Saturday, July 25, 2015

Happy feast day, pilgrim!

St. James the Moor-slayer, pray for us!
Save the persecuted.
Free the captives.
Protect the Holy Faith.
Defend the Church.

Something from Fr. Hardon: Is sodomy a sign of the Church’s “self-destruction”?

From Pope Paul VI.

Yes, as Pope Paul VI declared in one of his most outspoken denunciations of homosexuality. In context, he is speaking of the immoral practices among professed Catholics who are defending homosexuality:
“The Church finds herself in an hour of disquiet, of self-criticism, one might even say of self-destruction. It is like an acute and complex interior upheaval, which no one expected after the Council. One thought of a blossoming, a serene expansion of the mature concepts of the Council. The Church still has this aspect of blossoming. But since “bonum ex integra causa, malum ex quocumque defectu,” the aspect of sorrow has become most notable. The Church is also being wounded by those who are part of her.” (Allocution to the students of the Lombard Seminary, Dec. 7, 1968)

How did Pope John Paul II describe this self-destruction in our day?

He spoke to the religious and priests participating in the First Italian National Congress on Missions to the People:
“One must be realistic and acknowledge with a deep and pained sentiment that a great part of today’s Christians feel lost, confused, perplexed, and even disillusioned: ideas contradicting the revealed and unchanging Truth have been spread far and wide; outright heresies in the dogmatic and moral fields have been disseminated, creating doubt, confusion, and rebellion; even the liturgy has been altered. Immersed in intellectual and moral “relativism” and therefore in permissiveness, Christians are tempted by atheism, agnosticism, a vaguely moralistic illuminism, a sociological Christianity, without defined dogmas and without objective morality.” (L’Osservatore Romano, February 7, 1981).

How do professed Catholics further promote the practice of homosexuality?

They do so by receiving support from priests, even bishops, and from religious men and women.

What is at the heart of the strategy of the promoters of homosexuality among Catholics?

In one word, the heart of this strategy is gradualism. It is assumed that homosexuality will not soon be approved by all Catholics, and still less soon by Catholic Church authority. The following quotation is lengthy, but it deserves to be quoted in full. Publicly stated by the chairman of the Department of Moral Theology at the Catholic University of Louvain, it clearly expresses the gradualist strategy for the Church’s acceptance of sodomy.
“Is the teaching going to continue to evolve? With respect to the homosexual relationship, will it evolve toward encompassing it? Yes, it will! We have already taken the first step. Begrudgingly as we might like to admit, even the teaching of the Church has recognized the homosexual person, the homosexual orientation. It may be very uncomfortable with its own statements, but it’s there! The homosexual person is a person and no less of a person than anyone else. This is the first step.
The second step is the recognition of the homosexual relationship. I think we are virtually on the edge of accepting the homosexual relationship. The Church will accept the homosexual relationship, like those divorced and remarried: We must live as brother and sister or brother and brother and sister and sister as the case may be… [The audience laughs.] What is important is that the relationship be recognized as a valuable, fruitful, meaningful, affirmative, creative relationship. We are on the verge of accepting this.
The third step is: Can we accept the homosexual act? Before we can talk about the morality of the homosexual act, we have to define it, to understand exactly what it is…. Our whole understanding of human sexuality needs to be rewritten, but rewritten not from a “procreative or reproductive” point of view. It needs to be rewritten from a ‘relational’ point of view” (The Meanings of Human Sexuality, New Ways Ministry, Fourth National Symposium). - Fr. Hardon Archives on Homosexuality

Isn't that interesting?

Song for this post here.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Modesty ... in a robe ...

Song for this post here.

So. Michael Voris got it wrong? Again?

Bathrobes for seminarians.

That's what she said.

I did not know that.  Evidently Voris misrepresented the priest/formator when he reported that the priest in question asked seminarians to wear bathrobes to avoid being an occasion of sin to the gay seminarians.  It appears the priest was suggesting the bathrobes just in case there may be a seminarian with ssa who might be tempted.  The respective corrections here:
Sacred Heart adheres absolutely to the Church’s teaching regarding those who experience SSA. Unfortunately, Voris did not check the story with the formator whose alleged comments he quoted. The formator did not use the term “gay,” but rather “same-sex attracted.” He asked men to wear bathrobes to the shower for the sake of decorum and charity. As an example of potential uncharity he said, “What if unknowingly one of your brothers suffered from SSA? Your lack of modesty would be uncharitable considering your neighbor’s needs.” The men understood this completely.
“…the claim that there is a significant or even nominal presence of homosexuality at Sacred Heart Major Seminary is patently false.” - Source
So the formator didn't use the term 'gay' and did not suggest any of the seminarians were gay or ssa, he was simply asking for greater decorum and modesty, citing an example of charity out of consideration for a brother's weakness.

I still think it's weird.  Although I understand the desire for decorum and to avoid the appearance of a frat house, and so on.  But.

 “What if unknowingly one of your brothers suffered from SSA?"

The example doesn't work for me however.  Like I said, if someone who experiences same sex attraction is in the seminary and feels his classmates are an occasion of sin - or indeed, suffers lustful thoughts and serious temptations against a brother, a fellow seminarian, priest, or any guy - he doesn't belong in the seminary.  If he has issues with masturbation and homosexual fantasy, he doesn't belong in the seminary.

Temptations against chastity are one thing.  Temptations to homosexual behavior is not so worrisome, grabted it be a temptation to unchastity.  Temptation is normal - it tries and proves virtue.  However, the 'habit' of masturbation, as well as the attraction to any guy without a shirt, in a towel, or even naked - as in a shower or at the beach, that's a problem.  Living in a same sex environment and regarding your brothers as an occasion of sin.  That's a huge problem.  That is deep seated homosexuality - and should be considered an impediment to Holy Orders.  It also suggests a creepy - voyeuristic creepy.

Former priest, Curtis Carl Wehmeyer - someone the formators missed.

Recently the Archbishop and Auxiliary Bishop, as well as a couple of other priests in the chancery in the Archdiocese of MPLS/StPaul resigned over sex scandals - especially one involving a gay priest.  When this priest was a seminary candidate, and in a diocesan community, he was corrected for cruising.  Later he was cited for other homosexual behaviors.  Nevertheless, he was ordained and then was promoted, given a parish; this despite all the warnings.  He had sex with boys in a trailer he kept in the parish parking lot.  He also tried to pick up teen boys in a book store.  The priest is in prison.

The Archdiocese filed bankruptcy and is selling off some of its real estate.  The priest in question is not a pedophile - he's gay.  Gay is as gay does.  Call it same sex attraction - it's gay when it acts out.  Keep the terminology up to date - lest the meaning is obscured.  Seminary rectors can call it same sex attraction for the sake of decorum - but when it goes to court, even Archbishops can't cover-up the fact it's gay.  So knock off the pious decorum BS.

Something is off with the formator in Michigan if he's worried about same sex attracted students finding classmates an occasion of sin.  I had a formator like that once ...

The point here is to follow the guidelines long established by the Vatican - yet unfortunately long ignored:
2. Homosexuality and the Ordained Ministry  

From the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, various Documents of the Magisterium, and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church, have confirmed the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.  
Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved.  
Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfil God's will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter.  
In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture".  
Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.  
Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem - for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate. - Link
Notice the three year chastity time limit - or period to overcome such tendencies.

That needs to be taken seriously way before ordination to the diaconate.  If a seminarian finds his brothers an occasion of sin - he isn't likely to overcome that within any time frame.  Don't kid yourself.  He's the source of his own temptation - it is his desire.

Homosexuality is not normal - that's the mistake formators make.

When you call it same sex attraction, you give the impression it is just another temptation against chastity.

I've known guys who enter religious life/seminary, leave, and immediately fall back into their old patterns of sexual activity - they're not just ssa - they want sex with men - they are gay.  Others enter religious life, continue the habit of auto-eroticism and fantasy.  That's so mature - not.  I know of others, scandalized by something which happened, and boom, picks up where he left off and abandons ship.  That's pretty deep seated stuff.  "Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women."  Did you get that part?  "gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women."

Perhaps there are success stories - such as Fr. Acton Institute - but it seems rare.  Gay priests tend to form cliques, and tend to attract other similarly inclined men.  I understand that - there's nothing inherently wrong with that, except it creates a sort of culture - it's a sort of gay-clericalism - and it usually amounts to favoritism.

Charitably covering the sins and weaknesses of others is one thing, forming a culture of gay-protectionism is another.  If a priest is gay - who am I to judge?  I'm serious.  The time for discernment is past - he got through the hurdles of seminary life.  If he leaves ministry to marry the choir director, or ends up in jail for having sex with the teenage altar boy - blame the seminary rector and formators who asked the other seminarians to be more considerate and not be a source of temptation to their ssa brothers.

Doesn't anyone else see how absurd this is?  How dysfunctional?

Seriously, spiritual directors are not doing gay men any kindness by encouraging them to become priests.  Just because priests are celibates and gay men are expected to remain celibate doesn't automatically qualify them for priesthood or religious life.  Deep seated homosexual inclination doesn't just suddenly go away - and more frequently or not, it is the default behavior pattern.

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. - Proverbs 26:11

"Le souffle au coeur" - Louis Malle

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Iconoclasm in NYC: Removing the iconography of the Church of Our Saviour

The appropriate 'development of doctrine" (in iconography) at Our Saviour.
Solid Catholic teaching for all to see.

Undoing the Sacred at the Church of Our Saviour in Manhattan.

I call it a travesty.  I thought this type of personality 'marking' was gone - that a new pastor just can't show up and attempt to restore a parish to it's 'former glory' on his own initiative.  In this case, there was no former glory, just a bare canvas; allowing for the Church of Our Saviour to be appointed and given its visual glory by it's former pastor, Fr. George Rutler - financed in part by the donations of faithful parishioners.  As one author noted:
Fr. George Rutler was pastor of Our Saviour from 2001 until he was transferred in 2013 across town to St. Michael’s, a less prominent location. In the twelve years of his service to COS, he proved himself a gracious and effective steward. He reversed the parish’s decline, eliminated its debts, enlarged and revivified the congregation. Most visibly, he renovated the church building with great sensitivity. - MM - First Things
I can't tell you the number of churches I have seen 'renovated' in my lifetime.  By bishops, priests, seminary rectors, Catholic schools, religious superiors, liturgy committees, and so on.  Wonderfully appointed 'sacred spaces' white washed overnight, tabernacles exchanged for a lock box, statues winding up in antique shops, architectural details in architectural antique emporiums, and so on.  I worked in a Catholic institution for several years, and almost every time a new superior was appointed, the statuary in the building changed, memorials were ripped out, and replaced with new shrines.  The changes were made to suit the piety of one individual, or in an attempt to get on board with the latest liturgical trend.  It was subjective demolition, and a means of flaunting authority.

Is this diocesan competitiveness?   Is there some sort of vendetta against the former pastor?

It can be argued - perhaps - that Fr. Rutler did the same thing - until of course you examine the art.  The artist/iconographer Ken Woo is a master iconographer.  His work is of the highest quality, theologically, artistically and architecturally.  The interior of Our Saviour has been embellished, quite literally - divinely.  I know Rutler is perhaps 'disliked' by some - he's not your ordinary priest.  He can be off-putting to the more casual observer, since his manner may strike one as a little pompous.  Indeed, I had a hard time getting used to him when I'd see him on EWTN, but he won me over.  There are very few priests as erudite and doctrinally sound as he is.  Likewise he is an expert on art history and church design.  Until now I didn't know he was responsible for commissioning the exquisite design and iconography of Our Saviour.

Is it appropriate use of funds - spending money to 'fix' what doesn't need fixing?

The current wreck-ovation, vandalism, is handed off as a renovation.  That is unfortunate.   It seems to me it is an iconoclastic desecration and rebuke to faithful, devout Catholics as well as the former pastor.  Again, as Maureen Malarkey notes in her essay at First Things:
The new pastor began his tenure by making liturgical changes and, to the dismay of parishoners, by removing fourteen of the most prominent icons. In a gesture mimicking the iconoclasm of sixteenth century Reformers, the denuded pillars were white washed. On Tuesday we learned that the remaining ones, included the magnificent Pantocrator, are slated for eviction. Why? Is Fr. Robbins acting on his own initiative or at the behest of higher-ups? Certainly, a pastor has both his druthers and his prerogatives. But the severity—the totality—of this de-adornment gives off an odor of reprisal. It is hard not to sense malice at work. Whose? To what end? - MM- First Things
Please read the entire essay here, and at the end are instructions on how to contact the Cardinal, to politely ask that the church may be preserved from further dismantling.  Please be respectful.  I'll repost the address here:  Email: or by phone: 212.371.1011 Ext 2935. Letters marked “Personal and Confidential” can be sent to His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan, 1011 First Avenue, New York 10022.

Taking the spoils and scattering pearls before swine.

There is much talk of why people are leaving the Church, why men no longer go to Mass.  This is one more reason.  When my Italian parish church was 'renewed', the high altar, communion rails, and central tabernacle were removed - as were the memorial plaques of donors.  Old timer Italians, who donated in the name of their deceased loved ones, donated piously to embellish the church with the most noble of furnishings, the best money could buy, for the honor and glory of God.  They were heartbroken when the marble altar rail was sent to a dump.  Now the church belongs to a Christian fundamentalist group - while another parish church of my youth has been desacralized, sold and is now a mosque.

It's a scandal.

Fr. Robert Robbins is the pastor at Our Saviour,
and the man responsible for the take-down.
He is also rehabbing-renovating his rectory:

Katrina Fernandez is updating on this story - check out her blog here: Help Prevent this Church Wreckovation.  Please avoid the innuendo and ad hominem you'll find in the links and commentary if you choose to respond or contact the Cardinal or Fr. Robbins.  Thanks.

The babies are alive ...

Please support David Daleiden and his efforts to expose Planned Parenthood.

I just read something so disturbing.
“In order to get good heart tissue, it has to be processed within five minutes of death. I bet the gruesome fact is that many of those babies are alive when they are harvested.” - Investigator David Daleiden, of the Planned Parenthood Videos
Badger Catholic editor Matt Korger linked to this story yesterday.  I facetiously commented - "I wonder if some of the more famous bloggers will condemn this undercover operation because they lied?"  As in the Lila Rose debates.  I think that is forthcoming.

Too bad - because it will only detract from the original story, as well as the ongoing release of more videos exposing the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-style abortion procedures conducted in the pristine PP clinics.  If indeed anyone is working unethically and lying, it is the PP operatives and their bioscience clients.  Stunningly, PP lawyers are accusing Daleiden of deceptive practices:
Planned Parenthood’s lawyer issued a five-page letter to the investigating House Energy and Commerce Committee accusing Daleiden of many things, including harassing Planned Parenthood and likely deceptively editing the videos. The letter complains that Daleiden passed as a representative of the fake company Biomax Procurement Services; and that as part of the ruse, he had even set up displays at Planned Parenthood conferences. - NCRegister
Blaming the messenger - in this case, the investigator David Daleiden, and sidetracking this story into an ethics debate about undercover work as lying, will not save lives, nor prevent Nazi-style atrocities occurring and progressing to even worse - if that is possible.

This past weekend I caught a video of someone saying it isn't enough to take the moral high ground about this story - it has to be fought legally.  While it is true it needs to be fought legally - in court and appealing to Congress and the higher courts, we all need to take the moral high ground.  The culture is pretty much completely amoral as it is - some one has to reclaim the moral high ground.

First things first however - and the most serious problem at hand has absolutely nothing to do with undercover investigators posing as potential clients.

It's about human life.  Killing babies.  Harvesting organs - even while the baby is alive.  These are crimes against humanity.  Don't people get that?  War criminals were imprisoned and executed for such crimes.

Though clinically sanitized by PP and in hospital settings, this is what the Aztecs did in human sacrifice - they extracted the hearts of human beings while they were still alive.  This is being done to helpless infants - with their mother's consent.

We have been excusing women and abortion perpetrators for decades now, yet abortion/choice has become, for lack of a better word, inculturated/acculturated, as it were.  In other words, we've grown to accept it - to the degree that even Archbishop Chaput says, “No one should be shocked by this video, this is who Planned Parenthood is and what it does."

Really?  Then why hasn't something been done before this?

The moral high ground is imperative.

"We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other." - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Head of child killed in Middle East.

Mothers who have experienced abortion often protest
displaying graphic images of aborted children because it is
too painful.  Imagine how painful it must be for the newborn 
whose heart is being extracted while he is still alive? 
Without that evidence, many people do not believe the
aborted fetus is a fully formed baby.  Perhaps the 
atrocities committed by ISIS is in someway 
the medium for us to understand that we do the exact same thing
to our children in our hospitals and Planned Parenthood clinics.

We have to stop lying to ourselves and others.

Carmelite Feast: Mother of Divine Grace

Eight days after the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Carmelites celebrate the feast of Our Mother of Divine Grace.
That Mary obtains for us and distributes to us all graces is a certain doctrine, according to what we have just said about the mother of all men. As mother, she is interested in their salvation, prays for them, and obtains for them the graces they receive. - Garrigou-Lagrange

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

CAUTION: Image may not be appropriate for Michigan seminarians.

Exclusive: Congregation for the Clergy to issue new guidelines for seminarians.

Grab your robes boys!  

Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations

[An excerpt]

In continuity with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and, in particular, with the Decree Optatam Totius on priestly formation, the Congregation for Catholic Education has published various Documents with the aim of promoting a suitable, integral formation of future priests, by offering guidelines and precise norms regarding its diverse aspects.

Considering how many same sex attracted seminarians are now forced to endure fellow classmates parading through seminary dorms wearing nothing but towels before and after showering,  New norms concerning this specific question, are made more urgent by the current situation, and that is: bathrobes are now mandated in all seminaries.

This Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, wishes to offer suggestions for appropriate bath-wear in seminaries. - Source

I knew this was coming.  Wait until Michael Voris hears about this.

Editor's note: A longtime reader of this blog - a priest from Rome* - sent me photos of proposals of what bathrobes seminarians - straight or gay - should be wearing to avoid being an occasion of sin for those seminarians who "present deep-seated homosexual tendencies."

A few proposals with commentary:

Suitable attire for the rector and spiritual directors.

Michigan students actually love the bathrobes so much,
they even wear them to class.

When it comes to casual spiritual direction,
or impromptu confession,
the bathrobe is a must.

Sauna wear.  Seminarians may no longer
use the saunas without clothing.
This short robe is perfect.

The monk-robe.
A favorite with the Benedictines.

Don't be fooled - ssa seminarians are watching -
don't be an occasion of sin for your brother.
(Don't tease them by letting it fall open. 
That could be cause for dismissal.)

The macho robe - extra modest with the trunks.
Contemplative with the hood.
No one will mess with this guy.

The Fr. Z Batrobe.  Popular with the more
traditional seminarian - straight or gay.

*H/T Fr. Unnamed source in Rome.

Fr. Rector:  Now we come to the word association test:
When I say scantily clad, what do you think of?

Candidate:  Towels. Wet towels.

Fr. Rector:  Next!

According to the latest polls ... Moses' popularity plummets! Especially among conservatives!

Moses in prayer, arms supported by Aaron and Hur.

The drop is even more marked among conservatives. This year, just 45 percent have a positive opinion of him. - Source

They defiled themselves by their deeds...
They yielded to their cravings in the desert
and put God to the test in the wilderness.
Then they rebelled, envious of Moses and
of Aaron, who was holy to the Lord.
The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan
and buried the clan of Abiram.
Fire blazed up against their clan
and flames devoured the rebels.
They fashioned a calf at Horeb
and worshipped an image of metal,
exchanging the God who was their glory
for the image of a bull that eats grass.
They forgot the God who was their savior,
who had done such great things in Egypt,
such portents in the land of Ham,
such marvels at the Red Sea.
For this he said he would destroy them,
but Moses, the man he had chosen,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn back his anger from destruction.
Then they scorned the land of promise;
they had no faith in his word.
They complained inside their tents
and would not listen to the voice of the Lord. - Ps. 106

"This is the Moses whom the Israelites rejected by saying, 'Who made you our ruler and judge?'" - Acts 7:35

Think about it.  Ponder it.  Meditate and pray.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

For those poor souls who are exhausted trying to explain Pope Francis: A great interview with Gänswein may lift that burden from your shoulders.

The Secretary to two living Popes - Archbishop Georg Gänswein...

In the latest interview, Gänswein seems neither disgruntled or exhausted, much less exasperated.  He's probably closer to these two men than anyone... and he appears to be fine.  I wonder why people completely out of the loop as regards the papacy and life at Santa Marta, are exhausted trying to parse and explain everything that Francis says?

Zenit has the interview - if you're worried about the state of the papal state - maybe read the entire interview.  Monsignor Gänswein is always honest, frank, balanced and faithful.  (I wonder what he'd say about ... never mind.)  I lifted the following quote, which might be reassuring to the critics:
Observing Pope Francis’ Pontificate, one can perceive how the image of the Church has changed for the better. -GG
Gänswein also insists Pope Benedict didn't 'flee the wolves' so obviously I have to let go of that impression.  I'm happy to do that.
That there were individual persons, or even currents against Benedict, was irrelevant in regard to the renunciation. It’s obvious that a person like him had reflected long on a question of such importance. He didn’t allow himself to be intimidated by anyone. He was very clear in his conversation with Peter Seewald, several years before the renunciation: “When there are wolves, when there is danger, the shepherd must not leave his flock.” He didn’t do so then, and he has never done so; his was not a flight. This is the truth and it is the only explanation of the reason for his renunciation. - GG
One of the final questions in the interview reveals the great humility and spirit of obedience which seems to characterize the priestly vocation of Monsignor Gänswein:
Q: The Pope’s day is intense, and I conclude that yours is also: you don’t have time to play tennis, as you certainly would like, or to dedicate yourself to university activity. Would you perhaps have desired another life?
Archbishop Gänswein: I’ve never asked myself this question, because I’ve never said “ I want to do this, or that ...” When a post has come to me, I’ve accepted it. Pope Benedict asked me something, and so I accepted it and did it gladly. The same is true for Pope Francis. - Zenit

