America: Challenge Roe v. Wade, Just Not So Much

As usual, “The Editors” at America Magazine are all over the map but miss the mark.

The Editors: Roe v. Wade has made abortion politics impossible. It needs to be challenged.

The recently passed abortion laws in Georgia and Alabama have raised the temperature of the national debate nearly to the boiling point. The law in Georgia, keyed to the detection of fetal cardiac activity, would restrict abortion after about the sixth week of pregnancy; it also defines human beings in the womb, at any stage of development, as “natural persons.” Alabama’s law bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy. While these laws allow exceptions for cases where a woman’s life would be endangered by carrying the pregnancy to delivery, neither law has exceptions allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest.

And there should be no exceptions. How a person is conceived doesn’t change the fact that they are a person.

Much discussion of these bills has described them as “extreme,” while almost universally neglecting the most significant cause of such “extremism.” Many commentators recognize that these new laws are designed to mount a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade—but they fail to notice that these laws’ blunt restrictions are a mirror image of Roe’s broad rejection of any practical or effective limits on abortion. When abortion rights advocates defend Roe in order to reject any proposed restriction of abortion, they are taking an extreme position. That leaves no ground open for any compromise on less extreme laws. Pro-life legislators are going to meet the same tooth-and-nail opposition whether they aim to ban all abortions or, as recently seen in the U.S. Senate, attempt to require that infants born alive during an abortion receive medical care.”

The laws in Georgia and Alabama aren’t “extreme,” and they’re certainly not “extreme” because of Roe Vs. Wade. The laws are right (or at least on the right track in the case of those states trying to limit before they ban) because abortion is killing a child. There can be no compromise on that. There is no room for compromise and there never was. America Magazine wants to paint this as a war of extremists, but this is a war of right and wrong. Even if nobody gets it, we are still right to try to ban all killing of children. And America Magazine acts as if minor, incremental moves haven’t been tried since 1973. They seem to want us to keep the status quo we’ve had for decades.  No thank you.

And, because people are going to bring up the areas where both mom and baby “are sure to die!” let me address that. The closest thing to that a situation like that is an ectopic pregnancy, and maybe an advanced cancer of some sort. Let’s look at those before we go on. The Church, and as far as I can tell, Alabama, have the same position on “indirect abortions” as far as treating the diseased parts of the body goes. What does this mean? Ireland used to be spot on in this, which is why they had one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world. It used to be that in every pregnancy in Ireland, a doctor acted as if there were two patients and did his best to save both. Yes, on occasion, there is a “no-win” situation where at least one will die if the diseased part of the body isn’t treated. The Church doesn’t say we can’t treat that diseased part of the body, but the BABY is never considered the disease and this is exactly how it was handled there.

Now let’s use the old “no win” situation of an ectopic pregnancy for those who have never really delved into the issue. It used to be thought that the baby was stuck in the tube and would die, and if the tube should burst or infection occur, the mom would also die. First of all, there have been miraculous “extra-uterine” pregnancies where the baby actually does escape the tube but never quite makes it to the uterus and all turns out well after a c-section delivery. However, the usual course is that the baby will indeed die, and without removal of the tube with baby, mom will also die. The Church has concluded, in a case like this, that a doctor can treat the diseased part of the body and remove baby AND tube to prevent the tubal rupture from causing infection and killing mom. They are not allowed to directly and purposely abort the child (remove from tube) to try and save the tube. That would be a direct abortion. So, in short, the Church has always provided for seemingly impossible situations. I could pitch a number of situations that fit this bill, but it should suffice to say that when there are no plausible treatments for a situation that will save both patients, doctors are allowed to employ a myriad of treatments to save the mother by treating the diseased part of the body (again, not the baby) even if it results in the baby dying. Hearkening again to countries like Ireland, they spent a lot of time figuring out the best ways to treat both patients with fabulous results. We should have been doing this, too. Unfortunately, the status quo here has been “Just save yourself and you can try again later!”.

Consistently over decades, polls show that a significant majority of Americans support stricter restrictions on abortion than allowed under Roe, yet not as stark as those established by these new laws. American public opinion on the legality of abortion is conflicted and contradictory. According to one poll conducted this month, half of voters believe that the six-week “heartbeat laws” are either “just right” or even “too lenient;” another poll found that two-thirds of U.S. adults oppose overturning Roe. But under Roe and its successor decision, Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the abortion limits many voters want, even while abortion remains legal, are rendered unconstitutional. About 60 percent of Americans support legal abortion during the first three months of pregnancy, but far fewer—less than one-third—support it up to six months. But Casey’s “undue burden” standard disallows abortion restrictions anytime before fetal viabilit (around six months), which is not what most Americans would choose.

Blah, blah, blah. Morality has nothing to do with polls. It has to deal with truth, and as many have said as of late, truth is still truth even if nobody believes it. America Magazine spews polls left and right as if Catholics believe in moral relativism.

There is a large gap between what Roe requires and what Americans believe about abortion. But addressing this gap remains politically unimaginable for pro-choice activists, as long as they present the possibility of Roe being overturned as an acute political crisis. In reality, the reverse is the case. The ongoing political crisis is a consequence of the persistent failure of Roe and Casey to settle the abortion question and the failure of the Supreme Court to offer any sign that these cases ever will.

We don’t need to address “gaps.” We need to address good, stand up to evil, and embrace truth. We don’t need to worry about polls. Thankfully, many states seem to be recognizing this more and more. They finally realize playing the numbers game didn’t really work. I think “The Editors” realize this, too. I think they get it just fine. They’re just hoping you don’t.

In her majority opinion upholding Roe in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that “the Court’s interpretation of the Constitution calls the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.” On the abortion question, this call has manifestly and expressly failed for more than 45 years, while distorting national politics and contributing to national division. The wreckage of these cases needs to be cleared for the country to move forward.

“Oh, division. It’s so evil.” Listen, there’s three ways this can go down. We can be united in the killing of children, we can be united in the protection of children, or we can be divided over this. I’m happy if everyone picks door number two, but I am willing to live with door number three because I’m sure as heck not going to pick door number one just for the sake of unity. Unity is only grand if it’s moral, and making exceptions to killing children isn’t moral.

The Alabama and Georgia laws are far from perfect. They should have been accompanied by equally vigorous support for women struggling with pregnancy. They will almost certainly be suspended by injunction before they are implemented, and whenever they eventually reach the Supreme Court, they are unlikely to be upheld in all the details of their current form. If these laws are upheld and Roe is overturned or limited, they will need to be modified in order to be practically and justly enforced. But the legislative work of answering the challenging moral questions about abortion will at least be possible. While that will not end political divisions over abortion, it would allow us to engage them more honestly.

Aaaaaaand there’s the usual seamless garment logic. It’s akin to “No, Mr. Fireman! Don’t go in to save people in that burning building until homelessness has been cured!” I’m wondering if America Magazine realizes that there are 38ish crisis pregnancy centers in Alabama, and it was just reported that they have a HUGE adoption rate from foster care, too. Can more be done? Always. Do we have to stuff bills with ever conceivable social ill before we stop killing children? Absolutely not! Start with keeping as many children as possible from being slaughtered and their moms from being irreparably harmed. “The Editors” at America Magazine want you to think that’s “far from perfect.” Does this surprise anyone?



Fr. Martin’s Just Helping His Pals

Dear friends at Church Militant/St. Michael’s Media, and Tradition, Family and Property, who write articles, start online petitions and organize protests whenever I speak: Let me save you some time and effort. Because, lately, here’s what usually happens when you do this.

Awwww…Isn’t this sweet?! Fr. Martin’s just trying to help out his friends. It’s so nice that he’s trying, out of the goodness of his heart, to help people “save some time and effort.” I should probably return the favor. People resisting your efforts, Fr. Martin, don’t care about their time, they care about souls. I’m reasonably sure that even people who agree with you are reading this accolade to yourself and giving it a big ol’ facepalm. I can’t believe you’re going with “You’re all really great people but people love me to death and lavish me with accolades so please go away!” My feeling is that the laity are a little too successful for you, so you’re forced to pump up the speeches to the choir and the events where the majority of the attendees are your age or older. I get it, but you have to admit it looks a little ridiculous when you’ve got to write a really long Facebook post to give yourself a big pat on the back. Seriously, it goes on and on. Lest you doubt me…

It would seem, from this really needy post, that maybe people are actually making a bit more headway in the “Please keep Fr. James Martin, SJ, from misleading the flock!” movement than Fr. Martin wants you to know.

It begins as follows: I am invited by a Catholic organization (school, parish, retreat center) who knows full well of my ministry to LGBT people. So, the organizers are already aware of this one aspect of my Jesuit life, and are, in most places, either neutral about it or openly supportive of it.

This is especially the case when I am invited to speak about LGBT Catholics per se. Obviously, the organizers support this LGBT ministry, and they often invite me with the support of the local bishop, as with the LGBT family retreat at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Wernersville, Pa.

Eventually, you all get wind of it and write articles about my supposed “heresy” and overall awfulness as a priest, complete with photos and memes of me. Then one of you organizes an online petition, using misleading information, slanderous words and sometimes outright lies.

If you’re going to accuse someone of lying, slandering, and misleading, why don’t you at least give examples, Father? I would think that’s the least you should do. Why don’t you? Maybe it’s because people are quite meticulous when they talk about your heretical statements. They list them line by line. And, really, are you one to talk? You make misleading comments all the time. Here’s one for example. 

As you can probably tell, Fr. Martin is clearly working super hard to make you think the efforts are fruitless. I can assure you they are not. Please see here , here.  here, and here. I’m sure we can find some more if we look around some more, and I know more pushes to cancel are in the works. So you see, Fr. Martin, we don’t lose hope when some liberal institution doesn’t block your efforts.  

For good measure, you label me with names like “heretic,” “sodomite,” “false priest,” “homosexualist,” homoheretic,” “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “celebrity gay priest.” I’ve lost count of how many names I’ve been called by you. It’s like being in a junior high school cafeteria.

People in glass houses, Father. I will once again remind you that you are not exactly one who should bring up name-calling. And no, people aren’t hatemongers because they think you are wrong. We just think you’re wrong and leading people to the same errors. We got it. This doesn’t please you and silencing us is your goal. Good luck with that.

I will say, though, that I try to stay away from giving you anything to whine about. Using a myriad of words to describe you simply isn’t necessary. I will say that I’m pretty sure that you have espoused heresy a time or two, and I think that people have done a good job spelling out why they believe so:

Soon the number of signatories to the online petition goes sky high, usually in the tens of thousands (with no proof offered) and you egg on your followers to contact the organizers and demand that their invitation be rescinded, and to organize protests on their own on the day of the event.

Ab-so-lute-ly! A good number of Catholics know you are a danger to the Faith. They are rightly exercising Canon 212. I realize you totally hate that and it gets in your way, but, well, too bad.

The organizers field some angry phone calls (usually by a receptionist who has no clue what they are talking about) and they dutifully report them to me, apologize, and assure me that I’m more welcome than ever. Sometimes they put out public statements in support of LGBT ministry.

Well, as shown above, that doesn’t always happen. I’d also like to point out to bishops that Fr. Martin is also really getting into webcasts. That may kind of skirt the regulations of who is allowed to speak. In our lovely age of technology, you might actually have to button down the ability to webcast speakers. While a speaker may not be able to violate “safe environment” protocols, it doesn’t mean they can’t still harm souls. As I’ve said to many, many good bishops, establishing a speakers’ bureau to vet anyone actually speaking would eliminate many of your problems.

Needless to say, I don’t cancel (why would I?) and neither do they. Sometimes, in fact, their resolve is strengthened and it is seen as an important opportunity for them to stand more solidly with the LGBT Catholics in their community (school, parish, and so on) and the LGBT community at large.

Needless to say, I’ve already proven you are wrong. And, some people finally realize that you might be leading people astray.

On the day of the event, a few protesters will show up, perhaps a dozen, sometimes fewer, sometimes more, including children. They hold up the same signs at every event, detailing how terrible I am (“Father Martin’s Bridge to Hell”) and pray the Rosary (against me, I’m assuming) and leave.

You would have a problem with people praying the Rosary, wouldn’t you? And, of course, YOU would make sure you point out how futile you think that is. That said, we know otherwise. God bless those who protest against you.

Usually only a few people see the protesters (I rarely do), and if they do, they are hurt or offended, because most people these days know LGBT people. At the Loyola New Orleans graduation last year, some LGBT graduates saw the signs and made their displeasure known.

So what you’re saying is that those who do what’s right are completely stupid unless hundreds show? Mighty wrong of you, but hey, thanks for the consistency.

Occasionally the controversy around the talk, especially if the talk is about LGBT Catholics, finds its way into the local media, and dramatically increases the size of the crowd, and their sympathy for LGBT ministry, as happened recently at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Ct.

So, again, you’re saying we should only do what’s right when we have the numbers?  Why didn’t anyone tell that to Christ as he hung on the Cross. Honestly, Father. Your protests while saying “It really doesn’t bother me!” are especially lame. It’s about as convincing as you proclaiming “Oh, I’ve never denied Christ’s divinity nor contradicted the Church teachings on marriage!”

Then I give my talk, lecture, retreat or commencement address. Afterwards, especially after parish talks or lectures at colleges and universities, I often sign books and meet people, 99% of whom are kind, gracious and supportive. Almost every person in line will share a story from their faith journeys, which moves and consoles me.

Yes, everyone loves you. You’re a superstar. You’re the only loving person who knows what same-sex attracted people go through.  Etc., etc., etc. 

From time to time, however, there is one angry person, waiting at the end of the line, arms folded, ready to conduct their inquisition of me (which they often film). They are usually disappointed when I say, as I always do, that I am not going against any church teaching.

But again, as shown above, you do. You just don’t think you’re going to get caught. You don’t even attempt to speak in some dioceses because you don’t dare crossing the lines in the sand with some of the bishops. You know you will get a smack down. They’ve already spoken out against you and you haven’t even made that attempt.

But except for that one angry person, they are people who are grateful that someone is talking about LGBT Catholics in a positive way, or they are parents of LGBT children who have felt excluded from their own church, or they are LGBT Catholics themselves who hug me and thank me.

Oh, there are myriads of people who want to think sins (i.e., homosexual ACTS) are actually not sins, and you’re ever so ambiguous with your statements so these people can keep on saying they’re not sinning. Look at one of your favorites, Out at St. Paul, to see that. 

After people share their stories, they sometimes cry in front of me, or we pray together, or they give me a little gift or card, or they show me a photo of their LGBT child (or grandchild, or brother or sister, or nephew or niece). Whenever they do, my resolve to continue this ministry with so many others in this field grows.

Oh for heaven’s sake, stop with the over-the-top sob stories. Just what the heck are they saying and what the heck are you telling them? Do you EVER bother to tell them about living the CHASTE and celibate life? Or are you just continually filling them with hopes of kissing their partners at Mass and marrying? How about you answer the tough questions once in a while? It might make you a tad more credible. Ambiguity doesn’t fly here.

In other words, feel free to continue to protest, but please don’t expect that either I or the organizing bodies will cancel anything. And please don’t doubt that your protests only increase the size of the crowds, embolden organizers to be more supportive and deepen my resolve.

Except, again, some of your talks have been cancelled. Oh, yeah. There’s that reality.  Oops. How pesky is that? I, personally, will resist you at ever turn no matter who is with me. I will totally feel free to protest, and I’m reasonably sure I won’t be alone.   

Because what usually happens is not my pulling out of the event, not the organizers cancelling the event, and not people staying away, but something like this, as at yesterday’s graduation at Xavier University. (See photo.)

Dude! It’s a Jesuit school. I’d really be shocked if they didn’t cancel because, as a whole, the Jesuits are lost. (Thanks always to the faithful ones!)  We’re supposed to be utterly amazed when a Jesuit school does something stupid? It’s supposed to just make the laity fall in line? Please. Are you that prideful??? I guess no answer needed. Do you not think that we realize you bothered posting this in the first place because you are deflated? The choir backs you up, so we’re supposed to say “Well, I guess we were wrong!” Keep dreaming.

In short, your articles, petitions and protests don’t bother me. (Truly: ask any of my friends.) Feel free to continue them, but also know that I won’t be cancelling anything as a result of them, and neither, if history is a judge, will most of the organizers.

I don’t expect you to cancel. It’s quite clear your ego wouldn’t let you make a humble move. Got it. That said, we will ALWAYS make your mission difficult because it leads souls astray and WE love our friends suffering from same-sex attraction.

My brothers and sisters, I hold no grudge against you at all, do not wish any ill upon you, but have also ceased to care about the articles, the petitions and the protests. I send you my peace. As well as my thanks for the big crowds.

