Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 5 – Double edged damage control

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Chapter 5 – Double edged damage control

Carpe Diem walked into the room, his clothes inside out and back to front, shoes untied, and wearing a helmet. He rarely sat on the floor with his back against wall, banging his head until he was too dazed to continue in favour of sensory overload, but wearing a helmet was now part of who he was. He offered the last of a box of chocolate to any takers, though passing everyone too quickly and simply giving the whole box on don Hash, who had taken the time to answer his questions. Don Hash was horrified to see that the nails of Carpe Diem’s fingers had been chewed down to their roots.

“The rules are… I can’t believe I’m saying this…” said don Hash, hesitating, thinking of Saint Lawrence and who would burn whom. He thanked Carpe Diem, who then left, flapping his hands as he so often did. “It’s just that Saint Robert Bellarmine’s rules* might have seemed to him to establish in a textual critical manner the words of Scripture in the way dogmatically insisted upon by the Council of Trent, but which, at the same time, surely seemed to him also to have the benefit of appeasing the so-called Reformers. But Trent was not followed and the Protestants couldn’t have cared less about anything Bellarmine did. His double-edged damage control, if accepted by the Church, would have to become a habit, a virtue, a ‘policy’… almost making of itself revealed Truth, manipulating Sacred Scripture as it did. Such a policy fears the authority of the Holy Father, effectively claiming that the only sources of infallibility are the temporary hypotheses of scientific methodology. For him, only science, artificially cut off from the Faith, could be the basis for the Magisterial discernment of what Sacred Scripture is in its extension, its books, sentences, phrases, words and letters. Bellarmine could not think of any other aid to judge whether one ancient manuscript was correct and another not. He ignored the fact that if a Scripture passage was consistently used in the Liturgy, though in Latin, that is how the Church could find the words of the original language manuscripts. But this was the discernment of the Fathers of the Council of Trent: the inspired words in context of the Word sacrificed. If Bellarmine’s double-edged damage control succeeded, there would have been a new inquisition in which burning truth – as that which is inexpedient to ecumenical unity – would be rewarded.”

“Ha! What in Galileo’s heavens are you talking about?” demanded Cardinal Froben with glee.

“Wake up and smell the smoke!” exclaimed Cardinal Fidèle. “Satan’s smouldering fires come to us even in the bella figura of angels of light, of saints like Bellarmine, who are canonized for their holiness, not any clever thoughts they think they might have had. Bellarmine opened the windows to let in what he thought was the fresh air of Scripture not being contradicted by science, but then with the biblical manuscripts he let Continue reading

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Jackass for the Hour: oopsie!

Sugar. As I start to put up the chapters of Jackass for the Hour, written more than ten years ago, I’m realizing it’s not as out of date as I thought. Some of the people underlying some of the characters have retired or died. At first it seemed that all would change with new people taking up their appointments, but that has not always come to pass, even when everything appeared to be otherwise. Nothing is as it seems.

I realize that it’s a bit early on, but I welcome commentary on the characters in whatever way, on everything literary in whatever way, on the accuracy or not of any technical point. Whereas – what was that not to be named book called? – was factually wrong about pretty much 100% of what was asserted in whatever way, Jackass for the Hour is intended to be verifiable on everything that can be hunted down. Try to catch me out.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Even this one, yep, this one, edition)

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In the middle of Winter, after snow and ice, tough in all fragility. Awesome. How very appropriate to give to the Immaculate Conception, via Jesus, of course:

shepherd boy

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Jackass for the Hour: Doing the research

demon panNames of characters in the book such as Froben, Elzevir, et alii are historical figures who are important to the disintegration of Christianity during the “Reformation.” If you want to know at least a part of how to bring about the reintegration of everything in Christ Jesus, you have to know how everything fell apart. Stated differently, ignorance of history condemns one to its repetition. Or better, as Saint Jerome had it, ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. But that brings us to the topic of establishing the Scriptures as such, brings us to the heart of the Rebellion as the rejection of Scripture, Tradition and the essential interventions of the Magisterium. Jackass for the Hour is about reality, which is always, always, always stranger and more interesting than fake history, fake news, make-believe situations. That which is researchable in Jackass for the Hour can be verified, confirmed, corroborated, etc., at least if you know how to research, and have access either to individuals, archives, or specialized libraries wherever right around the world. There are always things anyone can do, such as doing internet searches and finding out what the historical names are all about, such as Froben, Elzevir, Bellarmine, Luther, Erasmus, Polycarp, Bruno, Sixtus V… Just sayin’

