Sunday, September 27, 2015

Miserere Nobis

[See UPDATE at the end of this post]

So Pope Francis comes to America for the first time. How do we welcome him?

President Obama arranges for him to be greeted by Gene Robinson, the first gay Episcopal bishop in the U.S., Mateo Williamson, the transgender head of the LGBT "Catholic" group Dignity USA, Sister Simone Campbell, a pro-choice dissenting nun as well as "married lesbian Catholics" (and of course Joe Biden).

While he is here he visits the UN, where Shakira sings "Imagine" for him (you know, "imagine there's no heaven" because the world would rock if we eliminated religion).

Even during mass, at Madison Square Garden, the lector is "Mo Rocca", an "openly gay Catholic." I have to believe that Cardinal Dolan knew who was serving at mass.

The there are those who put themselves above the Pope in matters of the faith and morals, who mock him for what he didn't do enough of (as if the "left" don't already know he is for family and life - their very choice of guests shows that they know that).

Betrayed from within and without, we slap him in the face at every turn, and what does he do? He smiles and looks past it. You may think he's a fool, and maybe he is, but I think he's trying to live out the Gospel as best he can.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem!

UPDATE: So, because it seems people are misunderstanding this I thought I'd add some clarification.

1. I did not say gays are offensive. What I mean is that constantly bombarding Pope Francis with people who claim to be Catholic but do not believe what Catholics believe is in essence mocking him. To use an analogy, suppose Richard Dawkins was coming to America to a conference on evolution, and the welcoming committee was stacked with people who claimed to be scientists too, but believe in young-earth creationism. Then he was serenaded by someone singing about how evolution is responsible for all the evil in the world. I hope you can see that such a thing would be clearly designed to offend or mock Mr. Dawkins. So too, I think the choice of guests and song were intended to mock Pope Francis.

2. Before criticizing Pope Francis for missing opportunities to tell Congress et. al. how bad they are doing, think about the parable of the prodigal son. Or consider when Jesus calls Levi. It's not very effective to tell people how bad they are unless they already understand you love them. I think Pope Francis' evangelization style is to do just that. Tell people God loves you, and we love you too and want you to be happy. It doesn't matter what you've done, it doesn't matter whether you agree with us or not. We love you and will care for you. Loving someone doesn't mean you agree with them, or that you think they are going down the right path, it means you recognize their dignity as a person made in the image and likeness of God.

3. From an interview with Pope Francis on the plane ride home:
When the plane leaves after a visit, I see the faces of so many people. I get the urge to pray for them and say to the Lord, 'I came here to do something, to do good, perhaps I have done wrong, forgive me but protect all those people who saw me, who thought of what I said, who heard me, even those who have criticized me, all of them,' that is what I feel. Excuse me, it’s a bit personal…you can’t say that in the newspapers.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Recently there was a post on Facebook about what you remember about 9/11/2001. Here are some memories I will always have.

I remember my coworkers running across the street to buy a TV so we could watch the news at work.

I remember seeing the smoke plume from a field near my house.

I remember a filthy dirty warehouse where we loaded supplies onto a ferry to go across to the workers searching through the debris.

I remember no planes in the sky.

I remember our parish mourning the loss of almost two dozen people.

I remember us all sitting in mass, tears running down our cheeks as we sang hymns.

I remember friends who moved away because they were "supposed" to have been in the towers that day, and couldn't live and work near New York anymore.

I remember how life stopped for a while.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace.