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Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia said“Catholics have a duty to respect legitimate authority and pray for our political leaders, whether we personally care for them or not. The Church seeks to cooperate with public officials because we’re a community of citizens as well as believers. “But there are limits, and the more that government mandates evil actions, the more likely civil disobedience becomes.” 

I would go a bit further than the Archbishop did.  I believe it is our duty to follow our faith.  When civil law or mandates conflict with our faith such as in the case of the HHS mandate we have a duty, a moral obligation, to follow our Faith.  The HHS mandate propagates evil.  As followers of God we are called to combat evil and never cooperate with or advocate evil.  Killing innocent vulnerable life is probably the worst evil (that I can think of).

President Obama talked about religious freedom at the prayer breakfast but yet has his administration go after and try to force The Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their religion, violate their faith.  Archbishop Chaput said, “I think President Obama’s recent prayer breakfast comments about religious freedom were interesting but also curious, because in practice, the people who staff his administration have been the most tone deaf to religious liberty issues in recent memory. There’s a very odd disconnect in praising religious freedom while the Justice Department goes after the Little Sisters of the Poor.

“So yes, religious freedom is one of our core national ideals, and yes, it’s at risk from two sources: an unfriendly political class, and our own distracted attention and indifference.”

In my opinion the disconnect is alarming.  His actions and the actions of his administration do not comport with his words at the prayer breakfast.  Unless his words are an act and is deceiving people.  Kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide.

Let us continue to pray for the conversion of souls.  God Bless.

 

 

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Christmas, as we know, celebrates the fact that the Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us. Today’s solemn feast of Epiphany then celebrates how the God, who came to live among us, revealed or manifested Himself (cf. second reading). Particularly, today’s gospel reading narrates the story of how the Son of God was revealed to the gentile wise men, and therefore, to the rest of mankind as the new born King who had come to save the whole world.

In the gospel story, we have three groups of people: (a) King Herod and his associates, (b) the chief priests and the scribes and then (c) the wise men. The first group, Herod and his associates, simply did not like the idea of the birth of a new born king, and so they immediately planned to eliminate the child Jesus. Today, we still have ‘herodians’. These are people who discredit Jesus Christ or Christianity through books, movies or other forms of propaganda. Other modern day ‘herodians’ are those involved in occult practices or those who persecute Christians.

Then, we have the second group of chief priests and scribes. They knew the Scriptures and could indicate the exact place of birth of the Christ, whose coming they were expecting; but they showed no interest in looking for Him, when He was born. Today, many people are like the chief priests and scribes of old. In the first place, we have pastors who keenly study the Scriptures in order to preach powerful sermons, but their ultimate interest is not in Jesus or the salvation of souls, but in the money they can earn from their efforts. Secondly, we have professors or scholars of Scriptures, who after decades of studies now doubt that Jesus ever lived on this earth; or even if He ever lived, then Jesus was a mere powerful prophet, but not the Son of God. Thirdly, some of the chief priests and scribes of today are those Christians who after advancing in their professions or prospering in their businesses begin to show little or no interest in Jesus or Christian living. The fourth type of modern chief priests and scribes are those who are hearers but not doers of the Word of God; and many of us, if we are honest with ourselves, can identify with this final type of the second group.

Beloved, today’s message is intended to urge us to become part of the third group of wise men, women and children; or if we are already part of this group to encourage us to sustain our membership of it by God’s grace. Guided by a star, the wise men looked for the new born king, Jesus, in order to worship Him. They eventually saw the child Jesus with the mother, and they prostrated in worship. Can you imagine those elderly wise men prostrating before an infant (after all they were not Jews and they were not expecting the coming of any Messiah)? In addition, can you imagine that after the sacrifices of their long, tedious and risky journey, the wise men offered the child Jesus gifts of precious gold, frankincense and myrrh? These wise men represented true Christians of today. Modern wise men and women are guided not by a physical star in the sky, but by the invisible Holy Spirit from heaven, who attracts not so much the sight of human beings, but our hearts. He directs our hearts to journey in faith to worship Jesus Christ, not in a fixed place (Bethlehem), but ‘in spirit and in truth’ (Jn. 4:23). And we are to offer Jesus, not only our gold (treasure), but our precious hearts as well; not only frankincense, but also our lives of priestly holiness; and not myrrh (for Christ is already risen from the dead), but our lives as living sacrifices of praise (Rom. 12:1-2).

