Wednesday, November 2, 2016


In Rome, personal attacks are replacing debate

Smoke billows from chimneys in Rome, in front of St Peters' Basilica  (AP)
It leaves me with writer's cramp and an empty pit in my stomach!
A new mode of Vatican rhetoric, characterised by assertions and attacks, is one of the greatest contrasts with the past 35 years 
A recent column of mine, looking back at the family synod a year later, earned a rebuke from Fr Thomas Rosica, who called it “truly ridiculous and irresponsible” and declared it time to “call out the nonsense of publications claiming to be Catholic and a herald. Hardly the case!” That “calling out” has been going on for quite some time, in fact, and bears examining.
Fr Rosica is an old friend, about whom a year ago, at the end of the synod, I wrote an appreciative column for The Catholic Register of Toronto. A few weeks back I quoted a reflection of his on gratitude in my parish bulletin, and have been promoting to my parishioners a forthcoming conference he is giving in my own diocese.
So I don’t get bothered by his comments, and am sympathetic to the burden he bears in running a television network entitled Salt and Light. After all, we, if faulty heralds, may no longer be entrusted with important messages. However if salt loses its flavour, it is to be tossed out and trampled underfoot – that’s a lot more pressure!
Of greater interest is how Fr Rosica’s criticism fits into a larger dynamic of pointed attacks upon those who deviate from the official line in Rome. Fr Rosica himself is the English-language attaché of the Holy See Press Office, in daily contact with hundreds of journalists, and at the very least a quasi-official voice of the Vatican.
Earlier this month, an unofficial voice, Andrea Tornielli, favoured recipient of leaks from the inner circle of Pope Francis and papal interlocutor for the book The Name of God is Mercy, wrote an article surveying a global network of “Catholics who are anti-Francis but love Putin”.
The commentary, indicative of the current ethos, did not address the arguments made or questions posed by those, including eminent scholars and scholarly eminences, who have doubts about particular aspects of Pope Francis’s agenda. Instead, there were an assemblage of speculation about motives, assertions of conspiracies and a weird reference to the “mythological idealisation of Vladimir Putin”.
This new mode of Vatican rhetoric is one of the greatest contrasts with the 35 years of St John Paul II and Benedict XVI. While arguments then were vigorously engaged and teachings explained in great detail, persons were rarely attacked. Cardinal Ratzinger, who could be devastatingly biting in his scholarly work, nevertheless refrained from questioning motives and character.
Pope Francis prefers a different approach, which is a challenge for his spokesmen. He has told the American bishops that “harsh speech does not befit the tongue of a pastor”, but nevertheless he advocates frank speech and open debate in a spirit of fraternity. The Holy Father peppers his daily homilies though with severe judgments and frequent condemnations.
That is a challenge then for the papal spokesmen, official, quasi-official and unofficial. How to combine the tenderness and mercy which Pope Francis has placed at the centre of his pastoral approach while remaining true to the bruising rhetorical style of the Holy Father?
“We ‘Catholics’ have turned the Internet into a cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, all in the name of defending the faith!” Fr Rosica said last spring, doing his best to imitate the Holy Father’s style. “The character assassination on the internet by those claiming to be Catholic and Christian has turned it into a graveyard of corpses strewn all around. Often times the obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith or of liturgical practices are very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life and so resort to the Internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners! In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people. We must pray for them, for their healing and conversion!”
Fr Rosica gives as good as he gets on the internet – and much of what he gets is unacceptable from Christian disciples. But when he or others speak as above – or when he castigated us more recently – it seems that they are simply trying to say things the Holy Father would say in the manner in which he would say them. After all, one doesn’t remain an official of the Holy See Press Office for three years if the Pope is not pleased with the approach.
The avoidance of constructive arguments, replaced instead by assertions and ad hominem attacks, is the new style in Rome, implemented by those heralds eager to instruct the rest of us in how to be Catholic.
Fr Raymond J de Souza is a priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario, and editor-in-chief of Convivium magazine


TJM said...

It's the liberal modus operandi

Servimus Unum Deum said...

I agree with my Canadian confrere on this one. I know we are to respect the Holy Father, but as I've told people repeatedly, his PR management to the Western world, the part of the Church that finances the majority of charitable efforts in the church to his beloved poor (read: English,) is not doing the Church as much good, and I say it's driving decent people to separate themselves from Holy Mother Church as Radical Traditonalists.

As for Fr Rosica, while I don't support his theological leanings, I sympathize with him on his arguments about the blogosphere, and judging by some of the people you let on here Fr AJM, you should too. Research the whole "Rosicagate" lawsuit case in February/March 2015 for why he's so angry. Also to his credit, he did turn the Newman Center at University of Toronto, back from looney liberal "spirit of Vatican II" land right after the council to semi normalcy, of which future pastors and student ministers after Rosica helped bring the Newman Center further into the great orthodox bastion of happy young Catholicism on Campus it is today.

I'll admit though, overall I'm ready for the next papacy. I'll keep on trucking doing whatever I need to do in the meantime.

rcg said...

People often hold themselves hostage to their positions so that criticism is delayed or weakened to avoid charges of ad hominem attack when one of the valid criticisms of a poorly reasoned position is that it appeals and energises idiots.

Jusadbellum said...

We see it on this site.

Let the debate be on how to better provide for the security of our congregations and one suggestion being "let those ushers (who've already gone through Virtus criminal background checks) with concealed carry permits to carry concealed at Mass".

What happens? Is there a dispassionate discussion on the merits? No. Pearl clutching, virtue signaling, agit-prop making and ad hominems culminating in threats to have people arrested for 'online threats' which were nothing of the sort.

But the original point? Overlooked. So there remains no policy or procedure for how we would respond to either an insane person or an evil person who might want to become violent in our Masses. We are officially prepared to be unprepared by insisting that the law abiding remain unarmed.

But it's even worse because there's no first aid kits either. It's not like we decide "OK, we're just not going to provide any means by which ushers can effectively stop a mad-man or terrorist other than using their bodies as human shields, but we're also not going to provide a tactical first aid kit with quick-clot and large combat bandages to immediately stabilize gunshot or stabbing wounds either".

Nope. Instead we're going to hyperventilate about societal and political issues having nothing at all to do with the lack of security or even contingency planning at our parishes and schools!

It's not enough to get a concealed carry permit (extensive background checks, finger printing, etc.) or go to Virtus (background check, training). We must insist on believing our volunteers are simply incapable of being trusted with sharp tools or pistols because......well just because. Because they're not paid by a local government? Would that make them suddenly beyond reproach?

No debate on the merits.

And it's a simple debate. We have fire extinguishers and insurance not because we want a fire or expect a fire but because a fire, while extremely unlikely, would be catastrophic. Well, the same goes for active shooter incidents. They are unlikely...but if they occur they would be catastrophic.

There are at least 4 or 5 reasonable positions on this topic. None were addressed on this board except status quo (individuals secretly carrying pistols on their persons) while the powers that be insist on not having any plans because not having a plan is how you keep bad things from happening (?).

Maybe its the anonymity of the internet. But I'm not seeing dispassionate debates in any of our Catholic institutions about anything. It's all passive aggressive shifts in official policy and anyone who disagrees runs the risk of not just being shunned by fired from jobs. It's like we're all brittle and made of glass.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

On the merits...

How likely is an attack in church by a madman? I came across these statistics from 2014 with a Google search. I am not vouching for their accuracy. (Source:

"• 176 deadly force incidents were documented nationwide at churches and faith-based organizations. This passed the previous high mark in Chinn's report—139—reached in 2012. Chinn began compiling his report in 1999. Last year also saw a near-record total of violent deaths for Chinn's report: 74. In 2012, 76 deaths occurred.

• 52 of the 74 violent deaths (70 percent) were innocent victims. The other 22 deaths, or 30 percent, were suicides or perpetrators killed in the act.

• There were 14 suicides. Unfortunately, 8 other victims died at the hands of those committing their own suicides.

• The first violent incident of 2014 occurred on January 1. The Rev. Eric Freed was brutally beaten to death at his Sacred Heart Church in Eureka, California.

• The last violent incident of 2014 occurred on December 30, when leaders of Living Water Fellowship in Kissimmee, Florida, gathered to dismiss an employee from his staff position. The employee pulled out a gun and began shooting at the pastor. The pastor protected himself and the others in the room by shooting back, which disabled the attacker and stopped the attack.

• There were 24 incidents in which the pastor or priest of the church was directly involved. Of those leaders, 6 died in the altercation or committed suicide."

If these stats are correct, then we do have to think about providing security in our religious institutions.

Jusadbellum said...

Yes we do. I posted a link to more stats.

I also suggested an obvious and immediate "solution" by way of our ubiquitous Ushers (most are Knights of Columbus and many have military backgrounds) being DISCETELY authorized by pastors to not just conceal carry but learn the various techniques of how to de-escalate any violent situation so we don't leave it up to the individual initiative of random parishioners to 'spontaneously' figure out what to do.

What I'd want to avoid is the pandemonium of a hundred people being caught flatfooted and frozen by the surprise of some nut or mad-man behaving violently...and wasting precious seconds 'second-guessing' and wondering why SOMEONE doesn't "do something". Then of course the second worry is that a parishioner might draw their private firearm and attempt to take down a mad-man in the pandemonium - which almost anyone who has trained will tell you is a bad idea if only because one is responsible for every bullet fired.

The time to intercept a madman is as they're just starting to 'reveal' their intent, not after they've begun the assault.

It makes much more sense for a pastor to DISCRETELY inquire as to which Usher(s) already have a concealed handgun license and any military/police training. Then draw up permission to allow them to carry concealed during the Mass.

Secondly and perhaps more importantly, provide training in violence-de-escalation and how to identify people who are 'off' - so there are no false alarms.... so that any Usher can quickly assess when someone is 'off' and give the "go" signal to his companions to quickly intervene and de-escalate or as peaceably as possible disarm/dissuade/distract a would-be gunman.

Having a plan, having some training, and then making sure these (normally men) who are always standing around the perimeter anyway and thus alert to what's going on feel empowered and authorized to act in protection of the common good is a good thing I would think!

Here's what the Protestant world has and it's a very business like attitude to the threat/risk analysis

My bottom line is that like fire extinguishers or portable heart attack devices, having a plan, empowering a handful of adults with the training needed, and providing a basic first aid kit for gunshot wounds or other serious trauma is relatively inexpensive to put in place and hopefully would never be needed. But if something happens... such DISCRETE preparations would go a long way to mitigate potentially catastrophic harm to the community.

Our alternative is the status quo: no plans but individuals who may wily nily 'pack heat' for their own protection with zero legal cover except in immediate danger to their own lives and zero legal obligation to protect anyone else.

It's not fair to them or to children to make our sanctuaries defenseless. But no one (sane) wants visible armed guards. We're not the Vatican and there's no need for a Swiss Guard!

Rood Screen said...

Those who prefer clear teaching, reverent worship and humble service have been actively suppressed by the ecclesiastical elites for decades now, which could explain the present anger. Perhaps pastors doing something as simple as establishing one Mass each Sunday with clear preaching and God-centered reverence, and the promotion of Works of Mercy performed without ostentation or passive aggression, would relieve the stress the hardliners have created for their victims.

Mark Thomas said...

Father Raymond de Souza said of His Holiness Pope Francis..."He has told the American bishops that “harsh speech does not befit the tongue of a pastor”, but nevertheless he advocates frank speech and open debate in a spirit of fraternity. The Holy Father peppers his daily homilies though with severe judgments and frequent condemnations."

Along that line, I recall the following post from Father McDonald vividly as his explanation of Pope Francis' supposed use of harsh and insulting language is interesting:

From Father McDonald's archives:

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said..."I've listens to Pope Francis use these terms in the Italian language and he does not use them in a mean spirited, malicious, evil way, but rather in a humorous way and often self-deprecating way."

September 23, 2015 at 3:32 PM

I have always kept in mind that comment from Father McDonald. Perhaps as Father McDonald noted, Pope Francis' supposed harsh language is not harsh and nasty in the original Italian. I am not fluent in Italian. However, I don't have any reason to doubt Father McDonald's comment in question.

Perhaps when Pope Francis' "harsh" comments are translated, for example, into English, what was humorous and mild in Italian, appears severe, insulting, and judgmental to English speakers.


Mark Thomas

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Question: How does one know who is "off?" Most of the churches I have served have regulars who are peculiar in a variety of ways. Most inner city churches are places of refuge for the not infrequent visitor who is a little tipsy, who is shabbily dressed, who might get loud, or who might wander very slowly up the aisle in the middle of mass, make a profound bow, and depart quietly. People show up who are "different," who are mildly mentally unstable, who have autism or some other ailment that makes folks, including those discreetly armed, jumpy.

I'm not sure at all that arming ushers, even those with military backgrounds, is going to provide much security. A pastor would, inevitably I think, feel the need to watch the watchers. Personally I would not feel more secure knowing that there were armed men and/or women in the congregation who are scanning the crowd for signs of trouble.

I think there's a qualitative difference between preparing for a heart attack and preparing to shoot a person who is thought to be threatening. The first is a response to a clear danger. The second is not.

Since we are called to proclaim and live the Gospel, we also have to ask, "What value is there in not responding to violence with violence?" To go a step further, "Is there not greater value in refusing to use violence?"

rcg said...

Is it possible that the passengers on this blog could swarm on the people hijacking this thread and subdue them non-violently? While we ponder the abstract I have discovered, after reading this thread, that the sound of one hand clapping leaves a red mark on my forehead.

TJM said...

"Is there not greater value in refusing to use violence?"

How about not using violence against the innocent, unborn?

Jusadbellum said...

rcg, all you need to do is post on what YOU want to talk about. Easy peasy.

Fr. K, I am not an advocate of the wild west. I think it's obvious (or should be) that the only justification for a concealed carry permit holder to draw his or her pistol (as per the law and common sense) is if they are provably in danger of their lives. This means only if someone is in the process of credibly threatening another person's or their own lives.

So someone acting crazy is not justification. That's why I mention all the de-escalation techniques to gently dissuade, distract, and deflect a nut from doing something regrettable.

Now, if a nut walks in the foyer with a shot gun or a pistol in full view - that's when these ushers would be in a position to draw down on the man and get him to surrender, or take what measures are appropriate to stop an unjust aggressor from attacking defenseless women and children (most cry-rooms located precisely in the rear).

I appreciate that martyrdom for the sake of righteousness is always appropriate. But do you fully appreciate that while clergy must not be involved in self-defense, that parents have a moral obligation to protect their children? A parent and a husband does not enjoy the freedom of our clergy to simply lay down our lives to an unjust aggressor because it's our responsibility to protect the innocent. laying down our lives doesn't stop the wolf.

So the status quo will continue: you'll have NO PLAN while individual lay men and women will continue to quietly and secretly carry concealed weapons to Mass for self-defense. God forbid there's ever a terror attack at one of our parishes.

Suppose 2 nuts burst in the front doors. One armed with a shot gun, the second with a rifle. Suppose they shoot 3 people standing in the rear and are about to enter the sanctuary when an elderly gentleman in the last pew draws his .45 and puts both of them down.

In your world, that man is a felon who has broken GA law because the pastor declared the zone a 'gun free' zone. He goes to jail. Now, he saved the entire congregation, but he's the bad guy?

