Council of Cardinals coordinator confounds me

Photo from the Holy See Press Office

Oscar Rodriguez Cardinal Maradiaga is said to be the coordinator/chairman of the council eight cardinals appointed to advise his Holiness.

Whispers in the Loggia shares a transcript of a speech he gave in Dallas on October 25, with the implication that his remarks may portend the direction the “Gang of Eight” is headed in.

My thoughts after reading the 5,500-word transcript…

  • Throughout, he portrays the Church’s sole mission to be the elimination of all earthly suffering, especially poverty and the concentration of power and wealth by a few
  • Specifically, states that “Her foremost goal is to care for the penultimate (hunger, housing, clothing, shoes, health, education…) to be then able to care for the ultimate, those problems that rob us of sleep after work (our finiteness, our solitude before death, the meaning of life, pain, and evil…).”
  • States that “If the Church has a mission at all, it is to manifest the deeds of Jesus” but to me at least, it seems he defines “deeds” through the lens of social justice and not the salvation of souls, submission to the Trinity, the crucifixion and resurrection, etc.
  • All but ignores fundamental topics such as virtue, sin, Heaven, Hell, Satan, salvation, damnation, the conversion of sinners, heretics, heathens, and non-believers, the Blessed Virgin Mary (except for referencing her presence at the wedding at Cana), the role of the Church in salvation history, the Holy Trinity, etc.;
  • Befuddles with the proclamation that in the USA, “the Gospel of Christ is also alive and effective”
  • States that the Second Vatican Council “meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism”
  • States that “even today, the greatest challenge is to examine the mission of the Church to conform it to the mission of Jesus” but seemingly interprets that mission as eliminating suffering, poverty, etc on earth with no regard to the salvation of souls and reparation for the sin of Adam;
  • Makes contradictory statement that a Tower of Babel Church of diversity is actually more universal than one where (nearly) everyone shared a universal language and liturgical rite: “From being a European Church, more or less culturally uniform, and hence monocentric, the Church is on her way to become a universal Church, with multiple cultural roots and, in this sense, culturally polycentric.”
  • Ignores that Pope Francis is ethnically Italian and that his Holiness, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Blessed Pope John Paul II were all European when he states, “it is symbolic indeed that the last three Popes have not been Italian; the temptation of Europeanizing and Italianizing the Church has always been one tied to pretenses to power.”
  • Seemingly questions the Church’s Magisterium and infallible teaching with statements like, “Too many times she gives the impression of having too much certitude and too little doubt, freedom, dissension or dialogue.”
  • I think I know what he means when he states Christ “treated women without discrimination” but let’s not forget the 12 Apostles were all… men
  • States that “If the Church wants to stay faithful, she must also continue purifying herself through the martyrdom and the sanctity of the faithful.” I read that and wonder, are all those Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the world who are murdered out of hatred for the One, True Faith dying to purify the Church’s worldliness? Given that there were more Christian martyrs in the 20th century than in all previous 1,900 years combined, wouldn’t we then have the purest Church evah today?
  • Takes license with ellipsis’ to fabricate quotes from the Second Vatican Council with statements like this: “this is what Vatican II teaches: “The baptized… are consecrated as… a holy priesthood” (LG 10)”
  • Speaks not of the “dictatorship of relativism” but instead “a world dictatorship of finance capital”
  • I like what he says about “The lords of financial capital wield over billions of human beings a power of life and death.”
  • Implies that Holy Mother Church’s “solidarity with the poor” and “denouncing injustice and oppression” stopped somewhere after the third century and only resumed in the 1960s
  • States, “If Jesus calls the poor ‘blessed’ is because he is assuring them that their situation is going to change, and consequently it is necessary to create a movement that can bring about such a thing, restoring dignity and hope to them.” If I can play armchair theologian, wasn’t our Lord speaking about their situation changing when they got to Heaven?
  • Sounds Marxist / Modernist when he shares this quote, “The original Christianity faces the reign of money and power as means of domination and introduces a passion into history: that the last stop being the last, that behaviors are adopted and politics and economies are put into place to give them primacy, so a society can be built without first or last, or, at least, with less inequality between human beings called to be brothers.”
  • This doesn’t bode well for contemplative orders: “Making our own the culture of the Good Samaritan before the neighbor in need; feeling as our own the pain of the oppressed, getting close to them, and freeing them. Without this commitment, all religiousness is false.
  • Seems to pretend Satan, sin, concupiscence, etc don’t exist when he states, “Justice opposes contempt, violence, deceit, slavery, death. To the extent that we eliminate those, life will be just and human.”
  • States that “The Church did not have a monopoly on truth anymore”
  • States the obvious, but offends animals and inanimate objects in the process: “One cannot be a Christian without being a person first.”
  • I strongly agree when he states, “the Church will convert the world not by argument, but by example. There is no doubt that doctrinal argument is important, but people will be attracted by the humanity of Christians, those who live by the faith, who live in a human way, who irradiate the joy of living, the consistency in their behavior.”

Pope Francis’ oft-publicized echoes of Christ’s commands to love thy neighbor and serve them increasingly cause me to ponder embracing a lay vocation to do just that. But without a hermeneutic of continuity to tradition, without a healthy awareness of the need to BOTH avoid sin AND pursue virtue, without a parish that embraces restoring the sacred and a Pope Emeritus who highlighted the dangers of secularism to me, I’d BE a fallen-away Catholic fag living in sin, worshiping the flesh and materialism, and never laying eyes on the challenging remarks of an archbishop from Honduras.

I redecorated

I’m ashamed to say that in grade school, I openly professed my desire to be an interior decorator when I grew up. If that didn’t “give me away” than nothing would.

Alas, I never went on to pursue that aspiration and can safely say that while my decorating tastes would probably pass muster with most fags, I’m no Martha Stewart. I’ve made Ikea shareholders a lot of money.

The point of this post: I changed the blog theme in WordPress’ settings because I HATE (really, I have issues with this) small fonts on websites and this template has nice, big, easy-to-read font sizes.

That’s just how I do.


When Christian music gets it right

As Christians we are called to be in the world, but not OF the world. If we are truly living the faith, we are counter-cultural.

I’ve always cringed at things like “Christian Rock” or parish bulletins that list a “Teen Mass.” Lowering ourselves to the culture’s level seldom works.

Except when it does.

Mandisa was a contestant on American Idol in the mid-2000’s. She got booted from the top 10 and went on to become a Gospel recording artist. I really liked her on Idol, she has a powerful voice. So when a music service I subscribe to listed her new album, I gave it a listen. Most of it’s so-so, but some tracks are actually good and don’t ring hollow or sound like a lame attempt to ape pop music.

This is one of those songs, “Overcomer.” I finally got around to locating the video on YouTube and it, um, made me cry. Her latest album is named Overcomer and another good song to check out, especially for the gays, is “Face 2 Face.” (Because it’s a remarkably solid dance track.)

Secondly, Jahmene. Sometimes I like to amuse myself by searching YouTube for terms like “american idol bad audition” or “x factor bad audition.” Occasionally I’ll watch good auditions too.

One that I found last night was from The X Factor UK 2012 and features a shy guy with an amazing soulful voice. Jahmene Douglas, a little Googling revealed, is also a Christian who wants to raise the bar for the culture and has committed himself to purity. He endured a terrible childhood with an abusive father. Jahmene tried to commit suicide. His brother DID commit suicide.

Lastly, I’m resharing the very first thing I tweeted when I started @TheFourMarks on Twitter. I found it on a stained glass window in a mausoleum (of all places) several years ago as I was inching back home to Mother Church. Growing up in this “feel good” culture, I’d never encountered suffering portrayed in quite these terms. It was eye-opening.

“Suffering is a nursery of wisdom and a school of sanctity. It unveils the vanity of earthly attachments and teaches us the true value of heavenly pursuits.”

Daily dose of hope and change

Consternation across the nation!

  • President B. Hussein Obama’s administration has all but called sodomite-marriage-loving self-identifying-Catholic Illinois Senator Dick “Turban” Durbin a liar according to reports
  • Obama Democrats are turning on each other as the $300,000,000 Obamacare website disaster continues
  • Obama’s alienating international allies left and right, as the Saudi royal family realizes it can’t trust the president and Europe expresses its own trust issues with The Chosen One

Hope and Change, folks. Forward!


Media abandoning all pretenses of objectivity re: marriage stories? @cbschicago leads way

Is the media abandoning all pretenses of objectivity when it comes to reporting on efforts to rape the definition of marriage to include man-man, woman-woman, polygamous, polyamorous, incestuous, and adult-child relationships?

Witness WBBM-TV in Chicago, where “CBS 2 Works for You” except when it comes to providing basic journalism, like, both sides to a story.

Reporter Jay Levine provides a stunningly one-sided account of a “marriage equality” rally in Illinois’ capitol city Springfield. There were no interviews with anyone who opposed redefining marriage. None! What’s more, this was just a rally. There isn’t even a vote scheduled in the state’s General Assembly. There was no actual news. NOTHING HAPPENED.

You can’t even lay all the blame on the reporter. He probably had a producer working with him. And the newscast itself had a producer and executive producer. There was an assignment editor who assigned Levine this story. And surely a news director signed off on the time and expense of sending the station’s “top” reporter several hours away from Chicago to cover this non-event.  There was a deliberate, conscious choice to brand this story as “marriage equality” instead of “gay” or “sodomitical” or “homosexual” marriage. This was a systematic effort with multiple opportunities for multiple parties to ensure a balanced story was being told. But it didn’t happen, and there’s a reason for that, a very dark reason.

I’ll save my scribe on the media being a tool of Satan for another post. In the meantime, I’ll take consolation in the fact that nobody saw this story because WBBM’s newscast is in last place. THAT works for me, CBS 2.

Favorite quotes from Arch. Muller’s marriage essay

Fr. Z’s Blog shared a L’Osservatore Romano essay by Archbishop Muller on divorce and the sacraments. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the essay:

Those who think according to the “spirit of the world” (1 Cor 2:12) cannot understand the sacramentality of marriage.

An objectively false appeal to mercy also runs the risk of trivializing the image of God, by implying that God cannot do other than forgive.

God’s mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the Church.  Rather it supplies us with the grace and strength needed to fulfil them, to pick ourselves up after a fall, and to live life in its fullness according to the image of our heavenly Father.

Thoughts on Morgan Freeman, homophobia and a**holes

Recently, a friend on Facebook shared the following image:

Morgan Freeman never actually said this. Snopes says this is false. It is fake.

But I wanted to comment on the quote, regardless of its origin.

First: I probably AM homophobic. I am scared of falling back into mortal sin related to same sex attraction, whether that sin is by thought or by deed. I fear that many souls will be lost because of the promotion of homosexuality and all the vice that accompanies it. It’s bad, people. I lived the “gay lifestyle.” I am a homo. I know what it’s about. I am afraid of homosexuality (and you should be too!).

Second: Let us shift to the subject of a**holes.

If I call you an a**hole, I’m insulting you. I’m making an analogy comparing you to something that is dirty, unclean, smelly, etc. Feces, folks. That’s what comes out of a**holes. Nobody calls you an a**hole as a compliment, or out of charity.

Now ponder this. Sodomites adore a**holes. They lick them (it’s a sexual activity called “rimming”). They stick things in them, natural and unnatural. I mean, that’s what it means to sodomize! That is the definition: Anal intercourse.

So. I think we can easily see that calling someone an a**hole is anti-gay hate speech. It is a “homophobic” slur. It is saying that there’s something wrong with the anus, and therefore, something wrong with the man (because you generally don’t call women “a**holes”) who licks/penetrates/pierces/loves/etc the anus.

Take that, Morgan Freeman.

Obama Democrats attacked GOP candidate for being… gay

Fun with politics this afternoon and “pulling back the curtain” on some hypocrisy.

Carl DeMaio is a gay Republican who ran for mayor of San Diego and lost.

During the campaign, a group called “Conservatives for Gay Rights Supporting Carl DeMaio for Mayor 2012” did some gay-baiting robo calls. The San Diego Union-Tribune also reports,

The group also spent $5,000 to print and distribute campaign literature that included a photo of DeMaio hugging another man and another of him standing next to what appears to be a drag queen. Its tag line: “We conservatives know that liberty means that someone can pick a partner of their choice. We commend Carl on his conservative policies and exercising his liberties.”

But it turns out, that “Conservatives for Gay Rights” group was not conservative at all. And now an ethics commission is levying fines. 

The Ethics Commission investigation revealed that Democratic consultant Jesus Cardenas and Cynara Velazquez, a Democratic organizer with ties to medical marijuana advocacy groups, directed the group’s activities. Cardenas’ company, Innovation Media Group, received tens of thousands of dollars last year for its work on behalf of the San Diego County Democratic Party. 

Obama Democrats playing Chicago-style dirty tricks against one of their core constituencies (the gays). Hope. Change. Forward.


I was an atheist in high school

I was an atheist in high school.

Well, the first year or two.

What pushed me away from the One, True Faith? I’d chalk it up to home, culture and a friend.

I can remember being little and my mother teaching me how to say the Sign of the Cross. But she never took us kids to Mass until I hit first grade. She didn’t like boisterous kids in church, and in her mind, she wasn’t going to be part of the problem by bringing hers’.

We went to the anticipated Sunday mass on Saturday afternoons. I eventually became an altar boy. Sunday wasn’t the Lord’s Day. Sunday was laundry day for mom.

My father did not go to church with us. He stayed home and took a nap. He grew up Catholic and attended Catholic schools all the way through college. But apparently he fell away at some point in adulthood. I do not know why my father wouldn’t go to Mass with us. We’d try to ask, but wouldn’t get a response. After a while you realize it’s just “one of those things” that you don’t ask about. It just “is” and you accept it.

He goes now. My mom’s a certified Church Lady at her parish (regrettably, a “Eucharistic Minister”) so I think she shamed him into going. “How is it going to look if I’m going and my husband isn’t?”

But my family wasn’t overtly Catholic. My mother never talked about the faith, or tried to catechize us. I’ve never seen her pray the rosary. She never took us early for confession. Maybe they presumed school was handling that for us ( It wasn’t until I was in my early 30s and started to come back to the faith that I realized –and it pains me to admit this– that Easter is a bigger holiday / holy day than Christmas.

Traddy sidebar: The priest in our parish built a new church when I was in second grade. It embraced the “Spirit of Vatican II” with a semi-circular layout, and a Masonic-style “priest throne” at the center of the back wall with the tabernacle to his right and a shelf with Pope John Paul II to his left. Our pastor said the Eucharistic Prayers in Latin. That was “normal” to me. He also had a small crucifix facing him on the altar. But there was no crucifix on the main “back wall.” Instead, they had a bare wood cross above PJP2 and took the corpus from the old church’s crucifix and attached it directly to the brick wall over the tabernacle. So Jesus appeared floating or nailed to the wall, depending on your perspective. They always had organ music during school masses and Saturday masses. The few times we attended Sunday mass, such as for Palm Sunday, they had a guitar group. That always struck me as inappropriate. I took communion on the tongue, never the hand.

The Faith was not weaved into our home life or family life.

I also came of age during the 80s, the Gordon Gecko Wall Street age where “to get rich is glorious” and everything in the culture reinforced materialism and satisfying yourself. Reaganomics. BMWs. Not fertile ground for a young Catholic boy to grow into a young Catholic man.

Lastly, Woodstock. I entered high school in 1989. It was the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Love and tie-dye t-shirts made an alarming resurgence. A grade school friend got sucked into the nostalgia and by way of the Beatles, discovered Hinduism. He left the Church. I soon followed, determined to piece together my own religion, borrowing from Buddhism and other faiths. It was taking Cafeteria Catholicism to a new level. I also developed an addiction to checking my horoscope in the morning newspaper before school.

It would be an understatement to say my parents were not pleased. I was forced to continue attending Saturday mass. I was asked, “Why should you get Christmas presents if you don’t believe in God?” My mother required the family to “say the blessing” before dinner. But nobody sat me down and talked to me, tried to reason things out and pull me back into the fold. In the back of my mind, I told myself I would eventually circle back to the Catholic Church.

Within about two years, I did. What brought me back? The Catholic high school I detested. It was a cold, oppressive environment. I’m not making this up: My high school had no windows and the classrooms had no clocks. A cousin got suspended for dress code violations. But the religion classes were pretty solid. My freshman year, we were shown videos, GRAPHIC videos, of abortions. In my junior and senior years, we had a very orthodox teacher who was a grandfather but tried hard to engage us. It was the first time I heard that being Catholic was counter-cultural.

In my head and my heart, I was Catholic. In practice? We’ll explore that in a future post.


Obama: “Tevin could have been my son”

Obama: “Tevin could have been my son”

I have no evidence Obama actually say that.

There aren’t any marches with sodomy pride flags, or “ministers” crawling out the woodwork to whip up donations peoples’ emotions with demands for “Justice for Tevin.”

“A car drove by, yelled something about them being white. One of my buddies said something about disrespecting a combat veteran,” he said to our NBC affiliate in Seattle, Washington.

That’s when police say five African American men in their mid twenties pulled over and started an argument. One man allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Geike multiple times.

May Christ have mercy on the soul of Spc. Tevin Geike. Pray that the murderers repent and come forward.

The media’s burying this story because it doesn’t fit with their liberal agenda of labeling certain groups as “victims” and others as “aggressors.”