You have no peace and you will have none until you fully embrace the teachings of Christ and His Church. When that happens, we will be cheering you on! As long as you continue to twist the truth and undermine the teachings of the Church (the Catechism for one) in an effort to make truth what YOU want it to be instead of what it truly is, people will continue to oppose you no matter how much you cry about it or tell us how futile it is.

Germans Wage War on Mary

Will Germany ever learn? I mean ever? About anything? Clearly learning from history means nothing to them.

Munich, Germany, May 15, 2019 / 02:15 pm (CNA).- At least one bishop has offered his support for a week-long “Church strike” organized by German Catholic women, during which participants organize their own prayer services rather than attending Mass.

Does “mortal sin” ring a bell? I would say it’s Catholic 101 that skipping Mass without serious cause is a mortal, sin but I think it’s more like Catholic 70. Remedial Catholicism. My children all had this down long before the age of wisdom, so what does that say about some of the bishops and Catholic laity in Germany?

Calling itself “Mary 2.0” the initiative issued an open letter to Pope Francis, which called for the ordination of women, and claimed “men of the Church only tolerate one woman in their midst: Mary.”

Wait! What? Are they hoping to fix Mary? Get the bugs out? Stop the glitches? Sigh. Lame. Feminists have always been quite jealous of Our Lady. They seem to prefer trying to relate to Mary Magdalen. Of course, they fail at that, too, never quite grasping her relation to Christ, either.

“We want to take Mary off her pedestal and into our midst, as a sister facing our direction,” the letter said.

Stop, ladies! You are killing me! You just made the case for going ad orientem at Mass and you don’t even get it. Bahahaha! You really don’t want anyone facing the same way, though. You want the Church to bend down and kiss your feet. That’s what you want. Sorry, babes! Most of us have no interest in women becoming priests.

The website features paintings of Mary and other women with their mouths taped over.

Which is it, ladies? Is Mary revered or is Mary a victim. Make up your minds. I know, I know. Reality changes at will for you all, but could you at least exercise just a little consistency?

The campaign has met with considerable criticism from German Catholics, some of when even launched of a “Maria 1.0” website, which says that the Mother of God “does not require any updates and should not be instrumentalized.”

And the civil war rages on. While the country was once mucked up by the ruling Nazis, it is now being mucked up by rabid feminists and the liberals who love them. So many bitter, angry people.

But several Church representatives have gone public in support of “Mary 2.0.”

The official news portal of the Catholic Church in Germany provided broad coverage of the call for a strike, taking place May 11-18. It also reported that Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück supports the campaign.

Bode, who leads the Commission on Women in the German bishops’ conference, told press agency EPD that while he regrets the strikes will not attend Mass, he believes it important to acknowledge the impatience of “many women in the Catholic Church” and their feelings of “deep hurt” for not being adequately appreciated for their contribution.

Christ died on the Cross for these women, but they are going to commit a mortal sin because their feelings are hurt? Anyone else sick of whiny women? I missed St. Catherine of Siena “striking.” St. Teresa of Avila? Must have missed that, too. Let’s see, last time I remember, St. Catherine and St. Teresa were doctors of the Church. How’s that for being appreciated? Maybe, ladies, the problem is you haven’t actually contributed ANYTHING positive to the Church? Bitterness, whining, jealousy and rage, I think I can safely say, aren’t positive contributions. They’re basically repeating Eve’s mistakes all over again.

Bode said that while he does not believe women will be ordained priests in the near future, the Church could soon ordain them as deacons.

Would you like to wager on that, Bishop Bode?

Participants in the “Church strike” are refusing to step into a church from the week of May 11 to 18 and will not attend Mass. Instead, services such as a “Liturgy of the Word” are held throughout the week. According to the campaign’s Facebook page, these services have garnered between 18 and 155 registered attendees.

Whoa! A whopping 155 attendees? Sounds like a movement. Perhaps common sense prevails. Or not.

Referencing the abuse crisis as a reason for the urgent need for change, the group’s letter to Pope Francis makes a range of demands, from the abolition of “mandatory celibacy” to an “updating” of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality and the ordination of women to “all ministries” – including the orders of deacon, priest and bishop.

Other than upping their rhetoric to exploit the abuse crisis, it’s the usual dumb arguments. Does anyone remember Eve and pride? Maybe that is the problem. They most emulate her and don’t even realize it. Ordaining women to the priesthood, even if it were possible (which it isn’t), wouldn’t do a darn thing to stop evil people from doing evil things. And ending mandatory celibacy? Please. People should know by now that, even with all the new revelations, the abuse stats for the Catholic priesthood don’t even come close to married clergy or married men in general. Updating the Church’s teaching on sexual morality??? It isn’t that exactly what got us into this problem in the first place. In fact, priests completely “updating” their version of sexual morality may have accelerated the problem.

In an interview published on the official website of the Archdiocese of Paderborn, vicar general Fr. Alfons Hardt praised the organizers of the campaign as women who are “concerned about the sustainability of their church.”

Well, sure, when a church rejects its doctrines, it’s going to fail. In this instance, it’s the German Catholic Church. Half of them already abandoned the Faith a long time ago and now they’re reaping the rewards of that. When they all wither and die on the vine, the faithful bishops there will undoubtedly rebuild. When they do, I’m guessing it’ll look a lot like the Church in Poland.

Hardt said “this is a motivation that I value highly,” even though the campaign might also create division.”

What motivation? The whopping 155 people?!

Whether women can be ordained to the priesthood is an open question, Hardt asserted, saying, “on the one hand we have a definitive decision by Pope John Paul II on the question of the ordination of women and on the other hand we still do not have a final answer. At least in Germany this question is discussed very openly, especially among theologians. It is clear that there is a need for a global ecclesial consensus for this which currently is not the case.”

