Monday Pope Francis gave a homily at daily masses whose main points should be taken to heart by every Christian in general and Catholic in particular:
Beware, the Pope warned, of the devil’s seduction.
“The devil is a seducer,” Francis reminded, saying, he “knows what words to tell us” and this is dangerous as “we like to be seduced.”
“He has this ability; this ability to seduce. This is why it is so difficult to understand that he is a loser, because he presents himself with great power, promises you many things, brings you gifts – beautiful, well wrapped – -‘Oh, how nice!’ – but you do not know what’s inside – ‘But, the card outside is beautiful.’ The package seduces us without letting us see what’s inside. He can present his proposals to our vanity, to our curiosity.”
His light, Francis said, is dazzling, but it vanishes.
More importantly he advises not having a dialog with him
Do not converse with the devil
Finally, we must be careful not to dialogue with the devil as Eve did. Jesus does not dialogue in the desert, but rather responds with the Word of God. He hunts the demons, sometimes he asks for his name but does not make a dialogue with them.
And gives first rate advice on what to do when confronted by this enemy:
in the end, go to the mother, like children. When the children are afraid, they go to the mother: ‘Mom, mom … I’m scared!’ When they have dreams … they go to their mothers.
“Go to the Madonna; she guards us. And the Fathers of the Church, especially the Russian mystics, say: in the time of spiritual turmoil, take refuge under the mantle of the great Mother of God. Go to the Mother. May she help us in this fight against the defeated, against the chained dog to win it.”
Pope Francis concluded, urging us always to seek refuge in the Mother of God.
And offers this prayer
Our Lady Queen of the Rosary, pray that Jesus may have mercy on us sinners.
As I said when I announced my three days of fasting and prayer for the Church while this pope has been a mediocre one at best one of the best things about him has been his constant reminders that the Devil is real, cunning and needs to be resisted.
I have said on more than one occasion that I think Pope Francis is a mixed bag. He talks a lot about mercy and the reality of the Devil which is very good but tends to act like a local pastor ignoring that he is the head of the entire church which is very bad. I think he, like most Popes, has been mediocre.
Since we had a canonized saint as Pope (John Paul II) for over a quarter of a century it’s natural that Francis would pale in comparison but there are real reasons to critique the way this Pope has handled things from China and the underground church to the Dubia which has still remained unanswered after over 550 days. It is entirely proper to critique these failures, nevertheless he is still the Pope the head of the church until God wills that he is not.
There is always the danger that such a critique progresses to the point of considering the Holy Father our enemy ( which ironically would require us per the non-optional doctrine of the church, to love him and to pray for him) and causes us to embrace that first of the deadly sins, pride which Christ warned us of.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
And we can we can be sure that if our zeal takes us there our foe the Devil will be at our shoulder trying to tempt us in just that direction.
So what are we to do if we want to do something yet want to avoid crossing the line that our true enemy wants us to? Fortunately as Catholics there is simple answer.
Prayer and Fasting.
I propose a three-day period of Prayer for the Pope, the Church and ourselves, where we implore God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit to bless, the entire Universal Church on earth.
For these three days I propose the following prayers:
Starting the day with an Our Father in the morning asking God the father to provide for the basic needs of the Church.
At midday A Divine Mercy Chaplet in the Afternoon to implore God mercy for the church through the sacrifice of God the Son.
Ending the Day with the Come Holy Spirit asking the God the Holy Spirit to envelop the entire church with the Spirit of discipleship.
For these three days I further propose a fast of varying degrees depending on one’s circumstances.
Abstaining from meat (full disclosure I already abstain on Wednesdays)
An Ash Wednesday like fast
A complete fast.
One could choose any of these or to progress from one to the next each day.
I further propose to begin this on May 8th the Feast of Apparition of St. Michael the defender of the church and end May 10th a feast day for Martyrs (Saints Gordian and Epimachus) High Churchmen ( St. Comgall, Abbot St. Cataldus Bishop, St. Antoninus, Archbishop) and ordinary people (St. Isidore) thus representing both the heavenly nature of such a prayer and the earthly span of the church from high to low.
If we want to banish the demons that plague the church and ourselves this is the way to do it, after all this is exactly what Christ suggested :
Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting“.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe (in me) to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, 10 into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’
I’ve been thinking long and hard about the Francis “No Hell” business and I think I’ve figured it out what is going on (although I can’t take all the credit for it).
It’s not so odd that 1% of any population might be off its rocker, the problem is in a country of 300,000,000 that is 3 million people. Even if 1/10 of one percent is crackers that’s 300,000 people. To give you some perspective that’s more troops than we have in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The problem is with the internet and social networking and the like that crazy 1% or 1/10 of one percent is suddenly empowered. Instead of the crazy uncle at the family gathering that you can ignore, suddenly he has 1000 friends that he can text to rebut and counter rebut all night. He is affirmed and empowered and boy is he motivated, because now there are thousands of people telling him he’s been right all along and is MUCH smarter than everyone thought.
300,000-3,000,000 crazy uncles as individuals isn’t a big deal, but get them all writing e-mails or making phone calls and most importantly AFFIRMING themselves and suddenly you have a potent economic and or political force. Suddenly there is a huge market for a book or 10,000 people willing to pay $20 for a DVD. That’s a fair amount of change and a person can make a good living off of it.
In terms of the church a good example of this is one given by Father Z in one of the best posts on the subject of communion and the divorced that I’ve ever read. It begins with this question:
You wrote in a recent post, “Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried (which in 99.99% of cases would be sacrilege).” Can you tell me what scenario would permit your conscience to give communion to the remarried? I can think of a couple, perhaps; curious what you’re thinking, esp. as I teach a marriage class every semester.
He lays out a scenario where a couple illicitly married choose not to separate for the sake of their children but are made to understand their sin and resolve to live as brother and sister such a couple CAN receive communion but would and should avoid doing so during their mass obligation to make sure it didn’t cause scandal and confuse people by making people think the priest is giving them communion in a state of mortal sin, as father puts it
Now I will track back to what I asked about Communion at the top.
What is it that they want?
Communion with its holy effects? Or do they want to be seen receiving Communion?
Do they want the Eucharist or the “white thing” that symbolizes affirmation?
In theory of course said couple could go for communion in public and the priest knowing that they are not in a state of moral sin could give them communion counting on the charity that people should have to presume that both the priest and the couple are acting in good faith. In his letter to the Corinthians Paul explains how how such a situation, using the example of meat sacrificed to idols, can lead to sin.
Now food will not bring us closer to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, nor are we better off if we do. But make sure that this liberty of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak. If someone sees you, with your knowledge, reclining at table in the temple of an idol, may not his conscience too, weak as it is, be “built up” to eat the meat sacrificed to idols? Thus through your knowledge, the weak person is brought to destruction, the brother for whom Christ died. When you sin in this way against your brothers and wound their consciences, weak as they are, you are sinning against Christ.
1 Cor 8:8-12
Now if you are dealing with a small parish, and there is a busybody or a crazy uncle who sees this, the pastor could explain privately to a person scandalized by this that the couple in question are working with him and living as brother and sister (and if they fail confessing with a firm purpose of resolution) and count on that person not to gossip about this couple’s private situation or blast it out on twitter or facebook. Of course if he is unlucky the person might have already blasted this out and suddenly not only is he dealing with his bishop and the local press asking if he’s defying the church but the couple in question suddenly have all of their business out in public making leading them away from sin a complicated matter.
And that brings us to Pope Francis
A priest friend of mine one noted that the weakness of Pope Francis is he forgets that he not just a local pastor dealing with local issues but the Pope of the entire church whose every pronouncement is given scrutiny. This whole business about “There is no Hell” and the Vatican’s weak response to it is a great example of this.
The cardinal said he’d asked Pope Francis the very same question, and here was the pope’s answer: “You know, by now he [Scalfari] is quite old … we have to be gentle with him,” which is consistent with the pope’s repeated pleas to respect and cherish the elderly.
Francis’s Vatican team, sensing the pope’s preferences, may have gotten the message that when it comes to Scalfari, normally the gloves stay on.
Unfortunately he’s not just an old man Scalfari (the elderly atheist/communist journalist) is the founder of a major paper that is read by thousands and while as Allen explains, his reputation for accuracy or the lack thereof might be well known in Italy in general and Vatican circles in particular, Allen again:
It’s also worth remembering that in 2015, when Scalfari quoted Francis as having said that “all the divorced and remarried who ask will be admitted” to Communion, the then-Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, added a very telling aside to the official denial.
Those who have “followed the preceding events and work in Italy,” he said, “know the way Scalfari writes and know these things well.”
In other words, the Vatican officials who approve public statements may have thought that it’s all been said before – forgetting, naturally, that the share of humanity that’s followed the preceding events and works in Italy is, in all honesty, staggeringly small.
