Schism for Dummies

The charges of schism being thrown around are getting a bit ridiculous.  Let’s chat, shall we?

First, what ISN’T schism.

Schism isn’t a dislike for the Holy Father’s leadership style. Schism is not questioning things put forth in a “working document.” Schism is not asking people to pray and fast that the crud put forth in a working document never sees the light of day in any final document proposed by the Church. Schism isn’t asking the Holy Father to make clear the teaching put forth in a document (i.e., the dubia). Schism isn’t wishing the Holy Father would never speak again to reporters on a plane. Schism is not EWTN reporting on Catholic news.  Schism is not Archbishop Vigano putting out his testimony. Schism isn’t even asking the Holy Father to resign. Schism isn’t a critique of how the Vatican or Holy Father is handling the abuse scandal.  Schism isn’t supporting Archbishop Vigano’s request for an investigation into the whole McCarrick debacle.

I’ve seen some ridiculous half-wit “theologians” suggesting that pretty much anyone who disagrees with THEM is schismatic. They seem to think that if they bandy the word around enough, the “uneducated masses” will be whipped into submission by the mere thought of it. They even put forth the question to the Holy Father on a plane (who, by the way, said there was no schism at this time) and got him to say the word which, somehow, is supposed to give their charges validation. “A-ha!  The pope said the word so you are in schism!” WRONG!

Let me give you a little list of all the people who have been charged with schism by the liberal Catholic elite.  Let’s see, Archbishop Vigano, for sure; Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco, Bishop Strickland of Tyler, and Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, because they were three of MANY bishops who said the charges made by Archbishop Vigano should be investigated; Cardinals Burke and Brandmueller, because they dared to ask the Holy Father for clarification in their dubia; Archbishop Schneider, because he and Cardinal Burke asked people to pray and fast  before the synod, because of the pretty awful stuff is being discussed. (Prayer and fasting – the horrors! How dare they?!) I guess all of EWTN can be counted, too, because Raymond Arroyo dared to defend himself when a book about how EWTN was trying to overthrow the Holy Father was glorified on a flight. Oh, and EWTN, again, for broadcasting a Mass where the priest giving the homily said that the faithful was being asked to pray and fast before the upcoming “Amazon Synod.” I’d love to know what they are scared of. You want to fast and pray for me?  Please do. And, of course, there’re all those mean Catholic bloggers, radio hosts, commentators, etc., who are scratching their heads about some things the pope says. Yep, all are in schism, it seems, except those who want to change any Church teaching that doesn’t jive with their ideologies.

So, who are all the people declaring or suggesting schism? Thomas Reese, SJ, Massimo Faggioli, Dawn Eden Goldstein, Michael Sean Winters, and all of their ilk.  And don’t forget, the “Well, I didn’t say they were in schism.  I’m just retweeting something I thought was interesting!” crowd. (Yes, Fr. Martin, I mean you.)

The actual definition of schism found in Canon 751 goes like this

Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Ironically, none of the accusers are canon lawyers, but they accuse a good canon lawyers to be in schism.  Let’s see, who knows Canon Law better?

The other thing I find totally ridiculous, especially after this week, is that not one of these accusers has pointed toward Germany.  In fact, I failed to locate one story at National catholic Reporter on this as of this writing. If it exists, their search engines don’t work.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/marx-says-german-synod-will-proceed-despite-vatican-objections-82211  Why is this? This is a hell of a lot closer to schism (if not actually in schism) than anything else to which the NcR, America Magazine, or Commonweal types point. I mean, the German bishops were told by the Magisterium that their “binding synodal path” was “not ecclesiologically valid.” Their response? We’re doing it anyway. Who’s removing “submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him” again? Apparently, Cardinal Marx.!

Does anyone see the difference in asking the Holy Father to exercise his authority (a la the Dubia 4, Archbishop Vigano, etc.) and rejecting an instruction from the Magisterium as the Germans are doing? The faithful Catholics are appealing to the very authority they should, while the Germans are usurping authority they don’t have. American schism, my foot! The liberals pushing for a declaration of schism are the biggest hypocrites around. Not one of the faithful listed above and accused by the liberals has ever rejected the authority of Pope Francis. In fact, they’ve made request upon request to the Pope to clarify.  To top it off, not even Pope Francis has declared them such. So, not only are the liberal accusers actually willing to reject authority when it suits them, they are also willing to usurp authority where they have none. They need to give it a rest, but sadly, they won’t.

 

The 9 Stages of Irrelevance

If you haven’t figured it out, there are many in the Church hierarchy who are hoping you completely lost your memory of the last few decades, let alone 2018. It’s like they hope we’ll totally forget what’s been going on if they just keep telling us to just wait a little longer on that reform they promised us. Sometimes I think it’s because they don’t have children (well, none that we know about) and don’t understand that, when parents are trying to protect their children, our memories are pretty hard to erase.

I know many of you are going to tell me that the abuse has been going on for decades longer, and I don’t disagree, but really, 2002 was the biggest coordinated media-focused effort where we were told that the Church would move hell and high water to make sure the abuse stopped. Meh, not so much.

2018? That was the year the mainstream media, law enforcement, and legal organizations decided that they were no longer going to ignore what was going on. For some, it was just too good of a story. Heck, even Hollywood decided not to ignore it. For others, it was a payday for their law firm. I’m going to assume law enforcement just wanted to protect and serve. Those of us faithful Catholics who have been diligently saying “It’s still happening!” finally had allies, albeit strange allies. The enemy of my enemy and all.

Let’s start with early 2018. In February, news broke that the Vatican, from the Pope on down, had ignored the abuse of children at a deaf school. Then came the scandal in Chile where the Pope actually said that those accusing the bishop there were spreading calumny. Then in America the McCarrick abuse came to media light (although soooooo many knew long before it hit the mainstream media, including the Vatican). Then there was the scandal in the Honduran seminary which was attempting to be turned into a gay brothel. Geez. (The head of that archdiocese is Cardinal Maradiaga – papal buddy and appointee to the C9). Oh, and Cardinal Maradiaga was also investigated in 2017 and accused of financial mismanagement by the papal envoy. Let’s see, where is he now? Still working at the Vatican. He also accused the 50 Honduran seminarians as “gossipers.” And then came all the grand juries and investigations in other countries, such as Germany. And let’s not forget Archbishop Vigano.

The pattern that emerged last year was

1) accusation

2) denial

3) blame the accusers,

4) “Oh! Uh, yeah. It happened. We just didn’t know!” (even though everyone knew), 5) “Oh, we’ll fix what we said was already fixed!” 

6) “The laity must get involved!”

7) “We’re going to ignore the laity!”

8) “You can’t do anything, we’re working on it!”, “Still working!” and finally

9) “It’s the laity’s fault and definitely, definitely, definitely not a problem with homosexual priests!”

Seriously, it’s a looonnnggg pattern, but one played out just like that in the U.S. Let me refresh your memory:

1) Victims quite clearly made accusations about McCarrick and to the police departments around the country for quite a while.

2) The McCarrick situation was totally ignored, and he was even given nice little awards here and there. While some dioceses took accusations seriously, some quite evidently ignored them. Again, McCarrick was a perfect example.

3) I think Archbishop Vigano is a perfect example of what happens when you step out of line and shed some light on the reality of the situation.

4) Cardinal Tobin is the perfect person cast in the “We knew nothing!” role. The guy lived with one of the biggest perpetrators, but yeah, he didn’t see a thing, along with Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Wuerl, etc., etc., etc.

5) The Vatican said they’d fix the problem in February. The USCCB tried to actually give it a go in October but were cut off at the knees by Cardinals Wuerl and Cupich thanks to the Vatican. The Vatican said “No trying to do anything until we have our grand meeting in February,” which then only became a meeting on half of the abuse problem (minors) and totally ignored the other half. They also haven’t uttered a peep on the USCCB’s proposals which they said would be dealt with. What were those? How to police the authority (bishops) and…

6 & 7) setting up lay oversight. Remember? That idea has been floated since 2002 but has never happened with any degree of credibility. Lay women have quit the Vatican “Papal Commission on the Protection of Minors” organization because nobody was listening, AND have we heard about that in any concrete terms at the “Meeting on the Protection of Minors?” Again, let’s not forget the USCCB was going to vote on a lay oversight committee until that was forbidden by the Vatican.

8) This laughable “Meeting on the Protection of Minors” kicked the can down the road even before they started downplaying all expectations that they would be able to do anything (not that we expected anything). We’ve ignored a HUGE chunk of the problem for decades! Why start now?

9) We are told that by liberal mouthpiece Massimo Faggioli, as seen here, that it’s all our fault due to “clericalism”. You, ladies and gentlemen, all need to apologize for the abuse crisis. You treated your priests with a little too much trust and reverence. And believe me, Massimo is not the only one to try and float this idea, just the latest.

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/martins-twitter-manifesto/
Ninth, clericalism must die. The system that privileges the word and status of bishops and priests over those of lay people (and parents); that insists on an exaggerated deference for clergy and bishops, and that has functioned as a closed world, must be dismantled.

 

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/its-your-fault-laity/
So, what is clericalism? Clericalism is an exaggeration of the role of the clergy to the detriment of the laity. In a culture of clericalism, clerics are put on a pedestal and the laity are overly deferential and submissive to them. Pope Francis notes that clericalism is not only fostered by priests, but also reinforced by lay people.

Just what is clericalism in the mind of Bishop Zinkula?

Perhaps a few examples of clericalism would be of assistance:

Coddling seminarians and telling them how special they are.

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

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

It all comes down to your fault, people, no matter how you slice it. If you show respect for your local priest, seminarian, or bishop, you might as well have abused the victims yourself. If you call out the abusive clergy, you are “The Great Accuser.” Just face it, fellow faithful, this “Meeting on the Protection of Minors & Blatant Ignoring of the Rest of the Victims” is going to give the Church ZERO help in fixing the problem. It’s all on you, and it’s definitely not going to be done by the national bishops’ conferences or the Vatican at this point. They have produced NOTHING that hasn’t already been chatted about before at the endless conferences and summits. This was a dog and pony show, but they seemed to forget that they should bring dogs and ponies. But it’s not about homosexuality. Sure. Not. At. All. In. The. Least.

So how is this going to get fixed now? This is going to be done bishop by bishop, diocese by diocese, and some of the good guys are going to be completely skewered for it. Hopefully, the good leaders will start to realize that “sly as the serpent, gentle as the dove” is going to have to be the new method of operation, and I’m hoping they will start some sort of coalition to protect the faithful. The American bishops had to sit on their hands for four months waiting for some scraps of food to be tossed their way. Apparently the master forgot about them. What are they going to do now? Their March meeting is coming fast. Are they just going to ignore the fact they were told to wait for instructions that never came? Or are they going to demand that the supposed canonical questions are ironed out and they can implement their ideas?

Think about it. The Church hasn’t even come up with a plan to stop one of the most heinous things going on in the world today. It’s not simply that they’ve failed to implement a plan. It’s that they don’t have one. I’m quite sure that some bishops and cardinals don’t want anyone to police them. Clearly that was the reason Cardinals Cupich, Wuerl, and their ilk worked so hard to make sure that didn’t happen and will continue to do so.

BTW, I’d like to thank the reporters who have heard the laity loud and clear when we asked repeatedly when homosexuality’s role in the abuse crisis would be dealt with. I hope they keep hammering them on this. The hierarchy will continually try to reframe the answer to a question not asked. The question isn’t “Did homosexuality make them do it?” The question is “What are we going to do with the knowledge that the overwhelming number of these cases involved homosexual activities by priests?” The answer is obvious to anyone who actually wants to stop abuse.

 

A Failure to Communicate? Definitely!

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

A Failure to Communicate

The Synod’s Mistake on LGBT Catholics

By John Gehring

November 2, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Archbishop Chaput very eloquently pointed out:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice try again.  He actually said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buckle Up, Fellow Catholics!

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

giphy
(via GIPHY)

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

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

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

Friday, October 12, 2018

Can Coccopalmerio Remain a Cardinal Another Day?

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

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

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

What’s wrong with this pontificate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coccopalmerio is examining how Archbishop Viganò could be punished.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and come back to better feelings towards the Holy Father

that profoundly harms the communion of the Church.

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

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

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

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

De Mattei wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Silence is not a solution”

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

“Can Coccopalmerio stay cardinal for another day?”

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

One would hope. One would hope.

The Catholic publicist went even harder into court:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cardinal Will Let Vatican Ignore Vigano Testimony?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

St. Peter Damien:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tripling-down on Accusing Greatly!

After Pope Francis tripled-down on his “Great Accuser” homilies, I finally got around to reading them for myself, and yep, they were as sad as reported.  I never want to take reporting at face value without going to the source.  I hate to say it, but after reading them, I get the feeling that Pope Francis thinks we are naïve, or maybe he’s just naïve himself.  Either way, he picked the wrong bible verses to latch onto.  Personally, I think it always a bad PR move to put yourself in the role of Jesus, Job, etc.

It also seems to me that Pope Francis also did what he was preaching to everyone else not to do.  In our Church, an accusation doesn’t get any bigger than accusing someone of acting like satan. Not one, not two, but three “shoot the messenger” homilies have been lauded by a whole lot of people who have been quite legitimately outed for the clericalism of their compadres who want to normalize same-sex attraction.

So no, Holy Father, I don’t think this is a Job situation at all, or at least you have GREATLY miscast the characters.  I think it’s more like a Paul and Timothy situation. I just can’t believe God nor Job would want the evil deeds of others hidden.  Do you?  Let’s look at Job.  :

Job 1:6-20

One day, when the heavenly powers stood waiting upon the Lord’s presence, and among them, man’s Enemy, the Lord asked him, where he had been? Roaming about the earth, said he, to and fro about the earth.  Why then, the Lord said, thou hast seen a servant of mine called Job. Here is a true man, an honest man, none like him on earth; ever he fears his God, and keeps far from wrong-doing. Job fears his God, the Enemy answered, and loses nothing by it. Sheltered his life by thy protection, sheltered his home, his property; thy blessing on all he undertakes; worldly goods that still go on increasing; he loses nothing. One little touch of thy hand, assailing all that wealth of his! Then see how he will turn and blaspheme thee. Be it so, the Lord answered; with all his possessions do what thou wilt, so thou leave himself unharmed. 

So here we’ve got satan telling God that Job only follows Him because he hasn’t faced any hardship.  Yeah, that has everything to do with Archbishop Vigano.  Sorry.  If Archbishop Vigano didn’t rock the boat, he’s probably be leading a pretty cushy life right now. So the character assassination is way off base here. Talk about hardship, he’s in hiding.

Now let’s look at 1 Timothy.  This one sounds a bit more familiar and applicable to the situation. Maybe it should be adopted by anyone who feels the least bit bad that THOUSANDS of people have been molested and raped at the hands of priests.  The “worrying about my image” homilies really need to cease. My comments interjected:

 

1 Timothy 1:3-20

There were some who needed to be warned against teaching strange doctrines (Sounds quite familiar these days!), against occupying their minds with legends and interminable pedigrees (Some are definitely legends in their own mind, like the ones who end in SJ), which breed controversy, instead of building up God’s house, as the faith does. (Breeding controversy is exactly what the likes of Cardinals Wuerl, Tobin, and Cupich, Bishop McElroy, and Frs. Martin, Rosica, and Reese do.) The end at which our warning aims is charity, based on purity of heart, on a good conscience and a sincere faith. (What?  Paul and Timothy aren’t the “Great Accusers” but there warning is aimed in charity, purity of heart, good conscience, and sincere faith?  Somebody else tell me they see the likeness to Vigano, not Cupich!) There are some who have missed this mark, branching off into vain speculations; who now claim to be expounding the law, without understanding the meaning of their own words, or the subject on which they pronounce so positively. (Do we not see that at EVERY turn with Cupich, Tobin, Kasper, Martin, Reese, Rosica, and a multitude of others???)  The law? It is an excellent thing, where it is applied legitimately; (Yes, the Pontifical Secrets have their place but, as Archbishop Vigano points out, they were never meant to cover up for abusing priests, bishops, and cardinals!!!) but it must be remembered that the law is not meant for those who live innocent lives. It is meant for the lawless and the refractory; (Hmmm. Lawless and stubborn.  That would appear to those charged in Archbishop Vigano’s testimony.) for the godless and the sinner, the unholy and the profane; for those who lay violent hands on father or mother, for murderers, for those who commit fornication or sin against nature, the slave-dealer, the liar, the perjurer. All this and much else is the very opposite of the sound doctrine (and which faction has been trying to promote same-sex attraction as normal and healthy?) contained in the gospel I have been entrusted with, that tells us of the blessed God and his glory. How I thank our Lord Christ Jesus, the source of all my strength, for shewing confidence in me by appointing me his minister, me, a blasphemer till then, a persecutor, a man of violence, author of outrage, and yet he had mercy on me, because I was acting in the ignorance of unbelief. The grace of the Lord came upon me in a full tide of faith and love, the love that is in Christ Jesus. How true is that saying, and what a welcome it deserves, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I was the worst of all, and yet I was pardoned, so that in me first of all Christ Jesus might give the extreme example of his patience; I was to be the pattern of all those who will ever believe in him, to win eternal life. Honour and glory through endless ages to the king of all the ages, the immortal, the invisible, who alone is God, Amen. This charge, then, I give into thy hands, my son Timothy, remembering how prophecy singled thee out, long ago. Serve, as it bade thee, in this honourable warfare, (And this is one of the reasons the charge of “civil war” doesn’t faze me. This is indeed a spiritual war for souls.) with faith and a good conscience to aid thee. Some, through refusing this duty, have made shipwreck of the faith; (Oh, yes, some definitely have done so.) among them, Hymenaeus and Alexander,(and Cupich, McElroy, Farrell, Wuerl, Kasper, etc., etc., etc.) whom I have made over to Satan, till they are cured of their blasphemy. (No accusing there!)

So, you can see between the two verses, there are valid accusations by St. Paul (I mean he even named names) and a supposition by satan.  Why Pope Francis even tries to go there is beyond me.  It’s like somebody whipped out a concordance and just looked up “accusations” then said, “Hey! There’s a verse that says satan is an accuser. Let’s go with that against Archbishop Vigano!”, but they never bothered to actually read the rest of the verse. To make matters worse, they then repeated it and will likely continue to do so.  I’m not sure that betting the laity will take anything on face-value is the way to go these days anymore.  Google makes it so easy to fact check these days, and people have messaged me saying “I was researching this scandal and came across you!”  People are fact checking, as depressing as it is.

That said, there is exposing truth and there is promoting lies.  These are obviously quite different. God is the author of Truth, and satan is the author of lies.  To say that putting forth truth comes from the devil sounds like something an abuser would say, don’t you think?  Fr. Rutler said it best in his interview with Raymond Arroyo:

https://youtu.be/ard3AOk9Bn0?t=646

Well, I’m a parish priest I am in no position to fault or correct the Pope who is the Vicar of Christ. I can only express what moral theologians would call admiration, that is astonishment, at attributing to the Pope, uh, repudiating to the Pope, imputing to the devil, an exposure of the truth. Now, I, the devil is the Prince of Lies the last thing he wants to do is to expose the truth so if the truth is being exposed. that is not the devil’s work. That is the Holy Spirit.

This is how most of us feel, especially the victims of abuse. We are utterly amazed that those exposing truth are being compared to satan, especially when the accusations have been corroborated time and again. Satan is the author of lies and tries to suppress the truth. His accusations are false and misleading.

Maybe the Vatican sound-bite creators might want to do some pondering on this verse:

Romans 1:18

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness

And for heaven’s sake, can somebody in the PR department at the Vatican, at the very least, let the Holy Father know that the “I’m silent like Christ.” isn’t going over well here?

Martin’s Twitter Manifesto

Fr. Martin is now using Twitter to post his latest book.  Honestly, by using 15 tweets to get his latest message of dissent across, he’s kind of violating the spirit of Tweeting, don’t you think?  If you can’t get your point across in 280 characters, move onto another platform.

Fr. Martin has apparently decided the crisis is so huge that he can move into full Saul Alinsky mode. 

Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. ~Saul Alinsky

Of course Rahm Emmanuel made this tactic a little clearer when he said:

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before. 

The radicals’ modus operandi has always been to exploit the victims of a crisis and, in fact, even cause a crisis to advance their agenda.  Good old Fr. Martin is just another in a long list of dissenters who embraces this idea, as shown in his string of tweets found here: https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1036280808724733952

For those who abhor Twitter and social media, here are all his tweets nicely copied and pasted for you with my comments in between. 

Dear friends: Like you, I am sick about what is happening in our church. Like you, I’ve prayed about how best to move ahead. Our church will survive. The “gates of hell” will not prevail against it, as Jesus Christ himself promised us.

We stood against you this long, Fr. Martin.  We’re quite sure of Christ’s promise.  I’m pretty sure your world is about to turn upside-down, though.

But Christ, through the Holy Spirit, urges us to act: to rebuild the church and help his holy and faithful people.  Without certain steps, people will flow out of the church, never to return, like water from the side of the Crucified One on Good Friday.

What the what?!  Fr. Martin is comparing water flowing from the side of Christ to people leaving the Church???  I know he’s fond of saying “I’m not a theologian!” but how awful is that comparison?  The water from the side of Christ was a fulfillment of prophecy and had so much good symbolism for our Church. Martin’s comparison turns that on its head.  Here’s something for you to read if you don’t believe me: https://catholicexchange.com/the-meaning-of-his-piercing

As happened when Christ spoke the Truth, some left and some will still leave.  This is never a reason to downplay or distort the truth. 

Some of you may not agree with each step,

I’d take that bet in a heartbeat! 

but I believe that each one is essential for us to rebuild the church. This list is by no means complete or exhaustive.  With a focus on the US church, and in order of immediacy, they are as follows:

I’m glad you admit it is incomplete, because it lacks any sort of spiritual dimension to fight the battle ahead.  While cardinals and bishops across the country – and indeed the world – are suggesting prayer, penance, sacrifice, spiritual reparation, prayer to St. Michael after all Masses, etc., what it the world are you suggesting?  Oh, yes, removing anything that causes us the slightest bit of inconvenience or hardship.

First, while journalists have discredited large sections of the Vigano “testimony,” and while many charges have been shown to be baseless, one answer that journalists will not be able to uncover is Pope Francis’s knowledge and actions regarding the McCarrick case.

If wishes were ponies, Fr. Martin!  You won’t even address the charges.  With a wave of your hand, you try using Jedi mind tricks.  “These are not the charges you are looking for!”  Let me clue you in.  You are not Sir Alec Guinness by any stretch of the imagination.  Your delivery causes a HUGE chunk of the Church to chuckle.  It’s such a desperate, desperate attempt.

The faithful are exceedingly confused about this one question; a short and simple answer from the Pope, or from the Vatican, on that specific issue will help us move us ahead.

Isn’t it curious that you think you get to dictate the questions we find credible and worthy of answering?  The Pope answering yes or no to a single question is never going to move us ahead.  By the way, the only response we’ve gotten in the entire disastrous crisis is, “No comment, you hateful people!”.  I’m hoping and praying that will change, but I seriously doubt it.

Second, dioceses and religious orders should open their abuse files to the public, rather than waiting until they are forced to. Otherwise, the church will face years of civic authorities uncovering our crimes and sins. Confession is not about just what you’re forced to reveal

So, let me get this right.  The dioceses and religious orders should open their files, but the Vatican should not have to, as you and your buddy, Austen, think? 

ceoquote

Your idea is just to have the Holy Father give us a yes or no and go with it?  When there are documents that could answer the charges? (Although I’m betting a whole lot of shredding has been going on in various places in the Church hierarchy, it’s only a guess.  That’s OK, Vigano probably still has a copy of all of it.)

Third, lay leaders should investigate the McCarrick case. More importantly, lay leaders should be placed in charge of all review boards in both dioceses and religious orders, if they are not already in charge. The system has shown that it cannot police itself.

Why?  It’s a simple question.  It would seem you’ve said on more than one occasion the unscrupulous live in my world, too. Weren’t the guys at the Vatican bank members of the laity? That didn’t work out too well, did it?  What is the benefit of simply having the laity investigate when we can be just as wicked?  I’d be a little worried if we were talking about putting Jesuits in charge, but I’m quite comfortable with Church investigating the Church.  Oh, and I’m definitely not comfortable with anyone who reads the National catholic Reporter going anywhere near the Church files. That’s for sure.  They’re gullible or agenda driven.  How about I just pick who gets to investigate?  I’m reasonably sure I could do a good job.

Fourth, bishops found guilty of abuse, or of covering up the crimes, must be removed from their posts as soon as possible. Perhaps just as important, when bishops resign, the Vatican must be clear about the actual reasons for their resignations.

Really?  YOU want to go there?  I’d have to think we’d be pulling out a lot more of your friends than mine, but hey, I’m willing to give it a try.  That said, why limit it to bishops?  How about priests? How about cardinals?

