Saturday, September 05, 2015

Saturday Detention: "Class, a review of what we studied - and remember, you'll be tested on this."

"Yes sister."

"This is going on your permanent record."

"Gay people are the biggest ____."

... "Just kidding class, and now we'll go over why you people are such whiners."

On the subject of self love and self pity.

"Now remember class, as the great Garrigou-Lagrange noted, 'the principal defect of the will is the lack of rectitude, called self-love or inordinate love of self...' - you know who you are!"
"St Augustine, with extraordinary perceptiveness, described the nature of sin as follows: 'self-love to the point of contempt for God'. It was self love which drove our first parents toward the initial rebellion and then gave rise to the spread of sin throughout human history. The book of Genesis speaks of this: 'You will be like God, knowing good and evil', in other words, you yourselves will decide what is good and evil.
The only way to overcome this dimension of original sin is through a corresponding 'love for God to the point of contempt for self'. This brings us face to face with the mystery of man's redemption, and here the Holy Spirit is our guide. It is he who allows us to penetrate deeply into the 'mystery of the Cross' and at the same time to plumb the depths of evil perpetrated by man and suffered from the very beginning of history. That is what the expression 'convince the world about sin' means, and the purpose of this 'convincing' is not to condemn the world. 
If the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can call evil by its name, it does so only in order to demonstrate that evil can be overcome if we open ourselves to 'love for God to the point of contempt for self. This is the fruit of Divine Mercy..." - John Paul II, Memory and Identity
"And so this makes you sad, you say?"
Sadness, or self-pity, is the twin sister of acedia. They are similar in some respects, but not identical. The sad person finds relief more easily, whereas the one besieged by acedia is trapped. Sadness is a temporary, part-time experience, but acedia is global and permanent. In this sense it is opposed to human nature. 
The chief symptoms of this devilish “scourge that lays waste at noon” are inner instability and the need for change (with wandering fantasies of a better place), excessive care of one’s own health (with special emphasis on one’s food), escape from manual work (with laziness and inactivity), uncontrolled activism (under the appearance of charity), neglect of the monastic practices (reducing observance to a minimum), indiscreet zeal in a few ascetic exercises (with extreme criticism of one’s neighbor), generalized discouragement (with the beginnings of a depression). - Dom Bernardo Olivera, OCSO
"Excuse me, are we a little teapot?"
" especially common view of self (for the homosexual) is that of the wronged, rejected, 'poor me'. Homosexuals are therefore easily insulted; they 'collect injustice', as psychiatrist Berger has so well put it, and are liable to see themselves as victims. This explains the overt self-dramatization of the militants, who adroitly exploit their neurosis to gain public support. Attached to self-pity, they are inner (or manifest) complainers, often chronic complainers. Self pity and protest are not far apart. A certain inner (or overt) rebelliousness and hostility to others who do them wrong and to 'society' and a determinate cynicism, are typical of many homosexuals." - The Battle For Normality
Who?  Me?  You talkin' to me?

Pope Francis with David Muir "Virtual Audience": The Pope calls out American nun Sister Norma Pimentel ...

Oh, oh ...

Amazing!  He sees a nun in the audience and calls her out - Sr. Norma - she wasn't wearing a veil.  The other nuns in the audience were ...  Here's what happened:

When Sister Norma Pimentel participated in a virtual papal audience hosted by ABC News this week, she was excited to see Pope Francis, but never expected him to address her directly.  
Sister Pimentel runs a welcome center at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas, which has helped more than 20,000 immigrants. Pope Francis was watching and listening intently via satellite from the Vatican as Sister Pimentel was introduced briefly. Then, after young mothers and children who had just arrived shared their stories, the Holy Father returned to the sister who had been mentioned before.
“There was a sister there of a religious order, I want to see her,” he said.
“I said, ‘Oh, that’s me,’” Sister Pimentel said, reflecting on the moment afterwards. “He’s actually speaking to me. And then I saw his little hand go like, ‘come, come, come, come,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God.’ I felt like a little child called forth by their dear father.” - Finish reading here.

It was so edifying to watch.  I'm just kidding about the veil stuff - all the nuns in the audience appeared to be very happy Sr. Norma was singled out.  The Holy Father was so intense - so eager to praise her especially, as well as all the Catholic sisters in the United States.  It was very reassuring.

