I would just add one thing here. Father Walker heard the horror taking place as his fellow priest was being smashed just about to death, and that other priest would likely have been killed had Father Walker not entered the scene without hesitation. He laid down his life for another. Amen.
It’s pretty subtle, but the hints are there, twice, just a second or two each. I heard these hints because I’m quite keyed into good priests being on a kind of hit list. Early on in this debacle, I heard about this hit list from any number of sources. Some of these priests are friends, even close friends.
In this case, “hit list” doesn’t refer to some hitman taking out the good guys. No, no. Nothing quite so terribly violent, at least not yet. It’s more about a cadre of ecclesiastics, perhaps some Cardinals (I can name names), and some up-and-coming bishops who are friends of those Cardinals, “powerful” in their own eyes. And if another bishop is lusting after, say, becoming an archbishop of, say, a “prestigious” archdiocese, you know, one whose archbishop would traditionally be given the “red hat”, in other words would normally be made a cardinal himself, well, hey, fallen human nature being what it is, that sycophant useless bishop guy is going to do the bidding of the “powerful” ecclesiastics to whom they are beholden. What they are supposed to do is follow the direction of those “powerful” ecclesiastics and smash down good priests who in their own dioceses speak, in all charity and calm, in all good prudence, too much truth about the Living Truth, too much goodness and kindness about God who is love, too much about keeping up with the Sacraments like Confession and Communion, not to mention Baptism, Marriage, Confirmation, Last Rites, even going so far as to encourage vocations to Holy Orders, to the priesthood, that is, not the priesthood of those evil ecclesiastics, but the priesthood of the One High Priest, Christ Jesus our Lord. These days, THE MORTAL SIN is being Catholic in the Catholic Church. And to speak the truth about that is all divisiveness and ineffectiveness, right? Pfft.
Good priests are inconvenient. They are going to point out the hate God and hate neighbor platform of the Democrat party: abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, race-baiting, marxist dialectical materialism ideology, pro-LGBT, pro-trans, pro gay civil unions, pro gay “marriage”, etc. How may Catholics are Democrat? asks Father Altman. Zero, he responds, because you can’t be Catholic and a Democrat. :-)
The “powerful” ecclesiastics, frauds all, hypocrites all, must rid themselves of such a cancer from, in their view, the “Body Politic.”
Meanwhile, God bless Father Altman and all his supporters. The donations to him are adding up, enough to support costs of Canon Lawyers against those ecclesiastics who wrongly remove not only himself but also other good priests. There are plenty in need of help, I think a couple dozen. That’s great, because, otherwise, as Father Altman points out, the typical modus operandi is to outspend priests defending themselves with no budget for such a defense. Any (arch)diocese will happily go bankrupt as long as they can rid themselves of a troublesome priests. Money is no object to them whatsoever.
But isn’t that sad? There’s only a couple dozen outspoken priests among the tens of thousands in these USA? I mean, I’m outspoken, but it’s easy for me, as I have a great bishop and I’m in a great diocese, not that he nor the diocese agree with anything I say at all. I don’t represent them when I write on my own time on my own computers with my own internet connection and very loudly say that I don’t represent my parish, The priesthood, the bishop, the diocese, the USCCB, the Holy See, the Roman Pontiff, et al. Also, I’m already in the most remote parish in backridge moonshine Appalachia (Moonshiners was filmed mostly right here), in what is perhaps the smallest parish in North America, which I totally love, totally. So, I’m fine, for now, so far. Even if I were on a hit list as described above, it wouldn’t matter one little bit, not in this diocese. :-)
I mean, I get it, I could be taken out for any or no reason whatsoever, like Father Altman, and not by my bishop, but by someone higher up the chain. There was absolutely nothing anyone could level at Father Altman, so it was just said that he was divisive (an evangelical virtue!) and ineffective … Ineffective … ?! Hah hah hah. But how sad.
Is Father Altman being taken out as a way to put a chill on those priests who are like him, a kind of warning shot over the bow? That’s probable. But it ain’t workin’. It’s going the other way. More priests are rallying and really a lot of lay people are rallying. :-)
In the end, Jesus wins. And, oh, by the way, while Jesus’ Little Flock is being smacked down, Jesus wins. And the priests know this, and the laity know this. All things work for the good for those who love the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.
By the way, this is the first time that Father Altman has hinted that the process against him might take as much as five years. I shouldn’t be envious. He’ll have time to write. He’s already signed on for a number of books he’s now already started to write. The first title, announced in the video above, is about the lies of the bishops. Yikes! That’s not divisive, that’s instructive, and gives hope, because now we know what is of the faith and what in the faith has been perverted. That’s always a great help. Blessings upon you, Father Altman. Hail Mary…
The larger context of this 6-second scene is that the casino needs a $20,000 permit. A Senator is trying to shake down the mafia guy by jacking this up another I think $230,000 – quite the extortion – even while the Senator insults both the mafiosi and their families. Hint: Don’t do either of those things, but especially not the latter.
The response from the mafioso guy is so predictable, and so perfect: “My offer is this: nothing.” And then the mafioso adds that it would be a wise move for the Senator guy to go ahead and himself pay for the $20,000 permit for the casino. Hah. The tables are reversed. Jesus does this all the time.
Hope is high that Jesus will laugh at the analogy which just must be made between Him and the mafiosi. I mean, if you’ve ever even once read the Sacred Scriptures, you’ll immediately see the ferocious irony, sarcasm, humor, the table-turnings (figurative and literal) all meant, of course, to put people back on the right track.
Look, I don’t see myself as being better than any mafioso if I am without the grace of God. We will all look upon Him, the One who is, who was and who is to come, the Alpha and the Omega, the Almighty, whom we have all pierced through with all our sin whilst He was lifted up on the Cross, yes, all of us, men of race, tribe, tongue, people and nation.
Having said that, yes, when I see someone trying to be even more mafioso than the mafiosi, well, they get what they deserve. I hope they also repent, but – yikes! – shaking down the mafia?!
About Jesus… the analogy here is that Jesus is the mafioso guy who says that His counter offer to the extortion is to jack up the stakes. The self-absorbed who use religion to make themselves heroes, feeling powerful in bullying, who say that they will kill Jesus unless He stops being… what is it? – more “popular” than them, well, they are answered in this way by Jesus: “My offer is… nothing.” But then Jesus will continue: Not only will I rise from the dead after three days, but if you are to serve my Heavenly Father in Heaven for eternity, you will have to be crucified to yourselves and to the world, and to do that, you will have to believe in the One whom the Father has sent into the world, you will love Him, and you will keep the commandments. Hah.
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. (Mark 10:29-30)
But Father George, Father George! “A hundred times […] houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands” is not nothing! What are you talking about! Jesus’ offer is a prosperity Gospel! It’s all about this world, “now in this present age,” you know, besides “eternal life in the age to come”!
First of all, these were given up, and then when more are added, it is only with persecutions. It’s the ol’ “My offer is this: nothing.” And, by all appearances, it then gets worse. Have you ever been in a persecution? Any mafioso earner might temporarily spare the life of a recalcitrant priest who speaks out against the mafia because the arm of his grandmother was just broken by a mafia “earner” for not paying her “pizzo” (protection payment), but that “earner” might then kill a member of that priest’s family as a warning if that priest insists, you know, his brother, or sister, or mother, members of his parish family… His rectory might be burned down, lands destroyed. When Jesus calls us from death to life, when He calls a man to be a priest, wretch that he is if without the grace of God, the offer is this: nothing. And less than nothing, that is, in this world. Even the little we think we have can be taken away at any moment, all those “houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands” by way of the promised persecution. Ah, but then there is eternal life, not only for the faithful priest, but also for Jesus’ Little Flock for whom that priest was available to get out of the way of the One High Priest so that He Himself might lead them to heaven with His goodness and kindness and Living Truth.
