My Condolences To The Catholycs

It was a rough final 10 days of January for the Catholycs at National Catholic Distorter and other similar publications. Both the Reverend Richard McBrien (1/25) and theologian Marcus Borg (1/21) passed to their eternal reward. These two guys stood at the forefront of progressive Catholic thinking, attempting to shift teaching on rudimentary issues like contraception, abortion, women’s ordination, and even the historicity of Christ’s resurrection, to name a few.

So I’m sure their followers are sad and despondent, and they’ll miss their mentors of theological deconstruction.

But I’m here to tell them not to lose heart, and to not give up hope. Remember Christ’s words: “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Because more than likely, Pope Francis is gonna change a bunch of that teaching anyway.

That is, if you believe any of the stuff the Best Catholics Ever have been saying, right?

RabbitGate, By The Numbers

Number of Catholics worldwide: 1.2 billion

Number of Catholics in the US: 76.4 million

Percentage of US Catholics vs. worldwide Catholics: 6.37%

Percent probability that Pope Francis wasn’t talking about US Catholics with regards to RabbitGate: 93.63%

Percentage of US Catholics who took offense to Rabbitgate: eleventy-hundred

Get over yourselves, US Catholics. Not everything that the Holy Father says has to do with the US branch of the Catholic Church, our culture, or Western civilization, and doesn’t warrant taking offense, or whining and complaining. It’s embarrassing. Then again, perhaps Terry at Abbey Roads was correct when he wrote:  Or maybe it’s just American Catholics who have become so feminized?

Vatican: Pope Francis Intends To Visit International Space Station In 2016

(AoftheAP) While in the midst of Pope Francis’ whirlwind visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the Vatican announced today that His Holiness intends to visit the International Space Station sometime in 2016. The trip would be coordinated through the Vatican Observatory, NASA, and the Russian Federal Space Agency.

“Because he is the head of the Universal Church, it only makes sense that he visits the ISS,” Fr Lombardi, the Vatican press secretary told AoftheA News. “We’re not sure if any Catholics will be there, but that really isn’t the point. The Church is mandated to evangelize the entire Earth, and people orbiting the Earth are not exempt from hearing the Good News.”

When asked if the pontiff’s health would be an impediment to making the stressful launch and reentry, Fr Lombardi replied: “We don’t think so. He’s endured much worse, like sitting through an audience with President Obama, and fighting against the Curia. This will be a piece of cake. And besides, it’s time the Vatican Observatory actually did something for a change.”

Details for the planned “Pope In Space” trip are still very sketchy. The hardest part, Lombardi told AoftheA News, will be the logistics for the press pool’s typical in-flight papal interview.

After 40 Days Of Negative Pope Francis Posts, Blogger Admits “I’ve Become A Miserable SOB”

(AoftheAP) Catholic blogger Anselm Gregory Benedictus Ambrose Tiberius Athanasius, who writes at “Ex Ore Dei” under the pseudonym “Pepe”, admitted to his readers yesterday that writing negative posts about Pope Francis for forty consecutive days has turned him into “a miserable SOB”.

In a post titled “Pope Posts: Day 41″, Pepe wrote:

“What began as a crusade for Truth ended as a victory for self-discovery. And what I’ve discovered after forty consecutive days of complaining about how Pope Francis has been bad for Church, is that I’ve become an even more miserable SOB. Before embarking on this endeavor, I was merely incorrigible. Now I am a torte of rich arrogance, with alternating layers of curmudgeon and bitterness, covered with a thin gruel of pompous ganache.

“And you know what? It becomes me. Sure, I’m irritated every day, and I get short with my family and co-workers. I have fewer friends. I engage in long, protracted arguments in the combox with people I don’t know. Even my dog avoids me. But it’s made me a better Catholic.”

[…]

“One thing I know – all the hits, the comments, the links, the increased traffic – these 40 days of Pope Posts resonated with many of you out there in the blogosphere. So obviously what I’m doing is attractive, and is leading people to the faith. Will I continue? I’ve decided to let you, my faithful readers, make that decision for me. I have a poll set up in the sidebar.”

To date, the Pepe’s Pope Post Poll shows that 80% of respondents want him to continue, with 25 people already casting their votes.

Papal Bias

Remember when Pope Benedict said this, back in 2010?

“There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralisation, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants.”

I wonder how many bloggers, who defended and explained PBXVI’s comment back then, would say, if Pope Francis had said it today, that he’s trying to change Church teaching on contraception or some other outrageous thing.

I’m thinking quite a few.

“There Are No Situations Which God Cannot Change…”

ttr-grave-cloths
“The women [who go to the tomb of Jesus with spices to anoint Jesus’ body] continued to feel love, the love for Jesus which now led them to his tomb. But at this point, something completely new and unexpected happens, something which upsets their hearts and their plans, something which will upset their whole life…Doesn’t the same thing also happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life? We stop short, we don’t understand, we don’t know what to do. Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness which God brings us, the newness which God asks of us.

“We are like the Apostles in the Gospel; often we would prefer to hold on to our own security, to stand in front of a tomb, to think about someone who has died, someone who ultimately lives on only as a memory, like the great historical figures from the past. We are afraid of God’s surprises…He always surprises us.

“Let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives! Are we often weary, disheartened and sad? Do we feel weighed down by our sins? Do we think that we won’t be able to cope? Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose confidence, let us never give up: there are no situations which God cannot change, there is no sin which he cannot forgive if only we open ourselves to him.

“How often does Love have to tell us: Why do you look for the living among the dead? Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness…and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.

“To remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have traveled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future. May we learn to remember everything that God has done in our lives.”

(Pope Francis, taken from the Magnificat for Easter Sunday morning Mass)

I love Pope Francis.

 

Happy Easter to all my readers and their families – may the grace of the resurrection fill your hearts and souls with peace and joy! 50 day party commences….now!!

Noise

If you’re not reading Abbey Roads, you ought to be.  Terry Nelson’s some kind of brilliant.

Why Are So Many Catholics Worried About the Pope and What He Says?

“He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

The problem with the Pope – really?

Why do they attribute some sort of strategy behind the Holy Father’s response to journalist’s questions?  His answers are matter of fact – simple, clear, understandable.  He knows exactly what he is doing and saying – but I seriously doubt he’s playing war games with journalists.  I also do not think the Holy Father needs handlers to censor him.

Yet EWTN spokesman Raymond Arroyo seems to think the Holy Father needs handlers, that he needs distancing from speaking directly to people – lest he be misinterpreted.

“The entire episode reminds us that papal handlers do have their place. As cumbersome as they are, and as much as they distance the pontiff from his people, handlers can protect the Pope from this sort of misinterpretation. Off the cuff, vigorous expressions have their place, but so do unambiguous, vetted statements—especially when dealing with a media unversed in Church teaching.”

Likewise, others express worry – ‘concern’ over how the MSM and dissidents will misinterpret what the Pope said, and most especially, what he meant.  Just about everyone from self-appointed apologist-theologians with their own brand of online tenure and EWTN sponsorship, to Cardinals and bishops bend over backwards to clarify that the Pope’s words were somehow impossible for ordinary people to understand without a clear understanding of what the catechism teaches.  They claim the Pope speaking in ordinary language is a “problem” – because his words may be hi-jacked by the enemy.

Don’t cry for me Argentina.

I commented on a post a few days ago and said I doubt the Pope sees others as enemies.  I also doubt he needs handlers.  He’s from Argentina people.  He lived through some pretty gruesome history and his life was anything but comfortable.  He knows how words are twisted, how propaganda works against the Church.  People are concerned about what and how the Pope speaks?  That’s absurd.  Who do you think you are?

You want to censor the Pope?  You want handlers to keep him distant from the people?  You are afraid that he will be misinterpreted?  That’s totally hypocritical.  That’s like Peter remonstrating with Christ, trying to hold him back, saying he shouldn’t have to suffer, he should avoid the cross.  Christ whipped around and said, ‘get behind me Satan’.  The Gospel story should be sufficient to put us in our place.

The Pope said what he said.  Stop trying to speak for him.

Every Pope has said things and has done things that have been twisted to suit agendas.  How is that our concern?  Why do we think we have to worry about how the Pope’s words are perceived?  Haven’t we lived through misinterpretation of actual documents of Vatican II?  What about St. JPII kissing the Koran?  How about Benedict’s condom statement?  It is not long ago pious pundits were worried Benedict wasn’t allowed to do what he wanted, that his desires were not being met – handlers/bureaucrats were holding things up.  (Seriously – do you people talk and write so much you no longer remember what you say?)

There’s more to his post. I encourage you to read the whole thing.

The answer to his title-posed-as-question?  Otherwise they’d have no reason to blog.

Terry encapsulates what I’ve been feeling the past few days, perhaps even the past few weeks, when it comes to people parsing the Pope.  Seems like everybody has their own stinking opinion on what the Pope says, what it means, what he possibly couldn’t have meant, how he’s “using” the media, how the media is taking advantage of him, how he’s squelching this thing or that other thing, how he’s promulgating that thing or this other thing, how he’s so humble, how he’s so frustrating, how “conservatives” hate him, how “liberals” love him, how “traditionalists” fear him, everyone thinking everything and letting everyone know about it.

Noise.  Unfiltered, space-chewing, opinionated, unending noise. From faithful Catholics – wanting to be heard, and yet saying nothing worth hearing. More people ought to be listening to the Pope rather than interpreting him. He’s really not that difficult to understand.

People can’t shut up long enough to hear themselves think – and like Terry wrote: “Seriously – do you people talk and write so much you no longer remember what you say?”

I’ve been reading fewer and fewer Catholic blogs as of late.  So many say the same thing, most say nothing at all.  They populate their pages with posts of pablum in order to meet a deadline, generate traffic or cause a stir.  All at once, most of the time.  The Internet needs more prophets and a hell of a lot fewer pundits.

There is little New Evangelization going on throughout the Internet – not from the blogs, leastwise.  Rather than reflecting on what the Holy Father has been saying, many have been pontificating about it.  I can see why Christ only chose 12 Apostles.  If there were any more, even He wouldn’t have been able to hear Himself.

Noise.

Pope Francis: “Womynpreests? Never!”

Put this in your polyester pantsuit and dryclean it, RCWP and WOC.  Pope Francis ain’t gonna give you what you want. He can’t.

During the return flight to Rome after the World Youth Day events, Pope Francis fielded some questions from reporters.  One asked if the Church was going to lift its ban on women priests.

Addressing the issue of women priests, the pope said, “The Church has spoken and says ‘no’ that door is closed.” It was the first time he had spoken in public on the subject. “We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more,” he said in answer to a question. “But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says ‘no’. Pope John Paul said so with a formula that was definitive. That door is closed,” he said, referring to a document by the late pontiff which said the ban was part of the infallible teaching of the Church. The Church teaches that it cannot ordain women because Jesus willingly chose only men as his apostles. Advocates of a female priesthood say he was acting according to the customs of his times. Many in the Church, even those who oppose a female priesthood, say women should be given leadership roles in the Church and the Vatican administration.

The document being referred to is, of course, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, issued in 1994 to much wailing and gnashing of teeth that continues to this very day.

Catch that, womynpreests?  “Pope John Paul said so with a formula that was definitive.”

The Women’s Ordination Conference has already shed tears, and assigned blame.

Washington, DC - “The Women’s Ordination Conference is deeply discouraged to learn of Pope Francis’ remarks regarding women’s ordination.  

In an interview given to reporters on July 28 en route to Rome from Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis made it very clear that this papacy sees women as separate, but not equal to men, and will keep the door to women’s ordination closed, citing Pope John Paul II as his reasoning.  

Pope Francis’ cop-out rationale illustrates a very selective theology: to blame a previous pope for his stance on women priests, and then in the very same interview contradict his predecessors by acknowledging an open understanding for gay priests.

Hahahahahahahahahha!!  They call his rationale a “cop-out”, illustrating “selective theology”.  Someone forgot to turn on their irony detector when leaving the house this morning, because if anyone’s demonstrating “selective theology”, it’s the womynpreests!

Their honeymoon with Francis is all but over.  Call the tailors and seamstresses, and send ‘em to the National Catholyc Reporter – I have a feeling they’ll be needed with all the garments-rending and chasuble-shredding that will be occurring in due course.

Not that it matters. The womynpreests and their supporters will still go ahead with their fauxrdinations and mock ceremonies and fake Masses, and remain excommunicated and risk their salvation. They’ll continue to complain of injustice and misogyny, and claim the hierarchy is rejecting the call of the Holy Spirit.  Quite sad, actually – but pride does that to people.

This is a good time to remind everyone of the Adopt-A-Priestess Project.  Are you still praying for the one you’ve adopted? Have you adopted one to pray for yet? Please consider it – these gals need it now more than ever.

Top Ten Rejected Papal Mottoes

Pope Francis has been officially inaugurated as the 266th Pope. Yay us! Yay the Catholic Church!

His papal motto is “Miserando Atque Eligendo”, which, according to every other Catholic who can translate Latin, can be interpreted in any number of ways. I can’t translate it, so I rely on an expert – in this case, Fr Z, who translated it thus: “By showing compassion and by choosing”.

As Fr. Z put it: A good motto for a reformer.

I think it’s an awesome motto, and one that provides us with plenty to meditate on.

But it wasn’t Pope Francis’ first choice. The Vatican Bureau Chief for AoftheA News came upon a list of the Top Ten Rejected Papal Mottoes (apparently, Dan Quayle is the AoftheA News Vatican Bureau Chief, but never mind that now). Would you like to see them?

Of course you would!

10.  The Wise Latino

9.  You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.

8.  Got Vapors?

7.  Meek ≠ Weak

6.  Hold The Latte And Pour The Maté

5.  I Also Do My Own Taxes

4.  It’s Okay To Say Schadenfreude

3.  I’m No Georgetown Jesuit

2.  Caring For Creation ≠ Environmental Wacko-ism

1.  Surprise!  I’m Catholic!

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other rejected mottoes as well…