New Approach or Sales Pitch?

Oooh! I love this one!  https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/03/19/god-save-them/  Sometimes youth can be exasperating – which of us wasn’t in our youth? – but I also find them completely fascinating. If you don’t spend much time with them, you should. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend your own on most days, but find somebody else’s who might not as easily roll their eyes at you. Face it, the person who tells you to do the dishes, put away the laundry, or mow the lawn rarely gets a fair shake when it comes to discussing, say, morality in our day and age. If you do, you can gain some interesting insights and have some great conversations.
 

God Save Them

Robert Royal

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

It’s a verifiable fact that not all politicians are hypocrites. When they begin to worry, publicly, about what’s happening “to the children,” some are genuinely concerned. Public talk about young people, however, is often a form of ventriloquism – by which the opinions (or alleged opinions) of “youth” are used as a voice to advance things that people in authority already want to do.

I’m pretty sure Americans get this in the wake of the Florida shooting. We’ve pretty much been beaten by the main stream media into that conclusion. You want to know how to solve the social ills in America? Ask a teenager, they’ve got all the answers. Well, of course, unless it’s a teen who’s taken the time to actually think about issues. Those kids? Just ignore.

The Vatican is organizing a Synod on Youth (scheduled for this October) and I’m convinced that the percentage of the people involved who are sincere is quite high, relative to the typical crop of democratic politicos. Which is why it’s counterproductive when they start using the cant of politicians about “listening,” not just doing something “for” but being “with” youth.

OK, Robert Royal has a little more hope than I do for who is running the Synod on Youth.  I’m a little more skeptical. Oh, you are too???  I cannot imagine why.

“When I was young, I would have found this sort of thing – adults acting like they needed to learn something from me – pathetic, indeed highly suspect. Maybe young people have changed deep down, but somehow I doubt it.

Amen to that! I’d definitely say that I believe youth like to be heard. They like to give their opinions. They like to have a cause, but if you think that they believe for an instance that they can’t see through pandering, get a clue. Sadly, many of the people in the synods, as of late, are professional panderers. Or, maybe, serial panderers is more descriptive.

Listening to young people can be a good thing – depending on who’s doing the listening, and why. Fr. James Martin “listens” to young people with various sexual disorders, particularly at events like “IgnatianQ” conferences, which are sexual and gender diversity events organized now at Jesuit universities. They’re intended to make young people think that LGBTQetc. is just fine – even fine with Jesus Himself. And that people who think otherwise are bigoted, hate-filled, un-Christian.

BAM! That’s calling a spade a spade. The minions (my pet name for the those undermining Church teachings) are masters at advancing their agenda, and like every good advancer of agendas, right or wrong, true or untrue, they put forward a victim. In the minions case, they like to put forth martyrs. The kids are just the latest group to whom those faithful to Church teaching are mean. I mean, really, faithful Catholics are ignoring and uncaring about the thoughts of youth. There’s never been a single program for them in the Church. And, certainly, there’s never, ever been a pope as caring about the youth as Pope Francis.  Except there has. Seriously, does ANYONE remember Pope John Paul II??? You know, the founder of World Youth Day??? He was AWESOME with youth and gave them a mission like nobody else. Most of the amazing, faithful youth speakers of today were inspired by him.

If he were alive today, that ex-military man St. Ignatius would doubtless take vigorous – and very different – action than his latter-day descendants about these things, which are of as great moment as the Reformation he battled, perhaps greater.

He would probably do something very much like what Karol Wojtyla, now St. John Paul, famously did with his canoeing and hiking trips – meetings with young people, which included Mass, confessions, spiritual counseling. He “accompanied” by telling the truth of Catholicism. Not browbeating but, after clearly laying out the arguments, he would tell them “you must decide” the path you will follow. That actually worked. The accompaniment moved many young people – not to accept the unacceptable, but to saving truth and action.

EXACTLY!  “Be not afraid!” started off JPII’s papacy.  It didn’t start with the doom and gloom that we see from all the liberal lobbyists running around today. Back in JPII’s day, there wouldn’t be a team whining, “Everything should be totally easy for you!  We’ve been so mean to you!” There were people saying salvation is tough and here’s what we have for you to achieve it. Join us! Like Royal says, true accompaniment.

The world desperately needs 10,000 such “accompaniers” – today, yesterday, every year, for decades to come. Manly men not afraid to talk about submitting to God’s will; compassionate but tough-minded women who won’t shrink from countering our sad culture, even sometimes within the Church.

That’s what we try to do for our children and for all youth with whom we are in contact.  We simply want them to see the truth through all of the lies, pandering and sales pitches from the Fr. Martins of the world. (Yeah, he’s a category now.)

There’s a planning session about the Youth Synod this week – and I’m here, for the next few days, in Rome. So far, I don’t have the impression that we’ll see much of that Wojtyla-type listening and acting. (As in the past, I may post some reports here if developments warrant.) What we already have is a lot of weak sociology, as we also saw before the two Synods on marriage. No one should be surprised if this event turns into something quite different than planned.

Color me shocked. Prepare for an undermining of truth.  Personally, I expect it to go off EXACTLY as planned. Or, should I say, contrived?

There have been surveys of course, and there’s to be participation of young people via Facebook. As is true for almost any public question these days, it’s not very hard to make survey numbers say almost anything you want. Religious surveys are particularly tricky because who you choose to ask – serious Catholics, nominal Catholics, the spiritually indifferent – makes a big difference in results, even before the interpretative spin starts. 

