Mother Angelica, 92, passes – tells Francis to fire Pell

angel

Mother Angelica, 92, went home yesterday. To most, she epitomized traditional Catholic values, but did so with a humor and a grace that was infectious. From the most humbling of beginnings, a garage show, to today, now reaching over 250M homes, EWTN, the television network she began, is the benchmark for Catholic television. She succeeded where others had failed, and she did so through charisma.

I remember her as the women I would watch when I missed church for whatever reason – this was our lasting connection. Through her, I realized that we Catholic’s can have a laugh from time to time. I also saw a sternness that was almost identical to my grandmother, an Irish Catholic woman who expected, and received, respect. While Mother Angelica may have been a little more traditional, or conservative than the Catholic I have become, her unapologetic  faith was laudable. I may have disagreed with what she was offering, but I never questioned her sincerity.

For Francis, I never questioned his sincerity until Cardinal Pell concluded his testimony. Francis insisted from the onset of his papacy that there would be a zero tolerance policy towards those found out to have any workings on covering up sex offenders on the cloth. Still, crickets, and if I am being honest, I am growing more and more aggravated because it is seemingly turning out to be nothing more than bluster.

For today, though; we say goodbye to an icon, a woman that accomplished more than most told her she would, and she did so with a humor and a grace that will be missed.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

 

 

Advertisements
Mother Angelica, 92, passes – tells Francis to fire Pell

Pope replaces Kim Davis ambassador, but not really

kd

I’ve been a bit out of the loop the past few days attending to kids soccer games and practices and other items that come before prattling on over here, but I was given this story by @jleewriter, which of course, left me somewhat aggravated, if nothing else. I’ve been carrying on for the better part of the two weeks since Cardinal Pell’s testimony that Pope Francis, if he wanted to be taken seriously at all, he was going to have to send Pell packing. He needs to fire Pell to show he was serious about his no tolerance position on the sex scandal that the church refuses to address. He has to fire Pell, if for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.

Now, when I read the story about the pope replacing the ambassador that set up the meeting between the pope and the women who refused to do her job she took an oath for, I took this as a moment of not being able to see the forest through the trees. While my aggravation over the Pell situation stems from the belief that it is the definition of low hanging fruit, the Vatican evidently has taken my position and one-upped me, because, unfortunately, this story, is really no story at all.

Yes, it is true that the pope is replacing him, but the devil is in the details. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has hit the age ceiling of his post and is required to be replaced. It is not an act of hubris from Francis and the story, so much as it is one, is only salacious because Kim Davis’ name is attached to it.

As I looked feverishly to see what I might have missed in my brief absence from these pages, I laughed to find that the lead story on the pope today is that he’s starting an Instagram account.  I guess that is the shark in front of the boat.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

Pope replaces Kim Davis ambassador, but not really

We are all adulterers before God

12343

In celebration of the anniversary of the 3rd year since his election, Pope Francis took to stage to announce that we are all sinners, More specifically, “The pontiff stressed that, while we are all “adulterers before God” and “betrayers of his love,” what God desires above all is “to liberate us, and he wants us to want this together with Him.” He desires “our freedom to be converted from evil to good” — something, he added, which is possible with His grace.

This, of course, is not the deep-throated condemnation of Cardinal Pell I was looking for, and I really don’t seek to be the thorn is the side nor the feather in a cap, but taking a business as usual approach towards perpetrators of sex crimes will be at his peril. He is correct in his assertion that we are adulterers – the church more so than any individual.

The Catholic Church has seen fit to cheat its followers of faith. Their absence of action has perpetuated an inability for healing. After Benedict abdicated the seat of St. Peter, the Catholic Church’s selection of Bergoglio was a message to its people that business as usual was going the way of the dinosaur, and by initial accounts, Francis was delivering. He was seen as opening the church doors far and wide. He seemed accessible and tuned in with younger generations, taking time to take selfies with the young kids, as evidence. He had also struck a chord with those that had long felt ostracized, as evidenced by his, ‘Who am I to judge’, which would be his equivalent to the shot heard around the world. It set the tone for a papacy of inclusion.

Were his actions simple puffery, or was there substance attached to it? The thing is, doctrine is immovable, so no matter which way you teeter the discussion, doctrine is secure. So while the vernacular the pope has chosen is not the force majeure, is does come with cause and effect.

If Francis chooses to continue to ignore the sex scandal, he will do so at his peril, and worse yet, he will do so at the peril of the Catholic Church. Perpetuating the cover-up culture and protecting those that have admitted to wrongdoing, such as Cardinal Pell,  is something far worse than being an adulterer before God. He will take his place in history as just another robe and overseeing a church that couldn’t stop itself from steaming backwards.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

We are all adulterers before God

Francis releases crickets after Pell testimony

pope-francis-afp3-800x430

I feel somewhat shorted if I’m being honest. I sat here just a short while ago and carved a path for Pope Francis on the heels of the Pell testimony and he seems to have ignored it entirely. For all the good Francis has done and the relevance he has brought back to the church has, and will continue, to erode.

Upon his election,  Francis took a hard stance to reform Vatican finances – he took a firm stance to usher in a more inclusive church, and he took a firm stance against perpetrators of the pedophilia scandal. In George Pell, Francis was given a golden opportunity to exact his firm stance, yet the only thing that has happened, is nothing.

Ignazio Ingrao, Vatican correspondent for Italian weekly Panorama, said many local dioceses remained “incapable of moving beyond the secrecy mentality and the reflex of burying scandals”. In times of heightened pressure, regression is a comfortable mistress. However, it’s one that cannot be kept. If this elephant on the robe is not addressed, Francis’ papacy will be long remembered as little more than bluster. We will be left with the same feeling as we have with Ken Griffey Jr. – what could he have been had injury not saddled him? Actually, that’s not too accurate – with Francis, we’ll question what he should have been. He has brought back many lapsed Catholic’s and even some that have lost their faith entirely. For these people, losing faith in your leader is one thing, losing your faith is quite another. Losing it a second time for absence of action, is beyond reproach.

His accessibility to a younger generation is laudable. So is his appeal to the middle left Catholic’s of the world that have long since pined for a more progressive leader, but if he does not fulfill this duty, he will have left the church no further ahead then when he started, miring the name of St. Francis of Assisi along the way.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

 

 

 

Francis releases crickets after Pell testimony

Lawmaker is often synonymous with buffoon

dddd

It’s not everyday you get lawmakers to literally cry over sour milk. Today, however, was that day. To celebrate their victory in the war against regulation, West Virginia lawmakers that sought to,  and succeeded in allowing raw milk to be consumed, toasted with, you guess it, raw milk. In an event that truly requires the suspension of reality, the same lawmakers fell ill.

Despite warnings from the CDC that would alert the simplest of men, the lawmakers reveled in their victory – says the CDC, “Raw milk can carry “harmful bacteria and other germs that can make you very sick or kill you.”

Lawmakers claim that the illness was “just a coincidence” and most likely a “stomach bug that’s going around.I highly doubt raw milk had anything to do with it, in my case,” Republican Del. Pat McGeehan told location news station WSAZ.

Unfortunately, lawmakers (buffoons) can become so entrenched in partisan politics that common sense is left adrift in the winds of irony. Republicans tow the line of hating any sort of regulation that in instances such as this, they mock scientists and reduce science to little more than witchcraft. In the most smug way possible, they send years of research to the gallows , because the only science they put any credence in, is their own omniscience.

This truly must have been the holy grail for reporters who thought they were covering the signing of a shitty bill, only to be blessed to be covering one of the greatest examples of necessary regulation… and instant karma.

Lawmakers claim that the illness was “just a coincidence” and most likely a “stomach bug that’s going around.”

http://mashable.com/2016/03/09/raw-milk-sick-lawmakers/#cY_SrIPCtaqr

Peace be with you:

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawmaker is often synonymous with buffoon

Ukrainian fidelity; an example of Assisi

It’s hard to say that few people understand the strife and tribulation that Ukrainians have endured in recent years, because that’s simply not true –  it only seems that way from atop our ivory towers in America.  For the better part of two years, Ukraine has been at odds with its neighborhood bully to the north and to the east. This, of course, was not their first run around the ring with.

70 years ago, in 1946, Catholic’s in the Ukraine refused to give up their fidelity to the pope, despite ramifications fitting of Josef Stalin, a leader who was just as braggadocios about penis size as the current presumptive republican candidate for president. Stalin once requested a shipment of condoms from Roosevelt for his men, requesting the standard American size. He then returned them multiple times, all because they were too small.

Before we firmly have two hands on the third rail, here, let’s get back to it.

The Ukrainians suffered death by the thousands, displacement by the millions and saw a staggering devaluation of currency. All the Catholic bishops were arrested at this time, as were quite a few priests forcing the church to operate in the shadows. However, in this wake, their faith was resolute, steadfast. Pope Francis offered these words on Sunday,

“We bow our heads in profound gratitude before those who, even at the price of tribulation and martyrdom, over the course of time testified to their faith, which was lived with dedication to their Church and in unfailing union with the successor of Peter”.

I have spent some time recently in reflection and came across this in Philippians:

If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.

I have had some salient issues arise that have tested my faith, my mettle. Assisi laid with men in squalor, did for others where they could offer nothing in return but did so without asking for anything in return. He was a humble servant, just as Jesus was, just as we are to be. I try my best each day to emulate this work. I will over-tip you. I will give you my labor, and I will give you my possessions. I will do so without interrogation. My greatest fault is that I expect you to act in kind.

Today is a day of sin, for sure, but the story of the Ukrainians, who had all to lose (and did) stood in the face of their oppressor and professed their faith.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

 

Ukrainian fidelity; an example of Assisi

Australian press calls for Pell’s resignation

“George Pell has to resign” reads the open of an articles in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. The reporter, Joanne McCarthy, is calling on the Catholic Church to remove him in advance of completing his testimony;

How can anyone in the Catholic Church, from Pope Francis down, think it reasonable that Pell should finish his third day of evidence with the following exchange and, more importantly, remain in a position of moral leadership?

The problem is; she’s right. At some  point, Pope Francis must address this with action, and do so swiftly. Anything short of this will reduce his words and connection to Francis of Assisi to little more than puffery and no amount of selfies or #popebars will be able to remedy this condition. Should Francis choose to be silent in this matter, even the most ardent of Francis fans (me) may begin to consider him a bit of an empty cassock.

I don’t want to appear to be taking a giant leap or making a knee-jerk assessment here, but this has both micro and macro implications. In a micro view, Australia’s pew numbers have been consistently trending south since, well, since 1996, but saw a sharper decline, post scandal. It is worth noting that demographics have also played a role in the slimming of the pews, but not entirely; the handling of the scandal assumes the predominance of this responsibility. In a macro sense, the Catholic Church has repeatedly bungled the scandal from the word go. Even after the zenith of the scandal,  the Catholic Church continued to handle it poorly. Cardinal Law of Boston was ushered to Rome to assume a role in the Vatican, a role he held until 2011. He still lives (quite comfortably) in a property owned by the Vatican. While this is a case where the action is worse than the cover-up, the cover-up is an egregious affront to Catholic’s everywhere. Allowing Pell to remain will perpetuate dwindling pew numbers and will keep away lost Catholic’s that otherwise would have come home. One of the most sobering lines in the movie ‘Spotlight’ was when Mark Rezendes, played by Mark Ruffalo, says, “They robbed people of their faith”. He was right, they did.

As I progress through this, I feel the tone beginning to emulate the person I was that attended a rally in opposition to Chinese dictator, Jiang Zemin, at Harvard, in 1997. Chest out, fist in the air – this was not my intention when I started.

I began my return to the church with the election of Pope Francis. Prior to my return, I had spent some time reading Hitchens, Dawkins, and Sam Harris. I really never liked Dawkins, even then. I then started to read, listen, and watch William Lane Craig to hear the other side, except these arguments seemed more reasonable. This was never more the case when I watched Craig challenge Dawkins, in, of all places, a boxing ring. There were three speakers on each side, Dawkins receiving the shortest of the sticks with Michael Shermer, editor in chief of Skeptic magazine. Craig and co. embarrassed Shermer through its entirety and I did not find a compelling argument from the skeptics.

For those with faith and those who are looking for it, it is best that Pell be forced to resign by Francis, or all the hope to make the Vatican great again, may be jettisoned and unrecoverable.

 

Follow me on Twitter@ryandavidprice

 

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/cardinal-george-pell-has-to-resign-or-pope-francise-must-act-20160302-gn8o15.html

 

 

 

 

Australian press calls for Pell’s resignation