Future Something Other Than the Church

Let me start by saying I actually started writing about Pia de Solenni’s piece, and then I realized it was super confusing and had no idea what her point was at the end. Then, however, I saw this and it was quite laughable. They missed her point far more than I did. I think FutureChurch felt like they had to respond since America Magazine printed Pia’s article.

Women Will Not Be Silent…Catholic Women Do Preach

FutureChurch’s Response to Pia de Solenni”

First of all, Pia never said women didn’t preach. She stated that Canon Law forbade the laity from preaching the homily at Mass and then kinda sorta tried to explain why. I’m not totally sure how FutureChurch missed that, but they apparently did. Or, maybe, they didn’t.

FutureChurch is deeply disturbed by the September 9, 2019, America Magazine essay by Dr. Pia de Solenni, “Should Catholic women preach at Mass? Here’s a better question,” in which she narrowly conceives the Church’s teaching on a priest acting “in persona Christi” in the Sacraments to justify the practice of excluding women from preaching.

They should have just stopped at “FutureChurch is deeply disturbed.” They are.

Well, heaven forbid we actually admit the truth. The priest is acting “in persona Christi” in the celebration of the Mass. Not really sure why they’re portraying it as “narrow conception.” It’s kind of the whole enchilada, and it isn’t some relatively new thought. 

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2016/03/only-priests-and-deacons-may-preach-why-is-that.html

Now the reason for preaching being reserved to priests and deacons becomes clear. At the Mass the priest and the deacon stand in persona Christi. They represent Christ symbolically and liturgically. One as Christ the priest. The other as Christ the Servant. When they read and preach the gospel therefore they are exercising not only a teaching function, but a liturgical function. They are incarnating Christ the Teacher and Christ the Servant to the people.

This is why they are ordained. NOT just to be a social worker in black. Not just to be a theology teacher in a collar. Not just to be a spiritual director or a parish administrator or a fund raiser.

The priest and deacon are ordained and set apart from the laity for this reason: to help incarnate Christ in the world through their own person and through their own vocation. This is why the catechism teaches that one of the ways to objectively know that you have encountered the risen Lord is “in the person of the priest.

Lay people can’t do that in the same way, and that’s why they are not permitted to preach at Mass.

Back to FutureChurch…

But there is a much more hazardous ideal at play here.

We have already established that it is you two who are wrong according to tradition, according to Canon Law, and according to various Church documents, to say the least.  Nope, it’s you who are dangerous. All you do is sow seeds of envy, jealousy, and bitterness, along with some heresy everywhere you go. You are definitely not the future of the Catholic Church.

While acknowledging that women are often better at preaching than priests, she reasons that that “no matter how wonderful or how terrible” the priest who is in persona Christi with a soul “indelibly marked” and who has undergone an “ontological change” is given priority of place “by virtue of his ordination, not his moral character.

Dr. Solenni denies that this is clericalism. Yet, one has to ask if such an anemic metaphysical model — one that makes moral character optional — also allows that priests represent Christ when they commit acts of abuse and rape against children, steal money, or engage in other criminal acts?

I realize that the word “clericalism” is a verbal tic for some, but really, they don’t even seem to know the definition. The definition is actually the misuse or overextention of clergy’s authority. With the proper form, matter, and intent, a priest is not misusing or overextending his power by doing his priestly duty, no matter how imperfect he is everywhere else in his life. That’s the protection we have been guaranteed by Christ. Let’s think it through, Russ and Deborah. If it weren’t true, how would we ever be able to trust ANYONE if you all got your impossible to have dreams? Does being part of the laity somehow mean you have spiritual or moral perfection? You two might be just narcissistic enough to buy that. The rest of us? Not so much.

If we look deeply into what the Gospels and Church teaching reveal, we see a different truth.  It is clear that Jesus and the early Christians were disgusted by their leaders’ arrogance and self-glorification.  When the Pharisees seek to silence the joyful voices of the people (Lk 19:39-40), Jesus rebukes them.

No matter what framework or theology is used to justify making faith-filled, baptized women second class members of the Body of Christ or seeks to sequester them to certain patriarchally-sanctioned corners of the Church, it is wrong.

Oh, my gosh. When I read things like this, I always want to ask, “Who hurt you?!?!?”  Clearly somebody has some serious issues with someone, and sadly, we’re the ones who have to pay for it! Hey, guys, nice try! The teaching doesn’t just apply to women. It applies to all of the laity. No matter how much you rant against this, the roles of the clergy and the laity are not the same. And the framework and theology for that one? Doctrine. You know, TRUTH? Again, stop with the jealousy.

For nearly three years, FutureChurch and our partners have been bringing forward the preaching of Catholic women every week and on some holidays at http://www.catholicwomenpreach.org.   Women such as Sr. Joan Chittister, Sr. Barbara Reid, Kerry Robinson, Sr. Norma Pimentel, Professor Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Sr. Sandra Schneiders, Sr. Christine Schenk, and over one hundred and seventy other qualified, faith-filled women have preached.

Yes, I’ve already had the misfortune of stumbling onto that site. Qualified? Debatable, unless the qualification is that you have to be a bitter older woman with a strong resentment towards men. If that’s the case, they nailed it. I’ve already written about the ”preaching” of one of their babes here

And thousands of Catholics – lay and ordained, female and male, young and young at heart – flock to the site monthly, hungry for the Word of God as it comes through the lives, experiences, witness, and faith of Catholic women. And each we week receive emails from viewers of Catholic Women Preach telling us that they are hearing the Word, understanding it in new ways, and more fully integrating it into their daily lives.

Please, don’t kid yourself. It’s where bitter women, usually of the older feminist generation, come to feel justified. Let’s just say it’s the greatest site ever. It’s still not in Mass, so you guys go ahead and vent as long as you’re not doing it in the name of the Catholic Church.

That is the Good News!

More like pathetic.

 Women will not be silent or silenced. We will continue the quest for full equality in the Roman Catholic Church and we will not stop until that vision — God’s vision — is fulfilled.

Russ Petrus and Deborah Rose-Milavec
Co-Directors

Oh, Russ and Deborah, you’re so right. We won’t be silenced, but you might want to remember that includes me and my daughters who love and support our all-male priesthood. You also might want to recognize that all organizations of your ilk are dying. Literally. All those sisters you mentioned above? Their convents are empty, and their orders are disappearing. Nobody wants to replace them. Read the writing on the wall.  The women’s organizations, religious orders, etc., that embrace the True Faith? They are flourishing! That’s God’s vision. And you know what? We don’t feel slighted in the least. We’re not jealous of our priests, we embrace our role as part of the laity. What’s more attractive? Old bitter women railing or young, beautiful, faithful women loving the Church? The question has already been answered, but your pompous selves can’t see beyond your own noses. Look at the rest of us for a change before you decide you need to speak on our behalf.  We don’t want or need you to do anything for us. We’re perfectly capable of defending truth.

 

 

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Michael Sean’s Cabal Canard

 Don’t like that pope? Read what he wrote.

Not to quibble too much but this diatribe doesn’t even suggest anything the Holy Father wrote.

Sep 9, 2019

by Michael Sean Winters Opinion

The whole world now knows that Pope Francis is more or less fed up with some of his critics. His comment about it being an “honor” to be attacked by conservative Catholics in the U.S. made that clear for all to see. Francis had just been presented with a copy of a new book by French author Nicolas Seneze, which catalogues conservative Catholic efforts, largely American, to influence this pope or to limit his influence and undermine his efforts. The fallout from the pope’s comment is kind of fun to watch. Last week, EWTN host Raymond Arroyo began his hour-long show with an eight minute “commentary” that pronounced the pope’s comment “troubling.” I actually found the pope’s candor refreshing.

Talk about refreshing! The Pope’s guys tried to turn the comment into praise for Americans even though most of us were a tad bit skeptical about that one. Who knew Michael Sean Winters and I would agree?! Of course, I can’t agree that the comment or the fall-out are fun to watch. Only a jerk would revel in such division, but I’d expect no less.

Arroyo referred to a “string of lazy articles.” He went on: “This is tired, and, frankly, a fact-free narrative.” He complained that it had been peddled mostly by “Europeans and progressive Americans” and claimed these critics “make the mistake of casting orthodox Catholics in America as right-wingers, players in a political plot to undo the agenda of Francis.” He countered this portrayal, saying, “The truth is much more simple. American Catholics actually believe what the church has always taught, and they’re loud enough and have big enough platforms to broadcast that belief.” Arroyo insisted that “all traditional Catholics have done is ask questions.”

Uh, yeah. Don’t you think that’s allowable, Michael Sean Winters?  As I’ve said before, people across the world have concerns. And Arroyo is right. We are a very blessed country and we have the freedom and ability to fight for everyone against liberal dissenters like Michael Sean Winters, NcR, America Magazine, etc. like no other country in the world. We’re good on the battlefield like that. And did I miss something? Are America Magazine, National catholic Reporter or Salt & Light Whatever penniless organizations? Please. And, by the way, as of now, I don’t get a paycheck. (Offers totally accepted.) I think we need to have “Je suis ETWN!” shirts made up because they’re just saying what a good chunk of the laity around the world thinks. Since Michael Sean Winters would never actually want you to see the interview he writes about (he could have totally linked to it), I will leave it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bPyFm1Aw20

Arroyo unwittingly confirmed the thesis he was trying to debunk when he concluded: “The truth is this is all a craven attempt to demonize and purge voices form the church who dare to question the radical changes that are under way and the brutal tactics used to enact them.” Radical changes? Brutal tactics?

Uh, is there any doubt about radical changes?  Apparently he didn’t get the memo from Cardinal “Synodality” Marx? Or America Magazine ? And brutal tactics? Maybe he missed what just happened at the John Paul II Institute? For goodness’ sake, Michael Sean Winters, even The Atlantic sees it. So, please, don’t act like those who are troubled are paranoid freaks. It’s real. “Nothing to see here but the usual papal stuff” isn’t going to fly.

To prove his claim to editorial balance, Arroyo played a tape of him of the night a year ago when he reported about Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò in which he said, “I am a little squeamish about a pope resigning again.” Huh? Had a former nuncio publicly demand that Pope Benedict XVI resign? Why add the word “again”? He did, to his credit, acknowledge there had been criticism of Viganò, but one year later, on a show just two weeks ago, Arroyo and his papal posse, Robert Royal and Fr. Gerald Murray, spent more than half the show defending Viganò and arguing that most of his claims had been proven true, when in fact, most of them had been proven false.

Wow!  Which ones were those proven false?!?! The “just say it and it will be true” tactic doesn’t work here, Michael Sean. If you’re going to make an accusation, back it up.

Arroyo said: “Let’s not create silly conspiracy theories.”

Me thinks the pope touched a nerve. Arroyo’s rant sounded like nothing so much as the wild excuses a child makes when caught pilfering the cookie jar. To be clear, if I were in his shoes, I would be upset also. I would be upset if I thought my pals owned the church and someone had come along and taken it away from us.

Uh, my pals don’t own the Church. Raymond Arroyo’s pals don’t own the Church. And, just to be clear, nobody does. Maybe that’s the problem. You and your buddies, Mr. Winters, seem to think the Church is some kind of personal football while we believe God gave it to us as our guide to heaven. We also know darn well that it’s been foretold time and again that She will constantly be under attack from within as well as the outside. Congratulations on being a small part of proving that prophecy.

There is, indeed, a cabal among right-wing Catholics to undermine or minimize this pope and his teachings, and you could discover it merely by watching EWTN or reading its auxiliary media outlets. No one would have Cardinal Raymond Burke or German Cardinal Gerhard Müller on their show as an authoritative guest unless such undermining was the goal. No one would have Phil Lawler, who was the first guest on Arroyo’s show last week, on their show as an expert unless undermining the pope was the objective. The two men enjoyed themselves complaining about all the damage they think Francis is doing to the church.

Wow! Cabal and right-wing all in one sentence! Doesn’t this sort of make the open-arm narrative you’re about to put forward fall a little flat? (Hint: The answer is yes.)

Heaven forbid we have a Cardinal of the Church speak on a Catholic station! And heaven forbid Phil Lawler be disgusted by the abuse crisis and its handling.  Yeah, those guys are horrible. Geez!

Was EWTN undermining the Holy Father when they reported this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vovTX6bAI0 Or this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxGj7Ztt1lU Or this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqn3YYurIpE  Or even that evil Raymond Arroyo and the Papal Posse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J88_Fnz-UXU? Or all of Pope Francis’ big Masses? Sometimes they support and sometimes they scratch their heads and say “What is this?!” just like the regular folks in the world. And when someone’s job is criticized by a French writer and the pope seemingly agrees, why in heaven’s name would you not expect them to respond? I guess it’s because NcR, American Magazine, and Salt and Light never respond? (Yes, I am rolling my eyes.)  Heck, if you’re in the social media world, they simply ban you as they’ve done to so many. They don’t want to discuss it, and I should know since I’ve been banned by most of them for my critiques of their work. Talk about a cabal! At least Arroyo and the rest of the “evil Americans” are willing to continue the conversation and they try to see the good where they can find it, but that doesn’t mean they can’t comment and ask questions.

I’m really sorry that you don’t understand why people are greatly concerned and have concerns about some of the things Pope Francis says. I mean, that’s never ever happened in the history of the Church! (That was tongue in cheek, Sean Michael.)  I realize that everyone has totally forgotten about, say, St. Catherine of Siena, but this is hardly the first time there have been criticisms and questions of a pope. Was she somehow an elitist as you so like to frame people you’d rather dismiss? Was she part of a cabal?

I wish to send Arroyo and other conservative Catholics an invitation, one that I received a long time ago and from which I derived enormous benefit. During the more conservative pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, friends encouraged me to read their writings with an open mind, not to dismiss them because they were so conservative. Of course, in the area of Catholic social teaching, there has been enormous continuity, not only across the last three pontificates but stretching all the way back to Pope Leo XIII. But, when I read some of the writings of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, from his early work Introduction to Christianity to the trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth that he wrote while pope, I not only learned a great deal, I had my faith strengthened by the insights he discerned. Here is the column I wrote the day after his resignation. I was not yet a writer when Pope John Paul II issued Novo Millennio Ineunte, but I remember thinking it was a magnificent document that made me stretch in ways I would not have done if I had simply stuck to my more liberal Catholic texts.

Dude!  You just suggested what my last clip from EWTN said.  Why don’t you give it a watch again? I’ll leave the link nice and visible! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J88_Fnz-UXU  Maybe don’t call people part of a cabal and you might get some conversation. The thing is, you might actually have to approach them with an open mind.  It doesn’t go one way and this is the problem I have with you and yours. Unless we buy everything you say we’re, somehow, part of this evil, right-wing, conspiracy to overthrow the Holy Father. Sorry buddy.  We want him to succeed but we have question when we hear things that sound like somebody just dragged a needle over our favorite album.

And one last thing, to suggest none of the faithful who are troubled have read Pope Francis is ludicrous. In fact, it’s because we’ve read and hang on his every word that we are concerned. What the Holy Father says is very important. That’s kind of the point.

So, instead of painting Francis in such a harsh and negative light, rather than poking fun at synods, or highlighting and even championing a score-settling text like Viganò’s “testimony,” I invite conservative Catholics to come to Francis and his teachings with an open heart and an open mind. I hope they might find, as I did with his conservative predecessors, an opportunity to stretch their faith, which always leads to an expansion and a deepening of that faith as well. It is a big church, and there is room for everybody. The alternative is the emergence of a sectarian, para-schismatic church in the United States. And, if a full-blown schism were to occur, its source would largely be found on EWTN.

And there it is.  The liberal, Catholic talking narrative. The hypocrisy is rather staggering. You knew it was coming. Honestly, was there a conference call?  Clearly there was. Maybe, the next time you want to float the idea that you are being uber charitable, calling others to open-mindedness, etc. you remove a HUGE log from you eye and not call them part of the schismatic cabal. Just saying. Until then, all the faithful should realize that the Winters, Reeses and Faggiolis of the world are just hoping you’re not paying attention and will fall for their pandering innuendos.

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.] Kind of not so much. Pretty much covers his own unsubstantiated, narcissistic viewpoints.

So my friends, I’ll see you all at the weekly schismatic cabal meeting. I’ll bring snacks! Oh shoot! I meant doughnuts…for after Mass. Same diff.

Snakes on a Plane

You just knew somebody would eventually use that title…

I saw this and thought, “What in the heck is wrong with you people?! Please get some PR meetings in place, because you need them.” This was all a set up by someone and, guess what? Once again, it backfires and makes the Holy Father look like a mean jerk. Right up there with the “Great Accuser” mantra. I can only remember the last two popes and have read about others, but it seems that, unless they were complete tyrants, they all wanted to be “Papa” to all of us. They avoided the look of cronyism. And what’s been the word of the papacy? Oh, yeah, clericalism.

 Pope Francis Says It’s an ‘Honor’ to be Criticized by Americans

His throwaway remark, made in connection with a new book that claims influential American Catholics want him to step down, generated surprise aboard the papal flight today to Mozambique.

Edward Pentin

The use of “throwaway” is actually really good, because he just threw the remark away without a thought of any love for a good chunk of the Church. Let’s be clear, I don’t consider myself an “influential American Catholic,” which pretty much seems to be defined as “Rich Catholic.” That said, many, many Catholics, influential or otherwise, have serious concerns about the (ahem!) style of Pope Francis. I realize he lives in the papal bubble, but somebody might want to let him in on the fact that this is true.

A throwaway remark by Pope Francis aboard the papal plane this morning raised a few eyebrows among those traveling with him — and sent his press handlers scrambling.

First of all, I have a hunch that’s not true, but that’s just me. I think his handlers knew this guy was on board, they knew what he wrote, and they knew this was going to be handed to him. It would be soooo nice if they spent more time fixing problems with, oh, I don’t know, clergy abuse and the cover up of it rather than whining about how mean people are to the Holy Father. Geez. Again, I don’t remember the last two popes constantly talking about people who didn’t like them for this, that, or the other thing.  Might be because they actually understood that’s what it’s all about. Christ came to divide. I generally have a rule that the first person to claim to be a victim is probably the one in the wrong. It’s deflection, plain and simple.

After takeoff on his way to the Mozambique capital of Maputo, the Pope customarily greeted journalists on the papal plane. Among those he met was Nicolas Seneze, Rome correspondent for the French Catholic daily newspaper La Croix, which just published Seneze’s book, How America Wants to Change the Pope.

The book threads together different aspects of this pontificate — in particular the McCarrick abuse scandal and the Archbishop Carlo Viganò testimony — to conclude that influential figures in the U.S. Church are out to, if not replace Pope Francis, then to actively challenge him.

First of all, way to go, American Catholics! That the liberals even acknowledge you were the bane of their existence is great! It seems they can no longer go with the “Nothing to see here!” tactic. Proud to be among you! Quite frankly, I think our cultural spirit might help save the Church. We have a can-do spirit which enables us to conquer the landscape.

The book quotes professor Massimo Faggioli of Villanova as saying wealthy conservative Catholics have stepped into the vacuum of authority left by the sex abuse scandal to become the de facto leaders of the Catholic Church in the U.S.

Yawn. They continue trying the new tactic of declaring anyone who disagrees with them in “de facto schism.” Sorry, you look like a fool once again. Let me point out that of those you’ve already accused outright of being “devout schismatics” trump you in the area of Canon Law, as in two of the three are actually canon lawyers. So back off, Massimo.

On the plane, Seneze presented his book to the Pope, who recognized the cover, as he had read a review of it.

