Pewsitter Insults Pope and Jesus

Pewsitter Insults Pope and Jesus March 2, 2015

There is a story told about St. Lawrence:

At the beginning of August 258, the emperor Valerian issued an edict that all bishops, priests, and deacons should immediately be put to death. Sixtus was captured on 6 August 258, at the cemetery of St. Callixtus while celebrating the liturgy and executed forthwith.
After the death of Sixtus, the prefect of Rome demanded that St Lawrence turn over the riches of the Church. St. Ambrose is the earliest source for the tale that St Lawrence asked for three days to gather together the wealth. He worked swiftly to distribute as much Church property to the poor as possible, so as to prevent its being seized by the prefect. On the third day, at the head of a small delegation, he presented himself to the prefect, and when ordered to give up the treasures of the Church he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering, and said these were the true treasures of the Church. One account records him declaring to the prefect, “The Church is truly rich, far richer than your emperor.” This act of defiance led directly to his martyrdom

This is the Holy Spirit: the Spirit of the Catholic Faith. And here is another example:

Shortly after New Years Day, this happened:

The Holy See press office has confirmed the news of the burial of a homeless man in the Teutonic College cemetery within Vatican City State. Willy was a homeless man of Flemish origin.  His exact age was unknown but he was believed to have been around 80 years of age. He died on  December 12 last year and was buried in the Teutonic Cemetery on January 9 this year.

Willy was a familiar face to many in the area of the Vatican. He attended daily Mass in  Sant’Anna parish in the Vatican and spent his days and nights on the streets around St. Peter’s Square, Borgo Pio and Via di Porta Angelica. The pastor of Sant’Anna in the Vatican, Father Bruno Silvestrini, had dedicated the Nativity Scene at Christmas to Willy, adding a homeless man among the shepherds. He loved to pray, he had a good heart, attended the morning Mass at St. Anna every day and always sat in the same place. Read more at Vatican Radio

Willy stands in a long tradition of poor pilgrims who lived close to the heart of Jesus Christ.  Some of them, like St. Benedict Joseph Labre, are canonized.  But all of them–every last one–is, we are assured by Jesus Christ, Jesus himself.  Inasmuch as we do it to the least of these, we do it to him.

Pope Francis, knowing this, has honored this poor man in exactly the way biblical and Catholic tradition–and St. Lawrence–does.

So how do the Greatest Catholics of All Time at Pewsitter report this?  Abbey Roads has the story:

Screenshot: FrancisChurch: Bum given bishop’s resting place …

Willy Herteleer, pilgrim.
Photo credit, Paul Badde
Memo to Dives, the editor of this deeply and sinfully unCatholic headline and to every consumer of Pewsitters’ insults to the pope and the poor who did not shower Pewsitter with rebukes for it.  In your malice against the Holy Father,  the successor of Peter, you have now insulted Jesus Christ in his precious poor one in the very hour of his death.  Mary Magdalene went out of her way to anoint the body of Christ.  You went out of your way to spit on it.  If you value your soul, meditate on this and repent before it is too late:
“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.’ ”(Lk 16:19–31).
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • MarylandBill

    Obviously, I cannot judge either the people at pewsitter or Mr. Herteleer. That being said, I can judge their actions, and it seems that Herteleer took the Gospel message very much into his heart. May he rest in the peace of God.

    • antigon

      Nonsense. Giving up all your possessions in order to adore & receive Christ every day? When you could be out, I don’t know, partying, making money, watching Fox news, I mean doing something that really makes a difference!

      • antigon

        And yet, alas, one could note at Abbey Roads a contradictory comment purportedly defending il current Papa that says:
        *
        ‘people doing the complaining and finger-pointing will one day have to stand before the Almighty and explain why they spent so little time building up and so much of it tearing down. And they will have to explain why they neglected their own imperfections and sinfulness in order to broadcast those of Catholics they perceive to be less holy/more heretical than they are.’
        *
        Contradictory because, again alas, it might not be entirely unfair to note how applicable that comment would be to no few of what one might almost be inclined to call quasi-Jansenist diatribes from…the current bishop of a venerable Italian See.

        • antigon

          Note to self about immediate final paragraph above:
          *
          At least *7* qualifiers with 3 cancelling negatives? Really?
          *
          Reply: hey, that See brought down Napoleon & lots of other emperors, plus the Soviet Union, so, you know, one hesitates just to barge in. Besides Ross Douthat has to retire some day, so…

  • Shawna Mathieu

    Willy Herteleer is in good company. Our Lord died a criminal’s death, but a rich man gave him his own sepulture, and I think we can guess what the actual Pharisees said about that.

    • RufusChoate

      What a great analogy. Bravo very well played. God Bless.

  • tj.nelson

    Thanks for writing this Mark.

  • antigon

    Chapeau, Mr. Shea! And Mr. Herteleer, whom we might invoke with Lawrence & Lavre & so many, to cool the bitter hearts of those who scorn Christ & indeed all the faithful of His Catholic Church.

  • I was once thrown out of the crypt at the National Shrine because the bishops were “robing.”

    i complained to a priest, who told me i might meet Jesus standing outside a church, saying: They won’t let me in there either.

  • neoconned

    Done with Pewsitter forever.

  • Mark R

    It is an improvement, I guess, on dropping St. Alexis of Rome,

  • Jude

    “Greatest Catholics of All Time?” Since I accidentally clicked on a link that took me to this, I just want to say that while the headline was unfortunately worded (like many of the current pope’s statements), it is hardly a reason for you to go over the edge with, “If you value your soul….., and repent before it is too late.”
    You’re a blogger. Get over yourself already.

    • antigon

      ‘You’re a blogger. Get over yourself already.’
      *
      Also a Catholic, for whom admonishing the sinner is a spiritual work of mercy – & in a case as egregious as this, arguably an obligatory one.

      • Jude

        A poorly worded headline is not exactly crying unto the heavens for God’s vengeance. It was a poor word choice, nothing more. You honestly think the person who wrote it is going to hell and deserves to be called “filth” by the sooooo Christian Mark Shea?

        • chezami

          No. It was a spiteful attack on pope Francis, the substance of which said–and meant to say–that this worthless bum had no place being honored by this Commie Pope who makes a show of caring about the poor the editors of Pewsitter despise and spit on.

          • antigon

            ‘It was a spiteful attack on pope Francis.’
            *
            No doubt that was the motivation, but at near its deepest level, the attack was on the Faith Itself.

            • chezami

              Agreed. But that is Pewsitters’ bread and butter. It is a citadel of pride and contempt for the body of Christ.

              • antigon

                Mr. Shea:
                *
                Actually never saw it ’til now. Vaguely recall from your site that it wanted Cheney canonized on the grounds that cackling at innocents while torturing them to death was one of those pursuits Christ insisted upon, but that St. John for want of space neglected to mention.
                *
                While something of a busier effort to imitate Drudge, Pewsitters seems chiefly a neocon site meant to keep folk unhappy with il current Papa on the only reservation the neocons, & so presumably either the folk or stooges who run the thing, really care about. Given the need imperative for endless war, you know, every angle’s important.
                *
                Also possibly an effort to defend various evolution arguments in light of its rather simian-like propensity against thought in favor of howling.
                *
                Howling or – in his race to surpass Mr. Gingrich & collect as many wives as the Koran allows – what Mr. Giuliani likes to call love.

            • hptessla

              If the vilest attack upon my faith is to claim that we bury bums among the Bishops I say bring it.

              • antigon

                Not the vilest, dear h, but vile enough.

        • chezami

          Only abortionists and selected Lefties are in danger of the fires of hell. Proud Pharisees who spit on the poor man in the hour of his death have nothing to worry about. No need for them to repent.

        • antigon

          ‘It was a poor word choice.’
          *
          C’mon, Jude, why defend the indefensible? There is something very close to the Heart of Christ Himself in the lives of – of all the saints to be sure, & yet in a very particular way with – the mendicant saints, Lavre, Francois d’Asis, our Lord Himself.
          *
          And since far from impossible Mr. Herteleer as well who at the very least embodied the aspiration to that Heart, it’s not at all a mere poor choice of words involved here, but in fact an unmistakable & objective attack on the Catholic Faith, what She believes, & so on Her Lord.
          *
          That’s not hyperbole. That’s just – obvious, to anyone who knows anything about Catholicism.
          *
          And people who attack the Faith, not to say so centrally, & particularly when demonically launching such an attack in the *name* of the Faith, are, you know, sure, flirting dangerously with the angels their effort serves.
          *
          And if you’re a Catholic, Jude, it’s your job to say so, not to encourage or defend the dangerous flirtation.
          *
          And perhaps to invoke Mr. Herteleer’s assistance to these folk, & to all of us, that he might help us gain some measure of the wisdom & love it seems he clearly had.

