Tuesday, June 21, AD 2016



Please read this letter and then in the comboxes give me a guesstimate  of the percentage of people at the Vatican who actually believe that Catholicism is the True Faith:


Christians and Muslims: 

Beneficiaries and Instruments of Divine Mercy

Dear Muslim brothers and sisters,

1. The month of Ramadan and ‘Id al-Fitr is an important religious event for Muslims around the world, focused on fasting, prayer and good deeds, and is esteemed by Christians, your friends and neighbours. On behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Christians all over the world, we extend best wishes for a spiritually rewarding fast, supported by good deeds, and for a joyful feast.

As is our cherished custom, we wish to share with you on this occasion some reflections in the hope of strengthening the spiritual bonds we share.

2. A theme that is close to the hearts of Muslims and Christians alike is mercy.

We know that Christianity and Islam both believe in a merciful God, who shows his mercy and compassion towards all his creatures, in particular the human family. He created us out of an immense love. He is merciful in caring for each of us, bestowing upon us the gifts we need for our daily life, such as food, shelter and security. God’s mercy is manifested in a particular way, however, through the pardon of our faults; hence he is the one who pardons (al-Ghâfir), but the one who pardons much and always (al-Ghafour).

3. To underscore the importance of mercy, His Holiness Pope Francis declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy to be celebrated from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016. In this regard he said: “Here… is the reason for the Jubilee: because this is the time for mercy. It is the favorable time to heal wounds, a time not to be weary of meeting all those who are waiting to see and to touch with their hands the signs of the closeness of God, a time to offer everyone, everyone, the way of forgiveness and reconciliation” (“Homily”, 11 April 2015).

Your pilgrimage (hajj) to the Holy places, mainly Mecca and Medina, is surely a special time for you to experience God’s mercy. In fact, among the well-known aspirations addressed to Muslim pilgrims is: “I wish you a blessed pilgrimage, praiseworthy efforts and the pardon of your sins”. Making a pilgrimage to obtain God’s pardon for sins, both for the living and dead, is truly a salient custom practice among believers.

4. We, Christians and Muslims, are called to do our best to imitate God. He, the Merciful, asks us to be merciful and compassionate towards others, especially those who are in any kind of need. So too he calls us to be forgiving of one another.

When we gaze upon humanity today, we are saddened to see so many victims of conflicts and violence – here we think in particular of the elderly, and children and women, especially those who fall prey to human trafficking and the many people who suffer from poverty, illness, natural disasters and unemployment.

5. We cannot close our eyes to these realities, or turn away from these sufferings. It is true that situation are often very complex and that their solution exceeds our capacities. It is vital, therefore, that all work together in assisting those in need. It is a source of great hope when we experience or hear of Muslims and Christians joining hands to help the needy. When we do join hands, we heed an important command in our respective religions and show forth God’s mercy, thus offering a more credible witness, individually and communally, to our beliefs.

May the Merciful and Almighty God help us to walk always along the path of goodness and compassion!

6. We join our prayerful good wishes to those of Pope Francis for abundant blessings during Ramadan and for a lasting joy of ‘Id al-Fitr.

Happy Feast to you all!

From the Vatican, 10 June 2016

Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran


Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.I.


Continue reading...

23 Responses to Gag

  • Less than 5% at the Vatican really believe that only Jesus is the way, the truth and the light.

  • Sickening!!! Absolutely sickening!!!! Heretical!!!! Beyond my ability to express in words my horror. The people who sent this letter to Muslims do not know Christ.

  • Gone is the apostolic fervor of St. Francis. In are the political machinations of Pope Francis. Any Muslim reading Cardinal Tauran’s letter would say the Catholic Church has surrendered to Islam and given up it’s mission to preach Christ to the whole world.

    I will guess that less that 50% believe Catholicism is the true faith. However, I also believe that over 90% believe it is no longer necessary to convert the entire world to our faith.

  • I can’t put a number on it but I would bet that the overwhelming majority of Catholics – lay and clergy – have not thought through the logic that if you say that other religions are effective ways to God you have told Christ that the cross was not necessary. Thanks, Jesus, but did you know that whole miserable cross buisness was not necessary??? Look at all these other ways!!

  • “‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me”

    Grammy, you are correct, and so we also get out of that pesky Luke 9:23 requirement. What a relief! We can follow the Jesus who we want.

  • Actually, the letter is pretty innocuous, except for this:

    Your pilgrimage (hajj) to the Holy places, mainly Mecca and Medina, is surely a special time for you to experience God’s mercy. In fact, among the well-known aspirations addressed to Muslim pilgrims is: “I wish you a blessed pilgrimage, praiseworthy efforts and the pardon of your sins”. Making a pilgrimage to obtain God’s pardon for sins, both for the living and dead, is truly a salient custom practice among believers.

    This passage basically confirms Muslim beliefs concerning the hajj.

  • It has been said that there are very few act of mercy described in the suras.

  • “Actually, the letter is pretty innocuous, except for this:”

    Innocuous my hind end!!

    Muslims are not our spiritual brothers & sisters as they are still in the kingdom of Satan and are children of the devil as is anyone who has not been made a new creation through the cleansing power of forgiveness of sins and the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    True Christians do not esteem the useless & spiritually fruitless fasting and other physical exercises carried out in fleshly powers during the month of Ramadan. We recognize these machinations for what they are–useless exercises in the flesh in the service of a false god that accomplishes nothing in the spiritual realm except binding the adherent further into spiritual bondage.

    Christians, who have been brought into the kingdom of light through repentance and faith in the death, burial, & resurrection of Jesus Christ, do not share spiritual bonds with those who are still members of the kingdom of darkness.

    Equating our God of the Bible with the false god of the Koran is pure blasphemy.

    Allah is NOT a merciful god. He has made no way for his followers to gain entrance to Heaven–hence them committing suicide, etc., in an attempt to achieve paradise in the next life. The death & slaughter being carried out in the name of Allah is not mercy. Allah calls for the death and/or subjugation of anyone who is not of the Muslim Faith and the slavery of all women.

    Do you know of anywhere in the world where Christians & Muslims work side by side in peace to cure societal’s ills? I don’t.

    Christians wish that Muslims be set free from their useless and Hell bound false beliefs & practices. Not that Muslims continue in them further.

  • What The Christian Teacher said!
    In fact, Islam is the sum-total and combination of nearly every heresy ever hatched by Satan.
    The garbage that Muslims “believe ” about Jesus is a sin against the Holy Spirit: the one sin Jesus told us can never be forgiven.

  • It has to be 1% – modern rhetoric dictates so. Probably a greater number that would include spineless, cowardly, and tortured silent hierarchy.
    What a wasteland!
    Francis of Assisi spoke of love for the Lord, what is the stuff of the First Commandment of God, given in love for His people to Moses, defining love and the way to live in Ten steps.
    Contrast to the verbiage, publications, and personnel activites of today’s namesake that teach a one-way love from, not for, God.

  • I don’t think that any of the letter is strictly false, but none of it is innocuous either. It’s misleading. Take TomD’s passage:

    Your pilgrimage (hajj) to the Holy places, mainly Mecca and Medina, is surely a special time for you to experience God’s mercy. (It could lead you to realize the hollowness of your religion, and to recognize God’s true mercy through the Cross.)

    In fact, among the well-known aspirations addressed to Muslim pilgrims is: “I wish you a blessed pilgrimage, praiseworthy efforts and the pardon of your sins”. (That’s a fact. That’s what they say. It doesn’t prove that the pilgrimage does lead to the pardon of your sins.)

    Making a pilgrimage to obtain God’s pardon for sins, both for the living and dead, is truly a salient custom practice among believers. (Salient means important. Rubbing peanut butter on your head for the pardon of sins could be a salient practice. It doesn’t make it valid. Or better yet, taking real medicine is a salient part of Western healing, and taking fake medicine is a salient part of Asian healing, but only real medicine works.)

    So, there, I’ve found a way to read the statement so that I could pass a lie detector test. Is that a good criterion for a document? This is the problem with ecumenism.

  • Popes from the beginning have fought the Muslims. In the year 916 or there about, Pope John X led the battle against the Muslims and the Pope kisses their feet.

  • What ever the % is, they should be making an uproar right now! Jesus chase the devil out! The lightening strike, the smoke, the fog…. all sensible signs call us to battle.

  • The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day. Catechism of the Catholic Church 841

  • Is The Christian Teacher Catholic? Here what Pope SAINT John Paul the great said: “I close my greeting to you with the words of one of my predecessors, Pope Gregory VII who in 1076 wrote to Al-Nasir, the Muslim Ruler of Bijaya, present day Algeria: ‘Almighty God, who wishes that all should be saved and none lost, approves nothing in so much as that after loving Him one should love his fellow man, and that one should not do to others, what one does not want done to oneself. You and we owe this charity to ourselves especially because we believe in and confess one God, admittedly, in a different way, and daily praise and venerate him, the creator of the world and ruler of this world.’
    “These words, written almost a thousand years ago, express my feelings to you today as you celebrate ‘Id al-Fitr, the Feast of the Breaking of the Fast. May the Most High God fill us with all His merciful love and peace.” Pope Saint John Paul II, April 3, 1991

  • Man is a spiritual being. We believers know that we do not live in a closed world. We believe in God. We are worshipers of God. We are seekers of God.
    “The Catholic Church regards with respect and recognizes the equality of your religious progress, the richness of your spiritual tradition. . . .
    “I believe that we, Christians and Muslims, must recognize with joy the religious values that we have in common, and give thanks to God for them. Both of us believe in one God, the only God, who is all justice and all mercy; we believe in the importance of prayer, of fasting, of almsgiving, of repentance and of pardon; we believe that God will be a merciful judge to us all at the end of time, and we hope that after the resurrection He will be satisfied with us and we know that we will be satisfied with him.
    “Loyalty demands also that we should recognize and respect our differences. Obviously the most fundamental is the view that we hold onto the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth. You know that, for Christians, Jesus causes them to enter into an intimate knowledge of the mystery of God and into the filial communion by His gifts, so that they recognize Him and proclaim Him Lord and Savior.
    “Those are the important differences which we can accept with humility and respect, in mutual tolerance; this is a mystery about which, I am certain, God will one day enlighten us.
    “Christians and Muslims, in general we have badly understood each other, and sometimes, in the past, we have opposed and often exhausted each other in polemics and in wars.
    “I believe that today, God invites us to change our old practices. We must respect each other, and we must stimulate each other in good works.” Pope St John Paul the Great, 1985

  • “Pope Gregory VII”

    Who laid the intellectual framework for the Great Crusade of his successor, and protégé, Pope Urban II.

    “Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all who are willing to defend the Christian faith, greeting and apostolic benediction.

    We hereby inform you that the bearer of this letter, on his recent return from across the sea [from Palestine], came to Rome to visit us. He repeated what we had heard from many others, that a pagan race had overcome the Christians and with horrible cruelty had devastated everything almost to the walls of Constantinople, and were now governing the conquered lands with tyrannical violence, and that they had slain many thousands of Christians as if they were but sheep. If we love God and wish to be recognized as Christians, we should be filled with grief at the misfortune of this great empire [the Greek] and the murder of so many Christians. But simply to grieve is not our whole duty. The example of our Redeemer and the bond of fraternal love demand that we should lay down our lives to liberate them. “Because he has laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren,” [1 John 3:16]. Know, therefore, that we are trusting in the mercy of God and in the power of his might and that we are striving in all possible ways and making preparations to render aid to the Christian empire [the Greek] as quickly as possible. Therefore we beseech you by the faith in which you are united through Christ in the adoption of the sons of God, and by the authority of St. Peter, prince of apostles, we admonish you that you be moved to proper compassion by the wounds and blood of your brethren and the danger of the aforesaid empire and that, for the sake of Christ, you undertake the difficult task of bearing aid to your brethren [the Greeks]. Send messengers to us at once inform us of what God may inspire you to do in this matter.”

    Pope Gregory VII (1074)

  • “Harold on Thursday, June 23, A.D. 2016 at 2:20pm
    “Is The Christian Teacher Catholic?”

    Since when is being Catholic equated with declaring Islam equal with Christianity?

    I wasn’t aware that agreement with greetings with falsehoods in them written by Popes to Muslim leaders was a requirement of Catholicism.

    Do you believe it is?

  • “Harold Ullenberg on Thursday, June 23, A.D. 2016 at 2:11pm
    The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day. Catechism of the Catholic Church 841.”

    Harold, are meaning to indicate that you are among the number who do not believe that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is necessary for salvation? That we could follow the teachings & god of Islam and be right with God?

  • This is not what I converted to Catholicism for.

  • What did Jesus say about the false prophets to come? All of it applies to Mohammy the pedophile/liar/murderer/thief/schizophrenic………

    All who understand the faith are ashamed of this wimpy pope….

  • Pinky wrote:

    “I don’t think that any of the letter is strictly false, but none of it is innocuous either.”

    Aye. That is what makes it so dangerous…

Of Walls and Glass Houses

Friday, February 19, AD 2016


And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that.

Pope Francis, in response to a question about the immigration policy espoused by Donald Trump.

In light of the Pope’s above comments, perhaps US immigration policy needs to be reformed.  Maybe we should emulate the immigration policy of the Vatican State, which, presumably, must be Christian, even though it is a very strict immigration policy?



Under the new legal regimen, citizenship can be acquired by law (ex iure) or by administrative decision. Ex iure citizenship is granted to only three classes of persons: (a) the Cardinals resident in the Vatican City State or in Rome; (b) the Holy See’s diplomats; and (c) the persons who reside in Vatican City State by reason of their office or service. This last class includes the members of the Swiss Guard.

Pursuant to Law n. CXXXI, the acquisition of citizenship by administrative decision can only be requested in three situations: (a) by residents of the Vatican City State when they are authorized by reason of their office or service; (b) by the persons who have obtained papal authorization to reside in the State, independently of any other conditions; and (c) by the spouses and children of current citizens, who are also residents, of the Vatican City State.

Due to the special nature of the Vatican City State, the traditional factors utilized to acquire citizenship (ius sanguinis, ius loci, or ius soli) are not applicable and are not found in its regulations. In lieu of them, the Vatican City State has opted for other factors that are more appropriate for its structure and political organization.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Of Walls and Glass Houses

  • Sometimes I wish the Holy Father would spend the rest of his pontificate on silent retreat.

  • Pope Francis – typical Latin American politician

  • The outer wall of Rome is the Aurelian Wall.

    This is the wall that was breached by General Raffaele Cardona’s artillary at the Porta Pia on 20 September 1870 and the Bersaglieri entered through the breach.