The Italian daily newspaper Il Messaggero on Aug. 20 published a story headlined, “A plot from the USA to make the Pope resign.” A cover of Seneze’s book accompanied the article.

“He reads Il Messaggero every day so when he saw the cover of the copy I was holding, he instantly recognized it,” Seneze told the Register aboard the papal plane today, adding that the book was published in French today.

What plot? How many times has the Holy Father hinted that he may resign? Is that the fault of the “de facto leaders”? Next time a pope dies or resigns, we don’t want another nightmare like McCarrick having any say in who’s elected, not to mention the possibility a nightmare like McCarrick might be elected. If our cardinals are hiding something, we want it uncovered before going into a conclave. Who could argue with that?! (*Cough* Staff of American Magazine *Cough*) Do we really want molesters like McCarrick or Francisco Javier Errazuriz or those who covered up for them to vote for or be the next pope? Uh, hello, remember the abuse victims?  Geez.

“When I explained the picture to the Pope, he said: ‘Per me è un onore che mi attaccano gli americani (For me it’s an honor that Americans attack me).’”

I believe my kids call this “humble bragging.” Blech. And trying to portray the concerns of the faithful as “an American thing” is ridiculous. It’s worldwide, Holy Father. World. Wide. You think we’re bad, look at South America, and, oh, and how about Africa? You’ve got some continental-sized issues with the faithful.

“Seneze and his Vatican press colleagues were taken aback by the in-flight remark, and reporters immediately sought verification.

Vatican press spokesman Matteo Bruni later confirmed the remark but was quick to offer an explanation: “In an informal context, the Pope wanted to say that he always considers criticisms an honor, particularly when they come from authoritative thinkers and, in this case, an important nation.”

If they immediately sought clarification, the guy who made the remark was on the plane, for heaven’s sake! Again, you guys need some meetings. It was rather clear that Bruni was doing some serious damage control.

Seneze told the Register afterward that the Il Messaggero article was a little exaggerated. He said he doesn’t believe there is a plot as such being hatched in the U.S. to unseat the Pope.

Wait! What?! Didn’t you actually write this? Did you suddenly realize this was going to be the PR nightmare that it is? I don’t have the subscription, so I’m just reading the beginning of this piece, but let’s just take a gander at the picture caption you included!

An ultra-conservative fringe of the American Catholic right has fomented a coup against Pope Francis

Uh…Which is it? There’s some nefarious plot or there’s not?

Rather, he believes there’s a sense among some wealthy Americans, including some who are connected to the EWTN Global Catholic Network and other media organizations, that Francis is not acting as Pope and so should stand down, like a CEO who is underperforming.

Seneze said, “I believe these people see themselves as invested in the Church and they feel they are not getting a return on their investment.”

Oh, my gosh. Class warfare is strong with this one. Did you all know you were connected to EWTN? There may be concern for money on some side of this, but it’s not the side of concerned faithful.

Another article by Crux contains additional information to this whole debacle.

A long-time Vatican reporter from the French Catholic daily, Seneze told the pope that he wanted to explain the roots of American opposition to the Argentine, which has the support of several right-wing news outlets. In his book, Seneze names EWTN, founded by the late Mother Angelica, and Canada-based LifeSiteNews.

It’s a conspiracy, I tell you! Guess I’m just left out of those meetings.

The criticism against Francis is based on several points: His cautious opening to allowing the divorced and remarried to receive the Sacraments, his emphasis on the environment, his strong condemnation of the death penalty, and his criticism of the capitalist economic order championed by conservatives in the United States.

I’d say most of this is correct with the exception of the death penalty. It has nothing to do with strongly condemning it and everything to do with this: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-and-the-death-penalty-a-change-in-doctrine-or-circumstances-39898

In his book, Seneze explains the origin of the hostility against Francis in terms of two documents by the pope: Evangelii Gaudium, his first apostolic exhortation and considered the Magna Carta of his pontificate, and Laudato Si, an encyclical letter on the environment originally intended to ensure adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement pertaining to climate change.

The French journalist argues the ultimate goal of the opposition to Francis from some American quarters is to trigger a conclave to elect a new pope, and to guarantee the election of someone more aligned with their interests and vision of the Church and the world.

Yeah, not so much. I’d love to know how he’s come to this fantastical dream. There’s no doubt those faithful to Church teaching want the next Pope to be a strong leader in this area. We do not want ambiguity, but we’d also like to ferret out Cardinals like former Cardinal McCarrick and the seemingly never-ending line of them who should be taking a perp walk. Again, you would think EVERYONE would want that.

One of several initiatives to secure this, according to Seneze, is a project called the Red Hat Report, which the “The Better Church Governance Group” hopes to release by April 2020.

The Red Hat Report claims to be drawing on nearly 100 researchers, academics, investigators, and journalists to investigate every single cardinal elector, 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.”

That’s awful! They 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.” Those evil people. Oh, my gosh! Isn’t this exactly what you told us needed to happen? How many times did we hear that we needed to end “clericalism?” Always told them to be careful what they wished for, because their definition of it is “It’s wrong to call priests ‘father’”. Our definition actually is a little more based in reality.

Seneze also points to American millionaire Tim Busch as a key figure in this “war” against Francis. Busch sits on the board of EWTN and is a member of the Papal Foundation, a U.S.-based organization that gives donations to charities supported by the pope.

Several members of the Papal Foundation severely criticized a request by the pope for a $20 million bridge loan for a debt-ridden and scandal-plagued Church-owned hospital in Rome.

And who wants to give $20 million to a scandal-plagued hospital??? Not me, and if it were my money, I’m sure I would have said “No!” and donated my money to some other charitable fund. Little Sisters of the Poor, perhaps? Can’t remember the last time they had a scandal.

Seneze spoke to reporters after the pope’s remarks.

“I wanted to explain the difficulties between the pope and Americans, and how they are attacking him,” he said.

If the Vatican needed that explanation, it’s probably worse than we thought. Sorry, they’re not that obtuse.

Seneze’s book comes just a year after Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former papal representative to the United States, released a letter accusing the pope of covering up for now-former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of abusing minors and seminarians.

The letter, which was released through conservative news organizations, requested that Francis resign from office.

And…after it was released there, it was also released to any “Catholic” news agency that wrote about it as fast as they could because, well, it was news. Seems like some are just jealous because they didn’t get the scoop. Archbishop Vigano isn’t the reason there is strife between the hierarchy and the laity. That was their own doing. As usual, liberals are the root of the problem, so they prefer to shoot the messenger.

