Catholics MUST Be Pro-Life – Action!

This thread is dedicated to sharing news about pro-life issues. 

Where possible, we suggest that bloggers make and respond to calls to action in defence of the unborn child – whether that entails emailing MPs or supporting various vigils etc.  

Try not to simply post a link to news – publish an extract and/or make a suggestion about possible action, that will encourage readers to click your  link. 

Among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. The Second Vatican Council defines abortion, together with infanticide, as an “unspeakable crime”.54

But today, in many people’s consciences, the perception of its gravity has become progressively obscured. The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behaviour and even in law itself, is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake. Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is 5:20). Especially in the case of abortion there is a widespread use of ambiguous terminology, such as “interruption of pregnancy”, which tends to hide abortion’s true nature and to attenuate its seriousness in public opinion. Perhaps this linguistic phenomenon is itself a symptom of an uneasiness of conscience. But no word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.

The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize that we are dealing with murder... Pope John Paul II: Evangelium Vitae –  on the Value and Inviolability, of Human Life #58  [Emphasis added]
Click here to read the entire encyclical 

General Discussion (14)

animated-computermanbeing-punched-by-machineIf 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, as the GD discussion threads fills up very quickly.

Readers, all too often, go 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 – at the very least check the side-bar – before posting here, please and thank you!   Your “news” may simply be a different angle to a subject already under discussion, so do, please check before posting your comment here.         

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

To read previous 10 General Discussion Threads, click on the links listed below.

(1) click here  (2) click here  (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here
(6) click here  (7) click here (8) click here  (9) click here (10) click here
(11) click here (12) click here   (13) click here

Fr Martin Xavier Vazhachira RIP

FATHER MARTIN XAVIER VAZHACHIRA RIP –
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SCOTTISH CATHOLIC MEDIA OFFICE.

The Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh regrets to announce the death of Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira CMI, Administrator of St John’s parish in Corstorphine, Edinburgh. The 33-year old Indian-born priest had been missing since Tuesday. His body was found yesterday evening, Friday 23 June, on a beach at Dunbar, East Lothian. The cause of death is, as yet, unknown.

“The news of Father Martin Xavier’s death comes as a great shock and a great sadness to all those who knew him and loved him,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh, 24 June.

“Our thoughts and, more importantly, our prayers are with him and with all his loved ones in both Scotland and India. May he rest in peace.”

Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira was a native of Kerela in southern India. He was ordained a priest of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate order in 2013. He arrived in Scotland in July 2016 in order to undertake post-graduate studies at Edinburgh University. He also served in local Catholic parishes, initially in Falkirk before being appointed to Corstorphine in October 2016.

He was last seen on Tuesday afternoon in his parish house.  The alarm was raised by parishioners after he didn’t turn up for Holy Mass on Wednesday morning. A post-mortem will now be carried out to ascertain the cause of death. His family in India have been informed of the tragic news.

Archbishop Leo Cushley is visiting the parish of St John’s in Corstorphine both today and tomorrow, Sunday, in order to offer Holy Mass and to support and comfort parishioners as they attempt to come to terms with the news of Father Martin Xavier’s death.

Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira CMI (1983-2017). Requiescat in pace.  ENDS

Comment:

Since this young priest had been serving in Scotland at the time of his death, cause not yet known, we launch this thread for the purpose of offering our prayers for the repose of his soul, and for the consolation of his family. Please do not speculate as to the circumstances of his death – we presume he was taken ill when out, perhaps for a walk.  Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him, may he rest in peace. 

Maybe Cardinals Should Try Phoning Pope Francis: He Tends To Ignore Letters

Seven months on from the “dubia,” Pope Francis has received midway through this spring another letter from the same four cardinals, signed by Carlo Caffarra in the name of the other three: Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, and Joachim Meisner.

And to this letter as well, like to the “dubia” before it, he has not responded.

The four cardinals were asking the pope for an audience. To talk with him about the divisions generated by “Amoris Laetitia” and about the resulting “situation of confusion and disorientation” in much of the Church.

The letter was in Francis’s hands back on May 6. But the prolonged absence of a response has expanded its nature. As has already happened with the “dubia,” the four cardinals now think it right that the letter be offered for the reflection of the whole “people of God,” from which arises the demand for clarification to which they are giving voice.

The complete text of the letter, translated from the original Italian, is reproduced further below.

But in the meantime it is also useful to point out that, during the 45 days that have passed between the delivery of the letter to the pope and its publication, the Babel of interpretations of “Amoris Laetitia” – but not only this – has continued to grow.

The following facts can be presented in this regard:

– In Poland, the episcopal conference has announced that in October it will publish guidelines for the application of “Amoris Laetitia” that will hold firm, without exception, the teaching of John Paul II on the divorced and remarried, who will be able to receive communion only if they resolve to live “as brother and sister.”

– In italy, the episcopal conference of the region of Sicily has published “Pastoral guidance” on the eighth chapter of “Amoris Laetitia” that provides for “practical solutions distinguished according to the situations,” including absolution and communion for the divorced and remarried who live “more uxorio.”

– In Belgium too, the bishops with a “Pastoral letter” have given the go-ahead to communion for the divorced and remarried, even if simply “decided in conscience.”

– In Argentina, in the diocese of Reconquista, Bishop Ángel José Macín, installed there by Pope Francis in 2013, has publicly celebrated the full readmission into the Church of around thirty divorced and remarried couples that continue to live “more uxorio,” giving them communion – he said – at the end of a collective course of preparation based on the indications of “Amoris Laetitia” and of the subsequent letter written by the pope to the bishops of the region of Rio de la Plata.

– Also in Italy, the theologian Maurizio Chiodi has published in the latest issue of the authoritative “Rivista del Clero Italiano” an essay in which he argues in the light of “Amoris Laetitia” for the possibility of communion for the divorced and remarried on the basis of “a theory of conscience beyond the alternative of the norm.” The “Rivista del Clero Italiano” is published by the Catholic University of Milan, under the direction of three bishops: Gianni Ambrosio, Franco Giulio Brambilla, and Claudio Giuliodori. And Chiodi was appointed by the pope a few days ago as an ordinary member of the renovated Academy for Life.

– Again in Italy, in Turin, the Catholic priest Fredo Olivero has confirmed that the interconfessional group “Breaking bread” in which he participates meets once a month to celebrate the Eucharist now according to the Catholic ceremony and now the Protestant, all of those present receiving communion. He has said that he is sure this is the true “personal thinking” of Pope Francis, according to what he said on November 15, 2015 during his visit to the Lutheran church of Rome. He added that the dogma of transubstantiation must be reinterpreted in a “spiritual” vein, and that according to Jesus the Mass can be celebrated by anyone, not only an ordained minister. Fr. Olivero made this disclosure in the latest issue of “Riforma,” the weekly of the Waldensian Church.

– And finally, at the Vatican, it turns out that has been set up a commission charged with “reinterpreting” in the light of “Amoris Laetitia” the encyclical of Paul VI “Humanae Vitae” on contraception. The members of this commission are Pierangelo Sequeri, head of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Angelo Maffeis, head of the Paul VI Institute in Brescia, and Philippe Chenaux, a professor of Church history at the Pontifical Lateran University. The coordinator is Gilfredo Marengo, a professor of theological anthropology at the aforementioned institute founded by John Paul II and a longstanding supporter of revisionist ideas.

This is the state of the facts. And this the letter to the pope from four cardinals who are not resigning themselves to it.

In addition to Italian, English, Spanish, and French, the letter is also available in Portuguese and German:

> “A nossa consciência força-nos…”

> “Unser Gewissen drängt uns…”

“OUR CONSCIENCE IMPELS US…”

Most Holy Father,      

It is with a certain trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness, during these days of the Easter season. I do so on behalf of the Most Eminent Cardinals: Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, Joachim Meisner, and myself.

We wish to begin by renewing our absolute dedication and our unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for Your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth,” as Saint Catherine of Siena was fond of saying. We do not share in the slightest the position of those who consider the See of Peter vacant, nor of those who want to attribute to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine “munus.” We are moved solely by the awareness of the grave responsibility arising from the “munus” of cardinals: to be advisers of the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry. And from the Sacrament of the Episcopate, which “has placed us as bishops to pasture the Church, which He has acquired with his blood” (Acts 20:28).

On September 19, 2016 we delivered to Your Holiness and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith five “dubia,” asking You to resolve uncertainties and to bring clarity on some points of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia.”

