Monthly Archives: July 2011
Reading around on the Internet, one stumbles upon some debates that to this cradle Catholic – who grew up in a country and in a time where Catholicism was still taken seriously – do sound rather strange.
I therefore thought that I would spend two words about what I think is the role expected from a priest vis-a-vis the challenges of modern times – and, come to that, of all times -.
1) I find it very good that a priest is shocked at perverted behaviour. When a priest – or every other person – is not shocked anymore, this means that he has been polluted by perversion himself. One must wonder about the state of a soul who is not taken by disgust at seeing people of same sex holding hands in public or, worse, kissing. Of course a priest must not be a Pollyanna utterly unaware of the existence of sin; but neither can he be one who looks at sexual perversion without cringing.
2) I find it (after the consecration) the most important duty of the priest to be good from the pulpit. In particular, it is inconceivable to me how a priest – any pastor or minister, let alone a Catholic priest – may renounce to address the matter of sin. I do not only mean the sin of lust, but all sins: envy, gluttony, pride, the lot. We are surrounded by obese people, on their way to a life of trouble and a premature death, because the sin of gluttony is not mentioned anymore; we have more and more vocal perverts around, because their sin of pride has been hidden under the cloak of “understanding” for their “plight”, when vocal homosexuality is simply utter rebellion to Our Lord; we have the environmental madness and the spreading of socialist ideas, because the sin of envy is not properly addressed; nay, it is encouraged.
How important the homily is can be clearly seen from the fact that the Church post Vatican II has tried to kill it, transforming it in a harmless chat where no uncomfortable messages are conveyed. The measure in which sin is so accurately avoided in every trendy homily is simply scary. In fact, whilst we still say that something is said “from the pulpit”, the pulpit itself has been one of the victims of Vatican II. How many new churches have been built with a proper pulpit? And when a pulpit is available, how many priests still use it?
The entire concept and physical presence of the pulpit reminds one of sin. NuChurch wants to get rid of the concept of sin. Therefore, NuChurch has to get rid of the pulpit.
Let me state very plainly that to me, a priest who is unwilling to address sin from the pulpit is unrecognisable as a priest.
3) In my eyes, a good priest is one who is, as it is generally said, a lion from the pulpit and a lamb (when he sees contrition, of course) in the confessional. From the pulpit, I am reminded of what a wretched sinner I am. In the confessional, I am re-directed toward the path of salvation. Being a sinner, I need the constant reminder that I go astray, and need to be reconciled to Jesus; that I am like those half-broken spring-propelled toy cars we had as children, which couldn’t go straight and had to be constantly put on the right way again; and this not only in the very grave things, but in the lesser ones also. I need to be reminded that I alone can do pretty much perfectly absolutely nothing; that left to my devices, I am very likely to find a rather fast way to hell; that my path to improvement and to a life of – at least – struggle to be as good as I can goes through the humiliation of penance, the crushing acknowledgment that I continue to nail Christ to the Cross every day. And this humiliation is really good (I mean: salutary), because it keeps me away from the worst of the sin of pride, and puts ruthlessly in front of my eyes what wreckage concupiscence is ready to make in my soul, if I am complacent.
Unpleasant? You bet! The human condition is unpleasant: we are sinners ready to continue to offend Christ every day. We are serial sinners who, unless we are properly instructed and reminded and admonished and rebuked, would easily find a speedy way to hell, and the priest is the man to help us avoid that.
4) Still, my ideal priest is one who uses a wise mixture of all that; one whose homilies are a healthy mixture of instruction and admonition, of hope and brimstone, of roaring and consoling. By one homily of twelve to fifteen minutes a week there is really a lot to say, and a normal churchgoer can have a thorough foundation in Catholic teaching, and at the same time develop a very healthy, nay, indispensable sense of his own sinfulness, in a matter of just a few years. This is what has always happened in the past, when people actually built churches with pulpits; and this is what the perverted generation of Vatican II has abandoned. Even the way to the confessional clearly goes through the pulpit, as the confessionals are deserted because the need for confession is not stressed strongly enough. One would have to talk about sin, you know. So he devotes the homily to the jooooy that awaaaaaits us aaaall in heaaaaven instead. “What a beautiful homily, Father”, will the people whose hand he is – in pure Protestant fashion – happily shaking after Mass say to him. Nothing but smiles all around. How very nice.
5) A good priest is, in my eyes, one who doesn’t refrain from addressing sexual perversion from the pulpit. He will – if he is any good – be able to express himself in a way that is clear without being obscene, and can be directed to the adults without upsetting the children. I agree that one hundred years ago the Sin of Sodom didn’t need to be addressed in Church; but others did, and St. Augustine openly rebuked his parishioners who slept with their own servants without being so afraid of what questions the children of these very fathers might have asked after Mass.
This is not meant to offend anyone in particular, of course. In fact, the blog where I have read one of these debates is run by what I think a most excellent priest. But then again, it is surprising what comments people (or even: priests) can write around as comments to blog posts or answers to questions. If I look back at my own experience the lack of proper homilies as a child has been, no doubt, one of the things which allowed me to slide away from mass attendance. If the priests isn’t serious, you end up not taking the Mass seriously. My mistake of course, but I can’t say that I was even warned from doing the mistake. Such were the times and such they, I do not doubt, very often are. We live in times where many priests would consider mentioning Mass obligation a no-no. Then they complain about the fact that the world is so materialistic and not turned to God. Why don’t they wake up instead.
A priest doesn’t have to be a master in sensitivity. He is there to save souls. He must be able to find the words, and to use the strong ones when needed. This is what a loving father does.
At times I have the impression that modern “Fathers” would prefer to be called “Mother” instead.
Whilst writing the last blog post about the satanic homosexual, drug-user, embezzler priest, I reflected on the fact that the man was in an establishment for sodomites without wearing his clericals.
Obviously so, you would say. Well yes and no. Let me explain.
Let us imagine that I am a priest with some vices on the side; a frequenter of strip clubs, say, or a client of escort girls. If my parishioners are accustomed to never see me in clerical garbs (because I am oh so “modern”, “pastoral”, and all other stupid terms come into fashion after Vatican II), then it will be rather easy for me to get out of my place at whatever hour during the day without arising any suspicion and, from there, head to wherever I please. No one seeing me going out of the rectory would smell anything fishy.
But let us imagine that the obligation to wear clerical garbs is strictly – and I mean: strictly – enforced. I have a problem now. If I get out of my place during the day without my clericals, I am bound to be noticed sooner rather than later, and If I wait for the darkness I am in even worse trouble. Add to this that I would not be able to play strange tricks, like getting out of my place in clericals and change clothes in some public toilet. It would never work, as I would be constantly at risk of being recognised and automatically exposed.
This would be even worse for a homosexual priest, as the kind of establishment these people frequent tend to be in strange neighbourhoods. One would have to be constantly recognisable as priest, the more so in the strange neighbourhood, to avoid trouble.
Of course, where there’s a will there’s a way; but really, if the rules were thoroughly enforced a whole lot of ways would be closed, and only the most dangerous would remain open.
Which leads me neatly to the other, shorter half of this blog post: all of these priests who do not wear clerical garbs and want to be so much one of us; so much so that they don’t want to be immediately recognised and recognisable as priests:
what are they up to?
They say that God is everywhere and I believe it; but it would appear that “liberal” priests are to be found in the strangest places, too.
Make no mistake, the author of this article is – besides being a faggot, which is bad enough – a perfect idiot. He is, in fact, so stupid that he thinks that he “has won” the “battle for the way he uses his genitals”, forgetting to tell us that:
a) he feels a piece a shit, and hates himself, like everyone of them. This is where the word “homophobia” comes from, “hates of self”. A dominant trait of these people.
b) the day he dies, at the latest, he’ll know “who has won the battle”. Then, he’ll experience a completely different meaning of the expression “being screwed”. Not pleasant even for people who, actually, like being screwed.
Still, this post is not about the pathetic attempts of these practicing homos to give themselves a dignity; nor is this about their self-hate, or the fact that their own conscience catches them even before the particular judgment does (and no, shouting “gay pride” and “human rights” is of no avail); but it is about the other, rather interesting elements coming out of the article:
1) A priest (depicted in the article’s photo and yes, he wears no clericals), called “Father John”, frequents faggoty bars described as “not the kind of place into which heterosexual wander by mistake”, and “an establishment where men occasionally exchange blowjobs in the parking lot”.
2) This priest is not only – which is bad enough, but par for the course in such an establishment – an unrepentant sodomite, but he hasn’t any problem in giving further scandal. The journalist describes his behaviour in this way:
The young man told us extraordinary tales: and openly boasting of sex-and-ecstasy parties in Miami rectories, swinging priestly bachelor pads purchased with illicit cash, embezzlement schemes, S&M, and blowjobs-for-promotions.
Note here: openly boasting; which given the place, and the situation, is an utterly believable claim. A Catholic priest, for heaven’s sake.
3) A conservative Catholic blogger acquaintance of the faggot in question was:
rejected from the seminary, it seems, because of his insistence that homosexual behavior is sinful.
So, the conservative is kicked out of the seminary because he is a Christian and even insists in being it, whilst the obviously satanic “Father John”, who is “modern” and “pastoral”, finds his way into the seminary and from there in a completely homo-dominated “lavender mafia”.
This is what the “aggiornamento” has brought us.
Congratulations, Pope Paul VI. I hope you’ve avoided hell and no, I’m not so sure.
4) The journalist (who is, let us not forget, a faggot and an idiot), dares to implicitly call “hypocrite” an organisation that is against homosexuality and then tolerates such sods as “Father John”. What escapes him is that Father John is the pathology, not the physiology of the Church, and that the hypocrite here is Father John himself, the unrepentant bragging faggot.
