Saturday, April 30, 2011

Top Ten Reasons Why John Paul II was not a conservative

With all of this talk of how John Paul II was an “ultra-conservative” in the media real conservatives were becoming increasingly offended… they just know better than that and know how to spot an euro-trendy puff pastry when they see one. That’s why I’ve come up with the Top 10 Reasons why a good freedom-loving, flag-waving conservative American should not celebrate JP II’s beatification:

10. He supports illegal Mexican immigrants from Central and South America and their illegal activities within our borders:

Man has the right to leave his native land for various motives-and also the right to return-in order to seek better conditions of life in another country…It is obvious that the question of just legislation enters into the context of the present considerations, especially from the point of view of these rights…As regards the work relationship, the same criteria should be applied to immigrant workers as to all other workers in the society concerned. The value of work should be measured by the same standard and not according to the difference in nationality, religion or race. For even greater reason the situation of constraint in which the emigrant may find himself should not be exploited. (Laborem Exercens 23)

9. He also supports economy-destroying, blood-sucking democrat-backed unions:

All these rights, together with the need for the workers themselves to secure them, give rise to yet another right: the right of association, that is to form associations for the purpose of defending the vital interests of those employed in the various professions. These associations are called labour or trade unions… Their task is to defend the existential interests of workers in all sectors in which their rights are concerned. The experience of history teaches that organizations of this type are an indispensable element of social life, especially in modern industrialized societies. (Laborem exercens 20)

Here we find a wide range of opportunities for commitment and effort in the name of justice on the part of trade unions and other workers' organizations. These defend workers' rights and protect their interests as persons, while fulfilling a vital cultural role, so as to enable workers to participate more fully and honourably in the life of their nation and to assist them along the path of development.
(Centesimus Annus 35)

8. He opposed the invasion of Iraq

7. He was liturgically slovenly: Big masses that accommodated lots of people, no excommunications for liturgical abusers, masses in the forests on canoes for youth groups, large hosts, colourful vestments, amongst other atrocities… need I go on?

6. He was an environmentalist:

In our day, there is a growing awareness that world peace is threatened not only by the arms race, regional conflicts and continued injustices among peoples and nations, but also by a lack of due respect for nature, by the plundering of natural resources and by a progressive decline in the quality of life. The sense of precariousness and insecurity that such a situation engenders is a seedbed for collective selfishness, disregard for others and dishonesty…The most profound and serious indication of the moral implications underlying the ecological problem is the lack of respect for life evident in many patterns of environmental pollution. Often, the interests of production prevail over concern for the dignity of workers, while economic interests take priority over the good of individuals and even entire peoples. In these cases, pollution or environmental destruction is the result of an unnatural and reductionist vision which at times leads to a genuine contempt for man.(Adress given on Jan 1st, 1990)

5. He was a feminist. He said it himself remember!!! “Io sono il Papa feminista” I am the feminist pope!!! Just check out Mulieris Dignitatem for crying out loud. He goes on and on about “the dignity of women”.

4. He was not a true capitalist:

Further consideration of this question should confirm our conviction of the priority of human labour over what in the course of time we have grown accustomed to calling capital… This truth, which is part of the abiding heritage of the Church's teaching, must always be emphasized with reference to the question of the labour system and with regard to the whole socioeconomic system. We must emphasize and give prominence to the primacy of man in the production process, the primacy of man over things. Everything contained in the concept of capital in the strict sense is only a collection of things. Man, as the subject of work, and independently of the work that he does-man alone is a person. This truth has important and decisive consequences. (Laborem Exercens 12)

the Church teaches that the possession of material goods is not an absolute right, and that its limits are inscribed in its very nature as a human right. (Centesimus Annus 30)

Many other people, while not completely marginalized, live in situations in which the struggle for a bare minimum is uppermost. These are situations in which the rules of the earliest period of capitalism still flourish in conditions of "ruthlessness" in no way inferior to the darkest moments of the first phase of industrialization. In other cases the land is still the central element in the economic process, but those who cultivate it are excluded from ownership and are reduced to a state of quasi-servitude.71 In these cases, it is still possible today, as in the days of Rerum novarum, to speak of inhuman exploitation. In spite of the great changes which have taken place in the more advanced societies, the human inadequacies of capitalism and the resulting domination of things over people are far from disappearing. In fact, for the poor, to the lack of material goods has been added a lack of knowledge and training which prevents them from escaping their state of humiliating subjection. (C.A. 33)

In this sense, it is right to speak of a struggle against an economic system, if the latter is understood as a method of upholding the absolute predominance of capital, the possession of the means of production and of the land, in contrast to the free and personal nature of human work. (C.A. 35)

3. He spoke English with a foreign accent. ‘Nuf said.

2. He was a friend of Islam.

1. He just wasn’t an American. Some is, some aint… Just the way the cards fall pops.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pastor of Souls

If you haven't yet heard the story of Fr. Kevin Gray check it out here.
A little recap just for those working on sloth:

A Roman Catholic priest from Waterbury who stole more than $1 million in church money and spent it on male escorts, Armani clothes and nights out at gay bars has been sentenced to three years in prison.

After The Rev. Kevin Gray serves his time, he might be able to continue serving as a priest, according to the Archdiocese of Hartford.

"Fr. Kevin Gray’s plea demonstrates that he is fully aware and responsible for the severity of his wrongdoing, and is repentant," the archdiocese said in a release. "After he completes his sentence, if devoted to his priestly commitment, he will be eligible to continue serving as a priest, but will never be placed in a position where he will manage finances."

Gray's attorney called many of the charges against his client overblown.

Exactly what I was thinking! I mean, come on, he's no Fr. Pfleger. Now there's a priest that is truly "not able to pastor a Catholic parish". Cardinal George is the man! Flexing his muscle and weeding out the real wolves in sheep's clothing of our American church. No more of the rediculous "education in the African American community, control of gun violence (and) service to the poor in the name of Christ"... As His Emminence airs out this renegade priest's dirty laundry for all to see. Fr. Pfleger could do us all a favor and take a quick peek at a few pages of Fr. Gray's playbook to stay in the active ministry game.

Fr. Pfleger's first mistake was staying so long at St. Sabina's in the first place. There's no way you will ever achieve any type of status in Chicago's gay clubbing community with the measly chump change that the weekly collection basket brings in on an average Sunday at an inner-city parish. Go west young priest! Look to the suburbs and there you will find the suppliers of male escorts and Armani suits you need to make it as a pastor of souls. The archdiocese isn't asking for much... just a little initiative.

The second lesson Fr. Pfleger can learn from Fr. Gray concerns social justice strategies; specifically with the whole "gun control" deal. Hey Pfleg, give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish he eats for the rest of his life. Your activism has to be sustainable. You can't just get rid of guns and call it case closed. You have to give violent criminals a viable way out of their crime sprees. That is where Fr. Gray's philosophy of non-violence triumphs. Instead of knocking off gas stations, gangbangers can simply dip their hands into the collection baskets on Sundays, initiate fake collections for St. Jude's or imitate Salvation Army volunteers at Christmas time. No guns necessary.

But, what's a Cardinal Archbishop to do? Well, he could take a sip from the overflowing cup of wisdom of Archbishop Mansell over in Hartford. You see... when Fr. Gray is done serving his 3 year sentence and 3 years of probation, Mansell has the foresight to not place him "in a position where he will manage finances." Simply place these volatile priests far from the vices that tempt them so. In Fr. Phleger's case it would have to be a place where there are no African Americans, guns or poor to serve... hmmm... WAIT! I GOT IT!!!! Isn't there a recent opening in a parish in the Archdiocese of Hartford?

Welcome to Omnibus Crazybus!!!

Welcome to Omnibus Crazybus! I hope that what I share here will be something at least slightly unique. I hope that readers benefit from the words contained herein and grow in their journey as followers of Christ, members of His body. I remember a friend asking me once: “What must one do to be a good Catholic?” He was a convert from evangelicalism you see and a “good evangelical” was easy to define: 1) don’t drink 2) don’t smoke 3) don’t gamble and 4) read your Bible. He had not yet arrived at a simple formula for righteousness as a member of the Catholic Church though. Catholic piety is not so easy to encapsulate and master. I have cherished that question and pondered it in my heart ever since. There are so many landmines to dodge in Catholicism; craziness that seeks to draw us away from the essential, simple Gospel message of Jesus Christ. This blog is one man’s attempt to sift through all the craziness that surrounds him so as to continue along the narrow path to salvation. This for me does not mean ignoring the craziness… just the opposite. There seems to be a tendency in the Church to close our eyes and pray that the craziness will just eventually go away. This strategy does not seem to be working. Let’s try a new strategy. Let’s expose it, analyze it and deal with it, using the God-given gifts of reason and common sense to eradicate it from our midst.