Tag Archives: Missionaries of Mercy

Ars-sur-Formans “Not this year”

There’s been a monkey on my back since last year, 2018, when – out of the blue – I was contacted by Father Patrice Chocholski, Rector of the Shrine of Saint Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney in Ars-sur-Formans. As you know, his famed predecessor is the patron saint of priests, the Curé d’Ars, as far as I know, the only canonized priest who lived and died as a diocesan priest (though even he was also a T.O.S.F.). Sanctity is not easy for mere diocesan parish priests!

Father Chocholski was after me because Pope Francis has instituted me a Missionary of Mercy, and therefore as someone who is given to hearing confessions as much as this is possible. That’s what Father Chocholski needed: confessors! Saint John Vianney spent his life as a priest in the confessional. When people visit the Shrine in Ars they want to go to confession. This isn’t easy throughout the rest of France as there are so few priests, and so few among them hearing confessions. Two to three churches every day are attacked in France. No one speaks of this. The situation is dire.

Having put this to my ecclesiastical superiors, I awaited a decision, and waited, until just the other day. I pushed for an answer given that I would need to start on a religious worker visa, given that airline tickets would soon skyrocket in price for the Summer. A replacement for me in the parish here was sought, but as time went on it didn’t look good. In fact, just these past couple of weeks told the story, with various religious communities leaving parishes. This left the diocese stretched for resources. In the face of this the answer was given: “Not this year.”

So, what that means is, “Yes, this year, Andrews will be my Ars.” A profound feeling of being at home came over me.

All the same, at this late stage, I hope Father Chocholski might be able to find an English speaking confessor for the Shrine in Ars… Hail Mary…

Meanwhile, the renovation of the confessional is making good progress in the parish here. More on that later.

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Renovating Confessional encouraging Confessions

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An entirely appropriate Confessional, sure ’nuff (in the midst of Holy Week for those pictures, by the way). But, it could be better. Having discussed this with our Vicar Forane, and encouraged by him, I barely started to mention a renovation to some parishioners and they were all for it, only wanting to know more of the logistics. Lots of talent in the parish. It went to the Finance Council and everyone liked the idea in that august body as well. So, we got started:

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It’s advanced in the last days to be able to hear Confessions. Lots of Confessions! But it’s all a work in progress with lighting, with appropriate artwork, such as crucifixes on both sides, such as a framed “Act of Contrition”, two of them actually, in English and Spanish, to be placed on the left and right sides of the “Grill”. The “Grill” will get an added thin veil as well over the metal.

Flooring will have to wait for this next week when we start in on the church floor, which is a huge project what with moving all the pews and such. But, we forge ahead.

Religion is a virtue of justice. Religion is not a bad thing. The hatred of religion by, you know, “spiritual” people, is an attitude brought about by hopefully non-culpable ignorance. Religion is about rendering to God that which is His due in all justice. Only Jesus could do this, being obedient to the Father by walking among us and showing us the truth and love of God, which we hated unto death thinking that we are being incriminated by all this goodness. Having stood in our place, taking on the death we deserve because of sin, the Innocent for the guilty, Jesus had the right and has the right in His own justice to now command the Father on our behalf: “Father! Forgive them!”

Jesus has the right to take our sins. He has the right to forgive us. How dare we hold back and not give Him our sins for forgiveness and with us having all purpose of amendment so that we might walk in His friendship.

Go to Confession!

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Our perception of time is surreal until

salvador dali persistence of time

Salvador Dali calls this The Persistence of Time. That’s our fallen human perspective of reality for sure. Surreal.

Meanwhile, time is drawn into one hour upon the Cross where we find the very Creator of time, time being drawn together in our redemption, He drawing all to Himself right through that hell of Calvary.

This is where we find the mercy of forgiveness, mercy being a dirty word for many these days, you know, for those who have no need of mercy whatsoever, so self-righteous are they.

But it is good to rejoice in mercy in humble thanksgiving, which becomes the engine of any firm purpose of amendment. This is most beautiful in contrast to the arrogance of self-righteousness to which so many run ever so breathlessly, congratulating themselves.

Confession!

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (cultural dancing in pantaloons, ed.)

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These are the Showy Lady Slippers – by the hundreds – that come out during the month of Our Lady, Jesus’ good mom, up at the hermitage. These flowers appear to me to be “Old World” dancing figures in fancy cultural pantaloons.

I am also reminded that it has been said that the depiction of Mary on the Tilma of Juan Diego – Our Lady of Guadalupe – is that she is calmly, gently, participating in a dance of joy. You’ll see that her left knee is held out quite a bit. And she does have much joy, as she knows that the dreadful slaughter of untold numbers of people, especially children, as sacrifice to the gods of the day is about to come abruptly to an end.

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And then I recall – should I make brave enough to even mention this – my own Missionary of Mercy “dance” in the Paul VI Audience Hall over in Vatican City State:

byers dance paul vi audience hall

There is much in which to rejoice in mercy based on justice and truth and goodness and truth and kindness and truth. Yes. Yet, there have been Catholic pundits who have publicly condemned me for this celebration of Jesus. They may just want to remember that it is Jesus who brought us mercy based on justice and truth, and that that is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all. Perhaps one recalls in regard to these pundits the Saul’s daughter Michal and how she despised David’s dancing…

“David, girt with a linen apron [signifying his priesthood in the line of Melchizedek], came dancing before the LORD with abandon, as he and all the Israelites were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked down through the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place within the tent David had pitched for it. Then David [priest in the line of Melchizedek that he was] offered holocausts and peace offerings before the LORD. When he finished making these offerings, he [as priest in the line of Melchizedek] blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. He then distributed among all the people, to each man and each woman in the entire multitude of Israel, a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat, and a raisin cake. With this, all the people left for their homes. When David returned to bless his own family, Saul’s daughter Michal came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has honored himself today, exposing himself to the view of the slave girls of his followers, as a commoner might do!” But David replied to Michal: “I was dancing before the LORD. As the LORD lives, who preferred me to your father and his whole family when he appointed me commander of the LORD’S people, Israel, not only will I make merry before the LORD, but I will demean myself even more. I will be lowly in your esteem, but in the esteem of the slave girls you spoke of I will be honored.” And so Saul’s daughter Michal was childless to the day of her death.” (2 Samuel 6:14-23)

That passage is about the Lord and His covenant. It is about the Ark, a symbol of the very mother of God, of course. David’s dancing is a foreshadowing of the Woman clothed with the Sun, who hold’s within her womb the promised Messiah, the King of kings and Prince of the Most Profound Peace.

So, yes. A flower for the Immaculate Conception.

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“Team Francis” wrote “The Letter”? Oxford offers a clue to the mystery.

pope francis asperges

You have heard that it was said that the authors of the most recent diatribe against the papacy as such “clarify” that (1) they are not saying that the Supreme Pontiff has “denied truths of the faith in pronouncements that satisfy the conditions for an infallible papal teaching” [and that is correct] and that (2) “We assert that this would be impossible, since it would be incompatible with the guidance given to the Church by the Holy Spirit” [and that is also correct].

But then the most exalted and enlightened group of “they” have it that a “heretical papacy may not be tolerated or dissimulated to avoid a worse evil.”

Wait a minute there… “Heretical papacy”? Did they just contradict themselves? Do they mean “personally heretical pope”? If they did they would say it. These are clever guys (et alii) after all. “Heretical papacy” is as ambiguous as the ambiguity they are attacking. To say “heretical papacy” jacks up the stakes, lighting the wood around any stake on fire.

Of course, any individual Bishop of Rome can personally be a heretic. Too bad, that. And if that were the case and if it were to be known it would surely adversely affect the salvation of souls. I do grieve should that ever be the case in the history of the Church (and it has been the case more than once).

