The Church of ‘Holy Father Francis’ asks: tell us what teachings you want changed…

The Church of Holy Father Francis asks:  tell us what teachings you want changed...

The world’s bishops have been asked to survey priests and people for their answers to questions on all the old chestnuts: cohabitation, contraception, divorce and remarriage, same-sex marriage.  Click on the logo to read the questionnaire

Delusional as ever, even as we approach the end, the Bishops of England & Wales posed the following question, neatly avoiding facing up to the reality of a crisis of faith and authority within the Church, affecting members at every level:

3. Question 3c: In the current generational crisis, how have Christian families been able to fulfil their vocation of transmitting the faith?

See? It’s not a crisis of faith we’re suffering after all, it’s a “generational crisis”.  Crackers.

Feel free to comment on your own particular “favourite” from this daft and highly dangerous questionnaire but consider, also, the many related key issues including this one:

Pope Francis seems to have made it his business to give hope to the dissenters and heretics who currently exercise undue influence within the Church.  An Irish reader sent me a copy of an article from Western People, dated 7th October, in which Fr Brendan Hoban of the Association of (anything but) Catholic Priests is positively thrilled that “the platform of reform the ACP had established (is) being consistently echoed in Pope Francis’s thoughts and symbolic actions. We discovered to our amazement that the new pope was stealing all our best ideas!” The ACP, remember, want a new church – we’ve published their objectives many times. Apostate is the word that best describes them. And they could not be more delighted with the new pontiff, whose personal utterances have been nothing short of scandalous to anyone with any sense of authentic Catholic Faith about them.   Now, with this latest signal to the faithless that big changes are possible, Pope Francis is continuing to wreak havoc. 

We’ve been of this opinion for quite some time but we’d like to spell it out one more time, in words of one syllable: anyone who considers him/herself to be remotely “conservative” or “orthodox” but who is still refusing to break ranks, anyone who is still subscribing in any way whatsoever, under any pretext whatsoever, to a diocesan parish, is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

The surveys being conducted by the world’s bishops  are designed to raise (false) hopes that Catholic dogma and the natural moral law can be changed.  Catholics attending parishes up and down the land are already subject to modernist influences, through the display of Catholic papers that are anything but Catholic, church bulletins extolling the virtues of ecumenism etc. These influences cannot be avoided, and now, in addition, announcements will be made, survey forms distributed, homilies delivered, all giving the impression that big changes are possible, and are coming to a parish near you, soon.  Thus, to continue to support the diocesan structure at this stage in the end-game (and we’re definitely in the end-game now) is to make a mockery of the very word “orthodox”. Not to mention making a mockery of Catholic obedience, which is, in its essence, obedience to Catholic Tradition.   As Archbishop Lefebvre said, however, and few modern Catholics have grasped this truth: “Satan’s masterstroke was to get  Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience.”

 And don’t say you can’t attend an SSPX chapel because the Society is in an irregular situation. Ask yourself what will be considered “irregular” in Heaven: a holy archbishop who made himself unpopular by acting to preserve Catholic Tradition in the face of the threats he (rightly and prophetically) perceived after Vatican II,  and his priests who are preaching the Faith as it has been handed down to us for 2,000 years, or a pontiff who is so “liberal” that he is the darling of pro-abortion feminist groups and “gays” alike.

Be absolutely clear about this: you’re NOT “orthodox” if you’re still supporting a diocesan parish. End of.  If reading the questionnaire doesn’t immediately strike you as an outright insult to Our Lord, then you’ll continue to coast along within the diocesan structure, whether you’re a priest or a layperson. If you ARE immediately struck by the shocking implication of it all, you’ll realise that it’s time to take off the gloves – and  (no matter how nice he is, no matter how “orthodox” he seems) wave your parish priest and/or your bishop “goodbye”.

141 responses

  1. We have waved goodbye. We said a “dry Mass” from the old missal, the Rosary and devotions both yesterday and today. I was surprised at the richness of the old liturgy when I eventually got the hang of how to pray the Mass. I thought I would be distraught but no, I feel completely at peace and moreover, CATHOLIC!

    • I am very intrigued by the idea of a ‘dry Mass’. Would you further explain this, i.e. the norms should I want to offer one, and how to do it.

      • It was a society priest who told me about it. he said he said it for 8 years as a young man as he couldn’t, in conscience, attend the NO. Then he entered the seminary and is now a priest. Basically, you read the Mass for the day (old missal) with the appropriate add ons i.e. introit, gradual, secret, communion and postcommunion etc. It takes about 30 minutes. It is very rich liturgically and satisfying. The chapel (St. Margaret’s and St. Leonard’s) in Edinburgh has a very handy missalette which you could try and obtain.

        • I have a 1962 missal. Is the missalette at St M & L’s specifically about dry Mass? Do I recite the entire order of the Mass and make a spiritual Communion?

          • Miles Immaculatae,

            The term “dry Mass” simply means that you are not actually present at Mass but only reading (and praying) the missal. If you stay at home and read through your missal when you can get to the Traditional Mass, that would be sinful. Mortally so. Crofterlady lives in remote place where there are no Traditional Masses on Sundays.

            I’m concerned that – as a convert – you may be thinking that this is a permissible substitute for attending Mass when the weather’s bad or whatever. It is not. Emphatically,

            • Don’t worry Editor, I was thinking about when I visit my family. It takes ages to get to SSPX Whally Range form where they live, and I couldn’t in conscience go to my local Novus Ordo, they have every irregularity going. I can’t missing Mass, so depressing. Can I say dry Mass on weekdays, when there daily Traditional Mass is not available as I would a spiritual communion? Or is that considered wrong?

              • Of course, any day of the week, and any time you genuinely cannot get to Mass, you can pray through the missal. And a spiritual Communion, Our Lord has revealed to various saints, including St John Vianney and St Catherine of Sienna, is very pleasing to Him.

                Thank you for your reassurance. I would hate to think Crofterlady was leading you astray. She keeps trying to lead me astray but I’m always one step ahead of her 🙂

                • Can I recite the Eucharistic prayer including the words of consecration, or would that be gravely improper?

                  • I’d suggest you read the gospel or pray the psalms – Jesus prayed the psalms, pretty good example there

                  • Miles Immaculatae,

                    You sure know how to make a drama out of a crisis!

                    You do what you do at Mass when you follow the Mass in your missal. I personally put my missal down at the Consecration but I’m sure it’s not improper to read the words of Consecration.

                    If you can’t get to Mass, all you are doing is reading through the Mass as prayerfully as you can. Just miss out the sermon 🙂

      • Miles Immaculatae,

        Just to clarify – a “dry Mass” would only be an option if you could not attend a TLM. It would be wrong to stay home if you could get to the Mass. I happen to know that Crofterlady is nowhere near any Traditional Mass.

        • Glancing through what bloggers have been up to recently I am surprised at the given definition of a ‘dry Mass’ and beg to differ. A DRY MASS as understood in the ‘olden days’ was a ‘Mass’ said by a priest without the Consecration. It was thus used as a learning aid, for him to practice offering the Mass without the stress of actually doing so if he was not fully prepared, and as a teaching aid if he wished to demonstrate or explain how to offer Mass. It should currently have come into its own again as priests learn to celebrate the true Mass.

          What is being described by bloggers was indeed done by Catholics unable to get to Mass in those days, for example the housebound, but they called it simple devotion, not a ‘dry Mass’.

  2. I am really bowled over by that survey form. I notice that the word “sin” is not used at all.

    The format of this question goes on throughout the form:

    “4. Question 1d: To what extent — and what aspects in particular — is this teaching actually known, accepted, rejected and/or criticized in areas outside the Church? What are the cultural factors which hinder the full reception of the Church’s teaching on the family? ”

    I can’t make up my mind whether to respond to the questionnaire or not but to this one I would definitely say it’s not “cultural factors” which “hinder the full reception of the Church’s teaching on the family” but the lack of preaching about it. Where the Pope gets the idea that priests are obsessing over these issues, beats me. I haven’t heard a sermon on contraception or cohabitation or even same sex marriage in my almost entire lifetime. If they start preaching about these things and about sins and the need to confess, that would prevent the culture dominating Catholic lives.

    Crofterlady,

    You are lucky to be able to make that decision. It’s instilled in us that we are committing a mortal sin if we miss Mass on Sundays and Holydays, and that makes it hard to stay away and do what you’ve done. Don’t misunderstand – something in me knows you are not committing a sin at all. It is just terrible that we are in this position to begin with.

    • Lily, it was the most terrible decision to make. I’m a cradle Catholic who used to attend daily Mass. My biggest fear is for my children whom I haven’t yet told of our decision. The moment of truth came for me 2 weeks ago when the parish priest repeated a statement of the Holy Father about sin i.e. God is in your life irrespective of the life you are living. I saw one of my daughters looking completely puzzled and I thought: Why should they have to listen to such rubbish? Their Faith is being undermined. We are out of here for good. And we are. But where to go? We do not have access to the TLM and never will as our bishop is an utter modernist. May God forgive him and the rest of them. As the Gospel says: “if you give scandal to one of these little ones….”

    • Lily,

      Youa re quite right always to attend Mass on Sunday even if it is not in your preferred form. Crofter Lady and others are, IMHO, on a sticky wicket by staying away.

      • Eileenanne,

        Rubbish. Give this up. Every time you bring it up you make yourself look daft. I think going to a Mass concocted by a Freemason for the purpose of pleasing Protestants is a very big sticky wicket. However, you conveniently chose to ignore these facts. You, therefore, place your soul in danger.

      • Eileenanne,

        I really can’t improve on Petrus’s response, although he can be a bit of a cheeky blighter at times. On this occasion, however, he’s spot on.

        The fact is, Eileenanne, we’ve known you now for a very long time and I believe there’s been quite a change in you – for the better. I only wish I could say the same about myself 🙂

        What I mean is this: think back to your post on the Orthodoxy Vs Tradition thread, where you wrote about helping your grandson with his religious education. That was one very impressive post from you. You are definitely now within the category of well and truly “informed” Catholics. No question about it, Eileenanne. You will receive your certificate at the next Catholic Truth Awards Ceremony 🙂

        I suspect that the Mass issue is probably, at an intelligent (for me!) guess, the final hurdle for you.

        As Lily said, we’ve had it drummed into us that it’s a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sundays, so it takes quite a while for that light to switch on which allows us to fully realise that the Mass we were told not to miss under pain of mortal sin, has been changed, for the worst of reasons (to make it pleasing to Protestants) and that it now SO poses a danger to our souls that it cannot possibly be obligatory under pain of mortal sin.

        Now, that doesn’t mean that every Catholic who attends the new Mass is headed for Hell. But it DOES mean that every Catholic who attends the new Mass is at increased RISK of heading for Hell, in my humble, theological and ecclesiological opinion – feel free to add any other ologies which spring to mind 🙂

        To clarify and underline my point, I’ll ask you again the same question that I’m sure I’ve asked you before over the years: were your local butcher to assure you that the meat you are about to purchase for your family is probably safe to eat, that there’s a chance of only a little poison but not necessarily life threatening – would you still buy it? What was that – only if I were coming to dinner? Cheek!

        Yet, taking risks with your faith is exactly what you do by attending the new Mass. Over time, our sense of Catholicity is diminished, which is why we now routinely meet Catholics who are pro this, that and the next thing, approving sins which at one time would have horrified them. And that’s why the new Mass cannot be imposed upon us. We are under no obligation to attend it.

        But we really ought not to lose that Catholic impetus to attend Mass on Sundays, so get yourself to the SSPX chapel in Glasgow asap and thereafter, if you DO miss Mass, you’ll be absolutely correct to claim that deliberately and without good cause missing Mass on Sundays and Holydays is a mortal sin.

        The Bugnini Mass, though? That puts before us a whole new perspective on what constitutes “mortal sin” …

        • I beg to differ and will impress on my grandson the need to attend mass EVERY Sunday unless it is impossible to do so.

          • And what will you say to Our Lord at your Judgement when he asks you why you were complicit in the destruction of the Mass and the Faith in your neck of the woods?

            “I was being obedient” wont wash. What’s left?

          • Was Marcel Lefebvre being ‘obedient’ when he ‘broke away’ in 1970? No, he was being true to Christ and His True Bride. You must do the same. If you can put up with Pentecostal hymns, Extraordinary Ministers, Lay Readers, Communion being handed out like sweets then good for you, but I’m concerned that your grandson’s faith may be diluted.

            Would you attend an Orthodox Mass? After all they are valid. The NO is illegal. St Pius V imposed the penalty of anathema on anyone who attempted to change or replace it. Pope Paul V broke away, not Mgr. Lefebvre.

