“FrancisChurch” – Latest Shocker…

Here is what the certified kooks at the Pontifical Council for Culture are defending as an image validly representative of the Vatican’s approach to “women’s issues”:  a vulgarized, semi-pornographic depiction of Venus in bondage by “Man Ray,” an American fashion photographer and “modern artist” from the Sixties.

Cardinal Ravasi, the vaunted “intellectual” appointed as head of the Council by Pope Francis, refuses to remove the sexually aberrant image from the Vatican website, despite admittedly receiving complaints from the faithful.

According to him, the image is a valid depiction of what he considers a fact: that “many women, alas, are still struggling for freedom (bound with rope), their voices and intellect often unheard (headless), their actions unappreciated (limbless).”
So, FrancisChurch  has now embraced the feminist movement, at the same time it prepares the second session of the Phony Synod, where the Pope’s handpicked radical progressives will try one more time to undermine in practice the Church’s infallible teaching on marriage and procreation.   Source

 

Comment… 

Immaculate heart of MaryPlease click  here to email or phone the Pontifical Council for Culture to express your disgust at this obscenity.  Perhaps remind Cardinal Ravasi of Our Lady’s warning at Fatima that “more souls go to Hell through sins of impurity than through any other sin” and point out that this image cannot help cultivate purity in any soul. No woman will go to Hell because she hasn’t climbed the career ladder through “discrimination” of whatever kind, but souls may well end up in Hell through sins sparked by looking at that horrible image on a Vatican website.  If you’d like to copy your message for us on the blog, that would be good. It is always edifying to read the efforts of others in the battle for the restoration of our holy Faith, but if you’d rather not, then feel free to comment as you choose.    Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. Mother Most Pure, pray for us… 

Vatican Priest Threat To Sue Blogger…

Blogger, Sixupman emailed me this report from Vox Cantoris blog reporting this astonishing legal letter threatening action against the Fr Tom Rosicaadministrator for his  criticism of Fr Tom Rosica, (pictured)  a Vatican spokesman. 

Let’s hope the blogger under threat sticks to his guns, as expressed in this extract from one of his posts:

Father Rosica “Tweeted” the article with the headline “Cardinal Wuerl’s response to Cardinal Burke (and dissenters)” and a link to the article. His followers cannot be faulted if they just read the headline and take up the believe that Cardinal Burke is one bad guy, after all, he is a “dissenter.”

It seems to it is time for Father Lombardi to make a decision as to whether this Vatican employee needs to be either reigned in on social media or sent packing to preside over the winding down of Salt + Light.

Nota Bene: My colleague Barona at Toronto Catholic Witness and I are resolute. We will not fail in our countering of the assault on the faith and tradition that these men continue to undertake against Holy Mother Church and the Catholic faithful.

Make no mistake Wuerl, Marx, Madriaga, Kasper and Rosica, we will not rest.  Source

My own advice to the blog administrator, for what it’s worth, is to ignore that disgraceful letter.  I’ve had umpteen legal threats over the years (although none from the Vatican, I must say, with green eyes…) and I’ve ignored the majority of them. That was the end of the matter. We need always to stand up to bullies – that’s the answer, in my humble opinion.

Comments invited…

General Discussion (7)

debatingIf there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

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

Enjoy!

To read General Discussion Thread (1) click here (2) click here (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here (6) click here

Pope Francis: Blame The Holy Spirit!

Vatican City, Feb 15, 2015 / 04:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After elevating 20 new cardinals, Pope Francis reminded them that true honor is found in service, and urged them to follow Jesus in breaking rigid ways of thinking and touching society’s marginalized. “Jesus is not afraid of scandal! He does not think of the closed-minded who are scandalized even by a work of healing, scandalized before any kind of openness, by any action outside of their mental and spiritual boxes,” the Pope said Feb. 15. Rather than seeking to conform to the norms of others or adhere to a ritualistic purity, Jesus seeks to “reinstate the outcast, to save those outside the camp.”   Source    spiritual box

Comment

Since the “outcasts” are easily “reinstated” within the Church by doing what all sinners do, confessing their sins, showing true sorrow for their sins and making determination not to return to those sins, it’s not easy to work out exactly what it is that Pope Francis is talking about, to put it as politely as possible.  In the context of the recent Synod scandal, with promise of more to come, I wonder if, by exhorting the cardinals to think of actions “outside of their spiritual boxes” he is suggesting that applying Canon Law to the divorced and “remarried” and to reject any recognition of homosexual unions, is to treat people uncharitably, like “lepers”.  Maybe I’m wrong, of course, bound to happen one of these days, but, whatever, Pope Francis’ address to the 20 new cardinals brought to my mind the Christian Order editorial below (well, actually, somebody emailed it to me today and THEN I put it together with the address to the new cardinals!)  Seems Papa Francis blames the Holy Spirit for the mayhem that has broken out since the launch of the Bergoglian ‘project’.

Read the extract below from the Christian Order article and then share your thoughts.  Am I misinterpreting the Pope’s exhortation to the new cardinals?  If so, would someone please explain to this simple gal, what the dickens point he’s making?  WHO are the “lepers” and just what is a “spiritual box”, especially one that need to be set aside in order to help said “lepers”?  I need to know in case I’ve got one and just didn’t realise it.  There’s so much paperwork and boxes around here that I just might have missed it. 

The Locust Project

THE EDITOR
(Christian Order)

One does not remain faithful, like the traditionalists…, to the letter. …. Our certainties can become a wall, a jail that imprisons the Holy Spirit. Cardinal Bergoglio, 30 Days, Nov. 2007

If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. … Those today who always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ …  – [their] faith becomes an ideology…. 
Pope Bergoglio, America, 19/9/13

[One] temptation [is] to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) … ; within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. … it is the temptation of the … so-called… “traditionalists” … Pope Bergoglio, Extraordinary Synod, 18/10/14

Is it just our traditionalist ‘infidelity’ to the Holy Spirit? Our ‘ideological’ desire for doctrinal ‘security’?  Our ‘temptation’ to ‘hostile inflexibility’? Or is this repetitive party line precisely as it appears: a purposeful neo-Modernist desire to demean and deconstruct the Faith of Our Fathers? A Bergoglian ‘project’?

The rhetorical questions underline the obvious answer. From the outset of this pontificate, as thoroughly documented in these pages, we have endured one long, ruthless Bergoglian assault on all we hold dear (to include the papacy itself). And that being the case, why, on the first anniversary of his election, during a 5 March 2014 interview with Corriere della Sera, did Pope Francis dare to state:

“Last March [2013], I didn’t have a project to change the Church”?  PopeFrancisHandsonface

The Holy Spirit Made Me Do It!

Now, papolators need not panic or reach for a valium (— just yet: best wait till the end and take a handful of pills at once). I am not accusing the pope of bare-faced lying. In keeping with Modernist duplicity, it’s more nuanced (‘messier’?) than that.

In the first place, while feigning to ‘listen’ more than any pope in history, Francis talks so much that he does not hear himself! He does not detect, never mind evaluate, the hallmark pride of anti-dogmatic Modernism that resounds whenever he discusses Catholic Tradition and its upholders. Our opening quotations typify the tone: self-righteous, jarring, condescending.  Read entire article here 

Comments invited…

Confirmation: Cause For Concern?

ConfirmationSSPX

One of our regular bloggers, Petrus, submitted the  article below for discussion, following the news that Confirmation will be administered at the SSPX chapel in Edinburgh in the near future.  

The fact that some adults (one that I know of personally) may ask  for conditional Confirmation provides food for thought. Why would they?   Petrus explains…

Is Confirmation the most underrated Sacrament in the modern Catholic Church?

The New Rite of Confirmation differs significantly from the Traditional Rite.

In many dioceses, the age for the reception of Confirmation has been lowered and the liturgy significantly stripped of ceremony. By lowering the age and lessening the ceremonies, the importance and value of Confirmation seems to have been lost on many Catholics. It is the only Sacrament of Initiation that the Society of St. Pius X routinely offer to confer conditionally.

What does the Church teach about Confirmation and why does the Society of St. Pius X have grave concerns concerning the new rite of Confirmation?

Holy Scripture tells us that Our Lord promised that He would send the Holy Ghost, a paraclete, or “helper”, to His disciples for the purpose of strengthening them in profession of Faith. Our Lord tells His disciples, “The Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you must say” (Luke chapter 12 verses 11-12).

In John’s Gospel chapter 14 Our Lord says, “And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you for ever.” In the Acts of the Apostles, Philip the Deacon converted Samaria and baptised the converts. However, it was the Apostles, the first bishops of the Church, who went to administer Confirmation. It is clear that the imparting of the Holy Ghost was to be the normal part of the Christian life. Thus, we can say with confidence that Confirmation is a Sacrament of the Church, instituted by Our Lord, administered by the bishop and through which we receive the Holy Ghost. The Church teaches that Confirmation is the Sacrament by which we receive the Holy Ghost in order to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Christ. We receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the fruits associated with these gifts.

The ordinary minister of Confirmation is a bishop, as we can see from the Acts of the Apostles, detailed above. However, in danger of death any priest can administer the Sacrament in extremis. The bishop administers Confirmation by praying that the Holy Ghost may come down upon those being confirmed, while laying his hands on them and making the Sign of the Cross on their forehead with the oil of Chrism. The use of the oil of Chrism is extremely important. When the great flood documented in the book of Geneses subsided, the dove released by Noah returned with an olive branch, the symbol of peace and plenty. Therefore, the oil of Chrism has olive oil as its base. Olive oil has long been used as a symbol of strengthening. It is said that Roman soldiers were anointed with olive oil prior to going into battle. Olive oil strengthens our souls and prepares us for spiritual warfare. Added to this olive oil is balsam, sweet smelling fragrance. This balsam heals and preserves our souls.

The primary effect of Confirmation is an increase of the divine life of grace in the soul and a more intimate union with Christ, through reception of the Holy Ghost. The sacramental grace has a strengthening effect which we receive directly from the Holy Ghost, just like the Apostles received on Pentecost Sunday. This increases the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which we originally received at Baptism. The Holy Ghost makes us soldiers of Christ, able to defend and promote our Faith and overcome difficulties of the world, the flesh and the devil.

For the Church, Confirmation is the perpetuation of Pentecost. It is the means through which She keeps alive the power of the Holy Ghost. Why, then, has the importance of Confirmation been downgraded in the modern Church? It is interesting that St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) predicted that towards the end of time Confirmation would fall into disuse and that those who were not confirmed would succumb to believing in and obeying the Antichrist.

The Rite of Confirmation changed significantly in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council. The bishops of the Society of St. Pius X now routinely offer Conditional Confirmation to those who were Confirmed in the New Rite of Confirmation. Why is there doubts regarding the validity of the New Rite? To understand this, we must consider what ensures the validity of the Sacraments. A valid Sacrament consists of valid matter and correct form. This is because a Sacrament is an outward sign (of an inward grace) – an external action. The rite consists of the performing of an action and the saying of words. Thus in Confirmation, the laying on of hands and anointing on the forehead with Chrism is the valid matter and the words spoken by the bishop while those actions are being performed make up the form.  

It must be repeated that the ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop and this can normally only be delegated to a priest in extraordinary circumstances, usually danger of death. Since the Second Vatican Council, parish priests routinely administer the Sacrament of Confirmation in many parishes. As I have stated above, valid matter in the case of Confirmation is the laying on of hands and the anointing with Chrism. In the Traditional Rite of Confirmation, the bishop lays his hands on each individual person being confirmed. In the modern Rite, the bishop, or more usually the priest, stands and extends his hands over all the Confirmandi. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the oil of Chrism has olive oil as its base ingredient since the use of other types of oil has been sanctioned by the Vatican. In the Traditional Rite, the correct form that ensures the validity of the Sacrament is, “I sign thee with the Sign of the Cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” In 1971, these words were changed to “Be sealed with gift of the Holy Spirit.” This change in the correct form is quite dramatic. Coupled with the routine use of priests to administer the Sacrament and doubts regarding the use of olive oil based chrism, this is surely enough to establish doubts regarding the validity of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the new rite.

Confirmation can only be administered once. When a Society of St. Pius X bishop administers Conditional Confirmation, similar to when Conditional Baptism is administered, the words, If you are not Confirmed…” are added to the beginning of the correct form. It is important to stress that the Society of Saint Pius X makes no definitive judgement regarding the validity of the new rite. The existence of doubt should be enough for any Catholic who has been confirmed in the New Rite to seek Conditional Confirmation from a Traditional bishop and any Catholic who has still to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation should ensure they receive it in the Traditional Rite by a Traditional bishop.

Comments invited…

Michael Voris On SSPX – Vicious…

I stopped subscribing to the Church Militant TV videos when they announced their papolatrist policy.  Haven’t given them a single thought since.

Then today a reader emailed to alert me to the above video in which – from around the 33rd to 47th minute – Michael Voris and his two colleagues launch into one of the most savage and untruthful assaults on the SSPX that I have ever witnessed (and I’ve witnessed some corkers, believe me.)  Seems some Cardinals in Rome told Voris that the SSPX is definitely in schism, in fact, one said: “It is beyond doubt that they are in schism” and that’s good enough for Michael.  It might have been Cardinal Kasper, for all we know, but hey, who cares? A Cardinal said it and it’s what the ignorant Mr Voris wants to hear, so that’s just fine and dandy. He threw into the mix Pope Benedict’s comment in Summorum Pontificum (SP)  to the effect that the Society does not exercise legitimate ministry in the Church and threw up his hands, fait accompli.  No in depth examination of the issues whatsoever. An unnamed Cardinal’s opinion, other unnamed Cardinals in the background,  and a statement from Pope Benedict taken out of context.  Voris clearly doesn’t DO serious research…

Earlier in the video, the mantra was to the effect that we must all lament the “reactionary” Catholic media who, while they may correctly diagnose the crisis, use the wrong methodology to correct it – naughty to mock and ridicule the Modernists… However,  it’s perfectly in order to mock and ridicule  the “reactionary” Catholics who frequent SSPX chapels or even simply support them.  One of the most striking pieces of mockery is when Voris laughs at the expulsion of Bishop Williamson from the Society of St Pius X, saying that he was expelled for “disobedience” and expressed the view that this is ironic (less politely, take note).   He hasn’t noticed, apparently, that no Modernist bishops have been given as much as a disciplinary rap on the knuckles for their scandalous disobedience, let alone been expelled from the Church.  In fact, wasn’t one of them appointed to lead the recent Synod on the Family? The one who doesn’t want any of us to call adultery “adultery”?  No mocking now. He’s in communion with the Pope and Church – unlike the SSPX.  This, folks, is the level of “intellect” with which we are dealing over at Church Militant TV. 

Under fire in this shallow interview are several American publications, classed as “reactionary” and considered dangerous because they are supportive of the SSPX –  The Remnant, Angelus Press, Catholic Family News.

The whole thing is shallow and unimpressive.  A real giveaway is the description of “reactionary” Catholics guilty of “idolising the Latin Mass.”  That says it all, really.   

This  totally biased and ignorant conversation about the SSPX  prompted me to break my self-imposed rule of ignoring the Voris video club, in the hope that we can help readers who may be influenced by the false information peddled in the above film.  I was disgusted at the dishonesty of the CMTV staff – and the number of them.  Clearly, cash is not a problem over at CMTV – just knowledge of the Catholic Faith and the ability to recognise real schism when they see it.

So, thanks to the reader who alerted me to this unconscionable and utterly dishonest conversation.  It confirms my own view that Michael Voris and his staff at Church Militant TV are a major part of the problem in the Church today. They are not even remotely part of the solution. You won’t hear the truth about the crisis in the Church from them.  If you currently subscribe to their videos, I recommend you unsubscribe. Like yesterday… 

Calling All Bishops With Backbone…

ArchbishopLengaCatholic Truth followed up a tip-off, published by a visitor to our blog, that the Archbishop of Glasgow had announced to his priests that if Part Two of the Synod on the Family continued in the same scandalous vein as the first part, then he wouldn’t be [remaining]  as Archbishop of Glasgow.  We checked around and found priests in Glasgow  willing to  confirm that our blog informant was on the button.  Thus, it appears to be the case that the Archbishop of Glasgow, to his credit, is prepared to resign rather than go along with the shocking “pastoral” care proposed by the Kasper Camp.   We are now delighted to report that another Archbishop has shown himself to have sufficient backbone to speak out very publicly on (quote) “the current crisis in the Church”.  Below, is his Open Letter, taken from the Rorate Caeli website

RORATE EXCLUSIVE: Open letter by Archbishop on the crisis in the Church ‘It is difficult to believe that Pope Benedict XVI freely renounced his ministry as successor of Peter.’ ‘I am forced to resort to this public means of expression because I fear that any other method would be greeted by a brick wall of silence and disregard.’ ‘… increasingly evident that the Vatican through the Secretariat of State has taken the course of political correctness.’

Rorate Caeli has obtained an exclusive copy of the English version of a rare open letter from an Archbishop on the crisis of the Church. 

The letter, written by His Excellency Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, hopefully will serve as a much-needed wake-up call to Catholics who have buried their heads in the sand for far too long.

Let us pray more of his brother bishops will have the faith — and the backbone — to stand up and be heard before there’s nothing left to defend.

***

Reflections on some current problems of the crisis of the Catholic Church

I had the experience of living with priests who were in Stalinist prisons and camps and who nevertheless remained faithful to the Church. During the time of persecution they fulfilled with love their priestly duty in preaching Catholic doctrine thereby leading a dignified life in the imitation of Christ, their heavenly Master.

I completed my priestly studies in an underground Seminary in the Soviet Union. I was ordained a priest secretly during the night by a pious bishop who himself suffered for the sake of the faith. In the first year of my priesthood I had the experience of being expelled from Tadzhikistan by the KGB.

Subsequently, during my thirty-year stay in Kazakhstan, I served 10 years as priest, caring for faithful people in 81 localities. Then I served 20 years as bishop, initially as bishop of five states in Central Asia with a total area of around four million square kilometers.

In my ministry as a bishop I had contact with Pope Saint John Paul II, with many bishops, priests and faithful in different countries and under different circumstances. I was member of some assemblies of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican which covered themes such as “Asia” and “The Eucharist”.

This experience as well as others give me the basis to express my opinion on the current crisis of the Catholic Church. These are my convictions and they are dictated by my love of the Church and by the desire for her authentic renewal in Christ. I am forced to resort to this public means of expression because I fear that any other method would be greeted by a brick wall of silence and disregard. 

I am aware of possible reactions to my open letter. But at the same time the voice of my conscience will not allow me to remain silent, while the work of God is being slandered. Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church and showed us in word and deed how one should fulfill the will of God. The apostles to whom He bestowed authority in the Church, fulfilled with zeal the duty entrusted to them, suffering for the sake of the truth which had to be preached, since they “obeyed God rather than men”.

Unfortunately in our days it is increasingly evident that the Vatican through the Secretariat of State has taken the course of political correctness. Some Nuncios have become propagators of liberalism and modernism. They have acquired expertise in the principle “sub secreto Pontificio”, by which one manipulates and silences the mouths of the bishops. And that what the Nuncio tells them appears as it would be almost certainly the wish of the Pope. With such methods one separates the bishops from one another to the effect that the bishops of a country can no longer speak with one voice in the spirit of Christ and His Church in defending faith and morals. This means that, in order not to fall into disfavour with the Nuncio some bishops accept their recommendations, which are sometimes based on nothing other than on their own words. Instead of zealously spreading the faith, courageously preaching the doctrine of Christ, standing firm in the defense of truth and of morals, the meetings of the Bishops’ Conferences often deal with issues which are foreign to the nature of the duties of the successors of the apostles.  

One can observe at all levels of the Church an obvious decrease of the “sacrum”. The “spirit of the world” feeds the shepherds. The sinners give the Church the instructions for how she has to serve them. In their embarrassment the Pastors are silent on the current problems and abandon the sheep while they are feeding themselves. The world is tempted by the devil and opposes the doctrine of Christ. Nevertheless the Pastors are obliged to teach the whole truth about God and men “in season and out”.

However, during the reign of the last holy Popes one could observe in the Church the greatest disorder concerning the purity of the doctrine and the sacredness of the liturgy, in which Jesus Christ is not paid the visible honour which he is due. In not a few Bishop’s Conferences the best bishops are “persona non grata”. Where are apologists of our days, who would announce to men in a clear and comprehensible manner the threat of the risk of loss of faith and salvation?

In our days the voice of the majority of the bishops rather resembles the silence of the lambs in the face of furious wolves, the faithful are left like defenseless sheep. Christ was recognized by men as one who spoke and worked, as one, who had power and this power He bestowed upon His apostles. In today’s world the bishops must liberate themselves from all worldly bonds and – after they have done penance – convert to Christ so that strengthened by the Holy Spirit they may announce Christ as the one and only Saviour. Ultimately one must give account to God for all that was done and for all what wasn’t done.

In my opinion the weak voice of many bishops is a consequence of the fact, that in the process of the appointment of new bishops the candidates are insufficiently examined with regard to their doubtless steadfastness and fearlessness in the defense of the faith, with regard to their fidelity to the centuries-old traditions of the Church and their personal piety. In the issue of the appointment of new bishops and even cardinals it is becoming increasingly apparent that sometimes preference is given to those who share a particular ideology or to some groupings which are alien to the Church and which have commissioned the appointment of a particular candidate. Furthermore it appears that sometimes consideration is given also to the favour of the mass media which usually makes a mockery of holy candidates painting a negative picture of them, whereas the candidates who in a lesser degree own the spirit of Christ are praised as open and modern. On the other side the candidates who excel in apostolic zeal, have courage in proclaiming the doctrine of Christ and show love for all that is holy and sacred, are deliberately eliminated.

 A Nuncio once told me: “It’s a pity that the Pope [John Paul II] does not participate personally in the appointment of the bishops. The Pope tried to change something in the Roman Curia, however he has not succeeded. He becomes older and things resume their usual former course”.

At the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, I wrote a letter to him in which I begged him to appoint holy bishops. I reported to him the story of a German layman who in the face of the degradation of the Church in his country after the Second Vatican Council, remained faithful to Christ and gathered young people for adoration and prayer. This man had been close to death and when he learned about the election of the new Pope he said: “When Pope Benedict will use his pontificate solely for the purpose to appoint worthy, good and faithful bishops, he will have fulfilled his task”.

Unfortunately, it is obvious that, Pope Benedict XVI has often not succeeded in this issue. It is difficult to believe that Pope Benedict XVI freely renounced his ministry as successor of Peter. Pope Benedict XVI was the head of the Church, his entourage however has barely translated his teachings into life, bypassed them often in silence or has rather obstructed his initiatives for an authentic reform of the Church, of the liturgy, of the manner to administer Holy Communion. In view of a great secrecy in the Vatican for many bishops it was realistically impossible to help the Pope in his duty as head and governor of the whole Church.

It will not be superfluous to remind my brothers in the episcopacy of an affirmation made by an Italian masonic lodge from the year 1820: “Our work is a work of a hundred years. Let us leave the elder people and let us go to the youth. The seminarians will become priests with our liberal ideas. We shall not flatter ourselves with false hopes. We will not make the Pope a Freemason. However liberal bishops, who will work in the entourage of the Pope, will propose to him in the task of governing the Church such thoughts and ideas which are advantageous for us and the Pope will implement them into life”. This intention of the Freemasons is being implemented more and more openly, not only thanks to the declared enemies of the Church but with the connivance of false witnesses who occupy some high hierarchical office in the Church. It is not without reason that Blessed Paul VI said: “The spirit of Satan penetrated through a crack inside the Church”. I think that this crack has become in our days quite wide and the devil uses all forces in order to subvert the Church of Christ. To avoid this, it is necessary to return to the precise and clear proclamation of the Gospel on all levels of ecclesiastical ministry, for the Church possesses all power and grace which Christ gave to her: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore, and teach all nations. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and I am with you always unto the end of the world” (Mt 28, 18-20), “the truth will set you free” (John 8, 32) and “let your word be Yes, yes; No, no: for whatsoever is more than these comes of evil” (Mt 5, 37). The Church cannot adapt herself to the spirit of this world, but must transform the world to the spirit of Christ.

It is obvious that in the Vatican there is a tendency to give in more and more to the noise of the mass media. It is not infrequent that in the name of an incomprehensible quiet and calm the best sons and servants are sacrificed in order to appease the mass media. The enemies of the Church however don’t hand over their faithful servants even when their actions are evidently bad. 

When we wish to remain faithful to Christ in word and deed, He Himself will find the means to transform the hearts and souls of men and the world as well will be changed at the appropriate time.

In times of the crisis of the Church God has often used for her true renewal the sacrifices, the tears and the prayers of those children and servants of the Church who in the eyes of the world and of the ecclesiastical bureaucracy were considered insignificant or were persecuted and marginalized because of their fidelity to Christ. I believe that in our difficult time this law of Christ is being realized and that the Church will renew herself thanks to the faithful inner renewal of each of us.

January 1st  2015, Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God 

+ Jan Pawel Lenga

Comment…

Are there likely to be many more bishops with backbone coming forward now, folks?  Tell us your thoughts.  

Pope Francis says the Earth is Our Mother that Never Forgives, Or A Sister? More Francis Clarity

PopeFrancissmileblessHIGHRES

Pope Francis

Since we’ve not yet discussed the promised papal encyclical on the environment, I thought this might be an interesting introductory discussion –  this is the first time I’ve re-blogged a post. Looks interesting.  Share your thoughts…

EX MAGNA SILENTIUM or EX MAGNO SILENTIO

Pope Francis addressed a business expo group on Saturday by video.  He held papers in his hands from which it appears he was reading as he spoke.  That indicates that this talk was not a spontaneous outburst, but rather a reasoned prepared presentation.  I must say that I read what he had spoken, and then reread it and then came back to it again.  I really want to understand what he tries to teach, but I find it so difficult from the perspective of a Catholic.  The link I have provided is from The Wanderer and I give them much credit for taking what I read and turning it into something much more clear.  So, I suppose I was just too dense yesterday and I appreciate their recitation of his points: that people need to take the needs of people into account as a priority and not as emergency measure where…

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Contradictory Teachings: the Papolatrists’ Puzzle…

PopeFrancispensivecropped“The Mufti explained things very well to me, with such meekness, and using the Quran…”  – Pope Francis

“I30114_Koran_Volksausgabe.indd went to Turkey as a pilgrim, not a tourist…when I entered the Mosque, I couldn’t say: ‘Now, I’m a tourist!’ No, it was completely religious. And I saw that wonder! The Mufti explained things very well to me, with such meekness, and using the Quran, which speaks of Mary and John the Baptist. He explained it all to me….At that moment I felt the need to pray. I asked him: ‘Shall we pray a little?’ To which her esponded: ‘Yes, yes’. I prayed for Turkey, for peace, for the Mufti, for everyone and for myself, as I need it… I prayed, sincerely….Most of all, I prayed for peace, and I said: ‘Lord, let’s put an end to these wars!’ Thus, it was a moment of sincere prayer.” …Pope Francis at his press conference on board the flight returning from Turkey on November30, 2014.

“Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.” …Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos  Pius XI

“Sharing our experience in carrying that cross, to expel the illness within our hearts, which embitters our life: it is important that you do this in your meetings. Those that are Christian, with the Bible, and those that are Muslim, with the Quran. The faith that your parents instilled in you will always help you move on.” …Pope Francis, addressing immigrant Muslims in a Roman parish during the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on 19 January 2014   

Mortalium Animos“They seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy” …Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos

“I believe we are moving forward in our relations with the Orthodox; they have the sacraments and apostolic succession … we are moving forward. What are we waiting for? For theologians to reach an agreement? That day will never come, I assure you, I’m skeptical. Theologians work well but remember what Athenagoras said to Paul VI: “Let’s put the theologians on an island to discuss among themselves and we’ll just get on with things!”… We mustn’t wait. Unity is a journey we have to take, but we need to do it together. This is spiritual ecumenism: praying together, working together.” …Pope Francis, during his press conference on the flight returning from Turkey on November 30, 2014.

“All Christians, they add, should be as “one”: for then they would be much more powerful in driving out the pest of irreligion, which like a serpent daily creeps further and becomes more widely spread, and prepares to rob the Gospel of its strength. These things and others that class of men who are known as pan-Christians continually repeat and amplify; and these men, so far from being quite few and scattered, have increased to the dimensions of an entire class, and have grouped themselves into widely spread societies, most of which are directed by non-Catholics, although they are imbued with varying doctrines concerning the things of faith. This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of Mortalium Animosthe Catholic faith are completely destroyed”…Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos

“To dialogue means to believe that the “other” has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and  perspective. Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions,but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute.”  Pope Francis, message for the 48th World Communications Day, “Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter,”June1, 2014 –Cfn>.9: 6

“Unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians. But We do know that from this it is an easy step to the neglect of religion or indifferentism and to modernism, as they call it. Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. …Pius XI, Mortalium Animos      Source

Comment

Above is a glimpse of the problem faced by those Catholics today who insist that fidelity to the Church requires unquestioning obedience to “the pope”.  How can they read the above starkly contrasting statements from two pontiffs, and keep a straight face as they insist that both are speaking the mind of Christ, and are guaranteed to be infallible in their every utterance. We get them on this blog a lot, those who are, by definition, papolatrists – they literally idolise the pope, shutting out their intelligence and reason.  I wonder how they feel reading the above; which of the two popes – Pope Francis or Pope Pius XI was being guided by the immutable, unchanging Holy Spirit, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived?  Is it possible that the Holy Spirit is speaking unchangeable Truth about religious unity through both of these popes?  Or did He, er, change His mind, after Pius XI wrote his encyclical Mortalium Animos? That’s what the logic of papolatry dictates. Isn’t it?  Can we help them to know how to explain the above contradictory teachings? Above all, can we help them to understand why it is that, in the matter of religious unity, we must obey, not Pope Francis but Pope Pius XI? Can we? Let’s go to it!

Scandalous Synod: Money Motive?

The scandal of the Family on the Synod doesn’t seem to end: is it money that is unifying the German bishops in their new “pastoral approach”?

From the just-published DICI issue #309, we offer the editorial of Fr. Lorans followed by an insightful piece on the next Synod on the Family that is currently being prepared discreetly and what is a possible motive behind the unified German episcopacy.

This disturbing news comes on the heels of the report that Pope Francis approved the Synod’s scandalous Relatio prior to its publication.

IngreedwetrustMoney at the root of the Synod?

Why is Cardinal Walter Kasper, who wants to change Church doctrine about the indissolubility of marriage by giving Communion to the divorced-and-remarried, supported by the German episcopate in its entirety? Whence this rock-solid Germanic unanimity? George Weigel reports in the current issue of the American monthly magazine First Things the answer given to him by someone who knows the Church in Germany very well, and the answer can be summed up in one word: money.

Indeed, the German dioceses are very rich thanks to the church tax paid by the Catholic faithful; but they are leaving the Church in droves and no longer provide that manna. Hence the very simple calculation by the bishops: let us avoid the flight of the faithful (and of the funding), let us make doctrine more flexible and broaden our pastoral outreach.

Could it be, then, that these arguments in favor of mercy, as opposed to doctrinal rigidity, are in reality nice-sounding arrangements aimed at the bottom line? If so, the bishops would be abandoning a not very interesting doctrine for the sake of a not at all disinterested pastoral approach! In order to dispel the suspicion that weighs heavily on them, it would be enough for the German bishops to declare unanimously: “We prefer the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage to church tax revenues. We serve Jesus Christ, not Mammon.” It would suffice… but would it be sufficient for them? For the answer, stay tuned for the next Synod in October.

Fr. Alain Loran | DICI 1-30-2015

The next Synod on the Family is being prepared discreetly…

After the very lively reactions provoked by the first meeting of the Synod on the Family (October 5-19, 2014) (see DICI no. 303 dated October 24, 2014), preparations for the next assembly of the bishops (October 4-25, 2015) are being made discreetly, as though calm had returned after the storm and everything was normal again. Should we rejoice blissfully or worry seriously about it? In an interview granted to Le Figaro Magazine (December 18, 2014), Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, one of the chief opponents of the scandalous proposals of Cardinal Walter Kasper concerning communion for the divorced-and-remarried (see DICI no. 301 dated September 26, 2014), admitted:  Cardinal Burke2

I am very concerned, and I call on Catholics—laymen, priests and bishops—to get involved between now and the next Synod assembly, in order to bring to light the truth about marriage.”

A very slanted working document

On December 9 the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops published the lineamenta (the working document) for the Synod assembly in October 2015. Besides the final report from the October 2014 Synod, the secretariat proposes 46 questions addressing the challenges of pastoral ministry to families, so as to “draw near to families in extreme situations”.

The bishops’ conferences are supposed to fill out the questionnaire “while avoiding, in their responses, a formulation of pastoral care based simply on an application of doctrine” (sic). Taking up again the topics that shook the assembly of bishops, the Roman document asks, as though about a trivial matter, how the Christian community “can assist in discerning the positive and negative elements in the life of persons united in a civil marriage”; it even asks, with regard to divorced Catholics, “How can the procedure to determine cases of nullity be made more accessible, streamlined and possibly without expense?

The Roman questionnaire even assures the reader that “with regard to the divorced-and-remarried, pastoral practice concerning the sacraments needs to be further studied,” and it asks what advances are possible in light of the “second chance” (sic) proposed in certain cases in the Orthodox Church. This document likewise poses the question of pastoral care to homosexuals: “While avoiding any unjust discrimination, how can such persons receive pastoral care in these situations in light of the Gospel?” The answers to this questionnaire are supposed to arrive in Rome by April 15, 2015.

The uneasiness expressed by Cardinal Burke during the above-cited interview is understandable, therefore:

In an age filled with confusion, as we see with Gender Theory, we need the teaching of the Church on marriage. Yet, we are being pushed on the contrary towards admitting divorced-and-remarried persons to communion. Not to mention this obsession with streamlining the procedures of annulment of the marital bond. All this will lead de facto to a kind of ‘Catholic divorce’, and to the weakening of the indissolubility of marriage, even though the principle thereof is reaffirmed. However, the Church must defend marriage, and not weaken it. The indissolubility of marriage is not a penance, nor a suffering. It is something very beautiful for those who live it; it is a source of joy.”

Pope Francis intervened twice, along the lines of the lineamenta and of the accompanying questionnaire, on January 23 while addressing the members of the Apostolic Tribunal, and on January 24 during the conference organized by Gregorian University on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the instruction Dignitas Connubii (The Dignity of Marriage). To the first group he declared that the Church cannot ignore the suffering of many households that are disintegrating, leaving behind the debris of their emotional relationships, plans and shared expectations. The judge is called to determine whether there was a defect of form in the matrimonial consent, and so he must take into account the context in which that consent was formed. Thus the pope is saying that he wishes to see a pastoral conversion of ecclesiastical structures so as to come to the aid of those who turn to the Church to shed light on their marital situation.

During the conference at the Gregorian, Francis called for a streamlining of procedures, insisting that the appeals process should be simplified so as not to subject couples to painful, exhausting delays. And in order to avoid complicated, useless formalities, he does not rule out the possibility that new norms may be issued in the future. In his two recent interventions everything suggests that the experts are gradually moving toward an alignment (modestly presented as a “harmonization”) of the prescription of canon law with the concrete situations of contemporary society.

The forceful critique by Cardinal Velasio de Paolis

The reason for this alignment, theoretically, would be “pastoral mercy” as opposed to doctrinal intransigence and legal rigidity. But that is an artificial contrast, as Cardinal Valsio de Paolis, President Emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, explained during a conference given at the Canon Law Faculty of the University of San Damaso in Madrid (Spain) on November 26, 2014, during which he magisterially critiqued Proposition 52 of the final report of the October 2014 Synod.

Here is an important excerpt from it:

The issue of access to the sacraments, especially to the Eucharist, on the part of the divorced-and-remarried was the object of reflection at the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops last October. This is referred to in proposition no. 52 of the final Relatio, which says: ‘The Synod Fathers also considered the possibility of giving the divorced-and-remarried access to the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Various Synod Fathers insisted on maintaining the present discipline, because of the constitutive relationship between participation in the Eucharist and communion with the Church as well as her teaching on the indissoluble character of marriage. Others proposed a more individualized approach, permitting access in certain situations and with certain well-defined conditions, primarily in irreversible situations and those involving moral obligations towards children who would have to endure unjust suffering. Access to the sacraments might take place if preceded by a penitential practice, determined by the diocesan bishop. The subject needs to be thoroughly examined, bearing in mind the distinction between an objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances, given that ‘imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1735).’”

And the high-ranking prelate asks: Is the question about communion for the divorced-and-remarriage a question of discipline, of doctrine or of Magisterial teaching?

We observe that the wording of the text of the proposition generates ambiguities. It speaks of the ‘current discipline’ and a possible modification of this, but this prompts a few doubts that require examination. In reality, the regulation in effect is not only a ‘current discipline’, as if this were a matter of a merely ecclesiastical norm and not of divine norms ratified by the Magisterium, with doctrinal and magisterial motivations that concern the very foundations of Christian life, of conjugal morality, of the meaning of and respect for the Eucharist, and of the validity of the Sacrament of Penance. We are looking at a discipline founded on divine law. It is not emphasized enough that the documents of the Church in this matter do not impose obligations originating from its authority, but rather affirm that the ecclesiastical authority cannot act otherwise, because this ‘discipline’ cannot be modified in its essential elements. The Church cannot act otherwise. It cannot modify the natural law or respect for the nature of the Eucharist, because this is a question of the divine will.

To the extent to which it provides for the possibility of admitting the divorced-and-remarried to Eucharistic communion, the proposal actually constitutes a change of doctrine. Notwithstanding the fact that its proponents say that they do not want to modify doctrine. Moreover, doctrine by its very nature is not changeable if it is the object of the authentic Magisterium of the Church. Before talking about and discussing any change in the discipline currently in force, it is necessary to reflect on the nature of this discipline. In studying this question one must, in the first place, reflect on this doctrine and on its level of certainty; there must be careful study of what can be modified and what cannot be. The doubt has been insinuated in the proposal itself when it calls for more in-depth study, which must be doctrinal and prior to any decision.

We can also ask ourselves whether it is the competency of a Synod of Bishops to deal with a question like this: the value of the doctrine and of the discipline currently in force in the Church, which have developed over the course of centuries and have been ratified by statements of the supreme Magisterium of the Church. Moreover, who is competent to modify the Magisterium of other popes? That would constitute a dangerous precedent. Furthermore, the innovations that would be introduced if the text of the proposal were approved would be of unprecedented gravity:

a) the possibility of admitting to Eucharistic communion, with the explicit approval of the Church, a person who is in a state of mortal sin, with the danger of sacrilege and profanation of the Eucharist;

b) in doing so the Church would call into question the general principle of the need to be in the state of sanctifying grace in order to be able to receive Eucharistic communion, especially now that a generalized practice has been introduced or is being introduced in the Church of receiving the Eucharist without previous sacramental confession, even if one is aware of being in a state of serious sin, with all of the harmful consequences that this practice involves;

c) the admission to Eucharistic communion of a Catholic who cohabits more uxorio (as though married) would also mean calling into question sexual morality, which is founded in particular on the sixth commandment;

d) moreover, in acting this way, the Church would also lend support to cohabitation or to other arrangements, which in fact would weaken the principle of the indissolubility of marriage.”

The very concrete motives of the German episcopate Cardinal Kasper2

Another enlightening commentary, less doctrinal and much more concrete, is provided by the American scholar George Weigel in an article that appeared in the January issue of First Things magazine. If you know that Cardinal Walter Kasper is supported by the German bishops as a whole, by the very admission of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, President of their Bishops’ Conference, you may wonder what drives those bishops—and them especially—to their militant advocacy of communion for the divorced-and-remarried. Here is the answer that Weigel got:

Ten months before the Synod met, I asked a knowledgeable observer of German Catholic affairs why the German Catholic leadership insisted on revisiting the issue of Holy Communion for those in civil second marriages, which most of the rest of the world Church thought had been sufficiently aired in the 1980 Synod on the Family, and which seemed to have been settled by the reaffirmation of the Church’s traditional teaching and practice in St. John Paul II’s 1981 Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (The Community of the Family) and in the 1983 Code of Canon Law. I got a one-word answer: ‘Money.’

The German Church is funded by the Kirchensteuer, the ‘church tax’ collected by the Federal Republic from every citizen who has not taken action to opt out of it. The funds involved are considerable; in 2011, the Kirchensteuer provided the Catholic Church in Germany with $6.3 billion. Recently, however, more and more German Catholics have been choosing to opt out. In a clumsy attempt to stanch the bleeding, the German bishops issued a decree in 2012, stating that anyone who opts out of the tax has ‘left the Church’ and that such de facto apostates are cut off from the Church’s sacramental life, except in danger of death. The decree was widely mocked and German canonists declared it a nonstarter, for it takes more to ‘leave the Church’ than signing a civil affidavit. In any event, payment of the Kirchensteuer has continued to drop.

Many German bishops seem to have concluded that this pattern of defection from payment of the Church tax can best be explained by the perception of the Catholic Church as a mean, narrow, and cruel exponent of propositions—such as the indissolubility of marriage—that no self-respecting 21st-century European can accept. That people have stopped paying the Kirchensteuer because they have stopped believing that Jesus is Lord and that the Catholic Church is his Body might seem the more straightforward explanation. But adopting that interpretation would require acknowledging that the meltdown of Catholic faith and practice in Germany has had something to do with the colossal failures of German theology and catechetics to transmit the Gospel effectively under the challenging conditions of late modernity and postmodernity. And that, to borrow an image from another battle, seems a bridge too far.”

[Editor’s note: The author alludes to the 1977 film A Bridge Too Far which tells the story of Operation Market Garden in September 1944, in which, after a crushing defeat, English General Browning admits: “We tried to go a bridge too far.”]

(Sources: Apic/Imedia/Figaro Magazine/Chiesa.espressonline.it/First Things—DICI #309, January 30, 2015)

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