Not having received any response from Your Holiness, we have reached the decision to ask You, respectfully and humbly, for an Audience, together if Your Holiness would like. We attach, as is the practice, an Audience Sheet in which we present the two points we wish to discuss with you.

Most Holy Father,

A year has now gone by since the publication of “Amoris Laetitia.” During this time, interpretations of some objectively ambiguous passages of the post-synodal Exhortation have publicly been given that are not divergent from but contrary to the permanent Magisterium of the Church. Despite the fact that the Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith has repeatedly declared that the doctrine of the Church has not changed, numerous statements have appeared from individual Bishops, Cardinals, and even Episcopal Conferences, approving what the Magisterium of the Church has never approved. Not only access to the Holy Eucharist for those who objectively and publicly live in a situation of grave sin, and intend to remain in it, but also a conception of moral conscience contrary to the Tradition of the Church. And so it is happening – how painful it is to see this! – that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta. And so on. One is reminded of the bitter observation of B. Pascal: “Justice on this side of the Pyrenees, injustice on the other; justice on the left bank of the river, injustice on the right bank.”

Numerous competent lay faithful, who are deeply in love with the Church and staunchly loyal to the Apostolic See, have turned to their Pastors and to Your Holiness in order to be confirmed in the Holy Doctrine concerning the three sacraments of Marriage, Confession, and the Eucharist. And in these very days, in Rome, six lay faithful, from every Continent, have presented a very well-attended study seminar with the meaningful title: “Bringing clarity.”

Faced with this grave situation, in which many Christian communities are being divided, we feel the weight of our responsibility, and our conscience impels us to ask humbly and respectfully for an Audience.

May Your Holiness remember us in Your prayers, as we pledge to remember You in ours. And we ask for the gift of Your Apostolic Blessing.

Carlo Card. Caffarra  [Ed: pictured above]

Rome, April 25, 2017
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist     – Source 

*

AUDIENCE SHEET

1. Request for clarification of the five points indicated by the “dubia;” reasons for this request.

2. Situation of confusion and disorientation, especially among pastors of souls, in primis parish priests.

 

Comment:

The absolutely scandalous writings of Monsignor Basil Loftus,  the Leeds priest who lives in the Scottish Highlands (a mystery in itself) continue to savage Cardinal Burke and anyone else who dares to question Amoris Laetitia.   This week, Cardinal Burke is rudely told  to “get a life”. That is, to stop “[yearning] for “all the episcopal carnival costume, music-hall headgear for the clergy, clerical dominance, virtual contempt for women, effective contempt for laity, legalism, literalism and dogmatism which were the hall-marks of the pre-conciliar Church.” 

Yip – for 2,000 years,  since the time of Christ Himself until 1962, the above describes the Church; in the new Religion for Dummies, nothing, absolutely nothing, was right until Vatican II.   When Our Lord promised his Apostles that He would send the Holy Spirit upon them to remind them of all that He had taught etc. He simply forgot to mention that said descent of the Holy Ghost wouldn’t occur until 1962. 

So, what are we to make of the fact that Papa Francis steadfastly refuses to respond to the concerns of his cardinals in the matter of  the unchangeable teaching of Christ on marriage, beyond the self-evident fact that it encourages blatant dissenters like Mgr Loftus to continue with their assaults on Holy Mother Church?  Is there anything that can be done to force the Pope to respond?  

Anti-Catholic Culture Reigns In Scotland

Catholics face “alarming levels of intolerance” 
Thursday 15 June 2017

Giving evidence to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament today (15th June 2017) Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office claimed; “a culture of fear prevents people from being open about their faith.”

Mr. Horan who was giving evidence to MSP’s on the topic of bullying and harassment in schools, with an emphasis on anti-religious prejudice. The Committee heard evidence from a number of people, including representatives of the Church of Scotland, Muslim Community, Jewish Community, and the Scottish Secular Society.

In his comments to MSP’s, Mr. Horan said;

“My overriding concern about this subject is the culture of fear that runs right through society and which makes people feel, at best uncomfortable, and at worst totally frightened to be open about their faith. In my written submission to the Committee I provided testimonies of a number of young people who had experienced anti-Catholic prejudice in their school, most of it relating to the Church’s teaching on abortion and marriage. One student even dropped a subject to “avoid the harassment.”

Mr. Horan added;

“There is an alarming level of intolerance being levelled at some young people simply because they are Catholic or because they hold a particular view that others may disagree with. This is not a culture of tolerance and respect. We have to be very mindful of the need to tackle anti-religious behaviour and be wary of creating a hierarchy of rights in relation to the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010. We cannot allow some to trump others. It must be all or nothing.”

“There is also the sad reality of an increase in religious hate crime in Scotland, with a recently published report revealing that religiously aggravated crime is at an all time high. Within that, a deeply worrying and disturbing 57% of charges are as a result of anti-Catholic behaviour. Compare this to the percentage of charges relating to Protestantism (27%) and Islam (17%) and we are left with an undoubted sectarian problem that needs to be addressed.”

Mr. Horan concluded;

“If we are to build a culture of tolerance and respect for our young people we need to take on board the hard facts which reveal to us the reality of hate crime in our country and allow people across all protected characteristics to feel free to express themselves and to be open about their faith.”   ENDS
Press Release from Scottish Catholic Media Office

Comment:

Well I hope the penny’s dropped.  Providing “safe spaces” for allegedly “gay” pupils hasn’t made Catholic schools any “safer” for the wider Catholic pupil population.  And the craze for ecumenical activity hasn’t changed the anti-Catholic culture of bigotry in Scotland one bit. Those who would naturally NOT be bigoted – people genuinely trying to live Christian lives according to their lights – remain tolerant.  The rest remain IN-tolerant.  So best to go down the tried (for two thousand years) and tested road of seeking to explain the Faith and win converts to it.  Watering down Faith and Morals hasn’t worked. That’s for sure. Or maybe you disagree? Let’s hear it… 

Pope To Priests: Obey Or Be Suspended…

Pope Francis has warned the Nigerian Diocese of Ahiara that if they do not accept their bishop, they will be suspended a divinis.
The Holy Father stressed this during his audience with members of the diocese in the Vatican on June 8.

When Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr. Peter Ebere Okpaleke as the diocese’ bishop in 2012, lay people and priests of the diocese rejected their new bishop because, unlike his predecessor, Msgr. Victor Chikwe, part of the Mbaise ethnic group, which makes up the majority of the diocese, he comes from the Ibero ethnic group, which makes up the majority in southeast Nigeria. In 2013, Cardinal Onaiyekan was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara.

In Pope Francis’ remarks, he noted that their meeting together was “a consolation” because he is “deeply saddened by the events of the Church in Ahiara.”

“I know very well the events that have been dragging on for years,” he said, stressing, “and I am thankful for the attitude of great patience of the Bishop, indeed the holy patience demonstrated by him.

“I listened and reflected much, even about the possibility of suppressing the diocese, but then I thought that the Church is a mother and cannot abandon her many children.”

Then the Holy Father made a request.

“Therefore,” he said, “I ask that every priest or ecclesiastic incardinated in the Diocese of Ahiara, whether he resides there or works elsewhere, even abroad, write a letter addressed to me in which he asks for forgiveness; all must write individually and personally. We all must share this common sorrow.”

“In the letter, one must clearly manifest total obedience to the Pope, and whoever writes must be willing to accept the Bishop whom the Pope sends and has appointed.”

The letter, Francis explained, must be sent within 30 days, from today to July 9th, 2017.

“Whoever does not do this,” the Pope warned, “will be ipso facto suspended a divinis and will lose his current office.”

“This seems very hard, but why must the Pope do this? Because the people of God are scandalized,” the Pope said[emphasis added]       Source – Zenit

Comment:

Well, call me inattentive if you like, but this is one “scandal” that has passed me by, big time.  So, my attention has been well and truly grabbed, in the realisation that an entire diocese of priests is threatened with suspension under the above circumstances.  Whatever happened to management skills?  Other priests – causing all sorts of appalling scandals – are left to get on with scandalising us to death, without any hint of a rebuke, let alone suspension.  

I must hastily add that I know nothing of African Church politics or ethnic sensitivities, but on the surface – in light of the clergy scandals afflicting the Church here -in the UK,  it seems a tad over the top to demand total obedience to the Pope (i.e. accept your bishop unquestioningly) or be suspended from exercising your ministry while we have clergy living in openly scandalous circumstances, or which at least appear to be so (see front page of our January edition for a recent example) who suffer no disciplinary consequences whatsoever. 

