Posts Tagged ‘ USCCB ’

Soft reboot?

Anyone who has spent much time around computers has had some concepts burned into their lives.  One is, in the case of some small but insurmountable problem in performance, it is necessary to “reboot” the computer.  The power stays on, and if everything goes as advertised (never an absolute given), when the computer is ready to obey the User, function is restored and nothing has been lost.  Think of the scene from Airplane when a passenger is given to hysterics and a simple shaking, then a slap, followed by a long line of “well-meaning” passengers attempt their own methods to silence her.

Not so the “hard reboot.”  Nope.  This is necessary when the computer completely freezes – nothing works, not keyboard, not mouse.  Removing all power is required.  Of course this means losing all work that has not been saved; and as if to prove karma, this only happens when the most critical work of the day is hanging in the ether and is lost forever.  But, at least the computer, sufficiently chastised, assumes its humble role of servant once again.

Could this SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 be God’s “soft reboot”?  Not a “hard reboot” like Sodom and Gomorrah.  But just taking by the shoulders and shaking to tell an errant world that is not too far gone…yet.  More like in the basket, but only half-way to Hell – still time to bail.

The rumor-mongering surrounding this pandemic, like someone said, is the only thing that is spreading faster than the virus itself.  As if pulled from some B-movie, only the names have been changed to protect the poor acting and script, we have a man-made virus that has gotten out of control.  A bio-weapon that has turned on its master and has wrecked havoc, not on the “bad” guys, but on the “good” guys.  There are other conspiracies, but all involve unspeakable devastation, the bad guys hunkered down in some underground bunker, the innocent utterly destroyed, pillage the order of the day, the good guys down – but not out.

There have been other world-wide calamities, some in our recent past – apparently all forgotten, conveniently for the most part.

What makes this one different is the politics.  For some reason, what we call it is important.  Not that it has upset the world economy.  Not that is makes people sick. Not that it kills people.  But the moniker we hang on it.  The ugly head of PC has been raised once again.

For about a hundred years, we have called the flu that appeared at the end of World War I – and killed more than the war did – the “Spanish flu.”  No one has objected to insulting the Spanish for secretly unleashing the flu on a war-weary world.  It seems we can’t associate this modern day flu with the country of origin because that is “racist.”  Yet we never hear the mob that is so PC about today’s flu say that identifying that flu of a hundred years ago is racist.  But what is sublimely ludicrous is that the “Spanish flu” did not originate in Spain at all.  In fact, irony of ironies, it is the fact that the USA and Europe, fearing revealing their own military capabilities censored the news of this flu; while Spain, neutral during the war, reported it.  Thus, by telling the truth, the Spanish have been discriminated against for a century.  So of course, in the frenzy to not make Red China “feel bad,” we say that today’s flu magically appeared out of nowhere.  We don’t even want to say that it ultimately came from the animal kingdom – oh no, don’t blame the bats, it is human behavior that created this virus.  At least now I know what a “wet” market is.  And any appetite to eat bats is forever off my plate (with apologies to Anthony Bourdain, of course).

But whatever we call it, could it be a “wakeup call” – one so desperately needed?  It seems that governments learning nothing from the SARS pandemic of recent memory – stockpiles of commodities like masks just didn’t happen.  Physical brick-and-mortar hospitals are being augmented by tents – yes, in March, the tail end of winter, when weather is, at best, “unsettled.”  As far as health-care providers are concerned, some are surprised to learn that these people cannot work 24/7 for very long; and, shudder, they get sick too!  How dare they?

As far as religion is concerned, the Roman Catholic Church has become, well to be kind, an embarrassment.  At least here in the United States, the USCCB, so long attached to the Party of Death, and afraid of its own shadow, has closed churches in the name of “social distancing.”  For 1,500 years, the Church has preached that attending Mass is an obligation – if not fulfilled, then that basket you’re in makes it all the way to the River Styx.  Now, public Mass is not available – not even private Mass in a person’s home.  Once again (not the first time, for those conveniently ignorant), the bishops are anything but apostolic.  The Faithful Church is being driven underground, while the apostates run around on the surface like so many headless chickens (apologies to the fowl that were blamed – kinda – for that other flu).

Proof that the Stock Market is irrational (could anyone doubt that now?), the money world has suffered far worse than either medicine or religion.  At least it will recover – it always has, the open market (aka capitalism) is ruthlessly efficient.  And it will finance medicine.  The Catholic Church on the other hand will never be the same – thank God.  It is many months till November and the incumbent in the White House is in the perfect position to pave the way to another four years, while the Party of Death rearranges the deck chairs on its own sinking ship.

Yes, 2020 is turning out to be very “interesting.”

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)