Perhaps there are some who are offended at this analogy. But I rush to be vindicated by the Venerable Fulton J Sheen, who made a similar analogy, even more ferocious. The good archbishop made an analogy between Jesus and – get this – atheistic materialistic dialectical Marxist Communism. Yep.
What I recall from his conferences very many decades ago (distributed on cassette tapes by Keep the Faith), was that he described the demonic communist oppressors as totalitarian: they want to control your food and water, your medicine, your housing, you work, your possessions, your family, your friends, your conversations, your faith (none allowed), your very thoughts.
Meanwhile, Sheen went on, Jesus wants everything from us as well, citing the famous oft-recited passage:
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest. Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
The difference, he said, was that the communists do this with terrible violence and fear mongering, always torture, always killing, always persecution.
Jesus, he said, does this with love, so that we love Him in His grace most willingly, even in the midst of the persecutions of this world, with that love of His that is stronger than our sin, stronger that our temptation, stronger than death, bringing us to heaven, with grace turning to glory. Amen. And that’s something!
A priest friend visited today. He instructed me on one of those “rule and regulations” that are so unpopular in Rome right about now. It’s about one of the most commonplace rubrics directing what the priest is to do when he offers that oft-repeated blessing of those assisting with Holy Mass: Dominus vobiscum – “[May] the Lord be with you.”
When the priest says Dominus vobiscum, he (traditionally) begins with hands together at the sternum and then moves his hands outwardly only as far as either side of his rib cage, not as far as he can stretch his hands (as has done by some religious orders and in various countries with another symbolism altogether). This limited action, he said, had been very strict in the strictly Roman Latin Rite (there being some 28+- Latin Rites).
The first time in, say, a Low Mass, that the priest says Dominus vobiscum is when he is just about to ascend the steps to begin Holy Mass. He surely feels entirely unworthy, and, indeed, he has just finished reciting the confiteor, striking himself thrice for having sinned: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. And now he makes brave to ascend to the Altar of Sacrifice, to the Most Sacred Mysteries. How could he do this, freakishly unworthy sinner that he is?
Dominus vobiscum, he cries out. And in spreading his hands from the sternum to the edges of his rib cage, he is symbolically ripping open his rib cage, revealing to all that while he is inept and entirely unworthy, his heart is now that of Christ Jesus, in whose Person he will offer the Holy Sacrifice of our redemption and, please God, our salvation. Those present, horrified by his unworthiness and yet taken by the great mercies of the Most High, pray for the priest as well: Et cum spiritu tuo (and [may the Lord also be] with your spirit [because you’re certainly in need of that mercy]).
“I will appoint over you shepherds after my own Heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.” (Jeremiah 3:15)
Part I of the tripartite Sacrament of Holy Orders: Diaconate. They are on their way to Part II, the priesthood, being available to get out of the way of Christ Jesus, the High Priest, who will manifest His Priesthood through them. Part III, the episcopacy… what a fright! Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said that no one but no one appreciates how all hell has broken out on Calvary until one becomes a bishop, when the fullness of the battle is laid out to be seen, this being the meaning of “episcopate”, wherein the bishop by definition oversees all.
Meanwhile, there are other battles in this world which are necessary for defense of the innocent from unjust aggression. Those in that battle are also and especially in need of spiritual care. Our bishop has generously allowed now Deacon Darren Balkey (Ensign!) to be “on-loan” to the Department of Defense, which at least back in the day was for a five year period of service. Great. I’m happy for the our Military and for our good and holy deacon. For Ensign Deacon Balkey: Hail Mary…
Meanwhile, I know the wonderfully Catholic family of deacon Aaron Huber. With him we have another good and holy deacon taking up the battle in this ecclesia militans (Church militant) here at home, wherein the battle is most fierce, as it is everywhere. Satan is unleashing attacks more than ever, and I am happy that we have Deacon Huber joining the battle in a particularly intense manner right here at home. For Deacon Huber: Hail Mary…
Jesus is always calling men to Holy Orders. And many are hearing that call of our Lord. But we must make acceptance of that call from God possible:
It is a command of Jesus to pray that the Master of the harvest sends out laborers to gather in the harvest: that’s a commandment, not a suggestion. So: Hail Mary…
Families need to raise their children in such manner that they have purity of heart and agility of soul in keeping up with the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion that they can hear the call of Jesus should He be pleased to call one of their sons to Holy Orders.
Families need to “make it a thing” to pray for vocations within family prayer, daily, say, a Hail Mary, not putting pressure on anyone, ever, but such prayer making it clear that certainly no one is going to complain if a younster expresses interest in Holy Orders.
Dioceses need to promote vocations. Yes. Not many do this, you know, in protest that women cannot be ordained, and so, if women cannot be ordained, then no one will be ordained. I know a diocese like this. They proclaimed in their diocesan newspaper that it’s good for women to be able to become priests because that will dismantle patriarchal whatever, you know, just like it is good for women to have abortions inasmuch as that dismantles patriarchal whatever. Yep. Just like that. We need bishops to stop this satanic idiocy. We need bishops to promote vocations.
We have to make it known that priests are married to the Church by way of the wedding vows they themselves recite, acting in Persona Christi, in the Person of Christ, when they recite the Consecrations at Holy Mass, at the Wedding Banquet of Christ with His Immaculate Bride, the Church: This is my body, given for you in sacrifice, my blood poured out for you in sacrifice.
We have to make for a culture of chastity. The world is extremely aggressive, but it can be done. Remember Blessed Carlo Acutis? He was a computer genius. Did he use the internet for unchastity? NO! Carlo is the best. He died from cancer at just 15 years old, but it is his devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament on the internet that I wish all priests would have as they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Take a gander at the Wikipedia article on him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_Acutis and then at the website he himself created, and about the presentation of Eucharistic miracles which has been making it’s way right around the world, and may be coming to Charlotte Diocese for the Eucharistic Congress, and perhaps even to the smallest parish in North America right here in Andrews if we have a big enough venue: http://www.miracolieucaristici.org/en/Liste/list.html
I’m quite sure our Eucharistic Congress here in Charlotte Diocese, with the Eucharistic Procession right through the city streets, was formative in the vocations of our two transitional deacons, who are now only a year away from being ordained to the priesthood.
You have heard that it was said that the bishops above made a short statement which implies that it is a good and holy action to label and proclaim and vaunt oneself publicly as LGBT, you know, without going into the chastity issue, and that at the least God is on the side of the person who is self-entitled enough to rebel against God in such manner, proud of their disorder, thus rejecting that it is a disorder. God hates the sin and the sinner in such manner as to get the sinner to no longer be a sinner. But Saint Paul writes this:
“Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals […] will inherit the kingdom of God. […] That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
That’s from the the USCCB’s New American Bible. Lets take a closer look at some terminology.
πόρνοι – fornicators, the unmarried having heterosexual sex with the unmarried.
εἰδωλολάτραι – idolaters, which also includes making of oneself an idol.
μοιχοὶ – adulterers, specifically possibly married men who are running after married women.
