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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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Stuck Between the Rock & a Hard Place

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Who are we going to punish? I worry about this as a priest in reference to the distribution of Holy Communion, absolution in the sacrament of Penance and in terms of preaching a faith message from the Scriptures that might immediately be interpreted as “hate speech.” Passivity and toleration is not enough to appease certain people… it is being demanded that conventional Christians become advocates for sinful behavior. If a priest gives the sacraments to anyone, no matter what their views and lifestyle, then does he not become an accomplice in their sin? Would he forfeit his own immortal soul for causing scandal and violating conscience, the commandments and his sacred duty? For the sake of accompaniment, can a bishop or even pope force a priest to say or do something that he views as sinful and wrong?

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A Need for Proper Perspective

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Football players and owners are being hailed as heroes after that disgrace this past weekend. But here is a story about a real hero. Sergeant William H. Carney received the nation’s highest honor during the Civil War for rescuing the American flag and carrying it reverently in the midst of impossible odds while being shot multiple times by the enemy. His act of “defiance” while an entire Confederate battalion mowed down his fellow Union soldiers consisted in not letting the flag touch the ground – this, even after being wounded in the head.

“As the color-bearer became disabled I threw away my gun and seized the colors [the flag],” his account of the Battle of Fort Wagner states. “When we finally reached [my regiment] the men cheered me and the flag. My reply was, ‘Boys, I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground!’”

Taking bullets for the flag, rather than a knee, Sergeant William H. Carney, was the first black man to win the Congressional Medal of Honor for refusing to allow the flag to touch the ground.

But Did the Good Father Classify the Right as Nazis?

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And the enemies of Christ must be laughing as the Church fights with herself. The left and right battle it out… while everyone in the middle suffers. I hope we do not forget the forgiveness of sins and the salvation of souls. Truth and charity are often the first casualties when it comes to heated polemics.

Is President Trump Pro-Life?

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The Holy Father was critical of both the repeal of DACA and those who deny global warming… which he associated with the recent hurricanes.

Attacked by Our Own

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Sometimes those who feign Catholicism are in truth the greatest enemies of the faith and bigots against those who faithfully practice.

President Trump Likened to a Doomed Caesar?

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What were they thinking? Would critics really take delight in seeing the President murdered? On the left and right there is continuing evidence of a sickness of the American spirit and of individual souls. Politics has replaced statesmanship and governance. A patriotic love of country and our highest ideals have been supplanted on one side by a callous nationalism and on the other by inflammatory class, gender, orientation and ethnic warfare. How did we go from “one nation, under God” to the attitude that “I am the real American and you are the enemy”?

Mixed Feelings & Trying to Make Sense of It All

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President Trump renewed his call for the courts to approve his revised executive order, which would temporarily bar nationals from six predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S. The Justice Department reported:

“The president is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do not pose a security risk to the United States.”

(MSN used a photo with Cardinal Wuerl looking on in the back. Was it taken from the White House Prayer Breakfast?)

I have mixed feelings. The war against terror is a real conflict. I do not believe in singling out people as dangerous based on religion but it must be admitted that there are countries that harbor terrorists.

It is interesting that many will attack the President for wanting a better manner of vetting immigrants and visitors from other countries while the late F.D. Roosevelt remains beloved by the same critics even though he imposed Japanese-American internment on Jan. 14, 1942 against our own citizens.

I am troubled all around. How do we respect persons, protect rights and remain secure? I do not know the answer. In any case, injustice is not something new.