Don’t be Chicken Little, be the Little Red Hen

I have to admit, I’ve been ignoring Catholic news lately.  It’s just too exhausting with half of the faithful cannibalizing each other and the other half running around like Chicken Little.  The frenzy has been a bit too much, and guess what?  In my little world, it doesn’t mean a darn thing.

I’ve now lived under three different popes that I can remember.  (I’m too young to remember JPI and his predecessors.)  Every single one of them made some sort of cataclysmic mistake that supposedly ruined the Church forever.  Sorry, I just don’t get my knickers in a bunch that easily, and I’m certainly not going to be the one that makes the liberal dissenters smile.  I’m sure the Cupiches and McElroys of the world are smiling like the cat that ate the canary right now, and that’s what really, truly bugs me to death.

Seriously, don’t you think they’re laughing at the confusion over Amoris Laetitia? I’m sure they think it’s hysterical watching the Catholic pundits right now.  You’ve got those bending over backwards to say, “Everything’s fine!  Nothing to see here!” You’ve got others calling them papolators.  You’ve got some, I’d say rightly and respectfully, asking for clarifications, and others calling them schismatics with no evidence whatsoever. Still you have others saying you can’t even be concerned in the slightest.  I’m sure all carry some truth and some error at this point, but the worst part about it is watching the Kaspers and his club reveling in it.  Can we just stop?

I think we can all agree (I’m talking faithful Catholics here) that there is some confusion going on here.  If you don’t, just leave this site now.  No use in discussing it further.  Most of us would like some clarification from the Holy Father.  That said, let’s just look at the scenarios in front of us.  Let’s say Pope Francis decides never to make a formal clarification and just keeps issuing comments which contradict the liberals.  Yes, I suppose it makes their life blissful because they can then feign ignorance until the cows come home.  That said, what if the pope did issue a clarification?  It would then be status quo as usual for the faithful.  With a wink and nod, the liberals will still continue to muddle the truth and lead people astray.  When it comes right down to it, the Burkes and Chaputs of the world are going to teach the truth as they have always done, and the Cupiches and McElroys of the world will continue their mission to make everyone comfy and cozy in their sins.  Either way, the faithful under the wink-and-nod-dissenters are going to suffer as they always have – terribly.  The local bishop really affects our day to day Catholic life which is why who you get and don’t get is terribly important.  Think about it.  Your kids may not know what the flap is about Amoris Laetitia but they might be sort of led astray when the local bishop dons a Barney costume at the end of Mass (and, yes, real story).

It’s also very interesting to note that, if you look at the Chaputs and Burkes of the world, there are plenty of people who are going ballistic on their behalf, but if you look at them, they look like they’re getting plenty of sleep.  They aren’t fomenting on the reign of terror of Pope Francis.  If they aren’t, why are we?  Again, this just gives aid and comfort to the enemy.

Now, is Pope Francis my favorite pope in the history of the Church? No.  Do I wish he did things differently?  Yep.  Do I lie awake at night thinking he will be the end of the Church?  Now that would be ridiculous.  Do I pray for him?  Yep.  People often ask me why I don’t write about this or that thing that Pope Francis did.  My answer:  What would it matter? First, a lot of it is “fake Catholic news” or soundbites. Second, I’m far more concerned with what the bishops in my country and my diocese do.  Like I said, no matter what happens with the dubia, the crazy are going to keep doing crazy.  I mean, seriously, look around!  Bishops were pushing birth control and “gay marriage” with some pretty clear teaching on the subject.  That’s where I’m willing to expend my energy.  If we can’t influence the people around us and communicate the Faith in a way that’s clear despite what happens in the Church and in the world, we’ve dropped the ball.  Same goes for our local bishops.  Do we really think that cannibalizing each other and running around screaming ‘’The Church is falling!” is going to get it done?  Please.  Fix it yourself in your own little world and stop making the liberal dissenters smile.

Need an example?  For years, Lincoln, Nebraska, was one of the few super faithful dioceses in the country.  Bishop Flavin and Bishop Bruskewitz kept their heads down and taught the Faith, while many other dioceses in the U.S. were “experimenting.” They didn’t worry about what was going on in my little, influential, dissenting diocese here in California (or in Flavin’s case, Weakland’s diocese).  They stomped on dissenters in their own little area, no matter their bent.  They made Church teaching abundantly clear and all, but the dissenters, loved and followed them.  It was downright weird talking to people in that diocese.  They knew the Faith.  That diocese has produced at least four other bishops. I’m betting their dioceses are all lucky (and we most definitely lucked out getting one around my parts)!  Both those bishops could have ranted and raved about their popes not doing x, y, and z and letting them ruin the Church, but they didn’t.  They just did their job.  That’s what we need.  We need bishops who are going to do their job no matter who is attacking them.  In Flavin’s case, it was Archbishop Rembert Weakland.  In Bruskewitz’s case, well, really, who wasn’t attacking him?  He got it from all sides.

So, if you really want to know where we should expend our energy, it’s with our bishops. You should be dogging those that lead people astray.  Don’t make it easy on them to get away with it.  And the good bishops?  You should be encouraging them to lead like they don’t care about getting fired, removed, given some fancy title somewhere remote, etc.  It drives me crazy to see a faithful bishop back off because, well, the optics are that they’re scared about their jobs.  I get it, you can’t lead the faithful if removed from the job– or can you?  I seem to remember many a leader leading from a prison cell.  And I’m sure many of those backing off where they should be going ahead are also trying to keep the low-hanging fruit from hitting the ground but I’m not sure why pausing on the truth would achieve this goal. Truth is love and conveying it and practicing it should be the priority.  I’m unaware of the teaching that says back off the truth if becomes a PR nightmare.

Quoth the Raven “Never More People!”

