Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I wanted to write a long post about my thoughts on the Brexit referendum tomorrow (or rather today as of the writing of this post in the UK), but I  ended up having to work from home late today and don't have the time for anything but a short post.  Nothing I could say about the possibility of Brexit hasn't been said by millions of others before me, so this will have to suffice.  The people of the United Kingdom have two choices:  leave the European Union and regain control over your own destinies or continue to be ruled by godless bureaucratic overlords in Brussels for years to come (at least until the EU finally dies, which it will Brexit or no Brexit).  To anyone who may be reading this in the UK, vote Leave (#VoteLeave).  You only have this one chance!

Sunday, June 05, 2016


In the happy days in Europe before the First World War, intellectuals and military leaders argued that Europe and European society had become stagnant.  Although many nations were experiencing industrial, commercial and scientific progress at levels never before experienced, it was argued that war was needed to wake Europe out of its cultural slumber.  War would cleanse Western society from the decadence and moral and nationalist apathy which infected the great capitals of the continent.  What the intellectuals and military leaders were not prepared for was the level of destruction and loss of human life that would ensue from a war waged with Twentieth Century technology. 

I have been thinking a lot recently about how this historical call for war could be applicable in our own day.  Now before I go any further I must say that I do not relish the idea of war (and the necessary loss of human life and misery that would result of any war), but at least in the abstract is not war sometimes necessary as a cleansing agent?  When I was a child and got a deep scratch, my parents would pour hydrogen peroxide on the wound to clean it of any dirt and to help prevent an infection.  It hurt like hell, but I understood that the pain was necessary to prevent a possible future (and greater pain) of infection.  Could not war be the hydrogen peroxide of Western society, a tool to cleanse society from the dirt that has invaded the body and prevent infection?

As I look around at the world in which I live, I see that Europe has been invaded by millions of Muslims (not just the ones who are supposedly “refugees” and who travelled from supposedly war-torn nations over the last two years).  The Muslims don’t assimilate:  they don’t adopt the (nominal) Christian faith of their host nations, they don’t accept the values or culture of their host nations—indeed they call for their host nations to not only respect their own values but to adopt them (e.g. calls for Sharia Law to be adopted in European nations).  Many of these Muslims are young men.  What is the nationality/religion/age of those men who (with increasing numbers of occurrences) assault white women?  And in the face of all of this, what do most European leaders do?  Make excuses and call for greater acceptance/tolerance of Muslims and calls for more asylum grants for “refugees.” 

I see that in the U.S. so-called transgendered individuals are applauded for rejecting the very bodies and natures that God gave to them from the moment of their conception.  School districts are being coerced to let teenagers (who cannot even legally drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, vote and in some instances not even drive a car) use whatever bathroom or locker room that corresponds to their “gender identity.”  Self-righteous and oh-so-enlightened parents happily support whatever form of deviancy their underage (and I must stress:  underage ) children feel inclined to experiment with at the moment.  Americans have periods of near apoplexy when a lion named Cecil is hunted or a gorilla name Harambe is euthanized to save the life of a toddler, yet millions of unborn babies are murdered legally each year.

I don’t glory in war, but I think war is about the only thing that can cleanse the West of the filth that has become so common in our cultures.  I think it’s past time the Great Catholic Monarch of myth and legend rise up and bring that war on the enemies of God and His Church.  If it’s the Muslims who bring that war, let us pray that what’s left of the faithful remnant wins and has the Church’s backing to re-build what’s left of the West when it’s over.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happy 90th Birthday!

I wish I warm and heartfelt happy birthday to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  What other figure can we bring to mind in recent years (90 years old or otherwise) who show as much dedication, service, honor and integrity as Her Majesty?  Happy 90th birthday, and many, many happy returns!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The West and ISIS

Much has been said about the terrorist attacks on Paris last week.  The pundits on the left and right continue to analyze the causes and offer opinions on what the West should do in response.  Here's my observations in a nutshell:  What the hell did European governments think would happen when they welcomed with open arms hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants into Europe?  What the hell did they think would happen when decades ago they started granting asylum to Muslims with no expectations that they convert to Christianity or assimilate to European culture?

