General Discussion (6)

confusedIf 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!

To read General Discussion Thread (1) click here (2) click here (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here 

UK: Free Speech and Conscience RIP…

Glasgow midwives

“Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it”   (Albert Einstein)

Tell that to the highest court in the UK where the right of conscience NOT to participate in any way in the killing of unborn babies has been denied.  Click on photo (left) to read the details in the case of the two Glasgow (Catholic) midwives whose conscientious objection to being forced to participate in the administration of abortions at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow has been dismissed.

This, of course, is only one of many examples of the way freedom of speech and conscience are being destroyed in these days of imagined greater Bernadette Smythtolerance and alleged diversity.  Take the case of  the pro-lifer who was convicted of  harassing the manager of the Marie Stopes Clinic in Belfast and who has today been sentenced: ordered by a court not to go within 20 yards of the premises for the next five years.

Bernadette Smyth, 53, founder of the Precious Life movement and an internationally known anti-abortion campaigner, was also ordered by a judge to carry out 100 hours of community service. She must also pay £2,000 in compensation to Dawn Purvis, the manager of the Marie Stopes Clinic.  Click on photo (right) to read more…

Meanwhile over on Facebook, the story of how a primary school teacher “came out” to his class, prompting a nine year old girl to write a letter to him saying how she wouldn’t treat him any differently, was discussed with the majority of contributors bending over backwards to say how “beautiful” it was.  Read more about this story here

The conversation soon turned sour when one contributor dared to express concern that homosexuality was being promoted and children were being used to do this.  The proponents of “diversity” soon became enraged and completely intolerant – calling the young man names, using crudities and even taking screen shots of his comments and emailing them to his place of work.

It’s quite clear that all the claims to value free speech and freedom of conscience in the countries of the UK are baloney.  They fall into the category of “Yeah right”. The useful idiots can believe that mantra if they want.  There are far too many examples of intolerance directed at anyone who dares to think outside the politically correct box and to challenge the immoral legislation imposed on us in recent years, for me to fall for that line. What about you?  Tell us your experiences of challenging abortion legislation, homosexual “rights” etc.  Or maybe you think we’ve no right to go against what “society” has deemed right and proper?  Let’s hear it, then, because as far as I’m concerned, we’ve witnessed the death of free speech and freedom of conscience in the UK for some time now – there are just a few more examples in the news today – that’s all. 

Pope Should “Stamp Out” Orkney Redemptorists – Aberdeen Priest

papastronsayMgr Basil Loftus’ latest savage attack on the traditional Mass and all that goes with it
(e.g. doctrine, morals, vestments)  is writ large in this week’s Catholic Times where he traces the history of Pope Francis’ efforts to “stamp out” traditional Orders, praising his “patience and tolerance of those who disagree with him” (straight faces all round, please and thank you) but pointing out that, nevertheless, “he feels bound to intervene.”  There are just too many examples, too much of the Monsignor’s “all over the place” style of writing for me to be bothered quoting verbatim, but the upshot is that, since Papa Francis The Merciful has made great inroads into stamping out the old rite Mass whenever and wherever possible in foreign parts, perhaps it’s now time for him to turn to our own shores and put the ancient Mass out of reach once and for all. Mgr Loftus writes: “One only has to think, in our own countries, of the  “Tridentine” Redemptorists in the Orkney Islands – almost but not quite visible across the water from my study window as I write this.”  He adds: “There are other communities of ‘St Peter’ priests in the dioceses of Shrewsbury and of Lancaster who are not only totally cocooned in pre-Vatican II rubrics and pre-Pius XII liturgical outlook; but who enjoy immunity and isolation from the 99.9 recurrent percent of the rest of the Catholic Church, as though it were a contagious disease against which their baptism had not vaccinated them.” 

There is  a laughable reference to Robert Mickens of the insufferable and largely Anglican “Tablet” whom he quotes as saying: “this” [devotion to the ancient Mass] “goes to ecclesiology and not just to lace and cappa magnas”. Too true.  Just as the new Mass “goes to” Modernism, that synthesis of all heresies, so the Traditional Latin Mass “goes to” the traditional Catholic Faith, dogma, morals, the lot. And that’s why Mgr Loftus concludes his latest venomous attack on the Mass with the hope that Pope Francis will see off the traditional Mass here, as he has tried to do elsewhere, in jig time. “The whole question” [of the old Mass] “has to be examined” he opines, as if anybody takes him seriously. “Our own countries” he concludes “are by no means the worst offenders [“offenders”?] – but there is room for thought to be given to the matter. ” (Taken from Mgr Loftus: Crusade of mercy and forgiveness, Catholic Times, 12 December, 2014)

Honestly, I can’t make up my mind for whom I feel most pity:  Loftus himself, for his ignorance of the Faith and  total lack of true Catholicity, Flaherty, his editor for his sheer stupidity in publishing Loftus {without a thought to how he’s going to get himself out of his Modernist hole when Pope Pius XIII is elected!) or the Transalpine Monks for having thrown in the towel in the fight against Modernism, knowing now that in addition to not being wanted by the Bishop in the first place, they are now treated to the spectacle of the Bishop (Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen) permitting another priest resident in the Diocese to publicly insult  and humiliate them,  all but calling for them to be “stamped out”.  Just imagine if any traditional priest had similarly insulted Loftus or any other Modernist in the public square. Would the Bishop remain silent? You kidding?  Maybe you feel sorry for the Bishop caught in the middle of this shocking  attack by Mgr Loftus on the monks? So, let’s hear it – who, if any of the above, gets your sympathy? 

Canon Law & Jim Murphy MP…

Jim Murphy MPOne of our bloggers wrote to Bishop John Keenan (Paisley)  to draw his attention to the public statements of Jim Murphy MP, affirming his support for abortion. Jim Murphy is a Catholic of the Diocese of Paisley who is currently seeking to win the Labour leadership in Scotland.  Click here to read more. Under Church law, manifest public sinners – and that includes those who support abortion – cannot receive Holy Communion.  This is not a matter left to the discretion of any priest or bishop – Canon # 915 prohibits Communion to public sinners and it is a grave sin for any priest or bishop to flout this law.  We’ve had this discussion more than once – click here to reach one of our previous conversations on the topic.

FrJohnKeenanYet, Bishop Keenan declined to reply to our blogger, electing instead to delegate the matter to his Vicar General. Now, Paisley is not New York.  You can go for a walk round Paisley and meet yourself on the way back.  So, one might fairly expect the Bishop to answer his own mail, especially correspondence on a matter as serious as that under discussion here.

The upshot of the responses from the Vicar General is that the Bishop takes pro-life issues seriously and is dealing with the matter of the “pro-choice” [i.e. pro-murder] MP privately and anyway “neither you nor I are entitled to know what transpires between a bishop and another’s soul.”  What the heck does that mean? Nobody is asking what is going on in Jim Murphy’s soul but we have every right to know whether or not the Bishop is doing his duty to protect the MP himself from continuing on his – literally – damnable route by receiving Holy Communion in a manifestly unworthy state, and also whether he is doing his duty to protect the rest of the faithful from being scandalised. If Jim Murphy had publicly admitted to (let’s use a euphemism) “harming” children, the Bishop would have been in front of the TV cameras in jig time to express his shock horror and to discourage Catholics from voting for him.  Surely unborn children deserve similarly robust protection from Catholic priests and prelates?

The upshot of our blogger’s response to the Vicar General’s correspondence  is that for the bishop to deal with this matter “privately” is not good enough since the scandal is very public and requires the enforcement of Canon 915. 

Well?  Do you agree? 

Turin Shroud: American Scientist Claims Cardinal Dolan Suppressing The Truth…

david roemerScience and the Catholic Church
by David K. Roemer Ph.D

The purpose of [my] blog is to record the Vatican’s response to the complaint I filed on October 1, 2014, against the Archbishop of the Diocese of New York for suppressing my slideshow/lecture about the Shroud of Turin. On March 30, 2011, a pastor in New York City cancelled my scheduled slideshow on the grounds that I was not promoting the authenticity of the Holy Shroud. Cardinal Dolan supported the pastor’s decision. The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization suggested that I bring the matter to the attention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The canonical complaint and all the correspondence leading to it is on my blog titled New Evangelist, David Roemer. Appendix III of the complaint is a reproduction of the complaint I filed with the Ethics and Member Conduct Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers against Bruno Barberis, et. al., for rejecting “Science, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Theology, History, and the Holy Shroud” which I submitted to a conference about the Shroud of Turin sponsored by the IEEE. Dr. Barberis is an advisor to Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia, who is the Custodian of the Shroud of Turin. In my complaint, I argue that my paper was rejected because it explained why the Shroud of Turin was not authentic. Appendix IV is an book review titled “Cognitive Dissonance and the Shroud of Turin.” Letter to Holy Father (December 2, 2014) Letter to New York Province of the Society of Jesus (November 24, 2014) Letter to President of the Italian Episcopal Conference (November 20, 2014) Letter to Roman Rota (November 19, 2014)  TurinShroud

Source

Comment

Since I’m no expert on science, full stop, and since I’m not scholarly enough to hold a scientific view on the authenticity or otherwise of the shroud, I’ll be interested to read what others say on this topic.  We’re not afraid of the truth here… if the evidence shows that the shroud is not authentic, it makes no difference whatsoever to our Faith. So, why would Cardinal Dolan suppress information which may cast light on the subject, one way or the other?  Whatever happened to “dialogue”?

8/12: Feast of the Immaculate Conception

immaculate-conceptionIn the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.”

“The Blessed Virgin Mary…”

The subject of this immunity from original sin is the person of Mary at the moment of the creation of her soul and its infusion into her body.

“…in the first instance of her conception…”

The term conception does not mean the active or generative conception by her parents. Her body was formed in the womb of the mother, and the father had the usual share in its formation. The question does not concern the immaculateness of the generative activity of her parents. Neither does it concern the passive conception absolutely and simply (conceptio seminis carnis, inchoata), which, according to the order of nature, precedes the infusion of the rational soul. The person is truly conceived when the soul is created and infused into the body. Mary was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin at the first moment of her animation, and sanctifying grace was given to her before sin could have taken effect in her soul.

“…was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin…”

The formal active essence of original sin was not removed from her soul, as it is removed from others by baptism; it was excluded, it never was in her soul. Simultaneously with the exclusion of sin. The state of original sanctity, innocence, and justice, as opposed to original sin, was conferred upon her, by which gift every stain and fault, all depraved emotions, passions, and debilities, essentially pertaining to original sin, were excluded. But she was not made exempt from the temporal penalties of Adam — from sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death.

“…by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race.”

The immunity from original sin was given to Mary by a singular exemption from a universal law through the same merits of Christ, by which other men are cleansed from sin by baptism. Mary needed the redeeming Saviour to obtain this exemption, and to be delivered from the universal necessity and debt (debitum) of being subject to original sin. The person of Mary, in consequence of her origin from Adam, should have been subject to sin, but, being the new Eve who was to be the mother of the new Adam, she was, by the eternal counsel of God and by the merits of Christ, withdrawn from the general law of original sin. Her redemption was the very masterpiece of Christ’s redeeming wisdom. He is a greater redeemer who pays the debt that it may not be incurred than he who pays after it has fallen on the debtor.

Such is the meaning of the term “Immaculate Conception.”

Source – Catholic Encyclopaedia Online

Comment

On this major Feast of Our Lady this thread is provided to allow us to exchange feast-day greetings, and to post favourite  stories, e.g. of favours granted, prayers, poems and hymns – lyrics and/or videos.  Enjoy!  

Pope: It’s Great To See The Church In Turmoil (paraphrasing… slightly)

PopeFrancispensivecroppedVatican City, Dec 7, 2014 / 11:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an interview with the Argentine daily “La Nacion” published Sunday, Pope Francis spoke on a variety of topics, giving specific attention to the ongoing reform of the Roman Curia, and some of the resistance he’s facing. “I am not worried. It all seems normal to me; if there were no difference of opinions, that wouldn’t be normal,” the Pope told Elisabetta Piqué in an interview published in La Nacion Dec. 7.

“Resistance is now evident. And that is a good sign for me, getting the resistance out into the open, no stealthy mumbling when there is disagreement. It’s healthy to get things out into the open, it’s very healthy.”

With topics ranging from his health to future travels and birthday plans, the Roman Pontiff spent most of the 50 minute interview talking about his plan of reform for the Roman Curia, which he said will be an ongoing process that extends beyond the projected finish date of 2015. The Bishop of Rome revealed that he had no expectations regarding the “cleansing process” of the Curia before starting, because “I expected to go back to Buenos Aires.” “After that, well, I don´t know. You see, God is good to me, he’s bestowed on me a healthy dose of unawareness. I just do what I have to do.”

Pope Francis responded to the fact that nearly 21 months after he was elected to as Bishop of Rome, differing opinions are beginning to surface more clearly regarding some of the changes he is implementing. However, the Roman Pontiff said that facing resistance isn’t something to be afraid of, because “to me, resistance means different points of view, not something dirty.” Resistance, he said, “is connected to some decisions I may occasionally take, I will concede that. Of course, some decisions are more of the economic type, and others are more pastoral.”

The Roman Pontiff also addressed comments suggesting that the “honeymoon is over” due to divisions that surfaced during the Synod on the Family held in October, saying that the issue was not so much the Pope as it was differing pastoral positions. This is evident and can be clearly seen by looking at the widespread enthusiasm with which his final speech was accepted, he said.

In regards to media buzz during the synod due to comments by Cardinal Raymond Burke suggesting that the Church is like “a ship without a rudder,” the Pope said that “those expressions strike me as odd.” “I am not aware of anybody using them. The media quote them,” he said, admitting that “until I can ask the people involved ‘have you said this?’ I will have brotherly doubts.”   CardinalBurkesmall

The Bishop of Rome also addressed the appointment of Cardinal Burke as Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, following his six years serving as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Announced shortly after the synod, the decision has drawn speculation from all sides, with many contributing the move to the cardinal’s comments during the synod as well as his staunchly conservative viewpoints on Church doctrine.

Pope Francis said that sometime before the synod Cardinal Burke had asked what he would be doing, since his position as prefect of the Signatura was not confirmed. The Roman Pontiff responded by asking for some time while the Council of Nine cardinals assisting him in Church reform thought about their legal restructuring. “I told him nothing had been done about it yet and that it was being considered. After that the issue of the Order of Malta cropped up and we needed a smart American who would know how to get around and I thought of him for that position,” the Pope said. “I suggested this to him long before the synod,” he continued, explaining that he wanted the announcement to be made after the synod was over so that the cardinal could participate in the discussions. As chaplain of Malta Cardinal Burke would not have been able to be present, he explained. “He thanked me in very good terms and accepted my offer, I even think he liked it. Because he is a man that gets around a lot, he does a lot of travelling and would surely be busy there. It is therefore not true that I removed him because of how he had behaved in the synod.”

The Roman Pontiff also spoke of the continuing reform of the Roman Curia, saying that it’s a slow process and “We’re tackling it little by little.” Pope Francis referred to the restructuring of the Institute for Religious Works, also called the Vatican Bank. He said that it is “operating beautifully” and that they did “quite a good job there.” He revealed that when he was elected Pope he had been planning to retire, and that once he moved to the Vatican he had to start his plans again from scratch, and that everything was new for him. “From the start I said to myself: ‘Jorge, don’t change, just keep on being yourself, because to change at your age would be to make a fool of yourself.’” “That´s why I’ve always kept on doing what I used to do in Buenos Aires. Perhaps even making my old mistakes. But I prefer it like this, to be myself.”  Source

Comment

I have to admit, I wouldn’t know where to begin to comment on the above.  So, let’s hear it – what do YOU think of this latest papal interview? 

