But Does Anyone Accept Cardinal Kasper?

 So, sooooo many things wrong with this.

Cdl Kasper: Laity will ‘not accept’ future pope who doesn’t continue Francis’ legacy

Martin M. Barillas and Pete Baklinski

MADRID, October 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – German Cardinal Walter Kasper said that Pope Francis is securing his successor who will carry on his legacy by appointing the majority of cardinals who will vote in the next conclave. He added that if it was possible that a pope was elected who would attempt to erase Francis’ mark upon the Catholic Church, then the people “would not accept him.”

First of all, last time I checked, the job of the Holy Father is not to worry about his legacy. This isn’t a political party, for heaven’s sake.

Next, at last check, only about 10% of Germans are practicing Catholics. Clearly Cardinal Kasper and his ilk don’t know what in THE heck the laity thinks. They’re leaving in droves and the Church in Germany is on the brink of extinction, but yeah, let’s listen to a guy who instituted so much @#$%^ there that people are leaving en masse. “Maybe if we just institute a few more heretical and liberal things, they’ll all come back!” Sure, Cardinal Kasper, sure. Next he’ll be offering pony rides for parishioners. IT HASN’T WORKED! When are they going realize it’s never going to work? It’s like they’re the Joe Bidens of the Catholic Church. “If I just do it one more time!”

“I think that in the next conclave, you cannot choose a pope who is ‘a contrarian.’ The people would not accept him,” said Cardinal Kasper in a Sept. 26 interview (read excerpt of interview below) with Religion Digital’s José Manuel Vidal which took place while the Cardinal was visiting Madrid for a conference on world peace organized by the pacifist Sant’ Egidio movement.

I don’t know. Maybe he’s just missing what’s going on in America. He is pretty far away, after all. He also seemed to have failed to notice that Catholics have always been contrarians of the world.

When asked if Pope Francis has guaranteed his successor by having handpicked the majority of cardinals voting in the next conclave, Kasper replied: “Yes. It gives the impression that with the nominations to the cardinalate that what the Pope wants is to ensure his succession.”

And the rest of us are just going to keep praying that God opens their eyes or closes them. The subtle “Give up. You’ve lost!” message doesn’t work too well for Catholics, as history is shown. We pray and march on.

Cardinal Kasper’s proposal during the 2014 Synod on the Family of admitting civilly ‘remarried’ Catholics who are living in adultery to receive Communion found its way into the synod’s final document. Pope Francis’ 2016 Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia has been interpreted by many bishops from around the world as adopting this proposal in footnote 351. The footnote states in the context of a discussion about the Church’s pastoral response to Catholics living in “irregular” unions that in “certain cases” such Catholics can receive the Church’s “help,” which “can include the help of the sacraments.” The footnote then makes a reference to the Eucharist and confession. Kasper has since asserted that the proper understanding of Francis’ Amoris Laetitia is to allow divorced and “remarried” Catholics to receive Holy Communion.

Well, we’re still waiting for an answer to that good old dubia.

Elsewhere in the interview, Cardinal Kasper acknowledged that neither the Pope nor he fear a schism over questions about the Pope’s theology. Affirming that the pontiff wants to guarantee a successor, Kasper said, “Those who are causing fears [about the schism] are small groups that are openly against the Pope. But you have to know and keep in mind that they are few, very few, although they make a lot of noise through the media. Do not attach any importance to them.”

Wait! What?! So is he saying Austen Ivereigh, Massimo Faggioli, Thomas Rosica and club are openly against the Pope??? Oh, I guess he’s talking about the bulk of the Germans blowing off the Magisterium. Typical. Doesn’t he even realize there’s more going on in the world than them. Of course not.

Translated excerpts from Religion Digital’s interview with Cardinal Kasper:

Religion Digital: You were just with Pope Francis. Is he as strong as ever?

Cardinal Walter Kasper: “Yes, the Pope continues to be quite strong. He has an interior motion that pushes him to continue moving ahead, and he is not afraid of the criticisms that circulate around him, even within the Catholic world. He continues down his path and is quite well, even physically, for a man of 82 years. And the proof is that he works tirelessly.”

Uh, not so sure about that. First of all, you and your fellow German bishops just told the Vatican to buzz off, and the endless name calling, the likes of which I’ve never seen in a Pope, tells a different story. Taking criticism is not exactly his strong suit.

He is not even afraid of a schism, as he just said.

Kasper:”The Pope is not afraid of schism.”

Which is rather sad considering the unity of the Church IS in his job description.

And you?

Kasper: “Nor do I believe that there will be schism. Those who are causing fears are small groups that are openly against the Pope. But you have to know and keep in mind that they are few, very few, although they make a lot of noise through the media. Do not attach any importance to them.”

My guess is America Magazine has probably sent Cardinal Kasper a communique or two by now to pipe down on the schism thing, since that crew has been all about declaring people in schism lately. 

