MY JESUITS.

These are the people I studied under in high school. No quarter for falsehoods, no excuses for ruling elites. Ahhh? But has that been their historical record? Did the current pope, a Jesuit, do right by several of his colleagues that he did not protect from the murderous Argentinian military, who proceeded with U.S. approval? I greatly admire Pope Francis, but he is running out of time and energy with just his one lung. Shake it up and take us away from Romanism back to the original Yeshua!!

THE JESUITS–always controversial

MALACHI MARTIN. THE JESUITS. [selected excerpts]
…Essentially, (Arthur) McGovern (S.J.) says that Marxism was and is a social critique, pure and simple. Marx just wanted to get us to think more clearly about the means of production, how people produce; and about the means of distribution…Marx cannot be written off as “untrue.” It was Engels and Lenin who added the disgusting ingredients of “scientific materialism” and atheism…We can accept Marx’s concept of class struggle, because there is a class struggle. The does mean revolution, but “revolution does not clearly mean violence…it means we have to have a new kind of society, definitely not democratic capitalism as we know it.
McGovern sees in Jesus, as portrayed in St. Luke’s Gospel, a paragon of revolution. St. Luke’s is “a social gospel,”…quoting Jesus in support of his cause: “I have come to preach the good news to the poor, to set the downtrodden free, to redeem captives.”
“See,” McGovern adds, “how many time Jesus speaks about poverty; identifies with poor people; criticizes people who lay burdens on the poor.” Clearly, therefore, Jesus acknowledged the “class struggle: and endorsed the “revolution.”
Consciously or unconsciously, like most modern Jesuits and many Catholic activists, McGovern has effectively laid aside fourteen hundred years of rich Catholic, authentically Christian interpretation of the Bible. He has reinterpreted the Gospel and the salvific mission of the Son of God in an economic sense, a this-worldly sense, a non supernatural sense, an un-Catholic sense….]
…strange alliance between Marxists and Jesuits…
…”We as Jesuits must recognize that we participate in many sinful strutters of American society. Hence we run the risk of sin unless we work to change that.”
…the “Theology of Liberation”—whose handbook was written by a Peruvian Jesuit, Father Gustavo Gutierrez…
One of Tyrrell’s Modernist friends, French priest Henri Brémond, wrote him pooh-poohing the excommunication as a “little Roman formality” of no eternal significance…For him, for Brémond, and for all the Modernists, Rome no longer mattered.
Tyrell, like all Modernists, believed in the possibility of a synthesis between the essential truth of his religion and the essential truths of modernity…In fact, some time before his open rupture with the Jesuits and with Rome, he admitted that the Society of Jesus and all it stood for had become like so much “dust and ashes” in his mouth…It is certain that Tyrell did not believe that Jesus was God-made-man. He did not believe either in the resurrection of the body or in the existence of Hell or of Heaven…”We cannot frame our minds to that of a first century Jewish Carpenter,” he wrote.
For, in the Teilhardian sense, Jesus has not yet been really incarnated—only at the Omega Point will that take place; and even then it is not Jesus of Nazareth we are talking about, but Christ “the essential Mover of a Hominization leading on to an Ultra-Hominization [or man become greater than man].”
From his correspondence, it is clear that Teilhard was not overly shocked by bloodshed, regarded violence as a necessary concomitant of Evolution…The Original Sin of Adam and Eve had no place in Teilhard’s poetic, romantic apocalypse.
Concerning the Roman Catholic Church—its papacy, its hierarchy, it doctrinal formulations, its piety, its place in the human cosmos—Teilhard was summarily and completely disillusioned. At the present moment in human history, he said, “no religion explicitly and officially offers us the God we need.” The problem the Church had, he said, was that “she continues to live in a universe in which the rest of us do not.”
The change demanded of the Church by Teilhard was total…God was not free to create or not create the cosmos. To be God, he had to.
Teilhard derided the Catholic idea of sexual continence, poking fun at “the colonies of virgins” and “the currents of continence in marriage.” God’s order to Adam and Eve “to increase and multiply’ no longer applied…He continued as a Jesuit and a member of the Church partly out of inertia, perhaps; but partly, too, for strategic reasons—the same strategic reasons that George Tyrrell had for fiercely clinging to the skirts of Rome.

THE SECRET PILGRIM.

This snippet from John LeCarre’s book, THE SECRET PILGRIM, just seems to ring a bell for me. Any other Baby Boomers feel it?


“And what they teach is what they can’t do anymore, because either the body or the spirit or both have lost their singleness of purpose; because they have seen too much and suppressed too much and compromised too much, and in the end tasted too little. So they take to rekindling their old dreams in new minds, and warming themselves against the fires of the young.”

GROWING RESPECT FOR FRANCIS

The protagonist of two of my books (a third is in the works), Father Gabriel Garza, aka Reverend Rambo, is starting to like his Pope Francis. 

Last week, Francis the Pontiff put the hold on the beautification of Pope Pius XII because the required miracle in his name hadn’t happened yet. 

A straight-up fact, but Fr. Gabe wonders if it could be a subtle joke too? Francis doesn’t seem to like the previous pope’s position, or really Montini’s lack of position, on the slaughter of six million of our theological older brothers and sisters, the Jews. Not much was heard from him during WWII. Maybe Montini spent too much of his earlier clerical career in Germany?

What isn’t a joke is that Francis has sent the word to all clerical and lay minions, if you sexually assault someone, you face criminal charges. No church-running-interference for you.

Reverend Rambo’s respect for Pope Francis, who heads a world-wide church operating with just one lung, grows more and more. That game-playing Church Curia can just sap your energy.

Yeah, Vladimir, it IS getting personal

If I was President Joe, and I’m not, although I spent 18 years in Washington, D.C.and my boss’s daughter worked directly for Hilary Clinton and traveled with the first family—


I’d say, if I was Joe, “Your know Vlad, my son served over in Afghanistan in a war zone and you put a bounty on American troops. I don’t forget.”


“Vlad, you totally interfered in our 2016 election over here and still keep screwing around. I will remember.”

“Vlad, I’m holding you responsible for the broken American oil pipe line that serves the Eastern United States and is disrupting our gas supply.”

“Vlad, with all due respect, sir, you’ve got 72 hours to fix everything… or else.”
“Or else what?”

“Your entire national GDP is equivalent to one of our state’s–Texas. That’s it. Good luck, pal.” Screw the Alamo.

*”We will expropriate all the cash and real estate assets of your thuggish oligarch buddies around the world. That will expose some of our super-secret banking-intelligence capabilities, but I will pay that price. Your personal assets, we will leave alone and make sure the Russian people fully understand your wealth at their looted expense. I will leak the word to your “friends” that we made a deal to let you keep your assets.”

*”The Ukrainians have already received initial secret shipments of advanced anti-tank weaponry, the kind that wiped out Saddam Hussein, only more advanced this time. Your tanks won’t even see it coming. The U.S. Air Force has new armed drones coming out the ass and is eager to try them out.”

*U.S. Naval Fleets? Well, more headed your way after I talk to the Chinese, and the British, et.al.

*”The Ukrainians will receive up to-the-minute state of the art satellite coverage of Eastern Ukraine.”
*”Your satellites will suddenly go dark, again unfortunately revealing more of our secret capabilities.”

*”Arrangements will be made for the S. American Drug Cartels to flood your streets. You will lose a generation of Russians. We have been through this. Horrible. I’d rather go after them than you, but I don’t have a choice. I’m here to protect America, not negotiate a downtown Moscow hotel deal.”

*”Worst of all, for you, I will initiate secret talks with the Chinese President, seeking a new understanding. After all, there’s a huge ocean between the U.S. and China and we love Chinese food and the Chinese women are fine looking. China, with one and a half billion people, is looking at all of that empty Russian land on their doorstep and thinking they could probably do something more useful with it than just let it sit there.”

“If you’ve got something to say, say it fast and to V.P. Kamala. I’ve delegated her responsibility for negotiating with economies that aren’t in the top five. Capiche?”

Yours truly, Sleepy Joe Who is Real Woke

ALMOST FEELING SORRY FOR A TRUMP THUG

by Ben Leiter

I just finished Michael Cohen’s very recent book, DISLOYAL: A MEMOIR.

I recommend reading it for information and Cohen’s personal insights that have not come out in the news. It totally and completely details the corrupt, incompetent traitor we have in the White House, and the potential threats we face as Americans.

What is fascinating about the book is that Cohen intimately describes how totally wrong he was in his thuggish, intimidating tactics and manner of doing business for his boss, Donald Trump. The worst part–and maybe the most ingratiating to the reader–is that he confesses he knew exactly the bad things he was doing and why–to win and keep Trump’s approval. I read the entire book with a suppressed feeling of “you got everything you deserved, you bullying piece of scum.”

But, then Cohen then went on to experience his own legal woes from the Southern District of New York. And, he had been abandoned by Trump, and there were various intimidating tactics used to shut him up which didn’t work when the Supreme Court got involved and told the Barr toadies to back off. They said Cohen still had First Amendment Rights. Thank God. It was the description of his family, that he cared about, that pierced my armor of hatred against this gangster group that has threatened our Republic.

Interesting reading because of quality writing and story telling by Cohen and his ghost writer who almost have you rooting for him at the end of the book, which he does not deserve.

God save The United States of America,

MY DANGEROUS FRIEND?

The article’s title totally caught my attention: DANIEL BERRIGAN, MY DANGEROUS FRIEND.

It was written by James Carroll, an ex-priest and religious critic whose writings appeal to me because they make so much sense.  

Carroll says: 

“I was a twenty-two-year-old seminarian in 1965, struggling to imagine myself in what already seemed the impossible life of the Catholic priest, when I came upon the writing of Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit poet. Berrigan, who died on Saturday at the age of ninety-four, quickly came to embody for me a new ideal. He testified, in his expansive life, to language itself as an opening to transcendence. What was Creation if not the Word of God, and what were human words if not sacraments of God’s real presence? Writing could be an act of worship. The idea defines me still.”

Carroll’s analysis appeals to me on several levels: as a writer, as a protesting Catholic, as a fan of both Carroll and Daniel Berrigan. Nay—not “fan”—Daniel Berrigan was a hero of mine; and still is. I too was a product of the Jesuits and of the 1960s. Unlike Berrigan, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t go to prison for my beliefs. 

So, as a writer, I have created a fictional series-protagonist, Father Gabriel Alphonso Esquivel Garza, who is just as dangerous as Berrigan, maybe more. My Father Garza was placed on The Watch List by parties ranging from Vladimir Putin to the local Washington, D.C. crime boss. Someone moved my fictional hero to The Hit List. 

Carroll and Berrigan — what a marvelous concept you shared. Writing as sacrament and prayer. 

I Wonder How Many Writers Feel This Way?

Heartburn is a short autobiographical novel based on Nora Ephron’s marriage to Carl Bernstein, her second husband.
Near the end of the book, she has this exchange with her friend about painful incidents recounted.
—-
Vera said: “Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story?”
So I told her why:
Because if I tell the story, I control the version.
Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.
Because if I tell the story, it doesn’t hurt as much.
Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.
—-

I sense writer wisdom there. Do you? ###

“OC” Doesn’t Stand for Ocean City

  “O.C. ” DOESN’T STAND FOR OCEAN CITY 

  A book review by Ben Leiter

I’ve always despised, feared, hated OC. That’s not “Ocean City”—like in Maryland or New Jersey. Or, the old TV show about Orange County.

It’s Organized Crime, what I’ve always called the Mafia. It has brethren, offspring, associates: the Russians, the Mexicans, Wall Street, and other gangsta relatives.  

Why my strong aversion? 

Maybe their ruthless bullying? 

Maybe because my upbringing—Red, White, and Blue American—pledges that’s not how we roll as a country. So we tell ourselves. 

Or, not playing by the rules? I’m big on following the rules, and coloring within the lines. 

Or, could be my firmly imbedded RC personal religious strictures, with their two thousand year history of proposed guidance on how to live godly, even though I’m not the pious type and have been known to laugh uproariously at medieval dogmas.

So, even though I enjoyed The Godfather I, II, III, et al. I still took offense at the manifest, unapologetic, irredeemable viciousness underlying the films. I probably didn’t mind the bad-guy-on-bad guy violence, but I was always put off by the cowardly abuse of the weak. 

Now, I’ve just finished another fantastic Don Winslow book, The Winter of Frankie Machine. 

Our protagonist, Frank Machianno, fronts as a bait shack owner on the San Diego oceanfront. Frank does part-time work as a hit man for The Families, as requested. They term it “a personal favor.” But, you better say yes. So, I really, really don’t like Frank. 

Then I start to appreciate him more because he has become reflective later in the book and in his life, the accumulating years catching him in their inevitable final embrace.

Here’s Frank, with more gray hair.  “…It was something in the paper about a crackdown on organized crime, and Frank just went off on a rant.

“Nike pays twenty-nine cents to a child for making a basketball jersey, then turns around and sells it for one hundred and forty dollars,” Frank said, “And I’m the criminal?

“Wal-Mart sends half the mom-and-pop stores in the country the way of the buffalo while they pay the kids who make their cheap crap seven cents an hour. And I’m the criminal?

“Two million jobs have gone adios in the past two years, a working man can’t afford a down payment on a house anymore, and the IRS mugs us like drunks at an ATM, then sends our money to a defense contractor who closes down a factory, lays off workers, and pays himself a seven-figure bonus. And I’m the criminal? I’m the guy who should get life without parole?” 

Well said, but yeah, I’m still not ready to pardon Frank, despite his philosophizing and his love for his daughter which threads through the book. Frank does take out some bad dudes—not on a date. 

I usually anticipate your average literary surprise. No spoiler alert, but Winslow caught me off guard with a wonderful twist at the end. Good for Winslow and good for Frankie Machine.

A brilliantly entertaining read.

Las Migras, by Ben Leiter

[Note: This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, GOD’S BETRAYAL: QUANTUM RESURRECTION, told from the point of view of Father Gabriel Garza, a renegade Roman Catholic priest who always puts the right-thing-to-do ahead of the rules. That’s why bad players have placed him on The Watch List.]

LAS MIGRAS
I knew they’d be coming sooner or later, especially with all the Trump anti-immigrant rhetoric. After all, St. Anthony’s rectory, down the street from Catholic University, was only a seventeen minute drive, with no traffic, from the White House.
 
I answered after the bang-knock on the heavy wood rectory door. I looked through the peephole. It was 4 p.m. and I thought to myself, was that preferred Nazi arrest time, when they took people out of their homes?   
 
Standing on my rectory front porch were three uniforms; one said ICE, the other two were local police-blues. I knew the neighborhood Blues personally, jutted my chin out and up in acknowledgement, they looked down and studied the spit shine on their police-issue footwear.
 
I blazed my anger at the ICE leader, “Got a warrant?”
 
“Father Garza, with respect, let’s do this the easy way. I’m just doing my job. You understand.”
 
He looked Hispanic to me. The small metal name plate on his uniform pocket said Juan Carlos. A small gold crucifix peeked out from under his top shirt button, right behind the official, cheap, black tie. Didn’t know if that cross was an accidental reveal or pre-planned attempt to win me over.
 
“Crappy job,” I said. “No me holas.”
 
“Father, Father. Come on, ’mano. I’LL BE BACK! You know, with a warrant,” he said.
 
“I’m not your damned ’mano and you better bring Arnold with you, instead of just the locals.”
 
The locals looked up at that, thin smiles to match my own.
 
“That a threat?” the ICE man asked.
 
I eye-lasered him, all the way to the back of his skull. 
 
***
 
He returned in ninety minutes. Stood on the porch.
 
Knocked.
 
I opened the door, reached for my cell phone, pulled it out, and started punching numbers with my thumbs.
 
“Don’t bother,” ICE declared. “It’s cleared up and down the line. We’re coming in. Now. Got it?”
 
