Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Suppressing the suppression

A group of Endangered Catholics lobbied the priests of the diocese last night. There was a reception in a building near the cathedral before the Chrism Mass. Members stood between the two buildings and held up signs pleading for mediation, and in support of Father Robert Begin, the truthful, and undaunted pastor of St. Colman's. Some of his fellow priests made favorable comments and chatted with members of the group. A few ignored them, and one spoke against the sentiments of the agitating parishioners and used a very vulgar term. A lady protester chided him, "Father, you should go to confession." A priest passing a fellow holding the sign above said, "I am too young to be like Fr. Bob." Another said, "He is truthful".
Then when the priests processed into the cathedral, the group of a dozen plus held signs up near the clerical line. None of this was noted by the media. There has been no aggressive reporting of this larger story. The open falsehoods concerning rationale and particulars have not been investigated. One television station, which ridiculously pans itself as being "everywhere" has one of its investigative reporters carrying water for the bishop as a ceremonial chairman of a charities campaign. Some who oppose the parish suppressions use the term "censorship", but since it is not governmental, but the economic establishment which does not air the story sufficiently it is then "suppression". Much criticism of Lennon concerns that he does not act on religious, theological, christian, pastoral bases, but on economic, managerial bases, which criticisms the economic establishment will not entertain or gladly allow, because they believe in that ethic, they justify their doings by them. American capitalistic business practice is the accepted ground standard.
Recently, the Cleveland Plain Dealer printed a letter of the spouse of Richard Lennon's employee, whom is the officer for the "parish reconfiguration", or dismemberment. Either she, Armstrong, or the Plain Dealer should have noted this, they did not. She demanded respect for Lennon, and had a rash of questions to those whom object to his lordship's plans.

Many questions have been asked to, and not answered by, Richard Lennon. At the press conference of March 2009, he made the repeated point, that he would not answer any questions in particular on why any one parish would be closed. [This statement he has proven true, many others not so much, really not at all.] He did not answer the repeated questions of Robert Begin. He did not answer any of the ten questions that were read on the steps of the cathedral, and placed on the handles of the portico doors. That group, Code Purple, is asking to meet with the Bishop in a public forum to discuss questions. That won't happen, and the media will not mention it.

Now St. Stanislaus, Lorain was suppressed 27 September 2009. 22 September the Lorain Journal and WKYC 3 both reported that a real estate agency had the property listed on its website at that date. Bob Tayek was quoted in both stories. To-day, in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Tayek is quoted: "No property is placed for sale until a church is officially closed."

There appears to be a planted campaign of acceptable discourse engineered by the chancery. Churches are continued to be suppressed, but only a few comments are given public disclosure or focus. Both Lennon and his mouthpiece, Bob "Baghdad Bob" Tayek, are pushing the false story that there is little to no opposition, and the absurd story that Lennon is lauded when he suppresses a congregation. Saint Peter's, Cleveland, does not want to be in attendance for the Mass of Eviction and possession by the bishop. This upsets the "pastoral action" fiction that is spread in the disinformation campaign. Definition of terms is half the programme and half the argument won before a debate begins. If 'bishop' would overlap with the semantic field of brother and servant, and not tyrant and sovereign, then we (as a church) would be a happier and healthier community.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

San Óscar Romero de América

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was martyred thirty years ago by ‘conservative’ interests. He was a bishop, who was a good and caring shepherd to his people. Romero was not a lord acting as a prince, nor was he a bureaucrat acting for establishment concerns.

A brasilian reporter asked the archbishop if he feared for his life, because he spoke for his assassinated clergy and the oppressed poor. Romero answered, ¡Justice cannot be killed!. This year, 24 March falls mid-week, many Masses would be without homilies and sermons. Sunday, outside of Catholic congregations of hispanics, I wonder whether there would be a higher frequency of congregations of catholic or 'liberal' protestants that will hear of Romero. At my last parish, I remember two individuals whom discounted the propriety of Romero. Oscar is not canonised, yet, and though there are churches named after similar saints (Thomas of Canterbury, Stanislaus of Krakow) whom were bishops of justice, it may be more probable for those churches to be closed, than to speak of Oscar. Co-incidently, the Tejas State Board of Education [sic] voted to exclude the mention of Romero from the history programme, they also excluded Jefferson.

If Romero kept silent, he would have lived. The words that infuriated the powerful and their armed security forces were such as:
  • to the president of the US, Jimmy Carter: You say that you are Christian. If you are really Christian, please stop sending military aid to the military here, because they use it only to kill my people.
  • I am bound, as a pastor, by divine command to give my life for those whom I love, and that is all Salvadorans, even those who are going to kill me.
  • We suffer with those who have disappeared, those who have had to flee their homes, and those who have been tortured.
  • When the church hears the cry of the oppressed it cannot but denounce the social structures that give rise to and perpetuate the misery from which the cry arises.
  • In concrete terms capitalism is in fact what is most unjust and unchristian about our own society.
  • “Even when they call us mad, when they call us subversives and communists and all the epithets they put on us, we know we only preach the subversive witness of the Beatitudes, which have turned everything upside down.”
  • This is why the church has great conflicts: It denounces sin.
    It says to the rich: Do not sin by misusing your money.
    It says to the powerful: Do not misuse your political influence.
    Do not misuse your weaponry. Do not misuse your power.
    It says to torturers: Do not torture. You are sinning.
    You are doing wrong. You are establishing the reign of hell on earth.
  • This is the commitment of being a Christian: to follow Christ in his Incarnation. And if Christ is a majestic God who becomes a humble man and lives with the poor until the death of slaves on a cross, our Christian faith should be lived in the same fashion. This Christian who doesn’t want to live with this commitment of solidarity with the poor doesn’t deserve to call himself a Christian. Christ invites us not to fear persecution because, believe it brothers, the one who binds himself with the poor has to go through the same destiny as the poor: to be disappeared, to be tortured, to be captured to appear as dead.
  • end of his last sermon:Brothers, you came from our own people. You are killing your own brothers. Any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God, which says, Thou shalt not kill. No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you obeyed your consciences rather than sinful orders. The church cannot remain silent before such an abomination. We want the government to face the fact that reforms are valueless if they are to be carried out at the cost of so much blood. In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression.
    The church preaches your liberation just as we have studied it in the holy Bible today. It is a liberation that has, above all else, respect for the dignity of the person, hope for humanity
    s common good, and the transcendence that looks before all to God and only from God derives its hope and its strength. In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cry rises to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you: stop the repression.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Party of vandals

In 1773 a group of bostonians threw chests of tea into the harbor. They went in disguise as indians in the dark of night. They protested, in part, of 'Mother England' taxing them instead of being taxed by themselves.

To-day, some have used the name 'tea party' to attack the Democracy. They, amongst other things, are damaging Democratic windows [left: Congressman Gabrielle Giffords' Tucson office] during the night. Perhaps, they are creating a Kristallnacht now. Their impetus? Their elected representatives in Congress passed a bill, not across the sea, but in the nation's capital on health care reform.

Before they passed the bill. Others yelled racial epithets and spat on negro congressmen. Negroes marched peacefully for their recognition of equal rights in the 1950s and '60s. It seems, though they have recognised legal rights, they still do not have the courtesy of human respect from all citizens.

These new political activists want political power. They are not elected, nor do they care for elections. They first appeared in Florida in 2000. A similar, but conservatively dressed, mob halted vote counting to prevent a Democrat becoming president. They act as mobs and vandals. It is a very ugly and disturbed movement. Will their violence escalate? They are being cheerled by mouthfoamers on radio and television, and by Republican congressmen. Is this what the Republicans do when they are not in power?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Walter returns to Casimir's

Cleveland Lake Erie Shore

foto of Saint Casimir's niche in the high altar inside

Władysław "Władek (Walter)" Szylwian is acknowledged

Driving to Saint Casimir's the classical music station was playing Raxmaninov playing the Marche funèbre from Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor. It is now seven years passed bushjr's initial bombing of Iraq, and that war continues yet, the victims and the dead were amongst those prayed for at the vigil. During the beginning of the vigil, buzzards and crows flew about. I was reminded of the ravens, Hugin and Munin, the norse war god, Odin's scouts and spions. For some, all this would seem a not so good harbinger of the new season, but some miles a way Hinckley was celebrating buzzard sunday; we had the 5th Sunday of Lent, and Lennon was in Lakewood transfiguring a parish accompanied by a flock of bored police.

The Cleveland lake shore was kissed, and hugged with chewed and churned ice, and the wind moving quickly over it was cold, so as, to numb everyone's hands. Further inland it was warmer, so no one wore gloves. Again prayers and hymns, in two languages, were said and sung. A second mini-celebration of St. Patrick with coffee and pastry was had, since some were not there the week before.

To-day, the mention of Saint Colman's Father Robert Begin brought a round of applause. He is the first Cleveland priest to voice, publicly, the frustration and disagreement the diocese has with its ordinary, Richard Lennon. It was welcome news that solidarity spread beyond E. 82nd, the crowd that filled the irish cathedral on W. 65th on St. Patrick's Day had especially bidded prayers for both Saint Casimir's and Emeric's, along with the other endangered and extinguished parishes.

The celebrity of the day was Walter Szylwian. He was the 96 year old altar boy who pulled the plug on Lennon's microphone, during November's Mass of Eviction, and ignited the rebellion of the parishioners against the tyrant. To-day was his return to Saint Casimir not unlike a swallow to the mission San Juan Capistrano. He was well greeted, and shook hands with nearly everyone. People who had come to the vigils, whom were not originally members of the parish, had wanted to see the man who cut the juice on Dickie-boy, and now they did. They wanted their picture taken with the spirited catholic man.

Every week there is a new story about the parish-in-exile. They have been forming a new community of believers. They enjoy each other's company. Over the many weeks their story has been covered by a local weekly, The Neighborhood News of Garfield Heights, by one Joseph Feckanin, a fellow participant of this parish. A student, from the University of Cincinnati, also came to document the parish closings for her thesis. The resilient parish is slowly increasing its fame.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Texas requires stupidity

“God made an idiot for practice, and then He made a School Board.” - Mark Twain.

Texas has an elected state board of education. This is not exactly a fortunate 'democratic' experience. Texas elected geobushjr, rick perry, tom delay, dick armey, phil gramm, and a slew of other idiot gomers.

Thirty years ago, it was already apparent that, public school textbooks were going for the lowest common denominator. Tejas was then a large state, it is larger now. Companies were tailoring there texts to be adopted by this large customer. So, in part, not "as Maine goes, so does the nation", but Tejas.

Things have gotten much worse. The idiot and malicious bilge Texas has sent to the District of Columbia has created disaster after disaster. In many ways Texas has become the fiftieth of the fifty states.

Now, the commissars have dictated their party line as guidelines for social studies curriculum in what once was history and other fields. The only good note, is their leader, a dentist, Don McLeroy has lost the Republican primary for another term, though he was the governor's appointed chairman. Perhaps, even some Texas Republicans have realised his unsuitability; and it is not often that that happens.

Chairman McLeroy justified his ten year programme with the FOXesque, "We are adding balance." Of course, Tejas has many negroes, mexicans and tejanos living there. Their contributions for "balance" were not included. The word 'democratic' was removed as a description of government. Thomas Jefferson was removed as a contributor to revolutionary thought, one of his replacements was John Calvin. A principle 'historical' concern was the need to triumph the cause of Ronnie Reagan, and anything that can be associated with that cult. McElroy has said,"The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan..."

McLeroy has had a history of comments, such as, "Somebody has got to stand up the experts."* And so it was done without any meddlesome historians, or academics to influence the process of history writing. McLeroy and his evangelical,'free-market' and Republican comrades did so by such favored insertions as: "Describe the causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schafly, the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the National Rifle Association." Balance was not affected by a contrary list. McLeroy, as did the soviets, can also rehabilitate those that were universally condemned, he did so with Joe McCarthy. Do we see the trajectory. Yes, the Texas School Book Depository shall do great harm to America again.
*McLeroy is a dentist, would he trumpet free-lance dentistry?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SS. Cyril & Methodius must be Remembered

baptismal font. SS. Cyril and Methodius. Lakewood, Ohio.

On the bronze cover of the baptismal font, supra, there are statues of the two sainted brothers of Thessalonica. A scallop shell cascades four rivers of baptismal water. There are four circles, each with three of the lands north and east of Greece, representing where the two baptised lands and nations:
The two brothers, the monk Cyril †869 (also known as Constantine the Theologian), and the bishop Metod †885/9 first came to Moravia, roughly the center of the slavonic nations, in 863. They had previously been called by the khazars to be missionaries. Cyril was the first to capture slavonic words with gilded letters, and this work, and his brother's, made a literate and christian people of the slavs. In this they were hindered, accused, and imprisoned by germans, a king and bishops. Repeatedly, Rome and a series of popes approved the brothers. John Paul II, in 1980, made them co-patrons of Europe, for they are symbolic of the unity of east and west.

Now, across the ocean sea in the english speaking land of America, in the Diocese of Cleveland, there had been three parishes, of the name — Saints Cyril and Methodius. That was true a year ago to-day (when Lennon announced his list), at this very hour — there are none.

Before the arrival of Dickie the Destroyer of Parishes Lennon there were, amongst others, seven hungarian (magyar) parishes, there will be one left according to his plan; there were seven slovak parishes, there will be only one remaining slovak church. It was SS. Cyril and Methodius (the Apostles to the Slavs, or as our eastern brothers say — the Equals of the Apostles) in Lakewood, it shall be called ‘Transfiguration’ parish, now. There had been another ‘Transfiguration’ parish in Cleveland. It burned down after George H.W. Bush had campaigned there.

‘Transfiguration’ is a feast within the church, it was an epiphany of the true glory of Jesus before the apostles, and in the company of the prophets. But, it is a sardonic sarcasm employed by Lennon as he transfigures parishes according to his wont. Much of the hierarchy of this country has been of this prejudice to homogenise parishes to their ‘model’. It is of great visibility here. It is a campaign of suppression, a cleansing of ethnicity, the eventual complete eradication of ethnic parishes. The majority of Lennons parish reductions are nationality parishes. Many, if not most, having liquid assets, valuable properties, and no debt.

Cyril and Methodius is not being suppressed, it is being merged with Saint Rose of Lima. St. Rose has debt, now that debt will be Transfigurations to pay off. There are several parishes that have debt, and are remaining open. Some of that debt is made up of diocesan assessments, payable to the bishop. The latest pastor of Saint Rose is to be the pastor of ‘Transfiguration’. He shares much ideology with Lennon.

The pastor of Cyril and Methodius wants the slovak members of ‘Transfiguration’ to cling to their slovak heritage, and fly their flag on the pole next to the american flag. Across the street, the polish parish, Saint Hedwig, was suppressed and its monies, and patrimony reverted to the chancery. Some members of Hedwigs parish took welcome refuge at Cyril and Methodius. The pastor of Cyril and Methodius wants the polish members of ‘Transfiguration’ to cling to their polish heritage, and fly their flag on the new pole, which he bought, next to the pole with the american flag.

Saint Hedwig had monies in the low seven digits, to the left of the decimal. Lennon said at Sacred Heart, Akron, “the money follows the people”.* He was also reminded of this.
Supra: a mural (by Jozef Cincík) of the Scriptures in slavonic, a translation by Saints Cyril and Methodius. One of many murals on the lives of the sainted brothers on the church walls in Lakewood, Ohio. It is a nightmare and a thought in the minds of many, that these artworks, that tell of the faith and history of this christian people, might one day be whitewashed into oblivion. May all help preserve the story of Cyril and Methodius and their charges.
*in the youtube clip between 6.53 and 7.16
addendum 10 May 2010: of course, those who loved St. Rose of Lima parish suffered a greater loss than those of Cyril and Methodius in Lakewood. That does need to be recognised. The primary thesis of the essay is that which is represented by SS.
Cyril and Methodius is being purposely and systematically suppressed.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Saint Frances of Rome

In visiting a number of churches and making note of the artwork, one sees the same subjects depicted. Upon seeing a novel subject, especially one not readily identifiable [or labeled], one attempts to recollect what in the memory is recalled by the art. One looks more carefully at and in the work, or one cheats. The above is a scene of charity to the poor, perhaps a widow and orphans, or to three orphans. There is also an angel in the window.

Sometimes, the patron of charity to orphans can easily be identified as St. Vincent de Paul, whose face is known. Well, this is clearly a woman. A woman followed or protected by an angel.

Saint Frances *1384, 1440†, of Rome wanted to enter religious life but was married off as a young teenager to Lorenzo de’ Ponziani, a commander of papal troops. Three of their six children survived childhood, two later died of the plague.

The papal court had been in France for seventy years. Upon returning, in 1378, a rival, an anti-pope, also claimed the office. The West was in schism between nations, and rival popes, until 1417. Armies ravaged central Italy. The city of Rome suffered through, plague, war, flood, famine and wolves. Ladislaus of Naples sacked the city, and Frances' husband was wounded, and their estates were attacked.

In a ruined Rome she was very noticeable. She was nicknamed with the diminutive, by the poor, as 'la Ceccolella' [from Francesca]. Frances founded an orphanage. She opened up a hospital. She spent much of her family's wealth on charity. She affiliated as a benedictine. She founded the Olivetan Oblates of Mary, a confraternity of women. She founded the Oblates of the Tor de’ Specchi (Collatines).

In contemplation, she had visions, ecstasies and revelations. She was a miracle worker. Frances could see her guardian angel [hence she is portrayed with an (arch)angel]. The angel would carry a lantern (or torch) for her to see the road at night. This was recognised by Pope Pius XI when he declared her the patron of car drivers. On the 9th of March, cars jam all around her church (Santa Francesca Romana formerly Santa Maria Nova) by the Colosseum, and Forum, to be blessed. Still, roman drivers and traffic are quite a sight, and do not seem that blessed.
Or, one can read the donor's cartouche....hmmm...well not John, but Frances... Frances Cabrini, no we have seen her photographs...then...Frances of Rome. Frances died on the 9th of March, to-day is her birthday in heaven. The windows tell a story to those who will [see and] read.
One of 39 founders of religious orders' statues in niches of St. Peter's Basilica, Saint Frances of Rome by Pietro Galli 1850.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Casimir's Day celebrated

The snows receded, the sun appeared, the people came to celebrate Saint Casimir's Day in the street (East 82nd). They were joined by ward 7 councilman, TJ Dow, who stood with them through the service, and beforehand spoke on the desirability, and necessity of keeping such parishes open in the city of Cleveland for the good of communities.

Lennon, bishop and tyrant, wields power to shut down churches, and rename churches, but the old and original Saint Casimir was in force to-day, and enjoyed some fellowship after the service, with coffee and pastry. The church and the social hall were denied them, they carried on. The crux fidelis, the cross of faith, they bore, even though the current ordinary has dismissed them, taken away their possessions, refused their clergy to be active amongst them, and wishes them permanent exile, oblivion or ostracism.

They were reinforced with friends. Some go to Mass, at St. John Cantius, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Raphael, St. Lawrence, St. Stanislaus, St. Emeric, and elsewhere, and nowhere. Yet they come here too. The devotion of the place, and the faith, and christian solidarity. The people persevere under an uncaring, and bad bishop.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Saint Casimir

Carlo Dolci. Saint Casimir. post 1650. Florence.

Carlo Dolci was a baroque painter of exquisitely sweet and pious melancholy. He was a most exacting and careful colorist who excelled in sacred portraiture. He left Florence, perhaps only once, to paint a portrait in Innsbruck. Wealthy english came to sit for his brush. Here in the Casimir painting, he displays his gifts and interest.

Upon opening St. Casimir's casket, two interesting points were found, one his body was found to be incorrupt, and two he was found with a copy of Bernard of Clairvaux's poem (and song), Omni die dic Mariae (Daily, Daily Sing to Mary). Now, Casimir died a young man of tubercular consumption. This confluence of marian piety, pale piety, and personal asceticism appealed to Dolci and to generations of devout christians. This fit well a certain strain of holy card art for funerals, that was printed in Italy, and common in my childhood.

Casimir, *1458 †1484, was well educated and of remarkable attributes: chaste, austere, just, charming, modest, prudent and devout. Miracles were attributed to his intercession at his tomb in Vilna's cathedral of St Stanislaus. He was canonised in 1522.

He was part of the east central web of dynastic marriage and offspring. His father was Casimir IV Jagiellon, king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania, his mother was a Habsburg princess. An older brother became king of Bohemia and then Hungary. Three younger brothers became kings of Poland. Casimir was offered the kingship of Hungary, and eventually, declined. When as viceroy in Poland he ruled well.

Saint Casimir is well remembered and appreciated by both poles and lithuanians. In Cleveland, Ohio, the parish of his patronage is polish. The new bishop, Richie Lennon, evicted the poles from their church. They still meet as a parish weekly, never-the-less. Before this travesty, Lennon evicted the lithuanians from the very, nearby parish church of Saint George, and changed the name of the lithuanian parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH), in the Collinwood section of Cleveland, to a second Saint Casimir. For the first time, to-day, there was celebrated a mass specifically for Saint Casimir's Day at OLPH. It was a fine mass, with a beautiful choir. About an hundred people gathered.

Lennon created a second Casimir's not to honor the good multi-national saint, but to cause division amongst the nations, confusion to the outside world, and to 'stick it' to the poles of St. Casimir church and parish. Now, there is a St. Casimir in the St. Clair and Superior neighborhood, on Sowinski; and one in north Collinwood, on Neff Road, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church. At both parishes, Lennon evicted the foreign born priests, Father Jan Wachala and Father Gediminas Kijauskas, SJ. Despite the supposed rationale for parish reductions owing, in part, to insufficient clergy, both men are not welcome to stay in the diocese. Lennon does not have the power to deport them, but he can, and did, refuse them the exercise of their faculties. Lennon enjoys the heavy exercise of power, even, beyond his authority. He demonstrates this often.