    It was a century later, on 20 September 1970, that Bl Paul Vi became the first pope to send a reresentative ( Cardinal Angelo Dell’Acqua, Vicar of Rome) to the annual celebration of the Unification of Italy, held there annually outside the Bersaglieri Regimental Museum that marks the breach.

  • Donald, while this indiscretion of the Pope seems to be another inappropriate remark, I am more concerned on what was reportedly said by him about contraception. Might you cover that? Thanks for the consideration.

  • Eventually I will, although I am waiting on events to see what happens first. Alarm bells are ringing, and I think some of them are ringing in the upper reaches of the Vatican.

  • The Roman Pontiff knows not of what he speaks. He’s too arrogant to understand that.

Vatican Priorities

Tuesday, July 21, AD 2015

5 Responses to Vatican Priorities

  • Using seedy people to help with the message?
    Well our Lord did send forth Judas Iscariot to bring the message to the world, though I’m quite confused about this apparently new hierarchy of sin, where sodomy and selling baby parts is less grave than using an air conditioner when measured on the scoldometer.

  • If these idiots were serious about and really believed in anthropogenic global warming (AGW), then they would just as ardently support nuclear energy, the ONLY effective means of replacing base-load fossil energy purported to cause AGW. But as it is, Governor Moonbeam and his mayoral nitwit Komrades oppose nuclear energy tooth and nail with as much fervor as they claim to fear AGW.
    It is a freaking game and this Pope is either their architect or their dupe. That photo of him wearing a communist medallion and receiving a communist icon was enough to convince me that while he may be Pope, he is very bad indeed, whether from intrinsic evil or from Argentinian Peronist stupidity is hard to tell.

  • This video shows a woman singing a hymn to Gaia on a TV mass for shut ins in Toronto.

  • Hey Don r. Mc- you ‘seldom get angry’ BUT have you, upon long deep reflection, come up with an answer to – What have we done to deserve this ? the last 50 years of Church and American History speak of a punishment for something , but what? What did we do to deserve Barbara Boxer and Streisand? Mahony and Weakland ? Ratzinger resigning? half hearted effort in Viet Nam ? Novus Ordo. cum by ya ? Pelosi, Biden, Barry ? Dinkins? F1? mo udall , behner ? IRS , the V.A . common core?

    we really got on the bad side of someone important?

  • Evil and mistakes in this Fallen World are never uncommon, and each generation often provides quite a bit of both, as well as examples of good and correct courses of action. The problem is when we do not learn from all of it. That is the most disheartening aspect of the current pontificate. Pope Francis is attempting I think to revive a Vatican II era policy of “engagement with the world”. That such a policy produced largely disastrous results the first go round matters not a whit to the Pope.

Gennarini, Archer and Shea

Tuesday, June 9, AD 2015



Faithful readers of this blog will recall the interview that Stefano Gennarini conducted with Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, go here to read all about it.  The interview has developed into a larger controversy following a First Things article by Gennarini.  Go here to read it.  Mahound’s Paradise sets the stage for us:



The President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), appointed by Pope Francis in 2014, just publicly dropped the “H” word on a pro-life writer at First Things.

The full saga involves the First Things writer, Stefano Gennarini, the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo and Margaret Archer, the president of PASS. It was in the context of initial criticism by Gennarini of the Vatican working closely with “population control” advocates Ban Ki-moon and Jeffrey Sachs.

Lifesite News sums the whole thing up well here. But I wanted to excerpt (with a few annotations) some of the worst parts of the letter written by Ms. Archer. The letter is extremely nasty–completely out of proportion to Mr. Gennarini’s initial calm criticisms–and often bizarrely off-subject, as when she accuses Mr. Gennarini of ignoring mass graves in Malaysia.
Keep in mind that this is a Vatican official appointed by the Pope, not some non-Catholic or squishy Catholic academic. And it was posted on an official Vatican website, not Salon or the Huffington Post:

Is your sole concern with human dignity confined to the period between conception and live-birth?…If so, this is a travesty of Catholic Social Teaching. [Gennarini of course never says anything of the kind, but this is a standard move.] 

Why are you so totally uninterested in vicious practices, such as human trafficking that are an offence to the human dignity and right to life that you purport to defend? [Ditto.] 

In the last two weeks of April in question, mass graves were found in Malaysia and Thailand of those killed by their intended traffickers; tens of thousands were set adrift at sea without food or water by those intending to traffic them before they feared for their own lives through the ‘civilized’ solution of a ‘blockade’. Is this of no concern to you? [Ditto again.] 

Of course, your comments imply that you are a climate change denier… [Burn him!] 

Why do you direct a hate message to Bishop Sánchez Sorondo alone? [There’s that H-bomb.] Various Cardinals were present at different meetings. Instead, blame me, blame PAS. [Well, yeah, but Sorondo is the Chancellor.] We are respected academics who take full responsibility for our actions and have, according to our Statutes, the duty and privilege of advising the Church on matters of Social Doctrine and its application. I am appointed by the Pope and responsible directly to him. I’m afraid that leaves you and your cohort out in the cold. Moreover, we work pro bono and are therefore are (sic) self-supporting, which makes me wonder which lobbyists meet your salary bill? [You dare to disagree with us? Who’s paying you?]  

Why are we not allowed to speak to Jeffrey Sachs or the Secretary General of the UN? [It’s a bit more than that.]…Well, that was not the attitude of Pope Francis who invited him to a private Audience, immediately prior to our joint PAS/PASS meeting on 28 April – to discuss climate change and human trafficking. Do you really have a higher moral standard than the Pope? Or is your own minimalistic version of the Creed, consisting of the single item: ‘’We believe in the ethical depravity of abortion’ considered to be an improvement? [Ditto for the third time.] 

It seems as if abject poverty, malnutrition, no schooling, and the prospect of no employment are of little concern to you after (children) have been born. [Well, personally, I also deeply care about employment opportunities for the unborn. But that’s just me.]

Who is Margaret Archer? As well as being the President of PASS, she is the Director of the “Centre for Social Ontology” at the University of Warwick.
Go here to read the rest. I find it rather odd that the President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences would engage in pro-abort rhetoric rather than address the moral problem with the Vatican getting into bed with pro-aborts.  (Yes, Hitler has a terrible policy regarding the Jews, but we can work with him on ecological issues.)  Mark Shea has chimed in, and his opinion is that the controversy is all the fault of the nasty pro-lifers:

There have been a number of pre-emptive strikes against Francis and his imminent encyclical.  So…

This time, they messed with the wrong woman – Margaret Archer, world-renowned social theorist and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. In the context of an all-too-typical hit piece from First Things, she issued a defiant response. She asks a sequence of questions, starting with this one:

“Is your sole concern with human dignity confined to the period between conception and live-birth? If so, this is a travesty of Catholic Social Teaching, whose concern is not confined to the newborn but extends to the development of all those potentialities and powers that exist only in potentia at birth (such as walking and talking) that develop or can be irreparably damaged throughout life.”

I’ve had people get mad at me when I’ve pointed out that things like the death penalty gun violence, unjust war, torture, or poverty are prolife issues too.  One reader furiously demanded to know why prolife activists were expected to drop everything and go protest some shooting in Detroit that killed a couple of people while a million and a half were dying from abortion, etc.  I was, I was told, placing an impossible demand on people with limited resources to do everything and be everywhere.

But that’s not what I’m saying.  I get that people have their focuses and can’t be everywhere doing everything.  Well and good.  If you are devoted to working against abortion full time and can’t fit anything else into your schedule then thank you for your hard work and may God bless and prosper it.  You are one of my heroes.

Yet here’s the  thing.  An awful lot of the “prolife” subculture, protesting that it has no time to expand its energies beyond protesting abortion, *does* have a huge amount of time and energy to work *against* the clear and obvious guidance of the Church on the issues I mention above.  Indeed, they often give every indication of having more time and energy for working against the Church on such issues than for actually doing prolife work.

Go here to read the rest.

Continue reading...

54 Responses to Gennarini, Archer and Shea

  • It is difficult to guard the village when our own guards have their matchlocks pointed inward at their own people, even as the enemy transgresses the walls. and dismantles the barricades.
    When truth is the target, much wailing is certain to follow.

  • Mark Shea is a liberal progressive Democrat through and through. But I suppose that comes with living on the left coast. I should stop now. Anything further I have to say would be truly yet fairly derogatory. I can’t stand him and his kind at all.

  • Lol….not having a rigorous death penalty gets thousands murdered in the Phillipines per year. 8000 murdered there in a recent year with a murder rate of 8 per 100,000. China’s murder rate of adults is one eighth of that…1 per 100,000…. with a billion poor people. Ergo conceivably, 7000 murders per year in the Phillipnes might be caused by not having Chinese severity…affirmed in the New Testament in the now unquoted Romans 13:4….unquoted in Evangelium Vitae and in the catechism
    death penalty sections. Abortions in China? About the same as New York City which has no death penalty operative for adult murder.

  • Mark Shea is a liberal progressive Democrat through and through. But I suppose that comes with living on the left coast. I should stop now. Anything further I have to say would be truly yet fairly derogatory. I can’t stand him and his kind at all.

    But, Paul! He says himself that he’s just thoroughly conservative and has a mostly conservative readership! 😉

    Then again in Seattle, I guess anyone to the right of Stalin is “conservative”…

    I’ve had people get mad at me when I’ve pointed out that things like the death penalty gun violence, unjust war, torture, or poverty are prolife issues too

    Death Penalty – You know what, I would gladly compromise on abolishing the DP if it meant outlawing abortion.
    Gun Violence – All time low. I guess pro-lifers won? (of course there’s also the very thorny issue of gun violence correlating to certain races and immigrants – I wonder how much Shea is really ready to travel down that road?)
    Unjust War – So nebulous in its meaning it is not even worth discussing.
    Torture – Catholic church fans might want to be wary of getting too attached to this particular petard.
    Poverty – The poor in the modern western nations have greater wealth than the rich man from Lazarus’s parable. Seems like pro-lifers have won there too.

    We live in an age of miracles and blessings our ancestors didn’t even dare to dream about. Yet people like Shea insist on complaining and constantly focusing on that last, unsolved 5% of several problems, rather than realizing that maybe it’s time we turned our focus to challenges that are 80% unsolved. At some point one wonders if he could ever go to Heaven because he would mad from having nothing to complain about.

  • Cancelled my subscription to the National Catholic Register because of Shea. In reality he isn’t much different than some of our leaders; e.g. Dolan, Wuerl and on and on!!!!

  • The problem is one of cooperation. Different types of cooperation with evil though only under one circumstance can one do so and if there are proportionate reasons. Formal cooperation where one agrees with the act (in this case promoting abortion and population control) and immediate material cooperation (one’s actions directly contribute to the act even if one does not agree with the act) are always wrong. Mediate material cooperation can be proximate or remote depending on how direct or causally related to the act. Proximate mediate cooperation is also illicit. Remote cooperation may be licit if there is proportionate reason to do so and other options have been tried. Also, scandal must not be given.

    It would seem that at a minimum, given the conditional state of climate science, that there is little proportionate reason to cooperate with the UN and other agencies that promote abortion etc. Even if there was, there is concern that the Vatican stand with these groups at some level would provide at a minimum proximate mediate cooperation and would be wrong. Better for these groups to be excluded even if one accepted the science.

    Whatever the case, neither Archer nor Sorondo argue from this traditional Catholic understanding. Rather, they fall back on tired, leftist arguments. This leads one to believe they either think their cooperation is not licit remote mediate cooperation or they don’t know the arguments about cooperation. Neither bodes well.

    The problem for Mark is, how close is he willing to tiptoe up to evil in order to achieve a very questionable good.

  • Shea is a high profile troll. I wish people would just stop reading him, like I did years ago. The only reason I know anything about his writing is from articles like this one and the blurbs that appear on New Advent. It seems that he has actually gotten worse since Francis came in, which is not surprising. They both appear to dislike the same people.

  • Well said, Brian English.
    Two reasons to never click on a link to a Mark Shea post:
    1) He gets money based on traffic to his site.
    2) He just bans anyone who disagrees with him from his comment box. I can’t believe the obvious sycophants following the gospel according to Shea.
    Really, I’m just fed up with the whole “I converted, therefore I am more zealous than thou, and am the only one who can understand the real truth that you ignorant cradle Catholics are missing. You are all so filled with self-righteousness and hung up on liturgical abuses. And a pox on all your houses for not agreeing with me.”

  • Is Mark Shea still writing?

  • I met Shea a few years ago and was not impressed. An now, because of views, vitriol, and argumentative writings, I simply avoid anything by him. It seems he is always attacking someone. I do not like him.

    Anyway, as an active pro-life advocate, I can tell you that many who witness for the dignity of the unborn ARE involved in other things. Many also volunteer at pregnancy centers, some help at maternity homes, some with Gabriel project—all of which are concerned with mothers and children after birth too. Many are concerned about sex trafficking and do what is available to do. Some work in soup kitchens as I have done. Some visit the elderly as I do also. But it is true that a person cannot embrace every aspect of pro-life work. And nothing takes more lives and SOULS than abortion,

  • Good comment, Magdalene.
    What does Mark Shea do about the immigrants?
    What does Mark Shea do about the homeless, and the drug addicts and alcoholics in inner cities?
    What does Mark Shea do about the imprisoned – does he visit them?
    What does Mark Shea do about the hungry, poverty-stricken people in Appalachia?
    What does Mark Shea do about the family whose bread winner has lost his job and can neither pay the mortgage nor feed the children?
    What exactly does Mark Shea do except mouth off about what he accuses us of not doing but he himself refuses to get his hands dirty by doing?
    Drink that Star Bucks coffee and eat that fancy pastry while criticizing people for not doing what you refuse to do!
    Liberal progressive social justice Democrat. Arrggghhh!

  • Drink that Star Bucks coffee and eat that fancy pastry while criticizing people for not doing what you refuse to do!

    Yeah, I’ve often wondered that if everyone complaining about a living wage, actually went out and hired someone to work for them at what they think a living wage should be, we wouldn’t have anybody making minimum wage any more.

    Certainly Shea and many of his commentators reinforce the stereotype about Catholics and economics.

  • There once was a blogger named Shea,
    Who thought pro-life Catholics weren’t great.
    So he made it his cause
    to point out their flaws.
    Now he thinks, “I’m better than they!”