I took two steps back, raised my right arm and threw three rapid signs of the cross in the air between us, angrily yelling in Latin the names of all the saints I could think of and when I ran out of names, I yelled the opening  of Caesar’s Gallic Wars, “Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres . . .”
 
When I ran out that narcississt’s historical, genocidal polemics, I supplemented with the opening of Virgil’s Aneid, “Arma verumque cano . . .” for the first two pages I had been required to memorize in seminary about men and weapons in the Trojan War.  I was running out of material, and started to use the old Latin Mass intro, “Introibo ad altare Dei . . .”
 
“Wha . . . what’re you doing?”  said ICE Officer Juan Carlos.
 
“First, I am excommunicating you from receiving the sacraments or even attending any Christian church of any denomination while you engage in your unholy work. I have special dispensation from the Archbishop to excommunicate in grave emergencies.”
 
“What? You’re kidding me, right? You guys don’t do that anymore.” A hint of doubt creased his now furrowed brow.
 
“And,” I added, “I am damning you and your entire family to eternal hellfire by calling on all our known angels and saints in heaven who bear witness to your persecution of these chosen people of our faith.”
 
“Yeah, right,” he said, with a wannabe sneer that didn’t quite make it, along with a nanosecond flicker in his left eye. He paused, turned to the accompanying officers, and then stared back at me.
 
His mouth opened, closed. 
 
A hoarseness grew in his voice as he threw it back across his right shoulder, “Okay, guys. Enough of this foolishness. It’s past end of shift. We don’t need this crap. Let’s go.”
 
As he turned around on the porch,  I saw him scratch out the rectory address on his official ICE clipboard.        
 
I was more on edge than normal, given who had been residing in my basement for the last two weeks until I could get them placed somewhere, somehow.
 
A skinny thirteen year old boy and his eleven year old sister,  journeyed all the way from Chiapas in southern Mexico, right next door to Guatamala. They had ridden trains, starved and frozen in the cold nights on top of boxcars, and finally crossed the Rio Grande at a desolate place where the water appeared shallow in the starlight. But they had almost drowned when they lost their footing in the swirls of the deep, dirty river.
 
I couldn’t image how they made the trip alone with only a few pesos. Then, it came out. His pretty sister had to do things they refused to talk about. The Mexican gangs, their own people, were a bigger threat to their personal safety than the Mexican federales or the American border patrols.
 
Those gangs, I really would like to damn them.    
 
Three days later, Juan Carlos returned to St. Anthony’s rectory under the cover of darkness and apologized.
 
We worked out a system. He’d always come to the rectory, without a warrant, I’d refuse to admit him, he’d come back the next day with the paperwork, which gave me enough time to move the terrified immigrants with no place to go, over to some parishioners who were part of the active underground.
 
I handed Juan Carlos a three by five index card to take with him. I had written out Ezekiel 13:10: 
I will tear down the wall that you have whitewashed and level it to the ground, laying bare its foundations. When it falls, you shall be crushed beneath it: thus you shall know that I am the LORD. When I have spent my fury on the wall and its whitewashers, I tell you there shall be no wall, nor shall there be whitewashers.
 
Then I said, “Tell your ICE friends Hispanics are the Lord’s new Chosen People. And, the Old Testament God doesn’t screw around.”
 
Ezekiel was a Hebrew priest and prophet. He held that each man is responsible for his own acts. I was a priest. We were both priests, useful ones.
 
Many of the Jewish prophets were killed by their own people.
 
My explanation for the two basement apartments always stayed the same. Whenever someone on Juan Carlos’s search team got suspicious about the rumpled, dirty sheets, I’d say, “Careful there, the D.C. homeless carry some exotic, viral, fellow-travellers. Don’t touch anything without your latex.”
 
They always left the basement within ninety seconds of my helpful medical advice. And then seemed in a hurry to raid some other hapless facility saying things like, “We’ll finish our paperwork out on the street.” Or, “Let’s get back to the vehicles in case other calls have come in.”
 
***             
 
What? You think they’re going to arrest a priest? Let them try it and see what happens.
 
Daniel Berrigan was my hero.