Category Archives: Pope Francis

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Papist edition, again, edition)

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Sunshine yellow, one of the colors of the Holy See, of the Supreme Pontiff, you know, flag-waving and all that:

I received this in an email:

Dear Fr George, I have today received an email from […] (which I subscribe to) which states that Pope Francis is on a mission to radically change the Church. Please tell me this is not true.  I don’t think I could face any more drastic changes. There is so much pessimism on the Catholic blogs I follow but you have always been a positive voice for Pope Francis and after your recent meeting you must know him well.

Here’s the deal: I don’t care if anyone, including the Supreme Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Saint Peter (on and on) is on whatever kind of mission to change the Church radically (watch that Queen’s English splitting of infinitives!). No one can radically, that is, from the root and foundation, change the least iota about the Church, not about infallibility, not about the sacraments, not about anything that belongs to the root and foundation of the Church. That would be like saying we can change God or some stupid thing like that. We can’t. To frighten people by saying that someone, anyone, say, like the Pope, can change radically the Church is a disservice to people. Christ Jesus is not amused. We might want to take notice that what we do or don’t do for others we do or don’t do for Christ Jesus Himself. Anyone trying to get internet popularity by way of scaremongering, destroying people’s faith, reducing the faith to the whims of whomsoever, is truly bad and evil. Jesus is not amused.

Rest assured, dearest reader, that whatever the Holy Father may or may not want to do, the Church will go on to the end of the world, and Jesus will be with us, as He Himself promised. And Jesus, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, is NOT a liar. Anyone who makes Jesus out to a liar and calls Him such is to deny Him. He who denies Jesus will be denied by Him. Such tradition-al-ism-ists, who have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit of God who brings the faith to us in a univocal manner (see Cardinal Siri), thus bringing us Sacred Tradition such as it is.

Just as Jesus is ferociously indignant upon undue attacks on His own, so is Jesus’ good mom. After all, she intercedes for us. She doesn’t look benignly upon those who waste their time destroying the faith when they could, instead, build it up. Thus, some papist flowers for the Immaculate Conception.

Having said all that, one doesn’t have to agree with that which is NOT of the universal Magisterium of the Church. And if it’s NOT of the universal Magisterium of the Church, really, such pundits need to get a life. And go to Confession. Use the Keys!

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“You’re nothing special” – Pope Francis to Missionaries of Mercy

“Moreover, be sure you understand well that you’re nothing special, you Missionaries of Mercy.” – Pope Francis

That’s right. What weak and sinful man can forgive sin? So, it’s all about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One.

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How prodigal of Pope Francis! Thank you Holy Father.

A solid bronze replica (weighs a ton) of this detail of the Holy Door at Saint Peter’s.

The Holy Father commissioned one for each Missionary of Mercy.

My licentiate thesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute was on this scene of Luke 15.

I am deeply touched by this gesture of his thanks to us. Thank you, Holy Father.

Btw: that’s a donkey with his ears laid way back, right?

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About those wounds

A priest I met at the bus stop.

We had a good conversation about Jesus and the cynicism of the world. He said that people have so many wounds that a few more on Jesus isn’t going to affect them one bit. He spoke of how terribly difficult the mission is. He didn’t blame the modern world, but recognized that all times are quite the same.

Now I go one step more…

Having priests start going to Confession so that they bring this Sacrament once again to their parishes isn’t good enough. We have to be willing to rejoice that we are in humble thanksgiving before the Lord. So, let me change that all too set in stone saying of mine to…

Humble, joyful thanksgiving.

Pope Francis says it best:

“Joy greater than any doubt.”

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A day with Pope Francis

First we’ll have a conference with Archbishop Fisichella, then another by Pope Francis, then just us for Mass with Pope Francis at the altar of the Chair of Saint Peter, then lunch, then…

So, off to the gate into Vatican City called the Petriano, which isn’t actually called that according to the Swiss Guards, who call it what I’ve called it all the decades, “Porta di Sant’Ufficio.”

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Pope Francis’ awesome Mercy Sunday homily

We have a great Bishop in Charlotte; he very much enjoys being with his priests. And vice versa. This is rare for bishops and priests. I witnessed this same joy after Mass today out front of Saint Peter’s as in the picture I took above.

There was a phrase from his homily that was like a lightning bolt and it immediately burned itself into my memory:

Gioia più grande d’ogni dubbio. “Joy greater than any doubt.”

He explained this as an encounter with the Incarnate Lord Jesus, risen, with the wounds He would have us see.

And we can see with the eyes of faith, with the Eucharist.

“My Lord and my God!”

That’s not an arrogant possessiveness, he said, but rather speaks to the goodness and kindness of Jesus.

Great insights, really.

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THE highlight of my trip to Rome. My visit with, you know…

After all was said and done, well over an hour I think, I headed back down alone from…

We covered a lot of topics. There were many I didn’t get to. I was promised cooperation for a certain […]. Finally, I was given some handmade rosaries that are given by the Holy Father only to Cardinals (red) and Archbishops (green). Ten each. That’s as close as I’ll get to that, of course. I’ll have to be careful as to whom I give these to. I may be quizzed as to names later. ;-) I would like to get one to Fr Gordon MacRae (About). It would be a red one. It’s happened before. Remember St John Fisher?

This was a most extraordinary meeting, utterly candid. Zero politics. The exactitude of theological reasoning was stunning, exhilarating. I think the angels rejoiced.

I can only say that many have the wrong idea about many things. Whenever there is bitter, hateful cynicism, an exam of conscience must be made.

This meeting was worth the entire trip by far, and the reason for which I came hasn’t yet started. I will have much to do about […] when I return to the parish, please God.

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Re-post from 2017: My meditation on hell. Thanks go to Pope Francis for his words on hell.

moloch

My favorite meditation is perhaps presumptuous, but it is about going before Jesus at the gates of heaven, falling down in reverence before him, crying my eyes out not in supplication, but rather in humble thanksgiving and joy: look at those wounds my sin engraved in his hands and feet and side, his Heart. Thank you for bringing even me to heaven, Jesus.

