Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts tagged Bishop Morlino

Should a Young Man Go for the Priesthood?

Wisconsin State Journal Article

Become a Priest?So- the Wisconsin State Journal interviewed a young man, Jose Flores, who is considering the priesthood as his vocation instead of pediatrics.

The article by Doug Erickson was remarkably well done, was respectful and professional.  Time will tell whether the Wisconsin State Journal has switched to fair reporting on Catholicism, or whether this is another set-up similar to last month’s, and the ball will shortly be spiked, just in time for Easter.

‘Good and Godless’ Chimes In

Melodramatic

“Good and Godless” being melodramatic

Nevertheless, an anonymous reader with the screen name “Good and Godless” had to chime in, in the comment section, on a negative note, bemoaning the resulting loss of a pediatrician who can help humanity “in a tangible and effective way,”  and lamenting “the corrupting influences of religion.”

How melodramatic!

And illogical.
For one thing, what is the likelihood of a pediatrician from Madison spending their life in a place where babies die for lack of doctors?

Which Need Is Greater?

And here’s the most important rational question: In the U.S. today, what is the greater need- more doctors, or more godliness?

Close to half our population can’t even figure out that killing a baby before birth is not morally different from killing a baby after birth.  Nor can they figure out the practical negative impact of abortion on a society and on an economy.  Nor can they figure out how much human misery is generated by divorce, and the importance of repairing struggling marriages.Slide1

What if this fine young man becomes a priest, works with youth, prevents countless young people from engaging in promiscuity, prevents countless babies from being killed by abortion, and saves countless marriages?
What if he teaches countless children the morality and the voluntary self-restraint that is an essential part of Catholicism?
In that case, his value would be far greater as a priest than as a pediatrician. Not only medically in the saving of lives, but also spiritually and psychologically in the saving of the the souls and sanity of the parents.

The Value of a Priest and the Power of Religion

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Priests, by providing people with Sacraments and with moral teaching, prevent countless human tragedies, something that no KGB, NSA, police force, or even (unconstitutional, despotic) presidential executive order can prevent.

A moral population exercising voluntary self-restraint has been the foundation of success in this country.
In God we trust, and on Him we rely.
The formula has worked for over two centuries in the U.S.

Madison Seminarians

Madison seminarians with Bishop Morlino

Go for it, Jose!  Every young man should ask himself where God is calling him to service.
A priest impacts society WAY more than does a pediatrician.
So go to seminary, ask God whether He is calling you to the priesthood, and listen for His answer.

Explosion of Young Men Going into the Priesthood

The Diocese of Madison has had an explosion of fine young men interested in the priesthood as their calling.
Maybe the generation that has been hurt most by the progressive agenda of promiscuity, abortion and divorce, errors which are promoted and defended by people similar to “Good and Godless,” has now grown up, identified the solution, God, and wants to spread the Good News.

Want to know what they are thinking?
Here’s a You Tube of one who tells you:

 

 

 

 

The Holy Season of Lent: Time for Bashing Catholics in Madison Wisconsin

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The Wisconsin State Journal Defiles Itself Again

Common Knowledge

rapunzel-warriors-attack-cartoon-miscellanea-686632-1024x640It is common knowledge among people of faith that “enlightened” irreligious progressives who do not engage in customary Lenten spiritual sacrifice/self-improvement, frequently spend Lent attacking Christians and attacking the Catholic Church in the media and elsewhere.

Why? Anybody’s guess.  Too much free time?  Subconscious guilt?  Satan preying on undisciplined minds and spirits?  Conscious exercise of Alinsky Tactics by progressives who want to damage the reputation of the Church?|

After all, the Catholic Church is the largest, most organized and most effective opponent of the radical agenda in the world today, and Madison, home of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the place where embryonic stem cell research was developed and patented, is not a welcoming place for Catholics or for their philosophy.

Predictable Lenten Attacks

So, in predictable fashion, Lenten attacks against Catholics have been escalating in progressive Progressive tactics

Madison in recent weeks, led by the Wisconsin State Journal (WiSJ), which seems bent on self-destruction, like it’s partner publication the Cap Times, which is no longer available in print.

The Wisconsin State Journal just published an interview with Madison’s Bishop Morlino about Pope Francis’ teachings.  Although not biased in itself, the interview spawned vicious online discussion attacks on the Bishop, with “enlightened,” highly educated and “tolerant” Madisonians dredging up old false myths and accusations against the Catholic Church, denigrating Madison’s Bishop, and even ridiculing Catholic liturgical vestments.

Unbiased, or Set Up to Spike?

This Wisconsin State Journal’s “unbiased” interview actually only looked unbiased to those uninitiated to Madison and it’s WiSJ. The interview article was actually a set up, like a volleyball play set up by one player for another to spike the ball.  Once the interview was placed by 0420-1007-3011-4011_man_spiking_a_volleyball_over_the_net_oreporter A (Doug Erickson, who incidentally tried just last month to associate the Bishop of Madison falsely with child abuse allegations elsewhere in the US), attackers followed.  The attackers included a second WiSJ reporter B (Chris Rickert), who ridiculed the Bishop’s interview and questioned his motivations in a second article, in which Rickert presumed to know the mind of God.  The Editor John Smalley participated by publishing three letters from angry readers ( 1,  2,  3 ) who attacked the Bishop and the Diocese.  And finally, attackers included the “regulars;” anonymous Madisonians who attack the Catholic Church, the Diocese, and the Bishop routinely in the discussion forums after each WiSJ article published about Catholics.  These “regulars” include Madison’s biggest bullies hiding their true identities behind screen names, lacking the courage to spread their hateful slander undisguised.

Obama Sets Up and Spikes

This set-up-and-spike tactic is not uncommon among progressives; it was the very tactic used by President Obama to attack the Catholic Church in the early planning stages of ObamaCare.  President Obama invited Cardinal Dolan, President of the United States Conference of Catholic dolan-obamaBishops to the White House, assured him that ObamaCare will respect the religious rights of Catholic institutions, invited Cardinal Dolan to relay the message to the other bishops to put the Catholic Church at ease, unprepared for what was coming next.  The axe fell a few months later, when President Obama issued the Contraception Mandate, to which many other groups were exempt, but to which the Catholic Church received no exemption, thus requiring Catholic institutions to violate their religious beliefs or be punished financially and cripplingly by law.

At present, President Obama is fighting 91 Religious Liberty lawsuits, and the Vatican’s Chief Justice, Cardinal Burke, has declared that Obama’s policies are “Progressively More Hostile Toward Christian Civilization.”

Slide1Intolerant Progressive Dogmatist Attacks

So these set-up-and-spike tactics are not new to progressive politics.  Not too surprising, for a group that advocates free birth control and promiscuity, followed by abortion which perpetrates eugenics, lack of fiscal accountability either in government or in citizenry, and numerous other unethical policies which violate the Ten Commandments and the Constitution of the United States.   The WiSJ simply appeared to be mimicking President Obama in it’s use of tactics against the Catholic Church.

Second Round of Attack – Who Ridicules Victims of Arson?
Stations of the Cross?

The above series of attacks stemming from the interview with Bishop Morlino about the Pope was then followed by reporter B’s (Chris Rickert’s) publishing a very disrespectful piece about the Diocese of Madison’s burnt down Cathedral site in Madison, which now houses a temporary outdoor Stations of the Cross until the economy permits the rebuilding of a Cathedral

Chris Rickert

Who ridicules? Chris Rickert does

downtown.   In this second round of attacks, Rickert failed to even mention that the plot of land had housed a Cathedral burned down by arson, he showed no sympathy for his fellow Christians (he actually claimed to be a Christian in the piece!) for the tragic loss of their Cathedral, and made wise-cracks about the tax-ability of the land, suggested its use for public bathrooms, lamented that the land was not used for soup kitchens, Girl Scout and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and suggested it would be more useful for tossing a football or for “smooching under the stars.”

If Rickert is truly a Christian, he could look into some Lenten spiritual self-improvement rather than ridiculing the Stations of the Cross during Lent.

Professional Journalism, or Professional Suicide?

a9780a28cc69ed355daac0804dc7b679ab81beac_fullThe level of misinformation and disrespect delivered by Rickert’s piece was pretty remarkable for someone who claims to be a journalist and claims to have a “laser-like perspective.”  More remarkable is the fact that his editor, John Smalley, allowed it to be published. Finally, most remarkable of all, is the fact that the second largest newspaper in Wisconsin publishes such literary offal.  Offal which insults the 25% Catholic population of Madison, of Wisconsin and of the United States.  All the while claiming to be a mecca of tolerance, intellectualism and enlightenment.

The Wisconsin State Journal is likely to go the way of other progressive organizations that have imploded from their own boomeranging tactics.  That would include the Capital Times of Madison which abandoned print editions in 2008, and the plunging ratings of MSNBC, CNN, and even of President Obama himself, whose lies and misrepresentations are coming home to roost, both at home and abroad.

More Disgruntled Progressives During Lent

Wisconsin State Journal is not alone in their nefarious activities this Lent.  Apparently, the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison also got a bee in it’s bonnet over religion recently.  They were incensed to hear that (Christian) Governer Scott Walker tweeted a scripture reference recently  (Philipians 4:13), and demanded removal of the tweet.  The scripture verse reads “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”Slide1

Why would the Freedom From Religion Foundation be in such a quandary over the tweeting of a scripture reference?  Because the scripture reference summarizes the Power of Religion and alerts people to the fundamental reason why Freedom From Religion wants eradication of religion from public life—the fact religion advocates an inviolable moral code, which places limits on the actions in which all, including the powerful, can engage. The Freedom of Religion Foundation is terrified of nice men who are powerful; for politicians, these men are dangerous.  Such men include Pope Francis and Scott Walker.  In actual fact, the Freedom From Religion Foundation represents only 1 out of thousand atheists, and only one out of 10,000 Americans, so they do not represent a serious threat to the rest of 80% Christian America, unless we allow ourselves to be bullied into submission by a pathetic and angry minority.  Most atheists (999 out of 1,000) are quite happy to coexist with Christians without demanding to control their tweets.

Have a Good Productive Lent, Everyone

holy-redeemer-churchSo, as the disgruntled media and progressives continue their customary attacks on Christians in Madison this Lent, let’s remember that Religion is Power, and including God in the plan helps us to win the war.  Our opponents can attack and sputter as much as they want during Lent, but as Governor Walker reminds us, in Christ, we can do all things.  Lent is our training camp, the Way of the Cross is our salvation, and the Resurrection and Easter are not just symbolic; they are very, very real.Slide18-e1376614703643-300x190

No wonder the Enemy is sputtering at the approach of Lent and Easter each year!

