Sunday, October 4, 2015


"I remember when Saint John Paul II said: “Error and evil must always be condemned and opposed; but the man who falls or who errs must be understood and loved… we must love our time and help the man of our time” (John Paul II, Address to the Members of Italian Catholic Action, 30 December 1978). The Church must search out these persons, welcome and accompany them, for a Church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock: “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb 2:11)."

Vatican Basilica
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 4 October 2015

(My brief commentary in red. Please note too the number of references to Pope Benedict XVI!) 

“If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us” (1 Jn 4:12).

This Sunday’s Scripture readings seem to have been chosen precisely for this moment of grace which the Church is experiencing: the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family, which begins with this Eucharistic celebration.

The readings centre on three themes: solitude, love between man and woman, and the family.


Adam, as we heard in the first reading, was living in the Garden of Eden. He named all the other creatures as a sign of his dominion, his clear and undisputed power, over all of them. Nonetheless, he felt alone, because “there was not found a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:20). He was lonely.

The drama of solitude is experienced by countless men and women in our own day. I think of the elderly, abandoned even by their loved ones and children; widows and widowers; the many men and women left by their spouses; all those who feel alone, misunderstood and unheard; migrants and refugees fleeing from war and persecution; and those many young people who are victims of the culture of consumerism, the culture of waste, the throwaway culture. (This is the foundation of Pope Francis' pastoral theology.)

Today we experience the paradox of a globalized world filled with luxurious mansions and skyscrapers, but a lessening of the warmth of homes and families; many ambitious plans and projects, but little time to enjoy them; many sophisticated means of entertainment, but a deep and growing interior emptiness; many pleasures, but few loves; many liberties, but little freedom… The number of people who feel lonely keeps growing, as does the number of those who are caught up in selfishness, gloominess, destructive violence and slavery to pleasure and money.

Our experience today is, in some way, like that of Adam: so much power and at the same time so much loneliness and vulnerability. The image of this is the family. People are less and less serious about building a solid and fruitful relationship of love: in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, in good times and in bad. Love which is lasting, faithful, conscientious, stable and fruitful is increasingly looked down upon, viewed as a quaint relic of the past. It would seem that the most advanced societies are the very ones which have the lowest birth-rates and the highest percentages of abortion, divorce, suicide, and social and environmental pollution.

Love between man and woman

In the first reading we also hear that God was pained by Adam’s loneliness. He said: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:18). These words show that nothing makes man’s heart as happy as another heart like his own, a heart which loves him and takes away his sense of being alone. These words also show that God did not create us to live in sorrow or to be alone. He made men and women for happiness, to share their journey with someone who complements them, to live the wondrous experience of love: to love and to be loved, and to see their love bear fruit in children, as the Psalm proclaimed today says (cf. Ps 128).

This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self. It is the same plan which Jesus presents in today’s Gospel: “From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh” (Mk 10:6-8; cf. Gen 1:27; 2:24).

To a rhetorical question – probably asked as a trap to make him unpopular with the crowd, which practiced divorce as an established and inviolable fact – Jesus responds in a straightforward and unexpected way. He brings everything back to the beginning, to the beginning of creation, to teach us that God blesses human love, that it is he who joins the hearts of two people who love one another, he who joins them in unity and indissolubility. This shows us that the goal of conjugal life is not simply to live together for life, but to love one another for life! In this way Jesus re-establishes the order which was present from the beginning.


“What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mk 10:9). This is an exhortation to believers to overcome every form of individualism and legalism which conceals a narrow self-centredness and a fear of accepting the true meaning of the couple and of human sexuality in God’s plan.

Indeed, only in the light of the folly of the gratuitousness of Jesus’ paschal love will the folly of the gratuitousness of an exclusive and life-long conjugal love make sense.

For God, marriage is not some adolescent utopia, but a dream without which his creatures will be doomed to solitude! Indeed, being afraid to accept this plan paralyzes the human heart.

Paradoxically, people today – who often ridicule this plan – continue to be attracted and fascinated by every authentic love, by every steadfast love, by every fruitful love, by every faithful and enduring love. We see people chase after fleeting loves while dreaming of true love; they chase after carnal pleasures but desire total self-giving.

“Now that we have fully tasted the promises of unlimited freedom, we begin to appreciate once again the old phrase: “world-weariness”. Forbidden pleasures lost their attraction at the very moment they stopped being forbidden. Even if they are pushed to the extreme and endlessly renewed, they prove dull, for they are finite realities, whereas we thirst for the infinite” (Joseph Ratzinger, Auf Christus schauen. Einübung in Glaube, Hoffnung, Liebe, Freiburg, 1989, p. 73).

In this extremely difficult social and marital context, the Church is called to carry out her mission in fidelity, truth and love.

To carry out her mission in fidelity to her Master as a voice crying out in the desert, in defending faithful love and encouraging the many families which live married life as an experience which reveals of God’s love; in defending the sacredness of life, of every life; in defending the unity and indissolubility of the conjugal bond as a sign of God’s grace and of the human person’s ability to love seriously.

The Church is called to carry out her mission in truth, which is not changed by passing fads or popular opinions. The truth which protects individuals and humanity as a whole from the temptation of self-centredness and from turning fruitful love into sterile selfishness, faithful union into temporary bonds. “Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love” (Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 3).

And the Church is called to carry out her mission in charity, not pointing a finger in judgment of others, but – faithful to her nature as a mother – conscious of her duty to seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy; to be a “field hospital” with doors wide open to whoever knocks in search of help and support; even more, to reach out to others with true love, to walk with our fellow men and women who suffer, to include them and guide them to the wellspring of salvation. (This has always been the mission of the Church and always will be--this did not start with Pope Francis, let's be clear on this!)

A Church which teaches and defends fundamental values, while not forgetting that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27); and that Jesus also said: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mk 2:17). A Church which teaches authentic love, which is capable of taking loneliness away, without neglecting her mission to be a good Samaritan to wounded humanity.

I remember when Saint John Paul II said: “Error and evil must always be condemned and opposed; but the man who falls or who errs must be understood and loved… we must love our time and help the man of our time” (John Paul II, Address to the Members of Italian Catholic Action, 30 December 1978). The Church must search out these persons, welcome and accompany them, for a Church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock: “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb 2:11).

In this spirit we ask the Lord to accompany us during the Synod and to guide his Church, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.


The Sistine Choir in its new magnificence, chants a splendid Latin Mass!

 Read John Allen of Crux on the synod by pressing HERE.

What the polish priest did on Saturday while reprehensible and gives the true meaning of scandal, it is providential for Pope Francis for now he knows first hand what so many of bishops and priests are facing in the United States: the radical gay culture and lifestyle trying to infiltrate and change the Church to make it like all other forms of liberal Protestantism which actually is godless secularism.

The perception, whether right or wrong, that Pope Francis has given to the world is that he doesn't care about the sins that people commit; he only cares about the people themselves. I personally don't buy into this spin. He like, all faithful Catholics, loves sinners but hates sin.

The problem with the Polish priest is that he loves his sin and wants his sin to define who he is and thus in loving him everyone is to love his sin. At the root of his sin is a desperate, angry narcissism quite prevalent in the radical gay lifestyle. It goes against nature for he now establishes himself as a god and neglects the laws of nature the true God has established. This only leads to further disorder.

In many places throughout the USA there are legal battles with men and women who work for the Church, usually in our schools, who come out of the closet like this Polish priest in order to "revolutionize" the Church with acceptance of the radical gay lifestyle to include the redefinition of marriage along the lines of the Supreme Court.

It happened in Macon as it has elsewhere and it is divisive to the Catholic community and the community at large when it happens and places the clergy in the middle as they become demonized if they hold up the Church's teaching as we are required to do and should gladly do.

In other words, it appears that Pope Francis now has his own Flint Dollar. This might be quite eye opening for the Holy Father!

Saturday, October 3, 2015



 Update: You can read more of Msgr. Charamsa's convoluted homosexual propaganda directed toward manipulating the pope and the synod on the family in the Irish Times HERE.

You can't make this stuff up and Flannery O'Connor of my neck of the woods could write a novel about it. I wonder if it was this kind of thing that caused Pope Benedict to give up in despair????

And I have it from a reliable source,that more sordid information will come out which seems to be implied in Fr. Lombardi's reaction below. This is what my reliable source writes:

"... before that he went to all of the Polish liberal media and had told them he was going to do it today so they could get ready their blood thirsty cameras..."
Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa  had planned a press conference in Rome for midday on Saturday to discuss his sexual orientation and criticize the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for spreading "pervasive and blind homophobia," but was pre-empted by the Vatican action.

Remember the Miami priest Fr. Alberto Cutie caught in a relationship with a woman who now has become an Episcopalian priest? Perhaps this will be the road that Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa will take showing how much more inclusive and non-homophobic the Anglican Communion is:

 Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa:
 Father Alberto Cutié,

And this on the heels of Kim Davis and Pope Francis gay friends!  Stunning to say the least:

From Vatican Radio!

Fr Lombardi reacts to revelations by gay prelate (priest, not bishop)

Fr Federico Lombardi - ANSA
Fr Federico Lombardi - ANSA

03/10/2015 12:07
(Vatican Radio) The director of the Holy See press office Father Federico Lombardi on Saturday reacted to revelations by a high-ranking Vatican official that he is in a gay relationship.

43 year old Polish Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa has been living in Rome for 17 years and has worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2003. He also serves as assistant secretary of the International Theological Commission and teaches theology at two of Rome’s Pontifical universities , the Gregorian and the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.

In the brief statement, Fr Lombardi said “the decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the Synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue media pressure”. He added that Msgr. Charamsa “will certainly be unable to continue to carry out his previous work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical universities, while the other aspects of his situation shall remain the competence of his diocesan Ordinary” (bishop).

Please find below the statement by the director of the Holy See press office Father Federico Lombardi:

With regard to the declarations and interview given by Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa it should be observed that, notwithstanding the respect due to the events and personal situations, and reflections on the issue, the decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the Synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue media pressure. Msgr. Charamsa will certainly be unable to continue to carry out his previous work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical universities, while the other aspects of his situation shall remain the competence of his diocesan Ordinary.

MY COMMENT: Just wait until the gay propagandists in the liberal media get a hold of this! The Vatican fires a gay priest! That isn't going to be taken lightly! Just wait for the commentary on this! And just when they thought they had a supporter of their lifestyle in Pope Francis!


Ignatian Spirituality in architecture at St. Joseph Church, Macon:

I just read that Archbishop Wilton Gregory has named a Jesuit priest from Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown (Washington, DC) to be the new pastor of Saint Thomas Moore Church in Atlanta. This will be the first Georgia parish to have a Jesuit pastor since the early 1960's!

My parish of Saint Joseph, built by the Jesuits and truly a stunning jewel of the south because of them and their liturgical spirituality based in Ignatian Spirituality was staffed by the Jesuits until the late 1950's. Sacred Heart Church in Augusta, now sadly closed and a secular cultural center today, has the same Jesuit architectural elements as St. Joseph's and was staffed by the Jesuits until the early 1960's. 

The new Jesuit pastor states his goal is to make sure the celebration of the Mass is done in a careful and dignified manner and that he brings Ignatian spirituality to his new parish. 

When you read what Ignatian spirituality is, you see in it what Pope Francis is doing and the theology that is the foundation of his papal magisterium:

Ignatian Spirituality

Key Characteristic Qualities of

1. “Finding God in all things” — Discovering and responding to the presence and action of God in the circumstances of everyday life… however complex or even filled with pain and suffering they may be. Each person’s experience is a place for discovering God; it is the day-by-day setting in which we can listen to the voice of the Spirit and in which, as a result, conversion and growth can take place. This also points to the hidden but discoverable presence of God even in the most secularized and godless situations

2. Contemplatives in Action — It is NOT a clerical or monastic spirituality, and one does not have to be a cleric or a religious, let alone a Jesuit, in order to live Ignatian spirituality. There is a definite emphasis on one’s prayer being both a grounding of and impetus towards service and action for justice in the world.

3. Ignatius’ approach has such flexibility and breadth of appeal because it goes beyond divisions (of culture, religion, age, politics, etc.) Ignatian spirituality offers a set of strategies and approaches for dealing with human life in all its complexity that are grounded in the gospel and situated in a particular historical context. But it does not view itself as the only valid set of strategies!!!

4. It addresses the human person in their fundamental relationships—with God, other people and the world. (this is the basis of Laudato Si)

5. It encourages and stimulates personal and affective attachment to the person of Jesus. Ignatius and his companions formed the Society of Jesus. Emphasis is on joining Christ in Mission and following Christ in the place where God wants us to be, and to be open to respond to God generously there. Deep and prayerful reflection on the gospels helps us get to know Jesus, and personal affective attachment to Jesus helps us to assimilate his values, to express them in our attitudes and in how we live and work and deal with people, and enflesh these in our world.

6. So, it allows our own path of discipleship to emerge from within our own unique history and the circumstances of our own lives, and with what we experience as our own most authentic truth.

7. In this way our “deepest desires” can be integrated: our desires for ourselves and those near to us; our aspirations and visions for the society and the world in which God has placed us, and our longing for God.

8. “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” Everything is directed towards bringing about the fullness of God…the ultimate Good, the Love of all Creation.

For those with wealth and power the essential attitude of Ignatius was to see these as gifts from God and to use them for the greater praise and service of God, and in the best interests of the people most in need. We must take care to use any power and influence that we possess, however humble and limited, for ‘God’s greater glory’ and the good of others, especially those most in need, rather than in self-interest, and for creating and sustaining structures that will serve the mission of Jesus.

9. “Discernment” lies at the heart of Ignatian spirituality. This particular way of Christian discipleship offers people the resources to make choices in every dimension of life which are in tune with the leading of the Spirit of God in the path of the gospel in and through daily circumstances. Importance of staying grounded in daily prayer and spiritual reading, and a community of shared faith and values in order to do this!

10. Service of faith and the promotion of Justice (GC 34)
In Ignatian spirituality the search and striving for social justice is viewed as a requirement of the Gospel, and assists in the struggle to sort through what this means at both theoretical and practical levels. It recognizes that inner life and action in the external world are interdependent; one is challenged to pay attention to the “signs of the times”, to study the issues that impact especially those who are oppressed, and to prayerfully reflect and discern one’s best response.

11. The “Magis” There continues to be a challenge in the integration of contemplation and action for the greatest good. So it is not simply, “what I do for God” but in a movement toward “what God wants to do through me”!!

12. “Inculturation” — Pedro Arrupe, the Superior General of the Jesuits in the late 1970’s, emphasized that “Christian life and message comes to life in a particular local cultural context through elements proper to that culture. ‘Inculturation’ becomes a principle that animates, directs and unifies a culture, transforming it and remaking it so as to bring about a ‘new creation’. There is much room for a critical evaluation of the contemporary ‘North Atlantic” account of Ignatian spirituality from the standpoint of African, Asian, Latin American and other cultural systems, preferably by scholars and practitioners who are indigenous to those cultures.

13. Ignatius agreed with Socrates that the “unexamined life is not worth living”. He developed a practice, called “the Examen”, through which we look back at what has been going on in our lives. In this spiritual exercise, we recognize and express gratitude for blessings and ways God has been present, as well as recognize the aspects of our life that have been most challenging or desolate. In trust, we place all that is in the deepest recesses of our hearts into God’s care and open our mind and heart to listen with for the “nudgings” and whisperings of God’s Spirit.

14. Ignatius wanted to help people find God’s will for them in the own deepest desires. He was convinced that anyone who was willing to take the time to be still, listen and pray could experience God in a direct and immediate way. His own mission, his life work, became that of helping people experience God’s presence, and learning God’s will. In other words, he was himself a “spiritual director”, who, over many years of listening and helping people to pray and discern, developed over about a twenty year period, what we call his “Spiritual Exercises”. These were like a handbook with detailed directions on how to help people look at their lives, pray, take note of what was going on, and make decisions. They were meant to speak to the whole person—not just the intellect, so that God’s presence might be savored through all of the senses and in every human life experience. Ignatius strongly insisted that the Exercises be adapted to the particular life circumstances and unique dispositions of the persons making them. The Spiritual Exercises began to be widely offered in the Northwest about 25 years ago, through what came to be called “SEEL” (standing for Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life. They are not just intended for Jesuits, but really for anyone who sincerely desires to ground their life and their desires in the truest source of life and love.

15.“Suscipe” means “self-gift” in Latin. Some would say that this prayer, which comes at the end of the Spiritual Exercises, might be considered a summary of Ignatian Spirituality. Some of you have likely heard all of the words of this prayer in the song “Take Lord, Receive” by Jesuit John Foley. A tremendously gifted Jesuit poet from Spokane, Mike Moynahan, prays the Suscipe with his own words, saying:
The goods that we offer
Are gifts from you:
Our lives with all their freedom,
our distracted minds,
our often weak wills,
and failing memories.
These are our gifts to you.
Hear our simple prayer:
When we are weak, be our strength;
when we doubt, be our faith;
when we’re discouraged, be our hope;
and when we’re lost, come and find us.
When we’re hungry, be our food,
when we’re thirsty, be our drink;
when we’re in darkness, be our light,
and when we’re sad,
be our comfort and joy.
Let us feel your touch in all we say and do.
Let us grow and blossom in your love.
Grant us this, Lord,
and there’s nothing more we want
until we see you face to face.
Take all we have and all we are;
give us your love and your grace,
with these we are full,
yes, we’re full.


There are three wonderful things that Pope Francis has done in continuity with Pope Benedict in terms of the Liturgy: 1) He maintained Msgr. Guido Marini as the Papal MC--a stroke of genius on the part of the pope in keeping this genius MC; 2) He named Cardinal Robert Sarah as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship--a stunning choice that certainly pleased Pope Benedict! 3) The Sistine Choir continues to make magnificent strides under Pope Francis in becoming a world-class choir--it had failed miserably at this in the past, but through Pope Benedict and now Pope Francis things are changed, watch this!

While there hasn't been the same liturgical excitement under Pope Francis as generated by Pope Benedict, I know from first hand experience at the Vatican and simply watching both of them celebrate Mass that their voice and gestures and style of gestures at the Mass is almost identical. Where they differ is in taste of vestments and desire to chant the priestly parts of the Mass. Pope Benedict liked the finer things, the Baroque and Roman although His Holiness was not adverse to more modern vestments. He wore both to show there can be continuity in diversity.

Pope Francis prefers plainer albs, chasubles and copes, although I find his sections to be very tasteful although austere at times. I'd love to have a closet full of his vestments at St. Joseph's as Pope Francis tastes in albs, chasubles and copes correspond more to my tastes although I do have a fiddle-back or two, but I don't like busy, gaudy vestments that so many young traditionalists are using. These look too fussy to me!

But let's talk about the liturgy under the two popes. At the Vatican the only thing that I have noticed that has changed is the adaptation of the altar arrangement with a lower crucifix and candles that do not completely block the pope and what is consecrated at the altar. But it is still the so-called "Benedictine" altar arrangement which is actually how the altar was arranged prior to Vatican II when ad orientem was the norm everywhere. Even in papal travels, this arrangement has been scrupulously maintained even in Cathedrals and parishes the pope visits where it isn't used.

At the Vatican, the parts of the Mass are in Latin which the congregation is encouraged to join in chanting. The official Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons are also chanted in Latin even when their is a preludal processional hymn in the vernacular.

The Sistine Choir continues to improve and Praytell tells us the following:

"...This is new: the Sistine Choir no longer belongs to the Ufficio delle Celebrazioni, but belongs once again to the Casa Apostolica as private choir of the pope. This is why Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Prefect of the Papal Household, presented the CD of the Sistine Choir last month. This CD is the fruit of something historic – the first time the Vatican has ever opened the doors of the iconic Sistine Chapel for a studio recording with the Sistine Chapel Choir."

And here is the selection of music that you can hear on this CD and I don't detect anything from the Saint Louis Jesuits or Praise and Worship!

1. Gregorian Chant - Rorate caeli desuper
2. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525–1594) - Ad te levavi
3. Orlande de Lassus (1532–1594) - Magnificat VIII toni
4. Gregorian Chant - Lumen ad revelationem gentium
 attrib. Palestrina – Nunc dimittis (World premiere recording)
5. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Super flumina Babylonis
6. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Improperium exspectavit cor meum
7. Gregorio Allegri (1582–1652) – Miserere Sistine Codex of 1661 (World premiere recording)
8. Gregorian Chant - Christus factus est pro nobis
9. Felice Anerio (c. 1560–1614) - Christus factus est pro nobis
10. Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611) - Popule meus (Improperia)
11. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Adoramus te, Christe
12. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Sicut cervus
13. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Angelus Domini
14. Orlande de Lassus - Iubilate Deo
15. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Constitues eos principes
16. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Tu es Petrus

There is also a trailer and excerpt from Allegri: Miserere on Youtube and the choir is stunning!They never sounded like this in the recent past in fact their sound was, well, embarrassing, but not now.

I hope and pray that things improve on the ground level in dioceses around the world beginning with Cathedrals, basilicas and want-to-be basilicas! I think things are slowly changing for the better in local parishes at least I hope what is being modeled at the Vatican even today is changing local parishes and how they celebrate and sing the liturgy!



Priests and deacons have friends and not all of our friends are good Catholics. Is this a shock to people? In fact some of my friends aren't even Catholic! Does that shock you?

I have been out to supper with those who are homosexual. Is that an endorsement of their lifestyle? Does it indicate that I am in league with them or worse yet? What message do I send when I have friends who are fornicating, adulterating, not going to Mass on Sunday or have renounced the Catholic Faith?

I also have friends who have some racist tendencies and use vulgar language. Who in the south doesn't have these kinds of friends. Does this mean I endorse racism and segregation and the vile language that so many use in our culture today?

And now we have Catholics whose ideological loyalties are firmer than their Catholic loyalties carping against the pope because he meets all kinds of people in the world to include despots and dictators and has gay friends.

We already know who was called "Hitler's Pope" because he is said not to have spoken forcefully enough about the genocide Hitler was committing.

We already know how Pope Benedict was painted as a Nazi youth because he was enrolled in a youth program by the Nazis and I suspect he and his family had Nazi acquaintances and friends.

And so it comes to a sad state of affairs that Pope Francis is accused of endorsing "hate" when he meets with Kim Davis and of endorsing unnatural sex when he has a gay friend who has a gay partner and their relationship with the pope is cordial.

And thus we have yet another clarification from the Vatican about yet another meeting the pope has had with someone. And the clarification states the obvious:

(Vatican Radio)  Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Holy See Press Office has released a statement on Pope Francis' meeting with Mr. Yayo Grassi during his visit to Washington, DC.

Please find the full statement below:

Statement of Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, Director of Holy See Press Office
Regarding the Meeting of Pope Francis with Mr. Yayo Grassi in Washington, DC

Mr. Yayo Grassi, a former Argentine student of Pope Francis, who had already met other times in the past with the Pope, asked to present his mother and several friends to the Pope during the Pope’s stay in Washington, DC. As noted in the past, the Pope, as pastor, has maintained many personal relationships with people in a spirit of kindness, welcome and dialogue.

My final comment and question: We have heard the panicked cries of insecure Catholics on both fringes of Catholicism, the ideological left and right over this pope and who he chooses to meet, and the friends he has.

The vast, vast silent majority of Catholics in the middle more than likely don't give a hoot about who the pope meets or who his friends are.  They simply want to live their Catholic lives in peace, go to Mass and have some sense that God is with them, loving them, forgiving them and giving them peace.


Friday, October 2, 2015


If the video above is a formal audience with the pope, then formal audiences with the pope have changed. This is not a formal audience but a brief meeting with an acquaintance who is a former student who happens to be gay with some of his friends to include his partner. . No where in this video does Pope Francis say any words to him like the ones he said to Kim Davis in his much shorter encounter with her, no where!

This is what Pope Francis said to Kim Davis in a briefer encounter and it is backed up with Pope Francis' documented answer to Terry Moran about Kim Davis and conscientious objection as related by Kim's lawyer: 

“We wouldn’t expect the pope to weigh in on the particulars of any case,” Staver said. “Rather, the meeting was a pastoral meeting to encourage Kim Davis in which Pope Francis thanked her for her courage and told her to ‘Stay strong.’ His words and actions support the universal human right to conscientious objection.”

The pope doesn't like being used by his friends. The man in the video is the Pope's a gay former student. Kim Davis is not a friend or a former student. Who is using whom here? 

This is what the pope's gay friend say about the reason he released this video:  

"Grassi, who said he is not Catholic, said he decided to make his meeting public because he felt Davis was misrepresenting her encounter with the pope."

My last comment: It is clear to me that the gay acquaintance is using the pope in his cordial meeting where the pope makes no references to this man's gay partnership whatsoever, in order  to push the gay agenda in the Catholic Church! If I were the pope, I would be insulted for being used in this way! Kim Davis and her lawyers have not been this obnoxious! 


Pope Francis and the Vatican communications' system have succeeded in polarizing the Church in a way that Pope Benedict was thought to have the capability of doing but never did! It all hinges on Pope Benedict being very clear with his language that normally meant he could not be spun. Whereas Pope Francis as a good Italian is guilty of what he constantly complains about: he talks too much and too much off the cuff! He is not clear always and comes across ambiguously thus opening himself up to be spun! And now this is true even of his small, symbolic gestures that use few words!  And the good bishops, priests and laity in the trenches suffer. I have been a victim by some in Macon's gay community of the "Who I am I to judge" meme that is constantly spun outside of the pope's complete context.

The Pope's pithy sayings lead to these kinds of soundbites that can be used against orthodox Catholics by those opposed to Catholic orthodoxy and orthopraxis!

 And this has led to our Church being polarized in a way that it wasn't even during the horrid period right after Vatican II lasting until Pope Saint John Paul II! And that's saying a lot! Loose lips and the internet are the perfect storm for this unprecedented polarization!

And now we have this tit for tat that is sure to cause more spinning and much, much, much more polarization! The article is one sided and does not extend Pope Francis' sense of mercy to Kim but to the one who is supported in the article!  Thank you Vatican:

Pope Francis held a private meeting with a same-sex couple in the United States the day before he met with Kim Davis, the county clerk who opposes same-sex marriage.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Yayo Grassi, who along with his partner met the Pope, declined to disclose details about the short visit, but said it was arranged personally by Pope Francis, who is a longtime friend.

Here is John Allen's Crux commentary or lament!

The Vatican must speak on conscientious objection

For as long as anyone can remember, the Vatican has had a special genius for snatching public relations defeat from the jaws of victory. Even by that standard, the fracas surrounding Pope Francis’ meeting with Kim Davis last week, which broke out immediately after his massively successful US trip, sets a new standard.

Without necessarily blaming the pope’s own media team, which seemingly was caught as off-guard as everyone else, there have been three separate breakdowns in communications strategy:
  • Apparently believing (or perhaps just hoping) that the pope’s brief encounter with the Kentucky clerk wouldn’t leak out.
  • Not being prepared to respond immediately when the news did break, thereby creating an interpretive vacuum.
  • Issuing a belated statement saying the pope did not intend to endorse Davis’ position “in all its particular and complex aspects,” but leaving unresolved precisely what he did mean by it.
One predictable consequence is that just as the past 48 hours were consumed by speculation over who put the pope up to the meeting, the next 48 will probably be marked by conspiracy theories as to who put him up to issuing the statement.

Another is that liberals will take a maximal reading of the statement, suggesting the pope has disavowed Davis, while conservatives will argue it simply means Francis hasn’t written her a blank check. Perhaps intentionally, the brief text could lend itself to either interpretation.
For a pope who by rights should be basking in the after-glow of a bravura outing to Cuba and the United States, it’s a fairly depressing scenario.

Aside from Machiavellian subplots and political spin, there is one serious conclusion to be drawn from the mess: There is now an urgent need for the Catholic Church to elaborate on precisely how it understands the right, and the limits, of conscientious objection.
Francis said on the papal plane returning to Rome that conscientious objection is a “human right,” including for government officials. Taken in tandem with news of the Davis meeting, many observers assumed he was talking about her stance in Kentucky.

In light of Friday’s statement, that conclusion now seems unfounded.

One problem is that Davis’ legal difficulties stem not just from her own refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but from allegedly interfering with her deputies doing so. Arguably that’s tantamount to using a public position to enforce her own religious beliefs on others, something official Catholic teaching rejects.

More basically, the situation creates a conflict between a right — freedom of conscience — and a duty, in this case the responsibility of public officials to carry out the law.

One could argue that people in Davis’ position should be entitled to an exemption from personal involvement in implementing a law they regard as immoral, since otherwise large numbers of people of faith might effectively be disqualified from public service. Obviously Francis’ strong rhetoric on religious freedom generally while he was in the country cuts in this direction.

That’s different, however, from saying that public officials on their own ought to be able to deny people services, such as the issuance of marriage licenses, to which they’re entitled.

The Vatican has now put itself in a position where it will face enormous pressure to speak clearly on what constitutes a legitimate claim of conscientious objection, and what the limits of those claims are.

Doubtless its take will be slightly different than the claims being floated by Davis and her supporters, as well as the position of secularists who don’t see any reason to accommodate religious sensitivities at all.

Whether that conversation unfolds in the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family, which is set to open on Sunday, or in some other venue, remains to be seen, but it will have to take place.

The bottom line is that the Vatican has thrust itself squarely into the middle of a debate that’s destined to become steadily more intense. The only way out is a thoughtful and clear statement on what exactly the Church understands by “conscientious objection,” and the sooner the better.
If Rome wants to get past Kim Davis and back onto higher ground, that’s the way forward.


Before reading the terse statement from Father Lombardi below, keep in mind that Pope Francis said exactly the following on the way back to Rome to a reporter who had asked His Holiness about religious liberty and conscientious objection:

Terry Moran, ABC News: (Clearly the question is about Kim Davis, although her name isn't used)
Holy Father, thank you, thank you very much and thank you to the Vatican staff as well. Holy Father, you visited the Little Sisters of the Poor and we were told that you wanted to show your support for them and their case in the courts. And, Holy Father, do you also support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience, their own personal conscience, abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example in issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Do you support those kinds of claims of religious liberty?
Pope Francis:
I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscience objection. But, yes, I can say the conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying 'this right that has merit, this one does not.' It (conscientious objection) is a human right. It always moved me when I read, and I read it many times, when I read the “Chanson de Roland” when the people were all in line and before them was the baptismal font and they had to choose between the baptismal font or the sword. They had to choose. They weren’t permitted conscientious objection. It is a right and if we want to make peace we have to respect all rights.

Terry Moran, ABC News:
Would that include government officials as well?

Pope Francis:
It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.

Holy See Press Office issues statement on Pope's meeting with Kim Davis

Father Federico Lombardi, SJ - ANSA
02/10/2015 11:40
(Vatican Radio) Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Holy See Press Office has released a statement on the brief meeting between Kim Davis and Pope Francis during his visit to Washington, DC.
The full statement is below

The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion. In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:
Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.
The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.



We are learning that the deadly shooting in Oregon was an act of terrorism against Christians once again! CNN reports:

"The Umpqua gunman targeted Christians specifically, according to the father of a wounded student.

After shooting a professor, the gunman asked students one-by-one to stand up, and asked each of them, "Are you a Christian?"

This, according to Anastasia Boylan, 18, who relayed the account to her father and brother before she was taken into surgery."


I am appalled at yet another deadly shooting. I am in favor of limiting the purchase of guns only to people who are qualified and have no serious mental illnesses. But we all know that acquiring guns by the criminal element will happen even if all weapons are illegal. Just think prohibition and the many ways that alcohol flowed during that period!

Yet, this killer was radicalized and no doubt he was radicalized because of mental illness or mental deficits. We don't know who radicalized him and that is the rub. Some would say that he was radicalized by the gun culture, others by Islamic terrorists which used the internet to radicalize him.

I would say that it is the Mass Media that radicalized him and others in all its forms that now needs to be regulated and censored for sex and violence as it was in the USA up until about the 1960's with the Catholic Church being at the forefront of this censorship for the common good! Movies had to make sure that crime stories did not have the criminal winning--that there was always justice of some kind at the end. But even more was censored to include graphic sex and violence and if you watch older movies you see what a benefit it was for society not to be radicalized by the media!

When we watch television and movies today, we know that writers and producers have the moral aptitude of an ally cat. They are stuck in adolescence and strive to corrupt the morals of the young and old to include children. We even see where radical homosexuals are trying to corrupt elementary school age children with their propaganda.  

The liberal media needs to put a spotlight not only on how Muslim extremists are radicalizing the disordered in this country but how the liberal mass media itself is a culprit by are doing it with the sex and violence of even family hour prime time television not to mention video games and all that is available on the internet in terms of violence and sex.

I can remember that no one even saw photos of President Kennedy's gunshot wound to the head until about 30 years after the assassination. It was kept from the public because it was too graphic.

Only in the last couple of decades was the Zapruder film shown unedited on national television and in slow motion with the President's head being blown open and skull, brain and blood matter spraying forth. It is this kind of violence shown over and over in the media that radicalizes the criminally insane or disordered.

I contend the liberal media is the blame for radicalizing the criminally disordered in this country that leads to these mass shootings and that everyone including the government must do something about it. It isn't just about gun control--it is controlling the media.