Fifth, demonization within the church must end. It is a stumbling block to healing and a desolation to all. Social media has played a malign role. The stereotyping of whole groups (gays, celibates, bishops, conservatives, liberals) must end. Personal vilification must stop.

You’re a uniter, not a divider, huh, Fr. Martin?  This is a classic liberal tactic.  Wreak havoc and then put yourself in there as the healer, Messiah, etc., etc., etc.  You are very, very guilty of demonization.  The “holier than though” ploy doesn’t work here, Father. You revel in ad hominems with zero back-up so save it. 

Sixth, public acts of penance from the hierarchy must take place. Letters and statements are, as we have seen, insufficient. The laity should decide what form these ritual acts should take. Symbols, as well as practical action, matter as well here.

What in THE heck are you talking about here?  Does this mean you think sack cloths and ashes will make everything OK.  I might remind you that private acts of The many bishops who have weighed in on Vigano’s claims have talked of penance and reparations on behalf of the abusers and those that covered it up, and they’re not even the guilty ones.   We want a spiritual and moral cleansing in our Church.  We’re fine with a thorough investigation here and at the Vatican.  The only people trying to thwart any of these is in your club.

Seventh, both married men and women must be included in all levels of decision-making in the church—including heading Vatican congregations, helping to select bishops, reforming the Curia, etc.

We’re now in our second decade of you trying to put the laity in charge of the Church, yet you never seem to explain why a Church that has survived 2,000 years without that has to do this.  Methinks you’re just hoping to get your cast of same-sex attracted, feminists, and dissenters into these positions.  I’m just guessing your whole attitude would change if, say, Janet Smith was put in charge. Janet! Janet!

Married men and women must also be included in all levels of leadership—including leadership in the church’s liturgical life, something of immense symbolic importance. Married priests and women deacons are a start.

Boom!  And the laundry list is complete. Please note the use of “are a start.”  Pray-tell, where would we go from there, Fr. Martin?  Could it be priestesses?  Could it be active homosexual priests?  Lesbian priestesses?  I can’t even imagine all the nightmares running around in your hopes and dreams.

Eighth, a thoroughgoing review of seminary and religious formation, especially regarding education in human sexuality, must happen—again.  There are still seminaries and religious orders where candidates are incapable of, or prevented from, discussing their own sexuality.

OK, again, I’m going to suggest Janet Smith also be put in charge of that.  Whaaaattt?!  Not what you had in mind? What could the problem be?   I’m going to quote myself for a change:

I don’t want to hear about “gay priests.”  I don’t want to hear about “straight priests.”  I don’t want to hear about any priests who spend time focusing on their “sexual identity.”  I want priests who focus on serving God and who focus on leading his people to Heaven.  Anyone doing less than that shouldn’t be a priest.  So, if your focus is on you and your sexual inclinations, please leave.

Your “identity” was already given to you by God.  It reflects your body.  Your inclinations, that’s a whole other ballgame.

Ninth, clericalism must die. The system that privileges the word and status of bishops and priests over those of lay people (and parents); that insists on an exaggerated deference for clergy and bishops, and that has functioned as a closed world, must be dismantled.

Uh, there’s no system of “privileges.”  If by privilege you mean giving up and dying to oneself in order to serve God’s people, I will never give up considering my priests privileged.  I respect them as priests of God, which is simply a better status.  Now if you mean privileged as in your cronies who attend gala after gala and are regaled upon, I’d agree. Let’s see?  Who does that again?  Does the Met Gala ring a bell to the priest all excited about being called “sexy?”

Our priests should live as humble servants of Christ, honored and loved by their flocks as a family honors and loves their father.  I realize being a humble servant isn’t in your wheelhouse, but it is to faithful priests.  This, as I’ve said before, isn’t wholesale clericalism.  It’s the clericalism of priests trying to normalize the same-sex attraction, like you, Father Martin.

Finally, despair about this situation must be resisted. Despair does not come from God. The Holy Spirit is with us, and will help us through even the most difficult of times. We must never forget Jesus’s words to his disciples: “Fear not!”

Oh, I don’t despair.  In fact, I have more hope than I had yesterday about the direction of the Church. When you’ve hit rock bottom, you can only go up.  A full and complete investigation of the Truth is what will bring beauty and glory back to the Church.  That’s what we want, and we want it now.  Any suggestion from you that we should investigate all claims of whatever will be smacked down and thrown back at you as the obfuscator you are.

On that note, I’d like to let my readers know that I got into Catholic activism in 2002 because of this ongoing abuse scandal. Before that, I spent my time happily focusing on my kids.  Sadly, the liberals in my diocese who worship Fr. James Martin, SJ, decided to co-opt the victims’ pain to promote a liberal agenda which had nothing to do with priests abusing children, and they continued to cover-up for their buddies who had done things like getting arrested in a public restroom for indecent activity and propositioning an undercover officer.  If you think their focus is the victims, think again.

I will tell you this, don’t think you’re helpless because you don’t have a doctorate in theology.  A bunch of nothing special laity affected great change in our diocese and Church, and you can too.  Despite the calls for more involvement from the laity, the Fr. Martins of the world are scared by the laity being on fire more than anything else. If you think you can’t do undercover work, write, be a thorn for the diocesan dissenter, affect change, etc., I’m here to tell you if I can do it, anyone can. No special talent needed, just a lot of prayers to the Holy Spirit and hope.  Those who have been through the worst of the worst brought all this crud to light and so can you.

Stephen Herried had a very poignant tweet.

 

Stephen Herreid

While I don’t have a problem with sophisticates and I learn tons from them, it’s going to take far more of us than that.  Activists are simply people who are active.   This needs to be all of us.

#Resign #NoMoreSilence #Investigate

Martin’s Cozy with Proximate Occasions of Sin

Let me say this, I am a mom of a multitude of kids and have spent their lives trying to ensure their safety and well-being.  I have THE biggest stake with what’s been going on in the Church for decades.  Fr. James Martin totally and utterly ignores my kids as well as yours in his quest to legitimize his pet proclivities.  It’s sickening and he needs to stop. I hope the mothers of the world will let him have it!

The witch hunt for gay priests

James Martin, S.J.

August 30, 2018

I object to the title in so many ways.  First of all, I don’t want to hear about “gay priests.”  I don’t want to hear about “straight priests.”  I don’t want to hear about any priests who spend time focusing on their “sexual identity.”  I want priests who focus on serving God and who focus on leading his people to Heaven.  Anyone doing less than that shouldn’t be a priest.  So, if your focus is on you and your sexual inclinations, please leave.

I’ve probably told this story before, but  under our old regime with one of Cardinal Mahony’s buddies, we once had a priest luncheon in our diocese to “support gay priests.”  A few faithful priests, befuddled, went just to see what it was all about.  One of them courageously stood up and asked, “Why in the world would you want to be known as a ‘gay priest?’  I just want to be known as a Catholic priest.”  Amen, Father!  Amen!  I have no idea if this priest would be attracted to men or attracted to women, because his focus was on God as it should be. 

This is the biggest problem with any priest who wants to be considered a “gay priest.”  The focus is on them.  The focus is on normalizing “gay.” The focus is on undermining Church teaching to normalize “gay.”  This is why they are so hostile to the catechism’s use of “disordered.”  Rather than helping people to deal with this particular disorder like they would any other – drug use, alcoholism, etc. – they want to simply call it something else.

I was just talking to a priest friend the other day about this.  I’m quite sure there are some priests, who if they sat around and focused on it, could conclude they were same-sex attracted.  But they don’t.  They focus on Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Holy Eucharist.  That’s their whole-hearted attraction.  They’re focus is quite vertical.  I have ZERO problem with them, because their world is about getting to Heaven and about getting others to Heaven. They are in love and attracted to God.  Who could have a problem with that?  These priests are usually infectious and help us overcome all of our disordered tendencies no matter what they are: SSA, infidelity, drug/alcohol use, etc., etc., etc.  They’re not same-sex attracted because their attraction is, again, completely vertical.  This is what I want in a priest. 

So, any priest who has slapped one of the “identity” titles on themselves has already failed their ordained mission.

