But the Roman Church *does* ban ordination of married men to the priesthood.
I get annoyed every time I see a headline like “Pope Francis Says Ban on Female Priests Is Likely to Endure”.
But the Roman Church *does* ban ordination of married men to the priesthood.
I get annoyed every time I see a headline like “Pope Francis Says Ban on Female Priests Is Likely to Endure”.
If you listen to the MSM, you might have heard how those big meanies at Russia supposedly leaked emails to make poor innocent Hillary Clinton look bad, or how a leaked video of Donald Trump engaging in admittedly repulsive talk should destroy his campaign.
If you get your news on TV, you probably missed that among the latest “dump” of Clinton-related emails by Wikileaks are comments about setting up various front groups to undermine the “backwards” Catholic Church (as C. S. Lewis would say, if you’ve strayed off course from your goal, “backwards” is “progress”), proving that groups like “Catholics United for the Common Good” and other supposedly “moderate” groups that have sprung up in the past decade or so are, as I and others have argued, secular liberal front groups.
Many have asked why Julian Assange isn’t publishing much about Trump. Well, the big batch that was released this weekend and covered up by discussion of which members of which parties engage in worse violations of the second, sixth and ninth Commandments, also included evidence that another “conspiracy theory” was true: that the Clinton Campaign was behind the Trump campaign all along, to avoid someone like Rand Paul or Marco Rubio getting the nomination.
A third headline that you may have missed if you get your news from Clinton News Network, Nothing But Clinton, All ‘Bout Clinton or Clinton Broadcasting System (the more common acronym for CBS would violate my own broadcasting rules), and the one I’d like to reply to most directly here, concerns a batch of emails between some folks named John Halpin (email@example.com), Jennifer Palmieri (JPalmieri@americanprogress.org) and John Podesta (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’m sure these individuals’ emails are flooded, if not shut down, but I would like to reply to the following statement that’s garnered no small attention in the circles of conservative Catholicism (and, I imagine, counterweighted Trump’s obscenities for some of us on the fence about whether to vote for Trump or a more conservative third party candidate. Said Halpin:
[Catholic Conservatism is] an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.
Apparently, Mr. Halpin is “totally unaware” that “Christian Democracy” is not just an oxymoron but an outright contradiction.
Now, prior to the era of Donald Trump, I’d have pointed out how liberals can’t even communicate amongst themselves without resorting to rough language, but given that that is a perfectly good word abused by abusers of language, what is more of an — adulteration — of the Faith than to try and mask Socialism with Christianity and call it “Christian Democracy”, or to claim the Church has “severely backwards gender relations”?
[Catholic conservatives] can throw around “Thomistic” thought and “subsidiarity” and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the hell they’re talking about.sIt’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.
Well, first off, that’s precisely what we’re talking about–how to avoid going to Hell, which should the secondary concern of every person on the planet (the primary concern being learning how to properly respond in love to the selfless gift of Christ).
Second off, for people who throw around sentences like “postmodern approaches to reevaluating paradigms of patriarchal and Eurocentric hegemonies” to accuse anyone else of using “big words” to “sound smart” would make me laugh if I were physically capable of it anymore.
Third, and most importantly, if “Thomistic” political theory is too complicated for you (for me, St. Thomas Aquinas himself, once you learn the method of properly reading a Summa is about as simple and clear as possible), and if “subsidiarity,” one of the basic principles of Catholic Social Thought, going back at least as far back as Pope Pius XI, and best summarized in the famous dictum of Lord Acton, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, is too big a word, on this, the 99th anniversary of the Sun Dancing at Fatima, I would like to offer a far simpler explanation of why I, for one don’t support Socialism, Statism, modern “gender relations” or so-called “Christian democracy”. In the words of Our Lady:
“Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated.”
“God is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Communions of reparation and for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart … In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
(See also Miraculous Medal and La Salette Apparitions)
I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time. I often imagine the characters being dubbed by lines from their other famous roles, or else see the Transformers talking when I hear them in other shows or movies, between live action stars (e.g., Robert Stack of Unsolved Mysteries, Lionel Stander of Hart to Hart, Judd Nelson of Breakfast Club, Orson Wells of Citizen Kane, Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek) or the prolific and easily recognized voice actors like Frank Welker (always Fred on Scooby-Doo and Scooby himself since the death of Don Messick), Peter Cullen (Eeyore and many other Disney roles, not to mention TF’s direct competitors Gobots and Voltron), Scatman Crothers (Hong Kong Phooey), Casey Kasem (Shaggy), Susan Blu (the caller on Magic School Bus and many other roles) etc. If I had the time to waste, I’d redub the movie, but here instead are some clips with quotes or paraphrases as captions).
“Blood that but one drop of/ has the worth to win/all the world forgiveness/of its world of sin” (Gerard Manley Hopkins, after St Thomas Aquinas).
It is a great disgrace that one of the most important verses in the Passion narrative has been distorted into a statement of hate such that to even quote it is considered hate speech.
Unless we accept Christ’s self-offering, we have no place in His kingdom (Jn 13:8). Pilate, by professing his innocence, proclaims his own guilt. The people, by accepting the guilt for Christ’s death, and accepting His blood, are actually accepting their own redemption.
Didn’t St. Francis de Sales say something about honey and vinegar?
*However*, let’s say that the person in Group 2 encounters someone in Group d5, and says, “Hey! Those books you love! I like them too! Let’s talk about them!” Then the person in Group 3 helps the person in Group 5 see how the books point to Christ. This is how J.R. R. Tolkien influenced the conversion of C. S. Lewis. Lewis had rejected the notion that “everyone else in the world is a sinner going to Hell for not believing in the true God.” Tolkien taught him how all religions, not just Judaism, point to Christianity. He showed Lewis how Christ was the historical fulfillment of all those pagan myths Lewis loved, which was a more satisfying explanation than “Those myths are all lies of demons.”
So the person in Group 2 thinks that the books have merit for fellow Christians if read with guidance. The person in Group 6 thinks they have no merit, but if Group 6 could get a lot more leverage in dealing with Groups 3 and 5 if he at least adopts the approach of Group 2.
In 2009, an attorney named Harvey Silverglate published a book called Three Felonies a Day that became a kind of a meme or urban legend, that seems sensationalist but is really based on simple facts. He used to have a website that summarizes his book, but I can’t find it. First, most federal law does not include the condition of “criminal intent.”
The FBI recently said that Hillary Clinton should *not* be prosecuted for “gross negligence” in exposing classified information because she didn’t know any better, yet a Naval servicement is charged with a felony for taking six photos of the inside of a submarine (and potentially going to jail when crewmembers of the same ship did the same and received internal disciplinary actions).
Second, federal law is so pervasive. One of Silverglate’s examples is the “Honest Services” clause of the mail-and-wire fraud statute, which is so vaguely worded that anyone who calls in sick to go shopping or see a show is guilty of a felony. Speaking of which, technically using an alias online is wire fraud.
Ever download or record something copyrighted without paying? Pass off someone else’s work as your own? How many times does the average person break copyright law?
What about EPA regulations?
Almost anyone involved in education has done something that violates FERPA. Almost anyone involved in healthcare has violated HIPAA or ACA.
Then there are the stories Silverglate tells us people wandering onto federal property, not realizing it, since there’s so much of it, and being charged with traspassing or theft.
Personally, I think Silverglate’s *three* felonies a day is optimistic.
Another issue Silverglate doesn’t touch on, at least in that context, is the “witch hunt” scenario. The New England “witch” scare that led to the Salem Trials started with a book by one of the Mathers about “witchcraft” (Catholicism) among Irish and Caribbean slaves. Now, some “witches” were selling what we’d now call recreational drugs like marijuana and “magic mushrooms.” Sometimes, they or other witches were the forerunners of Planned Parenthood (the only convicted witch in Virginia history was convicted of selling abortifacients and contraceptives, and pardoned centuries after her execution by Tim Kaine). Some were practicing voodoo and other pagan religions, but whatever their reasons for being accused, those who were “guity” admitted it, and took deals by “naming names.” The women they named were mostly innocent, but since they *were* innocent and knew nothing of “witchcraft,” they were prosecuted.
The same happens today with many federal cases, particularly the “War on Drugs”: a criminal keeps his family in the dark about his activities. When he and his wife or roommate or whomever are arrested, he takes the deal and names his wife or roommate or whomever as knowing about it. The innocent and ignorant person goes to jail.
And because these laws are so vaguely worded, and so expansive, anyone can be prosecuted for any reason if the government wants to. Joe Schmoe gets fired or sent to jail for checking his work email at home, but Hillary Clinton is running for president?
Meanwhile, there’s a local story about the indictment of 20 “Irish Travelers” on 45 fraud charges. I had first heard of Irish Travelers through their popular culture representation, and, being inclined to support an underdog, have had a hard time discerning whether the allegations are accurate. If you’ve ever heard of “red Irish” versus “black Irish” (a rivalry once depicted on 30 Rock between fictional Jack Donaghy and non fictional Conan O’Brien), or “lact curtain Irish” or “Shanty Irish,” that’s the Travelers. Whether they’re related to “real gypsies” is disputed.
As disdained as the Irish are in general, the Travelers in Ireland are disdained by the other Irish, as well. Around here, I find that when non-Catholics hear I’m Catholic, they think I’m a Traveler. When other Catholics around the state hear I’m from North Augusta, they think “Traveler.” Ironically, Travelers drive much nicer vehicles than we do, generally dress and style their hair “expensively” (even if the follow out-of-date fashions).
On All Saints’ Day about 5 years ago, we had to drive upstate overnight because my wife had an event there for work, and one of our kids had a medical appointment. When we went to get dinner after arriving in Greenville, we realized we’d left our only card at the McDonald’s we stopped at for lunch. We called to cancel it, but it was too late to go to the bank in person for a withdrawl. Finding myself, in the middle of a real life occurrence of a cliche scam, I took the kids to Mass then asked for help. The parish business manager was the usher, and he got the pastor, who gave us the $60 I requested. That covered a hotel room (how many parents have saved on hotel rooms by undercounting their kids?) and some vending machine food. In the morning, I *did* go to the bank and get the cash, then came back to the church to give back the $60.
The business manager said, “Thanks for restoring my faith in humanity. Keep the money and do something special for your kids.” He mentioned the Irish Travelers in North Augusta (I guess he thought we were Travelers), and recommended their church as a beautiful place to visit, as it had rescued the stained glass windows from an old church in Philadelphia.
It took us a while to actually visit, because we were worried about their reputation for being clandestine, reclusive, etc. While they have a reputation for wearing fancy clothes and hairdos, and the women *do* have 60s and 80s style hair, for daily Mass and devotional services, at least, they dress pretty much like my wife and I do (hence the common impression of people, especially when I’m wearing the jacket they gave me–more on that later). They usually wear religious t-shirts or hoodies.
Their liturgical music is Haugen-Haas, and the most orthodox publications in their vestibule are the diocesan newspaper and Catholic Worker. Otherwise, it’s the “Fishwrap,” US Catholic or Commonweal–I forget which.
OTOH Their parish has Adoration, various Novenas, Rosaries, Legion of Mary and a few other groups. They have an outdoor shrine to the Infant of Prague.
We don’t know if the first daily Mass we went to there was something special, or they just always have a meal, but contrary to reputation, they invited us to join them after Mass for a very nice little buffet in the vestibule. The “lace curtain” part of their reputation is of course a penchant for enjoying fancy food, fancy houses and fancy cars that makes this Carmelite rather uncomfortable.
We went that once for daily Mass in the evening. Then in the Lent before my surgery, we went for daily Mass and Stations on Friday. That was when I noticed the women wearing the religious hoodies and asked about them. They offered to give me one next week, for free. We asked for mutual prayers. We came almost every Friday that Lent for Stations, and after a few weeks, they gave me a very nice St. Michael hoodie that I still have but sometimes feel embarrased to wear. Once, last winter, we passed a group of men at Wal-Mart who saw my hoodie and said, “He’s not one of us. Wonder where he got that?”
We’ve been once or twice since for Mass, and I went to Adoration a few months ago.
Seeing all the women praying in church, with their 60s style hair, with very few men there, made me feel like I was in a mafia movie: the women in church, praying for the men who were out commiting crimes for a living (if reputation was deserved, and the truth is probably somewhere in between.
What I don’t understand, though, is how the fraud the Irish Travelers commit to get their fancy belongings is any different than the fraud committed by Hillary Clinton or anyone else who’s rich. It’s not envy to point out that it’s extremely difficult to become extremely wealthy without commiting some sort of crime or sin.
Most of the articles focus on misrepresenting income to get Food Stamps and Medicaid, and I see comments online from African Americans–a community also stigmatized as being full of criminals and committing the same kinds of crimes–rejoicing. It is horrible how we, as liberals put it, “Other” everyone. It’s always “those people,” and the accusations against “those people” usually apply to “us,” so long as we’re the “good guys.” Every villain is the hero of his own story, after all.
We hear about the Travelers getting paid to do work at people’s houses, doing a bad job, and then leaving. I’ve experienced a lot of workers like that over the years, from licensed repairment to MDs. If a doctor charges me $500 to tell me I’m being a hypochondriac and doesn’t even run a test, I still have to pay him, then he goes and uses my money to make the payment on his BMW. If an Irish traveler charges me $500 to paint my house, does a cheap job that washes off in the next rainfall, and disappears, I’m out $500 that he uses to make a payment on his BMW.
I’ve read articles about previous raids and investigations that turned up nothing but some unaccounted for cash. That actually sounded suspicious to me, like they *were* hiding something, but still, it strikes me as a witch hunt. And as Hillary Clinton races to the White House on the backs of deleted emails, compromised National Security, dead ambassadors, dead friends, dead witnesses, dead lawyers, dead soldiers and dead babies, it seems hypocritical now for the government to prosecute anyone for any reason.
Here’s a thought process: I’ve long believed that part of what we take to be “mental illness” is the brain perceiving reality differently, particularly in the case of schizophrenic disorders, hallucinations, etc.: that whatever connection there is between the soul and the mind is overactive, so the person is extra-ordinarily aware of the ordinary spiritual activity that surrounds us. St Anthony of the Desert was once given a view of the angels and demons simply fighting at that moment over his soul, and asked not to be shown it again lest he go insane.
Now, I’ve been thinking a lot the past couple days about sensory overload. If you dare, here are a couple videos that simulate sensory overload experiences:
Tonight, I saw an interesting video on Vincent van Gogh and physics. The article and video can be found here. Van Gogh’s painting’s, particularly Starry Night, accurately depict the motion of the stars according to the phenomenon called “turbulence,” and Hubble Telescope researchers found that patterns from the Hubble telescope match van Gogh’s work. That’s the nutshell version of the physics: the articles leave open the question of *how*, but at one point the video touches on the neurological side of things, and that’s what inspired this blog post. Now, if I understand what they’re saying, all the Impressionists depicted light in a way that’s revolutionary and matches with things scientists discovered later. They all seemed to intuit or access perceptions of light that most people aren’t aware of, but our brains can still process.
Van Gogh, however, was the only one to do it with such detail and scientific/mathematical precision. He did all this during the same period of “mental chaos” that led to both cutting off his own ear and painting his greatest works. They’re stopping at “apparently, by depicting the chaos in his mind, he accurately depicted the chaos in nature.”
What if the chaos in his mind was caused by perceiving the chaos in nature?
What if van Gogh was what we call “severely autistic,” and hyper-perception turned to sensory overload? If you have no idea what “sensory overload” means or is like, and think it means “ate too much sugar” or something, please watch (and listen to) the videos I posted above. The closest possible experience is migraine, and that’s not even half of it.
Imagine: for some reason, van Gogh went into complete sensory overload. He could see light so well he was seeing turbulence. He could hear every sound around him in a deafening cacophony. That’s why he cut off his ear-to try and stop the sound. He channeled the visual overload by painting things the way he actually saw them.
Now, the theological side of this discussion. My wife has been reading Dean Koontz‘s books, particularly the Odd Thomas series. If you don’t know Koontz, and are looking for someone other than the usual litany of ChestertonEliotLewisTolkienO’Connor, read him. I started with Brother Odd, and was hooked when, within a page, he referred to Batman, Odysseus, and nuns who think they’re “social workers who don’t date.” Anyway, as she’s told me about different Koontz books, we’ve discussed what things struck me as reminiscent of Lewis, Eliot and O’Connor. I suggested she read The Great Divorce next, so while she’s read that, we’ve been discussing how Lewis depicts part of Purgatory being the soul’s adjustment to the sheer Reality of Heaven: grass, for example, that feels like walking on knives because it’s so REAL. St. John Bosco had a dream where he saw a stage of the afterlife that wasn’t even the beginning of the farthest outskirts of what we call “Heaven.” St. Dominic Savio, who greeted him there having already died years before his teacher, said that “No one can see Heaven and live.”
Perhaps it’s because Heaven is so overwhelmingly real.
Now, if you haven’t, go back and look at the sensory overload videos.
If the phenomenon/symptom that was originally called “autism”–catatonia, retreating into oneself, etc.,–stems from a brain that is so aware and so full of information that the person can’t handle it, and has to find some way of dealing with all that information that shoots in and out constantly–if Vincent van Gogh, as I’m speculating, had such an experience and was so overwhelmed he cut off his ear–if my son can have a meltdown because he suddenly keenly remembers some incident from when he was 2 or 3 years old like it just happened–imagine being suddenly confronted with the ability to instantly remember everything that happened in your life: every good memory, every bad memory.
Imagine being suddenly able to, if you and God will, see or hear anyone, anything, anywhere in time or space, at a level of detail that you cannot possibly imagine now. That’s to say nothing of the Beatific Vision.
If you were to die after reading this, do you think your psyche (both in the modern and original senses of the word) would be truly prepared for such an overwhelming crash of reality? It’s what Plato described with his allegorical man from the cave who suddenly goes from seeing nothing but 2D shadows his entire life to seeing three dimensional people and objects in full color, in the sunlight. Do you not think that you’d need to at least let your eyes adjust? Like jumping into a swimming pool, you’d need to adjust a moment to the drastic change in your surroundings.
That adjustment is Purgatory.