Category Archives: Holy See

CIA gaying American bishops, cause of abuse crisis. What 2019 Synod can do.

gay flag

Without being registered as a foreign agent, I did a favor for the Holy See by outing a CIA asset assigned there. He belonged to group of military intel officers who had become mercenaries. I know the guy who trained him though didn’t assign him. That was the CIA. He admitted to it. The guy I caught out was confirmed for me by the head of security of the Holy See. Anyway, the asset guy had full access for 40 minutes a day for years to all offices and files in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, including that of the Prefect, which means he could manipulate one-copy hard-files on, say, candidates for episcopal office right around the world, making weak candidates for enemy countries look especially unacceptable, while making strong candidates look even better (to the end that they cause problems, like the now canonized Karol Józef Wojtyła did) doing the reverse for these United States and friends, so that strong candidates looked especially inappropriate even while the most inappropriate and weak candidates looked especially fit for the office (say, like McCarrick and friends). I know for a fact that this manipulation of files was a “thing” for many years, and not only in the CDF, but also at, say, the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for Clergy. But the CDF was the most notorious even while it was headed up by Cardinal Ratzinger. No fault to him for this. Bad actors are afoot and need to be removed from influence. Ratzinger insisted on following every single important case in the world, superhuman of him, but he did it, which also made his files especially sought after.

Of course, in outing that guy (who was forthwith given the boot), I suppose I was committing treason and I’m considered a bad actor against these United States myself. But I don’t expect any public complaint of any kind will be made since this would also involve free exercise of religion (a pesky little amendment in the Constitution of these USA).

So, just to spell this out: if, in America, we get ultra-super-homosexualist candidates they will be apt to rid the faithful in America of any well-formed conscience, of any morality, of any truth. Anything goes with whatever prevailing opinion. Anything the government wants that weak guy will be good with that. No trouble from that guy. Abortion? Big deal! Abortifacients? Nothing to see here, folks! Gay marriage? Awww! Aren’t they cute! Get it?

Oh, and if you’re wondering what this actually has to do with homosexualist stuff, I did see that guy later, all trans-dressed. Yep. The head of security of the Holy See tells me he’s dead now, but… Whatever.

Even if I have lots of friends in the CIA, I’m sure I’ve made one or two in The Company a little upset as well. But maybe they just laugh, thinking nothing can be done. Yet:

Solution for the Synod of Abuse in February:

I think an investigation could actually uncover manipulation of files, comparing, say, what was sent to the Congregations for the Clergy, for Bishops, for the Doctrine of the Faith (also with what’s to be found at the Secretariat of State), that is, in their files across the pond, with what was sent to those dicasteries by the Nunciature of the Holy See in these USA, that is, as is verifiable with files here in these USA. The Synod could order this comparison to be made, say, with the courteous help of the FBI. ;-)

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“The Hero” of abuse crisis is a cause? Silence & hell or truth & consequences.

DUMPSTER DIVING

I’ve asked advice from many people about staying silent or telling the truth about “The Hero.” They all said that it would be a mortal sin for me to remain silent about “The Hero” and are content that I’m willing to face whatever consequences for telling the truth about “The Hero,” whether mere slander or even being dismissed from the clerical state. “The Hero” is today in a position to do whatever he wants.

People don’t want to hear about “The Hero” not being a hero. We need to get over that. The last time I tried to say something about “The Hero” on a blog of mine a call quickly came in from Rome to some ecclesiastical superiors, a call which had me smacked down so hard that I ended up in a dumpster, literally, to search for food (good stuff in there, actually). Having had that experience, I don’t care about anything in this world anymore. I don’t even care about the exercise of priestly ministry and, by the way, just to be clear, neither did Jesus, who instead went to the Cross, which, by the way, is THE priestly ministry. As the Master so the disciple, right? We need to get back to what the priesthood is all about. It’s not about stuff to do so much as being available to the priesthood of The Priest, who prefers to give up on stuff He could do and instead go to the cross.

Let’s talk hero worship so we know what we’re talking about. Take, for example, McCarrick, who was “tough on abuse,” which made him look like a hero. Was he a hero, really? There are legion just like him, all heroes, all because they are “tough on abuse.” Is this about being tough on abuse so as to hide behind being a hero so as to promote bullying homosexualisticness which one knows one can get away with because of being such a hero? If you’re a hero for being tough on abuse, you can do no wrong, right? But the likes of a McCarrick is not what I’m really talking about. Instead:

“The Hero” of all such “heroes” is, instead, at the epicenter of setting policy for the entire Church, and is set to be the shaker and mover behind the Synod of Abuse in February 2019. He’s “The Hero” because of the way he’s “tough on abuse” on an epic scale. “The Hero” is also a promoter of homosexualisticness. It cannot be denied, but people do deny this because… because… he’s “The Hero.” It seems by all accounts and any construing of the facts, that “The Hero” is the one who ordered that I be silenced and smacked down hard. And that happened. Just a bit of self-protection on his part. But, pay attention:

Promoting homosexualisticness is one of the major causes of the abuse crisis. To set up “The Hero” (who promotes bullying homosexualisticness) as the one who sets policy for the entire Church, and this as a solution to the abuse crisis which in part came about because of promoting bullying homosexualisticness… well… that’s just absurd, surreal, like a terroristic clown…

creepy clown

And yet, “The Hero” is protected by all, both conservatives and liberals, by conservatives because “The Hero” is “tough on abuse” (you know, like McCarrick) and by liberals because “The Hero” promotes homosexualisticness. Conservatives have been ostriches for years. Liberals laugh. What to do?

The last time I presented my evidence not only did I have to take down the post. I had to take down the entire blog. I was silenced.

It’s time to put up this post again. “The Hero” is the one who will be the one guiding through and implementing policy for the entire church this coming February 2019 at the Synod of Abuse. My question is this: Is “The Hero” the one who is most apt to have a policy of proscribing the promotion of homosexualisticness? No? I wonder whether I’ll be smacked down again by conservatives and liberals when I once again put up proof about all this in a few days. It’s not so easy to give up on one’s heroes. But what if they are not really heroes? What if “The Hero” is just a terroristic clown? Stay tuned.

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Filed under Abuse, Holy See

CIA offer of invite for assignment to Vatican? Or not. Teenage nostalgia.

just me 04

Always happy to be humint-baited about my teenage years. One of my major faults if not sins (among so many of so many kinds on so many levels) is to be terribly and exaggeratedly and perhaps unhelpfully nostalgic as instigated by anyone who wants to send me down memory lane. Skills in analysis that I began to gain in my teenage years and which have developed more recently are fun to use on those teenage memories.

But why would anyone be interested to humint-bait me about my pre-graduation from high school teenage years? Of a sudden there is more than just a little interest. I have had quite a number of people contact me to tell me about how they’ve been interrogated about me, always with the verbatim question, a spotlight shining brightly on my high school years. Hmm? What could that be about more than forty some years later (now late 2018)? I mean, seriously. Is this an inquisition in the style of the one that was intended to bring down Justice Brett Kavanaugh, something about beer and orgies? Or is it something good natured (a vetting) or even more nefarious? It’s just another one of the many thousands of super weird events of this kind over the decades.

As long time readers will recall, one person it seems representing a number of others weirdly and out of nowhere recently threatened to sue me if I put up the picture at the top of this article, a picture of my own self with my own mom (RIP) and my own dad (RIP) in my own home during my own teenage years. I think I’ve had possession of that picture for something like more than forty years. I’m guessing a copy of that picture was made back in the day when my “Shadow” (the person who stole my identity back then) was trying to pass himself off as me, you know, with me having a clean record, permitting him to travel also internationally without being imprisoned (until he was thrown in maximum security prison in Mexico and then “miraculously” sprung for “no reason”). Perhaps it is thought that the picture proves I’m really me and that I actually existed before any “assignment” by the CIA, the object of the baiting. My Shadow, mind you, is my age and looks like me. Sigh.

Anyway, permit a couple of points to be made before beginning this rather labyrinthine if not serpentine walk down memory lane. As I say, when it comes to nostalgia, I’m perhaps too happy to oblige.

  • Recall, if you would, the one I call my Shadow, who took over my identity in my teenage years (Hey! Maybe that‘s what this is about!), that he continues to be protected in doing so by Main State and the FBI, who went out of their way to let him entrench under my real identity for the sake of his arms transfers to cartels under my name even while they offered me an alternative identity so as to make me disappear from the face of the earth (and therefore no longer be a priest, that is, when I found out about all this after my ordination from Main State) as part of the perpetual interdepartmental program I had already been put on by Main State for many years. Recall that I didn’t take them up on the offer. Anyway, one more thing:
  • I had a mentor in my teenage years, a good friend I speak about below. Well, as I find out only now as I write this post, it seems that he may have been “disappeared.” He’s one of those who, young, in absolutely perfect health, suffered a “heart attack,” which is the usual way for “The Company” to send the message to the world that someone has died and can therefore be forgotten about, but who is still alive and is simply re-tasked somewhere else after a job well done. I was only confronted with this information about his death while writing this post, that is, while researching the humint-baiting of myself about my teenage years since this past April 2018 when I was put on the DARPA-COMPASS program. It wasn’t long after that that the famous phrase was put before me: “The first thing you have to know about me is that I would never intentionally commit suicide.”

spy vs spy

So, let’s start with “The Question” that was humint-baited about me. The first I myself heard “The Question” was while discussing with my filling out untold numbers of forms regarding CIA matters with a certain someone. He posed “The Question” in the midst of that discussion and immediately integral to it, without skipping a beat – the seemingly out-of-the-blue question posed to me and later to many others in various ways but always quite exactly the same, virtually verbatim, concerning just how it is that (1) I got an offer (2) to be invited (3) to be assigned (4) to the Vatican (5) by those about whom we were speaking in quite the intense fashion, obviously, namely, those at “The Company”.

That’s a question which, even if it had anything to do with reality, is not a question for which an answer can be given, not even to an agent, whether of “The Company”, the FBI, or any of our other intelligence, military and law enforcement entities. The answer would have to prefaced with the old aphorism:

“If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you, and in saying that, I’ve already said too much, so I’ll have to kill you even without telling you.”

That’s said just for humor, for all of this is, to me, rather humorous, at least inasmuch as any assignment by the CIA is nothing that I know anything about. But if it were true at all, well… then just recall the scene at the CIA canteen between the then analyst “Maya” and the then Director of the CIA:

Things get compartmentalized and are on a need to know basis such that even the Director is to be shielded from such information. Knowledge can come back to bite you. In my case, a request for unmasking (unwittingly dealing more with my “Shadow” than myself) would not be honored except with an investigation as to why it is that such a request was made for the summaries kept only by the Director or the Secretary of State. So, if the question cannot be asked, why ask that question? Yet, that very specific question has been repeated ad nauseam to me and others who have nothing to do with anything. It’s the involvement of those others that’s a bit weird. And the insistence.

