Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Accompanying Those With Same Sex Attraction and Simon the Cyrene

      Father James Martin SJ.  recently spoke in our diocese on the subject of supporting and accompanying those in our parish and family who have same-sex-attraction. This event was problematic because his approach to accompanying those with homosexual inclinations does not encourage chastity. Father Martin does not support the teachings of the Catholic Church on SSA and has been on record as saying that he hopes that homosexual partners will someday be able to kiss one another in Mass. He teaches that chastity for homosexuals is not official Church teaching because the teaching has not been "received by the faithful," and therefore, they are not bound in their conscience to obey.
    I circulated a petition in my diocese asking our bishop to rescind Father Martin's permission to speak in the diocese. In all fairness to our bishop, the invitation was made by a Jesuit retreat center and was not initiated by our diocese. However, our bishop ultimately gave his permission, which was unfortunate, to say the least. He had the authority to prevent Father Martin from speaking but declined to use it.
    Upon hearing of the petition, the bishop invited me to meet with him to discuss my and the many signatories objections to Fr. Martin's visit. I respectfully explained to our bishop that Simon the Cyrene accompanied Jesus and assisted him as he carried his cross to Calvary. (Admittedly he was constrained by the Roman guards and didn't volunteer.) Now as Simon and our Lord painfully trudged towards the crucifixion, Simon could have pointed out a back alley or secret path that they could have escaped to. In the crush of the crowds and confusion, perhaps, Simon could have held the cross and told the Lord to run for it, avoiding the ignominious death on that cross. But, he did not do that and continued to assist Jesus to bear that cross which ultimately led to his death and our salvation. I suggested to our bishop that Father Martin's approach is akin to being a "bad" Simon the Cyrene and encourage the cross-bearer to look for an easy way out.  The "easy way" in this instance is to subtly give permission for those with SSA to continue in unchastity.
     True accompaniment is not helping the person to take the easy way out to avoid the weight and pain of the cross on their backs. To truly help someone is to recognize their burden and with God's grace support them and help them to get to heaven. I imagine Simon the Cyrene may have encouraged Jesus, "Just a little further Lord, hang in there, we'll get there soon, you can do this etc."  In contrast, Father Martin's idea of accompaniment is to tell the individual with same-sex-attraction that they are not bound to chastity and can continue to live in a fashion contrary to Truth.
   May God give us the sensitivity to understand the burden of living with same-sex-attraction and to not judge those who struggle with it . They did not choose this cross for themselves. May we do all we can to support, pray, encourage and love them. Let us be a good Simon the Cyrene for all of our brothers and sisters who have SSA.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Rally Against Bullying in Philadelphia

Deborah and I and a neurosurgeon friend went down to Philadelphia yesterday to join in the protest against a bullying politician.  Apparently his stand against bullying doesn't apply to elderly religious white women who quietly pray the rosary.

    State representative, Brian Sims, posted a video of himself bullying an elderly women  using racist, ageist, and misogynist terms. Her reason for his rant? She was quietly praying outside of a Locust Street Planned Parenthood Abortuary in Center City , Philadelphia. She did not raise her voice, threaten or carry a sign showing violent images. The more she was silent, the more he yelled and became enraged.
   His video went viral, as well as another recent video of him threatening to "dox" a group of young underage women who were also praying outside the abortuary.  He claimed he would pay $100 to anyone who revealed the identity and addresses of the woman so they could receive personal harrasment and threats.
   Thankfully, the pro-life community responded with love and prayers and a rally of over 1000 individuals gathered outside the abortion mill on Friday. Lila Rose of Live Action and Matt Walsh and many others gave short speeches that were greeted with incredible enthusiasm from the crowd standing on Locust Street in a light intermittent rain.
    Our right to freedom of speech is truly being challenged by those who want to continue to support the abortion industry. Thankfully, the faithful pro-life folks won't back down and this rapid gathering of a peaceful protest against bullying was a success. Let's hope that some women with an unwanted pregnancy on Friday, chose to not have an abortion  upon seeing the crowd and hearing the speeches.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

"Post Evangelical "Rachel Evans RIP

I read today that best selling Christian author Rachel Held Evans left this earthly veil this morning after prolonged and serious complications from influenza. She leaves her husband and two small children. Keep her in your prayers as well as her family.

I encountered Rachel's blog in 2015 when she wrote of the need for sacraments instead of coffee to make church relevant to millenials. Here's my post.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter

May the power of His death and resurrection bring you joy, peace and grace!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy Feast Of Saint Patrick

Here's a little tune to honor Saint Patrick. It was written in the 6th century.  Let us pray that he will drive the snakes out of the Church! (As legend says he did in Ireland)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Vatican Symposium on Sex Abuse

Even before the sex abuse summit began this week, Cardinal Cupich at a press conference said that the topic of homosexuality in the priesthood will not be discussed and that homosexuality has no part in the abuse crisis.
Beautifully ironic it is that the summit kicks off on the Feast day of Saint Damien who wrote the book of Gomorrah . This treatise called out the clergy and episcopacy for the rampant sodomy and simony occurring in the early 11th century.

  I doubt that they purposely chose this Saint’s Feast day to start the conference, but it’s definitely a sign to me that God has not forsaken his broken Church.

Lord have mercy on us and your mystical body, the Church here on earth.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Abortion and Racism

1)Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia accepts 2 million dollars in donations from Planned Parenthood to support his gubernatorial campaign.
2)Planned Parenthood, founded by Margaret Sanger who was loved by the KKK as well as the Third Reich, has accomplished its goals of decreasing the number of  non- caucasian babies born.
3) Governor Northam Supports a bill that allows children born alive to be murdered .
4) Governor Northam was discovered to have been called "Coonman" in a yearbook as well as dressing in Blackface of a KKK hood.

Following the bouncing ball folks. Are you surprised that a person who disrepects people of color is all for improving access to abortion with no restrictions whatsoever? Fully knowing that the majority of abortions terminate the life of African Americans and Latinos it is clear why he accepted money from Planned Parenthood and supported an extreme policy of infanticide in his state.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Jesus Did Not Request The Keys Back From Peter

It is understandable how many Catholics feel betrayed and confused in light of the current crisis in the Church. Bad priests, sexually abusing bishops, and cardinals who lie and deceive to cover up for eachothers mortal sins. These can fuel the desire to give up, but there has been 2000 years of deceivers, false shepherds, heretics, Borgia popes, child abusers and murderers in the priesthood.
Yet, Jesus never gave the Keys to Peter with conditions. He never stated that Peter would lose the keys if he messed up. In 2000 years he has never asked for them back.
    SO despite the mortal sin in the Church reaching the highest of levels, this is where we encounter Jesus. IF we continue to go to Him in the Eucharist and confession and hold to nothing else, we can survive.

But, I do wish Lord, for the sake of the victims of abuse, you could clean things up quickly.
Saint Catherine of Siena, pray for us.  Saint  Peter Damian pray for us.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Deceivers Not Weavers!

Pope Francis has released a statement directed at the American bishops who are currently on retreat , praying about the current sex abuse crisis.  In his statement he says  “Clearly a living fabric has come undone, and we, like weavers, are called to repair it."

From the article in the National Catholic Register he says this repair process must involve a “change of mindset” by bishops in relation to prayer, power, exercising authority, and handling money, he explained, with the change rooted in an acknowledgment of the “sinfulness and limitations” which necessitate God’s grace.

I respect the Holy Father and his office, but I think he may be wrong about this fabric repair metaphor.
I'm not sure what he is referring to as the living fabric but it is much more than undone. This fabric has been stained with excrement and body fluids from the false bishops and priests who have sexually abused so many and covered it up. This "fabric" has not been undone but has been shredded and burned by the actions of false shepherds who never had a vocation, but rather, a desire to fulfill their most base desires using the Church as a vehicle for their duplicitous actions.

The pope neglects to mention that the majority of clerical abuse cases are the result of homosexual priests and bishops who refuse to live chastely obeying their calling and the precepts of basic human morality.
I cannot see how the current hierarchy of Jesus' Church will never be able to repair this undoing "like weavers." The hierarchy that has created a system to purposely select out for abusers in seminary, ordain them, promote them and coverup their iniquities can never repair the Church. These men are not weavers, they are deceivers.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Get The Hell Out of The Church"

     I've been reluctant to blog about the current crisis in the Catholic Church for a number of reasons. Basically, it has worn me out and I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me . The only way I can describe it is as if a giant vacuum cleaner has violently sucked the wind from my sails. I am not a victim of the abuse scandal so I have little right to complain compared to the soul-destroying yoke that has been placed on the survivors of clerical sexual abuse.
   A little background before I begin. My wife desired to return to the Catholic faith in the midst of the Boston clerical sex abuse disaster in 2002. Every morning, our local newspaper would announce yet another scandal using bold print on the front page. I told her most vociferously, "Jesus would never be the head of a Church of pedophiles!" Through a long chain of events detailed in my conversion story on this blog, I returned to the Catholic faith in 2004 after more than thirty years spent worshiping God in Protestant evangelical non-denominational churches.
   Ironically, all the fears and suspicions I harbored at the beginning of my journey across the Tiber have now been validated. It does appear that many and perhaps the majority of priests have same sex attraction (are homosexual in their sexual orientation) and recent surveys reveal that many are not celibate. It appears that the seminaries have been run by rectors with predilections for taking sexual advantage of young seminarians, even screening out the heterosexuals who resisted their advances. Bishops have been covering for and even promoting priests with known sexual abuse in their records. My bishop's name was mentioned multiple times in the August Pennsylvania Grand Jury report that showed how over 300 priests had systematically abused more than 1000 individuals,  the abuses being mostly of a homosexual nature. He was aware and likely complicit in the covering up and re-location of priest abusers, based on the report. In my own parish, the silence from the pulpit has been deafening. Are the priests thinking that if they don't bring it up, the faithful will forget and move on?
    Shortly after the  Pennsylvania Grand Jury report was released my wife and I planned a prayer vigil ouside the Cathedral in our diocese. We were told by the bishops's office to not inform the media of the event. Despite us promoting the event in our diocese on social media and email, only one priest attended the vigil.
      In diocese after diocese, the bishops, didn't report the abuse and even promoted or quietly retired the abusers affording them full health and retirement pensions! An American prelate, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been proven to have abused adult seminarians as well as a child and was well known to have sleep-overs in his vacation get-away on the beach. During these sleep-overs, the seminarians were pressured to share his bed. Despite his activities and proclivities being widely known, he was promoted like a rock-star to the highest positions in the Church to the point where he was Pope Francis' trusted adviser and instrumental in the choosing of American bishops.
   Ten years ago,  I became aware of the stories of "Uncle Ted's" immoral behavior at his beach house.  Yet, Cardinal Wuerl, a close associate, as well as McCarrick's roomate, Bishop Farell, completely denied any knowledge of this.  How did a nobody Catholic blogger , such as myself, know about McCarrick, but high ranking officials in the American Catholic Church did not?  It's obvious that they did know.
   Most unsettling in all of this, our Holy Father has been reluctant to address the issue and has publicly reprimanded those in the Church for bringing this abuse to light. He insisted that the American bishops shelve their agenda to address the scandal which was the main point of the November 2018 USCCB conference in Baltimore. He has planned for a meeting in February to address the issues.   Ted McCarrick is outed in June,  the PA Grand Jury report comes out in August and our pope schedules a gathering of bishops more than half a year away from the time that the McCarrick scandal was reported. Could the fact that some of his closest Vatican advisors have ties to homosexual priests in Vatican city perhaps influence the speed of his action on this crisis? Is it odd that the issue of homosexuality in the priesthood and episcopate has been downplayed, while clericalism and materialism are being brought up as the root of the scandal?
   Our Lord promised us that the gates of Hell will not prevail against this Church and ultimately Satan won't triumph, however, we have gotten a lot of Hell in the Church over the past 60 years. Hell has weaseled its way into the Church via corrrupt bishops, hetero and homosexually active and abusive priests with complete disregard for the tenets of our faith.  The gates of Hell will not prevail if we can "Get the Hell out of the Church."  I trust in the Lord's promises and have no plans to ever leave the source and summit of my faith, the Eucharist, but will continue to pray for the cleansing of the Church and for all the victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

In an upcoming post I will propose my ideas  how to Get the Hell Out of The Church. Stay tuned.