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…

Sorry. Couldn’t help it. Edgar Allan Poe has been running through my head.  The talk of limiting people is just kind of morose and throw in the name and there you have it. It will all fall into place as you read on.

 Lifesite has now posted an update to THE story last week and have clarified they got the original quote, which had sent Catholic new media outlets spinning, wrong:  Here’s the original Peter Raven quote they gave:

Pope Francis has urged us to have fewer children to make the world more sustainable.

And the revised quote:

We need at some point to have a limited number of people which is why Pope Francis and his three most recent predecessors have always argued that you should not have more children than you can bring up properly,

First, Catholic news media…I realize that you’re all in a big hurry to out-scoop everyone else.  I get it.  It’s kind of your job.  That said, can we please stop attributing ideas to the pope when they come from some knucklehead who clearly doesn’t quite understand what the last three popes have actually said?!  I’m still seeing “Vatican” at odds with Catholic teaching.  One guy on an academy at the Vatican does not the Vatican make.  Peter Raven made the comment and I don’t believe it’s ever even been put into writing nor put forth as an official teaching. One idiot, one idiotic statement.  It’s important to note that he attributes this to the last three popes and not just Francis.  Anyways, that’s the view from over here.  It’s not just one outlet.  It’s multiple outlets.  

Next, even with the clarification, it was a stupid statement. People are acting as if the actual quote erased the stupidity found in the erroneous quote.  Bad on Lifesite for getting it wrong and kudos for correcting it but the Catholic Church has never said that we at some point have to have a limited number of people and the latter part of Peter Raven’s quote is not nor ever has been the reasoning for PETER RAVEN’S emboldened and underlined pro-population control premise.

Frankly, the real scandal and news story is that this guy is in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the first place.  Steven Mosher at the Population Research Institute has done a nice job showing the disaster in the current academy. Maybe somebody can answer this question for me.  Is Peter Raven even Catholic?  I seriously can’t find that link anywhere and I consider myself pretty good at Googling.  I mean, aren’t there any Catholic scientists out there that might, perhaps, make a better authority on Catholicism AND scientific fact than Raven that might get the last three popes right?  Yes, yes.  I realize that you don’t have to be a Catholic to be in this academy.  The point is to examine  all sorts of scientific information free from the influence of race, creed or religion (you can tell the academy was started when science was still based on facts) but if he’s going make a statement on Catholic teaching, might it be helpful if he was one?! Or one who might know the Church’s teaching even if he doesn’t buy it??  Shouldn’t the non-Catholic guy stick to the science thing and stop trying to tell us what the Catholic teachings are?  There’s some  idea for you.

Peter Raven has an agenda and is twisting the Pope’s (actually the last 3 pope’s) words to fit that agenda. That’s kind of a no-no for the reason behind this academy.  It’s supposed to be agenda free.  He should be promptly fired, dismissed or however it is that you are told to get lost from an “academy.”  Again, it is not a teaching of the holy fathers that we need to limit the number of people.  It is their teaching that if you cannot properly feed, care for, etc. your children, you may resort to natural family planning.  Does this mean that if you can’t go on a trip you should use NFP?  NO!  Does this mean if you think there are too many people in the world and Mother Earth is rebelling against us because of that you should use NFP?  NO!  Does it mean if your children can’t have the latest xbox you should use NFP so that the rest of your children will not be deprived?  NO!  Should you prayerfully and in consultation with a spiritual director consider using NFP if you are struggling to feed, clothe, and shelter your children?  YES!  You may still come to the conclusion after prayer and consultation that God is calling you to have more children at the present time and work through the struggle or you may decide to exercise some self-control until such time you can responsibly feed, clothe, and shelter your kids.  That’s between YOU and God. I’m pretty sure most of you know this but there’s always the liberal lurkers who are going to try to run with this.  Peter Raven is a goof who can’t get past his own bad science and theology.

Before I could get this done, I noticed that Deal Hudson made some of the same points here:  I disagree with Paul Raven = Vatican or Paul Raven = Pope, but it still had some great points.  I definitely agree the appointments made to some of the academies are tragic and nightmarish.  I hope they will receive an all new makeover with factually correct theological people and, where applicable, factually based scientific people instead if these “scientists” who wouldn’t know the scientific method if it bit them in the behind. You know, the ones who are constantly trying to bend the facts around their hypothesis instead bending their hypothesis around the facts.


Can We Please Have a Day Without Stupidity?

I’ve told my girls on a number of occasions “Don’t be a victim!”  I really mean that in every sense of the word. Obviously stay out of danger, but also, don’t buy into the mental and emotional victimhood club so many people have decided to join these days.  It grates on the nerves and gets you nowhere.  If you run into an obstacle, overcome it, get around it, or smash through it.

In case you missed the news, there’s a bunch of stupid women having a pout-out (thanks, Laura Ingraham, for the term that explains it perfectly!) and crying about how they’re being hurt by this world.  GET OVER IT and GET OVER YOURSELVES.  True women don’t whine, and they especially don’t whine incessantly like you!  True women have a valor you have yet to remotely grasp. They don’t seek glory for themselves, they’re sacrificial, they’re strong, they surmount impossible obstacles, and they don’t whine about being treated unfairly.  They look like this:


The problem with a more-than-tolerable amount of women is that they are in it for themselves and they blindly follow women who are the antithesis of the above women.  They choose to follow divas who haven’t worked for much of their entire lives and who are now trying to revive their waning “careers” by playing the victim activist role.  Do the women who follow these types think they’ll achieve the same decadent lifestyle if they just emulate them or what?  Sadly, they’re going to end up leading the same, sad, pathetic, meaningless lives these idiots lead, just with a whole lot less money because they’re soooooooo stupid.  Ladies, please note that the Madonnas, Ashleys, and Mileys had success before they embraced vulgarity.  (Well, maybe not Madonna.)  So, you have a few women who waited until they made money before coming out as idiots and another who peddled flesh to get hers.  Yeah, these are your role models and they’re not going to pay your rent or buy your food when you’ve followed their actions and lost your jobs by making yourselves obnoxious beyond belief!  Erma Bombeck nailed it with this quote: “Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.”  Why is this so painfully obvious to sane women?