Have a good and spiritually productive Lent, everyone!

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Praise be to God!

 

 

Want to Complain?

COMPLAIN TO:

Want to Pray for Our Bishops?Slide1

Check out the cool global map  at Rosary for the Bishop, a website organized in 2005 to help support Bishop Morlino against the attacks he was suffering in Madison, and which now coordinates 1580 members from 258 dioceses and from 996 parishes, who have prayed 278,300 rosaries for 456 bishops globally since then.

Join the effort by signing up to pray as little as one rosary per month for the bishop of your choice. Note: Pope Francis is also a bishop, and you can sign up to pray for him.

Against odds like this, Chris Rickert, Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal have little chance.

Slide2

See what happened the last time we took to global prayer: Making Sense of Syria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abortion and Homosexuality –So What Did the Pope Actually Say?

or

When Two Jesuits Talk

 

assissi Today, October 4th, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Francis of Assissi. Our Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit, made a bold gesture of love in adopting the name of St. Francis, patron of the Franciscans. St. Francis is commonly pictured with animals.  He was renowned for his love, not only of animals, but more importantly, of all human beings.  St. Francis lived his love to the extreme of adopting poverty himself.  This discussion of Pope Francis’ controversial America Magazine interview is dedicated to this unbelievable Pope on his feast day.
St Francis of Assisi (1181 – 1226)
(from Universalis)
Francis was the son of a prosperous cloth merchant in Assisi. When his father objected to having his goods sold without his
consent to pay for the restoration of a church, the bishop commanded Francis to repay the money. He did. He also renounced his father and gave back everything he had ever been given, even his garments.
He began a life of perfect evangelical poverty, living by begging and even then only accepting the worst food that people had to give. He preached to all the love of God and the love of the created world; because, having renounced everything, he celebrated everything he received, or saw, or heard, as a gift.
A rich man sold everything and joined him in living next to a leper colony; a canon from a neighbouring church gave up his position and joined them also. They looked into the Gospel and saw the story of the rich young man whom Jesus told to sell everything; they saw Jesus telling his disciples to take nothing with them on their journey; they saw Jesus saying that his followers must also carry his cross.
And on that basis they founded an order. Francis went to Rome himself and persuaded the Pope to sanction it, though it must have seemed at once impractical and subversive, to set
papa-francescothousands of holy men wandering penniless round the towns and villages of Europe.
Because Francis was wearing an old brown garment
begged from a peasant, tied round the middle with string, that became the Franciscan habit. Ten years later 5,000 men were wearing it; a hundred years later Dante was buried in it because it was more glorious than cloth of gold.
There is too much to say about Francis to fit here. He tried to convert the Muslims, or at least to attain martyrdom in doing so. He started the practice of setting up a crib in church to celebrate the Nativity.
Francis died in 1226, having started a revolution. The Franciscans endure to this day.

 

Is the Pope Reversing the Catholic Church’s Ban on Abortion and Homosexual Marriage?

e2c2477d41Recently there has been a media stir reflecting some confusion on Pope Francis’ position on abortion and on homosexuality, based on an interview he recently gave to America magazine.

Some in the media implied that the Pope is directing the Church not  to concern herself with the issues of abortion and homosexuality.
ABC went so far as to say that Pope Francis wants the Church to shake off “small-minded” rules on abortion and homosexuality.
Bloomberg claimed “Pope Says Church Should Stop Obsessing Over Gays, Abortion.”
Reuters reported somewhat more correctly that the Pope is asking for a change in tone.

Apparent Contradictions

And yet, the same Pope Francis, in the same America magazine interview in question, in the same paragraph, two sentences later, stated “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church,” thus confirming his loyalty to Catholic Church teaching.Slide1

Also, the same Pope Francis just excommunicated a dissident priest in Australia the same month, who advocated gay marriage and female priests.

A Pope who just excommunicated someone for their stance on gay marriage is not likely to announce any changes in Church teaching on gay marriage, as liberal media seems to hope. Excommunication by the Vatican is very rare; there have only been 5 since the year 2000, and this is the first one under Pope Francis.

So, What’s the Story?

So is the Pope for abortion and gay marriage, or against?
Is the Church changing age-old teachings, is the Pope a radical progressive, or is the media botching their reporting?
Short answer: the media is botching  their reporting.
Longer answer? Keep reading.

Ignorance, Wishful Thinking or Deceitful Intent?

times square billboards1So the media is botching their reporting, yet again.
Out-of-context quotes from Pope Francis have gone viral a number of times already this year, and it’s hard to guess what the media is thinking by reporting so sloppily.

It’s difficult to determine whether the liberal media’s unprofessional reporting is due to ignorance of religion, to wishful progressive thinking, or to a deceitful intent to recruit more Catholics into the progressive political agenda, by leading them to think that the Pope approves progressive thought.

But far more interesting than speculating on media motivation is to ask what did the Pope actually say, and what is he trying to tell Catholics and the world?

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What did the Pope actually say?
or
When Two Jesuits Talk

The Pope is a Jesuit, America is a Jesuit magazine, and the interviewer, Antonio Spadaro, is a Jesuit with an impressive Jesuit resume.Pope-with-Fr.-Spodara

Jesuits are not feebleminded.  In fact, Jesuits are renowned for their scholarly talent.
When two Jesuits talk, not everybody can follow.

When two Jesuits talk, the discussion is rarely short.
The conversation in question here, the interview between these two Jesuits  was 12,000 words long.
If we typed that up as a college paper, it would be 50 pages long.

In the age of tweets and texting, that’s TMI (too much information) for most people.
We need an interpreter, and the one-liner produced by the mainstream media might not be very representative of what the Pope was really trying to say.

When two Jesuits talk, the discussion is always quite intellectual.  In addition to using theological references, biblical references, Latin phrases and Italian phrases, Jesuits also use references to the classics, to music, to literature, to history, and to numerous other things that leave most of us in the dust.

about-beethoven

Beethoven

Pope Francis’ 50-page interview included references to Puccini, Alessandro Manzoni, Caravaggio, Chagall, Mozart, Beethoven, Prometheus, Bach, Wagner, La Scala, Knappertsbusch, Fellini, Anna Mabnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Cervantes, and El Cid, in addition to his theological and biblical references, and references to saints.

I’ll be up front and admit that I had to do some googling on more than a couple of those!

Bottom Line, When Two Jesuits Talk

When two Jesuits talk,

i.e. when Antonio Spadaro (Editor of the influential Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica)  interviews Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis),Slide1

we are not on the View with Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, and Barbara Walters. Whoopi might give a brilliant performance in  Sister Act, but in real life, she’s no Jesuit.

When two Jesuits talk, the conversation will be deep, it will be significant, it might take the rest of us some ploughing to get through it, but what we unearth will be worth the effort.

Recommendation

So my recommendation would be to read Pope Francis’ interview in it’s entirety.  Pope Francis is inspired, and he’s delightful.  I enjoyed the experience.  The interview can be found at America Magazine.

ppmorlino

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison

Failing that, if you’re looking for some Cliff notes and an interpreter, where better to get that than from Jesuit #3, Madison’s Bishop Robert Morlino?

Bishop Morlino’s synopsis and observations on the Pope’s interview can be found at the Catholic Herald’s Bishop’s Column, September 26th, 2013.  Bishop Morlino’s got it down to under 2,000 words, or about a 7 page term paper.  Bishop Morlino is always a good read. And he’s very good at bringing it to our level.

Finally, if you want the perspective of one in-the-pew-Catholic like me, read on at your own (spiritual) peril.  It will probably be way longer than Bishop Morlino’s version, and way less accurate.  But here we go… thoughts from the pew…

The Controversial Paragraph

The media had to dig through half of Pope Francis’ 12,000 word interview, or through about 25 pages, before they could find one sentence that could be morphed by media into being “controversial,” albeit out of context. Here is the relevant paragraph (highlighting mine):

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

Slide1

Note that the first highlighted item is the primary one reported by the media, while the second one, asserting that Church teaching has not changed and that Pope Francis is faithful to that unchanged teaching, was ignored by the media.

Rather then focusing on this out-of-context media implication that Pope Francis may be open to changing fundamental Catholic Church teaching, which is clearly disproved by the second highlighted sentence and by the recent excommunication, I’d like to focus instead on the title of the Pope’s interview, and on three points that leaped out at me when I read the interview document.  These items illustrate very clearly and succinctly the message the Pope was trying to send us.

The Title

heartThe title of the Interview, approved by Pope Francis, was A Big Heart Open to God.

O.K., the Pope is saying we must have a big heart.  A big heart means love, self-explanatory.  No small hearts in the Church, please. We do everything with love.

The Pope is also saying that we must be Open to God.  What does that mean, to be open to God?  Well, we should be listening and seeking what God wants of us, as opposed to demanding what we want from God.  We should not ordering God, not ranting against God. Open to God means obedience to Christ’s teachings, obedience to the Church.  Our hearts should be open, waiting to be filled.

A Big Heart Open To God.
In six words, the Pope has managed to teach lovingly to both extremes in his unruly Church.  Disciplinarian dogmatists are reminded to have a big heart.  No Pharisees, please.  And liberal progressives are reminded to listen to God, to obey God.  No rebellion against Christ’s Church.

Pope Francis, the good parent, has spoken kindly and gently to his unruly bickering children, calling for unity, and reminding us in six words what we have to do.

 

 The First Question

The first question asked of the Pope was “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”

Of all possible answers, Pope Francis chose “I am a sinner.”

Not “I am the grand high exalted holy ruler of 1 billion people.”
Not “I am a holy man.”
Not “I am a priest.”
Not “I am a Jesuit.”
Not “I am an Argentinian.” or “I am an Argentinian-Italian.”
Not “I am the son of Mario and Regina Bergoglio.”

No, instead the Pope said “I am a sinner.”Slide1

This Jesuit was not faking humility.  His words were carefully chosen, not to be about him, but to teach us.
The good gentle shepherd is reminding us “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)    By calling himself a sinner, he is reminding us not to throw stones at each other.

Pope Francis is telling us to treat sinners with mercy, because we are all sinners.
He is teaching gently by example, by announcing that he too is a sinner.
We must all remember that we are sinners, if we want to attract anyone to the Truth.
There is no room in the Catholic Church for holier-than-thou condemnation.
We must start with compassion, and not with condemnation.

In the interview, Pope Francis identifies his own calling with the calling of St. Matthew, the tax collector.  Our Pope says “ I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.”  Pope Francis wants to reach out lovingly to other sinners, and he wants us to do the same.

What Does It Mean for a Jesuit to be Bishop of Rome?

Early in the interview, Pope Francis was also asked “What does it mean for a Jesuit to be Bishop of Rome?”

Blessed John XXIII

Blessed Pope John XXIII

The Pope’s answer, quoting Pope John XXIII’s philosophy and motto, jumped out at me as illustrating his loving and nurturing approach to exercising authority, and as illustrating what he is asking of us:

The Pope said See everything; turn a blind eye to much; correct a little.

Again, our Pope, like a good shepherd, guides gently and slowly, rather than overwhelming us with condemnation and criticism.  He asks us to extend the same courtesy to each other.

The Pope also emphasized the importance of prioritizing discernment (discernment always done in the presence of the Lord).  This means that time and prayer are the most appropriate means for approaching problems, and we must be wary of impulses and hasty decisions.

This is how Pope Francis sees the role of a Jesuit in the Chair of Peter.

The Church as  a Field Hospital

The Pope gives us a third window into his philosophy in this interview, in his comparison of the Church with a field hospital:21nnkfm

I see clearly, that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds…. And you have to start from the ground up.

It’s pretty clear that the Pope is not advocating or approving high cholesterol, but he recognizes that wounds have to be prioritized over cholesterol concerns.  He’s telling us to examine what we prioritize when we look at each other.  Do we turn a blind eye to much, identify the biggest wounds, and tend to those, before launching into overwhelming criticism?

We are not likely to get our culture on board with giving up abortion and homosexual marriage by condemning them.  It is by offering the love and peace of Christ that we will attract them, and the rest will follow in due course.

Respect for others does dictate kindness and a gentle approach.  Which one of us would like to be approached first with recriminations about our sins?  Who are we to decide that the degree of evil in the sins of others (gay lifestyle, abortion) is greater than the degree of evil in our own sins (pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth?).

Take Home Message

We could go on, quoting from and discussing the Pope’s interview.  But then this article would become longer than the Pope’s interview, and you are much better served reading Pope Francis’ actual interview yourself.

Pope reaches outThe biggest take home message this Catholic found in reading the Pope’s interview was that when evangelizing, our Church needs to proceed with love, humility, and gentleness, and we need to prioritize humanity’s biggest wounds. We also need to work on obedience and on unity.

And what are humanity’s biggest wounds?
Our Pope, discerning carefully in the presence of the Lord, will help us to identify those.
He’s been remarkable so far, flooding the world with his love, and including all of humanity in his flock.
His outreach to atheists is symbolic of his profound love for all of humanity.

A Club of 1 Billion

The Catholic Church is a global club of of 1 billion people.

Like any other large group, including large nations, we have our  conservatives and we have our liberals.  Some liberals and conservatives make good points.  Others take a good thing too far.Shepherd

The person in charge of 1 billion people, in this case the Pope, should be a unifier, an educator and a leader, not a divider.  He should not start with criticism, blame and attack.  A good leader observes, waits, and corrects a little at a time; he breaks up job assignments into small manageable parcels.
This is what Pope Francis is doing, and his approach should not be taken to mean that he approves sin or that he has changed Catholic Church teaching.

The Pope has given us our marching orders in the gentlest manner: time for authoritarians to tone it down and to lead with love, and time for rebels to prioritize the will of God over their own will.

What Jesuits Do

What do Jesuits Do?

Jesuit PopeJesuits were founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, and are noted for their educational, missionary, and charitable works.

Then we should not be surprised when Pope Francis, a Jesuit, wants to teach, to teach the faith, and to teach the faith with love.

Pope Francis’s interview illustrates that he is a deep thinker, a compassionate shepherd, and a well-educated intellectual.
He’s made a great start in less than one year, with discernment, with humility, and with love.

The Best is Yet to Come

Few of us are qualified to judge a Pope.
Those of us who think we are probably have an issue with pride.
So when the Pope says something that surprises us, we need to examine what he said with an open heart, and have the humility to admit that his correction may be deserved.

In my judgement, this Pope is remarkable.  As were the previous ones in my lifetime.

Pope Francis’ Global Adoration effort and his day of prayer and fasting for Syria are among his first official actions.
With these actions, the Pope illustrated to us the importance of bringing faith into life, and into public life.
Pope Francis demonstrated the urgency of interconnection between Church and State.  Interconnection not from the top down, but from the bottom up.  The State does not dictate the faith of the citizens, but the citizens must use their faith and their God-given conscience and must stand up for what is right.

The results global prayer and fasting combined with interconnection between Church and State are just beginning to roll in.  The best is yet to come.

Not Just for Catholics

This is not just for Catholics.  Everyone should get on board.
This Pope is reaching out to all of humanity, including atheists.
He seems to be getting a very positive response to his call.

Summing Up

Pope Francis’ interview can be summed up pretty simply-

  • Drop the finger-wagging, get out the smiles, treat people with respect, pray hard, pray globally, and correct just a little at a time.
  • Remember, respect includes not calling people out publicly for their sins, at least not as the first resort.
  • We attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.
  • Sin is still sin, what’s wrong is still wrong, but let’s not forget the beam in our own eye when pointing out the splinter in someone else’s eye.

Does that mean that we give up the struggle to eliminate abortion or to preserve marriage?
No.
But those are not our opening efforts, before we break out mercy and love.
We don’t lead with those items while evangelizing.

 

Appendix:  More VIRAL QUOTES from Pope Francis:

From the Washington Post: Pope Francis’ Viral Quotes on Wealth, Abortion, Atheists, War and Gay Catholics. 

We can never serve God and money at the same time. It is not possible: either one or the other. This is not Communism. It is the true Gospel!
Pope Francis poses for a photo after meeting with young people in downtown Cagliari, Italy, on Sept. 22, 2013. He spoke of the ‘idol’ of money during a trip to the region, one of the poorest areas in Italy.
Pope with Italian Youth2
Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. . . . They must not be thrown away!
Francis spoke about abortion on Sept. 20, the day after the publication of an interview in which he said that abortion, gay marriage and contraception should not become “obsessions” for faithful Catholics.
 Kisses baby
We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible, Pope Francis said in an interview that appeared in Jesuit publications around the world on Sept. 19, 2013. “I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear, and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. Speaking
If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? Francis remarked to reporters aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil on July 29, 2013.
Pope Francis reached out to gays during the news conference on the plane, saying he wouldn’t judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging conversation as he returned from his first foreign trip.
Slide1
War is madness. It is the suicide of humanity. It is an act of faith in money, which for the powerful of the Earth is more important than the human being.
Pope Francis celebrates a worldwide Eucharistic adoration ceremony after his comments on war at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on June 2, 2013.
Global Adoration
Eternity “will not be boring,” Francis declared May 31, 2013. Later that day, nuns held up candles during a ceremony led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.  Slide1
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone. ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! Pope Francis said during Mass on May 22, 2013.
In the photo, Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with young people in September 2013 in Cagliari, Italy.
Speech in Italy
If the investments in the banks fall slightly . . . [it is] a tragedy . . . what can be done? But if people die of hunger, if they have nothing to eat, if they have poor health, it does not matter! This is our crisis today!
Pope Francis speaks after meeting with the faithful of ecclesial movements on the occasion of a Pentecost vigil in St. Peter’s Square on May 18, 2013.
Pope Francis reaches for babies

 

 

 

Impeachment Back in the News

Impeachment is back in the news.
To impeach, or not to impeach?
Articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama were filed just a few weeks ago by a group of black American citizens, the National Black Republican Association (NBRA).
Throughout August, conservative constituents at towns halls have also been pressuring members of Congress to impeach the President.

  • What has Barack Obama done to deserve this public outcry?
  • What did other recent impeachment candidates do to deserve impeachment?
  • How do Barack Obama’s offenses compare with the offenses of the last two Presidents to be impeached?
  • Could impeachment of President Obama succeed, and what would it accomplish?

Blatant Lies and Lost Credibility

At the very least, whether successful or not, impeachment attempts expose the blatant lies and reflect the loss of credibility of a President.

 Obama Impeachment

Blatant lies told by Presidents undermine not only their own authority, but also the Office of President of the United States.
Presidential lies undermine the credibility and moral integrity of our entire nation.

Comparing Articles of Impeachment

The articles of impeachment summarize accusations  made during an impeachment:

.

richard-nixon-pointing

Richard M. Nixon
Articles of Impeachment:

  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Abuse of Power
  • Contempt of Congress

 “He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to ... cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

-Articles of Impeachment against Richard M. Nixon, adopted by the House Judiciary Committee, July 29, 1974. Article II, Section 1

Results: Richard Nixon’s impeachment did not go to the House or Senate for trial, because Nixon first resigned in disgrace.

.

index

 

William J. “Bill” Clinton
Articles of Impeachment:

  • Perjury
  • Obstruction of Justice

The judge wrote:
“Simply put, the president’s deposition testimony regarding whether he had ever been alone with Ms. (Monica) Lewinsky was intentionally false, and his statements regarding whether he had ever engaged in sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky likewise were intentionally false….”

Results: Bill Clinton was Impeached by the House of Representatives, and acquitted by the U.S. Senate.  He received a contempt of court citation, and a suspension of his Arkansas law license, as well as a suspension from the U.S. Supreme Court bar.
Bill Clinton did not resign, and today seems unashamed of his misdeeds.
Incredibly, half of America seems to have little problem with Clinton’s moral and legal transgressions, as he continues to play a prominent role in the Democrat Party today in 2013, despite the public demolition of his integrity.
.

obama_cropped_blog_main_horizontal

.

Barack H. Obama
Articles of Impeachment filed by a “black American citizens”:

  • Obstruction of Benghazi investigation
  • Disclosure of grand jury material
  • Authorization of DOJ to conduct Fast and Furious
  • Authorization of IRS to release confidential information ot unauthorized individuals and organization
  • Initiation of  discriminatory IRS audits
  • Permission of unjustified NSA surveillance of 300 million average Americans
  • Permission of DOJ to spy on over one hundred Associated Press Journalists and on Fox News Reporter James Rosen
  • Thwarting Congress by failing to enforce laws including the Defense of Marriage Act, No Child Left Behind Act, and Affordable Care Act, and by directing immigrations officers to stop enforcing immigration law when Congress refused to pass his Dream Act.
  • Violations of the Constitution, bypassing the US Senate to appoint 3 members of the National Labor Relations board and to appoint Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection bureau.
  • Intimidation of whistle blowers and bringing twice as many prosecutions against whistle blowers as all prior presidents combined.

WOW

Ten Articles of Impeachment.
That’s a first.
Black Americans accusing the first black President of tyranny and of despotism.
That’s even more of a first.

This nation has been very proud of theObama serious historically significant 2008 Presidential election, in which our first black President was elected.  America prides itself on freedom, on fairness, and on opportunity.  I am the child of poor Lithuanian immigrants, and love America deeply for it’s just (Judeo-Christian) system of government and law, and the resulting opportunities it offers to those who work hard and follow the rules.  My entire family has risen from poor immigrants to successful and prosperous Americans in less than one generation, thanks to the opportunities offered by this country.  Despite my conservative political beliefs, even I was impressed with this aspect of the 2008 Presidential election outcome-a tribute to what children of all backgrounds can achieve in the United States – because we have a fair and just country.

Reasons Not to Impeach

What a tragedy and heartache it would be if the first black President abused the office so badly that he had to be impeached.  This is the sentiment that probably prevents most of us from discussing the impeachment of Barack Obama.  Some Obama supporters state candidly that they refrain from opposing the President because he is black.  When black Americans start proposing impeachment, we know this man has really abused the authority granted to him as President. And when liberal black leaders start proposing impeachment, this man has really crossed the line.

If a Lithuanian were ever elected President, I (as a Lithuanian) would be pretty reluctant, pretty ashamed, and pretty hard-pressed to demand his impeachment.

Reasons to Impeach

Slide1Yes, I would be reluctant to impeach a Lithuanian.

But I would demand the impeachment nevertheless, because I know that true equality includes accountability and includes keeping ALL leaders subject to the law, not just some.

Lithuanians, or blacks, or any other group of human beings, are not well served by condoning the misdeeds of one of their members.  Protection of offenders carries the unspoken implication that the entire group is complicit.  Protection sends the message that the entire group is not capable of responsible and accountable behavior. Excusing unacceptable behavior can even carry the bigoted implication that better cannot be expected from this minority person.
Wise minorities, whether Lithuanian or black, would demand accountability from their President, in order to demonstrate that the malefactor is the exception, not the rule, in their group.

And So, Black Americans Accuse President Obama of a Long Train of Abuses and Usurpations

National Black Republican Association:
Slide1

We, black American citizens, in order to free ourselves and our fellow citizens from governmental tyranny, do herewith submit these Articles of Impeachment to Congress for the removal of President Barack H. Obama, aka, Barry Soetoro, from office for his attack on liberty and commission of egregious acts of despotism that constitute high crimes and misdemeanors.

On July 4, 1776, the founders of our nation declared their independence from governmental tyranny and reaffirmed their faith in independence with the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791.  Asserting their right to break free from the tyranny of a nation that denied them the civil liberties that are our birthright, the founders declared:

“When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”  -  Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

Comparison of Charges

All three recent impeachment candidates, Nixon, Clinton and Obama, were clearly guilty of lies, and of mis-using the power of the Office of President.
Details of the accusations vary, and some overlap.

All three broke the law.
All three lied.

Slide1

The articles of impeachment above show many MORE accusations against President Barack Obama than against Nixon and Clinton.

They include IRS discrimination, NSA spying, prosecution of whistleblowers, wiretapping of journalists, the torture program and the Benghazi cover-up. Obama’s troubles do not seem to stem from one error as in the case of Nixon or Clinton, but from numerous errors and numerous cover-ups.  The list of articles of impeachment reflect a pervasive and systematically unscrupulous administration.  Phrases like Chicago tactics, Imperial Presidency, and Gangster Government surface in the news.

Bellver Lucifer

Lucifer – Ricardo Bellver, Madrid, 1877

Perhaps this is not so surprising after all, in reference to the man, Obama, who used to teach  Alinksy Tactics (aka Satan’s handbook, or the antithesis of the Ten Commandments) in Chicago.

It is interesting to note that accusations against Nixon did include “income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner,” an accusation very similar to the IRS discrimination recently tolerated and probably initiated by the Obama administration.

There has been much discussion of President Obama’s misdeeds and misrepresentations.  One discussion compares President Obama with President Nixon extensively, in an article entitled Obama’s Watergates, in which numerous parallels are drawn between Nixon and Obama.   The author, Victor Davis Hanson,  a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, calls the Obama administration’s methods and aims “Nixonian to the core.”

Hanson predicts that the scandals, beginning with Benghazi, and continuing with the IRS, the Associated Press and James Rosen, as well as with Edward Snowden and the NSA, will not end until “the truth sets us all free.”  He predicts a long-drawn-out and sordid saga.

So Could An Impeachment Succeed?

Theoretically, an impeachment could succeed; this President has left such a “long train of abuses and usurpations” that he has been accused of an Imperial Presidency (characterized by greater power than the Constitution allows).
Obama is even despised by Vladimir Putin; Putin’s is not a respectful dislike, as might be expected toward a competitor, but actually a scorn and contempt towards Obama as a “weak ruler of Sodom & Gomorrah.”  There’s another first – Putin moralizing at the United States!

photo_1378286057088-1-HD

Obama’s extensive collection of offenses, and of domestic and global enemies, certainly makes impeachment seem possible, and even desirable.
Obama’s bad boy résumé is much longer than Clinton’s or Nixon’s, and he seems to be less well liked than Clinton was.  Obama’s popularity has been slipping rapidly this summer, and has particularly suffered during the present Syria crisis.

Yet, impeachment is not likely to go forward.
In addition to our collective and bipartisan reluctance to impeach the first black President, an impeachment is also likely to fail for the same reasons that Clinton’s impeachment failed in the Senate.

Not because Clinton or Obama are innocent of charges made against them, but because the Democrat party seems to have redefined moral standards in recent decades, and now the Democrat-dominated Senate is not likely convict a member of their own party, no matter how heinous his offense.

Democrats have forgotten the principle that all authority must be held accountable to the law.
Democrats  have substituted in it’s place the principle “the ends justify the means.”

Morality Redefined

The Democrat Party, previously commended for some virtuous policies including concern for the poor, and previously not in favor of abortion, seems to have abandoned numerous traditional Judeo-Christian ethics in recent years:

6a011570579907970b017742bf5159970d-800wi

  • The word GOD was almost struck from the Democrat party platform in 2012.
  • Abortion, the killing of pre-born citizens, is now prioritized and actively promoted by the Democrat party.
  • Redefinition of marriage is now favored by Democrats.
  • Our nation’s work ethic has now been damaged by excessive Democrat handouts, which surpass relief of poverty and resemble more the purchasing of votes.
  • Taxation and governmental control of all aspects of society have been taken to new heights, which border on totalitarianism, and violate the principle of subsidiarity, a founding principle of the United States and today a founding principle of the European Union.
  • Under Democrats we have recently suffered attacks on religious liberties of Americans, which border on Communism and which violate the moral principle of tolerance.
  • Totalitarianism and religious persecution in the name of government are incompatible with the definition of democracy.
  • Gangster methodology seems to be in routine use now by the Obama Administration, a methodology in direct conflict with the Constitution, with the laws of the United States, and with Ten Commandments.

This redefined morality is outlined in Saul Alinsky’s  book  Rules for Radicals.  Alinsky’s book was dedicated, in fact, to Lucifer, a alternate name for Satan. Incidentally, Barack Obama taught Alinsky tactics in Chicago.

Alinsky dedication
The Alinsky method welcomes dishonest tactics, unlawful behavior, perjury and obstruction of justice in the service of furthering one’s political goals.

Yes, morality HAS been redefined.

Morality Inversion

We now have a  Morality Inversion, the substitution of Democrat/Alinsky morality for traditional Judeo-Christian Morality.Slide1
Under morality inversion, something is wrong only if you think that it is wrong, and you are allowed to prioritize your own agenda above the law.
Under a morality where unlawfulness is allowed, the only order is the order chosen and imposed by those in power. i.e. totalitarianism.
Half of America seems to be on board with this.
They don’t seem to realize that granting dictatorial powers to a President you like today will also extend dictatorial powers to the President you DON’T like tomorrow.

With Morality Inversion, Impeachment Becomes an Oxymoron

Morality Inversion says that it’s O.K. to break laws when it feels right.
Impeachment says the opposite, that you remove officials for breaking laws.
So which is it to be?
You cannot have both.
You cannot impeach a President for lying and breaking laws if it’s O.K. to lie and break laws.
That’s why the Senate, dominated by Democrats (who have actually become radical Progressives in recent years), failed to convict Clinton during Clinton’s impeachment, and are almost certain to acquit Obama if impeachment were attempted.  The House, dominated by Conservatives, did impeach Clinton for his offenses.

santa_claus_patriarchal_morality_630495If Judeo-Christian morality is already on it’s way out, and the Senate refuses to impeach a President who has broken laws and who has not upheld the Constitution, then impeachment becomes an oxymoron and a contradiction.
So impeachment is not particularly useful at this moment in history; restoration of morality is needed first.
And that’s what our Pope is working on.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that half our nation now tolerates and votes for people who lie and who break laws.
Whether it’s intentional or not, that half of our nation is tolerating anarchy (lawlessness).
They like what President Obama is decreeing now: handouts and lollipops for everybody, just vote for me!
For now, those receiving handouts will not tolerate impeachment, and impeachment is not likely to succeed.

Slide1

Aside: Even if impeachment were to succeed, the successors to the impeached President in this moral climate are just more of the same: The Bidens, Pelosis, Reids, Kerrys, Sebeliuses…

The question becomes which way will the morality inversion shift?
Which side of the morality balance will win?
Progressives or Judeo-Christians?

Future Directions

Chariot race in the Circus Maximus, ancient RomeSome conservatives believe that the same form of progressive policy now being exercised by the Obama administration was responsible for the collapse of ancient Rome.  They include some pretty smart people, like Steve Forbes.  Astute parallels between the Roman empire and the United States are pointed out in Are We Rome?

Circus Madison Goes On, a blog post here, made similar analogies between progressive Madison, WI, and Rome’s ancient Circus Maximus, an ancient site famous for chariot races, gladiator fights, Christian slaughter and games, as well as a local marketplace. Very much like Madison, where Capitol Square hosts bicycle and track races, farmer’s markets, and even quite a few “lynchings” of those who are conservative or religious.  This has included the harassment of Bishop Morlino by gay demonstrators, the Madison Teacher protests during which conservative senators were chased by crowds around the Capitol building, and the hanging of a baloon effigy of Justice Prosser. 

Mercifully, many conservatives, including myself and Steve Forbes, are optimistic about the fact that Americans are now more aware and more involved, and we believe that the degeneration of American values can still be turned around.  Steve Forbes claims that awareness and involvement, and movements like the tea party may prevent us from collapsing like Rome. I am Slide18-e1376614703643convinced that the morality inversion can be reversed and a return to Godliness can prevent us from collapsing as Rome did.

Whether we succeed in correcting previous errors and thus recover from a temporary derailment, or whether the civilization built in the United States collapses like that of Rome, is in our hands and in the hands of God.
Let’s not forget our most powerful ally. Religion is power.

Related Articles:

Political Puzzle Pieces Falling Into Place

 

Pope Francis Takes On Obama

Pope Francis takes on Obama

Drudge Report links to TIME-

Pope Tweets Against Syria Strike, Writes Putin, Plans Saturday Vigil

Bishop Morlino and Madison join the fasting and the Vigil -

Slide1

Come and join us!
Saturday, Sept 7, 2013 3:30 PM, St. Patrick Church in Main St. in downtown Madison with Bishop Morlino

 

Wisconsin State Journal Flunks Journalism Again!
or
What’s Wrong With Gay Marriage?

Two days after getting some praise for their balanced article on Bishop Morlino, the Wisconsin State Journal was back to its old games, misrepresenting the Bishop yet again.
They managed to shoot themselves in the foot quite handsomely this time.

Here’s a cartoon they published, quoting both Pope Francis and Bishop Morlino out of context, in an attempt to make it seem that Bishop Morlino is in disagreement with the Pope:

51faaa1547249.preview-620

How Does This Cartoon Shoot WSJ in the Foot?

How does WSJ shoot itself in the foot with this cartoon?Slide1
Let me count the ways:

  1. It’s unprofessional to nest your references so deep that the original source being quoted can hardly be found.
  2. It’s unprofessional to compare apples and oranges.
  3. It’s unprofessional to quote your sources out of context.
  4. It’s unprofessional to ignore the Bigger Story
  5. It’s unprofessional to contradict yourself.
  6. It’s unprofessional for a journalist to spin the news.  (And it’s triply embarrassing when you spin it badly and get caught.)

This unprofessional behavior would be more suited to the grapevine whispering game, in which messages become unrecognizably altered as they are whispered from person to person in a chain, than to a professional journalist.

 

  •  It’s unprofessional to nest your references so deep that nobody can find the original source being quoted.

So, in his efforts to malign and misrepresent Bishop Morlino, Phil Hands had to dig far and deep, and ended up quoting out of context from a homily given by Bishop Morlino in 2006.
In fact, Phil Hands quoted Doug Erickson’s artilce, who quoted a 2006 Bill Wineke article, who quoted Bishop Morlino’s homily from the 2006 Madison Catholic Herald, out of context.

  • It’s unprofessional to compare apples and oranges.

apple-vs-orangePhil Hands was comparing Pope Francis’ comments about a Catholic homosexual who is following Church teaching on chastity, with Bishop Morlino’s comments on the the legal repercussions of governmental redefinition of marriage.  Those repercussions have already violated the religious freedom rights of Catholics and have already closed Catholic adoption agencies.  More on the legal details in the Appendix below.  But suffice it to say that comparing discussion of chaste Catholic homosexuals with discussion of the legal implications of redefining marriage is not a very professional move on the part of Phil Hands.

  • It’s unprofessional to quote your sources out of context.

Pope Francis’ statement in context:

In these situations, it’s important to distinguish between a gay person and a gay lobby, because having a lobby is never good. If a gay person is a person of good will who seeks God, who am I to judge? The Catechism of the Church explains this very beautifully. It outlines that gays should not be marginalized. The problem is not having this [homosexual] orientation. No, we must be brothers and sisters. The problem is lobbying for this orientation, or lobbies of greed, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the most serious problem for me. And thank you so much for this question. Thank you very much!

Slide1Bishop Morlino’s statment in context:

I’m spending time on this today because we’ve got a battle. We’ve got a battle at the federal level in June and we’ve got a battle at the state level in November. And I’m serious about it, I can’t imagine what happens if marriage goes down the tubes. If marriage goes down the tubes, life will become one big custody suit. And who will decide who raises children and how they get raised? The State, more and more and more. Marriage goes down the tubes, the State will be deciding who gets custody and how the kids get taught. And when the State does that, rather than the natural parents, that’s the end of democracy.

In context, both Pope Francis’ comments and Bishop Morlino’s comments mean something quite different than what Phil Hands tried to imply in his cartoon.

  • It’s unprofessional to ignore the Bigger Story

800px-Madison,_WI,_Masonic_Temple

Madison, WI Masonic Temple

Anybody who reads the Pope’s comment above will notice that the Pope made some pretty newsworthy statements.
The Pope’s claim that his most serious problems come from lobbies of greed, political lobbies and Masonic lobbies should raise a few eyebrows.
Apparently Cybercast News Service (CNS) found the Pope’s Freemasonry comment worth reporting. And exploring the reasons for such a comment.
Madison, with it’s giant Masonic Temple one block from the Wisconsin State Capitol building, might be more interested in hearing why Freemasonry might pose a threat to Pope Francis, than hearing old 2006 quotes from Bishop Morlino being compared out of context with the Popes’ comments.
Misquoting Bishop Morlino’s 2006 homily is not news.

 

  • It’s unprofessional to contradict yourself

Jack Russell Terrier SnarlingSloppy reporting has a way of coming back to bite the journalist.
Ironically, the very homily that Phil Hands was  misquoting from, that Bill Wineke misquoted from and Doug ERickson misreported on, that very homily is one in which Bishop Morlino actually does the opposite of what WSJ claims.  In that homily, Bishop Morlino spends two paragraphs emphacising how Catholics must treat the gays with whom we disagree with love and respect, and undescores how Catholics must avoid association with gay-bashing in any shape or form.

  • It’s unprofessional for a journalist to spin the news.  (And it’s triply embarrassing when you do it badly and get caught.)

So there we have it.
Phil Hands’ best effort to spin the comments of Pope Francis and Bishop Morliino, a painful stretch, involving  a 100% reversal of what Bishop Morlino actually said in the homily from which Phil Hands is quoting.
Meager attempt to malign Madison’s Bishop Morlino, and to make him look heartless.

Spin.
Bad spin.
Caught, and (hopefully) embarrassed.
Although with progressives these days, you never know.  Some of them are very proud of their Alinsky (crooked) tactics.

 Slide1

Grading the Wisconsin State Journal on this one:  F-

In fact, WSJ’s journalism license should  be suspended for this one.

 

Appendix- Why Bishop Morlino is Right in His End of Democracy Comment
or
The Legal Repercussions of Government Redefining Marriage

 

What Changing the Definition of Marriage Does

For millennia, marriage has been defined by religion, and government has rarely tried to challenge that definition.
The biggest challenge to date by government was by Henry VIII, who introduced divorce, and how has that worked for our society?
Women and children are no longer guaranteed stability, most women must work, and most children are virtually raised by the State (by the Obama Administration).

The redefinition of marriage  by government to include marriages between persons of the same sex would have, in addition to numerous moral repercussions (on which people disagree), a large number of legal repercussions, which have nothing to do with opinion, but stem from law and from fact, and are inevitable.

Legal Details for Lawyers

For the lawyers among us who want this from the legal “horse’s mouth,” (unlike the WSJ, we make the original sources available), the legal impact of the redefinition of marriage is described at:

 

Layman’s Summary

For the rest of us, I will attempt a layman’s summary of the logic involved:

Legal Definition of Marriage Alters Impacts Many Areas of the Law

The legal definition of marriage does not exist in isolation; changing it alters many areas of the law.
The definition of marriage plays an important role in the laws of :

  • adoption
  • Education
  • Employee benefits
  • Employment discrimination
  • Government contracts and subsidies
  • Taxation
  • Tort law
  • Trusts and estates.

These laws, in turn, impact the ongoing daily operations of religious organizations of all kinds, including:Slide1

  • Parishes
  • Schools
  • Temples
  • Hospitals
  • Orphanages
  • Retreat centers
  • Soup kitchens
  • Universities

Complex Intertwining of State, Federal, and Religious Definitions of Marriage

Current law, particularly law on child custody, provides little room for non-uniform definitions of marriage within a state and across states.

As a result, changes in marriage law impact religious institutions disproportionately because their role is so deeply intertwined with the institution of marriage.
Religious institutions have been regulating marriage since time immemorial, and law has adopted and accommodated religious conventions.

As a result, if the legal definition of marriage is changed to differ dramatically from the religious definition of marriage, all the religious institutions mentioned above will be negatively impacted.

Can Government Compel Religious Institutions to Act Against Their Conscience-  Accomplished

Changing the legal definition of marriage will likely  result in government compulsion of religious institutions to accommodate same-sex couples, something contrary to their beliefs, and public benefits will likely be withdrawn from religious institutions which provide preferential treatment to traditionally married couples.

Already, failure to participate in the HHS “Contraceptive” Mandate, which requires religious employers to provide contraception and abortifacients to employees against the employer’s conscience, is likely to subject all religious individuals to legal penalties for failure to provide HHS Mandated services.

Threats to religious liberty can come both directly and indirectly.  They include court ordered injunctions or fines in retaliation for following one’s religious beliefs, particularly for violating anti-discrimination laws in employment, housing,public accommodations, as well as labeling the statement of religious beliefs as hate speech.

How Christians Become Excluded From Many Professions – Accomplished

It quickly becomes clear how a Christian can no longer become an employer or a pharmacist because they will not dispense abortifacient pills, how a Christian cannot become a doctor because they will not offer abortion services, a Christian cannot rent out half of their duplex because they don’t want the gay lifestyle in close proximity to their family home, a Christian cannot become a public school teacher because they are required to teach acceptance of the gay lifestyle, and so on.

Financial Crippling of Christian Institutions – Accomplished

And the lawsuits, injunctions, penalties and legal bills required to fight these battles are likely to cripple Christians financially, and are likely to bankrupt religious service institutions.  The Catholic Church has already been forced to abandon adoption and foster services in Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Illinois as a result of their policy to make sure children are placed with a mom and a dad who are married.

When You Force Christians Out of Service in an 80% Christian Country, Who Takes Over Providing Services?

When service institutions have traditionally been operated by volunteer religious institutions, and now religious institutions are forced out of these ministries, there is only one option– for government to take over providing these services.
The history of government performance, in the absence of financial pressure and accountability, in providing essential services has had a very bad track record, both in the United States and abroad.  The U.S. Postal Service, Medicare, and UK Medicine are all examples of services that fail abysmally when operated by government.
The control of everything by government is the definition of totalitarianism.Slide1

Totalitariansim: Of, relating to, being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed.

Bottom Line

  • Religious people (90% of US) can be forced against their conscience
  • Christian (80%) excluded form many professsions
  • Financial crippling of Christian Intitutions
  • Totalitarian control of everything by government

= End of Democracy

And the good Bishop was right.
Wisconsin State Journal, grow up and do your homework!

 

 

Addendum: WSJ Editor Responds to Our Criticism:  Stands His Ground

(For anybody interested in contacting this editor about the Bishop Morlino Cartoon he published:  JSmalley@madison.com)

From: Syte Reitz
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2013 1:53 PM
To: John Smalley
Subject: Defamatory Cartoon in WSJDear Editor Smalley-Phil Hands’ cartoon published in the WSJ August 1st was a gross misrepresentation of Bishop Morlino.
There was no option provided for discussion or comments, so my comments can be found in a blog article which outlines the reasons why publication of that cartoon was such a poor choice on  your part.

Many Catholics had become hopeful of getting fair treatment in the WSJ following your publication of Doug Erickson’s article on Bishop Morlino’s 10 year anniversary in Madison.
As a Catholic blogger who was first motivated to blog by seeing media misrepresentation of Catholicism, I’m very sorry to see you returning to WSJ misrepresentation of Catholics so soon.

Please share my comments with the cartoonist, Phil Hands.

Syte Reitz
SyteReitz.com

syte

Syte Reitz
Madison Catholic Blogger

From: John Smalley
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 14:45:30 -0500
To: Syte Reitz
Subject: RE: Defamatory Cartoon in WSJSyte,

Thanks for your note, and your comments on the recent cartoon by Phil Hands.

We will have to agree to disagree on this topic, in that I don’t think we’ve misrepresented Catholics in the past, or that we’re doing so now. I’m sure you understand that editorial cartoons are meant by their nature to exaggerate to the extreme. We publish many cartoons on the page that I would personally disagree with, but we think it’s important to represent a full spectrum of thoughts and opinions on the page. In fact, we always give preference to letter writers who disagree with our editorials.

It sounds like you thought Doug’s anniversary story on the Bishop was a worthy effort. I certainly felt that way.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Best wishes,

John Smalley
Editor
Wisconsin State Journal

John Smalley

John Smalley
WSJ Editor

From: Syte Reitz
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2013 13:54:57 -0500
To: John Smalley
Cc: Reitz Rolf
Subject: Re: Defamatory Cartoon in WSJ

John-

You gave me no substance in your response.
If you “agree to disagree” without supporting your position, you come across as a low-information thinker, something I hope the editor of Wisconsin’s second largest newspaper is not.

You are in a unique position to moderate a serious and important cultural debate, and you should not be pandering to pressure from Madison’s progressives.
A newspaper professional should not show bias.
Your newspaper would benefit by hosting lively cultural debates, and your newspaper only suffers when you diss the leaders of Madison’s and Wisconsin’s leading religion without substance.

Honestly, that was a blatant misrepresentation of Bishop Morlino that you published, and you should retract or apologize for it.
You could also consider publishing arguments from the blog critique of the cartoon, which illustrate why the cartoon was such a bad misrepresentation.

The Wisconsin State Journal purports to serve the entire population of Wisconsin, and Madison claims to champion tolerance, so who better to show some respect for Catholicism and it’s leaders than the State Journal?

God bless,
Syte

syte

Syte Reitz
Madison Catholic Blogger

From: Romulus
Date: Friday, August 09, 2013 9:57 AM
To: John Smalley
Subject: Bishop Morlino Cartoon

Dear Mr. Smalley:   The Phil Hands smear of Bishop Morlino is in no sense an exaggeration.  It is a lie.  If you lack the sense or else the integrity to grasp this distinction, you belong in a different line of work.  Since your heart seems to be in the field of dishonest advocacy, public relations for a really sleazy organization might suit your talents.

Or you could man up and apologize.  Your call.

Romulus

Romulus

Romulus

 

 

 

 

 

Grading Wisconsin State Journal Report on Bishop Morlino’s 10 Year Anniversary in Madison

So, the Wisconsin State Journal reported on Bishop Morlino’s 10 Year Anniversary in Madison.
Was the report balanced?

Slide1

Short answer: Yes, it was balanced.  Doug Erickson, who has been criticized frequently by numerous Madison Catholics including this blogger for previous imbalanced reporting, gets an “A” on this one.

Longer answer: On the negative side, Doug spent much effort documenting controversies faced by Bishop Morlino during the last 10 years in the article, while spending much less effort documenting the Bishop’s accomplishments, supporters, and successes. But his excellent documentation of the Bishop’s phenomenal record in the area of attracting and ordaining young men to the priesthood (16 men ordained and 34 seminarians at present), and his accurate portrayal of the Bishop as the very nice person that he is, made up for the deficiency in cataloging the Bishop’s other accomplishments and support.

Live ChatChat

Here is a portion of the “live chat” that took place online with Doug Erickson on Monday:

Doug-
Thank you for the effort you clearly invested in reporting on Bishop Morlino and for the many kind things you mentioned in the article.
I have a question stemming from the reputation the WSJ has had in these 10 years for very negative reporting on Bishop Morlino, a reputation which has inspired many faithful Madison Catholics to jump to the Bishop’s defense.
Is there a reason why you neglected to mention the Support Bishop Morlino efforts in the Diocese, including over 500 signatures of support for the Bishop in the WSJ (which grew to 1060 online after publication) when ~24 dissidents published an open letter opposing the Bishop, the approximately 800 members of a Google group in support of Bishop Morlino, which watches out for media misrepresentation of the Bishop, the 370 Members of the Rosary for the Bishop.com initiative who prayed about 40,000 rosaries for Bishop Morlino, and the growing number of Madison Catholic bloggers who regularly support the good Bishop and have a big following?
by Syte Reitz 12:13 PM
Hi Syte: Absent any legitimate surveys, it has always been difficult for me to get a grasp of the exact level of support or opposition to Bishop Morlino. I admittedly must rely on anecdotal information, and that appears pretty evenly split from where I sit. I agree with you that I could have gone into the information which you present, which is all legitimate. For this article, I was trying to free up space to break new ground in the reporting on Bishop Morlino, so I did not focus on those particular numbers.
by Doug Erickson 12:16 PM
Doug: I saw a lot of particular numbers in the article – especially the entirely separate, bullet-pointed list “reminding” people of all the controversies he’s come up against. Not only that, but the 50 priests you mentioned who oppose him officially.
by Wes 12:20 PM
Wes: Every article is a balancing act of new and old information. The 50 priests who formed the association had never before spoken publicy for attribution, so that was new information that I gave the higher priority to. But you make a good point. There are a lot of numbers out there, on both sides, and I certainly could have included the ones Syte mentioned.
by Doug Erickson 12:23 PM
From our perspective, Doug was extremely fair, while sharing the objective facts, figures, controversies and other points of view. A lot of people dislike Bishop Morlino. He knows that. Doug didn’t take an opinion on the bishop, rather he reported on him. That is much appreciated.
by Diocese of Madison 12:26 PM
@Doug: What has impressed you the most with His Excellencies “tenure”?
by Wes 12:28 PM
@Wes: I’m going to let that question slide, as I try not to give my opinions.
by Doug Erickson 12:30 PM
@Diocese: I would definitely agree, while that list of controversies piece seemed unnecessary.
by Wes 12:30 PM
@Doug: That’s a thin veil you wear then, sir
by Wes 12:33 PM
@Fortes: I’d add that my editor and I made a decision to let Bishop Morlino’s voice come through as often as possible in the story, so that readers could hear directly from him. That necessitated some hard choices, such as downplaying or eliminating other topics that rightly could have been included.
by Doug Erickson 12:36 PM
@Wes: We spent considerable time on the increase in seminarians. It’s an issue I’ve touched on only superficially in past articles, so I really felt it was time to give the bishop his due on that one. Plus, it consistently came up in interviews — people feel it will be a big part of his legacy. All told, I probably spent about two full hours over two sittings interviewing the bishop. I could have used another two, or four, or six.
by Doug Erickson 12:39 PM
@Beth: As with every priest daily mass and the Liturgy of the Hours are a big part of his more-”private” practices. He also has a strong devotion to Mary and many other saints. He spends part of every morning in his small chapel. Thanks Doug for chiming in too…
by Diocese of Madison 12:44 PM
I think you also did a good job of pointing out — through illustration and not commentary — that there is a real, live human being living within the bishop’s robes. Great job.
by Bill Wineke 12:48 PM
Poll: Do you generally support the way Bishop Morlino has led the diocese?
Yes (51%)
No (40%)
A mix of both (7%)
Not sure (1%)
by Teryl Franklin 12:50 PM
@Del: I can’t deny that some of our religion coverage is viewed as controversial and negative toward religion. That’s certainly not my intent. However, I agree with an argument first presented by Randy Cohen, the longtime ethicist for the New York Times: Merely calling something religious does not exempt it from ethical and societal scrutiny. My approach to covering religion is to do it respectfully but aggressively, just as I would approach police reporting or courts reporting or business reporting. To do otherwise would be to treat religion with kid gloves.
by Doug Erickson 12:54 PM
@Del: I don’t think there’s any concerted effort to change up our religion coverage (at least I haven’t been told there is). From my perspective, I just try to get better with every story, and I do that by expanding my source list, taking classes on religion, attending religious events in the community, etc.
by Doug Erickson 12:57 PM
Please feel free to email me directly at derickson@madison.com with any further questions and comments.
by Doug Erickson 12:59 PM
Peace and Love from the Diocese of Madison!
by Diocese of Madison 1:00 PM

 How Do We Know the Report Was Balanced?

