Monthly Archives: October 2015

Halloween, our ancestors would hardly know you . . .

Once it was All Hallows Eve, looking to All Hallows (Saints) Day.

However, as discussed in Catholic Exchange:

In Western culture, Halloween has taken on a macabre, grotesque, and somewhat occult dimension over the last two centuries. The reasons for this are varied, but has more to do with the modern sentimentality towards a long lost paganism of imagination than any pagan religion of old.

We wouldn’t trade it for the real thing, pre-Christian and not innocent or freedom-loving at all, in case you buy Rousseau’s noble-savage ideas. (Allowing for others having bought into it more specifically, ahem.)

So long before Christ was knocked out of Christmas, the saints got the heave-ho from the vigil of All Saints. Tsk.


The benefits of freedom: three quotes

Try these on for size — the day’s offering from north of the border:

“In ancient Babylon, Sumeria, Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome . . . price controls promoted not fairness but famine. During the twentieth century, central banks were supposed to help safeguard economies, but they brought on the worst inflations and depressions. Alcohol and drug prohibition, intended to enforce moral behavior, contributed to escalating violence.”

Church as cuddler

As in this ‘graph from the up-or-down version of synodical findings about one of its two main talking points:

Not only should they not consider themselves excommunicated, but they ought to be able to live and mature as living members of the Church, experiencing her as a mother who also accompanies them, who cares for them with affection, and who encourages them on the way of life and of the Gospel.

As a mother? In whose company they will be able to live and mature? Clinging to Mama? Under her care and affection?

Come on, synodical prelates. You are our shepherds, we are the sheep, baaa. We know that. And for ages we have heard of holy mother the church. And we no longer, except among outliers, hear of the church militant.

But don’t we hear much, much more than we used to in these days of the therapeutic model of church as cuddler? Led now by pope as universal cuddler.

Bishops did not play ball, now it’s in Pope’s corner

No soap on communion for divorced, remarried. Ignored in final report, as reported by Francis X. Rocca in Wall Street Journal:.

“There’s no new recommendation” on access to the sacraments for divorced Catholics, said Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington in an interview on Sunday. “It doesn’t change the law.”

Similarly, Pope F. can ignore their report. He (desperately?) wanted a change, was going for a “new consensus.” Instead, “has thrown open a deeply divisive debate on issues that were considered closed under St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.”

Divisions and tensions over the divorce issue, and all that implies about the church’s approach to sexual morality, have only been heightened by the process.

For liberals it’s a new day, long overdue. “But conservatives are energized, have coalesced around the issue and around vocal new leaders, notably African and Eastern European bishops, even as they remain shaken by the pope’s push for a reconsideration of the church’s approach to divorce and homosexuality.”

“Shockingly shaken,” says Robert Royal, president of the conservative Faith and Reason Institute in Washington.“There’s a lot of nervousness out there that this is a long game being played, and that now these issues are on the agenda of the Catholic Church.”

Both sides want the matter settled.

Conservatives want him to make a clear reaffirmation of traditional teaching. But raised expectations of liberals and the pope’s own preferences suggest the pontiff may opt for change.

He could leave it vague, “affirming the indissolubility of marriage, but urging priests to be merciful with people in difficult marital situations—tacitly allowing bishops to act on their own. Today, many priests knowingly give Communion to divorced, remarried Catholics” — as documented in my 1994 book Bending the Rules: What American Priests Tell American Catholics.

What now?

Liberals are likely to bide their time, staking their hopes on gradual replacement of the bishops, now overwhelmingly appointees of conservative Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Liberals also may wait for more changes to the College of Cardinals to increase the odds of continuity in Pope Francis’ successor.

They might not have to wait long.

Pope Francis has appointed about a quarter of current voting-age cardinals and is expected to appoint a new batch in February, possibly including Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich, one of the more progressive members of the synod.

But you never know:

But even if Pope Francis, 78, reigns long enough to reshape church leadership, church politics are complex and unpredictable. For example, the current pontiff was elected in 2013 by a college of cardinals named entirely by John Paul and Benedict.