But I should like to know by what act of self-appointment above the Supreme Pontiff is it which grants powers of judgment over the personal beliefs of the Successor of Peter such as to put him on trial so as to forcibly depose him, remove him, get rid of him. How is it that they can seriously think that they themselves will not be held accountable to the Divine Son of the Living God as they spit not only on the anointed of the Lord, but on the Face of Jesus, Mary’s dear Son? Are they going to storm the Vatican, kill the Swiss Guards with bombs, arrest the Holy Father and drag him out next to the Obelisk so as to put him on trial, and then hanging him on the Obelisk itself?

  • Peter, you denied me. Do you love me more than these? Feed my lambs…

And then:

  • Are any of us without sin? By our sin, original sin and whatever of our own rubbish, we have all crucified the Son of the Living God.

They speak of carrying out this coup with the cynicism said to be in accord “with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex — “the salvation of souls is the highest [first] law”. Pffft. I’m not judging them, but what they present outside of themselves, objectively, is nothing more than what amounts to glorifying themselves.

Cowards that they are, they hide behind the skirts of bishops who they call to be their henchmen, (1) by “admonishing Pope Francis to reject these heresies [forget the show trial], and (2) if he should persistently refuse [to listen to tantrums], by declaring that he has freely deprived himself of the papacy.”

Wow. I thought I heard a lot of stupid, stupid, stupid things about the papacy, but this takes the prize. You’ll remember the stupidity of some, saying that if Pope Francis infallibly spoke fallibly – or is that fallibly spoke infallibly? – then, after the fact, he should be deposed, meaning that he would be able to do that in the first place, you know, infallibly speak fallibly – or is that fallibly speak infallibly? – The lack of logic should be clear. But pretty much all of the Tradition-al-ism-ists grabbed on to this. And if anyone went against their illogic and, indeed, heresy, these outsiders were simply dismissed as “Team Francis.” But this present statement of these cowards on the deprivation of the papacy is worse for its insanity.

They say that it can be declared against the will of the Holy Father that the Holy Father is doing something freely. How stupid is that? Look, people. These guys may not realize it, but they are mocking you all as being incredibly stupid and unable to think for yourselves. They think you are their puppets. They want ever more puppets. Doesn’t that mean that it’s about power, Power, POWER! It’s mine! My Precious! Get it? Let me take nine seconds of your time that you’ll never get back:

They say that the Holy Father would have “freely deprived himself of the papacy” by not receiving such a declaration made by others, even just a small group of others.

Then, when they drag him away into exile and set up a puppet pope, an anti-pope, there will be no confusion among the faithful as to whether the “hallowed adage” of the salvation of souls being the first law has been served, you know, while smashing down all other laws in the church, right?

I mean, imagine the outcome of an anti-pope who cannot legitimately be elected as the Successor of Peter and therefore does NOT have the Power of Keys, and cannot delegate the Power of Keys.

One could go on with devastating consequences for the Church a thousand times more damaging that whatever these guys think is the damage going on under Pope Francis.

So, I ask, if these guys are saying that “Team Francis” is destroying the Church, and what want to be done would provide deep, deep wounds for the Church, whose “Team” are they actually on? Oh. I get it. Irony. Yep.

More than that, the last thing Pope Francis wants is that anyone be on “Team Francis.” This is about Jesus.

Anyway, if it’s not bad enough of me to cite John Ronald Reuel Tolkien by way of Gollum, then I may as well go on to cite Hilaire Beloc:

hilaire bellocTo the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power. […] The mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul. [Hilaire Belloc, Selected Essays (2/6), ed. J.B. Morton; Penguin Books (1325): Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958. See the essay “On Irony” on pages 124-127.]

So, what’s the upshot of all that?

  • Pray for Pope Francis. Hail Mary…
  • Pray for these others working as hard as they can for an anti-Pope. Hail Mary…

Maybe I’m really just a meany, you know, citing such as Belloc and Tolkien, both Oxford-ites. And maybe I should give some slack to some of the “top” names of “The Letter.” After all, their country has a long history of fake pope stuff going on. Not a big deal then, I guess. Nevertheless, the reality of the matter is that it does matter, regardless of Oxford-ites know it or not.

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Homily 2019 04 28 Divine Justice Sunday

DOUBTING THOMAS

The fiercest Divine Mercy Sunday homily I’ve ever preached, that’s for sure.

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“Don’t mess with mother” – analogy

Sorry, I couldn’t help but make the analogy…

pieta

Of course, Mary’s ferocity is to get us to go to Confession and go to heaven.

Anecdote time – and this does NOT break the Seal of Confession!

When I was a permanent chaplain in Lourdes and hearing zillions of Confessions of the 12,000,000 pilgrims that 150th anniversary jubilee year in the “Confessions Chapel,” the last penitent left the confessional leaving the door open. Another pilgrim appeared and, before coming in, declared before God and everyone else in ear shot (really a lot of people as it was jammed) that he didn’t know what he was doing there, that he didn’t want to be there, that he hated this, but it was just that after some moments in the grotto he felt compelled to come into the Confessions Chapel, and there he was, hating the whole thing, surely with his guardian angel smacking him down hard. And then he came in, closed the door, and…

That’s how our Lady works. Don’t mess with Jesus’ good mom. She’ll get you every time.

P.S. I have not ever, not now, nor will I ever, as far as I know, ever own an iPhone.

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cardinal joseph ratzinger cdf & just me

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This picture above, from pre-2005, seen all over the internet was once put up on the blog but was since taken down. Meanwhile, the same is true of the following picture of yours truly from when I was a little kid, some 47 years ago; it was up at the same time as the picture above, years ago, but then was also taken down from public view:

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These are screen-shots of the media archives of the blog. The pictures are in the administrative folders of the blog. They are not published on the blog. They’re listed as “unattached” to any blog post.

Strange: someone in Denmark, of all places, went straight to and downloaded both of those pictures in nanoseconds and then was gone, hopefully to a chapel to pray for the both of us. That would be great! I know I need it. I was a brat as a kid. Not to mention still today! ;-)

It seems like everyone in the world has the password to the administration pages of the blog. And does really weird research. Whatever. As long as they don’t change too much. My life is an open book. Maybe it’s just the snarky clever smiles on the faces of Ratz and me that is interesting. I guess…

By the way, I sat just in that very chair where Ratz is sitting in that parlor when I was taking down an intel guy, a long story I’ve told elsewhere. ;-)

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Missionary of Mercy “on the road” – Invaluable Legion of Mary

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Hospitals and clinics spread out in three different states, most of them multiple hours away, are this Missionary of Mercy’s lot in life. I love it. I’m forever bringing parishioners to and from hospitals, anointing them there, hearing confessions, bringing Holy Communion. Lots of “Last Rites” – in the plural – as also included are papal blessings and plenary indulgences. I love it. My only regret, and their only regret, is that I cannot bi-locate. I’m only me.

I’m totally flat out with my parishioners at all the far-flung hospitals beyond the mountains. But for other priests, there is help to be had, that is, when there’s a hospital in the parish, you know, a big-city-parish, with a better opportunity to involve, say, the Legion of Mary in discovering if there are any Catholics in the hospital that day who would like a priest to stop in for a visit. This is especially helpful in anti-Catholic regions.

The Legion of Mary is great, as they actually work with and not against the priest. They won’t pretend to anoint people or hear their confessions. They’ll leave that to the priest. And the priest should visit new patients himself to see what’s up with them, if they need Confession and Anointing and would like to be put on the list for Communion during their stay and possibly then later at home, depending.

The Legion of Mary is doing great in southern Korea (so to speak), and in Africa, where, in many places, it is limited to men, as it’s really quite the ordeal to visit villages that might be a refuge for violence including anti-Catholic, anti-Christian violence. I think we’ve lost sight of the militancy we should have.

