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shrike3's Journal
shrike3's Journal
May 21, 2024

'Stay in your lane!' says KC football player far outside his lane



Butker sees the government's response to COVID-19 as the most obvious overlap between secular and religious leadership failings. He repeatedly alludes to the refusal of many U.S. bishops to continue in-person Masses during the pandemic. According to Butker, this communicates weakness and that "the sacraments don't matter." As such, he suggests, clergy generally lack public authority because they are too afraid and too content. The average clergyman, according to Butker, is too reliant upon lay leadership while pridefully pursuing "adulation." Don't they know that's what social media influencers are for?

Butker's address holds within it a tension around the public and private natures of spirituality. He argues that both clergy and laypeople must be bolder and more public. Yet, he also asserts that praying and fasting in secret reap far greater rewards than any public platform. His repeated digs at the LGBTQ+ community and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives raise the question: Who is allowed to be public? Who and what are expected to stay private?

We hold these questions in mind as Butker transitions to a discussion of gender. It is these comments that have launched his speech into the internet spotlight. He insists that women have been lied to, and that while many of the female graduates are likely thinking about jobs and promotions, those things are far inferior to the call of "homemaker." The most important thing a woman does, according to Butker, is to support her husband in his professional pursuits and remind him of the importance of family. At no point does he say women should not work, only that their work should be subordinate to their marital responsibilities.

While the tonal incongruence of devaluing women's professional pursuits at their own college graduation is aptly attended to in the video's virality, this is not a new belief. More and more, "tradwife" values are being spread by Catholic influencers. What most astonishes me about this speech is the utter hypocrisy of insisting upon a traditional Catholicism while undermining the authority of clerical leadership. He goes so far as to say the average American bishop leads an "inconsequential existence." Setting this disregard of intrinsic human dignity aside, would not a traditional Catholic perspective be to submit to your bishop's catechetical authority?

May 20, 2024

Vatican cracks down on 'supernatural' occurrences in new apparition rules



in a new crackdown aimed to prevent scams, hoaxes and heresies, the Vatican has updated its guidelines for reviewing apparitions, visions and alleged revelations, and reaffirmed that only a pope could formally deem something to be "supernatural."

The guidelines outline six potential conclusions that may be reached and that even the highest level of approval from the Vatican office — Nihil obstat ("nothing hinders&quot — does not express certainty about the event itself, but grants permission for the bishop to promote its pastoral value.

The new rules, which have been in development since 2019, replace the Vatican's 1978 norms, which were kept secret until 2011. The Vatican has historically exercised great caution in giving its seal of approval to supposed supernatural occurrences; the revisions require increased scrutiny and mandate sign-off from Rome before a bishop can rule on a particular case.

The update comes at a time when social media has led to an explosion of new claims of supposed apparitions or visions — including Jesus appearing on food and weeping statues of the Virgin Mary — and at a moment when even traditional Catholic devotions, such as Our Lady of Fatima, have become increasingly politicized and the source of seemingly endless conspiracy theories.

May 20, 2024

Church members help people displaced by Brazil floods, form solidarity networks for assistance



In the rural sphere, the situation is even more complicated, said Franciscan Br. Sergio Görgen, who directs the Small Farmers Movement. One of the major food producers in Brazil, the state of Rio Grande do Sul will deal with the consequences of the floods for a long time, with relevant effects on the supply of items like rice, meat, beans and milk for the whole nation.

"The most impacted farmers were the small ones. Many people lost their entire properties. The government needs to work fast in order to help farmers to get seeds, machines and infrastructure," Görgen told OSV News.

He said the rural families need technical assistance from the government to be able to develop projects and receive funds, and he estimated that at least 6,000 families have been affected in the countryside.

"Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si''' gave us an important warning. But few people listened to him, even in the church," he concluded, referring to the papal environmental encyclical.

(The Brazilian government isn't the only one not listening to those who sound the alarm.)

May 10, 2024

'Cop cities' are on the rise. Catholics should be concerned.

Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity safe haven group. Please read our guidelines before posting.


In the decades after the Civil War, one of the most popular American boogeymen was the so-called "tramp" or "hobo." From about 1870 to 1910, newspapers were littered with pieces fear-mongering the collapse of society they'd usher in, or cheering police and mob violence against them.

A 1875 New York Times blurb, "How to Treat Tramps," for instance, gleefully recounts how cops threatened two young men with the horrors of a prison labor camp they could be sent to as part of this invading hoard until "their ready tears plow[ed] little furrows down their dirty visages."

In truth, the subjects of the "tramp panic" were working-class men who had been transformed from artisans and small farmers into social problems by the depression of the 1870s and the Industrial Revolution. These itinerant workers were usually without wives and land — things requiring a stability that neither the times nor public policy provided. The problems created by this tumult were "solved" instead by police and incarceration.

With the rise of so-called "cop cities" today, I fear we are at the start of another chapter of the mass criminalization of human need.

May 9, 2024

"The Last Thing My Mother Wanted"


Trigger warning: Tough read.

Do you know how many grams of Nembutal it takes to put an elephant to sleep?” asks the anesthesiologist from Pegasos, a voluntary-assisted-death organization in Switzerland, after an evaluative look at my mother.

We — my 74-year-old mother, my younger sister, and I — are sitting on a couch in the suite of a charming hotel near the center of Basel. Thin, contained, elegant, with a neat bob of white hair, Mom is at attention. The doctor seems at ease. As he tucks his hat under a red-and-gold Louis XV–style chair, he tells us that many people who avail themselves of Pegasos’s service, which costs more than $10,000, will sell their car or antique books to spend their last few nights at this hotel.

It is September 28, 2022, the day before my mother is scheduled to inject herself with 15 grams of Nembutal — enough to sedate three and a half elephants, the doctor says. She would not need to worry about waking up or being cremated alive. This was a relief to her, Mom says with a smile.

In June, my sister and I had learned, almost by accident, that she was seeking an assisted suicide. I was on the phone with Mom, listening to her complain about an annoying bureaucrat at the New York County Clerk’s Office, when she mentioned it. “I am putting in an application to Pegasos,” she said impassively, “so I was getting some documents for them.” I texted my sister while we were on the phone: “What the fuck? Why didn’t you tell me about Mom applying to die?” Three little dots. “Wait,” My sister wrote back. “What. What is she doing?”

May 3, 2024

Finally, (some) US dioceses are taking the pope's climate message seriously



Nine years after the publication of Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home," four years following the announcement of the Vatican-led Laudato Si' Action Platform and six months since the release of Francis' apostolic exhortation "on the climate crisis," Laudate Deum, Catholics in the United States are beginning to see the type of clear, tangible and decisive climate action for which the pope has called.


The latest encouraging news came from the Diocese of Lexington, in the middle of Kentucky coal country, when on April 23 Bishop John Stowe announced his diocese has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030. As reported for EarthBeat by NCR environment correspondent Brian Roewe, they've assembled an 11-member task force of diocesan officials and business leaders of major industries in the area, including Toyota and Lexmark.

It's a bold goal from an unlikely region of the country, but the apparent enthusiasm surrounding the initiative goes to show what might be possible when leadership prioritizes climate issues and engages the community in pursuing solutions together. Some might even call it an exercise in synodality, an organizational process that rests on the type of mutual listening and collaboration many people weren't sure the U.S. church hierarchy was capable of practicing. And yet, it's precisely the approach demanded by an integral ecology that recognizes the connectedness of all creation and every facet of a community with a focus on the common good.


And despite reports earlier this year that even some U.S. bishops themselves feel the U.S. church is failing on the pope's climate goals (an opinion NCR has also often expressed within our editorial pages), it does seem that at least some diocesan leadership is ready to rise to the challenge and might be interested in that roadmap.

May 1, 2024

Abducted retired Catholic bishop who mediated between cartels in Mexico is located, hospitalized



A retired Roman Catholic bishop who was famous for trying to mediate between drug cartels in Mexico was located and taken to a hospital after apparently being briefly kidnapped, the Mexican Council of Bishops said Monday.

The church leadership in Mexico said in a statement earlier that Msgr. Salvador Rangel, a bishop emeritus, disappeared on Saturday and called on his captors to release him.

But the council later said he "has been located and is in the hospital," without specifying how he had been found or released, or providing the extent of his injuries.

In Mexico, regular kidnappings are often lengthy affairs involving long negotiations over ransom demands. "Express" kidnappings, on the other hand, are quick abductions usually carried out by low-level criminals were ransom demands are lower, precisely so the money can be handed over more quickly.

May 1, 2024

After Vatican text, pope tells Jeannine Gramick: Trans people 'must be accepted'



i have been very sad since April 8, 2024, when the Vatican's Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith promulgated Dignitas Infinita, the Declaration on Human Dignity. I have felt the immense grief among LGBTQ people and their families and friends. This document states many beautiful and essential truths, but the section on Gender Theory, which condemns "gender ideology," is harming the transgender people I love.

I wrote a note to Pope Francis to tell him about my sadness and my disappointment with the use of the concept, "gender ideology." He responded by sharing his understanding of this idea—an understanding that I had not heard before.

Pope Francis wrote:

Gender ideology is something other than homosexual or transsexual people. Gender ideology makes everyone equal without respect for personal history. I understand the concern about that paragraph in Dignitas Infinita, but it refers not to transgender people but to gender ideology, which nullifies differences. Transgender people must be accepted and integrated into society.


I told Pope Francis that, many years ago, I could not understand why some transgender people seek "sex-change interventions," a term used by Dignitas Infinita to describe what health care professionals call "gender-affirming medical interventions." But I have not lived their lives, nor have I had their experiences. However, I have listened to their stories. And I ask myself, "How must it feel to live in a body with an identity contrary to how you believe God created you in your soul?"

April 29, 2024

Tiedrich: the New York Times can piss up a rope.

AG Sulzberger, can we talk? can I call you Arthur? look, Artie, there’s an election coming up. it’s just six months away. one guy wants to continue to lead a democracy. the other guy wants to be a Day One Dictator. you think you’re settling a score with Joe Biden? just wait until Donny Fuckface settles his score with you.

hey Art, have you seen the recent reports about how during his his presidency, Donald Trump used to openly talk about having his enemies executed?

do you think that shit’s going to change if Donny regains power and all the guardrails of democracy are removed? no sir, it’s only going to get worse. pick up a history book and read about what happens to the media under fascist regimes.

now I’m sure you’re going to hand me some bullshit line about “newspapers should impartially report on the candidates,” but for fuck’s sake, you’re not even doing that right now. to hell with impartiality — if you can tip the scales against Biden and call it journalism, you can sure as shit tip the scales for Biden.

April 9, 2024

"Ministry to Irish Travellers, Gypsy and Roma groups strengthens my faith."

I found this so interesting I thought I'd share. Please note this is a safe haven group. Please read our rules before posting. Thanks.


I am a sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, working in Nottingham, England, primarily with the Irish Travellers, Gypsy and Roma community. I have a wonderful team of volunteers and co-workers from the diocese who assist me in pastoral work with families, preparing children and youth for baptism, first Communion and confirmation, and adults for marriage. It is a wonderful ministry and very varied, including conducting classes to helping those who cannot read to reply to letters, fill out forms, apply for passports and whatever else might come up.

According to the Traveller Movement organization in Britain, Irish Travellers are a nomadic group of people from Ireland who have a separate identity, heritage and culture from the community in general. Irish Travellers' presence can be traced to 12th-century Ireland, with migrations to Great Britain in the early 19th century. The movement estimates about 300,000 Gypsy Roma and Traveller people currently live in Britain.

The organization estimates that Romani gypsies have been in Britain at least since 1515, migrating through Europe from northern India. The name "gypsy" was given by settled folk who mistook them as Egyptians because of their dark complexion. It is also known that there were Indigenous nomads in Britain when the new arrivals came.

According to the organization's website, the people live a variety of different lifestyles, some "on the road" and some living in mobile homes or caravans on council or private sites. Others settle in one place during school periods and travel during summer; while others live in permanent housing, but retain their culture and traditions.

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