Crazy? Angry? You decide and I couldn’t care less!

Bonkers in Boise!

You know, we have a lot going on right now. People are scared. People are hoarding food and needs. There are few to no sacraments to be had. Public Mass is gone. We desperately need spiritual help. But this bishop? He’s chosen to do this instead. Granted, he did this way back at the end of February, but he had it published this week in the diocesan paper because, well, his preferences (and they are  preferences) are oh so important right now.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishop-forbids-priests-to-say-mass-facing-with-people-bans-communion-rails

BOISE, Idaho, April 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ―  An Idaho bishop has prohibited priests in his diocese from saying the Mass facing toward the tabernacle (ad orientem) and from using communion rails for Catholics who prefer to kneel to receive the Eucharist. In addition, the bishop wants to be informed of every traditional Latin Mass that takes place in his diocese.

Bishop Peter Christensen, 67, of the Diocese of Boise, issued a memo to the priests of his diocese to enforce his liturgical preferences on February 28. It was subsequently published in the Idaho Catholic Register in late March.

In the memo, Christensen underscored that priests are not to “imply a particular superiority or greater holiness of approach amongst the valid forms of worship in the Roman Catholic Church” before aiming at priests’ worship ad orientem.

That’s fine. I think he’s wrong, but I can see the reasoning behind the idea of stopping the “I’m more Catholic than you.” Squabbling like that sometimes happens, but then he goes on to do just that! I could have given him a pass for trying to prevent something I don’t really think happens all that much but not now.

“Priests in the Diocese of Boise will face the people when presiding at the Ordinary Form of the Mass,” he instructed and cited 1970’s General Instruction to the Roman Missal, saying that Paragraph 299 “makes it plain that the universal Church envisions the priest presiding at Mass facing the people.”

OK, this will be addressed later on in this article but I’m going to ask the bishop – makes it plain to whom? Not to Pope Benedict, not to Pope Francis, not to Cardinal Sarah, nor to bishops and priests throughout the world. Bishop Christensen might want to remember that his preferences don’t make fact.

“This is unambivalent, and I am instructing priests in the diocese to preside facing the people at every celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Mass,” Christensen wrote.

It’s so clear cut that the head of the Congregation for Divine Liturgy invited all priests to celebrate ad orientem? I’m reasonably sure the bishop knows about that, so I’m not sure how he justifies that statement.

However, author Dr. Peter Kwasniewski told LifeSIteNews that the bishop is “factually wrong” about what GIRM Paragraph 299 says about facing the people.

“And he should know better as this has been discussed extensively,” the scholar added.

I agree. He should know because it’s sorta done to death.

But Bishop Christensen also believes that the priest celebrating Mass facing the people has contributed to their “sanctification.”

“There are priests who prefer ad orientem,” he acknowledged.

“I am convinced that they mean well and find it a devout way to pray. But the overwhelming experience worldwide after Vatican II is that the priest faces the people for the Mass and that this has contributed to the sanctification of the people.”

Wait! What??? I have noooooo idea what he means by this. Does he know that Mass attendance and belief in the Real Presence have plummeted while birth control among people in the pews has gone up? I grew up after Vatican II. I went to 12 years of Catholic school. I can count on one hand the kids I grew up with who fulfill their Sunday obligation and believe in the Real Presence. ONE HAND! Yup, they go from time to time when the “spirit” moves them. I can’t blame them, though. They went to the same schools and churches I did. They’re certainly not hearing about Truth at too many of the churches, and they’re not “sanctified” simply because a priests faces them during the Mass. “They’re sanctified because the priest faces them!” Poof. Really??? I mean, did he even read this? Did it not sound at all a little lame?

Christensen rejected “attempts to justify” priests facing the east with their people, saying it was “clearly in the mind of the Council that the priest should face the people.”

Except it’s not. Honestly, let’s just think about this and the words of the Mass. It doesn’t even make sense. I went into this in detail here:  https://omm.foeduscatholic.com/lets-talk-ad-orientem/ And what does he say to the liturgical scholars who disagree with this, including Cardinal Sarah who’s kind of the expert?

This statement was contradicted by expert Gregory Di Pippo, editor of The New Liturgical Movement online magazine, who pointed out that the Council Fathers had no explicit plans to radically transform the Mass.

“Dietrich von Hildebrand once joked that in the case of Vatican II, it is the spirit that killeth, and the letter that giveth life.” Di Pippo told LifeSiteNews from Rome.

“Bishop Christensen is entirely wrong to say ‘It was clearly the mind of the Council that the priest should face the people,’” he continued.

In short, READ THE DOCUMENTS.

“The Council’s declaration on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, mentions ‘the people’ more than 40 times, and not once does it suggest in any way that the altars should be turned around, or that celebrant of the Mass should be looking at them while addressing God.”

Oops.  There’s an inconvenient truth.

Boise’s Ordinary also took aim at the practise of receiving Holy Communion while kneeling. While acknowledging that the faithful have the right to receive the Eucharist in this way and may not be refused Communion because they kneel, he ordered that they not be assisted in doing so.”

“While it is the right of the faithful to kneel to receive, nor may any communicant be denied Communion based on posture, given that the established norm in this country is standing, I am instructing that priests do not use furniture or such items as prie dieus or communion rails, as these may seem to undermine the norm or to imply a preference for kneeling to receive,” he wrote.

So, let’s remember where we started:

In the memo, Christensen underscored that priests are not to “imply a particular superiority or greater holiness of approach amongst the valid forms of worship in the Roman Catholic Church”

So, let me get this straight, one cannot “imply a particular superiority or greater holiness of approach amongst the valid forms of worship,” BUT it’s totally fine to say that the priests and laity who are exercising valid ways of facing and receiving are undermining the norms? Come on.

Peter Kwasniewski told LifeSiteNews that “it is always a bad sign for a bishop to want to discourage the faithful from kneeling before their Lord and God.”

In an article he prepared for the Remnant newspaper, Kwasniewski stated that the ban on prie dieus is “vindictive.”

“It amounts to saying: ‘You knuckleheads can get down on your knees if you really want to—but not if you’re elderly. Tough luck for you cronies. No help from the church,’” he wrote.

That’s EXACTLY how this looks. Honestly, who is hurt by the person who prefers to kneel? Nobody. I’ve never been able to figure this out. My Ordinary Form Mass employs the kneeling rail. Nobody looks at those who don’t kneel and judges them. Some can’t kneel, some don’t prefer it and simply stand. And you know what? Most of us are focused on Christ in the Eucharist. I don’t even notice unless they’re right next to me and, you know what? I DON’T CARE! So why discourage a lawful practice? Does the bishop somehow think that God’s upset with those who kneel? Maybe the bishop might want to be happy that people still come to his churches. And the priests he’s quashing right now? They’re probably the ones with the biggest attendance. Is it jealousy? Is it because the bishop doesn’t want to hear people complain when people don’t do exactly what they want? I mean, what can possibly be the reason for this?

“Isn’t it surprising, too, just how rigidly some bishops want to exclude kneeling before the SON OF GOD? ‘Hey you—cut it out—no kneeling around here to the Word made flesh! We don’t do that anymore. It’s okay for the three kings and medieval peasants and what not, but not in this democratic age. Besides, the USCCB has spoken, and it has more authority than a millennium of Catholic practice’.”

It is kind of an obsession. Must. Stop. Kneeling. Kneeling bad.

Christensen’s focus on traditional elements was not confined to the Mass of Paul VI, however. In his memo he also indicated that he wants to be informed “as a matter of courtesy” when the Mass of John XXIII, otherwise known as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, or the Traditional Latin Mass, is celebrated in his diocese.

OK, I’m not going to quibble over this. He has the right to know about what’s going on in his diocese. Still, it’s kind of weird statement. Does he feel like his priests are hiding something from him?

While acknowledging that Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum pontificum freed priests from the obligation of seeking episcopal permission to celebrate the ancient rite, Christensen wrote “I request that you report the practise to me, along with frequency and attendance.” He explained that this was for “accurate record-keeping” as the Holy See demands such information during ad limina visits.

File that under “I didn’t know.” Again, not quibbling with that, but what happens if the numbers are low? Or what if attendance is booming? Is he going to tell them to stop?

Kwasniewski found the bishop’s tone here “sinister.”

“It’s almost like he’s asking for a confession of mortal sins in kind and number,” he wrote.

It’s probably because he lumped a bunch of traditional practices (and I am using a little “T” since they don’t all apply simply to the Extraordinary Form) into one set of norms. I will say this, if you look at the original here, https://www.catholicidaho.org/72, he does point out some actual liturgical abuses. Sadly, mentioning the actual abuses seemed like an afterthought. He certainly didn’t spill the ink on those real abuses that he could. How about the holding hands during the Our Father or the orans posture reserved for the priest? Maybe he was aiming at what his priests? Who knows? I’m not in that diocese, but I’d be shocked and amazed if they didn’t have a few more actual abuses. Might be nice if he chastised and told people “No!” for those instead of for valid liturgical preferences.

“And as for his barb that the TLM should not be anything other than extraordinary in its occurrence—one wonders when he will issue the next memo stating that extraordinary ministers should also be of rare occurrence, since the priests and deacons are the ordinary ministers of the Holy Eucharist. It’ll be a long time before that buskin drops.”

OK, the bishop didn’t quite phrase it that way (see link above to his statement in Idaho Catholic), but I can see why they get that impression.

Christensen cited “confusion” among Catholics as his reason for vetoing the traditional elements.

“In order to reduce the confusion among the faithful and the increasing disinformation regarding liturgical matters in the Diocese, and to promote harmony and unity that is strengthened in our Eucharistic celebrations, I am promulgating this Instruction,” he wrote.

Oh, I’m sooooooo confused and I’m soooo worried about harmony. Not. And, really, disinformation? Mmmmm, I think he’s the one who provided that.

Subsequently the bishop suspended all public masses in his diocese as a response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Christensen’s approach is contrary to that of the Prefect for the Divine Worship, Cardinal Robert Sarah, who in 2016 asked priests to pray with their people towards the east, which represents Christ’s return.

In an interview earlier that year, Sarah, now 74, said that one way to return God to the center of divine worship would be for priests and people “to turn together in the same direction.”

“To convert is to turn towards God. I am profoundly convinced that our bodies must participate in this conversion,” the cardinal said.

“The best way is certainly to celebrate — priests and faithful — turned together in the same direction: toward the Lord who comes. It isn’t, as one hears sometimes, to celebrate with the back turned toward the faithful or facing them. That isn’t the problem. It’s to turn together toward the apse, which symbolizes the East, where the cross of the risen Lord is enthroned,” he continued.

“By this manner of celebrating, we experience, even in our bodies, the primacy of God and of adoration. We understand that the liturgy is first our participation at the perfect sacrifice of the cross. I have personally had this experience: In celebrating thus, with the priest at its head, the assembly is almost physically drawn up by the mystery of the cross at the moment of the elevation.”

Maybe Bishop Christensen should tell this guy what Vatican II is all about because, quite clearly, he’s wrong! Seriously, might I remind the bishop that this really confused man is the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments?!?! 

How do people think they can get away with this in the age of the internet? Does he think people in his diocese have never heard Cardinal Sarah or Pope Benedict’s take on this? Does he think people don’t know that even Pope Francis does Mass ad orientem, all while there’s a free standing altar nearby, all in the Sistine Chapel? Does he want to tell Pope Francis what confusion he’s causing by doing that?

Sarah also asked the faithful to kneel to receive Holy Communion.

Oooh! And don’t forget Communion on the tongue. Kind of surprised that Bishop Christensen didn’t go there too.

The “Complicit Clergy” website has offered a means to Catholics to voice their disapproval of Christensen’s prohibitions here.

You might want to drop the bishop a line.
Bishop Peter Christensen

1501 S Federal Way Ste 400
Boise, Idaho 83705

Email: MBaca@RCDB.org

Who Are You Going to Be?

This is going to be short and to the point. After watching what’s transpired in the last few weeks-

https://twitter.com/EricRSammons/status/1240444052828573696,

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/can-i-confess-or-be-anointed-heres-whats-suspended–or-not–in-your-diocese-61864,

and now this

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishop-suspends-last-rites-in-response-to-coronavirus-pandemic

– I am left with this thought.

After the victorious entrance on Palm Sunday and the blessed Last Supper, of the Twelve Apostles, one made a deal and subsequently betrayed Him, eight disappeared completely from the narrative, and three fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Of the three at Gethsemane, one disappeared after Jesus’ arrest, leaving Peter and John. Peter, scared he would suffer the same fate, finally denied Jesus three times. Out of the original twelve, John alone was at the foot of the Cross.