The short answer to the question is this: I may have come to know really a lot of CIA crowd, agents and assets, male and female, young and old, active and retired, supervisors or in the field or otherwise, on whatever levels, across the decades and in so many countries and diverse situations, but I vigorously and categorically deny that I have ever worked as a salaried employee of The Company. In filling out untold numbers of forms over time, its not like I myself used them for the ends intended (but no fraud!); for me they were more like the recreation one might have in creating a counterintelligence product. Sure, I’ve been asked to be a spy, sometimes nicely, sometimes with a bit of extortion, sometimes with caginess, sometimes overtly, sometimes playing on my patriotism, sometimes with threats, by some of the more desperate agents in countries and in situations which afforded access to me but not to them when all was at risk. But I was only a seminarian and then a priest trying to do my best to follow Jesus. I don’t think any of that means I was invited to be assigned, blah blah blah. I think people may be confused about me and my “Shadow.” Whatever.

Mind you, I chuckle, loving this question about being “assigned.” Nostalgia is lovely. And mind you, the repeated yet discretely asked and appropriately timed “Question” does NOT so much regard any assignment or any results as much as how any assignment came about. And that necessarily transports me back into a time previous to any such assignment. The interest right now is not in what I did after any assignment, but what was going on that brought about any assignment. Get the logic?

Considering when I first went to Rome, this would bring me back into the mid-1970s, when I was still in high school, before I really knew much of anything about any seminary anywhere, though I made no big secret of my thinking about becoming a priest.

The question, moreover, isn’t so much about me as about those who were preparing to make any such assignment. “The Question” seeks my own personal assessment, not of me, but of those offering any such an invitation for me to receive any such assignment: How is it that any such an assignment came about? My assessment of any such decision of others… That’s what’s sought with “The Question.”

FBI West Palm Beach FL

As it is, those who are to be assigned early on are, in fact, analyzed right through high school. Lots of “Company” men and women have been recruited out of high school or soon thereafter, not only the lady who found UBL, but also “The Mechanic” of this parish, a friend [USA’s “Mechanic” died: USAF CIA U2 rockets missiles. Catholic. (*Not* FBI)]. After the USAF plucked him out of his junior year in high school, and after he later so aced the FBI exams that they were afraid of him, the CIA – having no fear of a genius – snatched him up. It’s these kind of people that make “The Company” a temptation as a kid. But temptations don’t have to be followed.

Anyway, it’s not that “the Company” and the FBI have always shared information, but I would have been on the radar generally speaking already in high school for any number of reasons. This list of possible hits on a radar for candidates is my way of answering “The Question.” This is just a quick list. I’m sure I could add lots more pertinent things. But this is a start.

So, here’s the longer version of the short answer:

north junior high school

  • As I’ve written about previously at length, years before high school I was an unwitting victim of the kiddy porn industry, that is, a victim in what was surely the biggest porn operation in history, generating a near infinity of pictures, and an unimaginable multitude of professionally produced films. To this day I have not heard anything that has even come near to what happened. That’s saying a lot. My dad, finding out that I had been in the car of the boss-man immediately tried to do something about it. It was a pretty fierce night for him on the phone followed by some pretty fierce anger in the following weeks, not with me, but with the whole situation. This would certainly have been an FBI investigation in which I was named as someone needing protection. Talk about being on the radar though for a weird reason.

cadillac limousine

  • My dad was mayor of the city I grew up in. He was top attorney in the entire region of the state, building the first “sky-scraper” in that region. He was often down in the capital building and knew everyone everywhere, including the national politicians. He was close in with the FBI and often invited me as a youngster to come to meetings with the FBI, introducing me to them and making sure they knew about little me throughout my years in Junior High School, High School, and in the summers of my first half dozen years in the seminary. Talk about being on the radar, this time for a positive reason.

Dads law offices

  • Mine was not a normal high school. I was in a highfalutin filthy liberal Catholic but highly academic prep school attended by students from all over North America and from countries all over the world. And yet, in the midst of the filth and in the midst of the heresy and in the midst of the utter disrespect for the Holy Father and the Magisterium typical of the mid-1970s, amidst the trouncing of Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, in the midst of horrific experimentation with Holy Mass, in the midst of a breakdown in morality by Church leaders, I was stalwart, and became the enemy of the powers that be, getting bullied and put down as naive and unsophisticated and not up to date when, alone, I would stand up for all that is good and holy and ecclesial. I would hunt down the Tridentine Masses, as they were called, in the “catacombs” below the Abbey church. I was made into an example publicly. I totally “blame” my guardian angel for this. I apologize to my guardian angel. Surely he had to work overtime with me. Surely he did more face palms because of me than even he can count. I was perhaps so persnickety about the faith because I realized just how much I was in need of the faith, especially of the confessional. That’s not being persnickety, of course. It’s doing the one thing necessary. How much better could I have done for our Lord if I had only applied myself more to the learning of the faith? How many missed opportunities? None of this was unseen by my special mentor in my Sophomore year (I had transferred into the school from elsewhere). More on my special mentor below. Being on his radar was, I think, being on another radar.

angel face palm

  • Weirdly, my out-of-confines-of-the-high-school were also on the radar of my mentor. So, what was that like? It might be thought I was a freak of sorts, in that I didn’t do the “normal” things. No drugs. No parties. No sex with either sex (though I was on occasion aggressively sought out by both [that assessment not including my girlfriend with whom I would go on long walks, long horseback rides, long car rides on the forest gravel roads, or play tennis with or just sit around and talk with, sometimes speaking about how many kids God might grace us with should we get married). But, notice the negatives: no drugs, no parties, no sex. Considering the negatives, don’t imagine that I was a paragon of virtue, which would have been a positive if it were true. I was surely like everyone else in every way except that perhaps what kept me in line was the stunning untowardness from some few, including one girl my age not from the area who admitted to being sent to me by others in order to make me fall[!]), and, as I say, untowardness from porn producers, from adult stalkers, etc. I’ve already written about my success in surviving such encounters. My non-conformity with the lowest common denominator didn’t go unnoticed. In fact, I impossibly heard about my own whereabouts from others, and my activities, and what my life was like – with much solidarity – though I was flummoxed as to how they could possibly know, and all of this in at least as much detail as I knew myself, and perhaps more. Did they know of my getting shot at on the road I lived on, on so many occasions, some dozens of bullets all told as a kid: shotgun (perhaps a dozen shells; I felt the spray) and rifle (I remember the whizzing sounds of dozens of bullets all told at that time)? I never talked about it. But they sure did make me feel loved. They marveled at my situational awareness even then. That was encouraging. Perhaps this knowledge of my private life helped others to open up to me, that is, those with suicidal ideation, quite a number. The powers that be would thank me for my efforts in these situations, particularly my special mentor. Some situations were pretty dramatic. I remember them well. Just getting nostalgic about this, I call to mind, now, some half dozen people who did not commit suicide after long and sometimes multiple conversations. I recall a couple of failures later in life in Europe and the West Bank. One killed himself so as to escape being used to kill others, a success in its own weird way I guess. Another waited ten more years to become a suicide bomber, at least that much delay, a success in its own weird way I guess. I’ve written of those elsewhere, but those last two were long after high school and so of no consequence here.
buckwheat horse

This could be a clone of my el cheapo horse “Buckwheat”, basically thrown away by his previous owner as being too independent minded for any would-be rider. We were, instead, great friends. Not a donkey, but that’s fine.

  • More of my private life was known. I found great solace in reading the Baltimore Catechism. I basically had the sections of the advanced catechisms on how to go to Confession pretty much memorized. I loved Confession. I went to Confession, a lot. I had a good confessor. Meanwhile, since preparing for Confirmation, I thought reading the Bible was super enthralling. For instance, I spent many weeks, actually, months on end, immersed in a mania of artistically depicting scenes of the Apocalypse with comprehensive exactitude. I showed those to some. Diversely, at school, I was one of the best amateur potters in the region, immediately getting an audience when I sat down at a wheel, even doing on demand performances of “throwing” pots in mere seconds. The school itself gave me truckloads of stuff to help me build my own hermitage so as do some serious reading, writing, drawing. I would get on my fastest of all fast horses known to anyone (which we got really cheap – almost for free – since he was ornery and small) – bareback (he was barrel-backed) mind you – and go chasing around the countryside and forests and hills and dales, around lakes, into lakes, miles and miles and miles. This was sometimes done with those from school, sometimes with my girlfriend, sometimes on my own. Or I would go out on a dirt bike, practicing climbing super steep ridges without letting the engine choke out, also sometimes with others from school. Long rifle sharp shooting (not super successful) from both over super rough terrain, in and through trees and thickets, over fences. Nothing interesting here. But people were interested. Again, and this was kind of weird, they let me know about it. As I say, it seems someone who knew me well wanted others to show me lots of love. They would come up to me in all solidarity, like, once a week like clockwork, one after another within a day or two, until the next week. And then it would all be repeated. I wonder if that was my special mentor doing all that. He carried really a lot of weight with everyone at school. Much appreciated, I guess. More on my rather special mentor below.

euclid school of athens

  • I would also think, a lot. I would spend hours on end, days, forgetting about time, training myself to think while sleeping (this works great and I’ve kept up this practice), trying, at the time, to figure out what are considered impossible mathematical conundrums, and then afterwards, taking a break, going golfing or sailing with a friend in my class to talk about these same mathematical impossibilities (before my junior year in high school) which he, also on his own and without me knowing about it, had been working on in the same exact ways, including purposely dreaming about them at night so as to come up with hypotheses that had to be tested during the day on paper. That was a revelation. I wasn’t alone. But it was only us two. But I guess it was all “normal.” That turned what was a challenge into great fun. Well, that was true until a math prof in junior year gave us an end-of-the-world exam about which he warned us every class for six weeks (class being four times a week), at which he wrote out three super complex equations in the air, not on the board, describing them orally, and we had to figure out what he was doing while he wrote out in the air all the square roots and divisions and letters and multiplications and more letters and rubbish of all sorts with parentheses or not. He did this three times and called on me all three times. I got them all right. He made an example of me publicly. Not sure why. Was it my special mentor at work behind the scenes getting him to do this? They all worked for him. He just about didn’t make it out of the classroom alive as everyone was so angry with him for the reason that I was deathly sick at the time. I was made an example of a lot. Even if that all proved to me that “I could do it”, it all nevertheless turned me off from doing math. But I’m sure that wasn’t the intended result. I was instead much more interested in counterintel, of all things because of my special mentor. Who is he, you ask?

