Humanae vitae: Interrogation of seminarian George David Byers

angel face palm

Today is the 50th anniversary of the day after (26 July) Humanae vitae was promulgated by Pope Paul VI (25 July 1968). Who knew? To this day, The New York Times thinks that the date is 29 July as this is the date that the first copies were being passed around. Remember the days before the internet?

But don’t be mistaken. The rebels were ready. Just that quick some 600 self-proclaimed “theologians” (whose street cred was proportional to their teenage-esque rebellion), including Charles E. Curran and Richard A. McCormick, were ready to give their middle finger (it was just that discourteous) to now soon to be canonized Pope Paul VI, who was only doing what he had to do – and with love and enthusiasm – as the successor of Saint Peter.

The fog of war of evil against good that followed was constituted with the most self-congratulatory, self-referential, self-absorbed, Promethean, Neo-Pelagian, arrogant, non-thinking bullying imaginable. Let me provide you with an anecdote from the early-mid 1980s when I was a student of the great but not yet Cardinal, Carlo Caffarra, founder and President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

I was a deacon at the time, and was required to give the famous “Monday evening homily” at the national seminary in Rome where I was residing. Some thirty visiting priests were concelebrating. It was the Feast Day of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles. I spoke about the statues and stories of the martyrdoms of the Apostles as depicted in our parish church, the Cathedral of Rome, the Mother and Head of all the Churches (dioceses), named after the Most Holy Savior and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran. I included lots of humor. There was a lot of laughter.

At the very end of the homily I came to the analogy, that disobedience to the living Truth of God Himself brings only violence and division, but if we obey the infallible magisterial interventions of, say, the Successor of Peter, then we will be granted the tranquility in our souls of unity, of the love which, in God, is the living Truth whom we call Jesus. As an example, in just a sentence or two, I mentioned Humanae vitae as a good example. Just as disobedience in the use of contraceptives and abortifacients provides an artificial division between the spouses – between physical unity and openness to life – throwing them on the fast track to divorce, just so does promoting such disobedience by the clergy put clerics and bishops at odds with each other, bringing about chaos in the Church, precisely as we had all witnessed in those years. We pray that we might witness to unity and truth and love as did the Apostles, as did Simon and Jude, said I. And I sat down. You could have heard a pin drop on the far side of the galaxy, for like three minutes, as it was the custom to provide some moments for reflection, but this was a rather unusually tense quiet, more like friends who were grieving for my predictable demise, enemies who were already plotting my demise, and, as I was to find out, of almost uncontainable joy of some of the visiting priests who rushed up to me afterward and even during the offertory in the sanctuary to thank me for the best homily they had ever heard.

For the next six weeks I would receive reports of how one of the formation directors, just signed on for three years as he was doing his doctorate in Rome, was bad-mouthing “the American” for what I had said, and that I needed to be stopped, and he was going to stop me. This was at nightly private poker games with the post-graduate priests and some select seminarians. My “spies” were scared for me. And they were right.

The rector at the time soon called me into his office and said that I was required to attend an ad hoc formation meeting at which I would be questioned about my “pastoral sensitivity” by the rector (RIP) vice-rector (now a Cardinal), the two new formation directors and myself, without the possibility of my having an advocate (read: witness) present. The meeting was set for 9:00 PM in the parlor across from the office at the main entrance. 9:00 PM passed. 9:15 PM passed. 9:30 PM passed. I could hear angry arguing, shouting even, among themselves in the rector’s office (that’s through the double doors of the receptionist’s office mind you). Finally at 9:40 PM they appeared, red-faced not with embarrassment for being late but because they were so upset with me and with each other. The interrogation was fully scripted with an outcome of damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

After some fairly softball questions about pastoral sensitivity, softball because I was allowed to explain my answer, it was then that the question came. But let me recount one of those softball questions, this one by the rector, so you get a sense as to the ridiculous nature of this inquisition. He said that he wanted to know about how I felt about the following hypothetical situation:

“Let’s say you get ordained a priest and the bishop puts you in a poor parish where no one puts anything into the collection, where very few speak English, where no one is a practicing Catholic or for that matter Catholic at all. What would you feel like?”

My response, which makes me laugh to this day:

“Well, let me answer this by way of anecdote from this past summer. I had, on my own initiative, visited prisons and gotten to know the various Catholic “chaplains”, whether lay or clergy, and, being invited by them to put my desires to the bishop, then asked the bishop just before returning to Rome, that after ordination at the end of this academic year, I would have as my first assignment being a prison chaplain, you know, where no one puts anything into the collection, where many speak Spanish or Arabic, where pretty much no one is a practicing Catholic or for that matter Catholic at all. How would I feel about it? I would just love it!”

The softball questions all went this way, but with a deleterious effect, because they were now white-hot with frustration, every question of theirs giving me a platform to shine while making them look like idiots, though not purposed on my part. It just worked out that way. This was especially the case with the poker playing formation director who evidenced himself as the one who had been shouting so much previously in the rector’s office. The angels are totally, hilariously awesome in their warfare. ;-) But then the question came, this one from the vice-rector now Cardinal. When he started this question he was interrupted by the others who were now jumping out of their skin with anger, they insisting to me, especially the poker player, that I absolutely had to answer this question of the vice-rector with a yes or a no, with no explanation. Without knowing what the question was yet, I immediately opened a discussion with the rector that for this to be an honest inquisition as to my pastoral sensitivity, I would have to be able to explain my answer if need be. This went on for five minutes but he finally caved to my request which he deemed to be reasonable. Otherwise, they would look pastorally insensitive to me, right? Heh heh heh. So, the vice-rector started in:

“Say you are ordained and a young lady comes to confession to you and says very piously that she is sorry for all her sins such as impatience but not for contraception, because her husband told her to do this and they feel financially strapped and there’s no possibility of not using contraception. Would you give her absolution or not?”

Again the poker player interrupted, so angry that I thought he was actually going to hit me so hard as to knock me backward in my chair right to the floor: “You HAVE to answer this yes or no!” I would be damned as pastorally insensitive if I simply said no. And if I said yes I would truly be damned by Jesus and they would figure, at any rate, that I was lying just to get ordained. Since I had no witnesses they could say whatever they wanted.

I appealed to the rector again and he said that I could explain my answer. I said that this isn’t quite the moment for extended classes on the matter, but that there is much literature in the back of the church to learn about these matters, and many couples in the parish who she could contact for support and instruction on all levels, including financial, and that there was no way I was going to deny her an absolution, but that for right now, to assist her in receiving the graces of our Lord fruitfully, we should delay for just a bit the absolution until we could do something that will truly help her in her life, both in her family experience and in regard to her friendship with Jesus and in view of eternal life. I said that I would want to be the priest for her, and not just try to win her friendship by ignoring her difficulties (which would only increase).

Outrageously, and I probably shouldn’t have been so triumphalistic, I immediately asked the rector if I was being reasonable in this answer, and he hemmed and hawed for minutes on end but then agreed that I had been reasonable in my answer. I then pressed it to ask if there was anything that any of them would like to add, subtract or change in my answer so as to assist me in being more pastorally sensitive. None of them could do it. That broke up the inquisition. I won. But I lost. I knew I had sealed my fate in being faithful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Within weeks, in the middle of the year, they had me out the door simply saying that they would not put me forward for ordination to the priesthood. I asked the reason. No reason except that the rector has just signed on the one poker playing formation director and I didn’t think like him and there was no room for the both of us in the same seminary. The entire seminary was turned upside down, in turmoil, half the seminary for me, half against, and it was almost at the point of violence. I could give examples. It was bad. I said that I had nothing to do with any of that and it was all a surprise to me. It was all that one priest instigating this. It was I who had to go, he said. Within days I was to miraculously avoid being directly with, shoulder to shoulder with 19 others who were gunned down down. But I digress.

There are a thousand anecdotes like this in my life. It makes life interesting being faithful to our Lord, I once said, offending an ancient Chinese proverb that an interesting life is a curse. Instead, I think I misspoke in saying “interesting.” I think instead the word for me to describe what I would go through is “enthralling,” and that refers not to any circumstances, but what those circumstances would occasion: a very perceptible presence of our Lord Jesus. And I just absolutely love that. I smile broadly ear to ear this day, even laughing with joy at how our Lord was training me in by all this through the years. After all, it’s all about Jesus.

Let me be clear: Humanae vitae is about Jesus and His marriage with His Immaculate Bride the Church by way of His wedding vows of total self-giving: This is my body given for you in sacrifice, my blood poured out for you in sacrifice. Jesus doesn’t contracept the truth about male and female being the image of God. Jesus doesn’t contracept our redemption, our salvation. He doesn’t separate himself artificially from standing in our place, the innocent for guilty, making Himself one with us in this way so that we could made one with him, the temple of the Holy Spirit, with the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity, members of the Body of Christ. I didn’t want to betray Jesus’ love. I don’t ever want to betray Jesus. It’s all about Jesus. Jesus is the One. Jesus is the only one. JESUS!

By the way, I made it: I’m a priest today. And I love it, every second of it. Because it’s all about Jesus. He’s the priest, the only priest. He’s the One. He’s the only One. JESUS!

5 Comments

Filed under Pro-Life

Padre Pio and Humanae vitae

Check it out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pro-Life

Jogging memories and then running

img_20180411_172137083~2446542858..jpg

Seems to me that the two guys mentioned in this post…

are the two guys mentioned in this post…

the same two guys mentioned in this post…

But, as they say, nothing is as it seems, even the “fact” that nothing is as it seems. It’s good to see things from different perspectives, to consult, not procrastinating, just waiting for more, a thin thread. Slightly jaw dropping in my little world.

img_20180411_172132336~229375187..jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under Intelligence Community

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (“It’s Queen’s Lace, so…” edition)

img_20180710_140838791_hdr~27876547163174990019..jpg

At one family’s house on the day-off the other week I was shown this multi-flower by the gardener who, knowing that I often put up “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception”, insisted that this conglomerate was called “Queen’s Lace” hinting strongly that I have to put these huge but tiny ones up for Jesus’ good mom. Of course, she needn’t have insisted. I’m most happy to oblige. Always and everywhere flowers for the Immaculate Conception.

1 Comment

Filed under Flores

*The Company* and Soviet Moonies? Twenty five years later: 1993-2018

moon-smoke

I’ve been reviewing any Russian connections I may have because of some recent events, causing me to recall that which I’ve otherwise long forgotten, some rather mysterious visits from those with Russian interests some twenty five years ago.

Some timeline coincidences:

  • (1992) An Ambassador heading up responsibilities in Main State (the main campus of the Department of State) in Foggy Bottom wrote a two page letter to me about someone who stole my identity, but that they were going to ignore him and instead track me on a perpetual program, which would lead to the FBI in conjunction with Main State insisting on this guy continuing to entrench under my name even while I, a citizen in good standing, was to disappear altogether under a false identity.
  • (1993) I was assigned to a parish in upstate New York within the territory of which is the Unification Church’s largest seminary in the world. I had many talks with one of the heads of the Moonies there. Doing that, I became pretty much the number one adversary of the Moonies.
  • (1993) Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, somehow elected to the newly established office of President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), caved to pressure in 1993 and reopened debate on smacking down foreign religious groups. That debate continued until 1996 when heavily restricted registration of foreign missionary groups passed into law, along with heavily restricted registration of their activity including purchase or rental of properties for their activities.
  • (1993-1994) Visits (intense interrogations really) from two gentlemen saying they represented the Moonies wanting to give me carte blanche travel and contacts throughout RSFSR for as long as I needed. But let’s see a bit more detail…

Some 25 years ago, I was a parochial vicar (assistant priest) in a parish in upstate New York which was newly burdened with an inundation of the Moonies, political hacks who pretend to be conservative (they say they are anti-communist, anti-Russian), but, as they now fall apart, as fads do, a recent poll they took themselves reveals that the vast majority of their members voted for Bernie Sanders. So, are they really crypto-communists? Just askin’. They had recently bought out a theologate, a seminary of the Christian Brothers not far from our parish church, and headed it up with a “spiritual director,” an Irish born ex-Catholic priest who had been a priest for some 25 years at the time of his departure.

The Moonies were going door to door bothering my parishioners (who complained to me furiously), so I invited this ex-priest Moonie over to the rectory for a chat multiple times. He had given me a book on the “doctrine” of the Moonies and I told him I was cross-indexing it all in my head and that I had noticed they had a lot of inconsistencies and contradictions and otherwise gross misunderstandings of Scripture and Jesus and John the Baptist that I wanted to put to him, and his answer was simply that I didn’t have to get to know their “doctrine” (read: brainwashing) so well as all that because what was important is for me to just become a member.

Nevertheless, I was so effective in my arguments that his “wife” invited him to just go ahead and leave the Unification Church and become a Catholic once again. This totally gutted him. He almost collapsed in front of me. Apparently, all this was quite well known to the Moonie powers that be not far down the Hudson River. Apparently, I was really upsetting the apple cart where the “Rev” Moon was residing at the time.

Not long after these discussions came to a close, two gentlemen claiming they were somehow reps of the Unification Church came to have a chat with me on a number of occasions. They knew I had somehow become entrenched in divisions in the Moonies but were nevertheless wanting to send me on a mission to the territories of the freshly former USSR. The mission specifically was to work with the Kremlin for exceptional approval of the Unification Church and the purchase of properties. They intensely questioned me about my views on ecumenism and the world, interrogation being a better word.

They were absolutely unconcerned about anything to do with the Moonies themselves, with the Unification Church seeming to be annoying to them. They had to know that there was zero chance of any cult-like foreign “church” getting any approval when, at the time, there was a severe crackdown on pretty much all religious groups outside of the Russian Orthodox. I think they were offering me something like $25,000 as a first payment. Part of this would be coordinating shipments of whatever throughout Russia.[!]

I said I had no desire to help a group like the Moonies. They didn’t care. They wanted me in Russia. They said I could say that it’s like, you know, ecumenism, since that’s the new academic thing for Catholics, right? “No” said I. They still didn’t care, insisting I agree. I said it was cold there. They said I could buy clothes.

To put them off, I said that I had responsibilities in the parish here, which they totally discounted as it would be easy to get anyone to replace me in that small parish. I said that I would have to get multiple levels of permissions for this and the bureaucracy would be nigh impossible both ecclesiastically and civilly, both Stateside and in Russia and in the Holy See. This did not put them off. Rather, it seemed like I was finally caving in to them. They saw no problem forging ahead and arranging the necessary. Finally, I just said no. But they returned to the rectory to speak with me again and again.

They seemed like a couple of our own ops guys. They wouldn’t say how they were connected with the Unification Church. The point was that they were offering me a perfect cover that would get me around everywhere in Russia enabling me to see anyone, including in the Kremlin, all with the blessing of the Kremlin as the Kremlin continued to dialogue, soft peddling their hard line crack down on foreign religious entities. I was certainly ready for any background checks, bona fide with an ultra-academic background, forever in Rome, well established ecclesiastically, with increasingly “interesting” connections overseas. Basically, they were offering me access to do whatever it is that I would otherwise be able to do. The last group I would ever have associated them with is the Moonies. They could have spit on the Moonies. I would be more likely to say something like the George Bush Center for Intelligence.

Just one more anecdote which everyone has I guess. I draw no conclusions. But…

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Intelligence Community

Last time I read a Tom Clancy novel…

img_20180721_171022317~22432868953834884217..jpg

“Uneven pacing…” Sounds like my life… Thank you for this. My last and only other was Sum of All Fears. It reminds me I have to write up the memorial for the Joyce Kilmer centenary memorial service on July 30 up in the Forest named after him. He was in the famed Rainbow Division. More on that later. I’m actually excited about reading Rainbow Six. The last time I read a Tom Clancy novel I wrote my own (which I only half put up). This may get me reinvigorated. With all the other stuff going on, I may be able to add some further intrigue, and a sequel, as if there wasn’t enough intrigue and me already not having an unpublished thought. ;-)

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Military

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (meanwhile edition)

img_20180703_164856040~25853107681865162510..jpg

Did you ever notice how amidst all our little dramas (and they are ALL little dramas) that life goes on, death goes on, but life goes on, the wonderful “life is changed not ended” thing? I like that. I love that. Life in our Lord is a love stronger than death, that gives flowers to the Immaculate Conception in this life, whatever this life has before us, and then in the life to come, as we hope, hopefully without presumption, in heaven, because the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception is just that good, just that kind. He makes that possible, because, you know, of course, He loves His good mom. So, meanwhile, while everything goes on, in the midst of all that, still, always, flowers for the Immaculate Conception.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

²¹ºPo – murder portraying a suicide faked to be murder… or…

210Po

“The use of lead-bismuth as a coolant offers several advantages as a liquid metal coolant for fast reactors. A low melting point, very high boiling temperature, and stability in air are characteristics of lead-bismuth that can contribute to the safety inherent with liquid metal reactors. Consideration of a lead-bismuth must weight the possible drawbacks caused by the presence of Polonium-210, which is produced by neutron activation of the bismuth. This paper describes the results of a test program to evaluate the potential of Polonium to impact the design and safe operation of the reactor.”

— Abstract on Polonium hazards associated with lead bismuth used as a reactor coolant presented by the INIS Repository.

For some reason, I now recall the LMFBR guy who came to the parish. Stupidly, I just couldn’t place him at the time. For some reason, just now, ²¹ºPo comes to mind, and the question as to how to irradiate a microgram or even less of ²¹ºPo comes to mind. LMFBR.

Anyway, he showed up again at the same time as the enhanced interrogation / assassination GTMO guys showed up. All of them would know of the one time short-lived interest of Yasser Arafat and Alexander Litvinenko with just the very tiniest bit of ²¹ºPo.

Bill Binney was mentioned in the context of murder as “suicide” by the intel guys. But the purpose of that ever so strange meeting was to discuss the viability, so to speak, of another person altogether. Anyway, the LMFBR guy is checking out a few things for me. He’s in a different line of work than mere LMFBR. Just to say, one of the GTMO guys has everything in the nuclear and medical worlds down cold, as it were, so to speak.

3 Comments

Filed under Intelligence Community, Missionaries of Mercy, Terrorism

Papal infallibility’s worst heresy

pope francis asperges

You have heard that it was said, the papacy is basically somehow just like you know kind of like an “office”, a “function”, stuff to do or not more or less than any other bishop, but just a bishop with another mandate that he can ignore or put into action, but it’s no big deal unless he’s wrong, we think, because we’re all more infallible than him, and then we just say that his “office” has been taken away, you know, like Judas, so that he continues to be a bishop, but just removed to say, some island, like, I don’t know, Corsica or something.

But Peter is not Judas. The papacy is not a mere office. Infallibility resides not in an “office”, but in the very person of the successor of Peter. In all of this, he is expendable according to the decision of the one who has already established in the heavens what Peter had better agree to on earth. It’s not our decision. It’s all quite glorious, or quite violent. Witness the death of Sixtus V. Yikes!

Infallibility only comes into play in restricted conditions, that is, when the Bishop of Rome precisely as the Successor of Peter teaches on faith or morals to the universal Church especially deciding a controversy. It does NOT come into play with throw-away baitings of what is expressly defined by the Holy Father as being mere DIALOGUE. Why is that so difficult, except for hatred? Has Pope Francis ever said anything in infallible mode up to the time of this writing? No, he has not. So, as I’ve always said and now repeat:

We are to stand in solidarity with the Holy Father. We are to pray for him. We are to defend the papacy in the very person of the Pope, for this is where the papacy resides, in the person of Peter, not just some loosely defined “office” of Peter. Get it?

4 Comments

Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

“You’re a ‘hotbox’, Father George!”

zero dark thirty hotbox torture

Enhanced interrogation can include the hotbox, which you can see pictured above on the right. The front side flips down and the person is crammed inside in a fetal position for a day or two. Really, really, really horrible. The hotbox itself doesn’t do anything, but certainly attracts the attention of the one inside of it, others having done that.

There are many definitions of hotbox, some related to growing cannabis, some to enhanced interrogation, some to solitary confinement, etc. However, in prison, a ‘hotbox’ is a prisoner who is constantly being surveilled, that is, more than others. For some reason or other or none, he’s got the attention of the powers that be, with the guards and administration always in his face. It’s not that he’s done anything wrong. It just is what it is. Entertainment. Perhaps a psychology module for continuing education.

Today I protested to Father Gordon that he might be more blacklisted than he already is if he’s associated with me, even though I’ve never met him, and only do some logistical things for him. He dismissed that, laughing, saying the worst of what he thought of me, which, he being good and kind, isn’t bad at all. He said: “You’re a ‘hotbox’, Father George!” After he explained what that meant, I protested: “I didn’t do anything!” He said, laughing again: “That’s what they all say!”

Ha ha ha.

If there’s supposed to be something annoying about being a ‘hotbox’ I haven’t noticed. I mean, if it’s not one thing then it’s another in life, right? If anything, it makes life interesting. Oh, that’s right. That’s some sort of Chinese curse, you know, to have an interesting life! I always thought it was fun. Make me the ‘hotbox’! Make me the ‘hotbox’! Me! Me!

I always did like extreme sports, doing things others avoid. It’s a No Fear! thing.

Be careful what you wish for.

How Kryptic can one be?

1 Comment

Filed under Humor, Intelligence Community

UFO, Google maps, terror negligence

google ufo drone

There are lots of reports about UFOs these days. Whatever with that, count the floors of the buildings so you know what you’re looking at. Now look at how close the camera has to be to the plane to get this aspect ratio. If it was a satellite, the plane would appear to be a tenth the size in the picture. Perhaps the camera is just a couple of hundred feet up from the plane, an excellent weatherproof camera with lots of storage and battery power and decent engines for its rounds even in turbulent weather. A plane? I doubt that. We’re equidistant between London City Airport and Heathrow in direct line with the runways of both, close to both. Either this guy is just taking off or just ready to land. This camera would have had to have been in a drone, right above this plane. Or, let’s just call it a UFO and then it’s all O.K. once again. You can’t indict a UFO or make an insurance settlement with a UFO. This is really sloppy national security over in England. Does this happen in the USA?

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Signs of life and death

img_20180717_184734265~22167906440285931302..jpg

I just barely got this picture of Sandhill Crane before it flew out of sight. Can you see him? Edging on an eight foot wingspan. Look just along the center of the river just off a low hanging branch of the trees on the left. Cranes have often said to be the ones who bring human babies home. A sign of life. I love it. This is very near the hermitage.

Meanwhile, a sign of death, within a stone’s throw of the hermitage: a funnel mushroom of the kind that can contain deadly levels of muscarine.

img_20180717_204953756~2-13579222496475370280..jpg

So, this gets me thinking about life and death. Yikes. So…

In the funeral liturgy, for the Preface at Holy Mass, there is a most wonderful statement about life and death: “Life is changed, not ended.” Jesus brings life out of death.

Leave a comment

Filed under Spiritual life

To hell with the Pope! x3 Eyewitness Analogy: Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

I knew a wonderful old school Jesuit I think in his 90s in the 1970s, which means he was a kid when the famous Father Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ, was still alive. He might have been an altar-boy at a certain Mass at which Father Hopkins was preaching. This old Jesuit I knew was in an apartment, alone, not far from death, ostracized, it seems, marginalized, beyond the peripheries, by the more knuckleheaded crowd of the Society in the greater metropolitan area where I was at that time in my life. I would go over to visit him just to do it. He had massive bibliographies to publish, incredible stories to tell, a priest’s priest, an inspiration for a kid like me.

If memory serves me well [meaning: I stand to be corrected], I recall one such story, the details of which I have not been able to find on the internet outside of the words of Father Hopkins: “To hell with the Jesuits.” Here’s the rest of the story as I know it. Oral tradition. That’s the best kind, of course.

Father Hopkins (1844-1889) was the appointed preacher at a Mass opening up a General Chapter of the Society of Jesus in which some important voting was to take place, meaning he had all the upper echelon of the Jesuits of his day in front of him. He began his intervention by stating rather loudly, rather boisterously: “To hell with the Jesuits!” He repeated that thrice with appropriately ponderous pauses, staring down his colleagues sternly. With the church fuming, just where he wanted them, he then added lightheartedly: “So say the enemies of the Jesuits.” And on he went to give a rousing sermon waking everyone up to greater love of God, of neighbor and of the Society of Jesus. Ha ha ha.

Today we have a Jesuit Pope. And this time that rhetorical device of Hopkins is used once again but this time against the Pope – “To hell with the Pope!” – but for real, meaning, only the first part is reiterated without the disclaimer of “So say the enemies of the Pope.”

This has gotten so out of hand that those who say that the Pope is a heretic privately are now musing that the Pope is likely to be a heretic publicly, you know, in an ex-Cathedra Infallible pronouncement as the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, on a matter of faith or morals, to the universal Church, deciding a controversy dividing the Church.

This is already a wild-eyed heresy on their part – as the dogmatic definition on infallibility means that that just can’t happen – but as to whether these musers are merely materially or actually formally heretics I don’t know. They are pretty smart, I must say. They could just be baiting people, perhaps as Pope Francis is also doing. Or it’s all a purposed parody for the sake of humor making fun of idiots all around. It all gets a bit messy when not even really intelligent people can figure out if its all humor and parody, right? I don’t agree with baiting on faith itself or morality itself, whatever about baiting people to help them see where they are at themselves with faith and morals. Again, pushing people with irony and sarcasm and even name calling is all within the bound, you know, depending, but not risking people being mislead.

Some think that the Pope could actually fail in infallibility and be wrong, but that that’s O.K. as we could just say after the fact that he was no longer Pope when he did that because he was doing that. But infallibility means unfailing. The Pope cannot be wrong when he is speaking with infallibility, you know, as Bishop of Rome, Successor of Peter, on faith or morality to the universal Church, deciding a controversy dividing the Church. The level of ignorance these days is stunning. People flaunt their ignorance. And they are respected as great teachers of orthodox faith. (Vomit here.) The recipe is this: be strident in hatred and win the praise of haters. That’s all they have to bring into eternity.

But some even go on to muse about a solution. It is conjectured that one can gnostically somehow know what God thinks, and then make one’s own pronouncement that the Pope is no longer the Pope because he might someday try to pronounce something that would offend against infallibility. They conjecture that this would be more reasonable if, say, a majority of the Cardinals would speak with such gnosticism, or that a Council called together without the Pope for the same end of pronouncing the Pope now to be an anti-Pope would speak with such gnosticism, speaking, indeed, they think, for God, saying that God Himself has pronounced on this to them, you know, because they just somehow know, gnostically, don’t you know? It’s kind of magic, I guess, like “seeing” something in the old crystal ball or in Tarot cards, or “hearing” spirits from the great beyond speak. Riiiiiight. Suuuuuure.

There is no fessing up to a parody being made. It all just sits there. So: fail. And that makes it all a scandal. Being a heretic is no way to attack heresy. The dogma of infallibility is important. One can’t just throw it away.

So, corrections come in, kind of, with, you know, violence, because might makes right, right? Some answer those musers to say that – Hey! – if God provided for there to be a sign, a physical sign that the Pope was no longer to be the Pope, then – Hey! – it would all be O.K. to just remove him, whatever it takes.

Now it’s getting dangerous. What’s that sign to be? A bullet? Is this a call for assassination of the Holy Father? People should be careful in their heresy. Mind you, historically, heretics are often extremely violent.

We are to stand in solidarity with the Holy Father. We are to pray for him. We are to defend the papacy in the very person of the Pope, for this is where the papacy resides, in the person of Peter, not just some loosely defined “office” of Peter. Get it? That doesn’t mean that we have to agree with whatever throw away sayings of some “dialogue”. I don’t. What it means is that – let me repeat this to be clear – we are to stand in solidarity with the Holy Father, praying for him, defending his very person.

3 Comments

Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Power for good edition)

img_20180719_165442144~25429518279204816758..jpg

Jesus creating this to give to His mom. Power for good. Just to do it. God is love.

“Behold!” He says. “I make all things new.” Power for good. Just to do it. God is love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Humint guy’s annoying cell number

map

So, just wanting to get back in touch with the self-admitted Humint guy who was giving me an assignment about murder portrayed as suicide concerning a named, still alive individual, perhaps so as to frame someone, I called the number that he gave me with it’s central Virginia area code, say, from Glen Allen, though if I didn’t know better, I would say this guy is in Florida’s far western pan handle. But, who knows. Whatever.

Annoyingly, an annoying Vodafone Smart N8 settings option played out:

“beep beep BEEP… The number you dialed is not in service…”

After hanging up, even more annoyingly, a menu then appears on the bottom of the screen, the typical annoying Vodafone thing:

img_20180706_08291185173334.jpg

I suppose that’s a way to avoid robocalls. All I wanted to say is that I was offering some Masses for his brother who had unexpectedly died at the house just some weeks before. Anyway, he never called back.

The patience of Job is required. Dear Lord, grant me patience!

1 Comment

Filed under Intelligence Community

Sinaloan death: wifi, air conditioned

sinaloa death

Tim MacFarlan – he must be as crazy as me – paid a visit to Sinaloan cemeteries to take some pics of the mausoleums of the cartel, some of them costing as much as US$500,000 (with air conditioning and wifi), which is more than 118 years of wages relative to the more well paid Sinaloans.

He says that the cartels give a lot of money to the Church in order to think that they can somehow buy their way into redemption. I doubt that for two reasons.

  • Priests are killed all the time. Cardinal O’Campo was filled with bullets from just inches away. Cartels have no toleration of the Church.
  • The cartels have a thing about death personified as a pre-Columbian era goddess they now call “Santa Muerte.” They don’t want “redemption,” but rather mock it.

But, people are unreasonable and they get scared and they do take money like that, but it sounds like Tim is conflating the ways of Sinaloa with the Italian Mafiosi. Whatever. I have no beef with Tim. Maybe he’s right.

He puts the number of deaths related to the cartels since inception at 200,000.

I regret this. Also because my stolen identity was used to makes arms transfers to straw purchasers. That’s what occasioned Main State putting me on the perpetual program.

Anyway, do I think that the cartel bosses do this kind of thing because they believe they’ll have a better time of it after they die? No. Not at all. I think this is a manifestation of how gullible they think their young henchmen are, giving them a motivation not to worry about what they do.

I don’t give credence to those who kill my fellow priests and bishops and the Cardinals of the Church.

1 Comment

Filed under Drugs

Update: Why Rosenstein’s indictment betrays the intelligence community

spy vs spyUPDATE: Well, well. That only took a day for the White House to agree. The trouble is, they shouldn’t have had to think this through. This should have been known. Rosenstein is up to what? /////

When asked about Rosenstein’s indictment of twelve Russian GRU spies, Putin, of course, with a chuckle, invited Mueller and his investigators to come to Moscow to question them, adding, of course, with a chuckle, and entirely predictably, that his own investigators would then come to these USA to interrogate our own spies. Sounds fair, but what’s the upshot and why is this betrayal of the intelligence community? Because extensive proof would be wanted. We would have to reveal connections, contacts, assets, methods, capabilities, ways and means of all kinds. At any rate, that’s impossible on both sides, not just because neither side would want to do this, but because neither side could. The levels of impossible to overcome levels of physical deniability built into all programs, all actions, all deliveries of any kind of communications will stop any investigation in its tracks, even if everyone would sincerely want to cooperate. I mean, if you think you know something, a discovery, it’s only because it is desired by your opposition that you think this way.

Leave a comment

Filed under Intelligence Community, Military, Politics

Day-Off: Assassins and Peripheries: Brothers of BVM of Mount Carmel

assassin hitman john wick under the gun

Sorry to be pedantic, but not even one person in this picture has proper trigger finger placement. They would all miss, even at that distance, shooting each other instead. How do I know that? ;-)

I’m a priest, and some think that it is odd, even untoward of me, even evil and bad of me, even making me suspect, if I step into the dark world of professional assassins and black ops operators, so that these few who criticize would resent my taking a day-off with some friends of mine. Why?

Have these critics been watching John Wick flicks and they think that that is what it’s all about? I didn’t even know who that fictional strained character was until someone [a fellow priest] expressed surprise at my total lack of cultural awareness when the name John Wick came up in conversation, and until I saw some scenes portrayed on youtube. The actor seems to have some street cred in that he actually trained to do what he puts out. Anyway…

Pope Francis told us, his Missionaries of Mercy, that we are to go into the darkest of existential peripheries (not that these are the darkest of anything). Ever prompt in my obedience to the Holy Father and wanting to be a good son of the Church, and certainly not wanting to do anything in half measures, I often head off into this world of “nothing is as it seems” – even beyond the borders of mere peripheries, in which the efficiency of death dealing betrays the falsity of apparently somersaulting loyalties.

A prostitute (now an activist invigorating laws against prostitution and getting girls off the street, who I introduced to now Saint John Paul II at Castel Gandolfo) once told me that, when she was still a “working girl”, a clergyman came into her working room while taking off his collar and putting this in his back pocket, as if this would make it all not matter. Later, as an activist, she met that guy in public and she asked him why he did what he did, and he answered that he didn’t think it mattered because people like her never convert anyway. You know, just like you can’t do anything for professional assassins and black ops operators… right? (I don’t mean to lump them all together so as to imply some sort of moral equivalence which is not there, but others do lump them all together, and that’s not right).

On my “day off” just the other day, the conversation of very many hours ranged widely. This was with the blackest of black op operators with the Military and The Company:

  • We discussed how some individuals are sloppy in their work of assassination, including some recent visitors to the parish who are known to me and how their mistakes are making for conclusions that are actually based on double-reversed baiting in that crazy and frenzied world of “nothing is as it seems.” He was quite disgusted with the state of affairs of field work with […].
  • We discussed, at length, the ill-forged empire building so despised by Bill Binney and a term which this guy brought up on his own. The technical phrase “empire building” has been thrown around with well founded cynicism for decades, and refers to preferring the most expensive solution so as to build more buildings, hire more people, buy more toys and more elaborate ways and means, ensuring one’s relevance to one’s own position of power, but has nothing whatsoever to do with national security, but in fact manipulates a lack of security (with purposed catastrophic consequences) toward the end of empire building. There are assassins, of course, who do nothing more than protect empire building. That’s too bad. And if that’s not in and beyond the darkest of existential peripheries I don’t know what is. Ah, but then there’s this:
  • We discussed analogous situations in the Church, where, for some, it’s only about power. Indeed. I’ve seen really a lot of that. Wherever people are to be found with a fallen human nature, there is where you will find at least a temptation to power for the sake of power cut off from service, cut off from love, cut off from truth, and therefore only an apparent power. A mirage having catastrophic consequences.
  • We discussed humility. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. A lack of humility is all so typical. Fallen human nature is so predictable. We could read it like a book, even if as a sliced palimpsest in purposed Kryptos, if we were but humble in being redeemed, seeing firstly in ourselves the lack we think we may find in others. But who has that humility? No one. Except by the freely given gift of our Redeemer. Humility is of absolutely essential importance. Power corrupts when there is pride which blinds.
  • We discussed a panorama of fires started by firemen, so to speak, involving wars and destructions of societies (I discovered more just how naive I am), all for the sake of coming up with a supposed need for empire building. This hit home, I must say, as I have had questions for many decades about various entirely anomalous and inexplicable, impossible situations that I saw firsthand in various countries, and now I know the rest of the story. How many have to die for empire building? I have friends who have suffered greatly until this day because of empire building. How very naive I have been. This priest learns from those who others overlook.
  • We discussed, mind you, the heights and depths and width and breadth, so to speak – respecting the Mystery, of course – of the Most Holy Trinity, that eternal dance of love, so to speak, and the living truth and love of Jesus walking among us, and the wherewithal therefore of us walking in God’s presence even in this world even as we step into the darkest of dark places. I let him bring the discussion around to the Most Holy Trinity. That’s all his description. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. Do you think it’s impossible for certain people to know God? Pffft. Take a day-off!

img_20180719_075642315~27444986700417430940..jpg

Then, of course, the conversation turned to guns, which are, for me, more of a recreation than anything else, though a proper self-defense is indeed proper and sometimes needed, even by me. Pictured above is this gentleman’s mid-1980s Sig P226 variant. It’s what he’s used since it came out, you know, for work. I walked away with the gun of this best shot in the world (at least for a while, at least among our operators of all branches and groups of the military and our intelligence crowd here and abroad), you know, just to compare it with my Glock on the next day off. I will give it back, perhaps by means of a third person. I did get a few rounds out the other day just before nightfall. Yikes. I was instantly 1000% more accurate. Like coming home.

Anyway, I described to him what I enjoy doing with timed courses, SEAL, FBI, FAM… and he shook his head in disbelief, impatience. He said that each timed stage should be about 60% faster than what those courses dictate. He told me how to take the next step beyond these mere courses and how not to miss with multiple moving entirely way too small targets. Extremely counter-intuitive. I’ve seen a couple of others do this. It works. But I digress. That would all be a second step in gunslingery, with me stuck in the first. But there’s a third stage, more physiological/psychological. But I digress again.

I stopped writing here, yesterday, as it was then time to bring one of my elderly, poor and without family shut-ins to see her doctor, some hours away in these back mountains. It’s the Missionary of Mercy thing to do on my “day-on.” When we got back, she gave me a chair to fix, as it had collapsed on her.

Now, having spruced up the above writing with some pictures, it will go out on the blog. But my question for you is this:

  • Have you ever written anyone off?

If you have a talk with that very person about Jesus and humility, you might be surprised. You might learn something from them. I’m learning all the time.

Post-script: Oh. I almost forgot. The title to this post has something about the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. We recall – don’t we? – that these fierce crusaders, the special op operators of their day, overflowing with experiences of kills, after their duties of crusading were accomplished, went to Mount Carmel to do prayer warfare. But, mind you, this was for six months of the year in their little hermitages (I’ve been in them) and their common church (I have a piece of the cross that went over the entrance that the Discalced Carmelites let me have when I showed it to them). But, mind you, the other six months these “hermits” went down the mountain and throughout the greater Israel to preach up a storm, crusading again, this time with the sword of the Word of God. Don’t think for a second that they were somehow not on speaking terms with their friends of the crusades, their fellow “operators”, who had stayed on to watch over the re-establishment of civilization in the Holy Land, or that they somehow underestimated anyone’s capacity to walk in the presence of our Lord. The Brothers of the BVM didn’t underestimate our Lord’s work with anyone. Again, the question, do I? Do you? Yikes!

Leave a comment

Filed under Intelligence Community, Missionaries of Mercy

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (besmirched edition)

img_20180710_141148815_hdr~24897348185497896505..jpg

What do you see when you see the dirt on these flowers (it being that there is construction nearby, no fault of the flowers)? Do you pass these flowers by? Surely there are other flowers that aren’t so besmirched. Or do you continue to see the goodness of the flowers in and of themselves, still brilliantly being flowers no matter what this world has to attempt to take them down with? Probably degrees of both at the same time. We need to learn so much. Of course, you know what the analogies to our own interactions with others are…

Meanwhile, Our Lady sees exactly how we’ve actually been besmirched from the inside out by original sin and whatever other rubbish, but she also sees how much her dear Son loves us and gave Himself for us, standing in the place of our besmirchment so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. She intercedes for us as only a good mom can do. Thank you Mary.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores, Missionaries of Mercy

GSD Special Ops

infantry german shepherd

The moment you realize your GSD has had more special forces training than you thought he had. This is surely NOT Shadow-dog with dirt-colored camo paint… Or… is it? No, no. The fences at the back of the yard are not the same. Whew!

Actually, this was sent in by a reader bringing this over from conservative treehouse.

1 Comment

Filed under Dogs, Humor