Sunday, June 30, 2013

A VERY INSIGHTFUL ARTICLE BY JOHN THAVIS ON THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF THE POPE: HE WANTS TO MAKE THE CHURCH WORK PROPERLY, MORALLY, ETHICALLY


YOU CAN READ JOHN THAVIS ARTICLE AT HIS BLOG BY PRESSING THIS SENTENCE!

The gist of his article is that the Pope wants the Church to be functional. By Church, I mean all the baptized in union with the Magisterium, the pope and the bishops in union with him, with your bishop and mine!

He is modeling for the bishops of the world how to be a functioning bishop putting aside the air of monarchy, of dictator, or democratically elected governor and being a pastor, smelling like his sheep, wearing the names of his parishioners on their chasuble. This is powerful stuff folks,whether or not you like the kingly trappings of the kingly-shepherd properly understood under previous popes, especially Benedict XVI.

But he wants the Vatican's curial offices to function properly too and it bank. He doesn't want corruption! Enough said.

He wants the collegiality of the bishops to function properly and in union with the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome. He uses this term frequently, but has not eschewed the term pope as some have suggested he has; that is simply false. I believe the term pontiff or supreme pontiff is not off-putting to him either as that means bridge-builder which the papal office is meant to be between all the other bishops of the world.

He wants structure that Vatican II initiated to function properly too, such as the synod of bishops. There have been many complaints over the years about the usefulness of these structures that seem to be a lot of talk but no real deliberative function. Of course, these don't change the "Deposit of Faith" but strive to make it more relevant and faithfully lived.

Let's give Pope Francis a chance to be Pope Francis. I think ultimately he paves the way for the next pope to recover some of the lost trappings and make them relevant again but in a Biblical sense of kingliness.

Let's face it because of the sex abuse scandals, clerical corruption and the problems of the Vatican and the curia, the moral authority of the Hierarchy is almost demolished. It must be rebuilt from the ground up, and the Bishop of Rome is stripping things to do it.

JUST WHAT DOES INCLUSIVITY MEAN IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?

This was taken at a recent "Gay Pride Parade" in Augusta, Ga, my hometown. The parade came very close to my previous parish, the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in downtown Augusta. The Episcopal Church had banners in this parade. Should my former parish have had one too? Wouldn't that be a sign of inclusivity and welcome?

James Joyce originally made this declaration in his novel Finnigan’s Wake: “Catholic means ‘Here comes everybody’”.

Of course the Catholic Church is known for having everyone. We have all kinds of people and we are truly universal. But in any given congregation on Sunday, or daily for that matter, we have Catholics who are saints, some are recovering sinners, others are in grave, public sin. Yet all are invited to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; no one excluded from entering our churches, even heathens are welcomed to attend Mass.

On any given day here at St. Joseph, we have Protestants attending Mass with their Catholic friends and we have those inquisitive about the Catholic faith attending. No one asks about their sins or moral backgrounds. They are free to attend and to be as anonymous as they wish.

But then at Holy Communion time, distinctions are made with those who are in the "full communion of the Church" and those who aren't. In other words, not everyone is invited to receive Holy Communion, the clearest sign of our full communion with Jesus and His Church, Head and members, Bridegroom and bride.

Who is excluded from partaking of the clearest sign of Catholic unity and full communion, receiving Holy Communion?

1. In the Latin Rite, any child who has not reached the age of reason (7).

2. Any Catholic who has not observed the 1 hour fast.

3. Any Catholic who is in a state of mortal sin.

4. Any person who is not a Catholic.

5. Any Catholic who has an interdict placed against them (usually public sinners, or those whose "civil unions") are not viewed as lawful Catholic marriages.

6. Any Catholic who is excommunicated either privately (only known to the person who is excommunicated), or publicly.

There could be some other reasons that I have omitted.

What happens when groups of sinners no longer see their sin as sin and then politicize their lifestyle to when favor with the public? Certainly in a free country as our own, they have that right in the political arena.

But what happens when they bring their political interests to the Church? When homosexuals want the Church to redefine the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and ignore Scripture and Tradition as well as natural law when it comes to fornication? Adultery? or the various sexual philias?

What happens when nothing associated with one's sexuality is to be considered sinful and thus anything sexual goes and those promoting this want full communion in the Church including all the sacraments (except of course Confession)?

What happens when Protestants attend a Catholic Mass either on Sunday, for a funeral or a wedding and demand that they have a right to receive Holy Communion, although they seldom demand the right to receive the Sacrament of Penance prior to demanding the right to receive Holy Communion. Please note, I've had no Protestants demanding Holy Communion, except in a couple of rare instances when a Methodist minister knowing full well that I could not give him Holy Communion, came forward anyway and stuck his hands out for the Host only for me to give him a blessing and he to give me the "evil eye."

But many Protestants are offended that they are not invited to receive Catholic Communion. I know this for a fact.

So, isn't the Church's mission to reach out to the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ who alone is the way "away from sin and death" to grace and holiness of life that leads to eternal life in heaven? All of us are destined for eternal life, some in hell others in heaven. Shouldn't we make clear which road lead to heaven? It is the road to self-denial, renunciation of sin and a sinful lifestyle, picking up one's cross and following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. It is the road that God's grace enables us to be clothed in the wedding garments of the eternal banquet in heaven.

Yes, the Catholic Church welcomes everyone to the Church but not everyone to Holy Communion. We welcome the corrupt, the criminal, the mafioso, the thief, drug addict, alcoholic and wife beater. We invite the violent, the war monger, the hateful to Church but not to Holy Communion.

But we name behavior that is contrary to the Gospel and the teaching of Jesus Christ made clear through the Church's Magisterium as sin and those in unrepentant sin are not free to receive Holy Communion until they repent and make a resolve not to sin again.

So, should the Catholic Church have a banner in a "Gay Pride" parade, inviting our gay, lesbian and transgendered brothers and sisters to the Church? It depends. If it is for the purpose of leading the promiscuous of whatever orientation and the fornicator and adulterer to repentance and conversion, well yes, of course. But if it is to take away guilt in the psychological sense to ENABLE the unrepentant sinner to feel better about their impenitence, than no, hell no! The Church should not be used for political agendas opposed to Jesus Christ and His Church.

Many Protestants do not like the fact that Catholics have gradations of sin, such as mortal, venial, deadly and so on. To them sin is sin and despicable in the eyes of God.

Should we then ignore sexual sins? It is easy to do so when people keep sin in darkness and strive to avoid public scandal, and Catholics respect Church teaching and refrain from Holy Communion when they have no intention to refrain from the darkness of sin. Private sinners seem to be more respectful of the common good of society and even the Church and keep their sins out of the public light and bring it only to the light of Christ in Confession.

It is the public sinner who wants his or her sin to be acceptable that is the most worrisome. There is a serious narcissism here. That could be a mafioso or a fornicator of whatever sexual orientation.

In one sense, Protestants are right, both sins, that of one who belongs to a crime organization and is a criminal and the other who is sinful in areas of sex, both sins are reprehensible to God. Both sinners need to repent, believe the good news, and be saved.

Freewill means the freedom to repent, the freedom to be in the full communion of the Church or the freedom to deny sin and deny oneself Holy Communion.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

COULD IT BE THAT THE VATICAN RUMOR MILL HAS THE MARINI NAME CONFUSED FOR THE NEW HEAD OF THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP?

Could this be the new head of the Congregation for Divine Worship? They seem to like each other! Marini, Pietro or Guido. I've always like Marini!

POPE VESTED IN COPE AND TIARA FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL!

The first pope that is at today's Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul! But Pope Francis allowed it!

In the video of the Mass, please note the lavish Benedictine Altar Arrangement with the bronze statues of Saints Peter and Paul upon the altar, each between the three candlesticks. Quite impressive. Pope Benedict, the Pope of Christian Unity, had previously invited a boys Lutheran Choir from Germany to sing at this Mass and they do a marvelous job. Today's Mass also has two "cardinal" deacons! The Mass begins at minute 8:25 with a blare of trumpet blasts, "Tu Est Petros! The Lutheran Boy's Choir sings a marvelous, difficult setting of the Credo. Also, please note that at Holy Communion, the Bishop of Rome continues to distribute Holy Communion by INTINCTION to the deacons as they KNEEL who serve the Mass

The Holy Father's Homily (although there were some ad libs not included obviously in the official text):

Your Eminences,
My Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are celebrating the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles, principal patrons of the Church of Rome: a celebration made all the more joyful by the presence of bishops from throughout the world. A great wealth, which makes us in some sense relive the event of Pentecost. Today, as then, the faith of the Church speaks in every tongue and desire to unite all peoples in one family.

I offer a heartfelt and grateful greeting to the Delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, led by Metropolitan Ioannis. I thank Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I for this renewed gesture of fraternity. I greet the distinguished ambassadors and civil authorities. And in a special way I thank the Thomanerchor, the Choir of the Thomaskirche of Leipzig – Bach’s own church – which is contributing to today’s liturgical celebration and represents an additional ecumenical presence.

I would like to offer three thoughts (MY COMMENT: Here the Holy Father gives a catechesis to all clergy on how to preach and the three-point homily is a great way for people to recall the essentials of a homily) on the Petrine ministry, guided by the word “confirm”. What has the Bishop of Rome been called to confirm?

1. First, to confirm in faith. The Gospel speaks of the confession of Peter: “You are Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16), a confession which does not come from him but from our Father in heaven. Because of this confession, Jesus replies: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church” (v. 18). The role, the ecclesial service of Peter, is founded upon his confession of faith in Jesus, the Son of the living God, made possible by a grace granted from on high. In the second part of today’s Gospel we see the peril of thinking in worldly terms. When Jesus speaks of his death and resurrection, of the path of God which does not correspond to the human path of power, flesh and blood re-emerge in Peter: “He took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him ... This must never happen to you” (16:22). Jesus’ response is harsh: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me” (v. 23). Whenever we let our thoughts, our feelings or the logic of human power prevail, and we do not let ourselves be taught and guided by faith, by God, we become stumbling blocks. Faith in Christ is the light of our life as Christians and as ministers in the Church!

2. (MY COMMENT: This paragraph is important, as we as Catholics have forgotten that our pilgrimage is a "spiritual battle. The Holy Father places this spiritual warfare into the proper context of the Gospel.) To confirm in love. In the second reading we heard the moving words of Saint Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tm 4:7). But what is this fight? It is not one of those fights fought with human weapons which sadly continue to cause bloodshed throughout the world; rather, it is the fight of martyrdom. Saint Paul has but one weapon: the message of Christ and the gift of his entire life for Christ and for others. It is precisely this readiness to lay himself open, personally, to be consumed for the sake of the Gospel, to make himself all things to all people, unstintingly, that gives him credibility and builds up the Church. The Bishop of Rome is called himself to live and to confirm his brothers and sisters in this love for Christ and for all others, without distinction, limits or barriers.

3. (MY COMMENT: Unity in diversity and certainly this is powerful with the Patriarch of Constantinople present, and the Liturgies and spiritulaities of the East while different than the West's are still a part of the unity of the Church! I would extend this to the use of the 1962 missal and its patrimony of spirituality and theology). To confirm in unity. Here I would like to reflect for a moment on the rite which we have carried out. The pallium is a symbol of communion with the Successor of Peter, “the lasting and visible source and foundation of the unity both of faith and of communion” (Lumen Gentium, 18). And your presence today, dear brothers, is the sign that the Church’s communion does not mean uniformity. The Second Vatican Council, in speaking of the hierarchical structure of the Church, states that the Lord “established the apostles as college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from their number” (ibid., 19). And it continues, “this college, in so far as it is composed of many members, is the expression of the variety and universality of the people of God” (ibid., 22). In the Church, variety, which is itself a great treasure, is always grounded in the harmony of unity, like a great mosaic in which every small piece joins with others as part of God’s one great plan. This should inspire us to work always to overcome every conflict which wounds the body of the Church. United in our differences: this is the way of Jesus! The pallium, while being a sign of communion with the Bishop of Rome and with the universal church, also commits each of you to being a servant of communion.

To confess the Lord by letting oneself be taught by God; to be consumed by love for Christ and his Gospel; to be servants of unity. These, dear brother bishops, are the tasks which the holy apostles Peter and Paul entrust to each of us, so that they can be lived by every Christian. May the holy Mother of God guide us and accompany us always with her intercession. Queen of Apostles, pray for us! Amen.

Friday, June 28, 2013

MORE FROM CARDINAL RANJITH ON THE REFORM OF THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS; HOW MANY OTHERS IN POSITIONS OF POWER TO CHANGE THINGS FEEL THIS WAY?

Yes, Virginia, this is a reform of the reform Catholic Mass in the Ordinary Form. Wouldn't such a Mass be a wonderful Christmas gift to the entire Church?

Cardinal Ranjith on Forming the Faithful to Live the Liturgy

Will the day come when practical reform of the Ordinary Form will come bY returning to its source AND being faithful to the actual instruction of Sacrosanctum Concilium?

1. Can't we mandate the Official Introit as the Opening Chant and eliminate "liturgists" in the parish from imposing their ideologies on the parish by the other hymns they select?

2. Can't we eliminate some options for the Penitential Act, keeping only Form A and B only and allowing the freestanding Kyrie?

3. Can't we go back to the offertory Prayers of the EF AND keep the double genuflections at the consecration and kissing the altar when turning away from it toward the congregation?

4. Can't we always chant the Offertory Antiphon?

5. Can't we go back to the three-fold "Lord I am not worthy?"

6. Can't we always chant the Communion antiphon?

7. Can't we all just kneel for Holy Communion and receive on the tongue?

8. Can't we keep Kyrie in Greek; the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Great Amen and Angus Dei in Latin only and any other parts of the Mass as optional in the vernacular including the official Introit, offertory and Communion antiphons?

9. Can't we have the Liturgy of the Eucharist Ad Orientem?

10. Can't we then restore reverence, awe and wonder in the real Presence of Christ who absorbs us into His mission, His Life, His Church and His eternal life?


If we did just these 10 things with the Ordinary Form and worldwide, wouldn't there be more Catholic unity, greater reverence and a sense of world-wide community in the Church? What is so difficult about these 10 recommendations?
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I think this is the most important aspect of the Liturgy that we have lost over 50 years, that the Liturgy is the work of God and not what we do to get closer to God. Cardinal Ranjith sums it up beautifully: The faithful must be taught the true meaning of the sacred liturgy: that it is “an instrument of communion with the Lord, allowing the Lord to take hold of you, and the Lord absorbing you into his divine mission, and making you experience what a great and privileged moment of communion this is.”

Explicitly tied into Cardinal Ranjith's articulate theology of the Mass is what the mission of God is, for which He founded the Church: "People have misconceptions about evangelization as if it is something we ourselves, with human effort, can achieve. This is a basic misunderstanding. What the Lord wanted us to do was to join him and his mission. The mission is His mission. If we think we are the ones to be finding grandiose plans to achieve that, we are on the wrong track. The missionary life of the Church is the realization of our union with Him, and this union is achieved in the most tangible way through the liturgy. Therefore, the more the Church is united with the Lord in the celebration of the liturgy, the more fruitful the mission of the Church will become. That is why this is very important.

In other words, the narcissism of the Liturgy and the Church these past 50 years is the biggest problem to be overcome by a fruitful "reform of the reform" in continuity of course with the entire history of the Church and her liturgy.

On Pope Benedict's revving up of the "reform of the reform in continuity" as it concerns the Liturgy, the good Cardinal Ranjith states: "Yes, because the older liturgy has some elements in it that can enrich the new liturgy, which can sort of act like a mirror into which you look. You look at yourself, and you understand what you are. The old liturgy helps us to understand what is good in the new liturgy and what is not perfect in the new liturgy. So by creating that kind of confrontation in the Church, he has helped us to make a proper evaluation, purify the new liturgy and make it stronger. He sort of guides us into a process of thinking and working towards a reform of the reform, because the reform of the liturgy had some flaws in the way it started off, in the way it worked. There had been a lot of arbitrary actions, misunderstandings, misconceptions, which need to be purified and which can happen in the light of the old liturgy. By understanding the beauty of the old liturgy, one can gain from the new liturgy also some elements of that beauty. The new liturgy has some of its own positive points, such as better use of the scriptures, more participation by the people, room for greater singing and other things, which can also be integrated into the old liturgy. Old elements like genuflection and some of the beautiful prayers, some of the repetitions, can enrich the new liturgy also. So it’s a two way process. That’s why the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, thought of allowing the old liturgy more freely, in order to affect this third way, the way of the reform."

These are some of the wonderful things Cardinal Ranjith has thus far accomplished in his own diocese as it concerns the reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. These are simple but striking:

"When I arrived I found much liturgical disorder so I started from the very beginning, insisting on certain things. We have declared a Year of the Eucharist in order to put everything in order. Now all the priests are using the vestments because, before, they were not using all of them when they celebrated Mass. Now everybody’s following that, showing that the celebration of the Eucharist is something special, not like any other activity. And there is greater devotion in the celebration of the Eucharist. Communion is given on the tongue and kneeling. This has become common practice everywhere and more and more people are returning to the Church. Those who have resorted to fundamentalism, for example, are returning to the Church because they find that the liturgy is something formative, enriching. It’s not this “show” that they had been used to. So we’ve changed the liturgical life of the diocese a lot."

You can read Cardinal Ranjith's entire interview with Zenith by pressing HERE!

GUESS WHO'S BEEN LOOKING BETWEEN JUNE 21, 2013 11:00 AM – JUNE 28, 2013 10:00 AM?


These statistics and the countries that view my blog still freaks me out, Russia in particular!