Be John!

The Insidious James Martin, SJ

I really had trouble deciding whether to go with insidious, sinister, or pernicious.  Sinister seemed to give him a little too much credit and pernicious not enough. During this time of crisis, it would be oh so nice if James Martin, SJ, could refrain from being a jerk, but it’s just not meant to be. And lest you accuse me of an ad hominem, allow me to show you the evidence. Hardly baseless.

I suggest, first, that you do not read an article summarizing what Archbishop Burke said but read his actual statement in its entirety  here: https://www.cardinalburke.com/presentations/combat-against-coronavirus

Next, did Fr. James Martin, SJ, miss a day or two of Catholic 101 along the way? Yes, Father, physical evil entered into the world because of original sin and our own sins allow more and more of it to live on.  Seriously, if you follow Fr. Martin, I honestly suggest doing what I do. Never, ever, take anything he says as doctrine without doing a little research yourself.

This from the Catechism (a book James Martin, SJ, apparently isn’t very familiar with):

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm
399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness. They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image – that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.

400 The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject “to its bondage to decay”. Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will “return to the ground”, for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.”

 

Does original sin still affect us today? Yes. Does Fr. Martin believe this? I’ll leave that up to you to infer.

The consequences of Adam’s sin for humanity

402 All men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as St. Paul affirms: “By one man’s disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners”: “sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.” The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. “Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.”

403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the “death of the soul”. Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam “as one body of one man”. By this “unity of the human race” all men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as all are implicated in Christ’s justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” – a state and not an act.

405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin – an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence”. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

406 The Church’s teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine’s reflections against Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God’s grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam’s fault to bad example. The first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. The Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529) and at the Council of Trent (1546).”

And from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The second effect of sin is to entail the penalty of undergoing suffering (reatus pænæ). Sin (reatus culpæ) is the cause of this obligation (reatus pænæ ). The suffering may be inflicted in this life through the medium of medicinal punishments, calamities, sickness, temporal evils, which tend to withdraw from sin; or it may be inflicted in the life to come by the justice of God as vindictive punishment.

Better suffer now than later, Fr. Martin.

More Catholic understanding from the Catholic Encyclopedia that Fr. Martin doesn’t quite get:

Permission of sin and remedies

Since it is of faith that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and all good it is difficult to account for sin in His creation. The existence of evil is the underlying problem in all theology. Various explanations to account for its existence have been offered, differing according to the philosophical principles and religious tenets of their authors. Any Catholic explanation must take into account the defined truths of the omnipotence, omniscience, and goodness of God; free will on the part of man; and the fact that suffering is the penalty of sin. Of metaphysical evil, the negation of a greater good, God is the cause inasmuch as he has created beings with limited forms. Of physical evil (malum pænæ) He is also the cause. Physical evil, considered as it proceeds from God and is inflicted in punishment of sin in accordance with the decrees of Divine justice, is good, compensating for the violation of order by sin. It is only in the subject affected by it that it is evil.

Now, James Martin, SJ, while you have a wee bit of trouble coming up with Catholic teaching, Cardinal Burke does a bang up job of it:

Many with whom I am in communication, reflecting upon the present worldwide health crisis with all of its attendant effects, have expressed to me the hope that it will lead us – as individuals and families, and as a society – to reform our lives, to turn to God Who is surely near to us and Who is immeasurable and unceasing in His mercy and love towards us. There is no question that great evils like pestilence are an effect of original sin and of our actual sins. God, in His justice, must repair the disorder which sin introduces into our lives and into our world. In fact, He fulfills the demands of justice by His superabundant mercy.

As if that weren’t enough:

God has not left us in the chaos and death, which sin introduces into the world, but has sent His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer, die, rise from the dead and ascend in glory to His right hand, in order to remain with us always, purifying us of sin and inflaming us with His love. In His justice, God recognizes our sins and the need of their reparation, while, in His mercy He showers upon us the grace to repent and make reparation. The Prophet Jeremiah prayed: “We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness, the guilt of our fathers; that we have sinned against you,” but he immediately continued his prayer: “For your name’s sake spurn us not, disgrace not the throne of your glory; remember your covenant with us, and break it not” (Jer 14, 20-21).

As usual, Fr. Martin is simply playing politics here. By cherry picking a bible verse without ever including Catholic teaching on sin, suffering, physical evil, etc., he tries to paint Cardinal Burke as a sophomoric lout. James Martin, SJ, counts on you to never see a Church document as long as you live. Don’t fall for it. I suggest you read this one. I mean the whole thing. Looks like Cardinal Burke is quite familiar with it:

15. When one says that Christ by his mission strikes at evil at its very roots, we have in mind not only evil and definitive, eschatological suffering (so that man “should not perish, but have eternal life”), but also—at least indirectly toil and suffering in their temporal and historical dimension. For evil remains bound to sin and death. And even if we must use great caution in judging man’s suffering as a consequence of concrete sins (this is shown precisely by the example of the just man Job), nevertheless suffering cannot be divorced from the sin of the beginnings, from what Saint John calls “the sin of the world”(29), from the sinful background of the personal actions and social processes in human history. Though it is not licit to apply here the narrow criterion of direct dependance (as Job’s three friends did), it is equally true that one cannot reject the criterion that, at the basis of human suffering, there is a complex involvement with sin.”

Fr. Martin? First, he doesn’t want you to pay attention to sin, and second, he doesn’t want you to think that you have any responsibility for evil existing in the world. He really doesn’t want you to know that, while God doesn’t cause evil, he allows the natural effects of our sins to occur as a remedy for our soul. Sometimes that’s our own concrete, actual sin and sometimes it’s the sin that exists in the world, both of which cause a rupture with all that is good. When Christ said, “Take up your Cross and follow me!”, he meant it. Not really the path we’d end up on with Fr. Martin’s advice. Not entirely sure why he hopes to keep the history of the Church quiet, but he does. Somehow he missed (or intentionally ignored) the saints who lived during “The Plague”, especially their response to it, which was always penance, penance, and more penance. Hmmm…wonder why they would suggest that if sin had nothing to do with it? Most Catholics have heard of St. Charles Borromeo by now. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03619a.htm Do you really believe Fr. Martin doesn’t know about him?

Here’s another good read for these times. Shorter, easier, etc.:

Are natural disasters truly “acts of God”?

