The Weekend Eudemon
My principal purpose in visiting Buenos Aires is to learn about its not-so-favorite son, Jorge Bergoglio, who still hasn’t visited Argentina since becoming Pope Francis. During my first few days here, I asked every Catholic I met to explain that anomaly. I got some blunt and brutal answers.
“We all know he is a son of a bitch,” said a former prosecutor to me. “We are ashamed of him. He represents our worst qualities.”
The 100-year-old Franciscan who knew 6 saints in person.
Of the saints he met, three were popes. He met St. John XXIII while he was still the Patriarch of Venice, where Fr. Giuseppe had been assigned to work at the Frari Basilica. He spoke of the saintly pope in an interview in the St. Anthony Messenger: “We knew each other well. He often came to lunch at our convent in Venice.” St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II both visited the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua, where Fr. Giuseppe lived for nearly 50 years.
He also met three great Franciscan saints:
St. Leopold Mandic is a Capuchin saint from Croatia, famous as a particularly kind and gentle confessor, and described by Fr. Giuseppe as “a man of great humility, sensitivity towards others, and great wisdom.” Fr. Giuseppe was impressed by the time they spent together: “He used to come to the Basilica every Wednesday. He would first pay his respects to St. Antony at the Tomb, and then head straight for the confessional, where he used to administer the sacrament for hours on end.”
St. Maximilian Kolbe is a well-known martyr of Nazi Germany, killed in the concentration camp in Auschwitz. Since he was also a Franciscan, Fr. Giuseppe and he crossed paths on various occasions.
Renowned writer and Yale University professor David Gelernter has turned away from Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, arguing that it has too many holes and has aged out as a probable scientific theory.
The sparsely attended parish was filled mostly with older progressives who were angry that their new Nigerian priest, Fr George Kuforiji, had been steadily introducing liturgical reforms aimed at restoring their liturgy to be in conformity with the Catholic Faith.
Most of the protesters were women who shouted at this gentle priest from Africa because he had removed their own supplement to the recitation of the Creed, and because he had removed political statements from the front of their parish. The conclusion that these “liberal boomer Catholics” had drawn was that Father must be against love.
Forget the real problems plaguing San Francisco, like rampant feces, urine, and drug needles inundating its streets, and the fact that the city is reputedly the nation’s leader in property crime; the city’s Board of Supervisors is proposing softening the language referring to criminals. The Board of Supervisors is championing new “person first” language guidelines; convicted felon or offender released from jail will be called a “formerly incarcerated person,” or a “justice-involved” person or a “returning resident,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The U.S. Catholic bishops’ organization announced Thursday that it had replaced its public affairs director — a woman who triggered debate last month with tweets enthusiastically backing President Trump and striking out at Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.).
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Thursday that church and politics veteran Chieko Noguchi is its new head of public affairs, a position that speaks for the Catholic Church in the United States. For the past 10 years, Noguchi worked in communications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, under Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Noguchi also worked for then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).