I do think the time is coming in America when martyrs will be abundant. Europe is ripe for this. First it was the Jews who laid down their lives for believing in the Messiah who is to come into the world. Then it will be the those who follow the Jews in believing in Jewish Jesus who is the One who is to come into the world, as Jewish Martha says in the Gospel of John.

If we use the Legion of Mary as a canary in the coal mine, as it were, these USA look like were going to go even farther into the darkness. I remember a priest saying that there is no way that he would work with the Legion of Mary. “I’m not going to attend any meetings with them,” he exclaimed, “as long as they continue to say that old-fashioned Rosary.”

Whatever. The “little flock” of the Lord can say the Rosary all on their own! And do! Hah!

And then we help each other get to know Jesus and Jesus’ good mom.

Then we help each other get to heaven, helping each other keep up with the sacraments.

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Staged attack? Smollett? Hutsko?

saint michael byzantine church merrillville indiana

For whatever reason, I’ve been getting some hits on posts on Father Basil Hutsko of the Eparchy of Parma from the old city of Stalingrad (now Saint Petersburg) and then Petrozavodsk, both in northeast Russia. There were reports of a cowardly attack on him on 20 August 2018 in the sacristy of his church by an unknown assailant, who then escaped without a trace. That attack landed him in the hospital for a review of injuries. The Eparchy had put out a call for prayer. Months later, the same Eparchy put out this disclaimer, which I only saw today, more than five months later:

Father Basil Hutsko, a priest of the Eparchy of Parma, has been placed on administrative leave in response to a credible accusation of sexual misconduct involving a minor that allegedly occurred 35 years ago. Though Father Basil Hutsko denies the accusation, Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, having heard from the priest, the Review Board, and the Promotor of Justice, has found the accusation to be credible. A finding that the accusation is credible is not a finding of guilt. Father Basil Hutsko has been placed on administrative leave. While on administrative leave, Father Basil Hutsko is unable to function in any capacity as a priest anywhere. Also the Eparchy of Parma has recently verified with a member of Father Basil Hutsko’s immediate family that the incident Father Basil Hutsko reported on Aug. 20, 2018, did not occur.

All that happened before the Jussie Smollett case went viral, raising consciousness about the possibility of a faked attacked on a personal level. I know that militaries right around the world have done this kind of thing since time immemorial – all. the. time. – so as to give themselves the “right” to attack some other nation. It escalates tensions, draws on resources, tears down trust of everyone in every institution.

I always thought of myself as being bad and evil enough to think on the level of a criminal, and so not dismissing possibilities of evil before even starting. Stupid me. I was having too high of an opinion of myself. I’m not nearly open to thinking like a criminal as I should be. It never entered my pea-brain to think that someone would do this to themselves. I mean, I’ve just never run across that. Never. Not with domestic abuse cases, not with anything. It was always non-staged, real violence that had occurred.

I’m guessing Father Hutsko is claiming innocence since the Eparchy goes out of its way to state that “credible” does not mean “guilt.” I’ll believe Father Hutsko until he’s proven guilty, which probably necessitates an admission of guilt in these days of “all priests are always guilty,” when there is no statute of limitations on s/he said – s/he said allegations and counter-allegations. Let it be said: statutes of limitations protect justice. Unlike so very many real cases where admission of guilt is easily obtained, that is not so with the case of Father Hutsko. On the other hand, it seems his own family is saying that the attack was staged, and that was all before the Jussie Smollett case. But perhaps Father is not feeling well. Maybe he has PTSD for whatever reason. Perhaps his family doesn’t like him. I don’t know. God knows. I don’t. Nor do you.

What I do know is that it will be more difficult for Father Hutsko because of the Jussie Smollett case. Much. More. Difficult.

What I also know is that we all have to help each other get to heaven.

And we do have to remember that it does no favor to anyone, especially to any real victim, to make a real victim into a seething vindictive cesspool of burning hatred for his or her entire lifetime. It’s helps any real victims to be able to forgive. That doesn’t mean saying any crime was unimportant. It doesn’t give anyone permission to do any crime (again). It doesn’t mean that the person forgiven can take in that forgiveness or even want forgiveness. It doesn’t mean that that forgiveness can actually be voiced. What making an act of the will by the grace of God to hold out forgiveness at least spiritually means a great deal of healing for any real victim. It means not being controlled by the aggression of that experience. It means growing, and not in mere reaction to an aggressor. What would we not want that for anybody?

Anyway, and just to say, if this was all staged, and that can be proven, Father Hutsko may be in for an unpleasant surprise. If I remember correctly, the FBI may have been interested in looking into this case as a hate crime, that is, with a motivation of terrorizing a class of people, holding all individuals in that class to be guilty and worthy of a possibly lethal attack. If any law enforcement wasted time and resources, well, it doesn’t look good. But, as I say, I don’t know. God knows. I don’t. Nor do you.

What I also know is that we all have to help each other get to heaven.

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1/3 kids in ER assessed as suicide risks: loss of identity, self-esteem because…

calvin and hobbes puddle reflection

  • The stats are stunning, with 1/3 of kids admitted to Emergency Rooms being assessed as suicide risks.
  • The stats are stunning, with that suicide risk stat being in direct correlation with the rise of kids with smart phones using social media.

Kids can be horrific bullies. Kids can be ultra-conformist. If insulted, it’s pretty much 100% certain that kids will take the insult to heart, including the bullies, who are, by the way, the most cowardly, the most projecting of themselves upon others: it’s not them with issues; it’s others! Kids without an identity apart from manipulated reactions to social media use are thus brought to the lowest common denominator of death. If you thought such drama to be limited to those we wrongly call “adults”, you’re wrong; it’s a power thing, even with kids.

Generally speaking, kids don’t have the emotional wherewithal to withstand this kind of assault, or the ability to assault from behind a little screen without having to answer to people right in front of you. That’s why we call young people minors, giving them a different status, limiting their participation in society in all sorts of ways and on all sorts of levels – or at least we used to do that.

But with smart phones, all bets are off. The put-downs, insults, threats and extortion, the sexting, the manipulation, the marginalization… it’s all there, just like with adults. We’re all subject to the weakness of original sin, but kids are less apt to be confronting the world with a full sense of identity and therefore reason and balance.

So, what’s the solution? Merely take away or limit use of smart phones? That’s part of it. The real underlying cause, however, is a lack of identity. Social media has become the identity of kids. But why?

People are seeking self-esteem in the face of a fallen human nature that is so easily manipulated particularly when we have no sense of identity, no base, no foundation, as it were, from which to interact with the world. And people fall, and as they fall, they are smashed down and mocked all the more by those who are just like them, only worse in bullying and cowardice. Seeking self-esteem, they make the absurd claim for themselves that what they do in leveling ranker and insults at others, in hurting themselves with immoral behaviors as manipulated by others, is to do the right thing, because everyone is that way, because in that way they are getting for themselves an identity, however cruel, however much this beats oneself up. “I’m me!” they cry in their self-provided self-esteem, beating themselves up, beating others up. And now they’re adults, they think, being able, however, not to act from any real identity, but in being all the more cruel with those with whom one has chosen to give one’s life in being in mere reaction to them, still defining one’s identity by way of reaction to another. How very mature!

So, again, what’s the solution to a lack of identity, to a lack of self-esteem? Religion.

There’s a politically incorrect answer: religion, which, as a virtue of justice, renders to God that which is due to God, our Creator. God expects us to use our free will to be His good creatures. To use our free will we have to have a base, a foundation of identity from which to act, and this is uncomfortable as people are used to having no identity, to being in mere reaction to others. We don’t like this because we are immediately confronted with the fact that in our weak human nature after original sin we have no way to establish an identity from which to act. For fallen creatures to all of a sudden be good creatures – still in all our weakness in this world – we need the intervention of our Creator, His forgiveness, and the wherewithal – in a bond of friendship, of humble thanksgiving with Him – to have an identity once again, a real identity, that of a creature walking in the presence of his Creator.

