Category Archives: Missionaries of Mercy

Removing Pope Francis by civil force: ultratraditionalismists and machetes

eucharist pope francis

So, those who have been ultra-traditional-ism-ist-icized (not with Tradition) are at it again. Not content to be heretics in claiming that the papacy is merely an abstract office instead of the Church being founded on the very person of Simon-Peter, they have now gone the next step to encourage ruminations about physically, forcefully removing the person of the successor of Saint Peter.

The papacy is a sine-qua-non, without which the Church is no longer. I’m not talking about the time between the death/abdication of one pope and the election of another, but rather the heresy that the Roman Pontiff answers even as regards the faith to civil power.

Usually, those who are ultra-traditional-ism-ist-icized claim that there is no real civil power, as the Pope is all about being the immediate power regarding minutiae of mere political matters such as whether firstly to fill in a pothole in whatever secondary road or firstly to fix whatever broken down school bus. But then, twisting their britches in a knot, they condemn such ultramontanism in an effort to say how reasonable they are. But now, they want to put the papacy under civil pressure and do violence to the Holy Father.

As their head spins around like that of William Roper before he married Meg, so does the interpretation they put on Dignitatis Humanae. It is to laugh. Or cry. How sad. I’ve opined previously that some of these commentators seem to be communists, or supported by George Soros. Clever little things. While I was not of that opinion in the more remote past, and was even willing to write for them at one point, their possible depth of nefariousness is being confirmed for me day by day with the articles that are published by them, articles which, for instance, claim that the abuse crisis was about pedophilia instead of homosexuality and that pretty much all clerics are clericalists and participate in the same. This seems to be a SNAP concept which flies in the face of the John Jay report. I should note that some of the most strident ultra-traditional-ism-ists snapped up a certain blog writer who, with her all time favorite post, claimed that traditionalist priests put their elbows on the altar at the consecration so as to have gay sex with a transgendered version of Him who is being sacrificed on the Altar. The blasphemy is, for them, to be reverenced. But they are not of Tradition, but merely belong to a politicized ultra-traditional-ism-ist-icized point of view for the sake of destroying the faith of the faithful. No? I think Pope Francis was correct to speak the truth bluntly to them, as they do seem to be all wrapped up in κοπροφιλία and κοπροφαγία. Tender snowflakes that they are, they were offended, apoplectic.

My question is, why do they have so very many followers? Why do people, otherwise believers, so fiercely support them?

I’m getting to think that Archbishop Fisichella was correct to opine that the canon law against violence against the Holy Father also includes incitement to violence against the Holy Father, that this also brings with it an excommunication. Ed Peters argues against this, and I’m sure he’s correct regarding the strict interpretation of the law. But the way things work out in practice, with boots on the ground, is that violence can sure enough come about. For instance, a radio talk show in Rwanda turned out to be responsible for the genocide in the war crimes tribunal even though perhaps the people and guests on the radio never lifted a machete themselves.

I mentioned to Father Gordon J MacRae that I might be writing about this today, and he reminded me that today is the fourth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. He said that readers might do well to revisit his post written at the time: Pope Francis and the Lost Sheep of a Lonely Revolution.

For myself I say this: I will continue to profess the faith, including faith in the Papacy of the Church, which remains One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

For the ultratraditionalismisticized I say this: Don’t be so bitter that you lose your peace and lose your faith and turn to heresy for comfort. Help to bring clarity and the love which is truth and joy in the Holy Spirit to those who are confused. Don’t be part of the problem. Evangelization is not about being a tender snowflake in this Church militant. Evangelization is all about Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God. It is He who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Let yourself be salted with the fire of His ardent love. Bitterness without love, that is, finding refuge in heresy, is not the bitterness of true love found with her of whom it is written:

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is there any bitter grief like my bitter grief that was inflicted on me, that the LORD brought on me in the day of His fierce anger?”

pieta

Don’t be heretics. Remain in solidarity with Jesus and Mary as they are in solidarity with us. Don’t run away. Did all the Apostles run? Yes. Judas ran into hell. But the others finally returned, were forgiven, became great saints. What about you?

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

1500 calorie diet: join me (chocolate bacon once in a while)

That’s chocolate bacon made by friends for my birthday. I love chocolate bacon.

I’m 57, male, 6’1″, totally sedentary of necessity, with a broken down body.

Current Weight: 271
Healthy Weight Range: 140.0 – 189.0
Weight Goal: 189
Current BMI: 35.7
Healthy BMI Range 18.5 – 24.9
To maintain current weight: 2528 calories
To lose weight: 2028 calories

Actual caloric intake recommended by my doctor: 1500 calories

There’s a calculator here.

It will take me a year, going quickly at first, then slowing down, although always the same 1500 calories. Consistent, retraining the body slowly.

After all, the body is to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. I know some of you fast all the time. Have pity as I learn.

The diet consists of eating less. Labeled food tells you the calories. Google the rest. Add it up during the day. Easy.

And then there’s Saint Paul of the Desert (not dessert). You have to start somewhere. I start from really far away from the goal. Perhaps the Angelic Doctor Saint Thomas Aquinas will help me. He had a glandular problem. I take medicine that ensures weight gain. Not so easy.

Anyone want to join me?

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy

On being a good son of the Church

Jesus crucified passion of the christ

Jesus not playing politics. Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.

Recently I published a post entitled Father Byers’ run for political office? In that post I tried to make a good argument for dabbling in politics as a priest, befuddling both left and right. Just smacking people down to make ourselves look better than “them” does not draw those in the peripheries to take note of the pastoral wisdom of the Church.

Did not Jesus redeem us all? Does He not want that we also be saved? Were we not all in the peripheries of left and right until we assented to allow ourselves to be drawn by Him to the Cross when He was lifted up to that great height? Can we do that if we pretend that we’ve never ever been on the peripheries, that He never had to forgive us, that we were always correct even as we crucified Him?

What does a good son of the Church say? He says “Jesus have mercy on me, a sinner.”

 

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“I’m tired of Father George”

“That’s it. That’s all we have to say.”

Imagine if Jesus said that about any of us.

We all crucified Him with our sin, original sin and our own rubbish.

I’m thankful He hasn’t given up on me. With Him, I don’t want to give up on anyone else.

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Accompaniment: “When I am lifted up on the cross I will draw all to myself”

A priest-friend sent this in from a twitter account. So, we have an analogy: This is the image of the fall of a venial sin in which we are nevertheless still assenting to being dragged to heaven by our Lord (via Calvary and the Cross). A mortal sin would be to jump off altogether in contempt.

Saint Thomas Aquinas speaks of repentance from a mortal sin, whether one can, as it were, jump back on where one left off in the spiritual life. He answers that, yes, this is possible, depending on one’s contrition, one’s purpose of amendment, the grace of God’s charity to which one assents in order that this contrition is brought to fruition with the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity. It does, in grace, also depend on our generosity in following the grace being given. What would prohibit this assent would be presumption, lack of contrition, lack of firm purpose of amendment. But, all things being equal, as it were, yes, one can come back into God’s good friendship, whether a bit diminished, whether pretty much the same, whether far advanced. But NO presumption, with contrition and purpose of amendment being necessary.

Tangled webs can be woven. But tangled webs can be broken. Sometimes things are difficult.