  • The newly begotten human being is endowed with sovereign personhood from the very first moment of existence. Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights. Suarez. If Pope Francis follows Aquinas in that the human being comes into existence at ensoulment, what of Aquinas saying that the soul is the form of the bod? How does the human body get to ensoulment without his soul? God creates and ensouls the sovereign person simultaneously when man procreates the human body.
    Who can determine how the new human being, our posterity, worships and loves God in his relationship with his Creator? As a member of homo sapiens, he has a rational, immortal soul and is a member of the Church militant on earth. We know that the sovereign personhood of the new human being constitutes the human race, his nation and his government. We know that his civil rights are held in trust for him by God, by his parents and by the state, and therefore he must be given due process of law and may not be put to death for the crimes of his parents, or of overpopulation. He may be given up for adoption to parents who can afford to help him. Many childrens’ funds allow people to support children in other countries via mail and even support the aging.
    Any law can be broken to save a human life is the unwritten rule of thumb. The death penalty is not only a deterrent, the death penalty save lives.
    “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal…” in moral and legal innocence, the standard of Justice for the human race. Our vocation comes with our soul. Mary Immaculate said “YES” to her vocation. Test tube babies, frozen Snowflake babies, the product of rape all start life, with free will and intellect, with innocence.
    The effort to silence innocence makes one wonder where in hell Bergoglio is taking us.

  • Embarrassing.
    Archbishop, Archer and Shea.

  • The cases of Archer and Shea are stretching what it means to be a Catholic beyond recognition and that includes those who support them like Bishop Sorondo. This is just another example of the Vaatican goings-on which are a travesty, an embarrassment, and a scandal.

  • A person that places gun confiscation, illegal immigration and the death penalty (leftist/secular humanist-fabricated crises) on a level with 50,000,000 abortions is a moral bankrupt and not worthy of an iota of your attention.

    PS: Social Justice! Recent NBER study revealed that democrat, progressive policies destroyed, duh, fundamentally transformed the American middle class.

  • Is anyone REALLY shocked that He Who Should Be Ignored has embraced the leftist meme that pro-lifers only care about people until they get born, at which time said pro-lifers suddenly lose interest in caring for others? We ALL know that meme is a LIE. Yet Mark has embraced it.
    I ask you: Is there a dime’s bit of difference between what Shea writes today and what he once criticized at Vox Nova as being the “debate club at Auschwitz”?
    He now has more in common with the hard-left commenters who now haunt his comboxes and Facebook page as his biggest fans.

  • NOTICE that the Commonweal [COMMONWEAL !!!] piece to which Mark links is a piece by Morning’s Minion.

  • Shea is the Tony Campolo of the Catholic blogosphere.

  • Yeah, I can imagine Mark doing an about face on gay marriage in a year or two depending on who has the upper hand at the Vatican:

  • I’ve been in the pro life movement all my life . Since 19. These pro lifers have gone the extra mile in all areas of ministry . Adoption, foster care, pregnancy help centers, provide shelter for the homeless, prayer ministry, homes for unwed mother’s all area of care. Most of the time we have had very little help from the church, especially at the beginning. Legislation, education., hands on non stop help for all races, creeds and color. That’s along with our families and many activities family centered around our pro life activities. Social justice my patootski If the thousands upon thousands of pro lifers had not been doing what we have for the last 43+ years I dare say this country would have been casting shell already

  • Hell can you believe it won’t record HELL.

  • “If the thousands upon thousands of pro lifers had not been doing what we have for the last 43+ years I dare say this country would have been casting shell already.”
    Again I ask, “What exactly has Mark Shea done that remotely resembles this.”
    Has he gone to a State Penetentiary, regularly meeting and talking with prisoners to help them get to a normal life without drugs and alcohol? What an experience! So don’t talk to this right wing pro-lifer about caring for the imprisoned.
    Has he taken two Filipina immigrants into his apartment free of charge until they could get on their feet? So don’t talk to this right wing pro-lifer about caring for the immigrant.
    Has he worked with drug addicts and alcoholics? Has he ever paid for a month’s worth of housing for a drunken dope fiend, or counselled a manic depressive alcoholic, or gone to the beach to pick his sorry freaking behind up off the sand at 11 pm at night to get him some help? So don’t talk to this right wing pro-lifer about caring for the drug addict or alcoholic.
    And I will wager that the overwhelming majority of readers here have done far more than what is mentoned about. But what has that bombastic Mark Shea done? What besides pontificate on how evil right wing people are? I despise, loathe, abhor, detest and hold in utter contempt and disdain liberal progressive humanism.

  • Catholics should know where the word “pro-life” came from, and what it means. “Pro-life” was a word coined to counter the pro-aborts calling themselves “pro-choice” soon after Roe v. Wade. It was a spiritual word, not political. What was political was the second part of what pro-life meant. It meant support for a Right-to-Life Constitutional Amendment. To get that required having at least 70% of men and women elected to Congress who were pro-life and would support a RTL Constitutional Amendment. It also required having at least 3/4 of the state legislatures to have men and women who were pro-life and would vote for a RTL Constitutional Amendment. So “pro-life” meant being against abortion and for a RTL Constitutional Amendment.

    There was a second means of providing protection for the unborn and that was to have justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v Wade. That required having Presidents elected who would nominate such persons who would overturn R v W, as well as required men and women elected to the U.S. Senate who would vote for such presidential nominees. .

    That all changed when Cardinal Bernardin got the U.S. Conference of Bishops to redirect the “pro-life” movement to include so called “social justice” issues which were prudential judgment issues, not intrinsic evils. Nor did any of them require passing a Constitutional Amendment to rectify them.

    In essence, Bernardin and the U.S. bishops quietly abandoned the fight to pass a RTL amendment for the unborn in favor of providing Catholic Democrats a “religious” means to remain in their beloved Democratic Party from which they get their self-identity. All the issues the bishops added to the name “pro-life” just happened to be issues the Democratic Party supported.

    I believe those Catholic Democrats and their supporting clergy are going to be in for a surprise when Jesus returns and directs them to stand on his left side – just as they have chose to do in this life.

  • Hey now, living in/around Seattle doesn’t make you a liberal…. although my husband and I lost a friend who’d also been a shipmate because we’re too “extreme.” You see, he considered himself right-wing because he regarded Obama as a centrist, rather than being on the Right, as all his friends do. So we were clearly far-right extremists, and thus hateful Nazis.

    That said, the Church over here is pretty good. Compared to what I had growing up on the other side of the state, it’s awesomely good– even the retired hippy priest preached against abortion, with no wiggle words! I had NEVER HEARD THAT before moving over to the damp side.
    I’ve had people get mad at me when I’ve pointed out that things like the death penalty gun violence, unjust war, torture, or poverty are prolife issues too
    That’s because they are not.
    The death penalty is a licit way to protect the lives and rights of the innocent– you happen to believe there are other routes for it, and lash out viciously when people don’t instantly agree.
    Gun violence is no different than any other violence– I like the idea of gun violence that prevents my kids from being tortured to death, as has happened in our area. Gun violence is just a type of violence that’s much more accessible to those who are not large, strong, healthy men.
    Unjust war– problem, you use that for any war with which you do not agree.
    Torture– same thing.
    Poverty– define it, and then try to prove it, rather than making assertions.
    What have they got in common? They all are prudential judgement issues where you want them to be binding ones.
    Contrast with actual killing people.

  • The Tony Campolo story is a cautionary tale about the whole idea of leading with mercy.We should not be separating mercy and justice- now that they have kissed (at the Cross).
    As I may have mentioned before, I wonder why Vatican 2 even gave us two separate Constitutions! (Pastoral and Dogmatic)
    There is a danger to the evangelist who may want to, as a measure of mercy, in some way validate the lifestyle. We begin to say, it’s not so bad- nothing like the raunch parades of 10 years ago…and, really, these two- they are such nice guys!
    We Christians are losing people by attrition– people are “evolving” convinced within their own families and circles of friends. And priests have a hard time calling their brother priests to conversion to Christ
    It is harder and harder to speak the truth when sin is so disarming. The evangelizer begins to feel a certain guilt for “judging”… Surely Jesus would be more loving than…..He was …
    He would surely couch HIs words softly with a certain aquiesence- being able to thoroughly understand people’s deepest needs and all.
    Michael Coren too.

  • @Anzlyne: Have you not read from the Pope, referencing Ps 51:11-16, that God’s justice is his mercy? [Cf. Misericordiae Vultus, 20]

  • Thank You @FMShyanguya – I did read that.
    Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one “- doesn’t just refer to the fact that there is only one God, but also to the inner unity and wholeness- the Integrity, if you will, of God. Mercy is not in oppositon to justice but they are two attributes of the Holy God….in Whom there is no contradiction, no shadow of change.
    God became man- Body Blood and Soul, and with perfect Mercy atoned or offered satisfaction for our sins. Justification is a mercy He won for us. By Grace perfectly fulfilling the Law. Yay!

  • Psalm 85:11-12 has caused us to ask how can this be? Just and Merciful at the same time? but remember it is a coming home psalm 🙂 a hopeful song and a prophetic one.
    11 Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.
    12 Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven.

    It is prophetic in that Justice and Mercy met at the Cross, Jesus in His Mercy SATISFIED Justice, offering Himself, Body Blood Soul and Divinity. ‘by His stripes we were healed’
    Perfect Offering, perfectly fulfilling the Will of the Father. Making all things new, setting things right,
    Our poor efforts to be mericful /just must be better than to simply ignore or be apathetic about sin. We can’t just wave people off, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” not caring abut the consequences they will suffer Mercy requires telling hard truths. For us to be merciful requires sacrifice, getting involved…even proselytizing 🙂

  • “God’s justice is his mercy “[cf. Ps 51:11-16]. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. I am scratching my head. I have tried to reconcile this with what is on Catholic Encyclopedia [New Advent], St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope St. John Paul II’s Dives in misericordia, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, etc., and I can’t. Please may someone explain this to me? For starters, if God’s justice is his mercy, if they are the same, what then is justice?


    Reading over it, starting with the opening paragraph of #20, I’m guessing he’s pointing to how Jesus dying for our sins (that is, mercifully paying the price Himself that must be paid for justice to be served) was where Mercy and Justice combine as aspects of love.
    I don’t think it takes much to recognize that a lot of people want to be dispensing mercy, without bothering to deal with the price that justice requires. Or even the consequences of that “mercy.”

  • Thank you @Foxfier. To be honest, I do not get the whole paragraph …
    PS In my earlier comment I forget to add I can’t even reconcile the statement with the reference given of Ps 51:11-16.

  • I’m guessing, here, honestly; if my reading is right, then the last phrase is needlessly obscure– should say something like they’re two sides of the coin of God’s sacrificial love.
    Something to reiterate the early line about two dimensions of a single reality that unfolds progressively until it culminates in the fullness of love.
    It doesn’t do a very good job of looking at the really hard part of mercy– the price. Well, it’s hard if you’re the one paying it, anyways; cheap mercy where the person imposing the mercy doesn’t pay the price, and the one receiving it isn’t open to the idea that they did anything wrong, feels entitled to the mercy…that’s not good for anybody.

  • “then the last phrase is needlessly obscure” – Thank you!

  • Zowie, check out this article by the boss of the guy who had the Social Sciences head attack him with pro-abort rhetoric:
    He refers repeatedly to Archer’s mocking tone, though approvingly, and says more Catholics and all people of good will should do the same and in the process “reclaim Catholic Social Teaching from those who have spent decades hijacking it.”

    I call them Bullies for Francis.

    You see them large and small. You see them among the major and minor bloggers. You see them in the comment boxes. You see them among the academics and among the ordained. You even see them among the non-believers for even they have waited for a Pope they could use as a stick against their enemies.

  • Someone we might recognize is in the comments. 😀

  • Shea recently was trying to resurrect the “Seamless Garment” argument, promulgated by that heretic, Card. Bernardin. If I could think of one person and philosophy that was more destructive to the Catholic Church in America than anything else, it would be this. Why do you think Obama was elected twice by a majority of Catholics? And as many people here have pointed out, Shea is a bomb-thrower who loves to stir up his critics. He enjoys hunting down the most extreme examples of conservative / traditional Catholics on the Internet and then generalizes it to all, which is nothing more than lying. What is sad in that this neoCatholic cabal of Evangelical converts like him, have managed to seize considerable control of EWTN / NCRegister. Just wait until they move into the offices of that atrocious Christ Cathedral in Orange County, CA. Also look for their “Forming Intentional Disciples” movement to come to a parish near you. Here we will be instructed that catechizing Catholics will not work until we first have a “personal relationship with Jesus”. Can you give me an alleluia?

  • About justice and mercy:
    A clip fro a meditation on the Sacred Heart by Cardinal R. Burke who quoted Cardinal Ratzinger
    “In a wonderful reflection on the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, expresses the profound significance of the references to the Heart of God and the Heart of Jesus in the Holy Scriptures. He writes: “The pierced Heart of the Crucified is the literal fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the Heart of God, which overturns His justice with compassion and precisely in this way remains just. Only in this concordance between the Old and New Testament can we behold the full extent of the biblical message concerning the Heart of God, the Heart of the divine Redeemer (‘The Paschal Mystery as Core and Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart’ in Towards a Civilization of Love [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985], p.159).

  • I read this blog AND Shea’s nearly every day and usually find something good or interesting in both. So there must be something wrong with me, right? 🙂 Or is there something wrong with the incessant Shea-bashing that takes place on this site?

    Yes, I realize that Shea is harsh to the point of obsession on what he calls “The Thing That Used To Be Conservatism,” and he seems to think that any attempt to rein in or reduce the growth of expensive entitlement/welfare programs is “punishing the poor.” His regular commenters, however, generally contribute some helpful insights on these issues. Some of them, including me, frequently disagree with him but do NOT get banned. Also, he posts interesting and humorous stuff on non-religious and non-political issues (e.g. science fiction writers, tributes to actors such as Christopher Lee). Finally, he often posts prayer requests from readers, which I incorporate into my prayer intentions regularly.

    There are some blogs, and some Catholic blogs, that I have pretty much stopped reading because I don’t get enough useful or edifying information out of them to be worth it. “Catholic and Enjoying It” is NOT one of them. Your mileage may vary, however, and if you don’t get anything out of it just don’t read it. If you feel he has said something egregiously wrong that merits correction, by all means feel free to post something about it. But don’t assume that he and everyone who reads his blog are, ipso facto, bad Catholics or actual/potential heretics.

  • Mark Shea is as leftist as the folks over at the NC Reporter. I’ve watched him slowly advance stuff like the anti-death penalty movement, his crazy obsession about what he calls torture, pro-gay sympathies, and defending welfare moochers. Why any sound Catholic would want to take this man seriously is amazing to me. But sadly, EWTN, Catholic Answers, and several other organization do take him seriously. Hopefully, his growing extremism will push him into well deserved isolation so he won’t be heard from anymore.