But that mediation has a backdrop, the all too real possibility of going to hell. Jesus spoke of it, so must we. Pope Francis speaks about it perhaps more than all other Roman Pontiffs put together. He doesn’t want us to go there. The very homily which the fake-news mongers claim to be the smoking gun in which Pope Francis denies hell and the pain of hell is the very homily where he underlines the horrific and eternal nature of hell, namely, distance from God and frustration. It deserves some extra commentary. So, just some notes:

In Mark 9:48, Jesus speaks of those who go to hell, that is, analogously, Gehenna, the valley below the temple mount where children were burned alive on a hollowed out bronze statue-stove of Moloch, Satan. Quite the image of suffering and, in the time of Jesus, the symbol of judgment regarding eternal damnation. How fitting that it’s below the “Dung Gate.”

Anyway, Jesus says that their worm dies not, that is, their σκώληξ, that is, that kind of worm which feeds on corpses, that is, a maggot. Jesus’ justice is only outdone, as it were, by his mercy, for it is based on his justice. Thus:

Psalm 22, which speaks of the future crucifixion of Jesus, puts these words in the mouth of the Suffering Servant: “I am a worm and no man” (Ps 22:6). That worm bit is again σκώληξ, maggot, in the Septuagint, and, in the Hebrew, תוֹלַעַת, that is, maggot. Jesus cites the beginning of Psalm 22 from the cross. Jesus took our place on the cross as a maggot in hell so that he might have the right in his own justice to have mercy on us so that we might not go to hell. That‘s how much he loves us.

saraph-serpent

The maggot-worm in hell, that is, therefore, the fire-serpent, recalls Jesus speaking of himself as the fiery saraph-serpent: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). You’ll recall that the fiery saraph-serpents were killing the people in the desert during the exodus, and that Moses made an image of such a serpent in bronze, raising this up on a stake, a cross, so that all who might look at it might be healed. Jesus came among us looking like us, we who kill each other in sin, and he was raised up on a stake, on a cross, that all who look to him might be healed of the eternal death that the fiery serpent Satan intends for us. He takes our place that he might have the right in his own justice to have mercy on us so that we might not go to hell. That‘s how much he loves us.

But Jesus speaks of their worm dying not. Let’s drill down into this “worm” and “not dying” bit.

The part about the worm is actually about Satan back in Genesis, that fallen monster angel who deceived Adam through his wife. The ill-advised translation about his being cursed is that he will go about on his belly. What a stupid translation into ultra-derived meanings. Why not just translate what it says?… “You will go about on your writhingness.” This “writhingness” refers to frustration. Have you ever seen someone super-frustrated, throwing a tantrum, going about on their writhingness?

Here’s a sad bit about a woman who missed her flight. What might it be to miss one’s flight to heaven and end up in hell forever?

Now, couple that writhingness not with repentance for having been late, as it were, but with belligerent arrogance and hatred of all and not being repentant at all. This is a fire worse than any fire a match could light. This is internal, intellectual frustration. Horrific. Pope Francis has it right. Intellectual frustration coupled with hatred is worse than any torture chamber we might think is in hell.

There is that kind of thing of course, with those in hell harassing each other, with the fallen angels harassing all. It’s a place of hatred, after all, forever and ever. Why go there? Go to confession. Go to heaven! I want to go to heaven.

Meanwhile, some fun with writhing worms, except if they’re you in hell forever:

So, maybe this is more on target:

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“Pope Francis is cute!”

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The end of the world for the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, beyond the peripheries, is beautiful. There are also some of the worst problems in the world with drugs and alcohol and violence and corrupt politics. Very close to where this picture is taken my Missionary of Mercy duties have me visit the elderly who are sick and dying, as well as this 92-year-old who thinks Pope Francis is cute:

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Pope Francis & The Snake – Fake News

The Snake by Al Wilson

On her way to work one morning
Down the path along side the lake
A tender hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
“Poor thing, ” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”
“Take me in tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk
And laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk
She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she’d taken to had been revived
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

She clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful, ” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight
Instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

“I saved you, ” cried the woman
“And you’ve bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
“Oh shut up, silly woman, ” said the reptile with a grin
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

Songwriters: Robert S. Kelly / Darian Morgan / The Snake lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Then there’s this from Pope Francis some weeks ago (reported by The Guardian)

Pope Francis has denounced fake news as evil, comparing it to the snake in the Garden of Eden, and urged journalists to make it their mission to search for the truth.

He said the first fake news dated from the biblical beginning of time, when Eve was tempted to take an apple from the Garden of Eden based on disinformation from the serpent. “The strategy of this skilled ‘Father of Lies’ is precisely mimicry, that sly and dangerous form of seduction that worms its way into the heart with false and alluring arguments,” he said of the snake. He called for a shared commitment to rediscovering the “dignity of journalism” and for reporters to speak the truth with work that was “truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines”.

//// Yesterday, the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter (his magisterial authority) I offered Mass for Pope Francis. Today is the Memorial of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr. I offered Mass for Bishop Jugis (not that he’s going to end up like Polycarp in his death, burned at the stake), but so that he ends up like Polycarp in heaven.

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Re-post: Francis the Lutheran certainly to the left, and “Fr.” George Byers, “Novus Ordo Priest,” not quite right

POPE FRANCIS FATHER BYERS MOCKED

[[Originally published December 6, 2015. I’m re-posting this for the sake of my Internet Stalker guy. Heh heh heh…]]

I’m happy to be mocked with you, Holy Father, all for the Year of Mercy.

Sometimes I’ll follow links to Arise! Let us be going! back the blogs/websites that put them up. This picture is from a sede-vacantist site. They did a photoshop of Pope Francis, making him into a Lutheran Pastor, since they think he is neither the Bishop of Rome nor any kind of bishop. They found this picture of yours truly who knows where. It was from my time in the hermitage. At least it’s not the infamous chainsaw and crucifix picture! :¬) The vestments were made for me by some good ladies in a parish North of Toulouse when I was a chaplain in Lourdes. The seminarian taking this photo was cursing and cursing and cursing yet again, since the camera lens was no good, making for a shimmer effect he thought was most inappropriate in attempt after attempt. He’s right of course, unless that’s my guardian angel next to me!