It was a wonderful special to watch, deeply moving.  Fr. Martin liked it too - especially this part:

I loved his lead-off remark, when he is introduced to the Cristo Rey Jesuit School in Chicago: "If it's the Jesuits, it's good!" - Fr. Jim

 We are fortunate to have Jesuits in this archdiocese as well as a Cristo Rey school.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament from St. Pascal Baylon Catholic Church, in St. Paul, Minnesota - stolen.

The thieves rolled it down the pavement.

The tabernacle was never even bolted down.

Canon Law says the tabernacle must be immovable.  The tabernacle that was stolen was placed on a movable wooden pedestal and was not attached. (see Canon 938 - 3)

It's incredible the regulations were not followed...

The theft of a religious vessel from a St. Paul church has saddened its members, and police are seeking the public's help to find it.
The solid bronze tabernacle, which holds the Eucharist, weighs at least 50 pounds and was taken from St. Pascal Baylon Catholic Church on Conway Street, near White Bear Avenue, said Sgt. Jason Brubaker, who is investigating the case. Surveillance video showed three males leaving the church at 3:21 a.m. Friday. One was rolling the tabernacle end over end, Brubaker said.
"It's really torn the heart out of this community," the Rev. Michael Byron said Friday. "This is near to the center of our devotional life as Catholics, which is the reason we place it in such a prominent place in the church. There are many prayers mingled in with the anger and the sadness, including prayers that the perpetrators will have a change of heart."
The tabernacle is worth at least $15,000, Byron said. It's about 2 feet tall and 1 1/2 feet wide and is engraved with two angels facing a cross. The vessel holds the Eucharist outside of Mass and is kept in an alcove behind the main altar -- it's visible from the sanctuary but would not be immediately obvious when someone walks in, Byron said. - Finish reading here.

It's incredible it happened on the First Friday of September.

It's incredible Fr. Byron says the Blessed Sacrament is only "near to the center of our devotional life as Catholics."

It's incredible the Blessed Sacrament - the tabernacle - was not secured.

It's incredible that the Blessed Sacrament is kept in an alcove and "would not be immediately obvious when someone walks in" to the church.

To his credit the pastor did tell reporters: "It makes me sick to my stomach. It's terrible.  It's the most precious thing that we have, on many levels." 

A door to the church may have been left unlocked.  The tabernacle was not immovable or secured to a base, and it was in an alcove.

+ + +

Prayers in reparation for the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Oh Most Holy Trinity,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

I adore Thee profoundly.

I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity

of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world,

in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and

indifferences by which He is offended.

By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

I beg the conversion of poor sinners.


May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable,

most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God

be always praised, blessed, loved, adored

and glorified in Heaven, on earth,

and under the earth,

by all the creatures of God,

and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ,

in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.


The Best!

When a priest is accused ...

Sad Injustice.

Ed. note:  When a priest is accused, the accuser has his identity protected.  That makes sense if the accuser is a minor, but anonymity for an adult-survivor?  I'm not so sure.  I say that because the accused priest, even when found innocent of the charges, carries around the stigma of having been accused - while the false-accuser goes away untainted.  The priest's name is on a list - despite the accusation being ruled 'unsubstantiated'.  For instance, a former bishop, now deceased, continues to have his name on the list - though he was acquitted of all charges, found innocent, and the accusations unsubstantiated.  While the calumniator retains anonymity and walks away free and clear.  For priests, the process is very often not fair.

The accused.

That said, there is news this week of another priest in the Archdiocese who remains suspended, his case sent to Rome for evaluation.  It's a puzzling case.  It was just one incident, supposedly he rubbed the stomach and chest of a snoring teen on a mission trip several years ago.  No sexual or genital contact involved.  I read one report suggesting the priest 'enjoyed it' - not sure if that was his testimony taken out of context, nor do I know what that would mean for the case.  That said - nothing else happened, he has never been accused of any other misconduct.

On the other hand, a couple of years ago another well respected priest was suspended because a woman accused him of inappropriate touch when she was a young girl.  The girl used to sit on his lap when he was a seminarian and visited the family.  I'm not sure how that has been resolved.