Alas while Vatican officials, living in their bubble might think that this is no big deal in the age of the internet and of Drudge and a media who would like nothing more than to bring down the church this is gold and while Scalfari might be an old man, don’t think for one moment that that old Communist, Socialist Atheist and Fascist who has spent a lifetime trying to bring down the west and the Christian Culture that made it strong didn’t know what he was doing nor what it would do.
This brings scandal and disrepute to the church that he rejects but it does something even worse
Last night was the day when most new converts are received into the Church, many of them I’m sure doing so in defiance of the opinions of family and friends. How many of them, do you think, might have had second thoughts or even decided against entering into full communion because of this business, particularly the Vatican’s decision not to make a direct unequivocal denial of these statements and affirm the truth of the doctrine of the church?
But in so thinking and doing or in this case again (amoris laetitia) failing to clearly and unambiguously confirm and repeat the Church’s doctrine, unchanged for its two thousand years, he has managed to not only take the focus away from the sacrifice of Christ for humanity during Holy Week but has actually brought the sacrifice of Christ and the Chruch’s understanding of it into question.
This is an own goal, a gift to the enemies of the church on earth and for the enemy of men’s souls in eternity and it’s what comes of thinking like a local pastor instead of the Pope of the Universal Church responsible for the faith of hundreds of millions.
Let us pray that through the grace of God that the Holy Father figures this out.
Merry Christmas, I say, since I stubbornly hold that the Christmas season begins on December 25. Happy New Year as well, keeping in mind that each day begins a new year.
I’m grateful to readers, fellow writers, and DTG himself for this spot on the blog.
To all, I commend these words from Pope Francis, spoken to a group of laypeople in 2015. The words are on my own blog’s home page as an epigraph to that particular project. Even if you and I don’t share a religious faith, I suspect we have in common a commitment to our nation’s political culture. As Pope Francis says, get to it.
Engaging in politics is martyrdom: truly a martyr’s work, because one needs to go the whole day with the ideal of building the common good, always carrying the cross of many failures and carrying the cross of many sins. It’s difficult to do good in a society without getting your hands or your heart a little dirty…Don’t allow this to discourage you.
…You can’t watch from the balcony! Get involved! Give it your best. If the Lord calls you to this vocation, get to it, engage in politics.
Cheers and best wishes to all!
Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist from New Hampshire.
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Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.
James Hacker:Will you answer a direct question? Sir Humphrey Appleby:I strongly advise you not to ask a direct question. James Hacker: Why? Sir Humphrey Appleby:It might provoke a direct answer. James Hacker: Never has yet.
Yes Minister: The Moral Dimension 1982
I’ve been too busy with other things to talk about Pope Francis and the formal Filial Correction sent to him, the first such document sent to a pope since 1333.
With profound grief, but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself, we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness.
We are permitted to issue this correction by natural law, by the law of Christ, and by the law of the Church, which three things Your Holiness has been appointed by divine providence to guard. By natural law: for as subjects have by nature a duty to obey their superiors in all lawful things, so they have a right to be governed according to law, and therefore to insist, where need be, that their superiors so govern. By the law of Christ: for His Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to rebuke Peter in public when the latter did not act according to the truth of the gospel (Gal. 2). St Thomas Aquinas notes that this public rebuke from a subject to a superior was licit on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning the faith (Summa Theologiae 2a 2ae, 33, 4 ad 2), and ‘the gloss of St Augustine’ adds that on this occasion, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects” (ibid.). The law of the Church also constrains us, since it states that “Christ’s faithful . . . have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence, and position, to manifest to the sacred pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church” (Code of Canon Law 212:2-3; Code of Canons of Oriental Churches 15:3).
Scandal concerning faith and morals has been given to the Church and to the world by the publication of Amoris laetitia and by other acts through which Your Holiness has sufficiently made clear the scope and purpose of this document.
The Document lists seven heretical positions that directly contradict the faith as taught for centuries. and these positions have been propagated via Amoris Laetitia’s
Ironically as I’ve written the vast majority of Amoris Laetitia is pretty good. Paragraph after paragraph contains teaching that a Catholic should take to heart but the infamous footnote included has been used by those on the left in the church have used to drive a bus through doctrine. Much like this exchange from Yes Prime Minister
PM Jim Hacker:I can read between the lines, Some politicians have a feeling for foreign affairs. I could tell that you were warning me that St. George Island might need our help Luke:Oh Yes, Well No actually, only on one paragraph on page 107! PM Jim Hacker: It was enough I can take a hint.
