Tag Archives: Free exercise of religion

Flag, freedom, nominalism, symbols: reality of the blood of Christ our God

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nominalism

Basic definitions of terms used in public conversation based on privately perceived statistical perceptions as in “It seems to me that lots of people think that this word means that” are useful only for exacerbating divisions so as to smash others down, making sure that all are sinners except for oneself.

“Freedom”, for instance, might well be equated by some as narcissistic behavior that does not respect others, you know, the ol’ I feel like murdering you, so I have the duty and therefore right to murder you, you know, because I’m just enjoying my “Freedom.”

Um… No… That’s not what Freedom is all about. We are provided free will by our Creator so that, in all love and in all truth we might continue always to choose that which is consonant with the love and truth which we are called to live. Beautiful. That is eating from the “Tree of the Living Ones” described way back in Genesis.

The word “Freedom” for some has become a moving target, much the same as some have made male/female a moving target with their weirdly self-perceived gender-bender narcissistic “definitions” of masculine/feminine whereby someone momentarily confused about any life experiences would have them think they have to get a surgical intervention to make their genitals fit their momentary depression leading – because of the pandering of society – to suicidal despair. Um… No…

Symbols are particularly open to this kind of manipulation, so that the American Flag is said by some to be a symbol of hate because many say it is. Oh? Really? A symbol of hate?

us-flag-pow

Making definitions of terms used in public conversation based on privately perceived statistical perceptions as in — “It seems to me that lots of people think that this symbol means *fill-in-the-blank* because lots of people emotionally throw tantrums about it” — making definitions in that fashion is useful only for exacerbating divisions so as to smash others down, making sure that all are sinners except for oneself.

What does the flag actually stand for as a symbol, and what should we all insist upon in public conversation? How about the resolution itself?

  • “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”

After standardized numbering, the thirteen original colonies are still represented by the thirteen stripes, while the stars unified in the azure sky have increased with the number of states in the union, and it is a symbol of unity. Thus far I myself have lived under two revisions, though all such changes to the flag are nevertheless The Flag.
That the Flag represents Freedom is not arbitrary. It is by its very existence placed in contradistinction to the oppression of the Brits, whose oppressive regime at the time disallowed, for instance, the free exercise of religion whether hidden away or in the public square.

There are other symbols of the Flag which were understood at the time, not as arbitrary personal whims, but as historically verifiable meanings. Thus, we find way back in the day, that the secretary of the Continental Congress had it that “White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue…signifies vigilence, perseverence & justice.”

  • White = “purity and innocence” — for, of and by the people, but under God
  • Red = “hardiness & valour” — lots of blood shed in that valor my friends
  • Blue = “vigilence, perseverence & justice” – as continuous as the sky holding the stars

But let’s get back to the Freedom which the Flag does in fact represent. I would like to take the faces of any self-congratulators who dismiss all the teenagers in our national cemeteries, buried there for having shed their blood for our Freedom, having confined themselves to their graves for our Freedom, who laid down their lives for us analogous to how the very Son of the Living God laid down His life for us, so as to grant us the greatest of freedoms – freedom from sin, the freedom to praise God on this earth and in heaven forever – I would like, I say, to take the faces of all those insulting the flag, insulting all those who laid down their lives, and put them face to face with all those youngsters in our national cemeteries, you know, until they appreciate the cost of that freedom.

Does God give us our unalienable rights which we are indeed free to exercise even at the cost of our lives? Yes.

Are those youngsters in our national cemeteries co-workers with God in giving us that free exercise of religion, that freedom of assembly, that freedom of speech…? Yes.

Rant story: While enjoying a meal with a large group of Colombian priests who were discussing all their pastoral initiatives for their respective flocks, I blurted out that, wow, they have done so very much. I’m so naive. I was instantaneously and quite ferociously reprimanded by the youngest of them, who went from calm to white hot over against my stupidity. He stated in no uncertain terms that, No! They have done NOTHING! They have not laid down their lives – yet – for their flocks. He said that they all personally knew priests who had been killed in the line of duty for their flocks. And then came the flood of stories about how those priests had been viciously executed in public even right in front of them. You have to know, this affected me profoundly.

Here’s the deal: We have nothing about which to boast unless this boasting is about the Son of the Living God who threw away His own Freedom to be nailed to the Cross for us, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. We will all of us stand before Him, looking upon Him whom we have all pierced through with our sin, original sin and whatever personal rubbish we ourselves have added, all of us, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

crucixion passion of the christ mel gibson

If we think we have actually done something, we’re pretty much lost. But, having said that, the death of the faithful is precious in the eyes of God, and there is no greater love than that one lays down his life for his friends.

Just yesterday I mentioned how many times I’ve been shot at throughout my life, from my earliest years until much more recently, bullets whizzing by my head, an unforgettable sound. My favorite interlocutor said that that’s nothing. Nothing ended my life. There’s nothing there; it’s just normal life, said he. Yes, indeed. I agree. I stand corrected. I’ve done nothing.

Even if we have laid down our lives, for instance, for the free exercise of religion for our friends, I can absolutely guarantee that no one, not even one, will be bragging at the last judgment upon seeing the wounds of the actually innocent Son of the Living God.

In fact, let me just say this right now about myself, because I will certainly do so at my judgment, so says Christ the King; Jesus instructs us to say this:

  • “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'” (Luke 17:10)

Well, I hope to be able to say that I’ve done what I was obliged to do, that presuming I have done ALL that which I, which we have been commanded. When it comes right down to it, the one thing we are obliged to do, that which sets us up for a reward, is to get on our knees and humbly and contritely and with firm purpose of amendment confess our sins. “I am a sinner,” says Father George. I beg Jesus’ forgiveness and the forgiveness of any and all I have offended by my idiocy and brashness.
But Jesus will say to those who did bear His love: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)

I hope Jesus will say that to me and will say that to all with whom I’ve had any contact with in this world.

