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Monday, December 25, 2017

And the Guy's Not a Cook???

e's also a member of
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa arrives to the Church of the Nativity, built atop the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ was born, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem, Su
nday, Dec. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

By the way, it's Bishop Pizzaballa - he's archbishop of Verbe.  He is also  Pro-Grande Prior of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Islamic Outreach, Part CIII - Peace on Earth Edition

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.",


CAIRO (AP) — Hundreds of Muslim demonstrators attacked an unlicensed church south of Cairo wounding three people, an Egyptian Coptic Christian diocese said on Saturday, in the latest assault on members of the country’s Christian minority.
The incident took place after Friday prayers when dozens of demonstrators (that is, Muslims) gathered outside the building and stormed it. The demonstrators chanted hostile slogans and called for the church’s demolition, the diocese in Atfih said. The demonstrators (again, Muslims) destroyed the church’s contents and assaulted Christians inside before security personnel arrived and dispersed them.

The church in Giza just outside of Cairo is yet to be sanctioned by the state but has been holding prayers for 15 years. The diocese said it had officially sought to legalize the building’s status under a 2016 law that laid down the rules for building churches.
Local authorities often refuse to issue building permits for new churches, fearing protests by hardline Muslim. Christians sometimes build churches illegally or set up churches in other buildings.

Egypt’s Christian minority has been targeted by Islamic militants in a series of attacks since December 2016 that left more than 100 dead and scores wounded. The country has been under a state of emergency since April after suicide bombings struck two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday in an attack that was claimed by the local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Cardinal, Can You Spare a Dime?

The Pope met with Cardinals today and went on the attack:

 Here let me allude to another danger: those who betray the trust put in them and profiteer from the Church’s motherhood. I am speaking of persons carefully selected to give a greater vigour to the body and to the reform, but – failing to understand the lofty nature of their responsibility – let themselves be corrupted by ambition or vainglory. Then, when they are quietly sidelined, they wrongly declare themselves martyrs of the system, of a “Pope kept in the dark”, of the “old guard”…, rather than reciting a mea culpa. Alongside these, there are others who are still working there, to whom all the time in the world is given to get back on the right track, in the hope that they find in the Church’s patience an opportunity for conversion and not for personal advantage. Of course, this is in no way to overlook the vast majority of faithful persons working there with praiseworthy commitment, fidelity, competence, dedication and great sanctity.

Huh....who would do that?

When he finished reading the inquiry drafted by the apostolic envoy he himself had sent to Honduras last May, Pope Francis’ hands went up to his skullcap. He had just found out that his friend and main councilor — powerful cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, a staunch supporter of a poor and pauperist Church and coordinator of the Council of Cardinals after he appointed him in 2013 — had received over the years from the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa around 41,600 US dollars a month, with an additional 64,200 dollars bonus in December. Bergoglio had yet to learn that several witnesses, both ecclesiastical and secular, were accusing Maradiaga of investments in some companies in London topping a 1,2 million dollars that later vanished into thin air, or that the Court of Auditors of the small Central American nation was investigating a flow of large sums of money from the Honduran government to the Foundation for Education and Social Communication and to the Suyapa Foundation, both foundations of the local Church and therefore depending on Maradiaga himself.

"The Pope is sad and saddened, but also very determined at discovering the truth," people of his entourage at Santa Marta, his residency, explain. He wants to know every item of the investigation Argentine bishop Jorge Pedro Casaretto conducted in Honduras, on top, of course, of the final destination of the jaw-dropping sums of money obtained by the cardinal. Just in one year, 2015, as shown in an internal university report L’Espresso obtained, the cardinal received almost 600,000 dollars, a sum that according to some sources he collected for a decade in his capacity as "Grand Chancellor" of the university. However, some other rather unpleasant items account for the rest of the sums he received according to Bishop Casaretto’s report. The pope’s trustworthy person put down on paper the serious accusations many witnesses brought forward (the audits totaled around fifty witnesses and included administrative staff of the diocese and of the university, priests, seminarians and the cardinal's driver and secretary) also against the Auxiliary Bishop of Tegucigalpa, Juan José Pineda, among the most loyal in Maradiaga’s inner circle and de facto his deputy in Central America.

