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3rd Sunday of Easter April 18, 2010

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Fr.Paul Weinberger

Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Greenville, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: 3rd Sunday of Easter April 18, 2010 Reply with quote

3rd Sunday of Easter 2010
Homily by:Fr. Paul Weinberger
St. William the Confessor Catholic Parish
Greenville, TX

Jesus said to him, “When you grow old you will stretch your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had said this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit


On the cover of the bulletin is a stylized picture of St. George meeting the dragon; this supposedly took place somewhere in northern Africa, in Libya. The Golden Legend of St. George speaks about how in Libya lived an animal, a dragon that was terrorizing a nearby city. Army after army tried to kill the dragon. You can see some of the results as you view the picture – for example at the right side, on the bottom. The armies were unsuccessful so the town began to pay a ransom of two sheep a day to the dragon. They either ran short of sheep or they didn't want to get rid of all the livestock so they started to deliver over their young maidens to the dragon, and this is where the princess comes in.

St. George was passing through and heard about the dragon. Unlike the men in the armies, St. George made the Sign of the Cross and single- handedly defeated the dragon in a fierce battle. Because of this many people were encouraged and became Catholic Christians, following the example of St. George. Friday is the Feast of St. George: April 23rd. I will be coming back to St. George in a few minutes.

When I was a kid there was a popular TV show that always ended the same, “Good night John Boy! Goodnight mama! Goodnight Mary Ellen! etc.” It took a least half of the show just for them to say “Goodnight!” A lot of people think that the pope and the cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, as well as the priest, deacons and lay people are all like the Waltons, being just one big happy family united together in the Church. Sadly, this is not the case. There is the direction that the pope is desiring to take the Church. Then many times there is a parallel direction.

I recall a case that happened a few years back when I first came to St. William Church. There was a great hoopla over what was happening at Notre Dame University in Indiana. Notre Dame is one of the premier Catholic universities in this country and yet, in 2004 and to this very day, they promote a terrible play each year. The play is called “The hmm hmm Monologues”. “The hmm hmm Monologues”... even the word itself is offensive outside of an anatomy and physiology class. The “hmm hmm” refers to the most intimate anatomical part of a women. So, all around the Notre Dame campus were large signs advertising the “The hmm hmm Monologues”and all over the town as well. “The hmm hmm Monologues” were featured at Notre Dame University. This came about and hit the news just about two years after the sex abuse scandal really began to hit this country and broke open in 2002.

The “The hmm hmm Monologues” is a play that is pornographic. Well, what in the world is a pornagraphic play doing at a Catholic university? Along with Notre Dame, the pornagraphic play was featured at many Catholic universities. As a side note, it was NOT presented here in Irving, which is University of Dallas. Many other Catholic universities proudly feature the “The hmm hmm Monologues” and have done so for years. It is pornographic but more than that. One of the vignettes in that play promotes a young woman, not yet having reached the age of 18 - a minor. This minor, this teenager is - “hurt” by an older woman. Now, I am saying it this way because you adults know what I am talking about. The children present do not and that is the way it has to stay. A young woman is “hurt” by an older woman. This “hurt” isn't merely expressed, it is glorified in the “The hmm hmm Monologues.”

So I preached against this when it came to the surface in 2004. However, I regret having preached as I did.

Humor me, if you will. Take out your ball point pen and on the face of St. George draw a beard. Now, that is what I pictured myself doing.

The name “Notre Dame” is of course French for “Our Lady”; the university is named for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like St. George, I was charging in to protect the Lady – in this case Our Lady. You men understand that this is a natural impulse, right? For the “The hmm hmm Monologues” to happen year after year at a Catholic university is vile. However, if I could go back and do it over again I would do it. If I could I would have preached about it in a different manner.

There was a family in our parish, a fine, upstanding family that still lives here in Greenville; they don't come to Mass here anymore. You see, they were just getting ready to send their son off to Notre Dame University. Then, to hear about “The hmm hmm Monologues” at Mass? What else could they have done? It was unfortunate; all the way around it was unfortunate. Two or three years ago I wrote the young man a letter and explained what I just explained to you. In the letter to him I stated that the way I had preached about the “The hmm hmm Monologues” pushed the University into one of two positions: #1) that either they stopped the play or #2) that they shut down the university.

The best school of Catholic architecture in this country is Notre Dame and one of the finest schools of philosophy is Notre Dame. Also, there are many other fine departments at Notre Dame. It was unreasonable for me to preach about the “The hmm hmm Monologues” that way.

It is real easy to close a school but it takes much energy to start one. So, I essentially wrote all of this to the young man and I also told him that he could make copies of the letter and show this letter to others. I hope he did.

Several months later I received a letter of thanks from him. It was nice of him, but still, I ran that family off from St. William Church. Now they attend Mass in Commerce. Again, they are a very fine family. If I had it to do over again I would do it differently.

As a side note, Notre Dame University, at this time last year (2009), was in the newspaper a lot. March, April, May.....remember? And do you recall at that time, how many times was Notre Dame University was mentioned here at St. William Church? Zero! Not a single time.

As you can see, there is a learning curve. However, I do not wish to hide behind that learning curve. If I had it to do over again I would have done it differently and if anyone believes otherwise there is nothing I can do. I regret the way it turned out.

I want to use that because, in a sense what Notre Dame and other Catholic Universities were putting on “The hmm hmm Monologues”, and are still putting it on.

These Catholic colleges appear to be on a parallel track of Catholicism.

I made it through high school geometry just barely. Probably the only thing I remember is the axiom: “Parallel lines will never meet.”

Rest assured - I will never be a teacher of geometry.

So, you have this parallel approach to the Catholic Faith by some and then you have what the Pope and the Church are promoting and they will never, ever meet because they are parallel. That is not by God's design. That is an invention, or more accurately, a deformation. It is a human invention.

Now I will come back to this example later. I am now going to move on to what you've been hearing for the past five or six weeks. You've heard it so much that's coming out through your ears, your eyes, your nostrils, and all of your pores. It's all about what's happening with the sex abuse scandal and Pope Benedict. They write or say things like: “What did he know?” and “When did he know it?” Here's essentially what it boils down to.

But where do you start? It's so huge. There are so many things.

In the last week or two there was an excellent two-part story, on one of the central figures in the last fifty or so years, and he played a big role in doing harm to the Church. His name - Father Maciel. In 1946 he was ordained a Catholic priest in Mexico. Right off the bat he raised money very quickly in Mexico City and started a preparatory high school called Los Cumbres. Before you knew it, he was starting a religious order from scratch. That's very hard to do. It's called the Legionnaires of Christ. I”m going to concentrate on Fr. Maciel, but I'm going to tell you that in the Legionnaires of Christ there are at least 99% of them that are excellent and fine men and women doing the Lord's work, but not all of them because some few of them were aiding and assisting Fr. Maciel in some way.

Fr. Maciel grew this religious order exponentially over the last fifty years with a university here, college there, preparatory school etc... all over the world and he had a knack for raising money, something I have never had.

Anyway, very soon after Maciel starts his religious order, word gets back to Rome that there are problems with Fr. Maciel. It seems that at every turn any question of wrongdoing was squelched or was covered up, with some saying, “Oh no, everything is fine.”

To help you understand this, up until as recently as 2001, in Rome there was a particular Congregation where, anytime someone had a sexual abuse claim against someone in the church, it landed in this certain committee, which dealt with all claims. If I traveled to Rome and picked up the rug in the office of that committee, underneath it would be quicksand, because whatever landed in their office just stayed there and then it sank into the quicksand. Whenever someone would send reams of information over it would go to this committee and if it didn't sink into the quicksand, the people on the committee would just So little or nothing got done and many times, people just gave up.

This is the way it seemed to happen for a long time.

Now pause right here and I am going to introduce two characters that you will recognize, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict. They were both influential persons at the Second Vatican Council, which ended in 1965. After the Second Vatican Council was over Pope John Paul II went back to Poland to be bishop, then archbishop, then cardinal, and then of course elected Pope in 1978. Joseph Ratzinger went back to the only place he has ever wanted to be and that was a classroom. He was a professor in Germany at Regensberg. He is a very intelligent and holy, as well as a very proficient instructor. So, he went to Regensburg and was happy as a clam. In 1977 he was pulled out of the place he loved and was dropped into the position of being Archbishop of Munich-Freising from 1977 to about 1981.