Yes Prime Minister A Victory for Democracy 1986
It didn’t matter how much good was in that document, that footnote was used by several Bishops around the world to directly counteract Catholic Doctrine in their areas of communion for the divorced and remarried, doctrine that has been clearly established as long as there has been a church.
There are many things I like about Pope Francis, his emphasis on Mercy, on Confession and his direct statements about the Devil being real are first rate. He has also been very explicit on life in all of his encyclicals (something that I keep urging the GOP to bring up every time a Democrat quotes one but I digress). Furthermore I certainly get the idea of trying to get those in mortal sin back into the Church to aid their salvation as that is the primary job of the church.
It my opinion, however, that his silence on this matter has been a huge mistake. It is promulgating division in the church and the sooner these questions are directly answered, our yes meaning yes and our no being no, the better for the Church and the people it serves.
It is the job of the Vatican to emulate Christ, by refusing to answer a direct question we have reached this point, that it is instead emulating Sir Humphrey and the civil servants of British comedy.
Two years ago (before we found the reality of Catholic front group” I famously asked Catholic Call to action this question in response to their tweets on Synod 2015.
Any christian individual or organization whether Catholic or Protestant should give Catholic Call to Action the widest birth possible because any organization that can’t clearly and without hesitation proclaim: “Jesus Christ is the son of God and died and rose from the dead” yet claims to be “Catholic” can’t be trusted.
I urge the Vatican not to mimic the silence these fellow’s silence in response to a direct question. It speaks volumes and none of it is good.
My advice to my fellow Catholics, continue to Pray for the Pope and the Church and continue on as you have before, because even at a time like this we should remember that while we have no idea what the Holy Spirit is doing, God does so we must answer this challenge in the words made famous by St. Faustina:
Since the day I accidently discovered that the Vatican pulled the Bible from their web site I’ve been racking my brain for a logical reason why in the internet age Rome would decide that Sacred Scripture had no place at Vatican online and would instead choose to send people searching for scripture to the sites of local authorities. There are in fact arguments one can make for the change
One can suggest that it’s a lot less work to send people elsewhere handle a dozen different languages on the site, except of course that they site already existed. One can argue that the Holy See doesn’t want to endorse one “official” version when there are several good translations there but that could be handled by a banner disclaimer. One might even suggest that it solves the problem of the Psalms which were put up with only a single link meaning that you had to either start at Psalm 1 and go forward or Psalm 150 and work backward which while it would be a pain to fix could not be more than a couple of days work at the most for even the least competent programmer. One could even claim this is part of the shepherds getting closer to the sheep by pushing traffic to the sites of local
Unfortunately there is one logical conclusion that given the divisions that have rocked the church since Amoris Laetitia makes the most logical sense.
Say you are the Bishops of Malta have decided to interpret the controversial parts of Amoris Laetitia as loosely as possible when it comes to admitting those practicing unrepentant Mortal Sin to communion when scripture inconveniently says this
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.
Rather than trying to make specious argument to counter 2000 years of tradition and a clear translation on the Vatican Site might it not be easier to eliminate such a passage online, footnote it to redefine it while one commissions a different translation that rephrases these inconvenient passages to push toward your flock. It might take some time and cost some money but once it’s done then you can claim that what was once universally considered mortally sinful is no big deal and point to “scripture” to prove it. You might even get to the point where those pointing out Mortal Sin and considering it unacceptable behavior would be accused themselves of sinfulness for doing so.
Of course a Bishop or an Episcopal Conference doing such a thing would be endangering not other the souls of their parishioners but their own souls as Christ emphatically states in Matthew:
Whoever causes one of these little ones* who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!
If your hand or foot causes you to sin,* cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire.
And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.
Then again the Bishops in question can always decide to re-interpret that passage too
Now you might say “DaTechGuy that’s just paranoia.” I’d like to think you’re right but I’m old enough to remember that it was just 20 years ago here in America that people from Nancy Pelosi to Bill Clinton were insisting that anyone suggesting legalizing Civil Unions would lead to Gay Marriage was crazy and less than tens years ago that anyone suggesting gay marriage would lead to laws where you can be punished for not allowing people with a penis to use the ladies room would be a nut. And I would further remind people that there are not only many priests who are publicly pushing to redefine sin but we have the example of the collapse of churches like the Episcopal church of the US to know what redefining sin leads to for a church.