          • chezami

            Hear! Hear!

        • hptessla

          Somewhere in this fascinating debate we should all wonder what Mr. Herteleer’s reaction was to being called what I am pretty sure he heard many times. Perhaps he smiled at God’s grace in allowing him to be slighted as the least among us? I imagine Willy, whatever his faults and strengths, wasn’t too bothered by a few names here and there along his journey.

    • chezami

      It was not “unfortunately” worded, as though it was some accident. It was carefully and maliciously worded by a proud Pharisee who stand in danger of the everlasting fire of hell with his contempt for Peter and Christ, present in the least of these. Stop making excuses for this filth.

      • Jude

        Not that you’re judging the state of his soul or anything, right? What proof do you have of malice? And did you just call a fellow Christian filth? Well, I could say that you just maliciously worded that and that you stand in danger of hell. But I won’t. Because I live in the real world, not the blogosphere, and I understand that sometimes people make a mistake.

        • chezami

          His words are proof of his malice. And no, I called his words filth. But then you knew that, didn’t you? Stop making excuses for this filth.

        • Fr. Denis Lemieux

          The word ‘bum’ is completely indefensible from any position of Christian faith and charity. We serve these people in my community, and call them ‘Brothers Christopher’ – Christ-bearers. Because that’s what the Gospel tells us.

  • Mark: Bravo, well said, and thank you for this article. I see it as another example of Pope Francis’ pastoral concern for his brother bishop who are buried in that Vatican graveyard. Come the parousia, there will now be at least one holy soul among them to witness on their behalf.

    Fr. Tim Moyle
    Diocese of Pembroke

    • standtall909

      Yes, Fr. I agree with the Holy Father on this one. That’s NOT to say I agree with him on everything. There are times that he says some pretty strange ‘Catholic?’ things, and there are times he is right on. Sometimes he seems to talk out of both sides of his mouth. But this action I’m totally on board with.

      • hptessla

        I think that Jesuits learn the trick of using both sides of the mouth for speech in the seminary…to great effect.

  • J.Jocky

    You are admonishing the sinner? I think you are a deeply angry man and your admonition lacks charity. I do not think your anger allows you to understand opposing points of view.
    J.J.

    • Joe

      You’re kidding, right?

    • chezami

      He said, as he wrote in my comboxes in defense of spitting on a poor dead man who worshipped Jesus. How do people like you sleep at night?

  • RufusChoate

    A very just complaint and observation. I love, honor and obey the Pope but alas I doubt I will ever like and admire him as I like and admire Benedict XVI, Saint John Paul the second, Paul VI and Saint John XXIII etc.

    He is too much the blunt peasant bully, not very interesting in his theology which is often weird and a man who intemperately loves the sound of his own voice. I also don’t see his humility.

    He might improve or I might mellow but my period of habitually defending him against all complains about what he says is suspended.

    p.s. Also, I actually like the story of burying a “bum” with Bishops even though it is clear that the gentleman: Willy Herteleer was a good man and more of a pilgrim and street evangelist than one of street people and Roma (Gypsies) that frequent Rome. .

    • hptessla

      Of your named Popes I find all to have been the appropriate man for their time…with the possible exception of Paul VI whom I consider to have been a fairly weak Pope but Pope he still was and must have been for a reason.

      I think what is disconcerting about Francis to many people is that he is not choosing right, left or center consistently. What he is choosing is to stick to the teachings and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Personally, I think that his approach is spot on for the times. It seems to me that he is taking a classic Jesuit approach. He is leading people into the truth incrementally, the theology has long since been laid out…but how do you speak theology to a world that has no ear for it?

      John Paul II was able to reach out to the world as a sort of celebrity and he was intellectually gifted and issued forth much theology and doctrine. Benedict has more theology and doctrinal background than any recent Pope. However, they were speaking to the choir for the most part and in many ways that choir needed the pep talk. Francis is speaking to the choir as well as the world at large. He speaks in a language more suited to the world at large and in some ways the choir doesn’t like the accent. I find him as brilliant as JPII and Benedict but in different areas. If you pay attention Francis has a strategy and it is working.

      The people that have not liked what they have heard coming out of Rome for decades love him. Those who have liked what Rome has said for several decades seem not to like him. Yet he is saying nothing that changes the faith anywhere except in the mind of the hearers.
      The left is listening and coming back towards a Catholicism that they see as more in the mold they would form on their own. The Church will not change to accommodate where it cannot so once they reacknowledge the wisdom and beauty of the Church in so many matters there will be choices that have to be made on the other stuff.
      The right is going through less a love fest and more a fear fest over what they are hearing…not because it is wrong but because it is uncomfortable. Francis is choosing to focus in different areas than dogma and theology, which are very comfortable, well defined areas to the right.
      Personally I have always loved and identified with the Roman Centurion and been puzzled by God’s calling David ‘a man after my own heart’. The Centurion is always a comfort that I am doing things right because I have rules to follow. David throws all of that off for me…should I be doing ‘more’ at the risk of screwing up (in his case ‘screwing up’ entailed murdering a man to get his wife among other things). Then there’s also the parable of the prodigal son. Frankly I completely agree with the older son. I mean, happy the younger one is back and all but come on, he blew through a fortune and comes home to no consequences and a party?
      The world is always changing, history is dynamic (well, static as history but while it’s being made it’s dynamic) and specific times call for specific approaches. We really live in a post-Christian world and the way to change that does not seem to me to be from a dogma/theology angle – they don’t go away or change but they are not intelligible to the people you are trying to reach.

  • Kevin Whiteman

    Thank God for PewSitter.com.

    • chezami

      Another of the Greatest Catholics of All Time spits on Peter and Christ.

      • $121596887

        Wow.

      • antigon

        Spits, or – bends for a less benevolent perspective.

    • standtall909

      Boy, I agree Kevin! We have a few publications that have the courage to report what’s REALLY going on in the Church of Christ. LOL…..almost have to chuckle at the obvious absence of the story about Fr. Timothy Scott telling Cardinal Burke to ‘you know what’ on twitter for the world to see. And there were also a few who failed to report on Fr. Rosica’s lawsuit threat. You cannot tell me the mainstream Catholic media didn’t know about these things. Why they’re so quiet about these things is anyone’s guess. Maybe they don’t think it’s edifying to point out these unCatholic actions by our Priests, but just as bad is to be kept in the dark. How would we know who to pray for and offer sacrifices if we don’t know what’s going on? Personally, I think it’s negligent journalism.

      • chezami

        Your first mistake is in thinking this blog is journalism. Your second is in not noticing that other people at Patheos have already covered this teapot tempest in ecclesial politics (a general category that bores me to tears) so I thankfully don’t have to. There’s no conspiracy to keep you in the dark (which is why you know about those stories, since Catholic media have, in fact, covered them.

        • standtall909

          SOME of the Catholic media have, in fact, covered them, and SOME have not.

          • Petey

            So what’s the problem then?

          • chezami

            So what?

        • antigon

          Dear Mr. 9:
          *
          Actually your first mistake might be misunderstanding Pewsitters real purpose, which some suspect is not about reporting what is really going on in the Church of Christ, but instead to keep Catholics uneasy about il current Papa properly disposed to the neocon agenda & thus willing both to abide by & dutifully respond to its instructions.

    • antigon

      Dear Mr. Whiteman:
      *
      While something of a busier effort to imitate Drudge, Pewsitters seems chiefly a neocon site meant to keep folk unhappy with il current Papa on the only reservation the neocons, & so presumably either the folk or stooges who run the thing, really care about.
      *
      Given the need imperative for endless war, you know, every angle’s important.

  • Where is the article? Jack cannot locate it on the site.

    • chezami
      • Thank you. Has the article gone too?

      • Dan

        Meanwhile, a screenshot from this site:

        • chezami

          So what?

          • Heather

            To be fair, Patheos without Adblock is appallingly distracting and obnoxious. I would view it without in order to support the site and its bloggers financially but beyond the ugliness the flash ads tend to make my browser hang and I’ve had malware alerts with ads trying to run scripts, and those factors combined mean it’s Adblock all the way.

            That said, at least it’s not insulting the faithful departed and the reverence shown him.

            • chezami

              No argument from me.

            • I have come to the conclusion that it’s wisest to set flash to simply not run without specifically asking it to. My browsing experience has improved tremendously without using adblock.