μαλακοὶ – this actually refers to men wearing luxurious clothes that women themselves would not wear, in other words, a very direct translation would be “drag queens” who, in our fallen human nature, appear in every culture throughout history, men who hate themselves, who hate women, and who hate the image of God as we read in Genesis: male, female and family. μαλακοὶ can be men or boys who sell themselves for sex, in other words, male prostitutes of whatever age, including and especially minors, but there is reference both to those who are paid and who pay.
ἀρσενοκοῖται – men having sex with men.
Saint Paul says that those entrenching in whatever such temptation, caving to whatever such temptation, will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.
Saint Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is aghast at those who would label themselves any of these things, as that is going to seal them in that behavior until they stop vaunting themselves as proud of being disordered. To be proud of such disorder is a sin of unchastity in and of itself, even if there is no accompanying activity. It is a revolt against God, a proclamation of Satan: Non serviam! “I will not serve.” Of course, with that attitude, anyone proud of being unchaste is about 100% probably likely to be unchaste in activity. Anyone proclaiming that this is God’s doing when such unchastity is risking being forbidden entrance to heaven, meaning that such unchastity will have one risking being carried off to hell, is blaspheming against God. Is that what the bishops are doing? They should be careful. You know what our Lord says about those who lead youngsters into sin… I mean, you remember that, right?
Moreover, anyone who pushes those into being prideful for a disorder in direct rebellion against God is assisting that person in being carried off to hell, right? Are they unaware of what Saint Paul says?
The illogicities coming from ecclesiastics are enough to bring someone suffering such temptations to despair. The suicide rate among LGBT crowd isn’t so astronomically high because people like Saint Paul take them seriously and want them to turn to the Lord and have great hope that they can and many do turn to the Lord, and so are on their way to heaven. Hope is always hopeful, and does not lead on to despair.
But those ecclesiastics who do not take the LGTB crowd seriously, who disdain them, who use them for political points – I mean, I don’t know… Is that what they are doing? – …. anyway, in not taking the LGBT crowd seriously is it not these ecclesiastics who are bringing the LGBT crowd to despair, leading them to commit suicide? Just a question.
By the way, the LGBT crowd that this is all about are youngsters, minors. So, is this “protecting” not abuse? Just a question.
Lets put this a different way. I met up with a priest the other day who would like to come up with a survey, questionnaire, interrogation if you will, of priests in active ministry. They are all trick questions, which are tricky, you know, if you have no formation, no capacity to reason with logic, with no grounding in sharp philosophy and good theology.
His first questions just slightly rephrased the tenants of the Satanic Church. He added one of his own. I aced the “survey” which he imagined would be provided by way of a computer screen. I immediately said that it’s not a survey then, but rather an interrogation, to which he laughed repeatedly. His own question was this:
“Is it possible to be gay and chaste?”
I can only imagine that even very many good priests would not be able to reason this through, and would immediately say “Yes”, rejoicing that someone is carrying their cross and living chastely with the grace of Christ Jesus over against untoward temptations as everyone is expected to do, you know, the old “good for the them and they will have a high place in heaven,” attitude. And this priest did admit this was a baiting question so as to better prepare an education for the presbyterate about the way things actually are, an instruction which would immediately be well received by good priests who just did not know how to make the distinctions they actually needed to make so as to be consonant with the teaching of the Scriptures and the Church.
Here’s the deal: To label oneself as gay even if not publicly is a sin against chastity, even though chastity is used as a rationalization by the otherwise pious priest that his being gay is not that which disqualifies him from active ministry, from being the Father of the Parish Family, and married to the Immaculate Bride of Christ by way of Jesus’ own wedding vows during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that the priest recites in the first-person-singular: “This is my body given you, my blood poured out for you.
Labeling oneself is by definition an entitlement excusing one’s disorder as no longer being a disorder, as being – quite ironically – so very unimportant that one will not let go of that label no matter what, come highwater or even hell.
One cannot get to Saint Paul’s admonition that “some of you were this way” without letting go of the labeling and self-entrenchment, and despair. One must actually allow oneself to be bathed by the Blood of the Lamb. That necessitates repentance from unchastity including the unchastity of labeling oneself. Again, proclaiming gayness is unchaste, sinful, and it is a scandal, which is a most grievous sin. One cannot be gay and chaste. Get it?
It is only the fully Catholic believing pastors who love those caught up in homosexuality so much as to bring them out of it, to bring them to Christ Jesus.
As for that list of 14 cardinals and bishops above. That’s not all of them. I think of Chicago, where Father Paul Kalchik is still being persecuted for taking LGBT individuals seriously, wanting their eternal salvation. That was not appreciated by the powers that be, who are not included in the list of the 14.
There are many bishops who are persecuting many good priests. The list of persecuted priests is growing. But that’s also a matter of hope. That means the number of priests who speak up for the salvation of souls is growing. Thanks be to God.
The more good priests speak up, the more good vocations to the priesthood we will see coming forward. We rejoice that here in Charlotte Diocese we are actually building a seminary – and it’s up and running for pre-theology – and we rejoice that our seminarians are believers, as are the faculty and administrators and formators. Thanks be to God.
The companions of Saint Charles refused to suffer the sexual abuse that the king wanted to foist upon them because they were following the good example and direction of Saint Charles. He was their protector.
Saint Charles is the patron saint of those who stand up against the abuse of office used to foist sexual abuse on others. The abusers get upset with the likes of a Saint Charles.
Here’s the deal: what the king was doing with abuse of office used to foist sexual abuse on others is not a once-off in humanity. It happens all the time. And we can’t say that it’s just some secular king who was a bit freaky. No, no. But it this way: can we deny that there are plenty of “kings” of their own imaginings, certain ecclesiastics, priests and bishops have not done the same as the king with minors?
Let’s take this a step further. Are there others who are like Saint Charles, who are going to protect minors against the sexual aggression of the freakoids? Yes, there are. And what if some of these emulators of Saint Charles are priests, and their bishops are playing the role of the sex-demented-king? Are those bishops going to slit the throats of the priests who call out sexual abuse, you know, at least by way of marginalizing them, dismissing them from the clerical state? Sure. And then we have more martyrs or at least saints with heroic virtue. Pray for good priests. Hail Mary…
Diocesan statement regarding Father James Altman — May 25, 2021 [with my comments]
“Fr. James Altman has recently made public the request from Bishop William Patrick Callahan that he resign his office of pastor of Saint James the Less Parish in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, as well as his intent to decline the request. As a result, the Diocese of La Crosse will respond in accordance to the canonical process as needed for the removal of a priest from his office as pastor. [This will take a year or so. I have an idea! Hey Father! Come down to Charlotte Diocese. I think there’s a parish or two opening up mid-July.]
“During the past year, concerns have been expressed related to the ministry of Fr. James Altman, a priest in the Diocese of La Crosse. [“Concerns”? From whom? Marxists in a newspaper looking to sell newspapers, getting their facts wrong?] Bishop Callahan of the Diocese of La Crosse, and canonical representatives have worked to fraternally and privately address those concerns. The process has been pastoral and administrative with a desire toward a just resolution among all parties. [B as in B, S as in S. Explain your comment, Bishop, that Father Altman’s ministry is “ineffective.” Can’t do it, can you? That’s just a catchall throwaway to slit the throat of a believer. You coward.]
