Well the Synod on the family has come and gone and the MSM message can be explained by two memes:

Meme #1  those nasty conservatives have won:

The final synod document restated Church teachings that gays should not suffer discrimination in society, but also repeated the stand that there was “no foundation whatsoever” for same-sex marriage, which “could not even remotely” be compared to heterosexual unions.

And the Pope is really mad about it:

Pope Francis, ending a contentious bishops’ meeting on family issues, on Saturday excoriated immovable Church leaders who “bury their heads in the sand” and hide behind rigid doctrine while families suffer.

The pope spoke at the end of a three-week gathering, known as a synod, where the bishops agreed to a qualified opening toward divorcees who have remarried outside the Church but rejected calls for more welcoming language toward homosexuals.

It was the latest in a series of admonitions to bishops by the pontiff, who has stressed since his election in 2013 that the 1.2 billion-member Church should be open to change, side with the poor and rid itself of the pomp and stuffiness that has alienated so many Catholics.

Breitbart notes that this has made people like Fr. Thomas Reese a tad upset:

As other Christian communions have little by little caved under the pressures of modern society–abandoning age-old Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality and adapting their standards to a secular morality–the Catholic Church alone has stood firm, they asserted.

But Father Reese and other liberal reformers do not like the Church the way it is. They want to remake it to be like the Anglican Church, a body that modifies its teaching every few years to keep up with the times and mirror the secular world around it. Yet none of these reformers takes the logical step of actually becoming Anglicans, because then they would cease to be relevant.

The liberal desire to make marriage perishable is accompanied by their wish to see homosexuality celebrated as part of God’s plan for humanity.

In fact after last year’s attempt to fix the game the disappointment must have been even greater than the media realizes:

The clearest evidence of a more open and honest synod process in 2015 was that the fruit of last year’s synod — the instrumentum laboris, or working document for this year’s synod — was regularly lambasted by nearly all the language-group reports. It must have been painful for the synod secretariat, which composed the document after last year’s synod, to publish the near-universal disdain for their work, but it is to their credit that they did so. After the second-round of such reports were published, with their withering evaluation of the poor document they had been given, the dynamic for a much different conclusion was set in motion. After the reports were published, simply ramming the instrumentum laboris through was no longer an option.

That the final report was so radically different from the original instrumentum laboris was described by more than one synod father as a “miracle”. But it wasn’t a miracle. It was the difference between a document designed to reflect the priorities and vision of the synod secretariat, which from the beginning favored Cardinal Kasper’s proposal, and a document drafted to reflect the considered judgments of the synod fathers from throughout the Church.

Was the synod rigged? It was once, but not this year. And the reaction to the rigging last year made for a different Synod 2015.

However liberals like Reese have a solution to not getting what they want, do it anyways:

The more likely result will be that certain parishes and dioceses will become known as places where divorced and remarried Catholics are unofficially welcomed at Communion — don’t ask, don’t tell. Pastoral practice will change, and theology and the bishops will catch up eventually.

because he sees no way to be welcoming to those in sin without communion

Whether this pastoral outreach without Communion will sell back home remains to be seen. I doubt it.

I would suggest the good father read Simcha Fisher’s excellent piece at Pathos

I wondered why. I mean, why would someone want to be in the Church if they can’t receive the Eucharist?  There are many wonderful things about the Church, but without the Eucharist . . . what’s the point? Who wants to hang around a restaurant if you never get to sit and eat?

And then I realized. The children. People will bring their children to be fed. If they feel welcome, and if they feel like they’re not utterly rejected, even though they can’t receive Communion, they will bring their children to Mass, and will bring their children to catechism class, and will bring their children to the sacraments.  They will make sure their children stay involved in the life of the Church. Or at least they might! And there is hope for the next generation . . . and also for the cousins, who always keep up on the family news, and for the friends of the family, and for the lady in the grocery line who stop and chat about  marriage and want to know all about your personal life . . .

They can tell that lady, “Well, it’s complicated, but I’m still a Catholic.There is still a place for  me. It’s not what I’d wish, but it’s better than nothing. They still want me, and I still need Him.”