Confession brings things back in good order. Sometimes we need the help of others, of the Church, of Jesus. Find a good confessor.

 

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Filed under Amoris laetitia, Canon 915, Confession, Missionaries of Mercy

On Immigration: bait and you’ll receive

saint-jose-luis-sanchez-del-rioSaint José Luis Sánchez del Río, soldier and martyr, because “all those Mexicans are the same!” Oh, I forgot, I was supposed to pick on someone who wasn’t yet canonized, you know, someone undocumented and who, say, committed a non-violent crime years ago but was still in the system at the invitation of the system, so that we could kick all Mexicans in the face with impunity.

As it is, there were some spectacular and well reasoned comments on ICE deports undocumented working tax-payer contributing mother / wife to spread fear among undocumented, which I very much appreciate. Thank you.

But then another comment came in that was ranting away, with the author apparently having skipped reading those comments, very much upset. Here’s part of a very long comment. Pardon my emphases and [sometimes sarcastic comments]. And if I’m a bit rough here, please know that this person is a friend who I think can take this reprimand.

I have no sympathy here. There are plenty of people who desperately want to come here but wait to do so legally. [This is continuously more difficult, next to impossible as the years, months and days go by, with contradictory, complex laws, layers and layers of labyrinthine mazes. As one commenter put it, this is somewhat our fault. We should streamline the process without foregoing safety. The thing is, we bait people to be illegal by baiting them to skip the line but also nevertheless to be in the system, checking in with ICE, paying taxes, etc.] I also have issue with the number of mexicans who are setting up their lives here with no intention to assimilate. [So, you know all of them? Can you name them? Even one? Did they tell you they have no intention?] It makes me crazy [!] when I enter into commerce [When you’re at the cash register? Who says to the cashier: “May I enter into commerce with you?” While that’s English, no one speaks that way. It smacks of a foreign speaker. What are doing in this country? You foreigners are all the same. You should be deported! ;-) ] at a place where the staff is speaking another language while waiting on customers who speak English. [Did you try to speak English or were you just offended? Did you greet the cashier in English or just fume about it?] I complained at a big box store because the cashier spoke in another language to an employee [Esperanto? Latin? Swahili? French? German? Russian!?] who was standing around [as security because of the presence of crazy people? as a cashier manager? as someone giving lessons in laziness?] and also to a customer [who spoke the same language? That’s polite, isn’t it?]who was dressed in a similar manner [So, you’re a writer for Saturday Night Live? What does that even mean? What are you really angry with? Do “they” have better taste than you? Are they more stylish? More “with it”, “up to date”, “mod”, “hip”? You’re envious?]. She uttered not a word to me the entire transaction and was solely focused on her two compatriots. [I often go through a checkout on the phone, which is really annoying, I know, but sometimes things can’t wait. An accident has occurred and a priest is needed, etc. I might speak in whatever language. At any rate, maybe they didn’t say anything to you because you didn’t say anything to them because you were too taken at looking at them all aghast at your own lack of style. Did you look angry? Impatient? Were they talking about trying to arrange a welcoming party for, say, local Russians to the neighborhood? Maybe they were talking about signing up for classes to perfect their English? Our Spanish speakers here put on a number of events for the local law enforcement. They arranged that in their native tongue.]

That’s not how the typical transaction goes in this country. [Try smiling.] She was also moving very slowly [like all those damn Mexicans, right?] at a busy time of year [like, what, Christmas? Kwanzaa? New Year’s? The Feast Day of the great third century Bishop and Martyr Saint Valentine? The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes?] which was problematic because the long line wasn’t diminishing.” [Because they were having a good time speaking to each other and being human instead of fuming and crawling out of their skin? You’re just angry because you had to stand in line, right? Because no one else had a right to stand in line, right? Or are you really just racist? Or just a bad day? Lighten up. Jesus loves you too.]

Did I purposely write about Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos to guage reaction? Yes.

Don’t forget the purpose of this blog, noted by the title and blurb in the header:

  • “Arise! Let us be going!” which refers to Jesus’ command to the sleepy Apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane at the moment of the betrayal by Judas: “See, my betrayer is at hand.” That kind of sets the tone of intensity. But if anyone was mistaken about this, thinking that to just be pious piffle, the rest of it says:
  • Evangelizing the darkest of mankind’s existential peripheries that together we humbly thank the Lord. If you have good eyes, you can see a modern Hebrew script version of the motto of המוסד which is balanced by the death of our Lord and the Holy Spirit hovering over a scene of terrible violence between two societies.
  • There are some further words about goodness and kindness for the greater glory of God, something to do with the Jesuits, of which Pope Francis is one. I’m Catholic. And I’m a priest. I wan’t people to come to know Jesus, not just be comfortable in their mistaken ideas of who they think Jesus is.

Look. We’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God with original sin and our own personal rubbish. Smashing people down because they talk differently from you or just because they dress differently from you [more stylish!] won’t gain you many points at the final judgment. We’re hoping that people get to heaven, right? Eternity is a long time. Do you think they will want YOU there, ragging on them all the time, fuming about them? What if Jesus says “Shalom!” to someone else there, or to you? Will you throw a tantrum then?

And if you want to know my generalized impression of illegal immigrants, I’ll tell you, even though these are generalizations and therefore “racist”: I find that as a whole, these are the hardest working, most polite, piously Catholic, family oriented, peace loving, community minded, always but always helpful people I have known in my life. And I’ve been on so many continents and so many countries in so many cultures. And I also have an anecdote. Be warned of provocative language:

There was a young woman here who broke up with her white trash American boyfriend, who was always drugged up and always beating on her, leaving her a smashed up wreck continuously. Her father heard that she had started dating a Mexican and was planning on getting  married to him. The father immediately was enraged and hunted down the Mexican so as to beat the living tar out of him. Of course, he instead got the living tar beat out of him, because he just kept up the attack, but he kept getting pummeled, rightly, in self-defense, until an ambulance had to come. The EMT guy reprimanded the father to say that his daughter had lived a living hell with her white trash boyfriend, but was treated like a queen by the Mexican guy, who, in fact, was born in these USA and is an American citizen in good standing. We just need to slow down a bit. Changing circumstances can show us a bit about ourselves, and that’s a good thing. It’s then an occasion to be closer to the Jesus, the Way, Truth and Life. And that’s a good thing. We’re not against each other! We’re against the devil who wishes to work havoc among us.

  • Lord Jesus, have mercy on us.
  • Saint José Luis Sánchez del Río, soldier and martyr, pray for us.

Anyway, I want a sombrero like our Cristero saint above. I’m envious. But no frills:

benedict-xvi-sombrero

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Filed under Immigration, Missionaries of Mercy, Politics, Racism

Goodbye Anatevka

Saint Paul summarizes this well: “As long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.” It is a mistake to get used to certain places in the sense of pretending to enjoy a kind of security by way of familiarity, for this is also what Ecclesiastes, Qoheleth, the Preacher, would say is vanity. Vanity of vanities! All is vanity! We must be ready to leave even the body at any moment whatsoever to go to be with the Lord. We had better not congratulate ourselves in our “security”, the eat, drink and be merry thing.