What? No Instagram or Twitter? No #hearme or Snapchat filter has been made? Psh! I’m pretty sure the ”interpretive spin” has already started. I’m pretty sure that the whole “Synod on Youth” is just a manipulative move.

The most salient fact here is that young people in developed countries have been effectively catechized – by the secular state, the media, popular culture, and public schools – to be skeptical about truth claims, but to believe firmly in two things: that science has refuted religion, and the sexual revolution.

There’s been a little pushback on the sexual revolution. Some Millennials have suffered from divorce or weakened families and seem to have taken flight to more stable views of marriage and parenting. But we shouldn’t be overly optimistic about this still early trend; Eros unbound continues to tear up the social fabric of developed nations.

Millennials say, however, that the most common reason they abandon religion is that they believe “science” (and the quite useful technologies it spins off) has proven faith is an illusion. This belief is, itself, of course, an illusion, conjured up out of quite weak reasoning: you don’t have to be a believer to know that faith and science – properly understood – are two different things, neither reducible or refutable by the other.

When I run down a list of Catholic scientists who were major contributors to scientific discovery, you almost have to pick up jaws off the floor. Whaaatttt??? No! No! The Church is totally against science because, well, Galileo! The liberal spin is high with millennials. It’s not insurmountable but you actually have to believe in truth, unlike the minions whose truth it completely squishy.

But to understand this distinction takes some careful thinking – and where now is that taught?

Thankfully it’s happening in more and more places as the groovy club who were ordained mid-last century die off. 

Love and mercy – the field hospital in the pope’s striking image – are two fine Christian realities, and they do an end run around reflex resistance to religion. But if they don’t then go on to the main event, aren’t bolstered by some hard thinking, they won’t long remain Christian – or even realities, as we’re seeing in the increased social brittleness and angry polarization around us.

Yup! It doesn’t help that parents, who are the front line in countering this, have bought into the idea that we shouldn’t say anything or, worse yet, they weren’t taught anything themselves. Nobody ever said it would be easy and heaven knows it isn’t pleasant, but we can’t give up or give into this thought. We have to educate ourselves, too, since we were one of the first generations who experienced the happy-clappy education which was anything but education about our beautiful Church. As I’ve said before, there’s a reason I homeschool. In most areas, if you are leaving it up to the local parish or Catholic school to educate your children, you are making a big mistake. My poor parents had to do a lot of undoing what the parish and schools did to their kids.  

Under the circumstances, there’s a strong temptation to believe that reducing the demands of love and mercy, by downplaying their Christian foundations, will draw people in. Thomas Jefferson, no stupid man, wrote to a friend in the 1780s, “I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its conscience to neither kings or priests, the genuine doctrine of only one God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian.” The latest Pew Survey says Unitarians are 0.3 percent of the U.S. population – maybe 600,000 in the whole world.

There is little to be expected from the liberal path, as not only Unitarians but the liberal Protestants know. The Synod has taken on a massive task under highly unfavorable circumstances. Sure, being “with” young people may keep the usual barriers down – at first. But the harder part is what comes next – the way, truth, life.

We’ve been in “I’m OK, you’re OK” mode for decades now. This isn’t some new and unique tactic, and belief is at an all-time low because of it. But, by all means, let’s ignore the hard truth and go with nice and pleasant.

It will be a miracle if the Synod can make progress against so much resistance, not least in the Church Herself. But as every Christian should always remember: miracles do still happen. Pray. Hard.

A miracle is totally needed and something we should all pray for lest it turn out like the last synod. My guess is some are rushing to grab their millstones.  

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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 

The Tale of Two Priests’ Videos

If you are reading this and you suffer from same-sex attraction or you know someone who does (and who doesn’t?), please watch the videos described/linked below.  Yes, one is short and one is very long, but even if you watch only the first few minutes of Fr. Schmitz’ video, you will see a stark contrast between two priests, Fr. Schmitz and Fr. James Martin, SJ.

Look very carefully at what both priests are saying.  One is trying to sow seeds of division between you and the Church, while one is trying to get you to join us all in our struggle for everlasting life.  One is trying to pit you against the Church by creating a you-or-me story line, but the other is trying to say “Join us as WE struggle TOGETHER.”  One wants you to lean on an organization that is diametrically opposed to Church teaching on same-sex attraction (the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have both said New Ways Ministry is not a Catholic organization), and the other wants you to lean on the Church.

Because I really want you to watch the Fr. Schmitz video, I’m going to cover him first.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWZ171V0wEQ  It’s crucial for us to see the truth.  While Fr. Martin wants you to believe you should have everything you want, the way you want it and never have to have sorrow in your life, Fr. Schmitz tells you the real deal and, more importantly, where to get the help you truly need to reach your ultimate joy!   While Fr. Martin wants you to “come out”, Fr. Schmitz wants you to seek counsel and support.  What is it with Fr. Martin and “coming out” anyway?!?  Does he want us all to stand up and shout out our proclivities that lead us away from God, or does he just want those suffering from same-sex attraction to do so?  Honestly, he’s accepted more than just a few proclivities. Is he going to encourage us to say, “I’m addicted to pornography!  Tell me it’s just great!”? Or how about, “I have food addictions or eating disorders. Accept me because that’s who I am!”? Maybe “I’m attracted to my fellow pew sitter’s wife!  Cheer me on!”?  Of course not, although it might just be the slippery slope he doesn’t see coming because, in his need to justify his pet sin, love is love, right?  No, we are not our proclivities.

Back to Fr. Schmitz.  He’s willing to tell you the truth/doctrine that we are bodies and souls together. Fr. Martin, on the other hand, wants you to believe that God created confusion and chaos when he made you by constantly putting your soul at odds with your body, and it is only if you accept that this is how God made you (and we the rest of the faithful accept that, too), then you will be at peace.  Fr. Mike very clearly states what the Church has always stated.  Same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, but to act on it is.  Fr. Martin wants you to believe that people in the Church say that simply experiencing same-sex attraction is sinful.  He has intimated this more times than I can think in his effort to divide.  Fr. Martin wants you to believe that your experience is your identity.  If that’s the case, we are all in serious trouble.

Finally, the very last part of Fr. Schmitz’s video – and I want you to watch, so I won’t tell you the specifics – totally and utterly destroys Fr. Martin’s usual tall tale that all of the people who don’t accept homosexual activities just don’t know any people who suffer from same-sex attraction. Just try to tell Fr. Schmitz that, Fr. Martin.   As Father Mike points out, not accepting every single decision someone makes about their lives doesn’t equal hate in any way, shape, or form.  Father Martin, on the other hand, sells it as hateful.   Here’s another video that furthers combats a lot of Fr. Martin’s suggestions about the Church. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXcFVwq3epo It is a direct response to Fr. Martin, as you will see, although he’s a lot nicer than I am.

I know many people really don’t pay attention to Fr. Martin and don’t understand why people would, as he puts it, be so mean to him.  To help you understand, please take another 10 minutes or so to watch Fr. Martin’s ridiculous commercial for New Ways Ministry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdO87dmgMMk You know what I felt like when I was watching it?  I felt like I was watching satan whispering “The Church hates you.  The Church rejects you.  The Church condemns you.  The Church doesn’t love you.  The Church is against you.  The Church’s religious convictions aren’t welcoming.  The Church makes you and outsider.  You are alone, marginalized, and left out all because of the Church and her teachings.  The Church is telling you that you don’t belong.  The Church is trying to take away your Sacramental Grace.”  Honestly, it was just awful and evil.  The only thing this video did was prey upon the fears that, quite frankly, most of us have.  And what was his solution?  His solution is to say, if you can’t find a Church that feels welcoming, run into the arms of New Ways Ministry.  The kicker?  If you can’t find a “welcoming” church (he never actually defines what that is) because of all the mean, callous, and abusive priests and church officials, look for a “spiritual home” that is welcoming, wherever that may be.  Seriously?  Who’s the person trying to rob people of Sacramental Grace?!?!?!  Last time I checked, you can only find that in the Church, but you just told them to go elsewhere, Fr. Martin!

So there you have it.  Two views from two VERY different priests.  One chooses to pit us against each other in a me/them fashion, and one who chooses to bring us together in the “WE” that we are.  Do you want to be part of something bigger than any one of us?  Join the struggle we all have against satan, and join us in the struggle to gain everlasting life.  Fr. Martin has always been very short-sighted.  Nobody ever told us life wouldn’t be hard.  It was Christ himself who said “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”  It wasn’t “If any man will come after me, let him have all of his desires and joys and follow me.”  What we will gain in heaven is far more than we will ever gain on earth. #MadeForLove

Same wRECk, Different Year

Oh, for heaven’s sake!  It’s a new year, yet it’s still the same Los Angeles train wreck!  http://cal-catholic.com/los-angeles-archdiocese-promotes-lgbt-agenda-at-religious-education-congress/  Seriously, I’m done hoping there’ll be any change there, since it seems Archbishop Gomez has given up trying to do anything positive in the Los Angeles Archdiocese other than to let the good, faithful priests do their own thing.   This conference is the biggest exporter of crud in the United States, and the continued failure to bring it under control is destined to lead to the ruin of more souls.  Sadly, more people might actually have to join Joseph Sciambra outside and launch an all-out protest to get anything done.  I hope anyone pumping money into the archdiocese has come to the same conclusion and just focuses on funding the faithful bastions. While they’re at it, they might want to drop a nice little note to the archbishop explaining why the money is going bye-bye.  Not only does the LA Train REC appear to be more of the same, but much of the good has been stripped away.  I’m not sure how Archbishop Gomez could punt on this and sleep at night.

Since it’s just the same who’s who of dissenting morons again this year, let me just repost these and save myself some typing:

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

Los Angeles Re-Education Congress

 

 

 

Fr. Martin Scores Another One for the Opposition!

Father James Martin: Lessons for all Catholics from six L.G.B.T. parables 

James Martin, S.J.

March 05, 2018

Since the first edition of my book Building a Bridge, about L.G.B.T. Catholics, was published last June, I have been privileged to speak at many parishes, colleges, retreat houses and conferences. At each venue, L.G.B.T. people and their families and friends have shared their experiences with me. Some were so powerful that they have become almost like parables for me. In the revised and expanded edition of the book, published this month, I share six of these stories.

We all knew it but, once again, Fr. Martin shows us that the god-complex is strong with him.  If these are parables (which by definition don’t even come close) then who is he again? Oh yeah, Christ. I keep forgetting. Did you ever notice that people who keep trying to draw parallels between themselves and Christ or the true martyrs are usually the ones who are legends in their own minds? Sorry. He is neither Christ nor a martyr except in his own little story. I always feel a little bad for Fr. Martin. I get the impression that he gets up every morning and thinks “How can I be perceived as Christ-like?” rather than “How can I BE Christ-like?”

In his now-famous definition, the biblical scholar C. H. Dodd said that a parable was a story designed to “tease the mind into active thought.” Stories have the capacity to open our minds in a way definitions cannot. This is one reason Jesus used parables extensively in his public ministry, as a way of inviting his listeners to see life from a new perspective.

Isn’t it fitting the Fr. Martin chooses a Protestant theologian? Heck, I don’t have a problem with Dodd’s comment but Fr. Martin’s twist on why the parables? Meh.  Honestly, wouldn’t you think it just the opposite of what Fr. Martin was saying? Christ wasn’t trying to propose that his disciples see things from a new perspective but he used something they were very familiar with to get his point across.

Christ actually explains it quite well in Matthew 13.

  18 The parable of the sower, then, is for your hearing. 19 Wherever a man hears the word by which the kingdom is preached, but does not grasp it, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart; his was the wayside sowing. 20 The man who took in the seed in rocky ground is the man who hears the word and at once entertains it gladly; 21 but there is no root in him, and he does not last long; no sooner does tribulation or persecution arise over the word, than his faith is shaken. 22 And the man who took in the seed in the midst of briers is the man who hears the word, but allows the cares of this world and the false charms of riches to stifle it, so that it remains fruitless. 23 Whereas the man who took in the seed in good soil is the man who both hears and grasps it; such men are fruitful, one grain yielding a hundredfold, one sixtyfold, one thirtyfold.

Fr. Martin seems to be the one who encourages seed planting on the path, on rocky ground and in the midst of briers of, say, New Ways Ministry or America Magazine instead of the fertile ground of the Church. Noooo! The Church, well, that’s where are the meanies are unless he can convert her to his methodologies. Gag! At this point, let me take the time to point out a few newish things that came to my attention in the past couple of weeks. If you have a chance, do yourself a favor and get Fr. Michael “Amazingly Nice Guy” Schmitz’s book “Made for Love” https://www.ignatius.com/Made-for-Love-P1693.aspx and Avera Maria Santo’s blog https://couragegulfcoast.wixsite.com/blog More of this please Catholic writers and bloggers! Let’s put Fr. Martin out of the business. He wants the Church to address this issue? DO IT!

I hope these few stories about L.G.B.T. Catholics tease your mind into active thought.”

Stories have the capacity to open our minds in a way definitions cannot.

Oh, your use of these stories, Fr. Martin, certainly has “teased my mind into active though!” Not what you were going for?!

 1. One of my oldest friends is a gay man named Mark, who was once a member of a Catholic religious order. About 20 years ago, after Mark left the order, he came out as a gay man and began living with his partner, with whom he is now legally married. His partner has a serious, long-term illness, and Mark has cared for him for many years with great devotion and loving-kindness.

What can we learn from Mark about love?

Well, we can learn from Mark that after 20+ years you have failed to lead one of your oldest friends and his “partner/husband” away from a sinful and dangerous lifestyle. So, all that love and acceptance you’ve thrown his way has done what to bring him about to the chaste lifestyle and the teachings of the Church?!?!?! Unless, of course, that was never your plan in the first place. Geez, Fr. Martin. In all your haughtiness, you just missed that you’ve proven my point and the point of thousands of others. Bravo!

2. An elderly man told me that his grandson recently came out to him as a gay man. I asked what he had said in response. He said that he had suspected for some time that his grandson was gay, and so when his grandson sat down to tell him, before a word was even on the young man’s lips, the grandfather said, “I love you no matter what you’re about to say.”

What can we learn from this grandfather about compassion?

I would think this what would come out of the mouths of most Catholics despite what YOU tell people. What I want to know is what did Grandpa say AFTER his grandson came out? Did he tell him to lean on the Church to carry that burden or did he say “Hopefully the Church will one day get with the program?”

3. After a talk I gave at a Catholic college in Philadelphia, a young man told me that the first person to whom he came out as a gay man was a Catholic priest. During a high school retreat, he decided to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality, but he was so nervous that he was “literally shaking.” The first thing the priest said to him was “Jesus loves you. And your church accepts you.” The young man told me, “It saved my life.”

What can we learn from this priest about acceptance?

And here’s where Fr. Martin uses his usual ambiguity. Did the priest say “The Church accepts you and wants to help you to live a chaste life and to help you get to heaven!” or did the priest say “The Church loves you and give the gay lifestyle the thumbs up because you have to do what your conscience tells you formed or not!” as you ambiguously intimate all the time? See, there’s a bit of a difference. I don’t know a priest who would tell someone suffering from SSA (same-sex attraction) that they are not loved and accepted. Are the loving ones going to leave it up in the air as to whether or not the gay lifestyle is conducive to gaining everlasting life? No, the good ones are going to lovingly explain what the Church has explained a million times. While he can’t wait to point out the word “disordered” you cannot seem to ever bring himself to quote this:

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

 

4. A woman in her 80s, with snowy white hair and apple cheeks, came to my book-signing table after a talk I had given in Connecticut and said, “Father, I have something to tell you.” The focus of the talk had been on Jesus, not on L.G.B.T. issues specifically. I thought she might share an insight about Jesus or tell me that she had been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Instead she said, “Father, I have a grandchild who is transgender, and I love her so much. All I want is for her to feel welcome in the church.”

What can we learn from this grandmother about faith?

I think I’ve learned Grandma might have forgotten the teachings of the Church. Really?  That’s ALL she wants for her granddaughter?!?!?!?! How about everlasting life?!?!?! That could have been the moment when a grandmother was encouraged to make many sacrifices on her granddaughter’s behalf with the time she had left. There really, really could have been a beautiful story there but feeling welcome always seems to be the be all and end all with Fr. Martin. In case he missed it, quite a few saints died never once praying that they felt happy and welcome. Sigh.

5. At a parish in Boston, a gay man and a lesbian woman were invited to respond to my lecture on L.G.B.T. Catholics, in the spirit of fostering a real conversation. In her response, the lesbian woman, named Maggie, chose to discuss a reflection question that appears at the end of my book: “When you think about your sexual orientation or gender identity, what word do you use?” My intention was to invite readers to reflect on biblical passages about names and naming and encourage them to “name” their sexuality.

So I had expected words like “gay,” “lesbian” and “bisexual.” But that night in the parish, Maggie said that when she read that question and thought of her sexuality, she thought of the word “joy.” It was such a surprise!

What can we learn from Maggie about sexuality?

What in the what?! First of all, what was the REAL intention, Fr. Martin? Having read a lot of Fr. Martin, I’m reasonably sure he was going with his skewed version of the story of Bartimaeus.  It’s such a beautiful story in its non-paraphrased form but Fr. Martin cannot see the difference in desiring a healing and desiring something sinful and he seems to lead people to believe they are one and the same.  https://www.facebook.com/FrJamesMartin/photos/a.139618381495.120357.46899546495/10153096616691496/?type=3&theater

What can we learn from these stories? What does God want to teach us?

There you go again. You does not = God.

6. And perhaps the biggest surprise: On that same evening in Boston, a couple stayed afterward to have their book signed. One was a transgender woman—that is, a woman who had begun her life as a man. The other was a cisgender woman—that is, someone born a woman who is still a woman. (I have tried to be mindful of contemporary terminology, though I recognize that these terms get dated quickly.)

The cisgender woman told me that the two had been married for many years, which confused me, since same-sex marriage had not been legal for that long in Massachusetts. She sensed my confusion, smiled and said, “I married her when she was still a man.”

I was reduced to stunned silence. Here was an apparently straight woman who had married a straight man who was now a woman. How had she done it? “Love is love,” she said.

Here is a marriage that almost every church official would probably consider “irregular,” to use the official ecclesiastical term. Yet it was a model of faithfulness. Even after one partner had “transitioned,” the marriage was still intact.

What can we learn from them about fidelity?

Faithfulness/fidelity to what?!?! Disorder all the way around?

Overall, what can we learn from these stories? Where are we invited to see life in a new way? What does God want to teach us?

I’ve learned there are many souls out there that need more of Fr. Schmitz and Avera Maria Santo and far, far less of Fr. James Martin, SJ.

This Beautiful Week in Review

I’ve started about five articles in the past week, but all seemed a bit passé two seconds after the final edit was done.  (Sorry to my editor!) There’s been rapid fire goodness and I just couldn’t keep up!  In short, it’s been a very good week in the faith. Why? Well, it’s certainly not because everyone is getting it right.  It’s because people are correcting what is wrong.  Here are some of the great articles of the week. (Sorry if I missed any.)

On the topic of Cardinal Blase Cupich’s errors and, apparently, the buzz phrase talking points all good liberals are repeating – “paradigm shift”:

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/02/21/cardinal-cupichs-revolutionary-conscience/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/cardinal-cupich-misreads-vatican-ii-conscience

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2018/02/16/worried-about-cardinal-cupichs-paradigm-shift-just-stick-to-the-teaching-of-the-church/#.WocU2t4Kxoc.twitter

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/02/16/cupich-and-conscience/

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/16/those-cupich-seminars-why-now/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/cardinal-cupichs-modernist-view-family#.WocgnO-Smqk.facebook

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/15/on-cardinal-cupichs-problematic-convenient-conscience/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/clarity-cardinal-cupich#.WoRjnrkvhIQ.facebook

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2018/02/14/cardinal-cupich-lecture/

And, of course, all these articles point to the fact that Cardinal Cupich is THE last guy who should ever be doing this: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/12/cardinal-cupich-launches-amoris-laetitia-seminars-for-us-bishops/

I’m hoping with these next two items, that we’ll move on to “Rebuke Fr. Martin Week” or “Rebuke Cardinal Mahoney Year”.  My preference? Let’s go with Martin now that one of his heroes (Cardinal Roger “Religious Education Congress” Mahony) has crawled back into the hole from whence he came.  It might have been nice if he had never been invited, but then again, I’m sure that some were hoping the Chile scandal would never come to light and remind us all what Cardinal Mahony did during his tenure.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/disgraced-cardinal-cancels-appearance-representing-pope-after-locals-vow-to

https://dwightlongenecker.com/correcting-fr-james-martin/

Last week’s spotlight on Cardinal Cupich should be the norm for these guys leading souls into error.  I was thrilled to see it.  Sunlight is a great disinfectant, as they say.  For too long, the Catholic world took the “If we ignore them, they might go away!” attitude.  Up to now, the liberals have been encouraged, and clearly, they’ve got a Rolodex of writers, albeit really bad ones, in their back pockets.  The secular people LOVE scandal and they love it no place better than the Catholic Church, so they will gladly eat up the goop given to them by the Martin Minions.

Honestly, while some were offended at Faggioli’s “Cyber Militia” comment, I was thinking “I soooooo want to be in that club.  It’s about darn time!”  If I had to guess, there’s probably some cyber meetings going on right now about how to go forth after the ridiculous barrage of articles that came when poor old Fr. James Martin, SJ, spontaneously combusted (But he’s at peace. Really, he is.) a few weeks back over one more cancellation notch in the Catholic Cyber Militia’s belt.  If so, yay for finally organizing.  Every little comment should be met with a swift correction.

Lastly, I saw this.  Let the whining and crying resume!

whiningtony

Rather than war on Pope Francis, I think they represent a “total war” on Fr. Spadaro, Cardinal Cupich, and all of the other little minions roaming the world seeking the ruin of souls.  Make no mistake, Tony Annett, it is a battle we’re in. If you think we’re dropping the armor because YOU call for an interdict, guess again.  We couldn’t care less about your silly characterizations. You want to call it a war?  BRING IT ON! This isn’t a jockeying for position in the hierarchy of the Church for us.  It’s for the souls of our children.  Again, BRING. IT. ON!

Keep pouring on the disinfectant, fellow militia members.  The bacteria definitely needs a major beat back!  Forward!  Forward and forward again!  That’s something we can all do.

#MeetTheLaity #CatholicCyberMilitia

 

 

 

 

The Martin Machine in Motion

The Martin Machine is working overtime to protect their guy!  I’m starting to wonder what’s really going on.  I mean, is Fr. Martin’s ego so fragile it can’t take a few cancellations, or is there something bigger happening here? All of it seems a little over the top for even him.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/opinion/sunday/scariest-catholic-james-martin.html

The Rev. James Martin is a Roman Catholic rock star. His books, including one on Jesus Christ and another on the saints, have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The director Martin Scorsese has twice hired him to consult on movies with religious themes. Television producers love him: Back when Stephen Colbert had his Comedy Central show, Father Martin popped up frequently as its “official chaplain.”

Let me just say, this means oh-so-much to those of us who take the Faith seriously.  Scorsese is the paragon of Catholicism to those of us just trying to get to Heaven?!  Come on.  Might I point out that Stephen King has also sold a boatload of books?  And?  Plus, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, apples to apples, Pope Benedict might outrank Martin in the bookselling business.

So the reaction when he agreed to speak this month to a group of parishes in central New Jersey was unalloyed elation, right?

Wrong. Within days of the announcement, parish officials were in a state better described as dread.

Oh my gosh!  “Hollywood” Martin has been asked to speak?!?!?  We should all get down on our knees and thank the Lord above!  Mr. Bruni, a lot of us care a lot more about salvation than we’ll ever care about who does what in Hollywood.  I mean, I’m obviously not a fan of Fr. Martin, but even I could come up with a better defense.

Check out the websites and Twitter accounts of far-right Catholic groups and you’ll see why. To them Father Martin is “sick,” “wicked,” “a filthy liar,” “the smoke of Satan” and a “heretic” on a fast track to “eternal damnation.” They obsessively stalk him and passionately exhort churchgoers to protest his public appearances or prevent them from happening altogether.

Has Mr. Bruni looked at Fr. Martin’s, say, Facebook page comments?  Are we really going to go with glass houses here?  I can’t speak for everyone, but I go days without thinking of Fr. Martin. In fact, I wouldn’t even be thinking about him now if he hadn’t lined up a barrage of articles slamming his critics.  Interestingly enough, he/they never bother to take on the accusations.  They just slander the characters of, well, everyone opposing them. If he were to speak in my local area, I’d probably work to get that cancelled too based on two things.  First, he fails to encourage celibacy in our fellow Catholics suffering from same-sex attraction. Rather than a complete re-write on supportive evidence for this and many other mistakes, see Father Martin Pouring Gas on the Bridge and Lighting it on Fire.  Second, he actually has said some heretical things.  Before I comment on the latter, let’s take a gander at the next paragraph from the Times.

And they succeed. After the New Jersey parish in which his remarks were supposed to be delivered was inundated with angry phone calls, the event was moved off church grounds. Father Martin will give his spectacularly uncontroversial talk — “Jesus Christ: Fully Human, Fully Divine” — at a secular conference center in a nearby town.

Yeah, Fr. Martin is probably one of the last people who should do a talk entitled “Jesus Christ: Fully Human, Fully Divine” because he has, more than once, gotten that subject wrong. 

Instead of babbling my own incoherent thoughts, I offer this piece by Fr. Thomas Petri, OP, on Martin’s errors.  It’s a great read.  

Why all this drama? What’s Father Martin’s unconscionable sin? In his most recent book, “Building a Bridge,” which was published in June, he calls on Catholics to show L.G.B.T. people more respect and compassion than many of them have demonstrated in the past.

That’s all. That’s it. He doesn’t say that the church should bless gay marriage or gay adoption. He doesn’t explicitly reject church teaching, which prescribes chastity for gay men and lesbians, though he questions the language — “intrinsically disordered” — with which it describes homosexuality.

Of course, Mr. Bruni, by his own admission, there are just some things he can’t say as a priest. I do like the way you use the term “explicitly.”  Fr. Martin really doesn’t explicitly do much, but prefers the wink-and-nod tactic.  Besides, he doesn’t have to say it. He just uses his surrogates to do the talking and collects the kudos and awards from them. 

BTW, you kinda sorta have to admit he’s “advocating without advocating” for a whole lot of what you say he not advocating for in this piece: https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/what-should-gay-catholic-do

I’d argue that I have more respect and compassion for “L.G.B.T. people.” You see, I want them to learn to take up their cross, follow Christ, and struggle with the rest of us towards everlasting life in our one, big Catholic family.  Fr. Martin wants to keep the false narrative of how we hate them going.  One should really, really stop and ask themselves why?  Maybe that helps the book sales, but it doesn’t help reality and it doesn’t bring souls to Heaven. 

Fr. Martin says he doesn’t touch on chastity and celibacy because it’s been covered.  But where, Fr. Martin?  Isn’t it covered by the people who supposedly hate the “L.G.B.T” community or are doing it all wrong?  If you’re pushing the narrative that these people hate the “L.G.B.T.” community, shouldn’t you be teaching it, since you are apparently the only one whocan treat anyone with kindness?  Hmmm???

If anyone knows me, you know I have friends who suffer from same-sex attraction.  There’s ZERO hate on my part for anyone, including Fr. Martin.  I’m just not one to put up with silliness, underhandedness, manipulation, and drawing people AWAY from the path of salvation found in the teachings of the Church. We just do the best we can to help each other get to Heaven.  We talk about our struggles. We talk about how to conquer the sin in our lives, etc., etc., etc.

But that hasn’t stopped his detractors from casting him as a terrifying enemy of the faith — Regan in “The Exorcist” and Damien in “The Omen” rolled together and grown up into a balding and bespectacled Jesuit — and silencing him whenever they can. A talk about Jesus that he was supposed to give in London last fall was canceled. So was a similar talk at the Theological College of the Catholic University of America.

I find it odd that someone from the NY Times has done soooo little research into why people have problems with Fr. Martin.  OK, I’m lying.  I find it completely and utterly normal.  Mr. Bruni is “gay” and as long as Fr. Martin keeps up with the “they hate gays” chant, why would he bother?  I’m sure that Mr. Bruni also feels like he knows a lot about the Church because he was the “Rome reporter” for a while. I would hope that people would use due diligence, but when you’ve got an agenda to advance, truth is irrelevant.

And the vitriol to which he has been subjected is breathtaking, a reminder not just of how much homophobia is still out there but also of how presumptuous, overwrought, cruel and destructive discourse in this digital age can be.

“Inexcusably ugly” was how the Roman Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, described the attacks on Father Martin in an essay for the Catholic journal First Things in September. Archbishop Chaput is no progressive, but still he was moved to write that “the bitterness directed at the person of Father Martin is not just unwarranted and unjust; it’s a destructive counter-witness to the Gospel.” He cited a recent article in a French publication with the headline “Catholic Cyber-Militias and the New Censorship,” observing, “We live at a time when civility is universally longed for and just as universally (and too often gleefully) violated.”

Thanks, Your Excellency, for plugging my #CatholicCyberMilitia shop (couldn’t resist), but more importantly, how about the “faithful-phobia” going on?!?!  Just to be clear, I agree with Archbishop Chaput that fraternal correction should be done in charity and ad hominems are wrong. That said, Archbishop Chaput also says this:

Clear judgment, tempered by mercy but faithful to Scripture and constant Church teaching, is an obligation of Catholic discipleship—especially on moral issues, and especially in Catholic scholarship. The perceived ambiguities in some of Fr. Martin’s views on sexuality have created much of the apprehension and criticism surrounding his book. There’s nothing vindictive in respectfully but firmly challenging those inadequacies. Doing less would violate both justice and charity.

We lose ground when attack the person rather than his tactics, arguments, etc.  That said, I have NO problem calling him out on his inadequacies.

After Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego published a similar defense of Father Martin in the Jesuit magazine America, one of Father Martin’s devoted inquisitors tweeted: “If you think the anti-sodomite bigotry in the church is bad, you should see hell.”

Well, whoever that inquisitor is has a point, doesn’t he/she?  LOL!  Seriously!  I only wish people were as uncomfortable with actual sodomy as they are with the use of the word.  By the way, Mr. Bruni, I’m going to touch on mean statements in my next post.  It deserves a bit of individual attention.  If you want a preview, check out the comments on Fr. Martin’s Facebook page. 

I spoke with Bishop McElroy recently, and he said that while there are calm-voiced critics of Father Martin with earnest concerns about what they see as the church’s drift from traditional sexual morality, there are also out-and-out bigots whose methods are “incompatible with what we hope to be as a church.”

Hmmm…I actually agree with this statement.  That said, it goes both ways, Bishop McElroy. It goes both ways.  To illustrate, please read some of the “faithful-phobic” comments on Fr. Martin’s repost of the BuzzFeed article. 

“We have to face the fact that there is a group of people across all religious views that are particularly antagonistic to L.G.B.T. people,” he told me. “That comes from deep within the human soul, and it’s really corrosive and repugnant.”

Again, I can agree to that, but I think you’re trying to say that it’s the Catholic Church and many of her followers.  It’s not.

