Abounding Conjecture & Innuendos

Update: I want to update with this series of tweets from Elizabeth Scalia. I’ve seen many apologies on Twitter over the years and I have to say it’s one of the best ever. I applaud and thank her for it. This is simply the text of the tweets. I hope everyone will be charitable with it.

Yesterday I made a terrible mistake on Twitter — a big mistake, all of my own doing, out of my own personal head, meaning I own all of it. At the shocking news of the postponement of the canonization of Venerable Fulton Sheen, my thought processes were firing all over the place
 
And I, like a true bonehead, let my fingers fly with them in an uncharacteristic fashion that shocked many and—much too late—shocked and embarrassed me, too.
I sent out a tweet that led some to believe that I was tagging Fulton Sheen as a man with same sex attraction, and advancing an agenda. I wasn’t doing either of those things. But what I said was speculative, imprudent, and insensitive to an emotionally charged situation.
People were rightly appalled, and I have decided to remove the tweet.
I apologize to everyone who follows me, and those who don’t but who were also appalled. In the glare of morning, I am myself appalled, and really can offer no excuse beyond thoughtlessness and perhaps a bit of pride. Which always cometh before a fall. And I fell.
I have also apologized to Fulton Sheen this morning for adding to an already muddy and unclear situation. I revere Fulton Sheen, and I want to see him canonized as soon as possible. On a normal day I wouldn’t even have to say that, but today I certainly do.
Mea maxima culpa.
To make a mistake of this size tells me that I need to use this Advent season to recalibrate my radar away from my own pride and more toward the sensibilities of others, so that is what I am going to do, starting by removing myself from social media until the Bridegroom has come.
In your spiritual generosity, please pray for me.


———————————————————————————————————————————-
Yep, just another “When did you stop beating your wife?” kind of day for the liberals. If you’re going to make accusations or insinuations, BACK IT UP! Otherwise, can we just let the faithfully departed rest in peace??? If it’s never been confirmed by any sources why in the world do you want to bring it up as if it might be some sort of fact?!

The first thing I heard today was “some bishops” asking for a delay in the beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Give me a break. The accusations were out there for years. They’ve been investigated, but nothing could be found. Even a blogger who I usually avoid said “Not credible.” Don’t put on that shoe if it’s not you.

And, even though the Diocese of Peoria said they didn’t know why there was an indefinite postponement, they still felt the need to declare that they had no evidence that Archbishop Sheen was anything but a man of conviction and that there were no credible accusations against him. What in THE heck, Peoria spokesperson? Why even suggest it, then??? I feel like someone should find a new job over that bungling.

Next, Elizabeth Scalia decided that it was a shame, because Archbishop Sheen was “flouncy” and could have been the perfect SSA saint. Seriously? Time for Elizabeth to retire. Not really sure why some are sooo desperate to divide Catholics into categories, nor why some need to speculate about the sexual inclinations of someone who has never given evidence of being more than faithful AND theatrical, but whatever. You’re either faithful, or you are not. We’re all in the same sinful boat. You either recognize you need God’s mercy for whatever, or you think that God thinks everything you do is peachy.

It’s a good time for Fulton Sheen quote because when is it not?

A Catholic may sin and sin as badly as anyone else, but no genuine Catholic ever denies he is a sinner. A Catholic wants his sins forgiven – not excused or sublimated. -Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Back to the bishops…Where’s the transparency that you always wax on about? If you asked for a postponement, man up (if at all possible) and tell us why. If you are not willing to come forward, can you do us all a favor and stop calling the Vatican when something remotely moral and Catholic is about to happen (like the time you stopped the plan to hold bishops accountable)? My guess, but it’s an educated guess, is that Cardinals Cupich, Farrell, Tobin, and Bishop McElroy are behind this debacle, just like their stonewalling about actually doing something to stop abuse. While Elizabeth is hoping Archbishop Sheen was same-sex attracted, these guys are annoyed at the idea that a faithful, moral archbishop might someday be canonized. Rather ironic. Believe me, Elizabeth, if the good archbishop was same-sex attracted, don’t you think that they’d all be totally pushing for the immediate canonization? Use a little common sense.

USCCB Accidentally Hires Strong, Faithful Catholic Woman

I’m sure people have noticed that I’m not a huge fan of the USCCB. Honestly, I think it’s as useless an organization as the United Nations, and like the UN, usually does more harm than good. I think it also tends to be an organization that hog-ties the more faithful of the Catholic bishops and wastes a whole lot of time putting out fluffy documents trying to make the bishops in the U.S. look relevant. Maybe it’s just me, but there it is.