But, seriously, “they say” I’m not a priest (note that scare quotes around “Fr.”, because I’m what they call a “Novus Ordo Priest”, and therefore invalidly ordained, they think). I didn’t even know there was such a creature as distinct from any other. I do know that the traditionalists at the Second Vatican Council, a small number, but they were there, wanted only two things to change in the entire liturgy, and both had to do with the ordination of a priest. They wanted the newly ordained priest, who has just concelebrated his ordination Mass (yes, that’s right, it’s said somewhat alta-voce so they can recite all the words of the Canon with the bishop) to drink from the Precious Blood (which he does not do in the “Tridentine rite”, and thus his “first Mass” truly is the next day), and they also wanted the ordinand to be anointed with Chrism, not merely, so to speak, with the oil of catechumens. So, not even Chrism… And there’s a silly story of how that came to be. I’ve written on that before. Does that all make “Novus Ordo Priest” ordinations more better, so to speak? Sigh…

Anyway, this “Novus Ordo Priest” was the one who reestablished the traditional Mass in Lourdes after a hiatus of many decades, celebrating Solemn High Mass for some 7 to 8,000 people in the Basilica of Saint Pius X, with weekly Sunday sung Masses in the Immaculate Conception (upper) Basilica. It was this “Novus Ordo Priest” who was the one to start up a course of traditional liturgy in the Pontifical Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, with “liturgy” referring not just to the Mass, but to Baptism, Marriage, Confession, Exorcism, etc. It was this “Novus Ordo Priest” who brought stability to the offering of the traditional Mass midway between Sydney and Melbourne. It was this “Novus Ordo Priest” who, as far as I know, came up with the Missionary of Mercy idea in regard to the regularization of the SSPX already six years ago, which would have worked in conjunction with extraterritorial properties, etc. It was this “Novus Ordo Priest” who… well, I could go on, but one gets the picture, so to speak.

As for Lutheran Pope Francis (according to these sede-vacantists), well, I am almost envious of this treatment. Why not put me in a Lutheran Pastor’s collar? I’m German Lutheran on my Dad’s mother’s side. And, as is noted on the sede-vacantist website, which is bereft of any sense of mirthful irony, I like to cite the Hier stehe ich thing. Why not picture me with some Jewish Pe’ot (my mom being of the Jewish race though with Catholic faith), or whatever? I feel left behind. Kicked to the peripheries. I don’t feel the love! So, from Saint Cyprian:

“Finally, the Apostle, speaking of charity, unites it with endurance and patience. Charity, he says, is always patient and kind; it is not jealous, is not boastful, is not given to anger, does not think evil, loves all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. He shows that charity can be steadfast and persevering because it has learned how to endure all things.

“And in another place he says: Bear with one another lovingly, striving to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He shows that neither unity nor peace can be maintained unless the brethren cherish each other with mutual forbearance and preserve the bond of harmony by means of patience.”

Let me address these sede-vacantists directly: I’ll have to work on what Cyprian says. Join me. Saint Thomas Aquinas has it that there is no other motive for division in the faith than hatred. That really shocked me when I saw it, but, of course, it makes perfect sense. Thomas was perhaps the greatest interlocutor (dialogue master) in all that is interreligious (as in the Summa contra gentiles). And you hold us “Novus Ordo” crowd to be a different religion, don’t you?

I’m happy to be mocked with Pope Francis, but not happy that someone would want to mock anyone in the first place. So, finally, here’s my question to you guys on the sede-vacantist side of things. This is what I want to know, and this goes right to heart of the matter…

Is it not true that we’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God with our sin, original and otherwise? You. Me. All. And is it not true that the Son of the Living God redeemed all of us, though we are not all to be saved? The upshot of that is that we have to be a bit more serious about all this, don’t we? Otherwise, it is all a bunch of self-referential, self-congratulatory, Promethian, neo-Pelagian cleverness, all the one-up-man-ship with which Saint Paul got fed up. He did the same thing I did in this post, bragging away to no good end, except to show that all such bragging is useless as all is nothing if not done through, with and in Christ, instead of just for ourselves and those we try to impress.

There is one faith, one Lord, one baptism, as Pope Francis said, yes, in the Lutheran Church. It was Saint Augustine, was it not, who said that he was in anguish until all such separated brethren were back in the fold? He called them brothers. We are brothers, are we not?

Whatever I said about any Roman Pontiff going too far, such as Sixtus V, my hero (a statement I don’t retract, by the way: see the Hier stehe ich thing), but I must say that I’ve learned a great deal from Pope Francis. He has shaken me to the very core of my being in these past weeks. I think I understand him now. I’ll be getting to that in some other posts about Matthew 16 and 18 and absolute truth. I think you’ll be interested.

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Pope Francis, faithful priests loyal to the papacy, and… and… China

torture in china religion

This lady complained about the persecution of Falun Gong. She died of mistreatment. And so it is for other believers, including Christians, including Catholics.

It’s inevitable, you know, the question that comes from faithful young priests:

Why is it that liberal non-believing atheist priests who smash down the faithful in every possible way are always favored by both liberal and perhaps especially noticeably by conservative, devout, believing bishops, and this specifically over-against faithful priests who are just quietly trying their best to follow the doctrine and morality of the Church, the proper way to offer Holy Mass and the other sacraments, who are just being good and kind in their parishes? Why is that? It’s always that way, or at least it seems that it is always that way, since it is just such a betrayal of all that one would otherwise expect in reason and justice and integrity and honesty. So, why is it that faithfulness is not rewarded with at least being left alone to practice the faith, to be good to others?

And this is not just true in parishes, it is also true in the Holy See, in the appointment of Bishops and Cardinals. On and on.

And this is not just true with individuals, but also with entire countries and regions of countries. For instance, with China. I cannot think of any other part of the world where the laity and clergy and bishops have suffered more to remain loyal to the Holy Father only apparently to have been smashed down by him. It almost seems he wants to have the laity and priests and bishops loyal to him be disappeared or put into labor or re-education camps, to be tortured and put to death. It almost seems that he just doesn’t give a damn. Does he really think he will get concessions? Does he really think that this will not embolden the government religion police to crush believers all the more, using this move of Pope Francis as psychological torture. I mean, imagine: “The Pope doesn’t want your loyalty. He despises your suffering and the suffering of all those with you and who went before you. He spits on you.”

