This is my first day home after spending nearly a week in Irondale Alabama staying with the Sister servants at Casa Maria

These young nuns were incredible, faithful, prayerful and completely loyal to the magisterium of the Church.

In other words completely unlike Sr. Jeannine Gramick:

Sr. Jeannine Gramick has signed a letter to Pres. Obama asking that abortion be expanded throughout the world.

What letter would that be pray tell?

Although we come from different religious traditions, we are united in our belief that women and girls who face sexual violence and rape deserve meaningful access to the full range of reproductive healthcare options, including safe abortion,” reads the letter, coordinated by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the Centre for Health and Gender Equity.

Having just finished Donna Steichen’s 1992 work Ungodly Rage the Hidden face of Catholic Feminism I am acquainted with the sister in question and so is the Vatican as indicated by this decree concerning her writings and teaching on homosexuality:

The ambiguities and errors of the approach of Father Nugent and Sister Gramick have caused confusion among the Catholic people and have harmed the community of the Church. For these reasons, Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Father Robert Nugent, SDS, are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons and are ineligible, for an undetermined period, for any office in their respective religious institutes.

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience of May 14, 1999, granted to the undersigned Secretary, approved the present Notification, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered its publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, May 31, 1999.

+ Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect 

It’s not every person whose teachings have been condemned by two Popes, yet her local superiors have been so far silent.  Canon Lawyer Ed Peters via Fr. Z notes that result

Of course, if Gramick is not called to account for her pro-abortion, etc., writings, what matters how canonically guilty she might be for them? Who needs a good defense when confronted by no offense?

She has defied the Vatican which has made a certain lapsed Catholic at the NYT’s heart go pitter patter in the past and I’m sure the rest of the media will back her up, after all, in their eyes not even Pope Francis can trump Maureen Dowd & an elderly (71 or 72) nun who claims to know morality better than a Saint.

As every Cardinal since 1979 has been appointed by that same St. John Paul II & his successors the closest thing Sr. Gramick & her rapidly aging allies in the LCWR (avg age 74) will get to influencing the church are such letters.

I suspect the media will celebrate her till the day she dies and those same pseudo Catholics who are making pseudo women priests declare a pesudo saint.

After that she’s on her own.

As there is infinite pleasure in heaven over repentance and with God all things are possible and I can’t think of a better suggestion than to ask the Sister Servants down in Alabama to add her to their prayers, maybe they can see the intercession of Saint Pope John Paul II to get her to go on retreat.

You’d be surprised what being surrounded by a group of devout prayerful women can do for a soul.


Olimometer 2.52

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The media is shocked SHOCKED that the Catholic Church under Pope Francis still expects American Nuns to act, well, Catholic:

“The Holy See believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the church,” Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told four members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

This has been a problem for some time, over a decade and if American Catholic nuns didn’t understand it was a problem when they were put under a Bishop in 2012 and that decision was confirmed by Pope Francis last year Cardinal Mueller is not leaving any room for doubt where this stands:

Mueller said the LCWR — which represents about 80 percent of the more than 50,000 Catholic nuns in the U.S. — is dependent on the Vatican for its bona fides as a church body. He indicated that the group’s status, and the Catholic faith of the sisters, was at risk if they did not heed Rome’s directives.

“Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand in hand,” Mueller said, “and at this phase … we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration.”

Leftist anger aside (just read those titles)  the would go the way of NCAN as Fr Z noted in 2012

Consider if you will the group NCAN, an even more radical splinter group of the LCWR, which has fulfilled Sr. Joan’s dream of being without canonical structure.  Their site is HERE, though it has not been updated since 2009 when they gave their coveted Margaret Ellen Traxler Award to Sr. Louise Lears, SC, whom then-Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis placed under interdict for her support of the ordination of women and her attending a fake “ordination”. These days the NCAN types are reduced to holding chat sessions in gated communities for three cats and a tumbleweed rather than in hotels for hundreds of sisters. For example, HERE is the flyer for a May 2012 meeting with the pro-choice Sr. Donna Quinn.  (See my post NUNS GONE WILD!)

That’s why while the media will hem & haw and object it will go no farther.  The media and the nuns know that they aren’t in a position to take on Francis and win, anyways the LCWR knows the moment they leave the church and lose their structure,  their influence, newsworthiness and most importantly their ability to successfully fundraise from faithful is done.


Update:  Father Z has  the statement in full, the speaker stuff is bad but this is worse:

Again, I apologize if this seems blunt, but what I must say is too important to dress up in flowery language. The fundamental theses of Conscious Evolution are opposed to Christian Revelation and, when taken unreflectively, lead almost necessarily to fundamental errors regarding the omnipotence of God, the Incarnation of Christ, the reality of Original Sin, the necessity of salvation and the definitive nature of the salvific action of Christ in the Paschal Mystery.

My concern is whether such an intense focus on new ideas such as Conscious Evolution has robbed religious of the ability truly to sentire cum Ecclesia. To phrase it as a question, do the many religious listening to addresses on this topic or reading expositions of it even hear the divergences from the Christian faith present?

Cripes this isn’t post Catholic it’s post Christian!



