On voluntary associations

Speaking to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention on February 26, 2020, United States Attorney General William Barr made some insightful observations about our country’s slide towards totalitarian democracy and how religion, decentralized government, and the free press can prevent that.

Among his remarks:

Liberal democracy recognizes … that man is happiest in his voluntary associations, not coerced ones, and must be left free to participate in civil society, by which I mean the range of collective endeavors outside the sphere of politics.

The state is not the same as the voluntary associations that make up civil society.  To the contrary, it is the apparatus of coercive power.

This brought to mind a quote we saw tweeted, two days prior to Barr’s remarks:

Americans aren’t joining much of anything these days.

A nation of isolated individuals pursuing (enslaved by?) their own selfish individual desires, where anything goes. A nation of individuals who decline to voluntarily associate with their fellow citizens, whether at their local church or Rotary club, and who don’t even know their next door neighbors.

This harkens us back to a homily we saw on YouTube a few years ago, “Maintaining Purity: by Virtue or by Force.” It made such an impact on us that we bookmarked it and have returned to it a few times.

Virtue or force. Those are the only two ways to control men. And if you produce a society that has millions and millions of men that are unable to control themselves, that society will either descend into anarchy, or tyranny will be imposed before anarchy breaks out completely. Why? Because there’s only those two ways of controlling men: From the inside with virtue, from the outside with force. Vicious men must be ruled with force and a society that becomes dominated by lust is a society of vicious men. A society that is dominated by lust is a society doomed to anarchy and tyranny.

Thus the ascent of totalitarian democracy we’re witnessing in the manifestations of Liberal (rebranded now as, “Progressive”) politics, “democratic socialism,” et al, which will let you have your cake and eat it too, promising man he can be a woman or vice versa, and ze have intercourse with whatever or whomever they please, indulging all their basest fleshly desires, meanwhile promising (the illusion of) order and equality, all expenses paid by the State.

Those opposed to this totalitarianism, especially authentic, faithful Catholics, will be branded enemies of the state, guilty of crimes against humanity. They will voluntarily associate only at great personal risk, but with the fervent faith that Our Lord has already triumphed over the temporary, temporal Hell that will surround them.

Letter from The Four Marks to the laity & clergy of @archchicago

A little fun.

Cupich Paul Kalchik letter

September 21 23, 2018

Dear Parishioners and Staff laymen and clergy of Resurrection Parish the Archdiocese of Chicago,

For some weeks now, I have become increasingly concerned about a number of issues at Resurrection Parish in the Archdiocese. It has become clear to me that Fr. Kalchik Blase “Cardinal” Cupich must take time away from the parish archdiocese to receive pastoral support so his needs can be assessed. Effectively immediately, I have appointed Msgr. James Kaczorowski, Pastor of Queen of Angels Parish and Dean, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano as Administrator of Resurrection Parish archbishop of Chicago, effective tonight today.

I do not take this step lightly. Rather, I act out of concern for Fr Kalchik’s “Cardinal” Cupich’s welfare and that of the people of Resurrection Parish the archdiocese. I have a responsibility to be supportive of our priests when they have difficulties, but I also have a duty to ensure that those who serve our faithful are fully able to minister to them in the way the Church expects.

Bishop Mark Bartosic, your Episcopal Vicar, Athanasius Schneider will monitor the situation along with the Administrator Canons Regular of St John Cantius to ensure that you as parishioners receive appropriate pastoral care.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich The Four Marks
Archbishop of Somewhere in Chicago

Looking back at @ChicagoTOT 2017’s kick-off

Tonight, the Archdiocese of Chicago kicks off its summer “Theology on Tap” (TOT) series for young adults. In an archdiocese that plays host to Mundelein Seminary, Loyola University, DePaul University, and numerous other schools, one would expect the opportunity to hear and speak with well-educated, seasoned theologians about the Faith.

Not only won’t you be hearing any discussion of theology at tonight’s event, you won’t be hearing from any theologians, much less speakers from the archdiocese or even America for that matter. No, instead, Peter Wojcik of the Archdiocese says he chose the speakers.

