Monthly Archives: November 2018

Peace in Korea?

Signs are clear.

Once-Chicago bishop a star

Second only to the top Catholic star, Pope Francis.

He might not look it, but Bishop Robert Barron is a social-media superstar. Sporting thick-framed glasses and a folksy Midwestern demeanor, the Catholic auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles resembles the comedian Drew Carey, only trimmer. But the aw-shucks routine isn’t fooling anyone. Beneath it lies a penetrating intellect and clear talent for using popular culture to draw people into—or back to—Catholicism.

With his popular online film reviews, political commentary and plain-English homilies, the 59-year old bishop has struck a nerve. He has 1.6 million Facebook fans and 130,000 Twitter followers. His YouTube videos have been viewed 34 million times, while his channel has some 165,000 subscribers. If there’s a growth stock in the bishop’s portfolio, it’s Instagram, where he’s gained a mere 91,000 fans. Only Pope Francis is more popular with English-speaking Catholics.

I bet Archbishop Cupich wishes he had him back. Kidding.

The bishop who knew too much

Celebrated in National Catholic Register:

The death of Bishop Robert Morlino will be noted far beyond the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. The late prelate’s outspoken orthodoxy and support for traditional liturgy will ensure that. Yet his life is of interest beyond his diocese and his admirers. It tracked in an unusual way the ecclesial shifts of his time.

Robert Morlino was born on New Year’s Eve 1946 into the solidly Catholic culture of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He would attend the Jesuits’ Scranton Preparatory high school, belonging to the last generation where it was wholly unremarkable that some of the graduates would enter the Society of Jesus. Morlino did, studying at Fordham and Notre Dame and in Weston, Massachusetts — a typical formation for thousands of Jesuits in the United States.

He was ordained in 1974 and experienced as a young priest the upheaval in the Society of Jesus, as theological confusion, disciplinary breakdown, widespread homosexuality and a culture of dissent sent Jesuits heading for the exits in droves. [Emphasis added]

Most left to embrace a liberalizing world outside the order; fewer sought refuge in the diocesan priesthood, where they could live their priesthood unmolested by the deep dysfunction of Jesuit leadership in the 1970s. Father Morlino was one of the latter, incardinating in the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1981. [Ditto]

After seven years with the wrong organization, apparently.

Just popped out at me from a Vatican release 4 days ago about limiting to abuse discussion to protecting minors, nothing about seminarians . . .

. . . or offending bishops.

In a statement Nov. 23, Papal spokesman Greg Burke called the February meeting “unprecedented,” and said that it “shows Pope Francis has made the protection of minors a fundamental priority for the Church.”

The gathering is about “keeping children safe from harm worldwide,” he said, adding that the pope wants the Church’s leaders to “to have a full understanding of the devastating impact that clerical sexual abuse has on victims.”

As for bishops, a two-edged sword.

Burke said that the meeting is for bishops, who, he said, have the most responsibility for the “grave problem” of abuse; but lay men and women who are experts in the area of abuse will also be providing input and will be able to help address what should be done “to ensure transparency and accountability.”

Beautiful, much used phrase at the end.

As for responsibility, if that is so, why was initiative by Americans squelched and its leadership blind-sided at the recent fiasco-ized bishops’ meeting in Baltimore?

Holy b.s., I say.

The choosing of bishops, through a glass very darkly . . .

The uber-interesting, one might say puckish, Fr. Hunwicke digs up some very interesting commentary about this mysterious process in the light of the current papal incumbency:

Today, I would like simply to point out that, more than a year before Cardinal Mueller’s disturbing recent words about the sort of questionable individuals, theological illiterates signed up to Bergoglianism, who are being appointed to senior positions in the hierarchy; and before His Excellency Archbishop Vigano’s revelations about the same subject, Fr Aidan had spoken with great clarity. His antennae must be very sensitive!

“[The pope’s] programme would not have got as far as it has were it not the case that theological liberals, generally of the closet variety, have in the fairly recent past been appointed to high positions both in the world episcopate and in the ranks of the Roman Curia.”

“Of the closet variety” is an entertainingly old-fashioned phrase!

It was a few months before Dr Nichols’ lecture that, on 19 November 2016, Cupich and Tobin were made cardinals.

The testimony this year of Archbishop Vigano asserted that the appointments of Cupich to Chicago (November 18 2014) and of Tobin to Newark (November 7 2016) “were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga, and Wuerl … their names were not among those presented by the Nunciature for Chicago and Newark”.

It would be a good thing if, henceforth, the terna of names submitted by Nuncios to the Holy See for a vacant bishopric were to be published. 

God’s people should not have to wait for a Vigano (God bless him) to come along before they can know what is being proposed for their own Particular Church. They should not be deprived of the liberty to form their own minds both about the proposed three names, and … if this occurs … why all three have been set aside so that the job can be given to another.

They should be treated as Grown Ups. 

This is what, in the Anglo-Saxon cultural world, is often known as ACCOUNTABILITY.

Women and children first, push ’em up front where the gas is heaviest

Tried and true organizing ploy.

Forty-two caravan migrants broke into the United and were arrested on Sunday, while organizers pushed women and children to the front of the melee, a top border patrol agent told CNN.

I heard about this in the Roosevelt Road riots in the summer of ’66, told by eyewitness friends in the black community. The smart boys heaved rocks over the heads of teen-agers and younger children in rows facing the police.

Cupich one of power quartet to organize anti-abuse meeting in February — fox and chickencoop situation?

Cardinal C of Chi is one you would ordinarily pick for this uber-important job?

ROME, November 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis has named Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago to a four-member organizing committee for next February’s Vatican summit on clerical sexual abuse.

The appointment is raising concerns because Cardinal Cupich has notably dismissed Archbishop Viganò’s testimony on the McCarrick abuse cover-up as a mere “rabbit hole” distracting the Church, believes that homosexuality is not a significant contributing factor in the abuse of minors (despite statistics showing otherwise), and has defended the Vatican postponing U.S. bishops from voting on measures to prevent abuse cover-up.

Well, as for the last, wouldn’t he prefer leaving it to the big show, where he’s to be a big shot, as opposed to doing something in Baltimore, for the group that voted him down as prexy last time around?

He got their vote of no-confidence months ago. Why should he build them up now?

As for the chickencoop part, he’s been a wild man in Chi about certain conservative leaders but has no history of particular expertise or leadership in the dreadful clergy-abuse situation.

Border patrol uses tear gas, 2013

To keep in mind as you read about the news today.

A group of about 100 people trying to illegally cross the border Sunday near the San Ysidro port of entry threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents, who responded by using pepper spray and other means to force the crowd back into Mexico, federal officials said.

The incident has raised concerns among advocates on both sides of the immigration debate, as well as Border Patrol representatives.

2013, when Obama was president.

George Weigel to the ramparts: Time for U.S. bishops “to temper their ingrained deference to “Rome ” . . .

. . . and “get on with devising responses to this crisis [of open warfare waged by “Rome”] that are within their authority, and that address the legitimate demands of the Catholic people of the United States for reform.”

As I read this piece from the Denver Catholic, I’d forgotten who was saying this, was thinking it was a bomb-thrower — and that’s not always a negative designation — but a distinguished commentator and book author of notable intellectual weight.

The crisis, of course, is American Catholic morale in the face of outrageous sex abuse and covering up by bishops, capped most recently by the outrageous last-minute shutting down by “Rome” when they, the bishops, had the dastardly nerve to take steps on their own to repair their own omissions and take steps to do something about it.

The open warfare is diplomatic, war by any other means, with Quislings in their midst facilitating the latest nasty move by the ruling party.

Hear what Weigel says about the U.S. and its enemies:

I recently spent almost five weeks in Rome, during which I found an anti-American atmosphere worse than anything I’d experienced in 30 years of work in and around the Vatican.

A false picture of the Church’s life in the United States, in which wealthy Catholics in league with extreme right-wing bishops have hijacked the Church and are leading an embittered resistance to the present pontificate, has been successfully sold.

By whom? we have to ask.

And in another offense against collegiality, this grossly distorted depiction of American Catholicism has not been effectively challenged or corrected by American bishops enjoying Roman favor these days. [emphasis added]

Cupich and Wuerl, to name two.


Context of Weigel’s “temper deference” quote:

Mainstream media reporting on the bishops’ recent Baltimore meeting generally got it right: the U.S. bishops tried to do the right thing and got bushwhacked by Rome, which Just Doesn’t Get It on sexual abuse and episcopal malfeasance. But the story cannot be allowed to end there. Nor can the Church afford to “wait until after February.”

Cardinal DiNardo and the majority of the bishops are determined to get to grips with the awfulness that has come to light, for the sake of the Church’s evangelical future. The bishops’ challenge now is to temper their ingrained deference to “Rome” and get on with devising responses to this crisis that are within their authority, and that address the legitimate demands of the Catholic people of the United States for reform.

I much appreciate Weigel’s intervention here and look forward to what DiNardo and his majority come up with to move the ball along before February by way of “devising responses . . . that are within their authority.”


Can I hold my breath that long?

Happy thanksgiving

Over the sidewalk and through the doors . . . to McDonald’s on Clark, a few blocks from the house, 11:30 or so yesterday. Place hopping, full of families, 50-ish cronies and others, chatting, laughing.

Beggar by the door, inside where it’s warm, quiet,  reaching into bin as people dump trays on way out. Inspects items, in case something worth while.

I’d refused him a buck a day or so ago, we both then seated at counter near the door. Irish-looking guy, red-faced and roughly dressed but warmly enough and not tattered. 50-ish, bloodshot eyes. Not here, I’d said. On the street another matter.

Happy thanksgiving.

Overhead Silent Night . . . ’round young virgin . . . sleep in heavenly peace.

Beggar man looks over at counter, where Mexican women, mamas the lot of them, work. As if called over. Returns shortly, holding something in hand, heads for door onto sidewalk, disappears beyond the Dunkin’ Donuts sign next door.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas , , ,

Then from across the room, mother-fucker and what the fuck and raucous laughter, loud enough to fill the air. I turn and see two black teens and a Mexican teen their in a booth, one of the blacks finding something on his phone, Mexican kid finding him hilarious.

Sharp reminder of the vulgar world outside, a rare disturbance of  a quiet scene.

I turn back, wondering. Then silence. Look again, booth empty. Vulgar boys gone! Did one of the Mexican mamas tell them to leave?

Overhead: Most holy night . . . fall on your knees . . . night divine, oh night when Christ was born.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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