Tag Archives: Bishops

Blowgun Blowback on the Amazon Synod

In an earlier video, CCM contributor Hank Igitur offered a startlingly effective solution to the priest shortage in the Amazon Basin.  If the hierarchy adopted his revolutionary idea,** there might not even be a need to have the Amazon Synod in the first place!

Well, as you might imagine, there has been considerable feedback on this radical idea.  In this latest video, Hank recaps some of the more interesting comments he’s received!

**The radical idea:  send missionaries.  I know!  Crazy, right?

 

A Prayer for Our Bishops

The semi-annual USCCB meeting of American bishops concluded recently.  The news from their conference could have been more encouraging, certainly.  You may be annoyed with the USCCB, bishops in general, and perhaps even your bishop in particular.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we should neglect praying for them.

Pedro de la Cruz composed the following beautiful prayer for CatholicPrayerCards.org:

Most Glorious God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we pray for our Bishop, N.

May he and all of the bishops, in union with the Holy Father, remain steadfast in defending the Catholic Church from the moral errors of our day.  Help them speak boldly against all who have tried to corrupt the Church and those who have spread the contagion of the world amongst your flock.  

Give them strength to oppose, with great vigor, the terrible abuses which have wounded and scandalized the faithful.  May our apostolic shepherds proclaim, with a unified and prophetic voice, the truth about the dignity of each human life, the sanctity of sacramental marriage, the blessing o life-giving conjugal love, and all issues that the Church has championed throughout the centuries.

Strengthen them to preach with fiery conviction against all forms of abuse, corruption, and perversion.  May they lead your Church to healing and reform through transparency and fidelity.  With unwavering courage, may they imitate Christ, and lay down their lives for their sheep.  Keep them faithful to the end, like so many holy saints and martyrs of the Church, who have shepherded the people of God with crosier in hand.

O Mary, Virgin Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, hold all bishops close to your Immaculate Heart!

Amen.  


You can order prayer cards with this prayer from CatholicPrayerCards.org.  (As you might guess, they have a wide selection of other prayer cards as well!)

Ask for Card # 357NEW  Contact them at:

orders@CatholicPrayerCards.org

1-888-244-2788

Three reasons why bishops won’t excommunicate pro-death Catholic politicians

Meme shows Archbishop Becket asking why Cuomo hasn't been excommunicated. Cardinal Dolan tells Cuomo not to worry, because he's convinced everyone that excommunication "isn't a thing" anymore.

Sorry, Your Eminence.  Despite your best efforts to downplay the scandal, excommunication very much remains “a thing!!”   It is considered a harsh remedy for the salvation of a soul in desperate danger of damnation, but it is still very much a tool which a caring shepherd can use in a situation like this.

Notwithstanding our silly little meme which opens this article, why haven’t our bishops acted to excommunicate notable (and notorious) Catholic politicians who actively support infanticide and abortion?  Here are three reasons.  You might find Reason #1 hard to take, but please consider it.

Reason #1:  “It’s not ‘pastoral.'”

“Pastoral” is one of those handy post-Vatican II buzzwords that can mean pretty much just about anything the priest, bishop, or trendy theologian using the word wants it to mean.  In its most common use, “pastoral” appears to mean “we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”  If you pair this word up with the equally-potent term “mercy,” you have a powerful incantation which permits you remain inactive, even if public figures in your diocese are actively defying Church teachings, committing egregious mortal sins, and encouraging everyone around them to do likewise.

“We must show mercy.  We must be pastoral.”  That’s number one on on our hit parade.  Upon further considerations, that really isn’t a reason, so much as it’s an excuse.

Mercy is absolutely essential to our salvation, there’s no debating that point.  What is conveniently overlooked by so many of our modern theologians, prelates, and celebrity priests is the fact that mercy as a concept is meaningless if it does not remain paired with the concept of justice.  A person who sins (that’s all of us) will be subject to the Divine Justice unless they are saved by the Divine Mercy.  Mercy manifests itself through the sacrament of Reconciliation:  you acknowledge your sins in the confessional, you show true sorrow and perform penance, and you are once more under the protection of Mercy because you’re once more in a state of sanctifying Grace.