My intention here is not to point fingers, accuse, condemn, judge - nada.  I simply wanted to point out a couple of incidents concerning allegations of misconduct, while wondering aloud if some thing may have been missed in formation.  Touchy-feely stuff should have been covered under decorum lessons:  How to walk manly, watch your hand gestures, don't stand like a little teapot, and so on. I think it used to be that way - probably in preparatory seminary.


I was reading up on the vice of effeminacy recently and came across some very interesting commentary in Tanquerey's classic work, The Spiritual Life.  I hope educators and spiritual directors still reference works like this, since moral theology is much more nuanced than the moralizing one gets from the average Catholic university graduate.  At least a close study of some of the masters of the spiritual life can help dispel some of the generalities one often comes across online.  ;)   But I digress.

Since I can't find the particular text online, I'll have to copy the section I felt shed some light on the subject, as it refers to the dangers those vowed to celibacy can face, not only between the sexes, but as concerns children.  It's all related - since men (and women) are tempted in diverse ways - the devil wants to trip us up.

That said, I'll post the sections without further comment - except to say - I'm confident the Church, theologians, spiritual formators have always known this stuff - which is why I have to wonder if there may be some neglect in contemporary formation regarding chastity and the occasion of sin - and not just for those SSA guys who find themselves tempted by fellow seminarians walking around in towels after showering.  (Eye roll.)  What?

The Moral Virtues 1111. B) The flight from dangerous occasions.

The mutual attraction that exists between the sexes creates dangers for those vowed to celibacy.  Hence useless meetings must be dispensed with, and when meetings are necessary, the danger must be made remote.  This is why the spiritual direction of women should be conducted exclusively in the confessional. (Fr. Wenthe)  Two things we have to protect - our virtue and our good name. - Tanquerey

The following point may be even more controversial - yet it demonstrates prudence and the great need of humility and self-knowledge - which was apparently lacking in a couple of the accused I mentioned I mentioned at the start.

Children of graceful appearance, of a joyful and affectionate nature, may likewise be a source of danger.  One loves to look at them, to caress them, and if one be not on guard one may be led to familiarities that perturb the senses.  
This disturbance is a warning given us by God, to make us understand that we must desist and that we have proceeded too far.
Let us recall to mind that those children have Guardian Angels who look upon the face of God; that they are members of Christ, living temples of the Holy Trinity.  Then we shall more easily treat them with a holy reverence while we show them real affection. - Tanquerey

Perhaps it's naive of me, but I've often wondered if sexual misconduct, inappropriate touch, or boundary violations involving priests and celibates were simply contemporary problems, but the Tanquerey excerpts clearly show it is not.

I bet you thought I'd never say it ... but here goes: Don't Let the Francis-Mercy Fool You ...

Yup.  You read that correctly.

I've had it with people claiming he is the gay friendly Pope - he's no different from his predecessors.

Oh!  BTW - that's a good thing.

Oddly enough, LGBTQ writers are beginning to sound just like Catholics who despise the Pope - you know who the Catholics are, writers such as, Louie Verrechio, Remnant contributors, Barnhardt, Stumbling Block blog and a few others who just can't find anything good to say about Pope Francis.

I received an update linking to Wild Reed blog covering an article from Pink News - a gay site - titled:  "The Pope’s ‘gay friendly’ image is a con, and it’s time we stopped falling for it."  It was so similar to a headline on another Catholic news site which read: "Don't Let the FrancisMercy Fool You..." - which I used to title this post.

Below, a couple of snippets from Pink to compare to those Catholic sites which pretty much discredit anything to do with Pope Francis.
Pope Francis is a friend to the gays, don’tcha know. A breath of fresh air in the Catholic Church…
He said gay people shouldn’t be judged, and he’s such a swell guy – he even praised a children’s book featuring same-sex couples!
Except he didn’t. And he wouldn’t. And his inaction and deeply regressive thinking continues to hurt LGBT people around the world every single day.
He might be the darling of the media, but let’s make no mistake: the Pope is no friend of the LGBT community, and we need to start saying so.
But it’s hard to fight misinformation on the internet. The Guardian story circulated online, racking up thousands of clicks and shares. Though a minor edit (without a public clarification) was eventually made, it continues to be shared online with its original headline.
Then, incredibly, after being directly debunked by the Vatican, the Independent picked up the story, under the headline “Pope Francis ‘praises gay children’s book'”.
The Vatican directly denied that the Pope had praised a gay children’s book… but two of the UK’s leading newspapers continue to run headlines claiming exactly the opposite.
This is how the Pope’s gay-friendly image grows: because people will it to be so. The liberal media wish there were a gay-friendly Pope, and the Catholic media wish there were less gay rights pressure on the Pope, and the misinformation meets somewhere in the middle.
His infamous ‘Who Am I To Judge?’ comments are as prevalent as ever – but context-free snippets omit his endorsement in the same sentence of the existing Church Catechism, which says gay people are “disordered”*. - Pink News

