8th April: Start of Greatest Revolution in Church in 1500 Years – Cardinal Kasper

As we prepare  for the release of the Pope’s post-synodal Exhortation on Friday 8th April, it might be useful to reflect on the issues raised in the following article published by Catholic Family News.

 

The Exhortation will be presented to journalists at the Holy See’s Press Office on Friday 8 April at 11.30am (Rome time).

The Exhortation will be presented to journalists at the Holy See’s Press Office on Friday 8 April at 11.30 am (Rome time) 10.30.am UK time. 


When the document is released on Friday, we will discuss it on this thread and rejoice – absolutely – if the fears implicit below, turn out to be groundless. I’m sure we are all praying to that end.  Feel free to read the article below, but refrain from commenting until the Exhortation is released on Friday, if you wish – that’s perfectly acceptable. However, we’ll leave the thread open for those who do wish to comment before Friday.  At the end of the article,  there is a video link to the live-stream of the Presentation of the Apostolic Exhortation, available to view at 10.30 am (UK time) on Friday 8th April. If you click on the image above, that will also take you through to the live-stream video.

Francis’ Synod Exhortation: Brace Yourself for Revolution?

The Past is Prologue

by John Vennari

The Vatican announced Francis’ post-synodal Exhortation, titled Amoris Laetitia (“On Love in the Family”), will be released on Friday, April 8.

            Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said the document will be presented in the Vatican newsroom at 11:30 am by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Synod’s secretary, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and a married couple, Francesco and Giuseppina Miano who participated in the Synod discussions.

            Both Baldisseri and Schönborn are very much in line with Pope Francis’ thinking.     

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

            The National Catholic Reporter quoted Australia’s progressivist Archbishop Mark Coleridge who rejoiced, “I expect the papal document to be a typical Bergoglio combination of challenge and encouragement.”[1]

            Cardinal Walter Kasper already announced the text will be revolutionary. “The document,” said Kasper, “will mark the start of the greatest revolution experienced by the Church in 1500 years.”[2] 

Cardinal Walter Kasper

Cardinal Walter Kasper

            I travelled to Rome to cover the October 2015 Synod, along with my friend and colleague Chris Ferrara. Spent 14 days there, the final two weeks of the event. Based on what we saw coming from the Synod, as well as the daily Vatican press briefings, there is good reason to fear the new Exhortation will be every bit as “revolutionary” as Cardinal Kasper pledges.

            After some preliminary remarks, we will take a close look at these press briefings, especially some revealing comments of the liberal Archbishop Coleridge. The final week of the Synod was one of revolutionary expectations.

“Resist Not the Spirit”?

            From the beginning of his pontificate, Francis made clear his resolve to advance the Conciliar agenda. He sees the modernist updating from John XXIII’s Second Vatican Council as a work of the Holy Ghost to be embraced, not resisted. Vatican II ushered us into the evolutionary process of continuous aggiornamento, justified by the changing pastoral needs of the time. Francis implies we should be attentive to the alleged call of the spirit to even more revolutionary change, and more razing of Catholic bastions that block the way for renewal.

            Thus we better understand Francis’ exaltation of Vatican II and his scolding of “hard-headed” Catholics. This oft-quoted speech took place on April 14, 2013, only a month after his election to the papacy.

            “The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit,” said Francis. “Consider Pope John. He looked like a good parish priest; he was obedient to the Holy Spirit and he did it. But after 50 years, have we done everything the Holy Spirit told us in the Council? In the continuity of growth of the Church that was the Council? No. We celebrate this anniversary; we make a monument, as long as it does not bother us. We do not want to change. What is more, some people want to go back. This is hard-headedness. This is what we call, trying to tame the Holy Spirit, this is what we call becoming foolish and slow of heart.”[3]

            The Synod is a main engine in furthering this “work of the Spirit”. As I’ve noted in the past, the Synod has been established in order to advance the implementation of Vatican II throughout the world. That is how it was defined by Father Kenneth Boyack, a Paulist who had worked with the NCCB.[4]

            Likewise, Tad Szulc, in his biography of Pope John Paul II, explained that the Synod is a “permanent organ to implement the decisions of the Second Vatican Council.”[5]

            Thus the purpose of the Synod is to keep the continuous aggiornamento alive, to keep the accomodata renovatio in motion, in order to implement the Council throughout the world, through the collegial method. The Synod is an ever-present extension of Vatican II into the future.

            The tumult leading up to the 2015 Synod is well known: Cardinal Kasper’s call in February 2014 to pave the way for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist; Francis’ public praise and support for the Kasper proposal; the working document for the 2014 Synod containing an avalanche of perverse proposals such as “new language” to replace natural law, openness towards the homosexual lifestyle, including the tacit nod for homosexuals to be godparents; the tumultuous 2014 Synod; the scandalous pro-homosexual, pro-cohabitation mid-term report; the subsequent Vatican questionnaire in which the bishops were told not to form their responses merely based on doctrine; the 2015 Instrumentum Laboris forcefully criticized by the more orthodox prelates, including Archbishop Schneider who warned that it pushes an agenda contrary to Divine Law.

            In short, we see a process in which the integrity of Catholic doctrine appears to be the last concern of those steering the events.

            The final Francis-offensive in favor of breaking down the Church’s moral edifice in the name of “Mercy” was manifest in the final week of Press Briefings.

            I had arrived in Rome on October 12, and went to the various press briefings during the second week. These sessions included various lay participants of the Synod who were so happy, so happy, so happy to be there. I paid little attention to these useless sessions, as I knew the key briefings would take place the third week

            Sure enough, this was the case.

            Each day of the final week, the most radical prelates were trotted out by the Vatican Press Office to tell the world what the Synod was, and what were the true goals for the future. These prelates included Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Cardinal Reinhard Marx (outspoken supporter of the Kasper Proposal), Cardinal Oswald Gracias (on record calling outto homosexuals, “the Church embraces you, wants you, and the Church needs you”),[6] Spirit-of-Assisi Cardinal Paul Turkson, and Cardinal Christophe Schonborn (who appears to be of one mind with Cardinal Marx). One had the sense the entire week of press conferences was staged-managed for a pre-determined result.

“No Black or White” Coleridge

            Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia kicked off the final week of Synod Press Briefings. Each daily press event of the final week comprised at least three synod prelates (different prelates every day) along with Father Frederico Lombardi, Vatican Press Secretary. Coleridge, by far, was the most colorful. He was also the most helpful, as he gave the game away in clear crystal tones.

            I spotlight Coleridge’s October 19 comments as he represents to a more or less degree the position of the most radical Synod prelates, including – according to all available evidence – that of Pope Francis himself. His testimony is crucial, as it indicates the thinking behind the maneuvering, and the path Francis is most likely to take in the future.

            Coleridge insists that doctrine is one thing, and pastoral practice is another. It’s all about starting from human experience (as we repeatedly warned would be the case in previous issues of CFN). In this regard, Cardinal Wuerl and others say, “We must meet people where they are.” Coleridge likewise insists the Church “must put down its roots in human experience.” This is code for accepting the person’s sinful lifestyles as is, and then bend pastoral practice to accommodate it. This is called the “creative” pastoral approach.

            Though he claims to respect the Church’s traditional teaching regarding divorce and remarried, Coleridge says, “not every case [of adultery] is the same, and that’s where the pastoral approach needs to take account … just to say every second marriage or second union [divorced and remarried] is adulterous is perhaps too sweeping.”

            In one sense Coleridge says nothing new. The Church always noted there can be different degrees of culpability regarding such sins – but also insists that these grievous sins remain grievous sins that bar the soul from the Eucharist. The new “discernment” approach, however, favored by modern ecclesial delinquents, looks to pry open a way to grant access to the Eucharist for couples living in adultery who will not correct their lifestyle.

            Coleridge derides the “all or nothing” attitude, saying there is “no black or white.” He frowns upon the word “adultery,” claiming that it is a “convenient and apparently clear blanket term” that does not deal with the reality of human experience in this life or that life.

             All of this twaddle is camouflage for the old heresy of Situation Ethics: the belief that there is no objective morality, and everything depends on the circumstances of the person. Coleridge calls for a whole new language – thus further discarding irreplaceable scholastic precision – so that those living in moral turpitude will not feel “excluded” or “alienated.”

            When asked what terminology he would like to see changed, Coleridge responded he would do away with the term “indissolubility,” which he says is “negative in form.” He also wants to discard the phrase “intrinsically disordered act” – a term despised by those who embrace situation ethics, and the term used by the 1993 Catechism to describe homosexuality.

            Worse, Coleridge goes on to say, “These are just two examples, there would be many, many other” traditional Catholic terms he wants to shed.

            As a true revolutionary, Coleridge sums up his hope that the synod “would bring the whole Church to a new listening, for the sake of a new language, that would open new doors and new possibilities.”

            He also rightly explains that the effects of this Synod will not end with the closing of the October event, but will extend far into the future.

“Theology progresses”?

            Other prelates from the final Synod week piped a similar tune.

            During the October 22 Press Briefing, Cardinal Gracias ladled out his subversion of Catholic truth claiming, “Theology progresses, the doctrine remains the same, and our understanding of Church discipline progresses.” – words that would warm Teilhard’s heart. After spouting the false claim that John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio opened the doors to ‘different circumstances’ that could lead the way for some divorced and remarried to receive the Eucharist, Gracias said, “I don’t think we have seen the solution … this has got to be tackled, this has got to be studied … as we deepen our understanding … I am sure you will find a way forward.”   Gracias acts as if the solution does not already exist, that those in a second “marriage” must repent of their adultery in order for readmission to the Sacraments, a clear teaching of Familiaris Consortio that Gracias does not mention.

            Likewise Germany’s rootin’tootin’ Cardinal Marx at the October 21 press briefing noted that German-speaking bishops made their own proposal to deal with divorced and remarried. It comprises an appeal to the internal forum, where the priest “in dialogue” with various couples will judge each situation on a case-by-case basis. This too opens the door to sacrilegious Communion under the rubric of a counterfeit compassion.

            Other prelates at the third week’s press conference touted a parallel line. This is what Francis’ Vatican presented to the world by means of the press as the major goals and themes of the Synod.

The Final Thud!

            On the evening of October 24, I picked up the final Synod Document from the Vatican press office. The result was every bit as disastrous as we predicted: a mish-mash of imprecision that opens the door – overtly and covertly – to eventual acceptance of various practices always considered gravely sinful. The document has the atmosphere of an insipid humanism with a Christian veneer. Despite its God-talk, it is bereft of the sense of the supernatural.

            Cardinal Burke put it mildly when he lamented the final document “lacks clarity on the indissolubility of marriage”. A number of us have elsewhere listed its numerous deficiencies.

            Of course there is the obvious omission: The Synod’s final Relatio contains no mention of sin or sinful behavior. Yet the number one incentive for most souls to resist immoral behavior is the truth that sexual sins are mortal sins that bring eternal damnation if the sins are not confessed – in other words, a realistic dread of mortal sin and fear of hell.

            Yet the final document contains no reminder that engagement of the ‘marital act’ is thoroughly forbidden outside of the marriage. There is no word about “avoiding the occasion of sin” – which was always a pastoral admonition. Sin is mentioned only in passing (Christ has saved man from sin, etc.). Regarding homosexuality, cohabitation, adultery, fornication, there is no mention of sin whatsoever.

            One would never know Our Lady of Fatima warned, “More souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason.” All so-called “negative language” and “language of exclusion” is expunged from the text. This omission itself is a grave sin of those who dish out this toxin as if it were genuine Catholic nourishment.

            Catholics need to pray, arm themselves with traditional doctrine, teach the truth to those in their sphere of influence, and publicly resist.

            The 2015 Synod and its final document represent an attack on the Church’s entire moral edifice, and points to institutionalized scandal for the future.

            There is every indication that Francis’ April 8 Apostolic Exhortation will proceed according to the same revolutionary spirit..[7] Source 

317 responses

  1. “Er vindt een verschuiving plaats. Het geluk van de mens staat steeds meer in de belangstelling, de verlossing door Christus echter steeds minder… Met veel aandacht voor psychologische barmhartigheid, en steeds minder gerichtheid op theologische barmhartigheid. Alles (veel!!) mag en alles kan, want God is zo goed dat Hij toch alles vergeeft wegens zijn barmhartigheid, zo denkt men… Het sacrament van de vergeving van zonden door een biechtafspraak te maken met een priester, hoort steeds minder tot de praktijk van de gelovige.”

    • Please forgive this poor tranlation

      ” There is a shift . However, the happiness of man is increasingly in the spotlight , the redemption of Christ less … With great attention to psychological mercy , and less focus on theological mercy. All (many !!) allowed and everything is possible , because God is so good that He does everything forgives because of his mercy , believed … The sacrament of forgiveness of sins by making a confession appointment with a priest , always belongs less to the practice of the believer. ”

      How true! ” the redemption of Christ less”

    • Pastoor Geudens

      Thank you for re-blogging this thread on your site – I’ve just paid a visit to thank you for doing so.

      Unfortunately, I’m not fluent in German (to say the least), so I cannot be certain that I am correctly understanding the meaning of your initial post. Thank you for it, anyway!

      I’m hoping not to comment on the topic until the release of the Exhortation on Friday, but just wanted to say “hi” and “thank you.”

      God bless you.

      • I’ve just been tipped off that Pastoor Geudens’ initial post is in Dutch, not German, so I apologise profusely for my mistake.

        For the record, would at least two bloggers, acting as formal witnesses, please acknowledge this correction and perhaps print off the page to keep on file in case of any challenge in future litigation 😀

      • Editor, that German looks awfully like Dutch to me! The Holy Spirit didn’t give you the gift of tongues, eh!! Hope you are keeping well and in good form. Looking forward to Friday and the papal document. God bless!

        • Perplexed,

          I’d owned up to my mistake just minutes before your comment went up – perhaps you’d like to serve as one of my two required witnesses? 😀

          Thank you for your good wishes. I’m fine thank you although pre-occupied with trying to work out a good avatar for you….

          What about one of these …

          • I’d be honored to serve as one of your witnesses, also because I now have three avatars from your good self! Some bloggers may be envious when they hear of this favoritism. My email unfortunately does not allow me to use them, but I love them, they suit me to a T.

            • Thank you – I now have the two required witnesses! Phew! No more trawling through a mountain of comments in the months and years to come! Phew!

              I’d forgotten about your problem but that has to be “fixable” – else you could sue Gravatar for discrimination – try “against people of a certain complexion perplexion…” !

  2. Dear Pastoor Geudens,

    Have mercy on us poor Yanks, who are not as cosmopolitan as are you Euros! Even trying to pronounce your post, let alone understand it, was as challenging as trying to make out the words in this video:

    • RCA Victor,

      Hilarious! Thank you for that – great fun. We can always use a bit of fun on this blog in these trying times.

  3. Regardless of what these buffoons announce on Friday, it long past time to pronounce modernists for what they are heretics. They have left the Church, so its time for those Cardinals who still hold to the Magisterium and Dogma of the TRUE CHURCH, to appoint a Patriarch. They do not need anybody’s permission to do so, least of all heretics who are excommunicates, as per  Pope Saint Pius X’s 1907 encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis.

    • Jimislander,

      Please don’t take us down this road – it’s well worn. Let’s wait to see what happens on Friday. Our task is to do all we can to keep the Faith and resist error. We are not charged with finding a replacement pope or patriarch.

      Now, I repeat, best to wait until Friday to see what the Exhortation contains, although if anything in the introductory article is of particular interest, or may give a clue to the possible contents of the Exhortation, feel free to say so. Personally, I plan to wait until I’ve read the Exhortation or at least read the key paragraphs. I was already been aware of all that is in the Vennari article but thought it may be of interest to readers and bloggers who had either missed the CFN reports from Rome or had forgotten some of them.

        • Jimislander,

          No, that’s all right. You know what would happen if I deleted it? A.N. Other would come on saying exactly the same thing! People are SO frustrated with this pontiff. I was in discussion with a small group of Catholics this morning, and believe me, they weren’t talking about getting cardinals to appoint a patriarch – they were out for blood! Nope. You’ve posted a suggestion in good faith and I’ve reminded you of the limitations of our task in this crisis. End of. And our exchange will serve as a reminder to others who want me, personally, to arrange Vatican III so we can sort everything out once and for all (if only!)

          No, I’m leaving your post intact – it will be useful, as I say, in deterring others with red herrings to sell (!) And you and I… well, we’re not going to fall out about this – you’ll always be my friend, Jim, you know too much 😀

    • The problem is that Francis is too canny to teach anything which is overtly heretical. If anything revolutionary is contained in this Bergoglian exhortation, it will be by way of ambiguous compromise in “pastoral practice” so that an orthodox spin can be put on it by Catholics and an heterodox spin can be put on it by the infidel.

      By Friday afternoon Jimmy and Dwight will have written their “10 reasons” why the exhortation is the best thing since sliced bread and why Francis is the first Pope who really got it since St Peter. Words only have meanings for those poor deluded fools who still “crave doctrinal security”.

      • Deacon Augustine,

        Your first paragraph repeats what I have effectively said below and, indeed, throughout the Synod, Parts I and II. However, that “compromise” would still be revolutionary and unacceptable.

        And that’s because no pope has any right to allow any compromise in “pastoral practice” in the matter of worthy reception of Holy Communion. No pope may permit individual Bishops or episcopal conferences to make up their own rules about this. Those living in manifest public sin may not approach for Holy Communion. Let them use the word “mercy” in every sentence if it makes them feel better, but nothing can change the fact that the only option open to the Pope, the only “pastoral” approach that he may endorse, is one in which those living in manifest public sin are told, as kindly and mercifully as possible, that they must not approach for Holy Communion unless and until they receive sacramental absolution, which can only be granted if they make a firm resolution to turn away from that sin. And why is that the only truly merciful message to give? Because to receive Holy Communion unworthily, as Scripture warns, is to “eat and drink judgment upon yourself”. There’s nothing merciful about sending souls to Hell.

        • Editor,

          Agreed. See the quote below from the 1986 Vatican document on pastoral care for homosexual people, section 15 – but the principle applies to all moral issues:-

          “But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral.”
          http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html

        • “However, that “compromise” would still be revolutionary and unacceptable.”

          Of course it would. The problem is that it is much harder to charge the Pope with a specific heresy. We need something solid and incontrovertible to get rid of the infidel.

          Having said that, the leaked summary seems to contain approval of Gradualism which is a heresy condemned by the Council of Trent. I hope it is properly gutted by those who have the power to do something.

  4. I expect the document will be 200-odd pages of waffle, designed to allow all and sundry to take what they please from it.

    Exactly in the modernist vein of “don’t breed like rabbits / large families are a good thing”.

    What will be important will be the “control of the message” in the wake of the document. We have seen the opening salvos of this combat already, with Cardinal Kasper talking of a “revolutionary document” and Cardinal Mueller’s new book interview affirming that “Mercy Can Never be a Dispensation From the Commandments of God”.

    Mueller’s message is perhaps encouraging, because as Prefect of the CDF he will have reviewed the contents Some bloggers claim that of the 200 page first draft, the CDF returned 30-40 pages of comment. If that is true, then it has started poorly alright (but hopefully won’t have gotten worse!).

    Plus, we know Kasper doesn’t hesitate to lie and cheat when it suits him – as we have seen before.

    I hope the faithful Cardinals and Bishops have their act together and have a firmly orthodox and unified response ready to respond to the document and contain the heretical claims which will accompany it. I am hopefully they will, as we saw them work together reasonably well at the Synods, challenging Francis directly with a letter and speeches, and indirectly with books and interviews.

    Something like “This is 200 pages of waffle, just ignore it. Now, here is what Catholics believe about marriage…..” ought to suffice.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      My own expectation is that there will be plenty of waffle, as you say, but the core of it is likely to be that decisions about the terrible cross of not being able to receive Holy Communion just because you’re an adulterer or living in a “civil partnership”/”gay marriage” with your same-sex partner (yawn, yawn) will be delegated to the Bishops/Bishops’ Conferences.. That will be the get out of jail card, in my humble opinion.

      But if anyone thinks that’s OK – wrong, with bells on. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING can be justified except a crystal clear and uncompromising exhortation to be faithful to the traditional teaching of the Church about marriage, sin and sacrilege, with a reminder about the reception of Holy Communion being permitted ONLY when living in a state of grace. To be living in manifest public sin, with the refusal to make the firm purpose of amendment in Confession required for absolution, rules out reception of the Blessed Sacrament. Anything less than such a declaration of fidelity to Catholic teaching, will mean that the Exhortation is unacceptable to anyone who has a remotely Catholic mind.

      • Editor,

        I have bad feeling you could be right, but then I hope you are wrong (first time for everything!).

        If the Pope allows Bishops to permit sacrilege then he is essentially torpedoing all Catholic morality. After all, if unrepentant sinners can receive communion, then the state of grace isn’t important, and so why go to confession…etc etc.

        Does the CDF still carry weight, when it comes to a matter “devolved” to Bishops Conferences? Surely it must still have a voice, even if arrogant Bishops choose to ignore it?

        • Gabriel Syme,

          The Pope is the ultimate authority in the Church. If he gives his approval to any relaxation of the discipline, thus contradicting the warnings in Scripture about “eating and drinking unworthily”, then it is irrelevant what any other Congregation says on the matter. Just look at how the Modernists treat infallible teaching, such as that contained in Pascendi! Straight from the pen of a Pope-Saint! They’re not going to let any tut-tutting from the CDF bother them if the Pope has signed an Exhortation which has their approval.

          Here is an article from the One Peter Five (1P5) blog reflecting on why Cardinal Schonborn is among those chosen by Pope Francis to release the Exhortation

          • That is a terrible article and fills me with fear. It occurred to me when this whole subject came to the fore that reactions like those you express will come from those who retain the Catholic faith in the Real Presence. If that faith has been lost and the ‘Eucharist’ is believed to be merely a commemorative meal, then why shouldn’t everybody be included? There couldn’t be any reasonable objection surely.

            So the question is, how many of the prelates retain this faith? That Cardinal Sc:honborn is to release this Exhortaton is worrying given the image of the balloon Mass shown on another thread, where the Cardinal is carelessly pulling his illicit matter (or the Body of Christ) into shreds in baskets for distribution. The crumbs and fragments! To one educated tobelieve that Christ is present, whole and entire, in the smallest fragment, this was a horrible sight and raises this crucial question about what these modernists believe concerning this central doctrine of our faith.

            • Christina,

              “…the Cardinal is carelessly pulling his illicit matter (or the Body of Christ) into shreds in baskets for distribution.”

              Surely, if he used illicit matter there would be no consecration? Proper matter, form and intention are essential for the Eucharist to be confected. so if he used matter that is not allowed, there wouldn’t be any Blessed Sacrament to distribute.

              • MM, leavened bread is valid but illicit matter in the Roman rite. Because it is valid matter Transubstantiation can be effected, given the right intention. Leavened bread is both valid and licit matter in some rites. Here’s an on-line extract:

                This topic is dealt with most recently in the instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” Nos. 48-50, which states:

                “[48] The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition. It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament. It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools.

                “[49] By reason of the sign, it is appropriate that at least some parts of the Eucharistic Bread coming from the fraction should be distributed to at least some of the faithful in Communion. ‘Small hosts are, however, in no way ruled out when the number of those receiving Holy Communion or other pastoral needs require it,’ and indeed small hosts requiring no further fraction ought customarily to be used for the most part.

                “[50] The wine that is used in the most sacred celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice must be natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances. During the celebration itself, a small quantity of water is to be mixed with it. Great care should be taken so that the wine intended for the celebration of the Eucharist is well conserved and has not soured. It is altogether forbidden to use wine of doubtful authenticity or provenance, for the Church requires certainty regarding the conditions necessary for the validity of the sacraments. Nor are other drinks of any kind to be admitted for any reason, as they do not constitute valid matter.”

                Although this document is written primarily for the Latin Church, what it says about the requirements for the validity of Eucharistic species also serves for the Eastern Churches, but not necessarily what refers to licit matter which may vary among Churches.

                The use or omission of leaven in baking bread does not affect the reality of the end product as true bread. And so both leavened and unleavened bread are valid matter for the Eucharist.

                Although this document is written primarily for the Latin Church, what it says about the requirements for the validity of Eucharistic species also serves for the Eastern Churches, but not necessarily what refers to licit matter which may vary among Churches.

                The use or omission of leaven in baking bread does not affect the reality of the end product as true bread. And so both leavened and unleavened bread are valid matter for the Eucharist.

                The traditional use of unleavened bread in the Latin Church is a requirement for the Eucharist’s licit celebration. A priest who consecrates a roll, bun or some other form of true wheat bread containing leaven performs a valid but illicit act.

                Most Eastern Churches traditionally use leavened bread for the Eucharist and this would be a requirement for the licit celebration of the Eucharist in those Churches.”

                I would presume that a priest sins in using illicit matter in his own rite.

                • I’m sorry MM,, I’m in a hurry and have accidentally copied more than I thought of the Instruction. I wanted to block the wine part. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll get the gist.

              • Margaret Mary,
                As I understand it, there is a difference between illicit matter, and invalid matter. Anything other than bread would (obviously!) be invalid matter. Also, I think it has been ruled by the Holy See that so-called ‘gluten-free’ hosts are invalid matter (although some parishes still disobediently use them). However, certain ‘trendy’ priests have been known to use unleavened pitta-style bread, and I recall reading that these are not necessarily invalid, depending on what they contain, but they are illicit, and shouldn’t be used. Open to correction on this, though!

                • MM and WF, we’ll lbe in trouble foo going off topic! I was making the point that if one has lost faith in the Real Presence, which I think many priests and laity have, then for the divorced and remarried, sodomites and Uncle Tom Cobley an’ all to go to ‘communion’ doesn’t matter. They’re just having a meal in memory etc. Who could object? I ill advisedly metioned the balloon-toting Cardinal because I wondered what he believed, given his fragmentation for distribution as shown.

                  Do you think we’ll have balloons for the reading of the Exhortation? 🎈🎈🎈

                  • Christina,

                    Do you think we’ll have balloons for the reading of the Exhortation?

                    No, but perhaps a light show featuring civilly divorced and remarried “couples” exhibiting their hurt feelings at being denied Communion, and maybe a few Lutherans thrown in for good measure, demonstrating how “marginalized” they feel at being excluded from receiving…

          • Can people both say “the Pope is the ultimate authority” and then ignore what he says. Is that not a contradiction that should cut to the heart?

            Editor: we seem to agree. Pope Francis must reaffirm Catholic teaching on this, and the others champing for change, must not ignore what he says, as he would be doing what a pope is elected to do, defending the Faith against error, and thus is invoking his papal authority. But I notice that do you not mention the title of the thread, so if I leave your comment as it stands, readers won’t know the context. For the record, here is the rest of my comment, relating to the part about “ultimate authority”:

            The Pope is the ultimate authority in the Church. If he gives his approval to any relaxation of the discipline, thus contradicting the warnings in Scripture about “eating and drinking unworthily”, then it is irrelevant what any other Congregation says on the matter. Posted by me on the “8th April, Start of the Greatest Revolution in the Church in 1500 Years – Cardinal Kasper

            Please remember to at least name the thread, otherwise nobody can check the context, and I simply won’t release your posts as I won’t have time to go searching threads. Thank you.

            • I am not sure what you mean by name the thread. If I reply to a comment on a thread that should be enough surely?

              Editor: if you are quoting or referring to something said on the same thread, obviously there is no link to provide. A link is essential if you are quoting something said on another thread, an older thread, a different thread. So, if you are writing something on the General Discussion thread, quoting something which I or others have said on, say, the Pascendi thread, you ought to provide the link to the Pascendi thread or at least name it – i.e. give the title of the thread

            • Fr. Arthur

              Can people both say “the Pope is the ultimate authority” and then ignore what he says. Is that not a contradiction that should cut to the heart?

              Can liberals continue to say (by their false obedience to dangerous innovations) that the Pope is God?

              The Supreme Pontiff does indeed have full authority in the Church, but that is given him to preserve the integrity of the Faith from any and all dangers, as the pre-council popes did. Papal authority does not permit Popes to be a law unto themselves. Nor does it permit others in the Church to demand that the Pope must be obeyed in all things since he is the ultimate authority. No, when there are questions of dangers to the faith handed down, obedience to God and sacred tradition is greater than obedience to men. The Pope is not God, he is Christ’s Vicar on earth.

    • Well, Therese, Christina, WF and MM,

      I disappear for a few hours and you’ve changed the subject. I had to do a double take to work out how you’d gone from the Exhortation to matter, form, and intention for confecting the Eucharist, not to mention alcoholic beverages and balloons. Who needs trolls with you lot around?!

      All of you will be docked pay this month. And no more overtime rates for the next month either!

  5. I seem to remember Cardinal Marx saying something recently that the German episcopate is not a branch office of Rome. That, taken together with Pope Francis intention to proceed with a “healthy decentralization” makes me think that he will come down firmly on the fence, delegating authority to Local Ordinaries to “solve” marital problems via the “Pastoral” route.

    Never-the-less, something that is evil cannot suddenly become good. End of!

    • Gerontius

      I always wondered why the prayer too Saint Michael, the Defender of the Church, was removed from the Novus Ordo Missa. On reading Pope Leo XIII prayer in its original form, it is clear that the smoke of Satan was present long before Paul VI made his statement. In 1930, Pope Pius XI attached the intention of the conversion of Russia to these prayers. In 1934 it was changed without explanation. The key phrase referring to the apostasy in Rome (the Holy Place, where the See of Peter has been set up for the light of the world) was removed. The prayers at the foot of the altar were abruptly removed without explanation by John XXIII (Angelo Roncalli) in 1962, prior too the start of Vatican II. This practice {saying the Saint Michael Prayer after mass) was suppressed when the New Mass of Paul VI began in 1964

      We are witnessing the havoc that action has had on the Church

  6. I think it is a very telling revelation about the Modernist mind that John XXIII, in a certain sense, began the Vatican II revolution with his opening speech to the Council in which he misused the term “mercy” – as if mercy and the condemnation of error were opposite and opposing reactions, when in fact the condemnation of error is a most merciful action of the Church, a remedy for sin. This was the speech that wedged open the door to the world (which turned out to be the smoke of Satan).

    It seems to me that this misinterpretation has lain fallow for quite some time in its explicit form – the forceful condemnation of error, accompanied by disciplinary action, has hardly been prominent in Papal toolboxes since 1962 – only to be resurrected with a vengeance by Pope Francis and his fellow Modernists.

    So it seems that the “French Revolution of the Church” began with a hardly noticed misuse of her doctrine, and now it appears it will end (we fear) with a Big Bang event of the very same misuse: mercy confused with healing “hurt feelings.”

    • Thus prompted by you, RCA Victor, I had another look at that Opening Address. How tragic it is that such huge optimism has led to the current situation in which we are waiting for the release of a document that might allow unrepentat sinners to receive Holy Communion. Pope John XXIII can surely never have imagined the conflicts and divisions that would result from what he naively set in motion.

      • Christina,

        Having read much of Franco Bellegrand’s “NikitaRoncalli,” I wouldn’t exactly say Roncalli was being naive about the revolution he set in motion. If this book is true, he was, in fact, playing a two-faced game, and being faithful, behind the scenes, to the liberalism he exhibited throughout his previous career. You can download that book as a PDF, if your reading list is not already up to the ceiling!!

  7. I have a question or two for Fr. Arthur regarding this looming Exhortation: are you, Father, a diocesan priest in England? If no, you may stop here. If yes, two more questions: one: yes or no, are you one of the “nearly 500 English priests” who in March 2015 signed a petition to the fathers of the Synod on the Family – in which said fathers were urged “to issue a ‘clear and firm’ proclamation of Church teaching on marriage and sexuality”? http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/in-open-letter-500-british-priests-ask-synod-to-stand-firm-on-church-teaching-18283/

    If no, why didn’t you sign it? If yes, what were your reasons for signing it?

    • I don’t believe that such an approach as the letter was the correct way to address the issue, or The Pope and The Synod. Its arrogance was breath taking,and it pre-judged an ongoing work of The Church.

      I also know that some of the signatories are amongst the finest examples of priesthood, and others, and again I know this personally, appear at many levels to be charlatans and attention seekers.

      I might ask you why would the letter matter at all if, as some here maintain, some that post Vatican 2 priests and sacraments, serving and celebrating The Sacraments in canonically established parishes, to be invalid and seek to have their own baptisms/confirmations etc conditionally celebrated by priests, in The SSPX, who have no faculties to celebrate the Sacraments. Either The Priesthood serving our Parishes is valid, and proper, and its opinions matter, or they are not are their opinions are worthless.

      Editor: I was going to delete the final paragraph here, but an leaving it in this time, in the hope that Athanasius will respond to it for the benefit of readers who may not be fully aware of the truth about the SSPX, and may be influenced by this kind of anti-SSPX attack.

      • Apparently you don’t even understand the issue, or perhaps to acknowledge it would gravely threaten your modernist belief system, so instead you dismiss those who raised it. This is a typical liberal ploy. But, to the letter:

        1. We wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.

        [Fr. Arthur: this is breath-taking arrogance, not an affirmation of the traditional doctrines on marriage and human sexuality in the face of clearly threatening and revolutionary language coming out of the Synod.]

        2. We affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments, and that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.

        [Fr. Arthur: more breath-taking arrogance, not to mention a pre-judgment of an ongoing work of The Church. But notice the obvious contradiction between your characterization of some of the signatories as “among the finest examples of the priesthood” and your slur against their letter as “breath-taking arrogance.”]

        Now why, do you suppose, these nearly 500 priests felt that the Church’s traditional doctrines were being threatened during the Synod, and felt called to issue a defense of those doctrines? Do you mean to claim that you found nothing profoundly disturbing about the language coming out of the Synod? And nothing profoundly disturbing about the preliminary remarks of those ultra-liberal prelates who have been called upon to handle the release of the Exhortation? And do you also mean to claim that there will be absolutely no connection between the draft language of the Synod, the preliminary remarks of these prelates, the “Kasper thesis,” Pope Francis’ repeated admiration of Kasper’s devious and heretical ideas, and the Exhortation? Do you think that the language of the Exhortation, which we will soon see, just fell from the sky untouched by the likes of Kasper, Schonborn and Baldisseri?

        “Nothing to see here,” says Fr Arthur. But he says more! Namely, those who do see something are guilty of breath-taking arrogance! How dare anyone question those in the hierarchy, eh?

        Finally, if there is any “breath-taking arrogance” occurring, it is among those prelates of the Church who blithely think they can alter, through so-called “pastoral practice,” not only the infallible teachings of the Church, but even the very words of Our Lord!

        • RCA Victor, very well said, but I would also draw attention to the remark that has rendered me speechless:

          “…and others (of these 500 priests), and again I know this personally, appear at many levels to be charlatans and attention seekers.”

      • Fr. Arthur

        I am grateful to editor for allowing me the opportunity to answer this oft-repeat untruth about the SSPX and what it believes.

        No one at any time, from Archbishop Lefebvre himself down to the lowliest parishioner, has ever claimed that Vatican II is invalid or that Vatican II priests and sacraments are invalid. That’s just a nonsense from you.

        What has been maintained by the SSPX from the outset, and there is a wealth of evidence to back it up, is that Vatican II, by its ambiguous texts, opened the Church up to great doctrinal error, as well to liturgical and sacramental abuse.

        There have been numerous substantive cases of sacreligious Masses in every corner of the globe since Bugnini’s vernacular baby hit the parishes, and there are literally thousands of cases of sacrileges against the Blessed Sacrament since Communion in the hand was forced on the faithful against the Church’s established and often-confirmed discipline (read Memoriale Domine, for example).

        In addition to all of this, the general watering down of the liturgical and sacramental rites has led to many priests not actually believing in their supernatural reality. So, there have been cases of incorrect baptisms, confirmations, etc., which is why the SSPX offers conditional sacraments to those who have genuine reason for concern.

        In fine, the new Mass and sacraments are not per se invalid, they can be valid. But the weakness of the rites leaves them open to abuse by liberal prelates and clerics. One such example involving a senior prelate in recent years is the balloon Mass of Cardinal Schonborn. That was never a licit or valid Mass. Nor is it valid matter for a priest to use consecrate a host the size of a tea plate. That kind of abuse invalidates the consecration. Look up the rubrics for yourself and then maybe you’ll stop writing unfounded rubbish about the SSPX. Of course it will make use of Canon Law in this time of confusion and crisis. I mean, you don’t think we Catholics are going to entrust our soul’ salvation to indifferent liberals you, do you?

        • Athanasius

          I agree that the the balloon mass is illicit in the extreme, but can you clarify why it is invalid?

          Secondly where is the size of host mentioned in any documents? And why would size make it invalid matter?

          • Nolite Timere,

            If you view again the balloon Mass of Cardinal Schonborn you will see that the vessels used for consecration are not made from precious materials, or indeed distinct from everyday tableware, as instructed by the GIRM chapter 6. Also, the type of bread used in the consecration breaches those rules, as well as the Latin Tradition concerning host size and material.

            Besides that, you only have to see what’s happening to know that this man does not believe in transubstantiation. Here’s the link to both the video and the GIRM.

            http://www.liturgyoffice.org.uk/Resources/GIRM/Documents/GIRM.pdf

            I’ll need to get back to you on the host size limitation because I cannot at this point in time remember which Church document I read that in. I do know that the size is restricted, both as regards being too small, too large or too thick.

  8. Christina,

    “Do you think we’ll have balloons for the reading of the Exhortation?”

    Odd! I thought the balloons WERE reading the Exhortation. Tee-Hee

  9. Jim,

    “We are witnessing the havoc that action has had on the Church”

    If the exhortation goes the way we think it will, it will be in large part due to the removal of the prayer to St. Michael. However, certain bishops and cardinals would do well to remember that St. Michael, the Angel of Peace, also has the title Guardian Angel of the Blessed Sacrament.

    They may only suffer a nasty bruise from the flat end of a certain fiery sword – if they’re lucky!

  10. Rorate Caeli has a summary of the document already. It reviews each of the 9 chapters and concludes with:

    As can readily be understood from a quick review of its contents, the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia seeks emphatically to affirm not the “ideal family” but the very rich and complex reality of family life. Its pages provide an openhearted look, profoundly positive, which is nourished not with abstractions or ideal projections, but with pastoral attention to reality. The text is a close reading of family life, with spiritual insights and practical wisdom useful for every human couple or persons who want to build a family. Above all, it is patently the result of attention to what people have lived over many years. The Exhortation Amoris laetitia: On Love in the Family indeed speaks the language of experience and of hope.

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/04/summary-of-amoris-laetitia.html

    I have not had time to read it all myself yet, but look forward to the analysis of more informed commentators than I.

    • Sorry Editor if I have misunderstood.

      (I thought we were to hold off posting until the thread was available on the blog?!)

      Please just delete those posts then – they have not been up for long!

      Apologies for the mix-up!

      • Gabriel Syme,

        Not at all – I wasn’t meaning you! I was digging at the newspapers and websites who published the leaks. Apologies for not being clear on that.

        I’m going to be away from my computer for most of the day into evening, so will be a while before I can comment. It is interesting, therefore, to have had a bit of a preview, in addition to following as much of the press conference lives as I can manage, so the websites/papers are not all bad!

        More in due course!

  11. The document seems to be eliciting vastly different responses from persons whom might otherwise be on the “same side”.

    LMS Chair, Joseph Shaw, says:

    Since the Post-Synodal Exhortation Amoris laetitia is not the bombshell many were assuming, confining itself, on the ‘hot button’ issues, to what appears to be a restatment of the status quo (priests have to assess matters case by case, Holy Communion is not a reward for perfection etc. etc.), here is something which other news sources may neglect, but which was mentioned briefly in the Press Conference: the Holy Father has a surprising amount to say about Fathers

    http://www.lmschairman.org/2016/04/pope-francis-on-fatherhood-and-authority.html#more

    (I have become quite interested in the reference to text about Fathers, as new Father myself)

    On the other hand, blogger Mundabor says condemns the document as heretical and poisonous:

    It could not have been worse, when we consider that open heresy would never be proclaimed from an official document. This is as heretical and subversive as a Pope can get.

    https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/heresy-heresy-heresy/

    They can’t both be right.

    I wish I had lived in the pre-Vatican II days, when Popes knew a thing or two about brevity, clarity and incisiveness.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I watched some of the live presentation on the video above, and when it came to the questions, there were some concerns expressed. Cardinal Schonborn was very merry throughout the presentations I saw, but quickly frowned when any questions were raised that he didn’t like.

      I am not surprised at the reaction of the LMS as they have always been very keen to read the best into everything from the hierarchy, especially the Pope. I would have been very surprised if Joe Shaw had really understood the significance of the statements which he supports – as if priests had to assess cohabitees on a case by case basis or civil unions – everyone know that they cannot go to Communion and there is nothing to assess! I am amazed that he goes along with the statement about Holy Communion not being a reward for perfection which it has never been but nobody thought it was acceptable to approach the altar in a state of mortal sin before now, either.

      Mundabor is closer to the truth, as the document is certainly poisonous and we will soon see if it is spreading error when we start to hear announcements in the parishes, and see people going up for Communion who are living in public sin. How we can then teach our children and grandchildren about the sanctity of marriage, that it is for life etc. beats me.

      Personally, I am completely shocked at this document.

      • Margaret Mary

        The document is shocking. To think that a Pope wrote it is terrifying! I can only think of Blessed Jacinta weeping and repeating, “Pray for the Holy Father”. This man needs a miracle. I’m finding it hard to remain charitable.

        What we must be absolutely clear on is that Catholic doctrine remains pure and unchanged. It cannot change. No Pope can ever change it.

        I’ve read the document briefly and most of it is absolutely disgraceful. Pope Francis claims that the divorced and remarried ARE not excommunicated! What’s the problem with divorce and remarriage then? He also claims that couples themselves should decide whether or not to use contraception – with the caveat that natural methods are to be “promoted”. He also claims that God’s love works through couples “living in sin” (although he doesn’t use that phrase).

        Francis has attempted to abolish sexual sins! Outrageous! For a man who claims to be so humble he certainly over reaches and presumes he has more authority than he does. God have mercy on him because a terrible judgement awaits him.

        • Petrus,

          “What we must be absolutely clear on is that Catholic doctrine remains pure and unchanged. It cannot change. No Pope can ever change it.”

