All the press right now everywhere is focused on the presidential race but in 100 years the event that is going to be considered most significant in the history of the world from 2016 is this one:

Pope Francis and the leader of the powerful Russian Orthodox Church will hold talks in Cuba next week, the first meeting ever between a pope and a Russian patriarch and an encounter that some experts believe may help soothe conflicts in the Middle East.

It isn’t clear what the agenda will be for the meeting between Francis and Patriarch Kirill I, the head of the largest and wealthiest branch of Orthodox Christianity. But experts predict it could be a significant step — if probably symbolic — toward mending a schism that has divided Christianity between East and West for nearly 1,000 years.

At a time when Christians and Christianity are under attack both physically and culturally a show of unity particularly between this pair is huge:

The Patriarchate of Moscow sees itself as one of the few defenders of Christians in the Middle East, and Russia has intervened on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he pointed out. “Just for reasons of self-preservation, the Christians in Syria have mainly placed themselves under the protection of Assad and are discretely supportive of the Assad regime. They do believe the alternative is ISIS or some al Qaeda affiliate that would make their lives short or hellish,” he said.

Pope Francis, he continued, understands that any sort of solution to the problem of persecution of Middle Eastern Christians has a lot to do with ending the fighting in Syria, and that means getting Putin and the Russians committed to ending the fighting in Syria, “to get Putin to consider a political solution to the conflict and recognize that the Vatican and others can serve as honest brokers.”

This is about as unlikely an event as it gets.

Many Russian Orthodox consider Catholics as schismatic and heterodox. They also suspect Eastern Catholics, particularly the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which follows Orthodox rituals and spirituality, as encroaching on what they consider Orthodox territory and hoping to siphon off Orthodox believers.

“The Russian Patriarchate has really carved out a very anti-ecumenical position over the past few decades… as a very strong nationalist Church,” the expert said. “It’s wed itself even closer than other national Churches, like the Bulgarian Orthodox or Romanian Orthodox, to the current regime in its country.

We don’t know what exactly will be said:

The encounter between the two leaders, expected to last roughly two hours, will take place at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration. No details about the content of that agreement were released.

Those who don’t follow religion don’t realize just how big this is. That would not be an accurate description of John Allen:

Journalism tends to wildly overuse the term “historic,” but when it comes to Friday’s announcement that Pope Francis will meet Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Feb. 12 in Havana, there’s simply no other word for it.

He’ll likely be covering that. I’m jealous

Yet this is taking place

I spoke to Fr Ray Kelly at the Catholic Marketing Trade show

Their web site is here you can find him on facebook here and twitter here

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Matthew 25 35-36

Yesterday during the Rush Limbaugh show a caller produced a startling claim.

ANN:  Great.  Well, we have some interesting news.  My husband Eddie is on the phone with us.  We live in Southern California, and we’re Catholic, active Catholics in our community, and there was a town hall meeting last evening, emergency meeting called by our local parish priest, ordered by our bishop (unintelligible) and the Archdiocese of San Bernardino. They have made the decision that they’re going to absorb the immigrants that are coming through because the federal government called the bishop’s office on Monday and they’re gonna be busing these immigrants to our communities and asking us to open our homes and to house them for up to a month.  The church will reimburse us for any out-of-pocket expenses and we were told not to talk to anybody about it, especially the media. 

Now there are several things that are key, first the politics of this is pretty plain as Rush notes , 

Rush Limbaugh: Everybody now is focused on, “Okay, what do we do with these people?” Look, I understand you just can’t ignore them and leave them to the wolves.  Don’t misunderstand.  But I don’t get the acceptance.  I don’t get the idea that there’s no end to this.  I understand what Obama’s doing.  He’s trying to get Hispanic numbers up; he’s trying to put pressure on Republicans to vote for amnesty before the November elections. 

I understand all of that.

I understand the politics of it. 

We’ve already talked about this.  The purpose of this crisis is to help elect Democrats, this is what the administration cares about, not borders, not people.  If the left thought for one moment that these kids would turn 18 and vote for Sarah Palin A ten foot border wall complete with moat and alligators would already be in place.

But what really interesting about this claim is the administration turning to the church.

This administration and their allies hate the Catholic Church.  They hate our doctrines on Abortion, hate our doctrines on Contraception, hate our doctrines on Gay Marriage, they hate the Catholic schools which provide a better alternative to the public schools and they hate the idea that the church points to Christ over the state.

But they also know that the church being the church looks beyond the political sphere and they understand the reality that the duty of the church goes beyond simple nationalism or even national interest.

The duty to protect the borders belongs to the state, the duty to enforce the laws belong to the state, the duty to protect the welfare of Americans and use their funds wisely and honestly belong to the state.

BUT the duties and responsibilities of Christians are duties to individuals.

To love one’s neighbor is an individual duty.

To feed the poor is an individual duty.

To pray for each other, to love one’s enemy, to turn the other cheek, all of these are individual duties that Christians in general & Catholics in particular have been called upon to perform since the days of Christ.

No Diocese can, when called upon, not perform this duty in the same way that a doctor is obliged to take care of the sick without prejudice to who they are.  The duty to do this is independent of any political consideration and that is just the way it is and the administration is very cunning to call upon the church to exercise this because the Church can’t say no and once he is done with us he will happily turn back to persecuting us as evil woman hating homophobic bigots.

That is what the Obama Administration is all about, using others for their own political gain.

Final thought:  While Christian duty obliges us to do this, we are NOT obliged to keep silent about this in order to keep the people uninformed.  If this is a duty of mercy and a righteous thing to do it should be done openly (not keeping a light under a bushel).    If it is right it should be done proudly and openly and if there is pushback it is the duty of a priest or bishop to explain the duty of a Christian as I just did.

To do otherwise simply helps those who are trying to manipulate us and is frankly cowardly.

Update: Beck & Erickson are exactly right, this is the right thing to do, even though our political foes are pretty much using us


Olimometer 2.52

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One of the things that I’ve made a point to do it over the years is watch MSNBC in the morning.

This brings two advantages, first of all it gives me n insight on what the left’s message & theme of the day is, but it also makes me stronger in my point.

If my arguments are of any value, they can stand up to the left arguments, and not the left’s arguments as repeated or spun by my friends on the right, but the left’s arguments in their own words.  (Much like my Bob Beckels on Da Magnificent Panel.

This is incidentally why the left is so adamant about keeping people from watching Fox news, they call it “Faux” news but they have actually created a “Faux” Fox in order to keep their own from hearing the right’s arguments in their own words


And that brings us to our secular humanist friends, who insists that Christians are simply ignorant people believing superstition.

One of the things I’ve noticed about such people in invariably will pull a verse, particularly from the old testament laws to hit Christians with.  It’s a great straw man when people have no familiarity with scripture but anyone who has read Acts concerning St. Peter and the council of Jerusalem could answer that without pausing for breath.

That being the case it would behove our secular humanist friends to become familiar with scripture, after all how can you critique what you don’t understand, or haven’t heard in context.  After all the scientific method involves actually studying things within their environment.

But where can they get such information and data in an organized way?  That’s easy the Daily Catholic Mass.

The Daily Catholic mass is the perfect way to understand scripture and prayer and the belief in it.  The prayers during the daily mass are crafted on a daily & organized basic, the same with the Eucharistic Prayers.   They are uniform throughout the country (with the occasional optional feast day) because this is nationally set a priest can’t spin it based on your presence.

But most important for your study is the scripture cycle.

Unlike the Sunday mass which operates on a three year cycle, the Daily Mass operates on a two year one.

Year one are Old testament readings grouped to tell a specific story, usually over the course of a week.  In Year two the 1st reading switches the the new testament letters.  Each year you get the full Gospel.

The Daily mass runs about 20 minutes in a local parish with the occasional high mass on a feast day.

If you are a humanist, who wants to make an intelligent case against Christianity it would make sense to invest 30 minutes a day 5 days a week to attend the Daily Mass, see Christians in their natural habitat, listen to their prayers, hear the scripture readings in their context that shape their beliefs.  Study them as they are, get the data needed to make your case against Christianity directly from the largest single denomination in the world.

Now is the perfect time because if you jump in at the start of July you’ll get half a year of old & half a year of new testament & the Gospels in full.  Of course if you want to do the full two year cycle for better data, that makes sense too.

So take up my challenge humanists, spend a year (or two) attending daily mass at a local church, the time it will costs you is a single sitcom a day and if nothing else the scripture references will give you a perspective on what many things within history & western civilization is built on.  See us as we are if you dare.

After all it’s the scientific thing to do.

It’s not often that the Boston Globe’s news coverage is worthy of praise, but their acquisition of John Allen Jr. to cover the Vatican is producing some of the most informative and professional coverage the Globe has even seen

Can it really just be diplomatic happenstance that the date set this week for the prayer summit bringing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres together with Pope Francis at the Vatican is a day of particular moment on the Christian calendar?

The June 8 gathering, to which Francis invited the two leaders during his recent trip to the Middle East, will coincide with the Christian feast of Pentecost, when the Bible reports that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples after Jesus had ascended to Heaven, transforming them from a timid bunch cowering in an upper room into the most fearless missionaries the world has ever seen.

Perhaps in private, Francis is hoping for a similar miracle this time around.

Those paragraphs show a real understanding of not only the Catholic faith but of this pope. An understanding the secular media doesn’t have.

Moreover this piece notes that while in a secular that dismisses prayer (but somehow embraced a generic “spiritually”) as a meaningless thing. No matter what the faith The function of prayer is meaningful to the believers:

Jews and Muslims have their own sensitivities about praying with followers of other religions, while for Catholics, Pope John Paul II’s 1986 prayer summit in Assisi, Italy, the birthplace of St. Francis, opened a debate about the limits of interfaith prayer that has never really ended.

It will be fascinating to see what kind of ritual organizers invent, and whether it includes joint prayer or rather separate prayers in the same space.

That’s an insight that Globe readers should be grateful for, moreover he put the entire event into proper perspective:

At the level of realpolitik, it’s not yet clear if the pope’s brand of politics can move the ball, but perhaps that’s not the right test for a distinctly religious actor.

