Tag Archives: המוסד

Fr Byers, the FBI investigated you how many times? We want files! My real ID

cia memorial
High pressure repeated request from [ex-?]CIA guy who’s now […] as cover:

“Father Byers, the FBI investigated you how many times? We want files! Who are you, anyway?”

This has been going on for months. Lots of pressure. I really have to give an answer. I’m forced into it. Interesting question. Baiting. Just to see which investigations I know about, if I know what my ID really is. This is always fun, so let’s set out to have some fun! ;-)

Short answer: Who am I? I’m just a POS. But (now speaking to the [ex-?]CIA guy), you tell me. How many FBI investigations? Lol. A lot! I mean, I don’t know. I guess this FBI investigation thing is getting to be a fad with SCOTUS Justice Brett Kavanaugh having undergone fully seven investigations. Which makes me wonder what I myself wrote in year books when I was a kid… I think it was something like “Most likely to become POTUS” for a friend. Ooooo! A national security issue! For a girl I think I wrote: “Most likely to get accepted to Harvard.” She was a brainiac with math. Anyway, I’m guessing I’ve had more FBI investigations than Justice Kavanaugh. But exactly how many times? Great question. Maybe just one, as in lifelong and continuous. And if I could “view” those “files” that would be great! But whoever heard of the one investigated being in charge of the files about himself in FBI repositories or in those famous “ongoing cases”? I’ve been wanting to see all those all my life. Good luck with that. Share them with me when you have them. I myself want to know what agents knew and when, just how much they let the “small” things go, you know, so as to go after the “big fish”, so that then, when push came to shove, those “big fish” were never taken down, you know, for political reasons. If that’s the case.

Anyway… It’s an incomplete and therefore inadequate question. Just the FBI? Go ahead and include the CIA (“Dedicatio par aevum” memorial pictured up top) and DEA and BATFE and DHS and ICE and TSA and, most importantly, the Department of State, that is, Main State, and a dozen plus other of our agencies and institutes and groups and such. In fact, include all those groups who were subpoenaed but who refused to answer the questions of Jason Chaffetz’s congressional investigation into Fast and Furious. Jason was ignored even though he was Congressional Chairman of Oversight. So, good luck with that, especially since I’ve been told by Main State that anything related to me has long been destroyed, the normal practice upon being placed into a perpetual interdepartmental program. Go ahead and ask for it? Just know you might be asked, with polygraph, why you’re asking. Could be a career ending move, or send you to prison.

My rap sheet: No felonies. No misdemeanors. Ever. Nothing pending. Nothing ever having been pending. No courts. No settlements. And nothing having been “wiped” from the record. Well… There are some things that may have disappeared from my rap sheet as one sheriff told me when I asked him about it – disappeared things such as being pulled over for not wearing a seat belt when I was constantly starting and stopping to deliver meals to the home-bound for the soup kitchen. The cop admitted later that he ticketed me for purely political reasons. Anyway, that citation was, like, seven years ago. I found out that no one knew enough to grant permission about the statute at the time that permitted no usage of a seat belt in such conditions of constant service deliveries with permission. I can recall other times getting pulled over, like when my sister was teaching me to drive when I was twelve years old and I ran a trick stop sign that was posted inches behind a light pole so that it couldn’t be seen. Other occasions do come to mind. For instance, I remember I was going a little fast – like 5 miles over – in making the 1000+ mile trip to my dying dad’s bedside some decades ago. You get the idea.

A longer than short answer: I guess it would take an autobiography to even scratch the surface. I’ve had a pretty wild life. There was a time when I’m guessing that for a short while I was a most researched person in these USA. But, what do I know? That’s just a guess judging from the blog stats of hits from named and therefore not much secured servers of pretty much every intelligence HQ in these USA and around the world. You know the drill: USAIC, NNIC, DHS, DOD, DOJ, BATFE, IRS[!], SSA[!], FBI, CIA, Interpol, The Hague[!], etc., in so many centers for each all around, making the stats fly, scrolling quickly off screen, zip zip zip. I should see if I still have some screen shots from years gone by. Probably anomalous interest, right? If these were the named hits, I have to wonder what the blind hits were. It is what it is. At any rate, let me guess about a few incidents which may have instigated Federal research now and again.