I have known Father Martin for many years and have long been struck by the painstakingly careful balance that he maintains. Is he telling his fellow Catholics to judge L.G.B.T. people less harshly, whether they’re chaste or not? Absolutely. When he and I talked a few days ago, he repeated a recommendation in “Building a Bridge” that Catholic institutions stop firing gay people, which has happened repeatedly.

Here’s where Bruni’s lack of Catholic understanding shows.  We don’t judge anyone, we judge their actions.  You are, however, correct in one way.  For some reason Fr. Martin thinks the “L.G.B.T. people” should get a pass for their actions (please note the lack of chastity he cited).  Why would I want anyone to do anything that is damaging to their body and soul???  Why would anyone want to give that a pass?

“Straight couples do not have their sexual lives put under a microscope like that, nor are they targeted,” he told me. “A couple living together before they’re married aren’t fired from a Catholic school.” But that arrangement runs as afoul of church teaching as a sexually active gay or lesbian couple’s does.

Well, I’ve known of people fired from Catholic schools for a myriad of their actions coming to light – same-sex attracted, straight, single, etc.  Personally, I think that’s how it should be. Why are we still having a debate about private sins becoming public and people being removed for them?  Why is this a problem?

From listening to Father Martin, it’s certainly possible to conclude that, or at least wonder if, he has qualms with church teaching about homosexuality.

BAH-HAH-HAH-HAH! I almost spit my cabernet on my keyboard! This was the most unbiased and most intelligent thing in the whole article!!  Kudos for this one, Mr. Bruni.  But then…

But he’s so restrained and respectful that the president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States officially approved “Building a Bridge,” which has also been endorsed by an array of prominent cardinals and bishops.

“Jesuit Conference” means about as much to authentic Catholicism as “Hollywood director.”

And he trails behind many members of his faith in his publicly stated views. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center last June, 67 percent of Americans who identify as Catholic support the legalization of same-sex marriage, in contrast to 62 percent of Americans across the board.

I’m not sure why Bruni’s so fixated on publicly state views.  It’s irrelevant.  Martin extols groups corrected and/or censured by the Church.  He is purposely ambiguous.  He’s agreed on video to a comment that there are some things he can’t say due to his position in the Church, etc., etc., etc.

But the far right isn’t quietly ceding the fight. That’s clear not only in the response to Father Martin but also in a federal education bill, drafted by Republicans, that would protect colleges that ban openly gay relationships or bar gays from certain religious organizations on campus.

Well, duh.  You don’t give up the fight for the salvation of souls because of numbers, good, bad or indifferent.  And, are you saying we should compel religious organizations to accept homosexual acts?  Sure, you are.

And in the church as in the government, the scorched-earth tactics of ultraconservatives often gives them a sway disproportionate to their actual numbers. “These online hate groups are now more powerful than local churches,” Father Martin said, referring specifically to Church Militant and to the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, which started a petition demanding that the New Jersey parishes cancel his appearance. It gathered 12,000 signatures.

Fr. Martin!  You’re a one-man online hate group.  Haters gonna hate!  LOL!  See how whiny and ridiculous it all is?  Let’s just state a few things accurately for a change.  First, people disagree with many of the things you say.  Deal! It’s not because they hate you or those suffering from SSA or any other disorders.  It’s simply because you are wrong and mislead good people.  People have problems with your moral and theological positions.  As far as Church Militant and TFP go, they very clearly stated all of the problems they had with you appearing in a Catholic church.  You have failed to rebut one point but, instead, called them bullies.  I know this might be a shock, but “Bullies!” is not actually a rebuttal to accusations.  Man up!  Oh, and by the way, “We hate gays!” was not in the petition.  In case you were wondering, Mr. Bruni, here’s the things they actually cited:

  • Fr. Martin said Catholics should “reverence” homosexual unions

  • Fr. Martin supports the acceptance of transgenderism for children

  • Fr. Martin favors homosexual kissing during Mass (sacrilege against God)

  • Fr. Martin calls dissident, pro-homosexual nun a “saint”

  • Fr. Martin welcomed an award from New Ways Ministry, a group condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Fr. Martin is not interested in actually rebutting the accusations.  Are you?

Lyle Garcia, 72, one of the parishioners involved in the decision to invite Father Martin, admitted to me that he was “very concerned” that in changing the location of the event, they’d rewarded and emboldened the haters. But at least, he said, the talk would proceed.

As will Father Martin. An expanded edition of “Building a Bridge” will be published in March, and it includes material about L.G.B.T. Catholics who told him, as he promoted the book, that it had given them desperately needed comfort.

“I’m at total peace,” he told me. “I really am. An ocean of hate online is really wiped out by just a few tears from an L.G.B.T. person.” Only one thing to say to that: Amen.

Wait, what?!  Nice, flowery line of poetry, Fr. Martin, but the firestorm of hit pieces from your minions against “the haters” tells a different tale.  But, heck, playing the martyr card might garner you a few more sales.  That said, might I offer you a few more tips?  You should let your minions do the work.  The quotes from you in every hit piece and all the tweets make it kind of obvious who is behind it all. I know it’s hard, but sssshhhhh! If you really want to score points, take to task those on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, and comboxes who are slandering your “haters.”  That would go a long way to bolstering what big meanies “the haters” are, because screen captures might come back to bite you.  Finally, give up on poetry. 

Can’t wait to see what today brings!