The author of the article has, in his foggy thinking, at least the intellectual honesty to report that conservative Catholics thinks that the Church needs to be “purged” (you don’t say? Are you sure? Shouldn’t the Church place an idiot like Father John in every sodomite bar instead?); but being a pervert, he cannot resist from mentioning to us this pearl of the purest heresy, referred to him by a “liberal” (read: either faggot himself, or fornicating) priest:
“Sex is such an important part of who we are. You’re going to find a lot more people who are willing to embrace celibacy because of some sexual neurosis than guys who are willing to embrace it out of religious piety. And guess what? It doesn’t work.”
These words come from a priest – anonymous, of course – . This is one that first decides to become a priest, and then discover that “sex is such an important part of who we are” and those who embrace celibacy have, in their majority, their screws out of place.
What an ass.
You wouldn’t believe it, but these are the people who call the Church “hypocritical”.
Next time you hear of a liberal priest, think of “Father John”.
He might be pretty representative of the genre.
This is bad news, and good news at the same time. Bad news, because a shameless behaviour went on unchecked for too long. Good news, because the scandal is out after it is clear that decisive steps have been undertaken to clear up the pig stall (and the pig stall was, apparently, of impressive proportions, and the stink mighty).
It would appear that in the diocese of Miami a group of actively homosexual bishop and priests called the shots in the way you can imagine; bullying of those dissenting; favour for those willing to “favour” the bishop and his friend; toleration of live-in “boyfriends”; alcoholism; all sorts of sexual license; embezzlement of diocesan money to pay for expensive restaurants; even a commercial enterprise producing an exciting beverage meant to give young people “the best sex they ever had”, or the like, with the bishop himself having a financial interest in the operation.
It would also appear that things went so far, and so public, that a group of angry Catholics took the time and pain to write an extremely detailed, 400-page report to Rome, which led to the defenestration of the bishop John Favalora (I will resist the temptation of telling you what fava also means in Italian; let us say that in this case, it applies well to Favalora’s head), his substitution with an orthodox chap and the above-mentioned cleaning of the pig-stall now apparently well on its way.
Good news all around, then. Well, not really. How can it be possible that an entire diocese falls prey of a homo mafia and no one seems to notice much until the local Catholics get really angry? Come on, folks: is it possible that no rumour comes to the ear of other bishops and other functionaries, and from there to the nuncio? How is it possible to arrive to such extremes of depravity without the matter becoming the subject of the usual whispers and rumours, hints and allegations? We are not talking of clearly secret cases of child abuses here; we are talking of a behaviour that must have been noticed by the clergy as it has been noticed by the laity. How can it be that a group of rightly angered Catholics writes a 400-pages report without first trying to address things in a different way within the US (bishop’s conference’s relevant office, say; apostolic nuncio, say)? Isn’t it reasonable to suppose that steps were undertaken before writing the report, and they haven’t achieved anything? And how is it possible that what was plain to see for the people outside, was fully unknown to the people inside the US clerical apparatus?
Now 109 of the 400 pages are in the hands of “Gawker”, a rather vulgar, secular gossip magazine whose direct link I am not going to publish, but the page I linked to has the link for those willing to deepen the matter. The behaviour described therein would let your blood freeze it it had been put in place in, say, a commercial enterprise; but it becomes outright scary if you think that it all happened in a big diocese of the Catholic Church.
One can’t escape the uncomfortable though that even after so many scandals, the old habit of the full-time wearing of earplugs and blinkers doesn’t want to die; and one must at this point wonder whether other similar situations exist, whose only difference is that in their case there is no group of admirably organised Catholics like we had – thankfully – in Miami.
Scary thought, really.
CNA has a story about Dan Avila, an advisor to the US Bishop, calling Catholics to arms with words whose clarity can only be lauded.
“We just can’t simply sit back. Every Catholic and every Catholic institution concerned about marriage and the family will need to be able to step forward and advocate for the Defense of Marriage Act as federal policy,”
“Even if there’s no immediate prospect for this bill to race through Congress, the fact is that the pressure is building and the case is being made for the eventual demise of DOMA. All those concerned about the preservation of marriage simply need to pay attention, stay tuned, and be ready to respond.”
“Marriage is the keystone of the common good. When you erase from a policy on marriage any reference to sexual difference, you will force the government to ignore and to be indifferent to the absence of either the man or the woman in the most fundamental relationship that we know of.”
“I would daresay that Congressman Nadler and others who are advocating the repeal of DOMA are not also advocating for the repeal of the requirement that be limited to people,” he said. Many who argue for same-sex marriage have taken positions against recognizing group marriage, even as polygamists have filed suit charging that polygamy bans are discriminatory.
One can’t say for sure that the US Bishop will respond to this call to arm with half the energy it would require; but one thing seems clear to me: this issue is going to stay with us, and it will grow in public awareness as 2012 approaches. By supporting the (hoped for) move to repeal the DOMA, Adolf Hussein Obama has taken sides and he will have to live with the consequences.
It surprises me that Adolf Hussein would choose the side that has lost 31 times out of 31, but this is such a self-deluded child president that one should never be too surprised at seeing him, once again, piddle out of the potty-chair without even noticing the puddle.
I do hope he’ll have more of these brilliant initiatives in the months to come. More liberal, more socialist, more populist, more “change”, more Obama.
Go on, Adolf Hussein; you saw how good it worked in 2010….
The CNA reports that Bishop Raul Vera Lopez of Saltillo, Mexico has put himself in a bit of a trouble for his – and his priests’ – relaxed attitude towards Sodomy. CNA now confirms that he has declared to the press that he has “received some questions” from the Vatican, which certainly doesn’t bode well for his chances of having a tranquil autumn.
From what I can read from the CNA press release, Bishop Vera seems one of the rather strange ones. He accuses a Catholic press agency (ACI Prensa, the Spanish-language version of the CNA; which latter yours truly knows as rather factual and not inclined to fight ideological fights against anyone, much less bishops) of having published “outrageous things” that misrepresent his thinking and let him appear at odd with Church teaching; but then he goes on to say that they do it because…
“they are driven by prejudice and phobias against the homosexual community….”
hhhmmm….is this bishop’s talk? Am I sitting in front of the wrong cinema screen? Call me a cynic, but whenever I hear someone accusing someone else of being “homophobic”, I know that heresy is not far away.. How can a press agency, of all things, be driven by such phobias? And a Catholic one, at that? Methinks, they are just being (charitably) Christian? And who are in most cases those who accuse others – and the Church, with great pleasure – of being “homophobic”, but the friends of sodomy and the enemies of the Church?
The bishop’s utterances appear, therefore, already suspect. It is as if yours truly would be accused of being, say, anti-semitic and would reply by saying “ACI Prensa has misrepresented my thinking about the Jews; and they do it because they are clearly linked with the Jewish plutocracy”. Not very credible, is it now?
The CNA describes the controversial activities of bishop Vera as follows:
In March of this year, Bishop Vera published a statement on the diocesan website expressing support for the “sexual, family and religious diversity forum.” The event was aimed at “eradicating what some sectors of the Church believe about homosexuality” — especially the belief “that homosexual actions are contrary to God.”
This is, if confirmed, rather strong tobacco as a bishop – or a diocesan site – expressing “support for sexual diversity” is not unlikely to get the “Golden Sodomite” Prize for the current year; the more so when it is maintained that homosexual actions be not contrary to God. Strange god, this one; perhaps they are confusing with Baal.
Even stranger it becomes when one reflects – as, again, the CNA reports – that the bishop has expressed his opinions in the frame of the continuing support for an organisation called San Elredo community, founded by an American (still) priest called Father Robert Coogan.
This chap has managed, in a remarkable feat, to maintain that his group is not in opposition to Church teaching and at the same time to be on record with the following words:
“How can a person with same-sex attraction have a fulfilling life? And the only answer the Catechism gives is to tell them to be celibate, and that is not enough.”
Now this is very, very colourful (there can be no fulfilling life without sexual satisfaction; that’s a new one from a priest, and says rather a lot about Father Coogan’s own habits) as the ability of claiming to be orthodox whilst screaming around that one isn’t is not given to everyone.
Father Coogan’s and bishop Vera’s logic seem to be remarkably aligned, though; which is probably why they seem to get along so well.
We’ll see how this pans out. It can be – I mean, in theory there’s always a lot that “can be” – that ACI Prensa truly has misunderstood the poor bishop; that the remarks about them being “homophobic” is not authentic; and that when Father Coogan says that celibacy is not enough, he means that homosexuals must pray a lot. Which would be strange, because the Catechism says that, too.
Again, we’ll see how this develops. In the meantime, it is nice to notice that in Rome they have directed their attention towards Mexico.
This is the “Vortex” dedicated to the strange – though rather transparent in its intentions – initiative of the WYD organisers.
The video largely repeats what was already said in the message from Real Catholic Tv that has been the object of another post. Still, there are two new elements that are, in my eyes, extremely important:
1) it is the first time that something like this happens; and
2) the same need hasn’t been felt for other alleged “Catholic” groups planning the distribution of condoms or other activities in clear contrast with the Church’s teaching.
It seems, therefore, rather clear that what has happened here was a thinly disguised attempt to discredit Voris’ troops, whilst the usual “progressive” dissenters are left, as usual, largely undisturbed.
If they really want to damage true and sincere Catholics, I would suggest to the organisers of the World Youth Day that they try to do it in a less stupid way as it might be at least a bit entertaining. What they have done is, instead, simply pathetic.
This is the answer of Real Catholic TV to the “clarification” issued about their role in Madrid. Emphasis mine.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2011
REALCATHOLICTV.COM THANKS UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS FOR CLARIFICATION ON ROLE AT WORLD YOUTH DAY
SOUTH BEND, IN – The faithful who work at http://www.realcatholictv.com would like to thank the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for drawing attention to our existence and scheduled contributions to the upcoming World Youth Day events to be held in Madrid, Spain, as well as the launch of its new pilot program striving to address tough issues concerning sexuality and morals facing Catholic youth today, http://www.nobullinmadrid.com.
While we regret that some assistant to the Secretariat for Laity of the USCCB has not given us her approval “to participate in the cultural program”, we prefer to rely upon the higher authority of Our Lord Himself, and an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church as it does what it can to increase the authentic Faith and Morals of the Catholic Church:
“The laity derive the right and duty to the apostolate from their union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself.” Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolicam Actuositatem, 3.
For every press release that is issued mentioning our existence, more and more tangible interest in http://www.realcatholictv.com is generated on the part of ordinary Catholic faithful simply seeking straightforward information on just how to be really Catholic – not only in word, but more importantly in deed, which all too often is lacking on the part of some Dioceses in too many parishes to the grave detriment of souls. For the significant increased attention drawn to the exclusive on-line product found on http://www.realcatholictv.com, we are very grateful.
The faithful at http://www.realcatholictv.com are in full compliance with the universal norms of the Code of Canon Law, the universal legislation of the Roman Catholic Church, which in no canon muzzles ordinary Catholic faithful from using themselves on the web as genuine instruments of dissemination of Catholic principles. To the contrary, the Second Vatican Council calls upon every single Catholic to do his or her share to build up genuine observance of authentic Catholic Faith and Morals, which we only strive to achieve in a concrete and updated format resonating with the youth of today.
To learn more about us, check us out at http://www.realcatholictv.com, and http://www.nobullinmadrid.com. Press and other Media are invited to contact Ms. Susan Vance, Director of Communications, directly at 248-545-5716, or by e-mail at email@example.com
Very light-hearted, but spot on.
Several blogs are now sporting the new, elegant banner “Protect the seal of confession”, the creation of the St. Genesius Blog.
I will insert an image of this on my sidebar and to do things tidily and without risk of links breaking, I need to post the image in a blog post of my site and then link the image to this blog post.
This is, very honestly, the main reason for this blog post.
As I am there, I suggest that you consider inserting this on your blog (if you have one) or alternatively mail it around to people you know and won’t feel spammed by you.
Every little helps.
We all know and hopefully dislike the “instant” that has become so common in our time. Instant coffee, instant soup, instant gratification. After a while, it turns out that the instant coffee isn’t really at par with the non-instant one, the instant soup is even worse, and the instant gratification is not really gratifying and only takes one away from more important gratifications requiring, alas, much more time; guitar instead of video games, say, or learning Italian to read your Dante properly, or just something simple like a slowly and lovingly cooked meal rather than pre-processed garbage.
Andrea Tornielli at “Vatican Insider” has now a rather worrying story about a new manifestation of this instant gratification mentality, “instant canonisation”.
The re-inventor (in modern times) of this new fashion is – and how could it have been otherwise – the late Pope, Blessed John Paul II. Pope John Paul II was not one for waiting, particularly if easily gained instant popularity for the Church was part of the equation. Therefore, he sounded around whether in the case of Mother Theresa those oppressive red tape procedures – already largely massacred from … himself – could not have been skipped altogether, elegantly jumping the boring formality of beatification and immediately starting to work on the next Great Media Show And Popularity Festival, Mother Teresa’s canonisation.
Those asked must have politely defined the initiative, in “Yes, Prime Minister” parlance, “courageous”, because even if John Paul II skipped, with the usual athleticism, the minimum waiting time, the beatification itself was not skipped.
We are now informed that after the death of the late Pope, the same ideas were circulated; this time, concerning Pope John Paul himself, and promoted by none other than his secretary, Stanislaw Dziwisz. Here the Polish athleticism reached Usain Bolt proportions, the idea that a Pope should make a historical exception in the matter of the canonisation of his own predecessor being very similar to Merriam-Webster’s definition of “questionable”.
Happily, Pope Benedict had the sense of braking the impetus of the former secretary, though he didn’t see it fit to stick to the rules, either. Therefore, we got another “exception”, the second in just a few years. Predictably, this second exception didn’t fail to damage the institution of Beatification, – which is, as you will remember, not a matter of infallibility like the canonisation – attract vocal criticism and, in general, succeed in making of a rather uncontroversial institution the object of loud disputes.
This, the late Pope had not deserved, as his undoubtedly saintly character and exemplary life (as a religious, I mean) would have certainly allowed for a slowly cooked, but far more savoury and enjoyable beatification at a later point in time. It surprises one that the Church, accustomed and expected to think in very long terms, should completely forget her own wise habits regarding an institution so directly linked with her prestige and reputation.
Like instant coffee and instant soup, instant beatification proved a rather tasteless, inferior product.
The organisers of the World Youth Day have issued a press release saying that Michael Voris, whose Real Catholic TV will organise an event in Madrid in the same days, is “not approved” by them.
This is rather strange as never has Real Catholic TV ever meant that it is. In fact, in order to talk about Catholicism whenever you please you don’t need to be “approved” at all.
The declaration has, therefore, the same content of truth and at the same time the same profound meaning as to say that “in Madrid, July can be pretty warm”.
In my eyes, only one of the two may have happened:
1) someone among the organisers of the WYD loves to state the obvious, or
2) someone at the WYD loves to try to put Voris in a bad light.
As it often happens in these cases, though – proving once again that the PR men of the Church aren’t among the most brilliant – the non requested and fully unnecessary operation of distancing themselves from Voris has only managed to give him more exposure. Curious about the event, I have googled a bit and have discovered that the initiative has its own website.
Now, I personally find the site adolescent to the point of being almost cretinous, and think that even modern teenagers can cope with more serious information, presented in a more serious way. Still, not only I find the initiative very good in itself, but I feel the moral obligation to advertise the site after the organisers of the World Youth Day have felt the moral obligation to tell us that it is not approved by them.
Perhaps some video will be made available after the event, which makes the site worth keeping an eye on.
This man – apparently rather well-known; my bad for ignoring his existence, I suppose – is so endowed with common sense and strict reasoning, that I couldn’t believe that he is a Jesuit. I can easily imagine that he will feel very much in the minority among his confreres. Be it as it may, Fr James V Schall has written such a good piece on redistributing wealth, that yours truly couldn’t resist the temptation to spread the sanity.
The arguments are not new, and in fact by reading classics of factual information and common sense like the excellent “The Sceptical Environmentalist” (written, mind you, by a leftist homosexual activist, not yours truly’s favourite kind) one would be perfectly informed about pretty much every one of them. What is notable here is that these arguments are expressed in such a beautiful, pithy way and that they come from, of all people, a Jesuit. Every day a new lesson…
Enjoy some of the most brilliant quotes I have chosen, but I encourage you to enjoy this very short article in full.
Because someone is rich, it does not follow that he is therefore greedy. A poor man is free to be both greedy and envious.
The primary causes of wealth production are brains, effort, and virtue.
At first sight, the oft-repeated lament that the world’s goods need to be “redistributed” for the benefit of the poor seems logical. Usually behind this apparently innocent approach is the idea of the limitation of the world’s “goods.”
Ecology is potentially the best thing ever to have happened to socialism and absolutism, as their advocates realize.
Do we worry about the oil supply for the good folks, if there be any, in AD 4678? in AD 7842? in AD 11369?
America was said to be overcrowded when Columbus discovered it
Suppose, when oil or coal were first discovered that they were defined by some early save-the-earth politician.
If we really want to help the poor to become not poor, the first thing we must do is stop talking of “redistribution,” which is, at bottom, a branch of envy theory. We have to look elsewhere, at innovation, thrift, incentive, proportionate justice, virtue, markets, culture, and growth.
If we really are concerned with the poor, talk of “redistribution” is not worthy of us.
When it happens – far too seldom, admittedly – it is a joy and a pleasure to be able to report about a Cardinal who really takes his job seriously and is more concerned about the souls of his sheep than about his own popularity or acceptance.
Cardinal Sarah is the man in charge of restructuring the entire apparatus of Church development programs. He obviously has a clear idea of what development aid must not be: a purely secular undertaking indistinguishable from secular organisations of the sort. But our man is also very attentive to the duties of a shepherd to speak clearly.
“if we have fear of proclaiming the truth of the Gospel, if we are ashamed of denouncing the grave deviations in the area of morality, if we accommodate ourselves to this world of moral laxity and religious and ethical relativism, if we are afraid to energetically denounce the abominable laws regarding the new global ethos, regarding marriage, the family in all of its forms, abortion, laws in total opposition to the laws of nature and of God, and that the western nations and cultures are promoting and imposing thanks to the mass media and their economic power, then the prophetic words of Ezechiel will fall on us as a grave divine reproach.”
These words, pronounced at a ceremony of ordination to priesthood and diaconate, have all the clarity of purpose so often absent from our bishops, particularly (but not only) the European ones.
Cardinal Sarah again:
“These reproaches are serious, but more important is the offense that we have committed against God when, having received the responsibility of caring for the spiritual good of all, we mistreat souls by depriving them of the true teaching of the doctrine of regarding God, regarding man, and the fundamental values of human existence,”
The clergyman who has received the responsibility of caring for the souls of his sheep, and feeds them with common places and innocuous slogan instead, mistreats the souls entrusted to him, and will be punished accordingly. Archbishop Nichols’ ears must be burning, and our Archbishop Namby-Pamby also has an awful lot to reflect about; though Cardinal Schoenborn must, surely, take the biscuit.
In another show of beautifully shameless and absolutely un-PC orthodoxy, Cardinal Sarah says:
“we no longer know what is evil and what is good. There are a multitude of points of view. Today, we call white what we once called black, and vice versa. What is serious, and make no mistake about it, is the transformation of error into a rule of life.
“In this context, as priests, pastors and guides of the People of God, you should be continuously focused on being always loyal to the doctrine of Christ. It is necessary for you to constantly strive to acquire the sensitivity of conscience, the faithful respect for dogma and morality, which constitute the deposit of faith and the common patrimony of the Church of Christ.”
This man is a steamroller. I hope we will be hearing more from him in the months to come. The Church desperately needs people like him.
“When I first heard of their financial difficulties, I was distressed. Crystal Cathedral Ministries has been a valued religious resource for many, many years in Orange County and, through the Hour of Power, around the globe. Like our own Mission San Juan Capistrano, its historic and cultural links are important to Orange County. Under this plan, we hope that that ministry can continue. Dr. Schuller built up this ministry from the humble roof of a drive-in snack stand, and that constant faith in God’s providence, I believe, will sustain their community through these current trials. The Crystal Cathedral underscores the vitality of faith in our modern society and with our offer we will enable this beacon of faith to continue to influence others as an important place of worship,”
Please let us examine these words:
1. a laud of a Protestant ministry
2. the stressing that this Protestant ministry once had a worldwide audience.
3. the stressing on the fact that this creates “historical and cultural links” which are “important to Orange County”.
4. The hope that a Protestant ministry can continue.
5. A strong laud of the humble beginning etc. of a Protestant minister.
6. The stressing that this Protestant’s ministry is driven by Providence.
7. The stressing of the place as an important place of worship.
You would say that here some high-profile Protestant minister is breaking a lance for the Protestant organisation created by Mister Schuller, and seeing the glowing terms with which his Protestant ministry is portrayed and constantly exalted you would think that this chap is a staunch Protestant. He is, therefore, understandably “distressed” at hearing of their financial difficulties and tries to do what he can to allow them to continue their work. I think that you would be perfectly right, as it is undeniable that this chap does have strong Protestant feelings.
The problem here is, though, that the words above do not come from a Protestant minister, but from the bishop of Orange County, Tod Brown.
I knew that these art of liberal bishops could be rather “ecu-maniacal”, but this reaches a new level: this chap thinks that Protestants are helped by Providence! This chap could meet Martin Luther and praise him for quarters of an hour on end!
I have difficulties in thinking of any one period in the history of the Church, where a bishop not only openly praising heretics, but even considering their existence a work of Providence and claiming to help them to continue their work would not have put this bishop in extremely serious trouble. I mean here, obviously, any period in the history of the Church before Vatican II.
The heresy is among us. It is openly proclaimed under the sun, with no shame at all, from Catholic bishops. From this perspective, the bid now ongoing to buy the Crystal cathedral shows another interesting angle: not at attempt to save money, but an attempt to dilute Catholicism by buying a building that is closely identified with protestant worship, and helping a protestant ministry at the same time.
For the record, this bishop is another “enlightened” choice of the late Pope, Blessed John Paul II, the not so great.
In the press release of the National Organisation for Marriage, NOM’s president Brian Brown said:
“The crowd in Manhattan was so large the NYPD asked us to begin our march early so that we could relieve overcrowding at the gathering site. By the time we reached the United Nation’s plaza, nearly 10,000 people were present. This shows that a new era in the debate about same-sex marriage has begun. It’s not about what politicians think is best, it’s about demanding that the People be given their right to be heard.”
I think that this admirably sums up what I wanted to say with this blog post:
1) the rally was a great success, not only above expectations but (as you could read yesterday for the first NOM press releases) with people spontaneously joining the march;
2) the Christian side is now officially on the offensive, and my impression is that the politicians who prostituted themselves will be able to run, but not to hide;
3) the cry for a vote in NY is not going to go away, and when it is given the population’s awareness will be high enough to ensure victory.
More in general, it is an illusion for a politician to think that he can politically survive (particularly after having betrayed and sold his
backside vote) by espousing the cause of around 1% of the population. It can work only until the common man wakes up; but when this happens, said politician is utterly done for.
Similarly, he who thinks that this movement is now going to quietly die after the first emotional wave following the vote is clearly in denial. This is going to stay and organisations like NOM, the religious organisations like the Only Church and the Protestant communities and the many people who aren’t particularly religious, but are conservative enough to care for the basic instruments of a functioning society will care for it. Against them, a small minority of (how is the word again? “Gay”? No, it can’t be. Oh yes, now I remember…) perverts and their lapdogs, the liberals. When the country wakes up they haven’t the shadow of a chance, as social “liberalism” is clearly in the minority.
In the meantime, the legal challenge to the law goes on. Whilst I wouldn’t bet my pint on its success, this is another sign that this is a fight not going to disappear from the radar screen.
The Irish Times has an article about the situation of discomfort experienced by many priests in Ireland. The chief whiner seems to be a Father Hoban, whose world fell on his head when he received a couple of rather vulgar phone calls and who nowadays feels, how should I put it, not very popular.
The interview deals with other issues, but what striked me most is this: that a priest should complain because he experiences social isolation or hostility.
Without going in detail about the personal situation of this particular priest (from what one reads around rather a professional whiner, and one of the trendy ones), I would like to expand a bit about this situation of uneasiness experienced – in a more or less whining way – by many Irish priests.
1) A priest is not supposed to be popular. He is supposed to be a scandal. If a priest thinks that he must be popular, I know that he will be a bad priest; a priest more interested in his own acceptance than in the health of his sheep’s souls is a priest who will start twisting and turning the Catholic message in various ways in order not to compromise his main aim: to be popular, accepted, “part of the group”. This is Father Pansy, the typical appearance on the parishes of the Western world. Irish priests seem to have been particularly adept at this, as they have managed to almost destroy an extremely strong Catholic tradition in just a few decades. Whining and whingeing seems to me, therefore, not warranted.
2) In my experience, a strong priest is never despised. He will be the object of hostility, perhaps rancor, perhaps even hatred, but he will be respected at all times, and he will have a healthy following of sensible people, intelligent besides being religious. He will save souls, but saving souls always comes at a price. It was never supposed to be an easy job, or a popular one; if the priest believes in his mission, that is, and does his job accordingly. The strong priests will experience hostility and isolation, but he will always experience esteem with it. The pansy, on the other hand, will be despised, because he will be perceived – and rightly so – as a little cowardly weakling, who would do everything to avoid being unpopular. Father Pansy is, nowadays, very easy to find. I would venture to say that in my experience the majority of priests belong to this category. You know what, Father Pansy? If you are despised, you have no right to whine.
3) I can’t avoid smiling at reading about a priest moaning because of a couple of insulting messages, or perceived hostility and isolation. Really, what a pussycat. These people should have a couple of balls put under the tree at Christmas, with a pressing request that they may please start wearing them. In the vast majority of the planet, Catholic priests live in daily, physical danger; they don’t have the luxury of whining, because even to show fear would be dangerous; they couldn’t afford a voice message service where people leave ther insults, but are daily at risk that such insults be delivered by way of a stock, or a knife, or a pistol; they wouldn’t get the attention of an important newspaper, their very real danger being utterly ignored by the local press; and they would consider Father Hoban’s life a life of luxury, comfort and security, with or without voice messages and social isolation.
4) It must be unknown to Father Hoban that every day, countless members of the laity are insulted, or openly mocked, because of the decade-long inaction of pansy priests. Still, these laymen and laywomen continue to get the flak for their love of Christ, and don’t go around saying how oh so very cold their social environment has become. Many others choose to lose their jobs rather than having to perform abortions, or being forced to behave against the tenets of their faith. Your humble correspondent had the privilege of knowing a Christian layman from a Middle Eastern country, savagely beaten by Muslims fanatics to the point of getting asylum in Italy; with an eye almost blinded, and several skull fractures, and a walking impairment from the savage beatings (several of those) received. And if you really want to cry tears of rage and tenderness, I’ll tell you how it worked: that the man was *always* asked beforehand, by people armed with sticks, whether he was a Christian or a Muslim; and he *always* answered “I am a Christian”, knowing that a savage, life-threatening beating would be the result. He was left unconscious and half dead on the street on several occasions.
A layman, mind.
Father Hoban should just shut up, and hang his head in shame.
In all this discussion, the mistakes of the bishops are, in my eyes, a bit of a sideshow, at least as far as the likes of Father Hoban are concerned. Had he been a good, respected priest, no failing of his bishops would have been able to dent his personal prestige and the respect friends and enemies have for him. Instead, we read the pathetic moaning of an old man who very evidently hasn’t experienced social isolation until the ripe age of 63; which, if you ask me, is a clear sign that he hasn’t been much of a priest all of his life.
It is very strange, this shock at social hostility, when many laymen (including your humble correspondent) have experienced this very same social hostility (and not without physical threats at times; and not without hate at times; but never with contempt) from a good number of their peers since adolescence, because they opened their mouth to defend their values. Never with contempt, I said, because you’ll see that those who have the gut to believe in what they do are, generally, much respected by their enemies, and never have a problem in finding true friends. It’s the pansies who are despised by everyone, and rightly so.
Molti nemici, molto onore (“Many enemies, much honour”) was a Fascist slogan vastly – and predictably – criticised after the war, but whose profound meaning evidently always escaped our Fathers Pansy. Their honour is to be the darling of everyone, to the point that experiencing social isolation and hostility can tear their world apart. Poor little pussycats.
This is what Vatican II has given us: a generation of pansies whining because they aren’t the darling of the neighbourhood anymore; and this, after it was exactly their desire to be the darlings that has almost destroyed Catholicism under their wake.
Can you imagine a strong priest of the years before Vatican II whining in this way about the icy atmosphere around him? Thought not. They had to do with violent commies, murderous at times, as in Spain.
Not with voice mails.
Surprisingly, there is no trace on the Catholic blogosphere of the event that has surprised and – as it is always said, though in this case with less reason – shocked Britain on Saturday afternoon: the death of Amy Winehouse.
This is surprising because it is in my eyes not entirely consequential to condemn the perfectly a-religious (in the best of cases), booze-and-drugs lifestyle more or less directly propagated by too much of the modern pop culture, and not stop to reflect – and to admonish – when this culture actually leads to such a death.
Besides being an undoubted talent, a beautiful singing voice and a remarkably free-thinking artist in many respects, Amy Winehouse was in my eyes remarkable in another respect: a rather total lack of orientation in life. She was not one of those focused people who steel their determination in long years of obscurity until success comes to them; success had happened to her, so to speak, very early in life, and in such a casual way that she even maintained not to have a record of her first album at home. This was not a story of dogged determination, for sure.
Her famous “I don’t give a f**k” to Bono seemed rather her life motto, a motto to which she has remained faithful until it has become her undoing; a motto the more remarkable in these times where the talents of the music industry are rather strictly kept under observation, I assume for a sense of humanity besides the obvious “asset protection” reasoning.
They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
are the opening verses of a – actually, rather beautiful – song of her. In the same song, we hear
I don’t ever wanna drink again
I just, ooh, I just need a friend
In thinking of the tragedy of the late Amy Winehouse, what I think the experts and the rehab clinics and the music industry managers and even the fans couldn’t give her, a sensible prayer life would have given. I do not want to say that if you pray your addiction will automatically disappear, or that you will transform yourself overnight in the embodiment of fighting spirit; but it is fair to say that even a small prayer goes a long way to avoid the worst excesses, and that when one collaborates with grace then more energy is given to tackle one’s problem, and so on.
Amy Winehouse was born in a Jewish family, but it doesn’t seem that faith ever played a role in her life. I wonder whether she ever stopped for a moment to think of the Blessed Virgin, or if she knew Her at all, or if she had any religious life at all. You see, how one can send people to rehabilitation clinics without talking to them about God is beyond me. It’s like trying to produce water without the oxygen.
Talking about Catholic oxygen, one of the most beautiful aspects of Catholicism is to be able to see the Blessed Virgin as our Heavenly Mother. Even if I were hated by my parents, or had a very troubled relationship with them, the love and respect for my Mother in Heaven would certainly encourage me to stop harming myself. This thought has been in the past the guide and consolation for innumerable orphans, or people with difficult parents. I dare to think that what has failed here was not the attention of her agents, or of her production company, but her prayer life. The first prayer leads to the second, and then comes the third. At some point, you have enough self-esteem and self-love to not appear on stage drunk like a lord, because you know that you are loved.
We know that the Blessed Virgin suffered for her every day. We know that she would have been able to intercede for her more effectively, if properly asked for. We know that it is impossible to feel loved and valuable and willingly go forth toward self-destruction; that no matter how hard the trial – and her trial, if undoubtedly self-inflicted, must have been very hard at the end – we can’t blindly abandon ourself to self-harm when we feel embraced by Her tender love. Now, Winehouse being Jewish the recourse to Mary would have been (perhaps) not in the cards; but this shows once again the beauty, wisdom, love and Truth of our wonderful Catholic religion.
Therapists, consultants, more or less loving parents, the usual entourage of officially disinterested friends: was there among them someone who just suggested to Amy Winehouse that she prays, and then prays again, and then prays some more? I haven’t found any mention anywhere. It doesn’t seem to have been part of the picture. But fame, money, an army of consultants cannot do much against one’s own ghosts, unless supernatural help is asked and received. And what are we without prayer, other than little vessels lost in the storm of life…
Therefore, when the official reason for her death is made public, we are not very likely to read what was rather probably an important part of it: lack of proper spiritual life, lack of knowledge of being an infinitely beloved soul, and lack of knowledge of the Blessed Virgin as her Heavenly Mother.
I hope that she has avoided the worst, though frankly who can say… I have prayed for her not because I think that she was more deserving than all those unknown souls who died on saturday afternoon, but because of the sadness of such a waste of life and talent, and the suffering she must have caused to her poor guardian angel, and to Mary in Heaven.
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Interesting article from the Poughkeepsie Journal, informing us that outside of New York City, so-called same sex “marriages” aren’t popular.
One may only speculate as to how on earth such a hardly fought battle (a battle that will leave several flip-flop politicians dead on the ground in the years to come) for “human rights” doesn’t cause a run to the town and city halls, with the wannabe “brides” (do they throw a coin? Or ….ugh!) happily destroying their mascara under the emotional tsunami of their virginal tears of luuv, on the day they are made Queen and Queen of the household.
One can only make some suppositions, like:
1) for most of these perverts, the relationship with their “partner” is mainly about doing the disgustingly unspeakable, not any kind of bond or mutual obligation. The “partner” is, then, there to minimise the possibility of AIDS, not because of a life plan;
2) homos are the first ones not to believe in the tale of the human right. I can’t imagine many liberated black slaves deciding that there is no great need for liberty after all, or that they will wait before they exercise the human right to become a free man; similarly, I can’t imagine many people opining that the right to free expression, or free association, or free vote are something worth fighting for in theory, but that in practice few will want to exercise;
3) whilst it can be fashionable in a place like New York City to play “trendy fag” showing one’s limp wrist with a ring around one finger (please don’t tell me if they really do: it’s disgusting; and please don’t tell me if they really don’t: wasn’t it supposed to be about “luuuv?”), it is easily conceivable that the matter might be different in smaller places, where people tend to think that marriage is between a man and a woman. Ask the local gentry, and they will say it’s elementary.
This is, I assume, the main reason why perverts gather in the biggest cities: anonymity means both license, and the possibility of creating self-approving communities halfway protected by the ridicule.
What will be most interesting to follow, though, will be the rate of divorce of these so-called “couples”; then these clowns can never create any real expression of “love”, just the mockery of it.
One thinks that, perhaps, they understand it themselves.
I have written some days ago about the possibility that the Diocese of Orange would bid for the “Crystal Cathedral”.
The Diocese of Orange has now made an offer, that at USD 50m in cash would appear more attractive (for the seller) than the alternatives examined up to now.
I can only repeat here that, whilst the intention to save money is in itself laudable (though questionable; this is a glass building, not something made for the centuries), such a building does not correspond to the message a Catholic Cathedral is supposed to send. If you want to see a sensible alternative you can look here, or at the photo above.
The Diocese of Orange has 1.2 million parishioners. For many centuries, Cathedrals have been built slowly, but in the right way.
I do not doubt that cheaper alternatives were available to our ancestors; but our ancestors did not go for the cheaper alternatives. They started to build cathedrals of which they knew that no one of the initiators would see them completed, and many of their children might not see them completed, either. Every one of those beautiful buildings is a tale of patience, sacrifice, and true faith. We see them today, and we are reminded of Christ not only through the way the Cathedral is built, but through the faith of those who built it. Proposals like “we need a Cathedral now so let’s find a fast solution”, or “there’s a building available that costs half, let’s take that instead” would not have ranked very high in popularity by our ancestors.
It is an indication of the shifted priorities that nowadays the “ready-made” solution should be preferred, because it costs less per seat.
Archbishop Gomez has accused Americans of being angry and “judgmental”, unloading on his poor listeners such a load of commonplaces and fashionable words that they must have thought themselves back in the early Seventies.
“Everywhere in our culture, people seem so quick to condemn. It is very hard to find words of mercy or understanding for someone who has done something wrong,” says the oh so understanding bishop; “many good people out there saying things they know they shouldn’t be saying”, he went on in a rather, well, judgmental way.
“People make mistakes. They sin. Some people do evil that causes scandal and grave harm. We can condemn the offense and work for justice — without trying to destroy the person who committed the sin,” says the bishop again and seems to have found some solid ground, but then forgets what he has just said by stating that “We need to reject every temptation to shame or condemn people. Let us never be the cause of turning someone away from seeking God’s forgiveness and redemption.” Yeah, right. Let us not condemn Pelosi, or Cuomo; it might turn them away from redemption. Coffee, Your Grace? Tea? Some spine perhaps?
I read these words in disbelief, and feel that a couple of words must be said:
1) It is very easy to say “do not judge”. In fact, it is the easiest thing to say. No, let me rephrase this: it is the easiest thing to say when you have no intention of doing your job. No, let me say it better: whenever you hear someone senselessly parroting the “do not judge” mantra, you can be sure that he is trying not to do his job (as a parent, a spouse, a friend, a priest). Archbishop Gomez might profit from the sermon of the young Franciscan talking about “judging” about whom I have written some time ago. As one commenter says, “do not judge, lest ye be judged” is “the first cry of the fornicator”.
I don’t judge you, you don’t judge me, everyone does what he pleases, and everyone feels oh so good. Particularly the Archbishop.
2) If there is a society where no one dares to “judge”, this is the modern Anglo-Saxon world. I do not know any other culture where you can eat yourself to death whilst people encourage you to feel what a wonderful person you are, and even entitled to other people’s understanding; where every kind of sexual perversion is covered under a thick layer of “non-judgmental” attitude; where people behave like adolescents well after getting grey hair and are surrounded by the “understanding” and “support” of all those around them; where there is not even a faint hope that suicide might be stigmatised, and the very probable consequences of such a gesture made very clear.
Elsewhere, if one eats to self-destruction people don’t invent strange genetic predispositions strangely unknown to them; they call one ingordo, that is: glutton; if one is a pervert, they call him a pervert (many names for that, but they all mean the same: pervert); if one abandons his wife of thirty years for a pretty young(er) thing who will be gone in a couple of years’ time they don’t show their “understanding and support” but call him a family wrecker, a child, and an idiot; if one commits suicide, they might have the gut to say a couple of unpleasant truths.
How cruel, says the archbishop. Soooo “judgmental”! What the Archbishop doesn’t consider is that in such societies the morbid (and let me repeat this: morbid) obesity I see around me (and in the US) is purely non-existent (genetic predisposition, my aunt: magna de meno!* says a popular Roman dialect phrase); the strong stigma on sexual perversion helps people to develop in a healthy way; the “judgmental”, rather harsh social control about one’s decision helps prevent people of sixty from behaving like pimple-plagued, cretinous adolescents; the (still) rather strong stigma attached to suicide saves lives.
All this, the archbishop is unable to see. His message is a very superficial, very easy, very popular “do not judge”. That people go to hell because of this mentality, he doesn’t seem to care; he has nothing to say; hey, if you say something it might turn the sinner away from redemption, right?
3) Bishops live in a difficult time: Catholicism is under attack, marriage is under attack, the very basis of Christian morality is questioned, even the seal of confession is now targeted. Is it possible that in all this, the bishop thinks it so important to abandon himself to populist waffle? Shouldn’t he be spending his time sending clear messages to his flock about such “judgmental” things as defending marriage, and Christian decency, and solid values? Is it too much to ask?
4) The bishop completely forgets, nay, willingly obliterates, the difference between private weaknesses and public scandal. Of course everyone is a sinner; of course we all fall short of the mark; of course we see in other people’s private failings – when they come up – a reflection of our own sinfulness and looking at ourselves in the mirror are reminded of how much we need the Lord’s mercy ourselves. But this is nothing to do with the open defiance of Christian values, and if the Archbishop thinks that he can eschew the battle by talking of Mary Magdalen whilst some of his colleagues take the sword of Christ, he is sorely mistaken.
Already that a bishop living in that cesspool of anti-Christian, “everything goes” liberalism that is the diocese of Los Angeles has the effrontery of even saying that people are “too judgmental” is beyond belief. I do not know any other place on the planet resembling Sodom so much as the city of West Hollywood, in the very middle of Archbishop Gomez’ diocese. But hey, do not judge, lest you be unpopular….
Archbishop Gomez would be well advised to wake up, smell the coffee, leave the waffle aside, prepare himself for the battles at hand, and be aware that he’ll have a lot to “judge”.
A great deal of excitement about a Michael Voris’ video concerning the beautiful song, “Amazing Grace”.
It seems to me that Voris is being unjustly criticised.
If you listen carefully to the video, Voris is not objecting to the song being sung by a Catholic. What he objects to, is the song being sung in Catholic churches, during Mass. I do not think we can blame him for this. Irrespective of every theological discussion about what is Protestant and what is not, it is a matter of common sense that a song whose theological content is questionable is better not sung during Mass. With two thousand years of musical and liturgical tradition at our disposal, the need is just not there.
In this respect, “Catholic answers” has the following Q & A:
Q: I’ve heard that the Protestant hymn “Amazing Grace” has lyrics that may not be in keeping with Catholic teaching. Which lyrics are ambiguous, and how they can be understood incorrectly?
A: “Amazing Grace” was written by the eighteenth-century Anglican sea-captain John Newton (1725–1807) in response to his conversion by grace from his life as a slave trader. These lyrics express his moment of conversion: “How precious did that grace appear / the hour I first believed.”
While not directly contrary to Catholic teaching, this lyric stands in tension with it because it appears to envision entry into the state of grace following the advent of belief, with no mention of the sacraments (in other words, in a “faith alone” fashion).
This sentiment can be reconciled with Catholic teaching because the grace of conversion indeed can be given at certain hours, causing a person to repent of a previously sinful life and re-embrace faith in Jesus Christ.
So, “Amazing Grace”: a) it can be “reconciled”, but it stays “in tension”, and b) it is clearly inspired by Protestant thinking, but can be accepted – with a different interpretation – from a Catholic one.
Makes sense to me.
Of course, one might say that Voris is inflating the matter, and seeing “ecumenism” where there is possibly only appreciation for a beautiful song; one might also say that, at times, his laudable zeal leads him to be a bit over the top (“dress like Protestants”. What?). I must also say that “wretched sinner” is how I would define myself most days, and how I would most certainly feel if I were to kick the bucket in the next three seconds and to realise the extent of the offense my sins have created. But all in all, it seems to me that the excitement is not justified.
In the end, I’d say that Voris’ video has two messages, which are merely underpinned by the “amazing grace” argument which, as he says, is merely a symbol (or a symptom) of something else:
a) that the older generation of Catholics has been protestantised in greater measure than those coming from traditionally catholic Countries in central America, and a dangerous anti-Catholic theology has taken hold in the consciousness of many of them.
b) that the singing of “Amazing Grace” happens “under the banner of accommodation” to non-Catholics.
One can disagree with these points, but it seems to me that they are the real message of the video, and the example chosen by Voris just a concrete way of explaining the manifestation of the problem.
Michael Voris is a rather trenchant type (I like that); at times, I have the impression that he sets the accent on the wrong matters, or on matters that do not deserve such a heavy foot on the gas pedal; I can’t say that I always follow the logic of what he says (see above, in matters of dressing); but all in all, thank God for Michael Voris and Real Catholic TV.
Rorate Caeli has an old-ish, but always beautiful blog post: the translation of the message sent by Pope Pius XII to the Spanish Faithful at the end of the Civil War in Spain.
Pointedly, Rorate Caeli point out that this is a reminder of who represented what in that conflict.
I reproduce the text in its entirety, and allow myself to suggest that it be accompanied by a prayer for Francisco Franco, the brave men who followed him in his stand, and all those who fought and died for Christ.
Let us also use this as a reminder that open persecution is always nearer than one thinks.
«CON INMENSO GOZO»
OF HIS HOLINESS
TO THE SPANISH FAITHFUL
(April 14, 1939)
With great joy We address you, most dear children of Catholic Spain, to express to you our fatherly congratulations for the gift of peace and of victory, with which God has deemed worthy to crown the Christian heroism of your faith and charity, tried in so many and so generous sufferings. Our Predecessor, of venerable memory, expected, with longing and trust, this Providential peace, which is undoubtedly the fruit of that copious blessing which he sent, in the very beginning of the struggle, “to all those who had devoted themselves to the difficult and dangerous task of defending and restoring the rights and the honor of God and Religion” ; and We do not doubt that this peace shall be the one that he himself foretold since then, “the sign of a future of tranquility in order, and of honor in prosperity” .
The designs of Providence, most beloved children, have once again dawned over heroic Spain. The Nation chosen by God as the main instrument of the evangelization of the New World and as an impregnable fortress of the Catholic faith has just shown to the apostles of materialistic Atheism of our century the greatest evidence that the eternal values of religion and of the spirit stand above all things.
The tenacious propaganda and the constant efforts of the enemies of Jesus Christ seemed to have desired to try in Spain a supreme experiment of the dissolving forces which they have at their disposal throughout the world; and even though it is true that the Almighty has for now not allowed them to achieve their goal, He has at least tolerated some of their terrible effects, so that the world could see how religious persecution, undermining the very bases of justice and charity, which are love for God and respect for His holy law, may drag modern society to unthinkable abysses of evil destruction and passionate discord.
Convinced of this truth, the sane Spanish people, with the two marks characteristic of their most noble spirit, which are generosity and frankness, rose up determinedly in defense of the ideals of Christian faith and civilization, deeply rooted in the Spanish soil, and, aided by God, “who does not abandon those who hope in Him” (Judith 13, 17), could resist the push from those who, deceived by what they believed to be a humanitarian ideal of the exaltation of the meek, truly fought only for Atheism.
This primordial meaning of your victory makes us dwell in the most promising hopes, that God in His mercy will deign lead Spain through the safe path of its traditional and Catholic grandeur; which will be the point that will guide all Spaniards, who love their Religion and their Fatherland, in the effort to organize the life of the Nation in perfect harmony with its most noble history of Catholic faith, piety, and civilization.
We thus exhort the Authorities and Shepherds of Catholic Spain to enlighten the mind of those who were deceived, showing them, lovingly, the roots of Materialism and Secularism from which their errors and wrongful acts came forth, and from which they could spring forth again. Propose to them the principles of individual and social justice, without which the peace and prosperity of nations, as mighty as they may be, cannot subsist, and which are those contained in the Holy Gospel and in the doctrine of the Church.
We do not doubt that it will happen thus, and the bases for Our firm hope are the most noble and Christian sentiments, of which the Chief of State and so many gentlemen, his faithful collaborators, have given unequivocal evidence with the legal protection which they have granted to the supreme religious and social interests, according to the teachings of the Apostolic See. The same hope is also founded upon the enlightened zeal and abnegation of your Bishops and Priests, tempered by pain, and also in the faith, piety, and spirit of sacrifice of which, in terrible hours, all classes of Spanish society gave heroic proof.
And now, before the remembrance of the mounting ruins of the bloodiest civil war recorded in the history of modern times, We, with pious regard, bow our head, above all, to the holy memory of the Bishops, Priests, Religious of both sexes, and faithful of all ages and conditions who, in such an elevated number, sealed with blood their faith in Jesus Christ, and their love for the Catholic Religion: «maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet», “Greater love than this no man hath” (Jn 15, 13).
We also acknowledge our debt of gratitude towards all those who sacrificed themselves even unto heroism in defense of the unalienable rights of God and of Religion, either in the battlefields, or devoted to the sublime works of Christian charity in prisons and hospitals.
We cannot hide the bitter sorrow that the remembrance of so many innocent children, who, having been ripped from their homes, were taken to faraway lands, often in danger of apostasy and perversion: we desire nothing more ardently than to see them returned to the bosom of their families, where they will once again find the warm and Christian tenderness of their own. And those others who, as prodigal sons, wish to return to the house of the father, we doubt not that they will be welcomed with goodwill and love.
It falls upon You, Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, to advise all, so that in their policy of pacification all will follow the principles taught by the Church, and proclaimed with such nobility by the Generalísimo: of justice for crime, and of lenient generosity for the mistaken. Our solicitude, also as a Father, cannot forget these deceived ones, whom a deceitful and perverse propaganda succeeded in enticing with praises and promises. Your Pastoral solicitude should be targeted at them, with patience and meekness: pray for them, seek them, lead them again to the regenerative bosom of the Church and to the warmth of the Fatherland, and lead them to the Merciful Father, Who awaits them with open arms.
Therefore, most dear children, since the rainbow of peace has returned to brighten the heavens of Spain, let us come together heartily in a fervent hymn of thanksgiving to the God of Peace and in a prayer of forgiveness and mercy for all those who perished; and, in order that this peace be fruitful and longlasting, We exhort you with all the fervor of Our heart, to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4, 2-3). Thus united and obedient to your venerable Episcopate, devote yourselves joyfully and with no delay, to the urgent work of reconstruction, which God and the Fatherland expect from you.
As a pledge of the copious graces, which the Immaculate Virgin and Saint James the Apostle, Patrons of Spain, shall obtain for you, and which the great Spanish Saints have merited for you, We bestow upon you, Our dear children of Catholic Spain, upon the Chief of State and his illustrious Government, upon the zealous Episcopate and their selfless Clergy, upon the heroic combatants, and upon all the faithful Our Apostolic Blessing.
I have written some time ago about Schattenschrift, a brilliant Blog in German. Unfortunately, no blog posts have been appearing on that blog since February, though the blog is still online and more than worth a visit.
In the last days, I have become aware of a new and brilliant blog, “Kreuzfaehrten”.
Besides being extremely well-written and a thoroughly well-thought product, this blog is of particular value because coming from a convert; not a convert from Protestantism – as I had originally thought – but from that kind of mocking Atheism with which we are increasingly more often confronted.
On this page (at the same time, the first message) the author gives a brilliant exposition – and explanation – of his individual journey from mockery to doubt, to possibility, to certainty. As it is typical for brilliant minds (intelligent people always understand submission to Truth; it’s the idiots who think they know better), this new convert hasn’t espoused any wishy-washy, made-to-measure, “what is truth”, “I am so proud of my doubts”-mentality in his approach to Christianity. On the contrary, he has recognised the Truth, and has embraced it whole.
As you would almost expect from a German, the completeness of all the usual side aspects of a blog (blogroll, graphics, various sources, & Co.) is in total contrast with the scantiness of the up to now not numerous messages, showing that this is a carefully planned and beautifully executed project.
Many of the links are to sites written in English, which will certainly not damage the site’s fruition from a vast number of German speakers but will be of use to the one or other of the non German-speaking ones. Germany does need as many of these blogs as possible, as if we exclude Bavaria the picture is one of a vastly tepid Catholicism, more inherited than actively lived, and rather firmly in the end of trendy bishops and priests. Last time I looked, the traditionally Catholic Cologne had the same divorce rate than the traditionally Protestant nearby Düsseldorf, and the German bishop’s conference is something difficult to talk about whilst remaining calm; granted, german Catholics hold their grounds more firmly than the now vastly secularised Lutherans, but to say that the Church in Germany is healthy would be a vast exaggeration.
I would suggest to those among my readers who can read the beautiful language of Goethe – not so few after all; and the author of this new blog apparently one of them – to visit this beautiful new blog and to, perhaps, introduce it to their German-speaking friends and acquaintances. Once again, as a non German-speaker you will find useful sources too. The author of this blog is, after all, the one who introduced me to the Sancta Missa site.
The work of letting a blog emerge from the vast mass of far less serious blogging enterprises is often a long and painful one, and it takes some time before even a very good blog can obtain visibility.
In this case, my impression is that the process deserves to be shortened as much as possible. Congratulation and best wishes to Catocon.
It is highly ironical that basic tenets of Catholic thinking (besides the Church being……. the only Church, She is the country’s second largest Christian organisation after the largely atheists or indifferent Anglicans, and the largest if you consider the number of churchgoers) need the endorsement of a senior judge to make some headlines.
The judge in question is Sir Paul Coleridge talking to the BBC, which reports the conversation as follows:
On the day official figures showed that nearly half of all babies are now born to unmarried mothers, Sir Paul blamed family break-up on social changes including the shift in attitudes towards cohabitation and increasing numbers of children born outside marriage.
He said that 50 years ago ‘on the whole cohabitation was regarded as something you didn’t do, to have a child outside marriage, so that created a framework that stopped very much breakdown.
‘We’ve had a cultural revolution in sexual morality and sexual behaviour,’ the judge said. ‘We need to have a reasonable debate about it and decide what needs to be done – and I don’t mean Government,’ he said. ‘They didn’t cause the problem.’
He added that the change in social attitudes over the past five decades had given people ‘complete freedom of choice’.
This was ‘great’ when they behaved responsibly, he added, but some seemed to think it was a ‘free-for-all’. Sir Paul said the rate of family breakdown among unmarried couples was far higher than among married ones.
It was statistically proven parents were far more likely to stay together until their children’s 16th birthday if they were married, he said.
Official figures suggest that an average marriage lasts around 11 years, but a cohabitation is likely to break up in three if the partners do not marry.
One would give kudos to the judge – a good chap, probably – if what he says were not the most elementary, purest common sense. And in fact the very same fact that his words made headlines shows a typical trait of today’s Britain: the loss of basic common sense.
I personally see as the cause of this a typically English disease, that has been worsening and spreading like a metastasis as the religious sense disintegrated: niceness.
Niceness has slowly become the unique moral criterium, the be-all and end-all of all moral considerations, the golden calf of a new religion. Nice, good. Not nice, bad. The idea that there be values to which niceness might be sacrificed has – encouraged by the “church” of England – all but disappeared. When values disappear from the pulpits, don’t expect to find them much longer in the sitting rooms of the pewsitters. When the “church” of England eliminated Christianity from morality, niceness took its place.
Still, a society in which everyone wants to be nice to everyone is condemned to doom. As divorce became more and more frequent, no one dared to say a word about that as this just wasn’t “nice” towards those among our acquaintances that were in that situation, or knew someone who was. If “nice” is the moral criterium, you have lost your argument – and every hope of avoiding that the country goes down the drain – the very instant someone says he’s “hurt”. Welcome to Nice Britain.
It went on, as more and more couples started to live together in concubinage and no one said a word, least of all the oh so nice vicar (and, all too often, the still-too-nice priest). The country was all too happy with its “Vicars of Dibley”, and didn’t care about the consequences as long as it was convenient to do so.
This obviously led to more and more births of children born outside of wedlock, born from people who were either adolescents or were remained such, the illusory quest for a never-to-be-reached personal happiness more and more frequently put before their own children. Those who went around saying that marriage is only a piece of paper were those who were most prone to leave their partner and children; but to say that was, of course, not nice.
The stigma also went. Being divorced is something, if not almost expected, clearly within the realm of normality. The very idea that there should be a stigma associated with being divorced is considered something bad because, erm, not nice. Strangely, I grew up in a country which – covertly or overtly – used to send the message that if you are separated/divorced, you are a failure irrespective of whatever other achievement you may have, because you have failed in the most important endeavour of your life. How “rude”! How “judgmental”! But you see, in such an environment you think twice before you marry, and thrice before you divorce. Of course there is social pressure: it is because it is good!
The entire “niceness” madness is perfectly epitomised by our Prime Minster, “Call-me-Dave”-Cameron; the friend of everyone, the supporter of every idea and its contrary, the man called “chameleon” even before seriously starting to be a politician, the prostitute of every lobby, and the undoubtedly brownest nose of the Kingdom. Cameron is the kind of person able to say that he is in favour of marriage, and that “marriage” includes homosexual couples. This doesn’t scandalise much. You see, he is being nice.
This is where we are now: a country where marriage is defended with words, without saying that to defend marriage means to condemn alternative forms of convivence; a country where it is recognised that a child needs stability, but its destruction is never stigmatised; a country where there is a lot of talk about values, without ever saying what behaviours these values necessarily exclude.
The country drowns in niceness; starting from the vicar down the road, and the local politician.
It drowns to such an extent, that common sense makes headlines.
From the Let The People Vote site:
and be heard
RALLY ON 07.24.11 @ 3:00pm
Governor Cuomo and the New York Legislature imposed same-sex marriage on New York with no vote of the people. Voters in 31 other states have been able to decide the definition of marriage for their states, but New Yorkers have been denied that right!
Stand up to protest the redefinition of marriage and demand your right to vote!
If New York is going to change the definition of marriage, it should be the People and not the politicians who make the decision!
Let the People Vote! Join us on July 24 [at 3pm] in NYC, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo to let your voice be heard! Additional details coming soon..
Below is the appeal of Sen. Rev. Diaz (in Spanish).
Another beautiful blog post of Mgr Charles Pope (this is the Monsignor with no uncertain trumpet, or talking about locks and keys: when are they going to make him a bishop?), reminiscing of a country in which Christianity was not the enemy, but a deeply felt part of the everyday – and national – consciousness.
I could very well relate to his situation because, on a slightly different plane, I had analogous experiences and I saw the Italian society change in the meantime, though not in such a dramatic way. We had the “Hail Mary” and “Our Father” every morning at school before beginning lessons; religion (that is: Catholicism) was part of the curriculum from kindergarten on, and at school we had religion one hour a week. The country lived at the rhythm of the Christian clock; Christmas was very keenly felt, and the music above one of the most popular Christmas jingles, back in every home year after year. Sunday was the day of rest, Mass and football; the Crucifix was in every classroom, the Pope unceasingly on TV, the mass televised in its entirety at twelve every Sunday. There was a very fortunate radio program every evening and replied every morning: “ascolta, si fa sera”. Millions of children have listened to it whilst having breakfast, for sure, with Handel’s music the same year after year.
Many things have changed now. Sunday is not such a Christian day as it used to be, as the necessity to stress oneself seems to have extended to the seventh day; come to that, Sunday football has also been massacred on the altar of television, and a generation of Italians has grown up without knowing the incredible emotion of “tutto il calcio minuto per minuto”, the most beloved (from men) and most hated (from women) radio program of all times, with a soundtrack and emotions every Italian knew. No TV could ever equal it, I never felt the same emotion again.
Technology has made us stupid, the relentless quest for televised excitement has taken the best emotions away from us. We just pay much more for them; but I digress…
Crucifixes are still in every classroom, and in a healthy reaction to the attack of mad atheists and subversive Muslims the country has successfully fought to keep them where they are supposed to be. But you see that the country has changed; if not dramatically so, certainly worryingly so. “Ascolta, si fa sera” and “tutto il calcio minuto per minuto” are both still there, but the first now hosts Evangelicals and Jews, the second is mutilated by the TV-dictated match schedule.
In all this, the country is being rather admirable at keeping its Catholic roots. Not because of the generally disgraceful clergy (this is the country where some member of the clergy has the nerve of supporting the building of mosques, and others lend churches to Muslims; I hope they repent before they kick the bucket), but because Catholicism is surprisingly resilient, is in the very bone marrow of the country. In Italy, what Catholicism you still have you owe it to the wisdom and resilience of the people, not to the courage of the priests.
Like Monsignor Pope (I always smile at the name…), I see changes around me, and a society certainly less Christian. But I also see a huge untapped reservoir of Christian resources all over the West. It seems to me that Christianity is not dying at all, rather a bit of a sleeping giant; that when the Christian leaders (and most importantly, the Catholic ones) wake up and start to blow the battle horn, the soldiers will not be slow in rallying. In Italy, euthanasia and crucifixes have been clear Christian victories, and after four decades of clerical silence (meaning with this: clerical silence) opposition to abortion is probably not far from 40%. In England, a Pope whose attempted arrest had been feared has drawn crowds unthinkable just the week before; always in England, the virulent anti-Catholic media attack of Easter 2010 has caused a spectacular run of faithful to the churches in the Holy Week in what was clearly a massive popular reaction to the media attacks.
The troops are there. Even in England! Yes, they must be mobilised and trained. But the real problem is not the absence of troops. It’s the lack of willing generals.
This might well make your day.
There’s an Episcopalian soi-disant bishop in Long Island who has decided to, erm, take a moral stand. Therefore, whilst he has up to now allowed that his homosexual soi-disant priests lived together in sodomitic “luuv” without blinking an eye, now that the State of New York has decided that unrepentant sodomites may, erm,” marry” he will not tolerate it anymore and….. will require them to “marry”, too.
This funny episode is truly indicative of the confusion of these circus articles, now completely delivered to secular thinking. It is already beyond every stretch of Christian logic how two homosexuals would be ever allowed to live together in an official, “under the sun” sodomitic convivence and for this to be fine according to their bishop; it is even more delirious to accept this when one of the two is a supposed mickey mouse “priest” of this cartton bishop. But it truly represents a new and unheard-of stage of confusion to demand that, now that a secular instance has created a purely secular legal instrument, it be a religious requirement that a religious comply with it.
In other words, this mickey mouse “bishop” is saying that he had no qualms, from a religious point of view, with two poofs living in “luuuv” Sodom-style; but that the very same behaviour he was fine with before is not fine now, when a purely secular instance has created a purely secular and purely optional legal instrument. This man is desperately trying to take a “moral stance”, looking for his morals everywhere but in Christianity.
This is the same as if the Church would say that drinking tea is perfectly fine, but as the law now gives one the legal possibility of drinking his tea with absynth, then tea-drinking Catholic priests must put the absynth in their tea.
Drinking tea (or sodomy) is either a sin, or it isn’t. It can’t be fine today, and a sin tomorrow according to what a bunch of
prostitutes politicians in Albany say. Last time I looked, Christianity didn’t allow any secular authority to decide what behaviour constitute a sin. Of course you must respect the laws, and of course to disobey to a law can often – and not even always – be a sin. But the New York State hasn’t given anything else than an option to (oh, that word!) “marry”, so the bishop is desperately running after some form of politically correct “respectability” for something he doesn’t even condemn as a sin! Blimey!
Tellingly, Mouseton’s bishop gives his sodomite priests nine months (the time to make a baby; funny, that…) to decide what to do. He recognises, namely, that these people might be together only for the sake of each other’s perverted sexual gratification and not really having any long-term “luuuv” project. But that they lived together until yesterday, with that he was fine.
Oh well, I imagine the bishop of Mouseton isn’t bothered by these stupid Christian details….
In Austria, in the middle of Europe, a heretical movement has already gained the approval and open support of more than 250 priests, around 6% of the Austrian clergy. Their “Call to Disobedience” is openly advertised on the Internet.
All the members of this heretical uprising are still in good standing as Archbishop Cardinal Schönborn refuses to do anything to effectively counter this heretical insurgence. He limits himself to obligatory meowing, but in fact he helps the heresy to spread through his inaction.
Cardinal Schönborn’s motivation is – besides his vanity and desire of popularity – the money of the Austrian dissidents. His desire is for the vast number of Austrian dissidents to continue to fill the pockets of the Austrian Church. For this reason he pronounces some faint words of circumstance, but in fact allows the heretics to continue their work undisturbed.
This scandal must stop. Souls are at stake. Cardinal Schönborn’s inaction, motivated by vanity and greed, endangers souls and makes the work of the devil. Every day that this uprising is allowed to survive the reputation of the Church is damaged, the Magisterium sabotaged, the faithful confused. Cardinal Schönborn doesn’t care, provided he is popular among the dissident and they continue to finance the Church.
This shame must cease. The heretical priests must be punished and Catholic orthodoxy restored.
Please help by sending your protest to the following email addresses:
Congregation for the Clergy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Papal Nuncio in Austria: email@example.com
Holy Father: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cardinal Schönborn will not act unless forced to. Please stop this scandal by sending your protest emails and forwarding them. You may want to forward (and mention in the protest emails you send) the links to blogs written by priests as they will be very effective. Two beautiful examples are EF Pastor Emeritus and Father Z.
Please take the time. Souls are at stake. Heresy is spreading in the middle of Europe.
BLOG CONTINUES BELOW AS USUAL
When I was a child, the word “Philadelphia” invariably reminded me of a fresh wannabe cheese that I actually – probably against my better judgement – even liked. Little I knew that the thing didn’t carry the word “cheese”, because not in compliance with the rigid Italian laws about what you can call, well, “cheese”. Too much crap inside, was the general verdict on the matter. Be it as it may, when I grew up they lost me as a client.
Then, and to this day, the word “Philadelphia” started to instantly remind me of a rather beautiful song of Bruce Springsteen, the soundtrack of a successful film of the Nineties. In the video, Philadelphia was depicted as a city in clear decline. Springsteen walks in a kind of dump/ghetto not easily imaginable in Europe.*
That hit home.
Curious, I went to Wikipedia and discovered that whilst the place might do with one or three improvements (sixth most dangerous US city above 500,000 inhabitants; second dirtiest, too) it is certainly no Detroit, with a vibrant pharmaceutical industry, rather high income generation and clear signs of vitality.
This is, then, the place Archbishop Chaput will find when he moves there in September. Not an easy task, I must say: the archdiocese is in the middle of just another cover-up scandal, and Archbishop Chaput will have to keep up the good work already executed in Denver in similar circumstances.
Make no mistake, the liberal wolves will be around him in no time and will certainly try to smear him with every bit of the dirt they can find in his new diocese. A bit like Pope Benedict and the Hitlerjugend, or the homosexual pedophile priest scandal and, really, pretty much everything the liberals don’t like. Just associate the dirt with your enemy; something will stick.
But the man is a tough skin besides being a
Reds, erm, “Native American”. Even from the other side of the pond, he is one of the names one finds very regularly on Catholic headlines; an outspoken chap, very orthodox from what I have read up to now, unafraid to say it loud and clear and not really willing of taking the favourite excuse of the american clergy for their inaction, namely that the Church would lose its tax status if they were to be publicly Catholic. Which – let us be clear about that – for a Catholic doesn’t even begin to be an argument.
I hope that he will counter every punch and continue to be on the offensive rather than indulging in the usual “oh how very bad we have been, will you ever ever EVER be able to forgive us”-litany of his weaker and more cowardly colleagues. He will probably also get a red hat, as it is rather expected for his new diocese, and will give to the orthodox (read: conservatives) another extremely valid help and, why not, candidate when the next conclave comes.
Good look to him, and my prayers. A tough job for a tough guy.
God willing, he’ll do so good that in ten years’ time whenever I hear the name “Philadelphia” I will think of him, Archbishop (and very probably: Cardinal) Chaput. The cheese was not even really cheese and the song rather sad anyway.
* Outside of Naples, that is.