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The hypocrisy of the still pro-SNAP priests and bishops from here to Rome

themediareport

You can read those stories at Dave F. Pierre’s site: TheMediaReport.com. But, if you really want to get an insider’s view, that is, from one of the victims of their mentality, see Father Gordon J. MacRae’s article on this. He is still in prison decades later. See:

David Clohessy [and Barbara Blaine] resigns SNAP in Alleged Kickback Scheme

snap

I’ve been reporting on this for years, making enemies for myself throughout the Church including in the Holy See, garnering lots of vengeance for myself from those who support SNAP among priests and the episcopacy. I was pretty much alone as a priest in good standing (=vulnerable) reporting on this. Fr Z has mentioned it a couple of times. I hope he does again. A couple other priests have done a bit. They get smacked down and you never hear from them again. Nothing other than that. Period. Pretty much zilch. In the entire Church universal…

One of the most important articles in all these years is Father MacRae’s published today. See that link above.

I am aghast. If any bishop is so self-referentially stuck on himself that he still supports SNAP even after this, making himself a hero because he’s “tough on abuse”, but perhaps also taking kickbacks from their risk retention groups, really, I mean, my goodness… and then I can’t write more because what I would write would be bitterness. I am weak. But this most damnable hypocrisy of so very many of the (Cardinal) (Arch-)bishops needs to stop. It needs to stop now. They must close down The National Catholic Risk Retention Group. They must rescind their support for SNAP. They must do it publicly. They must do it forcefully.

I’d like to write up a RICO challenge to the Bishops. What they do against their priests, making themselves heroes at the price of the loss of innocent priests who are not allowed due process is the kind of thing that is referenced many times in RICO law. Sorry, but I’d like to see all their sorry faces in prison. But that’s nothing.

Jesus, the High Priest, doesn’t take kindly to His own priests being mistreated by bishops. He remembers what it was like when His own apostle betrayed Him, Judas. The Immaculate Conception’s Divine Son, Jesus, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. They won’t be heroes then. Amen.

As you can tell, although I wish David and Barbara would convert, I don’t much care about them compared to the souls of the priests and bishops who don’t want David and Barbara to convert. It’s them I want especially to convert. We need their help in praying for the souls of David and Barbara.

So many priests committed suicide. It’s the innocent ones who did. They just couldn’t believe the betrayal, the hypocrisy. They weren’t prepared for it…

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Filed under Abuse, Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood

Hey, Madeleine Albright. You are not a Muslim. You are a Catholic. Get with it.

madeleine-albright

Dearest Madeleine,

I too was raised Catholic. I too only later found out my family was Jewish. I am still a Catholic priest who happens also to be Jewish. That’s not a contradiction. That you became Episcopalian by choice says a lot. When non-Catholic Christians make fun of themselves they say to each other: “Oh, you must be Episcopalian,” the idea being that anything goes with Episcopalians. Now, with your head still spinning, you say that you stand ready to register as Muslim in solidarity. What does that even mean? Are you ready to wear a rug? Are you ready to be raped and then honor-killed by the “pious men” who watched you being raped but did nothing except accuse you of not wearing a big enough rug? Are you ready to cut down Christians and Jews wherever they are? Are you? If it’s all hyperbole about your conversion to Islam, you know, so that you don’t really mean it, so that really you are mocking Islam about your conversion, well, I don’t think they will appreciate that. Sometimes political skills are not appreciated by those for whose benefit they are used. Be careful what you wish for. For their part, they might want Trump to make a scene so that they have an excuse for “extremism.” When you are ready to make your Catholic sacramental Confession, hunt me down; I’ll give you a light penance. Jesus loves you even during the time that you have reject Him. He wants you back to the fullness of truth and the fulfillment of the Jewish-Catholic faith. Don’t forget, salvation is of the Jews, and is now universal, that is, Catholic.

Father George David Byers (your Jewish-Catholic Priest)

P.S. Do you also say, “Je suis Charlie Hebdo”?

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Filed under Ecumenism, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy

Most Holy Father: Thank you!

pope-francis

In a communiqué from the Holy See delivered to the parish today I discover the good news that Pope Francis has personally granted a personal request to this Missionary of Mercy. I am grateful. Thanks, Holy Father! These exchanges are now adding up. For my part, I have never promised anything to the Bishop of Rome. For his part, he has never asked anything of me whatsoever. As it should be. Perhaps he realizes fully that I am a mere donkey of a priest and takes pity on me. I’m happy with that.

GEORGE DAVID BYERS - COAT OF ARMS - revisionIn fact, I think it is now high time that I finally come up with some words to add below the coat of arms which the talented elizdelphi so artistically rendered for me. I once again open this up to suggestions and, while I do, I apologize for breaking the rules of heraldry. It’s all part and parcel of someone who has crucified the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception with my sin, but nevertheless someone upon whom the Lord has deigned to show his mercy. The words should be short and incisive. Go ahead and suggest in English. I’ll translate them into whatever language best suits that message, whether Greek, Hebrew or Latin.

 

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Filed under Father Byers Autobiography, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

Amoris laetitia and suspensions and excommunications… No, no, no…

PROMETHEUS

A bishop cannot legitimately legislate anything against the universal law of the Church, particularly that law which is based on Divine Law. A bishop cannot legitimately posit administrative acts imposing penal sanctions on a priest based on illegitimate law. For instance, Amoris laetitia cannot legitimately be used as a foundation upon which legislation and penal sanctions are based for the reason that statements in Amoris laetitia are merely posited as a continuation of dialogue. That’s what the Supreme Legislator said in Amoris laetitia 3-4. That’s the mind of the legislator. Any illegitimate legislation or illegitimate penal sanctions, whether inescapably implied by Malta’s document (paragraph 10) published in l’Osservatore Romano, or (apparently) explicitly accomplished in Colombia, or anywhere else in the world, are, in fact illegitimate and have no bearing in truth on anyone’s status.

Thus, on the one hand, if a priest would like to continue accompaniment of a certain divorced and civilly “remarried” couple by not providing sacraments which he judges that couple are not able to fruitfully receive, he has done nothing wrong, as such a judgement is his to make, but if bishops put pressure on him nevertheless to provide those sacraments, somehow inserting themselves impossibly into the internal forum, they have done a grave disservice to the couple, to the priest and to the Church, and it is such bishops who should be disciplined and, in my opinion, very severely, as what they are doing, inter alia, is in direct contradiction to the directives of pastoral care by priests given by Pope Francis himself; such bishops are openly and obstinately insulting the Supreme Pontiff.

If, on the other hand, this is all according to the mind and non-public directives of Pope Francis, and this is actually a persecution of faithful priests in the Church, then I, as a Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis, ask that I also be held to be excommunicate along with any other sanctions he can think of, so that I might be in solidarity with those who may at one time or another be unjustly trampled into the ground. Fine with me. None of that is legitimate even on the part of the Holy Father, for such legislation and imposition of penal sanctions, however much real pain they may bring in this world, have no legitimate entry into the judgment of a soul of a priest who goes before the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception with the “crime” on his soul of being a faithful son of the Church. I couldn’t care less about doing the will of Pope Francis or any bishop on this earth if it contradicts the will of God himself. It is not they, but rather Christ Jesus, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Wonder Counselor, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who will – do not be mistaken – come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, the very fire of God’s love, the fire of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Now, having said that, we don’t know anything whatsoever about what Pope Francis thinks about illegitimate legislation and illegitimate penal sanctions, do we? No, we don’t. I’m guessing that we will see something about all that in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile, I restate my filial obedience to the Holy Father, as I must assume until otherwise indicated that he has not legislated or imposed penal sanctions for illegitimate reasons, or, for that matter, that he has even provided benign neglect to the persecution of the priests of our One High Priest, Jesus Christ, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

P.S. I’m guessing that as the real persecution ensues among renegade rebels, wrought by those who posit that which is ultra vires, beyond their powers to do so, that there will be no suspensions or excommunications, but rather simply removal from any assignment and then, eventually, seeing that the faithful priest is useless to the Church precisely and only for the reason that he is faithful, he will be dismissed from the clerical state, laicized, he being a mere liability and a waste of space in this world, kind of like, you know, Jesus. Meanwhile, he will be discredited as having committed all sorts of crimes, such as not being pastoral, being divisory, not being easy to work with, not having a team spirit, etc.

