Friday, May 31, 2013


Pope Francis recently gave a homily in which he decried "triumphalism" in the Church. Per Zenit:

“Today, we risk succumbing to the temptation of a Christianity without a cross. And there is another temptation: that of a Christianity with the cross but without Jesus,” Pope Francis said. This, he continued, was the “temptation of triumphalism. We want triumph now, without going to the cross, a worldly triumph, a reasonable triumph."

The Holy Father concluded his homily speaking on the danger of triumphalism in the Church and of Christians, saying that a “triumphalist Church is a halfway Church.”

“A Church content with being “well organized and with [...] everything lovely and efficient”, but which denied the martyrs would be a Church which thought only of triumphs and successes; which did not have Jesus’ rule of triumph through failure. Human failure, the failure of the cross. And this is a temptation to us all.”

Here's the wild thing about this kind of statement, which isn't really all that uncommon these days. There is no more triumphalistic spirit than that which animates the defender's of Vatican II's alleged successes. It is impregnable to all assaults by reason, facts, etc. Even popes are infected by it. Despite Pope Benedict's attempts at realism towards the end of his pontificate, it's all over the place in other writings of his and is replete in what we have from Pope Paul and Blessed John Paul II.

Yet it's never recognized as such. In fact, any commentary that the Council was less than a 100% rousing success is typically met with accusations of infidelity to the Church or outright mockery.

Weird how that works.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fr. Greeley Is Dead

Fr. Andrew Greeley has passed away.

Let's ignore his body of work and instead ask a question that has been ignored in every report I've seen regarding his death. Fr. Greeley was the first guy who used the term "Lavender Mafia." He was trumpeting the problems of the abuse scandal and cover-ups way before things blew up in Boston. He insinuated and outright claimed that he had evidence related to the Lavender Mafia's activities in Chicago. Given his high-profile status, connections in the community, and "inside baseball" position during Cardinal Bernardin's tenure, it's more than plausible that he was being serious.

Now that he's dead, I'm wondering if there will be any ripple effects from this. Would Fr. Greeley have made arrangements for whatever evidence he might have possessed to come to light?

Not sure, but his passing makes for an interesting situation.

Something I've Realized About Distributism

I sort of hinted at it in an earlier post, but it's just now come clearly to mind with some of the comments being made by Pope Francis lately.

It is a central tenet of Catholic distributists that one of the major problems with capitalism is that it allows freer reign for the impulses wrought by original sin. The world, the flesh, the devil. That sort of stuff. This leads to an exploitation of the weak by the strong, etc.

What seems to be consistently, though admittedly not always, neglected in the distributist analysis is the effects of original sin on the poor. For example, most distributist treatises inevitably have a section/chapter mocking the notion that large numbers of the poor exist in such a state by choice. As I often concede, my anecdotes are not data, but I cannot but look around and immediately notice that there are significant numbers who make just such a choice. Moreover, what does it mean to essentially pass over and dismiss this notion by declaring it to be unreasonable?

Is it weird to think that some people would rather be poor(er) and not work than work and be just as well off or better off? Sure it's weird. Sin does weird things to people and makes them do dumb stuff. However, there's a reason that Sloth is on the list of the Seven Deadly Sins. Distributists seem to ignore this and focus on the condemnation of unbridled and unethical capitalist conduct.

Now understand that I'm not saying that those latter criticisms are illegitimate. I'm saying that they are incomplete. Materialism and the addiction to worldliness infects everybody, including the poor. Perhaps, I dare say, even moreso with the poor since our current society feeds their envy right along with all the other sins shared in common with capitalism.

I ask again, how would anyone impose a just wage these days, knowing the measure of it that would be turned into bread and circuses?

This doesn't destroy distributist arguments or theories. It just makes me wonder about how you get around this problem since most of the solutions seem to be rather one-sided. Original sin is universal. We aren't going to see another Immaculate Conception. The culture feeds the fomes of sin in rich and poor alike. I've seen lots of proposals for how to deal with this at the higher levels. What do we do about the 99%?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Better Day In Portugal. Maybe.

I'm throwing this one out for our regular reader and commenter Mark of the Vineyard.

Cardinal Policarpo has resigned, and the Holy Father has accepted said resignation. Here was a guy who basically sat on the sidelines while abortion was legalized in Portugal and who made scandalous comments about the dogma of Holy Orders being reserved to men (which led to a half-hearted retraction).

Bishop Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente (hell of a name there) has been appointed as his successor. Let's pray for him that the dogmas of the Faith will always be preserved under his care of the land of Fatima.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Last Couple Of Weeks

Have looked something like this:

Needless to say, I've been exhausted and doing a great impression of Mr. Freeman here in my day-to-day stuff.

I apologize for the lack of updates. We will hopefully resume our regular posting schedule over the course of the next week.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


The Forgotten Message of Fatima

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Assault On Parenthood

Just so everybody realizes this, the main attack against parenthood in this country is coming from prospective parents. Ignore for a moment the millions of children who are being murdered by abortionists. That's not so much an attack on parenthood as it is mass murder.

I'm talking about the very concept of parenthood itself.

This is taking the shape of parents essentially looking at their kids as life-sized dollies for them to play with. When the kids get to be more than that, they are nightmarish monsters.

Consider this entry from Creative Minority Report. It discussed the trend of sex-selective IVF procedures. Prospective parents are shelling out major cash to pull this off. Reflect on these words of a proud mom:

My husband and I stared at our daughter for that first year. She was worth every cent. Better than a new car, or a kitchen reno.

Well, hell, it's good to know that she's got that going for her! She was worth every penny! Imagine if she'd been twins!

Oh yeah. Twins. You know what they say about twins, right?

Think of the worst thing you can imagine. That’s what it was like.


Twins were always my worst nightmare.

Isn't that lovely? Yet this is what "parents" are coming to these days. I hear this kind of crap all the time. In many ways, it's the natural outgrowth of the snark that is directed at every family with more than two kids. Kids are fun. To a point. Once the parents aren't having fun, the kids catch the brunt of it, either being chastised into paralysis or pawned off on the most convenient day care/babysitter/relative for 6 days a week.

Ms. Hatten, who wrote the latter article, comments on the selfishness of our culture. It really is horrific. Children are a menace now.

Return quickly, Lord. Please.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

First Communion Hypocrisy

Have you ever noticed how parishes act for a kid's First Communion?

The kids have to dress up. The girls wear veils. I've never seen any of them receive in the hand because it's the only time of the year when the parish breaks out kneelers or makes use of their altar rail (assuming it has one). You even have special decorations and maybe even a reception for everyone when Mass is over. Of course, the kids have to go to confession, but that's sort of part of the general procedure here in the West anyway.

For one shining time in the child's life, they treat the Mass as what it is. It's all downhill from there. Sure, the measure of time it takes for the decay to set in varies. The clothes change is typically immediate. It's back to jeans and t-shirts (if their parents are particularly pious; otherwise, it might be way worse). A mantilla is never seen again.

The Eucharist is eventually received as a matter of course, rather than as a matter of salvation. There are teenagers getting ready for Confirmation who haven't been to confession since their First Communion. All reverence decomposes until nobody can really recall why they made such a big deal of it the first time around anyway.

Until it's time for their kids.

Then they think of how cute Dick and Jane will look in their nice clothes and how sweet the pictures will be when they kneel for, what is now, the afterthought of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of God Himself.

I'm not saying this is the case for everyone, but seeing kids I know will continue in the their reverence for the Eucharist reminded me of how the vast majority do not and who come to Mass only interested in the fact that they are now one week closer to being old enough to never return again.

Like everything else with the Church, we've turned so much into a production that the reason for everything has been forgotten. The shallow experience of snapping some pictures for the album has replaced the awe surrounding the encounter with Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And the people are content.

What a revolting development.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cardinal József Mindszenty

Do you know who he is? If not, please make the effort to learn. He was a great, great man, and we should all be ashamed of how he was ultimately treated by the Church after all he suffered on Her behalf.

There is a book out that contains much of his correspondence. Zenit has an interview with the author. It is worthwhile, but I am reproducing here the content that describes His Eminence himself. Please read the entire interview. If I'm able to get around to reading the book, I'll try to post a review here.

For five decades and with great faith and courage, Cardinal József Mindszenty fought at great personal cost for religious freedom in his native Hungary, offering a witness to the kind of heroism that might be needed in today’s increasingly tyrannical secularist societies.

During the Second World War, the Church of Hungary's “Prince-Primate” was imprisoned by the Nazis and then tortured by the country’s Communist regime. In 1949, he received a life sentence for his opposition to Marxist rule and persecution. Freed in 1956 following the Hungarian Revolution, he was granted political asylum in the United States embassy in Budapest, where he would spend the next 15 years confined to the embassy compound.

He regained freedom in 1971, lived in exile in Vienna, and died in 1975 at the age of 83. Documentation pertaining to his cause for beatification was sent to Rome in 1996.

During those years in which he was holed up as an embassy “guest” in the Hungarian capital, he was viewed with a mixture of respect and resentment in diplomatic circles, with some begrudging the unwanted burden he presented to US officials.

But he never let up campaigning for freedom and human rights. In his “semi-captivity," he wrote a large number of letters and messages, sent through diplomatic channels, to four US presidents and their secretaries of state. The missives, now documented in a new book called “Do Note Forget This Small Honest Nation," contained political advice on how to defend Hungary and Eastern Europe from Soviet Bolshevism. In particular, he consistently advocated for human rights and expressed his concern for the fate of thousands being persecuted by the Kadar regime that ruled Hungary after 1956.

Cardinal Mindszenty, please pray for us.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

He Did it Again (And Some Curia Hijinks)

In an address to the International Union of Superiors General (women's religious superiors), Pope Francis dropped the following comment. Per Zenit:

Your vocation is an essential charism for the journey of the Church, and it is not possible that a consecrated woman and a consecrated man not “feel” along with the Church. A “feeling” along with the Church which was generated in us in our Baptism; a “feeling” with the Church which finds its filial expression in fidelity to the Magisterium, in communion with the pastors and the Successor of Peter, Bishop of Rome, the visible sign of unity. For every Christian, the proclamation and witnessing of the Gospel are never an isolated act. This is important. For every Christian the proclamation and witnessing of the Gospel are never an isolated or group act, and no evangelizers acts, as Paul VI reminded very well, "on the strength of a personal inspiration, but in union with the mission of the Church and in her name” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, 80). And Paul VI continued: It is an absurd dichotomy to think of living with Jesus without the Church, of following Jesus outside of the Church, of loving Jesus without loving the Church (cf. Ibid., 16). Feel the responsibility you have to take care of the formation of your Institutes in the healthy doctrine of the Church, in love of the Church and in the ecclesial spirit.

This is the second time that the Holy Father has made such a comment. So far, we haven't seen any Dominus Iesus-ish blowback, probably because it is in the best interests of secularists to continue to promote an image of Pope Francis that is at variance with his predecessor (and Catholicism in general).

I wonder what the LCWR types thought about this. Probably not warm and fuzzy thoughts. After all, it's tough to move "beyond Jesus" what with popes and such constantly reminding people that there's no such thing. From the looks of things, they are looking for a protector in the Curia, and Cardinal João Braz de Aviz is stepping up to the plate.

His Eminence replaced Cardinal Franc Rode, who was good at his job. Cardinal Braz de Aviz seems unsure of what his job is, since he's spent most recent days (Per Rorate) griping about the LCWR investigation and wanting to know why he was "left out of the loop." It's pretty obvious that the CDF stepped in to do what His Eminence should have been doing. Needless to say, the CDF version of events is a bit different.

Opting to give up his right to remain silent, Cardinal Braz de Aviz continues to push the point.

The great part is that he talks about how much Pope Francis trusts all the Curial folks and yet complains about how he was excluded. It's a weird interview at the preceding link. One moment, he talks about how one can't have Christ without the Church, mirroring Pope Francis's own language. The next moment, everything becomes focused on the need for "dialogue" and "clarification." Very weird.

If anything, this shows us that the Curia is still a mess. We haven't seen any big moves to date, but one must assume they are being considered and/or planned. When things get to this point:

Everybody knows that a clean-up is in order. The Curia situation makes Hoarders look like a shot out of Southern Living magazine.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Conspiracy Theories And Nutjobs

If you've been tuned in to the news the last couple of days, chances are that you've heard about how the whole narrative that was promoted by the Obama administration regarding the Benghazi murders was completely fabricated.

No freaking way. Nobody saw that coming, right?

Our own nation has a tremendous track record of events where the government or powerful private interests have lied to people or engaged in conspiracies to further an often less-than-virtuous agenda. That's just our nation; it doesn't even bring into account the history of the rest of the world.

What amazes me is how, in the face of how ubiquitous this phenomenon is, people are so unwilling to consider the possibilities of such events. Just taking the Benghazi thing as an example. If the President's cohorts would lie about this, why wouldn't they lie about other things? Notice that I'm not taking the step of implicating the President as a party in this.

I use the Church as an example as well. We know how widespread the abuse scandal was. Is it so difficult to imagine that there was a group of prelates actively involved in shepherding those responsible? J. Edgar Hoover denied the existence of the Mafia. The average Catholic denies the existence of the Lavender Mafia. Both in the face of significant evidence to the contrary.

To be clear, this isn't about people who are presented with this kind of information and then simply disagree with the conclusion. This is about folks who listen to the info and then immediately label the presenter as a lunatic for no other reason than "Well, I just can't believe that" or "The (insert government/private interest) would never do such a thing." For an example of this latter scenario, consider anyone voicing fears that our current government is hostile to religious interests and actively seeking to undermine Christianity, specifically Catholicism. I am amazed at how these fears are met with such incredulity.

There are two kinds of crazy: thinking everything is a conspiracy and thinking nothing is a conspiracy. I suggest that the vast majority of our electorate have slouched into the second camp.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

An Item From Today's Readings

Specifically, the First Reading from Acts 15:

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.” Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.

The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers. This is the letter delivered by them:

The apostles and the elders, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings. Since we have heard that some of our number who went out without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:

First, why is the Council of Jerusalem not mentioned here? Is it included in the Readings on some other day? Kind of an important thing to leave out, I think.

Second, notice what the message says that set apart the Judaizers from the legitimate missionaries. It's the apostolic mandate. The Judaizers were not sent forth by the authority of the Apostles. This dovetails well with St. Paul's comment in Romans:

How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things!

Romans 10:14-15

It's not standard operating procedure for the Holy Spirit to select a random guy who then consecrates himself as The Most Reverend Prophet, Bishop J. Randall WooHoo of the First Mt. Nebo United Nazarene Church of the Living God in Christ.

People are sent forth by ones in authority. They receive that authority by the laying on of hands from one of those with authority (1 Timothy 4:14). Those latter having received it from someone else, eventually leading back to Our Blessed Lord.

This is a concept foreign to many Protestants, of course, in that the never-ending multiplication of sects is often spurred by the random individual taking it upon himself to act as God's messenger without the aforementioned mandate.

Catholics have a serious problem with this as well. This is often seen in the various parish committees wherein laity take it upon themselves to play make-believe with the Church's liturgy and doctrines. Being assigned to a position of "lay leadership" suddenly makes one an authority above the Church. This was a huge problem where my wife attended RCIA, where the liturgy was changed like a suit of cheap clothes and the whole catechetics/RCIA program was run by heretics.

Nothing new under the sun, though. If the Apostles had to deal with it, makes sense that we would too.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Planned Parenthood = Kermit Gosnell (Safe?, Legal?, Rare?)

Well, we know it's legal, so I guess one out of three ain't bad.

Take note of this recent video by Live Action in which Planned Parenthood personnel admit that babies born alive are allowed to die.

These are the people that the President recently invoked a divine blessing upon.

If you want to know which deity the President and Planned Parenthood serve, we have a picture.

Obama and Planned Parenthood: Turning Back the Clock to 1300 BC since 1973,