Saturday, December 17, 2022

'Father' Frank Pavone Laicized by the Vatican

In this blog post, I will discuss the recent news that Frank Pavone, a prominent pro-life activist and leader of Priests for Life, has been laicized by the Vatican for his controversial social media posts and disobedience to his bishop. I will also provide some references for further reading on this topic.

Who is Frank Pavone?

Frank Pavone is a former Catholic priest who has been the national director of Priests for Life, a pro-life organization, since 1993. He is also a co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which seeks to expose the harm of abortion to women and society. He has been a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump and has often used his platform to criticize the Democratic Party and its policies on abortion and other issues.

Why was he laicized?

According to a letter from the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, dated Dec. 13, 2022, Pavone was dismissed from the clerical state by the Holy See on Nov. 9, 2022, after he was found guilty in canonical proceedings of "blasphemous communications on social media" and "persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop." The letter also stated that there was "no possibility of appeal" and that Pavone was now "a lay person."

The letter did not specify what actions or posts led to Pavone's laicization, but he has been involved in several controversies over the years. For example, in 2016, he placed the body of an aborted fetus on an altar and live-streamed it on Facebook to urge people to vote for Trump. He also posted a video of himself dancing on an altar with a Trump flag and a MAGA hat. He has also made derogatory remarks about Pope Francis, President Joe Biden, and other Catholic leaders and politicians.

Pavone has claimed that he was not notified by the Vatican about his laicization and that he learned about it from Catholic News Agency, which broke the story on Dec. 17, 2022. He has also denied any wrongdoing and said that he would continue his pro-life work as a layperson.

What are the implications of his laicization?

Laicization, also known as defrocking or dismissal from the clerical state, is a severe penalty in canon law that deprives a priest of all the rights and obligations associated with his ordination. It means that he can no longer celebrate Mass, administer sacraments, wear clerical attire, or use any titles or honorifics related to his priesthood. It also means that he is no longer under the jurisdiction or protection of the Church and that he is subject to civil law as any other citizen.

Pavone's laicization has caused shock and dismay among many pro-life Catholics who admired his zeal and dedication to the cause of defending the unborn. It has also raised questions about the future of Priests for Life, which is not a Catholic organization but relies heavily on Pavone's leadership and fundraising abilities. The statement from the nuncio said that Pavone's continuing role in Priests for Life as a layperson would be up to the organization's leadership.

However, Pavone's laicization has also been welcomed by many Catholics who criticized his divisive and disrespectful behavior and saw him as a source of scandal and confusion for the faithful. They have praised the Vatican's decision as a sign of accountability and justice for Pavone's actions.

Where can I learn more?

Here are some references for further reading on this topic:

- Vatican dismisses Father Frank Pavone from priesthood | Catholic News Agency 

- Frank Pavone says Vatican didn't tell him directly he was laicized | Franciscan Media 

- What does it mean to be laicized, defrocked, or dismissed from the clerical state? | Catholic News Agency 

- Anti-abortion priest Frank Pavone defrocked for blasphemous posts | NBC News

What are your thoughts? Post your comment below on Disqus. Be sure to follow the rules so your comment can be allowed on the forum. 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Bishop Francisco Garmendia, My Pastor, Mentor and Best Friend

Bishop Francisco Garmendia: A Man of Faith and Service

Bishop Francisco Garmendia was a remarkable man who dedicated his life to serving God and his people. He was born on November 6, 1924, in Lazcano, Spain, a small town in the Basque Country. He felt a call to the priesthood at an early age and joined the Canons Regular of the Congregation of the Most Holy Saviour of the Lateran, a religious order founded by St. Augustine. He was ordained a priest on June 29, 1947, and served as a missionary in Argentina for many years.  

In 1975, he moved to New York and became a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. He was appointed as the pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in The Bronx, where he ministered to a large and diverse Hispanic community. He was also the Vicar for Spanish Pastoral Development, overseeing the pastoral care of more than one million Spanish-speaking Catholics in the archdiocese.  

On May 24, 1977, Pope Paul VI named him as the Titular Bishop of Limisa and Auxiliary Bishop of New York. He was ordained a bishop by Cardinal Terence Cooke on June 29, 1977, becoming the first Hispanic bishop in New York. He continued to serve as an auxiliary bishop until his retirement on October 30, 2001. He died on November 16, 2005, at the age of 81.   

Bishop Garmendia was a man of deep faith and devotion. He had a special love for the Eucharist, Our Lady, and the Divine Mercy. He encouraged his flock to pray and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to honor Mary as their mother and queen, and to trust in God's mercy and forgiveness. He also had a strong pro-life conviction and defended the dignity of every human life from conception to natural death. 

Bishop Garmendia was also a man of social justice and compassion. He was aware of the needs and challenges of his people, especially the poor, the immigrants, the oppressed, and the marginalized. He advocated for their rights and dignity and supported various initiatives to help them. One of his most notable achievements was co-founding The Hope Line or La Linea de la Esperanza in 1990, a non-profit organization that provides counseling, referral, food pantry, diaper distribution, SNAP benefit enrollment, virtual taxes, financial literacy workshops, and other services to the South Bronx community. The Hope Line was born out of Bishop Garmendia's response to the Happyland Fire in March 1990, which killed 87 people in an illegal social club in The Bronx. Bishop Garmendia and Mr. James P. McLaughlin, President of United Parcel Service, led an effort to establish a bilingual telephone hotline to assist the survivors and their families. The hotline soon expanded into a comprehensive community assistance program that still operates today. 

Bishop Garmendia was a holy priest and bishop who left a lasting legacy of faith and service in New York and beyond. He was a true man of God who loved God and his people with all his heart. He is now being considered for beatification and sainthood by the Catholic Church. I will remember his sense of humor, smile, humility and dignified presence. He was my pastor, my mentor, and my best friend. He is missed dearly but is with the Lord and Our Lady whom he loved so much.  May he pray for us and inspire us to follow his example of holiness and generosity.


Sources:


: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Garmendia

: https://www.bishopfranciscogarmendia.com/p/blog-page_16.html

: https://www.bishopfranciscogarmendia.com/

: http://bishopgarmendia.org/about/

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Blessed Virgin Mary in Photo of Sunset in Africa



Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been said to have appeared to many throughout the centuries. From the apostles themselves after she went to sleep, to the Fatima children, St. Juan Diego, and so on. She has appeared all throughout the world, from Lourdes Francs, Spain, even in the Bronx (see: www.ourladyoftheuniverse.com)  Many of these alleged apparitions have been confirmed by the Catholic Church to be credible and worthy to be believed but are not meant to add too or replace revelation. This is important to understand. There are some Catholics who rely on apparitions or alleged prophecies to attack the pope, bishops, and even Vatican II.  Apparitions are meant to augment the faith and not add to or replace it.  Jesus is the truth and cannot contradict Himself.  His Mother Mary was always obedient to the Lord and would never say things that contradict the revelation of God or say anything to add to it as if the revelation was incomplete.  

In Africa a photo was taken in which some are saying Our Lady is present.  If one looks carefully, one can see the image of what looks like Our Lady of Grace within the rays of the Sun.  The photo looks fascinating and captures the mind and imagination, however, we cannot know for sure if this is truly Our Lady. With today's technology and programming on computers, people can photoshop images and blend them into a natural photo in such a way that it looks authentic.  The image does look way too familiar to a large statue of Our Lady of Grace found in many parishes around the world. 

I for one am skeptical but will not deny the spiritual experience of the people. We must be careful into thinking any image is Our Lady or Our Lord. There is a psychological phenomenon called pareidolia which is when the brain looks for patterns, particularly faces in nature.  This is why humans often see faces or images in clouds and some claim to see Jesus in toast bread or trees.  Here are some of the images of the alleged apparition in Africa:






Again, we must be careful. I personally do not believe God or Mary would use created things to present themselves. They have, well, themselves!  Why would Our Lady or Our Lord need to use sun rays or anything else for an apparition when they already exist as beings with dimensions and can present themselves?  Jesus appeared to the disciples after the Resurrection as Himself and did not use sunlight or anything else.  Be it as it may, if these photos help increase the faith, then thanks be to God. However, they should not be accepted at face value.  There are many photos and videos on the internet showing giant remains which some fundamentalists try to use to prove giants existed as the Old Testament accounts. There are even photos and videos of alleged ghosts, demons, genies, and even strange creatures or aliens which people claim are real.  Again, with the technology today it can be very easy to create convincing photography and videography which can only be debunked by professionals who can spot the variations in pixels or interpolations involved.  



Source:

Blessed Virgin Mary Allegedly Spotted in Sunset of Viral Photo Taken in Africa - (churchpop.com)

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II Dead at 96

"The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon" was the messaged placed outside of Buckingham Palace. The day many dreaded but knew was inevitable came after she became extremely frail and was shown in her last photo with a very dark hand. Queen Elizabeth II, the Sovereign of Great Britain passed away at the age of 96.  

Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926 Elizabeth was born into royalty. However, she was never meant to be in line to the throne. When her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated the throne, her father King George VI acceded to the throne. Upon his death, Elizabeth became the Queen.  She did not attend school with other Britons but was instead educated at home privately.  She served in the Second World War as a mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. It was here that she met Philip Mountbatten who the former prince of Denmark and Greece. Their marriage would last 73 years. Prince Philip would pass away in 2021.  

Queen Elizabeth was a very traditional monarch. However, she knew that she had to adjust to the times. This was noticeable in her children's divorces. Despite this, Queen Elizabeth remained a visible and moral embodiment of marriage. As Queen, she was head of the Anglican denomination and attended services regularly. Her traditional ways were often met with criticism. She was seen as aloof or distant. This was made more apparent at the death of Princess Diana where it took a long time for her to respond. She later gave a televised speech on Diana's death after bring pressured by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair who reminded her of her duty to her people and her declining popularity. Many Britons wanted the monarchy abolished at the time.  

Queen Elizabeth faced many challenges throughout her reign. Most recently were the family problems with Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as well as her son Prince Andrew who was accused of sexual relations with underage women. Despite this, the Queen remained firm and held the integrity of the institution of the Monarchy.  She traveled the world on many occasions, including the United States where she loved to vacation in Kentucky. Having met 13 presidents and several popes, she gained a reputation around the world beyond Great Britain as a strong leader. Her wit and sense of humor were often masked under the pomp, circumstance and protocols royals have to follow. Nevertheless, those who knew her and met her found her to be a regular person with a big job. Her fancy outfits and "little old lady" appearance will be missed by many. Her grandson Harry hid website changed to a black screen with the words "IN LOVING MEMORY OF Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022."  Many others have piled up flowers at British embassies and locations around the globe in her honor.  

However, not everyone was a fan of her. Many in nations colonized by Great Britain accuse her of racism and continuing the colonization begun by her predecessors.  One such critic is professor Uju Anya who wished the Queen suffered in agony and excruciating pain in a tweet on Twitter which was later removed by Twitter for violating its rules.  Carnegie Mellon University has condemned the comment with a statement which read “We do not condone the offensive and objectionable messages posted by Uku Anya today on her personal social media account. Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster.” There is no word of any disciplinary action or termination by her employer for her comments. 

Queen Elizabeth was not perfect, but was a model for our times. She managed to steer her kingdom through 70 decades of change without missing a step, so to speak. Her stoic demeanor and ability to use the right words is a model for any leader in today's postmodern age where so many things change so fast. Her subjects saw her not only as a Queen but as a motherly or grandmother figure. The outpouring of mourning and prayers and media attention are testament to the love and esteem she has earned over the ages. As stated, she and her husband were a model of what a marriage can be if vows are taken seriously and the love is genuine. While she was not Catholic, she fostered strong traditional Christian values. Her critics have some valid criticism, but their relentless zeal to punish all for the sins of those long gone are not helping anything. Let him or her without sin cast the first stone. History shows every race is guilty of sins against each other.  Welcome to earth where the invasive species called humans exists and harm each other. Those who want to continue to blame Europeans or another race are just as guilty of racial genocide as those they criticize. This criticism turns into hatred. Dr. Anya is acting like a troll riding off the news wave of Queen Elizabeth II's death. Any educated person knows all races invaded, massacred, and colonized each other.  Rest in peace to a class act Queen and pity on a classless court jester showing faux concern for "her people." 

I am not a fan of the monarchy system, but respect what the British people decide to use to govern themselves. Queen Elizabeth II was a formidable woman and will be missed. She has a striking resemblance to my own grandmother and mother!  In fact, I do have British genetics in my make-up.  Long live the Queen in God's mercy.  May she rest in peace and may God truly save the Queen now that she has me the King of kings.  

We at Sacerdotus extend our condolences to the Queen's family and the British people.  We all mourn her death.  


Source: 


https://www.royal.uk/her-majesty-the-queen


https://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-62834633


https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/queen-elizabeth-ii-news-health-prince-charles


https://abcnews.go.com/International/live-updates/queen-elizabeth-health/?id=89519988


https://people.com/royals/queen-elizabeth-final-appearance-just-days-before-death-appointing-new-prime-minister-scotland/


https://archewell.com/


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/queen-mourned-globally-as-a-stabilizing-force-in-tumultuous-age/ar-AA11CkiC?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=462c35533151435191ad0b34ea0c967a


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/topic/queen%20elizabeth%20II?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=462c35533151435191ad0b34ea0c967a


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/biden-mourns-queen-elizabeth-ii-a-stateswoman-of-unmatched-dignity/ar-AA11Cfbf?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=d3a1d8e5586c41e6821a5026ddab0ab0


https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/weddings/how-queen-elizabeth-ii-defined-her-own-elegant-fashion-legacy/ar-AA11C81u?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=d3a1d8e5586c41e6821a5026ddab0ab0


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/10-things-to-know-about-queen-elizabeth-ii-s-life/ar-AA11Cetn?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=d3a1d8e5586c41e6821a5026ddab0ab0


https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/royals/the-day-queen-elizabeth-ii-sang-the-u-s-national-anthem-after-9-11/ar-AA11CMbS?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=d3a1d8e5586c41e6821a5026ddab0ab0


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/united-kingdom-enters-period-of-mourning-here-s-what-to-expect-in-the-coming-days/ar-AA11CSek?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=d3a1d8e5586c41e6821a5026ddab0ab0


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/king-charles-iii-expresses-greatest-sadness-over-mother-queen-elizabeth-ii-s-death-world-reacts/ar-AA11CabI?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=d3a1d8e5586c41e6821a5026ddab0ab0


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/university-condemns-professor-s-posts-wishing-queen-excruciating-death/ar-AA11CyOC?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=ba5d65eebdb94d81adc976f7d97145eb


https://abcnews.go.com/International/live-updates/queen-elizabeth-health/?id=89519988


https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/08/world/europe/photos-queen-elizabeth-mourning.html


https://www.cnn.com/uk/live-news/queen-elizabeth-health-concerns-intl-gbr/index.html


https://people.com/royals/queen-elizabeth-final-appearance-just-days-before-death-appointing-new-prime-minister-scotland/


Monday, September 5, 2022

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta Years Later, She Was No Fraud

 

Christopher Hitchens was wrong about Mother Teresa

In 1994, the journalist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens published a book called The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, in which he accused the Nobel Peace Prize laureate of being a fraud, a fanatic, and a friend of dictators. He claimed that she exploited the poor, neglected their medical needs, and imposed her religious views on them. He also alleged that she received millions of dollars in donations from dubious sources and used them for dubious purposes.

Hitchens' book sparked a controversy that has lasted for decades, with many critics and supporters of Mother Teresa weighing in on the debate. But how accurate and fair was Hitchens' portrayal of the "saint of the gutters"? Was he right to expose her flaws and question her motives, or did he distort the facts and slander her reputation?

In this blog post, I will argue that Hitchens was wrong about Mother Teresa, and that his book was a biased and misleading attack on one of the most compassionate and selfless human beings who ever lived. I will examine some of the main accusations that Hitchens made against Mother Teresa, and show why they are either false, exaggerated or irrelevant. I will also present some of the evidence that supports Mother Teresa's legacy as a genuine humanitarian and a faithful servant of God.

Mother Teresa did not exploit the poor

One of the most common charges that Hitchens leveled against Mother Teresa was that she exploited the poor and suffering people who came to her hospices, known as "Homes for the Dying". He claimed that she did not provide them with adequate medical care, pain relief or hygiene, but rather let them die in agony and filth, while telling them that their suffering was a gift from God and a way to salvation.

This accusation is based on a distorted and selective view of Mother Teresa's work and philosophy. First of all, it is important to understand that Mother Teresa's hospices were not hospitals or clinics, but places where people who had no one else to care for them could find shelter, comfort and dignity in their last moments. They were not meant to cure diseases or prolong life, but to offer love and respect to those who were rejected by society and abandoned by their families. As Mother Teresa herself said: "We are not here to solve all the problems of the world but to touch those whom we can with the love of Christ."

Secondly, it is not true that Mother Teresa denied or neglected the medical needs of her patients. She had a team of doctors and nurses who visited her hospices regularly and provided basic medical care, such as antibiotics, bandages, vaccinations and vitamins. She also referred some of her patients to hospitals or clinics when they needed more advanced treatment or surgery. She did not oppose modern medicine or science, but rather used them as tools to serve the poor. She even accepted an honorary degree from Harvard Medical School in 1982, where she praised the achievements of medical science and urged the students to use their skills for the benefit of humanity.

Thirdly, it is not true that Mother Teresa imposed her religious views on her patients or forced them to convert to Catholicism. She respected the faith and culture of each person she served, regardless of their religion or background. She did not baptize anyone without their consent or knowledge, as Hitchens falsely claimed. She only offered spiritual guidance and prayers to those who asked for them or expressed an interest in them. She also encouraged interfaith dialogue and cooperation among different religious groups. She once said: "There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore, it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God."

Mother Teresa did not receive money from dubious sources

Another accusation that Hitchens made against Mother Teresa was that she received millions of dollars in donations from corrupt or criminal sources, such as dictators, fraudsters, and arms dealers. He claimed that she accepted money from people like Charles Keating, Robert Maxwell, Jean-Claude Duvalier, and Enver Hoxha, without questioning their motives or morality. He also alleged that she used the money for dubious purposes, such as building convents or supporting anti-abortion campaigns, rather than helping the poor.

This accusation is based on a distorted and selective view of Mother Teresa's finances and activities. First of all, it is important to understand that Mother Teresa did not personally handle or manage the money that was donated to her organization, known as the Missionaries of Charity. She had a team of accountants and auditors who were responsible for keeping track of the funds and ensuring their proper use. She also had a board of trustees who oversaw the financial affairs of the organization and made decisions about its projects and programs.

Secondly, it is not true that Mother Teresa accepted money from anyone without checking their background or ethics. She had a policy of not accepting donations from sources that were involved in activities that contradicted her values or principles, such as violence, oppression, or injustice. She also returned or refused donations that came with strings attached or conditions that interfered with her mission or vision. She once said: "We do not accept money that has blood on it."

Thirdly, it is not true that Mother Teresa used the money for dubious purposes or wasted it on unnecessary expenses. She used the money for various humanitarian and social causes, such as building and running schools, orphanages, leprosy clinics, AIDS centers, soup kitchens, shelters, and hospices around the world. She also supported various campaigns and initiatives that promoted human dignity and rights, such as the abolition of the death penalty, the protection of refugees, and the prevention of child trafficking. She was transparent and accountable about her spending and reporting and submitted annual reports to the Vatican and other authorities.

Mother Teresa was not a friend of dictators

Another accusation that Hitchens made against Mother Teresa was that she was a friend of dictators and tyrants and that she praised or supported them in exchange for favors or recognition. He claimed that she endorsed or legitimized regimes that were responsible for atrocities, human rights violations and oppression, such as those of Albania, Haiti, Nicaragua and Guatemala. He also alleged that she ignored or dismissed the suffering and grievances of the people who lived under those regimes, and that she betrayed her own principles of peace and justice.

This accusation is based on a distorted and selective view of Mother Teresa's diplomacy and politics. First of all, it is important to understand that Mother Teresa was not a politician or a diplomat, but a humanitarian and a religious leader. She did not have any political agenda or affiliation, but rather followed her conscience and her faith. She did not seek or accept any political power or influence, but rather used her moral authority and reputation to advocate for the poor and the oppressed.

Secondly, it is not true that Mother Teresa praised or supported dictators or tyrants. She did not endorse or legitimize any regime or ideology, but rather challenged them to respect human dignity and rights. She did not ignore or dismiss the suffering and grievances of the people who lived under those regimes, but rather spoke out for them and offered them assistance. She also criticized and condemned violence and injustice wherever she saw them, regardless of who committed them or why. She once said: "We are called upon not to be successful, but to be faithful."

Thirdly, it is not true that Mother Teresa betrayed her own principles of peace and justice. She did not compromise or dilute her values or principles, but rather lived them out in her words and actions. She did not avoid or evade conflict or controversy, but rather faced them with courage and compassion. She also forgave and reconciled with those who wronged her or opposed her, regardless of their status or position. She once said: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

Conclusion

In conclusion, I have shown that Christopher Hitchens was wrong about Mother Teresa and that his book was a biased and misleading attack on one of the most compassionate and selfless human beings who ever lived. I have examined some of the main accusations that Hitchens made against Mother Teresa, and shown why they are either false, exaggerated, or irrelevant. I have also presented some of the evidence that supports Mother Teresa's legacy as a genuine humanitarian and a faithful servant of God.

Ironically, Hitchens was hired to be the devil's advocate in the cause of Mother Teresa.  His job was to show evidence of why should did not live an exemplary holy life. He failed miserably to convince the Vatican.

Mother Teresa was not a fraud, a fanatic, or a friend of dictators. She was a saint, a hero, and a friend of the poor. She is still remembered today while Hitchens is forgotten, only existing in silly memes on Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter.  


Here are some references that challenge Hitchens' allegations and defend Mother Teresa's legacy:

*Sources:*

1. [The Atheist Vs. The Saint: Why Christopher Hitchens 'Hated' Mother Teresa](https://www.christianpost.com/news/the-atheist-vs-the-saint-why-christopher

- [Mother Teresa: Beyond the Image](https://www.amazon.com/Mother-Teresa-Beyond-Image-Anniversary/dp/0385491370) by Anne Sebba. This book is a balanced and sympathetic biography of Mother Teresa that explores her motivations, challenges, and achievements.

- [Unmasking Mother Teresa's Critics](https://www.amazon.com/Unmasking-Mother-Teresas-Critics-Bill/dp/1621640407) by Bill Donohue. This book is a rebuttal of Hitchens' book The Missionary Position and other critics of Mother Teresa. It exposes the flaws and fallacies of their arguments and provides factual evidence to support her sanctity.

- [Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light](https://www.amazon.com/Mother-Teresa-Private-Writings-Calcutta/dp/0307589234) by Brian Kolodiejchuk. This book is a collection of Mother Teresa's personal letters that reveal her inner struggles, doubts, and joys. It shows her deep love for God and her desire to follow his will.

- [Mother Teresa: The Case for The Cause](https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/common-misconceptions/mother-teresa-the-case-for-the-cause.html) by Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk. This article is a summary of the process and evidence for Mother Teresa's beatification and canonization. It addresses some of the common objections and misconceptions about her life and work.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Pope Francis 'We cannot go backwards...'

Sunday Mass at St. Dominic parish in the Bronx

 Liturgy is the most important prayer of the Church.  Christ is present in the Liturgy both in the person of the priest and in the Sacramental sense. Since the onset of Traditionis Custodes, the Liturgy has come up a lot among Catholic circles. Some see the motu propio as an assault against so-called "Traditionalists" and the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite, while others applaud it as the Vatican's attempt to bring unity and restore a sound understanding of the Liturgy.  Today, Pope Francis made some interesting comments.  He said that the liturgy must be nurtured with care and never be neglected or abused.  He added, "The liturgy is Christ's work and the Church's, and as such, it is a living body."  Furthermore, he stated that the liturgy "is not a monument made of marble or bronze, it's not a museum piece. The liturgy is alive like a plant, and it must be nurtured with care" and never be "neglected or mistreated."  Moreover, he criticized those who want the Extraordinary Form to return by calling it "going backward" and stated that there is a "worldly spirit" behind this that is "disguised as tradition."

What does he mean by this? Well, let us begin with the issue.  After Vatican II, St. Paul VI introduced the Ordinary Form of the Mass which we use today. The rite is much simpler than the Extraordinary Form but is the same Mass (see: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/mass-is-the-same-8968). In other words, there are not two different Masses with the Extraordinary Form and Ordinary Form. They are both the same Mass using different formulas.  However, some did not accept this introduction and rebelled claiming modernism entered the Church and a "New World Order" sect took over. This eventually led to the pejorative term "Novus Ordo" which is erroneously applied to the Ordinary Form of the Mass in an attempt to diminish its validity as a mere innovation. The Extraordinary Form was then embellished with the terms "True Mass," "Mass of all Ages," "Traditional Mass," and "Traditional Latin Mass."  These terms attempt to pit the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms against each other. Neither of the aforementioned is used in the Catholic Church, Liturgical documents, or even by liturgists. Any educated Catholic knows that there is no "traditional" point of the rites of the Mass. It has been developing for years. In fact, the rite from 500 AD is not the same as the one from Trent and the one from Trent is not the same as the one from 1962. The true traditional Mass was the one at the Last Supper which was in Aramaic, not Greek or Latin.  By the way, Greek is an older liturgical language which defeats the claim that Latin is some special language in which the Mass must be said so as for it to be valid and sacred. Latin has no more power than English, Spanish, or any other vernacular.  Nevertheless, some insist that Latin must be used and that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is the "Traditional Mass" despite historical and liturgical documentation showing otherwise.  

The Ordinary Form is not some innovation. It is the rite closer to the one used in the Early Church if we read the Apologia by St. Justin Martyr which shows one of the earliest accounts of the Mass outside of the New Testament. There is some that claim that modernists were responsible for the changes. This is not so. We must remember that the bishops who participated in Vatican II were all trained to say the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. This is all they knew.  It would be hard-pressed to believe that these bishops woke one morning with the idea to innovate the Mass.  These men were all silk, ermine, biretta-wearing clerics who spoke Latin.  There was no agenda to change anything or make the Church Protestant. On this point, some claim that Protestant observers invited to Vatican II had input on the "Novus Ordo Mass." This is also a falsehood. These Protestant ministers were simply observers. The Council of Trent even had Protestant observers (see: session 13, chapter 8  Library : Vatican II & Ecumenism: What did the Council Really Say? | Catholic Culture). There are also absurd claims that Eucharistic prayers were written on a napkin during a dinner between clerics. All of this is just nonsense worthy of Alex Jones and his Infowars program.  Some Catholics just are lazy and do not want to research the facts. They are quick to adopt conspiracies because they are easy to process and no study is needed to vet them. 

These ideas harm the Church and the Liturgy and is why Pope Francis calls it "backwardism" which he described in these words: "is a temptation in the life of the church that leads you to worldly restorationism, disguised as liturgy and theology."  The pope condemns the impulse to go backward by stating that this is worldly, or an idea based on worldly attraction.  In other words, the Liturgy is being turned into a show or thing that we must enjoy or must serve our palates instead of the prayer that brings us to look up to Christ as the people of God.  He stated, "We need more than ever today an exalted vision of the liturgy so that it is not reduced to rambling about rubrical detail or liturgical rules." He is correct. Those who solely want the Extraordinary Form and condemn everything else have turned the rite into mere rambling and focus on externals. The rite then fails to inspire conversion and spiritual growth. It because a sort of sports theater with Yankee fans fighting Red Sox fans on who truly represents baseball.  The soul of the game is lost and becomes trivial. 

Similarly, the liturgy loses its sacredness and becomes someone's personal taste. Pope Francis stated, "The liturgy is not a worldly festivity, nor should it feel gloomy or funeral. It is filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and it celebrates the beauty and grandeur of the mystery of God, who gives himself to us."  This is important.  One of the good points those who want the return of the Extraordinary Form to return make is that the Ordinary Form is often transformed into a performance. Recently, actor Shia LaBeouf who is playing St. Padre Pio in an upcoming film stated in an interview with Bishop Barron that in the Extraordinary Form he does not feel like he is being sold a car. It is unclear what he meant by this, but he must be alluding to the attempts by some pastors into turning the Ordinary Form into a form of entertainment or human experience. No one can deny that the introduction of the Ordinary Form did not go smoothly. There is in fact a loss of the sacred in many parishes. The Ordinary Form is often disrupted with signs of peace, collections, announcements, applause, and so on.  Music is often used in the Ordinary Form which takes away from the sacred and makes it mundane. This is not to say that the music is wrong, but how it is implemented often takes on an entertainment atmosphere.  

There is a way to celebrate the Ordinary Form with dignity and sacredness, but unfortunately, not many priests know how to do this and the people have been accustomed to the pauses and disruptions. One such disruption is the sign of peace which gives no time for the Lamb of God. It is often seen that as the priest is breaking the host by saying "Lamb of God.." the people are still shaking hands, hugging each other with some even running around the aisles attempting to say hello to everyone. These things are a disaster for the Mass and Eucharist.  It is no wonder why over 70% of Catholics do not believe in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Would we be running around or shaking hands while Queen Elizabeth or the US President is before us?  Probably not, so why should we be doing this before the King of kings and Lord of lords in the Holy Eucharist?  This is why the pope is correct in stating that the Mass is not a worldly festival nor should it be gloomy or have a feel as if it were a funeral. We can see this a lot in the Extraordinary Form where the rite can often be too serious, too gloomy, and disconnected from the people.  We see the priest alone or with a server at the altar while the people sit watching as if it were a show. The priest is nearly always with a resting face like Spock of Star Trek or a Vulcan from the series. It becomes robotic.  We must assume that when Jesus had the Last Supper and said, "take and eat... take and drink.." He must have had some facial expression showing humanity and warmth inviting them to "take and eat.. take and drink."  

There must be a healthy balance of seriousness and humanity in the Liturgy. As Pope Francis said, "The liturgy must make people raise their eyes to heaven, to feel that the mystery of Christ dwells in the world and life and, at the same time, it must be a liturgy for the good of humanity, with its feet on the ground and not removed from people's lives. The liturgy should be serious (and) close to the people."  We as Catholics must work hard to bring the Liturgy to this level and the bishops must enforce it.  If not, then all is lost. The Liturgy becomes nothing more than our personal taste that sustains our palate. 


What do you think? Post in the Disqus below. Be sure to follow the rules for commentary.  







Source: https://www.ucanews.com/news/liturgy-is-a-living-body-pope-says/98624

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Dominican Principal Hating on White Teachers

New York City is the melting pot. It is a city known for its diversity. As the decades change, we see new people come in. For many years, non-Hispanic whites had control of public schools. Eventually, African Americans took the helm, and then Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and now Dominicans. 

This is of course due to the opportunities and promises of great salaries and teaching programs.  With these new changes in demographics, there is hope for new experiences and inclusivity.  Well, unfortunately, this is not always the case. The nightmare of many non-Hispanic whites has come to a reality. Some non-Hispanic whites feel they will be oppressed or pushed aside with the onset of minorities taking jobs they once held control of. 


According to reports, a Dominican principal in Washington Heights is being accused of just that. Paula Lev, the principal of the High School for Law and Public Service is being accused of discrimination against staff, particularly those who are non-Hispanic white. The faculty at the school filed a no-confidence complaint to the Board of Education regarding her and even a student started a petition complaining about the conditions of the school under her leadership. The student claims there are numerous fights at the school and behavior problems that go unaddressed by the administration.


What do you think about this story? Comment at the Disqus below this post.



Source:

Principal accused of trying to fire white staff because of their race created school of 'insanity' (msn.com)

Friday, June 24, 2022

Scotus Defends Second Amendment Overturns New York Tyrannical Law


Supreme Court Decision on New York Second Amendment Case: A Blog Post

On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark ruling on the case of **New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen**, striking down a New York state law that required applicants for a license to carry a concealed handgun in public to show "proper cause" or a special need for self-defense. The Court held that the law violated the Second Amendment, which protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

The case was brought by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA), an affiliate of the National Rifle Association, and two individuals who were denied concealed carry licenses by New York authorities despite meeting the basic requirements of age, citizenship, and lack of criminal record. They argued that the proper cause requirement was arbitrary and subjective, and that it effectively prevented law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to bear arms outside the home.

The Court agreed with the plaintiffs, ruling 6-3 that the proper cause requirement was inconsistent with the historical understanding and tradition of the Second Amendment. Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said that "the right to bear arms is not a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees". He cited historical evidence that showed that Americans have always valued the right to carry firearms for self-defense, and that most states have adopted "shall-issue" permitting systems that grant concealed carry licenses to anyone who meets objective criteria, such as passing a background check.

Thomas also rejected the arguments of New York and other "may-issue" states that have similar laws, such as Hawaii, California, and Massachusetts, that their laws were necessary to protect public safety and prevent crime. He said that there was no conclusive evidence that restricting concealed carry reduces violent crime, and that some studies have suggested the opposite effect. He also said that New York's law was not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest, as it imposed a blanket ban on most people who wished to carry a handgun for self-defense.

The majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Alito wrote a concurring opinion, in which he criticized lower courts for failing to apply the Supreme Court's previous decisions on the Second Amendment, such as **District of Columbia v. Heller** (2008) and **McDonald v. Chicago** (2010), which affirmed the individual right to possess firearms for self-defense in the home. Kavanaugh also wrote a concurring opinion, joined by Roberts, in which he expressed his agreement with Thomas's historical analysis and his hope that lower courts would follow the Court's guidance on future Second Amendment cases. Barrett wrote another concurring opinion, in which she emphasized the importance of textualism and originalism in interpreting the Constitution.

The dissenting opinion was written by Justice Stephen Breyer, and joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Breyer argued that the majority's historical approach was flawed and selective, and that it ignored the practical realities and consequences of its decision. He said that the proper cause requirement was consistent with a long history of regulating firearms in public places, and that it served a vital interest in protecting public safety and preventing gun violence. He also said that the majority's decision undermined the ability of states and localities to adopt reasonable gun regulations that suit their specific needs and circumstances.

The Supreme Court's decision in **NYSRPA v. Bruen** has been widely seen as a major victory for gun rights advocates and a significant expansion of the Court's gun jurisprudence. It has also sparked a wave of legal challenges to other federal and state gun laws, such as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, background check requirements, and red flag laws . The decision has also been criticized by some lower court judges, legal scholars, and gun control activists as unworkable, dangerous, and out of touch with reality.

Roe vs Wade Overturned by Supreme Court!

 Finally the day we pro-lifers have been waiting for and knew would come. They mocked us, told us we were on the "wrong side of history" or that we were against women, were they wrong. We won!  The Supreme Court just aborted the horrendous decision of Roe vs Wade. 

You can read the decision here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf. I will update this post as I learn more details  

# Analysis of SCOTUS decision on Roe vs Wade


On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued a historic ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that established a constitutional right to abortion in the United States. The decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito and joined by four other conservative justices, upheld a Mississippi law that banned abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape, incest or fetal anomalies. The ruling effectively ended federal protection for abortion rights and left the issue to the states, many of which have already enacted or are poised to enact laws that would severely restrict or ban abortion altogether.

In this blog post, I will analyze the main arguments and implications of the SCOTUS decision, as well as the reactions and responses from various stakeholders and groups.

## The main arguments of the SCOTUS decision

The majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the case that challenged the Mississippi law, relied on two main arguments to justify overturning Roe v. Wade and its subsequent reaffirmation in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).

The first argument was that Roe and Casey were **"egregiously wrong"** in recognizing a constitutional right to abortion based on the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects the liberty of persons from state interference. The majority claimed that this right was **"not rooted in the nation's history and tradition"** and that it had **"no basis in the Constitution's text or structure"**. The majority also criticized Roe and Casey for creating a **"balancing test"** that weighed the state's interest in protecting fetal life against the woman's interest in terminating her pregnancy at different stages of gestation. The majority argued that this test was **"unworkable"** and **"arbitrary"** and that it had led to **"confusion and uncertainty"** in lower courts and among legislators, doctors and women.

The second argument was that Roe and Casey had **"failed to produce any stable national consensus"** on abortion and that they had instead **"provoked a strong and enduring backlash"** from those who opposed abortion on moral, religious or political grounds. The majority contended that Roe and Casey had **"imposed a significant burden on society"** by generating **"relentless litigation"**, **"divisive moral debates"** and **"polarized politics"**. The majority also asserted that Roe and Casey had **"undermined democratic self-governance"** by taking away the power of the people and their elected representatives to regulate abortion according to their own values and preferences.

The majority concluded that Roe and Casey should be overruled because they were **"wrongly decided and should be discarded"** and because they had **"caused significant damage to our constitutional system"**. The majority declared that there was no constitutional right to abortion and that states were free to enact laws that protect unborn life from conception onward.

## The main implications of the SCOTUS decision

The SCOTUS decision has profound implications for the legal status of abortion, the health and rights of women, and the political landscape of the country.

The most immediate implication is that the Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy is now in effect, making it one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented the sole abortion clinic in Mississippi that challenged the law, this means that **"nearly all abortions are now illegal in Mississippi, forcing women to travel out of state — if they can afford to do so — or carry an unwanted pregnancy to term against their will."**

The broader implication is that many other states will follow suit and enact laws that ban or limit abortion access even further. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion laws and policies across the country, there are currently **24 states** that are considered **"hostile or very hostile to abortion rights"**, meaning that they have enacted multiple laws that restrict abortion access or have expressed an intention to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia


Source:


https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf


https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/24/roe-v-wade-supreme-court-justice-thomas-says-gay-rights-rulings-open-to-be-tossed.html


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/24/abortion-state-laws-criminalization-roe/


https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2022/06/24/scotus-overturn-roe-vs-wade-decision-biskupic-newsroom-vpx.cnn


https://ndncollective.org/ndn-collective-responds-to-supreme-court-overturning-roe-v-wade/


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-06-14/if-roe-v-wade-is-overturned-texas-abortion-ban-is-new-reality-for-us


https://www.npr.org/2022/06/24/1102305878/supreme-court-abortion-roe-v-wade-decision-overturn


https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/24/roe-v-wade-overturned-by-supreme-court-ending-federal-abortion-rights.html


https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/24/politics/dobbs-mississippi-supreme-court-abortion-roe-wade/index.html


https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-supreme-court-overturns-abortion-rights-landmark-2022-06-24/


https://apnews.com/article/abortion-supreme-court-decision-854f60302f21c2c35129e58cf8d8a7b0


Monday, May 2, 2022

BREAKING: Politico Reports SCOTUS Will Overturn Roe vs Wade!


Politico reports that based on a leaked draft of an opinion by the Supreme Court Justices, they are bent on reversing the nearly 50-year-old decision of Roe vs Wade. This is huge news!  

The opinion is written by Justice Alito and blasts Roe vs Wade as an erroneous decision and criticizes the claims that abortion is a constitutional right and precedent in the legal sense. 

According to Politico, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is likely to reverse the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. 

The court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is a direct violation of Roe's precedent. Many legal experts and observers believe that the conservative majority of the court will use this opportunity to overturn or severely limit Roe, effectively leaving the issue of abortion to the states. Liberals claim this would have significant implications for women's reproductive rights and healthcare access across the country.




Source: 


Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows - POLITICO

Labels

Catholic Church (759) God (406) Atheism (343) Jesus (342) Bible (310) Jesus Christ (286) Pope Francis (230) Atheist (228) Liturgy of the Word (192) Science (152) LGBT (146) Christianity (139) Pope Benedict XVI (81) Rosa Rubicondior (79) Gay (78) Abortion (75) Prayer (66) President Obama (57) Physics (53) Liturgy (52) Philosophy (52) Christian (50) Vatican (50) Blessed Virgin Mary (44) Christmas (43) New York City (41) Psychology (41) Holy Eucharist (36) Politics (34) Women (34) Biology (31) Supreme Court (30) Baseball (29) NYPD (27) Religious Freedom (27) Traditionalists (24) priests (24) Space (23) Health (22) Pope John Paul II (22) Racism (22) Evil (20) First Amendment (19) Pro Abortion (19) Protestant (19) Theology (19) Christ (18) Death (18) Apologetics (17) Astrophysics (17) Child Abuse (17) Evangelization (17) Illegal Immigrants (17) Pro Choice (17) Donald Trump (16) Police (16) Priesthood (16) Pedophilia (15) Marriage (14) Vatican II (14) Divine Mercy (12) Blog (11) Eucharist (11) Gospel (11) Autism (10) Jewish (10) Morality (10) Muslims (10) Poverty (10) September 11 (10) Easter Sunday (9) Gender Theory (9) academia (9) Human Rights (8) Pentecostals (8) Personhood (8) Sacraments (8) Big Bang Theory (7) CUNY (7) Cognitive Psychology (7) Condoms (7) David Viviano (7) Ellif_dwulfe (7) Evidence (7) Holy Trinity (7) Spiritual Life (7) Barack Obama (6) Hell (6) Hispanics (6) Humanism (6) NY Yankees (6) Babies (5) Cyber Bullying (5) Gender Dysphoria Disorder (5) Massimo Pigliucci (5) Podcast (5) Pope Pius XII (5) The Walking Dead (5) Angels (4) Donations (4) Ephebophilia (4) Pope Paul VI (4) Catholic Bloggers (3) Death penalty (3) Evangelicals (3) Pluto (3) Pope John XXIII (3) Baby Jesus (2) Dan Arel (2) Eastern Orthodox (2) Encyclical (2) Founding Fathers (2) Freeatheism (2) Oxfam (2) Penn Jillette (2) Pew Research Center (2) Plenary Indulgence (2) Cursillo (1) Dan Savage (1) Divine Providence (1) Fear The Walking Dead (1) Pentecostales (1)