Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Amoris laetitia and suspensions and excommunications… No, no, no…

PROMETHEUS

A bishop cannot legitimately legislate anything against the universal law of the Church, particularly that law which is based on Divine Law. A bishop cannot legitimately posit administrative acts imposing penal sanctions on a priest based on illegitimate law. For instance, Amoris laetitia cannot legitimately be used as a foundation upon which legislation and penal sanctions are based for the reason that statements in Amoris laetitia are merely posited as a continuation of dialogue. That’s what the Supreme Legislator said in Amoris laetitia 3-4. That’s the mind of the legislator. Any illegitimate legislation or illegitimate penal sanctions, whether inescapably implied by Malta’s document (paragraph 10) published in l’Osservatore Romano, or (apparently) explicitly accomplished in Colombia, or anywhere else in the world, are, in fact illegitimate and have no bearing in truth on anyone’s status.

Thus, on the one hand, if a priest would like to continue accompaniment of a certain divorced and civilly “remarried” couple by not providing sacraments which he judges that couple are not able to fruitfully receive, he has done nothing wrong, as such a judgement is his to make, but if bishops put pressure on him nevertheless to provide those sacraments, somehow inserting themselves impossibly into the internal forum, they have done a grave disservice to the couple, to the priest and to the Church, and it is such bishops who should be disciplined and, in my opinion, very severely, as what they are doing, inter alia, is in direct contradiction to the directives of pastoral care by priests given by Pope Francis himself; such bishops are openly and obstinately insulting the Supreme Pontiff.

If, on the other hand, this is all according to the mind and non-public directives of Pope Francis, and this is actually a persecution of faithful priests in the Church, then I, as a Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis, ask that I also be held to be excommunicate along with any other sanctions he can think of, so that I might be in solidarity with those who may at one time or another be unjustly trampled into the ground. Fine with me. None of that is legitimate even on the part of the Holy Father, for such legislation and imposition of penal sanctions, however much real pain they may bring in this world, have no legitimate entry into the judgment of a soul of a priest who goes before the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception with the “crime” on his soul of being a faithful son of the Church. I couldn’t care less about doing the will of Pope Francis or any bishop on this earth if it contradicts the will of God himself. It is not they, but rather Christ Jesus, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Wonder Counselor, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who will – do not be mistaken – come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, the very fire of God’s love, the fire of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Now, having said that, we don’t know anything whatsoever about what Pope Francis thinks about illegitimate legislation and illegitimate penal sanctions, do we? No, we don’t. I’m guessing that we will see something about all that in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile, I restate my filial obedience to the Holy Father, as I must assume until otherwise indicated that he has not legislated or imposed penal sanctions for illegitimate reasons, or, for that matter, that he has even provided benign neglect to the persecution of the priests of our One High Priest, Jesus Christ, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

P.S. I’m guessing that as the real persecution ensues among renegade rebels, wrought by those who posit that which is ultra vires, beyond their powers to do so, that there will be no suspensions or excommunications, but rather simply removal from any assignment and then, eventually, seeing that the faithful priest is useless to the Church precisely and only for the reason that he is faithful, he will be dismissed from the clerical state, laicized, he being a mere liability and a waste of space in this world, kind of like, you know, Jesus. Meanwhile, he will be discredited as having committed all sorts of crimes, such as not being pastoral, being divisory, not being easy to work with, not having a team spirit, etc.

Great! The beatitudes come into play. We will have plenty of priests rejoicing and being glad that their reward is great in heaven. And that’s very cool indeed. Wonderful. I can’t wait for my turn. May it please Mary’s Divine Son that I may be counted worthy to suffer for his sake and the sake of those he is saving unto eternal life. Amen.

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+CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia expects sinful obedience. But priests are free to “disobey.” How? Don’t be a dog.

laudie-dog

Laudie-dog, listening intently, eager to follow orders

Obedience is not a descriptor for a reaction to a cold authoritarian command that negates one’s very existence as a person with free will, but rather, instead, obedience, from the Latin OB-AUDIRE (referring to intense listening) is all about an eager following of commands given in love and received in love. Our Heavenly Father speaks himself in one divine Word, who is already, then, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, who is always listening intently to the Father with love. Our Heavenly Father speaks Jesus into us, as it were, with that Word reverberating within our hearts and souls, now a symphony. Obedience isn’t a bad thing!

If a command is given that negates the very existence of a person as someone with free will who is meant to follow our Lord, so that one is expected to reject conscience and reject our Lord, that is not a command given in love and it doesn’t need to be followed. As Aquinas says, law is not law if it contradicts God’s law. “Disobedience” in such a case is actually true obedience.

Any priest in Malta who obeys the sinful direct command of the bishops of Malta to provide the Most Blessed Sacrament to notorious sinners flaunting their sin but protesting that they are at peace with God commits a number of grave sins that put them in eternal peril of losing eternal life.

Saying that they are coerced into doing so is no excuse. Will they be removed from ministry? Most likely. Will their names be blackened, their personnel files filled with notes about being divisory, unfit for ministry, etc.? Most likely. Will they eventually be dismissed from the clerical state as useless? Yes, even that can happen a number of years later, you know, when no one is looking. The priests know this. They do feel the pressure. But that is no excuse to sin. Instead, they are to rejoice and be glad that they are treated like the prophets before them, indeed, just like John the Baptist, just like Jesus.

The judgment will come much sooner than later. We will all stand before those wounds of Jesus and he will ask where our wounds are. What will we have to say for ourselves if we simply compromise so as to do what? Keep our “jobs”?

Priests are not dogs. Dogs are treated better than priests in some places.

For all the background documentation for what is in this post, see:

The idea for +CJ Scicluna’s version of Amoris laetitia is this: even if you are a notorious in your sin, known by all as an adulterer, not only flaunting your sin but murdering anyone who disagrees, but you feel yourself to be at peace with God, hey!, just go up and get that white wafer Communion thingy with television cameras uplinking to the world:

henry-viii

P.S.

  • Question: Am I fomenting disobedience among the priests of Malta?
  • Answer: No, I am encouraging true obedience to Jesus and to the Church.

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+CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia: priests are the body-politic’s cancer to be excised

scicluna

The reason why I say that Archbishop’s opinion of priests is that they are cancer of the body-politic that needs to be excised is found in the previous post on this blog of ariseletusbegoing, namely: +CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia usurps papal authority, rejecting dialogue, discernment, accompaniment.

When people have cancer, their hair falls out because of the treatment they must endure. Often enough, friends and classmates shave their heads to show their solidarity with those who have cancer. Very nice, that.

cancer-shaved-head

I’m wondering if there is a way to be in solidarity with priests who are thrown out of ministry into the darkest of existential peripheries precisely because of the priestly love they have for their sheep in Christ Jesus our Lord. If there is a priest thrown out of ministry because he sees that this or that sheep is fully capable and otherwise willing to rejoice in the love of our Lord and so the priest wants them to continue to accompany a certain sheep but is then for that reason smacked down by Archbishop Scicluna or any other like minded (arch-)bishop right around the world, is there a way to be in solidarity with those good priests, some of whom will feel lost and bewildered in their having been so terribly betrayed.

There should be a registry of such faithful priests. We should keep track of them as they enter the darkest of existential peripheries where the mercy of the Church in the eyes of some cannot or at least should not reach.

Even more than this, and quite specifically, I’m wondering if it is possible for priests who are in good standing and in active ministry to self-report their love for Christ Jesus and their desire to share the greatest love of their lives, Christ Jesus, who is at the same time the greatest truth in their lives. In self-reporting, can they also be thrown out with the other priests, you know, suspended or even dismissed at a later date from the clerical state? After all, it can be said that they are rebellious and the cause of division and perhaps even the cause of uncomfortable feelings. Self-reporting to be removed from active ministry would be like shaving one’s head to be in solidarity with those who have cancer. “I should be thrown out as well since I believe just like they do.”

