The reader writes:
This isn’t your usual VFYT in Provence; it’s a piece of the American South in France. My husband, two children and I are visiting my husband’s grandmother in Toulon, France. She lives in a 150-year-old farmhouse, and we’re having Sunday lunch in her front yard under a recently deceased acacia tree. Grandma is an excellent cook, but today I’m at the helm and made chicken salad from a dear friend’s bonafide Church Lady potluck recipe. Those dark little muscadet grapes in the salad taste like heavenly rosewater sweetness. We had it with lovely croissants from the bakery (much cheaper here!), terrine de campagne, a nice rosé and my mother’s recipe for Cuban-style rice pudding.
Grandma is faster and sharper than you or me at 97 and still drives stick, paints and holds forth on any subject. It’s a 24-hour pilgrimage to get here from our home and we’re happy to make the trip. She’s kind of grandma who would invite all four grandchildren to spend summers with her and (now late) Grandpa every year–our living treasure. Bon appétit!
The reader writes:
Here’s a quick pic of the view from my table after brunch at a friend’s place in the Adelaide hills. I don’t take pictures often so didn’t think to take one before the food was finished (delicious savoury crepes filled with mushrooms, cheese and spinach). Also a bonus pic, our neighbour at his table 20m away.
Look who was feasting nearby while they ate:
The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.
A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of sex in federal programs, including in education and health care, recognizing sex largely as an individual’s choice — and prompting fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.
Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.
The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.
“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”
The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.
Naturally, the Times is freaking out. Look at this headline:
You could just as easily write, “Trump Administration Eyes Defense Of Women’s College, High School Athletics”. If women don’t want male athletes who identify as women competing as women and defeating them, thanks to their superior strength, then they should be grateful for this potential common-sense, science-based move by the administration.
For example, consider the case of Andraya Woodward and Terry Miller, two biological males who identify as female, and who have been wracking up wins in female high school track events. More:
Terry and Andraya came in first and second place, respectively, in the 100-meter race at the State Open Finals on June 4. Terry also won the top prize for the 200-meter dash.
“I was expecting it,” Terry told ABC News’ Linsey Davis of the backlash she’s faced as a trans athlete. “Every day, I would go home, search up ‘track and field high school Terry Miller.'”
Some online comments have been harsh, Terry said. Critics complain that she and Andraya both have an unfair advantage, after having been assigned the male sex at birth. The critics say the male testosterone hormone gives them a leg up in sports.
Andraya told ABC News that she decided “the summer before ninth grade” it would be more appropriate for her to run on the girls’ team because she identifies as female.
So these teenagers have the power to deny the reality of biological sex, and in so doing rewrite the rules of female athletic competitions to disempower biological females. Why on earth are women standing for this? Wokeness is kryptonite for the left.
Contrary to the hysterical Times headline, if approved, the new proposed Title IX rules wouldn’t mandate discrimination, but would only establish in law that schools receiving federal funds have no Title IX obligation to give transgendered people what they want. For example, there will be no federal mandate to open female locker rooms and bathrooms to boys who identify as girls. Like I said: common sense.
Thank you, Trump.
UPDATE: This isn’t a Title IX affair, but it shows why the Trump administration is on the right course. Rachel McKinnon, a Canadian man who identifies as a woman, just won a world championship race for women cyclists.
Some biological female athletes say trans females have an unfair competitive advantage — both because of sex hormones and due to inherent strength differences.
For clarity – this was the WOMENS world championships.
I repeat. Women’s.
Congratulations to the brave faces of silver & bronze. The world is gripped by a febrile madness. pic.twitter.com/P6VkaNFeyy
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) October 14, 2018
Rachel McKinnon said it doesn’t matter if transgender women have an unfair competitive advantage, because the most important thing is to make sure that trans individuals don’t feel oppressed.
“Focusing on performance advantage is largely irrelevant because this is a [trans] rights issue,” McKinnon told USA Today. “We shouldn’t be worried about trans people taking over the Olympics. We should be worried about their fairness and human rights instead.”
Right, so the women who are disadvantaged by having to compete against biological men should just shut up and go away, because that’s the cost of making people like McKinnon feel like natural women.
Insane. And deeply unjust.
UPDATE: People are out of their minds. Trump is only thinking of returning people to the status quo of a few years ago. Denny Burk reminds people of reality:
Actually, this is simply returning things to where they were before President Obama unilaterally changed the meaning of the word “sex” in federal statutes like Title IX. He never should have done that and had no right to do that. /1 https://t.co/aLjoQzfons
— Denny Burk (@DennyBurk) October 21, 2018
UPDATE.2: Interesting observation from reader Edmund Charles:
This is a type of reverse Kavanaugh, where mothers who want the best for their daughters and spend weeks of their lives each year transporting them to soccer, volleyball, softball, basketball, gymnastics, lacrosse, and dozens other girls-only practices and games, can see that the left is threatening not only their daughters childhood, i.e. having fun playing sports, but in many cases jeopardizing their chances to play collegiate athletics. When moms feel the playing field isn’t fair while they invest so much time and money into their daughters’ athletic careers, don’t be surprised when they vote Trump in 2020, the same way the moms of sons worry about how the left will treat their sons post-Kavanaugh.
That’s MY table, and the photographer is none other than the great James C., who is staying with us this weekend. See the wine? He brought it. It’s a 20-year-old Barolo, and it was marvelous. We ate pork tenderloin stuffed with prosciutto and rosemary; gratin dauphinois (sliced potatoes boiled in milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then baked in butter and heavy cream, in a dish scented with a garlic clove; green salad; and a late-season tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad with real balsamic vinegar from Modena. It was given to me by a lovely Italian couple, the Ferraresis, who came to hear me speak in Bologna.
We finished with an orange olive oil pound cake made by my daughter Nora. She also made the whipped cream, though it’s not in the photo:
It was a great night. Life is so rich. I don’t deserve any of this. But thank you, God, for it all.
That’s James C., having a casual dinner at our house last night (shrimp sauteed in garlic, olive oil, cayenne, and Hungarian paprika). He’s visiting this weekend. James drove in from the Lafayette area, where he had poked his head into the legendary Cajun market Best Stop to buy some smoked boudin. It delighted him to see this on the front doors of the joint:
South Louisiana: It ain’t like where you from, cher.
Reader Daniel Cruz has given me permission to share this e-mail with you:
Last night I went to one of the “listening” sessions put on by Bishop McElroy in San Diego. It was a clarifying experience. I had e-mailed you awhile back a plan of action for lay people to create on the parish level. It was written angrily and in haste on my part but I strongly believe that the structure of the plan can be a foundation for creating BenOp parishes within a diocese as the Catholic Church in America pivots to a new era of the Church. I have attached an updated, more thought out version that is an ongoing working document.
I had printed out about 25 copies of the plan to share with interested fellow Catholics at the event. Upon entering the community center, there were three security guards with metal detector wands, who informed me I was not allowed to bring any documents for distribution in the building. I placed all but one outside and entered. At some point Bishop McElroy was walking around the hall and I got up and introduced myself. I handed him the document to which he responded that he had already read it which I assume somehow somebody picked up the copies outside and gave him one. I know he at least read it in part because he immediately said he disagrees with the plan because he said who are the laity to decide what heresy is?
Fair enough point, but I fear the time is arriving where local communities will have no choice but to defend the Catholic faith without the help of the local Bishop. He wasn’t very interested in discussing it further and the meeting was close to starting so that was that.
It was clear from the onset that the listening session was not a listening session but rather a controlled public relations tour. Tables were set up with about 8 per table and a facilitator. The facilitator was tasked to jot down one question from the table to ask the Bishop. A moderator who held the microphone to the facilitator’s mouth, ready to pull it away if need be, walked from table to table so we could ask our question. Most people complied with this arrangement which didn’t give the laity any chance to tell the Bishop what they thought or what they thought should be done as it was staged as a Q&A where we ask then listen.
I shared my plan with the table and it was well received, nobody trusted the diocese to handle future abuse but there was no way to share the idea to the larger group. For instance, one man violated the arrangement by standing up on his own and saying the facilitator did not ask the question the table came up with. He started his question and as soon as he said the word “Vatican”, Bishop McElroy shut him down and three security guards rushed him and physically removed him from the building. The guy was a little ridiculous and was trying to make a scene, but the message was clear. Security guards lined the walls of the hall and if you went outside the rules you will be handled physically if need be.
Later on, a question about Richard Sipe came up and essentially asked the Bishop to explain the situation. Bishop McElroy seemed happy to do so and it was perhaps his longest answer of the night. His answer was more or less a smear of Sipe, painting his accusations as gossip and outlandish. He highlighted one particular claim of Sipe about a priest and a Bishop having sex in a casket as a way to show how ridiculous some of the claims Sipe was making. I had an obvious question on my mind, as McCarrick was one of the accusations Sipe brought to McElroy, and obviously he was correct about that accusation. So when McElroy was finished I yelled out “was that the first time you heard about the McCarrick accusations?” He did not answer, looked down and a security guard stood next to me. Moderator moved on to the next facilitator. That’s pretty much how the night went.
If he was truly listening to the questions last night and at the other sessions he would understand what many are slowly realizing. The traditional forms of information and the middle of the road Catholics are being replaced by ideological religious sites and divisive groups ready for a civil war in the Church. If he was listening, he would realize he has no control of this. I think what is occurring in the Church is analogous to what is occurring in the broader society. The internet has disrupted the ability of the intellectual elite and authority figures to control the narrative. 30-40% of the questions surrounded homosexuality, and it was clear that this was the main concern of the people — including the loudest moment of the night when the Bishop was called out for employing a “married” homosexual man and letting him run the Young Adults & Pastoral Outreach ministry at a local church. His defense was met with jeers. Other questions mentioned Vigano, McCarrick and the high percentage of homosexual priests.
