If the Pope Sold the Vatican, I’d Buy Him a Bigger Palace

If the Pope sold the Vatican, we–Catholics–would build him a bigger palace.

At a soup kitchen I was speaking with a well meaning woman, who had volunteered that day, about the affairs of the Catholic Church. She pondered the question…rather loudly, “Why does the Pope not sell his palace and cars and feed the hungry of world and shelter the homeless.” I told her the above quote. Then, I asked a beggar if he’d rather see the Holy Father in a smaller estate or forgo his rations for a season, he’d quipped that he’d rather forgo seven seasons without, rather than see the Holy Father out of St. Peter’s Square.

The Pope is the steward of the Church’s treasury. But it is his flock’s gifts that built and sustains St. Peter’s Square. Those who love one another give each other extravagant gifts, The Holy Father shepherds us and gives us the most extravagant Gift; we in turn sustain his “Palace.”


LA Bishop Who Fathered 2 Kids Resigns – Why Celibacy is Here to Stay

LA Auxiliary Bishop Gabino

A priest once put it in a homily, the secular world getting upset about our disciplines or small-t-traditions is like getting upset about where we put our toaster. If we leave it, they say there is a better place to put it. If we move it, they yell and scream about us redecorating our kitchen. My question is why in the world are you worrying about a damn toaster in your neighbors house?

B16 accepted LA Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala, 60. The man fathered two children with a woman from another state. Reports came out this morning through twitter and a letter from Archbishop José Gomez. To read comments on the situation and the letter from Archbishop José Gomez you can read them at Whispers In The Loggia.

Celibacy…to stay.

The fact is that celibacy is NOT A DOCTRINE of the Catholic Church, but being chaste is. However, that doesn’t mean we can change it whenever we want. Clerical (as in priests and bishop) celibacy is what is properly called a discipline (sometimes referred to as a small-t-tradition). Basically a cultural tradition.

To clarify, I do think that priests should marry. I am of the opinion with St. Jerome on the subject, I also seem to have his crankiness. However, I am also with the opinion of St. Jerome that what I think doesn’t constitute what the Church should do, but only in fact what I think.

Barbarians and Monks

As far as I can suspect the reason for the Latin Rite’s discipline of clerical celibacy comes from the monks that civilized Northern Europe in the land of the Barbarians (Germanic, Celtic, Saxon, Vikings, people that worshiped Thor, &c.). The first monks were the Desert Fathers, hermits. Well being a hermit is some what dangerous as living alone is usually dangerous. So, monasteries formed to bring together hermits to be alone together.

The monasteries moved to Northern Europe into the dense forests, even fighting of the Vikings (with weather of course). The Rule (you can read the Rule of Benedict) of course for monk priests is that they are celibate. They devote their entire life to Jesus (well the original one’s did, now some do teaching, social work, &c. but they happened to do just work and pray back then) and so were celibate.

As the hermits civilized Northern Europe, the Europeans came to know priests as celibate, because they were exposed to only religious priest, versus parish priests. If a priest who is married would come to Germany at those times, it would be the same as the first time I saw a priest with a wife (Anglican man), shocking and somewhat scandalous.

So, it became somewhat of a local tradition in Northern Europe for priests, even parish priests to be celibate. This tradition came over to America when Catholics from Northern Europe came over.

This isn’t the discipline for all Latin Rite priests, as exemptions for some African priests have been given as some African cultures do not see a man without a wife as a “real man.”


When B16 was in the seminary he, as well, his comrades put together a petition, of sorts, to look into the issue of celibacy within the priesthood. So, the issue is not foreign to the top of the hierarchy. It isn’t taken lightly by all, and definitely not on my part. He has shed light onto the issue last year actually, if you wish to know what the Pope thinks about it.

The issue is with changing something because of sudden cultural norms changing. We have to look at the reasons not only for celibacy but reasons for not having celibacy. Is their sufficient reason to change the discipline. Will it scandalize the laity?

What can’t change

To make matters more confusing, there is one thing that can’t change. A priest cannot marry. You heard me right, this long article and now I’m saying that a priest can’t marry? Yes. The discipline is that a married man cannot become a priest (except for the exemptions), the discipline is not that a priest cannot marry.

As far as I am aware a priest cannot marry, the issue is if married men can enter.

I hope that clears things up. If you have any other questions leave them in the comment box, or holla at me on twitter.

How to Create a Brilliant Evangelization Strategy in 5 Steps

Jesus’ Great Commission? You know, “go and make disciples of all nations”? Well, as a disciple of Jesus, as an ambassador, you are called to fulfill this commission. Doing this process is quite extensive, but simple.

The end of this article you will be able to create an evangelizing strategy because you have learnt the five simple steps below. This is the first part of evangelizing: developing the relationship.

FOCUS' Curtis Martin with Evangelist

Curtis Martin & Four Evangelists

Step #1: Identify the warm bodies…

Your network of people (friends, friends of friends, &c.) is massive. Though you might not quite know how big it is, it is still quite extensive for what you’re trying to do.

Not all of them are your prospects, you’re not going to evangelize everyone. For one, you can’t and the second…some people are not ready. Re-read that…they are not ready. You may have the opportunity to tell them the good news one day, but today may not be it.

Further, we need to define because without an idea of what your prospect is, you’ll get cluttered and won’t focus on your goal. Making disciples.

1. Figure out who your ideal person is, the basic traits they should have is being an influencer and they are willing to influence the people around them. You’ll also want to specify what those people are.

You’re an engineer student who rock climbs and hikes. You have several things to work with, you’re ideal person maybe engineering students, rock climbers, and hikers. You can narrow that down, but this gives you a ton of people to work with off the bat.

2. Figure out where they are located at. You need to hang out with them. Set up times to rock climb, set up hikes on the weekend, go get a beer after a hard test, &c. Figure out where else your people are hanging at? Do they have a Facebook group, are they on Twitter, Foursquare, blogs? Find out and…

3. Search them out. Continue to hang out with them and communicate with them. Have you ever had a random person roll up and start asking personal and private questions. You find it awkward? That’s because it’s not polite.

Step #2: Establish conversation

Pope Benedict being Ambassador par excellence

Ambassador par excellence

Best way to establish a conversation. Help them, recommend something, or buy them lunch, drink, beer, wine, help them with homework, &c. I don’t care how you do it, find your own way or use the ones above.

Communicating one-on-one is really the best way, but you’ll probably be hanging out in a group at first. But, eventually bring your conversation to a one-on-one level.

Ultimately you’ll want to make your conversation to be a frequent conversation. I don’t know how often this will be, I talk to my guys once a week up to every day.

The point is for you to establishing a frequent one-on-one conversation with your prospect.

Step #3: Gain a closer relationship

You can always grow your network, your friends, the areas you hang out, your phone book. But, you need to engage these prospects. It does no good to have a 1000 people in your contact book if you don’t talk to any of them. You are better off if you have ten dudes in your phone and you contact all of them once a week.

Now, it’s definitely a lot easier than it used to be. You have social media, cell phones, twitter, Facebook, and old fashioned social clubs.

Building rapport can be as simple as talking about Catholicism, engineering, rock climbing, &c. whatever they are interested in them. I’d recommend right now a book called Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki.

You can also build rapport by hanging out and getting a beer, going out with a group to dinner and a show. And, again you need to have repeated conversations to earn his trust.

St Paul Evangelizing

St Paul Evangelizing with a Sword

Step #4: Develop an actual mentorship

You gotta understand, you can talk to someone everyday, but that doesn’t mean you have a relationship. The more you talk, the more so you’ll form a relationship. Over thousands of interactions you build trust.

You can probably follow a multi-tiered path to develop a relationship with this dude. A friend uses this method:

  1. Meet prospect,
  2. Initiate conversation,
  3. Guide the conversation and go deeper,
  4. and then store and review information from conversation.

Remember too, the more popular you are the less time it takes for someone to trust you.

Step #5: Track value of the relationship

Think about the life of your prospect. The actual life of your prospect. Is he an influencer? How many friends does he have? Are they also social. When someone becomes Catholic, usually others around them become Catholic or return to the Church. When someone starts evangelizing, others around them start evangelizing. Why was St. Paul converted, because he had a following and he could influence others.

He also was a master (with grace) of being everything to every man. He converted whole towns, so much that people fought over who they were followers of and he had to teach them again that they are disciples of Jesus not the Apostle.


After this you should be on your way to finding your next disciple. This isn’t just someone you bring to Mass or Newman Night for free food. These are the people that actively study, pray, and work to bring others into the Church and back to their Mother.

There is more to asking people to be a disciple (and training them), but until then this will get you there and ready to ask them.

Each semester you should look to make a disciple. Every year, two disciples. This is spiritual multiplication, based on Jesus and the Apostles.

The Lede: Regular Version pretending to be Christmas Version

Pope riding in his train

Only badasses ride on trains. Picture from: Papist Picture of the Day

Fight against that weakness which makes you lazy and careless in your spiritual life. Remember that it might well be the beginning of lukewarmness… and, in the words of the Scripture, God will vomit the lukewarm out of his mouth. (The Way – Father Escrivá)

Basically, be badass. Like the Servant of Servants.