So, what’s the flap over at the USCCB this week? It looks like Judy Keane has been put on leave, which I find completely pathetic. It’s unbelievable what wimps are over there at the USCCB. https://www.pressherald.com/2019/07/12/spokeswoman-for-americas-catholic-bishops-stirs-criticism-with-her-pro-trump-tweets/

Now, I didn’t know of Judy Keane before this, but I looked her up and she’s exactly the kind of person I’d want at the USCCB. She’s a faithful Catholic, and that doesn’t mean someone who just acts like they are a martyr because they attend Mass every Sunday. She knows her stuff. You can read some of her writings here to see exactly why the liberal and immoral folks have such disdain for her. https://catholicexchange.com/author/judykeane

Most of you know I was not a fan of Trump during the election, but I can’t complain about much or even most that he’s done. Oh, and he’s way better than Hillary or Barack! Like a thousand percent better.  I’m hoping the lives saved due to his presidency will earn him some leniency for any past, present and future errors, and our country owes him for these babies and their mothers. However, now the liberal/liberal Catholics are whining because a USCCB employee dared to put out facts on Trump’s employment victories on her personal Twitter account. Ooooohhhhh! I didn’t realize things like high GDP and employment stats were so anti-Catholic! The horrors! As far as I know, her tweet was not actually opposed to anything the Catholic bishops are opposed to, unless I missed the USCCB comparing detention facilities to concentration camps, even though their official position on immigration is less friendly than Trump’s.

The USCCB seems to have accidentally hired what we’ve all been told we need. A woman. A woman with an opinion. A strong woman. The only problem is that this woman apparently doesn’t fit the liberal feminist mold so, oops. Looks like they finally made a smart move at the USCCB, which leaves us all to wonder when they’ll throw her under the bus and dash a little sanity. I highly encourage the USCCB to “man up” for once and point out that the tweets were about accuracy, of which the USCCB should be fond but isn’t always. And, they weren’t on the USCCB Twitter account. Yes, I’m a big believer of the fact that what you put online can and should have bearing on your jobs. The USCCB, however, might do well to remember that the majority of their flock probably thinks a lot like her. Caving to the squeaky, whiny liberal Catholics would be HUGE mistake, especially with your past (and some present) ridiculous ties to pro-abortion organizations.

Somebody smart also hired this gal. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/whos-responsible-for-the-usccbs-twitter-53023 The old gray-haired out of touch crowd who likes their felt and hopes they live to see the day women are ordained probably can’t stand her either, but she’s actually engaging the culture. These are the type of women we’re told we should listen to, except these two haven’t railed against Church teaching, which is why they’ll only be maligned in the end.

The USCCB really needs to decide if they’re going to listen to the old, bitter liberals who have failed us all, or if they’re going to listen to the rest of us who are hungry for truth out of the USCCB for a change! If they’re smart, they’ll issue a statement along the lines of this: “On further investigation, we have researched Judy’s tweets on her personal account and have found no conflict between them and the Catholic Church. In other news, Cardinal Blasé Cupich and Bishop John Stowe, among others, will be taking a leave of absence.”

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.

 

Program for Disaster!

Can we just look at the program for this increasingly obvious waste of time in Rome this week? http://www.pbc2019.org/meeting/program

The Protection of Minors in the Church

THURSDAY 21 FEBRUARY: RESPONSIBILITY

9.30        1st PRESENTATION by Sig. Card. Luis Antonio Tagle:

Smell of the sheep. Knowing their pain and healing their wounds is at the heart of the shepherd’s task

Thirty minutes of a talk we’ve heard before ad nauseum.  Stop trying to smell like sheep and maybe listen to them for a change. And I don’t mean your handpicked ones.

10.15   2nd PRESENTATION S.E. Mons. Charles Jude Scicluna:

Church as field hospital. Taking responsibility

Thirty minutes of another talk we’ve heard before.  I am intrigued by “taking responsibility” and cannot wait to hear who they are referring to here.  I’m afraid of what I might hear, though, because I think I’ve heard multiple times this week the laity is supposed to apologize for clericalism. 

11.20   Working Groups

Seventy minutes of working groups.

12.30   Conclusion

Followed by a three and a half hour break!  It’s probably needed to help them get over the confusion of why they’re there in the first place.

16.00   3rd PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Rubén Salazar Gómez:

The Church in a moment of crisis – Facing conflicts and tensions and acting decisively

Umm, I’m sure this isn’t THE biggest crisis the Church has faced, but “a moment of crisis?”  We’ve been talking about this for seventeen years by my count.  When is somebody going to to the “acting decisively” thing already?!?  I mean, we can’t even agree on what’s caused this, but that’s DEFINITELY not on the agenda for this meeting.

 16.45  Coffee break

Twenty minutes to get them through a bunch more themes they’ve heard before.

17.05   Working Groups

Fifty-five whole minutes this time!

FRIDAY 22 FEBRUARY: ACCOUNTABILITY

Try to control your laughter.

9.15      1st PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Oswald Gracias:

Collegiality: sent together

Thirty minutes because nobody’s ever heard a thing about collegiality.  Oh, wait…

10.00   2nd PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Blase Joseph Cupich:

Synodality: jointly responsible

Thirty minutes on synodality, which now apparently means everyone is responsible for the mess some have created.

