Compulsory Sex Education in Scottish Schools… Or Compulsory Child Abuse?

animatedchildrenplayingA petition has called for statutory sex and relationship education in Scotland’s schools.

Schools should be compelled by law to teach sex and relationship education, according to a youth organisation which provides sex education.

A Scottish Parliament committee is to consider a petition from Sexpression:UK.

The group said Scotland had a high rate of teenage pregnancy, sexually-transmitted infections and homophobia.

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre said local authorities were mainly responsible for sex education.

The petition calls on MSPs “to urge the Scottish government to introduce comprehensive sex and relationship education (SRE) into the Scottish education curriculum and make it statutory for all schools to teach”.

Jack Fletcher, advocacy representative at Sexpression:UK and an Aberdeen University medical student, is to appear before Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee.

‘Needs improvement’

“At present, there is no statutory SRE in the Scottish education system,” Mr Fletcher said.

“I feel very strongly that this is an area that needs vast improvement and that legislation should be passed for comprehensive high-quality SRE to be taught as statutory in schools at primary and secondary level, with age-appropriate measures taken towards content.

“This is a priority because although teenage pregnancy has fallen greatly in recent years, the rates in Scotland are still one of the highest in Europe.

Sexually-transmitted infections are still rife due to lack of contraception use.”

 “Homophobia is rife in schools and this is an issue that needs effective confrontation, of which education is key.”

He added: “Consent is a huge area of ambiguity and this only adds to sexual violence, rape and verbal harassment.

animatedteacher2“This is not treated with the concern it deserves”

The organisation claimed that nearly a quarter of schools had no SRE-trained staff, while three-quarters of denominational schools would not discuss contraception.

In advice to MSPs, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre said only religious education and Gaelic instruction in certain regions of Scotland were enshrined in law.

“Rather than being set out in statute, the school curriculum is established through guidance issued by Education Scotland,” it said.

“The Scottish government note that responsibility for sex and relationship education lies primarily with local authorities.”  (emphases added)  Source

You can watch Jack Fletcher give evidence to the Public Petitions committee live or on demand at BBC Scotland’s Democracy Live website.

Comment

As if brainwashing children via the media  into thinking that they can’t even buy a tube of toothpaste without thinking whether or not it will attract the opposite sex, and as if the media preoccupation with sexual matters hasn’t already sexualised children big time, the sexperts now want even more power over young minds and souls.  Any teacher of religious and moral education will tell you that the subject is never far away from the surface in Scottish classrooms as elsewhere. So, should we see this latest move to force-feed the young with sexual matters as a particularly sinister development?   DOES compulsory sex education equate to institutionalised child abuse?  I’m only asking the questions – you provide the answers, please and thank you!

Sacked Bishop: So Much For Pope Francis’ Talk About “Mercy”…

pope-francis1Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Sep 26, 2014 / 03:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano has accepted in obedience Pope Francis’ decision to remove him from governance of the Ciudad del Este diocese, though he says the action resulted from a flawed apostolic visitation and that his country is in vital need of Christian renewal.

“As an obedient son of the Church, I nevertheless accept this decision, despite considering it to be unfounded and arbitrary,” Bishop Livieres said in a Sept. 25 letter to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. “Despite so much discourse about dialogue, mercy, openness, decentralization, and respect for local Churches, I haven’t have the opportunity to talk to Pope Francis, not even to clarify a doubt or a concern.”  (emphasis added).

On Sept. 25 the Holy See announced that Pope Francis has decided to remove the bishop from the Diocese of Ciudad del Este “for serious pastoral reasons and for the greater good of the unity of the Church in Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay.” Bishop Ricardo Valenzuela Rios of Villarrica del Espiritu Santo has been appointed as apostolic administrator of the diocese while it is vacant. Bishop Livieres’ removal followed a five-day apostolic visitation of the diocese which took place in July. At the end of that month, it was announced that ordinations in the diocese were to be suspended.

Bishop Livieres, who had led the diocese since 2004, said he has still not seen the documents regarding the apostolic visitation and has not been able to “adequately respond to it.” He said the document removing him from his office “gives as justification for such a grave decision the tension in the ecclesial community between the bishops of Paraguay, and my person and diocese.”

Bishop Livieres opened a major seminary soon after his arrival in the diocese. He shortened its formation period to four years on the grounds that new priests were urgently needed. More than 60 graduates of the seminary have become priests in the last ten years. The diocese also opened a minor seminary and an institute for priestly formation. Before Bishop Livieres’ removal, a statement on the diocese’s website charged that the Paraguayan bishops “resisted” these seminaries because they would “break the monolithic scheme of priestly formation” in practice at Paraguay’s national seminary. Bishop Livieres defended the seminaries of his diocese, noting that the Congregation for Catholic Education found “defective formation” in Paraguay’s national seminary. “Our diocesan seminary has provided excellent fruits recognized by recent laudatory letters from the Holy See in at least three occasion during the previous pontificate, by the bishops who have visited us, and most recently, by the apostolic visitators. Every single suggestion made by the Holy See regarding how to improve the formation has been faithfully fulfilled.”  Read more

Comment

This latest attack on Catholic Tradition by Pope Francis seems to follow a determined pattern. I’m continually hearing people say that a formal schism is looming. Maybe – if the orthodox and/or “traditional leaning” priests and prelates make a stand. But will they? Or will they be afraid to follow the example of the cardinals who have opposed Cardinal Kasper’s plans for the forthcoming Synod on the Family in case they, too, “irritate” Pope Francis with their adherence to the authentic traditional Catholic Faith? 

Vatican: Climate Change Is Man-Made (Ed: say that with a straight face…)

Cardinal Parolin“We all bear responsibility to protect and value creation for the good of future generations.”

The Vatican’s Secretary of State told the UN Climate Summit this week that climate change is man-made and man’s responsibility.

In his address on Tuesday, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the international community has a moral responsibility to address climate change.

Referring to Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, Cardinal Parolin said, “the Holy See has often stressed that there is a moral imperative to act, for we all bear the responsibility to protect and to value creation for the good of this and future generations.”

“The scientific consensus is rather consistent and it is that, since the second half of the last century, warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” he stated.

“It is a very serious problem which, as I said, has grave consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of society and, clearly, for future generations,” the Vatican’s second in command warned.

“Numerous scientific studies, moreover, have emphasised that human inaction in the face of such a problem carries great risks and socioeconomic costs,” the Cardinal observed.

“This is due to the fact that its principal cause seems to be the increase of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere due to human activity.”

“Faced with these risks and costs, prudence must prevail, which requires thoughtful deliberations based on an accurate analysis of the impact our actions will have on the future.”

He said one of the principle elements to have emerged from the more than thirty years of study on the phenomenon of global warming is the increasing awareness that the entire international community is part of one interdependent human family.

“The decisions and behaviours of one of the members of this family have profound consequences for the others; there are no political frontiers, barriers or walls behind which we can hide to protect one member from another against the effects of global warming.”

POPEFranciswavingReferring to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, he said there was no room for the globalisation of indifference, the economy of exclusion or the throwaway culture.

“In the actions undertaken to counter global warming we have too often seen the predominance of special interests or so-called ‘free-riders’ over the common good; we have too often noted a certain suspicion or lack of trust on the part of States, as well as on the part of other participants,” Cardinal Parolin recognised.

He said if the international community really wishes to be effective, it must implement a “collective response based on a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue, which should be at the basis of normal interactions within every family and which requires the full, responsible and dedicated collaboration of all, according to their possibilities and circumstances.”

Cardinal Parolin warned that market forces alone, especially when deprived of a suitable ethical direction cannot resolve the interdependent crisis concerning global warming, poverty and exclusion.

“The greatest challenge lies in the sphere of human values and human dignity; questions which regard the human dignity of individuals and of peoples are not able to be reduced to mere technical problems.”   Source

Comment

Can it possibly be that neither Pope Francis nor Cardinal Parolin realise that the driving force behind the climate change scam is population control? Are they really that ignorant? Or are they merely (with all the respect due to their respective high offices, of course) merely useful idiots

Why IS There Such Hatred Of The Traditional Latin Mass?

TradMasswithsaintscolourThe following very interesting (to say the least) article, taken from the ‘Countercultural Father’ blog,  is self-explanatory, and recounts how one priest, south of the border in England, who introduced the Traditional Latin Mass under the terms of Summorum Pontificum, has been replaced by another priest who is apparently hostile (with bells on) towards the old rite.  [Please note that the term  “Extraordinary Form” (instead of Traditional Latin Mass or rite)  is used in the original, so we allow it to remain below,  but this is not a term we ever use at Catholic Truth.]  Read on, and be amazed, be shocked – especially at the liturgical abuse deliberately introduced by the new priest –  and then answer the question which forms the title of this thread: why is there such hatred of the Traditional Latin Mass, especially among bishops and priests? How can they possibly hate the ancient Mass, the Mass that the Church’s great martyrs gave their life’s blood to defend  – why? We quoted one American bishop  in our newsletter some time ago, saying that to be indifferent to the old rite Mass is one thing, but to hate it comes straight from Hell.  Do you agree?

Trouble at Blackfen

So what is going on at Blackfen?  Fr Tim Finigan, the hermeneutic parish priest, was moved recently to Margate. As I understand it, he left behind him a parish at which the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (traditional Latin Mass) was celebrated once every Sunday, alongside the three Ordinary Form Sunday Masses (one being the vigil Mass on Saturday evening). The EF was also celebrated on Saturday mornings and as an extra Mass on major feastdays and former holydays.

The EF was attended both by parishioners, and by a significant number of people who travelled some distance for it.

Some time ago, The Tablet tried to stir up some controversy about it (see here and here) as the editorial line is against anything that might smack of traditional, orthodox Catholicism. Despite their best efforts, there was no real story there; it is true that not all parishioners were happy: Bernard Wynne, a spokesman for ‘Catholic Voices for Reform’ (and you can guess what kind of reform they want…) was not, and there were a few others of like mind. One, Susan Reynolds, was on the radio saying that her ‘heart was broken‘ by the introduction of the EF Mass (one EF Mass, remember, when the rest of the Sunday Masses were OF). An odd reaction, one might reasonably think; but it seems she and Mr Wynne were in a very small minority in the parish.  Fr Finigan’s characteristically level-headed assessment was ‘there are a few who are very much in favour, a few who are strongly against, and “the substantial majority who simply wonder what Father is doing now”.’

When Fr Finigan’s move was announced, regulars were pleased to learn that the incoming priest, Fr Fisher, was also used to saying Mass in the EF, and would continue to do so. That seemed a pastorally sensitive decision, as well as a sensible one, given that the EF Mass was well attended. I am told that ‘people were looking forward to Fr Fisher coming, that talk had been very, very positive and that his appointment had been considered a good one among virtually everyone in the parish, particularly those attending the TLM who were delighted that they would have somebody who would understand their attachment to the Mass of Ages.’ 

His Twitter picture @FrStevenFisher shows him in clerical dress, with a surplice, black cope and biretta, which should be enough to reassure any traditional Catholic.  The odd thing is that it is an old photo, from some years back; and indeed his appearance has changed significantly.  A more recent facebook profile photo, tweeted by Joseph Shaw, shows him as much leaner, and in civvies, which is apparently more typical now. 

On his arrival, things started to change very quickly, and with little or no explanation.  That alone was in marked contrast to his predecessor, who introduced change gradually, and explained each step along the way with great pastoral care.

One of the earliest changes was his deciding within very short order that he was cancelling all the EF Masses (about 18) that had been planned for feast days etc, including the Patronal Feast and Christmas Eve. He announced this on the evening of his second day in the Parish. Of course, he has every right to do so: he may have looked at the diary and thought that he would be over-committed. But understandably, that was not the most welcome thing he could have announced to endear himself to those in the parish attached to the EF.

His Thursday Benediction, which Fr Finigan had sung in Latin, was celebrated in English: he announced that Thursday Benediction would now be ‘Novus Ordo,’ introducing a division which had not been there before. Given that people had come with the expectation of Latin Benediction as usual, that again caused some to wonder about his approach and intentions.

He also removed the gradines and two of the six candles from the altar and made it clear that he did not want them replaced, by leaving a note to that effect on the altar. As above, he has every right to do so, but again, it was not perhaps the way to demonstrate his understanding of certain sensibilities.

For his parishioners, these were the first straws in the wind. 

Traditional Latin MassOn his first Sunday, he preached a homily about different ‘circles of communion,’ in which he was at pains to distinguish between parishioners and visitors. Visitors, of course, must be welcomed with charity, but the parish was primarily for parishioners.  Again, that caused people to wonder about his agenda.

But the point at which my friends agree that things really seemed to go off the rails was at the People’s Communion at the EF Mass. At the ‘Domine, non sum dignus,’ he paused, holding the Sacred Host in his hand, and announced that there had been considerable confusion and discussion about the correct way to receive Communion at this (the EF) Mass. He then stated that, according to the 1983 Codex Juris Canonici it was permissible to receive kneeling or standing, on the tongue, or, in England & Wales, in the hand. At least some of those present thought that he was deliberately insinuating that the previous instruction (announced by Fr. Finigan at all EF Masses) was incorrect.

There are a couple of related issues here: one is the error.  The Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (2011), makes it clear (§24 ff) that the EF should be celebrated according to the rubrics proper to it (and see FIUV position paper here). One would have thought that, given considerable confusion and discussion, he might have done his research.

A second is the symbolic aspect: one of the reasons many are attached to the EF is the degree of reverence communicated by every aspect, including gesture. The manner of reception of communion is the most evident example of this, so an announcement of this nature, particularly at that moment of the Mass, naturally had a very strong impact.

This, I am told, is the point at which several of my friends were seriously upset. They wished to talk with him after Mass, but he apparently appeared in the Parish Centre (not in clericals, but in a shirt and jeans) took a biscuit, joked that he ‘followed the Canadian model’ (of clerical attire) and left without saying anything else to anyone else. 

 Somehow Damian Thompson heard about some of this, and tweeted from his @holysmoke account, asking why priests felt the need to change the EF Mass, which did not go down well.

On the following Saturday, he announced from the pulpit that he was shocked that he had been denounced to ‘the editor of the Spectator‘ (he meant Damian Thompson, who is an associate editor there); and that whoever had done so had committed a mortal sin by gossiping about parish affairs outside the parish. Clearly that was a rash thing to say, and did nothing to calm the anxieties already raised.

The Sunday EF Mass, the following day, had about half the usual number in the congregation: many had been flabbergasted at the previous week’s Mass. After delivering the same admonition as given on the Saturday, he then announced that the Latin Mass was a wound in the Parish: that he had had spies (sic) at every Mass, and it was only the Latin Mass congregation that was divisive and toxic. Therefore he was going to end the Latin Mass, as of the end of September. He did not deliver a sermon (unless the admonition and winding up of the EF Mass counts as one).

So what has been going on here?

I am conscious that my friends are seeing this from one perspective: that of Catholics attached to the EF, who were supporters of the restoration of tradition which Fr Finigan had gently introduced over many years.

They are clear in their own minds that Fr Fisher arrived with an agenda to change things. Indeed, he said he had had hours of discussion with the bishop prior to coming to the parish, with the strong implication that both Bishop Lynch and Archbishop Smith were backing him up on his approach, and indeed had agreed it with him.

They think that he deliberately did things to upset the EF congregation, in order either to get numbers down, so that he could say there was no longer any demand, or to provoke some to intemperate responses, so that he could point to their toxicity and divisiveness.

If that were the case, he succeeded to some extent on both counts: numbers were down dramatically; and if talking to people like Damian Thompson, or even to friends like me counts as toxic and divisive, then that too has been achieved. I understand one parishioner was so distressed when he was denouncing people for the ‘mortal sin’ of speaking to a journalist, that she remonstrated with him, reminding him that he was, in Mass, acting in persona Christi. As I heard it told, this was a gentle remonstration, which provoked a very angry response: “I will not be shouted at in my Church!” though the only shouting was, I am told, by the priest. But I can see, from his point of view, that such an interruption during Mass could seem very unfriendly.

However, another source who has contacted me sees it all very differently. Although more remote from the parish, he has known Fr Fisher previously, and believes he arrived at the parish willing to sustain the EF, but was met with such unfriendliness and hostility (and that was the reputation the parish already had) that he felt that he had to confront it.

The problem I have with that explanation is first that it comes from someone who was not anywhere near Blackfen at the time; secondly that it runsOur Lord giving Holy Communion so strongly against my other friends’ accounts who were there, and whom I trust to tell the truth (as they see it); when I put this to one of them, I was told it was definitely not the case, and that ‘we were all terrified we’d lose the EF Mass, and would have done almost anything to see it continue. We had been reassuring each other that at least Fr. Fisher said the old Mass so Fr. Finigan’s work would not be lost.  He stopped to talk to parishioners after all OF Masses, but didn’t stay outside after the EF ones;’ and thirdly that it coincides exactly with what my Blackfen friends believe to be the ‘black propaganda’ that is being used to discredit them and justify the elimination of the EF Mass there.

Or is it simply a case of Greek tragedy: the priest arrived believing the parish to be divided by rabid traddies; the more traditional members of the congregation were suspicious of anyone replacing their much-missed Fr Finigan: both ended up creating the very reality they feared…?

I don’t know, of course; but the astute reader will have picked up my strong suspicions.

And if my Blackfen friends’ reading of the situation is accurate, that raises a further question: where did this plan to bring the EF Mass to an end originate?  With the new Parish Priest, or higher up the ecclesiastical tree?

And in my more paranoid moments, it raises a further, and more troubling, question still: what is it about the EF Mass that arouses such fear and defensiveness, that it must be consigned to oblivion?

I should add that I have thought and prayed about whether to post all this. I have been strongly advised in both directions.  The majority of my Blackfen friends wanted me to do so: they believe an injustice is being committed, and that myths about them are being created to justify that.

However, one of them was fearful that anything I might blog might lead people to think that I was in some way speaking for Fr Finigan, and get him in trouble. That is clearly the last thing I want to do, and I can make it quite clear that I have never met Fr Finigan, nor talked to him about any of this. The only communications I have had with him were some years back, in the comments section of his blog, and in a private correspondence resulting from that, which did not touch on any of these issues. He has had nothing to do with this post in any way – one of my concerns is that he will wish I had held my peace.

Another concern is that I may wrong, and almost certainly hurt, Fr Fisher. That too weighs heavily on me. But the hurt suffered by my friends is also weighty, and having heard it at first hand from a number of them, to keep silent would add to their pain.  

So I have to reach a judgement: I do believe that it is better to shine a light on troubling things than to collude by maintaining silence.  If I am wrong, as I may well be, I hope that this post prompts correction and clarifications, which all concerned will welcome.  If I am right, then I think Catholics need to know what is being done to those whose primary offence is attachment to the Immemorial Mass. 

 Needless to say, prayers for all involved in this situation are of the utmost importance.  Source 

“By their fruits…” SSPX Growing

Catholic Tradition just won’t stop growing! Vocations continue to steadily abound within the SSPX, as do families at its chapels—where the youth are usually predominant.

It’s undeniable that the Society of St. Pius X (and thus the movement of Catholic Tradition) continues by the grace of God to steadily grow throughout the world—and the statistics prove it!

statisticsHere at SSPX.ORG, we have created a new page that provides some general statistics about the SSPX, just updated with the most recent information available. In addition to links for 2 colorful maps showing the Society’s international and national work, we also have some basic info about some traditional communities and independent chapels that are closely affiliated with us.

We would also like to direct our readers to the colorful charts being offered at FSSPX.ORG (website of the General House in Menzingen, Switzerland) which graphically demonstrate the increasing presence of the SSPX throughout the world. Note some of the captions are in French.

It is also noteworthy that the first graph gives a total of 589 priests, while our general statistics gives a figure of 590—in anticipation of the priestly ordination that will take place in Post Falls, Idaho tomorrow (Saturday, September 20). Please keep this young alter Christus in your prayers!

Another item that might interest our readers is the addition of the English translation of all 3 founding documents of the Society of St. Pius X. Images of the actual original documents in French and Latin have been included as well as some pertinent links about their historical context and importance.  Source

 Comment

If “By their fruits shall ye know them” means anything, it means that the SSPX is being greatly blessed by God.  This has implications for Catholics everywhere who are concerned to protect and deepen their faith in the midst of this, the worst ever crisis to afflict the Church. Spot the implications – ready, steady, GO! 

Cardinal Burke – Latest & Greatest Victim of the Dreaded “Francis Effect”?

Cardinal Burke

As the impeccable prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura, [Cardinal Burke] is on the verge of being demoted to the purely honorary role of “patron” of an order of knighthood. At the behest of Pope Francis by Sandro Magister  

VATICAN CITY, September 17, 2014 – The “revolution” of Pope Francis in ecclesiastical governance is not losing its driving thrust. And so, as happens in every self-respecting revolution, the heads continue to roll for churchmen seen as deserving this metaphorical guillotine. In his first months as bishop of Rome, pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities among the most “Ratzingerian” of the Roman curia. Another whose fate appears to be sealed is the Spanish archbishop of Opus Dei Celso Morga Iruzubieta, secretary of the congregation for the clergy, destined to leave Rome for an Iberian diocese not of the first rank. But now an even more eminent decapitation seems to be on the way. The next victim would in fact be the United States cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who from being prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura would not be promoted – as some are fantasizing in the blogosphere – to the difficult but prestigious see of Chicago, but rather demoted to the pompous – but ecclesiastically very modest – title of “cardinal patron” of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing the current head, Paolo Sardi, who recently turned 80.

If confirmed, Burke’s exile would be even more drastic than the one inflicted on Cardinal Piacenza, who, transferred from the important congregation for the clergy to the marginal apostolic penitentiary, nevertheless remained in the leadership of a curial dicastery. With the shakeup on the way, Burke would instead be completely removed from the curia and employed in a purely honorary position without any influence on the governance of the universal Church. This would be a move that seems to have no precedent. In the past, in fact, the title of “cardinalis patronus” of the knights of Malta, in existence since 1961, like the previous one of Grand Prior of Rome, has always been assigned to the highest ranking cardinals as an extra position in addition to the main one. This is what was done with cardinals Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro (appointed Grand Prior in 1896 while remaining secretary of state), Gaetano Bisleti (at the same time prefect of the congregation for Catholic education), Gennaro Granito Pignatelli (cardinal dean and bishop of Albano), Nicola Canali (governor of Vatican City), Paolo Giobbe (leader of the apostolic dataria), Paul-Pierre Philippe (until the age of 75 also prefect of the congregation for the Oriental Churches), Sebastiano Baggio (removed from the congregation for bishops but kept on as governor of Vatican City and camerlengo), Pio Laghi (until the age of 77 also prefect of the congregation for Catholic education).

Two separate cases are those of Cardinal Giacomo Violardo, who succeeded the 89-year-old Giobbe as patron at the age of 71, two months after receiving the scarlet at the end of long service in the curia, and of the outgoing Sardi, appointed pro-patron in 2009 at the age of 75 and made cardinal in 2010 after having been for many years the head of the office that writes pontifical documents. Above all, Sardi’s retirement would not be a compulsory act, since the age limit of 80 does not apply to positions outside of the curia. And in fact, with the exception of Paulo Giobbe, all of the aforementioned cardinal patrons went on to a better life “durante munere.”

Burke is 66 years old, and therefore still in his ecclesiastical prime. Ordained a priest by Paul VI in 1975, he worked at the apostolic signatura as an ordinary priest with John Paul II, who made him bishop of his native diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1993. It was again pope Karol Wojtyla who in 2003 promoted him as archbishop of the prestigious see, once cardinalate, of St. Louis, Missouri. Benedict XVI called him back to Rome in 2008, and made him a cardinal in 2010. With a very devout personality, he is also recognized as having the rare virtue of never having struck any deals to obtain ecclesiastical promotions or benefices. In the liturgical and theological camp, he is very close to the sensibilities of Joseph Ratzinger.

He has celebrated a number of times according to the ancient rite, even donning the “cappa magna,” as do cardinals George Pell and Antonio Cañizares Llovera, without being punished for this by Pope Francis. A great expert in canon law, and appointed to the apostolic signatura for this reason, he is not afraid to follow it to the most uncomfortable consequences. Like when, to the tune of articles of the Code – number 915 to be precise – he upheld the impossibility of giving communion to those politicians who stubbornly and publicly uphold the right to abortion, bringing the rebukes of two colleagues in the United States valued by Pope Francis, Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston and Donald Wuerl of Washington.  (emphasis added)

Free in his judgments, he has been among the very few to make critical remarks on “Evangelii Gaudium,” pointing out that in his view it is orientational but not truly magisterial. And in view of the upcoming synod of bishops, he has repeatedly taken a stand against the ideas of Cardinal Walter Kasper – well known to be in the good graces of Pope Francis – in favor of communion for the divorced and remarried. The dicastery headed by Burke, eminently technical, recently accepted an appeal from the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate against a provision issued for them by the congregation for religious. A courageous move on the part of Burke, situated within the context of the punitive action undertaken by the Vatican congregation against one of the most substantial realities of Catholic traditionalism, an action that Pope Francis endorsed by approving in specific form the congregation’s decision to prevent the Friars of the Immaculate from celebrating the Mass according to the “Tridentine” rite.  (emphasis added)

It is only with this kind of pontifical approval, in fact, that a decree of the curia can overturn standing law, in this case the motu proprio of Benedict XVI “Summorum Pontificum.” It is difficult to identify among these episodes the ones that may have have had the greatest influence on the fate of Cardinal Burke. But it is easy to predict that his definitive downgrading will provoke both a tumultuous reaction within the traditionalist world, where Burke is seen as a hero, and a corresponding wave of jubilation in the opposite camp, where he is instead considered a bogeyman.

On the latter side it can be recalled that the “liberal” Catholic commentator Michael Sean Winters, in the “National Catholic Reporter” of November 26, 2013, had called for the head of Cardinal Burke as a member of the congregation for bishops, because of the nefarious influence, according to him, that he was exercising over episcopal appointments in the United States. On December 16, in effect, Pope Francis humiliated Burke by crossing him off from among the members of the congregation. To the hosannas of “liberal” Catholicism, not only in the United States. The pope certainly did not do so out of obedience to the wishes of the “National Catholic Reporter.” But now he seems right at the point of giving the go-ahead for the second and more grave demotion of one of the most untarnished personalities the Vatican curia knows.   Source

Comment

Those who remember the way Cardinal Burke caved in to the “liberal” bullies in Westminster by withdrawing at the last minute from his speaking engagement at the London Conference hosted by the orthodox group Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, will be pleased to recall the details above of his later fearless confronting of the “liberal” elite. He is now paying the price, of course, if the reports of his “demotion” are, in fact, true.   We welcome your thoughts on this latest bombshell from Rome.

 

A Great Darkness Surrounds Rome…

vatican-cityBelow, an article by American writer Christopher Ferrara…

Antonio Socci is one of the most prominent Catholic voices in Italy, a journalist, author, commentator, and public intellectual of the first rank. I had the privilege of translating from the Italian his ground-breaking work Fourth Secret of Fatima in which he recounts how had he set out to disprove the existence of a suppressed text of the Third Secret only to become firmly convinced that such a text not only exists but is “well hidden” in the Vatican.

Socci is not a traditionalist. He is a Catholic of the “mainstream” who is nonetheless a supporter of the restoration of the Latin Mass. Indeed, Socci was full of praise for Pope Francis at the beginning of his pontificate. And so was I. (If you don’t believe me, take a look at what I wrote here and here in the immediate aftermath of the conclave.)

 I have been forced to change my mind and admit that the earliest critics of the former Cardinal Bergoglio, who knew far more about the man and his ideas than I did, were right from the beginning. Socci, too, has gone from supporting this pontificate to lamenting its alarming trajectory toward what would appear to be the completion of the post-Vatican II autodemolition of the Church (to the extent this is humanly possible and permitted by God).

In a few short months Socci has, in fact, become one of the harshest critics of the Bergoglian agenda, and rightly so. It appears that the last straw for him was the Pope’s outrageous rehabilitation of the Marxist priest Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, suspended by John Paul but restored to the exercise of the priesthood by Francis, even though d’Escoto had only days before thumbed his nose at Rome and hailed Fidel Castro as a gift of the Holy Ghost to the Cuban people (belying the Vatican’s flimsy cover story that he had repented of his errors).

As Socci writes with undisguised contempt: “In the Bergoglian epoch, the Vatican has practically rehabilitated Liberation Theology, born in the Sixties, which has caused many disasters, above all in Latin America, by having fomented the subjugation of the Church by Marxist thought.” As Socci notes with disgust, d’Escoto declared that Castro was the means by which “the Holy Spirit transmitted to us the message, this message of Christ, on the necessity of struggling to establish… the reign of God on earth…” Socci continues: “After this theological exaltation of the tyrant of Cuba, who for decades oppressed an entire people with a communist dictatorship, d’Escoto was gladdened by the revocation of his suspension by Pope Francis.”

The contrast with the brutal treatment Francis has meted out to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate sickens Socci, as it should any Catholic with a sense of justice:

The velvet glove used by Francis with the famous and powerful “comrade” d’Escoto contrasts with the iron fist he used to strike a good and humble religious of holy life, Father Stefano Manelli, spiritual son of Padre Pio and founder of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Father Manelli had even written to the Pope, but his letter was not even taken into consideration.

His religious family, orthodox, disciplined, and full of vocations, was annihilated by the will of Bergoglio, inasmuch as it applied the motu proprio of Benedict XVI on the liturgy. And he was too orthodox.

Father Manelli has never disobeyed the Church, has never deviated from right doctrine, has never thrown himself into politics like d’Escoto, and has never exalted communist tyrants. So, he was harshly punished.

Socci’s conclusion is chilling, coming as it does from one who strongly supported Francis but has seen the immense damage this pontificate has already caused, and is likely to cause, to the Church’s mission at a time of unprecedented moral and spiritual decline:

Today, in the Bergoglian epoch, there is a return precisely to Rahner, and to that philosophy which has already caused such damage among the Jesuits and in the Church. And in this empty abyss Catholics are tossed and turned “by every wind of doctrine.” Subjugated by any ideology and corrupted by any heresy. A great darkness surrounds Rome.

Socci shows us that more and more Catholics of good will are coming to the realization that the crisis in the Church has reached a new, and perhaps its final, stage. To remain willfully blind to what is happening is not to “trust the Church” but rather to ignore an alarm that is calling every Catholic to do what our confirmation oath requires: defend the faith of our fathers against an all-encompassing “para-conciliar ideology” that is threatening the Church like no mere heresy ever has. Source

Comment:

Socci is a “mainstream” Catholic – not a “traditionalist”.  Do you agree with his assessment of the state of the Church today and if so, why? Would you identify the same scandals that brought Socci to recognise that “great darkness [that] surrounds Rome” or are there others, even more important, in your view?  Over to thee…