Tag Archives: Missionaries of Mercy

The day Immaculate Mary died. Ecumenism between East and West.

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One of our Russian readers sent this in. You can see the Apostles gathered about the tomb of Jesus’ good mom. But because the grave could not hold her, she the was herself resurrected from the dead and assumed soul and body into heaven.

It’s always been a tradition in the East that the ever Virgin Mary died. There have been some in the West who, instead, stupidly said that – splutter splutter – Mary could not have died because she was not subject to original sin and therefore could not have died and anyone who says differently is a heretic and should be dismembered and burned at the stake. Um… well… I say differently.

Jesus died. He’s God. He’s never been affected by original sin. He never sinned. The grave could not hold the author of life just because He stood in our place, the innocent for the guilty, taking on the punishment we deserve for sin, death, so that He could have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. Right? Let’s take a look at how He died.

In Luke’s Gospel we read that Jesus sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane, at that moment standing in our place, obeying the will of our Heavenly Father. In John’s Gospel we read that blood and water flowed out of Jesus’ side, His heart, when the soldier pierced Him with his Roman sword. This shows up on the Shroud of Turin by the way. Anyway, the doctors of Calvary, as they are called, say that in a most traumatic incident, a subject can sweat great drops of blood, but in conjunction with a massive heart attack, itself to traumatic that the pericardium, the outside portion of the heart, actually breaks, from one dies immediately or can survive for just some time. In Jesus’ case, this pericardium filled with blood which itself separated into red blood cells and plasma, the blood and water. Pilot was surprised at Jesus’ early death, as crucifixion usually took three days. Jesus’ trauma was exacerbated by the torture and crucifixion. We can say that He died more of a broken heart for us, literally, than the crucifixion.

Now, take Mary’s case. If she were subject to original sin, she would, like us, be so blinded to the reality of God laying down His life for us that we would just feel sorrowful for this, but be almost totally oblivious to what this means. She, instead, Immaculate, had purity of heart, agility of soul, clarity of vision. She knew that what she was seeing was God’s great love for us in the midst of our ingratitude. It’s not because she was sinful or subject to original sin that she was knew death. It’s because she was crushed, as a good mother, by the traumatic incident she went through in solidarity with her Son. I believe that she also sweat great drops of blood, that she also suffered such a massive heart attack. She survived, but, as Tradition has it, appropriately, only until immediately after the full birth of the Church at Pentecost. She had done all she could as Jesus’ mother and ours. Now it was time for one who gave Jesus His body to be brought herself soul and body to heaven, just like Him.

  • Jesus: If you love me you will rejoice that I am going to the Father.
  • Mary’s kids: If we love her we rejoice that she has gone to heaven.

A couple of points…

  • We can learn from each other, you know, East and West. Instead of hyperventilating so as, we think, to protect some doctrine, perhaps instead we should go to Jesus. Perhaps we can learn from Him. In this case we learn that Mary could certainly die and this fact not being offensive to our holding that Mary was never touched by original sin.
  • And, just to say, this post is misnamed. I believe this is not about ecumenism. The excommunications have been absolved by both sides. Take out the “ex-” and you are left with “communion.” Right?

Our problem today and every day is that we forget about Jesus and His good mom. We are more concerned about hyperventilating because that’s what we do. We’re just so afraid of Jesus being a good Son of Mary Immaculate. We’re just so afraid of Mary being such a good mother to Jesus and to all of us.

Saint John Paul II’s favorite citation of Mary’s Son Jesus was: “Be not afraid!”

BE NOT AFRAID!

 

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Filed under Ecumenism, Jesus, Mary, Missionaries of Mercy

Because we’re the smallest parish

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Larger parishes send in much more, of course. They send it in through their (arch)dioceses. They don’t get letters like this since it’s all done bureaucratically. Monsignor Borgia must have loved sending this letter out. Thanks, Monsignor! Blessings upon you.

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For St John Vianney it’s all about Jesus

cure dars chapel john baptist

What’s that I hear? There are… are… are controverted issi-oos somewhere inside oneself, somewhere in the world, somewhere in the Church? Oh. That’s new. What a surprise.

Breathless argumentation which condemns all others to hell, all as heretics, all with simple emotional assertions on their own or simple emotional assertions shrouded lightly with – Oooo! – lots of verbiage…. all this breathless argumentation always and every time seems to forget entirely about Jesus. It is in this way that doctrine turns into ideology, meaning that it’s all about oneself asserting an assertion, any assertion, and whether right or wrong (that’s irrelevant as essentially important premises to the argument bite the dust and not essentially important premises are introduced as being totally decisive, ripping words and phrases out of context, which is pretext), it’s: “I’m right; you’re wrong. I’m justified; you’re not. I’ve condemned everyone to hell as a heretic and so that includes you too.”

The great thing about St John Vianney, as with any other saint, is that, for him, Jesus was of paramount importance, and more than merely paramount; for Father Vianney, Jesus was and is all important. It’s all about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only one. So, for him, it was all about him saying: “Father, please hear my confession.” And then he would hear confessions, confessions, confessions, confessions.

By the way, that picture up top is the chapel of Saint John the Baptist, the one who lost his head for a dance. Father Vianney literally knocked out the side of his parish church to build this side chapel to combat the brood of vipers in his mountain village.

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Catechetical Capital Punishment: Anti-Catholics burn Pope Francis [Update]

wolf angry

The anti-Catholic “katholics” not so kryptically klaim that Pope Francis has “changed church doctrine” in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with a rescript of paragraph 2267 on capital punishment. Those who make the klaim that he changed Church doctrine are well aware that there would be no Catholic Church if doctrine can be changed. They know they scandalize the faithful. They revel in coprophiliac self-congratulating fake-news popularity as heroes, self-proclaimed saviors of the Church and the world.

But, of course, Pope Francis has done nothing even remotely like changing Church doctrine. Not at all. Quite the opposite. He’s reaffirmed it. Let’s do something pretty much no one does. Let’s actually analyse the new paragraphs for 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with my emphases in bold and [[my comments in red]].

Nuova redazione del n. 2267 del Catechismo della Chiesa Cattolica sulla pena di morte – Rescriptum “ex Audentia SS.mi”, 02.08.2018

The death penalty

2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes [[I’m not aware of that truth being lost on those of the past, by the way, but that is beside the point.]]. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state [[This refers to debate on a deterrent or exacerbating effect of the death penalty.]]. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed [[“been developed”: directly to the point.]], which ensure the due protection of citizens [[“ensure the due protection”: directly to the point.]] but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption [[This is beside the point as this may also come about because of imminent death.]].

Consequently [[“pertanto” “quapropter”: that is, considering these ever changing conditions, the present conditions, generally speaking – and which can revert back to something more primitive in future – are such that right now, for these particular conditions…]], the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible [[…in present circumstances…]] because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,[1] [[“inviolability” … “dignity”: these absolute statements are actually relative to things like “self-defense”, right? So, there’s no there there.]] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide. [[Fine.]]

[1] Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5. [[This citation is incorrect. It is the last paragraph on page 7 which then continues on page 11. See the PDF of this edition of the Vatican newspaper from the Vatican website:

http://www.osservatoreromano.va/vaticanresources/pdf/ING_2017_041_1310.pdf

Anyway,there are plenty of ambiguous statements in that footnoted private address which is not directed to the universal Church, nor can it be said that everything in that private address to now canonized, as it were, because it is noted for whatever reason, for instance, to let us know more about not so much the doctrine of the Church but as an indication of Pope Francis’ concern, and to show that he has now brought to completion what he had intended to do for quite a while. There’s no there there. That address is NOT the Catechism no matter how much the mere fact of its publication is noted.]]

=======/// In other words, the doctrine stays in place, and this is simply a comment on the proper application of the doctrine in present conditions, generally speaking. Mind you, the prudence of the Church hasn’t changed one bit. This is a faithful rendition of not only of the doctrine but also of the prudent application of the Church from all ages. This is the judgment for the present time, generally speaking.

The method is crystal clear in examining ever changing circumstances. See the words “developed” and “ensure” and “consequently”?

Get it? This is not hard. In fact, it is so easy that one is tempted to think that there is real malice in those who attack to quickly, so easily, with manipulation.

I, for one, think that we need to support Pope Francis with prayer.

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Filed under Death, Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Prison

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

210Po

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

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

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

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

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

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Papal infallibility’s worst heresy

pope francis asperges

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

assassin hitman john wick under the gun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Have you ever written anyone off?

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

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

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The blog slowing down doesn’t mean…

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Of course, just because the blog slowed down for a while doesn’t mean that things haven’t been at breakneck speed. I’m still racing around to the shut-ins and the hospitals and nursing homes (the picture above being an on-the-way shot. The blog slowing down for just a bit could mean that things have been moving along faster than ever. I hope that doesn’t mean motus in fine velocior. Let’s just say: motus velocior.

Someone showed up recently – Army (counter)intel for years and now a handler for another rather important counterterrorism intel guy – to insist on giving me what he called an “assignment”, namely, considering the fact that if the demise of someone, obviously known to me (an insurance policy) were to come about such a person will not deliberately have committed suicide (a method of the CIA). Obviously there is a very specific person with a very specific intention to murder another very specific person in a way that makes it look like suicide and I should know, of all people, that that isn’t going to be a suicide but rather a murder. There were five individuals known to me who were individuated. So, there’s some sort of ultimatum being provided about what, I don’t know – or else – so that I had better stop whatever it is I’m doing that counterterrorism is interested in having me stop pursuing. I mean, there are a couple of things, one, in fact, that is rather far reaching and which involves counterterrorism and which would be embarrassing to a lot of people. I’ve been spending some time consulting on this with some rather in-the-know people, on a Federal level.

If anyone knows anything about me its that I don’t cave in to pressure. Ever. No compromise. Never. What is life if one sells out honesty and integrity and goodness and kindness and truth and respect for others, for individuals without whom there is no common good?

Meanwhile, I love being the country parish priest who brings Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament to people. But I would never compromise to keep that privilege either. :-)

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Heresies about Papal Infallibility

World Youth Day 2016 Pope Francis and Jesus

A preliminary heresy that must be stated is shared by ideologists on the left and right who mimic each other, always. Neither are of Tradition but rather push their own agendas. They both dismiss the availability of Sacred Scripture as a viable source of Revelation. The filthy left says that it is out of date because we’re nice and we live today. The right, who I nickname the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists, blaspheme the Holy Spirit to say that Sacred Scripture is utterly useless, that we can use Saint Thomas Aquinas and Sacred Tradition with already established solemn interventions of the Sacred Magisterium, things that have been believed everywhere and by all, while meanwhile ignoring Sacred Scripture as idiocy. The problem for both is that when the Holy Spirit is blasphemed and the Sacred Scriptures thrown out, there can be no understanding of the Living Truth. Mind you, I’ve heard some of the very best theologians (you know, the orthodox crowd at the top of their game) openly blaspheme in this way. No, really. For a really pedantic examination of what is in Sacred Scripture, which I’ve never seen anyone else do, see my article:

Papal Infallibility: The Gospel Truth (Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18)

That article is the basis for which I state that the following are some of the heresies over against papal infallibility:

  • The Pope, when speaking not as a merely private individual but in fact as the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, pronounces and declares upon faith or morality to the universal Church especially in deciding a controversy, can fail in his infallibility. The “right” thinks he has done this with Amoris laetitia even though it is said in the very document to be a mere dialogue and not any kind of teaching. The left thinks he can can fail in infallibility on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, women’s ordination, and so on. That infallibility can fail is a heresy. Neither the Pope nor God can change the truth. God is truth. The pope is the servant of Truth. To think and do otherwise, making up the truth as one goes along (ignoring the word “dialogue” etc), so as to effectively make oneself pope, is rather self-referentially congratulatory.
  • The Church is “indefectable” over against the Pope who can fail in his infallibility, and that makes it all good in the long run, because, you know, Jesus is nice. This is the heresy of disgraced “Catholic” “Theologian Father Hans Küng. Mind you, his thoughts on this were taken up explicitely by an ultra-tradition-al-ist crowd in Winona, Minnesota, years ago, with their publishing of a super-fancy, super-clever, fold-up poster providing apologetics for their place in the Church. Hey! they said, We’re with Hans!” That the Church is “indefectable” over against the Pope who can fail in his infallibility is a heresy. The arrogance, the mockery is stunning.
  • It is actually the not the Pope, but a council against the Pope, which is infallible even while it excludes the Pope, so that the members of that council can take the Pope to task and simply declare him to be an anti-Pope after he fails in his infallibility. This is to ignore that Jesus chose Peter alone over against the other Apostles to bear the burden of infallibility. This is to reject Jesus. That the successors of the Apostles can take over the infallibility which falls only to the successor of Peter is a heresy. The right falls into this heresy continuously as does the left. Examples of both are rife. The ignorance and rejection of Jesus is stunning.

The list could continue. The examples are innumerable and jaw dropping, and scandalous.

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The Gift of Father Gordon J MacRae and Pornchai Maximilian Moontri

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These spiral notebooks of blank, lined pages were envisioned and created and sent to me by Father Gordon and Max and dearest Charlene Duline (my all time favorite State Department diplomat who also totally spoils Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog).

I’m wondering what they have in mind with these notebooks, as they have at other times said in all humor and in all truth that “Father Byers doesn’t have an unpublished thought.” Ha ha ha.

When I was doing my doctoral thesis, and when I was writing my first[!] novel, I used to carry around paper and pen everywhere, no matter what. After all, you never know when ideas, when solutions to impossible conundrums are going to pounce on heart and mind. I many times had to control myself from stopping mid-step while crossing busy Roman streets so as to jot down some notes. Many times I could be seen writing notes while driving a scooter on the way to some Missionaries of Charity house outside of Rome to say Mass early in the morning. But with the pictures and titles of these note-pads, what could the message possibly be?

Anyway, it is they, Father Gordon and Max who are themselves gifts to me. Both are the most extraordinary people, so balanced, so humorous, so insightful, having not only the wisdom of suffering while at the same time always coming to know Jesus’ friendship all the more. I do not know where I would have been without them. Jesus is good and kind in granting that we help each other get along to heaven.

Anyway, anyone have any ideas about what is intended to fill the pages of these note-books?

The subtitles to the books: TheseStoneWalls.com /// MercytotheMax.com

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“Mandatory Reporting” of Abuse Confessed in Sacramental Confession

PADRE PIO SEAL OF CONFESSION

– Katherine Gregory, a political reporter for ABC News (that’s Australia Broadcasting, btw), headlines this: “Catholic leaders ‘willing to go to jail’ to uphold seal of confession and not report child sex abuse.”

Wow. So, that makes it sound as if priests want to protect child abuse. No. The vast, vast, vast majority of priests are honest, have integrity of life, and are offended by those who have betrayed Jesus Christ our Lord and God and all the rest of us priests and all members of the mystical Body of the Divine Son of God who will come to judge the living and dead and world by fire.

So, this is dishonest and manipulative reporting from the outset. Irresponsible. It represents hatred of God, hatred of neighbor and, as we will see, actually promotes the abuse of those who are vulnerable.

But I’ll tell you this, people are eager – so eager – to tell all priests to go to hell with absolutely zero due process. Like Judas betraying Jesus. It is what it is in this cowardly society of tender snowflakes in which we live. Are we brave? Honest? Do we have some integrity? O.K. Let’s actually take a look at the issues then, shall we? Here’s her article with emphases and [[comments]] by yours truly.


South Australia has joined the ACT [[Australian Capital Territory]] in moving ahead with laws to force Catholic priests to break the seal of confession, to report paedophiles to police. [[No one is ever forced to do the wrong thing like breaking the seal of confession. One can always choose to face the consequences like going to prison.]]

Other states are still deliberating over whether or not they will adopt that recommendation from the royal commission. [[Another has already gone along with this. All the others are expected to follow in short order.]]

But Catholic Church leaders have rejected the idea. Father Michael Whelan, the parish priest in St Patrick’s Church Hill in Sydney, said priests would not break the seal of confession:

“The state will be requiring us as Catholic priests to commit as what we regard as the most serious crime and I’m not willing to do that,” Father Whelan said. [[That’s just a lot of bluster. He is willing to do this, but in a more idiotic manner, as we will see…]]

The New South Wales Government has said it would respond later this month about whether priests would be legally obliged to report confessions of child sex abuse.

“I expect every jurisdiction in Australia now will follow that recommendation and I expect the church throughout will simply not observe it,” Father Whelan said.

Asked if the Catholic Church was above the law, he said:

“Absolutely not, but when state tries to intervene on our religious freedom, undermine the essence of what it means to be a Catholic, we will resist. The only way they [the states] would be able to see whether the law was being observed or not is to try and entrap priests.” [[That would be right. But confessionals have been bugged in New York by the FBI. I was personally asked by the Italian Department of Defense to do this for them. I did not do this! Communist China regularly sends agents to “confess” to, say, subversion, like planning something like the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. If the priest doesn’t immediately intercept the “penitent” and drag him to the police for torture and death the priest himself will be sent off to re-education and labor and prison camps where bad things like torture and death take place.]]

Father Whelan said he was “willing to go to jail” rather than abide by a law. [[But not really. Watch what he does:]] An alternative, if a priest hears a paedophile confess sins of child sexual abuse, would be to “stop them immediately”, says Father Whelan:

“I would say, ‘Come with me now, we will go down to the police station in order for you to show that you are remorseful’,” he said. [[Well, sugar. That’s the same as breaking the Seal of Confession. Even worse. This makes priests into Law Enforcement Officers because they are priests. I can see it now. The priest and therefore police officer with divine mandate causes a huge scene, tackling, fighting, hand-cuffing, pepper-spraying, tasering, and, if there’s resistence that turns into a life endangering fight (which it might at the first suggestion of a police station), shooting the guy until the threat stops. Yep. I can just see it now, all those priests so highly trained in interrogation and take down techniques, verifying IDs (impossible), arresting the worst criminals in society and singlehandedly bringing them down for a public interrogation, confession and absolution. That’s realistic. Not. Can you imagine? Does that also refer to anything else that would be against the law? Murder, theft, illegal parking? Where do we draw the line? Is any confession to be private?]]

