Pope Francis speaks from the heart to his brother priests in a touching, whimsical discussion.
I’m posting here to make sure you have a chance to see it. This video gives us the complete Pentecostal service in which they played the Holy Father’s message. If you have time, watch it all the way through and be blessed.
This is wonderful. The Holy Spirit can do so much when He gets His hands on someone who will do what’s asked of them.
At this time when Christianity is under attack it is so important for us to stand together. God bless our wonderful Pope Francis and our Pentecostal brothers and sister in Christ.
Following the teachings of the Catholic Church means that you will always be on the right side of history, which is the side of human dignity.
Archbishop John J Myers, the New Jersey bishop who allowed a convicted child-molesting priest to return to ministry with children, is retiring.
According to NJ.com, Archbishop Myers is planning to retire to an $800,000 mansion, which he is refurbishing with diocesan dollars to the tune of another $500,000.
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the “Bishop of Bling.”
That doesn’t compare with the 40-million euros the Bishop of Bling spent, but it’s far beyond what seems needed and necessary for the comfortable retirement of one elderly priest, even in New Jersey’s inflated real estate dollars.
He is adding a 3,000 square foot addition to the already large house. The addition will have an indoor exercise pool, three fireplaces and an elevator. To top it off, the half million to build this thing does not include fees for the architects, cost of furnishings (furnishing this much real estate won’t be cheap) or landscaping.
I think we should also add the inevitable cost of upkeep, cleaning, etc. I rather doubt that Arichbishop Myers plans to do his own vacuuming and dusting.
My own Archbishop lives in a modest ranch-style home. The retired Archbishop of Oklahoma City, who I think of as my spiritual father, also lives modestly.
It is possible that this building will not be used solely as a residence for Archbishop Myers. Maybe it will be a retirement home for a number of priests, and not just the Archbishop. Frankly, I’m having a hard time believing that he would do something this stupid and destructive in these times.
Nothing in the news story indicates that the residence is intended to be anything more than Archbishop Myers’ private home. But if it turns out that there is another side to this story, I will be happy to write about it here.
In these times of imploding culture, when the Church and the faithful are under attack from so many quarters, we are desperately in need of inspiration and leadership from behind the altar. What Archbishop Myers appears to be doing with his retirement home isn’t it.
Update: My friend and colleague Kathy Schiffer has a different take on this here.
The 4,500-square-foot home sits on 8.2 wooded acres in the hills of Hunterdon County. With five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a three-car garage and a big outdoor pool, it’s valued at nearly $800,000, records show.
But it’s not quite roomy enough for Newark Archbishop John J. Myers.
Myers, who has used the Franklin Township house as a weekend residence since the archdiocese purchased it in 2002, is building a three-story, 3,000-square-foot addition in anticipation of his retirement in two years, The Star-Ledger found. He will then move in full-time, a spokesman for the archbishop said.
The new wing, now just a wood frame, will include an indoor exercise pool, a hot tub, three fireplaces, a library and an elevator, among other amenities, according to blueprints and permits filed with the Franklin Township building department.
The price tag, the records show, will be a minimum of a half million dollars, a figure that does not include architectural costs, furnishings and landscaping.
Construction is progressing as Myers asks the 1.3 million Roman Catholics of the archdiocese to open their wallets for the “archbishop’s annual appeal,” a fundraising effort that supports an array of initiatives, including religious education, the training of future priests and feeding the poor.
More significantly, it comes at a time when Pope Francis has made profligate church spending a target of his early tenure.
Francis, who eschewed the papal palace for a modest guest apartment and who gave up a Mercedes in favor of a Ford, has criticized bishops for living “like princes” and has called for a “poor church for the poor.”
In a move that signaled his impatience on the matter, the pope suspended the bishop of Limburg, Germany, in October for spending $42 million to renovate his residence and other church buildings. The German press dubbed the free-spending cleric the “Bishop of Bling.”
The pope resigned one year ago.
The lightning struck.
And, one year later, the Church is still here.
Thou art Peter. Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Cardinal Designate Fernando Sebastian
This is the sort of story that makes you want to kiss the Bill of Rights.
Eigthy-four-year-old Cardinal Designate Fernando Sebastian answered a question about homosexuality by saying:
“… that a lot of people “complain and don’t tolerate it, but with all respect I say that homosexuality is a defective way of manifesting sexuality, because that has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation.
”He compared homosexuality to his own high blood pressure — “a defect I have that I have to correct as far as I can”. He added: “Pointing out a defect to a homosexual is not an offence, it is a help because many cases of homosexuality can be recovered and normalised with adequate treatment.”
Now, he’s under investigation by the prosecutor of the province of Malaga, Spain for “hate speech.” The gay rights group, Colegas, lodged a complaint against the Cardinal designate, for “violating the constitution’s guarantees of dignity and non-discrimination and for ‘clearly inciting hate and discrimination.’”
Archbishop Emeritus Sebastian’s appointment as Cardinal won’t be official until February 22. Activists started a petition, which news reports say have as many as 20,000 signatures, asking the Holy Father to rescind the announced promotion.
Evidently, there’s a lop-sided kind of freedom of speech in Spain. The people who are attacking Cardinal Designate Sebastian seem to feel free to start petitions and issue allegations. But he is not supposed to hold an opinion that they disagree with.
It is sad to see Spain behaving this way. It is a lovely country that has already suffered much from dictatorial governments.
Spanish prosecutors have opened an investigation into newly chosen Cardinal-desginate Fernando Sebastian Aguilar after a homosexual-rights group accused him of hate speech for calling homosexuality a “defect”.
AFP reports that the public prosecutor for the southern province of Malaga, Juan Carlos Lopez, had opened a preliminary inquiry “to clarify whether the allegations constitute a criminal offence.”
Cardinal-designate Sebastian is one of 19 new prelates Pope Francis has named to be elevated to the College of Cardinals at a consistory on February 22.
The 84-year-old archbishop emeritus of Pamplona said in a newspaper interview last month that a lot of people “complain and don’t tolerate it, but with all respect I say that homosexuality is a defective way of manifesting sexuality, because that has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation.”
He compared homosexuality to his own high blood pressure — “a defect I have that I have to correct as far as I can”. He added: “Pointing out a defect to a homosexual is not an offence, it is a help because many cases of homosexuality can be recovered and normalised with adequate treatment.”
Kathy Schiffer, who writes at Seasons of Grace, published a post today about one feminist’s list of things she’d like to see Pope Francis do.
Kathy does a fine job of critiquing this To Do List — which was written by Angela Bonavoglia — from the viewpoint of a faithful Catholic.
Predictably, there was not one thing on this list that would help, or that even addresses, the real problems that endemic misogyny foists on real woman in the real world.
The list was all about demands that the Catholic Church change its hierarchy, appoint a woman cardinal and, oh yes, do away with the celibate priesthood. There was a call to “leave behind the Virgin Birth,” and the predictable demand that the Church get its head right about abortion and contraception.
The only thing on the list that I agree with is that the Vatican should have women on the panels when it discusses women. That’s what you might call a no-brainer. I’ll go a step further and say that the Church should have women on its advisory panels on most topics. We are, after all, half the human race.
I am aware that virtually all of today’s “official” feminists do not consider me much of a woman, much less a feminist, due to my support for the sanctity of human life. Abortion has become the qualifier for what is a feminist in their minds. This is a tragedy, both for feminism and for the women of the world who are in such desperate need of a movement that will speak for them and to them.
The author of the Pope Francis To Do List left out the two fundamental human rights that are denied women in every corner of this globe. She didn’t mention the basic and absolutely essential right to life for female babies and little girls. She also ignored the human right of all people — including women — to live without fear of being bought, sold, raped, beaten, tortured or murdered.
Think about this for a minute.
Girls right here in America are regularly cautioned not to drink from open containers at parties for fear their drink might be drugged and they will end up gang raped by the men at the party. Girls in college dorms are cautioned about this before going to fraternity parties. These fraternities and their behavior are that well known. But the college administration does nothing about it except to caution the girls to be careful.
Here’s a thought Mr or Ms College President: If you can’t trust a fraternity not to drug and gang rape their guests, maybe you should close the fraternity.
Women all over the world know that they cannot go outside alone in certain areas, that they may not wear certain types of clothes, all for fear of violent attack.
Certain cultures here in America and whole cultures elsewhere tolerate husbands who routinely rape their wives, because she “belongs to him.”
Women are bought and sold like chattel on on-line porn sites, on the streets and byways, and in the offices of medical doctors. Egg harvesters run ads on college campuses to entice young girls to endanger their lives and their future fertility by allowing their bodies to be brutalized by massive doses of hormones, then subjected to totally unnecessary surgeries in order to harvest eggs. Women are used in an international surrogacy industry that leaves many of them, especially in other countries, dead.
Women and children of both sexes are trafficked all over the globe in an international sex trafficking industry. This industry could not exist without men who are willing to buy women and children and use them as if they were things.
Sex tourism is a major contributor to the economies of a number of small countries, including island nations in the Caribbean. Again, this could not happen without customers who come from more affluent places to buy human beings and use them without regard for their humanity.
This leads me to an admission.
I have a wish list for Pope Francis of my own.
It’s the same wish list I’ve had for every pope since I converted to Catholicism. It will be my wish list until I either go home to the Lord, or a pope finally grants it.
I want to see a full-scale Encyclical condemning the wholesale, endemic and historic violence against women that is the shame of the human race. I have written previous popes letters, asking them to do this. I haven’t written Pope Francis about it yet, but I must. I will.
I can not describe what such an encyclical would mean to the women of the world. It is so needed — and so long overdue.
As for the feminist woman and her list of things she wants Pope Francis to do, my advice is for her to stop making her feminism about her grudge fights with the Church and start making it about the needs of women who are faced with virulent, degrading and often fatal misogyny.
These are strong words from Pope Francis. He goes on to say that we should be like King David who followed God, even when he disagreed.
So, we should.
Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.