The Father of Our Family needs our prayers….

I’m not a woman to be messed with today, so please don’t push it or I’ll delete your post. Post anything attacking the Holy Father on my day and I repeat, I will delete it. Don’t say I’m repressing you free speech because someone else this week has already written on the sexual abuse crisis – so if you want to slander the Pope, do it there). This post is for two groups of people – those who believe that the Holy Father is actually taking a strong stand against the sex crisis in the church. You do not necessarily have to be catholic; just have a sense of justice. The second group are those faithful Catholics who see the Holy Father as a spiritual father, as the sweet Christ on Earth.

All I’m asking for today is prayer, mortification, and defence for Our Holy Father. Please pray for His intentions and the intentions of the Church at this time, first and foremost, and make your own personal mortifications – whatever is appropriate for your particular circumstance. Also, don’t stand by and let him be dragged through the mud by journalists, friends, acquaintances or whatever. It is our responsibility as good children to read up on what is happening (from accurate new sources) and disseminate accurate information about what is happening – write letters to the editor, read and don’t stop talking.

How appropriate that the Holy Father is being attacked at this time of year. After all, he is Christ on Earth, perhaps this is his Calvary.

Have a great Easter everyone :)

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    Comments: 88

    1. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

      I’m not a woman to be messed with today


      Read the Blog Above and you’ll understand what has happened here.

      Post on one of the other threads Chris, it’s not necessary here.

    2. BTM April 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      Awesome post Filia, simply awesome!

      I see that Brendan O’Neill, committed atheist and editor of the secular humanist spiked magazine, has written an article slamming the media for its treatment of the Pope, and its dishonest reporting of this latest scandal.

      Why humanists shouldn’t join in this Catholic-bashing:

    3. JoyfulPapist April 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      You can send your messages of support to the Holy Father at or a letter or card to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. 00120 Via del Pellegrino. Citta del Vatican.

      We sent a card with a nice picture of Wellington on it, and a message that assured him of our love and promised him our prayers.

      God bless the Holy Father, and our Mother the Church.

    4. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm


      Read the Blog Above and you’ll understand what has happened here.

      Post on one of the other threads Chris, it’s not necessary here.

      God Bless

    5. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      See above for details

      God Bless

    6. bamac April 1, 2010 at 12:44 pm

      Thank you Filia for such a welcome post.

      Am certainly praying for Our Holy Father and also that we can have a thread without continued attacks on him … doubt that that will happen though !!

      God Bless everyone on BF those who contribute and those who just read with all the blessings of this precious season .


    7. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm


      Read the Blog Above and you’ll understand what has happened here.

      Post on one of the other threads Chris, it’s not necessary here.

      God Bless

    8. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm


      So sad to see you are now ditching dialogue and discussion in favour of censorship.

      Is that the Opus Dei line on how to respond to this crisis ?

      It will not work.

      God Bless

    9. Filia Day April 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm


      This is all I will say to you on this blog. I don’t respond to you normally because I can’t be bothered with your mud-slinging and uncharitable hatred towards the Church – even though you carefully try to disguise it as love, “loyal criticism” or whatever euphemism you would like to describe it as.

      I’m not repressing your freedom of speech. In my post I have set a condition for posting, that is, support for Our Holy Father. As you and I are both aware that there is enough of the other stuff around to overcompensate for one ardent blogger that ain’t going to take any rubbish, so I beg to differ that I am not open to dialogue.

      I’ve left your last comment as a token of my commitment to freedom of speech.

      If you want to criticise certain decisions or defend the media, talk about the sexual abuses cases, do it elsewhere. I leave you completely free to do that but do it somewhere else, not here.

      Members of Opus Dei love the Pope, I am very grateful for elements of the spirit of Opus Dei that has helped me to grow closer to the Pontiff and support him with my prayer and actions.

      As to the way I protest your negativity towards the Holy Father, I am my own person.

      Let’s hope that you can offer a word or two in support of Benedict and save the other material for a more appropriate forum.

      Have a great Easter Chris :)

    10. Benedicta April 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      A worthwhile post Filia.

      Pope Benedict is a wonderful Pope and I absolutely love him.

      We shouldn’t be surprised at the attacks on him or the Catholic Church…after all Christ warned us.

      I read a lovely essay based on the book of Chronicles. From it the author concluded that in times of peace we offer the Eucharist and in times of persecution we are the Eucharist.

      There is no doubt about it that the assault on the Church through the Holy Father is at hysterical proportions.

      The victims are real but here at this time are in fact willingly or unwittingly ‘the human shield’ to advance anti-Catholic attacks and try to bring the Church down.

    11. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm


      You write:

      mud-slinging and uncharitable hatred towards the Church – even though you carefully try to disguise it as love, “loyal criticism” or whatever euphemism you would like to describe it as.

      I reject that as both untrue and uncharitable.

      True love sometimes requires saying to the beloved that he needs to shape up, as St Paul did to St Peter.

      Now is one of those times – unless Benedict XVI shows firm leadership then the crisis will just worsen.

      Saying that is not being disloyal – its the truest loyalty there actually is.

      I know this moment is extremely difficult and painful for many but that’s a necessary path forwards for the Church to be purified and healed.

      The only way to Easter Sunday and the Resurrection is thru Good Friday and the Crucifiction.

      We will keep you all, and the Holy Father, in our prayers, as always.

      Have a wonderful Easter.

      God Bless

    12. bamac April 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      I don’t know if you have been to visit either of the two Tyburn Monasteries here in NZ ? There is a candle burning infront of a plaque for prayers for the Holy Father all the time that Our Blessed Lord is exposed on the altar so he is prayed for right throughout the day every day by the good nuns and by visitors to the monasteries


    13. bamac April 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      God Bless Our Holy Father for showing the strong leadership as he has done ever since he was elected Pope…. your prayer for this intention have already been answered Chris…

      God Bless you and your lovely wife and both your children …


    14. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm

      The Pope’s prayer intention for the coming month:

      “That every tendency to fundamentalism and extremism may be countered by constant respect, by tolerance and by dialogue among all believers.”

      God Bless

    15. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      Abp Collins thanks the news media at his Chrism Mass in Toronto :

      We should be grateful for the attention which the media devotes to the
      sins of Catholic clergy, even if constant repetition may give the false
      impression that Catholic clergy are particularly sinful. That attention is
      a profound tribute to the priesthood which we celebrate at this Mass of the
      Chrism. People instinctively expect holiness in a Catholic priest, and are
      especially appalled when he does evil.

      As we look to the continuing painful purification of the Church, we all
      need in a particular way to give thanks to God for the leadership of Joseph
      Ratzinger, as Cardinal and Pope, who has acted decisively, fairly,
      consistently, and courageously to purify the priesthood and to make the
      Church a safe place for everyone. Anyone with any knowledge of this
      terrible reality realizes that Pope Benedict has led the way in confronting
      this evil.

      God Bless

    16. Scribe April 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm

      As we look to the continuing painful purification of the Church, we all need in a particular way to give thanks to God for the leadership of Joseph Ratzinger, as Cardinal and Pope, who has acted decisively, fairly, consistently, and courageously to purify the priesthood and to make the Church a safe place for everyone.

      Amen, Archbishop Collins. Telling it like it is.

    17. the blue nun April 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      And he also happily pointed out the the Pope has been acting decisively, fairly and consistently to purify the church.

      Filia, lovely post, quite amusing to see how people still tried to hijack it. My goodness do they know nothing about women who are “not to be messed with”? :)

      Have a blessed Holy Thursday

    18. Filia Day April 1, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      Amen Brother!

    19. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      off-topic – elsewhere please!

      God Bless

    20. Chris Sullivan April 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      the Pope has been acting decisively, fairly and consistently to purify the church.

      I agree, but I think he needs to go further and I think he will.

      off-topic elsewhere please

      “Repent and follow the gospel” is always excellent advice.

      And every crisis is always also an opportunity for growth.

      God Bless

    21. muerk April 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks Filia. I really appreciate this post. God bless the Holy Father.

    22. bamac April 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm


      You once began a blog on another thread ” perhaps I will be proved right …etc…. ” The fact that you have been proved wrong with your attacks on Our Holy Father goes way over your head … to accept that fact would indeed be a crisis for you, it seems to me, but then, as you just said every crisis is always an opportunity for growth’

      God Bless Chris , God Bless all,


    23. Benedicta April 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm

      please don’t reply to any comments attacking the pope – as I will delete them

      It seems to me that ‘The Gates of Hell’ are doing a bit of sabre rattling. Disturbing but a waste of time…as we all know from history its gyrations have a tendency to make more Saints…whatever happens our wonderful Pope will become even holier than he is.

    24. Scribe April 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      see above – please don’t reply to attacks

      Same stuff, different day.

    25. filias fiancee i mean boyfriend i mean husband April 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm



    26. filias fiancee i mean boyfriend i mean husband April 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      I mean see you tonight my darling

    27. Filia Day April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

      filias fiancee I mean bf, I mean husband,

      technically that’s off topic but I’ll let it slide.

      Sorry everyone :grin2_ee:

    28. JJS April 1, 2010 at 7:07 pm

      How appropriate that the Holy Father is being attacked at this time of year. After all, he is Christ on Earth, perhaps this is his Calvary.

      Filia Day I respect where you are coming from in this post, and I have respect for the Pope. But it is NOT Catholic belief that the Pope is ‘Christ on earth’. Pope Benedict would emphatically reject the suggestion that he is Christ on earth. To speak of the church entire as the mystical body of Christ is one thing, to suggest a Pope (the Vicar of Christ) is Christ on earth is utterly un-Catholic

    29. kiwiatheist April 1, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      I believe strongly that we should make a firm stand in defence of anyone accused of doing wrong who is being unjustly accused, but also against those who have done wrong and are trying to wheedle out of their responsibilities. I believe that there are representatives of both groups of people currently at large in the Catholic Church – despite your supposed higher moral standards.


    30. fishe April 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm

      I’ll pray that he still makes that trip to London…bound to be interesting…

    31. JoyfulPapist April 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm

      KA, we believe we have higher moral standards – yes. None of us think we live up to them. No-one on this blog has claimed to be anything else but a sinner, and you’d find the same in any Catholic group you went to.

    32. JJS April 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm

      J. Papist, regarding my post #28, do you agree? I completely understand where Filia Day is coming from, but the comment I quoted is a quite a distortion of the truth.

    33. Filia Day April 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      Hi JJS,

      Catherine of Siena used to refer to the Pope as the “Sweet Christ on Earth” and so did a more recent Saint, Josemaria Escriva.

      Have a great Easter

    34. Don the Kiwi April 1, 2010 at 9:14 pm


      The Pope is Christ’s Vicar on earth.

      So what is a vicar? A vicar is a substitute, or representative. Also, all ordained priests and bishops – the Pope is a bishop – by their ordination act In persona Christi – in the person of Christ. So, certainly in a spiritual sense, the Pope is the visible presence of Christ on earth.

    35. JJS April 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      Filia Day, fair enough, and Don, point taken. I certainly don’t want to start a semantic argument, but I believe that talking about Benedict as Christ on earth and this crisis as his Calvary is such a strong way of putting it that even constructive criticism becomes impossible. I think Pope Benedict is clearly horrified by what some individuals did, but we shouldn’t speak of him in terms that make criticism impossible.

      A good Easter to you to

    36. JoyfulPapist April 1, 2010 at 9:42 pm

      JJS, Don, Filia – I understand the links, the symbolism and the metaphors; I know it was an expression used by my Avatar’s original (though I suspect she, with peasant good sense, used it to call her particular Pope to order).

      Yes, the Pope, as vicar of Christ, stands in Christ’s place until he comes again. And – in that same realm – every priest, when he offers the Mass, has the hands of Christ.

      But hearing the Pope called ‘sweet Christ on Earth’ makes all the genes I’ve inherited from my protestant ancestors wince. I know they’d just hear the words and not understand the deep spiritual meaning that goes with it.

    37. JJS April 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm

      J. Papist, as I said in an earlier post I am attending mass again and you can regard me as a liberal Catholic rather than an atheist, I don’t feel comfortable with the terminology either, I guess there is a genuine difficulty in terms of how we think of the Pope, he is the Pope but he is also a member of our church.

    38. JoyfulPapist April 1, 2010 at 9:53 pm

      Did I wish you a welcome home, JJS? I do welcome you, and I’m sure our other commenters do, too.

      What a wonderful time of year to reconnect with the liturgical Church!

    39. JJS April 1, 2010 at 9:54 pm

      Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, liberal Catholics are even worse than atheists I’m told :-)

    40. JJS April 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks J. Papist, I must say our Anglican friend C.S Lewis played a role in convincing me to return. I am still a critic of thechurch heirachy, and believe certain (non essential) traditional beliefs are not to be taken literally so we will still have plenty to argue about! And yes, going to mass for the first time in years in the final stage of lent was quite powerful

    41. JoyfulPapist April 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm

      Indeed! Take a chair, have a cup of tea, and let’s share, as I say to any Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons unwise enough to venture down our long driveway. :-)

      (Oddly enough, they seldom come twice. Do you think it’s the tea?)

    42. JJS April 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      I’m sure it’s the tea :-)

      I wonder if being a convert, rather than a returning cradle Catholic doesn’t give you a different perspective? For instance I believe in the resurrection but am not convinced by the assumption. Strictly speaking a Catholic shouldn’t pick and choose, but given that it’s the faith of my family going back to St Patrick… know what I mean?

    43. the blue nun April 2, 2010 at 12:24 am

      JJS: Welcome home! Enjoy the Easter season and all the blessing which come with it! And glad to here there will be things to debate, life just isn’t as much fun without people to argue with :)

    44. JoyfulPapist April 2, 2010 at 7:24 am

      Continuing this offtopic aside – sorry Filia. :-)

      JJS, I think being a convert gives me a different perspective – and I’ve noticed the same thing in other converts.

      The biggest question I had to resolve before ‘crossing the Tiber’ was whether or not the Church had teaching authority. Once I’d accepted that, accepting what the Church taught was a given.

      Even so, while I assented to all Catholic teaching when I became a Catholic, I didn’t intellectually accept the Mariological doctrines for about 20 years. It took that long because I didn’t try to understand them – there was lots else to think about. But once I faced them square on, I began to see how every single one points to Christ and tells us something else about Him and about God’s divine plan for us. I now believe them to be a an integral part of the economy of salvation not just because the Church teaches me so, but because I see what they mean.

    45. JoyfulPapist April 2, 2010 at 7:53 am

      Back on topic, Filia, can I recommend this delightful video from Spain – it was on the site that BTM recommended on the thread that shall not be repeated here.

      It’s called “Do you know Pope Benedict XVI?” – hand-drawn facts and images about the Pope set to music. Did you know he has over 200 publications to his name?

      Also this one, stills of the Pope set to the music “I will survive”.

      God bless our dear Holy Father.

    46. kiwiatheist April 2, 2010 at 8:21 am


      C S Lewis has much to say that is simply wrong and misguided, but that’s an argument for another day. I was particularly interested in this statement of yours:

      Strictly speaking a Catholic shouldn’t pick and choose

      But that’s what the guys on this blog do all the time. Don’t you see that? They choose whether to accept the stoning of an adulterous woman or the killing of a misbehaving child (or not) versus the unfounded belief that Mary was a literal virgin and never had sexual relations with her husband (to name but a very few). They try very hard to square the circle by calling the bits they don’t like ‘metaphorical’ or ‘poetical’ and the bits they do like ‘the word of god’. Although I dislike the position of the fundamentalist Christian on the authenticity/relevancy/teaching of the bible, I think the position of the CC on scripture is simply disingenuous. Now I have a feeling that JP will come back with the sola scriptura argument, but that just doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.


    47. JoyfulPapist April 2, 2010 at 8:40 am

      KA, another quote from that renowned biblical theologian, +++BXVI:

      For the catholic Christian, two lines of essential hermeneutic orientation assert themselves here. The first: we trust Scripture and we base ourselves on Scripture, not on hypothetical reconstructions which go behind it and, according to their own taste, reconstruct a history in which the presumptious idea of our knowing what can or can not be attributed to Jesus plays a key role; which, of course, means attributing to him only what a modern scholar is happy to attribute to a man belonging to a time which the scholar himself has reconstructed.

      The second is that we read Scripture in the living community of the Church, and therefore on the basis of the fundamental decisions thanks to which it has become historically efficacious, namely, those which laid the foundations of the Church. One must not separate the text from this living context. In this sense, Scripture and Tradition form an inseparable whole, and it is this that Luther, at the dawn of the awakening of historical awareness, could not see.

    48. JoyfulPapist April 2, 2010 at 8:44 am

      And another one:

      This Scripture …developed with people who were traveling together on the journey of the People of God and thus, their words are expressions of this journey, of this reciprocity of God’s call and the human response.

      Thus, the subject lives today as it lived at that time so that Scripture does not belong to the past, because its subject, the People of God inspired by this same God, is always the same, and therefore the Word is always alive in the living subject.

      It is consequently important to read Sacred Scripture and experience Sacred Scripture in the communion of the Church, that is, with all the great witnesses of this Word, beginning with the first Fathers and ending with today’s Saints, with today’s Magisterium.

      Interpretation is an ongoing journey – to be done and redone in every generation. We will always have something to argue about (at least until Christ comes again). But we argue from within the teachings of the Church.

    49. JJS April 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

      The first: we trust Scripture and we base ourselves on Scripture, not on hypothetical reconstructions which go behind it and, according to their own taste, reconstruct a history in which the presumptious idea of our knowing what can or can not be attributed to Jesus plays a key role; which, of course, means attributing to him only what a modern scholar is happy to attribute to a man belonging to a time which the scholar himself has reconstructed.

      This is a very problematical statement. It is a false dichotomy to say we choose either scripture or reconstruction.
      Pick up, say, Mark, and read his gospel. Your understanding of the narrative is a reconstruction, either more, or less, disciplined by historical knowledge. Any reader has to work with certain basic assumptions to understand whats going on. For a 21st century reader to try and make the right assumptions about the first century is by definition reconstruction. Any reader of Mark has to (at least implicitly) have an answer to questions such as the following… the quality of their answer determines the quality of their reconstruction, and that goes for everybody.
      What symbolism would those present have recognised in the feeding of the multitude?
      What relationship did a Jew from Galilee have with the temple in Jerusalem?
      Who were the Pharisees and how diverse were their views?
      How does one understand the term ‘Son of Man’? How is it related to the use of the term in Daniel?

      In the end we have only two choices when we read the gospels, we can attempt to read them in the light of our best attempt at reconstruction, or we can read without looking behind the texts at all, but that way leads to pure relativism.

    50. Leaf April 2, 2010 at 10:43 am

      Thanks JP for the youtube videos of Pope Benedict. I love them!

      It wasn’t until WYD that it dawned on me how real the Pope is, before then he had just been a figurehead. This realisation came as soon as he said “in the name of the Father, and of the Son…” – his voice was so gentle and his accent very appealing! I was very proud to be a Catholic while in Sydney.

      Perhaps a world ‘youth’ day for all ages would help restore the faith of those who have been disillusioned with the church over the recent scandals… :-)

      Happy Easter everyone!!

    51. JoyfulPapist April 2, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      JJS, you’ve read into that something I didn’t see there – I didn’t see him as offering an either/or choice but as proposing a set of steps.

      Elsewhere, he talks about the gifts from modern findings about biblical times – so he isn’t suggesting at all that we don’t try to understand the context in which the words were written; just that we try not to select meanings based solely on our own preconceptions. And then that we also take the next step, which is to understand how the church has read that passage down through the ages. Beyond that there are other steps – but the Pope has written 200 books and given countless speeches and sermons; two paragraphs doesn’t begin to cover it.

    52. Don the Kiwi April 2, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      Welcome home JJS.

      There is nothing wrong with being critical of the hierarchy, or any other matter as far as that is concerned, as long as the critique is positive. It gives opportunity for learning and understanding what may not have been clear previously. Even the proclaimed dogmas of the Church, it is reasonable to question, for from that comes learning and understanding also. For instance, your lack of belief in the Assumption – remember that the proclaimed Marian dogmas ( five) all point to a truth about Christ. Remove the dogma, you diminish the fullness of faith in Jesus, so there’s nothing wrong in asking the question, or providing your critique of why you believe what you do.

    53. Chris Sullivan April 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm


      Welcome home!

      One aspect of the assumption is its expression of the reality that Jesus is present to all of us, in a variety of ways.

      Perhaps that might help with the dogma ?

      God Bless

    54. JJS April 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm

      Chris I’m not sure quite what you mean? How does the assumption express the presence of Christ in us all? (I’m not saying it doesn’t, I’m really not sure quite what you’re getting at)

    55. Chris Sullivan April 3, 2010 at 4:15 am


      Mary is present to us in a variety of ways, as mediatrix of all graces.

      This doesn’t tend to mean a whole lot to us until we enter into a close, intimate, and personal relationship with her. Once we do, a new door opens in our faith journey.

      Deleted material – off topic

      God Bless

    56. JoyfulPapist April 3, 2010 at 5:43 am

      Chris, just a word of advice before Filia deletes your third paragraph. The second sentence contains a judgement that is your personal opinion, is offensive in the context of this particular blog thread, and adds insult to insult by using the Pope’s given surname without any honorific.

      I’m not sure what you’re saying in the third secntence of that paragraph – given that Archbishop Dew is not a cardinal, and that you then name two. Many people – bishops, cardinals and laity – around the world have a clue how to respond. An uncharitable person might see that as further evidence that you are trolling around the edges of this crisis looking for opportunities to put the boot in.

      Yes, I know – this is what you call ‘loving criticism’. I’ve seen plenty of criticism from you towards the Pope – but not much love.

      God bless

    57. JoyfulPapist April 3, 2010 at 6:12 am

      Editorial from the NCR – says it all, I think:

      If Pope Benedict resigns tomorrow, and if the cardinals huddle in the Sistine Chapel two weeks later to choose his successor, it’s clear to us that something very surprising would happen: As the white smoke wafts over St. Peter’s Square, Joseph Ratzinger would be re-elected.

      Read the article for the reasons why they say that:

    58. dave morgan April 3, 2010 at 9:49 am

      morning cobbers,


      from fr z,

      “There is a spectacular examination of the recent attacks on Pope Benedict – the Pope of Christian Unity – and on the Church by a LUTHERAN theologian on a Lutheran site, Logia, a Lutheran theological journal.”

      here’s the link to fr z’s commentary on the lutheran article

      archbishop defends pope

      also, article here

      there’s also this:

      Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, in defense of the pope, told ORF Austrian television on Sunday that Benedict wanted a full probe when former Vienna Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer was removed in 1995 for alleged sexual abuse of a boy.

      But other Curia officials persuaded then Pope John Paul that the media had exaggerated the case and an inquiry would only create more bad publicity.

      “He told me, ‘the other side won’,” Schoenborn said.

      and a good summary of the recent attacks here

      filia, thanks for your great post
      thanks also for editing our local pope attacker



    59. Dr Chris Pemberton April 3, 2010 at 10:02 am

      JJS in 49

      there is a crucial word in that quote from Benedict XVI: hypothetical…and when that is considered, might you find it not so problematic?

      Theologians are very careful with words. More careful than bloggers and journalists :D

    60. bamac April 3, 2010 at 10:30 am


      Indeed welcome home…. what a wonderful time to come home as you say awsome

      Looking back some sixty years ago to my school days ,I remember we had the Assumption explained to us in rather simple but ,what we felt, understandable way …. maybe it would help for it has always stayed with this old girl and helped me over the years.

      Mary was chosen by the Father to be the mother of His only son, Mary conceived Jesus through the action of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus grew towards His birth He took his blood , bones and nourishment from His mother, nourishment which continued after His birth….. with so much love from all the three persons of the Blessed Trinity why would They want that mother’s body to rot in a grave.. They used their power to take her body and soul into Heaven to be with them for Eternity . When Christ was dying on the cross He gave us His mother to be our mother through the person of St John … from her position in heaven she helps us, her children, to grow ever closer to God ….. if we ask God He will help us to build that close relationship with our mother Mary that Chris mentioned above. I pray that you will come to know her and thus to grow with her help.

      God Blee


    61. kiwiatheist April 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

      You know, I just don’t get this whole Mary thing. It’s a Catholic invention of the 3rd (?) century and nothing else. How you guys can believe such baloney worries me sometimes!

      Happy Ostara


    62. bamac April 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm


      Christians get that name because they follow Christ, right? If we follow Christ should we ignore his mother whom He loved and spent the bigger part of His life with?

      Shalomand many Easter blessings KA


    63. kiwiatheist April 3, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      Mrs B,

      Yes, absolutely you should ignore his mother, just like you ignore his father and the rest of his family.


    64. bamac April 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm

      How do you work out that I ignore His father and the rest of His family?

      By the way it is Mrs Mac.

    65. bamac April 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

      Sorry KA for a moment I thought you were serious!


    66. kiwiatheist April 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      Well, actually Mrs Mac, I am deadly serious. You (and when I say you, I don’t mean ‘you’, I mean Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular) don’t pay the same attention to the man who brought him up (his father), nor to his siblings. Why should his mother be any different? The way Catholics treat Mary is almost idolatrous – let’s face it, there are statues of Mary all over the Catholic Church aren’t there?


    67. JoyfulPapist April 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks for the ‘almost’, KA. :-)

      By the way, there are statues of Joseph all over the Catholic Church too.

    68. bamac April 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you for explaining the “you” KA.

      You are wrong re saying that we don’t pay attention to the Father or to the Holy Spirit for so many of our prayers, be they written prayers or private ones,are addressed to the Father through Christ as Christ told us to … so often in our day as Catholics,
      we say the prayer that Christ taught us .. The Lord’s prayer.
      … we go to the Father through Christ as Christ told us to and we ask our Mother, Mary, to lead us closer to Jesus so that we can become closer to our Father.
      Have you photos of your family or friends that you like to look at for these photographs remind you of the person potrayed therein? You love that person portrayed not the piece of paper or what have you? Well when we see a statue or picture of Our Blessed Lord or His mother we are reminded of them and we say a silent prayer to or through them for we have been reminded that they are ever present… there is no idolitry KA just love for the person portrayed .


    69. dave morgan April 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm

      hello ;)

      jjs, you said in previous posts in this thread…

      “I am still a critic of the church heirachy, and believe certain (non essential) traditional beliefs are not to be taken literally so we will still have plenty to argue about! And yes, going to mass for the first time in years in the final stage of lent was quite powerful”


      I certainly don’t want to start a semantic argument, but I believe that talking about Benedict as Christ on earth and this crisis as his Calvary is such a strong way of putting it that even constructive criticism becomes impossible. I think Pope Benedict is clearly horrified by what some individuals did, but we shouldn’t speak of him in terms that make criticism impossible.

      can you explain what you mean when you say that you’re a critic of the hierarchy?

      regarding the recent attacks on the pope around the world, i notice that when people here have defended pope benedict, you have rightly pointed out that the pope is not beyond criticism. most people here would absolutely agree. the pope can indeed make mistakes.

      but when the criticism is unjustified, and even donwright vicious, then people will naturally look defend the pope from such unjust and uncharitable criticism.

      there is such as thing as justified criticism, and there is such a thing as unjust criticism, and there is such a thing as downright evil criticism, which just looks to tear down, betray, smear, vilify, crucify publicly, slap in the face, etc… – done out of hatred and a desire to mock, and discredit, – within an atmosphere of cruel laughter.

      with the recent criticism of pope benedict, we are clearly in the latter category.

      that is why, some of the analogies drawn with judas and such attackers is actually quite accurate. these people, including some sons and daughters of the church, are wanting to tear down an innocent man, because they don’t like what he is doing for the church. he represents some strong traditional beliefs that they don’t like. he stands for certain things, certain truths, – and to attack him, is to attack Christ.

      they have always had a gripe with him and they are taking their chance to have a shot. that is a betrayal of their father (for catholics), of the man is who called “principle of unity” in the church, and is why they can be likened to judas betraying Christ. so that analogy is not unfair. an analogy has something similar, and something different in it. so in this case, there are definitely similar things.

      not all criticism of the pope would be such.

      some criticism is ok – when a pope has failed, or done worse.

      but in this case, we are dealing with people who are angry that ratzinger became pope, and that the church is not moving where they would like, and so they have been waiting some time to attack, mock, and betray him

      one such regular blogger here at bf, it would seem, is in this camp of men and women who have been waiting for an opportunity to have a go – and they cunningly disguise it by using these sexual abuse victims as their pretext for attack. in that sense, there is a double betrayal.

      so, i totally agree with you, that the pope is not above criticism, but in this case, the criticism is a judas like attack, where catholic children have betrayed their father, openly and unmercifully. a saddening state of affairs.

      what do you mean when you say you are a critic of the hierarchy?

      what do you mean when you say that you “believe certain (non essential) traditional beliefs are not to be taken literally”?

      are you only referring to the assumption?

      or are there other issues?



    70. JJS April 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Dave, when I said I am a ‘critic of the heirachy’ I stress that I was not referring to the current crisis. I also have great respect for Benedict XVI and have learnt a great deal from some of his books, especially Jesus of Nazareth and The Spirit of the Liturgy.
      With respect to the handling of events in Munich in the 1980’s I have not rushed to judgment at all, and am watching things unfold like everyone else.

      I am talking about a longer time-frame when I say I have issues with the ‘heirachy’. The adoption of Late Roman administrative structures after the conversion of Constantine has resulted in a heirachy that I think is is top heavy, and potentially too authoritarian. Without going into detail I’m talking about structures not individuals.

      Regarding non essential beliefs, I’m very sceptical about Fatima for example.

      Hope this clarifies a bit


    71. dave morgan April 4, 2010 at 8:28 am

      morn’in ;)

      from fr z’s site…

      What to keep in mind about the Arizona case which is revving up
      3 April 2010
      CATEGORY: SESSIUNCULA — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 2:46 pm


      “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

      Maybe you are hearing about another case in Arizona of a long process/trial of a priest who abused children. Once again, the media and others are trying to use this long and drawn out canonical process as a flail with which to beat the Pope.

      * Again, the abuse took place decades ago.
      * He was suspended.
      * There was a canonical trial.It was referred to Rome, the CDF, because it concerned a case of the confessional.
      * It was determined that he should be dismissed from the clerical state.
      * The priest appealed.
      * The appeal process was drawn out for several years because the laws and canonical process of these clerical cases was being overhauled.
      * Card. Ratzinger was the one who led the charge for the changes to streamline the process.
      * When the new procedures went into effect, the Holy See moved swiftly to dismiss him from the clerical.
      * Once again this is a case of lawyers for victims who gave the documents (obviously incomplete) to the Associated Press.

      Great, huh?

      This is very much like the pattern of the case in Milwaukee.

      We have this also from an AP story:

      The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, called the accusations “absolutely groundless” and said the facts were being misrepresented.

      He said the delay in defrocking Teta was caused by a hold on appeals while the Vatican changed regulations over its handling of sex abuse cases. In the meantime, he said, cautionary measures were in place; Teta had been suspended since 1990.

      “The documents show clearly and positively that those in charge at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith … have repeatedly intervened actively over the course of the 90s so that the canonic trial under way in the Tucson diocese could dutifully reach its conclusion,” Lombardi said in a statement.

      What is the other side of the issue saying? Just try to wrap your head around this profoundly stupid statement.

      “The tragedy is that the bishops have only two choices: Follow the Vatican’s code of secrecy and delay, or leave the church,” [?!?] Cadigan, the victims’ lawyer, said Friday. “It’s unfortunate that their faith demands that they sacrifice children to follow the Vatican’s directions.”


      And there is this…

      “There’s no doubt that Ratzinger delayed the defrocking process of dangerous priests who were deemed ‘satanic’ by their own bishop,” Lynne Cadigan, an attorney who represented two of Teta’s victims, said Friday. …

      … In a signed letter dated June 8, 1992, Ratzinger advised Moreno he was taking control of the case, according to a copy provided to the AP from Cadigan, the victims’ attorney. Five years later, no action had been taken.

      Okay… we know why Cardinal Ratzinger’s office took the case: it involved the confessional. We know why there was a delay: the decision of the CDF had been appealed and appeals were suspended while the procedures were reworked.

      I think a person can reasonably ask why it took several years for the Vatican to overhaul the procedure. That is a reasonable question.

      But what the MSM won’t report – don’t want to report – is that Cardinal Ratzinger was the one leading the charge to get the process overhauled… when he was not Pope. He couldn’t snap his fingers and make people jump. The Holy See has layers to work through just like ever bureaucracy. And not everyone at every level agrees with what should be done.

      Keep your eye’s open, people.

      Watch for who coughed up the “evidence” to the press.

      This is the same old thing repeated.

      “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

      Adolf Hitler (from the chapter “War Propaganda” in Mein Kampf)

      the press will try and string this out for as long as they can…

      keep praying for the holy father :)


    72. dave morgan April 4, 2010 at 8:30 am


      thanks for your clarification :)

      it’s all good


      regarding the actual apparitions?

      or the release of the ‘secret’ in 2000?

      peace ;)

    73. JJS April 4, 2010 at 7:50 pm


      I meant scepticism about the apparitions, but I don’t really know much about the whole business :-)

    74. dave morgan April 5, 2010 at 4:26 pm

      hello people, :)

      i found this at rorate-caeli

      from the Speech of the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Sodano, before the Holy Father on Easter Sunday:

      jjs, notice at the end of the speech, the use of the phrase “sweet Christ on earth” in reference to the holy father.

      i’m sure it’s a traditional title, with theological underpinnings, not at all against a catholic understanding of the office of the pope :)

      Holy Father, the People of God is with you, [the People] who are not impressed by the idle gossip of each moment, or by the troubles that at times hurt the community of the faithful. Jesus, in fact, had told us: ‘In this world you will have troubles,’ immediately adding, ‘but take heart! I have overcome the world’.

      Last Thursday, in the Holy Mass for the benediction of the Holy Oils, Your Holiness edified us all by speaking of the goodness of God and recalling the inspired words of the first Bishop of Rome, the Apostle Peter, who described the attitude of Christ during his Passion with these words: ‘When he was reviled, did not revile: when he suffered, he threatened not: but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly’ (I Peter ii, xxiii).

      Holy Father, we will treasure your words. In this Paschal feast, we will pray that the Lord, the Good Shepherd, will keep supporting you in your mission at the service of the Church and of the world.

      Happy Easter, Holy Father! Happy Easter, Sweet Christ on Earth! The Church is with you!

      peace and happy easter!


    75. Helens Bay April 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm

      Just to add a little balance an interesting article from Europe
      “As Holy Week entered its most solemn days, two European archbishops used the occasion to issue strong statements on the clergy abuse crisis that has rocked their continent, saying their church needs to do much more to regain teaching authority.

      Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Primate of Ireland, told priests and laity at a Holy Thursday celebration April 1 that the church in Ireland cannot “proclaim closure and move on.”

      Martin criticized Catholics who say their church should move on from grief about the child abuse scandals. He said that there was “no way” his diocese could “impose fast-track healing” on victims.

      “This has been a difficult year,” he preached. “We see how damaging failure of integrity and authenticity are to the Body of Christ. Shameful abuse took place within the church of Christ. The response was hopelessly inadequate.”

      Martin’s comments, in particular, come in contrast to some other European bishops who have defended Vatican statements on sex abuse and who have criticized the media for suggesting Pope Benedict could have dealt with the issue more forthrightly.

      Said Martin: “I do not wish to give the impression that I want to go on forever hammering home a message of grief about the past, that I am obsessed with the past,” Martin said, adding that some ask him ‘Can we not leave all that aside now, proclaim closure and move on?’

      “I cannot agree. There can be no overlooking the past. There is no short-cut in addressing the past. The credibility of the church in this diocese of Dublin will only be regained when we honestly recognize the failures of the past, whatever our share of responsibility for them. There can be no rewriting history. There is no way we should impose fast-track healing on those whose vulnerability was abused.”

      Also addressing the sex abuse issue was the head of Germany’s Catholic bishops’ conference who issued a Good Friday statement denouncing past failures and mistakes in the church’s handling of abuse cases. Clerics have neglected helping abuse victims by a “wrongly intended desire to protect the church’s reputation,” Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg said.

      Zollitsch condemned what he called “the appalling crimes of sexual abuse” and urged the German Catholic church to face its painful record on the handling these cases. The church is appalled by the harm done to victims who were often unable to speak about their pain for decades, he said. “Wounds were inflicted that are hardly curable,” the archbishop added.

      On Tuesday, the German church opened a telephone hot line for people who allege they were abused by clergy. On its first day of operation, it received more than 1,000 calls. A similar Dutch hot line has received 1,100 calls since early March and similar services in Austrian dioceses have recorded 566 contacts this year.

      Benedict issued a letter to Irish Catholics March 19. It contained no words of solace to the German Catholics, many of whom have criticized the pope for not attempting to address their pain.

      Martin, meanwhile, is viewed by some in Ireland as a prelate who has attempted to face the scandal squarely. He has spoken many times of his anger and dismay at the extent to which clerics and religious harmed children in his diocese, and nationwide, over the last 50 years.

      In February 2006 The Irish Times published a front page article which stated that Martin was due to receive a red hat in the next consistory, which appoints new cardinals. However, the next day Pope Benedict XVI announced the names of the 15 new cardinals to be created and the list did not include Martin.

      In October 2007 Benedict announced the next batch of names to be elevated to the cardinalate and once again Martin’s name was not on the list.”
      These two Archbishops I believe speak for the majority of the people of God

    76. bamac April 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you very much for that quote Dave,God Bless you too.


    77. dave morgan April 5, 2010 at 9:40 pm

      hello helen,

      yes, it’s good to see some bishops standing up and saying it how it is

      but just being a good bishop doesn’t automatically make one a cardinal though

      and being a cardinal is not necessarily something that will help the problem

      sometimes one can do more, by being on the ‘ground’

      pope benedict will be doing a lot about this problem – but in behind the scenes – like he has done for the last 20 years

      peace helen ;)

    78. Chris Sullivan April 6, 2010 at 8:48 am

      Damien Thompson has a good summary of the latest developments, and gives his own view that the Pope may not have been vigilant enough when he was Archbishop of Munich.

      Points out that Sodano and Cantalemessa’s gaffs at Easter are just making the mess worse.

      Austen Ivereigh points out the problem is a crisis of clericalism and puts the crisis in a historical context

      God Bless

    79. Chris Sullivan April 6, 2010 at 9:12 am

      Fr. John Zuhlsdorf concludes that

      And Benedict needs to demonstrate the willingness to root out those who have covered over or dodged charges of abuse.

      God Bless

    80. Chris Sullivan April 7, 2010 at 7:32 am

      Another case hits the front page of the New York Times.

      This case is worrying because it shows that Bishops are STILL not taking firm action on priest abusers, and also that so many of the abusers are foreign priests (the moving around of abusers both within national borders and internationally has long been a serious problem in the abuse scandal and the faithful need to be alert when priests are transferred).

      According to US statistics for 2009, of 21 allegations of abuse involving minors in 2009, 9 were made against foreign priests visiting in the US.

      God Bless

    81. Chris Sullivan April 7, 2010 at 7:48 am

      Money paved way for Maciel’s influence in the Vatican

      First of a two part investigation into the Legion of Christ and Vatican support for Fr Maciel.

      God Bless

    82. Chris Sullivan April 7, 2010 at 10:39 am

      An editorial in the Catholic Magazine Commonweal:-

      April 09, 2010

      Benedict in the Dock

      The Editors

      In his last years as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and from the beginning of his papacy, Pope Benedict has demonstrated a real understanding of the nature and scope of the clergy sexual-abuse crisis. He came to that understanding much too slowly, but once he grasped the dimensions and horror of the scandal he acted with diligence and genuine remorse, accelerating the process for removing priests, meeting with victims, and demanding at least some measure of accountability from his fellow bishops.

      Much of the pope’s good work in this regard is now likely to be brushed aside as the history of his own negligence in handling an abusive priest when he was archbishop of Munich thirty years ago comes to light. It should not be surprising that then-Archbishop Ratzinger accepted an offending priest from another diocese, placed him in therapy, and immediately reassigned him to another parish where he abused more children. Burying rather than confronting the problem of abusive priests is what nearly every bishop did at the time.

      For what is truly startling about the reaction to reports concerning Benedict’s time in Munich, as well as the reaction to the wave of revelations of sexual abuse by priests throughout Europe, is how little has been learned by the Vatican about the need for a frank and thorough accounting of past abuses. No sentient person could believe the denials church officials in Munich and the Vatican made on behalf of the pope, saying Benedict played no role in the transfer of the abusive priest. With dreary predictability, documents have surfaced showing that the pope had in fact presided at the meeting where the transfer and reassignment were approved. Even if Benedict paid little attention to such administrative details, as archbishop he was still responsible for putting that priest in a place where he could abuse again. The church should have made this story known to the public years ago. Mistakes can be forgiven; what breeds mistrust and cynicism is the refusal to admit error.

      Some are now calling for Benedict’s resignation. That seems very unlikely. But an act of penitence on the part of the pope and the world’s bishops, one that goes well beyond pro forma apologies to victims, is desperately needed. Benedict is a deeply prayerful man whose fervent faith infuses his every act, utterance, and hope. For more than half a century he has urged the church toward ressourcement, toward the recovery of what is best in the neglected spiritual practices of the past. Now it is time for him to show how traditional Christian repentance and self-abnegation can perform miracles, for nothing less than a miracle is needed.

      Der Spiegel gives an insight into thinking in the Pope’s German homeland. Not pretty reading.,1518,687374,00.html

      God Bless

    83. JJS April 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm

      Chris you’re posting material faster than people can absorb it!!!!

    84. JoyfulPapist April 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      Support the Pope website:

    85. Chris Sullivan April 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm
    86. Chris Sullivan April 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Italy sees 130 priests investigated over abuse

      Italian authorities have arrested, investigated or convicted 130 Catholic priests for sexually abusing children over the last decade, it has been claimed.

      A report by prosecutors said that not one of the cases was referred to the police by the local bishop.

      Sergio Cavaliere, a lawyer who has compiled evidence on the cases, said: “It’s an alarming figure if you consider that it’s only the tip of the iceberg, if you think about all the cases that haven’t shown up in the media or that haven’t gone to court.”

      A prosecutor in Milan, Pietro Forno, who has won 10 convictions for paedophile priests, claimed that police suspected the existence of a “network of clergy who have a passion for minors”.

      He said abusive priests had been shuffled between dioceses, where they were free to molest more children.

      “It seems that some chose the priesthood with the aim of being close to children,” said Mr Forno, the head of a unit which investigates sex crimes.

      God Bless

    87. Scribe April 7, 2010 at 3:35 pm


      It’s interesting that among the dozens of links you’ve provided on BF on the scandal, wasn’t one of them. [Thanks for that link, JP]

      I’m saddened to see that the message of Easter hasn’t led to a change in your approach to this crisis, Chris.

    88. JJS April 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm

      Does supporting the Pope mean specifically endorsing the decisions he made in Munich back in the 80’s? As in saying “yes that’s just what I would have done…”