Approaching Holy Week

Each year, millions of Catholics make promises of personal sacrifice during Lent. Most of us keep to these promises but some of us break down and decide to give something up that is less important to our daily lives. This is natural, unfortunately. Our sacrifices which are intended to help keep our focus squarely on Christ and His sacrifice usually become nothing more than minor inconveniences for us during the course of Lent. There are ways to combat this. I find the most effective method of combating what can only be characterized as spiritual malaise is to steel yourself against it by going through some spiritual training. By fully engaging in Holy Week, not only will you give yourself a support infrastructure for the rest of the year but you will finish your Lent with a profound insight into Jesus’ last week before His crucifixion. So here are a few suggestions for the Catholic who feels that he or she may have fallen a little short in their Lenten sacrifices or for the Catholic who simply wants to be with Jesus during that last, sorrowful yet hopeful week before the salvation of humankind was attained on the Cross.

  1. Go to Confession: I can’t stress this one enough. Cleaning the window between you and the Holy Spirit is the only way you will be able to see through it more clearly. If you are trepidatious about going, remember that Christ was trepidatious about accepting the Cross. Holy Week is the one week during the year where we see Christ’s humanity magnified and we see our fears and anxieties reflected in His. Go to confession. Don’t trust me on it; trust Christ on it.
  2. Say the Rosary: Especially on Good Friday. The profound suffering of the Blessed Mother is sometimes overlooked during Holy Week as the suffering of Christ which is on full display is so absolutely horrific. However, Blessed Mother’s heart broke repeatedly that Friday and it broke because for one reason she knew that her Son had chosen this fate for the very same people who were nailing Him to the cross. Praying the rosary can show Our Lady how grateful we are for that sacrifice and how much we love her Son. It isn’t much, but it’s the least we can do to show her that, yes, we do care. We can tell her; “it hurts me too, Blessed Mother. Today we can cry together if you’d like.”
  3. Go to Holy Thursday Mass: Everyone has memories of a farewell. Maybe it was a dinner, a party, a small get together, whatever. All masses are uplifting. This one however, is sad and it should be. The disciples, who by this time most assuredly knew something was up, were still largely in the dark. Literally and figuratively. We see Christ installing the Sacrament of the Eucharist as a way to stay with His friends and with us after He is gone. John lays his head on Jesus’ shoulder. They go off to pray. Yeah, they knew something was up. Two thousand years later, we as modern disciples know what the following day brings. It is a small gesture in contrast to the gravity of the memory of that night but we are given the chance to stay with Jesus. We are given the chance to say; “I know what tomorrow is. I will stay with you while you pray in the garden and I have learned from the mistake of the disciples; I will not fall asleep.”
  4. Go to Good Friday service: Tradition dictates that Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday. At three o’clock, the time when Jesus gave up His life for us, at every Catholic Church we commemorate His passion and death. It is a tough service to get through. It is exceedingly sad and the Gospel reading is long. Think Palm Sunday long. The veneration of the Cross is very moving and the entire service is designed to teach the person there that not only should be sad about what happened to Jesus, but to also be sad about the times in our lives when we put Jesus out of our minds and relegated Him to secondary importance. All of this for us… and we still don’t appreciate it at all times.
  5. Tenebrae Service: A Tenebrae service is an intensely personal and focused devotion. I can’t do it justice so I am posting a link which better explains what it is at the end of this paragraph. Pro Tip: be prepared to cry a bit. Tenebrae. 
  6. GO TO MASS ON EASTER!: Don’t skip it because you’ve, “already been so much this week.” Remember, while the crucifixion saved us from sin, the resurrection assured us eternal life. Lent, the triduum and everything the church asks of us during this time are all in preparation for Easter Sunday. That is the focal point of our religion and the focal point of the purpose of humanity. Don’t. Skip. Mass. I don’t care how many people you have coming over for the egg hunt, or if you want little Mortimer to open his basket and get his chocolate in the morning, or if you have an early reservation for brunch, make time for Mass. DO IT. Sorry for yelling. Another option if your Easter Sunday is hopelessly hectic; attend the Easter Vigil. I personally go this route. This fulfills the Mass obligation and quite frankly, it is awesome. Exultet, the blessing of the fire, the lighting of the paschal candle, the vigil by the tomb anxiously awaiting the triumph of the risen Christ, the ringing of the bells and the burst of light that erupts when the church is re-illuminated, the removing of the dark cloths from the statues, the flowers, the lighting of all the candles… It is absolutely amazing.
  7. Try to Be Nice: Do something nice for someone you love, someone random and then yourself. Jesus died for us because ultimately He wants us with Him in Heaven. Not because He wants us to be miserable. While it is important to be adequately bummed during this penitential season, I believe that Jesus would stop us if we were going too far to say, “ya know… I did this so you’d be happy in your life.” The thing is; He can stop us. It is up to us to be open to Him. So yes, mourn His death, mourn your sins but counter that with MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF LOVE AND JOY! That’s the whole point.

Make Holy Week, not just Good Friday, the focal point of your Lent and I guarantee you will not be sorry.

Make Easter the focal point of your life and not just the Springtime and Jesus guarantees you won’t be sorry.

Approaching Holy Week

J. M.’s Lenten Survival Guide

Good day. In lieu of a Friday observation which I haven’t really done in a while anyway, I have decided to post a bullet-proof guide to surviving Lent. Why should you listen to someone who isn’t a member of the clergy when it comes to something so important to Christian formation? Easy. Because I have a degree in Theology and obviously having a degree in anything makes you a Jedi-level expert. Enjoy.

  1. When Do We Abstain From Meat, When Do We Fast?: This is a biggie. According to Canon 1250-3, Catholics are to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays throughout Lent. Catholics are also required to fast on both Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting is the practice of having one large meal plus two small meals not equaling one large meal throughout the course of a day with no snacks in between mealtimes. This seems arduous to many Catholics. They look at these dietary rules and shy away like a cat from a vacuum cleaner. The commonality shared by these particular Catholics is an almost alarming desire for meat at all times and a cabinet full of organic, holistic gout medications. There are also some Catholics who don’t seem to understand the purpose of this fasting and abstinence and decide that since they can’t have meat on Fridays, a four pound lobster and quart of melted butter is a decent substitute. QUESTION: Will Catholics who do not observe these rules go to Hell? ANSWER: Yes.
  2. What Should I Give Up for Lent?: Tough decision. We need to examine our lives and pick out the one thing that hardly ever crosses our mind, the one action we only undertake once every two months, the one joy that we forget that we like when we don’t have it directly in front of us, the one food or drink that we sorta like but don’t really care about and give that up. WRONG. Hell-bound, soulless bastards and she-bastards! Let benevolent Uncle J. M. edumacate you. We are supposed to give something up which we actually like. The point of this, is to be reminded more than once a day that it is Lent and when our desire for whatever we have given up shows itself in our minds, to replace that desire with thoughts about Jesus and His sacrifice for us. Also; giving up cheating on your spouse, serial killing, heavy meth use, peeping and armed robbery are not acceptable things to give up for Lent. You should just give those up anyway, ya know?
  3. How Long Does Lent Last?: Eternity. It lasts for eternity.
  4. Kids and Lent / Easter: I can hear you asking, “J.M., my kids are small and although I want them to understand the true meaning for the penitential season and the feast of Easter, I don’t want to get too heavy and ruin all the fun for them. What do I do”? Have no more worries, my silly, stupid, ignorant friend. Uncle J has the answer. First, tell your child about Jesus. Talk to them at an early age about the importance of God in our lives and the importance of the Church as a guide directly to Jesus Himself. You don’t have to rip the Easter bunny away from your child when they are little. However, if your child is approaching 13 and still believes in the bunsman, it might be time to put an end to it with the following story: Last night the Easter bunny was caught in a high-profile drug bust and was coked out of his mind. He charged the cops and they opened fire. He’s dead. Now go to sleep. Problem, meet solved!
  5. Do I Need to Go to Confession During Lent?: Who sees you when you’re sleeping AND knows when you’re awake? Who knows if you’ve been bad or good? If you said, “Santa” then you should reexamine your sick, twisted, Godless mind for goodness sake. The answer is God. The Church teaches us that we must go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year during the Easter season if I read Canon 920 correctly. However, someone like you should try to go at least once a day. God’s love and mercy is infinite, mercifully for you. I’m not going to lie here; I try to go at least once a month. Which clearly makes me a better person than you. Sin of pride, you say? Not if it’s true.
  6. Lent Seems Kinda Sad: It’s supposed to be. You’re catching on.
  7. What Should I Make For Easter Dinner?: This is getting pathetic now. Just get some Spam and a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread. Instant classic.

