Monday, June 14, 2010

Chapel Altar and accoutrement's are the work of a deceased friend of mine. He was one of the 'felt banner' school of the "Spirit of Vatican II" kind of priest. Not the kind of priest I suspect Benedict has in mind in the following article. In my opinion this vision of the "Sacred Heart" is incredibly powerful. This link will take you to more of his work.

Priests are a gift from the Heart of Christ, Pope Benedict says
Vatican City, Jun 13, 2010 / 10:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).-
Thousands of pilgrims and faithful gathered at noon Sunday in St. Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus with the Holy Father. Before the prayer, he said that the fruits of the recently ended Year for Priests could never be measured, but are already visible and will continue to be ever more so.
“The priest is a gift from the heart of Christ, a gift for the Church and for the world. From the heart of the Son of God, overflowing with love, all the goods of the Church spring forth,” proclaimed Pope Benedict XVI. “One of those goods is the vocations of those men who, conquered by the Lord Jesus, leave everything behind to dedicate themselves completely to the Christian community, following the example of the Good Shepherd.”

The Holy Father described the priest as having been formed by “the same charity of Christ, that love which compelled him to give his life for his friends and to forgive his enemies.”
“Therefore,” he continued, “priests are the primary builders of the civilization of love.”

Benedict XVI exhorted priests to always seek the intercession of St. John Marie Vianney, whose prayer, the “Act of Love,” was prayed frequently during the Year for Priests, and “continues to fuel our dialogue with God.”

The pontiff also spoke about the close of the Year for Priests, which took place this past week and culminated with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He emphasized “the unforgettable days in the presence of more than 15,000 priests from around the world.”
The feast of the Sacred Heart is traditionally a “day of priestly holiness,” but this time it was especially so, Benedict XVI remarked. (This statement ignores the fact the original vision of the Sacred Heart was given to a nun.)

Pope Benedict concluded his comments by noting that, in contemplating history, “one observes so many pages of authentic social and spiritual renewal which have been written by the decisive contribution of Catholic priests.” These were inspired “only by their passion for the Gospel and for mankind, for his true civil and religious freedom.”

“So many initiatives that promote the entire human being have begun with the intuition of a priestly heart,” he exclaimed. (But not necessarily an ordained 'priestly' heart.)

The Pope then prayed the Angelus, greeted those present in various languages, and imparted his apostolic blessing.


I have been really lucky in my life in knowing dozens of good priests. I have also known a few of the abuser type. Sometimes these priests have been very much Benedict's idea of a John Vianney kind of priest, that is until you really go to know them. Their piety and humility turned out not to be so much a product of the certainty of their belief as it had been the uncertainty in their belief.

Two priests especially come to mind who represented priestly polar opposites but shared the a kind of mysticism--and liked each other a great deal. Father Kirchen was an academic, classic languages specifically, who spent his retirement working with the homeless and elderly, virtually ignoring the middle class college students he had spent the vast majority of his life teaching. I was privileged to spend time with him while I was a student strictly because I had a car. It was a sort of utilitarian relationship. He gave me the opportunity to do a charitable thing and I saved him hours of walking. It also gave him the opportunity to tell me which recent movies had been condemned by the Church and remind me it was a mortal sin to see such movies since I now knew they were condemned. I didn't have the heart to tell him I usually got his information too late to do me any good--or that I had seen some of these movies with the second priest I'll write about. I would have a hard time keeping a straight face, fully understanding that in Fr. Kirchen's scheme of things, getting the information late was a good thing. Ignorance is bliss and mitigates mortal sin.

He once told me he was a much better priest working in retirement than he had been as a professor. He said something to the effect that those who had nothing or little time left had a much deeper understanding of what Christ was about than those who thought they would have everything and the time to get it. Wink wink nudge nudge. I subsequently turned a blind eye to the fact I knew he was more or less stealing food from the food service to give to the homeless and the bed bound--an activity he could never have conceived of doing when he was head of the seminary program. Fr. Kirchen said an incredible Mass, but so many students were so intimidated by him it was sparsely attended. That was truly unfortunate. His was a case of his Vatican I personality killing the truth of his Vatican II priesthood.

Fr. Kirchen's accomplice in his redistribution of food service wealth scheme was the other priest in this story. Fr Dan Hillen was not just a truly accomplished artist, he was also the kind of priest Fr. Kirchen was sure was subverting his Church. He once said had he known Fr. Dan would turn out the way he seemingly had, he would never have given him a passing grade in Latin. The two of them laughed and laughed, both knowing that Fr. Dan was the kind of son Fr. Kirchen might have had. He called him Danny, a name Dan did not tolerate coming from anyone else. These two priests were the equivalent of ecclesiastical night and day. And their core they did share the energy of the Sacred Heart and they knew it. Fr. Dan could execute in his art the vision of Fr. Kirchen's view of Christ because they shared that same view. Just as that same energy led them to share the same food redistribution scheme.

Like most priests the Mass was central for them. Neither could understand how it was that I found both their Masses an equal spiritual experience. The truth was they both saw my attitude as somewhat insulting or at best naive. Almost everything about their Masses was quite different, to say the least. One was all Latin magic and mysticism and one was all about community and at times intimate sharing. The differences were enough to make me wonder about me.

One day I'm in Fr. Dan's studio and he's playing around with a crystal roundel and it catches the light and refracts a rainbow on the table. It suddenly was 'crystal' clear. It was the same Light just refracted in different colors. There truly is, at it's core, a mystical unity in Catholic diversity. One color is not superior to another color in God's rainbow. One color doesn't hold more truth. They all hold the same truth, and that truth is constant and inexplicable. It is capable of taking two very different priests and overcoming their theological differences, uniting them in the same schemes concocted for God's needy.

Fr. Kirchen was a slightly older German contemporary of Pope Benedict. Lately I've wondered what Fr. Kirchen would make of the Year of the Priest. I strongly suspect Fr. Kirchen's retirement years might have seriously mitigated his appreciation of the Fr. Vianey concept of the priesthood. Fr. Kirchen was pious and at times naive, but never blind. When he took his priesthood out into the real world he found a different color priesthood.

Fr. Dan always lived his priesthood more in the real world and was ultimately blindsided by JPII's Catholicism. It's this version of Catholicism which now serves as the real world for the Roman Catholic priesthood. I don't think for one minute Fr. Kirchen would approve of furthering his version of priesthood at the expense of Dan's version. Fr. Kirchen would walk into the chapel pictured above and instantly recognize the vision of a kindred soul, just as he did in life. I really wonder if Pope Benedict could do the same and that to me is very very sad.


  1. If all priests issue from the heart of Jesus... and are an expression of God's love, either there's less love (= fewer priests) OR the heart is a sieve (and only those "small" enough to fit through the holes can get through). Seems to me something is "off" - for why would God "call" people to the priesthood but then ban them from it? Let's assume God does the calling. Then who does the banning? And how do they explain God's prior calling?

  2. The only priest I ever "met" and liked is Thomas Merton, and I did not meet him in person, but by his writings.

    The other priest, Jesus, I met by reading first about him and he is not the same Priest I met in Catholic religion classes.

    Benedict excludes everyone else from the priesthood. He is elevating them to a higher status than everyone else. That should mean that they also be held accountable for reckless abuse of children and harboring them.

    I have yet to meet a real priest who is loving.

    Sacred Heart? Haven't met it in a priest. I'm just a woman. They could give a crap about women.

  3. The backlash for Papal and clerical abuse of women, children and the laity is a disgust for priests for allowing this disgust to continue.

    I will be disgusted by them until they change their tune and bring the Vatican in line with Jesus Christ's teachings.

  4. “One of those goods is the vocations of those men who, conquered by the Lord Jesus, leave everything behind to dedicate themselves completely to the Christian community, following the example of the Good Shepherd.”

    Such as a the "goods" of Fr Marceil of the Legionnaires of the anti-Christ!!! What fruit!!!!!!!!! The fruit of Opus Dei......


  5. Colleen -

    While I am most definately NOT a fan of most of what has passed for 'modern church architecture', the sanctuary shown in this photo...I like it!

    Because, unlike most modern stuff, it has symmetry. It is not designed to disconcert you or be disturbing, as most modern 'religious art' is

    It is peaceful, invites one to prayer & has simple beauty.

    Anon Y.Mouse

  6. If 'all priests are from the heart of Jesus'....does that mean that sexual abuse of the innocent & embezzlement is from the Sacred Heart as well?

    We have a problem both in basic logic & spiritual coherence here.

    The only way to resolve this equation - in the way Ratz has presented it - is to define it as false. The construct is flawed, as it is not always true.

    While it is true that SOME priests have indeed been 'from the heart of Jesus & an expression of His Love"......most have not been. But these OD approved new models are not!

    Assuming the Sacrament of Ordination is validly conferred, the man is now a priest. Not even defrocking changes this; it is an eternal mark. A mark which may condemn him at his Judgment.

    The idea of a priest being a literal Satanist - or more correctly, a Luciferian - is very real.He can still say a valid mass, if he projects the correct intention. But he functions in a mode of duplicity

    Less sensationally, our 'radiant priests' of the OD mode are just as duplicitous & equally serving evil. Because they function in duplicity. They 'talk Jesus', yet do not LIVE the Gospel.

    It thus becomes irrelevant if they say valid masses: they are not living the Gospel. Not teaching it by their personal example. The object of their faith is the pope....not God.

    ...and if you are not serving God, you are serving the Other Guy.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  7. Dan's art and occasionally his Masses were the only place he could show the beauty and simplicity of his true self--his soul if you know what I mean.

    I have the last piece of art he ever did and treasure it only because there should have been so much more--and also because it was his gift to me at a time we both suspected there wasn't going to be anymore.

  8. You have made a very simple but profound observation Mouse. If you are not serving are not serving God, no matter how much you might want delude yourself into thinking you are or the Pope tells you you are.

    What's really happening is that the God you are serving is an invention of your ego, and usually a product of defense mechanisms. You know, like projection.

  9. Like most days, it's late and I do not have much energy to post. However, your post tonight is a beautiful testement to the priesthood. I would have been honored to know your friends.

    These days I have been thinking about my own preisthood. In many ways I have been pushed into the backwaters of the priesthood. I am still here, but not sure for how long. And what I do know is that I can still recognize the beauty of the priesthood. It radiates from your post today reflected in the lives of the priest you mention.

    It is this beauty, that I wish could shine out in so many other ways and through so many other people, that is, not single men. The world does need love and care. We expect it from priests. And in some ways they have failed. Yet when we do look, it still is there in the lives of men and people who have given there lives to the gospel.

  10. wild hair, it sounds to me like you will be allowing God to "shine out" whether you are functioning as a priest or not. The Eastern term is "God bearer" - and that is really what we are called to. It's not something we can see in ourselves. It is only visible to others. I see that in your comment!

  11. I'm going to try to explain something that folks may or may not agree with, but I think I'm understanding wildhair a little differently TheraP.

    I used to think this whole idea of sacramental ministerial priesthood was totally metaphor until I was given the same kind of authority to conduct a sweat lodge and given a ceremonial pipe. Suddenly sweats and smoking pipes became totally different. I had a different role. It was an active role not a passive role and sweats are not passive for participants, but this was different. It's hard to put into English. It has something to do with knowing you are a focal point for more than just this dimension.

    I always sensed a difference in both priests and consecrated religious. Doen't matter if they are in civies or have been out of their relgious orders or the priesthood. I've sensed the same kind of thing in real medicine people who have been through initiation rites--as opposed to medicine wheeler dealers who can talk the talk but haven't been through the walk.

    Once you give this kind of assent something changes and it's discernible to some people. It's like adding another color to your aura or an indelible mark on your soul or something----and it never goes away.

    So wildhair, I hear you about ordination and opening it up to other folks and I know on some level at least, why it's hard to leave the priesthood. One, you really can't leave it, and two, as much as I might want to give my pipe away, it's my pipe and no one else can relieve me of what accepting it meant for me. It's now a part of who I am.

  12. Colleen, Many of the Scandinavian Benedictines believe a little differently. They feel that anyone can and should conduct mass as long as there is a small group of people that ask that person to do it. I think I agree with this type of thinking.

  13. Colleen, Many of the Scandinavian Benedictines believe a little differently. They feel that anyone can and should conduct mass as long as there is a small group of people that ask that person to do it. I think I agree with this type of thinking. dennis

  14. R--I'm in agreement with the Benedictine's. It's not so much the ordination or ritual, it's more in the focus of the intent of recipient. Prior training does serve to focus the intent of the recipient and some sort of formal ceremony honors, acknowledges, and alerts all those who have come before.

  15. Colleen,

    Off Topic:

    The parsing of the Pope's words for meaning reminded me of an issue that I would like to discuss.

    Is it possible to have a discussion of the new English translation of the Mass? I was thinking about this while watching some of the World Cup. South Africa introduced the new translation a year early by mistake and it seems there are some issues that would be appropriate for discussion here. (It doesn't have to be now... this isn't a demand. But if the Spirit moves you...)

    Although I think the use of terms like "consubstantial" are awkward, somewhat archaic and don't really communicate to the laity I think the issues of inclusion and relationship are more important. The orthodox surely want to push God back into the sanctuary, hidden in the tabernacle, safe-guarded by the priests, far, far from the ordinary members of the Church.

    South African church in uproar over new English language Mass translations

    (Read some of the comments in response to that article)

    One issue I am particularly concerned about is the use of the term "for us men", both the sexist translation and the exclusion of the ordinary members of the Church in the process of translating this statement of belief.


    Liturgy: Lost in Translation by Anthony Egan

    Once again I think the orthodox, or modern Pharisees, as some here call them, long for the magisterium of the thirteenth century church, ignoring completely the first century Christians who actually walked with Jesus.



  16. Colleen -

    This may sound 'conspiratorial' - and in reality, it is:)

    But it is VERY difficult to find ANY objective & coherent information about the early Church (pre-Constantine). For example:

    1. rite(s) of the mass in use in various regional churches
    2. exactly HOW the ministerial priesthood & diaconate WORKED.

    Go ahead - try and find REAL information on this from 'non-official' sources. You cannot. At best you will have ppl pointing you to "the writings of the early Church Fathers".

    Look....I am no fool. If they can tamper with Scripture (and they have.....) they can surely "edit' the writings of Ignatius of Antioch, Tertullian, etc., etc.

    Of course, even assuming you were reading virgin you truly know if what they are saying is OBJECTIVELY true? Or is it skewed in favor of the Hierarchial/monarchial clericalism we have come to know & love since 25AD?


    Well...we do not know this for sure. Not without personal access to original source documents. And guess who has them? The Vatican. convenient:p

    In a careful read of the Wiki article about the history of Bishops in the early Church, there is a clue. It is NOT as it is now. Bishops were originally pastors of parishes, called Presbyters - assisted in helping the ppl by Deacons. Only later...much later....did the idea of regional managers come into play.

    That is not bad of itself.But as it was pre-Nicea, they were 'first among equals'. Not monarchs. Decisions were made by consensus, not fiat. This is crucial!

    They deny that women were Deacons in the early Church. Yet the truth seems to be the opposite; that women were very much 'hands on' in ministry.

    As to the mass being said by the priest with the ppl as silent spectators - that simply was NOT true then! The Presbyter was the leader, but it was a communal sacramental act of worship. In earliest form, following the Jewish model of worship, where ALL participated in the singing/recitation of Psalms, hymns, prayer, Scripture reading, etc.

    It is also an interesting observation that the many Gospels/Epistles made'forbidden' post-Nicea.....included words (of Christ) indicating that the Hierarchial, Theocratic model of the Church post-Nicea was NOT what He intended.....

    e.g. the Gospel of the Twelve

    Anon Y.Mouse

  17. Hi Colleen,

    Me again.

    Off topic...


    Financial Scandals: the Hidden Wealth of the Catholic Church.,1518,700513,00.html

    Is there a better way to bring your attention to new stories?


  18. Mouse, one of the better suppositions I have heard for the post Constantine Church and it's hierarchical and sacramental rites was that a lot of it was directly imported from the cult of Mithras. It might be accurate to say directly copied., since it was the main cult of Constantine's armies.

    I also agree with your assessement that Jesus did not intend a hierarchical church but have a different reason.

    I read a translation of Jesus's dialogue with Peter after the Resurrection where Jesus asks Peter three times if Peter loves him. In the translation, the first two times Jesus's use of do you love me was in the agape sense of love and Peter answers in the filial. The third time Jesus too uses the filial. It's like Jesus knew Peter didn't get it, and most likely neither did the rest of the Apostles.

    Shortly after Pentecost Jesus knocks Paul off his horse, blinds him so he can see, and we have someone who might have gotten it.

    Unfortunately we now have the Petrine church instead of the Pauline church--and probably doctored Pauline epistles.

    This is too funny. verification word is "putwive". Paul certainly did put wives in his ecclesiastical equation.

  19. Thank you all for the thought provoking discussion, the asides too!

    Much to chew on.

    My parish is blessed with a great new priest, he's married with two young-un's. We also have a wonderful priest attached to the parish, who's chaplain at the medical center across town. *She* is also married and has two great kids. This all seems so "normal" to me now.

    I've found there is happy and healthy Catholicism and catholicism in diverse places, of which only some has any connection with B XVI. Oh, and I am a lay delegate to Synod this fall where we will - elect - our next bishop. What a concept!

    peace ...

  20. Colleen -

    Yes, I am inclined to think that there is much credence in re the 'cult of Mithras' aspect to the development of the Constantinian Church.

    Now we know that the "Mass" had many different forms Pre-Constantine & even after. I will state that the act of Transubstantiation itself is the sole act of the Mass performed by the Celebrant (as a vessel of the Holy Ghost, NOT of his own accord!). At the same time, in any public mass, the ppl are not spectators to this - they are to be praying WITH the Celebrant. A uniting of spiritual intention.

    This aspect - regardless of the stage directions & physical mechanics - would have been present from the earliest days.

    What you say is key to an understanding of the ritual aspect, which most certainly developed more & more into that necessitating the 'priestly caste' construct of Paganism. That is NOT to say that insence & candles should not is a question of purpose, intention, & making God the focus, not the ritual (or the priest).

    Yes, what Jesus wanted for his 'spiritual family' (the Ekklesia) is Agape. The sense of belonging, communal love & charity. And it is because the Early Church did their best to make this real & visible in their communities, that conversions were exponential. Despite the persecutions. Ppl saw what they did, how they interacted & wanted that.

    As to the Pauline Epistles being 'doctored'...yes. Often subtly. He would not have used the term 'bishop', as neither the term or any word meaning that existed. Nor the concept. A "presbyter" was the head of a local congregation. He was a "priest' as we would now know it. Assisted by Deacons. He could ordain.

    The construct of the regional administrative 'bishop'(still called a presbyter) was much later. But even then, he was not monarchial, but collaborative in leadership.

    The problem with the present structure of the Church as we now know it is not so much the structure itself, as the ATTITUDE of the Administrators. The flow chart COULD work, if the key choke points were not occupied by an elitist priestly caste - treated as demi-gods. And believing the right to such status & treatment.

    Anon Y.Mouse

  21. I'm harking back to your comment to me upthread, Colleen. And while I hear what you're saying, I think the RCC has overemphasized the priests and nuns - as if they are the "only ones" with a sacramental role. And I beg to differ. Here's why. When I was functioning as an RC communion minister in a hospital setting, many people thought I was a nun. Not only that many of my patients over the years assumed I was either a nun or a former nun. (nope on both scores!)

    When the religious life is elevated over secular life then there is the mistaken notion that any "shining out" of the Spirit, of God's glory, indicates the person is a "religious".

    So I hear what you said about the role, and certainly there was that in being a communion minister. But I think it's larger than that - since certain folks end up in certain roles and those same folks must be perceived by others as "spirit bearers" - God-bearers. And it's too bad when that's perceived as confined to the priesthood or the sisterhood.

  22. Just back to your original post on B16's talk. I don't know how the church can expect to connect with non-clerical people, including the majority of practicing catholics, when using mythical language like "The priest is a gift from the heart of Christ, a gift for the Church and for the world. From the heart of the Son of God, overflowing with love, all the goods of the Church spring forth”. There was a time when this would have made perfect sense to me. But after having been "lapsed" for so many years...language like this seems trite, irrelevant, and frankly meaningless. The fact that there are still priests like those you describe is fortunate; so many of the Vatican II crowd have either left or become "conformist" leading separate public (don't rock the boat, preach-sermons-from-the-approved-sermon-manual, and talk the party-line) and private lives (alcoholism, boy-friends, girl-friends, let-it-all-hang-loose-vacations-in-Mexico). Yeah, the "primary builders of the civilization of love" - I thought those were the 'hippies" of the late 60's and early 70's. Sorry, Benny, this ain't the Age of Aquarius!

  23. "Sorry, Benny, this ain't the Age of Aquarius!"

    ...what many if not most seem to forget is that 'Benny" was one of those "60s' reformers' at Vatican II.

    The reality of that situation is that he was leading a double life. In Intel terms, he was a 'plant' or the classic 'double agent'. He was never Liberal at all; he was merely pretending to be. A role played by a great Method Actor....

    He was cozy with Hans Kung & Rahner & the like. Rather like an FBI plant in a Civil Rights or Anti-Vietnam war group. Get the picture?

    Ratz was brilliant enough intellectually to pull this off. Of course, he was not the only such 'plant', to be sure. But in this he has fooled many ppl. To the extent that you will find many ultra-right/traddies writers accusing him of Liberalism. Or at the least, claiming that he converted from Liberal to Conservative.

    Did he? No. This man is a master chameleon. In truth, Ratzinger is neither Liberal nor Conservative. Except in the use of whichever mode is currently part of the plan.

    Ratz IS the personal manifestation of the 'culture or relativism'; as he is personally completely duplicitous. He is also not Christian in any remote sense of the word. Except for the utility of pretense of appearance for an agenda. The same may be said of his collaborators.

    It would be very easy to make the case that Mr. Ratz has ALWAYS been a very close collaborator with Opus Dei. Those who have studied it & Escriva will know that he (Escriva) was VERY opposed to the conception of Vatican II from the moment it was announced by John XXIII. The Council was inimical to their Work (agenda). As it would dismantle clericalism & the majority of the structural bottlenecks - both human & administrative - which hindered the correct teaching of the Gospel.

    Thus, enter the highly skilled Theologian & Philopher/Academic, made a Peritus at the Council: Josef Ratzinger. He was joined by Karol Wotilya, though he was more of a useful idiot if anything.....

    NOW...go and rethink Church history of the last 50 years.....and note that Ratz, as AB of Munich, was critical to the election of JPII.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  24. "Yes, what Jesus wanted for his 'spiritual family' (the Ekklesia) is Agape. The sense of belonging, communal love & charity. And it is because the Early Church did their best to make this real & visible in their communities, that conversions were exponential. Despite the persecutions. Ppl saw what they did, how they interacted & wanted that."

    Mouse, the early Christians seem to grow from this very seed of "The sense of belonging, communal love & charity."

    If one can not even have this sense, there cannot be any miracles.

    What the church is needing are miracles.

    While I am here I apologize to any priest who does not deserve disgust and who will aide the People of God with "The sense of belonging, communal love and charity." Much healing and many miracles will occur when priests do this, in my opinion.

  25. Butterfly & Colleen -

    Perhaps this should be posted with the previous blog entry, but it is critical to all that has been said here.

    This is a comment posted by someone in a forum:

    ""There never was any sexual abuse by Catholic Priests. They are men of God, sworn to celibacy. Area you really that naive that you think these pious men would risk going to hell for eternity? As for this equally ridiculous charge of gay sex between adults in the Vatican, it is the work of Satan, manipulating the common people, the non-believers, the way Satan always does. Until you are a righteous Catholic, you will fall prey to the deviousness of Satan"

    The persons who posted it COULD be a priest; but may just be a very loyal OD type who is 'thinking with the Church". In the model of Ratz's New Thinking

    This is demonic Mind Control at its worst. Analyze it for yourself & you will see the depth of Evil in it. The Leaven of Escriva.

    Inversion is the main principle of the Demonic. Not merely Lie; but posing what is wrong as correct. Black is now White. Evil is now Good. Inversion of Truth.

    Basically: "we will define reality for will obey without question....all we do is beyond questioning.....think as you are told".

    A famous Sci-Fi series from the 60s predicted this well:

    "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits."

    Anon Y.Mouse

  26. Mouse, I agree with all of the above post. I see it as getting people to get used to lying to themselves, much like abusers break down physical barriers in the abused by touching them non sexually but insistently.

    Once the brain gets used to it, the denial of truth becomes the norm. Then the act of thinking is defined as selfish, egotistical.... evil. I also think the vehemence of the post you cited comes from sublimated jealousy -- "if I'm not allowed to think then by God you can't, and especially when you don't get my answer."

    Problem is, the conservatives use the same argument. How can we say homosexuality is natural for such people? Aren't you turning black to white? Its a hard argument to counter. I'm sure those who opposed Copernicus and Gallileo said to them, "Of course we are still while the sun moves. Ask anyone."

    I think that's the major problem of internet discussion. I think the only way through this is with interpersonal communication. When I say something crazy, like women should be priests, I need the conservatives to fall back on the fact that they know me, that they've prayed with me, that I might be wrong but I am in the family. Conversion is a slow process, and I continue to be amazed by and perturbed at God's patience.

  27. It seems to me the real 'war' is not over our souls, poorly defined nebulous concept that it is; but over the programming of our brains.

    That is why relationships are so critical. You can occasionally break through programming through non face to face communication, but when you 'know' someone for real in their day to day lives, communication is far more effective. Of course, that works both ways.

  28. "It suddenly was 'crystal' clear. It was the same Light just refracted in different colors. There truly is, at it's core, a mystical unity in Catholic diversity. One color is not superior to another color in God's rainbow. One color doesn't hold more truth. They all hold the same truth, and that truth is constant and inexplicable. It is capable of taking two very different priests and overcoming their theological differences, uniting them in the same schemes concocted for God's needy."

    Colleen, that is a beautiful way of putting it, the VI and VII priests. Benedict would rather have these two arguing and then throw both of them out.

    The Pope is not teaching about mystical unity in Catholic diversity. He wants no diversity as he most likely believes diversity to be a threat to his security or the security of the Church and his ability to control an outcome of his agenda which is the unity of a movement of controllers & bullies who want nothing of real unity that would unite brothers and sisters in faith and hope to love.

    I grew up in a conservative and right wing family, yet as time went on I know that we shared the same light and they began to understand that too. My parent's ultimately understood that it is by simply loving & being present that one shows they love another. There was common respect present for each another. We found that by not arguing about our views or by tearing one another apart. We found it by not arguing about our views or opinions that were like night and day at times.

    The decision to help the needy or the simple desire to live in peace and not be at war with one another is living in the light of Christ which is truth and which can create the circumstances for love to flourish.

    The greatest of these, faith, hope and love, is love, and without love - faith and hope are meaningless.

    A faith that is white or black, believe it 'my way or the highway' proves there is no real love present in its faith and hope.

    The faith and hope that Opus Dei holds never accounts for rainbows which are symbolic of unity & diversity. If there is no unity of purpose to convey in one's religion or faith that would bring people to love, there is no love in their faith and their hope is despair.

    If there is no love in such faith, it can not be from God and it cannot bring people to the true God of love.

    If there is love it will radiate out like a rainbow after a terrible storm.

  29. Colleen, agreed, the "war" is about programming. I believe it is a war of hegemony over the programming of Catholics to bring about Benny's type of new world order which is to exclude many, deny many, excommunicate many. Then nobody will "know" anyone or "know" anything - the laity and priests will be robots programmed only to "know" what Rome wants you to "know."

    Even "knowing" Jesus might become outlawed.