NSW Labor senator Kristina Keneally, who is a scholar of theology[[!]] and a Catholic[[!]], said church [[definite article?!]] could not put itself above the law, but mandatory reporting was not the most effective way to prevent abuse. [[She sounds reasonable so far, but watch this, she’s going to capitalize on the suffering of real victims to get her ideology accepted:]]

“I would look to ordination itself, I would look to who we ordain,” she said. “I have no doubt that if more women and more parents were involved in the leadership of their Catholic Church, that the problem of child sexual abuse would not have been as big as it was and would have been dealt with far differently when it came to light within the institution.”

========= The rest of what follows are my comments:

Did you see the clever switcheroo in this last bit? What we’re talking about statistically is, say, a layman going to confession for committing abuse (pretty much 100% of that being incest) and whether the priest should bring that fact from the confessional to the police. But this politician all of a sudden takes the confessional out of the picture and implies that the whole problem rests with priests and that women and parents are always innocent. That sounds like guilt speaking, the ol’ projection of one’s own guilt trick. As it is, incest stats are staggering. The Atlantic has this:]]

“Here are some statistics that should be familiar to us all, but aren’t, either because they’re too mind-boggling to be absorbed easily, or because they’re not publicized enough. One in three-to-four girls, and one in five-to-seven boys are sexually abused before they turn 18 [[I think those gender-stats are in reverse…]], an overwhelming incidence of which happens within the family. [[“Overwhelming” – “Within the family”]] These statistics are well known among industry professionals, who are often quick to add, ‘and this is a notoriously underreported crime.’”

============ Some other points:

  • The priest has no right to what is said in Confession. This belongs to Jesus who shed His blood to forgive sin. If the priest betrays this it seems to me that he takes on the guilt of those sins himself. You won’t want to see the punishments he will receive in hell. If the State tries to get this information, recording this or whatever, it seems to me that the same dynamic holds. Whoever it is in the State doing this will take on those sins before God. Yep.
  • The Seal of Confession is absolute, between the penitent and God. What’s said in confession stays there.
  • The priest is not a law enforcement officer (and even if he was, he still wouldn’t have a right to this information).
  • There is often a screen between priest and penitent, and so the priest doesn’t know who it is anyway.
  • The mention of the crime may not be by the perpetrator, but by the victim, who is asking for advice on how to bring this to police and how to find some peace with God and neighbor.
  • If there is mandatory reporting for some sin, the result will be that either there is public confession of all and any sin or no confession at all. It is what it is.

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Why are you in *that* parish, thus removed from the life of the diocese?

Holy Redeemer church

You have heard that it was said that bishops should politicize appointments of priests by capitalizing talk of “plum parishes” and “difficult parishes,” blah blah blah. And some bishops do that, moving priests to punish or reward them. Sometimes people our ask our great bishop why a certain priest is in a certain parish, city or mountain, proximate or remote, with a strained history or not, and his invariable answer is that he puts his best priests into such parishes, all of them.

Before I was assigned to any parish in the diocese I had quite an extended discussion with the bishop about the state of affairs in this most remote vicariate being that I had some years of experience here before I belonged to the diocese. I was, then, of course, assigned to this most remote of parishes in this vicariate. Before it was something made popular by Pope Francis, who said that the best priests should be assigned to the most remote parishes, I said that the best priests should be assigned to the most remote parishes. I’m not the best priest, but the bishop appreciates irony. And, as I say, his forever-response to such things is to say that he puts his best priests in all his parishes, never distinguishing a parish as being this or that. Indeed, the *life* of the diocese is fully to be found in every corner of the diocese. I fully agree.

It’s true that the personnel committee that assists the bishop in placement of priests sends out a questionnaire to all the priests every year asking them if they like parishes with no other priests or with many priests, parishes in a city or away from a city, with hospitals, schools, nursing homes or not, etc. My one time answer was that I love all aspects of priestly ministry and have done pretty much every ministry imaginable as a priest in pretty much all conditions. The members of the Body of Christ are everywhere in all conditions and I’m available for that. Here, I spend really a lot of time bringing parishioners to the hospitals round about. Most hospitals in the area are not certified to do pretty much of anything. These parishioners are old with no family and no finances. All the real hospitals are two hours away, some out of state in Georgia and Tennessee. Though some in Asheville or between Asheville and Hendersonville. This was especially fun in the 1987 Toyota pickup:

toyota pickup

So, here I am and I’m loving it all. This is not a typical parish but, then again, there is no typical parish. When some people ask the question – “Why are you in that parish?” – they mean it as a kind of back-handed compliment, you know, the old you have so many talents BUT you’re way (the hell) out there and therefore you must have done something to get some people disgruntled with you! Well, that is absolutely certainly true. I never hesitate to participate in the old speak truth to power thing, enough to make priest friends really, really, really upset with me, telling me what the results will be and telling me what a fool I am. Whatever. I can’t be hurt no matter what retaliation is brought to bear wherever I happen to be in world at any given time, in Oceania, in the Middle East, in western Europe, in eastern Europe, in Central or South or, for that matter, North America. I love everyone and everything everywhere. So, is it a punishment to be put somewhere, anywhere? Gosh! I just never noticed, ever. And, anyway, I’m a priest forever, and that can’t be taken away, not ever. So, what do I care about anything in this life except that I myself try to do the will of God wherever and however I happen to be?

And then there are the priests who call me up to tell me of all the dramas they have in their parishes and I tell them that I’m so happy to be in my little parish! But, of course, as I say, I would be most happy to be in those parishes as well. It is what it is in this world, wherever we are in whatever circumstances with whatever people wherever they are in their lives. Because that’s what Jesus does when He’s up on the cross: “When I am lifted up on the cross I will draw all to myself.”

UPDATE: A comment came in that I was bidden not to publish (that’s the case with lots of comments and emails etc). But I can’t resist saying that the person said that I was, in fact, perfect for this parish in every way. Meanwhile, just to say, when I covered the Cathedral alone for nine days some years ago now, it was told to our great Bishop right in front of me that the Cathedral parish would be perfect for me. Meanwhile, I think pretty much any priest is perfect for any parish if he simply tries to let the priesthood of Jesus shine through, so that like John the Baptist, the priests recedes so that all can see Jesus alone. I wish I were more like that: All Jesus! All Jesus! All Jesus!

 

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood

“Pope Francis – A Man of His Word” – Take of “ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists”

The movie is released in theaters wherever it is today, May 18, 2018. The Trailer seems innocent enough. I haven’t seen it. I don’t think it will be carried in theaters in the back mountain ridges here where there are literally only a handful of Catholics.

I only do this once every year or two or three, but I looked at a couple of the video responses of the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists, that is, until I didn’t. I could only stand a few seconds of each:

(1) The first I looked at for a few seconds immediately cut to sleazy soft-porn excerpts of other films which have nothing whatsoever to do with this film. So, yuck. No. That’s just so incredibly dishonest, lacking in integrity, soooo impure. Just. No. Never again. Again, all of that rubbish had nothing whatsoever to do with this film. So dishonest.

(2) The second one I looked at, presenting itself more as a documentary, opened with some video of the magnificent and traditional and indeed chanted-in-Latin with the traditional text Exsultet, you know, that long and glorious piece sung at the beginning of the Easter Vigil by the priest or deacon. The scenes in this case were from Saint Peter’s in more recent years, but still the Exsultet of old, beautifully chanted in Latin. The video kept flashing on the screen some of the final words of the Esxultet which twice include the word “lucifer,” used, however, not as the name of the fallen angel, but for what it actually means in Latin, which refers to the Easter Candle, which refers to Christ: “lucifer” literally means “light-bearer” in Latin much like “Christopher” means “Christ bearer.” The idea of the video was to make it seem that under Pope Francis the Catholic liturgy is singing to the fallen angel Lucifer, but that is not at all the case. That’s just so incredibly dishonest, lacking in integrity, sooooo impure. Just. No. Never again.

But, I’ll tell you this, those kind of presentations are about the only ones that conservative Catholics (I know; “conservative” is a mere political term, but is appropriate in this context)…. those kind of presentations are about the only ones that “conservative” Catholics will follow on the internet. If what is presented is full of hatred and vitriol and lies, that is exactly what will be followed. It’s says more about the “reporters” and their avid followers than about who the report is supposed to be on.

And, yes, I am also dissed and mocked by the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists because – even if very rarely – I call them out on this kind of hatred which smells of the evil one.

Anyway, I’m guessing that this is NOT a documentary on Pope Francis. It simply amounts to whatever personal take it is that the director has. So, whatever. It’s not infallible, is it? No. I’m sure there are inspiration shots of meeting up with those who are suffering, who are in the darkest of existential peripheries, but even that kind of thing is totally mocked by the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists. Why?

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Porn power sinning: “Run your world” “Break the rules”

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I’m going through some of the pictures I took while on my recent Missionary of Mercy trip to Rome. This picture was taken along the Tiber river near the Vatican outside of a hospital in which I was a patient back in the 1990s, in which, for a moment, Pope John Paul II was a patient after the assassination attempt.

The back of this bus depicts adults stuck in adolescent rebellion, making sin sexy power:

  • “Break the rules.”
  • “Run your world.”

Cute. And that’s the way it is. Zero thought. So egotistic. So dark. So crunched down in on just oneself. “I will not serve!” Non serviam! That’s the proclamation of the demonic.

The commandments are summarized as love of God and love of neighbor. Those are the good “rules” that the fallen world, the fallen flesh, the fallen angel – the devil – would have us break. But are those so bad that we should be entitled brats to shake our fist at God and disrespect our neighbor? Is that the way it should all work?

