Thursday, July 28, 2011

Father John Corapi

1 Degree
Father John Corapi
A funnel cloud of garbage is swirling around Father John Corapi and hundreds of other priests accused of sexual sin with adult women.  This matter is very personal to me, not because I know Father John, but because the man who married me (to my husband and The Holy Spirit) was also accused of sexual sin with an adult woman.
My priest's charges were leveled by a single "victim" over the course of the past few years.  Father M left the cathedral where he married me and where he spent decades as a priest because of these charges.  The community has suffered a great loss.  Father has suffered a professional and personal pain of an extreme degree.  

How do I know that Father M is innocent?  Well, ultimately, I don't, but I do know a few things.
  • the propensity to be violent and a sexual preditor generally does NOT begin later in life, these sins tend to be strongest when one is younger. 
  • Father M's temperament is very mild, it's not like him to become violent
  • with all do respect to Father, he just doesn't isn't strong enough to do what he's accused of doing with a compliant partner, much less with someone being forced.  He just could not have pulled it off
  • the scene described by the victim is very similar to scenes in The Exorcist.  Maybe she is suffering from a "recovered (false) memory". It doesn't add up.
  • the DA admitted that evidence could not support the rape charge and the charges were reduced and may be reduced further.  
John Corapi is at retirement age and is just now being charged with sexual misconduct.  It seems that such charges or, at the very least, gossip, would have followed him throughout his ministry if this were true.  We were all better looking in the 90s, heck, it's 20 years ago!  Things are continuing to unfold with Corapi.  I will say that Father Corapi's response to his troubles has been less than Christlike.  He's disobeying his bishop and continuing to preach and perform priestly duties before the investigation is conducted.  I understand his frustration, but his actions make him appear guilty.  For help clarifying the situation and what is going on, check out this post of The Deacon's Bench blog.  There you'll find two interviews that shed light on what's going on and what it all means.

Here are Father John and Father Michael in better days.  
When we take away civil rights in order to achieve security, we have neither civil rights nor security.  We're finding this in post 9/11 laws like The Patriot Act, and we're learning this in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church.  If we keep true to the ideals of American justice, we can protect and defend all citizens, children, adults, the mentally ill, the unborn, clergy, laity, everyone!  We cannot let fear throw the baby out with the bath water.  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse died this week, apparently another victim of heroine and other drugs.  We learned about the power of heroine to take great talents from our midst in the John Belushi post.  I think the only way to examine this situation and link her to Pope John Paul II is through addiction, submission to Christ, and confession.  Let's get started!

The Priory Clinic in London
Ms Winehouse entered rehab for the last time this past May.  She checked into the Priory Clinic on her doctor's advice.  The Priory is not a rehab facility but a mental health institution.  As mentioned in the Belushi post, the success rates for rehab are very low, less than 10%.  We know that certain neurotransmitters are at work, but we don't know how to effectively treat the craving for these highs.

Scottish singer, Susan Boyle spent time at the London Priory clinic
immediately following the extreme stress of her meteoric rise to fame
a few years back.  As we learned in her post, she sang for
Pope Benedict XVI.  Boyle is a second degreer.
Autism, learning disabilities, Schizoaffective disorder, alcoholism, eating disorders, drug addiction, Aspergers, depression, and a host of other problems are treated at the Priory.  Celebrities from the late Amy Winehouse to Susan Boyle, Kate Moss, Lisa Marie Presley, and Courtney Love have been treated there.  

When we look at the mental health treatments of 50 years ago we are horrified.  Back then, lobotomies were all the rage.
Lithium had just been discovered as a treatment for Bipolar and other mood disorders, and electroshock and insulin treatment were cutting edge.  This clip from A Beautiful Mind, (a flick I highly recommend,) shows what an insulin treatment was like around 1960.  
The "religion" of Scientology is centers on a hatred of psychiatry.  We'll get more into that in a future post.  As a rational Catholic, I know that the scientologists are on the WRONG track.  The answer to mental health is not denying that it can go wrong or attributing mental illness to demons or engrams or sins of the fathers.  The answer is in research, funding, prayer, compassion, love, and all the tools given to us by God.  He gave us the sacraments and amazing brains.  Let's use them together.  
Let's fund mental health in parity with physical health.  Let's get national healthcare so that treatment is accessible to all.  Let's strengthen our families and our friendships to prevent more minor mental illnesses.  Let's put on Christ and be his hands, ears, eyes, and voice!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Anders Behring Breivik

4 Degrees
"Christian" terrorist, Anders
Behring Breivik
There has been a horrific terrorist spree in Norway.  In the past 24 hours a bombing and a mass murder shooting on an island.  So far the teen death toll at the camp is over 90, the bombing may have killed an accomplice.  This is thought to be the work of Christian terrorists.

The decidedly evil work of Breivik's hands was commented on by one of his victims, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.  Stoltenberg's office was in the blast radius.

Anders Behring Breivik was arrested and charged with the bombing and the mass shooting.  According to The Atlantic, Breivik was "a conservative, right-wing Christian" with views that concentrated on "lowering taxes and a much stricter policy on immigration."  
In the center, (second degree) Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the UN with
(third degree) Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway
(first degree) Pope Benedict and  Ban Ki Moon
Hmmm, when I last read about a radical conservative Christian, he was being lambasted for telling us we'll go to hell if we don't care for the poor, we should support the infirmed, give birth to children even if they have genetic abnormailities, and be more compassionate with our immigration.  
Archbishop Chaput giving communion to a little
He is Charles Chaput, the soon-to-be archbishop of Philadelphia.  

So which one of these men is the actual Christian?  The murderer for lower taxes and sealed borders?  The monk who's a stickler for life and compassion and who took a vow of poverty?  

I'll let you make up your mind.  Until then, I'll be praying with my friend Chaput for the victims in Norway.  May God make their memory eternal and may the good people of Norway bring the compassion of Christ to the survivors.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lord Voldemort

Lord Voldemort is 4 degrees from Blessed John Paul II because Harry Potter is 4 degrees from Blessed John Paul II.  Why the same?  Because they WERE the same person, remember *SPOILER ALERT*, Harry is a horcrux.  Part of Voldemort's soul was with Harry from the time he was 14 months old.  Since the two were separated after Harry and Kingsley Shaklebolt were acquainted, the degrees remain the same.

If he had made different choices,
perhaps Voldemort would have grown
into a handsome and playful guy
like Ralph Fiennes
Instead, Tom became this ugly fellow, the embodiment of evil.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

J. K. Rowling

The two wealthiest women in the world regard one another.   The lady on the left has helped keep the free world free,
the lady on the right helped keep the children of the world reading.

The Queen and the Vicar

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter

4 Degrees
Harry to Kingsley to John Major to Queen Elizabeth

The boy wizard knows and works with....

Kingsley was the bodyguard to then Prime Minister, 

The guy on the right was Prime Minister when
Voldemort got his body back.
The lady on the left was Prime Minister when Harry
began at Hogwarts
ALL prime ministers serve at the pleasure of the Queen.  This lady was queen during Harry's entire life!
She still is the Queen.
Blessed John Paul II and Her Majesty
If you ask me, they both knew Kingsley too, but they never said.

This movie is excellent.  I highly recommend it.  It helped me to understand why England has a monarchy at all.
Harry, I'm sorry that you had to die.  The manner in which you did shows the true, Christian roots of your soul and of your story.  Wherever you are, thanks! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Steven Tyler

The quickest way to connect Steven Tyler to Pope John Paul II is via first degree, Bono.
Tyler and Bono

But this is the month of fathers, so let's connect Steven Tyler through fatherhood.
Steven Tyler in the 1970s with his teenage girlfriend.  He refers to her as "Diane" in his autobiography.  I'll
use that name here too.  She was 14 years old when her parents gave Tyler guardianship of Diane.  She had
several abortions, it is not clear if Tyler was the father of all the aborted babies.  There was one abortion that Steve mentions in his books.  
“It was a big crisis. It’s a major thing when you’re growing something with a woman, but they convinced us that it would never work out and would ruin our lives. . . . You go to the doctor and they put the needle in her belly and they squeeze the stuff in and you watch. And it comes out dead. I was pretty devastated. In my mind, I’m going, Jesus, what have I done?”
Actually, this is a misquote.  The part about Diane was,
 "It's a major thing when you’re growing something with a woman, but they convinced us Diana was too young and it would never work out and would ruin our lives." 
Weather you abide by the pro-choice article or the pro-life National Review article, it is clear that this abortion was disturbing to Tyler and a deep injustice to the teenage Diane.  She never should have been sexually active at that age.  She should not have been given to Tyler as a sexual plaything by her own parents. She should not have been used by Tyler (an adult) because she was a child.

Sex with underage children has been romanticized in our culture.  Here is an example that I grew up with.

At the time that "Big" came out, I didn't think much of it.  Now, as an adult and a mother, I'm appalled by the "love scene" with Tom Hanks (a 14 year old in a 25 year old body) and Elizabeth Perkins (a professional 20-something woman.)  This movie wasn't controversial when it came out in 1988.  The moral of keeping one's innocence to become the best adult version of yourself was universally accepted.  Did the character of Susan become pregnant after her encounter with the character Josh?  Did she greet him around Christmas time with the news that he'd be a father when he turned 14?  Did the character of Josh discover he had contracted a disease from Susan?  What a way to begin High School.

Here is another example of romanticizing sex with underage children, Lolita with Jeremy Irons.  Note how the girl is shown as the aggressor and the adult man is doing what he does against his better judgement.  We don't know if this 13 year old Lolita conceived.  I would imagine that she would within a few months of this relationship beginning.  What of that?  What of her heart?  What about her body?  What about her soul?

One source said that after Tyler broke up with Diane, Diane was suicidal.  In any event, he took up with a model after Diane and fathered fourth degree, Liv Tyler with a new girlfriend.
Liv Tyler was Arwen in The Lord of the Rings, a film adaptation
of the epic by J.R.R. Tolkein

Third Degree, J.R.R. Tolkein was a colleague and admirer of G.K. Chesterton.  We met Mr. Chesterton in the Charles Dickens post.  Dr. Alison Milbank wrote the book, "Chesterton and Tolkien as Theologians."  In it she analyses both men's works and their intellectual, literary relationship with one another.  Here is an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Milbank.  
Tolkien refers several times to Chesterton’s essays in On Fairy-stories, and I argue that these references show he knew a posthumous compilation of Chesterton’s writings, The Coloured Lands, edited by Maisie Ward in 1938, just before Tolkien’s lecture on which the fairy-story essay was based. Maisie Ward actually introduces the idea of sub-creation that is so important an aspect of Tolkien’s understanding of his literary project. It’s interesting that Tolkien is anxious to state that his view of the role of fantasy goes beyond that of Chesterton – this shows to me how closely influenced he feels himself to be. So Tolkien says that Chestertonian fantasy shows you the actual world from a new angle but thoroughgoing fantasy is like opening a box that allows out new things and releases them from our ownership of them. This is a really philosophical statement. The Enlightenment philosopher Kant said we have no access to things in themselves, and all we have is our own perception of the world. This leads to an alienated form of knowledge. Tolkien, following Chesterton, is a realist in a philosophical sense, because he thinks that we can be aware of a world beyond our own perceptions. Paradoxically, fiction – creating your own fantasy world – is not a way ofowning your own private reality but setting the things in that world free – like Tom Bombadil putting the contents of the barrow-wights’ hoard out on the hillside.
As mentioned in the Dickens post, Pope Pius XII sent condolences to G.K. Chesterton's family upon his death.

Hell, Purgatory, and The Body
According to, Tyler was guilty and remorseful about his relationship with Diane and the abortion that resulted.
"It affected me later when I tried to get my real wife pregnant. I was afraid. I thought we'd give birth to a six-headed cow because of what I'd done with other women. The real life guilt was very traumatic for me."
Tyler did not sire a "six-headed cow".  All of his children, who were allowed to be born, were healthy.  God doesn't punish people with deaths and diseases any more than He rewards people with good health and riches.  God loves all of us, sinners and saints.

Pope John Paul in peaceful conversation with the
man who shot him
So what happens to someone like Mr. Tyler at death.  Is he forgiven?  Well, if he wants to be forgiven, he is.  It appears as though he does want that forgiveness.  Being right with God does not mean that all consequences for sin are forgiven here on earth.  People who are sorry for rape, murder, theft, etc. can still be prosecuted and punished through the legal system.  Even when sentences are served, victims can still suffer ongoing damage from the sin.  A good example of this is the subject of this blog, Blessed John Paul II.  He was shot in 1981.  The Pope forgave the man who attacked him but, like Jesus, his body bore the scars for the rest of his life.

Let us imagine a person who was NOT repentant.  Perhaps someone who is an adult and is currently sexually involved with a minor.  This could be part of a plural marriage, a family molestation, or a consensual student/teacher relationship.  In any event, under common sense and the laws of most countries, it is wrong.  More importantly, it is wrong in the eyes of God.  As Catholics see it, children cannot give consent to a lifelong sexual union and therefore cannot have lawful sexual relationships under natural Christian law.  If a person has given his (or her) sexuality and genitals to sin, he (or she) has disallowed God to be part of that aspect their human life.

Nothing sinful or imperfect can be in heaven.  If part of a person's body has been whole-heartedly given over to sin, how can it be resurrected in the second coming?  If the soul intends to use the body's members for sin, how can God allow that soul to enter Heaven?  How can God burn off the sinfulness and keep the good of a person if they've given over whole parts of themselves to sin WITHOUT RESERVE.

We cannot forget that death is not the end of the journey.  We are soul/body beings.  We will be reunited with our bodies which will be glorified.  If a fundamental part of our bodies cannot be resurrected, how can we be resurrected?  Giving one's alimentary canal over to sin via alcoholism, gluttony, popping pills, etc. means that, unless we are sorry for what we've done with our bodies, that system must die forever.  Christ ate with his apostles after his resurrection.  Our glorified bodies might have all the systems of our current ones.  The same would be true for giving one's brain over to substances and evil thoughts, our likeness over to vanity and self-worship, and our words and senses over to evil, we cannot bring those things to heaven and to the life to come.

A spiritual Father can help you get to Heaven
The fact is, we do not know how God could save someone with this kind of Swiss cheese soul and body.  I think the best that we can determine is that, with unrepentance comes the very real possibility of damnation.  We have to realize that not repenting can result in our inability to be saved because we refuse salvation.

Both the Orthodox East and Catholic West believe in a purification for souls after death.  We Catholics pray for the repose of the souls of the dead.  Only when circumstances make clear that a particular soul is definitely in the company of Jesus Christ do we venerate the dead as saints.  We NEVER imagine or determine who is not saved.

Confession in the Russian tradition
What to do?  Only speculate about the repose of your own soul.  Get to confession often.  Pray a little more every year.  Work with one confessor and try to find your spiritual father.  Examine your life, your body, your soul, and determine how you can begin to make yourself better.  Notice when you are tempted to judge others.  Use judgement and discernment in your choice of friends, colleagues, and influences.  Learn the difference between good judgement and judgementalism.  This difference is as subtle as the difference between evangelism and proselytism.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Marie Joseph

Marie Joseph and one of her children in the Lafayette pool
on another occasion.  Can you see her feet?
This story is disturbing.  It happened just a few miles from my home in Fall River, Massachusetts.  This story has done nothing to improve the grizzly reputation of Fall River, home to notorious alleged murderess, fifth degree, Lizzie Bordon.  This story is more disturbing than even that because the victim, 36-year-old Marie Joseph, could have been any of us.

Facts of the case continue to unfold and I will update the blog.  Please keep in mind that Odiogo, the audio version of the blog, does not update after the original post.

Here is what we know so far.

June 26, 2011
Marie Joseph, mother of 5, is cooling herself with friends at the Lafayette Park Pool, a State pool in Fall River, Massachusetts.  Her cell phone, wallet, towel, and other effects were found at the pool that night by lifeguards.  Friends had waited for Joseph at the pool, but then assumed she had left on her own.  No missing persons report was ever filed.  Then, Wednesday morning, we have this news story.

Later, we learn that the body may have been there since Sunday.  Hundreds of swimmers were possibly swimming around and over the corpse of Marie Joseph.  Ewwwwwwwwww.  The creep factor just exploded.

But how is it that she drown in a crowded pool without anyone knowing.  As it turns out, someone did know. He told lifeguards, but they blew him off.  The first one was "on break" and didn't want to be bothered.  The second said "there would be a pool inspection in a few minutes."  Perhaps this young mother of 5 could have been saved with CPR if something had been done immediately!

4 Degrees
Joseph to Patrick to Obama to Benedict XVI to John Paul II
4th degree, Marie Joseph slides down this yellow slide
into a pool in Fall River and sinks to the bottom.  

Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick (right) spoke
at a press conference about closing all state pools
during the investigation.  Here is Mr. Patrick with another
famous politician, second degree, Barak Obama

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Donald

"The Donald is a caricature,
with his helmet of combed-over
blonde hair, white eyes (from
tanning booths), and blue-collar
Everyone is all a-flutter about Donald Trump, "The Donald", toying with the idea of running for president in the 2012 election.  Mr. Trump craves attention and demands to be the center of it.  He's a bit of a caricature with his helmet of combed-over blonde hair, white eyes (from tanning booths), and blue-collar accent.   He's never been politically active in the past, but he has supported Democratic candidates to help grease the wheels of his real-estate empire.  He doesn't seem to have media chops, nor does he have political chops.  In my opinion, Mr. Trump is far less of a contender than Jerry Springer.  Yes, Jerry Springer.  If we're going to go for crass, reality stars, let's go for the one who could actually do a decent job.  First, let's track The Donald's 4 degrees.

4 Degrees
The Donald and his current wife, Melania Trump.  Here he is doing what
he does best, opening his mouth and ranting. 

The Trumps (left) and Howard Stern and his wife (right)
Melania appeared on Howard's radio show, a move which boosted her star
As mentioned in a previous post, Howard Stern is friends with The Catholic Guy on Sirius Satellite radio.

So, Jerry Springer, when I first heard that Jerry was a serious contender for governor of Ohio in 1980, I was shocked.  Later, when I read some of the things he had written and saw some of his political ads and interviews, I was amazed.