Monday, July 29, 2013

Some good observations by John Thavis on Pope Francis and WYD

I just want to pass off some quotes from an article I picked up at New Advent, written by John Thavis.  You may have read that Pope Francis wanted people to go out and "make a mess" in their diocese.  Keep in mind that things can be translated in different ways.  Being told to, "go fly a kite," doesn't mean you should go fly a kite in reality, but to get lost. But, when someone tells you to get lost they don't mean.... oh, never mind!  Moving right along...

Thavis writes:

Here’s how the Vatican officially translated the pope’s remarks, delivered off-the-cuff to Argentinian pilgrims at World Youth Day in Brazil: 
“I want you to make yourselves heard in your dioceses, I want the noise to go out, I want the church to go out onto the streets, I want us to resist everything worldly, everything static, everything comfortable, everything to do with clericalism, everything that might make us closed in on ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions are made for going out ... if they don’t, they become an NGO, and the church cannot be an NGO. May the bishops and priests forgive me if some of you create a bit of confusion afterward. That’s my advice. Thanks for whatever you can do.” 
That’s a radical message from a pope, and yet it was perfectly in line with Francis’ effort to move the church out of the sacristy and into the street, away from theological debates and toward real-life encounters with the suffering and marginalized.

Having heard Pope Francis say something similar so many times, to "go outside" of "ourselves" or, "our churches" I pretty much understood him to be saying that the Gospel isn't something to be kept to ourselves. We are not meant to go to Mass on Sunday, then go about our week without using some of those "talents" given us by the Lord to bring others to him.  It reminds me of the e-poster that was going around soon after Pope Francis was elected:

If you can't read it the first frame shows Pope John Paul II saying, "This is what we believe." The second has Pope Benedict XVI saying, "This is why we believe it." And, the last shows Pope Francis saying, "Now go do it."

This means there is a reason for the different personalities of each of the Popes and one not being better than the other.  Each serves a particular purpose just as St. John was different from St. Paul.

Back to the article by Thavis, here is another good quote.

- The pope implicitly addressed the challenge raised by Pentecostal and evangelical communities, which have attracted many Brazilian Catholics over the last 30 years. He did so primarily by showing attention to spiritual needs of the suffering – the kind of attention many say they have not found in the Catholic Church. 
On another level, Francis’ insistence on the Gospel of the poor stood in marked contrast with the “prosperity theology” espoused by some Brazilian Christian preachers.

-- He gave some strong marching orders to Catholic ministers and pastoral workers, telling them to promote a “culture of encounter” with those outside the church: “We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel! It is not enough simply to open the door in welcome, but we must go out through that door to seek and meet the people!” 
And taking a page from his own playbook, the pope encouraged ministers to reject intellectualism and speak the language of simplicity. He spelled it out bluntly: “At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying.” 
-- Francis connected with the young – but reminded them to keep in mind the elderly. It was clear that the pope sees young people in the church as part of a larger community, not as an isolated subset that needs a special “marketing” approach by the hierarchy.

Translation: Spare the gimmicks, slogans and programs - which are superficial and often ignored.  But who can ignore someone who goes into the trenches and proclaims the truth, sometimes without words? Mother Teresa brought more into the Church than any program or gimmick.  St. Philip Neri, St. John Bosco, St. Gemma, St. Francis, St. Guiseppe Moscati all went out against the grain of their times and carried truth in charity to places many intellectual and nominal Catholics did not want to go.

Pope Francis warns of not becoming an NGO.  I'm reminded of a moving video created some years ago by Grass Roots Films called, "God in the Streets of New York City"  Many of the friars  in this video minister daily to the poorest of the poor in that city, but they don't sidestep the spiritual side.  The food they eat is often food that is considered throw away. They feel the pain of the poor because they live among them.  They don't sugar coat a relationship with Jesus because to have a relationship with Jesus involves giving something to him - one's will.  People want to stay in their sin because it brings them worldly pleasure and too many priests are afraid to upset them or cause them pain.  But, a boil that is not lanced is a boil that can lead to a bloodstream infection and death. 

And this is a point often missed:

He emphasized that young people need to appreciate the experience and wisdom of elders, who are often forgotten by society. In this way, he introduced a new theme into World Youth Day: that the young and the old are sometimes victims of our modern economy, which treats both categories as disposable. "We do the elderly an injustice. We set them aside as if they had nothing to offer us," he said.
When my mother was in a nursing home for rehab several years ago before she passed away, I had to go there and saw things that just tugged at my heart.  It was painful to be there, yet I was moved to pity for these people who were probably in most need of a priest, and were least likely to see one.  Their souls are no less precious to God than the smallest of babies.  Here they were at the end of their life without the benefit of the grace that comes with regular Sunday Mass and opportunity for Confession.  Some have dismissed this when I have brought it up because they presume all of those people are senile .  The suffering in those places for those of sound mind is all the more reason for priests to draw closer to them.  If you want to talk about "going out" a priest might consider spending one afternoon a month at a local nursing home and going room to room seeing who might want confession and the Eucharist.  I guarantee he would forgo many other things and go back and would feel the satisfaction that comes with saving souls in the most vulnerable period of their lives when Satan can exert very little to snatch them.

But I am glad to that the Holy Father talked about the wisdom of elders.  We've all been young and we all know what kind of pride can dwell in people at that time.  There is much for old people to learn from the young and for the young to learn from the old.

Go read the whole article at the blog of John Thavis.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pope Francis prays Stations of the Cross at WYD [Full text] | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views

Pope Francis prays Stations of the Cross at WYD [Full text] | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views

*Photo: Reuters

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski
Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dissenting Austrian priest not permitted to speak in Archdiocese of Detroit

Following Cardinal Sean O'Malley and Archbishop Chaput, Archbishop Vigneron, would not permit the dissenting Austrian priest, Father Helmut Schüller, to speak at a Westland, Michigan parish.  

From Catholic World News

Detroit's Archbishop Allen Vigneron has vetoed an appearance by the Austrian dissident priest, Father Helmut Schüller, at a local parish. 
Father Schüller, the leader of the Austrian "Call to Disobedience," is on a speaking tour in the US this month. His appearance in Detroit will now take place at a local high school. 
Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia had already barred appearances by the Austrian cleric in the parishes of their archdioceses. In Boston, Father Schüller spoke at a Unitarian church; in Philadelphia he was hosted by an independent Catholic college, Chestnut Hill College, despite the archbishop's disapproval.
It sounds like Archbishop Vigneron put the kibosh to his speaking engagement on parish property as soon as it became known this priest was coming to town and people notified the Archdiocese of Detroit.  There is more going on than his advocating for females to be admitted to ordination.  From a site to which I would rather not link:

LGBT people, their loved ones, and their allies are among those harmed by exclusionary church policies, and these issues will be part of his speaking agenda on the U.S. tour. Both New Ways Ministry and DignityUSA are among the sponsors of Fr. Schüller’s visit. Other sponsors include Call to Action, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, CORPUS, FutureChurch, the National Coalition of American Nuns, Voice of the Faithful, the Quixote Center, and the Women’s Ordination Conference.

I'm glad he was prevented from speaking on Church property.   I know that some might wonder why a statement isn't made, discouraging Catholics from attending the talk offsite.  Well, one could reason that it is much like free advertisement. And, people who are curious as to why this priest would be banned from speaking in a Catholic parish, might go to satisfy that curiosity.  Often times these things leak out when supporters run to the press complaining that a bishop is picking on their dissenting speaker.  The press is often very happy to take up the "cause."

I'll say this much: When good bishops explicitly disallow someone from speaking on parish property, take a hint.  There is nothing virtuous about following one's own desire to have their ears tickled with whatever it is they want to hear.

You can read more in the Detroit Free Press:
Archbishop Allen Vigneron bans liberal priest speech from Westland church

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 

Church Teaching on Ordination and Gender

What does the Church teach on priestly ordinations and females?

Let Pope John Paul II explain.  Here is his 1994 Apostolic Exhortation, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

How about the infallibility of that exhortation? Read here.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

World Youth Day Begins!

My blogging continues to happen at a periodic pace as I continue to use my after-work time this summer to try to catch up on some much needed house work.  I will be following World Youth Day as much as I can. I often will leave the TV on or my EWTN App running in the background as I work, so I can listen.

Early this evening, at 5:30 PM ET, there will be a World Youth Day Mass with Pope Francis.  You can catch it on EWTN via cable, or online.  Click the Watch/Listen tab on the left when you get to EWTN's homepage.

If you want the raw feed, you can go right to the Vatican website's page for World Youth Day 2013 in Rio, Brazil (note that when you click the player for live feed or archived video, there may be a language toggle, I believe in the upper right hand corner, with lots of language options).

For a variety of commentary on it, I recommend checking the Catholic portal, New Advent, daily.  Kevin picks material up from many other Catholic sites.   Of course, Father Z will probably be covering it, as well.

Catholic Culture, which has give an all clear with it's recent technical issues, is a good place to get summaries, usually with links to original source material.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Another Carmelite Feast Day: St. Elijah the Prophet

St. Elijah and the Hearth Bread

Extending, again to my Carmelite brothers and sisters everywhere, a blessed feast day.  Just four days after Our Lady of Mt. Carmel comes the feast of Elijah, the biblical prophet.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Elijah, the prophets and conversion of heart2581 For the People of God, the Temple was to be the place of their education in prayer: pilgrimages, feasts and sacrifices, the evening offering, the incense, and the bread of the Presence ("shewbread") - all these signs of the holiness and glory of God Most High and Most Near were appeals to and ways of prayer. But ritualism often encouraged an excessively external worship. The people needed education in faith and conversion of heart; this was the mission of the prophets, both before and after the Exile. 
2582 Elijah is the "father" of the prophets, "the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob."30 Elijah's name, "The Lord is my God," foretells the people's cry in response to his prayer on Mount Carmel.31 St. James refers to Elijah in order to encourage us to pray: "The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective."32 
2583 After Elijah had learned mercy during his retreat at the Wadi Cherith, he teaches the widow of Zarephath to believe in The Word of God and confirms her faith by his urgent prayer: God brings the widow's child back to life.33 
The sacrifice on Mount Carmel is a decisive test for the faith of the People of God. In response to Elijah's plea, "Answer me, O LORD, answer me," the Lord's fire consumes the holocaust, at the time of the evening oblation. The Eastern liturgies repeat Elijah's plea in the Eucharistic epiclesis
Finally, taking the desert road that leads to the place where the living and true God reveals himself to his people, Elijah, like Moses before him, hides "in a cleft of he rock" until the mysterious presence of God has passed by.34 But only on the mountain of the Transfiguration will Moses and Elijah behold the unveiled face of him whom they sought; "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God [shines] in the face of Christ," crucified and risen.35 
2584 In their "one to one" encounters with God, the prophets draw light and strength for their mission. Their prayer is not flight from this unfaithful world, but rather attentiveness to The Word of God. At times their prayer is an argument or a complaint, but it is always an intercession that awaits and prepares for the intervention of the Savior God, the Lord of history.36
Those footnotes can be found in the CCC link provided above the quote, if you want to refer back to Scripture.

I belong to the secular branch of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, thus the "S" in OCDS.  The OCD is the Carmelite branch is the fruit of reforms by St. Teresa of Avila and we are sometimes referred to as "Teresians".  Prior to that, there were just the Carmelites, now referred to as the branch of "Ancient Observance." Those in this branch carry "O. Carm" after their names rather than OCD.  They are also referred to as "calced."  More on the history of the Carmelite order can be found here.

I'll leave you with additional information to peruse.

For more on Elijah:

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Please pray for American Papist, Tom Peters (serious neck injury)

Please pray for Tom Peters, perhaps still known among many who have been around the Catholic cyber-water cooler, as the American Papist.  From the blog of his father, blogging canonist, Ed Peters:

As many of my blog readers already know, my oldest son Thomas (theAmerican Papist) was seriously hurt in a swimming accident two days ago and remains in critical condition with spinal cord injuries at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He, his wife of three months Natalie, and our families are overwhelmed with the outpouring of prayers and support that we have received so far, and now I would like to ask a special favor. 
Please consider invoking the intercession of Fr. Felix Cappello SJ (1879-1962), one-time Confessor of Rome and the greatest sacramental lawyer of the 20th century, for Thomas’ speedy and complete recovery. I draw on Cappello’s canonical works in almost everything I write—no joke, I am finishing a scholarly article right now that he provided the crucial insight for—but I never thought I’d suggest drawing on his intercession for one of my very own. Well, I am doing so now.
Read the full post by Dr. Peters at his blog.

Tom blogs at the Catholic Vote site and he is the Media Director for the National Organization of Marriage.

Father Z has been providing updates copied from the Facebook page of Ed Peters, so there is more there.

Fr. Cappello, please intercede for Tom, and may the Blessed Virgin Mary bring comfort and strength to his wife, and family. Of course, we ought not forget to pray to his guardian angel, as well.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Trailer: Letter to a Priest

I'm looking forward to eventually seeing the film related to this trailer.  It is premiering at World Youth Day in Rio.

I meant to post this last month.  From the You Tube page:

Letter to a Priest is a short film inspired by Lettre à un Religieux, a book by French philosopher Simone Weil. World premiere in July 2013

There is a Facebook page for Letter to a Priest, so you can follow for updates and see what others are saying.

Here is the trailer:

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

The Zimmerman Trial: Some Random Thoughts

This is a long post.  I know not everyone is interested in this topic.  I know only those interested will want to read it, despite it's length.

Some may wonder why I would want to discuss the recent Zimmerman trial.  It's really off-topic for this blog, but some friends of mine were discussing it and I said I would offer my perspective here where I could make links and embed some things.  The media has been very selective in it's reporting.  While some doctored evidence to fit a certain narrative (such as NBC, which is now being sued by Zimmerman); other news sources - TV, radio, internet - omit things which also shape a certain narrative.  I wanted to explain to my friends how I arrived at my own conclusions.  I'm open to discussion and challenge on my understanding of the facts; I will not publish any comments filled with hate, ill-will, or inappropriate language.

I had been a pretty "low-information person" on the matter because I had merely followed headlines on the case.  I felt bad for the kid - he lost his life.  I had no idea what to think about Zimmerman; he was portrayed as a zealot.  First he was "white" then he was made into a "white-hispanic" by the media.

When I had vacation the first week of July, I had no idea I was going to immerse myself deep into the trial as I worked around my house.  I tried watching it on cable news channels, but they kept breaking for commercials and commentary. I found WFTV in Florida streaming it live, uninterrupted, with a retired attorney providing some matter-of-fact, informative commentary during the recesses.  I just let it run. When I would watch the news stories about a given day's trials, I sometimes wondered if they were watching the same thing I was.  Some critical things were omitted in the reporting.

I never thought I would find myself going back and watching some of the archived testimony I had missed.  I did the same in the evenings and weekends after returning to work on things I couldn't view or listen to by day.  By the time the jury was deliberating, I had digested it all.

So, my perspective isn't based on the CNN version, or the Fox version, or the MSNBC or Headline News versions.  My perspective isn't based on what was found online - I had not gone digging for information on this case during the trial. I just watched and listened to it.

I went into the trial believing those terrifying screams for help were that of Trayvon Martin. I came out of the trial convinced that it was George Zimmerman's voice that begged for help for at least 45 seconds, and I was not swayed by anyone's recognition of the voice - not relatives, nor friends.  Rather, it was the evidence at trial that convinced me it was Zimmerman.  Everyone battled to say it was the voice of Trayvon or the voice of Zimmerman because it would mean the other person was the aggressor. When it comes to self-defense that is important to establish.

People are talking about the Stand-Your-Ground law.  I won't be discussing that here because it didn't factor in. The defense didn't use that. Rather, Team O'Mara went for a full acquittal on all charges based on self-defense itself, knowing the Prosecution would likely put manslaughter in at the end. No one expected them to add Murder 3 (involving child abuse), but the Judge wasn't playing in that sandbox, so it wasn't on the table for jurors.

Some information you may not be getting from news sources

This diagram comes from a page at the Jawa Report.  It's speculative, but so is every other map out there, including those at the big news outlets.  But, this one fits the evidence given at trial as I envisioned it, so I am using it.

The red represents the path Trayvon Martin was taking and it is based on information Zimmerman gave, combined with testimony by Rachel Jeantel (Dee-Dee), the friend of Martin. Trayvon was on the phone with her leading up to the incident.

Yellow represents Zimmerman's path as he explained it, and as is supported by the first call to police.

Note the times are not shown, so just study the path and we will look at the graph again later as we bring in some time stamps. You might need to study this a few times after reading this full post.

Trayvon's Inadvertent Suspicious Behavior
One thing I want to point out is that if you look at the map, you see Trayvon's path beginning along the grass closer to the houses.  He was not walking in the street or on a sidewalk, but closer to the houses. It's understandable how someone might profile this behavior as suspicious.   Trayvon was also on the phone and may have been doing what many do when on the phone, stopping and looking around as he spoke.  This is something you don't hear anyone reporting on. All they keep saying is he was coming home with his skittles and fruit drink minding his own business. He was minding his own business, but he inadvertently made himself suspicious by walking too close to the buildings and Zimmerman spotted him as he was coming or going to a store.

Rash of Break-ins
Another important aspect of this, to put it in context, is that the neighborhood had dozens of break-ins.   One woman from the neighborhood testified that not long before incident, she saw two young, black males trying to get into her home while she was alone with her young son.  She called police as they broke in and were moving about the house. She herself in a room per their instructions, with scissors in hand, and the burglars were scared away when cops got there.  So, they "got away" (recall the language by Zimmerman that, "these f**** punks always get away." When I listen to the audio you'll hear in a minute, I took it to mean he was talking about people that were responsible for the many break-ins he mentioned at the beginning of his call. That was completely twisted out of context, and still is in many reports.

As an aside, I think O'Mara got out of that lady whose house was broken into while she was alone with her son, that the young men were caught some weeks after Martin was killed.  Zimmerman had come to the woman's aid and he didn't even know her.  He was aware that the door walls were not secure so he added a clip for her. He told this young mother to call him or his wife if she was afraid and wanted help (the woman was traumatized).

Now, you will find sites out there listing Zimmermans' dozens of calls to police, many of which he is describing young, black males and suspicious activity.  This is evidence, to them, of racism.  Consider for a moment that, of those caught, defense attorney Mark O'Mara pointed out most or all were black, and they were in their late teens.

