Posts Tagged ‘ Timothy Cardinal Dolan ’

Blind Guides

Not a day goes by that I don’t find yet another reason to be disgusted at both presidential candidates. Even if I ignore the past 40 years or so of experience voting for presidential candidates, I find that I would not shake the hand of either of this year’s candidates. In fact, if it was a dark and stormy night, like Puget Sound is currently experiencing, with the horizontal rain and the gale-force winds (and tree branches, etc. falling down around our ears), and I saw either candidate by the side of the road with a flat tire, or a gas can, I would try to find a puddle to drive thru. No, I won’t be moving to Canada, regardless of the outcome next month; but I will be steeling myself for the international ridicule that will descend on my beloved country.

Be that as it may, I can’t help but draw a very straight and very short line between the Pharisees of the Bible and the bishops of the USCCB.

In today’s Gospel reading (Luke 12:1-7), Jesus says to His disciples, Beware the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Boom! Like a lightning strike (yes, another weather reference), my first thought was the vast majority of the bishops of the USA that have kept their mouths shut this entire election cycle – and against a deluge of despicable behavior on both sides of the political aisle, have continued their silence. In Matthew 23:27 Jesus compares the Pharisees to whitened sepulchers that appear beautiful on the outside but are full of rotten, corrupt bones on the inside.

What I do hear from bishops are feeble attempts to propose the lesser of two evils; and those voices are diminishing. If anything, the Pharisees were too enthusiastic about protecting their faith; whereas the bishops are somehow becoming more lukewarm. And silent.

True enough, the laity of the Roman Catholic Church ought to follow the bishops. But, after the priest sex scandal that cost millions to cover-up, and incorporation of the Kumbaya Church of Nice (in the “Spirit of Vatican II”), I look around and find a vacuum of leadership – or the wrong kind (e.g., “Cardinal Dolan”). “Follow the bishops”? What, off a cliff? No thank you.

That America has gotten to this point, where both the political system and the Church have been hijacked does not bode well for the future. Altho some would debate how beneficial the Church has been for the development of western society, few would debate that it has been a factor, if not major player. Now, the Church leadership is falling all over itself trying to find new and creative ways to become lemmings to the latest secular fashion. At the same time, the quality of those in public office (pick anything – any office, any candidate, any incumbent) has steadily gone down the tubes. Cause and effect? Your choice. But, an “interesting” coincidence, nonetheless.

Honestly, I can’t think of a single politician that I think is doing a good job. No, really. However, I can think of some Church leaders that I do listen to: Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Robert Sarah and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone leap to mind. Michael Voris over at ChurchMilitant.com has got my ear.

No doubt there are some politicians who are doing a good job, but they get drowned in the hype of those who aren’t. No doubt there are others in the Church that have not lost the Faith. Sadly, I do not believe they will prevail.

The land of my birth will look very different as my children grow up – and not for the better. The Catholic Church will, in the words of Joseph Ratzinger, become smaller. The size of the Church will be a combination of what the Church is doing to itself, and what the government is doing to it. Hopefully, the quality of the Catholic Church will increase.

Jesus must increase, while we must decrease. Where have I heard that before? (hint: John 3:30)

 

 

Mea culpa

I can see from the beautiful statistics that WordPress creates for every blogger that my readership has fallen off slightly (since it was never very high, falling “slightly” means fallen to zero).  No huge surprise, really: My “day job,” in conjunction with a household move, on top of trying to be a good father (St Joseph, pray for me!) has managed to leave no room on my plate for writing.  That I spend at least an hour every day in my prayer life goes without saying.

Well, the move from Kent to Redmond means my commute time got slashed to something closer to half-an-hour, from 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  This was not only a savings of time, but also energy.  Overtime spent on my “day job” – which some of you know is really a 12-hour night shift – has dried up, so there’s more time and energy.  However, the Twins are much more active as they approach ten months old; but what they take in time, they give back ten-fold in joy and energy (ok, more joy than energy).