PRAYER: I pray that throughout 2014, we will not be counted among the ‘herodians’, chief priests and scribes, amen; that we would rather be counted among the wise who, filled with the star of heaven, the Holy Spirit, will ever more seek Jesus Christ, and worship Him in spirit and in truth! Amen!

By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis
http://frlouis.com/

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Priests who are contracted out to minister to the lay faithful may be arrested if they minister to Catholics in the military during the government shutdown.   Even if a priest volunteers he may be arrested. So if they practice their faith priests could be arrested.  Why the heck should a government shutdown determine whether a priest can say Mass, pray, do weddings and funerals, and hear confessions?  This is clearly a violation of the First Amendment. 

This was brought to my attention by Maggie’s Notebook yesterday.  This is from Maggie’s Notebook: 

Obama still has 129 staffers working directly for him during the shutdown. Biden has 12. Most don’t know how to do the lesser jobs that need doing – like send a news release! And that’s okay, but when it comes to the spiritual needs of our troops, contracted priests have been threatened with arrest if they voluntarily (unpaid) tend to the troop’s spiritual needs. Some Priests are “contracted” due to a “lack” of active-duty Catholic priests, so there is likely a shortage of Protestant pastors as well, although I can’t confirm it. Shutting down the Washington Mall Memorials and Monuments, which can cost nothing to keep open if done properly: post a few signs saying there is no security, you are responsible for your own safety, and ‘hey, please take your trash with you,’ could work. Just as Obama refused to divert funding to the Military during sequester, the goal seems to make those who give the most for their country, the least.

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“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.” Read more at The Daily Caller

 

While it is not concrete that the priests will be arrested for practicing their faith the fact that it is a possibility really irks me.

From The Blaze: 

The arrest claim is a bold one — but is it true? Recently, Politico did report that furloughed federal workers could be fired for using their BlackBerry phones during the shutdown. One warning noted that there could be penalties for conducting any work outside of the office during this time.

“Due to legal requirements, working in any way during a period of furlough (even as a volunteer) is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment,”read a recent letter from the House Administration Committee to nonessential employees. “To avoid violating this prohibition, we strongly recommend that you turn your BlackBerrys off for the duration of the furlough.”

Technically, this would translate over to faith leaders as well. As for events that might be scheduled on military bases — baptisms, weddings, etc. — unless a priest who is not contracted is found, Schlageter said that the event would potentially have to be canceled.

From CatholicVote: 

Our government is out of control.

First, it was the World War II veterans who had to break down barriers to see the open air, un-attended memorial erected in their honor.  A memorial which is on public land but is supported – including the National Park Service fee – with private funds. This week there was more security surrounding this memorial — just to keep elderly veterans out — than there was at our embassy in Benghazi the night it was attacked.

And for what? To inflict as much pain as possible through this government shutdown. It’s called Washington Monument Syndrome, and it’s pure political theater.

But now there’s a story just coming to light that takes things even further. According the Archdiocese for Military Services, GS and contract priests (who are paid by the federal government as independent contractors in places where there aren’t enough active-duty priests to meet the needs of Catholics in military service) are being forbidden from celebrating Mass, even on a volunteer basis.

If they violate this restriction, they face possible arrest. FOR CELEBRATING MASS. 

This shutdown impacts Catholics in the military worldwide. In the DC-metro area, it specifically impacts bases like Quantico. On the Facebook page for the Archdiocese, Catholic military members commenting on the story are not happy. Comments include:

“This is outrageous!!! Especially threatening them with arrest to voluntarily do their job.”

“Unbelievable! I was worried about this because our priest is contracted as well. It is bad enough to be furloughed but to not have a Mass to attend, is a real downer,”

“Just one example, a couple is getting married tomorrow at a large Air Force Base that is staffed by a Contract priest. That priest did all of their marriage prep, and has gotten to know the couple very well over the past few months. But with the shutdown, he cannot perform their wedding. Instead of the priest that the couple has come to know and love, an active duty priest has to be sent in to perform the wedding of two people who are strangers to him and he to them.”

” Is anyone up there going to start a protest?! A rosary ?!?!? A nice Catholic riot maybe?! PLEEEAAASSEEE?! SOMEONE?! ANYONE?! Any real Carholics out there?!!!!???!”

This is outrageous. It is a violation of the First Amendment. It is a prohibition of the free exercise of religion to order priests under penalty of arrest that they cannot volunteer their time to offer Mass to the faithful on base. This cannot be allowed to stand.

CatholicVote has a couple updates on this unconscionable situation.  Our government is indeed out of control. 

 

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Did you know that the Pope had made a “surprising change”, even a “Radical Change” on gays and abortion?  According to Newsmax he did.poperadical That’s not how The New York Times characterized his words.  According to the Times, “Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control”.  The Detroit Free Press carried that meme: “The pope, in a published interview, said the Catholic church had become ‘obsessed’ with gay marriage, contraception and abortion “.  Fox 31 reports that “Pope Francis said the church has the right to express its opinions but not to ‘interfere spiritually’ in the lives of gays and lesbians,”

Did you get that?  Don’t miss that point.  The Church is obsessed with gays and needs to lighten up.  It can “express its opinions”, but it has to stop “interfering” with them “spiritually”.  Because of course that is all the Church has been doing.  It hasn’t had anything to say about people engaging in anal and oral sex acts with others of the same sex and demanding that the rest of society endorse such acts as fertile and possibly procreative by calling such relationships marriages.  No, it has been “interfering” with their spirituality, though how the Church has been doing that remains unclear.  Has the Church been lecturing them all this time about their unacceptably gay way that they pray the rosary, make the sign of the cross, take the Eucharist on the hand rather than on the tongue, and so on?  I haven’t seen anything like that, but apparently, somehow, the Church needs to refrain from “interfering” with people’s spirituality.  Somehow spirituality is now None of the Church’s Business.  It can just “express opinions”  Ok?  Are we clear now? Good, let’s go on.  Apparently, the pope believes that the Church’s moral teaching about refraining from murdering unborn infants and tearing them out of the womb in tiny bloody pieces as well as those doctrines reserving morally approved sexual intercourse for marriage and reserving marriage for potentially procreative pairs, i.e., men and women, is a bunch of “small-minded rules” that the Church must “shake off”.  At least that’s how it was reported at abc.net.

Back to Newmax.  What, according to Newsmax, does the Pope think will happen to the Church if it does not “find the new balance” between not offending anyone ever by telling them the hard truths they might need to hear and, well, not offending anyone ever by telling them the hard truths they might need to hear?  According to Newsmax, the “Pope Warns Church Must Find Balance or Fall ‘Like House of Cards'”. If the Church doesn’t stop offending gays by telling them that two individuals of the same sex are by nature unable to make a baby together and thus their sexual union cannot be blessed as a marriage, then the Church will “fall like a house of cards”.

In an [sic] remarkable change from his predecessor Benedict, who said homosexuality was an intrinsic disorder, Francis said that when homosexuals told him they were always condemned by the Church and felt “socially wounded”, he told them “the Church does not want to do this”.

So that is a “remarkable” change, according to Newsmax (is that the same as a “surprising” one or a “radical” one, I wonder?).  Because of course that is what Benedict did, in fact, “want” to do and “want” the Church to “want” to do, right?  Wound gays “socially”?  Of course!   And now, big big change, there is a new pope and now the Church no longer WANTS to wound homosexuals socially (whatever that means).