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Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 4 – “It is better that one man die”

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Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 4 – It is better that one man die

“That just can’t be!” exclaimed Leo, who was a sixth year seminarian soon to be ordained a deacon. Leo stood up to make his protest more noticeable while père Jacques tried to ignore him. Even though père Jacques was now the Rector, and even though “Liberation Applications of the Exodus Event” was a required course, Leo was sick of all the rubbish the administration and professors of the seminary were shoving down their throats. Little had changed since the last apostolic ‘visitation’ of the seminaries. Ignoring problems seemed to be expedient to those in Rome, especially if the difficulties seemed to be minor, relative to what was often still happening in some seminaries of the richer countries. The students were getting impatient with all the hypocrisy, for they knew first hand that so-called minor problems, like tips of icebergs, might hide greater problems, and could develop into nightmare situations. They wondered out loud what politics were at play that père Jacques could possibly have been made the Rector of the seminary.

Since père Jacques was still ignoring him, Leo spoke again, saying, “I just can’t believe that the words against Christ uttered as a prophecy by the Jewish High Priest, Caiaphas – It is better that one man die for the people rather than that a whole nation should perish – can be applied to anyone except to Christ. And even then, although what Caiaphas said was true for us regarding our Redemption, that does not mean that what was done to Christ in torturing Him and putting Him to death was not a sin. God does draw good out of evil, but this was the sin of sins.”

“You are wrong, Leo,” said père Jacques. “Christ didn’t mind. That’s why He came. End of story. Moreover, whatever happened to Christ, we can make happen to his disciples, just like Caiaphas made it happen. Expediency is the supreme law. It is damage control at its best.”

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Homily 2018 01 19 Irony Incarnate & us

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FBI’s Strzok-Page “insurance policy” – Should I sit on this?

main-state-department-of-state

To this day, no one knows what the “insurance policy” is, well, almost no one. People assume that it has something to do with Russia. Why? The point is that if all that Russia rubbish doesn’t work (which means it’s all fake, by the way), then, post-election, you do something else to have the President of the United States (Trump) removed from office. As Trump pointed out the other week, this is treasonous.

Whenever we talk, the blackest of all black operators (I get reprimanded by others for saying that that he’s the best shot in the world, but it’s verifiably the truth) tells me again and again about insurance policies as being the normal way of operating for everything important that goes down in the running of this country here or abroad. You always but always have something to hold over someone’s head, and that works vice versa.

As long time readers know, I’ve stuck my head out and reported to the FBI some things the State Department related to me regarding oversight of Counterterrorism in McLean, something which compromises not only our efforts with Counterterrorism (as if that wasn’t bad enough in this day and age), but which fit exactly what Strzok would like to have as an insurance policy by which to oust the President of the United States immediately upon the word being given.

I’ve mentioned this to CT, and they’ve related this to the FBI (meaning that CT at McLean is clean of this) and given me some other instructions regarding various Inspectors General. The FBI has been doing some background work, but they’re hesitating, unsure to use this to redeem themselves in the eyes of the citizens of these United States, or to go ahead and let it be an insurance policy for them. How about just going with it for the sake of the good of the country? Hey! That’s a novel idea.

Should I continue to sit on this? Should I name names? Would I then be guilty of leaks and unmasking?