Religion: God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, to re-establish us before Himself, thankful to Him for giving us our identity which we threw away with original sin and whatever of our own. Jesus rendered to His Father, on our behalf, that which God the Father is due. Jesus is religion Incarnate. That’s religion. That’s all it is. Nothing scary. It’s all Jesus. We have our identity in Jesus.

Self-esteem is no longer sought in reaction to others, which is entirely contrary to self-esteem, making oneself lose one’s self-esteem. Self-esteem in Jesus is now provided by Jesus forgiving us and establishing a friendship with us. He says: “I call you friends.”

We get self-esteem by going to Confession and being brought into this friendship with Jesus. Jesus Himself wanted it done this way. Sin offends both God and neighbor, no matter what, no matter how private – even the “privacy” of hiding behind a screen in social-media. Being reconciled isn’t just a matter of saying, “Sorry, God!” Jesus wants us to be reconciled with Himself and all of us. Saint Paul speaks of this as Jesus being the Head of the Body and we the members of the Body. The priest represents all the other members of the Mystical Body of Christ. When the priest gives absolution of sin in the first person singular – “I absolve you…” – it is Christ Jesus who is speaking, and we are reconciled to both Jesus and our neighbor.

Mind you, the guilt of sin being put aside, while that is a great thing, is only the tiniest part of the story in obtaining self-esteem and identity. The absolution brings about forgiveness by way of flooding the soul with sanctifying grace, with the friendship of Jesus.

Self-esteem? “Jesus, God, loves me!” “Jesus, God, loves us!”

Identity? “I am found by Jesus to be one in friendship with Him. He gives me the base, the foundation, to have an identity in Him. In His friendship I need not give in to the temptation to be in mere reaction to others, to the temptation to be down to the lowest common denominator of death. In Jesus, in His friendship, I can even do something good for others, helping to introduce them all the more to the liberty of wholesomeness, of integrity, of honesty, of goodness and kindness, of friendship with Christ Jesus, who will come to the judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen. Maranatha! Come once again to us, Lord Jesus!”

confessional

That’s a bit counter-intuitive, isn’t it? Get self-esteem by confessing one’s sins? Yep. I love it. Christianity is full of irony, the wit and wisdom of Jesus. He loves us. Truly.

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Hating Divine Mercy Chaplet unites ultratraditionalismists and liberals

Jesus cleanses the temple

To be just is to be merciful. To be merciful is to be just. Mercy is potential part of the virtue of justice, as Aquinas says in his Commentary on the Sentences.

Filthy liberal priests hate Divine Mercy Sunday. They won’t have anything to do with it, rebelling against Holy Hours, devotions, Confessions. “Why do that?” they ask. “There’s no such thing as sin anyway,” they say. I have personally witnessed this around the world.

But then, unexpectedly (though opposites attract), ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists get into the attack mercy game as they want to be “tough” and “heroes” over against all that wimpy and way too saccharine and sugary mercy rubbish, which, because it is mercy, must necessarily manipulate and reject justice, which is what they stand for, you know, being “tough” and “heroes” and all that. And gullible multitudes follow them.

This latter crowd ever so condescendingly and with such aloof finesse and sophistication attack canonized saints and particular devotions. Surely you’ve heard, for instance, the rejection of the saccharine Divine Mercy Chaplet with all of its sugary prayers. Ever sooo sweet and therefore ever sooo to be rejected by those who are serious in their spiritual lives. But let’s just look at that for a moment:


The Sign of the Cross: Let’s see: the Most Holy Trinity; the ultra violent instrument of torture and death, the cross. Bad and evil for being way too sugary and saccharine, I guess.

The Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Apostles Creed: All of these, bad and evil for being way too sugary and saccharine, I guess.

Decade prayer: Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. — So, this description of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, of sin and redemption, of our Lord’s obedience to the Father, is to be damned as bad and evil for being way too sugary and saccharine? I don’t get it.

On the 10 Small Beads: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. “For the sake of” is an explication of… wait for it… JUSTICE. The same for the Decade prayer above. Mercy is founded on justice. So, all this talk of justice is bad and evil for being way too sugary and saccharine? I don’t get it.

Conclusion: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. For those who don’t know, this prayer recalls a part of the ferocious reproaches (the Improperia) on Good Friday during the Veneration of the Cross. That part reaches back to time immemorial and is called the Trisagion:

  • Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!
  • Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis.
  •  Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς 

All these prayers go to the very heart of all that is Catholic, all that is Christian, all that is of Tradition. It all slams us to our knees in the reality that we are sinners directly on our way to hell if not for Christ Jesus, the Son of the Living God. But that’s all bad and evil for being way too sugary and saccharine? I don’t get it.

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Missionary of Mercy in 2019 rants on hateful pundits who condemn mercy

missionaries of mercy 2019 letter

Yes, I’m still a Missionary of Mercy. Yes, I still have special faculties that encourage especially priests to go to Confession with rather difficult sins. I think it’s a good idea. It’s done for the good for the Church. I thank Pope Francis for it.

Hateful pundits speak of statistics of Confessions of priests who have had the special faculties for absolution from the Missionaries of Mercy applied to them, saying that it’s all useless since these faculties are never used anyway. How do they know? Seriously. Do they have Satanic gnostic witchcraft seances, looking into crystal balls? Seriously.  There is something called the Seal of Confession. I, for one, take it seriously.

That there are haters is to be expected, but – oh my – look at the multitudes of gullible people who follow them. What the haters want is that no one but no one goes to Confession. I’ve heard the haters say that all Missionaries of Mercy are not priests. Really? The haters will have to answer for their statements stopping people from going to Confession. If the haters want justice and no mercy, they might well be on their way to getting what they want. That’s just too sad. I’ll happily grant them absolution if they properly desire it. Firm purpose of amendment is required, even for the haters.

For myself, I have not committed any sins against the doctrine or morality of the Church by utilizing these special faculties of the Missionaries of Mercy. I’ve not gone against justice, or anything that is good and holy with the special faculties the Holy Father has granted to me. And I don’t know of any Missionary of Mercy who has done such a thing.

In fact, these faculties are provided with the proviso that nothing in the internal forum will have publicly knowable, practical effect in the external forum. There is to be no internal forum solutions for “marriages”, etc., etc., etc. The Missionaries of Mercy are not agents of Amoris laetitia, which is merely, in the words of Pope Francis in that very document, just a volley in dialogue.

But, I’m all ears. If anyone has cogent arguments as to why Missionaries of Mercy are not validly ordained priests, or that being a Missionary of Mercy risks eternal damnation for such priests, drop a comment in the comments box.

To the rest of those who desire the Mercy of the Lord Jesus in a validly provided absolution in the Sacrament of Confession, don’t worry about what the haters say. Just go to Confession, and go to heaven. We’ve got to make it to heaven!

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The one thing necessary, saying, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…

Jesus crucified passion of the christ

Did not Jesus redeem us all? Does He not want that we also be saved? Were we not all in the peripheries of left and right until we assented to allow ourselves to be drawn by Him to the Cross when He was lifted up to that great height? Can we do that if we pretend that we’ve never ever been on the peripheries, that He never had to forgive us, that we were always correct even as we crucified Him? That we were always expert in prayer and fasting and almsgiving?

What does a good son of the Church say? He says:

“Jesus have mercy on me, a sinner.”

And then a good son of the Church says:

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was […]. I accuse myself of the following sins: […].”

That’s what a good son of the Church says. Yep.

A good son of the Church never says: “I’m so holy! I’m without sin!”

“If we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, ‘We have not sinned,’ we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:7-10nab)

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Pius XII archives to be opened: Anti-Semitic cover-up in the making?

Emmanuel Célestin Suhard

First of all: THANK YOU POPE FRANCIS for announcing the opening of the archives in March 2020. THANK YOU! But we’ll see what the underlings do. Here’s the AP news story:

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Declaring that the church “isn’t afraid of history,” Pope Francis said Monday he has decided to open up the Vatican archives on World War II-era Pope Pius XII, who has been criticized by [some] Jews of staying silent on the Holocaust. Francis told officials and personnel of the Vatican Secret Archives that the archive would be open to researchers starting March 2, 2020.

Yours truly has been seeking a copy of a certain letter forwarding a certain matter to Pius XII. It was sent in to Pius XII directly by the Archbishop of Paris, Emmanuel Célestin Cardinal Suhard. Meanwhile, Pius XII gave this letter of the Cardinal to the Secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission of the day, which, back when, was part and parcel and had the authority of the Holy Office (the Sacred and Supreme of that name), what we now call the CDF, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Holy Office did offer a ferocious response to the matter which is now published. That response is perhaps an example of sarcasm against the stupidity of anti-Semitic “biblical scholars” that hasn’t been seen before or since. The problem is that the matter itself is not published, only the answer to it.

holy officeHaving gotten a bishop to back up my request for a copy of this letter, a recent Prefect of the CDF (now already some ten years ago) responded to say that the letter of Cardinal Suhard relating the matter was not to be found in the archives of the CDF, but were possibly to be found in the personal (and therefore secret) archives of Pius XII himself. Those archives, he said, are to be found in the Secretariat of State. What he could have done, of course, and as is the practice, is to send the inquiry directly to the Secretariat of State. What he did is an evasion. But I digress. The opening of the archives is only a year away. I look forward to it.

From what I can gather, the matter forwarded by Cardinal Suhard detailed the anti-Semitic attitudes of some French biblical “scholars” who, immediately after WWII and the closing of the horrific concentration camps, wanted what they considered to be the idiocy of the Jewish Scriptures smacked down, you know, all the usual hatred that the Jews, wandering about in the desert, couldn’t possibly have copied mythology correctly as they simply didn’t know what they were doing and perhaps belong in concentration camps even today. I want names. “Never again!” means knowing what was going on at the time, right? But we’ll see if the cover-up continues. If it does, I will not be happy. Here’s a video I made, upset with the violence. It’s a reading of the names in the children’s memorial at Yad vaShem (The Power and the Name Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem):

I’d like to make this my next major project, even though there is a realization that there are another couple dozens major projects on the back burners. It’s just that when opportunity hits a strike has to be made. This may have to involve any number of bishops. This may take multiple trips to Rome. I’m just as determined as I ever was. Never give up. Be relentless. Anyway:

THANK YOU, POPE FRANCIS, for announcing the opening of the archives!

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Fraud + Charles Scicluna: God’s love is homosexual

It’s now late February 2019, during the “Abuse Synod.” We see that Scicluna is promoting the legitimacy of homosexuality as not being a disorder. Scicluna has been repeating this for years and years. On July 21, 2013, on the soon to be forcibly closed Holy Souls Hermitage blog, I published the following interlinear commentary on an LGBTQ themed interview of the then new Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Malta, the Most Rev. Charles Scicluna, who has spearheaded now for decades the entire Church’s response to the abuse crisis by letting the most far reaching cause of the crisis – homosexual bullying – get a pass.

Scicluna is one of the masterminds of the “Abuse Synod” of February 2019. He insists that God’s love is the origin of homosexually occasioned “love.” Immediately after I published what you’ll read below, I was ecclesiastically silenced, being forced not only to take down the commentary on that interview I now re-publish below, but I was thrown into a dumpster as I had no way to support myself. This was known.

That didn’t surprise me. It was the tradition-al-ism-ists who took me off-guard. I was attacked as a traitor since Scicluna’s take down of Marcial Maciel had given him the same kind of street cred that was enjoyed by, say, [now laicized Cardinal] McCarrick, who thrived on being “tough on abusers,” gaining street cred for himself in this way. Get it?

For the sycophants of Scicluna, the “tougher” one is, the more of a god one is, the higher on the pedestal one goes. Scicluna instantly became an untouchable hero who could do no wrong. Scicluna’s wild promotion of divinely inspired homosexual “love” was rationalized in the attacks made upon yours truly. Whistleblowers are always attacked by the cowardly, by those who politically correct, those who are entitled to heroes of their choice whether those “heroes” are monsters or not. We see the emergence of the old code of silence, the old omertà, the old cover-up giving one’s heroes a licence to kill, keeping the ever desired cycle of abuse going. This is what the cowardly want.

The YouTube video of this interview has since been taken down. Those attacking me said that it was “highly edited” what with different camera angles and all. Yet, there are long sections of non-interrupted frothing by Scicluna. Moreover – and please note this – the final version of the video was officially sanctioned by both the University LGBT group and the Archdiocese of Malta. That means, for those wanting to silence me in the bottom of a dumpster yet again, that Scicluna absolutely agreed to the presentation of his statements.

These are not just sound bites; there is also lengthy non-interrupted rationale.

Before the video was taken down, I had transcribed every last word of the entire video. The entire text [with my comments] is presented below.

In brief, Scicluna favors legalizing, sanctioning, the relationships of non-heterosexual couples. After all, he insists, homosexual “love” comes from God. How sick.

scicluna 1

Pete Farrugia (typed question pictured):

Is my best friend still eternally damned for loving men instead of women as the priests in our old school told him – Matthias & Marthese [This clearly asks about the grave [im]morality of homosexual acts. Note the relativization of God’s judgment to modern opinion of men: “still eternally…”]

Bishop Scicluna:

I think love is never a sin. God is love. I think that there is a love between males that is the love of friendship, and that is blessed from God. I would distinguish between love between males and sex between males. [Great. But, since he’s answering such a question as this, would it not behoove him to indicate that it is of immediate interest to distinguish between the friendship of two heterosexual males, which is indeed a love of friendship blessed from God, a friendship not sourced through the lens of homosexual attraction, over against a “love” between two homosexuals, a “love” sourced through the lens homosexual attraction, which is not love, but rather inversion? Not making this distinction in the face of such a question misleads one into thinking that homosexually sourced love of friendship (prescinding from sexual acts) has a dignity that comes from God Himself. This is not to say that those who are burdened with same sex attraction cannot be great saints, and truly love God and neighbor of whatever sex most heroically, but one must carry such a cross with a rejection of any “love” that is sourced through homosexual attraction. But he doesn’t say that. Of course, a failure to make distinctions during an interview may be just because he didn’t have any coffee that day. But we’ll see if this lack of distinction comes up again, and what the dire consequences are.] And a question about damnation is not a question I can define, define on, because this is something that is exclusively reserved to God who respects the freedom of an individual. [Chapeau to Bishop Scicluna. What he means here, it is to be guessed, is not that one is free to do what one wants and can get away with it, but that God will, indeed, supply us with the freely chosen consequences of our freely chosen actions, if we do not turn to His mercy. Saint Paul reminds us that the consequences can, in fact, be eternal damnation.] But what the psalm says is that there is mercy of God which is eternal, and my hope for myself and for this friend is that we rely on God’s mercy and His forgiveness. [He’s saying that homosexual acts are objectively sinful, and may very well be subjectively sinful for any given individual, who risks eternal damnation if repentance is not made. Great! And, yes, we have all of us, without exception, me, you, everyone, crucified the Son of the Living God with our sins. With repentance and reliance on God’s mercy and forgiveness, we can indeed have hope. Great! Indeed, I would say this, the Mystical Body of Christ is also supported by those who carry their cross well, including those who are burdened with same sex attraction. But I’m still wondering about that lack of distinction about homosexually sourced “love of friendship.” Let’s continue…]

scicluna 2

Pete Farrugia (typed question pictured):

Recently in France there has been protests both in favour and against gay marriage. What is your opinion about the situation in France? – Sophia

Bishop Scicluna:

Well [He’s laughing here.], my opinion as a Roman Catholic Bishop should be very, very clear, but, I think, and, um, one of the interesting thing that I was noting recently, because we’re talking about something which is very, very recent, and there are people from all walks of life, from all persuasions, who are saying we should be faithful to our definitions. We [By “we” he means all cultures of any nation of any age, and he is, of course, correct on this.] have always defined marriage — even in ancient Greece, where male friendship was also sexual or in pagan Rome, where you had all sorts of behaviors very, very, almost very déjà vu certain things that we see today — but marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and it is the important, stable community that is the building block of society, because it gives a stable environment and a loving environment which is heterosexual for the birth and upbringing of children, that may be males or females. [Excellent!] And it is, it is the community that assures the preservation of the species and also the continuation of society. [Here’s he’s stating civil regulation promoting the kind of heterosexual marriage he has described is necessary. Great! But he’s talking about marriage, here, and he’s talking to someone who is interested in his views on non-heterosexual marriage. So, let’s see what he does for non-heterosexual (such as LGBT) couples:] So I think that there is no need to change the definition of marriage to defend the dignity and give legal recognition to relationships between people who are not heterosexual couples [Catastrophically, his very protection of marriage being reserved to heterosexual couples does not at all forbid him, in his perspective, to promote what he calls the dignity of non-heterosexual couples. He guides and directs that such “dignity” be recognized by way of civil legislation legalizing unions of non-heterosexual couples. In context of what he says above, he intends that such couples in such unions not commit sexual acts. One immediately wonders if he also thinks that such homosexually sourced (or LGBT sourced) “love of friendship”, which he says comes from God, can be blessed by appropriate ceremonies in a Catholic church, such as Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, by a Catholic priest, or bishop for that matter. If one thinks that this is shocking, we only have to remember the many Bishops and Archbishops and, indeed, Cardinals, who have stated time and again that they think that as long as a seminarian is “comfortable” with chaste but deeply rooted homosexuality, that they can and ought to be ordained. This bit about non-heterosexual — but in his view — chaste and legalized unions is simply a logical conclusion of the blessing of a homosexualized number of clergy by many other ecclesiastics. And, mind you, there are those who say that it may be that the entire interview was not presented. I would answer that no matter what other editing took place, there is no possible scenario in which the Bishop could have said what he said legitimately. What he said above was not edited at all. And, again, this presentation was sanctioned by the Archdiocese of Malta. So, now look at what happens:].

scicluna 3

Pete Farrugia:

Do you think that the Church using terms like disorder to refer to homosexual inclination is a stumbling block in furthering dialogue?

Bishop Scicluna:

It doesn’t really help, doesn’t it? I think that the word we should avoid is evil. Because evil is already going in to the moral, you know, judgment of a single act, really. [This is an excellent way to lift an inclination out of the ambit of the morality of an acting upon that inclination. Good. Inclination and acts are different. Just because one has an inclination does not mean that someone is evil. Right. But let’s see how he does an end run around the word disorder so as to inescapably imply that homosexually sourced “love of friendship” is not at all a disorder, but is instead ordered and “blessed from God”:] Now disorder is different because determining it is also relative [!]. It depends on what you say, what you mean when you say ordered [Get ready for a new definition of what ordered is all about after he speaks to the biological aspect only of what is properly ordered according to Judeo-Catholic revelation and teaching…], and I think that there is a reference to the book of creation here. If we open the book of creation which is the book of Genesis for example in the Bible, but the book of creation is our bodies, looking at our bodies, and the way human beings not only relate but also come together. A man and woman come together to be one body. That is the book of creation. Now I’m going, I’m not going to go into the details of the sexual act, but when we’re talking about order, we’re talking about how the male body and the female body are created, and saying they are created to become one body, whereas where we look at two men, and the book of creation doesn’t tell us that they should be one body. And that is where the disorder comes. The order is to us by the book of creation. [He’s definitely ruling out homosexual acts, and inescapably implies that homosexual acts are disordered and indeed, from what he said further above, at least objectively evil, at least on the level of what he thinks the plumbing should work in his imagination. However, you will notice that he is not answering the question about inclination, and, unlike the teaching of the Catholic Church, limits the discussion to that which is biological. Obviously, active homosexuals will have a different opinion about how the possibility of diversely appreciating of the “book of creation”. Active homosexuals will surely insist that the plumbing is effervescently fabulous for themselves. Holy Mother Church, instead, holds that the inclination is itself disordered. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.” That Scicluna is purposely limiting the discussion to that which is biological to the end of recognizing what he calls the dignity of non-heterosexual unions is evident by, in fact, his promotion of legislation promoting the legalizing of unions of non-heterosexual couples, unions which he seems to think will be entirely chaste as a love of friendship blessed by God. But this is already a sin against chastity: holding specifically homosexually sourced “love” to have its origin in God is blasphemous. The Catechism does say that “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” However, forbidding the legalization of unions of non-heterosexual couples is not a sign of unjust discrimination.]

scicluna 4

Pete Farrugia:

And finally, Father, do you have a message for the students from part of the LGBT community at the university?

Bishop Scicluna:

They are welcome in the Church and there is a place for them in the Church, and I would suggest that whatever they do in life they cherish good friendships, good, safe, chaste friendships. I know it’s a tall order from a short bishop, bishop, but it comes with great respect and also fraternal love. [Non-heterosexual couples who live in legalized or non-legalized unions by that very lifestyle proclaim that their non-heterosexually sourced “love of friendship” is not disordered. They reject a most basic teaching of the Church. This is not blessed by God. This is not chaste, even if there are no sex acts. Those who are in such unions gravely scandalize the faithful. Grave scandal is, objectively, grave sin. Scicluna’s  niceness doesn’t make it all better.]

Pete Farrugia:

Thank you very much.

Bishop Scicluna:

Most welcome.

[Saying such things as did Bishop Charles J. Scicluna presents a world-view which radically — I would say militantly — promotes the homosexualist agenda. What truly Catholic bishop could possibly promote the legalization of a sealing of a relationship of two deeply rooted homosexuals who think, with his help, that such a disorientation is actually good and wholesome, and who, strongly homosexually attracted to each other, will be living under the same roof? Who could possibly pretend that they will easily remain chaste? It’s absurd. All of it. Still today, in February 2019, Scicluna insists that there is no added weakness for homosexuals, and therefore, no disorder. These are all steps to the normalization of homosexual acts as being completely moral and sanctioned by God. That’s not good. Whether I end up in a dumpster again or not, I cannot remain silent in the face of Scicluna’s homosexualization of the Church.]

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Can Bishop Conlon offer fatherly governance of the family of faith he doubts is a family of faith?

Jesus Peter Keys Kingdom Founding Catholic Church

Bishop Conlon says he has no idea as to whether Jesus intended to found a Church. This statement was presented on the diocesan website with no further context as it apparently stood on its own. The diocese then took that down without providing any other context than to say (ignoring the bishop) that the diocese holds up the Catechism. So, Bishop Conlon’s context is not provided and he offers no clarification. He can just scandalize the faithful and then run away like the scandal never happened, making it worse, making it seem that there is no fatherly care by the bishop of the family of faith in his care. The question is, where is he running? That’s up to him to answer. But on a practical level, what is Bishop Conlon saying about the legitimacy of his being a bishop if he is questioning the legitimacy of the existence of the Church?

Bishop Conlon, you cannot lead with fatherly governance the family of faith which one holds to be suspect of not being a family of faith.

  • Hit and run is despicable.
  • Scandalizing the faithful and then running is despicable.