Five Essentials for Discovering and Living God’s Will

It’s pretty bad ass to follow God’s Will, usually because you do awesome stuff like St. Lawrence (“Turn me over, I’m done on this side.”)


Study compares Catholicism to Christianity across the globe

Thermodynamics for Christian growth. Basically the harder it is for us to exist, the better we do. 🙂


Insensitivity Training by Mark Shea

Basically, take yourself lightly and laugh at yourself, fool.


A New ‘Silent Night’ Descends on Austria

If you’re like me you hate freedom of speech, too. Welcome to Soviet Austria…except Soviets wouldn’t give a damn about some squeaky wheel religion like Islam.


Why does the Church celebrate Christmas with greater solemnity than the Annunciation?

Title says it all.


Why I’m Glad the Pope is ‘Just A Man’

Yes, the Pope is just a man…but the dude is a total bad ass. John McClane has nothing on Papa B.


The Lede: Catholic Review of the Week

Bishop taking Siesta

I feel like taking a siesta, too Bishop, after all these carbs.

Does religion have authority or does conscious have primacy?

Stop going up during communion time for a blessing.

Is Christian Bale pro-life?

Heaven: sure hope or sure bet?


Religious authority vs. primacy of conscience (Part I)

Anthony religious authority and primacy of conscience, there are four parts to the series. Read them all.


Getting a blessing at Communion time. Fr. Z rants.

I have been blessed one or two times when I was waiting communion, quite awkward.


Actor Christian Bale roughed up attempting to see Chinese pro-life dissident

Batman and cares about babies?


Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild?

Do Christians have a sugar daddy in the sky? No, Catholics have a Monarch King.


New Female Doctor of the Church Coming!

And they say Catholics don’t respect the fairer sex.


Lying About Santa

Stop lying about Santa, after all he did punch Arias in face.


New Evangelization? Look to Fulton Sheen

Fulton Sheen, my favorite Catholic Evangelist.


Kreeft Captures Crowd With Quick-Witted Reality Check

Battle Plan? Fight the good Jihad!


Eight Ways of Looking at a Baby

Funny article! Check out the last way, now imagine it was baby Jesus…blows your mind.


The Lede: 7 Catholic Links You Can Use Daily

Cardinal with a rifle









Carmelite teaches you how to pray

Talking like Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Macy’s letting dudes into dudettes dressing rooms

Follow @chrisorbuster on twitter to grab these links. They are delicious.


How should I pray when someone asks for my prayers?

When I was first asked to pray for someone it went like this, “God I pray for this person. Amen.” But, here is some better ways to praying than my original idea.


Pope says focus on Jesus, not pre-Christmas distractions

“Pope Benedict XVI reminded Christians not to be dazzled by the shopping lights of the season” …and, I agree: it is still obviously Advent. You don’t have Mardi Gras in Lent.


Pope confirms trip to Cuba, Mexico before Easter

I wish I could go to Cuba! Bring me Papa B!


How to Give a Talk Like Fulton Sheen

I listen to him before bed, and I steal all his woman jokes for use later. Don’t hate the player. Literally don’t hate, he’s gonna be a saint.


“But you’re even nice to the dishwasher…”

Do you have the cajones to do the same? I wonder if he was Catholic?


Really, Macy’s? Men in women’s fitting rooms?

Speechless. Fact. As I am dictating this post.


10 European Catholic Movers and Shakers

I’m diggin’ Mother Verónica María Berzosa. She’s pretty gangster and she’s pretty. Great witness to young people.



I do what I want! (I heard Augustine say something like this once).


The Lede: Catholic Review

Welcome, comrades. This is the Lede.

At the end of each week I will post for your benefit links pertaining to Catholicism and being Catholic that I have dug up and found most interesting for your sake.

Rituals, practical advice, current events within the Catholic faith, &c.

There will be no commentary on my part, just a list of headlines that you can quickly scan or read. And, a picture of something very Papist.



You wish your breakfast looked like this.









Catholic and Gay by Mary

A canonical comment on Newt’s oddball remark by Dr. Edward Peters

Gingrich Restates Pro-Life Views, Says Life Begins at Conception

Saying No: The Essential Gesture of Stewardship by Jennifer Fulwiler

Adultery as Links in a Chain (St Gregory of Nazianzus) by Taylor Marshall

Our Heritage of Beauty by Brad Miner


P.S. Because this is a new thing I am trying, any suggests are welcome.