Emily Stimpson has quoted the same reader as I hav…

Emily Stimpson has quoted the same reader as I have (he must have emailed all of the Catholic blogs he could find) and has written a number of entries that follow along the same theme. While I admire the motivation behind her point–that the Church is the Body of Christ, I think she is missing the point… in the same way that she feels my wife Amy is missing the point.

The notion of the Church as the Body of Christ originates with Saint Paul. The same Saint Paul said:

You have become news with a case of immorality, and such a case that is not even found among the pagans…(referring to the man who had taken his stepmother as a wife)…

And you feel proud! Should you not be in mourning instead and expel the sinner. For my part, although I am physically absent, my spirit is with you, as if present. I have already passed sentence on the man who committed such a sin. Let us meet together, you and my spirit, and in the name of our Lord Jesus and with his power, you shall deliver him to Satan, so that he loses everything and his life, but his spirit be saved on the day of Judgment. (1 Cor. 5:1,2-5)

Elsewhere, Our Lord also using the image of the body said:

If your hand makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better to enter life without a hand than with two hands to go to hell, to the fire that never goes out. And if your foot makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a foot than with both feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye makes you fall into sin tear it out! It is better to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than, keeping both eyes to be thrown into hell where the worms that eat them never die, and fire never goes out. (Mark 9:43-48)

This passage follows the one most quoted during the current crisis:

If anyone should cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble and sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a great millstone around his neck. (Mark 9:42)

What bothers most people about this issue is that this surgery on the Body of Christ has yet to be done.

Granted patience is necessary, but there comes a point where some still are way too “proud,” even though they have sanctioned and facilitated certian members of the clergy in their commission of the most unspeakable acts. God speaks to us in the Holy Scriptures about what is necessary.

Good people are people of prayer. They do not need to be called to prayer and repentance–they already are praying. I attend Mass daily, recite the rosary daily, pray the liturgy of the hours daily and do spiritual reading daily.

The people who need to “repent” are the people who are heading in the wrong direction. Some of these are not interested in turning back to Christ who is the Truth, but rather they are interested in protecting their “place” as I have written about in other places on this blog, which of course is a reference to the High Priest in John’s Gospel:

What are we to do? For this man keeps on giving miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, all the people will believe in him and, as a result of this, the Romans will come and sweep away our Holy Place and our nation. (John 11:47,48)

The man is Jesus Christ–the TRUTH, and you can replace the “Roman” with the “press or media.” A day of prayer of healing for all those who have suffered at the hands of evil men is a good idea, after the evil men have been excised from the Body of Christ–let them retire to a monastery, let them join the faithful in prayer but not as leaders but as penitents.

From a writer to this blog: I’d like to make a …

From a writer to this blog:

I’d like to make a suggestion, though I have no forum for doing so: We should have a national collection to pay monetary restitution for the claims that have and will arise from the current scandal. For if we don’t, how many fine institutions will be hurt? The money has to come from somewhere – do we want to see schools close, programs be cut back, already-strained retirement funds tapped?

I would also like to make a suggestion, something that could set the mood for a national day of penance:

Sell all the Catholic Hospitals in the United States. They are no longer “Catholic,” they no longer serve the poor, and they perform medical procedures that are at odds with the teaching of the Church. Remove the name of whatever saint is associated with the hospital and let them continue to exist as private hospitals for the wealthy. The religious orders who run them now, can be freed from the responsibility and use the money to take care of their elderly sisters or brothers.

Sell all Cardinal’s residences. Let the Cardinals live in public housing if they do not want to live in a rectory like other priests. All the proceeds from the sale of these mansions should go to victims of abuse. Along with the sale of these mansions, should be the selling of anything of wealth that the Cardinals have personally acquired over the years. We need leaders who resemble Christ not Queen Elizabeth.

All Archbishops and Bishops should hold a convocation in their dioceses of victims where victims are allowed to voice their concerns publicly to the bishops who will adopt a penitential stance toward this. I’m not advocating a public stoning, but I am advocating a public humiliation of the bishops hearing a list of the abuse that people have suffered because they have not acted in their role as shepherds who should protect their charges from wolves, rather than moving the wolves around to prey on more sheep.

What about the rest of us? Should we finance abuse settlements?


Let the riches of the Church be sold, they are a scandal in and of themselves. Let bishop’s divest themselves of mitres and vestments that separate that are holdovers from the days when princes occupied episcopal sees…let us return to the Church where the Church imitates it’s founder and the simple Galilean fishermen who were the first bishops!

Michael S. Rose has created a new site CRUX NEWS.C…

Michael S. Rose has created a new site CRUX NEWS.COM. Currently the site has a variety of posts related to current scandals in the Church. The site which is free now has information saying that it won’t debut until August and then will be a pay site.

Thanks to E.L. Core of The View from the Core for …

Thanks to E.L. Core of The View from the Core for this link to CNS which gives the details of the 1961 directive alluded to below:

Archbishop Bertone said that while the homosexual inclination is not sinful in itself, it “evokes moral concern” because it is a strong temptation to actions that “are always in themselves evil.”

He defined the homosexual inclination as “a temptation that, for whatever reason, has become so predominant in a person’s life as to become a force shaping the entire outlook of the person.”

“Persons with a homosexual inclination should not be admitted to the seminary,” Archbishop Bertone said.

In 1961, a Vatican document on the selection of candidates to the priesthood said much the same thing. The instruction was issued by the then-Sacred Congregation for Religious and concerned those entering religious orders.

“Those affected by the perverse inclination to homosexuality or pederasty should be excluded from religious vows and ordination,” it said. It said the community life and priestly ministry would constitute a “grave danger” or temptation for these people.

The document recommended that any person with serious unresolved sexual problems be screened out, saying that the chastity and celibacy required by religious and priestly life would constitute for them a “continuous heroic act and a painful martyrdom.”

The 1961 document has never been abrogated, so is still technically valid, officials said. But now, the Vatican is considering a reformulation of these principles, so that the message gets through more clearly to local churches.

Another arrow pointing in the same direction, from…

Another arrow pointing in the same direction, from Zenit:

In the wake of the meeting of U.S. cardinals and bishops here, the sex abuse scandals involving priests calls for a thorough reform in seminaries, the priesthood and the hierarchy, says Vatican Radio

If you read between the lines, and read what I was…

If you read between the lines, and read what I was told below, I think you’ll see that action is being taken on the seminary front already. Now whether the real problem is being addressed or exactly how it is going to be addressed is another issue entirely.

From the Detroit Free Press:

The cardinals return to the United States with plans for Catholic leaders to immediately begin visiting seminaries to assess the suitability of priests-in-training.

The cardinals’ final communique from the summit called for Vatican representatives to conduct special reviews of U.S. seminaries immediately. They are to assess whether Catholic teachings and principles, such as celibacy, are strictly followed. And they will review the criteria for judging candidates for the priesthood.

The editor of America, Father Thomas Reese, comments on this:

Some church leaders and others appear to think that homosexuals cannot be celibate, he said, though others say most gay priests are celibate

Fried foods cause cancer! Plus they make you fa…

Fried foods cause cancer!

Plus they make you fat, but you knew that already! I wonder if cartons of french fries will soon carry the surgeon general’s warning on them. From the Tampa Tribune:A new Swedish study announced Wednesday claims french fries, potato chips, bread, rice and other fried or baked high-carbohydrate foods may cause cancer.

The culprit may be acrylamide, “a probable human carcinogen” formed when potatoes are fried and breads are baked, according to Sweden’s National Food Administration, which did the preliminary research.

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritua…

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God. The previous are posted below among the other posts and last week’s archives. Here is the Seventh Step:

8- To honor all men (cf 1 Pt 2:17).

Often honor is confused with adoring or worshiping someone. For example when the commandment to honor one’s parents is rejected, what is usually rejected is the concept that I have to worship my parents, but that is not what honor means.

To honor someone is to respect them as an individual who is part of the whole. I honor you if I acknowledge the uniqueness that you bring to the human race. I honor you as a fellow human being, giving you all of the rights and respect that every human deserves. Added to this, is a deep respect for your person, your individuality.

Too often our problems with other people is rooted in our inability to see them and accept them as different from ourselves. The other is more introverted or extroverted—we want them to be like us. The other is too right brained or left brained—we want them to be like us.

Honoring an individual means first and foremost that we accept them as the unique individual that God has created them to be.

One would think that monks in a monastery would have little individuality. But in reality the monks I have been privileged to know in my life have exhibited the greatest individuality of any people that I have known. They all dress alike, their lives follow a similar ritual everyday, but their personalities and who God has created them to be shines forth.

The “true self” as Thomas Merton termed the individual who is not trying to live up to the expectations imposed outside of the self can only be freed up by a deep trust in God. We can nurture the “true self” in others by honoring them as unique individuals with a mission from God.

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