Now, during the time that Ratzinger was archbishop, it was the first time for him to be in such a role as someone in administration because he was always a professor. So here is the big point that everyone has made so much about.

One day it came to his attention that a priest from another diocese moved into his diocese to work and study. This priest had abused children in another diocese. This priest and his file came to the attention of Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger (who is now Pope Benedict) and he turned and gave it to an auxiliary and told him to take care of it... but the auxiliary didn't take care of it. He didn't do anything with it. Like the committee I spoke of earlier, nothing was done, ok?

In 1981 Archbishop Ratzinger gets pulled out of Munich by Pope John Paul II and gets dropped in Rome; he is the second in command from 1981 to 2005, and he sees everything Pope John Paul sees - he hears everything the pope hears - and he sees and hears a lot, especially about this guy, Fr. Maciel. Fr. Maciel was always opening a university here or a prep school there and he would fly in or ask cardinals or important archbishops to say a Mass for the opening or maybe an anniversary, or maybe it was Monday. After Mass it wasn’t uncommon for the one who had just celebrated the Mass to receive a big thick envelope full of cash and it was usually about $10,000.00. You can really get used to that kind of thing, right?

If you ever want to do that for me after Mass, before Mass, during Mass....[Laughter] (Fr. Paul was just kidding).

Anyway, they would hand whoever said Mass and envelope and all of a sudden Fr. Maciel had all these friends. It is like when someone cashes a paycheck and goes to a bar – all of a sudden there are friends you never knew all around you asking for a drink.

It came to pass that more and more of these guys on this committee, who were benefiting from the “envelopes,” shall we say, and whenever something came to Rome for the attention of this committee, which included Fr. Maciel, they just brushed it under that rug and it sank into the quicksand. It was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger that kept asking Pope John Paul II to do something. Finally in 2001 Cardinal Ratzinger finally twisted Pope John Paul II's arm to the point where these abuse complaints were taken from the committee and their quicksand, and were now sent to the attention of Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. That was 2001, and when did things start heating up here in the States? In 2002!

I wonder if there is a connection? I don't wonder at all, of course there is a connection! Cardinal Ratzinger was working only a German can... to clean things up. In fact when Pope John Paul died in 2005, just about this time in April, they were going to have the conclave. Cardinal Ratzinger gave a homily with all of the Cardinals present. Just before going into the Sistine Chapel and closing the doors to elect the next Pope Cardinal Ratzinger gave one of those speeches that was “no holes barred.” It was the kind of speech that he thought, “Well, maybe if I just tell them what I really think, they won't vote for me.” It didn't happen, did it? He said again and again that the Church has to clean up the filth – the filth in the Church. The Church has to do it! He said that the stench of this filth is terrible in the nostrils of God. He went on and on like this but was overwhelmingly elected Pope, but not unanimously. Think about that! Maybe it was that parallel group that like the quicksand, right? You get kind of used to things, right?

So Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope and now this stuff comes up. When Pope Benedict was Archbishop back in Munich they are making much about that case concerning that Priest, the case Archbishop Ratzinger gave to his auxiliary.

I have been reading the books and writings of Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, since 1986. I went down to Houston to the seminary. They gave me the book and said I had to read it. I read it and I have been reading his books ever since. I love this Pope! I respect this Pope! If I could say that I loved Pope Benedict over and over for twenty-four hours, non-stop, it still wouldn't be enough. I love and respect this Pope, who is like the first Pope, St. Peter. Pope Benedict is a great Pope but not a perfect Pope.

