Pro-Life Democrats and Other Myths

Sunday, August 7, AD 2016


Securing Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice
Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should have access
to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured. We believe that reproductive health is core to women’s, men’s,and young people’s health and wellbeing. We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide critical health services to millions of people. We will continue to oppose and seek to overturn federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.We condemn and will combat any acts of violence, harassment, and intimidation of reproductive health providers, patients, and staff.

Democrat 2016 Party Platform on abortion




Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have deemed him Defender of the Faith, at Midwest Conservative Journal, casts his eyes on Tim Kaine:


“Pro-life, Catholic Democrats.”  We hardly knew ye:

Observers of the abortion debate may feel a little whiplash watching the roll out of Tim Kaine’s vice presidential nomination. His position on abortion has changed over the years, and multiple times just over the last few days. He was for the Hyde Amendment before he was against it, but as of Friday morning, he was claiming to be in favor of it again. He is trying to square a circle in his attempts to line up his supposedly “traditional Catholic view” on the issue with Hillary Clinton’s position of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand. Perhaps the impossibility of reconciling the two is what accounts for Mr. Kaine’s flip-flops during the past week.

Running for governor 11 years ago, Mr. Kaine invoked his faith in opposition to abortion, supported pro-life laws and promoted adoption as an alternative to abortion. In 2008 he said, “I’ve supported restrictions on abortion, not all on the left have appreciated it, but I think it has been important to do that because there’s a moral gravity, I think, to abortion as an issue that has to be respected.”

However, Mr. Kaine’s respect for the moral gravity of the issue seemed to completely dissipate when he moved up to national office. In the Senate, Mr. Kaine’s voting record received a crystal-clear 100 percent score from the abortion lobby. He even voted to allow late-term abortions, opposing a bill to ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

Tim Kaine “evolved” still further once he was under consideration for VP, knowing how dogmatic the Democratic Party has become and how unqualified he would be in the eyes of Hillary Clinton if he retained any shred of defense for preborn lives. To improve his resume he quietly co-sponsored pro-abortion legislation in the Senate that would wipe out all state abortion restrictions, including those he signed as governor.

He even privately agreed to support Hillary Clinton’s agenda for taxpayer-funded abortions. Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager went on CNN to announce Mr. Kaine’s shift on the Hyde Amendment. “He has said that he will stand with Secretary Clinton to defend a woman’s right to choose, to repeal the Hyde Amendment.”

Yet Mr. Kaine continues to maintain that he has a “traditional Catholic personal position.”

Timmy?  Insofar as you and people like you don’t seem to have a single religious principle that you won’t enthusiastically repudiate for secular political gain, best of luck on Judgment Day, “Christian.”  Because, in the immortal words of the Alan Parsons Project, I wouldn’t want to be like you.


Not everyone that sayeth unto me, “Lord, Lord,” and all that.

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6 Responses to Pro-Life Democrats and Other Myths

  • Kaine is a lying sack of cow manure. How convienent to switch to abortionist…..and the Virginia bishops….well, I haven’t heard a word from them. Wonder why? Canon 915…..oh, that’s right…..Cardinal Wuerl in DC, right arcoss the Potomac and Papa Frank’s best American buddy pretends Canon 915 doesn’t exist.

  • If Bishops will not implement Canon 915, then God will implement 1 Corinthians 11:27-32.
    27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

  • Bart Stupak put to rest the myth of the pro-life democrat. He also pulled back the curtain and showed us how few bishops are actually pro-life. In that sense, he actually did us all a service. It’s no coincidence that the vitriol of people like Mark Shea has gone up as more and more folks know exactly what these so-called pro-life democrats actually believe.

  • As governor of my State, Kaine was vocal in opposition to the death penalty, and even before his “dissipation” was comparatively meek on the abortion issue. Let me also add following Father of Seven, any pol, such as Kaine and Stupak, who voted for obamacare knew full well that abortion was to be made a part of normalized ‘health care’ through coercive regulation, taxation, fines and penalties.

  • prolife democrat; military intelligence; pure whores; military music; truthful clinton; catholicd kaine; the list goes on . . . .

  • Judas

    Not Judas, Pontius Pilate. The original “personally pro-life” sellwash-out.

Gangster Government

Tuesday, July 5, AD 2016





Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal says it all:

From the United States Code, Title 18, section 793(f):

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

There’s nothing in there about whether or not Hillary “intended” to break the law, Jimmy boy.

Today, the FBI sold out the Rule of Law in America. After describing clear evidence of extensive mishandling of classified national security information, FBI Director James Comey announced that the FBI will not recommend indicting former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. This is naked crony government, ugly and exposed. Comey’s decision will go down as one of the government’s worst assaults on truth in its War on Honesty.

Today’s press conference was, in many respects, an exercise in legal and cognitive dissonance. Comey acknowledged Clinton sent and received Top Secret emails that “any reasonable person” understands not to discuss on an unclassified system.

Red flags? Excuse me, sir—that’s a crime.

Comey also acknowledged her email system was housed on unclassified personal servers that lacked full time security systems. Indeed, nations and groups hostile to the U.S. could have hacked the system. Comey acknowledged “hostile actors” hacked individuals corresponding with Clinton on her unauthorized system. She also used her unsecured personal system outside of the U.S.—in places where sophisticated adversaries could hack her communications.

Comey called this careless. Sir, it is reprehensible. It is reckless disregard of American security.

Then he said he would not recommend indictment.

This is beyond outrage. Everyone who has carried a Top Secret clearance and had access to Top Secret information knows that Clinton has criminally violated the laws protecting classified information. These laws serve a purpose. Protecting security secrets is essential to protecting America.

I am certain [Comey] expects an angry reaction, and he should also expect sustained anger. Public trust in the federal government is near an all-time low, and Comey’s decision is a heavy blow. Elitists should prepare for sustained disrespect of laws they favor. A large slice of the American population, fed up with crony government and crony capitalism, will begin experimenting with civil disobedience. As a former community organizer, President Obama is no position to object.

You know that Hillary Clinton has taken a torpedo amidships when the KINDEST POSSIBLE spin anyone can put on this travesty of justice is that Hillary is too bonecrushingly stupid to even be allowed on a White House tour, never mind being elected to the presidency of the most powerful country in the world as even the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza admits.

Here’s the good news for Hillary Clinton: The FBI has recommended that no charges be brought following its investigation of the former secretary of state’s private email server.

Here’s the bad news: Just about everything else.

FBI Director James B. Comey dismantled large portions of Clinton’s long-told story about her private server and what she sent or received on it during a stirring 15-minute news conference, after which he took no questions. While Comey exonerated Clinton, legally speaking, he provided huge amounts of fodder that could badly hamstring her in the court of public opinion.

Most importantly, Comey said the FBI found 110 emails on Clinton’s server that were classified at the time they were sent or received. That stands in direct contradiction to Clinton’s repeated insistence she never sent or received any classified emails. And it even stands in contrast to her amended statement that she never knowingly sent or received any classified information.

And while OJ Simpson was cleared of murdering his wife and Ronald Goldman, it did not ultimately matter much what a California court wrongly decided since from that moment, Simpson’s life was effectively over.

That said, campaigns aren’t governed by the ultimate legality of what Clinton did or didn’t do. So, while dodging an indictment is a good thing — she isn’t under criminal investigation and remains a candidate — it’s a far different thing from being cleared (or even close to it) in the court of public opinion.

For a candidate already badly struggling on questions of whether she is honest and trustworthy enough to hold the office to which she aspires, Comey’s comments are devastating. Watching them, I could close my eyes and imagine them spliced into a bevy of 30-second ads — all of which end with the FBI director rebuking Clinton as “extremely careless.”

So where are we?

(1) None of this should shock or surprise anyone since The Single Most Lawless Presidential Administration In The History Of This Country, The Nixon Administration Included corrupts everything it touches and everyone connected with it.  But the Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken a hit from which it may take a generation to recover.  And that hit was entirely self-inflicted.

(2) Remember when people asked, “Do you really want someone like Donald Trump anywhere near this country’s nuclear launch codes?”  Considering everything that’s transpired, any country that would allow Hillary Clinton near those codes has a national death wish.

(3) Hillary Clinton might be the stupidest person who has ever lived.  Or she might the most arrogant (but there’s no reason why she can’t be both).  Either way, electing her to the most powerful office in this land would signal open season on her and on rest of the left’s political enemies.  And probably the downfall of the republic.

(4) Because if the American people are mentally challenged enough to elect the Va-Jay-Jay, it’s not too hard to imagine many state legislatures suddenly taking a, for lack of a better term, “Jacksonian” view of the “rule of law.”

Let’s say that the State of Missouri elects a conservative Republican governor this fall and keeps its Republican-dominated General Assembly.  Let’s also say that the legislature passes and the new governor signs a measure which not only forbids “gay marriage” and legally invalidates all that have been performed in the state but allows anyone in a public or private capacity to opt out of direct or even indirect participation in a “gay marriage” without any possible legal sanction of any kind.


Maybe so, replies Missouri.  But the Supreme Court has made its decision.  Now let the Supreme Court enforce it.  Because “the rule of law” either applies to everyone or it applies to no one at all.

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20 Responses to Gangster Government

  • The FBI has definitely had its “John Roberts” moment. I had a discussion with family this weekend about how I now understand what life was like for the average Israelite under the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.

  • I respectfully disagree, Arminius. John Roberts did not misrepresent the applicability of a law, he only misrepresented the intent of Congress as seen in its debates. In effect all he did was call out their “this is not a tax” lie and say “oh yes it is”.

    This is far worse.

  • Comey was under some coercion I think, under this “Chicago style” administration. Maybe even a threat against someone he knows- He followed the letter of the coercion but he did the right thing in spilling All the beans.

  • The same Left that would shriek about hypothetical Missouri is the same Left that, in conflict with federal laws, lured multiple states into legalizing marijuana and so-called sanctuary cities decades ago

  • Hillary puts the “UP” in corruption.
    A way to climb to the top.
    It’s not about how you got their…it’s about getting there. Fake it till you make it Hillary.
    Earning respect and buying respect are opposites. She will shrivel up and blow away like a potato bug who’s crawled out from under a nasty rotten log and basks in the brilliant light of the SON.

  • As soon as I saw the headline, I felt physically ill.

    This is very bad.

    We have no country if we have not the Rule of Law. It is what we are. It is ALL we are. THAT is what soldiers fight and die for.

    Director Comey is accomplice to the crime now, He sold out his country.

    This defeat is as great as any loss on the field of battle n time of war. We fight to defend our country and our way of life. These people are destroying us from within.

  • I came to the same conclusion as Anzlyne. Mr. Comey folded under pressure, but he still wanted to make sure that the truth at least saw the light of day. He did as much damage as he dared to do.
    Obviously this is speculation on my part, but he seems to want to make sure that everyone knows that he came to the wrong conclusion about bringing charges against Hilary. He is willing to smear his own reputation with (more than?) half the country.
    If Anzlyne and I have it right … that’s some pretty powerful pressure point that was used.

  • Nicholas, I agree with you. I think that is reasonable and likely correct.

    I repeat, however, THAT is what soldiers fight and die for. Sometimes on a lonely rock at 12,000′ in Afghanistan. Sometimes in an air conditioned room, at a mahogany table, seated on 2″ plush carpet.

    At some point, someone will need to take the stand of Thomas More. I pray, God, I am able when my time comes.

  • Absolutely, Brian. I’m sure that Mr. Comey knew going into the job that there are high risks associated with being Director of the FBI. He took the job knowing those risks.
    So if, in fact, there was a threat, I don’t believe it related to his personal safety.
    I also don’t think he declined to bring charges to stay in the good graces of the Washington elite. I don’t think his laundry list of evidence pointing to criminal activity will get him any invitations to Martha’s Vineyard … except maybe to be shown as a leashed pet.

  • Nicholas, I just saw TAC’s Clinton v. Comey link.

    Yes, that is devastating to her. He did not, to his great credit hold anything back in the Catalogue of Errors.

    Perhaps, he sees this as a political struggle at its core; as an existential threat to the nation, it must be resolved politically first. Perhaps that IS how we return to our pride of place as a Nation of Laws, not men. Perhaps it is to be settled on the debate stage, and not in a Court before a solitary judge. Perhaps he is subtly handing the baton to the opposition candidate. Perhaps.

    IF Trump can wage that battle effectively, with the ammunition provided by Director Comey, he most CERTAINLY will have my vote.

  • Another thought about Director Comey’s words and actions:
    he effectively put everything, including his list contradicting her claims, on the table right Now —He made definitive statements, not to be dragged out until the election. They wanted to put the lid on it but he plainly expresses the judgements that they could have continued blurring for a long time.

  • Re Clinton v Comey Reason TV video. Comey should not be vilified. He laid out her crimes for all the world to hear and see and passed the ball to Obama’s DOJ.
    If Reason TV will give the Trump campaign permission to use excerpts of the video, the resulting 30 second spots will be devastating.
    Best use is after the Dem convention nominates Hillary, not before.

  • That said in my comments above regarding the campaign, what about the yeoman or analyst who inadvertently left out classified material and who had no intent to disseminate it? Hammered…depending on the classification levels of material…, demoted or dismissed, fined and/or jailed. Doesn’t Comey’s judgement re intent set a dangerous precedent for punishment of security violators?

  • “Perhaps, he sees this as a political struggle at its core; as an existential threat to the nation, it must be resolved politically first. ”
    Brian, you have a point there. A lot of people in our society are very legalistic: pass the right law, pass the right constitutional amendment, enforce them, and all will be well. Politically that only works if most people are willing to put law above politics, as they eventually did during Watergate.
    During both the Clinton impeachment and the 2000 Florida recount too many people put politics above the law. Perhaps Comey foresaw the same outcome here.

  • Comey may have made the better decision but on the prospects rather than the merits. Remember the OJ trial? Clinton’s legal defense team would certainly load a jury with sympathetic members. It would be due process much modified by affirmative action. Election Day will be the penultimate trial for Hillary, and Judgment Day the ultimate trial for us all.

  • Election day will be the penultimate trial for Hillary, and Judgement day the ultimate trial for us all.”

    With that…….. crickets chirping.

  • “Election day will be the penultimate trial for Hillary, and Judgement day the ultimate trial for us all.”- William P. Walsh.

    With that…….. crickets chirping.

    Good post Mr Walsh.

  • There is no reason to give Comey any credit. He could have resigned; he did not.

  • “There is no reason to give Comey any credit. He could have resigned; he did not.”

    There certainly is reason to give Comey credit. His presentation against Clinton was devastating. He did not need to say a word of it. If he had decided to recommend indictment of Clinton, he could not have said a syllable of it for fear of his remarks being viewed as prejudicial to the case. Due to Comey Clinton’s dodging the indictment bullet may well be a Pyrrhic victory for her.

  • “There certainly is reason to give Comey credit. His presentation against Clinton was devastating. He did not need to say a word of it. If he had decided to recommend indictment of Clinton, he could not have said a syllable of it for fear of his remarks being viewed as prejudicial to the case. Due to Comey Clinton’s dodging the indictment bullet may well be a Pyrrhic victory for her.”

    He was never going to decide to indict Clinton at any point. That is clearly seen by the fact that he did not have Clinton under oath for questioning. Nor did he even have a transcript made of her interview with the FBI. What a joke!! And he continues to work to shore up the false narrative that Clinton should have not had charges brought against her. Any truth he is sharing is most likely shared for the simple reason of self protection. He doesn’t want to go down with anyone else at a later point in time. This is the Obama Admin we are talking about here. It seems to me that he went through as few of the sham motions as was necessary for appearances on this deal.

Today the Episcopalians, Tomorrow the Catholics!

Sunday, August 16, AD 2015



Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Church so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has  a warning for us:


Most people figured out a long time ago that the ultimate goal of the secular and Christian left in general and the Catholic left in particular is the Episcopalianization of the Roman Catholic Church.  Hence the wild leftist enthusiasm for anything Pope Francis says that sounds like a signal that Rome might be backing away from some of its more objectionable (to the left) doctrines.

Toward that end, the National Catholic [HAW, HAW, HAW, HEE, HEE, HEE, OH MY GOD, STOP IT, MAN, I’M BEGGING YOU, YOU’RE KILLING ME HERE, HAW, HAW, HAW, HEE, HEE, HEE!!] Reporter lets a retired Episcopal minister named Warner White write a bunch of really stupid crap:

It was a slippery slope. Once I began to refer to the Holy Spirit in the feminine in my sermons and in the creed, certain results followed — slowly at first, but inevitably.

Why in the world did you start doing that, Warner?  Because PATRIARCHY!!

“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.” I didn’t notice right away, but after a while, it sunk in. I was calling the Holy Spirit “Lord.” The Holy Spirit, I was saying, not only gives life and proceeds from the Father and the Son, she is “the Lord.” I was co-opting the word “Lord.” In my vocabulary — and that of anyone else who called her “Lord” — this previously masculine word was now including the feminine.


Not too long after I began this new practice, I also retired as an Episcopal parish priest.

Warner, my man, and please pardon the use of the masculine there, you “retired” as a priest LONG before that.

I became a parishioner. I sat in pews. And I noticed how little difference in the patriarchal nature of our worship this change was making, even when we had a woman priest at the altar. The language and imagery remained overwhelmingly masculine.

Told you it was the PATRIARCHY!!  Those bastards.

I also noticed that the priest and a lot of people around me were making “inclusive” language substitutions. When we gave thanks to the Lord our God we didn’t give “him” thanks anymore, we gave “our” thanks. Many people were now substituting “God’s kingdom” for “his kingdom,” and “God’s holy name” for “his holy name.”

Warner has two words of advice for people who do that.  Sack up.

Ugh. I see this as timidity, evasion, a minuscule half-measure. Why evade the issue? Why not just use the feminine? I have been saying, “give her thanks,” “her kingdom,” “her holy name,” and the like. Whenever a reference is being made to God and it is not clearly a reference to the Father or the Son, I am using the feminine.

If Warner gets his way, that Father/Son stuff is on the way out.

I have slipped a long way down the slope. A feminine God is not only Lord, she is also King. And not only do I speak of the Spirit in the feminine, I now speak of God in the feminine about as often as in the masculine.

I have never read a better illustration of Episcopalian air-headedness than Warner provides here.

But as a priest, the daily office immerses me in the PATRIARCHY!! of the psalms. We can’t change the PATRIARCHY!! of our heritage. That’s how God has revealed herself to us over the centuries.

So God’s kind of a screw-up then?

So in reading Scripture, in seeking its meaning, I do not feel free to make changes in the text. But in my worship, I do feel free to do so. When I pray the psalms, it seems to me that I am free to make changes that express my heart.

Son of a…aw, skip it.  You have to give Double W this much.  Dude’s all-in.

So I have gone through the Prayer Book psalms and substituted feminine pronouns for masculine wherever the reference is not clearly to a specific male, such as David and Moses and Joseph.

Any male human being reading this can sit Christianity out since any manifestation of masculinity whatsoever gives Warner the vapors.

I call these committed psalms.

Because anybody stupid enough to read them ought to be?

They go the path of commission rather than the path of omission. Further, they require a commitment on the part of those who use them. We commit ourselves to a path of reparation, of repairing the relation of female and male in our life and worship. Similarly, this is committed language in contrast to inclusive language. This language is not inclusive; it overdoes the feminine on purpose. It is matriarchal language instead of patriarchal.

So basically, it’s totally dishonest.  An absolute frickin’ lie.  Yeah, great Christian witness there, Warner.

Catholics?  Never EVER let down your guard.

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43 Responses to Today the Episcopalians, Tomorrow the Catholics!

  • There is a zany priest at St Pius X in Towson MD who substitutes for male pronouns in the Liturgy. He will not say “Through Him, With Him and in Him” and etcetera. It is already corrupting Catholic liturgy and the bishops do nothing.

  • “Leftism is a cancer whenever it takes hold.”

    Divine Physician come!
    Eradicate this disease now!

  • It is already corrupting Catholic liturgy and the bishops do nothing.

    It’s important that laity learn to accept parish mergers if they want better behavior from priests. Lax discipline is in part a function of manpower problems. There would be fewer such problems if there were not such a neuralgic response to closures. The problem you have is that the active laity are more attached to the building than to the liturgy.

    I was associated with one parish where about 30% of the laity dispersed to other parishes when their pastor was transferred elsewhere. The rule in that diocese is that pastors are appointed for six year terms, renewable once, though this is qualified if a pastor is over 70 upon the completion of his term as it is also policy not to transfer pastors over 70. Their 50-somthing pastor reached the end of his second term and was transferred to a more populous parish about 30 miles north. The parish was then added to the ambo of the administrator of a neighboring parish, who, per canon law, could say Mass only once or twice on a Sunday. This sort of thing happens when you have 4 or 5 priests retiring every year and only 1 or 2 newly ordained. It also happens when 80% of all baptized Catholics in a parish are anywhere but at Mass on Sunday. You could point out to the complainers that no other parish in the diocese gets a permanent pastor and that a parish with 200 attending in a typical week and a full-time pastor is staffed at twice the level of an ordinary parish, but people in that situation are commonly invested in not getting basic arithmetic.

  • Years ago, visiting Father Liberal Goofballus added untoward stuff to the Nicene Creed. I (loudly enough) said, “Where in Hell did he get that stuff?” The Warden was mortified.
    A sufficient number reported the abuses to the pastor and Father G never came back again.

  • I ran into that kind of nonsense when visiting my relatives in a diocese in Michigan. My aunt patiently explained to me that God is not male or female and that on the Cross Our Lord did not call out to His Father but said, “My parent, My parent”. You see? And especially the liberated ‘nuns’ would never use a male pronoun if they could help it.

    But I thought all that dissenting garbage went away over the past few years and under Pope Benedict????

  • @Magdalene.

    Before there was nuns on the bus, there was it’s prequel. “Snakes on a Plane.”

    Obidence is a four letter word (x 2) for those nun’s that ARE above their vows. Habits? Never!

  • “… in seeking its meaning, I do not feel free to make changes in the text. But in my worship, I do …”

  • The Katholyck Church in Amerika is already “Episcopalianized”. Priest give milk toast homilies that say nothing. Bishops ingratiate themselves with liberal politicians. So-called apologists excuse every liberal rant from that Peronist Pontiff, and embrace the ideology of social justice, the common good and peace at any price to the exclusion of the Gospel of Conversion and Repentence, death, judgment, heaven and hell. Real issues like sodomite marriage and murder of the pre-born and fornication and adultery and envy of the wealth that one’s neighbor has earned for himself are avoided as anathema. Frankly, the Katholyck Church and the Soviet Socialist Republik of Amerika disgust me.

  • I do notice though that there seems to be a swing toward more reverence at Mass. Yay! We have noticed the numbers of people dressed nicely for mass are increasing. The numbers of people receiving on the tongue are up! Today we sang “Holy God We Praise Thy Name” ! Father’s sermons are more and more thoughtful. We Catholics may have reached the point where we have seen enough of lemmings going over the cliff.

  • Don’t get mad at W. W., pray for him. He needs all the help he can get.
    Just like the rest of us.

  • As a lay person I have familiarized myself with our Liturgical Norms especially for the Mass. If a priest deviates from them I approach him and ask why. Then I call the Bishop and if that doesn’t get results I send an email/snail mail to Rome and ask for a response. I usually get one.
    A priest does not have ‘leeway’ with these norms. They are there for very specific reasons and are a strong identifier for Catholics.

  • I was taught that the Blessed Mother is the Spouse of the H oly Spirit. Has that changed, too?

  • I agree with Paul Primavera. As Modernism crept into the Church faith in Jesus as the Son of God crept out. Instead of looking toward heaven and finding the means to get there, a large sector of the Church focused on the earth and how to make it a heavenly. Thus the Church became in large measure a Socialist Political organization with multiple Social Justice programs oftentimes paid for by the government. This has the effect of quieting any criticism the Church might have for actions taken that are repellent to those few Catholics who still take what Jesus said seriously. Now with Pope Francis it would appear that the Universalist Socialist Catholic Church is about to became official.

  • In 1886, a book called “Liberalism is a Sin” was written by Fr. Felix Sarda Salvany. My dad gave it to me many years ago, and I still haven’t read it. I can’t even imagine what was going on back then! I’m sure that priest is rolling in his grave now. I’m on Day 3 of a 54 Day Rosary Novena for the intentions of the sanctity of human life, marriage & the family. Hopefully, it will combat whatever negatives come out of the Synod on the Family in October. You can join in and keep track on

  • Pay close attention. Whenever in Scripture there is a story of a bad man or an evil man, the pronouns are NOT changed. Not to worry: think back over history to all the despots and all the regimes that tried to change human nature by simply saying eg white is not black or if you call a dog’s tail a leg it is then a leg. Think about all of AB Bern Cupich’s predecessors and mentors. Not to worry: they lose, Truth [yes cap “T”} wins as do all of us who have put on the full armor of God and faithfully wielded the sword of the spirit-the Word. The Soviet Union is no more-along with its attempted remake of human nature. The Berlin Wall is down. The City Of God will be the only City left standing. Hang in there like JC did for all of us. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  • Our pastor TRIED some of this left wing nonsense. Needless to say, I wrote him a two page letter, told him no more money for the “building fund” or the collection basket, called our bishop, went to a neighboring parish for weekday Mass (in case I needed a priest – ha!) talked to other parishioners, sat in the FRONT pew on Sunday, and told him I was praying for him. He has made some improvements.

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  • Sad that they’re discovering the pope is actually catholic…. My comment focuses on the “popes” making commentary here… Y’all appear to be happy about pointing out priests difficulties (and I’m no fan of changing the rubrics), but I ask: how many are supporting those priests who celebrate a good, holy mass & preach Christ & His Church.

  • HAHAHA. The anti-Catholic Church born during the Second Vatican Council is more atheistic than any of the other of the “churches” in human history. This man-centered, anti-Christ church of Baal is infected with the synthesis of heresies, Modernism, which is more potent and more damaging to souls than any of the historical heresies that man has devised, elevating himself above God. (Simply read the Modernist, anti-Catholic “pope” Francis encyclical on earth worship). There has never been such an widespread apostacy against the true religion, Catholicism, in the history of the Church.

    There has never been in Church history more people worshipping the Devil than there are today, including the “popes” of the Modernist church who sold their souls to Satan and are Judases of the most profound degree.

    The problem with “Catholics” in America is they have bought into the lie of Satan which is the very essence and ideology of the “modern church” where Satan rules with its diabolic and false “religious liberty”, Masonic/Protestant “ecumenism”, “the Catholic Church subsist’s in the Church of Christ”, the “seamless garment” where morality is relegated to individual conscience, as Christ is subservient to the “will of the people”.

    Wake up. You have been deceived and are now tools of Satan.

  • Do you find that any of that rant Lanie makes converts to your position?

  • Anzylene: A ” swing for more reverence towards the Mass”? You mean the abomination of the New Order Mass? A Protestant/Masonic “mass” of elevating man to more importance than God? A “mass” that is nothing more than the capitulation of the Church to the heresies of Crammer/Luther? How can the Novus Ordo Mass, nothing more than the Protestantization of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into nothing more than a meal, a supper of heretics reflect the truth of Christ?

  • Hi Lanie
    We both know God’s ways are above our ways! Tho it may have been the intention of some to protestantize the Holy Mass, God’s intentions are not thwarted. (His Word does not return to Him void). His promises have not been negated and His sheep are still offered True Food.

  • The indoctrination of the Catholic into Americanism, or the rejection of the one, true religion of Catholicism, is one of the most insidious and relevant issues of all times.

    Catholics in America have resolved to abandon the one, true faith in order to “get along” with the enemies of Christ, and have succeeded in abandoned God in the process. Most are more interested in serving the enemies of Christ than in serving the one, true God, and have become the enemies of Christ through their fideility to the enemies of Christ who hold the positions of leadership within what most assume to be the leadership of the Catholic Church in the U.S.. These apostates and anti-God prelates are subservient to the Satan. They have no faith, no fidelity to Christ, and are tools of Satan to deceive you and destroy your faith,

    The USCCB is a tool of Satan. It funds Satanic and anti-Christ organizations. It has never supported the truths of Catholicism-the truths of God-and is a diabolical and faith-destroying organization that has Saul Alinskly, an atheistic, Communist as its “god.”

  • Oh the “rant”. The abomination of desolation. ‘God’s ways are above our ways” according to Anzylene. The destruction of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not important to the Modernist, who somehow, has more knowledge, more grace, more insight, more “reverence”, more faith, more truth than the Apostles, the Doctors of the Church, the Fathers of the Church, the Saints, and the holy and orthodox popes of the past.

    Anzylene, if you are so certain in your belief that a Protestantized Mass makes no difference to the truth which is the Catholic religion, simply read the online book: http:/ Sacrilege.CI.pdf

  • Mr. McCleary: Whether or not my “rants” make converts to the position of the truth of Catholicism makes no difference. The truth is what it is. Those who reject the truth will always find themselves as outsiders and eventually, recipients of the the judgement of Christ.

  • Goodness! I am Not saying the new mass has not made a difference. I am saying that the Sacrament is valid.

  • “makes no difference.”

    Of course it makes a difference. Your rant makes you look like a nut and lessens the chances of anyone, other than the people who already agree with you, taking you seriously. Saint Paul did not preach in such a way, the greatest evangelist of the Church, and he started a process which has converted a third of humanity to Christ. You simply are wasting your time while making Catholicism appear repulsive and crazy. Go about your business in venues other than this blog.

  • Isaiah 55:8 – 13

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

  • ‘So I have gone through the Prayer Book psalms and substituted feminine pronouns for masculine wherever the reference is not clearly to a specific male, such as David and Moses and Joseph.

    “Any male human being reading this can sit Christianity out since any manifestation of masculinity whatsoever gives Warner the vapors.”

    I call these committed psalms. ‘

    The comedy from 1977, “High Anxiety”, which satirizes the field of psychology, more its practitioners, could be rewritten for this subject matter. Inspiration and creativity these days produce remakes of originals. There is a host of material for a tragicomic production.

  • Mr. McClarey: I apologize for my crazy rants because unlike St. Paul, who had the advantage of speaking to people who actually wanted to hear the truth, today people can’t stand to hear it.

    I am crazy. Crazy about my Lord and my God. Crazy about defending His Truth. Crazy sad that the deceits of Satan have crept into His Church and they are defended by the sheep being led by false prophets.

  • Go lanie go. I was just reading that St. Augustine said that anger and courage are part of the virtue of hope. It is OK to be angry about what is happening in the Church today and for the last 50 years in particular. I guess it’s a matter of prudence when and how you show your anger as well as your courage. Let us all pray for guidance in this regard.

  • “I am crazy.”

    You should have stopped there Lanie.

  • Pay close attention. Whenever in Scripture there is a story of a bad man or an evil man, the pronouns are NOT changed.
    Guy McClung

    I too have noticed that along with their unwillingness to refer to Satan and her devils as “she”. Those people aren’t opponents of sexism, they simply want to impose their own idiosyncratic, ungodly sexism.

  • Wonder why he hasn’t followed St. Paul’s fervent wish re certain opponents and neutered himself. Is it not true that, if a male exists, that for that person to exist, there was at a certain point, a female involved, and vice-versa? So, you can’t have a patriarch, without a matriarch. Moreover, re ‘sexist’ language, is not “man” used in the sense of all humanity, an elision or slurring over of the initial syllable of “human”? Golly, I’m genius for figgering out that!

  • BTW, foregoing comments in ref to original post re sexist language, not ongoing exchange.

  • BTW, who is the Civil War worthy you used as an icon?

  • Oh, thought it was Guildenstern. But he’s dead.

  • He caught a ball at Stones River.

  • “He caught a ball at Stones River.”

    I assume that was a cannonball and not a fly ball. 😛

  • In England the Anglican church answers to the British P.M. and then to the Queen. The Bishop of Canterbury has no authority and has to answer to the Government and the Queen who is the Supreme Governor of the Church. This has been the law of the land since Elizabeth I became Queen.. Henry VIII made himself supreme ruler which did not go over well with the Catholic England and they refused to convert but when Elizabeth changed the wording which implies she has less authority they joined the church of England. Also if they refused they were drawn and quartered. A former Anglican Bishop who is now a devout Catholic spilled the beans on the protocol of the Anglican church. The Bishop of Canterbury cannot do nothing unless it is approved by British Parliament. That is why they caved in the ordination of women and women bishops. And why they caved when they were told to allow openly gay men in the priesthood marry their same sex partner. Many Anglicans are leaving and joining the Catholic church over this and now the two female bishops are really pushing for change in the wording of the Book of Common Prayer to include God as a feminine God and not a male God. Instead of the Our Father to Our Mother who are art in Heaven. They also want to change the sign of the Cross to more exclusive language. This is the worse heresy perpetuated on a religion and many people are falling for it.

  • This is straight up diabolic. My prayer is that God will clean house and send these anti-Christs packing.

  • Why get so angry. I used to be so upset every time I went to mass because I never knew what I was going to get. Maybe a priest that was changing the words of consecration and making the mass invalid or maybe one making jokes from the altar and calling Gad she. I was fed up so I decided not be angry anymore and went to another parish the first one established by Saint John Paul II to receive the Anglican clergy that wanted to become Catholic and be priests. Praise be to God! I found this parish. I came home to a wonderful Liturgy full of reverence and beautiful prayers. No girls in the Sanctuary only boys acolytes and beautiful organ music. We kneel for communion. Father hears confession not just one hour a week but every Saturday morning until everyone has gone to confession. The place: Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, TX. So beautiful it is that the nuns from Mother Angelica have established a Daughter convent attached to our parish.
    So now I do not worry about who is going to say mass and what are they going to do or say. Our priest has been here since 1983. We have a beautiful school and many vocations have come out of it.
    I tell you that the laity has more power that we think. If you are not satisfied of see irregularities in your parish and the bishop has no responded to your requests contact and organization that deals with this issues. I think that is called St Joseph something, I can’t remember. Maybe someone knows. They are cannon lawyers that help parishes and parishioners with this kind of problems. If you want to see our beautiful Liturgy go to

Catholicism Has Rules?

Wednesday, March 4, AD 2015



Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Church so frequently that I have name him Defender of the Faith, has a look at a “Catholic” who is outraged that teachers who teach at Catholic schools should be required to lead Catholic lives:

You know what would really be nifty, asks Christine Haider-Winnet.  If Catholic bishops would just quit running the lives of every single person in the entire world:

For several years now, we have seen a troubling trend in Catholic places of employment. Bishops are overstepping to meddle in employees’ personal lives. Firing competent, beloved teachers for same-sex marriages, requiring whole staffs to agree to statements calling contraception evil, and forbidding discussion of women’s equality in the church are now being included in morality clauses that administrators, teachers, and staff must sign.

The Reformation?  What the hell is that?

New contracts, like the most recent one in San Francisco, now govern whom one can marry, use of birth control and other reproductive choices, and in the most egregious of cases, what events one can attend and whom one can and cannot associate with. Attending your nephew’s wedding to his husband, or posting a congratulatory message on Facebook, could now cost you your job.

Hey, gang!  I heard that some German monk named Martin Luther just nailed 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.  Haven’t read ‘em yet but I hear that they’re pretty spicy.

Perhaps the most disturbing part is the hierarchy’s claim that this is for the good of children. What our children need are good teachers and safe, affirming environments in which to learn and grow. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender role models and open, accepting communities are essential not only to the safety of our children, but to their growth and overall well-being. As research indicates, kids who are LGB or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity are up to four times as likely to commit suicide as their straight peers. Being in a community that rejects them increases that risk astronomically.

Yeah, but here’s the thing.  The ONLY job of Catholic bishops is to tell the truth.

What are Catholic school students to think when they see a beloved teacher fired for getting married?

That they forgot to find out where he/she was registered?

Or hear she lost her job for getting pregnant using alternative methods?

That Christ and Zeitgeist are not the same thing?

When it comes to employment, should not the focus be on professional competency? If a teacher can teach, shouldn’t he or she be applauded for this dedication and quality as an educator? Sifting through one’s private life in order to gauge doctrinal orthodoxy as a measure of job performance is disturbing and dangerous. Is this what our Catholic faith has come to? Is this the precedent we wish to set?

Well, yeah, insofar as the Catholic Church


and shouldn’t be forced to employ anyone whose life choices undercut its beliefs.

Let’s go at this bass akwards there, Chrissie.  If I ever went to work for your little group, “Equally Blessed, a coalition of four Catholic organizations committed to LGBT equality,” and started writing about how homosexual activity was a sin, how long do you think that I would I keep my job?  So “morality clauses” are nothing new.

Folks just have to have the correct “morality.”


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29 Responses to Catholicism Has Rules?

  • For what it’s worth, I am convinced after reading the opinions of CHRISTine, that Christians in America will be driven underground. Why?
    Because she, CHRISTine is not alone in her misguided opinions, and we have to many unholy and unworthy bishops and priests who would agree with poor lil’ CHRISTine.
    btw….I wonder if she’s aware of her names origin? That figure which is at the root of her name would and has said in the past; “Your sins are forgiven. Sin no more.” Not; “LGBT communities are a bedrock of virtue, a lifestyle that should be proud and worthy to be emulated.”

    Because society wishes to believe in False Mercy the Christian Church is doomed in America. She will be driven into clandestine Masses. She will survive, but dark days are ahead for Holy Catholic Church in America.

    Father John Hardon SJ (deceased) will have predicted this unreal and unbelievable truth if CHRISTine and her minions have their way.
    God help us.

  • “Sifting through one’s private life in order to gauge doctrinal orthodoxy as a measure of job performance is disturbing and dangerous. “
    One recalls the remark of Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria’s first Prime Minister: “Things have come to a pretty pass, when religion is allowed to invade the sphere of private life.”

  • The First Commandment is Rule number one for Catholicism: ” I AM the Lord thy God.” and the Second Commandment: “Thous shalt not have strange gods before me.”
    Can there be any stranger gods than a person who cannot accept God?
    “Or hear she lost her job for getting pregnant using alternative methods?”
    Science has proven that the ovum gets to choose which sperm she will allow to enter and to fertilize her. Being punctured by a hypodermic needle as an experiment and forced to accept a strange sperm is not freedom but bondage. Christ gives us freedom. The Constitution guarantees freedom of association, especially for sperm and ovum to bring forth our constitutional posterity. Rape of the ovum is not scientifically decent.

  • One recalls the remark of Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria’s first Prime Minister: “Things have come to a pretty pass, when religion is allowed to invade the sphere of private life.”

    Since I’m familiar neither with the saying nor the context, I guess I can only hope that Lord Melbourne was using “the sphere of private life” in much the same sense as the Clintonistas used to talk about fellatio in the Oval Office being a “private matter,” hopefully, albeit, for a less sordid reason.

  • “I object to people losing their job as a role model of a philosophy JUST because they disagree, publicly, with that philosophy!”
    Did I miss any of it?

  • Just the “I have a right to the job that you owe me!” bit. But that’s more implied than stated.

  • It seems Haiter-Wincet wants to do with the Church what they did with education (private and public).

    Quoted at Instapundit, Col. Kurt Schlichter: “Understand that the purpose of modern American ‘education’ is not to educate students. It is primarily to provide cushy, subsidized sinecures for liberal administrators and faculty while, secondarily, providing a forum to indoctrinate soft young minds in the liberal fetishes du jour. Actually educating students is hard, and a meaningful education is anathema to liberalism. In the liberals’ ideal world, the universities would simply fester with leftist nonsense and not even bother with trying to teach their charges anything at all. And today, it’s pretty close to being the liberals’ ideal world.”

  • Proposed topic for tonight’s “Various and Sundry” post: when was it, exactly, that religion was relegated to the private sphere and bedroom behavior* occuppied the public; and does that strike you as kind of topsy-turvey?
    *keepin’ it family friendly here

  • Or maybe she’s just taken Common Core to heart

    Kids are asked to sort facts from opinions and, without fail, every value claim is labeled as an opinion. Here’s a little test devised from questions available on fact vs. opinion worksheets online: are the following facts or opinions?
    — Copying homework assignments is wrong.
    — Cursing in school is inappropriate behavior.
    — All men are created equal.
    — It is worth sacrificing some personal liberties to protect our country from terrorism.
    — It is wrong for people under the age of 21 to drink alcohol.
    — Vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat.
    — Drug dealers belong in prison.

    The answer? In each case, the worksheets categorize these claims as opinions. The explanation on offer is that each of these claims is a value claim and value claims are not facts. This is repeated ad nauseum: any claim with good, right, wrong, etc. is not a fact.
    In summary, our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths [emph. added].

  • “Clergy, or those laity in authority, who deliberately hire employees who do
    not embrace the teachings of the Church, are so lost to honesty that they
    would not know it if it came up and bit them on their bottoms.”

    My dorm roommate in my undergrad years was the childhood friend of a
    tight group of guys who were all graduates of a very expensive, very exclusive
    Jesuit high school. I recall being shocked when they told me about one
    Jesuit priest/teacher/administrator who would dismiss his classes on Fridays
    with the words “have a great weekend, and remember to wear a condom!”.
    It shouldn’t surprise anyone that every graduate of that high school that I’ve
    met is not only not a practicing Catholic, but they all seem to be uniformly
    contemptuous of the Faith. Gee, I wonder how that happened…

  • Col. Schlichter statement from T. Shaw post is worth a second look.

    Liberal administrators and faculty have their agenda and proper education takes a second to indoctrination of Left group think. Not long ago we witnessed this from the prof. at Northwestern and the student who questioned “homosexuality and so-called same sex marriage.”

    So. What is asking too much of someone who will be working closely with the Catholic Church? Hummm.
    How about their faith?
    Their beliefs?
    Their core values?

    Discrimination or safeguarding the faith?

    When the relativism fog blinds the masses it’s time to pray for a hurricane.
    At the very least a good strong gale.

  • Folks,
    Secular society will issue a backlash. Those working in secular occupations – especially those heavily regulated by the government (I work in such an occupation) – will soon be required to sign affirmations of belief in homosexual marriage, reproductive choice and the whole litany of liberal progressive manure. The consequence for not signing will be loss of employment and subsequent barring from the industry in which one had been employed. The reason to be given will be, “Unstable and untrustworthy individual due to intolerance and prejudice; person is an extremist and constitutes a national security risk.” This will happen. People who work in industries such as nuclear power, airlines, medical, rail road, oil refineries, etc., will be treated this way. The liberal progressives, when charged with violating people’s First Amendment rights, will respond by saying, “You did it to a homosexual teacher at your Catholic school.” Then criminal court cases for hate speech and subsequent incarceration will follow. The Nazis and the Communists forced people to go down this road in the 20th century. It has always ended in torture and death before.
    Am I paranoid? Maybe. But after how that godless man of sin and depravity has wrecked the morals of the country over the past 6 years and Congress refuses to impeach him because he is the 1st black President (oh for a Colonel Allen West or a business man Herman Cain!), what are we to think?

  • Doubling down because of resistance to an attack is not a “backlash.”

    Backlash implies a change on the one being attacked, not a failure of a previous attack.

  • Perhaps you are correct, Foxfire. But whatever the case may be, just as orthodox Bishops are rightly requiring employees at Catholic institutions to support Catholic principles outside the job, so also will secular institutions force their employees – Christians, Jews, or whatever (but I suspect Muslims will be exempt) – to support the homosexual and reproductive rights agenda. It is already happening.

  • It’s been happening my entire life– they’re just getting more extreme and open, which I think is a good sign.
    I believe it’s called the march through the institutions, or some such.

  • Ernst Schreiber wrote, “The explanation on offer is that each of these claims is a value claim and value claims are not facts.”
    This goes back to Hume, who argued that we cannot reason from a descriptive statement to a prescriptive or normative statement or, as it is usually expressed (although not by Hume) from an “is” to an “ought.” He did assert that “the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason.” (Treatise on Human Nature 3. 1. 1)
    Miss Anscombe imagines a housewife, a disciple of Hume, explaining to her greengrocer: ““Truth consists in either relations of ideas, as that 20/- = £1, or matters of fact, as that I ordered potatoes, you supplied them, and you sent me a bill. So it doesn’t apply to such a proposition as that I owe you such-and-such a sum.”
    Hume’s argument opens up a whole series of questions; not only how we get from “is” to “ought,” but how we get from “is” to “owes,” or from “is” to “needs.”
    That is why Miss Anscombe maintained that “although he reaches his conclusions – with which he is in love – by sophistical methods, his considerations constantly open up very deep and important problems. It is often the case that in the act of exhibiting the sophistry one finds oneself noticing matters which deserve a lot of exploring: the obvious stands in need of investigations as a result of the points that Hume pretends to have made… hence he is a very profound and great philosopher, in spite of his sophistry.”

  • Ernst Schreiber- If they have the “vegetarians are healthier” listed as an opinion, then they’re flatly wrong. It’s a statement of fact. (Most likely false, but it is a statement of fact.)
    Some of the others can be argued, but…well, let’s just say I’m glad the Navy gave me enough college credits that I’m allowed to homeschool.

  • One of the disheartening aspects of Catholicism over the past few decades is how many people draw a check from the Church, clergy and laity, and give every sign of not believing what the Church teaches.
    –Donald R. McClarey

    Bishop means “overseer”. When such things happen, bishops aren’t doing their job. But dabbling as Social Justice Warriors is soooo much more fun! Bishops dabbling in anti-death penalty politics after failing to warn their flocks against turning America into an Obamanation is but the latest example.

  • I agree with Philip that soon faithful Catholics will be forced to
    practice their faith in secret. However, our persecutors will be
    fanatical, modernist clergyman who are heretics, instead of the state.

    My hope, after I had been informed of Pope Benedict’s resignation, was
    that the Church would elect a no nonsense kicka__ pope, who would drive
    the Wuerls and the Bergoglios out of the Church, instead fanatical heretics
    are in control of the Church and the traditionalists are being driven out.

    I’ve heard some call Bergoglio, Hitler’s Pope. I prefer to call Bergoglio,
    Pope Hagee I.

  • Through reading the links in the post above, came across the following from Pope Benedict about the subject at hand. Good stuff. I encourage you to read it.

  • This is such a difficult debate to make any headway on. The secular side sees this as evidence of intolerance and theirs as a mission of love. The church sees this as stating the truth and proclaiming the Gospel. I don’t see any easy answers, but there is an answer… Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ by leading with the love of Christ. Humble , gentle and with reverence This is what St Peter taught us in his letter ( 1Peter 3:15) so that when maligned, those who defame your good works in Christ will put to shame. As did St Paul, 1Cor 13, if I speak in human and angelic tongues, but have not love, I am a banging gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have they gift of prophecy and I comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge ….but do not have love, I am nothing.

    It is the message, but also the delivery. The secular understanding of love is different, as is their understanding of marriage. Most people are sincere in their belief and it is a matter “Charity in Truth” as Pope Benedict described in his Encyclical. Sarcasm and satire have their place in this debate, certainly as a pressure release, but they do alienate those we wish to engage.

  • These are the same people that would show up at a HOG gathering on a rice burner and expect to blather on about their right to free expression.

  • Given the author’s hyphenated last name, I assume she is married. That being the case, would she see nothing wrong in hiring a nanny (hyphenates do rather tend to have nannies) who was constantly putting the moves on her husband? Rather doubt it.

  • I agree with John Peter and thank Barbara for Pope Benedict’s opinion.
    I think that a disrespectful tone and remarks are a result of fear.
    It was for me. Oh, and also pride.

    It helps me now to see those caught in what the church considers serious sin as one of my own children. To pray for them and to be kind.
    Christ asks us to be obedient and compassionate.
    It seems so much easier to be only one or the other.
    Unless we ask His help.

  • SouthCoast wrote, “Given the author’s hyphenated last name, I assume she is married…”
    Where I come from, hyphenated last names indicate inheritance of land or arms in the maternal, as well as the paternal line. Married couples never hyphenate each others’ names, for to do so indicates a claim by descent. A younger son marrying an heiress may sometimes apply to Lord Lyon for leave to assume his wife’s name and arms in substitution for his own, especially where her name and the name of her estate are the same e.g. Maitland living on the lands of Maitland.

  • Hypenated last names are also used by various Hispanic groups in the Military because of a tradition of having your mother’s maiden name as an additional middle name, which gets really ridiculous for their kids. Nicknames like “N-26” are not uncommon.
    Seeing as the name in question is “Haider-Winnet,” she is unlikely to be hispanic, and she apparently lives in Berkeley, California, so she’s not working on an English title or inheritance, either.

  • Ernst,
    I can appreciate the CC’s hypothesis, but I would be interested to know how the following would be classified:

    It is wrong to rape a child.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour and Foxfier, yes! yes! I know! *S* One of my hobbies is genealogy and I have Hispanic former-in-laws! But my point was, that those who see no problem with teachers in Catholic schools not adhering to Catholic standards might, paradoxically, have a problem with a close employee who did not adhere to their *own* standards. (They might, of course, argue that it is not “the same thing”. In point of fact, however, it is very *much* “the same thing”, i.e., a poisoning of one’s moral well.)

Rebels and Conformists

Monday, March 2, AD 2015




Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, brings us this story that highlights one of the problems that the Church has these days with precious snowflakes who think they are heroic rebels:



Northwestern University student Kathleen Ferraro was RAISED CATHOLIC!! and thinks that it’s extremely important for all of you people to understand that fact:

My name is Kathleen and I am a little Catholic schoolgirl. I wore a sweater vest and knee-highs and a skirt that could be no more than two inches above my knees. Rogue nuns wandered the halls of my high school. We “left room for Jesus” at school dances, all of which were supervised by a resident priest. I come from a devoutly Roman Catholic family from a primarily Catholic community largely dominated by Catholic institutions, schools, values and beliefs.

Yet young Katie doesn’t consider herself Catholic any more.

And yet against all odds, I don’t fit into Catholicism. My Catholic upbringing and education seemed the perfect formula for a perfect Catholic. Nonetheless, I’ve developed values and beliefs that significantly diverge from this foundation.

Gee.  Wonder what those might be.

Whenever I think about this question, I always resort to my list-making ways, crafting an inventory of the reasons that Catholicism has not worked for me. Old-fashioned values and traditions, hesitation towards accepting the LGBTQ community and inherent political undertones of church leadership leave me feeling conflicted and uneasy. I will never understand why dressing up in a modest J.Crew dress and sitting in the first pew at church trumps participating in a climate march, or why accepting doctrine on faith alone beats independent thinking, questioning and customizing one’s religious life. For me, religion has been more a culture of privilege than of prayer, a competition of piety rather than a humble quest of personal growth and spiritual connection. These are all examples from my experience with religion that motivate me to reject Catholicism, but as I think about it, are these also reasons that Catholicism rejects me?

No, because that’s just stupid.

I believe it is. Speaking only for the Catholic institutions I come from, I do not fit the prototype of what a Catholic is supposed to be–the by the book churchgoer who accepts Catholicism because that is what is true.

Ya think?!!

I am pro-choice, don’t go to church on Sundays, don’t put stock in the Bible or doctrine, challenge traditional ideas of religion and spirituality and care infinitely more about trying to be a kind, humble person than actively worshipping.

In other words, an Episcopalian.

On one hand, this rejection validates my personal beliefs and their deliberate divergence from Catholicism. On the other hand, this rejection leaves me unfulfilled. I find myself an outsider, subject to the Catholic exclusivity that ostracizes other divergent thinkers and doers: the very exclusivity that prompts me to reject Catholicism in the first place. Its a perplexing paradox – my beliefs exclude me and define me as an independent. And because my beliefs disqualify me from active participation, I am consequently excluded from a community that I want to engage with, though not necessarily be a part of. I would say “its not you, its me,” but I think “its not me, its you” is equally appropriate.

Told you.

I’m not saying that my beliefs are right,

You are so.

but I am saying that I want to be heard, not just listened to.

Every Anglican in the world knows that means that we keep yammering until the Roman Catholic Church realizes that it’s wrong and I’m right.

For me, this conversation is not about stylizing religion to suit the tastes of young adults;


it’s about aligning all voices with the process of organized religion and earnestly engaging in different conceptualizations of faith.

Whatever that means.  Katie?  I’d like to tell you a little bit about my mom.

Over and over again, I’m amazed at what a visionary my mother was.  Mom was also RAISED CATHOLIC!! but had some sort of major conflict with the Catholic Church in the 40′s, the nature of which she never disclosed to any of us.

I suspect what it might have been but I don’t know for certain so I’m not going to speculate.  But to those of you whose parents are still with you, a word of warning; you find out quite a bit after they shuffle off this mortal coil.

Mom was always a little bit of a rebel.  She was born and raised in New York City and when she was in college at Adelphi, she vocally stood up for the Jews.  She’d married in the late 30′s, early 40′s, somewhere in there, and had a daughter shortly after that.  Her husband was killed during the war and after it, she was a single mom with a little girl to raise and she didn’t have any money coming in.

So Mom found herself a job.  In Montana.  She left New York City and never again entertained the idea of ever going back.

Anyway, Mom’s got this problem with the Roman Catholic Church.  Know what she did about it, Katie?

She left the Catholic Church and joined the Episcopalians.  My mom loved the Episcopal Church until the end of her life.  And as far as I know, she was the only one in her family who ever did anything like that.  Her brother, my Uncle Howard, remained Catholic until the end of his life.

Kid?  The Catholic Church is almost 2,000 years old; you’re not.  Your idea that the Catholic Church needs to conform itself to the bumper stickers beliefs of the Young PeopleTM is too absurd for any intelligent person to even begin to entertain.  So emulate my mother, grow a freaking spine and drop into one of Chicagoland’s many fine Episcopal parishes next Sunday.  You’ll be glad you did.

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28 Responses to Rebels and Conformists

  • Stated briefely, “I’m twenty-two years old and I know everything!”

  • Go where you can hear the gospel…proclaimed in it’s purity…

    …and where the sacraments are administered in accordance with that pure gospel.

    Good luck being able to find that.

  • “I find myself an outsider, subject to the Catholic exclusivity that ostracizes other divergent thinkers and doers:”
    I believe the faith teaches that heaven is an exclusive place, also.

    “Let’s hope and pray that she doesn’t continue with her self-absorption, and her unwillingness to serve (disguised as self-anointed intellegence and wisdom) that she may not spend eternity as a wilful “outsider”
    Lord help the minions of lapsed “Catholics” that are as confused as she.

