Saturday, June 30, 2018

ELITE LITURGISTS HAVE DONE A FANTASTIC JOB OF PROTESTANTIZING THE ROMAN CATHOLIC MASS THROUGH PROSELYTIZING CONGREGATIONS WITH PROTESTANTS THEOLOGY CONCERNING WORSHIP


They've won barring any miracle of God. The chasm between the Traditional Latin Mass and the Ordinary Form of the Mass celebrated in most parishes is so great and the laity so imbued and appreciative of a Protestant ethos in the Mass, I doubt a return to Catholic  sensibilities will happen in my life time.

Most Catholics today love the following:

The Protestant horizontal over the Catholic vertical

Protestant fellowship and conversation in the church over Catholic silence and piety directed to God

The Protestant sound and devotional, spiritual qualities of hymns  over authentic Catholic Chant

The cult of the personality of ministers  and congregants over the exclusive worship of Christ

The use and corruption of the Mass/Liturgy as a vehicle to promote and celebrate human accomplishments

Protestant casualness and triteness over Catholic formality, precision and reverence

Shall I go on?

JUST NORMAL DAYS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD

Unexpected guest hits the beach at Hilton Head's Sea Pines Resort
BY T. MICHAEL BODDIE

A Lowcountry pond is one place you might spot an alligator.

The Atlantic ocean?

Not so much.

Erline Smith, a resident of the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, said she was on her early morning beach walk Friday when she saw the gator.

"I've been in Sea Pines for 21 years," Smith said, "and I'd never seen an alligator swimming."


Sometimes, however,the great reptiles will "meander out onto the beach," according to Sea Pines wildlife management,
Bret Martin, president of Sea Pines community service associates, said the resort offers free nuisance animal removal service, employing both wildlife managers and biologists.

"We are a wildlife refuge, and that's part of what we do every day here," Martin said.

"We don't have alligators on the beach every day," he said with a laugh.

Security personnel arrived around 7:30 a.m. to capture the creature, who had swam from mile marker 33 to about the 24-mile marker.

Smith said there were "tons" of people watching the gator.

"They caught it with a fishing pole," Smith said. "Then they taped its mouth shut."

Martin said captured wildlife generally ends up living at the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, and this one will likely be a new addition.

Or a "new buddy," as Smith put it in an email.

And this heart-warming story:

Beaufort boaters rescue stranded dolphin on mud flat


PHOTOS BY JESSICA IRELAND
Derek Skaggs, left, and Bernie Sigmon jump from a boat into the Chechessee River to free a dolphin that was stranded on a sandbar on Tuesday afternoon about a half-mile south of the Edgar Glenn Boat Landing in Okatie.

Skaggs, Sigmon and Paa Kodwo Dowell work together to pull the dolphin’s tail to free it from a sandbar.
An inaugural boat ride on the Chechessee River last week turned into an impromptu rescue mission Tuesday for a Beaufort County man.
Derek Skaggs was out on the river trying out his new boat with his girlfriend, Jessica Ireland, and a few friends.
Skaggs bought the boat from a buddy who had to relocate for a new job. It ran well, and after about an hour of sightseeing, Skaggs and his group made their way back to the Edgar Glenn Boat Landing near the Port Royal Sound Maritime Center.
They were about a half-mile away from the landing when they saw something flopping and flailing on a mud flat.
“As we got closer and realized it was a dolphin, the boys immediately jumped in to help it back into the water,” Ireland said. “They left the one person who didn’t know how to drive the boat in the boat.”
Skaggs thought the tide was going out and that would have left the animal on the bank, out of the water and in the sun.
He believed he had to act fast.
Skaggs said the dolphin “didn’t look injured, there were no marks.”
It was a big animal — 8 to 10 feet long and 300 to 400 pounds.
“It was really hard to estimate. I’m originally from Kentucky. The biggest thing I’ve seen is a 20-pound catfish,“ he joked.
Skaggs tried grabbing the tail, but it was thrashing too much. He moved around to her head and talked to her, looking her in the eye.
“It made her more relaxed,“ he said.
“My friend was going to push from the front, but that almost got him bit.”
"WE HAVE RESPONDERS IN THE BEAUFORT COUNTY AREA WHO ARE TRAINED TO HANDLE THESE SITUATIONS.
Wayne McFee, wildlife biologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Skaggs and Paa Kodwo Dowell chose the other end, grabbed the tail and pulled.
About two minutes later, the dolphin slipped off the embankment and swam away.
“I was expecting her skin to be more slimy, but it was more leather-like,” Skaggs said.
A video that Ireland shot shows the men raising their arms in jubilation. Ireland can be heard cheering from the boat as the dolphin swam away.
While this story apparently ended well, it does raise concerns.
Experts say this sort of thing happens too often — and good intentions actually can cause greater harm.
Erin Fougeres, southeast marine mammal stranding program administrator with NOAA, says the first thing people want to do is get the stranded animals back into the water.
That, she said, is the No. 1 thing not to do.
Animals become stranded because they are sick or injured, she said. That means that when people push them back into the water, they are actually “delaying treatment.”
“They’ll re-strand in worse condition,” she said.
Wayne McFee, a 25-year veteran research wildlife biologist with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration based in Charleston, agreed.
After watching the video, he offered advice for anyone who might encounter a similar situation.
McFee said the dolphin likely was strand feeding and got wedged onto the mud flat.
“We’ve had animals in this situation before, and high tide washes them out. (Dolphins) being out of the water is fine, they breathe air. It may have overheated a bit, but yesterday (Tuesday) wasn’t that bad (though) the animal may have gotten sunburned. (We’ve) seen animals on mud flats for six hours.”
The key, he said, is to call in the experts.
S.C. Department of Natural Resources has a wildlife hotline number, 800-922-5431, that boaters should program into their phones.
Fougeres suggested a NOAA number — 877-942-5343 — and a smart-phone app called Dolphin & Whale 911. The NOAA app has been out for about two years and gives responders the animal’s location coordinates when users upload photos.
“We have responders in the Beaufort County area who are trained to handle these situations.” McFee said.
“They’re covered legally under a permit. We don’t want people to make these decisions on their own.”

WELL! THIS TAKES THE CAKE; OR MAYBE SHE JUMPED OUT OF THE CAKE IN WORSHIP CREATIVITY?

This article is in Saturday morning's religion section of the Augusta Chronicle. It takes the cake title and all!

Why we need scandal in the church

The last thing I expected to see during a Sunday morning church meeting was a pink G-string, but there it was right in front of me and God and everybody.

In my church, we offer communion every Sunday during worship. All believers in good conscience are invited to take the elements and remember the body and blood of Jesus as part of our weekly gathering. On one Sunday not too too long ago, I distinctly remember singing, preparing my heart in repentance and thanksgiving to Jesus for his mercy in my life, and leaving my chair to head over to the communion table. That’s when I was met with the G-string.

Is it necessarily wrong to wear this type of garment? Probably not. But to see one during a church service on another person definitely breaks some boundaries. Maybe the person wearing it could have covered up better. Maybe she shouldn’t have put herself in a position that it would be seen. But there it was, not only visible but glaringly noticeable.

She was a few feet away from the communion table, kneeling. Kneeling and heaving as we sang about the mercy of Jesus. Being a pastor who tries to keep in touch with his people, I knew her story – she had recently left a pretty awful life behind and given herself to Christ. A 179-degree turn around, as it was. She fell hard into the mercy of God and he picked her up and restored her.

Now maybe in her second month of attending our church, she felt the freedom to participate in corporate communion. The experience brought her to her knees, and it was 100 percent genuine. God was at work. The byproduct of that, however, was that being in such a penitent posture sometimes causes one’s clothes to ruffle and stretch. It was for this reason that her undergarment was exposed. Not too much, but enough to be noticed, especially when displayed in such bright color.

What do you do in a situation like this? Should you disturb the moment to keep others from seeing this? Should you offer a blanket, subtly trying to resolve the situation? Or it is better to just let it be and have some chaos in our nice little church meeting?

I’m going to go with the third option. In that moment, I was reminded of Jesus’ encounter with the woman in Luke chapter 7, a woman whose story very much paralleled that of the person displaying a G-string at my communion table. Very sorry for her sin and very aware of Jesus’ ability to forgive it, she barged in on a meeting of holy men and fell at Jesus’ feet in worship, using the tools of her disreputable trade to worship the Savior. Despite what everyone else in the room thought, Jesus didn’t seem bothered at all.

In fact, when it was brought to his attention that this “loose” woman was not worthy to touch him, much less be in this holy house, Jesus praised and affirmed her. All the holy people in the room weren’t very aware of their need for God while the sinner in the room earned his affection and approval.

My hunch is that that group of holy men lived long, full and boring lives characterized by deep personal piety and no visible dirt under their fingernails. Meanwhile the dear lady who wept at Jesus feet was forever changed and likely served God with all her heart from that moment forward, her story inviting a thousand other scandalous sinners to find rescue.

We need scandal in the church. We need to not be business as usual. We need to identify not as a group of holy people but as a group of people gathered around a holy and forgiving God. When this happens, we create an atmosphere of mercy and allow others to access God without having to look or act in any particular way.
The late Brennan Manning wrote: “We are all equally privileged but unentitled beggars at the door of God’s mercy.”
From pastor to first-time visitor wearing a G-string, every church member and every meeting should embrace these things. That might be a true indication of whether Jesus is welcome, or present.

In our case, the beautiful young lady in question rooted in the church, allowed the Spirit of God to slowly change her from the inside out, and has become one of the best mothers I’ve ever seen. Years later, she even joked with me about how happy she was that I didn’t kick her out because of the way she dressed in the early days at our church. Hah! It never crossed my mind!

The Rev. Jeff Miller is the pastor of Vineyard Community Church in Augusta.

Friday, June 29, 2018

WILL THE PROGRESSIVE LIBERALS OF THE LATIN RITE CHURCH SQUAWK AND COMPLAIN ABOUT THE USE OF THIS CAPPA MAGNA WITH A CLERIC HOLDING THE TRAIN AT POPE FRANCIS' CELEBRATION OF THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL THIS MORNING AT SAINT PETERS? OR WILL THEY REMAIN SILENT AS CRICKETS?

So many elitists in the Latin Rite have degraded, complained and changed so many of our Latin Rite traditions since Vatican II which while differing from the Eastern Church's traditions are fully in accord with the cultural aspects of these and from whence they came.

I find it thoroughly dispicable that we in the Latin Rite have such self-loathing for what was handed down to us and completely and puritanically removed after Vatican II!

I wonder what's going through Pope Francis' mind with this cappa magna, it being carried, and the papal tiara?



Pope on feast of Sts. Peter and Paul: We cannot separate Christ’s glory from His cross (My Comment: And neither can we separate Christ's Cross from His glory! And while I am at it, Holy Father, please, please, pretty please restore the Solemnity of the Most Precious Blood to July 1st of every year and even on a Sunday, or better yet, make it a yearly feast the Sunday following July 1st!!!!!)

Pope Francis on Friday celebrated Holy Mass in Rome’s St. Peters Square on the solemn feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, during which he blessed the pallium which will be sent to 30 new metropolitan archbishops he appointed throughout the world during the past year.
By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis in his homily on Friday urged Christians not to be a stumbling block in the path of Christ, the Anointed One, whose glory cannot be separated from his cross.
“By not separating his glory from the cross, Jesus wants to liberate his disciples, his Church, from empty forms of triumphalism: forms empty of love, service, compassion, empty of people,” the Pope said in his homily during Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square on June 29, the solemn feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the patrons of Rome who were both martyred in the Eternal City.

Pallium


During the Mass the Pope blessed the pallium which will be sent to 30 new metropolitan archbishops that he appointed around ‎the world during the past year.
Listen to our report
The pallium is a band of white wool which metropolitan archbishops wear around their shoulders as a symbol of their authority and their unity with the Pope.  A metropolitan archdiocese is ‎one under which suffragan dioceses are grouped together to make up a geographical territory of the ‎Church.

Christ anoints His people


Pope Francis centred his homily on the episode of St. Peter in Matthew’s Gospel where he confesses his faith in Jesus saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”   The Pope said Peter had seen how Jesus “anointed” His people with hope, walking from village to village with the sole aim of saving and helping those considered lost – the dead, the sick, the wounded and the repentant.
The Argentine Pope said that “God’s Anointed One kept bringing the Father’s love and mercy to the very end.”  “This merciful love,” he said, “demands that we too go forth to every corner of life, to reach out to everyone, even though this may cost us our “good name”, our comforts, our status… even martyrdom.”

Peter a stumbling block


The Pope pointed out that when Peter couldn’t accept that Jesus should die, he becomes the Lord’s enemy and a “stumbling stone in the Messiah’s path”.  Peter’s life and confession of faith, the Holy Father said, “also means learning to recognize the temptations that will accompany the life of every disciple.”
Like Peter, the Pope said, we will always be tempted to hear those “whisperings” of the evil One, which will become a stumbling stone for the mission. The devil, he explained, seduces with “whispering” from hiding, because like a hypocrite he wants to stay hidden and not be discovered.

Separating Christ’s glory from cross


Sharing in Christ’s anointing, also means sharing in his glory, which is his cross. “In Jesus,” the Pope said, “glory and the cross go together; they are inseparable.
The Pope explained that that once we turn our back on the cross, even though we may attain the heights of glory, we will be fooling ourselves, since it will not be God’s glory, but the snare of the enemy.
He pointed out that we often feel the temptation to be Christians by keeping a prudent distance from the Lord’s wounds.  Jesus touches human misery and he asks us to join him in touching the suffering flesh of others. 
“To proclaim our faith with our lips and our heart,” the Pope said, “demands that we – like Peter – learn to recognize the “whisperings” of the evil one, those personal and communitarian “pretexts” that keep us far from real human dramas, that preserve us from contact with other people’s concrete existence and, in the end, from knowing the revolutionary power of God’s tender love.”

FORMER PARISHIONER OF SAINT ANNE CHURCH IN RICHMOND HILL,SINGS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT A BALTIMORE ORIOLE'S GAME!

This family lived two houses down from my rectory and were very active in the parish here. Unfortunately for us they moved back to Maryland after my first year here. I don't think there was a correlation!


I can't find an embedded code for this video. It is well worth watching. Press the title below to watch it at the Major League Baseball site:

Amazing teenager belts anthem in Baltimore

O's fan Nicholas Nauman wows the crowd at Oriole Park


MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli
 
Jun. 28th, 2018BALTIMORE -- When the video came in earlier this summer, the Orioles couldn't help but feel a tug at the heartstrings. The same was true for everyone lucky enough to be in attendance at Camden Yards for Thursday afternoon's national anthem performed by 18-year-old Nicholas Nauman prior to Baltimore's 10-inning 4-2 loss to the Mariners.
 
Nauman, who attends Carroll Springs School in Westminster, Md., isn't your typical teenager. He was adopted as a 9-month-old infant from Ukraine and was born with a variety of medical problems, including cerebral palsy (spastic quadriplegia), a (repaired) cleft palate, cortical vision impairment(CVI) and mental retardation

That hasn't stopped Nauman from winning a gold medal at the Special Olympics or from memorizing the national anthem, which he delivered with ease.

"It's amazing to me to have this little infant from Ukraine, to come to this country, everything he has accomplished, and to sing our national anthem," said Nick's mother, Maria. "That's amazing for us."
Nauman has never let himself be limited. He has run races with his father, Chris, and on Thursday checked another item off his list: being on the field of his favorite baseball team.

"Nick has difficulties that he's got to deal with every day," said Maria, who hopes Nauman, her eldest of six children, can continue to inspire others. "If just one other person sees him and says, 'You know what? Life's not perfect. But life is precious. God has a plan for you and you and you,' it will be a success, you know? It will all work out."

HIS HOLINESS, THE ENERGIZER BUNNY, POPE BENEDICT XVI

To be in his 90's, His Holiness still looks good! What would it be like to have a pontiff, like this, who could live to 100 or more? Was it providential for His Holiness to abdicate? Couldn't there have been divised through papal decree a sort of "vice pope" who would be a caretaker for an incapacitated pope until he dies, with only administrative authority but not authority to concoct anything new? Or is that already in place, without the forethought about concocting something new?


Thursday, June 28, 2018

NEW CARDINALS

At 4pm Rome – 10am Eastern in the States – the Consistory for the creation of 14 new cardinals 


...to follow along, meanwhile, the libretto/worship aid (with translations)...

BEFORE, AFTER (A LA 1980'S RENOVATION AND AFTER YET AGAIN, A LA 2000'S!

UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! I KNEW THERE HAD BEEN A WRECKOVATION OF THIS CHAPEL BUT COULDN'T FIND EVIDENCE UNTIL NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! ISN'T IS NICE? NOOOOOOOOO! CERTAINLY THOUGH, THIS MAKES THE 2007 RENOVATION SPLENDID! BUT BOTH A SCANDALOUS COLOSSAL WASTE OF MONEY! HOWEVER, I PRESUME THAT VERY LITTLE WOULD HAVE HAD TO BE SPENT TO RESTORE THE CHAPEL TO IT'S 1940'S SPLENDOR FROM THE 1980'S DISASTER AS I BELIEVE BEHIND THE SCREEN IN THE ORIGINAL SANCTUARY WOULD BE THE ORIGINAL ALTAR WITH THE TABERNACLE ON IT, BUT HIDDEN AS A SEPARATE CHAPEL IN THIS WRECKOVATION.  THE ENTIRE RENOVATED SPACE IS OF THE THEOLOGY OF NOTHING ANCHORED DOWN SO THAT THINGS COULD BE MOVED AND REFASHIONED DEPENDING ON THE FOO-FOOINESS OF THE PRIESTS OR LITURGY COMMITTEE!


The new altar is just wrong for this chapel which is Loyola's Chapel of La Madonna de la Strada (Our Lady of the Streets).

But the traditional altar arrangement of candles and crucifix helps compared to the stripped down version with only two floor candles.  I personally think that floor candles are now outdated and that altars should be long enough to hold the six candles and a crucifix but without making the candles into bars:



I do like the brightness of the renovation, but a more traditional altar would have been a no-brainer.

I don't care for the six columns behind and beside the tabernacle, a bit too foo-fooy and fussy for me.

But it does beg the question, why in the name of God  and all that is holy did the committee who fabricated the new Mass think it was so important to have Mass facing the congregation, which led to so many high altars being dismantled, including glorious reredoes, in order to create something modern looking, such as the new altar here?

But worse, much, much worse, the money that was spent on multiple wreckovations and then restorations when all that was needed in the particular church was no new altar or anything else, but simple maintenance and regular painting and perhaps technology updates for lighting, sound and the like. .  

Just file this under a colossal waste of the laity's money.

Circa 1940s: Artist Melville Steinfels painting the fresco behind the Altar at Madonna della Strada chapel.



Madonna della Strada original interior (with Steinfels mural behind altar).


Madonna della Strada interior after 2007 renovation.

Other photos:



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

DON'T YOU JUST LOVE THE 1950'S CHURCH?


JUSTICE KENNEDY IS RETIRING!!!!! EXPECT WORLD WAR III! THE DEMOCRATS WILL MAKE THE KOREAN DICTATOR LOOK LIKE MARY POPPINS

Justice Kennedy retiring; Trump gets 2nd Supreme Court pick

SAY THIS, THAT OR THE OTHER ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS FOIBLES, BUT OF ALL THE REASONS WHY HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ELECTED OVER HILARY CLINTON, THE SELECTION OF NEW SUPREME COURT JUSTICES IS THE PRIMARY REASON--WE'LL JUST HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THE OTHER S**T FOR ANOTHER SIX YEARS.

IF GOD HAS A HAND IN OUR ELECTION PROCESSES, WHICH MANY BELIEVE HE DOES, THEN POPE FRANCIS IS CORRECT: OUR GOD IS A GOD OF SURPRISES! 

and now for the rest of the news, this breaking news:

Poll: Trump approval rating ticks up to 47 percent

BEAUTY IN THE ORDINARY FORM IN A CHURCH BUILT OR AT LEAST RENOVATED FOR THE ORDINARY FORM MASS

These are photos from the New Liturgical Movement of the opening Mass at a recent workshop on Gregorian Chant and polyphony.

Please note how a post-Vatican II modern altar in a renovated or perhaps new church can be made to look as though there is continuity between in and what was experienced prior to Vatican II.

I like it!





ARE THE MORAL TEACHINGS OF JESUS AND THUS THE CHURCH IDEALS OR PERFECTIONS?



Dissidents like to call Jesus' and thus the Church's moral teachings ideals rather than perfections, because in this life no one attains perfections, thus the term ideals is better.

But Jesus' and thus the Church's moral teachings aren't unattainable ideals, they are in fact attainable perfections. In this life, only partially, but in heaven completely realized. The Kingdom of God is already but not yet!

Dissidents only focus on what is attainable in this life and could not care less about the perfection of heaven to which every baptized Catholic is called.

That is sad, very sad! And you know what? IT ISN'T CATHOLIC!

Dissenters in the Church could not care less about the perfections of orthodoxy. They simply want good people, holding hands and singing Kumbaya--and they call this orthopraxis, what is what is truly important to them, not right belief (orthodoxy) Thus anyone can be save--universalism which they also promote. 

IF THERE WAS EVER A CASE OF INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY, PRAYTELL ENDORSES DISSIDENT CHILEAN PROPOSAL FOR REFORMING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH INTO A STRIPPED DOWN REAR ENGINE VOLKSWAGEN BY EXPLOITING A SAD SCANDAL


What is intellectually dishonest in the Praytell quotes below my comments is the endorsement of absurd reforms of the liturgy by dissident Catholics in Chile as though these will stop the corruption of certain bishops and priests in the Church and as if the Ordinary Form of the Mass in the vast majority of most parishes don't already experience these minimalistic degradations of the liturgy.

Read Fr. Ruff's full version glee of a stripped down, heterodox Church at Praytell HERE.

Take the Benedictines at Collegeville who pioneered the stripping of the Catholic Mass and Church architecture and are considered progressives. They have had a significant number of their monks and abbots credibly accused and some convicted of sexual abuse.

Thus endorsing more of the same kind of degrading reforms as though these will bring a new springtime of renewal for a corrupt Church is incredibly intellectually dishonest! It did not, has not and will not work!

Here is a portion of what Praytell endorses from dissidents in Chile:  (with the full text of the letter here : The Church We Seek: An Open Letter to the Pope and the Bishops of Chile.)
Fr. Ruff:
The letter, while striking an admirable tone of humility and dialogue, is forthright in calling for massive reforms in the Catholic Church. Some of the proposals have been heard before and rejected by church authorities; some proposals will be considered by some to be contrary to unchangeable church doctrine. But much of reform agenda has to do with policies and practices that are indisputably able to be implemented by church authorities.
The letter states that it is “born of desolation” that “Christ and his gospel are not getting through and calling the new generations.” An overarching concern is to return to the message of Jesus, even if this means removing undesirable developments from the church’s tradition.
The letter emphasizes the role of the laity, lamenting that “for centuries the idea that the religious life was the most perfect state prevailed.” But building up the Kingdom is the work of “all, not just a few.” The letter charges that
“[t]he role of the laity in the church is almost totally atrophied due to the reigning clericalism of centuries past, based on a theology that expired with Vatican II.”
The letter praises Pope Francis for his example of simplicity, “consonant with the simplicity of Jesus and the Gospel,” but laments that “the example of Pope Francis is more the exception than the rule.”
The letter questions titles such as “Most Reverend” and “Your Excellency”:
“Are not such titles anachronistic? Perhaps in the monarchical era it would have made sense to be called a ‘prince of the church,’ as the Cardinals are, but does it today? The only prince mentioned in the gospel is Satan!”
It criticizes the fact that the offices of the Archbishop of Santiago are called a “palace,” evoking power more than service.
In a passage on liturgy which will interest Pray Tell readers, the letter states:
“[M]any of our liturgical ceremonies are pompous, full of incense and archaic clothing, which made sense in other eras, but are alien to contemporary culture. Would Jesus feel comfortable with such rites? No doubt he would see the good intention, but it is certainly a style at odds with his way of life. Would it not be more attractive today to opt for ecclesial symbols more in keeping with the simplicity and inner purity preached by Jesus and his disciples, fishermen of Galilee?” (all emphases in the original).
In a passage which can’t help but recall disputes around Liberation Theology, the letter cites Matthew 25 to affirm that
“for Jesus the essential thing for salvation is orthopraxis, not orthodoxy. This implies reversing the current emphasis on doctrinal purity toward purity (never fully attainable) of praxis. … Doctrine is important only to the extent that it leads us to orthopraxis.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IF HILARY CLINTON HAD BECOME PRESIDENT

The greatest social justice issue since the creation of Adam and Eve is limiting or ending legal abortions. President Trump, criticize him as you wish on this, that and the other, has addressed the pro-life community in a positive way with his words and deeds in appointing a pro-life candidate to the Supreme Court.

This would not have happened under Hilary Clinton!

