No Sanity for YOU!

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

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

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

Ed Peters nailed it with this one little tweet.

Ed Peters

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

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

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

This is a long one.  Get some coffee.

ADDRESS OF HIS EXCELLENCY ARCHBISHOP CHRISTOPHE PIERRE

APOSTOLIC NUNCIO TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

NOVEMBER 12, 2018

BALTIMORE,MARYLAND

Dear Brothers in Christ,

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

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

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

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

REFORM AND RESPONSIBILITY: BEGINNING AGAIN FROM JESUS CHRIST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

AUTHENTIC REFORM: LISTENING TO THE VICAR OF CHRIST

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

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

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

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

THE BISHOP AS A MAN OF PRAYER

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

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

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

THE BISHOP AS A MAN OF PROCLAMATION

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

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

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

THE BISHOP AS A MAN OF COMMUNION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

Then get out of the way!!!

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

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

Thank you for your attention!

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

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

~St. Catherine of Siena

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

 

 

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Control-F Does Not an Argument Make!

This is fun! Cardinal Cupich apparently doesn’t like anonymous commentators. So, of course, I would suggest more of them pop up in the future! If he doesn’t like them, that’s a good indication that it’s the way to go. He’s got no game, so he’s calling people out for their anonymity rather than what they say. He’s trying to make it look like he’s got substance but if you look at the references he gives, not so much. I think people are beginning to see that he’s all hat and no cattle.

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/09/the-synod-on-youth-an-exchange

On September 21, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles J. Chaput presented a critique of the Instrumentum Laboris for the 2018 Synod on Young People, sent to him by a respected North American theologian. Below we publish a response to this critique from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, followed by a note from Chaput.

Dear Editors:

The increasing use of anonymous criticism in American society does not necessarily contribute to healthy public discourse, but in fact can erode it. For this reason, the anonymous critique of the Instrumentum Laboris (IL) for the 2018 Synod, published by First Things on September 21, 2018, raises essential questions about the nature of theological dialogue in our Church and the problematic nature of some forms of anonymity. It also raises fundamental questions about why First Things would publish such an anonymous critique.

What’s the problem with anonymous critiques, Cardinal Cupich? My feeling is you’re just bummed that you can’t label this person a foaming at the mouth, alt-right Catholic because you don’t have a clue who it is. Poor you.

The mature vision of Donum Veritatis (On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian), speaks of dialogue that is public and forthright in the search for truth, generous in spirit, fair in critique and balanced in tone. The anonymous critique published by First Things rejects these elements, substituting selectivity, condescension, and the deployment of partial truths to obfuscate the fullness of truth. Worse, this piece distorts the truth at many points and shows condescension toward the issues raised by the bishops’ conferences of the world on which the IL is based.”

The ”mature vision” went out the window when you and your ilk decided to regularly go ad hominem instead of addressing the arguments made, or you try repeatedly to employ the “If I say it enough, it’ll be true!” tactic. I mean, just look at this paragraph! The critique rejects a balanced tone, deploys partial truth and shows condescension?!? How about you put that “mature vision” where your mouth is and dissect the anonymous critique point by point? Whining about how it’s anonymous doesn’t really make an argument against what it says, does it? Oh you will? Let’s see how that goes!

For example:

The critique represents a woeful lack of understanding of magisterial teaching in asserting: “The entire document is premised on the belief that the principal role of the magisterial Church is “listening.” Yet there are seven references to magisterial teaching in the document (see numbers 53, 87, 115, 193). The interest in listening is precisely so that the teaching may be effectively received (see discussion in 53).

I thought that, just maybe, you’d actually do a point by point, but nope. We’re going to selectively quote out of context. So, in charity, I will give the actual context from the anonymous theologian AND the actual context from the IL. Remember, the theologian sent this to Archbishop Chaput, it wasn’t really meant for prime-time play so he snipped some.

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/09/thoughts-on-the-instrumentum-laboris

II.  An inadequate grasp of the Church’s spiritual authority

The IL upends the respective roles of the ecclesia docens and the ecclesia discens. The entire document is premised on the belief that the principal role of the magisterial Church is “listening.” Most problematic is §140: “The Church will have to opt for dialogue as her style and method, fostering an awareness of the existence of bonds and connections in a complex reality. . . . No vocation, especially within the Church, can be placed outside this outgoing dynamism of dialogue . . . . [emphasis added].” In other words, the Church does not possess the truth but must take its place alongside other voices. Those who have held the role of teacher and preacher in the Church must replace their authority with dialogue. (In this regard, see also §67-70).

And the context of the quote from IL that the theologian used:

http://www.synod2018.va/content/synod2018/en/fede-discernimento-vocazione/instrumentum-laboris-for-the-synod-2018–young-people–the-faith.html

Within this dynamic, the Church will have to opt for dialogue as her style and method, fostering an awareness of the existence of bonds and connections in a complex reality – which it would be reductive to see as being made of fragments – as well as the tension towards unity that, without being absorbed into uniformity, allows for the convergence of all its parts, preserving their individual distinctiveness and the richness they have together as a whole (cf. EG 236). No vocation, especially within the Church, can be placed outside this outgoing dynamism of dialogue, and any true effort towards accompaniment of vocational discernment will have to be measured against this horizon, devoting special attention to the poorest and most vulnerable brothers and sisters. 

Archbishop Cupich is asserting something the theologian didn’t state. The theologian did say, “The entire document is premised on the belief that the principal role of the magisterial Church is ‘listening.” However, he did NOT say there were no other references to magisterial teaching. That said, just for fun I went and looked at the references Cardinal Cupich made for magisterial teaching. While he provided a nice list, none of it proves that the critique “represents a woeful lack of understanding of magisterial teaching.” It does, however, show that Cardinal Cupich apparently has a reading comprehension problem. Here they are for you (my comments and definitions for abbreviations are in bold):

“53. In the ecclesial domain, the importance of the body, affectivity and sexuality is recognized, but not always convincingly presented as a key element in educational and faith journeys, by rediscovering and appreciating the meaning of sexual difference and the vocational dynamics that are peculiar to males and females. Sociological studies show that many young Catholics do not follow Church teachings on sexual morals. No BC (Bishops’ Conferences) gives solutions or prescriptions, but many believe that «the sexual question must be discussed in a more open and unbiased way». The PM (Pre-Synodal Meeting) highlights how Church teachings on controversial issues, such as «contraception, abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, marriage» (PM 5) are hotly debated by young people, both in the Church and in society. There are young Catholics who believe that Church teachings are a source of joy and would like the Church «to not only hold fast to them amid unpopularity but to also proclaim them with greater depth of teaching» (PM 5). (Not sure where the magisterial teaching is here.)

87.  The Second Vatican Council clearly recovered mankind’s vocational horizon when it used such terms to express both how all human beings are destined for communion with Christ (cf. LG 3.13; GS 19.32), and the universal call to holiness (cf. LG 39-42) (Lumen Gentium), locating individual vocations within this interpretative horizon: vocations to the ordained ministry and consecrated life, as well as lay vocations (cf. LG 31), especially in their spousal form (cf. LG 35; GS 48.49.52). Subsequent magisterial teaching developed along the same lines, recognizing the analogical character of the term “vocation” and the many dimensions that characterize the reality it designates with respect to each personal mission, and to the communion of all people.” (Document fails to identify the “subsequent magisterial teaching” to which they are referring.)

115.        For those who accept and draw inspiration from it, Christian wisdom offers valuable instruments such as the Word, the teachings of the Church and spiritual accompaniment; these are all aids to interact with the living norm that is Jesus, to get to know him intimately to the point of “having his heart”. Therefore, a true journey of discernment requires a listening and praying attitude, meekness towards our teacher and the willingness to make tough decisions. This is also what the young people of the Pre-synodal Meeting have discussed: «Spending time in silence, introspection and prayer, as well as reading the Scriptures and deepening self-knowledge are opportunities very few young people exercise. There is a need for a better introduction to these areas. Engaging with faith-based groups, movements, and like-minded communities can also assist young people in their discernment» (PM 9). A fundamental step in this direction is practicing what the tradition calls “examination of conscience”, which actually aims to make people aware of the signs of God’s presence and enables them to recognize his voice in the practicalities of our daily lives. For this reason, Pope Francis recommends this practice to all Christians, and even more so, to young people who are trying to find their way: «I ask all Christians not to omit, in dialogue with the Lord who loves us, a sincere daily “examination of conscience”» (GE 169) (Gaudium et Spes). Within this dialogue with Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, what one DV (Vatican Dicastery) wishes for young people can indeed take place: «A formation of their affectivity, that might help them to connect more to good and truth rather than their comforts and interests». (OK, I can get on board with GE being a magisterial document.  But, again, simply mentioning a magisterial teaching doesn’t mean that the critique about the document being “premised on the belief that the principal role of the magisterial Church is “listening.”) 

