Saturday, April 30, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Michael Voris and The Perils of Being a Public Catholic

By now everyone has probably heard or read about Michael Voris. Every one of the bloggers I read have been lovely and kind. The Archdiocese denies that a hit piece was about to come out on Voris which is the expected response.  Mr. Voris's aged father looks physically frail in the videos I've seen of him. I hope the poor man knew about all this before this week and if not, I hope the shock wasn't damaging.  Some people who commented on the various sites have said that Mr. Voris is smearing the Archdiocese without proof. Others have said they just can't imagine Archdiocese staff doing such a thing. I'm reminded of two things: First there is an old saying that goes, "If you want to lose your Faith go to work for your diocese". It means you will be shocked by some of the people who are running your diocese and even more shocked at how the worst of them seem to have the most influence with the bishop. Second, does no-one remember that Cardinal Spellman was rumored to be homosexual himself?  Randy Engel's Rite of Sodomy discusses this  in painful detail.  You don't have to like Michael Voris, his style or his organization, or believe they get every detail correct in their reports to realize that there have been whispers concerning what he has been alleging about the Archdiocese of New York for a  long time.

Numerous priests from various dioceses all around the world have said that when they reported to superiors about certain behavior they observed in their rectories, they were punished so, it's no stretch to believe bad stuff is happening in New York. You can read a few things about Cardinal Dolan's diocese at the Restore DC Catholic blog that would shock and depress me if I were a few decades younger.

The main thing about this cautionary tale that many people have missed is if you are going to fight the Powers that Be, you must expect that they will come after you and will look into your past and use it as a weapon. Civil Rights legend, Rosa Parks was not the first person to defy the Jim Crow bus laws. The first person was a brave 15 year old girl but the NAACP did not back her because of her embarrassing sexual past. Instead the NAACP supported Rosa Parks, whose background stood up to hostile scrutiny.  If you choose to be a public Catholic you must be brave and you must be smart. Put on the armor of God and expect that your enemies will come after you and don't be surprised if friends great and small step back from you.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Let the light shine

When I was a child I spent the night at a friend's house and at some point I got out of bed to get something to drink. I walked into the kitchen and turned on the light. There was a huge brown shimmering circle on the wall above the sink. Before I could figure out what this weird sight was, it broke apart and the thousands, (millions?), of German cockroaches that had been socializing on the wall fled from the light. I stood there and no longer wanted drink of water. I went back to bed and when my mother came for me in the morning I couldn't wait to go to home. I told Mama what I'd seen and she never allowed me to spend the night anywhere ever again. Every time the mother of my friend invited me over Mama had a plausible reason why I couldn't go. She didn't want to shame the woman but there was no way she was letting her child visit a roach infested house.

When I read on the  An Archdiocese of Washington DC  blog that the head of the U.S. bishop's news agency has resigned I thought of those cockroaches having a merry time in the dark and how they scattered when I turned the light on. Tony Spence had a lot to say on Twitter as was his right. Twitter in the case of non- celebrities or non-public officials is practically semi-private. People who don't have a Twitter accounts  or even know that you exist  would never know what you said about anything unless someone brought it to their attention. The Lepanto Institute  shone a light on his comments. The interesting question is this: Was Mr. Spence speaking for himself alone or was he really speaking for  members of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops who prefer to keep their true feelings in the dark?


Saturday, April 09, 2016

An overheard conversation

Yesterday evening as I was getting ready to go home, one of the attorneys at the law firm I work for came out of his office and with an uncharacteristic smile on his face exclaimed to a secretary, "How about the pope!"  "I know! Awesome," she answered. To my knowledge neither of these people is Catholic and I was not even aware that the woman was remotely interested in men, much less adulterous marriages but there they were both delighted because the news says the Holy Father has made it okay to be remarried and present yourself at Communion.
I listened to them chatter about how great it was that people are getting relief from their misery and I guess my expression was a lot like this:

A Future Conversation?

Mama, what does pastoral mean?

It means, Child, that when your father and his new "wife" go to church the priest has to pretend that I'm dead. 

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Let's face it. Notre Dame is not a Catholic school anymore

Our Lady of LaSallette

A lot of people say that Notre Dame isn't all bad and that there are still Catholics there. So what? A dose of poison in a gallon of water could still kill you and there were decent people living in Nero's Rome. Publicly, Notre Dame is no different than State U. In fact, it's worse. At State, you expect certain things but parents are being lulled into a false sense of safety by Notre Dame, Georgetown, Marquette, and Catholic University among others.

On the Feast of the Annunciation, (c'mon, you know that was deliberate), Notre Dame University forgot who it is named after and  invited Wendy Davis, to speak on campus. Wendy is an abortion lover. She killed her own child and is publicly unrepentant. A little while ago, Notre Dame gave Joe Biden the Latare award. Joe is a fascinating figure and I suspect he's only playing the part of the fool but he's Catholic like a Kennedy and I don't mean Rose. Why are serious Catholic parents still sending their kids there? Is it for the name? Is it for the football team? Oh please! Okay, so everybody in your family has been going there since Knute Rockne was a shiny faced lad that is no reason to send your kid now. Picking a school that is unsuited to your individual child can ruin his life. My father-in-law was in love with a particular school and insisted that his younger son go there. My brother-in-law was not happy and  but he stayed and graduated, broken inside in ways we wouldn't even realize until decades later, but his father got his way.

If you are going to work a second job, mortgage the house and put a financial strain on your marriage in order to send your kid to a big name school*, why do it for a one that is Catholic in name only and cheerfully spits on your precious Faith?

*P.S. Skip the big name schools altogether. South Texas College, is the most affordable school in the U.S.A. with an  annual base tuition under $4000. With all the money you save you can afford  the cable TV sports package so you can watch every Notre Dame game wherever you are and buy all the fan gear you want.

Friday, April 01, 2016

There is more than one bishop in Virginia and other random Easter week thoughts

  • Rocky and I went to the Easter Vigil at the Franciscan Monastery in DC and earlier in the week to the Burial of Christ service there  on Good Friday. At the Vigil a little girl sitting behind me was sick. The poor thing coughed so long that her sisters kept getting up to take her to ladies room when it she started retching. On Monday I started coughing, sneezing, gagging and running a fever.  Today I reached a disgusting stage and decided to the probable relief of my co-workers to just stay home.

  • St. Bernadette, a heroic little saint, once said that she hoped she wouldn't end up roasting in Purgatory because no-one would think to pray for her after her death. Mother Angelica may not need our prayers anymore than Bernadette did but say a prayer for the repose of her soul and that of all the poor souls anyway.

  • Susan Matthiesen, at  the beautiful, Les Femmes  blog just wrote a very interesting piece on Mohammed's dreadful vision of the Angel Gabriel and asks who did he really see? I think that if Joseph Smith actually saw an angel instead of just making up a magnificent con, it was the same person that Mohammed saw.

  • I'm librarian but I have no problem with censorship which makes me a pariah plague dog among my colleagues so I don't bring it up at professional meetings. If you want your kid reading porn, shame on you ----but you want everybody's kid in a public school reading gross sexual content then  you're an overbearing, publicly dangerous person who must be opposed. Public schools were supposed to serve the local community and reflect the wishes of the parents.  As late as 50 years ago public school teachers were expected to be upstanding citizens and held to a high moral standard. Any teacher who slipped up faced the wrath of the town fathers. That meant immediate dismissal and possibly being run out of town. Why were parents so strict? Because they knew that the teacher had access to their children's minds and souls for several hours a day.  That's powerful. I think Mrs. Jones and Mr. Smith have a right to know if the teacher thinks it's cute to have their ten year old reading a graphic rape scene  and they have a right to say, "No, get your dirty, filthy hands off my kid's mind."  My state and national  librarian membership groups are all for this effort to get Governor McAuliffe of Virginia to veto bill HB516, the so-called "Beloved bill," which would require schools to notify parents when their kids are going to be reading sexual explicit material. I can't go along with them and  my annual dues check will not be in the mail this year.  

  • I love Rorate Caeli but most of their head honchos are European and it shows in funny ways sometimes. I find that many foreigners have no understanding of how big the US is. Virginia is a large state, bigger than some Western countries and we have had two diocesan entities since 1974. Rorate is calling for Bishop Loverde to ban the governor from Communion because of his public promotion of sin. The governor comes from Northern Virginia, which is part of Loverde's diocese. Fair enough, but the governor lives in Richmond, the capitol of Virginia. That is the diocese of Richmond, which belongs to Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo . If the governor ever  really shows up at a Mass he probably goes to St. Peter's which is a few streets away from the Executive Mansion.  If you want to press Bishop Loverde to make a statement about the governor, fine but don't forget Bishop DiLorenzo, because this particular gubernatorial wild ram is part of his flock on most days.  There is a whole lot of horrible in the Richmond diocese but it exists. You can 't overlook 142 parishes and missions covering 74 counties and call yourself doing good reporting. 

  •  The wailing woman approach that columnist Hilary White first decried years ago has not helped the pro-life movement.

  • Speaking of the pro-life movement, did you notice that the big time professional Catholics who went to pieces over the death of David Bowie  didn't have much if anything to say about the death of a truly great woman, Nellie Gray? The pro-life movement is beset by many enemies including those are supposedly in the same camp.

  • I've said it before, I'll say it again and again.  Beware celebrity priest's.