Friday, September 30, 2005


Blessings, children.

I just wanted to take a few moments to let you know that summer vacation is officially over, so I have moved from Castel Gandolfo to the papal apartment, but not without complications.

You see, I hadn’t moved completely into the apartment upon my elevation to the papacy because I was going to have it remodeled while I was staying at Castel Gandolfo. I returned Wednesday only to find my apartment riddled with empty pizza cartons and beer cans from the contractors. After cleaning up the mess was I inspected the work that had been done. I have to admit; in spite of being messy eaters, those Italians are master-craftsmen. They did a marvelous job updating my kitchen. It’s quite an improvement; don’t you think?



After getting that taken care of I called my brother George because he was going to help me finish moving stuff out of my old apartment. To my dismay, I couldn’t reach him on the line. I checked the number twice and it was correct.

I was quite concerned, because it’s not like George to miss an appointment and I could have really used the help. I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking somebody else to help, because that is such a big step in a friendship as we know from when Jerry Seinfeld was asked by Keith Hernandez to help him move.

So I figured I would just head over to George’s place on the way to my old apartment. I hooked up the trailer and set off.

I was relieved to see George’s car outside. I rang the bell, but there was no answer. I double-checked the address and it was definitely his place.

So I knocked really hard and held the doorbell down for a long time, but still no answer. I had to accept that this was one cross I was going to have to bear alone.

Then I went to my old apartment and visited with my lovely Chico for quite a while. I missed him so terribly. Then I started to load up my things.

Having all my effects secured in the trailer, I had one last thing to collect. Unfortunately, the wind picked up and I could have found myself in an embarrassing position, but as it turns out nobody noticed, so only you and I know. Shhhh!

The papal apartment finally feels like a home. Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Sport of Relativism

Good day, children.

At yesterday’s public audience in St. Peter’s square, I spoke of how athletic competition can be an educational instrument and a vehicle for important human and spiritual values. Unfortunately, things being as they are, my Wednesday audiences are much too short to go into any detail.

I would like to take the time to share more of my thoughts on sports, in the form of a good old-fashioned musing.

First off, it is important to note that in spite of what the Sport of Relativism, not all sports are created equal. I recall some conversations I had with various colleagues when the Olympic Committee decided to reveal their relativist mindset by adding to their line-up of “sporting events” certain bizarre activities. Not to be a name-dropper or anything, but my dear late friend Pope John Paul the Great and I really split a rib when Archbishop Rembert Weakland exclaimed that it was high time that ribbon waving was recognized as a “world-class sport.” Children, you can give it an impressive sounding name like, Rhythmic Gymnastics, but at the end of the day it is still nothing more than waving a long ribbon.

Sports by definition should be competitive. When was the last time you heard of one of these events getting so competitive that a bench clearing brawl ensued between opposing ribbon wavers or synchronized swimmers? - I didn’t think so.

To one of the finer points of the Sport of Relativism, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the topic of football (Americans read: soccer). I have given a lot of thought to this subject because of the game’s popularity throughout the world. One could easily argue that to call soccer a sport would be in a sense, playing the Sport of Relativism. However, given that soccer is a game that requires some physical activity and has an element of competitiveness, coupled with the fact that millions and millions of God’s innocent little children are being raised to believe that soccer is a sport, I think charity dictates that we should accept that soccer can be considered a sport. Granted; you don’t have to assent to that with religious faith, but you should at least allow those who would like to call soccer a sport to do so.

On a side note; one thing I find interesting about professional sports is fighting. Don’t get me wrong; I am not endorsing violence as a solution to one’s problems, it’s just that there is something rewarding when a hockey player drops his gloves and gives the ol’ one-two to the guy who was treating him to some creative stick work behind the play. I don’t care what my fellow Europeans say, you North American folks truly know how to play hockey.

I wonder about some of the other American sports though. I find it odd that American football, for all its ruggedness, doesn’t have more fighting involved. Perhaps the referees aren’t ‘blind’ or unjust in their calls. I also wonder who taught baseball players to fight. The way they all converge on one location and just sort of leap up on one another, never throwing a punch, baffles me.

Perhaps one of my Canadian children can tell me who invented curling and why? Has a fight ever broken out during a curling match? To succeed at it, do you have to be a janitor by trade, or is it just helpful? How come curling is so boring, yet one finds it hard to turn the channel when it’s on?

In summary, children: Be active! Play sports or participate in other forms of physical activity. If you want to pull out your old hula-hoop and have a joyous time, please do; just be careful to not call it a sport. Otherwise you may find yourself voted the MVP in the Sport of Relativism.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Centrality of Christ

Greetings Children,

Please accept my humble apologies for not musing lately. Apparently, Monsignor Ganswein has seen fit to fill up my schedule with audiences and photo-ops. So much for having a summer retreat. Nevertheless, I am quite happy to serve the servants of God.

I have a few minutes before the next audience and while Msgr. Ganswein is out with the press corp, I thought that it might be a good time to get a little musing in. At yesterday’s general audience I spoke about the need for God’s presence in social life. There is so much more to be said about this subject than I was able to address at the time. I will most likely be offering more reflections on the issue, but I am saving a particular aspect for my fellow parishioners at St. Blog’s.

In my audience, I stated, “At the very center of social life there must be, therefore, a presence that evokes the mystery of the transcendent God. God and man walk together in history, and the temple has the task to point out this communion in a visible way.” Not bad stuff, if you ask me. However, I have a parallel observation that quite frankly, fascinates me as much as it irks me.

You see children; there is an element of people who would like to remove Christ from our society and our history. I noticed one particular movement in that direction about fifteen years ago or so. The not-as-clever-as-they-think-they-are intelligentsia devised a scheme whereby they thought they could sanitize history and society of Christ by playing semantics with the delineation of time.

Christ being at the center of all things, we rightfully keep Him at the center of time itself. We record the history of mankind by noting time as being Before Christ (B.C.) or as Anno Domini (A.D.), the year of our Lord.

The enemies of Christ have seen fit to change and propagate the delineation of time to Before the Common Era (BCE) and the Common Era (CE), effectively removing Christ from His place at the center of man’s history – or so they think!

One must ask; in a system of time that is broken down into a before and after (or present), what is the focal point which differentiates the two? The answer, children, is obvious to us all; Our Lord Jesus Christ, creator of Heaven and Earth, and Redeemer of mankind.

In spite of their great efforts, they not only fail to remove Christ, but reaffirm His centrality to the history of mankind. The absurdity of it reminds me of the time that Jerry Seinfeld complained about having to carry his girlfriend, Kari’s things. Elaine suggested to Jerry that he purchase a small men’s carryall from Peterman’s. Jerry rightfully observed that this carryall was in fact a purse, regardless of what name Peterman had given it.

However, Elaine persisted, “It's not a purse. It's European.” As if it being European somehow changed the nature of the thing. Unfortunately, Jerry succumbed to the relativist play on words and ended up carrying the purse - only to have it snatched from him later. Likewise, we see people in our society buying into the false notion of removing Christ from our chronicling of time. Similar to Elaine justification, “It’s European,” the proponents of such a change say, “It’s intellectual.” I think not.

Their ploy fails just as miserably as Steve’s did in Married with Children. As you may recall, Steve proudly came up with a solution to do away with loose change. His theory was based on the notion that if we developed a 99 ¢ piece to counter the marketer’s obsession with pricing things as $ 19.99, $ 29.99, etc., we could do away with loose change forever (save the 99 ¢ piece).

As Al Bundy so astutely pointed out, Steve’s hair-brained scheme, for all its intentions, failed to do what he set out to do. Al asked Steve, “What about sales tax?” That was all Al needed to say to demonstrate that the substance of the issue still remained; as does the centrality of Christ regarding history. Steve relented, but unfortunately, nitwitted television characters are often times more sincere, intellectually honest and have purer motives than modern day intelligentsia.

Let us always keep Christ at the center of our life.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Art of Relativism

Good day, children.

I would like to muse about something that has been stirring in the back of my mind for a while now. It all started a few weeks ago when one of my dear children used the words, "Rap artist" in the comments section. I have to admit to be taken aback by such lax use of words. It seemed to me like the grandest oxymoron ever. I don’t fault our young reader for her choice of words, however it is one more example of how the long tentacles of Relativism have influenced our society.

True that the definition of art can mean essentially any product of or creation of man, but when we stick to that lowest common denominator, we have to ask, who isn’t an artist? In the context of referring to someone as an artist we are presumably ascribing to him something above the generic definition. It seems to me that the word art should not be used so casually that creations that have genuine aesthetic value, lead one to the appreciation of God and/or His creation, and move the soul in a positive way, should be lumped together with works that are banal, blasphemous, or contrary to the dignity of man as an image of God.

The field of contemporary music is not the only endeavor where we find the meaningless use of the word art. Let’s take for example the so-called “art” by a man named Andres Serrano. Let’s face it, children, placing a crucifix in a jar of urine takes no more talent than cursing God out loud. Some may ask, “But isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder?” I’m sorry, there can be nothing beautiful that runs contrary to the True beauty of Our Heavenly Creator. Children, do you see Relativism at play here? Words mean things, when a word is stripped of any objective meaning, you can bet the Relativists have co-opted it.

What about the art of medicine? Is it immune from the Art of Relativism? Let’s examine this venerable profession.

Not that I am a namedropper or anything, but my predecessor, Pope John Paul the Great, and I used to have long discussions about this. We would marvel at how at one time a doctor of medicine used his knowledge and intellect to apply healing arts, the goal of which was to help the patient’s body function properly. Now that Relativism has entered the profession we find the word treatment to encompass taking a patient’s perfectly fine reproduction system and disabling it either surgically or chemically, we’ve seen the words health care apply to the destruction of God’s most innocent while in their mother’s womb. To the Relativist, easing a patient’s suffering can mean killing them directly or withholding food and water for the purpose of bringing about death. Children, know that the evils of Relativism are apparent everywhere.

I was discussing these things with a dear friend from the United States. For practical reasons I will not offer his name, but he possesses a lot of insight into these things and the children of Denver, Colorado should be very grateful to have a bishop like Archbishop Charles Chaput. We spoke primarily about how great pains should be taken to preserve art that is intended for use in the sacred from the Art of Relativism.

Anyway, this anonymous friend reminded me of an example of how the Art of Relativism has managed to permeate the Church. He pointed out a document that has no official sanction, no force of law, and which defies all reason concerning the use of art in sacred worship, yet has been used as the justification to annihilate any meaningful use of the words “sacred art” in the United States. I won’t include the title of this document, because I have half a mind to reinstate the Index Librorum Prohibitorum just to have the words Environment and Art in Catholic Worship placed at the top of the list.

Children, I know that you are probably hoping for me to cite some examples, but that would not be prudent nor necessary for me to do. You can witness the devastation anywhere you are in the United States, whether it be Rochester, New York; Los Angeles, California; or anyplace in between, like Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The point is that we do have an enemy and he will use any means at his disposal to separate us from Our Lord. One of his latest schemes is to attack our intellect via Relativism. As children of God we must be vigilant in identifying this threat and countering it. Let us pray that we can shine the light of Our Lord on the Art of Relativism, and show the whole world what it is really made of. Then perhaps someday, all music will be soothing to the soul, paintings and sculptures will reflect God’s glory, and all churches will be designed to inspire our hearts and minds to look toward Heaven, our true home.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Busy in the vineyard of the Lord

Good day, children.

What a busy week I’ve had! As always it started out busy. Sunday, being the day of Our Lord, is always busy for His humble priests. Monday, I met with the head of the SSPX and we had a nice little chat. I can’t give you details of what transpired, but I will say that it is my sincere hope that all men will be fully and perfectly united to Christ Our Lord (for you American nuns who suffer from habitphobia, I use the word ‘men’ to mean all people regardless of gender; that use of the word is just a venerable habit…no pun intended).

The remaining time was consumed with writing various letters, planning some curial changes (shhh, we need to keep that between us St. Blog’s parishioners) and praying for my American children who are suffering from the effects of the hurricane, among numerous other pontifical things.

I would say the worst part of my week was granting the rights to my audio to Vatican Radio. You’d think they would be appreciative and just say “thank you” and be on their way, but Nooo - they had to send in an army of lawyers with a truckload of papers for me to sign. I asked, “Isn’t the word of the Holy Roman Pontiff good enough? After all, not to be a namedropper or anything, but it was good enough for Fr. Fessio.” To that one of the lawyers replied, “Papa, it’s good enough for me, it really is, honestly, and I’m not just saying that either; and regardless of me having a closet full of expensive domestic suits to support, who would want to live in a world where the average person had access to the justice system without an expensive middleman?” I started to ask him if he knew what the difference was between a dead snake in the road and a dead lawyer in the road, but I thought it prudent just to pick up my box of pontifical ink pens and start signing and initialing; signing and initialing…you get the idea.

To the point of this post. I dispatched a telegram regarding the horrible natural disaster in the southern United States and I am indeed praying for the victims and those who are assisting them. TTLB is sponsoring a donation drive and we are finding it to be quite successful. God bless you all who have assisted in this venture. There are many blogs participating, and I admit that while considering all of the worthy causes in the world, I wondered whether it would be appropriate for a pontiff to use his blog to solicit help for a particular cause. I considered necessitas non habet legem and figured I could apply it here.

Therefore I am urging all of my children, regardless of their national origin, to do whatever they can to assist those poor afflicted souls who have been hit so hard by the hurricane. Please make a donation to the charity of your choice, and be sure to register it with a supporting blog; that way, the rest of us can witness the effects of the grace of God in action. If you chose to make a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and register it with this humble blog, please feel free to do so. At this time there has been over $580,000 donated through the TTLB drive. You can monitor the donations coming in from here.

Another important thing is that we keep these children in our prayers, because their suffering will continue long after the news reporters disappear. Not to take away from the importance of the corporal works of mercy, but you can sacrifice in other ways as well. One cannot fathom the good derived from offering sacrifices like fasting for a day or abstaining from a daily pleasure.

Thank you and God bless you, children.