19 December 2010

HEAD OVER HEELS FOR SPARKLES

I. Okay, back to the grind of being mean and grouchy. Have to maintain the reputation, you know ;) ... Now I assume that for any Canadian Catholic interested in keeping abreast of Church ongoings in this here domain, like your humble blogger, it is quite an ordeal to peruse the CCCB website. True, you could instead tune in to Salt + Light TV and watch Fr. Rosica market himself for a future bishopric, but make sure you have a bottle of Smirnoff handy. Alternatively, you could pop over to the Western Catholic Reporter, Prairie Messenger or the Catholic Register sites to get some good ole down home effrontery against all that is authentically Catholic. Yes, there are exceptions with a few writers. But in the main the Canadian Catholic MSM is an apparatchiks utopia where social justice and secular brown nosing rule the day. Still, for my money there's nothing like heading over to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops website to get a good dose of smiley face apostasy. It's sort of like gnawing on tin foil or listening to the nepotistic melodramatics of this fellow. Very unpleasant.

II. So I'm going through the website, perusing photos of multicultural bliss, clicking links to bureaucratic communiqu├ęs, unknowingly drooling due to the monotony involved, and then come across a delightful gem on The Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg. That nomenclature is kind of long, so for simplicity's sake let's use short form and refer to the good archbishop as "Sparkles". Well, evidence does show him to possess a sparkling personality. Perhaps you may recall that Sparkles is no friend to Catholic bloggers: "These bloggers who claim to be more Catholic than anyone - I think first of all they’re not part of the church".[1] Sparkles enunciated that beauty in 2009 after it came to light, via LifeSite News and pesky bloggers, that Development and Peace, an arm of the CCCB (to which Sparkles was president), is funding Moloch-enablers in South America. Of course, Sparkles, D+P, the CCCB and their stoolies at Salt + Light TV denied everything.[2] Reportedly, the Plenary Session last October was supposed to have resolved the whole issue (see my post on the scandal here). A recent article at LifeSite News seemed cautiously optimistic on the outcome in that Msgr. Patrick Powers, otherwise known as "The Magic Man", admitted two groups as being "problematic".[3] In actuality, the number runs much higher. And just recently the Socon or Bust blog proved that Development and Peace is still up to its old shenanigans with this post. Those hippie fossils are quite resilient.

III. Sparkles has remained silent on the scandal since the Plenary Session late last October. Unlikely that he will admit any wrongdoing by D+P. He has more pressing matters to administer, more transcendent issues to cogitate upon. Indeed, days after the Plenary Session he was again out west to receive a major award. As the CCCB Media Room announced:
The Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber was awarded a Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa) degree on November 7, 2010, by St. John's Anglican College of the University of Manitoba. Dr. Janet Hoskins, Warden and Vice-Chancellor of St. John’s College, noted the following about the service which Archbishop Weisgerber has contributed: "a long history of dedicated ministry to the people of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, including a strong ecumenical focus"; his work in "the reconciliation of aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba", and his role in helping to organize "the historic encounter in Rome between the Pope and a delegation of former students at residential schools, which went so far in helping to address the deep concerns of the aboriginal community".[4]
So it appears that the Anglicans are head over heels for Sparkles. Not just that, CCCB president Bishop Pierre Morissette "sent a letter of congratulations to Archbishop Weisgerber on behalf of all the Bishops of Canada". Sparkles' brother conciliarists are head over heels for him too. And why not? He has a "strong ecumenical focus", he is open to dialogue with those outside the Catholic Church, he is tolerant and relevant. Yet this question now comes: What is his attitude to those within, so to speak, to "his own", to those whom he shepherds, that comprise the Catholic body? This necessitates some backtracking.

IV. There is an interesting article in the latest issue of Catholic Insight by canonist Dr. Marie-Jeanne Ferrari.[5] In it she recounts some happenings at the convention for Canadian and American Canon Law Society, held in Buffalo, NY, which ran from October 11 to 14, 2010. Sparkles was in attendance and one of the speakers. Note that this was just a couple of weeks prior to the 2010 CCCB Plenary Session. The convention opened with a "gathering prayer". Get a barf bag ready because I am now going to quote from it:
...We now turn our thoughts to Earth Mother. She continues to care for us and has not forgotten her instructions from the beginning of time. Now we bring our thoughts together in thanksgiving for the earth. We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water. We return thanks to all the herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of diseases...
Ferrari also reports that an African priest became quite upset with this animistic goofiness, retorting with: "I will not pray to your god", then promptly departed. The good father was later indicted by someone else for disrespecting the "cultural heritage" of the presiding sister. Lovely.

V. Sparkles' talk related to Vatican II: "Fifty Years Later: How Far Have We Come?" was the title. In his remarks he let loose a suite of howlers to which Ferrari added correction. For example, he minimized the importance/value of the new Revision, stating that it will only be a "small change compared to the changes introduced since Vatican II". Regarding liturgical reform: "much has already been accomplished". Don't know which parishes he's visited lately. Sparkles also spoke that all the faithful should participate in the liturgy, evening in preaching! The Catholic Church is "a big tent ready to encompass everyone". Hold on. Wait a minute...

VI. Recall my abovementioned question: What is his attitude to those within, so to speak, to "his own", to those whom he shepherds, that comprise the Catholic body? Dr. Ferrari provides the answer in this paragraph:
During the question period one canonist reminded Archbishop Weisgerber that seminaries training young men to celebrate the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite were full, and that this Mass is celebrated in many dioceses throughout America. However, when a group of Winnipeg parishioners had approached their archbishop for permission to have the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite that they had already enjoyed for several years with a priest from the Military Ordinariate, he refused them permission, saying that the Extraordinary Rite was neither wanted nor needed in his diocese. He suggested that they go to the (schismatic) Pius X church. So much for the big tent!
I would venture to say that Sparkles is not head over heels for Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum. But now we know why everyone else outside the Catholic Church is head over heels for Sparkles. Thanks for the bubble gum theology, and especially thank you for opening up the "big tent" to faithful Canadian Catholics. Good job, bishop. Sleep well.


NOTES / REFERENCES

1. J.-H. Westen, "CCCB President on Websites Confronting D&P: 'they're not part of the church, they're not Catholic'", LifeSite News, June 25, 2009. LINK

2. K. Dmytrenko, "Development and Peace investigation results: 'No evidence', Salt + Light Blog, June 19. 2009. LINK For the Salt+Light TV report that tried to cover up the Development and Peace scandal see D. Naglieri, "Probe Clears Canadian Agency of Funding Abortion", ZENIT, June 22, 2009. LINK Subnote that the Peruvian bishops sent a letter to the Canadian bishops stating that, indeed, Development and Peace was funding pro-abortion groups in Peru. This was broadcast by Vatican Radio. See A. Bush, "Vatican Radio Covers Peru Bishops' Letter to Canadian Bishops Asking Them to Stop Funding Pro-Abortion Groups", LifeSite News, June 22, 2009. LINK

3. Editors, "Canadian Bishops Finally Admit Development and Peace Funded Problematic Groups", LifeSite News, November 12, 2010. LINK

4. "The Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber honoured", CCCB Website, November 15, 2010. LINK

5. M.J. Ferrari, "Canon Lawyers Befuddled, Canadian and American Canon Law Society's Convention", Catholic Insight, December 2010, vol. xviii, no. 11, pp. 25-26.

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