Let us go back to the Gospel reading, which mentions a charcoal fire. There is only one other time a charcoal fire is mentioned in the Bible, one other time in the entire New Testament. This was when Jesus, on Holy Thursday night was just about to be led to speak to Pontius Pilate. They are in that courtyard and over there is St. Peter. The Gospel says that St. Peter was “warming his backside.” While doing this he rejects Jesus once, twice, three times, just as hours earlier at the Last Supper, Jesus said he would do. After the third time he denied Christ, the rooster crows and Jesus looks at Peter with a glance that is withering and Peter dissolves in tears because he didn't just deny Jesus, he said, “I blankety-blank don't know Him.” Notice that Peter had his back turned to the charcoal fire; he was turned away from the light of the fire just as he had turned away from Christ, our Light.

Now, you notice that with the charcoal fire here in the Gospel it was already dawn; there was plenty of Light. Jesus takes Peter down the path. “Peter, do you love me?” Peter said, “Yes I do.” This was asked three times and answered three times. What Jesus does is to give to St. Peter a “get out of jail free pass” three times.

You see, the people who are attacking Pope Benedict do not believe in papal infallibility. Papal infallibility is a teaching that as Catholics we believe; in matters of faith and morals, when the Pope speaks, specifically Ex Cathedra. When the Pope speaks “infallibly” it is binding for all Catholics. Only two times in the history of the Church that has happened...two times - that is Papal Infallibility. The Church has never taught that the Pope is “impeccable.” All you have to do is look up the Borgia Popes. “Impeccable” means, “without sin.” The first Pope, St. Peter, was a weak man. In fact, St Peter once said to Jesus, “Leave me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Jesus wasn't buying it.

These people in a sound bite are saying about Pope Benedict’s one case in Munich, “Aha! I told you he was not impeccable!”


The first Pope wasn't impeccable and what about Pope John Paul II? Same thing - he wasn't without sin either. I am not impeccable and I am not without sin. Mother Teresa went to Confession every day.

With this idea, this “Aha!” or “Gotcha moment,” they are trying to convince Catholics to walk away from the Catholic Church. Now, if you want to walk away from the Catholic Church to a non-Catholic Church because you think that perfection is there, do me a favor and call or write me and I will leave the Catholic Church and follow you. There ain't no such place! Also it will never happen because to walk away from the Catholic Church is to walk away from Baptism as a Sacrament that gives us grace from Jesus Christ, Confession as a Sacrament of Divine Mercy, Confirmation as the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit, and marriage as a Sacrament and not just a symbol, as well as all the other Sacraments. To walk away from the Sacraments because the New York Times says so is to walk away from the Light of Christ into the darkness, to turn your back on the light.

Yesterday I was reading a book. If you want to know the title of the book you can ask me personally but I will not reveal the name of the book or the author. I read these lines yesterday, and I am surprised that I have any hair left on my head or that it didn't all turn white. I am serious. It is a book about the whole sex abuse scandals in the Church, in great detail. The man who wrote this is married and has six kids and he has perfect or shall I say, impeccable credentials. He isn't someone with an ax to grind but uses many of the abuse reports which were sent over to Rome – what a trail of tears. Oh, it is so sad.

Here is what I read. “Nobody wanted to hear the victims, not the police, not the district attorneys, not the parishioners, especially not the bishops, and sometime not even their own parents.”

In 2005 when Cardinal Ratzinger was chosen to be the Successor of St. Peter, almost the first day, there at his desk he signed an order which yanked Fr. Maciel off his long leash of decades -since 1946. Fr. Maciel has been free to go anywhere he wanted to. Now, with Pope Benedict, he was reeled in and sent by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, to a penitential monastery. That was not jail or prison. It was a penitential monastery, and all of this is made public.

Maciel was no longer able to offer even a private Mass or hear Confessions. Why did Pope Benedict send him, in such a public way, to a penitential monastery? You see, so many of the crimes, the sins that he committed against children, young adults and adults, can be confessed to a Priest in Confession. But, because Fr. Maciel was a Priest, there are certain sins of Priests that are reserved to the Pope. So the confessor of a Priest has to alert Rome – the Pope - in certain cases, asking for that dispensation and absolution. Now, that permission for a dispensation never crossed the desk of Cardinal Ratzinger. So, as Pope he knew he had never gotten that letter concerning Fr. Maciel in his mail over at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

About a year ago Fr. Maciel died, and he died in his sins; apparently he never asked to be absolved through the proper channels. I am sure there were Priests who waved a blessing over him, like the fan up there on the ceiling. But the sins he committed as a Priest were sins that are reserved to the Holy Father, the Pope.