Horrible Exit Question: Does the Vatican and Pope Francis consider this possibility a bug or a feature of leaving the Bible off the Vatican site.
President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
I was in the process of writing a blog post about parenthood on the occasion of my oldest son’s birthday and I wanted to finish by quoting St. Paul in scripture so I hit my bookmarks to the psalms as the quickest way to access the bible on the vatican and got this message
My first thought was they finally fixed The Psalm section which was a pain in the neck so I went to my base link on the blog, clicked on the Bible which goes to the index page and got the same thing.
I figured the vatican site might be down but when I clicked on it, it came up normally so I looked for the link to the bible and didn’t see it where it had been before. Looking at the main page I found a reference link which had a page with a link to the Catechism of the Catholic Church , Canon law and some new links I hadn’t seen before including COMPENDIUM OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH written by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. But at the top of the list was The Bible. So I clicked on the link figured I’d have to update my bookmarks and saw this….
Here is the text if you can’t read the screen shot:
“The Holy Bible is available in almost every language on earth: the Episcopal Conferences take care of the continuous updating of the translations. In order to have access to the latest Bible version, kindly consult the website of your Episcopal Conference. ”
Seriously you’re the vatican and you TOOK THE &(#$(@(% BIBLE OFF YOUR WEB SITE! You actually think it’s more important to carry a 13-year-old document by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace available for visitors than the Bible?
What on earth is going on in Rome?
Closing thought. There is only one thing more frightening to me han the thought that the Bible was removed from the Vatican’s web site without Pope Francis knowledge and approval. The idea that it was.
The first two choices take you the readings from Today’s mass in either English or Spanish, the third choice Books of the bible brings you to both a list and a link to each chapter of each book of the bible (and in terms of Psalms is far superior to the old vatican version which had no link to individual Psalms just to the book that started you on #1 which was a real pain in the neck).
Let’s hope all the other conferences worldwide are just as diligent.
I still think pulling the Bible from the Vatican web site is a horrible idea both in terms of practice and in terms of optics.
Update 2: I guess the 1st printing of my book is now a collector’s item as it contains these words in the introduction that will have to be revised:
As might be expected I will be quoting scripture extensively throughout. All scripture used comes directly from the Vatican Web Site (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_INDEX.HTM) unless otherwise noted, so that if you have access to the internet, you can confirm the quotes you see.
If you are reading an electronic version of the book you will find some hyperlinks embedded to both scripture and some other items.
I guess I’ll have to fix those paragraphs and redirect the links in the electronic version when I get a chance. I guess you’d better buy the book now while you can.
Update 3: Can’t help but thinking of Dr. Strangelove
Gentlemen you can’t read the Bible here, this is the Vatican!
Perhaps I should provide a permanent link but the real story is this.
For at least 11 days the Bible has been gone from the vatican web site. This is a newsworthy story and yet I’ve seen no reporting on this other than mine. That means not a single member of the press in the world has attempted to access the bible online there in that time.
I’d like to say that’s a surprise, but that would be a lie.
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For the next three days I’m going to be flat out. Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for life who you’ve seen hosting EWTN’s series Defending life, will be doing several events in several cities for WQPH 89.3 and I’ll be covering him and those who attend the various, events, masses and dinners over Divine Mercy Sunday. You can get tickets for the various dinners and lunches here and the events are open to the public so I hope to see you in Boston, Malden, Medford and Fitchburg particularly at the Eucharistic Procession on Saturday in Fitchburg.
If you are only interested in mass there will be four two of which he will be the celebrant.
Sat 8 AM St. Joseph’s Church Medford Fr. Imbarrato celebrant
Sat Noon St. Bernards Church at St. Camillus Parish Fitchburg
Sat 5 PM Madonna of the Holy Rosary 118 Theresa st. Fitchburg
Sunday 4:30 PM Madonna Queen of the Universe Shrine Boston Fr. Imbarrato celebrant
(the Final Mass will be preceded at 2:30 by confession and a Holy Hour)
America’s largest provider of terminations, Planned Parenthood, described the new measure, which has delighted pro-life conservatives, as “designed to undermine women’s health”.
The new law nullifies a rule finalised in the last days of the Barack Obama administration that effectively barred state and local governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services, regardless of whether groups offering these services also performed abortions.
The new measure cleared Congress last month with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.