Finally, for those who want a rant of rants in favor of the Freedom of these United States of America. To critics of the Flag, get out of your safe spaces and sing along with Whitney Houston, meaning also reading an analysis of the words of the National Anthem:

Coronavirus: Flags Half Mast and Full because this priest will NOT cancel honor. Still singing the National Anthem with Whitney Houston

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Filed under Free exercise of religion, Patriotism

Dear NC Governor Cooper: the view from this church’s Confessional.

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Oh my! Two people! And they’re not social distancing! But they are husband and wife, so they really don’t have to socially distance, do they? No.

We’ll continue with our normal Adoration, Confession, Mass schedule.

Moreover, this priest is chasing round about. Yesterday after going to a number of churches for a number of sacraments and Masses, I then visited another 14 people for Communion calls throughout two counties and two parishes. It would have been a lot more if I wasn’t forbidden to do sacramental calls to parishioners in a number of our nursing homes.

And if you think any future lockdown will keep me down, think again. If I were to be kept down, I think a lockdown for me would have to be in the county jail. But that’s no threat, as I could then proceed to evangelize from behind bars. There are precedents. I’m guessing that the other inmates would not be interested in harassing me, knowing that you’re the one who put me in. :-)

Just a question: How is it that there is discrimination against religion even while there is a promotion of riotous, murderous riots, with all their looting and arson and assault?

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Filed under Coronavirus, Free exercise of religion, Politics, Priesthood

Great! Fr James Altman vs Bishops, Michael Voris vs CRS, Church Militant’s Saint Michael installed at parish

(1) Father James Altman has a great homily. If you think I go on the attack, listen to him. Great!

(2) I would add another point brought up by Michael Voris the other day which I haven’t had time to research more about. I was listening on the fly, while racing through the mountains to bring Communion to the home-bound throughout the mountains of Western North Carolina. If anyone can provide links to the petition I would be most grateful. That was about I think, encouraging the Department of Justice to investigate the Bishops of these United States in their complicity in breaking Federal law regarding the Hyde Amendment by giving huge amounts of moneys collected in parishes to Catholic Relief Services, which also receives government money, with the CRS giving tons of money to abortion services say, in Africa. As far as I know, THAT would be felony.

Bishops should be careful about forcing parishes to collect for (non-)Catholic (non-)Relief (non-)Services. And I ask the bishops: Cui bono? Pro bono ecclesiae? I don’t think the murder of those created in the image and likeness of God is for the good of the Church, the Body of Christ.

On that last point about “forcing”, I don’t do a collection for CRS, which is cleverly put in a “combined” collection for five recipients. The other four are innocuous. I take a collection for those four, then bypass the diocese and send 25% to the other four instead of sending the lump sum to the diocese so that 20% goes to all five, including death mongering CRS.

(3) A very kind gentleman – we’ll call him Sir! Mr Tiny! Sir!” – purchased a Saint Michael Statue for Holy Redeemer Church from Church Militant, you know the one. This one is, of course, smaller. I’m happy to have grace the sanctury:

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Coronavirus: SCOTUS nixes Constitution, Religion

On May 29, 2020, Chief Justice John Roberts sided (again) with the four anti-Constitution Justices on the nine member U.S. Supreme Court so as to reject the free exercise of religion in the first amendment of the Constitution so that, in this illegitimate legislation from the bench, discrimination against religion is held to be lawful.

ABC Liquor and big-box stores have long been opened up to record crowds, jammed with customers more than they’ve ever been, even while mega-churches that can seat thousands are limited to a minister and nine others. What is it that governors quite commonly landed on the number ten? It’s arbitrary. A mockery. An attack on religion. It’s out and out discrimination. No one gives a damn. Will there be any faith when the Lord returns?

The consequence of this illegitimate legislation from the bench is that governors are free to burn the Constitution, and then burst into churches and drag people out, arrest and fine and imprison the minister.

In North Carolina the way this plays out is that the first offense by the minister is a second class criminal misdemeanor. The second and third offenses are felonies. That means a very long time in prison.

When the first enumerated unalienable right in the U.S. Constitution, recognized as provided by Almighty God Himself – the free exercise of religion – is trashed by fallen human politician, all other rights fall, the right to assemble, the right to free speech, the right to… write, the right to defend the innocent, on and on. And we immediately saw that with so many of the tyrant dictator governors. It’s lockstep, from freedom to being smashed down, 0 to 100, in just moments.

The great Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in dissent, had it that such anti-Constitution wrongful legislation from the bench is a restriction on the free exercise of religion that “discriminates against places of worship and in favor of comparable secular businesses. Such discrimination violates the First Amendment.”

Those in the judiciary who wrongfully legislate from the bench, those in executive office who usurp the legislature to themselves as tyrant dictators, are, of course, cowards. I would like to see them personally come to this smallest parish in these United States and brutally attempt to interfere with the reverent celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It’s an attempt that will not end in desecration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I will personally see to it that the Son of the Living God at what is the celebration of the Last Supper will not be smashed to the ground. It’s not gonna happen on my watch. But they are cowards.

What will happen? This Catholic priest will continue to offer Holy Mass and provide all Holy Sacraments to Christ’s faithful, come what may. I don’t look to the coward John Roberts to get permission from the State to exercise my priesthood for Jesus. I don’t give a hoot what the Supreme Court says. The free exercise of religion is a right which is unalienable and provided by God. Compared to God, who in hell does John Roberts think he is? He’s just another coward. I never cave to cowards. 

How about the Department of Justice? Will Bill Barr back a case that will overturn the Supreme Court’s own B.S.?

As the POTUS said: Open the churches! We need prayer!

Back to tyrant Governor Cooper and directly addressing him: Here’s the schedule today, Governor. I’m making it easy for you:

  • 6:00-7:00 AM Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Confessions at Holy Redeemer Church in Andrews, in Cherokee County.
  • 8:00 AM Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Confessions at Prince of Peace Church in Robbinsville, in Graham County.
  • 8:30 AM Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Prince of Peace Church in Robbinsville, in Graham County.
  • 10:30 AM Confessions at Holy Redeemer Church in Andrews, in Cherokee County.
  • 11:00 AM Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Holy Redeemer Church in Andrews, in Cherokee County.
  • Distribution of Holy Communion all over WNC.

