, providence, sin, or the Divine Love. The IL is similarly weak on the question of death in §171: suicide is described as merely “unfortunate,” and no attempt is made to correlate it to the failures of a materialistic ethos. This is also seen in the tepid treatment of addiction (§49-50).

Just to show he can cite the Magisterium Cardinal Cupich goes on…

I will close with a quotation from the Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 3 from the Second Vatican Council, which St. Pope John Paul II cited in paragraph 32 of Ut Unum Sint: “As the Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom affirms: ‘Truth … is to be sought after in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and his social nature. The inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching or instruction, communication and dialogue, in the course of which men explain to one another the truth they have discovered, or think they have discovered, in order thus to assist one another in the quest for truth. Moreover, as the truth is discovered, it is by a personal assent that individuals are to adhere to it.” 

Exactly. Teaching, instruction, communication and dialogue doesn’t equal control-F. The author of the critique went through Instrumentum Laboris and gave it a quite thorough read.

What is needed is a concern for the church that is animated by a love for truth. What is needed is the spirit of synodality that Pope Francis has made the very heart of the Church’s upcoming moment of dialogue and teaching in search of ways to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the next generations.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich

Archbishop of Chicago”

What’s needed, in charity, is to cancel this debacle before the youth of the world are led astray! Sorry youth. I’m not against a gathering for you but this one is already off the rails.

I’ll let Archbishop Chaput complete the smackdown:

I’m grateful to Cardinal Cupich for his useful comments, and as I indicated in my own original comments, “others may disagree” with the critique of the Instrumentum I quoted. I do not. In fact the critique I selected is among the most charitable I’ve received from scholars; others have been longer, more thorough, and less gentle in assessing the 33,000-word text. But this is not unusual. A synod’s Instrumentum is always—or at least should always be—a work in progress, open to discussion and adjustment by the Synod Fathers. I’m sure we can count on that process in the upcoming synod conversation. As to the anonymous nature of the critique: I certainly agree with the cardinal that unnamed sources can be regrettable. So is the toxic environment in many of our academic communities that makes them necessary.

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Archbishop of Philadelphia

BAM!  Apparently Cardinal Cupich doesn’t remember that people have been fired by the likes of his cronies for offering honest critique. These guys might find themselves permanent residents of St. Luke’s Institute. “Toxic environment” is dead on. If you want to engage in honest discourse, how about you stop throwing out-and-out hissy fits every time someone disagrees with you? Egomania is a sure way to stop people from engaging in fruitful discussion, Your Eminence! #ResignNow

It’s Your Fault, Laity!

What in THE heck is this about? It’s like they’re sending in the B-team to try out some new strategy to see if it can fly in the heartland. “Let’s try to float this one in the less populated areas so if it bombs, we can keep it on the down-low.” Sorry. That’s not how the internet works.

Bishop addresses issue of clericalism

By Bishop Thomas Zinkula

For The Catholic Messenger 

It is important to search for what is at the root of the current tragic state of affairs in the Church. Some people want to scapegoat obligatory celibacy, a male-only priesthood or homosexuality. However, U.S. demographic statistics demonstrate that married, non-celibate men are a significant source of child abuse, so we need to look more deeply.

Some of us want to see reality, maybe that’s just me. Some of us want to stick to the subject and some want to point to a different group as just as evil. Methinks Bishop Zinkula misses his old career. (He used to be a lawyer.)  He’s certainly got the “blame the victim” and “provide another suspect” tactics down as you will soon see. I’m so tired of the trite arguments. Like I’ve said before, when my kid does something wrong, they pointing to someone else doing something wrong simply doesn’t fly.

With regard to homosexuality, which is perhaps the most commonly suggested reason, about 80 percent of the survivors of clergy sexual abuse are male, but research has found that most of the perpetrators didn’t consider themselves to be homosexual. They instead were “situational generalists” (i.e., they abused whomever they had access to and control over, boys or girls).

Well, well. Apparently, we’ve noticed that people aren’t buying the fact it’s pedophilia anymore, so we’re trying something new and exciting.  PROVE IT, counselor! Points for style though. You shall now henceforth be known as the guy who coined the term “situational generalists” in response to this crisis. It wasn’t even found in the John Jay report, and they twisted themselves into pretzels trying to say “not homosexuality”. Kudos to you. However, odds are, Your Excellency, that if one wants to have sexual contact with a post-pubescent person of the same-sex, they are suffering from same-sex attraction, not “situational generality.” I’m going to go out on a limb and assume people aren’t going to dump their vows for just any weakness. They’re not simply going for pleasure. If that was the case, they wouldn’t involve others. They’re attracted to an act with a specific group. 

I agree with Pope Francis that the root cause of the problem is clericalism. In his letter to the people of God (8/20/18), the Holy Father wrote, “To say ‘no’ to abuse is to say an emphatic ‘no’ to all forms of clericalism.”

It’s only clericalism on the part of one specific group of people. What you’re about to propose has nothing to do with it.

So, what is clericalism? Clericalism is an exaggeration of the role of the clergy to the detriment of the laity. In a culture of clericalism, clerics are put on a pedestal and the laity are overly deferential and submissive to them. Pope Francis notes that clericalism is not only fostered by priests, but also reinforced by lay people.

Um, wow! Your lawyering days served you well. So now this mess is all OUR fault? We are kind of darned if we do, darned if we don’t. If we say, “Uh, hello, bishop, you are acting in a horrible manner!”, we are dissenters (or maybe right-wing extremists, neo-nazis, alt-right, etc.)  On the other hand, if we just pray, pay, and treat you with respect, we’re responsible for clericalism.

Let’s look at the actual definition of “clericalism.” The Oxford Dictionary, the first thing that popped up when I typed in “clericalism” states it quite succinctly. 

  1. (especially in Roman Catholic contexts) the misuse or overextension of the clergy’s authority:

The bishop goes on.

Please allow me to define who I am talking about.

More like re-define to fit your spin.

Technically, a “cleric” is someone who is ordained: a bishop, priest or deacon. But, sad to say, “clericalism” may also affect those preparing for ordained ministry as well as those serving as lay ministers.

Perhaps a few examples of clericalism would be of assistance:

Coddling seminarians and telling them how special they are.

Insisting that priests or deacons go to the front of the line at meals and wakes because they are more important and busier than everyone else.

People telling me, when I am pondering an issue, “Whatever you want, Bishop.”

Well then.  I guess I can’t be accused of clericalism by your definition.  How’s that working for you?

In reality, most people show respect for the vocation and submission to the paternal structure of the Church family as children would honor their father. Some would also call this our recognition of “in persona Christi Capitas,” but somehow this has led to you guys misusing your authority? Sorry, I’m going to continue to do all I can for my parish priest, and I will continue to kiss my bishop’s ring. My respect for your ministerial priesthood has nothing to do with others’ lack of respect for their ministerial priesthood.

The issue here is privilege. Which can lead to a sense of entitlement, superiority and exclusion. Which can lead to a mindset that the rules don’t apply to me. This, in turn, can lead to an abuse of privilege and power, which tragically includes the sexual abuse of minors. …

So, let me get this right. The laity’s respect for the clergy led to big heads and that led to the abuse of minors?!?! So, again, it’s all the fault of the laity. Please.

In order to overcome clericalism, we need to reclaim the common priesthood of the faithful. As St. Paul tells us (1 Cor 12:12-31), together we make up the body of Christ — each with our particular vocation, each necessary for the healthy working of the body. We should not equate distinct roles with differences in worth, dignity or holiness.

Meh. You’re confusing (although blurring is probably better term) the Body of Christ with the Ministerial Priesthood. The laity does not act in persona Christi. That’s something special to you.  Quite frankly, the clergy not believing that and holding it dear is what led to this crisis.

There’s the Body of Christ: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p2.htm
And then there’s the Ministerial Priesthood. The differences are noted. (Emphasis and comments mine):


Two participations in the one priesthood of Christ

1546 Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church “a kingdom, priests for his God and Father.”20 The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are “consecrated to be . . . a holy priesthood.”21

1547 The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, “each in its own proper way (not common way), in the one priesthood of Christ.” While being “ordered one to another,” they differ essentially.22 In what sense? While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace –a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according to the Spirit–, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians. The ministerial priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders.

In the person of Christ the Head . . .

1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:23

It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).24

Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.25

1549 Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers.26  (Could just be why we show respect.) In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.27

1550 This presence of Christ in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister’s sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church.

1551 This priesthood is ministerial. “That office . . . which the Lord committed to the pastors of his people, is in the strict sense of the term a service.”28 It is entirely related to Christ and to men. It depends entirely on Christ and on his unique priesthood; it has been instituted for the good of men and the communion of the Church. The sacrament of Holy Orders communicates a “sacred power” which is none other than that of Christ. The exercise of this authority must therefore be measured against the model of Christ, who by love made himself the least and the servant of all.29 “The Lord said clearly that concern for his flock was proof of love for him.”30

. . . “in the name of the whole Church”

1552 The ministerial priesthood has the task not only of representing Christ – Head of the Church – before the assembly of the faithful, but also of acting in the name of the whole Church when presenting to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice.31

1553 “In the name of the whole Church” does not mean that priests are the delegates of the community. The prayer and offering of the Church are inseparable from the prayer and offering of Christ, her head; it is always the case that Christ worships in and through his Church. The whole Church, the Body of Christ, prays and offers herself “through him, with him, in him,” in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to God the Father. The whole Body, caput et membra, prays and offers itself, and therefore those who in the Body are especially his ministers are called ministers not only of Christ, but also of the Church. It is because the ministerial priesthood represents Christ that it can represent the Church.

And the bishops closing argument: 

As Pope Francis advocates, let’s work together to create a new culture and renew the Church. … Together, as clergy and laity, we are preparing to exercise our common baptismal mission to share the joy of the Gospel with others as disciples of Christ.

What’s all this rot on “preparing to exercise our common baptismal mission?”  I don’t know what you’ve been doing all of these years, but leave the rest of us out of it. How about you bishops do your job and guard the faithful before you start telling us we’ve failed in exercising our baptismal mission in the Body of Christ?!    

We need to rid the Church of sin and restore reverence in, well, a great many things. Aside from creating disorder in the world via our own sins, do not try to lay this on the laity.  The blame is the doorstep of those who engage in sodoclericalism.  I’m not usually for  buzzwords, but it’s far shorter than repeatedly saying, “clericalism on the part of those trying to normalize same-sex attraction.”  Too verbose.

This started with clergymen trying to cover for other clergymen so their agenda to normalize same-sex attraction wouldn’t get whacked (actual “clericalism”)  and then, of course, it had to be extended to other deviants, because, plain and simple, it’s kind of hard to thump someone else when you’re every bit as guilty.  Nobody was going to out McCarrick, because they didn’t want their own bad behavior to come to light.  Abuse breeds abuse.  This crisis wasn’t because of the faithful in the pews.  We’ve got our own issues. #AllYourFault



Come Into My Parlor Said the Spider to the Fly

I’ve been sitting here watching how this shakes out and have asked around to find out if, indeed, Fr. Kalchik was told to go to St. Luke’s Institute.  It appears he was, but the diocese ain’t saying (kind of shady), so it’s only a guess.  I am sooo glad somebody finally addressed this:  http://wdtprs.com/blog/2018/09/read-and-weep-soviet-style-psych-tactics-used-against-priests-by-bishops/  However, I’d also like to tackle it specifically in light of Fr. Kalchik’s circumstances. For all that has transpired in this case, this is the most heinous thing.  His is a unique case, although I suspect there are more priests out there who have suffered as much as he.

First of all, I don’t think many people know about St. Luke’s Institute.  That place should have been burned down years ago.  Nobody should be sent there, much less someone who has suffered as much as Fr. Kalchik.  It’s founder, Fr. Michael Peterson, was an openly same-sex attracted psychiatrist who, as an openly same-sex attracted guy, still entered the priesthood.  While the institute was opened to help clergy and religious suffering from alcohol and drug dependency, two short years later it became the place to send abusing priests.  And this is where the “it’s all pedophilia” mantra started to come into play.  Fr. Michael Peterson was not going to be the guy to admit it went far beyond pedophilia.  Pedophilia has been a minute part of the crisis. To his credit, he warned that the recidivism rate was going to be high, yet he still couldn’t admit a vast amount of same-sex attracted men were putting themselves in a constant near occasion of sin.

A few presidents later came Fr. Canice Connor, who infamously said, “It is so rare as to be unreported that a priest has ever used violence in abusing a child. We are not involved with the dynamics of rape, but with the far subtler dynamics of persuasion by a friend.  We must be aware that the child still sometimes retains a loving memory of the offender.”  Oy. Epic, epic fail.

Then we have Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault who stole money for himself and his male lover.  But yeah, let’s keep sending people to St. Luke’s.

Phil Lawler details some of this and more, years before all of this recent crud came to light: https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1445
Finally, there’s all that was covered in Fr. Z’s blog linked above.  St. Luke’s Institute has an abysmal track record for acknowledging the root of the problem, returning offenders to active ministry, and they can’t even keep their own faculty in line, not to mention their persecution of orthodox priests for not getting in line with the homosexual lifestyle and liberal agenda. In short, for many bishops, it’s a re-education camp, pure and simple.

So, let’s think about this.  Why would anyone send a victim of homosexual rape and molestation to place that, apparently, is quite full of rapists and molesters?  What a completely sadistic idea! Talk about abusive.  We’re not just talking about someone Cardinal Cupich and club would deem “rigid.”  We’re talking about a person who is twice a victim of sexual attacks by homosexuals.  But, hey, let’s send Fr. Kalchik to live with people who are just like his attackers. So loving.  That is simply an extremely devious and sick idea. Cardinal Cupich I trying to play the loving father role.  He’s banking on the fact that most don’t know what St. Luke’s is. I’m going to do my part to see that isn’t the case.  I’m really done letting people get away with this. St. Luke’s needs a psychologist just for their HR department!

Yes, I realize that there are priests and religious at St. Luke’s who are being treated for things other than breaking their vows of celibacy, chastity, and attacking people.  That said, there are many other treatment options.  St. Luke’s is unnecessary.  For any good it may have done, it’s also done a boatload of irreparable harm to many a good priest because it has a big ol’ conflict of interest all the way around.  Cardinals and bishops with their own complexes should no longer be able to get rid of their problem priest by sending them off for psychiatric imprisonment (care would not be the word) at a facility the Church funds.


Cardinal Will Let Vatican Ignore Vigano Testimony?

I am going to hope that there’s a whole lot of commentary and quoting out of context going on at Patheos, because this wasn’t so good.

“A very bad example” and “a very serious offense”, not to mention a “not positive” answer to the abuse crisis and “an unfair attack”. Not mincing his words, Cardinal Marc Ouellet has condemned the “rebellion” against Pope Francis of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and his ultraconservative co-conspirators. A “serious” issue, according to the cardinal, that must be resolved in a “spiritual” way, not a “political” one.

What the what?!?  You know what I think is an unfair attack?  Covering up harassment, molestation and rape.  My gosh!  We’re at the breaking point because we worry more about hurting peoples’ feelings than protecting the victims of these heinous crimes!  While I’m completely on board with resolving this issue by spiritual means, why in heaven’s name are we considered “ultraconservative co-conspirators” if we simply want a FULL investigation and a release from Pontifical Secrets when it comes to harassment, molestation and rape?!?!?!  Hope this was just standard Patheos babbling.  This isn’t a rebellion against Pope Francis, it’s a crusade for the truth in an effort to keep this from happening again! 

The Canadian prelate, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops in the Vatican, was speaking on the sidelines of the Plenary Assembly of the European Bishops in Poznań, Poland.

Oh, that must have gone over well with the solid bishops of Poland!

“We are facing a crisis in the life of the Church”, Ouellet acknowledged, referring to the sexual abuse scandal that has exploded in the Catholic Church around the world, from Germany to Australia, and just this weekend extended to the Netherlands, where 20 of the 39 bishops active from 1945 to 2010 have been accused of the cover-up of as many as 20,000 sex crimes against children committed by priests and religious.

YES, WE ARE FACING A CRISIS! Yet somehow you frame our ire over this as “political”?!?  Give me a break!  Again, Cardinal, if these are indeed your thoughts and not the Patheos spin, we moms and dads are completely aware that any of these victims could have been our children.  Clearly this doesn’t compute for SOME of our spiritual fathers. IT. IS. HEARTBREAKING. You seem to see these cases as sad little third-hand stories, but we see them as reality.  We see them as somebody’s children, and this doesn’t change no matter how old the victims are.  Thousands of victims have been robbed of their innocence and faith, and thousands of parents have been devastated by the evil done to their children.  We see our children’s faces when we hear these stories.

According to Ouellet, the sex abuse crisis is one being felt “at the level of leadership, of the bishops”. But beyond prescribing possible solutions to the problem, the cardinal went so far as to issue a clear warning to those prelates (and priests and faithful) who think that everything will be fixed by blaming, investigating or even sacking Pope Francis.

Again, it isn’t clear if this is Patheos or Cardinal Ouellet.  Whoever it is, we’re not that naive, but an investigation would be a darn good start. You’d think the innocent would be on board with investigating the cover-ups which have been confirmed time and again to have taken place.  Honestly, at this point, I’m suspect of any prelate trying to stop an investigation.  It smacks of trying to suppress the truth. The solution can’t ever be to suppress the truth and hide those that caused this problem.

“To express solidarity with the Holy Father… is a conditio sine qua non of solidarity between ourselves as bishops to bring forward the mission of the Church”, the cardinal stressed in this regard.

Wait just a second.  You are applying “solidarity with the Holy Father” in a ridiculous manner.  This whole debacle on the Vigano testimony doesn’t have to do with a teaching on Faith and Morals.  In fact, it has little to do with morals at all.  It has to everything do with an accusation that MANY prelates covered up MANY evil deeds.  Have you forgotten that?  I’m reasonably sure that “conditio sine qua non” (indispensable condition, for those who like English) doesn’t apply to tolerating a cover-up which everyone admits happened but for which nobody wants to take the blame.

“We need the participation of more women in the formation of priests”

As for what can be done to fight against the scourge of sex abuse in the Church, the Canadian cardinal spoke clearly, affirming that “we need the participation of more women in the formation of priests: for teaching, [for] the discernment of candidates, for the balance of effectiveness”.

What we need is a release from Pontifical Secrets, as the women on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors have said, but that has been ignored. While he throws a bone to the women demanding more say in the hierarchy of the Church, women who are already on commissions haven’t been listened to, so why would we EVER think that putting women in a position of forming priests would do a darn thing? Can you say, “lip service?!”

“Certainly with the recent news there is a growing awareness of the gravity of this problem of abuse in the Church,” Ouellet continued, adding that “something more needs to be done” regarding the prevention of aggressions against young people. Measures such as, for example, the creation of common “criteria” for judging negligent bishops who engage in cover-ups and the coordination of the various Roman dicasteries so that, at long last, the dispositions of Pope Francis in his motu propio As a loving mother can be put into action.”

Um, how about we just go back to St. Basil or St. Peter Damien’s ideas on the topic?  Let’s go over those again:

St. Basil:
Any cleric or monk who seduces young men or boys, or who is apprehended in kissing or in any shameful situation, shall be publicly flogged and shall lose his clerical tonsure. Thus shorn, he shall be disgraced by spitting in his face, bound in iron chains, wasted by six months of close confinement, and for three days each week put on barley bread given him toward evening. Following this period, he shall spend a further six months living in a small segregated courtyard in custody of a spiritual elder, kept busy with manual labor and prayer, subjected to vigils and prayers, forced to walk at all times in the company of two spiritual brothers, never again allowed to associate with young men.

St. Peter Damien:

Listen, you do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests. Listen, and even though you feel sure of yourselves, tremble at the thought that you are partners in the guilt of others; those, I mean, who wink at the sins of their subjects that need correction and who by ill-considered silence allow them license to sin. Listen, I say, and be shrewd enough to understand that all of you alike are deserving of death, that is, not only those who do such things, but also they who approve those who practice them.

Quite frankly, as a loving mother, it’s good for our children to know that there are consequences for their actions. 

“ Another key part of the reform of the Church regarding the protection of minors, added Ouellet, must be to let the “anger”, “dissatisfaction” and “frustration” of the faithful come to the surface “in complete freedom”, since that “is the way for these problems to be treated”.

“I believe that pastors must not only listen but also invite the people who have suffered to manifest themselves, because if these wounds are not expressed, they will destroy peoples’ lives”, affirmed the cardinal. “There is a work of reparation [and] reconciliation that must be carried out”, he concluded.

So, let me get this totally straight.  First, prelates and the faithful shouldn’t want an investigation on the Vigano testimony because an investigation won’t be fixed by investigating?  (Not sure when anyone said that an investigation is a be all end all measure.)  Next, we need women involved. (Most pandering suggestion ever, since women – from the women on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors to the almost 50,000 women who wrote to the Holy Father asking pertinent questions – have already stated their solutions and have been ignored.) Finally, we need to let the “anger”, “dissatisfaction” and “frustration” of the faithful come to the surface “in complete freedom”, since that “is the way for these problems to be treated”. (At the same time, you tell them they’re practically schismatics for wanting an investigation of the Vigano testimony.)

Again, I’m hoping that the weird citing of quotes means this is Cardinal Ouellet out of context.  If this is accurate quoting, however, I wish I had been able to participate in the formation of your priesthood.  Probably would have hit you upside the head a time or two!  If this is a Patheos spin, I sincerely hope Cardinal Ouellet will call them on it.