Hong Kong: Cardinal Zen Ready For Jail

Cardinal ZenRome, Italy, Dec 4, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- One of several leaders of Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement to surrender to police after months of pro-democracy protests, Cardinal Joseph Zen has said he is ready to go to jail.

“I’m prepared to be jailed, which is the strongest and most sincere proof of the unfairness of the system in Hong Kong,” said Hong Kong’s emeritus bishop, according to a translation of a report by the Hong Kong Economic Journal

Cardinal Zen, 82, turned himself into police on Dec. 3 along with founders of the movement, Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming. All were allowed to leave without facing any charges.

The demonstrations have drawn tens of thousands of people, although to-date they have decreased to a few hundred protesters, most of whom are students.

 In an Nov. 20 interview with CNA, Hong Kong’s former bishop urged student demonstrators to be patient as clashes resume during overnight pro-democracy protests in the city center.

Cardinal Zen, who supports the fight for democratic elections, expressed concern that young protestors were moving too quickly without sufficient planning,

“The students have taken the whole thing into their hands, and they are impatient,” he said. “Obviously they want to have an immediate success. That’s not possible.”

On the one hand, the cardinal acknowledged that the protesters “raise the awareness of the people, of the whole world” because of their youth. However, he warned it is “dangerous to waste the sympathy of the people, because now the things are dragging on too long. It’s affecting very much the daily life of the people in Hong Kong.”

Demonstrations began late September when students staged a week-long boycott of China’s decision to only allow pre-screened candidates to be elected as Hong Kong’s leader in 2017.

“We are fighting for a real democratic election, said Cardinal Zen, adding that Beijing’s decision to choose the candidates is not a “real election.”

 Efforts to confront this motion began “very rationally,” he continued, “so we didn’t expect immediate success.”

On Sep. 29, Hong Kong bishop, Cardinal John Tong, appealed the government to ensure the safety of its citizens, and called all Christians to pray for reconciliation between the “conflicting parties” in the conflict.

Formerly under the sovereignty of Britain, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997, with the latter’s government agreeing to permit the region greater freedoms and autonomy.  Source  

Comment

“I’m prepared to be jailed, which is the strongest and most sincere proof of the unfairness of the system in Hong Kong,” said Hong Kong’s emeritus bishop. Interesting. Where are the priests and bishops who are prepared to even just speak out as “proof” that they recognise the “unfairness of the system” in today’s Vatican, which is leaving Catholics in turmoil, as they ponder the latest scandals from Rome?

Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia is on record saying that he expected to be jailed for speaking out against homosexuality – click here  Yet, before the local prison had time to prepare a cell for him, he’d apologised for (perfectly legitimate and correct) remarks made in the context of the death of a partnerned Catholic homosexual, former priest who became an MP – click here and note that, in fact, the Archbishop (when Bishop of Paisley) had actually defied Canon Law by not only permitting, but by actually helping to arrange the funeral of this well known public sinner!   So, not only an apology for his remarks but revelations to underline his support for the deceased partnered homosexual came fast and furious in the face of the widespread condemnation by the “great and the good.” Fear of unpopular coverage in the secular media trumped fear of God’s wrath at his judgment. Big time.  Will Cardinal Zen apologise for openly supporting the democratic rights of the people of Hong Kong? No chance.  

Seems it’s easier – and more acceptable and praiseworthy – for a bishop to surrender his freedom and accept imprisonment  in the cause of democracy, bringing true Our Lord’s words: “…the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.”

The silence from the Bishops of Scotland during the same-sex marriage debate – and other Government-led offences against God’s law – has been deafening.  What little protest there was, came in the form of the mantra:  “we don’t mind same-sex relationships, just don’t call them ‘marriage.'” 

DO we, therefore, have anything to learn from “the children of this world” in terms of protesting attacks on our Faith and defending our God-given right to have our Catholic religion passed on to us, undiluted?  Is there a case for “Occupying Rome”?

Comments invited.

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