General Discussion (7)

debatingIf there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.

Enjoy!

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Fr Timothy Radcliffe – Absolutely Shocking Papal Appointment

One of the Church’s most controversial theologians, and a strong ally of Pope Francis, was given a boost by the Holy See Saturday.     Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP

In a move sure to raise eyebrows among the Church’s traditional guard, Pope Francis named the Rev. Timothy Radcliffe a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Vatican announced Saturday.

The head of the Dominican Order for nearly a decade in the 1990s and a professor of theology at Oxford, the English-born Radcliffe has repeatedly challenged Catholic attitudes toward women, gays and lesbians, and the divorced.

Last year, Radcliffe was at the center of a controversy over his invitation to speak at the International Conference of Divine Mercy, Ireland’s largest Catholic gathering. The American television network EWTN dropped plans to cover the event because of Radcliffe’s participation. A host at the station called Radcliffe’s views “at sharp variance to Catholic teaching.”

The row was caused by comments Radcliffe made in 2013 about homosexuality, as reported by The Tablet.

“Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual, and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift,” he said. He expressed surprise that his views caused such a stir, stating that they were “deeply in resonance with the teaching of Pope Francis.”

Still, he has publicly supported the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage, though for reasons not normally promulgated by Church officials.

For example, in a December 2012 article in The Guardian, Radcliffe wrote, “It is heartening to see the wave of support for gay marriages. It shows a society that aspires to an open tolerance of all sorts of people, a desire for us to live together in mutual acceptance.”

But, he said, a heterosexual notion of marriage should not be imposed on gay couples, though differences should be embraced.  

Tolerance, he wrote, “implies an attention to the particularity of the other person, a savoring of how he or she is unlike me, in their faith, their ethnicity, their sexual orientation. A society that flees difference and pretends we are all just the same may have outlawed intolerance in one form, and yet instituted it in other ways.”

As a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Radcliffe is one of 40 or so people from around the globe who help “draw the broad lines of the action of the Counsel, according to their sensitivities and their professional and pastoral commitments,” according to the Vatican.

He is the author of more than a half-dozen books and an internationally sought after speaker. His book “What is the Point of Being a Christian?” won the 2007 Michael Ramsey Prize, which is awarded by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury for the “most promising contemporary theological writing from the global Church.”

The release of Edwards’ work is more than a historical contribution. It comes at a moment of renewed interest in the preacher, especially among conservative evangelicals and “New Calvinists.” (Wikimedia Commons) Jonathan Edwards’ collected works now available for download 

Pope to theologians: Listen to the ordinary faithful

Radcliffe, ordained in 1971, is also a proponent of opening up to communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, currently a hot topic among bishops participating in the Synod on the Family.

In a 2013 essay in America magazine, Radcliffe wrote that he held “two profound hopes. That a way will be found to welcome divorced and remarried people back to communion. And, most important, that women will be given real authority and voice in the Church. The pope expresses his desire that this may happen, but what concrete form can it take?”

Regarding the role of women in the Church, Radcliffe is in line with Pope Francis, who has said no to women’s ordination but who nonetheless wants women to hold positions of authority. Radcliffe lamented what he sees as a stronger fusion between ordination and decision-making offices in the Church.

“I think the women’s ordination question has become more acute now because the Church has become more clerical than in my childhood,” Radcliffe said in a 2010 interview with US Catholic.

Radcliffe has pushed for a more open Church, along the lines of Pope Francis’ assertion that the Church be willing to “make a mess of things.”

“Jesus offered a wide hospitality, and ate and drank with all sorts of people. We need to embody his open heart rather than retreat into a Catholic ghetto,” Radcliffe said in a 2013 interview.

Catholic bishops from around the world will gather in Rome in October for the second part of a contentious debate about family issues in the Church. Source

Comment:

It’s very clear indeed now, that to be “a priest in good standing” means “be opposed to all that  is truly Catholic – and that includes true morals.”   How can any Catholic fail to see the diabolical influence apparently holding sway over the current holder of the papal office? We must, really must, pray very hard for Pope Francis while continuing to highlight and resist his scandalous utterances, actions and Vatican appointments.  This latest one is a scandal too far, unjustifiable, as it is,  by any and every objective and measurable standard. Fr Timothy Radcliffe is about as Catholic as the two priests featured on a recent thread who plan to vote YES in the Irish referendum on same-sex “marriage”.  That’s how “Catholic” is Fr Radcliffe.  Anyone who disagrees, speak now or forever hold your peace…

Priest On ‘The Francis Effect’…

Father Linus Clovis is addressing a group of pro-lifers on May 8, 2015, meeting to discuss the crisis in the Church ahead of the forthcoming Synod on the Family.   It is refreshing to see a priest speaking out without apology, sourcing Tradition to defend his objective criticisms of the state of the Church and the Pope at this time.  Father Clovis, we are pleased to record, has been on the Catholic Truth newsletter mailing list for a number of years. We’ve never met or corresponded with him but we have made a note on our “to do” list to contact him with our congratulations on “coming out” to speak clearly in the context of “The Francis Effect” – that is, the disastrous effect on the Church of many of the current pontiff’s utterances and actions.

Thanks to Gloria TV for help in making this video available on our blog – and for their outstanding work in the Catholic media during the current crisis in the Church. . .

Practical Tips For Happy Family Life…

Pope Francis has given families some practical advice during [yesterday] morning’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square [13 May, 2015].  cartoonsteam

Continuing with his catecheses on the family, the Holy Father reminded the faithful of three words that “must be in the home”: “May I, Thank You, Pardon Me [permesso, grazie, scusa].”

For happy family life, the Pontiff said, these phrases are required in our hearts, homes and communities, and mean more than just having good manners.

Speaking on asking ‘May I?,’ the Pontiff said we should not just assume we have the right to certain things. When we ask this permission, he said we establish trust and respect among our loved ones. 

Proving his point, Francis recalled the words of Jesus in the book of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me “(3:20).

“Even the Lord asks permission to enter! Do not forget that.”

On saying ‘Thank you,’ the Pontiff said our society has a great need for gratitude, which makes us more sensitive to the dignity of the human person and the demands of social justice.

“Listen well to this: a Christian that doesn’t know how to thank is one that has forgotten the language of God. This is ugly.”

‘Sorry,’ the Pope acknowledged is the hardest of the three to say, yet he noted that when it’s not used many bad things happen, especially in marriage. He asked those gathered to ponder how we can be pardoned if we are not willing to forgive.
 
“Have you fought?” Francis asked. “The problem is not the fighting,” he said as much as letting it last into the next day.
 
“Never finish the day without making peace,” even if it’s not easy, the Pope said. “A little gesture, a  caress, without words,” he pointed out, can be enough, for it “stops the infection.”
 
The Holy Father invited all those gathered to repeat the three Italian words: ‘permesso  grazie, scusa.’   After underscoring these “are the truly the words for entering into the love of the family,” Francis called on them to say, “Never finish the day without making peace.”    Source

 

Comment

Pope Francis makes some very good points in the above homily.  His Scripture reference and insight is compelling:  “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me “(3:20).   “Even the Lord asks permission to enter! Do not forget that.”

Share your practical tips for making life more pleasant in the home or workplace or simply just getting along with people. Quotes from Scripture or the saints which have deepened your insights would be very interesting.   I, for one, could use the help!  

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima – Reflect…

Christopher Ferrara…

“I have said it before, and I will say it again: in the entire history of the Catholic Church there has never been a Pope like this. With Francis we seem to be nearing the end of a trajectory whose fearful arc was predicted nearly a century ago in the Third Secret of Fatima. As that centenary approaches, we can only regard the year 2017 with increasing dread, mitigated only by the hope that God will see fit to give Our Lady a miraculous victory over the madness that afflicts so much of the human element of the Church today.”   Read entire article here

Comment

We give honour to Our Lady on this Feast of Fatima, and pray especially for the Pope and Church today.  There is plenty of food for thought in the article by Christopher Ferrara – so comments welcome on that, as we exchange Feast Day greetings, in gratitude for Our Lady’s warning of the diabolical disorientation to come in our times. Without the Message of Fatima, many of us would be finding our faith sorely stretched, to the point of being intolerable,  today.

In that spirit, allow me to wish all our bloggers and readers a very Happy Feast! 

Same-Sex Vote: Priests For YES – Resign!

FrEgan2Fr Adrian Egan (above) published a letter in the Irish Times, 30 April, in which he asserted his intention to vote YES in the same-sex marriage referendum to take place in Ireland on 22nd May. Click on the photo to read his letter, published on a new website called Priests For Yes – I mean, can it get any worse?  Brazen priests boasting about their support for unnatural and immoral sexual behaviour, basing their opinions on a childish understanding of “love” and “equality”.  

Then another priest, Fr Brian O’Fearraigh, announced (to his congregation at Mass) that he, too, would be voting YES.  It’s not a Church matter, it’s a state matter was his crackpot defence.  What was that about “diabolical disorientation”?  You bet… For if the Devil isn’t working in these priests, I can’t think what’s driving them – definitely not logic, theology, scripture or even elementary knowledge of the natural moral law.   Here’s the report from the Irish Examiner – brace yourself…

“In voting Yes we are saying that the state will be recognising and cherishing all of it’s citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or who they are,” said Fr O’Fearraigh.      FrBrianOFearraighDonegalPriestMarRef_large

Fr O’Fearraigh said that his conscience is clear with regard his decision, regardless of the fact that his bishop, Bishop of Raphoe Philip Boyce, had publically declared he would be voting No.

“The reality of same-sex marriage is a reality that in no way threatens me or in no way offends me as an individual, as a priest and ultimately as a citizen of this state.”

Barry Jones, a spokesperson for StandUp4Marriage, a group advocating a No vote was speaking on the same station to Greg Hughes and said that the referendum was “a matter for every individual, it’s as simple as that, and that is a matter for him whatever way he wants to vote. It certainly sounds to me that he [Fr O Fearraigh] is misguided”.

The referendum takes place on May 22Source – note, includes short audio clip of Fr O’Fearraigh defending his indefensible position.

Comment

We’ve had a number of threads to discuss the forthcoming referendum in Ireland.  This thread is not about that. It’s about the following:  

1)  how come these priests have no awareness of the nature and purpose of conscience?  

2) why is their Superior/Bishop not insisting that they resign from active priestly ministry? Do you think they should resign?

3) What should Catholics do if their priest publicly announces his intention to vote for same-sex marriage or otherwise publicly attacks dogma or morals?  I once told a priest after Mass that if he did that again, I would publicly correct him. Should we do that, even though, I’m told, technically it’s against the law of the land. Does anyone care?

Finally….

The key question MUST be asked and answered:  is it possible for a Catholic priest to “disagree” with God’s natural moral order and undermine the Church by handing over guardianship of God’s objective moral law to the State?  Is that possible? And still remain in a position of influence over the Catholic people, to feed them stones instead of bread?  What does Canon Law have to say on the matter?

Year of Mercy: What About Us?

Given this report of a full pardon to be granted to everyone involved in procuring and providing abortions to mark the Year of Mercy, we call upon Pope Francis to abandon his opposition to Catholic Tradition and to order all priests around the world to provide Traditional Latin Masses in every parish, to mark the Year of Mercy for those of us who prefer it to the Bugnini concoction .  Surely adherence to the Mass that has served the Church for centuries, which has nourished saints and given us martyrs, is not worse than murdering unborn babies?TradMasswithsaintscolour[Pope Francis] made a quite strong statement [about the ancient Mass] when he said that he understands when the old generation returns to what it experienced, but that he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it. “When I search more thoroughly – the Pope said – I find that it is rather a kind of fashion [in Czech: ‘móda‘]. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. Source

Comments invited

Latest Novelty: Baptism of Unbelievers?

Francis to New Priests:     Pope Francissmiles

 Forget what the Church has always practiced!  Baptize anyone who asks.

 by Christopher A. Ferrara

 May 1, 2015

 Another day, another novelty from the lips of Francis. This time, in remarks following the ordination of new priests, he declared: “Do not ever refuse Baptism to anyone who asks! (my emphasis)”

 Never refuse Baptism? Under any circumstances? That is hardly what the Church always taught before Francis. For example, in a 1980 Instruction on Infant Baptism, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that “infant Baptism must be governed by two great principles, the second of which is subordinate to the first.” The first great principle, of course, is that “Baptism, which is necessary for salvation, is the sign and the means of God’s prevenient love, which frees us from original sin and communicates to us a share in divine life…”

 But the second great principle, which Francis would apparently ignore, is that: “Assurances must be given that the gift thus granted can grow by an authentic education in the faith and Christian life, in order to fulfill the true meaning of the sacrament.” Accordingly, “if these assurances are not really serious there can be grounds for delaying the sacrament; and if they are certainly non-existent the sacrament should even be refused.”

 As the Instruction further teaches: “In fact the Church can only accede to the desire of these parents if they give an assurance that, once the child is baptized, it will be given the benefit of the Christian upbringing required by the sacrament. The Church must have a well-founded hope that the Baptism will bear fruit.” If sincere assurances are given, then, naturally, “the priest cannot refuse to celebrate the sacrament without delay…” But if, on the other hand, “they are insufficient, it will be prudent to delay Baptism.”

 Take, for example, a “gay couple” that has no intention of raising their immorally acquired child in the Christian faith but rather in their own version of it, which includes the “right” of homosexual “couples” to live in an adulterous union based on the practice of sodomy, call it a “marriage,” and adopt children — all in violation of the Church’s infallible teaching on faith and morals.

 Vatican Insider reports Francis’ remark as “words that may be interpreted to rebut priests who refuse to baptize children of same-sex couples…” It would be hard to deny that interpretation in the face of his use of the word “never” without qualification. Never means never, unless one adds a qualifier, and none was added here. But this would seem to be in line with the thematic ambiguity Francis has been cultivating for the past two years, always tending in a liberalizing direction, however. Call it guided ambiguity.

 Worse, Francis did not limit his remark to the case of infants, where the urgency of Baptism would militate in favor of the sacrament, but rather included those who ask for it themselves, meaning adults. Is there to be no process of discernment by the priest in this regard? Is he to baptize even someone who openly “disagrees” with fundamental teachings on faith and morals? That would be a sacrilege. Indeed, not a few have presented themselves for Baptism in defiance of the Church precisely in order to legitimate their own errors or immoral “lifestyles,” as if the sacrament were some kind of entitlement instead of a gift of the Blood of Christ.

 Yet again one has the impression that Francis simply says whatever he wishes and does whatever he pleases with little or no regard for what came before him in the Church if he deems it unnecessary. As he declared in the interview with Civiltà Cattolica that so delighted the liberal media: “The Church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules.”

 Really? Which rules are those? The process of discerning fitness for Baptism, according to the perennial teaching of the Church, appears to be one of them. According to Francis. Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us!

Comments invited…

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