From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
After several public failed relationships and an embarrassing 8-months without a boyfriend, award winning singer-songwriter Taylor Swift announced today via Twitter that she was leaving the music industry to become a nun.
“With some prayer, and lots of thinking about boys, I’ve decided to become a nun,” she wrote on Twitter.
Swift’s agent Rod Steelman confirmed this morning that she has been accepted into the Monastery of Our Lady of Perpetual Disappointment, a convent exclusively for women who respond to a calling immediately after experiencing a devastating breakup.
“She told me a few months ago that she had discerned entering a convent every time she had ever had a breakup, but that this last breakup was different,” Steelman told EOTT. “She said that she was thinking about how Jesus seemed like the only man that wouldn’t ever break up with her, and how she would never have to write a song about him like she did other men in her life. That’s when it dawned on her to get herself to the nunnery.”
Swift has won several awards, including ten Grammy Awards, one Emmy Award, and 21 Billboard Music Awards. Forbes recently named her in their annual 100 Most Powerful Women. Continue reading
Another papal mess to clean up:
Pope Francis again sparked calls for clarification today as he stated before the crowds in St. Peter’s Square: “God cannot be God without man.”
The pope was speaking from a written text at his Wednesday general audience.
According to theologians who spoke with LifeSite, there is a danger the phrase by itself could be taken in an erroneous way.
In context, the Pope said:
Dear brothers and sisters, we are never alone. We can be far, hostile; we can even say we are ‘without God.’ But Jesus Christ’s Gospel reveals to us that God cannot be without us: He will never be a God ‘without man’; it is He who cannot be without us, and this is a great mystery! God cannot be God without man: this is a great mystery!
John Paul Meenan, professor of theology at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, a Catholic college in Eastern Ontario, told LifeSiteNews that while the second phrase (God cannot be God without man) is open to misinterpretation, the Pope’s first wording (He will never be a God ‘without man’) is less problematic since it is in the future tense, “since God is now in an eternal covenant with man.” Professor Meenan said it is not true that ‘God cannot be God without man’ in a universal sense. Continue reading
Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there is no peace; and when one builds up a wall, behold, they plaster it with whitewash:
Ezekiel 13: 10
Pope Francis is requesting a minute of prayer for peace:
Pope Francis has appealed for prayers and international participation in the “One Minute for Peace” initiative to be held Thursday, 8 June, at 1:00 PM Rome time.
He said the initiative represents “a short moment of prayer on the recurrence of the meeting in the Vatican between me, the late Israeli President Peres, and the Palestinian President Abbas”.
Their encounter took place in the Vatican Gardens on 8 June 2014, during which the three men prayed together for peace. Continue reading
This may be interesting:
Venezuelan bishops will visit Pope Francis on Thursday as anti-government unrest continues unabated in the South American country, the Vatican said in a statement on Monday.
“The meeting was requested by the (Venezuelan) bishops conference, who would like to speak with the pope about the situation in Venezuela,” the statement said.
The appointment with the Argentine-born pontiff came months after Vatican-brokered peace talks between Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro and opposition leaders broke down. Continue reading
Sandro Magister takes a look at the financial support given by the Knights of Columbus to Vatican communications:
At the end of this month of June it will be seen whether the Knights of Columbus in the United States will for another year dispense 100,000 dollars for “Vatican Insider,” the religious information site that is most closely connected to Pope Francis through its coordinator Andrea Tornielli, a friend of Jorge Mario Bergoglio since long before he was elected to the papacy and still his frequent visitor.
“Vatican Insider” is a creature of the Turin-based newspaper “La Stampa,” where Tornielli is the vaticanista, and is still published on the web platform of this daily. But since July 1 of 2014 it has been kept alive precisely through the annual support of 100,000 dollars supplied by the Knights of Columbus and until now renewed at each expiration.
The man who holds the keys of this donation is Thomas Smith Jr., executive director of the Knights of Columbus and second in command of the organization, right after supreme knight Carl Anderson (in the photo). They are both convinced that keeping “Vatican Insider” alive is a desire of Pope Francis himself, and feel the need to show their obedience and devotion to him in this way as well.
The reputation of the Knights of Columbus is in fact by no means in line with the novelties of the current pontificate. It should suffice to look at the recent portrait of the Knights in somber, ultraconservative tones drawn by the “National Catholic Reporter,” a leader of the progressive American Catholic media, in a series of highly documented articles that is summarized in this, the last:
One of the more distressing aspects of this Pontificate is how firmly Pope Francis believes things that simply are not true. A prime example of this is his oft repeated contention that most wars are caused by arms merchants, the old “merchants of death” theory of international conflict.
This was a fairly common meme in the thirties of the last century when it was argued with a straight face, in the wake of World War I disenchantment and the growth of pacifism in the democracies, that World War I had been caused by arms dealers and by governments eager to profiteer from war. Alas it was complete and utter rubbish and it is rubbish still. Of course it is important to the Pope that wars be caused by sinister cabals of greedy men who initiate conflicts to make money. This helps the Pope ignore the fact that most wars occur due to intractable differences between nations and people that are not amenable to negotiation. Such reality does not fit into the Pope’s ideological world view, and when reality comes into conflict with what the Pope believes, so much the worse for reality. Such a refusal to face facts can be harmful for an individual, it is disastrous for the Vicar of Christ.
From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
Pope Francis on Monday warned against the excessive rigidity of the Ten Commandments and said “God gives us the freedom to search our own conscience for commandments.”
“I always try to understand what’s behind people who are too young to have seen Moses walk down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, and yet still they want to obey them,” Francis said. “Sometimes I find myself confronted with a very legalistic person who follows the Commandments and I ask myself, ‘Why so much rigidity?’ This rigidity in following the Commandments always hides something, insecurity or even something else.”
Pope Francis went on to say that, “Behind an attitude of always feeling like you must follow the rigidity of the Commandments there is something else in the life of a person. The Commandments are not a gift of God. The Beatitudes are because they are not a list of rules that stiffen us and make us rigid; they make us feel good.” Continue reading
It is easy to be gloomy about the Faith when viewing the antics of the current powers that be in the Vatican. However they are a mere aberration in the history of the Church. The power and glory of Catholicism has survived worse than them over the past 20 centuries. In a speech given last month Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna, gave us a reminder of the battle we are currently engaged in:
There is a book in Holy Scripture, the last, the Apocalypse, which describes the final confrontation between the two kingdoms. In this book, the attraction of Christ takes the form of triumph over enemy powers commanded by Satan. It is a triumph which comes after lengthy combat. The first fruits of the victory are the martyrs. “The great Dragon, serpent of the primal age, he whom we call the devil, or Satan, seducer of the whole world, was flung down to earth… But they [= the martyrs] overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony of their martyrdom” [cfr. Ap. 12, 9.11].
- In this second section, I would like to respond to the following question: in our Western culture, are there developments which reveal with particular clarity the confrontation between the attraction exerted over man by the Crucified-Risen One, and the culture of the lie constructed by Satan? My response is affirmative, and there are two developments in particular.
- The first development is the transformation of a crime [termed by Vatican Council II nefandum crimen], abortion, into a right. Note well. I am not speaking of abortion as an act perpetrated by one person. I am speaking of the broader legitimation which can be perpetrated by a judicial system in a single act: to subsume it into the category of the subjective right, which is an ethical category. This signifies calling what is good, evil, what is light, shadow. “When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies”. This is an attempt to produce an “anti-Revelation”.
What in fact is the logic which presides over the ennoblement of abortion? Firstly, it is the profoundest negation of the truth of man. As soon as Noah left the floodwaters, God said: “Whoever sheds the blood of a man, by a man shall that person’s blood be shed, for in his own image God made man” [Gen. 9, 6]. The reason why man should not shed the blood of man is that man is the image of God. Through man, God dwells in His creation. This creation is the temple of the Lord, because man inhabits it. To violate the intangibility of the human person is a sacrilegious act against the Sanctity of God. It is the Satanic attempt to generate an “anti-creation”. By ennobling the killing of humans, Satan has laid the foundations for his “creation”: to remove from creation the image of God, to obscure his presence therein.