  • Elaine,

    I understand that there may be some useful kernels of information reported by Shea, but at some point a man can only get away with spreading malicious information and impugning the character of those he disagrees with for so long before he should be shunned. Take Andrew Sullivan, for example. Sure, he could still write lucidly and even convincingly on certain subjectsl, but he had so poisoned his reputation that he could no longer be taken seriously on anything of substance. I’m not suggesting Shea is as bad, but he is longer a reliable source.

    Also, I think the “just don’t read him” suggestion, while a good one, misses that he has a little more pull in the Catholic media world than others. This is a man who can still be heard on ETWN radio, after all, and thus has a wider audience than most.

    Finally, here’s what really bugs me about Shea, and I realize this is a bit personal, but so be it. This is someone whose vocation is ostensibly to be a writer who spreads the faith, makes converts, etc. It’s a noble vocation, if not outright admirable. But that means he’s drawing a paycheck to spread the faith, and in a sense be a representative of our faith. The rest of us are doing this as a hobby. Would you say he’s really justified that position? Don’t you think that someone who has a vocation as a professional writer has a greater responsibility to be more reasoned and refrain from invective? How does blogging every single uncensored thought that comes into his head fulfilling his vocation?

    Shea has outright slandered people. That’s not the mark of a Catholic apologetic. He should be shunned, if not ignored.

  • Good point Elaine. While outrage is the fuel of most blogs it does one well to take a break from criticism to make an effort to see the other side’s point of view. But this, of course, is most difficult as trying to understand the ‘other side’ requires a level of forbearance few of us possess. But we should try nonetheless. And I do very much like Shea’s including prayer requests in his column.

  • Or is there something wrong with the incessant Shea-bashing that takes place on this site?
    Yes, I realize that Shea is harsh to the point of obsession on what he calls “The Thing That Used To Be Conservatism,” and he seems to think that any attempt to rein in or reduce the growth of expensive entitlement/welfare programs is “punishing the poor.”

    Hardly incessant when people occasionally object, with substance, to what even you describe a a near-obsession with attacking them. I run into Shea’s stuff more on facebook than I do here.
    He is paid for where where he represents the Catholic Church, and has a nasty habit of conflating his prudential judgement with binding teaching, combined with a tendency to be vicious when challenged on it. This is especially noticeable because when he’s actually on firm theological ground, he doesn’t (mis)behave the same.

    Especially when he says stuff that falls right in line with the attacks from those opposed to binding Church teaching, he needs to be countered.

  • Foxfire: “He is paid for where where he represents the Catholic Church, and has a nasty habit of conflating his prudential judgement with binding teaching, combined with a tendency to be vicious when challenged on it…”

    Yes, exactly. For instance: if you claim to be a pro-life Catholic yet dare to own a handgun, don’t support raising the min. wage, or worst of all you accept the Church’s centuries old teaching on the death penalty, why you are really nothing but a pro-death Protestant hiding behind your precious feet-pins. He’s using the same methods to attack faithful conservative Catholics as Bernardin did decades ago. This destructive seamless garment ideology wreaked havoc on the Church….and still does to this day.

  • @Anzlyne: Thank you for throwing some light re: justice and mercy.

  • @FMShyanguya
    Re: Justice=Mercy.
    Seems difficult to reconcile doesn’t it? How the ‘Our Father’ where we will be forgiven as we forgive. In others words God’s justice towards us will equal our mercy towards others.
    Does this help?

  • @Michael Dowd: Thank you [and all trying to assist here]. Seems difficult to reconcile doesn’t it? Yes it does and to me, this is the first time in the Church that this equation has been made.
    Mercy presupposes justice; God treats us better than we deserve, etc. but never God’s justice is his mercy … If it was, to me, no consequences after the fall, no need for repentance, no hell, no need for Christ to come for us men and our salvation …

  • @FMShyanguya

    Understanding divine perfections, which are identical with other, requires mystical knowledge according to St. Albert the Great. This is possible thru divine contemplation that shows us how infinite justice harmonizes with infinite mercy, without ceasing to be justice and the same with mercy. To understand this on earth requires infused contemplation, a gift from God, and most difficult to obtain. Please see the book ‘Christian Perfection and Contemplation’ By Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. pages 322-23.

  • @Michael Dowd Thank you!

    Thus, as applied to creatures, goodness and justice, for example, are distinct from each other and from the nature or substance of the beings in whom they are found, and if finite limitations compel us to speak of such perfections in God as if they were similarly distinct, we know, nevertheless, and are ready, when needful, to explain, that this is not really so, but that all Divine attributes are really identical with one another and with the Divine essence. – The Nature and Attributes of God | New Advent.

    Still I am not getting Misericordiae Vultus, and I can’t shake the feeling that the formulation God’s justice is his mercy is there to serve some purpose …
    Please note from the heavy reading of New Advent, to us, is helps us make the distinction precisely because in us, the perfections are varied and distinct.

  • “Or is there something wrong with the incessant Shea-bashing that takes place on this site?”
    If I thought for one moment that there was something wrong with my criticism of Mark as voiced in the comments on this site, I would abjectly apologize to him and vow never to say another negative word about him.
    There’s not. So I don’t.

  • “God’s justice is his mercy “[cf. Ps 51:11-16]. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. I am scratching my head. I have tried to reconcile this with what is on Catholic Encyclopedia [New Advent], St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope St. John Paul II’s Dives in misericordia, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, etc., and I can’t. Please may someone explain this to me? For starters, if God’s justice is his mercy, if they are the same, what then is justice?

    Let me take a shot at that. I’m fond of westerns. In fact, I’d like to write a Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned from Westerns type book. But that will never happen because I’d die before I secured all the permissions. Anyway, for those of you who’ve seen Kevin Costner’s Open Range, (and if you haven’t, you should) there’s this, in my opinion inspired scene in which Costner’s character kicks the innocent youth character (played by Diego Luna) out of his saddle, dropping him into the middle of a river. “What did you do that for?” Luna asks. “Cheatin’ at cards,” Costner replies.
    When I saw that. I thought something like what a service that was that Costner’s character did for Luna’s. Because other men will literally kill you for cheating at cards. Dying is a hard lesson, particularly because you don’t get to benefit from what you’ve learned. And that, to my mind, is what’s meant by “God’s justice is his mercy.” We don’t escape punishment (kicked into freezing cold water) for our transgressions, but, we don’t necessarily have to die (in the sense of suffering eternal damnation) for those transgressions either.
    Granted, we can choose to refuse His grace, and continue to cheat at cards….

50 Shades of the Vatican

Thursday, February 26, AD 2015



  Father Z brings us the news that some men at the Vatican have apparently lost their marbles:


I have sometimes offered that, were I Pope, I would create two new dicasteries (while axing a bunch of others).  Firstly, there would be a Sacred Congregation for the Dusting of the Holy Doors.  After all, the major basilicas all have Holy Doors, to be opened in Jubilee years.  They get dusty.  This would be a great role for prelates from around the world who have proven their worth in their previous posts.  Secondly, We would create a Sacred Congregation for Thinking Stuff Through Before Doing It.  The brief of this SCTSTBD is pretty straight forward. You will remember the guffaw inducing filmette that the Pontifical Council for Culture put out a while back?  That strange video about women?  It stirred a lot of controversy.  HERE You would have thought that they had learned something from that episode. But no. And now we see this on page of the Pontifical Council for Culture…. (See image at beginning of post)

Continue reading...

22 Responses to 50 Shades of the Vatican

  • When I saw that this morning, I thought, “somebody’s mocking Our Lady.

  • Ernst, almost the first thing I thought too–I was thinking too bad they didn’t use an image of Our Lady Untier of Knots instead of the image chosen, which, does not really show a woman “still struggling for freedom” as alleged, but rather a woman provocatively draped in rope–her breasts fully exposed and called out by the surrounding rope, a rope that extends up to her “birth canal” (not sure what word to use here!) and ropes restricting her womb as though to say sex with her okay, children not allowed (a not so subtle nod to Francis’ “don’t breed like rabbits” quip?” I have to admit I find that even more repulsive than this soft porn statue.)

    As a woman (and a born and bred California girl, so not easily offended and used to all manner of expression around me) I am disgusted and insulted by this.

    The statue sans the rope, a rope that serves only to demean women/depict them as objects, would have been more appropriate, given the flimsy explanation they offer for the lack of head, limbs, and arms.

    Bizarro world we are living in.

  • and another thing!
    we have this going on:
    … (ISIS) has killed 15 of the Christians it took hostage…The news was given … to the Catholic organization …One woman was beheaded in the village…added that the number of those known to have been taken hostage had risen to about 350. … One source has said that a mass execution is being planned for Friday, February 27…

    and this Vatican Dept. has time to hold deliberations and defend a disgusting depiction of a woman, while women AND men AND children are slaughtered by ISIS?

  • Speaking of ISIS, wouldn’t a picture of a woman in a burqa accomplish the stated goal of “speak[ing] clearly for one of the central points of the document: many women, alas, are still struggling for freedom[,] their voices and intellect often unheard[,] their actions unappreciated[,]” just as well?
    Wouldn’t shock the right people, I guess. Unlike this piece of art that’s better suited for advertising a regional queer studies conference at a second tier university than a Dicastery.

  • I just want the Church to be in the hands of Catholics. Seems to be too much to hope for.

  • Nuts. Absolutely moonbat left wing crazy nuts.

    And Cardinal Ravasi after hearing complaints about his tasteless headless Venus de Milo digs in so as to prove how crazy nuts this is.

  • This reminds me of “order out of chaos.” I wonder who is behind this effort to destabilize the Church.

  • Does the observation that, alas, many women are still struggling for freedom pertain to those suffering mass murder, rape and slavery at the hands of ISIS? Oh! I was afraid not. Where the heck are their priorities? I fault Obama (hereinafter referred to as “the dictator” lower case intended) with similar priorities, that of an ideological focus that apparently blinds him to urgent realities.

  • Aphrodite it is not. The thing looks like a mannekin not yet dressed, the ropes, a sick man’s wish. The thing is pornographic.

  • Cthemfly25: “Nuts. Absolutely moonbat left wing crazy nuts.
    And Cardinal Ravasi after hearing complaints about his tasteless headless Venus de Milo digs in so as to prove how crazy nuts this is.”
    This Cardinal Ravasi has no connection with the Consolata Bishop of Marsabit, Kenya, who established a seminary and a shrine of Consolata there and sends us about 50 priests a year, priests who know doctrine.

  • Consolata Bishop Right Reverend Ambrose Ravasi, Bishop of Marsabit, Kenya. Sorry about the omission. Since Father Amrose Ravasi left of Kenya he has suffered malaria, chiggers, parasites that enter through the foot and infect the whole body, and been beaten up by bandits. He is beautiful.

  • First thing I thought was bondage with a capital B. Insulting and gross. Using a classical marble statue doesn’t clean it up. What else is on the cardianl’s Ipad?

    I do like the idea of St. Mary, Undoer (or Untier) of Knots as a symbol. A beautiful painting that speaks to solving problems of day to day life, especially for women and men and women in the married state, and solving problems serious and not so serious with the assistance of prayer through the intercession of the Mother of Christ.

  • Fr. Z may call it ‘loosing their marbles’, but I call it ‘diabolical insanity’. I mean, really, first we have Fr. Rosica threatening an ordinary lay blogger in Canada with a lawsuit, then we have his ‘partner in crime’ of the same order telling Cardinal Burke to STFU on twitter for the world to see, then we have Cardinal Baldisseri stealing the books Cardinal Burke and others sent to the Synod Cardinals on the Church’s real teaching on marriage, and now we have Cardinal Ravasi displaying S. Masochistic porn. As I said on another blog, these Cardinals don’t need disciplined, they need an exorcist. FR. AMORTH…………….HELP US OUT HERE!!

  • TLM—there’s more. You further have what appears to be a coordinated attack against those Cardinals who spoke against the last synod session. Vatican insiders, to smear Cardinal Pell, leaked his 2500 euro taylor bill, while Pell is reviewing Vatican finances. That was intentional. Someone combed through Pell’s expenditures to find something to smear him. You then have Cardinal Wuerl smearing Cardinal Burke publicly as a dissident. The bill of particulars showing bad intent grows.

  • Sick, disturbed, ugly, offensive, pornographic, disgusting, perverted. And that’s just off the top of my head! – As a woman – this is so very offensive. The “men” involved in this have NO CLUE as to how to BE a MAN. Solid, protective, kind, supportive, strong, GODLY. And THIS horrific image is certainly reflective of NONE of those. It reminds me of a crude statement published in a Catholic Church bulletin when the N.O mass was being “re-translated”. This “msgr” ( I can’t even call him that) wrote – “translations are like women – if they are good they are not beautiful and if they are beautiful they are not good.” – OK then, let’s discuss Our Blessed Mother – PERFECT model to all women. Good? Beautiful? – these “men” make me physically ill.

  • I want to cry about this. The diabolical disorientation is not just the sexual disorder, but deep disorder in every foundation. At the vatican and high places.
    I had a dream two nights ago of the hellish smoke curling around the world populace and rendering people incapable of thinking clearly.. all as if stoned and smilingly accepting evil as good. So many politicians, journalists, school superintendents, teachers, leaders- lost dignity of conscience and freedom incapacitated by this sick evil-laden fog.

  • I was thinking of something similar today, Anzlyne, wondering if the faithful would be able to put lamb’s blood on their doorsteps. Perhaps the faithful will receive gas masks for protection again the evil fog of the mind, a 21st cen. pass-over.

  • cthemfly,
    The cast of hedonistic atrocities just keeps growing. Hard to keep up with it all. Satan isn’t even hiding anymore, he’s in your face for the world to see him in all his hideousness, and it’s all coming out of Rome. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the government was a cesspool, and now I guess it’s not only the government that’s wallowing in the filth. Jesus have MERCY on us……….COME SOON!

  • I think that the First Commandment is the way to help with enduring the surroundings. Am remembering a Sunday School lesson from the ‘good olden days’ . The Bible Story was about Baby Moses, who was lovingly swaddled in a basket, set afloat in the watery reeds to save his life, later rescued and raised to do much more.

  • Has anyone read the document? I just finished it (thanks for the link) and was appalled at the lack of focus, the unevenness, and the shallowness it betrayed. It offers a list of problems women face (all too true) and a smattering of ideas, but with no reference to original sin, Christ, Mary, or the need to collaborate with men. Theologically, it has no key, no hermeneutic. And it ends with the mission to think of ways women can make more decisions in the Church–which simply doesn’t follow 1/the fact that more women attend Mass than men, and 2/decision making will do nothing to change the secula culture (where the problem lies). If I had more time, I would write a formal response, but for now must admit that “women’s issues” are not likely to be addressed in substantially helpful ways at the present. Back to prayer…

  • The Insecurity of the Wicked
    A Psalm of David.