  • Ms. B.- (yes from Texas)

    OH COME ON. I do agree that the headline about Willy seemed a little harsh, from what I have read of him. But I LOVE PewSitter. They provide balance to the sycophantic stuff you find all over “Catholic” media and that passes for “professional” “Catholic” “journalism.” Are you being overly harsh to PS to make a point, i.e. an editorial eye for an eye ? Or are you really making a mountain out of a molehill ? If this is the worst thing you can find to say about PS, I wouldn’t be worried if I were them. I can’t believe you even found this topic newsworthy or wasted your time on it with all the other better and more important things out there that Catholic media SHOULD be covering. Example ? Anything off of PewSitter.

    • chezami

      Spoken like one of the Greatest Catholics of All Time.

  • I will merely quote Robin Hood in Time Bandits: “What awful people.”

    Apostate is too kind a term.

  • I’m reduced, once again, to trying to figure out whether anything at all is true. There is a Teutonic Cemetery, the Pope doesn’t determine who gets buried there, but one of the organizations that does have a say, had a new member who was apparently well acquainted with the deceased and apparently very persuasive with his new fellow monks. You’ll see his name on the photo credit above.

    This is less a scandal of modernism than a Church version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I am singularly unappalled by the burial. Hopefully the guy who got bumped out of a plot there is not in as desperate need for a burial space which would be my only concern. The cemetery there is apparently over-subscribed.

    As for the headline. I do not find it far fetched that a bum might deserve a good burial place more than a bishop. Depends on the bishop, depends on the bum so far as I see things. Since not only bishops get buried there, it’s provocative clickbait at best but it also fails to provoke me. Perhaps the story is more scandalous but I didn’t find the link to the original and am trying not to get my dander up based on hearsay.

    Update: It turns out, the *news aggregator* Pewsitter (which up to now I have not read) probably simply cut and pasted the existing headline in from a site called Angelqueen. At least I think it did, assuming the link goes to the Angelqueen’s article by the same name. So the clickbait headline is Angelqueen’s and not Pewsitter’s. I’m at completely at a loss why all the fire is aimed at the aggregator and not the site that actually wrote the headline.

    • Steve P

      Well you are simply no fun, TM – no dander or being appalled? Isn’t that what the Internet was invented for?

      • antigon

        Absolutely. Besides, what’s there to upset about calling black folk nagaroos, Hebrews kites, or homeless daily communicants bims?
        *
        I mean, they’re just words, right? It’s not like that ever shapes the way people think or anything.

        • Clearly, my early life exposure to the NY Post has given me a different perspective. Good point. While I don’t respond much to that sort of thing, many people still do.

        • Dorrie Galea

          @ANTIGON
          Hebrews are not called ‘kites’ but something resembling the word you used; and these words are upsetting if you are on the receiving end of one of them.

          • antigon

            It is possible you are note alone in that suspicion Ms Galea.

    • Heather

      “I’m at completely at a loss why all the fire is aimed at the aggregator and not the site that actually wrote the headline.”

      The thing that makes people dislike Pewsitter is that these are the kind of stories (with the kind of slant) that they choose to share. Any aggregator uses some kind of curation. Someone decided that this was the kind of take on events that they wanted to share with their audience. Out of the whole internet and the number of stories on the gentleman being buried at that particular cemetery, this is is what someone, automated or not, decided best represented their take on it.

      • I could understand splitting the fire. You’re absolutely correct that pewsitter is exercising curation and they need to own that. What is surprising to me is that no fire is directed to the actual author. That’s fine politically, Angelqueen is likely a very small fish compared to Pewsitter. But Mark’s framing this in terms of sin and when it comes to sin, there are no small souls and big souls, people who have fallen and are too small to matter.

        So what do we have here, fraternal correction from a brother in christ or politics?

        • antigon

          The former, for anyone tempted to these sort of direct attacks on the Faith, or tempted to promote or defend such.

          • Pour encourager les autres hardly seems Catholic.

  • faithandfamilyfirst

    Willy Herteleer, pray for us.

  • john

    Ok, Marky!

  • john

    When are you going to write the article explaining why the Pope insults the Traditional Catholic Faith? Explain how we are supposed to believe that now we “dialogue” with the murderous heretics of Islam, hear lies that they worship the same God (impossible, as they do not believe in the Trinity)? Why is it our clerics and pope allow them to say blasphemous prayers in our churches? Pagan Buddhists and Hindus are ok too? I guess turning the other cheek now means letting our Catholic brothers and sisters die at the murderous hands of many of those false religions, but we need some clarification from someone like you as to why the church has now changed its teaching. How were the Gospels misinterpreted for nearly 2000 years?