193.        In some contexts, catechesis takes place in schools and therefore the teaching of religion is very important for young people’s vocational growth. All this is an invitation to the Synod to think about the relationship between schools and Christian communities as educational alliances.

Those who do not agree with them, still wish to be part of the Church anyhow, and ask for greater clarity on this issue. Hence, the PM asks church leaders to «speak in practical terms about controversial subjects such as homosexuality and gender issues, which young people are already freely discussing without taboo» (PM 11). (Not even sure where he was going with this reference.)

Back to Cupich’s lame rebuttal:

Additionally, the critique falsifies the truth when the author focuses singularly on paragraph 144, relying on the fallacy that the absence of a matter in one paragraph means it is absent throughout the entire document. The anonymous author writes: “Nowhere, however, does it note there must also enlarge this view with the great certainty that there is a God, that he loves them, and that he wills their eternal good.” Yet the document recommends that we turn to the varied activities of God 78 times.

Cupich continues…

Then there is the section about naturalism and the absence of soul; just more examples of false reporting. The document refers to the body or embodiment on 20 occasions and 71 times on the spiritual.

I’m not sure why Cardinal Cupich is saying the author focuses “singularly on paragraph 144.” Even in the section where the author critiques paragraph 144, he cites several other paragraphs. It’s like he’s just going to say “Poof!  I make it true!” and hope nobody looks. In addition, I can’t stop laughing.  Cardinal Cupich seems to have hit control-F and wrote down the count for times “God” used instead of comprehending the entire quote.  Honestly, are his followers this dumb, or does he just think they are? I mean, I’ve seen atheists write entire articles with the name “God” throughout, but that doesn’t mean they accept the thought that God loves them and wills their eternal good. 

Instead of quoting in context, point by point, and disproving the points with actual points from the Instrumentum laboris, Cardinal Cupich does word counts for his smoking gun.  Sigh. Use your head, people. The author of the critique actually went painstakingly through the Instrumentum laboris and Cupich hit control-F and entered in “God”, “body”, and “embodiment” but I’m relatively sure that American Magazine and the National catholic Reporter will find Cardinal Cupich’s “arguments” to be THE most compelling arguments every made in the history of man! Sigh.

Seriously, here is the evil, anonymous author’s critique, in context:

  1. Naturalism

The IL displays a pervasive focus on socio-cultural elements, to the exclusion of deeper religious and moral issues. Though the document expresses the desire to “re-read” “concrete realities” “in the light of the faith and the experience of the Church (§4),” the IL regrettably fails to do so. Specific examples:

  • 52. After a discussion of the contemporary instrumentalized conception of the body and its effects of “early sexual activity, multiple sexual partners, digital pornography, exhibiting bodies online and sexual tourism,” the document laments only its “disfiguring the beauty and depth of affective and sex life.” No mention is made about the disfigurement of the soul, its consequent spiritual blindness, and impact on the reception of the gospel by the one so wounded.
  • 144. There is much discussion about what young people want; little about how these wants must be transformed by grace in a life that conforms to God’s will for their lives. After pages of analysis of their material conditions, the IL offers no guidance on how these material concerns might be elevated and oriented toward their supernatural end. Though the IL does offer some criticism of exclusively materialistic/utilitarian goals (§147), the majority of the document painstakingly catalogues the varied socio-economic and cultural realities of young adults while offering no meaningful reflection on spiritual, existential, or moral concerns. The reader may easily conclude that the latter are of no importance to the Church. The IL rightfully notes that the Church must encourage youth “to abandon the constant search for small certainties (§145).” Nowhere, however, does it note that she must also enlarge this view with the great certainty that there is a God, that he loves them, and that he wills their eternal good.

This naturalism is also evidenced in the document’s preoccupation with the following considerations: globalization (§10); advocating for the Church’s role in creating “responsible citizens” rather than saints (§147) and preparing youth for their role in society (§135); secular goals for education (§149); promoting sustainability and other secular goals (§152-154); promoting “social and political engagement” as a “true vocation” (§156); encouragement of “networking” as a role of the Church.

The hope of the gospel is noticeably missing. In §166, in the context of a discussion of sickness and suffering, a disabled man is quoted: “you are never prepared enough to live with a disability: it prompts you to ask questions about your own life, and wonder about your finiteness.” These are existential questions for which the Church possesses the answers. The IL never responds to this quotation with a discussion of the Cross, redemptive suffering, providence, sin, or the Divine Love. The IL is similarly weak on the question of death in §171: suicide is described as merely “unfortunate,” and no attempt is made to correlate it to the failures of a materialistic ethos. This is also seen in the tepid treatment of addiction (§49-50).

Just to show he can cite the Magisterium Cardinal Cupich goes on…

I will close with a quotation from the Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 3 from the Second Vatican Council, which St. Pope John Paul II cited in paragraph 32 of Ut Unum Sint: “As the Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom affirms: ‘Truth … is to be sought after in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and his social nature. The inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching or instruction, communication and dialogue, in the course of which men explain to one another the truth they have discovered, or think they have discovered, in order thus to assist one another in the quest for truth. Moreover, as the truth is discovered, it is by a personal assent that individuals are to adhere to it.” 

Exactly. Teaching, instruction, communication and dialogue doesn’t equal control-F. The author of the critique went through Instrumentum Laboris and gave it a quite thorough read.

What is needed is a concern for the church that is animated by a love for truth. What is needed is the spirit of synodality that Pope Francis has made the very heart of the Church’s upcoming moment of dialogue and teaching in search of ways to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the next generations.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich

Archbishop of Chicago”

What’s needed, in charity, is to cancel this debacle before the youth of the world are led astray! Sorry youth. I’m not against a gathering for you but this one is already off the rails.

I’ll let Archbishop Chaput complete the smackdown:

I’m grateful to Cardinal Cupich for his useful comments, and as I indicated in my own original comments, “others may disagree” with the critique of the Instrumentum I quoted. I do not. In fact the critique I selected is among the most charitable I’ve received from scholars; others have been longer, more thorough, and less gentle in assessing the 33,000-word text. But this is not unusual. A synod’s Instrumentum is always—or at least should always be—a work in progress, open to discussion and adjustment by the Synod Fathers. I’m sure we can count on that process in the upcoming synod conversation. As to the anonymous nature of the critique: I certainly agree with the cardinal that unnamed sources can be regrettable. So is the toxic environment in many of our academic communities that makes them necessary.

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Archbishop of Philadelphia

BAM!  Apparently Cardinal Cupich doesn’t remember that people have been fired by the likes of his cronies for offering honest critique. These guys might find themselves permanent residents of St. Luke’s Institute. “Toxic environment” is dead on. If you want to engage in honest discourse, how about you stop throwing out-and-out hissy fits every time someone disagrees with you? Egomania is a sure way to stop people from engaging in fruitful discussion, Your Eminence! #ResignNow

Come Into My Parlor Said the Spider to the Fly

I’ve been sitting here watching how this shakes out and have asked around to find out if, indeed, Fr. Kalchik was told to go to St. Luke’s Institute.  It appears he was, but the diocese ain’t saying (kind of shady), so it’s only a guess.  I am sooo glad somebody finally addressed this:  http://wdtprs.com/blog/2018/09/read-and-weep-soviet-style-psych-tactics-used-against-priests-by-bishops/  However, I’d also like to tackle it specifically in light of Fr. Kalchik’s circumstances. For all that has transpired in this case, this is the most heinous thing.  His is a unique case, although I suspect there are more priests out there who have suffered as much as he.

First of all, I don’t think many people know about St. Luke’s Institute.  That place should have been burned down years ago.  Nobody should be sent there, much less someone who has suffered as much as Fr. Kalchik.  It’s founder, Fr. Michael Peterson, was an openly same-sex attracted psychiatrist who, as an openly same-sex attracted guy, still entered the priesthood.  While the institute was opened to help clergy and religious suffering from alcohol and drug dependency, two short years later it became the place to send abusing priests.  And this is where the “it’s all pedophilia” mantra started to come into play.  Fr. Michael Peterson was not going to be the guy to admit it went far beyond pedophilia.  Pedophilia has been a minute part of the crisis. To his credit, he warned that the recidivism rate was going to be high, yet he still couldn’t admit a vast amount of same-sex attracted men were putting themselves in a constant near occasion of sin.

A few presidents later came Fr. Canice Connor, who infamously said, “It is so rare as to be unreported that a priest has ever used violence in abusing a child. We are not involved with the dynamics of rape, but with the far subtler dynamics of persuasion by a friend.  We must be aware that the child still sometimes retains a loving memory of the offender.”  Oy. Epic, epic fail.

Then we have Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault who stole money for himself and his male lover.  But yeah, let’s keep sending people to St. Luke’s.

Phil Lawler details some of this and more, years before all of this recent crud came to light: https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1445
Finally, there’s all that was covered in Fr. Z’s blog linked above.  St. Luke’s Institute has an abysmal track record for acknowledging the root of the problem, returning offenders to active ministry, and they can’t even keep their own faculty in line, not to mention their persecution of orthodox priests for not getting in line with the homosexual lifestyle and liberal agenda. In short, for many bishops, it’s a re-education camp, pure and simple.

So, let’s think about this.  Why would anyone send a victim of homosexual rape and molestation to place that, apparently, is quite full of rapists and molesters?  What a completely sadistic idea! Talk about abusive.  We’re not just talking about someone Cardinal Cupich and club would deem “rigid.”  We’re talking about a person who is twice a victim of sexual attacks by homosexuals.  But, hey, let’s send Fr. Kalchik to live with people who are just like his attackers. So loving.  That is simply an extremely devious and sick idea. Cardinal Cupich I trying to play the loving father role.  He’s banking on the fact that most don’t know what St. Luke’s is. I’m going to do my part to see that isn’t the case.  I’m really done letting people get away with this. St. Luke’s needs a psychologist just for their HR department!

Yes, I realize that there are priests and religious at St. Luke’s who are being treated for things other than breaking their vows of celibacy, chastity, and attacking people.  That said, there are many other treatment options.  St. Luke’s is unnecessary.  For any good it may have done, it’s also done a boatload of irreparable harm to many a good priest because it has a big ol’ conflict of interest all the way around.  Cardinals and bishops with their own complexes should no longer be able to get rid of their problem priest by sending them off for psychiatric imprisonment (care would not be the word) at a facility the Church funds.

#ResignNow

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?

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

 

The Top-Tier Villains

This!  Please read every last page of it. 

 https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4784141/TESTIMONYXCMVX-XENGLISH-CORRECTED-FINAL-VERSION.pdf

If you want to know what needs to be done, it’s this.  Good men need to step up and shed some light on the truth. WHO IS NEXT?!  Collegiality for the sake of collegiality and at great cost to the victims has got to stop.  I think we can all understand if a predator has gotten away with something under your reign due to their sly ways and insufficient evidence but the silence has got to stop no matter the personal cost to you.

With the exception of Wuerl who I had truly hoped was turning around after a few good statements, we have ranted against every single one of the American losers here at great length.  Their deceit, malfeasance and general stupidity is not a secret in any way.  Let’s go down the list:

McCarrick

Tobin (NOT Thomas Tobin)

Wuerl

Cupich

McElroy

Mahony

Farrell

O’Malley

And last but not least…

Martin

I would also add a few more but they’re more like the wallflower wannabees in the popular kids’ club. These are the dirty deed doers and EVERYONE KNOWS IT!  Think about it, it’s so well-known that a housewife from Nowhereville has the same top-tier villain list.

Thank you Archbishop Vigano!  I know your enemies are already preparing to mount an offensive.  I’ve already seen the warning shots.  Thank you for not remaining silent even though you know hell is headed your way.  In your kindness, dear readers, please keep him in your prayers.

And, please, dear good bishops and cardinals, don’t let leave him hanging all by himself.  If you know something, say it.  This is a time for true transparency instead of all the talk.

Oh, and yeah, by and large, this is an active homosexual problem or so says the hundreds of pages in the grand jury report.  Some should stop being so gleeful when a woman or child is raped or molested just so you can parrot the party line “Stop scapegoating homosexuals!”  It’s quite a sick tactic.  Stop wagering on the hope that nobody will bother to read for themselves.  If you really had the victims in mind you would take the first easy step of vetting seminarians for homosexual tendencies and adhering to the directives already in place.  I can tell you that 80% of the victims if would have been thankful to have had that done before their horror stories happened.

#stopthesilence #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