10.45   Coffee break

Twenty minutes to once again try to endure until the end of the charade.

11.05   Working Groups

This one looks like a whopping eighty-five minutes to regurgitate the endlessly repeated themes.

 16.00  3rd PRESENTATION Dott.ssa Linda Ghisoni:

Communio: to work together

Thirty minutes to wonder what in the hell the last seventeen years was about.

17.05  Working Groups

Another fifty-five minutes to figure out how to explain this to their flock followed by presentation of it.

SATURDAY 23 FEBRUARY: TRANSPARENCY

It’s going to take me awhile to stop laughing at this title. Seriously, the Vatican has failed so miserably in this area and they’re now going to lead the charge? Okay. One word: Vigano.

9.15      1st PRESENTATION Sup. Gen. Sr. Veronica Openibo, SHCJ:

Openess: sent out into the world

Thirty minutes on heaven-knows-what, but I can tell there might be problems when you don’t even know how to spell it.  And, yes, I’m going there because how much money are we spending on the messaging? Homeschool moms say spelling counts!

10.00   2nd PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Reinhard Marx:

Transparency in a community of believers

Seriously?????? Somebody should have pointed him in the direction of cleaning up the mess in Germany before he attempted to tell the rest of the Church how to do it.

11.05     Working Groups

Eighty-five minutes to talk about how they got stuck with Cardinal Marx.

16.00  3rd PRESENTATION Dott.ssa Valentina Alazraki:

Communication: to all people

I hope it goes something like “Actions speak louder than words,” but I’m reasonably sure this isn’t going to be the message.  Talk is cheap and “communication” is even cheaper. It’ll probably have something to do with lists of accused which, apparently, they think is going to make us all feel better about the situation.

17.30   Penitential liturgy (Sala Regia)

Can you say photo-op?

So let’s review.  The heads of the bishops’ conferences got on a plane to Rome to hear four and a half hours of presentations followed by not even six hours of “working groups.” People! Some of those bishops took longer to travel there than that!  For heaven’s sake.  Synod on this, that, or the other thing goes on for weeks and THE biggest crisis in modern Church history gets about eleven hours of work time??? Un-be-lieve-able! And there’s nothing new we haven’t heard to death.  If the laity isn’t upset about this crud, there’s NO moving them.

So, sheep, field hospital, crisis, collegiality, synodality, openness (they can’t even spell that one in the program!), transparency, and communication. Holy Father, I think we heard you the first bazillion times you’ve used these themes.  Did we really need to waste everyone’s time flying them to Rome for more of the same led by the same old do-nothing people who believe in the status quo?

I am, however, totally happy that the USCCB proposal, which was quashed in October, was on the program. Just kidding. That’s been suspended without a word indefinitely.

I realize that this whole meeting is supposed to be some giant bone but it’s not going to do and we won’t let this die. We want the faithful protected.  We don’t want just a defrocked cardinal and a pat on the head. Fix the morality problem in the Church, bolster it with authentic Church teaching, and you just might get somewhere.  We know that’s the problem. It’s always been the problem when the Church has gone through crisis. Listen to the doctors of the Church and maybe just try what they said for a change.  What a novel thought!  Drop the politically correct hooey and get back to TRUTH! #CupichResignNow

On the Eve of Denial-palooza…

I’m going to kick off this little blog post with an apology to my friends around the world. On the eve of the “Meeting on the Protection of Minors” AKA “Denial-palooza,” I’d like to ask that you don’t hold us responsible for Cardinal Cupich. If you want to find blame, go with the Jesuits. They’re the ones that lobbied hard for him. The fact is, most of us don’t like him. In fact, we like very few of our American cardinals. We’ve been shafted as almost the entire slate of American cardinals has changed in the last 10 years. We’ve at least got Cardinal Burke somewhere in the world doing what he can, and I’ll be nice and say MAYBE the completely defeated Cardinal DiNardo. That’s about it, so I’m sorry you’re saddled with the guy who said climate change and migration were so much more important than protecting people from immoral abusing priests.

If you are one of the people around the world (or at the Vatican) who think we love and adore Cardinal Cupich, the dissenting Catholic media has succeeded in their propaganda. Let’s look at the reality of the lack of adoration for Cardinal Cupich. He sent out this tweet this morning. https://twitter.com/CardinalBCupich/status/1097935698290724864

cupichtweet
At this writing, we’re out about five hours now from this tweet dropping. There are forty-some-odd replies (they’re rolling in by the second), and all but one (somebody tagging their friend) were critical of him so far. (Please don’t email me with the great “A-ha!” after you post a glowing tribute to him.) I’m sure his Jesuit buddies will eventually ride in to rescue him, but just look at the first five hours. There were definitely no “Thank you for all your great work!” posts. “Resign!”, “Fraud!”, and “Repent!” were the consistent message.