Supreme court rules in favour of anti-abortion clinics in first amendment case


YOU DON'T HAVE TO DOUBTHAT NEW YORK TIMES COMMENTARY



#MeToo Comes for the Archbishop

Ross Douthat
Opinion Columnist
Image
U.S. Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick in 2013.CreditMax Rossi/Reuters

The first time I ever heard the truth about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., finally exposed as a sexual predator years into his retirement, I thought I was listening to a paranoiac rant.
It was the early 2000s, I was attending some earnest panel on religion, and I was accosted by a type who haunts such events — gaunt, intense, with a litany of esoteric grievances. He was a traditionalist Catholic, a figure from the church’s fringes, and he had a lot to say, as I tried to disentangle from him, about corruption in the Catholic clergy. The scandals in Boston had broken, so some of what he said was familiar, but he kept going, into a rant about Cardinal McCarrick: Did you know he makes seminarians sleep with him? Invites them to his beach house, gets in bed with them …
At this I gave him the brushoff that you give the monomaniacal and slipped out.
That was before I realized that if you wanted the truth about corruption in the Catholic Church, you had to listen to the extreme-seeming types, traditionalists and radicals, because they were the only ones sufficiently alienated from the institution to actually dig into its rot. (This lesson has application well beyond Catholicism.)



And it was also before I learned from journalist friends that McCarrick, or “Uncle Ted” as he urged his paramour-victims to address him, had such a long history of pursuing seminarians and priests that a group of Catholics went to Rome to warn against making him Washington’s archbishop (to no avail).
For reporters who pursued the story, it was a case where “everyone knew”but nobody would go on the record — so stories were pursued and then evaporated. And the cardinal was protected, in part, because his targets were mostly younger men under his authority rather than teenagers (it was a teenage victim who finally made the story break), which didn’t fit the pedophile-priest narrative, and liberal journalists who didn’t want to appear somehow homophobic and conservatives who wanted to protect the church’s reputation had an excuse to keep his secrets safe.
Once I learned all this, I was in the same position as the “everyone” who knew about Harvey Weinstein or any other powerful man with a history of pressuring subordinates into sex. And in that position you become accustomed to the idea that the story will never come out no matter what — so that, for instance, when the respected psychologist and sociologist of the priesthood Richard Sipe publicly quoted documents from a legal settlement with one of McCarrick’s targets (“He put his arms around me and wrapped his legs around mine … The Archbishop kept saying, ‘Pray for your poor uncle’ ”), it was like a tree falling in an empty forest, and no one heard the sound.
Now the question is whether the at-long-last coverage of McCarrick’s sins will shake similar stories loose. With the exposure of systemic abuse in so many different institutions lately, it’s become possible for Catholics to regard this as a general purgation that our church just went through first. But the grim truth is that the Catholic purgation was incomplete, because it was not quite #MeToo enough. We learned awful things beyond counting, about child abuse by priests and cover-ups by bishops. But we only found out about a few Weinsteins of the church — high-ranking clerics who used the power of their offices to effectively force sex upon men to whom they were supposed to be spiritual fathers. And while I don’t know about others in quite the way I knew about Cardinal McCarrick, everyone with inside knowledge knows that there are many more like hm.
Which doesn’t mean those stories are all destined to come out. The obstacles to #MeToo in Catholicism seem more substantial even than the obstacles in Weinstein’s Hollywood, because priests who endure sexual advances or end up enmeshed in “Uncle Ted” relationships are in a unique bind: Their commitment to the church is supernaturally absolute and life-defining, the power their superiors exercise is greater even than that of a Hollywood producer, and the sexual acts themselves can seem so compromising — not just sex, but gay sex that breaks a vow of celibacy — as to make truth telling feel not just costly but impossible.



ut that makes it incumbent on everyone else in the “everyone knows” orbit — meaning not just journalists covering Catholicism, but bishops and priests and church officials who are tired of being tacitly compromised themselves, as so many people around McCarrick must have been — to make it as easy as possible for these stories to be told. And without worrying, either, about whether the stories make either side of Catholicism’s civil war look good (McCarrick was a famous liberal, but the next case might be a conservative), or what the revelations mean for debates about gay men in the priesthood or priestly celibacy or anything else.
The first thing is the truth. And the way out of purgatory is through.


I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@DouthatNYT).