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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Faith & Values in the News

Disputed Oklahoma Ten Commandments statue smashed

I guess the enemies of faith and morality got their way… the depiction of the Ten Commandments has been removed, not by the due process of law but through violence. It is a metaphor for our times.

City Tries to Force Ministers to Perform Same-Sex “Marriages”

Nothing surprises me any longer. Don’t trust anyone who says about anything that, “It can’t happen here!”

Houston to Pastors: OK, We Don’t Need Your Sermons, but You Still Have to Hand Over Your Speeches

This is another reminder that our religious liberties continue to be threatened in American society.

Pope Francis speech at the conclusion of the Synod

Holy Father’s closing statement at the Synod on the Family: “Moments of consolation and grace and comfort hearing the testimonies of the families who have participated in the Synod and have shared with us the beauty and the joy of their married life. A journey where the stronger feel compelled to help the less strong, where the more experienced are led to serve others, even through confrontations. And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned:… The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfill the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.”

Cardinal Burke to CWR: confirms transfer, praises pushback, addresses controversy over remarks by Cardinal Kasper

Bishops revolt against Synod manipulation: Only 3 in 10 support Kasper proposal, says Cardinal Pell

I am so very proud of Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Pell and the African Church. Despite attempts at manipulation they stood up for the truth. It will be interesting to see if Cardinal Kasper remains in papal favor now that he has shown his hand with racist remarks about the African bishops.

Fr. Kidd Council, a Winning Team!

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These are pictures from last May from the Maryland Knights of Columbus Convention in Ocean City. Father Kidd Council won first place in all six service areas.

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I discovered these pictures on my cell phone. What a surprise!

Fr. McGivney Award Given to Fr. Kidd Council

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The Deputy for District 32 presents PGK Manny Rodriguez with the Father McGivney Award for 2013-14. Congratulations to Manny and Father Kidd Council!

Bishop Walsh Memorial Mass

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The Bishop Walsh Assembly celebrated its Memorial Mass here at Holy Family at 5:30 PM on Saturday, October 18.

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A presentation is made to Louise the wife of our late Brother Knight, John McInerny.

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Fr. Longenecker’s Advice to the Pope

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An article in CRISIS Magazine that everyone should read, especially Pope Francis:

Advice for the Pope in Light of the Synod
by Rev. Dwight Longenecker

Father Longenecker writes:

“I know you mean well Holy Father, and I admire and like you, but this process on which you have led us is not helping.”

I really hate to admit it, but no rationalization can escape the truth from my respected brother priest. He is right. There have been too many rash assertions, vague sentiments and undefined gestures. A lack of specificity leads to confusion and falsehood. We need a courageous witness to the truth without compromise. When the enemies of the Catholic Church and her values say they love this Pope… something has gone seriously awry. I suspect they love the popular façade but not the substance of what this Pope and every Pope must be about as the chief guardian of the deposit of faith.

Cardinal Burke has rightly suggested that we need a clear  and definitive statement from the Pope defending the doctrine of marriage and family.  The media hype has gone on long enough.  Priests in the pastoral trenches tell us that couples are walking away from annulment cases, arguing that there is no need since the rules are going to change about divorced and remarried Catholics taking the sacraments.  Pressure is intensifying for pastors to bless same-sex unions and to witness their so-called marriages.  I cannot say what disciplines might be reformed, but I cannot foresee anything that would compromise the moral teachings of the faith.

The question was raised by a parishioner in the pews, “What are the faithful to do?”

We remain steadfast, that is what we do… and we continue to pray and support the Holy Father who is Christ’s Vicar on earth.

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A gay magazine names the Holy Father man of the year?

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The secular media love him too?

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Even Time Magazine sings his praises?

My response was that it is going to come to a head. The Synod on the Family may be the start. The Holy Spirit will never fail the Church.

Whoopi Goldberg said during a segment of THE VIEW this month: “We are rooting for Pope Francis to make some changes in the Catholic Church. We love Franny! But he’s still got a couple of things to work on.”

President Obama stated: “He’s somebody who’s first and foremost thinking about how to embrace people as opposed to push them away…How to find what’s good in them as opposed to condemn them, and that spirit…that sense of love and unity seems to manifest itself in not just what he says but also what he does.”

Time Magazine: “Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly … He has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power.”

Miscellaneous News Stories (A Recent Sampling)

Pope faces key test with vote on divorcees, gays

Pope Francis lends friendly support to Anglican Church in North America

Dissing Pope Francis—Does Cardinal Burke think he’s Pope Burke?

Pope Francis rents out Sistine Chapel for exclusive, $7,200-per-head Porsche party

Pope Francis Demotes Anti-gay Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke

Pope Francis’ Catholic Church Teases Us With Promises Of Liberality

Why Pope Francis Is Different From His Predecessors

Counseling for Catholic Marriages

Catholics with marital problems should have readily available avenues within the Church for professional counseling in the hopes of salvaging their marriages.

More can be done to prepare priests for this kind of work but I think there is also a need for full-time professionals with training in psychology and intervention-counseling. These counselors should be well-versed with the Catholic faith. If they are not on the same page with us about human sexuality and the value of marriage, then they can escalate a problem instead of being part of the solution.

  • When red lights appear in the Pre-Cana preparation, referrals can be made before marriages in the Church.
  • When problems develop within marriages, referrals can be made to facilitate healing or reconciliation.
  • When questions arise about sexual identity and remaining in good standing with the Church, referrals might be made to assist people in coping and to counteract bias from non-Catholic sources.

While there are good independent counselors who charge fees, I would also recommend that there be professionals hired directly by the Church. Their salaries might be shared between parishes as within deaneries. They would work closely with pastors, while preserving confidentiality, to either prevent bad marriages or to salvage troubled ones. Such staffing should be viewed as serious as religious education directors, office managers and bookkeepers. In any case, a public list of counselors vetted by the Archdiocese should be readily available to pastors and the people they serve.

Catholic marriage counseling is necessarily different from that which is offered by those who do not share our understanding of marriage or our views about human sexuality. These counselors need to discern how a troubled Catholic marriage might be fixed. The truths of faith are integrated into our appreciation of psychology. The goal is to have couples living a daily vocation where there is both joy and sacrificial love. Marriage is viewed as a covenant and as a permanent union. Too many quickly jump to divorce as the answer. Catholics should see that as an option generally taken off the table.

Instead of urging an immediate divorce, a separation might be promoted so as to further the conversation or to prevent verbal and/or physical abuse. If a marriage has terminal problems and cannot be salvaged, then the counselor might suggest an annulment. That is where the pastor and/or the officials on a Church Tribunal would enter the picture. However, this is inherently always a sad or tragic situation. It means that avenues to save a marriage have failed.

Right now we have noble efforts like Retrouvaille but there is a pressing need for something more clinical.

Love the Knights of Columbus!

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Here am I with the Maryland State Treasurer (Dale Trott) and the State Deputy for the Knights of Columbus (Stephen Adamczyk) at the Bishop McNamara Chapter of Grand Knights.

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