“The ministry of pastor was instituted in the Church not for the benefit of the one to whom it is entrusted, but for the pastoral and sacramental care of those for whom it is conferred. The salvation of souls takes precedence over the stability of the pastor in office when these two values come into direct conflict. [And there’s the accusation: The bishop is saying that Father Altman is working for the damnation of souls and couldn’t give a damn about pastoral and sacramental care of his parish family. Pretty brave, there, bishop. You’re playing the part of the Eternal Judge, Christ Jesus, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, including you.] Although attempts were made to allow Fr. Altman the opportunity to respond to fraternal correction, a resolution of this situation has been unsuccessful. [Were the actual complaints in Father’s file forwarded to him so that he could make a response? No. UPDATE: But two boxes of items were delivered to him. Great! Father Altman reported that 99% of letters were entirely supportive of him, while 1% were critical, but were not signed, had no return address. Pfft. This seems to have everything to do with the Dems being diametrically opposed to God and the Church on all fronts such that Father Altman correctly stated that one cannot be a Democrat and a Catholic. Father Altman also rightly cautioned people about taking non-approved experimental drugs, and against any forceful measures to forbid the Sacraments to the Jesus’ Little Flock because of Covid. Those are his crimes? Pfft. He’s one of the few witnesses to faith today.]
“It is important to note that this is not a penal remedy but a pastoral remedy. [Removed from office not penal? Penal is not medicinal? This is one truly confused bishop. This is the thinking of a bully.] Bishop Callahan asks for your prayers for Fr. Altman, for the congregation of St. James, and the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse and beyond. While any change made to the ministry of a pastor is difficult [There seems to be zero intention of possibly letting Father Altman back to the parish as pastor], it is done with the hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation and healing may be realized in the Body of Christ for a positive outcome.[!]
“The Diocese of La Crosse asks for the consideration of respect, safety and prayers at this time for all involved.” [Hahahahahah! There must be letters and phone calls and messages pouring into the diocese in gentle support of Father Altman. What a bunch of cowards before Father Altman, a gentle but manly soul.]
My thoughts on how this is going. The secular journalists have blood on their hands, are happy that such is the case, and are now encouraged by this to look to their next victim priest for any or no reason whatsoever. They already know that the bishop is their personal sycophant. All priests are now on notice. And that’s the point.
Also, and just to say, no priest I know of has followed so exactly the Covid protocols of his diocese. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that Father Altman is a believer. Imagine that. A priest who is a believer. That’s the crime.
And if other bishops notice this, they will be likewise emboldened to slit the throats of all their priests as well.
Don Claudio Tonini, whom I consider a saint (without prejudice over against the Congregation for the Causes of Saints), was the parish priest of a fairly populous parish named after the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a mid-peninsula coastal smallish industrial and quite entirely unapologetically Marxist city of Italy (opposite the island of Elba). The town’s name is reminiscent of bullets: “Piombino,” “A Bit of Lead.” It’s nickname is “La Piccola Russia,” The Little Russia.
Don Claudio died in his 80s in March 1993, some 12 weeks after catastrophic injury-instigated medical disintegration consequent upon the murderous assault he suffered some months previously, in December 1992, only months after my own ordination to the priesthood.
That December of 1992, I was finishing up coursework for a Licentiate degree in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. A list of parishes right around Italy went up on the bulletin board next to the infamous Aula IV of the PIB, requesting that any available student-priests sign up to travel to whatever parish throughout Italy in order to help out with hearing Christmas Confessions. I waited for other priests to take their pick, but then it was too late. My hesitation was surely the work of my guardian angel. The next thing I knew, the list was taken down. Feeling utterly useless, I went to one of the upper-hierarchy of the Jesuit community who was in charge of this project and asked him if there was still another parish that needed a priest.
“Yes,” he said enthusiastically, and then added immediately:
“I was going to go myself, but, believe me, you are the perfect one to go there. You are the only one who could go there. You’re perfect for this. Thank you for volunteering. You have the perfect balance and reserve and judiciousness for this [and on and on, making me suspicious]. Thank you for doing this. There are problems. But you’re perfect for this. Thank you.”
“What are the problems?” I asked, dead-pan.
“You’ll see when you get there,” he said, refusing to tell me even when I pressed him on this. But then he praised the parish priest of the parish: “He’s a famous missionary up and down the Italian peninsula, always in demand as a preacher of parish missions, called in by bishops far and wide. The [Marxist] town built a youth center for him next the church since everyone in town respects him so much.”
Taking the train from Rome, walking from the train station to the parish, dragging some luggage, I found myself quite alone, the church open, but dark. I looked around, prayed a bit, but the rectory was all locked up. I had been given instructions to stay in the guest room of the religious community around the block. Off I went.
The nice sisters led me to my a small “cell” in the guest quarters and then pointed to a table in another room with some bread and water and some tid-bits of food (very delicious, mind you). I was heartily thanked as the sisters came in to get a look at the one who was apparently a brave young priest for taking on this task. I was something of zoo animal. This simply couldn’t believe that any priest would be brave enough to take on the task. But I wasn’t brave. I was just there to hear some Confessions. That’s it. I didn’t know the story.
But our Lord would use the drama in that parish to continue training me in about the heart of the priesthood from the point of view of the High Priest, Christ Jesus. Our Lord was training me in to be a donkey-priest. Mind you, all donkeys are guard-donkeys, apt at protecting any flock of sheep from the wolves. I didn’t know there was a wolf in this situation, not yet.
“Where’s the parish priest, Don Claudio Tonini?” I asked the sisters. They looked at me, dumbstruck that I hadn’t been told what had happened. And they didn’t want to tell me, speaking in ambiguities that meant nothing. But I knew I would be alone in covering this Italian parish for Christmas, something I didn’t expect I would ever be doing a month before.
Eventually, asking really a lot of people, I found out what happened. My heart sank. Don Claudio was still in the hospital when I got there.
What had happened is that don Claudio’s assistant priest “Quel M” as don Claudio charitably called him, was finishing Sunday Mass, and while everyone was still there don Claudio went up to the pulpit to announce that all the youth were to gather over in the youth center after Mass, so, an announcement of ten seconds or so. Don Claudio was great at teaching the kids about Jesus on their level, but preparing by reading the Summa Theologiae of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
“Quel M” let himself get enraged about this, becoming volcanic, but able to get back to the sacristy, rip off his vestments and storm away. But he disappeared only for a few hours, coming back that afternoon to hunt down diminutive don Claudio (mid-80s, frail, about 5’5″ and perhaps 125 pounds), who was sitting at his desk in his office.
With both hands, “Quel M” (mid-30s, strong as an ox, about 6’5″ and perhaps 310 pounds) grabbed the largest volume of the Summa Theologiae of Saint Thomas Aquinas, and proceeded with all his might to bash don Claudio over the head and on his face with it, then choking him in a strangle hold trying to crush his throat which don Claudio had used to preach about Jesus throughout his life. Don Claudio, strangled for what I’m sure seemed like an eternity for don Claudio, dropped to the floor. “Quel M” left don Claudio for dead. Three days later (three days, mind you), don Claudio awakens from his coma and, from the floor – still on the floor precisely where he was left for dead, is just able to reach the phone on it’s stand and call an ambulance, face and head swollen like a basketball, eyes still swollen shut after three days. I still shudder today at the monstrosity of “Quel M”.
The assistant, “Quel M,” as don Claudio called him, successfully escaped to the mountains and then, not being arrested, hid out (ironically on any number of levels) at “La Misericordia” (The Mercy, an ancient funerary organization in Italy) located at a crusader era church at the waterfront just down the street from the parish.