PN Editor Nick Duffy pretty much got it right - yet in the process, doesn't his rant sound a lot like Catholics who claim the Pope isn't Catholic?  One would think faithful rad-tradsters, steeped in moral theology, liturgical rubrics, the syllabus and catechetics would know better than some gay news editor for a queer news site.   Nevertheless, Duffy recognizes Catholic teaching on sexual ethics and marriage will not change under this Pope.  He knows the 'who am I to judge' comment was promoted out of context.  He is right on when he wrote: "This is how the Pope’s gay-friendly image grows: because people will it to be so."

That is also how the negative image painted by Catholics who condemn Francis grows: because these people will it to be so.

*The thing Duffy got wrong is that the Church teaches homosexual acts are disordered - not the person, while the tendency is objectively disordered, the person is not.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Prayers of thanksgiving to St. Therese of the Child Jesus, St. Teresa of Jesus, and the Mother of Divine Grace, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel ...

For favors granted.

Father Gerald Dvorak, pastor of St. Peter in Richfield, returned to ministry Sept. 2 following a three-month investigation into a sexual abuse claim made against him. The 12-member archdiocesan Ministerial Review Board concluded that the allegation of abuse in the 1970s was not substantiated. They recommended that Father Dvorak return to ministry.
“The investigation included interviews with Rev. Dvorak and with the complainant,” said Archbishop Hebda. “The archdiocesan Ministerial Review Board reviewed this entire matter, including results of the investigation and other information relating to Rev. Dvorak’s 37 years of faithful service to this archdiocese.” - Catholic Spirit

Thanks to everyone who prayed for Fr. Dvorak. 

Signs: The Storm ...

The cross atop St. Helena’s Catholic Church in Minneapolis was struck by lightning on September 2 at 3 AM, causing it to crash to the ground, cracking the pavement below and scattering debris as far as across the street. - Story here.

What does it mean?  

The storm is upon us.

St. Helena discovered the True Cross.

The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross - or the Finding of the True Cross is September 14.

Stock up on beer people!  Preferably Trappist beer - indulgences permitted.

Remember 'The Omen'?


Song for this post here.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Effeminate - redux

HRH The Prince Edward,
1st Duke of Windsor

Something to consider...

Ever since Fr. Mason has written about the vice of effeminacy, I've seen several comments on the subject as well as one 'headline' which no longer exists, but which claimed: "Homosexual acts are certainly sinful, but so is the homosexual tendency and all its manifestations, including effeminacy."  That was taken from an essay which stated, "Homosexual acts are certainly immoral, but so is the homosexual tendency and all its manifestations, including effeminacy."  Because effeminacy is a vice, in opposition to the virtue of fortitude or courage and perseverance.  The author suggests culpability for the vice asking, "Is effeminacy actually a sin? St. Thomas Aquinas takes it further and says effeminacy is a vice - that is, a habitually sinful disposition."  (Inclination to an objective disorder perhaps, but not a sin all by itself - that is - if a person has effeminate characteristics, and so on.  Therefore it should be regarded as a habit which if not mortified, may incline one to sin.  A man may have a vice, though not guilty of sin.  See New Advent.)

The author seems to be directing his fraternal concern onto the 'chaste and celibate homosexual' - perhaps in view of the emergence of the so-called gay-Catholic 'movement' associated with the Spiritual Friendship model.  Being gay and acting gay are two different things.  Though gay people refer to themselves as tops and bottoms when it comes to homosexual acts, often times that has little to do with effeminate behavior, even though St. Thomas certainly alludes to the vice in discussing sodomy citing the receptive partner.  Yet effeminacy is more interior than that - its role in the act of sodomy is the extreme.

