***The Long-Suffering Saga of Fr. Escalante Continues
***But Where is Fr. Buckner, Bishop Burbidge? Fr. Duesterhaus is back, but where is Fr. Chris Buckner? How long does it take to give an exonerated priest an assignment anyway?
***The Noble Savage Rears His Head in the Amazon…The Instrumentum Laboris (IL) for the Pan Amazon Synod is filled with admiration for the spirit-world wisdom of the indigenous people of the rainforest who are, we’re told, closer to nature than the developed world and have so much to teach us about “integral ecology” and saving planet earth. The IL says that the “face of the Amazon” offers a “new revelation” and a “new Pentecost.” The IL encourages us to be in communion with Mother Earth who is wounded and bleeds. The IL includes heretical ideas based on liberation theology, pantheism, and the occult. The myth of the noble savage, so prevalent in the document, is not new. Based on the philosophy of Rousseau whose ideas were adopted by the elitists who spawned the French Revolution, it teaches that man was born good with no need of salvation or grace. Communists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels both embraced the idea of the “natural man” (or noble savage) as a god unto himself. Marx put it succinctly, “for man, man is the supreme being.” Engels found his ideal in the myth of an Australian aboriginal society where free love and absence of behavioral restraints created happy people.
***The Modern Columbian Noble Savages Cry Out! “We, the indigenous people of Guaviare (Colombia), are part of nature because we are water, air, earth and life of the environment created by God. Therefore, we ask that the mistreatment and extermination of ‘Mother Earth’ cease. The earth has blood and is bleeding, the multinationals have cut the veins of our ‘Mother Earth’. We want our indigenous cry to be heard by the whole world.” Cries that they probably don’t want heard are those of the vulnerable. Infanticide and euthanasia are not uncommon in the Amazon. In 2015 a controversial bill was introduced in Brazil’s National Congress to eradicate the practice. In response, the Brazilian Association of Anthropology published an open letter on its website condemning the bill saying it put indigenous people “in the permanent condition of defendants before a tribunal tasked with determining their degree of savagery.” In view of our own savagery with abortion, assisted suicide, etc. perhaps they have a point. Nevertheless, reality takes the shine off the myth of the noble savage.
***SHAMANS and PAGANS and DEMONS, OH MY! A particularly troubling lead-up to the Pan-Amazon synod occurred in mid-August when the Columbian bishops organized a pre-synodal meeting in Bogota. During the meeting a shaman, dressed in feathered headdress and a purple poncho (a leftover chasuble from the 70s perhaps?) blessed the participants, including priests and religious, with, well, who knows? Some kind of smoke, but some observers said he also sprinkled something – (probably not fairy dust since no one was seen to fly.) In view of the IL’s discussion of what the Church can learn from the spirit practices of the Amazon, who could be surprised at this outrageous involvement in pagan worship? What “spirits” exactly were being invoked? Catholic participation in this pagan ceremony would have shocked the Jesuit martyrs of North America as well as Fr. Damien de Veuster, apostle to the lepers of Molokai. Damien challenged the witch doctor of his Hawaiian parish engaged in a ritual cursing him.***How Does a Good Priest Respond to Such an Evil? Like Fr. Damien! In his biography, John Farrow describes how Fr. Damien came upon a ritual with the shaman killing a dog and draining its blood into a gourd to use for the incantation: “The witch doctor gloated over [a crudely fashioned puppet whose wooden face had been smeared white and which wore a black cloth cassock-like gown. A tiny wooden cross was hung about the neck and string of rosary beads that Damien had missed from his house some months before was fastened around the waist. There was no doubt the doll was supposed to be an effigy of the priest.]… Without uttering a word he plunged through the crowd which…remained still for a moment,…then with a sudden uproar rushed at him….Seizing the puppet from Mauae [the witch doctor] he sent that individual reeling back with a violent blow that made him stumble over the gourd so that it upset, the contents spreading in a dark stain… The crowd stopped before the spilt blood. The din died quickly as they watched Damien with angry scorn rip the doll to pieces. Expressions changed from rage to fear, then to perplexity ….With a sudden, contemptuous gesture that made them step back in alarm the priest scattered the torn remnants of the doll over the floor. “Are you children that you are afraid of a doll and the blood of a dog?” he asked derisively. Then grinding his heel into the face of the puppet he illustrated undeniably that no harm could come to him no matter how much he insulted the Evil Spirits.” With that courageous action, Fr. Damien destroyed the power of the witch doctor.
***Of Jesuits, Heresy, the Devil, and Fr. Arturo Sosa...Sad to say, you can be pretty sure these days if a priest has S.J. after his name he is probably a heretic. Recently the superior of the Jesuits, Rev. Arturo Sosa, denied the devil exists. [Obviously, you can’t say, “The devil made me do it!” anymore, because Fr. Sosa assures us there’s no such thing.] Speaking to the Italian magazine Tempi in August Sosa was quoted saying, “Good and evil are in a permanent war in the human conscience and we have ways to point them out. We recognize God as good, fully good. Symbols are part of reality, and the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality.” Canonist Ed Peters called out Fr. Sosa writing on his blog, “The existence of the devil as a personal reality, and not merely as a symbol of evil, is an article of faith. Denial of an article of faith is an element of the canonical crime of heresy, and an act punishable by measures up to and including excommunication, dismissal from the clerical state, and/or loss of ecclesiastical office.” Goodness! What to do? Peters tell us. “The bishop of the Diocese of Rimini (where Sosa’s made his latest remarks) should by now have ‘knowledge, which at least seems true, of a delict’ namely, heresy, whereupon ‘his (sic) carefully to inquire personally or through another suitable person about the facts. Failure to act on such information as is available in the public forum would constitute, in my view, a dereliction of governing duty. In addition the bishop of Sosa’s place of residence is also competent to inquire into the Jesuit’s remarks denying the personal existence of the devil and, for that matter, on some other topics. [In 2017, Sosa cast doubt on Jesus’ statements against divorce.] My understanding is that Sosa’s place of residence is Rome.”
I don’t advise holding your breath waiting for a correction. After all, the pope is a Jesuit and heresy these days seems to be a protected status as the Pan-Amazon Synod indicates. The sex abuse scandals aren’t the only horrifying realities these days!***Another Jesuit Scandal? -- Robert Fuller’s Suicide The Archdiocese of Seattle is in damage control after an August 26th AP story detailing Fuller’s preparations for his suicide on May 10th complete with a photo receiving a blessing from Fr. Quentin Dupont, SJ and a group of first communicants at St. Therese parish. The archdiocese denied elements of the story claiming neither the priest nor leaders in the parish knew of Fuller’s plans. However, Fuller’s Facebook (FB) posts dispute their claim. On March 16th Fuller wrote, “I have absolutely no reservations about what I am doing.... And my pastor/ sponsor has given me his blessings. And he’s a Jesuit!!!” While the pastor at St. Therese is not a Jesuit, Dupont, a visiting priest, is. He regularly celebrates the Mass Fuller attended. In a March 24th post Fuller wrote, “Today I asked our choir director if he and other musicians and singers can come perform during the first 1 1/2 hours [of the suicide party] and he emphatically replied YES. OF COURSE!” AP quoted the choir director, Kent Stevenson, saying that Fuller’s suicide “was completely in keeping with who Bob was” and that he made his decision with “tenacity and clarity” and was “forthcoming and sober about it.” Fuller was also gay and “married” his partner in a civil ceremony shortly before his suicide. According to the UK’s Catholic Herald, “On May 3, Fuller wrote that he had one week left to live. He thanked his ‘faith family at St. Therese, and invited people to join him at Mass the next day and at his ‘end of life celebration party’ on May 10 – the day he died.” Adding to the scandal is the fact that the Archbishop approve plans for a Catholic funeral before Fuller’s suicide. What message does that send? There is no indication that Fuller wasn’t in his right mind or was being compelled. His suicide was planned, and celebrated. Would the bishop pre-approve the funeral of a mafia don who requested it in case he was killed in a scheduled massacre attack on a rival gang? Fuller seemed to be in his right mind. Is the retiring bishop?
Last point: If Fuller truly made his evil decision with “tenacity and clarity” can one have a reasonable hope that he was saved? A long time member of the pro euthanasia Hemlock Society (now Compassion and Choices), he agreed to media coverage of his death to “demonstrate for people around the country how [assisted suicide] laws work.” Add the grave sin of scandal to suicide and sodomy. How many will go to hell because of Bob Fuller’s example?***Is It Time To Scrap the Jesuits? Crisis Thinks So! The magazine’s editor, Michael Davis imagines how Church historians of the 22nd century will see the Jebbies: “The Society of Jesus was founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola and played a crucial role in the Church’s efforts to extinguish the nascent Protestant heresy. Over the centuries, however, it became the stronghold of another heresy—Modernism—and was eventually suppressed on the orders of Pope Pius XIII. Remnants of the order persisted in the United States through the middle of the 21st century, mostly due to the value of the land upon which they had built college campuses. Then, in the year 2103, the Society’s seven remaining priests were collectively re-ordained in the Episcopal Church, briefly doubling the number of Episcopalian clerics.” Could Davis’ scenario come to pass? Many will rejoice at his suggestion that the few orthodox Jesuits split to establish a reformed order. What a noble goal: to restore the once glorious institute that filled the Church calendar with saints like Isaac Jogues, Edmund Campion, Francis Xavier, Miguel Pro, etc. We need “God’s Marines” more than ever, Reform would likely delight St. Ignatius and his faithful sons including Fr. John Hardon, Fr. James Schall, and Fr. Robert Bradley, may they rest in peace. St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!