Justice is always the way to go. No politics. Just do the right thing, always, every time, no compromise, ever. Once you cave in, you’re done, a “made man”, but in the sense of “you’ve been had,” meaning you’re then no longer a “company man” in the best sense, but someone who can only be a danger to themselves, to others, to the country, secure in your job, you think, until you’re not. Sad, that. But we’ll continue.

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Road danger: well, no, just some fun, but also some questions

road danger river

The splash, always with the windows wide open and me getting soaked, goes up as high as the trees on the day off. The hood of Sassy the Subaru is about level with the road on the other side of the stream I smash into at pretty high speeds at least once a week. This past week brought the joy of four crossings, pretty much hydroplaning across the water. Saint Peter would have enjoyed being in the passenger seat for this it seems to me. But I only think that because the other side of the stream at those high speeds comes up pretty quickly. This wouldn’t work if it were the Sea of Galilee. And it would be much better to be saved and then reprimanded by our Lord Jesus for our lack of faith than to merely fake out gravity.

SUBARU DECALS

As long time readers know, I like to brag about my dad. No apologies. The reason for the decals on the back of Sassy the Subaru are meant to provoke questions. A million times, it seems, I’ve then had the occasion to tell whoever about him. He was commander of the Checkerboard squadron in the North Pacific. The Distinguished Flying Crosses seem to have classified citations still today. North Korea borders a certain country. ;-) Anyway, I’ve been looking at Amazon for metal-foil decals of the USMC like the one at the bottom of the picture above. The one I have, unlike the picture, is now half off and looking pretty miserable. All the ones I’ve seen are vinyl. No metal-foil ones anymore? What’s the deal with that? I think these were given out at Lowes on the 4th of July last. Maybe they were leftovers from recruiter stations or made up by Lowes. Unfortunately, some people really, really, really DO NOT LIKE the back of the car. What’s there to argue with? But it seems to make some people quite aggressive. I don’t think it’s the USMC or Israeli bits. I think it’s the cross and the “4G0D4ALL” plate.

medical bracelet

Anyway, I’ve been thinking of getting a medical bracelet or equivalent in case of any untoward emergency for whatever reason as I do, in fact, have a reason for a bit of special activity by EMTs in whatever catastrophic event. However, I saw that my phone, which goes with me everywhere as I always want to be available if possible, has an option to fill out emergency health information which is easily accessible by EMTs for the same purpose. I’ve done that. But is that good enough or is a physical medical bracelet better?

 

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Nature… I never cease to be amazed

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Moss and ferns in the frozen high ridges of WNC don’t care about frigid temps, but are as green as ever you might find in the Spring.

Meanwhile, WNC, at least at the hermitage, has by far – no comparison – the longest hoarfrost in the world. Looking at google images, I see nothing like it, but hoarfrost it is. These ice crystals grow out of the always saturated with water forest floor (where there is a break in the ground on a steep ridge). They can be two inches long, or three, or four or even more inches long, breaking up the ground by carrying chunks of the ground out into the air.

Just to say, Saint Francis appreciated nature so very much because nature just “obeyed” the will of God for it, while we, endowed with so very much more spiritually, have gone ahead and become weak through original sin and our own rubbish. Nature is like an exam of conscience, shining a light on our lack of promptitude in following up on the will of God for us, that is, goodness and kindness and truth.

We can think it is easier to go the way of weakness. But, instead, that is so very difficult and full of anguish. Looking to the Lord as little children in humble thanksgiving, with prompt enthusiasm, brings one into amazement before the throne of the Most High. And that’s just awesome… awesome.

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Homily 2018 01 18 – *Messianic Secret* theory is demonic: Satan & Peter

lourdes serpentWhen I was a seminarian about all I heard was that there was a Messianic Secret. I still can’t wrap my mind around that.

Jesus was preaching, teaching, healing diseases, exorcising demons, raising the dead, reprimanding the religious and political leaders of the day. There was no one who was more well-known than He was, and He never slowed down. He continuously provoked murderous individuals and groups.

So, that doesn’t quite seem to be a Messianic Secret, does it? No.