    1  Fret not thyself because of evildoers,
    neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
    2  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
    and wither as the green herb.
    3  Trust in the LORD, and do good;
    so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
    4  Delight thyself also in the LORD;
    and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
    5  Commit thy way unto the LORD;
    trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
    6  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light,
    and thy judgment as the noonday.
    7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:
    fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,
    because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
    8  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:
    fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
    9  For evildoers shall be cut off:
    but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
    10  For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be:
    yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
    11  But the meek shall inherit the earth; Mt. 5.5
    and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
    12  The wicked plotteth against the just,
    and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
    13  The Lord shall laugh at him:
    for he seeth that his day is coming.
    14  The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow,
    to cast down the poor and needy,
    and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
    15  Their sword shall enter into their own heart,
    and their bows shall be broken.
    16  A little that a righteous man hath
    is better than the riches of many wicked.
    17  For the arms of the wicked shall be broken:
    but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
    18  The LORD knoweth the days of the upright:
    and their inheritance shall be for ever.
    19  They shall not be ashamed in the evil time:
    and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
    20  But the wicked shall perish,
    and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs:
    they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
    21  The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again:
    but the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth.
    22  For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth;
    and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
    23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
    and he delighteth in his way.
    24  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:
    for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
    25  I have been young, and now am old;
    yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken,
    nor his seed begging bread.
    26  He is ever merciful, and lendeth;
    and his seed is blessed.
    27  Depart from evil, and do good;
    and dwell for evermore.
    28  For the LORD loveth judgment,
    and forsaketh not his saints;
    they are preserved for ever:
    but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
    29  The righteous shall inherit the land,
    and dwell therein for ever.
    30  The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom,
    and his tongue talketh of judgment.
    31  The law of his God is in his heart;
    none of his steps shall slide.
    32  The wicked watcheth the righteous,
    and seeketh to slay him.
    33  The LORD will not leave him in his hand,
    nor condemn him when he is judged.
    34  Wait on the LORD, and keep his way,
    and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land:
    when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
    35  I have seen the wicked in great power,
    and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
    36  Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not:
    yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
    37  Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright:
    for the end of that man is peace.
    38  But the transgressors shall be destroyed together:
    the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
    39  But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD:
    he is their strength in the time of trouble.
    40  And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them:
    he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them,
    because they trust in him.


Wednesday, February 25, AD 2015

Cardinal Baldisseri



Among the powers that be at the Vatican there are apparently some using gangster tactics.  Father Z brings us the news:


Remember the Five Cardinals Book™? Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church helped to turn the tide – in a good way – during last October’s Synod of Bishops.  It was simultaneously released in English, Italian, French, German and Spanish.  It is going to be issued in: Polish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Croatian, Slovak, and Czech. It contains essays of five cardinals, of the archbishop secretary of the Vatican congregation for the Oriental Churches, and of three scholars direct at the notions suggested by Walter Card. Kasper in the opening discourse of the consistory in February 2014.  It blew the Kasper proposals and arguments out of the water.

You will also remember that Synod members were up in arms because of the manipulations and machinations of the staff of the Synod office.  Remember all the controversies about whether texts of speeches would be released?  About what could be reported?  About how the mid-term report was produced?  About certain strange paragraphs that didn’t reflect the discussions of the Synod?

There’s more.

Here is something of the story that you don’t know, because at the time it couldn’t be told.

The people who crafted the Five Cardinals Book™ wanted to make sure that Synod members had copies, at least in English or Italian, as the Synod was starting up.  Therefore, they sent copies to every member of the Synod (quite a few) through the Italian post to each member’s personal mailbox near the Synod Hall which was set up individually by the Vatican Post.  Remember, Vatican Post is the postal service of a sovereign nation that has laws.  The Book was sent in individually addressed and franked envelopes.  They weren’t just envelopes with someone’s name on them shoved into the slots by whomever.  They were properly sent postal items.

When the organizers of the Synod realized what had been sent to the members of the Synod, someone removed all the envelopes from the members’ mail boxes!

That’s called theft.   That’s called illegal.   They stole people’s mail.  Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that a crime in, I think, every country?   The Vatican City State… that’s a country… isn’t it.

That’s how frightening the Book is to those who want to overturn the Church’s practice and, therefore, teaching.

The Kathnet piece, by  Manfred Ferrari, indicates that the heist was ordered by Card. Baldisseri, who is the head of the office of the Synod of Bishops.

At the end of the piece, Ferrari adds:


“This episode took place in the Vatican and not in the Kremlin. As I told it to a friend who, in those days, traveled back to Africa, he smiled at me mildly and said, “Manfred, what’s bothering you. Here in South Sudan things aren’t any better … “

There were inquiries made about what happened to the Book.  Only a few of the Synod participants out of the some 200 received their copies… before they were boosted.  The Governor of the Vatican City State would have a legal obligation to look into the situation.  No?

I cannot underscore enough how important the Five Cardinals Book™ was during the Synod.  It is still important.  It is still under attack.  

The Five Cardinals Book™ addressed the foundations of the odd proposals made about Communion for the divorced and remarried, and it demolished them.  Since then, pretty much everything that has come out in favor of the Kasper proposal has not actually dealt with the arguments in the Book.

Instead, they just repeat the same ol’ same ol’ and then suggest that anyone who doesn’t agree is the enemy of mercy and of Pope Francis.  [CUE DIABOLICAL SURPRISE MUSIC HERE]

Continue reading...

16 Responses to Gangsters

  • Trying to choose my words very carefully here:
    It is because of stories like this one that it’s understandable why some people may continue to harbor doubts about the legitimacy/validity of Vatican II.

  • The last bastion in the world where Virtue could have been taught to help it (the world) lighten up – turns into a source for more dark humor and hypocrisy. Many ‘transparent’ examples of the very words being used to belittle and mislead others.

  • Hijacking mail? I believe it. The forces of evil know no bounds to thwart the Holy Church.

    The cleansing is coming.

    Jesus I Trust in You!

  • As one commentors on the linked article said, the goal is approval of homosexual behavior, stepping up the attack on the family.
    A continuous novena to ask the intercession of Saint Joseph, Protector of the Family and the Church, Terror Of Demons.
    St. Joseph pray for us.

  • The fish rots from the head down. I’m wagering there is a considerable caucus among the College of Cardinals with their faces buried in their hands at this point.

  • Well if we average 1 Judas out of every 12, there are quite a few in the Vatican.

  • As we watch our Church and the stench of Satan within the tabernacle (to paraphrase Paul VI,) we need to remember that Christ hand-picked an apostle named Judas in the early Church.
    When Christ warned His apostles to be as “cunning as serpents” some of them may have only heard “to be like the serpent.”
    Only God’s grace can make good of all this.
    Keep praying….

  • “When the organizers of the Synod realized what had been sent to the members of the Synod, someone removed all the envelopes from the members’ mail boxes!” More than “Someone” removed those envelopes. There were likely several people who actually removed the envelopes, and those people had orders from people in command. How high up did it go? I have my suspicions. “That’s called theft.” Stealing is a violation of the seventh Commandment. A mortal sin! Those valiant people both in the clergy and the laity who defend orthodox Catholic truth must employ the spiritual weapons at their disposal in battling evildoers in the clergy and laity. What was done here violates the 7th and quite possibly the 8th Commandments. I’m not judging the hearts, minds, or souls of anyone involved with this treachery, That is for God, but I do know this with the absolute certainty of a DeFide dogma: Anyone who dies unrepentant in mortal sin goes immediately to hell upon their death. Yes, we will be called every name in the book for employing the “Spiritual Nuclear Option” but I guarantee you that while these evildoers call us the names, they will be thinking and wondering things to themselves.
    Another example: I applaud and respect the San Francisco Archbishop for standing his ground on the issue of requiring Catholic school teachers to at least publicly support the teachings of the Church. Though he has been frank and direct with those lawmakers whom he is corresponding with, he should tell them that even if they succeed in oppressing the Church in San Francisco, their immortal souls are in grave danger of hell.

  • Does the pope have a large collection of the book – or were they burned in hellfire?

  • Since some made it, I’d guess that the theft was by one of the recipients– if it’s unsecured, then on their own, if it’s in a you-need-a-key situation, then by throwing their weight in.
    Unless there’s some kind of law against mass mailing there?

  • “The fish rots from the head down.”

    Yep. Some remarkably nasty and oily characters in the inner circle.

    “I’m wagering there is a considerable caucus among the College of Cardinals with their faces buried in their hands at this point.”

    One can hope.

  • Seems there’s a lot over which one would want to bury one’s face.

  • Just a thought, but what if we all bought a copy or two of the book and mailed to the Synod participants in their native countries through the regular mail? Maybe we could even mail an extra copy or two to Baldisseri.

    Here’s a list of the last Synod’s participants:

    Couldn’t find a list of the next Synod’s participants.

  • Update to the story:
    It seems the Five Cardinals book is a conspiracy against the Pope because, according to Kasper, the Pope agrees with Kasper.

    The historian, Alberto Melloni, in Corriere Fiorentino, in the process of reviewing another book published by Cantagalli [the Italian publisher of Remaining in the Truth of Christ], put forth an interesting hypothesis: that the publisher was lending himself to forming a base of operations for a group of cardinals that were trying to mount a real force of opposition within the College of Cardinals. In fact, to be more precise, Melloni writes that “the publishing house, with Cardinal Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as a cover, had tried with good or bad faith, only God knows (…) to organize a conspiracy against the Pope [emph. orig.] and against the Synod that involved saying publically a few hours from the beginning of the Synod that the things that Francis wanted to discuss should not be discussed”.
    The narrative becomes interesting, even if with nothing really new. In this way, according to Melloni, we have five Cardinals, with the guiding hand of the Cardinal Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, who are “conspiring”, using a publishing house as their base of operations. Strong stuff, but given what happened in the meanwhile and what happened at the Synod, the uncovering of shady plots with delayed effect can only make one smile.
    We should, however, take a closer look at this. The book, which is a success, offers a contribution that encourages a debate. Instead, Cardinal Kasper, during an interview on Vatican Insider, at the beginning of the interview said that he was surprised at the unprecedented situation that was the result of the publication of this book. And he emphasized, with a lack of elegance, that he and the Pope agreed on everything, “he was in agreement. They know (the five cardinals) that I have not done these things on my own. The Pope is in agreement. I spoke two times with him. He showed himself as pleased.” [emph. add.]

  • “Someone told me long ago
    There’s a calm before the storm
    I know, it’s been comin’ for some time”
    ~ John Fogerty, 1971

No Merry Christmas at the Vatican

Monday, December 22, AD 2014



One of the more obvious misinterpretations of the Pope is regarding him as some sort of jolly, smiling pontiff in the model of John XXIII.  The reality, as Father Z tells us, is somewhat different:


Pope Francis listed 15 “ailments” of the Vatican Curia during his annual Christmas greetings to the cardinals, bishops, and priests who run the central administration of the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church. Here’s the list.

1) Feeling immortal, immune or indispensable. “A Curia that doesn’t criticize itself, that doesn’t update itself, that doesn’t seek to improve itself is a sick body.”
2) Working too hard. “Rest for those who have done their work is necessary, good and should be taken seriously.”
3) Becoming spiritually and mentally hardened. “It’s dangerous to lose that human sensibility that lets you cry with those who are crying, and celebrate those who are joyful.”
4) Planning too much. “Preparing things well is necessary, but don’t fall into the temptation of trying to close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which is bigger and more generous than any human plan.”
5) Working without coordination, like an orchestra that produces noise. “When the foot tells the hand, ‘I don’t need you’ or the hand tells the head, ‘I’m in charge.’”
6) Having ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s.’ “We see it in the people who have forgotten their encounter with the Lord … in those who depend completely on their here and now, on their passions, whims and manias, in those who build walls around themselves and become enslaved to the idols that they have built with their own hands.”
7) Being rivals or boastful. “When one’s appearance, the color of one’s vestments or honorific titles become the primary objective of life.”
8) Suffering from ‘existential schizophrenia.’ “It’s the sickness of those who live a double life, fruit of hypocrisy that is typical of mediocre and progressive spiritual emptiness that academic degrees cannot fill. It’s a sickness that often affects those who, abandoning pastoral service, limit themselves to bureaucratic work, losing contact with reality and concrete people.”
9) Committing the ‘terrorism of gossip.’ “It’s the sickness of cowardly people who, not having the courage to speak directly, talk behind people’s backs.”
10) Glorifying one’s bosses. “It’s the sickness of those who court their superiors, hoping for their benevolence. They are victims of careerism and opportunism, they honor people who aren’t God.”
11) Being indifferent to others. “When, out of jealousy or cunning, one finds joy in seeing another fall rather than helping him up and encouraging him.”
12) Having a ‘funereal face.’ “In reality, theatrical severity and sterile pessimism are often symptoms of fear and insecurity. The apostle must be polite, serene, enthusiastic and happy and transmit joy wherever he goes.”
13) Wanting more. “When the apostle tries to fill an existential emptiness in his heart by accumulating material goods, not because he needs them but because he’ll feel more secure.”
14) Forming ‘closed circles’ that seek to be stronger than the whole. “This sickness always starts with good intentions but as time goes by, it enslaves its members by becoming a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body and causes so much bad — scandals — especially to our younger brothers.”
15) Seeking worldly profit and showing off. “It’s the sickness of those who insatiably try to multiply their powers and to do so are capable of calumny, defamation and discrediting others, even in newspapers and magazines, naturally to show themselves as being more capable than others.”

Sort of, “Merry Christmas, you vain, hypocritical, funeral faces!”

Mind you, these are just the bullet points. Every point was explained, with citations, in the address of over 3100 words, which took about 32 minutes. There are 20 footnotes. HERE

The Holy Father then went around the room to greet all the Cardinals present.

Veteran Vatican watcher John Allen reported:

“I have to say, I didn’t feel great walking out of that room today,” one senior Vatican official said, who had been in the Vatican’s Sala Clementina for the speech and who spoke on the condition he not be identified.

“I understand that the pope wants us to live up to our ideals, but you wonder sometimes if he has anything positive to say about us at all,” the official said, who’s been in Vatican service for more than two decades.

For the record, this was an official who describes himself as an “enthusiast” over the direction being set by Pope Francis.

The body language on Monday among the cardinals and archbishops who make up the Vatican’s power structure suggest that reaction wasn’t isolated. There were few smiles as the pope spoke and only mild applause; since Francis delivered the address in Italian, it wasn’t because his audience didn’t understand.

Having watched the video, I too thought that the reception of the speech and, afterward, of the Pope himself as he went around the room, was muted and even tense.