So what happened this morning when I was faced with these headlines?  Did I quiver in fear that the pope might have become a heretic and thus we might have a heretic pope?  Hardly.  My wife Teresa and I are both far too savvy to be taken in by this garbage.  This is how I  found out about these stories: my wife was at the computer, checking her email and reading the latest headlines.  She announced, “Newsmax has really gotten what the pope said wrong.”  My response was along the lines of “What else is new?”  It’s not just Newsmax.  Every single time any pope opens his mouth to give an interview to anyone in the media about anything whatsoever, everyone in the media carries it and they all get it dead wrong.  They never distort anyone so egregiously and so consistently as they do to a sitting pope, and it is not just the secular media.  Much of the Catholic media, too!   His Holiness gave this latest interview to America, a Catholic publication, and they carried every word of it, making it easy to look at his words in context and confirm that, yes, for the hundredth time, they all got it 180 degrees wrong.  That’s because people in the media no longer simply report the news.  They make it. They no longer consider themselves reporters in the literal sense.  They are now social engineers, molding public opinion toward favored political ends.  They do not want to report what the pope is saying, they want to make the pope say what they want him to say, and they will cherry pick quotes of words and small phrases and use them very differently than the pope did.  They always do this.

Time for the Reality Check.

Q: Did the Pope change the Church’s teaching that abortion, homosexual sex acts, and so-called gay marriage are to be condemned as sins?

A: NO.   The Church’s teaching remains the same.  Sin is sin.  When the pope was asked about homosexuality, he changed the subject from the sin to the sinner, emphasizing that it is wrong to condemn the person.  Big difference.

Q: Did the Pope say that the Church has been interfering with the spiritual lives of gays and lesbians and needs to stop doing that?

A;  No no no no no no!

Here is what the pope actually said, verbatim:

In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.

This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastor’s proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.

.

Note that when the pope refrained from condemning the “homosexual person of good will” he was, as he said, merely quoting the Catechism.  That is the very same Catechism that Benedict was quoting when he said that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.

Here is the relevant passage from the Catechism:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

What does this mean?  It means that when Pope Francis refers to the sincere homosexual of good will searching for God, the one His Holiness does not feel qualified to condemn, he is referring to a man who is seeking, in the teeth of his homosexual tendencies which are for him, “a trial” and the cross he has to bear, living out, to the best of his ability and with the grace of God, a vocation of chastity.   That means he is not, as rule, actively seeking, but rather doing his best to avoid, engaging homosexual acts which are by their very nature disordered.   But you won’t hear that from the media, will you?  Ever?

Let’s go through what His Holiness said line by line, because I think that nothing less than that will suffice to overcome the distortions of his meaning.

“In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says.”

I just dealt with that above.  No radical change here.  No change whatsoever, remarkable or otherwise, from Benedict.

“Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”

Religion?  I thought he was talking about the Church, right?  That’s what the media said!  Well, now you know different.  He was talking about religion in general.

But he was saying that religion should stop interfering, right?   NO, and if by “interfering” you mean, telling sinners that they are sinning, that he affirmed as a right of religion.  No, the “interference” he was talking about he declared, not undesirable but impossible.  It  simply does not happen because it is metaphysically impossible.  Man’s nature makes it impossible.  Man is free.  Therefore he cannot be interfered with in that way.  Not should not.  CAN NOT.   What Pope Francis said had nothing whatsoever to do with what the Church should and shouldn’t say about gays or abortion or anything else, and when the Church expresses Her teachings in this regard, that is NOT interference.  EVER.   Not according to Pope Francis, anyway.

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: “‘

In other words, he did what Our Lord often did: change the subject of the question.  Get to the heart of the matter that the questioner is really talking about.  The heart of the matter is that while same sex acts are sinful, homosexuals are persons, children of God, not to be condemned or shunned by the Church or society in general.

“Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.”

There.  God loves gays.  God loves child molesters, within and outside the clergy.   God loves murderers, rapists, thieves, whores and degenerate gamblers.  God loves ordinary hard working people who don’t bother reading the news.  God loves exasperated Catholic bloggers.  God loves misquoted Bishops of Rome.  All of the above are sinners.  God love sinners.  That doesn’t mean sin is OK.  If the Church condemns an act as a sin, that is not done with the intention of hurting sinners, but helping them.  Get that.  Grow up.

