As we mentioned yesterday all over the world the Catechism of the Mainstream media on the Extraordinary Synod on the family is being promulgated  to those people who have no idea of what is actually going on and serious Catholic voices are not liking the result as the great George Weigel commenting on one such piece put it:

Ms. Povoledo utterly misrepresented the document on which she was putatively reporting. It was not issued by “a meeting” or by “the Vatican.” It was not an authoritative document in any sense; it was an interim report on themes that had been raised in the previous ten days of debate and discussion at the synod. It had absolutely no legislative weight — synod documents are consultative, not legislative — and I am told by those who were there that various formulations in the report were seriously criticized in the synod debates. Moreover, the interim report will be chewed over in the ten synod language-based discussion groups — where, one suspects, further criticisms will be aired — before any final report is issued. To turn this kind of interim report into the virtual equivalent of a papal encyclical is ludicrous on its face.

The 2014 synod is an agenda-setting exercise that was intended by Pope Francis to help prepare the work of the 2015 Synod on the Family. The pope knows full well that marriage and the family are in crisis throughout the world. In his own remarks before the synod, he said that he hoped the synod would lift up the beauty of Christian marriage and Christian family life in a world too dominated by what he’s often called a “throwaway culture,” the throwaways all too frequently including spouses and children. That some bishops, theologians, and bishop-theologians from dying local churches in Europe have tried to use the synod to instruct the entire Catholic Church on appropriate pastoral solutions to difficult and tangled human situations will strike some as cheeky, and others as just bizarre. But whatever those synod fathers and advisers thought they were doing, what they effectively have done is to contribute to the false sense that this, at last, is the moment of the Great Catholic Cave-In.

That voices like Weigel are saying this is important but the real news out of Rome isn’t people like him seeing the media spin.  The news is the people in charge at the Synod might finally be figuring out that the media or someone else is trying to game them:

The Vatican press briefing today featured a big effort from the Synod to walk back some of the analysis that took place on the release of the Relatio yesterday. Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban, South Africa expressed dismay over the release of the document, the phrasing used within it, and especially the media reaction to it. At one point during the briefing, the prelate lamented that the Catholic Church is now in a potentially “irredeemable” position. When the final document comes out and it doesn’t match the media’s take on the draft, it will look like “damage control” rather than a positive step forward in bolstering family life.

I’m glad to hear that someone is finally figuring it out.  After all if NGO’s fight to keep  their gravy train do you think the enemy is going to sit back while the church goes after lost or forgotten sous and let them snatch away back without a fight?


But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which separate the man from the Enemy.  It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. 

C.S. Lewis Screwtape #12

Cracker: You loved David, you love a man you make love with a man, you have a baby, but babies cost money, there’s never enough money, so you talk about abortion , you go and see Michael, his advice what does Michael say?

Maggie Harvey: Michael says we will always be welcome in his church no matter what I do.

Fr. Michael Harvey: I was trying to make it easier for you.

Maggie Harvey: I didn’t want it made easier, I wanted you to say ‘No’. I’m a good Catholic I believe, I go along to my priest a lifetime of sacrifice and all I ask for is to protect the child in my womb, but he won’t.

Cracker My Brother’s Keeper 1995

There is an old Baseball joke about the about the Devil challenging God to a game.  God laughs saying the Devil doesn’t have a chance listing all the great baseball players in heaven, the Devil slyly smiles and says:  “Maybe so but I’ve got all the umpires.”

I can’t help but think of that joke when I saw this piece at the Anchoress over some of the phrasing at the Extraordinary Synod on”gradualism”.

The Extraordinary Synod for the Family is only half-completed, and its denouement will not be known until October 2015 or even later, but if the relatio post disceptationem, the mid-term report of this Synod is any suggestion, then, as Vaticanista John Thavis suggests at his blog, it’s going to be a bumpy year, Bette; a bumpy year!

Now the principle of gradualism is pretty clear

That’s the goal of gradualism. It is not about ignoring doctrine or condoning mortal sin. It is about a priest at work the field hospital God has provided, and applying powerful medicine within dosages that each patient can withstand, until they are spiritually stronger, and can withstand further treatment. Your dosages and mine will be different at different times in our illnesses.

This is an admirable goal you want to keep the fish on the line as you slowly reel it in but instead of reeling it into death you’re reeling it to life and there are examples of how this is done

The other option was that we live together but maintain a chaste relationship. “Live together like brother and sister” was the phrase we heard repeated over and over. This is a task that is widely acknowledged to require heroic virtue from even the most virtuous, yet the likelihood that two people who hadn’t attempted to live virtuous lives, basically ever, would be able to accomplish it was somehow not of interest to solicitous advice-givers.

It was of interest to our priest, however. He was interested in a great many things everyone else overlooked. He spent hours with the Ogre and me, together and separately, figuring out our strengths, our weaknesses, our fears, our limits, our feelings for each other, and our hopes for the future. I suspect he recognized that we had both lived in a state of chronic, habitual mortal sin for years and quickly decided that a quick “get out of mortal sin fast” card was not what we needed; at least, not then. I believe his ultimate goal for us was not short-term but long-term. He was trying to figure out how to bring both of us into a state of grace, how to help us learn to love God, each other, and our child, and how to begin building a foundation that might one day support a solid family.

As a rule however one size doesn’t fit all.  You have gradualism on one end & cold turkey on the other.  For some cold turkey can’t work because their faith foundation is not strong enough to overcome habits of sin formed over years and reinforced by culture.  Contrariwise gradualism might simply be used as an excuse to justify themselves in continued sin.  It’s all in how things are taken

The reactions I am seeing are a good reason why we should welcome a return to principles of gradualism while also guarding the church carefully as they are implemented. It’s very serious, because if people go off half-cocked and not listening (as they tend to do) they’re not going to understand what the church is saying, anymore than they understood that when meatless Fridays ended, they were still supposed to take some sort of sacrificial action on that day, every week.

Most people still do not know that, and if something that clear could be lost in the noise of media and spin, then much more important and nuanced thinking can become terribly misrepresented.

The problem is for every person who knows this fact about Friday sacrificial action and remembers it there are 1,000,000 people who instead remember George Carlin’s joke about someone still being in Hell on a meat rap.

That the real danger of what is coming out of the Synod not what the words say but how they’re spun.

Presumably the goal of the vast majority of the Bishops and Cardinals there is to express language that facilitates the church aiding souls in “irregular situations” (read mortal sin) to progress away from said mortal sin to eventually a state of grace with God  and full reconciliation with the church.

  23.        Imitating Jesus’ merciful gaze, the Church must accompany her most fragile sons and daughters, marked by wounded and lost love, with attention and care, restoring trust and hope to them like the light of a beacon in a port, or a torch carried among the people to light the way for those who are lost or find themselves in the midst of the storm. 

However the goal of the media and those who oppose the church is quite the opposite.  The Goal is to have the church decide to not only consider such states of Mortal Sin acceptable for individuals but to actually redefine sin itself as evidenced by this piece at Yahoo:

In a dramatic shift in tone, a Vatican document said on Monday that homosexuals had “gifts and qualities to offer” and asked if Catholicism could accept gays and recognize positive aspects of same-sex couples.

The headlines and pieces tend to shout one thing while the realities of what is actually being said is quite different as noted in this Time Magazine Piece:

The relatio reaffirms at several points that marriage is between a man and a woman. Substance on that point is not changing. The Vatican has been repeatedly clear that this Synod will bring no changes to doctrine, or even a final document with new rites. To “welcome gays” does not mean the Church is no longer equating “gay” with “sin.”

The problem here is what Father Z calls the “Synod of the Media” to wit:

For example, if the Synod makes a statement about the “gifts and qualities” of homosexuals, keep in mind that homosexuals do NOT have ”gifts and qualities” for the Church simply because they are homosexuals.

Of course homosexuals have “gifts and talents!”  But they have them as human beings, not as homosexuals.  They must not be turned into some subset that can then claim rights as homosexuals.  They are no better or worse than any other human being and each of them have the obligation to respect nature and God’s law.

