Category Archives: Pope Francis

About Pope Francis’ condolences

Pope Francis is reported to have sent the following to Cuban President Raúl Castro in a Spanish-language telegram:

“On receiving the sad news of the death of your dear brother, His Excellency Mister Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, former president of the State Council and of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation. At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his repose and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of this country.”

I keep seeing outraged remarks about what he said, but really … where’s the basis for them?

Pope Francis is a world leader who has visited Cuba.  Condolences were in order.  What was he supposed to say to the bereaved … “I’m glad the schmuck is dead”?

Fidel Castro was baptized Catholic and educated by the Jesuits.  Then he became a brutal dictator and avowed atheist.  Any Christian should be sorry the man apparently died unrepentant. How much more the pastor of the worldwide church the man was born into, then repudiated and persecuted?

And it’s not like Francis didn’t get in a very proper and polite dig with “I offer prayers to the Lord for his repose and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of this country.”

Personally, I think the text of the telegram was well done.  As was his visit to Cuba.

The Daily Mail UK reported that the primary motive behind the Pontiff’s trip was not political, but pastoral.  He went to encourage Catholic Cubans who have suffered under Communist rule.

Pope Francis gave Fidel a selection of books, including one written by Rev. Amando Llorente, a Jesuit preacher who taught Castro as a young man, but was expelled from Cuba under Communism.


He also celebrated Mass in Havana’s Revolutionary Square near a huge metal sculpture of Che Guevara.


That sculpture of Che Guevara is permanent.  But check out what was put up for the Mass!



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Filed under Atheism, Communism, Cuba, Fidel Castro, Pope Francis

After the Election, Unleash the Francis Option

Article by Tom Hoopes reprinted from

No matter what the outcome of our Nov. 8 election, Catholics’ job is clear: Seize the moment to draw people closer to Jesus Christ.

In other words, it’s time for the Francis Option.

The “Francis Option” is a complementary approach to the “Benedict Option.”

Pope Francis spelled out the “Francis Option” himself in his apostolic letter Evangelii Gaudium.

“I dream of a ‘missionary option,’” he says, “so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation” (No. 27).

Consider the contrasts: St. Benedict’s monastic communities did the necessary work of preserving the foundation of the Church as Rome fell to ruins. After that, St. Francis’s mendicant communities went out and started rebuilding.

Clearly, both these approaches are needed (I owe my faith to the Benedict Option)— but Pope Francis emphasizes the latter.

After the election has disgusted and degraded us, the Francis Option invites us to be witnesses.

Political culture has become a cesspool — and if it wasn’t clear before, an election pitting the lewdness of Donald Trump against the Anthony Weiner revelations proves it.

The answer, Pope Francis says, is us.

“Today’s world stands in great need of witnesses, not so much of teachers but rather of witnesses,” he said. “It’s not so much about speaking, but rather speaking with our whole lives: living consistently, the very consistency of our lives! This consistency means living Christianity as an encounter with Jesus that brings me to others, not just as a social label. … Witness is what counts!”

The world won’t embrace the faith until they see joyful, authentic Christians. They need to see new John Paul II’s, Mother Teresa’s, Francises. There are no other options: That has to be us.

After the election, people want policies that promote goodness and truth. The Francis Option offers them.

Our politics have become bankrupt — and if that wasn’t clear before, the “astonishing flaws” (as Archbishop Charles Chaput put it) of this year’s candidates make that clearer than ever. They seem like a dare from fate to both parties, saying: “How many of your principles are you willing to violate to support a candidate?”

To write my book What Pope Francis Really Said I went through several hot-button issues to see what Pope Francis — and the Church — say about them. Taken together, Pope Francis’s words spell out what a family-centered political vision looks like.

  • He calls for an economy that is focused on consumer value and jobs for families rather than empty consumerist appeal for the sake of stock prices.
  • Pope Francis models true compassion to homosexual and transgender people in place of the false charity of gender ideology.
  • He sees that peace is no more a pipe dream today than it was in Poland, where Pope John Paul’s solidarity cleared away the messes war had left.
  • Pope Francis is passionately pro-life and pro-woman, from conception to natural death.
  • He wants to welcome immigrants all the way into the arms of Jesus Christ in the Church.
  • Pope Francis wants to transform the world’s respect for nature into a respect for human nature.

The election showed how badly people need healing. The Francis Option heals.

The violence and vitriol of the campaign is just one symptom of the deep wounds in our society. The most tragic sign is a heartbreaking new statistic: Teens today are as likely to die from suicide as they are from traffic accidents.

It is in this world that Pope Francis sees the Church as a “field hospital after battle.”

Archbishop Samuel Aquila said, “The ‘Francis Option,’ I would argue, places the emphasis on bringing God’s forgiveness to those on the spiritual and material outer limits of society, while also strengthening the health of our local communities with the balm of God’s mercy.”

That means embracing God’s mercy and reaching out to others with the works of mercy.

In his first encyclical, Francis put it this way:

“There is an urgent need to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God.

The Benedict Option shields the flame of faith from the harsh winds. The Francis Option sets fires everywhere so that the wind would only blow it higher.

Author Tom Hoopes is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and author of the upcoming book What Pope Francis Really Said.

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Gender Bending: It’s About Hating God

Gender bending

Pope Benedict XVI called gender bending “a profound falsehood.”

Austrian Bishop Andreas Laun reports that, in a personal conversation with him, Pope Francis called gender bending “demonic.”

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Filed under Christianity, Pope Benedict, Pope Francis

Good Catholics don’t vote Democrat

Amoris Laetitia quote abortion euthanasia

2012 Party Platforms on Abortion:

The Republican Party adheres to a “faithful  to  the  ‘self-evident’  truths  enshrined  in  the  Declaration  of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

The Democratic Party “strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”

2012 Party Platforms on Euthanasia:

The Republican Party “opposes the  non-consensual  withholding  or  withdrawal  of  care  or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

The 2012 Democratic Party had nothing to say on the matter.  However, given their support for killing unborn Americans and the results of the poll below, it’s not hard to figure what they’d say if they decided to make it a hot button issue.

Poll Democrats on Euthanasia


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Filed under Abortion, Catholic Church, Democrats, Euthanasia, Pope Francis, Republicans

Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis’ New Document on Marriage

Amoris Laetitia cover

Approved English Text of Amoris Laetitia on-line @

Order it already printed and bound:

Download the pdf:

Click to access papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20160319_amoris-laetitia_en.pdf

Before you print it, be aware that the pdf file is 264 pages long!  Granted, they are short pages with big fonts and some blank pages, so it’s not nearly as much text as that suggests, but it’s still lots of paper that would need punching and a 3-ring binder.

I’m still working on Centessiumus Annus and Rosarium Virginis Mariae.  I don’t think my brain can handle another papal document right now!  LOL  Fortunately, Jimmy Akin has a good summary article (7 pages) that I am going to print out and study.

The Pope’s New Document on Marriage by Jimmy Akin

The Pope’s New Document on Marriage: 12 Things to Know and Share

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Filed under Marriage & Family Life, Pope Francis

Some After-Easter Religious Humor


Continue reading

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Filed under Humor, Pope Francis, Religion

The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

On Dec 8, 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis inaugurated the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the closing of Vatican II. The Year of Mercy will close on Nov 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

During this special time, Pope Francis calls us to be profound witnesses to mercy, in particular by practicing the Works of Mercy.  There are fourteen, divided into Spiritual and Corporal. I hope to highlight them throughout the Jubilee Year.

14 Works of Mercy


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Remember when?

Remember when President “Tear down this wall!” Reagan helped bring about the demise of the U.S.S.R. and made the U.S.A. the #1 superpower on Earth?

Welcome to 2015, when President “I’m not George Bush” Obama has helped “reset” America’s relationship with Russia and made the U.S.A. not the #1 superpower on Earth.

Forbes “World’s Most Powerful People” list for 2015:

#1 = Russian President Vladimir Putin
#2 = German Chancellor Angela Merkel
#3 = U.S. President Barack Obama
#4 = Pope Francis (n.b., he has no military!)
#5 = General Secretary, Communist Party of China’s Xi Jinping

2014_07 Obama Banana

2015_12 Putin kick boxing Obama

2015_12 Russian air base Obama Schmuck


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Filed under Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Ronald Reagan, Russia, Vladimir Putin

Pondering the pope’s words

A Lutheran woman, married to a Roman Catholic, asked Pope Francis if she could receive Holy Eucharist with her husband. The pope’s answer has sparked quite a number of headlines.

2015_11 15 Pope on intercommunion

The very best analysis I have seen is by Jimmy Akin.

I really appreciate Akin’s efforts to help us understand the pontiff’s words in the full context of RCC teaching, because far too many who speak and write about Pope Francis appear to be more interested in using or abusing him to serve their political agendas.

Although I don’t speak Italian, I found it helpful to watch the video, if only to make it clear that Pope Francis was answering a question. He ponders, speaks slowly, rambles a bit; in other words, he is speaking pastorally, not pontifically. Akin takes this into account with his analysis.


Because of the cautions Pope Francis makes during the course of his answer, I don’t view it as the earthquake that some took it for.

Is the pope giving permission to Lutheran spouses to take Communion at Mass? No. He expressly says he’s not.

Is this a portent of an imminent shift in Catholic doctrine or sacramental practice? No.

Is it possible that the current rules regarding when Communion can be given to other Christians could one day be tweaked? Yes. It’s imaginable that a pope might one day decide that any baptized Christians who share the Church’s faith respect to Communion, confession, and anointing could receive those sacraments on the same basis that Orthodox Christians can.

Are the pope’s remarks a sign that this—or anything like it—is going to happen any time in the foreseeable future? No.

Could the pope have answered more clearly? Yes. One might argue that, if the pope were going to struggle with the question as much as he did, he would have been better advised not to take it. But these things happen, and there is no reason to see this as a sign of an impending doctrinal or sacramental earthquake.

Akin’s full article @

English translation of the pope’s words @

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The Vatican didn’t disavow Pope Francis’ meeting with Kim Davis

It was a handful of pro-gay activists who did that.

The Vatican invited Davis to meet the pope in Washington DC.

Neither Kim Davis nor anyone connected to her requested the meeting.

Kim Davis met privately with the pope.

She was told at that time that the meeting was a secret only until the pope had left the United States.

After the news of the meeting broke, the gay mafia inside and outside the Church went berserk.

In response, Federico Lombardi S.J. issued a highly nuanced statement from the Vatican that was technically accurate, but very misleading.

Then, one or two other pro-gay sources anonymously claimed the pope had been ambushed by Davis’ lawyers and that the Vatican regretted they ever let her near the pope.

Finally, two celebrity priests who actively promote the gay agenda — Thomas Rosica and James Martin — published their politicized and twisted versions of the event.

Martin and Rosica

IMO, the people who dropped the ball were the ones who organized the visit. It should have been obvious to them that they needed to release a factual and carefully worded statement the minute the pope’s plane took off, because of course Davis was going to talk about her visit and of course the left would go berserk.  Duh.

I could wish my church was filled with nothing but very wise and truly holy people, but it hey … Jesus picked Judas to be an apostle, right?

As always, I have to deal with this by praying, piling my disappointment into the Father’s lap, and trusting He is on top of it all as He promised.

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28 < This passage was the theme of the Hypenated Nuptial Mass.


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Filed under Christianity, Kim Davis, Pope Francis