In his morning Santa Marta homily Pope Francis warned against complaining, reminding listeners to put their troubles in perspective. On the other hand, like Job and our Lord one may find reason to complain, even perhaps growing frustrated with God.
“Is it blasphemy when Jesus complains – ‘Father, why have You forsaken me’? This is the mystery. I have often listened to people who are experiencing difficult and painful situations, who have lost a great deal or feel lonely and abandoned and they come to complain and ask these questions: Why? Why? They rebel against God. And I say, ‘Continue to pray just like this, because this is a prayer’. It was a prayer when Jesus said to his father: ‘Why have You forsaken me!'”
In drawing his comparison the Pope didn’t mention that it would be impossible for Jesus, who never sinned, to have uttered blasphemy against Himself.
Baghdad Patriarch Louis Sako continues to warn against Christians leaving Iraq. Catholic Culture reports. Apparently the bishop does not see such a decision as being necessarily helpful to the state of their souls.
Patriarch Sako also objected to a suggestion that American Catholics should provide homes for Iraqi refugees. He said that he is trying to persuade the faithful to remain in Iraq, to endure the current trials, and to maintain the Christian presence. “But many fall victim to this ‘leaving’ frenzy,” he lamented.
Migration is not the solution, the Patriarch said. Many refugees, he said, are “transferred from one bleak situation to another.” Away from their home and their culture and without proper pastoral care, they might be in worse condition abroad. “As if the migration of thousands of Iraqi Christians to the US was something to ask God’s blessing for!” he said.
Vatican watcher Sandro Magister writes:
Francis’ selection of Blase J. Cupich as the new pastor of the third-ranking diocese in the U.S. has plunged this particularly dynamic component of American Catholicism into a profound depression, almost to the edge of a nervous breakdown. It is enough to scan the reactions of the websites and bloggers of this area to grasp the embarrassment and disappointment over the appointment.
On the contrary, the more progressive segment of American Catholicism, historically hypercritical of the recent pontificates, has celebrated with enthusiasm the arrival of Cupich, called a “moderate” by the secular press, a description typically used in the United States to indicate a “liberal” who may not be radicalized, but is still a “liberal.”
Cupich’s predecessor, Cardinal Francis E. George, had written not long ago in a column for the diocesan newspaper:
“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”
George has always been highly critical of the secular tendency in the legislative field established under the presidency of Barack Obama, whom he has known well since he was a senator for Illinois. But it is difficult to imagine that his prophecy will come true, at least for his immediate successor.
Magister goes on to list past notable decisions on the part of Bp. Cupich, reminding his readers that the bishop was last of the ten men considered to lead the U.S. Conference in 2013 and that, once again, Pope Francis seems to have ignored both the advice of the Congregation for Bishops and the local Conference in his appointment.
Writing at Breitbart News Austin Ruse reports on a source close to Cardinal Burke about rumors of his upcoming removal from the powerful Apostolic Signatura, and his elimination from Church leadership.
Though it has been only a rumor until now, and has not yet been announced by the Vatican, a close associate of Cardinal Raymond Burke has told Breitbart News that the rumors of his departure are true, and the announcement is expected soon.
The source said Burke has been told he is out as head of the Apostolic Signatura and that he will assume the position of chaplain to the Order of Malta, a do-gooding organization of wealthy and sometimes European-titled Catholics.
The piece suggests that the Pope didn’t even offer common courtesy to the beloved and faithful prince of the Church.
The source also told Breitbart News that the Pope did not ask Cardinal Burke where he wanted to go, which would have been a friendly gesture to someone the Pope wanted out of the powerful position in what could be considered Chief Justice of the Vatican Supreme Court.
It is speculated that the Cardinal’s contribution toward an upcoming book which clarifies Church teaching on marriage, timed to coincide with the dreaded October Synod on the Family, might have something to do with this rough treatment.
In recent weeks, Burke has been outspoken that the upcoming planning session for the Synod of Bishops cannot change Church teaching on marriage. He went so far as to co-author a book with other Cardinals making this clear, something that puts Burke at odds with some of the closer associates of Pope Francis.
Catholic Culture reports:
Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, who was removed from his post in Paraguay, has issued a bitter complaint, charging that other bishops conspired against him and saying that Pope Francis “must answer to God” for his removal.
The deposed bishop, in a letter to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, said that he was being “persecuted” for his orthodoxy, and complained that he had not been given an opportunity to defend himself.
The bishop’s letter, which was leaked to the media in Paraguay, said that the action against him was “unfounded and arbitrary.” He angrily charged that although Pope Francis has spoken often about “dialogue, mercy, openness, decentralization, and respect for authority of the local churches,” he did not give Bishop Livieres a chance to “clarify any doubts” about his ministry.
Pope Francis gave us another painful reminder of the abdication of Benedict Emeritus, which seemed to relegate much of what he supported to quaint outdated memories.
CNA News Reports:
Retired pontiff Benedict XVI joined some 50,000 pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday, Sept. 28 for a meeting between Pope Francis and elderly people from around the world.
Welcoming his predecessor, the Holy Father described Pope Benedict as the “grandfather of all grandfathers.”
“I have said many times that it gives me great pleasure that he lives here in the Vatican, because it is like having a wise grandfather at home. Thank you!”
The far-right National Front won its first ever seats in France’s upper house of parliament on Sunday, as President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party lost its Senate majority.
The left still controls the lower house, which is the dominant legislative body in France, but Sunday’s ballot underlined the unpopularity of the president and the continued rise of the anti-immigration, anti-euro National Front.
The party, led by Marine Le Pen, took two seats in the august Senate, following on from its surprise victory in European parliamentary elections in May and its strong showing in municipal elections in March.
“These results are beyond what we hoped for,” said Le Pen. “Each day that passes, our ideas are increasingly being adopted by the French people… We have great potential.”
Damian Thompson reports:
Cardinal Nichols this morning faces his biggest crisis since he became Archbishop of Westminster in 2009. On Saturday Bishop Kieran Conry – head of evangelisation for England and Wales – resigned as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton after (at least) two affairs with women became public.
Thompson feels the bishop went too far in casually revealing his past life to the Daily Mail, while claiming he was still a good bishop:
This is called rubbing the noses of your flock in the sex scandal you’ve just landed on them. As I blogged on Saturday, lots of people – especially including his priests – thought he was an awful bishop, because he treated anyone who disagreed with him with cold arrogance, because he slagged off Benedict XVI and because they knew, but were too polite to say, that he was a womaniser.
Conry also ‘denied to the Mail that Church leaders had known about his affair’. And this is where Cardinal Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has questions to answer.
LiveAction News reveals that California’s Loyola MaryMount University has decided to comply with new state requirements to provide abortion coverage in their insurance plans.
The campus newspaper Los Angeles Loyolan reported Saturday:
LMU’s insurance will cover faculty and staff for elective abortions effective from August 22 to the end of the policy period, the University announced.
The news was confirmed in an email sent to faculty and staff yesterday, Vice President for Human Resources Rebecca Chandler confirmed that LMU’s insurance providers will now cover all procedures deemed medically necessary, including elective abortions.
Aleteia News reports:
A protest over the firing of chemistry teacher and coach, Barb Webb — who is newly pregnant through “nontraditional means” (read IVF) and “married” to her lesbian partner — drew about 120 people to the sidewalks at Marian High School in the northern Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills.
According to Kathy Schiffer’s piece Webb appears to be furious and indignant:
Webb chose to be fired. The defiance evident in a post on her Facebook page shows that the morals clause to which she assented in her employment contract meant nothing.
Marian was unwilling to offer me any type of leave and of course they were not willing to grant me the same right that a half dozen other teachers are enjoying this year while starting their families. In fact, Marian’s options to me, after 9 years of dedication including league winning coaching, 4.0 averages in AP chemistry scores, PD for the school based on my personal best practices, and dozens of students and family testimonials is 1) resign or 2) we will terminate you.