“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

There.  When he said that the Church “cannot” insist only in issues related to abortion gay marriage and contraception, he was NOT saying that the Church DOES THIS AND NEEDS TO STOP!  He was saying that the Church does not do this because it CAN’T!   He was saying that in the real world, where the rubber meets the road, when a sinner goes to confession, many sins can be intertwined into one sinful life, and thus they cannot be adequately dealt with in isolation.  There are not isolated in the lives of the sinners involved, so they have to be dealt with in the context of an actual human being’s sinful life, not just in the abstract as politically charged individual issues.

But try to find the media reports with the headline, “Pope recommends that gays and women who have had abortion go to confession”.  Go ahead.  I dare you.

“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent.”  True.  And it is liberals in the Church who consistently get that wrong, conflating abortion with capital punishment (which is not an intrinsic evil) and with the social doctrine of the Church such as the preferential option for the poor (before over-emphasizing the latter and forgetting about the former entirely).

The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.

The “moral edifice” not the Church itself, is in danger.  I agree.   A great deal of danger, but not from people who insist that the Church’s teaching on these matters will never change.  The danger is from the media, with its single-minded obsession with these matters, and the Church must not let the media set the tone.

The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

“I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastor’s proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”

If the opposite is prevailing, it is not from the Church.   If anything, priests are far too timid to focus ENOUGH on these issues, let alone obsess on them.  Again, the danger is from outside the Church, the barbarians at the gates, if they are allowed to set the term of the discussion.

Q: What about when the Pope called the Church’s teaching about abortion, contraception and gays “small-minded”?

A: He did not

Again, here is the relevant passage that is being savagely misquoted:

““The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds.”

Where is the mention of abortion?  Birth control?  Homosexuality?   It is not there.  So why do they think that he was referring to those teachings as “small-minded rules”?  Because that is what the media thinks, and, for them, that is more important than what Francis actually thinks.

But try to find the media headline that says, “Francis warns priests not to be ‘too lax’ and not to say that ‘This is not a sin'”, as this is just as bad as being ‘too rigorist'”.   Go ahead.  I dare you.   And if they have to relate everything he says to abortion and gays, why could’t he be talking about those sins when he warned against priests being too lax to call sins sinful?

And what was the real money line that everyone missed?  In this annoyed bloggers less than fully humble opinion, it was the folliowing sentence:  “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

The Church’s teachings are clear.  Francis is a son of the Church.  He affirms them.  He has not changed them.  He does not want to change them.  He WILL NOT EVER CHANGE THEM!  But we don’t have to talk about them all the time!  Who is Francis saying this to?  THE MEDIA!  It is the media, not the Church, that is OBSESSED with these issues!!  Every single time a pope is interviewed he is asked about them.  Every time!  That’s an obsession.  Every time the idiotic talking heads in the media talk about the pope, and every time they bring up what we can expect from future popes, they talk about these issues.  Every time!  EVERY DAMNED TIME!   And they are so demented, so barking mad, that they think that the Church will change these teachings, all that needs to happen is the next pope has to come out and say that abortion is fine, anal sex between two men and oral sex between two  women is honky dory and we can all relax and just celebrate such relationships as socially approved marriages as long as everyone is having a great time (except the unborn babies being slaughtered, but, hey, there is no need to count them — they don’t vote or contribute to political parties and or candidates).

And it is here that I, also a loyal son of the Church and a loyal subject of His Holiness, publically express my regret that he gives such interviews.  It strikes me as inexcusably naive for him to talk the way he does when he gives such interviews, and the same was true of his immediate predecessor.  Even when he is sitting across from a sincere person and not a shark, the Pope needs to realize that the sharks are listening.  The sharks are watching.  The sharks are circling, and no matter which way he swims they will close in for the bite.  When they do, it is the Church that bleeds.

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Here is a great little bio on St. Faustina and Divine Mercy Sunday

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

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