Monday, October 31, 2016

Alert! Catholic League: Donohue's Role in FBI-Weiner Probe

  Thank you to Nina for pointing this important development out. VOCAL


Donohue's Role in FBI-Weiner Probe

October 31, 2016
Bill Donohue comments on his role in the FBI probe of Anthony Weiner:

Two months ago to the day, I asked for an investigation of Anthony Weiner on suspicion of sexually abusing his four-year-old child, Jordan. I was subsequently notified that my complaint had been honored: a formal investigation was underway.

Never did I think that my call for a probe might evolve into an FBI investigation into electronic devices belonging to Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin. I will explain my involvement in this matter after I offer a summary of recent events as reported by Yahoo on October 28 in an article (also found on titled, "Everything You Should Know About the Anthony Weiner Sexting Investigation—And Its Impact on Clinton's Campaign."

The article cites seven key developments leading to the FBI investigation of new emails found on the joint laptop of Abedin and Weiner.

The first item reads: "Weiner's third scandal in August 2016, when the New York Post reported that he had been sexting another woman." It goes on to say that the text exchanges included "an image he sent of himself lying in bed next to his 4-year-old son with Abedin, Jordan."

The third item reads: "Child Services launched an investigation into Weiner's parenting amid the scandal." It then says, "The New York Post reported in October that the Administration for Children's Services had launched an investigation into Weiner's care of his son."

My role in triggering the investigation is as follows.

On August 31, the same day that the most explosive story on this issue was published in the New York Post—it showed Weiner using his son as a "chick magnet" to lure sexual relations—I filed a
complaint with the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS), the New York branch of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

That same day, Daily Mail Online, a British media outlet, reported that "a ACS  spokesman said: 'In order to protect children and their privacy, ACS does not comment on specific cases of allegations of child maltreatment, regardless of whether or not allegations have been reported, are being investigated, or have not resulted in an investigation. It came after Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, urged the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to investigate Weiner for sexually abusing his young son.'"

On September 26, I received a phone call from ACS. I was told that my complaint has been accepted and that Weiner would be investigated. The next day, the same ACS official called to question me further. A week later, on October 3, FBI agents seized Weiner's laptop, phone and tablet.

Why did I trigger this investigation? As I said in my news release of August 31, "I am well aware of the plague of child sexual abuse that marks virtually every sector of society, including, regrettably, the Catholic Church. I am writing to express my concerns about the emotional and physical well being of Jordan Weiner, son of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin."

The political fallout that is now apparent must be laid squarely at the doorstep of Hillary Clinton. Had she not had her own server, the FBI would have nothing to investigate.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Archbishop Sample in Italy When Earthquakes Struck. and update.

Archbishop Sample on Facebook today October 30th.

I am just heartbroken this morning in Rome. Another earthquake has struck central Italy. Reports are that it was 6.6. I was awakened in Rome by the tremor that was felt even here. The chandelier in my room was swaying. But this is nothing compared to the destruction in Norcia. The Basilica of St. Benedict has collapsed. I was just there a few short days ago, and although badly damaged, it was still standing. Please pray for the monks of Norcia and all this affected by these earthquakes.

 US archbishop, pilgrims were celebrating Mass in Norcia when earthquakes struck

Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland, Ore., poses with Benedictine monks after celebrating Mass at the San Benedetto in Monte monastery overlooking the town of Norcia, Italy, Oct. 27. Archbishop Sample said he was preparing to celebrate Mass when an earthquake struck in Norcia Oct. 26. (CNS photo/courtesy Populus Summorum Pontificum) See ITALY-EARTHQUAKE-SAMPLE Oct. 27, 2016.US Archbishop Alexander K. Sample was preparing to celebrate Mass with Benedictine monks in Norcia on 26th October when the first of two powerful earthquakes struck.
“I had no sooner finished (the vesting) prayer to be protected from the assaults of Satan when bang: It just hit and it hit with a vengeance. It didn’t last very long, but it really shook the building we were in,” Archbishop Sample of Portland, Oregon, told Catholic News Service.
No casualties were reported from the quakes. According to the US Geological Survey, an earthquake measuring 5.5 struck shortly after 7pm local time and a 6.1 magnitude quake followed two hours later. Both were centred in Italy’s Marche region, not far from Norcia.
Archbishop Sample and other Portland pilgrims were visiting Norcia, the birthplace of St Benedict, during a trip to Italy for the fifth annual Populus Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage, an international gathering for Catholics devoted to the extraordinary form of the Mass.

Picture: The Archbishop of Portland, Oregon, Alexander K. Sample, poses with Benedictine monks after celebrating Mass at the San Benedetto in Monte monastery overlooking the town of Norcia, Italy, on 27th October. Archbishop Sample said he was preparing to celebrate Mass when an earthquake struck in Norcia on 26th October. (CNS photo/courtesy Populus Summorum Pontificum).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Soon there will be the annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) collection.

CHD morphed into CCHD to facilitate more money and open the pocket books of Catholic pews.

EWTN is still following in the footsteps of Mother Angelica and exposed this deception.
A brilliant new EWTN film unmasks the man behind community organizing and what has greatly contributed to today's chaotic culture.


A look back on the life, ideals, and works of 1960s community activist, Saul Alinsky, through the lens of a Catholic perspective.
Duration: 01:30

CC  TV-14
Thursday, 10/27 @ 12:00 AM
Friday, 10/28 @ 07:30 PM
Saturday, 10/29 @ 02:00 PM
Friday, 11/04 @ 10:00 AM
Sunday, 11/06 @ 12:30 PM

09/24/2016 National Catholic Register (short version)
Do you want an understanding of where so much of society’s problems originated and how things went radically wrong in everything from culture to family life to politics?
The film is no less than riveting. By the brilliant team of Richard and Stephen Payne, the father-son filmmakers who head Arcadia Films, it explores the life and beliefs of one Saul Alinsky, often called the father of community organizing.

Sure, he said he wanted to help the poor, but we see how his tactics were no less than wrong and anti-Christian. He deceived many and used and abused elements in the Catholic Church in the process.

Richard Payne explained that St. Matthew gave the filmmakers the classic three-act structure in 7:15-20.

Act One: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.” In this act we get the story of the rise of Alinsky, where he got h
is ideas, and how as a socialist/Marxist he began applying them to manipulate people and society.

Act Two: “By their fruits you will know them.” Was there good fruit in his work, or did it lead to a basket of rotten goods?

Act Three: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.” Here comes the assessment of the fruits which look ready for the trash heap. People at this point should be asking themselves, How did we get to this precipice and is there hope to back away.............

........Born in 1909 into an Orthodox Jewish family where the father was a successful middle class tailor, Alinsky became an agnostic and wanted to help the poor rise out of their condition. But how?
In college he took a social pathology course that, among other things, devalued marriage and family and ideas were constructed in Marxist terms.

“Treat persons not as persons but symbols,” says Alinsky in one of the vignettes throughout the film, punctuating Alinsky’s ideas in his own words. Actor Jim Morlino of Navis Pictures portrays Alinsky as that disguised wolf yet shows his sinister and dark edge, like a commentator in a 50s film noir.
“Life is a corrupting process…he who fears corruption fears life…” he says another time.

“Truth is relative and is changing,” he asserts. Get the picture? There’s a healthy dose of relativism already here in early to mid-20th century. Make truth what you want it to be at the moment.
In his sheep’s clothing he says again, “The end justifies almost any means.” And “You do what you can and clothe it in moral garments.”

That he did, we learn. It all sounded so good, helping the poor improve their lot. Who could be against that? But with what we learn are Marxist, Socialist, Communist tactics? 
Of course, he must have picked up a thing or two from Chicago’s mob bosses. Studying criminality on a fellowship, he got to known the ruthless Al Capone and then Frank Nitti who took over for Capone.  By his own admission, Alinsky said of Nitti, “I called him the professor and I became his student.”

In sheep’s clothing, Alinsky linked with the trade unions to help backside workers in Chicago’s meat packing industry. A noble goal to get them out of squalor. He befriended a Catholic who introduced him to members of the Church and subsequently parish leaders who didn’t spot the wolf beneath.
The Paynes reveal some telling examples of the way Alinsky worked among the sheep who maybe didn’t realize the philosophy behind the tactics he was about to use.

One of the good examples we get is the conflict when the University of Chicago attempted to expand its campus into a poor neighborhood. Alinsky got the chance to apply his Marxist conflict theory using division and deceit to conquer, casting the university into the role of the big rich bully enemy against his poor group.

As we get other examples, one of the experts briefly interviewed in the film says the organizing talk used was the language of peace and light, but all this was putting into place something different — a great evil coming in like a fog where people no longer see things distinctly. His idea to help the poor was good, but the means were evil.........

.....The Paynes bring us some shattered news in the way we learn a number of Catholics thought Alinsky’s way was the way to go to help empower the poor. One was Msgr. John (Jack) Egan who became a close associate and prompted Alinsky to write what would be his last book, Rules for Radicals (which is linked to Marx).

We learn that Cardinal John Cody of Chicago shut down the priest’s office when he realized what was going on with the organizing. But Msgr. Egan was invited to the Notre Dame University where he stayed for several years, working with five priests — four were Alinsky supporters — to form the Campaign for Human Development, convinced Alinsky’s approach was the best.

Msgr. Egan was appointed co-chair of the first Call to Action conference where radicals took over. One recommendation was training Alinsky organizers. At a news conference Cardinal John Krol said that “rebels have taken over our conference.”

It should be no surprise that Msgr. Egan up to a month before he died called for ordinations of women and married priests.

In this fascinating film, the Paynes are cinematic investigative reporters showing us how after Alinsky died, the organization used its Marxist, socialist progress causes to influence every facet of American political power and culture. Alinsky organizing has vastly impacted our society’s culture, marriage, family life, morality and even spiritualty. Over 800 Alinsky organizations are spread throughout American communities today..........

...........The film helps us understand how these goals have affected our society, politics (some top politicians were Alinsky followers. VOCAL adds Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama), media, entertainment, families, morality, culture and even, sadly, some inside our Church. We have to be aware of that. St. John Paul II called this culture of death.

We’re reminded the names of the devil are his tactics — liar, deceiver, divider, accuser, adversary, lawless one, destroyer. Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer. Sadly, and tragically, Alinsky said if there is a heaven or hell, he would choose to the latter where he could organize. We’re told not to hate Alinsky but pray for him.

Despite all this the Paynes don’t leave us stranded because ultimately, they said the film is not a political one but a spiritual one. The last part, beautifully intertwined with the delicacy of lace yet the strength of steel, shows us that despite what has been done to America, by seeing what we have to reclaim there is hope of restoration.

The filmmakers spell out the way with uplifting visual details that multiply the effect of the narrative line which Stephen Payne delivers in a way that brings the viewer to trust the facts as coming from a caring authority who is also a friend.

We see what are the true social principles of the Catholic Church, how to restore our country to a nation recognizing that rights come from God and our God-given heritage, and how important our Blessed Mother is in this reclamation.

The Paynes end as they began, with the story of a wolf — only this one ends differently.
Don’t miss this most timely film about the wolves in sheep’s clothing at this critical time in our country and world.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bishop "AMDG" on The Election, Catholics and Faithful Citizenship

VOCAL  - Here is a Bishop's hope for all Catholics.  The question I asked him was about handing out Voter's Guides as in elections past; non-answers regarding the Intrinsic evils, this year no mention of them, and Cardinal Bernardin's "seamless garment", which is giving equal moral values, although the "Seamless Garment" theory has been in existence since social activism began, it was first applied to pro-lifers in 1976 by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in Dallas.  The election of 2016 seems to have morphed the seamless garment of old by mixing up all the evils and assuming they have the same value.  This has been observed by many.
From Bishop AMDG: 

"In some ways we need not worry since both CA and OR are so deeply ingrained in the culture of death that there is NO possibility that our vote will turn the tide. The heart of pharaoh was 
hardened and I sense that the hearts of our Catholic people are hardened as well. 

This calls for, not more INFORMATION, there is plenty of that, it calls for prayer, mortification and penance that the heart of the unrepentant will be converted. I am not a believer that more or better voter guides would miraculously convert the hearts of the unrepentant. Are some people truly ignorant (that is, do they really(?) not know).
The Battle of Lepanto - Our Lady's Victory
                The present voter guide, Faithful Citizenship, is written in such a way that only the devious and the intentionally corrupt could misread it or interpret it so say that there is an equivalence of issues.
The liberal left will intentionally misinterpret even the Catechism of the Catholic Church calling it nonbinding guidelines. If they do that with the Catechism does this prove that the Catechism is what they say it is? 
Yet, if we say back to them, 'Gee, we were so sure but we see that you are right' then we abandon this sure and true document in favor of their warped interpretation. 

We tend to do the same with Faithful Citizenship. 
Is it perfect? Certainly not. But if we read it with the right heart and spirit then it is entirely accurate. 
Does the left intentionally and maliciously misinterpret it? Absolutely!
What then do we do? Wring our hands and say 'o, only if the bishops were more clear, etc. etc.' 
yet, even if it was as clear as the fifth Commandment, thou shalt not kill! they would still find a way to get around it.
Thank God for His Creation..simplicity in prayer.
They would then argue that the document lacks moral authority, that it is not infallible, that the Bishops when they speak as a body lack the authority of the Pope and the Pope has not issued any such document.

The document is intended as a guide for the faithful not a club for the faithful to try to beat into submission those who would not believe even if one would rise from the dead. 
This is why the document is more than adequate for those who are faithful but will never stand as convincing 'proof' for those who have no openness of heart or any genuine desire to know the truth.
This is why what we require is prayer, fasting, penance for these are suitable weapons 
and faithful citizenship will never substitute for these!"

"Carolyn: If people read FC with a faithful heart then I do believe it meets proper moral standards. Can it be misinterpreted? Absolutely. You may share my remarks acknowledging that imperfection is a part of our present human condition."

God Bless +"AMDG" *   

“The man of conscience is he who never succumbs to indulgence, wellbeing, success, public prestige and the approval of public opinion at the expense of the truth.” John Henry Cardinal Newman


*VOCAL - name pseudonym


Monday, October 17, 2016

Guest Article: How Our meeting went at the Chancery regarding the Public School's desire to push their immorality on Catholic chlidren and inviting Satan in.

VOCAL.  Some Oregon Catholics are seemingly censored by the Pastoral Staff and the Catholic Sentinel.  It is sometimes hard to get your experiences addressed. When things bring children into the mix, we are there too.
 From a reader:
"A couple of months ago, I and a good friend had a meeting with Todd Cooper and Jason Kidd. We are members of a group called Parents Rights in Education. You may recall we stopped the Adolescent Sexuality Conference (among other things).2015 Adolescent Teen Sexuality Conference at Seaside CANCELED. Videos for Adults Only
Often at our meetings, we are asked by our Protestant associates what is the Archdiocese’s position on this or that issue pertaining to the state’s invasion of privacy regarding parent’s rights in sexual matters. (Deep down they really do think the Catholic Church has Authority). We often have to say that we will find out. That avoids us having to say that they have no position or at least publicly stated position on these matters ( for example, School Based Health Centers dispensing contraceptives in elementary schools). 
Our meeting was about the time that the Oregon Department of Education announced its very pro-transgender “guidelines for Oregon public schools”. Most Oregon Catholic children attend public schools. So why doesn’t the Church speak out?  It is frustrating. So we contacted Todd Copper and arranged a meeting for lunch with him and Jason Kidd.
We actually thought we might get some help from the Archdiocese or the Archbishop or someone in the Chancellery. After about two hours, we left to return to the coast. We could not get an answer out of either Cooper or Kidd as to how the Archdiocese could help Catholic parents whose children were being subjected to the State Department of Education’s propaganda about transgender “rights”. 
Riding back to the coast, we finally looked at each other and said “Did we just very smoothly get sandbagged?”. It was like talking to a politician. Nothing substantive was ever uttered by either person although I felt Kidd was more sincere. (He has only been employed by the Chancellery for about two years). All they wanted to talk about were “processes”.  I think Cooper is just a  bureaucrat. I still have no idea what his convictions about the issues that were important to us were. Nice salaries, health care, pensions, hob nob with the in-crowds, etc. but not really accomplishing much to help Catholic parents stand up to the propaganda of the State of Oregon or the Federal Government.  The Chancellery just seems to be a small version of the USCCB. “ArchPrincess” Mary Jo may be gone but the stable still needs cleaning. 
 A recent example: A Satanic organization is now organizing to have a number of Satan Clubs in Oregon’s elementary schools. One is being organized for Nehalem Elementary School which is located in my town. What is the Archdiocese’s response or position to this group’s targeting of elementary children in Oregon? Don’t hold your breath. 
One of the reasons why Oregon is such a mess is that the Chancellery won’t confront issues such as these. Oh, they will tell you that they are waiting for something bigger to stand up to and they don’t want to “waste” resources.
If you recall, when Rudy Giuliani became Mayor of New York, he instituted a program of targeting small crimes, in effect nipping aspiring criminals when they were beginning to stray from being good citizens. It worked. During his eight years, crime dropped dramatically. Those tempted to commit crimes knew they could not get away with breaking windows much less stealing cars, etc. 
The Archbishop needs to take this approach. The immoral crowd running the Oregon public education system and the State of Oregon have no fear of losing the Catholic vote because there is no Catholic vote anymore. Up until the late 1960’s Catholics were a force to be reckoned with in our country. 
Then the USCCB began its love affair with Federal money.
Maybe the Catholic Church in the United Church should stop feeding at the Federal trough.  Then if some bureaucrat or agency or politician proposes something that violates moral laws or imposes such on Catholics and their children, thunder can again come out of Chancelleries with nothing to lose!
Many of us Catholics would stand up and cheer. 
Nothing is going to change with the Todd Coopers as the “firewall” between us and the Archbishop."  

James Welch

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Election 2016 Part Two - Email from 2004 and NOW - Between Todd Cooper and VOCAL

Part I

  "And it Begins -The Election of 2016"
Part II

Several years before the 2008 election, I had an email exchange with Todd Cooper who was the special projects director for Archbishop Vlazny. 

My concern as a convert was that Todd confused me by something he said, paraphrasing him, "We believe in a different Catholic Church  in Portland".  I knew in my heart, that this had to be an erroneous statement. I could see what he was thinking, but still feel it's wrong.

At that time the Archdiocese of Portland did not know who Priests for Life were.  So Father Pavone sent Catholic materials to Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) during the 2008 election, where I worked. and I passed them out to Oregon Catholic churches and some Protestant ones too.  Due to health issues had to retire from ORTL in 2010, and part of my job was Catholic Church liaison. Catholic education is the church's responsibility and I believe ORTL has stepped away from taking on this mission.

However, during 2008 was Catholics for McCain/Palin-Offical Oregon Campaign Blog was formed. (Click on the link and for a walk down memory lane.) ORTL was greatly involved and VOCAL began
Catholics for McCain/Palin 2008
as a political focal point since many Oregon Catholics were concerned about religious issues and had no place that seemed to listen during the election season.

The same question was asked of Todd Cooper in 2004 regarding the "seamless garment" that Archbishop Vlazny agreed with, it seems. In 2016 the same question of "seamless garment" was asked to Todd Cooper who is the agent of Archbishop Sample.  

