Stocking stuffers…

In case Pope Francis hasn’t given enough stones lately to fill your stockings, I’ll give you two more, on the house:

1) Cardinal Burke also removed from Congregation for Cause of Saints

According to this 19 December article:

Pope Francis made personnel decisions about another Roman dicastery today, confirming Cardinal Angelo Amato as the Prefect of the Congreation for the Causes of Saints. Even so, Amato remains in office provisionally, or “donec aliter provideatur”.

In contrast, the pope appointed Archbishop Marcello Bartolucci as Secretary of the Congregation on a regular basis. This differing treatment indicates that Cardinal Amato’s future in the Roman Curia, and at least as Prefect of the Congregation, is not assured. …

keep-calm-and-walk-the-plank-12On Monday Pope Francis removed Cardinal Raymond Burke from membership in the Congregation for Bishops, and today [Thursday] he likewise released him from the Congregation for Causes. Step by step, Pope Francis seems to be demoting the tradition-friendly U.S. cardinal. In Rome, that Cdl. Burke did not number among those who voted for Pope Francis [at the conclave], has been an open secret since April. [Perhaps less well known is his, ahem, nuanced diagnosis of Pope Francis, according to an informed colleague of mine.] It is unknown whether he has fallen out of favor with Pope Francis because of that, or because of his partisanship for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. For now [Notate bene, says a little bird!] Cdl. Burke is still a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, one of three dicasteries about which Pope Francis has not yet made decisions.

Keep your eyes on the plank, maties.


Catholic students support gay marriage Who Am I To Judge

“We stand by [you].” … “WHO AM I TO JUDGE? – Pope Francis” … “Pope Francis: Who Am I To Judge?”

Steve Skojec reports:

This quote from Pope Francis showed up on the signs of protesters and in much of the coverage of the story as well, despite the fact that official Church teaching on homosexuality remains constant. But its use signals a shift in the debate, in which Catholic supporters of gay marriage see, however mistakenly, an ally in the pope.

Whatever happens in Seattle, this is a milestone, both in the fight over gay marriage and the ever-shrinking protections for religious liberty. If a discrimination lawsuit is filed, will the school’s First Amendment rights be upheld?

It is almost certain that this same battle will be coming to Catholic schools around the country as other teachers in homosexual relationships, emboldened by [among other things] the support being shown for Zmuda, step forward.

Seeing as my recent post on the first gay pope has been appraised from one end of the intellectual spectrum to the other as–you might want to run and get your thesaurus–“stupid” and “sheer stupidity”, I think we should take a moment to put my point in the context of what I like to call “re-al-lity”, a mystery which the Papal Golf-Clap Brigade seems unwilling to pierce. For the re-al-lity is that Pope Francis–much to the praise of his soft ultramontanist roadies–has not only galvanized vast hordes of God-haters for years to come, but has also manifestly undermined the consciences of a proportionately large number of young Catholic souls–and thus compromised their eternal destinies. He is guilty not only of defective teaching on the matter of conscience–as I shall indicate in a post that, God willing, I am determined to let see the light of day–but also of the gravest scandal as the universal pastor (cf. CCC 2285-2287). He has, in the plainest fashion, given heretofore unavailable ammunition to the cause of the destruction of young souls.




Although he–the man himself–is responsible for this, you can be sure that we shall hear nary a word of apology or retraction about it from organs Vatican. In much the same way, despite Francis’s supposed iron-clad opposition to “gay marriage,” we still have not see one twitch of papal solidarity with the holy men who defended Holy Church from some animalistic lost souls on the “periphery” of the Church. As Mundabor puts it, this pope runs with the hares and hunts with the hounds (or, at least, with the foxes). Oh, certainly, we can count on a zealous squire to dig up some statement of his that sounds more Catholic than futurist, but that’s the point: he (like his cultish fame) constantly relies on the goodwill of his myopic minions to make sense of his puerile pablum, and to quell any sensible dissent as “gossip.” In the same vein, his much vaunted belief in The Debbil is, I aver, but a demagogue’s ploy, whereby he has laid dozens of conceptual booby traps around papacy, so that anyone who dares to converge on him with an attitude that doesn’t go to eleven on the Grovel-Meter, is assured a place in the lowerarchy of demons.

His attitude towards Moses as a purveyor of doubt, towards St. Ignatius of Loyola as an obscurantist, towards our Lord as a dissembler, and now towards our Lady as a biter almone reminds us in an instant of the fundamental problem infesting this “playpacy”: Whereas God revealed Himself as “I AM WHO I AM”, and whereas His servants should always analogically manifest His substantial stability and coherence, we are enduring a pope whose tagline might best be summarized as, “AM I WHO I AM?” After all, if he can’t get the unique sublimity of God right, why should we expect that he gets his papal duties right?

Stay tuned for more holiday cheer from Pope Lío the Great. I hope 2014 finds you as excited as I am about these intensifying birth pangs of the new order. As one ally put it, “When one organization absorbs another, there is always an interim period of parallel reporting structures.” Fear not, the politicization of the opposition will increase as long as Rome keeps playing dumb and erstwhile allies keep playing along.

see no evil


About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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42 Responses to Stocking stuffers…

  1. Proph says:

    I love that sign, “Jesus on Gay Marriage: ‘_______'”. Get it? We can’t possibly know what he thought about homosexuality because he didn’t speak on the topic! No doubt we also can’t know his thoughts re: the color of the sky his divine nature fashioned since, after all, his human mouth uttered no words about it. I mean after all it’s not like we can look at, say, God’s treatment of Sodom and Gomorrah to deduce his attitude toward unrepentant sodomites, no?

    What hubris has to possess 15-year-olds to think they just noticed something that no one, anywhere, ever in all of history noticed before them? That they are smarter than men like Thomas Aquinas who consecrated their entire lives to contemplation and prayer and memorized more Scripture than these kids have actually read?

    So what if Jesus spoke nothing about “gay” “marriage”? There is exactly one virtuous mean and a functionally infinite number of ways to corrupt into evil; what kind of brain-dead legalism has to make kids think they can take a venerable institution, tweak one out of a billion possible details, and then take Jesus’ silence on their new invention as endorsement?

  2. Crude says:

    “Jesus on beating the shit out of your wife for burning the roast: ” “”

    Anyway, Codg. A few things.

    1) Youth were already galvanized in favor of gay marriage – or at least, they saw support of gay marriage as the default – way, way in advance of the Pope saying anything about this. Just check the polls to see as much.

    2) I think it’s a bad idea to look at those signs and think you’re looking at the sincere thoughts of a group of (mostly female, I notice) people. They’re going to put whatever they can on those signs that they think is persuasive, witty, or – and this is important – will piss people off. A good portion of leftism is motivated by hate and spite. They do not want to merely oppose you. They want to make it clear, they dislike you.

    That said, I agree that the Pope – now, right now – needs more clarity on this issue. I also lament what’s going on with Burke. I don’t go as far as you do in your criticisms – I really do think you are wrong in a lot of your estimations, even expectations – but I’m not only of those who think all of your concerns are ‘stupid’ or something inane.

  3. Jesus said plenty. He just said it in the OT as the Word of God.

  4. Andrew says:

    Dr. Michael Brown was on CNN with liberal blowhard (and “Catholic”) Piers Morgan recently over the Phil Robertson kerfuffle in which he adroitly handled the Jesus-never-said-anything-about-gay-marriage line. It’s worth a watch.

  5. Proph says:

    It is the consensus view that Yahweh is God the Son, right? If so he didn’t just say it, he made it pretty explicit by personally nuking Sodom.

  6. Proph says:

    Thanks for the link. I love the fella saying, no, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is really about people being inhospitable. Which is of course why for 2+ centuries “Sodomites” referred to rude people. Sheesh.

  7. Sometimes it utterly baffles me how you can’t see how your comments pass over “criticism of things I disagree with Pope Francis about” and crosses quite clearly into “unwarranted disrespect for the holy father”.