Life Without Mass, Our New Frontier

First, this is not a post on whether or not Masses should be cancelled. That debate has been done to death and few are going to change their thoughts and decisions on the matter. This is a post about the here and now. For a good many of us, Mass is not going to happen for an unknown time. What does that mean for people, spiritually and mentally?

I’m not trying to be more of a downer than what we’ve already got going on, but based just on comments I’m seeing, I think there are some who may be totally caught off guard by the reality of life without Mass. People are totally right that there’s no reason to believe that we will automatically have divine protections by attending Mass or receiving the Eucharist, but there’s also no reason to believe that we will be protected from the lack of it either. Like I said, the situation is what it is in your area. We have to contend with that reality whether we agree with it or not.

Unless you have been deprived of Mass for a lengthy period of time, you don’t know the toll it can take. I tell you this from experience, although I think I can look back now on that experience and see that it may have simply been be so I can pass this message along to you. I don’t think anyone here is naive but I do think knowing and living the reality are two very different things.

For some, you chose not to attend at some point in your life for whatever reason you had. If you remember what it was like during that time of your life, you have a pretty good idea that it’s not the best situation. There’s a reason you came to, or came back to, the Catholic Church. Most of us, lifelong faithful or not, can look at a good chunk of the population and get a sliver of an idea that life without Mass is bad. People these days, in too much quantity, are proud, envious, angry, gluttonous, lustful, lazy, and greedy. In addition, they’re depressed, anxiety ridden, hopeless, oppressed, etc.  Until now, we have had the ability to receive the graces of the Sacrament and from being physically present in front of Our Lord’s Body and Blood, yet we still have trouble with those temptations ourselves, and now many of us have lost that. Believing and being denied is a whole knew experience for most. And, no, all of the telecast Masses and Spiritual Communions can’t make up for that loss. Don’t freak out here. I’m not saying those aren’t VERY beneficial. In fact, Spiritual Communions are very important, even more so now, if possible, and yet still not the same. Graces will be received. It’s just not the complete “source and summit of our Christian life.” If it were the same, we’d be allowed to do this fulfill our Sunday obligations. I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “source” in the last couple days. We’re going to go without it. That will have a negative effect.

Now, to you who are just now being made aware of the whole Spiritual Communion concept (I’m sure many of you went to the same kinds of “catholic” schools I went where they skipped that chapter of Faith and Practice), this is just a snippet of the differences and why one should often cultivate the desire before practicing the culmination:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/special_features/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_20030417_ecclesia_eucharistia_en.html
The Eucharist thus appears as the culmination of all the sacraments in perfecting our communion with God the Father by identification with his only-begotten Son through the working of the Holy Spirit. With discerning faith a distinguished writer of the Byzantine tradition voiced this truth: in the Eucharist “unlike any other sacrament, the mystery [of communion] is so perfect that it brings us to the heights of every good thing: here is the ultimate goal of every human desire, because here we attain God and God joins himself to us in the most perfect union”. Precisely for this reason it is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was the origin of the practice of “spiritual communion”, which has happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life. Saint Teresa of Jesus wrote: “When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you”

As our Masses were cancelled, I was trying to explain to my husband what it was like being denied Mass and receiving the Eucharist. Words kind of failed me, if you can believe that. I think what I finally said was, “I don’t think people realize how oppressive it can be.” I hadn’t even thought about it in a long while. Really, we’re spoiled. I mean, our world is, well, ick. Can you imagine it when the faithful, who have enough trouble keeping our head above water, are just a little more oppressed? So, what I’m trying to do here is to try to come up with some extra spiritual vitamin boosts during this time of deficiency to get us through however long this is going to take. Hoping readers will also chime in with their added devotions, sacramentals, etc.

So, yeah, to top off my list is Spiritual Communions. Many, many, many of them. Here’s just a short little primer: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/how-to-make-a-spiritual-communion-when-mass-is-banned-because-of-coronavirus  Just an FYI, we should be doing this at every Mass before we receive anyway, but like I said, poor Catholic schooling, at least in these parts.

My Jesus,

I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at

least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly

to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.

Again, you can do this all day long. I’d also read more on it. It can be very comforting.

Next, obviously, the Rosary. Don’t really think I need to say more. It’s Catholic 101.

Another one is Holy Water. I cannot tell you what a difference it’s made in times which I can only describe as oppressed. It’s just going to be my word of the day. I sprinkle here and there whenever I think about it, and more when I’m troubled. And if you don’t know what St. Teresa of Avila said about it, here: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/blog/st-teresa-of-avilas-demonic-experience-that-proved-the-power-of-holy-water  Priests, when you leave someone’s house, please, please leave them with a big bottle of Holy Water. We so need this now.

Start thinking of specific people to pray for every day (most do of you do that anyway) and let them know you are doing it. It really gives hope when someone says, “Hey, you just popped into my head today and I prayed for you and your intentions.” In other words, remind people the Body of Christ still exists even though we might not be able to gather physically. Satan is thrilled we cannot gather but we can spiritually.

Remember you have a guardian angel. Ask for him to protect you. Spend this time cultivating a real relationship with him. Let’s face it, we often forget what we can’t see. Also spend time praying to your spouse and children’s angels. They’re all just waiting to be asked!

This list is just meant to be a start and is by no means exhaustive. I know many of you have many more favorites so PLEASE add them in the comment section. Whether we realize it or not we’re going to probably need more ideas in our arsenals. We’re all different and while we’ve got the go to weapons that apply to all of us, some might be extra special to each individual.

Also, if you are struggling physically, mentally, materially or spiritually, feel free to send me a message using contact me, Twitter PM or Facebook and I will do all I can. I always see people apologize for needing help. Don’t! That’s what the Body of Christ is for! We will get through this!

For those of you who still have Mass available! Please remember us!

 

Do You Really Believe?

I’ve really been putting off writing this one for weeks, because  it’s been so depressing watching the response to, well, everything. To me, it seems most Catholics don’t really believe our prayers are efficacious in any way. What’s the latest thing to lead me to this theory? This:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishop-cancels-public-celebration-of-easter-over-coronavirus

I don’t know if Bishop Taylor noticed but Easter is FOUR weeks away. Why is he so trigger happy? You’d think he’d want to, maybe, wait at least a couple of weeks before making that call? A lot could happen between now and then. And, you know, we are praying for a speedy end, so there’s that. Maybe before going nuclear, he should get his rear outside and do a little Eucharistic procession, even if all by himself, around his city like the priest in Italy did.

Before that, there were a lot of troubling little things in the Church. I think the last one before the Corona Crazy hit was the dropping of the Amazon doc. No women deacons, no married priests, but, rather than cheer with glee, the response of many faithful was, “Oh, don’t worry, they’ll still get it in somehow.” My gosh! Didn’t many priests, bishops and cardinals ask us to pray and fast for that one? Didn’t we do just that? Can’t we, just maybe, think that our prayers were answered and give a “Thanks be to God!”? How about, at the very least, don’t jeer the people who believe their prayers were answered, even if only temporarily, or call them naive, as if you have sort of divine information connection?

Every time something positive happens, the Eeyores come out. I wonder why the heck every one of them ever bothers to suggest we pray, fast, etc. themselves, because they never seem to expect a positive outcome.  Some of us, however, are trying to have the faith of at least a mustard seed. So, in our present time of chaos, and whether you be a liberal or conservative, can we all put a little effort into having faith that our prayers will work?

 

Translogicals

If you don’t like ”X”, don’t be or do “X”. Isn’t that how liberal logic normally goes? But why don’t they do that for Catholicism?

Before we look at this screed, let’s take a look at the author, Kevin Molloy, according to his New Ways bio:

https://www.newwaysministry.org/author/kevin-molloy/

About Kevin Molloy

Kevin Molloy has worked in ministry with youth and undergraduate college students since 2013. He received his A.B. in Religious Studies from the College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts, and his M.A. in Systematic Theology from Union Theological Seminary, New York. In addition to ministry, Kevin studies and teaches Liberation Theology, with a particular interest in LGBT liberation and queer theologies.

A few things we can learn from this? Don’t send your kids to College of the Holy Cross or Union Theological Seminary if you want them to have a shred of understanding of the Catholic faith. Besides, Union Theological Seminary isn’t even Catholic. I’m just thinking a guy who was educated by non-Catholics and doesn’t actually understand Catholicism might not want to critique bishops who know far more about what the Catholic Church teaches.

 https://www.newwaysministry.org/2020/03/04/minnesota-bishops-anti-transgender-school-policies-do-harm-not-good/

Minnesota Bishops’ Anti-Transgender School Policy Lacks Science, Theological Imagination

March 4, 2020/3 Comments/in Hierarchy, Parish Life & Pastoral Care, Schools & Youth, Uncategorized /by Kevin Molloy

Bishops in Minnesota have adopted anti-transgender policies for Catholic schools in their dioceses that will continue to marginalize and harm the well-being of transgender students.

It’s ridiculous to excoriate Catholic bishops for upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church. NOBODY is holding a gun to anyone’s head and making them go to a Catholic school. You want to allow your child to live under a delusion that their body is somehow in conflict with their soul? I find it tragic, but there are many other places that would allow you to inflict that type of damage on your child.

In guidelines adopted last year, the bishops of Minnesota set forth principles to govern the policies on gender identity of all Catholic schools in the state. The bishops claim that in setting out these guiding principles, they intend to affirm the “God-given irrevocable dignity of every human person.” The list of governing principles, however, have limited theological understandings of God and flawed scientific, biological, and psychological understanding of sex and gender. They also ignore the lived experience of trans and non-binary people.

“Limited theological understanding of God” according to whom? Oh, yes, the guy with the sub-par, typical, Jesuit education and a non-Catholic advanced degree. Isn’t that the definition of “limited theological understanding of God?” Yes, let’s listen to him drone on about the Catholic theology he knows nothing about.

In “Guiding Principles for Catholic Schools and Religious Education Concerning Human Sexuality and Sexual Identity,” the Minnesota bishops base a significant portion of their argument on the Genesis creation stories, arguing that God only creates males and females. Any “sexual identity,” they argue, must be in congruence with one’s sex assigned at birth. According to the “Definitions” set forth in the Minnesota bishops’ document, to have a gender identity that does not match assigned sex is not only impossible, but it is a betrayal of “the inner unity and reality of the human person made body and soul in the image and likeness of God.”

Do you think Mr. Molloy has ever heard the term “dualism?” (coughheresy***) Do you think Mr. Molloy has ever seen the Summa Theologia? (Gee, what a fool that Thomas Aquinas was!)  Karlo Broussard, who apparently didn’t get his degree from Union Theological Seminary and has a wee bit more of a grasp on actual Catholicism than Molloy, lays it out very well here. (Send your kids where he went if you want them to understand Catholicism.) https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/one-way-to-debunk-transgender-philosophy

By the way, rather than reading Kevin’s paraphrasing, here’s the document he’s frothing about: http://www.mncatholic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/20.0304-Sexual-Identity-Guiding-Principles-FINAL.pdf

More troubling than these foundational definitions are the proposed applications of these theological principles. The bishops restrict the use of pronouns by students to those that match their assigned sex. Students are restricted to use only facilities and participate only in extracurricular activities that are based on their assigned sex. The bishops forbid any expression of one’s gender that does not match one’s assigned sex, claiming that such an expression “causes disruption or confusion regarding the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.”

So, the bishops are for truth, reality and science? They’re for witnessing Catholic teaching vs. “gender ideology?” Shocker!

Two affirmations are particularly troubling for both trans students and their allies. While the document offers the assurance that all students and families deserve respect and charity, the bishops also say that interactions with students should be marked with “the truth about human dignity and God’s love.” Since the bishops’ definition of truth about human dignity is entwined with oppressive views about gender identity, this policy might be used to protect those who deny a trans student’s identity or disparage their experience.

Uh, the bishops’ definitions are intertwined with TRUTH. Truth is never oppressive. In fact, it’s the basis for the dignity of the human person. Peoples’ “experience” doesn’t negate truth in any way. Often it warps our view of it, but reality remains.

Let’s say one has experienced some sort of abuse, whether mental, physical or emotional, and it’s warped their view of love. It doesn’t change the truth about love. It just means they have a malformed view of it. I once dealt with a woman who was sure her boyfriend loved her. Do you know why she felt that way? Because he made sure she was sitting down before he hit her! Did that experience equal truth? Yeah, no. Would it have been good for me to let her go on thinking that was Truth?

Neither does experience make bad good or a wrong right. We can think of a thousand examples for those. It is what is referred to in the scientific, moral or psychiatric realm as a dysphoria. The remedy for it is not to feed it but to treat it.

Additionally, the bishops state:

“The consciences of students and employees will be respected with the assurance of their inviolable right to the acknowledgement that God has created each person as a unity of body and soul, male or female, and that God-designed sexual expression and behavior must be exclusively oriented to love and life in marriage between one man and one woman.”

The policy makes clear that those who uphold the bishops’ definition of sex and gender will be protected.

No, everyone will be protected, even if it’s from themselves. Duh. Catholics have the right to accept or reject Catholic teaching, but the Church doesn’t have the duty to affirm them when they are wrong. She has the duty to teach and defend Truth.

By explicitly making these two assertions in the policy guidelines, without making any specific protections from bullying and harassment for trans students, the bishops further marginalize and unjustly discriminate against these vulnerable youth.

Not sure if this is an intentional lie or merely an oversight, but there’s a bullying policy found right below the document he’s trashing here: https://www.mncatholic.org/guiding-principles-for-sexuality-identity-in-catholic-education/  Oops. And, no, they don’t have a specific bullying policy for those suffering with gender dysphoria. It’s a blanket policy for anyone being bullied.

Theologically, the “Guiding Principles” limit the creative potential of God. Because God created the universe out of nothing, God’s creative capacity is without bounds. To say that God can only make humans whose gender identity matches a person’s sex assigned at birth is to deny God’s ultimate power of creation. Feminist and queer theologians have rejected the idea that God operates within or ordains binaries. They see the male vs. female dichotomy as a function of finite beings who themselves have set up systems of binaries, and a projection onto God.

And at this point all you can do is say “says who?” God is all-knowing and all-loving. He doesn’t make peoples’ souls to be in conflict with their bodies because, well, that would be counter to the all-loving part. “Queer whoever” can think what they like, but this isn’t in any way Catholic. So, again, we’ve got idiot when it comes to Catholicism commenting on Catholicism and a Catholic entity.  I’ve never really been sure what this means, but “Step off!” seems appropriate here.

Fr. James Martin, SJ has criticized similar understandings of gender and sexual identity by Church authorities as, “mainly a dialogue with philosophers and theologians, and with other church documents; but not with scientists and biologists, not with psychologists, and certainly not with LGBT people.”

And James Martin, SJ is wrong six days out of seven. OK, maybe seven out of seven. He may very well indeed agree with you, but that would be rather narcissistic to think that equals Truth. In this instance, Kevin’s got all but the last group wrong, and that’s not even complete. Catholic philosophers, documents, theologians, scientist and biologists, and even sometimes the LGB disagree with those promoting “transgenderism.” And then there’s even those who formerly considered themselves “T” who have said it was a dysphoria and are full of regret. But, again, Catholics are called to embrace Catholic doctrine (aka -TRUTH) no matter who agrees.

The Minnesota bishops should immediately rescind these guidelines until they take the experience of trans people seriously, listen to the LGBTQ community to hear how they experience gender and sexuality in relationship to God, and consult 21st century science and psychology to ensure the well-being of students entrusted to their care. Had the bishops chosen to open a true dialogue, they would hear the truth about trans people from trans people. That might allow them to show respect, sensitivity, and preferential compassion to trans people as “God-given blessings” rather than continue to oppress and harm an already marginalized population—the antithesis to Jesus’ mission.

Truth isn’t up for negotiation, Kevin Malloy. The bishops are charged with guarding the faithful and teaching Truth. That is Jesus’ mission. True dialogue doesn’t entail twisting the truth to try to appease.

The bishops could adopt policies like Alverno College in neighboring Wisconsin and Loyola University in nearby Chicago, who understand the foundational Catholic principle of caring for each person in unique ways. Catholic policies, should be oriented to supporting and affirming students in their own gender expression and sexual identity. Jesus, who offered binary-destroying love and compassion to all people, is the model for how to respond to transgender people

Uh, neither college understands Catholicism and its relationship to Truth. I’d like to know if they are next going to affirm those who consider themselves “transfeline” or “transabled?” These are also tragic dysphoria, but hey, Kevin Malloy hasn’t lived their experience.

For more information on how official Catholic doctrine and policies continue to harm the transgender community, and how some Catholic communities are working to be affirming and inclusive, see the “Transgender” category, or click here.  For resources about transgender people and Catholicism, click here. If you are interested in hosting a session of “Trans-Forming Love,” New Ways Ministry’s workshop on pastoral ministry with transgender people, click here.

—Kevin Molloy, New Ways Ministry,  March 4, 2020

Remember when New Ways tried to pass themselves off as faithful Catholics? At least they’re getting a little more honest. They don’t believe in the doctrine of the Church and they never really have.

 

Just Something “Fun” AKA Bizarre Before Lent

I’m sure everyone thought this a Babylon Bee post when they first saw it. It is real. I know it’s not really fun but tell me you didn’t chuckle when you thought it was from the Bee.  I mean, I’ve seen a lot of bizarre things coming out of the region but it looks like we’ve wandered into a modern-day German annexing of the sanity of Austria. Geez.

“I. CAN’T. EVEN.” pretty much covers this one. I’m having trouble even ranting about this one because it’s so preposterous. I’m sure THE most liberal Catholic I know was thinking “What in THE…?” I’ll let it go there because they’d probably use something I wouldn’t. I mean, the die-hard liberal is now faced with having to be honest or trying to fake understanding the profound meaning like the idiot who paid $120,000 for the banana duct taped to the wall.

Heck, this whole thing is making the felt banners look pretty darn good right now. Maybe that was the plan all along?! Perhaps Cardinal Schoenborn has some sort of substance abuse problem we didn’t know about? I mean, who says “Yeah! Let’s hang a giant purple sweater in the cathedral!” unless they were stoned out of their ever-loving mind? Really, who? Did someone lose a bet?  The guy who wrote the copy “the priority of warming love of neighbor” for the cathedral website must having been crying as he realized this was his career. Can you imagine being the person who has to frame utter insanity?

And, after finding out this is real, I decided I was pretty offended for more than the obvious. As a woman, I wouldn’t be caught dead in that sweater! Why in the world is this considered a “woman’s sweater?” Looks more like product placement for Under Armor. I’m sure the women who love real men would love to see a Georg von Trapp rip that sucker down and tear it in two just like the Nazi Flag. Wouldn’t that be satisfying? Am I right ladies?

To all those giving up the internet for Lent, we’ll catch you on the Easter side!

LGBT=Ultimate Reduction of Person to Inclination

Here’s the most fantastical and smarmy effort at “I know you are but what am I?” I’ve ever seen. It’s pure fiction! Do people actually fall for this? Please read JD Flynn’s call out of Fr. Martin and judge for yourself.  JD did a great job pointing out Fr. Martin’s ever present attempt to tie people to their sexual inclinations. It’s his shtick and he’s made a mint doing it. (Yes, yes, he’ll tell you that he took a vow of poverty. Sorry, he ain’t sleeping on a floor and eating at McDonald’s in between Met Galas and movie premieres.)

 

I will point out something I’ve learned. When Fr. Martin sends out multi-tweets like this, it shows he has gone into defensive mode because somebody exposed him. Let’s look at them. I snipped the link to his ridiculous talk because it should be ignored by all anyway.

Let’s look at his fanciful text rant piece by piece, shall we?

However, this article does what it says it wants to avoid: reducing LGBT people to their sexual desires.”

Dude! You do this EVERY TIME you use the LGBT acronym. It is the ultimate reduction of a person to a disordered inclination. It’s akin to calling someone a Fat Catholic, Porn Catholic, Lazy Catholic, or Alcoholic Catholic. Catholics with a shred of love don’t do this. Christ never did this. Why do you? Despite the accusations in your tweet, JD Flynn didn’t even mention chastity by name. He’s calling you out for not teaching the fullness of the Faith, which you, yourself, have admitted you do not do.

“The “fullness” of Church teaching on LGBT people is not simply the teachings on chastity and celibacy (which I am not challenging).

Well, first of all, you leave those teachings out all the time. And, hello, let’s try a little truth for once. You challenge them all the time. I really need to bookmark this page, because it’s a nice, concise list of the times Fr. Martin challenged Church teaching on this issue. https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/eight-extreme-things-fr.-james-martin-just-said-about-catholics-and

Next, chastity and celibacy (the first of which you never give a clear definition of your understanding) are a HUGE part of teaching on people suffering with same-sex attraction. It is there to protect the dignity of the person and to help them gain everlasting life with God. How you can so easily write this off is beyond me? Don’t talk to me about the dignity of the person when you seem to have your own private catechism on the issue or, at best, are trying to completely misrepresent the actual Catechism.

Let me show the mental gymnastics that James Martin, SJ, goes through to remove chastity from the obligation from those suffering with same-sex attraction. If you want to hear him in his own words, go here, but I will distill it down for you. 

For a teaching to be really authoritative, it is expected that it will be received by the people of God, by the faithful. So you look at something like say, the Assumption. So the Assumption is declared and people accept that. They go to the feast of the Assumption, they believe in the Assumption, it’s received.

<snip>

The teaching that LGBT people must be celibate their entire lives, has not been received.

First of all, how can James Martin, SJ, say with a straight face he doesn’t challenge Church teaching? It’s really incredible. He’s saying that the teaching is not binding because people don’t receive it. Uh, where does it say that in the Catechism??? Is, say, murder not a sin because it’s not received by a person??? Same logic, but he won’t like that reference. In fact, the sections on conscience, which he mentions later, say just the opposite. Of course, he also tries to lead people astray in the “primacy of conscience” area, too. He has to, but that’s another story that goes hand in hand with this one.

Rather, the fullness of church teaching on LGBT people is found in the mystery and person of Jesus Christ, and in his teachings of love, mercy and compassion, especially for those people who felt on the margins of society.

Blah, blah, blah, what does this mean? Fr. Martin, I’ve never actually heard to you deliver the fullness of Church teaching (maybe that lower case “c” in your tweet is appropriate) on the issue (or probably any issue). Literally never. In fact, you’ve stated that you purposely don’t talk about “chastity and celibacy” because they’ve already heard that a bunch.

LGBT lives are more than their sexual desires.

Then stop calling them by their sexual inclination! You’re the one doing this every day. 

LGBT people lead rich lives, participating in the lives of their parishes, loving their friends, caring for the poor, looking after aging parents, and so on. They also still suffer great discrimination, especially within the church.

And here we go into victim status, as usual. Is there really anyone who doesn’t suffer from some sort of discrimination? What Fr. Martin constantly puts forth as examples, people being fired, removed from their ministry, etc., isn’t discrimination of the person. It’s discrimination of the lifestyle they are living. Fr. Martin always wants to say that those suffering with same-sex attraction are simply being singled out for being who they are. Sorry, not letting that stand. What he wants to do is single out an immoral lifestyle with the goal of trying to confuse people on the difference between public and/or obvious sin and private sin. “Why aren’t they firing the divorced and remarried? Those using birth control? Etc.” First of all, you cannot look at a heterosexual couple’s wedding picture on Facebook and know if they are divorced and remarried, using birth control, etc.  If they decide to make this public, I’m totally fine with firing them (we’re talking Catholic school teachers here – you know, people who are supposed to be transmitting the Faith). It would be scandalous to do otherwise. If they chose to keep these sins hidden, though, there is no scandal caused. Why would you fire them? 

But, if two guys or two girls post their wedding picture, they’ve just blasted their sin. It’s really not that confusing, but Fr. Martin confounds away!

So the question is: How can we treat them with the love, mercy and compassion that Jesus showed for people on the margins? And in this case: How can Catholic colleges and universities show them welcome and respect?

Uh, I think JD Flynn actually covered this, but maybe you didn’t give it a good read. Let me help. You tell them the truth. You teach them about the freedom that only Christ’s teaching can give. You don’t offer them a stone or snake when they ask for bread or fish.  You love them. You encourage them. You struggle with them to follow Christ’s teachings.

The Smoking Gun Finally Appears     

Alright, alright. I know everyone is looking at THE exhortation to end all exhortations and adding their own spin on it but there was some other HUGE news it seemed like many missed. In fact, I think the liberal “married priests & woman deaconesses/priestess” types are very happy to have people caught up in the document news because they look like complete and utterly despicable after this other news dropped. It was THE smoking gun of the last few weeks. I’m just going to post this puppy and add few emphasis and comments in the text. Then I’ll show you what we’ve been subjected to since January 12th. I think some BIG apologies are owed. Will they be big enough to do that? I mean they’ve smeared a pope, a cardinal, and a few publishing houses. I doubt they will but one can hope. Remember, emphasis and comments mine.

12 feb

Francis’s Silence, Ratzinger’s Tears, and That Never-Published Statement of His

What is most striking in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation “Querida Amazonia,” made public today, February 12 2020, is its total silence on the most anticipated and controversial issue: the ordination of married men.

Not even the word “celibacy” appears in it. Pope Francis desires “to configure ministry in such a way that it is at the service of a more frequent celebration of the Eucharist, even in the remotest and most isolated communities” (no. 86). But he reiterates (no. 88) that only the ordained priest can celebrate the Eucharist, absolve from sins and administer the anointing of the sick (because it too is “intimately linked to the forgiveness of sins,” footnote 129). And it says nothing about the extension of ordination to “viri probati.”

No news on women’s ministries either. “If they were admitted to Holy Orders,” Francis writes in no. 100, “it would lead us to clericalize women” and to “restrict our understanding of the Church to her functional structures.”

The curiosity that arises immediately, from reading “Querida Amazonia,” is therefore to understand to what extent the bombshell book written by pope emeritus Benedict XVI and by Cardinal Robert Sarah in defense of the celibacy of the clergy, published in mid-January, influenced the exhortation and in particular its silence on the ordination of married men.

To this end, some more information than what is already known about what happened in the fiery days following the publication of the book should be added.

The already known sequence of events was documented by Settimo Cielo in the three “Post Scriptum” at the end of this article of January 13:

But from multiple independent sources Settimo Cielo subsequently received news of at least four more facts, of very substantial importance.

The first occurred on the morning of Wednesday January 15.

All throughout the day of Tuesday the 14th the attack carried out by the radical movements against Ratzinger and Sarah had built up to a devastating crescendo, fueled in fact by the repeated denials of the prefect of the pontifical household, Georg Gänswein, of a co-responsibility of the pope emeritus in the composition and publication of the book, to the point of requesting the withdrawal of his signature, and contrasted to no avail by the precise and documented reconstruction, made public by Sarah, of the genesis of the book itself by the united efforts of its two coauthors. See many of the attacks below.

So then, on the morning of Wednesday January 15, while Pope Francis was holding his weekly general audience with Gänswein sitting as usual at his side in the Paul VI hall, and therefore far from the Mater Ecclesiae monastery which is the residence of the pope emeritus whose secretary he is, Benedict XVI picked up the phone himself and called Sarah first at home, where he did not find him, and then at the office, where the cardinal answered. Hah! Pope Benedict is awesome (as he’s always been).

Benedict XVI expressed his heartfelt solidarity with Sarah. He confided that he could not understand the reasons for such violent and unjust aggression. And he wept. Sarah wept too. The call ended with both of them in tears. Leaving me to want to give some big-time time-outs.

The second fact disclosed here for the first time occurred during the meeting between Sarah and Ratzinger, at the latter’s residence, on the evening of Friday January 17.

That very evening, the cardinal reported on the meeting in three tweets, in which he confirmed the perfect harmony between himself and the pope emeritus in the publication of the book.

But he did not say that during that same meeting – actually held in two distinct segments, first at 5 pm and then at 7 – Benedict XVI had written together with him a concise statement that was intended to be made public with the sole signature of the pope emeritus, to certify the full consonance between the two coauthors of the book and call for the cessation of all controversy. So, some of you were terribly wrong. Would you like to issue and apology now?

For the purpose of publication, Gänswein delivered the statement – which Settimo Cielo has in possession and in which Ratzinger’s personal, even autobiographical, trait is evident – to substitute secretary of state Edgar Peña Parra. And it is reasonable to hypothesize that he informed both his direct superior, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Pope Francis himself about it.

The fact remains – and it is the third piece of news as yet unpublished – that this statement of the pope emeritus has never seen the light of day. But it was arguably the origin of Francis’s decision to exempt papal household prefect Gänswein from any visible presence at his side from that point on.

The last of these public appearances dates back to the morning of that same Friday January 17, on the occasion of the visit to the Vatican of the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After which Gänswein no longer appeared alongside the pope, neither at the Wednesday general audiences nor at the official visits of American vice president Mike Pence, Iraqi president Barham Salih, and Argentine president Alberto Fernández.

In the eyes of Pope Francis, Benedict XVI’s statement had in fact proven the unreliability of the repeated denials made by Gänswein of the pope emeritus’s co-responsibility in the composition of the book.

In other words, the opposition of the pope emeritus against his successor giving in to the radical currents on the front of clerical celibacy stood out at this point front and center, without any attenuation anymore. It’s anyone’s guess what was going on in Ganswein’s head or what led up to his statement.

And all this a few days after the publication of the post-synodal exhortation in which many, all over the world, were expecting to read an opening by Francis to the ordination of married men. Which it didn’t which likely shows that the Vatican News reports were accurate about the Pope’s thoughts on the celibate priesthood. Already covered that here. https://omm.foeduscatholic.com/buy-this-book/

As a corollary to all this, news should also be given of the role that Cardinal Parolin played in this affair.

When in fact on Wednesday January 22 the publisher Cantagalli released a statement regarding the imminent debut of the book in Italy, with just a few trivial changes compared to the French original, it was not said that the statement had been viewed in advance and burnished line by line by the cardinal secretary of state, who at last had strongly encouraged its publication.

A press release in which Ratzinger and Sarah’s book is defined as “a volume of high theological, biblical, spiritual and human value, guaranteed by the depth of the authors and their willingness to make the fruit of their respective reflections available to all, manifesting their love for the Church, for His Holiness Pope Francis and for all humanity.”

So there you go. Sandro Magister has always been regarded as pretty darn accurate. So, in the light of this revelation, what do Austen Ivereigh, Massimo Faggioli, James Martin, SJ and Where Peter Is have to say about all their accusations of Cardinal Sarah, Pope Benedict, and those publishers? Hmmm? In addition to that question, I’d also like to offer a suggestion to them. They might want to refrain from suggesting that Pope Benedict doesn’t have all his will and mental faculties. He just ran circles around them!

Here’s just a sampling of the accusations and slander that’s been tossed around. As many tweets as their are, I didn’t even post half of them.

Austen’s Hysteria

Massimo’s Rants

 

James Martin, SJ’s Contributions

Where Peter Is

Pathetic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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