But that should make one pause and ask why, and ask not with cynicism, but with a view to getting an answer. To be cynical is deadly. Surely that is not what is wanted by anyone. I am weak. If I were in China and was seemingly betrayed by the Holy Father like this, I must admit that I would be wide open to slipping into this deadly cynicism, wide open to slipping straight into hell. Even though that would not make sense. We are all so fragile.

The answer to the question of my own priest friends about why faithful priests who are loyal are smacked down in favor of filthy-liberal non-believers is two-fold:

  • It is thought that Jesus will take care of those who are faithful. But this is tempting God, is it not? We have an obligation to love and respect others with God’s love and God’s truth and God’s goodness and God’s kindness.
  • It is thought that concessions will win friends and influence people, so that people will simply suffer less, because you know, that’s what it’s all about. But this seems only effectively to reject what little light is in the darkest of peripheries, and it all descends only farther into the depths of hell.

So, can we think about all this in any way that is positive? Well, what if the actor, in this case, Pope Francis, only has concern for less torture and sincerely believes that concessions will make for less torture? I mean, I would not want to be tortured. That would indeed be horrible. Horrible. No, really… horrible. Pope Francis might even think that this “less torture” benefit will solve both points above. Could be.

We pray for Pope Francis. We pray for China.

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Absolving excommunicated Mafiosi. Pope Francis’ conscience. Targeting Missionaries of Mercy. My fault?

don pino puglisi

Blessed Father Pino Puglisi, killed by the Sicilian Mafia.

Pope Francis’ problem in declaring the excommunications of Mafiosi is not that there would have to be a publication by name of individuals involved (which they wouldn’t care about as they would be convicted and imprisoned and publicized as such), but rather a publication by name of individuals who have sought to have their excommunications lifted.

Part of that lifting of the excommunication involves a confessions of sins, which would involve many if not all the crimes for which they have been convicted, if not many, many, many more.

Those “pentiti” might rarely seek out a witness protection program of the State. That program would be granted along with immunity to those who would rat out others in the mafia and confess to the State even more crimes.

And yet, those individuals, not trusting the State, might want to avoid all of that and simply wait until they leave prison. If they then seek to have their excommunications lifted, whether in prison or, finally, out, they would simply go to, say, a Missionary of Mercy (if they are granted the faculties for such a situation) or a priest who could put them in touch with the bishop of the place or the Apostolic Penitentiary in Rome, depending on the logistics of delegation for the lifting of the penalty.

However, upon the publication of their names that they have had their excommunications lifted, those individuals would then have a contract put out on them by the Mafia, a death sentence, for it is known that part of this would be a confession of their sins, again, surely everything, not just that for which they were convicted, but all other crimes, murder, extortion, usually involving many others of their Mafia crowd.

And now there is someone who has a 1st hand Confession of that which both law enforcement of whatever country and the now betrayed Mafia will want to put down. Thus, there will be a hit put out not only on the ex-Mafia guy, but also the priest or bishop.

“Troppe cose conosce… padre…” [Bang!]

Fine. That’s O.K. Happy to do it. Missionaries of Mercy volunteered to do just this kind of thing, right? But that’s Pope Francis’ conscience problem, right? It shouldn’t be.

 

The status quo just isn’t working. The status quo is that, say, a Mafia funeral is being arranged at the funeral home for whatever parish; the undertaker rings the priest who already knows he’s going to get the call. The priest agrees, even though he knows that the Mafia guy is a notorious sinner and such a funeral would be a scandal. He does this because he doesn’t want untoward consequences. This happens all the time.

The same is true of Mafia weddings: “Padre, you will be at the villa on top of the mountain at 1:00 PM today to witness a marriage.” The priest knows that this is a Mafia wedding, that probably the girl is unwilling, even with a gun to her head, that a previous spouse could have been killed, whatever. No premarital investigation. He does it.

The priest does it because if he doesn’t there will be consequences, probably not involving himself, but others. His mother gets a broken arm. The family bakery is burned down. A drugged up teenage unwilling mafia prostitute is dragged in front of him and has her brains blown out.

But what we’re talking about here is not just the “Mafia” but such as MS 13, Calle 18, the Aryan Brotherhood, et alii, but also all the diverse thuggish ethnic groups, all the cartels.

Or is there another way?

Pope Francis is used to doing things a little differently, so why not with this as well?

Could any priest lift the excommunication? Guaranteed, this will just have any number of priests indiscriminately killed. That would become the initiation murder into whatever organization. There are hundreds of extremely violent groups who day in and day out torture and kill men, young and old, but also women, boys and girls, infants, babies. All the time. Day in, day out. The old Mafia honor thing doesn’t exist anymore.

So, I say, just give it to the Missionaries of Mercy.

But, here’s the deal: Law enforcement wants the info of those confessions just as bad as does any corrupt organization. The FBI, you have to know, will also stop at absolutely nothing to get that information. When you see enough hell, torture, death, of kids, day in, day out, becoming so frustrated, and here are these priests sitting on this information, first hand sincere confessions, just how is it that you get those priests to rat out their penitents and break the seal of confession. All the same extortion and tactics can come into play. Technological ploys are common place. But there are ways to overcome all these things. But I’ll tell you this, the FBI makes a thing of coming to these posts specifically on the absolution of the possible excommunication of the Mafia-esque crowd frequently, especially lately. Something’s afoot.

And as far as the declaration that the excommunication being lifted goes, the Missionary simply, though secretly, provides the name of the one who, outside of confession, before the confession, had his excommunication lifted. That name then simply disappears from the list published on the Vatican web-site rather than from any local (arch)diocese.

But there’s more. It’s not just a godfather or a made man that we’re talking about, is it? What about the guy who creates a drug problem among your kids, then makes money from the problem he himself created by profiting from the drug habit of those kids, he being the street dealer or someone in the middle or higher up. It’s all RICO. Are we talking all drug pushers? Wow. I’m your guy, Pope Francis. I’ll do it. As reparation for my sins, for those of my “Shadow”, for those of some of our law enforcement, some of those in the State Department, some priests who caved and only facilitated such criminals.

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

Perhaps I’m at fault here regarding all this business about excommunications. Some years ago I put in a bid to have exactly this kind of thing done. It wasn’t long after that that an episcopal intervention about this was made here in these U.S.A. It wasn’t long after that that Pope Francis began this process of finding a way such excommunications effected. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence. At any rate, you can’t just do stuff and guardian angels let you get away with nothing happening to you while others are done in because of your intervention. Fine. Whatever. I just don’t care, meaning, I’m not the one to decide how life goes. God guides history. The angels make it happen. So, it’s all good by me.

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Pope Francis and an FBI guy on interrogation – torture sessions and Catholic Sacramental Confession

torture chamber

Pope Francis has made it clear that he doesn’t want Catholic Confessionals to be torture chambers and Interrogation Rooms, as if there was a difference for any in the Intelligence Community. Narco-interrogations can be real torture – bringing on the most intense pain bearable just this side of death – if you know how to ask questions the right way:

interrogation room

I’m guessing that 100% of priests agree with Pope Francis on that one.

Anyway, a Catholic FBI guy spoke to me recently about the kind of interrogations he would like to see conducted on entire classes of people, you know, shall we say, complete and coerced confessions. The FBI doesn’t mess around when they want to do interrogations, pushing the envelope on so many levels and in so many different ways. Call it torture? Enhanced interrogations techniques?

What surprised me about this was that he compared this to Catholic Sacramental Confession, saying that their methodologies bring about a cleansing of the soul. Hah, I wonder if he thinks that his little polygraph sessions he himself has been happy to go through are some sort “soul cleansing.” It is to laugh, or cry, really. The guy is Catholic.

Here’s the deal: in Catholic Sacramental Confession the emphasis is not on sins (though they are indeed to be confessed in kind and number and important circumstance), and not on some sort of psychological catharsis, but rather on the joy of being forgiven by our dear Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

And oh, I entirely disagree with Pope Francis. The Confessional is always and each time to be a Torture Chamber and Interrogation Room, well, that is, you have to know that Jesus has done this for us, taking our place, here…

Jesus Pilate Ecce Homo

… and here:

Jesus crucified passion of the christ

… now having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. But, Pope Francis knows that. The FBI apparently does not. The FBI has nothing on the Romans, nor on that Jewish Good Guy, Jesus, who does it all by love, by being in solidarity with us.

 

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Caving to my Internet Stalker extortion deadline. Arise! Let us be going! Look, my betrayer is at hand!

gethsemane sleeping apostles

Here are some snipits of some missives from my Internet Stalker guy:

“I shall soon stop writing to you. But before I do I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to correct your statement that you attributed to me. Saying that I said ‘all priests should resign in protest at Pope Francis’. You know I never said that. This is a false allegation and I would request that you withdraw it. If you refuse to correct that statement then I shall consider my next step which is to […] I give you one week to correct the injustice of your false statement.”

First of all, I don’t know who you are, Mr Internet Stalker guy. It’s pretty brave of you to make demands by way of extortion with your “next step” when you don’t even identify yourself. How can you be offended when you don’t even say who you are?

And, previously:

“You said that I said all priests should resign in protest at pope Francis. Now why would you say that? You know it is a lie. Why would you lie? You know I never said that. Are you used to lieing?”

I like that spelling of “lying” by this super-intelligent guy, who writes “lieing” so as to emphasize the word. He’s trying to speak both to the Apostles sleeping (in context, as we’ll see) and to untruth. Anyway, we continue, and this time he is denying he could be the Internet Stalker guy. Going back in time with his comments:

“Your stalker guy must be very bad to demand that priests should resign in protest at pope Francis. Who would suggest such an evil notion?”

Who indeed? We continue, going back to his original demand (though not his first comment by far) that all priests in good standing resign in protest against Pope Francis. Let’s see what he says. I’m skipping the parts in which he attacks Pope Francis since error has no rights and my Internet Stalker as an Internet Stalker has no rights. [My comments in red]:

“Hi, I have read a bit about about your background. This helps me in making comments. I should be more understanding. You were probably born after Vatican II. [That’s just baiting. Instead, see: My Internet Stalker Guy apparently doesn’t know this about Jesus and me. Anyway, I find it interesting that he doesn’t say that he’s read my entire blog since inception, which would be assumed to be the case in regard to an Internet Stalker guy, but rather that he’s read about my background, which assumes other sources of information. That I find most interesting. It really is quite revealing.] So you have no idea how far the Church has drifted from its core ethos. [He speaks of the Church as no longer being in touch with “its (sic) core ethos,” thus revealing himself to be a heretic. “Ethos” refers to mere human custom. And that is exactly what some of his comments reflect. But, instead, the Church as the Church is always the Immaculate Bride of Christ. Period. If you can’t distinguish between some in-name-only members of the Church and The Church, or between some non-infallible dialogue and ex-Cathedra pronouncements, you are just another hypocritical protéstant.] Nevertheless. It is a fact that Francis is changing Church dogma, which he has no right to do. [My Internet Stalker, heretic that he is, claims that Pope Francis can actually change the doctrine of the Church, change the truth, which the Pope has not done. The Pope has spoken about “dialogue” which is not teaching. That the Pope cannot change dogma (if he did he would make himself God, but God cannot change the truth either) is a matter of faith essential to being Catholic. It’s called infallibility.] […] Tell yourself I’m right. [Umm… No. Your tantrums do not the truth make. Might does not make right.] You are leading the good life as a pastor. [Wow. What sarcasm about Jesus who would have his priests be pastors. This is hatred of Jesus and the Church. So, I’ll say this: I do love being a priest. But that’s not what he especially means. He wants priests to resign in protest against Pope Francis. For my Internet Stalker, priests in public ministry in good standing are necessarily hypocrites because to remain in public ministry means that one has not made enough waves so as to be forced to make a resignation or worse. That’s the only honest thing to do for the Internet Stalker guy as we’ll soon see.] But are you really, really following Christ? Are you not just swimming with the tide? Why don’t you support Fr Wineandy? [Father Weinandy was forced to resign. And, at any rate, I have supported Father Weinandy, and this guy has researched this if we are to believe him. See: Father Thomas Weinandy: Thank you! Hoping Pope Francis reinstates you, a post which I’ve written about at some length here: My internet stalker’s impossible litmus test: damned if I do, damned if I don’t. So, obviously, supporting Father Weinandy is not enough. Resignation in protest against Pope Francis by all priests in good standing in active ministry is the only way for my Internet Stalker.] Are you looking for a comfortable life?. Are you like the Apostles who when Christ returned the third time found them still sleeping? Are you sleeping like them? [If you think he’s being a bit repetitive here, it’s for a reason. He’s reminding me of the title of my blog, which are the words of Christ in reprimand to the sleeping Apostles: “Arise! Let us be going!” My Internet Stalker guy is making me out to be some sort of Judas for still being in public ministry and loving being a priest, purposely continuing to sleep, as it were, making me not just a drowsy Apostle, but Judas himself. My Internet Stalker guy doesn’t realize that the words which immediately follow this admonition of Christ to the Apostles are about Judas: “Look! My betrayer [Judas] is at hand.” My Internet Stalker guy makes himself the voice of Christ, Christ Himself. But it is Judas who makes himself Christ by raising his heel against Jesus as Jesus said at the Last Supper. But Jesus is the one to crush the head of Satan with His heel. But Judas thinks that Christ is Satan. Meanwhile, Judas is possessed by Satan at the Last Supper. The ironies are rife.] Don’t defend or support a bad Pope [Such commands! I guess for my Internet Stalker guy the Pope is the High Priest paying off Judas whom he supposes to be me if I keep on sleeping on purpose:] just because he was nice to you.” [So, I’m to direct my priestly efforts against Pope Francis until I am forced to resign in protest against Pope Francis. Otherwise, I’m to be condemned as a hypocrite, a sycophant, someone looking for thirty pieces of silver, for the Pope to be nice to me. If you didn’t know, hypocrites and sycophants, who for the sake of human respect effectively deny Christ will be denied by Christ and condemned to hell. But, perhaps, now, in stepping back from all of this, perhaps Judas and my Internet Stalker are the same. After all, he wants to effectively kill me off, and this is, in fact, what his threat is all about, to effectively kill me off. Not with blood mind you. But he’s stated his other means to do this, to take me out by other means, indirectly, but effectively, his extortion.]

In another place my Internet Stalker speaks of supporting the office of the papacy but not the Pope. But this is also a heresy, for the office is founded on the very person of the Pope. What that means is not that the Pope can be fallible regarding dogma, the claim of my Internet Stalker, nor that I would necessarily support some claim made by the Pope that is in itself not a dogmatic assertion but a mere volley in a mere dialogue. What I mean by the ways and means of infallibility is that the Person of the Pope, by divine intervention, will not survive in whatever way an attempt made by the Pope to change the doctrine of the Church (as Pope Benedict has so eloquently laid out for us). To pray for the Pope, to defend his person, is always a good thing, but supporting the Pope is precisely what is forbidden by my Internet Stalker.

If anyone wants to know what I think about Papal Infallibility, all you have to do is read what I wrote about it with extreme precision: Papal Infallibility: The Gospel Truth (Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18)

And if anyone wants to know what Pope Francis thinks about Papal Infallibility, all you have to do is read what I wrote about that with extreme precision: Pope Francis gets it right about Absolute Truth

I find the ranting of my Internet Stalker against the person of the Pope to be rather interesting in the wake of the shot over the bow, the assassination of Pope Francis’ incredibly competent “Front of House” receptionist and the child in her womb at the time of Italy’s gay union/marriage referendum the other year.

If my Internet Stalker is who I think he is (a self-admitted contraceptor or by the way), whether a guy in politics, whether someone tasked with profiling, I’d say he’d better know that he is now being profiled by others in politics, by others who supervise such profiling. This goes doubly if my Internet Stalker guy is just your run of the mill average Joe Schmoe.

My suggestion to my Internet Stalker guy is this: even though I’ve fulfilled your extorted demand abundantly in this post and already in others, go ahead and do what you threatened to do anyway. But make sure to associate your actions with your full name and plenty of other distinguishing, unmistakable, inescapable identifiers so that what you intend to do can be traced back to you personally by those who do such tracing for a living. So far, you’ve revealed only that you are a coward, hiding behind pseudonyms. Typical. And note that I have baited you pretty intensely so as to find out who you are, and that is certainly the right of the victim of stalking.

I call you friend, Mr Stalker guy. Christ Jesus also called His betrayer friend, but He also let Judas hang himself. I’d rather you not do that, Mr Stalker Guy. I’d rather you find out that you are not Christ Jesus. I’d rather you find out that Christ Jesus is the One, the only One. I’d rather you come out of the darkest of existential peripheries and know what it means to be a true friend of the Most High. I’d rather you pray for and support Pope Francis.

Arise! Let us be going! Look, my betrayer is at hand!

P.S. As a side note to all this silliness I should provide some background to the title of this blog. It came about when a previous blog (holysoulshermitage) was forced to be shut down altogether by someone in Rome who was offended by the hard truth that he saw there. At the time, I had requested to do some writing after many years of pastoral ministry all over the world, as well as many, many years of academia and teaching all over the world. Being a hermit (really a hermit, with no income other than gifts) by request has its difficulties. Being silenced by a bully immeasurable adds to those difficulties. I not infrequently took to finding culinary delights in unexpected places:

DUMPSTER DIVING

I’ve done that flip many times. I was really good at it. It’s like an extreme sport. I love extreme sports ever since I was a kid. So, mind you, I’m not complaining!

At the time, it was a quiet time. The providence of God, really. Perhaps His permissive will, but He arranged it all. There were some difficult times. But it was mostly a happy time. Especially because I was able to write something about the Immaculate Conception, and for that I’m grateful to Jesus and His dear Mother. What I wrote is the gem of my life, and that was their gift to me, especially at that time.

It is this…

which is based off of this…

Anyway, His Holiness intervened on my behalf. No more dumpsters. It is this favor which my Internet Stalker has pointed out in his missives, precisely this favor which has set the sights of my Internet Stalker against me. I guess he wants me back in dumpsters. Remember what he commanded me?… “Don’t defend or support a bad Pope just because he was nice to you.” But if I was back in a dumpster, perhaps I could write more on our Lady. At any rate, this bitterness of my Internet Stalker is especially interesting in that the one and only thing my Internet Stalker has commented on in a positive way about me regards my disagreement with the policy that does not afford due process to priests. But even with that he says that he was only beginning to think I was right. After all, he affords me no due process: I am guilty of supporting the person of Pope Francis and after that all is lost and I’m hopeless. I’m beginning to think that my Internet Stalker is the one who had me silenced to begin with for the very reason that I support due process for priests. That was precisely, exactly what the silencing was about at the time. Interesting.

At any rate, I’ll tell you this: I would rather live in a dumpster and be faithful to Jesus (and write about Mary) than to do the wrong thing and go to hell. It seems this Internet Stalker guy has been playing the vulture overhead, surveying my blogging for very many years indeed, waiting to take revenge for my promotion of due process for priests like Father Gordon MacRae (About, at TheseStoneWalls). Interesting.

===========

By the way, there are many, many other things I have not commented on regarding the missives of my Internet Stalker guy for the reason that if I did, I would fear attorneys of some rather strident ultra-traditional-ism-ists who seem to think that they somehow stand in the very place of Sacred Tradition and so are ready to litigate anyone who crosses their paths. Not because I’m afraid of them, but I’m busy being a priest. The Internet Stalker guy is a distraction which he will have to answer for. Yet, I have to take care of him as one of my flock as well. He volunteered to be part of my flock. Am I not to search out the sheep who are in the darkest of existential peripheries?

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My internet stalker’s impossible litmus test: damned if I do, damned if I don’t

Eucharistic Congress confession

After Father Thomas Weinandy resigned from his post at the USCCB, I offered this comment on this blog:

“Dear Father Weinandy, I’m hoping that Pope Francis will reject the sycophants at the USCCB and reinstate you for your honestly trying your best to lay self-referential interests aside in favor of the Church and indeed the whole world. We all need such honest friendship. The Holy Father can take or leave what you say, but one should treasure any sincere words that you offer just because first of all they are offered in good faith. The USCCB has made it all about bullying. That’s so sad. I thank you for making it all about Jesus and His Immaculate Bride, the Church. May Mary’s Son strengthen you.”

That’s in this post, check it out: Father Thomas Weinandy: Thank you! Hoping Pope Francis reinstates you.

Later, I received this comment from my internet bully:

“You are leading the good life as a pastor. But are you really, really following Christ? Are you not just swimming with the tide? Why don’t you support Fr Wineandy? Are you looking for a comfortable life?. Are you like the Apostles who when Christ returned the third time found them still sleeping? Are you sleeping like them? Don’t defend or support a bad Pope just because he was nice to you.”

In other words, if there is any priest in good standing actually carrying out his duties as a priest of Jesus Christ in this One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, he is therefore, by definition, a hypocrite, and the only way for him to follow Christ is to resign from active ministry in protest against Pope Francis. That’s the litmus test: resign in protest against Pope Francis or go to hell. No, really! After uncountable messages along these lines, I see this one in the moderation queue, one of the first comments for 2018. This internet bully guy has a mania, and I’m his target. This is, it is said, a citation from one of Padre Pio’s letters:

“And yet, once our last hour has come, and our hearts have ceased to beat, everything will be finished for us and the time to merit as well as to demerit. We will present ourselves to Christ the Judge just as death finds us. Our cries of supplication, our tears, our sighs of repentance, which while still on earth would have won God’s heart, could have made us with the help of the sacraments, saints out of sinners, today is worthless; the time of mercy is passed, now begins the time of justice.”

Nice citation, except that it is about whether I resign in protest against Pope Francis or not. If I resign I am saved. If I don’t resign as a priest in good standing from active ministry as a protest against Pope Francis I am surely then going straight to hell.

Someone who continuously sends such messages citing other-world eternal consequences (going straight to hell) for not complying with a litmus test having this-world life-changing consequences (resigning as a priest in good standing from active ministry as a protest against Pope Francis) – continuously for three full weeks after being asked to stop – is someone who is well able to think that he has a divine mandate to begin that “time of justice” already in this world.

Of course, if I actually resigned just to do it I would be condemned by Jesus for running away from the wolves as a mere hireling. And if I don’t resign then I am already damned by my internet stalker, who I think is at the ready to take “justice” into his own hands.

Golly! I don’t know what to do! Oh, I know! I think I’ll just be faithful to Christ Jesus, continue to be a good son of the Church in the best way I know how, continue to be a priest in active ministry (Hey! I love it!), following Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the great interventions of the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church, and, with consistency, mind you, also be loyal to Pope Francis, that is, by supporting the person of the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ, of Christ, mind you, Jesus, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, He who will come to judge the living and the dead and world by fire. Amen.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Unstoppable Papist edition)

img_20171219_0929371402353736.jpg

Even in the dead of Winter one can find flowers for the Immaculate Conception. I can just look at my Papal Flag (thanks to a kind reader) and see, in the distance, “flowers” for the Immaculate Conception. Wonderful. Our Lady loves Pope Francis and intercedes for him. You know how I know? Because she does the same for this wretched sinner, yours truly. So, in view of that, and our of respect for the Papacy and the very person of Pope Francis, I also pray for him and love him to pieces.

Does that mean that either I or Mary are sycophants favoring Pope Francis? No. Does that mean that I’m an ultramontanist? Absolutely not. Heck, I’ve even publicly stated my hope that Pope Francis would reinstate Father Weinandy. Why not? As it is, I think Father Weinandy is also an unstoappable Papist. I think the same of the “Dubia Cardinals.” Why shouldn’t I?

I also think that Pope Francis has an unstoppable devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots. Do you? Does that make Pope Francis evil, or you evil? No.

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Pope Francis: Fake News = mortal sin

By Paulina Dedaj | Fox News — Pope Francis had a message this weekend for journalists spreading so-called “fake news”: you’re committing a “very serious sin.”

Speaking to the Catholic media on Saturday, the pope criticized journalists who sensationalize the news and bring up old scandals in their reporting, calling their actions a “grave sin that hurts the heart of the journalist and hurts others.”

“There is an urgent need for news communicated with serenity, precision, and completeness, with a calm language, so as to favor a fruitful reflection; carefully weighted and clear words, which reject the inflation of allusive, strident and ambiguous speech. It is important that, methodically and with patience, criteria of judgment and information be offered so that the public is able to understand and discern, and is not stunned and disoriented,” Francis said.

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Attack Fr Byers, or yourself…

POPE FRANCIS AUTISTIC BOY

Condemned for everything he does, without exception.