Pageviews:

United States 6678

France 597

Canada 490

United Kingdom 339

Russia 265

Australia 201

Philippines 172

Germany 144

Ireland 105

Ukraine 66

MY COMMENT: DOVE SONO I MIEI ITALIANI? (Where are my Italians?) Forse ho bisogno di iniziare a inviare in Italiano? (Maybe I should start posting in Italian?)

POPE FRANK'S FRANKNESS HAS BEEN PREPARING US FOR SCANDALS BREWING IN THE VATICAN, THE SMOKE OF SATAN AND THE DIABOLICAL, PREACHED BY POPE FRANK SO FRANKLY, THE FIRST SCANDAL HAS EXPLODED, MONEY LAUNDERING AND THE VATICAN BANK THE OTHER IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE, THE GAY LOBBY, TO USE POPE FRANK'S FRANKNESS!



This morning Vatican Radio communicated a terse statement concerning the arrest of Monsignor Nuncio Scarano. The Vatican often uses the term "monsignor" to designate a bishop. Bishop Nuncio Scarano is the Bishop of Salerno. Perhaps this now explains the Holy Father's urgent work which caused him to miss a concert and the famous empty chair?

This is the Vatican statement:

(Vatican Radio) Below we publish the statement released by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. regarding the arrest of an Italian Monsignor Nuncio Scarano:


As already known from the past few days, Monsignor Nuncio Scarano has been suspended from duty at APSA (Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See) for over a month, as soon as his superiors were informed that he was under investigation.

This is in accordance with the Regulations of the Roman Curia, which requires the precautionary suspension for persons against whom criminal proceedings have begun.

The Holy See has not yet received any request from the competent Italian authorities on the matter, but confirmed its willingness to cooperate fully.

The competent Vatican authorities, the AIF, is following the problem to take, if necessary, measures appropriate to its competence.


Associated Press is reporting:

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican official was arrested Friday by Italian police for allegedly trying to bring 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into the country from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane, his lawyer said.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, already under investigation in a purported money-laundering plot involving the Vatican bank, is accused of fraud, corruption and slander stemming from the plot, which never got off the ground, attorney Silverio Sica told The Associated Press.

It was the latest financial scandal to hit the Vatican and came just two days after Pope Francis created a commission of inquiry into the Vatican bank to get to the bottom of the problems that have plagued it for decades and contributed to damaging the Vatican’s reputation.

Sica said Scarano was a middleman in the Swiss operation. Friends had asked him to intervene with a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to return 20 million euros they had given him to invest. Sica said Scarano persuaded Carenzio to return the money, and an Italian secret service agent, Giovanni Maria Zito, went to Switzerland to bring the cash back aboard an Italian government aircraft. Such a move would presumably prevent any reporting of the money coming into Italy.

The operation failed because Carenzio reneged on the deal, Sica said.

Zito, nevertheless, demanded his 400,000 euro commission. Scarano paid him an initial 200,000 euros by check, Sica said. But in a bid to not have the second installment of the commission deposited, Scarano filed a report for a missing 200,000 check, even though he knew Zito had it, Sica said.

Carenzio and Zito also were arrested Wednesday along with Scarano, Sica said.

When asked how Scarano responded to the accusations, Sica said ‘‘I think that Don Nunzio will respond to the questions.’’

It’s not the only troubles facing Scarano.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Salerno have placed him under investigation for alleged money-laundering stemming from his account at the Vatican’s bank, called the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR.

The investigation concerns transactions Scarano, then an official at the Administration for the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, made in 2009 in which he took 560,000 euros ($729,000) in cash out of his personal IOR bank account and carried it out of the Vatican and into Italy to help pay off a mortgage on his Salerno home.

To deposit the money into an Italian bank account — and to prevent family members from finding out he had such a large chunk of cash — he asked 56 close friends to accept 10,000 euros apiece in cash in exchange for a check or money transfer in the same amount, Sica said earlier this week. Scarano was then able to deposit the amounts in his Italian account.

The original money came into Scarano’s IOR account from donors who gave it to the prelate thinking they were funding a home for the terminally ill in Salerno, Sica said. He said the donors had ‘‘enormous’’ wealth and could offer such donations for his charitable efforts.

He said Scarano had given the names of the donors to prosecutors and insisted the origin of the money was clean, that the transactions didn’t constitute money-laundering, and that he only took the money ‘‘temporarily’’ for his personal use.

The home for terminally ill hasn’t been built, though the property has been identified, Sica said.

‘‘He declares himself absolutely innocent,’’ Sica said of the Salerno investigation.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told the AP earlier this week that the Vatican is taking the appropriate measures to deal with Scarano’s case. There was no further comment Friday from the Vatican about Scarano’s arrest.

Francis has made clear he has no tolerance for corruption or for Vatican officials who use their jobs for personal ambition or gain. He has said he wants a ‘‘poor’’ church and a church that is for the poor, one that goes out to the ‘‘peripheries’’ to minister to those most needy. He has also noted, tongue in cheek, that ‘‘St. Peter didn’t have a bank account.’’

On Wednesday, he named five people to head a commission of inquiry into the Vatican bank’s activities and legal status ‘‘to allow for a better harmonization with the universal mission of the Apostolic See,’’ according to the legal document he signed creating it.

Two of them are Americans: Monsignor Peter Wells, the No. 3 official in the Vatican secretariat of state, and Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor, former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See and current president of a pontifical academy.

American cardinals were among the most vocal in demanding a wholesale reform of the Vatican bureaucracy — and the Vatican bank — in the meetings outlining the priorities for the new pope in the run-up to the March conclave that elected Francis. The demands were raised following revelations in leaked documents last year that told of dysfunction, petty turf wars and allegations of corruption in the Holy See’s governance.

It was the second time in as many weeks that Francis had intervened to get information out of the IOR, a secretive institution best known for the scandals it has caused the Vatican. On June 15, he filled a key vacancy in the bank’s governing structure, tapping a trusted prelate to be his eyes inside the bank.

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Several years ago, the Blog Chiesa brought to light one aspect of the Vatileaks that eventually would lead in part to Pope Benedict's resignation, as importance correspondence was taken from his desk by his butler and leaked to the press. Butler did it! But he said he did it to protect the Pope and expose corruption in the Vatican.

The bombshell letter was from our current papal nuncio in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, and the back story by Sandro Magister can be read by PRESSING THESE PARAGRAPHS. This is old news but puts into a context what Pope Francis is trying to do to clean up the corruption in business transactions amongst other things in the Vatican. It does appear that the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, does not come off smelling very well and did a terrible disservice to Pope Benedict who held him in high esteem. It may not amount to the Judas effect, but it is close!


Pope Francis has been, well, very FRANK, in denouncing careerism in the Vatican and money, wealth. We see why now. His candor has been unprecedented. He has been preparing the Church for this.

The other unprecedented candor is what he called the GAY LOBBY, in the Vatican and I think the other shoe is about to drop on it! I am sure Pope Frank's FRANKNESS, is rattling many in the Vatican and for good reason! We are now learning why POPE FRANK WAS ELECTED and his antipathy for lavish looking vesture.!






MY BULLETIN LETTER FOR JULY 7TH


Dear parishioners,

The judicial branch of our secular government the Supreme Court has decided to redefine the nature of legal marriage. This is yet one more legal decision motivated purely by a secular agenda antipathetic toward religion and/or natural law and is a sad day for the supporters of true marriage of all creeds and no creeds in our country and throughout the world. Monarchy in our judicial system has seen fit to place itself above God.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has reiterated that “marriage needs to be strengthened, not redefined. Cohabitation, divorce, and contraception all erode marriage’s meaning as a public, total, lifelong, and fruitful communion of persons between husband and wife. The latest challenge to marriage, the proposal that sexual difference doesn’t matter, removes the very basis of marriage’s meaning as a one-flesh communion, open to children, making the definition of marriage in law (and thereby culture) open to limitless variation and ultimately meaningless.”

What does this mean for believing, practicing Catholics? All of us are still under the laws of the Church as it concerns the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony which must be understood as higher than secular or civil law. It also means that we have to teach our children the true meaning of marriage when they see same sex partners acting as married couples.

For the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony to be valid in the Catholic Church, it must be entered into for a lifetime with full consent of the will and with no reservations between one man and one woman who are opened to the propagating of new human life; they are open to forming a Christian family with children. There are two aspects to this sacrament, its legal standing before God and man and its sacramental standing as a covenant relationship with God. The image of husband and wife is the image of the intimate relationship God has with us through His Son, Jesus, who is the Bridegroom of the Church, which is His Holy Bride. Through His bride, the Church, Jesus begets children through water and the Holy Spirit through Baptism. Jesus will not forsake the Church; He won’t divorce her.

Thus for a valid Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, it must be recognized by the state for secular standing in civil law and the benefits of the state but it must also be recognized by the Church through the Church’s blessing of these legal unions. A valid Catholic marriage must have broad recognition even beyond the Church.