            How far away from you is yoiur SSPX chapel? When you are educating your little grandson, use the Tridentine Catechism.

            We are all praying for you.

  3. For all those who want to attend the Traditional Mass but don’t have access to one I would definitely make a novena to the Sacred Heart. You should ask Him for what is completely impossible. Don’t ask for too little, ask for the best and the most graces. Why ask to be able to go to mass once a week, when you can ask to go everyday? If you haven’t made your First Fridays or First Saturdays and have nowhere to go to do them ask the Sacred Heart for this grace.
    If you have children have them pray with you. Ask the Sacred Heart to help your children to have a good Catholic education. (If they go to Catholic school they will get to go to Mass everyday!)
    Ask Him also for detachment towards persons, places, and things, towards personal likes and dislikes, so that nothing will stand in your way when He answers your prayers.

  4. End game in this context is another way of saying “End Time”. Sr. Lucia back in 1957 said it had already started and what we see today in the secular world is what we see in the prophesies of Our Lord particularly in his reference to Daniel Chapter 9 which mentions for example, the return of the Jews IN A TIME OF TROUBLE. That puts it firmly in our times. We also have today the warnings in the prophesy of St John in Revelation 18 about the stock market crashing terminally and we have the woman adorned with the sun (chapter 12) which was fulfilled at Fatima prior to the great red dragon. It would not be difficult to interpret the red dragon as communism. The signs of the times are coming true as we speak. That is why I decided to reserve forming any opinion about Francis and wait and see. The growing hatred of the world against the Jews and the blindness to Islamic terror is increasing the arrogance of Islam and suggests that WW3 might not be too long in coming. Another sign of the times,

    For some years I have been thinking about the other prophesy of Jesus in Matthew 24 v5

    ‘So when you see the appalling abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those in Judaea must escape to the mountain.

    I think it very regrettable that one of the first actions of Francis was to give a cosy interview to a communist magazine. Then he tells us that proselytism is nonsense. This latest questionaire is another illustration that the leaders in the Church have lost their orthodoxy so is Francis the disastrous abomination?

    • John Shacklefree,

      I keep being asked if Pope Francis is the anti-Christ or the forerunner to the anti-Christ. All I know is that he is the Pope and that he is wreaking havoc within the Church. That’s bad enough.

      He is, as Bishop Fellay says, “a genuine modernist” who is making the already dreadful crisis in the Church “10,000 times worse”.

      That means we need to take refuge wherever we can to protect our souls and the souls of our families. Staying in a parish because you like the priest or want to make changes gradually is to – literally – fiddle while Rome burns.

      As St Athanasius said when he was (twice) excommunicated (he’s now a Doctor of the Church) “they have the buildings, we have the faith”.

      That’s what we need to attend to now – keeping the Faith. Let them have the buildings (for now – their days are numbered) but we must send clear signals that enough is enough and stop supporting, whether passively or actively, the modernism how holding sway within the diocesan structures.

  5. I think a good reason to attend the SSPX Masses is because the priests help you to stay focused on loving Our Lord first and foremost. Sometimes it’s possible to get too caught up in the fight, so much so that one can stumble and lose their way in bitterness. The most important thing is to love God and then fight because you love Him. The society does not rant about the bad things going on in the Church, the priests are not bitter.

  6. So many words have been pouring out since Pope Francis took office. And now we have a long, long and difficult-to-understand questionnaire.

    It makes me feel so tired.

    However, I think the best response so far is at the Eccles and Bosco Blog, one of my favourites.

    • Pew Catholic,

      I had a quick look at your link and it’s hilarious in places. I laughed heartily at this:

      “As you may know, the Bishop’s Conference is urging you to respond to a survey on divorce, same-sex marriage and contraception. I do urge you to take part in this – there are 666 easy-to-answer questions, and it should not take you more than about three weeks to finish it. With a new man in the Vatican, we naturally expect a total rewriting of Catholic teaching, and Pope Francis is anxious to be told what he should believe from now on. Perhaps he has already phoned up some of you to ask your advice?

      Well, that’s all we have time for. Just a reminder that there will be a retiring collection in aid of ACTA, the organization that is attempting to bring the church back into the 1960s, where it truly belongs!” END.

      Don’t be tired, get thee to an SSPX chapel – there’s one in Edinburgh and another in Glasgow – just Google. You know it makes sense. It’s all very well having a good old fashioned satirical laugh: we do that, too, at Catholic Truth as you know, but in the end, we’ve to think of our souls. Re-read Eccles and Bosco for some light relief and then read our blog article again… then Action Stations! Vote with your feet to send an unmistakeable signal to the hierarchy. And to safeguard your own soul. It is, as Bishop Fellay said recently (and I paraphrase) “genuine modernism ” that is being dished out in the Church today under our genuinely modernist pontiff.

      Something else that Archbishop Lefebvre said that we should ALL take to heart: “if you wish to know the reason why I persist it is this: at the moment of my death, when Our Lord asks me, what did you do with your priestly grace, what did you do with your episcopal grace, I do not want to hear from His lips those terrible words: you helped destroy the Church along with the rest of them.”

      As I said above, we are either part of the solution or part of the problem now. If we’re supporting the modernist infrastructure, we’re part of the problem.

      So, get thee to an SSPX chapel – and in the meantime, many thanks for posting that comical blog link.

  7. Editor,

    I couldn’t agree more. Although I think you’ve not really thought the last bit through. I wouldn’t waste my time waving to modernist parish priests and bishops!

    I agree – Pope Francis is wreaking havoc. My blood ran blood when I saw him on the balcony on the night of his election.

    • Petrus,

      I should have added that any priest who wishes to wave a white hankie in response will be treated like a hero.

      Speaking of which, just to underline how bad things are at the table where they sell the “Catholic” papers in parochial church porches these days, a gentleman approached me this morning after Mass to hand me a copy of a magazine called Faith Today which he’d picked up either in a church or in the Catholic bookshop (I’ll need to double check with him to get that particular fact right) – the magazine is published by http://www.alivepublshing.co.uk

      Our reader pointed me to the top article listed on the cover, entitled “My Hero, Peter Tatchell”

      For those of you reading this on Mars, Peter Tatchell is THE leading “gay rights” activist, now packaging himself as a “human rights activist” (now that his mission to have homosexuality normalised to the point of being almost mandatory has been spectacularly accomplished.)

      So, believe me, I exaggerate not when I say – if you want your children and your grandchildren to have and to hold the Catholic Faith as it has been passed down to us from the apostles, remove them from the whole novus ordo/modernist parish structure because even if Faith Today is being sold in the Catholic bookshop, it’s only a matter of time before it reaches parishes.

      Oh and if Pope Francis happens to ring any of you, please point him to this thread. Having him read this discussion would just make my day.

      Your blood ran cold when you saw Pope Francis on the balcony after the conclave, Petrus? I couldn’t say the same thing, I’m afraid – I only came round a week later… I jest, of course, but there was certainly a sense of foreboding, the same sense of foreboding every time I receive a news alert about the Pope.

    • My blood ran cold too. As soon as he came out without the mozzetta on, then put it on and then took it off, I thought something is definitely wrong here. Now my fears, and yours, have come to fruition. Just keeping praying.

      Oremus.

    • Vianney,

      This week’s (Terrible) Tablet carries a report from their Vatican correspondent, claiming that there are rumours circulating to the effect that Pope Benedict XVI is none too happy at the moment – will put it no stronger than that. However, having (incredibly) committed himself to “unconditional obedience” to Pope Francis, there’s not a lot he can do or say, is there? Imagine a former Pope not knowing that no Catholic could or should promise “unconditional obedience” to anyone, including any pope, past, present or to come.

      I know I’ve said this before but don’t stop me, I want to hear it again: you truly couldn’t make this stuff up…

      • “I know I’ve said this before but don’t stop me, I want to hear it again: you truly couldn’t make this stuff up…”

        Aye, Dan Brown doesn’t have a look in!

  8. This whole thing is shocking. Words fail me. I certainly will not be exposing my family to this madness. Yes, I think it’s time to defect to safer shores. Some of us have no choice, unfortunately, and have to go it on our own. Lucky are those who have the safe haven of the SSPX to turn to and, I never thought I would say that.

    • Olaf,

      I’m hearing more and more people say the same thing. Only a couple of weeks ago I met a couple of people/readers of Catholic Truth at the Sunday SSPX Mass, who had previously been in the habit of attending the TLM “permitted” by the archdiocese, in Sacred Heart Bridgeton. They had no criticism of the priest who is providing the Mass there, but they both said they’d come to the conclusion that to keep attending a parish and supporting the archdiocese, is to support Modernism.

      This new pope has done that much good: his scandalous utterances (and now this instruction to survey popular Catholic opinion) is forcing the “conservative” / “orthodox” faithful to face facts about the diabolical disorientation in the Church – and, at last, to act to, at once, safeguard their own Faith and send a signal to the hierarchy that enough is quite definitely enough.

    • The SSPX chapel in the Italian town of Rimini does a live web cast of their main Mass on Sunday so you could always watch that. I know it’s not the same as being at physically at Mass but it’s a good alternative for those who are too far from a traditional chapel. Unless you speak Italian you won’t understand the sermon but then some of us don’t understand the sermon when it’s in English, lol.

      Regarding a broadcast Mass, I remember reading that the Catholics on the Isles of Scilly only got Mass when there was a priest on holiday in the islands. On other Sundays they would gather in the church and listen to Mass broadcast on Irish radio.

  9. Editor

    Your quotation from Archbishop Lefebvre makes the vital point very eloquently (post of 7.26pm). Those words along with the scandalous survey (or modernist “focus group” soundings) under discussion here, brings to mind another response to “information gathering” conducted by Rome, namely the remarkably perceptive and prescient letter of 20 December 1966 from the Archbishop to Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office. Forty seven years later, as the dwindling number of faithful Catholics wander around, confused and disorientated, in the modernist desert, that letter remains just as powerful. Maybe someday, through the intercession of Our Mother in Heaven, it will be acted on. Here are a few lines:

    “The seat of the evil lies chiefly in a literature which sows confusion in the mind by descriptions which are ambiguous and equivocal, but under the cloak of which one discovers a new religion.”

    “… I venture to say that the present evil appears to be much more serious than the denial or calling in question of some truth of our faith. In these times it shows itself in an extreme confusion of ideas, in the breaking up of the Church’s institutions, religious foundations, seminaries, Catholic schools – in short, of what has been the permanent support of the Church. It is nothing less than the logical continuation of the heresies and errors which have been undermining the Church in recent centuries, especially since the Liberalism of the last century which has striven at all costs to reconcile the Church with the ideas that led to the French Revolution.”

    “Now this preparation” (by the preliminary commissions) “was odiously rejected in order to make way for the gravest tragedy the Church has ever suffered. We have lived to see the marriage of the Catholic Church with Liberal ideas. It would be to deny the evidence, to be wilfully blind, not to state courageously that the Council has allowed those who profess the errors and tendencies condemned by the Popes named above” (Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Pius XI, Pius XII), “ legitimately to believe that their doctrines were approved and sanctioned.”

    “…we can and we must unfortunately state that:
    In a more or less general way, when the Council has introduced innovations, it has unsettled the certainty of truths taught by the authentic Magisterium of the Church as unquestionably belonging to the treasure of Tradition.”

    “Doubts on the necessity of the Catholic Church as the only true religion, the sole source of salvation, emanating from the declarations on ecumenism and religious liberty, are destroying the authority of the Church’s Magisterium. In fact, Rome is longer the unique and necessary Magistra Veritatis.”

    “Thus, driven to this by the facts, we are forced to conclude that the Council has encouraged, in an inconceivable manner, the spreading of Liberal errors. Faith, morals and ecclesiastical discipline are shaken to their foundations, fulfilling the predictions of all the Popes.”

    “The destruction of the Church is advancing at a rapid pace. By giving an exaggerated authority to the episcopal conferences, the Sovereign Pontiff has rendered himself powerless. What painful lessons in one single year! Yet the Successor of Peter and he alone can save the Church.”

    Here’s a link to the entire letter:

    http://archives.sspx.org/archbishop_lefebvre/arch_lefebvre_response_card_ottaviani_post_council.htm

    Does anyone here seriously think that after five decades of unprecedented apostasy, similar words would meet with a more attentive response? That’s the, humanly speaking, almost overwhelming crisis the Church faces. Standing and looking on from afar while the Society does the hard fighting is not an option any longer.

    Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis.

    • Well said, Leo. And I echo your closing words. So called “conservative” Catholics point to Summorum Pontificum and other Vatican “concessions” as evidence that things are, at least, not all bad, if not all that good. They ignore the fact that without the Society there would have been no such “concessions” -which is why the “liberals” detest it. It’s why bishops would sooner sell a redundant church building to Muslims to use as a mosque than sell to the SSPX.

      So, exactly right: time for everyone who alleges love of and concern for the Catholic Faith as this crisis worsens by the nano-second, to shake off the diocesan dust, and support the Society.

      • I don’t understand the last part of your first paragraph. If a Church closes, it generally happens because of dwindling numbers of Parishioners and/ or an aged Priest. Are you therefore saying that if a Church was turned over to the SSPX, the lapsed faithful would come flocking back? I can’t see that, although where the SSPX has a large congregations, its members do not lapse and have large families.

        Tell me, Ed, as a rough estimate, how many people attend your SSPX Mass in Glasgow?

        As for selling a Church to a Mosque, I would be happier seeing the Church get burnt down, to be honest.

  10. Leo, well spoken. It’s a madness which besets Mother Church and the Bishops are blind to it. They plough along in a disorientated manner whilst the sheep stray in all directions. Surely the Lord will deliver us soon? Yes, in a perverse way we have a Pope who will precipitate a conclusion as we hurtle towards the destruction foretold in Scripture. Today’s Gospel chillingly tells of this.

  11. We have yet another wonderful pope. Thank God for him, pray for him and long may he serve us as bishop of rome.

    • Extra Omnes,

      Yes, not half – a truly wonderful pope. How many previous popes have had pro-abortion feminists publish a poster thanking them for reprimanding pro-lifers for “obsessing” about the murder of unborn babies? And we’ve never had a pope who described homosexuals as “gays” and more or less gave them his blessing. As you say, a wonderful pope.

      I wouldn’t lump him with the others, though, not “another” wonderful pope. This one, believe me, is in a league of his own. Didn’t take them long to nominate Pope John Paul II for canonisation after his death; Pope Francis has more or less been canonised already. Yes, a league of his own, is Pope Francis in. Or should that be, “yes, in a league of his own is Pope Francis”…. One must get one’s grammar correct, just in case one receives a telephone call from one’s pontiff. One never knows, does one? 🙂

    • Thank God, I’m glad thats sarcasm. Maybe the Pope should ‘extra omnes’. We want a refund as the first purchase was irrevocably damaged. The Vatican is like Argos in the New Year.

  12. This is all very interesting for a non catholic. Since exchanging views with Athanasius I have looked into matters regarding the catholic church. By the way, where are you Athanasius? You seem to have disappeared and more’s the pity. There is definitely a thread here regarding the last times, the Book of Revelation and the prophet Daniel. The catholic church does seem to have an authority and it is a pity that your new pope is muddying the waters. Anyway, I will continue to explore.

  13. Haven’t been on here to post in a while. I was just talking to one of my friends who is an atheist, and somewhat of an anarchist, and he was praising Pope Francis up and down, saying he doesn’t believe what he stands for, but he believes in the Pope. This made me want to learn a little more about what’s going on with all this, so I came here 🙂
    Thank you Editor, you’re blog is always my favorite source of information for everything and anything going on in the Church!!!

    • McDuff,

      Great to hear from you again and thank you for your generous vote of confidence.

      The fact that Pope Francis has fans who are entrenched pro-abortionists, “gays”, atheists and anarchists, tells us all we need to know about him.

      It’s easy to see why he would appeal to these people after telling them that he isn’t seeking their conversion. It’s like your bank manager telling you not to bother paying off your overdraft. Obviously he wouldn’t be a good bank manager but WOW would he be popular with the punters!

      • To be honest Ed, I think I know the reason why the Pope may be so popular with these Satanic groups. He must be pro-Abortion, gay, Atheist and Anarchist. After all, he did say that he did not worship a ‘Catholic God’. Er well, who does he worship? Ganesh? He sounds like Robespierre and the Cult of the Supreme Being.

  14. Thank you Catholic Truth, for posting this information. I answered all the questions, which started out so hopefully and then it clearly became obvious that satan was behind the writers of many of the questions.
    God bless you in all your work.

    • Thank you for your encouragement, Graeme Taylor. Much appreciated.

      Satan is certainly behind this initiative, as he is responsible for the “diabolical disorientation” generally in the Church – a disorientation prophesied at Fatima.

  15. Isaiah Chapter 2 says:
    In the last days, at the end of time, the mountain of the house of the Lord will be prepared high above all mountains. It will be raised above the hills and all nations will come to it. And many peoples will come there and say “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. Isaiah says many people will come there and beat their swords into ploughshares – imagine the effect on the world when muslims give up the religion of death and embrace the way, the truth and the life. Pope Benedict has written that the mountain of the Lord is the Church of Christ so as we go through the tribulation and confusion engendered by those supposed to lead us let us remember the glorious resurrection of Jesus 2000 years ago and the glorious resurredction of his One, True, Catholic and Apostolic Church at his second coming. We have not lost hope.

    • Yes. However, this thread is not about how the Mass came to be in the form of which you speak. There is a General Discussion thread if you can’t find out that information anywhere else, but we try to stick to the topic under discussion on this blog, for a number of reasons that should be obvious to all and sundry. If the reasons are not obvious, then this one will do – it’s a rule here that we stick to the topic. Check our About Us section above and then participate in the topic or wait until we post a thread about the Mass. Please and thank you!

      • I will answer here as I will make no further contribution. The correct answer to my question is NO: Latin took over in the fourth century,ergo your wonderful latin mass is, yes, a long-standing tradition, but not Tradition that cannot change. Come back to the real Church of Christ, under the authority of Pope Francis. Bless you all!

        • Here Here Extra Omnes, The supposed catholic truth group are and always have been a group of dissenting middle aged, mostly unhappy bunch who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. No amount of discussion will move them forward. Shake the dust from Your feet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Editor: like you’ve done, you mean? I am beginning to feel like an echo, but here goes once again…

          GOODBYE 🙂

            • Yes and your immaturity, lack of charity and silliness shows through time and again. Bless, I’m sure your heart is in the right place, albeit looking in the wrong direction.

              • So, you’re saying the SSPX is the wrong direction? As for me being, in your eyes, ‘immature’, How am I immature when I worship in a language that is far holier and spiritual than English. I worship with a language destined to rule, you worship with a language destined to serve.

                You are the silly one. I hope you’re happy singing childish hymns such as ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ at your NO Parish.

        • Tradition cannot and must not change. What planet are you on? I take it you attend the Novus Ordo, well, I’m you’ve got a thick enough skin to put up with ‘the on the spot fabrication’ (so be it…)

          Editor: your final sentence has been removed – outrageous, Catholic Convert. You must avoid all such nasty personal attacks. They are NEVER justified. I’m really busy finishing the December edition (or, more accurately, trying to get it started) so I don’t want to have to moderate your posts as they could languish in the queue for a while. Please respect our simple and very basic courtesies, otherwise I’ll have to moderate your comments.

  16. Something is concerning me about this ‘quiz’. What if 60% of Catholics across the world vote in favour of gay ‘marriage’ or abortion etc. Would the Pope allow it? Obviously he can’t because the Church is without error or fault in its teachings. The Pope can’t contradict tradition (in this case clerical celibacy) nor scripture, the teaching about marriage, for example. Francis is 100% worse than Paul VI who was mixed up by any stretch of the imagination. I admire Paul though, because he showed extraordinary courage by issuing ‘Humanae Vitae’ in 1968. If Pope ‘Frannie the Humble’ decides to accede to people’s wishes, I will NOT join the Catholic Church until I find an SSPX Priest.

  17. N O T I C E . . .

    On the General Discussion thread, dated today at 9.45.am., Awkward Customer has posted a video clip apparently of the Archangel Michael (painting of him) crying and she asks for our opinions. So, please take a look and comment on that thread.

    Thank you.

  18. “Unless the Lord build the House, they labour in vain that build it” – Psalm 126:1

    “This you (the bishops of the world) will do perfectly if you watch over yourselves and your doctrine, as your office makes it your duty, repeating incessantly to yourselves that every novelty attempts to undermine the Universal Church and that, according to the warning of the holy Pope Agatho, “nothing that has been regularly defined can bear diminution, or change, or addition, and repels every alteration of sense, or even words.” – Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari vos 15 August 1832

    Questionnaires such as the one under discussion here are just one more manifestation of the Conciliar kenosis (self-destruction) that is at the heart of the progressivists’ modernist programme. And still there are people who will talk about a “New Springtime”.

    I presume this nod to populism forms part of some “Democratization” or “Power to the People” agenda, or a continuation of the Church’s “October Revolution”, to use the very revealing phrase of Father, later Cardinal, Yves Congar. Is it far-fetched to suspect the prospect of theologically illiterate diocesan or parish soviets pontificating on dogma at some stage in the future?

    What struck me on a quick read of the questionnaire, apart from the all too predictable pandering, was the repeated reference to “local churches”. What’s all that about? Incitement to schism? Whose “in communion” with whom here? And is all this not modernist linguistic sleight of hand, leading inevitably to the undermining of belief in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and the primacy of the See of Peter? Christ has only one Bride.

    In his 1907 condemnation of Modernism, in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Pope Saint Pius X identified the following as part of the strategy of the revolutionaries:

    “The chief stimulus of the evolution of worship consists in the need of accommodation to the manners and customs of peoples, as well as the need of availing itself of the value which certain acts have acquired by usage. Finally, evolution in the Church itself is fed by the need of adapting itself to historical conditions and of harmonizing itself with existing forms of society.”

    The sacred duties of Bishops, the successors of the Apostles include those of leading, teaching and sanctifying the faithful, not conducting questionnaires and sounding out public opinion. The magnificent example of episcopal devotion to duty and zeal for the salvation of souls given to us by Saint Charles Borromeo, whose feast we celebrated today, didn’t involve compiling questionnaires.

    We can talk about the details of crisis in particular dioceses, but the grim reality is that the destructive effects of the modernist revolution are truly universal. I challenge anyone to name a single diocese, anywhere, that has not been infected by the Conciliar madness. Come to think of it, can anyone think of an extended family that hasn’t experienced apostasy?

    What we are living through is the reverse of the parable of the mustard seed. Modernist defoliant has brought dessication and spiritual death everywhere. And now we are supposed to believe that questionnaires are to be part of the solution.

    Rather than leading, teaching and sanctifying, it appears as though a huge number of bishops have left in the helicopters from the embassy roof quite some time ago. Some, I suspect, are guiding the enemy tanks that are rumbling through the streets of what was once Christendom. And so the battle will be left to all those “restorationist”, “triumphalist”, Rosary counting Catholics who seek “doctrinal security”, who cling to the Faith of our Fathers, the Faith believed everywhere, always, and by everyone. So be it.

    “The Church has not just recently been given order and statutes. They were faithfully and soundly bestowed on it by the Fathers. Nor has the faith only just been established, but it has come to us from the Lord through His disciples. May what has been preserved in the Churches from the beginning to the present day not be abandoned in our time; may what has been entrusted into our keeping not be embezzled by us. Brethren, as custodians of God’s mysteries, let yourselves be roused into action on seeing all this despoiled by others.”
    -Saint Athanasius, Migne, Patrologia Graeca, XXVII, col. 219.

    What this questionnaire brings to my mind is the Conciliar “Cult of Man”. How often are Catholics nowadays subjected to vacuous, fluffy, new agey sounding talk about journeying together, encountering, sharing our experiences and gifts, building up community, along with some sort of civilisation of love and secular peace and justice; just about anything except building the City of God.

    Who else but Liberals or Modernists could Pope Pius IX have had in mind when he wrote the following in his 1846 encyclical, Qui pluribus:

    “It is by as great a fraud…that these enemies of divine revelation, who bestow the highest praises on human progress, wish, with a truly reckless and sacrilegious audacity, to bring it [the progressivist error] into the Catholic religion, as if religion was not the work of God, but that of men, or was some philosophic discovery that human methods could perfect.”

    With every heretical nut in the forest appearing to have got a renewed lease of life, avoiding Modernist Mind Rot is going to require constant vigilance.

    “Henceforth the enemy of the Church is no longer outside the Church; he is now within”. – Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical E Supremi Apostolatus, October 4, 1903

    We are undoubtedly living true momentous days. As has been repeatedly pointed out here the dwindling band of Catholics who want to know, love and serve God rather than themselves are going to be faced with very grave questions. It is now very evident that for the good of souls, in charity and truth, with Christian respect and without personal bitterness, the ever more desperate Party Line platform of the neocon defenders of the indefensible is going to have to be called out, taken down, dismantled, shredded, pulverised and swept away.