Fisher has figured out what Reese has not, this synod wasn’t about ideology it was really about family after all:

That’s what I mean when I say I figured out the Synod. It really wasn’t hidden! It’s all about the family. It’s always been about the family — and the family is about more than the one marriage and the one couple in question. That’s why they didn’t call it “The Synod About Gay People and Divorce” or “The Synod About Just How Popey the Pope Plans to Be, Anyway” or “The I-Don’t-Recall-Jesus-Talking-Much-About-Marriage,-Do-Youuu? Synod” Nope. Every single human being is, for better or worse, part of a family, and because of this, what we do affects lots of other people — and how we’re treated affects lots of other people, too.

It’s about future generations, and also it’s about how the faith of children can affect parents.

I think Fisher’s piece should be distributed to every priest and bishop in the US.

Let me close with a personal story.

Before I switched to St. Bernards I would attend daily mass on Saturday there because they had one and my parish didn’t (I’d also go if I woke up late since they have both a 7 & an 8 AM weekday mass) On Saturdays I noticed a man, maybe 10 years older than me who regularly went up for communion with his hands crosses not accepting the host.

Now he could have stayed in his pew as I do if I’m not confessed, or he could have skipped mass but he did not he went up every time and made it a point to get a blessing.

The more I saw it the more it hit me just how amazing a statement this was.  There are three other parishes in the city plus others in adjoining towns.  He could easily go to a mass where he is not known and receive to his heart’s content, yet that was not for him instead he would go up, happy to approach christ in the Eucharist but respecting him so much that he would not receive in an unworthy state and by doing so in public he declared to the any person willing to see just what the Eucharist and loving Christ is.

How can you not admire a person like that?

I think he could teach Fr. Reese a thing or two about the Eucharist he certainly taught me and I let him know that he did.

I didn’t ask why he doesn’t receive, I’ll likely never know  but I’ll tell you this, when the time comes for me to be I judged I hope that St. Peter can say that I respected the Eucharist as this man does.

 

It is a change for the better. The great and toothsome-sinners are made out of the very Same material as those horrible phenomena, the great saints.

C.S. Lewis The Saturday Evening Post Screwtape Proposes a toast

It’s easy to be a fan of Milo Yiannopoulos he’s a clever and erudite fellow who has a knack of honesty and truth and absolutely confounds many on the left who would like to pigeonhole him.

He also appeals to the millennial crowd, my own sons find his writing great and his appearance on shows and podcasts hilarious.

A couple of weeks ago my kids insisted I listen to a podcast featuring Milo, the Joe Rogan experience. He talked about political correctness, he talks about feminism and he also unabashedly talked about his rakish homosexual lifestyle as if it was something to celebrate.

But in that podcast there was one of the oddest moments that absolutely leaped out at me, something that caught his interview off guard.

The subject of religion came up and the interviewer was shocked when Milo identified himself as a Catholic and a believer. When given the chance to hit belief, he shocked him further when Milo talked about “not doing so well” and rather than being raucous on the subject suddenly became quiet, almost reflective.

But soon the interviewer changed eh subject and he became himself again. But that moment spoke volumes.

One would think that Milo giving his open and proud description of sex acts with multiple male partners would find it easy to reject Catholicism or simply consider it a cultural thing, something he was taught that really doesn’t mean anything and other will constantly reinforce that, but Milo is used to going against the grain of cultural expectation when truth contradicts it. That makes him dangerous to the other side (and I don’t mean liberals)

The great sinners seem easier to catch . But then they are incalculable. After you have played them for seventy years, the Enemy may snatch them from your claws in the seventy-first. They are capable, you see, of real repentance. They are conscious of real guilt. They are, if things take the wrong turn, as ready to defy the social pressures around them for the Enemy’s sake as they were to defy them for ours.

Milo’s proclamation reminds me of that passage from Screwtape proposes a toast. He was able to abandon feminism, liberalism because he saw their untruths but despite his open praise of mortal sin, he finds himself unable to abandon the church and christ, why?

I suspect it’s because of that same ability to recognize truth.

Milo is a public example of this but I suspect there are plenty of others, some in the gay community, some pols, some divorced and remarried who persist in sin but know in their gut something is wrong and being self aware need to obtain courage to abandon the comfortable (or even uncomfortable) sin to a more uncomfortable and sometimes frightening repentance.

I suspect that for Pope Francis and some of the more sincere christians of the left in the church these people is what they are talking about, wanting to deal with people like this in as delicate as fashion as possible to help the through the difficulties of abandon close held sins that they have been in for years or even decades. This contrasts with those churchmen who I call “Catholics for Mortal Sin” who rather than taking these delicate steps are looking to redefine sin not for the sake of souls but for the sake of themselves and their acceptance and even celebration by the world.

In general the solution is simple: Prayer, truth and mercy.

Encourage Prayer to God and the intercession of the blessed bother and the saints. Speak the truth of Christ as displayed by Scripture and Tradition which steers the doctrine of the church, and Mercy toward sinners, being willing to walk with them though the long and sometimes painful journey out of habitual sin.

As for Milo, I’ll keep him in my prayers and I’d ask you to do the same so that in the end he can be a source of great disappointment for Screwtape and company, it might take years but I have faith…

…and apparently so does Milo.

Joseph: I forgot what I was supposed to tell him.
Jules:Oh, well tell him he should on no account try to open that cage. Tell him because if he does try to and puts his hand inside of the cage to find out what’s there, he’s liable to be disagreeably surprised.[laughs] Tell him, well that there’s a deadly poisonous snake inside, of the cage. Tell him. [Joseph leaves the room & Re-enters a few seconds later] You didn’t tell him!
Joseph: He knows already.

We’re No Angels 1955

The great Synod Debate continues and my Friend Elizabeth Scalia has reached a point of frustration:

My dear synod fathers, my dear co-religionists, I am a nobody and am the first to admit it—I am shocked to hear myself ask this question. But what if Christ Jesus is rolling his eyes at us because we are still wondering whether people should disperse and go find bread elsewhere, when the True Bread is before us and abundant? What if, as the debate rages over whose hands are clean enough to eat the Food that cannot defile, he is sighing and asking us, “Do you still not understand?”

As have her critics:

That the long-settled question regarding the presentation of Holy Communion to notorious, unrepentant sinners is even up for discussion at this Synod is a tragic scandal. But for this consideration to be promoted by a prominent Catholic writer who has a reputation for orthodoxy? Ms. Scalia … please retract your article.

I very much understand both of their frustrations because the sin they are warning against is spiritual pride, It a sin that terrifies me because it’s an easy sin to fall into and feels so warm on the skin until like Adolph the poisonous snake in the movie it bites you.

Cousin Paul: Still in all I’d feel better if I had a doctor look at it.

Joseph: He Says he’d feel better if a doctor looked at it.

Jules: Oh, He wants to send for a doctor

Albert: Tell him to save his money.

Joseph: He says to save your money that’s good advice take my word for it.

Cousin Paul: I guess you’re right, it stung at first but now I don’t feel a thing 

That’s the nature of spiritual pride, it bites for a second but before you know it you don’t feel a thing. And spiritual pride comes in multiple flavors both being too rigid to see the possibilities and being too willing to bend the rules are two sides of the same coin, but I think the best answer to both comes from the Gospel of Luke:

At that time some people who were present there told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.

He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?  By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!  Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?  By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. (So) cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’  He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'”

Luke 13:1-9

This passage is telling. The first paragraph reminds everyone that salvation isn’t like running away from a bear where you just have to be faster than the guy behind you.  Being right on the issue of the Eucharist or having mercy in the heart isn’t going to be enough to get it done.  It’s about finishing the race with Christ at the finish line.

The second paragraph parable reminds us that those who are stuck in mortal sin are worth the extra effort to help them out but it also says something more.

Note what the gardener does in trying to save the fig tree,  He cultivates the ground around it, he fertilizes it.  He doesn’t do anything extraordinary, anything miraculous, he uses the regular methods of any gardener he just gives this tree a little more extra personal attention because that’s what it needs.

Michael Hickborn is correct about not being too keen play fast and loose with the rules. This is well founded remember what a tiny exception did to the protestants at Lambeth in 1930 and we have all seen results of the spin of Vatican II for those whose goals were to change the faith.

Meanwhile Elizabeth Scalia is correct that the call of God to an individual is subtle and we MUST be willing to cultivate and fertilize the ground around them so the call can bear fruit because that is the bottom line of Christianity, the salvation of individual souls. I suspect each of us can tell a story like Elizabeth’s of a person finding the faith and as the Holy Spirit told Peter.  “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.

However the difference between cultivating and coddling is the difference between a person hearing God calling despite their sins, and a person calling God out demanding what he considers his due. It’s the difference between the synod looking for a way to enable those who seek God’s mercy and enabling those who seeking the world’s agenda.

Closing thought, one of my favorite movies is the 1955 classic We’re no Angels.  Starring Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov as three escaped Devil’s island convicts who come to a house and shop to rob it to aid their escape but find themselves instead coming to the aid of the honest husband his devoted wife and their Daughter accidentally causing the end of their tormentors leaving the parents rich and the daughter with a fine young doctor as a suitor and in the end rather than board the boat and escape decide to turn themselves in. The final scene show them walking away back to the camera with halos appearing over their heads.

It’s how God sometimes works, slowly and subtly until in the end they do the right thing.

People who want to find God, who are seeking mercy will find it, it might take a lifetime but they’ll get there.  Those who are looking to justify themselves for their own power, their own glory or to bring down the church will fail in all those counts because that’s how the Holy Spirit works and as Christ said when it comes to his church the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

I’m a big fan in the truths of the church, we should have faith in this one.

****************************************************************************

The only pay I get for this work comes from you. My goal for 2015 is $22,000.

Given that fact and the discovery that the repairs needed for my car that failed inspection will run between $500-$1000 I would I ask you to please consider hitting DaTipJar.




Olimometer 2.52

That gets all the bills paid. Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done and then some.


Choose a Subscription level



Additionally our subscribers get our podcast emailed directly to them before it show up anywhere else.

I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

My pastor is gone for the week so Monday I attended my old parish for daily mass .  It was the feast of Sts. Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil who were martyred in North America by the Iroquois.

During his sermon Fr. Leo talked St. Isaac’s first captivity (he was martyred during his 2nd) and how he was comforted by a book with commentary on the letter to the Hebrews and regretted that unlike the saint so few Catholic take advantage of the treasure of scripture sitting in their homes on a coffee table, even those who attend mass.

Never was I more made aware of this then today.

Ladies & Gentlemen meet Call to Actioncall to action

They describe their mission as:

Call To Action educates, inspires and activates Catholics to act for justice and build inclusive communities through a lens of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles.

As you might guess looking at their site their agenda is gay marriage, woman priests and abortion or as I call it “Catholics for Mortal Sin”

I’d never heard of them before but today while checking out the #catholic hashtag I saw them tweet this out concerning the synod on the family.

While unfamiliar with Catholic Call to Action I’m very familiar with Fr. Thomas Reese SJ and what he and other of the Catholic left have had to say about St. Pope John Paul II & Pope Benedict during their pontificates so I found this statement incredibly ironic and said so.

This led to a long twitter exchange.

but while I find the whole “Catholic Left doesn’t want people dissing a the pope” business ironic, that was nothing compared to this

If both my assertion concerning Christ & Truth and their answer sounds familiar to you then congratulations, unlike Catholic call to action you’re familiar with the passion &  know your scripture

Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants (would) be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (emphasis mine) John 18:36-38a

I couldn’t believe me eyes so I called them on it

Think about that for a second A group that calls itself “catholic” yet disputes the doctrines of the church claiming they were “developed exclusively by older white men from Europe” when challenged by the proposition that Christ offered Truth answered with the very words that Pilate pronounced upon handing him over for crucifixion.

It’s one thing to dispute the truth of Christ’s church, it’s another to use Pilate’s own words to do it.  And these guys are going to persuade actual mass going Catholics to go along with them?

Seriously you can’t make this stuff up, you just can’t.

Update I answered their last tweet with a very simple question

As of this writing 21 hours later this “Catholic” group has no answer.

Update 2: Wow, just wow! That answer deserves its own post

****************************************************************************

The only pay I get for this work comes from you. My goal for 2015 is $22,000.

Given that fact and the discovery that the repairs needed for my car that failed inspection will run between $500-$1000 I would I ask you to please consider hitting DaTipJar.




Olimometer 2.52

That gets all the bills paid. Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done and then some.


Choose a Subscription level



Additionally our subscribers get our podcast emailed directly to them before it show up anywhere else.

I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.