Great! The beatitudes come into play. We will have plenty of priests rejoicing and being glad that their reward is great in heaven. And that’s very cool indeed. Wonderful. I can’t wait for my turn. May it please Mary’s Divine Son that I may be counted worthy to suffer for his sake and the sake of those he is saving unto eternal life. Amen.

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Filed under Amoris laetitia, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood

+CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia expects sinful obedience. But priests are free to “disobey.” How? Don’t be a dog.

laudie-dog

Laudie-dog, listening intently, eager to follow orders

Obedience is not a descriptor for a reaction to a cold authoritarian command that negates one’s very existence as a person with free will, but rather, instead, obedience, from the Latin OB-AUDIRE (referring to intense listening) is all about an eager following of commands given in love and received in love. Our Heavenly Father speaks himself in one divine Word, who is already, then, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, who is always listening intently to the Father with love. Our Heavenly Father speaks Jesus into us, as it were, with that Word reverberating within our hearts and souls, now a symphony. Obedience isn’t a bad thing!

If a command is given that negates the very existence of a person as someone with free will who is meant to follow our Lord, so that one is expected to reject conscience and reject our Lord, that is not a command given in love and it doesn’t need to be followed. As Aquinas says, law is not law if it contradicts God’s law. “Disobedience” in such a case is actually true obedience.

Any priest in Malta who obeys the sinful direct command of the bishops of Malta to provide the Most Blessed Sacrament to notorious sinners flaunting their sin but protesting that they are at peace with God commits a number of grave sins that put them in eternal peril of losing eternal life.

Saying that they are coerced into doing so is no excuse. Will they be removed from ministry? Most likely. Will their names be blackened, their personnel files filled with notes about being divisory, unfit for ministry, etc.? Most likely. Will they eventually be dismissed from the clerical state as useless? Yes, even that can happen a number of years later, you know, when no one is looking. The priests know this. They do feel the pressure. But that is no excuse to sin. Instead, they are to rejoice and be glad that they are treated like the prophets before them, indeed, just like John the Baptist, just like Jesus.

The judgment will come much sooner than later. We will all stand before those wounds of Jesus and he will ask where our wounds are. What will we have to say for ourselves if we simply compromise so as to do what? Keep our “jobs”?

Priests are not dogs. Dogs are treated better than priests in some places.

For all the background documentation for what is in this post, see:

The idea for +CJ Scicluna’s version of Amoris laetitia is this: even if you are a notorious in your sin, known by all as an adulterer, not only flaunting your sin but murdering anyone who disagrees, but you feel yourself to be at peace with God, hey!, just go up and get that white wafer Communion thingy with television cameras uplinking to the world:

henry-viii

P.S.

  • Question: Am I fomenting disobedience among the priests of Malta?
  • Answer: No, I am encouraging true obedience to Jesus and to the Church.

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Filed under Amoris laetitia, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood

+CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia: priests are the body-politic’s cancer to be excised

scicluna

The reason why I say that Archbishop’s opinion of priests is that they are cancer of the body-politic that needs to be excised is found in the previous post on this blog of ariseletusbegoing, namely: +CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia usurps papal authority, rejecting dialogue, discernment, accompaniment.

When people have cancer, their hair falls out because of the treatment they must endure. Often enough, friends and classmates shave their heads to show their solidarity with those who have cancer. Very nice, that.

cancer-shaved-head

I’m wondering if there is a way to be in solidarity with priests who are thrown out of ministry into the darkest of existential peripheries precisely because of the priestly love they have for their sheep in Christ Jesus our Lord. If there is a priest thrown out of ministry because he sees that this or that sheep is fully capable and otherwise willing to rejoice in the love of our Lord and so the priest wants them to continue to accompany a certain sheep but is then for that reason smacked down by Archbishop Scicluna or any other like minded (arch-)bishop right around the world, is there a way to be in solidarity with those good priests, some of whom will feel lost and bewildered in their having been so terribly betrayed.

There should be a registry of such faithful priests. We should keep track of them as they enter the darkest of existential peripheries where the mercy of the Church in the eyes of some cannot or at least should not reach.

Even more than this, and quite specifically, I’m wondering if it is possible for priests who are in good standing and in active ministry to self-report their love for Christ Jesus and their desire to share the greatest love of their lives, Christ Jesus, who is at the same time the greatest truth in their lives. In self-reporting, can they also be thrown out with the other priests, you know, suspended or even dismissed at a later date from the clerical state? After all, it can be said that they are rebellious and the cause of division and perhaps even the cause of uncomfortable feelings. Self-reporting to be removed from active ministry would be like shaving one’s head to be in solidarity with those who have cancer. “I should be thrown out as well since I believe just like they do.”

God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to be in solidarity with us, himself being thrown into the darkest of existential peripheries, spit on, mocked, ridiculed, rejected, called all sorts of names… As the Master so the disciple… right?

I wonder if there is a way. I wonder. As a Missionary of Mercy, I feel obliged be in solidarity with Jesus and his priests as he and they are once again betrayed by one of their own.

JESUS JUDAS

I remember Archbishop Fulton Sheen telling a story of a Jewish girl when, during the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp climbed up a veritable mountain of corpses and sat down to die, even while other survivors were leaving the camp. She was asked what she was doing. Her response was: “How can I live while all my people are dying?”

auschwitz

So, this Missionary of Mercy has done some logistical investigations… ;-)

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+CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia usurps papal authority, rejecting dialogue, discernment, accompaniment

scicluna

The Archbishop of Malta, C.J. Scicluna has high praise for dialogue, discernment and accompaniment in a document directed to priests which he published in the Vatican newspaper, l’Osservatore Romano (Criteria for the Application of Chapter VIII of Amoris laetitia), but he rejected all of this, including papal authority, by adding this:

10. If, as a result of the process of discernment, undertaken with “humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for God’s will and a desire to make a more perfect response to it” (AL 300), a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (see AL, notes 336 and 351).

The words “cannot be precluded” are directed at the priests, telling them that they have no real voice in dialogue, discernment and accompaniment, undercutting their priestly ministry and, quite frankly, threatening them with what would have to be removal from active ministry if they wish instead – knowing well the smell of their sheep – to prolong  the process of dialogue, discernment and accompaniment for the good of those very sheep.

The Times of Malta reports that “Archbishop Charles Scicluna refuted the criticism, insisting Bishop Mario Grech and himself had decided not to engage with individual bloggers on the matter.” “Decided not to engage” is also not a dialogue. The “criticism” refers to Ed Peters, a canon lawyer whose blog entries on this topic can be found HERE and HERE. Ed Peters has a serious analysis. I’m amazed that +CJ Scicluna, a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, dismisses Ed Peters so readily, since Peters is a Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura, the Holy See’s top tribunal.

Archbishop Scicluna then turns his attention to those he might think are a more vulnerable class of people, the priests: “I am saddened by the reaction from certain quarters and invite priests who may have concerns to come forward and discuss them directly with us because we want to be a service to our people.” I’m sure the priests want to be of service to their people as well. But here’s the problem. If any priests go to him with their concerns they are merely self-reporting that which is absolutely intolerable, reporting that they are precluding or envision precluding that which Archbishop Scicluna says cannot ever be precluded. If they open up a dialogue with him they will simply have their heads cut off. That’s another example of what he really thinks about dialogue, discernment and accompaniment. Moreover…

The threat to impose sanctions that is inescapably implied in the absolutist phrase “cannot be precluded” goes so far beyond Pope Francis’ direction in this matter that Archbishop Scicluna is de facto usurping the authority of Pope Francis to guide the Barque of Peter. And that I find disgusting.

The direction Pope Francis gave to us Missionaries of Mercy began by all of us singing together the Salve Regina with Pope Francis. I’m sure he remembers the exuberance:

Pope Francis brought all of us Missionaries of Mercy together and brought us through, with incisive distinctions, refined moral and sacramental theology, using anecdotes some of which were terribly sad and some of which were hilarious. He did his best to form us priests into being good confessors, those who would dialogue with, discern with and accompany penitents on their journey to know the will of Christ Jesus in all of their unrepeatable circumstances.

But Archbishop CJ Scicluna rejects that effort of Pope Francis. Sad, that. Sad for him. Sad for the penitents. Sad for the priests who are treated as his robots, not as Jesus’ fathers of their parish families. And this is also the point: CJ Scicluna rejects the unrepeatable circumstances of people, ideologically putting them all in one group.

Much more could be said about anthropology, psychology, grace, sacramental theology, ecclesiology, etc., with some saying I say too much and others too little. What I’m writing about in this post is just this one aspect of what is happening:

the ministry of priests is unimportant in the Church because + Scicluna said so.

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Fearful Roman Curia discerning the way of the Holy Spirit in the Beatitudes

JESUS I AM

You have heard that it was said that those working in whatever capacity in the Holy See (the “Vatican”) are scared. I say that if they are ever afraid, whether priests or bishops or religious, they shouldn’t be. Fear is a sign of the lack of truth, a lack of discernment of the truth, a lack of the Holy Spirit who would instead lead us to the truth. To be established in him who is truth is not to fear. Being one with him who fearlessly says “I AM” cannot at the same time tolerate fear.

“But what should we do? Give us clear direction!”

So, I guess you missed it the first time around. Here it is: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

“But you don’t get it, Father George, that’s considered Pharisaical, Pelagian, Promethian self-absorbed idol worship.”

“Really? Are you making that application? Even if that were true on whoever’s part, so what? Since when did we lose sight of the Beatitudes? Since when are we to mope about, have nervous sweats, panic attacks and ulcers instead of rejoicing and being glad that great is our reward in the Kingdom of the heavens because we love Jesus and want to share the greatest love of our lives, namely, Jesus? Is not Jesus the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Wonder Counselor, Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who will be the one to come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, the very fire of God’s love, the fire of the Holy Spirit? Yes, that would be him. He’s the One who said: “I AM.” So what are you afraid of? Amen.

P.S. I mean, really, what are these protestations of fear about? Is this a way of making an excuse? “Oh! I’m so fearful that my fear acted as a coercion forcing me to do something I otherwise would never do! It’s all the fault of fear! I’m soooo afraid.”

To which I say, grow up, love Jesus, and be a good son of his good mom. Also, and I don’t say this lightly, have some respect for your guardian angel who sees God in the face.

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Jesus baptizing with the Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

John’s Baptism in the river Jordan called to mind the soldiers of Pharaoh getting drowned in the Red Sea as they pursued the Israelites. Those soldiers deserved to be drowned for unjustly enslaving the Israelites in physical labor. When everyone went down to the river Jordan confessing their sins and getting smashed down under the water by John to symbolize the death they deserved for having enslaved each other in sin, this was an occasion to have a humble and contrite heart, and was thus a baptism that was an occasion for the remission of sin. When Jesus was baptized, He wasn’t saying he was a sinner, but that, as the innocent Son of God, he was playing the part of the worst sinner of all, the One who enslaved all people of all time in sin, from Adam until the last man is conceived. He was thus saying to his heavenly Father: “Treat me as being guilty, as being worthy of death.” Right after that baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon him and our heavenly Father spoke thunderously: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” But straight after that, Jesus said that he longed for the baptism for which he came, that of his own blood, by which he would fulfill what he did in the baptism of John by taking on the guilt of all our sins. By standing in our stead, the innocent for the guilty, he would have the right in his own justice to have mercy on us: “Father forgive them,” he now commanded from the cross. He wants to give us as a gift to our heavenly Father in heaven.

Meanwhile, John says that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The fire is the very love of God who God is. The Holy Spirit makes us one with Jesus, who is the Head of the Body of Christ while the Holy Spirit forms us into being the members of the one Body of Christ. As the Holy Spirit introduces us to who we are in Christ Jesus, we see Jesus as the Standard of Truth and Goodness and Kindness and we then see ourselves by way of a comparison we could not previously make that we fall short of that Standard, and we are brought by the Holy Spirit to have a humble and contrite heart before the Divine Son of God, who in all his majesty lays down his life for us, standing in our stead. It is then that we make our way to Confession (as the people were doing at John’s baptism) and we receive sacramental absolution, being reconciled to God and all the other members of the mystical body of Christ simultaneously, getting the grace directly from Jesus, but by the words of the knucklehead priest (like this donkey priest) who, by his ordination, represents all other members of the Body of Christ. We then hear the absolution, which includes something about the Holy Spirit, that he was sent among us for the forgiveness of sin. That is how Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit.

The gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit build on this baptism of the Holy Spirit. Other special gifts are totally secondary to all of this. The main thing is being one with the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, Jesus, King of kings, Lord of lords, Wonder Counselor, Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who will – do not be mistaken – come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, the very fire of God’s love, the fire of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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A note to my shadow

I only have one way to communicate with my shadow*, namely, this way, though social media. I’ve been wanting to get in touch with him. I’ve been doing some wheeling and dealing and have come to some tentative conclusions Continue reading

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Fr Philip: “So guess what I just learned about my ordination day of January 7!”

father-philip-johnson-mass-of-thanksgiving

“It was St. Bernadette’s birthday! LOL”

============

The joy of the friends of Jesus.

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Repeat: Confession Settlement that could halt the Sacrament of Confession in the Catholic Church

lourdes confessional

One of my most favorite places in the world is the penitent side of a confessional screen. This is where we meet with the goodness and kindness of Jesus ever so personally, which is precisely what brings the great joy experienced by those who go to confession.