The Yahoo article describing this drips with contempt but this was also a win for States as Hotair noted:
When the vote was cast, Senator Joni Ernst praised the bill. “It should be the right of our states to allocate sub-grants under the Title X program in the way that best fits the needs of the people living there,” Ernst said according to a report in the NY Times. She added, “Unfortunately, like many other rules issued during the Obama administration, this rule attempted to empower federal bureaucrats in Washington and silence our states.”
I think it’s really something that the items this president has managed to advance have been pro-life. I’m ecstatic.
Also at Hotair it seems like the most prolife president in my lifetime will be meeting with Pope Francis after all:
Just to John Gizzi’s point, I just want to make sure I note that we will be reaching out to the Vatican to see if a meeting, an audience with the Pope can be accommodated. We’ll have further details on that. Obviously, we’d be honored to have an audience with His Holiness.
Gronk scores? (Well, we’re used to that.) What’s odd about this is that several questions had come between Gizzi’s exchange and this later answer. The question on the table when Gronkowski interrupted was about NAFTA. No one had followed up on Gizzi’s question, but Spicer returned to it anyway. Hmmm.
While Francis has been a mixed bag great on confession and the danger of the devil and weak on Dogma (we still haven’t seen an answer to the four Cardinals dubia on the Amoris Laetitia footnote concerning marriage and communion) on the issue of abortion he has been very clear in both speeches and encyclicals condemning it, although if you listen to democrats and the media it’s as if he never has.
Meanwhile Trump has so far been falling on the Paul of Tarsus vs the Simon the Magician side of the conversion scale.
You can understand why the compromise might appeal to both the conservative and moderate wings inside the GOP. For the Freedom Caucus, it means red states will be able to shed onerous federal regs and offer a greater variety of health-care plans, replete with lower premiums for consumers. For the Tuesday Group, the fact that waivers are available but not mandatory means that blue states will be able to keep the more robust ObamaCare rules intact if they like. In that sense, the plan bears a slight resemblance to Bill Cassidy’s and Susan Collins’s proposal, which would have repealed ObamaCare and then let each state choose whether to “reimplement” it or to build their own tailor-made system. The new GOP deal doesn’t go that far but it’s a step in that direction vis-a-vis EHBs and community rating. If you believe a Freedom Caucus source who spoke to CNBC, there are 25 to 30 FC members ready to flip to yes to vote for this deal — a bit surprising given libertarian suspicions that waivers will be harder for states to obtain than everyone thinks.
And of course if it defends Planned Parenthood as well that’s going to be a biggie too.
There is a lot of talk about the first 100 days but I think that’s arbitrary, I’d just worry about getting it done period because it it gets done then we can always do more later.
identified an appropriate, protectable venue that is available on the afternoon of May 2. While it is not one we have used for these sorts of events in the past, it can both accommodate a substantial audience and meet the security criteria established by our police department. Earlier today, we informed both the Berkeley College Republicans and the Coulter organization of this development, and we look forward to working with them. We will disclose the exact location of the venue once we have finalized details with both organizations.
She was going to show up anyway and create a security clusterfark for them when the usual suspects inevitably started smashing windows. That was the nuclear option. Berkeley doesn’t care about bad press from the right; the fascist left wears that as a badge of honor. They don’t care about First Amendment lawsuits either. But if the town is going to burn on the 27th and they’re going to get sued by the victims for not having done more to provide security, then sure, they’ll spring into action and find a “protectable venue.” If this standoff is destined to happen, better from the school’s perspective that it happen in an environment they can sort of control than one they can’t. Coulter forced them to choose. Any other conservative speaker with the guts and the dough to provide their own security, just in case, can probably get other public universities to back down with the same threat.
Hours later, Coulter shot down the invitation in a series of tweets and said she will speak at Berkeley on Thursday as planned not only because she “can’t do May 2,” but “THERE ARE NO CLASSES AT BERKELEY THE WEEK OF MAY 2!!!”
That week is “Dead Week,” a time when classes are suspended so students can study for exams.
“It’s at an awful time,” said Naweed Tahmas, 20, of the Berkeley College Republicans student group that invited Coulter. Also, the last day of instruction is three days later.
“Do not fall for b.s. Berkeley press release claiming they ‘rescinded’ cancelation,” Coulter tweeted. “GOOD NEWS FOR CA TAXPAYER! You won’t be required to pay $$$$ to compensate me & my crew for rebooked airfare & hotels. I’m speaking on 4/27.”
Your move Berkeley.
There was an interesting piece on Jake Tapper in the Washington Free Beacon worth quoting:
In a candid interview with GQ published Tuesday, Tapper acknowledged that after his tough interviews of administration figures like Kellyanne Conway, he picked up a following from many critics of President Donald Trump.
“It’s nice to be recognized, but I also know that a lot of the people who are happy with me now are not going to be happy with me in four to eight years,” he predicted.
Tapper said that he was just as tough on Obama, and earned his share of grief for it at the time.
“A lot of people sending me nice tweets today were cursing me when I was asking questions about Benghazi in 2012,” he said.
“President Obama was not friendly to the press, but the press was very friendly to President Obama,” Tapper told GQ. “I mean, President Obama did not like me, and I understand why. I was a pain in his ass and I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid, and, you know, a lot of other people did.”
This is what I’ve been saying for years, that once a Republican was elected, conservatives would think Tapper had turned on them, but he’s never been with us, he’s just been a reporter who actually reports. Yeah he’s gotten a thing wrong or two on Trump (who he clearly doesn’t like) but I’m not going to throw Jake out of the bus for being what he’s always been, a journalist who asks a lot of tough questions that make people in power uncomfortable, whoever they are.
Some culture? Olivia De Havilland (who I think my wife resembles) is the last great star of Hollywood’s golden age still alive, from Captain Blood (1933) to Gone with the Wind (1939) she’s done it all and this week demonstrated the class of that bygone generation in reply to questions concerning a new mini series Feud about Hollywood circa 1963.
De Havilland is played on the series by fellow Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones as a regal friend and supporter of Davis, but she was not consulted by the show’s creators — Murphy recently told THR that he “didn’t want to intrude on Ms. de Havilland” — so THR emailed her (yes, she uses email) to ask for her thoughts about the show and the women at the center of it.
“I have received your email with its two questions,” De Havilland replied. “I would like to reply first to the second of these, which inquires of me the accuracy of a current television series entitled Feud, which concerns Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and their supposed animosity toward each other. Having not seen the show, I cannot make a valid comment about it. However, in principle, I am opposed to any representation of personages who are no longer alive to judge the accuracy of any incident depicted as involving themselves.”
Added De Havilland, “As to the 1963 Oscar ceremony, which took place over half a century ago, I regret to say that I have no memory of it whatsoever and therefore cannot vouch for its accuracy.”
Now, time to find a throw pillow large enough to embroider with every word of this email.
Susan Sarandon is one of the Stars of that series playing Joan Crawford. She is an ultra leftist but as this story shows, she is an honest one:
“It doesn’t matter if you’re outspoken about Trump, because Hollywood hates Trump,” she says. “But it was brave of Richard to say what he said. He was drawing attention to the things that everyone has agreed not to pay attention to. That’s the sin.”
She’s talking about Richard Gere who has been blacklisted in Hollywood for the crime of Supporting Tibet and criticizing China and even indy films are iffy now:
Gere is now appearing in “Norman,” the story of a Jewish “fixer” who gets involved with an Israeli politician. He’ll soon star in “The Dinner,” a modest story about two couples arguing over their adult children’s troubles.
Pure indie filmmaking. Yet even some indie films are off limits to him now.
“There was something I was going to do with a Chinese director, and two weeks before we were going to shoot, he called saying, ‘Sorry, I can’t do it,’” confides Gere. “We had a secret phone call on a protected line. If I had worked with this director, he, his family would never have been allowed to leave the country ever again, and he would never work.”
It’s a reminder that China is the same dictatorship it always was, but just imagine if they told Hollywood to lay off of Trump or no $. It would be fun to see which Hollywood types would bite their tongues off. Sarandon wouldn’t, that’s why I respect her.