So, while Zimmerman made a lot of calls, there are probably an equal number (or greater) of police reports with people having been victimized.

The First Call by Zimmerman
First, you have to listen to the raw, unedited audio of the first call George Zimmerman made to the non-emergency number (NEN) for the local police.  As George is talking try to follow him in the map above.  We'll do the same with Jeantel's testimony for Trayvon's path.

This raw audio of the call begins at 7:09:34 PM per the "connected" note on the police call log.  Some are talking about a roughly 2.5 minute gap in what was originally thought to the the start of the call and that 7:09:34 time, but the 7:11:12 was the "created time" in the police report.  Some say Zimmerman spent that 2.5 minutes looking for Martin.  Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said Zimmerman could have stopped and just been looking around on his way back to the car after looking at the house address (perhaps a 20-30 second walk).  So, at least two theories fill the blank; you can't say either theory is fact. It's an unknown. But, as we will see later, it seems unlikely that Zimmerman went looking for Trayvon and I'll explain why I believe this to be so.

Very Important Tidbits from Trayvon's Friend 
Let's help establish some of the points in that red path using the testimony of Rachel Jeantel, the friend of Trayvon Martin (not his girl friend).

I don't trust edited clips because everyone is editing them to fit their own narrative, especially some of the big cable channels.  I'm using trial video from local Florida TV station, WFTV, which is keeping the full, raw archive indefinitely). Make of the testimony what you will.

Defense attorney, Don West, established via Rachel Jeantel's testimony earlier (maybe Part 3 on Day 13), that the two had lots of calls that day between one another, and part of the reason was that Trayvon's phone kept losing it's signal.  This happened after Trayvon began talking to her about Zimmerman, as well.

Now, we begin an important discussion of some facts you won't see the talking heads discussing in the news. Here is Day 13, Part 4 in the WFTV archives if you care to watch the first 15 minutes or so.  Here are some key points:

From the phone records of Trayvon Martin's phone, Don West focused on the last two calls with the following start/stop times:
  • 6:54:16 - 7:11:47  (recall, Zimmerman's call to NEN began at 7:09:34)
  • 7:12:06 - 7:15:43 (call dropped again as words were exchanged between Martin and Zimmerman).
Rachel Jeantel confirms that the first call had dropped and it took her about 19-20 seconds to reconnect with thim.  Prior to that drop, she had told him to just run and he told her he was running.  

Now, this next part, for me, was very important. 

Start this video around the 4 minute, 47 second mark (Day 13 in part 5), if you want to watch (to at least about 9 minutes in).  My notes from the video are below.

Don West continues to question Jeantel after the short recess.  We learn the following from Jeantel:
  • Zimmerman was still in his car when Trayvon began running right before the call dropped.
  • After the 19 or 20 second gap when the signal dropped, Jeantel had Trayvon on the phone again and told her he was "by the back" of his dad's fiance's house where he had been staying (he had been there for about a week, visiting).  On the map we looked at earlier, that house is at location (4)
  • Trayvon told her that he had lost Zimmerman (and recall, Zimmerman lost Trayvon).
  • Jeantel said at this point, Martin was breathing hard and tired, as if he had been running, so she believed what he was telling her just previously. 
  • Jeantel said Trayvon then began talking in a whispered voice for the next several minutes leading up to his encounter with George Zimmerman, at which time she heard Trayvon ask him: "Why you following me for?"  
The response she says she heard from Zimmerman varied between two different accounts. Jeralyn Merritt at the Talk Left blog has provided solid legal analysis, and says this (and I recommend reading her full post to see the many ways she's impeached herself):

She's now impeached on several areas, especially GZ's response to TM after TM confronted GZ and asked him, "What are you following me for?" I'm so glad West brought this out, see my post here. Her first answer to Crump was that GZ responded with "What are you talking about" not "What are you doing around here."
At the trial she claimed he said the latter. If you look at the frame I got out of Mark O'Mara's closing argument, you see two cardboard figures made to the height of each of the men. Trayvon was 6'3" - taller than O'Mara, especially with the kind of shoes he had on.  Some engaged in semantics saying Trayvon was NOT a cardboard cut out.  People had a right to know the size difference between Zimmerman and Martin. Kids his age were being sent off to war back in the 60's and 70's.  It makes more sense that George, in front of this towering figure, would respond with the first statement, but we will are left to guess since she gave two different answers.

Here again is that map.  From what we learned out of Jeantel's testimony, Zimmerman was in his car at bubble 2 at the time that Trayvon went running.  He gets out and begins to go up along that horizontal path (recall cop asked him which way he was running) as Trayvon runs during that 19-20 seconds about 80 yards to the back of his dad's fiance's house.  You hear wind in Zimmerman's phone and the cop tells him he doesn't need to follow the kid (3). Zimmerman says "okay" and within a few seconds you hear the wind or breathing calm (no one is certain which it is). Audio can't tell us if he changed direction, stood in place or kept walking straight ahead.  Zimmerman responded to the cop's request for an address by walking out to (5).  As he headed back, George says Trayvon approached him from behind, towards the left. If Trayvon had made it home, then came back up to the "T", and if George had just past the "T" heading back to his car, this would make sense.

The Animation

Now that you have an idea of where Martin had been (per Jeantel's testimony), watch the animation that was allowed in closing, but not in the trial itself.  You see Martin coming up the vertical path from the place he was staying and encountering Zimmerman as he gets just past the "T" (George's flashlight and I think his keys were found there).  If Trayvon had "lost" George, why did he come back up to the "T" if not to confront him?

The reason Trayvon is shown on top is because the closest eye-witness, John Good, said the guy on the bottom had the lighter jacket on, and he said that was the guy that was screaming. You hear that 911 call from Lauer overlaid in this animation.

Keep in mind when Ms. Lauer called, the screams were already rather loud and give us a sense that whomever is screaming is terrified.  I think the screams for help went on for 40-45 seconds, which is an eternity to someone getting the snot beat out of him.  If there is any doubt that it is Zimmerman, I'll add this: Since Trayvon was placed on top, MMA style (Mixed Martial Arts), and because George is the only one with visible signs of a pummeling, it makes no sense for Martin to scream for help while he is delivering all that.  You don't scream help when you have someone pinned down.  Zimmerman had punctate wounds in several places on his skull, along with the two lacerations on the back and swellings.  Those are consistent with the head being hit against cement, according to world renown ME, Dr. Vincent De Maio (You can see his compelling testimony here broken into parts. Use the side bar to get additional parts)

Moreover, aside from the gun shot wound to the front of his chest, Trayvon had one other injury - an abrasion on the knuckle, consistent with being scraped against cement or something else.  So, until the gun went off, the only aggressor appears to have been Trayvon.

Did he go back up the "T" looking for Zimmerman because he was afraid?  Or, did he do so because he was annoyed? We will never know.  It just doesn't make sense to me that when you are near the safety of home, and have lost someone who is following you, why would go back out into the darkness between those houses?

So much more; so little space

There is so much more I can point to that swayed me, including the testimony of Lead Detective Serino whose testimony as a witness for the Prosecution, and for the Defense, both worked in favor of the latter.  There was also Chief Lee's testimony on how, when he learned the 911 tape would be released, he tried to stop the Mayor from "infecting" each of the family members by letting them hear it all together (this is law enforcement 101 to separate people so they don't sway each other, even inadvertently).  Chief Lee was fired. Serino claimed the father had indicated that the screams were not coming from Trayvon (and another cop nearby corroborated witnessing that), and he claimed in court, it was his son screaming (but the prosecution didn't call him as it did his mother).  Serino was earlier demoted.

There was also rather strange testimony from the State's medical examiners, Dr. Rao and Dr. Bao, in contrast to Dr. Di Maio.  That's for another post, if I feel like it.  The medical science aspects of it revealed some very interesting things that fly in the face of some other common narratives.  Even the defense seemed to concede, if only passively, that Trayvon was the guy on top.

Both Martin and Zimmerman were imprudent
In the end, it appears as if both George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin made imprudent decisions that fateful night.  Zimmerman would have been smarter to stay in his car, if anything for his own safety. Martin would have been smarter to slip into his dad's fiance's home after he lost Zimmerman for his own safety.  Both men had a right to be in in that location. Nothing was unlawful about either man following the other. It appears, by the evidence, that the first unlawful move came when Trayvon Martin sucker-punched Zimmerman.  Some say George didn't need to shoot.  But, after at least 45 seconds of screaming for help, consider that no one came. He couldn't retreat. He couldn't stop the beating, and I know if my head was being slammed into the cement and I was taking blows to my head, I would have to wonder if the next hit would render me unconscious.

For these reasons, I believe the jury came to the right conclusion on the matter of self defense.

I had never seen this video before, at least not the raw version.  Seeing clips really does change perception versus the raw video.  Consider Zimmerman did this the day after the shooting, without an attorney when he had the right not to speak.  Before he even knew those screams for help were on the 911 tape, he told the detectives he was yelling and yelling for help and no one came. Detective Serino had used a ruse by telling George that someone caught the whole thing on video (a tactic that makes liars more truthful).  Zimmerman's response: Oh, thank God someone got it.  Officer Serino said that is when he realized George was telling the truth.  As for small inconsistencies, Serino said police expect some and he did not think the small inconsistencies were outside the norm. He said police are more suspicious when a story is too consistent upon repeating. It shows memorization.

I pray for all affected and I ask you to do the same.  What an epic tragedy.


Someone just linked to this epic show down between two black liberals -  Juan Williams  and Leo Terrell (civil rights attorney) -  that Sean Hannity had on as guests.  It looks like this is not just dividing whites, blacks and hispanics, but it is dividing the black community, as well.

This is EPIC to the nth degree!

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Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Martyrs of Compiègne

And today, another Carmelite feast day...

Here are some snippets from an article at Catholic Lane today (link at bottom):

The Carmelite Sisters of the Carmel of Compiegne, including the Prioress, Sr. Teresa of St. Augustine and fifteen companions were ordered to leave their Carmel on September 14, 1792 – the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Shortly before their eviction, Sr. Teresa of St. Augustine led the Sisters into making a communal act of consecration offering their lives for the sake of peace in France. Outside of the convent, the women lived in groups of four and wore the garb of simple French women. They continued to live by the rules of the Carmel, meeting for common prayer and seeking solace in the Sacred Heart.
On July 17, 1794, the Carmelite Sisters, dressed in their religious habits in defiance of the order to wear plain dress, were led through the streets of Paris in a tumbrel, the open cart for transporting prisoners to the guillotine. At the Place du Trone Renverse, they were taken off the cart. Sr. Charlotte of the Resurrection, a seventy-eight year old invalid, was cruelly thrown to the ground from the tumbrel.  Witnesses heard her forgive her tormentor and offer words of encouragement and prayer for him. Although she had an “extreme horror” of the guillotine, Sr. Julie declared: “We are victims of the age, and we must sacrifice ourselves for its reconciliation with God.” Strengthened by their intense devotion to the Sacred Heart, witnesses observed that they “looked like they were going to their weddings.” 
The crowds that usually gathered at executions were rowdy, often hurling insults and mocking the criminal; however, at the sight of the sixteen Sisters, the crowd watched in stunned silence. Not a sound came from the mob of onlookers.
Read the whole story in context of history at Catholic Lane.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Today: Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Happy and blessed feast day to all of my fellow Carmelites on Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  This is what is in the Carmelite Office explaining this feast day.

July 16th

Solemn Commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Mt. Carmel is commemorated in Sacred Scripture for its beauty, and it was there that the prophet Elijah defended the purity of Israel's faith in the living God.  Towards the end of the twelfth century A.D. near a spring called after Elijah, a group of hermits established themselves on Mt. Carmel and built an oratory in honor of Our Lady, whom they chose as their titular and patroness.  They became known as 'the Brothers of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel'.  They regarded the Bl. Virgin Mary as their mother and model first of all in leading the contemplative life, and later in sharing the fruits of their contemplation with others.  The Solemn Commemoration of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was first celebrated in the fourteenth century, but gradually adopted throughout the Order as an occasion of thanksgiving for the countless blessings which Our Lady had bestowed on the Carmelite family, the Scapular being a symbol of this and of consecration to her. 

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Catholic Culture battling hack attacks

I have not had much time for posting and I know my readers are clicking on the Catholic Culture news links in my sidebar (which I am going to take down temporarily).  They have been dealing with a hack attack out of China that is causing people's browsers to warn them of a virus.

Here is the latest news:

New Anti-Virus Steps: 
Dear Diane, 
Thanks to your prayers, our status has been upgraded considerably in urgency by our hosting company. 

The hosting company now believes it can upgrade us to a hardened web environment within the next 24 hours, on the same server we are currently using. This is expected to eliminate the virus vulnerability. 
We should know whether this works by tomorrow (Sunday), but there may be somebrief downtime—perhaps an hour or two—between now and then. 
It is possible that a few of our site features will have to be modified slightly to work correctly in the new environment, but we can easily handle that problem once we know the system is secure. 
Again, thanks for your prayers and your patience. I will keep you posted.
Jeff Mirus
Trinity Communications

I would suggest we just wait for the matter to resolve, hopefully early next week.

I use the site, New Advent, for breaking Catholic news and a variety of Catholic commentaries on a range of topics. What I like about the site is it is not sensational.

Likewise, I rely often on LifeNews for prolife matters because it is very matter-of-fact in it's reporting.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Photos from the June 22 Helpers of God's Precious Infants, "Prayer Vigil for Life"

The Helpers of God's Precious Infants of Michigan held their summer, Prayer Vigil for Life, on June 22, 2013.  It began with Mass at 7:30 AM at St. Barnabas in Eastpointe.  People then commuted to nearby St. Veronica then made the roughly 5 block walk in a Rosary procession under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of the Unborn.  The Most Reverend Michael J. Byrnes, an auxiliary bishop in Detroit, led the vigil.

Here are some images representing the various parts of the vigil.  I'll provide a link to the full gallery below, but I would appreciate you sharing the link to this post, where others can find the gallery, as well as come back and visit my blog.

Bishop Byrnes began with the early morning Mass and the church was quite full for a Saturday morning.

After driving to St. Veronicas, which is a few blocks from the 8 Mile Rd, the Rosary procession began.  It was a cloudy day with rain predicted, but remained dry.

Below is Dan Goodnow, the founder of the local chapter of the Helper's of God's Precious Infants.

Dan explained afterwards how he started it.  After having met Msgr. Phillip J. Reilly (see a partial bio here), who founded the first Helpers in Brooklyn, he asked for advice on how to begin a chapter here in Detroit.  He wondered about advertising or approaching people.  But, Msgr. Reilly told him to simply go in front of the abortion mill and just start praying, then wait and others will come.  Dan retired so he could work full time on this.  I think he said it took about 2 months and the next one to come was a local elderly woman, Lorraine (pictured later here), who walked from her home.  I've seen her go out there and just pray in front of the abortion mill in the most extreme weather. Others eventually joined and these people are out in front of two mills about a block apart on either side of 8 Mile Rd during all hours of operation.  I can't remember how many years ago that was.

They pray in front of the mill, and their skilled sidewalk counselors offer alternatives to women.  It's truly one of the best operations I've seen, and one of the most loving, as hard as that is to believe.  They show no anger which is why I think they are so effective in convincing women to turn.  I'm convinced that to truly be effective, one must have more love for those about to commit sins that will cry out to heaven and their victims, than disdain for the sin itself.   The purity of these interiors movements of the heart to love people in the midst of sinful behavior creates a pure environment for the Holy Spirit.  The fruit of that love is the "turn" - when someone decides not to have an abortion.  By the grace of God, Dan Goodnow and his collaborators are responsible for thousands of "turns" over the years. Some have even returned with babies to thank them.

Ad multos annos, Dan!

You can see here, one of the walkie-talkie's in use by Bishop Byrnes.  Others hold perhaps a half-dozen receivers throughout the long procession.  These can number anywhere from 100 people to nearly 800 depending on time of year, weather, etc.  The summer vigil usually has the lowest attendance due to vacations.

On the left is Deacon Gerry Smigell who is also a fixture at these events, and whose grandson, Fr. Francisco DeAngelis, was ordained at Assumption Grotto by Bishop Arturo Cepeda on June 29.

Both Detroit and East Pointe Police Departments provide safety with regards to crossing the high traffic 8 Mile Rd. (One abortion mill is on the Eastpointe side, the other is on the Detroit side)

Bishop Byrnes continues leading the Rosary from the boulevard as people cross westbound lanes of 8 Mile.

One thing you will never see at a Helper's of God's Precious Infants vigil are signs of any kind.  That's because it is a prayer vigil and not a picket.  There isn't even a sign with the name of the apostolate on display.  What you will see is the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a crucifix.

These are some of the sidewalk counselors - people who are out there during the hours of operation, not just at the periodic prayer vigils. As people come to the mill, they encourage them to consider alternatives, but they do not push. 

After praying part of the 20 mysteries of the Rosary in front of the Eastpointe side, the crowd processed about a block down 8 Mile to face the abortion mill on the Detroit side.  They are not protesting Pizza Hut!

Immediately after Mass, the hosting parish will usually hold Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and those who cannot join the procession due to age or infirmity, remain silently with Our Lord.  I cannot pray and take pictures, so I try to get my photos taken and I go back for Adoration to do my own prayers.  I found a number of people there, some of whom will have been there for about 2 hours when Benediction is done. 

The pastor of St. Barnabas is the Rev. John P. Wynnycky.  He handled Exposition, Benediction, and concelebrated the Mass earlier.  

After Benediction, there was an informational meeting with refreshments.  Often times, the bishops must leave right after the Rosary, but Bishop Byrnes was able to spare some time to come back and meet with people.  

Dan was telling us how he started the Helper's here in Detroit and when he talked about Lorraine joining him, everyone applauded.  She can be seen here, somewhat in the middle, foreground.  She prefers not to have attention, but she got some anyway.

We see a lot of children at these peaceful prayer vigils.  I've been going to them since 2005 and have never seen any incidents. They add to the testimony to life.  

Not everyone has coffee, donuts, and bagels; rather, they brought and enjoyed their own meals. 

I'm hearing that the next vigil will be in September. Usually Archbishop Vigneron leads the September vigil.  No word on where it will begin yet, so stay tuned.

If you want to see many more pictures from this event, see the gallery here:

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.