Posts

Pope Francis: “The Enigma” – The Real Mystery of Faith

Hope all is well on this “Feast Day of the Blessed Trinity” as we all know that explaining the mystery of the “3 Persons in One” to any other Catholic is tough – let alone, trying to explain it to a non-believer…All the Homilies in our beloved churches tried to do that today on this special Feast Day as Father Mark Mlay at St. Peter Church did a nice job with his assignment. Even some of our most astute priests in our diocese have a tough time explaining this phenomena. Father Brian King does a very good job with it.

Let’s see, the Immaculate Conception is another tough one. The Resurrection…The Transfiguration…I can go on and on. Oh, and we also have the “4 Mysteries of the Holy Rosary” which adds that much more mystery to our beloved Catholic Faith…

But, the biggest mystery the majority of you who are reading this e-mail have come across the past “2 years, 2 months and 12 days” is the “Mystery of Pope Francis” – which I refer to as “The Enigma – The Real Mystery of Faith”…There is no better word or description that I can use to describe what our 266th pontiff has accomplished and laid out in his short pontificate thus far. Like the majority of you (some of whom have written Pope Francis off the day after he uttered those famous 5 words “Who am I to Judge”?) – I am confused, perplexed, frustrated, upset and bewildered by quite a few of the comments that our beloved pope has made and what direction he appears to be taking the 1.2 billion Catholics in this world in…The jury is still out and I do not like jury duty…

Friends: When Pope Francis was elected back in 2013, I was ecstatic! I shared my excitement with our own Bishop Barbarito, who also loves St. Francis of Assisi. The first South American pope ever! A pope that spoke my Spanish language. Just the mere fact that he took the name of my all-time favorite saint of the church – the first to ever bear the Stigmata…Simplicity and humility. I absolutely loved the pope’s initial approach, coming out of the gate. But, these past 16 months has been a lot more complicated and misleading and when you throw in the fiasco of Obama and Castro with Cuba in one of his more questionable moves, it does not sit well with many people – including the beloved Cuban exiles who live in this America. And, many of the upper hierarchy church leaders the pope has assigned over the past year, scare me to death…(Take a look at the first article below, which lists the more controversial figures the pope has asked to lead our church in 2015)…Beyond scary…All while we said our good-byes to the late Cardinal Francis George, as our beloved Cardinal Raymond Burke watches it all from a remote island called Malta…

Once again, I respect our pope, pray for our pope and listen to our pope (in English and Spanish) – but, I just don’t know where he is going with this misleading “progressive” agenda of his – and neither do many of the 70 million Catholics in this country…Let’s be honest, folks. I am not the only one…The majority of you echo my sentiments, but may prefer to keep them to yourselves or at least not put it out publicly because you may be afraid of being criticized or attacked…That is what I am called to do by the Holy Spirit. I am a Catholic activist. I act for a living. I also write for a living, then, put all my writing into action so I am not afraid to write what I feel when I know that I am telling the Truth about our Church…It is easier to walk the talk when you only write about the Truth…

Saint John Paul II, in his beyond-amazing 27 years as our Holy Father, taught me one thing for sure – “BE NOT AFRAID” – and I take my all-time favorite pope’s advice to heart in everything that I do. One cannot be an activist and an evangelist and make a difference in this world if he does not have the courage to put his life on the line for his faith every day of the year by walking that talk… And, if one can’t take the heat – stay away from the fires of hell…That’s my goal…

In that same P.B. Post interview over two years ago, I told the writer that “I think the pope is holding a “Global Open House” – inviting every single walk of life to the banquet table in the Vatican – atheists, liberals, abortionists, murderers, democrats, ruthless sinners and even our favorite – the homosexuals – as it appears that the pope has embraced them more than any other group, as of late. Then, when he has everybody’s undivided attention – he will sit them down and teach the entire world what the Catholic Church is all about”…That was my prediction about 26 months ago, and I am still holding my breath. I have terrific lung capacity – I happen to be a professional Harmonica player…

But, until Pope Francis boldly comes out and specifically tells the ever-anxious and confused 1.2 billion Catholics in the world that the immoral act of SODOMY is not part of Catholic Church teachings – that two men being married and having sex with each other – IS NOT PART OF WHAT THE CATECHISM TEACHES – then, those who don’t know better, will all simply continue to follow in the pope’s footsteps, take the 5th and continue to say “Who am I to Judge?” It’s the easy way out. It’s time the pope comes clean and tells the world that the Catholic Church and the Holy Bible deem homosexuality to be an abomination and it has never been part of the Catholic Church teachings – and never will be. Period! There is no re-defining here, folks. If the pope does not clear the air with this simple issue and tell the world in black and white what the Catholic Church teaches about the immoral and appalling act of Sodomy, then, we are all going to be in a world of hurt – and those 9 liberal attorneys in black robes who seem to rule the country, are salivating and licking their chops right about now, thinking that the Catholic Church is not even putting up a fight…Roll over, Catholic Church. USCCB and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, where are you??? Cardinal DiNardo, hello, is anybody home??? Don’t even bother with that other cardinal from New York…

Now is the time for the pope to make a bold statement loud and clear – before it is too late, when come, late June – the Supreme Court Injustices rule in favor of the Gays. Now is the time he has to not re-define marriage – but, re-define what he truly meant when he uttered those “famous five words” on that infamous plane ride back from World Youth Day in Rio. What good is it to have a Family Synod in September when the Rule of the Land has already been declared in late June and Gay Marriage is legal in all 50 states? (I pray that I am wrong). Why on earth is the USCCB holding our “4th Fortnight for Freedom” from June 21st-July 4th when the Justices will already have redefined the Sacrament of Matrimony? What the hell are we thinking, people? Why did we not hold this Fortnight months ago? Why would Pope Francis come to Philadelphia to discuss the importance of Traditional Family & Traditional Marriage with 200 bishops and cardinals while those liberal judges are voting on redefining marriage right now as we speak and coming out with an answer in June? Are you with me? Where’s the horse? Where’s the buggy? Am I the only one who is scratching his head? Folks, the horse has already been out of the barn – been to the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and heading to the Belmont Stakes next Saturday – and the Catholic Church is just sitting back and watching it all unfold. Are they taking bets? I thought we got rid of the ruthless Egyptian Pharoah centuries ago. Now the American Pharoah is here to haunt us and probably win the Triple Crown…I am NOT horsing around here and I pray that this does not go over some of your heads…

Wake up, Catholics!! Be Pro-Active – Pope Francis, cardinals and bishops! History has taught us that being re-active will get us nowhere…Ask the 57 million aborted babies in our country who wished to GOD that the Catholic Church would have been Pro-active & Pro-Life back in 1973…

The 5th Commandment took the 5th Amendment…

Once again, the last time I checked, Sodomy was NOT part of GOD’s Plan – it is unnatural and unGODly – and it is only the beautiful union of a Man and a Woman in the Blessed Sacrament of Holy Matrimony who can “Pro-create”. Two men or two women can only “Rec-create”! And, if Pope Francis does not come out now in June, while the Supreme Court is going through their liberal sessions and way before the Family Synod in “The City of Brotherly Love” in September and proclaim to the entire world – to the United States – to the Catholic Faithful – that Sodomy is a Mortal Sin, that Gay Marriage will NOT be accepted in the Holy Catholic Church – then, that entire 4-day conference becomes a total farce and Philadelphia can just simply change its jovial slogan to “The City of Homosexual Love”…

It’s that simple, folks. I, for one, am not enthusiastic at all about this already-rocky, Family Synod (which I have referred to as “Rocky VI”…Yes, it’s in Philadelphia) – because it will be obsolete when it takes place – 3 months behind the 8 ball. Maybe it’s because I know a little too much about what is taking place behind the scenes. Maybe it’s because I have read too many terrific articles and interviews from some of my Catholic heroes like Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Cordileone, the late Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop Paproki, Bishop Jenky – and my own spiritual director, Father James Molgano – to name a few who Tell the Truth and refuse to “water down our beloved Catholic Faith”. While so many other liberal cardinals and leaders of the Church have blasphemed and embarrassed the Catholic Church and are fighting the good, wholesome cardinals – I refuse to pay attention to MAN anymore when it comes to my Faith, my evangelization and my salvation. My faith and hope lie entirely in Jesus…

JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!!!

The day that I put my faith & hope in the men who Pope Francis has selected to help run the Catholic Church is the day that I will make the same mistake that so many others have made – drink that “Church of Nice Kool-aid” – and totally forget about what Jesus commanded Peter to do upon that solid rock over 2,000 years ago. I come from the old school and that is the foundation on which I put my total faith into, but unfortunately, today, that rock is on quick sand, sinking fast, and until Pope Francis steps up and begins to make the Catholic Church teachings more clearer and has it in him to Tell the Absolute Black & White Truth about our beloved Faith – and not lead the Catholic Faithful into a confused state of nebulous opinions, thoughts and hypothesis – then, and only then – are we ever going to be on the same page and same book – the Holy Bible…

As a former NCAA Basketball Official (with the SEC, the Atlantic Ten, the OVC, etc.), my job as a referee was to “judge” every play that came my way. I could not afford to “take the 5th” and tell the ever-irate coaches “Who am I to Judge?”…Hell, that was my job! I had a split-second decision to make that call and millions of people watched it on ESPN. And, it is only appropriate that the game of college basketball has “3” referees in each game – similar to the Holy Trinity (which we are celebrating today). Like the Holy Trinity, all 3 referees are of equal significance, with none of us being more important the the other. We had to work “Two-gether” as a TEAM. Our job was to get the play right, be fair to both sides and maintain a level playing field. Tough to do with the speed the game is played at today and with the athletic ability these players have…and, with what is at stake in today’s collegiate game – MONEY, people’s jobs and livelihoods, recruiters, boosters, etc.

And, to this day the toughest call in the game of basketball is the “Block/Charge” call. I taught the hundreds of referees who came to my Annual Referee Camp to “referee the defense” – to make sure that the defensive player had established a “legal guarding position”. And, as many times as we saw that play over and over again – we still found it so difficult to get it right. Sure, the instant replays showed it in slow motion, but, the block/charge call cannot be reviewed in the instant replay. We did not have that luxury and we had to live and die with that gutsy call…

What I am getting at with all of this is that as an NCAA basketball referee, there is NO grey area when making a call – it is either black or white. True or False. Right or Wrong. NO COMPROMISING! It is either a Block or a Charge! You have to have the guts and integrity to make the right call – regardless of the outcome! We could not afford to call a “Blarge”! That is when one ref calls a Block and the other calls a Charge…Total chaos! What in GOD’s name do you do now? Confusing, perplexing, frustrating, bewildering…All hell would break loose and it threw everybody off – including the players, the coaches, the fans, the commentators… Mass confusion…

And, speaking of Mass Confusion (that is when the Catholic Faithful attend Mass and walk out all confused about the Homily) – now you know how the millions of Catholics in this world feel about some of the more radical comments that Pope Francis has made over the past two plus years and the direction he seems to be heading in. His comments on the homosexuals is difficult to decipher, hard to get a real feel for. Not sure where he truly stands with this issue – confusing the Catholic Faithful and all of his clergy even more – allowing each cardinal, bishop and priest to interpret it how he sees fit. Again, no definite interpretation here. This is what I refer to as that “Blarge” call I eluded to above. With this particular, sensitive issue, the pope is not providing the Catholic Faithful with a clear call – with a True or False explanation – with a concise, perfectly clear Black or White call. He has only provided us with very nebulous, confusing and misleading calls. No Block. No Charge. Just a “Blarge” – which, once again – leads to chaos, confusion, frustration and people losing faith and trust in our own Holy Father.

And, the more our beloved pope leaves the Catholic Faithful “guessing” and not coming with explicit and concise Truths & Facts about our beloved church teachings – the more Catholics will be leaving the church and trying to find the Truth elsewhere. And, with the elections of 2016 lurking around the corner and with the majority of the 70 million Catholics in this country still trying to figure out which church leader, cardinal or bishop is correct when it comes to Gay Marriage, the atrocity of abortion, the fate of divorced couples and other religious freedom issues – while the pope allows it all to get even cloudier and murkier – the Family Synod in Chilly Philly in September may just be the last straw that broke the camel’s back…And, is that a one hump-camel? Is it a two-hump camel? Is it a dromedary? Is it a Bactrian Camel? A Hybrid?

WHO AM I TO JUDGE? Let’s just try to get over this hump for right now…