Europeans will continue to slowly kill their own cultures by allowing more and more Muslims across their borders.  The Muslim horde will not be defeated with understanding or tolerance, nor the sword of republican and democratic governments.  They will only be defeated by the sword of the Faith.  Just as the Muslims were defeated at the battle of Lepanto with the help of Our Lady, so too can they be defeated today.  This is a war of religions, and can only be defeated with religion.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Pope Francis and Captain Kirk

Readers of my blog over the past two plus years know that I am not a fan of our Holy Father Pope Francis.  I submit to him as a loyal son of Rome, but it is my opinion that he has done a great deal of harm to the Church during his pontificate.  I will, however, give credit where credit is due.

This morning I pulled into my employer's parking lot and did a quick check of the blogs I frequent daily.  The first post I saw on Rorate Caeli was thrilling:  Pope Francis has granted all SSPX priests the faculty to validly and licitly absolve sins during the year of mercy.  While the SSPX has long argued that they have faculty to absolve sins, I do not think their arguments hold water, but regardless this gesture of kindness and mercy from the Holy Father towards the SSPX is unprecedented.  Fr. Z often has said that just as only Nixon could go to China, perhaps only Francis could reconcile with the SSPX and bring them into full union with Rome. 

There is a great line in the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  Spock is trying to convince Kirk to accept an assignment to meet with the Klingons in the first gesture of peace between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets.  Kirk had a long history of animosity and hatred towards the Klingons (a Klingon killed his son).  Spock tells Kirk:  "Only Nixon could go to China."  Just as only Captain Kirk could reach a peace between the Federation and the Klingons, perhaps only Pope Francis can achieve SSPX reconciliation.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Future of Monarchy

I've been thinking a lot lately about the future of monarchy.  The reigning monarchies of Europe are in a stable state (to one degree or another), but the abolished monarchies seem to have a rather dismal prognosis.  Other than talk about a Romanian referendum on the restoration of their monarchy, what other abolished monarchy has a chance?  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  if the heads of abolished monarchies won't start to campaign for restorations, nothing will happen.  Perhaps it's time for a charismatic person or two to found new monarchies?  Perhaps monarchists should gather together in defensible areas of republics (for example republics with no or extremely distant histories of having belonged to a monarchy) and found their own kingdoms, keeping to themselves and hoping the world won't bother them too much.  It's just an idea, but if Europe continues to kill itself culturally we just might find ourselves in a world much like the post Roman Empire, a world ripe for new monarchies to be formed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Europe Rouses From Its Slumber

Since World War II, and even more since the fall of Communism in Europe, European nations have increasingly given more power to a central government (the European Union).  This drive towards more Europe and less Germany, less Britain, less France, etc. has eroded national cultural distinctions, not to mention national sovereignty.  But some in Europe are starting to wake up to this threat.  There is the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party in Germany and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in Great Britain, both of which propose to one degree or another a scaling back of the national powers given up to the EU, if not the outright departure from the EU.  And then there's the Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes (Pegida) movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Izlamization of the West). 

If one were to believe the main stream media or political leaders like Angela Merkel, Pegida is made up of a bunch of racist neo-Nazis.  Concerns about one's culture being eroded and swallowed up by immigrants who refuse to integrate into the national culture, immigrants who share no common bond (either historically or regiously) to the dominant culture does not make one racist.  What it does mean is that certain Europeans are starting to grow some balls and stand up to their own "democratic" totalitarian governments.  Let the proverbial balls continue to grow, and may they be steel balls.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cardinal Burke's Recent Interview

The Synod on the Family ended two months ago.  We all know how much of a disaster it was, despite the fact that some bishops and cardinals grew some spines and (rather loudly) protested the hijacking of the Synod.  We also know how the Holy Father stood by and did nothing (although recently he claimed that no Synod Father called into question the Church's teachings on marriage--what a joke!).

The one shining star of the Synod, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke recently gave an interview, which I post here.  I'm posting a transcript of the interview with my comments in red, along with the video itself.

"Q. Your Eminence, you grew up before the Second Vatican Council. How do you remember those times?
A. I grew up in a very beautiful time in the Church, in which we were carefully instructed in the faith, both at home and in the Catholic school, especially with the Baltimore Catechism. I remember the great beauty of the Sacred Liturgy, even in our little farming town, with beautiful Masses. And then, I'm of course most grateful for my parents who gave me a very sound up-bringing in how to live as a Catholic. So they were beautiful years.

Q. A friend of mine who was born after the Council used to say, "Not everything was good in the old days, but everything was better." What do you think about this?

A. Well, we have to live in whatever time the Lord gives us. Certainly, I have very good memories of growing up in the 1950's and early 1960's. I think what is most important is that we appreciate the organic nature of our Catholic Faith and appreciate the Tradition to which we belong and by which the Faith has come to us. (Since Vatican II many, perhaps even most Catholics are either ignorant of or wish to forget the "Tradition to which we belong.")

Q. Did you embrace the big changes after the Council with enthusiasm?

A. What happened soon after the Council - I was in the minor seminary at that time, and we followed what was happening at the Council - but the experience after the Council was so strong and even in some cases violent, that I have to say that, even as a young man, I began to question some things - whether this was really what was intended by the Council - because I saw many beautiful things that were in the Church suddenly no longer present and even considered no longer beautiful. (This reminds me of the question:  How can what was sacred and beautiful in the past be suddenly no longer so?) I think, for instance, of the great tradition of Gregorian Chant or the use of Latin in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. Then also, of course, the so-called 'Spirit of Vatican II' influenced other areas - for instance, the moral life, the teaching of the Faith - and then we saw so many priest abandoning their priestly ministry, so many religious sisters abandoning religious life. (Yet we are still told by many that Vatican II was the best thing to ever happen to the Church.  If that's true, then why have so many lost their faith?) So, there were definitely aspects about the post-conciliar period that raised questions.

Q. You were ordained a priest in 1975. Did you think that something in the Church had gone wrong?

A. Yes, I believe so. In some way, we lost a strong sense of the centrality of the Sacred Liturgy and, therefore, of the priestly office and ministry in the Church. I have to say, I was so strongly raised in the Faith, and had such a strong understanding of vocation, that I never could refuse to do what Our Lord was asking. But I saw that there was something that had definitely gone wrong. I witnessed, for instance, as a young priest the emptiness of the catachesis. The catechetical texts were so poor. Then I witnessed the liturgical experimentations - some of which I just don't even want to remember - the loss of the devotional life, the attendance at Sunday Mass began to steadily decrease: all of those were signs to me that something had gone wrong. (Yet the old grey-heads in the Church still pat themselves on the back for all the good work they have done in the spirit of Vatican II.)
Q. Would you have imagined in 1975 that, one day, you would offer Mass in the rite that was abandoned for the sake of renewal?

A. No, I would not have imagined it. Although, I also have to say that I find it very normal, because it was such a beautiful rite, and that the Church recovered it seems to me to be a very healthy sign. But, at the time, I must say that the liturgical reform in particular was very radical and, as I said before, even violent, and so the thought of a restoration didn't seem possible, really. But, thanks be to God, it happened. (And thanks to Benedict XVI!)

Q. Juridically, the Novus Ordo and the Traditional Latin Mass are the same rite. Is this also your factual experience when you celebrate a Pontifical High Mass in the new or the old rite?

A. Yes, I understand that they are the same rite, and I believe that, when the so-called New Rite or the Ordinary Form is celebrated with great care and with a strong sense that the Holy Liturgy is the action of God, one can see more clearly the unity of the two forms of the same rite. On the other hand, I do hope that - with time - some of the elements which unwisely were removed from the rite of the Mass, which has now become the Ordinary Form, could be restored, because the difference between the two forms is very stark. (Much was unwisely removed.  Notice how he says that the difference between the two forms is "very stark.")
Q. In what sense?

A. The rich articulation of the Extraordinary Form, all of which is always pointing to the theocentric nature of the liturgy, is practically diminished to the lowest possible degree in the Ordinary Form. (I have often experienced this myself.  Even in the most reverently of celebrated Novus Ordo Masses one still gets the sense that we are there to see/hear the priest or to gather together for a community gathering.  Not so with the TLM--there it's all about God.  I have also heard many priests say that they have found the TLM to be a truly humbling experience and that everything about the Mass turns their thoughts to God).

Q. The Synod on the Family has been a shock and sometimes even a scandal, especially for young Catholic families who are the future of the Church. Do they have reasons to worry?

A. Yes, they do. (No beating around the bush there.  This is why I respect His Eminence so much--he doesn't patronize the faithful but tells them the truth.) I think that the report that was given at the mid-point of the session of the Synod, which just ended October 18th, is perhaps one of the most shocking public documents of the Church that I could imagine. (!!) And, so, it is a cause for very serious alarm and it's especially important that good Catholic families who are living the beauty of the Sacrament of Matrimony rededicate themselves to a sound married life and that also they use whatever occasions they have to give witness to the beauty of the truth about marriage which they are experiencing daily in their married life.

Q. High-ranking prelates keep giving the impression that "progress" in the Church lays in promoting the gay agenda and divorce ideology. Do they believe that these things will lead to a new springtime in the Church?

A. I don't know how they could believe such a thing, because, how could it be that, for instance, divorce - which the Pastoral Constitution on the Church Gaudium et Spes called a plague in society - how could it be that the promotion of homosexual acts, which are intrinsically evil, how could any good come from either? (Perhaps because some of the biggest advocates of Vatican II and its spirit ignore everything that the Council taught.) And, in fact, what we witness is that both result in a destruction of society, a breakdown of the family, the breakdown of the fiber of society, and, of course, in the case of unnatural acts, the corruption of human sexuality which is essentially ordered to marriage and to the procreation of children.

Q. Do you think that the main problem in vast territories of the Church is the lack of Catholic families and especially the lack of Catholic children? Should that not have been the focus of the Synod?

A. I believe so, very much so. The Church depends on sound Catholic family life, and it depends on sound Catholic families . I do believe that, where the Church is suffering most, there also marriage and family life is suffering. We see that when in marriage couples are not generous in bringing new human life into the world, their own marriages diminish, as well as society itself. We witness in many countries that the local population, which in many cases would be Christian, is disappearing because the birthrate is so low. And some of these places - for instance, where there is also a strong presence of individuals who belong to Islam - we find that the Muslim life is taking over in countries which were formerly Christian.

Q. In many parts of Western Europe and the U.S., the only parishes who still have children belong to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, while whole dioceses are deserted. Do the bishops take notice of this?

A. I would imagine so. (Oh I think they take notice, but usually just to the detriment of Traditionalists.) I do not have direct experience of what you are describing. From my own time as bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin and as archbishop of Saint Louis, Missouri, I have heard this said about dioceses in certain European nations where the dioceses are practically unable to continue, yet there is a strong presence of those who belong to the Society of St. Pius X. I cannot help but think that the bishops in those places must take note of it and must reflect upon it.

Q. Most practicing Catholics in an average parish in Western Europe and the U.S. are those who were baptized and catechized before the Council. Is the Church in these countries living from her past?

A. I think that my generation, for instance, was blessed to grow up at a time in which there was a strong practice of the Catholic Faith, a strong tradition of participation in Sunday Mass and the Sacred Liturgy, a strong devotional life, a strong teaching of the Faith- But in some way, I believe, we sadly took it for granted, and the same attention was not given to pass on the Faith as we had come to know it to the success of generations. Now what I see it that many young people are hungering and thirsting - and this already for some time - to know the Catholic Faith at its roots and to experience many aspects of the richness of the tradition of the Faith. So I believe that there is a recovery precisely of what had been for a period of time lost or not cared for in a proper manner. I think that now there is a rebirth at work among the young Catholics.

Q. Does the Synod on the Family have any plans to promote marriage and to encourage and support families with many children?

A. I sincerely hope so. I'm not part of the central direction or the group of cardinals and bishops who assist in the organization and direction of the Synod of Bishops. But I would certainly hope so.

Q. Many Catholics fear that, in the end, the Synod of Bishops will resort to doublespeak. "Pastoral" reasons are used to de facto change doctrine. Are such fears justified?

A. Yes, they are. In fact, one of the most insidious arguments used at the Synod to promote practices which are contrary to the doctrine of the Faith is the argument that, "We are not touching the doctrine; we believe in marriage as the Church has always believed in it; but we are only making changes in discipline." But in the Catholic Church, this can never be, because in the Catholic Church, her discipline is always directly related to her teaching. In other words: the discipline is at the service of the truth of the Faith, of life in general in the Catholic Church. And so, you cannot say that you are changing a discipline not having some effect on the doctrine which it protects or safeguards or promotes. 

Q. The term "mercy" is used to change Church doctrine and even the New Testament in order to condone sin. Was this dishonest use of the term "mercy" exposed during the Synod?

A. Yes, it was. There were Synod Fathers who spoke about a false sense of mercy which would not take into account the reality of sin. I remember one Synod Father said, "Does sin no longer exist? Do we no longer recognize it?" (I don't think a lot of bishops and priests believe in sin anymore, unless we're talking about the "sin" of homophobia and judgementalism.) So, I believe that was very strongly addressed by certain Synod Fathers. The German Protestant - Lutheran - pastor who died during the Second World War, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, used an interesting analogy. He talked about "costly" grace and "cheap" grace. Well, there is no "cheap" grace. When God's life is given to us as it is in the Church, it demands of us a new way of life, a daily conversion to Christ, and we know God's mercy to the degree that we embrace that conversion and strive to  turn every day our lives over again to Christ and to overcome our sinfulness and our weaknesses.

Q. Why is the term "mercy" used for adulterers, but not for pedophiles? In other words: Does the media decide when the Church is allowed to apply "mercy" and when not? (Because it would be politically incorrect to do so, and many bishops simply want to do what the world calls them to do.)

A. This, too, is a point that was made during the Synod. Mercy has to do with the person who, for whatever reason, is committing sin. One must always call forth in that person the good - in other words, call that person to be who or she really is: a child of God. But at the same time, one must recognize the sins, whether they be adultery or pedophilia or theft or murder - whatever it may be - as a great evils, as mortal sins and therefore as repellent to us. We can't accept them. The greatest charity, the greatest mercy that we can show to the sinner is to recognize the evil of the acts which he or she is committing and to call that person to the truth.

Q. Do we still have to believe that the Bible is the supreme authority in the Church and cannot be manipulated - not even by bishops or the Pope?

A. Absolutely! (!!!!) The word of Christ is the truth to which we are all called to be obedient and, first and foremost, to which the Holy Father is called to be obedient. Sometime during the Synod, there was reference made to the fullness of the power of the Holy Father, which we call in Latin plenitudo potestatis, giving the sense that the Holy Father could even, for instance, dissolve a valid marriage that had been consummated. And that's not true. The "fullness of power" is not absolute power. It's the "fullness of power" to do what Christ commands of us in obedience to Him. So we all follow Our Lord Jesus Christ, beginning with the Holy Father.

Q. An archbishop recently said, "We obviously follow the Church's doctrine on the family." Then he added, "...until the Pope decides otherwise." Does the Pope have the power to change doctrine?

A. No. This is impossible. (This is an example of papal idolatry, where the people see the Pope as God Himself and thus able to change doctrine.  The Pope can do no such thing.  We are called to listen, respect and obey the Pope in matters of doctrine, but even he cannot change the truths our Lord passed on to His Church.) We know what the teaching of the Church has been consistently. It was, for instance, expressed by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical letter Casti connubii. It was expressed by Pope Paul VI in Humanae vitae. It was expressed in a wonderful way by Pope St. John Paul II in Familiaris consortio. That teaching is unchanging. The Holy Father gives the service of upholding that teaching and presenting it with a newness and a freshness, but not changing it.

Q. Cardinals are said to wear crimson in order to represent the blood of the martyrs who died for Christ. Except for John Fisher, who was made a cardinal when he already was in jail, no cardinal has ever died for the Faith. What is the reason for this?

A. I don't know, I can't explain it. Certainly some cardinals have suffered greatly for the Faith. We think of Cardinal Mindszenty (1892-1975), for example, in Hungary, or we think of Cardinal Stepinac (1898-1960) in what was Yugoslavia. And we think of other cardinals of different periods in the history of the Church who had to suffer greatly to uphold the Faith. Martyrdom can take more than the bloody form. We talk about red martyrdom, but there is also a white martyrdom which involves faithfully teaching the truth of the Faith and upholding it, and perhaps being sent into exile as some cardinals have been, or suffering in other ways. But the important thing for the cardinal is to defend the Faith usque ad effusionem sanguinis - even to the outpouring of blood. So, the cardinal has to do everything he can to defend the Faith, even if it means the shedding of blood. But also all that goes before that. (I doubt many cardinals, or even bishops and priests nowadays would be willing to die for the Faith.  I have no doubt, however, that Cardinal Burke would--he is that kind of man.)

Q. Your Eminence, a few quick observations: Who is four favorite Saint?

A. Well, the Blessed Mother obviously is the favorite of us all.

Q. That doesn't count!

A. [Laughs] I also have a great devotion to St.Joseph. But one Saint who has really helped me a great deal during my life, since the time I was a child and in the seminary, is St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. Her Little Way continues to be, for me, very helpful in my spiritual life.

Q. What is your favorite prayer?

A. The rosary.  (That must account for the pictures I've seen of him in Rome holding a rosary while walking between appointments.)

Q. What is your favorite book?

A. I suppose the Catechism doesn't count. [Laughs]

Q. No, neither does the Bible.

A. I like also very much the writings of Blessed Columba Marmio (1858-1923), spiritual writings, and I'm also fond of the writings of Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979).

Q. What was your greatest moment as a priest?

A. I think my ordination to the priesthood itself. I keep thinking back to that and everything was there, everything has unfolded from there. What I found most beautiful on the priesthood was that, in the first five years of my priesthood, I hade a very intense priestly service in a parish with the Sacrament of Confession, with many confessions, and the celebration - obviously - of the Holy Mass, and then the teaching of the children in the Faith. Those memories - and then, for a brief period of three years, I taught in a Catholic high school - those are really, for me, treasured memories of my priesthood.

Q. Do you fear the Last Judgment?

A. Of course I do. One thinks, for instance, of all the responsibility that was mine, first as a priest, but even more so as a bishop and a cardinal, and it causes one to examine his conscience. I know there are things that I did that I could have done much better, and that causes me to be afraid. But I hope that the Lord will have mercy on me and I pray for that.  (Ask yourself this:  How many clerics fear the Last Judgment?  Or are they so full of themselves, or so assured of universal salvation that they "know" they will go to Heaven?)

Q. Thank you, Your Eminence.

A. You're welcome."
I can't say it enough:  Raymond Cardinal Burke is a remarkable and holy man.  Thanks be to God that we have him around to be what often seems like the only voice of reason within the high levels of the Church.  Would that he were our pope instead of Jorge Bergoglio.  Maybe next time!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Synod Catastrophe

Catholic faithful--and other followers of Vatican happenings--will be well aware of the mad happenings coming out of the current Synod on the Family.  I won't go into depth with details, but suffice it to say that a devious minority of those in attendance are advocating a change in Catholic doctrine regarding the indissolubility of marriage, reception of the Holy Eucharist by those in obstinate moral sin, and homosexual acts.  They have said again and again that they want no change in doctrine, just how the Church approaches these subjects.  Don't believe their lies!  This devious minority--guided by their own pride and the machinations of Satan himself--want what cannot happen:  a change in Catholic doctrine.  These few cardinals and bishops must be stopped.  We, the faithful, must pray unceasingly that the Holy Ghost will guide the cardinals, bishops, and especially the Holy Father to stand up for truth, justice, and traditional Catholic doctrine.  Which brings me to my next thought:  the Holy Father.

Where is His Holiness during this debacle?  Why has he not spoken out against this work of Satan?  Faithful (and I mean truly faithful) Catholics are fearful and confused by the proceedings of the Synod.  We feel lost, directionless.  Where is the Supreme Pontiff?  Instead of direction from the Vicar of Christ on Earth, we have Raymond Cardinal Burke standing up for the truth.  Now I have been a fan of Cardinal Burke for years, even before he was raised to the cardinalate.  Indeed I have no greater respect and admiration for any cleric in the Church than I do for His Eminence, but why is the Church and the world getting more spiritual direction and comfort from a cardinal than we are from the Pope himself?  His Eminence himself has stated in an interview that it's long overdue for some serious leadership from His Holiness on these issues.  Let's hope Pope Francis wakes up and starts fulfilling the job he was elected to do:  lead one billion Catholics in the ways of the Truth, representing the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity on Earth.  So far--in my estimation--the Holy Father has failed in his sacred duty.