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Friday, July 21, 2017

Shut Up, He Explained

I'm no expert, but I am pretty sure Jesus never mentioned anything about illegal immigration. I am getting tired of Bishops in the United States (and the Pope) lecturing to me about what an awful person I am for thinking a secure border makes good sense.

.- A U.S. bishop (Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso) on the border of Mexico hopes his new pastoral letter on migration will turn the hearts of Catholics to encounter their migrant brothers and sisters in a concrete way.

"What does Jesus have to say about the poor, about the marginalized, about what they can actually teach us and how they are the really important ones in the Kingdom of God?” he reflected.
Bishop Seitz began his letter by stating some of the great challenges facing migrant communities in the U.S., and how the Church should respond to them.
“Since Jesus announced Good News to the poor, our Church has been called to stand with the suffering,” he wrote, saying that “migrants are living through a dark night of fear and uncertainty.”
“Recently we have witnessed indefensible, hateful words towards our neighbors in Mexico, the demonization of migrants, even of those children known as Dreamers, and destructive language about our border,” he said.
He also pointed to other problems – the breaking up of families by deportations, an increase in deportations of those without criminal records, and the detention of asylum seekers.
The journey north to the U.S. through Mexico is a dangerous one, Bishop Seitz said, with harsh desert conditions, drug trafficking, and smugglers all posing a danger to migrants. Yet once they reach the border, “increased militarization and more walls will only make this journey even more dangerous.”
“As God’s people here on the border, we are called to transform this desert, making refreshing pools of the burning sands of injustice and quenching the thirst of the oppressed,” he wrote.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Trouble with Jesuits, Part 65

.- An analysis piece published Thursday in La Civilta Cattolica discusses what it calls a “surprising” and unfortunate alliance between conservative Catholics and evangelicals in the U.S. on issues such as immigration – suggesting the two are in direct opposition to Pope Francis' message of mercy.
The article, published online July 13, is co-authored by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, editor in chief of the Jesuit publication, and Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian pastor who is editor in chief of the Argentine edition of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper.
Father Spadaro
Fr. Spadaro and Figueroa start from the US motto, In God We Trust, saying that for some this “is a simple declaration of faith,” but for others it is “the synthesis of a problematic fusion between religion and state, faith and politics, religious values and economy.”
The authors hold that in recent decades American politics have been shaped by “religion, political Manichaeism and a cult of the apocalypse.”
They cite President George W. Bush's speaking of the “axis of evil” and the US' duty to “free the world from evil” as an example of what they call “a Manichaean language that divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil.”

So it's like Pope Francis there good and evil in the world? "Who am I to judge?"

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Can You Hold Hands AND do the Orans Position?

There is no specific prohibition against holding hands during the Our Father, or any other time at Mass for that matter, either for the Novus Ordo or the TLM.
However, there is also no provision to ask or invite people to do so.  Were a priest or anyone else to do so during Mass he/she/? would commit a grave liturgical abuse.
Congregations of total or near total strangers might be spontaneously driven sincerely to hold hands in some circumstances.
But – and perhaps it is a lack of something on my part – I cannot see this hand holding stretch exercise across aisles, for example, as a regular practice as anything other than contrived sentimentalism which distracts us from the transcendent nature of God Almighty and the meaning of the petitions in the Our Father.

On a related note, during the Our Father the faithful are not to use the so-called “orans position” (“praying position” with hands extended, open), which is the proper hand position of the priest celebrating the Mass.  Even worse is when they hold that position after the Our Father through the (Protestant) addition that follows.  The orans position is reserved for a certain liturgical role (read: priest – not even deacons).  That position of extended hands is not appropriate for the lay faithful in the pews.
We must not mix or confuse liturgical roles.  Lay people have their own dignity without trying to jazz them up by – and how condescending is this? how clericalist? – allowing them to do what the priest does.  That’s the worst sort of clericalism and it is always used by libs, isn’t it?  The subtle message given, when roles are purposely confused for the sake of “active participation” or “getting the laity involved”, is really “You aren’t good enough on your own, so I’ll let you do something that I can do.”   Grrrrr.  But I digress.
So, I repeat: I am unaware of a prohibition of holding hands during Mass.  Spontaneous hand holding? Fine.  It must never be invited or imposed by someone with a microphone anywhere near the altar or by anyone in the pews.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