Where are people getting their information from? Not from the Vatican. Life Site News, Church Militant, One Peter Five, your website, parts of NC Register and others are now feeding the narrative. It was evident that many in the room were aware and believe in these narratives. The only people listening to Vatican press releases are people like McElroy who are waiting for their cue from on high as to how they should be approaching this scandal. It’s delusional because like ABC, NBC and CBS, the Church’s fluffy politically correct responses to what’s going on in the world is reaching fewer and fewer ears.
Bishop McElroy was trying to appeal to a middle ground that no longer exists. It’s unfortunate because I believe that Catholic teaching is in fact a middle ground and for the most part I share his sentiments about being compassionate to those with same sex attraction and to not single them out as if the rest of us aren’t equally debased with disoriented sexual desires that we act out on as well. The problem is that it is becoming obvious that their appeal to Catholic teaching is a front to their real desires and agenda which are progressive and heretical. The middle is breaking because they do not trust the messengers any more. When the middle breaks there is no room for dialogue; it is a civil war.
The line is being drawn and the rhetoric is only going to increase. That line is clearly between those that are for or against the LGBT community. Both sides will turn on McElroy eventually if he tries to appeal to a middle ground because both sides sense the agenda from the other side and realize this is a war not a communal discussion. This all stems from the internet breaking the shared narrative, giving lay people authority to judge the message and the messenger as opposed to turning to authority for answers.
The same thing is occurring in American society around politics. The obvious result is that the intellectual elites and authority figures will eventually all realize they have no way to control the narrative for the middle and they will then appeal to their side with war like rhetoric. Trump realized this first and won, now the rest of the dominoes are falling. I recognized the shift amongst average family members during the Kavanaugh hearings. Average run of the mill Democrats were throwing away objectivity and joining in the mobbish backlash that cared not about truth but for beating the other side even if it meant destroying an innocent man’s career and good name. And who am I to scold them, as I voted for Trump, which signaled to them I did not care about decency and truth as long as the other side was defeated.
Underneath our politics is a violent reality of our society and a disgraceful truth that we kill the unborn by the millions. That’s what the initial backlash to Kavanaugh was about and I believe societies do come to breaking points when truly evil and violent realities persist for too long. Like slavery and segregation before it, abortion will ultimately break us and when Trump replaces Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Amy Coney Barrett in the next 6 years, the country will face the same battle of the past between good and evil which will become violent.
As for the Church, I believe that the next step will be a divide between BenOp parishes and non BenOp parishes. Those that affirm the LGBT community and those that do not. I see my plan as a first step in creating a BenOp parish that takes financial control away from the diocese. It’s a way to say we are Catholic, and if the Bishop refuses to support Catholicism or refuses to correct abuse, we will cease to support the Bishop financially. Not all communities will take that stand but people will be allowed to choose their Parrish based on what side of the line the Parish falls on. These local communities will have the freedom to stop pandering to non-Catholic beliefs and openly live an authentic Catholic life supported by their fellow parishioners. Those that disagree will likely move to other churches and the divide will be clear. BenOp parishes may eventually be poor but rich in faith.
I have no idea how quickly this clear divide will come but I am pretty sure it will happen in my lifetime. I also do not know how successful we will be at defending against the modern push to affirm LGBT Catholics but I am willing to try for the sake of the Church. I am confident in God and that Jesus Christ will not allow the gates of Hell to prevail against the Church so there will be victory in the long run and perhaps suffering in the short term. I am very happy I am Catholic today in what feels like a battle that will help me purify my soul and my family as opposed to a Catholic growing up in the 60s unaware of the massive sea change when the beginning of the battle was being waged and souls were being taken.
Thanks for all your work Rod! God chose us for this time, God knew the internet would come and God chose you for your work!
I am trying to get the idea of a local response out and will continue to do so. Next step is to the local priests in my community then to the Knights of Columbus. I share with you for your own thoughts and if you wish to share to a broader audience. God will decide if the idea takes hold, I just felt called to write it and promote it.
Below is the text of Daniel Cruz’s plan. To be clear, as a non-Catholic, I neither endorse nor condemn it. I’m only putting it out there for discussion.
WE THE CHURCH
In light of the continuing revelation that many members of the clergy in the United States have failed to live up to their priestly calling to shepherd our Church and have instead served their own self-interests and deviant, even criminal, sexual desires, we the Church must commit ourselves in purging the Church of those who scandalize the Body of Christ.