For instance, is beating down a girl friend and literally dragging her to an abortuary and then pushing her after murdering her child so that she then commits suicide really an effervescent niceness that’s attractive? That’s how “breaking the rules” works out. That’s what “running your world” looks like.

Satan makes sin look attractive to those who do not know God. But what’s on the back of that bus – to those with the love of God – is so very incredibly dark and ugly. The response, with all love of God and love of neighbor, is to share the greatest love of our life, Christ Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. The response to that, depending on the self-congratulations of the society of the time and place where one is, can be as bad as making their worship into putting you to death (the Gospel the other day).

The more sex is cut off from marriage and the family and therefore from life, the more it tends to push for death on every level.

Porn is super prevalent. It is everywhere. It is rationalized. “We’re mature!” “We’re adults!” But it goes from one stage to the next to the next. Those in the industry are treated nicely, until they’re not, until they are wasted in snuff films. If sex isn’t for life it’s for death.

But the thing is, it’s already a grave sin to do what David did when he so peacefully, wistfully, looked lustfully at his neighbor Bathsheba. But hiding behind this is violence of epic proportions, right from the beginning. It will come out. David would murder Bathsheba’s husband, betraying the entire armed forces, the entire nation.

Breaking the rules of love of God and love of neighbor is always about self-power, which is always about smashing down all others with violence. Yep.

But then, all is not hopeless. There is Confession. That’s not pious piffle. Look at the violence wrecked upon Jesus, tortured to death, taking our place, the Innocent for the guilty, now having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. “Father, forgive them.”

And then, with agility of soul and purity of heart, we love to keep the rules and let the fiery Holy Spirit run our lives. The love of God in all truth is infinitely more love and more truth than anything we could ever have with our own dark selves. God’s love and God’s truth is infinitely more attractive.

Thank you Jesus, for coming into this world to grab us and bring us to heaven.

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You’re playing hooky from priesthood for a day? We’ll, I mean…

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After going to the Urology group next to Saint Joseph’s Hospital next to Mission Hospital (the doctor said that he’ll contact me soon about results: I’m not dead yet!!!), I couldn’t just return to the parish the same way I came as a bridge is being replaced on the return side of the Interstate causing a five mile backup. So, I passed by a friend’s house on a far away detour and was asked: “So, you’re playing hooky from your parish today?” Hahaha.

Getting back to the parish, finally, by mid-afternoon, I called an appointment in another state (I have six other states not too far away) and apologized for being late. Finally, I made it there, and spent the next four and a half hours doing priest stuff at the request of the bishop of that diocese. Missionaries of Mercy do stuff, right? On the way back, I snapped the picture above racing back into my own region of these United States. Having gotten back home, with the dogs fed and put to bed inside the rectory, I conked out until Father Gordon called at 6:00 AM.

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Consecration at Mass: The irony!

consecration- 

Father Gordon J MacRae (About) over at These Stone Walls asked me to publish some pictures of day pilgrimages during my Missionary of Mercy trip to Rome in the days surrounding Mercy Sunday 2018. The churches and basilicas involved saints who had been imprisoned, a kind of tradition throughout the centuries.

God’s revelation to us of love and truth and goodness and kindness is also manifested through these members of the Body of Christ, and is a kind of Sacred Tradition if you will, so to speak, as it were. As the great Cardinal Siri pointed out in Gethsemane, the supernatural faith and charity received with sanctifying grace are univocal, always the same, ever ancient, ever new, as they always have the same source in the Holy Spirit.

Christ Jesus was imprisoned. As the Master, so the disciple:

jesus mary solidarity prison

So, we have the tradition of Tradition. We are captives of the Captive One. His love and truth and goodness and kindness is captivating. People push and test His love and truth and goodness and kindness in us, wanting it to be true, but treating us in the same way as our sins treated Mary’s Divine Son. We are, then, captives of Catholic Tradition.

Fr. Gordon MacRae and Pornchai Moontri: Captives of Catholic Tradition

That seems to have gone a little viral with more than 20,000 shares as of this writing. Father Gordon complains: “So, my first post to hit 20k was not even written by me?!!!!” :-) It’s really a very short post. Pretty much all pictures. If you haven’t seen it yet or don’t know Father Gordon or TSW, go over and take a look, especially at Father Gordon’s About Page.

Anyway, Monica Harris dropped a comment on that post saying this:

“The root word of Tradition can also mean betrayal, right? Makes the title of this post true in both senses.”

Sacred Tradition, traditio, or, as the Council of Trent puts it, traditiones – traditions in regard to the articles of faith supernaturally infused into us by the Holy Spirit with Sanctifying grace, refers to a handing on among us of the faith it seems as if by hand (quasi per manus), but really wrought by the Holy Spirit. The Second Vatican Council in its dogmatic decree Dei Verbum, against all definitions of the “spirit of the Council”, repeats what Trent pronounced in Sacrosancta, its first dogmatic decree of the Fourth Session on April 8, 1546.

Judas handed over Jesus to be imprisoned and put to death. Judas, in handing over Jesus, betrayed Jesus. Yes.

In the consecration at Holy Mass, Jesus says:

Hoc est enim corpus meum quod pro vobis tradetur.

For this is my body which will be handed over (given up, betrayed) for you. In the inspired Greek of the Gospels, this is expressed in the present participle: διδόμενον “being handed over now”, thus uniting the Last Supper with Calvary.

The Holy Spirit’s action upon us, flooding us with sanctifying grace, bringing us supernaturally into faith and charity, Sacred Tradition, thus forming us into being the members of the Body of Christ depends on, has its foundation on the obedience of Jesus to the Father, obedience, ob-audire, the eager, prompt listening of Jesus unto death, our redemption. When Jesus lays down His life in this way He also lays down the life of the members of His Body. The most holy moment in the history of the universe, the consecration at the Last Supper, that upon which even Sacred Tradition depends, speaks of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, indeed, of all the members of the Body of Christ. It is Tradition to be handed over, to be made captive so as to be free. Jesus unites us with Himself in His offering to the Father, handing us over to the Father with Himself.

Good one, Monica.

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

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

I received this in an email:

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Flores, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

Rome airport security stops this Jewish prodigal son on his way home

Though I’m a Catholic priest, I’m also Jewish. I’m also a prodigal son. In all my travels, I’ve never been stopped by airport security, being given a different kind of treatment. We’ll, I take that back. The Israeli military did stuff to my laptop computers and computer junk like Hebrew keyboards throughout the decades, sometimes in front of me, with, say, flash drives[!] sometimes taking them away to work on them in private. As I say, the life of this Jewish Catholic priest has always been an open book. ;-)

Other than that – which was for stuff- I myself have never been an SSSS (Secondary Security Screening Selectee). But now I’ve seen a fellow Jewish prodigal son unceremoniouly pulled out of line right in front of me. Poor fellow. He was stripped down and given the full going over.

It’s all Pope Francis’ fault, of course, giving us those heavy bronze castings pictured above (a detail of the Holy Door at Saint Peter’s Basilica). The lady security officer rendering the examination said (my translation): “Awwww, that’s so good of Pope Francis.”

prodigal-son-maze

Feeling footloose, fancy-free and frisky, this feather-brained fellow finagled his fond father into forking over his fortune. Forthwith, he fled for foreign fields and frittered his farthings feasting fabulously with fair-weather friends. Finally, fleeced by those folly filled fellows and facing famine, he found himself a feed flinger in a filthy farm-lot. He fain would have filled his frame with foraged food from fodder fragments. “Fooey! My father’s flunkies fare far fancier,” the frazzled fugitive fumed feverishly, frankly facing fact. Frustrated from failure and filled with forebodings, he fled for his family. Falling at his father’s feet, he floundered forlornly. “Father, I have flunked and fruitlessly forfeited further family favors…” But the faithful father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged his flunkies to fetch forth the finest fatling and fix a feast. But the fugitive’s fault finding frater , faithfully farming his father’s fields for free, frowned at this fickle forgiveness of former falderal. His fury flashed, but fussing was futile. His foresighted father figured, “Such filial fidelity is fine, but what forbids fervent festivities? The fugitive is found! Unfurl the flags! With fanfare flaring, let fun, frolic and frivolity flow freely, former failures forgotten and folly forsaken. Forgiveness forms a firm foundation for future fortitude.” – Originally composed by Rev. W. O. Taylor

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Starting underground, ending up in the peripheries

So, the Missionaries of Mercy sojourn in Rome is at an end. Re-commencement for the next two years has begun.

Above is Metro Roma Linea A in the early morning.

Checking in online (on the phone) for the return Delta flight to Atlanta, I find that, as usual, my seat has been changed by some 20 rows, but, of course, never next to a “bad seat.” We’ll see.

Anyway, emerging from the depths onto Piazza Cinquecento, Stazione Termini, one sees Jesus, the Sacred Heart, surveilling the City from the pinnacle of a church.

If there was a place to sit for a coffee, this would be a great people watching place. Everyone’s from everywhere.

If I put up such pictures leaving Rome, I guess it must mean that I’m nostalgic. That’s not a bad thing, is it? Waiting…

On the move into the peripheries…

Not the peripheries are always all around us…

Sometimes you can even look inside yourself. But Jesus visits the peripheries.

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