I Understand the USCCB Better Now

I was on the St. Sylvester Church website (In Brooklyn, NY...I was baptized there) and came across this photo:

It made no sense until I saw this:

Clowns carry a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe as they pay homage to Mexico's patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe, at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, December 14, 2017. The streets of Mexico City burst with sound and color as hundreds of clowns went on their annual pilgrimage. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)

Read more at:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Patron Saint of Hospitality

During the final few days before Christmas, everybody seems to be busy with last minute preparations for their Christmas parties. Whether the party is elaborate or simple; for family or friends, the goal is to be a hospitable host, facilitating an event that will be enjoyed by all present.
St. Meinrad is a perfect intercessor for such an occasion, known after death as the “martyr of hospitality.”

Born in Switzerland to a noble family in the 9th century, Meinrad felt called to dedicate his life to God. At first he joined the Benedictine order and was ordained a priest, later becoming a teacher. It is there that he learned the Rule of St. Benedict, who instructed his monks on the proper way to welcome guests.
All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35). Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims. Once a guest has been announced, the superior and the brothers are to meet him with all the courtesy of love … All humility should be shown in addressing a guest on arrival or departure. By a bow of the head or by a complete prostration of the body, Christ is to be adored because he is indeed welcomed in them.

However, Meinrad felt called to a life of deeper contemplation and seclusion and became a hermit after the example of the Desert Fathers. He was a hermit in the Black Forest, but his holiness became widely known and visitors flocked to his little hovel in the woods.
Then on January 21, 861 Meinrad welcomed a pair of thieves. He received them with all dignity, sheltering and feeding them, even though their appearance was suspicious. When they realized Meinrad did not have anything worth stealing, they decided to kill him. His death was viewed by the local people as a “martyrdom,” even though he didn’t die directly for his belief in Christ.

Gaudete Sunday with Cardinal Burke in Minneapolis

On Gaudete Sunday of 2017 All Saints celebrated the Anniversary of the Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum, and the new parish status, with solemn vespers on the Saturday and Pontifical Solemn Mass celebrated by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke on Sunday the 17th. The accomplished choir and schola, led by Mr. Jacob Flaherty and Mr. Benjamin Blackhawk, sang Palestrina's beautiful Missae Papae Marcelli polyphonic setting. Both Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cozzens and many visiting clergy and seminarians participated. There is much to celebrate here at All Saints and, given the specific charism handed on to the FSSP by Pope John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger, to promote and nurture the traditional liturgical forms. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Hey! Who's in Charge Here???

This... monstrosity... is in St. Peter's Square in Rome.It's a nativity scene (quick! Find Mary and Joseph!). The other people loitering around the creche represent the corporal works of mercy. Get it? Me neither. 

Hey! I know this one! Bury the dead!

The naked guy on the right is probably being clothed.  Is the guy front and center comforting the sick? What's the guy on the left up to?

The guy in the red vest has something in his hand. Did he steal to hurt guy's watch?

You what this nativity needs? GIANT PUPPETS!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

From God's Mouth to Your Ears

.- While fires in southern California continue to threaten thousands of homes, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles reflected that God can be found even amidst the violent flames, if we just listen for his message.
“Always it is the same question: Where is God to be found when natural disasters strike and bad things happen to good people?” he said in a Dec. 12 column, published at Angelus News, the archdiocese’s multimedia publication.
“God is speaking in every moment, in every circumstance. But sometimes he speaks in a whisper. He asks us to listen, to have ears to hear.” 

 Hello, Heather. This is God. I am talking to you now...."RUN! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN! RUN LIKE SOMETHING IS CHASING YOU!"

From Buffoonish to Dangerous

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Well, Thanks for Clearing THAT up!

Today, from the Catholic News Agency:

 .- The controversy regarding Amoris laetitia has come to an end, according to German cardinal Walter Kasper. What is more, he has affirmed that the admission of remarried divorced persons to the sacraments in individual cases is, in his view, the only correct interpretation of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation.
Writing in an op-ed for the German language section of Radio Vatican, the prominent prelate asserted that “with the official publication of the letter from Pope Francis to the bishops of the Buenos Aires region, the painful dispute over the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia is hopefully over.”