God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to be in solidarity with us, himself being thrown into the darkest of existential peripheries, spit on, mocked, ridiculed, rejected, called all sorts of names… As the Master so the disciple… right?

I wonder if there is a way. I wonder. As a Missionary of Mercy, I feel obliged be in solidarity with Jesus and his priests as he and they are once again betrayed by one of their own.

JESUS JUDAS

I remember Archbishop Fulton Sheen telling a story of a Jewish girl when, during the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp climbed up a veritable mountain of corpses and sat down to die, even while other survivors were leaving the camp. She was asked what she was doing. Her response was: “How can I live while all my people are dying?”

auschwitz

So, this Missionary of Mercy has done some logistical investigations… ;-)

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+CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia usurps papal authority, rejecting dialogue, discernment, accompaniment

scicluna

The Archbishop of Malta, C.J. Scicluna has high praise for dialogue, discernment and accompaniment in a document directed to priests which he published in the Vatican newspaper, l’Osservatore Romano (Criteria for the Application of Chapter VIII of Amoris laetitia), but he rejected all of this, including papal authority, by adding this:

10. If, as a result of the process of discernment, undertaken with “humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for God’s will and a desire to make a more perfect response to it” (AL 300), a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (see AL, notes 336 and 351).

The words “cannot be precluded” are directed at the priests, telling them that they have no real voice in dialogue, discernment and accompaniment, undercutting their priestly ministry and, quite frankly, threatening them with what would have to be removal from active ministry if they wish instead – knowing well the smell of their sheep – to prolong  the process of dialogue, discernment and accompaniment for the good of those very sheep.

The Times of Malta reports that “Archbishop Charles Scicluna refuted the criticism, insisting Bishop Mario Grech and himself had decided not to engage with individual bloggers on the matter.” “Decided not to engage” is also not a dialogue. The “criticism” refers to Ed Peters, a canon lawyer whose blog entries on this topic can be found HERE and HERE. Ed Peters has a serious analysis. I’m amazed that +CJ Scicluna, a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, dismisses Ed Peters so readily, since Peters is a Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura, the Holy See’s top tribunal.

Archbishop Scicluna then turns his attention to those he might think are a more vulnerable class of people, the priests: “I am saddened by the reaction from certain quarters and invite priests who may have concerns to come forward and discuss them directly with us because we want to be a service to our people.” I’m sure the priests want to be of service to their people as well. But here’s the problem. If any priests go to him with their concerns they are merely self-reporting that which is absolutely intolerable, reporting that they are precluding or envision precluding that which Archbishop Scicluna says cannot ever be precluded. If they open up a dialogue with him they will simply have their heads cut off. That’s another example of what he really thinks about dialogue, discernment and accompaniment. Moreover…

The threat to impose sanctions that is inescapably implied in the absolutist phrase “cannot be precluded” goes so far beyond Pope Francis’ direction in this matter that Archbishop Scicluna is de facto usurping the authority of Pope Francis to guide the Barque of Peter. And that I find disgusting.

The direction Pope Francis gave to us Missionaries of Mercy began by all of us singing together the Salve Regina with Pope Francis. I’m sure he remembers the exuberance:

Pope Francis brought all of us Missionaries of Mercy together and brought us through, with incisive distinctions, refined moral and sacramental theology, using anecdotes some of which were terribly sad and some of which were hilarious. He did his best to form us priests into being good confessors, those who would dialogue with, discern with and accompany penitents on their journey to know the will of Christ Jesus in all of their unrepeatable circumstances.

But Archbishop CJ Scicluna rejects that effort of Pope Francis. Sad, that. Sad for him. Sad for the penitents. Sad for the priests who are treated as his robots, not as Jesus’ fathers of their parish families. And this is also the point: CJ Scicluna rejects the unrepeatable circumstances of people, ideologically putting them all in one group.

Much more could be said about anthropology, psychology, grace, sacramental theology, ecclesiology, etc., with some saying I say too much and others too little. What I’m writing about in this post is just this one aspect of what is happening:

the ministry of priests is unimportant in the Church because + Scicluna said so.

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Fearful Roman Curia discerning the way of the Holy Spirit in the Beatitudes

JESUS I AM

You have heard that it was said that those working in whatever capacity in the Holy See (the “Vatican”) are scared. I say that if they are ever afraid, whether priests or bishops or religious, they shouldn’t be. Fear is a sign of the lack of truth, a lack of discernment of the truth, a lack of the Holy Spirit who would instead lead us to the truth. To be established in him who is truth is not to fear. Being one with him who fearlessly says “I AM” cannot at the same time tolerate fear.

“But what should we do? Give us clear direction!”

So, I guess you missed it the first time around. Here it is: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

“But you don’t get it, Father George, that’s considered Pharisaical, Pelagian, Promethian self-absorbed idol worship.”

“Really? Are you making that application? Even if that were true on whoever’s part, so what? Since when did we lose sight of the Beatitudes? Since when are we to mope about, have nervous sweats, panic attacks and ulcers instead of rejoicing and being glad that great is our reward in the Kingdom of the heavens because we love Jesus and want to share the greatest love of our lives, namely, Jesus? Is not Jesus the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Wonder Counselor, Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who will be the one to come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, the very fire of God’s love, the fire of the Holy Spirit? Yes, that would be him. He’s the One who said: “I AM.” So what are you afraid of? Amen.

P.S. I mean, really, what are these protestations of fear about? Is this a way of making an excuse? “Oh! I’m so fearful that my fear acted as a coercion forcing me to do something I otherwise would never do! It’s all the fault of fear! I’m soooo afraid.”

To which I say, grow up, love Jesus, and be a good son of his good mom. Also, and I don’t say this lightly, have some respect for your guardian angel who sees God in the face.

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Filed under Amoris laetitia, Canon 915, Confession, Jesus, Marriage, Mercy, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood, Spiritual life

Tender snowflakes complain that Pope Francis is a meany and, like, stuff…

dung snow

Tender snowflakes haven’t a chance. But the manure they throw is their own.

Some journalists are going out of their way to demonstrate that they are afraid of governance in the Church and afraid especially for this to be done in manly manner. Hah! These tender snowflakes should get in line with the ole sentire cum ecclesia.

I remember a traditional priest taking over a traditionalismist parish who was immediately told by his traditionalismist parishioners that he, the traditional priest, was going to have to obey all their traditionalismist guidelines and fall into line with all their traditionalismist points of view.

His response – may God bless him abundantly – was that this liberal-democratic-run-church way of doing things stopped the second he, the traditional priest, set foot on the property, and that instead, he, as the traditional priest, was going to govern the parish the traditional way, that is, with traditional fatherly governance, whereby there is no room for liberal-democratic-run-church way of doing things, and that he, as a traditional priest, would be providing them, regardless of their acceptance, with all that the Church in her great Tradition provides, all the doctrine, all the morality, all the best in liturgical praxis, and this, not because he liked it or they liked it, but because this is what the Church herself has provided and does provide, the living truth who is charity, Christ Jesus, who, as always, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, whether they like it or not. Needless to say, they fell in line with Holy Mother Church right away, thankful for such a reprimand.

