A song of imprecation

This morning robbers broke into cars in the parking lot of the Cathedral in Boston, while a diaconal ordination was going on. The perpetrators smashed windows and ransacked the vehicles, stealing what they could, and even took the time to open people’s trunks to look for goods. Since at least two of my friends were victimized this way, I imagine the criminals hit several cars — and in broad daylight.

Well, I offer the following hymn to encapsulate the prayers of the faithful on the occasion. You can sing it to the common tune of, say, Te lucis ante terminum:

O Vindicator of the right,
Come aid thy people in their plight,
Against the men who know no laws,
Hear thou my prayer and aid my cause.

Come foil the brutes who robbed our cars,
and stole the peace that had been ours,
profaning Thy cathedral ground,
O seize them fast and hold them bound.

They scorn your might and human rules,
Break thou their teeth with burglars’ tools,
With sleeplessness beset their heads,
And bugs pursue them in their beds.

With palsy smite their loins and limbs,
and make them wince from wretched hymns.
Yes, as we suffer for thy name,
Make them, O Christ, endure the same!

So that one day in ages hence
all purified by penitence,
They may receive Thy warm embrace,
and then: please let us slap their face. Amen.

Stop the spam, Fr. Pavone.

Yes. Fr. Frank Pavone is a spammer. And, believe me, as an internet user, that is a serious accusation.

It puts him among the banes of internet life, pumping out unwanted e-mail into mailboxes of people who never requested it. Pumping it into e-mail addresses that couldn’t have requested it, because they send no outgoing e-mail. His organization sends its messages out into people’s e-mail boxes, interfering with their work, taking up their time, and annoying them.

I will not donate one penny to your organization Priests for Life or to any organization you run as long as you keep doing this.

And don’t tell me that I can unsubscribe the affected e-mail address. The “unsubscribe” action on his web site has zero effect. I’ve used it for more than one e-mail address, and it never has an effect. When I called the PFL office, the staffer who spoke to me told me that the request had to go to some particular office that maintains the data, and it might take some weeks to take effect. How charmingly naive.

A message to whoever made up that story: YOU LIE.

Fr. Pavone, you have responsibility for what the organization does, and until you stop spamming, I have one word for you: Repent.

Getting around to it

Oh, my gosh: this parish a little west of Salt Lake City got vandalized for the fourth time in two years:
(Photo by the diocese, via CNS)

But don’t worry: they’re springing into action:

“We have replaced windows and put bars on them, replaced doors, installed motion lights, and we have talked about an alarm system,” said Melanie Dern, parish finance director. “This time it has probably reached that point.”

Wow: on the surface that sounds sort of irresponsible: to have had three break-ins already, including acts of profanation, and not put in an alarm system. I mean, even if they were a little lax about it, then two break-ins should be enough to convince anybody. Were they in denial?

And I hate to say there should be a diocesan policy on one more thing, but somebody ought to be analyzing patterns of crime against churches and directing that reasonable steps be taken to prevent thefts and profanations.

Isn’t that a bit more important in crime prevention than making sure that the little old ladies in the choir loft fill out a new CORI form every year?

Have they discovered Google yet at the Vatican?

I got an e-mail today from catholic-hierarchy.org, that helpful web site that tracks the appointments, transfers, and retirements of bishops, using the announcements from the Holy See as their data source.
The news is that a coadjutor bishop has been appointed for the see of San Diego. That should be good news.
But when I looked up the name of the new bishop with a web search, this article appeared near the top of the listing:
“Cirilo Flores Rarely Pursued Discipline of Molesting Priests While Serving on Important Church Board”
Now, from reading the piece, it’s clear that the article isn’t written from an unbiased perspective, and it doesn’t give both sides of the story. But the existence of such an article means that the new coadjutor is guaranteed to get bad press at the least; at worst, he might not be a suitable appointment.
So it deserves investigation before he gets appointed to San Diego. It makes me wonder whether the responsible parties of the Congregation for Bishops are even thinking to run an internet search before they send a name to the Holy Father.

The Corapi case: the other shoe drops

For a while, it seemed there was going to be a pause in the case of Father John Corapi, but it only lasted until the holiday was over.

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity has released more information about the charges against the once-popular priest in a press release quoted here by the NC Register:

SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Father Corapi’s emails, various witnesses and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:

He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation (in California and Montana) with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute.

  • He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs.
  • He has recently engaged in “sexting” activity with one or more women in Montana.
  • He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury
    vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats,
    which is a serious violation of his promise of poverty as a perpetually
    professed member of the society.

SOLT has contemporaneously, with the issuance of this press release,
directed Father John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the
society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also
ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed
against his accuser.

SOLT’s prior direction to Father John Corapi not to engage in any
preaching or teaching, the celebration of the sacraments or other public
ministry continues. Catholics should understand that SOLT does not
consider Father John Corapi as fit for ministry.

The last of the three points above is easy to confirm from public sources, at least with regard to the fact that he is listed as the owner of several pieces of real estate, because land ownership records for Flathead County, Montana are accessible via the Internet: he is listed with ten acres of land; three commercial condo units, numbered side by side; another 2.5 acres, and some boat slips. If he made a promise of poverty, that does seem a bit much. At least the boat slips! :-)

Maybe he’s earned his title of “black sheep” after all. 

Oh, and a memo to bishops and religious superiors: don’t ordain guys with this much of a history of wild living.  Old habits die hard, and usually they don’t die.