    I still look to Fr. Z as the appropriate model for looking at how to criticize Pope Francis in a courteous and respectful manner.

  8. IbnYaqob says:

    Codg is a Bob Sungenis Wannabe. Nothing more.

  9. ErnstThalmann says:

    Why the focus on defense in the comments, why the perceived need to counter the claims that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality? The import of the article has little to do with the validity of the comments of the protestors, much more with Francis’s stated refusal to judge overt homosexual acts and how such a refusal has emboldened those that hate the Church. The problem here is much less the confusion of 17 and 18 year olds than it is a Pope that created the confusion in the first place.

    Frankly, I think you’re looking at the future of the Church in these kids. Here are Francis’s offspring. And the first meaningful test of his “theology of encounter” will come with his take on communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, a test faithful Catholics are very likely to lose. If they do I give you a solemn promise that the Catholic Church is all through. And no future Pope will be able to right the damage.

  10. ErnstThalmann says:

    Fr. Z is a wuss, son. What’s to respect in what’s been criticized here?

  11. “ATTENTION, SHOPPERS: A distraught child got lost in the store this evening, so please come to the manager’s office immediately to claim your child. We remind all shoppers never to leave children unattended. Happy shopping, and Merry Christmas!”

  12. I’m afraid of bears, not their turds. I respect the pope, not his scandals.

  13. tamsin says:

    Unwarranted by who? To paraphrase Pope Francis: who are you to judge? How can you know what it is Codgitator’s heart when he criticizes the Pope… according to the Pope?

    This Pope leads us into recursive difficulties.

  14. Proph says:

    “The import of the article has little to do with the validity of the comments of the protestors, much more with Francis’s stated refusal to judge overt homosexual acts and how such a refusal has emboldened those that hate the Church.”

    As I recall, “who am I to judge?” was uttered, not in reference to homosexuals generally, but specifically to priests with homosexual desire who nevertheless live according to their promise of celibacy and the dignity of their priestly offices. The media spun it as an endorsement of homosexuality in toto because they’re incompetent, evil, and wanted to use Francis as a blunt object with which to bludgeon faithful Catholics.

    So the kids are in fact relevant here, and they are relevant because they expose the vacuity of Francis’ strategy of making himself and therefore the Church loveable. That strategy assumes that people will hear the words he actually speaks, but they won’t, they will hear the words the media relays to them. In other words his strategy depends on the assumption that the media can be relied on to give his brand of Catholicism a fair hearing, which is (frankly) kind of demented. Hopefully he will realize this sooner rather than later because he really is empowering the enemies of the Church, and that he doesn’t mean to is small comfort to those of us far removed from the echo chambers of Rome.

  15. ErnstThalmann says:

    A distinction without a difference, perhaps?

  16. Wait, are you saying that the logical conclusion to Pope Francis’s comments is that it’s okay to insult people? Because that was my point, so what?

  17. Fr. Z is an extremely intelligent orthodox Priest who has made fair and balanced criticisms of Pope Francis. Codg…made some weird comment here about bears and turds that doesn’t really make much sense, for one thing.

    And I’ve seen zero indication that you have any respect whatsoever for the Pope, Codg. You seem to think he’s a nice man. That’s not the same thing.

    Your “who am I to judge?” comments here just serve to highlight the fact that you aren’t even making the slightest effort to try to get to the point of what he’s saying. Your conclusions don’t even remotely follow from his comments.

  18. “Here are Francis’s offspring”? He’s been Pope for less than a year. You really think that this is Pope Francis’s fault?

    Also, the distinction changes the entire meaning of what he said. How on Earth is it a distinction without a difference?

  19. As for Card. Burke, in all seriousness I think it’s rather a shame that he was removed from the Congregation for Cause of Saints, but then we’ll see where Pope Francis intends to go with this. Nothing has happened as a result as of yet, so no point in freaking out. There could have been any number of reasons for the dismissal.

  20. Proph says:

    With any luck, Burke is being stripped of responsibilities in anticipation of his being sent back stateside. I’d love to see him trade places with Wuerl, and much prefer to have Wuerl toiling away in obscurity in a much-reduced Curia while Burke breathes fire and brimstone into that degenerate swamp of an archdiocese.

  21. ErnstThalmann says:

    “He’s been Pope for less than a year. You really think that this is Pope Francis’s fault?”


  22. Then you don’t talk to people my age (I’m 19).

    Believe me when I say that kids my age already believed this stuff. I haven’t seen a single person say that they’ve changed their minds about gay marriage because of something Francis said – mostly because he hasn’t made any pro-gay marriage argument.

    Criticize for him for not being more clearly anti-gay marriage then – I don’t actually disagree. I DO wish he’s be more anti-gay marriage publicly. But to say he’s the reason for all of this is, and I say this from my personal experience, a joke.

  23. Malcolm:

    You’ve already expressed your belief that I am uncouthe and a hater. Repeating it does not make it true. I have admitted my harshness in the past and have dialed down my rhetorical excesses of August and September. I have the papal intentions right at the top of my blog. I pray for the Holy Father EVERY DAY. I have highlighted his good deeds and winning remarks (as if there’s a shortage of good press for him, anyway), and continue to do so (viz. not everything on my Facebook ends up on my blog). To claim that I don’t respect “the pope” is only to articulate your own blindness.

    What Pope Francis is engendering, largely without clarification or retraction, is simply beneath the dignity and duty of his office. No pope is protected from personal sin, indiscretion, imprudence, rhetorical defects, and mundane error. Pope Francis is making that very clear to us, and it behooves us as Catholics to “test everything” and “separate the wheat from the chaff.” I don’t need to hide the fact that I am often outraged at the damage and confusion that Pope Francis is sowing, but if I really had no respect for THE POPE, I’d go sede (as the Energizer Troll would like to portend) or just cease to practice Catholicism altogether. But because I don’t want the dignity and clarity of the papal office to be so uncrtically entangled in the astounding recklessness of its current occupant, I will not be kowtowed by a saccahrine conformism. I am not only within my spiritual rights (cf. Sapientiae Christianae #14-15), but also within my rioghts, if not duties, to speak out:

    Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

    §2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

    §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

    Lastly, note well what my Scriptural standard is:

    “Do not refrain from speaking at the crucial time, and do not hide your wisdom. For wisdom is known through speech, and education through the words of the tongue. Never speak against the truth, but be mindful of your ignorance. Do not be ashamed to confess your sins, and do not try to stop the current of a river. Do not subject yourself to a foolish fellow, nor show partiality to a ruler. Strive even to death for the truth and the Lord God will fight for you.” — Sir 4:23-28

  24. ErnstThalmann says:

    Years ago, Fr. Z turned his blog into a megaphone for right wing war-mongering. And when objections were raised, he banned those objecting. The man is a prissy, pusillanimous fraud. I have no respect for him or people like him.

  25. He may not have planted the seeds, but he is watering them, and he sure as hell ain’t doing much of any weeding. Kids love this pope BECAUSE he appeases the defective morality that they already hold. I was at WYD in Köln when B16 became Pope, and that was the high point of his appeal to the young. We’re seeing an ongoing and perhaps even escalating adoration for Pope Francis, not merely among the young, but also among the media apparatchiks. It’s not hard to figure out why, but I can understand that cognitive dissonance is a huge barrier.

  26. I had a long comment written out that got deleted. I’ll just say that I’ll stop sharing my opinions when you stop sharing yours.

  27. …Eh, what the Hell, I’m bored and at home and hopped up on red bull. I’ll re-write my comment.

    You’ve already expressed your belief that I am uncouthe and a hater. Repeating it does not make it true.

    When you are uncouth and “hating”, to use your term, on Pope Francis, sure, I say something.

    I have admitted my harshness in the past and have dialed down my rhetorical excesses of August and September.

    I’m not sure I agree with that. You say you did. Now instead of “Fr. Guido” it’s “the first gay Pope”.

    I have the papal intentions right at the top of my blog. I pray for the Holy Father EVERY DAY.

    Good for you!

    I have highlighted his good deeds and winning remarks (as if there’s a shortage of good press for him, anyway), and continue to do so (viz. not everything on my Facebook ends up on my blog). To claim that I don’t respect “the pope” is only to articulate your own blindness.

    Every now and then you say something kind of luke-warm nice about him, yeah. Respect him? Fr. Guido? The first gay Pope watering the seeds of dissent? What respect?

    Now that Catechism quote:

    …with reverence toward their pastors…

    And there’s the problem.

    I’m also not buying your theory that the only way to indicate disrespect is to become a sedevacantist.

  28. As for Fr. Z, I haven’t even seen him talk about war yet in the little over a year or so I’ve read him. Maybe a post or two?

    Now for that FAQ. You have said numerous times in the past that you don’t think Pope Francis is actually doctrinally false, just muddled and unclear. Now are you changing your tune? Because Mr. Culbreath thinks Pope Francis is not just unclear, or even sometimes incorrect. He believes that Pope Francis publicly believes and is communicating false teaching. That’s a Hell of a strong statement to make, Codg – and I actually respect Jeff for going there. Will you?

    Also, Jeff thanks God for a schismatic Bishop. I’m not sure if he’s the best role model here, as intelligent as he is.

  29. By the way, I am not Brock and I am not Ernst. It sounds like you keep responding to me and others at the same time.

  30. I know. Saving space – consider it a response to you only when it does respond to something you said. And I’ve been quoting you, to try to make it clearer (though I did mess up the html, unfortunately).

  31. I figured. It just got weird that one time when you thought I was Brock. heh

  32. In my defense, he responded directly to comments I made to you!

    …But yeah, that was admittedly dumb. Sometimes I’m an airhead, unfortunately.

  33. 1) Is this the line you’re talking about? “The evidence is overwhelming that not only is Pope Francis in the grip of Modernist errors, but he is aggressively communicating these errors to the Church and to the world – although, thanks be to God, without the pretense of magisterial authority.” I’m on board with that. Pope Francis is clearly influenced my modernist biases, as I believe I’ve stated before. Heresy is a PERSISTENT denial of dogma ONCE CHALLENGED, so it’s not up to me to call Pope Francis a heretic–he isn’t one–but it is my duty to call out erroneous statements and half-truths when I see them. And I’m hardly alone in this.

    2) As for Lefebvre, I wouldn’t say that I thank God for him, but I would say that I thank God for redeeming what Lefebvre intended, which was an emergency salvage of the Church’s patrimony. He was a courageous man, to be sure, but I am sad that he swallowed the blue pill and excommunicated himself. It’s an immensely complex and tragic legacy.

  34. That’s a fair answer, so I’ll drop the conversation on this thread.

    (As an aside – can you tell from the speed of my responses that I’m just a little bored and hyped on energy drinks?)

  35. Crude says:

    The dismissal is one thing. But coupled with who was appointed in Burke’s place, it’s disheartening at least. But, I suppose we should stay optimistic.

  36. IbnYaqob says:

    If the Pope makes somebody a Saint it is an Infallible Act. What does it matter who is on the congregation? Much ado about nothing. Culbreath is taking all the paranoid conspiracy mongering nonsense he stored up when John Paul II was Pope and unleashing it now that Francis is Pope.

  37. Branch says:

    “a mystery which the Papal Golf-Clap Brigade seems unwilling to pierce.”

    I don’t know what to do after a while with the Brigade. There comes a point when communication ceases because it seems to me they are not out for the truth, if only perhaps due to some unfounded notion of being charitable and respectful to the Pope as Pope. Let the dead bury their dead is coming to mind.

  38. Branch says:

    Speaking of stocking stuffers, I was going to ask my confessor if Catholics may participate in a Pollyanna or if that’d be too commercial, but given that Catholics have been doing so since March, I doubt it’s much of a concern.

    When I try to comment at most other Catholic blogs, I’m told, regarding anything Pope Francis-related, essentially this:

    So I’m grateful this year that Santa has brought me to blogs like this one.

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