So there it is, folks. You are most welcome.

Disclaimer: This was obviously a joke. Use Lent to bring yourself closer to Our Lord. Reflect on His sacrifice, His love for you and how lucky you are to take a breath each day. Use Easter to take all of that reflection and turn it into an expression of Christ’s love. Give to charity, help others, love your family, love your friends, love yourself, be nice, be happy, be confident and above all, say thank you. Many people have written about why we should say thank you to Jesus. I believe that one of the most important reasons why we should eludes many people. We should say thank you because He never asked us to say thank you. Humility, kids. Live it.

J. M.’s Lenten Survival Guide

The Dualism of the American Catholic Democrat

When considering the delicate relationship between an individual’s religion and their politics in an attempt to understand their voting history, we must be careful to remember that one should never override the other but more often than not does. For example, the members of the Westboro Baptist Church would love to see homosexuality made illegal. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the extreme ends of the political left would love to see church’s and people of faith capitulate to legislative pressure to officially recognize and in some cases  officiate same-sex marriages. These are clearly two extreme arguments but their over-the-top nature doesn’t negate that in the United States they are allowed to be as loud, vitriolic and obnoxious as they’d like. It seems that these days, the only viewpoints we hear about are the ones toeing the line between pro-active extremism and recalcitrant reactionaryism. This leads us to be false conclusion that they may not be the only viewpoints out there in the ether but they are the only ones the media deems worthy of discussing. Therefore, the majority of Americans, who are most assuredly more middle of the road than the media would have us believe, are relegated to a second tier of muted rhetoric and impotent, self-righteous activism. This is where it gets tricky for American Catholics.

Firstly, as a practicing Roman Catholic, I will admit that the majority of us who attend weekly Mass are severely lacking in the missionary aspect of our faith. I can remember at least twice where after leaving the joy and warmth of the presence of Christ within a half hour I was involved in an argument determining the ever-important question; where do we get lunch? The fact is; human beings are weak. We make mistakes. For an hour a week we acknowledge what is supposed to be paramount in our lives and sometimes we even keep our pledges to Christ and curtail our curmudgeonly ways from time to time. However, the majority of the time we are fully engaged in worldly affairs. They are far more pressing in our own minds and therefore require the lion’s share of our attention and effort. As C.S. Lewis put it when taking on the character of Screwtape to his junior tempter, Wormwood; “Teach him to call it, “real life” and don’t let him ask what he means by “real”. Change the, “him” to them / they and there you have the point perfectly illustrated. I point to this not to offer a pass to any Catholic who places more emphasis on the more innocuous practices of daily American political thought. Rather, to proffer the notion that more often than not, it is simply easier to allow belief and adherence to certain inherent moral truths to take a back seat to the pseudo-intellectual reasoning of mainstream liberalism. Let’s crunch some numbers before we get too philosophical. Remember, this is “real life”.

According to a source that I don’t let my students use, Wikipedia, as of 2015 there were close to 70 million Catholics in the United States.  Of those nearly 70 million, 44 percent identify as Democrat as opposed to 37% who identify as Republican. That means there are nearly thirty million American Catholics who tend to vote for Democrats in the United States. That is a voting bloc larger than the population of Texas. It is impossible to know how 30 million people voted and next to impossible to know how many simply didn’t vote at all. However, the question remains; what do American Catholics find so appealing about the Democratic party? I do not believe that the old ties to the economic mechanics of major American cities are a driving factor in the political ideologies of close to 30 million modern people. At least not anymore. That being said, it cannot be ignored that cities with large immigrant-Catholic populations eventually offered avenues to power for many of the disenfranchised Irish, Italians, etc. who were predisposed to politics. See; Tammany Hall, Mayor Daley, Mayor Curley. However, these now arcane, cultural-political allegiances were hyper-regional and thrived on nepotism. Politics, much like religion, gets passed down from generation to generation. But in this particular instance, the access to information independent of what we are fed by our parents is so widespread, and people are so engaged in social media, that it is difficult to keep the connection to the past vibrant enough to be a legitimate answer. So while this explanation offers a semi-romantic, nostalgic window to the past, the overall allure of the Democratic party for the rest of American Catholics can’t be explained away using the gangster analogy. Although if we analyze the appeal of the Democratic party, using the empirical evidence of their manipulation of the mostly uneducated and desperate Catholic immigrant population which flooded this country during the 19th century, we can see a disturbing pattern. This is the basis for the current argument on the right that Democrats want largely unhindered immigration or amnesty as a means to secure a dreadnought of a voting bloc in order to ensure political supremacy for the foreseeable future. It is disingenuous to deny a party’s practical history while at the same time assuming that due to nothing more than the passage of time, that human beings now are somehow morally superior to their ancestors. However, it does no one any good to speculate on motivation when those who are the by-proxy pawns in the speculation are wholly innocent. In this case, the immigrants themselves. It fosters resentment in all parties and leads to arguments based solely in sentiment rather than logic. This is where, I believe, the appeal lies for the American Catholic to align with the Democratic party. At least partly. The Democrats offer sentiment and emotion masquerading as an ideology of practical politics which exists for the good of others.

To be clear; I do not believe Catholic Democrats are evil, stupid, dangerous or silly. I truly believe that they have their hearts in the right place. I do, on the other hand, believe that their mechanics of charity and compassion do not gel at all with the theology or literal interpretations of Christ’s teachings. In Mark 12:17, Jesus states; “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s“. Jesus does two equally important things here. First, He states that it is important to practice charity in the name of one’s religion and also important to acknowledge one’s membership in a citizenry even if there is widespread consensus, as there was in His community at the time, that the powers that be are less than optimal. This is not to say that Christ is advocating becoming a doormat to government oppression. His mere mentioning of Caesar in his answer to the Pharisees in Mark 12:17 is His way of acknowledging the status quo for better or for worse. It was also a way for Him to trap the Pharisees in their own questioning by suggesting the owner of the sin of idolatry was Caesar himself and not the Jewish people who were forced to carry coins with his visage on them. Second, and most importantly for this discussion, He draws a clearly distinct line between government and charity. In essence, Christ is explaining the truth that Charity is the product of the divine and therefore inherent in every human being’s soul. Charity therefore lives in the heart and so naturally, it should flow from the heart. Christ is also warning us that charity is no longer charity when it becomes legislation. The essence of charity is trivialized to the point of non-existence when the charity becomes tax. This crucial point, I believe, is grossly misinterpreted by the majority of American Catholic Democrats. They believe that the juxtaposition of compassion and government is in line with Christ’s teachings and a perfect union between the necessity of rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s and helping others as it seemingly exists to do little more than take care of you. Essentially, the misconception that social programs have the best interests of the marginalized in full focus and not the interests of lobbyists and special interest groups for the sole purpose of garnering more financial support is a problem that plagues both political parties. In the Democratic Party, the manipulation of this particular misconception reaches a level that is almost an art form. Unfortunately, the ruse is taken hook, line and sinker by the majority of politically aware American Catholics. The same people who would agree with logic behind the ‘teach a man to fish‘ adage routinely vote in legislators whose platforms are built entirely on the premise that it is better to give the man someone else’s fish. Because after all, you should want to give the man your fish even if it leaves you with little for yourself. The true essence of charity is to care for and provide for those who are simply unable to care for themselves out of a desire to better someone’s station in life by offering the tools to create a better existence. Not the desire to merely view the station as pathetic because of the instantaneous gratification we ourselves feel when we alleviate the immediate situation. If your moral compass points you in a direction which hinders the human spirit’s resilience, desire for personal happiness, thirst for self-affirmation and need for the knowledge in order to achieve all three, your charity is self-serving. Then it is no longer charity but merely a gesture.

Next weekend, thousands of Catholics along with other pro-lifers will descend upon our nation’s capital for the March for Life. It is no secret that the Catholic Church views abortion as public enemy number one. I am not going to get into my personal views on abortion in this piece as they have no bearing on the question at hand as I am not a Democrat. According to a poll conducted in 2013, 55% of American Catholics surveyed believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The ‘most cases’ argument must be analyzed before we can go any further. In cases where the life of the child or mother is in danger, it can be argued that most people would agree that the question of abortion, perhaps not the act itself, may be raised. This is how we, human beings, get to hold opinions about things without ever having to take a hard-line stance. We agree that the question of the possibility in order to save a life, in those cases, ought to be raised and we are perfectly content to leave it at that. That is perceived as a separate issue regardless of the fact that it is still an example of the same action. While these legitimate issues are raised in the, ‘most cases’ question, it cannot be overlooked that depending on the agenda of the pollster, different and far more extreme examples are mentioned. For example, bringing up an instance of incestuous rape to someone who has stated that they may be open to abortion as an option is as obvious a leading question as is the rarity of these occurrences. So where does the American Catholic find the justification for their pro-choice stance if not in the realm of self-serving group-think where ideology overtakes theology and ‘reality’ reigns supreme? Even the act of abortion can be labeled as charitable when a moral code is inextricably linked to a political party. When sentiment trumps reason it is easy for us to fall into a loop where our two selves, the religious and the political, are constantly justifying each other in order to create a semblance of order within our worldview rather than acting as counter-balances for each other as they were meant to. The never-ending argument becomes the crutch. The infinite permutations of reason are forever lost to the necessity for dilemma in order to lend a purpose to the mind for no other reason than simplicity scares the hell out of us. Human beings need to constantly be in a state of argument whether it is with our fellow citizens or with ourselves. The rub here for the American Catholic, is that this system of grim, ideological, mathematics becomes incredibly attractive as the values for the variables are always; emotion, charity and compassion. Three things that Christians, not only Catholics, are taught to be paramount in our lives.

It would be cruel and altogether incorrect to end this brief delve into the motivation of Catholic Democrats by saying that Catholics in the United States are easily duped and therefore tend to conflate their religion and their politics. The two aren’t meant to be completely separate of each other but they were never meant to over-power the central purpose of either’s existence within the individual. I suppose, in the end, it would be a quick clean up to mention the malleability spawned by the Second Vatican Council which has seen the Church become more open to outside pressure. The perceived liberality of the current Pope is another issue but for the purposes of discussing American Catholics who have been by and large Catholic for years before his tenure doesn’t scream, “relevance”. To conclude, I would have to argue that it is the learned behavior and poorly taught theology of the American Catholic coupled with the inherent, God-given, drive for compassion and justice that facilitates the majority of them becoming members in the Democratic party. The problem is that doesn’t explain the disconnect that occurs when the already discussed issue of actual charity and shoddy legislation masquerading as charity issue is raised. But that can be answered somewhat easily. Human beings tend to do and say things which sound wonderfully compassionate but when push comes to shove, they’d rather see to their own self interests. The Roman Catholic is taught from a young age that it is this selfishness which affixed Our Lord to the Cross. While that fact is not untrue, it is a much different early religious education than our Protestant brothers and sisters receive. To be well-versed in guilt before your first Eucharist is a regrettable reality for most American Catholics. It is that guilt, cultivated within the mind of the individual which is the primary fuel for the argument that charity must be part in parcel with legislation. It is the explanation why some are unwilling to judge the action of abortion as they would rather not take the risk of being seen as judging the person. It is why American Catholics become Democrats in large numbers. We are taught that a life based on guilt is no life at all. Yet it is the underlying narrative and motivation for the majority of the actions taken by the left. I never said they weren’t diabolically brilliant.

J. M.

The Dualism of the American Catholic Democrat

Pope Francis Speaks Frankly

Two days ago, Pope Francis made waves when he announced that priests had the ability to grant absolution to anyone who repents for the sin of abortion. Naturally, this was met with both praise and condemnation alike. However, I think it is important to remember a few key points when discussing the matter on a purely theological level.

First, my own personal views on abortion should have no standing in a post like this. That being said, in the interest of full disclosure, I am pro-life. I am pro-life but I am also aware of the fact that I am not a woman and therefore do not now nor will I ever have the faintest idea of what emotions course through a woman when she finds out she is pregnant. So while I am pro-life, I am usually rather quiet about it. Perhaps I should be more vocal. However, that is something that I will have to answer for at the particular judgement. Now that my personal stance has been revealed, let’s get started.

The Unforgivable Sin is not abortion: Christ clearly states that there is only one sin which cannot be forgiven. In Luke 12:10 Jesus says; “Everyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but no one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven.” The question is then; what is blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Is it using foul language or cursing the Spirit? Is it the destruction of sacramentals such as crucifixes and miraculous medals? The answer is no. For the truly repentant, there is no sin that cannot be expunged by the infinite mercy of God. This means, that if a person is truly sorry for their transgressions, willing to take ownership of them, willing to wash them away in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and willing to make amends through prayer and acts of mercy and charity; God will most assuredly forgive them. So then what is the unforgivable sin? What did Christ mean when He referred to blaspheming the Holy Spirit as unforgivable? Simple. The belief that one cannot be forgiven for their sins and the rejection of God’s infinite mercy is unforgivable. Essentially the unforgivable sin is unforgivable because the transgressor doesn’t want to accept the forgiveness. St. John Paul II explains this thoroughly in his 1989 encyclical, Dominum et Vivificantem when he writes, “”blasphemy” does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross. If man rejects the “convincing concerning sin” which comes from the Holy Spirit and which has the power to save, he also rejects the “coming” of the Counselor-that “coming” which was accomplished in the Paschal Mystery, in union with the redemptive power of Christ’s Blood: the Blood which “purifies the conscience from dead works.” Anyone who opposes Pope Francis’ outreach to those who have had abortions through his allowance of priests to absolve them must ask themselves the following question. If the Church makes it nearly impossible for a truly repentant person to receive absolution for their sins, are they fostering the belief in some that there are sins that cannot be forgiven? Are they in fact, encouraging blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in individual’s minds regardless of intention? No sin, is unforgivable if someone honestly desires forgiveness.

My point: the grief, guilt, anguish and longing for a return to the Grace of God caused by sin and the faith and charity of the confessor should be the only criteria for an honest, heart-felt, soul-searching, legitimate confession. It is the infinite mercy of Christ that forgives sins. Not the ecclesiastical rank of the confessor. 

It is the Church’s responsibility to offer as many avenues to Christ’s mercy as it possibly can. I may be wrong in my support for the Pope on this. I often am. However, I’d prefer to be wrong and on the side of mercy. Because Lord knows, we all need it.

Pope Francis Speaks Frankly

Shame On You, Drudge

On Monday morning of this week, I checked the Drudge Report as I usually do. Normally I do it to make myself angry before a long day and that probably isn’t good for my health, or my soul. But that is neither here nor there. What I saw on the banner filled me with absolute dread. “EASTER HORROR: ISIS CRUCIFIES CATHOLIC PRIEST ON GOOD FRIDAY”

If you are unaware of the situation, let me bring you up to speed. On March 4th of this year, Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest from India, was kidnapped from a retirement home in Yemen after Islamic Militants stormed the building, killing 16 including 4 nuns. A rumor started circulating that Fr. Tom was to be tortured and crucified on Good Friday. I paid close attention, checking up on the story daily. Then Good Friday came. During the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at my Parish my family and I prayed for the priest. All day I was afraid of the news. I checked throughout the day. Nothing. The day came and went and so did the next day. Then Easter Sunday came and went and still, no news. Thank God.

So now we’re back to Monday. “Oh my God, no” I muttered to myself when I saw the headline. I immediately clicked the link and found that it was from the Mirror. Apparently, during a homily over the weekend the Cardinal of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, had mentioned in his homily that the rumor that Fr. Tom had been crucified was valid enough to, “worry it was real.” That’s it. That was the entire sourcing for the article. So I started frantically Googling in an attempt to find out more. All the while steeling myself for the picture of the crucified priest or even worse, a video. All I could find was another article by another British newspaper which was basically a carbon copy of the Mirror article. Something smelled fishy.

If we know anything about ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, Boko Haram (unfortunately, the list goes on) it is that they are incapable of keeping something horrific a secret. They become giddy at the sight of pain and blood. So it was odd to me that nothing was verified. Eventually, later that day the National Catholic Register reported that they had no reason to believe that Fr. Tom had been crucified. Today, April 1st (the perfect day to make Drudge look foolish) the Independent is reporting that there is now a ransom video that has been posted demanding a large sum of money for the priest’s safe return. Now, this video could be a fake. However what we do know now, is that all indications are pointing to the fact that Fr. Tom is still alive and being held captive and that there is no evidence that he had been crucified.

I understand that Drudge wants to keep their page views up. I understand that they want to remain as important to the right/alt-right as they possibly can. But when journalistic integrity takes a back seat to concrete information, you are no longer a news outlet. It was a ridiculously blatant attempt to keep people on a site which at this point relies on panic to sustain itself.

I will continue to pray for Fr. Tom and I hope that others will as well. If you have the time, say a few prayers for Drudge. I had a feeling they had collectively sold their souls when they began to worship at the altar of the lunatic in the hairpiece, but reveling in the rumor of a crucified priest… sort of confirms my suspicion.

Shame On You, Drudge