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.

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.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Litany for Vicitms of Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

My wife Deborah recently wrote a prayer that can be used to intercede for all those harmed by the abuse crisis and scandal in the Catholic Church. Please feel free to share it with others.

Litany for Victims of Abuse
Lord, have mercy on us.  Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. 
God the Father of Heaven,  Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer Of the world,  Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,  Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
For those who have been sexually abused have mercy
For those who have been raped
Lord have mercy
For those who have been sodomized
Lord have mercy
For those who have been psychologically tortured
Lord have mercy
For those who have been spiritually eviscerated
Lord have mercy
For those who’ve died
Lord have mercy
For those who’ve committed suicide
Lord have mercy
For those who have been discredited
Lord have mercy
For those who have been ignored
Lord have mercy
For those who’s names are still hidden 
Lord have mercy
For those who’s stories have yet to be told
Lord have mercy
For those who’s stories will never be told
Lord have mercy
For those who are too ashamed to come forward 
Lord have mercy
For those who live in fear of being victimized again
Lord have mercy 
For those with chronic depression
Lord have mercy
For those who are suicidal
Lord have mercy
For those with addictions
Lord have mercy
For those who may never be able to live a normal life
Lord have mercy
For those who have no faith
Lord have mercy
For those who have no hope
Lord have mercy
For those who cannot love
Lord have mercy
For those who’ve become abusers themselves 
Lord have mercy
For parents of victims
Lord have mercy
For children of victims
Lord have mercy
For generations to come
Lord have mercy

Holy Mary, Sorrowful Mother, hold all the vicims of sexual abuse
close to your Immaculate Heart.
Jesus, Shepherd of souls, show them your mercy and love.
Father, bring them into your heavenly kingdom.
Holy Spirit, comfort all victims and give them peace.

Friday, June 15, 2018

"I've Been Everywhere, Man and So Is The Church"

I recently completed a 6700 mile long  solo motorcycle trip camping and traveling around the
country. I never cease to be amazed at the wisdom of God in creating a universal church so that his people can worship and receive the graces in the sacraments everywhere.
   On my journey, given that motorcycle riding is an inherently dangerous activity, I made special efforts to "keep accounts short with God"  Which essentially means, I wanted to remain without major or minor sins keeping me from Him. As CS Lewis said, I didn't want to show up in the courts of our king, dripping with slime and muck in ratty clothes in the event of a fatal mishap on the bike (which almost happened but that's a story for another day).
     So with the use of the free handy app "Masstimes" I was able to always find a nearby Church to worship in and receive the graces of confession and the Eucharist. Regardless, of whether in the deep south, the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, to the shores of the Pacific, the plains of Kansas, the mountains of Colorado, I was always able to find a Catholic Church.  Doesn't it just make sense that our Lord desired us to be one, and intended for his people to always have access to a Church?  As a Protestant, we would rarely attempt to go to church on vacation or traveling because the likelihood of finding a fellowship with similar doctrines, worship style, format etc was almost nil.
     So like Johnny Cash sang," I've been everywhere man, Ive been everywhere" and I found a Catholic Church everywhere too!

Sunday, June 03, 2018

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Today the Universal Church celebrates a feast that is so important it is called a solemnity. The solemnity of Corpus Christi has been celebrated around the world since the 13th century. Since the Eucharist is "the source and summit of our faith", it is only fitting that a feast day is celebrated to honor Jesus in the Eucharist.  The fact that Jesus is physically present in the Church and has chosen to abide with us always in the Eucharist is what ultimately led me back to the Catholic faith after 31 years as a Protestant.  Here's a brief history of this wonderful feast day:
     Jesus lost many followers when he told the crowd that unless they eat (the actual word in greek means literally to gnaw) his body and blood they would have no life in them. One year later, the disciples celebrated their first Eucharist with the Lord himself presiding and saying to them, "Take and Eat, this is my body."  Since this first Holy Thursday, the believers celebrated "the breaking of bread" knowing they were partaking in the actual body and blood of Christ.
   Through the prayers of the priest (presbyters) invoking the Holy Spirit the elements are miraculously changed from wine and wheat bread, but still retaining the appearances of the same. This has not always been the easiest concept to accept. Saint Paul had to make it clear to the Corinthian believers that they were indeed partaking in the body and blood of Christ and a strict penalty was experienced for those who did not "discern it rightly."  If a mere symbol was in play, why would believers get sick and even die as a result of taking the communion meal improperly?
   The writings of the Church fathers are indisputable regarding the belief of the Real Presence and even Protestant Church historians admit that earliest Church belief was thoroughly "Eucharistic."
The apostle John, who leaned his head on Jesus' breast at the institution of the Eucharist, had a disciple under his tutelage named Ignatius. Ignatius of Antioch wrote in clear terms that the Eucharist was indeed the real body and blood of Christ, rebuking those who already began to distort its meaning.  Many other early Church fathers including Augustine wrote voluminously on the sacrifice of the mass and the fact that Christ's real body and blood was truly present on the altar.  Why call it an altar if there is no sacrifice?
     For the next 900 years, the Church continued to celebrate the Eucharist, partaking in the actual body and blood of Christ with almost unanimous agreement as to the theology of this sacrament. Then, a priest named Berengarius from Tours began to question this belief and preached against the Real Presence but was corrected by the Church and repented of his error before he died in 1088.
    In the 12th century a devout religious nun named St. Juliana from Liege, Belgium petitioned her bishop to designate a feast day to honor the most Blessed Sacrament and in 1264 the pope set a universal feast called Corpus Christi to honor Jesus in the Eucharist. Saint Thomas Aquinas was commissioned to write the office for the celebration/mass and his explanation of the change of substance from bread to Christ's body is still studied and marveled at today. No, the Church did not "invent" the concept of transubstantiation in the 13th century. The belief had always been there but was never so eloquently elucidated for the faithful as was accomplished by this brilliant and devout monk.
   Now,  fast forward to the Reformation. Luther has just opened his can of worms by declaring that one does not need the Church to tell one what to believe. Within 100 years of Luther's reformation, there was over 200 interpretations of the Lord's supper. To his credit, at least initially, Luther fought vehemently against the other reformers to insist that Jesus was truly present in the communion meal. When he realized his own flawed paradigm sola scriptura was being used against him by Zwingli and others to teach that the Eucharist was only symbolic, he resorted to Sacred Tradition to bolster his defense of the Eucharist. Sadly, his theology morphed further and he no longer held to transubstantiation at the end of his life. You know the rest of the story-only the Orthodox and Catholic Churches retain the original apostolic teaching of the Eucharist, that is, Christ is truly substantially present, body, blood soul and divinity in the Eucharist.
   On the Eve of the Feast of Corpus Christi, I say this to my readers - If you want to get close to Jesus, become Catholic and experience him in the way that the apostles taught and believed. Jesus is waiting. We'll leave the light on for you.