There are bullies who damn you if you don’t hate Pope Francis as much as they do.

So, here’s a comment that came in after I didn’t let a comment that was rife with criticism (but not about the translation of the Lord’s Prayer) through the moderation queue on On condemning Pope Francis and his desire to translate the Lord’s prayer:

Come come. Why take so long to consider my comment? Is it not to your liking? Do you think the Pope should be protected from all criticism? Surely you must have read The Dictator Pope by now?

It sounds like someone who went to Oxford. It sounds like a friend of mine. But it’s not. At any rate, it just proves my point. No one is above criticism. But I don’t think that people are to be forbidden to do something good if they have ever – in the opinion of whomsoever – done something less than good in the eyes of that beholder. Ooooo! The Dictator Pope! So what?

I’ll tell you this: I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God with my participation in original sin and by whatever rubbish I’ve come up with on my own in my life. That’s all worse than whatever is listed off in The Dictator Pope. So, therefore, also I can never be allowed by this and other bullies like him to do anything good whatever because I’ve also done those horrible things. But I’ll tell you this as well: Christ Jesus has forgiven me. And I can, in His goodness and kindness and grace, do good things despite all the bad that I’ve also done in my life. And so can Pope Francis.

But if there are those who are so unforgiving that they hold that other people are absolutely hopeless and can never do anything good, that there is no forgiveness for them, that they are never to be encouraged, well, it seems to me that those very people are on the fast track to hell, for they have also crucified the Son of the living God with their own participation in original sin and by whatever of their own rubbish in their own lives. When they pray the Lord’s prayer that they are so snooty about, insisting that it NOT have a more precise translation because they don’t like Pope Francis, they are praying NOT to be forgiven because they have zero forgiveness for others, particularly Pope Francis. Damn him, they say. They are praying that they themselves be damned.

And that’s just really very sad.

Go to confession.

I do.

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On condemning Pope Francis and his desire to translate the Lord’s prayer

PIB

Translating the Sacred Scriptures does take quite a bit of study. There are many processes of the historical criticism to wade through, many processes of historical philology and historical linguistics to thoroughly understand, not to mention the semantics as understood by the speakers and inspired authors and listeners back in the day. There is that, but that’s not all.

There is also faith as distinct from theology, as distinct from our own assent to the faith (the most basic form of theology). We also call that theology faith, but that kind of faith, really just our theology and our assent to it, is not revealed. It is a human work. Theology is based on revealed data, but theology a human understanding of that which is revealed. Faith which is supernatural (that is, apart from our human assent that we also call faith but is different from the supernaturally infused virtue of faith), if that supernatural faith is enjoyed with supernatural charity and supernatural hope, well, it purifies much of the limitation we would otherwise put on our own theology, our own understanding of the faith. For then we have no fear of understanding the truth more fully, for we are in love, and love casts out such fear. Faith, then, frees reason to be applied to the data of revelation to come up with a more robust theology, and, therefore, a more robust and faithful, as it were, translation of the Scriptures.

If our hearts are full of hate and we are hopeless, darkly congratulating ourselves for knowing the faith, even what we think we have will be taken away. Our hearts and minds and souls will be full of the worst fear and we will not for second want to actually more robustly understand the faith by way of a faithful theology. We will not only settle for that which is lesser, but will insist on it with all cynicism and hatred for all those who would make an attempt to bring us closer to the truth. Damn them all we would say.

If Pope Francis would like to do something in good faith, why make ad hominem attacks against him as if he absolutely could do nothing except in bad faith? Why? Because those doing this have zero training in Biblical criticism. They have nothing else but ad hominem attacks. Damn the damn Pope, they say. We don’t like what he’s done with other things, so we damn him no matter what, even if he attacks Satan, promotes Eucharistic adoration and promotes prayer. Damn him anyway and always. He can never do anything right.

What are such people afraid of? Why such dark congratulations for themselves?

It reminds me of those non-Catholic fundamentalist Christians who hold that The King James Bible is inspired and is the only Bible ever to have existed, even while they ignore that there are almost uncountable versions and retranslations of the King James Bible itself.

Just. Wow.

Lord, have mercy on us all.

Those with foot in mouth disease should read DaS (Divino afflante Spiritu), for a start, not to mention PD (Providentissimus Deus), and, yes, DV (Dei Verbum).

From Pius XII:

13. We also, by this Encyclical Letter, desire to insure that the work may not only proceed without interruption, but may also daily become more perfect and fruitful; and to that end We are specially intent on pointing out to all what yet remains to be done, with what spirit the Catholic exegete should undertake, at the present day, so great and noble a work, and to give new incentive and fresh courage to the laborers who toil so strenuously in the vineyard of the Lord.

14. The Fathers of the Church in their time, especially Augustine, warmly recommended to the Catholic scholar, who undertook the investigation and explanation of the Sacred Scriptures, the study of the ancient languages and recourse to the original texts.[22] However, such was the state of letters in those times, that not many – and these few but imperfectly – knew the Hebrew language. In the middle ages, when Scholastic Theology was at the height of its vigor, the knowledge of even the Greek language had long since become so rare in the West, that even the greatest Doctors of that time, in their exposition of the Sacred Text, had recourse only to the Latin version, known as the Vulgate.

15. On the contrary in this our time, not only the Greek language, which since the humanistic renaissance has been, as it were, restored to new life, is familiar to almost all students of antiquity and letters, but the knowledge of Hebrew also and of their oriental languages has spread far and wide among literary men. Moreover there are now such abundant aids to the study of these languages that the biblical scholar, who by neglecting them would deprive himself of access to the original texts, could in no wise escape the stigma of levity and sloth. For it is the duty of the exegete to lay hold, so to speak, with the greatest care and reverence of the very least expressions which, under the inspiration of the Divine Spirit, have flowed from the pen of the sacred writer, so as to arrive at a deeper and fuller knowledge of his meaning.

16. Wherefore let him diligently apply himself so as to acquire daily a greater facility in biblical as well as in other oriental languages and to support his interpretation by the aids which all branches of philology supply. This indeed St. Jerome strove earnestly to achieve, as far as the science of his time permitted…

/// But today what we hear is that those who follow the venerable Pope’s directions are to be likewise condemned with bitter cynicism and fear…

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