    If any Catholic is inclined to opt out of the battle against the Modernist Revolution in the Church, let them consider the words of Pope Felix III, who affirmed that “to not resist error is to approve it, to not defend truth is to suffocate it . . . Whoever fails to oppose a manifest prevarication, can be considered a secret accomplice” (cited by Pope Leo XIII in his letter to the Italian bishops, Aug. 12, 1892).

    Finally, if anyone really, really can’t resist filling in one of these questionnaires, here’s an idea for one of the suggestion or comments boxes:

    “When a document is clearly ambiguous or contradictory one must condemn the heretical statements as they appear, despite what contradictions and ambiguities they are camouflaged in…those who let heresies slip by because they are veiled in wilful ambiguity cannot be excused and allow the faithful to be led ‘by subtle errors to their eternal damnation.’ – Pope Pius VI, Auctorem Fidei, 28 August 1794.

    • Leo,

      WOW! Another superb post, for which sincere thanks. Given your day-job workload, you deserve the utmost praise and a six figure pay cheque. Consider this WOW! the utmost praise 🙂

      Spoilt for choice from the terrific quotes you selected to post above, this one is my favourite in the context of the current discussion (I do wonder if you meant to write “If any Catholic is inclined NOT to opt out…” but it makes sense either way):

      “If any Catholic is inclined to opt out of the battle against the Modernist Revolution in the Church, let them consider the words of Pope Felix III, who affirmed that “to not resist error is to approve it, to not defend truth is to suffocate it . . . Whoever fails to oppose a manifest prevarication, can be considered a secret accomplice” (cited by Pope Leo XIII in his letter to the Italian bishops, Aug. 12, 1892).

      How any truly informed Catholic could read that (and the other) quotes in your latest excellent post and still toddle along to their local novus ordo, leaves me utterly perplexed. They are prepared to stand accused by Our Lord of complicity in the current crisis of Faith; they are willing to risk hearing those words fall from His lips that so moved Archbishop Lefebvre to stand up and be counted, in his defence of the Faith: “What have you done with the graces I gave you? … “You have helped destroy the Church along with the rest of them.”

    • Leo,

      Whenever I read any quotes from Pope St Pius X, I think of one quote: ‘Modernists should not be treated with wine, oil and caresses, they should be beaten with fists, for in a duel, you do not count the blows, but you strike as you can’.

      Right then fellas, whose game for a punch up?

  19. I have read through the comments and thankful that so many people now are convinced that there is a crisis and are turning to the safety of the SSPX for Mass and the sacraments. They will probably be facing a tougher time from all around so we must pray for them to stay strong and we must support them in anyway we can.
    Thank God for Bishop Fellay and all the priests of the SSPX.

    The questionaire is appalling and shows to what extent the faith has been lost and the state of the hierarchy.

    O God, grant us Holy Priests….

  20. Leo: another great post! Apparently in Opus Dei when a priest shortage / need is spotted, they instruct one of their laymen to enter the priesthood. Hint, hint…..

    Editor: that post from Leo is a MUST for the next Newsletter! All the bishops read it, even if they deny doing so, and perhaps, just perhaps, a seed will be sown.

    It strengthened me to read it as I was on the verge of despairing because of several developments locally. Sometimes I want to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming! How can it have come to this in such a short time? However, I suspect the modernists have always been in the wings but were restrained by strong pontiffs and bishops; now they are on stage with the same pontiffs and bishops!

    • Crofter Lady,

      “Editor: that post from Leo is a MUST for the next Newsletter!”

      Agreed! But if you’re trying to take over my job, at least first apply to be Deputy Editor 🙂

      “All the bishops read it, even if they deny doing so, and perhaps, just perhaps, a seed will be sown.”

      Oh, believe me, I have it on very good authority that the bishops read our newsletter all right – if only they’d act on it, all would be well. Just imagine the difference if the Bishop of Aberdeen removed Monsignor Loftus from writing in the Catholic press – we report on his heretical rantings often enough. That alone would make a huge difference.

        • Yes, well, it’s certainly true that you’d have to sell that ranch (croft is a tad too much of an understatement) in the heart of the central belt ultra-luscious landscape, but what you’d lose in luxury lifestyle you’d make up for in the Fun Department. We may not get any pay but we do have plenty of laughs.

          Still, if you don’t want to be my Deputy Editor, I’ll ask the Scottish Catholic Observer to advertise it. Who knows, if Lyn Leydon’s been reading this thread, she might convert long enough to apply 🙂

          PS – don’t let her kid you, folks, with her talk about that “little job” – she’s a big shot in Shotts, so to speak 🙂

          • A farm, Editor, a farm! I like to be humble you see and not shout my riches from the roof tops. Just like Uriah Heep. That’s a bag of tatties docked from your Christmas present and watch it, or the onions will follow suit! Not to mention the turkey………

      • On re-reading your post re the bishop sanctioning Mgr. Loftus (the thought crossed my mind (and didn’t stay there very long, never does,,,) that perhaps the bishop doesn’t read the “Catholic” press.

        • Well, Crofterlady, since it’s the Bishop who holds ultimate responsibility for what is published and sold in his diocese (not to mention responsibility for what his priests are doing/writing) THAT is no excuse and, if anything, makes him even more culpable.

    • Crofterlady,

      Opus Dei has Numeraries and Associates. The former are celibate, have careers, but live in Opus Dei centres, whereas Associates are the same, but live in their own homes due to family commitments. When a Numerary is requested by the Prelate, currently Msgr. Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, to consider the Priesthood, it is considered to be in ‘bad spirit’ to refuse. That’s why Opus Dei has a steady supply of Priests. Opus Dei has 90,000 members, 20% of whom are Numeraries and Associates. Have you ever wondered why OD puts centres near Universities, as student digs? Every year Catholic students are invited on UNIV trips to Rome, and are ‘asked’, some would call it pressured into considering if they have a Vocation, generally as an Opus dei Numerary. One of my friends is joining OD as a Numerary. Opus Dei does a lot of good, but it seems devious.

      The mind boggles.

      • What are super-numeraries then? Also, I hear their digs are expensive and students are expected in at night about 10.30 pm. That wouldn’t suit many students! Still, I’m sure that there are many vocations out there which are never realised due to lack of spiritual guidance.

        • Supernumeraries make up 80% of OD membership and as the fellow blogger previously said they are generally married and are free to have families. My friend, who is 17 and joining as a Numerary next year due to guidelines in this country, has parents and grandparents who are supernumeraries.

          Then, there are co-operators. They are people who support the OD apostolate, but are not full members. Most of them are Catholic, but you don’t have to be Catholic to be a co-operator.

  21. Thanks you, Editor, 3Littleshepherds, and Crofter Lady for your very flattering words.

    I wasn’t sure, Editor if anyone would get as far as the quotation from Pope Felix III. Now about that mega wonga “six figure pay cheque”, it all depends of course on what currency we’re talking about. Just about anything better than roubles or rupees would be more than enough.

    Crofter Lady

    I think I understand what you are saying about despair. It’s easy for me to talk, certainly, when I’m not cut off from the true Mass, but once we’ve got our ten fingers to pray the Rosary every day, we’re going to be safe. We have Saint Alphonsus Liguori’s assurance on that. Sister Lucy reiterated the point in her 1957 interview with Father Fuentes.

    And we know with certainty which side wins in the end. The Holy Ghost is most definitely in charge, and always will be. Which really makes the chutzpah of the Modernists all the more astonishing.

    Things might be grim now, but they are not unprecedented.

    “But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even in the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and frequently accursed envy had wished to unsettle it, but has not been able.” Saint Athanasius, Festal Letters 29, 330 AD

    We all have the faith because of the saints and martyrs that went before us. The thought often crosses my mind of what future generations will be saying about us? That we allowed the faith to virtually disappear? Or that we preserved it and passed it on? How many souls will or won’t have the Faith because of our actions and words? Rather sobering that.

    “God has work for each one to do; the devil also. For each one can be an influence for good or evil to those around. No one goes to heaven or hell alone. Unless I am holy, I may do the devil’s work. The closer I try to imitate the Sacred Heart, the holier I shall become.” – Father William Doyle SJ

    Talk of despair apart, Margaret Mary posted a link (at the end (31 October) of the “No Crisis in the Church in Scotland” thread) to a recent speech by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga. He is regarded as a very close advisor to the Pope and has even been described as the “vice Pope”. Anybody who still doesn’t understand why an increasing number of Catholics are deeply troubled at what is going on in the Church, or who has been on Mars for the last few months should read the address. It has even been suggested that the Cardinal, on account of his fluency in English, was conveying the Pope’s own thoughts to Catholics in the US. God help us if that’s the case.

    Anyone reading this lengthy speech would be advised to make sure that they have no glass or sharp implements in their hands. There are some scary ideas there. Really scary.

    • Here’s the link
      http://www.miamiarch.org/ip.asp?op=Article_13102810144642

      Easy to find, partly because Margaret Mary has her own avatar.

      Reminder to all bloggers to organise an avatar asap and if you can’t, email me your password and the email address you use to log in and I’ll do it for you. If you wish to choose your own picture, then either email it or tell me what you want and I’ll sort it. It beats looking at a string of “mystery man” WordPress avatars, believe me.

      • Madame Editor
        I too prefer personal avatars to mystery men, but I would not need a blogger to have one if I wanted to find a particular post. the “Edit -> Find” facility in the Menu bar is more than adequate. If I may say so . . .

        • Leprechaun,

          For the life of me I cannot see any “Edit/Find” facility in the Menu Bar (by which I presume you mean the sidebar on the right hand side of the page here) ?

          Please explain precise detail where this facility is located. I’ve never seen or heard of it!

            • WOW! Thanks for that Miles. It’s a true saying, isn’t it, that one learns something new every day. One is truly delighted to have gained this knowledge, which will save one trawling through umpteen mystery man avatars. One is thrilled. One says “thank you sincerely” – WOW!

              I hope one doesn’t seem over the top but one is sometimes like that… 🙂

            • Miles Immaculate

              Thank you for that support in answer to Madame Editor’s wish to be able to locate usernames/items of text in any given thread. I myself was referring to the “Edit” function in the Browser’s own Menu bar across the top of the screen.

              I shall add your short cut to my Ctrl + C for Copying and Ctrl + V for Pasteing from the MsDOS days of my youth.

              Thanks and God bless.

  22. I read about Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga on Louie Verrecchio’s blog. It was shocking. I think modernists are at the point of publicly claiming the Church belongs to them and always has.

    • One is in full agreement with 3LittleShepherds on this. One really is vexed that these liberals think they own the Church when we blankety blank know that it belongs to one 🙂

      Entirely off topic but I meant to say on the Fun thread that your joke about “talking to the wine” was way and by far my favourite. I’m still telling it around. Priceless. One did laugh. One really did 🙂

  23. Ed, firstly thank you or your excellent explanation on the Catholic Funeral thread (which I cannot now post on, so posting here instead) it was thought provoking and helped greatly with the struggles I was having with that matter! Unfortunately I don’t get time as often as I would like to check the blog and contribute.

    Catholic convert- clearly tradition did change, as the first celebrations of Mass were not in Latin nor celebrated ad orientem.

    Eileenanne, you are correct we should attend Mass every week, and I would never advocate anyone not attending Mass, even if the only option is in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite – after all the Mass is the Mass.

    Surely there is no need for anyone to attend the SSPX in Glasgow since their is a Traditional Mass in Glasgow at the exact same time offered by a priest in good standing and in a regular canonical situation.

    In regard to all the posts above re the Pope, I do find him a bit of a puzzle some days I like his simplicity and the caring / loving/ open manner which is almost Christ like in being open and accessible to those on the margins… On other days I bang my head off my desk wondering what he is up to. However I do get the feeling that many on here over exaggerate of sometimes misrepresent what has actually been said for their own reasons.

    For example There is no evidence that the Pope is pro gay or pro abortion. In fact in his previous role he frequently spoke out against abortion and homosexuality….referring to proposed homosexual adoption as ‘child abuse’. Yes he has not been as vociferous since becoming Pope, but sometimes there is a bigger picture…and yes I know his record on the Traditional Mass and his more lax liturgical style than the previous Popes, but he is a Jesuit after all!!!!

    • Ed, firstly thank you or your excellent explanation on the Catholic Funeral thread (which I cannot now post on, so posting here instead) it was thought provoking and helped greatly with the struggles I was having with that matter! Unfortunately I don’t get time as often as I would like to check the blog and contribute.

      Delighted I was able to help clarify things for you – I’m sure you knew it all, really. And don’t worry about not being able to contribute more to the blog – holding down full time work is … well… a full time job! But you’re more than welcome anytime and your contributions are always thought-provoking. So, as and when…

      I decided to copy your post in its entirety here in order to inject my response – hope you don’t mind. My memory is not what it used to be, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything – I’ll put my responses in bold.