This is completely consistent with existing Catholic Doctrine:

Catholics do not object to homosexuals participating in the life of the Church.  We object to the suggestion that homosexual acts are normal, acceptable, good, proper… take your pick.  They aren’t.  They are objective sinful and gravely disordered.  The people with the inclinations toward them are obliged to struggle against them just ever other person on earth is obliged to struggle against inclinations, to battle against and resist the world, the flesh and the devil.

That will be news to those reading this New York Times , the BBC , the Irish times and the National Schematic  Catholic Reporter who didn’t know the doctrine in the first place.  They will read these pieces and come out with something completely contrary to what the Bishops in the Synod are actually trying to say.

Remember “errors of Vatican II” weren’t errors of the doctrines expressed, they were sound and faithful, the error was allowing the media and the church’s enemies (but I repeat myself) to spin and define said doctrines to the uninformed faithful for their own purposes.  And that poor catechesis of so many Catholics is how we got into this spot to begin with.

Over the last 24 hours we have seen the same thing, Elizabeth Scalia not withstanding, thanks to the media millions of people around the world will be told that the teaching of the Catholic Church and the definitions of sin concerning homosexuality & cohabitation are something they are not.

We may have the players but the media umpires are making the calls.

In an age that is even more connected than the 60’s and with a press that is even less informed about religion than they were a half a century ago such misinformation could lead to disaster and if continued unchecked might result in the work of the Synod leading to a loss of the souls we are tying to save.

My suggestion, take the same approach Robert Stacy McCain takes on feminism, don’t take what the media says as gospel read the documents yourself (the link is here) and follow the advice offered:

12.        In order to “walk among contemporary challenges, the decisive condition is to maintain a fixed gaze on Jesus Christ, to pause in contemplation and in adoration of His Face. … Indeed, every time we return to the source of the Christian experience, new paths and undreamed of possibilities open up” (Pope Francis, Address of 4 October 2014). Jesus looked upon the women and the men he met with love and tenderness, accompanying their steps with patience and mercy, in proclaiming the demands of the Kingdom of God.

The Church needs to thread carefully because nothing will lose souls faster than to allow The Catechism of the Catholic Church to be spun in the minds of the people and replaced by the The Catechism of the Mainstream Media.

Update:  Ed Morrissey at Hotair:

The final version of the relatio will be issued on Saturday, and it might end up being amended and “clarified” significantly. The Synod has shifted into small-group discussions, and earlier today Pope Francis added a number of people to work on the final relatio, including the highly-regarded Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Even that document won’t be the final word; the debate will continue between the bishops for the next year until the Ordinary Synod. But the next version of the relatio will still make for lively debate, too.


Update 2: Via Hotair Again:

While the individual interventions of the Synod Fathers are not published, yesterday’s Relatio, which is merely a discussion document, was published immediately and, I am told, even broadcast live. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to see the approach at work, which is certainly not of the Church. …

While the document in question (Relatio post disceptationem) purports to report only the discussion which took place among the Synod Fathers, it, in fact, advances positions which many Synod Fathers do not accept and, I would say, as faithful shepherds of the flock cannot accept. Clearly, the response to the document in the discussion which immediately followed its presentation manifested that a great number of the Synod Fathers found it objectionable.

Burke called on Pope Francis to issue a statement reaffirming current church teaching on marriage and family life. The summary of yesterday’s morning session, released today, affirmed that the relatio was not universally accepted as an accurate description of the thrust of the conversation. On both homosexuality and cohabitation, the summary noted calls to clarify that the relatio should not offer a “positive evaluation” (English translation) of either status or practice, as was noted in the aftermath of the release of the relatio yesterday through other sources. At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis emphasized the invitation of all to the Church — good and bad — from the Gospel reading, which seems to coincide with the thrust of the relatio.

People trying to spin the Vatican? Say it isn’t so!

Ed Morrissey is in Rome covering the Catholic Church’s Synod on the family and his latest update will  disappoint many on the left who anticipated this to be a sea of change to Catholic Doctrine:

Today’s briefing did actually break a little news. The topic yesterday afternoon and this morning was mostly on difficult pastoral situations, including marriage issues, which produced intense, passionate debate — or “animated and fraternal discussion,” depending on which interpretation one prefers.  According to CNS, which has done a great job of live-tweeting all of the remarks (acting a bit like a translation service for some of us), the Synod “strongly reaffirms that those who remarry without annulment cannot receive Communion,” even though the bishops also see the need for pastoral outreach for those Christians. One speaker at the Synod — the Vatican is not providing names — said that the lack of Communion “isn’t moral judgment of individual,” but objective assessment of his/her marital status (again, translation according to CNS). 

But…but all those surveys wasn’t the church trying to figure out how to please all those people who didn’t believe what is being taught or not taught?

Some participants spoke of the need to “adapt the language” of the Church so that its doctrine on the family, life and sexuality is “understood correctly.” To do this, they said, “it is necessary to enter into dialogue with the world” with a “critical but sincere openness.” That dialogue could be based on common themes such as the “equal dignity of men and women and the rejection of violence.”

It was said in the assembly that the Gospel must be shown rather than explained, and the lay faithful should proclaim the Good News with a “missionary charism,” not “depersonalized,” but through a “concrete witness to the beauty and truth of the Gospel.”


From ‘Defensive’ to ‘Proactive’

The challenge, it was said, was of passing from a “defensive situation” to a “proactive one” and “creating a bridge between the language of the Church and that of society.”

It sounds like they have been reading St. Pope John Paul II (via Fr. Z  all emphasis his):

Numerous interventions during the synod, expressing the general thought of the fathers, emphasized the coexistence and mutual influence of two equally important principles in relation to these cases. The first principle is that of compassion and mercy, whereby the church, as the continuer in history of Christ’s presence and work, not wishing the death of the sinner but that the sinner should be converted and live, and careful not to break the bruised reed or to quench the dimly burning wick, ever seeks to offer, as far as possible, the path of return to God and of reconciliation with him. The other principle is that of truth and consistency, whereby the church does not agree to call good evil and evil good.

It will be interesting to see how the media handles things when this Synod doesn’t turn out the way they suspect.


Fr. Z gives the bottom line fact on the Synod on the family that everyone is ignoring:

And let us not forget that the Synod can do nothing but talk. They can vote on anything, say, that French croissants are better than Roman cornetti. In the end, they can recommend things to the Pope. The Pope decides.

and its end result:

My concern, partly validated here, is that, after this extraordinary Synod does little or nothing, we are going to have a whole year of liberal grinding in the press and pulpits, thus raising expectations of huge changes. And then, when Francis doesn’t do what they want, the revolt really breaks out into the open.

and that will be the moment when the liberals of the world finally openly turn on “the good pope” that they didn’t dare go after before.

Elwood P Dowd:  Well, we talked like that for awhile and then I said to him, I said, “You have the advantage on me. You know my name and I don’t know yours.” And, and right back at me he said, “What name do you like?” Well, I didn’t even have to think twice about that. Harvey’s always been my favorite name. So I said to him, I said, “Harvey.” And, uh, this is the interesting thing about the whole thing: He said, “What a coincidence. My name happens to be Harvey.”

Harvey 1950

Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


In Time Magazines piece on the opening on the  Extraordinary Synod of the Family they talk about Pope Francis’ request to the people 

This spiritual undercurrent, although quiet, has been powerfully present in the Holy Father’s actions this weekend. On Saturday evening, before the synod officially began and as a pink sun set behind St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis called the people to gather in the piazza to pray for the upcoming two-weeks of Synod conversations.


This might seem a pro-forma action to most people who read Time but for the Pope and for Catholics it’s a serious statement.

One of the most dangerous human conceits is the substitution of our will for God’s will.  It the basis for the argument by non-believers that man made God in his own image.

This is, of course the primary manifestation cation of the sin of pride and it is going to be the biggest single danger that the clerics assembled in Rome will face.

There are going to be discussions, some might be heated and each person participating will give their views based on what they have dealt with, seen or believe.

But in the end the goal is not to advance one position or another, it’s to hear the will of the Holy Spirit so that all those there get to the spot where the Church should be.

That is why prayer is so important it opens oneself to the message of the spirit in prayer one clears out the joy of your own voice and argument so expertly given which is exactly what the enemy is going to be shooting for to confound and divide.

If however the Synod tackles the questions it is dealing with in prayerful reflection it will be a great event for the Church and for mankind for centuries to come.

May  God grant us the wisdom to act accordingly.

Earl: Here’s the deal. You’re headed for hell, Grace, but God’s givin’ you one last chance. Sent me to help you.
Grace: Huh?
Earl: I’m not gonna be around all the time so you can’t just snap your fingers and expect me to show up. I’m busy. There’s a lot of people going to hell these days. In fact, I gotta be on a golf course in Florida in a few minutes, so we need to wrap this up.

Saving Grace 2010

This piece at e-Online via Live at five concerning Anne Hathaway caught my eye before I ran to daily mass.

“This fame thing? F–ked me up for a really long time,” Anne Hathaway admits in the October issue of Elle U.K.while smouldering on the cover in a sexy black pantsuit teamed with crimson lips. “I didn’t know how to do it; I didn’t know how to engage with it; it stressed me out. And people would say, ‘You just have to be yourself,’ and I was like, ‘But I don’t know who that is yet!'” 

When I saw this I couldn’t help but remember the story from 2010 when Anne made a fuss about leaving the Catholic Church “over her gay brother”  and the church’s unwillingness to redefine sin for her convenience:

that is no different than the church not accepting breaking one’s wedding vows, or spreading calumny about another, or shoplifting, or not honoring father and mother or rejecting God, or drunkenness, or porn, or any of a bunch of other sins that the church has always talked against.

No matter how much Hollywood messes oe up, Leaving the church tends to mess one up more. I ended that piece with a line that should be familiar with longtime readers.

If you and yours decide to discard your cross rather than bear it you will be celebrated. You will be feted at the best parties. The media will love you, it will lead to prestige for you in Hollywood and everywhere on the talk show circuit. And if you choose to keep on this path, when your obituary is written the style and media writers will mention how brave you were to defy the church. The media will celebrate you for all the rest of your days…

…after that you’re on your own.

In terms of action of course one can ditch years or even decades of Mortal sin in a single sacramental confession but baring a dramatic private revelation such as God knocking you off your horse and blinding you,  even finding the path to the road of repentance is incredibly tough let alone actually reaching that point and when you’ve been walking away from God and sanctifying grace for a long time it’s pretty hard.

but there is still your Guardian Angel.

As the priest noted in his sermon today people have the wrong idea about Angels mostly from culture.  Some think of them as “little cupids”  others like Earl from Saving Grace, and some like the cast of Touched by an Angel as if an angel only gets a temporary assignment to be there in a time of crisis.  Jimmy Akin at the National Catholic Register:

4) What does the Church teach about guardian angels?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God [CCC 336].

And as the Pope explains it’s not a fantasy but a reality:

Pope Francis said on Thursday that guardian angels exist and people who listen to their advice are less likely to make the wrong decisions.

“The doctrine on angels is not fantasist. No, it’s reality,” the pope said during his daily mass in the small chapel in his residence at the Vatican.

There are many avenues that the church can reach a person and in the end the final decision to turn back to God or not will always be yours but of all the ways the church gives one to find their path again that guardian angel is on the job to encourage you to do the right thing up until the very last moment of your life.

All one has to do is listen.



UPDATE: With the Pope’s visit to the US & the MSM spinning the above phrase it is a good time to provide this post to unspin those being played by the media.

There is no phrase of Pope Francis that has been more spun by the world’s media than Francis’ famous words from an early interview concerning homosexuality.

When taken in context the Pope’s meaning is quite clear:

Pope Francis said it was important to “distinguish between a person who is gay and someone who makes a gay lobby,” he said. “A gay lobby isn’t good.”

“A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?” the pope said. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society. The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation — we must be like brothers and sisters. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby.”

However many articles & pieces in context one might write, this can not prevent ignorant & dishonest people from using the “Who am I to judge” phrase as an excuse to not only justify and advance Gay Marriage but to attack Catholics who point out that homosexual acts (rather than the orientation itself) have always been and remain a mortal sin.

So in the interest of explaining this to those who the media would deceive here is what you need to know:

What the Pope said in the most generic sense is this:

A person inclined to a sin, who is seeking God who is of good will–well who am I to judge him?

What the Pope didn’t say in any way shape or form, but what the media wants you to think he did is this:

A person who is proud of and flaunts their sin, well. who am I to judge him?

If you require further information let me go into detail after the jump:

Continue reading ““Who am I to Judge?” for Dummies”

As you might or might not know the Oklahoma City civic center will be playing host to a Black Mass today.

Bishops, Exorcists and others have done their best to warn the public and to take positive steps to oppose this dangerous act:

On Sunday, Sept. 21, we will gather for a public act of worship at St. Francis of Assisi Church. I invite all Catholics as well as other Christians and people of good will to join us for a Eucharistic Holy Hour, an outdoor Eucharistic procession and Benediction beginning at 3 p.m. We will prayerfully bear witness to our faith as an expression of our solidarity and in reparation for acts of blasphemy.

but if you are not in Oklahoma City you can make a difference.

This ordeal in our community has been ongoing for nearly three months, since we first became aware of the scheduled black mass. In spite of our apparent inability to prevent this sacrilegious event from taking place, I am grateful for a number of blessings that have accrued through this trial. I am grateful for the significant legal victory that allowed us to regain possession of the consecrated Host that would have been desecrated during the black mass. I am deeply grateful for the strong response to our appeal for prayer throughout the Christian community. People across Oklahoma, throughout our great country and around the world have responded with prayer and fasting. We have been given an opportunity to express our faith in the Lord and our profound gratitude for his gift of the Eucharist through acts of devotion. Many of our Catholic people have been appealing to St. Michael the Archangel for heavenly protection against the powers of evil in our world.

Here in Fitchburg the Knights of Columbus St. Anthony of Padua council # 15962 will be holding a Rosary of Reparation at 6 PM EST at St. Anthony of Padua Church 84 Salem Street Fitchburg Mass.   All are welcome to join us in this public Rosary and prayers.

Take the time to check if there is something similar going on in your diocese, if so attend if you can.  If there is not and there is a Eucharist Adoration chapel in your area (you can find the closest here)  visit it for a holy hour.

If that is not possible visit your local parish and pray your rosary or the Chaplet of St. Michael.  If you aren’t in a position to leave your house you can go to this site for a live image of the blessed sacrament and leave it up, offer a Rosary the prayer of St. Michael or other suitable prayers.

You can make a difference, for Oklahoma City, your own community and yourself.

Thanks to a religious vow taken by the men of our house Wednesdays has, with the rare exception of the occasional fish and chips, become Pizza night in the Ingemi household.

Fitchburg Massachusetts has the distinction of housing 15 different Pizza places, From Pizza Hut, Papa Ginos & Little Caesars, to family owned locations like Patriot Pizza, Village Pizza & the Cleghorn House of Pizza and that doesn’t counting convenience stores like Cumberland Farms or supermarkets like Market Basket.  That works out to about 1 for every 2687 people in the city.

That gives plenty of choices and that’s a good thing because it seems all of us have different tastes, and pies we don’t care for.  If it was up to Sam we would never order from Espresso’s.  I’ll eat Parkhill if it’s in the house but will not order it if given the choice.  Danny doesn’t care for Domino’s pie when it’s meatless and if Valery doesn’t like the Pie at a place, she goes for the chicken parm.

This isn’t a reflection on the quality of the various pies they are just made to different tastes.  I spoke to the owner of Zedas on the subject, he is careful to keep up quality and tries to make a pizza that can appeal to the largest number people but in the end there are always going to be some people who just have different tastes.  That’s just life.

And this brings us to the subject of sin.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church there are all kinds of sins described, offenses against truth, others property, modesty, family, life , the dignity of marriage. and God and others.

Some of these sins are graver than others,, some of them society frowns on, others are promoted and lionized,  some are primarily self-destructive and others harm thousands, some are done brazenly and other in secret out of shame.

Most important of all, these sins appeal to different people, there are those who would steal the coins off  corpse’s eyes but would never raise a hand against anyone, there are people who will play the field married or no, but wouldn’t touch a dollar that belongs to someone else, there are those who would spend every cent they had on a drunken binge, but would never neglect a prayer or a mass, there are those who would never tell a lie but couldn’t hold their tongue when it comes to gossip about someone else’s problems.

Sin is in fact, a matter of taste, and do not doubt for one moment that like the various pizza places in Fitchburg the Devil does his best to tempt you to those tastes.

So when you see your brother sin, remember while it is certainly proper to call sin, sin make sure you don’t do so in pride, because if you do you might find yourself being served the same helping of sin, with just a different flavor.


Today I woke to see a breathless headline at Drudge:drudgepope

So I went to said story at yahoo by Ljubomir Milasin to see what the Holy Father did

A single mother, people who have been married before and couples who have been living together “in sin” were married by Pope Francis in a taboo-challenging ceremony at the Vatican on Sunday.

It was such a story that Morning Joe decided it was worth including in their parade of paper as big news.

Is this news? Let’s examine the facts.

The Catholic Church declares sex outside of marriage a sin, as The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it:

2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.

So sex outside of marriage is a grave mortal sin. What is the solution, how about Getting Married!

Can someone explain to me why the Pope causing people to stop committing a moral sin “taboo challenging”?

Now lets look at the person previously married mentioned in the article:

One of the couples he married was single mother Gabriella and her partner Guido, whose previous marriage was annulled by an ecclesiastical tribunal.

Annulment is not the same as divorce, you must have proper grounds for Annulment in the Catholic church (some are listed here) because an annulment signifies the sacrament was never conferred and a valid marriage never took place.

Such annulment are not granted lightly (as Henry VIII discovered) but if an ecclesiastical tribunal of the Church grants an annulment, a person can marry freely because as far as the church is concerned the previous marriage was not valid.

So let’s review.  The Pope has apparently married a bunch of people according to the norms of the Catholic Church. That could have been the headline, and certainly would have been more accurate than the one at Yahoo.

So why the phony headline? There are two things that could be going on

The first is Ljubomir Milasin, his editors, Drudge and all those other who ran with this as a breathless headline worth of airtime have no idea what the norms of the Catholic Church or if they did read beyond the headline they figured it was click bait and ran with it.  Neither ignorance sloppiness, averse would be much of a surprise since today media is famously ignorant when it comes to religion.

The other possibility is dishonesty to achieve the following ends:

#1 Create a meme as if the Pope is preparing for great change in the church in order to pressure the church to actually redefine family in the way that the media wants.#2 Deceive faithful Catholics as to the Pope’s actions and intention in order to create rifts in the Church.

This is the meat and potatoes of the whole “Pope-a-dope” meme. Create a false reality in order to attack a church they despise.

This is going to fail spectacularly.  If at the height of their strength in the 60’s the left couldn’t stop Humane Vitae they certainly aren’t going to sway a bunch of Cardinals appointed by St. Pope John Paul II & Benedict XVI.

And, let me repeat something I’ve said before:

Why would any conservative, Catholic or otherwise, who wouldn’t trust the media to say water is wet, presume they were telling the truth about the Pope?

I’ll give Ed Morrissey the last word on the subject:

Update:  At HotAir Ed suggest the Vatican might have been out to make a point after all:

In other words, from this and other reports on the ceremony and couples involved, there isn’t any suggestion that there were any reasons in current canon law and practice to deny them a church wedding.

And that may have been the real point of this event. The public celebration with its pontifical celebration does have something to say about the Catholic approach to nuptials, but primarily that it’s commonly misunderstood — both by the public at large and at the parish level, in too many cases. A large part of that message comes from the Pope’s personal involvement in the ceremony. John Thavis, a longtime Vaticanista and an occasional guest on my show, makes the point that this was a teaching moment from Francis to the world and to the rank and file

It’s not just the media who are uninformed about Catholic Doctrine.


Olimometer 2.52

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