Total Pageviews

Monday, August 06, 2018

The Babylon Bee Clarifies

VATICAN CITY—Following his recent announcement that the Catholic Church no longer supports the use of the death penalty, Pope Francis clarified that it may still be applied to slow left-lane drivers. “It almost goes without saying,” the leader of the Church commented.

Whereas prior Church teaching allowed the death penalty in certain cases, the Catechism now teaches that the punishment is always impermissible. “Except,” said a Vatican spokesman, “for those reprobate souls who just hang out in the left lane as if nobody else has anywhere to be.”



The decision has angered some conservative Catholics, who favor applying the death penalty in wider circumstances. “What about that guy who brings his guitar to a party and totally ruins everyone’s good time?” one traditional Catholic asked. “Or those people who insist on making small talk while in line at the grocery store?”

It is unknown whether Pope Francis will also call for the death penalty for people who wake the whole neighborhood up mowing their lawns at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning, but sources close to the Pontiff state he’s leaning toward the affirmative.

The Pope Does His Jesuit Thing

I have been reading a lot about the latest shenanigans of Pope Francis, and I think this article from National Review is the best...


When the subject is the Catholic Church, I believe in candor. Bishops, priests, nuns and sisters, and laymen should all express themselves more candidly and more unguardedly about the state of things. Disappointments and disagreements should be stated clearly, rather than papered over. Although, lately, I’ve thought that the pope should be an exception to this rule. You may have noticed he made some news this week when he rewrote the Catholic Catechism’s paragraph on the death penalty.



Here's the part that made me think about this seriously...

 “Recourse to the death penalty . . . was long considered an appropriate response,” it asserts. Notice the passive voice and the lack of subject. Are we talking about previous popes and church authorities? Are we talking about the men and women of the Bible? Or just human society in a long epoch before today? Then the next paragraph: “Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes.” Whose awareness is increased? Are we saying that the world or the Church only recently stumbled on the idea of human dignity? Also, the previous teaching never held that by committing serious crimes, criminals lost all their human dignity. They were still owed justice. It was still impermissible to carry out their sentences in a spirit of vindictiveness and bloodlust. Their salvation was still to be sought. And, in fact, many of the Church’s theologians believed that a criminal’s acceptance of his just punishment conduced to his salvation.

That formulation — “It was long considered to be thus, but now there is an increased awareness of something else” — is a kind of rhetorical acid that must inevitably eat away at the Church’s claims to be an institution trustworthy to teach authoritatively on faith and morals. It is an invitation for any Church teaching that has lost popularity in the Western world to be chucked. And it is a prejudice toward Western norms. None of the theologians who want to see the Church’s doctrine “developed” to say its opposite are thinking of the beliefs that are unpopular in Africa. No one proposes that “It was long considered that marriage should be between one man and one woman, but now there is a fuller understanding that polygamous men have not forfeited their dignity, by adding wives to their household.”

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Vile Theodore McCarrick and the Alfred E. Neuman Cardinals and BIshops

Leading churchmen are denying the undeniable.
 
A few cardinals have roused themselves to respond to the month-old press disclosures that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is a pederast, whereas before he was merely well known as a serial sexual harasser. Their response is depressing in the extreme and should make any Catholic or person of good will wish for their immediate, tearful confessions of fault, and their resignations of high ecclesial office.
A Vile and Horrible Man

Before mainstream media outlets finally reported on his lewd and criminal behavior, McCarrick was the face of the American episcopacy’s response to the sex-abuse crisis in 2002. His lewd behavior with seminarians was an open secret among priests and informed laity. Expert witnesses in priest-abuse cases, such as Richard Sipe, had long ago publicized what they knew of the behavior of “Uncle Ted.” A concerned group of laity and clerics pleaded their case against him in Rome before his elevation to the College of Cardinals. Churchmen across the country who didn’t call him “Uncle Ted” with affection or disgust had another nickname related to his proclivities: “Blanche.”

Cardinal Weurl gets a particular beat-down:


American bishops now facing questions about what they knew and when have had to choose between looking clueless or complicit. So far, they are choosing the former. They are not, however, very persuasive in presenting themselves as ignorant of the rumors.


Cardinal Weurl gets a particular beat-down:

  Cardinal Wuerl said last month that he had reviewed the records of the Washington, D.C., archdiocese. “Based on that review,” he concluded, “I can report that no claim — credible or otherwise — has been made against Cardinal McCarrick during his time here in Washington.”
Some questions for Cardinal Wuerl might go something like this. The Vatican’s representative in Washington, D.C., knew about the legal settlements for McCarrick in 2004; when were you informed of them? If you were informed of these settlements, did you take that into consideration when Cardinal McCarrick requested to live in different seminaries that train priests for your diocese? If you did not know about them, did Bishop Joseph Tobin or his predecessors in Newark have a duty to inform you of them, given McCarrick’s living arrangements? Why, near the end of the last decade, was McCarrick suddenly asked to leave the seminary and reside instead at St. Thomas Woodley Park under Father Roderick McKee?
Cardinal "What? Me Worry? Wuerl
 Further, you are the American on the Congregation of Bishops in Rome. It’s widely reported that McCarrick’s lobbying for certain candidates for elevation in the Church was important. How many times did you receive him for an audience on these matters? What was the weight of his word in your own recommendations for Joseph Tobin, Kevin Farrell, and Blase Cupich? If you knew of these settlements, why did his word have any weight with the congregation and with the Vatican?

The R&M Drinking Straw Company Feast of St. Martha, July 29

  St. Martha is the patron of servers, maids, butlers, servants, single laywomen, homemakers, housewives, and cooks.



Let's hope she isn't in California...she could go to jail for serving a drink with a plastic straw in it!




The Mass in Latin, and Why It Matters

 Read the whole thing....


The same riches that profited Saint Teresa of Ávila and Saint Francis de Sales are available to Catholics today.
Not a small group of people will read the title of this piece and, jadedly rolling their eyes, exhale, “Another one?”
By this they mean, another pathetic ode to the traditional Latin Mass, that unfailing attractor of curmudgeons and weirdos. It may feel as though accounts of the excellence of that Mass are issued weekly and persuade no one, instead merely reminding normal people of the limits of atavism.
Defenses of the old liturgy, while not nearly that frequent, nonetheless do usually fail to reach even conservative Catholics. It seems that the precondition for liking the Latin Mass is found in a recessive allele, and that as many people who could like the Latin Mass already attend it. For everyone else, it is too strange, too old, too disconcerting.
 Yet one recalls, incredulous, that a few decades ago the entire Catholic world was subject to that Tridentine peculiarity. Ditch diggers and policemen loved it well into the 1960s, not to mention the unlettered peasants, many of them saints, who built and attended the great European churches for centuries.
Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal


My favorite paragraph:


The hurdles preventing enjoyment of the Latin Mass are numerous, but they can be overcome. The most intimidating is usually the language, which, it is pointed out, people do not speak.  That is true, but Cicero himself would not apprehend everything said by the priest because half of it is inaudible in the first place. Latin is the Church’s language, Roman and catholic as the Church is Roman and Catholic. Something is to be gained from the story of the woman who approached a priest after Mass with the complaint “Father, I didn’t understand a single word you said up there today.” “That’s all right, madam,” he responded; “I wasn’t talking to you.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Choate Center Feast of St. Christina the Astonishing, July 24

 Astonishing seems to weak a term...


St. Christina of Bolsena (1150-1224) was born to a peasant family in Belgium. She was orphaned as a child and raised by her two older sisters. When she was 21 she had what was believed to be a severe seizure, and was pronounced dead. At her funeral she suddenly revived and levitated before the bewildered congregation. She said that during her coma she had been to heaven, hell, and purgatory and had been given the option to either die and enter heaven, or return to earth to suffer and pray for the holy souls in purgatory. Christina chose the greater act of charity. From then on she lived in extreme poverty: wearing rags, sleeping on rocks, and begging for her food. She is called "Astonishing" because she did the most bizarre things and suffered the pains of inhuman feats without being physically harmed by them. She would roll in fire and hide in hot ovens; she would stand in freezing water for hours in the dead of winter; she allowed herself to be dragged under water by a mill wheel; she spent much time in graveyards. She would also climb trees to escape the strong odor of sin in those she met. Many thought her to be possessed by demons or insane, but many devout people recognized and vouched for her sincerity, obedience, and sanctity. They believed that she was a living witness to the pains that souls experience in purgatory, willingly suffering with them and for them. Christina the Astonishing is the patron of those with mental illness and disorders, mental health workers, psychiatrists, and therapists. Her feast day is July 24th.

Monday, July 23, 2018

I Guess Australia Is Too Far

CNA/EWTN News).- Fr. C. Frank Phillips, former pastor of St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago, has been asked by his religious superior to move to St. Louis, the priest informed his supporters Wednesday.
Phillips, 68, has been accused of misconduct involving adult men. He was removed as pastor of St. John Cantius March 16, and prohibited from public ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago by Cardinal Blase Cupich.


In 1998, Phillips founded the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, with the approval of Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and of the Resurrectionists.
“From the founding of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, I have instructed the men how to live the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. One of those vows, obedience, may especially challenge Religious because it is difficult to submit your will to a superior,” Fr. Phillips wrote July 18 to Protect Our Priests, a group formed to support and assist him.
“As you know, the Canons are requested not to have contact with me, which is difficult for them and for me as their Founder. Also, I have been asked by my superior to relocate to St. Louis. I am requested to do this not under formal obedience but willingly in the virtue of obedience. Is this difficult? Yes, it is,” he wrote.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Only Problem....Someone HAS to Win

The Catholic News Agency has handicapped the world Cup, kinda.
Croatia:
St. Jerome was born in the region of Dalmatia. So was St. Marko Krizin, a priest of the Counter-reformation, and St Leopold Mandic, a pious Capuchin missionary. St. Nicholas Tavelic was a Croatian Franciscan, who was martyred in 1391 in Jerusalem after refusing to convert to Islam, along with 3 Franciscan companions.
In 2003, Pope St. John Paul II dedicated a church to the Croatian martyrs, soldiers who were slaughtered by invading Ottoman forces in the 15th century. Hundreds of thousands of other Croats have faced martyrdom and persecution, and died holy deaths in discipleship of Jesus Christ.
France:
St. Joan of Arc. St. John Vianney. St. Therese of Lisieux. St. Remy. St. Denis. St. Peter Faber. St. Isaac Jogues. St. Louis IX of France. St. Vincent de Paul. I’m really just getting warmed up. This category is going to France.
The point:
In its long history, Croatia has presumably given the Church many holy men and women, but many of them remain unknown. Over the centuries, the holy people of central European countries have not gained as much attention as those from western Europe. This is unfortunate. But France has a lot of saints. A lot. France gets the point.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Dumb and Dumber

.- Thousands of marchers joined Chicago priest Father Michael Pfleger to protest gun violence on Saturday, shutting down more than a mile of the city’s busiest highway.

Only a portion of Dan Ryan Expressway’s northbound lanes were expected to be closed by the demonstrations, but safety concerns caused police to shut down all the lanes. The priest was pleased with the move, expressing hope that stopping traffic would draw more attention to protestors’ calls for the city to do more to address gun violence.
“We came out here to do one thing: to shut it down,” Father Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabine Catholic Church, told the Chicago Tribune.
“We came here to get their attention. Hopefully we got their attention. … Today was the attention-getter, but now comes the action.”
How can this nut job still be a pastor, or a priest for that matter? Oh yeah...because his Bishop is Cupich.
Cardinal Cupich also expressed support for the protest. He issued a series of tweets on Saturday, pointing to the power of nonviolent demonstrations, and applauding Catholic involvement.
“Non-violent action and peaceful protest have the power to create change. The change we need in this moment is to end a culture of violence and indifference,” he wrote in a July 7 tweet.
“I applaud the courage shown by young people in our city and across the country demanding their right to life and human dignity, given by God and guaranteed by our nation’s founders.”

Papist Alert!!!

President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court. We all know what THAT means!

Monday, July 09, 2018

The Trouble With Augustinians, Part 1

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Donald Trump has the chance to reshape the Supreme Court by filling the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.

Replacing Kennedy, who is Catholic and has been on the court since 1988, with anyone on his list of potential nominees will probably turn the court to the right on social issues and leave it about where it is on economic issues, according to legal experts who spoke to Catholic News Service.
"Kennedy was a justice who occupied the middle of the court, and he was sometimes unpredictable, but he was strongly committed to freedom of speech, federalism and gay rights," said Michael Moreland, a professor of law and religion and director of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy at Villanova University, a Catholic university in Pennsylvania.
"His involvement in decisions related to gay rights is certainly the thing he's most famous for," he added

FIFA Does Religion

Not much meat in this article, but I laughed at the last line quoted.
.- As a passionate soccer fan, Jennifer Bryson has been faithfully watching every game she can during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But as a religious freedom expert, she’s found herself wondering how, and why, soccer authorities regulate the many religious expressions on display in the international soccer tournament.
“Sport is so relevant to religious freedom because it offers a shared civic space where people from diverse traditions come together and compete towards a common goal," said Bryson, who is the director of the Religious Freedom Institute’s Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team.
Bryson watches for the moments when an athlete visibly prays in gratitude after a goal or makes the sign of the cross while coming onto the field, noting how the referees react to these religious expressions.
What does she expect to see?