Report: “Pope Francis effect” may not exist after all.

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In a survey released Thursday about Americans’ views of the pope nearly a year into the papacy, the Pew Research Center found no change in the share of American adults who call themselves Catholic, or in self-reported rates of Mass attendance, when compared to pre-Francis numbers. Pew also reported no increase in the percentage of Catholics volunteering at their churches or going to confession.

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True Funeral Confessions: One-upping Pope Francis.

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by Doug Lawrence

Pope Francis’ recent confession about stealing a cross from the dead body of a fellow priest reminded me of a funeral I attended a long, long time ago – and something that I had never before confessed.

It was a pleasant summer morning at the cemetery. The grave had been freshly dug and the customary Astro-turf had been put down all around the perimeter, with the casket-lowering apparatus set upon it. A nearby oak provided a modicum of shade for all those assembled.

My employer’s elderly mother had passed away, and I was attending the graveside internment ceremony. Since one of my fellow employees and I appeared to be strong, vital, young men, we were assigned as escorts for several of the elderly ladies in attendance. Nobody told us precisely what we were supposed to watch out for or what we were to do. The idea was simply to stay close and offer whatever assistance might be necessary.

The internment rite competed, everyone prepared to pay final respects to the deceased, walking past the suspended casket and placing a flower on top. My fellow escort took up a position in line, some three persons ahead of me. Then there were three elderly ladies – and me. So far, so good!

The procession continued without a hitch, until the lady right in front of me began placing her flower on the casket. Somehow, in the proverbial “blink of an eye” – she just disappeared!

Her scream was not very loud, but it was still blood-curdling. O-o-o-h! O-o-o-o-h!  O-o-o-o-o-o-h! as she slipped into the grave – already in up to her shoulders and still going down! Mouth wide-open. Pleading eyes as big as saucers! Hell was about to swallow her up!

Such a thing would have seemed impossible, since there appeared to be only a few inches of clearances between the casket and the edge of the grave. But since the casket was merely suspended on a couple of nylon belts, there was nothing to stop a little old lady from pushing it aside and going right in. I’ll never forget the image, which has been permanently burned into my brain.

I managed to reach down and in one fluid motion, grab her right wrist and hand, pulling her up, out, and setting her right back on her feet. She was OK. In fact, things couldn’t have gone better if we had practiced! I brushed her off a bit and we continued on. Quick as a flash, the incident was over – or so I thought.

Looking up to see how my escort “buddy” had fared during all of this, I was met with a smirk – which quickly escalated to a chortle – which quickly escalated into a full blown, out of control, “laugh-in-church” type of scenario.

The emergency successfully past and safely overcome, there was no denying the levity of the situation. We had just experienced a rare and unusual happening and desperately needed to express our feelings. But we just couldn’t, right now!

So, red-faced and choking back tears, we respectfully made our way back to the car, rolled up the windows, and for the next ten minutes, laughed our respective butts off. I’m sure the car was shaking, the whole time!

We like to think that our hysterical laughter might have been mistaken for grief.

Such is the nature of True Funeral Confessions. Send us your own similar stories, for publication.

PBS continuously recycling rotten, low-hanging fruit

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Know-Nothingism was a widespread bias against Catholicism in this country, stemming from the suspicion that Catholics were not sufficiently patriotic or trustworthy, as they were controlled by the Pope and a secret Vatican cabal.

Now courtesy of your tax dollars, Know-Nothingism has made a 21st century comeback on PBS’s flagship Frontline investigative program.

Last week, in a documentary entitled “Secrets of the Vatican,” Frontline managed a remarkable feat: to haul out every old anti-Catholic canard that would make a Klansman beam. It was a 90-minute orgy of bigotry indulging every stereotype about the Church: criminal cover-ups, monetary corruption, gay clergy, and, of course, the ever-favorite and never-ending sex abuse storyline.

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Jimmy Carter called. He wants his foreign policy back!

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Submitted by Bob Stanley

In times of great confusion, such as our own day, many Catholics are baffled on how to react.

questionSome claim that we must obey our leaders no matter what, and that to voice the slightest disagreement with them is a manifestation of disrespect and disobedience. Not only is this way of thinking incorrect, it also paralyzes Catholics into inaction and heightens their confusion. What we hope to demonstrate is that, according to the Saints, and according to the consistent teaching of the Church, Catholics are bound to resist even prelates if they deviate from the unchanging doctrine and Tradition of the Catholic Church.

Many also believe that it is impossible for a Supreme Pontiff to deviate in any way from the straight and narrow. This is partially correct. The Holy Ghost will always protect a Pope from defining error as truth, for example, from teaching error in an ex cathedra pronouncement. (1) That is certain. But it is demonstrable from the teachings and writings of the Saints that even the highest authority in the Church may fail in his duty and may drift into deviations from Church Teaching.

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So what is a “mystery”? It is something that can be experienced even if it cannot be explained.

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This is one of the first steps of faith–to trace in your life and in the ways of the world the mysterious way God works. He does not work according to our plans and our sensible ways of organizing everything. He is always busy under the radar and behind the scenes doing his work. Faith is being able to see what is going on and how he works in his strange and mysterious way.

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The modernist blasphemy “dogmatic evolutionism” or “reinterpretation of dogma to fit the times”

According to Mgr. Víctor Manuel Fernández, Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina:

Some have even claimed that all Church teachings depend and are based on non negotiable principles. This certainly is heresy! To claim that Jesus Christ, his resurrection, fraternal love and all that the Gospel teaches us depends on ethical principles is a distortion of Christianity.

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Editor’s note: These are the same type of errors Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are shamelessly promoting in the United States – and the poorly educated, easily misled public is happily, gobbling them right up!

But it’s one thing for cheap, tin-horn politicians to promote falsehoods – and quite another for the priests and hierarchy of the Catholic Church – who are supposed to know better.

Perhaps Mgr. Fernandez no longer believes in Divine Revelation, Sacred and Apostolic Tradition, and the Sacred Deposit of Faith – which are precisely the things on which Catholic ethical principles have always been fashioned?

Or perhaps, these days, to Mgr. Fernandez, there is nothing sacred?

Let’s pray for all those attending the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina – whether or not they still accept that type of thing down there!