I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:19

This story in the Telegraph sourced from an Italian and Argentine sources & a Facebook pages is getting a lot of play.

Pope Francis reportedly told a woman “living in sin” with a divorced man that she is free to take Holy Communion, in what appears to be a significant departure from Catholic teaching.
Jacqui Lisbona, who is from the Pope’s homeland of Argentina, wrote to the Jesuit pontiff to tell him that she had been refused Communion by her local priest, who objected to the fact that she was married to a previously divorced man.

Damian Thompson put it well:

CNN & Jake Tapper is jumping on it as will the left in short order I presume, but in all the excitement it’s worthwhile to take a look at the opening line from the story:

In apparent break from Catholic teaching, Pope is said to have phoned remarried Argentine Jacqui Lisbona to say ‘nothing wrong’ in her taking Holy Communion

The key word of course in this story are the words “is said“. Jake Tapper used the words “Reportedly Said” on CNN, Drudge put the story on his site with the word “Claim” & Fr. Z notes a possible holes in both the story & the understanding of what the Pope may have said which directly contradicts a report from last December.

The one thing we do know is this:  What we actual know isn’t clear.

“Has Pope Francis just thrown a hand grenade into traditional teaching on divorcees and Communion?” Thompson tweeted. “The Vatican MUST clarify this or the Catholic world will divide into celebration and panic.”
The problem is that the Vatican isn’t clarifying, hence my use of “weasel words” like “apparently” and “reportedly.” And hence the celebration and panic around the Internet.

Unfortunately this lack of clarity will not stop people from spinning this to their advantage. So here is what is necessary for the Vatican to confirm or deny ASAP:

a: Did the Pope call the woman in question?  CNN Reports they have.

b:  Was the pope aware of the woman’s marital status?  (it matters)

c: If the Pope was aware of her marital status , did he tell this woman she is allowed to receive communion?

If this is so this is a huge change bigger than you might think, because this is not a change in terms of the rules of marriage & divorce as Scripture & Christ is rather direct on the subject:

The Pharisees approached and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?

They replied, “Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.” But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.

In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.

Mark 10:2-12

Since the Pope can not change the words of Christ he would instead be changing Canon law

Can.  915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Can.  916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.

and the Catechism

1385  To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”  Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.

and guidelines dating back as far as 70 AD and the Didache.

Put simply if the Pope can’t change what is mortal sin or not, he might be able to decide unconfessed and more importantly unrepented Mortal Sin is no longer an impediment to the receiving of communion.

If he did so, this would be a heaven shaking change to not only Catholic doctrine, but to this Pontiff’s entire push of people toward the sacrament of confession.

Or this could prefigure a set of guidelines toward dealing with marital sins differently than others in terms of the Eucharist.  This would still be huge but not as earth shattering and changing the rules concerning mortal sin as a whole.

Now I’ve said more than once that if we take media reports concerning the Pope at face value we are fools, additionally as any person who ever saw the Uncle Gus show will tell you a story repeated changes so we don’t know if it is being reported wrong after repeated tellings, or if it was simply misunderstood.  We neither can discount the possibility that either the husband is lying about what the Pope, or Francis looked at this woman’s personal appeal as Jesus did the Canaanite woman (Matt 15:21-28) or with the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42), is this just another question of media Pope-a-dope?

We don’t know the answer to any of this, it’s also possible that the spokespeople at the Vatican don’t know the answer to this either, my strong suggestion is they find out ASAP and bluntly and clearly say what has happened.

Every single day this is not resolved the result will be confusion and harm to the church and the body of Christ.

As to everyone else I would strongly advise anyone, particularly a priest from acting as if doctrine has been changed until we have something firm.

Olimometer 2.52

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Gregory:  Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?

Sherlock Holmes:To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

Gregory:The dog did nothing in the night-time.

Sherlock Holmes:That was the curious incident

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes Sliverblaze

 Lt Kaffee:  I think he wants to say it. I think he’s pissed off that he’s gotta hide from this. I think he wants to say that he made a command decision and that’s the end of it (In Jessup’s voice ) He eats breakfast 300 yards away from 4000 Cubans that are trained to kill him. (end voice) And nobody’s going to tell him how to run his unit least of all the Harvard mouth in his faggoty white uniform

A Few Good Men 1992

Jamie Stiehm’s US News Piece has drawn all kinds of reactions on the internet.

Ed Morrissey:

so ludicrously entertaining that it rises to must-read level.

The Deacons Bench

Stiehm should be ashamed.  So should U.S. News & World Report.

Egregious Twaddle:

As for U.S. News & World Report’s offering its online podium to Stiehm’s bad Feminist Studies 101 paper (buzzword bingo: war on women! public discourse! the narrowness of Vatican hegemony! reproductive rights!), it’s a disappointing move


Old and busted: Sotomayor is a wise Latina woman!
New and hot: Sotomayor is a papist trojan horse!

Fr. Z:

They posted a piece which is amazing in the sheer viciousness of its anti-Catholic bigotry.

The Catholic League:

This is a throwback to the most anti-Catholic vitriol of the 19th century. Creators Syndicate should drop Stiehm immediately. More on this later.

Yid with Lid:

Although I am not a Catholic (surprised?) it was not that difficult for this Jew to determine that the rant by Jamie Stiehm in today’s US News, was both anti-Catholic and to be quite honest, kind of ridiculous.

Michael Sean Winters:

Ms. Stiehm should start an anti-popery riot. She should burn Pope Francis in effigy. Go all out on Guy Fawkes Day. But, her editors should not publish her paranoid, delusional, and venomous screed.

Michael Potemra

Golly, did you know the Supreme Court was getting ready to strike down Roe v. Wade? Me either.

Mark Shea:

over at the US News and World Report offices of the Ministry of Truth, some hack writes a piece of 19th century Know Nothing propaganda whose anti-Catholic bigotry is so obvious and transparent this person should consider getting a job with the KKK’s public relations office.

And the Anchoress …

this is hysterical rhetoric more suited a NARAL fundraising screed than US News.

…whose piece should be read in full

While all of the various commentaries are interesting and true they all seem to be missing the single most amazing and revealing thing about Ms Stiehm’s Catholic bashing rant  The Omission.

It’s an omission so astounding, so striking, so critical that I’m terribly shocked that it wasn’t the focus on most if not all of the critiques from these distinguished writers.

In all Jamie Stiehm anger at the Church of Rome, its members, its authority,  its supposed lack of  justice for women and meddlesome archbishops there is one who escapes any critique.  665 words in an article bashing the Catholic church,  665 words but nowhere among those words is the name:


That is the real driver of this piece.

Most if not all of the writers critiques of it express some shock at the vehemence,  the near 19th century quality of this anti-papist screed.  That should not be a surprise.  Given the attitudes of the press, the media coverage of the church for nearly 20 years and the corresponding shared opinions in public academia, particularly at the highest levels  this attitude toward the Catholic church by a member of the MSM is pedantic.

Mr. Potemra opinion not withstanding there is a great hatred of the church among the press elites.  The church that stands firm as more liberal protestant denominations bend to the media’s will.  The church that dares give up its services in Massachusetts rather than embrace the new morality.  The church that is now standing in front of Barack Obama saying:  Stop!

The press given a chance would not let a day pass without an attack on the Catholic Church.

But with Francis’ election as pope suddenly the left doesn’t dare attack.  You have the very first Latin American Pope, beloved by all of the groups they   need.  Speaking mercy, showing mercy, they don’t dare say boo, cripes they even covered his initiation mass.

Mind you while they may not give the full story to the public  they know what Francis actually says, actually thinks and actually is.  They understand that the image he has built, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, is the greatest longterm threat to all they believe.  The fact they don’t dare say what they actually think about this man, that they can’t say what they want has to be a source of massive frustration.

So when Justice Sotomayor makes a rather insignificant ruling on behalf of a few nuns, a ruling that will likely have no bearing on her final vote of the court Jamie Stiehm uses that minor act to vent her anger, her frustration and most of all her fear that she has bottled up for nearly a year and dump it on a supposed traitor to the cause, because she doesn’t have the courage to vent it on the man she truly wants to.

I’ll bet it felt good.

In the end it’s just as well she didn’t attack the Pope directly, Francis would be likely to respond by giving her a call to see if she’s OK.

I don’t think she could bear it.

Update:  In an incredible Irony  if you go to Hotair’s front page this is the image shown for the piece

hotair popeIs it a coincidence that Hotair used a picture of the Pope emeritus / the Holy Grandfather Pope Benedict rather than the current Holy Father Pope Francis or do they subconsciously get it?

Update 2:  Didn’t see Aaron Worthing’s piece until today worth adding to the list.


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Thursday and for the 2nd week in a row we start a Thursday at 30% of our weekly pay goal.

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On Jan 3rd I commented on a story where the Holy Father encouraged the Bishop of Malta to speak against “Gay Adoption” in his country and disagreed with Popewatch that this would be the breaking point with the left and the media:

The problem is this is still an election year in America and if the left is seen as systematically attacking the first Latin American Pope it will not play well.

I predict while some uber advocates will push it the mainstream will ignore the story after all it’s likely the only thing anyone on the left knows about Malta is lesbian porn star Magdalene St. Michaels was born there.

Well two days later a story concerning the Pope, gays and children has made the mainstream and as predicted it’s not the one I mentioned before:

Pope Francis has called for a rethink in the way the Catholic Church deals with the children of gay couples and divorced parents, warning against “administering a vaccine against faith”.

If you search on the net it’s everywhere from GMA news to  NBC and the story is the same whereever you go:

I remember a case in which a sad little girl confessed to her teacher: ‘my mother’s girlfriend doesn’t love me’,” he was quoted as saying, according to AFP. Due to the Church’s opposition to homosexuality, same-sex marriage and divorce, these children may feel unwelcome, the pontiff — who has garnered a reputation for his efforts toward greater inclusion — indicated.

“We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them,” Francis added.

There is one other thing that is the same, nobody seems to have a link to the actual speech that the reports say was given in November of last year.  There is no sign of the speech anywhere in any language, an oddity since the Vatican site put everything out there in many different languages.  For example this is page for last November speeches.