The most the bishop and the vicar general would do at that time is, basically, nothing. They and the other priests of the Diocese of Massa Marittima – Piombino were scared to death of “Quel M”.
Senseless, you say? Sick, you say?
Meanwhile, “Quel M” returned to the parish (though forbidden by the bishop), in order, he thought, to preside at the funeral of the head of Italy’s Catholic Action. She was from the parish and all sorts of politicians and dignitaries and untold numbers of churchmen of every rank showed up from throughout the Italian peninsula. I asked the higher-up ecclesiastics if they would like to preside over the funeral. They were afraid, and so cited my appointment by the local ordinary to surveil the situation. I couldn’t believe it. “Quel M”, standing right there in the sacristy before Holy Mass, was a volcano. A monsignor whispered to him that he shouldn’t be there and “Quel M” erupted violently, but somehow got himself out the door like a twirling Tazmanian devil of Bugs Bunny fame, though there was nothing funny about this. He could easily have killed all of us. The priests were wide-eyed, truly afraid. “Quel M” again had murder in his eyes and was totally out of control. Within a few minutes he was back in again. In order to calm down the situation I asked him if he would do the first reading. “Si!” he exclaimed. But then, during Mass, from the side, he said all the parts that I was to say as the “main celebrant” as the phrase goes in the Novus Ordo (back in 1993). “Quel M” said those prayers in a very loud voice indeed, almost shouting them out. Just so sad. I let him read because I was afraid that he would actually have killed a number of the old priests there. Truly… Anyway…
Don Claudio survived his stay at the hospital, returned to parish, and he and I became instant life-long friends if such a thing makes sense. It’s just that it seemed we knew each other forever. He loved Jesus. He loved the truth. He called our friendship in the priesthood a “sintonia” in the truth, explaining that sintonia has to do with radio waves being on the same frequency, strengthening each other. It would only be weeks before he died. When one is smashed about to death as an elderly person, this will exacerbate all other medical conditions, and it will not be long before one dies.
When Saint John Paul II got wind of all this, he was pretty upset, furious really, and sent a letter to all the Italian bishops about how to deal with their priests. It was like a lightning strike. Bishops were on notice. Yikes! This was a saga which carried on some years and was infamous everywhere in Italy. When priests found out that I had been the one to stay with don Claudio they instantly exclaimed: “You’re the one!” incredulous that I was standing before them. But I was nothing but a donkey-priest doing what I had to do. It is don Claudio who is inspiring. Let me tell you a bit about that:
The rest of the story: I repeatedly begged don Claudio to tell the police what had happened, to tell the full story to the bishop, but he would not do this. Don Claudio didn’t want to hurt “Quel M” in any way. Don Claudio wanted with all his might that “Quel M” come to know the mercy of the Lord. Don Claudio taught me much about the priesthood in view of other priests. I don’t know if I leaned what I should have learned, but my experience with him has nonetheless been invaluable for me. Thanks, don Claudio! I went to visit his tomb in the mid-2000s, brought there from Rome by a friend who has served as a kind of special secretary, so to speak, for a successive number of Roman Pontiffs. Even after so many years, his tomb was surrounded by huge bouquets of fresh cut flowers. That’s impressive. I prayed for the repose of his soul, and then asked that he pray for this donkey-priest still upon this earth.
Having said all that, if I had walked in on “Quel M” attacking don Claudio, I think I would have – in one movement – thrown him through the window (high up along the ceiling with those way too narrow windows) and out into the garden far below. If he had broken down the doors (I think we had already changed the locks) so as to reenter to do away with me, a kind of post-hoc witness to the murder… Well, I’ll just stop there… Yikes! So, I’m no saint.
As the years went by, “Quel M” visited the student priest residence where I was staying in Rome. I sat at the same table with him at lunch (twelve to a table). He sat across from me. His eyes bugged out like a cicada eyes when he realized that I had been the priest who had rescued don Claudio’s parish many years previously:
“Splutter, splutter, splutter…” was all he could say. He was once again a volcano, but had to control himself, but just couldn’t, so outraged was he. Meanwhile, he knew he was being watched by the powers-that-be at the table, who were way too well connected for him to be able to throw a fit.
Meanwhile, the bishop of that little diocese back in the day was kicked upstairs to about the very top of the Vatican hierarchy. I just couldn’t believe it.
Meanwhile, “Quel M” had been a mockery of what it means to be a donkey-priest, killing the shepherd by crushing his esophagus, instead of keeping the wolves away by doing the same to them, figuratively speaking.
I had already been well aware of the spiritual hideousness that priests can get into, but I had never met someone like Judas who would just go ahead and kill a fellow priest. But, now, I had an experience that this was also possible. I know Judas betrayed Jesus, but it’s different somehow when you see someone with blood on their hands for having done this quite literally.
This prepared me for more opening of my eyes to how far Jesus had to reach to get all of us, so very far, right into hell, so as to save us. My eyes were opened, like that cicada pictured above, as to how far Jesus had to reach to get me. I realized a bit more how bad and evil I am if I am without the grace of our Lord: so very bad and evil. “Quel M” and yours truly, I realized, are not so very different. Given the circumstances in life, you know, from birth, it’s all “There but for the grace of God go I.” If we don’t get that, we are liars to God, to neighbor, to ourselves.
Graced humility is the only way. Don Claudio shows us the way. He didn’t at all want to hurt “Quel M” in any way, but only wanted that also “Quel M” know the mercy and goodness of the Lord. This donkey-priest has so much to learn about that graced humility that don Claudio exemplified. No wonder he was in high demand for conferences retreats for priests and for parish missions right around Italy. Thanks be to God for don Claudio Tonini.
This “Rules” notice was seen in one of our Faith Formation classrooms. This used to be the discipline in Catholic Schools and why Catholic Schools generally and regularly through the decades were fully two grades (at least) ahead of all other public schools.
But, of course, discipline means nothing without the interior wherewithal to be disciplined, that is, by way of friendship with God, which we are provided with the Sacraments.
Faith Formation is great, but…. what we really need are Catholic Schools with teaching orders of religious Sisters.
Some 7,000+ pilgrims, facing liturgical and actual East, were jammed into the eastern side of the Lower Basilica of Saint Pius X in the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes in France on the National Feast Day of France, the great Solemnity of the Assumption of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God to heaven, soul and body, for a Solemn High Mass with yours truly being the “permanent chaplain” who, however unworthy, having once again kick-started after decades of dormition the official offering of the Traditional Mass starting in 2007, had the privilege of offering this Mass on this day in 2008, during the 150th anniversary jubilee of the apparitions in Lourdes.
Our dear Lord called me to be a priest during the offering of the Traditional Mass on the feast of Saint John the Baptist, June 24, 1962. I was born in February of 1960. So, just two and half years old. But I remember pretty much everything in my early years – always have – in fine detail, in color, with smells and bells, as it were. So, just to say, yes, I have a very deep seated, entrenched, and ever living “attachment” to the “Old Mass” (a misnomer on so very many levels). And it’s not just about entitlement of emotional attachment, you know, a weakness to be pitied. No. The Traditional Mass is who I am as a priest, who I am before God, quite literally and in every way, on every level.
The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as it has been celebrated throughout the life history of Holy Mother Church has for a long time been and is still today denigrated, held to be criminal, opening a priest up to persecution, bullying, brow-beating, suspension, removal from ministry, so that his salary is stripped from him, and all that he has to live on, including a place to say, something to eat, and then his insurance is removed, then his faculties, so that he is then held to be a mere liability and is dismissed from the clerical state. Just like that. Yep. Not infrequently either. This is the history of so many priests of my own acquaintance through the decades and still today.
After some eight years of catechesis of the parish, I have started to offer Holy Mass ad orientem, with “the people”, toward the East, toward Jesus, toward the Holy Sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world.
On Monday, I offered the Holy Sacrifice in what has been called the Extraordinary Form, the Old Rite, the Latin Mass, the Traditional Mass, the Gregorian Mass, etc. A crime? Surely, in the eyes of some. Pope Benedict ensured that priests could do this at their own discretion.
“But Father George! Father George! You don’t understand! You’re divisory! You’re not pastórial or pastóral or however you say it! You’re not appreciative of the Novus Pontifex, the New Scriptures, the New Liturgy, the New Morality, the New Doctrine! We worship Pachamama! We’re clever and sophisticated and up to date! Follow us, not that outdated not-divine Jesus! There are no sacraments! Come with us, for friendship!”
Mind you, none of that straw-man rubbish above is reflective of my parish. Only positive to date, 100%.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis and many of his favorite cardinals and his favorite bishops and his favorite priests and his favorite laity have been pushing for a localization of pachamama style liturgies as he himself has wrought on the central altar of Saint Peter’s, meaning anything even demonic is all good. The Novus Ordo Misae? I’m about done. It’s the boiling the frog so slowly that it’s dead before it knows it. I’m wanting out.
And yes, it’s true, with the “Old Mass” comes all that is ever ancient, ever new, all the goodness and kindness of Jesus, and the Living Truth that He is, all the doctrine, all the morality, all the sacraments. I’m for Jesus. How about you?
The first encounter I had with the the following prayer was when a great priest, that is, a real believer, close to Christ our God, gave me a prayer card with this prayer on the back. I was a pre-first year kind-of-discerning seminarian, right after high school.
Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord, keep them, for they are Thine – Thy priests whose lives burn out before Thy consecrated shrine.
Keep them, for they are in the world, though from the world apart; when earthly pleasures tempt, allure – shelter them in Thy heart.
Keep them, and comfort them in hours of loneliness and pain, when all their lives of sacrifice for souls seems but in vain.
Keep them, and O remember, Lord, they have no one but Thee, yet they have only human hearts, with human frailty.
Keep them as spotless as the Host, that daily they caress; their every thought and word and deed, Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.
All the placemats at the meal for the priests and seminarians after the Chrism Mass were created by the children of the parish school. This is a yearly consolation. They are as different one to another as are the kids themselves. I’m always eager to see what the placemat will be where I sit. I was very happy to see that Jesus’ good mom was accompanied by a Star of David. There are many hearts – Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart, and the hearts of those who are martyrs for the faith with all their churches throughout the world.
Here’s are those words in the middle with slightly greater context:
“All your sons shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. In justice shall you be established, far from the fear of oppression, where destruction cannot come near you. Should there be any attack, it shall not be of my making; whoever attacks you shall fall before you.” (Isaiah 54:13-15)
Mind you, that’s not at all to say that we will not join Jesus on the Cross, that we will not join Mary on Calvary. We will have great peace in heaven from the Prince of the Most Profound Peace.
You’ll also notice a number of three-leafed clovers in the placemat. Not only did we just have Saint Patrick’s Day, who used the clover as a way to teach about the Most Holy Trinity, but also the Cathedral Parish is named after Saint Patrick.
Hmmm… I didn’t eat the non-Keto carrot cake. The rector of the Cathedral sat the Bishop at our table. The table banter was good. Seated in front of me below is the Vicar Forane of my vicariate. There were two other priests and a seminarian, the latter of whom I had a great chat about the vocation to which our Lord calls us priests, that is, to get out of His way so that He shines forth as the High Priest for His little flock even through us.
In the end, all the priests of the diocese were invited for the Chrism Mass. Last year there were only a representative number. But I think we’re all quite sick of the politics of Covid-19.
As it is, I had been contacted by the Bishop’s secretary, making sure I would be at the Chrism Mass, since there were requests to the end that I pick up the sacred oils blessed and consecrated at that Holy Mass for a number of other priests who were not going to be in attendance. I did that. Now comes the delivery part, which is less easy. That will be an adventure.
Lots of friends were greeted. I had a great chat with the Vicar General afterward, and got lots of really sharp canon law advice on the Traditional Latin Mass, as it is called, that is, on the rubrical-sacramental law of 1917 still being in effect for that liturgy, even while the adjunct personal law regarding that liturgy now comes from the 1983 code. Thus:
Holy Communion can only be given on the tongue in the Traditional Latin Mass, since that is the rubrical-sacramental law of the 1917 Code of Canon Law.
The much lengthier fasting the priest was required to accomplish under the 1917 law is abrogated unto the law promulgated in 1983, as this is instead adjunct law regarding merely the very person of the priest himself.
Many readers have been praying for me, perhaps especially recently. I thank you.The sense of a profound peace and calm that I was in yesterday – and still today – immediately brought to mind those praying for me. That peace is all their “fault” so to speak. Thank you for that. It did me good. All in all, a great day on so many levels.
It’s extremely rare that you will find a Catholic priest or bishop who could care less about the murder of children in the womb by way of abortion, or who are against partial birth abortion, or who are against infanticide.
“Why do I say that?” you ask.
It’s extremely rare that you will find a bishop, backed by some henchmen priests, who will NOT push for the removal of a Catholic priest from active ministry, you know, a priest who is non-compliant with the culture of death, particularly the Wuhan Joe culture of death.
“Why do I say that?” you ask.
For such bishops, a priest who is not willing to sacrifice children to the demonic god of “death-power” is the enemy of their self-congratulations, their ♬ feelings ♬ of “power” of the cowardly killing of the entirely defenseless, you know, so that they can look likes heroes, clever, sophisticated, a valued member of the club… the proud hellions of the culture of death.
“Why do I say that?” you ask.
Go ahead, try to give me names of of those bishops who will NOT dismiss a priest from active ministry who insists on respecting the lives of defenseless children, you know, any bishops who ARE promoting vaccines developed and/or tested by the usage unto death of defenseless children, vaccines like Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, etc. Can you think of any besides Cardinal Bourke, Bishop Strickland, Bishop Schneider, or a few others anywhere in the world? Do you think the vast majority will tolerate the presence of a priest who speaks against taking such vaccines?
Their compromise, their subsequent bloodthirstiness, their consequent Judas-like death mongering, is threatened, they feel, by any priest who insists on respecting the lives of defenseless children in the womb. And I just bet you that these will be the same bishops who, year after year, for decades, insist on collections being made for Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Campaign for Human Development, both of which fund abortion right around the world.
Just guessing here, but would not these be the same bishops who have given themselves to homosexualist abuse of minors, who belong to the homosexualist club. I mean, I don’t know, but it’s all consistent, you know, treating children like fresh meat on which to foist their “power.” Many of those children will later commit suicide. It’s all the same. Sex for death. Yep. It’s just that in the case of murderously taking children out of the womb for the sake of self-congratulations uses euphemisms like “product of conception,” or useless “tissue.”
“Father George, you exaggerate, we haven’t heard of any priest getting forcibly aborted from his parish, uh… getting administratively removed from his parish for cautioning people against vaccines! You exaggerate!”
But what if a priest, having preached very many times about the taking of such vaccines, at length, with incisive clarity, with great passion, so that there is no mistake about what he has presented, is accosted publicly in front of his congregation by someone who proclaims that they have gotten, say, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, damned be the damned babies as long as they themselves think they are getting some profit, some expedient, convenient benefit from murdering those children for themselves, proclaiming that Johnson and Johnson is “better” because in their opinion, even though it is developed within the cells of the murdered-for-this-purpose human being, at least it’s not changing their DNA like the other vaccines. But that’s like saying a murder for money is better than a hate-crime murder. They are both murder.
What if that priest then immediately says just as publicly, right in front of his congregation, with calm and respectful but firm voice, that in conscience he, as Jesus’ priest, cannot administer Holy Communion, our Eucharistic King to such a person, stating that it is immoral to use others for ourselves, what with Jesus having laid down His own life for us so that we would STOP murdering others for our own self-congratulations, Jesus, who was himself in the womb of His Immaculate Mother for nine months, Jesus, who said that what you have done to the least of these you have done to me?
What bishop, publicly promoting that his priests take such vaccines, what bishop would, or humanly speaking could tolerate a priest who will refuse Holy Communion to those who publicly proclaim what they have done in getting such a vaccine developed from and/or tested upon the most defenseless, the weakest of the brethren? They cannot tolerate such a priest threatening their “power” over death in mockery of our God of Life.
Just guessing, but any such hellion bishop will forthwith remove such a priest form active ministry, right?
Headlines around the world:
“Catholic priest denies Communion to any church members disagreeing on Covid-19 vaccines.”
Yep, that would take a nanosecond, and the whole world would be putting pressure on such a bishop to do away with such a priest, to make an example of that priest, once again making himself the hero before men even while denying God to His face. What did Jesus say He would do before His Heavenly Father at the Judgement for those who have denied Him in the least of the brethren? He said that He Himself would deny them before His Heavenly Father. But hey! I’m preaching to the choir of hellions. Already on this earth they desire hotly to go to hell. Can you ♬ feel ♬ the “power”?
Well, all that would make it rather quickly to Pope Francis, himself a Covid-19 vaccine taker. Say that such a priest is a Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis. What happens then? Will such a priest be held up as a murderer in that it is said he is putting people at risk of death? Will the Holy Father then have that priest’s bishop contacted to force that bishop to threaten such a priest with not only removal from his parish, but with suspension, interdict? That not working, will the priest be threatened with papally sanctioned forced dismissal from the clerical state (“laicization”)? That not working, will the priest be threatened with excommunication, so that not only can he not provide Sacraments, but neither can he receive sacraments such as an absolution, such as Holy Communion, such as the Last Rites? Cut off. Anathema.
As the great Girolamo Savonarola, O.P., responded to the one excommunicating him not only from Church on earth but, acting ultra vires, also pretended to excommunicate him from entering into heaven: “Questo non tocca a te” – “This isn’t within your capacities to do.”
I’ll tell you this: I, Father George David Byers, will consider it an honor to stand in solidarity with those children murdered in the womb who then stand before the throne of God, with Jesus, at the Judgment. I will consider it an honor to tell Jesus that I threw away, buried all my talents so as to exercise the talents He, Jesus, the High Priest, provides to His priests, His wounds, that it is His wounds that I proclaimed, that I didn’t back away from putting into action, His wounds of being spoken against, persecuted, marginalized beyond the peripheries, His wounds of thirsting for justice, righteousness, in mourning for those executed, desirous of mercy for those used and abused, His wounds of the greatest love in all truth, in all goodness and kindness, with no ill will toward anyone, desirous that all are turned to God by grace to be saved by Him.
“Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.” (Apocalypse 3:3)
And here we are. Seemingly, of a sudden, the entire world is being asked to make a decision. Are we willing to murder the image of God in the womb so as self-congratulate ourselves, or are we begging Jesus for His mercy and forgiveness so that we might love one another as He has loved us?
“I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God…” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
“Elijah appealed to all the people and said, ‘How long will you straddle the issue? If the LORD is God, follow him, if Baal, follow him.'” (1 Kings 18:21)
Those not watchful may get fooled into – or be purposeful in – choosing demonic violence with arrogant self-congratulatory sophistication and cleverness. They are all around us. They might be pillars of the community. They might be “nice” people. They might be people with money. Oooo!!! Money!!!
I remember a parish to which I was assigned as a deacon. The first thing the pastor said was that I was preaching all five weekend Masses so as to introduce myself. The second thing the pastor said was that I was never ever to even mention abortion or contraception because there is someone in the parish who supplies “the parish” with new cars every year. Always the same.
You cannot serve God and Mammon.
“Father George! You don’t understand! We have insurance to pay! Insurance companies have policies about Covid-19! You’ll throw a wrench in the kickbacks we get for parishes following the rules! Kill those babies! Everyone is doing it!”
Sigh. Anyone publicly, notoriously serving the death demons will be denied Holy Communion just as publicly, and that’s a favor to such a person, confirming to them that they have attacked the image of Jesus and need to repent of this with a firm purpose of amendment. That purpose of amendment would include not getting similar Covid-19 vaccines as “boosters” or as that which has the pretense to ward off “variants.”
“Whoever eats the Bread or drinks the Cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the [murder of the] Body and Blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the Bread and drink the Cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the Body [of Christ], eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)
The reprimand from Jesus to a priest by a bishop or pope smashing down a priest of Jesus for that priest’s respect for Jesus’ image in the least of the brethren is surely to be severe. A reprimand from Jesus to browbeating priests smashing down another priest’s respect for Jesus’ image in the least of the brethren is surely to be severe.
Have you recognized the time of your visitation? Have you chosen death thinking to have gained life in this world? Fool!
Have you realized that Jesus wants you to choose life? Do it.
By the way, this is not virtue signaling. I can’t clarify more than I have. I can’t retract. This is my conscience before the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception while He is yet unborn in the womb of His Virginal Mother. This is me saying against the hellions:
“Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders. Gott helfe mir.”
I say that with a different sense than Martin Luther heretic freakoid that he is. I mean that in the sense of being ecclesial, remaining with Jesus and His Church, the only true Church, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. That individuals in the Church like once Catholic priest Father Martin Luther lose their way and want others to lose their faith does not – by the grace of God – influence me one bit. Jesus wants me in heaven, and I’m good with that.
P.S. I’ve been doing this a long time – being at the ready to deny people Holy Communion – so much so, and to such effect, that the viability of Code of Canon Law 915 was confirmed and solidified at a General Wednesday Congregation of Cardinals at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the early-mid 2000s based on the total hell that I was suffering for this. Yep. That was me. ;-) I’m not going to stop now that I’m a “senior priest,” as I’ve been called. I’m not going to get along just for the sake of getting along. I want to go to heaven. Don’t credit that to me. It’s Jesus doing that. He want’s all of us in heaven.