“I realize political credibility is important in this world,” said American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, “but it’s more important to be faithful to God. … He’s counting on the Lord, and you can’t tell the pope that’s not the right thing to do.”

McCarrick, a veteran diplomatic troubleshooter, spoke to the Globe in Jerusalem during the papal visit.

The pope, he said, “is not putting himself out on a limb, he’s putting himself up on the Cross, and that’s what he’s called to do.”

In any event, he’s certainly doing it in his own unique way.

This is only a small sample of a large piece that covers a lot more ground than the upcoming event of the 8th. (The Anchoress notes a rather significant part that deserves more of my attention at a later date) but for now let me recommend that you avail yourself of Mr. Allen’s insight and perhaps drop the Globe a line commending them on their move.

Perhaps you can show more appreciation than their commentators do.

Father Merrin: Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don’t listen to him. Remember that – do not listen.

The Exorcist 1972

Theyll [the left] always tell us who they fear

Rush Limbaugh

One of the things we’ve talked about here at DaTechguy blog concerning Pope Francis has been how the media has tended to ignore stories that don’t fit the narrative they’ve constructed of him.

So I was really surprised to see the Washington Post decide that this aspect of Francis message warranted their attention

After his little more than a year atop the Throne of St. Peter, Francis’s teachings on Satan are already regarded as the most old school of any pope since at least Paul VI, whose papacy in the 1960s and 1970s fully embraced the notion of hellish forces plotting to deliver mankind unto damnation.

Largely under the radar, theologians and Vatican insiders say, Francis has not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have, but also sought to rekindle the Devil’s image as a supernatural entity with the forces­ of evil at his beck and call.

We’ve noticed the Pope’s willingness to bluntly talk about the devil before but apparently in this Harvard Black Mass world this seems to have gotten some people hackles up

by focusing on old-school interpretations of the Devil, some progressive theologians complain, the pope is undermining his reputation as a leader who in so many other ways appears to be more in step with modern society than his predecessor.

“He is opening the door to superstition,” said Vito Mancuso, a Catholic theologian and writer.

The complaints of progressive “catholic theologians” concerning “superstition” are as amusing as the Baptist minister who has no problem with Joshua stopping the sun, Jonah in the Whale, Christ feeding 5000 or Peter healing the cripple but calls the Eucharist a “magic trick”.  If you claim to be a Catholic theologian and say “the Devil is superstition” then you’re doing it wrong.

This is a real change for the press compared to his predecessor

“Had Pope Benedict done this, the media would have clobbered him.”

Mind you this is a rather mild critique yet the media giving air to any complaints at all to the first Latin American Pope is unusual.   I find it fascinating and telling that of all the things the Pope has done it is this that begins the attack upon him.


I suspect it’s because belief in the existence of the Devil runs counter to  the two pillars of the secular left: Moral relativism & consequence free action.  How can one promote hedonism and moral relativism without worry if there are not only absolute standards of good and evil but eternal consequences for the wrong choice?

Some ideas are just too dangerous to let stand and for the media this is the signal to turn.

They might have let a lot of things go but once you start acknowledging the Devil’s existence, that’s a bridge too far.

Update: It took a full week after the fact for Maureen Down to cry foul over the Vatican insisting Catholic nuns believe in Christ

I submit & suggest that if the Pope isn’t hitting the devil this pushback doesn’t come.

Update: Linked by the Anchoress Thanks, meanwhile Captain Ed Morrissey noting the Harvard black Mass BS from Harvard’s President explains why the Pope is talking so much about the devil

Perhaps it’s because it’s becoming more necessary.


Olimometer 2.52

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Lately Stacy McCain has been doing a large series on sexual criminals.  Yesterday he focused on Teachers

If you pay attention to the news, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that America’s public schools are staffed by sex-crazed perverts

It’s not his first dive into these waters but this time Glenn Reynolds linked with the line:

Obviously, we need to end mandatory celibacy and let high school teachers marry.

Now this is a story we’ve been covering for a while, but as we’ve also had a real bump in readership in 2013 & 2014 so for new readers at DaTechGuy Blog let me acquaint you with some stories we covered and & posts we did that you might have missed on this subject over the years:

The Guardian April 29th 2010

Sexual abuse scandal rocks Boy Scouts of America after $18.5m payout


Organisation accused of cover-up as it seeks to keep thousands of ‘perversion files’ secret

Oddly this subject wasn’t raised when they changed their rules

The Huffington Post 06/09/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:05 PM ET

U.S. Swimming Sex Scandal: Abuse, Molestation, Secret Tapings & More

U.S. swim coaches have molested, groped and secretly taped numerous teenage swimmers over the past decade, according to ABC News. The network counts “36 coaches banned for life for sexual misconduct over the last 10 years” by the U.S. governing body for swimming.

A ten year coverup odd there hasn’t been investigations going back to the 50’s

The Gothamist June 6th 2012:

“Secret History Of Sexual Predators” At Horace Mann

Today, the NY Times published its big weekend magazine feature online, and it’s a sprawling look at decades of alleged sexual abuse at one of New York City’s top private schools. Former student Amos Kimel, who graduated in 1982, begins by describing about the lush campus was a world away from his I.S. 144 in the Bronx, “Shortly after my arrival, a new friend walked me around the school, pointing out teachers to avoid. ‘What do you mean? Like, they’re hard graders?’ ‘No. Perverts. Stay away from them. Trust me.'”

My take at the time:

I can’t help but wonder however, how many of the elite left who read the Times story and beating their breasts over the revelation will be crying for state investigations, changes in state law to investigate both Mann & other schools?

I wonder how many future NYT stories will be written about them and how many on the left will opine about the culture at Horace Mann and how many national stories will be written on the subject?

I don’t remember seeing any, nor about the LA scandals from February 7th 2012

Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy told parents Monday evening that the district is replacing the entire staff of Miramonte Elementary School in the wake of the arrests last week of two teachers on lewd conduct charges.

The unprecedented move is intended to build confidence among the many families who have lost faith in their neighborhood elementary school. More than a quarter of students did not show up for classes Monday.

given that fact there was little reaction that day:

Now you would think this would produce headlines and coverage all over the place. A sex scandal involving minors so bad that the entire staff of a school is replaced to restore confidence.

Yet I don’t see any TV coverage, I don’t see any Maureen Dowd columns, I don’t see anyone calling for a comprehensive examination of public schools and waving of statue of limitations for public school teachers. Until and unless the word “Priest” is involved for the story, as far as the MSM is concerned there IS no story.

No story there or on Feb 12, 2012 either

Even after pleading “no contest” and guilty, the two administrators still enjoy full employment with LAUSA today, in fact, LAUSD has since given each administrator a promotion…and not a single journalist has taken note
Double Standard Abuse Scandals and the Attack on the Catholic Church; David F. Pierre, Jr. P 29

Even when the subject was an actor like Cory Feldman talking Hollywood on Aug 10, 2011

“I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia. That’s the biggest problem for children in this industry. … It’s the big secret,” Feldman said.

The “casting couch,” which is the old Hollywood reference to actors being expected to offer sex for roles, applied to children, Feldman said. “Oh, yeah. Not in the same way. It’s all done under the radar,” he said.

“I was surrounded by [pedophiles] when I was 14 years old. … Didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until I was old enough to realize what they were and what they wanted … till I went, Oh, my God. They were everywhere,” Feldman, 40, said.

it went nowhere And on Dec 6th 2011 there is was more from Hollywood

Martin Weiss, a 47-year-old Hollywood manager who represented child actors, was charged in Los Angeles on Dec. 1 with sexually abusing a former client. His accuser, who was under 12 years old during the time of the alleged abuse, reported to authorities that Weiss told him “what they were doing was common practice in the entertainment industry.” Weiss has pleaded not guilty.

On Nov. 21, Fernando Rivas, 59, an award-winning composer for “Sesame Street,” was arraigned on charges of coercing a child “to engage in sexually explicit conduct” in South Carolina. The Juilliard-trained composer was also charged with production and distribution of child pornography.

Sesame Street?  Did someone say Sesame Street:

Kevin Clash, the longtime voice and puppeteer behind Sesame Street’s Elmo character, has resigned in the aftermath of allegations that he had underage sexual relationships.

Mr. Clash was first accused last week of sexual improprieties by a 24-year-old man who later recanted. That man has remained anonymous.

On Tuesday, the gossip Web site TMZ reported that a second accuser, Cecil Singleton, has now filed a lawsuit in New York alleging that he had an underage sexual relationship with Mr. Clash almost a decade ago. The report could not immediately be verified.

That was Nov 20th 2012 And the reaction of the left in comments around the web…

Apparently unless the person is a Catholic Priest such claims are purely motivated by money or fame and something has to be done about such accusers.

I submit and suggest that if Kevin Clash was a clergyman these same folks would be out for blood and decrying the Church as an institution.

Exit Question: Clash has been with Sesame Street for a long time , The media has assumed and critics have said the Vatican off in Rome knew about the (legitimate) scandal of priests and swept it under the rug.

Assuming the truth of these accusations I wonder how many of those people who have worked directly with clash for decades as opposed to overseeing him from half a world away knew of his age “preferences” for partners and looked the other way? More importantly will anybody ask those questions as these co-workers, managers and fellow actors are not wearing Roman Collars?

Even though as we reported on April 11th 2010 the stats say otherwise

Insurance companies that cover all denominations, such as Guide One Center for Risk Management, which has more than 40,000 church clients, does not charge Catholic churches higher premiums. “We don’t see vast difference in the incidence rate between one denomination and another,” says Sarah Buckley, assistant vice president of corporate communications. “It’s pretty even across the denominations.” It’s been that way for decades.

The fact that this article appears in Newsweek would shock me until you see it is a web exclusive.

Of course after Tina Brown took over everything at Newsweek became a web exclusive.

Now in fairness there were some legislative attempts in NY to focus on more than just the Catholic Church but we saw how well that went over on  May 3rd, 2010

Lo and behold now that the target is no longer just the church some interesting arguments have suddenly come to the fore:

The excuses are all now tumbling out. The New York City Mayor is concerned about the potential impact for taxpayers. Welcome to the real world, Mayor. Catholics in the pews have seen billions of dollars, donated by them over decades, paid out in compensation to victims of clerical abuse and episcopal failure. It is tough but we have to recognise responsibility.

The State Association of Counties has issued a memo of opposition citing the problem of “significantly aged and clouded” evidence. Well, as we have learnt in the Church, extending the statute of limitations is necessary because the nature of the crime means that it may take a long time before a person is ready to confront the abuse that they have suffered in the past.

The New York State School Boards Association has said that the revelation of past misdeeds would provide no extra protection for children. They should talk to Safeguarding Officials and good lay Catholics who know that the revelation of past crimes is a very strong motivation to provide robust safeguarding procedures.

The most telling line came at the end of my post:

I am simply dying to see how Joe and Mika choose to cover this. I wonder how they will approach it? I’m scheduling this post for Monday morning before the show, so we can see if they touch the New York Law.

They never did, the law never passed.

Meanwhile while all the stories above went unreported the story of the Church cracking down in seminaries and changing rules to stop the problem before it starts.(the Vatican web site is loaded and the link to it has been prominent on the front page for years)  has also been ignored except to attack it as antigay

Now I’m not so naive to think that Glenn’s Instalance of Stacy piece will get the conversation started nationally but I have a suggestion.

Bookmark this link and the next time you hear someone make a snide remark about the church scandal & ending celibacy among Catholic priests cite a few of these examples then go to Stacy’s site and click on the crime link for more.

THEN ask when the Public Schools, Private Schools, Hollywood, the Boy Scouts the US swim team and Sesame Street will end celibacy & allow employees to marry.

Update:  Stacy followed up with a second post with a new gaggle of women teachers that is an excellent answer to those who saw the church crackdown as “anti-gay”

This sarcastic reference to the Catholic priest scandal — for such were the arguments of “reformers” in that context — also points out the falsehood of one common reaction to teacher sex crimes.

Ever since the Debra LaFave case, some people have marveled at instances of female teachers arrested for molesting teenage boys: “But she’s good-looking — why can’t she get a man?”

The assumption is that sexual desperation is the motive for these crimes, when in fact, it’s a matter of sexual preference:  Sure, they can get men, but they don’t want men — they want boys.

Abnormal? Certainly. Uncommon? Not exactly.

Cue the :  If the Church only had women priests or married priests or transgendered priests etc etc etc choir.


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday, and we have so far moved the ball only $22 dollars toward a full paycheck.

While part of that is a new subscriber which moves us closer to our goals in a permanent way one new subscriber  still doesn’t do the trick to  permanently  secure the mortgage and pay DaMagnificent Seven plus our new villager.

But lets focus on the positive with 13 tip jar hits of $25 we will get our first full paycheck of 2014.

Olimometer 2.52

Once we manage that then we’ll worry about catching up on the ground we’re behind.

That new subscriber means we’re now only 57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week and the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis.  It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts

What do you say?

We are here We Are Here WE ARE HERE!

Horton Hears a Who 1970

I caught myself grinning  when I saw this story from the LA Times at Memeorandum:

Evangelical Lutheran Church elects first openly gay bishop

A North Hollywood theology professor ordained just two years ago after the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America dropped its ban on same-sex ministers was elected Friday as the church’s first openly gay bishop.

The Rev. R. Guy Erwin won a six-year term to the Southwest California Synod, which encompasses the greater Los Angeles area, according to church officials.

You might wonder why such a pedestrian story as yet another protestant denomination deciding to re-write scripture and acting accordingly would elicit this reaction from me.

It’s quite simple.

I did a google search for Evangelical Lutheran Church in Google News. Here is what came upevangelical lutheran church - Google news Search

As you can see particularly if you check out the full sized page other than this story, the big news is a story out of OPB blog requesting disinvestment out of fossil fuels the only stuff people are writing about concerning this denomination seem to be the anniversaries of individual churches.

Now lets do that same search in Google News with the words “Catholic Church”

catholic church - Google Search

Not only do we have a more stories by a factor of 100 but the stories making the front page are from national and internationally recognized media sources and don’t go farther back than May 28. And that’s without a single reference to Pope Francis in fact a search for “Pope Francis” is even more impressive.

That’s why I don’t worry or shake my head at the story of the latest actions of the Evangelical Lutheran church. They’ll get a headline today, liberal blogs and media sites will celebrate their “inclusiveness” all will be well…

…and then they will be ignored as they join the increasingly long list of denominations who’s relevance to any conversation of Christianity or morality is so inconsequential that the majority of people in the country let alone the world will forget they even exist.

Personally I think it’s a bad trade but that’s me.

Robert the Bruce: Does anyone know his politics?

Craig: No. But his weight with the commoners could unbalance everything. The Balliols will kiss his ass, so we must.

Braveheart 1995

I fell asleep on the couch while the Dominicans defeated the Dutch last night, and when I woke up at 4:30 turned to MSNBC and to my surprise saw the Papal installation mass playing live.

CNN and FOX is also carrying the mass live as is every Spanish channel and of course EWTN.

Now of course the Papal installation is news but that every news network is carrying it live but even with the Papal trappings the Mass is the Mass is the Mass which is the basic form of Catholic worship and any Catholic who attends Mass recognizes would recognize it instantly.

Opening prayers, First reading,Psalm, Second Reading (not included daily low mass) and then Gospel, After a Homily by the celebrant, (presumably the Pope this time) the Eucharistic Prayers, Holy Communion and the end of the Mass. The Mass as it is and has been as opposed to the caricature that is ofttimes painted

With the church increasingly being the rock that is standing against he secularism it is ironic that the MSM which hates the church as it is (let’s not pretend otherwise) finds itself compelled to cover the Mass and his sermon on the feast of St. Joseph.

It is not the first time, let’s not forget the Death of Mother Theresa where the networks after fawning over Diana Princess of Wales found itself compelled to carry her funeral mass live.

When he talks about Joseph “receptive to God’s plan and not his own” it is a direct challenge to those who worship the world. That the day after Hillery Clinton changes with the wind on “gay marriage” and Memeorandum trumpets the latest support for it in the polls its chief opponent in the entire world takes the world stage talking about God’s plan which directly contradicts all the media loves.

On CNN the irony became more pronounced as Chris Cuomo brother of the Governor of NY who has been pushing Abortion even beyond the pale in the hopes of the nomination of the Democrat party in 2016 bluntly said there was nothing unorthodox in his message. CNN as soon as the Homily was done pivoted toward the Sex scandal but they couldn’t sustain the conversation in that direction as the Pope’s Homily pushed them in into a different direction.

This Pope’s humility and popularity is going to be a thorn in the media’s side and his weight with the common people will force the media to continue to highlight his every move.

Do not let this fool you.  The media will follow him, will report on him and quote him whenever it serves to advance their agenda while, as Judas did “look for an opportunity to hand him over”  Mark 14:11b


Olimometer 2.52

CPAC is over, traveling is over for now and the normalcy of writing and local coverage and of course the need to generate that weekly paycheck and perhaps a few dollars more to cover CPAC bills now coming in.

It’s that first few dollars that can be the hardest and while the thermometer has only moved $10 it HAS moved and that’s what counts fora start.

So if you want to be one of the fifteen who can spare that $20 to move this meter hopefully to the top, consider hitting DaTipJar to assure this coverage can continue.

Just woke up and turned on the TV but couldn’t find the controller so only saw the pictures of the pope and talk of an election, it wasn’t until about 4 minutes later that I found out that Benedict XVI will resign effective Feb 28th.
I was rather surprised it was a contrast to Pope John Paul II who stayed on as an example of perseverance but of course it is up to the pope who decide if he is physically capable of ding the job.

Apparently he has been told he can’t take trips and in the modern Era that has become an intrinsic part of the job. In an internet age I’m not so sure.

It also hits me as Pope emeritus he can have a much more intimate connection to the faithful via twitter. He can continue to write and directly communicate to the faithful using social media. I think this would be an excellent use of his time.

It also occurs to me that as a living pope rather than a dead one it will be interesting to see what effect his presence will be on who is elected to replace him.

Expect MANY updates

Update: I predict this tweet will prove absolutely correct:

But I reiterate his primary ministry should now be on twitter Here is the full statement from the Vatican Site:

Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is. Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer. From the Vatican, 10 February 2013 BENEDICTUS PP XVI

Update 2: That didn’t take long:


Almost 1000 retweets too, on the bright side Frankie Boyle believes in Hell, that means he might just figure it out during his lifetime. I’m with Elizabeth Scalia, all this will do is cause the Holy Father to pray for him, and as he’ll be in retirement he will have much more time for prayer.

Update 3: Damien Thompson:

there has always been a suspicion that Joseph Ratzinger would step down from office if he became incapacitated: he has a radical and stubborn streak in him that means he would take advantage of the facility to resign the throne of Peter if he felt it necessary for the good of the Church.

But still: Catholics will be deeply shocked and, in most cases, dismayed by this decision, which I see above all as an act of self-sacrifice by a man not prepared to see the Church suffer as a result of his increasing frailty.

He also makes a very important point that may have driven this decision:

my own feeling is that he has had to shoulder the burden of scandals that should have broken many years before he became pope, and also that his personal culpability as the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog during that period should not be exaggerated. John Paul II rather than Benedict XVI can be accused of turning a blind eye to certain abominations, not least to the Mexican child abuser the late Fr Marcel Maciel, whom Benedict sent into disgraced exile as soon as he became Pope. One reason Maciel was not dealt with in time was that John Paul II was too ill and, let us be honest, mentally enfeebled to confront Maciel’s crimes. Ratzinger has been determined from the beginning not to allow the same situation to overtake him.

ABC is running a loop of pope news from his election to his resignation. Cool idea.

Update 4: Ed Morrissey

Again, just to give some historical perspective, the last time this happened, Gutenberg hadn’t yet invented the printing press. What does it mean for the Catholic Church today, with 1.2 billion faithful and the state of the Vatican in the balance? Administratively, not much. The Vatican and the Church operate without a Pope when one dies, and the same mechanisms will carry out the day-to-day functions of both the Church and the state until a successor is chosen by the College of Cardinals. If anything, that will proceed in a more orderly fashion, with the head start provided by Benedict XVI’s notice.

Spiritually, of course, it’s another matter entirely. Benedict XVI is one of the Church’s greatest living theologians, and has been a highly-respected leader of faith in his pontificate. It’s impossible not to compare him to his predecessor Blessed John Paul, whose pontificate lasted for decades and who had a tremendous impact on the world and governed the Church through a renewal of faith, but that comparison will probably be a little unfair to Benedict XVI. The manner of his leaving, though, begs for that kind of comparison. Blessed John Paul took the traditional route of holding the office to his death despite suffering from Parkinson’s, a disease that ravaged his body but left his mind clear. Benedict XVI makes explicit mention of concerns over the state of his “mind and body” and a deterioration in one or both that has created an “incapacity,” which leaves the impression that one of the most brilliant minds in the Church may be dimming, and that Benedict XVI has decided to forego the difficulties this would cause the Church and allow another to take his place. That itself is a significant sacrifice, and perhaps an important act of humility.

On Morning Joe it seems all about race and politics and little about the faith. Why am I not surprised?

Update 5: Twitchy remains busy finding both respectful prayer and hate and the Guardian breaks some news:

Pope Benedict’s resignation has been planned for some time – Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, knew about it before Christmas – but it is still a stunning shock to the outside world. No pope has willingly resigned since Pope Celestine V in 1294.

Meanwhile a piece of twitter snark that speaks volumes:

That’s gonna leave a mark.

Update 6: the Deacon’s bench has a roundup including a brief history of popes who have resigned.

In Light of the World, Pope Benedict responded unambiguously to a question about whether a pope could resign: “Yes. If a Pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.”

Bloomberg tells where he is heading:

Pope Benedict will have no role in choosing his successor, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said at a press conference in Rome. The pope will initially retire to his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo before transferring to live in a convent, Lombardi said.

CBS quotes the pope’s brother on his health:

Talking from his home in Regensburg to the news agency dpa, Georg Ratzinger said his brother was having increasing difficulty walking and that his resignation was part of a “natural process.” “His age is weighing on him,” the 89-year-old said of his 85-year-old brother. “At this age my brother wants more rest.”

Washington Post pushes an out of Europe pope:

At a time when the church is declining in its former stronghold of Europe, but gaining strength its in Africa, Asia and Latin America, pressure is growing on the college of cardinals – the global princes of the church – to break with tradition by electing a non-European pope.

CNN notes the evolution of this pope came during the 60’s:

As a young priest, Ratzinger was on the progressive side of theological debates, but began to shift right after the student revolutions of 1968, CNN Vatican analyst John Allen Jr. said.

Update 7: Film Ladd Tweets:


Given what is happening in the US and the persecution of the Church both in the flesh and in the media this sounds less crazy than it might have a week ago.

While the NYT plays finds an interesting piece to remember:

In 2006, less than two years into his papacy, Benedict stirred ire across the Muslim world, referring in a long, scholarly address to a conversation on the truths of Christianity and Islam that took place between a 14th-century Byzantine Christian emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, and a Persian scholar.

“The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,” the pope said. “He said, I quote, ‘Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’”

While making clear that he was quoting someone else, Benedict did not say whether he agreed or not. He also briefly discussed the Islamic concept of jihad, which he defined as “holy war,” and said that violence in the name of religion is contrary to God’s nature and to reason.

Update 8
: Whispers in the Loggia comments:

The lone item of canon law to even mention a pontiff’s resignation is Canon 332, paragraph 2, which states that “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.”

Along the same lines, there is no protocol whatsoever for the titles or status of a retired Pope.

and he notes a clue that everyone missed this weekend

On Friday, Benedict raised some eyebrows by having a rare private audience with the Dean of the College of Cardinals, the 85 year-old Italian Angelo Sodano, the figure who would be responsible for the convoking of a papal election. The departing pontiff ostensibly communicated his plan to the Cardinal-Dean at that point.

Update 9: Think Progress lists “progressive” steps by the outgoing Pope:

– A fair and equitable economy. “[T]he economy cannot be measured only by maximization of profit but rather according to the common good,” he said in 2011 during a visit to Spain. In a 2009 treatise, the pontiff called for protections for “labour unions — which have always been encouraged and supported by the Church,” the elimination of world hunger through “wealth redistribution,” the protection of the “natural environment” — “God’s gift to everyone” — from unchecked economic expansion, and a strengthened “family of nations,” like the U.N. with “real teeth.”

Update 10:
Linked by Lonely Conservative & Stacy McCain

Every MSM news outlet seems to be talking about a possible Latin American or African Pope, I think the MSM is automatically assuming such a pope would be “progressive” the reality is such a pope is likely to be more conservative.

Update 11: Larry O’Connor raises a concern

At a time when the culture of death champions the despicable ideas of euthanasia and abortion, it was inspirational to see the Pope continuing his critically important work through his affliction. Pope Benedict said in his statement (emphasis mine), “Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” Frankly, I hope that this resignation is motivated by the Holy Father’s concern over his mental capacity versus his physical capacity otherwise he risks undermining the final, powerful statement about the dignity of life demonstrated by his remarkable predecesor.

It’s a fair point, but one of the most important aspects of the church is its dichotomy. The kingship of Christ and the humility of Christ. Loving the sinner and hating the sin. The last being first and the first last. Helping the poor while encouraging work and effort, faith vs works.

Benedict by his resignation is not making any less of the heroic example of his predecessor, it instead completes the lesson by stressing the delicate balance the Christian has to walk, as Christ put it himself:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17

This is just a different lesson, no less important.

Update 12: Kathryn Jean Lopez answers Larry O’Connor without meaning to.

Update 13:Lots of jokes going around twitter, some are taking offense, I don’t after all God proved he had a sense of humor by creating man, but it takes real skill to make a joke about this subject without being disrespectful. Will be interesting to see how the late night comics do it.

Speculation continues about who will replace Benedict XVI. In my mind other than the obvious qualification of faith and love of Christ the most important qualification for the position of Pope is not wanting the job but being willing to say “Here I am Lord” if called.

And here’s a thought, will he be still referred to as Pope Benedict XVI or Joseph Ratzinger (I’m betting the former. What is the protocol?

Update 14: Fr. Robert Sirico at the corner on handicapping the “race”

Anyone who tells you there is a “front-runner” simply does not know what he is talking about. The ripening period for “papabili” to emerge has just begun, though were I forced to identify one or two possibilities, I would look at the Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet (head of the Congregation of Bishops), or Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan (the Italians very much want the papacy back), or even Cardinal George Pell from Australia. If we are hoping for an American, of course, the archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan would be great.

Remember one does not have to be a Cardinal to be a pope. Meanwhile Brad Dayspring manages to thread the needle between funny and respectful:


Meanwhile Senator John Barassao (R-WY) on MSNBC calls it a precedent setting decision. Interesting conjecture.

Update 15: And on the 15th update we hear from the Anchoress:

John Paul II’s deterioration was hard to watch, but one of the lessons it taught us was that age and illness does not diminish the worth of a person; that was an important, nay, urgent message that had to be delivered to this increasingly utilitarian age.

Perhaps Benedict’s retirement is meant to remind this exceedingly busy world — the non-stop, twenty-four-hour-live and very self-important world — that we are none of us indispensable; that there comes a time to step back, throw oneself into the arms of the Lord and trust that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

and Fr Dwight Longenecker:

When Benedict XVI created the Anglican Ordinariate he made history. Never before had a new structure been established to allow Protestants to have their own “church within the Church”. Benedict used the new media as no other Pope had done, churned out brilliant Biblical studies making clear that he was writing as a theologian and not the successor of Peter. Building on the legacy of Bl. John Paul, he embraced the reforms of the Second Vatican Council at the same time showing us how tradition can continue without turning back the clock. All of these, in one way or another, are great surprises.

Now he surprises us again.

Meanwhile the left as always, contemplates a church made it its own image.

Update 16: Two interesting Muslim perspectives at Pathos

I can’t get over the idea that this very, very rare thing came from a place of reflection – a reflection, as Elizabeth writes, that none of us are indispensable. And as immensely difficult as it must be, sometimes we must acknowledge that we must step back and trust that all will be well, all will move forward and God will provide.

and facebook from Sheikh Yasir Qadhi

one must admit that it does take courage for a man to publicly admit that he is not qualified for a job (especially his!). Jokes about his resignation are going viral, but if he resigned because he felt too old to do justice to his position, then I for one have respect for that honesty.

and I really liked the comment from one Abu Adman in comments:

That he resigned is probably clear evidence that he IS the right man for the job.

Update 17: National Catholic Reporter:

Today, the pope indicated that the Petrine ministry is a ministry, a very specific ministry to be sure, but more of a job than a vow.

The second immediate take-away is that Pope Benedict needs to take every step very carefully in the next few days and weeks. Each step will be a precedent.

I agree with the 2nd but not the first but the whole article seems hint at a desire for a pope acceptable to MSNBC.

Update 18: Father Z is all over this but the most interesting post is this one:

I have written again and again that the SSPX was going to wake up one day and experience the bad end of the stick. That day is coming, probably with the election of the next Pope which is now a lot closer than I thought it would be.

The membership of the SSPX should converge on Rome this week. They should, all together, crawl on hands and knees across St. Peter’s Square and stay there until the Pope will admit them. They should beg the Pope to let them kiss his shoe, accept their promises of obedience, and the regularize them before he resigns.

A lot of consequences to this act that has not occurred to people yet.

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It’s a new week and my goal each week is a $300 dollar paycheck. The question if I get one or not? That’s up to you.