Saturday, August 08, 2015

Latest news ...

Last night local news ran a report on people still protesting the death of Cecil and calling for the lion killer to be extradited to face charges for killing the beloved lion.  Protesters were standing on a freeway bridge holding signs.

Very little mainstream news that I have watched is focused upon the Planned Parenthood butchery expose, rather the time is filled with the GOP debates and Trump.

Little to nothing is said about the recent ISIS conquests.

With the first Republican Party debate dominating the American headlines, little ink has been spilled regarding the continual bestial slaughter taking place in length and breadth of the Muslim World in the name of Islamic Jihad. As reported by the Reuters UK news service on Aug. 7, 2015, al-Qaida allied Jihaddists in the northwest African nation of Mali launched an attack on a hotel used as United Nations base of operations, killing five and taking three Russian pilots hostage.
Meanwhile at the eastern end of the media-dubbed Islamic Street, yet another secularist blogger in the heavily-Muslim populated south Asian nation of Bangladesh has been found literally hacked to death by one of the many Jihaddi hit-squads as reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also on Aug. 7, 2015. To add to the 24-hour body count, The Times of India and NewsBeat Social (video) report also on Aug. 7, 2015, that the ISIS terrorist organization has executed 19 of the estimated thousands of women, girls and boys they hold in sexual slavery in the region of Syria they currently occupy.
Arguably more horrific and senseless would be the 19 women put to death by ISIS terrorists in Syria. While the terrorist organization has made it no secret they would happily butcher anyone who stands in the way of their stated mission of establishing a global Islamic caliphate, they've also made no secret they'll happily fill their coffers with the profit made from selling captive women, girls and boys into sexual slavery.
As Molly Riehl of NewsBeat Social (see video) stated in her report, ISIS slave auctions usually see boys and girls from the ages of 1-9 drawing the highest bids to satisfy the sexual desires of their fellow Jihadists. The Times of India also noted that Zainab Bangura, the UN's Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict, stated that the captives are "peddled like barrels of petrol", and are "sometimes bought so they can be sold to their families for thousands of dollars in ransom money." - Source

 Here's the deal ...

We don't want to know.  We don't want to see.  We tune it out.  We distract ourselves and convince ourselves this is not like the other and we spin the reasons why.  We nit pick and get ourselves embroiled in political fantasy and performance and we imagine this is the same world, the same country we grew up in.

Why can't we see what we are doing to ourselves ?  Why do we refuse to let ourselves be outraged by the grizzly, barbaric murders we ourselves commit on our own soil, funded by taxpayer money?  Why do we refuse to look at mutilated remains of human babies?  Why do we not see these atrocities mirrored in the ISIS slaughter of men women and children - Christian or not?

Because we look but do not see, we hear but do not understand - lest we be converted and maybe have to give up something.

Cardinal Dolan Having Papal Chair Made By Aliens ...

Story here.

I bet they're gay...

Dolan probably picked them up at the St. Pat's Day Parade.


Friday, August 07, 2015

I'm taking measures to make my blog a safer place ...

Song for this post here.

Kid's and gay marriage... Five things to know and share.

Days after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, Jimmy Kimmel Live put a lighthearted spin on the subject by asking children for their opinions.

I was watching a rerun of Kimmel the other night - I had seen the original when it first aired.  It was taped after the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage.  In Jimmy's monologue the talk show host spoke enviously of the fun-filled lifestyle of the gay and single, kinda sorta lamenting they have to give it all up now that they will be able to marry.  It was funny - especially because I think Jimmy sometimes wishes he was gay.

One segment of the show took to the street - polling passers by if they knew what gay marriage is - those questioned were kids.  Cute, bright kids.

The only reason I'm sharing this for "things to know and share" is that I realized gay marriage is already ingrained, embedded in the American consciousness.  If little kids know what it is, then the task of catechesis/evangelization on the sacraments is really going to be tough.

It reminds me of the following alleged prophecy:
“I see a multitude of souls that are lost, especially children, even those who have not the age of reason. Those who are responsible (for the loss of children’s souls) if they knew what awaits them at the dreaded trial! Children are educated now as adults. What shameful words ringing in their ears and echo in their mouths! It is awful and terrible. It makes one tremble to see the youth return to this point, and they (the parents) are not watchful, they do not take care, they do not occupy themselves with what they do; with what they (the children) say, they (the parents) laugh and they leave them entirely at liberty to their actions.”October 2, 1903 Our Lord to Marie-Julie Jahenny.

Song for this post here.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Look at this.


Something else from Fr. Arrupe

The greatest of these is love.

“Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.”

Now I know where the Pope gets it...


Remembering Hiroshima ... forever.
"At first, without electricity or radio, we were cut off from the rest of the world. The following day cars and trains began arriving from Tokyo and Osaka with help for Hiroshima. They stayed in the outskirts of the city, and when we questioned them as to what had happened, they answered very mysteriously: “The first atomic bomb has exploded.”
“But what is the atomic bomb?”
They would answer: “The atom bomb is a terrible thing.”
“We have seen how terrible it is, but what is it?”
And they would repeat: “It’s the atomic bomb…the atomic bomb.”
They knew nothing but the name. It was a new word that was coming for the first time into the vocabulary. Besides, the knowledge that it was the atomic bomb that had exploded was no help to us at all from a medical standpoint, as no one in the world knew its full effects on the human organism. We were, in effect, the first guinea pigs in such experimentation.
But from a missionary standpoint, they did challenge us when they said: “Do not enter the city because there is a gas in the air that kills for seventy years.” It is at such times that one feels most a priest, when one knows that in the city there are 50,000 bodies which, unless they are cremated, will cause a terrible plague. There were besides 120,000 wounded to care for. In light of these facts, a priest cannot remain outside the city just to preserve his life. Of course, when one is told that in the city there is a gas that kills, one must be very determined to ignore that fact and go in. And we did." - Pedro Arrupe S.J., From a talk given in 1950

Blessed Paul VI died on this day in 1978 as well. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Catholic Blogosphere ... more thoughts.

On the endless proliferation of fake news ... kinda.

In an email, I jokingly commented the other day that after one of my posts Patheos would never again ask me to come on board.  My friend, who knows I don't want to be a part of any online blogomerate, or confined to an association or online magazine, wrote back, indirectly suggesting many of those sources tend to be 'generic and inoffensive' anyway.  There is some truth to that I suppose, yet some of the writers at these sites invite a great deal of controversy and generate a lot of 'spittle-flecked-nuttiness'.  Same old same old stuff, boringly regurgitated has a way of inciting the perennially disgruntled.

So anyway.

I came across a couple insightful critiques of the Catholic blogosterium.  I think it is good to constantly examine ourselves as we write for online consumption.  Bloggers pretty much write without editing, though they self edit for grammar and spelling, the posts do not usually go through an editor.  When you write and post not allowing comments, you further limit any editorial possibility, which means you aren't open to correction or dispute - hence the need for self examination.  (I'll post an excerpt from each article, and then link to the entire piece for the reader to review in context.)

On the nature of the Catholic blogosphere.

Fr. Angelo Mary is writing in response to a Damian Thompson piece on the wane of the Catholic blog... Fr. Angelo is as insightful as ever:
The reality is that the Catholic blogosphere is a clearinghouse for conspiracy theory. The nature of the blogosphere itself contributes to this fact. What passes for a standard of evidence and an ethics of accountability on the Internet has always been woefully lacking. And those whose causes have benefitted from the destruction of the reputation of others have not been eager to be held accountable or to make a distinction between allegation and proof.
In fact, the tribes that have formed in the blogosphere do more to provide protection for their tribesmen, than hold them accountable for the honor the tribal name. The largest Catholic tribe on the Internet, and arguably the most vicious and vindictive, has been the conservative, which because of its previous marginalization has felt itself justified in claiming the status of victim.
While we can all admit that there is truth to the complaints that led to this behavior, it would be to ignore reality to define it as anything other than juvenile. But that is also part of the nature of the Internet. Perfectly responsible adults have a tendency to revert to immaturity when they sit down in front of a computer. - The Mob and the Machine

Fr. Angelo notes something I've often said about bloggers, regarding the honesty and integrity of the author, and not believing everything one reads.
Thompson is honest enough to say that there was also a spirit of payback working among the voices in the conservative Catholic blogosphere. He says the bitterness of some of the exposition was a way of venting, and he even confesses to having even created obviously false narratives about a bishop—basically for the sake of ridicule. He it admits it was both obsessive and fun. But it seemed to him to be justified because it was done in the service of the true faith and liturgical sanity. - ibid

Satire and humor as passive-aggressive retribution.

Our responses to other bloggers and posts often takes the form of satire and humor.  At times it is downright mockery and scorn ... and evidently, lying.  Creating a false narrative about a bishop?  Claiming to know details about this or that Catholic without providing credible, documentary evidence save for personal experience or hearsay?  But I digress.

Another blogger, a traditional Catholic of impressive intellect and fidelity to Catholic teaching did an essay on 'Another Francis effect: Bad satire.'  I haven't read him on criticism of Pope Francis, yet what Athanasius writes regarding bad satire is well said and important to consider.  What he really hones in on, for me, is the untrustworthiness of some of the writers - suggesting facts and data may be made up, unresearched, and so on.  Likewise, what is repeated as to what Francis says is often taken out of context, miss translated, or even made up.  Then it gets repeated by Catholic bloggers duped into believing it is true - or who just really want it to be true.  
Still, the latest is completely absurd: “Pope Francis says unwed mother’s must be forcibly sterilized to stop climate change.” The website is obviously fake, and it cites the source as Francis’ encyclical, where the Pope actually said the opposite (no. 50). This did make the rounds and in spite of it’s absurdity, some news sites and people, particularly on facebook, did accept it as fact, even though a quick google search would have pulled up an easy snopes article showing it is false (which is less work than verifying through the Vatican website, as I suggested the last time I wrote on this topic).
Now, the fake news article in itself is not particularly of interest to me. Rather, I have several observations.
1) That people could or would accept this is evidence of how poorly team Bergoglio has managed the Pope’s message. The frequent gaffes and off the cuff statements referenced above, combined with instant clarification from Fr. Lombardi, and the use of the Pope’s words by the media, whether in context or not, are evidence of the complete failure of the Vatican Press Office and others to use media to present what the Pope wants to teach, and as a result, people are prepared to believe anything. One can only blame the media so much, as it is obvious the secular media has an axe to grind against the Church, and poorly made and ill-prepared statements only give them the perfect opportunity. It doesn’t exculpate the media, but at the same time, the Vatican clearly needs to control how it presents info. All we need to do is turn back to John Paul II’s pontificate to witness an efficient and well run press office. Those who know me, or followed the old incarnation of this website, know I was no fan of that pontificate, nevertheless, John Paul II’s messages were carefully prepared and crafted, he never made off the cuff remarks that could be easily misinterpreted and taken miles in another direction by the media, let alone things disparaging to Traditional Catholics, though he no doubt strongly disagreed with them (e.g. Francis’ many pejorative terms for those cultivating traditional spirituality).
2) There is a wider critique here than Francis, which is the credulity our culture places in news, and it’s lack of discernment in regard to sources. Too often we read headlines, and take that to be true without any further question. The Drudge Report is an obvious example. Only crazy news junkies click on every single link and discerningly read every story. In reality most people skim and click on the more interesting stories. On top of that, Drudge then has a lot of power to manipulate headlines to his particular point of view. For example, one time he linked an article and wrote the headline: “Organic food contains ecoli”, but when you went to the article it was organic food sent to a packing plant that was contaminated with ecoli originating with conventional food. Such is the power of headlines. Not to say Drudge is evil, but it would be foolish to think he didn’t have his own agenda, and he would certainly admit to it, unlike the MSM. - Athanasius
(Ed. Note: My apologies for dissecting these posts to use pertinent quotes to express ideas which correspond to my personal POV.  Please read each post in the context of the authors' original

h/t nan

"Proliferating fake news under the guise of satire."

That's the ticket - or at least my point here.  Athanasius writes:
A lot of these news outlets hire out writers and accept nearly anything, which is just stuff re-written from other news articles, and can include many false or incorrect things. I know this because I’ve earned money doing this on various contracting websites for writing, though I never wrote anything I knew to be false. Others did and it was clear. The goal is to get content with buzzwords that brings more clicks and increase advertising revenue. This doesn’t help inform the public, or provide any beneficial service. Internet has provided us with an easy way around the Main Scream Media, to reach out and provide news, find news, and in another word, form alternative media without them. The problem comes in with the fact that anyone can do this, and create nonsense. Alternative media needs to be self policing and adhere to strict standards itself, to prevent the proliferation of fake news. - ibid
Athanasius comments: "The overarching point is that the proliferation of this fake news is not truly satirical, and frankly dangerous, because we are approaching a point where we can’t really know anything."  I totally agree.  Couldn't have said it better, in fact.

Another fault of bloggers: We jump to conclusions.


As I always say, you can't be more Catholic than the Church ... they're going to come after you if you try.  CNA - Johan P. Martel did a hit piece on Michael Voris and his criticism of seminary modesty and Catholic NFP - which some regard/use as Catholic birth control.  The article is titled, The devil is in the details ...  It is a good article rebutting Voris and his style of journalism.  It mirrors Voris' style to some degree.  The author makes very good points - although I think he misses Voris' intent as well as the facts - as Voris perceives them from his man on the street format - because of the tone and style, not to mention tenor of Church Militant's approach.  (Voris deliberately rejects resorting to PC language or speaking like the so-called 'church of nice'.)

All I want to say here is that I wish I had read it before writing my post.  As it stands, it's a rather good segue.  Fact is, it pretty much demonstrates the devil is in the details of everything online.

Critique, critique, critique.

Anyway - go read it here.

As you can see in this photo - 
Brady doesn't even squeeze the ball.
Only the facts ma'm.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

This is cute ...

Reminds me of my childhood.

A friend liked the following anecdote from my childhood I shared the other day:
I was a cub scout once, but I quit after my dad stole all the money I earned selling popcorn balls...

That's why gifs like this one are funny.

My parents were funny too.

Although my brother and I didn't get along.

h/t Jeron

Farewell Fr. Guarnizo ... or:

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo hits back.

Once reprimanded for refusing communion to a lesbian at her mom's funeral, Fr. Guarnizo is back in the news again.  An ax to grind?  Disgruntled?  Or is his a legitimate public rebuke of a Cardinal?

I'm told he's an excellent priest, and golly - he writes for CNS - but I wonder if he may have consigned himself to sacerdotal oblivion after his recent slam against Cardinal Dolan - who slammed Donald Trump's politics.

As a Catholic priest, I can only say it is embarrassing to have a Cardinal so blatantly and unfairly trying to associate Mr. Trump with the worst kinds of racism imaginable. I offer an apology on behalf of so many Catholics who are outraged by the dirty politics of Cardinal Dolan.
Ever so “cleverly,” Dolan makes clear that in his opinion Trump is the revival of nativism, “an organized, white, Protestant antagonism towards the Catholic immigrant,” which for Dolan is just a more recent incarnation of the KKK and other racist organizations–an absurd claim–and perhaps one of the most ignorant statements and mean-spirited remarks I have ever seen a bishop state publicly. The more than clear implication by Dolan that Trump is a white supremacist reaches levels of defamation that even the most liberal media has not dare trod. - Finish reading here.

Fr. G. makes some points I don't disagree with, but I doubt his correction will be well received.  The article is four days old now; while all is calm, I can't help wonder what kind of response he's getting?  Where does he go from here?

When the uproar over the 'restoration' at the church of Our Savior in NYC was firing up, many people hoped a well known priest-blogger would step in and do something - add his voice to the protest.  He has yet to respond, and I suspect there is a reason for that.

Will Fr. Guarnizo be put on a leash too?

I'm guessing an apology may be forthcoming, and that may be the last we hear from him.  Just a guess, mind you.

Who?  He said what?

Song for this post here.

Monday, August 03, 2015

The Holy Year of Mercy and the Shemitah/Jubilee Year.

Religious numerologists are worried.

So many people fear punishment and judgement - but this is the time of mercy.

The Jewish Shmita/Shemitah is a Sabbath year.  There are many books and articles about it, likewise many speculations that something bad is supposed to happen - economic collapse and all of that.  I haven't read a lot about it, but it seems to me the fears surrounding the Shmita and Jubilee Year are based in part on a sort of Protocols of the Elders of Zion mentality.

That said, I think it no coincidence Pope Francis called the Holy Year of Mercy at this time - which corresponds nicely with the Shemitah/Jubilee Year in Judaism.

The Holy Year of Mercy will be a time of extraordinary graces.  It is not a curse. 

“I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times." - Matt. 18:22

I may be wrong, but it seems Jesus used the reference to the Sabbath/Jubilee year to demonstrate to Peter that the Divine Mercy is without limit - even when a brother "wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” - Luke 17:4

Seventy years ago, the Concentration Camps were liberated in Nazi Germany.  Seventy years strikes me as rather significant ... why?

The recent revelations concerning the Planned Parenthood abortion industry selling human body parts and tissue for research and commercial use: It is so evocative of Nazi Germany.  The Nazis used human beings for scientific research, they used human beings for all sorts of industry.  They exterminated the human beings they could not use or who were simply undesirable or unwanted.  These were tortured and starved to death, others gassed.  The otherwise able-bodied human resources were worked to death.

Seventy years ago.

When the camps were liberated - it is said Eisenhower was so distressed by the horror, he ordered German citizens to tour and see what had been done.  It is argued that he didn't do it, but rather Patton did it.  It doesn't matter who ordered it - it was done.  It was done because the German citizenry claimed they did not know about the atrocities.  It was done because even American soldiers didn't believe it.  It was done so that journalists would report and record it, because Eisenhower knew it would be dismissed as anti-Nazi propaganda.
"I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that “the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda” - Eisenhower
German civilians were ordered to 
see dead bodies at Buchenwald concentration camp.

Don't worry too much about September 2015.

Many Christian fundamentalists seem to be worried that the Shemitah presages an economic collapse, an economic disaster.  Perhaps that is what it will take to make us acknowledge the atrocities committed by the abortion industry.  An industry the United States supports and exports.

We need to look at the results sooner or later.

The Holy Year is a time of mercy and reconciliation.  An extraordinary year - perhaps we can let the prisoners go free - perhaps we can liberate the camps - and force the citizenry to see what we have done.

Start seeing the dead.

The first companion of St Francis was Brother Bernard of Assisi ...

Then Bernard of Assisi, one of the richest and most learned nobles of the city, began to consider deeply the conduct of St Francis; how utterly he despised the world, how patiently he suffered injuries, and how his faith remained firm, though he had been for two years an object of contempt and rejected by all. He began to think and say within himself, “It is evident that this brother must have received great graces from God”; and so resolved to invite him to sup and to sleep in his house. St Francis having accepted the invitation, Bernard, who was resolved to contemplate the sanctity of his guest, ordered a bed to be prepared for him in his own room, where a lamp burned all night. Now St Francis, in order to conceal his sanctity, so soon as he entered the room, threw himself upon the bed, pretending to fall asleep. Bernard likewise soon after went to bed, and began to snore as if sleeping soundly. On this, St Francis, thinking that Bernard was really fast asleep, got up and began to pray. Raising his hands and eyes to heaven, he exclaimed with great devotion and fervour, “My God! my God!” at the same time weeping bitterly; and thus he remained on his knees all night, repeating with great love and fervour the words, “My God! my God!” and none others. - Life of St. Francis

Sunday, August 02, 2015

The Primitive Life.

The Porziuncola.

Francis' favorite place...

For there had also been built in that place a church of the Virgin Mother who merited by Her singular humility to be, after Her son, the head of all the saints. In this church the Order of Friars Minor had its beginning, there, as on a firm foundation, when their number had grown, the noble fabric of the order arose. The holy man loved this place above all others; this place he commanded his brothers to venerate with a special reverence; this place he willed to be preserved as a model of humility and highest poverty for their order, reserving the ownership of it to others, and keeping only the use of it for himself and his brothers. - Thomas of Celano

I love it too.  I would like to die there - even more than in Rome, maybe.

If the primitive life was still observed.

A few days ago I asked if there were any traditional Jesuits.  What I meant was are there Jesuits who live like the first Fathers?  Is there a sainted lay-brother door-keeper like St. Alphonsus Rodriguez?  I wasn't being critical of modern Jesuits.

Teresa of Avila looked to the example of Clare of Assisi when 'reforming' Carmel - she so desired poverty and humble monasteries, which wouldn't make a big noise when the collapsed at the end of the world.

I was at the Porziuncola  - Our Lady of the Angels.  I sat within the chapel, I stood far away gazing at it.  Imagining how lovely it must have been when Francis first restored it.  When all the friars gathered there with him for the first Chapter of Mats.  So poor, so simple.

The Great Pardon...

As is well known, St. Francis obtained from Our Lady what is known as the Porziuncola Indulgence - or Great Pardon of Assisi - which can be gained by any of the faithful on The 2nd of August from Midnight to Midnight. For information on the plenary indulgence, go here.

It is extended to the Universal Church on this day - you can go to your own parish.  It is like a Holy Year indulgence.

Francis obtained it through Our Lady, Mediatrix of all graces.  He so much desired that all men be saved - that sinners have the means to repent and be absolved of all their sins - that Love would be loved.  He was so full of pardon and peace himself ...  I would like to die where he died ...

the little portion
for little friars
of our little
father francis...
a little portion
of heaven
on earth...
a little place
in my heart -
in a great basilica
of the immaculate heart
of the blessed
vrgin mary,
queen of angels
friars minor.
Hail Mary full of grace, pray for us sinners, 
now and at the hour of our death. Amen 

St. Francis loved this place above all others.

Me too.  The loneliest and littlest chapel in the entire plain of Assisi.  So poor, so humble.  Yesterday and today I unite my prayer to all who go there and place myself among them.  I imagine I am there when Francis restored the chapel, and join him in praising Our Lady of the Place:

Hail, O Lady, Holy Queen,
Mary, holy Mother of God:
you are the Virgin made Church
chosen by the most Holy Father in heaven
whom He consecrated with His most holy beloved Son
and with the Holy Spirit the Paraclete,
in whom there was and is all fullness of grace and every good.

Hail His Palace!
Hail His Tabernacle!
Hail His Dwelling!
Hail His Robe!
Hail His Servant!
Hail His Mother!

And hail all you holy virtues
Which are poured into the hearts of the faithful
through the grace and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,
that from being unbelievers,
you may make them faithful to God. Amen.

Holy Father St. Francis, pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

+ + +

+Please pray for my friend who died on June 28, 2015, Br. James Curran, l.b.s.f. of Boston.  He too loved the little portion more than any other place.

Song for Br. Jim here.