Oh, I hate to burst your bubble, Fr. Hardt. Are you living under a rock? How many popes have to say “Not open for debate!” before you actually stop your delusions. Even your favorite, Pope Francis, has said this, and I’m pretty sure on more than one occasion.

Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis have all taught that the sacrament of ordination is reserved to men by divine institution, and that, while the role of female “deacons” in the early Church can be studied, such study does not imply that women can be ordained sacramentally.

It would be nice if we could just close the door on this one. I think we all know that this just makes for more bitter Church in the end. Maybe there’s some sort of wisdom to keeping this one circling the drain, but it would be oh-so-nice if it was just completely flushed.

Despite its demands and – initially – very small numbers, “Mary 2.0” has not only received support from several German prelates but also sustained coverage in Germany, where many Catholics are turning their back on a church in crisis in the wake of the abuse scandals and other controversies, with a recent prognosis predicting the number of Catholics in the country will halve by 2060, and Church attendance in constant decline, hovering at the 10 percent mark on average according to most recent official figure.

These knuckleheads should turn their backs on the liberalism and immorality that led to the crisis there just like here. Here’s an idea, Germany, look one country over and see what they’re doing. Look east, not west. What is Poland doing that you are not? Oh, maybe taking the Faith seriously?

In March, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising announced that the church in Germany would embark on a “binding synodal process” to tackle what he described as the three key issues arising from the clerical abuse crisis: priestly celibacy, the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, and a reduction of clerical power.

I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that lightning bolts or locusts are heading Cardinal Marx’ way.

More recently, another German bishop, Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, voiced similar expectations for the “Pan-Amazonian Synod” in October.

Overbeck, who also leads the influential Catholic Latin America relief organization Adveniat, predicted that “nothing will be as it was before” after that synod.

Personally, I’m kind of hoping for some Old Testament wrath. Probably not going to happen since we know that the “Gates of Hell” shall not prevail, but it would be interesting.

Speaking to journalists on May 2, he said that the role of women in the Church would be reconsidered at the meeting, and so would sexual morality, the role of the priesthood and the overall hierarchical structure of the Church. The synod will take place from October 6 to 27.

Wow! What an inflated ego this guy has. I’m sure it’s not so strange that the German dude leads the Catholic Latin American relief organization, but other than that, who is this guy? This seems to be part of the problem with many in the German clergy. They think they are all that. I think they’re about to find out they’re not.

Susan from the Parish Council or James Martin, SJ?

I’m starting to think Susan isn’t a parody account after all, but probably just Fr. Martin’s alter ego.

It’s just another day to call out Fr. Martin on the ridiculous suppositions he tries to float.  Let’s just look at his novel’s worth of tweets and all the bunk found in them.





Poland 4

First of all, before you start ranting along with me, please take note that this is a typical Fr. James Martin, SJ, tactic.  He frames an argument that doesn’t exist, spins reality on its ear, then hopes that nobody notices.  Do the research, people. 

This had nothing to do with feeling closer to Our Lord and Our Lady.  It had everything to do with using an adored image in Poland to protest the Church.  How do I know?  Because the people behind it said so! (empasis mine)

“The Warsaw Freedom Activists had already earlier explained why they had conducted an action with the Mother of God of Equality in Płock,” wrote Łukasz Grzegorczyk in Polish.

“In a letter sent to the Na Temat editorial office, they wrote that the rainbow Mary, which they stuck to the walls and sidewalks near the church of St. Dominic, is supposed to be an expression of opposition to the stigmatization of non-heteronormative people by the clergy.

So, Fr. Martin might say “it looks a lot less like a protest,” but sadly he’s just trying to fool you.  The instigators admitted it was.  He’s just hoping you won’t find out about that.

So then he makes the argument nobody’s making:

“But the larger question is this: Why shouldn’t LGBT Catholics be able to feel close to Mary and Jesus? And why shouldn’t they have art that enables them to do so, as do other groups in the church?”

This is just made to tug at the heartstrings and really has no merit, but it would still be lame even if it were true. Let me answer it anyway.

Last time I checked, Our Lady raised her son knowing He would sacrifice Himself for us and she watched his Passion and death on the cross. Our Lord died on the cross for ALL our sins (you know, the ones Fr. Martin probably isn’t sure exist). Why would you need to change an image held dear to the faithful in Poland (or anywhere else for that matter) to feel close to Mary and Jesus? They made the ultimate sacrifice for ALL, but altering an image of them is necessary for you to feel close to them? If Christ’s death and resurrection failed to hit the mark, I’m pretty sure a little Photoshop isn’t going to do it.

Fr. Martin might have also wanted to notice that Black Madonna of Częstochowa doesn’t look like the vast majority of Poles.  They didn’t seem to need to change that image to revere and adore her, did they?

And finally:

“In short: Are Mary and Jesus only for straight people?”

Seriously? I’m not sure YOU know who or what Mary and Jesus are for.  You seem overwhelmingly confused, or at least you’re trying to confuse the masses and you’re quite willing to use any method to do so.


What’s a Catholic to Think?!

Well, that was a fun week in Catholicism. I’ve been very quietly sitting in my corner (or as quietly as I can) taking in all the commentary on the “heresy letter.” Dun…dun…dun!

First, let me say this. If you are a “Live Catholic or Die!” type of Catholic, you probably find Pope Francis, how should I say, problematic on most days. I’m sure “Ugh!” has gone through our minds on several occasions when hearing those lovely in-flight interviews, when a new document drops, or when we hear about “the Great Accuser.” It doesn’t mean that we are “alt-right” Catholics. (By the way, “alt-right” has now become synonymous with “Move along, people! Nothing to see here!”) In short, many have serious concerns. Generally, the people who are thinking “Oh, no!” on a regular basis are people of good will, whether or not you declare the pope a heretic.

So now this letter drops. Most of the people who just want to be Catholic without conflict at every turn are wondering what the heck they’re supposed to do with it. Do you ignore? Do you beg to sign it, too? Do you condemn the authors? Etc., etc., etc. Honestly, there are not simply two sides to this one, there are as many as the stars. It’s really complex and yet amazingly simple. For us, we need to educate ourselves as much as possible and follow our conscience. Form it and follow it.

To start, I would like to deal with some of the ridiculous opinions on this that I’ve seen. I suppose everyone wants to be on a team and have that team win and then they become super–fan-like. As a mom, it would just be nice to send them all to their rooms and tell them not to come out until they can get along.

“These are just a bunch of cranky Catholics who don’t like the Pope.” Really? Can it really be that simple? I’m pretty sure they are Catholics worried it might take years to undo the mess of ambiguity. Many are likely people with children and grandchildren and they worry about their suffering from the debacle the clergy, particularly the German bishops and many Jesuits, are making right now. Again, we might want to give people the benefit of the doubt that they are Catholics of good will. The things the authors point out may or may not amount to heresy, but they are super concerning at the least. I’ve had interactions with and like some of them. Sounds like everyone likes Fr. Aidan Nichols. The ones I’m familiar with aren’t those to simply be written off as fanatics who were bored.

“Those canon lawyers and theologians who say that the Pope’s actions don’t canonically constitute heresy are just being legalistic.” Uh, Canon Law is kind of important, people. You’d probably be the type that usually throws out a canon or two in defense of your position, anyway, so you’ve lost me with this argument. If it “technically” doesn’t amount to heresy, then it “technically” is not. Sigh. If you are championing a letter declaring heresy, defend it without whining, please. Also of note, most of the aforementioned canon lawyers and theologians are not cheerleading for Pope Francis. They still have great concerns. They’re just calling it as their Canon 212 duty tells them.

Following on that… ”The bishops who don’t back this letter are just worried about their jobs!” Again, really? Or could it be that they simply don’t believe it canonically meets the standards for heresy? Seems like just another hyperbolic argument. I’ve seen many bishops speak up for the dubia, the Vigano letters, the Weinandy letter, etc., yet they didn’t sign the “Easter Letter” and all of those previously held as heroes have been notably absent on backing the letter, too. Are we to assume they’re just worried about their jobs, as well? Or might they have the same take many others have?

“You’re going to hell if you’re wrong about this.”  I’m so glad you know the mind of God here.  Sigh.  Would somebody care to tell St. Vincent that? He literally picked the wrong pope to follow.  Yes, it’s a serious position to take and I’m glad I don’t feel compelled to take it but, geez!  You might, at least, wait until somebody’s excommunicated for something before you go there.

“Those who argue against this letter are trying to hide behind ignorance.” That’s my favorite. Yeah, all those people who argue against it are soooooo undereducated. Just deserves one more “Really?!” I wish I could think of something more clever but that’s usually my go to when people are just debating poorly.

Now what is my position on the actual letter instead of the hype around it?  Again, I think the authors of the letter had the best of intentions. They probably thought long and hard about it and they firmly believe it to be in accordance with the teachings of the Church. They did what their conscience dictated. Others have done the same and come to a different conclusion. Quite frankly, and this might run counter to others’ thoughts, but right or wrong, I think that the letter will only have a positive impact on the overall Church.

After reading and watching MANY commentaries on it, I feel that the canon lawyers who say it’s not heresy are probably right. This and this are probably the closest to my thoughts, although imperfect representations of them.

Why do I feel this way? Because I’ve read Pastor Aeternus (excerpt below, but please read it in its entirety) and Canon 212 many times. 

Pastor Aeternus
“And since, by the Divine right of Apostolic primacy, the Roman Pontiff is placed over the Universal Church, We further teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, [12] and that in all causes, the decision of which belongs to the Church, recourse may be had to his tribunal, [13] and that none may re-open the judgment of the Apostolic See, for none has greater authority, nor can anyone lawfully review its judgment. [14] Therefore, they stray from the right course who assert that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman Pontiffs to an Ecumenical Council, as if to an authority higher than that of the Roman Pontiff.


Canon 212

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

  • 2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

  • 3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Nobody in this current debate ever seems to mention Pastor Aeternus. I feel Raymond Arroyo took the position of that document when he said the next pope is the one who will judge Pope Francis, which is exactly how it’s always been done in times of papal turmoil. That’s why I’m not going to get my knickers in a bunch over this or feel like I have to get entrenched on a “side.” Yes, we could get to a point of Fr. Fessio’s “What if…?” but let’s really hope it doesn’t come to that. It’s bad enough now.

Regardless of who is right or wrong (and even some saints have been wrong for parts of their lives), as Fr. Fessio pointed out, this letter is important because it shows the seriousness of the situation in our Church. It’s chaos. NOBODY can deny it. And as many have said, it should not be ignored, although I fear it will be, just as all the letters, corrections, dubias and testimonies so far. The old sticking fingers in ears and saying “lalalalalalalala!” seems to be their way.

So what am I going to do? I’m going to keep expressing my concerns in light of Canon 212 and my knowledge, competence and prestige (not that I have any of that). I’m also going to keep up my prayer of “May God open their eyes or close them.” I hope you will join me in this!



Typical Buffalo Shuffle

I’m going to put a disclaimer right here. This is disgusting. Many Catholic organizations just referred to it as “salacious,” and maybe that’s the way I should be going, but I don’t think people can fathom just how gross some priests are and what a terribly hard time our seminarians have in some areas of our country. If you don’t want to read what should be “R” rated (at least!), stop reading here, and for heaven’s sake, don’t read the full letter sent to diocese which they couldn’t even put on TV. Unfortunately, for some, this type of behavior is the normal experience. I thank the seminarians who decided to fight this one. Personally, I’m hoping that some got it recorded, but that’s just me. Honestly, as I’ve said before, recording is the way to go nowadays. As you can see, the seminarians’ credibility is already being questioned. I’ve got to say, though, I totally believe them. The Diocese of Buffalo really has no credibility any more.

Also, another reason I’m going to post the whole shebang is because I get notes from seminarians all the time (mostly those trying to make it through the Jesuit formation program). The stories are gruesome. Somebody has got to be completely incensed on their behalf. This could be your son or mine someday! Most of the time the situation is privately revealed to me, so I can’t say anything about it, but this time I’m totally going to rant. I’d also like bishops to take special note: if it comes to light that any seminarian I know personally experiences something like this, heck, even if less than this, you will hear about it in the most unpleasant way.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Diocese of Buffalo suspended three Hamburg priests last week for what it called “unsuitable, inappropriate and insensitive conversations” during a party with seminarians at a church rectory.

Diocesan leaders gave no details about what the priests actually said, leading to widespread speculation and criticism from parishioners and other priests.

But 7 Eyewitness News has exclusively obtained a written account the seminarians gave to their superiors at the seminary, and many of the graphic details are even too sexually explicit to air on television.

Uh, the conversations were inappropriate, unsuitable and insensitive for ANYONE, much less those calling themselves Catholic and Catholic priests. Please, can we do an electronic dive of their laptops while we’re at it? I’m quite sure they are full of porn. This was a semi-public gathering. Can you imagine what these idiots do in private?!?! Wait! Stop. Don’t go there. You’ll need brain bleach.

“These guys are terribly corrupt,” said one employee of the seminary, who spoke to 7 Eyewitness News. “What happened was disgusting. Absolutely repulsive.” The employee asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.

Personally, I think said employee is a little naïve but I hope he/she stays the course. This sad tale needs to be corroborated so these seminarians aren’t left to hang out to dry. I’m sure the nut-wings already know exactly who he/she is, and he/she is quite right to fear of retribution. Everyone knows this diocese is corrupt. Well, you do if you have a shred of Catholicism left in you.

“According to the document, Rev. Art Mattulke of SS. Peter and Paul Church in Hamburg — told one seminarian he heard the young man’s parents having sex on a retreat, going into detail about how the “father was really giving it to his mother.”

Mattulke “is a designated spiritual director appointed by Christ the King Seminary for seminarians,” the document states. “Several seminarians expressed concerns about this.”

Please stop and let this sink in. This fool who has the decorum of a 16-year-old jock fond of chatting in the locker room is the spiritual director for seminarians!!!!!!!!!! THE. SPIRITUAL. DIRECTOR. Clearly, Theology of the Body is not in his top 10 reads. What a jerk.

Other conversations involving the three suspended priests — Mattulke, Rev. Bob Orlowski and Rev. Patrick O’Keefe — reportedly included talk of “a priest who taught at the seminary and used to go to truck stops to give oral sex.”

The priest allegedly compared the sexual acts to a Catholic sacrament.

Yeah, but it’s all just clericalism. Sigh. Isn’t it funny? When they think nobody’s watching, they can’t help but discuss the homosexuality that supposedly doesn’t exist.

“The three suspended priests did not respond to multiple requests for comment.”

Oh, I bet they didn’t. I’m sure they were told to lay low until the fire dies down. So, are we going to let it die down or demand that these guys be assigned to a corner somewhere where there’s no children or seminarians or laity in general. The moon maybe?

In another case, the document — which was independently confirmed as authentic by an employee of the seminary — states Mattulke and Orlowski talked by phone with a female dentist from out of state in front of the seminarians, before they “surveyed the room of seminarians and called our gathering a sausage fest and said that the (female) dentist wants to f— a seminarian. Rev. Bob Orlowski asked the dentist, “Yeah, you want to f— one of them?”

Just think…Things are so bad in this diocese that there’s ZERO hesitation to say something like that in front of seminarians and employees. But, hey, at least the dentist was female. Leaves me to wonder if dentist doesn’t mean what it used to mean.  Sigh.

7 Eyewitness News has also learned that two other Buffalo Diocese priests — Rev. Bryan Zielenieski and Rev. Cole Webster — also attended the party and have since been reprimanded by the diocese for not doing more to stop the conversations.

Zielenieski — the pastor of Our Lady of Charity Parish in South Buffalo — and Webster, who is assigned to SS. Peter and Paul in Hamburg, said in interviews with 7 Eyewitness News that they were unfairly treated by the diocese and did not get to tell their sides of the story.

Dude (wouldn’t want to be accused of clericalism!), you party with these guys. Your side of the story was irrelevant.

“My feel of the event is that it was a nice gathering,” said Zielenieski, who is also canonical administrator of Notre Dame Academy elementary school in South Buffalo. “I thought there was good conversation that took place. There was some real conversation and it was…overall good.”

Oh, geez! The canonical administrator of an elementary school parties it up with these fools? Maybe you wouldn’t be caught up in this mess if you watched the company you keep. Are we really supposed to believe that this is the first “faux pas” by these guys? Yeah. You just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time or you’re disturbed enough to believe that this type of conversation is good.

Webster disputed parts of the seminarians’ accounts.

“That report says that they felt forced to stay and fed drinks,” Webster said. “That was not the case.”

Really, Fr. Webster? You may have missed something. It wasn’t just one or two seminarians, buddy. It was more than TWELVE. Again, are we really supposed to believe there’s some sort of collective hysteria going on here among the seminarians? Oh, OK.

The following is a transcript of the interview with 7 Eyewitness News:

REPORTER: “Are you saying that this stuff was OK or that you didn’t hear it? How did you interpret it when you were shown or read this document?”

ZIELENIESKI: “The aspects of it, no I did not hear, because you’re in different areas of the room. When you are gathered together in a relaxed atmosphere and you start to really get into the nitty gritty of ministry, you start to really try to be real, you do let your guard down a little bit. I’m not saying that everything is a holy dialogue, but I’m saying you have real conversations and some of it can get into real specifics and, you know, we have to work on that.”

Bahaha! “I’m not saying that everything is holy dialogue.” Uh, we definitely got that, but it wasn’t about the Yankees either. Are “real conversations” in your world usually pornographic? Seriously, re-read this paragraph. I have casual social conversations with lots of priests, and I’m not sure I remember them mentioning the sexual relations of my parents or lewd acts at a truck stop.

REPORTER: “Do you think it’s appropriate for a person, a priest, to be talking about this kind of stuff?”

WEBSTER: “Having read the report…which I preached this past weekend, I denied ever hearing. And some of it, I just don’t even understand how they interpreted things that are in there.”

Again, more than TWELVE seminarians heard this. Were you somehow in another room? Was this room so cavernous that you could hide over on one side of it while your senior buddies verbally molest seminarians? And this was your topic for your homily? Yeah, completely appropriate.  Did you make sure children were there too? Wouldn’t want to miss scandalizing them, would you?

REPORTER: “You’re not saying that this stuff is OK, what was said in here? That it’s appropriate?”

WEBSTER: “No, and what I’ve said in my own investigation is that it was false, some of it is false.”

You need to decide if you didn’t hear it or they are lying. If you didn’t hear it, how can you make that accusation? If you did hear it, how was it misinterpreted? You can see why we don’t believe you guys, right? At least tell us “some” that was supposedly “false” because there was a whole lot of crud being thrown at them.

REPORTER: “There’s gonna be people out there who are gonna look at this and say, jeez, what kind of stuff is happening on our seminary in this diocese? What would you say to that?”

ZIELENIESKI: “Formation…that’s what’s happening in our seminary in our diocese. The seminary has a task, and it’s a difficult task. It’s a task of taking men who have responded to the call and helping them to discern how is that Holy Spirit bringing them to the point of ordination.”

Picking jaw up off the keyboard now. Is this the formation you received yourself?!? No wonder why you don’t have a clue. What exactly are you forming these young men for, anyway??? Grooming might be a better word.  Who’s the new McCarrick waiting in the wings?

WEBSTER: “We were just trying to be authentic and share ourselves, and so do the people of God try to be authentic and they need counsel and spiritual guidance and they’re messy situations.”

Do us all a favor, be less “authentic” a.k.a disgusting. I don’t want to know your depravities, for heaven’s sake. Your flock doesn’t need twisted sexual stories for counsel and spiritual guidance. Are you really trying to say this worse-than-locker-room-talk was somehow spiritual guidance for the seminarians? Are you watching porn with them, too? I believe Pope Benedict might have been talking about your seminary recently.

“However, the employee of the seminary said there is a clear divide among seminarians who feel — especially in light of state sexual harassment laws — compelled to speak up about such conversations, and some older priests who are used to the stories.” 

Clearly, in this diocese, it’s been the status quo for far too long.

“We’re starting to have good guys joining the seminary that are not like this,” the employee said. “You have all these guys entering for the right reasons and you have all these other guys essentially imposing their will on them.”

I hear this all of the time. Until a good bishop arrives and rights the seminary, the poor seminarians just try to keep their heads down and get through. Most don’t make it because the level of, well, we might as well just say porn and smut, is staggering. The old guard found in liberal dioceses is emboldened right now. The rest of the diocese is just hoping and praying their bishop survives until the next conclave.

Rev. John Staak, interim president-rector of the seminary, declined a request for an interview.

There’s a shocker.

A spokeswoman for Bishop Richard Malone responded to criticism that he suspended the priests by phone from his vacation home in Cape Cod, Mass., and that he has remained there while the Hamburg parish endures the turmoil.

“Bishop Malone was fully involved in every conversation and decision that was made at the Diocese and Seminary,” spokeswoman Kathy Spangler said. “As regards the three priests, there is no timetable. After a temporary leave of absence from their parishes and appropriate action, we hope they will return to active ministry. In regard to time away, every priest, by canon law, is afforded personal time away. It has been Bishop Malone’s custom, for many years, to take some time immediately after Easter. While away, he is in regular contact, multiple times a day, with the diocese.”

Oh my gosh. Will they never learn? Can’t they tell these guys have some deep-seated issues? But hey, let’s just temporarily suspend them with the happy hope they’ll take the advice of their bishop to keep their mouths shut. They’re minds are still tweaked, but whatever.


After this story was published, Buffalo Diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler clarified in an email that Bishop Malone “never has and never will place any priests on leave by phone, including those recently placed on a temporary leave of absence.” Instead, she said, Bishop Malone asked Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz to “communicate it in person to the priests.” When asked, she did not specify how Bishop Malone communicated that message — by phone or by email — from his vacation home in Cape Cod, Mass.

“The key is that we would never communicate suspension or admin leave by phone, but always in a face to face conversation,” Spangler wrote in an email. “The decision is always made collegially, not by Bishop [sic] in an isolated way.”

This is where the diocese chooses to respond. The seminary is a dumpster fire but the bishop was totally involved with communication with the arsonists. Oh, this makes it all so much better. Sigh.