PROMETHEUS

  • My psych exams over a lifetime must have also been pretty wild. I’ve had heaps of zillion-question psych exams since my youngest days back in the 1960s. “These are experimental psych exams”, they said. “I’m in,” I said. “You don’t have to do them,” they said. “I’m in,” I said. Even as a tiny little kid I was quite self-aware and without being able to put a name on it, I was quite into counterintel, suspicious of what what being asked. The first exams were, I think, in fourth grade and sixth grade. I never liked manipulation. I suppose that was seen by the writers of the exam and its earliest reviewers of results. I was forever being put in classes for “gifted students” since I was a little kid. We were “special” as we were always told, so, whatever. ;-) I kept taking versions of these zillion question exams. My special mentor continued giving such exams to us. He simply couldn’t get over what these said about my leadership qualities. He took me on as his special project, wanting to encourage some rather peculiar leadership skill sets, for which I was, impossibly, 11.2 on a 1-10 scale in the most recent set of zillion question exams. My mentor and I would have ferocious in depth conversations in which he would elicit my advice about whatever different sets of circumstances he would put before me, a baiting-training in for counterintel. The scenarios were progressively wildly complex, with, for instance, seemingly innocuous details which came to be of central importance. He was really good at bringing me from one step to the next, quite happy when I learned how to be multiple steps ahead of him, stepping back, able to survey what was going on, turning the tables and putting him under pressure. Ha ha! I loved this kind of challenge, formation, mentoring. These conversations would go on for hours on golf courses, often having us stop dead in the middle of a fairway, or on a green, or sandtrap, explaining, arguing, refining appraisals of perspectives of characters in the scenarios who were, perhaps, not so imaginary, but rather people he had to deal with. He even came out with names once in a while. One scenario was, apparently, deadly, deadly, deadly serious, and he almost quit after we teed off on the first of our 18 hole extravaganza that day. But he got it. Those were heady days. I’m sure I was tempted to outrageous arrogance because of this. But these experiences did bring me into an entirely different universe of dealing with people.

rifle

  • My mentor once wrote about me in a certain famous letter that should I end up in Rome where I would be able to survey fully the state of the Church and the world, in having a choice before me, I would likely be drawn to a life choice that would allow me to put into play other skill sets he saw within me, those being perfect, he thought, for counterintel. As another example of his attitude, he singled me out in front of the entire junior and senior classes (some hundreds of students together), saying that I alone among all of them could resist manipulation, hypnotism, subterfuge (in a word: intel, counterintel), turning the tables. There was just absolutely no way that I could be brought down, he said. Most just took that in. Some congratulated me, but still just took that judgment upon themselves. Some others so very angrily objected to being categorized as being such pushovers that they proved his point with all these others. As I looked around the assembly hall at the reactions of my fellow students, typical of me, I instantaneously thought of this as yet another of his counterintel “products” also for me, and therefore also noticing my own reactions both to him and to the other students. That any footprint of his upon the earth was entirely erased after I graduated is rather distressing. I have offered many prayers for him, many Masses for him. Try to find out if he ever existed, and there’s nothing. I heard a rumor once that perhaps he died. The FBI and Main State would attempt to do that “perhaps” thing with me when I got to be his age (the whole alternative identity thing that I didn’t request). I resisted, in Rome, contrary to what my mentor had predicted. Or is what I did at that time another counterintel “product”, you know, because nothing is as it seems? ;-)

Anyway, to repeat the question:

Just how it is that (1) I got an offer (2) to be invited (3) to be assigned (4) to the Vatican (5) by those about whom we were speaking, obviously, namely, those at “The Company”.

I would have thought that much more interesting would be how anything like any of that would play out over in Rome. That’s for another post, a story over the years full of spies and counterspies and such. Mind you, in this post nothing much was said about me being cover for my “Shadow.” Let’s just say that the more I’ve been involved in whatever way with terrorism and coups and shady people of all sorts on whatever side of things, the easier it is for my “Shadow” to continue to entrench under my name. It is what it is.

Anyway, that’s all kind of the answer to “The Question,” I’m sure creating more questions than answering anything whatsoever. But that’s the murky world of murkiness of the darkest of existential peripheries in which many live their entire lives as if that were somehow normal.

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Filed under Holy See, Intelligence Community, Patriotism, Politics

Day Off: Guns and Fiery Ecumenism (Russian Orthodox), and then… Yikes!

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The “Day-Off” started off at 2:00 AM editing this Wednesday’s post for Father Gordon’s These Stone Walls. What a fright! Then, after feeding the dogs, it was off with Sassy the Subaru to be checked out some 100 miles away from the rectory, a two hour trip with the appointment being for after 7:00 AM sometime. Sassy’s fine, but I’m thinking of trading her in for something… else…

Then the “Day-Off” brought me to Mission Hospital in Asheville to visit an elderly friend who was bleeding out for an unknown reason for days on end, getting lots of bags of blood being pumped into her. They figure she’s going to get better and will be home in a few days.

After some sacramental work, it was then off to the pharmacy, the “mail-box”, then lunch with some gun slingers, which brings me to some time at the hermitage…

The old ripped towel on the ground you see at the bottom of the picture above is for protecting click-dropped magazines from being clogged with forest floor stuff while doing timed tactical and combat changes, while in the action of falling to a knee after firing a shot and before another. I’m not sure why, but these are exercises I can do way under time with good accuracy (better than all the other stages of courses). Targets are 7″ pie plates all at seven yards out (three yards apart), typical of the average furthest distance in a critical defensive shootout with accuracy you want to have if at a gas station in an imminently life-threatening situation (as set up with the violent rhetoric of Maxine Waters).

Aiming for perfect scores with my little targets did see some progress, particularly with strings, in this case six pumped out as fast as one can pull the trigger. The grouping got smaller even as the timing shortened more than 1.5 seconds (from a few weeks ago), all under the time permitted for the Federal Air Marshall Tactical Pistol Course (pre-2001).

And yet, I got nothing near my best scores to date (always DQs for whatever reason, of course). I was terribly preoccupied with mulling over doing up a communication with the Holy See on recent dramas in Holy Mother Church. I should learn to not let myself be so lackadaisical during practice since one cannot and will not be otherwise preoccupied during a critical incident.

Anyway, I gave up in favor of doing up some practical ecumenism with the Russian Orthodox Church (sorry my Greek friends!). Another neighbor is Greek Orthodox well on his way to priestly ordination, with a beautiful family. He already has the famous moonshine wood stove I used in the hermitage. I marched up the ridge a couple of times to get the stainless steel stove pipe I used with bits and pieces of caps and clean outs, but about 15 feet of pipe all told. Winter is upon us!

And then, while talking with my other neighbor to the hermitage about all sort of topics, I suddenly and quite simply sent off an extremely brief email to a certain someone in the Holy See, asking a question I had been mulling for days, oppressively so, as mentioned above. Immediately I got back a response, very nuanced, offering new information and direction and encouragement. It was almost as if he had been waiting for my request and was ready to drop me that response since the time I had gone to Rome to give those two packages to the Holy Father. But I digress.

Still at the neighbors we talked about Jesus, as we always do. We spent some time on meditations involving the horrors of going to hell for eternity and how easy that is to avoid, and also about the joys of heaven and the desire to go there. It was as if a great, great weight had been lifted from me, even though what had transpired in those brief quick emails entails a huge amount of work.

So, of course, cherry ice cream with huge chunks of chocolate had to be devoured. Then “Day-Off” ended back at the rectory before midnight. Having been up since 2:00 AM, and it being waaaay past my bedtime, I had to stop along the highway and take a nap in the car. Sooo tired.

Meanwhile, the day-after, today, will be filled with sewerage up at the church, the second day for the plumbers to come by and see what in the world might be done so as to open up the parish again…

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Filed under Abuse, Day Off, Ecumenism, Guns, Holy See, Missionaries of Mercy

FBI trying to suss out CIA? vice versa?

FBI West Palm Beach FL

Someone has thrown me into a tizzy in recent times, pushing hard on just how it is that when I was still in high school I was being brought into the CIA so as to be invited to be assigned to the Vatican. Not an everyday question. Hmm. I’ll have to think about that. It’s all shameless humint baiting, of course. I’m always happy to oblige when it comes to nostalgia.

Meanwhile, some people come to mind:

  • Our much loved Headmaster. Upon many zillion question psych exams, and seeing that I came up with 11.2 on a 1 to 10 scale for leadership – the scenarios presented for that, so very many, were sooo subtle – he took me under his wing for special training in leadership. The school had leadership camps for kids, which I never went to, despising them, I guess. But I made up for this by special tutoring. This headmaster taught me, of all things in the last few years of high school, counterintelligence. This training went on for years. Very intense. About eight hours each session. Going step by step, with ever more complexity. So intense did it get that he used real names once in a while, apologizing for this. All exhilarating for me. He wanted to make sure that I could never be duped by anyone for any reason in any way because of seeing through whatever I came across. He was super young for the position he had, in perfect health, but then dropped dead of a “heart attack” shortly after I graduated.
  • A guy I’ll call “The Janitor.” Military. Brilliant weapons guy. He shadowed me everywhere, right around the countryside. He was going to help me build my teenage version of a hermitage but my dad wanted me to build it by my own ingenuity. But the shadowing got to be annoying. I learned how to take evasive action, which is what he wanted, of course. When I asked him about it, sometimes pressing him on this – and many times over the years – he would steadfastly only give me the non-answer that I would see in the future what my future would be, but that this had everything to do with what others were assessing of me. He denied everything I guessed, which left me flummoxed. I’m guessing he’s long dead by now.
  • Peter Paul Strzok II. Just as an aside, I’m guessing that I met another alumnus, a present nemesis, of later counterintelligence / counterterrorism / military / FBI infamy, that is, if he had ever as a youngster come over to my parish school for a “Spanferkel” experience so as to get him recruited while being at one of the many levels of leadership camps we had. We had lots of language schools as well.
  • FBI agents a dime a dozen. From the time I was a little kid, then in Junior High School, then High School, then the first couple of years in the Seminary, my dad, himself very high profile, would invite FBI agents to town all the time for the elite crowd there, and go out of his way to make sure I was there so that he could introduce me to them, making sure that I was on their radar.

Anyway, I’m mulling over the question.

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Filed under Holy See, Intelligence Community, Vatican

Ringwraith stabbing: my trip to Rome. Hilaire Belloc “On Irony” ;-)

Image result for ringwraith stabbing

Did you ever see the Lord of the Rings? Do you remember when Frodo Baggins was stabbed by the poisonous sword of the Ringwraith?

frodo ringwraith

It wasn’t those to whom I spoke. It wasn’t those about whom I was speaking. The “Ringwraith” in this case was the political atmosphere storming about Vatican hill. Get near that in any serious way as I did when I went up into the Apostolic Palace the other week to deliver some packages going to the heart of the current crisis and you’ll get stabbed by that Ringwraithness. Again, this doesn’t at all refer to those to whom I spoke or about the packages so delivered.

Getting stabbed doesn’t necessitate becoming a Ringwraith. It just means that you have to struggle a bit. I’m sure we all have an experience like that of Frodo. And we all have “Elvish medicine” by which to conquer.

I’d like to think of that medicine as giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception. After all, she saw her own Son get crushed by Satan and all the powers of hell and saw Him risen from the dead.

