Motherwell Priest Facing Eviction…

ImageJun 28, 2014 — Hi, Just to inform everyone that on Monday 30th June at Hamilton Sheriff Court, the RT REV Joseph Toal will be pursuing a claim to EVICT Father Matthew Despard (pictured). I will be posting the above details on the FB page and the petition page at change.org hoping that people will come and show their support for Father Matthew. I feel this is the beginning of the end for Father Matthew…  Source

Comment

Only a couple of days ago, I was speaking to a reliable source who told me that, whatever we think of the wisdom of Fr Despard’s decision to publish, the information he published is “more of it true than not”.

Given that Bishop Devine has never denied the allegation made about him, and that none of the others either identified or alluded to have identified themselves to deny the claims about them (note: the priest who phoned me, but would not give his name, did deny the allegations but the failure to publicly do so, causes me to doubt – sorry, but that’s the truth of the matter. In their place, I think the majority of innocent people would want to remove all doubt and openly deny the claims.)  Thus, I’m afraid our sympathies have to remain with Fr Despard. He appears to be suffering unjust treatment, disproportionate to his decision to publish his book.  Indeed, Lady Vengeance appears to be in the driving seat in the way the diocese is pursuing this priest.  Or maybe you disagree? 

Freemasons Celebrate Vatican II…

The largest and most influential Masonic organization in Italy is the Grand Orient of Italy [Grande Oriente d’Italia]. Yes, it is the veryImage same Grand Lodge whose Grand Masters always worked for the humiliation of the Apostolic See, from the battles against Pius IX to symbolic acts of effrontery (such as Giordano Bruno’s statue in Campo de’ Fiori, a response to Leo XIII); it was also the Grand Lodge that once had jurisdiction over the well-known Propaganda Due lodge, the P2, including during the crucial years of the Vatican II Council and immediate aftermath.

This Grande Oriente d’Italia hosted a conference on June 12, 2014, at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Milano, Rome, to promote the book “Il Concilio Segreto” (The Secret Council), by Ignazio Ingrao. On the panel of guests invited to present the book were Marco Politi, journalist and Vaticanist for “La Repubblica” and “Il Fatto Quotidiano”; Alberto Melloni, the very influential historian and a leader of the famous “Bologna School” founded by Giuseppe Alberigo, whose purpose was to establish forevermore the “Spirit of the Council” as the official interpretation of the conciliar documents; Marinella Perroni, theologian, professor at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm, Rome (the Anselmianum, the Pontifical Benedictine university in Rome), specializing in New Testament Studies; and, last but certainly not least, Stefano Bisi, the newly elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge. The author, Ignazio Ingrao, a highly relevant Vaticanist, was also present. 

The meeting was recorded and can be found here in Radio Radicale in its entirety. To give a general idea of the festive and relaxed ambience, Grand Master Bisi in his remarks is proud to say that a priest he consulted told him he certainly “could receive communion.” (Obviously, no contradiction from anyone in the room.)

Below is a translation of the flyer the Grand Orient of Italy produced to promote the event:

The Church of Dialogue, from the Second Vatican Council to Pope Francis

There is a Council that has never been told, the one that took place far from the limelight, in the secret conferences among bishops and cardinals, in diplomats’ meetings, in reunions among the editorial staff of newspapers, in sections of [political] parties and even among “007’s”[…] There are hosts of Russian, Polish, English, American and of course – Italian spies, who camouflage themselves amidst prelates and listeners, compiling dossiers and even able to influence the conclave that elects Paul VI. Letters from priests who ask Montini to abolish sacerdotal celibacy materialize . There is a theologian who denounces, with courage, the scandal of pedophilia in the Church, but his cry of alarm, remains, alas, unheard.” [*] [**]

To understand an event as innovative and paradigmatic as the Second Vatican Council was, and to do so through a non–official reading, based, however, on testimonies and many unpublished, documents, means having the opportunity of getting to the heart of what is happening in the Church today. The revolutionary act of Benedict XVI, the abdicating Pope, in renouncing the throne, makes [the Pope] a bishop among bishops and fulfills that collegial spirit that had strongly permeated Vatican II; the “surprise” election of Pope Francis, the first bishop in the history of the Church to come from South America to guide the people of Christ – preacher of spiritual renewal, in humility and poverty, a strategic figure in a Church that seems to have lost its center in Old Europe, but is rediscovering itself, alive and fecund, in “the south of the world”, are all developments whose origins are generally recognizable in the unprecedented event, which marked the life of the universal Church between the pontificates of John XXIII and Paul VI.

Unfortunately, the ‘putting into effect’ of the Second Vatican Council during the course of the last fifty years of Church history has met obstacles and difficulties. The Church outlined by the conciliar meetings, i.e. outgoing and open to the world, willing to dialogue and sensitive to those positives seeds of modernity, has not always had an easy life. Fears, resistance and shortsightedness at times, have slowed down this necessary evolution. Many of the reforms on the agenda of Bergoglio’s pontificate refer back to the themes already discussed during the Council: from the family to the role of women, from priestly celibacy to the “poverty” of the Church, to cite just a few.

In short, studying the Council of yesterday will help us to anticipate the Church of tomorrow. Pope Francis has gathered together the testimony of his predecessors and is strongly and decisively committed to the up-to-date implementation of the Council. The Church in a dialogue which is focused on the peripheries, as the Argentine Pope wants, re-proposes the model that the Council Fathers desired. Therefore, a new season of confronting themes which were left hanging has opened up.

An important point of dialogue, even with the secularized and non-believers, is the one of human rights. The commitment to justice, based on the acknowledgement of the fundamental principles of natural law, characterizes the action of the Church on all latitudes and involves, not rarely, a high price to pay, even in terms of attacks and persecutions. The defense of human rights and the acknowledgement of the principles of natural law which guide the common good, may be, therefore, a useful platform to confront and discuss, for all those who have the promotion of the human person at heart.

[The last paragraph is a short presentation of Ignazio Ingrao.]

Apparently, that is the Grand Lodge’s position: the Second Vatican Council was an “innovative and paradigmatic” highly positive event, which was not “put into effect” very well — but the “revolutionary abdication” of Benedict XVI that made the pope “a bishop among bishops” set the stage for its “strong and decisive implementation” by Pope Francis. Grand Master Gustavo Riffi, leader of the Grand Lodge at the time, had set the tone in his congratulating message for the election of Pope Francis: “With Pope Francis, nothing will be as before. The choice of fraternity for a Church of dialogue is clear, uncontaminated by the logic and temptations of temporal power.” (March 14, 2013) This was the same Grand Master who had criticized the Italian Episcopal Conference in the 2006 Italian election campaign, in the previous pontificate, for daring to speak up against… abortion, euthanasia, marriage during the campaign. Those days are gone for good, presumably.

_________________________

* This first paragraph is an excerpt from the book  — the remainder of the flyer is the presentation, by the Grand Lodge, of the Council and the present pontificate. 

** In fact, much of this secret underground Council, that prepared the Council as it happened in the Vatican Basilica, has already been dissected in many books, not least “The Second Vatican Council”, by Roberto de Mattei. 

 [Post and translation: Contributor Francesca Romana. Tip: Spanish blog Ex Orbe, whose post title is very amusing: “Our Brothers (!?) from the (other) Orient.”]  Source 

Comment

As the Rorate Caeli headline reads who needs conspiracy theories when the Freemasons openly celebrate Vatican II in the Eternal City?  Hands up those who still think Vatican II was the inspiration of the Holy Spirit… 

Strict Protestants & Traditional Catholicism Vs Modern Catholics…

ImageOne of our sometime bloggers, Whistleblower, submitted the following short article and link for discussion.

I was astounded when I came across this website.    I wonder if bloggers agree that it’s astounding that staunch Protestants have their finger on the pulse more than modern Catholics?  In some ways, I feel I have more in common with these Wee Frees than the people in my local parish. 

 

Comment

Well? Does Whistleblower have a point? Tell us your thoughts.

Response of Laity to Church Crisis: Learning from History…

ImageThe following article is taken from The Remnant website – source – and gives a very good historical perspective on today’s crisis in the Church…

The post-Conciliar era has been a time of great confusion in the Church. This is largely due to popes saying and doing things contrary to Catholic Tradition. The result has been a true crisis. Like every crisis, there have been a variety of reactions from the faithful and the clergy.

 In order to sort out the best Catholic response to such a crisis, it often helps to look back at history. Sometimes one can find historical situations in the Church similar to our own. We can then take a look at how the Catholic faithful and clergy responded to a crisis in their own time to see if there are any parallels to our own day.

In this way we can discern what the proper course should be to lead us out of the crisis. The advantage of looking back is that we can see the means by which everything was resolved. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

 Who was Pope John XXII?

Pope John XXII was the second of the Avignon popes who reigned from 1316 to 1334. Pope John was a good administrator and held a keen interest in world affairs. He was also the pope who canonized the great Thomas Aquinas in 1323.

Throughout most of his pontificate, Pope John had to deal with problems. On the secular side, he had to contend with Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV. On the spiritual side, he had to contend with a rigorist band of Franciscans known as the “Spiritualists.”

For our purposes, however, the most interesting part of Pope John’s life was his last few years on earth. To elucidate what occurred during these years, I will quote extensively from an excellent article on the topic entitled John XXII and the Beatific Vision. This article was written by Fr. Victor Francis O’Daniel, O.P. and published in The Catholic University Bulletin in 1912.

A Crisis is Born

I will let Fr. O’Daniel set the stage:

…About the year 1330, disturbing reports began to be circulated abroad through the intellectual centers of Europe that the Pope was teaching or favoring a strange and erroneous doctrine concerning the state of the souls of the just after death. It was said he held that souls departing this life and needing not to pass through the cleansing fires of purgatory, and those that had already been so purified, would not be permitted to cross the threshold of heaven, or admitted to the beatific vision, before the day of the finaljudgment; that before then they would enjoy, it is true, some foretaste of the heavenly bliss, some fruit of their merits, but not until after the resurrection and the re-union of body and soul would they receive the full measure of the supernatural reward which consists in what the apostle calls the full and  direct vision of God.

To relate this story to our own time, it might be useful for us to imagine some of our Neo-Catholic[i] media and apologetic friends living in this time period. Upon hearing ordinary Catholics spreading the stories mentioned in the quote above, the Neo-Catholic personalities would no doubt balk at the mean-spiritedness of those who would dare speak of the pope in such a manner.

After all, they would tell us, nobody had yet received a confirmation from the Papal Office that these reports were true. Certainly, then, they would say it must be much ado about nothing. In any case, they would assure us that this story was certainly not news. If anything they would blame stubborn “Rad-Trads” for attempting to stir up yet another controversy against the Holy Father by spreading vague disquieting rumors.

Fr. O’Daniel continues…

At first there were only vague, disquieting rumors, but by the end of 1331 the theological world was rent by the certainty that the Head of the Church was really preaching against a Catholic teaching which had long been considered as practically of faith divine, the denial of which was tantamount to heresy.   On November 1, of that year, John preached before the assembled cardinals, prelates and theologians resident at the Papal Court, and numbers of the faithful, taking as his text:  “Mementote operum partum vestrorum quae fecerunt in generationibus suis.” During the course of his sermon, touching upon his favorite topic of the beatific vision, he gave a thinly veiled expression of his personal opinion by declaring that the souls of the just, before the general judgment, are under the altar of God, that is to say, under the protection of the glorified humanity of Christ, and enjoying the happiness of its presence. After the day of judgment, they will be placed on the altar of God, or will be admitted to the presence of His divinity, and that of the Blessed Trinity in whose direct vision man’s full and complete happiness consists.

At this point, the Neo-Catholic media would launch into full damage control mode. One can already see the headline “Did the Pope Really Preach that Souls Don’t See Beatific Vision Until General Judgment? 10 Things to Know and Share!”

After the obligatory “faulty translation” excuses (though the quote above even gave the original Latin), our Neo-Catholic apologist friends would set about reinterpreting or “fixing” poor Pope John’s unfortunate sermon for him. They would tell us that the quote above deliberately fails to employ the hermeneutic of continuity and that we must reinterpret Pope John’s analogy in the most orthodox way possible.

Thus, when John XXII says that after death, but before the general judgment, souls of the just are “under the altar of God,” our apologist friends would tell us that Pope John is simply using a metaphor. What the pope is really saying is that the souls of the just are indeed in Heaven right after death, but that the rest of the world is, in a certain sense, hidden from knowing where they are.

Then they would tell us that the phrase “on the altar of God” means that once the soul and body of the just are reunited at the general judgment, all of the world will then know that the just are in Heaven. Thus, the fact that the justified are seeing the Beatific Vision will no longer be hidden to the world “under the altar of God” but shown to all “on the altar of God!”

See Rad-Trads? Nothing to see here. Pope John is merely reiterating Traditional doctrine in a most ingenious, beautiful, and metaphoric way. At this point Neo-Catholic publishers would start selling books to help “unpack” the wisdom of Pope John’s new insight. Copies of “On the Altar of God: The Genius of Pope John” would then be sold for the medieval equivalent of $19.95 with a signed forward by Sir Scott Hahn.

 Fr. O’Daniel continues…

Growing bolder, it would seem, and determined plainly to speak out his mind on the subject, he preached again two weeks later, November 15, before the same distinguished audience. This time he took as his text: “Gaudete in Domino semper “; and laying aside all cover of metaphor and veil of mysticism, he declared himself openly in favor of the delay of the beatific vision. His words are: “I say that the souls of the faithful departed do not enjoy that perfect or face to face vision of in which, according to St. Augustine (in Psalm xc, sermon II, No. 13), consists their full reward of justice; nor will they have that happiness until after the general judgment. When, and only when, the soul will be re-united to the body, will this perfect bliss come to man, coming to the whole man composed of body and soul, and perfecting his entire being… in  [sermons], preached at a later date, he touches on the subject obiter, always manifesting a continuance of his belief in the doctrine he had taught in them. And, in 1333, he wrote a treatise in its defence: “Queritur utrum anime sanctorum ab omnibus peccatis purgate videant divinam essentiam.”” 

At this point, it would finally become clear even to the most stubborn Neo-Catholic apologist that Pope John is teaching something novel. What would be their response? Embrace it, of course! One can already imagine the Neo-Catholic apologists shifting their argument as they churn out articles stating that Pope John has just put forward an amazing new “development of doctrine.”

As for the “Rad-Trad” claim that Tradition teaches the souls of the just enjoy the Beatific Vision after the particular judgment, the Neo-Catholic apologist would remind us that we are citing Tradition as it stood in 1331. They would then kindly explain that we must understand the concept of “living Tradition!”  After all, who gets to decide what is Tradition? You? Me? Surely not!

They would tell us that no one other than the Pope himself gets to authoritatively decide what is authentic Tradition. Thus, they would say that if Pope John XXII, Christ’s own vicar, says that the souls of the just don’t see the Beatific Vision until the General Judgment, we must now understand that this view is authentically Traditional.

Thus, even though the Church taught and Catholics everywhere believed that just souls see the Beatific Vision after the Particular Judgment for 1330 years, Pope John XXII would have gloriously revealed to us that this is not the case anymore.

Our Neo-Catholic apologists would tell us that we must humbly submit our intellect and wills to the mind of the Most Holy Roman Pontiff, Vicar of Christ on Earth. We should especially not dare to contradict the Holy Father on such a matter of Faith publicly; for to do so would be to spread scandal to a great many Catholics who might be in danger of losing their fragile Faith as a result.

How Did Catholics in the 1330’s Respond?

If the Neo-Catholic apologists are correct about the concept of “living Tradition”, then we should always expect to see faithful Catholics throughout history responding to every teaching of the pope with extreme docility and submission. After all, only disobedient schismatics and heretics would publicly oppose the pope, correct?

Did Catholics in the 1330’s act as our Neo-Catholic apologist friends would expect?

Let’s take a look:

The news of such a doctrinal lapse on the part of the Church’s Supreme Head, beginning at Avignon, rapidly spread over Christendom, everywhere causing consternation and arousing great indignation. The Catholic world was profoundly stirred. Controversies waxed strong and vehement.  Quite naturally, in Avignon, where the Papal Court resided, these were of a much less pronounced character. There, indeed, the new doctrine, possibly because of hopes of preferment, found a number of ardent supporters. On the other hand, fear of incurring papal disfavor caused its opponents to be less emphatic in their denunciations. Yet, even at the very foot of the pontifical throne, there was not wanting the strong voice of protest; for there also the old traditional doctrine, sanctified by the acceptance of ages, found able and courageous defenders. Among these the theologians of the Order of St. Dominic took decidedly a leading part.

Thus, just like in our own time, a pope espousing a novel teaching caused wide spread confusion, chaos, and frustration among Catholics. A few different camps began to develop. A few individuals supported the new doctrine for hopes of personal gain. Others were personally opposed, but very measured in their criticism out of fear of the pope. And still other opponents lead a strong and more vocal protest. This latter group included the Dominicans, who earlier in John’s papacy were his staunchest allies and defenders.

How did Pope John XXII react to such protest and chaos? Read Part II here and Part III  here

[i]When I use the term Neo-Catholic in this article, I am referring to those Catholic media entities that make money off of maintaining the tragic status quo in the Church. They do this by selectively choosing not to cover news that contradicts their agenda or by filtering all Catholic news through a re-interpretive lens that protects their own interests. These media entities will go to any lengths to deny there is currently a crisis in the Church or else they will downplay its severity. I am also referring to Catholic media outlets that presume to condemn all public criticism of the pope or Vatican II. On the other hand, I am in no way referring to the large number of good, honest, and sincere conservative Catholic faithful who don’t consider themselves Traditional, but yet are doing the best they can to live an authentic Catholic life during the current crisis.  END.

Comment

What can we learn from Catholics suffering the spread of false teaching in the past? Are we doing enough to fight the current crisis? 

The Two Popes … Trouble ahead?

A “Pope Emeritus” is a new concept in the Church. The question has to be whether this new type of pontiff is a welcome development  or an unacceptable break with Catholic Tradition. Is there a connection between Pope Benedict’s decision to adopt this new title and Francis’ insistence on describing himself as the Bishop of Rome? Is the existence of two popes a recipe for disaster? Could there be trouble ahead? Or – given the fact that the two popes seem to get along well together – are those commentators correct who argue that this really is a case of “two heads are better than one” – that it is beneficial for the Church to have the two very different papal characters in the Vatican? According to Fr Gruner, the issues surrounding “the two popes” are being discussed in the Italian media and in high places in Rome, so tell us what you think about Fr Gruner’s thoughts on the matter. Agree? Disagree? Not sure? Over to you…  

Honouring the Sacred Heart of Jesus…

St. Margaret Mary was born in 1647 in France. She entered the Religious Life and received apparitions during which Our Lord showed her His Sacred Heart. Jesus made twelve promises to her telling her how He would help those who honour His Sacred Heart. Jesus said to her: “Look at this Heart which has loved people so much, and yet they do not want to love Me in return. Through you My Divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.” St. Margaret Mary died in 1690. Her Feast Day is October 17.

Below are the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart. A couple of years ago, we discussed these; I remember quoting a friend who said she was amazed to find her own life transformed when she placed an image of the Sacred Heart in her home. She said that she had no doubt that Our Lord has kept his promise to bless her home in a very special way after she’d placed His image there and, moreover, she felt that she’d gained the grace to be fervent after many years of lukewarm indifference to the Faith. As we approach the end of June, Month of the Sacred Heart, perhaps it’s time to reflect on the Sacred Heart devotion, and in particular on the Twelve Promises, once again. Everything related to this devotion is of interest to us – personal anecdotes, experiences, especially if you believe, like my friend, that you have had the grace of experiencing one or more of the Promises of the Sacred Heart.  Feel free, too, to share your favourite prayers and hymns to the Sacred Heart. Over to you…

Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart…

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.

2. I will establish peace in their families.

3. I will comfort them in their trials.

4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death.

5. I will shed abundant blessings on all their undertakings

6. Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.

7. Lukewarm souls will become fervent.

8. Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection.

9. I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.

10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

11. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.

12. I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment. 

Bishop Schneider: Schism Looming…

Those who continue to insist: “crisis, what crisis?” and who think Archbishop Lefebvre acted without basis, read this Interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan – and say, humbly, “I was wrong” …  source        

ImageInterview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider (BAS)  

“Only on the Internet can you spread your own ideas. Thanks be to God the Internet exists”       

BAS: ‘To my knowledge and experience, the deepest wound in the actual crisis of the Church is the Eucharistic wound; the abuses of the Blessed Sacrament.

‘Many people are receiving Holy Communion in an objective state of mortal sin…This is spreading in the Church, especially in the western world. There people very rarely go to Holy Communion with a sufficient preparation.

‘Some people who go to Holy Communion live in irregular moral situations, which do not correspond to the Gospel. Without being married, they go to Holy Communion. They might be divorced and living in a new marriage, a civil marriage, and they go nevertheless to Holy Communion. I think this is a very, very grievous situation.

‘There is also the question of the objectively irreverent reception of Holy Communion. The so-called new, modern manner of receiving Holy Communion directly into the hand is very serious because it exposes Christ to an enormous banality.

‘There is the grievous fact of the loss of the Eucharistic fragments. No one can deny this. And the fragments of the consecrated host are crushed by feet. This is horrible! Our God, in our churches, is trampled by feet! No one can deny it.

‘And this is happening on a large scale. This has to be, for a person with faith and love for God, a very serious phenomenon.

‘We cannot continue as if Jesus as God does not exist, as though only the bread exists. This modern practice of Communion in the hand has nothing to do with the practice in the ancient Church. The modern practice of receiving Communion in hand contributes gradually to the loss of the Catholic faith in the real presence and in the transubstantiation.

‘A priest and a bishop cannot say this practice is ok. Here is at stake the most holy, the most divine and concrete on Earth.’

Q  You are standing out on your own in this?

BAS: ‘I am very sad that I am feeling myself as one who is shouting in the desert. The Eucharistic crisis due to the modern use of Communion in hand is so evident. This is not an exaggeration. It is time that the bishops raise their voices for the Eucharistic Jesus who has no voice to defend himself. Here is an attack on the most Holy, an attack on the Eucharistic faith.

‘Of course there are people who receive Holy Communion in the hand with much devotion and faith, but they are in a minority. The vast mass, though, are losing the faith through this very banal manner of taking Holy Communion like common food, like a chip or a cake. Such a manner to receive the most Holy here on earth is not sacred, and it destroys by time the deep awareness and the Catholic faith in the real presence and in the transubstantiation.’

Is the Church going in the opposite direction from where you are going?

BAS: ‘It seems that the majority of the clergy and the bishops are content with this modern use of Communion in hand and don’t realize the real dangers connected with such a practice. For me this is incredible. How is this possible, when Jesus is present in the little hosts? A priest and a bishop should say: “I have to do something, at least to gradually reduce this. All that I can do, I have to do.” Unfortunately, though, there are members of the clergy who are making propaganda of the modern use of Communion in the hand and sometimes prohibiting receiving Communion on the tongue and kneeling. There are even priests who are discriminating those who kneel for Holy Communion. This is very, very sad.

‘There is also an increasing stealing of hosts, because of distributing Communion directly in the hand. There is a net, a business, of the stealing of Holy Hosts and this is much facilitated by Communion in the hand.

‘Why would I, as a priest and bishop, expose Our Lord to such a danger, to such a risk? When these bishops or priests [who approve of Communion in the hand] have some item of value, they would never expose this to great danger, to be lost or stolen. They protect their house, but they do not protect Jesus and allow him to be stolen very easily.’

In respect of the questionnaire on the issue of family – people are expecting big changes.

BAS: ‘There is on this issue a deal of propaganda, put about by the Mass media. We need to be very careful. There are the official anti-Christian mass media worldwide. In almost every country it is the same content of news, with the exception perhaps of the African and Asian countries or in the East of Europe.

‘Only on the Internet can you spread your own ideas. Thanks be to God the Internet exists.

‘The idea of changes in marriage and moral laws to be done at the upcoming synod of bishops in Rome, comes from mostly the anti-Christian media. And some clergy and Catholics are collaborating with them in spreading the expectations of the anti-Christian world to change the law of God concerning marriage and sexuality.

‘It is an attack by the anti-Christian world and it is very tragic and sad that some clergy are collaborating with them. To argue for a change the law of God, they use in a kind of sophism the concept of mercy. But in reality this is not mercy, this is cruel.

‘It is not mercy, for instance, if someone has a disease to leave him in his miserable condition. This is cruel.

‘I would not give, for instance, a diabetic sugar, this would be cruel of me. I would try to take someone out of this situation and give them another meal. Perhaps they won’t like it to begin with, but it will be better for them.

‘Those of the clergy who want admit the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion operate with a false concept of mercy. It is comparable with a doctor who gives a patient sugar, although he knows it will kill him. But the soul is more important than the body.

‘If the bishops admit the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, then they are confirming them in their errors in the sight of God. They will even close down the voice of their conscience. They will push them more into the irregular situation only for the sake of this temporal life, forgetting that after this life, though, there is the judgment of God.

‘This topic will be discussed in the synod. This is on the agenda. But I hope the majority of the bishops still have so much Catholic spirit and faith that they will reject the above mentioned proposal and not accept this.

  What is this crisis you mention?

BAS: ‘This is a broader crisis than the reception of the Blessed Sacrament. I think this issue of the reception of Holy Communion by the remarried will blow up and show the real crisis in the Church. The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism, forgetting the Christocentrism. Indeed, this is the deepest evil, when man or the clergy are putting themselves in the centre when they are celebrating liturgy and when they are changing the revealed truth of God, e.g. concerning the Sixth Commandment and human sexuality.

‘The crisis reveals itself also in the manner in which the Eucharistic Lord is treated. The Eucharist is at the heart of the Church. When the heart is weak, the whole body is weak. So when the practice around the Eucharist is weak, then the heart and the life of the Church is weak. And when people have no more supernatural vision of God in the Eucharist then they will start the worship of man, and then also doctrine will change to the desire of man.

‘This crisis is when we place ourselves, including the priests, at the centre and when God is put in the corner and this is happening also materially. The Blessed Sacrament is sometimes in a cupboard away from the centre and the chair of the priest is in the centre. We have already been in this situation for 40 or 50 years and there is the real danger that God and his Commandments and laws will be put on the side and the human natural desiring in the centre. There is causal connection between the Eucharistic and the doctrinal crisis.

‘Our first duty as human beings is to adore God, not us, but Him. Unfortunately, the liturgical practice of the last 40 years has been very anthropocentric.

‘Participating in liturgy is firstly not about doing things but praying and worshipping, to love God with all your soul. This is true participation, to be united with God in your soul. Exterior participation is not essential.

‘The crisis is really this: we have not put Christ or God at the centre. And Christ is God incarnated. Our problem today is that we put away the incarnation. We have eclipsed it. If God remains in my mind only as an idea, this is Gnostic. In other religions e.g. Jews, Muslims, God is not incarnated. For them, God is in the book, but He is not concrete. Only in Christianity, and really in the Catholic Church, is the incarnation fully realised and this has to be stressed therefore also in every point of the liturgy. God is here and really present. So every detail has meaning.

‘We are living in an un-Christian society, in a new paganism. The temptation today for the clergy is to adapt to the new world to the new paganism, to be collaborationists. We are in a similar situation to the first centuries, when the majority of the society was pagan, and Christianity was discriminated against.’

Do you think you can see this because of your experiences in the Soviet Union?

BAS: ‘Yes, [I know what it is] to be persecuted, to give testimony that you are Christian.

‘We are a minority. We are surrounded by a very cruel pagan world. The temptation and challenge of today can be compared with the first centuries. Christians were asked to accept the pagan world and to show this by putting one grain of incense into a fire in front of the statue of the Emperor or of a pagan idol. But this was idolatry and no good Christian put any grain of incense there. They preferred to give their lives, even children, lay people, who were persecuted, gave their lives. Unfortunately there were in the first century members of the clergy and even bishops who put grains of incense in front of the statue of the Emperor or of a pagan idol or who delivered the books of the Holy Scripture to be burned. Such collaborationist Christians and clerics were called in those times “thurificati” or “traditores”.

‘Now, in our days the persecution is more sophisticated. Catholics or clergy are not asking to put some incense in front of an idol. It would be only material. Now, they neo-pagan world wants us to take over its ideas, such as the dissolution of the Sixth Commandment of God, on the pretext of mercy. If some clergy and bishops start to collaborate with the pagan world today in this dissolution of the Sixth Commandment and in the revision of the way God created man and woman, then they are traitors of the Faith, they are participating ultimately in pagan sacrifice.’

  Can you see a split coming in the Church?

BAS: ‘Unfortunately, for some decades some clergy have accepted these ideas of the world. Now however they are following them publicly. When these things continue, I think, there will be an interior split in the Church of those who are faithful to the faith of their baptism and of the integrity of the Catholic faith. There will be a split with those who are assuming the spirit of this world and there will be a clear split, I think. One can imagine that Catholics, who remain faithful to the unchangeable Catholic truth may, for a time, be persecuted or discriminated even on behalf of those who has power in the exterior structures of the Church? But the gates of the hell, i.e. of the heresy, will not prevail against the Church and the Supreme Magisterium will surely issue an unequivocal doctrinal statement, rejecting any collaboration with the neo-pagan ideas of changing e.g. the Sixth Commandment of God, the meaning of sexuality and of family. Then some ‘liberals’, and many collaborators with the spirit of this world, many modern “thurificati et traditores” will leave the Church. Because the Divine truth will unresistingly bring the clarification, will set us free, and will separate in the midst of the Church the sons of the Divine light and the sons of the of the pseudo-light of this pagan and anti-Christian world. I can presume that such a separation will affect each level of the Catholics: lay people and even not excluding the high clergy. Those clergy who accept today the spirit of the pagan world on morality and family declare themselves Catholics and even faithful to the Pope. They even declare extremists those who are faithful to the Catholic faith or those who are promoting the glory of Christ in the liturgy.’

  Do you feel you have been declared an extremist?

BAS: ‘I have not been declared as such formally. I would say such clergy are not in the majority but they have acquired a lot of influence in the Church. They managed to occupy some key positions in some Church offices. Yet this is not power in the eyes of God. Truly powerful are the little ones in the Church, who conserve the faith.

‘These little ones in the Church have been let down and neglected. They have kept the purity of their faith and they represent the true power of the church in the eyes of God and not those who are in administration. Thanks be to God, the numbers of these little ones are growing.

‘I spoke for instance with young students in Oxford [picture left – at source]  and I was so much impressed by these students, I was so glad to see their purity of faith and their convictions, and the clear Catholic mind. Such examples and groups are growing in the Church and this is the work of the Holy Spirit. This will renew the Church. So I am confident and hopeful also in respect of this crisis in the Church. The Holy Ghost will win this crisis with this little army.

‘I am not worried about the future. The Church is Christ’s Church and He is the real Head of the Church, the Pope is only the Vicar of Christ. The soul of the Church is the Holy Spirit and He is powerful. However we are now experiencing a deep crisis in the Church as it happened several times in two thousand years.

  Will it get worse before it gets better?

BAS: ‘I have the impression that it will be worse. Sometime the things have to go to the depths and then you will see the collapse of this anthropocentric, clerical system, which is abusing Church administration power, abusing the liturgy, abusing the concepts of God, abusing the faith and the piety of the little ones in the Church.

‘Then we will see the rising of a renewed Church. This is already preparing. Then this liberal clerical edifice will crash down because they have roots and no fruits.’

  Some people would say you are worrying about unimportant things, what about the poor?

BAS: ‘This is erroneous. The first commandment which Christ gave us was to adore God alone. Liturgy is not a meeting of friends. It is our first task to adore and glorify God in the liturgy and also in our manner of life. From a true adoration and love of God grows love for the poor and our neighbour. It is a consequence. The saints in two thousand years of the Church, all those saints who were so prayerful and pious, they were all extremely merciful for the poor and to care for the poor.

‘In these two commandments are all the others. But the first commandment is to love and adore God and that is realised in a supreme manner in the sacred liturgy. When you are neglecting the first commandment, then you are not doing the will of God, you are pleasing yourself. Happiness is to fulfil the will of God, not to fulfil our will.’

  How long will it be before the Church is renewed?

BAS: ‘I am not a prophet. We can only presume. But, if you look at the history of the Church, the deepest crisis was in the fourth century, that was Arianism. This was a tremendous crisis, all the episcopacy, almost all, collaborated with the heresy. Only some bishops remained faithful, you could count them on the fingers of one hand. This crisis lasted more or less 60 years.

‘Then the terrible crisis of the so-called Obscure century, the 10th century, when the papacy was occupied by some very wicked and immoral Roman families. They occupied the papal chair with their corrupt sons, and it was a terrible crisis.

‘The next period of harm was the so-called exile of Avignon and was very damaging to the Church, causing the great occidental schism. All these crisis lasted some 70-80 years and were very bad for the Church.

‘Now we are, I would say, in the fourth great crisis, in a tremendous confusion over doctrine and liturgy. We have already been in this for 50 years. Perhaps God will be merciful to us in 20 or 30 years? ‘Nevertheless we have all the beauty of the divine truths, of divine love and grace in the Church. No one can take this away, no synod, no bishop, not even a Pope can take away the treasure and beauty of the Catholic faith, of the Eucharistic Jesus, of the sacraments. The unchangeable doctrine, the unchangeable liturgical principles, the holiness of the life constitute the true power of the Church.’

  Our time is seen as a much more liberal era in the Church.

BAS: ‘We have to pray that God will guide his Church from this crisis and give to his Church apostles who are courageous and holy. We need defenders of the truth and defenders of the Eucharistic Jesus. When a bishop is defending the flock and defending Jesus in the Eucharist, then this bishop is defending the little ones in the Church, not the powerful ones.’

  So you don’t mind being unpopular?

BAS: ‘It is quite insignificant to be popular or unpopular. For every clergy the first interest is to be popular in the eyes of God and not in the eyes of today or of the powerful. Jesus said a warning: Woe of you when people speak good of you.

‘Popularity is false. Jesus and the apostles rejected popularity. Great saints of the Church, e.g. SS Thomas More and John Fisher, rejected popularity and they are the great heroes. And those who today are worried with the popularity of the mass media and public opinion, they will not be remembered in the history. They will be remembered as cowards and not as heroes of the Faith.’

  The media has great expectations of Pope Francis.

BAS: ‘Thanks be to God, Pope Francis has not expressed himself in these ways that the mass media expect from him. He has spoken until now, in his official homilies, very beautiful Catholic doctrine. I hope he will continue to teach in very clear manner the Catholic doctrine.’

  On sharing Holy Communion with Anglicans and others?

BAS: ‘This is not possible. There are different faiths. Holy Communion is not a means to achieve unity. It is the last step, not the first step. It would be a desecration of the Holy. Of course, we have to be one. Yet we have differences in belief, some substantial differences. The Eucharist is a sign of the deepest unity. It would be a lie, it would be contradictory to logic sharing Holy Communion with non-Catholics.

‘Ecumenism is necessary in order to be in contact with our separated brethren, to love them. In the midst of the challenge of the new paganism, we can and have to collaborate with serious non-Catholics to defend the revealed Divine truth and the natural law, created by God.’

‘It will be better not to have such a structure when the State is governing the life of the Church, such as for instance the appointments of the clergy or the bishops. Such a practice of a state church would damage the Church itself. In England e.g. the State is governing the Church of England. Such an influence of the State can corrupt spiritually and theologically the church, so it is better to be free from such an established state church.’

  On women in the Church.

BAS: ‘Women are called the weaker sex, given they are physically weaker, however they are spiritually stronger and more courageous than men. It is courageous to give birth. Therefore God gave the woman a courage that a man doesn’t have.

‘Of course, there were many courageous men in the persecutions. Yet God loves to choose the weak ones to confuse the powerful. For instance the Eucharistic women, about which I spoke in my book Dominus Est worked in their families and desired to help the persecuted priests in a very exceptional way. They would never have dared to touch the holy hosts with their fingers. They would refuse to even read a reading during Mass. My mother, for example who is still living in Germany, aged 82, when she first went to the West, she was shocked, scandalised, to see women in the sanctuary during Holy Mass. The true power of the Christian and Catholic woman is the power to be the heart of the family, the domestic church, to have the privilege to be the first who gives nourishment to the body of his child and also to be the first who gives nourishment to the souls of the child, teaching it the first prayer and the first truths of the Catholic faith. The most prestigious and beautiful profession of a woman is to be mother, and especially to be a Catholic mother.’  Source 

Comment

Catholic Truth has been saying for years now that there is already a de facto schism in the Church. Bishop Schneider seems to be trying to be a little more diplomatic, but he still warns of a schism to come, as a result of the current crisis in the Church. Is he correct? And what, in your view, is the most important thing about the Bishop’s interview? Is it something he said, or is it the fact that – at last – there is some leadership from a “mainstream” bishop who is clearly saying that “traditional” Catholics have been right, all along?

 

Whatever Happened To The Priesthood?

ImageThe New Priests 

To the man in the street, even the most indifferent to religious questions, it is obvious that there are fewer and fewer priests, and the newspapers regularly remind him of the fact. It is over fifteen years ago since the book appeared with the title “Tomorrow a Church without Priests?”

Yet the situation is even more serious than it appears. The question has also to be asked, how many priests still have the faith? And even a further question, regarding some of the priests ordained in recent years: are they true priests at all? Put it another way, are their ordinations valid? The same doubt overhangs other sacraments. It applies to certain ordinations of bishops such as that which took place in Brussels in the summer of 1982 when the consecrating bishop said to the ordinand, “Be an apostle like Gandhi, Helder Camara, and Mohamed!” Can we reconcile these references, at least as regards Gandhi and Mohamed, with the evident intention of doing what the Church intends?

Here is the order of service for a priestly ordination which took place at Toulouse a few years ago. A commentator starts off, introducing the ordinand by his christian name C., with the words “He has decided to live more thoroughly his self-dedication to God and to man by consecrating himself entirely to the service of the Church in the working-class.” C. has worked out his “pathway,” that is to say, his seminary training, in a team. It is this team who present him to the bishop: “We request you to recognize and authenticate his application and ordain him priest.” The bishop then asks him several questions purporting to be a definition of the priesthood: Do you wish to be ordained a priest, “to be, with the believers, a Sign and a Witness of what Mankind is seeking, in its striving for Justice, for Brotherhood and for Peace,” “to serve the people of God,” “to recognize in men’s lives, the action of God in the ways they take, in their cultural patterns, in the choices open to them,” “to celebrate the action of Christ and perform this service;” do you wish “to share with me and with the body of bishops the responsibility that has been entrusted to us for the service of the Gospel?”

The “matter” of the sacrament has been preserved in the laying on of hands which takes place next, and likewise the “form,” namely the words of ordination. But we are obliged to point out that the intention is far from clear. Has the priest been ordained for the exclusive service of one social class and, first and foremost, to establish justice, fellowship and peace at a level which appears to be limited to the natural order only? The eucharistic celebration which follows, “the first Mass” in effect, of the new priest was, in fact, on these lines. The offertory has been specially composed for the circumstances. “We welcome you, Lord, by receiving on your behalf this bread and wine which you offer us; we wish to show by this all our work and our efforts to build a more just and more humane world, all that we are trying to bring about so that better living conditions may follow…” The prayer over the offerings is even more dubious: “Look, Lord we offer you this bread and this wine, that they may become for us one of the ways in which you are present.” No! People who celebrate in this manner do not believe in the Real Presence!

One thing is certain; the first victim of this scandalous ordination is the young man who had just pledged himself for ever without exactly knowing to what, or thinking that he knows. How can he not fail, sooner or later, to ask himself certain questions? Because the ideal that has been proposed to him cannot satisfy him for long; the ambiguity of his mission will become evident. The priest is essentially a man of faith. If he no longer knows what he is, he loses faith in himself, and in his priesthood.

The definition of the priesthood given by Saint Paul and by the Council of Trent has been radically altered. The priest is no longer one who goes up to the altar and offers up to God a sacrifice of praise, for the remission of sins. The relative order of ends has been inverted. The priesthood has a first aim, which is to offer the sacrifice; that of evangelization is secondary.

The case of C., which is far from being unique, as we know of many examples, shows to what extent evangelization has taken precedence over the sacrifice and the sacraments. It has become an end in itself. This grave error has had serious consequences.

Evangelization, deprived of its aim, loses direction and seeks purposes that are pleasing to the world, such as a false “social justice” and a false “liberty.” These acquire new names: development, progress, building up the world, improving living-conditions, pacifism. Here is the sort of language which has led to all the revolutions.

The sacrifice of the altar being no longer the first end of the priesthood, it is the whole of the sacraments which are at stake and for which the “person responsible for the parish sector” and his “team” will call upon the laity, who are themselves overburdened with trade unions or political tasks, often more political than trade unions. In fact, the priests who engage in social struggles choose almost exclusively the most politicized organizations. Within these they fight against political, ecclesiastical, family and social structures. Nothing can remain. Communism has found no agents more effective than these priests.

I was explaining one day to a Cardinal what I was doing in my seminaries, with their spirituality directed above all to the deepening of the theology of the Sacrifice of the Mass and towards liturgical prayer. He said to me, “But Monsignor, that is exactly the opposite of what our young priests now want. We now define the priest only in terms of evangelization.” I replied, “What evangelization? If it does not have a fundamental and essential relationship with the Holy Sacrifice, how do you understand it? A political evangelization, or social, or humanitarian?”

If he no longer announces Jesus Christ, the apostle becomes a militant and marxist trade unionist. That is very natural. We quite understand it. He needs a new mystique and he finds it this way; but loses that of the altar. We must not be surprised that, completely bewildered, he gets married and abandons the priesthood. In France, in 1970, 285 ordinations; in 1980, 111. And how many of them have returned or will return to civil life? Even the startling figures we have quoted do not correspond to the actual decline in numbers of the clergy. What is offered to young men and what it is said they “now desire” evidently does not satisfy their aspirations.

The proof is easy to demonstrate. There are no more vocations because they no longer know what is the Sacrifice of the Mass. In consequence, one can no longer define what the priest is. On the other hand, where the Sacrifice is known and respected as the Church has always taught, vocations are plentiful.

I have witnessed this in my own seminaries. All we do is to affirm the everlasting truths. Vocations have come to us of their own accord, without publicizing. The only advertizing has been done by the modernists. I have ordained 187 priests in thirteen years. Since 1983 the regular numbers are from 35 to 40 ordinations per year. The young men who apply to enter Ecône, Ridgefield (USA), Zaitzkofen (West Germany), Francisco Alvarez (Argentina) and Albano (Italy) are drawn by the Sacrifice of the Mass.

What an extraordinary grace for a young man to go up to the altar as the minister of Our Lord, to be another Christ! Nothing is finer or greater here on earth. It is worth the cost of leaving one’s family, of giving up having a family, or renouncing the world and accepting poverty. But if there is no longer that attraction, then I say frankly, it is not worthwhile, and that is why the seminaries are empty.

Let them continue on the lines adopted by the Church for the last 20 years, and to the question “Will there still be priests in the year 2000?” The answer must be, “No.” But if there is a return to the true notions of the Faith, there will be vocations, both for seminaries and for the religious orders.

For what is it that makes the greatness and the beauty of a priest or a nun? It is the offering up of oneself as a victim at the altar with Our Lord Jesus Christ. Otherwise the religious life is meaningless. The young men are just as generous in our times as they were in former times. They long to make an offering of themselves. It is our times that are defective.

Everything is bound up together. By attacking the base of the building it is destroyed entirely. No more Mass, no more priests. The ritual, before it was altered, had the bishop say, “Receive the power to offer to God the Holy Sacrifice and to celebrate Holy Mass both for the living and for the dead, in the name of the Lord.” He had previously blessed the hands of the ordinand by pronouncing these words “so that all that they bless may be blessed and all that they consecrate may be consecrated and sanctified.” The power conferred is expressed without ambiguity: “That for the salvation of Thy people and by their holy blessing, they may effect the Transubstantiation of the bread and the wine into the Body and Blood of thy Divine Son.”

Nowadays the bishop says, “Receive the offering of the holy people to present it to God.” He makes the new priest an intermediary rather than the holder of the ministerial priesthood and the offerer of a sacrifice. The conception is wholly different. The priest has always been considered in Holy Church as someone having a character conferred by the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Yet we have seen a bishop, not “suspended,” write, “The priest is not somebody who does things that the ordinary faithful don’t do; he is not ‘another Christ,’ any more than any other baptized person.” This bishop was merely drawing the conclusions from the teaching that has prevailed since the Council and the liturgy.

A confusion has been made with regard to the relation of the priesthood of the faithful and that of priests. Now as the cardinals said who were appointed to make their observations on the infamous Dutch catechism, “the greatness of the ministerial priesthood (that of priests) in its participation in the priesthood of Christ, differs from the common priesthood of the faithful in a manner that is not only of degree but also of essence.” To maintain the contrary, on this point alone, is to align oneself with Protestantism.

The unchanging doctrine of the Church is that the priest is invested with a sacred and indelible character. “Tu es sacerdos in aeternum.” Whatever he may do, before the angels, before God, in all eternity, he will remain a priest. Even if he throws away his cassock, wears a red pullover or any other color or commits the most awful crimes, it will not alter things. The Sacrament of Holy Orders has made a change in his nature.

We are far from the priest “chosen by the assembly to fulfill a function in the Church” and still more so from the priest for a limited period, suggested by some, at the end of which the official for worship–for I can think of no other term to describe him–would take his place again amongst the faithful.

This desacralized view of the priestly ministry leads quite naturally to querying priestly celibacy. There are noisy pressure groups calling for its abolition in spite of the repeated warnings of the Roman Magisterium. We have seen in Holland, seminarians go on strike against ordinations to obtain “guarantees” in this matter. I shall not quote the names of those bishops who have got up to urge the Holy See to reconsider the subject.

The subject would not even arise if the clergy had kept the right understanding of the Mass and of the priesthood. For the true reason appears of itself when we fully understand these two realities. It is the same reason for which Our Blessed Lady remained a virgin: having borne Our Lord within her womb it was perfectly right and fitting that she should remain so. Likewise, the priest by the words he pronounces at the Consecration, brings down God upon earth. He has such a closeness with God, a spiritual being, spirit above all, that it is right, just and eminently fitting that he also should be a virgin and remain celibate.

But, some object, there are married priests in the East. However, let us not deceive ourselves: it is only toleration. The eastern bishops may not marry, nor those holding important positions. This clergy respects priestly celibacy, which forms part of the most ancient Tradition of the Church and which the apostles had observed from the moment of Pentecost. Those who like Saint Peter were already married continued to live with their wives, but “knew” them no longer.

It is noticeable that the priests who succomb to the mirage of a so-called social or political mission almost automatically get married. The two things go together.

People would have us believe that the present times justify all sorts of licence, that it is impossible under present day conditions to live a chaste life, that the vows of virginity for religious people are an anachronism. The experience of the last twenty years shows that the attacks made on the priesthood under the pretext of adapting it to the present time are fatal to it. Yet a “Church without priests” is not to be envisaged because the Church is essentially sacerdotal.

In these sad times they want free-love for the laity and marriage for the clergy. If you perceive in this apparent illogicality an implacable logic having as its objective the ruin of Christian society, you are seeing things as they are and your assessment is correct. Source

Comment

Do you agree with Archbishop Lefebvre’s assessment of “the new priests”?  What advice would you give to any young man considering the priesthood today? 

Scotland: Campaign Launched To Prevent State Ownership of Children…

The Scottish Government’s planned Named Person scheme will undermine parents’ authority over their own children and allow state officials unprecedented powers to interfere with family life. That’s why so many are saying NO2NP.

The NO2NP campaign has just been launched amidst claims that, although the Named Person legislation is not due for implementation until 2016, already parents are being told by the authorities that their children have a Named Person overseeing their well-being.

We discussed this legislation in early February, although not many parents appeared to be too worried about it, some saying it would come to nothing. Well, according to the parents on the video, it certainly has come to something for them.

Is the “Say No To Named Person” campaign a good idea? Should the Catholic Church in Scotland support it? Should parents protest, vigorously, this invasion of family life, which is surely tantamount to re-defining the family as the politicians north and south of the border have so arrogantly re-defined marriage?

We should do everything we can, in practical and spiritual terms (a novena to the Holy Family springs to mind) to prevent what is, in fact, the Scottish State taking ownership of the nation’s children. Tell us your ideas for practical and spiritual action to combat this latest assault on personal freedom and family life. Or maybe you disagree: perhaps you think this legislation is a good idea… Really?

Will Pope Francis’ Inter-Faith Peace Prayers Please God? If So, Which One?

ImageVatican City, Jun 6, 2014 / 08:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has released the details for Sunday’s prayer between Pope Francis and the Israeli and Palestinian presidents, stating that although peace will not be immediate, it’s a starting point.

“The intent of this encounter is to open the road to peace,” Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa O.F.M., Guardian of the Holy Land, revealed to journalists in a June 6 press conference, telling CNA that “My hope is that this event will help to bring a new atmosphere in the Middle East.”

Speaking to other journalists, he explained that “the goal is not to change dramatically the peace process in the Middle East, but to bring back in the atmosphere among the people in the Middle East the desire, the real desire for peace.”

Detailing the itinerary for the prayer, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. stated that Presidents Shimon Peres of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine will arrive to the Vatican within a few minutes of each other, and will meet Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartolomeo I of Constantinople at the pontiff’s residence in the Saint Martha guesthouse.

Afterward the four will travel together by car to the Vatican Gardens, where a brief explanation of the celebration will be given in English.

The prayer, the spokesman noted, will be divided into three parts following the chronological order of the three faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Beginning around 7 p.m., the first part of the prayer will be recited in Hebrew, honoring the Jewish faith. It will include an initial prayer, a brief musical interlude, a prayer of forgiveness, a second musical interlude, a prayer invoking peace, and finally a Jewish musical meditation.

The second part of the prayer, dedicated to Christianity, will follow the same structure, and will be recited in English, Italian and Arabic. ImageThe third part, honoring the Muslim community, will only be said in Arabic.

Following the three parts of the prayer, Pope Francis will give a discourse invoking peace, and then invite the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to give their own, beginning with Shimon Peres, who will be followed by Mahmoud Abbas.

After giving the speeches, the Pope and the presidents, along with Patriarch Bartolomeo I, will exchange a sign of peace in shaking hands. Pope Francis and the two presidents will then plant an olive tree together as a symbol of peace.

Concluding the celebration, the four will stand side-by-side as the delegations of each come to greet them, and will then travel to the Casina Pio IV nearby for a private discussion, after which the presidents will depart for their own residences, while the Pope and Bartolomeo I go to Saint Martha’s Source

Comment

The following information is taken from a report of today’s event published in The Times of Israel – information which is notably omitted from the Catholic News Agency report. Am I alone in thinking that what follows are highly revealing – and disturbing – tidbits?  

Every detail about Sunday’s meeting has been sensitive — the explanation for the delay in publishing the composition of the delegations taking part.

Friday was excluded since it is a Muslim holy day and Saturday for the same reason for the Jewish community, while Sunday is Pentecost for Catholics — a day of celebration of the Holy Spirit considered appropriate.

The choice of the Vatican Gardens is also significant since it is considered the most neutral territory within the Vatican City, with none of the Christian iconography that might be seen as offensive to the other two faiths.  END. 

Over to you. I’m speechless.