Might it be that the Holy Father is quite rough in cleaning house for whatever reason that we don’t know about? I sure hope so. That would then remind us of the event of blessed memory when Christ Jesus himself cleaned house with whips and the ferocity of overturning tables. I mean, really, excuse my French, but where in hell to these criticizers of the Holy Father pretend to be in a position to say that his being rough (if that is the case) is out of line?  Do they want limp-wristedness? I don’t. Oh, was I myself a bit rough there? Yes, well, I also, who am now putting on some years, am getting sick and tired of ad hominem attacks on the Holy Father, to the point that, in solidarity with him, I will also act with a bit of gruff curmudgeonness and use bad words like hell. The thing is, and I tell you the truth, Jesus himself will come to judge the living and the dead and world by fire. Oooooo! #e||-fire… Amen! :-)

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My meditation on hell. Thanks go to Pope Francis for his words on hell.

moloch

My favorite meditation is perhaps presumptuous, but it is about going before Jesus at the gates of heaven, falling down in reverence before him, crying my eyes out not in supplication, but rather in humble thanksgiving and joy: look at those wounds my sin engraved in his hands and feet and side, his Heart. Thank you for bringing even me to heaven, Jesus.

But that mediation has a backdrop, the all too real possibility of going to hell. Jesus spoke of it, so must we. Pope Francis speaks about it perhaps more than all other Roman Pontiffs put together. He doesn’t want us to go there. The very homily which the fake-news mongers claim to be the smoking gun in which Pope Francis denies hell and the pain of hell is the very homily where he underlines the horrific and eternal nature of hell, namely, distance from God and frustration. It deserves some extra commentary. So, just some notes:

In Mark 9:48, Jesus speaks of those who go to hell, that is, analogously, Gehenna, the valley below the temple mount where children were burned alive on a hollowed out bronze statue-stove of Moloch, Satan. Quite the image of suffering and, in the time of Jesus, the symbol of judgment regarding eternal damnation. How fitting that it’s below the “Dung Gate.”

Anyway, Jesus says that their worm dies not, that is, their σκώληξ, that is, that kind of worm which feeds on corpses, that is, a maggot. Jesus’ justice is only outdone, as it were, by his mercy, for it is based on his justice. Thus:

Psalm 22, which speaks of the future crucifixion of Jesus, puts these words in the mouth of the Suffering Servant: “I am a worm and no man” (Ps 22:6). That worm bit is again σκώληξ, maggot, in the Septuagint, and, in the Hebrew, תוֹלַעַת, that is, maggot. Jesus cites the beginning of Psalm 22 from the cross. Jesus took our place on the cross as a maggot in hell so that he might have the right in his own justice to have mercy on us so that we might not go to hell. That‘s how much he loves us.

saraph-serpent

The maggot-worm in hell, that is, therefore, the fire-serpent, recalls Jesus speaking of himself as the fiery saraph-serpent: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). You’ll recall that the fiery saraph-serpents were killing the people in the desert during the exodus, and that Moses made an image of such a serpent in bronze, raising this up on a stake, a cross, so that all who might look at it might be healed. Jesus came among us looking like us, we who kill each other in sin, and he was raised up on a stake, on a cross, that all who look to him might be healed of the eternal death that the fiery serpent Satan intends for us. He takes our place that he might have the right in his own justice to have mercy on us so that we might not go to hell. That‘s how much he loves us.

But Jesus speaks of their worm dying not. Let’s drill down into this “worm” and “not dying” bit.

The part about the worm is actually about Satan back in Genesis, that fallen monster angel who deceived Adam through his wife. The ill-advised translation about his being cursed is that he will go about on his belly. What a stupid translation into ultra-derived meanings. Why not just translate what it says?… “You will go about on your writhingness.” This “writhingness” refers to frustration. Have you ever seen someone super-frustrated, throwing a tantrum, going about on their writhingness?

Here’s a sad bit about a woman who missed her flight. What might it be to miss one’s flight to heaven and end up in hell forever?

Now, couple that writhingness not with repentance for having been late, as it were, but with belligerent arrogance and hatred of all and not being repentant at all. This is a fire worse than any fire a match could light. This is internal, intellectual frustration. Horrific. Pope Francis has it right. Intellectual frustration coupled with hatred is worse than any torture chamber we might think is in hell.

There is that kind of thing of course, with those in hell harassing each other, with the fallen angels harassing all. It’s a place of hatred, after all, forever and ever. Why go there? Go to confession. Go to heaven! I want to go to heaven.

Meanwhile, some fun with writhing worms, except if they’re you in hell forever:

So, maybe this is more on target:

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Anti-Pope-Francis Fake-News-Blogs

fake-news

A couple of months back a number of purportedly Catholic blogs put up a condemnation of Pope Francis for his denial of any hell worth the name of hell. The problem is, he didn’t deny the existence of hell, nor even the pains of hell. In fact, he has the most eloquent and biblical explanation of hell I’ve seen for a long time. He’s spot on. He speaks about it because he doesn’t want us to go there. And he’s also right about the rigidity of some of these bloggers, who want the fires of hell to mean only physical fire, rigidly so. Sorry. There is more to hell than just that. There’s frustration and, yes, distance from God, a distance, yes, of separation. But that’s for another post. It has to do with the worm not dying. Don’t go to hell. Go to confession.

Oh, did I mention that those posts on those blogs disappeared when these guys were caught out? They took them down, but other lesser web-sites who seemed to have followed their example still have their posts up, doing untold harm to the faithful. What I would like to see is those fake-news anti-Pope-Francis blogs which claim to be so very Catholic put up apologies for their having promoted the fake-news cycle risking the eternal damnation of those who follow them.

I doubt if we will see that. For instance, one of them put up a post about how much they, the workers who have borne the heat of the day, how much they hate and despise and belittle and spit on those who are scandalized only just recently by this or that event wrought by this or that individual in the Church, saying that those who are only newly scandalized are to be most condemned and forever ostracized into the peripheries for the reason that they didn’t jump on board with the fake-news mongers earlier, because, hey!, that’s the way to be inviting of people to a deeper appreciation of the faith, right? Just kick everyone in the teeth, right?

That’s just a small example of the bitter hatred and frustration and arrogance that one will find in hell, where the worm of that frustration does not die. Yikes!

Although they have set themselves up to be judges of all humanity, those who hate Jesus even in the midst of their rigidity will not come to judge, with Jesus, the living and the dead and the world by fire. They will instead be judged. And we’ll see what the ferocity of that fire is in another post. Stay tuned. It’s more frightening than the rigid will ever want to admit. But perhaps it will scare them into reconsidering their self-righteousness that seems to absolve them in their own eyes of the fake-news stories they put up in order to attack the Holy Father.

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Amoris laetitia 351 Unrepentant, active prostitutes, absolution,Communion?

Update: There is some pretty heavy interest in high places right now over some of the more controversial posts I’ve put up about the past couple of Synods. If I had to write an apologia about this, I would just say that my opinions are on behalf of those who suffer much in this world, who are marginalized and kept suffering it seems to me on purpose. That unnecessary suffering really just needs to stop, and stop now.

peep show

It seems that paragraph 49 refers to prostitution to avoid poverty. Communion for active prostitutes has been part of pastoral praxis by some for decades and a continuous side debate for some of the liberation theology / arm-chair moral theology crowd. So:

49. Here I would also like to mention the situation of families living in dire poverty and great limitations. The problems faced by poor households are often all the more trying.36 For example, if a single mother has to raise a child by herself and needs to leave the child alone at home while she goes to work, the child can grow up exposed to all kind of risks and obstacles to personal growth. In such difficult situations of need, the Church must be particularly concerned to offer understanding, comfort and acceptance, rather than imposing straightaway a set of rules that only lead people to feel judged and abandoned by the very Mother called to show them God’s mercy. Rather than offering the healing power of grace and the light of the Gospel message, some would “indoctrinate” that message, turning it into “dead stones to be hurled at others”.37

36 Cf. Relatio Finalis 2015, 15.
37 Concluding Address of the Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (24 October 2015): L’Osservatore Romano, 26-27 October 2015, p. 13.

