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Why are we suffering again with this “he said” and “he did not say” business? Did no one learn a lesson from the earlier confused ramblings of this aging atheist who interviewed the Pope soon after the election? Does no one keep reliable transcripts or recordings? I had hoped the Vatican would learn now that the left-leaning publications are not to be trusted. They want scandal and will spin anything if it gets what they want, in other words, a diminished Church and lots of publicity and sales. I can appreciate that the Pope would call sexual abuse “leprosy in our house.” That is not surprising. But did he really say there were abusers among the cardinals? I really doubt it. They would have been expunged by now. It would signify the worse possible self-recrimination. Already the Vatican is saying the statement was inaccurate. In other words, the newspaper La Repubblica is LYING! Let us call it what it is. This being the case, why should we regard any of the rest as a reliable interview with Pope Francis?

Of course the damage does not end there. The paper’s founder Eugenio Scalfari offers the article as a “reconstruction” of his one-hour conversation with the Pope. This is the day of digital recording; why must we suffer inaccurate and controversial reconstructions? The Pope is quoted as saying, “Many of my collaborators who fight with me (against pedophilia) reassure me with reliable statistics that say that the level of pedophilia in the Church is about two percent. This data should hearten me but I tell you that it does not hearten me at all. In fact, I think that it is very grave.” The world press grabbed this statement and headlines blasted across the globe that two percent of priests were pedophiles or child molesters! While he probably meant throughout the whole Church, not just the ministries, what is the basis for such an assessment? Is it the statistical average in the world population, Catholic or not? I do not recall any polling or phone calls asking about orientation or perversions. Are these just made-up numbers? Again, if we knew for sure we had potential child molesters in the ranks of the priests, why have they not been removed? Are we just guessing that they might be there given past misconduct?

People are doing the math. As of 2012, if there are some 414,000 priests then at 2%, how many pedophiles does that make? The answer is 8,280! I do not believe it. I think the figures are mere conjecture. Seminary formation would have prevented many such men from being ordained. Others have already been ousted. I would contend that most priests today are no threat to children or other people at risk.

Again the Vatican issued a warning statement that Scalfari has a habit of reconstructing interviews from memory, not recording or taking notes. Why he is one of Italy’s best known Italian journalists is beyond me. It seems to me that he is highly unreliable. The Vatican is telling us that the newspaper is seeking to “manipulate naïve readers.” If that is the case, then why talk to this anti-Catholic newspaper, anyway? It makes no sense to me. These are not our friends. Indeed, it seems that both the Church and the truth are casualties to such interviews.

When recently talking to the victims of abuse, the Holy Father rightly spoke about this as a cause for weeping and how there was a real need for reparation. He compared predator priests to the evil of cults and black Masses. He vowed zero tolerance and that bishops would be held accountable for how the dealt with charges and situations. I would add that we must also be careful not to scapegoat the Church’s ministers as wicked and dangerous men. This would do a disservice to the many saints who sacrifice everything for God and his people.

SLATE: Pope Francis Interview on Pedophilia and Celibacy in the Church

WASHINGTON POST: Did Pope Francis Really Tell a 90 Year Old Atheist Journalist that 1 in 5 Priests are Pedophiles?

POST COMMENTS AT BLOGGER PRIEST.COM

Here is the HHS Compromise, be attentive because it gets complicated: “With respect to self-insured group health plans, the eligible organization would notify the third party administrator, which in turn would automatically work with a health insurance issuer to provide separate, individual health insurance policies at no cost for participants. The costs of both the health insurance issuer and third party administrator would be offset by adjustments in Federally-facilitated Exchange user fees that insurers pay.”

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Since the Archdiocese is self-insured, this would in effect mean that some of our employees would have to be insured by an outside organization, either in whole or in part. Look at all the actors in this play: (1) the Church; (2) the third party administrator; (3) an outside health insurance issuer; (4) the federal government; (5) the supplier of services; and (6) the insured person. The user fees are essentially a tax to insure that contraceptives are free and to pay the third party administrator. What happens to the viability of the self-insurance program if people opt out for the third party insurer?

In any case, I still think people are going to pay more for heart and blood-pressure medicine to make up the cost for free contraceptives. What insurance company will cover just contraception, sterilization and abortifacients without funds to shift from other medical coverage? I doubt federal fees with be sufficient. It will be exploited. Is the Church still morally culpable if we collaborate with other agents in such a scheme? Are we culpable for money given to the government to pay the insurance companies to supply people with contraceptive services?

Given the intransigence of the administration with insisting that health care include free contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilization; I cannot say that I trust the latest offer of exemption to the Church and associated religious entities. It seems to me that religious liberty is still very much threatened. Remember, this is the same administration which sought jurisdiction over ministerial assignments; no doubt supposing that if they lost one ridiculous or outrageous battle, it would make churchmen more passive about what was viewed as a lesser campaign. I think they were genuinely surprised by men like Cardinal Dolan. Suddenly Catholic bishops had teeth and could bite back.

I suspect this newest offer is to convince the bishops of a need to see the dentist. The administration still insists that the agenda of Planned Parenthood will become the official policy of government. No matter how you spin it, that means a confrontation with the Church and the Gospel of Life.

I was amazed that some critics and churchmen quickly rejoiced and sang Hallelujah when the revised policy was announced. We must not return to a posture of passivity and ineffective opposition to Big Brother and modernity. More level-headed religious leaders argue that we need to look at this offer closely. It may be a trick. It seems to me, upon closer examination, that there is no miracle break-through or adequate accommodation. The shell-game continues.

The question proposed is this: can such a policy be mandated against Church institutions with religious and moral reservations? The response of the administration seems to be that some institutions have more of a claim upon religious liberty than others. If the previous offer only preserved such liberty within the walls of the churches, this new policy will only add the porch or parking lot. Churches, individually or corporately, are protected, as are religious orders, but the rest is still up for grabs. Again, this administration has a very narrow notion of what constitutes “church.” Ministries in the area of community service are understood entirely within the matrix of secular humanism. President Obama’s religious vision is wholly a horizontal one (earth-bound) with little or nothing of the vertical or transcendent. In other words, God made us— great; but WE make the rules.”

We still have a fight on our hands because of the indiscriminate outreach of our religious charities, hospitals and schools. This element of the policy has not really changed. Okay, even if self-insured, we would not be required to pay “directly” for the contraceptive coverage; however, we still have to find other insurers to dirty their hands for us. The cooperation with evil becomes more remote but they will still be our agents.

Throughout it has saddened me that we have stressed the religious liberty of the Church as an institution but not the same rights of individual believers and citizens. There is no exemption for them and their businesses. It is bad enough that pro-life groups, EWTN, the Knights of Columbus and others might be forced to comply; however, what about the good Catholic entrepreneur who bakes donuts or fixes cars or cuts the grass. There are no exemptions at all for them. I know, some will say that they could fight and pay out hard-earned money to litigate for themselves. But this is America, our rights are supposed to be guaranteed, not entitlements for which we have to fight and beg.

I bet if it had not been for the courts, we would not have seen even these concessions. No doubt the administration wants to promote a particular public perception: a liberal government wanting to dialogue about national healthcare and a backward-thinking Church wanting to deprive couples of pills and condoms. President Obama and Kathleen Sebelius know full well that many if not most American Catholics are out of sync with Church leadership and moral teachings. As in Maryland with the proposition for same-sex marriages, they hope to exploit this advantage and show that they are the true magisterium, not the ecclesial shepherds largely abandoned by their flocks. As much as the USCCB has sought to frame this debate under the banner of religious liberty and the First Amendment, the administration has been highly effective in convincing many people that it is about reproductive choices and health. God help us!

I would not argue against the desire for the Society of St. Pius X to preserve its identity, as long as such does not include a persistent and deliberate opposition to the rest of the Church’s self-understanding.

I would also not argue against the discernment of a silent apostasy to which we must respond. However, we must not be deaf to the loud or blatant rebellion and dissent from various members, on the right and left, that afflicts the institution founded by Christ. The greatest threat to papal authority today is not a strained collegialism but an arrogant disobedience. Given their continued participation in this assault, I am not optimistic that the conditions demanded upon by the Society will pass muster with the Holy See.

Despite the negotiations, reconciliation will not come by spurning the directives of the Holy Father while not budging upon their own obstinacy toward an authentic Ecumenical Council of the Church, Vatican II. Any such forced reconciliation would damage real ecclesial unity. While they speak of “canonical normalization,” they cannot even concur with the living Church over which Code of Canon Law actually applies and is in force. Despite their profession in the “monarchial constitution” of the Church under the Pope, they feel they still need a “deliberative vote” before deciding if they will listen to him or not. Is it not peculiar that they attack collegialism in the universal Church but demand upon it for themselves, even arguing that it trumps papal demands? That is certainly not my idea of ecclesial obedience.

I am also not blind to the possible shades of Father Feeney in reference to the Church “outside of which there is no salvation nor possibility to find means leading to salvation.” They are usually very careful not to associate themselves with these extremists, despite a shared affection for traditionalism. While the Church is certainly the great mystery or sacrament of salvation where we encounter Christ, this would seem to invalidate even the more restrained strands of ecumenism. The Church has affirmed that elements of Catholicism with which the Protestants absconded like baptism and faith in Jesus Christ still have some pervading value. While the issue is more complicated with Jews, we acknowledge that Christ is the fulfillment of the one covenant that God first established with them (Cardinal Dulles and Cardinal Ratzinger, i.e. the Pope). The Church is necessary for salvation because there is no way to the Father apart from Jesus Christ. The Church is his Mystical Body. Thus, both are one and integral to salvation. The irony is that if the Society refuses reunion then they will be condemned by their own definition as outside that visible body “by which the supreme power of government . . . belongs only to the Pope, Vicar of Christ on earth.” The only possible solution they might find for this conundrum would be the sedevacantism that some of them apparently have already embraced. Declaring the Chair of Peter vacant, they can define themselves as the true Church and appoint one of their own bishops as the Pope, or in actuality as an anti-pope. Given online sermons and writings from various of their priests, my suspicions are that a number of them will join the Society of St. Pius V in this regard. I hope I am proven wrong.

Further, it is one thing to say that we oppose the abuses from the nebulous spirit of Vatican II; however, they continue to castigate the council itself. As I recall, the Holy See implied that such would be a deal-breaker. It is certainly okay and proper “to uphold the declarations and the teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church.” Vatican II must be understood or interpreted in light of the traditions and constant faith of the Church. However, instead of seeing continuity, they stress a break “in regard to all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors, and also in regard to the reforms issued from it.” While it lacks certain specificity, this statement can readily be interpreted as a general repudiation of the Church today in all her elements from the catechism to the sacraments. Is this what they meant to say?

Only one of the four traditionalist bishops of the Society of St. Pius X has shown any real interest in the overtures of Pope Benedict XVI. Bishops Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Alfonso de Galarreta and Richard Williamson threatened internal schism within the Society, warning that any agreement with the Vatican would result in surrendering the fight against worldwide apostasy. This is strong language, literally saying that contemporary Catholicism is a false religion. Indeed, when we look at a number of their priests and apologists, they slam the whole business as capitulation to “the Modernist Pope” and “the Modernist Rome.” Some of their sermons online and various writings go so far as to call counterfeit both the “Novus Ordo” priesthood and the “new” Mass. One writer claimed that since Cardinal Ratzinger was made a bishop under the new ritual that he did not share in the episcopacy and thus could not be a genuine pope. People like that will not want to “pollute” themselves with any association with the rest of us. There is a lot of wishful thinking, but after almost a half-century separation, many of them have gotten used to their independence. Slamming the rest of the Church and slurring the Holy Father, at least in sermons and in routine discourse has become second-nature. They do not seem the least bit afraid that they might be committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Even Bishop Bernard Fellay has lamented this problem. It has become a habit hard or next to impossible to break. They will not reconnect with what they see as the enemy.

Pope Benedict XVI was very kind to lift their excommunication. However, I would not be surprised if Lefebvrites should invoke its reimposition. After all, they never actually acknowledged it anyway. All it would take is the consecration of another unapproved bishop. Such would force the Church’s hand. The Society itself seems aware that their current response will not suffice for Rome. Thus, they will not be coming home any time soon. While pledging fidelity, they are not going to budge until (in their estimation) the day comes “when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.” In other words, they are saying that they are RIGHT and Rome is WRONG and that nothing will change until the post-Vatican II leadership gives in.

(Lumen Gentium) “Each and all these items which are set forth in this dogmatic Constitution have met with the approval of the Council Fathers. And We by the apostolic power given Us by Christ together with the Venerable Fathers in the Holy Spirit, approve, decree and establish it and command that what has thus been decided in the Council be promulgated for the glory of God.”–Pope Paul VI

Given in Rome at St. Peter’s on November 21, 1964.

I will now wait for hell to freeze over.

I do not think the devil will be wearing a coat any time soon.

Responding to the Pope, here is the difficult condition laid down by the Lefebvrites for reunion: “The freedom to preserve, share and teach the sound doctrine of the constant Magisterium of the Church and the unchanging truth of the divine tradition and the freedom to accuse and even to correct the promoters of the errors or the innovations of modernism, liberalism, and Vatican II and its aftermath.

Indeed, it looks like the devil is stoking the fire.

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller explains (July 20): “The purpose of dialogue is to overcome difficulties in the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, but we cannot negotiate on revealed faith, that is impossible. An Ecumenical Council, according to the Catholic faith, is always the supreme teaching authority of the Church.”

Can the Society of St. Pius X Really Be Reconciled?

Archbishop DiNoia, Ecclesia Dei and the Society of St. Pius X

SSPX recognizes papal authority, hints discussions will continue

Eternal Rome vs. the Magisterium: A Contemporary Myth

SSPX Calls Vatican Recociliation Offer ‘Clearly Unacceptable’

Society of St. Pius X vs. Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter

Lefebvrians say they can only accept doctrinal preamble on three “conditions”

Vatican’s Doctrine Chief: Pius X Society Must Accept Vatican II Teachings

Tribute concert held for Catholic who saved Jewish children

Irena Sendler was a Polish Catholic who saved some 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of Warsaw’s ghetto.  She was eventually captured and faced cruel torture.  Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008, she lost out to Al Gore for his movie on global warming.  The late Pope John Paul II was repeatedly voted down because of the Church’s stance on human sexuality and the sanctity of life.  It did not seem to matter that President Reagan, President Gorbachev, and Prime Minister Thatcher claimed that he was the chief catalyst and their partner in bringing down the Iron Curtain and a Communist Eastern Europe.  After all, President Obama, another winner, has done so much more for world peace… or has he?  Hum.  I guess the Nobel Peace Prize is officially a meaningless joke… too bad.

Improvising Illinois priest barred from pulpit

The bishop did the right thing.  However, this priest should have been disciplined a long time ago.  The earlier translation did not allow clergy to change the prayers to fit their whims.  This was abuse.  The liturgy is not our personal possession but the rite of the whole Church.  We are servants of the altar, not its master.

Vatican lauds ordination of China’s missing bishop

The Red Chinese are up to their old tricks.

Newly ordained Chinese bishop of Shanghai goes missing

We need to pray for this bishop and the Church in China and Hong Kong.

Footloose: NYC Couple Arrested for Dancing

Arrested for dancing?  How do you feel about the actions you hear of lately? For instance, the EPA is using drones to monitor farmland, NYC is banning large soda, and the U.S. government will tax you if you don’t buy health insurance – are these acts infringing upon what you consider your personal freedom?  I guess Gene Kelly singin’ and dancin’ in the rain would get him arrested today.

Olympian Becomes a Sister

Here is a great Vocations story!

Socialite Denise Rich dumps U.S. passport

She was a major fundraiser for Democrats and their causes, raking in millions.  She moved freely among and was part of the entertainment industry and liberal Hollywood crowd who think they know what is best for our country.  But I guess her own fortune meant more to her than her country.  Rather than pay her share in taxes she gave up her citizenship.  I may be a poor man but I would not take all the money in the world for my U.S. citizenship!  God bless America!

I am slowly deciphering some of the written materials left by the late Msgr. William J. Awalt. For review and comments, they are being posted at my BLOGGER PRIEST site.

http://bloggerpriest.com/category/awalt-papers/

Msgr. Awalt was the pastor of St. Ann’s Church in NW Washington , DC for just over 30 years, retiring in the year 2000. I was honored to preach at the Mass celebrating his 60th anniversary as a priest in 2007. His pastorate was marked by a deep devotion to the Eucharist and a never-ending preoccupation with preaching the Gospel and teaching the Catholic faith.

Snake-handling preacher dies from rattlesnake bite in West Virginia

He handed the snake to a parishioner and then his mother, sat down and got bitten. He died so I guess he did not really believe after all. Death is always a real possibility. I bit a snake one time, and sure enough it died. Now let all us saved folks go out and play with recluse spiders, agitated pit bulls, and murderous drugged out skinheads… while holding snakes, of course! Where’s the tasty poison?

U.S. Bishops Prepare Catholics for Civil Disobedience: ‘We May Need to Witness to the Truth by Resisting the Law’

The Church is mounting its most massive civil-religious rights campaign since the 1950’s and 60’s.

Awful woman sentenced to jail for viral racist rant

Offensive for sure, but jail time? Was it because she might have caused a riot on the subway, endangering lives (like crying fire in a crowded theater)? Or is it just a case of limiting speech that we find repugnant? I would give the devil his rights under law, knowing that such would safeguard my rights.

Teen wins right to wear ‘Jesus Is Not a Homophobe’ T-shirt to school

Does this mean that kids are also free to wear pro-life and traditional marriage shirts? I tend to doubt it.

Evangelicals respond to Catholic lawsuits: ‘We are all Catholic now’

There are so many frightening issues facing us: government incursions against religious liberty, the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions (polygamy will be next), the arming of robotic drones over American cities, the squeeze against tax-exemption for religious institutions, etc. We have to keep our heads about us but it is a dangerous time. What hurts the most is that many of those targeting our values are supposed to be Catholics. We must keep praying for the Church and our Country. Instead of hateful rhetoric, we should also pray for the President and his administration. The litigation, signature campaigns and other activism is necessary; but, I hope civility can be preserved.

Romney Pharmaceutical Chief’s Fundraiser Doesn’t Seem to Faze Pro-Lifers

Where do pro-lifers turn when both Democrats and Republicans resort to blood-money? It makes me weep.

AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC PRIEST SECRETLY MARRIED A YEAR

Given the impediment of holy orders, he may have attempted marriage but in truth he has merely excommunicated himself and endangered the soul of the woman he says he loves. He seems oblivious of the fact that he will not be celebrating Mass this Sunday and that his days as a Catholic pastor have ended forever. The discipline of the Church will not be changed by the commission of mortal sin. Indeed, if the rule of celibacy is ever changed, there will be no retroactive element for those men who broke their promises. Goodbye sir, and don’t let the church door hit you in the butt on the way out!

IRISH GOVERNMENT THREATENS SEAL OF CONFESSION

A knee-jerk answer to evil is not the answer. I was party to the removal of a priest many years ago who only suggested that he would break the seal in such cases. More than excommunicated, a priest who breaks the seal is damned. Priests would sooner be put to death before violating this sacred trust in the sacrament of penance. We all want to protect our children, but destroying the Church and the ministry of reconciliation is not the answer.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL TEACHER SUES CHURCH FOR FIRING OVER IVF

Here comes another salvo against the Church’s religious liberty! It is one thing after another… how dare you withhold communion to a Buddhist and Lesbian… how dare you not pay for abortifacients and artificial contraception… how dare you discriminate and resist same-sex marriages… how dare you oppose IVF and measures which treat a child like a commodity… how dare you expect teachers in Catholic schools to witness the values of the Catholic faith and the right to life! There is plenty of sympathy for the other side, but the rhetoric against the Church in the media and from groups that hate real Catholicism is brutal.

CROSSES BANNED IN UK WORK PLACES

The attack on religious liberty is not just an issue in the U.S., but globally. Here is a story about the UK where the wearing of a simple cross is being outlawed.

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