Without the actual speech the context of what the Pope is saying is totally lost.

Now to faithful Catholics the obvious interpretation is the Pope makes the point that the sin of the parents can’t stand between the message of Christ and their children as it says in Luke  18:16-17

Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”

However the pitch the media is giving is totally different, suggesting the Pope is no longer things Gay Marriage and or Adoption or even divorce is a big deal.  As if the Malta story never happened.

The reason is there is a narrative to be created to try to divide the conservatives away from the church and to suggest to Latino’s that the Pope is with the cultural left on issues because the alternative is to attack the first Latin American Pope and generate anger.

There are a lot of low information voters that are going to fall for this nonsense, but any conservative Catholic who buys into the media BS should be ashamed of themselves for being a sucker.

Update:  The Vatican has issued a strong denial

Italian media on Sunday ran headlines saying the pope’s words were an opening to legal provision for civil unions for gay couples, a subject of debate in Italy.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio that media interpretations were “paradoxical” and a “manipulation” of the pope’s words, particularly as some media quoted him as speaking specifically of homosexual unions, which he did not.

Lombardi said the pope was merely “alluding to the suffering of children” and not taking a stand on the political debate in Italy.

Hmmm you mean to say the media of the left might be spinning the Pope to advance their own ends?

Who woulda thunk it?  I haven’t been this shocked since I found out there was gambling going on at Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca.

Update 2:  Morning Joe found space for this story and the Vatican denial, the Malta story, not so much

Update 3: Via an e-mail from the Anchoress Jimmy Akin at the National Catholic Register has more including two critical points, one on translation:

4) This translation has “my mother’s fiancé,” not “my mother’s girlfriend.” Could that indicate he’s talking about a heterosexual couple?

The AFP story used the translation, “my mother’s girlfriend,” as we saw above.

The English translation we are quoting from here was produced by Fr. Donald Maldari, S.J., who used the term fiancé.

If the translation “fiancé” (a man engaged to be married) were correct, Pope Francis would be referring to the daughter of a woman who is planning marriage with a man (presumably after divorce, annulment, or widowhood).

If the translation “girlfriend” is correct, it would indicate the daughter of a woman who has a lesbian lover.

and intent:

6) He’s not suggesting that the Church should change its teachings on homosexuality or divorce?

No. He’s talking about how to present the Church’s teaching to children in a way that ultimately leads them to embrace the fullness of Christian teaching.

He’s not talking about lopping of bits of that teaching that are inconvenient in a modern setting.

Because many children have parents today that are publicly living in unions contrary to Christian teaching, there is a real problem in terms of how to communicate Christian teaching to them in a way that does not alienate them from the Church.

This is what he means when he says: “We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them.”

It’s a tough problem worth the church’s full attention.


Olimometer 2.52

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Last week the Pope released an Apostolic Exhortation EVANGELII GAUDIUM a detailed treatise on spreading the Gospel both within and outside the christian community as he put it

I have chosen to present some guidelines which can encourage and guide the whole Church in a new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality. (17)

The primary message is the invitation to the Gospel

I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”.

The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”.

And above all the duty to preach the Gospel to those who have rejected it

 we cannot forget that evangelization is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him (15 ) [emphasis in original]

This is likely a huge surprise to all those who have listened to the MSM and believe the Pope’s letter primary subject is the evils of capitalism, but when one actually reads the piece they will be surprised at what they see:

Reminders of how Christianity should not be joyless: “lives seem like Lent without Easter” (6)

reminds us “ That the teaching of the Gospel “has to be reflected by the teacher’s way of life” (42)

talks of the need for patience with those walking progressively toward redemption  (44)

How the message should be delivered  (156)

Dignity in work in addition to charity  (192)

Ineffectual idealism with no basis in reality (232)

Faith reason and science (242)

That might be a surprise to those who only heard the reports on economics but there is more, a LOT more.  The Pope also toucheds on some vital issues  the media has been dodging:

Like human trafficking

 Where is your brother or sister who is enslaved?  Where is the brother and sister whom you are killing each day in clandestine warehouses,in rings of prostitution, in children used for begging, in exploiting undocumented labour? (211)

The persecution of Christians worldwide:

We also evangelize when we attempt to confront the various challenges which can arise.  On occasion these may take the form of veritable attacks on religious freedom or new persecutions directed against Christians; in some countries these have reached alarming levels of hatred and violence.(61)
And specifically challenges to Muslim nations
We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! (233)
These are all huge issues internationally but the media in their rush to turn the Pope into a socialist somehow missed them.

While the left may not have noticed, those issues, there are other parts of EVANGELII GAUDIUM that I suspect they simply want to suppress such as his challenges to a phony sense of “diversity”,

When we, for our part, aspire to diversity, we become self-enclosed, exclusive and divisive; similarly, whenever we attempt to create unity on the basis of our human calculations, we end up imposing a monolithic uniformity. This is not helpful for the Church’s mission (131)


That certainly won’t play well in academic halls and this section on openness won’t play well at some Catholic institutions of higher learning populated by his fellow Jesuits

 True openness involves remaining steadfast in one’s deepest convictions, clear and joyful in one’s own identity, while at the same time being “open to understanding those of the other party” and “knowing that dialogue can enrich each side”.  What is not helpful is a diplomatic openness which says “yes” to everything in order to avoid problems, for this would be a way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others. (251)
Nor will they love this on some scientific opinions as a “dogma of faith”.
Whenever the sciences – rigorously focused on their specific field of inquiry– arrive at a conclusion which reason cannot refute, faith does not contradict it. Neither can believers claim that a scientific opinion which is attractive but not sufficiently verified has the same weight as a dogma of faith. At times some scientists have exceeded the limits of their scientific competence by making certain statements or claims. But here the problem is not with reason itself, but with the promotion of a particular ideology which blocks the path to authentic, serene and productive dialogue (243)
I’m sure some Hockey Sticks are being shattered in anger over that
It goes without saying they didn’t like this direct attack on Abortion:
This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.  On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

Abortion not a progressive solution in the case of rape or extreme poverty?  That was the entire basis of several democrat senate campaigns last year.

All of these themes and pieces of the Pope Apostolic Exhortation that the left does not want you to see, but if there is a single section that above all else, can not, nay MUST NOT be discussed and embraced by the general public, it’s this: (all emphasis mine)

A healthy pluralism, one which genuinely respects differences and values them as such, does not entail privatizing religions in an attempt to reduce them to the quiet obscurity of the individual’s conscience or to relegate them to the enclosed precincts of churches, synagogues or mosques. This would represent, in effect, a new form of discrimination and authoritarianism.  The respect due to the agnostic or non-believing minority should not be arbitrarily imposed in a way that silences the convictions of the believing majority or ignores the wealth of religious traditions. In the long run, this would feed resentment rather than tolerance and peace. (255)

When considering the effect of religion on public life, one must distinguish the different ways in which it is practiced. Intellectuals and serious journalists frequently descend to crude and superficial generalizations in speaking of the shortcomings of religion, and often prove incapable of realizing that not all believers – or religious leaders – are the same. Some politicians take advantage of this confusion to justify acts of discrimination. At other times, contempt is shown for writings which reflect religious convictions, overlooking the fact that religious classics can prove meaningful in every age; they have an enduring power to open new horizons, to stimulate thought, to expand the mind and the heart. This contempt is due to the myopia of a certain rationalism. Is it reasonable and enlightened to dismiss certain writings simply because they arose in a context of religious belief ? These writings include principles which are profoundly humanistic and, albeit tinged with religious symbols and teachings, they have a certain value for reason (256)
Imagine just for a moment what would happen to the pillars of the left’s cultural elite if these words were widely quoted and accepted in the greater cultural community?  How long could their house built on sand endure?
For a long time the left has railed against a pseudo church throwing hatred at a straw church that never existed, now they are throwing love at yet another Pseudo church that they are trying to create in their own image.  I’m not surprised.  Nothing could be more damaging to the institutions of the left than the people actually hearing what the Catholic Church in general and Pope Francis is actually saying in particular.
That day would spell their doom.
Update:  Words (and outside) accidentally deleted from opening paragraph, fixed
Update 2:  Ed Morrissey in the Fiscal Times gets it


That’s the point that the media missed. Almost all of the coverage of the document failed to note the actual purpose of the apostolic exhortation, which was to evangelize in the real world. The criticisms of capitalism – and there are more than a few lines devoted to them – frame part of the challenges faced by those who wish to evangelize, especially those who make idols out of political or economic ideologies.

The Gospel, Pope Francis insists in Evangelii Gaudium, transcends those by reminding us to be mindful of the human cost of markets, and to feel the pain of those who are impoverished rather than dismiss them as mere statistics – like “the 47 percent,” for an example.  The central point for Catholics is to evangelize the Word of God through proclamation and service, and not “capitalism,” or “socialism,” or “utopianism.” Francis scolds governments for not structuring their economies better to prevent injustices, but the emphasis in Evangelii Gaudium is on individual action.

Hey what’s a lack of context when the media has a meme to advance, and others to ignore.

Update 3:  There is a lot more at Hotair where Ed Morrissey quotes this post among others and says:

To talk exclusively about Pope Francis’ remarks on the dysfunctions of capitalism is not just to miss the forest for the trees — it misses the forest for just a couple of trees. When read in the context of Catholic teaching on economics, it becomes clear that this is no innovation, but a broad restatement of traditional Catholic teaching that emphasizes personal engagement. That, however, doesn’t make for big headlines.

Nor does it advance the left’s agenda.

Update 4:  Could it be an issue of Translation?

Notice the differences:

  • The Spanish version states that the free market favors economic growth; the English version makes that sound like a mere theory.
  • The Spanish version says that growth by itself will not bring about social equity—a proposition that all but the most doctrinaire libertarians would accept. The English omits that important phrase.
  • In the next sentence, the Pope says that the theory described in #54 “has never been confirmed by the facts.” If he is saying that economic growth has not brought about greater equity, as the English version suggests, the facts are actually quite heavily stacked against him. If he’s saying that growth by itself hasn’t done the trick, that’s a much easier argument to defend.

The author notes how these type of Translation errors always seem to go in one ideological direction


Olimometer 2.52

Last month for only the 2nd time since February this site failed to make Mortgage and payroll, albeit not by much. a mere $45 more a week would have put us over the top on the Mortgage and for the first payment to our magnificent Seven.

But It’s a new month and a new week which means that can all be put behind us and we can start again fresh and the best way to start it well is to try and fill that $340 weekly paycheck right at the start.

A tip jar hit of #25 from only 14 of you will get this month started the right way to get the mortgage and the magnificent Seven off to the right start. But that starts with you.

We are only 63 new subscribers at $20 a month to cover both the Mortgage and the Magnificent Seven without a daily shake of DaTipJar.

Help us Retire DaTipJar for special trips and occasions by being one of them.

I am a Catholic who writes for a living in the hope that my readers will like my writing enough to allow me a living. The extent of my knowledge of the faith is my life, the example of my family, what I’ve and seven years of Catholic Elementary School

You are an Archbishop a leader of the church with degrees and education far beyond me.

However for all my ignorance compared to you of the faith, let me say this concerning a quote of yours to BBC Breakfast:

“On the one hand we must work to follow Christ, but on the other hand we have to face all of the ambitions of modern living.”

We must work to follow Christ, we might fail, we might sin, we might not understand but we must work to follow Christ, and aid other people to do so.

Following Christ is how we in fact deal all of the ambitions of the modern are or any age.

There IS no other hand!

That is all.


Olimometer 2.52

Today starts a new week meaning a new chance to make not only the weekly paycheck to cover the mortgage and the Magnificent Seven but a new batch of news and events worth your time and effort.

We will as always do our best to bring you the best commentary and coverage of the weeks events as we can. And in return we ask for your eyes and patronage from 17 of you to the tune of $20

If you think that’s an equable exchange, please consider hitting daTipjar below

“It takes about five miles to turn an aircraft carrier around. But I think we started the motion.”

Congressman Allen West

“You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you 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. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters #12

Today I’m going to be flat-out at the Madonna Della Cava festival so other than any kind of posts by my co-bloggers this is likely going to be it.

On Thursday I got into several discussions concerning Homosexuality & the Church, Gay adoption etc and I was standing with Lisa Graas.

One might think because I have a different take or a less confrontational style and generally enjoy the debate itself that I might not be as rigid as Lisa on doctrine.  This assumption would be a mistake.  Doctrine is what it is and I’m certainly not going to change it, nor should I consider trying.

While I don’t have Lisa’s directness I do have a style I’m mindful of this scripture from Paul

Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law – though I myself am not under the law – to win over those under the law.  To those outside the law I became like one outside the law – though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ – to win over those outside the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. 1 Cor 9 19-22

I will do my best to empathize with any person and maintain a speaking relationship because you can’t persuade someone who is so angry that they will not listen, but in doing so I will not and can not justify a decision toward sin, particularly mortal sin.  Nor will I call it good or allow a fellow Catholic in particular to do so.

My plan is the CS Lewis Screwtape plan in reverse.  I’m not expecting to convert anyone I’m only hoping to as Col West described it start to turn the carrier make people think.

As long as the seeds of that movement are planted the potential for that  turn is there and if one can get someone moving in the right direction, and authentically searching for God’s Truth it’s highly likely God will give a person a path there.

I don’t discount sin, I have my own to deal with and at time the temptation is overwhelming and I’m not proud of my failures, but that’s why God provides the sacrament of confession so if we fail we can get back on track and have a coach to keep us moving where we need to be.

We have a lifetime to get where we need to go.  Maybe the people I talk to will make it there, maybe not.  Maybe Lisa’s urgency as we don’t know the day or hour is better.  I honestly don’t know, but as there are many different examples as there are Saints perhaps it’s less important how we move the ball then getting the ball moving.

In many ways I think Lisa has both more courage than me & more love for people in sin than me.  If a person insists on sin and declines to speak further I stop.  Not Lisa.   She is so desperate to save strangers and those who hate her from damnation she is willing to be hated, abused, mocked, stalked and so much more for Christ.

A lot of people, particularly the non-religious mistake that for zeal or pride.  They couldn’t be more wrong.  It’s love.  Lisa loves people so much she is willing to be hated, mocked and have every calumny thrown upon her if in her mind there is the slightest chance she might persuade them and any others from mortal sin.

That takes a special kind of love & courage.  I simply don’t know if I have as much as she in either department.


Olimometer 2.52

Sunday. A new week begins and so a new Da Weekly paycheck quest begins.

Last night with under 3 hours to go I managed to get da full paycheck proving as Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”

I’ve never made my full paycheck the very first day. It would be nice to have it happen, for me because it would be a worry free week, for you the reader because the tip jar requests would be retired till the next Sunday.


Penny Carter: Is anyone gonna tell me what’s going on?

10th Doctor: What, you’re a journalist?

Penny Carter: Yes.

10th Doctor: Well, make it up!

Doctor Who Partners in Crime 2008

There seems to be a lot of people very worried about the media jumping all over the Pope’s statement as reported   with weeping and Gnashing of teeth. Here is the ABC report in full:

Pope Francis is reaching out to gays, saying he won’t judge priests for their sexual orientation, in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returns from his first foreign trip.

Francis says: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, authored a document that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis is being much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

His remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil.

Before we even bother to touch this in context, lets look at it as ABC presents it.

“A person searching for the Lord and has good will” a person searching for the Lord is implicitly looking for truth, and person of good will, when finding truth will accept it. It might be hard, it might take time but a person searching the Lord will eventually find him waiting with arms open.

In other words, he is saying the Doctrine of the church as it has been, the problem being the MSM has always painted the church as something it is not.

This of course is not the message the media is transmitting or even wanting to transmit. The left is looking to spin this as: The Pope says Gay sex is OK and the low information voter might fall for it.

Catholics should not.

Now let’s look at it all in context. There are several issues, lets take them one by one:

Pope Francis told reporters, “I did what canon law said must be done, I ordered an ‘investigation brevia,’ and this investigation found nothing.”

The pope continued by talking about how “many times in the church, outside this case, but also in this one, we go searching for the sins — of one’s youth, for example — for publicity. I’m not talking about crimes here — the abuse of a minor is a crime — but of sins.”

There is a difference between sin and crime. You won’t always find crime when you look at a person but you’ll always be able to find sin because that is the nature of humanity:

“But if a person, whether a layperson, priest or sister, goes to confession and converts, the Lord forgives. And when the Lord forgives, he forgets. This is important,” he said, because those who want the Lord to forget their sins should forget those of others.

That is the whole point of confession, to have our sins forgiven. Even if we haven’t conquered them, even if we are still struggling with sin and wrestling with it as Jacob did with the angel.

“St. Peter committed one of the biggest sins ever — he denied Christ — and he made him pope,” Pope Francis said.

That’s some serious perspective. Now comes the quote the media is going nuts over.

“A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?” the pope said.

I’ve already gone over this but with the context above the message is even clearer.  Stripped of all context it’s easier to spin, in context it’s a lot harder.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society.

Again this is clearly stated by anyone who has read it.

The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation — we must be like brothers and sisters.

We are all sinners and falling short of the glory of God, otherwise Christ’s sacrifice would not have been needed.

The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby.”

BINGO! Once we define ourselves, are lives and our actions based on sin, or based on our desire for sin everything changes. Instead of being the woman caught in sin accepting the forgiveness Christ offers her:

Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.”

we instead answer back:

But Jesus, I like this sin, I enjoy this sin and who are you to really say this is sin? Maybe you should reconsider.

The media is setting two traps with the same bait. The media want both the uninformed about the faith and the faithful to think the Pope is saying something he is not and on the later Satan is helping out using the most effective temptation of all, the sin of pride.

Let’s not fall for either. I’ll give the last word to the Anchoress:

To proclaim a Gospel of Mercy and then only permit a man or woman who has converted their lives in Christ to assume lesser or menial positions is to say we do not trust our own teaching — Christ’s own teaching — about mercy. The pope is correct; by that way of thinking, Peter would never have been given the keys to the kingdom. We are the church of Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Paul; sinners who were first forgiven and then trusted with prominence.

KJ Lopez at National Review:

It’s important to bear in mind that the pope today seemed (we’ve been reading partial transcripts in news stories) to be talking about men who are priests, not seminary candidates. Fundamentally, he was talking about mercy. It wasn’t a break with Benedict or a policy change but an elucidation of Church teaching (which popes don’t make up on airplane rides).

The media has not mentioned that there has been a real change in the seminaries over the last 10 years and those changes haven’t changed.

Update 2:
Lisa Graas makes a great point

Sandro Magister offers a concise explanation, in the context of the Msgr. Ricca story/scandal, of the difference in requirements re: same-sex attraction among priests, bishops and cardinals as opposed to consecrated persons. I knew this, but it leaped out at me as I read it as a point I have overlooked. A light bulb went off in my head.

Against homosexuals who live in chastity, including priests, bishops, cardinals, there is no preconceived hostility whatsoever in the Church, so much so that, in tranquility, a number of them have occupied and still occupy important positions.

What the Church does not accept is that consecrated persons, who have made a public commitment of celibacy and chastity “for the Kingdom of Heaven,” should betray their promise.

Aha. Like I said, I knew that…but it’s been going way over my head. If you want people to become saints, if you want people to know Jesus as St. Gemma did, you’re “hostile” to “gays.”

BTW that is a betrayal no matter who that vow is broken with is it’s own sin. If you have a second sin along with it that’s another story.

Update 3: Cardinal Dolan on CBS This Morning

What surprises me is that anyone is surprised

He is on the Today’s show and they are trying to pound him and he’s just letting it slide off his back.