In contemporary homosexual culture, manliness is the preferred trait, and one of the reasons men find men attractive in the first place - especially straight men, athletes, handsome actors, and so on.  In history one has only to recall the Spartans and Greek warrior relationships - masculinity was highly prized.  While pederasty was tolerated with boys and young men, only the catamite would be on the receiving end - no pun intended.  There was no homosexual marriage or partnership otherwise - and effeminacy was never esteemed or tolerated.  Effeminacy was more aligned with cowardice, fear of effort, delicacy/weakness, even sloth, I think.  Weakness related to pusillanimity and temerity - fear of the effort or difficulty involved in the acquisition of virtue.

I've written on this subject many times before.  The effeminate man is not necessarily a womanly man - that particular trait today is comes closer to gender dysphoria.  When Fr. Mason, or Cardinal Burke speak to the issue of the feminizing of the American male - it isn't about being a femme or Nellie, or calling men 'Mary', as gay people used to say.  Nor is it about lace and satin vestments.  It goes deeper than external manifestations of effeminate behavior.  It is not necessarily peculiar to homosexuals either.  It's more a disposition, an inclination, a propensity - a defect.

To the virtue of fortitude is also linked that of magnanimity, which leads to the lofty practice of all the virtues, avoiding pusillanimity and effeminacy, but without falling into presumption, vainglory, or ambition. - Three Ages

That some gay men can be effeminate, there is no doubt, that some gay men can have as a predominant fault a tendency to the vice of effeminacy - that too is clear.  Yet it is much more fundamental than womanliness, fastidiousness, or acting like Nathan Lane's character in The Bird Cage.  And as I said - it isn't peculiar only to gay men.  The actual vice of effeminacy is really more about the lack of courage to struggle through temptations against chastity and/or to labor in the acquisition of virtue; fulfilling one's duties in one's state of life, or persevering in virtue and the practice of religion and that kind of thing.  Both men and women, straight or gay - or trans can possess, as a predominant fault, or some propensity for the vice of effeminacy.  It is a propensity - not actual sin.  Just as the homosexual inclination is an objective disorder - but not a sin in itself.  Every sin is a disorder - a tendency is an objective disorder.  The terminology is very proper to discussions related to the virtues and moral theology - but a bit foreign to ordinary conversation.

We need to be careful when discussing these issue to avoid making burdens too heavy for same sex attracted persons to carry, or to make rash judgement concerning their state of soul based upon personality traits or gender non-conformity, if you will.  Especially today, when there is concerted effort in education, media, fashion and popular culture to androgyny.  Great confusion ensues.

Perhaps an example of an effeminate man can be glimpsed in the conduct of the former King Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, who abdicated his duties as king to marry Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.  He was always the perfect gentleman, a playboy, royal celebrity, and resisted the responsibilities to which he was obliged.  It seems to me he is the perfect model of a man subject to the vice of effeminacy.  Therefore you see it is neither a fault limited to homosexuality or men - it is sexless - genderless, as it were.  Perhaps the Duchess proved to be more virile or courageous in so far as she persevered in the marriage, though most likely unhappily?  It is said she loved her last husband the most.

Actual sexual sins are sexual in nature and kind.  

I've know men who have been very masculine who nonetheless exhibited faults and failings which suggest the vice of effeminacy.  Frequently it has involved the failure to be perform or be faithful to the duties of their state in life, seeking comfort and ease, neglecting those in their charge , and so on.  It seems to me it may indeed be a pervasive sin, or failing in modern society, especially considering the fact Our Lord told Sr. Lucia the penance now required from man is the fidelity to the duties of one's state in life.  It takes courage - fortitude.  The difficulty involved is the suffering one encounters in the spiritual combat.  We have no idea what others go through just to make a living.

I've known very good men, some priests with feminine characteristics and mannerisms; slight lisps, hissy esses, all the stereotypical mannerisms one can attribute to gay men. It does not ever mean a man is gay or even has homosexual inclination, nor that he is prone to the vice of effeminacy.

Gay readers hate it when I use the term effeminate - I mean it in the sense of the 'vice of effeminacy' and not in the sense of acting femme or butch - heterosexual men and women can and do share the vice as well.  I've printed the following from Fr. Mason several times since 2011:  Saint Thomas includes effeminacy under the vices opposed to perseverance. It is from the Latin Mollities, which literally means “softness.” Mollities is the verb used in 1 Corinthians 6:9 which deals with the sexual sin of sodomy. It involves being inordinately passive or receptive.

Below are some reminders from the Catechism for myself and my readers to keep in mind when speculating and discussing the personal foibles of others.

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:
- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.
2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity. - CCC

"Love is a teacher, but one must know how to acquire it, for it is hard to acquire, it is dearly bought, it is won slowly by long labor. For we must love not occasionally, for a moment, but forever." - Dostoevsky, Fr. Zosima

It also seems to me that many people appear to go along in life somewhat unconscious or oblivious to the moral virtues. The acquired moral virtues are obtained by the practice of moral acts directed by natural reason and human goodness, while infused moral virtues are supernaturally placed in the soul at baptism. We can lose these infused moral virtues through sin - vices contrary to the virtue, yet they are restored to the soul through the sacrament of penance. I think confessors and spiritual directors might agree that even with penitents striving to amend their lives, many often do not focus a great deal of attention upon the acquisition or development of the virtues. Understanding their importance can often be far from one's thoughts in the everyday occupations and diversions which comprise our lives. Even with prayerful persons eager for contemplative graces proper attention can be lacking.

Therefore I have no problem whatsoever with pointing out good theology on vices and virtues, it is simply important to not attribute sin where it may only be a fault or an inclination - a character weakness, or simply an acquired mannerism.  Devotions such as adoration and the rosary, constant prayer and recourse to the sacraments are the ordinary means of sanctification.  Likewise, those faults or defects God in his providence leaves in the soul, sometimes are only purified in and through the dark night and or suffering.  

"If the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can call evil by its name, it does so only in order to demonstrate that evil can be overcome if we open ourselves to 'love for God to the point of contempt for self. This is the fruit of Divine Mercy...'" - John Paul II, Memory and Identity

It's important to remember how different souls are, how many weaknesses and faults are not deliberate or malicious, but simply an acquired trait as in a type of temperament.
"Therese believed that God frequently allows us to experience in ourselves the same weaknesses which we deplore in others,,, [Thus] when we see ourselves fallen into those faults we are then more prompt to excuse them in others." - My Sister St. Therese, Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face
"'Sometimes it happens,' she went on, 'that despite their best efforts, some souls remain imperfect because it would be to their spiritual detriment to believe they are virtuous or to have others agree that they are.'" - Ibid
Those of us who have no charge in the direction of souls, nor are qualified to teach or preach, need to be careful in our pronouncements on moral theology and things such as canon law, lest we give a too narrow interpretation for those unfamiliar with the type of debates these subjects engender among academics and intellectuals - or simply well meaning guys with a theology degree.

Go to confession, check with your confessor or spiritual director and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and as his Mom said - "Do whatever he tells you."


The September Martyrs of Paris - Carmes ...

... killed for not taking oaths of loyalty to the State.

Martyrs story here.

Just imagine - put to death for not taking oaths of loyalty to the State.

I wonder if that could happen here?

Did you see the story about the County Clerk who refuses to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples?  

MOREHEAD — A federal judge has ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her deputies to appear in his courtroom Thursday and explain why Davis should not be held in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses.
Shortly after opening her doors Tuesday, Davis told two same-sex couples who asked for marriage licenses that she would not issue them, despite a federal court injunction ordering her to do so.
"Under whose authority are you not issuing marriage licenses?" someone in the crowd asked Davis.
"Under God's authority," she responded. - Read more here.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

This is so great - David Muir scores 'preemptive' interview with Pope Francis.

Actually, it was a virtual audience with Pope Francis before his trip to the United States ...

Go David!

The event was moderated from inside the Vatican by ABC News’ "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir, as the pontiff engaged via satellite with individuals from three different groups: students at the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago’s inner city, congregants from a McAllen, Texas, church located near the U.S.-Mexico border and homeless men and women and those working with the homeless in Los Angeles.
The event will air in a one-hour special edition of ABC News’ "20/20" on Friday, Sept. 4 at 10 p.m. ET. In addition, the event will be posted in its entirety in both English and Spanish on - ABC News

One less bell to answer ...