In conclusion, I’m hoping this in-plane interview will lead to a whole lot being donated to the “Red Hat Report.” I loved the idea from the start. In fact, shortly before this was announced, I put out a request for those who could afford to do so to investigate the heck out of the hierarchy. It was like my birthday when I saw somebody was going to do that! Those who have nothing to hide won’t protest. Those who do might be another story. Please check out their goals for yourself at https://betterchurchgovernance.org/ Don’t let anyone frame their goals for you. Their mission is far more mainstream that some would like you to think.

Oh, one more thing, since Massimo Faggioli is part of this little group chanting schism, why don’t you continue to give Villanova a call. Apparently that plea worked so well last time he banned me from his Twitter page so all must have done good. Maybe somebody will tell him to stop flapping his gums where he has no jurisdiction.

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA
Office of the President
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085-1699

Phone: 610-519-8881

Fax: 610-519-4514

Email: president@villanova.edu

Alumni, you can also go here:

Alumni Relations

Phone: 610-519-4580

Fax: 610-519-7583

Email: alumni@villanova.edu

 

 

 

 

 

Devastated Beyond Belief

This is not where I thought this story would end.  http://www.seattlearchdiocese.org/Assets/ARCH/SanctityOfLifeStatement-rev01.pdf  

August 28, 2019

The Associated Press news story naturally leads the reader to assume certain things about the priest

and his intentions. However, we are learning a very different reality was at work. We looked into this and can confirm that the priest who did the blessing did not know about Mr. Fuller’s intentions. The priest was a visiting priest who happened to be at St. Therese that particular Sunday when the pastor was celebrating Mass at his second parish. The blessing was done after Mass by the priest whose interest was to bring comfort to someone he learned was dying. The priest was not aware of any news photographer, although he was aware people were taking pictures.

While it is clear that some of Mr. Fuller’s friends at the parish knew of his intentions, the pastor at St. Therese initially did not. Mr. Fuller eventually approached the pastor to ask to plan his own funeral. The pastor discussed the gift of life and tried to convince him to change his mind. He made it clear that neither he nor the parish could support his plan to take his own life. Once it was clear that Mr. Fuller was not going to change his mind, the pastor reached out to his leadership to discuss the situation.

Archbishop Sartain agreed that it is the church’s responsibility to pastorally care for those who mourn. With this in mind, he gave permission for the funeral with certain conditions to ensure there was no endorsement or other perceived support for the way in which Mr. Fuller ended his life. The purpose of the funeral was to pray for his soul and bring comfort and consolation to those who mourned.

Conditions or not, what could Archbishop Sartain think that the parish would get from allowing this??? How about Bob’s eternal soul??? It’s tragic! How many more lives in this parish are now at stake?

Archbishop Sartain (and I still can’t believe he did this but I guess he did) approved a funeral AHEAD of the suicide of a man who was going to kill himself and was told this was against the teachings of the Church. So, all you people who are contemplating doing the same, it seems as you’ll get you funeral too, because, those who are mourning and all.

Let me be clear. Trying to compare this to a run of the mill suicide is ridiculous. Bob Fuller’s thoughts were documented to the end. And to allow anyone to pre-schedule their own funeral is simply awful. Maybe, at that point, someone might have least looked into the rest of his problems.  

This man was a public, obstinate sinner who showed no remorse, even after counselling from his pastor for his suicide. On his way out the door he chose to marry his homosexual partner hours before, he thought he was a shaman, boasted of his past affairs on Facebook, etc. and very little was done to stop and correct him. He was intent on doing it and his funeral was approved by the archbishop.  Bob at least knew, according to the archdiocese, the Church’s teaching on the dignity of life and still did it. What in THE heck were they all thinking? Scratch that! Was anyone thinking? How many more have been scandalized by this???  How many more think it’s just fine because the Church will simply roll over and give them their lovely funeral as if it means absolutely nothing but a nice goodbye? This is, simply, hideous. At THE very least, the pastor or archbishop should have manned up and been there to hear confession at the end if he was willing but they just signed off on it as “Well, there’s nothing else we can do because he’s determined to do it!” The Church has failed Bob Fuller and those that will follow his example. I hope those that threw up their hand hit the confessional this weekend. Prayers for you Bob. You were failed beyond belief.

Let’s Talk Ad Orientem

I’m trying to figure out what the liberals know that we don’t, because the hysteria has been turned up a notch or two in the past couple of months. First the word “schismatic” has been batted around like a beach ball, and now they’re trying to whip people into a frenzy about bishops and priests going “ad orientem” for their Masses, which is very literally much ado about nothing (other than liturgical accuracy). 

I’ve had more than one church my area (the very liberal San Francisco Bay Area) go “ad orientem” and guess what? The churches are still standing, pews are still full, and nobody has died because the priests have chosen to face God when talking to him!  Nobody has left the church a blubbering mess, not even the occasional visitor. No nervous breakdowns have occurred. Now, maybe some of this happened to people who don’t even attend these churches, but honestly, what is the big stinking deal?

Personally, I think the Pew Research poll on the Real Presence backfired on them. People are starting to acknowledge that there is a real problem of belief, but we’re not supposed to know about it. It’s been the proverbial game of “hide the football.” They didn’t want anyone to notice that reality. We’re just supposed to look at all of the happy-clappy people in the pews who show up when they feel like it and call it good. Their fruit has been outed and it’s rotten to the core. They’ve managed to make a good percentage of the people in the pews protestant in belief, and the people who do believe but hadn’t a clue are starting to take notice. 

The lack of belief in the Real Presence is why priests and bishops are starting to take a look at what we can do to bring that belief back. Naturally, acting as God exists is a big start. That’s the point of things like “ad orientem,” kneeling to receive Our Lord, chant, silence, etc., etc., etc.

They’ve had plenty of great little visual aid cartoons lately on “ad orientem,” but the cries of “The priest is turning his back on us! Woe to us!” seem to work a little better.

Dear laity, they’re trying to con you. They think you have no brain and you can’t think this through, which just makes it extra annoying to me. Seriously. They all think you are so childish you can’t put two and two together. So, let me try explaining just one more time to someone who might be swayed by the old “Those mean old priests just want to turn their backs on us!” argument. Maybe you know someone swayed by this. If so, pass this along. Maybe my very dumbed down mind will work for them. It just doesn’t seem that hard.

Let’s say that you’re at dinner with your friends and Jack is on your left and Jill is on your right. When you address Jill do you look at Jack? That would be kind of weird, no?  (All while looking at Jack) “Hey Jill, what color lipstick is that? It looks great on you!”  Of course, you wouldn’t.

Now let’s say you had a present for Jill, and Jack and Jill are sitting with you. Would you hand that present to Jack and say “Here, Jill”?  Again, all things being equal, you would not. Now let’s apply this to the “ad orientem” posture for the Mass.

