May 10, 2012 — Zaleski’s Choice
Father Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski, a Polish Roman Catholic and Armenian Catholic priest, author and activist.
“The Church (in Poland) didn’t want to hurt the Pope (John Paul II), but actually, more harm was done by keeping silent.” —Father Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski, 55, a Polish Roman Catholic and Armenian Catholic priest, author and activist. Born in 1956, in Cracow, Poland, Isakowicz-Zaleski was an activist of the anti-communist student opposition in Cracow in the late 1970s, became a Solidarity chaplain in Cracow’s Nowa Huta district in the 1980s and also the founder of a number of group homes for handicapped people. Following the end of communist rule, he became an avid supporter of the renewal of the Polish Church in the post-communist period based on truth-telling about what had happened under communism, including revealing who had collaborated with the regime.
“I am only interested in the truth (Chodzi mi tylko o prawde)“ —title of Father Zaleski’s latest book, published in Poland this spring, which alleges, without naming names, that there is powerful “homosexual mafia” within the Church hierarchy in Poland (and also in Rome) today
“The need for truth is more sacred than any other need.”—Simone Weil (1909-43), one of the most original, brilliant, intense, and enigmatic thinkers of the 20th century. Politically, Weil was left wing and and active in the trade union movement and the education of workers in France. After the outbreak of the Second World War and the Nazi occupation of France, Weil sought ways to be involved in the Resistance, but at risk because of her Jewish ancestry, in 1942, after a short detour in the US, she finally settled in London. Determined to share in the privations of the people she had left behind, and further weakened by overwork, and overcome by self-doubt and depression, Weil died in August 1943. She was just 34.
It is, however, as a religous thinker and mystic that Weil left her most indelible legacy. Her relationship to Christianity was vexed and complex. She finally came to regard herself as a Christian, but, so far as is known, she was never baptised. George Herbert’s poem “Love bade me welcome”, introduced to her by a young English priest in the late 1930s, struck and moved her deeply. She learned it by heart, and would often recite it to herself during periods of what she called “affliction”. For Weil the essence of faith was not credal belief but prayer in the form of attente, a “waiting” on God. God’s wholly and holy otherness, God’s kenosis in creation and in Christ, God’s compassion — and passionate and relentless honesty — were at the heart of her “theology”
“Christ likes us to prefer truth to himself, because, before being Christ, he is truth. If one turns aside from him to go towards the truth, one will not go far before falling into his arms.”—Ibid.
A Difficult Letter
This is a complex, difficult letter to write. And I do not have enough time to do the various matters justice, so what I write here is merely a sketch.
There are a number of important things happening right now in the Church. There is the battle for religious freedom between the Church in the United States and the administration of President Barack Obama. There is the investigation by the Holy See of the American women religious orders. (Many note that the average age of the nuns in many of these orders is now approaching, or surpassing, 70; there are simply very few new vocations for most of these orders.) There is the turmoil in the Church in Ireland, rocked by allegations of harsh treatment and abuse of children, where the cardinal primate just resigned. And there is Pope Benedict’s imminent decision on whether to welcome the Society of St. Pius X, the traditional Catholic group founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, back into full reunion with the Holy See. The decision is expected before month’s end (and the Society’s reaction to that decision will then soon follow). There is no doubt that the welcoming of a group of 500 traditional priests back into full communion with Rome—and I intentionally do not go into the question of what that relationship has been up to now—is a matter of considerable importance, as these priests, and their lay congregations, would inevitably be a powerful group on behalf of a traditional Catholic position in future theological debates over the Church’s relationship to the secular world and over the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, which is another way of saying that there will be voices in the secular media and on the “left” ready and willing to denounce the Pope harshly if he does move to “regularize” the situation of the Lefebvrists. Forewarned is forearmed.
But there are also other issues, and three in particular: first, to simplify, is the issue of “gender,” by which I mean the whole issue of human sexuality, sexual morality, the nature and role of the family, and even the demographic question—and this does not exhaust the issue; second, again to simplify, the issue of the globalized economy, and the role of human work, and of private losses placed as debts on the backs of the tax-paying public, to the point of constructing an enormously unbalanced, and unjust economy, which may require our children and grandchildren to pay off debts incurred recklessly during recent decades; third, and once again, to greatly simplify, there is the revolution occurring in genetics and genetic research, which promises to provide great benefits to humanity, to human health and well-being, but which is also fraught with the potential to bring great problems, even great evils, some of them catastrophic.
The second and third questions will have to be addressed in future reports.
But the first question is worth bringing up here, if only in passing, because traditional Church teaching is being challenged in this matter in nearly every Western country.
A Journey to Poland and Austria
Paul Badde with Pope Benedict XVI
We at Inside the Vatican ended our annual Easter pilgrimage on April 9, the day after Easter. (On these pilgrimages, we bring a small group of friends, generally no more than 12, to meet with Vatican officials, including cardinals, here in Rome, and to visit places like Assisi, Norcia, Subiaco, Castel Gandolfo.)
On April 9, we traveled to the village of Manoppello, Italy, where, on display in the local church is a mysterious image of the face of Christ on a small rectangle of ancient, precious, almost transparent, silk-like fabric. (Pope Benedict took the matter so seriously that he visited the shrine personally on September 1, 2006).
Upon our return to Rome, we spent the evening with Paul Badde, author of an important book on the image, The Face of God: The Rediscovery Of The True Face of Jesus (Ignatius, 2012, cover image below), and his wife, Ellen.
Badde has made a significant contribution to the understanding of both the image in Manoppello, and the Shroud of Turin, and I think it is no exaggeration to say that the English edition of his book, just out, may mark the beginning of a new era and opportunity for scholars of the Shroud of Turin, as well as of the Holy Face of Manoppello.
I mention this image because there is no doubt that Pope Benedict has been calling ever more frequently in reason years for all of us to look “toward Christ” and, in particular, to seek “the face of Christ.”
And I bring this up because it is this which must be at the heart of our search now, as we try to find a way forward for the Church, and the faith, in a secularized world, which is preaching a new anthropology, a new future for humanity, and, in a sense, a new “face” for the “messiah” of our age, a “face” without a transcendent dimension, a face which can be designed, and produced, by the new “gods” of our age, who are, as in the time of the Caesars, only men.
After the Easter pilgrimage, and the interesting visit with Badde and his wife, I went to Poland, and then to Austria.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz
In Cracow, I met with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz (photo left), formerly, and throughout his entire pontificate (1978-2005), the personal secretary of Pope John Paul II, and also with Father Tadeusz-Isakowicz Zaleski, the priest who was silenced in 2006 by Cardinal Dziwisz because he discovered the names of 39 Polish clerics who collaborated with the Communist regime.
Here is a photo of Zaleski as a young priest in the days of Solidarnosc.
Image of the Czestochowa shrine, but not from my visit
I also had the chance to visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy, where St. Faustina Kowalska lived, and the Shrine of the Black Madonna at Czestochowa, not far from Cracow.
I was deeply moved by the piety I saw at this latter shrine. A German priest was celebrating Mass directly in front of the venerated icon for a group of German Catholics. Throughout the Mass, quietly, reverently, people, Germans and Poles alike, moved with tiny sliding motions on their knees along a marble pathway made smooth by countless legs, and then, having left the chapel, wrote down their special petitions to Our Lady and dropped the writings into little slots at the back of the church.
I asked that I might find some way to write more clearly and effectively, and to serve to build up, and not to tear down, to bring healing, not throw salt into wounds, to bring hope, not hopelessness, to bring understanding, and compassion, and peace, not confusion and condemnation and conflict.
All writing springs from a desire to communicate, to share, and so does this writing. One seeks the right words in order to send thoughts, images, insights, to a reader, a hearer, a receiver. One seeks to send news, bare facts, but also to send a context for that news, a way of understanding it, even by telling a story (or a parable) so that the words can be digested, integrated into a complete, balanced, worldview. One seeks to do this — so one tells oneself — because one wishes to serve truth, to serve understanding, to serve reason (that is, the Logos, that is, Christ, “the anointed one”), to the exclusion of all ideologies and all false gods.
And one can hesitate, before writing, or before finishing writing, and clicking on the “Send” button, because one senses, with unease, and with a certain sorrow, which cannot be easily set aside, that one has not given sufficient context, that what one sends will not serve to build up truth in charity, but only to burden souls with “news” that cannot be assimilated, that cannot nourish.
“Truth-telling” Pros and Cons
In 2006, Cardinal Dziwisz had just returned to Poland after a quarter century in Rome to become the archbishop of Cracow.
One of the decisions he took was to forbid a priest — Zaleski — from revealing information on clerics who had cooperated with the Communist secret services during the years when the Soviet Union controlled Eastern Europe.
Zaleski, a Solidarity priest, had been beaten up twice in 1985 by Polish secret police. These attacks came in the wake of the notorious murder of fellow Solidarity priest Jerzy Popieluszko in 1984.
By the late 1980s, Zaleski had decided to devote his life to a work of Christian charity: to helping mentally handicapped people, who were virtually abandoned under the communist regime. Zelski launched a Foundation and began to raise funds to create centers for the care of mentally handicapped people throughout Poland. Today, he has 30 such centers around Poland, caring for hundreds of handicapped men and women.
In about 2005, a friend of his came to him and said, “Father Tadeusz, there is a dossier also on you in the Secret Police files.”
“Really?” Father Radeusz replied. He had not known of it.
“Yes,” his friend told him. “Would you like to see it?”
Zaleski said he would. He soon received permission to have access to his own secret file. He expected to find only a page or two. He found more than 500 pages, and a video of one of his two beatings.
“I was shocked at the size of my file,” he told me.
He realized that some of his actions and movements had been followed by people close to him — by collaborators of the regime who were inside the Church. But who were those collaborators? Zaleski decided to find out, with devastating consequences…
The Warsaw Business Journal on June 5, 2006, wrote the following:
“(Konrad Stanislaw) Hejmo, (Michal) Czajkowski, (Mieczyslaw) Malinski — in the last year, three priests’ names have already made it into the headlines, as they were all suspected of cooperating with communist secret services (SB, Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa, the Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs). Fathers Hejmo and Maliński were close to the late Pope John Paul II, while Father Czajkowski was accused of informing on Father Jerzy Popieluszko — a legend of the Solidarity movement who was murdered by the SB.
“Last week, Father Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski, who was conducting research on SB agents in the church in Kraków, called a press conference to reveal information he came across while looking through the archives of the National Remembrance Institute (IPN). He claimed to know the names of 28 SB collaborators within the Kraków church, eight of whom are already dead.
“A couple of hours before the meeting with journalists, Father Zaleski was summoned to the curia and handed a letter from Cardinal Dziwisz, which forbade him from talking to the press about his findings or continuing his research. ‘As the illegal sullying of somebody’s good name is a crime and by announcing that you are going to reveal the names of clerics suspected of collaboration with SB, you have come very close to committing one. I hereby give you a canonic reprimand pursuant to the relevant regulations,’ Dziwisz wrote.
“Father Zaleski, a famous priest within the Solidarity movement in Nowa Huta, told the journalists: ‘I accept this decision in the spirit of obedience towards Kraków’s archbishop,’ but later added: ‘I have a moral right to talk about my generation. It is the generation of people who in the 1980s stayed in Poland, survived the times of Solidarity and martial law.’ This was a clear allusion to Cardinal Dziwisz, who lived in Vatican between 1978 and 2005.”
But within a few weeks, Zaleski published the results of his research.
Communist Collaboration in Poland
Many historians argue that a significant segment of the clergy in Poland and other Eastern bloc countries collaborated to varying degrees with the Communist secret services.
The Polish Church publicly apologized in 2006 for priests who collaborated with the SB, but has tried to keep their names secret.
Most researchers who have delved into the archives of the Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa (Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) estimate that thousands of the country’s priests, monks and nuns at the time — as many as 10% of the total — collaborated with the secret police to some degree.
The Archbishop of Warsaw, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, told an Italian news agency in 2006 that the overall percentage was 15%. The percentage was likely to have been much higher in major cities and university towns, some historians say, where surveillance was heavier.
When Father Zaleski decided to begin publishing disclosures in May 2006, Cardinal Dziwisz forbade him to do so or to speak to the press because it would undermine “love for the Church and Christ.” The cardinal issued an order prohibiting any member of the clergy from delving into Krakow’s secret police archives without his authorization.
Still, Father Zaleski published a book identifying 39 priests whose names he found in Krakow’s secret police files, three now bishops in the Polish Church.
The name for the collaborators was TWs (= Tajny wspolpracownik) “secret collaborator.” Father Zaleski found the 39 priests identified as “TWs”; four of them became bishops. Of the 39, 22 answered Zaleski’s request for comment, the majority denying that they were collaborators, and 4 admitted that they were. One, the Rev. Janusz Bielanski, resigned as rector of Wawel Cathedral in Cracow on January 8, 2007, citing the allegations.
In May 2006, the Rev. Michal Czajkowski, co-president of Poland’s Council of Christians and Jews, was accused of having spied for the secret police for 24 years. He resigned his posts and issued an apology.
Rev. Mieczyslaw Malinski, who had been close to John Paul II, worked for the SB in the 1980s. Malinski admitted having had contacts with the secret police but denied that he was a spy.
Rev. Konrad Stanislaw Hejmo, a Dominican priest posted to the Vatican, passed information to the secret service’s antichurch branch. Hejmo admitted giving the information but denied that he was a spy.
Pope Benedict picked Stanislaw W. Wielgus in early December 2006 to succeed Cardinal Glemp as Archbishop of Warsaw. A Polish daily newspaper, Gazeta Polska, reported December 20, 2006, that the bishop had spied on dissidents and fellow clerics from 1978 when he signed the cooperation agreement with the Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa (Security Service, SB), until Communism collapsed in 1989. In fact, Wielgus was recruited by the SB in 1967 when he was a philosophy student at the University of Lublin in eastern Poland, more than a decade before he signed the cooperation agreement. Archbishop Wielgus admitted that he had collaborated with the SB, on January 5, 2007. “By the fact of this entanglement, I have damaged the Church,” he said. He abruptly resigned at a Mass meant to celebrate his new position January 7, 2007. “A roar of shock arose from the crowd inside the cathedral and stunned many people watching the proceedings live on television,” the New York Times wrote on January 8, 2007. “The Vatican had announced the resignation a half hour earlier, though few had heard the news…. Outside the cathedral, scuffles erupted between supporters and detractors of the bishop among the hundreds of Catholics gathered beneath umbrellas in the rain. Some of his supporters shouted that ‘Jews’ were trying to destroy the Church. Anti-Semitism, long present in Poland, is a particular problem within some conservative branches of the Polish Catholic church.”
(Here is a link to the site that contains the information in the paragraphs above: http://www.eurekaencyclopedia.com/index.php/Category:Communist_Collaboration
It was a long and winding road to reach Father Zaleski. He lives on the outskirts of Cracow, in a residential complex set up to provide living, eating, studying and recreation facilities for dozens of mentally retarded men and women.
At my first glimpse of Zaleski, I was struck by his smile. It was broad and warm. He said he had a few minutes to talk, and offered a drink of tea. When ten minutes became an hour, he suggested we retire to the dining facility, and we dined on the same food as the rest of the community.
Now, the odd thing about our conversation was that it had little to deal with the communist past, and much to deal with the present situation of the Church.
“I have just been to see Cardinal Dsiwisz,” Zaleski told me. “We met three days ago.”
“You were just with him?” I asked.
“Yes,” Zaleski told me. “And we have come to a new understanding. That is very gratifying to me.
“He agreed to allow me to give a presentation to diocesan officials. I think he thought I would not influence anyone. And I gave a presentation. In the end, a majority supported me, especially among the younger priests.”
“What was your presentation about?” I asked.
“The present situation of the Church in Poland,” Zaleski said. “The situation is grave because there are individuals, and not only in Poland, but also in Rome, and in the United States, who are part of a homosexual mafia which wishes to impede the careers of anyone who is not part of this group.”
Here is a link to a recent article about Zaleski’s claims: http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/93469,‘Gay-mafia-in-Polish-Church-claims-controversial-priest
This is the text of the article:
“Gay mafia” in Polish Church, claims controversial priest
March 16, 2012
A controversial priest and Solidarity veteran has claimed that the Church in Poland is compromised by a “gay mafia” which “can destroy anyone” in its path.
“The gay lobby in the Church can destroy anyone who gets in its way,” claims Father Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski in his latest book, ‘I am only interested in the truth’ (Chodzi mi tylko o prawde).
The priest is not new to controversy, having caused a storm in 2006 by publishing research which alleged collaboration of priests with the communist-era security services.
In his latest volume, which takes the form of an interview with the editor of the conservative, right wing journal Fronda, the priest claims that Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, had specifically requested him to avoid homosexual references in the earlier book about communist collaboration.
When asked in the current publication whether “homosexuality is a problem in the clergy”, the priest replied that “the higher up you go, the worse it gets.”
He also claimed knowledge of one curia where “from the bishop down to the butler, everyone working there is of such a tendency.”
Isakowicz-Zaleski argued that “it cannot be so that someone receives an important position solely because of his homosexuality.”
He also claimed that during his research into the communist-era files, he discovered a custom whereby clergymen were sent to Rome when the Curia “was unable to cope with the homosexuality of a priest.”
Isakowicz-Zaleski added that “homosexual circles have always had a strong influence at the Vatican.”
The priest, who runs a charitable foundation near Krakow, is descended from a prominent Polish-Armenian family and is a figurehead for the Armenian Catholic Church in Poland.
When researching his 2006 book, Isakowicz-Zaleski says that after he found evidence of widespread collaboration by priests with the communist authorities, he was told by the Krakow archdiocese to “throw the material in the incinerator”.
When he persisted with the research, Krakow’s Cardinal Dziwisz – a longtime aid to John Paul II — condemned his “irresponsible and harmful” activities, warned him to stop “throwing accusations” and banned him from speaking to the media.
Poland’s then Roman Catholic primate, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, accused Isakowicz-Zaleski of behaving like a “super agent” himself, who pursued priests in a one-man witch hunt. (pg/nh)
How Others View Zaleski’s Accusations
Zaleski’s accusations have been, for the most part, downplayed. He is often characterized as “reckless” in making unsubstantiated charges.
What seems to be Zaleski’s main source, the communist state police archives, may contain false allegations, these critics say.
For example, the communist authorities may have wished to destroy someone by labeling him as a homosexual when that person was not, in fact, a homosexual. In other words, Zaleski often can’t be sure of his allegations because his sources may be unreliable, even intentionally misleading. In this sense, his critics argue, Zaleski may be falling into a trap, and damaging the Church by spreading and giving credence to these police reports.
For example, the website “VaticanInsider” recently ran a story on Zaleski and his claims by Marek Lehnert, a Polish journalist who has worked in Rome for many years. The essence of the “line” in Lehnert’s report is that “the evidence… does not seem watertight.”
Here is a link to Lehnert’s story: http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage/the-vatican/detail/articolo/polonia-poland-14114/
And here is the text of the article:
“A gay lobby is controlling careers in the Vatican”
April 4, 2012
This is the theory put forward in a new book by Polish priest Fr. Zaleski. But no names are mentioned in the work and the “evidence” provided by the Polish communist secret police does not seem watertight
By MAREK LEHNERT, ROME
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”: in recent days Fr. Tadeusz Isakowicz Zaleski has been continuously repeating these words from the Gospel of St. John (8:32). The chorus has not stopped since the publication of his new book “I care about the truth.” In this long interview, the priest, who during communist times was known for his unconditional support of Solidarnośc and is now known for the unusual investigative spirit with which he sifts through documents kept in the National Memory Institute (IPN), reveals — amongst other things — the existence of a so-called “gay lobby”. Both on a national and Vatican level.
Isakowicz Zaleski, however, launches accusations and then shies away: aside from the case of Mgr. Juliusz Paetz, who was forced to resign from his position as Archbishop of Poznan by John Paul II after being accused of molesting his seminarians, no other name is mentioned in the book. “Given the controversy surrounding my accusations, I will only reveal the names before the relevant commission which the Polish Church decides to establish,” the priest said.
This is a strange attitude coming from a person who claims he is certain that his readers are well aware of what and about whom he is talking about. “These things are universally known,” Isakowicz Zaleski retorted. “I demonstrate that one of the problems of the Polish Church today is the lack of transparency with regard to certain questions,” he added.
He believes enemies of the Church take advantage of the situation. This was the case when the identities of clerics who collaborated with the Polish secret police were revealed during the communist regime. And it is still the case today, in relation to homosexuality, which according to him is “omnipresent”. There are dioceses, Fr. Tadeusz wrote, in which everyone has such tendencies, from ordinary bishops to housekeepers. But no names are given; everyone knows who they are anyway. It is the same in the Vatican — because “the situation worsens the higher up you go” — where there is a strong gay lobby that guarantees the careers of its members, the author says.
The Polish Catholic Church, at least the hierarchy, is in no hurry to discuss things with Isakowicz Zaleski and take his revelations into account (thus fuelling the scepticism of the press which wants names). The only voice raised on the subject is that of Fr. Józef Augustyn, a Jesuit who for years has been willing and able to publicly discuss some of the most burning questions regarding the sexual conduct of the laity and the clergy.
According to the Jesuit, the problem of homosexuality in the clergy does indeed exist, but Fr. Isakowicz Zaleski has exposed it “in an ambiguous and superficial way.” The crux of the issue, he says, is not the phenomenon itself “which we have little power to influence, but our attitude towards it.”
The theory put forward in the book about the esistence of “a powerful sexual conspiracy within the Church,” does not hold water in the face of questions that spontaneously spring up. The author bases his theory on Polish secret police documents but the Polish Jesuit asks himself whether this is a reliable source. The more serious the accusations, the stronger the evidence needs to be, Fr. Augustyn added, saying that he could not find any such evidence in the book. All it presents are insinuations and fallacies. Not to mention the “dangerous generalisations”, for example, the section on the Vatican. The truth which Isakowicz Zaleski seems so fond of is not only to be found in information: it should also lie in the reasons that pushed someone to supply this “news”, the Jesuit concludes in the interview with Polish Catholic news agency KAI.
I asked Zaleski if he had any doubts about his allegations.
“Are you sure you are not making exaggerated or false accusations?” I asked him. “Where do you get your information? Are you sure it is reliable?”
Zaleski told me he bases his accusations on emails and written reports and letters he has received from priests and lay people all over Poland, as well as from Rome — where he studied 20 years ago — and from the United States.
Zeleski was born in Cracow on September 7, 1956; he is now 56. He is both Roman Catholic and Armenian Catholic. He was ordained in 1983.
On May 3, 2006, he was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, one of Poland’s highest Orders, and in 2007, he was awarded the Order of the Smile and Polish Ombudsmans Order of Paweł Włodkowic.
In 1988, as a priest of the workers, he participated in the strike in Nowa Huta’s Lenin Steel Mill. At the same time, he began helping the poor and the handicapped, together with nuns from local convents. In 1987, he co-founded charitable Foundation of Brother Albert Chmielowski. Currently, he is director of the Foundation, which owns a shelter in the village of Radwanowice in the suburbs of Cracow.
He lost several members of his family in a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Poles in modern Western Ukraine (formerly inside pre-1939 eastern Polish territory), has for years been fighting to commemorate the Polish victims. In 2008 he unsuccessfully appealed to the Government of Poland, stating that it should officially condemn the Volhynian Genocide. He stated that political correctness in Poland makes it impossible to mention these tragic events. He frequently criticizes not only members of the Polish Government, together with president Kaczynski, but also Roman Catholic hierarchy, such as Primate Jozef Glemp and Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, claiming that they have neglected sufferings of Poles in Western Ukraine and they do not protest when Ukrainian nationalists are awarded orders.
Before leaving Zaleski, I asked him how he felt about living and working for 25 years with mentally handicapped people. “Is it a heavy duty for you?” I asked. “Do you find it burdensome?”
“It is better than life in most other places in our society,” Zaleski said. “In the curia, certainly. You know, here someone says to me, ‘I love you,’ and he is telling the truth. He does love me. And here someone says ‘I hate you!’ and he is also telling the truth. He does hate me! There are no lies here. There is no deceit. I like living without lies and deceit. I like living with these people, whom the world calls ‘retarded.’ I think they are far advanced beyind most of us. They live a life in the light, in truth.”
I left Zaleski not sure what to make of him. Surely he is a feisty personality. Surely he is a fighter, as he proved in the days of the struggle against communism. And surely he loves Christ and his Church, especially the “little ones,” as his lifetime of work with the mentally handicapped clearly shows. But is he right in his allegations? Has he discovered the truth, or has he spread false reports?
With this question in my mind, I set out south for Vienna, where another case has arisen arousing much controversy and debate, involving an old friend, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn — a case that just today led the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to write to Schoenborn asking him to explain what has happened in his diocese…
(to be continued)
Fr. Z. provides a worthy fisking
of these dissenting ‘theologians’ (Jesuits, again), who would prefer the Pope define the Church’s agenda by holing up a finger to see which way the wind is blowing than to preserve, protect, and pass down to us the doctrine of Christ and His apostles.
‘Theologians’ blast US bishops on same-sex ‘marriage’
“I am going to drag you through a sustained rant about liturgy, punctuated by Latin vocabulary and Neo-Platonism. First, to be grown up Catholics we need a Mass for grown ups. Our Mass should give us thick red steak and Cabernet, not pureed carrots and milk for baby teeth. I want meat for you, not goop. Goop is fine for babies. Babies need goop. But when you grow up, you need more. You might be able to survive for a while on goop, but you won’t thrive. I want you to thrive through our Mass not just survive. Mass must be succulent, not insipid.”
another one of Fr. Z’s edifying ‘rants’
offering to help us “chew the marrow” out of prayers — both newer and older — in order to retrieve something important that has been lost in our Catholic identity by the “snipping and pasting together” of various revised prayers in the last half-century.
Liturgical meat, not goop
Seems that opponents of the Pope’s efforts to mend the Rome-SSPX breach, opponents from both the right and the left, are hell-bent on fomenting fratricidal division between different groups within the Fraternity. Lord knows the massive challenges involved on all sides in such a discussion. Another illuminating
guest-post by Côme de Prévigny
over at Rorate Caeli on the subject (May 13, 2012).
Der Spiegel apparently expects a favorable decision by Benedict XV, anticipated from a discussion of the SSPX response to the doctrinal preamble scheduled for Wednesday.
According to Gates, the nuns at her old school were delighted to hear about her plans to initiate a global contraceptive campaign and contacted her to tell her: “We’re all for you.
May 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – According to a spokeswoman of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, is “communicating with the sisters” of the Ursuline Academy of Dallas, following statements attributed to the nuns that appear to support billionaire Melinda Gates’ campaign to inject millions of of impoverished women with contraceptive drugs.
Diocesan spokeswoman Annette Gonzalez Taylor told LifeSiteNews.com that she could not make further comments regarding the situation, but that a statement would soon be posted on the diocesan website.
The communique, which appeared on Friday at approximately 6 pm central time, speaks for Farrell, stating that “in light of recent news events” the bishop “reminds all faithful that the Catholic Church is unwavering in Her teaching which states that through Divine Law, God is the giver of life.”
“Human life and the duty and privilege of transmitting it are not limited to the horizons of this life only. As Catholics, God has empowered us to be partners with him and through mutual self-giving be open to his plan for new life. Human sexuality and sexual expression in marriage are among God’s greatest gifts,” the statement reads.
“Artificial contraception violates the meaning of this gift. The mutual unconditional gift that a married couple offers to one another in love must remain open to render them co-creators with God in new life. Every Catholic has a serious responsibility to inform themselves about this teaching and to form their consciences in its light.”
The bishop’s comments come in apparent response to recent statements made by Melinda Gates, wife of billionaire tech mogul Bill Gates, claiming that the nuns who manage the Ursuline Academy of Dallas, where she once attended high school, were supportive of her plan to begin a global contraceptive campaign.
Gates recently told Newsweek magazine that she intends to raise $4 billion to distribute contraceptives to 120 million women in poor countries by 2020. She emphasizes the injectable drug Depo-Provera, which can cause abortions by preventing the implantation of a newly-conceived human life in the uterine wall. It is also associated with a host of medical problems, including osteoporosis, cervical cancer, and even memory loss. It contains a black label warning from the FDA.
According to Gates, the nuns at her old school were delighted to hear about her plans to initiate a global contraceptive campaign and contacted her to tell her: “We’re all for you. We know this is a difficult issue to speak on, but we absolutely believe that you’re living under Catholic values.”
“It was just so heartening,” Gates said of the phone call, which she says the Ursuline sisters made to her hotel room in Berlin, where she had just announced her intentions at a TEDxChange conference in early April.
Following the Newsweek story, published on May 7, the Academy’s president, Margaret Ann Moser, issued a statement declaring that “the nuns are “proud of Melinda French Gates, her dedication to social justice, her compassion for the underserved, and the great work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
“Melinda Gates leads from her conscience, and acts on her beliefs as a concerned citizen of our world,” adds Moser, explaining, “The mission of Ursuline Academy of Dallas is to educate young women for such leadership.”
While claiming that “Ursuline is committed to the moral and doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church” and recognizing that “Melinda’s beliefs on birth control are different from those of the Catholic Church,” the sisters nonetheless say they “respect her right” to “speak from her research and experience of the world we live in.”
The statement does not affirm nor deny that the nuns called Gates to support her contraceptive campaign.
Dallas bishop ‘communicating’ with nuns on their support for Gates’ global contraceptive campaign
What’s The Big Deal: Leaving Mass Immediately After Receiving Communion
written by Fr. Lawrence Adamczyk:
Mass Exodus: Leaving Mass After Receiving Holy Communion
While not as bad as missing Mass, leaving Mass immediately after receiving Holy Communion is still very disrespectful to your Spouse. Again, let’s use the analogy of Jesus the Bridegroom and the Church as His spouse. Leaving immediately after receiving Holy Communion, screams that you really do not understand what has just happened.
You have just received the God of the Universe, the One who created you, the One who died on the cross for you, the Eternal, the Almighty God into your heart and soul and you don’t even stop to say “thank you” to your spouse. You cannot have a deep personal intimate relationship with the one who loves you more then you can ever know, if you leave as soon as YOU get what YOU want. I have fallen madly and passionately in love with the God of the universe.
I have been a priest for about 8 years. You know what breaks my heart? For more than 8 years now, I have been standing at the back of the church greeting people as they leave Mass. It breaks my heart when people leave Mass right after receiving Holy Communion; and it is not because as St. Paul says that “we must render an account.” It breaks my heart because of the Book of Wisdom, “I…deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her is a little sand.” Maybe it is because I am a priest, that I feel so heart broken that people do not reverence the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Do they not know that after receiving Holy Communion, they are a walking tabernacle? What can be so important that one would not spend a few moments in thanksgiving for receiving the Almighty God into your very being?
But the rich young man, “went away sad, for he had many possessions” which were apparently more important to him that following Jesus. By our Baptism, we are all called to that intimate and personal love that God has for each one of us, it cannot be that only the priest has a deep and personal relationship with God. Fr. Pedro Aruppe, one time superior General of the Jesuits is quoted as saying, “Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.” Remember love is not about feeling or emotions; love is not about sex; love is about the choice to sacrifice for the good of the other.
Leaving Mass Immediately After Receiving Communion
I’m going to be at the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF) on May 26 and 27. It’s at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver BC on Saturday May 26 from 10 AM – 5 PM and on Sunday May 27 from 10 AM – 6 PM. There are tons of amazing artists attending, and there are workshops and panel discussions too. And admission is free! Here are the details.
I’ll be selling books, mugs, and buttons. Maybe even some original work. Stop by and say Hi and I’ll draw something for you!
And if you can’t make it to Vancouver, maybe I’ll see you in San Diego!
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Doug appearing at VanCAF
The book is an often funny, often incredible testimony to the force of a full-throated “yes” to life and family, even after a family has been broken.
May 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Bay Buchanan is not a mom you want to cross.
Pat Buchanan’s policy-wonk sister, once the youngest-ever U.S. treasurer under Ronald Reagan, Bay is well-dressed, well-spoken, and could probably handily cut you down in a live televised debate on trade policy.
She has just published a book that features herself on the cover. Ms. Buchanan looks crisp but relaxed above a wide white collar, red cardigan, and understated jewellery, not unlike her appearances on CNN and MSNBC. Yet for this cover, she ditched the debate table and is instead flanked by three handsome, smiling men.
These are the surroundings she likes best – the three boys she raised alone from the moment two decades ago that the political strategist known for her “rapid-fire retorts” found herself staring at a handful of divorce papers. When their father abruptly walked out of their California home, Billy was four, Tommy was two, and Stuart had not yet been born.
In “Bay and Her Boys: Unexpected lessons I learned as a (single) Mom,” we get a fascinating view of what Bay herself surely wished she could have seen that dreadful first day: just what happens when a sharp analytical mind and a truly indomitable will turn to attack full-force the problem of bringing three boys across the ocean of a fatherless childhood.
The results are extraordinary, and Bay wants everyone, especially single moms, to know that – no matter what the statistics say about kids without dads – it can be done.
Ms. Buchanan lays out a short list of the essentials: put the kids first. Strip parenting down to the basics. Give your kids a home to love. Rely on family traditions. With an unflagging determination to “love being your kids’ mom,” she says, these will get you through.
But she insists early on: this success is simply impossible under the illusion that single motherhood is a system that inherently works. Instead, it’s precisely because of her clear-eyed certainty that a father is irreplaceable that she says she was equipped to meet her son’s real needs.
It is a bittersweet testimony to the importance of family that stands at the heart of the book. That man, to her nothing more than a painful void in her life, was more than solid gold in the eyes of her boys. No matter how thin the scraps of that gold, she decided, they would have them all.
Even though friends pushed her to take advantage of her large extended family and great job opportunities in Virginia, Bay stayed in California after the divorce to give her boys a chance to see their dad in custody visits – which were often rescheduled or dropped – for six years. And her sons couldn’t be more grateful.
“What little time I did spend with him is more precious to me than all the riches in the world, more precious than anything, save time spent with my Mom,” wrote Stuart.
“Today,” wrote Billy, the eldest, “I would trade most anything for a moment longer with Dad.”
It’s a truth about family Buchanan couldn’t have missed if she tried. The product of a strong Catholic family of nine children, she often reflects in “Bay and her Boys” on her own father’s role in her life, anchoring her family deep into a home that flourished with strong affections.
When she describes the cluttered, comfy home her boys grew up in, although Bay acknowledges it’s far from the ideal of her own childhood home, her words betray a deep pride. She and her sons agree: however messy, however overrun with pets (the house had twelve furry additional members), their home was the boys’ sanctuary and Bay’s masterpiece.
“My house wasn’t just a building where I ate, slept, and loved. It was where I always wanted to eat, sleep, and live. And I wasn’t the only one; my friends felt the same way, and if any of them try to deny it, ask them how many days they spent at their own homes during the summer,” wrote Stuart. “And my house was hardly the biggest, or the cleanest, or the nicest. But we loved it, and that made all the difference.”
Bay’s advice on building a physical home was plain: “Design it around them,” she wrote, “and join them there.” She molded her home the way she molded her own life.
Throughout the book are peppered stories of how kids clashed with career – or more accurately, with whatever assignment she happened to snatch up in those unsteady years. One live debate in Texas on the impact of U.S. trade policy on agribusiness required hours of research that evaporated into a sleepless night with a vomiting 9-year-old. At other times, Bay came away the victor, turning down producers of the political talk show Equal Time offering a co-host position until they agreed to tape the show when her boys were at school.
Her honesty about these clashes is brutal. “For years,” she wrote, “I had heard so-called experts talk about the need for moms to set aside personal time and private space. …
“And every time I did, I laughed out loud. What were these people talking about?”
“Many professional women argue that they’ve worked too hard getting to where they are, that they’ve got too much to lose if they put it all on hold, that they’ve grown accustomed to the money their career provides,” she mused. “I suspect many are just scared.
“It’s a huge change for them, a significant sacrifice that takes them out of their secure world and drops them into unchartered waters. But being a good mom means putting your kids ahead of your career along with everything else in your life.”
The book is an often funny, often incredible testimony to the force of a full-throated “yes” to life and family, even after a family has been broken. Bay’s intelligence and intimidating drive focused like a laser beam on how to be her son’s mom, no compromises, period. An analytic precision that could have launched her to the top of the political map was instead poured into the title she valued most.
Bay, who now resides in Virginia, says that she hopes the book will fill an appreciation gap for single moms who feel battered by both sides of the aisle.
“It is indisputable that life is tougher for kids raised without a dad in their home but, for millions of us, that is no longer an option for our kids and we struggle every day to see that our kids beat the awful odds,” she said in an interview accompanying the book. “Surely, I would often think, there is a message of hope for us – an encouraging word or some guidelines on how we too can succeed? But I never heard it from the right or left.”
Ultimately, “Bay and her Boys” is a fascinating tribute to the power of motherhood – single or married – and a heartening encouragement to all moms who feel beaten by the odds.
“It’s our job to see that our kids make it. It is tough and, at times, brutally difficult, but we can do it, and we can do it well,” she wrote.
“Numbers don’t tell our story. We do. We are moms.”
Bay and her Boys: the story of a single mom, three boys, and the family that wouldn’t lose
It’s been a busy week. The garden, my work at L’Arche and St. Vincent de Paul, and today, laundry, have taken up a lot of time, and I haven’t moodled since Monday. But Simple Moodlings has had more hits this week than ever before. The picture below tells why… if you can see what my computer screen is telling me.
It’s not a great picture, I know, but it’s a shot of Blogger’s “dashboard,” which gives me all sorts of information about what people are reading here. It shows statistics of how many readers find Simple Moodlings in a day, the search engines that bring them, and how many views my posts are getting. It also says that I’m getting a lot of referrer spam from Russia (lit up in green on the lower right hand corner). What amazes me is the graph… all those spikes mean people have been looking at something… and the list under Posts seems to indicate that even though I’ve hardly posted anything this week, my Mother’s Day Short Story #6 is getting a lot of attention, perhaps because mom appreciation is a fairly universal experience. Well, for me, 185 readers for one post in a week is a lot of attention, since most days there are just barely a handful of readers, period.
Which makes me wonder at the world of blogging. I try to write a little each week for the entertainment of family and friends and a few sort of regular readers that I’ve noticed from the little Moodlings Map on the right side bar (the towns of readers show up there, so I can sort of guess when I’ve been visited by a cousin in Halifax and a friend on the BC coast… and I notice when other readers I don’t know visit from interesting places like Council Bluffs, Iowa; Neuwied, DE; Paris, FR; Delhi, IN; Dubai, AE; Johannesburg, ZA and lots of other cities and towns I’d love to learn more about). But maybe I’ve moodled enough that this blog could garner readers for a couple of years without my posting a thing! Not that garnering readers is my goal. I’m just having some fun here, exercising my writing muscles, and making a few friends (who sometimes leave comments, and often don’t — blast that captcha-word-verification-prove-you’re-not-a-robot-thingy that discourages internet friendliness).
This past week, I’ve seen all sorts of interesting places show up on the Moodlings Map. If I could, I’d love to learn a little about the people who come to visit because of a Mother’s Day story, and how you plan to honour your moms this weekend. Here, we’re having a little barbecue on Sunday night in my back yard under a beautiful, blooming pear tree.
The blogosphere may be a funny place, but at the same time, it’s a place where we realize how much we all have in common. Happy Mother’s Day to you, and/or to your mom!
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The blogosphere is a funny place
Since we “retired” the
apostolate, we have received numerous requests to try to reactive
. This could not be possible in the previous format of monthly meetings. This blog will be our
effort for the Faith. We see a great need for good, traditional Catholic fellowship, which is so badly needed. We will endevour to this to the best of our ability.
Our blog will be one that strives to be imbued with charity. Love of neighbour – and yes, love of enemy. We should be a “witness” for our Faith.
God bless, Montfort, Freyr, Santa and Barona.
Der Spiegel reports possible SSPX-Rome reconciliation by Wednesday