Tuesday, April 29, 2014

spaketh the papeth

A community of peace, forgiveness and harmony means "there's no place for gossip, jealousy, back-stabbing and slander," he said, according to a report by Vatican Radio.

To see how a community measures up to what Christ wants, look at how its members behave, he said. "Are they meek, humble? Are there battles among them over power? Jealous arguments? Is there gossip? They are not on the road of Jesus Christ," said Pope Francis.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Blessed Joy-filled Easter to All my friends, family and foes.  Jesus is Risen. Hallelujiah.

Resurrection Witnesses

The First Witness to the Resurrection was a Woman.

   The conservative blogdom went nuts when Nancy Pelosi went to an Episcopalian church to wash feet. A priest is supposed to do that and women are not supposed to do what priests do. That's the logic.
And its crazy. As for being in an Episcopalian church, the upper room was neither a temple nor a synagogue so any house of worship is an upgrade from a dining hall (likely on top of someone's house.)  Nancy Pelosi was imitating Christ in washing feet. Women are supposed to imitate Christ also. Do you have a serious question about that. What it is however, is reflective of a deeper sexism in the church that insists on all male fraternities of unmarried womenless men. Father Martin in his Washington Post essay reminds us that it is a myth or wrong statement that Jesus appeared to Peter first after the Resurrection. He appeared to Mary Magdalene- on purpose one assumes. There is reference to him telling her not to touch him because he has not yet ascended- which has been variously translated to mean 'don't hug too hard' or stop hugging me for those who know ancient aramaic and/or greek.

    So clearly there was a relationship between them that was close and special. She calls him Rabboni not Rabbi- which is a term of endearment not as distant as rabbi/student.  It always gets translated 'teacher.' It was more than that. Like calling one a cherie prof (in french), or something closer than Mr. teacher, Sir.

     The view of women perpetuates the myth that its holier to be without one, because they must be intrinsically dirty or unclean- all of them, all of the time.

    When I went to the church of San Pietro In Vincoli (Peter in Chains) the titular church chosen by the Archbishop of Washington, DC there was a plaque memorial on the floor of "Cynthia, wife of Bishop….." which struck me because that is my name- and because this was evidently someone so revered she ranked enough to be buried along with her Bishop husband inside not outside the church. The church is so old it existed during the time when it was commonplace for Bishops to marry wives.

    What has happened since the practice was banned, only about a thousand or so years ago, is that there evolved a theology intrinsically of the unclean unholy nature of priestly marital union-- rendering all 'flesh' evil- and a denegration of womenhood had to take place to justify it.   It was viewed as holier for men to just remain celibate among themselves. The theology changed to accommodate it. Any sexuality of priests became evil. It intrinsically adopted and incorporated a sort of pagan Platonic Realm of the Forms schism wherein matter was fleshly and spirit was superior and to live a holy life one had to swear off all forms of 'flesh'. It became inconceivable that Flesh could be used in a non- temptation way-that it didn't exist just for temptation but had a 'good' attached even for priests in proper context. That is why Jesus was 'fully human' and fully divine at the same time and in him there is no contradiction in that.

     The church needs to look at their views of women- what they believe they are capable of and expand it. Because otherwise it insults their creator who made women also in the image and likeness of God. God put talents in womenkind that have yet to be fully explored or nurtured. And this has to be one of the more egregious stifling of the Holy Spirit we ever witnessed or lived in.


Friday, April 18, 2014


A Pilgrimmage

    The new book by Fr. James Martin, SJ. is flying off the shelves and in its second printing already. If you get one Easter book for a loved one make it that one. Author of 'Jesuits Guide to Almost Everything', the beloved Jesuit author has penned an epic which he claims was 25 years in the making and includes his pilgrimmage to the Holy Land invaluable insights in scripture. Available at Barnes and Noble and all reputable book sellers everywhere as well as Amazon on line here:

JESUS: A Pilgrimage

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I was dead and now I AM Alive

 I was dead and now I AM alive. 

What Good Friday  teaches us is that death comes. You will be one day dead. You may be dead many times over while walking in your lifetime. People might try to destroy you and they may even succeed. You could be dead in your business, your marriage, your career, your relationships, your family, a child's illness might destroy your emotional capacity to go on, your condemners might have convinced you of the validity of their judgment so you give up, you might lose your hope. But what Easter proves is that for those who have faith in Jesus the Christ/Messiah, you can't stay dead even if you feel like it and the people closest to you want to kill you off. Because God will resurrect you. He will break through all that darkness because he loves you more than any person could.
Dead is really dead. It looks grim. Bloody dripping on a first century electric chair out in the open for all the world to gawk. You control nothing, not even your own clothing which is gambled for by the very people persecuting you throwing you to the dogs. Dead is really dead not just sleeping like a monty python skit. Not just in a coma, really dead. But just like Jesus called Lazarus who was so dead after four days in a tomb he was stinking rotting dead, Jesus /God will resurrect you - Lazarus didn't even ask to be resurrected. God will resurrect you. Do you see how the frost covers the tree limbs bared of all leaves in winter over a frozen ground. It all looks dead. Jesus in physical form was deader than that on Good Friday. And yet, the life force found in him by God's power raised him to life. You have that same life force within you. Its greater than the life force that brings back dead bulbs buried under ground to become blossoming trees and tulips in Spring- its the life force of creation. Anything that looks dead, can be rebuked in the name of Jesus who stills storms and raises dead things to fullness of life. Even you. In the holy powerful name of Jesus.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Artificial Crosses

And Making Martyrs of your own People

     This holy week there should be More Life.
Jesus was a carpenter but it is fairly certain he never built his own cross.
He didn't put the nail in his own hands.
But this is what the church does in its mandatory priestly lifetime celibacy doctrine which is counter-biblical and in biblical error.

    In perpetuating the illusion of spiritual superior celibacy the catholic church demands that men not be healthy heterosexuals, in spite of the teaching that Jesus was 'fully human' at the same time as fully divine and those two things are not contradictory. It is not flesh itself that is evil it is the misuse of it. A mouth is necessary for nutrition and intrinsically good for the intended purpose, but turns evil if you put poison in it.  Sexuality is not evil when used properly for its intended use, in heterosexual marital union. It is evil when you use it to bang children.

    The church has confused for far too long 'lust of the flesh' with flesh used in Love and doomed all male sexuality in priesthood as evil.

  In what should be considered the most head-bangingly odd understanding of stewardship the church has allowed a policy of mandatory lifetime celibacy to cost it over 3 billion dollars in legal fees and settlements for perversely indulging in lust of the flesh instead of allowing properly channeling flesh used in Love. In insisting on the myth of superiority in celibacy it has attracted gays (about a third of the priesthood by the account of a famous Jesuit Fr. James Martin) and sexual deviants who have cost about three billion. That is just ridiculously bad stewardship. Its the GNP of small countries lost due to sexual perversions to uphold an illusion.

   Note to file: amount of money spent on perversity, deviancy and sexual criminality of roman catholic clergy:   about 3 billion.
                       amount of money spent on perversity, deviancy and sexual criminality of Presbyterian clergy:  about Zero.

  And that is not even counting the budget for the Saint Luke's Institute which will be largely unnecessary after you stop driving nails in your own hands.

   What is the difference? The teaching, theology and practice on Heterosexual Marriage for clergy.

Do not insult Jesus by persecuting heterosexual women. Do not insult Jesus by drugging your priests with prostate medication or sending to the St. Luke's Institute for female hormone therapy or contraceptives to perpetuate the myth of superior celibacy (with side effects of heart disease and other conditions and cancer.)  Stop lying to the world. Stop driving nails in  your own hands.

END the mandatory celibacy and create a marital priesthood option to get healthier more 'fully human' men in the priesthood. The world will be a MUCH MUCH better place. You won't have to lie about the men secreting lovers in the rectory. Over time it will be a much less gay population trying to counsel on issues of family life, and it will cost less in all the medication, saw palmetto, and female hormones you have to give priests not to mention the cancer and heart disease treatment for all the drugs you made them take to deal with their normal sexuality.

  No one is fooled any more. Or Impressed.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Idolization of Dogma

Tyranny of thought.

      Dictatorship of Ideology.

The Pope is concerned that people will throw out the baby Jesus with the bathwater of intellectual dogmatism.

He is getting at something serious here- do you destroy God's love over something as dumb as a
contraceptive mandate argument. --or substitute any canon law controversy.

Did Jesus die for Canon Law or for people?

and are you too closed-minded?

There is even now a very regrettable dictatorship of narrow-mindedness. Thou shall not shoot the prophet.

Monday, April 07, 2014


The Resurrection and THE LIFE

For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins."
So they said to him, "Who are you?"
Jesus said to them, "What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world."
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
"When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him."
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

Pope Francis

Makes it Cool to Love Jesus Again

   We have a Pope who after only a year in office is making people ask such heretofore unheard of questions that its cool to love Jesus again. Not that we didn't always love him, but lots of us didn't wholly understand him. Now, even John Stewart loves him through this Pope. He is making catholic more christian again and people want it.  He's not a remote dogmatist with a knuckle slapping ruler on a narrow set of doctrines. He's a hugger. Kids want to jump in his car with him.

   This Pope's emphasis is where Jesus' emphasis was-on the Poor, the Marginalized, the Despised, the outcast, the lost, the lonely, the strangers. He is a Matthew 25 pope. This is the acceptable year of the Lord where Isaiah's teaching found in the mouth of Jesus is mirrored in the works of Francis.

  He has championed immigrants of the destitute variety, he has visited prisoners, given out gospels to thousands like a tract peddling missionary, washed women's feet, and embraced modern day leper equivalents like his namesake, cleaned house at the Vatican Bank, sent Blingey Bishops packing and selling their maniors, and has clergy wondering if they really should be fleecing the sheep. The Vicar of Christ looks more like the walking talking  heart of Christ than anything anyone recalls seeing in a long time in that form.

   One Cardinal said- he has freed the church from its bourgeois roots. [Because that was boring and missed the point]

 Jesus didn't come to protect your assets, get  you in a five bedroom in the suburbs with a butler and a lawn maintenance contract, or develop your portfolio-or build you a second home at the beach, a manior in provence, or set your retirement- he came to heal the sick, preach good news to the poor, free the oppressed and deliver from sin to eternal life everyone who believes in him, rich or poor.  You don't rank more if you have an honorific title, a snotty demeanor, or if you wear designer duds to church banquets any more than the guy sitting next to him on the bus on his commute off the evening shift. There are no luggage racks on hearses.

  Jesus is more than your financial planner- He is your best friend, your savior, your mentor, your father, your hope. Your inheritance is in Christ-forever in a beautiful place- eternal life to a place where there is no weeping or disease, no envy, capitalist competition, or striving. Pure Joy for those who love the Lord and walk according to his purposes. The guy with sores on his feet, sitting with no shoes on outside the city gate waiting for the rich passers by to toss crumbs at him may get to heaven before you do unless you notice that guy and try to help. We are reminded of the impassible chasm between rich and poor by the Feather Ruffler in Chief who wants us to notice Lazarus at the gate.

    Love your enemies- even when they trash talk, persecute and demean and demoralize you while scamming  you. Love them all- because you can't die now. Don't fear anyone who can do anything to your body- your soul is
in Christ secured if you get with the real program, not the fake one embroidered in dogmatic finery.   So now start valuing everyone you looked down on before- everyone who insulted you, everyone whom you thought deserved your haughty rebuke, everyone who smells like sheep. Love the least of these, my brethren.
Most of all those who didn't deserve your love- because you don't deserve God's either but he loves you anyway.  He loves the dirt poor as much as the petit bourgeois et grand bourgeois- all of whom he created and formed in his own likeness.

   This is a Pope who makes people happy to be catholic and want to talk about Jesus. He's less a Pope of wealthy suburbs and more barios and ghettos. He goes where the suffering is- not the places of pampered egoism. I love this Pope.

Tomorrow, Tuesday night, you can hear pre-eminent Pope watcher and religious news commentator Jesuit Father Tom Reese who will speak at Holy Trinity, Georgetown at 7:00 pm on Pope Francis- a year after the white smoke put him in his simple white cassock and crumpled brown shoes.