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In light of yesterday and today’s USCCB debacle, this one has never been more relevant.
You know, I wasn’t going to say anything about Zita Ballinger Fletcher’s article, and I’m not going to give her the pleasure of linking to it (if you didn’t see, do yourself a favor and don’t bother), but I am going to say a few things after watching the fallout from it today.
I did make two tweets back to Ms. Fletcher in response to some of her tweets, so to avoid any “she said she said”, here are my super mean tweets for your reading enjoyment.
I haven’t said 1 word to u or about u but, I’ve read your piece, and this would seem to be the pot calling the kettle black. So, if you don’t like being slandered, poked fun of, personally attacked, blamed, etc., maybe don’t write a piece doing that to a whole group of people?
And after relaying what a martyr she was but how she doesn’t retaliate because she’s a Real Catholic:
I’ve never really understood the charge of “virtue signalling” but I think this was big help.
Of course, she couldn’t ban me fast enough because, heaven forbid, she defends her rant, but here are some thoughts on it:
First, I don’t go to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass on a regular basis, so I feel like I’m in a unique position to comment on this article. Nobody can point at me and say “Just another mean ol’ trad! She has to say that!”
Next, sorry, I have yet to attend any parish that doesn’t have its own breed of holier-than-thou people who think their way of “Catholic” is the only way of “Catholic”, whether it be the local happy-clappy church down the street or the local FSSP church. The Church is made up of sinners. I have Extraordinary friends who would like to whack some of their fellow parishioners upside the head just like I do some days. I mean, seriously, after the rant yesterday and the follow up on Twitter today, I just can’t see that she can say a thing about any of this after that snide piece. It was just full of hypocrisy.
Could Miss Fletcher have written her article after repeatedly stumbling into the worst of the worst weirdos in all of Extraordinary-land who couldn’t cogently answer “Why the veil?” or who simply ignored the Mass to sneer at her or ran up and tried to sign her up for “the cult”? Anything is possible, but my guess is that her tales are a tad bit hyperbolic and based on the very thing she accuses them of – being judgmental. They don’t agree with her, they’re gaining ground, so she’s going to make them look as bad as she possibly can.
So, back to my experience, when I can’t get to my very lovely Ordinary Form Mass on Sunday, I go to the local church who hosts the Extraordinary Form. I’ve also been to various other EF’s for one reason or another, and her supposed experiences (and this really is all I can say about them) are far from the norm. I’ve never once been told to put on a veil or been sneered at because I’m not dressed just so. In fact, I ran to one at the last second (child was in hospital) and was probably wearing pants, but nobody looked twice. Maybe I just don’t go to Mass and look around at who’s looking at me. I don’t know. I pretty much get the feeling that we’re all just there to go to Mass. Sure, we can get distracted by the people around us, but I think the general theme is “I’m here to adore the Lord.” I still get the impression that Zita thinks all people are supposed to be looking at her and adoring her every fashion choice, and her article had all the indications of that narcissism. When she said “leggings” I thought, yeah, I probably would have been annoyed to be subjected to that, too. If you’re going to veil, not veil, wear leggings, wear something a little more long, etc., somebody is probably going to judge you either way. Deal. Not like you’re being hung on the Cross, for Heaven’s sake. On the occasion it happens, turn the other cheek and pay attention to the Mass.
Oh, and as a strong-willed woman, I also found her insinuation that all women who attend the Extraordinary Form Mass are simply being controlled by men was, well, stupid. Did you catch the part about her friend who started wearing a veil? Ms. Fletcher basically said she caved into peer pressure. Please. Did she ever think for a moment that her friend might have been compelled by the arguments given for veiling? Geez. And how about the idea that somehow veiling is only a trad thing. How does she explain the ladies sitting at the local ordinary parish wearing a veil? So, yeah, people are indeed going to say she doesn’t know because she doesn’t. And, by the way, Ms. Fletcher, Google “veiling”. I find it ridiculous to think that you’ve only heard the silly argument you tried to put forth when there are numerous in-depth articles on the subject. Again, she’d be hard-pressed to point at me and say, “She’s one of the them!” because I’m not. I have many female friends who attend the Extraordinary Form Mass, and there are very few who I’d consider pushovers, nor do they even all look the same. I just about died when I saw Zita say something about earrings. Honestly, unless she wandered into a Pius V chapel, I can’t imagine a place where everyone’s in a floor length dress, no earrings, etc. Heck, I’ve even seen tattoos (not plugging those, just sayin’), so the portrait she tries to paint doesn’t hold true. She needs to take a good hard look at her article one more time, because the only “oppression” going on surrounding the “Latin Mass” is from people like her.
I’d love to ask Zita how she thought her screed would help the situation? Let’s just say she’s right (which she’s not). Doesn’t she think that this might further drive people to the imaginary bunker? Of course, people are going to be defensive at their fellow parishioners and priests being labeled cultish, and of course they’re going to say she doesn’t have a clue. Instead of thoughtful debate and dialogue (you know the thing that’s supposed to be the bomb unless it’s with a trad), I was just being subjected to watching the usual “I’m a martyr” tweets from her. Completely predictable. I suppose a millennial like her thinks that the world is just going to hand her a trophy, but at twenty-eight years old, she should be old enough to realize that there couldn’t be a positive outcome to an article like hers. She didn’t do it out of some loving move to save the Church, she just did it to poke a bear.
Of course, NcR is full of Zitas. It’s like watching all of the protestant churches who could be trying to lead souls to Christ in their own deficient way but every sermon turns out to be “The Catholic Church is so evil!” They have no game so all they can do is to cast aspersion on others. They can’t debate facts. All they can do is come up with unverifiable conjectures to try and make people as paranoid as them. This is why people are attracted to traditional parishes (not with a big “T”) in general. They want to hear how to be a better Catholic. They want to hear the teachings that go along with the readings for the Sunday. They want to be helped to heaven. Sadly, the liberals can’t fill that craving and people looking for faithful Catholicism in its many forms is growing. So they can keep trotting out their usual dog and pony show of stories about how somebody was so mean to someone else and they’re all like that and they’ll do the same to you but eventually people realize that dog has no bark.
Let me give you one last tip, Zita. Toughen up. You made a public statement and you got a public response. This does not a martyr make. If you can’t make public statements without being willing to take the criticism, do yourself a favor and get out of the op-ed business. It’s not the place for fragile snowflakes who can’t take disagreement. People criticize me all the time, but I don’t think I’ve banned a single person for it unless they got profane or downright crass, since that’s not exactly helpful for a good discussion. I don’t suppose, however, that’s exactly what you were looking for in the first place.
Update: I was mulling over this episode and was still a little curious as to why NcR would ever report this lame piece and it suddenly dawned on me. Guess what’s coming in ten days? The 2019 USCCB General Assembly. Now guess who is up for president? Archbishop Cordileone. The liberals have literally been trying to get him removed from SF since he got there. They know if he’s elected that will be the death knell for their campaign. Bishops. if you ever want to send a message to liberal dissenters trying take down faithful bishops, this might be your chance. Also, you’d be securing an amazing seminary in the West for decades to come. At least this explains the extra dose of insanity.
Holy smokes! I got some not so happy messages from some of the San Francisco Archdiocese people over this ridiculous article. They are none to happy about the attack on Archbishop Cordileone and neither are the people in his old flock across the Bay.
After reading it, I almost can’t see why because it was rather laughable. But, yeah, it was obnoxious so let me explain to the people across the country and the world what’s really going on here. I HOPE some priests in that diocese will stand up for the archbishop. And, on the heals of my last article, (link) feel free to make it anonymous. As you can all see from the article below, there are supposedly a few “unnamed” priests weighing in.
San Francisco priests voice frustrations with Cordileone at convocation
Oct 31, 2019
by Dan Morris-Young ParishPeople
Simmering acrimony over the decision-making, communications and mindset of the much-watched seven-year episcopacy of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone breached the surface of an early October convocation of clergy, surprising many and leaving questions about the future between the prelate and much of his presbyterate.
Simmering acrimony? More like underhanded move by a bunch of priests who were just allowed to do whatever the heck they wanted for decades are actually being called to be shepherds of souls and they HATE it. There’s no simmering. They whine and cry to National Catholic Reporter any darn chance they get. NcR is on speed-dial. This isn’t the first time they’ve called them regarding what should be a meeting of their fellow priests. They’ve even done this over “Councils of Priests” meetings (think deanery meetings). It’s their way of trying to intimidate the faithful crowd from saying or doing anything. Thankfully more of them have had it. The idea that there’s some “question about Archbishop Cordileone’s future” is a sell job by the old dissenting cronies who want to do the best they can to try and take him down on the way out the door to retirement.
At one point during the Sept. 30-Oct. 3 gathering at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, Cordileone is said to have said, “I do not understand you, and you do not understand me,” while he also told the 145 priests attending, “I love you.”
And, I’d like to point out that this is where the anonymous kind of sort of quotes start. I can affirm, by all accounts, that Archbishop Cordileone loves his entire flock while some of his priests love, well, themselves. Honestly, they’re like teens who’ve never had supervision and who suddenly were taken in by a parent who cared enough about them to place restrictions on them. All you parents will understand that it is never easy to turn the unruly child around but these are grown men, for goodness sake. They know their parishes are empty. They know their coffers are low. In fact, the churches that are doing well are the faithful ones and, while they can fill their annual bishops appeal in no time, the liberal churches struggle meeting it at all because their parishioners are as apathetic as they are.
A summary of the assembly prepared by its organizing committee for the Oct. 10 regular meeting of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council synthesized the key deliberations:
“On Tuesday evening [Oct. 1], the group seemed to come to a near consensus that the priests of the Archdiocese desire greater communication and collaboration with the Archbishop in making key decisions.”
I’m just curious as to where NcR got this summary. Anyone?
Missing, however, was the depth of emotion and frustration expressed during general session exchanges at which the archbishop and moderator of the curia, Jesuit Fr. John Piderit, were not present, several participants told NCR.
“Several participants?” How many? Who is disseminating this information? Yeah, you see where I’m going. If EVERYONE is in agreement with these desires and there’s such consensus, why all the emotion when Archbishop Cordileone and Fr. John Piderit (I’d like to SJ which was curiously left off) weren’t even in the room?
“Laid bare, they said, were tensions over muddy communications, lack of authentic consultation, low clergy morale, unilateral initiatives by Cordileone, and the archbishop’s embrace of “the model of a pre-Vatican II church,” in the words of one pastor.”
Hats off to you Dan Morris-Young for the heart wrenching dramatic description of events. I hate to tell the whiners but unilateral initiatives are totally fine. And, really, which “unilateral initiative” are they protesting? None are given are they? And what in THE heck is a “the model of a pre-Vatican II church” to the one unnamed pastor??? Uh, Perpetual Adoration? Rosary Rallies? Eucharistic Processions? Or is it one where the bishop actually does his job? Do you know how many parishes have an Extra-Ordinary Form Mass out of eighty-nine? From the information I can find a whopping seven. Archbishop Cordileone certainly hasn’t imposed this on any parish. It has been allowed at the pastors request so stop acting like it’s being foisted on you as you wail and gnash your teeth. You know the reality, you’re jealous some people are leaving you to go to them. Jealous much?
Words such as “bombshell,” “volatile,” “anger” and “pain” were used in recounting general session comments.
Oh the humanity!!!!! This crew is spinning hard for the media, as always.
Some attendees, however, told NCR that Cordileone enjoys steady clerical “appreciation and agreement” with his ecclesiology among many priests, notably younger men.
Fr. Roger Gustafson, chair of the organizing committee, said he was “very encouraged by the results” of the conference.
“While it was painful at points to facilitate an honest discussion about some of the issues in the relationship between the priests and archdiocesan leadership,” he wrote in an email, “I am convinced that the process ultimately will result in positive improvements with respect to morale, communication, mutual understanding, and most importantly greater effectiveness in priestly ministry.”
You couldn’t pay me to do this job. I’m a mom, I couldn’t put up with the drama. Despite the NcR report, there are many great priests who care for souls and want to join together with their bishop to do so. And then you’ve got the “cool kids” table trying to intimidate and bully everyone into submission. It’s really sad when the one of the guys who’s actually willing to give his name says honest discussion was hard. Nobody wants to deal with this crud. They just want to live their vocations and yet their constantly subjected to drama. I’d like to draw you attention to a past blog post because this shows the kind of people with whom the Archdiocese of San Francisco has to deal. Again, a private meeting was leaked to the press. It really shows the usual level of duplicity. Still can’t figure out why they can’t see why it makes them looks so awful. Note that Fr. Strange and Bishop McElroy (auxiliary bishop at the time) weren’t incensed about anything being put on them. They were complaining about them not be consulted on what was happening in someone else’s parish. Still un-flipping-believable every time. If Fr. Strange isn’t involved in this new attack, I’d be shocked.
“Noting that the gathering followed a format pioneered by Patrick Lencioni, founder of the Amazing Parish program, Gustafson said he hoped an impression would not emerge that the convocation was “only two polarized groups of priests when it seems to me that the majority fall somewhere in the middle and are open to moving forward.”
Believe me, Lencioni probably hasn’t met the likes of the insanity in San Francisco. If they can make it there, they’ll make it anywhere! I’ve heard good things about this program but I’m pretty sure if you’ve got a group who’s hell bent on sabotaging the outcome, it’s going to take a lot of the good priests to drown them out.
“To my mind,” Gustafson, pastor of San Francisco’s St. Brendan Parish, told NCR, “the convocation accomplished the first step of intentionally bringing conflict out into the open so that it can be dealt with. We are now moving to the second step of putting structures into place to address the underlying basis of the conflict.”
The problem is, the dissenters don’t want to bring conflict out in the open. They want to bring their drama to the press.
A priest who has expressed concerns about priest morale in the past said that the objective should “not be to shame the archbishop, but to improve the archdiocese. I would like this to have a chance to unfold under the best of conditions.”
Sounds like he’s a priest with the best of intentions.
The assembly was the third such gathering since Cordileone was installed on Oct. 4, 2012, and apparently the best-attended and most free-wheeling.
So, in short, some progress is being made now that, after 7 years, some are getting over the “Cordileone bad!” mantra of those who loved their, how should we say, freedom. Their influence is fading away.
Central to deliberations were deanery-defined table-group discussions.
According to participants, conversations among groups of six to eight at about two dozen tables reached consensus Oct. 1 when each group was directed to share one item for immediate attention by archdiocesan administrators.
“It was like boom, boom, boom” as the results were announced, said one participant. “Nearly every table named poor communications from the archbishop and chancery — and exclusion of priests from key decisions in the archdiocese.”
And, so, why is any of this a problem? This is what Archbishop Cordileone wanted to get. If he didn’t why the effort to get attendance up, hire a third body program, etc.? Somehow this is labeled as a bad thing. I don’t have verification that this characterization of the round tables was quite sincere and it is another anonymous “participant” so we’ll likely not know.
“Honestly, I was stunned by the frankness,” the priest added, “and this included tables where there were young guys who see the archbishop as doing nothing wrong. I did not expect this kind of consensus.”
Again, this is anonymous priest take on this. I also find it interesting that “nearly all the tables” came up with not the number one problem but the same two. I’m still wondering what the need to be in charge of the key decisions in the diocese is all about. How is this the job of the parish priest. Again, I remind you of my previous blog post. Some of these egos thing they should be consulted on EVERYTHING. Why? This isn’t some pre-Vatican II notion that the bishop is the head of the diocese. Last time I checked that was his job.
Can. 381 §1 In the diocese entrusted to his care, the diocesan Bishop has all the ordinary, proper and immediate power required for the exercise of his pastoral office, except in those matters which the law or a decree of the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the supreme or to some other ecclesiastical authority.
He doesn’t have to run anything by anyone and sometimes, yes, he will make unilateral decisions just like EVERY bishop. Please, name one that hasn’t. And really, one has to ask, if the priests of the diocese make decisions without him? I can assure you they do and they make ones he wouldn’t not approve but, hey, he’s the super mean guy.
The organizing committee’s summary said that consultants from the Evangelium Consulting Group “suggested a pilot program in which one deanery be selected to meet regularly with the Archbishop to provide advice and counsel and this mechanism seemed to receive widespread approval.”
So the plan is to try to meet regularly with the priests who want to be heard. Let me guess, somebody, after whining about not have a say, is going to complain because they will get the chance for communication and consultation?
One priest said he hoped the pilot project and overall meeting would encourage “greater fraternity, cohesion, trust, healthy conflict, communication and collegiality, not only between the archbishop and his priests … but also among the priests themselves.”
Others were skeptical. “Inviting the archbishop to dinner is not going to solve the communications problem,” said one. “Long term, there is probably not going to be much change unless the archbishop changes lanes, and that would be going against everything he has been doing so far.
More bluntly, another veteran pastor pronounced the convocation “an elaborate exercise in futility.”
So yes. Yes they are going to complain. Do you see how it goes here? I’m mean, do they realize how childish they look??? Even National catholic Reporter can’t save them! “We’re mad because you don’t communicate and consult with us. Oh you will?! It’s futile unless you do what we want!” I’m starting to think they’re all taking advantage of the legalization of marijuana at this point. It’s insane.
Cordileone apparently did not directly respond to the priests’ concerns Oct. 2 until after he had spoken at length about topics close to him, including St. Patrick’s Seminary and University, stewardship, and liturgical celebration as encouraged at the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship, which he established on the seminary’s Menlo Park campus.
Some priests found the delay disconcerting.
“Oh my gosh! He didn’t respond for, like, forty-five minutes to our demands!” Seriously? How can you have input in plans if you don’t know what they are??? So, they just want to rant to him and he can’t try and talk like adults to him. Honestly, Archbishop Cordileone must have the patience of Job. A one way street doesn’t work in my house. How about yours?
When the archbishop did address the communications and decision-making questions, priests told NCR that, in the words of one, “he made it pretty clear we were wrong and we did not understand the way he makes decisions.”
“Some guys were disheartened, and a handful just left quietly, dismissing themselves from the meeting,” the priest continued.
He and others described as “a kind of breakthrough moment” when Cordileone “basically said, ‘I do not understand you and you do not understand me,’ ” but also added, “I love you.”
Wow! “I love you!” is so mean they had to mention it twice! So, these knuckleheads stomped off and hoped really hard they could start a mass exodus. That’s so messed up. It didn’t happen despite the supposed “consensus.” And Cordileone hearsay “basically said” translates into “probably didn’t even remotely say but we’re going to suggest it did.” Sigh.
Gustafson and others lauded Cordileone for being “vulnerable” and leading the sharing of personal reflections and history during the sessions aimed at community-building among priests.
But Father! Archbishop Cordileone didn’t answer the questions before he made a presentation!!! He’s awful! (That was sarcasm.)
“I admire the archbishop for his courage,” commented Gustafson. “I can only assume that many, if not most, dioceses have similar areas of tension and concern, and I imagine there are many prelates who would never allow such an open and sincere discussion. … Overall, it was a very positive experience.”
Thank you Fr. Gustafason.
Not for others, including Fr. David Ghiorso, pastor of St. Charles Parish in San Carlos, California*, who has publicly questioned Cordileone’s actions in the past.
Also one of the conspirators listed in past blog. Notice? The same names pop up over and over again. If there’s an abundance of these goofs, where are they? Aren’t they lining up to take pot shots? Their breed is dying off or, at the very least, just getting tired. I think they got it right when they said “handful.”
“The core issue that surfaced for me is lack of trust in the administration of the archdiocese,” he emailed NCR. “I am not sure if others feel the same. With lack of trust comes lack of respect and this is very difficult to deal with as a priest. We do promise respect and obedience to our bishop and when that is not present it is a problem.”
Uh, yeah, it’s a problem and you’re only willing to give obedience and respect if the archbishop does what they want. If you were going to put contingencies on your promise, maybe you shouldn’t have made it in the first place. I’d love to know what advice they give to the couples preparing for marriage? “Whatever you vow is only contingent on your spouse making you happy?”
“At one point as the archbishop spoke of the Benedict XVI Institute, I got the image of the Titanic going down, but the choir chanting on the bow of the ship,” Ghiorso said. Cordileone’s affinity for Latin liturgy and Gregorian chant is well-known.”
“Ghiorso called himself “a passive observer in the general sessions by choice” and noted he had “promised my team back at the parish that I would keep my mouth shut for my own mental, spiritual and emotional health.”
“Do I believe anything will come from this gathering?” he asked. “The answer is, ‘No.’ Promises of sending out the results of the general session will never happen because they were so volatile.”
So Fr. Ghiorso wants to flap his gums behind the archbishop’s back to the press but saying something in a place that might possibly be constructive he basically chickened out. Your “team” probably should have just told you to keep your mouth shut indefinitely.
Observed another: “The level of the display of hardcore criticism against the archbishop throughout the convocation was revealing but not surprising. Most priests now know they are not alone in their estrangement from the archbishop. The archbishop has consistently attempted to move the archdiocese back into the 19th century. The seminary is a prime example.”
What is this? Anonymous priest number what? I’ve lost count? Five? I guess that might constitute a handful. Hey, I’ll hand it to Fr. Ghiorso with his “Yeah, I said it to the press!” attitude. To bad he couldn’t man up in person. You tend to keep quiet when you know your posse is dwindling and the tides are turning.
Last time I checked, they did that whole Gregorian Chant thing at St. Peter’s and, hey, a whole lot of churches and cathedrals around the country including yours even before Archbishop Cordileone. I’d love to know what else he thinks brings it back to the “19th century” (What does that even mean?) Actual Catholicism?
<Snipping old news they keep regurgitating as if it matters.>
As of Oct. 31, requests for comment from Cordileone were unsuccessful.
Oh come on, do you really expect him to call out priests in the press? That’s your thing. He’s taking the high road unlike the snakes in his diocese. How does one expect to make any conciliatory moves by duking it out in the press? I guess we’ll have to ask the anonymous priests and Fr. Ghiorso.
A retired priest told NCR, “The priests I talked to had the impression that Sal lives in his own world, cut off from what is real, and they feel helpless to find some relief from present church structure. At least the archbishop knows that he is not supported by his priests.
That retired priest, however, would belong to what Fr. Joseph Illo calls “a powerful, well-established older group of priests who have worked decades in the archdiocese and done much good work over the years, but who are having trouble accepting changes in our local church, and especially with a new archbishop.”
Ooooh! I don’t know. Who’s living in the fantasy land? I think that might be you anonymous “retired priest.” But thanks for summing up the lack respect that was supposedly promised to their archbishop. “Sal.”
A Cordileone loyalist, Illo asserted that “most priests are with the archbishop and share his ecclesiology in general” and that “if you took an anonymous poll … I’m quite sure that well over half the clergy would express appreciation and agreement with the archbishop’s theology. This is particularly true of priests under 40.”
And now we’re going to start heading into really old news land in keeping with the “let’s throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” maneuver.
No immediate headcount for 40-and-younger ordained was available, but an archdiocesan official told NCR, “Not very many.”
About 385 priests serve within the archdiocese, according to archdiocesan communications director Mike Brown.
Almost half are incardinated archdiocesan priests who have a median age of 67. Just under 40% of the balance are religious order members, and another 55 are from other dioceses.
And this is what terrifies the “Old Guard.” The young priests LOVE the archbishop and half of the priests in the diocese are under sixty-seven. And, yes, I am now older than way too many priests with more on the way BECAUSE the archbishop is the bomb. Nobody’s harassing seminarians anymore and vocations are being fostered. I’ve been AMAZED at the quality of the younger guys. The only ones entrenched in their hate are in the over sixty club. And, let’s go over this again, the median age is sixty-seven??????? Half of them are older than that? Yeah, Archbishop Cordileone is NOT the problem here. It started a looooonnnngggg time ago.
<Snipping Fr. Illo comments just simply because NcR is kind of obsessed with him and it’s getting old. In short, great guy but, again, NcR’s desire to bring him into all of their pieces is getting ridiculous. Search my site if you want to know about him.>
Fr. Jose Shaji, pastor of St. Anselm Parish in Ross, north of San Francisco, predicted “nothing” will ultimately result from the Asilomar gathering despite the frank feedback it generated.
After an Oct. 6 evening mass, Shaji asked parishioners to pray for priests of the archdiocese, saying that clerical morale was the lowest he had experienced in his 17 years in the see.
“When I arrived here,” the native of India told NCR, “it was like coming home. But now it feels more like a place of employment.”
Then-Archbishop William Levada headed the archdiocese when Shaji arrived, succeeded in 2005 by Archbishop George Niederauer, who retired in 2012 and died in 2017. Later named a cardinal and head of the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Levada died Sept. 26 of this year.
A longstanding pastor who attended the convocation said many “see this as kind of a last chance, and the guys are not going to drink from this well again,” an allusion to past encouragement to speak openly only to be ignored or marginalized.
So, again, a plan to figure out how to meet with the priests at their deanery meetings to communicate and gain input, something they SAID they wanted is now ignoring and marginalizing? Like I said, even National catholic Review couldn’t spin the truth enough to make these guys look anything but insane.
<And snipping the excessive repeating of old news.>
Faithful in the San Francisco Archdiocese, you better make some loud noises over this one. I realize most of you don’t go to their parishes because, like me, you have little tolerance for dissent but I really feel like some open letters, at the very least, are warranted. And please, write many many letters of support.
Because I am married to One Mad Dad, I watch an abundance of old war movies. (And women everywhere raise their hands with a sympathetic wave.) I’ve noticed it’s not an isolated way of life for wives. I actually don’t mind too much because I like history, although I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen “The Longest Day.” Anyway, one thing I’ve always been fascinated by is the French Resistance.
The French Resistance was abandoned by their military and government, who wimped out and threw in with Hitler. They were everyday folks, including a great many priests and nuns, and they did whatever they could to give the Nazis a really hard time. They spent a lot of time ruining Germany’s supply trains, they sabotaged, smuggled, stole, took a lot of pot shots at the enemy, printed underground newspapers to keep the rest of the country informed and keep morale up, helped allies downed behind enemy lines, provided a boatload of intelligence, and generally paved the way for the allied forces to easily move across France after the invasion of Normandy.
I have found myself reflecting more and more on the Resistance these last few weeks. Can’t imagine why?! We need this in the Church, and lest anyone try to accuse me of inciting violence, LET ME BE CLEAR, I’m not. In fact, I’d say that would be strategically stupid and evil, which is why I actually expect to start seeing some “false flag” moves even within the Church. We’ve already seen it in society, but with the accusations of violence and racism ratcheted up by the liberal, dissenting Catholics, I truly think they are seriously considering the idea.
Creating a martyr has always been the tactic of liberal dissenters. Since they don’t have Truth, it’s all they have left. We’ve been told over the years how intolerant we are but, like I said, they’re ratcheting up their rhetoric even more lately.
So now that the disclaimer is out of the way, back to the Resistance. When I saw the Pachamamas go splash, I thought, “Yep! We need more of this!” We were all hoping someone would run in and stop the desecration. Sure enough, someone did, and we thank them for that. People can quibble about a potted plant, but the ugly wooden things were not in St. Peter’s. That is a win in my book. And, even better, the Virgin Mary was prominently on display. Somebody got the message. Whether or not it was simply appeasement on their part matters not. My guess is that they realized people are fed up beyond belief.
After this success, maybe we need more little “cells” all around the world combatting this crud. To those who frown on anonymity, I say who in the heck cares?! We just need people to combat the evil. If you want to tell people who you are, fine, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen huge improvements because of anonymous websites, clandestine leafleting of cars, “Susan” social media accounts, anonymous letters or those signed with pen names, two random guys dropping idols into the Tiber, or whatever. If you can’t have your name out there, do something anyway. Most of us don’t need or want notoriety. We just want to defend our Church and her teachings. It bolsters the bigger voices. So many little things can be done.
We need to be like those in the French Resistance and hit and run. Got the dissenter of the day coming to your parish? Pachamama pops up? Your local pastor dissenting against his faithful bishop? Anonymously or not, get the word out. Leaflet cars, send letters to the pastors, encourage letters be written to bishops, start Facebook pages, tweet, etc. be sure to include nice little dossiers on said speaker or action to 1) make it clear to the pastor that it’s not worth the headache you are giving him; 2) educate the rest of your fellow churchgoers on the problems with said speaker or action; and 3) make it generally annoying to have deal with you so they stop. People have done this with the likes of Fr. Dissenter and Sister Mary Pantsuit and have been quite successful in stopping them. It can be done everywhere, from the local parish to the Vatican. Not all of us can hop a plane to Rome, so we need to do what we can where we are. We especially need to do what we can to support the priests and bishops who are trying to propagate the Faith. They are often persecuted, so we need to show that it simply is not acceptable to give them a hard time.
People often contact me about their local parish woes, and I encourage them to take actions like this all of the time. We’re not helpless. We can be sly as the serpent and gentle as the dove. We can do something. Pray for a whopping dose of creativity. If you’ve got money, heck, anonymously pay for an investigator to investigate someone you think to be nefarious. (I’ve got a really creative idea that costs money, so contact me if you’re feeling generous.) Give the Red Hat Report people money for research, the George Neumayrs of the world, the new sites – anyone investigating. Withhold your donations from your local dissenters AND LET PEOPLE KNOW WHY. Don’t care if people know who you are? Go to meetings, speaking engagements, etc., and record. You teach catechism in your parish and can’t afford the notoriety? Do some anonymous work. I am just an unknown housewife and really cool mom (stop rolling your eyes, children!) with ZERO resources other than a laptop, and yet you’re still reading this. Just be part of resistance to heresy and dissent however you can. I’m sure most of you are more creative than you think.
To prepare, make sure you pray first, frequent the sacraments, and have a reliable spiritual director. When God grants us some relief, we will have laid the foundation for the Faith to flourish just like the French Resistance paved the way for the allies. Is it exhausting? Is it a pain? Of course, but at least at this point, nobody is making us actual physical martyrs. We’re experiencing inconvenience. We really need to suck it up and not act like we’re being stoned to death. If you can’t do it simply for the Faith, do it for your children and grandchildren you may not even see on the horizon. Act like you can and do it for them. If your goal is not to thwart dissent, heresy and annoy some mouthy, dissenting Catholic liberals in some small way (all for the benefit of the Faith, of course), what is your goal? Vive la Resistance!
I’m not so sure why the liberal spinners are doing what they do. They won the battle. Why are they all still spinning so incredibly hard? It’s looking a little manic at this point.
Lamb, Ivereigh, Faggioli and the rest of the lapdogs are putting ridiculous things out there. Examples? They’re still trying to deny that the Pachamama is Pachamama, even though the Pope and about 100 people from the Vatican have already admitted it to be so.
Next, they’re still trying to desperately convince us there’s this huge devotion (similar to Our Lady of Guadalupe) to “Our Lady of the Amazon”, because Charles Lamb found a little chapel in South America with that title. He suggested you Google the title. I second that, because it gives you zip except what comes from them. Guys, the VATICAN has said it is not “Our Lady of Anything.”
They are even trying to say that nobody was bowing down to anything. I’m still scratching my head on this one. Again, the VATICAN put it out on video. Hello! Are they trying to insinuate everyone was down on their knees with head to the ground just looking for a contact? Smelling the flowers? Doubled over in pain?
The most ludicrous thing I’ve seen come across my screen is this tweet from Luke Hansen, SJ (with bonus video in the link!): https://twitter.com/lukehansensj/status/1188565636227747842?s=20
Uh, hello. To clarify, it was “the majority of the bishops” INVITED TO THE SYNOD. For those not paying attention, this wasn’t some open event. Attendees were carefully chosen to vote on something that the masterminds of this ridiculous synod wanted. They wanted married priests and they wanted women deacons. When the majority you invite are your voting bloc, you are going to win the vote. Duh.
If you watch the video, Bp. McElroy says something we already knew: he’s not an expert on women in the diaconate. Some of us would argue that he’s really only an expert on dissent, but whatever. Let’s just look at this typical Bp. McElroy transcript from Youtube.
The core what the synod is about, I don’t see challenges to an authentic reception.
This reception idea is some knew reality the liberals are trying to float for a year or so. If it’s not received, it’s not really binding. If it is, it is. It’s totally subjective.
Now I do think there will be peripheral issues of substance and some that are of caricature that will become a focus of debate around the synod but those are different questions. Those who were advocating for viri probati interventions specifically said we are in favor of celibacy and maintaining celibacy.
Um, sorry?! You cannot be both advocating against maintaining the celibacy of the priesthood and saying it should be maintained. Talk about double speak!
So they were bringing this forth not as a as a contrast with celibacy or as an alternative to celibacy they kept reiterating “This is an emergency situation for a faith communities that only get the Eucharist once a year.
They’ve created the “emergency situation” themselves by being such poor catechists that they’re not making converts, much less priests! This, however, is what good liberals do. They create emergencies all of the stinking time so they can implement horrible measures to “save people.”
The key to me is what holds together the commitment to celibacy that was the consensus you know among the bishops and the wider body of the church.
Uh, no. Can we stop this ridiculous lie that this somehow was representative of the Church at large? There is no “consensus” among bishops and cardinals around the world. Let’s all remember that Cardinal Kasper couldn’t wait to get rid of the Africans because they were an obstacle to his plans. So, if you don’t normally pay attention and something seems a little off about this synod, let me clarify: it was a complete and utter power play. Nobody went into this wondering what the outcome would be, barring a complete and utter miracle that would have had to include a lot of fire and brimstone to convert these guys.
On this question that’s that seems undiluted at the Synod it was not opened at all.
Pause. There were really two questions here. One small group asked, “How can we save the Church in the Amazon?”, but the overwhelming majority’s question was, “How can we use the Amazonian region to get what we want?” Let’s remember the infamous quote of Bishop Krautler that he has not baptized an indigenous person in 30 years. And then there’s Bishop Mori, who lived in the forest with the indigenous people for a month but never taught them, because he needed their help to survive. And our problem is that we don’t have married priests? Yeah, give me a break.
The sentiment among the bishops of the Synod (emphasis mine) was in favor of, the majority bishops were in favor the permanent, employment of women in the permanent diaconate. My own view is that I’m in favor of opening any ministry we have in the church to women which is not clearly precluded doctrinally so my own assessment of it is, and I’m not an expert in this field (Thanks for stating the obvious which is why we were wondering why you were there at all.) that what has come out so far indicates that the current diaconate for women is not clearly prohibited by doctrinal considerations so they, my hope would be that they would find a way a pathway to make that a reality and I think there’s a good possibility that’s the direction it’s gonna head. I, I don’t see, the Pope added his comments yesterday. The fact he did that makes me think there’s a good chance that some positive action will come out of that.
Honestly, how many more of these “Studies of Women in the Diaconate” are we going to have to endure? In 2002, their conclusion was that women were excluded: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/clarification-on-itc-study-on-the-diaconate-2276 2016? No consensus that this was allowed: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/women-diaconate It has been done to death already! I know, how about a synod on it where we only invite Sr. Mary Pantsuit and friends to attend and vote? Sigh.
I would hope the discussion will be about the substance of the questions not about caricatures because if it’s about caricatures then we all lose it’s about the substance of the questions that that’s very legitimate and I think we should have that set of discussions.
I’m not sure Bishop McElroy would know what substance is. He’s an ideologue, a caricature himself. Believe me, we all lose when he has a hand in it.
So, please, dear liberal spinners, you’re over selling. Just say you were able to run away with it and admit the truth. It’s been refreshing (yes, refreshing, but disgusting) seeing the prelates saying it like it is. “So what if it was a pagan rite?” “Yes, it is not Mary and is Pachamama!” Follow the admission train and just admit it is what it is. You’ll get a lot more sleep at night when you can be free from trying new ways to spin EVERYTHING.
I for one can quite peacefully say that this synod was the disaster many of us thought it would be. No surprise in the least. There is a positive take-away. Everyone’s cards are on the table (well, except the poor lapdogs who know that’s not the best thing for them) and the slumbering are awake now – like they just had a bucket of ice-water dumped on their heads. Ice bucket challenge, anyone? We pick ourselves up off the battlefield, nurse our wounds, and live to fight another day. We know how the war ends so we can have peace. Ivereigh, Lamb and Faggioli? They’ll just keep spinning until they crash. We’re just called to fight the battles of our age, win or lose. Discouragement and bailing are not an option. I will wake up tomorrow and do exactly what I did today. I’ll pray and hope that I get it right.
First of all, hat tip to Ed Peters. Worth a read in light of the Vatican’s statements on the issue. https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/whatever-that-was-it-wasnt-a-stunt/ Oh, and for those still trying to claim the statues were of Mary or Mary and Elizabeth (which I totally thought how it would plausibly be explained), the Vatican itself clarified that they weren’t. See link in Ed’s piece.
So, my very non-moral theologian self thinks this is PROBABLY the scenario. Again, I’m not making any hard proclamations, just trying to provide some perspective for the “What in the @#$%!% is going on?” crowd. In short, I think the Principle of Double Effect is probably in play, so I don’t think the idol dunkers are guilty of “Thou shall not steal.”
So, what is the Principle of Double Effect for my equally non-moral theologian readers? Here is a good description, although the examples most often given are medical. What can I say? We are in strange times. I would read the full article but here’s the snapshot.
The action must be morally good, or indifferent, as to object, motive and circumstances.
The bad effect(s) may only be tolerated, not directly willed.
The good effect must be caused at least as directly as the bad.
The good effect(s) must be proportionate to compensate for the bad effect(s).
I’m not omniscient but I’m pretty sure everyone involved actually had the desecration of the church and praying to idols in mind, not petty larceny. My bet is that they were American seminarians (because we Americans just do stuff like this – it’s in our historical DNA). Like I said, I think they felt motivated to stop people from bowing down to idols AND to stop the desecration of the churches. So that action and motive would be morally good. Check box number one.
On to number two! Stealing (many have used the term relocated) or smashing idols, offending the indigenous people, etc., was presumably not the direct will of the actors. By the way, do you know how many saints have smashed idols??? Lots. Nobody accuses them of theft. I have to wonder, if the idols were simply smashed in the church, would anyone actually say boo about this? The outcome is the same. Idols are gone. Tossing them in the river is a historically traditional Catholic way of doing things like this. Sounds like idols and the remains of heretics have been tossed into rivers for centuries, so the actual method of disposal kind of shows even more good intent.
They’re good on number three, because placing these idols in a church or bowing down to them is WAY worse than anything else of which the idol dunkers could be accused.
And number four really depends on whether or not you like said idols. If you do not and you hold to the First Commandment (not sure why nobody mentions that one, and it’s all about trying to pin breaking the Seventh Commandment on the idol dunkers), you’re going to see a HUGE good effect in getting rid of them and zero bad effect.
The stealing issue is where people are trying desperately to hang their hats. So here are some questions. What if I took someone’s gun because they were clearly having some mental issues and I thought they might shoot themselves or others? I took the gun. Would people consider that stealing? How about if I took my drunk friend’s car keys? What if I took an acquaintance’s porn magazine and tossed them in the garbage? Put a stack of campus flyers from Planned Parenthood in the trash? Protection of others is always the intent. So can that be said of this incident? Some are going to say yes and some are going to say no, but I think this act shows a level of commitment to spiritual health and safety. It can be more abstract to faithful Catholics than we realize. Isn’t that supposed to be our utmost concern? I think we all forget this on our best days, but from time to time, it is in the forefront and I think that’s where these gents were yesterday. Bowing down to idols and desecrating a church with them is a HUGE spiritual danger to the soul. This wasn’t an anthropological museum. It was churches and the Vatican.
And one last little note to those who suggest this just shows peoples’ hate for the indigenous people, the pope, the synod, puppies and kittens, etc., etc., etc… Is that what motivated the canonized saint idols smashers of the past? Nope. It’s actually their love of God and for the pagans led astray. I’m sure this isn’t going to stop those hyperventilating over this, but maybe it’ll help those saying “Hmmmm…” To all the moral theologians out there, feel free to use the comment box. This is just my guess about it all but in light of the fact that all the idol disposing saints of the past have not been accused of breaking the Seventh Commandment, I really can’t see accusing these guys.
If you’re going to give me a scolding, please make it educational and cite your sources.
In my last blog post, there was a quote from Fr. Gregory Greiten that has just been gnawing at me. There’s the obvious, but there was a little extra annoyance I couldn’t quite put my finger on until now.
There is no question there are and always have been celibate, gay priests and chaste members of religious communities. … By choosing to enforce silence, the institutional church pretends that gay priests and religious do not really exist. Because of this, there are no authentic role models of healthy, well-balanced, gay, celibate priests to be an example for those, young and old, who are struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation. This only perpetuates the toxic shaming and systemic secrecy. – Fr. Gregory Greiten
Now, I can get on board with priests being role models, but I don’t think that depends on who they are or what their sexual inclinations are in the least. Instead, it should happen despite these things. It’s how they preach the Gospel of Christ by word and by deed. The mentality that Fr. Greiten displays shows a lot of what’s wrong in the Church today. We feel like the Church needs to look like us, act like us, and have all of our inclinations, rather than the other way around. It’s a bit silly.
Let’s think about this. For a priest to be a “role model” (I don’t think it’s the proper thought but it’s the one Fr. Greiten used.) he must be like me?! Seriously, how narcissistic is that? I’m a woman with a bunch of kids who’s been married for a lovely while now. No priest is ever going to be like me. Does that mean he can’t lead me to heaven? What a crock.
The other thing Fr. Greiten shows us is that a bunch of priests want you to look to them for salvation. Sorry, that’s never going to work. The priest is supposed to be pointing to Christ with his words, with his actions, with his life and, of course, with the Sacraments. The “I must be a role model so you can live correctly” is, again, narcissistic. None of us struggles to follow our inclinations, we struggle with following Christ. Saying “Look at me!” isn’t going to help us follow Him.
The apostles were flawed men who directed their lives and those they evangelized toward Christ. They didn’t say “Hey! Look at me, I’m a well-adjusted tax collector. Look at me and you’ll conquer all of your struggles.” I believe it went something more like this:
How I thank our Lord Christ Jesus, the source of all my strength, for shewing confidence in me by appointing me his minister, me, a blasphemer till then, a persecutor, a man of violence, author of outrage, and yet he had mercy on me, because I was acting in the ignorance of unbelief. The grace of the Lord came upon me in a full tide of faith and love, the love that is in Christ Jesus. How true is that saying, and what a welcome it deserves, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I was the worst of all, and yet I was pardoned, so that in me first of all Christ Jesus might give the extreme example of his patience; I was to be the pattern of all those who will ever believe in him, to win eternal life. Honour and glory through endless ages to the king of all the ages, the immortal, the invisible, who alone is God, Amen. 1 Timothy 1: 12-17″
The apostles did not look or act like us to point us to Christ. Our commonality is not in us looking like them. It’s in our sin and our need for Christ as Our Savior. Heck, the apostles don’t even look like Christ! Can you imagine if they had used this ridiculous line of thought? “Sorry, Christ. You’re not a fisherman. Can’t possibly follow you.”
This notion is all over the Church today. Just look at the synod. For some reason, some in the Church think we have to look like every people which we evangelize, when we really just need to reflect Christ.
I have friends who suffer with SSA and they’ve consistently told me that their heterosexual friends are the ones who give them the most help living chaste lives. It’s probably not even because their friends are trying to be examples. They’re just trying to struggle with their own stuff. Misery, to the contrary, doesn’t love company but those struggling to live as Christ calls us to live do.
John the Baptist spells it out right here:
He must increase; I must decrease.
The One from Heaven.
The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven [is above all]. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift* of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. John 3:30-36
So, an authentic “role model” (should just be “priest”) is one who constantly preaches Christ, not himself. We don’t need our priests to look like us. We just need them to be striving to be holy in an effort to mirror Christ.
Lastly, for good measure, I leave you with this quote from Presbyterorum Ordinis
Priests, therefore, must take the lead in seeking the things of Jesus Christ, not the things that are their own.(53) They must work together with the lay faithful, and conduct themselves in their midst after the example of their Master, who among men “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life as redemption for many” (Mt 20:28).
BOOM! Mic drop!
Some of you may remember that, on the occasion of St. John Henry Newman’s canonization, Fr. Martin put out this infamous tweet:
This doesn’t imply that the man who will become a saint tomorrow ever broke his promise of celibacy. And we may never know for sure. But his relationship with Ambrose St. John is worthy of attention. It isn’t a slur to suggest that Newman may have been gay” https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1183021592206626817
So, when I saw this Facebook rant, I had to laugh.
Dear friends: This week the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wis., is hosting a retreat for gay priests, bishops, brothers and deacons. These men are living their vows of chastity, and promises of celibacy, in service to God and our church.
Nonetheless, LifeSite News, in an article that doesn’t deserve posting or retweeting or even reading, is calling this retreat the “Portal of Hell,” a “condemned, scandalous, deceitful, slanderous invitation to damnation.”
Let’s be clear: these men are living out the Catechism’s call for celibacy and have served for years as faithful ministers in our church.
How is it that he was so “unsure” of whether or not St. John Henry Newman broke his vow of celibacy, yet he was so positive the avowed “gay priests” who would be attending this retreat had, without a doubt, lived up to their vows of chastity and celibacy? What a crock. What proof did he have to offer in his conclusive statement? Does he know them all? Does he sleep outside their rooms? St. John Henry Newman didn’t ever acknowledge being same-sex attracted, nor did he acknowledge ever breaking his vow of celibacy, but somehow it was just peachy to imply this about Newman, yet condemning a “retreat for gay priests, bishops, brothers and deacons” made him give us assurances that all the priests in attendance were “living their vows of chastity, and promises of celibacy?”
Many of these men on this retreat have baptized your children, buried your loved ones, presided over your marriages, visited you in the hospital, taught you in schools, heard your confessions and celebrated countless Masses with you, all while living chastity and celibacy.
LifeSite is calling for a prayer vigil in “reparation” for this “sacrilege.” Imagine how you would feel as a gay priest living his promise of celibacy or vow of chastity, and looking to hear a word of comfort from God during a retreat, and encountering angry people protesting your very existence.
This is homophobia at its most malign.
In response, may I ask for your prayers for these men, who, as you can see, are targeted and persecuted even in their chastity and celibacy? And for the retreat directors and the Dominican sisters who are graciously hosting them?
Thanks for your prayers in the coming week. Let us face homophobia and hatred with welcome and love. And let us continue in peace.
That was four times he insisted all priests attending this were celibate and chaste. However, this retreat has ZERO to do with chastity and celibacy, as you will see from their own advertisement.
Now, Fr. Martin didn’t actually bother to put a link to the article he was ranting about, because he probably didn’t want you to notice a few things, but here it is: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/prayers-needed-as-6th-gay-priests-conference-descends-on-wisconsin-next-week
Prayers needed as 6th ‘gay priests’ conference descends on Wisconsin next week
October 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — New Ways Ministry’s “Retreat for Gay Priests, Bishops, Brothers, and Deacons” AKA the Portal of Hell, will be occurring again this year at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin, October 22 through 24.
Yes, “Portal of Hell.” What would you call it?
Hmmm…what would I call it? Maybe “Dissent-o-mania 2019?” I don’t know, I think I could come up with a pretty good list. Regardless, Fr. Martin actually fails to counter any of the points given in the article. He also doesn’t quite tell you that the sponsoring group has been denounced by the USCCB, and that’s saying something. http://www.usccb.org/news/2010/10-028.cfm He also “forgot” to tell you a few other things Lifesite points out. Comments in bold are mine.
. The authentic Catholic Church has always been luminously clear about the grave depravity she recognizes homosexual activity to be. (See The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2357, 2358, and 2359.) Before anyone whines, please note they said “activity.” As always, same-sex attraction is not a sin. Cannot believe we still need to point that out, but due to the Fr. Martins of the world who accuse us of saying same-sex attraction is a sin, we must clarify, clarify, and clarify again.
The Church recently reiterated (pp. 78–83) her longstanding rule that she “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’” “Who am I to judge?”, to this date, did not change this teaching.
Per sociologist Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D.’s meta-analysis of data regarding clerical sex abuse, “the share of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s. This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.” And strongly correlated with seminarian abuse.
This retreat — the sixth of its kind — is sponsored by New Ways Ministry, an organization long condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. See link I provided above. This is not an approved retreat, despite the winks and nods going on. I would love to see bishops forbid their priests from any interaction with New Ways Ministry.
Looking at the proposed content of the retreat, there is nothing of reflection, renunciation, repentance, or reconciliation here. Self-pity, passive aggression, denial, slander, and deceit are the order of the day. (EXACTLY! While Fr. James Martin, SJ, mentions chastity and celibacy four times, it is not mentioned as part of the program.) On the retreat webpage we read:
“Some Catholics have been blaming the sexual abuse of minors on the presence of a gay men in ministry.” (That’s because an overwhelming amount of data makes it blisteringly clear this is the case.) I do find it interesting they narrowed the abuse to be only of minors. I suppose it’s a lot easier to say “Girls were abused too!” than try to whine their way out of the abuse of seminarians.
“Is our ministry welcomed by our church?” (If by “our ministry” you mean New Ways Ministry, then NO. See above USCCB condemnation.) I’d love to know what “ministry” they are talking about? They’re supposed to be talking about a priestly ministry.
“Can we feel welcomed by our church that regards a gay orientation as ‘intrinsically disordered?’” (Of course. But admission is not free. Like all us sinners, you must first deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Christ. FYI: this is going to mean putting the kibosh on the “gay” stuff.) News flash! Each and every priest is a sinner just like the rest of us. And as Lifesite points out, you are not special. Same rules apply to all of us. Pick up that cross and struggle against whatever your temptations are.
“What does it take to create a community of welcome?” (Obedience. The Church welcomes anyone committed to obeying the commandments of Jesus Christ.) Silly me. All this time I thought we were the Body of Christ, and the way to build up that body was to perform the Spiritual and Corporal works of Mercy. Spiritual Works of Mercy: counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offenses, bear wrongs patiently, pray for the living and the dead. Corporal Works of Mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead, give alms to the poor. Can you try starting there for once?
“What are we ready to sacrifice for such a community?” (How about sin? See previous two bullet points.) Uh, how about the same thing every other priest sacrifices?
“Why am I afraid to tell you who I am?” (Because you have lost sight of who you are. Being “gay” is not who you are. As local Milwaukee priest Fr. Nathan Reesman wrote last year about this retreat:
For the ordained Catholic priest, or for a man in vows, or also for a deacon, our most fundamental identity is our union with Christ’s own ministerial mission. Nothing else can get in the way of that core reality. ‘Gay priest’ is a confusing and incoherent label that is heavily laden with potentially dangerous internal contradictions as well as external mixed messages for our Catholic faithful. BAM! Here’s a complete statement from him. https://www.archmil.org/Blogs/Guest-Bloggers/NR-201808080.htm
- The leader for this year’s retreat is Fr. Peter Daly, a member of the leadership team of the notoriously heretical Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) and a prominent advocate for the elimination of priestly celibacy. Ahem, Fr. Martin. That celibacy thing would be gone if Fr. Daly had his way, so let’s not act like this is a pro-celibacy event.
This is curious because, heretofore, the “gay clergy” movement has justified itself on the premise that if a priest experiences same-sex attraction but remains celibate, there’s no moral violation and thus no cause for objection. As celebrity “gay priest” evangelist Fr. James Martin assured us in the wake of the McCarrick disaster: “What I mean by ‘gay priests’ is ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who are living their promises of celibacy (and in religious orders, their vows of chastity).” Yes, Fr. Martin parses the whole chastity/celibacy vow/promise thing all over the place. Never quite sure why. We’re all called to chastity, and as of now, priests are called to celibacy (Anglican convert priests, etc., excepted).