To put it another way: When Jesus lays down His life, it is in that very action that He also lays down our lives with His, we being members of the Body of Christ, we being children of Jesus’ good mom, you know, like the Master so the disciple. That’s for all of us.

But that is a burden to carry in this world. I don’t know how those on the straight and narrow in the Vatican can survive. It’s all God’s grace. They carry an enormous burden. They are getting stabbed by Ringwraithness on a continuous basis, 24/7/365. For them: Hail Mary…

But there is more. There is irony. It is so fierce that people can scream running away. Don’t run. Don’t be afraid. Perhaps a re-read of some irony will help:

hilaire bellocTo the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power […] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul. [Hilaire Belloc, “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).]

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RE-POST: IT’S APRIL 8 – A MOST GLORIOUS DAY

COUNCIL OF TRENT

HEY! It’s the [472nd] anniversary of Sacrosancta, the first decree of the fourth session of the most sacred and ecumenical Council of Trent in 1546. This is my most favorite of all magisterial interventions. Be awed by the syntax in Latin. Be awed by the breadth, the heights, the profundity, the glory emanating from this decree. Let yourself be wrapped up it’s reverence before the Most Holy Spirit. Let yourself be brought to your knees. Unfortunately, rebel Martin Luther, ex-Catholic priest, would die just months before this was published, though I have to think that he was kept up to date on the ruminations for the first drafts, not easy if one is in bad health.

First the Latin…

Sacrosancta oecumenica et generalis Tridentina synodus, in Spiritu sancto legitime congregata, praesidentibus in ea eisdem tribus apostolicae sedis legatis, hoc sibi perpetuo ante oculos proponens, ut sublatis erroribus puritas ipsa evangelii in ecclesia conservetur quod promissum ante per prophetas in scripturis sanctis dominus noster Iesus Christus Dei Filius proprio ore primum promulgavit, deinde per suos apostolos tamquam fontem omnis et salutaris veritatis et morum disciplinae omni creaturae praedicari iussit; perspiciensque, hanc veritatem et disciplinam contineri in libris scriptis et sine scripto traditionibus, quae ab ipsius Christi ore ab apostolis acceptae, aut ab ipsis apostolis Spiritu sancto dictante quasi per manus traditae ad nos usque pervenerunt orthodoxorum patrum exempla secuta, omnes libros tam veteris quam novi testamenti, cum utriusque unus Deus sit auctor, nec non traditiones ipsas, tum ad fidem, tum ad mores pertinentes, tamquam vel oretenus a Christo, vel a Spiritu sancto dictatas et continua successione in ecclesia catholica conservatas, pari pietatis affectu ac reverentia suscipit et veneratur. Sacrorum vero Librorum indicem huic decreto adscribendum censuit, ne cui dubitatio suboriri possit, quinam sint, qui ab ipsa Synodo suscipiuntur. Sunt vero infrascripti. Testamenti Veteris: Quinque Moysis, id est Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium; Iosue, Iudicum, Ruth, quattuor Regum, duo Paralipomenon, Esdrae primus et secundus, qui dicitur Nehemias, Tobias, Iudith, Esther, Iob, Psalterium Davidicum centum quinquaginta psalmorum, Parabolae, Ecclesiastes, Canticum Canticorum, Sapientia, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Ieremias cum Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, duodecim prophetae minores, id est: Osea, Ioel, Amos, Abdias, Ionas, Michaeas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zacharias, Malachias; duo Maccabaeorum, primus et secundus. Testamenti Novi: Quattuor Evangelia, secundum Matthaeum, Marcum, Lucam, Ioannem; Actus Apostolorum a Luca Evangelista conscripti; quattuordecim epistulae Pauli Apostoli: ad Romanos, duae ad Corinthios, ad Galatas, ad Ephesios, ad Philippenses, ad Colossenses, duae ad Thessalonicenses, duae ad Timotheum, ad Titum, ad Philemonem, ad Hebraeos; Petri Apostoli duae; Ioannis Apostoli tres; Iacobi Apostoli una; Iudae Apostoli una et Apocalypsis Ioannis Apostoli. Si quis autem libros ipsos integros cum omnibus suis partibus, prout in ecclesia catholica legi consueverunt et in veteri vulgata latina editione habentur, pro sacris et canonicis non susceperit, et traditiones praedictas sciens et prudens contempserit: anathema sit.

Now my own slavish translation… NOT the usual translation!

The Most Sacred Ecumenical and General Tridentine Synod, convened legitimately in the Holy Spirit, with the three Legates of the Apostolic See presiding over it, is itself proposing for perpetuity in plain sight, so that, having cast down errors, the very purity of the Gospels may be conserved within the Church… [The purity itself of the Gospel…] which, before promised through the prophets in the holy Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth, and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten Traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Spirit dictating, have come down onto us, transmitted almost as if by hand… [The Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament — seeing that one God is the author of both — as also the said Traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ’s own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. [At this point, the list of books is provided. See the Latin.] If anyone, however, will not receive as sacred and canonical these same integral books with all of their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as are had in the Old Latin Vulgate edition, and will hold in contempt the aforementioned Traditions knowingly and with considered judgment: let him be anathema.

Note “almost as if by hand” since this is all about the Holy Spirit!

This is THE Counter-Reformation assertion by the Sacred Magisterium of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church against the heretics who reduce revelation to theology and inspiration to feelings, the dark arrogance having them rewrite and remove things from the Sacred Scriptures so as to assert merely themselves. This decree is CATHOLIC!

On a personal note, I was ordained a deacon on this day in the Twelve Apostles Basilica in Rome. Also, this decree became the center piece of the beginnings of a doctoral thesis (the first chapter being 256 pages), the story of which needs to be told one day, reaching as it does into the very heart of the intrigue of ecclesiastical politics and stirring the pot so much that… well, I’ll leave that for another day. Just note that this decree is still THE engine driving any true ecumenical dialogue, that is, which brings unity in truth and charity those who sincerely follow Jesus.

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Filed under Ecumenism, Holy See, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Spiritual life, Vulgate

Just a Papist Jackass

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sanfelipe007 sent in a donation via PayPal for this flag of the Holy See which arrived last night. It was found online by E.D. Thanks to you both. It should last through WNC storms. I tried to rip open the package with all enthusiasm not paying attention to the hefty staples. One ripped into my hand setting me bleeding. The bandage is now off. Gotta wonder if that’s a sign. But no reading tea-leaves!

Meanwhile, also on my “day-off” the other day, a friend gave me these two donkeys, just to remind me that I’m supposed to be a guard-donkey for the flock as a priest:

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It all does good to the heart of this priest. Thank you.

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Governing governments by extortion: when alphabet soup becomes the mafia. Revisiting death in the Holy See

domus sanctae marthae entrata

Remember Miriam Woldu of Eritrea (34), “Front of House” receptionist at the Pope’s residence of Santa Marta? She was assassinated with her baby in her womb. Intense culpable homicide investigations began after the autopsy and examination of her medical supplies. After. It’s the mercenary guy in my opinion. The deaths were a shot over the bow. Some people said she was simply stupid. But you don’t get an Intelligence job as “Front of House” for the leader of 1.3 billion people by being incompetent. I think she was the best in the world at the can’t ever forget a face thing. At any rate, at the time, the Holy See was under enormous pressure not to influence the Italian referendum on “gay marriage”, so much so that many of the Cardinals, apoplectic, publicly, really almost shrieking, exclaimed that they weren’t saying anything whatsoever about anything whatsoever during the referendum. Sometimes it isn’t about not doing anything evil; it’s about not doing anything good. And sometimes some governments think that neglect needs to be encouraged with extortion.

Thinking of some other things taking place, or not, along the Tiber and along the Potomac, I went to get some advice yesterday with an alphabet soup friend. “Just ten minutes,” I said. “Sure, c’mon over,” he said. That turned into four hours, as always. The result was simply the statement of ultimatums. It comes down to the typical mafia-esque extortion, the shot over the bow kind of thing.

Two questions:

  • On the one hand, the question would be this: if I was being extorted by someone who was holding a friend’s life in the balance in front of me, would I still do the right thing, you know, for God and country and all that?
  • On the other hand, the question would be this: if a friend was being extorted by someone holding my own life in the balance in front of my friend, would I still encourage my friend to do the right thing, whatever about me, you know, for God and country and all that?

Two answers:

  • I would hope that no one would expect me to sin gravely even by neglect just so they could get a bit more time on this earth as opposed to going to heaven.
  • I would hope that no one would gravely sin even by neglect just so that I could get a bit more time on this earth as opposed to going to heaven.

I should hope that no one can be bought, replacing God’s love within us with empty mind games of moralizing self-congratulation, you know, “sophistication” and “doing what you have to do”. God’s love and truth is stronger than death and is our treasure and is irreplaceable.

Jesus’ heart could not be extorted, and so a sword pierced that heart in His tortured, crucified body. But God’s love and truth is stronger than death, and He has led the way. He is the way. I should hope we all say that we cannot be extorted.

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Filed under Holy See, Intelligence Community, Patriotism, Politics, Terrorism

Not only the “filial correction” but also Humanae vitae was blocked (or not)

You have heard that some Italian journalist said that the “filial correction” was blocked on purpose, when instead it was just an algorithm blocking pages containing phishing risks. Yawn.

Meanwhile, back in the day when the Vatican website was starting up, there were algorithms blocking content that were so stringent even Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter on marriage and the family and procreation was blocked because of dangerous words like “conjugal” and “love”. That went on for a couple of months as I remember. But it’s all fake news. Just a bit of tweaking and it’s fixed. Yawn.

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Vatican: Handgunners’ Patron Saint is Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. Sharpening your skills is possible

target uncountable

Practiced concealed carriers will laugh with me (if they’re polite, as most CC crowd are) regarding my attempts at defending myself from stationary adhesive dots on stationary paper (that’s a full mag of 15 above), with me standing in a stationary position. I least I start holstered turned away from the target.

Always taking laughter seriously, I’ve come up with what is now a challenge, cutting a 1 inch by 1 inch by many feet long stick in half (marking the point with florescent orange spray paint) with target ammo using my Glock 19 from 15 to about 25 feet out (at the end of the arc), swinging the stick on a string that was thrown over a branch 35 feet up (this being out in the woods with a ridge as a backdrop). Here’s a three second video I made and just now uploaded to youtube to show you what this looks like in action, thought I’m not shooting while filming. Of course not.