I mean, what does that mean in light of footnote 351 other than to provide, say, Communion for active prostitutes? The solution, it seems to me, isn’t to argue for decades about Prostitutes going to Communion, but rather to open safe houses which can immediately set about finding jobs and shelter and education.

Who throws dead stones of doctrine at anyone? Is the reference to priests like me?

Does this throwing stones reference (coming not long after paragraph 27 in which the adulterous woman of the Gospel of John is mentioned) mean that Jesus was a fool damned by our Heavenly Father for telling the adulterous woman to “sin no more,” Himself stoning this woman into marginalization from the faith by His damnable indoctrinated doctrine-stone of “sin no more”? That’s not what the document says about Jesus, instead reporting in paragraph 27 that, “alone with Jesus, she meets not condemnation but the admonition to lead a more worthy life (cf. Jn 8:1-11).” In other words, the Gospel lies that Jesus told her to “sin no more,” which would inescapably imply that she knew she had in fact sinned (both objectively and subjectively), and that the condemnation is only avoided by taking in the forgiveness with repentance and a firm purpose of amendment. All that, for the document, is simply a heap of indoctrinated stones to throw. So, instead, the document insists that Jesus said that she is to live a more worthy life, inescapably implying that her life was already worthy, but just needed to be, you know, more worthy.

And that leads us back to paragraph 49, where the worthiness of adultery by prostitution, while not as worthy as a life which doesn’t include prostitution, is nevertheless so worthy that it is to be rewarded by such casuistry with, say, Holy Communion.

Look: Just open a safe house. I’ve worked in such places, offered confessions and Holy Mass in such places, given Holy Communion to prostitutes galore in such places. I’ve even ended up in a wheelchair and crutches because of such places. Really, I’ve been there, done that. Just get them the help they need. Don’t just say have a nice day with Holy Communion at a street Mass in the red-light district and not provide for them. Do provide for them both physically and spiritually.

Just call me the dumpster priest. But don’t try to make me take up a program that will keep prostitutes in prostitution. To hell with that.

And, by the way, you know all those people steeped in Tradition, that is, those Legion of Mary people? You have to know that I’m one of them, and you have to know that they started out by evangelizing at brothels.

Or is this really about thinking that prostitutes can’t repent? A prostitute once told me that a clergy guy (Episcopalian I think) would walk into her room for quick sex, first taking his clergy collar off, then unzipping himself, as if the collar in the back pocket would make what he was doing out front somehow moral. When she asked him about his visits to herself later (after she was converted from prostitution), he said that he didn’t think that people like her could possibly ever convert. Is that the message that we have here?

I would like to ask someone, but it seems that speaking with parrhesia isn’t to be met with answers of parrhesia. But if I’m wrong on that, I sure would appreciate an answer.

And, oh, by the way, this paragraph 49 cannot refer to something like thievery either for the mom or the boy, can it? We have better theology of private property than that.

I mean, I just can’t believe that this paragraph was written or published. Prostitutes are always in grave danger of disease, damage, dismemberment, and death by physical force or despair along. Get them out of the situation immediately. Don’t argue about their subjective guilt. If you want a lack of mercy and hurling stones, THAT kind of sophistry that keeps them in their prostitution is example number one.

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Filed under Adulterous woman, Amoris laetitia, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Synod on the Family

Jesus listens even to the “Dog-Woman”

pietro-del-po-1650-dog-woman

“Dog-Woman” Chapter 1 (pdf)

Chapter One is merely an introduction, and merely a rough draft. If you have any critiques, please do, offer them. I’m listening.

Chapter two will be a commentary on the Gospel of Matthew and Chapter three on that of Mark. Chapter four, well, that will bring out some implications, and that, my friends, will be a bit of a fright for some who are “rigid.” That’s it. Just a short pamphlet.

About Pietro del Po’s etching @1650 above. I’d like to see something out in the country, with all the Apostles cowering behind Jesus, with the woman smiling as she points to the little doggie, with Jesus laughing with her as He points to the Apostles behind him. Heh heh heh.  Any artists in the house?

In the PDF linked to here, a revised cover is to be seen. I’m not sure if I would like to keep that artwork or something of a revision of Pietro’s work above. I’d like to see the woman depicted as someone who is obviously very poor and is obviously just a teenager.

You’ll see from this first chapter that a big deal is made of listening. I’m also trying to make sense of the Synods on the Family and Pope Francis’ plea for a Synodal Church. Tell me if on on track, if I’m a heretic, if that is more or perhaps less than what Pope Francis wants. Don’t be shy.

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Correcting Pope Francis’ Correctors (3) Is Pope Francis pimping “The Whore” or is he waiting for attractive writing?

whore-of-babylon-martin-luther

The Whore of Babylon printed in Martin Luther’s expression of rebellion.

You’ll remember Correcting Pope Francis’ Correctors (1) and then (2) which had a link to Amoris laetitia 351 gradualism casuistry. A comment about the big picture needs to be made amidst all the flurry of questions and dubia and, for some, accusations and bitterness…

Here’s the deal: Pope Francis does know what an infallible statement is. He does know what the Scriptures have for us. He does know Canon Law. People can spout those things off to him until they are blue in the face and that will not change the fact that he already knows those things. People think he rejects all of that. Maybe so. I don’t know that for a fact. I don’t think for a second that he’s pimping “The Whore of Babylon” on purpose. What I do know is that he has called for dialogue in the opening paragraphs of Amoris laetitia, especially paragraphs 3-4. Dialogue is what it is, messy, full of ambiguity and whatever rubbish people bring to it. That’s what it is. But it prepares for something else.

It’s true: We have heard from those who do reject the clear teaching of Christ, from those who seem to mock the Holy Scriptures’ inspiration by the Holy Spirit, from those who seem to be holding themselves up to be God himself. They have been eloquent in their own way merely because of their obnoxious flurry of bullying. They have artistically represented what error manifests. Some, of course, have been most sincere.

But it’s also true that from the traditional side of things, that is, from those who would at least like to think that they are with Sacred Tradition, with Sacred Scripture, with the Sacred Magisterium of the Church, we have heard precious little. The objection is that we have the example of Tradition, that we have those brief sayings in Scripture, that we have Familiaris Consortio and that we even have the absolutely clear dubia. “That’s enough!” they say. And that’s all good and is way more than sufficient for the believer, but it’s not enough for others, for those who don’t know how to believe because there is no one to walk them through it all. Pope Francis does not believe that those other things are enough. Neither do I. People unfamiliar with Tradition, unfamiliar with Scripture, unfamiliar with Familiaris Consortio and the dubia are in need of preaching and catechesis. Saint Paul mentions this:

“How then can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15).

Is Pope Francis waiting a really long time? Yes. For a reason and, I think, a good reason. He hasn’t heard from the beautiful side of things and desires to hear this. Pope Francis has been begging non-stop for that which is written in a beautiful way, an inviting way, an attractive way, a positive way, a comprehensive way. Where is it? Perhaps Pope Benedict’s Deus Caritas Est? Not even that. And yes, I know, there are surely tens of thousands of tracts and pamphlets and books and films and what-not flooding the market. But we need something that profoundly reflects the beauty of Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterial interventions precisely in the face of the challenges we find with Amoris laetitia. Let me repeat that: Precisely in the face of those challenges. Was the book sent to all the participants of the Synod enough? No, it was not. It was good. It was technical. But we need beautiful answers to the agonizing difficulties. And if beautiful means the glorious but tortured wounds of Christ in the midst of his wedding with his Immaculate Bride the Church, then it’s about those wounds we must write in a way comprehensible not just to some Cardinals, some canon lawyers, some exegetes, some moral theologians, but also to everyone. Let’s get to work.

I, for one, after finishing commentary on the “Dog-Woman” (see: 2018 Bishops Synod: young people and vocational discernment: no rigidity), intend to start in on the description of marriage in the first chapters of Genesis. Some might think that the younger John Paul II’s work on the Theology of the Body is enough and that I should shut up, but even the older John Paul II himself admitted that he did not give enough consideration and balance to ToB because of almost entirely ignoring the effects of original sin. I’ll not insult the great saint by ignoring his protestations. I’ll take a hint and try to fill in the lack, and that, by the way, will make it all the more beautiful as it will put us face to face with those glorious wounds of Christ Jesus. But I have little talent for writing and, at any rate, am very much unknown. So, we all need to get to work. So, let’s get to work!

george-david-byers-john-paul-ii

Just before Christmas Day, 1985

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Pope Francis, journalists & bad words: κοπροφιλία and κοπροφαγία

dung snow

When Pope Francis apologized for using ultra-technical terms used exclusively in scientific journals of psychiatry such as κοπροφιλία and κοπροφαγία, the apology was a self-accusation of being inappropriate because of not using more understandable street language, not for referencing the topics denoted by those “It’s-all-Greek-to-me” terms.

The Holy Father was directing those words at some journalists and some readers of those journalists, you know the ones and they know who they are, you know, those who publish false news stories or exclusively run after scandal or who twist everything into lies so that everything they see is darkness with their eyes covered with you-know-what. Jesus himself, mind you, spoke of this darkening of the light:

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a cellar or under a basket. Instead, he sets it on a lampstand, so those who enter can see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your vision is clear, your whole body also is full of light. But when it is poor, your body is full of darkness. Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness. So if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it in darkness, you will be radiant, as though a lamp were shining on you.”

These very journalists with their ever pious ears and snowflake fragility, were, as was to be expected, ever so violently offended and set off on a course of slander against the Bishop of Rome. He was rightly likening their work to the content of those terms. They, in turn, just to prove he was right about them, breathlessly said that for him to use such words was a scandal and the end of the world and that all is now hopeless and each and every one of us is to become a sede-vacantist and be filled with bitterness and hatred, blaming him for our going to hell so defiantly and arrogantly. They say that he himself is filled with κοπροφιλία and κοπροφαγία, thus fulfilling in themselves it seems the irony that is always required by Divine Providence. Saint Paul gives us the proper attitude:

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are members of one another. […] Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Those journalists, of course, in all their self-righteousness, turn those words of Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians exclusively to Pope Francis since they in their opinion don’t need any such reprimand, of course.

In an effort to rid people of their make pretend pious ears, perhaps it would be good to hunt up a few biblical insults written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you know, some earthy ones, in order to demonstrate to these tender snowflakes that down-to-earth language is not always a bad thing. I for one wouldn’t mind at all if Pope Francis used some street language, not the really bad words, but you know, like manure, etc. Anyway, here’s a good insult from Ezekiel 23:20, with this being a pedantic and therefore honest translation, having no fear of the Holy Spirit’s fiery fierceness…

Their “genitals are like the genitals of donkeys, and their ejaculate like the ejaculate of horses” (Ezekiel 23:20).

The tender snowflakes of the time must have had a meltdown. Ezekiel, instead, is really cool. He’s surely the one who penned Genesis 2–3 (my thesis topic), also under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Just to say, donkeys and horses are just fine the way they are, and to be likened to a donkey-as-donkey in all donkeyness (I’m a donkey!) or a horse-as-horse in all horseness is a compliment, but being likened to this or that mere aspect of a donkey or horse is, of course, an insult, objectifying donkeys or horses by a mere aspect in this way. But sometimes, as the Holy Spirit teaches us, insults are sometimes necessary.

No, Pope Francis is not filled with κοπροφιλία and κοπροφαγία just because he rightly described some lying journalists and some of their readers in this way. He said what he needed to say, and in my opinion was right to use those words. Perhaps he should have used translations, but, never mind, some of them made the translations for him. Ah, the irony. But, again, journalists shouldn’t lust after scandal, and shouldn’t lie and exaggerate and be filled with bitterness and hatred. They shouldn’t. The Pope is right.

Perhaps I should call to mind the insults used by John the Baptist and by Jesus himself against the Pharisees and scribes and lawyers of the time, you know, all those references to white-washed-tombs and broods of vipers and such-like. Some of them plotted the death of Jesus, tender snowflakes that they were.

And, yes, I do intend to write about the context of Ezekiel’s exclamations and hopefully apply them in a useful manner to various so-called pastoral ambiguities. This post is simply about calling out those who exaggerate for who-knows-what motivation. It is important not to be lost in bitterness and hatred. It is important to address the topics without every giving way to bitterness and hatred. We must remain with Jesus. Otherwise, we might think that we ourselves apart from Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Ain’t gonna happen. Jesus himself, with those truly righteous because they are with him, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

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Correcting Pope Francis’ Correctors (II)

PROMETHEUS

It seems that those at Santa Marta in the Holy See are having some late night discussions about my original post on:

Correcting Pope Francis’ Correctors

It seems that it was directed that that a link to said post be sent up North to the “Bergoglio of Italy,” +Mattheo Maria Zuppi by name, and another, +Angelo Scola by name. It seems the latter then took a gander at another post. If there were any ambiguity about where I myself stand on Amoris laetitia, this other post will make it crystal clear about what I think about the power of the grace of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception:

Amoris laetitia 351 gradualism casuistry

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Correcting Pope Francis’ Correctors

pope-francis-cardinal-burke

Respect and joy in the Lord

I love and respect both Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke.

You have heard that it was said by the latter:

“My position is that ‘Amoris laetitia’ is not magisterial because it contains serious ambiguities that confuse people and can lead them into error and grave sin. A document with these defects cannot be part of the Church’s perennial teaching. Because that is the case, the Church needs absolute clarity regarding what Pope Francis is teaching and encouraging.”

This Missionary of Mercy says in response:

  • Amoris laetitia cannot yet be spoken about as if it were a document already published by the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, for it is not.
  • Amoris laetitia, even if published as is, is not an Apostolic Constitution or even an Encyclical, but simply an Apostolic Exhortation, whose author, mind you, goes way, WAY out of his way in articles 3-4 of Amoris laetitia to assert that Amoris laetitia is simply a conglomerate of opinions for the sake of encouraging more dialogue on the matters at hand. Pope Francis completely disowns this having anything whatsoever to do with any kind of Magisterial intervention of the Church whatsoever, whether ordinary or extraordinary. If it’s published as is in the Acta, well, that just doesn’t make any difference, to wit:

“Since ‘time is greater than space’, I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. […] The various interventions of the Synod Fathers, to which I paid close heed, made up, as it were, a multifaceted gem reflecting many legitimate concerns and honest questions. For this reason, I thought it appropriate to prepare a post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation to gather the contributions of the two recent Synods on the family, while adding other considerations as an aid to reflection, dialogue and pastoral practice, and as a help and encouragement to families in their daily commitments and challenges.