  • It’s just now two years since I’ve received my concealed carry handgun permit here in NC, which has (in some cases by far) one of the more stringent series of local, state (SBI) and federal (FBI) background checks in these USA, a fact opening up NC to reciprocity in most states of these USA. North Carolina even adds what amounts to presently illegal (because of duration, many months) checks into mental health. At any rate, no records of that for me.
  • I got my Gold-Star driver licence / “Real ID” a few months ago and had to renew again just now in time for the election (good for another 8 years). This involves some pretty stringent background checks as well on Local, State and Federal levels.
  • I’ve been fingerprinted and checked all over the world, not for any particular reason, but just because I happen to be in terribly dangerous places really a lot with lots of terribly dangerous people, people who have killed really a lot of people, or who are in charge of the militaries of their countries, et al. So, it finally becomes the ol’ “Who are you anyway?” kind of thing. Sigh.

  • I’m just now gathering some dates and info and documentation so as to sign up in the near future for Global-Entry, a jacked up version of TSA pre-check which involves checks even more stringent than for the NC firearms checks. G-E involves checks against criminal and law enforcement indices (Federal, State, Local), customs, immigration, agriculture, and terrorist indices including biometric fingerprint checks and a personal interview (That‘s surely a well experienced interrogator). All the checks are not listed here. It’s a pretty long, exhaustive list. Fun!
  • Just because of past lives, as it were, I’ve recently called in some items related to financial groups and terrorism to, for instance – depending on the subject – Main State, Liberty Crossing Campus, the FBI. You can’t do such things without first being extremely thoroughly vetted by the FBI from multiple locations and on all sorts of levels. Fine. These series of checks pretty much add up to joining any of our institutes or agencies minus the polygraph. Thoroughness cannot be underestimated. Oddly, the guy taking the financial case wanted to know about terrorism. I mean, he asked about it like a half dozen times. Oh, I forgot, terrorism and financial malfeasance often go together. My bad.
  • Of course, Main State and the FBI do not put one on a perpetual interdepartmental program for no reason. Once you’re on, you’re on. That’s it, forever, as the FBI strongly insisted with me, drilling this into me. There’s no way off as there’s nothing remaining after destruction of files in order to base a new decision upon. It’s like the seal of confession. Even if the penitent gives you permission to break the seal you can’t break the seal. Someone could be putting him/her under some sort of coercion to request such a thing against his/her will (regardless of what he/she says). The information doesn’t belong to the priest. It belongs to Jesus. The same here: even if I request to get off the program I cannot do so. It’s beyond unmasking. It’s frustrating. Part of the program is to be “accompanied,” even in a terribly annoyingly obvious way, especially at airports and inside airplanes (as I was forewarned about). In analyzing this, the guy I call “The Guy,” told me that this is meant to send a message to the idiots: If you mess around with this guy you will be stopped. However annoying this can be, it’s also kinda nice. This started decades ago, perhaps when I was a teenager, in the mid-late 1970s. I need to write more about it.
  • More recently, seemingly in April of 2018, this was all jacked up a bit. I had gone to FBI ATLANTA to talk about options for that perpetual interdepartmental program mentioned above. I was delayed for some twenty minutes from approaching the security building, that is, until CTU Virginia showed up. We parked together. He accompanied me twice to the security building (as I forgot my passport and had returned to my car to get it). He delivered a printout and entered while I was told to just go to the window. That printout was given to the agent who looked at it, looked at me, looked at it, looked at me, looked at it, looked at me, set it down, shoved it toward me and said that he has no one presently there who can speak to this. I was able to read the author’s name and the provenance of the printout, DOD DARPA. Good old nerdy DARPA. They created some mathematical complexities using massive amounts of intel that they’ve categorized and turned into that which is actionable in the field for whatever “target” they have on “the list.” That, of course, makes me, again, one of the most highly researched people in the world. Huge amounts of resources are used for such targets. I regret that. I assume that this is, for me, to assist in my being “accompanied” (to use Pope Francis terminology). As I’ve written previously, I once told the guy who stole my identity that I regret the cost of such accompaniment, and he instantly cut me off to say that such costs are entirely negligible in view of the scope of the entire program. [As I find out more recently, he didn’t steal anything. It was established for him by DS.]
  • I’ve been involved in one way or the other in numerous terrorist incidents, enough to be further investigated through the decades by a number of countries, including the Holy See, Italy, these USA, Australia and, with some intensity at the highest military, intelligence levels, Israel. It is what it is. Try asking for their files on me, you know, like in המוסד. Good luck with that one too. I mean, would they give you something that had nothing to do with the real file? ;-) Either way, when you get those files, share them with me! Baiting for leakers is fun! I might even find out what is held to be my real ID. This quickly disintegrates into rabbit holes of counterintel mind games until, gaslighted, one can’t remember who one is anymore:

Having been trained into counterintelligence as a teenager since the time my identity was stolen [see above], I’ve never done the Jason Bourne thing. I never had to.

In all of this, I apologize to sincere and patriotic agents of all our military and intelligence and law enforcement agencies. I poke fun at myself. I don’t mean to poke fun at you.

Meanwhile, a personal theological note, I’m just a POS. Boring. A nothing. Nobody. In all of this poking fun (the whole “Who are you anyway?” thing) I want to make something perfectly clear: I don’t claim to be better than anyone. I’m no saint. I’m just a POS. Boring. A nothing. Nobody. Haven’t you already noticed? The original sin in which I’ve post-hoc participated, and all my own sin, is all written out in the wounds of the Divine Son of God, now risen from the dead. It’s in Him that we find our identity as redeemed and saved so as to walk in humble thanksgiving in His presence, in His friendship. That’s the ID I want to have. Jesus is the One. He’s the only One.

But you can’t get to know Jesus and know who you are, your “real ID” – Jesus’ love and truth and integrity – until you go to Confession. A lot. With sincerity. I do. That’s who I am: just another POS who goes to Confession. Why? Because I know the following and so should we all:

Psalm 139 For the leader. A psalm of David. Oh LORD, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar. Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all. Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me. Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach. Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee? If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too. If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea, Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast. If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light” — Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one. You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be. How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them! Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity. If only you would destroy the wicked, O God, and the bloodthirsty would depart from me! Deceitfully they invoke your name; your foes swear faithless oaths. Do I not hate, LORD, those who hate you? Those who rise against you, do I not loathe? With fierce hatred I hate them, enemies I count as my own. Probe me, God, know my heart; try me, know my concerns. See if my way is crooked, then lead me in the ancient paths. (nab)

These days people are talking about the FBI going through the files of priests at chanceries. Great! Have at it! Get that trustworthy counterintel guy who did up personnel for the FBI before being the fall guy… what’s his face… oh yeah… Peter Strzok. So, not so great then. So…

These days people are talking about the laity going through the files. Great! Have at it! Hopefully some kind of competence is involved, like law enforcement. But people don’t like police these days. So…

These days people are talking about any and all parishioners going through the files of the priests of their parish. That would be a real hoot. I can hear it now: “Father George chose blue as his favorite color on his million question psych exam instead of yellow even though he’s got off the charts leadership skill sets (which would have to be yellow[!]). So, he’s got to be lying. But why? Meanwhile, I was thinking of Jesus’ good mom, who is depicted with blue because of the meaning of her Jewish name. That might be said to be ideological but it is sincere, and therefore not a lie. And blue is my favorite color anyway.