Hey! It’s got a whole 5 views while I put up this post! I think people don’t watch youtube by principle or simply are afraid of anything to do with guns. I think it’s a cool three second video. But I’m biased ’cause I made it. Anyway, here is the result after what I think are too many attempts (but you gotta start somewhere, right?):

target stick

9mm FMJs go right through and won’t break a 1 inch by 1 inch stick in two with one shot. You have to saw across the stick at the same place. Not easy for me anyway when, after some hits, it’s only hanging together with something similar to a toothpick. I’ll be the first to admit that a bunch of shots were not on my spray-painted line. This will be a good play-time distraction on days off for quite a long time. This can always be made more difficult, with me moving either much closer (in which case it seems that the target is moving faster) or further away (in which case it seems that the already small target is smaller). Then you can add walking at the same time, and “running” (a kind of crouched fast-walk). I’m sure that won’t be easy. The more difficult in practice, the more accurate in a hoped-to-be-never-actual-incident.

saint gabriel possenti patron

Saint Gabriel Possenti, CSsR – Patron Saint of Hand-gunners as so designated by the Holy See

In my younger seminarian days I got on a bus and headed out on pilgrimage to the Passionist Monastery where Saint Gabriel had been a seminarian. The account given by all is that he saved a young lady from being raped by soldiers who were pillaging the town by demonstrating his marksmanship in killing a tiny lizard. Some people may feel sorry for the lizard, but I feel sorry for the young lady who was about to be brutalized and raped. Self defense for self or others is a positive contribution to the virtue of justice.

Those lizard loving people might want to ask what the ladies think about it, you know, those who have been raped by, say, al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda or ISIS or whatever and are then gunned down in some backwater alley because they complained about it. I’d rather take out the lizard. Saint Gabriel rocks!

See the Saint Gabriel Possenti Society…

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Excommunication of Mafia by secular courts? What’s this about? Anecdotes…

MAFIA OMERTA

“Hello Fr. George: I had a doubt if excommunication of mafia is also extended to those co- cooperating directly or indirectly by running  illicit businesses like gambling dens and bootlegging. — With prayers [Priest friend from India]”

We’ll have to see the language, which I imagine will be quite filled with legalese. As it is, more than fifty prosecutors, bishops, United Nations representatives and victims of organized crime have just tried to come up with a new legal doctrine concerning “the question of excommunication for corruption and mafia association.” “New” is right.

The novelty in this is that Pope Francis is seriously thinking of moving forward on entirely handing the Church’s own judicial processes of imposing excommunication over to the State regarding the Mafia, so that the opinion of the State as to the guilt of someone in, say, racketeering (a conviction), is what effectively imposes and declares the excommunication. Or is there to be an “administrative process” in some Vatican “Pontifical Council for the Excommunication of the Mafia” whereby the poor fellow has his State conviction rubber stamped by some Vatican office worker? What a sick joke against both justice and mercy. This seems to be insanity, real evil, putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

mafia

The State is often the enemy of the Church in various countries. What do you do if you are a kind of Henry VIII and you have a troublesome cleric like John Fisher or a troublesome Chancellor like Thomas More? Just trump up charges of racketeering and the poor fellows will be not only be convicted by the State but also excommunicated by the Church based solely on that secular conviction. It’s no longer Saint John Fisher but damned John Fisher. It’s no longer Saint Thomas More but damned Thomas More. The Church would no longer has any voice in the public square with this kind of pressure for ecclesiastics to be sycophants of the State. The U.S. Department of State is having a celebration, along with so many governments in other countries.

But there are so many insurmountable problems that I doubt Pope Francis will be successful in moving forward with this kind of legislation for State sponsored Catholic excommunication, this delegation of investigation, prosecution, conviction and sentencing to the State. If he is successful, I can only imagine the immediate wholesale convictions of racketeering followed by death sentences for church leaders in countries that are terribly annoyed with the Catholic Church (and there are many which are just that violent). And what’s the Church to do if all those church leaders are also said to be excommunicated?

Some important personal anecdotes:

(1) For quite a long time I lived in the same house as the head legal liaison between the Italian Department of Defense (Ministero della difesa) and the Holy See. He approached me with the request that I agree that he might arrange an assignment for me as pastor in a parish in Southern Italy so that he might better deal with the Mafia in that region, my anti-Mafia activities apparently being known to some. I knew exactly where he was going in the conversation and got him to admit easily enough that his purpose was to go ahead and put listening devices in my confessional box so that they might have evidence to convict whatever mafia went to confession. The Mafia do go to confession, but not with the purpose of being forgiven, but so as to shut the priest up, for the priest would then feel obliged by the seal of confession even if he otherwise heard the information outside of confession as well. This liaison was quite blunt about this, quite open, even telling me the procedures they use to set this already well established policy into practice. This happens all the time. In these USA the FBI has done this numerous times in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. I asked him what would happen if I actually did my bit as a priest and did not give the mafia guy absolution, but told him to get his wife and kids and skip the country taking nothing with him so as to get out of the mafia altogether and then get absolution elsewhere. The response was that I would, of course, be shot right through the confessional screen. Of course. I declined. He was upset as he had revealed much about the level of respect Italy has for the Church (and me): none whatsoever.

(2) A good “friend”, one of the very top anti-Mafia investigators in Italy for DIA (Direzione Investigativa Antimafia) wanted me to spy for him on who else but the Cardinals who are resident in Rome. He was offering me all sorts of favors toward this end, even putting local law enforcement at my beck and call, regardless of how long I might take them away from their duties. The thing is, I did know very well and have been in the houses and various main offices and back offices and off to the side offices of many of the Cardinals. I declined. He was upset as he had revealed much about the level of respect Italy has for the Church (and me): None whatsoever.

(3) A bishop in southern Italy, a close friend with no fear in publicly and continuously denouncing the mafia in his diocese, was threatened with death numerous times to no effect. Finally the mafia, in this case the ‘Ndrangheta, got a hold of the Pontifical Family to pass along the message that if the bishop was not moved by the next morning he would certainly be found dead. He was moved to another diocese that very night. In other words, the church revealed that it will not back up the pastoral initiatives of those who stand up against the mafia, but will just do the expedient thing, showing what respect there is for actual courage: none whatsoever.

(4) A mafia priest, a pastor in a large parish in the western region of Rome, has constant contacts with the Pontifical Family, making personal visits. He’s got many of the big political mafia bosses in his parish. They are taken care of very well by the parish, favored members of the parish. What does that say? (I did try to do something about this at one time. Response? None whatsoever that I know about.)

(5) My own case worker (let’s call him J.J. for short) in the U.S. Department of State surely has everything to do with this legal conference of Pope Francis and is likely the instigator and provider of legal language for much of it. He has everything to do with the law, with the United Nations, with the Hague, with this kind of legal maneuvering by teams for or against individuals on an international level in such manner that international relations between countries are affected. I smell a rat in all this. There is a difference between the Holy See and the Vatican, a difference which, if not protected, will bring damage to Vatican City State fairly quickly. This conflation of prosecution of the Mafia by Church and State could well be a precedent. This effort has been going on for many years in many ways also by way of powerful ecclesiastical figures who bow down to those at the United Nations and other diplomatic / legal organs… Maybe the legalese will provide a way out of this conflation. Maybe not. We will see. What are the tangible benefits? None whatsoever that I can figure out. Everything can go wrong; nothing and no one is better off with this sort of action. Quite literally this would set up the Holy See / Vatican City State for extortion by the U.S. State Department, forcing what the DoS would call “policy” decisions, or assignments of bishops, or whatever. Not a good position to be in.

(6) A little test of all this before any promulgation of any decree by Pope Francis might well be in order. What I have in mind is to […].

(7)  I should mention the Archdiocese of Malta, where C.S. resides, and also the little town of Salem, New Hampshire, USA, where E.A., “thick as thieves” with C.S., is continuing to serve out his prison sentence…

Et cetera

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Filed under Holy See, Mafia, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Requesting Martyrdom edition)

flores papist

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

That’s today’s Gospel. Jesus is commanding us to ask for the grace of martyrdom, laying down one’s life for one’s friends, the greatest love, how He loved us. That’s the logic of that passage. Inescapable. Totally. This is what we are to ask of our Heavenly Father. I’m guessing that that request would make our dear Mother Mary most happy.

The flowers I put up for this post are in front of the statue of the Immaculate Conception at the rectory. They are yellow and white, the colors of the Holy See, a tad bit Papist of me. Yes. This really makes people angry. It makes Islamists upset. It makes ultra-traditional-ism-ists upset. It makes the filthy liberals upset.

It is most Catholic to support not only the idea of the office of Peter (which support, cut off from Peter himself as so many do, is a heresy for the reason that the Church is founded on Peter and not on a mere idea of an office), but it is also most Catholic to support Peter himself, his very person, which filthy liberals, ultra-traditional-ism-ists, Islamists, etc., are loathe to do. I take a lot of heat for supporting the very person of Pope Francis. And that’s just fine with me.

Just because one is supporting Peter himself doesn’t mean that one is supporting everything that Peter says. That would be absurd. Peter himself wouldn’t stand for it. I couldn’t care less if Peter bets on a certain horse for the Kentucky Derby. I’ll bet on my own horse, or actually not bet at all. But I will pay attention when the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ speaks not just for himself but as the head of the Catholic Church, and not just to some group or another or as part of some dialogue (such as is the case with Amoris laetitia), but when he is speaking to the universal Church, to everyone, and as a teacher, not a mere participant in ongoing dialogue, and also, conjoined to this, when he speaks on a matter of faith or morals as found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (or in the natural law for that matter), especially when this is deciding a controverted point.

But not only. I will also pray and stand in solidarity with Peter to the point where I feel that it is true that he who insults Peter insults me. Indeed, he who insults Peter insults Jesus who established Peter as the Rock upon which the Church is built. He who insults Jesus insults me. Why? Because Jesus did the same for the likes of horrible, sinful me. Thank you, Jesus.

But Father George! You don’t understand! Pope Francis blah blah blah blah blah. Yes, I’m aware of that and about a million other things you haven’t even thought about. I know. And so I ask: “So? Does that mean I shouldn’t pray for him? That I shouldn’t be a good son of the Church? Does it mean I can’t do my best to be the best priest I can be, teaching the best I can, praying the best I can, encouraging the best I can? I stand with Peter. I’m Catholic. I’m a priest.