  • “the State was essential in taking measures against the Church to largely eliminate her influence from society.”

    But we just now have heard from our “on high” communications director who supports the take over of the internet (in violation of subsidiarity) that it is the culture of death and perverted morality “government” that will insure our freedom of religion.
    That line ought to be on SNL.

  • Reminds me of an article I read once about a girl of similar age who grew up pro life then she read an article in the NYTimes and now she’s pro choice. It makes me wonder about her education. Did she engage in the arguments for the cause? Did she learn to have real sympathy for pro choicer and yet still have the courage to say why they are wrong? Probably not. She just didn’t think about it that much. Sounds like this girl’s “Catholicism” was largely about uniforms and school dance rules. I don’t know if I’d lay the blame at her parents or school, but somewhere she wasn’t taught our didn’t listen to the deeper truths of her faith. She’s not able to make a coherent rejection of her childhood faith. I feel bad for her.

  • Note what’s missing: she never once mentions Jesus, except in the silly little anecdote about the school dances. The questions of whether she believes in Him, and whether the Church was founded by Him, and any thought of Grace or Redemption are completely incidental to the all-important issue of whether or not she feels ‘excluded.’

  • I was exactly that dumb at that age, too. I’m glad there was no Huffington Post back then to record it. And the fact that it was published in HuffPo should tell you everything about conformity: would a similar article about a fallen-away Methodist get the same national platform? There are millions of people leaving mainline Protestantism for Evangelicalism, because they want something stricter and more biblical – do they get articles in HuffPo?

    I did see something more depressing last week, an article in the Daily Beast written by a gay former Jesuit. Google “gay Jesuit daily beast” and, hey, you get what you deserve. The thing about the article was that it reflected the same depth of Catholic understanding as this 22-year-old undergrad. That was mortifying. Gay Jesuits don’t surprise me. I know too well how human beings act when they’re tempted. But the ignorance of what the Church teaches, that shocked me. There’s a way you can go through Catholicism and come out in disagreement with the Church, but for you to take the positions that this former priest was taking, you’d have to have never gone through the process of learning and growing in the Faith at all.

  • “I find myself an outsider, subject to the Catholic exclusivity that ostracizes other divergent thinkers and doers:”

    The notion she’s an outsider at Northwestern for an exposition like the one under review is worth one chuckle.

    She’s not able to make a coherent rejection of her childhood faith. I feel bad for her.
    As Ava Gardner put it, “Deep down, I’m pretty superficial”. Or, Allan Bloom on the sort of students he’d met at the University of Chicago ca. 1987, “In a word, ‘nice’, which is to say that nothing that’s happened to them has particularly hardened them”.

    The results from investing 20 years in childrearing can be a wretched surprise at times (as both my mother and two or three of my great-grandparents might have told you). However, you look at this woman’s LinkedIn profile, and what you see is familiar. There’s the signal and the noise. I’d lay a low four figure wager that the parents are fairly well-to-do professional-managerial types and the signal was to assure your ‘future’. The rest dissolved into static.

  • When she faces her trial’s and disappointment’s she will be the one cursing her creator. That will be the extent of her “quest for spiritual connection.” How sweet.

  • And I have to give credit where credit is due:

    This is the kind of article I was just saying wouldn’t be published. Good for them. The Daily Beast is a weird mess of a site, and I hate to admit that it’s on my once-a-day list, but I’m glad for this.

  • This young woman is an idiot. Perhaps it is not entirely her fault, as we don’t know all of the details of her upbringing. Nevertheless, she is an idiot, as she is an adult and is capable of discovering the truth, but would rather follow the crowd of idiotic young adults who get their news from Twitter, Jon Stewart, etc.

    I was naive at that age. I didn’t know a lot about my faith but I never abandoned it. Even in the 1980s I knew the media was filled with libtard brain dead slugs- as it is now – and they did not sway me.

    Piss-poor Catholic catechesis has driven away countless baptized Catholics. Other Catholics get a bug up their posteriors and blame the entire church for a bad priest, nun, etc. I have several relatives that fit into both of these examples.

  • Penguins Fan: “Nevertheless, she is an idiot, as she is an adult and is capable of discovering the truth, but would rather follow the crowd of idiotic young adults who get their news from Twitter, Jon Stewart, etc.”
    From my own experience, I find that Jon Stewart and especially family members who ridicule, intimidate and consciously demean a religious perspective of life and demand that one abandons real love for God in order to become acceptable and in the “incrowd” inculcate a terror of being ostracized by them, like they are somebody to be feared, but they are cowards like the devil.
    A person must make a GIANT embrace for one’s own freedom and conscious search for truth in the one’s self and the Catholic Church to reverse the fear instilled in the quiet of one’s heart to be who one must be, to pursue one’s Happiness and find one’s destiny; to answer one’s vocation to be(…or not to be.)
    The Holy Spirit of God, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity responds to our plea for TRUTH and guidance. Nothing is lost except our own happiness if refuse to pray for grace.
    One day, the woman will write a book with much joy and comedy about her spiritual search and conquest of the truth as truth is.

  • Mary De Voe corrects her omission: “Nothing is lost except our own happiness if one refuses to pray for grace. – See more at:

  • “I find myself an outsider, subject to the Catholic exclusivity that ostracizes other divergent thinkers and doers:”
    People are free to leave the church and when people leave the church, the church is always open to them as they have made a free will choice to reject eternal truth. If a persons holds the Church responsible for people’s leaving, than, it means that these people intended to impose their errors on the church. Heresy does not fulfill our vocation, destiny or happiness.

  • My flippant reply to flippant pro-choicers:

    I’m pro-choice myself: Either choose to not have sex outside of marriage, or choose to live with the consequences.

  • “customizing one’s religious life” says it all. ALL.

  • I tend to pity folks like Miss. Ferrarro more than I blame them– I suspect she
    has no idea what the Catholic Church teaches or what it is she’s rejecting when
    she turns up her nose at her patrimony.
    During my undergrad years I volunteered to teach CCD at my college parish–
    a very affluent, jaded, au courant parish run by an order of priests that
    has since become notorious for its dissidence. Think lots of National Catholic
    in the vestibule. I was aghast at the absolute bone ignorance of
    even the basics of Catholicism that these kids had– and these were kids whose
    parents had sent them to the parish’s elementary school, and were currently
    enrolled in the city’s “Catholic” high school. These were good kids, but they
    were utterly ignorant of the concept of the Real Presence, had never been taught
    about the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and had no idea who Jesus was.
    At one point, I asked the class to raise their hands if they thought Jesus was
    a man, but not God. Half raised their hands. God, but not a man? That got
    most of the rest of the class. Both God and man? One kid raised his hand, out
    of a class of two dozen kids whose parents cared enough to send them to
    CCD. And these were kids who had been in the tender care of the parochial
    school system for close to 12 years.
    I suspect that Miss Ferrarro is rejecting something she’s never actually been
    introduced to. And shame on us all for not passing on the Faith to kids like
    her. We’ve failed her.

  • The American Catholic Educational system turned out girls and guys like her in droves in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. It is only now changing. However, the biggest mystery to her piece is how she could reject something she knows nothing about. As stated above, “I’d lay a low four figure wager” that she couldn’t begin to discuss the scriptural basis for the real presence. That’s the “signal” most Catholic schools used to miss. Instead, kids like her just got the “noise”.

  • “Mary De Voe:” “…I find that Jon Stewart and especially family members who ridicule, intimidate and consciously demean a religious perspective of life and demand that one abandons real love for God in order to become acceptable and in the “incrowd” inculcate a terror of being ostracized by them, like they are somebody to be feared…”

    I would remind all that this evil only works, as the diabolical well knows, because that “terror” is but “pride” the foundation of most sin.
    Humble people, who know and live by God’s truth, are able to resist this–will they like me if I do/don’t–weapon. Catechesis and Sacramental Grace is the cure.

  • I believe the catholic school girl shtick appeals to her. She believes she was raised catholic, no doubt. If she was really raised catholic she would not have left. She is seeking fulfillment and just may find it in the revolutionary group working against the church.

  • I wonder about her (home-schooling.)
    Whay I mean is did her parents believe that buying her a dress and enrolling her in Catholic school was sufficient enough? My guess is yes. They participated as if dropping one off to soccer practice.

    If the parents are not engaged and living their lives in sanctifying grace then the development of any true spiritual life for her would be undermined. I’m not suggesting that this is the complete cause of her ignorance but that it certainly didn’t help her come to her conclusions.

    The most influential church is home.

  • ….say What..not whay…typo 🙁

  • RicK, Don Lord and Philip, my friend: Miss Ferraro sticks to the school girl shtick because it most brings her to the reality that she is a minor child spiritually. As a minor child who ought to have been given the Faith, she was disconnected by others, who, in their pride, laziness, ignorance and all the rest of the capital sins abandoned her soul to the Prince of Darkness. That darkness is terrifying. Looking around and seeing others just as terrified, three generations since Vatican II, lost souls, only confirms one’s terror. Lucifer, the great angel of light possesses the soul, leaving that person bereft of any Faith, Hope and therefore, not exercising their charity in handing on the Faith, the gift of life and love, the fourth generation of lost souls.

  • Bob Tanaka, You beat me to the punch. While extolling climate marches over attending Mass, the poor dear never mentioned praising and worshipping God or the saving graces of the sacraments. A brief synopsis of her attitude might be, “Me, My & I”.

  • . I was aghast at the absolute bone ignorance of
    even the basics of Catholicism that these kids had– and these were kids whose
    parents had sent them to the parish’s elementary school, and were currently
    enrolled in the city’s “Catholic” high school.

    And the horrible thing is, the folks who are responsible for teaching them might think they were teaching them.
    My mom was horrified when she found out that I’d never heard of the catechism before I was an adult– she assumed that we were actually being taught stuff at our CCD and similar classes, including youth group.
    And even that isn’t because she was willfully abandoning her responsibility to teach us– she was told all of her training was wrong because of Vatican II. She was teaching CCD to high school students, and told them sex outside of marriage was wrong in the hearing of the priest. Who then publicly chewed her out as hateful and ignorant, because it was fine if you “really loved” the other person. (She naturally quit teaching, because he’d know, and she’d hate to lead kids astray.)
    I’ve since found out there were shockingly horribly taught folks before that– ever have a theological argument with someone’s grandmother, and the agnostic is defending Catholic teaching from the lady who goes every week?– but without stuff like Jimmy Akin’s blog, I would probably not be Catholic, and would be as miserable as some of the other “raised Catholic” folks I know.
    It’s sad.

  • Foxfier.

    Your dear mom. Trying to do the right thing and hearing the great lie; “Vatican II states it differently.” The pigs who knowingly spread lies to promote their agenda’s will have to pay for their offenses. They may receive Gods mercy however they may have a very very very long wait in Purgatory prior to entrance into His Kingdom.

    Vatican II was certainly highjacked and misinterpreted to foster division and corrode the teachings of the Holy Church. To liberalize as a means to create freedom to sin without consequences.

    God bless your mom and others that ran into similar atrocities.

  • Do you think that catechesis worse now? I know it’s not ideal now, but I worry that we idealize the past. In the modern era of literacy and mass communication, the ignorance is less justifiable, sure. But there have always been places with no priests, or untrained and/or heretical priests. How deep was the understanding of the faith? My suspicion is that the peaks were higher and the valleys were lower – which calls to mind Rev 3:16: “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

Should Catholics Be Concerned? Yep!

Friday, October 31, AD 2014


Here is Christopher Johnson’s take on the unusual, yeah that would be the kindest word, pontificate of Pope Francis.  Please recall that Christopher Johnson is a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith:

Pope Francis’ Synod on the Family is about halfway over.  Although that “bombshell” document which thrilled liberals just a few weeks ago turned out to be a dud, at least for now, many on the left still think that Roman Catholicism is definitely trending their way as this Guardian leader indicates:

Three things in particular need to change. They are all connected by a particular interpretation of natural law, a phrase in Catholic moral theology that means “Nature doesn’t work like that”. The first is the theory that sexual intercourse is only really an expression of love when efficient contraception is not involved. This, codified in the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, has been entirely rejected by the Catholic couples at whom it was aimed. Then there is the claim that homosexuality is an “objective moral disorder” – since gay desire does not aim at making babies, or rely on the rhythm method to avoid them. Finally, there is the belief that marriage can only be once and for life, so that all subsequent arrangements are more or less sinful.

Essentially, church doctrine should be whatever the majority of the laity decides it should be.  For some reason, that concept sounds vaguely familiar.

Over the past 50 years, the language in which these things are condemned has gradually softened, from one of disgust and condemnation of “perversion” and “living in sin”, to the ostensibly neutral and objective claims of “moral disorder”. Pope Francis has opened the door to a language that would be much more welcoming still – one that might suggest that there is nothing uniquely dreadful about sexual sins, nor uniquely morally significant about sexual acts. This is a long way from the claim that nothing consenting adults agree to can be morally wrong: no Christian church could agree with that. But it is perhaps still further from the position of Catholic traditionalists today.

In other words, I actually didn’t say what I clearly just got done saying because shut up.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who heads the church in England and Wales, has said that he did not vote for the tepid language on gay people because he felt it did not go far enough, and that even an earlier draft, referring to the special gifts they can bring to the church, did not, in his opinion, offer an appropriate welcome. He would never have said this even five years ago, under the previous pope.

Quick reminder: James Pike wasn’t convicted of heresy because he wasn’t a heretic.  James Pike wasn’t convicted of heresy because the bishops of the Episcopal Organization at the time thought that convicting anyone of….shudder…heresy in this day and age was a perfectly horrid idea.

But this does not mean the Vatican has been entirely captured by the Guardian’s view of the world. As Francis said, the first duty of the pope is to maintain unity. That sets clear boundaries to how far he can go and probably clear boundaries to how far he would want to go. Even if he dreamed of a move in a wholly liberal direction, he could not without risking a schism, and it would be impolitic even to shuffle in that direction without issuing fierce denunciations of liberal errors – as indeed he has done.

The problem is that these proposals suggest, to this outsider anyway, that if they are accepted as is, a de facto (but most definitely not de jure) schism may begin to happen whether Francis wants it to or not.  Why do I think that?  Three reasons.

The first is language.  Control the language and you’ve basically won the cultural war.  And the simple fact of the matter is that the left now controls the language.

Consider what words “welcome” and “love” now mean.  “Welcome” used to mean that, while you and I may disagree on things, that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.  And “love” used to mean that I want the best for you which may mean that from time to time, I’m going to tell you the truth, however personally unpleasant you may occasionally find what I have to tell you.

These days, “love” and “welcome” are now basically synonyms for, “I and I alone am the single determining factor in deciding whether or not you are loving and welcoming.  And in order to be loving and welcoming to me, you must immediately renounce any views you have on any issue which differ from my own.

“Failure to do so will personally offend me, which is not obviously not a loving or a welcoming act on your part.”  To a very great extent, too many people in the Church have absorbed these ideas.

The second reason I have for thinking a de facto Catholic split is not off the table is that I was an Episcopalian for 48 years and I know that the Christian left doesn’t think in months or in years but in decades.  They think long-term, they’re patient and they take their time.  Austen Ivereigh thinks Francis’ revolution is already over.

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10 Responses to Should Catholics Be Concerned? Yep!

  • However, that is no excuse for orthodox Catholics to think they can simply put their heads down, pray their rosaries and all will be well.

    Amen to that.

  • Here is an example, though provincial, of why there should be concern. Considering the immediate suppression of things Latin and ‘traditional’ on the one hand and the indulgence of pastoral activities on the other, the example rises in Boston, where the precursor to Catholic college began at Boston Latin High School from which great minds went on to waste their heritage because ‘it’s all good!”.

  • The pastoral is the doctrinal, for the Church Triumphant will not change for these happy souls behold the Face of God. Why should the Church Triumphant change? Not on your soul. The Church Militant here, shooting itself in the foot, cannot change lest the Church Militant lose its brotherhood with the Church Triumphant and lose its doctrine. And the individuals members souls. The pastor is to preach salvation to the members of his Church. The Church Suffering in Purgatory are remembering the doctrines of the Church which they have discarded and of which they now must reeducate themselves before entering into the Beatific Vision, the Face of God.
    The Real Presence of Jesus Christ on the altar lays waste any idea that the physical nature of the human being takes precedence over the spiritual being of the human away from the wholeness of man, created body and soul. That man’s body requires “special” consideration that is detriment to his spiritual soul.
    The principle of separation of church and state requires that the doctrinal is forever doctrinal; that the pastoral, or priesthood of the laity, is forever bound to the doctrinal through the call from God, the vocation.
    Without a call from God, a vocation, our good deeds are useless. Without the ordained priest in Jesus Christ, there is no Catholic Church, no priesthood of the laity, no Real Presence. I guess it all comes down to wanting to save one’s own soul.
    I was once told in the confessional that whatever I did with my husband was OK. It is not OK. I am a human being with dignity deserving of respect and not being respected as a human being leaves one destitute.
    This army of people enslaved by sex (and blaming God) will find that their enslavement to sex is all they will have in eternal life. Enslavement to anything is boring, really dumb, did I say stupid? Stupid.
    If Pope Francis tries to incorporate STUPID into Church doctrine, he very well may lose his soul.

  • “I was once told in the confessional that whatever I did with my husband was OK. It is not OK. I am a human being with dignity deserving of respect and not being respected as a human being leaves one destitute.”
    I agree with Mary De Voe. Any act in marriage or outside of marriage which debases the dignity of oneself or that of another human being is intrinsically wrong. The act need not be sexual in nature to be debasing. The act always leads to destitution of the human himself or herself.

  • Yes Mary. The pastoral and the doctrinal are inextricable. They cannot really be separated. They each would lose their meaning. The Church has been very careful with her doctrinal expression, so careful that pastoral expression has not become a matter of dogma. Pastoral expression has to fit within the “strike zone” of doctrine. (thinking of Chief Justice Roberts umpire analogy of his court)

  • I recently re-read parts of our Pastoral Constitution. Such a kind and hopeful document. There was a lot of talk about the dignity of man, the dignity of marriage, community etc. In the years and events that have passed, man seems to have lost his dignity.
    In 2014 we are not dealing on the same presuppositions even about human nature we held as we held in 1965 — “Male and female he created them” ? How in the world are we supposed to be wise and pastoral when we can even agree anymore on the most basic human identity.
    The new morality of this years synod is sometimes called “situational ethics” -at the same time very protestant and also jesuitical. “Pastoral” care is not to be situational ethics. Real love is honest- tough, and honest.

  • “However, that is no excuse for orthodox Catholics to think they can simply put their heads down, pray their rosaries and all will be well. Amen to that.”
    Praying the Rosary is not an escape, but the engagement of Divine Providence and the Communion of Saints to “deliver us from evil, now, and at the hour of our death.” Amen. Remember Lepanto.

  • Yep, rosaries came in handy that day, along with hard fighting, inspired leadership and superb seamanship.

  • I hope that we are all writing to our bishops to express our concerns. I have written to my bishop already, and I am in the process of writing to the local archbishop as well. Next on my list is the U.S. papal nuncio, and then perhaps Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Wuerl, Cardinal Burke, and Cardinal Pell.

What Do We Tell Him?

Tuesday, October 14, AD 2014

Pope Francis Facepalms


‘I am not a pillar of the Church, but more like a flying buttress — I support the church from the outside.’

Winston Churchill



Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Faith that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has a question for us:



I have a serious question for which I’d like a serious answer.  And I’m not going to provide any commentary of my own just yet; I’m much more interested in what you guys think.  But should we flying buttresses of the Catholic Church, to borrow Churchill’s analogy, start seriously worrying right about now?

In considering the principle of gradualness in the divine salvific plan, one asks what possibilities are given to married couples who experience the failure of their marriage, or rather how it is possible to offer them Christ’s help through the ministry of the Church. In this respect, a significant hermeneutic key comes from the teaching of Vatican Council II, which, while it affirms that “although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure … these elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward Catholic unity” (Lumen Gentium, 8).

Realizing the need, therefore, for spiritual discernment with regard to cohabitation, civil marriages and divorced and remarried persons, it is the task of the Church to recognize those seeds of the Word that have spread beyond its visible and sacramental boundaries. Following the expansive gaze of Christ, whose light illuminates every man (cf. Jn 1,9; cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22), the Church turns respectfully to those who participate in her life in an incomplete and imperfect way, appreciating the positive values they contain rather than their limitations and shortcomings.

In this respect, a new dimension of today’s family pastoral consists of accepting the reality of civil marriage and also cohabitation, taking into account the due differences. Indeed, when a union reaches a notable level of stability through a public bond, is characterized by deep affection, responsibility with regard to offspring, and capacity to withstand tests, it may be seen as a germ to be accompanied in development towards the sacrament of marriage. Very often, however, cohabitation is established not with a view to a possible future marriage, but rather without any intention of establishing an institutionally-recognized relationship.

In the West as well there is an increasingly large number of those who, having lived together for a long period of time, ask to be married in the Church. Simple cohabitation is often a choice inspired by a general attitude, which is opposed to institutions and definitive undertakings, but also while waiting for a secure existence (a steady job and income). In other countries common-law marriages are very numerous, not because of a rejection of Christian values as regards the family and matrimony, but, above all, because getting married is a luxury, so that material poverty encourages people to live in common-law marriages. Furthermore in such unions it is possible to grasp authentic family values or at least the wish for them. Pastoral accompaniment should always start from these positive aspects.

Various Fathers underlined the necessity to make the recognition of cases of nullity more accessible and flexible. Among the propositions were the abandonment of the need for the double conforming sentence; the possibility of establishing an administrative means under the responsibility of the diocesan bishop; a summary process to be used in cases of clear nullity. According to authoritative propositions, the possibility should then be considered of giving weight to the faith of those about to be married in terms of the validity of the sacrament of marriage. It needs to emphasized that in all these cases it is about the ascertaining of the truth over the validity of the obstacle.

As regards matrimonial suits, the speeding-up of the procedure, requested by many, as well as the preparation of a sufficient number of operators, clerics and lay people, dedicating themselves to this, requires an increase in the responsibilities of the diocesan bishop, who in his diocese might charge a specially trained priest who would be able to offer the parties advice on the validity of their marriage.

In the same way the situation of the divorced who have remarried demands a careful discernment and an accompaniment full of respect, avoiding any language or behavior that might make them feel discriminated against. For the Christian community looking after them is not a weakening of its faith and its testimony to the indissolubility of marriage, but rather it expresses precisely its charity in its caring.

As regards the possibility of partaking of the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, some argued in favor of the present regulations because of their theological foundation, others were in favor of a greater opening on very precise conditions when dealing with situations that cannot be resolved without creating new injustices and suffering. For some, partaking of the sacraments might occur were it preceded by a penitential path – under the responsibility of the diocesan bishop –, and with a clear undertaking in favor of the children. This would not be a general possibility, but the fruit of a discernment applied on a case-by-case basis, according to a law of gradualness, that takes into consideration the distinction between state of sin, state of grace and the attenuating circumstances.

Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?

The question of homosexuality leads to a serious reflection on how to elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension: it appears therefore as an important educative challenge. The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.

Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.

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18 Responses to What Do We Tell Him?

  • “NO” is a very positive answer. Are the seminaries still teaching that sodomy is not a sin? If sodomy is not a sin, then, there is no sin.
    Salvation comes to one person, one individual person, at a time. Jesus Christ had only one rational soul but two separate natures, human and divine. The couple in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony become one flesh, but not one soul. There are two souls in the married couple who serve God as husband and wife. Two souls, who are in need of salvation, one soul at a time and are helpmates in achieving salvation for themselves and for their spouse.
    The love and affection of a same sex couple must be predicated on securing salvation for the soul of the partner. The same sex couple cannot become one flesh without recourse to the marital act. Informed sexual consent to the marital act cannot be accomplished through the same sex behavior of sodomy. Nor can salvation of the partner’s soul be accomplished through sodomy.
    Is it even possible to acknowledge another person when that person refuses to acknowledge his own soul, my soul or the soul of his partner and our souls’ need for salvation in Jesus Christ? It is no less than having a church of atheism.
    What makes Pope Francis believe that two people cohabitating and ignoring the Precepts of the Church concerning Holy Matrimony are now going to accept the church if their demands are met?
    The Sacrament of Matrimony may be performed in the rectory. Only what is needed is the couple, two witnesses and a priest, no gown, no flowers, no reception, only the good will of the participants. Therefore, to say that marriage is a luxury is not right. Only indifference is required for individuals to ignore what is best for their eternal life and the salvation of their immortal souls.
    What is an inestimable luxury is salvation of the souls of the participants. The good will necessary to not be excluded from the Catholic Church is not with the souls intending to use the church for their own improper benefit.
    Anyone calling sodomy not a sin is a liar and cannot come to church until he surrenders his evil. If Pope Francis decriminalizes sodomy or adultery, sodomy and adultery will still remain sins, only then, Pope Francis will degenerate into the lie into which he casts himself. Pope Francis will become a liar.
    The dignity of the human soul is about salvation through marriage. If the same sex couples do not care for their souls, no church can bring them salvation.

  • References to the Episcopal Church in this manner are without merit given there is no
    equivalency between the two Churches. Such comments are unhelpful and represent an unfortunate amount of Fear Uncertainty Doubt (FUD) coming from orthodox quarters.

    Is there not room for Church development in canonical approach to these difficult issues?

  • This isn’t right. It’s not even the Eastern Orthodox Oikonomia.

  • A recent article on the devastation brought on Christian marriage by legislation enabling the use of “no fault” divorces to accelerate the process, I thought, was very compelling and nailed it. But having witnessed so many breakups of marriages among our own family and friends over the past thirty or forty years seeing how it has affected the lives of both the adults and the children causing so many to desert the pews except for Easter and Christmas, it is imperative that the Church address this issue for the sake of their souls with compassion yes, but also to make clear that message of love is not given as condemnation of their actions but an open invitation to a definitive path to rejoin the community through a welcomed repentance to glorify and worship the One who loves them more than any human can imagine.
    I have often asked myself, is a widow or widower someone who has had their loved one taken from them? Was it their doing or choice? Did they wish it so? In some cases I see only a fine line between a widow (from the hand of God) and a divorcee (from the hand of a judge) when it was through “no fault” of their own. Just

  • What do we tell him? I like the disclaimer from The Three Stooges:

    Any resemblance of the characters portrayed to actual persons, living or deceased, is truly a shame.

  • Is there not room for Church development in canonical approach to these difficult issues?

    Quid Veritas est?

  • “Is there not room for Church development in canonical approach to these difficult issues?”

    They really are not difficult.

    If you get divorced you can receive communion. If you get remarried and your prior marriage was annulled by the Church you can receive communion. If your marriage was not annulled by the Church you can’t receive communion unless you and your current spouse agree to live in a non-sexual relationship.

    If you like having sex with members of your own sex, you are to abstain from such relations or be guilty of mortal sin. The same rule applies to heterosexual sex outside of marriage.

    These are clear bright line rules. The only difficulty is that people want to be treated as in communion with the Church without giving up sins they are fond of. Fudging the rules, or doing away with them all together, is the path trod by the Episcopalians. There is nothing pastoral about such a white flag strategy when it comes to sin.

  • Ok, that part is clear we all agree and it’s good to lay that out as a reminder of current Church teaching.

    But the messy part comes in when we discuss all sorts of relationships that exist outside of marriage for whatever reason. The law acknowledges various relationships that don’t rise to the level of marriage and some that do:

    – Common Law Marriage
    – Civil Unions
    – Domestic Partnerships
    – Reciprocal Beneficiaries (Hawaii)

    And then you have the children, however they are derived, who through no fault of their own are members of these unholy alliances.

    Either the Church has cannon law to address these issues as they exist in reality today or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t it should address them as is befitting the situation and in accordance with the Deposit of the Faith.

    This seems more like administrative/pastoral housekeeping than some assault on doctrine.

    I’m all for good old-fashioned orthodox hand wringing when it’s called for I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be wringing my hands over yet.

  • “The law acknowledges various relationships that don’t rise to the level of marriage and some that do:

    – Common Law Marriage
    – Civil Unions
    – Domestic Partnerships
    – Reciprocal Beneficiaries (Hawaii)”

    Which makes absolutely no difference to the Church since none of these constitute marriage as understood by the Catholic Church. As for the kids, of course they should receive the sacraments since they are not guilty of the sins of their parents. If their parents will not bring their kids to the Church unless the Church pretends that the parent’s sins are not sins, that is unfortunate for the kids, but that is too high a price for the Church to pay.

  • “Which makes absolutely no difference to the Church”

    Isn’t that the entire point? It seems that your statement is technically true but given that Canon Law does not have the means to address or contemplate these developments, additional action is necessary so that it can.

    If these realities don’t make a difference to the Church, how can the Church make a difference on these realities?

    This is not in any way a recommendation of a specific course of prudential action other than to apply sound doctrine to these situations.

  • “If these realities don’t make a difference to the Church, how can the Church make a difference on these realities?”

    By tirelessly preaching the Truth of Christ whether people wish to hear it or not. Why tinker with a winning strategy that has worked for twenty centuries? The lack of such preaching over the past half century has been a flat disaster for the Church.

  • Yes Christopher, start worrying seriously.
    You know Christopher, you are probably more Catholic than the pope.

  • What I would tell Francis to his face could not be printed here.

    He would see rage beyond the pale.

  • As for so-called “common law marriages,” the church could, if it saw fit, return to the pre-1563 law, when there were no formal requirements for a valid marriage, other than a mutual manifestation of consent.

    The old law is described in a letter of Pope St Nicholas I (858–67) to the Bulgarian prince Boris I in 866. After setting out the rituals customary in Rome, including the bestowal of a ring, the giving of dowry and dower by father and husband, and priestly blessing, he explained that he was not saying that it was sinful (peccatum esse) to omit any of these customs, especially since some people could not afford them. “On this account,” Nicholas concluded, “according to the laws (leges), the consent of those whose union is arranged should be sufficient. If that alone is absent, all the other solemnities, even including coition, are in vain, as the great teacher John Chrysostom attests, who says: ‘Not intercourse but will makes marriage’ (Homilies on Matthew 32)” [PL 119, no. 97, pp. 978–1016 at 980]. St John Chrysostom (347-407) is here simply repeating the words of the great Roman jurist, Ulpian (170 – 228) “Nuptias non concubitus, sed consensus facit” – It is not sleeping together, but agreement that makes marriage. [Dig. 50.17.30 Ulpianus 36 ad Sab]. On this subject, the law of the Church and of the Empire was the same.

    As the Scottish Reformation took place in 1560, three years before Tametsi, the pre-Tridentine canon law remained the law of Scotland until 1940. Having seen how the old law worked in practice, with actions for Declarator of Marriage being raised into the 1980s, I would not recommend a return to it, but it remains a possibility and one supported by canonists of note.

  • There are no couples in heaven. If Pope Francis and the Synod on the Family decide to create a heaven for couples, heterosexual, homosexual, divorced and remarried, they will be in direct contradiction of Christ. There are no couples in heaven. “Whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatsoever you loose of earth will be loosed in heaven.”

  • I was thinking again and perhaps that is bad thing, but one statement in the quote from the Vatican that is provided in the blog post above stood out to me:
    “In considering the principle of gradualness in the divine salvific plan…”
    For the record, I agree with that statement. Some 28 1/2 years ago I underwent 3 days of gradualness in the form of heroin withdrawals as my “spiritual experience.” I was thick-headed and stubborn, since perhaps most would have had the sense to surrender to God after the 1st day.
    Sexual addiction – call it adultery, fornication, sodomy, whatever – is no different. I was told that if I continued in my addiction to sexual gratification, then I would be just as drunk in behavior as if I had continued actually drinking, and “it” would turn orange or green and fall on off. Sorry to be so graphic, but why the heck can’t these clerics and prelates, orders of magnitude smarter than I will ever be, understand that? Romans 7:13-25 !
    “Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” Page 59, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • “”The law acknowledges various relationships that don’t rise to the level of marriage and some that do: – Common Law Marriage – Civil Unions – Domestic Partnerships – Reciprocal Beneficiaries (Hawaii)””
    “Which makes absolutely no difference to the Church since none of these constitute marriage as understood by the Catholic Church.”
    The precepts of the church decree that people observe the laws concerning marriage. No fault divorce is more like the separation the church grants to people to separate them from being battered and murdered and betrayed. And for the settlement of custody of children and property.
    In the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony in the Catholic Church who has the power to grant the Sacrament to those who have met the prerequisites for marriage, and there are many impediments, some of which people cannot realize, the Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony brings the Holy Spirit into the married state, making of matrimony a vocation to serve God.

  • “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?”.
    God is a gentleman. God is perfect love. God, indeed, ate with sinners who had invited him into their hearts, into their homes and into their lives. Jesus did not eat with sinners who refused to repent and accept the truth of salvation. Jesus did not eat with Pharisees, high priests, King Herod, Barabbas, not Pontius Pilate, not the money changers nor the brood of vipers. The Holy Sacrifice of the Cross was attended by Jesus’ Blessed Mother, Mary and the Beloved apostle, John, and some others who wanted to be with Christ.
    In the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the Holy Spirit is invited to live in the couple’s marriage; in each individual’s heart. (Polyandry, polygamy, ssm, a trios cannot happen. God forces no one into heaven.) God draws us with bands of love to Himself through a valid, blessed marriage, through the Catholic Church in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Each individual person of the couple comes with special gifts and charisms bestowed by the Holy Spirit to effect a husband, a wife, a family.
    Where there is one Person of the Blessed Trinity, there are all three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. Every Person of the Blessed Trinity comes with different charisms and gifts to enable the couple to live out its mission and vocation to Holy Matrimony.
    But God does not come unless He is invited. God does not go where He is not welcome.
    Even the martyrs went into pagan countries in response to those souls who were inviting Jesus Christ into their hearts, into their homes and into their company. First, salvation comes to those who seek to serve God as individual persons and then and only then, after these individual persons choose to serve God, can they serve God as a couple and as a family.
    Only with God’s help can man’s imperfect consent to marriage be renewed every second of every day, “’til death do us part”. “Amen”.

Knife Control

Wednesday, September 24, AD 2014

Charlton Heston never played Jesus in a film, to the best of my knowledge, but he famously was Moses and also played John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told. I so much wanted to hear him say, “You can have this sword when you pry it from my Cold. Dead. Hands!”

Deacon Michael D. Harmon



Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes a verbal axe at Midwest Conservative Journal to the latest bizarre explanation of why Christ was condemned by Pilate:

Premise: a Christian event that happened over 2,000 years ago has been pondered, studied and debated from the moment it occurred until the present day and general agreement about the significance of that event has been reached.  You, on the other hand, with the able assistance of “Christian scholarship,” have come up with a Radically New InterpretationTM of the meaning of that event:

Jesus may have been crucified because his followers were carrying weapons, according to a scholarly analysis of New Testament books.

Dale Martin, a professor of religious studies at Yale University, says that this aspect of stories about Jesus, as told in the gospels, has received too little attention, but could alone explain Jesus’s execution and also show that the man from Nazareth was not the pacifist he’s usually made out to be.

The biblical books of Mark and Luke both state that at least one (and probably two or more) of Jesus’s followers was carrying a sword when Jesus was arrested shortly after the Last Supper, at the time of the Jewish festival of Passover. One disciple, Simon Peter, even used his sword to cut off the ear of one of those arresting Jesus, according to the Gospel of John.

This militant behavior almost certainly wouldn’t have been tolerated by the Romans, led by the prefect Pontius Pilate, Martin tells Newsweek. For example, historical documents show that it was illegal at the time to walk about armed in Rome and in some other Roman cities. Although no legal records survive from Jerusalem, it stands to reason, based on a knowledge of Roman history, that the region’s rulers would have frowned upon the carrying of swords, and especially wouldn’t have tolerated an armed band of Jews roaming the city during Passover, an often turbulent festival, Martin says.

“Just as you could be arrested in Rome for even having a dagger, if Jesus’s followers were armed, that would be reason enough to crucify him,” says Martin, whose analysis was published this month in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament.

Conclusion: you’re not only wrong but you’re dumber than a bag of hammers.

Paula Fredriksen, a historian of ancient Christianity at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says Martin’s paper has several holes “that you could drive trucks through.”

For one, she doesn’t think it’s legitimate to assume that since carrying arms was illegal in the city of Rome, the same laws necessarily applied in Jerusalem. Control of the city wasn’t too tight, she argues, and the Roman prefect visited only during Passover, to help keep the peace. And during this time it probably would’ve been impossible to police the thousands of Jews that spilled into Jerusalem.

“I can’t even imagine what a mess it was,” she says.

Furthermore, she says, the Greek word used in the Gospels that Martin interprets as sword really means something more akin to knife. And these could be easily concealed, she adds. “Only professionals,” like soldiers, “carried swords,” she says.

While we’re on the subject of weapons, people didn’t carry staffs back then only because they needed help navigating the terrain.  Staffs also offered [limited] protection against wild animals.  Or wild people, whatever the case may have been.

Dear Newsweek or the Daily Beast or the Daily Tina Brown’s Ego or whatever you’re calling yourselves this week.  Stop writing about the Christian religion.  Just stop.  You people have no idea how stupid you’re making yourselves look.

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18 Responses to Knife Control

  • “Jesus may have been crucified because his followers were carrying weapons…”
    – Dumbo’s synopsis.

    If true, then it wouldn’t be a far reach to assume that St. Peter would of been hauled off or possibly executed for lopping off the centurions ear. Hello?

    The reinventing of history is one of the liberals favorite toys. They just can’t help it. They wish to cast doubt and dissuade the public to achieve their goals. Sick little puppies.

  • Yeah, knife control did a good job preventing Julius Caesar’s death, didn’t it? And a host of others, as I recall.

  • Post-modern religious studies: making up stuff about God.

  • Referring to Pontius Pilate as a “Prefect” does not exactly inspire confidence in an historian. Prefect is a military title; Pilate was an Imperial Procurator. That is why St Paul, as a Roman citizen had to be sent to the governor of Syria, a magistrate of the Roman People, typically a proconsul or propraetor.

    Of course, everyone carried knives. The Romans regarded tearing ones food with one’s teeth as, literally, bestial; everything, even bread or fruit had to be cut into bite-size pieces, before popping it into the mouth. “Minuere,” from which our words minutes and seconds derive, originally referred to slicing bread or cake (second is an ellipsis for “secundum minutum” or second slicing or cutting up of the hour).

    On the language point, μάχαιρα can mean a sword or a dirk – the short stabbing broadsword of ancient infantry, channelled and double-edged. The blade was typically a foot or 18″ long. It definitely refers to a weapon.

  • MPS, Wikipedia, that totally true and never wrong source of information, lists a number of types of Roman prefects, including both military and civil roles:

    • Praefectus praetorio: the Praetorian prefect began as the military commander of a general’s guard company in the field, then grew in importance as the Praetorian Guard became a potential kingmaker during the Empire. From the Emperor Diocletian’s tetrarchy (c. 300) they became the administrators of the four Praetorian prefectures, the government level above the (newly created) dioceses and (multiplied) provinces.
    • Praefectus Augustalis, the title of the governor of Egypt, indicating that he governed in the personal name of the august emperor.
    • Praefectus urbi, or praefectus urbanus: city prefect, in charge of the administration of Rome.
    • Praefectus vigilum: commander of the Vigiles.
    • Praefectus aerarii: nobles appointed guardians of the state treasury.
    • Praefectus aerarii militaris: prefect of the military treasury
    • Praefectus annonae: official charged with the supervision of the grain supply to the city of Rome.
    • Praefectus alae: commander of a cavalry unit.
    • Praefectus castrorum: camp commandant.
    • Praefectus cohortis: commander of a cohort (constituent unit of a legion, or analogous unit).
    • Praefectus classis: fleet commander.
    • Praefectus equitatus: cavalry commander.
    • Praefectus equitum: cavalry commander.
    • Praefectus fabrum: officer in charge of fabri, i.e. well-trained engineers and artisans
    • Praefectus legionis: equestrian legionary commander
    • Praefectus legionis agens vice legati: equestrian acting legionary commander.
    • Praefectus orae maritimae: official in charge with the control and defense of an important sector of sea coast
    • Praefectus socium (sociorum): Roman officer appointed to a command function in an ala sociorum (unit recruited among the socii, Italic peoples of a privileged status within the empire).
    • Praefectus Laetorum (Germanic auxiliary troop, notably in Gaul)
    • Praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium (auxiliary troop from the steppes, notably in Italy)

    In reference to Pontius Pilate, the infallible Wikipedia states:
    “The title used by the governors of the region varied over the period of the New Testament. When Samaria, Judea proper and Idumea were first amalgamated into the Roman Judaea Province (which some modern historians spell Iudaea), from AD 6 to the outbreak of the First Jewish Revolt in 66, officials of the Equestrian order (the lower rank of governors) governed. They held the Roman title of prefect until Herod Agrippa I was named King of the Jews in 41 by Claudius. After Herod Agrippa’s death in 44, when Iudaea reverted to direct Roman rule, the governor held the title procurator. When applied to governors, this term procurator, otherwise used for financial officers, connotes no difference in rank or function from the title known as “prefect”. Contemporary archaeological finds and documents such as the Pilate Inscription from Caesarea attest to the governor’s more accurate official title only for the years 6 through 41: prefect. The logical conclusion is that texts that identify Pilate as procurator are more likely following Tacitus or are unaware of the pre-44 practice…The procurators’ and prefects’ primary functions were military, but as representatives of the empire they were responsible for the collection of imperial taxes”

  • The Pilate stone discovered in 1961 settled the fact that Pilate’s title was prefect:

    In practical terms when ruling a province prefects and procurators in the time of Pilate had precisely the same powers. After 44 AD the prefects of Judaea were known as procurators after the death of Herod Agrippa and the imposition of direct Roman rule. If it is confusing to us, I suspect it was confusing also to the Jews who probably used both titles.

  • I agree Don. The Gospel writers at the time were undoubtedly not fans of Roman governance nor legal connoisseurs, so they just ran with the title in use at the time of composition.

  • Goodness, I thought I’d have to rethink my knowledge of Roman history– I was pretty sure it wasn’t possible to ban knives, sometimes that’s the only thing folks ate with, and I was going to have to try to find the sources that I’d read that said everyone had swords when traveling, because you’d get robbed if you didn’t. The Good Samaritan story wasn’t outlandish in its setup.

  • It’s true, weapons were officially banned from the city of Rome. Only the lictors were allowed to carry weapons, and they functioned as bodyguards for the city’s officials.

  • Only the Pomerium which was only a portion of the city of Rome. The Senators who stabbed Caesar to death did so outside the area of the Pomerium.

  • Ah, I didn’t know that. Thank you.

  • TomD
    The lictors were the equivalent of macers. They carried the fasces, an axe tied up in a bundle of rods before magistrates possessing imperium. It was the symbol of his authority to beat and behead Roman citizens. The king had been preceded by 12 lictors and, when the Republic was established, Brutus ordered that the two consuls should be preceded by 12 lictors on alternate days, so that the citizens should not be overawed by more lictors than under the kings. The fasces were lowered before assemblies of the Roman People, as the magistrates’ powers were suspended in their presence.
    The axe was not borne within the pomerium; the reason is disputed. Some say it is a reference to the Valerian-Hortensian laws that gave a right of appeal to the people (provocation) in capital cases.

  • The original Pomerium was the furrow ploughed by Romulus, when laying out his new city. The plough was lifted to indicate the sites of the three gates. According to Livy, Remus jumped over the furrow in derision and Romulus slew him for this act of sacrilege.
    It was repeatedly extended, both in Republican and Imperial times
    Magistrates could take the auspices only within the pomerium and these preceded assemblies of the people and certain other official acts.
    According to Mommsen’s theory, the ban on weapons in certain sacred sites was part of a wider ban on iron objects. The Flamen Dialis, the priest of Juppiter, was forbidden to touch iron and sacrificial knives were always of stone or bronze.

  • It’s so strange. I think these liberals spend more time thinking about Jesus than I do. I should be ashamed of myself.

  • “The reinventing of history is one of the liberals favorite toys.” Scholarship be blessed.

  • Most professions, pre-computer, required the carrying of weapons.

  • According to Mommsen’s theory, the ban on weapons in certain sacred sites was part of a wider ban on iron objects. The Flamen Dialis, the priest of Juppiter, was forbidden to touch iron and sacrificial knives were always of stone or bronze.

    Sounds like an origin for the “cold iron” being nasty for fae thing. Cool.

  • It’s all about fame and money. Revisionist history and controversial theories unsupported by facts are written by authors who hope for 15 minutes of fame and maybe a book deal or a speaking tour. Editors include such articles hoping to sell more issues of their magazines and newspapers and boost their declining readership.

How To Write For the National Catholic Reporter

Wednesday, September 17, AD 2014



National Catholic Fishwrap



Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic, demonstrates yet again why I long ago designated him Defender of the Faith:


A continuing series

Thank you for your interest in writing for the National Catholic Reporter.  Although we welcome your submissions at any time, we hope that these occasional posts help you to become exactly the sort of writer NCR is looking for.  The following piece by Robert McClory illustrates two key abilities every great NCR writer needs to learn how to perform well.  The first of these is how to:

Play dumber than a bag of hammers – Commenting on a recent column by Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago in which George said this:

Now, George says, “society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered ‘sinful.’ Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes. What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval. The ‘ruling class,’ those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone.”

McClory responds:

I don’t understand what George is saying. If many states pass, for example, approval of gay marriage, aren’t Catholics free to oppose it in keeping with official church teaching, just as they are free to oppose the sale of contraceptives in drug stores? If the government requires insurance policies to cover the purchase of contraceptives, are not Catholics free to object, as George has done for months? But I don’t see how any of this amounts to a “ruling class” imposing “its own form of morality on everyone.”

The simple fact of that matter is that, unless he is too stupid to be allowed outside without supervision, McClory knows perfectly well what George means.  But McClory has to pretend that he doesn’t; otherwise, he must explain why being governmentally coerced into committing a sin is fine as long as you’re free to feel bad about it as well as why being governmentally coerced into sin isn’t “imposing morality.”

The second ability any good NCR writer needs to know particularly well is how to:

Duck the questionCardinal George continues.

“It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith,” [George] says, “will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

One assumes that McClory knows that George’s last sentence has already happened several times since several private businesses have been driven into bankruptcy by the legal assaults of homosexuals.  One also assumes that McClory remembers the Chick-Fil-A controversy of a while back in which the homosexual community as well as several prominent politicians publicly execrated Chick-Fil-A and wished for its destruction simply because its CEO opposed the concept of homosexual “marriage.”

Assuming that McClory knows all this, how does he respond?  Like any great National Catholic Reporter writer would.

I hope some of George’s clearer-thinking colleagues would gather around their partner and urge him to consider a more positive, optimistic future for Catholicism. Is not the Holy Spirit still among us?

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6 Responses to How To Write For the National Catholic Reporter


Thursday, August 7, AD 2014

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, addresses at Midwest Conservative Journal the perennial question of what to do when a child decides to go astray:

From the dawn of time, parents everywhere have dreaded having to face that terrible moment when one of their children rejects the family religious tradition:

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2 Responses to Kids!

  • I actually knew a pagan guy in college (very into LARPing). I believe his family was/is Catholic. We had a conversation once about what it would be like to raise a child as a pagan. He couldn’t really answer my questions. Will your kids go to pagan Sunday school? Will the whole family dance around the back yard naked on the full moon? As far as I know he’s still a pagan according to Facebook, and he has a kid. This dinner conversation might be in his future.

  • “This dinner conversation might be in his future.”

    Indeed. There was a moment in the real life Mutiny on the Bounty after the mutiny where Captain Bligh tells Fletcher Christian that he found it quite difficult even with Naval regulations, the authority of the King and patriotism to keep the crew from running amok. Bligh predicted that without any of these things Christian would find it impossible, and so it proved. Christianity has 2000 years of prayers, thoughts, actions, institutions and writings that stretch back to the dawn of history behind it. If it finds it difficult to keep the young faithful, made up faiths like contemporary paganism have little chance of doing so.

Adultery Remains Adultery

Friday, May 30, AD 2014

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20

One of the shabbiest, and bleakly hilarious, features of our time is the increasingly popular superstition that morality and sex have nothing to do with each other.  That this is absurd we see all around us in shattered families, fatherless kids, a million abortions a year and hordes of truly pathetic individuals attempting to substitute promiscuity for love.  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Faith so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes the verbal buzz saw to one of the advocates of this rubbish on stilts:

Feeling guilty about the fact that your wife caught you doing your hot, young, female executive assistant?  Or that your husband caught your hot, young, male executive assistant tapping you again and again?  Not to worry, says self-described “Hollywood life coach and spiritual teacher” Lisa Haisha (which means that every word out of her mouth is brain-dead crap). We’ll just redefine “marriage” so that you don’t feel bad:

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not condoning adultery as we know it,

Are so.

because I’m not strictly talking about sex.

Are too.

But because it is so taboo, when you consider the historical context of marriage, isn’t being shocked by adultery a bit of an overreaction?

No.  What part of this don’t you understand, “spiritual teacher?”

Of course, no one can deny that when you lie and do something behind another person’s back, you are doing something wrong. You’re breaking an agreement, and that lacks integrity. You’re breaking trust with the other person, which is most definitely hurtful. But in the course of a long term relationship, taking into account the practical realities of our human need to experience life on our own, or through experiences with other platonic or romantic relationships, perhaps a new kind of conversation can unfold with your spouse or partner where you jointly communicate your needs and set reasonable and practical parameters of what is and isn’t allowed in your marriage, so the negative and hidden behaviors associated with adultery don’t take place.

Translation: it really sucks that it took us this long to come up with pseudo-intellectual euphemisms for banging the babysitter but we’re only human.

Since marriage has evolved so much over the ages, and different cultures have different views of it even today, perhaps it’s time for the age-old institution to evolve yet again. Maybe the tenets of a successful marriage should not be whether the couple stays monogamous for decades, but rather whether the couple openly communicates about what their unique marriage will look like, what will be deemed acceptable and what will not, and then honoring that joint decision.

Back to the old man again. If he’d had his druthers, Pop’d druther not have married a woman he knocked up since she’d already had a daughter by her first, late husband so he’d always have that “number two” feeling in his head.  And particularly if he knew that he would eventually have to leave his beloved Montana and have a youngest son who would turn out to be not all that fond of him.

But my old man, well, manned up.  He understood that taking responsibility for your actions involves, well, taking responsibility for your actions, no matter the cost.

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44 Responses to Adultery Remains Adultery

  • Of course. Here we are. Gay marriages are notoriously non-monogamous. For some reason, gays feel a compulsion to have sex outside the marriage. They intend to be monogamous at first, but find it is impossible. Which says a lot about why they are gay.
    So now everyone else has to redefine (or “evolve” as she says) so that ALL marriages are non-monogamous.
    This will be the next wave of news media articles, designed to justify the fact that gay marriages cannot procreate and neither are they monogamous. Note that Liz Mundy already wrote a column in the Atlantic about this, saying that all marriages will become non-monogamous – it’s just a higher and more evolved way of existing, don’t you know. The New York Times published an article saying that gays need to “play” outside the marriage.
    Gee, and you were worried that gay marriage would destroy the institution of marriage.

  • “Hollywood life coach and spiritual teacher”. More like a spiritual enabler. Or better yet, a spiritual euthanizer.

  • “Since marriage has evolved so much over the ages, and different cultures have different views of it even today, perhaps it’s time for the age-old institution to evolve yet again.”
    Saw this coming from a mile away. Of course the “spiritual teacher” would advocate what amounts to polyamory: it’s the unstated but logical conclusion.

  • Any particular reason why you chose to link a protestant “bible”?

  • I love the majestic language of the King James Bible. I use Catholic Bibles for my devotional reading and for study but the English translations are often hair raisingly pedestrian, and often for quotations, as with the Isaiah quote, I use KJB.

    In regard to the link, that is from Christopher Johnson’s post. Since he is a Protestant, although friendly to the Church, I am unsurprised he linked to a Protestant Bible.

  • I use Protestant translations all the time. Then again, I use the Douay–Rheims translation all the time too. No big deal.

  • Saruman spoke for a long time and wove a spell, then Gandalf laughed and the spell was broken. Moral self-justifications always seem to need so many words!

  • The difference of import between the KJB and the Catholic (badly translated by some atheist scholars) Bible is that only the Catholic Bible refers to The Supreme Sovereign Being using the Holy Spirit of God’s Name” I AM WHO I AM”
    In the first translation of the New American Bible (which had to be later revised), “WHO” was rejected and the Lord’s prayer began: “Our Father, in heaven…”. The passage now reads: “Our Father, WHO art in heaven.” Only sins against the Holy Spirit are not forgiven unless and until repentance, restitution and repair are made.
    Cecil B. Demille’s masterpiece, The Ten Commandments uses the Protestant version, leaving the Triune God with only two Persons, the Father and the Son. “Who” proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    I am hoping and praying that the Holy Spirit has been acknowledged.

  • Our Lady, Holy Mary, desired to remain virgin. Mary willed to be perfectly obedient to God’s will, from the first moment of her existence. Mary chose to be immaculate as God had created her for all time. God fulfilled Mary’s desire and predicated “full of grace” on Mary’s choice.
    The Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost chose Mary as daughter of the Most High, Mother of God and Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Mary is redeemed before all ages by Jesus Christ through her informed consent, through Mary’s “fiat voluntas tuas.”
    When God created Blessed Mary’s soul, the Immaculate Conception, God endowed Mary’s soul, as all men’s souls are endowed, with free will. Mary exercised her free will in choosing to serve God in time and in eternity. Mary chose the right to choose God.

  • “Hollywood life coach and spiritual teacher”.

    Ziggy Zoggy!
    Ziggy Zoggy!
    Oy! Oy! Oy!

  • In other words: Mary chose to exercise her Right to Choose, to choose God.

  • “….perhaps a new kind of conversation can unfold….”
    I think this conversation is ancient.

  • Side note – the original KJV included all the books that the Catholic Bibles have – all the Deuterocanonicals although they were called Apocrypha. KJV is an excellent translation. But I prefer the Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum. 😉

  • I actually have a KJV with the Deuterocanonicals included. I read it all the time. The thing’s as Anglican as all get-out. Almost has more ribbon markers than it has pages.