What was it Jesus said? The Spirit breathes where it wills? More precisely:

New American Standard Bible John 3.8:
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Out of the apparently chaotic, something good?

Pope Francis addresses Synod of Bishops at conclusion — Vatican Radio

Some quotes:

. . . without falling into a facile repetition of what is obvious or has already been said. . . .

. . . seeing these difficulties and uncertainties in the light of the Faith, carefully studying them and confronting them fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand. . . .

. . . showing the vitality of the Catholic Church, which is not afraid to stir dulled consciences or to soil her hands with lively and frank discussions about the family. . . .

. . . the Gospel continues to be a vital source of eternal newness, against all those who would “indoctrinate” it in dead stones to be hurled at others. . . .

. . . laying bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families. . . .

. . . trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to . . . transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible. . . .

. . . different opinions which were freely expressed – and at times, unfortunately, not in entirely well-meaning ways . . .

. . . what seems normal for a bishop on one continent, is considered strange and almost scandalous for a bishop from another; what is considered a violation of a right in one society is an evident and inviolable rule in another; what for some is freedom of conscience is for others simply confusion. Cultures are in fact quite diverse, and each general principle needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied. . . .

. . . inculturation as “the intimate transformation of authentic cultural values through their integration in Christianity, and the taking root of Christianity in the various human cultures”. (3) Inculturation does not weaken true values, but demonstrates their true strength and authenticity, since they adapt without changing; indeed they quietly and gradually transform the different cultures. (4) . . .

. . . without ever falling into the danger of relativism or of demonizing others, . . .

. . . the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness. This is in no way to detract from the importance of formulae, laws and divine commandments, but rather to exalt the greatness of the true God, who does not treat us according to our merits or even according to our works but solely according to the boundless generosity of his Mercy

. . . The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion . . .

. . . the word “family” has a new resonance, so much so that the word itself already evokes the richness of the family’s vocation and the significance of the labours of the Synod. . . .

Again, it’s all here, a provided by Vatican Radio.

Pope, ending synod, excoriates bishops with ‘closed hearts’ – Yahoo News

Stunning denouement, n’est-ce pas?

Another case of pity the poor preacher . . .

This time about Jesus busting up families and burning up the world in Luke 12:

“I came to spread fire on the earth. . . Do you think I came to bring peace. . . ? No, I tell you, but division instead! From now on five in one house will be divided, three against two and two against three. Father against son . . . and son against father. . . .

Same for mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, etc.

I say pity the preacher because he’s tempted — and sometimes well advised — to give this the Mrs. Grundy treatment, softening the impact of these ancient Middle Eastern (ancient? listen to the Ayatollah) constantly in-your-face, devil-take-hindmost language.

At same time, he’s supposed to be true to the message, not play it down, even when it’s dramatically, almost melodramatically, presented. Not easy.

In any case, Jesus as Prince of Peace or meek and humble of heart does take a licking as going concept, not to mention effeminate sentimentalism as in some holy cards.

Basketball coach with prostitution problem quotes Pope Francis

Quoting him to his purpose, of course, like the fellow in Shakespeare who quoted Scripture to his purpose?

Pitino, who met the pope last month on his trip to the United States, invoked Francis in his post. “The Pope on his recent visit was asked many controversial questions,” Pitino noted. “He would often answer, ‘We will let God judge.’ There can be no better advice regardless of what religion you are than his words. Let’s not try to justify, but let the Lord judge!!”

The devilish follow-up by the writer:

Nobody asked the pope whether he provided prostitutes to high school students. But journalists question whether Pitino knew of or endorsed such a scheme to entice recruits.

Oh, and that Shakespeare fellow quoting Scripture? Why, the devil, of course.

Big item here, Ryan gets key support, and while yr at it . . .

Follow News Alert’s pointing out Sun-Times’ use of “hard-line” for conservative caucus.

Oh yes, like hard-line left-liberal caucuses? NOT QUITE!!

This gun won’t kill

Read the riot act and do not worry.

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