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For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-09-20

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Here is Bulletin_2015-09-20

It was 24 hours ago and 2,000 miles away. I had the pleasure of dining with two of the most gracious and interesting ladies. The dinner was exquisite and the company was without compare. The conversation ranged from the making of salsa and plum pie all the way to a discussion centered on our beautiful Catholic Faith. There were moments when we expressed our concerns about the Diocese of Boise and at least one parish in the Diocese of Arlington. Yet in the end, we saw the work of the Holy Spirit and we felt the bonds of friendship and faith. My thanks to both of my dinner companions. You will always be in our prayers.

Comments and Commentary

1. Vacation’s Over: It appears that our Pastor has returned from his time away from St. Peter’s. There is a back channel story concerning Masses at St. Peter’s and St. John the Baptist last weekend that can be viewed as ironic, humorous, or distressing depending on where and when you attended Mass. To those who shared your experiences with us via email, this period of exile has its moments. Let’s pray that someday soon we can all meet again at an 8:30 Mass at St. Peter’s when we have returned to the “status quo ante.”

2. In the Spirit of Pope Francis: On the plane today I read the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article Vatican Disputes White House Guest List for Papal Visit with great interest. Among those on White House guest list was “Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a self-described “Catholic social justice lobby” in Washington.” According to the WSJ:

“In 2012, the Vatican’s doctrinal office cited ties to Network as one of its reasons for ordering an overhaul of the Leadership Council of Women Religious [LCWR], an umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of religious orders, representing 80% of U.S. nuns. That decision drew wide protests in the U.S. The overhaul ended in April, having effected few substantive changes.”

“The Vatican had cited Network in connection to the LCWR’s failure to promote Catholic Church teaching against abortion and euthanasia.”

In Bulletin 2015-09-20, Father asks us to: “Keep the Pope in your prayers as he visits the United States and the World
Meeting of Families.” Father added:

“As Bishop Loverde stated, “unlike notable worldly offices or positions, the Pope’s authority does not come from any earthly power. His message is Christ’s message, which may or not be in sync with popular opinion. The Pope speaks the ‘rock-solid’ faith of Peter, upon which the Church is built. Listen to our Pope with an open heart.”

Consider what the Vatican thinks about the Pope having to dine with Sr. Campbell. Her organization Network, while it promotes President Obama’s views on social justicism, has failed “to promote Catholic Church teaching against abortion and euthanasia.” After you have considered that, think back to our post Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #3. In that post we showed how St. Charles Borromeo Parish, under the leadership of our current Pastor, supported Sr. Campbell and the Nuns on the Bus. That same post also noted:

“Today, it came to the attention of the Diocese of Arlington that one of our parishes was planning to host the ‘Nuns on the Bus’ at a parish event tomorrow, in the lead-up to next week’s elections. The diocesan Political Activity Guidelines require parishes to submit a proposal in advance and consult with our Virginia Catholic Conference with regard to any planned event involving political or public policy issues. Those required steps were not taken for this event.” (Read more …)”

So often these days, the media and those with a social agenda counter to the teaching of the Church use the phrase “In the Spirit of Pope Francis” to support their particular positions. Let me use this opportunity to note that on one hand our Pastor can speak about the “Pope’s authority” and it divine origin and yet he has flaunted the authority of the Vatican when it comes to supporting a dissenting nun. A person whom the Vatican deems unworthy to be on the guest list to dine with the Pope.

There is a lesson here for our Pastor – a lesson clearly “in the Spirit of Pope Francis.” He should read his own words and he should read the words of the Vatican and abide by them when it comes to Papal authority and the authority of his Bishop. Likewise, he should seriously consider whom he invites to visit our Parish and what type of literature he distributes to his sheep.


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