St Ambrose writes: “The creation of the world was completed with formation of the masterpiece which is man, which… is in fact the culmination of creation, the supreme beauty of every created being” [Exam., Sixth day, Disc 9, 10.75; BA I, page 417]. At the moment at which the right of man to order the life and the death of another man is affirmed, God is expelled from his creation, because his original presence is denied, and his original dwelling-place within creation – the human person – is desecrated
- The second development is the ennoblement of homosexuality. This in fact denies entirely the truth of marriage, the mind of God the Creator with regard to marriage.
The Divine Revelation has told us how God thinks of marriage: the lawful union of a man and woman, the source of life. In the mind of God, marriage has a permanent structure, based on the duality of the human mode of being: femininity and masculinity. Not two opposite poles, but the one with and for the other. Only thus does man escape his original solitude.
One of the fundamental laws through which God governs the universe is that He does not act alone. This is the law of human cooperation with the divine governance. The union between a man and woman, who become one flesh, is human cooperation in the creative act of God: every human person is created by God and begotten by its parents. God celebrates the liturgy of his creative act in the holy temple of conjugal love.
In summary. There are two pillars of creation: the human person in its irreducibility to the material universe, and the conjugal union between a man and woman, the place in which God creates new human persons “in His image and likeness”. The axiological elevation of abortion to a subjective right is the demolition of the first pillar. The ennoblement of a homosexual relationship, when equated to marriage, is the destruction of the second pillar.
At the root of this is the work of Satan, who wants to build an actual anti-creation. This is the ultimate and terrible challenge which Satan is hurling at God. “I am demonstrating to you that I am capable of constructing an alternative to your creation. And man will say: it is better in the alternative creation than in your creation”. Continue reading
Rumors are swirling about this:
Rumors are circulating that Pope Francis has set up a secret commission to “re-examine” the Church’s teaching against the evil of contraception. Let’s hope they prove false.
Such a commission under Francis’ leadership would likely undermine and even corrupt the Church’s beautiful teaching on the meaning and purpose of conjugal relations.
We saw exactly this sort of undermining happen during the Synods on the Family. The pope’s final document, the ambiguous Amoris Laetitia, has been used to undermine the indissolubility of marriage, to approve of adulterous relationships, to give Holy Communion to adulterers and fornicators, and to elevate conscience above the laws of God as reflected in the perennial teachings of the Church.
Earlier this month veteran Italian Vaticanist Marco Tosatti blogged about “unconfirmed reports from good sources” that Francis “is on the verge of appointing – or even might have already formed – a secret commission to examine and potentially study changes to the Church’s position on the issue of contraception.”
“We have so far no official confirmation of the existence and composition of this entity; but a request for confirmation, or for denial, which was put forward to the competent authorities, has so far not been answered – which could be a signal in itself – in the sense that, if the report was completely unfounded, it wouldn’t take much to say so,” Tosatti wrote on May 11.
Tosatti’s claim of a secret commission has, of this writing, still not been confirmed or denied by Vatican officials.
Six days later, in a May 17 article, OnePeterFive’s Maike Hickson reported that she was able to confirm Tosatti’s claim of a secret commission by a “well-informed source in Rome” who was, however, unable to “give specific names of the members of that commission.”
My huge fear is that such a commission with Francis at the helm can only arrive at the conclusion, contrary to Catholic faith, that “pastoral accompaniment” of people in “concrete situations” means allowing them to “discern” the use of contraceptives in “serious” cases according to a “well-informed conscience.”
I hope I’m dead wrong. But my fear that the commission would reach such a conclusion is based on what Pope Francis has already said on various occasions about the matter of contraception. Here are a few samples of what he has said that make me so worried: Continue reading
This homily by Pope Francis yesterday is attracting attention:
“A shepherd must be ready to step down completely from his church, rather than leave in a partial manner” said the Pope.