What do you expect from the Amazonia synod?

Kasper: “This Amazonia synod will be very important and meaningful for the churches incarnated in the cultures of that area of the world.”

OK, seriously? Does anyone think Cardinal Kasper cares a thing about the Amazon? It’s just about who he can use to shove this crud or that down everyone’s throat. The thing I find interesting about this synod is that they’re trying to make a play for women deacons. The only thing I can think of is that they think this is the actual land of “Wonder Woman.” Wrong Amazon, Cardinal. It’s a very patriarchal society and leave it to the liberal Europeans to say “You don’t realllllyyyy want that.”

Will the synod approve of giving married men access to the priesthood?

Kasper: “The problem of the lack of vocations in Amazonia is very serious and that issue of the ordination of married men, and others, will depend on the decision and the unanimity of the bishops of the region. The Pope, with his synodal spirit, will put those decisions into motion if there is sufficient consensus among the bishops.”

Again, is Cardinal Kasper the one to ask about recruitment in any area of the Church?  Maybe they could ask some priests who are a tad bit younger? Consensus? It’s interesting to see that he doesn’t actually understand there is a Church outside of Germany. I’m pretty sure Cardinal Kasper’s definition of consensus is a little off. I’m pretty sure his goes something like “We want women priests and married priests so that is ‘sufficient consensus!'”

The German Church will also celebrate a synod with which the Vatican apparently has some problems.

Kasper:”Yes, there are some who have problems with the Vatican. There has always been tension between Germany and Rome. It is something historic, but I can say that at this time that the great majority of the German Church is totally and profoundly in tune with Rome. There is some nervousness around, but I believe that they can be overcome.”

Bahahaha! Did you like the way he flipped that one around? “The Vatican has problems with Germany.” just morphed into “Germany has problems with the Vatican.” It’s not “nervousness”, Cardinal Kasper. It’s disobedience.

With the cardinals at the next consistory, those chosen by Francis will be a majority. Has the Pope therefore guarantee his succession?

Kasper:”Yes. It gives the impression that with the nominations to the cardinalate that what the Pope wants is to ensure his succession.”

Again, sad.

“In what sense?

Kasper: I think that in the next conclave, you cannot choose a pope who is ‘a contrarian.’ The people would not accept him.”

Who are “the people” Cardinal Kasper knows so well? Again, 90% of his own Catholic countrymen don’t listen to him.

Who do you think will succeed Pope Francis?

Kasper: “That is an open question and not applicable.”

Translation: It will not be anyone from that continent down south who “should not tell us too much what we have to do.” LOL! Yeah, that comment shows how in tune Cardinal Kasper is with people.

Are you convinced that, after Francis, there is no turning back?

Kasper:”No, it isn’t possible. The people will not accept it because they want a normal and human Pope, one that is not imperial like those of the past.”

I love how he uses the term “people” when he really means some liberal cardinals. Do you really think he meant to slam Saint Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI? Yeah, I’m kind sure he did, too. He doesn’t give a rip because he think’s he’s got the whole thing sewn up. God has a funny way of knocking down the lofty, though. You’d think a German would get that, but again, it doesn’t seem to be in their nature to learn from history.

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Papal Allergies

I try, try, try so hard to ignore papal interviews and tweets, but some days I just can’t. It’s hard with “REALLLLLLYYYY?!?!?” blaring in my brain. I’m just going to paste the whole thing and comment after. Emphasis mine. 

Pope Francis loves nouns but is ‘allergic’ to adjectives

By Jessie Yeung, CNN

 (CNN)The Pope wants us to stop using so many adjectives.

In a speech on Monday to the Dicastery for Communications, the Vatican’s communications authority, Pope Francis urged people not to describe Christianity with qualifiers and adjectives. “We have fallen into the culture of adjectives and adverbs, and we have forgotten the strength of nouns,” he said.

Instead of calling churches “small but authentic,” or trying to distinguish things as “authentically Christian,” he said people should call them simply “Christian.” The term “Christian” is strong and authentic enough as it is, without the need for adjectives, he said.

“I am allergic to those words,” he added.

He pointed to the role of the employees as communications managers, saying their aim should be to “communicate with reality, without sweetening with adjectives or adverbs.” Communication is a kind of beauty, he said — and “beauty manifests itself from the noun itself, without strawberries on the cake.”

Let us learn to call people by their name, as the Lord does with us, and to give up using adjectives.

— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) September 24, 2019 (Note from OMM: This is the tweet I got from Pope Francis that led to this rant)

This was the first time the Pope met the Dicastery since first establishing it in 2015, when he had cited the need for a “rethinking” of the Holy See’s information system in a new age of digital media. He touched on this theme again in his Monday speech, encouraging the Dicastery to “encourage the formation of digital environments in which people communicate.”

Over the years, he has personally embraced these digital platforms — he launched an Instagram account in 2016, and gained a million followers in less than 12 hours. He’s also active on Twitter, and even tweeted out a reminder on Wednesday to “call people by their name, as the Lord does with us, and to give up using adjectives.

Like I tweeted back to him, I could totally get on board with this if we ditch all those evil adjectives, adverbs, and qualifiers attached to nouns. How about “LGBT” and “rigid” first?

The guy definitely needs a heavy dose of Benadryl if adjectives and adverbs are allergens.  He must be suffering greatly! I also think he should have a talk with the guy who said these things! Might help with the allergies and make those in-flight interviews a bit shorter. I’m going to limit it just to the adjectives/adverbs attached to “Catholic” and “Christian”. If I didn’t, the list of adjectives, adverbs and qualifiers could go on forever. I’m sure I missed some.  If you want a lengthier list, go here

Ideological Christians!
Rigid Christians!
Liquid Christian!
Superficial Christians!
Long-faced, mournful funeral Christian!
Sad Christian!
Pickled pepper-faced Christian!
Christians allergic to preaching!
Closed, sad, trapped Christian who is not a free Christian!
Pagan Christian!
Defeated Christian!
Creed-reciting, parrot Christian!
Watered-down faith, weak-hoped Christian!
Pastry-Shop Christians!
Delectable, but not real Christians!
Anesthetised Christian!
Christian hypocrites only interested in their formalities!
Sloth-diseased, acedic Christians!
Catholics, but without enthusiasm, even embittered!
People without light – real downers!
Selfish Christians, out for themselves!
Christians who do not leave space for the grace of God!
Christians with all the paperwork, all the certificates, in order!
Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light!
Starched Christians!
Christians who are too polite!
Christians who speak of theology calmly over tea!
Catholics who work for personal profit!
Catholics who presented themselves as benefactors of the Church and made money on the side!
Weak-hearted Christians!
Christians in appearance!
Made-up Christians, because when the rain comes, the make-up runs off!
So many ‘apparent Christians,’ collapse at the first temptation!
Christians of appearance!
Dead Christians!
Christians who prefer a spectacle to the silence of the Kingdom of God!
Vain, pageant Christians!
Christians without strength, without fertility!
A Christian out for himself, to serve himself!
Christian with a sad life!
Christians enemies of the Cross of Christ!
Pagans with two strokes of Christian paint, so as to appear like Christians, but pagans nonetheless!
Dark Christians who lead a life of sin!
Christians who are neither light nor dark!
Christians of grey areas on one side first and then the other!
Christians who live for appearances! For vanity!
Peacocks Christians! They strut about like peacocks!
Soap bubble Christian!
Obstinate Christians!
Idolater Christians!
Christian rebels!
Christians with half-and-half a life! A life that is patched, mended, meaningless!
Motionless Christians!
Mummified Christians!
Embalmed, mummy Christians!
Vagabond Christians!
Wanderer Christians!
Labyrinth Christians without a compass!
Stubborn Christians!
Christians who stop half way along their journey!
Half-way Christians!
Non-Christian Christians!
Slightly ‘paganized’ Christians!
Parlour Christians!
Virtual Christians who are not virtuous!
Christians with a grimace!
Lazy Christians!
Christians who do not have the will to go forward!
Stationary Christians!
Etc., Etc., Etc.

-Pope Francis

Wait! What?! Pope Francis said all those things?!  Oh, the Holy Father must be doing all of this just to show us the true meaning of Matthew 7:5. That must be it! Or maybe he’s just trying to build up a tolerance to those allergies!

But seriously, folks…I don’t have a problem with half of these, but isn’t it a tad bit hypocritical to claim to detest what you do regularly? Sometimes it’s just too much for us regular folks (or just plain “folks”?) to take without comment.

Michael Sean’s Cabal Canard

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

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

Sep 9, 2019

by Michael Sean Winters Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snakes on a Plane

You just knew somebody would eventually use that title…

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

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

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

Edward Pentin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Red Hat Report claims to be drawing on nearly 100 researchers, academics, investigators, and journalists to investigate every single cardinal elector, with the aim “to hold the hierarchy of the Catholic Church accountable for abuse and corruption, and to develop and support honesty, clarity, and fidelity in Church governance.”

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

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

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

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

Seneze spoke to reporters after the pope’s remarks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phone: 610-519-8881

Fax: 610-519-4514

Email: president@villanova.edu

Alumni, you can also go here:

Alumni Relations

Phone: 610-519-4580

Fax: 610-519-7583

Email: alumni@villanova.edu

 

 

 

 

 

Massimo’s “Look at Me!” Moment (AKA, Life)

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/villanova-historian-says-chaput-cordileone-and-strickland-are-devout-schismatics-18811

Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 18, 2019 / 06:35 pm (CNA).- A Church historian at Philadelphia’s Villanova University has said three U.S. bishops are “devout schismatics” who try to diminish the authority of Pope Francis.