The Catholic Church cannot recognize as marriage something that isn’t. We have no competency in terms of secular laws governing legal unions between people, two men, two women or a number of individuals claiming marital status. If secular governments want to give these civil unions recognition and legal status, that is unfortunate, but there is nothing the Church can do about it except through moral persuasion and our part in the political and judicial process that lead to secular, political decisions.

We can only declare to Catholics and others of good will that the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and its legal counterpart the Bond of Marriage is only between one man and one woman who have no legal or religious impediments and is for a lifetime. There is no such thing in the eyes of the Church of marriage between same sex partners. These are rightly called “civil unions” with legal benefits. These are not marriages. We need not get into a debate about natural verses unnatural sex, for some of these legal unions are precisely that, legal unions without sex, people living chaste lives but who want government legal and monetary benefits. For them, this is a legal partnership with benefits.

We must also make clear that Catholics who were in valid Catholic marriages and then divorced and married civilly or outside of the Catholic Church and without the Church’s blessing are in civil unions also and these unions are not recognized as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony or the Bond of Marriage. I urge Catholics who are in civil unions due to previous marriage to seek the possibility of a Catholic annulment so that their current civil union, what the state calls marriage, can be solemnized in the Church and thus be validated as an actual religious marriage that the Church recognizes.

At the same time we should not demonize same sex partners, especially those who strive to live a celibate life. Often there is sincere love and care for one another. This doesn't mean that from the pulpit or in our catechesis we are not allowed to called fornication, or adultery or sodomy which heterosexuals often engage in as well, for what these are, mortal sin and reprehensible to God, but we don't need to go after individuals in a personal way. Conversion is the road for everyone.

Brothers and sisters, we live in an age where godless secularism is the new state religion and its laws are being foisted upon the land. There is no separation of this “church” and state whatsoever.
We must now be a leaven in society striving to follow Jesus through the Church and her laws especially when civil law is immoral or corrupt. May God give us the grace and strength to be committed Catholics and to witness to our faith before others and before the state regardless of the repercussions of doing so. God bless you with courage!

Your pastor,
Fr. Allan J. McDonald

TO TELL THE LITURGICAL TRUTH: CARDINAL CALLS ORDINARY FORM MASS BORING, DULL, UNINSPIRING, BANAL

Cardinal Ranjith on the sense of mystery in the liturgy: We need to improve the Ordinary Form, we need to strengthen it further and basing the reform of the reform on the Extraordinary Form:


Fr. Z has a poem from a Church bulletin around 1965 and yes this captures the sentiment completely of that period as this could have been in any bulletin, USA in 1965. I remember the sentiment very well and I suspect Cardinal Ranjith does too:

Someone sent me a PDF of a parish bulletin for St. Patrick’s Church in Madison, WI dated 7 Feb 1965. On the front page there is this poem.

Latin’s gone, peace is too;
singin’ and shoutin’ from every pew.
Altar’s turned around, priest is too;
Commentators yellin’: “Page 22.”
Communion rail’s gone, stand up straight!
Kneelin’ suddenly went out of date.
Processions are form in’ In every aisle
Salvation’ organized Single file.
Rosary’s out, psalms are in;
hardly ever hear a word against sin.
Listen to the lector, hear how he reads;
Please stop rattlin’ them rosary beads.
Padre’s looking puzzled, Doesn’t know his part;
Used to know the whole deal, In Latin by heart.
I hope all changes are just about done;
That they don’t drop Bingo, before I”ve won.


Fr. Z reporting from the wonderful liturgical conference in Rome where Cardinal Ranjith spoke, wrote of Fr. Michael Lang who examined what happens to church architecture when the wrong starting points are adopted. He assigned more blame to ecclesiastics rather than to architects. If the theological starting points are wrong-headed, the building will not serve its proper purpose. Lang posited that many modern (really ugly, failure) churches take as their starting points the notion of Rahner, and then Schillebeecxk, that sacraments recognize preexisting realities rather than confer grace. Contrast that with Sacrosanctum Concilium 7.

To be bluntly honest with you I was schooled in the Rahner, and then Schillebeecxk, theology of sacraments and had never but two and two together as Fr. Lang did in his talk. This is Rahner's thesis, which I ate hook, line and sinker, as though some infallible treatise:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

WHILE IN ROME THERE IS A CONFERENCE MOVING THE CHURCH FORWARD ON LITURGY AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION THROUGH IT, HERE IN THE UNITED STATES THERE IS A PRIESTS' CONFERENCE FOCUSING ON FAILED INITIATIVES AND THE SAME OLD, SAME OLD, STUCK IN THE PAST, UNABLE TO MOVE FORWARD!


As seen below in two other posts, there is great news out of Rome with the Sacra Liturgia Conference and dynamic speakers assisting the Church to move forward with the new Evangelization and to leave in the past the thinking of the 1960's and 70's. This is great news and younger generations of clergy and laity seem to understand this.

Yet, here in the USA the Association of Priests is having a conference. They have very few younger priests and I doubt that younger laity know anything about them or want anything to do with them.

Here are some of their resolutions that passed (this generation is into structures and meetings and deliberating ad nauseam), what the pope decries as hot-house politics that prevent us from moving forward and away from self-referential ideologies stuck in the past:

You can find the full article over at PRAYTELL!

The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests passed six resolutions at the group’s second annual Assembly this week in Seattle:

--favoring exercise of authority in a collegial manner through consensus decision-making processes with councils and boards;
--supporting Pope Francis in the reform of the Church to restore credibility, with participation of laity and clergy in the selection of bishop;
--endorsing Cardinal Bernadin’s Common Ground Initiative to promote inclusive dialogue and collaboration;
--supporting the ordination of women to the permanent diaconate;
--encouraging the reintroduction of general absolution;
--supporting the Labor Priests Project of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils and establishing its own Priest-Labor-Union-Friendly Caucus.

Seven proposed resolutions did not pass (MY COMMENT: THANK YOU JESUS!):

--asking the US bishops to work to resolve the problem of precipitous decline in number of active priests;
--making the selection of bishops more transparent, with selection generally from the local presbyterate and proceedings not done in secret.
--seeking permission to use the 1974 Sacramentary;
--asking the US bishops to appoint a liaison to AUSCP and include an AUSCP delegate as auditor at its November meeting;
--supporting a plan for evangelization including diagnosis of why Catholics leave;
--calling for study and open discussion of women and married men in the priesthood;
--promoting sufficient time for presbyterate to determine its own interim leader when a bishop reaches age of resignation/retirement.

Two motions were withdrawn, one selecting a Priest of the Month and another decrying the annual collection for the Archdiocese for Military Services.

MY FINAL COMMENT: Yawn!

HIS HOLINESS, BISHOP OF ROME EMERITUS, LOOKS GOOD AND I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT HIS HOLINESS IS THINKING AND WHAT THESE TWO DISCUSS

There's a certain tragedy in all of this, but the Holy Spirit is ultimately in charge! Please note that you can't see through this pope's cassock to the kind of pants below! And why does Abp. Gänswein remind me of Richard Chamberlain in the "Thornbirds?" Hopefully it is just the similar look! :)

VATICAN RADIO HIGHLIGHTS THE SACRA LITURGIA CONFERENCE ONCE AGAIN WHICH IS GOING ON IN ROME THIS WEEK AND PROMOTES TRUE LITURGICAL RENEWAL IN CONTINUITY WITH THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM


Listen to the most excellent interview Jeffrey Tucker and Christopher Wells speaking with Vatican Radio on chant in the liturgy as Vatican Radio yet again gives a plug to the Roman conference on the Liturgy, Sacra Liturgia. LISTEN HERE!

(Vatican Radio) The 2013 Sacra Liturgia Conference is continuing this week in Rome.

The four-day Conference, organized by Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, France, focuses on the study, promotion and renewal of the appreciation of liturgical formation and celebration, and its foundation for the mission of the Church. It’s one of many initiatives taking place during the Year of Faith, commemorating 50 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

The Conference brings together a wide range of renowned speakers, including Cardinals Malcolm Ranjith and Raymond Burke, along with many other international experts on the liturgy.

Jeffrey Tucker is the new editor of the New Liturgical Movement blog. He spoke with Christopher Wells about the role of the internet in the liturgical renewal, and about the promotion of good liturgy, and in particular sacred music.

“The internet is a magical thing in some ways,” he said, “because anything that appears on it becomes malleable, it becomes universal.”

Tucker spoke about how the new means of social communication can open up the riches of sacred music. “So if you can put out there a chant, and invite people to download it, or a YouTube of a chant . . . you have the perfect teaching tool, the perfect tool for distribution.” He said the internet allows sacred music to become truly universal: “So you can really achieve that notion of universality that has always been spoken about, with regard to sacred music.”

The new efforts to emphasize the importance of the liturgy and sacred music is rooted in the past, but Tucker says it is really focused on the future: “I think our movement is not really about the past. It’s about a beautiful future, more than anything else. And I see this future unfolding every day in my work. . . . The point is that we are seeing progress in our times right now. And ready to leave the past behind, and move on to a brilliant future so that we can achieve that original goal of the 19th century liturgical movement, and the goals of the second Vatican Council.”




MORE INSIGHTS INTO THE MIND OF THE BISHOP OF ROME, POPE FRANCIS, FROM HIS HOMILY AT THE CHAPEL OF HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE VATICAN MOTEL 6 (I WONDER IF THEY HAVE HBO?)


POPE CONTINUES TO CALL OUT THE HERETICS OF PELAGIANISM AND GNOSTICISM--NOT EVEN POPE BENEDICT LABELED CATHOLICS HERETICS--IS THIS A GOOD SIGN?

In the last 100 days or so, we've been getting to know what Pope Francis believes and how he teaches in his new papal magisterium. He has not shunned using this word and calling the faithful to fidelity to the Magisterium, the pope and our individual bishops in union with him.

Unlike Cardinal Ratzinger who was a prolific writer and often entered into theological debates, even printing a debate with another cardinal in America Magazine, we know and knew little or nothing of Cardinal Bergoglio. He has written very little of theological import.

So his homilies and audiences give us a glimpse into this theology. We know he is a progressive when it comes to the Magisterium's social teachings, especially previous popes as our social teachings are quite progressive and yes, we as Catholics are called to fidelity to these teachings too. We are not cafeteria Catholics picking and choosing as though we are a part of a political party of some kind.

We know he likes simplicity and wants to identify with the lowly, even the lay person. He said yesterday at his papal audience that all Christians are equal, that he as "Mr. Pope" is not above any other Christian. Ontologically this is correct but not in terms of the diverse roles in the Church. I would think this could be a case of "false egalitarianism" but the Holy Father would need to make his stance on equality a bit less ambiguous. He is definitely a populist which Pope Benedict and Pope Paul VI and Pope Pius XII were not, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul I and II were but not to the same degree as this pope.

So at today's Motel 6 Chapel at the his place of residence on Vatican property, this is what the Holy Father said as reported by Vatican Radio:

Pope at Mass: Resting our faith on the rock of Christ

(Vatican Radio) There are people who "masquerade as Christians," and sin by being excessively superficial or overly rigid, forgetting that a true Christian is a person of joy who rests their faith on the rock of Christ. Some think they can be Christian without Christ; others think being Christian means being in a perpetual state mourning. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at morning Mass on Thursday.

Rigid and sad. Or happy but with no idea of ​​Christian joy. These are two - in a sense opposite - "houses", in which two categories of believers live and which are both seriously flawed: they are grounded in a Christianity made of words and fail to rely on the "rock" of the Word of Christ. Pope Francis identified both groups in his comments on the Gospel of the day, the famous passage from Matthew of the houses built on sand and rock.

"In the history of the Church there have been two classes of Christians: Christians of words - those" Lord, Lord, Lord "- and Christians of action, in truth. There has always been the temptation to live our Christianity not on the rock that is Christ. The only one who gives us the freedom to say 'Father' to God is Christ, our rock. He is the only one who sustains us in difficult times, no? As Jesus said: the rain falls, rivers overflow, winds blow, but the rock is safe, words, the words take flight, they are not needed. But this is the temptation of these Christians of words, of a Christianity without Jesus, a Christianity without Christ. And this has happened and is happening today in the Church: being Christians without Christ. "

Pope Francis went on to analyze these "Christians of words," revealing their specific characteristics. There is a first type – which he defined as "gnostic -"who instead of loving the rock, loves beautiful words "and therefore lives floating on the surface of the Christian life. And then there's the other, who Pope Francis called "pelagian", who leads a staid and starched lifestyle. Christians, the Pope ironically added, who “stare at their feet” :

"And this temptation exists today. Superficial Christians who believe, yes, God, yes Christ, but not ‘everywhere’: Jesus Christ is not the one who gives them their foundation. They are the modern gnostics. The temptation of gnosticism. A 'liquid' Christianity. On the other hand, there are those who believe that the Christian life should be taken so seriously that they end up confusing solidity, firmness, with rigidity. They are rigid! This think that being Christian means being in perpetual mourning. "

Pope Francis continued that the fact is that there “are so many” of these Christians. But, he argued, "they are not Christians, they disguise themselves as Christians." "They do not know – he added - what the Lord is, they do not know what the rock is, do not have the freedom of Christians. To put it simply ‘they have no joy ":

"The former have a ‘superficial’ happiness. The others live in perpetual state of mourning, but do not know what Christian joy is. They do not know how to enjoy the life that Jesus gives us, for they know not to talk to Jesus. They do not feel that they rest on Jesus, with that firmness which the presence of Jesus gives. And they not only have no joy, they have no freedom either. They are the slaves of superficiality, of this life widespread, and the slaves of rigidity, they are not free. The Holy Spirit has no place in their lives,. It is the Spirit who gives us the freedom! Today, the Lord calls us to build our Christian life on Him, the rock, the One who gives us freedom, the One who sends us the Spirit, that keeps us going with joy, on His journey, following His proposals. "


MY FINAL COMMENT: Would our American politicians and jurists, such as Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Anthony Kennedy be the gnostics and other Catholics in the multitudes who are like them that Pope Francis mocks and condemns?

THE NEW STATE RELGION, GODLESS SECULARISM AND ITS "NO" TO MERCY AND FORGIVENESS



There is no doubt about it, the times,they have changed. The United States of America has an official new state religion and it is godless Secularism based upon the Humanist Manifesto (press here to read it). Godless Secularism elevates the human individual into a god and makes the worship of the individual the centerpiece as it shunts the common good to the periphery as well as forcing authentic religion and her true God into the private and personal never to influence the public.

This new state religion influences in powerful ways the politics of this land and many politicians including Catholic ones have converted to it. It affects dramatically the current occupant of the Executive Branch and it has divided the Judicial Branch as seen by the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act on June 26th. The Legislative Branch is thoroughly infected too having embraced the Church of godless Secularism's tenants.

Apart from the gall that the state has in its wedding dance with godless Secularism to actually redefine the nature of marriage and thus ridicule the entire institution, it has little or no room for mercy or forgiveness. This is a new form of paganism and it is as puritanical as the Puritans ever where, in fact the Puritans would blush at how puritan this godless secularism is.

The case in point would be Paula Deen. She used a racial slur over 30 years ago and admitted it under oath when she could have lied about it. In fact in her interview with Matt Lauer of the Today show he asked her why she just didn't lie about it. She said she is an honest person and despises two types of people, thieves and liars.

But I ask, what crime did Paula Deen commit in using this racial slur? And when she is asked about it under oath in a separate litigation, she is honest about it and she profusely apologizes for it. Yet, she is on trial for using it when she has committed no crime and the godless secularism establishment, meaning the liberal mass media, entertainment masked as news, continues to shove her face into the poop of her indiscretion.

Do we really want godless secularism to be our state religion? Do we want its merciless puritanical approach to its double standard concerning sin?

Think about Comcast which owns NBC and all the networks that provide entertainment to our homes. They pipe into our homes all kinds of good things, but awful things too, including the most crass forms of pornography which makes them more bucks than they can count. Think about the music industry, especially rapers, and how derogatory the lyrics in their so-called art and sexually explicit they are and yet they get a pass, no one does to them what Matt Lauer did to Paula Deen yesterday.

But think of the once forbidden words that could not be uttered on broadcast TV or even in the movies, "damn" which is quite mild, but then once Rhett Butler said it, it became common place and led to even more crass explicatives.

What if Rhett Butler in 1939 had not only said, "I don't give a damn" to Scarlet O'Hara but then called her a bi-ch?
Isn't the use of both "b" words as bad as the "n" word and as derogatory toward women and men? How many times do we hear it on television and no one blinks an eye. Why aren't the networks and their producers held to the same level of puritanical morality as Paula Deen?

And, God willing, when the networks begin to see how derogatory the "b" word is toward women will someone who says it today, 30 years from now, be held to the same level of accountability as Paula Deen who used the "n" word 30 years ago and will the godless secular establishment go after that person in the same way as they are going after Paula Deen for what she said 30 years ago?

And now, we even see and partially hear the f-bomb the most derogatory name for the "marital act" there is and a violent word when it comes to this act with someone else, a demeaning word that reverses the true nature of the marital act between a man and a women in a life long committed true marriage. No one blinks an eye at this crass derogatory use of a word that demeans the marital act and to whom the word is directed.

Hypocrisy is the foundation of our new state religion, godless secularism. God help us!

On a previous post on Paula Deen one of my commenters, Sidney Falco said:

There are two "bigotries" that will not be tolerated in the psuedo-morality of the liberal establishment: Racism and anything anti-gay. Just look at Mel Gibson. There are still actors, producers and directors who refuse to work with him, no matter what he does.

There is surely a double-standard, and we must not be a part of it. Jesus Christ came to bring Mercy to everyone, regardless of their sins. You can recognize the counterfeit morality by its refusal to forgive.

Paula Deen is embarrassing and just listening to her makes me cringe. However, you cannot convince me that the very liberals who will be mocking and denouncing her for the next several weeks are any less bigoted. We ALL need God's mercy. When we deny that, there is no choice left but to scapegoat. Deen is just the latest.


Sidney Falco is right!

Compare the new state religion of godless secularism and its mercilessness to Pope Francis and his continual call to seek God's mercy and forgiveness. "God never grows tired of forgiving us although we grow tire of asking for it."

What a contrast to Comcast!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

FROM THE SEE CITY, SAVANNAH AND FROM THE USCCB ON THIS SAD DAY IN AMERICAN HISTORY


June 26, 2013

BISHOP HARTMAYER’S STATEMENT RE: SUPREME COURT DECISION ON MARRIAGE

I am disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision today that redefines marriage as something other than a vowed relationship between a man and a woman. The tradition of the Church continues to maintain that marriage is the sacred union between a man and a woman whose love for one another is open to the blessing of children. A marriage between a man and a woman and the blessing of children strengthens our society through family life.

The Church maintains that man and woman were made for each other - that God created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be "helpmate" to the other, for they are equal persons and complementary as masculine and feminine.

In marriage God unites a man and a woman in such a way that, by forming "one flesh", they can transmit human life. "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." (Genesis 1:28) By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents cooperate in a unique way in the Creator's work.

I regret that the Supreme Court has failed to recognize their responsibility to uphold significant truths that strengthen and promote the moral fiber of our society.

Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv.
Bishop of Savannah


And from Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the USCCB:

(Vatican Radio) Below is a statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' on the US Supreme Court's ruling on Wednesday striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The U.S. Supreme Court decisions June 26 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and refusing to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 mark a “tragic day for marriage and our nation,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
The statement follows.

“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. It is also unfortunate that the Court did not take the opportunity to uphold California’s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.

“Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father.
“Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters. While the culture has failed in many ways to be marriage-strengthening, this is no reason to give up. Now is the time to strengthen marriage, not redefine it.

“When Jesus taught about the meaning of marriage – the lifelong, exclusive union of husband and wife – he pointed back to “the beginning” of God’s creation of the human person as male and female (see Matthew 19). In the face of the customs and laws of his time, Jesus taught an unpopular truth that everyone could understand. The truth of marriage endures, and we will continue to boldly proclaim it with confidence and charity.

“Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decisions, with renewed purpose we call upon all of our leaders and the people of this good nation to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. We also ask for prayers as the Court’s decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified.”

Speaking to Vatican Radio following the Supreme Court's decision, Kim Daniels spokeperson for the President of USCCB, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said, ""We feel that this is a real injustice and a sad day"
She also points to the fact that religious liberty "is going to be a growing concern", following this ruling.


You can listen to Vatican Radio by PRESSING HERE!




BOMBSHELL, THE HOLY FATHER, THE BISHOP OF ROME, POPE FRANCIS CONFIRMS THE MALE AND FATHERLY NATURE INTRINSIC TO THE PRIESTHOOD!


Much of the manner in which Jesus taught was "implicit" and not so much "explicit" and what was implicit was a bombshell, for his manner of teaching and his manner of healing and his manner of forgiving and his manner of raising the dead to new life all implied He was God without Him ever explicitly saying that He was God.

Thus Pope Francis during his homily at the chapel of his residence at the Vatican Motel 6 did the same thing this morning as he confirmed that priesthood is fatherly and that fathers, all fathers, are men! A man who doesn't want to be a father is lacking something, even a priest who doesn't want to be a father!

Thus in the Ordinary Magisterium of this Bishop of Rome, we have confirmed the true theological, doctrinal and dogmatic nature of the priesthood and it is fatherly!

From the lips of the Bishop of Rome:

(Vatican Radio) The desire to be a father is ingrained in all men, even priests, who are called to give life, care, protection to their spiritual children entrusted to them. This was the focus of Pope Francis homily at morning Mass Wednesday, in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta. Mass was concelebrated by the Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of Palermo, Salvatore De Giorgi, who was celebrating the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Emer McCarthy reports:

"When a man does not have this desire, something is missing in this man. Something is wrong. All of us, to exist, to become complete, in order to be mature, we need to feel the joy of fatherhood: even those of us who are celibate. Fatherhood is giving life to others, giving life, giving life… For us, it is pastoral paternity, spiritual fatherhood, but this is still giving life, this is still becoming fathers. "

"A father who knows what it means to protect his children. And this is a grace that we priests must ask for ourselves: to be a father, to be a father. The grace of fatherhood, of pastoral paternity, of spiritual paternity. We may have many sins, but this is commune sanctorum: We all have sins. But not having children, never becoming a father, it like an incomplete life: a life that stops half way. And therefore we have to be fathers. But it is a grace that the Lord gives. People say to us: 'Father, Father, Father ...'. They want us to be this, fathers, by the grace of pastoral fatherhood. "

MY FINAL COMMENTS: Of course the Holy Father knows that Pope John Paul II in his magisterium made it clear that no pope has the authority to ordain women--papal power is not monarchical and the pope can't change things that are unchangeable because he's not a monarch, he's a servant to Jesus Christ and His truths.

So, the case is settled isn't it. We move forward not backward. We might make mistakes in explaining this truth, but we move forward explaining it the best way we can, as Pope Francis has done this morning.

We're not moving backwards to controversies settled in the 1st century, the 3rd century or the last century. We move forward!! Move forward Oh people of God!



JIMMY CARTER AND PAULA DEEN ARE FROM THE SAME PART OF SOUTH GEORGIA; IS RACE AND RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY ENDEMIC THERE?


When I was stationed at St. Teresa's Church in Albany (All-Benny), Georgia from 1980 to 1985, we had some very famous neighbors, although one was not yet famous, Paula Deen. But there was another family about 20 miles away in Plains, Georgia, who was quite famous. The Jimmy Carter family. His mother, Miss Lillian was legendary.

She was a good old Southern Baptist but very friendly with the Franciscan priests who staffed the very nearby Catholic parish in Americus, Georgia. It was there that I met Miss Lillian who would attend the annual Memorial Day Mass held at Andersonville National Cemetery. She was enamored with things Catholic and Catholic priests but staunchly Southern Baptist in a very nice ecumenical way.

Yet any southern knows that their lies deep in the souls of southerns an innate prejudice inherited from their forebears. Many try to overcome it by living exemplary lives and moving on. The Carter family would be a case in point certainly. Part of the prejudices of the white southerner apart from racial prejudice is prejudice against the Catholic Church, a no-nothing sort of prejudice. They approach the Catholic Church from their own narrow Protestant point of view that isn't very deep theologically.

Thus we have President Jimmy Carter making some very prejudicial statements about the Catholic Church but he doesn't realize it just like Paula Deen doesn't realize her own innate racial prejudice that she knows is wrong but is so innate within her she can't shake it when push comes to shove.

So, not knowing or understanding that that Catholic dogma of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Catholic Church will never permit women to be ordain priests since the priest during the sacraments "acts" in the Person of Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church, this is what Jimmy Carter's innate prejudice towards Catholics which is based in ignorance leads him to say:

"Well, religion can be, and I think there’s a slow, very slow, move around the world to give women equal rights in the eyes of God. What has been the case for many centuries is that the great religions, the major religions, have discriminated against women in a very abusive fashion and set an example for the rest of society to treat women as secondary citizens. In a marriage or in the workplace or wherever, they are discriminated against. And I think the great religions have set the example for that, by ordaining, in effect, that women are not equal to men in the eyes of God.

This has been done and still is done by the Catholic Church ever since the third century, when the Catholic Church ordained that a woman cannot be a priest for instance but a man can. A woman can be a nurse or a teacher but she can’t be a priest. This is wrong, I think."

"To repeat myself in a way, I think that what the major religious leaders say is used by others who discriminate against women as justification for their human rights abuse. For instance if an employer, who might be otherwise enlightened, if he is a religious person and he sees that, he might be a Catholic, and a Catholic does not let women be priests, then why should he pay his women employees an equal pay [as men]?"


Shades of Paula Deen anyone?





Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BOMBSHELL GOOD NEWS FROM ONE OF THE GANG OF 8 CONSULTERS TO POPE FRANCIS--CERTAINLY HE CONSULTED WITH THE HOLY FATHER ON THIS?

BANNED IN BOSTON BY ONE OF POPE FRANCIS' TOP ADVISORS, CARDINAL SEAN O'MALLEY!: DISSENTING CLERGY'S AUSTRIAN HEAD BANNED FROM SPEAKING ON CATHOLIC PROPERTY!!!!