But why did Jesus tell those who were spreading the truth about Him not to say anything to anyone, you know, like the Apostles and the demons He was exorcising. The demons were mocking Him. The Apostles didn’t know what they were talking about at all, not until our Lord would rise from the dead and send the Holy Spirit.

Peter himself was called Satan. His purposed ignorance was astounding, and of no use to Jesus. But later, after Easter, O.K.

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Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 3 – I’ve learned that America burns well

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Chapter 3 – I’ve learned that America burns well

As the guard at San Calisto was about to ring the apartment high up on the roof of the palace, Cardinal Fidèle’s housekeeper, his Italian cousin, Signora Gagno, arrived for the day, coming up behind don Hash with her twenty five year old son, whom she could not leave alone. The guard handed her letters for the Cardinal, and then introduced them, explaining to don Hash that her son was called Carpe Diem, ‘Seize the Day’, a play on his name sake, Saint Polycarp. As they walked to the lift, don Hash noted the directory indicating the floors on which some lesser departments of the Holy See could be found, wondering why ‘Culture’ was far from ‘Dialogue’.
Carpe Diem stared at don Hash continuously. Signora Gagno, seeing this, said, “Carpe Diem is autistic, but he’s also a savant, of sorts. Instead of playing the piano or working with numbers, he sizes people up by repeating what they say with a twist that I’m sure he doesn’t understand himself. It’s beyond the usual echolalia. He repeats sound bites from films or conversations, but… It’s just that I’d swear his guardian angel speaks through him at times. He has no absolutely no social graces, but he does have a good heart.”

“Do you have a good heart?” asked Carpe Diem, still looking intently at don Hash, and flapping his hands in front of himself. Don Hash recalled the comment about the guardian angel.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (well, what flowers turn into edition)

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Dunno what these are, but it doesn’t seem the birds eat them, ’cause otherwise they would be gone long ago what with the snow and ice and freezing freezing temps we’ve been getting. So there they remain. Ornaments of flowers gone by. Our Lord thought of everything for giving flowers to the Immaculate Conception.

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March for Life 2018

march for life 2018

I wish everyone well at the March for Life, which I’ve attended many times over the decades. I’m happy that the President will be addressing those gathered, even if by satellite hookup. It still says much, sending a message to the country, to law enforcement, to the courts. That can only have positive results.

Meanwhile, I’m the designated hold-down-the-fort priest for pretty much all of far-Western WNC: emergency room calls for the various hospitals, last rites for who needs them in the various parishes, things like that.

I am flooded with memories of tragedies of abortion, both the babies and the mothers. I think of the hypocrisy of various policies, the winks and nods of Catholic monies going to murderous activities through clever NGO collections that look more like Acorn or PP than anything else. I think of all the enemies in the episcopacy I’ve made because of my going against their “don’t rock the boat” agendas. It comes to mind, hard, that I’ve not done enough, that babies still die, that the devastation continues.

I also think of the conversion stories, the new-found respect for life, especially among our young people who are put off by the selfish arrogance of the aging monsters of big-business abortion. I also think of those babies who are now adults because they were saved by those praying and bearing witness.

seminarians

Pictured above are the seminarians of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, reciting the Rosary outside an abortuary. I taught many of them. Many are now priests. The tide is changing. It is. Prayer is so important.

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The luckiest priest in the world

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The various seasons of the year here in the mountains lift me up into the profundity of all that is ever ancient, ever new, Him who is ever ancient, ever new, the Creator of creation, Jesus, who wants us to be like the littlest of children so as to enter the Kingdom of God. Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit autistic, but I like doing things such as counting the ridges on the mountain chains when they have a light layer of snow on the trees. I count 25 vertical ridges in the picture above. I’m amazed at things like light and darkness. The scene below grabbed my attention. Brrrrrrr!

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Bringing Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to the shut-ins is always a great joy. He’s my companion while wandering through His creation. I love it.

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Road danger: “Let’s go kill people”

head on collision

Sorry about the salty windshield. This was some hundreds of miles into a hospital run with one of my parishioners after a rare Winter storm in the mountains here. We’re making the final descent into the Nantahala Gorge.

Pictured is me slamming on the brakes, just squeaking in between the guard rail and the otherwise certain head-on collision. The driver wasn’t going fast at all, perhaps just ten or fifteen miles an hour. It wasn’t a sudden thing. It was like he was determined to be a danger to himself and others, you know, entitled to do so. Little did he know that I make a thing of asking my guardian angel for protection.

Perhaps he was drunk, off his meds or some such thing. But he was just a little too stubborn. I was honking at him but he seemed to be purposely ignoring my difficulties in avoiding him. He looked to be in his late sixties.

I had just had another incident hardly a minute before this just over the same hill, just some hundreds of yards away, with a woman who also looked to be in her late sixties and who also seemed to have the same belligerent determination to cause death and mayhem, you know, like she was entitled.

not an accident

Much closer than it looks.

She pulled out directly in front of the tractor-trailer with heart-stopping slowness and determination, just like the guy described above, and, like him, continued going no more than ten or fifteen miles an hour. It was not a sudden thing. It was like she had waited for the circumstances to be what they were. I had stopped completely and pulled over as far as I could so as to give the tractor-trailer guy a bit of an option should she brake-check him. He waved, thankful that I had done this. It’s quite a few miles of double-yellows. I wonder if she kept everyone trapped behind her at such a slow speed. She was yelling and gesturing at me for having gotten out of her way, apparently upset that she and everyone else was still alive.

I gotta wonder if this man and woman had been having a fight. Were they married? Was it road rage against each other which turned into road rage against everyone?

Situational awareness is a service to self and others as it looks for ways out of potentially bad situations instead of letting them get worse. This is a courtesy, and can spell the difference between life and death at any given time.

Are we aware of the situation we are in what with all of eternity before us?

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Homily 2018 01 17 – Jesus baits his own murderers, the churchmen of the day

man with withered hand

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Jackass for the Hour – Chapter 2: The Vatican’s Pentagon

palestinian donkey

Just then, across the Pacific Ocean, Father Li, a Chinese priest, shouted, “Why do you say Mass without our permission? You are doing great harm to the Chinese people, to the Chinese government, to the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association!”

The aged ‘underground’ Catholic bishop, frail with decades of imprisonment, torture, ‘re-education’ in labour camps, calmly answered: “There is no greater love than Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who is love, offering Himself in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He loves the Chinese…”

“That’s not good enough! Christ wasn’t Chinese!” screamed Father Li, who was watched by members of the Chinese ‘Religious Affairs Bureau’. Father Li slapped the bishop hard, too hard. It looked as if the bishop was unconscious. Father Li was afraid of getting reprimanded. The purpose of the gathering was an interrogation, not simply to make the elderly bishop suffer. The bishop had not fallen to the floor since he was tied to one of the cement structural posts in the basement of the ultra-modern hospital which they used for interrogations.

However, the Chinese ‘Pope’, as he is called, rose from his chair and shoved the bishop’s head against the cement and, feeling his neck, roared with laughter. “You are one of our best interrogators, Li!” he exclaimed, laughing again. Father Li looked at the ‘Pope’, half frightened, half proud of himself, wanting an explanation. The ‘Pope’ said flatly, “You’ve killed him.”

“But this failure of mine means that I cannot return to Rome to…” Father Li began to protest. The ‘Pope’ interrupted him by commanding his servants to dispose of the body. They untied the bishop, letting him drop to the floor. They began to drag him toward the hospital’s incinerator, but the ‘Pope’ stopped them, saying, “No. We should get more use out of him.”

The head servant protested, “We can’t harvest his organs for sale to the West since we’ve pumped too many toxic chemicals into him. Toxic organs would ruin the business. He’s useless.”

