Pope Francis’ raison d’être for his Pontificate and for Amazon Synod

All in six minutes. He may go off text for a sentence. This isn’t up yet in translation on the Vatican website. That might take a day or two. It seems to me that there are some ambiguities here, some conflations, some extrapolations, some lack of context so as to use the cited text for a pretext. I’ll have to stare at it for a while. It just seems there are some reversals of purpose. I met with this all the time in my years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Jesuits).

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Teresa of Avila

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  • A rain cloud in the form of a foot [crushing the head of Satan] as seen from out front of the cave of Elijah on Mount Carmel
  • Scapular of the Little Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • The Coat of Arms of the Discalced Carmelites
  • The Donkey in his room at the Chaplains House in Lourdes, France, high above the Grotto, looking through the trees to the Discalced Carmelite Monastery
  • Looking down to the Mediterrainian from the Monastery Church of the hermits which was destroyed by Islamicist fanatics; by the way, the hermits were retired crusaders

I am grateful for the practical spiritual wherewithal of Saint Teresa of Avila. Have you read some of her works? This most un-well-read priest in the world, even I have read some things of hers. She’s great.

For anyone who has studied in Rome, this is a most fateful day, as it is the first day of classes for the academic year, at least it was back in the day, for decades. A good start.

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Domenico Giani, gone, just like that

Saint Michael Vatican City Jail Police Intel HQ

The picture above was taken April 28, 2016, a couple of months after the murder[?] of Mariam Woldu, the “Front of House” of Santa Marta – the Pope’s residence in Vatican City. This painting of Saint Michael is at the HQ for Intel and the Vatican Police (and the jail) in Vatican City.

I was there to meet up with Domenico Giani, at the top of the intel game right across the world. But recently someone else did something imprudent, and he has to resign because of what someone else did. All that experience and knowledge – also of ongoing cases like Mariam Woldu, by the way – all gone, just like that. Just. Wow. The instinct and hundred zillion incidents combining to make viable the hypotheses of connections and actionable intel in the who’s who game is something that you can’t gain overnight.

Domenico Giani

Was the imprudent action of an underling purposed for this end? That should be investigated. Was that subordinate ordered to do what he did by someone else? And who would that be? Was Giani getting way too close to undoing bad-actors using and abusing Vatican wherewithal for their own gain? Was Giani too good at his job? Was he too loyal, did he have too much integrity and too much honesty? I am saddened.

Meanwhile, yet another guy to whom Giani had introduced me the day I took that picture of that particular painting of Saint Michael seems to be on his way up the ladder. Giani was smart, always a Plan B to fall back on for what would need continuance. But that Plan B is now turning into Plan A, which will itself need a new Plan B. Meanwhile, I already have a place to stay in Rome for “future developments” mentioned elsewhere. Just have to get my ticket. But I have to get someone to cover the parish before putting any money down.

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Visitors, Picture, take-away Eucharist

We had something like twenty visitors never seen before by anyone one in the parish at the 11:00 AM Sunday Mass October 13, 2019. We’re a super tiny church, so they stood out. There were two odd occurrences.

During the homily there was a blindingly bright camera flash – like the gunpowder flashes that were used more than a century ago. Not a flash you can can simply ignore. It stopped everything, including me for a good five seconds, as my eyes were unexpectedly dazzled. I don’t know what that was about (for good or evil) but everyone in church instantly fully turned to see what this disturbance was all about. We will see. I don’t like this on any level, and it also raises concerns these days, and so is also imprudent: a little distraction on this side of church, a security incident on the other side of the church… that kind of thing.

The other incident was in administering Holy Communion. A Lady presented herself in such an odd manner that it was entirely obvious that she had never received Holy Communion before in her life. I asked her if she was Catholic and she said she was. Perhaps she was baptized Catholic, but I have to say that it seemed to me she was a full-on liar, though she was certainly stately in appearance and staid and polite in manner. She reached out one-handedly to snatch away the Blessed Sacrament. I said no, that she would have to receive right then and there. Accompanying her staring for a couple of seconds into my eyes with an entirely wry, sardonic smile, she said that no, she was not at all going to receive and so instead, she simply walked back to her pew without the Blessed Sacrament. It was as if to say that she had failed THIS time, but that might not at all be the case the next time. Sorry, but I was creeped out altogether.

Maybe she just wanted to bring Communion to a dying relative who requested this, but, I mean, she could tell me that then and there or she could then have come to see me right after Mass. That would have been the dignified, polite thing to do, right? In either case I would have said that I myself would go to see that person. Perhaps they need the Last Rites, right? That’s how it’s done. That’s what priests are for.

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Most Holy Trinity & Revelation

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That’s a trike at a friend’s house much like a trike I had in the early 1960s as a tiny little kid. I had trained up for such an entirely too-tall trike on a much smaller trike, you know, when I was a much tinier much littler kid. I appreciated the stability of a third wheel.

You have heard that it was said that the Most Holy Trinity was reduced to the Father and the Holy Spirit when the Word became Flesh and dwelt amonst us, so that the Word Incarnate was not divine, but merely a human being whilst He walked this earth, until He was crucified. How very absurd. How very blasphemous. When you kick out a wheel from a trinity a crash ensues. All is then nihilistic.

It’s the same with Revelation, which is constituted by Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, always together, and then stabilized on our behalf by that which is not Revelation, but which carries the guarantee of infallibility from Christ Himself, that is, the infallible Magisterium. Kick out one wheel of the trinity and they all fall. People immediately say that their theology (which is NOT faith, by the way) rules over Scripture, so that while they say “Scripture alone”, what they mean is that they can rewrite Scripture to their own relativistic whims and desires. In throwing away supernatural (not brain-invented) faith, people also throw out Sacred Tradition, which is wrought univocally in us by the Holy Spirit, not by our bullying handing on of whatever it is we think we otherwise perceive. It all falls. We need some guidance both on Sacred Scripture and the Faith Supernaturally provided, that is, by the infallible Magisterium which is provided to Peter and his successors as viable by Christ Jesus, the Word Incarnate Himself.

While Prometheanesque, Pelagianesque, self-referential, self-absorbed individuals in the Church rampage with their ambiguity and heresies and cowardly arrogant violence, those individuals, it must be remembered, are simply representing themselves. The doctrine and morality of the Church have never changed. No pressure group of laity, no group of priests, no stampede of bishops or cardinals nor even the Pope himself can reverse revealed doctrine and morality. They are not God. And for that matter, God cannot change doctrine and morality; God cannot change the Truth. God is the Living Truth.

The trike of the Most Holy Trinity and the trike of Revelation in the Church just keep rolling, however much anyone thinks they can kick out this or that wheel. They only make for a crash and burn experience for themselves, not for God, not for the Church as such.

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Priest’s Sunday is not a rest day

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Up at 3:00 AM. Over to church at 5:30 AM. Adoration and Confessions at 6:00 AM. Race from Cherokee County to Graham County 7:10 AM. Set up for Adoration with Confessions at 7:35 AM. Exposition with Rosary 8:00 AM. Mass 8:30 AM. Social after Mass and race back to the main church for Confessions at 10:30 AM and Mass at 11:00 AM. Social afterward. Talk, talk, talk. Then immediately bringing Holy Communion to the home-bound in the valley on on the mountain tops, and at the nursing homes of the various cities in the parish, getting home about 7:30 PM. The picture above was taken after 7:00 PM while leaving the last nursing home for the day.

Then it was simply a matter of feeding Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog, always a joy. Then I had a bite to eat, and after a brief look at phone stuff – unwinding a bit – and then Vespers of the Divine Office, it was off to bed.

The take-away of this screed of unrepeatable circumstances is that life goes on, and that it’s best to walk with Jesus at all times and in all circumstances. If there are those who have lost the plot elsewhere in the Church, well, that is their decision, and we pray for them so that they return to Christ Jesus. But I’m not going to grant to those others rights over my soul, over my peace. We can all of us ask Jesus for that peace.

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Pope Francis: other religions are false

World Youth Day 2016 Pope Francis and Jesus

[[Update: putting this up again in view of Amazonian belligerence. It seems a bishop defended that cultures killing of kids by saying everyone does that so in the Amazon it is a good thing. That doesn’t follow. It just means we all need redemption and salvation. No one has ever said elsewhere that Jesus said killing kids is good. Having said that, I don’t understand Pope Francis tolerating any “dialogue” about the murder of children. Creepy.]]


In an exclusive interview with Bishop Schneider, Diane Montagna of LifeSiteNews reports on the Bishop scoring a clarification on diversity of religions from Pope Francis – ROME 3-7-2019

At a March 1 meeting, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, obtained from Pope Francis a clarification that God only permits but does not positively will a “diversity of religions.”

LifeSiteNews: Can you say [something] about how Pope Francis responded to your concern about the Abu Dhabi statement on the diversity of religions? The controversial passage reads:

“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”

Bishop Schneider: On the topic of my concern about the phrase used in the Abu Dhabi document – that God “wills” the diversity of religions – the Pope’s answer was very clear: he said that the diversity of religions is only the permissive will of God. He stressed this and told us: you can say this, too, that the diversity of religions is the permissive will of God. I tried to go more deeply into the question, at least by quoting the sentence as it reads in the document. The sentence says that as God wills the diversity of sexes, color, race and language, so God wills the diversity of religions. There is an evident comparison between the diversity of religions and the diversity of sexes. I mentioned this point to the Holy Father, and he acknowledged that, with this direct comparison, the sentence can be understood erroneously. I stressed in my response to him that the diversity of sexes is not the permissive will of God but is positively willed by God. And the Holy Father acknowledged this and agreed with me that the diversity of the sexes is not a matter of God’s permissive will. But when we mention both of these phrases in the same sentence, then the diversity of religions is interpreted as positively willed by God, like the diversity of sexes. The sentence therefore leads to doubt and erroneous interpretations, and so it was my desire, and my request that the Holy Father rectify this. But he said to us bishops: you can say that the phrase in question on the diversity of religions means the permissive will of God.

LifeSiteNews: For readers who may not be familiar with the distinction between the permissive and positive will of God, can you give some examples of other things that God allows through his permissive will?

Bishop Schneider: Yes, permissive will means that God allows certain things. God allowed or permitted Adam’s sin and all its consequences; and even when we personally sin, in some sense God permits this or tolerates this. But God does not positively will our sin. He permits it in view of the infinitely meritorious sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, and because he does not want to destroy our freedom. This is the meaning of the permissive will of God.


/// That’s the heart of it. Great! But, what does this actually mean? I was explaining the above exchange to another priest who exclaimed that what it means is not really hard to figure out. However, sometimes you have to spell things out. Shall we?

To indicate that Islam belongs to that category of things definitely NOT positively willed by God but only “willed” by way of grudging tolerance in view of the free will God gave to us (the so-called “permissive will” of God) is to say that Islam is a false religion and that to choose willingly and knowingly to belong to that “religion” is a grave sin. So, let’s just say that all on its own, shall we? …

Islam is a false religion.

Pope Francis might as well have said to the imam guy: “Islam is an insult to God and is detrimental to mankind. Pope Francis might as well have said that Islam, that is, error has no rights, no rights to murder the innocent, no rights to stop the worship of true religion, no rights to stop the free exercise of true religion, no rights to tax non-Muslims to death, no rights to force non-Muslims into exile, no rights to hack down non-Muslims wherever they might be found, no rights to rights to spread by the sword that “religion.”

Having said that, keep in mind that all that which is Judeo-Catholic is but one religion. Everything in the Hebrew Scriptures points to the Jewish Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the Son of the Living God. Now that expectation is fulfilled. Jews have been given the fullness of revelation, as Siri and Lagrange and before them, Aquinas, said so eloquently. Paul has it that there is a veil, which speaks to the fullness of true religion, just that there is presently a veil.

Note that religion is a virtue of justice, rendering to God that which God is due in justice, that is, our obedience, that which, after original sin, only Jesus can accomplish of His own, taking the initiative to lay down His life for us (see Gen 3:15), standing in our stead, the Innocent for the guilty, having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, to have us once again be obedient, in Him, to God:

Jewish Jesus is Religion Incarnate.

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Harvesting organs from the living

I’ve heard it said that harvesting organs from the living is just fine. It is not. This is murder. Harvesting organs from dead is just fine, though the questions about when dead is actually dead are ignored quite universally by power monster doctors who only want a buck. It’s a very lucrative business.

When I was a student at the John Paul Institute for Marriage and the Family back in the 1980s when it was still in its pristine academic and Catholic foundational era, an international convention of doctors keyed into scientific analysis of the moment of death was brought together. The doctors spoke each of their expertise regarding various criteria for ascertaining death, regarding heartbeat, respiration, auditory or visual viability, brain waves, etc., under “normal” conditions and abnormal (that is, real-life) conditions. The universal consensus was that it’s really quite impossible to ascertain death in such manner that simply disconnecting someone from whatever will provide instantaneous death in such manner that it is permissible to immediately harvest organs from the “dead” patient. Period. Have we advanced in science since then. I’m guessing not very much for the reason that brow beating rhetoric about making tough decisions from doctors who don’t give a damn about life has increased in a hyperbolic manner. They are gods, and God isn’t God.

I don’t have organ donation indicated on my driver license.10

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Missionaries of Mercy insult mercy?

This came in as a comment on another post, but I thought I might highlight it so as to clear up some things:

“Father, regardless of whether your invitation from Pope Francis to be a Missionary of Mercy continues, you and all other good priests will always be Our Lord’s Missionaries of Mercy having left the world behind to mediate between God and man for the sake of our salvation. Thank you for all you do.

“I found it unsettling that Pope Francis set a small number of priests apart from their ordained brothers by calling them to be Missionaries of Mercy because it implied, or so it seemed to me, that bringing God’s mercy to people was something new – a new initiative of the pope being trialled by a small number of priests before being rolled out to the Church at large. Catechised and practising Catholics know better – they know well the merciful nature of the priesthood – but the uncatechised and non-practising don’t and they are the majority.

“It follows that if most people are led to believe that the priesthood up until the advent of Pope Francis was not merciful (uncaring and harsh), they will also accept his labelling of priests as rigid when living their priesthood in accordance with tradition (in continuity with the past), and subsequently agree with the German and Amazon Synods that change (discontinuity with the past) is needed for a caring, merciful Church to come into being.

“It’s no use worrying about this but we do need to be aware and prepared, each faithful member of the Church living his or her vocation better than ever before as we face a crisis greater than ever before.”

This is an excellent comment. I would feel the same about it if it were not for a few other considerations. But I must say, your Catholic sensus fidelium is quite fine tuned. So, thank you for that.

I myself have been ranting on charismatics calling themselves charismatics, as if they had something to brag about or as if no one else was moved by the Holy Spirit or was devoid of the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity after Baptism or even after Confirmation. Who are they to have total say-so over whithersoever the Holy Spirit may wish to bring anyone?

And for that matter, what about those “Marian Priests”, of which I’ve been called one throughout the decades, I think just because I might promote the Rosary or Brown Scapular or mention my pilgrimages to Fatima and Lourdes and Guadalupe and to Our Lady of Revelation near Tre Fontane on the peripheries of Rome, and so many others? But must not all priests be “Marian”? Does not the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God take on all priests as a special project – we being so needy – so that we might be more apt instruments of her own Divine Son, the High Priest, Christ Jesus?

So, as you can see, I get your train of thought. But there’s more to the Missionaries of Mercy, and there’s more to some being appointed in the Church for different tasks.

For instance, Jesus did NOT mandate all his disciples to be exorcists, and the Church has never mandated all to be exorcists.

For instance, and more to the point, there is supposed to be a Penitentiary in every diocese who takes care of reserved sins in whatever way he is delegated to do that by the bishop. “Reserved sins.” That’s an ancient practice. No innovation with that. Some the Penitentiary can do. For others that are further reserved to the Apostolic See or even to the Holy Father, he must arrange for conditions for the absolution through the Apostolic Penitentiary in Rome. I don’t know the history of Canon Law, but this kind of thing has been going on for very many centuries indeed.

The Missionary of Mercy different from other priests has the faculties directly from the Holy Father to absolve some of that which is otherwise reserved to Rome. This is most encouraging to priests who – albeit through their own fault – find themselves in dire situations of risking their eternal salvation. And, yes, the extra faculties deal mostly but not exclusively with priests.

I cannot go into it, obviously – nor would you expect me to – but this Missionary of Mercy thing has made a significant change for the better in the life of the Church. I don’t get how some who are not priests and not Missionaries of Mercy can make the comment that it is all ridiculous. I’m not saying you’re saying that. You’re not. I know what you’re saying. But there have been many who speak out of turn as it’s just not in the range of their knowledge. It’s just cool to bash Missionaries of Mercy. Some for quite a while even insisted that no Missionary of Mercy is a validly ordained priest! They will have to deal with our Lord. I forgive them. Such irony.

UPDATE: Having said all that, you may well be right that it will all work out as you say, and we Missionaries of Mercy are simply being played. That’s why I’ve asked about “future developments.” If that means that in future the Missionaries of Mercy will be asked to host dialoguing events about doctrine and morality and liturgy and all sorts of Church discipline, then, well… Yikes!

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Missionaries of Mercy in an age of confusion: “future developments”

That was the opening of the letter. It was sent on a very significant day on so many levels and in so many ways. After some paragraphs on some logistics, the letter continues:

“Future developments”… Pray tell… We will see.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (I’m not confused, edition)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
Amen.

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Where’s the Tabernacle?

Jesus used to be hidden away. We’re happy that He’s back where all the architecture points to Him. More will be done, but this is a good start for the brand new pastor.

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Our Lady of the Rosary

On this feast day I’m on retreat with the bishop and priests of the diocese this week.

So far, a long talk with Fr Gordon, bacon for breakfast, prayer and conference.

Our retreat master said that rationalization, speculation, and relativism is the end of priesthood. Yes, I agree.

Citing Vianney: All our works put together can’t = one Mass.
He also said that to seek, love and find Christ is the greatest adventure. Nothing boring. As the Master, so the disciple.

After that, I went to Confession. Great!

Time not for Holy Mass. Then lunch.

There’s always time for a rosary, right?

/// It was on this day 11 years ago that I received a response from Pope Benedict.

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6:00am Adoration / Confessions

On Sunday morning we had record numbers in our tiny parish. Did anyone say: “solution to the crisis of faith.”

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Becoming upset with the chaos. “Beginning the Church’s downfall”

We usually get upset when we’re frustrated, which is when things are out of control, when we get nervous that the spinning of worldliness is spinning away while the true pole of the earth is tossed as irrelevant. However, it remains true that the Cross remains while the world spins away:

Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.

That’s just a two second video of Shadow-dog above. He demonstrates well my reaction to anyone holding the cross to be irrelevant. That’s my reaction because I’m not as close to Christ Jesus as I should be. So, I get nervous, upset. How stupid is that. We must retain our peace of heart even if we also have anguish of soul. Anyway, I had that frustrated reaction the other day to something someone who should know better said of a proclamation of Saint Pope Paul VI to the Fathers of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council which received something like a dozen minutes of thunderous and unanimous applause in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Try anything more than ten seconds of applause…

Because Jesus is the Head of the Body – so to speak – and the members of the Church are the members of that Body, Saint Pope Paul VI proclaimed Mary to be Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae, which title is no innovation, no heresy, but is instead a title which is humbly bestowed upon her so as to celebrate the reality of her motherhood. She is the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and her prayers for us under that steadfasat Cross that we might receive the grace of redemption as salvation directly from her Divine Son appropriately confers upon her such a title, for she is, then, our mother in this way, Mother of the Church.

The nasty thing I heard someone who should know better say is that this proclamation was the beginning of the end of the Church. I was stunned. Perhaps I didn’t hear correctly. Perhaps he meant to say that Mary’s inclusion in Lumen Gentium, the dogmatic decree on the Church, was and is somehow the driving engine bringing all to hell. Or perhaps he was saying that in general about the Council itself and he had no intention of demeaning our Lady.

But this is a symptom of the times, is it not? Flippant statements smashing everything and everyone down? Two seconds to throw all into chaos, and then smirking away. Wow.

But things are not “out of control”. The Lord Jesus remains the Lord of History. And we can remain with Him. He can and does make us part of the Holy Family. He does forgive us. He does fill us with sanctifying grace. He does give us the wherewithal to continue.

If that video above were to continue, one would see Shadow-dog immediately lie down and peacefully oversee his domain. A good example. Goooood daaaawwwg!

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My very first police-ride-along

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Only six to seven hours. Yes, there was a Red Bull drive-through stop. And, Yes, there was a donut stop. I mean, how could there not be?

There was some patrolling and quite a number of wildly varying types of calls to answer, for which – a couple of them – I’m thinking that it might have been a good idea to put on a ballistic vest. There are no typical traffic stops. There are no humdrum domestic disputes.

I was supposed to be an official “observer”. This is the result:

I have to commend the officer I was with for his extraordinary skills in deescalation and his abundant leniency. He’s a walking public relations department. Good job, officer!

In the midst of radio chatter, lights and sirens, chases, the clatter of hand-cuffs, the smell of stepped-in dog-poop, the rough language of some of the frequent flyers, the officer and myself had the most profound yet fast moving theological conversation. Absolutely extraordinary. Lots of topics on the relationship of mercy and justice. That’s desperately important for those who have their faces in the midst of the most unjust situations imaginable. Really good.

Later that night, with another half-dozen people, we watched Saint Thomas More get his head chopped off in one of the best films of all time: A Man for All Seasons!

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Condescending Amazon Synod -Patronizing Amazon Synod

amazon synod

Sarcasm on /// Let’s get people as naked as possible and say ever so condescendingly and patronizingly that these people have no intellectual or moral capacity, and then let’s change doctrine and morality for them, “accompanying them”, and then lets say that we have the same lack of capacity for doctrine and morality, and then we also will live whatever way we want without any doctrine and without any morality, also getting ourselves as naked as possible. Let’s take advice from false gods. — Oh, right. We already do that. And the German Bishops Conference which has such a big say in the Amazon Synod has owned one of the biggest porn distributors in the world. I forgot. “The heart of the Church,” it is said. Now I get it. I’ve been so blind. Let’s just sacrifice each other and eat each others hearts out. /// off sarcasm … Or maybe that’s not sarcasm at all.

Against purposed ambiguity, here’s Saint Paul, 2 Timothy 4:1-4:

  • “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.”

And here’s Saint Peter himself (1 Peter 3:15-16):

  • “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear.”

Are Saint Peter and Saint Paul and the Holy Spirit to be condemned? Here’s the deal, in all of this, for years now, no one has mentioned Jesus Christ, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, unless it’s just a flippant mention so as to definitively dismiss Jesus. Apparently, Jesus, who is the Living Truth, is irrelevant to all peoples in all cultures everywhere at all times. But instead:

  • “Every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the One who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Apocalypse 1:7-8)

Get that? Jesus is the One. He’s the only One.

Freakishly self-absorbed, Promethean full-on Pelagians think they are the founders of a new religion with no truth, no morality, no liturgy, but especially, no salvation, no Jesus. They think that they are the only ones, the saviors, gods without Jesus.

I’m angry that truth and morality is ripped away from proselytizers who make others twice the sons of Satan as themselves. I don’t like that. I don’t like it at all. And that’s from a Missionary of Mercy. And, yes, being upset is good, you know, like Jesus cleansing from the Temple, His Body, from those prostituting religion to their own lack of doctrine, lack of morality, lack of God.

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Of Pontificates and vomiting out of one’s mouth

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Revelation 3:16 (Yes, 3:16): “Because you are lukewarm [tepid, sickeningly room temp.], neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit you out of my mouth.”

That’s kind of redundant, isn’t it? “Vomit” and “out of mouth”? That reinforces a vivid, intense disgust.

I once saw Laudie-dog take up a toad into her mouth. She instantly dropped it and shook her head side to side with quite a bit of violence, and was – how to describe it? – reverse licking her chops, desperately trying to get toad-slime out of her mouth. This went on for minutes. You get the picture. The toad pictured here is right next to Shadow-dog’s and Laudie-dog’s fence. They both entirely ignore the toad.

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The other beast ubiquitous this time of year is the stink-bug introduced just these last few years to these USA. The dogs also entire ignore these ultra-super-stinky creatures that look like wood-ticks on steroids, like some sort of King-Kong of the tick world, except that they are herbivorous. They have no natural predator wasps in these USA, yet.

ANALOGY: The whole vomit thing is how I feel about some things since Pope Benedict abdicated being the Bishop of Rome. As you know, I defend the person of Pope Francis to the extreme, and beg for prayers for him frequently (Hail Mary…). He’s the Pope. We must pray for him. Our Lord prayed for Peter just as Peter is denying Him three times. Peter became a saint. The Lord will hold us to our obligation to pray for the successor of Peter regardless of what side of whatever we are on.

  • Having said that, I have a terrible and even physical revulsion to purposed ambiguity, the smacking down of doctrine and morality and any bullying. There are too many incidents to list. Amoris laetitia, effectively burning down the JPII Institute for Marriage and the Family, the patronizing, condescending dismissal of the humanity of those in the Amazon regions, holding that they have no real capacity for faith or morality, the upcoming destabilization of the Roman Curia by extracting executive power, a driving engine, therefore, for free and easy rebellion. So, intense disgust? Yes.

But I am still the Bishop of Rome’s faithful Missionary of Mercy. And I thank the Successor of Saint Peter for what he has done for me as a Missionary of Mercy, and what he has done for others at my request. I am not ungrateful. I am very grateful. As I say, for all the things I speak about with parrhesia (speaking boldly regardless of the consequences), I’m never been smacked down for that by this Bishop of Rome.

To say that I ignore all the purposed ambiguity in my own spiritual life and in my priestly duties is, however, a mischaracterization. It’s true that I don’t allow, by the grace of God, any jaded cynicism to turn me into a fire breathing dragon full of hate for God and neighbor just because of someone else’s misadventures. Instead, I use failures of certain ecclesiastics to fire me up all the more in my preaching, in my solidarity with Jesus in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in my priestly duties with the sick and dying. Much better, that, don’t you agree? I have never backed down from correcting those who have fallen for false-accompaniment of now purposely continued sin. Instead, I go after all the hot-button topics all the more. :-)

Here’s the deal: I have a much higher appreciation of the intellectual and moral capacities of people than many others in the church right now. I have a much higher appreciation of the power of our Lord’s redemption of us and of the possibility that we be saved. Why’s that, you ask? Because I know that, of myself, without the grace of God, I myself am a sinner who would block out all reasoning power about that sin. I would be hopeless, except for the grace of God. And I know, having been open to forgiveness, how powerful the Lord’s love and forgiveness is. As Saint Thomas More said to the Duke of Norfolk: “It’s not that I believe; it’s that I BELIEVE.

  • I would absolutely HATE it if people, if priests didn’t bother to put me on the right track, just “accompanied” me in my sin (such as my impatience with Pope Francis), taking me seriously, instead of calling me out of my sin by unapologetically (re-)introducing me Jesus Christ, taking Him seriously, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, who bears the wounds of the slaughter of our sins upon Himself. I would hope that if I ever took myself seriously, people would smack me down on my knees to be in humble thanksgiving, not to myself, but to Jesus.

So, a couple of points:

  1. We should be disgusted with ourselves if we are apart from God, just as much as God would be to vomit us out of His mouth, so to speak, just as Laudie-dog would be wanting to vomit a toad out of her mouth.
  2. On the contrary, we read in Psalm 34:8 – “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”

The Aphorism! Don’t take ourselves seriously. Take Jesus seriously.

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Exorcism and Saint Michael who is like unto God because he’s humble

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With other angels or on his own, Saint Michael is mentioned throughout the Sacred Scriptures. He is successful in his battle against Satan because of his humility, which makes him, as his name indicates, one Who Is Like Unto God. Saint Michael does not get in God’s way with sin and pride and all that is demonic. Instead, Saint Michael lets God shine through himself to the greater honor and glory of God.

There is a prayer to Saint Michael which all can say, a prayer which many popes have indicated be said after Holy Mass, a short version of a longer version of a much longer version. The short version is available to all as it is stripped of direct commands to Satan, and instead directs the one praying to make a humble petition to Saint Michael:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Great! But many are not content with that, thinking that if one does not personally and in the first person make brave to rebuke Satan, directly commanding him to depart (which is always an exorcism, not just “delivery”), then all prayers to Saint Michael and to God Himself are useless, stupid, a distraction, not permitting one to show how powerful one is oneself over against Satan. And so they command Satan though they are not exorcists and are therefore not expressly mandated by their bishops to do so in the name of Jesus. They say they have empirical proof that they are powerful over against Satan, that they are the ones who know better, who are special, who don’t have to be “limited” to humble petition because simple prayer is NOTHING! Really? Just. Wow. They say simple prayer has no effect. It’s only when they themselves do exorcisms and speciouly call those exorcisms mere private and pious prayer (how very ironic) that things happen…. Yeah, I bet that’s exactly right. Things happen. Satan plays a mind game with them, making those raising themselves up look like they have POWER! Ooooh! “Power.”

It is said that what they do is simple and not solemn, private and not public, relatively modern instead of relatively ancient, short and not long, “delivery” instead of exorcism… all false distinctions meant to say that directly commanding Satan is not an exorcism. Here’s the deal: Commanding Satan is always and in every instance an exorcism by definition. That’s precisely why they do it. But they are also those who say that 2+2=5. Pfft.

It is said that some guy at Ecclesia Dei in a response to a private person (a priest) said it was O.K. to just go ahead and recite the longer version, with the exorcisms as part of one’s private, pious prayer. But an exorcism, however quietly said in a hidden manner, is always, by definition, a public act of the Church, drawing on the merits of Christ and the saints. But it seems to me that this private suggestion by Ecclesia Dei is not legislation for the whole church, nor does it undo previous and authoritative decisions that this is not to be done except with the express mandate of the local ordinary as we see in the universal law of the Church.

When I was a kid, I remember seeing the longer versions of the Saint Michael prayer with the exorcisms, with an accompanying indication that the exorcisms were to be skipped by those who are not mandated to do exorcisms. But I digress.

Humbly following canon law and the mind of the legislator as expressed in authoritative decisions about the same and as directed to the universal Church is, it seems to me, the way to go. Humility in the midst of the Church is way to go. God does not penalize us if we act with humility. Saint Michael does not abandon us if we act with humility. Our guardian angels do not mock us if we act with humility.

Again, what Ecclesia Dei did was not only not presented for approval by the Holy Father in forma specifica, but it was also not declared that it was approved by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In my experience, it’s when laity and priests who are not exorcists just go ahead and do exorcisms that problems begin.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Photo-bomb, edition)

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These were sent in this morning from a reader.

So, another kind of “Grasshopper Chapel.” See:

Assumption Chapel where I grew up

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