Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Miami Parishioners Request Action on Allegedly Corrupt Priest; Archbishop Wenski Blames Them for "Slanderous Gossip"

Archbishop Thomas Wenski

In fairness, the Archbishop did ask the accused priest, Pedro M. Corces to step down as pastor of St. Rose of Lima School.

But why lash out at those making the allegations?

Parishioners and parents at the school formed a group called Christifidelis and hired a private investigator to track Corces for weeks. The resulting 129-page report, titled, “Dossier on the Improprieties of Father Pedro M. Corces And an Appeal to His Excellency Archbishop Thomas Wenski For Urgent Action,” was released on May 16. According to the Miami Herald, the report
accuses Corces of improper relationships with a maintenance worker he hired and three other individuals associated with the parish, including a deacon . . . 
The report, along with dozens of pictures, copies of receipts, and 28 appendices, claims that Corces replaced the maintenance staff with workers who included “a felon and prostitute, Santeria practitioners, promiscuous gay practitioners and people who openly mock the Catholic faith.” 
It claimed that Corces became romantically involved with a maintenance worker and that the two men shared “frequent, lavish trips and dinners.”
Ten days later, Archbishop Wenski released a letter to parents at the school. While he claimed that "investigation of the allegations continues" he already seemed to have made up his mind on some of them:
much of the material which the group has since chosen to circulate via emails and media is old, long since discredited gossip; some is false . . . Slanderous gossip, calumny, detraction--all sinful behaviors--have fomented division in the parish and school communities . . . Pray also for the children who have been dis-edified by the spectacle of adults behaving badly.
So, there it is, if you complain to the Archbishop about a sexually and financially corrupt priest ministering to your children, you are a sinful adult behaving badly.

Also, "disedified" doesn't have a dash.

Miami has long been a sort of Liberace style parody of an archdiocese. Wenski himself lives with his priest secretary in a seaside mansion, complete with a tiki hut. He also rides a Harley.

The blog Les Femmes - The Truth pointed out that Wenski and Corces worked together in the Miami Chancery for seven years. 

Rosa Armesto, the attorney representing Christifidelis, and who is also a parent at St. Rose of Lima School, responded:
It’s such a shameful letter. The archbishop is not upset at what the priest has done but that it has been uncovered . . . The church isn’t upset by the sins of their priests but by the fact that the faithful have had the audacity, the temerity, to bring this up.
-----------------------------------

This piece was prompted by Saturday's post at The Tenth Crusade.

Update (8:15 CST): A Catholic friend in Florida wrote this a few minutes ago. It obviously should be considered:
I have to take issue with some of this. Wenski has done a LOT to clean-up the two seminaries down there and over all in the state. He inherited a HUGE MESS left to him by Favalora who is a disgusting and vile man. His residence is leftover form Favalora's days as archbishop. I hope Wenski had that residence fumigated and exoricized when he moved in! The "tiki hut" is no surprise, but that is from the days of the gay scene there. Wenski removed the priest, and yes, he probably chastised the parents a bit for being a little overzealous. Wenski is no Sample or Schneider, BUT he is a pretty decent archbishop, definitely WAY better that what was there before.

Monday, May 30, 2016

BREAKING: Houston Gunman Identified


His name was Dionisio Garza III and he was twenty-five years old. In a tragic and presumably coincidental twist, he was from San Bernardino County, California.

And in an awful coda to this Memorial Day, Garza was reportedly an Afghanistan combat veteran. 

No, he wasn't a Muslim.

According to his father, he recently became attracted to survivalism and believed the United States economy was about to collapse.

In a seemingly random shooting rampage in Houston on Sunday, Garza fatally shot one man and wounded six others before he himself was shot dead by police. Another man, originally suspected to be a second shooter, was among the injured. It is now almost certain he was a good samaritan who merely had tried to stop Garza.

