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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

Black teen sues over arrest after buying $350 designer belt

If the store had no part with the police questioning and arresting him for a belt he legally bought, then who tipped off the authorities? Somebody at the store must have called it in. Sure sounds like discrimination to me!

O’Reilly: The Holy Spirit inspired “Killing Jesus”

I have yet to read Bill O’Reilly’s book, KILLING JESUS. It was recently brought to my attention and I really do not know anything about it. His KILLING LINCOLN and KILLING KENNEDY books made a lot of money. I hope this is motivated more by a desire to share faith than to advance greed. A number of religious critics say it is filled with errors. I guess I will have to read it for myself. The book purports to emphasize the humanity of Jesus. Christians need to keep the proper balance that Christ is a divine Person who became a man so as to offer his life to save us. St. John tells us that Jesus laid down his life— it was not taken from him… he takes upon himself the cost of sin (suffering and death) so that we might have a share in his victory and life. My biggest worry about such writings on Jesus is that, as the Pope Emeritus Benedict has said, “Theology requires humility.” No matter whether you agree with him or not on political issues, O’Reilly has made a name for himself with his posture of arrogance. That is not how we can approach matters of faith. I wonder, how much did he write, and how much is the work of his co-author?

U.S. Treasury Marks ‘Historic’ Single-Day Record for Debt

Both parties are responsible for this mess. The debt ceiling is long passed and a joke. How will we ever pay back trillions of dollars in debt? When will government learn that it can’t have everything it wants. The many crushing taxes (federal, state, county and municipal) have become a form of stealing. But government takes more and more from the same well. The national debt is compounded by state and county money troubles. This represents a genuine moral issue. Such debt fits the definition of sin. If there were ever a need for smaller government, it is now. Generations of Americans will pay a terrible price for our negligence today.

Bishop obeys govt order to remove Catholic school teaching on sinfulness of homosexual acts

I suspect that worldwide we will see an escalation of such conflicts. Once we take public money, we open ourselves to manipulation from the secular state. Of course, there are situations where the invasion of the new morality (or immorality) is forcibly imposed… as when church properties and schools are nationalized or as in the religious liberty fight over HHS healthcare policies. From Boston to Washington, the regulations mandating homosexual inclusion have forced Catholic Charities to shut down its adoption services. It has amazed me that no one has said anything about the government using Catholic schools as polling places… even when there are crucifixes on the wall and pro-life posters (artwork) drawn by the kids. There are critics who are determined that the Church and biblical teachings will have no place or weight in the public forum.

Sister Antonia Brenner dies at 86; nun moved into Tijuana prison to tend to inmates

An incredible woman who proves that God’s grace can empower us for others even though our own brokenness. Rest in Peace!

Miss World: ‘I’m pro-life’ and ‘Sex is for marriage’

A wonderful witness!

Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

The store was wiped out because of a glitch? No, it was wiped out because of the greed and dishonesty of shoppers. Such is the result of an entitlement mentality where people take as much as they can get and fail to appreciate justice. Free stuff is the cry of the mob. Such is an offense against businesses and working families who pay their way.

Catholic Charities rejects controversial ‘Ghost burger’ donation

Some people have no good sense.

Mailman fired for throwing away Obamacare mail

Delivery of the mail is a sacred trust. Our society is becoming way too polarized and politicized. We see this in crimes like this and in ridiculing or silencing the voices of people we do not want to hear.

Cardinal Eijk sanctions a priest for excessive liturgical creativity, so why is the cardinal the bad guy?

The Cardinal did what he had to do.

Elementary school cancels Halloween due to ‘religious overtones’

I have fond memories in public school of coloring pumpkins with my crayons… and witches, too. I also liked scarecrows, bats and owls! Talk about party poopers!

Vatican tells bishops not to reform faster than Pope Francis

Yes! It is definitely time to put on the brakes! Giving sacraments to people living in sin is not the answer.

‘Painless death’ or ‘precipitous cliff’? Transsexual chooses euthanasia after failed operation

Look where our nightmare world has taken us!

4 Responses

  1. I apologize, and confess my anger as a sin against you and God. On a personal level was annoyed at your (perhaps unintentional demeanor). In my minds eye it seems that some Christians abuse their power and would rather cloak their imperfections and hurtle lightning bolts for God, then help up a broken stranger to heaven. Just another brick in the I’m better than you wall, another mode of indifference, this time more dangerous because it has been rubber stamped as ‘Jesus approved’.Another way to avoid the cross of having to understand someone else’s struggle on a personal level.

    We can discuss this by email here on if you have time.

    Thank you.

    God bless. (and Not to be confused with the unauthentic God Bless blanket response either)

  2. I don’t mind if you correct me. I know that I’m a sinner. I freely admit it. God can’t fix me if I don’t or won’t admit I’m broken. Time to drop my pride when the big Cheese walks in the room. If I can’t handle the little things of this world like pride, how will I ever handle the actual big things of Heaven? If God gives me rank or title here on earth, that is meant to serve God and others… not my own ego. I need to get over myself so I can let God in. Insults disrespect and objections, yes, I’m merely human, people are supposed to notice that and complain. How else am I going to get better. I never will, if I think I’m above it all. That seat is reserved for God alone. Belittle away.

    FATHER JOE: Fraternal correction is not to belittle or insult. The fact that you see it as such is problematical. It signals resistance.

    Ah, then that explains the blogs banner. Care and deliberation when dealing with sin and sinners. God can judge souls perfectly but we cannot.

    FATHER JOE: Jesus flogged the money-changers and Jesus is God. As I note about the header, it reminds us that Jesus is both the Divine Mercy and Divine Justice. The latter should not be eclipsed or forgotten. Such would be a disrespect to truth.

    Harsh judgement by flawed humans can turn souls *from Christ instead of towards Him. I’ve seen a lot of Christians who think they can judge perfectly without loving perfectly. Do the two go together somehow?

    FATHER JOE: We can judge right and wrong. Judging souls is more difficult. That is why priests do a lot of listening in Confession. Only the sinner can reveal something of his or her soul. The priest listens so that he might give proper counsel and penance. He directs his absolution to that which needs healing.

    Christ could do both at the same time. He could hurtle the first stone without sin. Did He?

    FATHER JOE: Jesus was harsh with the Pharisees, scribes, lawyers, etc. He literally calls them dead men’s bones and whitened sepulchers. The issue at hand is our disposition: contrition, a desire to make reparation and charity.

    Why should you go two miles for a man who ask for one? Why should you not resist such a person? If there is evil in my actions how do you fix it? What example can you give that replaces evil with love in a broken world?

    FATHER JOE: Roman law mandated that a Jew could be pressed into service to carry a centurion’s shield and helmet for one mile. The Romans were regarded as their enemies. Jesus says go two miles, literally to surprise the enemy with an act of charity. It makes possible the conversion of hearts and the beginning of peace. It makes the believer into a sign of contradiction. The world would have us segregate ourselves, hate and add to the violence. Jesus shows us another way. Only God can manifest the fullness of the kingdom. But we can witness faithfulness in bringing small acts of healing to the veil of tears. We can begin to break the pattern.

  3. As for the Vatican article -Yea, don’t reform and don’t forgive people. Jesus didn’t come for the sick (at heart) and sinners now did he? He wasn’t about a radical new way at looking at old laws and fulfilling them Lets put the break on forgiving our debtors since we don’t want to be forgiven either. Cursed are the merciful for they shall receive no mercy. Says so right here in my evil hand guide. We desire your sacrifice not your mercy. Right? I mean correct me if I’m wrong, But of course I’m not. Right?

    FATHER JOE:

    I grieve that I must be harsh with you… again. We talked before about the cynical snideness with which you often make comments. It is neither cute nor creative. The attitude is merely derogatory and arrogant against the Church and people of faith. You fool no one, except for maybe yourself. Let me demonstrate how you should have commented since you seem unable or unwilling to do so with proper Internet decorum:

    “As for the Vatican article, why must we wait for reform from the Holy Father about matters that we all know need changing? Jesus came to heal broken hearts and to forgive sins. Should we not be as radical as he was? I am sure that the Pope is all for the forgiveness of sins and reconciling prodigals. Why wait or slow down? Our Lord taught that God measured contrite hearts above sacrifice. Help me to understand the brakes.”

    What is my take on this? The Holy Father wants to look for new ways of reaching out and bringing souls back to the Lord. However, the terms of our salvation are not established by us but by God. The Pope and the bishops are servants of the Gospel, not its masters. That is why we must be cautious and move with proper deliberation. Priests are ministers of reconciliation but penitents must still demonstrate contrition and a desire to change their lives. The Church would do them a disservice by excusing or white-washing sins. It might make for harmony here on earth but silence or passivity might leave people breeched from Christ and his kingdom. Those in mortal sin who receive Holy Communion would only compound the gravity of their sin. We do not want to love people into hell but into heaven. There are a few churchmen and laity who would play to a false compassion. It may be that they (like you) are presumptuous about what the Lord wants us to do.

  4. As for debt and debt collectors. (US Mint Article) How did Jesus feel about such things and such people? We’re not supposed for forgive either. Right?

    FATHER JOE: There were prisons for debtors in the past. The whole notion of redemption is in reference to such an institution. We were the devil’s property. Sin dishonored God. We suffered under a debt that we could not repay, no matter how hard we tried. We suffered bondage or slavery to sin. Jesus pays the debt with his life on the Cross. He buys us back. He redeems us. He sets us free. We might now know more than suffering and death.

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