You want to know about my life? Have at it. But, I say, and so should we all: Jesus Christ, you are my life! Jesus is the One who is forgotten in all of this. Always forgotten. Jesus is not there in faithlessness. Jesus is not there in investigations. Jesus is not there in any solutions proposed at all. But I insist, and so should we all:

Jesus Christ: You are my life!

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Father Byers: Thank you Nikki Haley! “USA! USA!” and “US-UN! US-UN!”

All of a sudden America is no longer a puppet for Islam.

I love that. I could have written that speech.

Disclaimers: I’m a Catholic priest, and I’m also Jewish, you know, mom, grandma, great-grand-ma… enough for me to be a Knesset qualified Israeli. I’ve lived in Israel. Been there multiple times. I have friends there. Contacts. Dare I say המוסד has always been really good to me. I think Israel has a right to defend itself, has a right to security, has a right not to be obliterated by Iran or others. Moreover, “Salvation is from the Jews,” said Jesus. And Paul:

They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.

Disclaimers: I also deplore unjust actions meant to antagonize, and I saw really a lot of that while living in Israel and spending really a lot of time all over the West Bank, far North to deep South, West to way to the fence on the East. I raised my voice about injustices to the consternation of many others. Economic slavery only brings frustration and anger and… revenge. There are a million little anecdotes that I heard from friends, but those add up to make a culture, a policy. Also, just to say, anecdotally, a Palestinian man saved me from getting shot by wild IDF gun-fire (spraying bullets just to do it, or perhaps a bit directed). Another saved me from abduction. Another very dramatically stopped me from getting killed. Ironically, it was while I was attending a university in the occupied West Bank that I noted just about half of the student body also wanted peace by way justice, so, I’m not alone in that. I would like to see it be easier for priests and nuns to renew their visas so as to work in the clinics and schools and orphanages that no one else takes care of. I condemn what comes down to a forced removal of Catholics from the West Bank to anywhere else in the world, as the former Patriarch had warned was happening in one of his pastoral letters.

Having said all that: Thank you, Nikki Haley. What you said had to be said. Utterly reasonable. Keep up the good work. I had to laugh out loud at your rambunctious and repeated statement: “US-UN”! Hah! That should be a new chant at all South Carolina sporting events along with “USA! USA!” Let’s shout: “US-UN! US-UN!” Hah! What a great day brightener.

img_20170222_073706Totally off topic (and I ask forgiveness in advance… I put these things up for a reason…). After my sacramental visits on my day off yesterday (some hundreds of miles), bringing Holy Communion, Anointing the sick, and other sacraments, I was able to get off a clip or two from the Glock. It’s been a while. This is really the first time that, instead of aiming so much, I was concentrating on the basics (as I’m a complete beginner), so that with now abandoned Israeli-carry, I was practicing drawing from the holster hot. This is what I did with the bottom corner of a moldy folder from the hermitage (which is still there I’m happy to say). That folder was the only target I had to use. I was aiming to the upper right side of that pattern, so I’m still a bit South and to the left. But still pretty good I thought for this activity.

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Ikhwan الإخوان‎‎‎ (Muslim Brotherhood) – Terrorism in America [[Updated]]

suicide-bomber

Profiling regardless of group? Suicide vest / wired button? Yes to all the above. 18 pounds of explosives. This was a Spring day, which can be brutally hot in Israel. Anything suspicious about his wardrobe choices on a hot day? About his wide, cargo-carrying stance? About his face of despair? About his surroundings? Profiling is sometimes necessary.

Whatever about the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and so many others, the day will soon come when also the Muslim Brotherhood is listed by these U.S.A. in the category of terrorist organizations, which is only right, seeing that the “Brotherhood” has done so very much to promote terrorism right around the world and right here in these U.S.A. I can’t wait for the day that the “Brotherhood” is designated a terrorist organization and the day the FBI is mandated to rid these U.S.A. of terrorists and terrorist organizations, that is, even if they plan and promote their attacks inside of mosques and “cultural centers.” In the previous administration, mosques and “cultural centers” were off limits. The only reason I can see that this mandate has not already happened in these first days of the new Administration in D.C. is that blitz arrests are still being organized in view of the present change of perspective. I, for one, am willing to testify against the Muslim Brotherhood, whether in a sworn statement adding to mounting evidence favoring such operations or in court if there is any kind of appeal against an Executive Order that may be granted to the “Brotherhood” by the stacked U.S. Judiciary.

One group publicly offering support for the Muslim Brotherhood publicly told me significantly in late 2010 in Columbus, Ohio, that a Shariah inspired honor-killing of a contemporary convert to Christianity (Fathima Rifqa Bary) was necessary. It’s the same group that said that they are gathering enough individuals to do whatever acts they think are necessary to take over America for Allah so that, when the time comes, they will do it. They could say these things with impunity at the time, under that U.S. Administration. But the time is coming when that impunity will no longer be the case.

In the Free Dictionary we have a succinct paragraph about sedition:

Sedition is the crime of revolting or inciting revolt against government. However, because of the broad protection of free speech under the First Amendment, prosecutions for sedition are rare. Nevertheless, sedition remains a crime in the United States under 18 U.S.C.A. § 2384 (2000), a federal statute that punishes seditious conspiracy, and 18 U.S.C.A. § 2385 (2000), which outlaws advocating the overthrow of the federal government by force. Generally, a person may be punished for sedition only when he or she makes statements that create a Clear and Present Danger to rights that the government may lawfully protect (schenck v. united states, 249 U.S. 47, 39 S. Ct. 247, 63 L. Ed. 470 [1919]).

It seems to me that purposed recruiting of individuals to commit acts that would bring about the overthrow of the government at an unknown time (=any time) is a clear and present danger, especially when public support is made for organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t think one has to wait for any buttons to be pressed. It seems that the fellow in the picture above had a failed suicide-bomb button. Not all of them fail. Enough is enough.

UPDATE: If you read between the lines, you might be able to see that for the time being I’m being extra careful. The reason for this is that the swamp of pro-Islamicist terrorism which exists among our Law Enforcement, Intelligence Communities, and various entities among the Feds needs to be drained. Here’s a deadly example from a friend at JihadWatch.org.

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Update: My terrorist friend and the terrorist friend of USMC Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis

26th U.S. Secretary of Defense USMC General James Norman “Mad Dog” Mattis asserts that we can get along with the Islamicist countries at least on some security cooperation by way of the inspiration of the greatness of America, noting that this is a better way to go because, as has been pointed out with the way things stand now (because of the past number of years), Islamists would rather put up with an imperfect government of their own free will than be forced to like America at the end of a USMC bayonet. I agree with all that only because I think the General has enough sense to see that security cooperation as that which needs double and triple checking, something we can actually do. It’s like giving fighter jets to such a country, knowing that Israel and the USA can take out those out-of-date planes in a nano-second. So, nobody is hoodwinking anyone.

If anyone should think that Mattis is crazy for hearing out his engineer-terrorist friend, let me offer my own similar anecdote on my encounter with one of the most deadly terrorists in the history of Israel…

jacobs well

“Hey!” said I to myself in early mid-January 1991, “why not jump on a bus and go deliver some anti-terror gas-masks to the Missionaries of Charity sisters up in Nablus in the West Bank before Saddam Hussein starts lobbing scud missiles on our heads?” So, off I went with the Jerusalem campus of the Pontifical Biblical Institute crowd shouting after me that I was really, really unwise. I knew that anyway, so, O.K.. I think they said something about a possible curfew as well, but, what does “possible” mean except possibly not?

I jumped off the bus on Al-Quds Street pretty far south of the city of Nablus and walked in, trying to get a feel for things, imagining biblical scenes playing out before me. On my way to the sisters, I wanted to stop and have a drink at Jacob’s well, which I did. But, before I got there, a young man I’m guessing twelve years old came up to me and asked me where I was from. As I think back on this, this was pretty brave, as the streets were completely empty. In Israel/Palestine, just because people stay inside, lock their doors and shutter their windows doesn’t mean a curfew, just that they are being careful. The monastery at Jacob’s Well had also been locked up, but the monk-in-charge let me in.

Anyway, when I said America, he got all excited and started telling me in broken English about how much he would like to go to the USA as he had some relatives there. “Great!” said I, and I asked him when he was coming over. His expression went all dark, with eyes glazing over. “I’m not going,” he said to no one in particular, as if he were asserting the fact to a vacuous universe. “But you have relatives there,” said I, encouraging him; “Why don’t you go?” “I would love to go,” he said; “America is a wonderful country. There is freedom.” “Come!” I exclaimed. “There are things I need to do here,” came the answer. He had a look that I would only come to recognize later as “The Look”, the look of terrorist who has been marked for a suicide mission at some point in the future. His mention of “things” he needs to do bothered me enough that I had mentioned it to others back at the Institute.

terrorist suicide bomber

I asked him to direct me to Jacob’s Well. Actually, we were within sight of it and he pointed it out with some anger for how stupid I was for asking him that. Calming down, he said that he had been there himself, outside the door, but had never gone in. The conversation switched to politics, his own poverty, and religion. I was pretty straightforward about my being Catholic. What I noticed in all this was that there was a kind of steel fist gripping his soul, suffocating him, that wouldn’t let him think about the topics he so very much wanted to think about. While “seeing” that fist crushing the life out of him, I saw clearly that he was looking for something from me, from anyone, different from what he had been getting from anyone around him. I hope I gave him something, but, was it enough? Evidently not. Some years ago, when I saw this picture of the young man, I froze, having the strong sensation that this was the fellow with whom I had been speaking in Nablus. If anything, it was a spitting image. I could be wrong, but, wow: it’s him.

This is Saeed Hotari, although the idiot military wing of Hamas, Izzedine al Qassam, who sent him to his death, called him by his father’s name, Hassan Hotari of Qalqiya, which is just a half a day’s walk from Nablus. It seems they had moved to Zarqa on the far side of Amman. He was there at the beginning of the time when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was there, but then he made his way back into the West Bank. I’m only guessing here, but the bomb Saeed would go on to use was so complex and so powerful that he would have had to have help by the likes of someone like al-Zarqawi. There’s simply no other way.

Saeed was the suicide bomber who had taken so very many lives ten years later, in 2001, in Israel, West of Nablus. Dozens dead, scores and scores injured: the Dolphinarium attack against mostly newly arrived Russian Jewish girls. Again, it’s absolutely a spitting image of him. Ten years had passed since our conversation. He held off for ten years. But in that time, of course, much can happen and much pressure can be applied. He was vulnerable to being misled again by the likes of someone like al-Zarqawi. People do have free will. Hearing what his family had to say, you would think that it was the greatest honor that their son had killed himself and so many innocent people. His own father is perhaps the most guilty.

This is another reason why, I repeat, that I’ve made Islamism a bit of a project in my life. I’m guessing I’m a bit sharper with things now. It’s not a talent you want to have to use, or want to have come by the hard way. But, as the FBI puts it in their training materials, one needs to prepare for “The Coming Storm” (see: Active Shooter: The Coming Storm (FBI: Train now!)). I wish the CIA would put out something similar. We’ll surely be seeing more of this, more of “The Look.”

After drinking water from Jacob’s Well, I found the Missionaries of Charity and had a good time with them. But then I needed to get back to a bus going to Jerusalem. So, off I went, but I was still far from everything on the Northern side of Mount Gerizim when I found myself in the middle of an ambush, with the Israeli Defense Forces shooting in every which direction. The megaphones they used on top of their SUVs commanding this and that echoed from every which way, making it impossible to know which direction it was coming from. It’s seems there was a daytime curfew after all. That’s surely why Saeed ran out to meet me. He figured that anyone disobeying a curfew while carrying a package had to be a fellow terrorist. Anyway, they wanted anyone on the street to make their way down to a certain intersection, but a Palestinian man called me into his house so I could escape the bullets, and then, when all was calm once again, he politely asked me to be on my way. I thanked him for saving my life, risking his own to do it – with me looking much more Jewish than anything like a Muslim – but he just insisted that I now be on my way. Good people are to be found everywhere.

Islam has nothing to offer its adherents except the self-congratulations their submission to Allah brings to themselves, except the misery of oppression that submission to Allah brings. America always looks better, also because – I would say this – because of the circumstances which are brought about by and large by people of faith. That’s very attractive to the dark side. We should encourage that whatever way we can. I agree with Mad Dog Mattis. Yes, I do.

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To המוסד the Institute: You have 5 months to stop upcoming terrorism on 50th anniversary of the 6 day war

star of david

We’re with you in solidarity on every level.

We’ll pray for you. You have our heart.

It’s always on anniversaries. Always. This is a big one. 5-10 June 1967 – 2017.

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Martyrs and martyrs in making

missionaries of charity-

The assassination of four Missionary of Charity sisters taking care of geriatric patients (all of whom were also brutally murdered) touched me very deeply. I have been very close to the sisters right around the world since I was a seminarian decades ago. Their martyrdom at the hands of Islamicists is a challenge for us all to follow. They lead the way. We ask their intercession that we might be converted to the Lord, walk in His presence, and also be on our way. We are all so very unworthy.

pierbattista pizzaballaMeanwhile, I’ve never once met a Franciscan Friar in Rome or in the region of the Custody who wasn’t tough as steel, exactly the opposite of what soft Catholics in the West think about Saint Francis. The Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land are always in harm’s way, and that is particularly true today in Syria, what with ISIS death-squad freakoids bringing the joys of demonic Islam to all. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who is more the Catholic Pope to those throughout that vast region than is the Bishop of Rome (much to his consternation, I’m sure), said:

“Almost all [of our Franciscans] have clearly expressed the view that it is only right to remain in the villages, without consideration for the number of parishioners or the danger involved. A shepherd does not abandon his flock and does not ask whether his sheep are worth much or little, or if they are numerous or young. For a shepherd, all the sheep are important and he loves them all the same way.”

I pray, dearest Father Pierbattista, that in the grace of God I sincerely agree with your anguished expression of solidarity with Jesus’ Mystical Body now making up what is lacking to the sufferings of Christ as time marches on (see Colossians 1:24). I pray that those in your charge remain strong in their resolve of charity, the glory of which was seen on the Cross of Calvary.

And to my readers: I wish I could relate to you two extended conversations I had with Father Pierbattista at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, which had a profound influence in my own priestly life. But I cannot. Not now, anyway. But, I can say this. If I remember correctly, three Friars, I think from France, Germany and Austria, had to drop their lives, literally, on the spot, and take my place at the Custody.

This was catastrophic for them and the Custody at the time. I mean, imagine any priest entrenched in pastoral, administrative or academic duties involving countless others just being ripped out of that life in a second, having to get on the very next plane to Tel Aviv. I fear that one or more of these ultra-talented friars may have made their way to Syria, and are now facing ISIS death marauders.

I carry this with me, and so should those who were responsible for that fiasco that risked disturbing the Status quo of the custody (something which would have had immediate effect throughout the region). I feel left behind, and yet in solidarity with those facing this violence.

Our Lord permits what He permits so as to bring from the midst of darkness and earthquakes and the blasphemy of Calvary the greatest manifestation of love the world will ever know, we witnessing the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father bringing us from grace to grace, and who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

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