KPRC2 in Houston obtained an exclusive interview with the suspect's father:
Garza's father said his son, although loving, had become increasingly troubled over the last few months and decided to travel to Houston to meet others who believed the United States was on the brink of collapse. 
"On the internet he met some people or some people that believed like him. 
It's better to go to Texas. He was trying to get us all to go over there and you know go live in a compound. That kind of talk, you know? That wasn't my son," the man said. 
Channel 2 Investigates located Facebook and Twitter accounts belonging to Garza. 
On Twitter, on May 25 of this year he posted: 
"When do you think the dollar will collapse? I know this year?" 
Garza's father, a missionary, last talked to his son Saturday, just one day before the shooting. 
"You know he was rambling off about the economy collapsing, you know. And that something was going to happen by Monday, that kind of stuff. Of course you look back now and there were signs. There were signs," he said . . . 
Houston police officers found a military-style backpack Monday at the Conoco gas station that caught fire after a bullet hit one of the gas pumps. 
The backpack contained bullets, a birth certificate and several other items. 
KPRC 2 found the father of the man listed on the birth certificate. He said police have not called him, but he said friends and family members informed him that his son is the suspect in the west Houston mass shooting. 
The father believes his son's PTSD contributed to his strange behavior leading up to the shooting. 
"I talked to my son on Saturday. He said something was going to happen Monday," the father said. 
He believes his son had a mental breakdown.
Read the rest here.

Correction (10:49 CST): I originally wrote that the good samaritan was "shot by police." The news reports suggest he was shot by Garza.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

19-Year Old Amjad Ben Sasi, Before Being Shot in the Head by Sharia Police: "Do what you like, I am not apologizing."

Remember his name

This occurred last December in the ISIS occupied Libyan town of Sirte. I believe it was first reported yesterday in the Sunday Times and was then picked up by the Daily Mail and Italian media. The Times claims that the above photo was taken seconds before the teenager's death.

In a sense, this is a minor story. Thousands of human beings have met the same fate in the last few years. And no doubt many were just as defiant.

Nevertheless, this speaks to us if for no other reason than we appear to have some of the details, including the victim's last words.
A 19-year-old boy has been publicly executed in Libya after he refused four times to repent for swearing. 
Amjad Mohammed Ben Sasi had allegedly blasphemed during a dispute with a neighbour in the coastal city of Sirte. 
He was consequently hauled before an Islamic State Sharia court three times and on each occasion the youth stood his ground. 
'Amjad was a proud and angry young man,' Salah Salem Ben Sasi, the teenager's uncle told The Times. 
'He was fed up with Islamic State rule in Sirte. His attitude was "Do what you like, I am not apologising".' 
But he paid the price for his defiance and on the fourth day was brought into the main square where the blasphemy charge was read aloud to the public. 
Amjad Ben Sasi remained resolute to the end, and when he was asked if he had any final words he turned to the man who was about to kill him and said 'My name will live longer than yours', the uncle recalled. 
'The executioner replied, "We shall see", and shot him twice in the back of the head.' 
Read the rest at the Daily Mail.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Crux Jumps the Turtleneck


Yesterday, we reported on Crux making a funny typo. Today we're going to cite (in sincere disappointment) Crux's continuing employment of Fr. Dwight Longnecker as a "contributor." Anyone can make a typo, but it takes intentional idiocy to host Turtlenecker.

And, yes, now he's back with yet another adjective-laden screed about traditionalist Catholics:
Is the radical traditionalist blogosphere not only “a cesspool,” but an asylum for Catholic crazies? . . . Self-appointed online teachers fill the vacuum, and a poisonous, self-righteous extremism takes the place of true, simple, and humble piety . . .The venomous and vitriolic bloggers will most assuredly not accept criticism, but lash back with a fuller fury and loftier righteousness . . . Impervious to both gentle reproof and harsh attack, they will, like cornered animals, snarl and bite back.
There you have it. 
Snarling 
Radical 
Poisonous
He's Allen Ginsberg with an ex-Anglican marriage exception.

You can find many of his targets on my blog list to the right.

The word on the street is that he does it to get more clicks. All of his targets have more traffic than he does, so he's hoping they'll take the bait and link back to him. (This time there seems to be a conscious effort not to do that--see, for example, Vox Cantoris). But why Crux would give any space to Fr. Turtleneck is beyond me. And I think this is the first time they've published one of his now ubiquitous anti-trad joints. It's not that he's a "liberal" (he isn't really), nor simply that he's wrong (though he is). It's that he's just such a bloody boring ass.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Best Crux Typo Ever!



Today, in an otherwise boring article on Vatican corruption and financial "reform," the Catholic news site Crux produced this gem:
At the end of 2015 assets at the (Vatican) bank stood at $6.59 million, down slightly from $6.7 billion the year before.
I guess they shouldn't have given Cardinal Marx the use of that Black Card.

Or maybe they should get a sharper accountant.

One wonders whether this Freudian slip didn't have something to do with the fact that Crux was recently acknowledged to be a money pit. It was dumped by the Boston Globe only to be rescued a few days later by the Knights of Columbus.

Let's hope the generous Knights do not also suffer a 99% one-year drop in assets.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

P.J. O'Rourke is Old and Boring


He now looks like John Hurt.

He now is as funny as a post-SNL Chevy Chase.

He is a Republican Party Reptile who fell asleep on a rock while bragging about how edgy he was in 1987.

He just endorsed Hillary Clinton for president but made a few jokes about her to preserve his cred among the seventeen people who still remember him.

He has never been sincere about a damn thing.

He probably thinks this post is about him.

This post is about people who coast.

This post is about people who stubbornly refuse to find a center. Or rather, it's about people who refuse to even look.

What a waste.

(Read more at Five Feet of Fury by Kathy Shaidle)

Monday, May 23, 2016

FLASHBACK: Man Hijacks Plane, Demands Vatican Publish Third Secret of Fatima

Inside the Hijacked Plane

No, I'm not recommending this.

But it does make one feel nostalgic for 1981.

Remember when plane hijackings were not all about Muslims bent on killing as many infidels as possible?

Remember when you could douse yourself with gasoline in an airplane bathroom and then just stroll into the cockpit flicking a lighter?

Remember when you could bring gasoline onto an airplane?  

Remember when, before it had been released by the Vatican, some thought that the Third Secret of Fatima--the climactic revelation of the most famous and spectacular Marian apparition in history--might be a prediction about World War III?

(Now that the Secret has been revealed and the text features a "bishop in white" walking through a "big city, half in ruins" while blessing corpses, we know that it's largely about a future pope being shot without result by a mentally unbalanced Turk.)

Curiously, the hijacking--the only such incident ever recorded on an Aer Lingus flight--happened only eleven days before Mehmet Ali Ağca attempted to kill John Paul II.

From The Irish Echo, eighteen years after the fact, but still two years before the Third Secret would be "released":
DUBLIN — The obsession of an ex-Trappist monk with the so-called third secret of Fatima led him to stage Ireland’s first plane hijack nearly 18 years ago when he threatened to set himself on fire and took over an Aer Lingus flight to London. 
Australian-born Laurence James Downey, now 72, disclosed in an RTE TV documentary aired Monday what drove him to terrorize 113 passengers and force the plane to divert to France. 
He brandished a lighter and pretended he was a gas-soaked firebomb. 
It was Downey’s fixation with the Fatima secret that led him to abandon his new life in the Shannon area in 1981 and stage the hijack, for which he served five years in a French prison. He believed it would force the Vatican to reveal the secret. 
Downey is penitent today about the trauma he caused — but he still wants the world to know the secret. 
Since the age of 8 he believed he had a sense of destiny. During his novitiate in France and his five years as a monk in Rome he became obsessed with apparitions and visions. 
In particular, Downey was fascinated by stories surrounding the happenings near Fatima, in Portugal, 82 years ago. Three girls, ages 7 to 10, were minding sheep when they said the Virgin Mary appeared to them. They claimed they were given messages and warnings or secrets. The apparitions happened on the 13th day of six consecutive months. 
By the time of the last appearance word had spread. About 70,000 people were gathered and strange paranormal events were reported. 
Fatima has since developed into a major Marian pilgrimage site, with millions of pilgrims visiting the shrine every year. There have been many claims of miracle cures. 
Over the years there has been global fascination with the secrets. Two were revealed involving a vision of hell and the conversion of godless Russia and the banishment of communism. 
The third prophecy remains secret, apparently only known to 91-year-old nun Sister Lucia — the only surviving member of the trio who claimed to have the visions — and the pope. 
The third secret has been the subject of speculation since it’s claimed existence in a sealed envelope was first revealed in Time Magazine in the late 1940s. Various theories have predicted it involves the end of the world, nuclear holocaust or a variety of other apocalyptic events. 
Downey, who now lives in Perth Australia, was convinced he could be the instrument to force a Vatican disclosure. As the Dublin flight approached London on May 2, 1981 he doused his hands in gasoline and poured water on his clothes to give the impression that they were flammable. 
He ordered the pilot to land at Heathrow, but instead it touched down at the quiet Le Touquet airport in Northern France. At first rumors spread that an Iranian had hijacked the plane and wanted to be flown to Teheran. The real reason emerged when former Taoiseach and then Transport Minister Albert Reynolds was interviewed during the eight-hour hijack. He explained Downey wanted publication of the third secret of Fatima. 
On Flight EI 164, Downey carried a briefcase containing a text he believes may be the third secret. It predicts devil-inspired catastrophes and damnation. 
"The third secret of Fatima is many things," Downey said. "Basically, it concerns the third millennium and the second coming of Christ." 
His text says a "great chastisement" will fall on humanity in the second part of this century the like of which has not been seen since the deluge. 
It reveals, he says, that Satan infiltrate the top of the church. The great and the powerful will perish with the little and the weak. The Catholic Church will split and the corrupt in Rome will fall. Millions and millions will perish by the hour and those still living will envy those who are dead.
The internet is silent as to whether Downey is still alive in 2016. Does anyone know?

I couldn't even find a picture of him. Talk about not getting your fifteen minutes of fame.

A 1981 New York Times article claimed that Downey "had been expelled from a Trappist monastery for punching a superior in the nose." Then he married and had at least five children.

I sincerely hope he found peace.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Teen Vogue Muslima is (Surprise!) a Big Fan of Hitler and the Holocaust


A Muslim woman recently took some selfies in front of an anti-Islam protest in Belgium. She "confronted" and then "charmed" the "haters." The whole thing went viral on social media. Here's the title blurb for a rhapsodic piece that Teen Vogue wrote two days ago:

Yeah. She's a total badass, alright. Social media sleuths soon found that she was a foul-mouthed anti-semite who approvingly tweeted about Hitler and the Holocaust.
There was more on other sites. Zakia Belkhiri has since scrubbed all her social media accounts, telling the BBC that "she didn’t want to look like a girl who seeks attention." But two days ago she tastefully tweeted a different view:
By the way, Sarah Harvard of Teen Vogue is a tireless author of Islamist agitprop:
Does the Holocaust count as one of the "real issues of racism"? Or is that one of the things she won't say sorry for?

Read more about Belkhiri at Pamela Geller and Breitbart.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Pope Implies Jesus Tolerated Divorce for the Sake of Mercy


This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta where he appeared to claim that Jesus approved of the Mosaic Law on divorce on the grounds of mercy. Or, as Francis put it, Jesus enunciated the "official" truth while then going above it or beyond it in order to engage in accompaniment, integration and discernment.

This is of course the very opposite of what is described in Matthew 19 and Mark 10. It is the Pharisees who attempt to use the Mosaic Law to justify divorce. And it is Jesus who rebukes them for it.

The Pope is fond of accusing his enemies of "casuistry" but it is he who consistently engages in it. This twisting of one of the most famous exchanges in the New Testament is striking in its attempt to mislead.

From the homily:
“But Jesus,” Pope Francis continued, “so merciful, He is so great, that he never, never, never, closes the door to sinners.” And so He does not limit Himself to proclaiming the truth of God, but goes on to ask the Pharisees what Moses had established in the Law. And when the Pharisees responded that Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce, Jesus replied that this was permitted “because of the hardness of your hearts.” That is, the Pope explained, Jesus always distinguished between the truth and “human weakness” without “twisting words.” 
In the world in which we live, with this culture of the provisional, this reality of sin is so strong. But Jesus, recalling Moses, tells us: “But there is hardness of heart, there is sin, something can be done: forgiveness, understanding, accompaniment, integration, discernment of these cases… But always… But the truth is never sold. And Jesus is capable of stating this very great truth, and at the same time being so understanding with sinners, with the weak.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

That Chesterton Misquote: a Detective Story

Old School Renaissance

In a post a few days ago, I made a quasi-defense of allowing our four-year-old son to read the 1981 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Fiend Folio. In my Google+ and Facebook intro blurbs for the link, I paraphrased an alleged G.K. Chesterton quote. The paraphrase went like this:
Fairy tales do not tell children that monsters exist. Children already know that monsters exist. Fairy tales tell children that monsters can be killed.
Now my "paraphrase" was actually a direct word for word copy of an actually existing rectangular Chesterton quote thingy--the sort of picture people post and repost on Facebook and other social media (though note the wonky punctuation):


But I thought (though I honestly don't remember why I thought) that that itself was probably a paraphrase of something where Chesterton was actually referring to dragons not monstersI used "monsters" (while acknowledging that it was probably a paraphrase) because it squared better with my post--I was talking about monsters in general, such as the monsters in the Fiend Folio, not dragons specifically. Here's one of the rectangular quote thingies on the Chesterton dragon version:


And here's another:


And here are three more:


I've posted five of these because they all differ. The major differences are the substitution of "Fairy tales are more than true-" for "Fairy tales do not tell children dragons exist," and "beaten" for "killed." But minor differences include "don't" for "do not," "that dragons" for "the dragons," "the children" for "children" and the insertion of "that" in-between "us" and "dragons."

This is, of course, annoying. If Chesterton really said it, you would think someone would simply look at exactly what he said in Collected Essays Volume XXVII or whatever and just quote it. Is it "don't" or "do not"? Well, what did he actually say?

Okay. Now it gets even more annoying. Hold onto your hats and wait for it . . .

The quote has also been ascribed to Neil Gaiman:

And now, instead of "killed" versus "beaten," we have "beaten" versus "defeated."

Enough.

What was the original quote and who actually said it?

In fact it was Neil Gaiman quoting Chesterton in the epigraph to his 2002 Coraline, p. 7:

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten. 
- G.K. Chesterton
But the story is not over. As Gaiman later admitted, he misquoted Chesterton--and this was in the epigraph!

How did he misquote Chesterton? Why did he misquote Chesterton?

Well, Gaiman may have had his memory filtered through an earlier misquotation from a third source. Hold onto your hats again. That source is . . . 

Terry Pratchett.

In When the Children Read Fantasy, published in SF2 Concatenation (1994), which obviously preceded Coraline, Pratchett wrote:
One of the great popular novelists of the early part of this century was G.K. Chesterton. Writing at a time when fairy tales were under attack for pretty much the same reason as books can now be covertly banned in some schools because they have the word ‘witch’ in the title, he said: “The objection to fairy stories is that they tell children there are dragons. But children have always known there are dragons. Fairy stories tell children that dragons can be killed.” 
Now, do not misunderstand what I'm doing here. I'm not being critical of Gaiman. Indeed, we have Gaiman to thank for admitting his mistake.

Gaiman himself realized that he had misquoted Chesterton and attempted to unravel what had happened:
It’s my fault. When I started writing Coraline, I wrote my version of the quote [from Chesterton's] Tremendous Trifles, meaning to go back later and find the actual quote, as I didn’t own the book, and this was before the Internet. And then ten years went by before I finished the book, and in the meantime I had completely forgotten that the Chesterton quote was mine and not his.
(See this Tumblr post by "MJS.")

So what was the original quote? it's from "The Red Angel," Chapter XVII of Chesterton's Tremendous Trifles (1909):
The timidity of the child or the savage is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place. They dislike being alone because it is verily and indeed an awful idea to be alone. Barbarians fear the unknown for the same reason that Agnostics worship it--because it is a fact. Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.
Of course, in classic Chestertonian fashion, Chesterton restates essentially the same idea at least three more times in the chapter. Here's another version in the very next paragraph (warning: one of the terms used is now considered politically incorrect):
Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear. When I was a child I have stared at the darkness until the whole black bulk of it turned into one negro giant taller than heaven. If there was one star in the sky it only made him a Cyclops. But fairy tales restored my mental health, for next day I read an authentic account of how a negro giant with one eye, of quite equal dimensions, had been baffled by a little boy like myself (of similar inexperience and even lower social status) by means of a sword, some bad riddles, and a brave heart. Sometimes the sea at night seemed as dreadful as any dragon. But then I was acquainted with many youngest sons and little sailors to whom a dragon or two was as simple as the sea.
So, what does this all mean? Well, obviously, quotes on the internet are often very unreliable, at least if one is a stickler for accuracy. Then again, I do not think anyone can deny that the basic spirit of what Chesterton originally said was preserved through the various permutations, even though technically he was misquoted again and again. And while I obviously like reading actual Chesterton, I think the best version of the quote is that first "monsters" one. It's simple, stark and clear. But I would have preferred that its origins hadn't been misdescribed.

[Crossposted at Save Versus All Wands]

Text of Anti-Erdogan Poem BANNED in Germany

Jan Böhmermann

I don't want to spend time explaining the whole Böhmermann affair. But, as many of you know, German comedian Jan Böhmermann got into legal trouble by reading on television an expletive laced satirical poem about Turkish President Recep Erdoğan. Many believe Angela Merkel authorized the pending possible prosecution of Boehmermann as a sort of additional payment to Erdoğan for pretending to regulate the entrance of thousands of Muslim soldiers into Europe or whatever--a payment in addition to the billions of Euros he's already receiving.

Today, a German court in Hamburg banned the public recitation of the poem. Or rather, it declared that only six lines of the twenty-four line poem could be recited. 

I'm going to reproduce the poem below. But if it's okay, I'm going to take out the really dirty  words and in the style of Lenny Bruce, replace them with "blah" or some variation thereof. Purists can find the actual text here. And you can see the television clip where the poem was recited here.

Vituperative Criticism (Smear Poem)

Dumb as a bag, cowardly and uptight
that’s what Erdoğan the President is.
His blahs reek awfully of döner kebab,
even a pig blah smells nicer.
He’s the man who beats up girls
while he’s wearing rubber masks.
Most of all he likes blahing goats
and oppressing minorities,
kicking Kurds, whacking Christians
while watching child porn.
And even in the evenings, instead of sleep,
it’s all about blah with a hundred sheep.
Yes, Erdoğan is totally
a President with a small blah.
Every Turk is heard to warble,
that stupid 
blah has got wrinkled blahs.
From Ankara to Istanbul
everyone knows, that man is gay,
perverted, lice-ridden and a zoophile,
Recep Fritzl Přiklopil.
His head as empty as his 
blah,
the star at every gangbang party
until his 
blah burns while blahing.
That’s Recep Erdoğan, the Turkish President.


I assume the permissible abridged version reads as follows

that’s what Erdoğan the President is.
And even in the evenings, instead of sleep,
Yes, Erdoğan is totally
Every Turk is heard to warble,
From Ankara to Istanbul
That’s Recep Erdoğan, the Turkish President.

The really silly part about the whole affair is that while the poem is certainly disgusting and offensive, the most disgusting and offensive parts are obviously false. Only a portion of one sentence--"oppressing minorities, kicking Kurds, whacking Christians"--could possibly have any connection to reality, and even the effect of that is largely muted by the "while watching child porn" at the end.

So part of the point was not to offend Erdoğan per se, but to do something for the sake of doing it merely because one wasn't supposed to. That is a standard part of the comedian's repertoire. In this case at least, the audience seemed to think it was funny.

Böhmermann would later confirm that he might also have had a political motive--to test the limits of freedom of expression in Europe amidst (as I would put it) the current climate of fear, intimidation and censorship inspired by a rising Islam.

The results of the test are in. Not only can you not criticize Muslim despots, you cannot even joke about not criticizing Muslim despots.

Wikipedia reports the comedian's reaction even before yesterday's ruling: 
In an interview with Die Zeit on 3 May, Böhmermann sharply criticized Angela Merkel. "The chancellor must not waver when it comes to freedom and human rights", he said. "But instead she filleted me, served me a neurotic despot for tea and made me become a German Ai Weiwei. (the Chinese dissident) " His "belief" was shaken, "that every person in Germany has a non-negotiable, inalienable right to exercise certain basic rights: the freedom of art and the freedom of expression." Merkel did "obviously not think for a moment" about the poem, which he said was only an illustration of an insult: "It was much too dumb for me to insult Erdogan. I think, anyone can see this from the stupid smear poem."
Four weeks ago, Böhmermann was put under police protection and he temporarily suspended all of his radio and television activities. I am unclear as to whether they have resumed.

Monday, May 16, 2016

New Fatima Report Raises More Questions than it Answers

Why?

The recent article by Maike Hickson at OnePeterFive is another fascinating piece from one one of the premier Catholic websites. The above post title is not a criticism of Dr. Hickson or the site, obviously. Rather, they deserve nothing but thanks for continuing to break important stories. But that doesn't make things any less . . . frustrating.

Here is the heart of the piece:    
Today, on the Feast of Pentecost, I called Fr. Ingo Dollinger, a German priest and former professor of theology in Brasil, who is now quite elderly and physically weak. He has been a personal friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for many years. Father Dollinger unexpectedly confirmed over the phone the following facts: 
Not long after the June 2000 publication of the Third Secret of Fatima by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told Fr. Dollinger during an in-person conversation that there is still a part of the Third Secret that they have not published! “There is more than what we published,” Ratzinger said. He also told Dollinger that the published part of the Secret is authentic and that the unpublished part of the Secret speaks about “a bad council and a bad Mass” that was to come in the near future. 
Father Dollinger gave me permission to publish these facts on this High Feast of the Holy Ghost and he gave me his blessing.
Read the rest, including important commentary and further context here.

Fatima conspiracy people (and I guess I'm one of them) believe that the Church has been infiltrated by . . . let's call them the bad guys. Now of course all knowledgeable and faithful Catholics would agree with this to some extent. The Church has always contained bad guys. The only question is how pervasive it is and how far up it goes. Fatima people believe it goes all the way to the "top"--although what even that means is debated.

Though the implications of this are horrific, it doesn't in and of itself raise any logical questions. Bad guys will be . . . bad guys. Obviously they will have an interest in undermining the Church, in suppressing the truth about Our Lady's words and in (forgive me) screwing with people's faith.

But what of the good guys? Pope Benedict is one of them, or at least we would hope so. And the above would seem to confirm that. If you believe that the above is true or at least partly true, then Benedict would seem to have at least some interest in making the truth known. After all, he allegedly told Fr. Dollinger about it.

The question I would want to ask Dollinger is why he didn't ask Ratzinger/Benedict at the time why such important information wasn't revealed publicly? Why only reveal it in private? It seems like such an obvious question. And I can imagine possible answers that would be reasonable. But I have not seen any answers.

Why did Ratzinger/Benedict not publicly reveal what he knew? Given the awfulness in the current Church--which must have seemed even worse to him given what he knew about the unrevealed secret--why did he then step down? Or putting that aside, why doesn't he reveal the rest of the secret now? Why doesn't the Pope Emeritus announce a press conference and just do it? I am of course not being critical of Benedict per se; only noting the obvious incongruity. It's as if there's a fourth secret (or a fifth) that asks the good guys in the know to act their parts in a sort of play, biding their time. Why? Until when? And of course everyone seems to be following some sort of tacit agreement to not go public (though it seems okay to give the occasional hint to old friends or card-carrying Fatima conspiracy authors or whomever). 

I do not think I will ever become a sede or go back to being a non-practicing quasi-agnostic, but this almost seems calculated to make me throw up my hands and do so. Is it some sort of test of faith? And what of the countless souls lost in the interim?

Yes, I know mortal men are not supposed to know everything. God never promised that we would or should. But He did promise that we would be given enough information. Didn't He?