Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.
Showing posts with label Benedict XVI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Benedict XVI. Show all posts

The Anchoress on the Pope and the Accusations

One of the most intelligent, least bombastic people writing on the internet these days is the Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, who writes for First ThingsRead her excerpts and comments on the Holy Father and the latest round of unsubstantiated claims against him.

WSJ Points Out Problems in NYT's Reporting of Fr. Murphy and Cardinal Ratzinger

Laurie Goodman of the NYT either deliberately or through incompetence bungled her story about how Cardinal Ratzinger supposedly exonerated Fr. Murphy of Wisconsin while he stood before an ecclesiastical criminal tribunal for sexually abusing hundreds of children.

If she had so libeled anybody else, right now, she and the NYT would be getting sued for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.  Read the WSJ piece here.

If You Are Feeling Weighed Down

If you are Catholic, and trying to do it (i.e., be Catholic) well, and are paying attention, you probably feeling a little down about all the stuff going on right now.  I know I am.  I don't have anything really articulate to write.  The thing feels to me like a very dense storm cloud, fiercer than normal anti-Church nonsense.  It's very incongruous with the weather being so fine outside my window.  The cross is not ours to bear alone, though.  Please do not give up looking to Jesus, looking to heaven for help.

There should be some consolation in this: that our blessed Lord told us that we would be persecuted (Jn 15:20).  Now, don't get me wrong.  Getting called on sin - that's not persecution, it's a public service that we apparently need.  Being gleefully, ferociously stalked by self-appointed "watchdogs" who completely neglect their own house and who bay and howl for the House of God to be torn down to its foundations, head first - that is a little bit closer to what is meant by persecution.  At least, it gives us a watered-down taste of what our brothers and sisters in other countries face every day on a much more violent scale.  We should allow this animosity provoke us to prayer for our enemies and for our brethren whom they treat worse.
We should also take comfort in this prophecy of St. Peter, the first pope, who himself came against fierce opposition:
For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Pt 4:17)
If you find yourself fazed or perturbed, please remember these words of Teresa of Avila:
Let nothing perturb you,
nothing frighten you.
All things pass.
God does not change.
Patience achieves everything.
Whoever has God
lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.
 It's going to be OK.  Hold fast, pray, enter into the Triduum with your whole heart.  Remember Jesus.

The Brouhaha Over The Pope

I might be the last to have heard about these events, but it has lately come to my attention that the Holy Father is himself being accused of aiding and abetting child molestation, specifically by ordering the abandonment of the church criminal trial of a vicious child molesting priest in Wisconsin.  The New York Times' Laurie Goodstein "broke" the story, which in reality turns out to be little more than a well-orchestrated hoax, as Fr. Raymond J. DeSouza shows.  In fact, not only do the documents cited by Ms. Goodstein as evidence flatly contradict her assertions, but neither she nor any of the other papers or blogs to carry the story have ever contacted Fr. Thomas Brundage, ecclesiastical judge in the original case that was supposedly thrown out by then-Cardinal Ratzinger.  As the Anchoress points out, this sham is just the next in a string of annual hoaxes, fabrications, and exaggerations that by pure happenstance all come at Eastertide.

Sincere, devoted Catholics are more sickened than anyone else by the horrorific revelations of diabolical priestly sin and of the horrendous abdication of episcopal responsibility that have wracked the Church these last ten and twenty years.  But that's not what these fabricated accusations are about.  Nor are the legitimate stories, for the most part, being so vigorously reported because of a hunger and thirst for justice on the part of the media.  This brouhaha is about ideology.  That's why other organizations, a number of which are far more deeply saturated in this wickedness, are left unscathed by the media; it's why the media won't hesitate to run journalistic garbage as news.  Ideology?  Yes.  Sexual ideology - specifically, birth control, fornication, homosexuality, women's ordination, and so on.

We must pray for our Holy Father.  He has recently asked for prayers that he will not flee from ravening wolves who want only to shipwreck the Church.  This opportunity is one we must not miss to band together with each other and Christ, and to walk with this cross on our shoulder, together, to Calvary.

An Unlikely Alliance to Overthrow the West: More Signs of the Times has two pieces that struck me.

The first piece reports on comments made by Harry Knox, who serves on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In the National Prayer Hour during which the accompanying video is recorded, Knox calls evil (in this case, the distribution of contraception) good, and good (Pope Benedict XVI) evil (for opposing the distribution of those sinful little population control devices) (Isaiah 5:20).  Notably, this event is the American Prayer Hour, not intended to call upon God Almight for his help with some issue or another, but to affirm on their own "inclusive values" and to call on Uganda to stop being mean by doing things like outlawing sodomy.  The Pope's reason - aside from the religious - for disapproving of the use of contraception to fight the spread of HIV is that is just doesn't work.  Even though Pope Benedict XVI has, on this issue, the backing of findings of
researchers at notoriously flim-flam, conservative institutions like Harvard, Knox reasserts his claim that the Pope and the Church are hurting poor people in the name of Jesus.  Knox, unlike the Church, cares very much for (heterosexual and juvenile) HIV patients in Africa and Asia.  He does all sorts of things to help them, like run orphanages for HIV-infected children, has cooperated with all sorts of federal programs to prevent the spread of AIDS at home and abroad, has been conducting vigorous propaganda campaigns in Africa against risky behavior, and provide about 25% of the world's AIDS patients with their primary care.

Oh, wait.  My mistake.  It's the Catholic Church that does those things for AIDS patients.

The second piece reports on a Dutch legislator being prosecuted for "discrimination and incitement to hatred" for claiming that the Koran has been linked to extremist violence.  I know what you're thinking: what an outlandish claim.  I know.  Aside from the backwardness of prohibiting free speech, the Dutch prosecutor doesn't seem to think that the actual truth of the statements made should be relevant to their prosecution.  The whole bit makes me think of the final book in C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, in which some treacherous Narnians sell their people out to a foreign, despotic people from southern deserts, in the hope of personal gain.  The Dutch legislator being prosecuted has asked to call for his defense Mohammed Bouyeri, a "Dutchman" of Moroccan extraction convicted of shooting and stabbing to death Theo Van Gogh for making a documentary that claimed unpleasant things about Islam.  Bouyeri stuck a note to van Gogh's chest using the knife with which he murdered the filmmaker.  In the note, he also threatened to murder Dutch legislator Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a nationalized Somali woman who uses her new Dutch nationality and legislative voice to campaign against the abuse of women in peaceful Islamic countries like Iran and her native Somalia.  Surprisingly, the Dutch prosecutor and judges in the case is nervous about calling Bouyeri to the stand.

I am concluding that the powers that be hate Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church, and the West they built up so much that any enemy of His will suffice as an ally.  It does not matter to them what lies they tell or whom they invite to come be their new caliph.  This whole democracy thing is passe, anyway, right?  Time to progress to something better.

A Message from the Pope

"Dear friends, we have reached the end of this year and stand at the threshold of the New Year. My wish is that the friendship of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, will accompany you each day of this new year. May friendship with Christ be our light and guide, helping us to to be people of peace, of his peace. Happy New Year to all!"

The Popes' Guardian Angel

A friend of mine just made me aware of the existence and life of Camillo Cibin, papal bodyguard extraordinaire.  The man is pretty amazing.  Here is a link to the London Telegraph's biography of the man called the "Pope's Guardian Angel," because of his role in catching one would-be assassin and in thwarting a much less well known assassination attempt that happened one year later to the day.

Mr. Cibin died on October 25, at the age of 84, four years after retiring from 59 (!) years of personal, physical service as papal bodyguard.  Far from being funny, into his late seventies the man - quick, burly, and strong - was known to toss people back over the barricades they had leapt in order to get closer to the Pope.  The article is short, easy read about this man who was chief of security at the Second Vatican Council and personal bodyguard to at least three popes.

Wer Glaubt

"He who believes is never alone,"
Pope Benedict XVI, Regensburg, Sept. 12, 2006
Click the pic to read the story.