          Try telling that to young people who see adulterers and those in civil partnerships take leading roles in their parishes and approach for Holy Communion. Try telling it to the gentleman who rang me today, convinced that the doctrine HAS changed – “let’s face it” -he said to me in dismay.

          The APPEARANCE of changed teaching is extremely damaging. So, yes, of course, no pope has the authority to change Christ’s teaching but this one is having a pretty good shot at it.

          • Editor

            Well, I guess it is our role to “tell that to the young people”.

            Yes, Pope Francis has had a pretty good go at it, but we cannot allow him to get away with it. I’ve already posted on the Archdiocese of Glasgow and Diocese of Paisley site, saying that this outrageous document is not binding on Catholics and no Pope has the authority to change doctrine. It is going to be difficult but we all need to put in even more effort now.

            • Petrus,

              Well said. We must put in more effort now, no question about it. Just don’t go expecting overtime and pension rights – Westminster Fly has already started an email campaign for pension rights to be added to his promised next pay rise!

              Delighted you posted on the Archdiocesan Facebook page. It is astounding that they are already giving the Exhortation their blessing – I mean, have they had time to digest it, read the reviews? Talk about blind obedience. Unbelievable.

              • Well, remember Archbishop Tartaglia saying that he “Wouldn’t be Archbishop” anymore if the Pope attempted to change teaching? Let’s see what he does/says now.

      • I agree MM. Mundabor is right. I read through Ch.8, as that was the one highlighted as being most controversial, and I was horrified. It incorporates all the characteristics of modernist ‘teaching’ that bloggers here know well. Here a restatement of Catholic teaching, for example:

        “Hence it is can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding “its inherent values”, or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin. As the Synod Fathers put it, “factors may exist which limit the ability to make a decision”.

        As those of us old enough to remember being taught from the ‘Penny Catechism’, for a sin to be mortal the matter must be grave and understood to be such; there must be full advertance of the mind to the gravity of the evil; there must be full consent of the will. These three conditions cover every contingency of immaturity, including emotional immaturity, mental impairment, coercion, etc., and the above paragraph from the Exhortation is saying essentially the same, and one might think ‘He’s not changing anything here’, but then comes the following diabolical modernist innovation:

        “…individual conscience needs to be better incorporated into the Church’s praxis in certain situations which do not objectively embody our understanding of marriage. Naturally, every effort should be made to encourage the development of an enlightened conscience, formed and guided by the responsible and serious discernment of one’s pastor, and to encourage an ever greater trust in God’s grace. Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.”

        So if you’re a fornicator, adulterer, sodomite, etc., if your conscience tells you that’s OK, then, hey, that’s what God wants of you. This is blasphemy and heresy. Ch.8 will certainly separate the sheep from the goats in the coming days.

        • Christina,

          “Ch.8 will certainly separate the sheep from the goats in the coming days.”

          THAT has to be the original nutshell. Well said!

      • MM

        “How we can then teach our children and grandchildren about the sanctity of marriage, that it is for life etc. beats me.”

        Absolutely correct. How, indeed.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Margaret Mary is spot on in her assessment of the LMS – they really are far too keen to keep their relationship with the bishops as friendly as possible, in order to get the Summorum Pontificum Masses spread far and wide. Of course, there should be no need for that, since SP gives all priests the right to offer the ancient Mass without any permission from their bishop, but human nature being what it is, too many of the clergy want their bishop’s approval. I’m still hearing of priests learning the old Mass “in secret” and offering it privately, in order to avoid annoying the bishop. They’ve yet to learn that it can be great fun to annoy the bishops!

      I’m very interested in Mundabor’s remark about heresy because I was talking to a priest recently who believes that any signal to bishops to relax the dogmatically based discipline on Holy Communion for those living in manifest public sin, would be heretical, whether or not there is a blatant statement from the Pope himself.

      I suppose, right enough, God is not fooled by semantics and games-playing. If we see bishops adapting/changing this discipline “to suit the [permissive] culture” of our “liberal” societies, people will naturally assume that the teaching of the Church has changed.

      Let’s pray that his judgment does not fall upon Pope Francis before he has repented of this latest scandal and moved to put it right. He will go down in history as The Pope of Scandals – no question.

  12. Gabriel Syme,

    I’ve just read through the summary on Rorate Caeli, and it struck me as a rather fawning and glowing appraisal of this Exhortation – one which you might expect from the likes of Jimmy Akin. John Vennari posts that he is in the process of writing up his comments, but also states that Chapter 8 is the trouble spot.

    As for my own limited radar, I think the focus on “inculturation” in the Introduction spells trouble, not to mention this revolutionary quote: But the Pope cautions that “not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium.” Really? No need for an infallible guide! We can decide on our own, with our “consciences”! Talk about Protestantism!

    Once again, the deliberate dichotomy between “abstract” and “rigid” doctrine vs. “compassionate” response, as if the doctrines of the Church were not themselves based on compassion – for the salvation of the soul!

    I also thought this was a rather odd, completely secularized definition of marriage in Ch. 2: Idealism does not allow marriage to be understood for what it is, that is, a “dynamic path to personal development and fulfilment.

    Thus Francis makes marriage exactly the thing which Spirago & Clark warned against: “Matrimony is a divine and by no means a human institution.”

    • RCA Victor,

      I didn’t see the “fawning” and “glowing” summary at Rorate Caeli, but they’ve now seen the light:

      “God have mercy on His Holy Church.

      There’s no other way to put it: The pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia is a catastrophe.

      Though released only this morning, Catholic observers and commentators have already begun to identify several objectionable passages in which the doctrine and discipline of the Church’s Faith is elided, wrested, and contradicted. We at Rorate Caeli will have more to say on this subject, but we can affirm that the headline of Dr. Maike Hickson’s commentary at OnePeterFive is correct: “Pope Francis Departs from Church Teaching in New Exhortation.” Also correct is Voice of the Family’s observation, “There are many passages that faithfully reflect Catholic teaching but this cannot, and does not, lessen the gravity of those passages which undermine the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church.” (Be sure to read all of Voice of the Family’s excellent critique.)” Read the rest of this article here

  13. Gabriel Syme

    This document confirms what many knew, that the Church has been turned into a Modernist/Masonic pantomime.

    “As Steve Skojec says that Chapter 8 is the dangerous chapter, with vague terms such as “irregular situations” and he highlights:”

    “– suggestion that conscience is chief” I heard a lot about “conscience” before I had enough of this protestant rubbish, and went too SSPX. So a woman decides to have an abortion, and after examining her “conscience” commits murder, but its ok! She examined her “conscience”

    “!– lots about mercy but nothing about repentance” More Lutheran rubbish.

    • Jim

      I’m sorry it is just plain wrong to say the Church has become a Modernist/Masonic pantomime. That is not true. The Church is the spotless bride of Christ.

      What this appalling document shows is that the Pope has tried everything humanly possible to change doctrine. The Pope’s biggest problem is the Holy Ghost. He has ensured that Catholic doctrine remains pure and undefiled.

      This document reiterates that we have a bad Pope, a terrible Pope but Our Lord remains in charge of His Church.

    • Jimislander,

      As Petrus points out, it’s Modernist churchmen who are enjoying undue influence in Holy Mother Church at the present time – but that will end, hopefully soon. “The Church” (as you well know yourself, don’t need a glamorous youngster to remind you, really) is guaranteed by Christ, not to fail. Those, from the Pope down, who are trying to make it look that way, will suffer severe penalties at their Judgment, unless they repent and seek to undo the damage they are currently causing, before that thief comes for their soul in the night.

      And you are completely right about the Protestant interpretation of conscience now being peddled by these Modernists, and their wrong interpretation of “mercy”. Here’s St Alphonsus on the Abuse of the Divine Mercy – pity Pope Francis didn’t read this sermon before penning the post-synod Exhortation:

      When you Intend-to commit Sin, who, I ask, Promises you Mercy from God. Certainly God does not Promise it. It is the Devil that Promises it, that you may Lose God, and be Damned. “Beware”, says Saint John Chrysostom, “Never to Attend to that Dog, who Promises the Mercy from God”. If, Beloved Sinners, you have hitherto Offended God, Hope and Tremble; if you Desire to Give-up Sin, and you Detest it, Hope; because God Promises Pardon to all who Repent of the Evil they have done. But if you intend-to continue-in your Sinful Course, Tremble lest God should Wait no-longer for you, but Cast you into Hell. Why does God Wait-for Sinners? Is it that they may continue-to Insult Him? No, He Waits-for them that they may Renounce Sin, and that thus, He may have Pity on them, and Forgive them. “Therefore the Lord Waiteth that He may have Mercy on you” – Isaiah 30:18. But when He sees that the Time which He gave them to Weep over their Past Iniquities, is spent in Multiplying their Sins, He begins to Inflict Chastisement, and He Cuts-them-off in the State of Sin, that, by Dying, they may Cease-to Offend Him. Then He Calls-against them the very Time He had given them for Repentance. “He hath Called against me the Time” – Lamentations 1:15. “The very Time”, says Saint Gregory, “comes to Judge”. Click here to read the rest of this sermon – but wear your sunglasses as the text is in technicolour!

    • Jimislander,

      Thank you for that link to CFN. Here’s the synopsis, for ease of reference:

      Amidst great drifts of verbose verbiage, some not bad, some remarkably tedious, Francis effectively canonizes situation ethics.

      The key section of revolution appears at the end – Chapter 8.

      He cautiously opens the door for Communion to the remarried on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. Progressives already celebrate it as a ‘radical shift’.

      This effectively destroys key elements Catholic Moral Theology.

      The tumultuous Synods have brought forth a tumultuous Exhortation.

      Writing my initial report now. Stay tuned. END.

      We will, Catholic Family News – we sure will!

  14. Jimislander

    Yes, this Apostolic Exhortation certainly encompasses personal errors of Pope Francis that could have devastating consequences for the Church. What he is effectively saying is that individual conscience, not the Church’s consistent moral teaching, is master. It’s all very cleverly worded with that Modernist adeptness at stating and confirming the dogmatic teaching followed by odd sentences and footnotes that contradict it together with a nod and wink to Episcopal Conferences to adapt everything to the cultures in which they reside.

    I read the following quote from the Pope’s document on Rorati Caeli. The comments in italics are Rorati’s. This gives a taste of the grave moral errors the Church will now have to deal with, thanks to Pope Francis and his Jesuitical situation ethics.

    1. Speaking of divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics, Francis writes: “In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living ‘as brothers and sisters’ which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy [i.e., sexual intercourse] are lacking ‘it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers’ ( Gaudium et spes, 51).” AL fn. 329. I fear this is a serious misuse of a conciliar teaching. Gaudium et spes 51 was speaking about married couples observing periodic abstinence. Francis seems to compare that chaste sacrifice with the angst public adulterers experience when they cease engaging in illicit sexual intercourse.

    • Athanasius,

      You are so right about the interspersion of Modernist tactics to assert Church teaching and then demolish it. I noticed that right through the press conference.

      I also noticed that when a couple of journalists asked awkward questions, made unwelcome points, Cardinal Schonborn looked not a little displeased. I think the press conference can still be viewed on the video above, so I would be interested to know if others agree – I was interrupted a number of times when viewing the conference, and didn’t always hear everything (especially one rather long-winded gentleman who seemed to be challenging Cardinal Schonborn but took far too long to get to the point, and wasted the opportunity by playing the “positive” psychology card by praising the document in order to lead gently into his criticism, instead of getting straight to the point and staying there, so I hope I’m right that more than a few of the journalists present saw through the superficiality of it all and recognised the dangerous passages.

  15. Athanasius
    “Francis seems to compare that chaste sacrifice with the angst public adulterers experience when they cease engaging in illicit sexual intercourse.””

    Indeed yes! And note the “magical words! Mercy! Conscience!” Not one word on repentance. True repentance! Whenever I am graced to receive the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, I have said that I will change my life, whatever I have done or are in the process of doing that is an Offence before THE Almighty God, Father Son and Holy Ghost, I will abhore all occasions of sin and endeavour to change my life with their Help and that of our Wholly Immaculate Virgin Mother

  16. Hi folks,

    I’ve been away from my computer all day and most of this evening, but before I take a few minutes to answer some of the comments individually, a little good news. Amoris Laetitia is not all bad, after all! And this because…

    I had a call from a gentleman this afternoon, who had just seen mention of the Exhortation on the news and he expressed himself horrified. He has called me occasionally in the past, but has resisted all my invitations to come to the SSPX Masses, so today I didn’t even think of suggesting it, being more preoccupied with cutting the call short, given that I was in someone else’s home and did not wish to be rude by ignoring them to blether to someone else on the phone.

    I explained my situation, but took a minute or so to agree with him that the Exhortation was a matter of some concern, at least what I’d seen on the live press conference presentation, which was most of it.

    Apologising for not being able to talk for very long, he kindly said he fully understood and, anyway, he hoped to see me at the Society chapel very soon – possibly this Sunday. I’d no sooner picked myself up from the floor and expressed my delight, than he added that his wife and himself would be coming to the Conference in June, and now, after seeing what he believes is an effective change of doctrine on marriage, he would be trying to get others in his parish to book as well.

    So, you see, there really IS always something to be glad about… goodness knows how many others will allow the scales to fall from their eyes now, better late than never.

  17. Editor

    That is good news indeed! This man is clearly one who values his faith and his salvation. I hope others will follow his example, perhaps even a few priests. They more than anyone must surely be prompted in conscience now to act in defence of the faith and morals of the Church. But will they?

    • Athanasius,

      I hope others will follow his example, perhaps even a few priests. They more than anyone must surely be prompted in conscience now to act in defence of the faith and morals of the Church. But will they?

      In the letter, published in the Catholic Herald, the 500 English priests write: “We wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.”

      Here’s hoping that their ” unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines ” will bring them safely home to the society and, recognizing that the SSPX is not and never has been in schism, perhaps we will be blessed by some of them coming up here to help – we sure need them!

      Once upon a time we had 5 seminaries, now we have none – speaks volumes about the fruits of the modernist heresy doesn’t it!

  18. The Archdiocese of Glasgow Facebook site has already posted a glowing report on the new Exhortation. I’ve commented on their site, telling readers that this document is outrageous and is not binding on Catholics. No doubt it will be removed as soon as a big wigs sees it, but hopefully some readers will have seen it in the meantime.

    • Petrus

      Of course it has. It’s exactly what they’ve been drip feeding the laity for decades, so they’re delighted to have this semi-official rubber stamp. The Exhortation backs up those modernist (ie heretical) cardinals/bishops and priests and leaves those left in the orthodox corner high and dry. There was never any point in the last 50 years in writing to the hierarchy about abuse: now it’s official.

      Don’t like what your bishop is sanctioning? Suck it up, or move to an orthodox diocese (if you can find one). The devil hates unity, and this is a masterstroke of division.

    • Theresa Rose,

      Thank you for that link to the Remnant blog. Here is one very interesting comment from blogger James Matthew…

      It strikes me as telling that one had to look into the footnotes rather than the body of the text to see the part about civilly divorced and civilly remarried couples having a period of discernment that will eventually allow them to receive communion. So as most people don’t read footnotes it gives the impression to them that little or nothing has changed in this regard but those in the know will be able to cite the footnotes to argue for their cause. Seems a purposeful choice and seems duplicitous.

      There was another one, interesting for a very different reason, from someone who says he set out to read the Exhortation with an open mind: I tried reading this with an “open mind” and, whereas I can see where some may have been in a frame of mind of hunting for the first slip-up, when I got to paragraph 301, the Potemkin village got neatly folded up and I realized quite clearly that we’re not just dealing with how to be pastoral toward the sinner… “ (Aquinas Man)

      I mean, we know we are in the worst crisis ever in the Church, and we have the worst ever pontiff who has spouted error from the skies (microphones should be banned on planes as part of the security precautions against terrorism – especially religious terrorism!) and over the phone, and in conversations with atheists and Protestants, so why would any intelligent person, having watched the debacle of the Synod, with the ensuring chaos, think that the Exhortation ought to be read with “an open mind” instead of with forensic thoroughness, SEEKING to identify the expected errors, in order to safeguard his Faith against the poisonous Modernism that Pope Francis routinely peddles. Why?

      Maybe some are impressed with the “open mind” approach. I call it – mindless, if not downright stupid and very dangerous.

  19. It will be interesting to see if in churches tomorrow there will be any mention of this document, favorable or unfavorable. And how many ordinary Catholics will actually read and think about it themselves? And if they do not, as I suspect they won’t, then how will it be promulgated I wonder? There is next to no teaching on morality in the parishes as it is. I suppose it will be a slow dawning that anything goes now!

    • Elizabeth,

      It is exactly right that most Catholics will not read the Exhortation – One Peter Five publishes a collage of the headlines, pointing out that the headlines say it all, and that’s what most Catholics WILL read.

      It is all truly scandalous.

      • Editor

        You gave me until the 8th to comment on a document not published until that date. How exactly was I meant to read it? I am glad that both you and Elizabeth have read it in full. I assume this and my comment on the document will be published, as you promised.

        Editor: yes, you may certainly respond to the Exhortation, but only one comment, as I am simply not prepared to allow you to take us round in circles again. Submit one comment to express your opinion on the Exhortation but be aware that you will have no further posts released on this, or any other topic.

        I ask other bloggers, who wish to respond to Father Arthur’s post on the document, NOT to ask him any questions or for clarifications, as no further posts from him will be posted, so if you feel moved to comment, please do just that – comment, offer clarification or further reading yourself, but do not ask him questions, as I will not be releasing any posts from him after the one he is going to submit on the document. I do not want to be badgered by him to be allowed to reply, so please accept my decision on this, one and all. If I spot any questions, I will remove them, as soon as I see them.

        • Editor,

          You’re banning a priest from posting on Catholic Truth???

          You should change the name of your website. It’s neither Catholic nor truthful.

          • Since this blog upsets your delicate Sensibilities,perhaps you can find somewhere else that supports your views, such as they are.

          • Alex F,

            Ad Hominem attacks of this sort against against Editor or anyone else for that matter, are both uncharitable, unjust and especially in this case entirely uncalled for!

            A good idea would be to thoroughly check your facts BEFORE posting.

            Editor does not deserve this offensive rubbish! Don’t bother replying – I intend to completely ignore
            ANYTHING you post from now on. I sincerely hope Editor gives you the boot also!

          • Alex F,

            Have you been following the blog since this priest joined it? He inundated it with comments and was a real modernist priest on every topic. He called the editor a liar and when she posted back up her previous comments to show that he was accusing her wrongly, he accused her of editing her own comments after being challenged on them! LOL! She’d be an extremely busy lady if she did that – she’s always being challenged!

            No other blog administrator would have let him have such unfettered access as he has had. Father Z’s blog is a case in point. He won’t tolerate anybody disagreeing with him, let alone insulting him! People get blocked by him all the time, or used to – I haven’t been there for a while so maybe with all the talk of mercy he’s change a bit, LOL!

            When Fr Arthur does post his comment on the Exhortation, you can bet it will be to justify it. I’ve watched this priest at work on this blog for weeks now and he is really exhibiting troll-like behaviour. He never gives sources for anything, he accuses people of things they’ve supposedly said in previous discussions without even giving the topic, so they’re left to hunt for it to see what they actually wrote, and then when you show that he’s wrong, he just doesn’t answer, never apologises and keeps casting up stuff that he takes as an insult, yet if you take it the way it was originally written, you can see it wasn’t meant as an insult or at least can be taken in two ways. He is very uncharitable and, IMHO, seems to have come on with a down on editor.

            You are not being fair to say this website is neither Catholic nor truthful It is the only blog in Scotland, and probably the UK , that is really Catholic and truthful.

          • Alex F

            The indugence shown to Fr. Arthur on this blog has been nothing short of heroic on editor’s part. If you were a truly objective individual, you would have noted this fact. As it is, your outrage is clearly feigned.

  20. Margaret Mary & Editor,

    Thanks for your analysis of the LMS response.

    What is odd is that Joe Shaw is heavily involved with Rorate Caeli, a website which is condemning the document he claims is “not a bombshell”.

    I suppose these divergent responses are the fruit of the ambiguity which Francis has clearly sought to cultivate.

    1P5 (Steve Skojec) has responded well to the document. He now has pictures of tweets on the site, from the wholly secular people who like to “play at Catholics”; they are praising Francis and calling people who object “liars”.

  21. I wonder if Bishop Fellay will comment on this “Exhortation” ? Perhaps after he has time too study it in detail.

    • Jimislander,

      If there’s anything left to say, I’m sure Bishop Fellay will comment in due course.

      Right now, I’ve been following Twitter links on the subject, and how anybody can makes sense of tweets, is beyond me.They’re all over the place. I gave up when I saw what appears to be the Rorate Caeli hash-tag – #joyofsex,

      I decided to go offline at that point and look for something a tad more edifying… like an episode of Wanted, Down Under, in the hope that they’re looking for amateur editors or Miss Marple Look-A-Likes in Australia. Yip. It’s that bad…

  22. I’m going to have to wait a few days or weeks for the initial dust to settle from this and then take a good look at what is actually in the document. My initial thoughts are that it is horrible.

    A pope cannot abolish the seventh and ninth commandments, and neither does he have the authority to tell us that hell is not eternal, when Our Lord Himself and the entire tradition of the Church tell us that it is. I don’t accept that we are free to disregard an Apostolic Exhortation, as to do so is really just a denial of the authority of the Holy See. So we have appear to have a real problem.

