Yesterday the darling of progressive catholic Cardinal Kasper of Germany had some ahem interesting things to say about his brother Cardinals in africa.

In a stunning new interview, German Cardinal Walter Kasper has said that African Catholics “should not tell us too much what we have to do” and admitted that they are not being listened to at the Vatican’s current synod as it takes up matters including homosexuality, divorce, remarriage, and family life.

Elizabeth Scalia is horrified:

The African and Asian churches are going to provide the bulk of new missionaries who will be needed to evangelize the “jungle of modern Western culture”, which has scant acquaintance with Christ Jesus. Their churches are growing; their priests are excited; why does their thinking not matter?

Moreover — and perhaps this is most important — dismissing and denigrating the African bishops, and the others, could seriously impact their effectiveness as missionaries to the West. “They needn’t be listened to, except in Africa…” I really don’t think Jesus would agree.

And how awful for one bishop to imply, as Kasper does, here, that it’s okay for the African bishops to be listened to in Africa…but not here, in Europe!

This makes as much sense as the Houston Astros giving the Kansas City Royals advice on how to handle St. Louis or San Francisco in this year’s world series

Father Z reminds us of history:

Kasper’s view reminds me of when Augustine tried to convince Donatists that the Church wasn’t just in Africa. The Donatists thought they were the only Church and anyone in contact with Catholic bishops was tainted.

I respond that the Catholic Church in Africa is older than the Church in Germany. Not only that, the Church doesn’t subsist only along the Rhine.

The only things missing from what Kasper said here are the words “tribal” and “primitive”.

Rod Dreher is blunt: “Chicken Dinner Kasper

Wait, since when are African and Asian Catholics second-class citizens in their own Church? The arrogance of the Western liberal Kasper is unspeakable — and of a piece with the same attitudes liberals in the Episcopal Church and the Church of England have taken towards the Global South. USA Today points out that numerically speaking, Catholics in Africa are poised to overtake Catholics in Europe within a decade. The Catholic faith — Christianity in general — is utterly moribund in Europe. The churches are nearly empty. Not so in Africa. In Cardinal Kasper’s own country, only 13 percent of Catholics show up for mass on Sunday (Pew says that number is lower). What kind of special arrogance does it take to say that the Africans and the Asians do not deserve to be listened to because their views do not accord with what liberal Europeans who speak for a dwindling number of Catholics believe? Truth is not decided by numbers, surely, but Kasper represents a church that is dying not from martyrdom, but from boredom. He ought to be a lot more humble.

Remember the controversy at the 1998 Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion, in which angry liberals were said to have complained that the African Anglicans’ loyalty to the conservative line on homosexuality was “bought by chicken dinners”? Well, how do you say “bought by chicken dinners” in German?

It looks familiar to Damian Thompson

Now he sounds like an Anglican – and not just because he thinks aloud on matters of the utmost sensitivity. One of the insoluble problems of that Anglican Communion, in which I try not to take pleasure, is that the liberals who patronisingly celebrate the ‘richness’ and ‘deep wisdom’ of African and Asian societies can’t come to terms with their anti-gay attitudes. Older liberals, especially, have to be careful not to slip back into the mindset of their youth, when Africans were by definition unenlightened. And Cardinal Kasper (b. 1933) does not ‘do’ carefulness.

And Deacon Greg channels Calvin Coolidge

Am I the only one who thinks it might be a good idea for Cardial Kasper to take a vow of silence for a few weeks?

I disagree, I’m delighted that Cardinal Kasper said this openly, that as Elizabeth has said “the mask has dropped”.

twitter right now the German pralate words are drawing a loud response:

That’s a bazinga.

That one too

We’ll come back to the “German” argument later on in this piece

@ProfJCharmley Pope Francis started #Synod with asking to listen humbly to each other. Good advice to ‘important’ cardinals #Kasper #Africa

— maria (@marrisch) October 15, 2014

Maria’s remarks are likely the kindest but there are plenty of remarks like this:


This next tweet really expressed my own thought:

There have been calls for an apology and defenses like this one titled:  No, Cardinal Kasper is not a racist, although I submit that if you have to say “Person X is not a racist” you’ve already lost the argument.

That would explain why the media’s favorite and most quotable Cardinal words are suddenly not getting a lot of  traction from the MSM that loves him.  It’s true that if these remarks had been made by Pope Benedict XVI every media outlet would be calling him a racist, every MSNBC host would be in an uproar, Jessie Jackson & Al Sharpton would be marching on the Vatican embassy and an apology if not a resignation would be demanded the media.

However being the favorite Churchman of progressives has privileges which is why at this moment no major media source is saying a word.