Let me be clear, we American faithful don’t like Cardinal Cupich. We don’t trust him. We don’t want him to represent us. We don’t think he cares about the abused. Bottom line, he was the absolute wrong choice to lead any conference on immorality and abuse of priests. Why?For so many reasons but remember, just a few short months ago, Cardinal Cupich actually said that the Holy Father had more to worry about than the abuse crisis. Then he ordered his priests to read a letter saying that the news report was edited to make him look bad (apparently, he doesn’t realize raw footage is a thing) and then gathered all his priests and gagged them. We’re all guessing great penalties came attached to breaking that silence. He’s just a narcissistic, hideous man who will stop at nothing to protect his image. I’m not really sure why he still thinks he has one, outside of the usual morally liberal strongholds, but he does.

So, we American Catholics are suffering right along with you. Hopefully, somebody can find a clever way to break the Vatican cone of silence and then, maybe, we’ll get somebody decent running the next “Meeting on Whatever.”

#ResignNow

Cupich Wants a Retro New Ecclesial Season – Been There, Done That!

I set this letter from Cardinal Blase Cupich aside a few days ago. Kinda wish I had set it aside indefinitely. Just a waste of ink with the endless spin to tell us how much “they” care. 

The bishops’ retreat and a new ecclesial season

January 9, 2019

I am writing this as the retreat held for the Catholic bishops of the United States at our seminary in Mundelein concludes. The weeklong retreat was the idea of Pope Francis.

He recognized that the crisis of clerical sexual abuse had created a great deal of anger and confusion in our church and among the bishops. It is in such moments, he observed in his letter to us before the retreat, that “we need to be attentive and discerning, to free our hearts of compromises and false certainties, in order to hear what the Lord asks of us in the mission he has given us.”

I never had a problem with the retreat. That said, I think being locked in a room with a bunch of super angry parents would have made more of an impact, but that’s just me. I do have to focus on the message from the Holy Father I highlighted. Are they just now doing this??? I would think that this would have popped into their heads long before one is made a bishop.

Again, while I never had a problem with a retreat per se, the timing on this one smacks more of a pause on dealing with this issue hoping people will forget about it than a thoughtful way forward. Seriously, the “Let’s just wait to deal with this until we can have a retreat to contemplate something we somehow woefully missed before” really doesn’t cut it with the vast majority of people, or at the very least people with children.

The Holy Father sent us his personal preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa. The 84-year-old priest told us that he had received lots of letters telling him what he should say to the bishops. While respecting the wisdom of the voice of the people, he agreed with the pope that in moments like this we need to discern what God is saying to us.

“What God is saying to us???” Seriously? I would think “Stop being perverts, protecting perverts, recruiting perverts, etc.” would be a no brainer. But, I suppose, since it’s been missed so far, the good friar might be right about going back to kindergarten on this.

Cantalamessa’s talks were both inspiring and encyclopedic. His grasp of Scripture and the rich tradition of the church allowed the bishops to hear truths we have long held but in a fresh way. I am pleased we have the texts to review in the days and months ahead, but I also carry with me a number of images he offered, which I want to reflect on.

How about reflecting on the image of a person abused by a priest, bishop, or cardinal? Seems like that might be the central image to focus on. Yes, the spiritual lives of a good chunk of these bishops and cardinals seem wanting, but this is ridiculous. If we have to go back to what should have been taught day one in seminary, then you’d think Cardinal Cupich might get a clue that the formation has been lacking for a long, long time in most areas of the country. Somehow I don’t think this is going to be his take away.

One was the difference between moving over water in a rowboat and a sailboat. The rowboat requires our effort, as we pull against the inertia of the water, relying on our own power and devices to steer the direction ahead. But believers are called to trust in the Holy Spirit to move us forward, much like the wind is needed for moving the sailboat forward.

With that image our retreat director asked us to reflect on our approach to challenges, not only this one, but in all cases. Do we see ourselves in a rowboat that makes everything depend on us, or are we attentive to the prompting of the Spirit to chart a pathway ahead? I can honestly say I am not satisfied by how I answer that question some days.

I will keep in mind what Cantalamessa said: “The wind is caught by the sail of prayer.”

Uh, I’d have to say many of you are not piloting a sailboat or even a rowboat. You’re more like the drug runner on a luxury yacht with someone else doing the “hard work” of ruining souls while you socialize with the elite and try to keep your hands clean. So, honestly, we’re not satisfied, either. We’d like you to be on the Barque of Peter. That, however, seems a little too much to ask.

 

He then shared another image to further develop this point. A professor lecturing on time management conducted a small experiment for his students. Taking a large glass jar, he placed tennis-ball-sized rocks in it until there was no room in the jar. “Is it full?” he asked. “Yes,” the students replied.

But, then he began pouring in small pebbles, rattling the jar until they settled in vacant spaces between the rocks. “Now is it full?” he asked again. “No,” they replied. Agreeing with them he then poured sand into the jar, filling up the spaces between the stones and the pebbles. Yet again, the professor asked, “Is the jar full?” Without hesitation, the students replied in unison, “NO!” “Correct,” replied the professor.

So he poured water into the jar until it was absolutely full. Then the professor explained. “What we learn from this experiment is that if we don’t put the larger stones in the jar first, we will never be able to fit all of them later.”

Cantalamessa’s point was simple. Our prayer life, our turning to God to discern where he is leading us, has to be the priority. For if we do not prioritize the discernment of God’s will, other concerns and voices will absorb our attention and render our decision-making impoverished and partial, especially in a moment of crisis.

I’m thinking the stories of the saints, Church teachings, etc. might have been a little more pertinent than time management stories from Facebook, but that might just be me. The problem is, some of you can’t seem to figure out what the big stones are even if they hit you in the head. If you’re going with Facebook memes, you might want to go with a simple flow chart of decision making. Some of you can’t get past the first branch correctly and probably should rethink your career (and I’m very intentionally using career because it seems more like that than a vocation for many of you)!

flow chart

 

His reflections also underscore our commitment to the protection of children and the healing of victims, which grounds all our responses to the crisis. We must make sure nothing ever crowds out that priority.

You and many other bishops and cardinals already blew that one! Let’s just remember you were the one that said there was more important things to worry about like “climate change.” The fact that you had to have that “underscored” just shows how completely out of touch you are with, well, Catholicism.

It is clear, however, that the Holy Father’s intentions in calling us to make this retreat expand well beyond this particular moment or challenge facing us bishops. Pope Francis wants us to see that we are in “a new ecclesial season,” as he calls it, that will require a new approach to our ministry.

I’m sorry, but the public relations tactic of a “new” anything is ridiculous. This is an abuse crisis of epic proportions. This isn’t time for a new buzzword or ad campaign for the Church. It’s time for repentance and reform. This is “old”, not new. The problem is, you guys spend so much time on spin and rebranding that you can’t just do what needs to be done. Sure, not all of you are doing that, but many are and the many are hampering the rest of us.

We cannot be “mere administrators,” but must take up the task of teaching those we serve “how to discern God’s presence in the history of his people.” As he remarked in his letter to us: “Amid the upset and confusion experienced by our communities, our primary duty is to foster a shared spirit of discernment, rather than to seek the relative calm resulting from compromise or from a democratic vote where some emerge as ‘winners’ and others not.”

Oh. My. Gosh! We’ve already discerned the immorality which led to abuse which led to the cover-ups is evil. Duh. Enough said. You’re the one who’s been trying to avoid it from day one. The US Bishops wanted to address the reality, but you and your cronies, Cardinal Cupich, managed to get it put on hold. I don’t care if it takes a democratic vote to clean up this mess. The only ones who do care are you and your buds who were going to be the losers because you are the ambassadors of evil and immorality. There most certainly should be a winner and loser. The winner should be GOOD and the loser should be EVIL. You want so badly to move your agendas forward that you are all willing to throw victims under the bus. We’ve had enough!

The task before us is to work together to find a way to embrace “the present situation, one that, most important, can protect those in our care from losing hope and feeling spiritually abandoned.”

If that was truly your goal you would have jumped on this long ago. All the psycho-spin you’ve spilled here does NOTHING to help those you’ve betrayed. We embraced the present situation about 17 years ago. Where have you been?

“This will enable us to be fully immersed in reality, seeking to appreciate and hear it from within, without being held hostage to it.”

If you haven’t been “fully immersed in reality” by now, you’ve missed whatever boat you’re supposedly on all together! The TRUTH which you seem to want to keep everyone from is freedom, not a hostage situation. You, Cardinal Cupich, are the one seeking to take hostages. You’ve been trying forever to make people a slave to their sins and you’ve been perfectly happy to keep the victims of abuse slaves to their captors. I’m pretty sure you’re hoping for full blown Stockholm Syndrome at this point. Sorry, we’re not falling for it. We will do everything possible to escape your trap.

We are not leaving this retreat with all the answers to the important questions facing the church in these days, but we are leaving with a renewed sense that it is time to turn in our rowboats for sailboats, and take our cue from the guidance of Christ’s spirit rather than our own efforts.

Well, let’s avoid YOUR efforts for sure.

We also come away reminded that we will need to keep our priorities straight. One other blessing from our days together is that it drew us closer to each other and to the Holy Father. One bishop told me, “Pope Francis was right to call us to take a retreat and it shows that he cares deeply about our ministry and the church in this country.”

Do you know how I know this was a complete waste of time? It’s because you have not mentioned sin once. You didn’t leave this retreat with anything. I’m sure those bishops and cardinals who truly long to guide Christ’s people are still longing for this, but you are just looking to get off the hook. You are simply looking for some good PR and are hoping words like “discerning” and “mission” are going to assuage the faithful. Wrong. These are the same things we heard almost two decades ago. You’re really, really counting on us being that stupid?

I have no doubt that just as the early church relied on Peter’s unique ministry to meet the challenges of the day, so we will draw strength and insight from our unity with his successor.

Ah, and there it is. If we are angry with you, somehow we are removing unity with Peter’s successor? Yeah, sorry. You can keep pushing this line but it’s not going to keep us from holding you accountable.

It doesn’t get said enough, but a huge thank you to the bishops and cardinals who are really trying to bring healing to the victims and to the Church. We’re praying you succeed. Please stay the course. #USCCB #DontMakeSameMistake

 

Synodality vs. Banality (The Latter Won)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, please, somebody explain this one to me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cupich, McElroy & the Civil War

Cardinal Cupich apparently missed the part in the meeting where they told him to keep quiet, look holy, and let Bishop McElroy foment so he could keep his hands as clean as possible. Seriously, I had a whole post dealing with McElroy’s sophomoric response and then Cupich went and ruined the “Protect the Golden Boy” plan and I had to make a re-write. 

I’m sure nobody in the camp over there got much sleep last night. Not gonna lie. While it’s super-sad, it was satisfying to watch the freak out. In my mind it’s akin to sprinkling a demon with holy water. A big ol’ truth bomb has the same effect on them. I went to bed last night with an amazing amount of hope for the Church and it just got all the better today.

If you’d like to see Cardinal Cupich take gold in the shark jumping contest, go here.

He literally said “…they also don’t like him because he’s a Latino.” Can I just say that coffee coming out your nose is painful??? The race card, really??? Bahahaha! Not that it has much to do with anything but does anyone want to clue Cupich into the fact that Pope Francis is Italian? How in the heck did he miss that? I’m probably more Latino than he is! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Francis How about someone ask Cupich the reason why we dislike him? I’m pretty sure Cupich isn’t Latino. Can’t wait to see what he says.

Of course, it was pathetic through and through, but the worst statement is that the Church is not “going to go down that rabbit hole” (aka – investigate) because of the environment!!!  Never mind people being molested and raped because the environment. Oh my ever-living goodness! #ResignNow

And then you have McElroy:

Statement by Bishop McElroy on “testimony” by former Papal Nuncio

In response to a letter published on Aug. 25 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Papal representative to the United States, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy has released the following statement:

‘This is a moment when the bishops of our nation, in union with the Holy Father, should be focused solely on comprehensively revealing the truth about the patterns of the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy in our Church, so that deep reform can be enacted.’

Wait! I thought the environment was the priority?!

No, Bishop McElroy, this isn’t the moment. This should have been done long ago after the first go around. You had your chance. You were all given ample opportunity and you blew it. You got caught doing the polar opposite and now you’re ticked. Forget the countless victims, it’s all about you.

‘Unfortunately, in recent weeks ideological warriors within the Church on both sides of the spectrum have utilized the tragedy of victims of abuse to promote their goals. The dedication to comprehensive truth has been subordinated to selective targeting of enemies and tendentious distortions of the truth.’

I’m sorry, if “ideological warriors” are people like myself who are ticked that you protected your own rather than preventing further victims, I’ll take the title. You wouldn’t know “comprehensive truth” if it walked up and slapped you in the face. There’s no “selective targeting.” The target is people who reject the teachings of the Church and put their own proclivities above all else. 

‘Archbishop Vigano’s statement constitutes just such a distortion. It is not an attempt to comprehensively convey the truth. In its ideologically-driven selection of bishops who are attacked, in its clear efforts to settle old personal scores, in its omission of any reference to Archbishop Vigano’s own massive personal participation in the covering up of sexual abuse by bishops, and most profoundly in its hatred for Pope Francis and all that he has taught, Archbishop Viganò consistently subordinates the pursuit of comprehensive truth to partisanship, division and distortion.’

Wow! So many whoppers, so little words. First, Bishop McElroy, you say that Archbishop Vigano’s statement is a distortion. Please, please tell us where.  Generalities mean zip. Last time I checked, calumny and slander were no bueno. You want to lay down a little specific truth, feel free. You want to make innuendos, peddle them somewhere else. Saying someone “hates” the Pope tugs at the heartstrings but doesn’t make it true. It’s a sad, pathetic tactic. Who’s throwing the victims under the bus right now? I imagine more than a few are cheering for Archbishop Vigano because that one man is taking you all down and you know it. Bye-bye legacy and hello early retirement.

By the way, it’s really time to point out, once again, your accusation of “massive cover-up” of one bishop by Vigano was just shot down with documents to support. (Hint: This is why your club prefers to let you do the talking. They don’t want to look quite as foolish when their faulty accusations blow up in their faces. Too bad Cupich didn’t follow the plan.) The one thing you hung your hat on – that Archbishop Vigano told investigators to end their investigation – didn’t happen. Poor you. Feast  your eyes on this and this! I’d like to take the time to thank Archbishop Vigano for having the foresight to save everything in black and white. It validates me never clearing out my email box. While all of you are spitting into the wind, Archbishop Vigano is backing up his statements with solid evidence to prove his claims. I’m sure his latest doc drop occurred after you released this ridiculous statement, Bishop McElroy. Again, kudos to Archbishop Vigano for seeing what was coming his way and handling it like a pro. The less “he said/she said,” the better.

‘We as bishops cannot allow the pathway of partisanship to divide us or to divert us from the searing mission that Christ calls us to at this moment. We must make public our sinful past. We must engage and help heal the survivors of abuse. We must develop new, lay-governed instruments of oversight and investigation in every element of how we confront sexual abuse by clergy at all levels in the life of the Church. And we must reject all attempts to subordinate these goals to ideological or personal projects. For if we do not, we will have betrayed the victims of abuse once again.’

+Bp. McElroy

Translation: You can’t possibly impose the Church teaching of vetting homosexuals out of seminary.  Seriously, these guys are single issue people! This is all they care about (which is in itself creepy), and if you point out 80% of the previous cases were homosexual priests (and after reading the first 300 gut wrenching pages of the Pennsylvania grand-jury report, I’d conclude even more), and that following Church procedure would eliminate a huge percentage of future cases, suddenly you are an ideological warrior?!? Just who are the ideologues again? 

Please note that McElroy didn’t actually make a point by point rebuttal. In fact, he didn’t make a rebuttal at all. Why? Could it be they can’t???  He tried to throw out the cover-up line, but that got walloped by Vigano himself. 

Personally, I wouldn’t just uphold the Church’s rules on homosexuals in the priesthood, I’d nix anyone who questions any Church doctrine from entering the priesthood. If you can’t uphold those teachings, you probably aren’t going to be able to uphold your vows. See? No bias. No hatred of homosexuals. It’s a simple, “If you don’t buy what the Church says, you certainly can’t sign on to be a pastor of souls.”

One more thing, since I’m seeing the use of “Civil War” crop up in the talking points, let’s talk about it before I wrap up. This is simply a tactic to keep us from fighting for good. It’s slick, but don’t fall for it. “So and so waded into the Church’s Civil War” in a derogatory tone, as if we’re all supposed to sit on our hands as more and more victims appear on a daily basis? We’re supposed to stay out of it while our clergy pool is either guilty or looked upon as creepers even if they are good, holy priests just trying to live holy lives??  We’re supposed to give the benefit of doubt to some overwhelming evidence of lack of character, if not evil action itself??? I’m not going to find myself sitting on a fence with my hands on my face saying, “Oh my!” as I watch it all go down. The McElroy, Cupich, Farrell club isn’t sitting on the fence in this fight.  They’re totally down in the mud. Their “We’re the peace-makers!” mantra should be an obvious falsehood by now. 

Civil wars are usually fought to end some sort of evil. Take the American Civil War, for instance.  While it was about a bit more than just slavery, slavery was certainly the evil being fought. It’s the same in our Church. There’s a reason the chasm is growing wider and wider. It’s not on policy and style, it’s about spiritual and physical abuses. Of course, we have to pick a side. And, no, I’m not talking about leaving the Church. I’m talking about fighting for her, and that cannot be done from the outside. Don’t be a fool. This most certainly is a civil war for the spiritual and moral health of the Church. Don’t let the stupid catch phrases keep you quiet.

This is not the first time the Church has free-fallen into immorality. It’s a cyclical thing.  It’s one of the reasons I know it’s the right Church, because no matter how corrupt her members, here She stands.  Nothing without Divine assistance could survive with all the fools running around over the centuries.  Think this is bad? Check out the 1300s.  At least the current knuckleheads try to obfuscate. #ResignNow #IdeologicalWarrior #CatholicCyberMilitia

 

How About a Little Clarity Cardinal Cupich?

Phil Lawler is mad and I agree. Cardinal Cupich, Fr. Martin, Fr. Rosica, and the rest of the minions love to throw out arguments that are completely and utterly fictional. Notice I have ZERO problem naming names. OK, I write under a pseudonym, but that’s because I want to be able to keep doing work in my Catholic locality much to the chagrin of the local minions. The minions, however, do it because if they named names they would actually have to have an honest debate, and they don’t really want to do that, so they throw the mythological meanies out there. I challenge them to put up or shut up. Be specific. Cardinal Cupich, of all people, claims to want clarity. So, Cardinal Cupich, be clear.

Here is Phil Lawler’s tongue lashing which everyone should be modeling.

https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?ID=1562

 By Phil Lawler (bio – articles – email) | Mar 09, 2018

 In his latest column for the Chicago archdiocesan newspaper, Cardinal Blase Cupich—who styles himself as a champion of civil dialogue within the Church—lashes out at people who disagree with Pope Francis:

“For this reason, it is not surprising that we occasionally hear voices, unfortunately often expressed in print and broadcast media claiming to be Catholic, who criticize Pope Francis for introducing topics such as discernment, dialogue, mercy, gradualness to help us understand better our Christian lives.”

Is that the way the cardinal proposes to “accompany” people who are “at the margins” of the Church? By questioning whether they are really Catholic—and going on to speculate about whether their thoughts are motivated by fear or by a failure to believe in the Resurrection?

But beyond that, I have two more questions:

1. Yes, there have been people (myself included) who protest when terms like “discernment” are used to camouflage an unwillingness to call a sin a sin, and a scandal a scandal. But those are complaints about the way these words are used—one might say misused. But who are these people who criticize the Pope for introducing those terms into the discussion? Name one.

 

This is where it gets very interesting. For one thing, he points out that there is quite a difference between promoting discernment, dialogue, mercy, gradualness, etc., and Cardinal Cupich’s use and definitions of such terms. Cardinal Cupich and the minions are using very liberal definitions and interpretations and calling them the same as the Church. It’s a wee bit like they used Josef Pieper’s “Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power” as a playbook rather than a warning.  It’s creepy.

2. And by the way, which of those terms did Pope Francis introduce? Cardinal Cupich himself mentions that Pope Benedict XVI spoke of “gradualness”—although the cardinal gives a highly tendentious rendering of the retired Pontiff’s thoughts on the subject. The words “discernment” and “dialogue” appear in the 50-year old dictionary on my desk. And I seem to recall reading something about “mercy” in the Bible.

Right. Nobody’s against those things. They are against the contradictory definitions put out by the minions.

Here’s part of the description of “Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power.”

…language has been abused so that, instead of being a means of communicating the truth and entering more deeply into it, and of the acquisition of wisdom, it is being used to control people and manipulate them to achieve practical ends. Reality becomes intelligible through words. Man speaks so that through naming things, what is real may become intelligible. This mediating character of language, however, is being increasingly corrupted. Tyranny, propaganda, mass-media) destroy and distort words. They offer us apparent realities whose fictive character threatens to become opaque.

If this doesn’t sound like Cardinal Cupich and the minions, I don’t know what does! For all the “clarity” Cardinal Cupich espouses, it’s more like mud. In their “say it often and it will be true” world, they are causing mass confusion with the laity who just want to see their priest as someone they can trust. The distortions of Church teaching among the minions is incredible. “Church teachings and those following them are simply mean, vindictive people.” Please.

Back to Phil Lawler:

Do I sound angry? Yes, I am angry—at the tactics of those who, while speaking in lofty terms about open dialogue and respectful debate, do their utmost to impugn the motivations and question the good faith of those who disagree with them.

Exactly!  When the minions constantly preach “tolerance” and then have none for anyone who disagrees with them, the ad hominems are launched. Their tactic is to say “THEY believe in the teachings of the Church.  THEY want you to struggle. THEY are mean.  Listen to OUR nice, soothing sirens’ songs and we’ll lead you.”  Blech! 

While I was trying to provide you with an Amazon link for Pieper’s book, I came across a good book review. Here’s a snippet. Thank you James E. Egolf, whoever you are! Never thought I’d be using an Amazon review. 

Pieper begins this book with a serious treatment of Plato’s (427-347 BC) serious dispute with the Ancient Athenian sophists who taught men to use clever words and communication to deceive men with total disregard for truth. Plato argued that the sophists were very dangerous men because of their intellectual prowess and supposed sophistication. The unlearned could be easily misled and become dangerous because of the respect given to the sophists which they did not deserve. Readers may ask what is the relevance of the dispute between Plato and the sophists to modern Western “Civilization.” One answer may be studied in the Bolshevik (Communist) Revolution in Russia in 1917. Those who engineered this revolution were members of a declasse intelligensia who knew the use and abuse of language.

Pieper then makes a solid point that any communication (language) between an honest man and a liar is useless since the liar has nothing to offer leading to knowledge. Pieper states in effect that the honest man may just as well be talking to thin air, or hot air. The liar is trying to manipulate and gain power over the honest man which is destructive to the honest man if he unaware.

Pieper has an interesting explanation of the destructiveness of flattery. The flatterer is trying to intellectually disarm those whom he flatters to gain advantage. A knowledgeable man who is honest is immune to such flattery. However, flattery can be used to undermine the victim to the advantage dishonest person. A good example is in the Book of Genesis whereby the snake successfully flatters Eve to her destruction as well that of Adam.

Again, who comes to mind here?!?!  I almost always get that creepy visual of satan talking to Eve whenever I read or watch Cardinal Cupich, Fr. Martin, Bishop McElroy, and the rest of the minions. They are preying on people. It’s not always that the people are unaware of the Church’s teachings or that Cupich, Martin, et. al., are contradicting them, but since the minions are so good about preying on peoples’ fears of being lonely, struggling, being judged, being ostracized, etc., some will listen. Classic predator style. This is why we should care and also be very, very upset along with Phil. #CatholicCyberMilitia