    People who are in adulterous unions have been receiving the sacraments illicitly for decades. The only difference is that previously they were doing so in disobedience to the Church.

    It all boils down to one thing, is adultery a sin? If the Church is now saying that it is not, then the Church has been lying to us for millennia. Otherwise, those who tell us that adultery is not a sin do not represent the Catholic Church, but that’s a whole other can of worms that causes high anxiety on this blog. For me, however, the question is now unavoidable.

    • Alex F,

      An Apostolic Exhortation is a a papal reflection on a particular topic that does not contain dogmatic definitions or policy directives, addressed to bishops, clergy and all the faithful of the entire Catholic Church. Apostolic exhortations are not legislative documents. It cannot be binding on Catholics, therefore, and couldn’t possibly be because it is flagrantly contradicting Christ’s teaching on marriage.

      This link is to a liberal paper, which gives a summary of the Exhortation
      http://ncronline.org/blogs/faith-and-justice/amoris-laetitia-start-chapter-4

      • I meant to add that the NCR describes Chapter 4 as a “masterpiece” and goes on to point out that it is titled “Love in Marriage.” It begins with a wonderful meditation on St. Paul’s lyrical passage on love in First Corinthians (13:4-7). He quotes Martin Luther King Jr. and refers to the movie “Babette’s Feast.”

        I think that tells us all we need to know about the non-binding nature of AL.

    • WuerdeSmythe,

      Thank you for that link to your very interesting and edifying article on the Georgia Martyrs. I think this quote from the first part, sums up their importance:

      “…the five Georgia Martyrs are an eloquent rebuke – then as now – to an age that believes men can make use of marriage with no regard for public morality or for the spiritual character of the institution.”

      So true.

      It was really great to read such an edifying article at this time of desolation in the Church in spiritual and moral terms (and for the majority, liturgical terms as well).

      Reading the accounts of the suffering and martyrdom endured by each of the priests is painful. Their courage, to the point of heroism, is wonderfully uplifting, and the little sermon by Fray Blas de Rodríguez is very touching:

      “My sons, for me it is not difficult to die. Even if you do not cause it, the death of this body is inevitable. We must be ready at all times, for we, all of us, have to die someday. But what does pain me is that the Evil One has persuaded you to do this offensive thing against your God and Creator. It is a further source of deep grief to me that you are unmindful of what we missionaries have done for you in teaching you the way to eternal life and happiness.

      So, thank you again – I urge other bloggers who may not have read the article, to do so without delay. It is very uplifting.

  23. Many years ago, I read that :

    (1) Satan always tries to gain control under the pretext of promoting a supposed greater good.
    (2) He is quite capable of ” Hiding a pint of poison in a lake of truth.” ( drip, drip, drip )
    (3) Divide and conquer by bypassing Doctrine through promoting “pastoral practice”

    Amoris Laetitia should be ringing alarms LOUD AND CLEAR!

    Finally, to whom it may concern:

    WARNING: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

    Beloved Mother Mary, protect the Mystical Body of Your Son.

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

    • Gerontius,

      Excuse my ignorance, but can you translate “mene, mene tekel upharsin” – I don’t understand it and Google Translate doesn’t work – it comes up as English!

      • Margaret Mary,

        Its taken from the book of the Prophet Daniel chapter 5.

        If I remember correctly, ” You have been weighed in the ballance and found wanting”, ” Your days have been numbered”, ” Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians” ( Modern day Iran)

        It’s the Daniels interpretation of Belshazzar’s unfortunate experience.

        Interesting that Iranian islamic eschatology expects the very soon arrival of their “mahdi” (their “saviour”, and probably our antichrist)

  24. Do those masonic usurpers in the hierarchy actually expect Catholics to believe this modernist heresy?

    Here’s an extract from a very timely article on “Conscience”:

    3) “Conscience” Is the Source of Religion

    No longer must the Catholic make an act of Faith, based upon the authority of God who reveals, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. The deliberate elimination of this concept from the Vatican II document on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) is not accidental. Tradition is no longer a separate source of Revelation, handing down an unchanging, objective content, but is now a “life-giving presence,” “the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they (i.e., believers) experience” (ibid. §8), and thus it “makes progress in the Church” and consequently “the Church is always advancing towards the plenitude of divine truth.” Such an evolving and changing concept of Tradition would not be possible unless religious truth, like right and wrong itself, were to find its source in the personal conscience of each man. This is the clear presupposition of the document on religious liberty, Dignitatis Humanae, as Archbishop Lefebvre himself pointed out (cf. They Have Uncrowned Him, p.172). Examples of statements to this effect are that “truth can impose itself on the mind of man only in virtue of its own truth” (Dignitatis Humanae, §2), which forbids any authoritative teaching by the Church or its representatives, or any exclusive promotion of objective truth by a Catholic state. Conscience must discover its own truth internally. Likewise the statement that “it is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of the divine law” (ibid., §3).

    Truly it is a new religion that substitutes personal conscience for the teaching of the Magisterium.

    Source URL:
    http://fatima.ageofmary.com/apostasy/new-religion/

    • RCA Victor,

      Good analyses. I almost know that document off by heart, between pouring over the Vatican pdf, and the various analyses around the globe, it won’t be long before I can recite it along with my rosary 😀

      • Editor,

        I am in the middle of studying Pascendi more closely, and it is really remarkable how St. Pius X’s analysis of the modernist’s utterly subjective “religious sense,” which replaced, for them, objective truth, demonstrates so clearly how that has led directly to this Papal equivalent of “Dear Abby” and Oprah Winfrey. An equivalent, however, that is much less helpful, considered merely on the level of pop psychology, than its counterparts, since it relies on mealy-mouthed gradualist double-talk to further its heretical aims.

        But I must say, the present Pope has gone the modernists one better: instead of the evolution of dogma, we now have the denunciation and denial of dogma!

        And just wait! I understand that next year’s Synod will address the subject of homosexuality…..

        • RCA Victor,

          I know that Cardinal Peter Turkson said that next Synod will tackle same-sex unions but I’m surprised at that for two reasons; firstly, there is so much scope in AL to include same-sex unions along with other “irregular situations” that I wouldn’t have thought there is any need to make a separate case for that particular sin situation.

          Secondly, I remember reading somewhere that the next Synod will deal with married priests. That, now DOES make sense; demolish the Sacrament of Matrimony, and then set about demolishing Holy Orders.

          Time will tell… assuming, of course, that there is sufficient time allotted…

  25. Well, folks, so much for the “year of Mercy”! I’ve been defending Church teaching on the Archdiocese of Glasgow facebook site. The Archdiocese are full of praise for the Exhortation, so I’ve been trying to point out the major problems with it. I have now been banned from posting comments!

    • Petrus,

      That is terrible, and I am really shocked at the Archdiocese of Glasgow. The Bishops have always pretended to be orthodox, when we had a pope that seemed to be orthodox (abortion etc) so now we have a modernist pope, they are showing their true colours. I am wondering if they will make a formal announcement about people who are cohabiting, in second unions etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do something concrete to show their approval of this document.

    • Petrus,

      I paid a quick visit to the Archdiocesan Facebook page and the whole thread, which I read yesterday, has been wiped. A blogger (Robert Mason) asks where all the comments have gone, but that’s it. WOW. So much for free speech, not to mention mercy and justice!

      Anyway, I saw yesterday that you had posted a link to this blog and so you can hardly be too surprised! The policy of the Archdiocese is to ignore us – hence we cannot even get the Scottish Catholic Observer to take advertisements for our Conferences; we didn’t even try this time but in the past, we’ve been refused. So, clearly, they do not want the people in their pews learning the truth about the crisis in the Church as it affects Scotland. All very “dialogue” – NOT!

      Not to worry – you did a great job yesterday of defending the Faith. It’s been said, so the readers cannot claim ignorance, if they cling to their defence of the heresy of modernism – or should that be “heresies” since modernism is the synthesis of ALL the heresies. What a thought!

      • I have had a look at the Glasgow Archdiocese website and I do not see any comments facility at all.
        I was going to take issue with the Bishops on voting – they do not suggest any party for whom one could in conscience vote…

        • Andrew Paterson,

          Please don’t take offence if I remind other readers that the issue of voting in the forthcoming local elections/Scottish Parliament elections is not for discussion on this thread. I have deliberately not posted an election thread as party politics leads to animosity, more often than not. So, I would be grateful if anyone wishes to discuss the question of the forthcoming elections please do so on the General Discussion thread.

          • Yes. I drifted a bit, following up your comment on vanishing comments. The hierarchy do not like dissent or even demurring.
            I will endeavour to be strictly pertinent henceforth.

            • That’s OK, Andrew.

              The hierarchy don’t mind dissent – the real thing. What they refuse to tolerate is dissent from the dissent! Which, of course, is what you meant. I’m being facetious!

    • Petrus,

      “I’ve been defending Church teaching on the Archdiocese of Glasgow facebook site. The Archdiocese are full of praise for the Exhortation, so I’ve been trying to point out the major problems with it. I have now been banned from posting comments!”

      Since as Pope Felix iii taught that:
      “Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men – when we can do it – is no less a sin than to encourage them.”

      In view of your being “banned” I have no doubt that you will find this article very supportive. The last part is particularly noteworthy, and many of us will be monitoring the Hierarchies actions very carefully.

      https://fromrome.wordpress.com/

      Another thing:
      There is a special blessing for Defenders of the Faith. As you have publically defended the Faith, I hope that someday it will be applied to you.

  26. Thank you all for your responses to Alex F, but let’s leave it there. It’s that old “Father knows best” thing, that some Catholics just cannot shake off, crisis or no crisis

    Since Michaela mentioned Fr Z, I thought I would take a minute to check out his thoughts on the subject and I have been pleasantly surprised – he seems to have come a long way. See for yourself http://wdtprs.com/blog/ although he still doesn’t get it in the sense that he looks only at the superficial (literal only – e.g. – to paraphrase – Pope doesn’t actually SAY unrepentant sinners can approach for Communion), without recognising that there is enough “rope” there, plus a huge amount of help in the footnotes, to allow any liberal/modernist priest or bishop to ignore Canon Law and distribute Holy Communion to those in the now infamous “irregular” unions”. Michael Voris, on the other hand, I was told by a friend after Mass this morning, is praising the document, without any qualification. I need to check that myself, and if I actually cared, would have done so by now 😀 Anyway, it’s logical, really, when you think of it. Mustn’t criticise the Pope publicly, says Mr Voris. Fr Lombardi insisted at the press conference that AL was written by the Pope himself, ergo, AL is above criticism. Pure Voris logic.

    • Editor

      I’ve just read through Fr Z and I think he is starting to get it. For example, is says the footnotes are going to become notorious and says that it is “not enough” that the Pope didn’t change Church teaching.

  27. The Church and Bishops are adopting the approach of the times. They refuse to condemn. They obfuscate what they should clarify. They vacillate and prevaricate. They are soft when they should be tough. They conflate sin and sinners. They blur lines that should be clear, they smudge borders and fudge rules.
    We poor souls need clarity. We need leaders who lead. We need men in charge who will stand at the front. We need men who will stand up to the world and stand up to those who think this world is all there is. We need leaders who will refute those who think that the laws of men are the only Laws.
    We need leaders who will seize opportunities to correct error and remove obstacles to faith, in the Church and in the world.
    This document embodies the shortcomings of our Bishops, they suggest free and frank discussions, and accommodations we can offer. The Enemy prepares for battle.

    • Andrew,

      “We need leaders who will seize opportunities to correct error and remove obstacles to faith, in the Church and in the world.”

      Well said; spot on – absolutely correct. (I do agree with you, by the way!)

  28. Here is a very interesting short video message from John Vennari at Catholic Family News. He gives the lie to the persistent blether from the modernists about their desire for “a poor Church” – a total fraud, as he points out…

  29. Sadly, the German bishops and their many, many euros, have won the day. Pope Francis has made his attempt at diminishing the risk of schism – as he, clearly, sees this as his main role. This papal exhortation was clearly added to by the retired Cardinal ( the one who publicly lies) from Germany and is full of the garbage too many of the German bishops have insisted on and if they don’t get their way, they have made clear to Rome that their money might not be as forthcoming.
    What a disgrace these prelates are.
    Almighty God have mercy on us all. Amen

    • That is a very interesting perspective, Graeme Taylor, I never thought about the possibility of trying to head off a schism and its financial impact. In fact, it was probably the Germans who were responsible for Bergoglio’s election, with certain conditions which we now see being fulfilled. Yes, they are indeed a disgrace.

      And if you think about it, Editor, the modern Church is indeed not only (at the human level) poor, but utterly bankrupt: theologically bankrupt, doctrinally bankrupt, morally bankrupt, intellectually bankrupt, liturgically bankrupt, musically bankrupt, even architectually bankrupt. Has the Spotless Bride of Christ ever been so completely obscured by such darkness?

      And its (I refuse to refer to this corrupt human element as “her”) credibility has been completely destroyed among anyone who takes his faith seriously.

      I was writing to a friend the other day about dreading Almighty God’s wrathful response to this horrific insult, but then I remembered Bl. John Eudes’ warning, namely, that among the most grave manifestations of God’s wrath is corrupt shepherds. So judging from this latest outrage, God is indeed displeased with us human creatures.

    • Interesting argument; diminish the risk of schism by letting schismatics do their own thing. Hmm. Doesn’t work for me.

      I should have thought that the best way to diminish the risk would be to cut off the schismatics. Like surgeons do when they excise a tumour before it completely kills the body.

      If Pope Francis is really serious about a “poor” Church, he shouldn’t mind losing all those euros, should he? In fact, he should welcome it. No?

      • Therese,

        Apparently Pope Francis has his own private translation of the Gospel, which reads: “For what doth it profit the Church, if she gain a few souls, but suffer the loss of many euros?

      • Therese, if only bishops (including the Holy Father) would cut off schismatics….I live in hope and pray for a pope who has the courage to retire/dismiss the schismatics and root them out in a planned clear manner.
        The bishops would then have a course to follow…..well i live in hope!!
        The current Holy Father disturbs me so much, I find my self praying for him more than I have prayed for any pontif before – I pray that he may be protected from the snares of satan and see the light of truth, also his “advisers” the 8 hand picked cardinals may be converted to the faith (some more than others), as the devil is at work in Rome.

        • Graeme Taylor

          You are right to pray hard for this Pope, we should all pray hard for him. Instead of rooting out schismatics, he’s promoting them to the highest places in the Church.

          • Right now, Athanasius, I’m praying for myself that I may have the graces to pray for this Pope!

  30. John Vennari has just commented on Pope Francis’ latest “Tweet,” in which he falsely describes those in a state of mortal sin as “excommunicated.” Apparently he is relying on the abysmal ignorance cultivated by the Conciliar Church (and the work of the professional liars who enable it) to push his heresy forward.

    http://www.cfnews.org/page88/files/2e848239f6087856eb72220563fd107d-564.html

    During Our Lord’s Passion and Death, not a single voice was raised in His defense. Will there be any voices raised against this abomination from among the successors to the Apostles?

  31. May I put a case to the readers and ask them for their solution. A woman marries a man and after two years the man becomes abusive. She leaves him and another man appears on the scene. She marries him in the registry office and they go on to have two lovely children who adore their father. Then the woman for some reason wants to go back to the Catholic Church. She was never really taught the faith nor taught about marriage but she suddenly longs to be a Catholic again. Well she knows now just how serious marrying a second time outside the Church was. She tells her husband she wants to be a Catholic again. He tells her he does not. What should the woman do? We have here a happy family and two children who would break their hearts and fail to understand if they lost their father or their mother. Should the Church say “Too bad but you made your choice when you went to the registry office, repent and leave your second husband, too bad about your children” Or should the Church reach out and show some sort of understanding in the situation. Yes, she is in the wrong and that is why she should not go to Holy Communion but there are lots of other graces she can receive by attending Church apart from Sacramental Grace. So the priest should be there helping her towards one day being in a position to say “My husband is no longer making sexual demands of me” That is what the Pope meant by journeying with the person. He still has a responsibility to save her soul. But what do the readers think of this situation. Should the woman be sent away?

    • John K,

      My take on this is quite simple. She presents her case to the Church and the Church is the competent authority to decide.

      In the meantime, she should await the ruling of the Church with humility. She cannot have any further marital relations with her “husband” until the Church has ruled.

      It could be that if she didn’t have proper understanding of Marriage then there was no Marriage in the first place. Therefore, the Church will declare the first “Marriage” null and void and she is free to have her second ” Marriage” convalidated. However, in the meantime she cannot receive Holy Communion but should still attend Mass.

      If the Church rules that her first Marriage was valid, then she should have the humility to accept that. However, as I said, it’s for the Church to decide.

      I must say, I think it’s quite a leading question. What’s your take on the new Exhortation?

    • John K,

      Some years ago, we published an article giving the story of one couple in just the scenario you describe. We called them Phil and Jane, to disguise their real identities.

      They are both Catholics. Phil was married in the Catholic Church and divorced. He had several children. Jane, also a Catholic, was single, and eventually they married in the registry office. They had two children. They raised the children as Catholics, attended Mass but never approached for Holy Communion. When their younger child was approaching his teens, the couple decided that they had to stop living as husband and wife, in terms of intimacy, for two reasons:

      Firstly, they were very conscious of giving very bad example to their offspring, who were attending Catholic schools and accompanying their parents to Sunday Mass.

      Secondly, they were increasingly aware of the passing years; Phil had had a health scare, and they wanted to put things right before God, while they still had time.

      So, they spoke to their children, explained that they would all still live in the same home, but mum and dad would be going to Confession about this soon,and in the meantime, twin beds would be delivered any day now. The children were fine.

      However, the priest wasn’t so fine in Confession. Shockingly – and this is how Catholic Truth got to hear about it – he told Jane not to bother living as brother and sister, that they were not doing anything wrong. Just go to Communion anyway. This was Jane’s wake-up call to the crisis in the Church. She was appalled and told him that she most certainly had been in the wrong and that she wouldn’t dream of receiving Holy Communion whist living in a state of mortal sin, that twin beds had been ordered and that she was astonished at his remarks.

      Later, when she contacted Catholic Truth, she agreed to have her story published, while withholding identities for various legitimate reasons. It hadn’t occurred to her that any priest would be anything other than very pleased at her decision, so she wanted to make sure that her encounter was publicised as a means of helping others in her situation who may be given the same scandalous encouragement to continue in an adulterous partnership by an unfaithful priest.

      And it should come as no surprise to anyone here, that that same priest later abandoned his ministry, to live the secular life for which he is so clearly eminently suited.

      For the record, Jane told me that since making the decision, Phil had said he had “never been happier”. They are both at peace.

      So, impossible as certain prelates at the Synod tried to portray fidelity to Catholic teaching on marriage, there are examples of couples, like Phil and Jane, who have returned to living in harmony with God’s moral law, after making wrong choices and living, even for a number of years, in a counter-witness to the Gospel. The decision of Jane and Phil to rectify their situation is a very edifying example of the grace of God at work in receptive souls, while the calls from modernists seeking tolerance of adulterous situations is scandalous in the extreme. Tell you this, John, I’d sooner be in Phil’s shoes or Jane’s shoes on Judgment Day than the shoes of any of the Cardinal Kasper cabal any day. What about you?

    • John Kearney,

      I suggest, for one thing, that you bone up on Vatican II double-speak. “Journeying” with a person, as used by these devious progressives, means one thing and one thing only: develop a “pastoral” approach that supposedly preserves Church doctrine intact, while contradicting and denying it in practice. So far, that word and its accompanying phrase have been applied to homosexuals (e.g. the notorious Cardinal Wuerl, whose public response to the US Supreme Court decision allegedly legalizing gay “marriages” was: “We must walk with them.”) and people living in adulterous “second marriages” – the great majority of whom, dare I say, are already presenting themselves to Extraordinary Monsters of Holy Communion on a regular basis, without the slightest qualms.

      So we know all too well what this Pope and his fellow travelers mean by “journeying with the person,” and it has absolutely nothing to do with the true Catholic definition of mercy. It is a cheap and cowardly surrender to mortal sin.

      Now it appears you have left out a key detail from your scenario: was this woman’s first marriage Catholic? It rather sounds as though it was – in which case, you are implying that her priest did not “journey” with her during the pre-Cana meetings in order to assess this prospective marriage and inform the parties of their Catholic responsibilities. In other words, I find it hard to believe that she knew nothing about Catholic marriage.

      And on a personal note, my mother divorced my father on a charge of infidelity many years ago, and tried to get an annulment. When she was refused, she simply left the Church and “re-married” a Protestant, and had another child by him. The marriage was therefore invalid, and no “journeying” would have somehow fixed that – that is, unless she “journeyed” herself to the County Courthouse and obtained a civil divorce, and spent the rest of her days as a single woman.

  32. John K

    The Church has never taught that people in adulterous marriages cannot attend Mass; quite the contrary, in fact. I wonder at your question, I really do. Of course people like the woman you mention are not “sent away”.

  33. Michael Brendan Dougherty strikes again: “…Amoris Laetitia is characterized by loquacity and evasiveness in trying to dignify and disguise moral cowardice borne from a lack of faith.”

    https://theweek.com/articles/617324/cowardice-hubris-pope-francis

    “Perhaps worse than Pope Francis’ official invitation to sacrilege is the document’s cowardice, cynicism, and pessimism. The Church can no longer even bring itself to condemn respectable sins such as civilly approved adultery. It can barely bring itself to address a man or woman as if they had a moral conscience that could be roused by words like “sin.” Instead, it merely proposes ideals; ideals cannot be wounded by your failure to realize them. And it promises to help you out of your “irregular” situation.”

    “This supposed paean to love is something much sadder. A Church so anxious to include and accept you that it must deny the faith that transforms and renews you. It admits that God’s commands are not just beyond our reach, but possibly destructive to follow.

    Pope Francis is trying to be more merciful than God himself. He ends up being more miserly and condescending instead.”

  34. The rules on marriage seem complex. As far as I can find out, if two unbaptised non-Catholics contract marriage, they can leave at any time and become a Catholic and marry a Catholic. The former partner is abandoned.
    If they are baptised non-Catholics it becomes more complicated.
    If two Catholics live together and decide to get married the priest should refuse them, as “living in open and public concubinage” is an impediment.
    I wrote to the Bishop of Sydney to ask how it was that Nicole Kidman could be married in a Catholic ceremony, having been married (maybe) to Tom Cruise for 11 years. I received no reply. Does being very rich help?

    • I don’t think two Catholics living together is an impediment. This Canon is in relation to the laws on marrying relations and near relations. For example, if a man lived in sin with a woman who had a daughter, then the man couldn’t go on to marry the daughter.

  35. RCA Victor

    It could well be that other people have their interpretation of ‘journeying’ but I was quite clear what I meant and I believe Pope Francis had my idea in mind. Yes, of course, the Church does not bar anyone from attending Church but there is still the question that the person cannot receive Communion. He or she is in a quite different situation from those around them and needs the guidance of a priest about his or her situation. The danger is that he or she will eventually just go to communion anyway rather than be the one person left sitting on the bench so special help is needed. If you go into a Church where you are different from the others hyoid will fell judged whether you are or not. It is not an easy situation if you really want to feel close to God again and that is the point of such a return to Church. How can I feel the love of God in my situation.

    • John K,

      “The danger is that he or she will eventually just go to communion anyway rather than be the one person left sitting on the bench so special help is needed.”

      Somebody needs to tell these theological illiterates to grow up!

    • John Kearney,

      “How can I feel the love of God in my situation.” – ? Answer: the love of God is not about your feelings, or about you in any other sense save whether you are in a state of grace and whether you love God and obey His commandments. But you have perhaps unwittingly hit upon on the real foundation of Modernism: it’s all about “inner feelings,” and no longer about objective truth. Likewise, this bogus “mercy” of Francis’ is all about healing feelings, not about that Divine Mercy which results from contrition, Confession, penance and amendment of life.

    • JK,

      The love of God is in those who are in a state of grace. Temptations, no matter how vile or grevous, cannot remove that love, nor can absence of sensible feelings. The only thing that takes the love of God from the soul is sin. If we live in sin, we live objectively in hatred of God and His goodness. practicing homosexuals, the divorced and remarried, co-habitees, etc, know what they have to do to be restored to the love and grace of God, just as the adulterous unmarried person. None gets preferential treatment, all are invited to repent and amend. Trust in God’s grace is the answer, not how we feel and how much pandering to conscience Father can offer the objectively sinful who do not want to enter theconfessional and do what they know they must. God is not mocked! His grace and mercy are there always, but we have to want it and do what is necessary to receive it. There is no best of both worlds, no house divided, in God’s eyes.

  36. Petrus

    I still have not read the document only snippets from this blog or that blog. But the real problem is of course that despite my writing the majority of divorced and remarried people who go to Mass do actually receive communion unworthily. This is because of false guidance of priests and the liberal laity. Nobody really sees this as a problem and no other path to God is mentioned so I welcome the debate.

    • John K,

      There is nothing to debate. Any half-baked Catholic should know, certainly by the time they reach marriageable age, that we must not approach for Holy Communion if we break the fast or have committed a mortal sin. It’s not exactly Degree Level Theology.

      • You are right that its basic that mortal sin = no communion (prior to confession) Editor.

        However, mortal (or venial) sin just does not feature in what passes for catechesis these days. Nor does anything else of worth.

        Its only in recent years that I encountered and learned of these terms.

        My primary school age catechesis was chiefly concerned with pushing novelties (communion in the hand, christian rock etc) and drumming it into us that it was “just the same” as what went before.

        My secondary school age catechesis was chiefly concerned with fawning over false religions, especially judaism and protestantism. Shabbat Shalom!

        Sin, its different types and their implications didn’t get a look in! (neither did how to resist / combat it either, needless to say).

        Walk into any modern Church, and I would be surprised if anyone younger than 60 could describe what mortal or venial sin meant.

  37. Andrew Paterson, you are speaking here of the Pauline Privilege whereby the Church may dissolve such a marriage as you describe ‘in favour of the faith’. It is perhaps not useful to introduce it in the present discussion, for a person who remarries after such a dissolution does not thereby commit a mortal sin of adultery. The material heretic now occupying the papal throne has now effectively opened the door that will allow those who are in a stateof mortal sin to receive Holy Communion.

    It is true that the rules are complex – more so since the introduction of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. And the fact that cultures are so mixed, and the unbaptised so numerous, means that dissolutions of marriage ‘in favour of the faith’ have increased. But how often do we hear a priest preach about the necessity of marrying a Catholic? Fifty years ago this was a frequent theme and was very much emphasised in Catholic teaching. Mixed marriages were not approved of, and the conversion of a prospective non-Catholic spouse was very earnestly sought. But all that changed, and we are now living with the appalling results.

      • Editor, yes, it is really disappointing, despite the fact that there are more positive views of his response, for example:

        https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/cardinal-burkes-puzzling-response-to-the-popes-exhortationmakes-perfect-sen

        Whatever, it doesn’t sound like the resistance Cardinal Burke promised. Let’s hope he is just keeping his powder dry for the moment.

        I feel (sorry for temporarily joining the feeling club) that with this diabolical Exhortation from a Pope we have reached a point of no return. I used to think that when all the sad old Vat.II liberals had died off, they would be replaced by a new wave of orthodox priests and prelates who would write these last 50 years off as an aberration to be condemned before moving on towards a great restoration. However, the generation those liberals taught has turned out to be beyond belief more rabid, and the laity have lost the faith, as excellent posts above have pointed out. As someone responded in a tweet re the Damian Thompson nonsense “The mad nutter in Rome has pressed the nuclear button”. Usquequo Domine?

        • Petrus and Christina,

          Yes, it is a huge disappointment. I was surprised that he had spoken up when he did, remembering how he had allowed himself to be persuaded to abandon his commitment to speak at a Pro Ecclesia Conference some years ago, at which time I’d more or less written him off as a fair weather “conservative”. Seems we’ve come full circle.

          And he is unlikely to be the only one. Watching the shenanigans surrounding the Exhortation, and the crisis in general, it seems everyone has his own agenda. In the name of the virtue of “prudence” those who should be speaking out, without apology, are remaining studiously silent. Telling us that the Exhortation cannot change Church teaching, nor is it binding in any way. (see Cardinal Burke’s mild response, as reported by Lifesitenews) is fine but that is not enough. Catholics need to be told to resist all and every attempt by priests and bishops to use AL to change doctrine in the name of pastoral care. That’s always been the issue. If manifest public sinners are encouraged by clergy to approach for Holy Communion then the appearance is given that doctrine has changed and when they cite an Apostolic Exhortation in support of this “pastoral care”, that is very serious.

          We continue, then, to await courageous leadership from any member of the hierarchy, whether diocesan or allegedly traditional. But, I, for one, ain’t holding my breath.

        • Oh for an edit button! I would have scrubbed that copied tweet in the penultimare line. It was wrong, silly and unworthy of a Catholic to copy it, although the nuclear button bit is fair enough.

  38. Interestingly, a priest emailed this link to me, suggesting The Case of the Missing Reading is the key to understanding the Exhortation: “One might have assumed, as a matter of course, that when Coetus XI of the Consilium devised a new vastly expanded Lectionary spanning three years of Sundays and two years of weekdays, they would certainly have included all of the readings already found in the traditional Roman liturgy (as per Sacrosanctum Concilium 23 and 50), and that, in the wide scope allotted to New Testament books, no key passages would be omitted.

    Instead, in keeping with a programmatic decision to avoid what they considered “difficult” biblical texts,[5] the revised Lectionary altogether omits 1 Corinthians 11:27–29. St. Paul’s “stern warning” against receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord unworthily, that is, unto one’s damnation, has not been read at any Ordinary Form Mass for almost half a century.[6]”

    WOW!

  39. From todays Remnant Newspaper. Thanks be to God for Michael Matt and his team.

    REMNANT COMMENT: Here’s the quotable quote of the week, maybe even the year: “This supposed paean to love is something much sadder. A Church so anxious to include and accept you that it must deny the faith that transforms and renews you. It admits that God’s commands are not just beyond our reach, but possibly destructive to follow. Pope Francis is trying to be more merciful than God himself.”

    Congrats to Mr. Dougherty for having had the intestinal fortitude to say what so many Catholic news commentators know to be the truth but will not admit. It’s not popular; it may get you fired or even beat up–but it’s the truth and it must be said…regardless of the game of Let’s Pretend being played by our friends the neo-Catholics.

    • Gerontius, re your ‘quotable quote of the year’,

      ‘It admits that God’s commands are not just beyond our reach, but possibly destructive to follow.’

      Especially if, according to our Pope, you can’t afford a big enough ‘do’:

      “In some countries, de facto (i.e. adulterous) unions are very numerous, not only because of a rejection of values concerning the family and matrimony, but primarily because celebrating a marriage is considered too expensive in the social circumstances. As a result, material poverty drives people into de facto unions”!!!

      • Christina,

        That is one of the most powerful indications of the worldliness of the author of AL, and his advisers. Incredible.

  40. I can understand, I think, what the article from Lifesite News is trying to tease out.
    Is Cardinal Burke implying that a huge condemnation of this exhortation might in some skew whiff way, afford it a prestige it does not have?
    If people of his standing come out, all guns blazing, are not liberals more likely to credit all the obfuscation the exhortation is riddled with, a certitude it does not have?
    The Cardinal emphasises that doctrine has not changed. While I do believe that if the practice is changed, the doctrine is undermined, I think maybe this is a damage limitation statement from Cardinal Burke.
    I trust him. I wonder if he is actually a bit relieved. But he won’t betray the Church.

    • Spero,

      I take your point, but I don’t think that highlighting the dangers in this document could ever be construed as ” betraying the Church” – quite the reverse.

      This afternoon, I had a telephone call from a gentleman in England who asked for my “take” on the Exhortation because he had asked three different priests, whom he considered to be “orthodox” and they each left him more confused than the one before. Not one of them “told it as it is” – flung around excuse terms such as “subjective guilt” and “objective guilt” – without explaining why St Paul didn’t point out the grey areas when he insisted that by eating and drinking unworthily, we eat and drink our own condemnation.

      If, as you suggest, Cardinal Burke may be feeling a bit “relieved” on reading that Exhortation, then it would seem that a question mark must be placed over his expectations prior to publication, and, subsequently, his own lack of understanding of why this Exhortation was awaited in trepidation by so many Catholics, and why it is a major cause for concern now. It suggests that, worst scenario, he was expecting an outright statement requiring bishops to permit Holy Communion to those in “irregular unions” but I don’t think any of us here ever expected that. We got what WE expected, the fairly blatant undermining of Catholic teaching, at Waffle Degree level, with the door wide open to ever new and imaginative forms of “pastoral care”. As more than one commentator has noted – but Cardinal Burke may have missed – the devil is in the detail.

      On another topic – unless it’s gone astray in the post, you’ve forgotten to book your place at the June Conference 😀 There will be others from your neck of the woods, already booked, so … we’re waiting!

      In fact, I’ll take this opportunity to tell readers a wee detail which might encourage some of you to book (before we have to close the register – the tickets are selling, selling, soon to be all gone!)

      The venue is set out in cabaret style. That is, there are places for about six/eight people at each of the circular tables, dressed in lovely white tablecloth, with Jug of water (add nothing to it!) and glasses, so it is a comfortable way to be made miserable… 😀

      It was a very popular venue/style last time – beats the row upon row of people struggling to place papers and bags etc. at their feet.

      Soon, it’ll be “last call” so book your tickets asap. You know it makes sense!

    • RCA Victor

      Thank you for the link to Eponymous Flower, where they quote from Bishop Fellay’s statement.

      Note the hostile comments from “Anonymous” – clearly a member of the so-called Resistance (to nothing) movement.

      Still, as I’ve said more than once on this blog, I do wish people, including Bishop Fellay, would resist the temptation to hunt for something “positive” to say in these situations. He uses the analogy of a beautiful boat which, nevertheless, due to even a small hole, is useless, will sink, all will be lost. So, who cares if the boat has “beautiful” features, looks beautiful? If I were a passenger on such a boat, I wouldn’t give a toss about its alleged beauty. I’d be asking questions about the builder and how that tiny hole missed the quality control inspectors.

      Here endeth the sermon – for now!

      • I find that extract from Bishop Fellay’s sermon to be extremely disappointing. Is it a French thing to be so very restrained and courteous (aka mealy-mouthed)?

        • Christina,

          I think it’s probably because the Pope is showing himself well disposed toward the Society and if he is going to add to the permission for hearing Confessions, as I read somewhere on this blog the other day, then he may not want to rock the boat.

          It is a mistake IMHO, because it will give grist to the mill of the “Resistance” group.

          • Margaret Mary, I see your point, and perhaps you’re right, but this terrible document might change things for the SSPX and make Bishop Fellay less inclined to accept any sort of accommodation with Rome at this time. I think that any ‘deal’ now would make it appear that the Society is not unconditionally opposing these outrageous inversions of truth. The ‘resistance’ will crow, but suddenly their position seems less extreme than it did, which is not to say that they were right to break ranks.

            • Christina,

              Bishop Fellay has condemned the document:

              “… An Apostolic Exhortation which bears the title “The joy of love,” but that makes us cry. This exhortation is a summary of the two synods on marriage. It is very long and contains many things that are right, that they are beautiful, and after building a beautiful building, a beautiful boat, the Supreme Pontiff has made a hole in the keel of the boat, along the waterline. You all know what is happening.

              Needless to say, the hole was made by taking all possible precautions, thus it is needless to say that the hole is small: the boat sinks! Our Lord himself said that even an iota, not a single iota will be taken away by the law of God. When God speaks, his words do not admit exceptions, when God commands, he is of infinite wisdom that has provided for all possible cases. There is no exception to the law of God.

              And now, suddenly, it is claimed that this law of marriage, which keeps saying that “marriage is indissoluble” (the repeats this sentence, it must be said), then it says you can, despite everything, have exceptions in the sense that these so-called divorced and remarried in this state of mortal sin may be in a state of grace, and therefore could receive communion. It is very serious! Very serious! I think they do not sufficiently measure the seriousness of what has been said.

              Needless to say, are small exceptions put there in the corner; that’s how it went to Communion in the hand and as I explained with the little hole in the vessel is appropriate, the boat sinks!

              http://eponymousflower.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/amoris-laetitia-makes-bishop-fellay.html

              I think he has to remain engaged as regards making an agreement, while being very open and direct about what the SSPX thinks.

              He recently said he wants Vatican personalities to know the SSPX outlook and opinions very well, so that, later, they cannot claim to have been unaware of some matter or stance (which could then be used as a vehicle for mischief).

              If he is seen to stall or seems averse to the Vatican, there is a danger critics could portray him as someone akin to Williamson / “the resistance” (as no genuine interest in a resolution).

              • Gabriel Syme,

                I do see and take your point and it is a very sensible position.

                Bishop Fellay is, as you say, speaking out clearly to highlight that the document is gravely flawed and actually, on reading your post with the direct quotes, it doesn’t come across as praising the “beautiful” quite as much as the impression I had in my first reading of it.

                In general, however, I do wish commentators would simply address the issues without the psychological flannel. If there are good bits in a document, fine. But, just as I don’t care if my butcher is selling meat that is “mostly” free from poison, and I would prefer if advisers stuck to announcing loud and clear to avoid that butcher, due to the poison in his products, so I would prefer to know what it is that is erroneous in such controversial Church documents, whilst understanding that there are bound to be bits that are OK through to very good, if you get my drift.

  41. I share your disappointment however Cardinal Burke cannot and should not be left as the sole voice of opposition. Where is Pell? Sara? Scnieder? Lenga? There seems to be a lack of drive in both confronting Bergolio and his minions, and in exposing this vile document for what it really is.. an attack on ALL the sacraments. I can only pray that they will be more vociferous in dealing with this obscene same sex filth that is to “debated” soon.

  42. RCA Victor re: Tuesday, April 12, 2016
    Amoris Laetitia Makes Bishop Fellay Want to Cry

    What a pity that the majority of Catholics globally will never get to read or hear this statement.

    • Jimislander,

      I agree about Cardinal Burke not being the only prelate open to criticism for his failure to condemn AL. Well said.

      And it is so true that the majority of Catholics won’t ever see a copy, let alone read a copy, of this Exhortation. They’ll be told, simply, that Rome has said it’s OK now for everyone to receive Holy Communion, even if they are shacked up blah blah and they’ll all marvel at the wonderful workings of Divine Providence.

      Laugh? I thought I’d never start!

      • Just received in my inbox, from Zenit…

        Cardinal Schönborn says Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia is a great catechesis on marital and familial love.

        In an interview with ZENIT and other journalists following the widely-anticipated document’s presentation in the Vatican on Friday, the archbishop of Vienna spoke on the Pope’s apostolic exhortation on the joy of love in the family and his conviction that pastors can use this document to help families.

        The Austrian prelate also responds to his hopes for the 263-page document, his appreciation for the Pontiff’s inclusion of the bishops’ input during the synods, and how Francis reaffirms the Church’s teaching on traditional marriage.

        Moreover, Cardinal Schönborn acknowledges the natural dangers that exist around the implementation of the guidance of Amoris Laetitia, and applauds the Holy Father’s example as a good shepherd who understands the proper ‘art’ of accompanying people by not being too harsh, but without compromising.

        ***

        Q: Cardinal Schönborn, what is your personal hope for how Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ can helps families?

        Cardinal Schönborn: I am convinced Pope Francis’ Exhortation can help. The effort must be made to read it because an exhortation can only help if you know it. It is valuable to know the work. It is so rich and I can only encourage our pastors and our communities to work on it, study it, read it, and taste the joy of this beautiful document.

        Q: Your Eminence, were there any parts of the Relatio that were not accepted by the Pope in this document?

        Cardinal Schönborn: Pope Francis has quoted a lot of the text of the documents from both synods. He has not taken everything, of course, because the two documents have created other subjects he has not touched on in his Exhortation. But it is fascinating to see how much Pope Francis relies on the work of the bishops in the Synods.

        Q: How can a pastor effectively communicate what is in this document to the faithful, especially because being over 200 pages, not all parents will be able to read through the document?

        Cardinal Schönborn: Yes, I think our shepherds, our pastors, can take for instance, Chapter Four, ‘Vive l’amore’ (‘How to live love’). It’s a great catechesis. You can take it chapter by chapter, passage by passage, and work through it in the parish, in the communities. It’s a great catechesis on marital and familial love. And I think as pastors, we can use this for our pastoral work.

        Q:
        The Holy Father has affirmed the Church’s teaching, with regard to same-sex marriage, for instance, but, as he has done in the past, has encouraged the welcoming of those with same-sex attraction into the parish. What does this practically look like?

        Cardinal Schönborn: In the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis speaks only in one point about homosexual tendencies. As did the last synod, the Holy Father speaks about the question of how to handle the situation when, in the family, a member of the family discovers him or herself having a homosexual tendency. That is the only point where he touches this theme.

        There is another point he is very firm, without speaking about gay or homosexual couples, he insists very clearly that only a union between man and woman, open to new life, by principle, can be called a marriage. And I am very happy that he did clarify this, because the other situations can be partnership, can be relations, but certainly not marriage.

        [Ed: really? homosexual partnerships, “relations” permissible, as long as they are not termed “marriage” – this is precisely the mistake made by the bishops of the UK when, after they made a pretend fight against the law introducing Civil Partnerships, they “fought” against the introduction of “gay marriage” on the grounds that homosexuals could already enter Civil Partnerships!]

        Q: And now, on the question of discernment, Pope Francis has spoken about the question of helping couples in so-called ‘irregular’ situations discern their way toward what is the ‘ideal,’ as proposed in the Gospel. Is there, perhaps, a danger of some pastors or some couples not really being led properly?

        Cardinal Schönborn: Yes. That is a danger. Of course. But this danger has existed always, since the beginning of the Church because shepherds can lead or mislead, can be too harsh or can over-compromise, but this is the art he is speaking about: the art of accompanying people. That’s the proper capacity of a good shepherd. And I think Pope Francis is a good shepherd and has great experience in following people in joyful, but also distressing situations and he knows what he is speaking about when he discusses how to accompany families in their lives toward joy and love. (emphasis added)

        ***

        On ZENIT’s Web page:

        For the full text of Cardinal Schönborn’s intervention at the presentation of the document: https://zenit.org/articles/cardinal-schonborns-intervention-at-presentation-of-amoris-laetitia/ END

        Well, it’s just a pity that Our Lord didn’t speak about “accompanying” people, “toward joy and love”. He let the Samaritan woman at the well know, in plain language, that He knew about her living situation, without in any way compromising. Of course, they didn’t have “experts” on “relationships” in those days, to advise Him, silly me!

    • Elizabeth

      I agree totally. What is the point of having a hierarchy, especially a pope, if they don’t want to be leaders?

      • Well, it seems that we have a Scots bishop showing a bit of leadership, at last, folks!

        I’ve learned by email this evening that Bishop Robson is posting a whole number of tweets broadly critical of Amoris Laetitia. He is not using his own words, but tweeting the words of others which are critical. My correspondent said “It’s quite encouraging all things considered.” And I think he’s right.

        It is, at least, better than what we’re used to in terms of leadership – i.e. zero! I presume that he will make clear to his priests that the law of the Church on reception of Holy Communion stands and is not open to debate with couples in “irregular unions” – i.e. living in good old fashioned sin…

        I find it difficult to follow tweets, but visited to read Bishop Robson’s tweets for myself and scrolled down to find this hilarious contribution…

        • Bishop Stephen was my P.P Years ago, and a big devotee of Fatima. At least one Bishop is as concerned as we are.

        • Bishop Robson is posting a whole number of tweets broadly critical of Amoris Laetitia.

          Admit it, Editor, you have managed to break into the Bishop’s twitter account haven’t you? Haha! Just kidding!

          More seriously, fair play to Bishop Robson – it would be good if he could add his own voice to the condemnation though.

          And where is Archbishop Tartaglia in all of this? Would it be uncharitable to suggest he has retreated to his brother’s chippy for a spell of comfort eating?

          • Gabriel Syme,

            Bishop Robson’s tweets are also posted on the Bishops of Scotland website

            A hopeful sign, perhaps?

            As for Archbishop Tartaglia – I think, we can take it as read, from the way he retreated on homosexuality at the first sign of media displeasure, that he is not going to be setting the heather on fire on any issue, any time soon.

            And of course, on the east coast, we have that son of Pontius Pilate, Patron Saint of Diplomats, Archbishop Cushley. Can you imagine HIM tweeting links to “traditional” commentators?

            About as likely as a tweet to advertise our June Conference. 😀

    • Jimislander,

      I’ve heard of Catholics joining these Rotary Clubs – they are purely secular groups, aimed at getting professional people together (I believe members are invited, nobody can just go along) and their aim is to make society a better place. That seems to be the sum and substance of it.

      Catholics who at one time would have joined the Legion of Mary, now join the Rotarians, and don’t seem to care about the Masonic origins Just another example of the crazy upside down world of the modern Catholic.

  43. The article by Michael Brendan Dougherty – “The cowardice and hubris of Pope Francis” – is thus far the best I have seen regarding this document and he explains perfectly what the so-called conservatives are doing at this minute instead of decrying Francis.

    They are comforting themselves:

    “It could have been worse,” they are telling themselves. “It cites the Church’s teaching against contraception, at least.” I would remind them that their forebears said the same thing about the Vatican II’s document on the liturgy. “Oh, it says Latin shall be retained, it promotes Gregorian chant,” they comforted themselves. As now, the betrayal of the institution was too unthinkable, and they willfully overlooked the footnotes that contained within them a mandate to destroy high altars, tabernacles, altar rails, and institute folk music in a synthetic vernacular liturgy.

    http://theweek.com/articles/617324/cowardice-hubris-pope-francis

    Fr Z gives a commentary on Dougherty’s article here. He clearly agrees with a lot of it, but repeatedly scolds Dougherty for confusing the Spotless Church with her imperfect members:

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2016/04/another-reaction-to-amoris-laetitia-the-cowardice-and-hubris-of-pope-francis-hang-on-tight/

  44. OnePeterFive puts it in a nutshell – with concrete example:

    There are a number of people who seem to keep missing this key point, the super decoder ring to the entire synod and exhortation process. Gather round, everyone, and I’ll share the secret:

    To the average person — or the willing priest or bishop — it doesn’t matter that the exhortation didn’t change doctrine. If they’re given permission to ignore doctrine through “pastoral” justifications, they will.

    If that statement isn’t clear enough, how about just one example? On April 9, the Philippines bishop’s conference issued a statement that said, among other things:

    After collective discernment, your bishops will come up with more concrete guidelines on the implementation of the Apostolic Exhortation. But mercy cannot wait. Mercy should not wait. Even now, bishops and priests must open welcoming arms to those who have kept themselves out of the Church because of a sense of guilt and of shame. The laity must do no less. When our brothers and sisters who, because of broken relations, broken families and broken lives, stand timidly at the doors of our churches – and of our lives – unsure whether they are welcome or not, let us go out to meet them, as the Pope urges us to, and assure them that at the table of sinners at which the All-Holy Lord offers himself as food for the wretched, there is always room. O res mirabilis manducat Dominum pauper, servus et humilis…O wonderful reality that the poor, the slave and the lowly should partake of the Lord. This is a disposition of mercy, an openness of heart and of spirit that needs no law, awaits no guideline, nor bides on prompting. It can and should happen immediately.

    Your honor, I rest my case. END
    Source – OnePeterFive

    • Editor

      Yes, the point is made very clearly and frighteningly. We all remember how the abuse of Communion in the hand took control of the parishes. It started off as an illicit innovation by Cardinal Suenens in Belgium, which soon spread to Holland and France. Pope Paul VI in Memoriale Domini upbraded the innovators for this illicit action and insisted that Communion on the tongue kneeling was to remain the discipline of the Church. The problem was that he opened a little back door when he added that where the “contrary usage” had already been established an Indult would be granted, as also to other Bishops’ Conferences upon the provision of valid reasons presented to Rome. The next thing we knew the entire universal hierarchy had established, contrary to the Church’s teaching and discipline, this abusive practice as though it were the norm. That’s what we can expect from Pope Francis’ back door invitation.

      But there is another aspect of to Pope Francis’ Exhortation that is every bit as dangerous, and that is his decentralisation of authority from Rome. He made clear this intention, this further promotion of collegiality, when he declared that Bishops’ Conferences everwhere will be able to intepret and apply his Exhortation in accordance with the cultural circumstances in which they find themselves. Now that is extremely explosive.

  45. Exactly so, Athanasius. What evil will follow from this most dangerous error of Vat.II can probably not yet be imagined. Referring to its logical development in the teaching of this ubermodernist Pope from a very controversial topic in that Council Unamsanctamcatholicam is calling it the Church’s Pandora’s box. Although longish, I think this link repays careful reading. The concept of collegiality is not an easy one to understand, which is probably why the modernists at that Council overcame the opposition of the orthodox bishops in the debate.

    http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/theology/81-theology/427-what-is-collegiality.html

  46. RCA Victor

    Well! That quote from the Pope, more than any other I have read, shows just how deeply wrong and confused his “theology” is. Amazing, disgraceful, and utterly mind blowing. Poor Judas? Poor Church.

  47. Sorry I am going back to Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, and with particular reference to John Kearney’s mention of a person left sitting alone while every one else goes to Communion.
    I quite often do not receive Communion, and there are others who don’t. It is of no importance to me who does or does not. My soul is my responsibility.
    When I attend Polish Masses, the numbers who do not receive, are so great as to be noticeable to a visitor but seem the norm for these Masses. I can only think the conscience of the average Pole is more refined than the average Novus Ordo Mass goer.
    We had a friend who was a daily Mass goer who never received the Blessed Sacrament. He had remarried in a civil ceremony. When we asked him about this, he said ” no, no, I did wrong. I broke the rules.” ( Pope Francis would have loved him, and I don’t think! RULES! )
    This friend knew what the Pope does not. His humility was a beautiful thing.
    But the age of arrogance has dispensed with the need for any humility. And the Pope has colluded in what the new age demands.

    • Spero,

      I’ve said for years that this habit of everyone going up to Communion routinely, gives the impression that everyone is living in a state of grace and/or has never broken the fast – yet the queues for Confession do not support the idea that we’re all suddenly holier than in years gone by. When I attended the novus ordo it always irked me when a pass-keeper came to the end of the row and signalled us all to get up and join the Communion queue – how difficult for anyone of a shy disposition, the kind of person who thinks everyone is noticing, to remain in their place.

      I remember years ago at a school Mass, a senior student suddenly appeared at the daily Masses. I didn’t think much about it, until one day she came into my classroom to ask to speak to me. She said that she “knew” I’d have noticed that she never went up for Communion, and was very surprised when I said I’d noticed no such thing. I was too busy trying to make my own thanksgiving to notice who did and who did not approach, and anyway, AND if I did, I would presume she had broken the fast. Otherwise, I’d have to be able to claim the ability to read her soul!

      Turned out, she wasn’t a Catholic at all, but wanted to receive instructions. Her Catholic grandmother had been a huge influence on her, so she wanted to be received into the Church. I had the great privilege of helping with her instructions and the joy of being present when she was received into the Church.

      So, I am 200% against this business of watching who goes up for Communion and 300% against the awful practice of routinely being effectively marched up to the altar rails by people who can’t possibly know whether I’ve just eaten a Mars Bar or murdered my next door neighbour.

      Your friend who knew it would be wrong to receive Holy Communion, was possessed, as you say, of a true Catholic sense, the essential humility and well formed conscience that enlightens us as to our own sinfulness, and the proper disposition and moral state required to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist. Not because that is a “reward” as the Pope so ridiculously said, but because we need to be in a basic state of grace in order to obey the precept not to eat or drink unworthily, and thus, hopefully, make some progress in the spiritual life… at least until the next time we need to go to Confession and begin all over again!

  48. This link from the Remnant Newspaper might well be interesting: The article says that Britain set up a “Royal Commission on Divorce and Matrimonial Causes” in the early 1900s, in order to consider legislation liberalizing divorce. Monsignor Moyes, on 27th June 1910 answered questions on this matter – this is what he said:
    http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/traditional-catholic-answers/item/2435-msgr-moyes-the-true-catholic-teaching-on-marriage

    • Thank you Theresa Rose for introducing that link. Clear, concise, unambiguous traditional Church teaching. It would be good to see that reprinted in every Church bulletin!
      However I was a bit surprised that it is considered sinful to petition for divorce in a case say, of cruelty. It can be necessary to sort out financial matters, housing, child custody etc. As long as there is no intention to enter into a second relationship is it not allowed? Maybe in the early 1900s it would give grave scandal when divorce was extremely rare and socially unacceptable.

      • The term ” a mensa et thoro” is mentioned by Msgr Moyes. This link gives a definition as to what it means. I had not cottoned onto this term when I posted the original link.

        http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Mensa+et+thoro

        The term seems to have been used in cases of unfaithfulness and cruelty. It is said to be a form of divorce, but, is rather a legal separation. The husband and wife are in fact still married and not allowed to “marry” someone else.
        Scrolling through various links “a mensa et thoro” seems to have been abolished (if that is the correct term) in 1857 in England.

        In that case, as you say financial matters, housing and child custody would need to be sorted out. I imagine there likely could or would be a grave scandal in the 1900s, especially such situations would be rare and socially unacceptable.

        I wonder if this was or is used as a divorce via the backdoor. Perhaps someone else could come up with a better definition.

        • Theresa-Rose

          Divorce is tolerated in the Church ONLY for the purpose of settling practical matters in the case of spouses who separate or are granted an annulment. In order to deal with legal matters such as the custody of children, financial and inheritance matters, divorce is tolerated.

          Divorce can never “dissolve” a true marriage but if spouses decide to separate, even if they do not seek, or are not eligible for an annulment, they may divorce for practical, legal and financial reasons: to settle such practical matters is the only exception to the Christ’s teaching on divorce. Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another is, Christ taught, guilty of adultery.

          • You can’t get an annulment unless you are divorced. The Church won’t dabble in matters that must be dealt with in Civil Law.

  49. Theresa Rose, the phrase you mention was only used in law, including canon law, but ‘legal separation’ was the usual layman’s expression. Before Vat.II, I am certain, all churchgoing Catholics understood the Church’s simple unequivocal teachng that divorce and remarriage were forbidden, and those who remarried after divorce were in a state of mortal sin. They also understood that legal separation for just cause, e.g. cruelty, was permissible, and a court order could be obtained for practical settlements, but that remarriage was impossible while the spouse was alive. It was also important that those who had obtained a legal separationd should carefully avoid giving scandal. In my own experience I never, in those days, knew anybody who had had an annulment. The all-important reason for this universal Catholic understanding was that every priest spoke in union with his bishop, every bishop in union with his archbishop and every archbishop in union with the Holy Father who jealously guarded the deposit of faith and instructed the shepherds. Collegiality is Satan’s master-stroke, and this Pope is pushing it to its logial conclusion – utter and complete confusion.

    • No Bishop acts in union with “his archbishop”. All Bishops act in Communion with The Pope, and The College of Bishops.

      Collegiality is central to the self understanding of The Church in her mission, and role.

      • Martin, you have misquoted and so misrepresented what I said. I used the verb ‘to speak’, not ‘to act’. I was referring to the universality of TEACHING in the pre-Vat II Church when all, priests, bishops, and archbishops believed and taught the same faith and the same doctrine in accordance with the clear, unambiguous teaching of the Holy Father. Collegiality, I maintain, has led directly to the confusion in faith and practice, the loss of the Church’s ‘oneness’ in teaching, as the response of the Phillipines Catholic Bishops’s Conference in the wake of the Exhortation and Cardinal Schonborn’s earlier scandalous statement indicate. However, collegiality, least of all a misunderstanding of what it is, was not what my post was about.

        • Christina

          Actually you said “every bishop in union with his archbishop and every archbishop in union with the Holy Father”,

          That is, you suggested that within the hierarchy of The Church a Bishop was somehow subservient in the chain.

          Editor: of course bishops are “subservient” in the sense that the Pope is the Supreme Pastor. Even good old Vatican II says so. LG #25.

          You wrote it to teach others……

          Editor: I’ve deleted your other post – nasty stuff. Because Christina has answered this ridiculously childish jibe at the end of this rather silly comment, I’ll leave it. Bye.

          • No Martin, I did NOT say ‘every bishop in union with his archbishop…’. I said ‘every bishop SPEAKS in union with his archbishop’. It is there in print, yet you still try to deny it and twist my meaning. I have explained that my meaning was that ALL the shepherds taught the same faith, which is not now the case. That means that they were united in their teaching – and I implied nothing more than this by saying ‘in union with’, which seems a reasonable usage given both words have the same root and mean ‘at one with’.

            I admit that ‘every bishop speaks in union with his archbishop’ might give a false impression, and was a careless thing to say. I tend not to check and double check every word I write, as most bloggers here are friendly and charitable and not destructively critical. I can see that I must be more careful.

            You say, at the end ‘You wrote it to teach others……’. No. I learn here from others. All that I can add to the wisdom of others is experience, as an adult, of the pre-Vat.II Church, and I believe that may sometimes be useful to those who have only ever known the Church in her agony.

            That last remark of yours, imputing motives to me from your own imagination, the word omission, the twisting of meaning, all sound horribly familiar, and I have a suspiicion that you are a reincarnation of Fr. Arthur.

            • Christina,

              He’s denied being Fr A but it’s a moot point now. We won’t be hearing from our two new bloggers again. They’ve joined the rest of that army of idiots who – from time to time – descend upon us to make fools of themselves. Enjoy the break until the next clown signs up – we’ll show him the door as well. Plonkers.

      • Martin

        “…All Bishops act in Communion with The Pope, and The College of Bishops.”

        You forgot to mention that all bishops are subordinate to the authority of the Supreme Pontiff and that each bishop is solely responsible for his own diocese, answerable only to the Pope. No Bishops’ Conference can coerce by any means a diocesan bishop to adopt a particular “party line” by popular vote.

        So, the questions are these: How come every diocese in the world, a few excepted, has established Communion in the hand as the normal discipline when the Pope has said that it is not the Church’s normal discipline. It is an Indult?

        And how come every diocese in the world has established in every parish the permanent use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion when successive Popes, most notably, John Paul II, forbade the practice except in very extreme circumstances?

        Is this Collegiality at work in the sense you understand it, or in the sense of the heretical doctrine condemned by the Church’s Magisterium long before Vatican II?

        I rather think the latter is a much better fit with present dissent and rebellion amongst the bishops, as was evident again when Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum.

    • Christina

      I am again reminded of the famous statement of Cardinal Ottaviani who said: “The only record of Collegiality at work in Church history is when the Apostles collectively abandoned Our Lord during His Passion”.

      A wise observation from the once-Prefect of the Holy Office!

      • Athanasius,

        I noticed in one of your posts above that you mentioned Cardinal Leo Suenens as being the originator of Communion in the hand. My research into this matter over the past several months has so far proved fruitless. Do you happen to have a source URL?

        However, I did find these articles:
        Source https://mumbailaity.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/masons-control-the-vatican-and-the-roman-catholic-church/

        Cardinal Suenens, Leo, Josef. Birthplace: In Ixelles, archdiocese of Mechelen Brussels, July 16, 1904; ordained Sept. 4, 1927. Consecrated March 19, 1962, with title and Protector of St. Peter in Chains; created and proclaimed as Cardinal March 19, 1962. He worked as Cardinal in Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide, Congregation of Rites and Ceremonies, and Congregation of Seminaries and University Studies. Was in Pontifical Commission for Revision of Canon Law; was delegate and moderator of Vatican II Council; had been affiliated with Pentecostalism. Initiated into the Masonic Rite on June 15, 1967.

        Suenens, Leo. Cardinal. Title: Protector of the Church of St. Peter in Chains, outside Rome. Promotes Protestant Pentecostalism (Charismatics). Destroyed much Church dogma when he worked in 3 Sacred Congregations: 1) Propagation of the Faith; 2) Rites and Ceremonies in the Liturgy; 3) Seminaries. 6-15-67; # 21-64. “LESU.”

        “LESU.” is his masonic codename.

        Since catholics who become freemasons are ipso facto excommunicated, one has to ask why these people haven’t been defrocked and removed from the church. The damage they have caused, and are causing,from V2 onwards is in calculable.

      • The relationship between the college of bishops and the individual bishops and in particular the Bishop of Rome has no secular counterpart, and its practical consequences cannot be deduced from secular models such as the various forms of governance of a state or of a corporation. George Weigel, The Courage to Be Catholic page 119

        The doctrine of the collegiality of the bishops as a body was enunciated by the Second Vatican Council which “desired to integrate all the elements which make up the Church, both the mystical and the institutional, the primacy and the episcopate, the people of God and the hierarchy, striking new notes and establishing new balances which would have to be worked out and theologized upon in the lived experience of the Church.” Charles M. Murphy, “Collegiality: An Essay Towards Better Understanding” in Theological Studies 46 (1985), p. 41

        Individual Bishops are in Communion with Rome, and Diocesan Bishops answer to Rome, and not other Archbishops or Bishops.

        If there was not meant to be “collegiality” it would not be called “The College of Bishops”.

        Cardinal Ottavani was not an expert on everything, and he discounts the early Church making major decisions on matters such as circumcision, and foods deemed to be clean or unclean.

        • Andrew J,

          I’ve been away from my computer for a lengthy period of time today and am only free to pay a flying visit right now, just long enough, in fact, to quote as follows from your comment at 7.35pm:

          “The doctrine of the collegiality of the bishops as a body was enunciated by the Second Vatican Council “

          Oh well, that’s all right then. If Vatican II “enunciated” it, that’s that.

          “Doctrine?” You kidding? This nonsense of collegiality is a means of making sure that a bishop is made to toe the Modernist party line. It is an innovation and it is thus laughable to raise it to the level of a doctrine.The simple fact is that every single bishop will face God at his judgment, answerable for what has happened – or not happened (neglect) – in his own diocese. There’ll be no question of his brother bishops being there to help him out.

          What next – “collegiality” is infallibly binding on every bishop? Gerragrip.

          • The unity of The College of Bishops is central to their ability to teach the faith. It is only Bishops in Communion with Rome that are likely/able to teach the faith. It is Communion with Rome that safeguards them, and maintains the orthodoxy you seek.

            • Andrew J,

              It seems to me that you are confusing Collegiality (the new innovative doctrine of equal authority with the Pope) and the communion of each bishop with the Supreme Pontiff. They are not the same thing at all.

              • Athanasius

                Actually, the fact The Church even uses the term “College of Bishops” highlights that it embraces the notion of collegiality.

                Any Bishop can only speak authoritatively when speaking in Full Communion with the Bishop of Rome, and by virtue of that fact with The College of Bishops.

                What has still not been resolved, and is being discussed under the current Pope, is the use of episcopal conferences and synods. A national Conference can ONLY address the specifics of The Church in their region. Thus Rome reprimanded the different Conferences in the British Isles when they published a joint teaching document on The Eucharist. The Conferences cannot act collectively.

                It is also significant that the only document published after a Universal Synod is published by The Pope, and that is not a teaching document but his reflection on what was said. The most recent defined nothing and legislated for nothing.

                I am curious as to what seminary, or Catholic College, you studied at. I guess whichever it wouldn’t pass an official inspection. Your posts do not reflect Catholic teaching.

                • Andrew J,

                  “I am curious as to what seminary, or Catholic College, you studied at. I guess whichever it wouldn’t pass an official inspection. Your posts do not reflect Catholic teaching.”

                  And YOUR posts do not reflect Catholic charity. And such ignorance! If you were even half awake you would know that there isn’t a seminary or Catholic College in the UK and further afield, which teaches Catholic doctrine and morals. Gerragrip.

                  Further, for the record, your superior attitude may be somewhat misleading to new or passing readers, so allow me to highlight the fact that there is nothing – not a sentence, not a punctuation mark – in any of the comments you’ve posted here, purporting to correct others, since you appeared among us like the Bloggers’ Plague, that we didn’t already know. Not a sentence.

                  Oops! Did I just make an uncharitable personal remark? Naughty me!

                • Andrew J,

                  You are quite correct to highlight the importance of a good Catholic education in these days of post-conciliar confusion. Hence, for your correction, I copy below a section from Fr. Ralph Wiltgen’s book ‘The Rhine Flows into the Tiber’.

                  You can research this esteemed priest and his sound work at your leisure, as my main purpose here is to present the facts to you objectively. I don’t do personal opinion or interpretation, just facts. So here goes.

                  ‘On Collegiality (continued)

                  Firstly, there was the conservative interpretation. The pope alone had supreme authority, by divine right. He could on occasion, if he wished, extend this authority to the college of bishops, e.g., by summoning a General Council. This was an extraordinary measure, and the bishops’ temporary share in the pope’s supreme authority was of human right only. This was the traditional view, often called “ultra-montane.” It was that of the International Group of traditionalist bishops at the Council [Coetus Internationalis Patrum], and probably also of the silent majority of the bishops, as far as they had any definite view on the matter.

                  Secondly, there was a liberal interpretation, maintaining that the only subject of supreme authority was the collect of bishops in union with its head, the pope. The pope exercised his authority only as the head of the college and as representing it. So he was bound in duty to consult the bishops previous to any important decision. The bishops shared the supreme authority by divine right, in virtue of their consecration. General Councils were an ordinary exercise of this authority, and should be of frequent and regular occurrence. This was the view of the ultra-progressive faction, and was close to that of the Gallicans or conciliarists of the past.

                  Between these extremes was a somewhat vaguely conceived and expressed third, or moderate, interpretation. According to this view the pope was the subject of supreme authority, and likewise the college of bishops in union with him, its head. The pope’s consent was a necessary element of the college’s authority. The pope had supreme authority by divine right, and was always free to use it; the episcopal college also had it by divine right, but was not always free to use it. It could not act without its head, and so depended on the pope in any exercise of supreme authority. This was the view favored by Pope Paul VI and the less extreme of the liberal Council Fathers and it was this which was adopted in the schema to be voted on. It was a kind of compromise, aiming at avoiding the conciliarist heresy and preserving the unity of authority in the Church.

                  The battle was fought out during the second and third sessions of the Council (1963-1964). The Rhine was by this time flowing strongly in the former bed of the Tiber; a team of progressive Moderators had been appointed, the Theological Commission was mainly progressive, and a task force of progressive periti was busy drafting new schemata to replace those which the Party had torn up [cf. the article, Archbishop Lefebvre Preparing the Council]. The defenders of tradition, on the other hand, were less well organized, and therefore had less influence, and their protests were often ignored. The details of maneuvering and voting may be studied in Fr. Wiltgen’s pages. As early as October 1963 a preliminary vote to sound the state of opinion had been imposed by the Moderators, contrary to regular procedure, and had shown an impressive majority for the liberal side. This vote was greeted in Bolshevik phrase by one of the exultant periti (Fr. Yves Congar, O.P.) as “the Church’s October Revolution.”

                  Pope Paul VI’s personal sympathies were with the liberals, and he was inclined to let matters take their course. But as the date for the final vote on Lumen Gentium drew near, and appeals for his intervention grew more frequent and pressing, he became uneasy. The final text of Chapter 3 of the schema had been found seriously ambiguous. As Archbishop Staffa, of the Curia, expressed it, “these propositions are opposed to the more common teachings of the saintly Fathers, of the Roman Pontiffs, of provincial synods, of the holy Doctors of the Universal Church, of theologians and of canonists. They are also contrary to century-old norms of ecclesiastical discipline.” In fact, he said, they were substantially identical with the views of the Jesuit Father Giovanni Bolgeni (1733-1811), which theologians and canonists had for long unanimously rejected as “unacceptable and foreign to the sound tradition of the Church.”[1] The archbishop and more than seventy other bishops petitioned the Moderators for time to address the assembly before voting on this chapter began. The petition, though quite in order, was refused.

                  Archbishop Staffa’s next move was to write to the Pope, and many cardinals and others did likewise, warning him of the ambiguities in the apparently moderate text and of the danger that it would be interpreted in the extreme sense after the Council. But the Pope still took no action, relying as he did on the Theological Commission. Then, at the eleventh hour, one of the extreme liberals accidentally dropped a brick. He had written about some of the ambiguous passages, indicating how the Party would interpret them in the future,[2] and the paper fell into the hands of the objecting cardinals. They took it straight to the Pope, who at last saw that he had been deceived by the theological commissioners, and was reduced to tears of distress. This providential accident saved the situation, for papal intervention followed immediately. Since time was so short, it took the unusual form of a Prefatory Explanatory Note, about two pages long, which was to be attached to Chapter 3, to remove the ambiguities and make it quite clear that the conciliar text was to be interpreted in the moderate sense, and not in the extreme liberal sense. The final vote followed, with almost unanimous acceptance of the text as thus qualified.

                  So far, so good: one time-bomb at least had been diffused. Orthodoxy had been saved, and “collegiality” had been reduced to a duly subordinate rank, by a stroke of monarchical authority—or rather, should we not say, as on so many similar occasions, by the intervention of the Holy Ghost. But what was this intruder, this parvenu which had been giving such trouble to the Church in Council? It had no place in the traditional magisterium, and few of the bishops can ever have bothered their heads with it. Theology had nothing particular to say about it, and the name itself was newly coined. “Collegial” and “collegiate” were familiar words, but “collegiality” was unknown until the eve of Vatican II. The text of the Council itself never mentions it. It had suddenly sprung up, under liberal hands, and become a kind of talisman or obsessive slogan, for the advancement of questionable ideas. Nobody at the Council, it seems, was able or willing to define it. Insofar as it was more than a tautology, it suggested either something heterodox, such as Gallicanism, or something absurd, such as the coexistence of two supreme authorities in the Church. The whole thing was hopelessly vague and unnecessary. At best it seemed to embody an indeterminate craving for some additional kudos to be given to the bishops to counterbalance the papal primacy of Vatican I and all previous tradition. Could not the Church have been content with her God-given constitution, together with the ancient and venerable concept of a pervasive Christian charity binding all ranks of the Church into one body: what the Greeks called koinonia, and the Latins communio? Was not this infinitely more satisfactory than the neologism of “collegiality,” which even a council text could not safely make into much more than a verbal quibble? It was indeed repeatedly suggested by the wiser heads in the Council that the whole subject should be dropped indefinitely, for fuller study, especially as this Council professed to be purely pastoral.[3] But this advice fell on deaf ears, for the dominant Party was not going to see its Trojan Horse put out to grass.

                  The Party was of course infuriated by the Explanatory Note, which substantially and logically restored the status quo ante and should have nipped the October Revolution in the bud. But has it really done so? Obviously not. The Church has been seething with revolution ever since the Council. The liberal or neo-modernist movement has grown out of her control, and reveals itself more and more clearly as a movement to change the constitution of the Church from a theocratic monarchy to a democratic synarchy. This is what they mean by aggiornamento: assimilation to a neo-pagan and socialist world which has no use for monarchs, human or divine. Revolutionaries are allergic to authority, except such as can be deputed by the sovereign People to councils and committees—namely, themselves. The Party, beginning as a group of German and Dutch bishops and their experts, and spreading rapidly over the rest of Europe and the west, has felt itself strong enough, wherever convenient, to ignore the letter of the Council texts (here as in the liturgy) and to act as though the Council had endorsed the extreme liberal interpretation of “collegiality…”‘

                  You can read the entire article and associated documentation by following this link:

                  http://sspx.org/en/collegiality-error-vatican-ii-2

                  • Athanasius,

                    “The Church has been seething with revolution ever since the Council. ”

                    How true! Thank you for that brilliant comment. It explains the error of bishops conferences perfectly. Someone lent me their copy of The Rhine Flows into the Tiber once, a few years ago, but your comment and quotes have made me want to read it again.

                    • Margaret Mary

                      Thank you.

                      Yes, it is always worth re-reading The Rhine Flows into the Tiber every few years because it is so clear and unbiased an eye-witness account of what took place during Vatican II. I was astounded the first time I read it.

        • Andrew J, and Gerontius,

          You’re wrong to suggest that individual diocesan bishops answer to Rome. This was the Traditional method up to Vatican II which was changed post-council to a new “democratic” set up called “Episcopal Conferences”.

          In effect what happened at Vatican II was a rather successful attempt by the liberals to move the Church away from its autocratic structure to a democratic structure, which as we know is the structure of today’s Socialist/Masonic world. So, contrary to your claim, there is a definite worldly precedence for this move within the Church and it is unhealthy.

          Our Lord did not establish a democratic Church; He established an autocratic one with the Pope at the top with the final say. Everything, then, started with the Pope and came down through the ranks of the Church to the dioceses and parishes. With Collegiality that structure was turned on its head to the extent that, in many cases, the Episcopal Conferences now dictate to the Pope. We witnessed this first hand with the abuse of Communion in the hand; the Pope said no in general but the Episcopal Conferences said yes. The same with extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion; the Pope said not as a rule, the Eiscopal Conferences said yes, at all times.

          And as for individual diocesan bishops. We have seen time and again how bishops toe the party line of the Conference, wherein the majority vote carries the day for change in the various dioceses. If one particular bishop doesn’t like the change he still goes along because he is out voted. That is not how Our Lord instituted the hierarchy.

          Now, Cardinal Suenens from memory was named in Bishop Scheinder’s book Dominus Est as the one who first introduced this abusive practice. You won’t find this in any authoritative document of the Church, however, since the enemies of the faith generally don’t name those who implement dangerous innovations. Bishop Schneider knew who it was though, and named him. I hesitate however in saying that Cardinal Suenens was a Mason. I have seen no solid evidence to suggest any truth in this. So serious an allegation against a senior prelate must be backed by incontrovertible evidence before we can assert it as fact. I have seen no such evidence, so I will content myself by saying that he certainly would have pleased the Masons by his actions.

          This link may help to shed more light on Cardinal Suenens involvement with Communion in the hand. http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/communion-in-the-hand-is-illegal

          • Athanasius

            When Cardinal Winning established his pro-life initiative I remember reading that the other Scottish Bishops were extremely miffed because the Cardinal hadn’t obtained permission from the other Bishops.

        • ‘Individual Bishops are in Communion with Rome, and Diocesan Bishops answer to Rome, and not other Archbishops or Bishops’

          Andrew J, please see my reply above to Martin, if you have also misunderstood my post of 1.19 pm on 14th.

          • Christina

            I do not believe I have misunderstood you. You seem to suggest a difference that is not there. A Bishop is a Bishop – whether he is also a Archbishop or Cardinal – and it is his ordination as Bishop which raises him to the College of Bishops regardless of any other role/position he may have within the Church.

            All Bishops are Successors to the Apostles and they are in direct Communion (Collegiality) with The Pope, and their Brother Bishops.

            I suspect you, and others here, are confusing this with “Synodality” or the use of “Synods”, and even the role of a national Conference of Bishops. The role of a Synod, and a Conference, have been much debated.

            To quote The Catechism of The Catholic Church:

            “1555 “Amongst those various offices which have been exercised in the Church from the earliest times the chief place, according to the witness of tradition, is held by the function of those who, through their appointment to the dignity and responsibility of bishop, and in virtue consequently of the unbroken succession going back to the beginning, are regarded as transmitters of the apostolic line.”

            1556 To fulfill their exalted mission, “the apostles were endowed by Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them, and by the imposition of hands they passed on to their auxiliaries the gift of the Spirit, which is transmitted down to our day through episcopal consecration.”

            1557 The Second Vatican Council “teaches . . . that the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by episcopal consecration, that fullness namely which, both in the liturgical tradition of the Church and the language of the Fathers of the Church, is called the high priesthood, the acme (summa) of the sacred ministry.”

            1558 “Episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, also the offices of teaching and ruling. . . . In fact . . . by the imposition of hands and through the words of the consecration, the grace of the Holy Spirit is given, and a sacred character is impressed in such wise that bishops, in an eminent and visible manner, take the place of Christ himself, teacher, shepherd, and priest, and act as his representative (in Eius persona agant).” “By virtue, therefore, of the Holy Spirit who has been given to them, bishops have been constituted true and authentic teachers of the faith and have been made pontiffs and pastors.”

            1559 “One is constituted a member of the episcopal body in virtue of the sacramental consecration and by the hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college.” The character and collegial nature of the episcopal order are evidenced among other ways by the Church’s ancient practice which calls for several bishops to participate in the consecration of a new bishop.40 In our day, the lawful ordination of a bishop requires a special intervention of the Bishop of Rome, because he is the supreme visible bond of the communion of the particular Churches in the one Church and the guarantor of their freedom.

            1560 As Christ’s vicar, each bishop has the pastoral care of the particular Church entrusted to him, but at the same time he bears collegially with all his brothers in the episcopacy the solicitude for all the Churches: “Though each bishop is the lawful pastor only of the portion of the flock entrusted to his care, as a legitimate successor of the apostles he is, by divine institution and precept, responsible with the other bishops for the apostolic mission of the Church.”

            1561 The above considerations explain why the Eucharist celebrated by the bishop has a quite special significance as an expression of the Church gathered around the altar, with the one who represents Christ, the Good Shepherd and Head of his Church, presiding.

            • Andrew J

              “All Bishops are Successors to the Apostles and they are in direct Communion (Collegiality) with The Pope, and their Brother Bishops.”

              In the sense that all Bishops are members of the College of Bishops, your quote is fine. However, the way Collegiality is being understood and expressed today, the statement is extremely dangerous. What it fails to do is clarify that every Bishop is subordinate to the authority of the Supreme Pontiff and that every Bishop is solely responsible for his own diocese, answerable only to the Pope.

              Therefore, Episcopal Conferences, since they have moved away from those purely consultative bodies created by St. Pius X to take on a new role of shared authority with the Pope and usurper of diocesan autonomy, run contrary to the Traditional hierarchical structure of the Church as instituted by Our Lord.

              It’s the old heresy of Gallicanism resurrected in cope and mitre.

    • Gerontius

      Thanks for that post. Given the spread of the Masonic disease, I have a feeling that 70% of the clerics in the Western Hemisphere would be seeking new employment. It seems that those who should act are either unable too, or prefer to sit in the background and and say nothing.

  50. I have been astounded at the way so many bishops and priests around the world are intending to follow the recommendations in Amoris Laetita, so, since I can find no statement from the Scottish Bishops, I have just sent the following email to Peter Kearney, Spokesman for the Scottish Bishops’ Conference. I will report any reply, although don’t let’s hold our breath… More often than not, all the talk about “dialogue” and “inclusiveness” doesn’t apply to moi…

    Dear Peter,

    In the light of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetita, will there be a clear statement from the Scottish Bishops, reaffirming Catholic teaching as explained on the SCMO website: …Catholics who have divorced and remarried, however, are in a different position. Since the first marriage remains intact, there can be no valid second union. These people, owing to the fact that their irregular state is continuous (unlike a one-off sin which can be repented and forgiven) and objectively contradicts the teaching of the Church, may not go to Communion.

    OR, will the recommendation of the Exhortation [be applied] that this may be changed in particular cases where a couple are living in an adulterous union, based on the judgment of an individual priest?

    We would like to include the response of the Scottish Bishops in our next newsletter (June) so an early reply would be appreciated. I have checked both the SCMO website and that of the Scottish Bishops Conference, and can find no official statement, although around the world priests and bishops have gone on the record affirming that they will be admitting those previously prohibited from receiving Holy Communion, on a case by case basis. Obviously, we hope that the Scottish Bishops will choose to remain faithful to the traditional teaching and related discipline on the indissolubility of marriage, but it would help to have confirmation of this, for the record.

    Thank you in anticipation of your help.

    God bless

    Signed…
    Editor
    Catholic Truth

    • Good Luck with that, esteemed Editor.
      If my corresondence with Mr Kearney is anything to go by, he is quite far behind in replying to letters and emails. Up to fourteen years…

      • Andrew,

        Join the club. That’s what I meant by my remark: More often than not, all the talk about “dialogue” and “inclusiveness” doesn’t apply to moi…

  51. The Tablet is packed full of the Exhortation, e.g.

    ALMOST WITHOUT MEANING TO, FRANCIS HAS SHOT HUMANAE VITAE DEAD PREMIUM
    14 April 2016 | by Clifford Longley | Comments: 2

    Almost without meaning to, Francis has shot Humanae Vitae dead. In 2009 the Catholic Church’s International Theological Commission proposed a fundamental change to the way the Church regarded natural law. It could not be presented “as an already established set of rules that impose themselves a priori on the moral subject”, it said. Instead, “it is a source of objective inspiration for the deeply personal process of making decisions”.

    This raised some eyebrows, not least because of the way natural law had consistently been imposed a priori by moral theologians to explain and justify Catholic teaching regarding sex. The most obvious example was the way natural law was invoked as the basis of the case against contraception, for instance in Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae.

    But that redefinition of the role of natural law was just the opinion of a select group of theologians. Or at least it was until last Friday. That was when Pope Francis gave it the authority of his office when he adopted it as his own, in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. At the start of the process of consultation that led up to Amoris Laetitia, including two international synods, a questionnaire had been circulated asking to what extent ordinary Catholics understood natural law. A summary of the responses strongly suggested they did not.

    ……. ……. …….. …….. …….. …….. …….. …….. …….. …….. ……..

    This is how the document is being interpreted everywhere. It is a total scandal. So, I do hope the editor gets a reply to her email to find out the Bishops of Scotland plans for it. I can’t imagine that they will be any different from the rest of the bishops.

    • Nicky,

      You’ll note that The Tablet, a bitter pill indeed, fails to mention that Humanae Vitae is infallible Magisterial teaching whereas Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation is not. Strange how they can overlook so fundamental a principle when agenda demands.

      • Athanasius,

        I’m ashamed to say I overlooked saying that myself so thanks for pointing out the fact. That’s how they work, these mods, they just omit what is uncomfortable, and ignore the facts. We’ve seen it on this blog recently with trolls. They’re shameless.

  52. I’ve also found this on The Tablet site –

    ORIS LAETITIA: REACTION FROM THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
    08 April 2016 | by Megan Cornwell
    A response to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation the Joy of Love

    Amoris Laetitia: Reaction from the Catholic community
    Martin Pendergast, campaigner for LGBT rights in the Catholic community

    “Anybody who has been involved in the synod process for the last two years has come to realise that same-sex issues were not going to be a central part of the Pope’s exhortation. That said, even though it’s pretty light treatment of same-sex issues, in paragraphs 250 and 251 there’s some key points. First of all, no condemnations, no quoting of language of “intrinsic disorder”, a nuance around the use of language like same-sex attraction, which some of us find offensive, an actual recognition of homosexual orientation, which is very significant in a document of this status.

    One of the key debates in the Church has been: is there such a thing as a different sexual orientation? Paragraph 250 refers to people who manifest homosexual orientation, so it’s actually acknowledging that homosexual orientation exists: that’s very important.

    I don’t see this document to be quite as flowing or coherent as the Joy of the Gospel or Laudato Si’ and I think it shows evidence of interventions from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to insert more conservative references to teachings from John Paul II and Pope Benedict, to sweeten the pill for more conservative Catholics.

    The question that many of us will have is: how are you going to apply those very important principles about conscience, internal forum, not judging people, not throwing stones at people? How are you going to apply that to people in same-sex relationships, children in same-sex families, parents of lesbian, gay or trans people? Those are the kind of questions this document throws up.

    Doors remain open rather than closed and those of us working to welcome LGBT people into the Church will be wanting to run with those…I think it’s encouraging us along the path.”

    ANALYSIS: A more flexible, understanding church – Christopher Lamb in Rome
    Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop for Marriage and Family Life

    “It is very exciting, embracing everyone whatever their situation. It needs reflection; as Pope Francis says you can’t whizz through it. It is packed with practical insight and wisdom and invites us to look anew at the beauty and joy of what it means to be part of a family. It has particular focus on the need to walk with those of us who feel excluded and to let everyone know that they are loved by God and that that love is a tender love, but also a love that challenges us all to change.

    Some people will be disappointed that it is not full of black and white solutions, but as Pope Francis says, every situation is different and needs to be approached with love, mercy and openness of heart.”

    Mary Hunt, Co-Director of Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

    “Amoris Laetitia is a study in ambiguity that gives new evidence for the use of the term “jesuitical”. Published under the name of the current Jesuit pope, the document is really several somewhat disjointed pieces — a biblical study, some reflections on families that border on New Age, restatement of institutional Church teachings on the topic, and some toying with change that does not amount to much of anything new.

    Effective contraception is still banned; same-sex marriage is still seen as completely different from heterosexual marriage. Those who are divorced and remarried are told in pastoral practice to do what they think is best in conversation with their local priest.