His words were drawn from the first reading at Mass, where St Paul addressed the church leaders in Ephesus. The Pope said that this reading could easily be called “A bishop’s leave taking” because Paul has left the Church of Ephesus in order to go to Jerusalem, where the Holy Spirit called him to go.
“All shepherds have to step down. There comes a moment where the Lord says ‘go to another place, come here, go there, come to me.’ And it’s one of the steps that a shepherd must take; be prepared to step down in the correct way, not still hanging on to his position. The shepherd who doesn’t learn how to do this because he still has some links with his sheep that are not good, links that are not purified by the Cross of Jesus” said Pope Francis.
Go here to read the rest. Is this a signal? Is Pope Francis signaling his own retirement? Is he signaling dissatisfaction with the Pope Emeritus? Is it not a signal but merely an exegesis from the reading? How say you?
Sandro Magister believes that Pope Francis is not popular among the Bishops:
With the appointment as president of Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, after that of the secretary general three years ago, Pope Francis now has full control of the Italian episcopal conference, one third of whose bishops have been installed by him, even in dioceses of the first rank like Bologna, Palermo, the vicariate of Rome, and soon also Milan.
Appointments are a key element in the strategy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. It should suffice to look at how he is reshaping in his image the college of cardinals, which in the future will elect his successor. After the latest batch of cardinals, announced one week ago for the end of June, chances are slimmer that the next pope could mark a return to the past.
Italy aside, however, winning the agreement of the bishops is anything but easy for Francis.
While on the contrary the more vital Churches of Africa are those that stood together, in the two combative synods on the family, against the innovations desired by the pope.
If one then looks at the Americas, both North and South, the picture appears even more unfavorable for the pope.
In Canada, the six bishops of the region of Alberta have publicly taken a position against the go-ahead given by Francis to communion for the divorced and remarried, while in the United States the episcopal conference last November elected as its president Cardinal Daniel N. Di Nardo, precisely one of the thirteen cardinals of the memorable protest letter that infuriated Bergoglio at the beginning of the last synod.
In the American media, this election was covered as a referendum on Pope Francis, and there was reason for this. One year before, on a visit to the United States, Francis had ordered the bishops to change course and to get into step with him; and he had accompanied these commands with a series of appointments close to his mentality, in the first place that of Blase J. Cupich as archbishop of Chicago and as cardinal.
But if there was a referendum, Bergoglio lost it altogether. In the preselection for the appointment of the president, out of ten candidates elected only one to his liking made it in. And the elections of the vice-president – archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gómez, a member of Opus Dei – and of the heads of the commissions were also contrary to the pope’s expectations.
Even in Latin America, Bergoglio has few admirers.
In Colombia the bishops did not like – and they let him know this – the prejudicial support that Francis gave for the “yes” in the referendum on an agreement with the guerrillas of the FARC, an agreement that many bishops judged as a surrender and that in effect was rejected by the popular vote.
In Bolivia the bishops simply cannot stand the blatantly friendly relationship between Bergoglio and “cocalero” president Evo Morales, their bitter enemy especially since they publicly accused the “high structures” of the state of connections with drug trafficking.
In a Venezuela plunged into catastrophe, there is sadness and anger every time President Nicolás Maduro lashes out against them while appealing to Pope Francis, whose support he boasts having. And unfortunately for the bishops, the words spoken by the pope in commenting on the Venezuelan crisis during his latest in-flight press conference, on the way back from Cairo, sounded too benevolent toward the president and malevolent toward the opposition. Continue reading
From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
Just days after rumors emerged that Montana priest Fr. Gregory Forte could be made a bishop, reports that he apparently attacked a Catholic News Agency reporter the night before the pope made his final decision has thrown the diocese into turmoil.
Political reporter for Catholic News Agency Mary Rezac claimed late Wednesday night that while asking Forte a question regarding how silly altar girls look when they wear high heels, the candidate for bishop suddenly body slammed her to the floor, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”
“He took me to the ground,” Rezac told colleague Ryan Thomas. “This is the strangest thing a priest has ever done to me.”
