Friday, February 27, 2009
Something weird is happening. I keep hearing about the Jesuits. And it’s from completely random, completely unconnected sources. It started about a month ago I think, and has gradually picked up steam until this past week, when I started noticing like maybe 3-4 mentions of Jesuits per day. A lot of them are really weird. I’ve found quotes about how Hitler idealized them. I’ve found quotes about their complicity with the Croatian Nazi Ustasha faction (another word which has been coming up again and again). I’ve had people mention to me their Jesuit friend. I’ve had somebody ask me conspiratorially if I was an “ex-Jesuit.” Supposedly also the prophecies of Malachy may have been forged by them in the 1600’s.So the question I’d like to put before you all now is: What the hell is up with the Jesuits? I know very little about them, but I suspect that I ought to start finding out. Something doesn’t pop up that many times in such a freakin’ short span of time without there being a tremendously good reason.
You are a Jesuit for crying out loud. Your universities are the richest and most endowed in the world. The Jesuit residence at any school is a far cry from any option of the poor. You want a broken body, go live with some homeless guy that has been hit by a truck, now that is real blood and real body.....
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I remember the absolute worst lent of my life back when I was about 7 years old. Back then I owned 22 stuffed animals, all of which were named, had individual personalities, occupations, voices, friends and enemies. I guess I was what you could call a "special" child (and to be perfectly honest I was 18, not 8). Thinking about it now, it just occurred to me that maybe I was homeschooled not because of the way I would be influenced by un-Jesus loving kids, but because my parents were just embarrassed of me. In which case mom and dad had to deal with all kinds of embarrassment, because my two older brothers had more stuffed animals than I did.I had a mountain lion named Simba who was enormous but was vegetarian and ate nothing but Caesar salads (I should really introduce him to Dorothy), and a panda bear who used to be a star soccer player, but was reinjured (code for leg came off) so many times that he was now washed up and extremely bitter. I also had a dog who was incredibly, incredibly stupid; his name was Clifford and he was my favorite. Somehow I also had a penguin named Banana. (OK, quick thought about the word banana: I absolutely hate spelling it because I'm never quite sure when to stop. Attempt #1 always looks like this: bananana, at which point Spell Check flips out. Attempt #2 will look something like this: bana. Thankfully, Gwen Stefani came on the scene with "Hollaback Girl" and has solved this problem forever. Unfortunately, humanity is left with bigger problems, like what the heck is a hollaback girl?)
Nathan O'Halloran, SJ
He will leave in a moment, after just one more cuplet of coffee. Europeans know how to make it right! This is the best in the world, better than the specialty brands he experimented with in the delicatessens on Fifth Avenue. Europeans understand that flavor is not about sensory stimulation, it is about evocation. It is art and memory. It is reunion with exalted moments, and such moments are never solitary ones. In short, life without coffee is not really life.
It is essential to have nothing in order to keep the riches he has been given. Yes, he is rich -- he is a man who can distill sight and insight into bits of salvaged paper; he is a man who can enjoy taking the garbage down to the corner; he can chat with fishermen and carpenters and housewives, never as condescension but as the replenishment of his true self. Every day he can swim in the greatness of the ordinary. This is freedom, and he is very grateful for it. It is all good, just as it is.
You would not hurt the tiniest sparrow -- not because you are a recidivist Hindu, but because you are so sensitive to death entering the world, and thus you do not wish to reduce the number of living symbols in our existential spectrum.... What am I saying to you? Perhaps it is only this: man does not look deeply at the world. He lives by habit and pleasure and impulse. He does not read the poetry in things. And so I say, if he must kill a creature, that is his right, but he should see its beauty before taking its life and understand its presence as language. Moreover, he must understand that blindness to the miraculousness of existence makes it easier for him to pull a trigger and end a human life. Do I exaggerate? We both know the 170 million answers to this.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
It seems to me and many others that this was a man [Father Marcial Maciel, L.C.] with entrepreneurial genius who, by systematic deception and duplicity, used our faith to manipulate others for his own selfish ends.Finally someone has just said it! I have been less than satisfied with those who defend the Legion by saying that Father Maciel was just a troubled soul who lost his way. The evidence does not point to an otherwise holy man who went astray in the last years of his life. He was first investigated and temporarily removed as head of the Legion in 1956, with subsequent allegations coming in the '70s and '90s. As the public record on Father Maciel grows, it is a very sustainable conclusion that he was, from the beginning of public ministry, a charlatan.
While it's difficult to get ahold of official documents, it's clear that from the first moment a person joins the Legion, efforts seem to be made to program each one and to gain full control of his behavior, of all information he receives, of his thinking and emotions. This is not about orthodoxy. It is about respect for human dignity for each of its members.For all charter members of Fortress Catholicism, please read the above quote again. It is wrong to use orthodoxy as a cover for totalitarian tendencies. “They love the Pope” should not be a justification for cult of personality. “They love the Blessed Mother” should not be a justification for psychological blackmail. “They hate the Buddy Jesus crowd” should not be a justification for vowed secrecy. We respect the life and dignity of the human person and must defend it from ALL attacks.
I hope more bishops will be buttressed by Archbishop O'Brien's words and take the necessary steps to combat these evil influences.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
It is with great joy that my husband, Paul, and I met with His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, today. In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church’s leadership in fighting poverty, hunger, and global warming, as well as the Holy Father’s dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel. I was proud to show His Holiness a photograph of my family’s papal visit in the 1950s, as well as a recent picture of our children and grandchildren.
Following the General Audience, the Holy Father briefly greeted Mrs. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, together with her entourage. His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception until natural death, which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists, and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of development.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
So, it turns out that Father Marcial Maciel, L.C. was very much what critics had accused him of being -- an ephebophile, fornicator, drug abuser and embezzler. A case can certainly be made that Father Maciel constructed the Legion of Christ as sort of a sick joke. While giving the pretense of manliness and hyper-orthodoxy, Father Maciel used the organization to fund and hide his numerous, habitual, global and grave sins. Given the extent and duration of Father Maciel’s transgressions, it is also clear that, at the highest levels of the Legion and Regnum Christi, there was an equally widespread and durable conspiracy to cover up his actions.
Not only does this tarnish the whole LC/RC organization, it also tarnishes the legacy of Pope John Paul II. As claims of abuse and evidence of malfeasance continued to pile up against Father Maciel, the late Holy Father seems to simply have refused to hear of it. As great as he was, this is a serious failure on the part of the late Holy Father. More evidence and testimony will need to be collected to know for sure, but it seems that as long as a particular individual showed an intense loyalty to the papacy, much was overlooked.
The situation with the Society of Saint Pius X provides both joy and sadness. Certainly one of the key duties of the papacy is to seek reconciliation with our separated brothers and sisters. In this sense, the lifting of the excommunications against the Lefebvrist bishops is a step forward in the willingness of the Church to repair the wounds of the breach. Bishop Richard Williamson's denial of the Holocaust is quite revolting. As one explores SSPX further, one sees a pattern of anti-Semitic beliefs and practices in the whole organization. To put it as plainly as possible: there is absolutely no place for such disgusting views in the Church. And this is my fundamental concern with attempts to reconcile with SSPX.
The great steps forward in Jewish-Catholic dialogue since the Second Vatican Council should not be put into jeopardy in order to integrate anti-Semites back into the Church. I am sure Pope Benedict XVI is well aware of this tension and I hope he continues to make it clear to the Lefebvrists that the acceptance of Vatican II AND the purging of all anti-Semitic beliefs and practices are required for a return to full communion.
I am sure those progressives in the Church are feeling a bit more justified than they have in a while. And a little bit of "I told you so" may be in order. To the traditionalists who are feeling downtrodden by these recent revelations, I hope you will take this moment as a chance to grow in wisdom. In the future, harden not your hearts.
Rodrigues' method of government had erred on the side of mildness and softness, with the result that, when he was removed, these subjects refused obedience to any other superior than himself or one appointed by him.
But he who aims at making an entire and perfect oblation of himself besides his will must offer his understanding [which is a further and the highest degree of obedience], not only willing, but thinking the same as the Superior, submitting his own judgment to his, so far as a devout will can bend the understanding.
In spite of this, you should feel free to propose a difficulty should something occur to you different from his opinion, provided you pray and it seems to you in God’s presence that you ought to make the representation to the Superior.
All this is proposed under the heading of advice. The patriarch should not consider himself obliged to comply with it. Rather, he should be guided by discreta caritas, taking into account the circumstances of the moment and the unction of the Holy Spirit which should be his principal guide in everything.
37. We encourage Jesuits in formation to grow in the spirituality of obedience and in availability for placing their lives and freedom at the service of the mission of Christ throughout the stages of formation. It will be good for them to take advantage of the opportunities for self-abnegation that community life, constant and rigorous dedication to studies, and other aspects of their experience will doubtless provide. Self-abnegation, “the fruit of our joy at the approach of the Kingdom and the result of a progressive identification with Christ,” is a virtue Jesuits need if they are going to take on the sometimes difficult demands of obedience.38. We encourage formators to help Jesuits in formation understand and live the mystical source of obedience: an unconditional love for the Lord which will bring them to a desire to serve him in fulfilling the Father’s will. We ask formators to help Jesuits in formation become progressively aware of the demands of a life of obedience: transparency with superiors, esteem for the account of conscience, the responsible exercise of personal initiative, and a spirit of discernment which accepts the decisions of the superior with good grace.39. The spirituality and tradition of the Society require that Jesuits in formation and their formators be filled with a spirit of obedience to the pope as something essential to the mission and identity of the Society. Jesuit spiritual and ecclesial formation should emphasize availability for mission and “the proper attitude we ought to have in the Church” established by the Thirty-Fourth General Congregation.
Nathan O'Halloran, SJ
Monday, February 16, 2009
OUR LADY'S YOUTH CENTEROPERATING: OUR LADY'S NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER, GUADALUPE EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, TEPEYAC FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, CAMP JUAN DIEGO.RICHARD M. THOMAS, S. J.,Executive Director515 S. KansasP. O. Box 1422EI Paso, Texas 79948Phone: 533-9122533-5260
Dear fellow Jesuit:
Enclosed is a copy of our October letter to the Anything A Month friends of Our Lady's Youth Center in EI Paso. It is their donations that keep us going. I felt you would want to read this letter.
Right now we are all concerned with Province planning. The Church is being criticized for not being, and not giving the appearance of being, poor-in-spirit. We who have taken a vow of poverty should especially be beyond giving cause for such criticism. So it would be appropriate to include in our planning an objective consideration of our very mode of living.
The needs of the poor are not so obvious because few of us ever really meet the poor. Our work in the Southern Province has kept us primarily with the middle class and the wealthy. This October letter tells about a tragedy that occurred just a block away from our residence.' Sadly, one of our priests knew of Carlos and knew the conditions of his destitution. Similar incidents are happening constantly all over the Province. Every city has its slums, but we are not always serving its people. Yet we must admit that if Christ were visible today, that is where He would be found serving.
May I recommend multiple, prolonged visits to your city's slums. I say multiple and prolonged because until one gets on a first name basis with more than one family, he won't begin to absorb their attitudes and comprehend their true needs.
The poor and the middle class or rich have a mutual need for each other. The poor need the rich: their money, their initiative, their education. The rich need the poor because there is no other way for them to go to heaven.
In the monthly letters to our Anything A Month friends I thank them for their help to the needy of this border city. I know they would approve my expenditures for this mailing, pleading for the poor of the whole Province.
Richard M. Thomas, SJ
Every one must go through something analogous to a conversion -- conversion to an idea, a thought, a desire, a dream, a vision -- without vision the people perish. In my teens I read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, and Jack London's The Road, and became converted to the poor, to a love for and desire to be always with the poor and the suffering -- the workers of the world. I was converted to the idea of the Messianic mission of the proletariat. Ten years later I was converted to Christ because I found him in the people, though hidden.In the people, not in the masses. The pope has pointed out in his Christmas message this year '44 the distinction between the masses and the people and these words called down the wrath of Stalin. The masses, insensate, unthinking, moved by propaganda, by unscrupulous rulers, by Stalins and Hitlers, are quite a different thing from the people, temples of the Holy Ghost, made to the image and likeness of God.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
While many countries have banned the use of PGD for gender selection, it is permitted in the U.S. In 2006, a survey by the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University found that 42% of 137 PGD clinics offered a gender-selection service.