There is renewed interest in this post up in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, USA. I wonder if something is up on whatever side of the issue…

More than 3 1/2 years ago there was a little news story covering the fact that the Diocese of Manchester made a monetary settlement for a complaint that advice alleged to have been given by a Priest-Confessor under the Confessional Seal was inappropriate. The story plays out like it was scripted by Satan himself, what with the Diocese of Manchester just so eager — if, perhaps, unwittingly — to cooperate against the Sacrament of Mercy, against the Holy Spirit, who was sent to us for the forgiveness of sins, not so that we stop the forgiveness of sins.

This story had been simmering for months at the time, but May 17, 2013, Tricia L. Nadolny wrote about it in the tiny newspaper called the Concord Monitor. I commented on this story at the time, and, since the priest involved is still off on the peripheries (as far as I know), and since we now have completed the Year of Mercy, I think it is high time to bring this story back into the light of day in hopes that Bishop Libasci will admit his mistake for the sake of the good of the Church, pro bono ecclesiae. The [comments] are by myself, Father George David Byers, at https://ariseletusbegoing.com/

* * *

Diocese of Manchester settles with parents over sexual comments lawsuit

The Pembroke parents who accused a Concord priest of making inappropriate sexual comments to their son during the sacrament of confession will be paid $2,000 to settle the lawsuit they filed in February, according to a spokesman from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester. The settlement, reached Wednesday, stipulates that the money will go to future educational costs of the 14-year-old boy, who is a student at St. John Regional School. [Sounds nice, that settlement, but let’s see how this plays out, and for what reasons. It couldn’t be more nefarious from the settlement side of things.]

Spokesman [for the Diocese of Manchester] Kevin Donovan said the settlement is not an admission of guilt by the Rev. George Desjardins [Yes, well, Father Desjardins can’t say anything one way or the other. He’s bound by the Seal of Confession. However, no matter what the Diocese says, the Diocese is, to all intents, constructions and purposes, saying that he is guilty by way of the settlement made, which is amazing, since they don’t know what went on during that alleged Confession, since the priest cannot say anything about it. Such a settlement destroys a priest for life. It is disingenuous to say that a settlement does not speak to someone’s guilt. Practically, a dark cloud remains over the head of the priest for life. Since that is the case, there must be very serious reasons that we don’t know about for the Diocese to make such a settlement, right? There are reasons, but, stunningly, they have nothing to do with the priest or the penitent, as we will see later in the article.], who was accused of talking about pornography and rape in a December 2012 confession held during the school day. [Of course, a 14 year-old, a young man, is entirely capable of looking at porn and committing rape, especially statutory rape. Many girls have gotten multiple abortions by the time they are fourteen. Boys are, of course, involved. This is not an unlikely scenario. Confession is about forgiveness of sin, such as pornography and rape, right? At any rate, it’s extremely easy to come up with a scenario that would back Father up. In fact, what I’ll imagine here has plenty of indications that it is the true scenario, truer, it seems, that the inconsistent accusations.]

[Diocesan Spokesman] Donovan called the payment “minimal” [That’s a foolish statement, implying that for other cases, the “payment” could be much bigger. That’s a strange phrase of the reporter: “payment” instead of settlement. If’s she’s accurate, something’s wrong. Anyway, speaking about anything “minimal” is a huge invitation to create bogus cases, the more salacious the better it will be for all the more $$$ dollars $$$.] and a “means to an end, so the community can move on.” [“means to an end” of “the community moving on.” In other words, this has nothing to do with the priest, nothing to do with the penitent, nothing to do with justice. The Diocese admits that they are doing something evil, slitting the throat of a defenseless priest, to achieve what they think is a good end, shoving money down the throat of any accuser, not for the accuser’s sake, who is ignored as he chokes on that money, but for the sake of the community, using what they assume to be the greed of the boy’s parents as bait, all of which — the demonic principle of doing evil to achieve good — is justly condemned by Saint Paul (see Romans 3:8). At any rate, the community will not only not move on, but will be condemned with the weight hanging over them of the dynamic of an accusation that obtains money without any accompanying due process for the accused priest. This is something that cheapens their lives, cheapens their religion. They have been insulted by the Diocese, which has effectively said: Go and choke on your money. That’s not a service to the community. The benefit for the diocese is save money in view of a possibly successful litigated claim.]

The parents, who are not being named to protect the name of their son, maintain that Desjardins’s comments were unacceptable, their lawyer, Peter Hutchins, said. [Peter Hutchins has a long history with the Diocese of Manchester, mocking the Diocese for their nefarious idiocy in handling the sex-abuse cases he brought to the Diocese, saying that he just couldn’t believe that they didn’t care about dates or allegations (and therefore neither did the Diocese care about any possibly real victims), but just wanted to shove as much settlement money down as many throats of alleged victims  as they could in as little time as possible so as to avoid possible litigated claims)].

In the lawsuit filed at Hillsborough County Superior Court, they [the parents] accused Desjardins of asking the boy whether he had “engaged in watching pornographic material and masturbating.” [Scenario: Perhaps the boy confessed to kind of not keeping custody of his eyes in regard to, kind of like, you know, looking at some, like, you know, immodesty, and ended up committing, you know, impure acts, kind of, maybe. Now, if that were the actual confession, there is a risk that the boy would not celebrate an integral confession, but would rather suffer making a sacrilegious confession in that he didn’t confess circumstances so important that they would add more grave sins to what was already confessed. Asking a pertinent question begged by the ambiguity is a favor to the boy. If the priest asked if there was a partner in sin, this would be laudable. Though, it is said, he asks about a lesser interpretation, about porn, perhaps expecting that what the boy is being ambiguous about concerns a partner in sin. Finding out about a partner in sin, especially regarding a young man, brings with it further questions about the age of the other person, as there are then questions about statutory rape. Such questions are also necessitated for a proper penance and for advice to be given, such as to cut any untoward relationship. One should also ask if the other person is vulnerable in any other way. If one finds out that the other person was an adult, well now, that changes things altogether, doesn’t it? It does. If this were all the case, the priest is to be commended. Of course, we won’t know on this earth, as the Seal of Confession is involved.] When the boy said that he hadn’t and that he had a girlfriend [Hah! There we are: there was, in fact, a partner in this sin, adding another sin to what was confessed. Way to go, Father Desjardins! Good work!], Desjardins [allegedly] told the boy to use “rubbers” [Or maybe the boy had actually said that he had a girl-friend, but that it was all O.K. since he was using prophylactics. And maybe the priest then justly reprimanded the boy for trying to make an excuse for having had sex with his girlfriend. Using condoms does not lessen the sin! The boy, perhaps used to doing whatever he damn well pleases, so that no priest is going to stop him, perhaps became angry with the priest and blamed the priest for all this. Right? People can, at times, be very damning of the Church’s morality in confession, which means they are not repentant. People can go to Confession to try to get permission to sin. Some priests will do that. It doesn’t sound as if Father Desjardins is one of them. But now watch what happens:] and warned him to be careful because a girl can “yell ‘rape’ ” during sex [Hah! Is it that Father was reprimanding him for committing statutory rape, which really threw the boy into a rage? The priest wouldn’t counsel condom use and warn the boy that he is committing statutory rape. That’s just ludicrous. PFffffttt!!!], the lawsuit continued. The parents also accused Desjardins, who is an assisting retired priest at Christ the King Parish, of attempting to grab the boy twice as the student tried to avoid him. Donovan has said that physical contact was nothing more than a handshake after Mass. [Hah! “A handshake after Mass”… Really? Ooooo! Nefarious, that! Wow! A handshake after Mass! No one does that anywhere in the world, ever! A handshake! After Mass! Unheard of. What scandal! What horror! The parents of this kid really, really seem to hate all priests and the Catholic Church and have, it seems, tried their best to instill that in their son. Sad, that. So, O.K. Fathers! Hear that? No more shaking hands after Mass. Just pray some thanksgiving prayers alone, kneeling on the steps of the sanctuary. Actually, that’s a good idea. I digress. At any rate, don’t forget that the parents are best friends of Hutchins, zillionaire abuse attorney. And with this, they get some tuition money.]