An earlier item mentioned Gronk that is Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski who was part of the Pat’s continent that visited the White House and caused the Patriots to call out the New York Times for Fake News:
These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn. https://t.co/iIYtV0hR6Y
If you want to know why so many non-New England fans hate the patriots it’s because most can only dream about tweets that say “The last time the [insert their home team here] won two Super Bowls in three years”
and while the NYT has offered a mea culpa (via hotair)
NYT Sports editor gave me a pretty effusive statement on that Trump/Patriots-crowd-size-comparison tweet: pic.twitter.com/yrvyuCPybp
You’ll notice that the 800+ retweets that got is a lot less that the Times original 50,000+
Finally while the Boston Bruins (down 3-1) and the top seeded Boston Celtics (down 2-0) are nearing first round playoff elimination and the Boston Red Sox season just starting (10-6) 3rd place in the East have are all newsworthy I think the big story is the real likelihood that Superbowl Hero Malcolm Butler might be done in New England:
The thinking would be similar to what the club did in 2016 when it shipped defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a late second-round pick. The Patriots knew they were unlikely to sign Jones to a big-money extension after the season when he became an unrestricted free agent, so they decided that getting something valuable for him one year earlier was a worthwhile investment. They ultimately turned the pick they received for Jones into two players — starting guard Joe Thuney and promising receiver Malcolm Mitchell — en route to a Super Bowl championship.
Butler might even bring the Patriots a greater return in a year in which the club’s earliest selection in the draft is currently early in the third round, No. 72 overall. If the Saints were willing to return the first-round pick they received from the Patriots (No. 32 overall) in the Brandin Cooks trade, that might be enticing for Bill Belichick. Or a combination of high second- and third-round picks might even be viewed as more valuable to Belichick for a player who is unlikely to return to the team in 2018 after New England invested five years and $65 million in free-agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Of course they might just decide they want to extraordinary CB’s this year to make the defense even more airtight.
He’s one of the few people to whom a Superbowl victory can be directly traced and is rightly considered by the NFL as the top Interception of all time:
I’d be sorry to see him go but if he ends up with a big contract elsewhere I’m happy to see him cash in, he earned it.
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Tuesday Pope Francis very decisively reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s teaching on an all male priesthood emphatically citing St. Pope John Paul II in an interview:
The pontiff made the declaration in response to a female reporter asking whether he thought women would one day serve as Catholic priests and bishops, noting the head of Sweden’s Lutheran Church whom Francis met on his trip there is a woman.
“St. Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands,” Francis said during a news conference aboard the papal plane on the flight back to Rome, according to Reuters.
The reporter then asked “Forever, forever? Never, never?”
“If we read carefully the declaration by St. John Paul II, it is going in that direction,” the pope responded.
Given the direction that so many protestant denominations have gone and Francis’ willingness to engage them one might have thought he would have been more flexible to the argument of those churches and various dissenting groups who claim that Jesus was just following the cultural norms of the time, however this overlooks the fact that Jesus constantly challenged the cultural norms from healing on the sabbath, to associating with sinners, from challenging the chief priests and even refusing to condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery.
Now there are those who might say: Well DaTechguy that’s all well and good but a woman priesthood would have been a bridge too far for him, and that argument might wash if it wasn’t for one fact that I think is constantly ignored by those who dissent from the church in general and this issue in particular:
Jesus is God!
Jesus is not only the son of God he is in fact God as well. That being the case the idea that he would not be capable or willing to challenge a social norm is ridiculous on its face.
At least it is if you believe Jesus is who he said he was, if you don’t then perhaps you have no business saying who should be a Catholic priest and who should not.
Exit Question: How many of the liberal Catholics who have celebrated this Pope over the last few years, particularly Democrat elected officials, will rush to do a volte face now over this?
Later on, he also says he would sum up Benedict’s papacy with the word Veritas. He says: “It is about the fact that truth became man in Christ, that is for him [Benedict] the great theme of his life which reappeared again and again throughout his life in different variations and in different forms.” Gänswein adds that Benedict’s pontificate had “strengthened the Church in her foundations,” concluding with the words: “That will remain.”
A lot of times in the back and forth about the world we forget that in the end this fact is all that matters.
Yesterday Pope Francis & Pope Emeritus appeared together and I think the most significant part of the story was this:
Francis has recently dismissed new questions about the implications of Benedict’s resignation by insisting that there is only one pope — himself — and that Benedict had pledged his obedience to him on the day he resigned.
He told reporters this weekend he felt that Benedict “had my back” and was continuing to help the church through his prayers. He added he had heard that Benedict had even chastised some nostalgic faithful who were complaining about the “new pope.”
I may not know what the Holy Spirit is doing but I have faith that he does.
Finally here is a story about Francis that the MSM has left alone
The Vatican is summoning the heads of two more female religious orders so they can explain their “public dissent” from Church teaching.
The most recent communities to be summoned are the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM). The Vatican’s concern in both communities involves their dissent from Church teaching.
When Benedict did this the MSM was up in arms, I guess this one is just too hard for the media to spin Francis on this so they just let it be.