In His earthly ministry, Jesus showed true pastoral care and mercy towards His lost sheep by living among them, sharing meals with them, and calling them to repentance.  When He was dining with publicans and sinners, he wasn’t “accompanying them on their journey.”  While he was eating with them, He wasn’t affirming their present lifestyle; he was calling them out of it.  And in his preaching, Jesus made it abundantly clear what would happen to their souls if they failed to turn away from sin; if they failed to repent and follow Him.

He reminded them of the reality of hell, and of the horrifying consequences of dying in a state of mortal sin.  He offered them a way out of this eternal damnation which they had earned, if only they repented and accepted His gift of salvation through the Cross.  Now that’s being pastoral!

That’s what excommunication does:  it points out–in no uncertain terms–the state of danger a person’s soul is in as a result of mortal sin and calls that person to repentance.  And not only the person who is the object of this public call to repentance…an excommunication serves as an exhortation for all of us to repent, confess our sins, and to avoid the types of sins which have produced this grave set of circumstances for the public figure who is the object of this harsh remedy.

Bishops and cardinals:  you want to be pastoral?  Then call your people away from sin through whatever means necessary–including excommunication–in order that they may benefit from Christ’s divine Mercy!

Reason #2:  They don’t want to upset the applecart.

These bishops have a pretty good racket going.  They’re respected (well, maybe not so much these days), they’re considered pillars of the community, and they perceive themselves as being beloved of their people.  If they’re a big-city bishop, they’re probably rubbing elbows with the rich and famous.  They’re accepted by the local glitterati, and just might be considered a major celebrity in their own right.  They’re like the unpopular kid in school who suddenly finds themselves accepted by and hanging out with all the kids in the highest rung of the social ladder…jocks, cheerleaders…heck, they might even get chosen to have a big role in Homecoming!

And, equally important, there are those financial considerations.  Dioceses and archdioceses are big money operations.  Many of them receive government money to engage in social and charitable work.  These are not insignificant sums.  Initiating a God-vs.-Caesar type of conflict by excommunicating a very powerful politician could have some very serious financial implications.

And that’s unfortunate.  The role of a bishop is first and foremost to defend his sheep and do everything they can to help them get to Heaven.  When their excellencies and eminences look into the mirror each morning, they’re supposed to see shepherd willing to lay down his life for the sake of his sheep staring back at them.  Instead, too many of these men instead see the CEO of a charitable NGO (non-governmental organization) with obligations to “the bottom line”…and that vision informs all their actions.

Yes, there are certainly going to be consequences to a public excommunication.  Reason #2 means you’re more concerned with the temporal consequences than you are with the eternal ones.

Reason #3:  Moral cowardice and/or lack of supernatural faith.

Lacking the guts to do the right thing and call a Catholic politician who is endangering their own soul (and countless souls around them) to Judgement and everlasting fire…what can that be called other than cowardice?  This ties in with Reason #2 to a great extent; something as profound as a public excommunication is going to have consequences.  If the fears of earthly retaliation (social, political, economic) are strong enough, the prelate fails to act…even if he knows in his heart he is doing the wrong thing; knows in his heart that souls are in danger but he simply can’t muster the courage to do the hard thing…the right thing.

Pray for these men.  They are like the Apostles who dearly loved Jesus, but fled in terror from Gethsemane when confronted with the specter of temporal suffering which would arise from remaining at their Savior’s side.  They love their Lord, and may yet find their backbones.  Pray for them, support them, and encourage them to do the right thing.

And the other component of reason number one is a most terrifying theory:  what if these men simply don’t believe that it matters?

Has their faith been deadened to the point where they really don’t believe in the consequences of personal sin?  What if “mercy trumps all” dominates their mind to the point where they completely disregard justice?  Have they convinced themselves that there truly is “a reasonable expectation that all people go to heaven,” and–that aside from Hitler and people who throw plastics into the ocean–nobody will merit everlasting punishment?  It almost seems as if some of them are acting that way.

Pray for these men as well.

And, by all means, pray for the souls of those who promote, procure and perform abortions, as well as for those who support or assist them.  They–along with us–are being called to accept God’s eternal Mercy, but if they reject the gift of the Cross, what happens then?  “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3)

Your Excellencies and Eminences, listen to Hank Igitur in this video.  He’ll explain it to you…

 

The Storm Continues…

Thunderstorm with lightning striking in and around Vatican.

Some new developments in the ongoing Church crisis.  The bishops are going to really have their work cut out for them when they meet in February to address the whole homosexualist abuse crisis demolishing the Catholic Church.  They’ve devoted two whole days to the synod, so CCM is sure they’ll get everything wrapped up in plenty of time to make their flights out of Rome…or not.  The news just keeps getting worse.

The links below are worth investigating:

O’Malley Drops a Dime on Dolan

This just in from ChurchMilitant.com

Cardinal Sean O’Malley has contacted the Papal Nuncio to report a case of homosexualist predatory abuse, which was allegedly covered up by New York’s Cdl. Timothy Dolan.

In a letter dated Dec. 21, O’Malley draws the nuncio’s attention to the case of Fr. Donald Timone, a priest of the archdiocese of New York, whom Dolan allowed to remain in active ministry — even calling him “remarkably tender and holy” in 2013 — after he knew of the credible allegations of sex abuse.

Read the full article here–>  Breaking: O’Malley Turns In Dolan For Abuse Coverup

There’s another bit of muck in the whole Fr. Timone mess.  According to a report by the Catholic News Agency ( catholicnewsagency.com ), the Archdiocese of New York had vouched for the disgraced priest earlier this very month!

On Dec. 4, the New York archdiocese issued a letter stating “without qualification” that Fr. Donald Timone had “never been accused of any act of sexual abuse or misconduct involving a minor.”

In fact the archdiocese first received in 2003 an allegation that the priest had sexually abused minors, and it reached settlements with alleged victims in 2017.

The archdiocesan letter was received Dec. 13 by John Paul the Great University in Escondido, California, where Timone served. According to the university, the letter was not rescinded until after university officials contacted the Archdiocese of New York, following a Dec. 20 New York Times report on the history of allegations against Timone.

Read the entire disturbing article here–>  NY archdiocese issued suitability letter for priest under abuse investigation


Other Developments in Abuse Cases

Crux ( cruxnow.com ) has published an update on several ongoing abuse cases, the most recent of which is the sentencing of PA priest Fr. John T. Sweeney for molesting a boy in the 1990’s.

Sweeney, who retired in 2016, is the first priest convicted of charges stemming from a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that focused on allegations of abuse. He was arrested in July 2017 for the incident that occurred during the 1991-92 school year at St. Margaret Mary School in Lower Burrell, about 25 miles northeast of Pittsburgh…

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of New York suspended an elderly priest who had been celebrating Mass in two states despite settlements paid for allegations of sexual abuse of teenage boys.

The Crux article provides updated information on several cases nationwide and can be found here–> Pennsylvania priest sent to prison after guilty plea in abuse case

Keep praying for Holy Mother Church.

–and–

Keep praying that the men entrusted to her leadership will finally become the men God always intended them to be.

 

 

Here’s the Gameplan for the February Bishops Meeting…

Chalkboard depicting a complex football play.

The Vatican is developed the bad habit of pre-engineering the outcomes of its synods.  There are never any surprises; the outcomes are pre-determined to a degree that would warm the hearts of any Soviet Party Congress.

It’s not really being called a synod now.  It’s billed as a meeting of the heads of the various bishops’ conferences…sort of a closed door meeting of all the power broker-type bishops.  Who knows?  We’re not sure it even matters who the cooks are; the results are going to be cooked.  That’s how they roll in this pontificate.

Based on statements from the Vatican and its most prominent cheerleaders, we can pretty much guess just what that outcome will be.  You can bet that they’re already rehearsing their end zone liturgical dance routines to celebrate the outcome.

But…just to be sure, we nabbed a copy of the Vatican playbook.  Watch the video…

How Could Our Church Leadership Let It Get This Bad?

Book cover showing the back of a Catholic Cardinal's hat while smoke swirls around it.

I’m reading Phillip Lawler’s new book, The Smoke of Satan:  How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful…And What Can be Done About It (Available at TAN Press ).  For those of us who have managed to pull our heads out of the sand and acknowledge that the Church is indeed facing a crisis of massive proportions, one of the questions we often find ourselves asking is this:  Why didn’t the Bishops and the Popes DO something?!?! 

Bishop after bishop assures us with wide-eyed breathless sincerity that “Gosh!  I had no idea that Father X or fellow Bishop Y or Cardinal Z was doing that!  I’m as shocked and disturbed as you are…” And far too often, the tangible evidence backs up their claims, no matter how implausible they seem.  Some of them, perhaps, really are clueless rubes that had no inkling that such evil was taking place under their noses or in the diocese next door.  If that’s the case, then they’re lousy leaders at the very least.  Others knew full well what was going on, and took “plausibly deniable” steps to suppress knowledge of the crimes.  Still others (Lord help us!) may have been active participants in the evil.

“See no evil.  Hear no evil…”

But there are also too many clerics and prelates who simply convinced themselves that nothing bad was actually happening.  They have been behaving like those “See no evil, hear no evil” monkeys we are all familiar with.

None of the above postulated explanations are very reassuring.  Regarding the third category of clergy, Mr. Lawler offers the following explanation in his book:

Two common human traits strengthen the tendency to avoid problems.  One is the normal desire to avoid unpleasant confrontations.  The role of a pastor is to unite, not to divide, and most priests are not aggressive personalities.  The other, closely related factor is the willingness to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  In combination, unfortunately, these two characteristics–healthy and even laudable in themselves–can produce a sort of cockeyed optimism or willful blindness, a stubborn refusal to recognize reality.  We want to see virtue in others, and sometimes we can only see if our eyes are shut tight.

Sexual Abuse, Doctrinal Dissent, and Denial–They’re all linked.

“OK,” you say, “so we have some real jerks in our parishes and dioceses.  Why didn’t the Pope do something?  Pope Francis seems weak in this regard, but what about Pope Benedict XVI or Pope Saint John Paul II?  And not just regarding criminal conduct, but what about all the heresy, disobedience, and doctrinal dissent?”  That latter part of the question is crucial.  Although it may not appear to be linked with the current lavender mafia/sex abuse crisis, believe me:  it is!

Mr. Lawler continues:

For the sovereign pontiff, pastor for the universal Church, there is another consideration that weighs against stern disciplinary measures.  The duty of the Roman pontiff is to preserve unity among the faithful.  If he cracks down on abuses–any sort of abuses–the pope, any pope, might risk dividing his flock.  If he demands that recalcitrant priests and theologians end their dissent from formal Church teaching, they may choose instead to leave the Church, bringing their followers with them.  Rather than risk schism, the pope may choose to accept an uneasy truce between Catholic factions that seem irreconcilable.  This, it seems clear, was the path chosen by John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

This tendency, this reluctance to address a problem head-on has been with us for some time, as Mr. Lawler points out:

If Church readers are prone to overlooking current problems, they are equally likely to downplay past failures.  Despite the grave losses that Catholicism has suffered during the past fifty years–the thousands who have left the Church, the families that have broken apart, the priests and religious who have forsaken their vows, the parishes and schools that have been closed–bishops remain reluctant to calculate the total damages and identify the root causes of the disaster.

In the years following Vatican II, thousands of priests walked away from their duties to begin a new life in the secular world.  When they left, there was no formal announcement.  The rumor mills buzzed, but there was no explanation of their departure.  They simply disappeared…Wouldn’t a healthier institution have been more forthright, admitting that these young priests had deserted their ministry?…for those who embraced a false optimism or willful blindness, it seems pointless to dwell on painful memories.  Far better to speak confidently about the future!

Just be glad the USCCB isn’t running the FAA.

Imagine a series of disastrous airliner crashes, one after another, and now try to imagine the Federal Aviation Administration delicately avoiding any mention of the crashes or investigations into their causes, but instead blithely opining about how much air travel safety is improving, and how bright the future for the airline industry looks!  Pretty darn absurd.

But that’s the attitude what passes for Church leadership these days is taking.

 

 

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