  • 10Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ 11She said, ‘No one, sir.’* And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’]]*

    I use the New Revised Standard Version Catholic edition.
    “… the increasingly popular superstition that morality and sex have nothing to do with each other”.
    Thank you Donald McClarey- superstition is an interesting term for this belief in this scientific and so called “rational” age. Our view of life seems to grow more and more superstitious and less and less well reasoned.

  • Jesus forgives sin. All of it.

    But the church ought NEVER affirm sin…of any kind.

    But, people want what they want. And will rationalize every way they can to defend it.

  • The Old Adam: “Jesus forgives sin. All of it.” I agree. It is not if, but how.

  • Mary De Voe,

    In the hearing of His preached Word (“Faith comes by hearing.”)

    And in Baptism and Holy Communion (which He commanded us to do – He never commanded us to do anything wherein He would not be present in it)

  • “Open marriage” was what it was called in the ’70s. Our women’s Bible study class leader, a Catholic priest, had us mull it over then. He wanted us, I think, to be able to meet it head-on and deal with it, but once we assigned it to perdition the subject evolved into the possibility of married people having a “platonic” relationship with the opposite sex (there were only two sexes then). Most of us said it was not likely for men but that women could handle it. Finally we all agreed that under the Golden Rule we would not attempt it, because it would hurt our husbands.

  • Kmbold,
    I was raised with a very conservative father who always said that men & women could never be friends, one would always want more & it would lead to an affair. I never questioned that because it’s my personality to listen to authority. So many people have a hard time coming to the conclusion that your bible study did. I’ll be teaching my children the same.

  • Donald,

    Great comment: “the increasingly poplar superstition that morality and sex have nothing to do with each other”. Indeed it is a superstition, a myth that has been enshrined by SCOTUS as ‘the right to privacy’. Because of that ‘myth’ there is no objective moral norm between two consenting adults

  • Went to my son’s wedding today in the Cathedral in Raleigh, NC.

    The priest who knows my wife gave her and her lover communion.
    I walked out from the wedding, got my things together and left for home.

    The bishop knows well the circumstances and was forewarned.

    That was my last Mass. I am done. I cannot be part of this anymore.
    Our children are very distraught. I told them my decision was final.
    They are now, i believe, at odds with each other but to what extent, I do not know. I have a three week old granddaughter I just met and another is expected by another daughter in August. I told my two daughters that i will not attend their baptisms.

    This is the fruit of Francis.

    Take care, Don. You are a good man.

  • Karl,
    Why would you allow anyone, cleric or layperson, to separate you from God and shatter what’s left of your family unity?
    God sees what is happening with your wife and HE alone will intervene with her in due time.
    Consider the possibility that God is calling you to engage in a radical act of mercy for the well being and future happiness of your newly married son and his bride…witness the love of Christ to your son by forgiving your wife NOW and yield your marital situation to Christ.
    Take care that you do not allow your injured Pride to fracture the marriage(s) of your children. When Jesus taught us to pray the “Pater Noster” he reminded us that His forgiveness of our sins requires us to forgive others… “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.
    Karl, we freely choose to Love and we freely choose to Hate. Choose to Love your children enough to forgive your wife and restore happiness to your home. Don’t let the seeds of your divorce take root in your children’s lives; they have lived the tragedy as well. Let joy return to your household…and go to Mass again soon.

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  • Slainte, I cannot disagree more with your counsel, given the facts presented. Adultery is a grave sin in the eyes of the Church. To remain active in such a state and then receive Holy Communion is a further sin. For bishops or priests to be aware of this situation and not attempt to correct it before administering Holy Communions is a colossal failure on their part. It is also a sin.

    Since the adultery is likely well known among those present, a public scandal has arisen, as well as the public humiliation of the affected spouse. He has a perfect right to be angry with the cowardly actions of his so-called shepherds and the reluctance of his family and friends, if they are Catholic, to rise up in his defense and counsel the adulterous wife and lover before hand (or after).

    The problem with liberal catholics is that they do not believe that Christ preached on sin, and heaven and hell. Did not Christ say to the prostitute once he forgave her sins, “Go, and sin no more?”

    Sin exists. It causes great harm to the perpetrator and to those affected by it. Unrepentant, grave sin at the time of death may very well jeopardize your immortal soul. It is the job of the Church to make sure you die repentant, without grave sin. The Church cannot do this by turning a blind eye to the sin. Mercy is not the correct action to on-going grave sin. Admonishment is. Remember the Spiritual Works.

    This particular problem is the result of the leaders in the Church acting like wolves in sheep’s clothing, saying one thing and doing another, and the sheep acting like they never received an ounce of instruction and never bothered to develop an informed conscience as adults.

    I would say to the man, make a stink! Write letters, privately—to the bishops and priests at the wedding, to your family, children, and friends, including the wife and lover. Let them know how you really feel. It can be done charitably, according to Church teaching. This is important since the scandal went public and his reaction went public. Then, go and seek out a Catholic Parish that adheres to the true teachings, and have a long discussion with the parish priest and do as he suggests. I would say. “Do not despair! Love God first, among all things, even above all those around you.”

  • Karl,
    Annulments do not fall under infallibility ergo often they are reversed at Rome appeals which also don’t give absolute certitude. Priests along the way must proceed under the assumption that the last decision was valid. They MUST give Communion to your legally divorced and annulled wife….must…until the decision is reversed if at all.. They cannot go by private judgement…either yours or theirs. They must follow the judicial decisions. All of this is separate from the Last Judgement when the perfect truth of your marriage will come out. These annullment tragedies predate Pope Francis’ odd moments by a long shot. As slainte said, yield it into Christ’s care…yield it, turn it over verbally each day to Christ in your case. You are very verbal about it here. Be verbal about to Him…to Him. You’re getting worse telling us…you’ll get better telling Him. The foregiveness part I’m not sure of in that God does not forgive a bankrobber unless he returns the cash. The foregiveness awaits the restitution. Certain sins are fixable as to their damage with great effort and in your conscience this one is fixable. You are awaiting restitution but you should forgive in this sense: you should be praying daily that God leads her away from damnation because if you really are the husband before God, then you must will her salvation until death and in that sense you must forgive her daily until death.

  • Raymond,
    I think an anullment took place but Karl rejects its decision. Am I incorrect here?

  • Don’t go, Karl. These other members of the Catholic Church who are betraying Christ are sinners. They are hurting you and all of us. They are hurting The Lord. Don’t you go away from Him too.
    I know you are crying with Him, My God, My God WHY have You forsaken me. You are participating in the suffering He took on when Peter abdicated. Jesus dealt with Peter. We let Jesus deal with Francis. Meanwhile you Karl, have to remain standing like Mary and John.

  • Acceptance of Gay marriage will necessarily lead to anti-monagamy, polyandry and polygamy because:
    1. There isn’t really any natural satisfaction in homosexual sex, this leaves a person longing for something, that something is of course the other half of humanity. All have this.
    2. The whole meaning of a pair, two, binary lovers.. Is based on heterosexual normal behavior.. Children with parents. Abolish that and you abolish the idea of two.
    3. Gay marriages are by definition naturally sterile, always. Any attempt to “have children” involves not only another person, but one of the opposite sex. At that point there’s really no transition to polyandry or poligamy, you’re already there..

  • The Old Adam: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matt. 28: 19-20.
    The Sacrament of Penance is where forgiveness of sins takes place after our original Baptism. The priest speaks “in persona Christi” the words of Jesus Christ: “I absolve you…”. Confess the sin. Do the penance, with a firm purpose of amendment.
    Karl: It is time for you to get selfish about you soul and refuse to allow anybody, for any reason, to injure your relationship with Jesus Christ. God made them. God will take care of them. God loves them more than you can.
    Cling to Jesus.

  • Raymond Nicholas,
    I don’t support adultery and I take Karl at his word that he informed the bishop of his wife’s irregular status, to wit, “The bishop knows well the circumstances and was forewarned”. Karl posted previously and disclosed additional details about his plight for which I am in full sympathy.
    The pain and injury of divorce is horrific made worse by a spouse’s betrayal in the form of adultery. This sort of trauma can emotionally cripple some and badly scar others. All members of the family suffer.
    If one has has successfully defended the marital bond in connection with an offending spouse’s petition for nullity, as Karl did, it is understandable that he should experience a sense of injustice when he observes his spouse continuing to receive communion at mass. It is unfortunate that the bishop didn’t inform Karl that he intended to permit the priest to dispense holy communion to Karl’s wife. Short of writing to the Vatican, I don’t know what other remedy is available that has not already been exhausted to resolve this debacle.
    There comes a point in every divorcee’s life when the innocent spouse must choose to forgive, but not forget, a great betrayal and injustice in order to move on with one’s life and bring peace to the home. Forgiveness heals the entire family.
    We cannot control others; Karl cannot control the bishop he forewarned or his spouse who exercised her free will unwisely. We can control ourselves, though, and how we respond to adversities. For the good of all, forgiveness is a worthy endeavor that will restore Karl to wholeness so that he can be liberated from the heaviness of the hurt that abandonment and divorce causes. God’s grace is sufficient to get us through the worst of times.

  • Since adultery requires at least one in the couple to be married, the way to get rid of adultery is to get rid of marriage, and certainly anyone who goes into marriage thinking about it like this “life coach” will not be entering a valid marriage.

  • Regarding Karl, I am not aware of any prior posts regarding divorce and/or annulment, and “who shot John” issues. Based on Karl’s brief comments, and that this was an article on adultery, it seemed to me that he was referring to yet another Church scandal, which seems to be reported with regularity on the internet, and that he has lost hope in the Church ever backing him up or following what they say.

    On the other hand, if a Church process did happen, and it was proper in all aspects, then Karl must live with the results, and he has a tough test ahead of him, as slainte says.

    Unfortunately, I know of more than one Catholic “break-up” wherein one party or the other did not like the Church ruling, so they left and joined another church in order to get married.

  • Mr. Nicholas,
    Please see Karl’s amplified statement in the comment section of this link
    Karl, I offer my prayers for your well being and that of your family.

  • Bill Bannon
    You are right to stress the provisional character of annulments. It has always been the law of the Church that declarators concerning status are never final (In the current code, see Can. 1492 §1)
    In cases concerning the validity of sacred orders or marriage, the Holy See is always prepared, on cause shown, to grant a Commission of Review, even of its own decisions. This is not an appeal, but a re-hearing on the merits.

  • slainte, I just finished reading Karl’s very long post from the link you posted. This situations is a shame of the Church and reinforces my earlier post, regarding scandal and its intended/unintended consequences.

    Obviously, Karl could use help because he feels betrayed and bitter. It very well may be the test God gave Karl in his life.

    Putting aside Karl’s soul for the moment, it seems to me that the second annulment was obtained under false pretenses and granted by an erring priest. The priest and the two lovers will have to account for their actions in the end.

  • Mr. Nicholas writes, “…It very well may be the test God gave Karl in his life…”
    We concur…hence my recommendation that Karl forgive the unforgiveable and yeild his marriage and his wife into the hands of God. The act of forgiveness does not suggest that Karl forgets or affirms his wife’s trespasses. Rather, Karl’s granting forgiveness to his undeserving wife is a radical act of mercy in imitation of Christ’s unmerited gift to us (undeserving children of Eve) in atonement for our sins.
    God will grant Karl grace to supercede his pain and a tranquil family life….in essence, beauty for his ashes.

  • Raymond Nicholas
    “granted by an erring priest”
    I would be very reluctant to accuse any judge of error, when I had not had his advantage of observing the demeanour of the witnesses and parties.

  • I will pray for Karl.

    If I had any kind of ecclesiastical authority at all, that woman and her partner in adultery would be excommunicated as of this moment. It is not because of sin, but rather, obstinate grave sin. Forgiveness is absolute, but also conditional.

    I was hesitant to post here again, but after reading slainte’s link about Karl’s situation, I simply couldn’t contain my outrage.

  • Proslogion writes: “…Forgiveness is absolute, but also conditional…:
    Thankfully God did not apply a conditional standard of forgiveness to mankind. Had He done so, He would not have sent His Son to atone for our sins by dying on the cross; and we, the unrepentant sinners, would not be saved.
    Forgiveness requires the forgiver to adhere to an ideal greater than one’s self; it causes one to reach beyond the flesh and become godlike in dispensing unmerited mercy.
    For many, it requires much prayer, much supplication, and many hours in Eucharistic Adoration seeking the strength to do what we resist on every level of our being.
    It is a test of a lifetime…would that those who commit adultery and then divorce fully apprehend the consequences of their acts on the rejected spouse.

  • I was prepared to see the blessing of adultery by the ordinary and the priest. I expected it. Against my own will, I read Tobit at the request of our son and, I presume, his fiancee. It broke my heart reading it and seeing my wife with her lover separated by her father who sat between them in the row behind our son but I worked through it.

    I was totally unprepared to see my wife and her lover be given the host, it was overwhelming. I could not bear it. I had to leave. I made no scene.

    It is not a question of forgiveness. It is a question of a broken human
    Making that choice, every moment of every day. Sometimes I fail.

    But when I failed, at that moment and after, somehow my sin became
    Worse than unrepentant public adultery.

    In defense of the priest: He is a young priest with little experience. He misunderstood the need to see me so he could understand the facts. He heard only from my wife and her lover, not me. Our daughters, who spoke with him the following day believe he was and is unprepared for such circumstances and asked me to consider their visit with him.
    This would not be written if I was unforgiving or hateful or whatever.

    But, his bishop knew the story and should have prevented it. This is fact.

    The bishop, my wife and her lover put that young priest in a position he is not equipped to adequately understand, much less deal with.

    Now, my family is shattered! One would think that bishop would move
    Heaven and earth to work to heal all that brokenness, wouldn’t one?

    But, in his defense, should the bishops in responsibility wherever my wife and her lover have lived for the passed more than two decades not have attempted the same, again and again, before him?

    There is no annulment. There may be one granted in the near future, for reasons i have just learned but which i feel should not be mentioned, but not for reasons supported by Canon Law or its underlying theology. Not good reasons.

    Do pray for all of us but, pray more for priests and bishops to work to restore marriages rather than supporting adultery, which is what they are doing now and have been for decades and decades.

  • Karl,
    Jesus will not co-exist within a heart that is inflamed with anger, even if that anger is righteous as yours appears to be.
    Please consider prayer, supplication, and spending time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. Invite him into your heart; ask him to extinguish the negative emotions that have taken root; request that he silence the endless internal monologue of self blame you may recite; and ask Him to bless you with His Grace.
    Do all of this repeatedly, if necessary, and I promise you that in time He will restore you and make you whole again. If not for yourself, do this for your children and grandchildren.
    The Serenity Prayer
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    Forever in the next.

    –Reinhold Niebuhr
    Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will direct your paths.
    Proverbs 3, 5-6

  • Slainte,
    Be careful speaking for Jesus as to where his is. He lived among and moved among some ugly characters. I believe you meant no harm but
    Only God knows my heart and the horrors i have faced from the Catholic Church for at least 25 years.

    The corruption is thorough. I have only, within the last day or two, come to understand it in frighteningly concrete ways regarding annulments, even though i have fought this system since 1991.

    Do you not understand that NO BISHOP has shut his mouth, opened his mind and his heart and sat down with me, in face of our valid marriage and asked me….”what can i do to work to heal this?” Not in this entire nightmare!

    If you or any person does not find that completely unacceptable and outrageously, gravely and scandalously harmful, then you need your prayers more than i do. Have you personally contacted your bishop about this and demanded he act and demonstrate that he has? If not, then you should.

    How can i sit down with men who have turned their back on me and our marriage for decades? To ask that of me is to ask a woman to sit down with her unrepentant rapist with no defense.

    If this offends you, then you need to try to walk in my shoes and the shoes of others who walk the same walk.

    The clergy do not care. If they did their actions would indicate it.

    Please stop pouring salt on my wounds. Unless the clergy are forced to act, this marital and child holocaust goes on and on and on.

    Stop telling me of my unrepentance and say the same to your clergy and hierarchy. You are persecuting me and our marriage and supporting rapists!

    If they drop to their knees in repentance for their scandalous neglect and rent their clothes and tender their resignations to show their outrage at themselves and their callous clerical selfrighteous hatred, their might be a place to start! But these persecutors must remove their knives from my throat and the throats of our children first!

    I have never shut the damn door. These men have never opened it. I have been knocking on it for 25 years, begging for help and been ignored.

    Do you feel better now, slainte. And yes, i know and believe you meant only good. So do I. But you have seen the tip of my pain.

    Forgive me, dear, sincerely. I had to let you see it.

  • Karl – I’ll pray for you. I’m truly sorry for your pain – we fallen and imperfect people, in our own self-absorption, sometimes cause great pain to those who trust us. May God Bless you.
    To those who are criticizing or rebuking or “advising” Karl, I would respectfully suggest that you review the Book of Job and particularly God’s warning to Job’s “sympathetic friends”.
    Regarding the original content of this article, the legitimization of adultery in western society, persuasive rationalization is a tool used by satan to mislead man throughout history – the pagan spiritualist in this piece sounds very similar to satan tempting Eve in the garden.

Till Death Do Us Part

Saturday, May 10, AD 2014



One thing I hate about leftists is that they are quite expert at changing the meaning of words and phrases to suit their political goals.  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, at Midwest Conservative Journal gives us a prime example of this  and also provides us a stirring tribute by a son to his father:

Susan Russell on Robbie’s split:

[Our marriages] are equally blessed and equally challenging. They are equally full of joy and equally full of disappointment. We equally love and cherish each other and we equally hurt and misunderstand each other. And, when a marriage fails, we are equally sad, scared and heartbroken. Just as the values that make up a marriage transcend the gender of the couple in the marriage, so do the challenges. And because all of our marriages are — for better or for worse — equal, they deserve equal protection under the law.

Do go on.

What I believe is that the vow “until death do us part” is absolutely binding on absolutely every marriage. And what I know is that sometimes the death that ends a marriage isn’t the death of one of the partners but the death of the marriage itself. And when that happens, the faithful thing — the honest thing, the healthy thing — is to grieve the death of the marriage. And then, from a Christian perspective, to trust the Easter promise that love is stronger than death — even the death of a marriage.

“The death of the marriage.”  The.  Death.  Of.  The.  Marriage.  Seriously, Susie?!!  Do you REALLY want to play that card?  Because if you do, you’ve just granted “spiritual” permission for every single bimbo in the entire world to sleep around on her husband and every single a-hole in the entire world to sleep around on his wife.

Good Lord.  So all that incessant Episcopalian yammering about blessing “life-long, committed relationships” actually was complete crap?

[Robbie’s divorce] teaches us that even good people of deep faith with the best intentions can fail at making the marriage they hoped would be forever last forever. It teaches us that telling the truth about our lives and our challenges is not only healthy for us but can be in inspiration for others. And, most of all, it teaches us, in Gene Robinson’s own words: “Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot.”

Particularly when they can just declare the marriage “dead” and move on.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Episcopalians have retired the rationalization trophy.  Nobody else was ever in the ballgame.

Are you all interested in a little Johnson family history?  While doing genealogical research into my father’s side of the family, I sent to Ness County, Kansas for a copy of the marriage record of my paternal grandparents and discovered something that nobody in the family previously knew.

Let’s just say that the time between when my grandparents got married and when my father’s older brother was born was a good deal less than nine months.  Dad thought it had to have been a mistake but my aunt heard stories of Kansas girls who suddenly ran off to Kansas City because of wink, wink.

If anybody out in Ness City, Kansas knew, they didn’t say anything because my dad told me once that when he was a kid, his family used to go out there all the time and he actually seemed to have an affection for the place, insisting that we go out there on the car trip he and I took a year or so before his final illness.

And I was delighted to go.

Anyway, my grandparents married in 1917 and they made a life together in Kansas City.  Grandma had two other children, my dad and my uncle.  But my grandfather abruptly ended the marriage in 1957.

By dropping dead from an aortic aneurysm at the barber shop one day.

Then there was my old man.  I think I’ve mentioned here before that he and I didn’t get along all that well when I was a kid.  He was ex-military, I was a sensitive kid and he didn’t always much patience with kids who didn’t pick things up right away.

When I was a little kid, Pop had this tendency to snap at me whenever I tried to make what I thought was a contribution to the conversation (I’m pushing 60 and the words, “Don’t get smart!!” hurt as much now as they did then).  While it didn’t happen much, he wasn’t above humiliating me in front of the entire family if he was angry enough.

But do you want to know the really funny part?

Continue reading...

25 Responses to Till Death Do Us Part

  • True true true.
    As my brother often says when we are all sitting around the table pontificating after dinner: “I want to say this about that.”
    When Jesus makes a statement about no marriage in heaven he talks about us living there like the angels. Angels don”t procreate. Jesus indicates the importance of the possibility of procreation in marriage.

  • The Anglican problems with marriage go back to 1533.

  • My wife left me for a family friend 5 years ago, a sociopath who was looking for revenge after his on wife had left him for a physician.

    My wife knows that I still love her and that I still want her back, and that makes her furious. I do still love her, and I made a firm resolution to get through this horribly painful time, without becoming hateful, and without turning to the comfort of a new relationship with another woman. My wife has been horribly hateful toward me now for almost 6 years. I have learned the hard way, that there is probably no pain greater than that of being hated by the one you love with all your heart more than any other in the world. The one possible exception would be the pain of knowing that she is telling all 8 of our children what a horrible man I am, in order to justify herself and her actions in their eyes. she has also stops them from going to church, calling all Churchgoers, “hypocrites.”

    A few weeks ago, after having then more or less at peace with the situation for 5 years, I was undergoing a strong temptation to begin a relationship with another woman. I was feeling tempted to think that it was okay, and that I should go ahead and finish the divorce that we had put on hold 4 years ago, in order that my wife could still use my health insurance to pay for her medications for the chronic leukemia with what she has been diagnosed. I also began to think that surely God would understand, and that the church would grant me an annulment, so that I could pursue a new relationship.

    Well, I was lying in my bed praying about it, one night, God spoke to me. He said, “Whom would you rather be with?” I began to weep, because I immediately knew that the answer was with my wife. I also immediately knew that God had known all along. I don’t know what God’s reasons are for allowing the suffering that my children and I are in enduring, but I have learned to embrace his will and to trust Him, for that is where my happiness lies. I do believe that he will use my suffering to help heal other marriages, as He has confirmed this with me. In a very mysterious way, I feel a powerful joy at the thought of being my wife’s husband, even after all we have been through.
    we are married until death, precisely because that is what our vows said. Now, after all this, those vows give me tremendous peace and joy. Praise be to God!

  • Robert J. Butler.

    Thank you.
    Your trust in the Lord isn’t new. You have been trusting Him most of your life is my guess. I am moved by your humility and faith.
    You dear soul are a disciple and close friend of Jesus.
    God bless you.
    In Him we find our Peace.

  • According to St Augustine, “Let these nuptial blessings be the objects of our love: offspring, fidelity, the unbreakable bond [sacrametum]… Let these nuptial blessings be praised in marriage by him who wishes to extol the nuptial institution” (De nupt. et conc. I, c. 17, n. 19 (PL 44, 424-425).)
    Likewise, he says, “”This is the goodness of marriage, from which it takes its glory: offspring, chaste fidelity, unbreakable bond [sacramentum]” (De pecc. orig., c. 37, n. 42 (PL 44, 406).

    Speaking of the marriage of our first parents, he says, “The sacramentum means that the marriage is not severed nor the spouse abandoned.” (De Genesi ad litteram, ix, 7, 12)

    I translate “sacramentum” as “unbreakable bond,” because St Augustine is discussing the origins of marriage, rather than the Christian dispensation and he is obviously using the word in its ordinary Latin sense. Now, the commonest meaning of “sacramentum” is the military oath, the Roman soldier’s pledge of obedience to his general and fidelity to his comrades. The Romans could conceive of no more sacred and binding obligation.

  • Robert J Butler MD: Yours is a beautiful witness to true love.

  • “One thing I hate about leftists is that they are quite expert at changing the meaning of words and phrases to suit their political goals.”

    They are quite expert at it because our side lets them do it with impunity. So, of course they are going to do it.

  • Didn’t “Bishop Robbie” divorce his real wife to “marry” his partner? Or am I getting my stories mixed up.

  • Examples Greg of how our side “lets them get away with it”, considering they largely control academia, entertainment and news. Those are powerful megaphones that we do not control. That is the “secret” of their success. Repeat a phrase endlessly, or give an old phrase a new twist, and most people will pick it up eventually, and that is what the left is very good at indeed since they control the output of most of the chattering classes.

  • This is the sort of thing that happens when a culture adopts utilitarianism. Anything becomes permissible as long as you make reference to pleasure. Marriage is a good. Good is based on pleasure. If one is no longer pleased it’s no longer good. If it’s no longer good, it’s no longer a marriage, no matter what the outward appearance. Because pleasure is internal, what it looks like from the outside no longer matters.

  • Doc Butler,

    Good for you. You are a better man than I, which is pleasing to read.


  • Well, let’s see, the left redefines being pro-abortion with the misnomer pro-choice and they have had our side calling them that for over forty years. That’s one big one.
    Then, when the Obama administration comes out with the HHS mandate, one of the conservatives leading lights (in the view of many, not me, I’ve never trusted him) Marco Rubio comes out touting with some kind of religious liberty protection act. In addition to the fact that it had no chance to survive Harry Reid’s senate and getting Obama’s signature, it was unwittingly saying the First Amendment doesn’t mean what it says
    Those are two examples and there are others. As far as the left control the entertainment and media, what efforts have conservatives made to buy out these entities. And conservatives have far more influence in these entities than we realize with the advent of talk radio. You also have conservatives in Hollywood coming out as such in ways you didn’t see years ago. But our side still hasn’t made a real effort to take back control of the terms of the debate. We can’t stop them from using these misnomers to describe themselves, but we can stop ourselves from using them to describe them. An uphill battle to be sure, but a necessary one.

  • “Well, let’s see, the left redefines being pro-abortion with the misnomer pro-choice and they have had our side calling them that for over forty years. That’s one big one.”

    Most pro-lifers I read refer to pro-aborts as pro-abortion or pro-abortion rights.

    “Marco Rubio comes out touting with some kind of religious liberty protection act.”

    Which almost assuredly will pass in some form if the Republicans gain control of Congress this fall, and it will be amusing to see Obama veto it. Legislation in this area can have a very broad impact, as demonstrated by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, on what the Federal government can and can’t do.

    “As far as the left control the entertainment and media, what efforts have conservatives made to buy out these entities.”

    I don’t see how conservatives can buy out enough of any of these entities to make a difference. Better to start new ones like Fox in news, Franciscan University in Steubenville, and in entertainment support projects like the proposed Gosnell film.

    The left gained a key victory in taking control of academia, and changing that is going to be difficult, although their victory may come with a short future shelf life as I suspect the years of the traditional brick and mortar colleges and universities, at least as they are presently configured are numbered, because of cost and poor quality if for no better reasons.

    I agree with your underlying premise that conservatives should never allow liberals to state the terms of the debate and that when conservatives do allow this disaster beckons.

  • “I agree with your underlying premise that conservatives should never allow liberals to state the terms of the debate and that when conservatives do allow this disaster beckons.”
    By calling leftists liberals, you have just fallen into the trap of what I am talking about. These people who are taking away liberty wholesale. There’s nothing “liberal” about that. Don’t feel too bad, even Rush Limbaugh, the most influential conservative since Reagan, constantly falls into that trap. In fact, the only radio personality that I know of who never calls leftist liberals is Dennis Prager. He always calls leftism leftism. I’ve never heard him call it liberalism or call leftists liberals.

    Yeah, Obama would veto any religious liberty legislation that hits his desk. He could very easily spin it into coded racism or some other bullshit. As far as the 1993 act goes, that hasn’t stopped Obama from imposing the HHS Mandate. Now, it looks like the Supreme Court will strike it down, but that’s not even a sure thing. But the underlying effect of these things unwittingly saying the First Amendment doesn’t mean what it says is still the most effectual.

  • “Most pro-lifers I read refer to pro-aborts as pro-abortion or pro-abortion rights.”

    Often times, you will see prominent orthodox Catholic publications saying things like “You can’t be Catholic and pro-choice.” I see that turn of phrase a lot more than I see the opposite.

  • “By calling leftists liberals, you have just fallen into the trap of what I am talking about.”

    I don’t think so. “Liberal” has become such a dirty word that most on the left call themselves progressives. Most people have no idea of the 19th century use of the term (under that usage I would be a liberal) and associate it with the left.

    “But the underlying effect of these things unwittingly saying the First Amendment doesn’t mean what it says is still the most effectual.”

    I can see your point but I don’t agree with it. Congress cannot restrict a liberty guaranteed under the Constitution but it can expand that liberty which in effect is what the 1993 act did. Considering that most liberal Supreme Court Justices treat the Constitution like Play-Doh it is helpful to also have a federal act on point.

  • May 13th is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and also the day a three judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments in a case challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. Prayers are needed to preserve the ban!

  • Why has liberalism become a dirty word? I would say stop calling them liberals and just call them leftists. If the Supreme Court treats the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, like “play-doh” then what’s to stop them from striking down lesser laws under that very rubric. Something they do regularly.

  • I am blessed to have folks who have been married for 47 years and much of what I know about sticking to it and finding joy, over and over, I learned from them. The best example of marriage that I’ve personally experienced was from my father’s friend, Ray Rose.

    As a child, his marriage to Edith was a mystery. She was home for a few weeks, laughing and happy, then sullen and short, then gone for months. The cycle repeated itself year after year.

    When Edith Rose died, I was around 14. Driving to the funeral, my folks told me that Mrs. Rose suffered from bouts of depression and violence and was repeatedly hospitalized. When she was in the hospital, Mr. Rose visited her every day and, when she was stable enough to be out he took her home.

    I said that I understood but I didn’t “get” it until I married. Only then did I come to grasp, at a surface level to be sure, the devotion Ray Rose showed and the burden he shouldered.

    I talked to my Papa about it a few years ago and he told me that Ray hadn’t had a vacation, not a single day, in nearly fifty years. He was an insurance adjuster and visited his wife between calla, passing up promotions so that he wouldn’t have to move her.

    She hd only been healthy for a couple of years but, after losing a baby late in a pregnancy, had gone in for her first hospital stay. They never had children. And, yet, he was there for her, truly “in sickness and in health” until she died. He only lived a few years after that.

    Papa told me that, anytime he and my mother were fighting or unhappy, he would look up the hill at the Rose house to see if the lights were on and it would bring things back into perspective.

  • David Spaulding.

    Thanks for the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Rose. Truly inspiring!

  • “then what’s to stop them from striking down lesser laws under that very rubric.”

    It is harder for a Court to strike down a Federal statute with specific language than it is for them to “interpret” the usually broad language of the Constitution. Plus, Congress is in charge of making statutes so they can always pass a new statute meeting the deficiency pointed out in the court decision striking down the old statute. That happens all the time. When it comes to the Constitution, absent a constitutional amendment, the Supreme Court is the final word. When it comes to Federal statutes they usually are not, especially in regard to a statute that expands a liberty guaranteed under the Constitution.

  • Doc Butler and Karl,
    Typed you on to my permanent prayer list. I Cor. 13:7… ” Love….. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
    You guys are whole burnt offerings for the souls of these women if you offer it up with perseverance in Christ in the Mass for them. You have become Christ to and for them in that respect…the perfect spouse.
    ” He who loses his life for my sake, will save it.”. But….hope in their repentance….” hopes all things”.

  • I will be attending our son’s wedding at the Cathedral in Raleigh at the end of the month. I still have no news regarding round two of our annulment case, which I had hoped would put an end to the “unsettled” issue for both of us. I presume she will be in attendance with her long time civil spouse. It will be a very emotional time for me. My youngest daughter and I are planning(we have yet to practice together as she lives near Raleigh) to sing an acapella version of the Everly Brothers’, Let It Be Me, for the newlyweds at the reception. I have asked my daughter to be my “rock”. I do not know how I will be able to hold it together singing such a beautiful love song in the presence of my wife…..

    I sure could use the prayers.

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Greece v. Galloway

Tuesday, May 6, AD 2014


Yesterday, in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court reached the stunningly obvious conclusion, under the text of the Constitution, the views of the Founding Fathers and the historic practice in this country, that prayers prior to town meetings are not unconstitutional under the First Amendment.  Go here to read the text of the opinion.  Of course the four liberals on the court, for whom the text of the Constitution is so much Play-Doh, dissented.  I was going to write a post on the decision, but Christopher Johnson,  a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Church so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has beat me to it:




I’m not a lawyer, I just pretend to be one on the Internet so I apologize if there’s too much technical jargon in this post.  But yesterday, CNN’s Daniel Burke reported that the United States Supreme Court told people who claim that the mere sight of a Christian cross compels them to become Christians or who claim to break out in a cold sweat whenever they hear someone say “Jesus Christ” to grow a pair and man the hell up:

If you don’t like it, leave the room.

That’s the essence of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s advice for atheists and others who object to sectarian prayers before government meetings.

In a 5-4 decision written by Kennedy, the Supreme Court allowed Greece, New York, to continue hosting prayers before its monthly town board meetings – even though an atheist and a Jewish citizen complained that the benedictions are almost always explicitly Christian.

Many members of the country’s majority faith – that is, Christians – hailed the ruling.

Considering the intellectual vacuity of court rulings on the Establishment Clause over the years, any schadenfreude yesterday, Chris?  Yeah, a little bit.  I’d use “wailing and gnashing of teeth” here but that’s Biblical and I don’t want to offend anyone.

Many members of minority faiths, as well as atheists, responded with palpable anger, saying the Supreme Court has set them apart as second-class citizens.

Groups from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism to the Hindu American Foundation decried Monday’s decision.

“The court’s decision to bless ‘majority-rules’ prayer is out of step with the changing face of America, which is more secular and less dogmatic,” said Rob Boston, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which litigated the case.

If you don’t like it, step out of the room for a few moments.

But what about people who like their local government meetings to be religion-free?

“Should nonbelievers choose to exit the room during a prayer they find distasteful, their absence will not stand out as disrespectful or even noteworthy,” Kennedy writes.

Elections matter, folks.  Because they can result in stupid people getting lifetime jobs.

[Justice Elena] Kagan, writing for the dissenting minority, sharply disagreed.

She suggested that the five justices who formed the majority – all of whom are Catholic – don’t understand what it’s like to belong to a minority faith in America.

Did Burke happen to mention that the majority in this case was Roman Catholic?

The Supreme Court’s Catholic majority seems to think that, because many prayers before government meetings take on a ceremonial aspect, the actual content of the prayers doesn’t really matter, Kagan continues.

Just checking.

In essence, she said, the majority is arguing “What’s the big deal?” and making light of religious differences while conferring a special role on Christianity.

“Contrary to the majority’s apparent view, such sectarian prayers are not ‘part of our expressive idiom’ or ‘part of our heritage and tradition,’ assuming that ‘our’ refers to all Americans. They express beliefs that are fundamental to some, foreign to others – and because of that they carry the ever-present potential to divide and exclude.”

Ellie?  Have you ever actually read the Establishment Clause?  It says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  That’s it.

There’s nothing in there about division or exclusion or any of the rest of that hippie crap.  Put it another way.  What if that town board brought in a Muslim to offer a prayer one evening, he opened with “In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful” and mentioned Mohammed a time or two, using that “peace and blessings be upon him” line?

Know what I would do if that happened, Ellie?

Absolutely nothing.

I wouldn’t make a scene or anything.  But I wouldn’t pray.  I’d sit there quietly and respectfully until the gentleman finished and then I guess we’d proceed with town business.  The fact that a Muslim publicly prayed while I was in the room neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg, as Mr. Jefferson once put it.

And it certainly doesn’t constitute an establishment of the Muslim religion in that town, Ellie, your tortured reading of the First Amendment notwithstanding.

One more thing.  Atheists?  What is the deal with you people?  Why do you always turn up in stories like this?  You don’t believe this stuff or at least you claim that you don’t so why legally force people who disagree with you to keep quiet?  What difference does it make to you if someone publicly expresses concepts that you find absurd?

Sounds REAL insecure to me.

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25 Responses to Greece v. Galloway

  • “One more thing. Atheists? What is the deal with you people? Why do you always turn up in stories like this? You don’t believe this stuff or at least you claim that you don’t so why legally force people who disagree with you to keep quiet? What difference does it make to you if someone publicly expresses concepts that you find absurd? Sounds REAL insecure to me.”

    There is no “God”. And I hate him. ~ Atheists

  • “stunningly obvious conclusion” – Not quite so stunningly to four of them, credentialed cretins.

  • It feels like they are throwing us a bone. That they are may sing wincing a bit at their own record. That they know the continuing trajectory and don’t see that they can really do anything about it and cannot or will not muster the intellectual arguments to Really change the trend, hence the graceless throwing of the bone. A bit of salve.

  • The Supreme Court has no group mentality Anzlyne. Rather it consists of two factions with Kennedy as the effective arbiter. If you think that is a sad way for a great country to run its affairs, you are absolutely correct.

  • Liberals would allow public prayer to Allah, Buddha or even Zeus or Odin, but never to Jesus Christ.

    Liberalism is a sin:

  • “people who claim that the mere sight of a Christian cross compels them to become Christian”
    Atheists, or people who adhere to atheism, deny the immortal, rational, human soul; the human being composed of body and metaphysical soul. In denying the human being as he is created by “our Creator”, atheism denies all human rights, alienable and unalienable, but especially the practice of free will, that part of the man who most resembles and images the Supreme Sovereign Being, WHOM atheism denies. To allow man to practice his freedom identifies the human being, exercising the unalienable civil right to freedom, in this particular case, freedom of religion, man’s response to almighty God for his freedom; identifies the human being exercising the free will endowed to his soul by God, but not by the state, as a creature of God, making of the atheist, a fool, and of atheism, a trick of the devil, who does indeed believe in God, his Creator.
    The state, constituted by the citizen with his God-given sovereign personhood, cannot, by reason of the rational soul, own the citizen, the sovereign person, except by consent of the individual who makes his free will choice in freedom, never through coercion, makes a free will consent to serve the state, as statesmen.

  • In the British Houses of Parliament, prayers are read before each day’s business.
    There is a charming custom that those members present may reserve their seats on the benches during the rest of the day by leaving their Order Papers on them, which others may not. If there is a major debate in the afternoon or evening, Prayers tend to be very well attended.

  • Our founding principles inscribed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for the United States of America must be taught in all schools. Education into the real freedoms of man ought to be in the hearts and minds of each and every person. If the atheist does not like it he may go someplace else. The USSR did not allow Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist, entrance. Only one dictator to a gulag.
    Yes, God created time for evolution to evolve, and God created man for Himself…and man created the Supreme Court to dispense God’s Justice and Truth. Atheists who do not believe in Justice and Truth need not apply.

  • “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” affirms the human being in his freedom, confirms the human being’s freedom as separate from the state, defines the individual human being as a moral being, as the state must prosecute crime, “the free exercise thereof ” is acknowledgement by the state that man is created a moral being, a righteous being.

  • The religion clauses reach in different directions and are necessarily a bit vexing. Their imprecision, while appropriate for a constitution, is always going to give rise to debate regarding boundaries and their contours, some of it quite reasonable. But the irony that has always been obvious to me is how the rather narrowly phrased establishment clause has been so expansively interpreted while the comparatively broad exercise clause has so often been given a cramped understanding.

  • I know you are right Donald. No real group think. I guess there’s a real identifiable difference in the way liberals and conservatives think. I mean their “method” of thinking. but maybe just common sense won the swing vote this time ?

  • Or maybe that swing voter just threw us a bone

  • For believers this is good news. It is the latest decision from SCOTUS [no relation to Blessed Duns Scotus btw lol] concerning the delicate relationship between “Church and State”. Thw tradition of the Court concerning the First Amendment has been all over the place, and probably will in the future. This, however, was a positive development.

  • “Judicial liberals are simply unable to understand they are judges and not legislators. Their views on good or bad public policy are simply irrelevant.”

    I can recall Catholic judges and at least one Jewish judge sitting as Lord Ordinary in Teind Causes. Until 2004, the Teind court dealt with matters relating to church teinds (tithes) and stipends (the financial burden on land payable to the Church of Scotland). The judges of the Court of Session sat in the Teind Court on a rota. No one imagined for a moment that their personal affiliations were of any relevance whatsoever.

  • “….our public institutions belong no less to the Buddhist or Hindu than to the Methodist or Episcopalian.” Kagan

    This may be one of my dumber questions but: is that true? do minority opinions matter just as much in a democracy? does the majority rule?

  • I don’t mean do they MATTER… of course we care about them. I just mean are they just as important when setting up civic procedures and protocols etc as what the majority of people choose. I don’t think Kagan is right on this.

  • Kennedy: “Government may not mandate a civic religion that stifles any but the most generic reference to the sacred any more than it may prescribe a religious orthodoxy.” I agree with his warning here- yes- there is a danger of this “civic religion” being established.

    In 1992 Kennedy said that Christian prayer at a high school graduation is unconstitutional. After Monday’s opinion he said that civic meetings are different from high school commencement because of the age of the audience and the freedom to leave if they do not like the prayer. Seems like a weak justification for his change of heart, but thank God for it.

    Could it be that the swing voter is “evolving” ?

  • Godless liberal Democrats will always support a Muslim or a Hindu or a Buddhist, but not a Christian and certainly not a Catholic Christian, even and especially if the Justice making the decision is a so-called Catholic Christian like Kagan or Sotomeyer. In the eyes of a Democrat, individual rights matter for everyone but a Christian. Nothing has changed since the Democrats advocated slavery in the 19th century.

  • Atheists should shut up and leave the rest of us alone. I find atheism repugnant and so many of its adherents are obnoxious.

    Atheists point fingers at Christians and, as William Bennett once said, “beat us over the heads with our own virtue”.

    Dostoyevsky (sic) put it very well in The Brothers Karamazov. If there is no God then there is no right or wrong. When Man decides for himself what is right or wrong Man will find ways to justify evil and call it a choice.

    Atheists really don’t like it when guilt by association is plastered all over atheists.

  • What I don’t get-on the surface-is why they get so upset at God etc. If He and all the rest are myth, etc why hould they care? Do we get upset at the tooth fairy or Easter bunny?

    However, on the deeper level, they know well why they care. Atheism is in fact a morphed variation of the most ancient of religions: pantheism [root of polytheism—>paganism etc] They might sound different, look different, but they actually are the same crowd we were facing in the first three hundred years of our history in the Roman Empire (including Emperor worship) and later in the rest of Europe. In short… they’re baaaaaacccccckkkkk!

  • In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court went looking for the human “person” to not abort, but did not find the person to not abort. The Constitution must be taken as a whole and not made piecemeal. Any member of the human species is a human being, embraced or tolerated, the human being is an entity unto himself and the Law of the Land is every bit one person’s as it is all persons’. E Pluribus Unum”
    The newly conceived has constitutional law on his side in behalf of his unalienable human rights. All generations to be conceived have constitutional law on their side. How can next year’s generation have constitutional law on their side but not this year’s generation? Roe v. Wade was and still is mob rule.
    The sovereign person constitutes the government with his sovereign personhood from the first moment of his existence. Since the state did not create the human being’s existence, the state cannot claim right to destroy human existence. The individual worships God in thought, word and deed and his freedom to love God is inscribed in our First Amendment.
    Roe v. Wade never proved that the newly begotten was not loving God and thereby not fulfilling his First Amendment civil rights. For an individual, the newly begotten, yet unborn, loving God is exercising his freedom of religion and his right to speak and assemble peaceably with God. As he grows arms and legs, he is peaceably assembling. No pun intended.
    In the final analysis, it is the school shootings after the removal of “Thou shalt not kill”, Ten Commandments, that has energized the Supreme Court to return God to the public square.

  • “Should nonbelievers choose to exit the room during a prayer they find distasteful, their absence will not stand out as disrespectful or even noteworthy,” Kennedy writes.”
    The person elected to chair any public meeting is the person delegated to choose and say the prayer. If a Muslim is elected, the body will hear a Muslim prayer. Why do our judges have such impervious ignorance?
    The atheist chooses his position in this matter and must live his choice. Nobody makes of him a second class citizen. Framing himself as a victim, the atheist is starting to get wearisome.

  • Mary De Voe,

    Your reasonings & logic are superb! Here! Here!

    ( you wouldnt happen to have a single son over 40 would you?) 😉

  • “In the final analysis, it is the school shootings after the removal of “Thou shalt not kill”, Ten Commandments, that has energized the Supreme Court to return God to the public square” Great point Mary De Voe

  • About atheists:

    This malarkey will continue until the courts, which have already made ‘secular humanism’ a de facto religion for the purpose of conscientious objection to military service, decide to make ‘secular humanism’ a religion for the purpose of the establishment clause. The atheists would howl: “Atheism is not a religion!” Perhaps not in a theological sense, but there is no doubt that atheists want atheism to be the state religion of this country. Sorry guys, the legal precedent is already there, you wanted your belief system to be treated as equivalent to a religion to escape conscription, so there is no reason why your belief system cannot be treated as the equivalent of a religion in the Constitutional prohibition of a state religion. PDQ.

Pope Francis and “Father” Bergoglio

Thursday, April 24, AD 2014



Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, over at his Midwest Conservative Journal  takes a look at the cold call imbroglio:

A new Roman Catholic Doctrinal FirestormTM has recently erupted:

Did Pope Francis tell a divorced and remarried woman that it was okay to take Communion even though her parish priest denied her the host?

That’s the latest kerfuffle created by the “cold-call” pope who on Monday, the day after Easter, called an Argentine woman who had written to him about whether she should receive communion at Mass even though she was divorced and remarried.

“There are priests who are more papist than the pope,” the pope himself reportedly told Jacquelina Lisbona.

Kudos to CNN, which UPDATES the story with reporting from three continents (literally): CNN has a Vatican spokesman confirming that the call did indeed take place, but the Rev. Thomas Rosica provided no details.

“It’s between the Pope and the woman,” said Rosica, a consultant for the Vatican press office.

“To draw any conclusions about this particular situation, that the Pope may be setting an agenda, is incorrect,” Rosica told the network. “The Pope is first and foremost an esteemed pastor, and dealing with a human situation is always complex.”

That’s good to keep in mind, though if the contents of the pope’s conversation with Lisbona are true, then this is a big deal, at least in terms of the example Francis is setting rather than the doctrine that he is not changing.

Here’s the woman’s account of the phone call.

“The phone rang and my husband answered. It was Fr. Bergoglio calling. The father asked to speak to me and my husband asked: ‘Who’s calling?’, to which the voice replied ‘Fr. Bergoglio.’ I asked him if it was really him, the pope, and he said it was and that he was calling in response to my letter dated September.

“Then he told me there are some priests who are more papist that the pope. He was completely normal with me on the phone and I tried to speak to him with the utmost respect. Now I am overwhelmed by the enormous effect this story has had and I feel moved by the fact that I spoke to Francis. I told him I would write to him again when I take Communion again.”

Was this call actually made?  It seems to have been.

Yes, the pope called Jacquelina Lisbona. The real question regards the content of the conversation. If indeed he said those things this would be a big deal because she is still in what the church would call an “irregular” marriage. Her husband is divorced, and they have not been married in the church.

In any case, Francis once again has set an example for the rest of the hierarchy even without changing church law, and it’s in keeping with the pope’s character — Francis has frequently shown little patience with priests who are “little monsters” (his words) who cite “small-minded” rules rather than ministering mercy to people.

Damian Thompson has posts on this story up here and here.  This site’s Catholic readership can hash this out in the comments (in fact, I hope you guys do) but I am, for the most part, going to adhere to MCJ policy about controversial Roman Catholic news stories, hold off for a few days and wait to see how this thing plays out.

But somebody is going to have to remind Francis of the difference between a parish priest and the leader of a great Christian church as well as the reigning sovereign of the world’s oldest, continuous monarchy.  Parish priests have a certain rhetorical latitude that popes do not, indeed cannot, have.

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53 Responses to Pope Francis and “Father” Bergoglio

  • Every other week seems to bring a story indicating the man is unsuitable for the office he holds. The conclave made what appears to have been a tragic error.

  • Cardinal Wojtyła, when he heard of the death of John Paul I, reportedly went to the Blessed Sacrament and prayed about the meaning of this short reign. I think we too have to go the the Blessed Sacrament to try to understand what the Holy Spirit is doing through (in spite of?) Pope Francis.

    My initial take is that the Spirit is using this Pope to prune the vine. What Francis says can be squared with Catholic teaching but, given society, it is frequently misinterpreted and used to lead many away from Christ. That is not what Francis intends I’m sure. But it may very well be what God intends.

  • An interesting take, Philip.

    His treatment of fellow priests disturbs me. What about telling someone who is, in fact, not able to receive communion, that doing so is sinful, is “papist” or monstrous? Sure, there has been far too much coverup in the Church to protect fellow clergy BUT we aren’t talking about a priest who did something wrong: quite the opposite, really.

    If we are going to have men answer their calling, it cannot be that the whole world is against them, including their pope.

  • My maniac opinion: Divorce is not only a sin of adultery. It can be a sin against charity and forgiveness. One or both spouses could not forgive and that broke up the marriage. We never hear anyhing like this anymore: One of the Spiritual Works sin “Forgive all injuries.”

    Of course, if the woman and the pope think being happy in the here-and-now is more vital than being happy in the hereafter, the “more Catholic” among us may as well be spitting in the ocean.

  • It seems clear that the call was made which seems foolish to begin with. Whether the Pope said what the lady reports is not clear.

    What is clear is that Francis continues to do “his thing” regardless of consequences. This certainly is not humble. Also, as was said to me in residency, this Pope seems refractory to learning. So be it. That makes him a fool and God will do with fools as He wills.

  • Hearsay. Do not annulments have to be written on paper? Without written response, is this authentic?

  • His treatment of fellow priests disturbs me

    You could have said that about his predecessor once-removed on occasion, especially re the priests who had carefully explained to their lady parishioners why the assumptions of lay girl culture were invalid re the liturgy who were then told one fine day that it would ‘enrich’ the liturgy for them to be assisted by young girls who could never be ordained.

  • Who has the authority to suspend his phone privileges? A month into his papacy and I thought him to be the most provincial pontiff of my memory; his every act seems to justify my initial assessment.

  • ‘ ” There are priests who are more papist than the pope,” the pope himself reportedly told Jacquelina Lisbona. ‘

    Pope Francis is making it easy for most priests to fall into this category—increasingly so every day. Now, if only he could be a pope.

    Rabbi Abraham Skorka of Buenos Aires, a good friend of Bergoglio, calls him “a revolutionary.” It is hard to be both pope and revolutionary at once.

    As the Church moves almost inevitably in the direction of internal schism under this reincarnation of Bergoglio’s mentor and revolutionary model, Card. Carlo Maria Martini, I do wonder if the Pontiff-Revolutionary will ever come to be more temperate in his comments, realizing it is easier to cook a live frog by slowly increasing the heat, rather than lighting up the Weber full-blast.

    So, each day, inexorably, he is clearly showing more and more people where he appears to be going. The SSPX and other fractious groups already realized it in the 1st 12 months. More and more people, like Christopher Johnson, are forced to realize it each day. This isnt going to be pretty.

  • Steve, it isn’t so much like a weber gas grill being set to full blast as it is like a reactor about to go prompt critical when reactivity exceeds the effective delayed neutron precursor fraction. Startup rate becomes infinite. That is never a good thing and that is what this man seems to be doing to the Church. He is liberal. He cannot help himself for what he is, but God gives us the leaders we need. Maybe a reactivity excursion is exactly what God intends. It does have a way (albeit destructive) of blowing away the chaff.

  • PS, in the example about what is left behind glows for quite a long time. One never knows what God intends.

  • Interesting analogy Paul. I personally feel that, if this report has any substantive truth to it, that Pope Francis is about to become a very self conflicted individual. He is, probably for the first time in years, attending the School of Hard Knocks that most of us know very well. He is not going to stop being a liberal, but he is likely to become more unhappy if he cannot be more careful with his impulsive generosity. I take the Vatican’s refusal to release more details as a reflection of this view.

  • Oops, last sentence Paul: such impulsive generosity may be the chaff to which you refer.

  • Is this Pope Francis’ idea of Divine Mercy?

    Are his inspirations fueling the actions that are contradictory to church teaching, and if so are there ANY limitations to these inspirations?

    In my opinion this is THE question.

    If suddenly he is moved by the (s)pirit to eradicate centuries old tradition and teaching, then Mr. McCleary’s last sentence may be great advice; “…talk to Pope Emeritus about how sweet life in retirement can be for a Pope.”

  • Just more material for Eye of the Tiber.

  • Isn’t it a delight to be led by an exhibitionist? For my part, I’m just about at the end of my rope.

    Oddly enough, Belloc leapt to mind today.

    “We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.”

  • Dale Price, Dr Jerry Pournelle often quotes that piece from Belloc.

  • I said it before. I never wanted a pope from Latin America. He is not qualified for the job. he says and does what he wants, almost as if to get back at the cardinals who elected him to be pope.

    We shall survive Jorge Bergoglio as the Holy Father. The Church survived Borgia, not without great harm being done in the process.

  • Mr. Price,

    I have been at the end of my rope since 1989 when my wife’s insurrection started then moved to adultery, all with the open public support of the Catholic Church everywhere she and her lover have
    slept together, since. Buck up. It gets worse and worse and worse. All we have is Jesus Christ. We must follow him. It is about time that monsters like Francis have stepped out from the closet to show us who the real leaders of the Catholic Church have become and have been for a long, long time.

    As furious as I am at this man, I am glad he is “out”. Men like him are who I have seen behind the scenes for decades.

  • Belloc also leapt to my mind today — again:

    “The Catholic Church is an institute run with such knavish imbecility that, were the hand of God not upon Her, She would perish within a fortnight.”

  • It should be obvious, especially to a faithful Catholic, that both a modicum of charity and common sense would demand not commenting in the manner we see here until we have the necessary facts. And from what I can see, we are not even close to having them in this case.

  • Fr. Frank:
    “Belloc also leapt to my mind today — again:
    “The Catholic Church is an institute run with such knavish imbecility that, were the hand of God not upon Her, She would perish within a fortnight.””
    Blessed Belloc.
    Karl: “As furious as I am at this man, I am glad he is “out”. Men like him are who I have seen behind the scenes for decades.”

    Identify the man’s error and correct him. Prayers.

  • So which persona is the clown, Father Bergoglio or Pope Francis?

  • I’m with Greg on this one. We don’t know what PF said. Perhaps we think the phone thing not a good idea, but we still don’t know the content. A statement from PF about the content seems appropriate or at least desirable.

  • A call and conversation between the Pope and the woman did take place. That we know. Apparently there was some discussion concerning her (alone?) ability/permission to receive Holy Communion. The statement that a divorced person [note: simply divorced] is able to receive Holy Communion with not issues etc also sounds right. But that is is far as I can figure out what actually took place [it is like historical research lol]

    Now, enters the husband, who is the one who has been divorced and is now remarried. We have no idea about his background and faith life [his “wife” was the one who wrote the Pope; seems like he could have cared less] Now he explodes on Facebook more bragging than anything else that the Pope called. Almost everything is coming through his lips/fingers. Like the atheist Italian editor who as an octagenarian recalled the words of the Pope from his memory (with all of his ‘theological astuteness and sensitivity as an atheist) this man puts forward his version of the pope’s call. Almost everything is coming filtered through him. How accurate is this? And we are going to rest our ‘positions’ concerning Pope Francis’ direction in Church teaching on this evidence?

    Now, I won’t argue that a phone call by any cleric (never mind a pope) on such a complex issue as marriage and divorce is nothing but ‘warning, warning’ written all over it. No argument over this at all. However if we are honest with ourselves, we will just have to sit back and wait, and see if more reliable information comes forth. No matter what happened, even if the pope did indeed say stuff even close to what the husband said he did, his level of authority on that phone call was no more than that of a parish priest (at the most).

    In short, the sky is not falling.

  • We sure as Hell know what the Pope didn’t say–he didn’t offer an unconditional defense of the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

    Otherwise, Lombardi and Rosica would have worked that into the press release yesterday. They didn’t. They offered a Glomar response instead.

    Look, gentlemen, I appreciate your efforts to be charitable here, but the truth is, we have a *lot* of facts here. What we don’t have are any *good* facts on behalf of the Pope.

    Charity also must be extended to the couple in question. Throw in longstanding legal practice (the “excited utterance” concept found in the rules of evidence which began in the Church) suggest that the Pope did precisely what the couple say he did. Then there’s the little matter of the Pope swooning over Kasper’s proposal to let objectively adulterous remarrieds receive communion.

    We have a bushel of facts. None of them are exculpatory, alas, but that can’t change how bad this really is.

  • People perceive what they wish to perceive in many many cases-if not most. Isn’t that the whole point of blogs?

  • Why did Pope Francis call? Certainly not to not condone her situation.

  • Sad. The personal respect I have for the pope is low, and I am sad about the looming loss of respect around the world for the office, which will shortly see the office not as the vicar of the Eternal Christ, specially protected to discern and teach the Timeless and Eternal Truth, but a social political management position…. whose leadership may not reflect a lean on the Holy Spirit but on the spirit of the age.
    Yes I’ve read papal history yes I know we will survive, but survive in what condition… battered and bruised.
    The attack here is so huge. Not just what is suggested by this reported phone call, and our fear that it is true, based on his statement about Kasper and other imbroglios. This is huge because the issue is NOT restricted to teaching about marriage and family, but also to the meaning of reception of the Eucharist, admission to the Eucharist, esp. plain if we remember the early Church’s dismissal of the catechumens, clearly demanding that those who would receive would be those who BELIEVE with the Church. We know that breaking one commandment is breaking them all—breaking that trust. And that little phrase sums up my anguish about this pope, Breaking Trust.

  • Perhaps in his humble generosity he just can’t judge if two lesbians should bring their child to receive the Sacrament of Initiation in the Church. Or if people sacramentally married to two spouses should feel free to receive the Eucharist.
    As a matter of fact why have any restrictions at all– doesn’t God love everybody- surely there is universal salvation.
    The mysterious tension between justice and mercy is constant on this mortal coil, Grace canNot be cheap. That would be reminiscent of the slithering one at the foot of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil– surely God would want you to have this apple…
    St Paul to the Corinthians
    11:27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. 28Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For all who eat and drink* without discerning the body,* eat and drink judgement against themselves. 30For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.* 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined* so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

  • Why did Pope Francis call?” Mary De Voe.
    When I was rearing my kids , one would do something and I would ask with intensity and exasperation. “why did you do that!?” And they could only look at me with “big eyes” and no answer because there Was No reason or reasoning behind it.
    Botolph I agree with you that we tend to see what we are disposed to see. I pray for the grace to see and recognize and submit to the truth.

  • I guess I should not be surprised, given the conservative slant of this site,about the appalling lack of Christian charity, but I am. It is like none of the responders have gotten the message of love and forgiveness that is central to the Gospel.

  • How charitable of you to point out Mr. Hurley when others, in your estimation, are deficient in love and forgiveness.

  • What a glorious day in which the Church recognizes what God has already done through Jesus Christ in the Spirit: we have two new saints! Saint Pope John XXIII and Saint Pope John Paul II. Gloria tibi Domine!

    I was fascinated, btw, at what Cardinal Burke had to say in an interview this weekend, concerning all the broo hah hah concerning this phone call. It is worth a listen, brothers and sisters.

    Again, a Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!

  • Did Robert Hurley say that he should not be surprised that conservatives are lacking in charity?
    He should have known better! He already knew conservatives were uncharitable!

  • Thank you Botolph You might be referring to this

    Cardinal Burke always does good for my soul. I will try to follow his example.

  • I’m trying to remember. Wasn’t there once an Ecumenical Council where the laity rose up against what was perceived as false teaching by the bishops? Clearly there also once was such a rising against cardinals who delayed for a year the election of a new pope.

  • The “lack of charity” commenters always remind me of the parable of the Pharisee in the Synagogue, thanking God he is not like those other sinners. The irony is they so often like to label everyone not precisely like them as Pharisees.

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  • Dale Price: “We sure as Hell know what the Pope didn’t say–he didn’t offer an unconditional defense of the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage..”
    Amen. Couldnt have said it better.

    As for the choice comment on deficient-charity-types (“given the conservative slant of this site,about the appalling lack of Christian charity), I recall what one teacher observed of Christ in the Gospels: Jesus uses the word for “mercy” or its cognates (ἐλέους, [eleous, such as Kyrie eleison] or its derivatives, depending on how you count them, about 50x’s in the 4 Gospels, because after all, His is a Gospel of forgiveness and mercy. But Jesus also uses the words for judgment (κρίμα,”krima”, a judgment implying a condemnation, or κρίσις, ‘krisis”) well over 100 x’s, as many as 130 in my counting.

    Now what about Hell, that thing we dont talk about any more? Depending on how you count the word for hel, a place of consequence for evil actions (i.e. hades. or the Hebrew equivalent “gehenna”, or “everlasting fire”, & other similar equivalents), it is used about 30x’s or so in the NT. It is NEVER used by evil and misogynist and patriarchal St. Paul.

    But the largest number of references of a place of final punishment—19x’s is by Christ. Oh, and the Beloved Disciple has numerous references to a place of punishment in the Book of Revelation.

    My point is: the true Gospel message is one of mercy, tempered with sharp warnings of punishment—a lot like Our Lady of Fatima’s message to the 3 children, BTW. So, it seems to me there is more charity in truthfulness than in lying to people about the demanding moral code of the NT. “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” (Mt. 7:13). Yes, it should keep one up nights thinking about it, rather than rubbing people’s bellies and telling them to go to sleep.

  • Dale Price: “We sure as Hell know what the Pope didn’t say–he didn’t offer an unconditional defense of the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage..” –

    How do you know Dale? Were you privy to the conversation?

  • “How do you know Dale? Were you privy to the conversation? ”

    Because the Vatican said no such thing, that’s why. And the couple privy to the conversation said the exact opposite.

    This is not that hard. In fact, it’s really easy.

  • It is deeply, deeply annoying to have demands for “charitable interpretation” in the face of *ALL* of the evidence to the contrary. I guess the Lisbonas are foul, fetid liars and the Pope is just the hapless victim of their cunning plan to trap him?

    The problem, Greg, is that there aren’t any facts which indicate that Christ’s teaching was defended and plenty to the contrary. That’s frustrating for you–and me, believe it or not. The fact that you choose not to draw any conclusions in the face of this dispiriting evidence does not make you morally superior.

  • “Because the Vatican said no such thing, that’s why. And the couple privy to the conversation said the exact opposite. This is not that hard. In fact, it’s really easy – ”

    So, because the Holy See makes no comment one way or the other, that means we know what the Pope didn’t say? As far, as the Lisbonas are concerned, I am not drawing any conclusions there either. All we have is what the husband said on Facebook. Again, where’s this “evidence” you speak of, Dale? The pope just unequivocally upheld the indissolubility of marriage during an address to South African Swiss bishops. So, if what do in fact know is an indication of anything, it would argue against the position you are staking.

    No, I am not claiming any moral superiority. I’m just using enough common sense not to draw conclusions when is not sufficient evidence to do so.

  • Well, Greg M. if this is so, that PF is really clear and solid on the indissolubility of marriage of a sudden now, why did he organize a synod for next November to examine the issue of marriage and divorced Catholics? Why would you open up a topic for free debate with the obvious expectation that the teaching is going to be changed, without implicitly committing to that expected change? Why would PF choose as his keynote speaker none other than Card. Kasper, at the February episcopal convocation, Kasper, who has a noted history of opposition to the traditional Catholic teaching on marriage? Why, indeed.

    If PF now really wants to give one of his classic contradictory messages (such as his solidly attributed statement about “being obsessed with abortion, gay marriage and contraception” [Sept 19, 2013] and then on other occasions defending the opposite), this weather-vane leadership at the very least portrays a Pontiff-Revolutionary who hasnt thought things through and doesnt have a grasp intellectually of what he sees ahead and where he is taking the Church. He lacks a clear and specific focus (look at the jaw-dropping almost phantasmagoric confusion of ideas replete in Evangelii Gaudium, 80+ pages of intellectual spaghetti), a “I’m-going-to-do no. 1, this; no.2, that; and no 3…”
    There’s one thing he is clear on– he hates traditional Catholics. But that is a good thing, today.

  • No, I am not claiming any moral superiority. I’m just using enough common sense not to draw conclusions when is not sufficient evidence to do so.

    If only Bergolgio were an American Bishop, then Mr. Mockeridge wouldn’t be so easy. In fact he’d be here writing comments about how TAC isn’t taking a sufficiently hard enough stance. Ultramontanism for the win, Alex!

  • Paul:

    When Pope Francis starts to slander states with Obama like race baiting for enacting morally legitimate laws to protect themselves from from the dangers of cartel run illegal immigration or begins to equate opposition to illegal immigration with violating religious liberty, you can I will be the first person to go after him. Now if only Mr Zummo can muster up enough intellectual honesty to accurately represent my views before attacking then we might be able to have a real debate.

  • Mr Phoenix:

    If you actually read what Pope Francis said, you will see that he doesn’t say we are “being obsessed with abortion, gay marriage and contraception”. Here is the statement in its entirety :

    “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

    “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. ”

    You will note that he doesn’t use the word “obsessed” in relation to abortion gay marriage and contraception, but with “the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. ”

    Nor does the Pope say that we should not talk about these things or lower our voices, but he says: “But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear…”

    As far as his “hatred” for Traditional Catholics is concerned, yeah he hates them so much, he says:

    “By way of the celebration of the sacred Mysteries according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite and the orientations of the Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, as well as by passing on the apostolic faith as it is presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, may they contribute, in fidelity to the living Tradition of the Church, to a better comprehension and implementation of the Second Vatican Council.”

    You know there is a statement in that interview of September 2013 that does bother me: “Let us think of when slavery was accepted or the death penalty was allowed without any problem.” I have thought that Church leaders, including the Pope taking sides on the issue of the death penalty has been harmful to the Church. Again Paul Zummo, you know I have said this on many occasions. So, your accusing me of Ulatramonitism is a flat out lie.

    By the way, the fact that TAC is more concerned about what Pope Francis said or may have said than the scandalous actions noted above of the USCCB and several individual bishops, when the former are innocuous by comparison, to put it mildly, betrays a rather unflattering truth.

  • Paul, you can read more of my “Ultramonitism” where I take issue with the rather silly assertions of your Catholic Stand colleague Gary Zimak tha”[t]he vast majority of attacks are coming from individuals who love Christ and His Church. What’s unusual is that their love is being expressed in anger, disrespect and language that is dangerously close to heresy.” here:

  • Steve Phoenix wrote, “why did he organize a synod for next November to examine the issue of marriage and divorced Catholics?”

    The Synod is to discuss the whole issue of the family (of which “the issue of… divorce Catholics is a part)

  • What’s the evidence? Here you go.

    And let me develop it further–the Vatican essentially admitted the phone call took place as those horrible frauds reported it to the press. Because basically, you are refusing to account for the myriad press accounts, which agree on the particulars. I haven’t heard the Lisbonas threatening to sue, and libel is easier to prove outside our shores.

    So, here’s the Vatican’s statement in toto:

    [br]”Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships.
    Since they do not in any way form part of the Pope’s public activities, no information or comments are to be expected from the Holy See Press Office.
    That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is a source of misunderstanding and confusion.
    Therefore, consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from these occurrences.” [/br]

    First of all, it’s directed at unspecified phone call*s*. He’s also called an advocate of the “Slow Food” movement to express solidarity, for example.

    [br]So, it’s conveniently evasive. Also, it talks about “amplification”–which hardly suggests falsehood–just a sad note at how much of a kerfuffle it’s been blown up to. Again, deft evasion. Also evasive is the money line “cannot be confirmed as reliable.” Which amplifications? Which doesn’t give anyone bent on tarring the media reports as inaccurate much to work with. [/br]

    But the killer is the plea to not infer “consequences relating to the teaching of the Church” from the call(s). There wouldn’t *be* consequences if he had simply told the Lisbonas that he wanted to assure them of his solidarity and accompaniment as he reaffirmed the indissolubility of marriage.

  • And Mr MPS and Mr Greg M, why did P choose Card. Kasper, a well known dissident on the indissolubility of marriage, as key–note speaker for the February cardinals’ convocation? I didn’t hear your PF-defense on that malaprop. (Interesting.) I think your work must be exhausting.

  • Makes me increasingly believe that the Orthodox are right.

Candida Moss and Indiana Jones

Monday, April 7, AD 2014

Candida Moss, Professor of Theology at Notre Dame, fresh off her laurels claiming that the Christian persecution by the Roman Emperors was much ado about nothing, read here and here for our examination of that deathless gift to scholarship, now comments about the latest claimant for the Holy Grail, basing her analysis on the same theory propounded by Indiana Jones in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:  that a cup made out of precious material would not have been used by a carpenter.  This latest attempt to gain publicity for herself has brought her to the attention of Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith;



Some Spanish researchers recently claimed to have discovered the Holy Grail, the cup that Jesus employed at the Last Supper.  I’m not convinced but since I’ve never been a relics kind of guy, that doesn’t much matter.  Candida Moss, professor of the New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame, is also skeptical:

Even if you strip off the precious metals the cup is still too fancy. Agate was widely used to carve high-value objects like signets and cylinder seals in the ancient Near East. The historian Pliny the Elder describes owning agate cups as a sign of wealth and luxury. The imperial biographer Suetonius tells us that, of all of the riches of Alexandria, the emperor Augustus kept only a single agate cup. The emperor Nero—known for his debauchery apparently collected the things. In 66 C.E., when one of Nero’s contemporaries, Petronius, realized that he was about to be executed by the emperor and planned to commit suicide, his final act was to smash an agate ladle worth 300,000 sesterces rather than allow Nero to get his hands on it. To put that in perspective: male laborers living in Republican Rome made about 3 sesterces a day. While agate could likely be acquired much more cheaply, aristocratic Romans were serious about their agate.

Yeah, uh, Candy?  Cupcake?  If I remember the Scriptures correctly, the Lord informed His disciples that the place where He was to eat His final Passover with his disciples had been prepared in advance so there would have been no need for Our Lord to have owned any particular item involved with it. 

Inasmuch as, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head,” why would the Son of the Most High God have ever owned His own chalice?  This is the intellectual and theological reason why, claims Candy, professor of the New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame as well as an intellectual and theological badass.

Arguably the bigger issue is the cup’s appearance. As any fan of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade knows, Jesus would have used a simple carpenter’s cup. Like all dramatic reenactments, Indiana Jones has some minor historical flaws, but it certainly got that right. Archeological excavations have yielded many examples of ancient Israelite cups and they are made of cheap durable fabrics.

‘Kay.  Except that the “carpenter’s cup” in IJ&TLC was lined with gold.  Just sayin’, Candy.  Roman Catholics?  I know that most of you have gotten a huge kick out of how often you’ve rolled the Anglicans and quite justifiably so; if you’ve got a mark who doesn’t know he’s a mark then work that mark for as long as you can.

But Candy and ND are all yours.  So you will hopefully forgive a few Anglican chuckles.

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26 Responses to Candida Moss and Indiana Jones

  • Theology as mispracticed by this person is little more than making up stuff about God.

  • Or about His Saints, as in this review of Kyle Harper’s From Shame to Sin: the Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity, remarkable only for its pose of resigned tedium:

    [F]or a book that so stridently argues that marriage in the ancient world was about procreation,[n.b.: that’s not what Harper argues –E.S.] it is strange to find no discussion of the idealisation of adoption by both Romans and Christians, ancient Greek theories of population control, or the realities of contraception and infant exposure. As excavations of the sewer systems under Roman brothels have horrifyingly revealed, not everyone saw children as a blessing. And while Christian theologians may have dismissed same-sex love out of hand, it is difficult to deny the homoerotic undertones of the love between saints Sergius and Bacchus or Paulinus of Nola’s chaste love for Christ. The legislation may have been radical and clear-cut but the evidence can be queried.

    This whole Church as Bride, Christ as Bridegroom “thing” seems to be over her head here . Which is funny, since the beginning of the review seems to indicate that Moss is quite receptive to sexual allegory.

    Or rather, that’s the crux of the problem, since marital allegory is what we’re really talking about here, isn’t it?

  • link to the review. Sorry.

  • This demonstrates why scholarship should be left to scholars, like Professor Moss. Why start out with name-calling? Donny, if I may, this is sexist and juvenile.

    The Son of Man had nowhere to lay Head, but that does not mean the Lord set out a magic seder. Wouldn’t that have been a distraction to the Apostles? There is no record in the Bible where God tried to make an impression in the world with agate or precious stones. Even the Commandments were carved in stone. The Ark of the Covenant was gold-plated but with no jewels and made mostly of wood. All the evidence points to a medieval forgery, as Professor Moss argues.

  • “This demonstrates why scholarship should be left to scholars, like Professor Moss.”
    I will assume that was a jest.

    “Why start out with name-calling? Donny, if I may, this is sexist and juvenile.”

    Complain to Christopher Johnson and not me Maria, he wrote it. Incidentally I grew up being called Donnie by my relatives, and that is what they still call me, so the tit for tat fell flat.

    “There is no record in the Bible where God tried to make an impression in the world with agate or precious stones.”
    In regard to the temple it was arrayed, at God’s command according to the Old Testament, with all sorts of precious finery.

    As to Christ, He was taken to task more than once for eating with tax collectors and publicans. Christ noted Himself that he was accused of eating and drinking by the same people who criticized John for fasting. Then there was the criticism by Judas in regard to the expensive perfume used by a sinner to anoint the feet of Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea gave Christ the tomb in which His body was laid, a luxury that only a wealthy man could afford. Your argument is without merit based on the Gospels. Christ owned nothing but he had no problem accepting contributions from His followers.

    “All the evidence points to a medieval forgery, as Professor Moss argues.”

    I make no argument for the validity of the alleged Holy Grail. I merely note that the argument of Candida Moss that it is too fine to be the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper is rubbish.

  • You published it. Don’t you have standards of decorum? You can’t be proud that a Professor at Notre Dame is called “cupcake” in the pages of The American Catholic.

    Professor Moss’ did not base her entire argument on the fact that the cup was probably too fine to have been owned by Christ. (Your change in emphasis, that was too fine to be “used” is unfair.) Most persuasive to me was her observation that the provenance of the alleged Holy Grail ends at 1037 CE when the relic trade was in full swing.

  • “You can’t be proud that a Professor at Notre Dame is called “cupcake” in the pages of The American Catholic.”

    Rather prouder I think than Notre Dame should be to have a scholar so devoid of scholarship as Ms. Moss in its employ. I base my judgment as to her lack of scholarship on her The Myth of Persecution tome.

    “Professor Moss’ did not base her entire argument on the fact that the cup was probably too fine to have been owned by Christ.”

    No, and the rest of her argument was not the object of my criticism.

    “(Your change in emphasis, that was too fine to be “used” is unfair.)”

    Not at all. I never contended that Christ owned the cup He used at the Last Supper. What we know about the Last Supper would indicate that he owned nothing that was used in it, including the cup which He used for the first Mass, which makes arguments about what the cup would look like based upon Christ being a carpenter completely erroneous.

  • For those who wish to know; this text by Anna Emerich accurately describes the chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper.:


    The Chalice used at the Last Supper

    The chalice which the Apostles brought from Veronica’s house was
    wonderful and mysterious in its appearance. It had been kept a long
    time in the Temple among other precious objects of great antiquity, the
    use and origin of which had been forgotten. The same has been in some
    degree the case in the Christian Church, where many consecrated jewels
    have been forgotten and fallen into disuse with time. Ancient vases and
    jewels, buried beneath the Temple, had often been dug up, sold, or
    reset. Thus it was that, by God’s permission, this holy vessel, which
    none had ever been able to melt down on account of its being made of
    some unknown material, and which had been found by the priests in the
    treasury of the Temple among other objects no longer made use of, had
    been sold to some antiquaries. It was bought by Seraphia, was several
    times made use of by Jesus in the celebration of festivals, and, from
    the day of the Last Supper, became the exclusive property of the holy
    Christian community.

    More here and at many other links:

  • and BTW…what’s with the C.E. B.S. ?

  • As I understand your logic and the facts,

    1. You don’t like Candida Moss.
    2. She is called “cupcake” in a piece with your byline.
    3. You think that 2 is okay because of 1.

    Is that correct? I don’t agree with 1, but I accept that a person arguing in good faith might hold that view. But 3 is simply not a responsible position. If you really believe that (which I doubt you do if you reflect on it for a moment), than I can’t debate with you.

  • …than I can’t debate with you.
    Not many can. (But, maybe not for the reasons you think.)

  • to exNOAAman: I was talking to Donald McClarey.

  • “1. You don’t like Candida Moss.”

    Never having met her I haven’t the foggiest whether I would like her or not.

    “3. You think that 2 is okay because of 1.”

    No, my statement was that I was prouder of running Mr. Johnson’s post than Notre Dame should be to have a professor like Candida Moss who is a poor scholar. Her scholarship I can judge in regard to history and it is quite poor. That has nothing to do as to whether I would like her if I met her.

  • Do you demean all women or just the ones smarter than yourself? grow up.

  • Nothing of substance to add to the discussion Bob? Of course not. Try not to trip on your red herrings on your way out.

  • “Like all dramatic reenactments, Indiana Jones has some minor historical flaws”

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  • The back & forth in these comments is superbly entertaining. Jesus did not own the donkey he entered Jerusalem on. The very idea that some “scholar” would attempt to place physical & historical limits on the Son of God is also extremely hilarious. :-D. I sincerely appreciate Donnie’s post. May there be many more like them. (Donald since u were defacto being accused of sexism I thought I would weigh in–though I know you are very skilled in answering your critics and have taken regular note of your advanced abilities to defend your posts using Internet ink! ROFLOL. 😉

  • Moss’s attempt at scholarship is the very worst kind. In general, agate was used by the rich, therefore since Jesus was poor, he could not have used agate. I don’t believe the spanish story, but her lame attempt at quasi scholarship would have been laughed out of town in bygone days. Unfortunately, today the colleges are filled with politically active kooks, and this is what we get.

  • Maria L. Ramirez,

    You evidently are unaware that statements posted in comment boxes are subject to response by anyone, not only the one to whom you imagine you are solely
    speaking. You appear to be ignorant of this reality, so now you know. I did get a good laugh from your correction of exNOAAman, so thanks for that.

    The central thrust of your argument seems to mostly consist of your sentiments as a defensive feminist who imagines that Candy (I just said that because you take the bait so easily; takes me back to fond days in grade school) is being disprespected because she is female. Not hardly.

    Candy is not flawed because she is a woman; she is a woman whose intellectual “achievements” are flawed because her research and theorizing are shoddy and absurd. There are plenty of men who equally deserve to be mocked for seriously advancing fluff as fact.

    She constructs a single theory based on limited facts about who in Jewish society in Jesus’ time would own a chalice made of precious metals. Not a bad idea to consider, but she offers no compelling (or even not so compelling) argument why other possibilities just as plausible shouldn’t be considered.

    While the citation of the Emmereich vision is not evidence, it does provide a possibility. A more likely scenario is that the master of the house to which the Apostles went to arrange the Passover meal may have owned it (we can presume he knew who Jesus was), and placed it at His seat as a gesture of honor. Either of these are just as likely as her proposal, and you don’t need to play a theologian on TV to come up with them.

    But the biggest factor in earning Candy full and total disprespect was the nonsense she put forward that Christians were not persecuted by Roman emporers. That nonsense reveals her anti-Christian agenda.

    Yours is revealed not only by sophomoric antics over your hurt feminist feelings, but also by your use of BCE/CE – another move by academic atheists designed to take a chunk out of the historic foundations of Christianity.

    Feminism is a lie; there is nothing of true value in it which was not always available to women in the Catholic Church. Yes, Christian men (as well as non-Christian) have sinfully mistreated and used women, but feminism is no less guilty of sending millions of young women into a sexual slavery of a different, more modern sort. Today, more than ever, young men are getting away with satiating their sexual urges by using young women whom feminism has made “willing” as part of the perceived sexual “equality” with men. In the limited vision of feminist theorists such equality is attained by asuming the sexual attitudes and behaviors typical of men. Yeah, that’s real smart.

    Whether the slavery of the 1st century or a male participant in today’s hook-up culture which feminism has enabled, women are still sexually used and oppressed but only more so, thanks to radical feminist theory.

    You probably have no idea what I’m referring to, so that disqualifies you from the possibility of any interaction between us. I don’t bother with trying to educate those hopelessly wrapped in the strait-jacket of progressive “thinking.” I find outlets for my charity work among those who are receptive to Truth. Hard cases like you and Candy are not my ministry.

  • While almost every crucifixion victim’s body was thrown into a lime pit to dissolve bones and all as further punishment for their ‘crime’, Jesus’ Body was sought by Joseph of Arimetheia, a leading (and obviously dissenting) member of the Sanhedrin who had Jesus’ Body placed in his own (or at least one he bought for this occasion) rock tomb-that is a sign of substantive material backing for Jesus and His community of disciples.

    Scholars believe that the Upper Room was actually an Essene ‘retreat center’ [easiest way to put it]. A man did not carry a water jar yet that was the sign given to the two apostles to prepare for the Passover. It was not accidental in any stretch of the imagination

    Remember that Mary of Bethany (unnamed woman in Synoptics, but named in John’s Gospel) anointed Jesus’ feet etc with costly aromatic nard in an alibaster vase [all from India] again nothing ‘poor’ about this [BTW she is not the same woman who bathed Jesus’ feet in her tears, etc]. Judas was ‘scandalized’ but Jesus interpreted it as a prelimary for His own burial

    If we are to believe (which I do) that the Shroud is authentic, the linen is a very refined Egyptian twill dated from the first century-and it would have been very expensive.

    While I do not believe that the Holy Grail was as expensive and ornate as some Medieval and Baroque Chalices, to think it would have been simply ‘a Carpenter’s Cup’ is a real stretch in my estimation.

    BTW as a historical theology person with emphasis on the Church Fathers for Candida Moss to claim that the Roman persecution was ‘tame’ etc, especially the pogrom of the the Emperor Diocletian in the early 300’s defies all description.

    I would add however, that the ‘pagan’ Persian persecution of Christians in Persia, Iran, roughly at the time of Diocletian and Constantine was a campaign of all but completely successful extermination. More died in Persia than in the Roman Empire (but that does not mean the Roman persecution was negligible)

  • to be clear—-My background is historical theology with an emphasis on the Church Fathers [I realize I was not clear in the original post]

  • I would be embarrassed to cite an “Indiana Jones” movie in a footnote. And, that is saying a lot.

    Note to Bob Palmer: ” Shut up!!! ” is not a reasoned argument. I assume that you believe that unsupported conjectures, opinions, and wild-eyed speculations make a lib more smarter than the rest of us.

  • “Like all dramatic reenactments, Indiana Jones has some minor historical flaws”
    Sean Connery as Dr. Jones slaps Harrison Ford as Indiana upside the head. “What’s that for?” “That’s for blasphemy.” Would that all film makers remember their place when it comes to the Person of God. Best scene I’ve ever seen, having suffered through so much stomach turning blasphemy. That 600 year old knight was cool too.

  • Jesus embraced the virtue of poverty. Jesus was not poor. One of the three kings brought to Christ gold, for Christ’s sovereignty as King. Mary and Joseph would not have used it up for it was not gifted to them.

  • Sean Connery as Dr. Jones slaps Harrison Ford as Indiana upside the head. “What’s that for?” “That’s for blasphemy.”

Pivotal Experiments

Sunday, February 9, AD 2014

Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes a look at how NBC refers to Communism, an ideology that has a murder total of one hundred million and counting:


Last evening, NBC opened its Olympic coverage from Russia with the following montage:

The towering presence, the empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint. The revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures. As a more reliable right to their collective heart. What they build in aspirations lifted by imagination. What they craft, through the wonder of every last detail. How magical the fusion of sound and movement can be. How much a glass of distilled perfection and an overflowing table can matter. Discover the Russian people through these indelible signatures. Discover what we share with them through the games that open here tonight.

Watch the video.  As the highlighted words above are spoken, take careful note of the image that appears on the screen.  And then thank God that Germany isn’t scheduled to host an Olympics any time soon.

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15 Responses to Pivotal Experiments

  • Nihilism Broadcasting Corporation.
    News and information you can trust….almost.

  • I would argue that calling the Bolshevik Revolution a “pivotal experiment” is NOT the same as saying that the experiment was a success or that it was a great idea. Sounds more like damning with faint praise to me. Calling something important, influential or critical is not necessarily a compliment (e.g., Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, a distinction earned by Adolf Hitler and, I believe, Ayatollah Khomeni).

    Note also the next phrase: “If politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures, as a more reliable right to their collective heart.” In other words, Communism didn’t represent the whole of Russian culture or national spirit — and I agree. Yes, maybe NBC is sucking up to Putin more than they ought to but it’s the Olympics, so what did you expect?

  • From NBC Elaine I expect absolutely anything, and thus I was not surprised by their attempt to glide over the waking nightmare that was the Soviet Union.

  • Nuts Broadcasting Communism?
    The audience expressions at 2:21 in Springtime are priceless.

  • Suz: “Nuts Broadcasting Communism” . not “?”

  • They also had a big hammer/sickle. Imagine the liberal pomp and circumstances if at 1972 Munich they ran out a big, black swastika, or a knight’s cross?

    This is my dull my life. After Mass yesterday, I was watching the cable NBC Sports. The so-called reporter was interviewing the coach of the Ruskie hockey team who was a starter on the 1980 Soviet (Army) hockey team that lost to the USA. The dude didn’t mention that half the team was walking point in Afdhanistan the week after they lost.

    It’s just that they’re taking a break from their 24/7 tongue-bathing of Obama.

    The truth is out there. It’s not with ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, et al.

    Anyhow, NBC couldn’t comment on the pivotal horse-stuff and stay in Sochi . . . But, I can.

    “In 1932-33, the Ukraine, formerly the breadbasket of Russia, was turned into a desolate wasteland during the ‘Holodomor.’ Malcolm Muggerage wrote in his book, War on the Peasants, ‘On one side, millions of starving peasants, their bellies often swollen from lack of food; on the other, soldiers, members of the GPU (secret police) carrying out the instructions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They had gone over the country like a swarm of locusts and taken away everything edible, they had shot or exiled thousands of peasants, sometimes whole villages, they had reduced some of the most fertile land in the world to a melancholy desert.’ More than 7 million people died so that their farms could be collectivized by Moscow.”

  • T. Shaw.

    Q: Is this the same utopian model that the elite Lib’s wish on AmeriKia?

    My gut feeling is that it is!

  • I thought it was fine. I basically agree with Elaine, that it handled the elephant in the room as well as they could. What stood out to me was the frequent religious imagery.

  • Phillip:

    The death of the middle class; weak economic growth; low paying jobs; death panels; unemployment is “liberating”; . . .

    We are living the lib, utopian nightmare.

  • Sounds like more was expected. I agree, the treatment seemed rather neutral, which is what we’d expect for an Olympic broadcast. Now maybe when the Bolshevik history tribunal is aired we’ll see some sparks!

  • Thank You T. Shaw

  • Thanks for sugarcoating it T. Shaw.
    Famine gulags and cheap vodka…can’t wait! 🙁

  • I dunno, T Shaw. I’m thinking that the coverage of the 1972 Munich Olympics must have included some stock footage from the 1936 games, and some kind of vague references.

  • The ’72 Munich Olympics were, of course, overshadowed by the (Palestinian) terrorist massacre of Israeli athletes. That story was handled with calm and dignity by the late, great sportscaster Jim McKay.

    I was only 8 years old during those Games and so don’t remember watching that story directly. I do, however, remember reading an interview with McKay years later in Sports Illustrated in which he said that all during the hostage crisis, the one thing he kept in mind was that the parents of one of the Israeli athletes lived in Ohio, and he would be the one who would have to tell them whether their son was alive or dead. I have a hard time imagining today’s talking heads having that much compassion or empathy for their viewers.

  • Yeah, Elaine, I was looking around for coverage of the 1972 games to back up my theory, but the only things I could find were about the terrorist attack.

    It really is depressing how many times we’ve failed at creating a non-political international sporting event. I guess some people see a stage and can’t imagine not being on it.

The Great I Am

Sunday, January 19, AD 2014

GK Chesterton once opined that “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, gives us a perfect example:

The other day, Bob Wright, Georgia’s Episcopal pointy hat, opened a speech before some “interfaith” complete waste of time or other in this fashion:

Good afternoon. Greetings to you in the name of Yahweh the Almighty, in the name of Allah the beneficent and merciful. Greetings to you in the name of the Eternal One who gave the Buddha his great enlightenment, and in the name of the Hindus’ Supreme Being that orders the cosmos.

I guess I could thoroughly document all the ways that that’s not only wrong but actually kind of insulting to many more people than Christians.  But do you know how to tell when you’re just about finished with the Episcopalians?  When you read something like that and the only reaction you can come up with is to say to yourself, “Whatever, Bob.  And why do you hate Zoroastrians, bigot?”

Go here to read the comments.  The mindset of Mr. Wright infests many who call themselves Christians today, even within the Church.  It is hard for me to convey not only how mistaken this is, but how truly evil it is.  Christ and the Jews who did not follow Him gave us an example of what I mean:

[57] The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? [58] Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. [59] They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

John 8: 57-59

Jesus in this passage stated that He is God, the great I AM that revealed Himself to Moses.  The Jews who did not believe Him were ready to stone Him for this blasphemy.

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34 Responses to The Great I Am

  • Our God has a human face.
    The “Episcopal’s pointy hat” made me laugh so hard that my sides hurt.

  • Reminds me of the disregard shown by the people depicted in the first reading for Friday’s Mass. (I Samuel 8: 4 – 22)

    Samuel was getting old and the people wanted him to appoint a king to judge them. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and, then, he delivered the message to the people. The Lord said to grant their request, “It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” At the end of the message of the Lord to the people was a warning. “When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the Lord will not answer you.”

    The happenings described in that message can be very well said about the enormity of current events and developments among the people.

  • per Pat, “It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” Dare we hope that people will reject Obama as their king? 🙂

  • The absolute cacophony of lies and unbelief is deafening. Christian religious leaders no longer know who God is. Pat’s point is well taken– we are collectively rejecting what we do know of God, revealed, and drifting into some ideas of our own.

    … we’ve talked about part of this problem recently on TAC: about the confusion of Allah with God the Father. And confusion is understandable, after all, we have tried so hard to be nice and not triumphal about the great treasure of our religion. Be self effacing and demure about it.
    Our pope thought it important, with his limited time, to tell the world that God isn’t Catholic. (no accompanying catechesis) Why, some may wonder, be Catholic ? God Himself is not Catholic. The Almighty is way beyond that…probably He includes the whole pantheon of gods mentioned. It boggles my mind to much to try to think how God could encompass the non-god of atheism–the am not was not never will be.
    The pope seems to loosen the sense of order in the Church, opens the door to speculation about the authority of the Church to judge sinfulness. (that makes me wonder how a priest would ever know what to forgive and what to retain). And be less traditional (like the connection we have always seen of Christ washing feet of his disciples to the call of priests) (priests are nothing special) could’ve washed women’s feet, after all wouldn’t a loving Jesus do that?
    The church itself seems to have been picking away at the idea of hierarchy (order).. really should anybody actually be in charge? or should it just be what each one, (in good faith mind you) thinks is right? Primacy of Conscience. We should not identify who might be specially honorable priest unless they reach that arbitrary age of 64. Otherwise the people might know who the good shepherds are and go to them.
    The most important thing is to not be too hard on the people who kill innocent babies and sick or old people. Don’t be too strict about the meaning and purpose of sex, the unique gift to cooperate with God himself in generation
    Bishops and priests blur issues daily it seems, Why wouldn’t the world be confused; the Church sure seems to be.

  • The church most certainly is confused. I attended Protestant churches for 4 decades & can only recall hearing the Gospel (the death, burial, & resurrection of Jesus Christ) actually explained from the pulpit ONCE in 40 years!! Part of the comfort of attending mass is repeating what the Gospel is every service. Now I believe and understand the creed. But apparently there are many who are saying it who don’t have a clue what it means or are simply mouthing the words without any form of personal commitment or conversion.

    I know a Catholic family who took their child out of a Catholic girls high school because the unbelief of the nuns from whom she was receiving instruction was destroying the young girl’s faith.

    I attended a Methodist service once–emphasize once–because I knew that a very liberal political speaker would be making a presentation on a given Sunday morning. I had been in public meetings at our state Capitol with this political figure–I was there protesting her attempt to put reproductive health clinics in our public schools where children could get birth control including school bus trips to abortion clinics without their parents’ knowledge or consent. I attended the Methodist service just to hear what that idiot had the nerve to say from the pulpit of a church. Let me tell you–I was SHOCKED. And when the minister prayed it absolutely terrified me because he prayed to gods I had never heard of before–none of which were the God of the Bible. That service was filled with witchcraft. I couldn’t get out of that place fast enough.

    If you want to know how confused people who purport to be Christians truly are just ask them if they believe in absolute truth. Please be sure and take some nerve pills and/or blood pressure medicine or at least be sitting down before you listen to their answers!!!

  • When Christians say that other religious leaders and their “gods” are on a respectably level footing with Jesus, they are saying that his death on the cross and resurrection were not necessary. They stand with Peter at the transfiguration after Jesus told him about his impending death and resurrection: “He took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (Matt 16:22-23. That kind of inclusiveness is truly evil.

  • You know and I know the Truth.

    There’s no easy way to convince others of what we know confess and believe with All of our hearts. On the contrary our mission is a challenge. When we live an authentic Christian life our mission becomes much easier because we realize the He, Jesus, does all of the hard work. He guides our way and places the correct words in our mouth when we must speak.

    Let’s be constantly reminded of those who have gone before us..the Saints..the Martyrs and have confidence that our God, the one true God, will accomplish his work through us if we are humble and simple.

  • Anzlyne: Thank you and may God bless you for this. The trees have elected a thorn bush to rule over them, both in the White House and in the Vatican. “Our pope thought it important, with his limited time, to tell the world that God isn’t Catholic.” while Georgia’s Episcopal pointy hat, through the courtesy of Christopher Johnson and TAC, tells the world, that God is not human, that God is a thing, like praying to one’s couch: “and in the name of the Hindus’ Supreme Being that orders the cosmos.” The Supreme Sovereign Being is a Trinity of Sovereign Persons WHO order the cosmos, create the rational, immortal, human soul and endow the human being, man, with unalienable rights. No belief and worship of God, no unalienable human rights, for man is created by God to know, to love and to serve God. If man is a soulless thing, like “that” couch, man will be sat upon and discarded.
    Barbara Gordon: You have described what is happening in our culture. Let us remember that it is our sweat and blood, our tax dollars that enable this in our culture, this thorn bush is of our own making.

  • People are so frightened to be not politically correct. My daughter does ballet. And on opening night of the Nutcracker, the director came out & wished everyone, in this order, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy Ramadan, and a Merry Christmas… really?? First of all, Nutcracker has a gigantic Christmas tree & party on stage for the first half, but I suppose that the politically correct crowd now calls it a holiday tree. Secondly, Ramadan, is in the summer.

  • Very good comments ALL! Missy, for our grade school “Holiday Program” an entire 15 minutes of the “Holiday Program” was a play called “What Would Martha Do?” Concerning the trials and tribulations of Martha Stewart getting ready for the “Holidays”. I thought I would die. As I looked over the crowd literally 99% of the families there were Catholic and should have their children in Parochial School including three of MINE! My son was so embarrassed but due to family conflicts his children are not in the Catholic school. I don’t think there was even “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. I do my own religious education with my grandchildren who go to the public school. We are in such trouble. Pray Pray Pray.

  • Something to take comfort in.

    You, We were born raised and graced to be in this moment. To be present in this struggle for souls. It’s very humbling to me but the Lord saw this time period.
    He had each of you in mind for this era.
    He knew that your talents and acceptance of his Grace would be sufficient and profitable for souls.
    God has great confidence in you!
    Martha Stewart Holiday skits and Coexist bumperstickers. It will continue on and on but no one can take your place in this era of Our Lord. All hell may very well be unleashed on earth but it’s not enough. Poor Satan. Can’t beat the lowliness of a poor Jewish girl who said Yes my Lord…let it be done..for “I am the handmade of the Lord.”

  • What the Episcopal ‘bishop’ did was inexcusable. Again, a sign that the Episcopal Church has taken in the slogan “the culture transforms the Church”.

    However, since Pope Francis’ quote “God is not a Catholic” has been quoted a couple of times I wonder if anyone really asked themselves what he really meant or just assumed we know what he meant. I know I ‘read’ this but do not see it in the same light as some here have. I read it as “Catholics” do not own God. In fact, the word “Church” in Greek is Kyriake, meaning “belonging to God”. We belong to Him; He does not belong to us. See what I mean?

  • One notable gems in the bishop’s address:
    “We realize that each tradition at its core and at its best agrees that the cosmos has a brilliant and benevolent bent and that all creation and every human being has worth and dignity that is non-negotiable.”
    The bishop supports a personhood amendment to Georgia’s constitution and perhaps he wanted to give the mayor something to think about. Also, while he invited atheists to work toward a better government, the bishop never stopped saying that God is real and active in our lives.

  • Instead of focusing on what the Episcopal “bishop” said, I would like to return to Donald’s comment at the end of this post: “Christ is the great I AM and the cavalier way in which Christians treat that great truth is a mortal sin that is eating away at Christianity”

    Jesus is “I AM”, each every time Jesus says “I AM” in John’s Gospel whether it be “Before Abraham was I AM” or one of the seven “I AM” statements: i.e. I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life; I AM the Light of the World; I AM the Bread of Life come down from heaven….; I AM the Good Shepherd; I AM the resurrection and the life, et al. Jesus is identifying Himself as the enfleshed (incarnated) I AM.

    When other New Testament authors and texts speak of the Jesus Christ as “LORD”, they are saying precisely the same thing. He is ‘the LORD’, the “I AM WHO I AM”. He is the fullest revelation of the “I AM”: “Whoever sees Me, see the Father”, Jesus says in John’s Gospel

    We are witnessing the rise of a neo-Arianism today, a denial of any substantial (remember He is consubstantial: homoousios with the Father) unity between the Incarnate Son/Word and the Father. For many Jesus is simply a great moral teacher, an example for us, to be sure, but not LORD and Savior

    As Catholics we need to ‘return to the sources’, in this case our wonderful Nicene-Constantinople Creed. Whether we profess it in the vernacular or Latin we need to return to that text and prayerfully reflect on what each phrase, each word means and to be able to give ‘reason for our faith’ as St Peter put it in his First Letter.

    Islam directly contradicts our confession of faith, that Jesus is “LORD”, the Great “I AM”. If we cannot go deep into what this faith means and what it means for us we will never be able to pass it on to a younger generation or any who come to us from outside the Church.

    However, there is another dimension of the Nicene Faith that does not frequently get mentioned. Who is over the Church?

    See the Arians new exactly what they were doing. In attempting to conform the Christian faith to the Greek Philosophical categories (instead of doing the opposite) the Arians were also secularizing the faith. if Jesus Christ is not the Son of God in the fullest sense of those words, then the Emperor (or whatever other high public office figure you have-such as President) is over the Church and the Faith. There is no real mediator or mediation between God and man; the ‘Emperor” represents God to the people.

    However, if Jesus Christ is truly LORD, homoousios, consubstantial with the Father, than it is the bishop in the image of Christ, who is over the Church (and the Bishop of Rome over the whole Church)

    The neo-Arianism we witness today is a great threat to the Church and her faith.

  • Yikes: typo: knew not ‘new’ sorry lol

  • Botolph: “God is not a Catholic”. Yes. God is Catholic. God cannot be otherwise, but Catholic. If Jesus were not Catholic how could Jesus found and institute the Catholic Church? Inclusivity of atheists, and all the rest, does not impinge on the Catholicity of God. God is Catholic for all people.
    The Real Presence on the altar and the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist are infinitely Catholic.
    If Pope Francis keeps throwing pearls before swine, they will turn on him and tear his to shreds.

  • Mary De Voe,

    And what was God before the Son was incarnate of the Virgin Mary?

  • Opps. What opps. “they will turn on him and tear him to shreds.”

  • Botolph. You gotta be kidding me? Right? “And what was God before the Son was incarnate of the Virgin Mary?”But, I see you are not kidding me. So, I will correct you. “And WHO was God before the incarnate of the Virgin Mary?”
    “I AM WHO I AM” is the name of God. “I AM” the Father and Creator, “I AM”, the Son, the Redeemer, “I AM” the name of the Holy Spirit, the Love between the Father and the Son, the Sanctifier, The Supreme Sovereign Being, existence, love, Three Supreme Sovereign Persons in one God.
    The Sovereign Person of God in Whom all mankind is made (mankind includes all women for women are kind of man) is referred to in all cases as a Sovereign Person “WHO”. Never, Never, Never, “what” or, “that” or “Which”
    Only the Catholic Bible refers to God as “WHO art in heaven” All the other translations reprint “which art in heaven” blasphemy, referring to God as a thing. I could never, never say Botolph, which sits in the chair, or Botolph that is on vacation, or Botolph what usurps God’s sovereignty, for God WHO is in heaven has graciously endowed Botolph with all unalienable rights, free will and intellect.
    Cecil B. DeMille’s film, The Ten Commandments refers to the God of Moses as “that”; “that” God of Moses. If man wishes to respond to his dignity, man must first respect and respond to his God as God is “I AM WHO I AM”.
    Note. Dr. Zeuss’s “The Grinch who stole Christmas” is an excellent study of all the little WHOs in WHOVILLE, Who had not yet achieved their knowses, read (noses). I must be adamant if not polite because man is created to know. to love and to serve God and God is WHO.

  • Mary De Voe,

    Mary I am not denying the Most Blessed Trinity-look at my post concerning neo-Arianism. I am not saying “the Son came into being at the Incarnation”. What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.

  • Botolph: You just met my mother in me. You gotta love her.
    Notice in Michelangelo’s Pieta, Mary does not touch the Body of Jesus. There is cloth between Christ’s Body and Mary’s hand. Christ’s arm touches Mary’s hand. In the same way the cope touches the monstrance with the Real Presence.

  • What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.
    Anyone who wills to belong to God wills to be Catholic. God wills to belong, and does belong, as our Creator and Redeemer and Sanctifier, to all people. But only the people who will to belong to God can be called Catholic. God is Catholic. It is we, the people, who are not Catholic. Let us stop blaming God for our lack of Faith.

  • Mary De Voe,

    To be honest, I had never noticed the fact that Mary’s hand does not touch the Body of Jesus. I first saw the Pieta at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 (?) might be off a year or two lol I have seen it several times back in its place of honor in Saint Peter’s in Rome-yet never noticed that. I do remember as a youth at the Vatican Pavilion at the NY World’s Fair of being moved to tears at both Michelangelo’s beautiful sculpture and at the “moment’ the sculpture was ‘attempting’ to portray.

    You are correct in your interpretation-that it is just like the priest’s vestment at Benediction prevents his hands from touching the Monstrance containing the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

  • Catholic means of use and value to all people. Show me a man who does not exist and I will show you a man who does not need a Catholic God.

  • what an idea: anyone thinking they could own God. I wouldn’t think that. But I would claim to be in His family. If I was as as I would be, I would identify with HIm so closely you could see the resemblance.

    Some people would not say God is Catholic because they think Catholic is a human designation like a denomination. But is not. It is His Body. No denomination, nor even a non denomination can say that He belongs to them ( Methodist God, Hindu god, etc) because He doesn’t belong to them. Anyone who belongs to God belong to him through the auspices and works of His Church. Which is Catholic.
    I say God is Catholic, I don’t say He is a Catholic. Makes sense to me.
    Jesus is Christian…its His last name 🙂 Jesus is Christian. That makes God Christian.
    The pope’s comment may be read in different ways and he may be perfectly right: Jesuitical thinking – right and yet wrong.
    Pope’s comment “I believe in God, not in a Catholic God” was made to an atheist. Which probably made no difference at all to the atheist in his choice against God. What was the pope’s point? …did he think the atheist might consider accepting God if He is dissociated with the Church? Aaach… pope, pope, pope–what a representation of the Good News – all good all the time, no difficult teachings, no judgment. Don’t worry about that talk about vomiting the lukewarm or that if you are not with Him you are against Him..
    If Catholic is too hard, pick one of the gods listed by the Episcopalian bishop of this post– or make up your own.

    In the fog of the pope distancing God from His Church, Scalfari asked the pope, “ is there a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?”
    Our Catholic Pope answered: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

  • This comment – If Catholic is too hard, pick one of the gods listed by the Episcopalian bishop of this post– or make up your own. was not meant to be directed to the pope and I wish I hadn’t said it.

  • Botolph: “What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.”
    God is espoused to us as a Catholic Bridegroom. God belongs to us as a Catholic Bridegroom because God wills to belong to us. “No one takes my life from me. I lay my life down and I take it up again” “My delight is to be among the sons of men.” Jesus, Himself, called Himself the “Son of Man”. In the Old Testament, there appeared in the furnace a fourth figure WHO looked like a man. In Revelation, God appears as a man seated on the throne. In the mystery of the hypostatic union, Jesus is true God and true man. God is indeed with us. God is Catholic. We, the people, belong to God through creation. God belongs to us through His willing it.
    and as Azlyne says: “I say God is Catholic, I don’t say He is a Catholic.” Thinking on that statement, God is Catholic and God is a Catholic for as Azlyne says Christ’s Church is Catholic. Christ’s Church couldn’t be Catholic if Christ was not a Catholic.
    “Our Catholic Pope answered: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… That would be enough to make the world a better place.” almost sounds like the heresy that God and the devil are equal but opposite. At least the guy above called God “The Supreme Sovereign Being.” There can be no two Supreme Beings as one would preempt the other. Actually, two Supreme Beings would cancel each other out and then there would be no “Supreme Being”. makes sense?
    Azlyne, I appreciate you thoughts and the fine language you used to express the truths of our Faith.

  • Anzlyne, I appreciate you thoughts and the fine language you used to express the truths of our Faith. Is there any chance you would change your name to Mary. I know how to spell Mary.

  • “….we have to encourage people to move toward what they think is good.”
    Pope Francis-

    I’m still shaking my head.

    If the smoke of Satan had entered in to the Holy Church I am saddened to believe that our Holy Father inhaled some of it. A few days ago a commentator on this site suggested we “buckle up.” Oh boy. Buckle up indeed.
    This is only the beginning of Frankie’s wild ride. Relativism from our Leader.
    Who would of thunk it?

  • Mary De Voe, Anzlyne and Philip,

    As this discussion has progressed I began to realize the ‘source’ of these ‘statements’ from Pope Francis. They are from the pseudo-interview that Pope Francis had with the very liberal atheist Italian editor of the what in Italy wwould be similar to the New York Times. The editor is in his 80’s. While I know some very astute octagenarians, I believe this one is losing it.

    When he had the interview, he had no recording device, no notes, nothing. The interview did take place but what he published as the interview was completely reconstructed from his memory. That is terrible journalist practice at best. It has at this point been completely shunned by any and all who are truly interested in Pope Francis’ view etc, It is no longer considered to be a real interview of Pope Francis.

    I am on my part have two things to say. First, I believe the poor man is actually suffering from early signs of dementia. At Christmas he wrote up a big article saying Pope Francis had done away with sin-which of course is not only not factual but a complete fabrication. I believe that editorial nailed his proverbial journalistic coffin

    Secondly in my first responses with Mary De Voe, while I thought the statement, “God is not a Catholic” odd, even if explainable, I confess I didn’t do my homework and uncover the truth that it was actually the Italian editor’s comment not the Pope’s. I will be very careful from now on.

    Just forget this interview. We will never know what Pope Francis actually ever said. Be not afraid. The words are the words of an italian atheist.

  • In today’s Gospel, St. Mark 2:28 quotes Jesus Christ: “Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Jesus Christ is one of us and a Catholic. God is Catholic.

  • “What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.”
    Emmanuel: God with us.

  • “Greetings to you in the name of Yahweh the God who actually exists, in the name of Muhammad’s psychotic hallucination, in the name of the Eternal Death that Buddha preached, and in the name of Hinduism’s cosmic frat boys. Greetings to the fool who says ‘there is no God’.”

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