Let’s use the example of the saints, this time from the Second Book of Maccabees, 6:18-31:
Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes, a man of advanced age and noble appearance, was being forced to open his mouth to eat pork. But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement, he spat out the meat, and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture, as men ought to do who have the courage to reject the food which it is unlawful to taste even for love of life. Those in charge of that unlawful ritual meal took the man aside privately, because of their long acquaintance with him, and urged him to bring meat of his own providing, such as he could legitimately eat, and to pretend to be eating some of the meat of the sacrifice prescribed by the king; in this way he would escape the death penalty, and be treated kindly because of their old friendship with him. But he made up his mind in a noble manner, worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age, the merited distinction of his gray hair, and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood; and so he declared that above all he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God. He told them to send him at once to the abode of the dead, explaining: “At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense; many young men would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar had gone over to an alien religion. Should I thus dissimulate for the sake of a brief moment of life, they would be led astray by me, while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age. Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men, I shall never, whether alive or dead, escape the hands of the Almighty. Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my old age, and I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws.” He spoke thus, and went immediately to the instrument of torture. Those who shortly before had been kindly disposed, now became hostile toward him because what he had said seemed to them utter madness. When he was about to die under the blows, he groaned and said: “The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that, although I could have escaped death, I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging, but also suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him.” This is how he died, leaving in his death a model of courage and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation.
Go to Confession.
P.S. I’d like to recommend for the salvation of souls that I not be smacked down, but rather that I be given a chance to help bring people back to the sacraments in the proper manner, I mean, you know, if it’s thought that the above is not a merely hypothetical example. But, you know, just writing about hypotheticals can be met with all the fires of hell, right? So, here we are.
Otherwise, are we priests to say that there is no doctrine, no morals, no sin, therefore no forgiveness, no need for the very Son of the Living God?
Listen up! Christ Jesus, Christ our God, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.
Amen to that.
Oh, and the Missionary of Mercy thing. I would love to remain as a Missionary of Mercy. But I cannot give up on being in solidarity with those thrown beyond the darkest of existential peripheries, those littlies, so defenseless, so horrifically murdered. I will continue to stand by them with no apologies, come hell or high water.
Whatever the unfortunate political collateral damage good donkeys must suffer because of presently passing circumstances, it remains true that donkeys have always been an intimate part of the life of the Holy Family, with (usually) highly complimentary imagery throughout both Testaments of Sacred Scripture and then in the life of the Church.
It has come to my attention that there are interlopers out there, namely, from a Religious Order that rhymes with the Order of Preachers, those Dominicans, particularly those of the Great Province of Saint Joseph in these USA, who are surely self-fancied as those guard-dogs, those sheep-dogs, who ride around the flock on the backs of donkeys, pretending that donkeys are not really guard-donkeys, just those dogs that they are.
They find agreement with Saint Augustine, who would call yours truly an ass, but then he at least would encourage me that, nonetheless, I carry Christ: “Asinus es, sed Christum portas.” I won’t begrudge them the ride, of course, because those dogs carry the light of Christ, Himself the Lumen Gentium, to the whole world. Blessings upon them.
Here are those dogs. I note that they are braying away. :-)
I have begged through the years to be have relief from this interdict, at least from the sharpness of its cynicism and sarcasm, for it was known from the beginning that there is no possibility of circumstances under which I could possibly submit to ecclesial authority in this matter, that is, to wit, even though I no longer reside in said territory, for I continue to this day to be forbidden to even pass through, or say “Greetings!” There is no mercy for this Missionary of Mercy, it being having mercy on those banished to the peripheries at said institution which has brought about my own being cast into the same existential, anguished darkness. The holy angels, I reckon, were never happy with such a result prepared by the highest tribunals in the Holy See (note the exaggerated ecclesiastical Latin of penal decrees ossified by centuries of rote application to like offenders against expected loyalties).
Although the given reason for the interdict seems serious enough, I’m guessing that the T-Shirt art produced in my honor for the event in question is thought to be politically incorrect in any number of ways. I respond that this over-reaction is symptomatic of our day. Instead of that reductionism, I firmly confess that the faith is spread by the sword as it was when Jesus’ Heart was pierced through (truly this was the Son of God), when Mary’s heart was pierced by sorrow (when our thoughts are laid bare), and this ever since the ferocious cherubim back in Genesis 3:24 brandished their fiery sword (for our conversion), since Elijah used his sword (for the edification of believers and the pedagogical punishment of non-believers), since Saint Michael used his (to show forth God’s glory), since our Lord told Peter not to use the sword in that most dire of circumstances (so that He Himself could have a sword plunged into His Heart).
I recommend that all seminarians get to know faith by the sword.
BTW: How good and pleasant it is when brothers live in unity… Perhaps, as a punishment for my continued contentiousness, I will be sent back to this office in the Pontifical Family (after all, notice the donkey in the painting besides the one sitting at the desk):
And while I open myself up to the less perspicacious of the communications crowd over in the Holy See, letting them think that I’ve actually been put under interdict (what with their Latin surely not being up to speed), I think it would be downright humorous altogether should I be publicly castigated and recommended for excommunication for real, you know, based on the interdict already supplied to yours truly above.
There are four moments at Holy Mass where I particularly meet up with Jesus:
Before reading the Gospel the priest bows before the altar and says the prayer Munda cor meum, by which the priest begs our Lord that his heart and lips (his communication) might be purified (as with the prophet Isaiah) that he might worthily announce the Gospel. — For me this is always a terribly humble moment in which I put all my ineptitude before Jesus. I don’t prepare for my preaching outside of glancing at the readings immediately before Mass. I literally cannot but ignore any other preparation. I can only speak from the heart. Truly. In this prayer bowing down before Jesus, I’m begging Him that I not be reprimanded at the Judgment because of misspeaking, because of not representing Him as I should. Complimentary to this is after preaching I turn to Jesus and bow before Him once again, again begging that what I have said be acceptable to Him. The way this works is that grace will provided to those assisting at Holy Mass so that they will hear what Jesus wants them to hear regardless of whether I said it or not. :-)
In the actual preaching, but it is rare that I will meet up with Jesus unless I am speaking about His perspective on His Immaculate Virgin Mother in relation to the Gospel. When I say meet up with Jesus, it’s like He’s lifting the clouds of my foggy brain and dulled soul and blinded eyes wherein I’m otherwise not listening to Him. It’s like He’s drawing me so close to Himself that I begin to begin understanding His love for His dear mother and ours. It’s like He’s telling me that this is the direction He wants me to go in being available as a priest for His priesthood among us. He wants me to tell people of His love for His good mom. A tall order? But Jesus is good and kind.
At the Consecrations. I mean, what can I say? See the picture up top. More on this in another post.
At the Holy Communion, when I receive and in administering Holy Communion to Jesus’ little flock. It’s always such a joyful moment. I can’t help but smile when the lambs receive Jesus with all due reverence. When all is said and done, sitting off to the side of the sanctuary, a moment of quiet with Jesus having visited the hearts of His faithful with His Most Sacred Heart, I wish this could go on and on. Dear Lord…
I’m writing this early Sunday Morning before 6:00 AM Adoration and Confessions and the Masses and Communion Calls, some perhaps with Last Rites. If you read this early on, a Hail Mary please, that I will preach well today of Christ Jesus and His blessed Mother. The Gospel is about exorcism. Yikes!
Just to say, even though I’m in the smallest parish in North America here in these back ridges of Appalachia, even though some other priests are aghast that anyone could be a priest in such a tiny community and would never accept coming here, or would flee as soon as they could (true), lemme do some truthing:
There are more people at just one Sunday Mass than are present in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, in Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York… put… together. ;-)
Our dear Lord is Irony Incarnate, as it were, so to speak.
Also, I super love this parish. I love everything about it. And I grew up in the North Woods of Minnesota, so this super tiny town is metropolitan joy.