And, hey! Yesterday, we had a funeral. 

Here’s the deal: I give people all the warnings, policies, dispensations, but I’m not policing anything from the Altar as I’m not a minister of justice of the State while I’m proceeding with religious rites. Never. Never, ever. 

Here’s the deal: there are multiple rounds of applause and cheers and statements of agreement from my tiniest of all congregations.

But, go ahead, tyrant Governor Cooper. Come in person and break us up and smash us to the ground and arrest and imprison us. Go ahead and try to throw the Blessed Sacrament to the ground. It will be an attempt, only.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Free exercise of religion, Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy

Coronavirus *religion is deemed essential or not* BS vocabulary. Either way… No. And hell no.

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The word “essential” being used as a category in which the free exercise of religion is thrown is the end of the Constitution of these United States of America.

If the free exercise of religion is a right which can be granted by government, it can just as easily be rescinded at will by a government.

  • On the one hand, my own Governor Cooper in North Carolina discriminates against religion, treating religion like trash, mocking religion as non-essential. I will “disobey”, sometimes the highest form of respect.
  • On the other hand, President Trump says that he deems the free exercise of religion as essential. Whoop-di-do. Inasmuch as he makes this clear that this is not about him granting any kind of benevolence but is rather about him backing the Constitution of these United States, I’m all for it. But there is a liberal anti-Constitution trap that is set about persons granting rights or not.

Either way, it’s not up to them. What government can grant on a whim can be taken away on a whim. The free exercise of religion, as the Constitution of, for, and by the people btw, is essential NOT because of any government or politician but because the free exercise of religion is an unalienable right granted by almighty God and is also enshrined as such in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers, who personally experienced the extreme violence consequent to government granting or rescinding such rights.

I don’t care what governors or presidents do about this one way or the other. I’m going to carry on with the free exercise of religion against all threats of imprisonment on the one hand, or the encouragement of the POTUS on the other. Regardless. Just watch.

In the pictures in the slideshow at the top of the post, Father Miguel Pro prays before being executed by firing squad in the midst of oppression of religion freedom by President Calles exactly a century ago in Mexico. He starts to fall a second after being shot, saying a second before with his arms in the form of a cross: “Viva Cristo Rey!”

You’re in for a real treat if you go read the updates on the post written yesterday, as there is a famous priest who chimes in on that rather strident challenge to Governor Cooper, and does so in a concise, incisive manner. Yikes! —

Coronavirus “Creativity” for Mass: “Just do it in the Parking Lot.” No. And… Hell no.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Free exercise of religion

Coronavirus “Creativity” for Mass: “Just do it in the Parking Lot.” No. And… Hell no.

Bouncy-happy-go-lucky-effervescent-unthinking-clowns tell me to just have Mass on the steps facing the lower parking lot. Um…  No. And hell no.

The lower parking lot is across a busy state road where it is normal to speed well over twice the speed limit. On one side is a blind hill and on the other side a blind curve. At that speed there would be little chance for people to stop politely for children continuously crossing the road to go to the bathroom during the Mass. They are going to trust that they are safe, because it’s at Mass, and people are going to respect their lives during Mass, right? No. It’s a blind hill and a blind curve. So, no. And hell no. I’m not going to be a “parking lot priest” just to look up-to-date.

For that matter, I’m not going to do baptisms with a super-soaker squirt gun. I’m not going to wear gloves to administer the Most Sacred Body of Christ in Holy Communion. What I’m going to do is offer the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the altar in the sanctuary of the church in a reverent, respectful manner. I challenge any politician to put my parishioners’ children at mortal risk. I will defend them.

What we’re doing and what we have been doing regardless of the religious discrimination of anti-Constitution bully Governor Cooper of North Carolina is to have our normal Mass schedule in the normal way. Yes. Normal confessions in the Confessional. At Holy Redeemer we have the old draped screen style of confessional with no possibility of face to face. Yes.

I do tell people these things:

  • It’s probably imprudent for you to come to Mass
  • It’s probably dangerous for you to come to Mass
  • If you’re at least as old as I am, you should probably stay home and I’ll bring Holy Communion to you

I also tell people these things:

  • All I’m doing is saying Mass with the doors of the church unlocked
  • I’m not requesting that anyone come
  • The bishop still grants a dispensation from the obligation to go to Mass on Sunday (or the vigil)

I also tell people these things:

  • I’m not a minister of justice of the state, whether by way of the executive or judiciary branches of government, so I’m not going to throw a tantrum and try to police any situation from the altar during Mass, complaining about non-compliance of some imagined infraction by some tender snowflake. Thus, families are NOT requested to social-distance (that’s a verb now, I guess). But someone might throw a fit about that. I’m not going to intervene on the part of the tender snowflake. That’s not even the policy of the State. I’m just going to quietly offer Holy Mass…

A few things also need to be insisted upon:

  • The free exercise of religion is not for a politician to give us, it is for us to ensure that any tyrant governor does not ration that which is unalienable because given by God.
  • Our freedom of speech is not for a politician to give us, it is for us to ensure that any tyrant governor does not ration that which is unalienable because given by God.
  • Our freedom of assembly is not for a politician to give us, it is for us to ensure that any tyrant governor does not ration that which is unalienable because given by God.
  • Our freedom to defend the innocent from unjust aggression is not for a politician to give us, it is for us to ensure that any tyrant governor does not ration that which is unalienable because given by God.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

In regard to the free exercise of religion, let me be clear. This isn’t about the fake “separation of Church and State”, which is another way of saying that all believers must be discriminated against for daring to live in the confines of the State. The free exercise of religion clause in the Constitution is all about the government (which should be of, by and for the people) not interfering with religion in any way. This is not only about freedom of worship, some rituals of whatever group in whatever church building or otherwise. The free exercise of religion is also about following a properly informed conscience (by natural law and divine revelation) in the public square, also in politics. To just say it: politicians who are believers are to be free to express and act on their also religiously formed conscience in their public lives, also in the formulation of public laws. This is said with all things being equal, so that such a believing politician is not proselytizing, but is enhancing the proper implementation of the Constitution for all also based on natural law, for instance, for the right to life for the born and the unborn.

Moreover, Governor Dictator tyrant Cooper cannot legislate criminal penalties for disobeying his “orders”. Legislation is done by… wait for it… the legislature. As judge Napolitanto said, all such cases will immediately be thrown out by any judge.

And just to repeat, again: Governor Cooper is flagrantly discriminatory against religion. Others can be open up to 50% of the Fire Marshal’s stated maximum capacity of a building, but even a megachurch with a capacity in the thousands can only have a preacher-man and nine others. This makes me skeptical about all this. This is about tyranny and hateful discrimination.

We have a constitutional republic and the rule of law, not a democracy styled as that in which tyrants  do whatever the hell they want to smash people down.

You know, I wonder if – even if I haven’t been charged with a criminal misdemeanor or felonies upon repeated “infractions” – I wonder if I have standing to haul Governor Cooper before the Department of Justice to end his intimidation and threats of imprisonment.

UPDATE: I also add one more point to any who are gathered at Holy Mass: In the trajectory of history, going back centuries and millennia, whenever a political platform or tyrant or emperor or otherwise dictator outlaws God in their politics and in their state, what follows is the oppression of the free exercise of religion in every way, and there is a blood bath even on the level of hundreds of millions. It’s all about raw power cut off from justice, cut off from respect for others, cut off from love, cut off from God. What follows, again, is murder, genocide, on a massive scale. If someone gets sick or dies because of coming to Mass, that’s their decision to be martyrs to witness to essential nature of the free exercise of religion. I would mourn, terribly, but this is the fallen human world we live in and this is how we can deal with it in witness to Jesus. I’m hoping no one will get either sick or die. Also, on the category of “essential” being taken away by governors or as granted by the president, I don’t buy it. What government can grant on a whim can be taken away on a whim. The free exercise of religion, as the Constitution of, for, and by the people btw, is essential not because of any government or politician but because the free exercise of religion is an unalienable right granted by almighty God. I don’t care what governors or presidents do about this one way or the other. I’m going to carry on with the free exercise of religion against all threats of imprisonment on the one hand, or the enjoyment of the president backing us up in his own I’m sure sincere way, wanting to just back up the Constitution.

UPDATE: Father Gordon MacRae, in having all the above read to him, gave me this statement to add here. It’s incisive, and full of wisdom, summing it all up:

  • “Pope Francis says that “prudence and obedience” to civil authority are necessary. When that prudence and obedience are on a collision course, as they are now, then obedience to a Higher Authority is more necessary.” — Father Gordon MacRae

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Coronavirus: Holy Mass outside? NOT! We just kill the invisible enemy dead.

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The famous “Photo Phil”, one of my parishioners, shared this picture of social distancing that I might put it up on my blog. And here’s a picture yet another parishioner took of how social distancing is going inside our parish church in Andrews:

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After all, this is the smallest parish in North America.

Governor Cooper in North Carolina was smacked down by a Federal Judge because of hateful discriminatory suppression of the free exercise of religion, which encompasses, by the way, freedom of worship as essential, and also free speech with religious and natural law formation of conscience even intervening in politics as that which is guaranteed. But Governor Cooper saw fit to insist that being in a church is unsafe (whatever of being inside a State owned ABC Liquor Store from which the Governor profits). Governor Cooper says that the air is bad inside a church. Really?

Let me respond to the Governor who is ignorant of what we, and I assume many, have done over the years with our heating and air conditioning units. On both campuses of this parish and in our Social Hall in Andrews, a retired NASA engineer installed super-strong ultraviolet light that kills mold spores as the air moves through the system so that the spores of more or less just a micron or two in size are instantly killed on the fly. This applies to a virus all the more. Nothing gets past the UVC lamp and lives:

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We have the cleanest air in the world.

From Wikepedia: A germicidal lamp is an electric light that produces ultraviolet C (UVC) light. This short-wave ultraviolet light disrupts DNA base pairing, causing formation of pyrimidine dimers, and leads to the inactivation of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.

In other words, the air inside the church is much more pure than any air out in a parking lot, no matter how hot the air coming from any back-mountain preacher-man like myself. :-)

Go ahead, Governor Cooper. Make an example of us despite the Federal Judge. I’ll have your ass [apologies to donkeys all] trotted before the Department of Justice in D.C. faster than you could read further insults to hypocrites proffered by the likes of the greatest of all prophets, Saint John the Baptist, and by the God-Man, Christ Jesus, Himself. I bow to the modus operandi not of the governor, but of the very Son of the Living God. I mean, I can list more insults coming from His lips to those who would suffocate religious rights. Do I really have to?

And then we can move on to the Old Testament. Need I do that, speaking of, say, she-camels and the like? ;-)

  • People speak of honey catching more flies…. blah blah blah…
  • People speak of being “nice”… blah blah blah

Besides John the Baptist and Jesus, I respond by recalling a modern saint:

saint-jose-luis-sanchez-del-rio

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Filed under Birds, Coronavirus, Free exercise of religion, Politics

NC Gov Cooper caves: churches open. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Late last night, Saturday, May 16 2020, after we already had the Vigil Mass, parishioners started texting me that a Federal judge has just blocked NC governor Cooper’s restrictions on religious services and that Cooper won’t appeal. In other words, churches are open with no restrictions, as per the Constitution of these United States.

Governor Cooper was singling out religious services for his draconian policies.

Governor Cooper was acting in a discriminatory manner against religious organizations, restricting even mega-churches to ten people even while state-profiting ABC liquor stores operate as normal with impunity, with other stores like Lowes and Walmart having jammed parking lots like I’ve never seen before.

Bullying from the top of the political spectrum is the most cynical misuse of the law possible. I would categorize it at a hate crime, you know, a “white collar” hate crime. I think Cooper can still be sued in Federal Court. The Department of Justice has requested that just this kind of litigation take place. Director Bill Barr will make sure it goes well for the Constitution.

The Judge’s order may become permanent upon a hearing scheduled for May 29. We’ll all be watching closely. Until then, law enforcement cannot raid groups who are, say, reciting the Lord’s prayer, dragging the worshipers out on the streets. And they can’t do that anyway, not under the Constitution of these United States. We’ll all be watching that closely as well.

Mind you, Governor Cooper had directed that it is up to law enforcement to decide what is or is not possible for various religious rites of various religious organizations, which is not only against the free exercise of religion, but also makes for the establishment of what religion is to be in the law as regulated by the state. That’s also against the Constitution. And this mix of the judiciary system with the executive, so that law enforcement become on-the-street judge, jury and executioner, is… what?… Martial Law? Just. Wow.

And there are many other points regarding the policies of Governor Cooper. But, as a bully, he’s a coward, and has run away. Great! We’re good to go. We always were.

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

See the previous post for context:

https://ariseletusbegoing.com/2020/05/16/mass-schedule-vs-nc-governor-cooper-communion-style-leo-accompaniment/

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Mass schedule vs NC Governor Cooper; Communion style; LEO accompaniment

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The Catholic Parish of Holy Redeemer (HR) in Andrews, North Carolina, covers the north-eastern half of Cherokee County (Valleytown township), the north-western half of Macon County (Nantahala township), and the entirety of Graham County, which boasts of its own “Mass center” called Prince of Peace (PoP) in Robbinsville, North Carolina. We border the Diocese of Knoxville for more or less 20 miles.

Here’s our present Mass schedule (with Confessions before all Masses and Last rights, etc., anytime): 

  • 6:00 PM Saturday – Vigil Mass in Spanish (HR)
  • 6:00 AM Sunday – Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament (HR)
  • 8:00 AM Sunday – Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament (PoP)
  • 8:30 AM Sunday – Holy Mass in English (PoP)
  • 11:00 AM Sunday – Holy Mass in English (HR)

Weekdays Mass, given other things going on:

  • Monday – 12:00 Noon (HR)
  • Wednesday – 5:30 PM (HR)
  • Thursday – 12:00 PM (PoP)
  • Friday – 12:00 PM (HR)

Accompaniment by law enforcement already some weeks ago:

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I like that. I’m sure there’s a story behind it. Nice guy, I’m sure. :-)

Regarding Communion on the tongue: we do that, and that’s the norm. We border a certain diocese which does not permit that – against the universal law of the Church and against science (hands being horrifically worse than the tongue). Anyone visiting from that diocese or anywhere else will not be refused simply because they want to receive on the tongue (all things being equal, as in they being Catholics who are in good standing).

To Governor Cooper: You’ve demonstrated yourself in your specious legislation about enforcement of Covid-19 regulations to be discriminatory against the free exercise of religion, singling out religious institutions with draconian policies compared to leniency for state owned profit-making endeavors like ABC Liquor stores, or compared to private essential companies such as Lowes and Walmart, which are allowed up to 20% and 50% of the maximum capacity imposed for whatever buildings by the County Fire Marshall. This is not true for religious institutions, which – no matter the capacity even of a megachurch that would hold thousands – are limited limited to, say, a minister and nine other people, you know, for a quorum of ten like for a synagogue. That demonstrates bad faith in leadership, an abuse of power to please constituents, you know, Democrats who have outlawed God in their platform. Kick the faithful in the face and get votes! What was it, 5 out of 100 counties that voted you in to “power”?

I’m good with cooperating with national emergencies, national security, etc., when there isn’t any blatant anti-free-exercise-of-religion legislation. I think I can prove that cooperation in a court of law by subpoenaing a long list of witnesses right up the chain of law enforcement.

Speaking of the chain of law enforcement, Bill Barr of the Justice Department is demanding that ordinary citizens like me rat out politicians like you, Governor Cooper, so that overreach oppressing religion can be smashed down hard. I would welcome a legal challenge from the likes of you Governor Cooper. You’ve threatened for a long time now the imposition of a second class misdemeanor for a first “offense” of praying, which quickly turns into – if memory serves me – class “I” and “H” felonies for repeat offenses. I would love to do a lightning appeal to the Supreme Court to kick your policies where the sun don’t shine.

And, by the way, a note to LEOs: Just because the Governor has pretended to give you arrest powers for any free exercise of religion, he has no authority to do this, and he cannot support you; you also will be brought to court for upholding wrongful law, that is, you personally, as well as your department, town, county and state.

Here’s the deal: every time we’ve seen a politician suppressing religion in a discriminatory manner throughout human history – going back for last number of decades, going back for last number of centuries, going back for the last number of millennia – what we’ve seen is not just some tens or hundreds of thousands of deaths from any virus, but instead we’ve seen genocides on a grand scale, what with the likes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot… on and on. Hundreds of millions murdered. It’s all about POWER. Oooo! Power! Hmmm… the weighing of thousands of deaths over against hundreds of millions of murders. And it’s like clockwork. And it takes no time at all. And it’s frequent. And it can happen anywhere, anytime. Just ask people in the countries where it’s happened. Oh, right, they’re all dead already, starved, shot, incinerated…

So, over my dead body, Governor Cooper. Sure, my dead body might be because I die from Coronavirus – a horrific death I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but maybe that will stand in witness to protection of the free exercise of religion.

So, go ahead Governor Cooper. Let’s see your worst. I’ll bring you to the Supreme Court, along with any law enforcement individuals, towns, counties or State which try to enforce your anti-God, anti-neighbor, and anti-Constitution policies.

Methodology of proceeding:

Holy Mass is offered by myself at the altar in the sanctuary of the churches of the parish, during which time the doors will be open. I do not request anyone to come. I tell people that it is imprudent and dangerous for them to come. I make rather intense appeals to those who are elderly or health compromised to stay away, saying that I will bring them Communion at home, and I do. I tell people that if they do wander into the church at the time I’m there that I think it’s a good idea for them to wear a mask, do social distancing, etc. There is no shaking of hands. The fact is, when I had to get a MethylPREDNISolone shot and a DosPak of the same because of the “worse case of poison oak seen in Cherokee County”, I had no immune system and I did not offer Mass publicly at that time. Having said that, and now back to public free exercise of religion:

  • I am NOT a minister of justice of the state
  • I am not in the employ of the state
  • I am NOT going to attempt to police any would-be non-compliance from the altar as if a minister must police imposed anti-constitution policies. Ain’t gonna happen.

If you don’t like this rebellion against your anti-American policies, Governor Cooper, a rebellion coming from the smallest parish in these United States of America – so tiny, so vulnerable to your power – then, by all means, shut us down, you know, with all the Law Enforcement in your power (which is a lot). Send in the National Guard. Send in SWAT teams of the State Bureau of Investigation. Call in emergency assistance from anywhere and everywhere. As I say, I’ll have you in the Supreme Court so fast that you’ll be a good example of what not to do. But if you do that, just have me arrested. Don’t be a cruel jerk and raid the church, throwing kids through the windows and smashing the elderly to the ground, giving people heart-attacks and causing injuries. I’m a model of quiet and peaceful compliance. Just throw cuffs on me and stuff me in the cage in the back of whatever vehicle and cart me off. But anyone else who happens to be present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass… let them go; let my people go. Don’t be a jerk, Governor Cooper. Just make me the target of attacks on religion, the free exercise of religion.

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Coronavirus parish schedule and reader appeal for naming the rectory chapel

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Governor Cooper of North Carolina will be opening up some church possibilities on Friday, May 8, 2020. Much more on that later. But this past weekend and into the start of the week, as a for-instance, we already had the full parish schedule going, with Masses and Confessions and Adoration, the works. I’m happy to see the flowers that people brought for Mary and her dear Son, Jesus. I mean, the whole time I’ve been trying to provide the sacraments, particularly the Last Rites and Confessions and Holy Communion, as best I could. People are very happy also to receive the Papal Indulgences, etc., for end-of-life circumstances.

But after Mass on Monday earlier this week, everything changed for the worse, and everything was cancelled. No public Masses or Adoration for some time to come. More on that later. There always has to be a drama, right? I’ve removed the Most Blessed Sacrament from the church and brought Jesus back to what I at least consider to be a glorious little chapel in the rectory.

I think I need to name the little chapel here, you know, like putting a name plate over the door kind of thing. That will take some consideration. Any ideas?

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Coronavirus: Question *after* fetching Oils of the Chrism Mass on Last Rites, Confessions, “essential” priests

COVID-19

Just before midnight, Monday night, stretching into early Tuesday of Holy Week – the usual day for the Chrism Mass in this Diocese – I was assisting at an urgent situation that included someone presenting with a persistent slight cough (I noticed), and who – hours later on Tuesday trundled off to get tested because of sharply increased symptoms for COVID-19. Of course, since we are in a healthcare desert, any test done here doesn’t take five minutes. The results can take four to five days or even longer. Yours truly was within six feet of said person for perhaps thirty minutes or more all told. Said person later Tuesday evening informed someone who, about 10:30 PM that same Tuesday, just 23 hours after the “proximity incident”, informed yours truly.

Meanwhile, Tuesday afternoon, before that information came my way, on way way back home after retrieving the Sacred Oils after the Chrism Mass in Charlotte, I stopped to see some friends to drop something off – this taking only seconds and with me wearing my N-95 Mask. I then repeated this a few hours later, at 8:00 PM, leaving another package with another friend, with me wearing my N-95 Mask and already being in the car before that friend came outside. So, both of these stops were in less than a day of the “proximity incident.” As I understand it, it takes more than 48 hours to begin to start “shedding” Coronavirus molecules. All are safe and sound.

So, now, as of this writing, now late Wednesday morning, some 58 1/2 hours have passed since assisting in the midst of that “proximity incident.” That’s about the time, right now, that I would start to perhaps begin “shedding” Coronavirus molecules, regardless of whether or not I myself developed any symptoms. I could turn out to be a “carrier.”


Should I quarantine myself, or self-isolate? Let’s review the technical terms and the regulations regarding same that were in force until Wednesday afternoon, April 8, 2020:

  • “According to the CDC, quarantines are meant to restrict the movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. These individuals are asymptomatic but have either traveled to an area with an active outbreak of the virus, or have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. Self-quarantining allows health officials to closely monitor the development of symptoms, if any, while preventing further transmission of the virus. Those who are asked to self-quarantine will be told to stay home and avoid contact with others for 14 days.”
  • Isolation, meanwhile, refers to separating those who are already sick from the rest of the population. Self-isolation provides individuals the opportunity to recover from the virus without spreading it to others. Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate until the following:
    •  

      You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)

    • AND other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
    • AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. The decision to stop home isolation should be left to healthcare providers and local health authorities.

Later on Wednesday afternoon, April 8, 2020, at the usual presser, that advice was somewhat changed,  to wit (from PBS):

The federal government has released new guidelines for when people in critical infrastructure roles can return to work after being exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus. The guidance pertains to essential critical workers who have been exposed to COVID-19. For those individuals, the guidelines advise:

  • Take your temperature before work.
  • Wear a face mask at all times.
  • Practice social distancing in the workplace as work duties permit

The guidelines advise individuals not to:

  • Stay at work if you become sick.
  • Share headsets or other items used near one’s face.
  • Congregate in the break room, lunchroom, or other crowded places.

Employers are asked to:

  • Take the employee’s temperature and assess their symptoms before the employee starts back at work.
  • If the employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately.
  • Increase the air exchange in the building.
  • Increase the cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.
  • Test the use of face masks to ensure they don’t interfere with workflow.

[…] The CDC defines a potential exposure as “being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.”

The new guidance apply only to workers in critical infrastructure jobs. That category has been defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (part of the Department of Homeland Security), but only as an advisory list, not a federal standard.

By CISA’s reckoning, the category includes certain workers in healthcare and public health, law enforcement and first responders, food and agriculture, energy, water and wastewater, transportation, public works, critical manufacturing, financial services, communications, among other sectors. […]

Redfield said the new guidelines are for workers in critical roles who “have been within six feet of a confirmed case or a suspected case,” so that they can go back to work under certain circumstances. […]


So, will this priest continue to offer Confessions and Last Rites, and will he continue to assist as Chaplain to the Law Enforcement family? There are essential roles to play even in the eyes of an atheist, such as suicide prevention and death notification. Wicked, horrifically violent crimes continue to happen even in this small hamlet of Andrews, NC. Hearing Confessions and giving the Last Rites are protected under the First Amendment, even under the Federal, State, County and Town restrictions. And they are essentially important. I can’t imagine the despair and the chaos that might well ensue if this was all to be taken away as well. I will continue.

By the way and just to say, CISA, mentioned above, is a rather serious player in all this. I just met with a close friend who is a member of CISA, who “does stuff” for CISA, who carries a “pass”, if you will, that has all check point law enforcement wave him right on through when he gets to the check point. He has no problem with me doing all that I am doing. :-)

Oh, and also, as of this writing, as of this publishing, I have zero symptoms. Regarding temperature, since I started Keto last November 1019 – losing now fully 63 pounds (and this is common) – I am no longer at 98.6 F, but hover around ~97.6 or ~97.7. For now. I mean, I never get sick, until I do, right?

Having said all that, I would like to stay put for the next days to see what happens. I am semper paratus for the Sacred Triduum to begin later this evening.

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Coronavirus: Provision of Sacraments. How to be joyful, at peace, in mayhem. Update!

consecration-

Apparently, the Diocese has forbidden the celebration of pretty much all the Sacraments except in the danger of death. Ha ha ha. I didn’t get that message until after the famous Monday, 30 March 2020, in my parish. Ha ha ha.

Late on Monday, there were four people in church:

  • Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
  • Yours truly
  • A young couple

What did we do, you ask?

  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Mass with First Holy Communion
  • Their natural marriage then was transformed to a Sacramental Matrimony

Elsewhere, also on Monday, same day, before sunrise, down in the hospital, I did up these Sacraments:

  • Confession
  • Last Rites: Anointing

And all that was putting Holy Orders of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ into action.

So, enacting my priesthood with the provision of six other Sacraments. Not bad in this time of Coronavirus if I do say so ever so snarkily myself. ;-)

Looky here: An order from the Diocese not to provide the sacraments except in danger of death would not be given unless people were nervous that we are in a time of generalized danger of death, right? I don’t think the intention is to make it difficult to go to Confession. That, I think, is an exception. And anyway, I did all this before that particular directive was given. And anyway, I’m sure no one is wanting at all to suspend me a divinis or to excommunicate me. I’m not in trouble. Far from it. That’s not how things work in this diocese. This is the best diocese ever. We have a great Bishop and a great Vicar General. I have a great Vicar Forane. I’m ever so happy.

Happy Its The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown GIF by Peanuts - Find ...

I mean, you know:

byers dance paul vi audience hall

Actually, what I’m looking for before the “peak” of Coronavirus hits with mayhem, is to have people come to the parking lot – staying in their spaced-away-from-each-other vehicles – to give them an instruction on General Absolution (the Third Rite permitted by the Church in emergency situations) upon permission of the Bishop. The conditions to receive that absolution with integrity and honesty, avoiding sacrilege, are as follows:

  • Done with the permission of the Bishop
  • The candidates must have contrition for ALL of their sins
  • The candidates must have the intention to amend their lives so as not to sin again
  • The candidates must have the intention to go to individual Sacramental Confession with a priest as soon as this is possible if they survive

At this time, anyone at anytime can come over to the rectory and bang on the door and I will don my PPE provided for my work with the PD and hear the Confession in the driveway. Yes. Easy peasy. All with joy. Be at peace. Perhaps dance for joy.

Humourous UPDATE!

That was sent in by a reader…

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2020 Census LGBTQ Latinx gerrymandering to sway 2020 election

Those are a couple of screen shots from my phone. Here’s part of a text of an email:

“Dear Father George- The 2020 Census North Carolina Partnership Specialists leading our Latinx and Hispanic population initiative are conducting a conference: Fostering Latino Census 2020 Engagement through Community Partnerships.

I asked Latinos in my parish what “Latinx” means. They had no idea. I looked it up. Apparently, the grammatical “o” / “a” at the end of some Spanish vocabulary is too offensive to tender snowflakes gender-bender political power bullies such that an “x” replaces the “o” (“masculine”) or “a” (“feminine”). Just “x”.

So, did you get that? The Census Bureau for the 2020 Census has been and is and will promote a “Latino Census”, but the ideological push behind this is all about drumming up representation of the LGBTQ to the end of not only reapportioning government programs but also for the realignment of political districts. Gerrymandering LGBTQ power groups are now more empowered by the Census Bureau.

Being a rather conservative and outspoken “community leader trusted by the Latino community,” as I was personally told – face to face – by the delegated representative of the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington Heights, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Washington, D.C., that my participation in the 2020 census was vitally important.

It was said that I was the very first contacted in the entire region (centered in Atlanta) to help the Census Bureau get 100% compliance up here in Western North Carolina.

I’m expected to find regional Census workers for employment and promote just how acceptable and wonderful the Census is for everyone.

However, whenever I have a question about something – and I have plenty about the manipulation of Census data – I play the situation until further information is to be had, such as this Latinx thing.

The Rep payed me a second face to face visit. I baited this Rep with an out-of-the-blue question, asking if part of the toolbox for Census work was gaming theory (you know, the ultra genius theory of economics between competing nations). This instantly made the Rep furious and I was informed forthwith that the Rep knew everything there is to know about gaming theory. I think the smile given with such gritting teeth on the Rep’s part while stating doctoral accomplishments must have broken the Rep’s entire mouthful of teeth. So pleasant! So nice! Creepy.

Accuse me of being bad and evil. My baiting is what it is. And now I know enough not to get involved with what seems to be a manipulation of the political system of these very United States of America.

And if you think I’m insulting LGBTQ Latinx people, think again. Why is it thought that LGBTQ and Latinx must be members of the Democrat Party? Isn’t that a bit prejudicial? Isn’t that a bit racist? Are there no independent thinkers among LGBTQ Latinx “communities.” Are they all robots? Are they all controlled by white elitist big money? Are the democrats historically the worst of the worst when in comes to racism. Yes, they are. Look it up. It’s horrific.

I had also asked specifically about the gerrymandering efforts and I was merely told that this was a talking point. Period. No talking, just a stating of the fact that it is a talking point. No answer. Because there is no answer. To see the question posed well (and this is what I sent as my question), see, for instance:

Researchers question U.S. Census Bureau’s new approach to privacy

I asked about non-compliance and penalties, such as huge fines and prison time. I was told that “We don’t do that anymore.” When I pressed a bit, I was told, and this time I took this as a threat: “If someone doesn’t comply, it is against the law, and this will stand against them.” In other words, such felonies will be on your record and will work against your rights as a citizen, such as the 2nd amendment. Try and renew any concealed carry permit, or try to buy a gun in the first place and you’ll be denied. After all, you’ll probably be out of cash, and you’ll probably be in prison.

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Civil Registration of Clergy in China

On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the “Holy See” published a comment on whether or not clergy (priests and bishops) in China should go ahead and register civilly as clergy. It’s a dire situation. The short comment put out by the Holy See is ambiguous at best.

I’m guessing that this was prepared by McCarrick. I’m guessing that the Chinese extorted Pope Francis to publish it. Extortion is possible. Anyone remember Pope Francis’ “Front of House”, Miriam Woldu, who was murdered just before the homosexualist referendum in Italy? As expected, no one made a peep about that after her murder.

I note that this comment on civil registration in China has no provenance other than the “Holy See.” In other words, the document is so horrifically ambiguous that no one is willing to take responsibility for it, not even the Secretary of State. Incredible. Almost without precedent. I’ll write more about this, please God, with full analysis. But I just wanted to put this out there with a mention of McCarrick, you know, to bait some reaction. Anyone with something helpful to say?

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🔴 Trump: Health Care and Religious Conscience Rights Super Victories! Decades of battles won all at once!

If any POTUS did all the things Trump did on just this one day – the things Trump mentioned during his speech during the ceremonies for the National Day of Prayer on May 2, 2019 – that POTUS would do more for the Church than all others put together. But Trump does this kind of thing frequently.

It’s all spectacular, but for the conscience rights items, start at minute 16:55″ and go to minute 21:25″. Absolutely stunning.

Some things:

  • No hate!
  • Conscience rights for the free exercise of religion: religious liberty
  • Payed time off for religious holy days for Federal employees
  • Conscience [particularly Pro-Life conscience] rights for:
    • Physicians
    • Pharmacists
    • Nurses
    • Students
    • Faith based charities
  • “Every child born and unborn is a sacred gift from God”
  • Preserve central role of faith based adoption and foster care agencies to care for vulnerable children while following their deeply held beliefs. !!!
  • Give former inmates a second chance on life [This is the famed STEP program]
  • Faith based carers for Federal prisoners.
  • Faith based addiction recovery programs. [working also for non-addictive pain killers]
  • On and on…

These have been fights we have been having for decades and Trump has won them all for us in one day.

THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP!!!

 

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Double Rainbow on Flag Day

img_20180614_174447349_burst027~21302913529..jpg

I’ve been needing to replace my American Flag outside the Rectory for a long time now – too long – and Flag Day was my excuse to make the 30 mile round trip to Lowes to get a new flag and flag pole. I mention Lowes because, unlike Walmart, Lowes always has patriotic stuff for a decent price (waaaaaaay lower than Walmart) and allow collections by the military for great causes, USMC’s Toys for Tots for example.

Anyway the ray of sunshine in the picture above (taken yesterday evening on Flag Day) crosses the thin rainbow, and then a second one, much wider but much less visible (both crossing the front of Jenny the Jeep).

Again I think to Joyce Kilmer’s Fighting 69th Rainbow Division and the book Father Gordon wants me to read, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six.

Note on Flag etiquette: The American Flag always takes its own right in position, or a higher posting. The flag of the Holy See on the far side signals a controversy, or does it? To whom do I owe primary allegiance? I do recite the American Pledge. Notice that it includes the phrase “under God”. I cite Sir Thomas More: “I am the King’s good servant, but God’s first.” That’s not inconsistent with patriotism and loyalty.

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San Lorenzo in Damaso: when Church – State politics get hot go to Confession

Jumping off bus 46, I headed into the side entrance of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso. Greeting one of the elderly security guards – one of the quiet Saint Joeph like personages one sometimes meets – I then took this picture at a side chapel where a priest might say some prayers of thanksgiving after offering Holy Mass.

The security guard, spying with perpicasity my devotion, tapped me on the shoulder and silently bid me to follow him. He never once spoke. He pointed at a side altar and then at the explanation written out for pilgrims on the altar rail.

Many relics are above the altar as you can see, including those of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I had much to do with Mother Teresa. She was a huge influence in my life. Sorry, I’m nostalgic. I just about cried.

This is the Blessed Sacrament chapel whose altar rail and floor are featured in a certain book, as is the Tabernacle.

Glancing up one sees Saint Lawrence.

A most important place in the Basilica…

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Woman jailed for baptizing her girl

judge

I don’t know all the circumstances. It seems she and her hubby agreed to have the child raised Catholic. The judge didn’t like what he called criminal contempt. Something’s not right in this story. I wish I knew more.

I wish I knew more because I could be the next pastor of that parish in this diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina. Maybe not, but maybe so. But it is in my diocese.

I will say this: I do know of a decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court regarding penalties imposed by North Carolina courts over against religious persons, a decision which in its own text rejected the free exercise of religion as expressed and defended by the Constitution and Supreme Court of these United States. In other words, the North Carolina Judiciary – in letting that law stand – basically doesn’t give a damn about the free exercise of religion and is itself in contempt of the citizenry of these United States.

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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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GOP’s US-FISC FISA Warrant Memo

I’ll be watching closely for many reasons as the Memo may unwittingly answer some questions I have about possibilities regarding a number of operations that involve the first amendment, specifically the free exercise of religion. ;-)

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