Yesterday, he [Donovan, the Diocesan Spokesman] said the diocese still believes the lawsuit had no merit. [Great! But…] But in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed last month, the diocese took a different route when it neither denied nor admitted that Desjardins made the comments [nor can they because the Diocese doesn’t know anything about the Confession since the priest is under the Seal of Confession] and instead argued that the suit should have been thrown out because it interfered with the church’s First Amendment rights. [That’s true, but it ignores that the priest cannot defend himself in any way. It’s the priest’s inability to defend himself that will push courts in future cases (and there may well be future cases, right?) to put the priest on the stand and try to force him to break the Seal of Confession, the very thing the State of New Hampshire already tried to do very recently at that time. One has to wonder what will happen when tens, then hundreds, then thousands and tens of thousands of cases pile up. No one ever needs to have gone to Confession to any priest to claim that one did go, and that one got bad advice or worse. It’s all too easy. Just get any bulletin, find out when confessions times are, retaining proof, and see who hears confessions that day. Then make up a story. Easy peasy. It’s really easy to go to hell. Untold $$$ dollars $$$ will be paid to anyone who makes a complaint, no matter how ludicrous. It seems to me that “payments” for this, The Perdition Crisis, risk dwarfing the billions of dollars paid out for The Judas Crisis.]

Gordon MacDonald, the diocese’s lawyer, argued that the topics Desjardins was accused of discussing – including pornography, masturbation, premarital sex [“pre-marital”… really? But that’s just the paraphrase of the reporter.] and rape – all are considered sins under Catholic doctrine. And he said resolving the case would require a judge or jury to examine the appropriateness of those doctrines as well as whether the alleged discussion was in line with tenets of the Catholic faith. [And there it is: The Perdition Crisis. This is a cave-in to Peter Hutchins, the abuse attorney. This is a practical admission that any and all accusations, no matter what, are accepted as the honest truth, no matter how ludicrous, how inconsistent, and that we can just move on now to discussing the faith and being consistent with the faith. That’s giving a win to the attorney just to do it. That priest cannot defend himself. The diocese cannot pretend to argue for the priest, because they cannot know what the priest said.  The diocese is treating itself as the defendant, not the priest, which was the same thing as had happened with The Judas Crisis, where the priest is always guilty no matter what, with no due process, as any innocence would get in the way of making immediate and even blanket settlements in hopes of saving a few bucks. Manchester Diocese has a long history of leading the destruction of the Church by way of throwing due process for priests out the window so as to serve themselves. /// Note that the lawyer also does something just as nefarious. He not only throws judgment of consistency with the faith by the State into the equation, but also the acceptability of the faith before the State in the first place. This is just plain EVIL. This invites the State to say that, for instance, the Catholic Church’s faith in regard to the nefariousness of homosexual marriage is illegal (to take another case that is sure to come about). Sure, the diocesan attorney is saying that these are reasons that the case should be dismissed, but in making the settlement at the very end, he is not only saying, but highlighting, screaming it out, that first amendment issues are vacuous for the defense, and are legitimate avenues for the State to pursue in future cases. The Diocese says that the settlement is just meant to sweep the problem under the carpet. However, there are implications, whether they like it or not.]

“A civil factfinder would become enmeshed in determining whether a Catholic priest [any priest] may discuss pornography, masturbation, sexual intercourse out-of-wedlock [a better phrase], and rape with a penitent during the Sacrament of Penance and whether those subjects are consistent with Catholic doctrine and the Catholic faith’s overall mission,” MacDonald wrote in the motion. [A civil factfinder couldn’t care less. The point would be what was said about these things in view of any civil laws. For instance, if a priest were to say that divorce and the attempt to marry again without a declaration that the first marriage was null from the beginning is wrong might be considered nefarious and illegal by the State. That’s what the State is judging. The State of New Hampshire would gladly shut down the Catholic Church altogether. At any rate, all this immediately goes from Father Doe priest to Father Desjardins, and, again, the priest has no defense, as he cannot break the Seal of Confession. What is most ludicrous is that the Diocese, in saying all this, is acting as if it and the State can reliably act upon the information given by whatever accuser when it all must remain perpetually one-sided because of the Seal of Confession. This simply doesn’t occur to Manchester Diocese, since it seems that they have never given due process to any priest, with the possible exception, in all irony, of convicted felon Monsignor Edward Arsenault. Other priests are non-existent in the actual judgment. This lending of credibility to such accusations, and then offering a monetary settlement for them, means that there will never be a time when any accusations are ever not given credibility and acted upon with settlement money, no matter how inconsistent and ludicrous. This is quite the invitation to anyone and everyone to come to the money-tree by way of making bogus accusations about something imagined to have been said in an imaginary Confession.] He said the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and also the state Constitution “prohibit this type of intrusive inquiry into the doctrinal affairs of the church.” [Hutchins may well win his point that he only wants to discuss if any alleged advice goes against State law. So, the point is this: The priest cannot make a defense, and the Diocese cannot defend him, since the Diocese has no idea what the priest said, or, indeed, if there was ever a Confession to begin with. The Diocese must insist on dismissing the case, and not ever pay any settlement. But they caved on the dismissal by going for the settlement. The effect of mentioning the Constitution only to throw that argument out the window with a settlement is to insist that the Constitution does not matter in such cases. Ironic, no? Or is that what Manchester Diocese wanted. That would be in line with what they’ve always done. The next step for the State will be to repeat their attack on the Seal of Confession. And, if there are tens or hundreds of cases in Manchester Diocese alone, you can bet that one priest will cave and say something to defend himself, which will be then be used as a precedent by the State, at least to continue a cross-examination of the priest. If he refuses to continue, realizing he’s been caught out, he’ll be in jail for contempt of court until he decides otherwise.]

[But then the obfuscations get worse:] The family sued specifically for breach of contract, saying the diocese failed to provide their son with the safe learning environment promised in the school’s handbook. In the motion to dismiss, McDonald also claimed that document isn’t a contract. The handbook – which includes a mission statement and sections on, among other things, school rules and student responsibilities – doesn’t include contractual promises, MacDonald said. He said the family accused the diocese of violating “a series of aspirational policies,” not binding promises.

Hutchins said yesterday that he disagrees that a student handbook doesn’t act as a contract in a private school setting. “It’s our position that absolutely all of those materials that basically promise what the school’s going to do and also gives the responsibility to the students and parents (create a contract),” he said. “It goes both ways. Here are your obligations; here are ours. It’s a contract. Period.” [Contract=Money. Hutchins needs to win this point for any future case from a school, etc. But this is not necessarily what will break any bank. Just the fact of the settlement will more than break the bank, regardless of talk of any contracts being broken or not. This is a purposed distraction, but a welcome one to Hutchins if it hits pay-dirt. It’s a bluff. Just one more way to put pressure on the Diocese to make a settlement. He guessed it right. But it’s more than this. He’s saying that the safe-learning environment is to extend to the Confessional, so that the Confessional is to have an oversight it cannot have because of the Seal of Confession. But this is what he is going after: the Seal of Confession. The State is on side with that. This whole thing seems to fly right over the heads of those in the Diocese. And maybe, just maybe, those in the Diocese have absolutely no idea just how evil they are acting with all of this. Or maybe they just don’t have the faith. Or maybe they just literally don’t give a damn…] He also disputed the diocese’s stance that the lawsuit violated its First Amendment rights, saying the suit focused “on the conduct, not the religion.” [Again, I bet Hutchins could win this argument, but not the war, it being that all of it is always hypothetical, since the priest cannot defend himself. At any rate, Hutchins actually has all he needs, for the Diocese acts like any accusation, no matter how ludicrous and inconsistent, will be accepted immediately as the truth. And this is confirmed with the settlement. Hutchins can take that and run with an unlimited number of cases.] Hutchins, who has been involved in litigating more than 150 child abuse cases against New Hampshire clergy [making himself a zillionaire, because it’s all about the children, of course.], said the church is not immune to being held accountable for violations of secular law, such as state statutes or local ordinances. He said a breach of contract falls into that category. “We do not focus on, criticize or try to change religious beliefs or religious procedures,” he said. [I think that’s exactly what he’s trying to do.] “Those are protected.” [He certainly did laugh all the way to the bank when he respected how the diocese threw procedures of justice and due process out the window for those abuse cases. He mocked the Diocese of Manchester for, in some cases, not even asking about dates or allegations. He can accept the word of the Diocese as an attorney for an out of court settlement that all priests are always guilty, no matter what, but he’s also got to know that something’s just not quite correct there, right?] Hutchins is a longtime friend of the father who filed the lawsuit [Kudos to the Monitor for noting the friendship this time. On the other hand, Hutchins was, in effect, given free advertising to fish for more clients with more accusations with more money to be thrown at them], and yesterday he said he is not collecting attorney’s fees for his involvement [that is, for THIS testing of the waters case, that is, for THIS case with his best friends. This was leaning toward being a test case for the Seal of Confession, but the Diocese caved with the settlement. The settlement does nothing by way of precedent to protect the Seal of Confession all the more. Quite the opposite. For the Diocese, whatever an accusation claims is exactly what happened, even though the priest cannot say anything. This is a mockery of the Seal of Confession, plain and simple.]. He said the family decided to sue the diocese after feeling their concerns, which they raised with school administrators shortly after the confession, weren’t taken seriously. Hutchins said diocese [sic] officials called Desjardins’s conduct “innocuous” [That could be a lie, but, anyway, how would the Diocese know, since the priest cannot say anything? Hutchins knows that better than the Diocese. He wants them to say something like that, perhaps to use it as proof that, in fact, they did get the priest to defend himself privately at the Chancery offices. Then Hutchins could claim that the Seal of Confession means nothing, and therefore the priest can in fact be cross-examined in court. If the Diocese accepts the alleged comments of the priest at face value, they are going in that direction. Even if they don’t say that the priest revealed the confession, they are saying that an accusation in itself makes the accusations true, the way they always said that accusations are always true no matter what in abuse cases. Regardless of what Hutchins says the Diocese says, the Diocese, in making the settlement, does say that they accept all accusations as absolutely true no matter what. Moreover, since the Diocese accepts the alleged comments of the priest saying that the using of condoms is great, and if it also says that these comments are “innocuous”,  well, that actual comment of the Diocese would be against the faith of the Catholic Church. Contraception is a sin, also in a case of statutory rape, however “consensual”. The priest is most likely innocent of all this, but if Hutchins is right and the Diocese did make such statements, then it is the Diocese that is guilty of acting against the faith and morals of the Church, along with acting against the priesthood and the Sacrament of Confession.] and did nothing to put the family at ease [How would they do that? Take them bowling?] or tell Desjardins that the comments were inappropriate. [But they don’t know what the comments are, since, ad nauseam, the priest is under the Seal of Confession.]

“It shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but once it did happen, they should have had a much more pastoral and immediate human response to it,” Hutchins said. [And he’s just the one to say how that’s to be done, right?]

[Diocesan Spokesman] Donovan said the diocese takes all allegations against priests seriously and places them on leave if officials believe the accusation rises to the level of misconduct. That wasn’t the case here [So why did they make the settlement, just out of meanness, to destroy his good name and his life as a priest?], he said, so Desjardins wasn’t removed from his role as chaplain at the school after the parents went to administrators. [Uh huh. I’m not so sure. At any rate, nothing good can come from this except to put people off of confession, and make priests wary of hearing confessions. That’s not what’s needed right now or ever. This sickness of shoving money down everyone’s throat has got to stop, and it’s got to stop now. Hutchins played the Diocese and won, as he does at will. The Diocese will never consider going to court. They will now make settlements without question every time. As in The Judas Crisis, it all seems to be legal, because it’s all out of court. That doesn’t mean that it is moral or acceptable in Church Law. But this will surely go the way of The Judas Crisis, with mountains of money spread about everywhere. Cui bono? To what good?]

He [the Diocesan Spokesman] said Desjardins did decide [Or was that decided for him?] to take a leave of absence from the school after the lawsuit was filed in February. He was unsure whether the priest would be returning next school year. [“Unsure.” Really?] Read the rest there.


Usually, abuse lawyers go in two years cycles of bringing cases for settlements. Now that the Holy Year of Mercy (and confession!) is completed, we’ll see what happens. But, in the meantime, I think Bishop Libasci would do well to admit the mistake for the sake of the good of the Church, you know, pro bono ecclesiae.

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Filed under Confession, Mercy, Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Year of Mercy

The fires of hell with Hilaire Belloc

sacred heartsSometimes people think that the fires of hell mean real fire (only), because they are afraid of WHO that fire actually is, namely, God, that is, God’s love. Yes, in hell. It’s not universal salvationistic to say that God loves all regardless of whether or not they love him, regardless of whether they are in heaven or in hell or here upon this earth for that matter. The difference involves the reception of that love or not:

  • Those in heaven rejoice in this ardent fiery love.
  • Those on earth who follow Jesus are purified by this fiery love.
  • Those in purgatory are purged by this fiery love.
  • Those on earth who reject Jesus are thrown into agonizing frustration by this fiery love.
  • Those in hell, upon whom God’s love shines, scream in the agony that this love brings to them, for they want nothing to do with such love; their intellectual burning frustration sets their souls on fire.

But it’s all God’s love. I’m sure there are those who just won’t get this, and who will insist that I’m not a priest anyway for the fact of being Pope Francis’ Missionary of Mercy, and will stomp their feet while shouting that I’m a heretic for saying that God’s love is in hell and that that’s what makes hell hell for those in hell. But, hey, I can only say what is right. Irony is scary. And somehow, I can’t apologize for that. Maybe I’m evil. Hilaire Belloc might say so. I haven’t put this up for a little while, so, here it goes up again (I think I should memorize this; it would do anyone good to memorize it):

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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Filed under Hell, Missionaries of Mercy