The next thing I’d like to point out is purely practical.  We don’t house our priests with our sisters.  My gosh.  For this same reason, people who identify as same-sex attracted should not be in the priesthood for their own good as well as ours.  Talk about putting yourself in a near occasion of sin!  The sin with that lies not in acting on the attraction but in putting yourself in an occasion to act on it.  Again, why would I want a priest who is willing to put his hand on the hot stove??? Duh.  If they are doing it, how can they possibly tell their flock not to?  Do they tell the alcoholic to go hang out in a bar?  Do they tell the guy prone to watching porn to go play pool in a strip club?  I’m sure some these days too because they’re hardly ones to talk!  How is it that Fr. Martin is going to keep promoting the idea that this should be done???  It’s got to be one of the most uncharitable things I’ve seen.

It is not surprising that Catholics are furious about the latest sex abuse crisis, which began, most recently, with accusations of abuse and harassment against the former cardinal-archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick; deepened with the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing 70 years of abuse in the Commonwealth; and intensified with the former Vatican nuncio to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s 11-page “testimony” accusing many high-ranking clerics, including Pope Francis, with covering up the crimes.

Catholics have a right to be angry at abusive clergy, at bishops who covered up their crimes and at the sclerotic clerical system that allowed the crimes and cover-ups to go unpunished for decades.


Oh, gag, Father Martin.  Thank you SO MUCH for giving us your permission to be angry at abusive clergymen. It also seems like you realized the “shoot the messenger” tactic was a bust.  How about you now give us permission to be angry at the circumstances that got them there?  

But the intensity of hate and level of anger directed at gay priests are unprecedented in my memory.

What I mean by “gay priests” is ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who are living their promises of celibacy (and in religious orders, their vows of chastity). That it is necessary even to define the term “gay priest” points out the widespread misinformation about what has become perhaps the most incendiary topic in the current discussion. A few commentators have even declared that the term “gay” implies that a priest must be sexually active. As I use the term, a “gay priest” simply means an ordained priest who has a homosexual orientation.

This is about occasions of sin, Father.  I’m sure you’re aware that there are proximate and remote occasions of sin, even though, as you like to put it, you are not a theologian.  This is Catholic 101.

Theologians distinguish between the proximate and the remote occasion. They are not altogether at one as to the precise value to be attributed to the terms. De Lugo defines proximate occasion (De poenit. disp. 14, n. 149) as one in which men of like calibre for the most part fall into mortal sin, or one in which experience points to the same result from the special weakness of a particular person. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11196a.htm

Certainly a same-sex attracted man willfully putting himself in a living situation with other men is a proximate occasion of sin. And, in many of our seminaries today, they’re also very willfully putting themselves in living situations with other people with same-sex attractions.  Sounds like a grand plan for a chaste life! I’d think you’d be appalled at male and female religious being housed together.  Why are you so obstinate that anyone who has an attraction to men shouldn’t be housed with them? Can you say double-standard? This is one big duh! Do you use any form of the Act of Contrition, Father?  Geez.

The long-simmering rage against gay priests and the supposed “homosexual subculture” or “Lavender Mafia” has been fanned into a fire that threatens to engulf not only faithful gay priests but also, more broadly, L.G.B.T. people.

OK, let’s talk about a homosexual subculture. Does McCarrick ring a bell?!?!  You want to call it clericalism and some want to call it a homosexual problem.  I think I have the balanced name for it.  This shall henceforth be known as “Clericalism of priests trying to normalize the same-sex attraction.” These guys cannot admit their sacred cow is not so sacred and so they try to keep it under wraps.  They’re willing to protect their agendas more than the victims.  As you admit later with the “hundreds of gay priests you know” comment, that subculture is there.  I know priests who have been run out of their seminaries because they weren’t willing to condone the sexual depravity going on around them.  I mean, before it was reformed recently, everyone knew that you couldn’t go to our local seminary if you were a faithful Catholic.  You’d never make through without being thrown or driven out. Almost all those who bought into all the teachings of the Church, especially in the area of homosexuality, had to attend seminary out-of-state. Thankfully our seminary has been fast-tracked for rehabilitation.

While the contempt directed at gay clergy is coming from just a handful of cardinals, bishops and priests, as well as a subset of Catholic commentators, it is as intense as it is dangerous. “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,” wrote Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis. A Swiss bishop, Marian Eleganti, declared that the “networks” of gay priests in the church must be investigated before the “great purification” can begin. A bishop in Kazakhstan, Athanasius Schneider, listing remedies for clergy abuse, began with this: “cleanse uncompromisingly the Roman Curia and the episcopate from homosexual cliques and networks.” Cardinal Raymond Burke, the influential former archbishop of St. Louis, said, “There is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root.”

This isn’t contempt.  It’s a reality.  It’s compassionate to the priests who consider themselves”gay” as well as to those who might be victims from abusing priests and many of those are people who simply couldn’t handle the proximate occasion of sin!  Homosexual abusers are 80% of the problem. Stop burying your head in the sand.

Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute, takes this to its inevitable conclusion, telling the Associated Press that what is needed is “a complete and thoroughgoing removal of all homosexual clergymen in the church.”

I dare anyone to read the first 300-pages of the Pennsylvania grand jury report and tell me that it’s the best start we could make, but surely more needs to be done, because there are some heterosexual abusers, too.  That said, this first step would eliminate 80% of the problem as quickly as possible.

In the last few days I have seen more homophobic comments on my social media accounts than ever before. The rise in vitriol is not surprising, especially after such comments from church leaders and Catholic commentators or after headlines like these: “Pope Blames Sex Abuse on Clericalism, Leaves Out Homosexuality”; “Sex Abuse Crisis in Church is about Homosexuality Not Pedophilia”; “Homosexual Predators, not Pedophile Priests, Are Church’s Deadly Cancer. 

What’s vitriolic about any of these?  Pedophilia is an outlier in the grand scheme of numbers.  Homosexuality isn’t.  I’m wondering if you would say that a someone suffering from pedophilia should be allowed to continue on or enter into the priesthood as long as they remain celibate?  After all, a pedophile is one who’s attracted to children (pre-pubescent).  It doesn’t necessarily mean acting on it. I dare you to say that’s just peachy.  If you can’t, then you are a hypocrite.  Either way, you lose.

Archbishop Viganò’s “testimony” was also rife with this same kind of language: “These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church.” (Full disclosure: both Archbishop Viganò in his “testimony” and Cardinal Burke in a recent interview have mentioned me by name.) 

And there it is. It’s all about you. They mentioned you by name because, well, you are kind of a jerk.  You put aside all reality for your pet proclivities.  You lead souls astray and you encourage people to “be themselves” (i.e., to act on their proclivities).  You try to normalize the disordered.  Etc., etc., etc. You’re nothing new.  You are just another in a long list (and the most notable today) and look where it’s gotten us?

It is important to say that the majority (but not all) of the clerical abuse crimes were cases of priests preying on male adolescents and boys. Also, the majority (but not all) of the sexual harassment cases were men harassing other men or young men. Prescinding from the complex psychological questions of how much a person’s sexuality has to do with abuse, how much differentials in power do and how much proximity does, we should state clearly: Many priests abusers had a homosexual orientation. That is undeniable.

Funny you should mention proximity.  Sorry, Father, but putting oneself in a proximate occasion of sin goes against everything the Church teaches.  You remember Christ’s words in Matthew 18:8?

And if thy hand, or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. 9And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Strange.  I don’t remember Christ saying “But if you’re homosexual, you get a pass on this. Go right ahead and move in with that near occasion of sin!”

But the next step is where the conversation can take a dangerous turn. That many abusers were gay priests does not mean that all or even most gay priests are abusers. It is a dangerous and unjust stereotype. Simply because a certain percentage of a group acts in a certain way does not mean the entire group or even most of the group acts in the same way.

Really?  You’re going to go with “The other guy did it too!”  Doesn’t fly with my kids and it doesn’t fly with you. TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT! If you were a victim of a homosexual predator, would you take comfort in knowing that some abusers weren’t homosexual???  You are completely deaf, Father Martin.  Yeah, let’s ignore 80% of the victims because 20% were victimized by a mix of heterosexual predators and pedophiles? 

Then why does it seem like so many gay priests are abusive?

Uh, because they’ve repeatedly put themselves in a proximate occasion of sin, perhaps?!

One reason is that there are no public examples of the healthy, celibate gay priests to counteract these stereotypes. Why not? Because gay priests are not willing to be as public about their identity as straight priests are. For example, in a community suffering from a spate of L.G.B.T. violence, there can be no references in a Sunday homily to knowing what it is like to be bullied for being gay. The presider cannot say, “As a boy, I was bullied, too, for being gay.”

As I’ve said before, Fr. Martin, you first. After that – no, no, no, and no!

My friends suffering from same-sex attraction and striving to live celibate lifestyles all say about the same thing.  They say their relationships with strong, heterosexual, chaste, God-oriented men are what help them to live a chaste lifestyle.

“Why do gay priests feel that they cannot be public? For several reasons. First, the fear of coming out in this increasingly poisonous environment. (Ask yourself if you would come out when even bishops are calling for a “cleansing” of men like you.) Second, bishops and religious order superiors fear that their men (again, celibate and chaste priests) could be targeted by the media or homophobic websites. Third, an underlying shame about their sexuality. Fourth, an innate desire for privacy about a personal aspect of one’s life. Fifth, the fear that in the absence of other “out” priests one might become the “poster boy” for the group.”

Or, here’s another few reasons.  They have a conscience that won’t let them do it. Or, maybe, just maybe, some of them are not obsessed with defining their sexuality and only want to be known as Catholic priests? I mean, this is ridiculous.  Nobody is complaining about the priests with vertical thinking here.  They are complaining about priests who obsess about their sexual identity.  The good ones sit around thinking about God and his Church, and that’s how they live every day.  They care about being fathers to all of us, homosexual or heterosexual (and anything else you want to throw in there).  They believe in living a life of self-mastery in their devotion to God, not out of some martyrdom complex. They admit they have struggles in life but they don’t have to wear their sins like a badge and they simply invite people to struggle along with them.

Such reasons mean that the example of the many hardworking, healthy and celibate gay priests (and chaste members of religious orders) is almost entirely absent from both the church’s consciousness and the public eye. There are exceptions, like the Rev. Gregory Greiten of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Rev. Fred Daley of the Diocese of Syracuse, priests who have come out publicly as gay. But Fathers Greiten and Daley are two of only a handful of clergy like this. And until bishops and religious superiors support gay priests in their desires to be more public about who they are, and gay priests are willing to pay the price of honesty, the situation is unlikely to change.

You have failed to you why “I’m out and proud” is necessary to accomplish this.   Shouldn’t they simply be known as hardworking and healthy priests?  Or, how about devout priests instead of agenda driven?  Why is it that any priest who keeps his vows and helps everyone toward Heaven isn’t good enough for you, Father Martin? 

Consequently, the stereotype of the “gay priest abuser” now predominates. To use another example, imagine if the only stories aired about members of an ethnic, social or religious group were of those who had committed crimes. Further, imagine that no positive stories about their law-abiding members were made public. Eventually, the negative stereotype would dominate: “All members of this group are criminals.” (Sadly, this is not a hard scenario to imagine: Many ethnic groups face the same kinds of stereotypes.)

Because, Father Martin, “priestly abusers who are ‘gay’” cause  over 80% of the problem!!!   You’re repeatedly asking us to close our eyes to this fact.  I’m sorry it happened to anyone at all, but unlike you, I’m not gleeful to hear that abusers are one class or another.  I mean, I’m sure you breathe a sigh of relief every time a heterosexual deviant is found. Me on the other hand?  I’m just disgusted all the way around.  Why?  Because I have children who are around many in the priesthood all of the time.  Yes, I think it totally right to first remove the group that’s in a proximate occasion of sin and then try to figure out who the other 20% are.  I’m reasonably sure that many of the 80% of victims wished the Church had followed her rule, too.  How could they not? 

This fear leads to a cycle of secrecy: Fewer celibate gay priests in the public eye means more stereotyping. More stereotyping leads to more fear. More fear leads to more secrecy.

I fail to understand why a priest following and embracing the teachings of the Church fosters secrecy.  It would seem to foster authentic Catholicism.  I’m a married female and the celibate priest is always going to be an example to me.  In your line of thinking, though, if I’m attracted to men and they’re attracted to men, they’re somehow a better example of how to follow the Church teaching for me?  Please.  I don’t need to know the sexual attraction of a priest for them to be an example to me.  In fact, there’s nobody in the priesthood like me and I’m all the better for it.  Who really is the one stereotyping here?

Other malign stereotypes are also being peddled, for example, the idea that homosexuality inevitably leads to abuse. This is contradicted by almost every study, including the John Jay Report, an exhaustive study of sex abuse in the Catholic Church between 1950 and 2010. Most abuse happens in families. And no one, as far as I know, suggests that heterosexuality promotes abuse.

Red-herring.  We’re not talking about the rest of the world.  We’re talking about our priesthood. That said, not following the teachings and disciplines of the Church is where the entire world gets into trouble. That should start with the priesthood.  If we don’t expect it in our priesthood, not really sure how we’d expect more from society.

Beyond these reasons is a perhaps more important explanation: the intense homophobia that still exists in some quarters of the church. And this must be named for what it is: hate. A few days ago, a gay priest texted me this astute observation: “We are so used to gay people being mistreated in the church that we can internalize the homophobic bigotry that we are now seeing, and that Viganò expressed in his testimony, and fail to call it out. It’s deeply hateful. And if he were making similar attacks against another ethnic or religious group, there would be a far different reaction—probably even from within the church. But because gay priests have been so conditioned to play the scapegoat we are too ashamed to speak out.

Or maybe it’s totally hateful of you to put your pet proclivities ahead of the mountain of victims and future victims!!!  And, by the way, I totally and utterly resent you telling me I hate anyone.  Just like you, I have many friends, relatives, and countrymen who suffer from same-sex attraction.  No, it’s not just your little circle of friends.  You’re insinuating that if we speak the truth about the abuse scandal, about active homosexual lifestyles, etc., that we are somehow hateful.  You can call me hateful all you like, but I even love you.  Don’t agree with you, like you, or respect you, get angry with you, but I love you.  Your constant insinuation that we have to agree with every action or thought or to accept either from a person to love them is totally and utterly ridiculous.  There are alcoholics, cohabiters, active homosexuals, etc., etc., etc., in my little world of family and friends, just like almost everyone else, and to say that I hate any of them is you playing politics. Stop.

Is there a “gay subculture” in the church? I have never worked in the Vatican, so I cannot comment on that workplace. But in my 30 years as a Jesuit, I have seen that gay priests in U.S. dioceses, as well as in religious orders, work well with their straight counterparts—as well as with straight lay people: pastoral associates, parish council members, parishioners, as well as principals, administrators and teachers. In religious life, they live peaceably with their straight brothers.

Goodie for you. Yeah, you’re apparently the only person on the planet who can do that, because you are the only one who truly loves their fellow-man. (Insert super sarcastic roley eyes here.)  Pompous much? I think you’ve been in the ivory tower a little too long.  I guarantee my world is far more real than yours.

 

More to the point, I know hundreds of gay priests, and I can say with honesty that all of them strive to keep their promises of celibacy and vows of chastity, none of them conspire with other gay priests, and yet many of them are demoralized by this increasingly hate-fueled witch hunt.

Do they conspire to thwart any of the teachings and disciplines of the Church?  Hmmmmmm? Gotcha there. I’m sure that many enter not thinking about whether they are gay or straight, but did any of them enter knowing the Church’s rule on homosexuality and the priesthood and knowing their inclination???  What you’re saying is they didn’t like the rule but they did it anyway?  That alone is a poor example.  It’s definitely “the Church needs to get with my proclivities” instead of the other way around.  Like it or not, that has been the rule and you are openly defying it.

“Where does this extreme hatred of gay priests come from? It comes from fear. Fear of the “other.” Fear of the person who is different. Sometimes fear of one’s own complicated sexuality. In frightening times, it can also feel empowering to blame and scapegoat the “other.” As the philosopher René Girard consistently points out, scapegoating unites us around a common enemy and encourages us to believe, falsely, that we have solved the problem.”

“Oh, the humanity!!!” Seriously, dude.  Stop the rhetoric.  I don’t fear homosexuals.  I fear sin.  I fear putting oneself repeatedly in a close proximity to temptation. I fear satan winning souls.  I don’t fear you.  I don’t fear my homosexual friends, priests, and neighbors.  I fear FOR them in the same way I fear for anyone who puts their inclinations and attractions ahead of the Church.

This hatred currently being whipped up by a few influential church leaders and commentators will, if unchecked, lead us to a place of great darkness, characterized by an increased hatred for innocent individuals, the condemnation of an entire group of people and a distraction from the real issues underlying this crisis of sexual abuse.

The only person whipping up hatred is you.  The rest of us are whipping up the truth about the situation because we don’t fear the truth.  It’s only a problem for you.

There are many things that need to be addressed when it comes to clergy sex abuse: the improper screening of candidates; the prevalence of clerical culture that privileges the word of priests over lay people (and parents); the poor seminary and religious formation, especially in areas of sexuality; the need for regulations that punish bishops who have covered up abuse and many other factors.

What is not needed is the demonization of gay priests. What is not needed is more hate.

There’s more of your usual “bridge building.” What we need is a little more of the faithful being obedient and a little less of you trying to undermine the teachings and disciplines of the Church at most turns.

 

The Crux of Vigano

****See update at the end.****

So, when I wrote my last post, I already knew about the attacks on Archbishop Vigano.  I didn’t address them at that time, though, because I get really annoyed when I draw attention to National catholic Reporter and their ridiculous propagandizing under the guise of “reporting.”  Now, however, it’s crossed over to Crux, although it’s wrapped in John Allen’s usual school of nice.  He just tries too hard to see both sides as if there’s no agenda there, either.  He can’t call a spade a spade when this Pope has fulfilled all his hopes and dreams on the economy, war, poverty, and the death penalty.

Here’s the part where I’m going to launch into my Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano apologist persona and point out how weird it is that the Pope who touts honesty and transparency in giving interviews on planes told the reporters to basically go suck lemons.

Making sense of McCarrick cover-up charges against Pope Francis

John L. Allen Jr.Aug 27, 2018 EDITOR

Yes, let’s use a little common sense, not hopes and dreams.  Let’s just look at the reality of the situation.

DUBLIN – As Pope Francis wrapped up a 32-hour visit to Ireland on Sunday, the cold, windy and rainy weather undoubtedly put a damper on turnout. Officials had expected around a half-million people to flock to Dublin’s Phoenix Park for the concluding Mass, for instance, but in the end the Vatican said 300,000 people turned out.

Ireland has been hit hard by clergy abuse, but yeah, it’s the weather. Do I know why people didn’t show?  Of course not, but neither does John Allen, and that’s pretty much how this whole article goes.  Let’s show an event and provide some correlation and causation that may or may not exist. The problem here is that it becomes a character assassination piece on Archbishop Vigano – but done in a nice way.  Sigh.

Let me state this at the outset, and I just ran across a piece from Rod Dreher that pretty much says the same thing – Archbishop Vigano’s motives for doing what he did DON’T MATTER ONE BIT.  He made claims that the Pope can either confirm or deny, so how about we see that happen???  Honestly, I like Vigano and I always have.  He was crucial in some amazing episcopal appointments and did his best to try to save this nation. He’s a staunch supporter of traditional marriage and he’s against admitting homosexuals into seminary.  Is he bitter about being appointed to this miserable country (Catholic wise, that is)? Does he have an axe to grind or is he thinking of the countless victims of McCarrick and club? Don’t know, don’t care.  I only care about the facts laid out while using a little common sense on the allegations against him.

Yet as it turns out, the meteorological storms Francis faced paled in comparison to the metaphorical ones breaking on Sunday, in part related to his overall handling of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, but more specifically to an astonishing claim by a former papal ambassador in the U.S. that Francis had lifted restrictions imposed on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick under Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, despite being informed of misconduct concerns against McCarrick in June 2013.

Yes, the bad does pale in comparison to thousands of lives altered by this abuse scandal.  The claim by Vigano wasn’t astonishing.  That’s what’s so terribly sad about it.  The only thing that was astonishing is that someone broke through the cone of silence.

Aboard the papal plane on Sunday, Francis basically challenged reporters to judge those accusations for themselves – the clear suggestion being that if they did so, the charges would crumble under their own weight.

Oh, yeah, he sure challenged them.  He didn’t take the 5th at all.  Sigh.  What happened to his reasoning for never formulating answers ahead of time?  What happened to the transparency and authenticity which supposedly come from his interviews on a plane?

Assuming journalists take the pontiff up on his offer, so far we have only the word of that former ambassador, Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, that he personally informed Francis on June 23, 2013, of the sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Benedict.

Over and over again on Sunday, I was pressed by colleagues and ordinary folk alike for an answer to one burning question: “How seriously should we take this?”

Here’s my bottom line response: Take it seriously, but with a large grain of salt.

But, pray-tell, why, John?  This was a very public accusation with dates and names included, and the only response has been “No comment.”  Who is more suspect at this point?  Sure, Archbishop Vigano could be flipping insane, but he’d have to be to put out something like this simply because of sour grapes.  This isn’t a simple “The Pope knew” statement.  This one puts it all on the line.  Also, who has a lengthier track record of abuses being brought to light and ignored.  ***cough***Honduras***cough***

One certainly can’t dismiss the charge out of hand, if for no other reason than never before has a former papal ambassador accused a sitting pope of complicity in what would amount, if true, to a criminal cover-up.

I’m not sure it could actually be considered criminal since it was the over-18 crowd and no charges have been brought yet.  If it was true, it really would be far more than a cover-up.  It would be allowing a dirty old man to wander free in the Church after sanctions had been placed on him by prior Pope.

To be clear, this isn’t some anonymous figure claiming to have sent the pope a letter. Viganò was the pope’s man in America for five years, and over that time he certainly had the means and opportunity to inform the pope of things if he wanted to.

Right.

Further, there’s a symbolic dimension to the situation. Francis has been charged with mishandling an abuse allegation, and if there isn’t a credible and transparent effort to get to the bottom of things, then the pontiff’s rhetoric in Ireland about being “firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice” might ring hollow.

Right, again, especially after his fumbling of other large-scale abuse issues.

On the other hand, there are at least four reasons why a large grain of salt is warranted.

And here comes all of the stuff that doesn’t change the fact a list of charges have been laid out to confirm or deny.

To begin with, the 11-page statement Viganò released to reporters probably undercut his own credibility in key respects. The letter contains charges of some form of wrongdoing or questionable behavior against no fewer than 32 senior churchmen, and in most cases Viagnò himself acknowledges that his comments are based on no more than supposition and/or connecting the dots.

Uh, OK.  That’s a sweeping generalization.  If you had gone for “some of his comments”, you might have been close, John. Let’s go down the list, shall we?

Bertone is known for putting homosexuals in positions of authority.  Not supposition.

McCarrick admitted he had shared his bed with seminarians.  Not supposition.

Sodano was given all the McCarrick info.  Not supposition.

Sodano tried to cover up the Maciel case.  Not supposition.

Sodano responsible for putting McCarrick into power. Finally, a supposition and a good one at that.  Makes total sense, though.

Cardinal Re wanted nothing to do with McCarrick.  Not supposition.

Sambi gave Bertone the file.  Not supposition.

Montalvo sent a report to Bertone.  Not supposition.

Sodano sent out a press release saying Maciel case was closed.  Pope Benedict smacked that idea down.  Not supposition.

Bertone didn’t quibble over Vincenzo de Mauro (another one everyone knew was an active homosexual).  I guess you could say supposition, but do we hear any quibbling?

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia subvert Catholic teaching on homosexuality.  I guess you’d throw that under supposition.  But, really?!

Cardinals Edwin Frederick O’Brien and Renato Raffaele Martino?  Don’t know them, so I’ll give John one point for supposition.

Cardinal Wuerl?  Not sure how anyone could think John is this ignorant at this point.  Supposition based on a mound of evidence that he knew a whole lot more than he’s saying.

When anyone hurls around accusations quite so lightly, it’s difficult to know how seriously any one ought to be taken.

Bishop Paul Bootkoski and Archbishop John Myers?  They made payouts, for heaven’s sake.

Farrell?  Supposition, but a very logical supposition.  That said, he’s kind of one of the lackeys, so who knows.

Cardinal O’Malley?  Dude!  This was his job.  He either was completely incompetent or he knew big time.

Second, Viganò has a history.

Now onto John’s suppositions.

He was a key player in the “Vatileaks” scandal under Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, which pivoted on confidential documents being stolen and leaked to the press by a papal butler. Among them were two letters by Viganò to Benedict and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s then-Secretary of State, protesting his impending appointment as ambassador in the U.S. on the grounds that he wanted to remain in the Government of the Vatican City State and continue battling financial corruption.

I love how you’re a key player in “Vatileaks” when your stuff was found and leaked.

Then as now, the letters contained a mix of factual detail with innuendo and conspiracy theories, and it proved arduous – in some cases, basically impossible – to separate the wheat from the chaff.

As conspiratorial as the current testimony, John?  Says you.

Third, Viganò arguably undercut his credibility by not dealing with his own record on the abuse issue.

And here’s the only place they might have game, although I think witch hunt.

According to a 2014 memo, first made public in 2016, Viganò as nuncio quashed an investigation – going as far as demanding that evidence be destroyed – into then-Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who was being investigated for misconduct with seminarians as well as cover-up of sexual abuse. In 2015, Nienstedt stepped down as head of the archdiocese.

By not at least trying to explain his actions in the Nienstedt case, Viganò left open some serious question marks

So if you’ve got some serious question marks for him, what punctuation are you tallying for the Holy Father at this point?

Let’s go over a bit of a timeline here.  Nienstedt was accused of inappropriately touching a teen during a post-confirmation photo shoot in December of 2014.  It was investigated by police, and in March of 2014 they said, after an intensive investigation, that no charges were warranted. Archbishop Vigano then met with Nienstedt in April. All other allegations against Nienstedt were decades earlier and seemingly he said/he said statements.  Oddly enough, they all magically appeared after the battle over “gay referendums” started in Minnesota.  So, in quite good conscience, Vigano likely concluded that the police found nothing in the case of the confirmand and that this was likely an attack launched by proponents of “gay marriage.”  Right or wrong, Vigano looking the other way was hardly as habitual as, say, the Holy Father.

As far as Nienstedt goes, I think he did indeed blow it not removing some priests and he resigned.

Fourth, it may be difficult for many observers to escape the impression that all this was orchestrated with a political agenda in mind.

In the statement on McCarrick, Viganò clearly betrays a generally conservative political bias, among other things in his frequently derisive commentary on prelates and clerics he finds to be excessively “pro-gay” – such as an offhand claim that Italian Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (both former or current Vatican officials) “belong to the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.”

Wait, John!  I thought suppositions were verboten?!  And really, fighting for traditional marriage and following the rule of keeping homosexuals out of seminary are political things?  You can keep your head in the sand about Coccopalmerio and Paglia, but that’s really how we got into this mess, isn’t it, John?  Sorry, but when you’ve already spoken highly of homosexual relationships AND your buddy you’re recommending for bishop gets arrested for hosting a homosexual orgy…

There’s also the question of why Viganò’s statement appeared today, on the very day Francis was struggling to address the abuse scandals in Ireland.  Adding all that up, the release of the statement can’t help but strike some as an orchestrated maneuver.

Oh, what mystifying conspiracy does that allude to?  And really, why suggest it when you’re just going to turn around and say:

(As a footnote, if this was indeed orchestrated, it had to be a pretty off-key orchestra. Had Viganò restricted himself to releasing a crisp, one-page statement focusing solely on the charge against Francis, a former nuncio’s standing would have guaranteed a wide echo. As things stand, it’s understandably difficult for many people to know quite what to make of it.)

Is it some grand design or isn’t it?  Could Archbishop Vigano simply given up hope that anything was ever going to be done after the decade or so of reports?

“I believe the statement speaks for itself, and you have enough journalistic capacity to reach the conclusions,” Pope Francis told reporters on Sunday.

Time will tell what conclusions are indeed reached, but a sober point of departure right now probably would blend genuine curiosity with healthy skepticism.

My skepticism lies with the hierarchy of the Church. The Pope’s lack of a response is troubling, particularly when, as you, John, so eloquently put it, he is fond of “taking questions on every topic under the sun with no filters and no limits, speaking without notes and delivering straight answers.”. Where are those straight answers? Why don’t you spend a little less time trying to downplay Archbishop Vigano and more time trying to get those answers for all of the victims? Writing things off as “political” doesn’t do a darn thing for them.

While Allen wants to suggest the whole testimony of Archbishop Vigano is supposition, again, please read the whole sad thing for yourself.  https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4784141/TESTIMONYXCMVX-XENGLISH-CORRECTED-FINAL-VERSION.pdf

Not five seconds after publication this came in:
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4788059-Nienstedt-English-Final.html

LifeSite also has an article with the supporting documents. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vigano-issues-new-statement-documents-to-clear-his-name-of-false-charges

Whatcha think John Allen?

This firm belongs to the group “Lawyers for All Families,” who fought against Archbishop Nienstedt over the approval of same-sex marriage in the State of Minnesota.

Who was the braniac who chose the law firm that wants to take down the Church in the “gay marriage” issue to investigate and how did anyone in authority agree to that?  Where should the skepticism lie again?  Can’t imagine why anyone would think that Archbishop Nienstedt wasn’t going to get a fair shake there.

 

 

Club Dissent at it Again!

I’d advise giving this a quick read:
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/05/kim-davis-blowback-left-calls-for-vatican-ambassadors-head/

Anyone else tired of on-line petitions? If this one was a true “thing,” they’d ask for a whole lot more than 15,000 signatures. And who will be those signatories? Will Pastor “I’m Gay and Divorced” Robinson (so much for homosexuals doing fidelity better) be one of them? Maybe Margie Winters (https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/she-did-not-just-say-this-i-felt-like-i-was-doing-ministry-really-well/)? What about that super devout Catholic, George Soros? Will it be what’s left of the National catholic Reporter’s readership? Inquiring minds want to know how many non-Catholics or dissenting Catholic will let the Holy Father know how mean that old Archbishop Vigano is. Please. Stop.

Anyone who knows him, or even knows of him, would understand he is a very humble and faithful man who has done nothing but serve us well. In reality, though, he’s an easy target for the dissenting Catholics, because they know darn well that he’s hit the magic 75 and is required to submit his letter of resignation (as all bishops are supposed to do, with the exception of the Bishop of Rome). Actually, Archbishop Vigano is probably dying to leave the dismal position of dealing with obnoxious American dissenters. The Kim Davis kerfuffle just caps off his tenure here with more of that reality. He probably arrange the meeting so he could show the Holy Father how people in America are suffering religious persecution. I mean, that’s kind of the reason the Pope comes to visit a country, isn’t it? It’s a way for him to get to know the lay of the land. I wonder why none of the members of Club Dissent aren’t starting a petition objecting to the Pope meeting with the Little Sisters of the Poor? My guess is that the sisters evoke more sympathy than Kim Davis.

Anyway, these moronic petition hacks, backed by an atheist, are trying to say that Archbishop Vigano was trying to undermine the Pope’s message by inviting Kim Davis to meet with the Pope. How so? Did the Pope somehow say gay marriage was the bomb and we all missed it? Nope. Did they hear the Holy Father’s remarks on the plane? Let me refresh your memories: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/09/28/pope-francis-conscientious-objection-is-a-human-right-even-for-government-workers/

So, let’s see. The Holy Father said, “Thank you for your courage,” so clearly he knew a bit of the situation. We also know the Holy Father believes and teaches that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. To top it off, we just heard the Holy Father say, “I can’t have in mind all the cases that can exist about conscientious objection, but, yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.” So why in heaven’s name would Archbishop Vigano be in any sort of trouble again? Oh, that’s right. It’s because we suffer from squeaky wheel syndrome here, where the billion dollar squeakers squeak so much that people will do anything to shut them up. I certainly hope this isn’t the case with Archbishop Vigano. It would be rather ironic for the Holy Father to fire him in the Year of Mercy. The most merciful thing he could do for the Church in America is to relegate the dissenting children to the corner and let them think about things for a while. A merciful parent doesn’t placate the spoiled brat. That would only serve to further stunt their growth.

On the bright side, here’s one refreshing piece about the visit to show that there are some of the liberal bent who are intellectually honest about the situation. I’m going to link directly to this one, because I’d really love the author to get credit for her honesty. Clearly, she and I would agree on little, but I can respect her for doing what so many in the media refuse to do: write honestly: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/10/pope-probably-agrees-with-davis-on-marriage.html I would, however, like to suggest the “backlash” that has come didn’t really materialize until the Vatican downplayed the meeting. It happened. Own it. There was nothing wrong with it. For goodness sake, he’s the Holy Father. He can meet with anyone. Does anyone remember a little island called Cuba?

Austin Ruse has called for the Church to apologize to Kim Davis (https://stream.org/church-owes-kim-davis-apology/). I think he should have been a bit more specific. The Church is too broad a term. Instead, it is Fr. Lombardi and club who should apologize to her, as well as to Archbishop Vigano. They are making the Vatican look, frankly, like the U.S. Republican party whose need to backtrack has had them in reverse for quite a while.

Please send Archbishop Vigano a note thanking him for all that he does. nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org