What this means is that I just might have more resources (time and energy) to write; which I would dearly love (in direct contrast to the job, which I detest).

I do want to take this opportunity to give a huge shout-out to Michael Voris, over at Church Militant (“ChurchMilitant.TV”).  In the past, he had made references to his checkered past which I never paid much attention to.  First, his past really had no bearing on what I was hearing now.  Second, I am certainly in no position to comment on anyone else’s checkered past (I can relate to the Cardinal Sin of Lust).  Well, he devoted an entire Vortex segment (“Limiting God”) to the details of his past.

His motivation on sharing at such a level is a threat from the Archdiocese of New York, which is apparently squirming under his criticism.  In this age of the internet, it takes next to nothing to find information, so why the Archdiocese thinks shutting him up is any protection only reveals its own stupidity.  With the embarrassing Timothy Cardinal Dolan as a spokesman, how could the Archdiocese ever hope to keep out of the limelight?  The only question in my mind is why Rome doesn’t reassign Dolan – they did it to Raymond Cardinal Burke (at least now, I know where Malta is).

New Subject:

When I was living overseas (for 17 years), I discovered one of the benefits was being able to easily ignore the craziness of the American presidential race.  That luck ran out, and now I find myself completely flummoxed.

As a youngster, I was a card-carrying Democrat (yes, literally).  I campaigned (knocking on doors, etc.) for the likes of Mo Udall and Jimmy Carter.  Dunno what I had, exactly, against the Republicans (can we say Barry Goldwater?); maybe it was the belief that the Demos actually wanted to improve things, not just hold on to the status quo.

Enter Hillary Clinton.  Gee, I thought we were finally rid of Slick Willy.  Biden wants a flat screen tv in every living room.

On the other side of the aisle, we’ve got a bunch that is cut from the same political cloth as the clowns in Congress who haven’t done squat in the past eight years.

Then there’s The Donald that is making everybody uneasy – and with good reason.  While the big money of traditional politics makes the office-holder accountable to all the wrong people, Trump would be accountable to nothing but his own aggrandizement.

Politics has sunk to new lows.

Finally:

I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but I love the Twins more and more every day.  ‘Course the pressure is on to try to figure out how to cope with those that can’t figure out which bathroom to use.  I mean other than keeping them out of public schools, and Target.

Scylla and Charybdis

No, I can’t actually pronounce those two words either; even though I was introduced to them in early high school (thank you, Mr Oesch). But, unlike a lot of words that I have a comfortable relationship with, understand what they mean (or rather, what the expression means), and can use them in a sentence, I just can’t say ‘em.

What brought them to mind this morning was the growing controversy about the allowance of some sort of alternative group to participate in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, but not to allow a comparable group of a differing political point of view to participate. While this topic is very rich in targets (unconscionably so), I want (at present) to concentrate on only one (maybe, if I run out of grist for this particular mill, I’ll cast my net wider).

Now, I do not consider myself Irish, nor do I hold any particular attachment to the Irish. I have absolutely nothing against the Irish (or the British, who have treated the Irish no better than white Americans have treated black Americans, or, any other non-white Americans, for that matter). And, growing up, I always thought the St Patrick’s Day festivities were nothing to be taken seriously, if not something of a joke. After all, my family, with no attachment to the Finns, celebrated St Urho’s Day (obviously, the day before St Patrick’s Day) fairly religiously (ok, so my Dad was the only one I knew who sent out St Urho’s Day cards with the zeal of anyone sending out the annual Christmas Letter).

But to pour dye into the Chicago River (really?), or stage a parade in New York City? Do grownups do that sort of thing? Well, now that I are one, I guess I can no longer suspend disbelief. Yes Virginia, adults actually do stuff like that; though no one quite understands the reasoning.