First of all, if you’ve never been to an “ad orientem” Mass, the priest is not facing away from you the entire Mass. I realize that this is an allusion that the liberals are trying to put forth because the truth hurts – them.  Just like when you’re having dinner with Jack and Jill, you look at Jill when you’re talking to her, and you look at Jack when you’re talking to him. There’s a natural back and forth, and so it is with an “ad orientem” Mass.  The priest switches back and forth looking at the person he is addressing at the time. Sometimes he is addressing us and sometimes he is addressing God. When he’s talking to us, he’s facing us. When he’s talking to God, he’s facing God. Does this sound like some horribly nefarious plot to exclude you from anything?  Geez.

Now where does my gift example come in? The Eucharist is sacrifice to God. Very good read from a very good Jesuit (See? I like some of them. May he rest in peace).  http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/link/e-litur.html Again, when I give a present to Jill, I don’t hand it to Jack and say, “This is for you, Jill!” Does that offend you for some strange reason? Same deal. It’s all about God at that point, not us. The priest faces the Tabernacle (you know, that place where Christ is physically) and the crucifix(which the smart people call Liturgical East), both of which should be front and center in a church (yeah, a whole other debate). He’s not offering a sacrifice to us, because, well, that would be wrong. Can we agree on that? Who is the priest addressing when he says:

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,
for through your goodness we have received
the wine we offer you:
fruit of the vine and work of human hands,
it will become our spiritual drink.

Is this addressed to the laity? Nope.

So, as you can see, “ad orientem” is just logical positioning between a priest and who he’s addressing or offering something to at a particular time in the Mass. And the big flippin’ deal is? Joke’s on you. There is none.

Just so you know, I attend the Ordinary Form almost every Mass. When I’m not there I’m at the Extraordinary Form. So, basically, 50ish Sundays out of the year, the Mass I’m attending is “ad orientem.” I’ve not spontaneously combusted yet, nor have I felt slighted by it.  In fact, I asked for it for many years. Why? Because I heard about it, looked into it, and after reading my little old missalette, it made perfect sense. Seriously, just look at the missal for the Ordinary Form. It’s not all addressed to me or you. I’ll make it easy for you, in case your parish has somehow crazily re-worded large parts of the Mass with gender neutral crud, etc., and doesn’t want you to see what’s approved: http://ibreviary.com/m/messale.php?s=ordinario&id=22

I’m not going to post links to all of the lame articles on why “ad orientem” is so offensive because, well, they’re really stupid and a big old lie. I will post the explanation from Bishop James Wall, Diocese of Gallup, since he’s the latest one who’s taking flack:

 https://dioceseofgallup.org/celebrating-the-mass-ad-orientem/

Please note, he’s not suggesting the Mass be in Latin or be “the old Mass.” This is what keeps the liberals up at night. Oh, the horror! Don’t fall for the scare tactics. Again, a whole other topic. I’m reasonably sure that most good-hearted people can do a little research and find that “ad orientem” isn’t the boogieman under your bed waiting to take all you love away from you. It’s probably going to make sense. The only thought the priests and bishops going “ad orientem” have is to make the Real Presence real again!

 

 

Next Up on Wheel of Heresy…the Jesuit Superior General!

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/jesuit-superior-satan-is-a-symbolic-reality-60691

I swear, some of the Jesuits are just bucking to have a heresy named after them. “The Jesuitical Heresy” or “Jesuiticism” maybe? It’ll be hard to pin down exactly what defines it, though, since they have chosen sooooo many to embrace. The “Kitchen Sink Heresy” perhaps?  I’m sure the readers will come up with some doozies.

Vatican City, Aug 21, 2019 / 01:44 pm (CNA).- The superior general of the Society of Jesus said Aug. 21 that the devil is a symbol, but not a person.

The devil, “exists as the personification of evil in different structures, but not in persons, because is not a person, is a way of acting evil. He is not a person like a human person. It is a way of evil to be present in human life,” Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, said Wednesday in an interview with Italian magazine Tempi.

He’s bending truth again. True, the devil is not a person. The devil is a fallen angelic being.  But he’s very real, despite the fact that many Jesuits have been trying to dispel this reality forever.

We’ve been told time and again by many holy people that one of the devil’s main tactics is to try to get us to believe he does not exist.  The Superior General is using that tactic himself. What does that tell you about him?

From the Catechism regarding the fall:

II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.266 Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called “Satan” or the “devil”.267 The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: “The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.”268

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This “fall” consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: “You will be like God.”270 The devil “has sinned from the beginning”; he is “a liar and the father of lies”.271

393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.”272

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls “a murderer from the beginning”, who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries – of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.”275

And…

Man’s first sin

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of.278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully “divinized” by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to “be like God”, but “without God, before God, and not in accordance with God”.279”

And…

A hard battle. . .

407 The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man’s situation and activity in the world. By our first parents’ sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails “captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil”.298 Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action299 and morals.

Lastly…

IN BRIEF

413 “God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. . . It was through the devil’s envy that death entered the world” (Wis 1:13; 2:24).

414 Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in their revolt against God.

Fr. Sosa goes on…

“Good and evil are in a permanent war in the human conscience and we have ways to point them out. We recognize God as good, fully good. Symbols are part of reality, and the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality,” he added.

Sosa’s remarks came after he participated in a panel discussion at a Catholic gathering in Rimini, Italy, organized by the Communion and Liberation ecclesial movement.

Sorry, Fr. Sosa. The devil is a real being, not a state of the mind.

The Catechism of the Catholic teaches that “Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: ‘The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.’”

Angels, the Catechism says, are “spiritual, non-corporeal beings.”

“They are personal and immortal creatures,” it adds, who “have intelligence and will.”

Tsk..tsk…tsk..Father Sosa! It is not a teaching of the Catholic Church that non-corporeal beings are fantasy or merely symbolic. There is really one of three things going on here: (1) you are stupid enough to think this; (2) Satanists in Ottawa that just held a black mass have more of belief in the devil, the Real Presence and Christ than you; or (3) you know darn well the devil is way more than merely symbolic and you are doing his will in promoting that he does not exist. Which is it?

Sosa, 70, was elected the Jesuits’ superior general in 2016. A Venezuelan, he has a pontifical licentiate in philosophy and a doctorate in political science. He served as a Jesuit provincial superior in Venezuela from 1996 to 2004, and in 2014 began an administrative role at the general curia of the Jesuits in Rome.

OK, I guess I left one off: (4) he’s 70 and dementia is kicking in? Look, I’m not saying many Jesuits don’t believe EXACTLY as Fr. Sosa, but at least they’re cunning enough not to spell it out.  I’m guessing he’ll be getting a pink slip soon.