A spokesman for the diocese released a statement accusing Rezac of crashing the Mass, claiming that Rezac “walked up to the altar, aggressively shoved a recorder in Forte’s face, and began asking badgering question.”
But witnesses say that after Forte asked Rezac to remove the recorder, he then removed parts of his vestments, saying, “I’m sick and tired of this,” and body slammed her, before moving into position to place her leg in what is known as a DDT. It was at that point that Rezac was able to free herself and grab a conveniently placed folded chair.
“That’s when she hit him with the chair,” one witness told EOTT. “Calling to those gathered to get on their feet, Rezac went on to execute a suplex on Forte, which laid him out long enough for authorities to arrive.”
Church officials said Rezac was examined at a hospital and released. Officials have stated though the nature of the injuries did not meet the elements of a mortal sin, that Forte would be booked for misdemeanor wrath.
Carl Olson at The Catholic World Report has a keen summing up of this Pap
Ironically, while Francis talks about clarifying doctrine, there’s simply no doubt that Amoris Laetitia, despite all protests and posturings, has instead confused, disturbed, and confounded with its ambiguities and problematic assertions. Insistence that this is all about “pastoral” issues is misleading, at best, since doctrine and practice go hand in hand; you need not be a theologian to see the essential relationship between what you believe and how you live (it might even be that not being a theologian is helpful in this regard). This pontificate has been divisive in ways few could have imagined prior to 2013. In addition, while Francis likes to talk about the “people”, it’s fairly evident that he has little patience for those people who dare question his questionable statements and actions, no matter how carefully, formally, or respectually they do so. His impatience with theological precision and doctrinal clarity is unsettling. As I noted back in December 2015:
I can only conclude that, for whatever reason, this pope has a deep aversion to theological precision (and, thus, clarity) and is quite impatient with how “doctrine” and “dogma” impede his vision of how things should be in the Church. This is troubling on several counts … First, following the logic of Francis’ various remarks, the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI (for starters) were pharisaical and unnecessarily complex, and thus stand opposed to his vision of mercy. Whether or not Francis cares about such a logical progression and conclusion is, of course, an entirely different matter.
And it’s not just about burying Benedict; it’s also about ignoring St. John Paul II. In the meantime, there is the name-calling, the scolding, and the vague appeals to the Holy Spirit. Continue reading
Well the meeting occurred. I would note that Ivanka and Melania were properly attired wearing black with veils, a fitting display of respect for the Vicar of Christ:
The meeting turned out not to be about Francis, the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, taking the American president to the woodshed about building a wall or closing borders to refugees.
Diplomatically speaking, they met as equals – as Heads of State.
There is a huge clash of styles between the two men: the pope, a model of humility; and Trump, more of a showman-businessman combo.
But Francis is all about finding common ground. And while Trump is known for his “Art of the Deal,” Francis has the divine calling for the Art of Persuasion. In that vein, a key exchange of the meeting was his gift to the president: copies of his three major writings.
The first is his encyclical, “Evangelii Gaudium” — The Joy of the Gospel. This is about finding the core of Christianity. It’s about real faith. It will speak to Francis’ reason behind his statement, “No true Christian would build a wall.”
Next is “Amoris Laetitia” — The Joy of Love. This is about family, about sexual mores, divorce, communion and all those thorny issues the church is dealing with as the meaning of “family” in a secularized world has changed. The key here is that it is neither conservative nor liberal. It was Francis’ unique way of speaking the truth in love.
And finally, “Laudato Si” — On Care of Our Common Home. This is the major encyclical on the environment and climate change. It had a big release in 2015, with many seeing this as a central focus of Francis’ papacy. It is an issue they may disagree on, but again, Francis is about persuasion. He’s letting his writing do the talking.
President Trump said, “Well, I’ll be reading them.”
Most of the real diplomacy work took place during the president’s brief meeting afterwards with the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the Secretary for Relations with States Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher.
Reports called them “cordial discussions” that included talks about a joint commitment in favor of life, freedom of worship, and freedom of conscience – all issues the Catholic Church is concerned about. Continue reading
In anticipation of the grand meeting in Rome of Pope and President:
The leader can be described thusly:
- He is impulsive.
- He insults enemies.
- He uses twitter daily.
- He loves media attention.
- His most ardent supporters resemble a cult.
- He is autocratic.
- He is sometimes inarticulate when he goes off script.
- He is a source of division.
- His statements are frequently factually challenged.
- He believes in conspiracy theories.
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Mathew 7: 14
Pope Francis continues with his mercy uber alles theme:
Pope Francis says Catholic leaders do a “great injustice” when they say God judges sinners when in fact he forgives sinners with his mercy.
At an evening prayer service Friday in Fatima, Portugal, Francis said: “Mercy has to be put before judgment and, in any case, God’s judgment will always be rendered in light of his mercy.”
Francis has riled the more doctrinaire wing of the church with his mercy-over-morals priorities, particularly after the last two doctrine-minded papacies. He recently concluded an entire Holy Year on trying to show the more merciful side of the church.
Francis delivered the mercy-trumps-judgment message on the first day of a two-day visit to the shrine at Fatima, where three shepherd children reported having visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago. Francis will declare two of the children saints on Saturday, the 100th anniversary of the apparitions. Continue reading
The Pope takes a look at the Council of Jerusalem to accuse those who oppose him of trying to impose ideology rather than doctrine:
The Holy Father was commenting on the First Reading, from the Acts of the Apostles. He noted that even in the first Christian community “there were jealousies, power struggles, a certain deviousness that wanted to profit from and to buy power.” There are always problems, he said: “We are human, we are sinners” and there are difficulties, even in the Church. But being sinners leads to humility and to drawing close to the Lord, as Saviour who saves us from our sins. With regard to the gentiles who the Spirit called to become Christians, the Holy Father recalled that, in the reading, the apostles and the elders chose several people to go to Antioch together with Paul and Barnabas. The reading describes two different kinds of people: those who had “forceful discussions” but with “a good spirit,” on the one hand; and those who “sowed confusion”:
“The group of the apostles who want to discuss the problem, and the others who go and create problems. They divide, they divide the Church, they say that what the Apostles preached is not what Jesus said, that it is not the truth.”
The apostles discussed the situation among themselves, and in the end came to an agreement:
“But it is not a political agreement; it is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that leads them to say: no things, no necessities. Only those who say: don’t eat meat at the time, meat sacrificed to idols, because that was communion with the idols; abstain from blood, from animals that were strangled, and from illegitimate unions.”
The Pope pointed to the “liberty of the Spirit” that leads to agreement: so, he said, the gentiles were allowed to enter the Church without having to undergo circumcision. It was at the heart of the “first Council” of the Church: the Holy Spirit and they, the Pope with the Bishops, all together,” gathered together in order “to clarify the doctrine;” and later, through the centuries – as at Ephesus or at Vatican II – because “it is a duty of the Church to clarify the doctrine,” so that “what Jesus said in the Gospels, what is the Spirit of the Gospels, would be understood well”:
“But there were always people who without any commission go out to disturb the Christian community with speeches that upset souls: ‘Eh, no, someone who says that is a heretic, you can’t say this, or that; this is the doctrine of the Church.’ And they are fanatics of things that are not clear, like those fanatics who go there sowing weeds in order to divide the Christian community. And this is the problem: when the doctrine of the Church, that which comes from the Gospel, that which the Holy Spirit inspires – because Jesus said, “He will teach us and remind you of all that I have taught’ – [when] that doctrine becomes an ideology. And this is the great error of those people.”
These individuals, the Pope explained, “were not believers, they were ideologized,” they had an ideology that closed the heart to the work of the Holy Spirit. The Apostles, on the other hand, certainly discussed things forcefully, but they were not ideologized: “They had hearts open to what the Holy Spirit said. And after the discussion ‘it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us.’” Continue reading