And they are Thomas Rosica from Canada, and Rob Galea from Australia. One assumes the archdiocese is picking up the tab for their airfare, transportation, housing, and feeding. Good thing the cardinal archbishop sold the cathedral parking lot for $110 million.

Rosica’s known for his poor, errant theology; lying to the media; threats to ruin a blogger with a lawsuit;  and for declaring Fr Gregory Baum his “hero,” among Rosica’s other exploits.

Regarding Baum, as Church Militant noted, he “publicly rejected Church teaching on contraception, homosexuality, devotion to Our Lady, Church authority and the nature of the Catholic priesthood.” It’s telling that the archdiocese’s Theology on Tap marketing materials for tonight’s kick off refer to Rosica as CEO of Salt + Light, a television station he runs in Canada. His credentials are secular; as a “business leader.”

Galea’s a young priest from Australia who plays the guitar and sings and competed in the X Factor reality TV show. He has a website that promotes himself and his music, with one omnipresent feature everywhere you go: A cart icon in the top corner.

This is Rosica’s second year in a row kicking off the Chicago archdiocese’s TOT series. In 2017, he joined Michael O’Loughlin, who writes for the Jesuit’s Amerika magazine. Spokane Bishop Blaise Cupich was supposed to join them, but had to attend a funeral out of town.

Last year’s kick off could be summed up as, “Two Queens and a Microphone.” Rosica and O’Loughlin sat on stools on a stage, Rosica’s bulging gut hanging out (must be from all that fasting and abstinence) and O’Loughlin in his tailored clothes, limp wrists flailing, with his stylish little socks and coiffed hair and designer eyeglasses, fawning over Pope Francis, endless plugging their television network and book (respectively), and generally embarrassing themselves.

If you were a young person, coming here with questions about your Faith, you didn’t get any answers. If you were a young person, on the fence about this whole Catholic thing, hearing two brag about themselves and gush about another man would not have compelled you to stay within the Church.

If you were an atheist, coming here with an open mind favorable to reason and intellectual arguments, you’d have walked away thinking the only reason to be a Roman Catholic is because we have a “cool Pope who kisses babies” and we seem to place an inordinate emphasis as of late on temporal issues such as the environment and immigration.

Neither speaker made an argument for being Catholic, other than we have a “cool” Pope (Rosica could not stop describing Francis with that adjective) and we’re for the little guy. The meaning of life? Is there a God? Forget about answers there.

Given the 400 to 500 people in the bar –  and yes this was held in a bar in downtown Chicago on a Monday night when most young people in the archdiocese would never have been able to attend, much like tonight’s – this such a missed opportunity.

Think about all the issues young Catholics face today, in a radically secular world that says it’s all about you, the individual, you are the center and God is on the peripheries or not even there; none of this was addressed.

You’re called to live a holy chaste life, to date and find a spouse, to enter into a sacramental marriage that participates in the creation of an immortal body that will contain an immortal soul. You’re not getting any advice or encouragement from Rosica or O’Loughlin (who mentioned Pope Francis’ dreadful “Who am I to judge?” statement on sodomites and also referred to the homosexual lifestyle as “a different sort of life” rather than reinforcing the Church’s immutable teaching that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and mortally sinful).

How do you strive for holiness in a culture that is hostile to your Faith? How can the sacraments of the Church sustain you and forge a saint out of you and aid you in achieving eternal salvation? Rosica, who we are told is an ordained priest, spoke nothing of these matters.

Some more essential topics for young Catholics that weren’t on the agenda:

  • Science and religion, reconciling them, proofs for God’s existence, defending the Faith’s connection to and importance to science;
  • With so many Millennials rejecting religion completely -the “Nones” – how do you defend the Faith and the Trinity’s existence against those who demand proof?
  • Fair and honest acknowledgement that some are critical of the pope;
  • Reclaiming a Catholic identity;
  • The Church Militant in the Middle East, its martyrs, praying for them;
  • How to interact with non-believers;
  • How to convert apostates and heretics;
  • How to deal with friends, family, coworkers who denigrate the Faith;
  • Being Catholic in the work place;
  • Anything Marian;
  • Prayer;
  • Sacraments;
  • The 10 commandments;
  • Defining and naming the various heresies rampant in the ordained & laity;
  • Vocations to the priesthood and religious;
  • Parish life – nothing about making your parish “vibrant;”
  • The seven deadly sins;
  • Virtue;
  • St Joseph as a model for men;
  • Our Lady as a model for women;
  • The reality of Hell;
  • Martyrdom, red or white (gay weddings and cakes; pharmacists and contraception prescriptions; Sisters of Charity forced to provide contraception; Charlie Good and euthanasia);
  • Dating;
  • Contraception;
  • Young Catholics and traditionalism – Chicago is an epicenter for the Extraordinary Form;
  • Suffering;
  • Dealing with friends who are sodomites;
  • The dignity of the worker;
  • Modesty and purity;
  • Raising Catholic children (young adult audience will be marrying, starting families) in a hostile secular culture;
  • Violence in society.

The papal idolatry demonstrated by Rosica and O’Loughlin was off the charts. They asked each other about their jobs, Rosica kept mentioning his “staff” at his business, trying to show how important he was. He’d ask O’Loughlin, “What was it like for you to meet Pope Francis and give him your book?” O’Loughlin asks Rosica about his role as a Vatican spokesman. It was all. about. them.

At one point, Rosica made a disgusting remark about Pope St John Paul II, describing him as “drooling because of the Parkinsons.”

Forty-five minutes in, we had heard nothing catechetical, nothing about holiness, nothing about the sacraments.


Discussion of the Synod on Youth came up. A breathless Rosica let out, “Tell us who we are… what you would like us to be!” Remake the Church in your own image, kids.

The last portion of the event was a pseudo question and answer session. It was highly scripted and controlled. We had to write our questions down on a piece of paper and the organizers selected which questions were chosen. There was no open mic, no opportunity to directly address Rosica or O’Loughlin. No dialogue. Answers pandered to the audience, weaving in tripe like the “seamless garment” at one point. We suspected the organizers wrote the questions and rehearsed the answers with Rosica and O’Loughlin well in advance.

In their closing remarks, O’Loughlin talked up his career (again) and thanked the organizers and us for attending, but did not thank the Lord or invoke any person of the Trinity. Rosica blathered on about the pope and the Church as a field hospital (not as the means to salvation) and did not invoke or thank any person of the Trinity. Finally Sneaky Pete gave his closing remarks (while O’Loughlin ignored him and tapped on his smartphone), ending with “God bless and good night.”

There was no closing prayer.





Evil in the Last Days

Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.

-2 Timothy 3:1-9

Pilsen’s Via Crucis

Mexicans in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood perform a living stations of the cross, or via crucis, every year on Good Friday. The television stations dutifully cover it.

The event starts out at Providence of God parish, then proceeds one and a half miles west down 18th Street to Harrison Park.

Providence of God front

Providence didn’t post any signs outside its church. The doors to the church itself were locked, so anyone wanting to visit the Blessed Sacrament in the altar of repose were out of luck. After seeing some other confused visitors wind their way into a side door, I discovered the stations start out in the basement hall underneath the church.

Those who got there early enough to find a seat contended with hard metal folding chairs. The performance began 30 minutes late. Everyone in the audience was casually dressed. Many held up their smartphones, often quite conspicuously, to record photos or videos. The performance was mostly in Spanish and was well done. Although, there were repeated audio issues – every time the actor playing Jesus turned his head to the right, his mic cut out.

At the point where our Lord takes up his cross, we filed outside to 18th Street to follow him. Following the procession was a van with loudspeakers blasting a campy song in Spanish accompanied by acoustic guitar. It distracted from attempts to focus on the passion of our Lord.

Every so often the procession would halt. An announcer would narrate the current station, first in Spanish and then in English. But this wasn’t consistent; he skipped the English for several stations, then at another he narrated entirely in English with no Spanish translation.

Via crucis procession

Many of the women among us wore tight jeans or tight leggings, surely a potential temptation to sins of lust for the men.

When we reached Harrison Park, where the crucifixion itself was re-enacted, our male narrator vanished and a woman, speaking only in Spanish, took over. She spoke in a monotone voice with no emotion, clearly reading off a script.

Crosses in Harrison Park

Roaming about the park were vendors hawking cotton candy and treats, on a day of fasting.

cotton candy

After the actor playing our crucified Lord was taken down from the cross, the procession turned north towards Pilsen’s cavernous, crumbling, beautiful, soon-to-be-closed St. Adalbert’s parish for a “reflection.”

St Adalbert aisle

Alas, the priest who spoke from the pulpit offered no Good Friday reflection, just some remarks thanking the volunteers. Meanwhile the church organ played in the background, in what struck me as a discordant violation of the prohibition on music from Holy Thursday to the Easter Vigil.

The priest concluded his remarks without even so much as a blessing or wishing of a Happy Easter. We all sat in our pews wondering what to do. After a few moments, we realized it was over and started to leave.

St Adalbert choir loft

I couldn’t locate the altar of repose. As I passed through the narthex, there were individuals handing out parish bulletins. I asked no less than three of them, “Where is the altar of repose?” Not one of them could tell me. One young man shrugged, said he didn’t know, and turned away from me.

Food vendors encamped the sidewalk, tempting the weak flesh.

sidewalk vendors

As I walked back to catch the CTA, I took note of all the Mexican restaurants open on 18th Street, the smell of cooked meat in the air.

Pilsen’s named after the Czech city of Plzen. For the first half of the 20th century, it was home to a large population of Central European immigrants – Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians. As they graduated up the economic ladder, Mexicans moved in and Pilsen became known as one of Chicago’s most Mexican of neighborhoods, if not a hotbed of gang violence and shootings.

In recent years, however, 10,000 of its Mexican residents have left, as the neighborhood’s close proximity to downtown attracts yuppies and gentrification, while its reasonable rents attract hipsters and artists. Its five or so Catholic parishes face closure, consolidation, and likely extinction. How long before Via Crucis is just a memory?

If it’s really true – my thoughts on Fr Phillips

If it’s really true, we need to pray.

We need to pray to Jesus Christ, sovereign priest, that this doesn’t turn out like another Fr John Corapi situation with an intransigent sinful priest.

We need to pray to Our Lady of Czestochowa that Fr Phillips serves out his final years in true repentance and atonement.

We need to pray to St John Vianney to intercede for the canons of the Canons Regular of St John Cantius, that they will persist in their vocations, and continue to attract new priests.

We need to pray for the intercession of the guardian angels of the parishioners of St John Cantius parish, that they hew close to the barque of Peter, no matter how fierce the waves crashing over it.

We need to pray to Our Lord for the other men involved, that they too will repent and atone.

We must not lose hope. We are all sinners. We are all capable of nearing the peak of the mountain, only to lose our footing and slide backwards, even tumbling head-over-heels and suffering serious, grievous injury.

It would be devastating, let’s be honest. Saturday night for me, after reading the news on Father John Zuhlsdorf’s blog… it felt like a family member died. How could this be? How could this man I regarded as a likely future saint possibly… And what fun our enemies will have.

We need to pray it isn’t true, but if it is, that he is forgiven.

St. John Cantius, pray for us, pray for Fr. C. Frank Phillips.

He will use Africa will chastise, purify the world

This morning’s front page of the Washington Post features a story on Africa’s incurable, often deadly monkeypox virus and how “scientists are racing to understand it before it goes global.”

Which got me thinking, God could be about to use Africa to purify the world and his Church.

The West is dying. It’s not having children. Its churches, convents, and monasteries are empty. It’s morally bankrupt, a new Sodom.

Africa is growing. Sub-Saharan African has some of the highest fertility rates on the planet. Holy Mother Church has gained tens of millions of new souls across the continent. The Church is in many ways going home. Holy men like Africa’s Robert Cardinal Sarah point us to the light of Truth amidst the fog of the West.

The West hasn’t seen a deadly epidemic since what, the Spanish Flu 100 years ago? Medical advances eradicated the threat of many deadly pathogens. But to paraphrase Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.”

Perhaps it will be monkeypox. Perhaps another pathogen will evolve immunity to our antibiotics. But it would seem preeminently just that the Lord would choose his newest son to chastise and purify his oldest sons and daughters, wiping the slate clean as He’s done so many times throughout history.

Reflections on the death of my father


My father almost never went to mass when I was growing up. My mother took us children to our suburban parish’s 4pm Saturday anticipated mass. My father stayed home and took a nap. When we got home, us kids woke him. Mom baked a pizza, for Saturday was pizza night.

I recall us attending mass on Sundays on a few rare occasions, perhaps Palm Sunday. As an aside, I always felt revulsion at the folk singer guitar-and-tambourine group camped out on the right side of the altar at those Sunday masses. Saturday masses and the Wednesday school masses always had organist accompaniment. It was Mass.  But I digress. On Sundays, my mother did the weekly household laundry and ironing. It was anything but a day of rest for her.

Several times, I tried to ask my father why he didn’t go to mass, but he wouldn’t respond. As in, he literally would say nothing. There was stony silence. After a few tries, one got the message that you aren’t to ask that question. Accept that you will not know, just as you will not know how old your father is until your 5th grade religion class family tree assignment requires him to reveal his birth year. (Years later, you learn your father lied by several years to make himself seem younger. But I digress.) My father’s now dead and buried and I don’t know why he wouldn’t go to mass with us. I’m not ready to ask my mother. Part of me is afraid to find out some horrible truth, like he was an atheist or something.

Around age 25, I learned that my paternal grandfather had been Protestant. At that age, I was Catholic in name only, having stopped going to mass after leaving home for college, and fully immersed in the gay lifestyle. Nevertheless, I felt shock and shame that I wasn’t “pure” Catholic. My grandparents had a mixed marriage, it turned out, permitted by my Catholic grandmother’s family on the condition that any children would be raised Catholic.

All of my father’s schooling was Catholic: the Chicago neighborhood parish grade school, an all-boys Catholic high school staffed solely by priests, and a Catholic university. By the time my siblings and I were in Catholic grade school, all the teachers in our suburban parish school were laity. My father enjoyed telling us stories about the school sisters of his youth, and their strict discipline; How they’d rap you on the knuckles with a ruler, or make you stand in the corner, drag you by the ear, or otherwise ensure order though corporeal punishment, and how lucky us children were that our father didn’t whip our asses with a belt like grandpa had done to father. There was pass before school every day, in Latin, with the priest facing the altar. Strict parish boundaries meant my father had to walk a half-mile to his parish school, instead of going to the parish a block from his house. Later as a teenager, he took a bus or walked to a mile to high school.

After college, my father was drafted into the army, and then spent years focused on himself and building a career. He lived with his parents. Eventually, one of my father’s coworkers dragged my father to a Catholic singles dance where he met my mother.

My father openly told us children that he’d wanted a simple wedding ceremony at a courthouse in downtown Chicago. Instead, his Polish fiancé’s family engineered a big wedding, at a prestigious church, officiated by a prestigious cleric. Home movies shows my mother and father both kneeling at a prie dieu and receiving the Eucharist on the tongue at their wedding.

Children came. All were baptized Catholic and once again, home movies show my father attended. He went to our First Reconciliations, our First Communions, our Confirmation, and the rare “high holiday” Sunday mass. He always remained seated at Communion time.

When the nest was empty, and retirement from work accomplished, my mother became a Church Lady. She went to the Church Lady meetings, baked brownies for bake sales, and volunteered for parish garage sales, etc. It was then that my father resumes weekly mass attendance. I get the feeling it was more out of respect to my mother and avoiding her any further embarrassment for having a non-believing husband than any personal conversion.

Once, my mother told me my father went to confession at their parish because there was a visiting priest; Dad wouldn’t have to confess to the pastor who’d see him every week. So my father was a man of some pride. Again, until age 10 my father refused to tell us children how old he was! When I was 16 I found out (only by accident) how old he really was. Mother later told me that father didn’t want us to think of him as an “old man,” so he kept his age secret. I always thought that silly. Shouldn’t he expect us to love and respect him no matter how old he was?

I’m the last person in the family who saw Dad alive. As he lay sedated, wheezing, and dying two weeks ago Saturday, I stayed with him for a while after the rest of the family went home for the night. Kneeling down next to his bed, holding his hand, I asked him to accept Jesus, to forgive anyone he held a grudge against, and I implored Jesus to visit me with any suffering that would merit my father entrance into Purgatory at the least, if not Heaven.

The next morning, I woke up at 6:45am and lay in bed for a long time. After 20 minutes, mother phoned to say Dad passed away at 6:45.  I went to confession before Mass that morning and prayed for him throughout the Mass, offering the consecration of our Lord’s body, blood, soul, and divinity to God for mercy on the soul of my father.

Visitation and funeral

The visitation and funeral were several days later. A wise cousin counseled me that, “There are two times when a woman gets whatever she wants: The day she marries her husband, and the day she buries her husband.” I deferred to Mom on a lot of the wake and funeral arrangements and offered my input when asked. That meant “No” to the ugly 1970s holy card design she eyed, and instead selecting a traditional, overtly Catholic holy card design. It also meant requesting Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon) and warning a sibling who’d asked to deliver a eulogy, “Do not canonize Dad.” I would not have made some (perhaps any) of the music selections Mother chose for the mass. I would have preferred not having to enter the sanctuary and read the Second Reading, but one has to choose their battles. On the whole, it was as solemn, reverent, and dignified as a suburban Novus Ordo funeral mass could be. (There were no Sanctus bells run at the consecration – that was jarring.) My family is not one for exuberant displays of emotion. Only a niece cried openly.

All dads go to Heaven?

I have it on the assurance of many well-wishers, one deacon, two priests, and a religious sister that my father is in Heaven. I lost count of how many well-wishers at the wake pledged to us that, “He’s in a better place.” I absent-mindedly replied to one lady, “We hope so…” Mother pursed her lips, flashed her familiar “Polish Mother look of disapproval,” and gently shoved me in the elbow. Oops.

As an aside, a thoughtful even brilliant relative brought in sandwich trays and cookies from Costco to the funeral home during the wake. The funeral home had a kitchen and lounge. When a family has to stand vigil with their dead for six or more hours, receiving a constant stream of visitors, the stomach does growl and leaving the premises to dine-out isn’t a practical option. Do consider this courtesy the next time a loved one must wake their dead! I’m grateful for the Church Ladies who literally dragged my mother by the arm to “go eat something.”

Near the end of the wake, a deacon from the parish led us all in prayer. He told us father’s in Heaven, in a better place. “But we need to pray for him.” At the funeral mass, the parish priest also canonized my father in the homily. A week later I attended a mass offered for my father and the priest and a religious sister again canonized him.

Our family has a younger relative who’s an open, obvious lesbian. My mother granted her request to serve as a pallbearer. The woman, whose hair is closely cropped, wore a man’s shirt and tie.

As I have no wife, I accompanied my mother in all the processions. She declined a graveside interment, to my disappointment, so we concluded the funeral at the cemetery chapel. Having kept a stiff upper lip since shedding tears Sunday morning, I nearly broke down as the bugler played taps after the American flag was removed and folded from my father’s casket. At the luncheon that followed, someone remarked on how “sonorous” I sounded delivering the Reading at Mass.


I was dismayed but not surprised that at no point during the wake or funeral did anyone mention Purgatory or Hell. I wonder if I’m the only person who’s truly prayed for mercy on my father’s soul, either before or after his passing. The wake should be about praying for the deceased. The funeral mass should be about offering sacrifice for the soul of the deceased. Neither are about canonizing them, or solely for the consolation of the family. Wasn’t it Our Lady of Fatima who said so many souls fall into Hell because they have no one to pray for them? I trust that the Lord heard my pleas, but as of yet, suffering has not visited me. Perhaps it may be many years, perhaps even requiring the sacrifice of my own life. So be it.

Every morning in the two weeks since my father died, I’ve lied in bed saying a rosary for him after I awaken.  In those two weeks of daily rosaries, I’ve experienced no serious temptation to impurity, my primary vice.

As the Church Militant, pray for the souls of your dead family and friends. Pray for the souls of the priests who baptized and ministered to you throughout your life. Pray for the poor souls in purgatory, the Church Suffering, for those souls forgotten, for those sisters, brothers, monks, priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes who have no one praying for them. Pray for those elderly Catholic men and women lingering in Purgatory, having been denied Catholic funerals by their apostate descendants. Pray to the souls in Heaven, the Church Triumphant, to intercede for you in your pursuit of holiness and obedience to the Gospels.

Lord, have mercy on the soul of my father. Daddy, if you’re in Heaven, pray for me.

WashPost story on Millennials and marriage

This Sunday morning, Amazon.com’s Washington Post tweeted a dusty three-day-old story about Millennials eschewing big weddings for small or no ceremonies, and “sharing” the wedding with friends and family via Facebook. The story’s headlined, “Forget the big wedding. More of today’s couples ‘include’ you through Facebook.

On the one hand, I was optimistic to see young people forgoing the pomp and materialism of what weddings have become. How many couples postpone marriage and cohabitant, fornicate, living publicly in sin, because they can’t “afford” to get married? Or at least, can’t afford what modern American culture tells them a proper wedding SHOULD be.

But the more I read on, the more apparent it became that things haven’t changed SO much — the marriage is still all about them, the couples, nay, the two individuals marrying.

Like their parents, Millennials view marriage as a contract, not a covenant. A man can enter into and terminate contracts, whereas a covenant only ends with the death of one or both parties. Marriage is about children. How do civilizations die? They stop having children. In summer 2016 the media reported that the US fertility rate’s fallen to its lowest point since record keeping began a hundred years ago.

Husband and wife are consecrated to a purpose above and beyond themselves, ... to populate earth and heaven

Husband and wife are consecrated to a purpose above and beyond themselves, … to populate earth and heaven

None of the Millennials profiled by Amazon married in an ecclesial community building, much less a Catholic Church. Instead they got married at courthouses or town halls.

Let me regale you with some of the more horrifying and telling quotes:

“We picked up the papers from the courthouse — it was really easy — and left to Starbucks”

“We didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. It was nice,” she says. “A little bit romantic even.”

“Weddings … aren’t really meant for you. They’re meant for your family and your friends”

And last but not least, the quote that would make any German bishop proud,

“The main point of a wedding is to ask people to support your journey”

So we may see more weddings as Millennials pare down the pomp and circumstance, but these are still a people who embrace abortion, contraception, redefining marriage to include men marrying men and women marrying women (but curiously not couples of three or more, or next of kin, or children, etc.).

Finally, I noted that writer Megan McDonough didn’t interview any homosexual or lesbian Millennial couples for this article. They dykes, I can see, would like going cheap on weddings. They’ve got several cats to keep fed, after all. Veterinarian visits aren’t cheap. But the homos love a big, fabulous bourgeois party.

Mazel tov, Millennials.

A year of cataloguing child sex abuse stories

Child sex abuse and pedophilia are not a Catholic problem, they are not a priest problem, they are an epidemic problem throughout our society, and they happen far more often than you realize.

I like to follow current events and read a lot of news. Over the years, I noticed how many news stories actually do document sexual crimes against children, but fly under the radar and don’t get top story / front-page treatment – typically unless they involve a Catholic priest.

So I decided to spend a year, from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, tracking them on this blog to prove a point: This isn’t a Catholic priest problem. This is a societal epidemic that we don’t pay enough attention to, and it’s far more pervasive in our public school system than we want to face up to. A recent USA Today year-long investigation showed that.

The results:

  • 220 stories
  • 50 involving (mostly public) schools
  • 4 involving Catholic priests
  • Most centered in Chicago region

I stumbled upon these stories during my normal news consumption. I did not seek them out. I did not create Google News Alerts. I didn’t search media web sites for them. My catalogue’s not scientific.

The list includes stories about people (almost all males) accused of consuming or possessing child pornography. While those individuals may not have been charged with actually abusing a child, a child WAS abused in the production of those materials. It is not a “victimless crime!”

I used WordPress’ categories feature to track them under the category Crimes. I also slapped the tags priest and school where appropriate.