Pope Francis made a few statements on the environment.
I started not to write about this. It’s one of those stories that I don’t like one bit.
Evidently a very young Jacqueline Bouvier met Father Joseph Leonard when she was in Dublin in 1950. This was three years before she married Senator and future President John F Kennedy.
She and the priest became friends and she corresponded with him at key points in her life — when she suffered a miscarriage in 1956 and later after the assassination of President Kennedy in early 1964. The letters were based on friendship, but they were also part of a pastoral relationship in which she discussed her faith.
Jacqueline Kennedy would not be the first public person who confided in a priest because she believed the priest wouldn’t gossip about her. Sadly, she’s also not the first person to be disappointed in this belief.
Now, these personal letters are on the auction block and their contents are being published everywhere.
Does no one but me see that this is wrong?
Father Joseph Leonard and Jacqueline Bouvier, 1950. Photo Source: Boston Globe
Why did Father Leonard keep these letters? I wrote earlier today that I will never talk about the private things that my constituents have shared with me through the years. I didn’t say, but it is true that I am also going to destroy any records of these conversations as soon as I leave office, such as phone calls or follow-ups related to them. Those are all I have, since I do not write down the personal things people tell me, and I do not keep their letters in which they confide deep things from their lives.
Not one word my constituents told me will ever surface.
I do not understand priests who gossip about their parishioners, especially when they talk about the gut wrenching things that people share with them. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s letters were clearly written not just to a friend, but to a friend who was a priest, because he was a priest. No one but the priest should ever have seen or heard about them. They certainly should not be on the auction block to make money.
From Catholic News Service:
DUBLIN (CNS) — Newly released letters between former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and a Dublin-based priest reveal Kennedy’s struggles to keep her faith after her husband’s assassination.
The letters exchanged by Kennedy and Vincentian Father Joseph Leonard, who died in 1964, are set to be auctioned in Dublin in June. Excerpts were published in The Irish Times newspaper.
I am leaving the Oklahoma legislature. Last week was a week of formal goodbyes.
I gave a farewell speech to the House, which you can watch, if you’d like. Go here to see the video. The House Democrats held their annual Sine Die Party, and roasted me and other departing legislators. The Democratic Legislative Assistants prepared a delicious luncheon (Covered dish. All their best cooking. It was to die for.) with a cake with all our names and said another round of good-byes. I even got a small — and lovely — good-bye editorial in the Oklahoman.
We are still in the busiest time of the legislative process. We haven’t shut down. Not at all. That means I’m going to be tres busy until we actually do sine die. (Sine die is the motion we make to adjourn the legislative session.) But I am grateful beyond words to my colleagues for giving me these many avenues of good-bye.
Each of these things is a rite of passage for what has to be a huge transition in my life. Leaving the legislature is a little bit like a soldier, coming home from a war. You are leaving a combative, total environment which engages you on every level and returning to a world that now seems out of kilter by comparison.
Wherever people are for a period of time, that becomes their normal. Normal for me has long ago become the totally unreal world of elected politics.
At the same time, I am way past glad to be leaving. God gave me something like marching orders for the rest of my life a few years ago when I was sitting in the cathedral at Fatima. I’ve dithered since then, occupied and preoccupied by the legislative wars and the many needs of my constituents. If you don’t think that these things are a 24/7 occupation that devours of all your thoughts and passions, then, you my friend, have never been a legislator.
Those of us who legislate or who have legislated know that there are very few jobs that swallow you whole like legislating does. It is difficult to disengage enough to maintain your friendships and family and retain something of your personality.
As for fulfilling the call that God gave me, I found it well nigh impossible. I need more than corners of time in my days to write the things He wants me to write. I’m not going to discuss in detail what I think this is all about. I have a lot of praying to do first.
I do know that I am not going to abandon the political process. I am also not going to stop writing about the intersection of public life and Christianity on this blog. I will, if anything, be a lot more free to talk about these issues now that I’m not bound to protect the privacy of so many people.
That is not to say that I will be talking about closed door conversations with my colleagues or divulging the almost endless private things that my constituents have shared with me through 18 years of elected office.
I have represented, cared for and cared about thousands of people for a very long time. In the course of that, many of them have opened their souls to me. I have never and I will never talk about the people who trusted me to be their voice in government and who honored me by opening their lives and hearts to me in conversations that were in fact and in truth non-sacramental confessions.
All these things I take with me to my grave.
What I will talk about is the intersection of public policy and publicly stated comments, actions, etc. I’ve operated for a long time using the standard that if something is published and circulated publicly, I can talk about it. That won’t change. It will, rather, be enhanced by the fact that I know what’s behind these things. I will be a lot less guarded in my opinions in the future when I do not have the responsibility for many thousands of people on my shoulders.
Christians in America have a mountain in front of us. After more than two hundred years of having things our way, we are faced with a society in which we are beleaguered. We live in post Christian America. Our task is to re-convert our nation to Christ. Right now, we are not up to that task. We are, in fact, confused, divided and overawed by our opposition.
That’s what I’m going to write about. Because somebody needs to do it. And because I am uniquely qualified for the job.
My favorite Representative Hamilton photo. From Rose Day 2014.
I tried to remember to thank everyone in this speech, but I somehow forgot to mention — even though I wrote their names down and they were right in front of me — two of the most important people. Louise Scoles, who fought for my election and was my sponsor when I entered the Catholic Church. And George Violette, my brother by another mother, who is family in every way except blood. I love both of you.
The “Tony” I introduce in the video is Tony Lauinger, president of Oklahomans for Life and Vice President of National Right to Life. He is my friend. I know that he will remain my friend after I leave office.
If you want to watch the speech, go here.
Pope Francis does it his way.
In a complete departure from previous papal trips abroad, he is bringing two friends of other faiths along with him on his upcoming trip to the Holy Land.
Pope Francis’ longtime friends, Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Omar Abboud, a leader in Argentina’s Islamic community, will accompany him on his journey to the Holy Land later this week.
The Vatican spokesman called this a “novelty.” I think of it as a symbol of what this land of many faiths could, and hopefully one day will, be.
From The New York Daily News:
VATICAN CITY – A rabbi and a Muslim leader will join Pope Francis on his upcoming trip to the Holy Land, the first time an official papal delegation has included members of other faiths, the Vatican said Thursday.
Francis’ two longtime friends and collaborators from his days as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Omar Abboud, a leader of Argentina’s Islamic community, are on the official delegation for the May 24-26 trip to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said their presence on the delegation was an “absolute novelty” desired by Francis to show the “normality” of having friends of other faiths.
Skorka and then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio together wrote “On Heaven and Earth,” which explores Jewish and Catholic perspectives on a host of issues. Abboud, meanwhile, was Bergoglio’s main Muslim interlocutor in Buenos Aires and recently participated in an Argentine interfaith pilgrimage tracing the key stops of Francis’ upcoming tour.
The Vatican has acknowledged that complaints listed in a canonical petition it received from alumni of Georgetown University are “well founded.”
What this means in real life, I’m not sure. Hopefully, it signals the beginning of a return to Catholic education at Catholic universities.
I, the undersigned, a Catholic in full communion with the Church, in keeping with the rights, duties and obligations of the Laity and the Christian faithful under the 1983 Code of Canon Law to make known our needs to our pastors through petition, to maintain communion with the Church, to perfect the order of temporal affairs, and legitimately to vindicate our rights in the Church, as well as the rights and duties we have under Article 4 of Ex corde Ecclesiae, we express our grave concern that our rights to know and follow the truth of the Catholic Church, to a Christian education, and others, have been violated by Georgetown University’s twenty-one year refusal to comply fully with the law of the Church through the implementation of the general norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae, and its eleven year non-compliance with certain particular norms adopted for the United States, which has led directly and indirectly to the tolerance and promotion of deviations from authentic doctrinal and moral teachings by Georgetown University authorities, a long series of Scandals to the faithful through actions inconsistent with a Catholic identity, and a growing threat to souls through the ever-spreading ideology of radical autonomy in Georgetown’s institutional initiatives, and to the academic freedom of professors and students in favor of new illiberal and intolerant orthodoxies. I, therefore, petition in the protection of my rights and in fulfillment of my duties in accord with Canon Law, for such relief to obtain the implementation of canon law and Ex corde Ecclesiae that has been requested by the Petition submitted by William Peter Blatty.
The Vatican replied to the petition on April 4. Here is the text of their letter to Mr Blatty from Archbishop Angelo Vicenzo Zani, the secretary for the Congregation for Catholic Education.
CONGREGATIO DE INSTITUTIONE CATHOLICA
(DE STUDIORUM INST!TUTIS)
Rome, 4 April 2014
Dear Mr. Blatty,
Further to our letters to you of 22 October 2013 and 19 December 2013, both with
the above protocol number, our Congregation has examined your petition for hierarchical
recourse in the matter of Georgetown University. We hereby notify you that:
(1) The matters to which you referred in your communications to this Dicastery
cannot be considered grounds for a hierarchical recourse, inasmuch as the
petitioner in such a recourse must be able to show that he/she has suffered an
objective change in his/her condition due to an administrative act.
(2) Your communications to this Dicastery in the matter of Georgetown University
instead constitute a well-founded complaint. Our Congregation is taking the issue
seriously, and is cooperating with the Society of Jesus in this regard.
Taking the opportunity to express to you our sentiments of consideration and
esteem, we remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani
May 15 is the United Nation’s International Day of the Family.
Monsignor Vicenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Council on the Family, will go to New York to address the United Nations for this event. He also had a few words to say in advance. He commented that people will say “forever” to a soccer team (or here in Oklahoma, to the Sooners) but to their own husband or wife, not so much.
The family has been sliced and diced almost out of existence by our modern culture. Now, it is being legally defined into meaninglessness. Without the family as a base, other forms of community fail alongside it.
God calls each of us to use our talents and whatever years of life He gives us to further the Kingdom.
There is no one way to do this. In fact, there are as many ways as there are people. I believe that the most Christlike thing I have ever done was to raise my children. The sacrificial love of a mother truly is a Gospel love. When mother love fails, nothing can replace or compensate for it.
Celine Diaz is a beautiful young woman with an equally beautiful voice. She had the option to move into the world of fame through secular music, but felt called to turn to Christian music, instead.
In that way, her gift has become a gift to all of us.
I’m a little disappointed in Public Catholic readers.
I posted a video yesterday of First Lady Michelle Obama talking about the girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram. The first lady also discussed the attacks on girls in a more general fashion.
A number of Public Catholic readers responded with knee-jerk denunciations of the first lady that sounded very much like anything-she’s-against-I’m-for. The really ugly — and flat-out shameful — comments are now sleeping in the delete file.
If Michelle Obama finds a cure for cancer, are Public Catholic readers going to come out in favor of cancer?
It appears that if she speaks in support of hundreds of school girls who have been kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam and are being sold as slaves, then at least some Public Catholic readers will evince difficulty in supporting the girls alongside her. They will instead launch into divisive and rather ugly attacks on her and by doing that, come out, at least obliquely, in support of violence and atrocities against women.
Is there violence against men and boys, as well? Yes. But to suddenly start proclaiming that women and girls are not treated as second class citizens all over the globe and that they are not subjected to horrific violence is not only ridiculous, it is disgusting.
I’m going to put a video from the Vatican below in support of the kidnapped girls. Boko Haram has released another of their charming videos. It appears that they are now demanding some sort of prisoner exchange for the girls they haven’t already sold.
Pope Francis has spoken in favor of these girls and against their kidnapping. I realize that by posting a video from the Vatican, I will now have to start deleting the comments from people who hate Pope Francis as well as those who hate Michelle Obama.
Because, you see, there are those — all of whom feel they are not only faithful Catholics, but more more faithful in their Catholicism than the pope himself — who, if Pope Francis discovered a cure for cancer, would come out in favor of cancer.
This kind of thinking is not thinking at all. If someone you don’t like says something that is true, then they said something that is true. When you attack the truth, or in this case, the plain facts and reality itself, in order to discredit them, you don’t discredit them. You discredit yourself.
Do not be driven by your hatreds people. In fact, take a look at yourself and stop hating others because you disagree with them. Don’t let your ideologies drive out your capacity for compassion, fair play and common sense.
I’m too busy this week and for the next couple of weeks to write as much as I normally do. And I’m going to be tired, grumpy, irascible and mistake-prone. If I’ve said this too harshly, please remember that I respect and like Public Catholic’s readers. But don’t come on here and speak out, even obliquely, in support of the atrocities committed against women and girls because someone you disagree with politically said that these atrocities are wrong.
Stop knee-jerking. And think.
So it turns out that those pesky Satanists who want to decorate my state capitol lawn with what is one ugly bit of Satanic statuary also have their eyes set on higher ed.
The Satanic Temple evidently plans to hold a black mass at the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club. That’s Harvard, as in the hugely expensive university where so many of the poobahs that run this country for their own benefit get their tickets to power punched.
I chose to ignore this story when it first surfaced because I had no idea if it was true, and I had zero time for tracking it down. But Elizabeth Scalia, aka, The Anchoress, who is easily as busy as I am, made the time to do just that.
It turns out that yes indeed, Harvard is playing host to the black mass folks, and at least one of them is claiming that they’ve managed to procure a consecrated host to use in their alternative culture extravaganza. Others of them aren’t so sure they have a host, and after thinking it over (and getting flak from The Anchoress) they’ve announced that, even though they have — or don’t have, depending on who’s doing the talking — a consecrated host, they won’t be using it (if they do have it) at their shindig.
Of course, Satan is the father of lies, and these are his disciples, so who knows if they have a consecrated host or not? Who knows if they’ll use it?
In an interview on Mobile Movement, the leader of this hardy band of the damned first says that they do, in fact, worship Satan. Then, he goes off on a riff about literary constructs, referencing Milton and Anatole France. Since, as I said earlier, Satan is the father of lies, I don’t think it matters all that much what this guy says. Believe it or don’t, as it suits you. But, if you’re smart, don’t bet anything valuable on it.
Deacon Greg Kandra reminds us that Harvard was once a Christian university, that it was, in fact, founded on Christian principles. But that, as they say, was then. This is now.
Academic pretensions aside, Harvard today is the premiere ticket-puncher for the power elite of this country. Go to Harvard, rule the unwashed masses. There’s nothing, but absolutely nothing, Christian about that.
So, it doesn’t surprise that in addition to worshipping power and mammon, they’re taking the mask off that deal and putting the guy behind the mask right out there in public where we can all see him.
Not to be limited to ugly art and profaning the mass, the followers of the dark lord are also getting into politics. According to their Facebook Page, The Satanic Temple is running an Adopt a Highway campaign, and plans to hold a tongue-in-cheek rally in support of Florida Governor Rick Scott, an honor which I doubt the good governor really wants.
What do I advocate in response to Harvard’s foray into cultural experimentation by way of satan worship and talk of maybe defiling what might be a consecrated host that is the Real Presence of Christ the Lord?
Just this: Don’t send your kids to Harvard. And write your senators and representatives about taking a good long look at all those government grants that get funneled into that one school.
We need to do this anyway, you know. Harvard and its little troupe of elite schools are not healthy for this country. They create a 1% that is disconnected from and hostile to the rest of us. They are, in many ways, predatory. It would be much better for this country if we offered some of those grants to other institutions, including non-academic organizations.
The only other thought I have is to pray for these satanists. Not only are they desperate for attention and more than a little crazy acting, they’ve got horrifically bad taste in art.
This is the ugly statue that the Satanic Temple wants to put on Oklahoma’s Capitol grounds.