How do we know?
Easy.
The radical “progressive contingent” in WSJ forum discussions went nuts with criticism. Thereangry atheist were even a few comments so rude that were deleted by WSJ; likely reported as abusive.

In Madison, we have a handful of angry atheists who often devote their spare time on Sunday to vicious and baseless attacks on the beliefs of others in WSJ discussion forums.
What a sad way to exist, defining oneself by one’s hatred of others!

The vicious comments following this article on Bishop Morlino’s anniversary illustrate the pressure some Madisonians try to exert on WSJ to ridicule religion and Catholicism.
We congratulate Doug Erickson on publishing a fair article which has obviously enraged these hate-mongers.

Why Should the WSJ Report on Catholics Fairly?

25% of Madisonians are Catholics; Catholicism is the largest religious denomination in Madison, in Wisconsin, and in the United States.
reality-marketing-no-spinFair reporting on these good Catholic people and their wonderful devoted leaders is overdue for the WSJ, one of Wisconsin’s biggest newspapers.  The militant angry fringe atheists, who only represent about 1 out of 1,000 atheists, and only 1 out of 30,000 Americans, must be ignored.  There is no room in a democratic republic for minority or bully rule.

Angry intolerant atheists repeating their mantra, insisting that religious people are ignorant, is getting pretty old.
80% of Americans are religious, and there is virtually no correlation between education and religious faith.
Although university liberals sometimes do manage to propagandize some young people into abandoning faith, most of those young people return to faith very quickly upon experiencing a bit more of life after college. If this were not so, we could not have 80% of Americans identifying themselves as Christian and praying regularly, as we have.

Thanks for reporting on reality, Doug Erickson and WSJ. Hope to see more of the same in the future!

Addendum: Well it took just two days after writing the reasonable article described above, for WSJ to post a calumnious cartoon misrepresenting Bishop Morlino.
See Wisconsin State Journal Flunks Journalism Again.

 

Did the Onion Start World War III?

or

Responsible Journalism

 

north-korea-missiles.

.

Supreme Leader Threatening Nuclear Strikes

As the world scrambles to deal with North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-Un’s threats to make pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the US mainland and its Pacific bases in Hawaii and Guam, nobody acknowledges what may have provoked Kim Jong Un’s rage and his threats.
Even Communist China is nervous and disapproves of his posturing.

According to Steve Forbes, the security umbrella provided by the US, which has prevented world wars from developing since the 1940′s, is degenerating. As respect for the U.S. decreases, the boldness of despots and terrorists increases.

What Could Have Sparked This?

What could have sparked North Korea’s Kim Jong Un’s recent rash of seemingly deranged rage and threats towards the United States?  Anybody keeping an eye on the news in November 2012, however, might have a suspicion.

Less than a year after his ascent to power, the youngest head of state in the world, just 29 or 30 years old, faced global humiliation and ridicule.  The young man who loves American Basketball, Michael Jordan, and collects expensive Nikes, was ridiculed over an Onion article.

Slide1The Onion, a news source specializing in parody, named Kim Jong-Un the “Sexiest Man Alive.” Clearly a joke, to those familiar with the Onion’s reputation for tongue- in-cheek humor.   However, China’s biggest newspaper fell for the hoax story, taking it to be complimentary, and reprinted that article in China.

The Chinese newspaper wrote: “With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true.”

Global Ridicule

So the new despotic supreme leader of North Korea was subjected to global ridicule, with hardly a news source missing the opportunity to describe the double public humiliation-  the Onion’s ridicule of Kim Jon-Un’s appearance, as well as the gullibility of the Chinese press in taking the parody as a compliment.

Rational Response continue reading…

Making Sense of the Connecticut Shootings

As we all stuggle to comprehend and to cope with the shooting of all the innocents in Connecticut, including not only the innocent children, but also the innocent adults, the best perspective I have seen came from Madison’s Bishop Robert C. Morlino, in his homily on Gaudete Sunday, December 16, 2012.

.

Bishop Morlino’s Homily Audio (click here).

.

Text of Bishop Morlino’s Homily:

………………………………………………………..-transcript by Tom Reitz of Reitz Internet

Homily for Gaudete Sunday (12/16/2012)

-Bishop Robert C. Morlino

Bishop Robert C. Morlino
Madison, WI
Gaudete Sunday, 2012

It seems like forever ago that I saw the movie The Exorcist. And it was forever ago in the sense that it was in the late 70′s, early 80′s – before some of the great young people here were even born.

But there was one line and one scene that stuck with me. And it was not any of the overblown portrayals of the devil’s presence. They did go overboard in that movie in certain instances and attributed to the devil certain things that the devil should not do. Just to make it more sensational. But there was also a lot of wisdom in that movie, I have to say. The scene that I remember so clearly, was when the old man, the saintly old exorcist, Fr. Merrin, arrived at the house where the little girl was possessed by the devil. And the younger priest/psychologist was briefing Fr. Merrin on the situation of the possession. And after much conversation, much study, much reflection, much conversation with the child’s mother, he said to Fr. Merrin: “there are at least three spirits possessing this little girl.” Fr. Merrin hadn’t even laid eyes on this little girl yet, hadn’t talked to anybody, and he said with great serenity: “no, Fr. Damien, there is only one.” There is only one.

It is Gaudete Sunday. The Lord calls us to rejoice. And all morning I’ve been wondering what the priests in Newtown, Connecticut are going to say to the people about “rejoice.” They may even pass over it. But there is no question that on a unique Sunday when we are called to rejoice, a cloud has been cast over these United States. A cloud of tragedy, and sadness, and sorrow – in the extreme. In the extreme. And people are looking for all kinds of solutions or explanations. People are coming forward and asking policemen, they’re asking psychiatrists, they’re asking news commentators, the same question that was asked of St. John the Baptist in this morning’s Gospel: “What should we do?”

And there are all kinds of answers being offered. A lot of legislative solutions. “Let’s make some new laws about guns – that’ll stop it.” “Let’s turn the elementary school into a fortress with armed guards – that’ll stop it.” As if somebody could legislate Satan out of existence. What can we do? There’s only one explanation for this, and the explanation is Satan. And the only one who can expel Satan is Jesus Christ, and the power of Faith. It’s hurtful to see many people now who have pushed and pushed and pushed to expel God from the government schools, now stand around and say “well, how could God allow this?” Maybe if you hadn’t kicked Him out, it wouldn’t have happened.

As Fr. Merrin says, there’s only one – one explanation. Satan himself. Because our country more and more is being delivered over to Satan. It happens in so many ways. But in order to clear the way for Satan, we’ve got to get God out of the way. So out of the government schools, put the nativity scenes out of sight, call the Christmas Tree a holiday bush – do whatever you can. Let’s build a culture that forgets God. And people forget the first sin of all time (after the sin of Adam and Eve): once Adam and Eve pushed God aside and wanted to take his place, the next sin was Cain killing Able. Murder. The moment the human person turns against God, that human person turns against his fellow human beings. It can’t be any other way.

President Obama even said there’s a pattern of this violent killing behavior developing in our country in recent years. That’s true. But the explanation is not a lack of more legislation. It’s not a lack of more psychiatrists and psychologists in the school, to keep an eye on every child because evidently, because of this pattern, the parents fail in this regard. There’s no solution there. The solution is in allowing the true beauty of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in so many beautiful things and in so many
beautiful ways, to calm the spirit of the human being. Beauty: the beauty of the Father, of the Son, of the Spirit.

Why is this happening? Jesus tells us according to St. John that the Holy Spirit wants to convince the world of three things:
1.    The Holy Spirit wants to convince the world about sin, because they refuse to believe in Him.
2.    The Holy Spirit wants to convince the world about justice, because Jesus is returning to the
Father, and the Kingdom of Justice will then be restored.
3.    And the Holy Spirit wants to convince the world about judgment, because the Prince of This
World is condemned.

Who is up to the task of condemning the Prince of This World? Can that be done in legislation? Can we put three thousand psychiatrists on the Prince of This World? The Prince of This World is condemned by the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Prince of This World Tempts Jesus
The Temptation on the Mount
-Duccio di Buoninsegna (1260-1318)

And so, when the question is asked “What should we do?” The answer is “Turn back to God. Turn back to beauty. Turn back to truth. Turn back to what is good.” The problem underlying all of this is relativism. Everybody has his or her own beauty, his or her own goodness, his or her own truth. There is no real beauty, goodness, and truth. That in so many ways is the theme song of our own city here. And God help anybody who gets up and says “There is real beauty, goodness, and truth.” But that’s what we should do, because there’s only one explanation.

Bill Hemmer put it so beautifully at the end of the day on Friday when he said that “these beautiful children were waiting for Santa Claus. They were waiting for Santa’s visit. But instead the devil visited Newtown.” Makes me all the more convinced that his mother, who still thinks that he should be a priest, is right after all.

To say what the answer is, is not to take away the pain. Doesn’t affect that. God will use human love, human understanding, human generosity to heal over many years. Saying that it’s the devil doesn’t necessarily make those who are so deeply grieved feel better. I would never say that. But pointing to the devil as the one cause of this, Satan who is having his way with our World in so many ways, is the answer to the question “What should we do?” We should live out our baptism. We should renounce Satan, and all of his empty show, and all of his phony promises.

Our culture glories in Satan and his empty show, and his phony promises. John the Baptist’s theme during Advent is “repent”. That’s the solution, that’s where it starts. Not with more laws and regulations, not with three thousand new psychiatrists brooding over the public schools. It starts with repentance. And that’s why I’m afraid the solution might not start at all. Because along with God, that approach will be left in the dust, and everything else under heaven will be tried. As though we, by our legislation and our efforts, could cast out the Prince of This World. The Prince of This World is condemned by the Holy Spirit of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we peel back all the layers of suffering, sorrow, and shock, for what has happened, as we peel that back, on Gaudete Sunday we can still rejoice. Because while so many have been deprived by our country and our culture of beauty, we have the beauty of the nativity scene.

Anbetung der Hirten (Adoration of the Shepherds)
Giorgione (1477-1510)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

We have the beauty of the shedding of Christ’s blood out of love. We have the beauty of the glorious resurrection and of Mary’s
glorious assumption into Heaven. We have all of that beauty, and that beauty causes us to celebrate here on Gaudete Sunday and to rejoice way down deep, behind all of those feelings we share with every other decent human being in the United States of America, we peel that back – underneath all of that there is still joy, because we have beauty in which to rejoice, beauty in which to celebrate the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

One concrete note, here at the end: the Holy Father said recently: “What are the symptoms of deep joy and beauty in a person?” What are the symptoms? And he said one of the main symptoms is a sense of humor. Because a deep and abiding joy will express itself that way, humanly. It’s natural. The country and culture in which we live have lost the sense of humor. You joke about certain things, you go to jail – or worse.

Certainly the tragedy of Newtown is no joking matter. But among ourselves, smiles should be common. Laughter should be regular. A sense of humor should be alive and well. We should be happy. Not because we overlook Newtown, or because we’re hardened, so we don’t even allow ourselves to be struck by it. Not because of that, but because when we look to our deepest self, there is nothing other there than the glory and the beauty of the Holy Spirit, who will convince the world that the Spirit of This World has been condemned.

.

And if the Holy Spirit doesn’t do that in our lifetime, in the spirit of Advent we wait for something that will be as real as you sitting there this morning. And as we wait for the Prince of This World to be condemned, we do everything we can to give him a bad rap, and to reject his temptations. But even if we don’t see it in our lifetime, we rejoice because the Holy Spirit, not Satan, will have the last word.
And Satan will be condemned by the only final judge of the world – Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Madison’s Media Continues to Diss the Catholic Church- Just in Time for Christmas

 

Background

The past week has produced a barrage of media attacks on the Catholic Church in Madison.
Should not be too surprising; it is common for media to attack the Church immediately before Christmas and immediately before Easter.  Happens every year.  Happens nationally.  Happens globally.
Satan seems particularly resentful of these most important celebrations of Christ’s birth and Resurrection, during which the Christians of the world strengthen their commitment to Christ.  Satan becomes particularly active at these times.

While the rest of us are engaging in sacrifice, prayer and charitable works for Advent, trying to make ourselves more worthy to celebrate the miracle of Christ’s birth, the secular media fills that time with attacks on our beliefs.  Must be some guilt worm eating away at their insides. Or something. ;-)

I’ve only addressed the worst one of the Madison media attacks this week, the attack by Madison’s  previous ex-Mayor Dave, but the attacks have been numerous, and Dave’s was not the first one.

Doug Erickson, Dave Ceislewicz and Chris Rickert

The attacks started with Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ), folllowed by Dave Cieslewicz’s copycat article at Isthmus.  Dave’s article was the most obvious and vicious attack on the Church, so I addressed that one first in my last blog post.  Chris Rickert’s WSJ article followed.  The WSJ Doug Erickson and Chris Rickert attacks are typically a bit (though not much) more subtle than that of Dave Cieslewicz, and they use less slightly less direct means in attempting to discredit the Catholic Church in Madison. A complete list of articles and links which followed in the Madison media is included below.

The Nuns

The springboard for these attacks on the Church was the fact that Bishop Morlino of Madison directed Madison Catholic parishes not to enlist the services of two aged nuns who were trying to hold “retreats” in which heretical beliefs, contrary to Catholicism, were promoted.  The nuns were teaching “indifferentism,” the belief that all faiths are equal.

What’s Wrong with Indifferentism?

The rejection of indifferentism is not unique to the Catholic Church; most religions reject indifferentism and by definition, most religions believe that their own religion represents the truth more accurately than others do.  If they did not believe this, they would have no reason to stay in their own church. Duh.

Indifferentism poses a logical impossibility, since religions contradict each other in some areas, so they cannot all be true simultaneously.  Indifferentism attacks all religions, not just Catholicism, by implying the invalidation of all contradictory beliefs, essentially dismantling the veracity of all religions at the same time.
It’s the first domino used by militant atheists who try to discredit all religious belief.

A more correct position would be to acknowledge that all religions hold varying degrees of truth, and that some religions err in some areas.  Religious individuals obviously believe that their own religion is the most accurate one and holds the truth.  If they did not believe that, they would switch to a more accurate religion.  So attempts by anyone, media or nuns, to insist that all religions are equally good would be about at logical as insisting that all schools and universities are equally good.  They are not.

And most religions hold enough of the truth to realize that religions should respect each other and should focus on the important truths they hold in common, rather than infighting over the elements over which they disagree.

Atheists Reject Indifferentism

Even atheists reject indifferentism, insisting that their beliefs are more true and more “rational” than those of religious people.
Some even go to the extreme of wanting to ban public espression of Christain beliefs and ridiculing Christian beliefs publicly themselves.

Madison’s media has written numerous sympathetic and positive articles about Madison atheists, without criticising their rejection of indifferentism.
How can Madison’s media be so biased when they represent the Catholic Church?

So WSJ Leaked the Bishop’s Letter

So the  WSJ leaked the content of the Bishop’s letter, which warned Catholic parishes not to enlist the services of the two nuns who taught indifferentism, as well as teaching other heresies.
The letter was leaked to the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) by an unnamed person.
-Violation of confidentiality.
Doug Erickson published the details of the Bishop’s directive.
-Violation of charity.
How would you like it if the WSJ published the private details of your reprimand from your boss?  The Bishop’s correction of the two nuns was meant to be private, and nobody, including nuns, want their mistakes and sins laundered in public.

Spin as Usual; It’s Madison

Doug Erickson’s article gave a very sympathetic spin to the two aged nuns, minimizing the heretical nature of their teaching and emphasizing their wonderful and sweet qualities.
This generated the usual WSJ-anonymous-discussion-forum-free-for-all, in which Madison’s Church haters reliably crawl out of the woodwork, spewing hateful vitriol towards Catholicism and Madison’s Bishop, while simultaneously bringing a landslide of web traffic to WSJ’s website to view the circus.  Revenue is always useful, particularly at the expense of the Catholic Church’s reputation.

Catholics Fight Back

This Catholic-Church-attacking phenomenon has become so predictable in Madison, WI, that numerous real Catholics in Madison (as opposed to the two dissident nuns whom WSJ seems to favor), have even developed an alert system to watch for  WSJ attacks on the Church, and numerous faithful Catholics flock to join the WSJ discussion forums in defense of the Church.

In my case, my indignation at this treatment of Catholics in Madison over the years, particularly by the WSJ, the Capital Times, and the Isthmus, inspired me to establish a website three years ago for the sole purpose of defending my Church, my religious beliefs, and my conservative political beliefs which stem from my faith.

Apparently my voice reflects the views of numerous faithful people, since my humble amateur blog, with sparse and sporadic posting, has already received over half a million hits this month, as of  December 14th.

But of course, the faithful Christians/Conservatives whose views I represent are of no interest to Madison’s media.  They are more interested in two dissident nuns.  Madison’s Progressive media’s only interest is the rampant spread of progressive culture in Madison.

List of Madison Articles on the Two-Nun Issue in Less Than One Week

Not satisfied with their initial attempts to mis-portray and embarrass the Bishop of Madison, Madison’s newspapers  continued to publish a series of articles and letters related to the initial article all week.  Granted, some of the letters printed by WSJ were supportive of the Bishop, but often support was quickly followed by insult, as in Chris Rickert’s article published on December 13th.

 

The Diocese Offered Information

Of course, the Diocese offered accurate information as soon as the the Bishop’s private letter was leaked, but as usual, Madison’s media paid little heed to that.
Here are the links to the Diocese information:

From the Vicar General From the Vicar General
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Statement to Priests from VG Re: Wisdom’s Well
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Synopsis documents from VG re: Wisdom’s Well
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Also: Monsignor James Bartylla: Catholic Church must protect truth of Gospel WSJ, Dec 12

Back to the Media Attacks

Chris Rickert’s WSJ Article; Pretense of Support Cloaks Deceptive Attack

Nobody could keep up with the barrage of old and false accusations listed above, which is cleverly interspersed with just a few supportive letters, to camouflage the thrust of the attack.
Not going to tackle each one, but Chris Rickert, a WSJ reporter, should know better than to write what he wrote in his Dec 13 article which pretends at first to support the Bishop.
Here’s my online forum response to Chris Rickert’s deceptive attack on the Catholic Church:

Chris Rickert-

You claim to defend the Bishop’s decision, yet you end with a doomsday forecast on the future of the Catholic Church, and a personal pronouncement that “official Catholicism is a regressive and controlling throwback in a modern world.”
That’s not even accurate reporting. It also borders on hate speech.

FYI, Catholicism is growing in Madison (30+ seminarians vs. 4 ten years ago), is growing in the United States, and is growing worldwide.
If you want to distinguish Catholicism into orthodox and heterodox, orthodox Catholicism is also growing. And it’s growing in Madison. Madison should look outside the bubble and face reality. And religion reporters should report on that reality.

Incidentally, creating categories of Catholicism is ridiculous; do we have orthodox and heterodox math?
Heterodox math is wrong math, and heterodox Catholicism is wrong Catholicism.
There is only one kind of Catholicism, and then there are different faiths, which are not Catholicism.

Speaking of orthodox Catholicism, I hear that one of the nation’s top Catholic bloggers, Father Z, is celebrating a Latin Mass in the Diocese of Madison this weekend. I’m sure that event will be packed.
It’s historic, it’s new, it’s Catholic, it’s orthodox, and it’s popular.
Is the WSJ planning to cover that story, and to cover it respectfully, or does that not fit your political agenda?
Or perhaps WSJ religion reporters prefer to sleep in on Sundays?
If you are serious journalists and interested in covering that event, information can certainly be obtained from the Bishop’s Office.

You also call Catholicism an uncompromising faith.
Are you advocating that truth should be compromised?
Or do you have no interest in truth?

The WSJ has not been reporting on religion, it has been dissing religion.
That is not the job of religion reporters.
Got to wonder where WSJ finds its religion reporters and what their qualifications are.

Syte Reitz

 

WSJ, Capital Times and Isthmus Tactics

The tactics used by Madison’s left in attacking the Catholic Church are immoral, dishonorable and repugnant.
They violate the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.
They resemble deceptive and unChristian standards of behavior like Alinsky Tactics and the  Thirty-Six Strategems, such as:

  • When the enemy is too strong to be attacked directly, then attack something he holds dear.
  • Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west.
  • Create something from nothing.
  • Hide a knife behind a smile.
  • Defeat the enemy by capturing their chief.
  • Sow discord in the enemy’s camp.
  • Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon
  • Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

 

Sadly, in Madison, Wisconsin, this is nothing new.

 

 

 

 

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