So, ladies, let me explain this to you one more time.  Becoming a victim doesn’t help women achieve greatness.  Whining doesn’t help women achieve greatness.  Taking the day off to throw a temper tantrum doesn’t help women achieve greatness.  Your grand plan just makes you annoying.  Leaving jobs, responsibilities, etc., undone to rant only shows us who the real women are.  Real women show up even when it’s hard and they do their jobs. They’ll achieve greatness because greatness is not their goal. Nine times out of ten, they do it for others, not themselves. #weshowup #notmyprotest

Can We Stop Those Taking a Knife to the Faith? Please???

It’s that time of year again!  The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress has come and gone!  I decided to wait until it was over before I comment because I like to think I’m a hopeful person.  Of course, I’m also a suspicious person, especially when I see some of the speakers who were lined up. And then I have to ask if you really want to hear the same types of sad tales over and over.  This from last year:  Sadly, my hopes were dashed and my suspicions confirmed. The REC was a wreck once again.

I know many good people and organizations go to this thing and, I have to confess, it kind of ticks me off.  Yes, yes, I know there are many good workshops and speakers but there are also some pretty awful ones.  Are we just supposed to be content that there is some good there and forget the souls led astray by the truly awful?  I really had great hope that Archbishop Gomez would reform this thing but it’s completely frustrating me that it hasn’t happened YET!  I mean, just some simple ideas:  Would it really be too much to have the speakers sign an oath of fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church?  Might we just not invite those advocating for active homosexual lifestyles to be accepted by the Catholic Church?  I don’t care if their topic is “Latino Theology,” it might it be a little bit scandalous to have an ex-priest in a homosexual “marriage” lead a workshop.  Are there really no other speakers that can address this topic????

So, when I look at this train wreck, I really think that some of our bishops need to meditate on the verse below, quite a bit.  It’s like it was written for conferences just like REC.  I’ll interject in red to make it easier to read:

Titus 1

1 It is Paul who writes; God’s servant, sent out as an apostle of Jesus Christ, with the faith of God’s elect for his care; they were to acknowledge that truth which accords with holiness, 2 and fix their hopes on eternal life.  (There seems to be a huge lack of attention focused on eternal life at the REC and a lot of attention on “me”, “my desires”, “my entertainment”, etc.)  It has been promised to us long ages since by the God who cannot fail us; 3 and now, in due time, he has made his meaning clear to us, through the preaching with which God, our Saviour, has seen fit to entrust me. 4 To Titus, my own son in the faith we share, grace and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.             

5 If I left thee behind me in Crete, it was to put all in order, where order is still needed. It is for thee to appoint presbyters, as I enjoined, in each city, 6 always looking for a man who is beyond reproach, faithful to one wife; one whose children hold the faith, not accused of reckless living, not wanting in obedience. (Methinks that Orlando Espín isn’t exactly the model for this.) 7 A bishop, after all, since he is the steward of God’s house, must needs be beyond reproach. He must not be an obstinate or quarrelsome man, one who drinks deep, or comes to blows, or is grasping over money.[1] 8 He must be hospitable, kindly, discreet, upright, unworldly and continent. 9 He must hold firmly to the truths which have tradition for their warrant; able, therefore, to encourage sound doctrine, and to shew the wayward their error. 10 There are many rebellious spirits abroad, who talk of their own fantasies and lead men’s minds astray;  (Did I embolden and underline enough here?  This is exactly where some cardinals, bishops and priests are falling seriously short!  They are not shewing the wayward their error nor stopping the rebellious spirits.  Am I saying that they need to throw the book at them?  No. They have to care for them too but do we need to give them a platform to “lead men’s minds astray?”) those especially who hold by circumcision; 11 and they must be silenced. They will bring ruin on entire households by false teaching, with an eye to their own base profits. (Nobody in their right minds can deny that this is happening.  Our hierarchy expresses a desire to preserve the family but then they let “false teachers” wander all around their dioceses, which undermines the family.  The family, especially the children, are always the ones hurt by their unwillingness to take action against these false teachers.  We parents are trying to keep our families safe and we’re not getting much help from many of you!)  12 Why, one of themselves, a spokesman of their own, has told us, The men of Crete were ever liars, venomous creatures, all hungry belly and nothing besides; 13 and that is a true account of them. Be strict, then, in taking them to task, so that they may be soundly established in the faith, (You know, I was just joking with a friend of mine that I don’t always think the married clergy is a bad idea. PLEASE NOTE I SAID JOKE!  Why, you may ask?  Because wives have a way of making their husbands deal with the uncomfortable whether they want to or not!  Is it comfortable to deal with wayward children?  Nope.  If you don’t, though, some may be lost forever and take a bunch of other children down with them!) 14 instead of paying attention to these Jewish fables, these rules laid down for them by human teachers who will not look steadily at the truth. 15 As if anything could be unclean for those who have clean hearts! But for these men, defiled as they are by want of faith, everything is unclean; defilement has entered their very thought, their very consciences. 16 They profess recognition of God, but their practice contradicts it; it is they who are abominable, who are disloyal, who are ill qualified for the practice of any true virtue.[2] (Let me just give you a list of these people at the REC that do this, based purely on public actions/statements they themselves have made.  If you disagree, research them yourself and tell me why: Arthur Fitzmaurice, Fr. Brian Massingale, Orlando Espín, Fr. Greg Boyle, Fr. Bryan Massingale, Javier Plascencia, Yunuen Trujillo (for some reason she’s on staff of the archdiocese as a youth leader when she’s on video screwing up teaching here: and I’m quite sure I missed more than a few others.)