You see, this pope is intent on cleaning up the filth in the Church and the media and so many others want us to think he is part of the problem. Don't be gulled! He is not perfect and neither am I.

I guarantee if Pope Benedict could do it all over again, he would handle that case in Munich very differently.

Let me give another example.

During Holy Week I had 40 hours of Confession and then Holy Thursday services, Good Friday services, Holy Saturday and then Easter Sunday services. On Holy Thursday night after I finished it was very late and I was not even tired. The same thing after the Good Friday services, and Holy Saturday, which didn't get over with until 12:20 am because the Mass started really late.

I got four hours of sleep and then the next day, on Easter Sunday I wasn't tired. I knew it wasn't my new exercise program, right? [Laughter] I am 50 years old and I feel 50 everyday. But, the day after Easter Sunday.....I was very tired. That was two weeks ago and I am just about to turn back into a human being. I knew why I wasn't tired. Right now, I am looking at the reasons why I wasn't tired. (Father Paul points at the congregation in St. William Church.) Many, or all, of you prayed for me and I was praying for you at the same time, and I knew that this was the answer to the reason I was not tired.

Sure enough when I didn't have to be at attention and I could finally collapse, that is what I did in the past two weeks. I was moving so slowly they could have put me on that committee with the quicksand under the rug; they could have made me president I was moving so slowly.

We need to pray for Pope Benedict. I have been here at St. William Church for six years now. I know many of your short comings and by now, you know many of mine - it is like being in a family. Welcome to ‘Walton's Mountain.”

Don't be ridiculous and throw the Pope under the bus or overboard or anywhere else. Pray for him. He is in need of people who get it.

Here is one last example from last week.

There is a retired Cardinal whom I will not name. He is not from this country. I have followed this Cardinal for the last ten years and I really like him. Anyway, last week this Cardinal wrote a letter to a Bishop in France, who is in jail. He is in jail because he knew that someone had abused children and he didn't report it. This retired Cardinal wrote the jailed Bishop a letter and said that as a Cardinal, he was proud of what the jailed bishop had done, keeping this matter of Priestly abuse a secret. He said he was going to write the other Conferences of Bishops around the world and hold this jailed bishop up as an example to them.

(Father Paul snaps his fingers and says,) That fast, last week the Vatican came out and said about the Cardinal, “No, he got it wrong; he doesn't speak for us!” This kind of rapid Vatican response just doesn't happen. It does happen NOW because this Pope will not abide even favorite Cardinals of his to have a parallel approach to this reform. If it is a parallel approach it will never connect with his approach. The Pope wants to rid the Church of filth. He wants the many victims, not just the ones abused but also the many people connected to them, to know that the Church loves them and cares for them and that if he could do it over again he would certainly do it differently. “Well, Father Paul, I don't believe that!” You know what then? Crawl back under your rock! I believe him. I believe the Pope. Every time he crossed a “t” and dotted and “i”, I followed him, and except for that case in Munich that someone was able to dig up, he has been a stellar candidate.

Oh, I forgot to tell you... once Cardinal Ratzinger offered a Mass for for Fr. Maciel’s group, and someone came to him with an envelope containing $10,000 and he didn't even touch it. He said, “Get that away from me!” They never did that again and they knew that they were going to have trouble with that guy, Cardinal Ratzinger who is now, Pope Benedict.

“Oh well, I didn't hear about that!” Yeah, yeah!

I am sorry to take so long, the homily has been 35 minutes up to now to pull all of this together. From what you have heard and read, what someone else has heard or read or said, WHATEVER, is exactly what happened in this Gospel.

“Peter do you love Me?” Do you see that last part? Friday Pope Benedict turned 83. How does the Gospel end? “When you grow old you will stretch your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death He would glorify God.”

Yeah, a big cross was put on Pope Benedict's shoulders. The old man has a big cross on his shoulders. Then Jesus said, “Follow Me!”

And the Pope is carrying his cross and following Jesus and he really needs our prayers and sacrifices.

+In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

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