But this has become the modus agendi – the way of acting – of so many.

To the point: That’s sad, for Bishop Conlon and for other bishops. Beyond that, beyond praying that such sadness be transformed into truth and therefore joy, so what? Who gives a crap that Bishop Conlon is a make-pretend sophisticate in what comes down to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (who inspired the Scriptures) and what descends into denial of Jesus who said that if we deny Him He will deny us before our Heavenly Father? That becomes a matter between Bishop Conlon and the Judge of all.

In other words, just because some guy who is a bishop is content to attempt to scandalize the faithful – where’s his context? where’s his explanation? – let’s not ourselves take scandal, let’s not be scandalized. Instead, let that lack of fatherly care, that lack of fatherly governance be an encouragement to us to be all the more faithful to our Lord. We see the darkness and don’t like it, so, let’s be with the Light all the more.

The worst thing that can happen is that when an abuser of the faith is on the loose we allow that abuser to continue abusing us by letting his abuse of us be an excuse to be controlled by that abuse of power, letting our faith be destroyed by someone who – by all intents, purposes and reconstructions, objectively speaking – enjoys that abuse of power in destroying and smashing down others.

Whatever with Bishop Conlon, I beg Jesus that I, a sinner, be able to receive the forgiveness of Jesus and remain with Jesus and bring others to Jesus, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

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On changing course: a race course!

mvimg_20190209_193533~26679903225769693789..jpg

Laudie-dog is pointing out one side of a two-turn race course, the deep banked holes assisting in skidding to stop after flying through the air, and, using the now banked up back yard, instantaneously turning about, flying in the other direction. Landing on the opposite side of the yard, there is the same skid to stop banked up hole, exactly the same, identical, just in reverse. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

Laudie-dog looks bewildered as this race course of changing of course doesn’t belong to her. This was created by Shadow-dog because Shadow-dog thinks he’s clever. Shadow-dog is a maniac. Behold, Saint Paul speaking of when he was a maniac, running from his good religious plan right into sin and back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, with his good religious plan being the same as his sin, you know, because he is the one doing it under his own “power,” which, of course, is nothing:

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold into slavery to sin. What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body?” (Romans 7:14-24).

The idea here is that Saint Paul is critiquing his manipulative usage of religion as a way to congratulate himself. Note the constant mantra of egoism – “I” – “I” – “I” – as in “I myself come up with a religious plan that I think is good for me and I’m clever and I can save myself by my religious plan because I’m so special! Look at me! Look at me! I’m saving myself! /// He’s saying that that kind of attitude is B.S., or better, Chicken S***, inasmuch as what he’s depicted himself as is a chicken with it’s head cut off, running around mindlessly like it’s all normal and good. There are those who don’t get this until they read the last verse which I didn’t  include above. You’ll see it below, but don’t read it just yet.

Let me tell you of another crowd who have been a very large part of the crisis of priests not knowing who they are, and of the abuse crisis. They knew the last verse cited further below, but purposely went out of their way to ignore this. There’s a psych institute over in Rome connected to the Pontifical Gregorian University which trains up sisters and priests in psychology to be staff psychologists at seminaries right round the world. Their guru guy, a Jesuit priest, but actually a guru guy, Rulla, cites this passage as the be all and end all of proof that God made a mistake in creating us, or better, that God created us in a way that encourages us to save ourselves with coping mechanisms, you know, to cope with all the mistakes God made in making us. In other words, as I heard one student of Rulla say, “We’re the first ones in the history of the Church to find a way to save ourselves!”

I have very many friends who went to this psych institute and I bought the expensive books of Rulla and the institute, such rubbish, and have studied it all with some intensity. I offered the critique about Rulla’s treatment of this passage of Saint Paul to one particularly close friend who was a student of Rulla. He threw such a hissy fit. He left the lunch table angry and pouting and wouldn’t sit at the same table with me or speak to me for weeks. Finally, he apologized and said I was right. Then, after many years, having become a seminary rector, he contacted me though another friend to repeat that, yes, indeed, I was right. How’s that, you ask?

My critique is that they don’t think of sin, at all, even though Saint Paul here speaks of sin repeatedly.  And that’s why they then don’t think of redemption. They don’t think of Christ. Saint Paul does. Behold: after criticizing himself, casting aside coping mechanisms such as is also a manipulative use of religion, Saint Paul points us directly and only to Jesus who is the One to save him, wretch that Saint Paul, on his own, is:

“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:25).

Do we change course by running back and forth, back and forth, back and forth? No. Christ Jesus reaches down and grabs us and snatches us up close to His pierced Heart, and we say: “My Lord and my God.” Thank you, Jesus.

/// Having said all that, don’t think I’m against a good and wholesome psychology. If one takes up the Sacred Scriptures, the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross and Saint Therese of Lisieux, to name but a few, one will be able to glean a well rounded and useful psychology, but this is all based on a good, honest friendship with Jesus Christ our Lord.

I categorize this post with “Missionaries of Mercy” because I insist on all this talk of Jesus to my own peril. One makes enemies in this way. Some years ago over in Rome, while I would ever so quietly mention my opinion, the Rulla-ites, overhearing this, would go so far as to threaten a major public debate. They were actually beginning to plot this as something to be held at the Lateran Basilica of all places, that being chosen cleverly, however, as it is the Cathedra of the Successor of Peter. Perhaps one day.

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Filed under Dogs, Missionaries of Mercy, Spiritual life

27 years a priest in a time of abuse, happy to remain a priest. Why?

Today’s the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Ordination doesn’t refer to “orders given” as even some Catholics say today in such de-sacramentalizing, democratic fashion as if a mere commissioning given by a commission was ever sufficient, as if a degree and certificate saying “ordained” was actually something, like a graduation, a rite of passage. No.

The Sacrament of Orders refers to how the person himself, ontologically, is ordered, structured, fit to the priesthood of Jesus Christ, so that the priest might act in Persona Christi, in the Person of Christ, or perhaps better, so that the Person of Christ might act in the priest, accomplishing His sacraments, His priesthood through His merely human priest, regardless of whether or not that human priest is worthy, or even a believer of any kind. There’s really only One Priest: Christ Jesus. Holy Orders is not about putting the priest on a pedestal, but rather about smashing him down so that he is all about and only about Jesus alone.

Yours truly, 4 January 1992, ordained a Catholic priest. All except one other has already passed away in this picture.

Holy Orders is about the One Priest, Christ Jesus. It is Jesus who consecrates at the Last Supper; it is Jesus who forgives sin. Just as mysterious as we becoming members of the Body of Christ as Saint Paul puts it, so does Jesus take up mere men to accomplish His own priesthood. It’s all about Jesus. Jesus marries His Bride, the Church, by way of His wedding vows at Mass, the Last Supper, that Wedding Feast of the Lamb: This is my body given for you in sacrifice, the chalice of my blood poured out for you in sacrifice. The mere human priest recites those words, those vows in the first person singular and is himself thereby married to the Church by the sacrifice that he offers, and should thereby be willing to lay down his life for the flock as much as Jesus. But this is Jesus’ wedding with His Bride the Church by which He redeems the image of God within us.

How dare anyone say that priests are not married! It is that ignorance and malice and hatred for Jesus and His priests which has brought us the crisis we are in. People think they are nice in wishing that priests could get married, but this is really quite demonic. Listen up! If we priests don’t know that we are married to the Church, that we are to be fathers of the family of faith, what do you think is going to happen in living a lie that one is just a secular administrator, a functionary, and is not otherwise married for no discernible reason? The fruit of any marriage, children, will be attacked. It’s clockwork. Either everything that the priest is is given over to the priesthood of Jesus Christ – whose Priesthood is established by the vows of His own being married to His Bride the Church – or that priest will be a detriment to the salvation of himself and others. Period.