“They are devout in the sense that they publicly display their preference for a traditionalist Church and its devotions, such as the rosary. They are schismatics because they openly promote the undermining of the bishop of Rome among the Catholic faithful,” Massimo Faggioli wrote in a July 16 essay for La Croix magazine.”

What the what???? Does the Rosary scare you that much, Massimo? Seriously, this is the most outlandish accusation I’ve EVER seen. We’re going to lump saying the Rosary with removing submission to the bishop of Rome????  Really?!?!?! This really deserves about a hundred more punctuation marks but…?!?!?!?!?!?!  Massimo kind of needs to take a sabbatical and reflect on, well, anything other than himself.

Massimo has got no game, so he’s just going to throw out the schismatic bomb with ZERO back up. When has Cordileone, Strickland, or Chaput EVER removed submission from the Holy Father? The “Let’s throw it out there and see if it sticks” method won’t work here, because I, and anyone with half a brain or access to Google, am going to call you on this.

Faggioli made specific mention of three U.S. bishops: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, and Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.

The historian said the “schismatic instincts” of those bishops were manifested when in August 2018, when they “sided with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to Washington who called on Francis to resign.”

Hey, Massimo, which bishops/archbishops called on Francis to resign? Oh, yeah, none.  Give me a break. You know very well that some of them appealed to Pope Francis to respond to the “Vigano” letters, while others just said that Vigano was simply a man of virtue and that the whole thing was troubling and should be dealt with. It’s quite interesting you seemed to focus on those who most defy your mission in life, since there are many others who sided with them, but whatever.

Viganò released on Aug. 25, 2018 a “testimony,” which, among other things, accused Pope Francis of ignoring warnings about former cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual deviancy, and then raising McCarrick’s status within the Vatican.

After the testimony was released, Strickland issued a statement calling Vigano’s allegations “credible,” and Cordileone said he could confirm that some of Vigano’s statements were true.

Do you have doubt of that, Massimo?! I think we can safely say that many of Archbishop Vigano’s statements have been proven to be quite true over the last year. Are you saying otherwise? If so, which ones? Put your money where your keyboard is. Regardless, neither of these statements would constitute “schism” as you would suggest. I realize you’re just an historian and not a canon lawyer but maybe you should actually a look at the definition of “schism” before you start flapping you gums. 

Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and catholic faith. Apostasy is the total repudiation of the christian faith. Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.  

The article goes on…

Contrary to Faggioli’s claim, however, Chaput did not endorse Vigano’s allegations. While a spokesman told reporters in August that Chaput “enjoyed working with Archbishop Vigano during his tenure as Apostolic Nuncio,” he declined to comment on the former nuncio’s allegations.

Oops!

The spokesman said that the Chaput could not comment “on Archbishop Vigano’s recent testimonial as it is beyond his personal experience.”

In 2013, Chaput told radio personality Hugh Hewitt that the election of Pope Francis had made him “extraordinarily happy, because quite honestly, he is the man I was hoping would be Pope eight years ago.”

Double oops!

Two years later, Chaput hosted Pope Francis in Philadelphia for the 2015 World Meeting of Families. Reflecting in 2018 on that meeting, Chaput wrote that the pope’s “time with us was filled with powerful public moments and deeply grace filled intimate gatherings hallmarked by an overarching spirit of mercy, compassion, and charity.”

“[Pope Francis] has repeatedly challenged us to bear witness to Christ through concrete action—by serving the poor, by helping immigrants, by preserving families, and by protecting the sanctity of life. It’s the kind of challenge we can and should answer with a hearty yes each day,” Chaput added.

You’re a three time loser, Massimo. 

In his essay criticizing “devout schismatics,” Faggioli wrote that “dissent against this pope has become radicalized with schismatic instincts because this kind of political devotion is more about a partisan ideology than about the Church. Catholicism was exposed to ideological manipulation by those who do not really care for the Gospel, but who are more interested in a particular conservative political culture.”

“Particular conservative political culture?” Normally if you follow the teachings of the Church and Canon Law, you’re considered a faithful Catholic. In Massimo’s mind you’re somehow “interested in a particular conservative political culture.” I totally agree that Catholicism was exposed to ideological manipulation but it had little to do with a “particular conservative political culture” and everything to do with a bunch of narcissistic, liberal minded ideologues that thought of themselves far more than they ever thought of the teachings of the Church!

“Chaput, among those identified as a “devout schismatic,” has frequently emphasized his unwillingness to align with a political party.”

So, Massimo is totally wrong again. Shocker.

Just a few more little pesky facts Massimo didn’t bother to look into before he started spouting off. Both Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop Strickland are canon lawyers.  They might know a thing or two about schism even if Massimo doesn’t quite get it. Next, Archbishop Chaput campaigned for Robert Kennedy and supported the election of Jimmy Carter. Of course, today’s democrat isn’t grandma and granpa’s democrat but still. Archbishop Chaput has made it quite clear that the teachings of the Church trump all political parties.  http://webarchive.loc.gov/all/20121205203427/http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1204504.htm

Last time I checked, Massimo does not have canonical jurisdiction to declare schism and his lack of knowledge on the matter gives him even less jurisdiction. If “devout” is a reason to declare “schism”, then a whole lot of people are going to be found in such a place. This is just stupid.

In 2016 he criticized Catholics, especially politicians, who accept “the transfer of our real loyalties and convictions from the old Church of our baptism to the new ‘Church’ of our ambitions and appetites,’ in order to achieve political or personal goals. The group of those who do so “cuts across…both major political parties,” Chaput said.:

“Quite a few of us American Catholics have worked our way into a leadership class that the rest of the country both envies and resents. And the price of our entry has been the transfer of our real loyalties and convictions from the old Church of our baptism to the new “Church” of our ambitions and appetites. People like Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Kennedy, Joe Biden and Tim Kaine are not anomalies. They’re part of a very large crowd that cuts across all professions and both major political parties.”

And? There’s a problem with that statement, Massimo? If Massimo considers Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden to be faithful Catholics, I have oceanfront property in Iowa to sell him. By the way, here’s the quote in context. https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/a-new-kind-of-sacrament

The Church’s canon law defines schism, the charge Faggioli makes against the three bishops, as “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

See? And while Massimo is totally happy to declare three bishops schismatics, he’s perfectly fine not showing proof when he declares them such.

Faggioli could not be reached for comment.

Totally not surprising. He’s stepped in it deeper than normal and can’t actually back up the accusations. Don’t you kind of feel like he lost a bet with someone? I guess when someone jumps the shark this big you kind of hope there’s some sort of rational explanation for it. Maybe his ratings are down?

What’s a Catholic to Think?!

Well, that was a fun week in Catholicism. I’ve been very quietly sitting in my corner (or as quietly as I can) taking in all the commentary on the “heresy letter.” Dun…dun…dun!

First, let me say this. If you are a “Live Catholic or Die!” type of Catholic, you probably find Pope Francis, how should I say, problematic on most days. I’m sure “Ugh!” has gone through our minds on several occasions when hearing those lovely in-flight interviews, when a new document drops, or when we hear about “the Great Accuser.” It doesn’t mean that we are “alt-right” Catholics. (By the way, “alt-right” has now become synonymous with “Move along, people! Nothing to see here!”) In short, many have serious concerns. Generally, the people who are thinking “Oh, no!” on a regular basis are people of good will, whether or not you declare the pope a heretic.

So now this letter drops. Most of the people who just want to be Catholic without conflict at every turn are wondering what the heck they’re supposed to do with it. Do you ignore? Do you beg to sign it, too? Do you condemn the authors? Etc., etc., etc. Honestly, there are not simply two sides to this one, there are as many as the stars. It’s really complex and yet amazingly simple. For us, we need to educate ourselves as much as possible and follow our conscience. Form it and follow it.

To start, I would like to deal with some of the ridiculous opinions on this that I’ve seen. I suppose everyone wants to be on a team and have that team win and then they become super–fan-like. As a mom, it would just be nice to send them all to their rooms and tell them not to come out until they can get along.

“These are just a bunch of cranky Catholics who don’t like the Pope.” Really? Can it really be that simple? I’m pretty sure they are Catholics worried it might take years to undo the mess of ambiguity. Many are likely people with children and grandchildren and they worry about their suffering from the debacle the clergy, particularly the German bishops and many Jesuits, are making right now. Again, we might want to give people the benefit of the doubt that they are Catholics of good will. The things the authors point out may or may not amount to heresy, but they are super concerning at the least. I’ve had interactions with and like some of them. Sounds like everyone likes Fr. Aidan Nichols. The ones I’m familiar with aren’t those to simply be written off as fanatics who were bored.

“Those canon lawyers and theologians who say that the Pope’s actions don’t canonically constitute heresy are just being legalistic.” Uh, Canon Law is kind of important, people. You’d probably be the type that usually throws out a canon or two in defense of your position, anyway, so you’ve lost me with this argument. If it “technically” doesn’t amount to heresy, then it “technically” is not. Sigh. If you are championing a letter declaring heresy, defend it without whining, please. Also of note, most of the aforementioned canon lawyers and theologians are not cheerleading for Pope Francis. They still have great concerns. They’re just calling it as their Canon 212 duty tells them.

Following on that… ”The bishops who don’t back this letter are just worried about their jobs!” Again, really? Or could it be that they simply don’t believe it canonically meets the standards for heresy? Seems like just another hyperbolic argument. I’ve seen many bishops speak up for the dubia, the Vigano letters, the Weinandy letter, etc., yet they didn’t sign the “Easter Letter” and all of those previously held as heroes have been notably absent on backing the letter, too. Are we to assume they’re just worried about their jobs, as well? Or might they have the same take many others have?

“You’re going to hell if you’re wrong about this.”  I’m so glad you know the mind of God here.  Sigh.  Would somebody care to tell St. Vincent that? He literally picked the wrong pope to follow.  Yes, it’s a serious position to take and I’m glad I don’t feel compelled to take it but, geez!  You might, at least, wait until somebody’s excommunicated for something before you go there.

“Those who argue against this letter are trying to hide behind ignorance.” That’s my favorite. Yeah, all those people who argue against it are soooooo undereducated. Just deserves one more “Really?!” I wish I could think of something more clever but that’s usually my go to when people are just debating poorly.

Now what is my position on the actual letter instead of the hype around it?  Again, I think the authors of the letter had the best of intentions. They probably thought long and hard about it and they firmly believe it to be in accordance with the teachings of the Church. They did what their conscience dictated. Others have done the same and come to a different conclusion. Quite frankly, and this might run counter to others’ thoughts, but right or wrong, I think that the letter will only have a positive impact on the overall Church.

After reading and watching MANY commentaries on it, I feel that the canon lawyers who say it’s not heresy are probably right. This and this are probably the closest to my thoughts, although imperfect representations of them.

Why do I feel this way? Because I’ve read Pastor Aeternus (excerpt below, but please read it in its entirety) and Canon 212 many times. 

Pastor Aeternus
“And since, by the Divine right of Apostolic primacy, the Roman Pontiff is placed over the Universal Church, We further teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, [12] and that in all causes, the decision of which belongs to the Church, recourse may be had to his tribunal, [13] and that none may re-open the judgment of the Apostolic See, for none has greater authority, nor can anyone lawfully review its judgment. [14] Therefore, they stray from the right course who assert that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman Pontiffs to an Ecumenical Council, as if to an authority higher than that of the Roman Pontiff.

 

Canon 212

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

  • 2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

  • 3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Nobody in this current debate ever seems to mention Pastor Aeternus. I feel Raymond Arroyo took the position of that document when he said the next pope is the one who will judge Pope Francis, which is exactly how it’s always been done in times of papal turmoil. That’s why I’m not going to get my knickers in a bunch over this or feel like I have to get entrenched on a “side.” Yes, we could get to a point of Fr. Fessio’s “What if…?” but let’s really hope it doesn’t come to that. It’s bad enough now.

Regardless of who is right or wrong (and even some saints have been wrong for parts of their lives), as Fr. Fessio pointed out, this letter is important because it shows the seriousness of the situation in our Church. It’s chaos. NOBODY can deny it. And as many have said, it should not be ignored, although I fear it will be, just as all the letters, corrections, dubias and testimonies so far. The old sticking fingers in ears and saying “lalalalalalalala!” seems to be their way.

So what am I going to do? I’m going to keep expressing my concerns in light of Canon 212 and my knowledge, competence and prestige (not that I have any of that). I’m also going to keep up my prayer of “May God open their eyes or close them.” I hope you will join me in this!

 

 

Where Has All the Affective Maturity Gone?

Wow! I have been watching the Jesuit spin machine.  It’s been set on high the last few days. They have been in such a frenzy, they’re tying themselves in knots! The pope has been saying the exact same thing for years now and the liberals know it so I’m not sure it’s worth their effort. Yes, we have homosexual clergy and religious (and yes, he uses that title Fr. Martin so despises), but that doesn’t mean we should stop saying this is imprudent and knowingly let them get to their final vows and promises.

In new book on clergy and religious life, Pope Francis addresses homosexuality

<snip>

“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case. We have to be exacting. In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church,” the pope says in the book “The Strength of a Vocation,” set to be released Dec. 3 in ten languages.

What?  “Very serious issue”?   What happened to Fr. Martin and homosexuality’s “special gifts”??? No wonder why he’s working so hard to say that isn’t really what the Holy Father is saying.  I’ve sat here all weekend watching him tweet things like “disingenuous”, “not what he said”, etc. Poor guy, grasping at straws only to find they’ve been banned.

In an excerpt from the book, released Friday by Religión Digital, the pope said he is concerned about the issue of evaluating and forming people with homosexual tendencies in the clergy and consecrated life.

“This is something I am concerned about, because perhaps at one time it did not receive much attention,” he said.

He is right to be concerned. I’m not so sure it hasn’t been given much attention in the last few decades, but it is VERY concerning. Sadly, at least in American seminaries, huge efforts have instead been made to accommodate, recruit and enable homosexuality in the priesthood. In fact, I think it’s fair to say, in many areas heterosexual men have been drummed out of seminary under the “too rigid” canard. They’re the ones who had to sit down and keep their mouths shut if they had any hope of getting to their vocation. So, yes, I’d say homosexuality during formation got a lot of attention – just the wrong kind.

Francis said that with candidates for the priesthood or religious life “we have to take great care during formation in the human and affective maturity. We have to seriously discern, and listen to the voice of experience that the Church also has. When care is not taken in discerning all of this, problems increase. As I said before, it can happen that at the time perhaps they didn’t exhibit [that tendency], but later on it comes out.”

This has really got to rain on the LGBTSJ parade. He just said we have to listen to the experience of the Church which has consistently said that homosexuals should not be admitted to the clergy and religious life. He’s also suggesting serious vetting to make sure there is no homosexual tendency. Wow! Kind of sounds like what a huge chunk of people have been saying for YEARS!!! And here I thought we were super mean for saying that???

Still, let me tell you what the spin is on this is going to be: “Well, of course we have to educate people on integrating their sexuality and their vocation. It’s not that the pope doesn’t think gays should be in the priesthood, it’s just that they need to be educated.” 

“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case,” the pope reiterated.

Francis recalled that one time “I had a somewhat scandalized bishop here who told me that he had found out that in his diocese, a very large diocese, there were several homosexual priests and that he had to deal with all that, intervening, above all, in the formation process, to form a different group of clergy.”

Umm, please note that the Holy Father didn’t say that this bishop was a big meanie nor that he was wrong to intervene in the formation process that allowed ordination of several homosexual priests. (Apparently Pope Francis didn’t get the memo from Fr. Martin that we are supposed to call them “gay”, not “homosexual”, because that’s their preference. He’s apparently as disrespectful as the rest of us.) Pope Francis is saying that this is what needs to be done.

“It’s a reality we can’t deny. There is no lack of cases in the consecrated life either. A religious told me that, on a canonical visit to one of the provinces in his congregation, he was surprised. He saw that there were good young students and even some already professed religious who were gay,” he related.

The pope said that the religious “wondered if it were an issue and asked me if there was something wrong with that.” Francis said he was told by one religious superior that the issue was not “that serious, it’s just an expression of an affection.”

Let’s take time to ponder this. Nowhere did the Holy Father nor the religious superior indicate that these religious who were homosexual were committing homosexual acts.  Meanwhile, Fr. Martin has been working overtime to equate “affection” with “homosexual acts” while at the same time telling everyone else, “the pope didn’t say that.” Well, hello, Fr. Martin! The Holy Father didn’t say the religious superior was wondering if it was OK for his guys to have homosexual sex! Geez.

“That’s a mistake,” Francis warned. “It’s not just an expression of an affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”

BOOM! No, it’s not another earthquake in Alaska. Several Jesuit heads just exploded all at once. Just for fun, I looked up “affection.” Nowhere is the definition sex of any kind nor is it a verb. Oops.

“af·fec·tion /əˈfekSH(ə)n/ noun

  1. a gentle feeling of fondness or liking”

 

We “have to urge homosexual priests, and men and women religious to live celibacy with integrity, and above all, that they be impeccably responsible, trying to never scandalize either their communities or the faithful holy people of God by living a double life. It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life.”

Fr. Martin and buddies seem quite fond of trying to use this particular quote to say, “See!  It’s OK if gays are allowed to enter the priesthood or religious life as long as they keep their vows and promises!” This is not what Pope Francis is saying in the least. The Holy Father is acknowledging the sad reality that the poor screening (or, in my opinion, reverse screening) has allowed people to make vows and promises that weren’t suited to do so. Those who have been allowed to do so must live chaste, celibate lives and not cause scandal. Duh!  It doesn’t mean that we should keep the status quo of putting them in situations of temptation.   

The pope was asked in the book if there are limits to what can be tolerated in formation.

“Of course. When there are candidates with neurosis, marked imbalances, difficult to channel not even with therapeutic help, they shouldn’t be accepted to either the priesthood or the religious life, They should be helped to take another direction (but they should not be abandoned. They should be guided, but they should not be admitted. Let us always bear in mind that they are persons who are going to live in the service of the Church, of the Christian community, of the people of God. Let’s not forget that perspective. We have to care for them so they are psychologically and affectively healthy,” the pope replied.

Umm, he just paraphrased “Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood”, a document Fr. Martin and ilk would rather you didn’t know about, so please give it a read. 

10. It is possible that the candidate – notwithstanding his own commitment and the support of the psychologist, or psychotherapy – could continue to show himself unable to face realistically his areas of grave immaturity – even given the gradual nature of all human growth. Such areas of immaturity would include strong affective dependencies; notable lack of freedom in relations; excessive rigidity of character; lack of loyalty; uncertain sexual identity; deep-seated homosexual tendencies; etc. If this should be the case, the path of formation will have to be interrupted.

The same is also true if it becomes evident that the candidate has difficulty living chastity in celibacy: that is, if celibacy, for him, is lived as a burden so heavy that it compromises his affective and relational equilibrium.”

Just like Pope Francis, nowhere does this document say that one simply has to keep to chastity and celibacy to enter the priesthood. Evidence that one cannot is just one more reason to bar them from formation. Uncertain sexual identity and deep-seated homosexual tendencies are enough.

Another little document (and by little I mean big) that Fr. Martin and friends don’t want you to know about is “Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders”:

This document states that:

In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”[10].

Can you see why the LGBTSJ crowd and those that support calling them that might not want you to see this document??? Seminarians are not even supposed to “support the so-called ‘gay culture’” to be admitted to seminary, and we’ve got way too many priests already ordained who participate in “pride parades!” 

Why aren’t they supposed to be allowed? Oh, yes, there is one very good reason.

Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women

Both of these important documents on admission to the priesthood talk of “affective maturity.” We need to get this back into the discussion because it is very important, yet the homosexual lobby (can people really deny there’s one of these anymore?) doesn’t understand it in the least. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the term used in America Magazine lately, if ever. Pope John Paul II tells us what it is and why it’s a decisive factor for the priesthood in “Pastores Dabo Vobis” (emphasis mine).

In this context affective maturity, which is the result of an education in true and responsible love, is a significant and decisive factor in the formation of candidates for the priesthood.

  1. Affective maturity presupposes an awareness that love has a central role in human life. In fact, as I have written in the encyclical Redemptor Hominis, “Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself; his life is meaningless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.(126)

We are speaking of a love that involves the entire person, in all his or her aspects – physical, psychic and spiritual – and which is expressed in the “nuptial meaning” of the human body, thanks to which a person gives oneself to another and takes the other to oneself. A properly understood sexual education leads to understanding and realizing this “truth” about human love. We need to be aware that there is a widespread social and cultural atmosphere which “largely reduces human sexuality to the level of something commonplace, since it interprets and lives it in a reductive and impoverished way by linking it solely with the body and with selfish pleasure.“(127) Sometimes the very family situations in which priestly vocations arise will display not a few weaknesses and at times even serious failings.

In such a context, an education for sexuality becomes more difficult but also more urgent. It should be truly and fully personal and therefore should present chastity in a manner that shows appreciation and love for it as a “virtue that develops a person’s authentic maturity and makes him or her capable of respecting and fostering the ‘nuptial meaning’ of the body.”(128)

Education for responsible love and the affective maturity of the person are totally necessary for those who, like the priest, are called to celibacy, that is, to offer with the grace of the Spirit and the free response of one’s own will the whole of one’s love and care to Jesus Christ and to his Church. In view of the commitment to celibacy, affective maturity should bring to human relationships of serene friendship and deep brotherliness a strong, lively and personal love for Jesus Christ. As the synod fathers have written, “A love for Christ, which overflows into a dedication to everyone, is of the greatest importance in developing affective maturity. Thus the candidate, who is called to celibacy, will find in affective maturity a firm support to live chastity in faithfulness and joy.”(129)

Since the charism of celibacy, even when it is genuine and has proved itself, leaves one’s affections and instinctive impulses intact, candidates to the priesthood need an affective maturity which is prudent, able to renounce anything that is a threat to it, vigilant over both body and spirit, and capable of esteem and respect in interpersonal relationships between men and women. A precious help can be given by a suitable education to true friendship, following the image of the bonds of fraternal affection which Christ himself lived on earth (cf. Jn. 11:5). 

Human maturity, and in particular affective maturity, requires a clear and strong training in freedom, which expresses itself in convinced and heartfelt obedience to the “truth of one’s own being, to the “meaning” of one’s own existence, that is to the “sincere gift of self” as the way and fundamental content of the authentic realization of self.(130) Thus understood, freedom requires the person to be truly master of oneself, determined to fight and overcome the different forms of selfishness and individualism which threaten the life of each one, ready to open out to others, generous in dedication and service to one’s neighbor. This is important for the response that will have to be given to the vocation, and in particular to the priestly vocation, and for faithfulness to it and to the commitments connected with it, even in times of difficulty. On this educational journey toward a mature, responsible freedom, the community life of the seminary can provide help.(131)

So, I’m just going to say it. I don’t see affective maturity in priests who are more focused on “coming out,” encouraging others to “come out”, etc. Instead, I see them acting in a manner that “largely reduces human sexuality to the level of something commonplace, since it interprets and lives it in a reductive and impoverished way by linking it solely with the body and with selfish pleasure.” JPII NAILED IT! Our priests need affective maturity so they can correctly relate to men and women. This is why I’ve said before that I don’t want my priests to consider themselves “gay priests” or “heterosexual priests.”  I just want them to consider themselves faithful priests. The pro-LGBTQXYZ clergy and religious are striving for the wrong title. They wouldn’t know affective maturity if it bit them in the behind.