Saturday, November 19, 2016

Why Does Cardinal X Check His Cell Phone While Hearing Confessions?

This is a repost of a piece I wrote last year. The occasion was Bishop X's installation as Archbishop X. I'm now reposting it in honor of Archbishop X's elevation to Cardinal X. The only change I've made it so change "Bishop" to "Cardinal."   

From the comments section on one of the most perceptive pieces on Cardinal X:
Oh, and one piece of advice for any of you who ever happen to go to him for confession: ask him to turn off his phone BEFORE the sacrament begins. He is on his phone CONSTANTLY, (which is not news to residents of his former city), but I was STUNNED to hear text beeps occurring while he was listening to my confession. To this day, I regret not asking him why he would leave his phone on during this holy sacrament.
Now, this has never happened to me. Once in a while I have snuck a peak at priests in-between confessions at our church. In every single case, they've either been praying the Rosary, saying other prayers or reading what looked like a Bible or a Missal.

They're probably guilty of crypto-Lefebvrist tendencies.

But back to Cardinal X. Now, I've heard other negative things about his personal behavior, some of them directly from "insiders" that I personally know, not from comments on the internet. That I've heard them is one of the reasons I'm using the above public bit of "hearsay" in this blog post. But for a couple of obvious reasons, I'm not going to talk about the other things here.

Whoa! How unfair of me. How uncharitable. How gossipy. Accusing the man without allowing him to defend himself.

Well, give me a break. Anyone that has followed his career knows what he is. And from a number of other personal accounts, the man is a stewing bundle of bias, uncharity, selfishness and hypocrisy. Sure, I hope he goes to Heaven. But at the moment he's greatly harming the Church and endangering souls. I hope he has a change of heart.

And he can defend himself whenever and however he wants. For example, this blog is entirely open to him.

Why does Cardinal X check his cell phone while hearing confessions?
Q: You seem to also embrace this idea that we've heard-- from Cardinal Kasper and also from Pope Francis the idea of mercy. Not ideas, but the mission of mercy. Why mercy?
A: Well, as Cardinal Kasper said in his very important book on mercy-- there really has not been a fully developed theology of the mercy of God, and so that's why he wrote about it. And yet, it's at the heart of the Scriptures. That if you read throughout the Psalms, also through the Prophets and then how Jesus conducted himself, mercy is at the heart of what God does for us. And it's because the condition that we're in of sinfulness....And so the only remedy for that is God's mercy. It's not something that we can do. So we are thrown at the feet of God's mercy, because we're enslaved by sin. All of us are.
So then, in the confessional, the primary and most physically obvious and consistent mechanism for mercy in the Catholic Church,

Why does Cardinal X check his cell phone while hearing confessions?
Q: So it's about listening? 
A: It is. It's about listening.... 
Q: And so to win a convert, what you have to do is? 
A: Listen, talk, be respectful of people—and make sure that you really have an openness to where people are coming from...
If it's about listening,

Why does Cardinal X check his cell phone while hearing confessions?
A: ...And I just think that more and more you're going to see that kind of appointment (the Pope appointing me--Bishop X--and other likeminded clerics) happening... 
Q: When you say “that kind of appointment?” 
A: The kind of appointment that you're talking about of somebody who looks at people the way the pope does and wants. The pope has said this and the nuncio has said this. The nuncio told us last year the pope told him, I want more pastoral bishops...the Holy Father wants bishops who know “the smell of the sheep.” The pope has been very direct about that. 
Q: What do you hope to accomplish as Bishop? 
A: I'm going to be attentive to the needs of the people that are there and get to know them...
So, why does Cardinal X check his cell phone while hearing confessions?

Because he's a fake.


  1. Oakes- you've provided an opportunity that just can't be passed up: Here in the Diocese of Steppingstone/Backwatersville, newly elevated Cardinal X had a sterling record of accomplishment. He succeeded in emptying his seminary, and lifting not a finger to arrest the near total secularization of the local Jesuit U (which recently hired Prof Melissa "can I get some muscle" Click to teach its aspiring journos), and in some personal dealings I was witness to he had a contingent of his aging Spirit of VII priests publically badger a noted church architect by casting doubt on the architects knowledge of "authentic" liturgy when he presented a plan which would partially undo some of the damage those very priests visited on the cathedral in the early 70s. At another point said newly appointed Cardinal told a priest who asked on behalf of faithful parishioners for their Mass back that he would test that priest on his knowledge of Latin....hahahahaha! Really? Cardinal X a Latin expert? Who would have thunk it?? About a month after this conversation he got his call from the nuncios office getting his ticket out of the fair burg of Steppingstone. His one semi-legit accomplishment was his capacity to maneuver the Diocese of Steppingstone out of a pedo-priest caused bankruptcy in court proceedings. His extended absences were noted, mostly DC and wherever his USCCB homeboys were kickin' it. There were of course the ceaseless references - from the pulpit - to the government's brutal immigration policies. There's more of course but it would become tedious to recite the symptoms of a severe case of Scarlet Fever.

    The bottom line for me was to realize that if these priests and bishops want respect, they can get in line like everyone else.... and EARN it. A Roman collar and pointy hat doth not make an authentic spiritual leader and doer/proclaimer of the Gospel of Christ. With the Pope now under the scrutiny of a Dubia, the sort of egregiously undeserved promotion of the likes which sent Cardinal X to your native place may also be scrutinized in due time. And until then, it is up to us little laymen and women, us little pewsitters to resist the likes of this fellow to their faces. This one personally is intent on conspiring with the federal government to attempt to replace the millions of Euro-origin Catholics they've driven out with south-of-the-border Catholics who he assumes will be just as stupid as us and blindly follow their "be nice" drivel. Pardon the digression, but now is the time for us to Make. The. Catholic. Church. Great. Again.

    1. Thanks for that (I think). I had heard some of those stories but not the ones about the liturgy or Latin "tests." What a jerk. One of the worst things I know (and I know it for certain) I can't reveal because it would betray a confidence. :) It's amazing to me how you can have these fawning testimonies in the professional media - "He was so caring . . . always a kind word for everyone," etc. contrasted with the well-known (in some circles) anecdotes about his selfish and hissy private and quasi-private behavior, in some cases even towards supporters or allies.

    2. Kinda ranty and long winded...sorry.

      Check this link out, the part especially about the old heretic bishop dying and Ambrose being elevated to the episcopacy by public acclamation. The orthodox pitchforks and torches crowd may have their day again....wouldn't that be fun?? ;-)

  2. A lovely priest [RIP] to whom I used to Confess, a Jesuit no less, fell asleep during my Confession. Typically, he had been up all night at a dying parishioners bedside.

    1. Great story. And he sounds like a great priest. The priest I often go to is very brusk and crusty. If you position yourself on the kneeler and take more than one second to say "Bless me, father..." he'll rap on the screen and in a relatively loud voice say, "Hello?! Hello?!"

  3. Here is a key question: Why do we stay in the Catholic Church when we realize that many of our Church leaders apparently have no faith?

    My guess that many Catholics right now are making the decision to leave. This is the real damage of Pope Francis.

    1. We stay because we love Christ and cannot abandon His Bride at the very moment She is being so thoroughly persecuted by Her sons, the Priests. We fight for Her by resisting them to their faces. If we leave, we are refusing to endure suffering patiently. We would be refusing to take up the cross that this generation has to bear because the previous generation didn't. Did Jesus just stand idly at the sight of the money changers in the Temple? No, He went crazy on them and flipped their tables over and beat them with His belt! Well...what are we waiting for??

  4. I am grateful to God to have opened my eyes and heart to Jesus and to leave the Catholic church So that I could authentically follow Jesus.

    1. The Church has always had bad priests, bishops, cardinals and even popes. Indeed, you could flip the argument and argue that that sad but true and even inevitable reality coupled with the fact that the Church has survived for 2,000 years is positive evidence that the Holy Spirit protects it.

      What happens when your denomination or group or whatever becomes dominated by bad people or bad leaders (as it no doubt will)? Will you then move to another one?

      Or are you saying you're now completely on your own? Do you think that's what Christ wanted?

      Christ promised us that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. He never said the men in it would be perfect, nor that His followers wouldn't have to fight for it even against internal enemies.

      With respect, quitting isn't the answer.

    2. That was the long-winded version of what Andrew said more succinctly.

  5. Kenneth, come back my good man. Regardless of who leads the human part of the Church (remember He brought Judas into His confidence knowing what he would do), this is THE Church established by Christ for all people, places and times. It is the universal Church. Without the Church you are without the sacraments, gifts Christ has given to you to sustain you in your journey with Him to heaven. What would you say to Him if He asked why you rejected His gifts?

  6. Kenneth Hall, please do not leave the Church because of a Judas.