One can only guess what fruits this examination of conscience will produce.  Time will tell.

Continue reading...

37 Responses to No Merry Christmas at the Vatican

  • A cursory review of the Roman Pontiff’s comments tells me that in some things, he is accurate. Ripping into your “middle management” right before Christmas is never a good idea. Praising an employee before an assembly of others is okay, but ripping into everyone never is. That should be done on a one-on-one basis, but I don’t expect that from the current Roman Pontiff.

  • So who will hold this Pontiff to the standards he applies to the Curia? If it is God, then he will undergo a rude awakening.
    BTW, this speech was given solely for the liberal media’s benefit to show how this Latin American is cracking down on Vatican corruption. Francis thrives on this sort of thing. He is the ultimate careerist cleric.

  • I’ve come to the conclusion Francis does nothing well. Someone who gives a speech like this to a collection of subordinates of miscellaneous performance and disposition is a fool.

  • Our Pope displays no leadership. A leader praises in public, criticizes in private.

  • Now we know where the missing lumps of coal are located. Stocking stuffer’s for the red hats!

  • Surely the Holy Father was aware of the effect such a speech would have on
    the audience in that room– which makes me think that A) he doesn’t much
    care what his subordinates think and doesn’t mind them knowing it and B)
    this speech wasn’t about improving the way the curia works, but it was about
    appearing to the press and public to care about improving the curia.
    Why else say these things on stage instead of behind closed doors? Unless he
    intends to resort 24/7 to the sort of manipulation and chicanery we saw with
    the synod, he’ll have an even harder time getting what he wants from these
    staff now.
    Both in here and in the cases of Pope Francis’ treatment of Cardinal Burke and
    the FFI, this Pope seems to think that public, petty humiliations of defenseless
    subordinates is the way to encourager les autres. Good luck with that,
    Your Holiness.

  • And I was to start in my new job after the first of the year as the pope’s food tester. I think I’ll pass on that job now.

  • Curious. Elisha didn’t find the Lord in the strong wind nor earthquake nor fire…but in the softness of speech. There in that sweet soft voice did he hear and understand. Pondering. Just pondering.

  • Actually, Philip, it was Elijah not Elisha. See 1st Kings 19.

  • Thank you Paul. I go from memory without checking first. 53 years and the memory isn’t what it used to be.

  • not just the pope…also in the parishes. the sermon about families ( who are in church together) failing evidenced by so many kids who leave the church — blaming the catechism teachers – all in the congregation trying to worship and offer their works joys and sorrows to God
    – lay people doing their best to teach the faith… Daily and weekly UNDERCUT by at the skepticism and doubt from the priest in the pulpit, in the lame way the mass is done.
    We pray at home, and live our faith as best we can– teaching our kids only the have the rug pulled out from under us by the seminary and the catholic college..
    The parents teach the truth and the priest tells the kid ‘well you know the church will prob change her teaching on that. You know we don’t know when christmas is it’s all made up but we celebrate it anyway at this time of year cause that’s what pagans do…”
    the preaching teaching from the pope and th priests (for all the humble reluctance to judge) is basically finger pointing and I don’t like it. It seems to tells us that everything we have earnestly tried to believe and incorporate into our lives is wrong, and we are the problem…while the “world ” is exalted.

  • Breaking down what’s left of holiness and hearts for the Word by psychological means, not building up a renewal of that purpose, has increased his worldly popularity (see comments around) by those expressing plain old schaden-frois. Less of a chance that will pure Catholic teaching happen in a God-pleasing way from current hierarchy? Concern for the lost and wayward is missing, as he has now given them more of rejoicing in sickness of leaders to consider than faith. –Now, put the joy of what Christmas means on your face. Don’t worry about the diagnosis – you will acclimate yourselves , as do good citizens —

  • The pope should have ended his list with a punch line…. “BUT WHO AM I TO JUDGE?” Mic drop.

    If I understand the pope, it’s okay to judge some behaviors, some of which could be described as office politics, but it’s not okay to judge behavior which will certainly affect one’s eternal destination.

    It’s good for the U.S. to surrender its principles in relations with Cuba, but it’s not okay for the Vatican to surrender its principles to the demands of China. Capitalism is bad and exploitative, except when used to open trade with tyrannical regimes like Cuba.

    This pope is really clearing things up for me. /s

  • I see a lot of pride in all the comments I saw above.
    I don’t know if you are really catholic because any catholic should be pleased to have someone to examine your conscience specially when you think that your are already a very good person.
    Examine your conscience and humility is something very good for all catholics.
    Didn’t Jesus make strong remarques to Peter in front of all the disciples ? Or to the traditional jews ?
    i see Father Z eating and spend lots of time in his computer and in his blog, but I never see him post anything about being with poor people or helping them. He’s always on flight, travelling in France, Italy, going to conferences. In any place there are things more worthly to spend the time for and I don’t think God said I will recognise you in Heaven for blogging and attacking the Pope but rather for going to jail to visit a prisioner, charity, helping lost people.

  • Pingback: Pope Francis' Address Risks Curial Morale -
  • I don’t know if you are really catholic

    Nothing screams Pharisee quite like questioning the faith of your co-religionists because they dare to question the wisdom of a certain Pontifical action.

    By the way, your comment about Fr. Z is dripping with judgment and frankly calumny. It’s the sort of thing I frankly have lost all patience for. This is becoming rather all too typical of a certain class of Catholics, who will tut-tut any criticism of the Pontiff but who don’t mind engaging in the most vile of ad homimen attacks on other clergy.

  • Dear Miguel.

    I strongly and lovingly disagree.
    What the Holy Father has done by publicly shaming the Curia is not of Christ.

    Love is not self serving. It is gentle. It is kind. I hope this is not a papal moment to showcase his “authority over others.”

  • 11) Being indifferent to others. “When, out of jealousy or cunning, one finds joy in seeing another fall rather than helping him up and encouraging him.”

    So how do banana peels fit in to Numero 11?

  • Have you ever noticed that people like Miguel hated Pope Benedict and never lost any opportunity for criticizing him, but they just love this Peronist Pope?
    Have you every noticed this Peronist Pope won’t judge sodomites or adulterers or fornicators or murderers (he even wants to commute their life sentences!), but he sure as heck is at home judging the very clerics who elected him?
    I hope this teaches the Curia a lesson about whom they next elect to the Papacy.
    God saved the Church from Pope Alexander VI. God will save the Church from Francis I.

  • These times remind me of the papacy of Urban VI. From Wikipedia:

    “Immediately following his election, Urban began preaching intemperately to the cardinals (some of whom thought the delirium of power had made Urban mad and unfit for rule), insisting that the business of the Curia should be carried on without gratuities and gifts, forbidding the cardinals to accept annuities from rulers and other lay persons, condemning the luxury of their lives and retinues, and the multiplication of benefices and bishoprics in their hands. Nor would he remove again to Avignon, thus alienating King Charles V of France.

    The cardinals were mortally offended.”

    In spite of his temperament, he was right, and he was the legitimate head of the Church. Catherine of Siena spoke of the need for obedience. Unfortunately, few listened, and this led to the Great Schism

  • In spite of his temperament, he was right,

    Castigating cardinals for excess living standards may be right. It’s also a cheap pose if your constituency is the international press corps. His is.

  • Miguel ought to realize that in the Catholic Church there are orders who devote their lives in service to the poor of the world. Others are contemplative orders. Fr. Z’s superior is a bishop in Italy who has full knowledge of and has given his approval to Fr. Z’s activities. Fr. Z lives in Madison, Wisconsin at the service (I believe) of Bishop Morlino.

    God can judge the current Roman Pontiff. Personally, I’m tired of him and say no more today.

  • Miguel Reis Cunha-
    project, much? Arrogant pride combined with an attempt to speak on behalf of Jesus is not improved by being selective about when you’ll pay attention to what He had to say.
    Jesus said something or other about removing logs before you start seeking out motes in the eyes of others.
    Also, before deciding that someone not writing about what a great person they are is evidence that they’re a do-nothing, you might want to check to see what Jesus had to say about standing on street corners to do your good deeds.

  • Honestly, I can’t judge someone too harshly for being creeped out by Fr. Z. I have no idea if Miguel undermined Pope Benedict or not.

    Non-orthodox people can fall into heresy, which Dante put in Circle 6. Orthodox people can fall into schism – Circle 8. I hope we all avoid the circles entirely.

  • And I hope Pinky we avoid more Popes in Hell, a subject that Dante was not shy about, to put it mildly.

  • Did the bishop of Rome mention the Birth of Christ to the curial members? Just wondering.

  • What a Christmas greeting to the Roman Curia! Seems to me His Holiness is off schedule. The beginning of Advent or Lent would have been more appropriate timing with the caveat that the 15 ailments not be in the public domain. Surely the Vatican has levels of classification for its communiques?
    To reiterate what Don said….a true leader knows and practices: praise in public; admonish in private.
    Airing family dirty laundry gives scandal to the church, especially when the world media and enemies of the Church are salivating for such. How distracting, instead of concentrating on a joyous feast, attention is on the imperfections of the Curia with a new parlor game – pin the ailment on the cardinal.

  • “pin the ailment on the cardinal.”

    Comment of the week CAM! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • I am honored. Thank you.
    Merry and Blessed Christmas to you and yours.

  • CAM + 2

    Celebration indeed.
    The Word made flesh for us fallen.
    Thanks CAM. Peace of Christ to you & Merry Christmas.

  • If he didn’t call out someone specifically then it sounds like good advice from a good manager. Can’t really read the unspoken intentions, or the occult motivation, or the imaginary subtext. I’d take it at face value and find the useful application, not just to the immediate audience, but to all of us.

  • Mr.Kelly.

    Tis the season to call illnesses and failures about. Let’s be critical after all the infant Jesus wanted us to do this!

    Thanks Mr. Kelly…and blow your’s dripping.

  • Merry Christmas Philip!

    We can argue protocol, but to me that’s substantially less important than content. I think the Pope provided sound advice that, wisely heeded, can help remove barriers that can separate us from Jesus. I’m not seeing the downside to the content. I’ll cede you the protocol, but I’ll take truth over affirmation any day.


  • Truth?

    2/3rd’s of the Synod on the family did not agree to topics that our (#5 working without coordination) Holy Father sought to override, and place the topics into next years agenda…but wait, let’s see…He is all about listening…cough cough, sniffle sniffle.

  • Three paragraphs were not approved by 2/3rd’s majority, but PF acted as if they we’re approved by majority….so what?
    He has said those paragraphs will be entered into final draft for next years synod. Why have a vote at all Mr. Kelly?

    Maybe the Curia isn’t fit to receive the direction of the Holy Spirit. Maybe it’s only the pontiff that can hear properly.(?)

    This is his #14…forming small circles…and he is doing a great job at it.

  • I recall that the Gospel of St. Matthew gives some criteria for fraternal correction (Mt 18,15-17). Perhaps Pope Francis could learn a few lessons from this passage. It seems that the approach proposed by Our Lord was intended to be efficacious, that is, to truly help the other to correct what needs correcting by beginning by talking to him personally and privately, not publicly castigating him, and what is worse, in a venue which was intended to be a Christmas greeting to all those who work in various positions in the Vatican. The Pope’s litany of vices, which we could assume he considers rampant or at least frequent in the Curia could only provoke a defensive reaction from his hearers and therefore be of no practical utility in helping those who may actually have some of them.

    In general, I would suggest that bloggers find some other interesting and important matters in the life of the Church to make known and comment on, rather than every word that falls from the mouth of Pope Francis, as at this stage it would seem to be clear that some of what he has to say must be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could practice on him the norm giiven by Jesus regarding fraternal correction? In my etimation it is always better to motivate positively as it is probably certain that the vast majority of those who work in the Curia are decent people who are trying to do their best to serve the Church, with all their human failures, which no human being lacks. Especially in the case of a meeting which has the goal of communicating Christmas greetings, it is most inappropriate to castigate his audience in the manner he did.

    One wonders how Pope Francis can increase confidence between himself and this closest collaborators with this kind of shower of icy water thrown on them on the eve of Christmas. A leader needs to develop confidence in his collaborators. Without trying to develop such confidence he can only expect to discourage them and make their work more difficult.

  • Red hats and curial officials get ready – you think this Merry Christmas was jovial and jolly? Imagine what he will say to these men, some of them real servants of the servants of God [and yes some of them not] with the backdrop of Good Friday, suffering, Passion and Death to set the tone for collegiality? How many more than 15 points will there be next Spring? Be nice to those you meet on your way up, you may encounter them again on your way down. James, that job will go begging. Guy McClung, San Antonio

Vatican Lavender Mafia in Charge

Friday, July 18, AD 2014





Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report gives us the news that the Lavender Mafia is alive and well at the Vatican:



Number one. From Radio Vaticana. “The Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann, criticizes offers to “heal” homosexuality. There is no official church support for such initiatives, Ackermann said on Wednesday evening in Saarbrücken….Ackermann expressed at the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) Saar organized public discussion, attended by around 100 people took part. The two-hour meeting was the first of its kind in Germany.”

A Bishop saying that the Church does not believe in ‘healing’ those who suffer from an intrinsic disorder which can be so destructive in the lives of people, seems at odds with Catholicism. That is not to say that all methods are created equally and that quackery should not be avoided, but if we love them we must help to heal them.

Number two. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Radio Vaticana in their report on the Bishop’s statement used this picture on the Vatican website..

Yes, this picture on the Vatican website.

Continue reading...

7 Responses to Vatican Lavender Mafia in Charge

  • As of this morning, that disgusting photo has been taken down from the website.

  • Cardinal, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    A recent poll pegged at 2.3% the Americans that self-identify themsleves as such. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. Pun intended.

  • I’ll bet that the Bishop did not offer to help heal their Souls.

    Anytime any cleric regarding of rank says something stupid, quote the Bible or “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”.

    BIBLE: Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jud 1:7.

    CCC: “2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.”

    CCC: ” 2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”.
    They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.
    Under no circumstances can they be approved. “

  • Where is Pope Francis? Why can’t Pope Francis do something to put an end to this?

    I don’t think he wants to. The German and Austrian Catholic hierarchies are in virtual schism. The US bishops encourage the destruction of our southern border in the name of helping poor people. The Church in Ireland is in meltdown. Apparently some of the Filipino bishops have gone soft.

    Pope Francis apparently has an agenda and it doesn’t involve confronting these kinds of problems. He has a favored cardinal seek out and destroy the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculata but he can’t raise a finger about these episodes of nonsense.

    Pope Francis has proven a point – that he is incapable of dealing with real problems in the Church. John Paul II was not a great administrator but Francis looks to be a genuinely weak and ineffective administrator. The Latin American hierarchy, by and large, is concerned only with poverty (a serious problem there) but they don’t know a single thing about how to end it.

    It is a time of chastisement in the Church. We don’t know how long it will last.

  • I do not have any prejudice against homosexual people. Some of my co-workers have been homosexual, and we worked well together. I lived in an apartment above a homosexual, and we were friends and got along fine. I don’t judge anybody’s sex life because I know what I deserve for all my mistakes. But homosexual behavior is not marriage, and it is just as wrong as adultery and fornication. However, I don’t intend to invade anyone’s house to say, “Stop that!” But I am obligated to support the truth: “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. And such some of you were: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the spirit of our God.” 1st Corinthians 6:9-11.
    I am so disappointed at and disgusted with the Vatican. Maybe the time of pruning that St. Paul describes in Romans 11:17-24 is upon us:
    “And if some of the branches be broken, and thou being a wild olive-tree, art ingrafted in them, and art made partaker of the root and of the fatness of the olive-tree, Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast: thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then: the branches were broken off that I might be grafted in. Well: because of unbelief they were broken off. But thou standest by faith: be not high-minded, but fear. For if God hath not spared the natural branches: he may not perhaps spare thee also. See, therefore, the goodness, and the severity of God: towards them, indeed, that are fallen, the severity: but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou continue in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be ingrafted: for God is able to ingraft them again. For if thou wert cut out of the wild olive-tree, which is natural to thee, and, contrary to nature, wert grafted into the good olive-tree: how much more shall they, that are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive-tree?”

  • I am no coward. If I am doing wrong, judge my behavior. Please! If I was dancing on the edge of a cliff, would you give me no warning? Try gently first of course. But, do whatever you can to help point out the wrong I am doing. My eternal destination could be in jeopardy. I’ll work hard to put my pride to the side and hear you out. If you have Truth, speak it!

    In another news, what happen to the RSS feed of this site? It stopped for me at the end of last month. Clicking the subscribe button at the right of the home page returns a “database error” page.

  • “In another news, what happen to the RSS feed of this site? It stopped for me at the end of last month. Clicking the subscribe button at the right of the home page returns a “database error” page.”

    I will have our techs look into it Kyle.

Wikileaks: US Never Expected Ratzinger Elected as Pope

Tuesday, November 30, AD 2010

[Updated Below]

Wikileaks information has been disclosed by Rome Reports that the U.S. intelligence services were completely caught off guard and surprised at the election of then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

[Found another YouTube video that works]

Updated as of 10:40am Central time, 11-30-2010 AD:

U.S. intelligence was expecting a Latin American as the next pope, and predicted that then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger would have lost in the first round voting.

The rest from Father Zuhlsdorf:

Before the election the staff of the US embassy to the Holy See sent speculations to Washington about the one to be elected.

“The first factor will be age, the cardinals will seek someone who is neither too young nor too old, because they don’t want to have another funeral and conclave quickly” but “they also want to avoid having a long pontificate like that of John Paul II.”  Furthermore, “it will be a person in reasonably good health”.  Another element will be “linguistic ability” and he will have to know Italian.

Continue reading...

16 Responses to Wikileaks: US Never Expected Ratzinger Elected as Pope

  • I wonder who they did expect.

  • One good thing about Wikileaks: It will demonstrate the incoherency (faintly perceptible in Fr. Z’s remarks) of those who are rightfully critical of domestic bureaucracies but who still seem to believe that the State Department and/or the Pentagon could be any less bureucratic or incompetent. Fr. Z seems almost *surprised* at the incompetency of the intelligence. But the State Department and Military *are* largely incompetent. They are no different from the post office or the DMV, just more dangerous.

  • But the State Department and Military *are* largely incompetent. They are no different from the post office or the DMV, just more dangerous.

    Largely ‘incompetant’ by whose standards at what? Dangerous to whom? You can compare the Postal Service to UPS and FedEx as a standard of performance. To what are you comparing the United States Military?

  • “Incompetent”: OED 2.a: “Of inadequate ability or fitness; not having the requisite capacity or qualification; incapable. Const. to, to do something.”

    The concept does not require a comparison with another entity to be made intellegible. What are the final ends or goals of the State Department and of the Pentagon? Do the actions of these entities achieve these ends or fail to?

  • Well, Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo (Pontifical Council for the Family) had been on my short list. I suppose it was good that he was not elected because he died three years later (at the young age of 72).

  • What are the final ends or goals of the State Department and of the Pentagon? Do the actions of these entities achieve these ends or fail to?

    You never defined any goals, nor offered a concept of what counts as an achievable goal. (And no, the question of who can do the U.S. Military’s job better than the U.S. Military is not irrelevant to your remarks).

  • Pingback: TUESDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | The Pulpit
  • EXCEPT it was not that much of a SHOCK. See my post “Contrary To Wikileaks Reports U.S Government Had Strong Indications Ratzinger Would Be Pope ”

  • Looks like the Internet police have struck.

  • Art Deco,

    What are the end goals of *any* State Department and Military?

  • It is curious that our government would find the election of the Pope curious. Do they also do intelligence on the elections of the Archbisop of Cantebury?

  • Popes matter globally, unlike the Archbishops of Canterbury who do not even matter in the UK.

    I would take these wikileaks with a large boulder of salt. One of the curses of government is the huge amount of useless paper generated. Intelligence agencies are especially prone to this type of bloat, and often the opinions aren’t any better than you could find on blogs, except that the taxpayers pay us zip for doing this. However, if the CIA is ever eager to have a Catholic blog all its own… 🙂

  • What are the end goals of *any* State Department and Military?

    Costa Rica’s or ours?

  • “On the day of the election itself, there was a cable to Washington which pooh-poohed the possible election of Ratzinger. Apparently the election shocked them.”

    I wonder what President Bush’s reaction was? As I’ve noted before, on the very day, and at the very hour, Pope Benedict’s election was announced, Bush was in Springfield for the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. I remember hearing both events reported live on my car radio while driving between newspaper assignments….

    Also, isn’t there a rumor, persistent allegation, or whatever to the effect that when Pope Paul VI was elected in 1963, Cardinal Spellman secretly transmitted the result to a CIA operative in Rome with some kind of hidden two-way radio? Not saying it’s true but I just wonder if anyone else has heard this. If true (and that’s a HUGE “if”) then it would seem to indicate that the CIA cultivated some, shall we say, much more reliable contacts within the Vatican in those days.

  • Meanwhile, via Catholic Vote/American Papist, we learn that more than 800 of the Wikileaks documents still slated for publication involve communications with the Vatican:

Benedict at Westminster

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

The text of Benedict’s keynote speech on his trip to the UK is here; video of the speech can be found here.

Obviously, you read or watch the speech in its entirety, but I will present a few highlights for readers:

And yet the fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More’s trial continue to present themselves in ever-changing terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident – herein lies the real challenge for democracy.

Continue reading...

One Response to Benedict at Westminster

The United States Youngest Cardinal

Thursday, August 26, AD 2010

A Profile of Daniel DiNardo

by Jeff Ziegler

On June 17, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo expressed “grave concern over the FDA’s current process for approving the drug Ulipristal (with the proposed trade name of Ella) for use as an ‘emergency contraceptive.’ Ulipristal is a close analogue to the abortion drug RU-486, with the same biological effect — that is, it can disrupt an established pregnancy weeks after conception has taken place.”

Cardinal DiNardo expressed these concerns as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, the latest in a line of responsibilities he has assumed in recent years. As recently as 1997, he was simply “Father Dan,” a 48-year-old Pittsburgh parish priest, before he was appointed coadjutor bishop of a small Iowa diocese. At the age of 54, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of Galveston-Houston, and at 58, Pope Benedict created him a cardinal — the first cardinal from a diocese in the South, and the youngest American cardinal since Cardinal Roger Mahony received his red hat in 1991.

Following the consistory of 2007, Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal DiNardo a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (2008) and the Pontifical Council for Culture (2009). In the fall of 2009, he assumed the leadership of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life efforts. He will take part in any conclave that occurs before his eightieth birthday in 2029 and appears destined to be one of the leading American ecclesial figures of the next two decades.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to The United States Youngest Cardinal

  • Cardinal DiNardo has been very supportive of the local Anglican Use parish.

    It would be nice if he was also a little more supportive of the Tridentine Rite as well. I don’t get the sense that he is particularly against it, but I also don’t get the impression he is promoting it either. We still only have the one Tridentine Mass per week in downtown Houston. I am unaware of any others in the diocese. Makes it difficult to cram all one million Houston-Galveston Catholics in the Cathedral.

    However, not being an insider to chancery goings on, it may be the resistance is at the parish level, and he does not think it is worth the political capital to push for it.

    On the whole, he seems to be doing a decent job.

  • My guess is that he’s so busy he can only utilize his time on certain things, hoping and praying the best for what he is unable to address such as making the Latin Mass more available.

    But I also agree with your assessment that there are some or many priests that refuse to celebrate the EF of the Latin Rite Mass.

  • Ugh. Must we call it the “EF”?

  • I prefer calling it the “Gregorian Rite Mass” myself, though not that many people may recognize it to mean the Extraordinary Form (EF) of the Latin Rite Mass.

    Traditional Latin Mass may be more accurate, but I hear people calling the OF Mass the “Latin Mass” when celebrated in the Latin language, which adds more confusion.

  • Gregorian Rite Mass? A new Rite was not created. Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite is most accurate.

    As a former Houstonian, I wish Cardinal DiNardo the very best. He has a large, multi-cultural, unruly flock to shepherd, much the same as Pope Benedict has.

  • Certainly on the Cathedral, I think he did a fine job. We could have gotten an ugly monstrosity like they have in El Lay, but instead got a pretty nice one – it actually looks like a church rather than some government or multi-purpose building.

  • Living in Houston, I can say the good cardinal was strangly silent about the Pro-choice advocacy of Barack Hussein Obama in the last presidental election.

  • “Certainly on the Cathedral, I think he did a fine job. ”

    Actually, the co-cathedral is more retired Archbishop Fiorenza’s accomplishment than it is DiNardo’s.

  • Strike my last comment, that was uncharitable of me.

New Vatican Rules on Sex Abuse

Friday, July 16, AD 2010

The Catholic News Agency reports on this new development:

Monsignor Charles Scicluna took part in a press briefing on Thursday for the release of modified Vatican norms on how to examine and punish cases involving the “most serious sins.” He fielded a number of questions as to its content but underscored the importance of ongoing action for successfully bringing about change in the Church.

Journalists in the Holy See’s Press Office spoke of the encounter as “unseen since the days of Cardinal Ratzinger.” The Maltese promotor of justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith fielded questions on complex matters with apparent ease, answering journalists’ queries regarding many aspects of the updates to the Motu Proprio of 2001 in both English and Italian.

About the concern in the media that sexual abuse against minors was being equated with the attempted ordination of women in the eyes of canon law, Msgr. Scicluna said in English, “They are not on the same level.” Serious sins are divided into those against Christian morality and those committed during the administration of the sacraments, he explained.

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Visionaries of Medjugorje May Appear Before The Vatican

  • I didn’t realize that the ‘seers’ (using ‘ ‘ since there has been no formal Church recognition, not to imply judgment) had thusfar refused to reveal the secrets to their bishop. That’s very very serious.

  • Why surprised? Haven’t you heard of the Third Secret of Fatima? Lucia did not reveal it until 2000 even though her Bishop requested it in 1943.

    Do you really imagine that your Bishop can command anything he wants of you? By the way, I understand that YOUR Bishop has requested everyone in his diocese to tithe …

  • I’ll go out on a leg for the first “Surprised”, he/she may be alluding to the fact of the grave disobedience the local Franciscans and seers have shown their local ordinary.

  • The third secret was given to proper authorities well before the year 2000.

  • If I remember correctly, Sister Lucia wrote down the “third secret” in 1943 at the request of her bishop and entrusted it to him with instructions that it not be made PUBLIC until 1960 or after her death, whichever occurred first. (Whether the timetable for releasing the secret came from Our Lady, or was just Sister Lucia’s personal preference, is not clear.) So she didn’t refuse to reveal it to her bishop — just the opposite, she made sure he was the first to know about it.

Pope Benedict to be Deposed

Tuesday, June 29, AD 2010

The most evil inspired man in the world, attorney Jeffrey Anderson, plans to “sue the sh-t out of [the Catholic Church] everywhere”. Because the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the Vatican, a court case will move forward allowing for the Vatican to be sued.

“I have known for 25 years that all roads lead to Rome,” said Jeff Anderson, the Minnesota attorney who represents the plaintiff. “This is the beginning for us of a new journey, a uniquely difficult odyssey.”

Anderson, who has represented hundreds of abuse victims and has tried for years to sue the Vatican, said he hoped to persuade a judge that he should be allowed to depose Vatican officials.

Continue reading...

23 Responses to Pope Benedict to be Deposed

  • The guy is a sad-ass low grade attorney seeking notoriety. It is obvious that he does not understand the structure of the Church. I have listened to him on radio, and sounds as he looks.

  • While the motive for this may be troubling, there simply must be accountability for actions taken by clerics, particularly when these actions are not in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church and the local ordinary has either refused to act or simply ignored serious accusations.

  • The ambulance chaser can hope all he wants to depose the Pope but it is never going to happen. I have been involved in litigation for 28 years in thousands of cases and I am quite familiar with how discovery in a civil case is performed. No judge in his right mind will approve the compelling of a head of a foreign state for a deposition, and no appellate court would uphold an order requiring such a deposition if a trial judge were crazy enough to issue such an order.

  • Whew!

    I thought you meant the Obama regime would invade the Vatican, remove the Pope, and replace with Dougie Kmiec.

    I’m been deposed a few times. It isn’t fun.

  • I understand the deposition of Pope Benedict is very slim, though I do want to shed light on this character for the simple reason that there are people out there that act as evil incarnate (the man isn’t evil, just that his actions are evil).

  • “Most evil man in the world?”

    I assume you are exaggerating for comic effect?

    I’m not sure this kind of hyperbole is a good idea when you are writing about anything remotely related to sex abuse cases. People who are angry because they’ve been wronged are following this story.

    I like this blog, but I continue to be disturbed by more than one contributor’s insistence on describing individual human beings with dehumanizing adjectives that ought better be applied to their behaviors.

  • Bearing,

    I appreciate your concern and your loyalty to this website.

    I assure you I don’t throw that term around casually. In fact, I can’t remember ever describing someone like that on TAC outside of Mr. Jeffrey Anderson [I changed one word in my post. No one is actually evil, though they can be inspired to act as such].

    But your point is duly taken. I agree about the hyperbole and I personally will be more prudent in my own postings.

  • So a Supreme Court that has a majority of Catholic justices allows the Vatican to be sued in the US?

    We live in strange times.

  • Mr. Smith,

    I have no idea what the merits of the case presented to the SCOTUS are or what the *right* decision would be, but I could understand if any or all the Catholic justices passed on hearing it. If that would be the right thing to do if the case was concerning the Prime Minister of England or Kim Jong-il it would be the right thing to regarding the Pope. I’m doubtful refusing to hear this case was the right thing to do, but I appreciate the integrity and sound thinking that five of the four Catholic Justices bring to the court and wouldn’t expect them to place personal loyalties before their integrity as jurists. That’s what sets them apart and why they’re right for the job.

  • So a Supreme Court that has a majority of Catholic justices allows the Vatican to be sued in the US?

    Even taking it that the decision was primarily the result of what the justices thought of the Church (rather than the merits of the case) that still leaves Anthony “the weather vane” Kennedy as the deciding vote, Catholic or not.

    Honestly, though, I’m quite unclear what a ruling like this means. The only instances I’m aware of in which people have sued foreign countries in US courts have been in reparation for terrorism or government property confiscation by the foreign government. Here we have someone trying to insist that the Vatican itself is responsible for whether or not priests were disciplined, removed from ministry, etc.

    It seems at least moderate unlikely that there’d be any merit found in an attempt to sue the Vatican. Any of the lawyers here able to fill us in a bit?

  • I would caution people not to read too much long term into this. THe reporting on this was pretty bad., Including that the Supreme Court “Confirmed” the lower court ruling. They did no such thing. The Supreme Court decides not to take cases for a whole bunch of reason and is foolhardy to try to divine those reasons.

    Mr Anderson has cases all the place as do other Lawyers. The Supreme Court could be waiting for all we know for their to be a split in the circuits till they take this matter up

  • FWIW, JH was referring to the AP article and not the TAC column.

  • That correct the AP coulmn that ran shortly after the order was released

  • My gut says that a deposition would be a good thing. I don’t think it will happen, but it would probably help if the world heard about the extent of Ratzinger’s/Benedict’s efforts against pedophilia.

  • Depositions don’t work like that Pinky. Consider the most savage cross examination in the world. That is what the Pope would be subjected to in a deposition.

  • There is a long road between suing the Vatican (whatever that means) and deposing the Pope. Big companies get sued all the time, yet their CEO’s and other top executives rarely get deposed.

  • Donald, we’re supposed to lay down our lives for the faith, even us laymen. Popes have often been called to martyrdom, as have more bishops than I could count. I wouldn’t wish Benedict to go through a tough deposition, but it’s part of the job. An onerous, prying public spectacle could actually turn people’s hearts back to confidence in the Church, and ultimately back to Christ.

  • “Donald, we’re supposed to lay down our lives for the faith, even us laymen. Popes have often been called to martyrdom, as have more bishops than I could count. I wouldn’t wish Benedict to go through a tough deposition, but it’s part of the job.”

    Martyrdom is one think Pinky, being made to look like a lying scumbag is another. A skillful attorney can make almost anyone look like a lying scumbag in a deposition.

  • An attorney of my acquaintance used to use the expression “You can sue the Pope for bastardry” as a way of saying that anyone could sue another person for any cause, no matter how ridiculous or improbable, if they could get an attorney to file the suit. Well, it appears that life is now imitating cliche.

  • This is not going to happen…just imagine, this lawyer who is really an ambulance chaser and who has said indicated he really wants to sue the Catholic Church…imagining all the money he will amass from such a lawsuit…now, the Pope refuses to come to the United States..what is this lawyer going to do? Send troops to the Vatican? Pope Benedict has done more than anyone to address this crisis of sexual abuse by member of the Catholic Church (who else has done anything like this in response to sexual abuse in other institutions?)…anyway, this lawyer fellow is in way over his head…and he is in not for the victims but to line his pockets … Jesus said right from the beginning that scandals would come but that His Church would last….

  • Wasn’t Pope Benedict, as Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Faith, responsible for overseeing the Church’s tactical strategy toward sex abuse cases by priests? Wasn’t he an advocate of a “delay until the Statute of Limitations has expired” strategy? Joseph Ratzinger’s strategy was to obstruct justice all over the world. This man is a criminal and should be brought to justice…he should be tried, convicted and put in prison. There have been other corrupt popes in the Catholic Church but none in recent memory. This is a great sin at the highest levels of the Church.

  • Daishin,

    Unless you can provide proof that Papa Bene did what you claim, which of course he didn’t, then you will not be allowed to comment anymore on TAC.

  • Daishin,

    Your claims are almost exactly the opposite of the truth. Throughout most of the period of the scandals, these accusations did not fall under the control of the CDF. Ratzinger asked for that brief when the scandal blew up in the US, and once he got began personally going through the files. It was when his department took control that the cases really started moving in regards to discipline and helping the secular authorities pursue justice. Far from being an advocate of “delay until the Statute of Limitations has expired”, he pushed to get accusations into the open and to ignore the statue of limitations even where it applied.

The Disgrace of Cardinal Danneels and the Belgian Catholic Church

Sunday, June 27, AD 2010

This past week, Belgian police raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Belgian, as well as the home and office of recently retired Archbishop Godfried Danneels, during an investigation into the sexual abuse of children.

Rorate Caeli provides the full text of Pope Benedict’s letter to Abp. André Joseph Léonard, Archbishop of Mechlin-Brussels and President of the Belgian Episcopal Conference, responding to the unfortunate series of events:

I wish to express to you, dear Brother in the Episcopate, as well as to all Bishops of Belgium, my closeness and my solidarity in this moment of sadness, in which, with certain surprising and deplorable methods, searches were carried out in Mechlin Cathedral and in places where the Belgian Episcopate were assembled in plenary session. During that meeting, aspects related to the abuse of minors by members of the clergy were to have been treated, among other things. I have myself repeated numerous times that these grave facts should be treated by the civil order and by the canonical order in reciprocal respect for the specificity and autonomy of each one. In this sense, I wish that justice will follow its course, ensuring the rights of persons and institutions, in respect for victims, with the recognition, without prejudices, of those who wish to collaborate with it and with the refusal of everything that could darken the noble duties that are ascribed to it.

As Rorate Caeli notes, there is a “one-sideness” and “tone-deafness” to the papal remarks. The impression is exacerbated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone,

Continue reading...

21 Responses to The Disgrace of Cardinal Danneels and the Belgian Catholic Church

  • And there are still many people that “pooh-pooh” pointing out the wrongs of our bishops.

    Well I’m glad I never listen to their crocodile crying.

  • “Those expressing frustration over the impertinence of the Belgian police’s raid…” include the pope!! This is truly horrifying to me.

  • This is the particularly disturbing in light of Danneels having been considered papabile in some circles. We certainly have the Holy Spirit to thank that we don’t have someone so obviously tainted at the healm at this time.

    On the Vatican response — their press office is pretty notoriously amateur. I wonder if they responded to the accounts in the populat press on the first day without actually having looked into the details first.

  • So these sorts of statements released with the pope’s “signature” are routinely not written by the pope himself?

  • I reread the entire article over at The Brussels Journal.

    Cardinal Danneels disgusts me almost as much as Weakland did.

    Cardinal Danneels should be handcuffed and taken into custody until a trial date is set for his cover-up of the sickness inside the Belgian Catholic Church.

  • This looks like an absolutely horrible mess, far worse than the scandala in Ireland and the US. I can understand how a kid who went through this grows up with an implacable hatred of the Catholic Church. It appears that Cdl Danneels and his band of brothers were allowed to get away with it for so long precisely because they were part of the liberal establishment. All too often these prelates, instead exercising close pastoral care and supervision of the spiritual life of Catholics, spend their time holding forth on matters of peripheral concern such as Israel and immigration. I suppose this is the preferred way to ease their conscience. Cdl Danneels is famous for allowing Muslims free rein on Catholic property.

  • Cardinal Danneels used his standing as the prelate of Belgium to push for his most extreme liberal causes at the expense of the souls he was suppose to shepherd.

    This should be a warning to Cardinal George, O’Malley, and the rest of the liberal cabal at the USCCB that they need to heed the spiritual needs of their flock instead of pushing the Democratic Party agenda and warming up to Teddy, Nancy, and John Kerry.

    This disgusts me to no end.

  • This is a pissing contest between the Belgian liberals and the conservatives. Obviously this was part of a sex education program instituted by Daneels to be au currant with other European nations. If yoyu’ve not seen some of the things that is being taught to 13 year olds in ‘secular’ education, it would make you wretch. However I noticed that this article omits the last paragraph from the Journals article which expressed the responses from other Cardinal prelates around the Globe on such a course.

    “I received letters of support from cardinals from all parts of the globe. “I share your concern. It is important that you do not leave the matter uncontested,” wrote Cardinal Meisner of Cologne; “You have good reasons to be concerned,” wrote Cardinal Wamala of Uganda; “I feel strongly enough to write to Cardinal Danneels in the hope that he may enlighten me,” wrote Cardinal Vidal of the Philippines; “If I have the opportunity to discuss with Cardinal Danneels the matter you have drawn to my attention, I will do so,” wrote Cardinal Williams of New Zealand; “I shall try to do something in order to help you,” wrote Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez of Santo Domingo; “I am aware that your concerns have been brought to the attention of Cardinal Laghi, Prefect for the Congregation for Catholic Education,” wrote Cardinal O’Connor of New York.”

    None of this mitigates due process or even begins to construe a legal linkage between the abuse cases and sex education courses. If so, American courts will be extremely busy in the future.

  • Robert C.,

    I read the same article and my question is, did those bishops and cardinals follow up those letters of support by contacting Cardinal Danneels and investigating these allegations.

    Regardless, if this is true, Cardinal Danneels should be scrutinized with a thorough investigation of his memoirs.

  • Danneels is clearly much at fault here, and I would imagine that at the very least he’ll end up like Law.

    At the same time, as I think about it, the search of the crypt remains a pretty over-the-top act. I mean, seriously: outside of a Dan Brown novel who is going to be hiding incriminating documents in the crypt of a dead bishop? If you want to get rid of incriminating documents, the obvious thing would be to get rid of them not bury them in a place which would result in the maximum possible scandal if they were found there. (If the shredder is un-handy, I believe that a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the leopard” is traditional.)

    While having no interest in cushioning Danneels’ long overdue fall from grace, it seems fairly reasonable of Rome to be upset over the crypt opening — even if it was only drilling a couple holes and peeking around with a camera.

  • Raiding the tombs is absolutely over the top.

    As one Vatican observer said, not even during the communist era did such acts occur.

  • Exactly correct, Darwin.

    I do think people need to support a proper investigation if there are justified reasons for it; on the other hand, I do not think that allows extreme police-state like tactics.

  • “not even during the communist era…”


    Much worse happened in the communist era, and continues to happen under communism today, but the Vatican ignores it.

    Churches and shrines are routinely bulldozed in communist China and in Vietnam. Tombs mean nothing to them.

    Why does the Vatican ignore the millions of Catholics put to death by communism?

  • Come now, is the entire clergy abuse scandal really the fault of “liberal” bishops? Worldwide? Seems to me there has been plenty of scandal to go around.

    Certainly, the protectors of perps like Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado were not hardly the liberation theology types, including the past Bishop of Rome.

    The problem is an old-boy network of fraternal pandering and protection, not unlike what was often seen in groups like Freemasonry and the Mafia.

  • RSG,

    including the past Bishop of Rome.

    Yes, anti-Catholic bigots are a dime a dozen.

    Thanks for that bit of nawlidge.

  • The paedophile clerics and their friends in the Belgian Church hawe sown the wind, now their reap the storm, their reward. I hope the police will investigate them carefully in minute details and jail them with harsh sentences.
    Their fellows in the US will take their turn soon.
    I am sorry for the Pope and for Card. Bertone.
    The Pope may err in that issue: The pontifical infallibility doesn’t stretch up to protect these criminals, even if our Holy Father haas but a few responsibility in the laissez-faire which was the policy of his predecessors.
    There is an URGENT need to sweep and clean vigorously the Temple of God. The door is wide open to push these evil men out.

  • Fr. Marciel was pathological. He used the Church and his alleged orthodoxy as cover for his pathology but never sought to change the Church into his sad image. Clerics who promoted catechisms like those noted in the links were trying to change the Church to advance their pathologies. Quite a difference.

  • The church will fight the homosexual paederasty that has pushed its liberal agenda for too long under a false interpretation of Vatican II. The liberal mafia must be identified and cast out from wherever it has infested the Church.

    This is battle royal.

    Support the Holy Father.

    The church is fully aware of the persecution and murder of Catholics around the World. See ACT (Action for the Church in Need)

  • The Patriarch of the West, The Pope is infallable on faith & morals but on issues like homosexual pedophila John 23, Paul 6 & John Paul 2 will have a lot to answer for in that horrible day they face G-D. Under their regimes liberal-socialist theology and a cabal of homosexual priests, lesbian nuns, and queer monks were given free reign and grew worldwide. The denigration of the 16oo yr old divine liturgy (Mass) liberation theology perverted seminaries since the ambiguous pastoral council called vatican 2 was the crack in the wall liberal socialists had been looking for, for the last 100 years. They found it in john 23rd aggoriomento. Even the socialist pope Paul 6th finally admitted the stench of satan had entered the church,(with the help of the above hierarchs).It is up to this good and holy Pope Benedict 16th to mop up the mess of these previous Popes.

  • Millions voted by walking out of the Catholic church in the years since Vatican 2 (rightly or wrongly). What was Holy & Sacred prior to this council suddenly became profane & illegal and anyone who dared to attend the ancient liturgy or question a liberal parish priest were ridiculed and shunned as fanatics. When in fact the real fanatics were the socialist, liberals aka “usefull” idiots liberal periti and “theologists” like Kung, hierarchs like weakland, mahoney,Brown,Gumbleton,Daneel, law & suenan not to mention the author of the venacular service called the novus ordo missae the freemason Archbishop annabal bugnini.

  • In a parting thought I will predict, since I’m NO prophet that the so-called Liberal branch (infestation) in the Catholic church will go the way of the Anglican schismatics, the american & Canadian episcopals and the heretical church of Horny Henry 8th, the so-called church of England.

How Did Your Family React When You Told Them That You Wanted To Be a Priest?

Saturday, June 12, AD 2010

I enjoyed the response of one priest in which he told his parents it just became clear to him at the moment.  His parents responded by saying that’s how they felt about each other when they first met (and decided to get married)!

For the Rome Reports website click here.

For the Rome Reports YouTube Channel click here.

Continue reading...