Then there’s the Milwaukee archdiocese’s own “gay priest” champion, Fr. Gregory Greiten:
There is no question there are and always have been celibate, gay priests and chaste members of religious communities. … By choosing to enforce silence, the institutional church pretends that gay priests and religious do not really exist. Because of this, there are no authentic role models of healthy, well-balanced, gay, celibate priests to be an example for those, young and old, who are struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation. This only perpetuates the toxic shaming and systemic secrecy. There’s ZERO reason we have to know anyone’s inclination to encourage them to chastity and celibacy for their state of life. In short, we don’t need to look at YOU, we need to look at Christ.
And just last year, New Ways Ministry executive director Francis DeBernardo was quoted as saying, “The priests who come to our retreats are priests who are earnestly living their promise of celibacy” and “One of the primary goals of these programs is to help men who have made a promise or vow of celibacy to live out that commitment in healthy and holy ways.” Why would we ever believe this when a whole bunch of other people who are supposed to live chaste and celibate lives are considered victims because the Church teaches this? Fr. Martin cannot deny that New Ways pushes “same-sex marriage.” He just doesn’t prefer to mention it. https://www.newwaysministry.org/issues/marriage-equality/
Got it? So the argument goes: gay or straight, if the priest is celibate, there is no problem. Here’s the problem — the people making this argument are lying. They have zero interest in priestly celibacy or the Catholic priesthood…or, for that matter, the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers they purport to champion. These individuals are mere tools to be exploited by the cultural Marxists and craven opportunists orchestrating and funding the LGBTQ political movement, the current vanguard of the Sexual Revolution, of which the ultimate and only objective is Absolute Sexual License. The selection of an anti-celibacy activist cleric like Peter Daly to lead this retreat for “gay priests” makes this plain to see. Let’s just take a look at Fr. Peter Daly and New Ways.
https://www.newwaysministry.org/2015/10/28/priest-says-same-sex-marriage-improves-society-as-catholic-nations-commence-weddings/ – He says same-sex marriage improves society.
https://www.newwaysministry.org/about/ Fr. Peter Daly on the board of New Ways (once again, a group denounced).
https://www.advocate.com/politics/religion/2014/05/07/catholic-priest-challenges-church-hostility-gays If homosexuality had been important to Jesus, he would have said something about it?! Oy. And then there’s all those same-sex couples who married civilly who live devoutly? Somebody might explain the definition to him.
Consider the fate of the men participating in this retreat. Ordained men are — from Hell’s perspective — what the military calls “High Pay-Off Targets.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth.” Satan has every incentive to corrupt men who dare aspire to so lofty a role, for if successful, he not only gains their souls, but befouls the image of Christ in the eyes of the world through their misdeeds. Of particular delight to Satan, he is also likely to snag additional souls from the priest’s flock as they obediently follow their lost shepherd into the wolf-infested wilderness. Ponder, then, as St. Alphonsus Liguori does, “If instead of bringing souls to God, a priest is occupied in leading them to perdition, what punishment shall he deserve?” A-MEN!
A condemned, scandalous, deceitful, slanderous invitation to damnation opening up in the heart of the Church. “Portal of Hell” seems an apt description to me.
What can we do about it? PRAY: for the Church, for the priests attending this retreat, for the souls they are leading astray, for the Dominican sisters allowing their beautiful retreat center to be violated by this sacrilege. If you’re in Southeast Wisconsin, join Catholic faithful gathering to pray a Rosary of Reparation at Siena Retreat Center in Racine on Tuesday, October 22 from 4:00 to 5:30 P.M. For more information, contact Brien at email@example.com or Jean at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sadly, this order of Dominican sisters is lost. There is an insane list of retreats. Faithful is not a word I’d use to describe them.
Archbishop Listecki condemned this retreat last year, and since the organizers haven’t changed, the condemnation should be considered to remain in place. Maybe, just maybe, the bishops, priests, brothers and deacons thinking of attending might want to attend a Catholic retreat because this ain’t it says Archbishop Listecki. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archbishop-retreat-for-gay-priests-brothers-and-deacons-is-neither-approved
So, Fr. Martin, as usual you chose to focus on a phrase rather than the content. Why? Because you know you can rebut the point and you’re going for the usual “Look at them! They’re mean!” tactic you do all too often. Once again I’m going to have to point out the hypocrisy. If you don’t like “Portal of Hell” maybe you shouldn’t throw out “homophobia.”
Every time I hear some new little statement from the “Pan-Amazonian Synod,” AKA Project Chaos, the hypocrisy is deafening.
First, a little history on the Jesuits in South America. In the 1700s, they actually built “reductions”, or missions, to protect the indigenous people from slavery, educated them, cared for them, taught them trades, etc. Maintaining the “indigenous culture” was not their focus. Teaching the indigenous to be self-sufficient, educated and, oh, Christian was their goal. Leaving them poor, enslaved and heathen was not. Due to political problems back in Spain and Portugal, though, they were overrun and driven out. Until then, they were THE missionary force in South America. All others paled in comparison.
These days, the Protestants are pretty much following the same model and kicking our collective Catholic behinds in missionary efforts. Catholicism there is in free fall and Protestantism on the rise. Meanwhile, the Jesuits there are so concerned about the indigenous culture that the Protestants are outscoring them on all points. My guess is some of them are even more Catholic than the Jesuits. Sigh.
So, when I hear quotes like this I want to say “Hold up!”
“If everything continues as it was, if we spend our days content that “this is the way things have always been done”, then the gift vanishes, smothered by the ashes of fear and concern for defending the status quo.”
Of course, this is going to be used as the reason why we need women priests, married priests and a variety of things. “We can’t possibly continue with the way it’s being done, because that won’t bring people to a burning love for God!” But, again, wait! When it comes to indigenous culture, haven’t we’ve been told that we must respect the way it’s always been done in the Amazonian culture first and foremost? Anyone see the hypocrisy there?!?!?! Church tradition bad. Amazonian tradition good. Uh, hello! Does anyone believe in converting pagans anymore??? (Well, besides the Protestants?!) Nope, we’re going straight for the syncretism condemned in Ecclesium Suam.
88. But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice.
An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full.
Somehow looking like a member of the One True Church and bringing that faith to the indigenous people has now become proselytizing. It’s insane. Meanwhile, the non-Catholic groups that stole the supposedly old, broken down, Catholic model of looking like what you are, caring for people, educating them and bringing the faith to them while not engaging in syncretism are booming with conversions. Huh. Go figure. I’m sure if they had vocations, they’d be booming too.
Just as I was about to send this to One Mad Dad for editing, I ran across this piece from Fr. Longenecker. I thought it good. In it, he brings up Fr. Martin, SJ, who adheres to the epic failure that is the new Jesuit missionary tactic. I often think about the story Fr. Martin tells of his long time, same-sex “married” friend. All the “building of bridges” hasn’t brought this man out of the same-sex lifestyle. The outcome of the syncretism of his outreach has had the same outcome of the Jesuits’ modern-day missionaries. Sadly, all of these missionaries have ended up looking a lot more like the people they’re supposed to be bringing to the Faith than the other way around. Honestly, those of us trying to keep our kids Catholic know this is what happens. The more you try to look like the rest of society, the more you end up just like it, and it’s a huge tip-off to parents that it’s time to have some concern. There’s a difference between living in the world and being of the world. The Jesuits have lost that logic right along with the Faith. And this synod? It’s definitely lost that sight, too.