Also today, in National Review:

Must faithful Catholics now give a ‘religious submission of mind and will’ to Francis’s teachings on this issue? Last week, Pope Francis made another move to advance his teachings on Communion for the divorced and remarried. In September 2016, the pope sent a private letter to bishops in Buenos Aires to clarify his teachings on the issue, which he had expressed in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Now, the pope declared this letter to be his “authentic magisterium,” which means it is one of his official teachings.
Questions surrounding divorce and remarriage have caused controversy over the past few years. The perceived ambiguity of Amoris Laetitia led four cardinals in September 2016 to sign the dubia — Latin for “doubts” — which consisted of five questions asking Pope Francis for clarification on his views. After being ignored by the Holy Father, one of the signers, Cardinal Burke, said the cardinals will have to issue a formal correction of the pope. A year later, in September 2017, more than 60 Catholic scholars signed a filial-correction document, which took a much harsher approach than the dubia. The filial correction alleged that Pope Francis committed seven heresies regarding his teachings on divorce and remarriage and moral relativism. One of the signers of the filial correction, Anna Silvas, told me via email that Francis’s decision to put this letter to the Buenos Aires bishops in the authentic magisterium shows that his intention is to breach “the moral and sacramental truth of the faith.” She added, “You cannot obey the disobedient,” referring to Francis.

 Cardinal Kasper seems to be saying," Nothing to see here. Move along".

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

So You Think You Know What Hannukuh Is All About?

Interesting stuff from Yid With a Lid:

At Sundown Tuesday Night 12/12 Jews across the world will be lighting the first candle in celebration of the  first night of Chanukah. What most people (even Jews) know about Chanukah is either wrong, half the story, or laden with nice legends. Despite what you may have been told,  the meaning of the holiday is not “let’s come up with a holiday around Christmas time so Jewish kids have something to do at the end of December (although a liberal Rabbi once unsuccesfully tried to convince me that was true). Neither is the meaning of Hanukkah “lets come up with a holiday with many different English spellings so we can drive the Gentiles crazy.”

Read the whole thing.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Our Father and Leading Into Temptation

So the Pope opines that the Our Father says something that sounds in Italian like God the Father leads us into temptation, which doesn’t right.  In English we have something that sounds a little like that: “lead us not into temptation”.
The Pope says something. People go bananas. Huzzah! Another chance for us to find out what the prayer really says! right?
Matthew 6:9–6:13 and Luke 11:2–11:4 are our GREEK biblical texts which are the foundation of the Our Father as we say it in Latin and in English. The Greek of the line in question, from Matthew, is “καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν”. Frankly, the Greek is tricky. Read in a straight forward way, it says what we say when we say the Lord’s Prayer. So, what does it really say?

Here's what he said (from the Catholic World Reporter):

 “This,” i.e. the Italian, non ci indurre in tentazione (“…lead us not into temptation”), “is not good [as] a translation,” Pope Francis told don Marco Pozza, host of the program. “The French have even changed the text now, with a translation that is: ‘let me not fall into temptation.’ For, I am the one, who falls into temptation,” Pope Francis explained. “But it is not He, who tosses me into temptation, in order to see then, how I fall – no – a father does not do this. A father helps [one] to get right back up. The one, who induces you into temptation is Satan,” the Holy Father continued. “That is Satan’s office.” 

The Pope is right about the language, by the way: the now obsolete French translation, which read, ne nous soumets pas à la tentation – “do not submit us to temptation” is – was – pretty awful. One French parish priest, Fr. Emmanuel Schwab, was quoted in the National Catholic Reporter as saying, “The version, ‘do not submit us to temptation’, made some people think God threw banana peels in front of people to see if they would slip and fall, but that is absolutely not the biblical view of God.”
It was perhaps this idea – this misconception – that Pope Francis was addressing, though one does wonder who ever really had the idea, not to mention how Pope Francis got to the catechetical concerns of grunt priests in the pastoral trenches of Paris by way of the long-standing Italian version of the world’s oldest and most recognized Christian prayer.

Their conclusion:

 In defense of Pope Francis, his theological point is sound, even if it does belabor the obvious and needlessly heap abuse on an innocent straw man. God does not toss us into temptation to see how we fall (though there are reliable accounts that have Him allowing Satan to do his nasty work on righteous men, in order to prove a point – once, we’re told, to win a bet).