  • To say that Amoris laetitia would be part of at least the ordinary Magisterium of the Church (see “perennial teaching”) if anyone might like to agree with its contents but that it cannot be part of at least the ordinary Magisterium of the Church (see “perennial teaching”) if anyone might like to disagree with its contents seems to me to be saying that the Pope has no authority to teach on matters of faith and morals to the universal Church as the Successor of Peter. That, of course, would be quite wrong. Amoris laetitia is not part of any teaching of the Church whatsoever not because of anyone’s opinion, however well founded, but because Pope Francis himself denies that it is part of any teaching of the Church whatsoever, insisting as he does on dialogue, etc.

A question might be asked as to whether Pope Francis has a good understanding of Papal Infallibility. Let’s analyze his extensive statements on the matter, and then compare that with what Scripture has for us. This is from Pope Francis’ speech on October 17, 2015, the 50th anniversary of the Institution of the Synods of Bishops:

On the eve of last year’s Synod I stated: “For the Synod Fathers we ask the Holy Spirit first of all for the gift of listening: to listen to God, so that with him we may hear the cry of his people; to listen to his people until we are in harmony with the will to which God calls us”.(14) The Synod process culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, who is called to speak [chiamato a pronunciarsi=called to pronounce (a word used for ex-cathedra statements)] as “pastor and teacher of all Christians”,(15) not on the basis of his personal convictions but as the supreme witness to the fides totius Ecclesiae, “the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church”.(16)

The fact that the Synod always acts cum Petro et sub Petro — indeed, not only cum Petro, but also sub Petro — is not a limitation of freedom, but a guarantee of unity. For the Pope is, by will of the Lord, “the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful”.(17) Closely related to this is the concept of “hierarchica communio” as employed by the Second Vatican Council: the Bishops are linked to the Bishop of Rome by the bond of episcopal communion (cum Petro) while, at the same time, hierarchically subject to him as head of the college (sub Petro).(18)

14) FRANCIS, Address at the Prayer Vigil for the Synod on the Family, 4 October 2014.

15) FIRST VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus (18 July 1870), ch. IV: Denz. 3074. Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 749, § 1.

16) FRANCIS, Address to the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 18 October 2014.

17) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 23. cf. FIRST VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Prologue: Denz. 3051.

18) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 22; Decree Christus Dominus (28 October 1965), 4.

Impressive. This makes us wait for an infallible pronouncement by:

  • The Bishop of Rome precisely as the Successor of Peter
  • pronouncing on a matter or many matters of faith and/or morals
  • especially deciding a matter or many matters of controversy
  • directing the instruction to the entirety of Christ’s faithful.

Just to say the obvious: This has not happened to date (this being written on December 9, 2016), and, just to repeat, Amoris laetitia has been excluded from any consideration of it as any kind of teaching of the Magisterium of the Church by the indications of Pope Francis himself.

Meanwhile, I do believe I understand what Pope Francis is doing in not answering various theologians and Cardinals, to wit, he is trying to emphasize Matthew 18:18 (the voice of some of the laity and some of the Synod members) more than Matthew 16:19 (the lone voice of Peter, the Rock), at least for the moment. He is interested in the richness of dialogue, but we see from that October 17, 2015 speech cited above, he is also interested in what can be provided by infallible Peter. Let’s analyze these passages and see some surprising take aways:

Let’s review Matthew 16:19 in utterly pedantic translation

“Whatever you may bind at any given time (second person singular subjunctive aorist active) upon the earth will (third person singular indicative future middle) already have been made to be perfectly standing in that way (nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive) in the heavens.”

What do the verbs mean in this context?

  • Second person singular subjunctive aorist active – The second person singular refers to Peter alone. The subjunctive here is not so much a kind of conditional or wishfulness, but rather depicts the state of actually choosing an option; from the perspective of the actor, there is freedom to the choice: “Whatever you may bind at any give time.” The aorist time frame, whatever delusion your introductory Greek grammars insist on providing to you, is literally “without borders”, that which can happen in the past, present or even future (as is the case here: see below), though usually something which itself happens in a defined time frame, such as the choice to bind. Active simply refers to something actually being accomplished.
  • Third person singular indicative future middle – The third person singular refers to any given object of the action, its state of being. It will simply be what it is (indicative) at that time (future). The middle voice is here used to indicate the status quo to which the actor is also subject, that is, retroactively to his decision to bind something, the truth of that which is described by the following verb, which this singular indicative future middle (“will”) helps to describe.
  • Nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive: The nominative neuter singular refers to the object which is being bound (passive), that is, in an ongoing fashion (participle) in a perfect manner (perfect); mind you, in Greek, “perfect” never refers to a perfectly accomplished action at one point in time, but rather to an action which is perfectly ongoing in a perfect manner since its inception: it always was and will be this way, perfectly, with no change: “already have been made to be perfectly standing in that way.” This “perfect” action structures the capacity of the actor, Peter, to act subjunctively, preempting all choices of Peter except for the one which is consonant which the truth which has always been this way in the heavens. Whatever he may choose to bind at any given time will already have been the case, is the case, and will always continue to be the case in the heavens. Peter cannot choose anything which is not already perfectly established in the heavens. What is in heaven is not an affirmation of what Peter might pronounce; what is in heaven simply is what it is, absolute truth, so to speak. If Peter is wrong about what he intends to pronounce upon, he simply will not be able to pronounce upon it.

Indeed, the part of this equation that people always forget about when trying to figure out the tenses, is that there is a part of this equation which is utterly expendable: Peter. If he is going to get it wrong, he will either die or be incapacitated, but he will not be able to work against what is in heaven already. Being the Successor of Peter isn’t so much an honor as it is a service that may involve laying down his life, for, after all, what do we know? The Orthodox or any others should never be envious of infallibility.

The bit about loosing is exactly the same, verbatim:

“Whatever you may loose at any given time (second person singular subjunctive aorist active) upon the earth will (third person singular indicative future middle) already have been made to be perfectly standing in that way (nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive) in the heavens.”

Let’s review Matthew 18:18 in utterly pedantic translation

“Whatever ye may bind at any given time (second person plural subjunctive aorist active) upon the earth will (third person singular indicative future middle) already have been made to be things perfectly standing in that way (nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive) in heaven.”

And then:

“Whatever ye may loose at any given time (second person plural subjunctive aorist active) upon the earth will (third person singular indicative future middle) already have been made to be things perfectly standing in that way (nominative neuter singular participle perfect passive) in heaven.”

There are some differences besides the plural heavens and singular heaven. Matthew 18:18 is addressed also to the laity about any number of things that may be under dispute. But the verbs and their meanings are exactly the same. But the context removes any infallibility from this other crowd. Let’s see how:

Firstly, in Matthew 16:19, where Peter alone among the Apostles is addressed, only Peter is given the keys of the Kingdom of the Heavens. There is no reference at all to such keys for anyone else in Matthew 18:18. That they have the same access to the understanding of the faith as does Peter is contingent for them in agreeing with Peter, for, as we see in context, the process of a dispute will bring them right back to the Church, that is, as differentiated from Christ’s faithful in general so as to refer to Peter in particular. They are not infallible, he is.

What if Peter is wrong? He can’t be wrong. That’s the point. But say that it could happen, that wouldn’t mean that we ignore him, correct him, unseat him, burn him at the stake, say that he’s not a nice guy or something like that; that would mean that there is no such thing as the Church at all. It can’t happen. Period. Is “dialogue” among the faithful expected by our Lord? Yes. He explicitly speaks of it. But then there is a process to follow. But there is a richness to be expected among so many. That richness is not to be ignored, calling the faith provided to the faithful useless, thus insulting the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis knows this. He respects it. After Matthew 18:18 we go to Matthew 16:19. We are still in the Matthew 18:18 phase.

Might Pope Francis choose to go to Matthew 16:19, to pronounce in an infallible way on the matter? Sure. That is yet to be seen. He surely has set up a scenario in which it seems he truly wants to pronounce an infallible statement. He surely has prefaced this with a great deal of dialogue. To the degree that he is insisting on dialogue, that is the degree he may be incisive in pronouncing an infallible statement.

Have some perhaps jumped the gun? Perhaps. Can it be said that all involved may well be filled with Apostolic charity, that is, both the four Cardinals and the Holy Father? Yes. Are they merely asking him to move from Matthew 18:18 to Matthew 16:19? Perhaps. Again, I don’t like the statement of one of the Cardinals who said: “My position is that ‘Amoris laetitia’ is not magisterial because it contains serious ambiguities…” His opinion is not why Amoris laetitia is not magisterial. It is not magisterial because Pope Francis said it is not magisterial. Otherwise, how many popes do we have? So…

We pray. That is to be expected and desired by all involved, right? Yes. We pray.

Does my having written this article mean that I don’t have my own concerns which happen to be well stated in the five dubia? No, it doesn’t mean that. Does the present non-answer of Pope Francis mean that he doesn’t agree with the intent of the five dubia? No, it doesn’t mean that. What it all means is that we haven’t yet moved from Matthew 18:18 to Matthew 16:19. That’s all. Might I say to Pope Francis that I sure do hope for the good of the Church that our Lord’s desire that our present dialogue with Matthew 18:18 will move to Matthew 16:19? Sure. But the timing is the judgment call of Vicar of Christ, not mine or anyone else for that matter. Again, might we ask him politely to move to Matthew 16:19? Sure, and I think everyone has been polite, although, again, that bit of one of the Cardinals about why he thinks Amoris laetitia is not magisterial is, I think, out of place. And in view of that, I must defend the fact of the papacy itself. Might that make me lose many friends. I suppose. That saddens me. But I am also filled with fortitude. Hier stehe ich and all that. Amen.

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Filed under Amoris laetitia, Canon 915, Confession, Eucharist, Holy See, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Synod on the Family, Year of Mercy

Padre Pio’s heart in Boston: Final Insult

padre-pio-heartThe relic of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina will be at the Cathedral in Boston today. Just my opinion, but this seems to me to be the final insult launched against this great saint.

  • You might know that Padre Pio was falsely accused for sexual abuse and exonerated of the same.
  • You might know that he was wrongfully smacked down by ecclesiastical superiors for years and denounced to many successive Popes.
  • You might know that all this was for the benefit of the self-hero worship of those who persecuted him: “We’re sophisticated and up-to-date!” they screeched, as if holding Padre Pio’s decapitated head high with one hand and their degrees in psychology held high in the other hand was proof that Padre Pio was bad and evil while they were good and holy.

The mirror image of what happened back in the day against Padre Pio has happened to Father Gordon MacRae (born and raised near Boston) in our own day (see: http://thesestonewalls.com/about/). The present leader of mocking accused priests with zero due process regardless of their guilt or, in fact, innocence, is, ironically, Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, another up-to-date OFM.cap. Take a look at the policies of The National Catholic Risk Retention Group and you’ll know what I mean. Boston is by far one of the main supporters of TNCRRG. All accusations are to be believed without question and paid a settlement immediately hopefully without lawyers with the accuser in complete charge of everything, even if, say, the “incident” is said to have occurred even before the priest was a priest, even before he was born. Yes, it’s happened. No one cares, that is, except for the ecclesiastical superior who revels in the good press he gets for “being tough on priests.”

Isn’t it just this very kind of self-absorbed, self-referential, Promethean, neo-Pelagian, self-hero worship that Pope Francis has declared himself to be against? Yes, that would be right. I stand with Pope Francis on this one. I stand with those who are falsely accused and wrongly convicted and smacked down with no due-process whatsoever. Isn’t that what Pope Francis wants, that is, to go out and cause a ruckus by heading out into the darkest of existential peripheries, to those who are condemned by the self-referential crowd who only want to be on the nice side of media hype? Yes, that is what Pope Francis wants. Since I’m the Roman Pontiff’s own Missionary of Mercy, I think I ought best not neglect stories like this.

Pointing out irony is, I think, O.K. After all, our Lord Himself is Irony Incarnate. On His cross, mercy and justice kiss. We had better be there in the midst of that embrace, or our Lord may well say to us at the judgment: “I do not know you.”

The mercy that so many falsely accused priests want is justice itself.

But this is the hopeful side of Padre Pio’s heart going to Boston. Whatever the motives of those who brought Padre Pio’s heart to Boston, know that this is a missionary journey of Padre Pio; he goes into the lion’s den. Just so you know, if you think I am rather severe with some ecclesiastics in this post, it is Father Gordon J MacRae himself who reminded me that we are to pray for Cardinal O’Malley, who was so loved by our Lord that he also was redeemed. Yes, that’s exactly right, and this was always the attitude of the great saint of Pietrelcina as well. It’s the attitude of Joseph in Egypt, who tells his brothers that their selling of him to the Ishmaelites was all within God’s providence. We do trust that we will see great fruits from the incarceration of Father Gordon, and we have already seen very many.

So, do, yes, go to the Cathedral in Boston just now and ask Padre Pio’s intercession not only for Father Gordon MacRae, but also for Cardinal O’Malley. It will do you good. But just remember a few things:

  • Padre Pio loved the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and was hated for that.
  • Padre Pio supported Humanae Vitae, and was hated for that.
  • Padre Pio was obedient to his superiors, and was hated for that.

The mercy that so many falsely accused priests want is justice itself, but in our Lord’s grace they can embrace the fact that our Lord will use the injustice for the sake of mercy.

Thanks, Padre Pio, for leading the way. Thanks so very, very much. We need you today!

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Filed under Abuse, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood, Vocations

ISIS and “Patriotic Americans” popping the head off Mexicans like chickens

chicken

Recently FoxNews published an article about a trauma doctor who takes care of survivors of ISIS murders of children (HERE: warning: graphic). He said that for ISIS such murders, decapitations, burning, etc., are like the mere killing of a chicken for these monsters.

When I saw that headline, it instantly reminded me a young “patriotic American” who told me that he would like to be on the U.S. southern border patrol with a rifle so that he could “pop the heads of them Mexican trash just like the chickens back home.” I asked him what “pop the heads” meant. He said that his father would take him out back of the house next to their little farm pond and teach him how to shoot a rifle by having him shoot the heads off their chickens from a couple of hundred yards out. He said that it would make the heads of the chickens pop off their necks high into the air when he got a good hit.

As you might imagine, I gave him the lecture of his life, as really he should have known better than that. This was neither patriotic nor did it have anything to do with being American. He thought he was patriotic because he would also just as soon go and shoot the heads off Islamicist terrorists. He absolutely couldn’t see the difference between a migrant worker and an ISIS terrorist, which, in my opinion, made him just as bad as an ISIS terrorist.

And yet, when that little incident of the reprimand was discovered, it was I who was reprimanded, rather severely I might add, and by someone who really should know much better than that. Who do I think I am interfering with someone who is so full of enthusiasm since after all he’s just a kid (I think perhaps 18). And yes, this is another one of those strange posts, you know, for the record. I am such a troublemaker! I wonder what Pope Francis would think of my reprimand of that kid…

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Filed under Pope Francis, Racism

Pope Francis’ sarcasm @ ISIS / Islam when asked about père Jacques Hamel

isis burning children

ISIS burning children to death as young as three years old

“It is not a war of religions but for power. There is one word I wish to say to clarify. When I speak about ‘war’ I’m speaking about a war for real, not a ‘war of religions.’ It is a war about (economic) interests, money, natural resources and the domination of peoples. All religions desire peace. Other people want war.” – Pope Francis

So, does Pope Francis mean that père Jacques Hamel is not a martyr, or that the Missionaries of Charity sisters are not martyrs? That would seem to be insane and the Pope seems to think they were heroic. So, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s try to come up with something reasonable about what he said. I mean, to say that religions cannot be at war is simply stupid or malicious. I mean, let’s look at the Old Testament: was the God of the chosen people not a real God? Is the God of the Jews to be damned? Or for that matter, moving on in time, was Pope Saint Pius V an anti-Catholic for his defensive measures (very war-like mind you) at the battle of Lepanto? And for that matter, does ISIS really not intend to serve their god, Allah? Really?

How about this: Maybe Pope Francis is saying with fully intended sarcasm that Islam is not a religion at all. Hey! I like that! Finally! Yay!

But wait, that really does sound like it’s all an insult to the Jews and the Jewish God, which, by the way, is our God, the one and only God. There were good reasons for the Jews to be war-like. There were good reasons for being on the defensive at Lepanto. There is never a good reason for Islam to do what it has always done with its aggression from its beginning until this very day.

When ISIS asks the kids if they renounce Jesus and accept Islam, and the kids say no, and then the kids are burned to death, that’s all about merely trying to make a few extra bucks, right? Got it! Nothing to do with religion! Just about domination of peoples! Oh, I remember now: the Qur’an is all about subjugating the Christians and Jews. And the Qur’an is like, religious, or not, in that case. ;-)

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Filed under Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Pope Francis, Terrorism

Pope Francis’ silence during his visit to Auschwitz / Birkenau: Let’s talk Luther

pope francis maximilian kolbe auschwitz birkenau

Pope Francis in the torture chamber where Saint Maximilian Kolbe # 16670 was first starved and then injected with carbolic acid.

It was a powerful statement, if you will, of Pope Francis just to go to Auschwitz / Birkenau, regardless of ditching his speech. He did have a moment of kindness with some survivors. That’s all good. But…

Perhaps readers remember this post I wrote six months ago, although it seems to me like I wrote it today, as my emotions are ever more raw about it: Update: Martin Luther: “We are at fault in not slaying the Jews.” The Holy See: “Let’s celebrate his life!” J’accuse!

The celebration of the Reformation and the very life of Hitleresque anti-Semite Martin Luther is coming up. Will that latter bit, at least, be ditched? Let’s hope. I like the silence bit all of a sudden. It would be grotesque in the extreme to go to Auschwitz-Birkenau and then turn around and celebrate the life of Martin Luther who wanted nothing more than to exterminate all the Jews or, failing that final solution, removing them in some other way.

Dearest Holy Father, just so you know:  Update: Martin Luther: “We are at fault in not slaying the Jews.” The Holy See: “Let’s celebrate his life!” J’accuse!

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Filed under Ecumenism, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

World Youth Day 2016 sex ed sex abuse

World Youth Day 2016 Pope Francis and Jesus

After reading about the hard core XXX porn video recommendations being made to 16-18 year olds at World Youth Day 2016 as put together by the Pontifical Council for the Family’s sexually abusive sex-education program being promoted among these youngsters I feel like vomiting and that I’m about to have a heart attack.

I could say some pretty rough things and use some pretty rough language to assist the intent of my comments, but that doesn’t do me any good, nor would it do you any good.

But I will say this: If any priest were to promote those recommendations of the Pontifical Council for the Family to 16-18 year olds, such a priest would forthwith be dismissed from the clerical state (laicized) by Pope Francis and then sued for sex-abuse and thrown in prison for the rest of his life in these USA.

But if any priest were to argue against such an abusive program and not comply with some sex-crazed (Arch)bishop’s sex-abusive sex-ed program based on this rubbish at “The Pope’s World Youth Day”, he would soon find himself without any assignment, without any means to live. After a few years he would be laicized just to get him out of the way.

Here’s the deal: I would rather be a priest forever in heaven even though having suffered on this earth, than to go to hell as a priest where I would be tormented worse than anyone else forever.

Perhaps those who ram this diabolical scandal in the faces of youngsters should be reminded that Jesus, BECAUSE of his mercy will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by the fire of His love, which will burn ardently in those who are with Him, but which will be a source of the most intense and burning frustration for those who did not welcome children with the respect which is their due.

Meanwhile, I am going to continue being the priest I am happy to be. I will keep up with the Sacraments. I will pray. I will follow the love and goodness and kindness and mercy and truth and justice of Jesus. I will fend off all attempts to destroy souls in my parish. I will pray for the Roman Pontiff and those in the Roman Curia. But I am God’s servant first.

– Father George David Byers – Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis

P.S. Dear Pope Francis, if a mutual friend shows you this post, why not consent to the interview I would I like to have with you? I have some questions for you.

= I need to write a post with the title “Flores for the Immaculate Conception”…

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Filed under Abuse, Holy See, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

Vultum Dei quaerere: SS Precedent? Natural Family Planning anecdote.

vatican gardens web cam-

Pope Francis has issued a new Apostolic Constitution, Vultum Dei quaerere, establishing the foundation of a change in the law for the monasteries of cloistered nuns.

Mater Ecclesiae monastery is seen in the extreme lower left of this morning’s web-cam shot taken from the perspective of an office of Vatican Radio in the gardens of Vatican City. The monastery was established by Saint John Paul II in order to have cloistered nuns praying away within Vatican City State. The monastery has a short lived history:

  • Order of Saint Clare (1994–1999)
  • Discalced Carmelites (1999–2004)
  • Benedictine nuns (2004–2009)
  • Visitation nuns (2009–2012)

The problem was not that there was a monastery in the gardens of Vatican City – although that in itself had a multitude of difficulties – but that oversight of the monastery was given to the SS, that is, the Secretariat of State. That in itself is surely because of the keen interest of Pope John Paul in contemplative life, particularly that of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns whose more traditional form of life he himself personally defended as the Pope. And while the SS is the arm of the Pope himself, none of those working there could be equated with the sainted Pontiff. The interventions of these men into the lives of these generous women were far reaching.

There was talk of a surreal ideology, a desire to combine religious not only of different houses of the same religious Order (which was already being done), but also from different religious orders so as to make Mater Ecclesiae monastery a kind of Catholic and cloistered Taizé. Of course, this was not at all the idea of either JPII or BXVI. The nuns would have none of it. So much for respecting the genius of women! They didn’t seem to know, therefore, what their “sign value” was.

Benedict XVI resides in the monastery since the renovations were accomplished after the quick departure of the Visitation nuns. He himself has taken over their work of praying for the papacy.

I’m willing to bet that all of this was a precedent for Vultum Dei quaerere, with those whose idea it was to generate such a document already interfering back in the day.

In the new regulations, the “sign value and participation in life of the local Church” is paramount, so much so that if it is judged by say, the local ordinary, to be lacking, they are to be subjected to a four member “ad hoc commission” which includes the local ordinary as one of those four ex-officio members. “The purpose of this intervention is to initiate a process of guidance for the revitalization of the monastery, or to effect its closure.” I note that the bishop cannot be wrong in all of this. It’s do or die. Perhaps two other members of the commission can convince him to back off.

I remember an Archbishop who was putting outrageous pressure on a fully alive monastery of Discalced Carmelite nuns, wanting them to take over the Natural Family Planning apostolate of the entire Archdiocese from their monastery. “Either fill your minds with thoughts of types of mucous or your monastery will be closed for having no sign value or participation in the local church!” They didn’t do it. They were still protected by Pope John Paul II at the time. But no longer.

This touches me deeply as I have a number of cloistered nuns praying for yours truly.

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Filed under Holy See