As for any other scenarios - there have been men (and women) packing pistols in our parishes and schools for decades without incidence, so there are no counter examples of some disgruntled parishioner angry with homilies or local policy. The sorts of people that go through the trouble to get concealed carry permits are precisely the sorts of people least likely to cause trouble. They're not packing in order to seek trouble anymore than they buy smoke detectors hoping to use them.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jus - Open carry laws ALLOW people to walk down the aisles with shot guns and/or pistols in full view. Now, how do I know which ones are nuts and which ones aren't?

Choosing not to arm/train a cadre of ushers is a plan. It does not include concealed weapons as you may favor, but it is a plan.

Many have said that Jesus' words about turning the other cheek were also not a plan. Many, including myself, would disagree.

I don't think carrying a weapon onto Catholic Church property in Georgia where both bishops have banned them is a felony. I think someone told me the worst is a $100 fine.

The only problem with the smoke detector analogy is that when it goes off, no one can be hit by a stray beep...

Jusadbellum said...

Fr. K,
You do grasp that analogies are not perfect too right? The fire extinguisher/smoke detector vs. concealed carry analogy refers to being prepared to MITIGATE damage in an UNLIKELY but catastrophic event. Both extinguisher and detector only work AFTER a fire has started. Their role is to mitigate harm and save lives. Ditto with arming and training people we've already vetted and confirmed are stable folk.
In the unlikely but catastrophic event of a criminal, terrorist or sociopath bringing weapons into our churches to inflict harm on people, the status quo is to call 911, flee, and/or lay down our lives passively. None of these "plans" actually stop the unjust aggressor or mitigate the harm that can be inflicted in seconds. The strong and quick evacuate leaving the young and old to their own devices and the mercies of the unjust aggressor/sociopath. We are thus "planning" on abandoning the defenseless and calling it 'turning the other cheek'?
GA open carry does not allow people to carry rifles or shotguns (or pistols on their hip, visible) into our Churches. So if someone walked in with a shot gun we know he's breaking the law. It may be a misdemeanor with a $100 fine, but it's still against the rules. So - other than the ushers calling 911, what would happen? If the man is law abiding, we'd ask him to leave and come back without the gun. He'd comply and no one would draw a concealed pistol, no one would physically bum rush him. But if he not only didn't comply with a lawful request but raised the long gun to his shoulder.... in your world (status quo) what happens? The innocent die. But it's OK because you'll say their funeral Mass and they'll be considered a Martyr?
In my suggested scenario, the moment a man walks in with a long gun more than one Usher converges on him. One to intercept - attract his attention, engage in dialogue and the other to 'flank' and be prepared to disarm him. No one dies and if the man "goes for it" he's taken down by force or Tazer or pepper spray - any number of less than lethal options besides drawing a pistol.
If someone should be shot, in my world there is a tactical first aid kit with gun shot wound bandages, quick clotting agents etc. In the status quo world - there are no such first aid kits and people (innocent or guilty) could very well bleed to death before the ambulance and police arrive.
In your world - the status quo - our plan to have no plan actually INCREASES the risk of stray bullets because it puts all the onus on random parishioners who may have pistols to use them to stop an unjust attack in action while the Ushers stand by flatfooted and shocked into passive witnesses.
If you try to make this a theological exercise, may I ask why the Swiss Guards exist? Why does the Archbishop often have uniformed and openly armed Police at his big Masses?
I suggest authorized concealed carry by Ushers...and you talk about open carry advocates. I suggest training for Ushers in how to de-escalate potentially violent nutcases WITHOUT DRAWING weapons and you presume the ONLY option is to draw a pistol and shoot at a mentally ill local?

And this is all about a simple, easily remedied contingency plan that can be resolved with almost no expense.
It's a microcosm of the larger Catholic controversies we're faced with. There's a decided inability or apparent inability by even well read and trained clergy and religious to face reality and propose viable alternatives to evil reality. Instead we get vague invocation of 'principle' (ecumenism, dialogue, subsidiarity, etc.) and then tacit passivity in the face of secular cultural norms across the board. And we wonder why laity are disengaging?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jus - Those who are openly carrying do not cotton to being questioned or challenged, to be asked why they are toting a gun. Many certainly do not like being told they can't openly carry where they choose to do so, laws, owner rules, or not.

I don't think that the best plan is, necessarily, to stop a violent aggressor with a firearm, especially in a crowded church. And there's a vast difference between a crowded church, where folks are pretty much shoulder to shoulder in pews that limit emergency egress in any but two directions, and, say, a crowded mall where folks can run willy-nilly when the shooting starts.

And long before it was a practical exercise, it was a theological one. I didn't make it so. I have no disability when it comes to facing the reality of violence. I do have a very different view of how we, as Christians, are called to respond and react to violence.

Alas, you are falling into what you bemoaned earlier: "What happens? Is there a dispassionate discussion on the merits? No. Pearl clutching, virtue signaling, agit-prop making and ad hominems culminating in threats to have people arrested for 'online threats' which were nothing of the sort."

No, I do NOT think it is OK for the innocent to die, got that? It is always a tragedy, a horror, no matter how many "Bad Guys With Guns" are also killed.

The Swiss Guards exist to protect the life of the Pontiff because he is an extremely public figure and his position warrants such. And, no, your life nor mine warrants the same protection, not because we are not precious in the eyes of the Lord, but because we are not the Vicar of Christ on earth.

I don't want the acrid and sour smell of discharged handguns or rifles competing with the lingering fragrance of incense or lilies. I don't want the blood of an innocent passerby to stain the carpet of the main aisle or to splatter on the stations of the cross, even if it can be cleaned off. I don't want the headline to read, "Usher Takes Out Mad Gunner at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church." I don't want to stand at an altar, speak the words of Jesus who said, "This is my blood," and be reminded every time of the 2 or 4 or 6 people who died in the crossfire between trained ushers using deadly force against an attacker.

Jusadbellum said...

Take the Bishop's "fortnight for freedom" exercises. What exactly were they all about? Who is the threat we're afraid of? It was never clear and so without a clear and present danger, the message was vague and non-committal.

One immediately suspects that the 'problem' is that the enemy to our religious freedom is the current administration which just so happens to be Democrat. Thus it's an inconvenient truth and this must be buried. So no protest of the "affordable care act" no suggestion we call our representatives to abolish and replace, no suggestion we vote for the alternative party....which doesn't threaten our religious liberty.... just a plan to not have a plan.

Just like the plan with respect to the Boy Scouts going gay was to not have a plan so we could throw up our hands and say "oh well, what ever could we have done?" and just ignore the National BSA going politically correct.

Had the Church 'had a plan' and thus could credibly threaten to pull out of the BSA, they would have been in a position to keep the BSA from self-destructing. But the plan was never to provide an alternative even notionally. So the plan was to not have a plan beyond surrender to the spirit of the age.

What's the plan on how to convert Muslims (or Jews)? There is none. How about a plan to convert the "nones"? There is none.

Heck, what's the long term game plan to promote a culture of life and overthrow the sexual revolution? There's nothing systematic beyond what disparate and underfunded laity are doing. CCHD certainly never funds anything outside of left-wing groups whose alliances are deeply interwoven with the sexual and socialist revolutionaries.

There's no plan for global warming either - if you really believed the planet was doomed we'd be at least a bit more upset over India and China's enormous pollution vs. recycling and going 'green' which does next to nothing to actually affect the planetary situation.

So the laity are disengaging. Religion seems more and more fantastical. More and more symbolic and we wonder: do they really believe it or is it all just so much mumbo jumbo for the "ignorant" masses?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I did not like the Fortnight for freedom stuff, although I promoted it. It seem to tempt God to answer our prayers or else and if we in great numbers demanded this, that and the other so that God for force our country to do what was right, in the bishops minds, then it would happen. It was kind of like a novena that ascertains a certain outcome if all is done according to plan and petition.

Anyone else feel that way?

Anonymous said...

How does the "Fortnight for Freedom" "...seem to tempt God to answer our prayers or else..." more than other prayers?

rcg said...

I agree, FrAJM. i have to temper my discomfort with this sort of thing with concern that not asking for something is a form of denying God's existance and power. Even if my prayer is not answered I might claim I am not worthy, it is not God's plan, etc. All can be taken as excuses for continuing to believe when there is no reason to believe. I have to pray for and expect the miricle and I must plead for the wisdom to see the answer and the strength to do it. We want everything to be easy.

John Nolan said...

The only thing I could object to in Fr Kavanaugh's comment at 3:01 on 4 Nov was his admission that the main aisle of his church was carpeted - ugh!

Swiss guards are one thing, but when Pope Benedict celebrated Mass in Westminster Cathedral six years ago he processed down the nave flanked by a number of dark-suited 'heavies' who looked like gangsters. Liturgically anomalous, very distracting, and quite unnecessary. At least they wouldn't have been armed (unless, of course, they were from the Diplomatic Protection Group of the Metropolitan Police, and they looked too obtrusive for that).

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John, if I had my druthers, there would be no carpet in churches. Alas, sometimes we inherit less than optimal circumstances.

My current church was renovated about 3 years ago by the former pastor. Much to his credit, the carpet in the aisles was removed!

Jusadbellum said...

Still no plan!

I get that Fr. K doesn't like to even imagine ushers needing to use deadly force in a Church during Mass. To my knowledge the Swiss Guard have never had to pull their pistols either as they are trained in ways to de-escalate violence. But they have them (and swords and Halberds) nevertheless and those things are not ceremonial - they're real.

But it doesn't change the fact that the laity are currently left to their own devices and there is no parish policy or training or understanding on how to handle a violent person(s).

So our plan to not have a plan is that each individual take what initiative they deem best?

It's the same with politics. The Church is threatened by rising atheism and aggressive secularism that comes through the sexual revolution. First it was divorce...then contraception....then abortion....then homosexuality...then gay "marriage" and now transgenderism and gender theory and "hate crime" legislation that is making it illegal to even beg to differ with someone's fantasy that they're not what they are.

One Political party is die-hard invested in the notion that all Americans must subsidize abortion, contraception, sex-change operations and subsidize via federal grants etc. for their secularist world view and moral scheme to be accepted while any competitor (Islam excepted) be officially treated as second class cities. See, anyone may declare their sexual proclivities etc. but woe unto the man who disagrees! It's no longer far fetched that the Church will be stripped of tax exempt status to force compliance with the next social engineering campaign.

But is there "a plan"? No! Half the church's hierarchy and clergy and 80% of all nuns are going to vote for Hillary tomorrow. They are convinced that the Democratic party loves "the poor" and "minorities" and thus this is far more important than a culture of life and religious liberty.

So when the persecution comes.... I wonder if their plan to not have a plan is the plan for social surrender because it sure looks like it to me.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jus - Planning not to use guns is a plan. It is not a plan you favor; it is not a plan you endorse. But it is a plan.

We are left to our own devices everywhere we go - that's not something that happens only in churches. Was I left to my own devices at Home Depot this morning? Yep. Was I concerned about that? Not in the least. It never entered my mind. I did not stroll down the lighting aisle thinking, "Gee, maybe I should be packing heat in case some deranged Right-Wing Tea Party Loon starts shooting everyone who he thinks cast an early vote for Secretary Clinton."

Some people feel threatened walking down the cereal aisle in Kroger. They and the other preppers have chosen to live lives of anxiety and suspicion, stockpiling ammo and dried food, buying up little bits of gold bullion so they can use it to pay for toilet paper and freeze dried coffee when the revolution starts.

They're nuts. Flat-out nuts. I choose not to live that way.