      Catholic convert- clearly tradition did change, as the first celebrations of Mass were not in Latin nor celebrated ad orientem.

      May I recommend that you read Pope Paul’s New Mass by Michael Davies – an excellent work in which he sets out the entire history of the Mass including in the Vatican II era. Michael Davies RIP, was a convert, and a personal friend of Cardinal Ratzinger. His books on the Mass and “Pope John’s Council” are masterpieces. As a matter of interest, though, the language of the liturgy at the time of Christ was Hebrew – not the vernacular Aramaic. So, from the beginning, the Mass would have been offered in the liturgical language, distinct from the vernacular everyday spoken word of the people.

      Eileenanne, you are correct we should attend Mass every week, and I would never advocate anyone not attending Mass, even if the only option is in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite – after all the Mass is the Mass.

      Well, if you mean the new Mass is (or can be) a valid Mass, you are correct. I think I – and others – have given copious information about the dangers of the new Mass, to the point where I think there’s little any of us can add here. I’m appending a lengthy quote, however, from a scholar, Monsignor Klaus Gamber, endorsed by – among other top Cardinals, Cardinal Ratzinger who wrote the Preface to the French edition of his book: “The Reform of the Roman Liturgy” in which Mgr Gamber acknowledges the validity of the new Mass but warns of the dangers of increasing numbers of Masses taking place which are NOT valid, due to the widespread liturgical abuses. Many of these abuses are now institutionalized, partly through the failure of the Vatican to enforce its own rules. More and more thinking Catholics are coming to the conclusion that having to more or less police what is going on in their local sanctuary is an indication that they ought to return to the Faith and Mass of our forefathers. I suspect, Nolite Timere, that if you were to educate yourself thoroughly on the key issues of this Church crisis, you would come to the same conclusion.

      Surely there is no need for anyone to attend the SSPX in Glasgow since there is a Traditional Mass in Glasgow at the exact same time offered by a priest in good standing and in a regular canonical situation.

      And the reason why that “priest in good standing” is offering the TLM, is because there is an SSPX chapel in Glasgow and the Archbishop doesn’t want his sheep flocking there, so to speak. But the other reason for preferring an SSPX chapel is because the crisis in the Church is about more than the Mass. It’s about solid doctrinal sermons, it’s about not seeing banner headlines of allegedly Catholic papers promoting all sorts of anti-Catholic activities, ranging from ecumenical gatherings to inter-faith events, to “Church’s future is in YOUR hands” headline in this week’s Catholic Times over a report about the polling of popular opinion on which doctrines and moral teachings the “faithful” think should be re-assessed. It’s about the whole package, and you just don’t get that from “priests in good standing” these days. The best of them are constrained by virtue of being part of the whole modernist diocesan set up, and even the very best of them don’t want to rock boats. They want to keep their heads down and find all sorts of justification for so doing. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes on Judgment Day. I don’t even want to be in MY shoes on Judgment Day!

      In regard to all the posts above re the Pope, I do find him a bit of a puzzle some days I like his simplicity and the caring / loving/ open manner which is almost Christ like in being open and accessible to those on the margins… On other days I bang my head off my desk wondering what he is up to. However I do get the feeling that many on here over exaggerate of sometimes misrepresent what has actually been said for their own reasons.

      In that case, if you think we’ve over-exaggerated what the Pope has said, you need to quote because we have taken great care here to quote the pontiff’s exact reported words. The sad truth is, there is no need to exaggerate; this Pope has spilled out his unbelievable views and opinions right, left and centre. Look for a microphone and there you’ll find Pope Francis. And remember, when those in denial tried to claim that the Pope had been misquoted in his Scalfari interview, they must have been dumbfounded to discover later that the Vatican website published the whole interview in full and the Vatican’s own spokesman, Fr Lombardi, said openly that if the Pope had thought he’d been misquoted, he’d have said so. Don’t defend the indefensible, Nolite Timere – it’s never a good idea. This Pope is – as Bishop Fellay described him – “a genuine Modernist” and if you have any doubts on that score, read the extract from Pascendi which I’ve quoted above in reply to a comment from Extra Omnes.

      For example there is no evidence that the Pope is pro gay or pro abortion. In fact in his previous role he frequently spoke out against abortion and homosexuality….referring to proposed homosexual adoption as ‘child abuse’. Yes he has not been as vociferous since becoming Pope, but sometimes there is a bigger picture…and yes I know his record on the Traditional Mass and his more lax liturgical style than the previous Popes, but he is a Jesuit after all!!!!

      Nolite Timere, the fact that the Pope sometimes speaks out to say the right thing and then speaks out to say the wrong thing, proves that he is a Modernist. THAT is a feature of Modernism: they sow confusion by doing just that. So, if the pope really is not “pro-gay” he (a) should not have used the term “gay” in the first place and (b) he should not have said “who am I to judge?” giving the impression that he thinks there’s not a lot wrong with being “gay”. Nor should he have told us not to “obsess” about abortion – for Heaven’s sake, if we can’t “obsess” about babies being butchered in their mothers’ womb, what on earth CAN we “obsess” about? Personally, I don’t really know whether he’s for or against homosexual activity or if he’s for or against abortion. He’s sent me very mixed signals. Not good enough. And I don’t give a toss about his alleged humility and simplicity. We’re told that the Apostolic Palace, in which he declined to reside, is actually a very austere place, so why then make a public show of moving to another residence which is not particularly austere? I’m not saying he’s not humble and full of simplicity. No idea. But nothing he’s done or said to date makes me think that he’s in possession of either virtue.

      Now, to return to the question of the Mass. I append an extract from an article by Michael Davies RIP, which I hope provokes your curiosity and perhaps encourages you to fork out the price (around £30 I think) of his excellent book Pope Paul’s New Mass. In fact, if you’re very nice to me, I might lend you my copy (as long as I get it back!)

      FROM The Reform of the Roman Liturgy (Msgr Klaus Gamber)
      Where the Modern Liturgy Went Wrong By Michael Davies)

      In his second Epistle to the Thessalonians St. Paul admonished them to stand fast and keep the traditions which they had learned either by word of mouth or from his epistles (II Thess 2:14). Writing in the fourth century, St. Jerome observed: “the best advice that I can give you is this: Church traditions – especially when they do not run counter to the faith – are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed which we have received from the fathers of old”.

      The principle enshrined in these quotations had been implemented consistently by every Pope until the pontificate of Pope Paul VI.

      The significance of the Reform of the roman liturgy with its servere critique of the new Mass derives not so much from what it says but from who says it. As Cardinal Ratzinger expressed it, Msgr. Gamber was “the one scholar, who, among the army of pseudoliturgists, truly represents the liturgical thinking of the center of the Church.”

      Quite an endorsement of three cardinals, Oddi, Stickler and Ratzinger.In his preface to the French edition of Msgr. Gamber’s book, Cardinal Ratzinger has this to say on the subject of post-conciliar renewal:

      “What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it – as in a manufacturing process – with a fabrication, a banal on -the-spot product. Gamber, with the vigilance of a true prophet and the courage of a true witness, opposed this falsification, and, indefatigably taught us about the living fullness of a true liturgy”. What, then, does this true prophet have to say about a reform which is, in reality, a continued revolution? “The pastoral benefits that so many idealists had hoped the new liturgy would bring did not materialize. Our churches emptied in spite of the new liturgy (or because of it?), and the faithful continued to fall away from the Church in droves.” And again: “In the end, we will all have to recognize that the new liturgical forms, well intentioned as they may have been at the beginning, did not provide the people with bread, but with stones.”

      Canon 214 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states that the faithful are entitled to the prescriptions of their own rite. Many of the faithful of the roman rite fi nd it impossible to recognize what takes place in their parish churches each Sunday as their own rite, despite the fact that the Vatican II liturgy constitution ordered that all existing liturgical rites should be preserved and fostered in every way. Cardinal Ratzinger has remarked: ”

      Today we might ask: is there a Latin Rite at all any more? Certainly there is no awareness of it. To most people the liturgy appears to be something for the individual congregation to arrange.”

      Destruction

      The Cardinal’s acceptance that the tradiional Latin or Roman rite no longer exists does no more than confirm the frank acceptance of this fact in 1976 by Fr. Joseph Gelineau, one of the most influential members of the Commission which composed the New Mass: “The Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.”

      Msgr Gamber testifies to the destruction of the Roman rite several times in his book: “The real destruction of the traditional Mass, of the traditional Roman rite with a history of more than one thousand years, is the wholesale destruction of the faith on which it was based, a faith that has been source of our piety and our courage to bear witness to Christ and his Church, the inspiration of countless catholics over many centuries. Will someone, some day, be able to say the same thing about the New Mass?”

      Msgr Gamber also insists, quite correctly, that the replacement of the Traditional order of Mass by the Novus Ordo Missae, is not simply a flagrant breach with tradition but a contravention of what the liturgy constitution of the Council actually ordered… (The Reform of the Roman Liturgy (Msgr Klaus Gamber) Where the Modern Liturgy Went Wrong By Michael Davies)

  24. Hope I am not off-topic, but I thought I would post this address by Cardinal Bergoglio before he became Pope (at the General Congregation of the Cardinals before the 2013 Conclave) and ask you what you think of it in the light of subsequent events and the current polemics surrounding his figure and teachings.

    “Reference was made to evangelization. It is the reason for the Church. “The sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing” (Paul VI). – It is the same Jesus Christ who, from within, drives us.
    1. – Evangelizing pre-supposes a desire in the Church to come out of herself. The Church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents, and of all misery.
    2. – When the Church does not come out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential and then gets sick. (cf. The deformed woman of the Gospel). The evils that, over time, happen in ecclesial institutions have their root in self-referentiality and a kind of theological narcissism. In Revelation, Jesus says that he is at the door and knocks. Obviously, the text refers to his knocking from the outside in order to enter but I think about the times in which Jesus knocks from within so that we will let him come out. The self-referential Church keeps Jesus Christ within herself and does not let him out.
    3. – When the Church is self-referential, inadvertently, she believes she has her own light; she ceases to be the mysterium lunae and gives way to that very serious evil, spiritual worldliness (which according to De Lubac, is the worst evil that can befall the Church). It lives to give glory only to one another.
    Put simply, there are two images of the Church: Church which evangelizes and comes out of herself, the Dei Verbum religiose audiens et fidente proclamans; and the worldly Church, living within herself, of herself, for herself. This should shed light on the possible changes and reforms which must be done for the salvation of souls.
    4. – Thinking of the next Pope: He must be a man who, from the contemplation and adoration of Jesus Christ, helps the Church to go out to the existential peripheries, that helps her to be the fruitful mother, who gains life from “the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing.”

    • Extra Omnes,

      Far from being off-topic, you are very much on-topic. If you read the following extract from an encyclical by one of Pope Francis’s predecessors, I think you’ll find the answer to the question you posed – in other words, I’d like to ask you what you think of the words below of a previous pontiff in the light of Pope Francis’s recent interviews and various statements which are, unquestionable, at odds (to put it mildly) with Catholic teaching:

      Gravity of the Situation

      2. That We make no delay in this matter is rendered necessary especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man.

      3. Though they express astonishment themselves, no one can justly be surprised that We number such men among the enemies of the Church, if, leaving out of consideration the internal disposition of soul, of which God alone is the judge, he is acquainted with their tenets, their manner of speech, their conduct. Nor indeed will he err in accounting them the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church. For as We have said, they put their designs for her ruin into operation not from without but from within; hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain, the more intimate is their knowledge of her. Moreover they lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fires. And having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt. Further, none is more skilful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious arts; for they double the parts of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and since audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance. To this must be added the fact, which indeed is well calculated to deceive souls, that they lead a life of the greatest activity, of assiduous and ardent application to every branch of learning, and that they possess, as a rule, a reputation for the strictest morality. Finally, and this almost destroys all hope of cure, their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy…

      The Methods of Modernists

      18. This becomes still clearer to anybody who studies the conduct of Modernists, which is in perfect harmony with their teachings. In the writings and addresses they seem not unfrequently to advocate now one doctrine now another so that one would be disposed to regard them as vague and doubtful. But there is a reason for this, and it is to be found in their ideas as to the mutual separation of science and faith. Hence in their books you find some things which might well be expressed by a Catholic, but in the next page you find other things which might have been dictated by a rationalist. When they write history they make no mention of the divinity of Christ, but when they are in the pulpit they profess it clearly; again, when they write history they pay no heed to the Fathers and the Councils, but when they catechise the people, they cite them respectfully. In the same way they draw their distinctions between theological and pastoral exegesis and scientific and historical exegesis. So, too, acting on the principle that science in no way depends upon faith, when they treat of philosophy, history, criticism, feeling no horror at treading in the footsteps of Luther, they are wont to display a certain contempt for Catholic doctrines, or the Holy Fathers, for the Ecumenical Councils, for the ecclesiastical magisterium; and should they be rebuked for this, they complain that they are being deprived of their liberty. Lastly, guided by the theory that faith must be subject to science, they continuously and openly criticise the Church because of her sheer obstinacy in refusing to submit and accommodate her dogmas to the opinions of philosophy; while they, on their side, after having blotted out the old theology, endeavour to introduce a new theology which shall follow the vagaries of their philosophers.
      Source

  25. Sorry for being off topic but I am looking for some information about a church which was closed and allowed to become derelict. I saw a video of it on your website. I believe it was on the border between the Galloway and Paisley diocese, maybe Howwood. What was the name of the church? I wish to mention it to a former workmate of mine who, with other tradesmen, I believe spent a lot of time carrying out voluntary (brick)work on it on a shrine to Our Lady.

  26. Frankier, the shrine you are talking about is the the shrine of Our lady of Fatima attached to Christ the King church in Howwood and both are still in use. St Joseph’s in Lochwinnoch was actually a chapel of a religious house and not the parish church of Lochwinoch which is Our Lady of Fatima church and it too is still in use.

  27. Thanks Vianney. The shrine I was talking about was the one in Howwood and I’m glad to see that it is still in use. I know that a lot of voluntary work was put in on it by my former workmates that is why I was a bit concerned. They worked on construction sites during all weathers and found time to give their labours to church projects such as this. All my own family did it too. Nowadays the new breed of Catholics are more interested in reading than weeding.

  28. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=19585

    It is “not true” that the Vatican is taking a poll to assess Catholics’ opinions on marriage issues in preparation for the 2014 Synod on the family, the Vatican press office has clarified.

    Responding to a story that appeared in National Catholic Reporter—and has been repeated frequently in the English-speaking media—Father Federico Lombardi told the Catholic News Agency that a series of questions issued by the Synod office was “sent to bishops’ conferences throughout the world,” rather than an opinion poll. The Vatican spokesman also pointed out that the questions asked by the Synod “are not regarding the doctrinal position of the Church,” but aimed to solicit information about pastoral practices and public attitudes in different societies.

    • Eileenanne,

      We know that these questions will not result in a change in Church teaching. That’s not the point. It’s giving the impression that certain teachings may or will change.

      And Catholic Culture is not the best source in the world. They have, to date, defended every utterance of Pope Francis – they are the original papolatrists. And very well paid for their trouble too, if their daily requests for hundreds of thousands of dollars is anything to go by…

      • The information is from the Vatican Press office. I think they just might know when something has been wrongly reported. It is clearly untrue that “The Church of ‘Holy Father Francis’ asks: tell us what teachings you want changed…”

        • Eileenanne,

          Yet again you have a problem with the headline on the post but don’t complain about the headlines in the Catholic press. On the very same day that I posted this headline/thread (3 November) the Catholic Times headline read: Church’s future is in YOUR hands (emphasis in the original where “your” was underlined.)

          The future of the Church is NOT in my hands or your hands. It’s in God’s hands, but the clear signals being sent via the media about these questions, is that there IS a poll taking place. There’s talk in various publications about this wonderful enterprise. One (Tablet, I think) is arguing that at last this is what Cardinal Newman wanted – the laity to be consulted. It’s not remotely what the Cardinal meant or wanted, but, hey, who cares about the truth – always the first casualty in war they say and WOW are we at war…

          And unless you are very naïve, and do not realise the significance, in Modernist hands, of the term “pastoral care” you will know that the result of this questionnaire will be to allow the bishops an excuse to give all sorts of dissent and immoral lifestyles, their blessing rather more publicly than they do at the present time.

          Anyway, back to those headlines – are you going to email the editor of the Catholic Times to correct him for his misleading headline? His really IS misleading. He is editing a newspaper. We’re running a blog and headlines on blogs are intended to provoke discussion.

          And, like it or not, in the “Church of Holy Father Francis” the impression IS being given that everything is up for grabs, and a survey of popular Catholic opinion coming from a pontiff who doesn’t think he can “judge gays” and who doesn’t want us “obsessing” about the butchering of babies in their mothers’ wombs, quite definitely adds to that impression. Of course the Vatican press office will deny that it’s running a poll. But that is exactly what they are doing. The bishops and priests know Catholic doctrine and morals, all they have to do is exhort us all to repentance and absolve those who turn back to God. Not stagger around looking for loopholes which allow them to encourage sinful behaviour. And that is what this survey represents. A search for loopholes.

          Tell me this, please, Eileenanne. Will YOU respond to those questions?

          My own gut reaction is to ignore them, then I think I’ll go in all guns blazing – but I suspect I’d be wasting my time. The bishops are looking for an opportunity/loophole to argue for a weakening of Church discipline in, e.g. the matter of the divorced and remarried receiving Communion, continuing to condone contraception, etc. I’d dearly love to be wrong, but I suspect, strongly, that this will be how these survey results will be used.

          Or maybe you have a different view of the purpose of asking priests and laity for their answers to these questions? I mean, do you or I have the authority to offer a view that differs from the Church teaching and discipline about the divorced and remarried being admitted to Holy Communion or any of the other issues raised in the questionnaire?

          If not, what the heck is the blankety blank point of bothering us with these questions? Do other heads of organisations do this? Do they really ask the workers on the factory floor how the firm should discipline late-comers, or how to deal with frequent absentees, or what to do about thieving? Of course not. They exercise leadership and get on with what they were appointed to do. It’s about time Pope Francis took off his fireman’s helmet and removed his “charity” red nose and did what he was appointed to do. Otherwise, he needs to examine his shoes very closely and ask himself if he really wants to be in them on Judgement Day.

  29. Also, if you look at the survey as published online by the Bishops of England and Wales, you will not find any questions about which teachings people want to change. It’s a badly constructed survaey, and unsuitable for issuing to lay people en masse, but it is NOT a poll on changing teaching, even if such a thing were possible.

    • Eileenanne,

      I’ve really answered this in my post above – so I’ll add only a few words here: it’s not our job to tell the Pope what our opinions are about the “pastoral care” of sinners. That’s the job of the priest faced with the sinner, in the context of his duty to uphold God’s moral law and prepare the soul of that sinner before him, for heaven.

      Notice: my memory isn’t great these days, so I can’t recall every single question, but my best guess is that there’s no question in the survey about the pastoral care of thieves. I’d say that is because no priest or bishop would encourage a penitent to continue to steal. They need to apply the same simple principle to every other area of objective morality. It’s the same God who prohibits theft, as prohibits contraception, same-sex relationships and divorce and remarriage etc.

      • The Pope has not asked for our opinions. The survey is an attempt to gather facts from Bishops and priests about what is happening around the world. I thought you might want to correct your headline in the light of that information.
        They need to apply the same simple principle to every other area of objective morality
        Absolutely right, and it looks as if the Pope might be trying to assess whether that is happening.

        • In that case, the questionnaire should have been restricted to the priests and bishops. How do I know what is happening in the case of the divorced and remarried, or those co-habiting in parishes around Glasgow. I can certainly guess, but I am not qualified to make any definitive statements about what pastoral care is being provided in any diocese in Scotland or across the UK. So why ask me? And can you imagine the hay that the liberals will make of these questions.

          Do you think it’s a prudent thing to do at a time of crisis in the Church when dissent from Catholic teaching and immoral lifestyles are rife in the world, to ask every Tom, Dick and Harriet what they think about these issues?

          Are you going to answer the questions, Eileenanne? Do you feel qualified – I don’t.

          And no, I won’t change the headline – at least not until the editor of the Catholic Times changes his. Did you read my post quoting THAT headline? Why are you selecting our blog headline for criticism?

          LATER THAT SAME DAY…

          I’m in the middle of scanning this week’s Catholic press and with headlines such as the Tablet “Poll of the Pews” and the general tenor of the reporting on the survey, it’s very clear that the impression is being spread abroad that the faithful are being canvassed for their opinions on the “old chestnut” issues. No question about it. Of course, they are being set up for a fall, but the damage has been done – yet again – by this loose cannon pontiff.

        • Eileenanne,

          It seems a strange thing for the Pope and bishops to ask ordinary Catholics to answer the questions on that survey form. Do they really need to conduct a survey to know “what is happening around the world”?
          Other polls are showing that Catholics live in the same way as seculars, using contraception, cohabiting etc. so I cannot see why they have to hold a consultation. It does give the impression that change to the teachings on morals is possible.

        • Eileenanne,

          I’ve now read the editorial in The Tablet and if anything makes clear the interpretation being given to the questionnaire it’s that piece of junk writing. The Editor’s ignorant twisting of Cardinal Newman on “consulting the laity” is a typical example of the kind of dishonesty which is a key hallmark of that rag. I now quote the editorial in full, since seeing is believing: again, just as I hope you will write to correct the Editor of the Catholic Times on his shocking headline, I hope you will write to the Editor of The Tablet to tell her that – contrary to her editorial – Catholic teaching will NOT change, and her several pieces, including her editorial, are misleading in the extreme – but I suspect you won’t, Eileenanne because for some reason, you have Catholic Truth in your sights, not any of the modernist garbage which parish priests-in-good-standing are selling to their largely unsuspecting flocks the length and breadth of the land:

          The Tablet Editorial – A truly Catholic Consultation, 9 November, 2013

          Most remarkable about the consultation regarding sex, marriage and family life, in which the Catholic Church has asked Catholics throughout the world to take part, is its brave implication that things have to change. One sentence in the official document accompanying the Vatican’s questionnaire is an example of this. As a result of the current situation, it states, “many children and young people will never see their parents receive the sacraments …”, in the light of which “we understand just how urgent are the challenges to evangelisation arising from the current situation”.

          This is doubtless a reference to the Church’s current policy regarding Catholics who divorce and remarry and are then told they may not receive Holy Communion, for it then says: “Corresponding in a particular manner to this reality today is the wide acceptance of the teaching on divine mercy.” In short, how does the Church start evangelising such people – and their children – and stop condemning them?

          This unique consultation is taking place as part of the preparations for the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops that Pope Francis has called for next October. There is a growing head of steam behind this plea. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Philip Egan, wrote in a recent pastoral letter that he hopes the synod finds “some way” of offering mercy, help and reconciliation to Catholics in irregular unions or who are divorced and remarried – and he is one of the more conservative bishops in England. This has already become a key battleground of this papacy, with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, denying that mercy has anything to do with it, thereby bringing him into confrontation with key members of the German hierarchy.

          The fact that ordinary Catholics can officially contribute to this debate by taking part in the consultation is unprecedented. No longer will refusing to heed what ordinary lay Catholics have to say about such issues as divorce and contraception be a defining mark of the Church, which this consultation amounts to admitting is no longer a sustainable way to run the Church.

          But the process of replacing one mindset with another will take time to adjust to, as the wording of the questionnaire occasionally conveys. The framers of the questions seem torn between accepting that the teaching of, say, Humanae Vitae on birth control has been rejected by large numbers of married Catholics, and asking how that teaching might be taught more effectively. One unexpected question – “How can an increase in births be promoted?” – invites the polite reply – “Why should it?” The Church cannot possibly know what size of population is the right one.

          So the questionnaire is a mixed bag. But it is important that as many Catholics as possible, of all shades of opinion, take part, and not just those who can disentangle complicated questions about the role of natural law in family life. Practising Catholics are most likely to hear of and want to take part in the consultation, but it is important that they also reflect the views of the wider Catholic community, which includes many who feel excluded from the Church. Indeed, the clear intention of Pope Francis is to find ways that this sense of exclusion can be reversed. This is a heart-warming pastoral initiative.

          It is no less important that the church officials responsible for collating the consultation results should take into account such evidence as that produced by Professor Linda Woodhead, summarised in today’s Tablet, which shows just how far apart Catholic practice has become from Catholic theory. The Church has done itself great harm in the past by listening only to those laypeople with “acceptable” opinions. But this consultation marks the end of the familiar assumption that those who do not sign up to the whole Catholic package on sex and marriage are not the real thing and can therefore be discounted.

          The old approach ignored the advice of Cardinal Newman, who wrote in his essay “On Consulting the Faithful on Matters of Doctrine”: “the tradition of the Apostles … manifests itself variously at various times: sometimes by the mouth of the episcopacy, sometimes by the doctors, sometimes by the people, sometimes by liturgies, rites, ceremonies, and customs, by events, disputes, movements … It follows that none of these channels of tradition may be treated with disrespect.” Pope Francis, by authorising this consultation, is respecting them all, which is a very Catholic, yet very unusual, thing for a modern Pope to do. Source

          • Editor,

            You are quite right in saying that the problem here is with the misinterp[retation of this survey by the media. Have you looked at the original document from the Vatican?

            http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2013/11/05/0722/01618.html#Traduzione%20in%20lingua%20%20inglese

            Among other things it says this:

            In order to initiate the process of consultation, an invitation has been sent to the Dioceses to circulate the Document in a capillary fashion in the diaconates and parishes with the aim of obtaining concrete and real data on the synodal theme. A similar request has been made to other Entities participating in the Synod.

            Nothing there about the laity – “parishes” could easily be intended to mean “parsh priests”. I accept, however, that there is some ambiguity. What is, however, absolutely clear, is that there is NO INTENTION of asking people what teachings they would like changed. The unchanging nature of Cgurch Teaching is clearly spelled out from the ourset.

            I repeat, therefore, that your headline is false and possibly verging on libel, since it completely misrepresents the intentions of the survey. Also, since it includes the name of the Hoy Father it looks like a scurrilous atempt to smear his good name by implying he would change teachings at the request of those who respond.

            By all means get mad at the press and protest as much as you can, but make sure you apportion blame correctly.

            You ask why I commented on you headline and not on those in the Catholic press. The answer is simple. I read your headline. I don’t read any Catholic papers or magazines.

            • Eileenanne,

              I very nearly missed this – and WOW would I have been annoyed at myself.

              Firstly, I did not say that the media have misinterpreted the survey. I think they’ve got it in one. What they – in their default heretical state – cannot grasp is that even if every priest, nun, and layperson replies that they think same-sex unions should be allowed and contraception permitted, etc. that it will not happen. That is where the “misinterpretation” applies: they misinterpret both the nature of the Church and the nature of God’s moral law. What they have NOT misinterpreted, is that Pope Francis wants to know (to “listen to) what we all think on the difficult issues. As if it matters! Even if I’m all for recognising same-sex unions, the Pope can’t allow it. So what is the blankety blank point of wasting time, material resources, and energy, asking in the first place? Can you imagine Pope Saint Pius X launching such a consultation? Completely wacky.

              As for the rest – you have just GOT to be joking. You think the “invitation” to “circulate the document in a capillary fashion in the diaconates and parishes” is ambiguous? What dictionary are you using? “Capillary” refers to the least, the smallest, so you and I, well, like it or not, us folks in the pews count as the least when it comes to advising popes – and Pope Francis, according to the original document (English translation) which you posted – clearly wants the very least of his brothers and sisters to be consulted. I’d definitely get another dictionary, if I were you because if you think that statement is “ambiguous” … well… it’s not. Clearly, the intent is to reach (“listen to”) the laity. That’s the fashion these days among popes and bishops. None of that old fashioned teaching and exhorting to holiness. Nope: they’ve donned their listening ears and gone all “collegial” on us.

              The Pope – according to all of his fans in the media, and he has a lot – wants to know the opinions of everyone in the Church as far as possible. That’s how I read the extract you posted and it’s sure how it’s been universally interpreted in the press, both secular and Catholic. I’m amazed that you interpret it differently – although you don’t say precisely how you DO interpret the circulation of the document in “parishes”. Since most parishes have only one priest these days, there wouldn’t be any need to mention “circulate” – any such document (if considered necessary – I don’t think it is) could have (and should have) been sent privately to priests and bishops.

              As for this straw-clutching: “there’s no intention of asking people what teachings they want changed” – at the risk of repeating myself, whatever the intention, the Pope must have known what impression would be given and how the media would portray the initiative. I was going to say “he’s not daft” but after seeing him wearing that red nose, I’ll withdraw that remark.

              We have a pope who is already on public record speaking openly about the happiness that a divorced Catholic may find in a second marriage, so what is there to do about it? We’ve got a pope who is also on record telling us that not only can he not “judge gays” but wants our views on homosexual unions, purportedly to ask us how we think the Church should deal with the phenomenon.

              Do you seriously think that the opinion of people like me who will say “deal with it the way the Church has always dealt with grave sin – condemn it publicly and exhort all sinners, even the socially popular ones like cohabitees, remarried divorcees and same-sex couples – to repent, confess, turn back to God. For, right now, despite the Pope’s shocking and utterly baseless optimism to the contrary, they have rejected God and are in a spiritually precarious position. He is not helping them, one bit. Can you imagine Pope Saint Pius X circulating a questionnaire “polling the pews” (to quote the Tablet rag) to find out their views about Modernists? Imagine if he’d taken the view that since there were so many Modernists around, better to try to accommodate them. No, he did what he knew was his God-given duty – he condemned it, in writing, in words of one syllable, in one of the most famous encyclicals ever. So clear was he in describing the modernist heresy that here we are, all these years later, able to identify without any difficulty at all, that one of his successors is, tragically, in the words of Bishop Fellay, “a genuine Modernist.”

              As for you not reading the Catholic papers – well, I’d normally applaud that, but not in your case Eileenanne. You are likely to be one of the few who would take the time and trouble to write a letter for publication – and I’d dearly love to see the awful editor of the Catholic Times taken to task by you in the same way that you mercilessly tackle my unworthy self.

              You might begin by asking him why it is that most letters of concern about the dreadful columns penned by Mgr Basil Loftus are never published, and even when the occasional letter gets through his censorship process, there is a refutation published alongside by the Monsignor. Highly unprofessional. And then again, you might ask, why is Mgr Loftus allowed to attack another columnist – Fr Francis Marsden – and his letters almost always given pride of place at the top of the page as in this week’s edition, wherein he denies articles of Faith such as Original Sin. See where I’m going with this? I’d never get published in the Catholic Times but you undoubtedly would.

              Finally, I reject the following statement from you, absolutely:

              “I repeat, therefore, that your headline is false and possibly verging on libel, since it completely misrepresents the intentions of the survey.”

              Wrong. The headline draws attention to the import of what Pope Francis is doing, the damage he is doing, by instructing that people in parishes are surveyed for their views on key moral teachings in the context (I paraphrase) of a world in which (following the Vatican II crisis years) whole generations have grown up without a proper healthy Catholic family structure.

              I could have told him that over the phone, if he’d bothered to ring me. I would have added that if he phoned every Catholic on the planet, he’d hear the same thing – with the exception of those families which clung to the traditional Catholic Faith and raised their children accordingly. Why not, Holy Father, (I would have added) take the blankety blank hint. Restore the Faith. That’s all you have to do. Stay in the Vatican and fix the Church. Easy.

  30. In an earlier discussiom I said, and you disagreed, that the Pope needed better guidance on how to handle the media. I think you may now be coming round to my point of view.
    It is absolutely clear to me – no ambiguity at all – that the Vatican document to which I gave a link, spells out that there is NO POSSIBILITY of changing teaching as a result of this consultation. I therefore stand by my opinion that you should withdraw your misleading headline. I thought you were ia defender of truth – clearly I was mistaken.

    • Eileenanne,

      I don’t think editor is saying the teachings will change but I think that’s how people are interpreting the survey. I didn’t find the headline misleading one bit. Surveys are usually employed in the world to find out what people think or want, so that big businesses can provide what people want, change things if necessary.

      I do agree that the Pope needs guidance on handling the media but, saying that, Fr Lombardi, his spokesman, answered questions about the Scalfari interview by saying that the pope hadn’t been misinterpreted, he said what he meant to say, so maybe he knows full well how to use the media. I did read on article somewhere saying that the pope is deliberately using the media to make waves in the Church. I don’t know, but the way he keeps speaking out makes me think it’s a possibility, all right.

      • Margaret Mary,
        I don’t think editor is saying the teachings will change but I think that’s how people are interpreting the survey.

        You are right, some people probably ARE interpreting the survey that way, and who can blame them when that is how it is being reported, but anyone who reads the link I gave to the original document will see that it is made very clear that this is NOT the intention and that it CANNOT happen.

        The headline on this thread says that the Pope is asking people what teachings they want changed. That is as big a misrepresentation of the actual situation as anything in the press – either Catholic or secular. As the editor of Catholic Truth cannot claim ignorance of the facts, I wonder why she will not correct this falsehood.

        • Sorry about the bold text. Only the first two lines, which quote from Margaret Mary’s post were meant to be bold. One of these days I WILL get that right.

        • Eileenanne,

          Actually, I think the survey is about changing teachings, not the doctrine, e.g. the marriage is for life etc. but the “pastoral practices” which in the case of the divorced and remarried, mean that such persons cannot receive Communion. I think the Pope has given strong hints that such a situation could be changed. So, although it isn’t changing doctrines, in a way it is, if remarried divorcees are allowed to take Communion.

          Also if there is some pastoral practice brought in to allow same-sex couples to have Communion then that is changing teachings in a way. I honestly don’t see how you can separate the actual doctrines from the pastoral practices. If it’s a sin to receive the Eucharist unworthily, how can any priest ever say it’s allowable for a person living with a divorcee or same sex relationship to receive Holy Communion. That’s how I’m looking at it.

    • Eileenanne,

      As I have explained many times, the purpose of a blog headline is to generate interest and discussion. The headline of which you complain, has clearly done exactly that, so, no, I repeat, I will NOT change it. If you don’t like it, or if you think it’s inaccurate, that’s a pity. I have copied the (very poor) English translation of the Vatican document to which you linked above, and will highlight what I see to be the key points therein. Essentially, the text makes very clear that the purpose of the questionnaire is to gauge the extent of immoral living, the number of cohabitees and divorced and remarried/same sex unions etc, and to “listen” to the experience of all those involved with a view to somehow making “eucharistic” provision for people in these situations. That is not expressly stated, of course, but there’s plenty pointing that way. And if that’s not an intent to “change Church teaching” I don’t know – again – what kind of dictionary you use, because as Margaret Mary pointed out, doctrine and discipline (i.e. pastoral care) are intertwined.

      A quick scan of the document you posted, copied below, indicates that the purpose of this “consultation” is, indeed, to see what can be done to bring “pastoral care” of various public sinners into line with their scandalous living arrangements. “Pastoral care” is often a euphemism for finding a way round Canon Law if not the Ten Commandments. That’s the plan (I maintain) although I do not believe that it will come to anything. The closest example of a similar “consultation” is the commission of Paul VI on Birth Control which led the “liberals” into frenzied excitement and caused all and sundry to presume that the Church’s teaching on contraception would change. And the rest, as we know, is history; didn’t happen, but we’re still suffering the damaging effects of that “consultation” which should never have taken place – should never have been considered. Ditto this latest nonsense.

      I repeat: the headline refers to the questionnaire – another entirely unnecessary and scandalous “consultation” which is already doing damage, as I’ve said above. The Pope seems to be considering the possibility of making “eucharistic provision” for those living in gravely and very public sinful situations. I do not believe there will be such provision, but that, I believe, is this Modernist pontiff’s plan. Thus, I absolutely stand by my choice of headline – which I wouldn’t do if I believed you were right and I wrong. Be assured.

      I’ll highlight key parts of the document, copied below (posted by you from the Vatican website) to support my view on this:

      Translation into English

      Pope Francis has shown many times and in various forms His intention to make greater use of episcopal collegiality, sign and tool of the broadest synodality of the entire Church. He has Given important confirmation of His wish by Participating in person in the work of the last Ordinary Council of the Synod, Which Took place on 7 and 8 October. The Bishop of Rome has shared mutual reflection, listening to and carrying out all the discernment and decision-making That Fall Within the competence of His Petrine ministry. Living this experience as one of the members of the Council, it is natural to me to think That the Pope is guiding us in a concrete exercise of the collegiality around Peter and below Him, Which renders the Church as “communion” both alive and visible , That path to the Holy Father wishes to take for the next Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod. It is a broad and deep process of listening to the life of the Church and of the most pressing challenges posed to her, shared in a progressive path with two fundamental stages, Which may lead the Representatives of the entire Episcopal college to develop reliable proposals to offer for the discernment of the Bishop of the Church, who presides in love. This subtracts nothing from the role of Peter’s Successor, on the Contrary, it exalts His role of discernment and of final decision-making for the good of the Church and the human family,-whom she serves.