These Jesuits Will Stop at Nothing

.- Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop emeritus of Cologne, Germany and one of four cardinals who sent the "dubia" to Pope Francis last year, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 83.
According to a press release from the Archdiocese of Cologne, the cardinal died July 5 while on vacation in Bad Füssing, Germany. Recently, the prelate had lived in Cologne.
Archbishop of Cologne from 1989-2014, he retired with the permission of Pope Francis in February 2014, at the age of 80, the same year his age made him ineligible to vote in a conclave.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cardinal Dolan Was Unavailable For Comment

Father Gerald Murray weighs in on Amoris Laetitia, one year on:

Cardinals Brandmueller, Caffarra, Burke, and Meisner
What are we to make of Year One of the Amoris Laetitia era? We have had: papal silence on the dubia; papal approval of a draft statement by a group of Argentine bishops of the Rio de la Plata region that opens the door to the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics; affirmations by Cardinal Müller that Holy Communion cannot be given to those living in a state of adultery; the publication by the pope’s own newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, of the statement by the Bishops of Malta that couples in invalid second marriages can receive Holy Communion if they at are at peace in their conscience with that decision; the reaffirmation by the Bishops of Poland that the teaching and discipline enunciated by St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio have not changed, and that only those civilly remarried couples who live as brother and sister may be admitted to Holy Communion; the Archbishop of Philadelphia saying the same thing; while the bishops of Belgium and Germany agree with the bishops of Malta and Rio del La Plata, Argentina.

This is the current unholy mess. As the four Cardinals lament: “And so it is happening – how painful it is to see this! – that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta."

Geographically different doctrine within the same Catholic Church is not simply bizarre. It is impossible. If such is found to be the case, then we are dealing with error in one place and true doctrine in another. It is not that hard to tell which is which.

Think of This Song the Next Time a Phone Rings During Mass

I got a new phone yesterday. I will be careful with it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tolerance Means Nothing Anymore

Or as Cardinal George said, "I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square."

 City Won’t Let Farmer Serve Food to Everyone

Steve Tennes owns and operates Country Mill Farms, an organic apple farm located 22 miles outside of East Lansing in Charlotte, Michigan. Since 2010, his farm has participated in the East Lansing Farmer’s Market. While at the market, Country Mill has always complied with East Lansing laws, including its “Human Relations” law that makes it illegal for public accommodations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and other classifications and to publish any statement indicating someone is unacceptable because of these classifications.

As a Catholic taught to treat everyone with dignity and respect, Steve has gladly served and sold apples to all comers, regardless of their sexual orientation. Steve doesn’t discriminate. Okay, so what’s the problem then? Well, in 2016, Steve posted on the Country Mill Facebook page about his Catholic belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman and that his farm could only host weddings consistent with his faith.
Well, that did it. Normal rules go out the window when that subject comes up. Although his decision violated no law in Charlotte, it did violate East Lansing’s orthodoxy on that issue. After hearing about Steve’s beliefs, East Lansing officials expelled Steve, telling him that Country Mill could no longer participate in the Farmer’s Market. When Steve asked why, the officials responded that County Mill’s “general business practices” outside the city had violated East Lansing’s “anti-discrimination” law. As proof of his wrongdoing, officials pointed Steve to his Facebook post that explained his religious beliefs.

Well, at Least They Didn't Behead Them

The Callanish Stones (or "Callanish I", Clachan Chalanais or Tursachan Chalanais in Scottish  Gaelic) are an arrangement of standing stones placed in a cruciform pattern with a central stone circle. They were erected in the late Neolithic era, and were a focus for ritual activity during the Bronze Age. They are near the village of Callinish (Gaelic: Calanais) on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

According to one tradition, the Callanish Stones were petrified giants who would not convert to Christianity.

Islamic Outreach, Part C

Part C as in 100.

From an earlier post on this blog:

Pope Francis spoke to the diplomatic corps and amongst other things, said, "Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam."


.- Last week, members of a terrorist group destroyed a Catholic chapel, desecrating consecrated hosts and religious icons, during a nine-hour long attack on the town of Malagakit in southern Philippines.
The June 21 attack was reportedly carried out by about 300 gunmen of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, known as BIFF, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. In the siege they also robbed houses and stores at gunpoint, causing the displacement of hundreds of residents.