While his words have not moved the media I suspect they will have a profound effect on the Synod because of things like this:

I’ll wager Churchmen all over the world are getting e-mails like that and while the media will do their best to ignore it the Vatican and the Synod can’t. The sunlight this will shine on those who are more worried about pleasing this word than the next will make all the difference. My suggestion pray for all involved especially the church in Africa, because they will be carrying the ball for the rest of us. Closing thought, contrast Cardinal Kasper’s words on Africa with these from Cardinal Dolan from his site: Money quote:

“The bishops of Africa are prophetic in reminding us that the role of the Church is to transform the culture, not to be transformed by the culture.”

Bingo as Jesus said:

Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.   Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;Matt 10:34-37

Update this image says it all: africa1That’s after 15 hours.  And none of those 15 include any major newspaper or news source. I repeat, if Benedict XVI or Cardinal Burke had said something like about Black Bishops & Cardinals would there be any other story in the news?

Update:   Denials and coincidence

The article is in German, Here is the translation via the same author:

That leaves four possibilities:

1. The article is inaccurate the interview never took place Mr. Pentin is lying.

2. The interview took place but either it was in another language & was translated poorly or the interview wasn’t recorded and the recollections of Mr. Pentin & the Cardinal differ.

3. A conversation took place between the Cardinal & Mr. Pentin that the Cardinal didn’t consider an interview.

4. The article is accurate the interview did take place & Cardinal Kasper is lying.

I take it a rote that a Roman Catholic Cardinal isn’t going to lie in this way but Mr. Pentin seems to have a long history and an excellent reputation in journalism so I’m certainly not going to call him a liar either

zenit has pulled the piece (you can read a cached copy here) that could be because the article is wrong, in dispute or pressure was placed on either them or Mr. Pentin to remove it.

I don’t know which it is and at the moment neither does anyone else  I’ve sent the following questions to Zenit:

Did Zenit pull the interview and if so why?

Did Zenit determine the interview never took place

Did Zenit determine that the interview was obtained under false pretenses?

Was Zenit in any way pressured to remove the interview?

Did Zenit pressure Mr. Pentin in any way to remove the piece from their site.

Does Zenit intend to make a public statement concerning this situation?

I’ll let you know what they say

Meanwhile Elizabeth Scalia notes an amazing coincidence:

Meanwhile, John Thavis notes:

UPDATE: The Vatican announced today that the pope has named an African, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, who had distanced himself from much of the midterm relatio, to the preparation commission of the final document. Also named was an Australian, Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne.

A result of the Pentin piece brouhaha? Coincidental timing of an announcement? I don’t know. I think whatever the case, it’s good news.

The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways.

Update 2: Pentin has the interview on tape and there were two witnesses. Game Set & Match.

With no offense to Mr. Pentin I’m very disappointed I don’t care if he’s a liberal he’s a Cardinal.


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Our friend Pete has coined the term Pope-a-Dope regarding the media’s spin on Pope Francis. “The Pope married people who were living in sin! The Pope is challenging taboos!” Over the decades (yes, I’m that old), I have attended Catholic weddings of couples who had lived together and were now getting married;. married in a civil ceremony, had children, and then married by the Church; and on and on, so the so-called “taboos” headlines were particularly amusing.

Following the news on the Synod on the Family, I would now like to expand the term Pope-a-Dope to include the spin on the Catholic Church in general. Not that we didn’t see it coming:

Sure enough:

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

The media’s goal, as Pete so aptly puts it, is

to have the church decide to not only consider such states of Mortal Sin acceptable for individuals but to actually redefine sin itself.

Princeton professor Robert P. George (one of Ted Cruz’s former professors), expands on the subject:
Has the Catholic Church Changed Its Teaching on Sex and Marriage?
Amid reports of “earthquakes” and “seismic” shifts, we ought to remember the Catholic Church’s moral teachings in their wholeness, which have not shifted.

Now, if you’ve been reading the papers or watching television or visiting blogs and online news sites, you may be thinking:

“Hang on there, professor. Haven’t you heard? On Monday the Catholic Church changed its teachings on marriage and sexuality. There has been an ‘earthquake,’ a ‘seismic shift.’ Things will never be the same. The Church now welcomes remarried people to communion, has dropped its objections to homosexual conduct, and denies that homosexual desires are ‘intrinsically disordered.’ Or it’s about to do all of that. Francis is a new kind of Pope, and it’s a new day. He has brought Catholicism into line with the teachings of the Episcopal Church USA, the Unitarian Universalists, and the New York Times editorial board.”

Prof. George points out that the (emphasis added)

document released on Monday as an interim report on discussions occurring at a Vatican synod of bishops (called an “extraordinary” synod because it is preparatory to a larger synod—an “ordinary” synod—that will occur next year) on contemporary challenges to the family.

The relatio, then, is raw material for this week’s discussion, which will prepare for next year’s discussion, which may provide fodder for a document by the Pope.

So it’s conducive to something preparatory to something (possibly) advisory.

It has no teaching authority whatsoever.

What’s more, it proposed no changes—none—in the doctrine or moral teaching of the Church.

Read Prof. George’s article.

The bottom line is, while the media tries to actually redefine sin itself, the Church asserts that sin is sin and must be rejected.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

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.