Help me out here. What is going on?  

Polish Bishops Say “No!” To Amoris Laetita…Silence From Scots Hierarchy

Yesterday, 7 June, the Polish Bishops’ Conference ended its General Assembly in the Polish city of Zakopane. According to the official website of the German bishops Katholisch.de, the speaker of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Pawel Rytel-Andrianik said that the teaching of the Church with regard to Holy Communion for those people who live in non-sacramental relationships “has not changed” after the papal document Amoris Laetitia.

In their public declaration, the Polish bishops explained that Catholics in such relationships should be led “to a true conversion and to a reconciliation with their spouse and the children of that bond.” Here, the Polish bishops refer to Pope John Paul II’s post-synodal exhortation Familiaris Consortio which allows access to the Sacraments only if such “remarried” couples live in a loyally chaste relationship as brother and sister.  Click here to read entire report from One Peter Five…

Comment: 

We know that, soon after it was released, Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow established courses to teach his priests and teachers how to implement Amoris Laetita – which will go down in history as the first (and, we sincerely hope, the last) ever document from a Pope which openly undermines and attacks Christ’s teaching on divorce, remarriage and adultery. 

Perhaps now that the Polish bishops (and some other notables) have spoken out in defence of Christian marriage, the Scots bishops will see the light and follow their good example.  Or are they too far gone down the modernist road?  Who knows – they may even have written to congratulate the Scottish Episcopalians on their vote to permit same-sex “marriages” in their churches.  Who, as I say, knows…

It is certainly worthwhile thinking about enquiring of your local bishop as to whether or not he has or intends to instruct HIS priests and teachers to teach ONLY traditional Catholic doctrine on marriage and the Ten Commandments – all of them.  Share your ideas here, on how this might best be achieved.

Chartres Pilgrimage & Young Catholics

Comment:

The funeral of one of the victims of the Manchester terror attack, a 14 year old Catholic  girl from Scotland, took place today. Her Parish Priest preached a homily in which he naturally praised the teenager, and said:  “In 14 years [she] packed a lot into her 14 years. 14 happy years. That’s so important for us to remember today – [she] was a happy girl, she had 14 happy years and in the last few days of her life she was the happiest you could ever imagine. The last thing in [her] life was happiness – she had spent a wonderful weekend away [from Scotland] going shopping, going to nice Cafes, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idols (sic) concert – Ariana – she was the happiest she had ever been- and that’s what we hold onto today- the happiness of [her] life… ”  

I couldn’t help contrasting this priest’s assessment of a happy teenage life with a recent conversation I had with another 14 year old – a young Scots boy who is currently participating in the Chartres pilgrimage.  Last week he was very excited about the pilgrimage, telling me details of the event, explaining that he would be able to win graces; he was also, of course, excited at the prospect of his first ever trip abroad, first plane journey and looking forward to meeting young people with whom he has been in internet contact through his homeschooling programme.  Yet, through all of his excitement, he was keen to go to Confession before making the trip.  “Between the possibility of a plane crash” he said “and a possible terrorist attack, I want to be ready to go to my judgment!”  At one time, that was the standard Catholic attitude to death: to be prepared, not least when going on a long journey. 

Pray for the repose of the soul of the young Scots girl struck down so cruelly in the Manchester attack, given the possibility that hers was an un-provided death.  And let’s pray, too, that more and more young people are led, by Divine Providence, one way or another, into the traditional Faith.  I’m told that the Chartres Pilgrimage is a very effective way to do this. What do you think?

Trump’s Dumping Green Religion is a “Slap in the Face” For Francis – Vatican

VATICAN CITY (RNS) One of the pope’s closest allies says it would be a “slap in the face” for Francis if President Trump pulls the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord so soon after the two leaders met at the Vatican.

“If Donald Trump really decides to pull the U.S. out of the Paris accord it will be a disaster for everyone,” Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, who heads the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, told the Italian daily La Repubblica.

At their historic meeting last week, the pope gave Trump a copy of three documents, including his 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” which warns of the grave consequences caused by climate change and highlights how it’s aggravated by human activity. The president responded by promising, “I will read them.”  Click here to read more

Comment:

Well?  Did Donald Trump “slap Pope Francis in the face” by pulling out of the Paris Accord?