Elizabeth Scalia is taking over Aleteia.

I've always liked and admired Elizabeth Scalia.  I have to admit I was jealous of her blog-name:  The Anchoress - I wanted to be The Anchorite but I thought people would accuse me of copying or stealing her thunder.  You know - like the blogger who stole Amy Welborn's quote from Flannery, or the blogger who stole my picture of Baby Jane.  But I don't do that kind of stuff.  Nope.

Anyway.  I really believe Elizabeth Scalia built the Patheos Catholic Channel to become what it is today.  Seriously, her presence as editor always put me at ease with what came out of the Catholic sector.  She had my trust.  I think she will do very well at Aleteia and she announced she will be creating her own new, independent site - I look forward to that as well.

Now that she's gone - there are only five sites on Patheos which continue to interest me.  Melinda Selmys being the only woman, followed by Mark Shea, Deacon K., Fr. L., and LarryD.  They update regularly, create interesting content - except for Larry* - and they usually elicit a comment, a question, or even a post from me.

Very seriously and sincerely, congratulations to Elizabeth Scalia - she's elevated Catholic blogging to a respectable level of literacy and journalistic integrity.  Prayers and best wishes!


Song for this post here.  Whaaat?

Trusting in the intercession of the Mother of Mercy - Pope Francis

Nuestra Señora de La Merced

“A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X. This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, combined however with an uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint. I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity. In the meantime, motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins.
“Trusting in the intercession of the Mother of Mercy, I entrust the preparations for this Extraordinary Jubilee Year to her protection”. - VIS news

3 things to know and share ... what?

  • The Holy Father is not the enemy.  

  • This is such good news for the Church.

  • This is a great sign of hope.

Pillar Saints

Today is the feast of St. Symeon the Stylite.

His pillar was located outside modern day Aleppo, Syria.

Pray for the martyrs and kidnapped and tortured and raped and those fleeing the atrocities committed by ISIS in Syria and elsewhere.

St. Symeon, pray for us.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fading Pop-Star supports popular 'rape myth': Blaming the victim.

Clothes to be modest need not only to cover the body 
but also not to cling too closely to the body. - Cardinal Siri

Works for me.

Women who walk around drunk and provocatively dressed should expect to be sexually assaulted, Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer of the Pretenders, has suggested.

The former chart topper claimed in a Sunday newspaper interview that scantily clad women were likely to “entice a rapist” and that it is their “fault” if they are attacked.

She discloses in a new memoir how she was abducted and sexually assaulted by a motorcycle gang in Ohio in the early 1970s – but concludes it was “all my doing” because of the way she was dressed and the fact that she was under the influence of drugs.

She also claimed that pop stars who call themselves feminists but use their sex appeal to sell records were effectively just “prostitutes”. 

“If I'm walking around in my underwear and I'm drunk? Who else's fault can it be? – Er, the guy who attacks you? 
“Oh, come on! That's just silly." - Source

I totally agree.

A recent case featured on national news of a prep-school student claiming rape by an upper-class man - the details are rather complicated - the young man was found guilty of sex charges, but not rape.  She consented to meet him, things progressed, he claims to have decided against going through with consensual sex.  She claimed he raped her.  She lied about her age - she met him - knew there could be some intimacy - evidently some clothes were off?  Like I said - not sure of the details.  Point is, girls often put themselves in vulnerable positions - is it deliberate enticement?  Teasing?  Whatever it is, men fall for it.

Modesty and discretion is called for.  Women can't always cry victim.  Chrissie Hynde makes a good point - which is sure to get her condemned - if only by man-hating feminists and pop-star prostitutes.

And now, a word about sex abuse victims.

I also don't believe all the sex abuse victims who came forward to sue the dioceses were always victims - especially if they had been teen boys.  Call me Fr. Groeschel, but the poor old priest had a point when he indicated something counter intuitive to the current standards of victimologists and rape culture.

Asked if his work involved priests accused of sexual abuse, Fr. Benedict replied:
A little bit, yes; but you know, in those cases, they have to leave. And some of them profoundly — profoundly — penitential, horrified. People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him.  A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer. - NCR
I posted on that here.

These ideas do not exonerate the perpetrator of course.  Nor is it always blaming the victim - there are often mitigating circumstances however.