 

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Filed under Amoris laetitia, Flores, Holy See, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood, Vocations

Questions for + Charles Scicluna

scicluna

Your Grace: Why did the Malta Times take down their article about you? Were they wrong? Did they misrepresent you? Really? Since you invite dialogue, as a Missionary of Mercy I will put some questions before you for the sake of, you know, promoting justice, for the good of the Church, pro bono ecclesiae. So…

  • Your Grace: You say that the teaching of the Church — let’s just call it by the name of the encyclical Humanae vitae — is only for married couples which you say can be constituted only of one man and one woman, but that you don’t judge other couples, though you insist that extramarital sex is sinful but at the same time insist that adulterous couples can receive Holy Communion if they are at peace with themselves regardless of their flagrant rejection of Jesus’ teaching, of Sacred Scripture, of Sacred Tradition, of the constant interventions of the Magisterium of the Church: does this mean that you are making a sacrament of sinful behavior?
  • Your Grace: Lest anyone think that is a sarcastic question, let’s provide an analogous question regarding your longstanding promotion of the civil celebrations of homosexual love in civilly recognized homosexual unions, as long as there is no sexy hanky panky going on, though all love including homosexual love, you say, is given by God and is good and holy: are you saying with your recent statements about peaceful consciences for adulterous couples that homosexual acts are also a kind of sacrament, objectively sinful as they may be, as long as the homosexuals involved are at peace with themselves regardless of their flagrant rejection of Saint Paul’s teaching, of Sacred Scripture, of Sacred Tradition, of the constant interventions of the Magisterium of the Church?
  • Your Grace: You seem to be throwing a tantrum that the Malta Times got it wrong, but would you say that — you know, in being honest here — that they had a good instinct about your utter hypocrisy regarding sexual morality, so that anything whatsoever is just fine, including contraception also in marriage as long as those involved are at peace with their consciences?
  • Your Grace: Do you put condom dispensers in your Catholic parochial school bathrooms for those who judge their consciences to be at peace? Or do you put those dispensers out, say, in the lunchroom along with free copies of the Qur’an which you let be taught in your parochial schools?
  • Your Grace: Jesus warned those who teach people to break the commandments, so are you going to spit on Jesus while you continue to teach people to break the commandments?
  • Your Grace: You slit the throats of those seminarians who wish to follow the teaching of Jesus and Paul, that is, those seminarians who do not reject Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition and the constant interventions of the Magisterium of the Church: so do you think that Jesus, who is calling them to His priesthood, is happy with your violence against them?
  • Your Grace: Your close friend (Monsignor) Edward Arsenault, at the epicenter in so many ways of the abuse crisis, just got out of prison and is in home confinement, where he just received the news that he has been dismissed from the clerical state (laicized): is what you are doing with your not so ambiguous and inconsistent but really very clear statements related somehow to demands of his, you know, because he could spill the beans about how things have actually gone in these USA, over in Europe, and at the Holy See?

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Forcing Vatican regime changes and…

assange

The rather well connected Thomas D Williams (son in law of an acquaintance of mine) wrote the other day about a conspiracy to force Benedict out and to replace him with someone a bit more malleable[!], hinting at this, among other things, by way of tidbits from Julian Paul Assange’s Wikileaks about John David Podesta, and from hints from Archbishop Luigi Negri, close friend of Pope Benedict XVI: HERE.

edward arsenault

But hey! What do I know? All I know is that the little tidbits that keep coming in are consonant with and answer the most questions about various developments, including the double-murder of Pope Francis’ pregnant “Front of House” “Receptionist” at the time of the gay-marriage referendum in Italy, when enormous pressure was put on the Catholic Hierarchy not to say anything about it, or else. I mean, really, the repeated tantrum like public protestations of the porporati that they didn’t say anything were apoplectic. Some pieces haven’t yet come into the spotlight, and need to be aired. The pressure isn’t just about moral topics and the manipulation of voters’ consciences.

I think I should go have a chat with Julian. I do, after all, have a number of ulterior motives to go to London. The Embassy of Ecuador is just a stroll away from where I would stay, which is just on the other side of Hyde Park (with some 40 volumes of materials to analyse there…), and a bit closer to the American Embassy [!], and a stone’s throw from Tony Blair’s back yard. I’ve been waiting to have a certain chat with Tony since early 2010 about a certain televised debate I would like to set up. He would be the moderator. It’s on a topic he’s spent his retirement facilitating one way or the other. A best friend of mine who is also a best friend of his would boil the billy for the encounter. I don’t think it’s illegal to speak to Assange, or slip a message to him, since he hasn’t been formally charged with anything as far as I know. If you know differently, let me know.

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Filed under Holy See, Intelligence Community, Military, Politics, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Terrorism

A day in the death at the Holy See. Chilling chat with a string puller.

It’s well over a year now that 34 year old Miriam Woldu of Eritrea, “Front of House” receptionist at the Pope’s residence of Santa Marta, was assassinated with her baby in her womb. Intense culpable homicide investigations began after the autopsy and examination of her medical supplies. After. The deaths were a shot over the bow. All never to be heard from again.

Hey! “The Vote” in Italy went as planned with highly publicized negligence on the part of the Holy See and Italian hierarchy to provide any direction. There were plenty of sycophantic exclamations like: “We never said anything and so we are nice and so be nice to us, please!” We pray for her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed.

I have to wonder if she’s the (at the time) young lady our intelligence community bragged to me about finding (to see if I knew her?), someone who could remember every face years later even though only glimpsed once, able to give accurate descriptions about associated times and places. You don’t get “Front of House” for the leader of 1.3 billion people without being a most extraordinary individual. And yet some of the media conjectured she was just a stupid girl from a third world country and couldn’t possibly know how to manage her medical supplies. One of our readers, whose comment I did not publish, but who has a (malicious?) penchant for mocking anything but extreme naivete cleverly agreed with that bit of racism if I recall correctly. Anyway…

This comes to mind again after a chat I had the other day with someone all too interested in everything to do with replacing the one I think facilitated, set up the assassination. The facilitator, who I knew very well, was there for years, under orders, and had personal motives, ample opportunity and all logistics clicking into place, and exactly the right time with the message all too clear. I mean, I knew who trained him, who assigned him, and all his daily activities. He’s now “dead” and entirely removed from Italy. The fellow I had a chat with the other day has the string-pulling ability to replace the now removed facilitator guy with another like minded fellow, regardless of who took his place some few years ago. It was a bit of a chilling conversation. The perception is that it’s just all too easy as so many of the people in place in the Holy See are so entirely able to be manipulated.

Some higher-ups in our DoD well understand that I am rightly concerned for the safety of the Holy Father even while they correctly acknowledge my patriotism regarding these USA and my support of the CIA and State Department generally speaking. Many of them, who have spent lifetimes in the Military at the Pentagon and loaned out to the CIA (high ranking guys) warn me about my interfering to the point of my outing an agent, speaking of the usual penalty for doing so, and yet at the same time again praise my loyalty to the Holy Father and my patriotism of these USA as being understandable.

So, O.K. I’ll run some interference already this morning.

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Correcting Pope Francis’ Correctors

pope-francis-cardinal-burke

Respect and joy in the Lord

I love and respect both Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke.

You have heard that it was said by the latter:

“My position is that ‘Amoris laetitia’ is not magisterial because it contains serious ambiguities that confuse people and can lead them into error and grave sin. A document with these defects cannot be part of the Church’s perennial teaching. Because that is the case, the Church needs absolute clarity regarding what Pope Francis is teaching and encouraging.”

This Missionary of Mercy says in response:

  • Amoris laetitia cannot yet be spoken about as if it were a document already published by the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, for it is not.
  • Amoris laetitia, even if published as is, is not an Apostolic Constitution or even an Encyclical, but simply an Apostolic Exhortation, whose author, mind you, goes way, WAY out of his way in articles 3-4 of Amoris laetitia to assert that Amoris laetitia is simply a conglomerate of opinions for the sake of encouraging more dialogue on the matters at hand. Pope Francis completely disowns this having anything whatsoever to do with any kind of Magisterial intervention of the Church whatsoever, whether ordinary or extraordinary. If it’s published as is in the Acta, well, that just doesn’t make any difference, to wit:

“Since ‘time is greater than space’, I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. […] The various interventions of the Synod Fathers, to which I paid close heed, made up, as it were, a multifaceted gem reflecting many legitimate concerns and honest questions. For this reason, I thought it appropriate to prepare a post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation to gather the contributions of the two recent Synods on the family, while adding other considerations as an aid to reflection, dialogue and pastoral practice, and as a help and encouragement to families in their daily commitments and challenges.

  • To say that Amoris laetitia would be part of at least the ordinary Magisterium of the Church (see “perennial teaching”) if anyone might like to agree with its contents but that it cannot be part of at least the ordinary Magisterium of the Church (see “perennial teaching”) if anyone might like to disagree with its contents seems to me to be saying that the Pope has no authority to teach on matters of faith and morals to the universal Church as the Successor of Peter. That, of course, would be quite wrong. Amoris laetitia is not part of any teaching of the Church whatsoever not because of anyone’s opinion, however well founded, but because Pope Francis himself denies that it is part of any teaching of the Church whatsoever, insisting as he does on dialogue, etc.

A question might be asked as to whether Pope Francis has a good understanding of Papal Infallibility. Let’s analyze his extensive statements on the matter, and then compare that with what Scripture has for us. This is from Pope Francis’ speech on October 17, 2015, the 50th anniversary of the Institution of the Synods of Bishops:

On the eve of last year’s Synod I stated: “For the Synod Fathers we ask the Holy Spirit first of all for the gift of listening: to listen to God, so that with him we may hear the cry of his people; to listen to his people until we are in harmony with the will to which God calls us”.(14) The Synod process culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, who is called to speak [chiamato a pronunciarsi=called to pronounce (a word used for ex-cathedra statements)] as “pastor and teacher of all Christians”,(15) not on the basis of his personal convictions but as the supreme witness to the fides totius Ecclesiae, “the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church”.(16)

The fact that the Synod always acts cum Petro et sub Petro — indeed, not only cum Petro, but also sub Petro — is not a limitation of freedom, but a guarantee of unity. For the Pope is, by will of the Lord, “the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful”.(17) Closely related to this is the concept of “hierarchica communio” as employed by the Second Vatican Council: the Bishops are linked to the Bishop of Rome by the bond of episcopal communion (cum Petro) while, at the same time, hierarchically subject to him as head of the college (sub Petro).(18)

14) FRANCIS, Address at the Prayer Vigil for the Synod on the Family, 4 October 2014.

15) FIRST VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus (18 July 1870), ch. IV: Denz. 3074. Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 749, § 1.

16) FRANCIS, Address to the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 18 October 2014.

17) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 23. cf. FIRST VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Prologue: Denz. 3051.

18) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 22; Decree Christus Dominus (28 October 1965), 4.

Impressive. This makes us wait for an infallible pronouncement by:

  • The Bishop of Rome precisely as the Successor of Peter
  • pronouncing on a matter or many matters of faith and/or morals
  • especially deciding a matter or many matters of controversy
  • directing the instruction to the entirety of Christ’s faithful.

Just to say the obvious: This has not happened to date (this being written on December 9, 2016), and, just to repeat, Amoris laetitia has been excluded from any consideration of it as any kind of teaching of the Magisterium of the Church by the indications of Pope Francis himself.

Meanwhile, I do believe I understand what Pope Francis is doing in not answering various theologians and Cardinals, to wit, he is trying to emphasize Matthew 18:18 (the voice of some of the laity and some of the Synod members) more than Matthew 16:19 (the lone voice of Peter, the Rock), at least for the moment. He is interested in the richness of dialogue, but we see from that October 17, 2015 speech cited above, he is also interested in what can be provided by infallible Peter. Let’s analyze these passages and see some surprising take aways:

Let’s review Matthew 16:19 in utterly pedantic translation

“Whatever you may bind at any given time (second person singular subjunctive aorist active) upon the earth will (third person singular indicative future middle) already have been made to be perfectly standing in that way (nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive) in the heavens.”

What do the verbs mean in this context?

  • Second person singular subjunctive aorist active – The second person singular refers to Peter alone. The subjunctive here is not so much a kind of conditional or wishfulness, but rather depicts the state of actually choosing an option; from the perspective of the actor, there is freedom to the choice: “Whatever you may bind at any give time.” The aorist time frame, whatever delusion your introductory Greek grammars insist on providing to you, is literally “without borders”, that which can happen in the past, present or even future (as is the case here: see below), though usually something which itself happens in a defined time frame, such as the choice to bind. Active simply refers to something actually being accomplished.
  • Third person singular indicative future middle – The third person singular refers to any given object of the action, its state of being. It will simply be what it is (indicative) at that time (future). The middle voice is here used to indicate the status quo to which the actor is also subject, that is, retroactively to his decision to bind something, the truth of that which is described by the following verb, which this singular indicative future middle (“will”) helps to describe.
  • Nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive: The nominative neuter singular refers to the object which is being bound (passive), that is, in an ongoing fashion (participle) in a perfect manner (perfect); mind you, in Greek, “perfect” never refers to a perfectly accomplished action at one point in time, but rather to an action which is perfectly ongoing in a perfect manner since its inception: it always was and will be this way, perfectly, with no change: “already have been made to be perfectly standing in that way.” This “perfect” action structures the capacity of the actor, Peter, to act subjunctively, preempting all choices of Peter except for the one which is consonant which the truth which has always been this way in the heavens. Whatever he may choose to bind at any given time will already have been the case, is the case, and will always continue to be the case in the heavens. Peter cannot choose anything which is not already perfectly established in the heavens. What is in heaven is not an affirmation of what Peter might pronounce; what is in heaven simply is what it is, absolute truth, so to speak. If Peter is wrong about what he intends to pronounce upon, he simply will not be able to pronounce upon it.

Indeed, the part of this equation that people always forget about when trying to figure out the tenses, is that there is a part of this equation which is utterly expendable: Peter. If he is going to get it wrong, he will either die or be incapacitated, but he will not be able to work against what is in heaven already. Being the Successor of Peter isn’t so much an honor as it is a service that may involve laying down his life, for, after all, what do we know? The Orthodox or any others should never be envious of infallibility.

The bit about loosing is exactly the same, verbatim:

“Whatever you may loose at any given time (second person singular subjunctive aorist active) upon the earth will (third person singular indicative future middle) already have been made to be perfectly standing in that way (nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive) in the heavens.”

Let’s review Matthew 18:18 in utterly pedantic translation

“Whatever ye may bind at any given time (second person plural subjunctive aorist active) upon the earth will (third person singular indicative future middle) already have been made to be things perfectly standing in that way (nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive) in heaven.”

And then:

“Whatever ye may loose at any given time (second person plural subjunctive aorist active) upon the earth will (third person singular indicative future middle) already have been made to be things perfectly standing in that way (nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive) in heaven.”

There are some differences besides the plural heavens and singular heaven. Matthew 18:18 is addressed also to the laity about any number of things that may be under dispute. But the verbs and their meanings are exactly the same. But the context removes any infallibility from this other crowd. Let’s see how:

Firstly, in Matthew 16:19, where Peter alone among the Apostles is addressed, only Peter is given the keys of the Kingdom of the Heavens. There is no reference at all to such keys for anyone else in Matthew 18:18. That they have the same access to the understanding of the faith as does Peter is contingent for them in agreeing with Peter, for, as we see in context, the process of a dispute will bring them right back to the Church, that is, as differentiated from Christ’s faithful in general so as to refer to Peter in particular. They are not infallible, he is.

What if Peter is wrong? He can’t be wrong. That’s the point. But say that it could happen, that wouldn’t mean that we ignore him, correct him, unseat him, burn him at the stake, say that he’s not a nice guy or something like that; that would mean that there is no such thing as the Church at all. It can’t happen. Period. Is “dialogue” among the faithful expected by our Lord? Yes. He explicitly speaks of it. But then there is a process to follow. But there is a richness to be expected among so many. That richness is not to be ignored, calling the faith provided to the faithful useless, thus insulting the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis knows this. He respects it. After Matthew 18:18 we go to Matthew 16:19. We are still in the Matthew 18:18 phase.

Might Pope Francis choose to go to Matthew 16:19, to pronounce in an infallible way on the matter? Sure. That is yet to be seen. He surely has set up a scenario in which it seems he truly wants to pronounce an infallible statement. He surely has prefaced this with a great deal of dialogue. To the degree that he is insisting on dialogue, that is the degree he may be incisive in pronouncing an infallible statement.

Have some perhaps jumped the gun? Perhaps. Can it be said that all involved may well be filled with Apostolic charity, that is, both the four Cardinals and the Holy Father? Yes. Are they merely asking him to move from Matthew 18:18 to Matthew 16:19? Perhaps. Again, I don’t like the statement of one of the Cardinals who said: “My position is that ‘Amoris laetitia’ is not magisterial because it contains serious ambiguities…” His opinion is not why Amoris laetitia is not magisterial. It is not magisterial because Pope Francis said it is not magisterial. Otherwise, how many popes do we have? So…

We pray. That is to be expected and desired by all involved, right? Yes. We pray.

Does my having written this article mean that I don’t have my own concerns which happen to be well stated in the five dubia? No, it doesn’t mean that. Does the present non-answer of Pope Francis mean that he doesn’t agree with the intent of the five dubia? No, it doesn’t mean that. What it all means is that we haven’t yet moved from Matthew 18:18 to Matthew 16:19. That’s all. Might I say to Pope Francis that I sure do hope for the good of the Church that our Lord’s desire that our present dialogue with Matthew 18:18 will move to Matthew 16:19? Sure. But the timing is the judgment call of Vicar of Christ, not mine or anyone else for that matter. Again, might we ask him politely to move to Matthew 16:19? Sure, and I think everyone has been polite, although, again, that bit of one of the Cardinals about why he thinks Amoris laetitia is not magisterial is, I think, out of place. And in view of that, I must defend the fact of the papacy itself. Might that make me lose many friends. I suppose. That saddens me. But I am also filled with fortitude. Hier stehe ich and all that. Amen.

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Filed under Amoris laetitia, Canon 915, Confession, Eucharist, Holy See, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Synod on the Family, Year of Mercy

World Youth Day 2016 sex ed sex abuse

World Youth Day 2016 Pope Francis and Jesus

After reading about the hard core XXX porn video recommendations being made to 16-18 year olds at World Youth Day 2016 as put together by the Pontifical Council for the Family’s sexually abusive sex-education program being promoted among these youngsters I feel like vomiting and that I’m about to have a heart attack.

I could say some pretty rough things and use some pretty rough language to assist the intent of my comments, but that doesn’t do me any good, nor would it do you any good.

But I will say this: If any priest were to promote those recommendations of the Pontifical Council for the Family to 16-18 year olds, such a priest would forthwith be dismissed from the clerical state (laicized) by Pope Francis and then sued for sex-abuse and thrown in prison for the rest of his life in these USA.

But if any priest were to argue against such an abusive program and not comply with some sex-crazed (Arch)bishop’s sex-abusive sex-ed program based on this rubbish at “The Pope’s World Youth Day”, he would soon find himself without any assignment, without any means to live. After a few years he would be laicized just to get him out of the way.

Here’s the deal: I would rather be a priest forever in heaven even though having suffered on this earth, than to go to hell as a priest where I would be tormented worse than anyone else forever.

Perhaps those who ram this diabolical scandal in the faces of youngsters should be reminded that Jesus, BECAUSE of his mercy will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by the fire of His love, which will burn ardently in those who are with Him, but which will be a source of the most intense and burning frustration for those who did not welcome children with the respect which is their due.

Meanwhile, I am going to continue being the priest I am happy to be. I will keep up with the Sacraments. I will pray. I will follow the love and goodness and kindness and mercy and truth and justice of Jesus. I will fend off all attempts to destroy souls in my parish. I will pray for the Roman Pontiff and those in the Roman Curia. But I am God’s servant first.

– Father George David Byers – Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis

P.S. Dear Pope Francis, if a mutual friend shows you this post, why not consent to the interview I would I like to have with you? I have some questions for you.

= I need to write a post with the title “Flores for the Immaculate Conception”…

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Vultum Dei quaerere: SS Precedent? Natural Family Planning anecdote.

vatican gardens web cam-

Pope Francis has issued a new Apostolic Constitution, Vultum Dei quaerere, establishing the foundation of a change in the law for the monasteries of cloistered nuns.

Mater Ecclesiae monastery is seen in the extreme lower left of this morning’s web-cam shot taken from the perspective of an office of Vatican Radio in the gardens of Vatican City. The monastery was established by Saint John Paul II in order to have cloistered nuns praying away within Vatican City State. The monastery has a short lived history:

  • Order of Saint Clare (1994–1999)
  • Discalced Carmelites (1999–2004)
  • Benedictine nuns (2004–2009)
  • Visitation nuns (2009–2012)

The problem was not that there was a monastery in the gardens of Vatican City – although that in itself had a multitude of difficulties – but that oversight of the monastery was given to the SS, that is, the Secretariat of State. That in itself is surely because of the keen interest of Pope John Paul in contemplative life, particularly that of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns whose more traditional form of life he himself personally defended as the Pope. And while the SS is the arm of the Pope himself, none of those working there could be equated with the sainted Pontiff. The interventions of these men into the lives of these generous women were far reaching.

There was talk of a surreal ideology, a desire to combine religious not only of different houses of the same religious Order (which was already being done), but also from different religious orders so as to make Mater Ecclesiae monastery a kind of Catholic and cloistered Taizé. Of course, this was not at all the idea of either JPII or BXVI. The nuns would have none of it. So much for respecting the genius of women! They didn’t seem to know, therefore, what their “sign value” was.

Benedict XVI resides in the monastery since the renovations were accomplished after the quick departure of the Visitation nuns. He himself has taken over their work of praying for the papacy.

I’m willing to bet that all of this was a precedent for Vultum Dei quaerere, with those whose idea it was to generate such a document already interfering back in the day.

In the new regulations, the “sign value and participation in life of the local Church” is paramount, so much so that if it is judged by say, the local ordinary, to be lacking, they are to be subjected to a four member “ad hoc commission” which includes the local ordinary as one of those four ex-officio members. “The purpose of this intervention is to initiate a process of guidance for the revitalization of the monastery, or to effect its closure.” I note that the bishop cannot be wrong in all of this. It’s do or die. Perhaps two other members of the commission can convince him to back off.

I remember an Archbishop who was putting outrageous pressure on a fully alive monastery of Discalced Carmelite nuns, wanting them to take over the Natural Family Planning apostolate of the entire Archdiocese from their monastery. “Either fill your minds with thoughts of types of mucous or your monastery will be closed for having no sign value or participation in the local church!” They didn’t do it. They were still protected by Pope John Paul II at the time. But no longer.

This touches me deeply as I have a number of cloistered nuns praying for yours truly.

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Assessing authority of Amoris laetitia

don bosco dream barque of peter

Saint John Bosco’s dream of the Barque of Peter, the Eucharist and Mary

You will remember that the Most Rev Bernard Fellay, superior of the Fraternité sacerdotale Saint-Pie-X has waxed poetic about Amoris laetitia being – if we can read between the lines – a magisterial document:

“This is an apostolic exhortation that bears the title ‘The joy of love’, but it makes us cry. It is the summary of two synods on marriage. It is very long, there are many things that are correct, that are beautiful, but after building a beautiful boat, the Pontiff dug a hole in the hull under the waterline. You all know what happens then. One may say that we made the hole with all possible precautions, one may say that the hole is small, but the boat is sinking.”

I hope that quote is accurate. It was put up by a friend at Gloria.TV who knows something of Tradition. I’m sure the context has more nuance, but forgive my use of this most intriguing image. What I’m afraid of is that people will use such a thing as an excuse to throw themselves into sede-vacantism or sede-privationism or to leave the Church.

His Eminence, Cardinal Raymond Burke, meanwhile, in ‘Amoris Laetitia’ and the Constant Teaching and Practice of the Church over at the National Catholic Register, says that Amoris laetitia has a “personal, that is, non-magisterial, nature”, and then insists: “a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, by its very nature, does not propose new doctrine and discipline, but applies the perennial doctrine and discipline to the situation of the world at the time.”That doesn’t mean it’s going to be successful, by the way. The Cardinal is upset with those who propose that Amoris laetitia is “a revolution in the Church, as a radical departure from the teaching and practice of the Church, up to now, regarding marriage and the family,” upset because Amoris laetitia, note well, simply doesn’t have the capacity, considering the kind of document it is, to make any departure from anything. It is what it is. Even if it is wrong in parts, that makes no difference. He concludes that “While the Roman pontiff has personal reflections that are interesting and can be inspiring, the Church must be ever attentive to point out that their publication is a personal act and not an exercise of the papal magisterium.”

As you’ll remember, I defended the Cardinal. There is a reason for that and I want to entrench a bit with that reason. I think it is necessary to deepen our understanding of the vocabulary which, up to this time, we really did not have to do. But now it is a necessity. As good old Wikipedia says: “Studies of the Sami languages of Norway, Sweden and Finland, conclude that the languages have anywhere from 180 snow- and ice-related words and as many as 300 different words for types of snow, tracks in snow, and conditions of the use of snow.” Amoris laetitia is like a type of snow that needs a new description by the Sami. This is not word play. It is what it is and we have to deal with it according to the constant teaching of the Church as the Cardinal says. That is our key.

But first, lets go back to Saturday, 17 October 2015 in the Paul VI Audience Hall, to the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops, and to the address of his Holiness Pope Francis. The Holy Father says strong things with extremely technical language and with citations having stunning sources. Back in the day, I cited this numerous times as that which pointed to an upcoming decision that would be at least an infallible act of the ordinary magisterium of the Church:

“The Synod process culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, who is called to speak as “pastor and teacher of all Christians”,(15) not on the basis of his personal convictions but as the supreme witness to the fides totius Ecclesiae, “the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church”.(16)

“The fact that the Synod always acts cum Petro et sub Petro — indeed, not only cum Petro, but also sub Petro — is not a limitation of freedom, but a guarantee of unity. For the Pope is, by will of the Lord, “the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful”.(17) Closely related to this is the concept of “hierarchica communio” as employed by the Second Vatican Council: the Bishops are linked to the Bishop of Rome by the bond of episcopal communion (cum Petro) while, at the same time, hierarchically subject to him as head of the college (sub Petro).(18)

15) FIRST VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus (18 July 1870), ch. IV: Denz. 3074. Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 749, § 1.

16) FRANCIS, Address to the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 18 October 2014.

17) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 23. cf. FIRST VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Prologue: Denz. 3051.

18) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 22; Decree Christus Dominus (28 October 1965), 4.

Meanwhile, a friend at Rorate has posited and insisted upon an opinion that not only is Amoris laetitia a teaching document of the magisterium, but one that from which one can hardly withhold one’s assent. Citing the above paragraphs after I have done so, so many times, Rorate has it that:

“NOTHING in Amoris Laetitia takes back or reverses this statement of intent. Now, the fact that Francis intended to pronounce authoritatively on the matters of discussion taken up by the Synod does not, by itself, make his pronouncement automatically “magisterial”, but it also means that it is highly unlikely that this lengthy document was written in such a way that it can be dismissed as a mere expression of papal opinion.”

Meanwhile, in Amoris laetitia itself, as Cardinal Burke points out, Pope Francis had this to say, cancelling out what he said previously:

3. Since “time is greater than space”, I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs [“can seek solutions better suited”=no imposition]. For “cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle… needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied”.3

3 Concluding Address of the Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (24 October 2015): L’Osservatore Romano, 26-27 October 2015, p. 13; cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, Fede e cultura alla luce della Bibbia. Atti della sessione plenaria 1979 della Pontificia Commissione Biblica, Turin, 1981 [This has +Bruno Forte written all over it]Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 44; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio (7 December 1990), 52: AAS 83 (1991), 300; Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 69, 117: AAS 105 (2013), 1049, 1068-69.

4. I must also say that the Synod process proved both impressive and illuminating. I am grateful for the many contributions that helped me to appreciate more fully the problems faced by families throughout the world. The various interventions of the Synod Fathers, to which I paid close heed, made up, as it were, a multifaceted gem reflecting many legitimate concerns and honest questions. For this reason, I thought it appropriate to prepare a post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation to gather [“gather”=just some Synod Fathers] the contributions of the two recent Synods on the family, while adding other considerations as an aid to reflection, dialogue [“reflection, dialogue” which preempt imposition] and pastoral practice, and as a help and encouragement to families in their daily commitments and challenges.

Back to that post on Rorate: “The theme that the cardinal developed at some length and the conclusion he intended readers to draw was that the document ‘doesn’t count’ as real teaching (magisterium) which would impose an obligation of assent on Catholics.”

I agree with that sentence of Rorate. But know this: ex-cathedra teaching is ipso facto authentic. The same cannot be said of “an aid to reflection, dialogue.” It is authentic if it is consonant with Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and Magisterial interventions such as Trent throughout the ages. The Holy Father specifically refrained from that. That’s important.

I pick on the word authentic because this is a word which obliges someone to give their assent even to the teaching of their local bishop. But if that teaching is not authentic, then there is no obligation. Hey! It can happen! If the Bishop of Rome says that there is no obligation, he is saying that dialogue is possible. Get it? Are there authors that anyone in the world can cite who intimate that anything and everything that the Holy Father teaches is going to be authentic? Yes. But that’s just sycophantic, absurd ultramontantism.

Look, forms of presentation change, sometimes with extreme consequences for the viability of the Church if these changes of forms of presentation are dismissed out of hand. I’ve written on this at great length elsewhere on AEternus ille caelestium, what would have been an ex-Cathedra statement if there ever, ever was one. But it is not. And then Bellarmine tried to burn all the evidence of this misdeed of the now conveniently dead pope right around Europe. Take note.

But Rorate entrenches, saying, “It is makes no sense for Cardinal Burke to say it is ‘non-magisterial,’ or merely ‘personal.'” Sure it does, but let’s back off for just to a moment now to look at the vocabulary. As I said, we’ve not had much occasion to refine the word magisterial, but now we do. So, let’s have at it.

penafortThere’s the Roman Curia which in its various dicasteries puts out all sorts of documents, some better than others, some worse than others. Is all of that the magisterium? In a way, yes. Is it papal magisterium if those documents are provided with an introductory speech given to, say, the Diplomatic Corps, as was the 1993 paper of the Biblical Commission on Interpretation of the Scriptures in the Church (with the caveat that Paul VI ripped the Commission away from the Holy Office so that it is only under its grouping but not part of its teaching authority)? Well, it is the Pope who provides that introductory speech, but even Cardinal Ratzinger at the time attacked the sycophantic ultramonist idea that this had to be given religious assent.

The objection is that a presentation of some bishops’ thoughts by the Holy Father is instantly obligatory for religious assent. No. Does it come forth from the machinery of the bureaucracy? Yes. Is Pope Francis presenting it? Yes. But if it is not presented as infallible, and in fact it is specifically NOT presented that way, then it is fair game for people to decide as to whether it is authentic teaching, the dialogue thing and all that, right? Authentic means in line with Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the great Magisterial interventions such as Trent right throughout the centuries. If it is authentic, then one is obliged to take it on board. If it is not authentic, one is not obliged to take it on board. In fact, if it is non-authentic and it is hurtful, one is obliged to dissent from it. In this dissent, one is not dissenting from the Church, but one is rather being obedient to the Church, indeed, to the Holy Father in particular. This does not mean sede-privationism or sede-vacantism, nor is it an excuse to do the Hans Küng thing. People say that such responsibility for examining the teaching of whoever is not fair. Yes, well, grow up. Judas betrayed Jesus, and I’m sure Judas made statements all the time. Peter denied Jesus, and I’m sure Peter made statements all the time. Was Judas always right? Was Peter always right? And you want something better for yourselves?

“The Church has never been so close to dropping into hell as it is now,” exclaimed Saint Robert Bellarmine to, if I remember correctly, Father Andrew, his secretary. And to that observation of Bellarmine my answer is this: times never change, and so what’s the big deal with hanging over hell? Isn’t Christ Jesus our Savior? Isn’t He going to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire? Yes. He is. Thank God. Amen.

penafort-In summary: Yes, O.K., fine, Amoris laetitia is a document put our by the Roman Curia and the Holy Father and it does purport to do some teaching, but in a non-impositional, encouragement of dialogue manner. Call it magisterial all you want, but if it is non-authentic, you are not obliged to follow it. You can cherry pick good stuff, but really the good should be interpreted in view of the bad. You can attack the bad stuff despite whatever else good there is.

Finally: If we are bidden to interpret the document in view of the constant teaching of the Church, it seems to me that we must do this with an eye to a decision regarding authentic or inauthentic. You know why? Because that’s the will of the Holy Father! HE wants us to do that. Don’t blame me. I’m not being rebellious. It just is what it is. And still, I love the Holy Father to pieces. He really delegated heavily for this one. I don’t agree with the extremity of the delegation, but it is what it is.

Finally, I do think I understood something of what Cardinal Burke was trying to do. I hope I put it across in some way people can understand.

Meanwhile, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has made a statement on Amoris laetitia. More on that after a bit. English here.

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