Read the entire interview - it's good. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Seems as if everyone is turning against Pope Francis now.

I didn't say that! You said that! Did I say that? I didn't say that! 
I think that's so funny that you think I said that! I didn't say that! 
Why do you think I wouldn't know that! I know that!

Will he even be welcome in the United States when he visits?

The Pope is mean.  Mean spirited.  He's forgetting the middle class normal people ...

He's always haranguing, harping, exhorting, lecturing.

Elizabeth Scalia is tired of it.

Carl Olson complains:
My impression is that many Catholics are weary of the seemingly constant addresses, homilies, interviews, texts—many of which read like lectures—that come from the Holy Father.
Personally, I gave up long ago trying to parse and explain everything that Francis says. - CWR
Who asked you to?

Who appointed these people to parse and explain everything the Pope says?

Who said Catholics have to read or listen to everything the Pope says?

Before MSM and social media obsession with celebrity and gossip, people got along fine - Catholics didn't know what the Pope said or did or didn't do on any given day, and few outside seminaries paid attention to encyclicals. How many people jumped through hoops to implement Humanae Vitae?

On the other hand, how many people grabbed every piece of literature JPII produced and made films and founded institutes and cultural centers to celebrate his every thought?  Nothing wrong with that - but popes like him come along once in a millennium.  Not a few decried the personality/celebrity cult which surrounded him, while liberals thought he was a horror.

What about Benedict - the guy who ran from the wolves?  His doctrine is promulgated and preferred to the way Pope Francis teaches - even if one happens to be Novus Ordo Catholic.  Again, Progressives/liberals hated him.  Yet Francis echoes his predecessors - he simply has a 'pazzi' style.  As Olson points out at the end of his essay: "Popes, as important as they are, come and go; the Word of God endures forever."

That's true.  That's the faith.  Editors, pundits and bloggers come and go too.  

People have to get over the personality cult they wish to create, celebrate, and maintain around those who lead.  It's often a subjective interest to do so on their part anyway, since so many self-appointed apologists are eager to bolster and promote their private opinion and agenda in the first place - getting papal endorsements adds to their credibility.  Look - the pope spoke about idolatry - buy my book on the subject.  Religion is a business, if you haven't noticed.  The Pope isn't a king or a celebrity - much less a CEO, he's not the Second Coming - he is Christ's Vicar on earth.  He occupies the Chair of Peter.  Catholics have lost supernatural faith and judge everything subjectively - while their chief concern often seems to be about how things affect them, how, what the Pope says makes them feel.  I think many online Catholic pundits are disintegrated - so worried the Web spiders aren't picking up their content, they have pretty much forsaken or seriously neglect their spiritual life.  Hence, they focus way too much on matters that are not their responsibility.  

"Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, 'Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.'" - Luke 11: 45

Remember the blog, "The Cafeteria is Closed"?   It has never been closed.  We can all be cafeteria Catholics at one time or another - and that's the problem.  Each of us want to be served 'our' way.

I come across bloggers and Catholic writers online who seem to be constantly whining about this or that - and now days, the whine is especially focused upon Pope Francis.  Normal, ordinary people seem to love Pope Francis - but somewhere in the highly-degree'd, upper middle-class-suburban Catholic bourgeoisie is a group of bloggers and media personalities complaining they are offended, put off, alienated, insulted - and abused.  They're just not comfortable any longer.  

C'est dommage.

Fr. Blake says priests are quitting 
the Roman dicasteries ... because the Pope is mean?

You can't put new wine into old wineskins

Christ changed the water into wine.
The water that was used was
the water of purification; 
used for purifying from sin.

Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.

I thought of that Gospel passage after today's Post Communion prayer which asks our Lord 
to lead those you have imbued with heavenly mysteries 
to pass from former ways to newness of life.
That is so deep ...
to pass from former ways to newness of life.

One more reason why we should not have a woman president ...