Nevertheless, in this day-and-age, to hold some sort of celebration, ostensibly in the name of honoring a Roman Catholic Saint boggles the mind (just in case you didn’t know, some Roman Catholics – especially those who drink green beer, ‘cause there’s really no difference between crankcase oil and Guinness – do believe there really, actually, honestly, and no-foolin’ was a dude who chased all the grasshoppers out of Finland, no, wait, was that snakes?). It would seem to me that the last thing any self-respecting tree-hugging, bed-wetting, baby-killing, any-lifestyle-other-than-one-thousands-of-years-old liberal would want, would be to pay any attention to, let alone set aside a special day on the calendar, to eat-drink-and-be-merry for a person revered by the embodiment and personification of (gasp) a 2,000 year old established (shudder) religion.

Huh? Have these people not read their own manifesto? Well, as we know from unbelievably diverse experience, the very foundation, the very bedrock of liberalism is to discard (bash?) anything older, and other, than itself. Most especially the concept that “the establishment” – that is, the existing establishment, not the one they are trying to, um, establish – is inherently bad and must be done away with. At any cost. At least, in the 60s, when I first ran into this anti-establishment way of thinking, the method was violence; which was, at the very least, honest. Tommie Smith had the brass cajones to stand up and be counted; you’d be hard pressed to find that kind of integrity today.

Be that as it may, what I really want to know is: can a Roman Catholic Cardinal be impeached? Yes, in the case of Dolan, he is an ordained priest; but as everyone (anyone?) knows, cardinals are appointed. A stroke of the papal pen gives them a new title; I presume a similar pen can revert them to a toad or lizard (apologies to our reptilian friends; which, according to Julia Roberts are more worthy of this earth than us warm-blooded human beings). But, a political toad Dolan surely is.

We no longer have a government-recognized “Christmas Holiday,” or “Easter Holiday” (though the time away from our jobs is still there); why do we still have a government-recognized parade of (to all intents and purposes) a Roman Catholic Saint? You need an excuse to be an idiot? Fine. But be honest enough not to invoke the Church as your excuse. I mean, how do you live with yourself? I’d think you be torn in at least two pieces by the dichotomy.

So, there’s this parade in NYC and a fringe-group is going to march. Why? To honor a saint? Already I am laughing. An exceptionally holy man of a church? Horrors. Et cetera (you know where I’m going). I can hear them now: “I’m going to … to honor … to pay respect to …” – oh! I just can’t go on. This keyboard can stand only so much irony.

But why does Dolan associate himself in any way with the parade? I am quite sure the cranks and the crazies can’t help themselves; but, I would think that either Dolan or his boss would have the good sense to detach from something that has been hijacked. Instead of doing the thing that does make sense, that is consistent with Church teaching, Dolan continues to beam his corpulent face upon the front page, claiming to be a Roman Catholic Cardinal. Excuse me while I throw up (retch, barf, puke, etc.).

Fine, Chicago, pour green dye in your river. Fine, NYC, stage a march. Fine, New Orleans, host a party (Mardi Gras) that is the very antithesis of the season (that would be Lent). But, don’t – puh-lease don’t – think that, for even one little second, that you have my blessing, endorsement, or (dare I say?) embrace.

Why “Scylla and Charybdis”? It is because of events such as those in NYC and the Middle East (thank you Graeme Wood), that I am refining who I am: what is important to me. The so-called alternative life-styles that are all the rage in the US now are different for the immediate gratification of being temporarily different (if everyone is being “alternative,” I have to wonder what they are alternative to). Which means there is no “between a rock and a hard place” for me. I grew up not caring about the celebrations hosted in some cities on March 17, and if possible, I care less now.

I guess maybe I should thank Dolan and his political posturing then? And, if I didn’t find him such an embarrassment, I might. But I think I’m going to pass.

Some singer made famous the line, “I would rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.” Fine. You go ahead and live for today. For me, today is fleeting; but, eternity is a long time.

Ref:

Wood, Graeme, “What ISIS Really Wants,” The Atlantic, 2015 March, http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants