Category Archives: Pope Francis

No ROTC and JROTC at Catholic schools!

***The following was written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy***

Pope Francis could not be more correct: “the spirit of war comes from our own hearts* Indeed, “the wars, the hatred, the hostility aren’t products we buy at the market: they’re right here, in our hearts.” But, how does such a spirit get into our hearts? Does it come from being exposed to Christlike love as the most important, honorable, noble, heroic and valuable act that a person—young or old, male or female—can desire, imitate, choose and participate in with others?

 

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saw goes. With his Petrine faculty of universal jurisdiction, Pope Francis  could end tomorrow the terrible child abuse, mind manipulation and anti-mind of Christ practice in Catholic universities and high schools of recruiting and training Christian young men and women for war, that is, he could terminate all ROTC and JROTC programs at all Catholic educational institutions—starting, for the sake of good example, with his own Jesuit community’s educational facilities which are mired in these anti-Gospel change of heart, change of mind, pedagogical operations. It is not God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit that puts the spirit of war into the hearts of Christians. Si vis pacem, para bellum, “If you want peace, prepare for war,” is not the teaching of Jesus. This is contrary to the teaching of Jesus. For a Catholic high school or university to entice young men and women into that spirit or to foster that spirit under the auspices of Christian symbols, liturgy, sacramentals, authorities figures, etc. is blasphemous. Such a school, or Church drives the spirit war like a stake deep into the Sacred Heart of Jesus which the person received at his or her Baptism into Christ.

-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

*Psychic activity is usually associated in the Bible with various organs. The chief of these is the heart. The Biblical idiom differs from the modern idiom in considering the heart as the seat of intelligence and decision, whereas today we would use mind and will. In the Biblical idiom the heart is the source of thoughts, desires and deeds. Thus a man is what his heart is. The spirit of war which comes from our own hearts” is not only a personal spiritual problem for the individual Christian, it is equally, perhaps primarily, an institutional Church problem.

Dictionary of the Bible, ‘Heart’, Rev. John L. McKenzie

 

The Spirit of War (2/15/14)

Pope Francis: The Spirit of War Draws Us Away from God, Vatican Radio, 2/25/14

“War is a scandal to be mourned every day. We see war in the newspapers ever and we’re used to reading about it: the number of its victims is just part of our daily accounts. We hold events to commemorate the centenary of the Great War and everyone is scandalized by the many millions of dead. But today it’s the same… instead of one great war, there are small wars everywhere. When we were children in Sunday School and we were told the story of Cain and Abel, we couldn’t accept that someone would kill their own brother. And yet today millions kill their own brothers and we’re used to it: there are entire peoples divided, killing each other over a piece of land, a racial hatred, an ambition.

Think of the children starving in refugee camps… these are the fruits of war. And then think of the great dining rooms, of the parties held by those who control the arms industry, who produce weapons. Compare a sick, starving child in a refugee camp with the big parties, the good life led by the masters of the arms trade. And remember, that the wars, the hatred, the hostility aren’t products we buy at the market: they’re right here, in our hearts. The Apostle James gives us a simple piece of advice: ‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ But the spirit of war, which draws us away from God, doesn’t just reside in distant parts of the world: the spirit of war comes from our own hearts.

Let us pray for peace, Pope Francis concluded, for that peace which seems to have been reduced to a word and nothing more. Let us follow James’ advice: ‘Recognize your misery.’ Let us recognize, the Pope prayed, that misery which breeds wars within families, within neighborhoods, everywhere. How many of us weep when we read the newspapers, when we see the dead on television? This is what Christians should do today, in the face of war: we should weep, we should mourn.

Plenary Assembly, International Theological Commission

*** This was written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy. We have inserted the images.***

Are the bishops, priests and deacons in the Catholic Church in the United States listening to this fellow? How about Ireland, England, Canada, Australia, Europe, Africa, South America, Asia? If the Pope had said that Catholics must return to the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue only, the U.S., British, Irish, etc. airwaves, TV, radio talk shows, Internet, papers, magazines and pulpits—from the far right to the middle of the road to the far left—would be ceaselessly and volcanically bellowing in all directions. However, the Pope says, “The definitive revelation of God in Jesus Christ makes every recourse to violence in God’s name ultimately lifeimpossible,” and the silence is so total that you can hear a U.S. drone strike seven thousand miles away in Pakistan—if you care to listen. Communion on the tongue or in the hand is an utter irrelevancy. Christ’s refusal of violence, His overcoming evil with good, thereby making recourse to violence for the Christian impossible is as strong an indictment as can be made on the failure to catechize and spiritually guide the Catholic flock along the Way of Jesus in many countries of the world. Yet all of the Catholic right, middle and a significant percentage of the Catholic left “ho hum” it. The use of calculated silent indifference as a method of refusing to acknowledge that something of ultimate importance is being said is the bread and butter of corporate mass media, I would think that the use of such a methodology by Church leaders would cause them to sleep poorly at night.

Here is Pope Francis on Vatican radio.

(Vatican Radio, 1/15/14) Pope Francis received the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the International Theological Commission on Friday. The three main themes the Commission is addressing throughout the course of its current five-year study period are: the relations between monotheism and violence; the social doctrine of the Church; and, the “sense of the faith.” Speaking of the possible perversions of authentic faith in the one true God, Pope amenFrancis said, “The definitive revelation of God in Jesus Christ makes every recourse to violence in God’s name ultimately impossible. It is precisely because of [Christ’s] refusal of violence, because of his having overcome evil with good, with the blood of his Cross, that Jesus has reconciled men to God and each other.”

P.S. If you would like a good warm-up piece to read before the International Theological Commission publishes its full text (only a very brief summary has been published at this hour), you might want to read, hopefully read again (!), Violent Monotheism: True or False?  that can be found on either of the two websites below, as Chapter 3 In the book All Things Flee thee For thou Fleest Me, or as Chapter 5 in Christian Just War Theory: The Logic of Deceit. Also as I understand the content of the International Theological Commission’s document, Chapter 5, The Nonviolent Trinity, in All Things Flee thee For thou Fleest Me could be most helpful.

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Doves, Crows, Sparrows, Fools

 

doves

Doves released at Vatican get attacked immediately by a crow and a seagull.

Augurs laugh? Is Fr. Z mocking….”peace” over on his blog, which he likes to put after ellipses and in quotes for some reason? From the comments:

“The next time the Pope wants to release a couple of doves he ought to have a couple of Swiss Guards standing by with pump action shotguns loaded with birdshot.”

“My vote would be that all doves be issued concealed-carry permits.”

“I won’t lie. I laughed when I saw these pictures. I know it wasn’t right, but I still laughed. I just imagined the Pope and the children singing ‘Give Peace a Chance’ as the doves were attacked by the sea gulls!”

Is it all in good fun or do they really think they have a point here?

“I pray we will not become prey to a false Peace as in John 14:27 ‘not as the world gives it’ No ‘peace’ for these doves: They became a delectable ‘piece’ of lunch for the other birds of the air, who do not sow or reap.”

“Perhaps at the next dove-releasing ceremony, a few trained hawks can be released as well– you know, as a deterrent.”

A dove which was freed by children flanked by Pope Francis during the Angelus prayer, is chased by a black crow in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. Symbols of peace have come under attack at the Vatican. Two white doves were sent fluttering into the air as a peace gesture by Italian children flanking Pope Francis Sunday at an open studio window of the Apostolic Palace, as tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square below. After the pope and the two children left the windows, a seagull and a big black crow quickly swept down, attacking the doves, including one which had briefly perched on a windowsill on a lower floor. One dove lost some feathers as it broke free of the gull, while the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove. The doves' fate was not immediately known. While speaking at the window, Francis appealed for peace to prevail in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

A dove which was freed by children flanked by Pope Francis during the Angelus prayer, is chased by a black crow in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

What about Jesus then? No peace for Him either then, He who allowed himself to become the victim of cruel torturers and murderers? Why didn’t He go out and get Himself a couple of well-armed body guards or well-trained “hawks” or a conceal-and-carry permit to defend himself?

Was he a fool?

jesus

Matthew Chapter 10: 26-31: ““Therefore do not be afraid of them….do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Syrian President sends letter to Pope

The Guardian reported on Sunday:

“…according to Sana, Syria’s state-run news agency, the message set out the Assad regime’s position ahead of next month’s peace conference in Geneva, saying it was willing to take part in the talks but that countries supporting rebel groups would have to stop.

‘The message also highlighted that stopping terrorism requires having the countries which are involved in supporting the armed terrorist groups stop providing any sort of military, logistic or training support, noting that this support was provided by some of Syria’s neighbours and other known countries in the Middle East and abroad,’ Sana reported.

…The 77-year-old Argentinian pope has pleaded for peace in Syria repeatedly in recent months, most prominently in September, when he sent Vladimir Putin – in his capacity as host leader of the G20 summit in St Petersburg – a letter implicitly expressing his strong opposition to the airstrikes that were being considered by the Obama administration.

On Christmas Day, he reiterated his call for an end to a conflict which the United Nations estimates has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people.”

pope-francis-syria

 

 

The Pope’s Christmas Message

 

URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS
CHRISTMAS 2013
Wednesday, 25 December 2013

 

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours (Lk 2:14)

Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the whole world, Greetings and Happy Christmas!

I take up the song of the angels who appeared to the shepherds in  Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born.  It is a song which unites heaven  and earth, giving praise and glory to heaven, and the promise of peace to earth  and all its people.

I ask everyone to share in this song: it is a song for every man or  woman who keeps watch through the night, who hopes for a better world, who cares  for others while humbly seeking to do his or her duty.

Glory to God!

Above all else, this is what Christmas bids us to do: give glory to  God, for he is good, he is faithful, he is merciful. Today I voice my hope that  everyone will come to know the true face of God, the Father who has given us  Jesus.  My hope is that everyone will feel God’s closeness, live in his  presence, love him and adore him.

May each of us give glory to God above all by our lives, by lives spent  for love of him and of all our brothers and sisters.

Peace to mankind

True peace  – we know this well – is not  a balance of  opposing forces.  It is not a lovely “façade” which conceals conflicts and  divisions.  Peace calls for daily commitment, but making peace is an art,  starting from God’s gift, from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.

Looking at the Child in the manger, Child of peace, our thoughts  turn to those children who are the most vulnerable victims of wars, but we think  too of the elderly, to battered women, to the sick… Wars shatter and hurt so  many lives!

Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in  Syria, fueling hatred and vengeance.  Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare  the beloved Syrian people further suffering, and to enable the parties in  conflict to put an end to all violence and guarantee access to humanitarian aid.  We have seen how powerful prayer is!  And I am happy today too, that the  followers of different religious confessions are joining us in our prayer for  peace in Syria.  Let us never lose the courage of prayer!  The courage to say:  Lord, grant your peace to Syria and to the whole world. And I also invite  non-believers to desire peace with that yearning that makes the heart grow: all  united, either by prayer or by desire.  But all of us, for peace.

Grant peace, dear Child, to the Central African Republic,  often forgotten and overlooked.  Yet you, Lord, forget no one!  And you also  want to bring peace to that land, torn apart by a spiral of violence and  poverty, where so many people are homeless, lacking water, food and the bare  necessities of life.  Foster social harmony in South Sudan, where current  tensions have already caused too many victims and are threatening  peaceful coexistence in that young state.

Prince of Peace, in every place turn hearts aside from violence and  inspire them to lay down arms and undertake the path of dialogue.  Look upon  Nigeria, rent by constant attacks which do not spare the innocent and  defenseless.  Bless the land where you chose to come into the world, and grant a  favourable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.  Heal  the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq, once more struck by frequent acts of  violence.

Lord of life, protect all who are persecuted for your name.  Grant hope  and consolation to the displaced and refugees, especially in the Horn of Africa  and in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Grant that  migrants in search of a dignified life may find acceptance and assistance.  May  tragedies like those we have witnessed this year, with so many deaths at  Lampedusa, never occur again!

Child of Bethlehem, touch the hearts of all those engaged in human  trafficking, that they may realize the gravity of this crime against humanity.  Look upon the many children who are kidnapped, wounded and killed in armed  conflicts, and all those who are robbed of their childhood and forced to become  soldiers.

Lord of heaven and earth, look upon our planet, frequently exploited by  human greed and rapacity.  Help and protect all the victims of natural  disasters, especially the beloved people of the Philippines, gravely affected by  the recent typhoon.

Dear brothers and sisters, today, in this world, in this humanity, is  born the Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.  Let us pause before the Child of  Bethlehem.  Let us allow our hearts to be touched, let us not fear this. Let  us not fear that our hearts be moved.  We need this! Let us allow ourselves  to be warmed by the tenderness of God; we need his caress.  God’s caresses do  not harm us.  They give us peace and strength.  We need his caresses.  God is full of love: to him be praise and glory forever!  God is peace: let  us ask him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families,  in our cities and nations, in the whole world.  Let us allow ourselves to be  moved by God’s goodness.

Pope Francis World Day of Peace

Pope Francis has just issued his message for World Day of Peace on Jan. 1.

“All who accept the life of Christ and live in him acknowledge God as Father and  give themselves completely to him, loving him above all things. The reconciled  person sees in God the Father of all, and, as a consequence, is spurred on to  live a life of fraternity open to all. In Christ, the other is welcomed and  loved as a son or daughter of God, as a brother or sister, not as a stranger,  much less as a rival or even an enemy. In God’s family, where all are sons and  daughters of the same Father, and, because they are grafted to Christ, sons  and daughters in the Son, there are no “disposable lives”. All men and  women enjoy an equal and inviolable dignity. All are loved by God. All have  been redeemed by the blood of Christ, who died on the Cross and rose for all.  This is the reason why no one can remain indifferent before the lot of our  brothers and sisters.”

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A Priest’s Letter to His Bishop

November 6, 2013
The Most Reverend Robert J. Cunningham
The Chancery
240 E. Onondaga Street,
Syracuse, New York 13201 
Dear Bishop,
Hope this letter finds you well.  My purpose in writing you is to share with you my feelings and thoughts about this weekend’s second collection for the Archdiocese Military Services. Those who have experienced the trauma of war certainly do need our assistance for their full recovery, as so many do suffer with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  I have had the opportunity to both read as well as attend a workshop by Edward Tick, a Clinical Psychotherapist, who has done extensive work with veterans and PTSD.  The violence of war, as Tick notes, is a major trauma to the soul that no drug can effectively heal.  As so many veterans say “War is Hell”, raises the question, “Why as a faith community, by our silence and lack of conscience formation regarding war and the military, send our sons and daughters to hell/war?”
It is very apparent why this weekend has been selected for the collection as to coincide with Veterans’ Day.  For us, in our Catholic faith, the day also is the feast of St. Martin of Tours.  His story of conversion centuries ago is still a challenge for us today as Catholics.  Two themes stand out:  the encounter with Christ in the form of the poor, and the conviction that the way of Christ is the way of nonviolence.  Upon his conversion, he saw his military life as totally being incompatible with the Gospel and with life in Christ.  This insight prompted Martin to present himself to his military commander to request a discharge from the army.  “I am a soldier of Christ, and it is not lawful for me to fight,” he said.
St. Martin of Tours’ life and words seem to resemble very closely a talk this past summer by Pope Francis.  He said, “The true force of the Christian is the force of truth and of love, which means rejecting all violence.  Faith and violence are incompatible!  Faith and violence are incompatible! The Christian is not violent, but (s) he is strong.  And, with what strength?  That of meekness, the force of meekness, the force of love.”  
It seems as though two competing allegiances are crying for our attention.  To which do we honor – the one that upholds militarism or the one that proclaims the Gospel of Life? 
The Eucharist is the celebration of Christ’s non-violent and unconditional love.  It was on the night of the First Eucharist that Jesus said to put away the sword.  And then the following day, the Non-violent One, did not succumb to violence, revenge or retribution  but showed the power of non-violent love over hate.
These are challenging times for us as a nation and Church, as we confront issues that put the lives of so many people at risk.  We have to ask ourselves as Church leaders, “How are we to preach the Gospel of peace in a time of endless wars?  How are we to preach the Gospel of non-violence in a country immersed in rampant militarism?”  These questions challenge us as a Church to the spiritual and moral leadership we need to give our people and nation. 
For these reasons of conscience, I will be withholding the materials related to the AMS Collection for this coming weekend. I pray that we can authentically become a Church of non-violent love, that by our witness we will help lessen war and violence in our world.
Fraternally in Christ, 
Fr. Timothy J. Taugher,
Pastor
Saint Francis of Assisi Parish
Binghampton, New York 13901