Update 4: The Anchoress gets it so well we’ll quote her follow up post as well:

I am not sure many people fully realize what Francis did on that plane, so let me tell you: he neutralized the power of the media narrative; he exposed the truth that in Christ there is mercy and forgiveness, and that the church exists to offer this in his name; he set whatever “gay lobby” exists in the church on notice that while he has no intention of acting as gay-priest-witch-hunter, he won’t tolerate a bloc acting against the interests of the church.

in fact we’ll quote two of them:

As Mollie Hemingway pointed out at Get Religion, any pope discussing gay anything will make headlines. In this case, nothing Francis actually said about homosexuality was new. In fact, in these two quotes Francis is doing nothing more than pronouncing long-standing Catholic teaching on homosexuality, sin, and the mercy of God.

Let that sink in for a moment: A pope is teaching the Christian faith, and the press is accurately quoting him, in blazing headlines that everyone will read.

The Press doesn’t know what he is doing but the Holy Spirit does.

Update 5: Fr Longenecker

So if you think the mainstream media are pleased about Pope Francis the rock star pope. Think again. They’re hopping mad….

…but they’re not going to show it.

Olimometer 2.52

I’m pretty close to my best month ever (very odd for a July) both in terms of DatipJar and in terms of page views, but the quest for the weekly paycheck continues unabated.

$253 more dollars Basically 13 Tip jar hitters of $20 this week will get me there, If you would care to be one of them hit datipJar below


I would normally ignore the new attempt of the 60’s “Catholic” crowd to con the church into re-defining sin to accommodate their proclivities, particularly after Mark Shea delivered the perfect one line takedown:

Some people have lived 44 years since 1968. Some people have lived 1968 44 times.

and a follow up by Tom McDonald longer but just as good:

Their complaints are the usual litany of tediousness: less pope, more sex. That’s really it. That’s what it all boils down to: children who don’t like being told what to do with their gentiles by an adult. It’s not like they’re in a screaming hurry to rewrite our understanding of the dual nature of Christ in the incarnation, or dismantle the preferential option for the poor. They’re only attacking this make-believe boogeyman (“authority”) because it’s in the way of gettin’ biddy.

Their prescription is lots and lots of voting: voting on everything from bishops to condoms. Democracy may be a fine fit for running the occasional town meeting and deciding who gets eaten first when the rations run out on the lifeboat, but apply democracy to eternal truths, and you’ll have those Ten Commandments whittled down to three in no time at all. And that’s what they’re suggesting: putting the faith up to a vote. First order of business is to amend “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” to add “unless she’s totally HAWT!” Can I see a show of hands? Sorry, Mr. Kennedy, you may only vote once.

But what really struck me was a particular joke he led with:

Their motto for the past 40 years? “Too lazy to convert to Protestantism.”

But the more I thought about it the more the question came up, Why HAVEN’T they in all these year converted if they thought the church was wrong? Sure some are drawing church pay but surely some like Hans Kung could find an excellent financial reward as a former Catholic, and others would be lionized by press and by various churches for abandoning the faith.

That’s when it hit me. The problem isn’t because they don’t believe in the church, it’s because they still do.

One of the important aspects of confession is contrition, even if you are trapped in a cycle of repetitive sin, like say gambling or porn at the time of confession if you actually regret your sin and attempt to amend your ways you are forgiven. You may relapse, you may sin again but if you are actually trying, actually resisting and actually trying to amend your ways that makes all the difference.

But what if you aren’t sorry for your sins? What if isn’t a question of being trapped in a cycle of sin, but enjoying, celebrating and loving your sins and don’t want to give them up? What if you go into that confessional knowing you aren’t sorry for your sins and can’t wait to commit them again?

Can this be done? Well there is in fact a way:

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt 16:15-19 Matthew 16:18-19

Note how Christ phrases this, not might be bound, or could be bound but shall be bound.

That leave them an opening, if they can somehow, by some quirk of fate, by some miraculous shift by the Church and the Holy Father their sins can vanish, not by repentance of sin or abstinence of sin, but redefining what sin actually is suddenly all the things they celebrate become pure as the driven snow, something to be enjoyed again and again without the slightest fear of eternity.

The logical question would be: Why bother with such an impossible task? Why not simply choose a Protestant denomination that embraces those particular sins or even one that simply preaches “Once Saved Always Saved”. That would solve the problem wouldn’t it.

Well it would except for one thing. They understand the truth of the Church..

Moral sin, the recipe for damnation, requires three things: 1. Grave Matter, 2. Deliberation 3. Understanding. If one doesn’t know the church due to never being properly taught (either from the inside or outside) that third vital piece needed to achieve mortal sin can’t be achieved.

But these people know the church, they have understanding and worse of all they KNOW the consequences of said understanding. To deliberately leave while believing the church is true is simply self damnation.

So instead they stay, hoping upon hope that best case, they will get the church to see things their way, or barring that hope they will get a chance for absolution just before the moment of death, playing the 3 in their hand hoping upon hope that the church is holding a deuce.

Me I wouldn’t bet my soul on it.

They say deceit is the tribute dishonesty gives to the truth, ironically in their feeble attempt at self-justification our friends at Church Authority are doing they same their insistence on remaining Catholic declares to all the world that this is the place for salvation.

God certainly does work in mysterious ways.