Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Massacre of the Holy Innocents

On U2's "Rattle and Hum" album, Bono stops in the middle of a song and starts talking about the evil of apartheid.  He then says "Am I bugging you...well, I don't mean to bug you."

Of course his question was sarcastic.

Some say "Fr. you talk about Planned Parenthood and abortion too much"

Sorry...I don't mean to bug you

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bishop-Elect Barron on Pope Francis and CST

Bishop-Elect Barron says what I was trying to say in my evaluation of "Laudato Si", but of course he says it much more precisely.

Some in the Church are labeling Pope Francis a socialist and so forth because of either passages from "Laudato Si" and/or comments he's made, whether from Rome or South America.

I don't think any Pope has to get everything right (nor does the Church) in order for papal infallibility to hold up.  However, everything I've seen from the Holy Father is very much in line with a long line of Catholic Social Teaching.

Catholic Social Teaching has been condensed into a Compendium which is a fascinating read for any Catholic (and, I argue often, a MUST read for anyone who is going to preach or teach today in the name of the Church).  CST (and St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict) make ALL THE SAME points Laudato Si does.

1) Capitalism (and similarly democracy) can become deranged and malformed if not buttressed by strong moral values.  Isn't that precisely what we're seeing in the United States?  Democracy is better than a lot of other systems, but just because you have a democracy doesn't mean everything will turn out well.  The same is said by the Church's CST, St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis about capitalism - it must be governed by solid moral values or it will become diseased.  Is there really any doubt that that statement is true?  Saying that makes none of the above parties Communist, it makes them realists and prophets.

2) The environment deserves protection.  Again, read CST.  It's in there.  A lot.

3) Subsidiarity is a CST principle that is clearly defined in the Catechism and is expanded upon in the Compendium of CST.  The Pope saying that certain decisions should be left to a body larger than individual nations is perfectly inline with CST.  Pope Benedict said it first anyway.  It isn't Pope Francis (nor was it Pope Benedict) claiming a need for a world wide government.  Take off the aluminum foil hats.  Breathe.

I don't agree with everything Pope Francis does or says.  I'm not a papal cheerleader.  I get no bonuses for commenting positively on the pontiff.  It is important for Catholics to know, though, that the Pope's warnings in Laudato Si are NOT new.  It is very telling about a Catholics familiarity with the larger corpus of Catholic Social Teaching when a person says that what is in Laudato Si is new.

Mary's Greatness

Thanks to Tekton Ministries for putting this together!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Archindy Annulment Costs are Now $0

From the desk of Archbishop Tobin:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Ph. 1, 2).
I am happy to announce to you a change in policy regarding fees associated with the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese. Effective July 1, 2015, all fees connected with the processing of petitions for the nullity of marriages have been eliminated. In the case of persons who have already introduced a petition, the balance of their fees are now forgiven. This waiver of fees applies also to the so-called “privilege of the faith” cases that must be sent to Rome for consideration.
Until now, the Tribunal requested a fee of $675 for a formal marriage cases, known popularly as an “annulment”. This fee was only a fraction of the actual expenses of the process; the remainder was assumed by the Archdiocese. What is more, it had always been possible to request a reduction, deferment or, in some cases, a waiver of the fee. According to the long-standing policy of the Archdiocese, a person’s ability to present a petition did not depend on his or her ability to pay a fee.
Still, there has been a stubborn misconception that a person could “buy” a decree of nullity. There have been equally erroneous ideas that paying more than the requested fee or paying it all “up front” would result in quicker process or a better chance for a successful outcome. None of these suspicions are true. In fact, petitions are examined and decided according to the date of their presentation. Furthermore, each case is considered on its own merits and according to the common norms of the Catholic community.
I am confident that this change in policy will eliminate some of these misunderstandings. I also hope that you will renew your efforts to reach out compassionately to the faithful whose marriages have failed. Please ensure that this change is known among the people entrusted to your pastoral care.
Finally, I ask all Catholics to pray for married couples, whom God has called to reflect in their own love the unconditionally faithful and self-sacrificing love that Christ has for the Church. The Archdiocese and its ministers are committed to be both “prophetic” (to teach what Jesus taught) and to be “pastoral” (to minister to those whose marriages, unfortunately, have ended in a civil divorce).
May the Lord, who shared the joy of the couple at Cana of Galilee and comforted the sorrowing and humiliated, bless and sustain your ministry.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How Pro-Lifers Manipulate Planned Parenthood Footage

Deceptively editing a video to make someone sound like she'll sell you the organs of aborted fetuses is really easy. All...
Posted by Lutheran Satire on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Voice From the Grave on the Changes People Forced on the Mass

One of my two parishes is Annunciation Catholic Church in Brazil.  For 45 years, beginning in 1962, Fr. Anthony Spicuzza was the pastor of the parish here.  I recently traveled to the Archdiocesan Archives to look through the history of the parish.  It was fascinating and fun!

I found a survey that was sent out in the wake of the 2nd Vatican Council and one of the answers by Fr. Spicuzza caught my attention:

In Father Spicuzza's assessment, then, the thing that was a challenge for the young people of the Church was all the changes that people were adding to the Mass on their own initiative.

It was a very prophetic utterance

Monday, July 20, 2015

Priests Deal With Crap You Probably Don't

I hear quite frequently refrains such as:

"I left the Church because Father so and so looked at me wrong" or "Father didn't react in the way I'd hoped he would" etc.

Look, folks, we deal with both actually mentally ill people, and also some who are somewhere else on the spectrum but are definitely malicious.  So you might want to ask yourself if your Faith is really so shallow as to be affected by the mood of a priest at a particular moment in time.

A couple of examples:

1) I know a priest that someone anonymously went to the trouble of creating an entire website of pictures of this priest's face photoshopped onto pornographic male photos (please don't go looking for the site).  People still regularly report the site to his chancery, and the chancery has to explain the situation to another distressed caller.

That's really messed up

2) I know another priest, and I am cc'd on emails to him from a person who sends rambling horrendous diatribes all the time.  When I see an email from her in my inbox, of course I don't read them, and I know he doesn't either, but just knowing someone out there is that messed up...

3) Recently in my priesthood someone had fake email addresses for multiple people, fake twitter accounts etc. in order to create this narrative of how this person needed help.  I spent some considerable time and energy into helping this "person" until I started noticing the story coming apart.   Then, a few weeks later, I got a call from another Archdiocese letting me know "hey, that person you interacted with has played similar games with several other priests, and has tried to bring lawsuits against them saying these priests got her pregnant etc."

So when a priest doesn't smile at you in the right way, or when he is a little more cautious than you'd like him to be when he first hears about a person in distress, or when said priest doesn't skip down the aisle like Mary Poppins at a particular Mass, before you leave the Catholic Church over it, just take a breath.  He may have just finished, 2 minutes earlier, dealing with a completely malicious person trying to play mind games.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I Just Really Like This Song

"Wedding Song" by Anais Mitchell and Jeferson Hamer

My Experiences with Contraception

Blessed NFP Awareness Week!

Click HERE to read Humanae Vitae  (It is short, it is in English, and it is prophetic!)

Click HERE to hear what couples have to say about NFP

Short article - "What is NFP?"  click HERE to read


Click HERE to visit the AWESOME Archindy NFP Site - find NFP doctors, NFP classes, research, statistics, etc.

Weigel on +Chaput Bashing

"The recent assault on Archbishop Chaput is a taste of what awaits many others. The useful idiots who insist that, if the bishops of the United States would just retreat from the culture wars, all would be well, are manifesting their ignorance of the requirements of pastoral leadership while unwittingly confessing to a degree of political stupidity that is staggering. Obergefell has let loose demons, and their name is Legion. Those demons should be fought with compassion, critical intelligence, and blunt honesty about the Church’s own failings."

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421345/gay-marriage-catholic-church

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Smaller Church

from a recent CARA study

“The Church will become small and will have to start pretty much all over again. It will no longer have use of the structures it built in its years of prosperity. The reduction in the number of faithful will lead to it losing an important part of its social privileges.” It will start off with small groups and movements and a minority that will make faith central to experience again. “It will be a more spiritual Church, and will not claim a political mandate flirting with the Right one minute and the Left the next. It will be poor and will become the Church of the destitute. But when all the suffering is past, a great power will emerge from a more spiritual and simple Church” 

- Pope Benedict XVI, 40 years ago

"You call me to the ocean..."

A lot of music today is just noise.

Fr. Pontifex puts something together with his latest album that rises above the banal and strives for beauty.  The video by Spirit Juice matches the artistry of the song itself.

"You call me to the Ocean...but all I see for miles are the winds and waves"

Order the album from I-Tunes by clicking HERE

Order the album from Amazon by clicking HERE

Keep up the great work Father!

GREAT Opportunity for young ladies in Indiana/Ohio/Kentucky Area