“That’s not what I intended. It’s time to

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Day off kind of on target

Met up with lots of friends. That’s always heartening. Saw the doctor again. We went over results and plotted a course to health. There’s one med that helps the liver to make an enzyme I’m hereditarily lacking, which itself wipes out other things I need. So, we’re trying something that might replace the other and help with skeletal strength. That’s one of the most important things I’ve done for my health in a long time. We’ll see. The diet is going well. Lost quite a few pounds already. Exercise is going well. I’m immediately able to do more in half the time.

It seems like it’s been a month and half with no target practice. At the hermitage for just a short time, I was able, with numb hands, to do just two quick courses:

  • FAM-TPC (pre-September 11, 2001): just 74% cold barrel
  • FBI qualification: 93.3 %

Getting healthier means more energy. That, I think, will translate into working on things to publish after some reviewing and revision. I look forward to that. But now, off to the hospital with a parishioner in the midst of an immediate post-blizzard state of the roads. In Minnesota, this would be nothing. But this is North Carolina, in the mountains…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (well, just some grass, kind of, edition)

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One of our parishioners planted some grass around the church before taking off for Florida for the Winter. Methinks it will also do for some pretty fantastic flowers for the Immaculate Conception. I am always amazed at what Jesus provides, or what Jesus inspires others to provide. Very cool, indeed. It’s good to be amazed. Just be tiny. Be in humble thanksgiving. It’s the small things.

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Jackass for the Hour: comments – help

jackass for the hour

As long time readers know, I’ve been thinking of doing a revision of Jackass for the Hour. As the sub-title says, it’s about “The deadly intrigue of interreligious politics.” This is all seriously dated back to 2005. Many things have changed. But perhaps it is worth putting up this unpublished work – now under my real name, Father George David Byers, instead of a short-lived pseudonym of Renzo di Lorenzo – so as to get some comments and help in updating what needs to reflect the present realities in the Church and the world.

This is also an invite to my Internet Stalker guy, who should probably himself become a character in this ecclesiastical thriller novel. I need the whole spectrum of backgrounds and comments reflecting all sorts of expertise. These comments, perhaps forays into possible sub-plot lines, new characters, etc., might range from child-psychology to PTSD-brain specialties useful at the Veterans Administration, from philosophical, theological, political backgrounds, from interreligious efforts among Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Christians and others, from diplomatic perspectives in countries right around the world, such as China, India, (North) Korea, from seminary formators, from priests young and old and, well, others who are brave enough to provide an anonymous comment or two, indicating the way things really are.

For myself, this now twelve year old 750 page novel written between chapters of my doctoral thesis while waiting for my moderator to catch up to me, could include much more on the workings of various departments of state, American, that of the Holy See, etc., along with sundry intelligence services. I’ve gotten to know quite a bit more about such things in the last number of years.

But this exercise wouldn’t be just an historical extravaganza of the way things were twelve years ago, or a springboard into a revised novel able to be published today, but will be that which will set out to resolve already in its old version the thorniest problems of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, opening up avenues of unity through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, through (gasp) the papacy. Aspects of chastity and celibacy for priests will be looked at, I think with profit for the Church.

Monitum:

  • There is absolutely no literary porn or hint thereof (though you’ll know that something bad has happened to whatever character), certainly nothing more than one would find in Sacred Scripture. If being reminded that bad things can happen in this world, well, I don’t know what to say. Bad things happen. If you can put up with Chapter 1, you’ll be fine.
  • There is very little in the way of bad language. Theological words like “hell” or “damn”, used throughout the Sacred Scriptures are used without apology. Tender snowflakes who want to damn people to hell in their typical bullying fashion may well be offended, but, well… Tough. If other bad words are found on the lips of characters, they will be blanked out, as in “*****ed out.”
  • There is plenty in the way of violence. That’s the world we live in. There is no violence for the sake of violence.
  • Characters develop. You may have difficulty figuring out who’s who. That’s also reality, is it not? Nothing is at it seems. Some good characters are generally always pretty good, but then you might find out they have some pretty tough backgrounds.

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