      With Pope Francis we are called to walk the paths laid out by the Council and its Teachings with regard to the Church as communion, the image of the divine Trinity, united in love and in the variety of gifts and services That enrich her. The theme Entrusted by the Holy Father to the next Extraordinary General Assembly is: the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of Evangelisation . In this regard I am bound to underline two aspects. The first regards the priority attention Given to Evangelisation , all of the existence and action of the people of God must Latter tend towards this end. The Church does not exist for herself, but for the glory of God and the salvation of humanity, to-whom she is called to bring the joy of the Gospel. This joy is to be proclaimed to all, beginning with the family, the decisive cell of society and of the Church herself. The second aspect I would like to emphasise is the pastoral slant accentuated by the formulation of the theme, in perspective through Which the Holy Father invites us to look upon the value of the family and the challenges it faces today. This ‘slant’ may be defined by the Words that Blessed John XXIII noted in His Diary on 19 January 1962, the climate of preparation for the upcoming Council: “All is to be seen in the light of pastoral ministry; That is, in terms of souls to save and to edify. ” It is not, Therefore, a matter of debating doctrinal questions, Which in any case have Been recently clarified by the Magisterium (from the Vatican II Council in the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes , 47-52, to the John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio of 1981), but rather how to understand how to effectively proclaim the Gospel of the family in the times we are living, characterised by a clear social and spiritual crisis.

      (Ed: for the record, I do not consider the above statement a resounding declaration that teachings will not change, as Eileenanne interprets it. Far from it. However, any half-informed Catholic knows that essential doctrines will never change. But to speak of the survey not being a question of”not debating doctrinal questions” and to add that this is so in the light of some Vatican II “clarifications” on these doctrines, is not good enough. It allows the light of – forlorn – hope to remain alive in the hearts of dissenters.)

      The invitation deriving from this for all the Church is to listen to the problems and expectations of many families today , manifesting her closeness and credibly Proposing God’s mercy and the beauty of responding to His call. In Particular, in a context: such as That of the so-called “liquid modernity” (Bauman), no value in Which Seems to be proven and the institution of the family is contested Often, if Not entirely negated, it Becomes Particularly significant Demonstrate to the profoundly humanising characteristics of the proposal of the Christian family, Which is never against anyone, but always and Exclusively in favor of the dignity of life and the beauty of the full person, for every person, for the good of society as a whole. As the Fathers of Vatican II confirmed, the family is the “is a kind of school of deeper humanity”, in which “the various generations come together and help one another grow wiser and harmonize personal rights with the other requirements of social life” (Gaudium et Spes , 52). In this respect the preparatory Document of the next Synodal Assembly Affirms: “The doctrine of the faith on marriage is to be presented in a communicative and effective way, I know That It Is Able to reach hearts and transform them according to Functional God’s will as manifested in Jesus Christ “( DP II).

      Attention, welcome and mercy to Which Constitute the style bears witness Francis Pope and requests us to have towards all, including broken families and Those Who Live in irregular situations from a moral and canonical point of view. He insists on “divine mercy and tenderness towards persons injured in the geographical and existential Peripheries.” Certainly, fully living the Gospel of the family is not easy, nor is it to be taken for granted: if we think of the sentimental and psychological frailty That may be present in family relations, the impoverishment of the quality of relationships may exist with That apparently stable and normal “ménages” stress Originating from the habits and rhythms Imposed by social organization, working times, and the requirements of mobility. Furthermore, the mass culture perpetrated by the media influences and at times corrodes family relations, invading the family with messages render banal That the conjugal bond. Therefore It Becomes blackberries vital than ever to link the daily efforts Within the family to help sustain it That conditions in the fields of both civil society and the ecclesial community, giving concrete motivation to the beauty and the fruitfulness “of the faith in the sacramental nature of marriage and in the therapeutic power of sacramental penance. ”

      The specific and contextual challenges are not few in number: “Today we encounter problems unheard of a few years ago, from the spread of de facto couples who choose to marry and does not exclude the idea at times, to same sex unions, to-whom the adoption of children is not infrequently permitted “( DP I). There are Numerous new contextual situations, Which require Particular attention from the Church: from the non-committal cultures and the Presumed instability of the bond to the Reformulation of the very idea of family, to a widespread relativist pluralism Regarding the concept of marriage, to Which legislative proposals devalue the fidelity and permanence of the marriage pact. These challenges bring about significant pastoral Consequences: “If, for example, we think of the simple repute in the current context many young people, born of irregular marriages, perhaps never see Their Parents receive the sacraments, one may perceive the urgency of the challenges posed to Evangelisation in our current situation, now diffused Throughout the whole of the “global village.” All the above considerations indicated how the attention paid to These situations is “both Necessary and urgent, and Also a matter of duty as an expression of the charity of the Pastors towards Those Entrusted to them and to the entire human family “( DP II). The enormity of the commitment, the urgency of the themes and the expectations, Which indeed risk being too great, leads us to ask with conviction for the prayers of all for the path That we have taken together, and for the humility, generous commitment and trust in God especially of Those Who Will Contribute to the Synod, I know That the Spirit may lit the collegial task and the final and decisive discernment of Peter’s Successor. Source

      • As I have explained many times, the purpose of a blog headline is to generate interest and discussion.

        OK, but it would be better if you could achieve that without telling a lie about the Pope.

        • Eileenanne,

          That is a disgraceful thing to say. I did not lie.

          Please note that I’ve actually refrained, several times, from pointing out that the headline is THE CHURCH OF “Holy Father Francis…” – I didn’t say that the Pope himself said anything – but given your apparent difficulty with understanding headlines, I decided to let it go, never dreaming that you would go on and on about something so unimportant, let alone that you would eventually call me a liar. Do not call me (or any other blogger) a liar ever again. People may be mistaken, or misguided or have unwittingly repeated something that is not true, but it is not for you or me to decide that anyone has “lied”. That entails spreading, quite deliberately, a known falsehood. I did not do that, never have done that and, with the help of God’s grace, I never WILL do that.

          To understand what is meant by “the Church of Pope Francis…” you need only read the editorials and columns of those Catholic newspapers which you tell us you avoid. Ronnie Convery, the communications officer for the archbishop of Glasgow, for example, wrote his column in the SCO a couple of weeks ago, oozing his love for Pope Francis and praising him for putting those irritating pro-lifers in their place. A derogatory comment aimed at pro-lifers is the one that sticks in my mind but there were others (I’ll be quoting him in the December newsletter). Clearly, Convery would NEVER have taken a side-swipe at the pro-life movement prior to the pontificate of “Holy Father Francis”. THAT is one of the major differences in the “Church of ‘Holy Father Francis'” from the Church even under previous recent pontiffs.

          There is a very “liberal” spirit abroad now, which makes the previously unthinkable, now thinkable. Those Catholics who are, in their hearts, dissenters from this or that teaching, are now coming out of the woodwork. And if you are unable to recognise the true agenda of those who composed that questionnaire about “pastoral care” of the divorced and remarried, the cohabitees and the same-sex union “Catholics” then – given the length of time you’ve been blogging with us – Catholic Truth is not doing its job well enough. Whatever, that questionnaire was born in “The Church of ‘Holy Father Francis'” because those who compiled the questions knew that they could get away with it.

          Now, since I never receive any apology from any of my many enemies, I do not expect one from you, but I do expect you to let this subject drop. I am not going to change the headline and I’ve explained why ad nauseum, so for you to continue the argument is both pointless and curious. In order to save space and end this now pointless discussion, I will allow you to have the final word on the subject, knowing that it will certainly NOT be “sorry”.

          • Neither the Church nor the Pope, whom you name and therefore implicate, is asking what teachings people would like changed, so the headline is not true. I know what word MY dictionary defines as “something that is not true”…

            • Eileenanne,

              I have been following this conversation about the headline on this blog with growing incredulity. I’ve been waiting to see if anyone else would come on to challenge your attack on the editor. I don’t comment much, but I feel I must comment on this because as a reader of several blogs I know that nobody would accuse the editors of the Catholic Herald blog or Fr Z’s blog or The Tablet blog of telling a lie and get away with it.

              If you called Fr Z a liar for saying “something that is not true” which he does quite regularly, or used to do when I followed his blog when writing about the SSPX. Having said that, I think he’s shifted opinion a bit on them since Summorum Pontificum, but you would be immediately blocked from his blog. There’s no advance warning with Fr Z, you just get blocked. In fact, people get blocked just for disagreeing with him, or used to, I don’t follow him regularly any more. The headline is very clear and is not saying “something that is not true”. The editor’s explained that she was writing about the liberalism in the Church under the new pope making it “cool” to produce that questionnaire, and I, for one, think she’s right. That document would never have been produced under Pope Benedict.

              It will be interesting to see how the answers to the questions are used at the Synod, but with the pope’s stressing showing “mercy” towards couples who cohabit, and practising gays and divorced and remarried who can’t receive Communion, I think there will be a try at the Synod, using the stats from the questionnaire to change the rules about receiving Holy Communion. I think that’s the purpose of the questionnaire.

              Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say “rules” instead of “teachings” in the headline but that’s a detail. As the editor has already said, the rules about receiving Communion are bound up in the teachings on dogma. The headline is accurate and should shock us into realising what a serious thing is going to be happening at the Synod of Bishops next year, when the Bishops are sure to debate bending the rules for people in family situations which are at odds with Catholic teaching on the family. Surely that’s more important than wasting time finding fault with the blog headline.

              • Michaela,

                Thank you for your comment. Much appreciated – and you make an excellent point about what is likely to take place at the Synod next year, when the bishops debate the findings of the questionnaire. That will, indeed, be interesting.

                I’d prefer, though, if the subject of the headline could now be dropped. So, those who have not exactly rushed to my defence, don’t bother to do so now 🙂

                • I’ve read some articles on this survey now, and several of them argue that Blessed Cardinal Newman wanted the faithful to be consulted on matters of doctrine, but can that be applied to pastoral care? I can’t see it.

  31. When I first saw the questionnaire, I thought ‘Wow! The Catholic Church actually wants to know what we think! Very strange. Usually it spends its time telling us what we should think.’

    Then I thought ‘The Church asking for our opinions? Nah! Not possible. Let’s take another look’.

    The second look revealed what Eileenanne has said: the survey wants to know what is actually happening. That’s a good idea, and I hope the results give the Vatican an idea of the size of the problems it faces.

    It won’t work, though. What they’ll get back will be millions of opinions, and pleas for change, rather than hard facts. All because of the confusing way in which they have introduced the exercise.

    When is this new regime going to realise that they are sowing total CONFUSION in the way they express things, from Pope Francis downwards. Confusion in the media, both Catholic and secular. Confusion among the laity, and I strongly suspect, the clergy. Probably even confusion in the Vatican itself.

    Fewer and clearer words are needed.

    • Pew Catholic,

      I completely agree about the confusion caused by this survey. I don’t agree that we should be asked what’s actually happening. For one thing, it’s obvious that there has been a huge falling away from the faith and Pope John Paul II said openly that there was a “silent apostasy” so that’s the size of the problem, and it’s up to the Pope to solve it.

      I’d be interested to know the financial cost of this exercise and also if the results will be published.

      • Sorry, I meant to say “and also if the responses will be published” – i.e. the responses from people on the questionnaires.

        • Interesting point, Margaret Mary – will the responses be published? What’s the betting that they will, incomprehensibly and at great length!

    • Pew Catholic,

      “I thought ‘Wow! The Catholic Church actually wants to know what we think! Very strange. Usually it spends its time telling us what we should think.’”

      Well, there’s a very simple reason for that – Christ established his Church to teach and proclaim the Faith and to guard and proclaim the natural moral order. He didn’t set up a kind of ecclesiastical Oprah Winfrey show (is she still around?) or a Catholic branch of humanistic counselling where popes could listen themselves to death.

      If I, living a fairly sheltered life, know that every family from here to Argentina has members co-habiting, divorcing/remarrying and the rest, then I suspect Pope Francis knows perfectly well the extent of the problems he is “polling the pews” about.

      You are spot on in y our final two paragraphs – I loved your “fewer and clearer words are needed.”

      A short encyclical along the lines of “all sexual activity and relationships outside of marriage are gravely sinful and if you die suddenly, then, objectively speaking, you will end up in Hell. Get to confession and sort yourselves out – pronto.”

      Signed: Pope Francisco I (following consultation with the Catholic Truth team in Scotland.) 🙂

      • Editor, you missed out same-sex ‘marriages’ and polygamy, but I’ve fixed it for you – in fewer words! 🙂

        Pewcatholic’s encyclical: ‘The only people allowed to have sexual relations are those validly married to one person of the opposite sex. Anything else is seriously sinful, and needs the Sacrament of Penance.’

        Pewcatholic for Pope! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  32. No, I’ve left a loophole. If you read it again, you’ll see I haven’t made it clear that the sexual relations have to be with the marriage partner.

    Maybe I’m not suitable to be Pope after all. 😦

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