Further, given the failure of some Bishops and Cardinals of the Church, who have either committed similar perverse acts or were complicit in the cover up of fellow clergy members, the laity must be committed to accomplish what some shepherds have failed to do. The following is an outline and a call to action for every parish to use to create a system in their local parishes and diocese to protect our Church from Priests and Bishops who continue to commit or cover up either of the two gravely sinful acts listed below:
1. Sexually abusing children, minors or adults and the habitual, unrepentant breaking of the vow of celibacy.
2. Teaching heresy or failing to uphold Catholic Doctrine.
Each parish will set up a laity run committee comprised of 5-10 members who will volunteer and be voted on by fellow parishioners. This committee will have the following primary duty:
1. Serve as a sanctuary for local priests and parishioners to anonymously contact and report any committing of the sins listed above. This committee will be responsible for
establishing an abuse hot line and assisting accusers in properly addressing the abuse.
The committee will take the following steps upon receiving reports:
A. When the accusations are criminal in nature:
Inform the local authorities.
Inform the local press.
Inform the diocese.
B. When the accusations are non-criminal immoral actions or of heretical teaching:
Confront the accused clergy member as a committee, demanding repentance
or clarification on the accusation.
If unrepentant, take it to the Church by informing the superior of the accused
and/or the Bishop and suggesting appropriate action.
If the Church fails to respond, inform the parishioners and fellow committees
of other parishes in the diocese that appropriate action has not been taken
and disclose the nature of the accusation.
Inform the parishioners of an alternative donation option that does not give a
portion of money to the diocese. This option will be made available until the
Bishop takes appropriate action.
2. Serve as a group of prayer committed to praying specifically for the local priests and
Bishop and for the end to the sexual abuse of children, minors and adults.
Committee Responsibilities: The following is an example of a structure for the committees.
A. Ten elected members – each year, all parishioners are invited to vote for the ten members on the committee as well as volunteer themselves to join.
B. Head of the Committee – The committee will internally determine the head of the
committee that will lead the group and establish the structure.
C. Head of Finance – The head of finance will work with the parish to determine the amount of money being sent to the diocese as well as other parish and local needs. They will be responsible for devising the reorganization of money if a situation were to arise.
D. Three Assistant Committee Members – Three members will serve in an assistant role in
helping with the functions of the committee headed by the leader and head of finance. They will be part of the five members who participate in addressing the abuse.
E. Five prayer members – Five committee members will be responsible for organizing the
prayer efforts that will remain on going throughout the year. They will not participate in
the steps addressing abuse but will be committed to prayer intentions.
The committee will not have power to shut down funding for anything. The main functions of the committee will be to inform the local parishioners of abuse and provide options for
parishioners to respond as well as serving as a support group for the victims. If the committee recommends shutting down diocese donations, they will inform parishioners at every Mass and give people the option to redirect their charitable giving. The best outcome for the committee would be to simply be a prayer group that never has to act but is ready to do so if need be.
Sadly, the Church has experienced a hostile takeover from a few diabolical Priests and Bishops who have been instruments of the devil in a futile effort to destroy our mother, the Church. We continue to pray for their souls that they may repent and become instruments of God instead, to bring healing. We recognize the difficulties ahead and understand that protecting the Church might require a hostile takeover from the faithful and we should all understand that some forces in the Church may try to halt any effort that undermines their power. The Bishops are representatives of the Church that demand our respect. At the same time, they are servants to the faith and as such do not have supreme power over the laity. We are the Church and we have the power to make these changes and we will do so with the help of our spiritual mother, Mary, who through the power of Jesus Christ will crush the serpents head once again.
For any follow up thoughts or discussion, feel free to contact me at decruz1988 [at] gmail.com.
This e-mail came to me from a woman who sent it first to Daniel Cruz:
Greetings in Jesus Christ,
I am writing because you mentioned the man in the article standing up to state that the facilitator did not ask the question the table had agreed upon. This man was my husband and you state that he was ridiculous and making a scene. Something I do not appreciate or deem necessary to your article – seeing as my husband is a moral theologian, a very gentle man, and completely faithful to the magisterium of Holy Mother Church. In charity I am expressing the wish that when writing about the actions of others, you would refrain from stating their motives. If you would like to know, my husband raised his voice in order to be heard above those silencing him, using microphones.
He is currently in the emergency room having xrays of what may be a broken rib and back injuries from this assault. Your prayers would be appreciated and if you deem it appropriate, I would like you to remove your assumptions about my husband’s motives. Thank you and God bless you. Prayers are yours.
Reader Alice comments on the hyperpoliticization of college students:
Understand: they *arrive at universities thinking this way*.
Our US students have been taught since at least grade 6, but mostly since school began, that there are only certain acceptable ideas, and genuflecting to those ideas is what makes you the Top Student, the Front Row kid, the one who checks all the boxes to get into Brown or Oberlin or Yale.
The “best and brightest” accepted to these schools are kids who, consciously or unconsciously, have learned to excel in places by accepting as true the acceptable ideas and never bringing up the unacceptable. Some thoughts are just too dangerous to have. Trajectories that are good for one’s future to the Ivies don’t allow you to engage these unacceptable ideas. So in school and in other places where one deals with adults, these front row kids learn to believe, or at least be comfortable with parroting, these acceptable ideas. Just as there’s a correct answer to a calculus question, there’s a correct answer to questions such as why one country is more successful than another, why there are measurable differences in incarceration rates by race (even as there’s also a contradictory answer to the question of what is a race), what a nation owes non-citizens vs. citizens, how much training can alter […], are sex differences on average innate, are there two sexes, etc.
Meanwhile, if you hear something unacceptable, you’ve also been equipped with the trump card to demolish the argument: arguer is racist, sexist, bigot. So the Overton window is big for trans rights and little for the role of, say, duty to ones’ elders, big for microaggression but little for the personality differences of men and women.
Whether they believe it or not at the beginning is irrelevant. They make the appropriate verbal gestures, they get a reward. After 6-12 years of doing so, they’re not capable of engaging in debate or rhetoric, argument from evidence, even following a line of reasoning or recognizing a fallacy. They’ve never done it, and anyone who tried was actively shut down either calls of “my truth”.
On the past, ignorance and obnoxious self regard were demolished by profs rather quickly. What’s changed is college profs no longer push back on this crap. They no longer demand argument, reason, and counter argument. They simply are stunned that they share no overlap of consciousness with the students they bequeathed to themselves. They are afraid of them and afraid to stand up to the students or spineless weasel administrators.
The Vatican journalist Aldo Maria Valli has received a new communique from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. I post an English translation below, via Google Translate:
Witnessing corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and it still is. But I am an old man, one who knows that he will soon have to give an account to the judge of his actions and omissions, who fears the One who can throw body and soul into hell. Judge, who, even in his infinite mercy “will make each one according to merit the prize or eternal punishment” (Act of Faith). Anticipating the terrible question of that Judge: “How could you, you who were aware of the truth, remain silent in the midst of so much falsehood and depravity?” What answer could I give?
I spoke in full awareness that my testimony would have caused alarm and dismay in many eminent people: ecclesiastics, brother bishops, colleagues with whom I worked and prayed. I knew that many would feel hurt and betrayed. I predicted that some of them would have accused me and questioned my intentions. And, most painful of all, I knew that many innocent faithful would be confused and disconcerted by the spectacle of a bishop who accused confreres and superiors of misdeeds, sexual sins and gross negligence on their duty. Yet I believe that my continuous silence would have endangered many souls, and would certainly have condemned mine. Despite having repeatedly reported to my superiors, and even to the Pope, the aberrant actions of McCarrick, I could have publicly denounced the truths I knew of. If there is any of my responsibility for this delay, I regret it. It is due to the gravity of the decision I was about to take and the long struggle of my conscience.
I have been accused of creating confusion and division in the Church through my testimony. This statement can only be credible for those who believe that such confusion and division were irrelevant before August 2018. Any dispassionate observer, however, could already well see the prolonged and significant presence of both, which is inevitable when the successor of Peter he refuses to exercise his principal mission, which is to confirm his brothers in faith and in sound moral doctrine. Then, with contradictory messages or ambiguous declarations, the crisis is aggravated, the confusion worsens.
So I spoke. Because it is the conspiracy of silence that has caused and continues to cause enormous damage to the Church, to so many innocent souls, to young priestly vocations, to the faithful in general. With regard to my decision, which I have taken in conscience before God, I willingly accept every fraternal correction, advice, recommendation and invitation to progress in my life of faith and love for Christ, the Church and the Pope.
Let me remind you again of the main points of my testimony.
• In November 2000, the nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Montalvo informed the Holy See of the homosexual behavior of Cardinal McCarrick with seminarians and priests.
• In December 2006 the new nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, informed the Holy See of the homosexual behavior of Cardinal McCarrick with another priest.
• In December 2006, I also wrote an Appointment to Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State, who personally gave to the Substitute for General Affairs, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, asking the pope to take extraordinary disciplinary measures against McCarrick to prevent future crimes and scandals. This note was not answered.
• In April 2008, an open letter to Pope Benedict by Richard Sipe was transmitted by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Levada, to the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, which contained further accusations to McCarrick to go to bed with seminarians and priests. It was delivered to me a month later, and in May 2008 I presented myself with a second note to the then Deputy for General Affairs, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, reporting the charges against McCarrick and demanding sanctions against him. Also this according to my note did not have an answer.
• In 2009 or 2010 I learned from Cardinal Re, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, that Pope Benedict had ordered McCarrick to cease public ministry and start a life of prayer and penance. The nuncio Sambi communicated the pope’s orders to McCarrick, raising his voice so that it was heard in the corridors of the nunciature.
• In November 2011, Cardinal Ouellet, the new prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, reconfirmed to me, the new nuncio in the United States, the restrictions placed by the pope in McCarrick, and I myself told McCarrick face to face.
• On 21 June 2013, towards the end of an official meeting of the nuncios in the Vatican, Pope Francis addressed to me words of reproach and difficult interpretation on the American episcopate.
• On June 23, 2013, I met Pope Francis in private person in his apartment for clarification, and the Pope asked me: “Cardinal McCarrick, how is it?”, Words that I can only interpret as a false curiosity to discover if I were ally or not by McCarrick. I told him that McCarrick had sexually corrupted generations of priests and seminarians, and that Pope Benedict had ordered him to devote himself solely to a life of prayer and penance.
• McCarrick, on the other hand, continued to enjoy a special consideration on the part of Pope Francis, who instead entrusted him with important new responsibilities and missions.
• McCarrick was part of a network of homosexual bishops who enjoyed the favor of Pope Francis promoted episcopal appointments to protect themselves from justice and strengthen homosexuality in the hierarchy and in the Church in general.
• Pope Francis himself seems either to be conniving with the spread of this corruption or, aware of what he is doing, is gravely responsible because he does not oppose it and does not try to eradicate it.
I invoked God as a witness to the truth of these statements of mine, and none of them was denied. Cardinal Ouellet wrote reproving me for my recklessness in having broken the silence and moved serious accusations against my brothers and superiors, but in truth his rebuke confirms me in my decision and, indeed, confirms my affirmations, one by one and in toto.
• Card. Ouellet admits that he told me about McCarrick’s situation before I left for Washington to start my nuncio job.
• Card. Ouellet admits to inform me in writing conditions and restrictions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict.
• Card. Ouellet admits that these restrictions prohibited McCarrick from traveling and appearing in public.
• Cardinal Ouellet admits that the Congregation for Bishops, in writing, first through the Nuncio Sambi and then again through me, ordered McCarrick to lead a life of prayer and penance.
What does Cardinal Ouellet deny?
• Card. Ouellet disputes the possibility that Pope Francis could have remembered important information about McCarrick in a day when he had met dozens of nuncios and had given each person only a few moments of conversation. But that’s not what I witnessed. I have witnessed that, in a second private meeting, I informed the Pope, answering a question about Theodore McCarrick, then Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, a prominent figure in the Church of the United States, telling the Pope that McCarrick had sexually corrupted his same seminarians and priests.
• Card. Ouellet disputes the existence in his archives of letters signed by Pope Benedict XVI or by Pope Francis regarding sanctions on McCarrick. But that’s not what I witnessed. I testified that he had in his archives key documents – regardless of provenance – that incriminate McCarrick and related to the measures taken against him, and other evidence of the cover-up regarding his situation. And I confirm it again.
• Card. Ouellet disputes the existence in the archives of his predecessor, Cardinal Re, of “notes of hearings” that imposed to McCarrick the restrictions mentioned. But that’s not what I witnessed. I have testified that there are other documents: for example, a note by Card. Re not ex-Audientia SS.mi, or signed by the Secretary of State or Substitute.
• Card. Ouellet denies that it is false to present the measures taken against McCarrick as “sanctions” decreed by Pope Benedict and canceled by Pope Francis. True. They were not technically “sanctions”, they were provisions, “conditions and restrictions”. To investigate whether they were sanctions or provisions or what else is pure legalism. From a pastoral point of view it is exactly the same thing.
In short, Cardinal Ouellet admits the important statements that I have made and do, and challenges the claims I do not and have never done.
There is a point on which I must absolutely deny what Cardinal Ouellet writes. The cardinal states that the Holy See was aware only of simple “rumors”, not enough to be able to take disciplinary measures against McCarrick. I affirm instead that the Holy See was aware of a multiplicity of concrete facts and in possession of proving documents, and that nevertheless the responsible persons preferred not to intervene or were prevented from doing so. Compensation for the victims of the sexual abuse of McCarrick of the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen, the letters of P. Ramsey, of the nuncios Montalvo in 2000 and Sambi in 2006, of Dr. Sipe in 2008, my two notes in this regard to the superiors of the Secretariat of State who described in detail the concrete allegations against McCarrick, are they just rumors? They are official correspondence, not gossip from the sacristy. The crimes reported were very serious, there were also those of the acquittal of accomplices in turpi acts, with subsequent sacrilegious celebration of the Mass. These documents specify the identity of the perpetrators, that of their protectors and the chronological sequence of the facts. They are kept in the appropriate archives; no extraordinary investigation is needed to recover them.
In the accusations made against me publicly I noticed two omissions, two dramatic silences. The first silence is on the victims. The second is on the root cause of so many victims, namely the role of homosexuality in the corruption of the priesthood and the hierarchy. Regarding the first silence, it is shocking that, in the midst of so many scandals and outrage, there is so little consideration for those who have been victims of sexual predators by those who had been ordained minister of the Gospel. It is not a question of settling accounts or matters of ecclesiastical careers. It is not a question of politics. It is not a question of how church historians can evaluate this or that papacy. It’s about souls! Many souls have been put and are still in danger for their eternal salvation.
Regarding the second silence, this serious crisis can not be properly addressed and resolved as long as we do not call things by their real name. This is a crisis due to the plague of homosexuality, in those who practice it, in its motions, in its resistance to being correct. It is not an exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy and that it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons. It is an enormous hypocrisy to deprecate the abuse, to say to cry for the victims, and to refuse to denounce the main cause of so many sexual abuses: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to admit that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and not to resort to the means to remedy it.
There are no doubt in the clergy sexual violations even with women, and these too create serious damage to the souls of those who practice them, to the Church and to the souls of those who corrupt. But these infidelities to priestly celibacy are usually limited to the individuals immediately involved; they do not tend by themselves to promote, to spread similar behavior, to cover such misdeeds; while overwhelming evidence of how the plague of homosexuality is endemic is spread by contagion, with deep roots difficult to eradicate.
It is established that homosexual predators exploit their clerical privileges to their advantage. But to claim the crisis itself as clericalism is pure sophistry. It is pretending that a medium, an instrument, is actually the root cause.
The denunciation of homosexual corruption, and of the moral cowardice that allows it to grow, does not encounter consensus and solidarity in our day, unfortunately not even in the highest spheres of the Church. It is not surprising that in calling attention to these wounds, I am accused of disloyalty to the Holy Father and of fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion. But rebellion would imply pushing others to overthrow the papacy. I am not exhorting anything of the kind. I pray every day for Pope Francis more than I have ever done for the other popes. I ask, indeed I implore, that the Holy Father will face the commitments he has made. By accepting to be the successor of Peter, he took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and the responsibility of guiding all souls in following Christ, in spiritual combat, by the way of the cross. He admits his mistakes, he repents, proves that he wants to follow Peter’s mandate and, once he has repented, confirms his brothers (Luke 22.32).
In conclusion, I would like to repeat my appeal to my brother bishops and priests who know that my statements are true and that they are in a position to be able to testify, or have access to documents that can resolve this situation beyond any doubt. You are also faced with a choice. You can choose to withdraw from the battle, continue in the conspiracy of silence and take your eyes off the advance of corruption. You can invent excuses, compromises and justifications that delay the day of reckoning. You can console yourself with duplicity and illusion that it will be easier to tell the truth tomorrow and then again the next day.
Or you can choose to talk. Trust in Him who told us “the truth will set you free”. I do not say that it will be easy to decide between silence and speaking. I urge you to consider which choice on your deathbed and in front of the just Judge you will not regret having taken.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
19 October 2018
Memory of the Martyrs of North America
There is nothing too lowball for gays and their SJW allies. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
School board and city council members are amplifying pressure on the Pittsburgh Marathon to drop Chick-fil-A as title sponsor at a children’s event.
Unless marathon organizers boot the fast-food chain, a proposed resolution due before the Pittsburgh Public Schools board would ban district employees and schools from participating in “an official capacity” in the one-mile Kids Marathon. It’s held the day before the main race in May.
Meanwhile, all nine council members signed a letter asking the marathon to nix the funding deal. Their correspondence went to the P3R nonprofit, which manages the race events, just as its board was due to discuss the sponsorship Thursday afternoon.
More than 1,100 signatures appear on the petition. Posted on The Action Network website, it accuses Chick-fil-A of being “openly homophobic and transphobic.” The restaurant’s headquarters did not immediately comment but has said it doesn’t have a political or social agenda, focusing instead on service and hospitality “for all.”
At city council, member Erika Strassburger said the brand name “would be perceived to espouse bigotry and hate.” She circulated the letter signed by her council colleagues.
“This is really about the children and about sending the message to the children of Pittsburgh, and really to everyone, that Pittsburgh, as far as city council is concerned, is welcoming and inclusive for everyone,” Ms. Strassburger said.
For everyone? Such b.s. No, it’s about showing that LGBTs and their allies are nasty, intolerant trolls who have perfected the art of hateful pettiness. This is why so many people hate PC. It’ll never happen, and when it does, you chicken-selling Christians will deserve it.
I also think it is highly inappropriate for any Christian organization or business to eagerly jump into anything to do with youth and children right now. The wrangling over the Grand Jury Report on Sexual Abuse of Children by nearly 100 priests in the Pittsburgh Diocese alone has just begun.
Hey Sue, Chick-fil-A is owned by Evangelicals not Catholics, though I guess to you, we all look alike. And see, 79 percent of those sexually abused by Catholic priests were adolescent boys. By your line of reasoning, it would be highly inappropriate for gays to jump into anything to do with youth and children right now.
The not-at-all-crazy Sue Kerr also fears that the smell of delicious chicken nuggets may turn children into sociopaths:
And then, of course, we have the warped views of human sexuality that I’ve cited above which play a significant role in perpetuating rape culture. We don’t need our Marathon to be a breeding ground for young people to absorb these horrible lessons about their own sexuality and their respect for others.
Is this kind of spitefulness what the people of Pittsburgh really want?
Click on the link and look at Rachel McKinnon. That is one big, strong man. The real women athletes were cheated by this charade. It’ll never happen, and when it does, you bigoted vagina-havers will deserve it.
UPDATE: Miss Carissa, who is one of the greatest Americans living, needs to drive to Pittsburgh and whip all of them:
The Justice Department has launched an investigation into alleged sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy across the state of Pennsylvania — a major escalation of government scrutiny of the church long sought by victims of pedophile priests.
The decision to launch such a probe, even one limited to a single state, is noteworthy because the federal government has long shied away from tackling allegations that the church spent decades hiding the extent of the sexual abuse problem among its priests, and allowing pedophiles to continue to work and live undetected in communities.
“This is just a breathtaking, stunning and very welcome development,” said Michael Dolce, a lawyer who represents victims of sexual abuse.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia began issuing subpoenas recently, according to one person familiar with the matter. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney, William McSwain, declined to comment, though church officials around the state confirmed having received subpoenas.
The subpoenas seek years of internal church records, including any evidence of church personnel taking children across state lines for purposes of sexual abuse, any evidence of personnel sending sexual material about children electronically and any evidence church officials reassigned suspected predators or used church resources to try to further or conceal such conduct, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The Philly-based Catholic chronicler Rocco Palmo says the forbidden word: RICO:
Whispers has been working this story for the last week… per house ops, FBI served subpoenas to PA dioceses – as one put it, “ALL of us” – last week; bishops called to court next week.
Per ops, timeframe 2001-present; RICO probe – read: crime syndicate – apparently in offing. https://t.co/MAEAda6nVD
— Rocco Palmo (@roccopalmo) October 18, 2018
Do you know what this means? The feds may be using a law designed to fight organized crime to go after the lavender mafia.
The US Catholic bishops have known since at least 1985, when the Doyle-Mouton Report was given to each of them, that they had a terrible systemic problem on their hands. And they tried to wish it away, for the most part. Now the US Department of Justice appears to be going after them as if they were the mafia. Which, in the lavender sense, a lot of them are.
“There’s a whole subculture that is not recognized by the lay person or is known,” Lougen said, “because they’re in our world, but we’re not necessarily in theirs.”
It’s a subculture that James Faluszczak knows well.
A graduate of Christ the King Seminary, he served as a Catholic priest for 18 years in the Diocese of Erie, Pa. He has protested and called for bishop accountability as sexual abuse scandals have exploded in New York and Pennsylvania, where he last served in 2014.
In the mid-1990s, [alleged sexually abusive gay Buffalo priest Joseph] Gatto was Faluszczak’s formation director at Christ the King, where men from the Diocese of Erie and the Diocese of Buffalo would study to become priests. Much of the following account is based on sworn testimony Faluszczak gave under oath during the recent grand jury investigation of clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania. He provided a copy of his testimony to 7 Eyewitness News.
“My experience among the Catholic clergy, both in Buffalo and in Erie, is that they are over-sexualized, highly sexualized,” Faluszczak said. “When Father Gatto became the rector of Christ the King Seminary, the hypocrisy of that was part of the motivation for me to leave active priestly ministry.”
This item from Chicago does not involve abuse, but it’s still telling. You’ll recall that recently, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago came down like a ton of bricks on a Catholic priest who burned a rainbow flag. Well, guess who’s still in ministry:
A Chicago priest who advertises on the internet as a “gay” masseur who does “man to man bodywork” says he has permission to host an openly homosexual group at his Catholic priory.
Openly homosexual Fr. Michael Guimon is a member of the Friars Servants of Mary — or Servites — and head of the priory at Our Lady of Sorrows National Basilica. He’s also the Servites’ formation director and senior care minister, with specialties of “spiritual companion and massage therapist.”
Fr. Guimon hosts the homosexual monthly meetup Rainbow Warriors in Our Lady of Sorrows monastery, evidently with his order’s blessing.
And he appears to be thriving on Chicago’s online homosexual meetup scene.
Fr. Guimon is listed on the “Gay Body Workers” website as a professional masseur who does “Man to Man Body Work, and is signed up as both member and organizer “Michael G.” on the Mankind Pride of Chicago Meetup website for “Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer and Questioning Men.”
That’s not a crime, nor is it abuse. But it tells us a lot about what is tolerated and what is not in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Meanwhile, note well:
Catholic Cardinals: “Viganò’s letter was destructive, political, shameful. I’m saddened by it.”
They never say “Damnit it’s untrue! I’m innocent.”
— Michael Brendan Dougherty (@michaelbd) October 18, 2018