The priesthood of Jesus is all about re-establishing the image of God within us, and as Genesis says, this is a one-man, one-woman marriage and family image of God. Jesus has the right to marry His Bride the Church, that is, to redeem us, fill us with the life of God, eternal life, sanctifying grace, because He has, at the Last Supper and Calvary, laid down His life for us, the Innocent for the guilty. That re-establishment of the image of God within us by way of that marriage must respect the one-man, one woman for marriage and the family structure of creation in the sacrament of Holy Orders. Women priests would be a sterile, lesbian, monstrous image, a mockery of Jesus’ marriage with His Bride the Church, a mockery of redemption and salvation, a blasphemy. Even if one goes through a ritual and says the words of ordination, a woman cannot ontologically be ordained. That’s the way marriage works. It’s not unfair. It is what it is.

Does that mean that I think I’m worthy to be a priest because I’m a man? Pfft. No! And any priest who does think that is a danger to himself and others. Without Jesus I know that I could commit any sin anywhere at any time for any or no reason, given whatever wildly varying circumstances and history of life. I don’t have all those varying circumstances or histories of life – nor do any of us – and so it would be psychologically quite impossible at the drop of a hat to do this or that monstrous thing even if lacking the grace and friendship of Jesus. Fine. But lack of monstrous actions doesn’t justify. I know that fallen humanity is such that we do need redemption and salvation and that nice circumstances don’t save and that anyone self-congratulating themselves for their own niceness has already granted themselves a licence to sin in whatever way, even in the most monstrous ways. Are there specious motives for a man to become a priest, like running from a past from which he wishes to emancipate himself by pretending to be holy? Sure. But that doesn’t mean all priests have done that or are doing that. We need to know that we are already married, married to the Church by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that we offer daily. That changes everything. No false celibacy. No loneliness. A robust spiritual life in which the priest is nothing and Jesus is all.

Priests should know more than anyone what all of sin and all of redemption looks like. Priests should have the perspective of being high on the cross where Jesus is drawing all to Himself, across Calvary, through all of hell, starting with us when we are yet sinners. Priests should see all the breadth and width and depth of hell and our need for redemption because of noting the breadth and width and depth of the mercy founded on justice that Jesus came to bring to us, from the cross, from the fulfillment of the wedding vows of the Last Supper, the Mass, that the priest celebrates daily, like any other day. It’s just that that day, today, this very day, is Dies Domini, the Day of the Lord, which stretches from Creation until the end of the world, until there is a New Heavens and a New Earth. Priests should see, because of seeing all the rest of this, that they are the most unworthy of all.

Rant. Rant. Rant. For some, the question is this:

“Hey, Father George, you seem like a nice guy. So, like, why don’t you leave the priesthood in view of all this abuse stuff we hear about? Don’t you get sick of people cat-calling and being dismissive and calling you a pedophile just because you’ve been ordained a priest?”

Actually, that monstrousness of bad priests attacking the fruit of marriage, children, is symbolic of precisely why we need holy priests for the One Priesthood of Jesus, that is, to go against the sin, to weed out those who would be so monstrous. You don’t help the Church by leaving the Church. You stay. You fight. You suffer. It’s just that serious. Serious enough not to abandon the flock. Jesus was ripped to shreds, tortured to death on the cross. As the Master, so the disciple. Just because some idiot does an unthinkably monstrous deed doesn’t mean everyone is like that. We priests need to man up and fight the good fight, keeping up with Confession ourselves, being fit instruments of Jesus, because we are nothing and He’s everything. It shows our thanksgiving to Jesus to stay. If I can keep up with Confession and help other priests to keep up with Confession, well then, I think I’ve done something as Jesus’ instrument for the Church and the world. I remember a bishop who gave us Missionaries of Mercy a talk and a talking to, as it were, over in Rome, introducing himself as a sinner since the year he was ordained, and for a long time before that. Good for him to recognize it and encourage us all to participate in the Sacrament of Confession frequently, you know, for sins of thought and mind and deed and… oh my… of omission

just me pontifical family

The Joke Picture. It’s real. But purely a Joke. Hahaha.

As the now sainted Mother Teresa often said, we don’t need more priests; we need holy priests. Indeed. We need priests who know they are married to the Church. We need priests who know that they are fathers of the family of faith. We need priests who know that they are totally unworthy and are utterly dependent on Jesus, the One Priest. We need priests who go to Confession. We need priests who won’t run away because the wolf says: “Boo!” We need priests who have a love within them provided by Jesus that is stronger than death, stronger than mockery, stronger than slander. We need priests of the horrifying exhilarating life of the beatitudes: Blessed are you when…

Am I happy to be a priest even today? Oh yes. Especially today. When all of hell has broken out. I want to be where Jesus is: In the midst of this hell so as to grab souls for heaven. Today I offer Mass wherein the One Priest lays down His life for us, as unworthy as we all are. Yes, I’m always happy for one more day as a priest, as Jesus’ priest, a day like any other day in the One Day of the Lord, the One Worthy Priest using the likes of me, such as I am, utterly nothing and worse than that so that He might show us all the more stridently His wisdom in having such priests as me and my fellow priests who I know to be dedicated to Him. He can use even me! Even us! All glory to God for His wondrous mercies. As Jesus said to Saint Paul: “My strength shines out through your weakness. My grace is sufficient for you.” Yes, Lord. Thank you.

As it is, I’m having a great time at this stage in my priesthood taking Jesus through these back mountains to parishioners. Jesus’ creation is gorgeous:

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As I think back on the 27 years, some of the best times, were of course, at Holy Souls Hermitage when I was writing about the Immaculate Conception, the Mother of the Redeemer, in Genesis 3:15. Long time readers from way back in those days will remember the different scenes:

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Filed under Father Byers Autobiography, Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Spiritual life, Vocations

Update on McCarrick investigation. Interviews Thursday AND Friday.

I see that Christine Niles and Michael Voris over at Church Militant have put up a presentation on one of those affected by McCarrick. He testified under oath to a Canon Lawyer, a Judicial Vicar, directly appointed by Pope Francis to receive testimony on McCarrick. That was Thursday, December 21, 2018. The next day, Friday, December 22, 2018, the last day to receive testimony under oath, a priest gave testimony. The latter’s case comprises one of the “packages” I brought over to Pope Francis. That communication was cited three times and presented to the priest witness who answered as to the veracity of each statement and signed each individual statement. The Debriefer said that within days he would personally deliver this to Pope Francis. I’m guessing that’s now happened in the last couple of days.

You’ll notice that, in all this, the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington DC, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Clergy, the Secretariat of State and even the Pontifical Family have been rather unceremoniously left out of the loop when it comes to delivery of these major communications. As I myself was told when I went over, this kind of thing would otherwise never reach the Holy Father.

Readers are urged to pray for a successful continuation of this investigation. We recall that this is still December, some six weeks before the extraordinary synod on abuse that is to convene in February 2019.

Suggestion to Pope Francis: Have special investigators compare files at the Nunciature in Washington DC and the mirrored files in the various dicasteries in the Roman Curia (not leaving out the Congregation for Religious) about candidates for the episcopacy. If the files have been tampered with on the D.C. side before being sent (easy to spot from what we now know), or if what was sent from D.C. to Rome is different compared to what is now in the files of the Roman Curia (meaning that these files were tampered with in Rome to promote some candidates over others), then it will blow the whole “lavender mafia” thing wide open. And we’ll know who’s who, even today, as some players are still in the game, even for the February synod. Jesus’ Church has no room for a mafia, does it? There are only some names with which to start, those mentioned, for instance, by Archbishop Viganò.

still wish I could speak with the Archbishop, as there is much, much more to do, and it help me to have a wee chat with him before doing that.

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Filed under Abuse, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis