Monday, November 27, 2023

Pope Francis To Take Away Cardinal Burke's Salary & Flat

Pope Francis takes away Cardinal Burke's apartment and salary

In a surprising move, Pope Francis has decided to punish one of his most vocal critics, Cardinal Raymond Burke, by revoking his right to a subsidized Vatican apartment and salary. This is the second time this month that the pope has taken such a drastic action against an American cardinal, after he removed Cardinal Wilton Gregory from his post as archbishop of Washington and sent him to a remote diocese in Alaska.

According to various sources, Pope Francis announced his decision at a meeting of the heads of Vatican offices on Nov. 20, where he accused Burke of being a source of "disunity" in the church and of using his privileges as a retired cardinal against the church. The pope reportedly said that Burke was his "enemy" and that he would take away his apartment and salary.

Burke, a 75-year-old canon lawyer who was once the head of the Vatican's highest court, has become one of the most outspoken opponents of Pope Francis' reforms and outreach to LGBTQ+ Catholics. He has repeatedly questioned the pope's teachings on divorce, remarriage, synodality, blessings for same-sex couples, women's ordination and sacramental absolution. He has also organized and participated in conferences and events that challenge the pope's vision and authority.

Burke has defended his actions as being loyal to the church and the papacy, saying that he had a duty as a cardinal and bishop to uphold the church's doctrine and correct errors. He has also claimed that he was not acting out of personal animosity or ambition, but out of love for the truth and the salvation of souls.

However, Pope Francis apparently did not see it that way. He has decided to strip Burke of his privileges as a retired cardinal, which include living in a Vatican-owned apartment near St. Peter's Square and receiving a monthly salary from the Holy See. These privileges are usually granted to cardinals who have served the church with distinction and honor, and who continue to assist the pope with their prayers and counsel.

By taking away these privileges, Pope Francis is sending a clear message that he does not tolerate dissent or division within the church, especially from those who hold high-ranking positions. He is also showing that he is willing to use his authority to discipline those who undermine his reform project and pastoral approach.

This is not the first time that Pope Francis has clashed with Burke. In 2014, he removed him from his post as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and appointed him as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial role. In 2016, he restricted his involvement in the order after a dispute over a condom scandal. In 2020, he replaced him with another cardinal as patron of the order. And in June this year, he accepted his resignation as patron upon reaching the age limit of 75.

Burke has not received any official notification of the pope's measures against him, according to his secretary. The Vatican's spokesman did not confirm or deny the reports, but referred questions to Burke himself.

What do you think? Post your comment below on Disqus.  Be sure to follow the rules so your comment can go through.  



Sources:


- [Pope Francis reportedly takes Vatican apartment, salary from Cardinal Burke | Catholic News Agency](https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256120/pope-francis-reportedly-takes-apartment-salary-from-cardinal-burke)

- [Pope Francis punishes Cardinal Burke, revokes Vatican apartment and salary | America Magazine](https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2023/11/28/pope-francis-cardinal-burke-punish-246596)

- [Pope planning to withdraw Cardinal Burke's Vatican salary, sources say ...](https://www.franciscanmedia.org/news-commentary/pope-planning-to-withdraw-cardinal-burkes-vatican-salary-sources-say/)

- [Pope Francis Meets With Cardinal Burke Amid Salary, Apartment ...](https://www.ncregister.com/cna/pope-francis-meets-with-cardinal-burke-amid-salary-apartment-controversy)

- [Pope reportedly confirms he is taking away Burke’s apartment, denies ...](https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256141/pope-reportedly-confirms-he-is-taking-away-burke-s-apartment-denies-calling-him-his-enemy)

Friday, November 24, 2023

Is Jesus a Black Male?

Thanks to Martin Luther, the father of Protestantism, we now have numerous sects and denominations presenting their own takes and beliefs on Christ and Christianity.  The Catholic Church solely is linked to Jesus as her founder compiled the Bible and is the sole interpreter of Scripture. However, thanks to Luther, we now have massive confusion. One biblical verse can produce hundreds of interpretations. This distorts Scripture and invalidates Christianity.  If Jesus is the Truth and the Word of God and this Word of God manifests in Scripture, why do we have so many interpretations of the Sacred Pages?  The answer is clear: people take and interpret the Scripture privately using their schema as a bias to develop paradigms of what they believe are authentic interpretations of Scripture.  Ignorance and pride are the root.  Today we will focus on one of these absurd takes on Scripture.  

For the past few years, we have seen cults develop around the United States. One, in particular, is a group of African Americans who call themselves "Black Israelites." They claim that African Americans, Black Caribbean, Africans, and some Latinos are direct descendants of the 12 Tribes of Judea.  This group claims that ethnic Jews are not real Jews. To them, they are "white devils" who usurped the Jewish religion and oppressed so-called "people of color." They are extremely hostile and obstinate in debates believing they are right and everyone else is wrong.  These people target Christians, in particular Catholics, and claim that Catholics push the white image of Jesus on humanity and say Jesus is really black citing Revelation 1:14-15 Revelation 2:18 Daniel 10:6.   Let us take a look at this claim and see what this is all about.  

Is Jesus white or black?  

Revelation 1:14-15 and Daniel 10:6 are Apocalyptic literature which is defined by Britannica encyclopedias as "characteristically pseudonymous; it takes narrative form, employs esoteric language, expresses a pessimistic view of the present, and treats the final events as imminent."  The literature uses imagery to convey cryptic messages. The description of hair like wool, eyes like fire, and skin like furnished bronze are exactly that, imagery,. They are not meant to describe Jesus literally.  Each has a specific meaning behind the symbolic imagery.  

First of all, Jesus was of Middle Eastern origin where people are mostly olive skin-toned. They would not be black.  Second, bronze has a yellowish-to-brownish color, not black.  So clearly the author St. John was not trying to describe the racial physicality of Jesus Christ.  The word used in the original Greek text is "chalkolibanon" which can mean refined brass, golden ore, or even white shining copper.  Note that the description is only linked to Jesus' feet, nothing else. Are we to assume only Jesus' feet were dark? What about the rest of His body?  The truth is that this description is a simile for the attributes of Jesus Christ, not His racial physicality. The imagery is meant to convey Jesus' authority, His moral purity, and HIs dual nature. 

It is interesting to note that verse 16 was left out which describes Jesus' face like the Sun. The Sun looks yellow to us due to the atmosphere but it is really a white star. So we have Jesus with dark feet and a white or yellow face. Does this make any sense biologically? We also see this description in Matthew 17:2.  Again, these are symbols used to convey a deeper message showing the glorification of Jesus or the Glory of God.  What about the hair?  Revelation says Jesus' hair is LIKE wool, not that the texture was like wool.  It also says it was white LIKE snow. This does not mean it is snow.  The description here is meant to describe Jesus as the ancient one, the wise one, and so on. White hair is often culturally linked to wisdom and authority. We know this because it is borrowed from Daniel 7:9-10.  

Revelation 1:14-15 also describes Jesus as having eyes with a flame of fire and a sharp two-edged sword coming from HIs mouth. Are we to take this literally?  Does Jesus have flaming eyes like Superman when he is about to shoot lasers from his eyes? Does Jesus have a sword in His mouth like a magician or circus performer?  Again, all of this is a metaphor.  The flaming eyes mean that Jesus is all-seeing and all-knowing. Fire lights things up no matter how dark an area is.  Fire brings light which allows us to read and acquire knowledge.  Jesus is all-knowing.  The seven stars represent the seven Churches being addressed by St. John via the writing of Revelation.  The two-edged sword here is in reference to Hebrews 4:12 which speaks of the "Word of God." Jesus is the Word of God or the Logos. His word is law, so to speak. It creates, sanctifies, instructs, gives mercy, and judges. The Bible was later called the Word of God by Pope Damasus I.  Scripture does not directly describe itself as the Word of God.  

In light of exegesis, there is no way Jesus could have been an African based on the Scriptures cited by these cult members. It defies logic.  There is also no way Jesus was Caucasian or had Caucasian features like males in Europe based on Scripture.  We just are not sure.  There is a text attributed to Pontius Pilate which describes Jesus as blond with blue eyes, but this text is not canonical nor inspired Scripture. The text is a letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar describing the physical appearance of Jesus. Copies are in the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C.(See: A Letter from Pontius Pilate on JSTOR.)  According to research, some claim the letter to be a forgery.  

Again, He was of Middle Eastern origin, not African and we know that the book of Revelation uses Apocalytic writing which uses metaphors and symbols to convey messages.  Note that in Revelation 5:6 it describes Jesus as having seven eyes and seven horns. This looks demonic rather than the Jesus image we are all accustomed to. The reality is that this is metaphoric language. Jesus does not literally have seven eyes or horns. The number 7 means completion or perfection. Jesus has perfect all-seeing eyes and the seven horns convey power, so Jesus is all-powerful.  Once again, Jesus' attributes are the message behind the bronze feet, white hair, wool-like hair, flaming eyes, seven stars, seven eyes and horns, and His face like the Sun. When people cherry-pick Scripture, we get these ridiculous interpretations. I am sure there is someone out there using Revelation 5:6 to argue that Jesus is an extraterrestrial or mutant. 




The color of Jesus' skin is irrelevant. Jesus came to redeem everyone and open the doors to salvation to those who will work for it.  It is a shame that this cult is engaging in divisiveness, race-baiting, and cultural appropriation of Judaism. As stated, we do not know what color Jesus' skin was. All we can assume is that He was olive-skin-toned due to the fact of where He was born and lived.  If Jesus were Black, the Gospel writers would have made an effort to detail this because there were most likely no Africans in the region at the time.  It is like finding Black people in China or Japan. They are extremely rare. Race is a social construct. It does not exist in nature. There is no gene for it. We all have different shades of skin tones, different hair textures and physical features due to nature and evolution. Our bodies adapt to the areas we reside in for an extended period of time.  

This will be an interesting thing to ponder in regards to when humanity begins to colonize the Moon and Mars.  The differences in environment may have a huge impact on evolution and may completely alter how the human being looks as it adapts to these environments.  Anyone caught up on skin color needs to pray and do some soul-searching. They need to mature and get educated. They also need to respect Scripture and not impose on it ridiculous racist ideologies.  God has no race or color. He is pure spirit. He cannot be limited to a color or physicality.  Jesus became man and has a human male body, but we have no description of it in Scripture so all we can do is assume He looked like the people of His time and region who were mostly olive-skin toned.  

The Catholic Church has always understood this and has never taught that Jesus was white or of any color. It is irrelevant. In fact, the Catholic Church has many depictions of Jesus in a variety of human skin tones and facial features. There are even images of Jesus with braids and Native American or Asian cultural costumes.  These are all fine and awesome!  They help us connect with Jesus on a personal and cultural human level.  God became one of us in all things but sin, so it helps to see Him in an image that connects with our ethnic roots in a sense.  

Groups like "Black Israelites" are a hate group who profess racism, not faith.  They claim God hates Caucasians which contradicts the purpose of Jesus' conception, birth, death and resurrection.  The Biblical verse most circulated makes it clear that God loves the world that He sent His only begotten Son.  We read this in John 3:16. Notice that the verse does not say "God loved only Blacks or Hispanics." It says "God loved the world..." meaning everyone and everything.   









Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Michael Voris Caught in Vortex Spin


There is a huge vortex going on at Church Militant that has brought some to spin out of the organization. According to the X account of Church Militant, Michael Voris resigned as its head. Michael Voris in response released a video statement where he seems embarrassed, confused, humbled, broken, and defeated. The cocky and articulate armchair anchorman is seen in this video struggling to find words and emotional at times. Church Militant issued a statement on their X account stating a violation of a "morality clause" on the part of Voris but fell short of revealing exactly what this means. Despite claiming to be transparent, they are not telling us all the details. Voris also was mute on the reasoning but alluded to it being related to "his past." Many of us who have followed Michael Voris throughout the years know that he has been very open about struggling with homosexuality. This is most likely what led to his fall. Here is the statement from Church Militant and video statements from Voris and Christine Niles.

Church Militant is a self-professed Catholic news apostolate that began with Voris giving catechism lectures. At first, it was a popular source for Catholic information but when Voris began making claims that were strange such as endorsing a monarchy for the United States, people began to suspect it as a ploy for grifting. Eventually, Church Militant grew into St. Michael's media. Voris purchased videography studio equipment and a building that would serve as a studio. Church Militant then took a turn as a conspiratorial outlet making claims regarding political and ecclesial figures. At times, some of its content was outright defamatory and gossip. Voris who has a bachelor's degree in theology has indirectly presented himself as a theologian or expert of "true Catholicism." He was joined by Christine Nile who has also left Church Militant. She too posted a video statement where she looks disgusted and upset and claims that Voris changed over the last few years. She claims that he did not pray with the team as they are required to and his behavior changed overall. She too did not go into details as to what Voris actually did, but clearly looked upset. Judging is above our pay grade here at Sacerdotus, so we will offer none. We will pray for Michael and hope that he overcomes whatever demons are plaguing him. No one is perfect. We all have our shortcomings. This is why we should never throw stones while residing in a glass house. God love Michael Voris, may Our Lady help him and St. Michael remove the demons. 

Michael Voris seemed to have had good intentions but like many Catholics who take on a social media celebrity status, they fall from grace. The signs are typical. We saw John Corapi engage in grifting and then dying his beard and resorting to leather clothing. Some may dismiss this as a midlife crisis, but there is something much deeper. We notice Michael Voris dye his hair blonde and begin to sell books seeking monetary gain from his Catholic faith. These are the signs. Dr. Marshall Taylor is another one who has exhibited the use of his Catholic faith to earn money. As Niles stated, the lack of prayer is key. Prayer is necessary in ministry. When one sees a clergy member, religious or lay person lag on their prayer life, this is a huge sign of spiritual decay. Some are claiming that Voris was married to another male and was flirting with men at Starbucks:  The Church Militant site has not posted anything related to this scandal. 



We will update this post as we learn more on this Breaking News!

UPDATE: March 2024, Michael Voris alledgedly sent racy shirtless pictures to males at Church Militant. Church Militant is also set to shut down by the end of April 2024, see: Sacerdotus: Church Militant To Shut Down - Vortex Has Spun Its Course.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Bishop Strickland Removed by Pope Francis


As expected, Pope Francis has fired the Bishop of the Tyler Diocese, Bishop Joseph Strickland. The news still brought shock to the Catholic social media sphere. Many voiced their celebration and mockery at the situation while many more voiced concern for the bishop and the state of the Catholic Church with a few vowing to leave the Church for the Orthodox or sede vacantist offshoots from Archbishop Lefebvre. 

 Bishop Strickland has won the admiration of many Catholics who see him as an orthodox champion of the faith. His posts often consisted of devotional-themed content and content pertaining to Christ and the faith. However, he has often posted criticism of others in the Church in particular Pope Francis whom he accused of "undermining the Deposit of Faith." The Deposit of Faith is the collection of the teachings of the Catholic religion or what every Catholic must accept and believe. Bishop Strickland tweeted this using his now-defunct @BishopofTyler account back in the Spring of 2023:
The tweet brought many reactions, especially from those who consider themselves "leftist Catholics" and who often subscribe to an obedience to Pope Francis that is almost indistinguishable from Montanism at times. They literally defend,d every word of the pope and seem to think every statement becomes dogma. They accused Bishop Tyler of heresy and defiance. Calls for his resignation immediately followed calling him schismatic and disloyal to the pope. Almost immediately after the post on X (formerly known as Twitter), the Vatican ordered a visitation. A visitation is when the Vatican sends bishops to investigate. After the visitation, the information is sent back to Rome and reviewed. They then send it to the pope to decide what happens next. 

The visitation led Pope Francis to ask Bishop Strickland to resign. According to reports and a statement, Bishop Strickland refused to resign leading Pope Francis to force him out. Cardinal Dinard of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston issued this statement: 


Cardinal DiNardo's Public Statement on Bishop Joseph Strickland 
NOVEMBER 11, 2023 
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo 

In June of this year, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, directed that an Apostolic Visitation of the Diocese of Tyler should be conducted. Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden and Bishop Emeritus Gerald Kicanas of Tucson were appointed to conduct the Visitation. The Prelates conducted an exhaustive inquiry into all aspects of the governance and leadership of the Diocese of Tyler by its Ordinary, Bishop Joseph Strickland. As a result of the Visitation, the recommendation was made to the Holy Father that the continuation in office of Bishop Strickland was not feasible. 

After months of careful consideration by the Dicastery for Bishops and the Holy Father, the decision was reached that the resignation of Bishop Strickland should be requested. Having been presented with that request on November 9, 2023, Bishop Strickland declined to resign from office. Thereafter, on November 11, 2023, the Holy Father removed Bishop Strickland from the Office of Bishop of Tyler. Pending more permanent arrangements for the Diocese of Tyler, the Holy Father has, at the same time, appointed Bishop Joe Vasquez, Bishop of Austin, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tyler. Let us keep Bishop Strickland, the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Tyler, and Bishop Vasquez in our prayers. 


 Here are some of the reactions on X: As you can see, there are many points of view on this. This is dividing Catholics in a way that has not been seen recently with many calling this the last straw. What are we to make of this new current event in the Catholic Church? 

The situation with Bishop Strickland is concerning for a variety of reasons. Granted, he did make a jab at Pope Francis in a Twitter post. However, this current pope has made it a priority to be merciful and preach mercy. He has also made it a priority to "listen" as we saw with the Synod on Synodality. Yet, he removes a bishop for simply exercising his American First Amendment rights. Where is the mercy? Where is the act of listening? In Scripture, we read how Paul resisted Peter to his face (see: Galatians 2:11). 

In fact, bishops are supposed to assist the pope in running the Church. This often involves disagreements and voicing of countering views or opinions. Moreover, the office of the cardinalate was created specifically for this. How can a prelate engage in this without fearing being reprimanded or removed? Pope Francis is presenting bad optics here. There is no demonstration of mercy or the act of listening. It is either my way or the highway, so to speak. This should be of great concern to Catholics. This is not a left vs right or conservative vs progressive issue. It is about consistency and integrity. There are clergy out there who have done great evils, yet are still active. One even placed his semen in a chalice. Does it get any worse than this other than abuse of children? 

We all need to be concerned. This should be the last straw indeed. There also seems to be a veil over some Catholics who will defend any action by Pope Francis. We at Sacerdotus pledge obedience and prayers to Pope Francis, but we will criticize any statements or acts that may conflict with the faith and good optics. This does not mean we are rebelling against him or wishing to form a mutiny. We concede that Bishop Strickland did not always use his platform wisely. Some comments should have been presented to Pope Francis privately and not posted on social media. 

However, those comments do not warrant removal when compared to other clerics who have done greater evil and committed crimes, yet are promoted or allowed to work in ministry. This is a serious thing we need to take into account. If Pope Francis truly wants to convey the idea of mercy, of "meeting you where you are at," of "obtaining the smell of sheep," and of listening to the people in the spirit of synodality, then he has to do better. Let us pray for all parties involved and for stability in the Catholic Church. We are a laughingstock in the world now. 

UPDATE: November 11, 2023 
Bishop Strickland has given his first public interview since his removal on LifeSite:





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Thursday, November 9, 2023

Erasure of Puerto Ricans

Some of you may wonder when reading the title of this post why I am calling saying that there is an "Erasure of Puerto Ricans."  Well, there are many reasons why and I will try to go through them briefly in this writing.

Who Are Puerto Ricans?
Puerto Ricans are people who are either born on the island of Puerto Rico or come from parents who were born on the island.  They are mostly a mix of European, Taino Indian, African, and sometimes even Asian races.  All Puerto Ricans are natural citizens of the United States of America whether born on the island of Puerto Rico or on the mainland 50 states.    

Puerto Ricans are indeed American citizens. Being born in Puerto Rico is tantamount to being born in the United States. However, this wasn't always the case, and some ambiguity remains.
Contrary to what many people believe, the Jones Act of 1917, which Congress passed over 100 years ago, was neither the first nor last citizenship statute for Puerto Ricans. Since 1898, Congress has debated more than 100 bills containing citizenship provisions for Puerto Rico and enacted 11 overlapping citizenship laws. Over time, these laws have conferred three different types of citizenship to people born in Puerto Rico.

The United States annexed Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War of 1898. Between 1898 and 1901, U.S. academics, lawmakers, and other government officials began to invent a new tradition of territorial expansionism. This enabled them to strategically annex territories like Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for military and economic purposes without binding Congress to grant them statehood. To support this effort, they also created interpretations of the Constitution that allowed them to govern Puerto Rico and other territories annexed during the Spanish-American War.

In summary, being born in Puerto Rico grants automatic American citizenship, but historical complexities have led to ongoing debates about Puerto Rico's status as an unincorporated territory.

Puerto Ricans as "Black, White, Brown"
Puerto Ricans are hard to classify racially speaking. They come in all colors.  One can meet a Puerto Rican as white as Casper the friendly ghost with blue, hazel, or green eyes; or even a Puerto Rican as black as coal with features found among Africans born in Africa. Puerto Ricans are part of the African/Black diaspora!  Furthermore, there are Puerto Ricans who look Indian, Arab, or Asian with their particular eyes, skin tones, and bone structures.  Because of this, there can be great confusion on the part of non-Puerto Ricans who mistake them for other races. This also creates a problem on census forms where Puerto Ricans have trouble identifying with a particular race.  Scientists have recently claimed that the Puerto Rican is the "perfect human" or perfect genetic specimen. This is because of their richer genetic background with the mixtures that took place since Columbus landed on the island of Puerto Rico.  However, Puerto Ricans have always found it difficult to "fit in."  Despite some being white, non-Hispanic whites do not always accept them. The same with Puerto Ricans who are black or brown. They are often treated as a "sub-species" among those who share similar physical/racial characteristics but are not Puerto Rican or Hispanic.  However, regardless of how Puerto Ricans are treated, they have prospered immensely and have created their own way which many Latinos have followed. 

Discrimination in America and Religion
Puerto Ricans are culturally proud people who love to display their music, food, and flag publicly without shame.  They are festive and it is rare to find an anti-social Puerto Rican. Unfortunately, the history between the United States of America and Puerto Ricans has not been so tidy.  
Puerto Ricans were often mistreated by non-Puerto Ricans in mainland America.  Some in the Catholic Church even gave Puerto Ricans a hard time by making them pay a quarter to sit at Mass or were forced to attend Mass in a basement or lower church.  Because of this, many Puerto Ricans left and are part of Evangelical or Pentecostal sects.  With the onset of the internet, some have even stopped believing and have become atheists or agnostic. This has created conflict among families and identifying as Puerto Rican.  Many cultural elements in Puerto Rico have Catholic ties. Puerto Ricans who subscribe to atheism or agnosticism often have a hard time identifying as Puerto Rican because atheism and agnosticism are primarily non-Hispanic white liberal ideologies and unrelated to being Latino or Hispanic.  So in effect, these atheist and agnostic Puerto Ricans have an identity crisis and are slaves of neocolonialism with the adoptance of atheism and agnosticism.

They were originally under Spanish rule until the United States took the island over and Spain eventually gave it away completely to alleviate its debts.  It wasn't until 1917 that Puerto Ricans became official citizens in the United States of America.  In 1948, Congress broadened the citizenship to include all Puerto Ricans born in the States or the Island of Puerto Rico.  Over 75% of Puerto Ricans speak English fluently.  This allows them great flexibility in American life.  However, they are a forgotten people in America.

Puerto Ricans Treated Like Second-Class Citizens
Democrats and others who identify themselves as "liberals" or "progressives" often push for "immigrant rights" and so on. They feel that immigrants who came here illegally should be allowed to stay.  A form of amnesty is often proposed in Congress allowing them to stay with full rights and protection under US law.  We are seeing this now with the invasion of illegal migrants and how so-called sanctuary cities are now complaining about their existence in their territories.  

Naturally, many Americans oppose this because it is not fair for people to come illegally to the nation and then get a free pass to become citizens.  These critics are often the descendants of immigrants themselves who came from Europe but argue that their ancestors earned their citizenship and did not enter the nation illegally.

Those in favor of illegal immigrants try hard to pass laws to allow them to have licenses, better job opportunities, welfare assistance, earn college degrees, and so forth.  However, not much is said of Hispanics who are already citizens, namely Puerto Ricans.  Only about 14% of Puerto Ricans earn a bachelor's degree.  This is not good.  Despite having Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson, AOC, Ritchie Torres, Ruben Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Joaquin Phoenix, and a few others, more needs to be done to bring Puerto Ricans out there in American society.  Leaders in the Puerto Rican community often forget their own people and do not encourage education nor advocate for their fellow Puerto Ricans.  Puerto Ricans have suffered discrimination, poverty, and other social issues for no reason.  They are American citizens and deserve to be treated as such and not forgotten.

In many instances, illegal immigrants are given priority over Puerto Ricans!  This is absurd and a
complete betrayal of the Puerto Rican people and their status as citizens of the United States of America.  Archbishop of San Juan, Roberto Gonzalez was under fire from Vatican officials years ago for speaking a little more on Puerto Rican rights than he should; however, I don't blame him. Gonzalez was born in the States and probably knows well the hardships that his people have endured and still endure.  To be a citizen, yet not be; is not something that lifts the morale of any people.  For a Puerto Rican to be wrapped up in red tape when trying to get assistance or an opportunity to live the American dream while an illegal immigrant can easily get help is unfair. 

Puerto Ricans have much to contribute to American society as a whole.  Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is an example of what a Puerto Rican can become if he/she is given equal treatment and not treated like a second-class citizen while others who are not citizens are put ahead. The Puerto Rican people need a Dr. King figure who will bring about change and respect.  It is disturbing to see Al Sharpton show his face when a controversial issue involves Puerto Ricans and no other Puerto Rican leader is present.

Puerto Rican Falsely Identified, LatinX, Prejudice & Stereotype Placement
African Americans are not the only group who are harassed and profiled.  Many times, when a Hispanic commits a crime, he is automatically labeled a Puerto Rican despite being Mexican, Dominican, Cuban, or whatnot.  Take Salsa singer Marc Anthony for example who was harassed for singing the anthem at the All-Star game.  Legendary singer Jose Feliciano faced a similar situation when he sang his own rendition of the National Anthem.  Despite being American, they faced prejudice and were treated like they were non-Americans. Moreover, other Latinos often mock Puerto Ricans by calling them "whites" or non-Latinos.  Others mock the fact that Puerto Rico is not independent non-Latinos

In some instances, members of other groups purposely pretend to be Puerto Rican to fit in society or get opportunities.  They have even stolen the identities of Puerto Ricans which forced Puerto Rico to reissue birth certificates.  Only those who can distinguish between dialects, accents, and body language can truly tell who is Puerto Rican and who is not.  Shouting 'wepa' or dancing Salsa does not make one Puerto Rican.   Puerto Rican food and music is often misappropriated by other Latinos.  We can see on social media outlets such as Instagram and Tiktok where Latinos adopt Puerto Rican slang words as their own or claim Puerto Rican cuisine like acapurrias or pasteles are their culture when it is not.

Now with the popularity of the LGTBQIA agenda, Puerto Ricans and other Latinos are being called "LatinX" by non-Hispanic whites, particularly liberals or progressives. The term is extremely disrespectful to not only Puerto Ricans but all Latinos and Hispanics; in a word, the Spanish culture and language. LatinX is a very offensive term showing neocolonialism at work. Non-Hispanic whites are trying to force change in Hispanic culture and language. Spanish is a gender-specific language. This must be respected. Latinx is a racist slur.

Moreover, many Puerto Rican elected officials sell out their own people by adopting the "white man's" rhetoric.  This rhetoric includes the Americanization of Puerto Ricans by forcing them to erase their cultural ties and become part of the American collective, so to speak.  It also includes adopting liberal ideologies such as abortion, contraception, gay rights, atheism, and other agendas that were never part of the Puerto Rican people's philosophy who value life, family, and tradition.  Being American doesn't mean one must forget where one came from, nor replace one's values and morals.  Let us not forget how Planned Parenthood and other organizations forcefully sterilized Puerto Rican women and men.  Puerto Ricans were often experimented on by the US government as well. 

June used to be the National Puerto Rican Day Parade month. Millions of Puerto Ricans and non-Puerto Ricans would flock to New York City's 5th Avenue to view or participate in the National Puerto Rican Day parade. The entire month was celebrated with displays of Puerto Ricanism. However, we now have "Pride Month." Puerto Ricans are again pushed aside. Their erasure takes new forms every couple of years.  The Puerto Rican Parade is hardly promoted now. It is all about Pride. Even social media, websites, and companies mark the colors of Pride. They never did this for Puerto Ricans.  We can see the discrimination and bias here. The LGBTQIA community does not care either despite Puerto Ricans being at the forefront of gay rights in the 60s and 70s.  

Erasure From Hip Hop
Furthermore, even some American Americans or Blacks are attempting to erase Puerto Ricans from Hip Hop. We celebrated the 50th anniversary of the genre in August of 2023. Before this race-baiter, Tariq Nasheed and others have been promoting misinforming disingenuous content claiming Puerto Ricans were not involved in the creation of Hip Hop. They even claim, it did not originate in the Bronx despite the evidence and living pioneers.  This came after legendary Rapper Busta Rhymes and Fat Joe made comments that Puerto Ricans were co-creators of Hip Hop.  Some in the Black community took offense to this believing it to be misappropriation or an attempt to push Blacks away from Hip Hop.  The claims are all ridiculous and uneducated. They are meant to create division. As stated, Puerto Ricans are part of the African/Black diaspora.  They are genetically hardwired in it! There is no way to divorce this fact.  Using Spanish to claim Puerto Ricans are not black is ridiculous. What of Haitians who speak French but are Black?  Since when is English the requirement to be African American or Black?  Moreover, we have clear evidence that Puerto Ricans are co-creators of Hip Hop.  This does not take away from Blacks because Puerto Ricans are also Black!  Again, the whole thing is just nonsensical an an attempt to push Puerto Ricans aside; to erase or cancel them and their involvement in Hip Hop and the Black diaspora.  

Conclusion
Puerto Ricans are being erased from Americanism.  Even some African American brothers and sisters are trying to erase their fellow brothers and sisters in the Puerto Rican ethnicity. Non-Hispanic whites are attempting to rewrite Puerto Rican identity with their "Latinx" constructs and homosexual scripts that were never part of Puerto Ricanism.  They are doing this to the point of using the word in the media to refer to Latinos and Hispanics and by making June "Pride Month" when it was always the month of the Puerto Ricans.  

We need to stop this.  Puerto Ricans need to stand up and represent themselves and demand respect dignity and acknowledgment required.  They need to be proud and push back against the agenda to erase Puerto Ricans.  They tried to physically sterilize Puerto Ricans out of existence and now are idealogically sterilizing them through education, culture, atheism, and divide-and-conquer tactics; neocolonialism.  I hope the Puerto Rican people are treated better and that they wake up and demand respect. Their needs have to be met and put before those of others who clearly broke laws by entering our nation.

To my knowledge, the breaking of a law means one is a law-breaker or criminal.  Why give preference to law-breakers when you have citizens here who are in need of many things and want to achieve the American dream without being discriminated against or assimilated into another ethnicity?

Puerto Ricans wake up and stand up!


What do you think? Post your comments below on Disqus. Remember to follow the rules so your comment can be posted.  



Sources:
1. [U.S. News & World Report: Are Puerto Ricans American Citizens?](https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-03-03/are-puerto-ricans-american-citizens)
2. [The Conversation: Yes, Puerto Ricans are American citizens](https://theconversation.com/yes-puerto-ricans-are-american-citizens-73723)
4. [NCESC: Are you a U.S. citizen if born in Puerto Rico?](https://www.ncesc.com/geographic-faq/are-you-a-u-s-citizen-if-born-in-puerto-rico/)
5. [PR51st: Puerto Rico, the Nationality Act, and U.S. Citizenship](https://www.pr51st.com/puerto-rico-and-u-s-citizenship/)































Sunday, November 5, 2023

Motu Propio on Theology

Pope Francis has issued a new apostolic letter, Ad theologiam promovendam, to update the statutes of the Pontifical Academy of Theology and to call for a "paradigm shift" in theology for the world of today. 

The letter, dated November 1, 2023, was published on November 3 by the Vatican News. In it, the pope urges theologians to engage in dialogue with different traditions, disciplines, religions, and cultures, and to develop a "fundamentally contextual theology" that can interpret the Gospel in the light of the concrete situations of people's lives. 

The pope also emphasizes the need for a "transdisciplinary" approach that can make use of new categories and languages developed by other forms of knowledge, and for a "pastoral" theology that is attentive to the voice of the people and the wounds of humanity and creation. The pope affirms that theology is a discipline of wisdom that must be spiritual, prayerful, and prophetic, and that must serve the Church's mission of evangelization and encounter.

What do you think? Post your comment below on Disqus.  Be sure to follow the rules so your comment can go through.  


Sources:

: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2023-11/pope-francis-motu-proprio-pontifical-theology-academy.html

: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255887/pope-francis-calls-for-paradigm-shift-in-theology-for-world-of-today

: https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2023/11/02/new-papal-document-reads-like-a-conclusion-in-search-of-an-argument/

: https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/ad-theologiam-promovendam-a-brief

: https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2023/11/07/three-theologians-on-the-popes-paradigm-shift-in-theology/

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