No Sanity for YOU!

If you’re not keeping up with the news, here it is in a nutshell.  USCCB has their usual meeting and on the agenda is a code of conduct for bishops and a lay oversight committee.  As weak as most of us were saying this would be, the Vatican called in the Nuncio to the U.S. and basically said, no votes on anything. 

To say there’s a lot of ticked of Catholics today is an understatement.  The good old Vatican blindsided the USCCB.  It’s not like the Vatican didn’t know that we had our annual meeting starting when our bishops and cardinals were FINALLY given a meeting with Pope Francis.  It’s also no surprise that the Holy Father didn’t want discussion on the topic.  I believe he called everyone just to get together and pray.  So why the eleventh hour intervention?  More than that, why would he ever tell our bishops not to handle the crisis at hand and wait until February?  This. Is. Insane.

I am so sick of hearing the word “synodality” because, as I’ve said before, it’s a complete and utter farce.  I’m also sick of hearing how the laity needs to be more involved in, well, everything.  The actions today contradict both of the buzz phrases and that’s all they are.  They make for good PR but it should be clear to the stupidest person that this only applies to liberals, quite specifically, the Germans and their buddies.  If it has to do with them and their wretched ideas, it’s all about “synodality” and the laity.  If it comes to anyone trying to stem evil from overtaking the land, sorry, no sanity for you! Synodality and the laity can go to hell.

Ed Peters nailed it with this one little tweet.

Ed Peters

I cannot help get conspiratorial today.  What in the heck is going on? Are the liberals trying to put some grand plan together to gerrymander the February synod? What could the U.S. bishops come up with for THEIR territory that could possibly upset the Vatican apple cart?  Clearly some big panic was going on in Rome.

Also, I’m SUPER suspect of Cardinal Cupich’s statement.  Clearly this was not a shock to him.  He was completely prepared.  And, of course, whenever Cardinal Cupich sounds kind of sane, you know it ain’t off the cuff. He almost always spontaneously implodes off the cuff. So it certainly seems someone has a plan somewhere.  Besides that, Cardinal DiNardo confirmed that it came from the Congregation for Bishops and guess who’s in that.  Oh, yeah, Cardinal Cupich so please don’t tell me he or Cardinal O’Malley hadn’t a clue.  

Let’s look at the lengthy talk by our Nuncio.  It’s sad.  It’s pathetic and it flies in the face of EVERYTHING the Vatican has said as of late in regards to “synodality” and the laity.  That completely exposes all of the lip service we’ve been given the last 6 months AND forget collegiality.  We’ve got a dang  monarchy going on when something like this happens.

This is a long one.  Get some coffee.

ADDRESS OF HIS EXCELLENCY ARCHBISHOP CHRISTOPHE PIERRE

APOSTOLIC NUNCIO TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

NOVEMBER 12, 2018

BALTIMORE,MARYLAND

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I am happy to be with you once more here in Baltimore. I wish to thank Cardinal DiNardo, the President of the Episcopal Conference, as well as Monsignor Bransfield and the Staff of the USCCB, for the opportunity to address you. I assure you of the Holy Father’s closeness, prayers, and gratitude for your ministry. One year ago, we were celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of this Episcopal Conference. Despite some bright moments – the Fifth National Encuentro and the recent Synod on Youth – we must recognize that the year has been marked by challenges.

Nope.  The Youth Synod was just another awful “challenge” that we’ll probably have to deal with for years to come just like this abuse scandal.

Actually, the events of this past year, which we have lived and continue to experience, have been both challenging and sobering. With humility and apostolic courage, we must accept our responsibility as spiritual fathers, facing reality with the grace that comes from the Lord. The Church is always in need of renewal for the sake of her saving mission of mediating the presence of Christ in the world and this is impossible unless we rebuild trust among the People of God, a task, which, looking to the future, demands time, effort, sacrifice and, most of all, true repentance and reform on our part.

They can’t accept their responsibility and deal with the “challenges” (If I was a victim, I’d be a little more than miffed that the destruction of their souls, purity and faith is being reduced to a “challenge.”) because the Vatican won’t let them. Hello?!?!  The USCCB just got one big time-out. How is this supposed to help us regain the trust of our current Vatican regime.  Quite frankly, I never thought I’d say this but I’m beginning to have far more confidence in the USCCB than the gang in Rome.

REFORM AND RESPONSIBILITY: BEGINNING AGAIN FROM JESUS CHRIST

There are many calls for reform in the Church, particularly amid the present crisis. You yourselves have expressed a greater desire for accountability and transparency. Still, I am struck by the words of the French author Georges Bemanos:

“Whoever pretends to reform the Church with … the same means used to reform temporal society- not only will he fail in his undertaking, but he will infallibly end by finding himself outside the Church. I say that he finds himself outside the Church before anyone has gone to the trouble of excluding him or her. I say that it is he himself who excludes himself from her by a tragic fatalism … The only way of reforming the Church is to suffer for her. The only way of reforming the visible Church is to suffer for the invisible Church. The only way of reforming the vices of the Church is to lavish on her the example of one’s own most heroic virtues.”

Well, it seems that everyone has read the October Magnificat. Seriously, even Cardinal Mahony was quoting it.  I’m actually surprised the Nuncio didn’t quote the whole thing.  The problem here is, where does that leave the St. Catherines of the world?  It seems everyone want to pick the saint who makes it the most comfortable for them.  Saying the desire for accountability and transparency is somehow how not be the tactic because St. Francis, is just another way to say “Shut up and sit in the corner and pray.”  Oy. Cherry picking the saints is not going to help us in this day no more than cherry picking bible verses.  Firm resolve to sin no more and avoid the near occasion of sin is what’s going to get the job done.

If the Church is to reform herself and her structures, then the reform must spring from her mission of making known Christ, the Son of the Living God. Pope Francis says that “What makes obsolete structures pass away, what leads to a change of heart in Christians, is precisely missionary spirit.” (POPE FRANCIS, APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUD/UM, 24 NOVEMBER 2013, 25)

Is this something new?  Nope.  So, apparently, maybe learning how to be chaste and moral priests and bishops has to come first before we can be missionaries??? I mean, it seems we’ve missed some basics long before we talk about the “missionary spirit.”  Do you really want priests and bishops running around the world molesting people?  Is morality an “obsolete structure?!”

There may be a temptation on the part of some to relinquish responsibility for reform to others than ourselves, as if we were no longer capable of reforming or trusting ourselves, as if the deposit of trust should be transferred to other institutions entirely. To regain trust it is not enough to simply preach words about responsibility, without living the difficulties of that responsibility, even in the face of criticism. When it comes to the responsibilities, with which we are charged – with children and the vulnerable at the forefront- we must show that we can solve problems rather than simply delegating them to others.

Holy Moses!  Isn’t this what a good chunk of the faithful been saying whenever the liberals say “More women! More laity!” Why is this suddenly uncomfortable for you? Oh, I know.  The laity has grown weary and are going to investigate the hell out of you all because we don’t want to see anymore victims of rape and molestation? That’s the sum total of it. We wanted you to do something.  We asked you to do something.  In fact, we BEGGED you to do something and you just passed the buck down the road and spewed out platitudes about women and the laity and now that the laity has said “OK, I guess we’ll have to do it!” It’s “Whoa!   Hold up a minute!  We don’t need “outside institutions!”  What the what?!?!?! Make up your ridiculous minds.

At the same time, there can be no question that the insights of experts, the contributions of time and professional skill of all the faithful, laity together with the clergy and so many consecrated women and men, are critical to carrying out our mission as Shepherds. Assistance is both welcomed and necessary, and surely collaboration with the laity is essential. However, the responsibility, as bishops of this Catholic Church, is ours – to live with, to suffer with, and to exercise properly. The People of God have rightly challenged us to be trustworthy.

Translation?  “We’ll let you be involved, laity, when it pleases us to do so.”  You want to be seen as trustworthy?  Stop the “we need the laity/we don’t need the laity” bipolar swings!  Just deal with the fact that you’ve made your bed and now you have to lie in it.  Start utilizing the good old transparency you’ve been flapping your gums about FOR DECADES now!  We don’t want a witch hunt.  Heck, I’ve seen priests put on “credibly accused” lists that are being released that were investigated by their order, the diocese they were in, the police and were totally and completely exonerated.  In fact, even the supposed victim’s families completely and totally recanted the stories.  So yeah, you releasing a bunch of lists doesn’t do a darn thing if you can’t even get them right.

Pope Francis never ceases to tell us that if we are to begin again, then we should begin again from Jesus Christ, who enlightens our lives and helps us to prove that we can be trustworthy! When Christ called Peter to be the Rock he told him that he would build his Church upon Peter’s confession of faith, promising that the gates of hell would not prevail! We are that Church, and in our own Profession of Faith we say that we believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church – a Church undivided, holy because of its divine element, catholic as universal and apostolic because of its foundations in the teaching of the Apostles. As the successors of the Apostles, we cannot be other than with the successor of Peter. We, in communion with our Holy Father, are heirs to the promise of Christ. As heirs and successors, each of us, individually and collegially is called to a special responsibility to strengthen the faith of our sisters and brothers, especially in confronting the challenges before us.

And again, that’s what the proposition you guys shut down!

My brothers, in the past decades you have put in place structures for the protection of children and young people. But we all know that Ecclesia semper reformanda est! There is always more to do and we bishops must not be afraid to get our hands dirty in doing that work in the vineyard of the Lord. Moreover, allow me to remind you, in these challenging days, that the measures you have taken in the last years have been effective in training bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity to be vigilant in the protection of youth. Those measures have been important, have set an example, and have led to a steep decline in the incidence of reported abuse today. There are some dioceses here in the United States that have been so thorough in their work that their training programs have become models for civil institutions. Those of you who have done good work are to be congratulated for your commitment as leaders, and for setting a good example for us all. At the same time, we must reaffirm vigorously that one case of abuse is one too many. Therefore, it is necessary, for the entire People of God, to remain vigilant.

Just more lip service.  Quite frankly, I’m not even sure if the incidences have gone down or some have just gotten better at covering it up. Remember, the latest flap is very much about how some managed to cover it up so well and how those guys are now in positions of power.

Despite the success of these efforts, there is not a corresponding increase in public approval of bishops, and given some recent revelations, perhaps none should be expected. Trust needs to be earned, not presumed. When protection of the young and vulnerable becomes not just a duty but a calling, when it is viewed as integral to the gospel not only to care for Catholics but for all in harm’s way, we bishops can rightly take our place as leaders looked up to rather than down upon with scorn. Of course, there is work to do, but do not be afraid to speak with pride of the work that has been done.

They were trying to earn it as best they can in this debacle but you told them to hold off. I cannot say that enough. We don’t care about the work already done when people like Cardinals McCarrick, Cupich, Tobin and Farrell all were promoted, not to mention the idiots at the Vatican.  That wiped out our view of anything good and the fact that you won’t allow our territory’s bishops to vote on something as simple as a code of conduct further looks horrific.

Indeed, as painful and humiliating as it may be at times, we can thank the media for bringing attention to this issue. There have been times when the media drew attention to precisely what we did not attend to ourselves. As said from the time of diplomacy in the Greek City-States, “Don’t shoot the messenger.” (And, as a Nuncio, I can assure you it is a phrase very dear to me!) It is also the case that an impression is sometimes left in the media that the Church has done little. That is simply not true, and we should not be afraid to refute this. We cry for the injustices perpetrated upon victims of abuse. We vow to fight a clerical culture that tolerates the abuse of authority. When abuse occurs, it is our sin and we must take it as such. These are not the sins of the media or the products of vast conspiracies. These are things we must recognize and fix. Our Holy Father has said it must end, and it must – not simply because he has said it, but because each of us in our hearts know that this is the only right thing to do.

Oh my gosh.  The Church has done a lot.  They’ve done everything to covering up the abuse, promoting the perpetrators and, most recently, they most certainly shot the messenger. You might not really want to go there, Nuncio. The right thing to do is what the PAPAL COMMISSION for the Protection of Minors said to do and release everyone from Pontifical Secrets in regards to abuse but it’s way more convenient to keep shooting the messenger.

Thus, we must see our failures clearly and not be discouraged if we feel the Church is somehow treated unfairly, turning upon ourselves as though the world is against us. This would-be self-referential behavior paralyzes rather than energizes. Christ and his mission demand we go into the world, not withdraw from it. At this critical moment in the history of the Church in the United States, I am confident that each one of us will be able to respond by going to and being with the people, showing them that we can be trustworthy. The path is clear and begins with Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

For heaven’s sake.  You might want to relay this message to the Holy Father because the “Great Accuser” schtick is getting really, really, really old.

From the Divine Master, we learn the proper use of authority through service. Seeing the imminence of the Passion and desiring to leave for the Apostles an example to imitate, He humbled Himself and washed their feet, commanding them to do the same: For I have given you an example, that as I have done, so you also should do. (JOHN 13:15).

So tiring.  Look, I’m a Pastor Aeternus groupie. This has ZERO to do with it. This isn’t about proper use of authority.  It’s about the improper use of authority.  You guys are the one who’ve been screaming clericalism, remember?

Rebuilding trust requires using our authority to serve humbly and to lead by example. Saint Charles Borromeo, a model for bishops, reflecting on the washing of the disciples’ feet, writes that:

“If we desire to consider entirely the things that are mystically contained in Christ’s example, we find the whole duty of an apostle expressed by him. He rose up from the Jewish supper. In like manner his ministers too must leave behind the lifestyle of the old man … and put on the new, rising from just knowing to putting it into practice, from the meal to labor, from letter to the spirit. They must lay down their garments, that is cast away all impediments to the virtues, that they may be able to labor strenuously and gird themselves with white linen, that is, integrity of life. Then they draw the water of saving doctrine and wash the character and conduct of their subjects with doctrine, the Sacraments, and example. This, our leader and standard-bearer Christ did, so that we might do the same. The disciple is not above the Master (Mt 10:24), nor is it fitting for servants of the humble Lord to be proud.’ (CHARLES BORROMEO, HOMILIA II, IN VOL. 1, JOSEPH ANTHONY SAX, ED. SANCTI CAROLI BORROMEI HOM!l/AE, MLIAN: JOSEPH MARELLUM, 1747-1748)”

 

Um, I think you’ve described the big, gigantic thing we’ve all been saying.  I agree this is very needed.  That said, it’s the opposite of what is happening and now what is being ordered not to happen.

Pope Francis asks us to be a synodal and humble Church, a Church that listens. We need to listen once more to the voice of Christ: For I have given you an example, that as I have done, so you also should do. The exercise of authority is a real service and governance should not be a privilege or a position, but a responsibility to be neither ignored nor totally delegated.

 I have never heard so many deaf people talk about listening. Nobody is listening to the view from the pew. If they were, Rome definitely would not have told our bishops to postpone doing something about the immorality in our country.

AUTHENTIC REFORM: LISTENING TO THE VICAR OF CHRIST

As the pilgrim Church journeys on in history, she recalls the words of the Savior: He who hears you, hears me. The Church listens to the voice of Christ. She also listens when the Vicar of Christ on earth, the successor of Saint Peter, speaks. Lumen Gentium’s third chapter takes up the role of bishops and collegiality, declaring “Just as in the Gospel, the Lord so disposing, St. Peter and the other apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in a similar way, the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are joined together.” (cf. LG 22) “The individual bishops represent each his own church, but all of them together with the Pope represent the entire Church in the bond of peace, unity’ and love.” (SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH LUMEN GENT/UM, 21 NOVEMBER 1964, 23)

And why is it that the Nuncio feels he needs to remind the USCCB of this?  Does anyone at all find this kind of a threat?  I know I do.

If we are together, in real hierarchical communion – hierarchical communion that permeates our hearts and are not merely words – we become the visible sign of peace, unity, and love, a sign of true synodality. In a recent audience, the Holy Father outlined three essential traits of bishops, which I believe can help us rediscover our own sense of identity and mission in the present situation: to be a man of prayer; a man of proclamation; and a man of communion.

Please, stop with the synodality. Thus far it’s been a lie. Honestly, it’s scary talk to be spending so much time on “real hierarchical communion” as if people who think that the Church is not handling the abuse crisis well  are somehow not in “real hierarchical communion.”  Like I’ve said before, I think we’re heading toward schism declarations.  I’m sure talk like this doesn’t make most of us comfortable.  For us, it’s like having to decide which parent to live with in a divorce.  It’s a horrible place to put us and, surprisingly, it ain’t the USCCB who is trying to bring us to the brink.

THE BISHOP AS A MAN OF PRAYER

In that audience, the Holy Father noted that the bishop, like Saint Peter and the Apostles, is “called by Jesus to be with Him. (cf. Mk 3: 14) There he finds his strength and his confidence. Before the Tabernacle he learns to entrust himself and so trust in the Lord.,  (POPE FRANCIS, AUDIENCE WITH PARTICIPANTS IN A SEMINAR ORGANIZED BY THE CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, 8 SEPTEMBER 2018). It is important for us to regain our confidence that by the power of God and our cooperation with Him, we can face and meet any challenges.

“For the bishop,” the Holy Father continues, “prayer is not devotion but a necessity; it is not one task among many, but an indispensable ministry of intercession: each day he must lead people and lay their situations before God.” I am encouraged that you will have the opportunity to be together and to pray together on your retreat in early January, when you will have more time to contemplate the person of Jesus, to listen to His voice, to discern the path forward, and to intercede for your people.

Huh?  These guys are bishops. Do they really not believe this?  I don’t know about the Nuncio, but I watched a lot of good bishops call us all not only to prayer but to fasting and penance and it’s not like they just told us to do it.  They were right there with us.

THE BISHOP AS A MAN OF PROCLAMATION

In addition to being a man of prayer, Pope Francis recalls that the bishop should be a man of proclamation. The Apostles were sent to proclaim the Gospel to all the nations. How often the Holy Father exhorts us to be a “Church that goes forth”! This applies to us too!

In spending himself tirelessly for his people and for the Gospel, not living exclusively in an office, but among the people, the bishop proclaims the Word with a specific style. Hopefully, he follows the humble example of Jesus. The Pope reminds us that we are called to be “living memories of the Lord’ and warns against “being more concerned with form than substance, of becoming more actors than witnesses” and “of watering down the Word of salvation by proposing a Gospel without Jesus Crucified and Risen.”

How about giving talks as lame as this to the congregation?  Seriously.  This is a check off the box talk. It’s not even remotely acknowledging the elephant in the room.

THE BISHOP AS A MAN OF COMMUNION

The Holy Father also reminds us that the bishop is to be a man of communion, marked with “the charism of togetherness” – maintaining unity and solidifying communion. All of you are certainly aware of the polarization of American society today; it is a polarization that has sometimes affected and infected the Church and our parishes. The Holy Father states, echoing Saint Augustine, that “The Church needs union, not soloists apart from the choir or exponents of personal battles. The Pastor gathers: a bishop for his faithful, he is a Christian with his faithful.”

Let’s just pause here to note one phrase.  “The charism of togetherness.” Reallllyyyy???  When was this the pre-eminant charism of the Church?  That is a HUGE misunderstanding of the “one” in one, holy, catholic and apostolic.  Would we say the Church was suffering from a lack of the “charism of togetherness” when Paul withstood Peter or St. Catherine told Pope Gregory how it was?  Complete and utter agreement on everything in the Church is not needed for “one” to exist.

There’s a reason we’ve come to such a polarized place in America.  It happened because of weak, pandering leaders who chose platitudes over substance.  I agree that the situation in our Church is similar in polarization and for the very same reason. While we’ve always had periods throughout Church history, I’ve never seen it like this in my lifetime. Our Church leaders have made the same, sad mistakes as, say, Barrack Obama.  All style, no substance.

To accomplish this unity the bishop must love “weaving communion by being involved in the first person and by acting in a humble manner.” Part of being engaged and acting humbly involves listening. Last June, I said that spiritual fatherhood and effective evangelization require listening. The International’ Theological Commission recently noted the necessity of listening in discernment to build consensus among laity, consecrated men and women, clergy and bishops. And listening is curative; by listening, we begin the process of accompaniment. Spending time with the people and listening to their needs, we learn how to be better pastors. We are here to teach, but we can also be taught by our brothers and sisters.

Oh my gosh.  I feel like banging my head on a wall. Honestly, how many times can we pitch “listening” as the answer to everything without actually listening to a darn thing.

The recent Synod on Youth is an example of listening and of taking young people and their concerns seriously. The Fifth National Encuentro was exemplary in the art of listening in parishes, dioceses, regionally and nationally. Those who often find themselves at the margins were afforded the opportunity to express themselves to their pastors. For those present, who could not be moved by the event when bishops were seated around the table, exchanging ideas with young people?

Yes, it was a really nice photo-op and then a document was written with two-thirds of it addressing nothing the youth cared about at all. You know? Synodality.

Offering an attentive ear to priests is critical as well. We must remember that truly our priests need support and understanding. They must be listened to. As the Holy Father says:

“[The bishop] does not tire of listening … He becomes wholly one with his people and above all with his presbyterate, always willing to receive and encourage his priests. By example, more than by words, he promotes a sincere priestly fraternity, showing priests that they are Shepherds for the flock … ” (POPE FRANCIS, AUDIENCE WITH PARTICIPANTS IN A SEMINAR ORGANIZED BY THE CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZA TION OF PEOPLES, 8 SEPTEMBER 2018)’

Is this why it took so long for our bishops and cardinals to get a meeting with the Holy Father?  Because he felt that they needed an attentive ear?

Priests today are hurting. Many, having lived through 2002, are experiencing a trauma for the second time in their priesthood over the abuse crisis. Some are demoralized, while others are feeling angry or betrayed. Many are simply worn down with the burdens of ministry, the clergy shortage, and the suspicion under which they live. They are looking to you to be a father and brother who will listen -to their sorrows and joys – and who will empathize and encourage them to persevere. Listening to them and sustaining them is essential to responding to their concerns, so that they may be your joyful co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord.

Again, our bishops were trying to throw out the idea that the whole issue of conduct starts with them and they were just squashed at the last-minute. They were at least trying to go for transparency with the lay review board.  Again, no joy there either.  I can’t imagine why anyone would be demoralized, angry or betrayed. (Sarcasm alert.) Our priests are the boots on the ground.  They hear it from the laity when they are happy or mad.  How do you think the thumping the Vatican gave the USCCB today makes them feel. So, please, stop.

The problems faced by the Church today are compounded by a clericalism, which can affect both clergy and laity, and which “corrodes communion.” In this regard, it is important to recall that it is the People of God for whom we (and our priests) have been ordained.

Well, on this one point we can agree.  Again, I can’t imagine how today’s thumping is going to do anything to change the problems we face today. It’s only going to reinforce the laity’s growing reality that you are going to do whatever you choose and when you choose.  Where’s the “listening” there???

Our Holy Father has spoken of the ills of clericalism from the first days of his pontificate. It is an illness, and it must be treated as such. An effective response to clericalism can emerge by offering special attention to clergy and to seminarians by “updating our processes of selection, accompaniment and evaluation” of candidates for the priesthood. (CF. POPE FRANCIS, “ADDRESS TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE COURSE FOR NEW BISHOPS OFFERED BY THE CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, 13 SEPTEMBER 2018). I am confident that the new Ratio Fundamentalis and your forthcoming Sixth Edition of the Program for Priestly Formation will confront the challenge, offering an integral formation for seminarians, helping them grow continually in discipleship and configuration to Christ.

With patience and concern, continue to spend time with your clergy and seminarians, listening, so that through prayer you may discern a truly effective pastoral response, conscious of the Holy Father’s reminder that you are “fathers, not masters, caring fathers … ” (POPE FRANCIS, AUDIENCE WITH PARTICIPANTS IN A SEMINAR ORGANIZED BY THE CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELlZATION OF PEOPLES, 8 SEPTEMBER 2018)

 

I don’t really know what it’s like in other countries.  In mine, we have a lot of newer bishops who have been left with quite a mess from leaders like Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal Bernadin, etc., etc., etc.  And now you’ve given us a few more who worshipped them like Bishop McElroy, Cardinal Farrell, Cardinal Tobin, Cardinal Cupich.  Maybe, if you want real change, don’t give us more of the same.  Give us people who actually agree with what you stated above rather than cardinals like Cupich who demand that people apologize for him when he steps in it time and again. Don’t give us bishops and cardinals who bounce the faithful Catholic men as “too rigid.” And hey, maybe drop the whole use of “rigid” all together!

CONCLUSION

My brothers, we cannot run from the challenges that presently confront us. We must face them realistically and courageously, listening with open hearts to the voice of Christ and his Vicar on earth.

It would appear that the only ones running from the challenges are confronting us are people in the Vatican.  Our guys were ready to at least make an attempt to confront the problems or at least try to appear like they were doing so.  I know it was an honest effort on the behalf of some.

I want to assure you, not only of my prayers and solidarity at this difficult time, but also of those of the Holy Father. Just as the Lord gazed upon Peter, knowing his weaknesses but also seeing his potential, I remain confident that the Lord gazes upon us now and will offer us his strength to meet the challenges, which seem daunting.

We cannot be daunted or held back by the challenging task; rather, we must be concerned with the people and mission entrusted to our care along the path to holiness.

Then get out of the way!!!

The experience of the divine, even in small victories and experiences of grace and healing, gives us hope. Even if things seem dark, do not be discouraged but have hope. He is with us. He accompanies the Church. Dedicated to Christ and belonging to Him, as men of the Church, each one of us must be living witnesses to hope. I conclude with the words of Cardinal Henri De Lubac:

‘A man of the Church will always remain open to hope; for him the horizon is never closed. Like St. Paul, he will want to be full of rejoicing in his sufferings and will go so far as to believe himself called … to ‘fill up those things that are wanting in the sufferings of Christ … for his body which is the Church.’, knowing that in Christ he has ‘the hope of glory’.” (HENRI DE LUBAC, THE SPLENDOR OF THE CHURCH, TRANSL. MICHAEL MASON, DEUS BOOKS: GLEN ROCK, 1956, 155.)

Thank you for your attention!

I’m going to leave my bishops with a quote that rings more necessary in these crucial times:

We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence.

~St. Catherine of Siena

I want to make one thing clear.  The Holy Father is totally within his rights to tell our bishops not to vote and to wait until February.  This is my point. It appears very hypocritical in the light of the constant call for synodality and collegiality and it doesn’t make it right to do so.

 

 

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A Failure to Communicate? Definitely!

This ought to be fun!  Just can’t wait to see what the Soros lackey is going to tell us about the youth of today and same-sex attraction.  Anyone know if he actually knows any youth?  Just curious. BTW, he’s been a bit of a player for quite a while now. Here’s a little background.

A Failure to Communicate

The Synod’s Mistake on LGBT Catholics

By John Gehring

November 2, 2018

And this title might be the only place where any agreement between me and John Gehring might lie.  Of course, his definition of “mistake” and mine would differ greatly.

The recently concluded Synod on Young People reflected Pope Francis’s call for a listening church that accompanies people and discerns together. Unlike synods in previous papacies, where a final script was essentially drafted in advance and most bishops dutifully signed off, a more authentic process unfolded during the month-long gathering that ended last Sunday.

Wait!  What?  Seems like that’s more or less exactly what happened, albeit minus the “LGBT” acronym, because they knew there was no way in hell they were going to get that in.

A mode of engagement that prioritizes a humble posture of encounter is essential if the Catholic Church hopes to stem the tide of young people leaving an institution they often view as irrelevant, hypocritical, and aloof. In fact, those who are raised Catholic are more likely than those raised in any other religion to cite negative religious treatment of gay and lesbian people as the primary reason they leave, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.”

Huh??? The Public Religion Research Institute?  Oh my.  Hysterical.  I mean, John, why didn’t you just put out your own poll asking people who agree with you what they think?  People, do the research.  https://catholicvote.org/public-religion-research-institute-misleads-on-catholic-attitudes/

Can I tell you why people leave the Church?  It’s simple:  It’s HARD to be Catholic!!!  It’s hard to pick up a cross.  Our catechesis has been largely abysmal for many years now, and we’re not getting the message across in most of our churches of the benefits of carrying that cross.  Duh! Everlasting life, and the spiritual world in general, have been reduced to a fable. It’s no wonder people are being sucked into the secular world. They’re offering more.  We’re just given homilies on how to be nice.  Well, not at my parish, but that’s why I go there.  They’re actually offering me something I need and want.  Oh, and we do pretty well.

“We’ve gone from talking about young people and from talking to young people to talking with them,” said Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

I am absolutely not against talking with young people.  I do it as often as I possibly can.  Whether or not they agree with me, they know that I have their best interest in mind AND I will tell them as much of the truth as I can. 

A hopeful church that listens from below and engages in dialogue is better positioned than a fearful, fortress church to fulfill the Second Vatican Council’s proclamation to read the “signs of the times.” For young gay Catholics and their allies, the synod offered a space where bishops could learn from the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties, of the LGBT faithful. Signs pointed to a potentially important step forward. In a document prepared before the synod, the Vatican used the term “LGBT” for the first time. “Some LGBT youth,” it read, want to “benefit from greater closeness and experience greater care from the church.” Not exactly a revolutionary statement, and rather painfully obvious. But the use of “LGBT” was striking and significant. The church has a major language problem when it comes to respecting the dignity of gay, lesbian, and transgender people. Catholic teaching documents typically use “homosexual” or refer to “homosexual tendencies.” Using the LGBT descriptor—often preferred by many gay, lesbian, and transgender people—is a sign of respect.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa, son!  Heck of a parsing of Gaudium et Spes.  Nice try, though.

4. To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics. Some of the main features of the modern world can be sketched as follows.

Thanks for channeling Fr. Martin, but no thanks. We need to scrutinize the signs of the times, not just roll over for them.  Gaudium et Spes shows us that these are all perennial questions.  This isn’t some knew ideology.  In fact, it’s all been repeated time and again, and as usual, Truth and her answers do not change.

Archbishop Chaput very eloquently pointed out:

What the Church “holds to be true about human sexuality is not a stumbling block.”

“It is the only real path to joy and wholeness,” he continued. “There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are; as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ.”

This is Truth.  This is dignity. This is respect. Describing people by their sexual appetite is lowering them to a creature who’s being is controlled by a sexual appetite. We are not. We have free will. 

But the final report from the synod did not use the term “LGBT.” Several bishops, including Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, criticized its potential appearance. For the church, he said, “there is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are.”

Can I get an AMEN?  Seriously.  If our sexual appetites define us, we are in big trouble.  In fact, this is kind of what’s been happening with this abuse scandal.  People give in to the notion that that’s how they are made and there’s nothing we can do about it, so we should be free to act on it. It seems to be just peachy for those who want to act on their homosexual appetite, but should it be with children or someone who doesn’t desire it, it’s evil.  Nope.  Both evil.

Some bishops and other church leaders foster a toxic culture that scapegoats and demonizes LGBT laity and clergy

Head in the sand time again.  How about we state this little fact:  80% of these abuse cases (and with the latest round, probably more) have been perpetrated by homosexual priests.  So, I think it’s safe to say that they seem to be the ones who readily give into their weaknesses. Can we at least agree on that? 

This observation reflects, perhaps unwittingly, a certain theological arrogance.

Or maybe your lack of acceptance of the facts reflects a bit of narcissism instead?

Saying there are “no LGBT Catholics,” when many Catholics who love and contribute to the church embrace that description, is disrespectful at best, and at worst denies a person dignity. Chaput warns of “sexual appetites” defining who we are—a reasonable caution—but it seems that the archbishop is the one who is reducing being gay, lesbian, or transgender to sexual mechanics, as if our friends, neighbors, and family members are little more than a bundle of physical urges rather than complex and multidimensional human beings. I understand the instinct not to balkanize the church into islands of identity. We are “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church,” in the words of the Nicene Creed. Our shared faith unifies.

Hey, man, the Church is made of sinners, but dignity isn’t brought about by what we want to be called. Dignity is given to us by God in our creation.  Are you saying someone who proudly states “I am a porn star” is somehow brought dignity by that label? How about those who want to be labeled a satanic high priest?  I mean, you can’t deny that there are plenty of people like that, yet somehow we’re just supposed to say, “Oh, that’s what you want to be classified as? Awesome!” Please.  This is just your pet proclivity, so you are going to demand we all say, “Oh, OK, whatever you want,” as if that somehow imparts dignity to a person.

But the church does recognize and often names those who reflect our diversity. Some dioceses have offices, retreats, or specific events for Latino Catholics, African-American Catholics, young-adult Catholics, and senior Catholics. None of this is reductionist. There is a proud tradition of celebrating Irish-American and Italian-American Catholics’ contributions to the church, distinct cultures that are nonetheless part of the beautiful mosaic of Catholicism. In the same way a Latina Catholic doesn’t exclusively define herself by being a Latina, identifying as an LGBT Catholic doesn’t circumscribe one’s identity, but acknowledges its significance as part of the whole.

And as Archbishop Chaput points out, we’re don’t call ourselves heterosexual Catholics.  For goodness sake.  Get a wee bit of grasp on reality and stop comparing apples to Toyotas. This is a ridiculous comparison.  If someone wants to say they are a cat, are you just fine with that?  I mean, I’m sure they feel that this is their special diversity.  You can’t have it both ways, John.

For Archbishop Chaput, the church should not use LGBT because it is wrong to, in his words, “categorize people.” This is a laudatory concept, until you reflect on the irony of that statement coming from a leader in a church that uses language often viewed as clinical and demeaning by the very people it seeks to describe. Homosexual “inclinations” and “intrinsically disordered,” words used in official church teaching, also categorize people, and in ways that exclude and wound.

Nice try again.  He actually said:

“It follows that ‘LGBTQ’ and similar language should not be used in Church documents, because using it suggests that these are real, autonomous groups, and the Church simply doesn’t categorize people that way.”

Your beef seems to be with Archbishop Chaput, but he’s showing YOU what the Church has never done. Heaven forbid a member of the Church would reflect what the Church actually does and does not say. I mean, hello, “inclinations” and “intrinsically disordered” is found in Church teaching, so you getting mad at Archbishop Chaput is just targeting those who hold to those teachings, including many people suffering from same-sex attraction.  Seriously, you act as if everyone with same-sex attraction has hurt feelings about this.  Sorry.  It ain’t so. 

San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy has suggested the church needs to rethink such language. In an interview with America magazine, he said the description “intrinsically disordered” is “very destructive language that I think we should not use pastorally.” He added that “in Catholic moral theology, it is a philosophical term that is automatically misunderstood in our society as a psychological judgment.” The church can’t be a “field hospital” for the wounded, to use a central metaphor from Pope Francis, if its own language wounds.

And yet, many people suffering with same-sex attraction don’t feel the martyrdom you are trying to imply on their behalf.  What about them?  Oh, a wee bit of an inconvenient truth that more and more people who consider themselves same-sex attracted aren’t going to be riding in your parade?  They, like the saints, embrace Church teaching and are willing to take up their crosses. And you know what?  We’re going to be right there with them struggling with our own crosses. 

The synod’s final report included some positive things: reiterating the church’s condemnation of any violence directed at sexual minorities; acknowledging that ministry to gay and lesbian people is already being done in the church; and emphasizing accompaniment. Perhaps presaging a future and much-needed discussion on the broader dimensions of how the church addresses human sexuality, the report noted that “there are questions related to the body, to affectivity and to sexuality that require a deeper anthropological, theological, and pastoral exploration.” This is significant, and it rattles conservative bishops. “The Catholic hierarchy is acknowledging that the church needs to update its understanding of the science of sex and gender, and that also means updating the church’s theology on sexuality and its ministry to gay people,” David Gibson wrote in an analysis for Religion News Service.

The fact that you think that the Church’s teaching on sexuality needs to be updated and is somehow outdated is rattling to any faithful Catholic.  There’s so much beauty and richness that you cannot seem to grasp. Can you say “Theology of the Body?”  I know it can’t be grasped in a day but give it just a little read before you bother to comment.

Archbishop Chaput characterized that line in the final report as “subtle and concerning.” The church “already has a clear, rich, and articulate Christian anthropology,” he told the National Catholic Register. “It’s unhelpful to create doubt or ambiguity around issues of human identity, purpose, and sexuality, unless one is setting the stage to change what the church believes and teaches about all three, starting with sexuality.”

BOOM!  Just because John Gehring and buddies missed it doesn’t mean that it is there.

Whatever discussions may yet take place in the church, an editorial in The Tablet underscored a painful truth. “Few progressive Catholics would have dared to dream that Synod might open a conversation about ‘intrinsic disorder,’ or that it might acknowledge that even the acronym LGBT excludes queer, intersex, and asexual Catholics,” the editors wrote. “What is, perhaps, most heartbreaking is that LGBT Catholics pinned their hopes on so little: being discussed in a language that wasn’t overtly offensive, with words that will—for many gay people—trigger memories of bullying and harassment.”

Dear progressive Catholics, you want to have a conversation about “intrinsic disorder” or anything else, I’d be happy.  Just drop me a line.  I’m not being sarcastic here.  For some reason John Gehring thinks we are unwilling to talk to you, or at least that’s what he’d like you to believe.  I am totally willing to talk and to struggle with you as you carry your cross, and I hope you help me to carry mine.  Our struggles are all different, but we all need the Body of Christ to make it through this life and gain everlasting life. 

Several U.S. bishops, including Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, have articulated a strong message of solidarity with LGBT Catholics. Putting this accompaniment into practice will require calling out organizations such as Church Militant, a group that bullies, threatens, and demeans LGBT Catholics and their allies. A few weeks ago a pastoral associate at a San Diego parish submitted his resignation after he “endured physical and emotional violence from groups like Church Militant and LifeSiteNews for the past year and a half,” according to an email he sent to friends and associates obtained by the National Catholic Reporter. The harassment included slashed tires, death threats, attacks outside Mass, and “hundreds of letters, phone calls, and emails.”

I’ve already addressed Aaron Bianco here, so I’m not going to go there again, but if you missed it, here’s my response to this flap: 

Of course the Catholic Church doesn’t condone this abuse; in fact, the Catechism explicitly denounces it. Nevertheless, some bishops and other church leaders foster a toxic culture that scapegoats and demonizes LGBT laity and clergy. Former Vatican ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who has called for Pope Francis’s resignation, warns of “homosexual networks” with the “power of octopus tentacles” that are “strangling” the church. “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,” Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, wrote in a letter to Catholics in his diocese. Such language only tills the soil for potentially violent acts.

Seriously, can’t we talk about sin without having it be a threat somehow? Sorry, again, my kids have to live in this world, John.  You don’t get to play the martyr card.

As James Baldwin wrote: “It is a terrible, an inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own.” When the church continues to deny LGBT people their full humanity, isn’t that the risk it takes?”

Oh, yes.  James Baldwin who knows all the beauty and intricacies of the Catholic Church.  Geez.  You had the chance somewhere to quote St. John Paul II, but you went with James Baldwin as your “saint” of choice?!?

And, just for the record, the Church wants nothing less than dignity and salvation for all Her children.  The Church NEVER discriminates amongst God’s children.  The same rules apply to all of us.  It ain’t easy.  There’s a lot about the narrow gate but the Body of Christ is meant to struggle together.

Vatican Faces Gaggle of Bitter Women

 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/world/europe/vatican-women-leadership.html

Vatican Faces Modern-Day Suffragists, Demanding Right to Vote

 By Elisabetta Povoledo

Oct. 26, 2018

VATICAN CITY — Two modern-day American suffragists had a plan.

I have to wonder if there’s any portion of the liberal Catholic (aka media on Catholic life support) or mainstream media who understand that a good portion of us do not want women to vote at a synod, be ordained anything, be in the Church hierarchy, etc. Consequently, the same women don’t feel marginalized by the Church or jealous of the all-male clergy. Do you think they’ll ever interview us for a different point of view?

During this month’s Synod of Bishops, an international gathering at the Vatican, Deborah Rose-Milavec and Kate McElwee, who lead groups dedicated to advancing women in leadership roles in the Roman Catholic Church, made sure that Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the synod’s general secretary, was presented with a hefty pink folder.

Pink?  Like in the shade of the Women’s March pink?  Were they wearing their little pink hats when they delivered it?  Seriously nauseating to the rest of us strong, Catholic women.

Inside was a petition with more than 9,000 signatures and one specific request: Allow female religious superiors at the synod to “vote as equals alongside their Brothers in Christ.”

Wow!  A whole 9,000?  Staggering. Might they stopped to wonder why they couldn’t get a few more out of the millions of Catholic women around the world? Might be because more than a few of us would like to hit them upside the head and knock a little common sense into them.

The petition’s request, said Ms. Rose-Milavec, the executive director of Future Church and Ms. McElwee, who holds the same post at the Women’s Ordination Conference, was a minor volley in what has seemed to be an insurmountable battle to get the male-centric Catholic Church to pay serious attention to women, who represent about half the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics but count for little where it matters.

Here’s a little clue for you ladies.  You do not represent me and representing half of the  1.3 billion Catholics is in your dreams, ladies.  Time for you to understand that the gray-haired feminist movement is on life-support and those of use who love St. Catherine, St. Teresa, St. Hildegard and St. Therese have always had more influence on the Church than you and those numbers are on the rise today.

Vatican synods are held every few years. Women have emerged as a major concern of this one, which opened earlier this month and focuses on how the church can better minister to today’s youth in an era of emptying pews.

Interestingly enough, the numbers in the pews in a church seem to depend on the orthodoxy of the parish. Those with those who embrace Church teachings and doctrine are far fuller than, say, most of the churches in Germany.

“The presence of women in the church, the role of women in the church,” has been repeatedly raised, in the synod’s plenary meeting and within smaller working groups, said Sister Sally Marie Hodgdon, the superior general of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery, and a synod participant. “The youth bring it up, as have some of the bishops and cardinals.”

And those same bishops and cardinals drag youth of their bent to the synods.  Sorry.  Again, this isn’t the vast concern of the youth.  They’re just trying their hardest to fight against the current of secularism and feminism isn’t helping. It’s just making harder.

“Clearly,” she added, the issue of women will be in the final document, which will be voted on Saturday.

And, clearly, letting you vote wasn’t in their periphery.  It’s the one thing they got right.

But women, who make up about a tenth of the 340 or so synod participants, won’t be among the voters. Until this synod, only ordained men were allowed to vote on recommendations to the working document, whose final draft is given to the pope, who can include as much as he wants in his own post-synodal reflection.

As I’ve said before, synodality means different things to different people.  Clearly the feminists in the house want their definition to be included.  Why the heck not?  Everyone elses’ seemed to be accommodated in the ridiculous final draft.

This year, though, two men who are not ordained but are the superiors general of their respective religious orders have been granted the right to vote. Sister Hodgdon, too, is a superior general, but she has no voting rights.

Awwww…Poor Sister Hodgdon.  

Pope Francis with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, left, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, at the Vatican this month. Francis has spoken often of a more-incisive presence for women in the church, but critics say he needs to do more.

Who are these women?  Are they the same women who need a title or their feelings will be hurt? Poor them.  They were at the synod, they weren’t my woman picks for sure, but if they couldn’t influence the synod fathers, maybe the onus is on them, not their voting power.

For some Catholics, the difference clearly smacks of the sexism that “underlines the grave marginalization of women in the church,” said Lucetta Scaraffia, the editor of a monthly insert on women in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. “It’s a clamorous injustice. It demonstrates that the criteria they use is not between priest and lay people, but between women and men,” she said.

I assure you, the vast majority of us are not whining about our vocations like these babes.  We don’t feel marginalized and we don’t feel helpless because we are not the correct matter for a certain sacrament or because we don’t have voting privileges in a synod. And we certainly don’t think it a “clamorous injustice.” I don’t think Sts. Catherine, Therese, Teresa or Hildegard had voting privileges or were the proper matter for the sacrament either and they all had invaluable influence on the Church during their time.  I’m sorry you haven’t figured out a way to make your dreams come true but that’s really the sum total of it.  They are your dreams and career goals, not our wish for the  Church.

The cover of the October insert, “Women, Church, World,” depicted a woman shouting angrily. The intent of the issue, Ms. Scaraffia said, was to encourage debate and to get women “to protest every time there is a reason to protest.”

Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.  I think you get the point.

“What are they afraid of? One woman voting, honestly!” said Ms. McElwee, of the Women’s Ordination Conference, who helped to draft the petition and was an organizer of a protest that coincided with the synod’s opening, on Oct. 3.

Frankly, a good many of us would just be afraid of the likes of YOU voting, Ms. McElwee.  You’re, well, kind of a narcissistic man-hater. 

Standing outside the gates that lead to the synod hall inside Vatican City that day, several dozen women and men chanted: “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “More than half the church.” The protest was peaceful — “a prayer groups is more disruptive,” Ms. McElwee said — but still drew the attention of the police, who brought the protest to a halt, identified all the protesters and forced some to delete footage of the demonstration from their mobile phones.

And you’re kind of demonstrating why I wouldn’t want you to even remotely represent me. Like I said, you sound like the foaming at the mouth chicks who attend the Women’s March.  No, you don’t represent me, or my friends, or my daughters for that matter. You certainly don’t represent my sons because, well you’re kind of jealous of them. It’s an illness and it all leads to hate, hate and a little more hate.

The petition to allow female superiors general a synod vote was a “strategic” move toward their more equal participation in church matters, Ms. McElwee said, adding that she realized it confirmed the “ultimate fear” of some clerics who see it as a step down a “slippery slope that could eventually lead to women’s ordination” as priests.

Well, yeah.  It would be a false promise that can’t ever happen but most of all, the fear comes from the fact I wouldn’t like you and your buds representing me, my daughters, nieces, sisters or friends.  Blech.  We’re just fine influencing the Church all on our own.  We don’t need you.

Such ordination, Ms. McElwee said, was “the last door that’s closed to women,” though there are many doors in between. Church teaching says that women can’t be priests because Jesus chose only men as his apostles.

Oh my gosh. So stupid. It goes a little deeper than that but you go ahead stomping your feet. 

Various studies of religious affiliation in the United States show that young people are leaving the Catholic Church in greater numbers than before for many reasons. Women have traditionally been the bedrock of the faithful, but a study last year by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) of Catholic women showed that they are less engaged than in the past.

That has little to do with the babes for priests movement and everything to do with a lack of formation and explanation for our youth. Oh, and the endless scandal.  How do I know, I asked youth who actually still practiced their faith but live in quite a secular world. Their answer was that they wanted the truth and they didn’t think we should assume they knew it. Now there’s some valuable insight!

Those numbers have not raised the loud warning bells in the Catholic Church that they should have, critics say.

Because the numbers of angry women in regards to their lack of entrance to the priesthood were small potatoes. A minority.

“For the first time in history women are leaving at greater rates than men,” said Ms. Rose-Milavec. “That is a deep dive.”

Geez.  You don’t think the abuse by priests might have a little something to do with it? Hypocrisy is a killer. Or how about honest teaching of Catholic doctrine?  Nah, that couldn’t be it.

Pope Francis has spoken often of a more-incisive presence for women in the church, and six women occupy senior roles in the five dozen departments that make up the Catholic Church’s governing body, the Holy See. Critics say he needs to do more.

Hey, Holy Father, how about I give you the names of a few dozen solidly faithful Catholic women who don’t want to be ordained to fill some spots?  I’m sure it won’t appease the whiners but you can point to them anyway. Let’s be real.  Short of women’s ordination, most of the whiners aren’t going to be happy.

 In 2016, Francis appointed a commission to review the place that female deacons had in the early church, a move seen by some as possibly opening the way to female deacons in the modern era. But the commission has not made its finding public, and the cardinal who heads it made clear last June that advising the pope on modern-day female deacons had never been on its agenda.

???  Please.  I’m quite familiar with the women on this commission. They are ALL about women deacons. Should they ever get some traction, I will relay some of my interactions with those members. It’s embarrassing.

“Through his positive statements, Pope Francis has really raised women’s expectations about the changes that he plans in order to bring more women into leadership roles,” Petra Dankova, the advocacy director of Voices of Faith, replied in a written response to questions. “But concrete actions have followed slowly and without an overarching plan.”

You can say that again.  The Holy Father seems to throw these gals a bone when it suits him but when the women on the Papal Commission for the Protection of Youth advise him to release people from Pontifical Secrets it’s, how should we say, uncomfortable.

Voice of Faith, based in Liechtenstein, is pushing for women to gain full leadership roles in the Catholic Church. It has urged the close-knit group of cardinals who advise the pope on various issues that it should establish a special advisory board for women, Ms. Dankova said.

Wait.  Lichtenstein? The country with roughly 30,300 Catholics and presumably “Voice of Faith” represents a small margin of those?  Let’s go back to this.  1.3 BILLION Catholics but let’s just imply “Voice of Faith” represents a group that we should pay any attention to at all.  Sigh. You’re stretching, Times.

The question of their involvement in the church, she added, “is too complex and it cannot be expected to be somehow solved on the side without a concentrated attention and without the collaboration with women themselves.”

How did the Church survive 2,000 years without the chicks in charge?  Gag!

That suggestion has fallen on deaf ears, although some top prelates at the synod have been vocal in their support of women.

I would hope all priests, everywhere, are in support of women.  That would kind of be the mission in the Church.  You know, support the faithful.

On Wednesday, speaking to reporters at a daily Vatican briefing, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishop’s Conference, said that the issue of women’s roles in the church was “important for the entire church,” which must understand the evolution of women’s equality as a gift from God.

“Evolution of women’s equality???”  Oh my gosh.  Please, let us all listen to Cardinal Marx because the Mass attendance in Germany is a whopping 10% or so. He knows how to get people in the door. However, let’s not listen to those out of touch Africans whose attendance rate is 70% or more.  Cardinal Marx is sooooo in touch.  He’s so cool.  Everyone is clamoring to attend Mass in Germany.  Oh, wait…

“We would be foolish not to make use of the potential of women,” Cardinal Marx said. “Thank God we are not that stupid.”

MUST. NOT. COMMENT. Picking jaw up off keyboard and putting eyes back into head.  Oh, I can’t resist.  I think you might be the definition, dear Cardinal Marx.

Male religious superiors at the synod have also been supportive, and the umbrella groups of both male and female superiors general have drafted a concrete proposal to allow women superiors to participate as voting members in future synods. If ratified by their respective boards, the proposal would be presented to the pope, Sister Hodgdon said.

Let me guess.  She’s pals with Cardinal Marx? Sigh.

After living in Rome for eight years, Sister Hodgdon, an American, said she has learned that the ways of the Church took time. Female superior generals were not likely to get the right to vote in this synod, she conceded. “But do I believe it will happen for the next one? Yes, I really do believe that.”

Prayer and fasting people.  It can work miracles.  Look!  No “LGBT” in final document and we can stop the rabid feminists too.

The next synod is scheduled for October 2019, and will focus on issues related to the Amazon region.

Oh, goodie.  Can’t wait.  Oof.

Synodality vs. Banality (The Latter Won)

The “Youth” Synod is FINALLY over and so I shall now comment.

First of all, “synodality?!?” Yeah, that’s on the minds of all the youth. I hear about it every day when I talk to them. Not. Seriously?  We used to call it “collegiality,” but now they’re going for a new way cooler title. It’s ridiculous. We had a month to hear topics of concern to the youth, and I think it’s safe to say “synodality” wasn’t their top issue. In fact, I’ve been discussing it with youth and, yeah, they couldn’t care less.

Beside the lack of interest with the youth, it’s a complete and utter farce. Let’s look at what “synodality” is, shall we? It apparently means a few different things to more than a few different people. To the liberals, it pretty much means, “How can we stack things in our favor and get around those mean, old orthodox types like the Africans?” It was supposed to mean each bishops’ conference is autonomous, but from the get go we can see that this is quite a bit a lie. First off, our bishop’s conference selected people, but they were not Cardinals Tobin or Cupich, so guess who the Holy Father added? It seems similar in other countries. Cardinal Tobin, fortunately, bowed out due to his precarious situation with the cover up stuff in his diocese. That said, NOBODY WANTED CARDINAL CUPICH except those who think just like him. I mean, at this point, with Germany being insane, why didn’t Pope Francis just appoint all of them? I can’t find the exact number but according to this article it looks like there was at least 39 papal nominees and probably a few more with multiple bishops and cardinals appointed from the same country like Cupich and Tobin were. If I’ve got this right, 166 was the magic number to pass a final document paragraph with the 249 members voting. 39 appointees meant a lot. I haven’t seen all the final votes but based on reporting at least one of the paragraphs probably would have failed. Yes, I am assuming the papal nominees voted for passage.  Call me crazy. The votes reflecting sanity were always going to be cancelled out. So much for “synodality.”

By the way, “synodality” and “collegiality” don’t hold water outside of the synod, either. There’s now the new case of Bishop Holley. It sounds like all parties say there’s NO accusations of abuse, but the autonomy of a bishop just disappeared because Bishop Holley moved all his priests around. There’s a big “he said/he said” going on there, but if we’re going with “synodality” and “collegiality” should Pope Francis have remove him simply because of his managerial process? Where’s the autonomy there? So, “synodality” and “collegiality” seem applicable only when and how certain people want to apply it.

Back to the synod. The final document. Hello! How many of the Pope’s appointed guys were included in drafting?! Again, our conferences chose our guys, but the Vatican cancelled them out. Yeah, it’s the Pope’s right to do so, but that doesn’t make it correct and definitely doesn’t express that synodality notion.

The final document spent a huge chunk on something youth couldn’t care less about. It’s a little disingenuous to apologize to the youth for ignoring them and then turn around and spend the bulk of the document on your concerns instead of theirs. What really is the point?

And the issues the youth were interested in? More of the same, but more ambiguous and really a more, how should I say, flexible interpretation, plus a subtle weakening of the Truth, to boot. For example, Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry is already putting his spin on the “truth.”

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates for LGBT Catholics, applauded the call for “a deeper anthropological, theological and pastoral elaboration of sexuality and affectivity.” He interpreted this as the bishops’ admission “that the church still has a lot to learn about sexuality.” https://religionnews.com/2018/10/29/catholic-bishops-end-synod-with-controversy-and-compromise/

What the what?!?!?! The Church has more understanding about sexuality in Her pinky than DeBernardo will ever have. By the way, you have to love the title of the article I cited: “Catholic bishops end synod with controversy and compromise.” And by love, I mean loathe. We don’t need more controversy and the compromise seems to be with Truth more than anything else.

For heaven’s sake, I have a million times more confidence in the youth of today that they can handle the truth. We’re telling them things like, “God loves every person and so does the Church.” Do we REALLY think this needed to be explained to them? The whole dang thing was one giant pandering party.

And, please, somebody explain this one to me:

The bishops acknowledged that the church’s teaching on the inherent differences between men and women can lead to “forms of domination, exclusion and discrimination from which society and the church alike must free themselves.” (Please note I’m having to rely on news sources, since the English translation is not available.  I can’t get anything in its exact context at this point.)

What? So God’s lovely design differences between men and women is now the problem??? Oh. My. Gosh. This is outrageous. Maybe the Church should teach people why these differences are so wonderful instead of blaming the perennial teachings for “domination, exclusion and discrimination?” Theology of the Body, people. Does that ring a bell? You’re still trying to invent a square wheel when we already have a round one that works beautifully!!! Seriously, whoever voted to pass this paragraph just set us back MANY years and instead seized on the opportunity to pit women and men against each other because, why? Oh, some feminists think the word “complementarity” is somehow demeaning. This is not what I tell my children.

Oh, and dear women, can you please tell me what role you specifically want??? I mean, seriously, at least the women’s ordination people spell it out. The rest of you are a little disingenuous. Does anyone remember St. Catherine, St. Teresa of Avila, etc.? It’s absolutely ridiculous to think you’ve got to have a title or name plate on the door in Rome to influence the Church. Face it. There’s a bit of narcissism and a whole lot of feminism going on here. It’s not about you being helpless to influence the Church, it’s about you wanting power. Seriously, it’s embarrassing. You want to be a St. Catherine or St. Teresa (some of my personal heroes)? GO BE ONE!! Just don’t do it in a manner that says, “Look at me! I’m in charge!  I’m telling men what to do!” It’s embarrassing.

Now, Religious News Service doesn’t cover it, but the final document includes something quite at odds with the Catechism. If you haven’t read Edward Pentin’s critique, I would.   This one is important.

A further concern is that the paragraph also speaks of a Church commitment “against all discrimination and violence on a sexual basis,” words at variance with no. 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which opposes “unjust discrimination” in this regard, not “all discrimination.” Some are now wondering if, for example, it might now no longer be possible to dismiss someone from a Catholic institution if they perpetrate acts opposed to Church teaching in this area. Informed sources close to the process have told the Register that “many proposed and requested” an amendment to ensure it would say “unjust discrimination” but this was ignored.

This should have never been passed. To the “yes” voters, I’m totally disappointed. My goal is to always discriminate against anything that supports or encourages a person to engage in homosexual acts. I do this because I LOVE people suffering with SSA, not because I hate them. There is a HUGE difference between saying ALL discrimination and UNJUST discrimination. We should be discriminating regarding all manner of sin, should we not??? Geez. No-brainer.

And, listening and accompaniment were the buzz phrases of the whole synod. It seems like just repeating it might not be enough, dear Church hierarchy. I mean, seriously, listening? How many times are we going to talk about that? Isn’t that a gimme? And accompaniment? Might be worth defining that before you spew it ad nauseum. Seems to mean a wide variety of things, and I can tell you, from the pews, it’s damaging. Archbishop Anthony Fisher, OP, hit the nail on the head when he said that much of the document was “turgid and repetitive.” We’ve heard it all before. There was far more banality than synodality.

The Blame Game

Alright, children! I’m not sure where I’ve been linked from, but I’ve gotten a couple of love letters today from people who do not think quite as I do. For everyone’s amusement, I will post them and my response to them.

Aaron Bianco was cited by the DA for saving the life of a priest and a housekeeper at his parish. Aaron risked his own life at the hands of a deranged and violent men hellbent on murdering a priest any priest.

https://youtu.be/LWxciq2xrrQ (Not going to bother embedding this one.  I have already posted on Twitter.)

Because of people like you, he’s had his life and the lives of his familly (sic) threatened by Catholics and his church set on fire.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

 

Then, I got an email. Not sure if it’s the same person or not:

This is the man you attacked, Aaron Bianco. He saved the lives of the priest and the housekeeper at his church.

Because of death threats against his family and an arson attack on his church, he has resigned.

https://fox5sandiego.com/2018/10/21/gay-pastoral-associate-says-farewell-at-local-church-resigns-after-harassment/

You are in part responsible for this.

And here is MY reply to both:

If you followed me on Facebook and Twitter, you’d know that I have NEVER suggested anyone harm Aaron Bianco. In fact, I condemn linking to his publicly listed address, because it serves no purpose when we already have him on video talking about his “husband” (I’ve already seen the video on his award and posted it, in fact.)

Just because someone stops a crime doesn’t mean that they should be working in a Catholic Church when they contradict Church teachings. I THINK that this would be a no-brainer for anyone, but this has always been the issue.

And, before you throw stones, you might just want to know who committed the crime. The fact that supposedly so many crimes have been committed and they still have no suspects is, well, suspect. The fact that the graffiti was on the inside of the parish buildings and no cameras on site caught the culprit is also suspect.

You might want to realize that some of us take sin pretty darn seriously. No, we’re not wishing ill to people who disagree with us or harm the Church, but we most certainly don’t want them in a position to do so, in which Mr. Bianco was.

So, while I may be ashamed of myself for many reasons, it ain’t this. BTW, this is the one and only blog post I’ve ever made about Aaron Bianco. Please note, I did not wish him any harm in it: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/a-funny-thing-happened-on-the-way-to-the-internal-forum/  This would be akin to say any misfortune that might befall me at the hand of some nutwing is YOUR fault. Ridiculous.

And, BTW, I have same-sex attracted family and friends. If you think for a moment I wish them harm, either, you’d be a fool.

So, let me expound upon this exchange a little further, and then I can just shoot this blog post at anyone else who tries to accuse me of anything again. Since Fr. Martin has been ranting about this, I’ll shoot it at him. (Breathe!  That’s not a threat of violence to Fr. Martin!)

First, I’m assuming I’m not the only one who has same-sex attracted friends and family members. I’m assuming many more also have same-sex attracted co-workers. Get a clue, people. This isn’t about hate at all. This has always been about whether or not it’s proper for someone so outwardly opposed (not privately) to Church teachings to be in a “ministerial” position. I would think it’s common sense to even non-Catholics that people opposed to your mission should not be in these jobs. That said, common sense has left the building along with Elvis, so here it is for you. You don’t get to work for Coke and sell Pepsi.  Duh, duh, duh. 

I don’t hate anyone same-sex attracted, transgender, or whatever. However, I will not sit quietly in a corner while they spew an agenda which I think not only harmful to them but to the world. You can heap all the “hate, judgmental, intolerant” rhetoric at me, but it’s not going to change that fact. I love them all well enough to stand my ground so they don’t end dead via disease or suicide. You might think that’s hateful, but who’s really the hater here? If I simply wanted them gone, I’d let them continue on.

And let’s go back to the fact that I do have friends and family members suffering from same-sex attraction. Oh, and I’m a mom. I tend to see everyone else’s kid as my own. I can’t help it. My husband will vouch for the fact I’ve literally cried at the fact I knew some 20-something, thousands of miles away, who I’d never even met in person, was spending a holiday alone because he was a foster kid growing up. And Milo Yiannopoulos? I pray for him whenever I think about him. I’d like to adopt them all. So, no, just like many other Catholics opposed to Aaron Bianco working at St. John the Evangelist, we don’t hate him or wish him harm. You don’t get to play that card. In fact, I’m sad some priests and bishops in the diocese of San Diego are quite content to let Aaron continue on with his sin without a peep because, what? They want to be considered cool in the LGBT community? Never mind the disease or hell thing. They are totally willing to throw our SSA friends and family under the bus. I love Aaron enough to say, “Struggle along with the rest of us!”

I’m not going to back down from saying this because someone may be being mean to Aaron Bianco. Aaron appears to be a vindictive person. Why don’t you ask him what happened to the Legion of Mary group when he took over? Or how about the little old people who said the Rosary before daily Mass? By the way, kudos to you people for keeping up the daily Rosary before Mass even when you had to say it on the church steps. Glad you got that privilege back. It’s the lowest of the low to tell ANYONE, much less the usual daily Mass-going crowd, that they shouldn’t say the Rosary or that they have to stay out of the church until minutes before Mass starts. So there. He’s not the choirboy everyone likes to make of him. Deal.

I have written before about Aaron Bianco in the context of Bishop McElroy’s debacle of an appointment to the Diocese of San Diego as linked to above. Boo hoo! If you want to try to say articles like this caused Aaron’s troubles, then any ill that befalls me must be because the people who sent me notes this morning don’t like my commentary. See the lack of logic?  People that do evil and call for evil are responsible. So far I haven’t seen that happen to Aaron Bianco.  Somebody has simply figured they are going to act badly.

How about we blame the people who let someone opposed to Church teaching be in any position of power in a diocesan Church? Bravo, Bishop McElroy. You’ve got your martyr to who you can play savior. Nobody would be writing articles if that had not happened.  Point the finger at those who are really being divisive, not us who love the teachings of the Church.

Let’s talk about Aaron’s address being published, I would have never done this. I mean, you’ve already supposedly got some nutwing vandalizing the church at which he works.  I understand the Lepanto Institute was trying to provide as much evidence to Aaron Bianco’s “marriage” but, duh.  It’s tantamount to Catholic doxing. Yes, yes. It was info in the public domain so technically not doxing, but we already have him on tape talking about his “husband.” What more did they need? It was unnecessary to the story, and, quite frankly, just allows the victim card to be played. Very bad strategy.  The evidence of outside of the Church “marriage” was already proven.

As far as the vandalism and threats go, INVESTIGATE! I think we’re going to find it’s some sort of deranged person like the guy who came into the church and threatened the staff.  It’s not like crazy hasn’t visited the parish before. I mean, is the guy who held Aaron at scissor-point out yet? Does he have relatives?  Might be a place to start. Last time I checked, we weren’t being blamed for that one.

I know the faithful down in the San Diego Diocese want it investigated.  I’ve corresponded with them. I think they know they will be vindicated should the perpetrator be found. Until that happens, though, people, including the people writing me, might want to stop throwing around accusations without proof. For all they know, it’s just a person trying to create a martyr for their cause. It’s not like that hasn’t happened before time and again. I will say that the first person calling for an investigation to be dropped usually has something to fear. I do not. Bring. It. On. People shouldn’t be able to get away with threatening or vandalizing anyone. Personally, I find it really strange that it’s supposedly been going on so long and nobody’s been caught yet. I also find it strange that it wasn’t only vandalism, it was breaking and entering. Not usual for these types of situations. I mean, geez, is San Diego running around with criminal masterminds?  Cameras exist for a reason.  Maybe get a few more? See what the neighbors’ cameras show?

Finally, remember that the people who you are accusing are practicing Catholics. We believe that sin kills the soul. You’ll probably find us in confession on a regular basis, but we’re going to threaten and vandalize or incite people to do so? Right. Sounds like my usual hobby. Sorry, revenge ain’t our thing. Stop using the blame game to try to silence us.

 

 

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:

giphy
(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.

http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2018/10/can-coccopalmerio-remain-cardinal.html

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

THIS. IS. AWESOME!      

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:

fbpost

 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