Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37

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.

Now a year ago a set of Cardinals sent a Dubia asking the Holy Father to clarify this footnote.  The cardinals and the dubia have alternatively been ignored and attacked at the Vatican but most importantly nobody has answered them.

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.

They declined to answer and I wrote at the time:

Now I’m not a professed catholic organization with a big leadership team, chapters around the nation holding national conferences with a list of keynote speakers and endorsements as famous a Christian an ex-president of the United States but I know this much:

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:

Jesus I trust in you.

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.

1 Corinthians 11:23-29 (via USCCB Site)

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.

Matthew 18:6-9 via USCCB

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.

UPDATE: I decided to see how easy it is to find the bible on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Website. Fortunately there is a front page link that looks like this:

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!

Update 4: Added the text of the screen shot

Update 5: Subscriber Richard Shuford reminds me that the internet and more specifically the Wayback Machine is forever and while the July 5th capture showed the bible gone the June 6 2017 capture still has the main page but I’m linking the Jan 31st 2017 version which has all the pages there available and readable.

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.

Update 7: Scripture is back at the Vatican site but Beware of the Leopard!


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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)

Full details are here.


Speaking of life the most pro-life president of my lifetime has once again taken concrete action defending it.

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.

At least as late as last night, the Vatican still hadn’t heard from the White House, either. America Magazine’s Gerard O’Connell reports that the Holy See’s diplomatic office is happy to arrange the meeting if they get the request:

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.

They should have a lot to talk about.


Speaking of life guess what’s alive again? An Obamacare repeal compromise:

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.


You know what might also be alive again?  Ann Coulter’s speech not just At Berkeley but invited BY Berkeley which claims they have…

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.

Hotair explains the volte face:

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.

Coulter has told them they can go pound sand she’s coming the 27th anyway:

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.”

I’m with Vulture.com here

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:

and they posted a tweet comparing two compatible super bowl win visits

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)

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:

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler has signed his restricted free-agent tender, which opens the possibility that the team could trade him.

Because a player can’t be traded unless he is under contract, Butler’s status was in limbo until he signed the $3.91 million tender.

Here’s why it makes it likely that he’s done here

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?

This week is the 65th Anniversary of the ordination of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and somehow that made three Catholic stories jumped out a me.

A very interesting interview with Archbishop Gänswein on Pope Benedict:

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.

I’ve written about the indulgences available for the dead in purgatory during the year of Mercy by passing through the designated holy doors and my quest as a daily mass attendee to obtain as many as possible while thru mid November.

Yesterday for the first time during Pope Francis’ declared Year of Mercy circumstances I found myself attending mass at a designated Church of pilgrimage rather than simply passing through the doors either before or after attending mass at my own parish to obtain the available indulge for a soul in purgatory.

The parish St. Joseph’s in Fitchburg which was built in an area once populated by the French Canadian population that came down during the thriving factory days of the city, was once much smaller but the building was expanded after World War 2 and now has the largest capacity of the remaining churches in the city, but even with the consolidation was less than half full for mass yesterday.

However even with that lesser crowd as a sat in the “Old” church with the priest’s back to me (the layout is a Cross with the altar at the center of the “t”) It occurred to me that every person receiving Holy Communion at that mass had automatically fulfilled most of the requirements for a year of Mercy indulgence, meaning that there were hundreds of potential indulgences dispensed at that mass, several times for all the masses each week at St. Joseph’s.

That meant that the congregation at St Joe’s had the potential to easily secure indulgences for every person buried at St. Joseph’s cemetery down the road during the course of the Year of Mercy with plenty to spare with almost no alteration to their regular routine, all that would be necessary was sacramental confession once every two weeks!

That was a comforting thought that was followed by a sobering question: How many of those in attendance were actually bothering to do so?

That question nagged at me, and it reminded me of a sad story concerning a wonderful charity named Angel Tree that obtains Christmas gifts for the children of those in jail.

There was a fellow in prison who had six children by six different mothers who had not heard of Angel Tree. He was informed of it by a fellow inmate who had heard about it through the prison ministry. He was told that all he had to do was go and fill out the forms and each of his children would receive a Christmas gift that year.

Weeks passed and nothing happened and the deadline was upon them. His fellow came up to him on that last day saying that if he wanted gifts for his kids he would have to come to the service that evening and fill out the paperwork otherwise it would be too late.

He declined, opting for a card game. His kids got nothing.

Right now in every Catholic diocese in the word there is a Holy Door. In the United States there are hundreds of them. If you are in the congregation at the designated church containing that door you have the potential to earn the indulgence for a soul in purgatory on a weekly or even daily basis.

The year of Mercy ends November 20th meaning that as of today if you go to daily mass you can secure potentially 168 indulgences between now and then. If you attend mass weekly at once of those locations you have the potential to earn 24 indulgences before the year closes.

I submit that it’s a horrible waste to not take advantage of this time and even more so if you attend one of the churches on that list. In the words of James T. Kirk

Take the time and earn one of those indulgences. A soul in purgatory will thank you

This post is going to sound a tad unusual.

As you might have noted from a previous post this year, the Holy Father has for the year of Mercy (which runs from Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception to Nov. 20, 2016) declared several available indulgences (under normal conditions) including one for going through any of the designated Holy Doors at multiple locations around the world.

It so happens that one of said doors is in my city so this year I have been taking advantage of this situation to the point where I have literally gone though every dead relative and friend or parents of friends that I can remember to obtain, by the grace of God, indulgences for them. Given I come from Sicilian parents born in the 1920’s that’s no easy feat but as I regularly go to daily mass and weekly confession obtaining daily indulgences has been less complicated than for most.

With over 150 days to go in the Holy Year I thought about going through the rotor for them all again (after all any attachment to sin turns a Plenary indulgence into a partial one so it’s can’t hurt to do it again) but I thought I’d do something different.

I am literally opening up the floor to readers. Do you have a dead relative or friend that you would like me to pray for and by the grace of God obtain an indulgence for? Simply leave their name in comments and I will make it a point to do so during this year of mercy.

I’m limiting the number to the first 100 names simply because I can’t guarantee that I will be in a position to go through the holy doors every day as I’ll be traveling a few times during this period and don’t know if there will be another Holy Door available nearby. Furthermore as one must be in a state of grace to earn an indulgence I can’t guarantee that I won’t succumb to temptation and thus lose days before obtaining sacramental confession and I don’t want to be in a position that I can’t do something I’ve promised.

Don’t worry BTW if you are not Catholic or your departed loved one was not, the existence of Purgatory is not dependent on either your or their beliefs in its existence. Furthermore if a person I’m praying for is either already in heaven (thus not needing the indulgence) or already in Hell (thus unable to benefit from it) said indulgence will go to the deposit of faith which will be used to good effect.

Finally if you want notification of when said indulgence was earned leave that information in your comment.

So start sending me the names and I’ll get praying and get though those doors for them.

And remember check with your local diocese, it’s very probable that such a door exists in your area as well, take advantage of it while you can as the next scheduled holy year doesn’t come until 2025.

FYI if you want to know the conditions to earn an indulgence the details are below the fold

Continue reading “Open Indulgence Request Call”

The latest in our series on Amoris Laetitia as it is vs how it is spun:

 

The Pope talks about the family being a place where we are happy for each other

110. When a loving person can do good for others, or sees that others are happy, they themselves live happily and in this way give glory to God, for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). Our Lord especially appreciates those who find joy in the happiness of others. If we fail to learn how to rejoice in the well-being of others, and focus primarily on our own needs, we condemn ourselves to a joyless existence, for, as Jesus said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  The family must always be a place where, when something good happens to one of its members, they know that others will be there to celebrate it with them.

Seeking other’s happiness is the opposite of the grievance society..

And in the very next paragraph the grievance society is addressed

112. First, Paul says that love “bears all things” (panta stégei). This is about more than simply putting up with evil; it has to do with the use of the tongue. The verb can mean “holding one’s peace” about what may be wrong with another person.  It implies limiting judgment, checking the impulse to issue a firm and ruthless condemnation:  “Judge not and you will not be judged” (Lk 6:37).  Although it runs contrary to the way we normally use our tongues, God’s word tells us: “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters” (Jas 4:11). Being willing to speak ill of another person is a way of asserting ourselves, venting resentment and envy without concern for the harm we may do. We often forget that slander can be quite sinful; it is a grave offense against God when it seriously harms another person’s good name and causes damage that is hard to repair. Hence God’s word forthrightly states that the tongue “is a world of iniquity” that “stains the whole body” (Jas 3:6); it is a “restless evil, full of deadly poison” (3:8). Whereas the tongue can be used to “curse those who are made in the likeness of God” (3:9), love cherishes the good name of others, even one’s enemies. In seeking to uphold God’s law we must never forget this specific requirement of love.

One could argue that this paragraph is a direct assault on the entire raison d’être of the left.

 

And the next paragraph again flies in the face of the current cultural wisdom on marriage.

113. Married couples joined by love speak well of each other; they try to show their spouse’s good side, not their weakness and faults. In any event, they keep silent rather than speak ill of them. This is not merely a way of acting in front of others; it springs from an interior attitude.  Far from ingenuously claiming not to see the problems and weaknesses of others, it sees those weaknesses and faults in a wider context.  It recognizes that these failings are a part of a bigger picture. We have to realize that all of us are a complex mixture of light and shadows. The other person is much more than the sum of the little things that annoy me. Love does not have to be perfect for us to value it. The other person loves me as best they can, with all their limits, but the fact that love is imperfect does not mean that it is untrue or unreal. It is real, albeit limited and earthly. If I expect too much, the other person will let me know, for he or she can neither play God nor serve all my needs. Love coexists with imperfection. It “bears all things” and can hold its peace before the limitations of the loved one.

The most effective weapon the cultural left has played in their war on marriage has been the unrealistic expectations game.

 

And part of that expectations game is discouragement

116. Panta elpízei. Love does not despair of the future. Following upon what has just been said, this phrase speaks of the hope of one who knows that others can change, mature and radiate unexpected beauty and untold potential. This does not mean that everything will change in this life.  It does involve realizing that, though things may not always turn out as we wish, God may well make crooked lines straight and draw some good from the evil we endure in this world.

As CS Lewis pointed out in screwtape the trick of the enemy is to make you panic over a bunch of different futures that can’t all happen.  That’s another tool in the war on marriage they has been particularly effective and or the press to acknowledge these realities would undo decades of hard fighting in that war.

The latest in my series of showing Amoris Laetitia as it is vs what some pretend it to be.

Just a reminder Patience is a virtue and also makes things work

92. Being patient does not mean letting ourselves be constantly mistreated, tolerating physical aggression or allowing other people to use us. We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the centre and expect things to turn out our way. Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively. Unless we cultivate patience, we will always find excuses for responding angrily. We will end up incapable of living together, antisocial, unable to control our impulses, and our families will become battlegrounds. That is why the word of God tells us: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph 4:31). Patience takes root when I recognize that other people also have a right to live in this world, just as they are. It does not matter if they hold me back, if they unsettle my plans, or annoy me by the way they act or think, or if they are not everything I want them to be. Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like.

But our society and the left doesn’t like patience because it gets rid of the excuse to do what one wants at once and as I’ve always said the worst thing in the world is an excuse.

The Pope also talks a bit about a particular deadly sin, envy.

95. Saint Paul goes on to reject as contrary to love an attitude expressed by the verb zelói – to be Spiritual Exercises, Contemplation to Attain Love jealous or envious. This means that love has no room for discomfiture at another person’s good fortune (cf. Acts 7:9; 17:5). Envy is a form of sadness provoked by another’s prosperity; it shows that we are not concerned for the happiness of others but only with our own well-being. Whereas love makes us rise above ourselves, envy closes us in on ourselves. True love values the other person’s achievements. It does not see him or her as a threat. It frees us from the sour taste of envy. It recognizes that everyone has different gifts and a unique path in life. So it strives to discover its own road to happiness, while allowing others to find theirs.

Love and envy are simply not compatible however in our consumer society envy is a driver.

And he brings us something not blaming other and looking at ourselves.

107. Today we recognize that being able to forgive others implies the liberating experience of understanding and forgiving ourselves. Often our mistakes, or criticism we have received from loved ones, can lead to a loss of self-esteem. We become distant from others, avoiding affection and fearful in our interpersonal relationships. Blaming others becomes falsely reassuring. We need to learn to pray over our past history, to accept ourselves, to learn how to live with our limitations, and even to forgive ourselves, in order to have this same attitude towards others.

One must forgive oneself before one can forgive others but one must also look at oneself honestly, and boy the left hates that.

Plus the base of our ability to forgive others is the willingness of God to forgive us:

108. All this assumes that we ourselves have had the experience of being forgiven by God, justified by his grace and not by our own merits. We have known a love that is prior to any of our own efforts, a love that constantly opens doors, promotes and encourages. If we accept that God’s love is unconditional, that the Father’s love cannot be bought or sold, then we will become capable of showing boundless love and forgiving others even if they have wronged us. Otherwise, our family life will no longer be a place of understanding, support and encouragement, but rather one of constant tension and mutual criticism.

This is a big reason why marriage fails, When you considered that God has forgiven you it’s easier to forgive each other, but one a society rejects Christianity and forgiveness then it becomes harder to forgive and easier to just walk away from marriage and family.