In 2016, Todd didn't answer the "seamless garment" question" nor acknowledge or say the words themselves.  He didn't answer my last email, but I don't think we speak the same language.

Here are the emails.

FROM 2004 - (Yes, I kept it for twelve years. Also it was written in run-on sentences with no paragraphs.  These were added by VOCAL for easier reading.)

Subject: Catholics and voting
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 18:37:11 -0700

Dear Carolyn,
Thank you for the extended conversation this morning.
You asked for clarification on the question of whether or not it is morally acceptable for a Catholic to vote for a political candidate who is pro-abortion, particularly if there is a pro-life candidate alternative.
The answer of the Church and of Archbishop Vlazny is "Yes, it is morally acceptable so long as the Catholic is not voting for a candidate precisely because that candidate is pro-abortion, and so long as the Catholic has proportionate reasons for doing so."

You seem to be arguing that there are no proportionate reasons.  However, according to the Church, a Catholic in good conscience can conclude that there are proportionate reasons.  The Catholic Church preaches a consistent ethic of life, a "seamless garment" based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching which have their foundation in the dignity of the human person.  Any violation of that dignity is a moral offense. 

We make distinctions between grave offenses and lesser offenses.  Abortion is a very grave offense - it is intrinsically evil.  In some way, however, sin cannot be qualified.  Christ himself noted that "if a man looks lustfully at a woman, he has committed adultery with her in his heart".  We can break this down and say that a look of lust is a venial sin, while outright adultery is a mortal sin. 

The point, however, is that in some real way, a sin is a sin.  A "lesser" sin still requires the Cross.  We live in a world fragmented by sin. 

Abortion is a more serious sin than striking someone.  However, both are attacks against the dignity of the human person.  How can we truly separate the right to life from the right to eat?  From the right to receive proper care? 

We cannot.  And yet we do.  And we must, because we are not angels.  Sin has fragmented us and divided us.  But God cannot be divided.  The truth cannot be divided. 

How can a "pro-life" politician also be in favor of the death penalty? Or homosexual unions? Or "pre-emptive" war? Or no health care for "aliens"?  It doesn't make sense - it is not consistent.  It is not a consistent ethic of life.  Are these issues as grave as abortion?  Not in a fragmented world.  However, they are all cut from the same cloth. 

There are many "pro-life" politicians who do not have a consistent ethic of life and who are not even standing clearly and purposefully against abortion.  There have been 3 Republican administrations in the last two decades and abortion has hardly even been limited.  What is my pro-life vote changing?  It is not making the difference that it should.  

That is why a Catholic in good conscience and with proportionate reason can vote democrat.
I hope these comments are helpful.
Todd Cooper
Special Projects Director
Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon
Election 2016
NOW - VOCAL's return email to Todd Cooper.  Finishing up our email exchange 
from written in late September 2016.  "And it Begins -The Election of 2016"

Thanks for explaining why Bill Allen was not the go-to-guy to ask questions about the Oregon Catholic Conference.  It would be really helpful if perhaps the Archdpdx, OCC webpage was a little more comprehensive and transparent.  Having the members, I'm sure there are more than you offered, listed would be helpful for Oregon Catholics.

The laity needs to see that the Archdiocese has a cross-section of political views. We know the Church should be non-partisan, however in Oregon and especially in Portland, that might be very difficult when even putting together a webpage.  

By the way, the information in the USCCB website regarding Faithful Citizenship would be confusing for people new to politics. 

They need to know that "the seamless garment" meaning abortion, euthanasia, homosexual "marriage" (that they didn't say out loud) isn't equal in moral equivalent to the "sin" of littering.

Also, learning that Cardinal Bernardin's seamless garment isn't in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, should be mentioned.  

The loss of a person's soul isn't mentioned as something to worry about when voting.  That would part of the voting decision.

"The challenge for Catholics is to allow their Catholic faith to inform their politics.  In the case of many, it is their politics that inform their Catholic faith."   Your words are of interest and most people don't want "politics to inform their Catholic faith that is why I'm writing.
We all need help especially in this election.  

"If people read FC (Faithful Citizenship) with a faithful heart then I do believe it meets proper moral standards. Can it be misinterpreted? Absolutely. You may share my remarks acknowledging that imperfection is a part of our present human condition."

 Bishop Robert F.Vasa                                                                                                         
 “The man of conscience is he who never succumbs to indulgence, wellbeing, success, public prestige and the approval of public opinion at the expense of the truth.” John Henry Cardinal Newman

God bless,

Sunday, October 9, 2016

After the 2nd Debate on Sunday - EWTN's "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"

Saul Alinsky and the Catholic Church:
Still carried on in Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Buy or Rent "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"

Friday, October 7, 2016

Archbishop Sample's First Pastoral Letter to the People of the Archdiocese of Portland

I am pleased to announce the release of my first Pastoral Letter to the people of the Church in the Archdiocese of Portland.

"A True and Living Icon" are my reflections on the reading of Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, in light of Church teaching.

I pray that you are uplifted, educated and inspired by this document.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Happy St, Francis' Feast Day: "Was St. Francis a 'tree-hugger'?"

Brother William Short, a professor of spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, says the saint's thinking was more profound and complex
St. Francis Statue at the St. Francis Vineyards and Winery, Sonoma Valley. (photo: Julie Eggers)
St. Francis is often cited as an example of poverty – he and his friars worked and begged for just enough food and resources to survive. The saint is also known for his love of creation, and statutes of the friar adorn many gardens. He is the patron of animals, ecology, and the environment and wrote the Canticle of the Sun where he praises God and His creation.

But the saint loved God first and creation in its proper order, stressed Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., a biographer of St. Francis.

“He loved nature and animals, and they caused him not only to pray and praise God but to become ecstatic. Nature was a reason for him to praise God, and he loved nature. But there was no confusion between nature and God for Francis,” he said.

Fr. Augustine wrote the book, “Francis of Assisi: A New Biography,” published in 2012. “One of the principal conclusions of my book is that Francis had no political projects, whether for the Church or for the society,” he told CNA.

“In fact, the idea that he would put himself in a position of knowing better than other people is completely contrary to his desire to be a servant of all and be below everyone else,” he said.
Francis’ love of creation really points to “the Christo-centrism of his spirituality,” said Brother William Short, a professor of spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology in California.

“We can trivialize it and make Francis kind of a tree-hugger,” he told CNA, but “his Canticle of the creatures is a really profound way of understanding not just the presence of God, but the presence of Christ within all of creation.”

Brother William noted that there are false assumptions that Francis was eccentric and was purely a poet and mystic who was “vague on the details” and “not very well organized.” On the contrary, he said, Francis actually showed “very clear ideas and was very good at expressing them” and had “organizational and administrative skill” in founding three orders.

Another lesser-known side of Francis is the deeply religious and pious man who put a strict emphasis on care for the sacred vessels at Mass, reverence for the Eucharist, and obedience to the Church.

“The one case where he’s harsh in his deathbed confession is he says if there are any friars who are not Catholic or do not follow the books of the Roman Church for their services, they are to be arrested, put in chains, and held to be handed over to the corrector of the order, the Cardinal of Ostia,” Fr. Augustine said.

Of Francis’ nine letters, he added, “seven of them are basically dedicated to chastising priests for using unpolished chalices, dirty altar linen, and not keeping the sacrament in a suitable place.”
Claims that Francis excoriated the clergy for their decadence were false and circulated by excommunicates decades after his death, Fr. Augustine added.

“Francis never displays in any authentic documents about him or his own writings anything except absolute submission, obedience to the hierarchy,” he said.

“The stories about him humiliating prelates and so forth about not living poorly are stories that date to over 100 years after his death and come out of circles of radical Franciscans who have been excommunicated by the Pope and are against the hierarchy.”

(Thanks Cal-Catholic Daily.)St Francis Pray for us.