Sosa has offered controversial comments about Satan in the past. In 2017, he told El Mundo that “we have formed symbolic figures such as the Devil to express evil.”

After his 2017 remark generated controversy, a spokesman said that “like all Catholics, Father Sosa professes and teaches what the Church professes and teaches. He does not hold a set of beliefs separate from what is contained in the doctrine of the Catholic Church.”

Oh, all’s good then. Not.

 

Assumptions on the Assumption by Sr. Carolyn

Our Lady is awesome and, right after one of her feast days, I feel the need to thump one lady’s notions. No, Mary doesn’t need my defense, and she really doesn’t need Sister Carolyn’s, but I feel compelled to defend Truth, which isn’t found anywhere in her lame video. Please feel free to check the link because it’s not worth my time to alter the HTML code to embed the video. The pseudo-transcription is courtesy of the YouTube transcript I found. Before anyone goes on a justifiable rant on women doing the homily, she’s not.  She just wishes she could, so she makes videos instead.

The Feast of the Assumption means that Mary is just as good as the guys.

What in the what?!?!?! I think Mary is a bit better, I’d say! I think Sr. Carolyn was probably going for the “Women are equal, gosh darn it!” message, but sadly she goes on to actually downplay all things Mary. The liberals just never quite know what to do with Mary and this bi-polar piece nails that. “She’s the same as the guys, but if she had been a prostitute then she’d REALLY be something special!” is kind of where they usually end up.  She’s a BIG inconvenience to them.

There’s Jesus, of course, and we tend to talk about his Ascension and Mary’s Assumption as if he did it on his own and she needed some help.

Oh yeah, there’s Him. Ho-hum. Thanks, Sister! What would we do without your astute insight??? Unbelievably, people paid money to have this lady teach them. I’d be looking for a refund right about now. As for the rest of the sentence, I’m pretty sure there’s a wee bit of heresy in there, and Fr. Martin unsurprisingly just gave that a plug. I actually tripped over this via Fr. Martin’s Facebook page.

Yes, Sister, there actually is a difference between the Assumption of Mary and the Ascension of Christ. Does this really need to be said?  I guess so. Maybe read a few more bible verses and, oh, maybe some Church documents?

Christ said he would ascend.  This is in the Creed, for heaven’s sake. “He ascended into Heaven” It’s not “He was assumed into Heaven.” I don’t know. Maybe you don’t say this one because there are too many gender specific pronouns to sub? Sigh. Can you stop playing “Wheel of Heresy” for just a second, Sister? Honestly, I’m pretty sure her little “homily” contains more than a few. My smart readers will have to start naming them for me.

So let’s look at your lack of bible verses and church docs, shall we?

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.

John 6:62 If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

John 20:17 Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.

And then there’s the dogma of the Assumption:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus.html

That’s apparently not good enough for Sister Carolyn, though:

But if you look carefully at a good translation of the story of Jesus’ ascension in Acts 1:9 you’ll see that he too was lifted up and received into heaven on a cloud.

And this is why Catholics don’t believe in private interpretation of Scripture. I realize you think you have some magical authority to set cherry picked bible verses against Church teaching, but you don’t.

But Jesus and Mary are by no means the first to have been thought to go up into this, out of this life – to somewhere up there where God is. You will of course remember Elijah and his fiery chariot in 2 Kings 11 but even before him Enoch was taken up by God and seen no more as Genesis 5.

OK, I’m not going to quibble about the fact that they had some sort of special exit, but to say we know exactly where they went and how it happened? This has never been said by the Church and has been mulled over by many. Also, again, you misquote. It’s actually “taken by God” not taken up. Then there’s Elijah who was taken up to “heaven” but did that just mean the sky?  Who the heck knows? Not Sister Carolyn. Not the Church Fathers. No definitive teaching on that, and since the gates of Heaven were closed until “Jesus, of course,” the Church Fathers leaned heavily toward the Limbo of the Fathers. Regardless, none of this at all changes the differences of the Ascension of Christ and Assumption of Mary. Mary did “need help” with that. She wasn’t God after all. Maybe you’re the reason Protestants think we worship Mary?

But it’s not only biblical figures who were believed to be taken up to heaven. Livy reported this of Romulus one of the mythic founders of Rome. Roman emperors were depicted being taken up that way, Augustus Titus and Constantine among them. Emperor Antoninus Pius and his wife Faustina are depicted heading for heaven held up by a nude adult male winged figure, with fig leaf added in the Renaissance, on a massive column base in the garden of the Vatican Museum and it’s still there. Even one imperial woman got her own depiction of being conveyed to heaven, Sabina, the wife of the Emperor Hadrian.

Now we’re talking about the Assumption in the same breath as mythical characters? Kind of telling, don’t you think, Sister? I’m kind of surprised you didn’t throw a little Greek mythology in there, too. Just an FYI, Christians looked kindly on the few good Roman emperors who cared for their people. What a shocker. I’m quite sure people hoped for Heaven for them.

So the Ascension of Jesus the Assumption of Mary are by no means unique rather they conveyed a message to their world. Jesus and Mary rate with the great ones.

Jesus and Mary simply rate with the great ones like, say, Romulus?! Oh my. You really got a winner there, Fr. Martin! Yes, sister.

The tradition of including Mary is surprisingly early possibly late fourth or for sure early fifth century.

Maybe as early as the time she was assumed into Heaven? Sigh. By the way, she’s wrong.  It appeared in Transitus Mariae in the second or third century. That said, that’s not when the “tradition started.”  Sister is trying to get people to believe this is just a nice little mythological tradition with no real importance. WRONG! And the “it suddenly became a belief when…” is really what Protestants say. Again, rather telling about Sister Carolyn’s beliefs.

We might be tempted to think of a feast like this as quiet and peaceful, a time for calm, rejoicing.  maybe the image in your mind is the Assumption of Mary by Murillo. Oh, a very common one. Mary quietly joins her hands and looks upward blue mantle flying while a bunch of chubby little angels push her cloud heavenward.

I don’t know.  Going to heaven sounds pretty peaceful and a reason to rejoice to me.  Yes, there are many depictions of the Assumption, Murillo’s is one of them, but many look rejoicing and rather victorious.

But no, our readings for the Feast suggest something different. Being with the great ones isn’t peaceful. It means struggle. In our first reading from revelation the dragon threatens the life of the child. His mother must flee to protect him like so many immigrant and refugee mothers whose children are not rescued at the last minute as this one is. It’s a struggle for survival for this woman and her child a reflection of the struggle that continues age after age in our world.

Oh my gosh!  She just had to find a way to work the border thing in there, didn’t she? Let’s just get this straight, in this day and age EVERY bible verse is about Trump and the border.  Is she saying that this is what Heaven is like?  Kind of a weird reading of Revelation.  The part of Revelation that addresses Heaven is:

And I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men: and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people: and God himself with them shall be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more. Nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away. Rev 21:2-4

But you can’t really make a reference to the border with that one.

Yes, of course this feast day is a reason to celebrate and rejoice! I’m not sure which “great ones” she’s referring to, but it’s not those in Heaven with the angels and the saints experiencing the beatific vision. More specifically, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Sister Carolyn might want to crack that one open every once in a while) says this of Heaven:

II. HEAVEN

1023 Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face:598

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment – and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven – have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.599

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity – this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed – is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.”

Seems pretty peaceful and with a lack of struggling to me.

1025 To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live “in Christ,”600 but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.601

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.602

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has “opened” heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”603

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man’s immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory “the beatific vision”:

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God’s friends.604

1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God’s will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him “they shall reign for ever and ever.”605

Why she doesn’t embrace this view is beyond me. Sign. Me. Up. (Well, after I’ve had much time to do penance, please.)

The familiar Gospel reading from Luke portrays Mary as she journeys to visit her pregnant cousin Elizabeth and the encounter of the two expectant mothers and their, as yet, unborn sons. Mary’s response is the ecstatic song that we usually call the Magnificat. Those who pray evening prayer regularly recite this canticle and perhaps familiarity makes us numb to its promises and its threats. Mary’s song is not peaceful, rather, it’s unsettling it proclaims the upheaval of quiet lives. The proud will be scattered, the mighty will be cast down from their Thrones and the lowly, and the connotation of the word in Greek (insert Greek because the translation didn’t) means pressed down or oppressed, not those who practice the virtue of humility, they will be raised up and the hungry will be filled with good things. So look out those who sit on thrones of worldly power!

Who’s she gunning for with that one? Trump? The all-male clergy? Conservatives? So many possibilities!

I’ve never heard anyone talk about the Magnificat as a threat. I see it more as the truth of what happens when we trust in God, follow him and keep his Commandments or we don’t. The choice is ours. It’s not about the power we hold or where we sit, rich, poor, powerful or weak. It’s about the choices WE make, not the ones made for us. The most peace I get (and I fail this one often as a mom) is to do what I THINK God wants me to do, pray and trust. Mary is the model of this for us.

Let’s actually look at the prayer from Vespers:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

And, interestingly enough, the antiphon for the day was:

Ant. Today the Virgin Mary was taken up to heaven; rejoice, for she reigns with Christ for ever.

Completely peaceful for those who put their trust in Christ and do his will. Oh, and those who practice the virtue of humility, which actually helps with trusting in Christ and doing his will.  Not sure why Sister Carolyn is down on the virtue. Maybe she’s not into striving for that one. It’s so tiring to see “people who are leaders are bad” and “only poor, oppressed people go to Heaven.” Both groups can fail at gaining Heaven without practicing virtue, and both groups can succeed when their focus is on God. The “rich bad/poor good” is a literalist interpretation the Church does not hold.

Now the problem with this is that in Luke’s Gospel it’s all in the past tense as if it has already happened. A quick look around our world today prompts the wonderment. What? Let’s leave that question for a moment and go to the second reading which I skipped earlier because I think it’s better to deal with it last.

Luke, your gospel has problems, man.  You need to run these things by Sister Carolyn. New Testament scholar. Umm, could it be because it actually had happened in the past? Mary was saved in a special way by God at the moment of her conception.

In 1st Corinthians 15, Paul is grappling with his attempt to explain the mystery of the Resurrection to people, who apparently, were pretty skeptical about the idea. Paul too speaks of a struggle. In the end he says Christ will hand over everything to God his father once he has put all enemies under his feet an allusion to Psalm 110;1 which was already considered to refer to the Messiah. But says Paul the last enemy to be destroyed is death. The resurrection of Christ has begun to put that defeat of death in motion. We’re not there yet and that’s why Luke’s Mary and her Magnificat can see from the same perspective that Paul sees here. That last enemy will be destroyed. And when that happens, that’s when we can say that all God’s promises have been accomplished so why celebrate the Assumption of Mary? Because of what it promises.

Why? Well, the Church told us why in Munificentissimus Deus:

42. We, who have placed our pontificate under the special patronage of the most holy Virgin, to whom we have had recourse so often in times of grave trouble, we who have consecrated the entire human race to her Immaculate Heart in public ceremonies, and who have time and time again experienced her powerful protection, are confident that this solemn proclamation and definition of the Assumption will contribute in no small way to the advantage of human society, since it redounds to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, to which the Blessed Mother of God is bound by such singular bonds. It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ’s Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father’s will and to bringing good to others. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from these teachings threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally it is our hope that belief in Mary’s bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective.

Back to Sr. Carolyn:

Mary too is caught up in this great process of realizing the effects of the resurrection. It’s not a promise of peace during the course of the process rather it’s a promise of tension and struggle. We live in time and we touch eternity.

I have no idea where she’s going with this one.  Kind of rambling, but if she’s saying “God is outside of time”, “The battle has already been won”, and “We need to carry our cross”, then I can agree. If she’s saying Mary’s Assumption (you know the thing this is supposed to be about) is somehow stressful to Mary, uh… Her Assumption is just what the Church said it was. It’s an example of the “lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined.”

I have a favorite poem that speaks to me of all of this. GK Chesterton’s Regina Angelorum written in 1925. It’s about the Assumption of Mary. I share it with you the last two verses only because Mary is in heaven she is exploring her new place.

She quotes it a little poorly, but the emphasis on her big and likely purposeful change is all mine.

But ever she walked till away in the last high places,
One great light shone
From the pillared throne of the king of all the country
Who sat thereon;
And she cried aloud as she cried under the gibbet
For she saw her son.

Our Lady wears a crown in a strange country,
The crown he gave,
But she has not forgotten to call to her old companions
To call and crave;
And to hear her calling ONE might arise and thunder
On the doors of the grave.

I just can’t believe these old biddies are so jealous of men that they have to “translate” their favorite poems for us. That “one” should “a man.” I’m not offended at Chesterton’s use, are you? Why anyone would change literature to suit their ridiculous agenda is beyond me. Kind of shocked any oppressive male pronouns actually made it into her translation at all.

This woman doesn’t represent me. She represents dissent. If she and her ilk spent more time focusing on virtue and getting to Heaven instead of championing priestesses (a colossal waste of time), this Church would be a better place. She’s just an embarrassment to my sex.