Bishop Barron keeps it concise

“As always, the church’s first move in regard to everybody, in regard to gay and lesbians, is to reach out and say …  ‘You are a beloved child of God,” Barron responded to reporters in Rome. “It is under that rubric that the Church does its work.”
“Now, having said that, the Church also calls people to conversion. So Jesus calls, but then he always moves people to fullness of life, and so the Church also has a set of moral demands to everybody, and it calls them to conversion,” Barron continued.
“My hesitation is that ‘inclusion’ is more of a secular term. I would use the word ‘love,’” he said.
“The Church reaches out in love, and love is ‘willing the good of the other,’ and sometimes that means calling people to a change of life.”

***Pope St.Paul VI, prophet of a church turned outwards, pray for us!


TOTB links for later





Reclaiming Halloween

Bishop Konderla of Tulsa expounds:

In contrast to popular culture's observance of Halloween, even the customary appeal to the "frightful" has a devotional meaning in the Catholic tradition. Props such as skulls and scythes have historically recalled our mortality, reminding us to be holy because we are destined for judgment. Visible symbols of death thus represent a reminder of the last things---death, judgment, Heaven, and hell. While the Gothic aspect of Halloween reminds us of Christian teaching about the resurrection of the dead, our culture often represents this in a distorted manner, for when the dead are raised they will in truth be "clothed with incorruptibility". Separated from Catholic teaching, grim or ghoulish or Gothic costumes can furthermore be mistaken as a celebration or veneration of evil or of death itself, contradicting the full and authentic meaning of Halloween. For the Christian, Christ has conquered death, as has been prophesied and fulfilled, "Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?" Christ has conquered death by his Passion, Death, and Resurrection, the Paschal Mystery whose graces are evident in the glory of all saints.

UPDATE: There's also this from Adoremus:

While the so-called “Gothic” aspect of Halloween might originally have been intended to remind us of our belief in the resurrection of the dead, the first-fruits of which have been glimpsed in Christ’s victory over death, our wayward culture has dislodged Halloween’s outward symbols of our mortality from their original source. Thus, today’s typical observance obscures the meaning of Halloween itself, or, worse, devolves once again into an essentially pagan festival.


Citizen of the Kingdom or America?

In an article titled "How the American Dream Killed Discipleship" we find this:

If we believe the values of Jesus, then we must live as he did. He values:
  • Others over himself
  • Humility over pride
  • The meaning of suffering over what comfort gains us
  • Faithfulness over success
  • Spiritual poverty over material success
  • Evangelizing others over social status
  • Serving others over being served
  • Community/relationships over power/prestige
Let us be clear, there is nothing innately wrong with having a nice house, being financially successful, having worldly power, etc. - as long as they are placed at the service of following Jesus. But let us be honest in this moment - how many of us are willing to give it all up for the sake of the Gospel? How many are willing to suffer and die for Jesus?


G.K Chesterton's "Lepanto"

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain—hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

This is only one stanza, the rest is here--

Many thanks to Crisis for bringing this to my attention.


Speak truth to power

St. Catherine of Siena in her exhortation to Pope Gregory:

You know that the devil is not cast out by the devil, but by virtue.

By the fragrance of their virtue they would help eliminate the vice and sin, the pride and filth that are rampant among the Christian people—especially among the prelates, pastors, and administrators of holy Church who have turned to eating and devouring souls, not converting them but devouring them! And it all comes from their selfish love for themselves, from which pride is born, and greed and avarice and spiritual and bodily impurity.

The Mustard Seed Church

You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them! (2 Timothy 3:1-9)

This is a very dangerous time because many souls may be lost. Many may walk away, disgusted by all that filth. That is why we have to reflect on the causes of the crisis, so we can counter that evil effectively. All the lies and half-truths taught to the faithful in this age of darkness are the result of bad Catholic formation.

The first part of the devil’s attack consisted in eliminating good catechesis. For the near future, the teaching of the true faith may have to rest with a handful of people remaining loyal to God. That is why we must be busy creating ways to develop a rapid, deep, and precise knowledge of the faith.

-from The Catholic Thing

I hope to be one of those people, every day that I teach the school children, offering them a "rapid, deep, and precise knowledge" of the truth in the few years that I have them in my care.


My life in two words:

Always there is the principle of household entropy at work, the tendency to disorder. -from Catholic Thing


The Catholic laity is far from blameless in this hour. The scandals might have been reduced long ago if the laity’s rejection of church teaching on birth control hadn’t led to collusion of mutual misuse. Many priests winked at the laity’s breaking the law against contraception and many laity tacitly returned the favor by not worrying overmuch about their priest and some of his friends.
But in this grave moment for the church, the laity knows more than it did 16 years ago. Back then I wrote, “If humility is now required of Catholics, so too is backbone. If it takes shutting down certain seminaries to protect boys of the present and future, close them now. If vocations to the priesthood should be so far reduced by stringent screening for abuse victims that American Catholics have to travel 50 miles to Mass, let them drive.” Today, a laity forged in this latest round of scandal knows all too well that there are worse things for the church than a priest shortage.

Mary Eberstadt and Janet Smith are my heroes right now. Mary is describing the Elephant in the Sacristy and there's a Rhinoceros in the Bedroom.


When the dust finally settles

3 things remain true:

- If you experience same-sex attraction, do not enter seminary*

- If anyone commits a crime, report them.

- We are all sinners.



Hitting the nail on the head

Janet Smith sums it all up:

To those who have eyes to see, it is not hard to see that the widespread embrace of contraception leads to approval of homosexuality. After all, those who accept contraception hold that respecting the procreative possibility of the sexual act is not essential to the moral performance of that action. Thus why not homosexuality and a whole host of deviant sexual actions? The sexual abuse crisis in the Church was largely a crisis of homosexual priests exploiting young men. How many others did not prey on young men, but have lived double lives? Their ways of thinking and behaving surely permeated their priesthood in many ways.
What happened with McCarrick explains a lot. Over the last 50 years those priests and laity who have tried to promote Humanae vitae and to teach methods of Natural Family Planning have regularly been astonished and demoralized by how little support they have received from bishops. For decades the family life offices were dominated by dissenters, by those who taught couples in marriage preparation that using contraception was not a sin if their consciences were not troubled.

The entire corpus of the church must be living the virtue of Chastity in order for it to be chaste. The consequences of so many couples failing to be chaste in their marriages is so many priests failing to be chaste. Why should we hold them to such a standard in their vocation when we do not hold ourselves to the same standard?

Zero-tolerance toward couples who fail in their vows? Not likely, but we should be asking where is the vociferous reaction to couples who fail to practice their vow to accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the faith.


Exposing the Herods in our Church

John was not only a martyr for the Truth. Miraculous son of the elderly priest Zechariah, he was a priestly martyr.  John stood against Herod and his crony cadre of corrupted priests who backed his violation of the truth of sexuality and marriage. Herod used his power to sin.  John’s blood exposed also priestly corruption in a way that no one could ignore.  By the way, Herod’s command to kill John, the incorruptible priest, came from his lust for a child. Salome was a “little girl” (Greek kor├ísion). -from Fr.Z


Culture of Care

Pope Francis gets to the heart of the matter. The outcry from the pews has been heard, but the answer is not what people want to hear: penance!

We must become a penitential people if we ever hope to root out sin among our priests and bishops. How can we fault them for sexual sins against their vocation when 85% of the laity contracept??

What is ending the scourge of abortion in this country is not laws. It's penitential prayer. It's people standing on the sidewalk in humble, penitential prayer outside of abortion sites. It seems strange to say that the end of abortion starts with my own sinful heart. I am not seeking nor will I ever seek to end a child's life, but my penance is what matters.

I did not perpetrate abuse on young men. I did not cover up knowledge of such abuse. But my penance is what matters. The entire community of God's People must make reparation for these sins of a few. It's the only solution that has ever worked in the history of the Church.

Repent! Pray and fast for an end to abortion. Pray and fast for an end to clerical corruption. Pray and fast for end to systemic racism. Pray and fast for an end to abuse of power. Pray and fast for an end to contraception. Pray and fast for all these sins that cry out to heaven. Pray and fast for an end to the Culture of Death. Heed the words of our Holy Father:

Consequently, the only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God.  This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge our past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within.  Without the active participation of all the Church’s members, everything being done to uproot the culture of abuse in our communities will not be successful in generating the necessary dynamics for sound and realistic change.  The penitential dimension of fasting and prayer will help us as God’s People to come before the Lord and our wounded brothers and sisters as sinners imploring forgiveness and the grace of shame and conversion.  

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