Titus 2

1 Thine is to be a different message, with sound doctrine for its rule. 2 Teach the older men to be sober, decent, orderly, soundly established in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The older women, too, must carry themselves as befits a holy calling, not given to slanderous talk or enslaved to drunken habits; teaching others by their good example. 4 From them the younger women must learn orderly behaviour, how to treat their husbands and their children lovingly, 5 how to be discreet, modest, and sober, busy about the house, kindly, submissive to their own husbands; the preaching of God’s word must not be brought into disrepute. 6 Encourage the young men, too, to live orderly lives. 7 Let them find in all thou doest the model of a life nobly lived; let them find thee disinterested in thy teaching, worthy of their respect,[1] 8 thy doctrine sound beyond all cavil; so that our adversaries may blush to find that they have no opportunity for speaking ill of us. (Sadly, I can still find much unsound “teaching” (indoctrination or whatever you want to call it) at REC and I don’t have to look far.  I’m not talking about the dancing ladies or the happy-clappy stuff. Yeah, those are annoying but there is some additional super-duper harm still being done here.) 9 Slaves must be submissive to their own masters, so as to content them in every way; no arguing, 10 no pilfering; they must give good proof of utter fidelity, every action of theirs bringing credit to the teaching which God, our Saviour, has revealed. 11 The grace of God, our Saviour, has dawned on all men alike, 12 schooling us to forgo irreverent thoughts and worldly appetites, and to live, in this present world, a life of order, of justice, and of holiness. (I really think this can be done, but only with a new planning board.  It’ll never happen with the hands at work now and I’m not sure how many more years we have to go through this before this “congress” that exports so much to so many embraces the Church’s teachings on sexuality and offers real ministries to those struggling.) 13 We were to look forward, blessed in our hope, to the day when there will be a new dawn of glory, the glory of the great God, the glory of our Saviour Jesus Christ;[2] 14 who gave himself for us, to ransom us from all our guilt, a people set apart for himself, ambitious of noble deeds. 15 Be this thy message, lending all authority to thy encouragement and thy reproof. Let no man lightly esteem thee.

Titus 3

1 Remind them that they have a duty of submissive loyalty to governments and to those in authority, of readiness to undertake any kind of honourable service. 2 They are not to speak injuriously of anyone, or pick quarrels; they must be considerate, and lose no opportunity of shewing courtesy to the world around them. 3 We, after all, were once like the rest of them, reckless, rebellious, the dupes of error; enslaved to a strange medley of desires and appetites, our lives full of meanness and of envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 Then the kindness of God, our Saviour, dawned on us, his great love for man. 5 He saved us; and it was not thanks to anything we had done for our own justification. In accordance with his own merciful design he saved us, with the cleansing power which gives us new birth, and restores our nature through the Holy Spirit, 6 shed on us in abundant measure through our Saviour, Jesus Christ. 7 So, justified by his grace, we were to become heirs, with the hope of eternal life set before us. 8 It is well said, and I would have thee dwell on it, that those who have learned to trust in God should be at pains to find honourable employment.[1] That is their duty, and the world will benefit by it. 9 But take no part in vain researches into pedigrees, and controversies that wrangle over points of the law; they are useless folly. 10 Give a heretic one warning, then a second, and after that avoid his company; 11 his is a perverse nature, thou mayest be sure, and his fault has been admitted on his own confession. (Avoid their company!!!!  What a novel idea! Definitely don’t invite them to speak!) 12 When I send for thee by Artemas or Tychicus, make haste and come to meet me at Nicopolis; I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Make careful provision for Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollo on their journey; they must not be left wanting for anything. 14 It would be well if our brethren would learn to find honourable employment, so as to meet what necessity demands of them, instead of having nothing to contribute.[2] 15 All those who are with me send their greeting to you. Greet all those who are our friends in the common faith. The grace of God be with you all, Amen.

This was Paul to Titus so, obviously, this a very old tale but it’s written right at the Catholic leaders of today.  Wonder when some will see it?  I mean, really!  How about we first stop those taking a knife to the faith?  I mean that’s kind of the first step before stopping the hemorrhaging and repairing the damage done.  Why bother doing those when someone is still stabbing away???

To those who will tell me about all the good stuff there… I know. The problem is, evil wrapped up in some good is still evil. I just don’t ascribe to the “it’s just a little evil” line of thought. Why can’t the little evil be sent away???  Maybe because too many of us look the other way?  Anyways, see knife metaphor above, well, because I thought it was good.

It is my dream that someone with some organizational skills and/or money will ask for a meeting with the good Archbishop and offer to help him make the REC authentically Catholic or they will simply start an authentically Catholic rival “congress” in some place like, say, Northern California. It seems we up here tend to offer things to the very educated Catholics and never come out of our bunkers and help the rest on a grand scale.  We’ve actually got some amazing bishops that might let us participate!

The Bitter but Kitschy Catholics

You just know when a blogger spends so much time on a spelling error, it’s a whole lot of nothing by someone who knows a whole lot of nothing.  Maybe Mary Pezzulo might have wanted to actually look at the context of Janet Smith’s Facebook post before she commented on it.  Personally, I would have loved a link to the post too since there was probably a lot more interesting stuff to it.

Questioning Janet Smith’s Sexual Common Sense

February 22, 2017 by Mary Pezzulo 9 Comments

 I don’t know anything about Milo Yiannopoulos.

I’ve heard he’s a bully and he looks like a lounge lizard, but that’s all I know. My fellow Patheos bloggers can fill you in.

So, if you were waiting with baited breath for my opinion on Milo, sorry, I don’t have one.

And if she did, it would probably focus on some sort of grammatical error and have zero depth.

****UPDATE**** Oh my gosh!  A wonderful reader just sent me this bit of irony and I’m ashamed to say I missed this myself!

So, if you were waiting with baited breath for my opinion on Milo, sorry, I don’t have one.

It’s not “baited breath,” Mary.  It’s “bated breath!”

I mean, if a writer makes a spelling error like this, should Patheos really take her seriously?  Should any of us? If she doesn’t know her homophones, how can she comment on anything – ever?  I mean, she’s a writer and a blogger nonetheless!

Yes, it’s tongue in cheek and, yes, I’ve seen many a writer, blogger, teacher, etc. make silly little mistakes that don’t make their lives the downfall of society as Peluzzo seems to think as you read on.  I’m sure I’ve made many (probably in this one post).

I do have an opinion on something else, though.

Yesterday, all of my friends were in uproar about a public conversation, about Milo Yiannopoulos, between Doctor Janet E. Smith and her friends on Facebook.

Uproar?  Really?  Who was involved and where was this drama caused by Smith?  Is it the usual Patheos folks who seem to be in an uproar about things they don’t deem “done right?” I swear, Patheos has become the home of the bitter but kitschy Catholics.  (Not all of you, but if you’re upset at that description, it probably is you.)  Seriously, they might want to get their blood pressures checked.  I have never seen such instigating of infighting as done by some of the Patheos peeps. Not enough crazies over at America Magazine and National catholic Reporter to pick on?

Janet E. Smith has a doctorate in classical languages, but lectures in moral theology at a seminary. She recently gave a talk at Franciscan University. Her website is called “Janet E. Smith’s Sexual Common sense” and advertises her books and recorded lectures; these have comfortingly commonsense names like “Contraception: Why Not?” “Theology of the Old Body” and “Why Premarital Sex is Stupid.” As a writer myself, I tend to use titles which are too flowery and uninformative, so I admire her ability to cut to the chase. No one would wonder what kind of content they’d find in a lecture CD entitled “Why Premarital Sex is Stupid.” I hope the rest of her lecture was equally straightforward. Frankness, when educating about sex, is always better than the alternative.

But here’s the thing: frankness itself is not enough. You’ve actually got to know about sex to lecture about sex. You’d better know all about sex and sexual ethics, to lecture about moral theology at a Catholic seminary.  And Doctor Smith apparently does not.

The aforementioned conversation had any number of zingers, but this is the line that made my hair stand on end:

(See link above for a jpeg of conversation since Mary Pelluzo didn’t link to the actual conversation.)

Yes, I see the usually strait-laced Austin Ruse calling himself a “MILO fan” there, but ignore him for the moment. Doctor Janet Smith, a moral theologian who writes about “commonsense sexuality,” publicly declared the following:

“I don’t know why we need that new term ‘ephophilia’ or whatever. Pedophilia is with prepubescent boys–evidentily an almost an ineradicable pathology. Whereas it seems pederasty is sex between an older man and a “boy”– someone postpubescent.”

A professor with a doctorate said that. A professor with a doctorate in classical languages, neglected to look at the common Greek roots of the word “Ephebophilia” and figure out that she’s wrong about what it means. She can’t even spell it. She thinks pedophilia is only to do with boys. Most worryingly, a professor who lectures seminarians on moral theology, isn’t sure what pederasty is.”

Really? Because IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONVERSATION ABOUT COMMENTS MADE BY MILO YIANNOPULOUS, Smith uses a definition referring to pedophilia that didn’t jive with EVERY case of it, she doesn’t know anything about sex and sexual ethics? How about we go back over this, Mary?   First of all, you glossed over Janet’s bio a little too quickly to gloat over the misspelling she made.  Yeah, hers is a little more extensive than yours.  Next, no, pedophilia doesn’t limit itself to males, and I will address YOUR definition of pedophilia further down, but Smith was talking about Milo’s discussion about male homosexual sex.  After that, what evidence do you have that Smith doesn’t know what pederasty is?  Did she spell that wrong too? Ephebophilia? That’s an attraction to teens of both sexes by adults.  Janet is perfectly right to call that into question when talking about Milo’s conversation with Joe Rogan.  It had nothing to do with the Milo case at hand.  Yes, she left out a whole evil syllable that was so crucial to the conversation that it calls into question her decades of amazing teaching in the area of human sexuality.  And darn it, we should also curse her for not relying on spellcheck.

 You know? I’m often embarrassed by my own ignorance. I make ignorant mistakes all the time. But at least I’m not a professor of moral theology who just publicly revealed she doesn’t know her field in the least.

Seriously? Well, please, Mary, you might want to let all those cardinals, priests, and bishops know that Janet doesn’t know a bit of morality because she misspelled a word and used it in the context of a man’s life that you, admittedly, know nothing about.  If I were you, I’d be embarrassed that you waded into a conversation you know nothing about over a spelling error.

For the record, DOCTOR Janet, it’s spelled “ephebophilia,” and it means a sexual preference for older teenagers, usually ages fifteen to nineteen and NOT the fourteen-year-old prepubescent boys you mentioned.

For the record, Mary, it was Austin Ruse who brought up a 14-year-old boy.  You’re super out of context on this one.

Ephebophilia is a sub-set of the group of sexual preferences known as chronophilas. It’s not a new term. It dates back to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. The name “ephebophilia” comes from the Greek terms ephebos meaning “one arrived at puberty” and philia meaning “love.” Someone with a PhD in classics ought to know that instantly. It has nothing to do with being homosexual; a grown man preferring fifteen-year-old-girls is also an ephebophile.

Honey, you need to read the ENTIRE exchange you screen shot before you waste time giving the definitions you copied from Wikipedia.  (Don’t believe me?  Google “ephebophilia.”)  If you actually read the comment you posted, Smith advocated against using the term because it had nothing to do with Milo’s comments and, if you notice, she didn’t even give a definition of ephebophilia.  It wasn’t relevant to the conversation of Milo.  (Remember those comments you know nothing about?)

And, by the way, those who follow this stuff know that the word “ephebophilia”has only come into fashion in modern day use because the homosexual community and those who advocate for their lifestyle want to be just like everybody else.  They HATE pederasty because it’s exclusive to homosexual males, which means they can’t use the “What?  I’m just like everyone else?” argument.

“Pedophilia” refers to a sexual preference for children– not sex “with prepubescent boys” but a desire to have sex with boys or girls. It has nothing to do with homosexuality. It is not even itself a sex act, just a grossly disordered sexual desire.

Uh, really?  I thought you were fond of on-line definitions.  Merriam-Webster, and really, most law enforcement agencies, are going to disagree with you.  Not only is it the attraction, it is considered by most to include the act.  That might be why most of the world talks of “registered pedophiles” for those who commit some sort of sexual act with a child.  Let’s look at those oh-so-great dictionaries you’ve made half an attempt to use:

Definition of pedophilia

:  sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object; specifically :  a psychological disorder in which an adult has sexual fantasies about or engages in sexual acts with a prepubescent child

And then there’s the ever so popular Wikipedia that you lifted from earlier:

In popular usage, the word pedophilia is often applied to any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse.[5]   (Remember this when you bring up “nowadays” in the next paragraph)

Oops!  Let’s hang ‘em all for using a different dictionary than you.

“Pederasty” nowadays refers to sex between a man and a boy–usually a boy between the ages of twelve and seventeen, often pubescent but sometimes not. It had a bit broader meaning historically, but based upon the conversation Doctor Smith was having she’s referring to the sex act.

And now we’re looking at “nowadays??”  Please.  Don’t you think it’s a tad bit hypocritical to complain about someone else’s use of the “nowadays” definition, but you’re just fine to do it?  You’re hanging everything on age ranges.  There is a range for pederasty because boys all look sexually mature at a different age.  It’s not what phase of development they are truly in but which phase the perpetrator sees them in.  They are either looking to perpetrate some sexual act on a child or on a boy who looks to be sexually mature.  This is where pedophilia changes to pederasty IN THE CASE OF MALE VICTIMS in the circumstance about which is the concern in the case of Milo.

These terms do not refer to the same thing. Pederasty is a sexual act; ephebophilia and pedophilia are grossly disordered sexual preferences.

Might I remind you of your use of “nowadays” again?  Law enforcement, pshycologist and regular folk are all using definition B.

And this is immensely important for a so-called moral theologian to know, because a mere preference or desire, no matter how disordered, can never in itself be a sin. A person could theoretically feel sexually attracted to teenagers their whole life, but if they never once acted or tried to act upon their disordered attraction, they’d be chaste. A person who commits pederasty commits grave matter, a reprehensible act of sexual predation– not just unchastity but rape.

Oh for heaven’s sake, when did sin come in to the conversation Ruse and Smith were having?  Now, if Mary had actually paused to listen to the “Milo tapes” or the comments of his on such tapes, you would see that Milo and Janet are using a common use of “pedophilia.”  I’m not really sure why this sent her over the edge.  It was Facebook, not from a moral theology lecture.  She might be having a forest through the misspelling scenario.

Considering the recent history of the priesthood, a moral theologian teaching at a seminary had better know how to spell ephebophilia, what it means and how it’s distinct from pedophilia; she’d better know it’s not a new term and certainly not a new idea. She’d better know what pederasty is. She’d better know the difference between a preference and an act.

 That’s it, Archbishop Vigneron! You should fire Janet and hire Mary, because, you know, she’s so good at using Wikipedia.  How could you think of having someone who doesn’t cherry pick their Wiki definitions to suit their argument?  What is the Catholic world coming to? 

I wonder if such a person should be publicly defending the remarks of Milo Yiannopoulos in the first place, but as I’ve admitted I don’t know enough to comment on that.

Uh, talk about facts not entered into evidence!  Maybe you should keep your wondering to yourself, lest you taint the jury.

Yesterday, Doctor Smith responded to the backlash against her conversation by pleading that she was educated by “a veritable Socrates.” But whoever this veritable Socrates was, he apparently never had her read any Socratic dialogues or she’d certainly know what pederasty was.

I think she defined it quite well.  Not only that she seems to understand that it’s based on age in the eye of the beholder verses a specific age or range.

Do you know why people don’t take Catholic sexual ethics seriously? Well, having a popular scholar in the area speaking this sloppily can’t be helping very much.

She’s good at writing titles for her lectures, though; gotta give credit where credit is due.

Really, Mary, if you really think a sexual ethics powerhouse like Janet Smith’s Facebook comment is why people don’t take sexual ethics seriously, you might be part of the problem. You got caught up in the “I’m way smarter than she is” game, rather than looking at the whole of the topic and conversation.  I mean, you admitted as much, after all.

Next time, you should do a bit of research on the very flawed Catholic, Milo Yiannopulous.  His struggles with sexual ethics might be a very good thing for you read about, and the recording in question might at least help you to understand the conversation about which you decided to write.  While he came on the scene to most during the election, I’ve been following him for a long while.  Personally, I’d like to adopt him. I have a soft spot in my heart for people clearly engaging in a moral struggle.  I pray for him whenever he crosses my mind.  I’m hoping he finds the strength to leave the lifestyle and doesn’t wait around for the Oscar Wilde deathbed reform of his life.  He doesn’t lie about his proclivities (in fact he says quite a bit too much sometimes), but he doesn’t expect the Catholic Church to run around them.  He knows the teachings are right and, even though he was abused by a priest, he struggles on as a Catholic. He has, indeed, been responsible for bringing down pedophiles (please don’t whip out the selective definitions).  Is he perfect?  No, but at least he isn’t trying to bring down the Church or bend it around his lifestyle, nor is he trying to take down good Catholics who provide a wealth of information on why going against God’s natural law is always disastrous.

I’m sure Janet and I would not agree with every point in life (nobody does), but kudos for your life of great work in the Catholic arena, Dr. Smith!

By the way, there are two articles on this topic over at Patheos.  Ironically, the most recent talks about Ruse and Smith wasting everyone’s time.  If this is the case, why are you giving them so much attention?  Like I said, there are plenty of other worthy fights to pick over at America Magazine or National catholic Reporter.

Careful what you wish for…

This is everything you need to know about the Diocese of San Jose and why many wish Bishop McGrath would ride quietly off to retirement.  It seems he’s trying to burn the place down on the way out.  Guess what, Bishop McGrath, the diocese is going to long outlive your tenure. He’s pulling his 11 whole seminarians out of St. Patrick’s and sending them to the University of Saint Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary.  Where’s that, you might ask?  They’ll be with Cardinal Cupich in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Surprise!  Surprise! Surprise!  (That’s sarcasm.)  It was a pretty safe bet it wasn’t going to be, say, Sacred Heart Major Seminary with Archbishop Vigneron, though.

Please note, this is a reprint of a National catholic Reporter story.  Why am I pointing this out?  Well, because of this:

One St. Patrick alumnus, now the pastor of Danville’s St. Isidore Parish in the Oakland diocese, shared his appreciation for the Sulpicians in the Oct. 30, 2016, parish bulletin, praising them for providing “us a vision of Church which was wide and inclusive, not narrow and blinkered.”

In the bulletin message, Fr. Gerard Moran also charged that “the Sulpicians have been on a collision course with Archbishop Cordileone since his appointment to San Francisco.”

Moran criticized what he called Cordileone’s “obsessive compulsive micromanagement” and appealed to previous San Francisco archbishops to “use their influence in Rome to see the Sulpician decision is not irrevocable.”

Now, I’m 99% sure that the National catholic Reporter didn’t stumble upon a bulletin announcement from one of the not-so-notable guys from my diocese.  Heck, I only stumbled across it because a reader sent it to me.

So, in short, looks like NcR reads my blog!   Hi, Fathers Martin and Reese!  Did you miss me when I was on hiatus?  So glad to know my work is appreciated!

On to the rest of the story.  I’m reasonably sure that Bishop McGrath’s final straw was the recent appointment of Fr. George Schultze, SJ, as rector of St. Patrick’s Seminary.  That’s all the buzz around here.  

I have to laugh at the liberals who don’t know what to say about the Jesuits these days.  It would be lovely to see the spin room at NcR trying to figure out how to trash a faithful Jesuit when the Pope is a Jesuit.  I also cannot wait to see what Frs. Reese and Martin are going to say about their brother Jesuit who just got a nice promotion.  So many visions are running through my head right now.  I mean, I’m sure they spend a good chunk of their time wishing they could have the Jesuit orders take over dioceses and seminaries, but I can just see them crying “NOT THAT ONE!  OR THAT ONE!”  It’s just going to get harder and harder for the Reeses and Martins of the Jesuit order now that there are a lot of faithful Jesuits showing up.  And, heaven help them, they must be coming unglued now that “One of them” is now in charge of the formation of priests, or the bishop of the Oakland Diocese, or…

And the Catholic of the Year Award Goes to…

…not Melinda Gates!

Opinion: Want to Empower Women Worldwide? Give Them Access to Contraceptives

Melinda Gates shares why she advocates for over 225 million women around the globe who still lack access to modern contraceptives.

By Melinda Gates


Like most women I know, I have used contraceptives for many years. I knew I wanted to work both before and after becoming a mom, so I delayed getting pregnant until Bill and I were sure we were ready to start our family. Twenty years later, we have three children, born almost exactly three years apart. None of that happened by accident.

The decision about whether and when to get pregnant was a decision that Bill and I made based on what was right for me and what was right for our family—and that’s something I feel lucky about. There are still over 225 million women around the world who don’t have access to the modern contraceptives they need to make these decisions for themselves.

Anyone else sick of hearing what women do with their sex lives?  I am.  I’m even more sick to hear what supposedly Catholic women are doing.  Sure, ladies!  Let’s continue to ruin the beauty of the marital embrace.  Gag!  It’s also a little annoying to hear “I wanted” a million times.  Gotta wonder if Melinda, the “good Catholic” she is, thinks about what God wants or even what her children want. 

Hey, Melinda, as long as you are telling us you use birth control when you sleep with your husband, why don’t you just tell us what kind you used?  Nine times out of ten with a bazillionaire like Melinda, it’s going to be an abortifacient.  It’s just more effective when trying to make sure that a child doesn’t see daylight.

Really, re-read this paragraph.  If I were her kids, I’d be kind of crushed or in some sort of therapy.  On one hand, billionaire mom couldn’t be fulfilled raising children.  One more child or a child spaced less than three years apart would have ruined her perfect life.  No, that was just beneath her abilities to simply be a mom or a mom of four.  Then there’s the other hand where mom’s talking about her sex life.  Ick.

In the decade and a half since Bill and I started our foundation, I’ve heard from women all over the world about how important contraceptives are to their ability to take charge of their futures. When women are able to plan their pregnancies around their goals for themselves and their families, they are also better able to finish their education, earn an income, and fully participate in their communities.

Listen, Melinda, I can tell you that children, the ones you put first and love with all of your heart (at least I do), make me fully participate in my community. 

Interestingly enough, these women are not really taking charge of their futures, are they?  Instead, they’re giving into peer pressure, from you, Melinda, and women like you.  They’re taking a pill, slapping on a piece of latex, putting in a sponge, etc., and this more often than not ruins their future.  Why?  So they can keep up with the Joneses (or the Gateses) and “be fulfilled” apparently in ways those nasty children prevent. 

My gosh!  We sit around and wonder why there’s child abuse, human trafficking, etc.  Get a clue!  Children are not the enemy, and yet, that’s really all we’ve heard in the last 50 years or so.  Bravo!  You reap what you sow, people.  Wake up! 

You’ve brought the marriage embrace from something spiritual and meaningful down to a simple biological function to be altered with a pill, plastic, sponges, etc.  And you’ve reduced children down to either a convenience or an inconvenience.  Next time you get out there to battle human trafficking, please remember you’re responsible for it.

Let’s go back to “their futures” which you’ve vastly helped to include STDs, cancer (a myriad of types), pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, blood clots, strokes, etc., etc., etc.  Great job, Melinda.  Artificial birth control has increased all of these among women.

And not only do moms benefit; their kids benefit, too. In communities where women have access to contraceptives, children stay in school longer, and entire families are healthier, wealthier and far better equipped to break the cycle of poverty.

Please, please tell us how birth control magically does that.

For all of these reasons, in 2012, I co-chaired a summit that brought leaders from around the world together around the goal of expanding expand access to contraceptives for the women who desperately want and need them. The global partnership, called Family Planning 2020, pledged to get 120 million more women access to contraceptives by the year 2020. It was an ambitious but achievable goal—and an important promise to women in the world’s poorest places that they will not be forgotten.

Unfortunately, our progress has not yet lived up to our ambition. We are now more than halfway to the 2020 deadline, but not yet on track to reach 120 million women by the promised date. As of the halfway point in July 2016, we had reached 24 million additional women with family planning services. Unless we begin making up for lost time, we will miss this chance to make this a turning point for women around the world.

24 million women.  Wow!  That’s a lot of lives altered, and not in a good way.

When I think about what’s at stake over the next three years, I think about the lives of women like Anita and Sushila, both of whom I met last year in a village in India called Kamrawa.

 Anita, who guesses she’s about 40 years old, lived most of her life without access to contraceptives. She got married when she was a teenager and became pregnant within a year of her wedding. The birth of her first child was followed by the birth of four more. None of these pregnancies were planned—because without contraceptives, planning her family simply wasn’t an option.

When I asked Anita what it was like to raise so many kids on such a limited income, she got sad and reflective. “I had a lot of problems,” she told me. She spent all of her time and energy looking after her family and trying to keep her household running—preparing food, tending to animals, keeping things clean in a house with no running water—leaving almost no time at all for her to do anything else, even get a job to help with expenses. It was a life of deprivation, hard work and endless worrying.

Did you cut Anita a check for a million? Heck, let’s make it a hundred thousand?  Did you do something to fix her state of life?  Fix her country?  Nope.  You suggested to her that having no more children will fix all that and if she hadn’t had the ones she had, she would e in that mess.   Yeah, that’s the ticket!

But things in Kamrawa have changed since Anita was a young mother. Now, contraceptives are widely available, and women have the chance to make the reproductive decisions that are right for themselves and their families. As a result, families are smaller, and parents are better able to afford nutritious food and school fees for all of their kids. The whole village is healthier and more prosperous.

Even though her children are grown, Anita is excited about what this means for the next generation. “I don’t want my daughter-in-law to go through the same problems,” she told me.

Interestingly, Melinda doesn’t go onto tell us how Anita’s children are doing now.  And, if her children are grown, why isn’t Anita miraculously doing better?  She has time for school and self-fulfillment at 40ish.

Another woman I met, Sushila, is a 28-year-old teacher who’s using contraceptives to plan her family and her future. She has two children—a five-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter—and loves being a mom. But Sushila and her husband are committed to limiting the size of their family so that they’re able to give each of their children the lives they deserve.

Please note they do not give life to all of their children.  They just give them the lives that they supposedly deserve.  Are we really supposed to believe the difference between Anita and Sushila was birth control? Please!  Yeah, those two extra children make all the difference.  Again, please!

Sushila also told me that as soon as both her kids are in school, she plans to return to her job as a teacher. A generation ago, working moms were almost unheard of in villages like Kamrawa. But now that women have the option to plan their pregnancies, they have many other options, too.

Here’s an idea, how about giving one parent a living wage to support a family?  Did you fix that, Melinda?  What if their plan was to have a large family?  Are you going to help make life in the town possible for that?  Nope.  You’re just going to help them eliminate those pesky kids.

When you think about the difference between Anita’s life and Sushila’s life, it’s clear that progress is possible. The question is whether we will commit the resources and mobilize the will to ensure that this progress extends to more women in more places.

Clear?  Other than the names, we really don’t know what the differences between them are.  We are just supposed to take Melinda’s word that the birth control she provided made the difference.

In 2012, we made a promise to women around the world. Our actions over the next three years will decide whether we keep it.

Seriously, Melinda, can you please drop the “Roman Catholic” from your bio now?  Catholics see children as a blessing, not a curse.  We don’t see them as the enemy or a stumbling block to fulfillment.  What we do see as a HUGE stumbling block is denying God’s natural law.  You think that poverty is a problem, but just take a look at the results from denying God’s natural law.  It’s called death – spiritual, marital and even biological.