Pope Francis is constantly calling us forward rather than backwards. And God knows, and Pope Francis knows, none of us wants to go back to the theology of dissent of the 1960's and 70's, the most despicable era in the Catholic Church not only in terms of dissent but also moral corruption in terms of the sex abuse scandal of adolescent boys by Catholic priests and their enabling bishops. Certainly Cardinal O'Malley knows this better than anyone!

I am sure that the National Chismatic Reporter laments the good sense and orthodoxy of Cardinal Sean O'Malley but reports the good news anyway. You can read their article HERE. Will the NCR have the good grace, as did ultra conservative Michael Voris, to take the name "Catholic" out of their publication, since they are so schismatic and inline with the dissent of the Austrians in their opinions and doctrines? Progressives seldom are that sensitive when their own agenda and ideologies that Pope Francis so detests are at stake.

NCR writes the following:

The first American speaking tour of a reform-minded Austrian priest has hit its first snag.

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley says Fr. Helmut Schüller can't speak on archdiocesan property, forcing a rescheduling of the Boston leg of his 15-city tour, which begins July 15.

Last week, Boston Auxiliary Bishop Walter Edyvean called St. Susanna Parish -- Schüller's scheduled speaking stop for July 17 -- to inform them that O'Malley had ruled that "Father Schüller could not speak at any Catholic parish because he espouses beliefs that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church," according to parish Deacon Larry Bloom.

Schüller's talk will be moved to the First Church of Dedham, a Unitarian Universalist church down the street, Bloom wrote in an email to NCR Monday. (MY COMMENT: Unitarian Church is exactly where Schüller and his group belong, post-Catholics that they are they resemble Unitarians more than Catholics. )

Schüller is founder of the Austrian Priests' Initiative, a group of Austrian priests pushing for institutional reforms in the Catholic church. The group issued an "Appeal to Disobedience" in 2011, calling for (among other things) admission of women and married people to the Catholic priesthood.


MY COMMENT: AND THEN THIS BOMBSHELL INSIGHT FROM THE DISSIDENT DEACON LARRY BLOOM WHO ORGANIZED THE TALK IN HIS PARISH AND WITH HIS PASTOR'S PERMISSION I PRESUME:

"This, however, is the first time in my eleven years at the parish that we have actually been told we could not allow someone to speak at the parish," Bloom wrote. "We did not expect that the talk on parish property would be prohibited, but we were not shocked and proceeded calmly to complete a resolution."

In a statement released Monday, organizers of Schüller's speaking tour, titled "The Catholic Tipping Point," called O'Malley's decision "distressing."

"Cardinal O'Malley's action is particularly distressing since it is taken by one of the eight cardinals appointed to help reform Church governance," they said in the statement. "This attempt to suppress these long overdue discussions is a disservice to Christ's body."

MY FINAL JOYOUS COMMENT: You got that, not in eleven years has something like this happened, meaning in the reigns of two previous popes, John Paul II and the left's much vilivified serene Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI! And get also what this silly deacon is saying, that CARDINAL O'MALLEY'S ACTION IS PARTICULARLY DISTRESSING SINCE IT IS TAKEN BY ONE OF THE EIGHT CARDINALS APPOINTED TO HELP REFORM CHURCH GOVERNANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!

POPE FRANCIS, THE POPE OF MOVING FORWARD OUT OF THE 1960'S AND 70'S AND TOWARD CATHOLIC UNITY UNDER THE MAGISTERIUM AND FIDELITY TO IT, MEANING THE POPE AND OUR LOCAL BISHOPS. IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS FOLKS, NOT AT ALL!!!!!

This should send a clear message to the geriatric group of Association of Priests in the USA who also are longing to revive the dissenting 1960's and 70's!

VATICAN RADIO'S WEBSITE PROMOTES THE LITURGY CONFERENCE IN ROME AND THE DIGNIFIED AND PROPER WAY OF CELEBRATING THE LITURGY FOR THE NEW EVANGELIZATION


"WE ARE BEYOND THE OLD RITE, NEW RITE ARGUMENTS NOW--NEED TO CELEBRATE WHATEVER FORM AS THE CHURCH GIVES IT TO US"

You can listen to a EXCELLENT talk BY PRESSING HERE! and interview with Dom Alcuin Reid with Christopher Wells here and see how this is not a reactionary group in Rome promoting a dead era, but an alive group promoting proper liturgical renewal. He gives a wonderful model for the Liturgy in the New Evangelization and moving forward with liturgical renewal in the 21st century.

(From Vatican Radio) Hundreds of participants from more than 35 countries are in Rome this week to take part in an international conference to study, promote, and renew the appreciation of liturgical formation and celebration, and its foundation for the mission of the Church.

The Sacra Liturgia Conference begins Tuesday evening with Solemn Pontifical Vespers celebrated by Bishop Dominique Rey (pictured) of Fréjus-Toulon in France. It is one of a number of initiatives within the Year of Faith, which commemorates 50 years since the start of the Second Vatican Council.

“The Conference is really about looking at the Liturgy as the foundation for the life and mission of the Church,” said Dom Alcuin Reid of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulons, who is organising the event.

He said the aim of the event “is that people would go away understanding that the true celebration of the Liturgy, the dignified, the proper celebration of the Liturgy, is a necessary foundation for the Christian life and for the New Evangelization.”

The Sacra Liturgia Conference has special reference to the teaching and example of Benedict XVI, who made the liturgy an important focus of his pontificate. Dom Alcuin said the Conference hopes “to pay tribute to Pope Benedict XVI and all that he did both as Cardinal and as Pope, in raising the liturgical question in the life of the Church and promoting liturgical renewal in promoting what some are coming to call the new liturgical movement.” The Conference, he said, “is a step further along the path of that new liturgical movement. It’s a movement, really, which looks forward, and forward in a broad sense, so that there is best practice across the board, so that there is the liturgy celebrated with that ars celebrandi, with fullness, with beauty, with dignity.”

The liturgy, Dom Alcuin said, quoting the Second Vatican Council, is “the ‘source and summit,’ it’s where our life comes from, and it’s also where it’s going to, the heavenly liturgy – but also the liturgy here on earth, where we come, yes, rejoicing, ‘carrying our sheaves,’ as the psalm says. But also bringing our sorrows, bringing our tears, which, through Christ’s action in the liturgy can be turned into joy.”



LITURGICAL AND PRIESTLY AND BISHOPLY NARCISSISM!

This is why there is a reaction to the Ordinary Form of the Mass with its narcissistic ethos. Here in the still photos an unnamed bishop is showing off like a peacock and there are eager photographers ready to capture the image of such buffoonery during Mass. In the name of God and all that is holy, why are people willing to give this a pass and then complain bitterly about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass with its no nonsense, no narcissism manner of celebrating the sacred mysteries, where the clergy are obscured in order to allow the Lord to shine forth?

This is what is meant, in part, by the devirilization of the Novus Ordo Mass and clerical narcissism; a picture is worth a million words:


Monday, June 24, 2013

EXTRAORDINARY FORM MASS CONFERENCE IN ROME WITH BIG HITTERS, WILL THE HOLY FATHER, POPE FRANCIS OFFER WORDS OF ACKNOWLEGEMENT AND ENCOURAGEMENT?


Sacra Liturgia 2013, beginning on Tuesday the 25TH of June through the 28th. The question many will have is about Pope Francis and his acknowledgement of this conference at his door step where some of those giving talks may well be staying at Pope Francis place of residence at the Vatican Motel 6.

An international conference organized by the Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, France, to study, promote and renew the appreciation of liturgical formation and celebration and its foundation for the mission of the Church, particularly in the light of the teaching and example of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, falling within the Year of Faith to commemorate 50 years since the start of the Second Vatican Council, in accordance with the pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Liturgical Celebrations

The conference will open with solemn vespers and conclude with solemn first Vespers of Saints Peter and Paul, Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Te Deum and Benediction.

On the first and second full days of the conference two solemn celebrations of the Mass will be organized, one according to the Missale Romanum 2002 another according to the Missale Romanum 1962.

Celebrant and Preacher at Holy Mass according to the Missale Romanum 2002 – 18h30 Wednesday 26th June: Solemnity of St Josemaria Escrivà – Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera.

Celebrant and Preacher at Holy Mass according to the Missale Romanum 1962 – 18h30 Thursday 27th June: Votive Mass De Ssmo Eucharistiæ Sacramento – Walter Cardinal Brandmüller.

Participants have the option of celebrating the feast of Saints Peter and Paul with the Holy Father in St Peter’s Basilica on the morning of Saturday, 29th June. The conference secretariat will request tickets for those who wish to attend.

Priest delegates will need to make their own arrangements to celebrate Mass, though concelebration will be possible at the Mass according to the Missale Romanum 2002.


This will lead to much speculation about the Pope and his action or inaction in regard to SP and the EF and the reform of the liturgy in continuity. Of course the Holy Father has mandated already that the three Eucharistic Prayers be reformed to include Blessed Joseph, her spouse, much like Pope Benedict who mandated "and for many". It is all very exciting.

It will be interesting to see how the blogs spin things and progressives and traditionalists do damage control.

I'll stay above the fray!

THE POPE HAS NO CLOTHES BUT HIS ACTIONS ARE HIS ROYAL, MONARCHICAL APPAREL


Pope Benedict was a very humble shy person. He knew the problems of the Church but as he aged he knew he didn't have the strength to govern, what could also be called "rule" the Church as in monarchical times. Govern is more of a democratic term.

I personally think that as he realized his inability to "rule" or govern, he began turning more and more to the traditional, some say pre-Vatican II monarchical trappings of the papacy. He clothed himself in the royal garments of the papacy to hide his nakedness in not being able to actually rule. In other words, he and others knew that "the king had no clothes."

I personally like the trappings of the monarchical papacy, although these are not the foundation of the reason why I seen myself as a papist. Being a papist isn't that superficial for me. I think that Pope Benedict, a humble man, showed his humility in respecting the "monarchical" look of the papacy with its trappings which properly interpreted points us to the biblical imagery the Bible and Jesus use to point to the Kingdom of God. Monarchy in this biblical imagery is very, very benevolent for the true Kingly shepherd does precisely what Pope Francis says all shepherds so do.

Pope Francis is not into the trappings of the papacy and has self-proclaimed himself to be more like the humble Saint Francis who once stripped himself naked of royal wealth but has become one of the most influential saints of all times with broad appeal beyond the boundaries of the Roman Catholic Church by clothing himself in the rag tag habit of a Franciscan.

Pope Francis has reversed "The Emperor's New Clothes" is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

The plot is about a vain Emperor who cares for nothing except wearing and displaying clothes, hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "hopelessly stupid". The Emperor's ministers cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but continues the procession.

Is this famous fable what happened to Pope Benedict? Has Pope Francis put a twist on the old fable by himself stripping himself of the papal finery in order to be seen as a strong pope, powerful ruler. Seeing the naked pope, aren't people saying "look at what he's wearing!" This translates into a pope who knows how to rule since he doesn't really care for the wearing and displaying of clothes?

Is Pope Francis in his disregard for the splendors of the papacy positioning himself to clean out the Vatican of its narcissistic corruption and to do so effective, that no pope in recent history has been able to do?

Is he not calling bishops to their proper role as shepherds in their dioceses?

Is he not calling for fidelity to the Pope and the bishops of the Church, to the Magisterium and does he not refer to the Church as Mother?

Has he not pinpointed the greatest threat to the Church, the root of all problems, the devil? The dictatorship of relativism and godless secularism are rooted in the devil.

This pope isn't going to change Church teaching or rearrange the furniture once again. He's going to be a simple pope exercising authority and effectively so more so than any pope since Pope Pius XII.

POSTSCRIPT: I've not printed some comments that I find disrespectful to persons or groups of persons, in particular the Pope. I'm a papist and I'm a priest and I'm not going to print comments that disrespect groups of people or the Pope himself. Keep that in mind. Folks, we're Catholic! Act with charity or your knucles will be rapped!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

BILL MAHER AND PAULA DEEN: A DOUBLE STANDARD?

Bill Maher's very public anti-Catholic bigotry on his HBO show gets a pass and gets praised and HBO renews his contract!

But Paula Deen in her private life and never on her show gets canned by the Food Network for a racial epithet for which she profusely apologizes! Why the double standard by the mass media? No apologies from Bill Maher who used bigoted language on his HBO show and he stays, Paula Deen apologizes for something no one knew she said and she's fired!

Paula Deen has never ever on her cooking show at the Cooking Network, ever said anything derogatory about anyone. She is a good ole Georgia gal from Albany, (pronounced All-Benny)Georgia but has lived in Savannah for many years.

As one who grew up in the south, I have blushed in shock and discomfort as I heard little old white ladies, prim and proper use the "n" word and very casually. It is shocking but it is used and we all know it down here, blacks and whites alike. Yes, there is prejudice in the south and racist remarks are made, more so in the past than today, but the "n" word is still used and blacks also use it towards each other and I know this first hand and yes when they saw me blushing they laughed (but that is a cultural thing and I'm not justifying whites using the same epithet by pointing this out).

And while the south has a troubling record with racism, prejudice, not to mention slavery, I would posit that relations today between blacks and whites are much better in Georgia than in Chicago, New York and Boston. I could be wrong, but I think this is true.

But I'm not trying to be an apologist for the south in this regard, but to point out the hypocrisy and double standard of our mass media as it concerns prejudicial remarks made by an entertainer in her private life and ones made by an entertainer regularly on his HBO show. Yes, Bill Maher is perhaps the most bigoted anti-Catholic entertainer there is and weekly raunchy words spew from his mouth, especially toward the Catholic Church and her clergy.

The Catholic League has gone after Bill Maher but to no avail:

There is no other entertainer in the nation who has repeatedly spoken about the Catholic Church, especially its priests, in more vile and obscene terms than Bill Maher. Vicious beyond belief, his remarks would be condemned – indeed he would be fired – if directed at any other demographic group. Over and over again he libels [sic] priests, portraying all of them as sexual abusers. And he does so with impunity.

So, why the double standard? What has Paula Deen said on her show that has been offensive to anyone? What has Bill Maher said on his show that has been bigoted anti-Catholic diatribes?

The mass media's hypocrisy is unbelievable!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

PERHAPS IT IS BEST TO FOLLOW OUR LORD'S ADVICE, "TURN THE OTHER CHEEK" AND "LOVE THOSE WHO HATE YOU."

This video speaks for itself, practicing Catholics need to take the higher road but also be willing to die for the faith and take this sort of derision:

IS POPE FRANCIS MORE OF A HARLEY MAN THAN A CONCERT FAN?

UPDATE!UPDATE!UPDATE!: It seems that the blog by La Stampa, Vatican Insider, has removed the statement attributed to the Holy Father,
"I am not a Renaissance Prince who listens to music instead of working." from that post. There is no English translation of that post at the Vatican Insider, but clearly it appears that the one who attributed this snarky remark to the Holy Father may well have been the one who wrote this piece for the Vatican Insider. Even the original headline last night included the snarky remark but now it is changed too! The Italian article though still laments that the Holy Father couldn't take a couple hours off from his rigorous work of cleaning up the curia to attend a concert and calls into question his etiquette in this situation, particularly now in his role as Head of State of the Vatican City. But why would La Stampa first print words attributed to the Holy Father that were more of the writer's conjecture, based upon something the Holy Father said about bishops the day before, than reality? What's up with that??????? More intrigue developing as we enter this Holy Father's second 100 days.

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Clearly Pope Francis didn't show up at the concert at the last minute or his chair would have been removed more promptly! Someone wasn't pleased and no one removed the chair, only to make it even more obvious that he wasn't there. Why didn't he go and are the words attributed to him as to the reason he didn't go more of the same from the so-called out of control "curia" trying to discredit him? In other words, did the Holy Father really say the snarky remark or did someone put the words into his mouth?

The Holy Father did show up for all the noise and lots of it of the Hell's Angels rally in Rome:

A bit of a brouhaha is developing in Rome tonight as Pope Francis was supposed to be at a concert in honor of the year of faith. In fact, his chair was set up in the middle aisle for him to sit. But at the last minute he was a no show.

Keep in mind that last week he made a concerted (no pun intended) effort to greet thousands of Harley Davidson Bike riders in Rome and even received two bikes and a leather jacket!

The Vatican Insider is reporting the following about this incident that has the Vatican City-State talking:

The pontiff was expected at a Beethoven concert, but Monsignor Rino Fisichella told the audience just before the concert was to start that Francis couldn't make it due to "commitments that could not be postponed."

And this rather terse statement attributed to the Holy Father (which I hope and pray isn't true, like what was reported that he said to the Msgr. Marini prior to coming out to the balcony of St. Peter's "the circus is over.")

La Stampa's Vatican Insider adds that the Pope allegedly said the following:

For the entire afternoon, Francis did not leave his room at [Domus] Sanctae Marthae and simply told his associates:

"I am not a Renaissance Prince who listens to music instead of working."


MY COMMENT: I just can't believe this is true, that he would have said this. Is this more of the diabolical intrigue in the Vatican to discredit the pope? The gay lobby? I think we'll be hearing more about this PR debacle if it is true and if it isn't true. To me it sounds like someone at the Vatican with sour grapes and an axe to grind against Pope Francis. Certainly the Holy Father would not have said such a thing. Certainly he has more class than that!

The Associated Press had this observation: The pope was smiling with no signs of tiredness when he greeted worshipers at a Mass in St. Peter’s earlier Saturday. Unlike his predecessor Benedict, who was well-known as a music lover, Francis has shown scant interest in music, liturgical or otherwise.

MY FINAL COMMENT: Yikes!