You Use That Term A Lot...I Don't Think It Means What You Think It Means

CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. bishops are encouraging Catholics to observe the upcoming Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a day of solidarity with immigrants.
In the nation’s capital, a 12:10 p.m. Mass at St. Peter's Church will mark the Dec. 12 feast day. The Mass will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville of Washington, D.C.
Additionally, more than 55 events – including prayers services, Masses, and processions – will be held throughout the U.S. this month. These events, the bishops’ conference said, will honor Our Lady of Guadalupe and will “seek to honor the accomplishments, hopes, fears, and needs of all families who have come to the U.S. seeking a better life.”
“As we enter the Advent season and Christmas approaches, we are reminded of the unique role and importance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a unifier and peacebuilder for communities,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the migration committee at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

MEANWHILE.... how's that whole "peacebuilder for communities" working for our neighbors to the south?
Cathedral of the Lord in Villahermosa

ACI Prensa).- A diocese in one of Mexico's most violence-ridden states has indicated it will avoid scheduling Masses for Christmas and its octave at “high risk” times. It has also asked the state's police to protect parishioners.
“With respect to the problem of insecurity, for the most part the established schedule has been kept, but we are trying to avoid scheduling certain times that could be high risk,” Fr. José Luis Compeán Rueda, vicar general of the Diocese of Tabasco, said at a Dec. 3 press conference in Villahermosa, capital of the Mexican state of Tabasco.
 The Catholic Multimedia Center released a report in August showing that Tabasco is one of the most dangerous states for priests, and that Mexico is the most violent country for priests in Latin America.

Jesuit Logic

The radical governor of California–who signed bills legalizing assisted suicide, allowing non-doctors to be abortionists, and forcing pro-life pregnancy counseling centers to notify clients where to access free abortion (now before the Supreme Court)–has brought the Lord into his critique of Donald Trump. From The Hill story: 
"California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) says President Trump’s stance on climate change demonstrates that he does not appear to fear the “wrath of God” or have any regard for the “existential consequences” of his environmental policies. “I don’t think President Trump has a fear of the Lord, the fear of the wrath of God, which leads one to more humility … this is such a reckless disregard for the truth and for the existential consequences that can be unleashed,” Brown said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” which is set to air on Sunday.
 Glass houses and stones. Pots and kettles. Pick your idiom. 
But hey! He was trained by Jesuits! He is applying Jesuit logic to the situation!
In 1955, Brown entered Santa Clara University for a year and left to attend Sacred Heart Novitiate, a Jesuit novice house, intent on becoming a Catholic Priest.Brown resided at the novitiate from August 1956 to January 1960 before enrolling at the University of California, Berkeley where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics in 1961.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Give the Guy a Hand!

Ottawa, Canada, Dec 5, 2017 / 07:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News). While he was alive, St. Francis Xavier never got to ride in an airplane. They would not be invented for 400 more years after his death.
But now, his severed arm will get to take a trip across Canada in its very own seat.
The relic of the Jesuit missionary, ordinarily kept in the Church of the Gesù in Rome, will be making a cross-country trip through Canada this winter, as part of an initiative from the university group Catholic Christian Outreach.

 Angèle Regnier, co-founder of Catholic Christian Outreach, told CBC radio that travelling with the saint’s arm will be "like doing a road trip with a friend."
"I mean, I know it's bones, but connected to that is a living friendship with St. Francis Xavier," she said.
In the Catholic Church, relics are physical objects that have a direct association with the saints or with Jesus. The arm of St. Francis Xavier is considered a first class relic, which is the body or fragments of the body of a saint. The practice of venerating relics has been a Scripture-based tradition in the Church for centuries.
Regnier will be accompanying the saint’s arm on its trip from Rome to Canada, where the relic will make a month-long tour through much of the country.
The fragility of the relic, which is encased in a gold and glass reliquary and has its own padded duffle bag, necessitated that it travel in its own seat on Air Canada.
"We can't put it underneath. We can't even put it in the overhead bins. Like, he has to have his own seat," she told CBC radio.
"You're trying to explain this to Air Canada. We need to book a seat. He is a person in a way, but it's not a person, it's an arm."

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Remember The Status Quo!

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis Wednesday defended the "status quo" of Jerusalem, hours ahead of an announcement by US President Donald Trump in which officials said he will recognise the disputed city as Israel's capital.
"I cannot silence my deep concern over the situation that has emerged in recent days. At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city's status quo, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions," the pope said in his weekly address.

The Argentine pontiff's call came a day after he spoke by phone with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, the Vatican said without elaborating.
"Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred for Jews, Christians and Muslims," he said, adding that it was home to sites deemed holy by followers of the three major monotheistic faiths.
Jerusalem, the pope said, holds a "special vocation for peace".
"I pray to God that this identity is preserved and reinforced, for the sake of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail," he said.
The pontiff added that maintaining the status quo was important "in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to an already volatile world that is wracked by so many cruel conflicts".

Yes, the status quo. The status quo is working well for Christians in the Middle East and for the Rohingya. And the growth of Catholicism.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

LOL Out Loud!

From James Lileks:

 Hip, With-it Jesus understands how you feel about cracking up dad's car. In fact Jesus thinks it's actually kinda funny, when you think about it.

MA! The Bishops Are Being Mean To Me!

CNA/EWTN News).- In a newsletter issued earlier this year, the U.S. Catholic bishops addressed questions regarding whether Sunday and Holy Day Mass obligations can be fulfilled with a “two-for-one” Mass attendance at Christmas this year.
In a “relatively rare” situation which last occurred in 2006, Christmas Day this year falls on a Monday.
Because Catholics are obliged to attend Mass for Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, some have asked whether a Sunday evening Mass on Christmas Eve would fulfill both the obligation for a Sunday Mass and the obligation for a Christmas Day Mass. T

The U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Divine Worship has said the faithful should attend two Masses to fulfill their Sunday and Christmas Mass obligations.
Since the mid-twentieth century, the Church has allowed for Catholics to attend vigil, or anticipated, Masses for Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation as “a convenience for many of the faithful.”

In the case of two consecutive days of obligation, as at Christmas this year, the “prevailing view of many canon lawyers is that each obligation must be fulfilled with a separate Mass,” the bishops said.
“Thus, when consecutive obligations occur on Saturday-Sunday or Sunday-Monday, the faithful must attend Mass twice to fulfill two separate obligations.” 

I thought this was resolved. I read it in

 Washington, DC–A spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced today that beginning tomorrow on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, every holyday of obligation listed on the Liturgical Calender, including Sundays, would from here on be deferred to Easter. The announcement came as welcomed news to many Catholics who found the near-impossible obligations imposed on them by their bishops simply too difficult to fulfil. Spokesman for the USCCB Sister Maxine Howard told the press this morning that the removal of nearly every obligatory holyday was a long time coming. “This will most certainly come as a relief to many Catholics who were falling into sin because of unfeasible Church requirements.” One Catholic we spoke to outside the Church of St. Mark said that he agreed with the decision, and was relieved to know that he would no longer have to sacrifice any more of his time. “It’s not that I don’t like going to church…it’s just that I don’t like going to church days after I just went. And to think that from now on I’ll only be obliged to go once a year? It’s just too kind our bishops. They’re always looking out to make sure we don’t over-burden ourselves.”

Missisng Yet Another Opportunity to Shut Up

CNA/EWTN News).- A Senate tax reform bill passed Dec. 2, like its counterpart passed earlier by the House of Representatives, has “fundamental flaws,” according to a statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  
The bill-reconciliation process, begun in Washington today, offers an opportunity for legislators to address the bills’ shortfalls, the bishops say.

“Congress must act now to fix the fundamental flaws found in both bills, and choose the policy approaches that help individuals and families struggling within our society,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, in a statement released Saturday.

Dewane added that the bishops are reviewing the Senate’s final version of tax reform legislation. They will provide analysis and comments on key improvements they think are necessary to include in the bill’s final version. 

Let's look at Bishop Dewane's biography for more info about his tax background:

After high school graduation Bishop Dewane attended the University of Wisconsin where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences. He then earned a Master’s Degree in International Administration from The American University in Washington, D.C.
Prior to entering the seminary, he worked for the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in Moscow, Russia, and then for a subsidiary of PepsiCo in New York City.
Bishop Dewane began his studies for the priesthood at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind., where he completed one year of philosophy. He then studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. While in Rome, he also completed advanced studies in canon law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
On July 16, 1988, Bishop Dewane was ordained to the priesthood and appointed to the Diocese of Green Bay as assistant pastor. He also worked for the Diocesan Tribunal.