    Alas, the hetero monogamous ideal remains in place while lip service is paid to the remote possibility of other options. Clearly the input of lay people at the two Synods amounted to little or nothing. All in all, this is a missed opportunity for Pope Francis to demonstrate that there is anything new under the Vatican sun.”

    Cardinal Donald Weurl, Archbishop of Washington

    “Marriage and family, as we know from personal experiences, endure all the pains and sufferings, the trials and tribulations of the human condition. Yet, we know that with and through the Risen Christ, all things are made new. Marriage and family are revitalized and are made into the marriage and family that God’s wants for us.”

    The exhortation is sure to generate much discussion in the secular media, but instead of viewing it through their particular lens, I strongly suggest that you read the document itself to know what our Holy Father is really saying.

    First published on the cardinal’s blog

    Edmund Adamus, Director for Westminster Diocese’s office for marriage and family life

    “The Pope insists early on that reading the document must not be rushed. Indeed he helpfully suggests chapters to be focussed on for specific groups. One thing is for sure for those who for years have been dismissing the catechesis on human love by St John Paul (theology of the body) as incomprehensible and even irrelevant. Francis draws on plenty of insights from this corpus of teaching as well as Familiaris Consortio (the Magna Carta on the Family), which fleshed out in pastoral terms how to apply the adequate anthropology (human ecology) he expounded upon from 1979-84. Much of this has informed my professional work and thanks to the comprehensive vision of the Holy Father, I can continue to do so with fresh impetus.

    All of us make up the family of the Church and as John Paul said in 1981 “the Church is a home for everyone”. Amoris Laetitia simply reiterates that with a call to proclaim the power of grace to transform. Speaking as a parent, I for one take much encouragement from paragraphs 84-86 which, in using new language, takes the dogma of the parent as the primary educator and protector to a new level. If we want the next generation to be “living stones” of faith in the home then we must revisit anew the manner in which we affirm and build confidence and autonomy in the parent to be first and best transmitter of faith in Christ. As the Pope states, their duty to fulfil this role is “indeclinable”.”

    Austen Ivereigh, journalist and founder of Catholic Voices

    “In unleashing the biggest church discernment process in modern times, Pope Francis wanted to achieve what in Latin America is called a “pastoral conversion”. It happened at the two synods, and its fruit is evident in Amoris Laetitia. Rather than wag fingers at the collapse of marriage and family in contemporary culture, Francis wants the Church to rebuild it from the ground up, by learning to speak of the joy of conjugal love and helping people practically to live it. Francis wants the Church to educate the faithful in the mature use of their consciences, holding out the truth and beauty of the Church’s teaching in all its fullness, but witholding from no one the converting power of God’s mercy. The news, of course, is all about the resolution of the eucharist question, but the real power of the exhortation is in converting the Church for its massive new mission: to become the world’s biggest and most famous school of married love.”

    Kit Dollard, Chair of Marriage Care

    “We welcome the Pope’s references to achieving a ‘missionary conversion’ of parishes as well as his reference to ‘new pastoral methods’ (199) and we hope to be taking a central role in making this a reality in our dioceses. With the help of 800 trained volunteers we are already working in the field of marriage preparation and couple counselling: last year we supported over 9,000 people across England & Wales. We are committed to extending these services and adding to our range of skills and experience in the dioceses where we are not fully utilised, and are looking to recruit more volunteers to help in this role.”

    READ MORE: Amoris Laetitia opens the way to holy communion for divorced and remarrieds
    Elizabeth Davies, Marriage and Family Life Project Officer, Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship

    “This is an exciting and challenging document – an ode to the joys of love in a marriage and in family life but without pulling any punches, without airbrushing the reality. Pope Francis acknowledges many of the situations that were reflected in the pre-Synod consultations. He quotes extensively from synod deliberations, the talks he gave at his Wednesday audiences and a number of bishops conferences. This is not a document to read in a rush but at first glance I was struck by the humility of his approach and also the need for humility on the part of the church – we haven’t always done our best nor give families what they need from us. Pope Francis has given us new language for a renewed emphasis on the importance of family love as an absolute principle, and on mercy – the heartbeat of the Gospel of Christ – as the measure of an authentic praxis where families are concerned. And he sees a greater role for parishes as the natural communities of accompaniment of couples and families.”

    • Nicky,

      I saw Martin Pendergast at the top of The Tablet list – SO not a surprise!

      Here is a video discussion which I’ve not watched right through yet, but what I’ve seen (just over ten minutes) is very interesting indeed. What I’ve heard from the priest so far, makes me want to move to New York!

  53. Editor
    Bishop John Keenan has a piece in the SCO reflecting upon the exhortation. Ambiguity is contagious obviously. I quote.
    “So the teaching on marriage- that it is lifelong, monogamous, and is between a man and a woman, is still solid. But within that there is room for our attitude to do a “one hundred and eighty degree turn,” and that is what the exhortation is all about.”
    So how do you do a half turn on a Truth?
    And this from an intelligent man who has got himself into contortions in order to accommodate the sleekit sleight of the mindset intent on dismantling the Deposit of Faith.
    Bishop Keenan’s attempt at salvage is so ridiculous it nearly made me laugh. Or cry.

    • Spero,

      I’m afraid Bishop Keenan does not impress me. Before he became Bishop I had everybody and their granny telling me that he was one of the “orthodox” – really sound – priests, which flew in the face of the fact that when he was chaplain at the University student union, he permitted every heretic you care to name to use the place as a platform for spreading their errors.

      Then, when Summorum Pontificum was published and a reader who knows him asked the then Father Keenan if he would learn the TLM, he replied that he would wait to see the attitude of the new archbishop (+Conti had been opposed but we were yet to discover the line to be taken by + Tartaglia). The new archbishop’s hostility to the old Mass soon became apparent and no more was said about Father Keenan and the old Mass. So, rightly or wrongly, I wrote him off as one ambitious priest. And no sooner had the “A” word left my lips, than he was appointed Bishop of Paisley.

      I am, therefore, not remotely surprised at this betrayal by him of the Church’s teaching on marriage. The sickening thing is that when sanity is restored and we are blessed with a good pope who sets about restoring the Faith, the likes of Bishop Keenan will do another about turn – situation ethics, after all, is tailor made to fit the latest “situation”.

      You are most charitable to describe him as “intelligent”. Not the word that springs to my mind when his name is mentioned. But then, I’m a very bad girl…

      • I have always liked the traditional song “The Vicar of Bray”. People don’t change no matter what century they live in!There have always been Vicars of Bray.

  54. The blogger Steve Skojec at 1P5 has shown that there is are misleading translations of what the Pope said on the flight home to Rome from Greece, when asked a question about the Exhortation.

    The subtitles on the video is the correct translation

    You can read the wrong translation by clicking the link
    http://www.onepeterfive.com/video-pope-francis-comments-on-divorced-remarried/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Onepeterfive+%28OnePeterFive%29

    The question was longer than the answer and the main difference I can see is “many” instead of “period”. Also that Cardinal Schonborn was only a member, not secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I can’t see any other differences.

  55. Some sobering thoughts on unworthy communions, as preached by St John Vianney, and published on the New Liturgical Movement website…

    …In our tradition we find great preachers who took seriously their obligation to prepare the faithful for Holy Communion by, on the one hand, extolling the joy, peace, and glory that come to us through grace-filled communions, and, on the other hand, by warning, in no uncertain terms, of the destruction of soul that results from a wicked communion. An exemplary preacher in both of these respects is the Curé of Ars, St. John Vianney, whose meditations on the Holy Eucharist are magnificent and worthy of much study by today’s clergy.

    Since the positive side of the message is just about the only thing one hears nowadays, as if the negative side did not even exist, it will be more beneficial in our present situation to have some excerpts from his “Sermon on Unworthy Communion,” in tome IV of his Sermons inédits.

    Unworthy Communions are frequent. How many have the temerity to approach the holy table with sins hidden and disguised in confession! How many have not that sorrow which the good God wants from them, and preserve a secret willingness to fall back into sin, and do not put forth all their exertions to amend! How many do not avoid the occasions of sin when they can, or preserve enmity in their hearts even at the holy table! If you have ever been in these dispositions in approaching Holy Communion, you have committed a sacrilege — that horrible crime, on the malice of which we are going to meditate.

    1. It outrages God more than all other mortal sins. It attacks the Person of Jesus Christ himself, instead of scorning only his commandments, like other mortal sins.

    2. Whoever communicates unworthily crucifies Jesus Christ in his heart. He submits him to a death more ignominious and humiliating than that of the Cross. On the Cross, indeed, Jesus Christ died voluntarily and for our redemption: but here it is no longer so: he dies in spite of himself, and his death, far from being to our advantage, as it was the first time, turns to our woe by bringing upon us all kinds of chastisements both in this world and the next. The death of Jesus Christ on Calvary was violent and painful, but at least all nature seemed to bear witness to his pain. The least sensible of creatures appeared to be affected by it, and thus wishful to share the Saviour’s sufferings. Here there is nothing of this: Jesus is insulted, outraged by a vile nothingness, and all keeps silence; everything appears insensible to his humiliations. May not this God of goodness justly complain, as on the tree of the Cross, that he is forsaken? My God, how can a Christian have the heart to go to the holy table with sin in his soul, there to put Jesus Christ to death?

    3. Unworthy Communion is a more criminal profanation than that of the holy places. A pagan emperor, in hatred of Jesus Christ, placed infamous idols on Calvary and the holy sepulchre, and he believed that in doing this he could not carry further his fury against Jesus Christ. Ah! great God! Was that anything to be compared with the unworthy communicant? No, no! It is no longer among dumb and senseless idols that he sets his God, but in the midst, alas!, of infamous living passions, which are so many executioners who crucify his Saviour. Alas! What shall I say? That poor wretch unites the Holy of Holies to a prostitute soul, and sells him to iniquity. Yes, that poor wretch plunges his God into a raging hell. Is it possible to conceive anything more dreadful?

    4. Unworthy Communion is in certain respects a greater crime than the deicide of the Jews. St. Paul tells us that if the Jews had known Jesus Christ as the Saviour they would never have put him to suffering or death; but can you, my friend, be ignorant of him whom you are going to receive? If you do not bear it in mind, listen to the priest who cries aloud to you: “Behold the Lamb of God; behold him that taketh away the sins of the world.” He is holy and pure. If you are guilty, unhappy man, do not draw near; or else tremble, lest the thunders of heaven be hurled upon your criminal head to punish you and cast your soul into hell.

    5. Unworthy Communion imitates and renews the crime of Judas. The traitor, by a kiss of peace, delivered Jesus Christ to his enemies, but the unworthy communicant carries his cruel duplicity yet further. Having lied to the Holy Ghost in the tribunal of penance by hiding or disguising some sin, he dares, this wretch, to go with a hypocritical reverence on his face, and place himself among the faithful destined to eat this Bread. Ah! no, nothing stops this monster of ingratitude; he comes forward and is about to consummate his reprobation. In vain that tender Saviour, seeing that he is coming to him, cries from his tabernacle, as to the perfidious Judas: “Friend, whereto art thou come? What, thou art about to betray thy God and Saviour by a sign of peace? Stop, stop, my son; I pray thee spare me!” Neither the remorse of his conscience nor the tender reproaches made him by his God can stop his criminal steps. He steps forward. He is going to stab his God and Saviour. O heavens! what a horror! Can you indeed behold this wretched murderer of your Creator without trembling?[3]

    Thus St. John Vianney, who, like St. John Chrysostom, did not flinch when it came to calling out evils and urging their amendment. Now, if someone were to ask: Why am I posting such sobering, fear-inspiring reflections?, here is how I would answer:

    In communion with the Catholic Church of all times and places, I accept the reality of hell and, following Scripture and Tradition, and contrary to the temerarious ravings of Hans Urs von Balthasar and others like him, accept that many unrepentant sinners have already gone and will continue to go there to join the devil and his angels in eternal fire.[4]
    In keeping with Christian charity, I do not want to see any soul end up there by dying in a state of unrepented mortal sin — or, what is worse, by compounding that state with still further sins of “eating and drinking condemnation upon oneself,” as St. Paul says (1 Cor 11:29), referring precisely to this problem that the Curé of Ars preached against.
    The Church and her faithful people always have many needs; but undoubtedly one of those needs today is identifying sin and turning away from it with disgust, rather than compromising with it, condoning it, hiding it, or being afraid to call it by name. We need preachers like St. John Vianney to combat the indifferentism, relativism, universalism, and hedonism in which modern Christians are submerged. Such is the exhortation we receive from Saints Peter and Paul, whose inspired letters proclaim the unadulterated Gospel. Source

  56. Following the remarks of Bishop Fellay in an interview, the SSPX have now published a more formal response to the post-Synod document. However it seems only to be available in French and German at present, but the One Peter FIve blog has a summary in English, see the link below.

    The statement described Francis’ document as “the Victory of Subjectivism” and it is signed by Fr Mathias Gaudron, Superior of the German District:

    http://www.onepeterfive.com/sspx-amoris-laetitia-a-victory-of-subjectivism/

  57. (Ed, I know that LifeSiteNews lost credibility recently for a major reporting error, but I think the link I give here is OK)

    Re Margaret Mary’s post about what the Pope said on the plane after the release of the Exhortation, and the video she linked, I noted that he directed his questioner to what the ‘great theologian’ Cardinal Schonborn has written for answers to questions about it (Cardinal Schonborn – he of the balloon Mass and illicit matter, the use of which is gravely sinful). Today I received links to some of LifeSiteNews’s reporting of that in-flight news conference in which Pope Francis claims not to remember footnote 351, that has such deadly implications? This, together with his direction to the great theologian for answers makes one wonder just who wrote the Exhortation. Is it possible that this Pope of the so-frequent incoherent babbling isn’t in charge of the Barque of Peter? In an interview with Edward Pentin, Schonborn said that ‘Amoris Laetitia’ adopts the ‘approach’ that he has already been using within his own archdiocese, ‘…which can allow for admittance to the sacraments (for those in mortal sin) after a process of discernment focused on several different questions’. So again, who is in charge here?

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-i-dont-remember-controversial-footnote-in-exhortation

    • Christina,

      I watched the live broadcast of the press conference and one of the journalists asked straight out who had written the Exhortation. Fr Lombardi replied, emphatically, that it was penned by Pope Francis. He was very clear about that. So that is where the buck stops. Odd though, that since he clearly has a great love of microphones and journalists, Pope Francis didn’t attend the presentation himself. Very curious.

      I had a telephone chat with a friend earlier and she mentioned this memory slip – making the point that it speaks volumes about this Pope that he cannot even remember what he has written in such an important document involving dogma and Eucharistic discipline. Yet the majority of muppet Catholics will continue to follow him blindly.

  58. Editor,

    At this point I wonder if a little comic relief would help to maintain our Catholic sanity. With that in mind, I propose a collective effort in adapting the lyrics of Dean Martin’s old standard, “That’s Amore,” to this anti-Catholic “Exhortation,” which is nothing more than a prolix exercise in despicable and deliberate deception. I’ll get everyone started:

    When the Pope hits the Church
    With intent to besmirch,
    That’s Amoris!

    When +Fellay starts to cry
    And he asks Our Lord “Why??”
    That’s Amoris!

    For those who may not be familiar with this song, here it is:

    • RCA Victor, I call on Ed to appoint you blog laureate, with a couple of 0s commensurate with the responsibility on your pay scale, of course. So here, for your considerstion, are a couple of suggestions for the lyrics of the current top of the flops

      Keeping to the song pattern, how about your 2 verses followed by:

      Hell’s bells ring
      Ting-a-ling-a-ling
      Ting-a-linga-ling
      While the gates open wide-oh;
      Demons bray
      Yippee yippee yay
      Yippee yippee yay
      While the sheep flock inside-oh.

      Or if you want more three-liners, scrub that and consider:

      When hell’s gares open wide
      And the sheep flock inside
      That’s Amoris.

      Over to you! 😀

      • Christina,

        I forget how to type this, but HUGE GRIN! However, since I live so far away from all the Renfrew Street action, I will leave it to you to make sure Editor performs these lyrics in person at the June conference! (with Petrus accompanying on the organ, of course…)

    • Gerontius,

      I’m not sure for how long you have been reading our blog but this is not “suddenly” a serious question for us – we’ve been asking the question (and answering it) from the earliest days of this pontificate. Crux clearly has some catching up to do!

      • Editor,

        “I’m not sure for how long you have been reading our blog but this is not “suddenly” a serious question for us”

        I didn’t say that it was, and I’m fully appraised of the blog topic- The “question” is being asked by Crux. The URL was posted to show both the spreading concern of the Faithful with Pope Francis and the ever growing and unpleasant talk of schism.

        • Gerontius,

          Thank you for that – I’m sure you’ll agree with moi that it is really alarming that the likes of Crux, along with others of the faithful, are only now asking the question! “Which planet”? springs to mind. Now, THERE’S a question!

  59. The above link leads to a masterly analysis of Amoris Laetitia by Christopher Ferrari. Many may recognise him from his apostolate with the Fatima Centre and the Remnant. It is quite a lengthy treatise but well worth the study.
    It is most frustrating when one reads positive praise for AL. Once again we are spoon fed a mixture of truth and error, aka modernism. A very flavoursome dish, containing many fine ingredients, with only a few drops of poison sprinkled in. Drink it to your peril. They have been serving this dish since the Council.
    I have read that one should not worry to much about AL because it is nothing more than the pope’s personal opinion and therefore does not carry magisterial weight. Such a view minimises the seriousness of the intention to ignore doctrine and enact a pastoral approach that fallaciously permits divorced and remarried couples to receive Holy Communion under the guise of mercy.
    I would suggest they consider paragraph 8 of the Philippine Bishop’s Conference to get the flavour of this. Do we seriously believe that this will not eventually be the trend everywhere in the Conciliar cult to ignore the doctrine of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage and so imperil souls..
    “Mercy cannot wait.” Huh!
    http://cbcpwebsite.com/Messages/amoris.html

  60. What follows is a short sermon by a Traditional Priest in full communion with Rome.

    He utterly destroys Amoris laetitia by exposing its treachery to Our Lord Jesus Christ and his Mystical Body, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    [audio src="http://reginaprophetarum.org/audio/20160424-Peter-Has-No-Need-of-Lies-and-Flattery.mp3" /]

    • Gerontius,

      gonnae no dae that, gonnae no post a link that disnae wurrrrk cos some ae us get mixed up when we cannae get through. So, gonnae no dae that?

        • Gerontius,

          That’s one of my favourite quotes about the papacy.

          Had a quick look at that site but not had time to listen yet. Are you sure it’s not a sede site? Seems an awful lot of sermons from “traditional” priests. I’m suspicious…

          • Editor,

            “Seems an awful lot of sermons from “traditional” priests. I’m suspicious…”

            And rightly so Editor, but when you take into account the past 50 odd years worth of this Foul Modernist Heresy, then the response of “an awful lot of sermons from traditional” priests would be entirely understandable…

            Can’t be certain Editor, I don’t think it’s sede. However, the truth is the truth, and using it, he instructs his congregation in a clear and concise manner, exposing Amoris Laetitia for what it really is,.a product of heretical modernist thought!

                • Crofterlady…. I remember you….beady eyes, pointed ears, academic cap and pointed stick… yes! I remember you well. Thanks for dropping by…

                  As for “splurge of humility”: well, you don’t really expect me to take a back seat while Michael Voris is canonised all over the internet, do you? 😀

                  PS don’t let the smiley face fool you. I’m serious. Deadly… 😉

                  PPS don’t let the second smiley face fool you….

          • Wonderful and consoling sermon! Thank you Gerontius. Dinnae fash yersel, Ed, he’s no a sede priest.

            • Christina,

              So, he’s no a sede priest, whit aboot it, but you’re wan o they door-stoppers imposters! Last time I checked you were an English-wummin! Still, these days ye can do thon trans thingy!

              I really must stop this. I hate Glasgow slang but sometimes it just all comes over me!

  61. Editor

    Some time ago you gave me leave to make one comment on The Apostolic Exhortation AL.

    Part of this post is written as I believe, in good faith, that no-one who is aware of the specific example I give will read this, and the main players, with the exception, of myself, are dead. (Although you kinda assassinated me on here!)

    I have read various concerns about Chapter Vlll and can, to some extent, see why those concerns are raised. However, in many respects the reflections on Marriage and Family Life are spot on, and, in particular, when it speaks of emotional bonds that can and do exist between people in longstanding and irregular relationships. The Pope is careful to speak of the importance of these relationships to those who live in them, and are affected by them.

    If there is one time I felt most inadequate in dealing with a pastoral situation it is when I had to deal with a woman who, in addition to being present at Sunday Mass, and often on a weekday, supported many other parish activities but was in a “second” marriage.. Throughout her many years of living in this ” irregular” situation she did not attempt to approach Holy Communion and suffered personal grief/sadness because of that fact. In so far as any one could judge, she was impeccable in her conduct, in every other respect. (She had, for reasons I do not know, either didn’t seek to get an annulment, or has been denied one.)

    Overnight this woman was diagnosed with terminal cancer and within a matter of weeks she had died. There was no question at all that she and her partner would be living as brother and sister, as her health alone would dictate that.

    I sought advise from the priest who oversaw The Marriage Tribunal, in my Diocese, as to what I could offer her sacramentally. I assumed in, in good faith, she might be reconciled to The Church formally, and receive all The Sacraments. He said, in effect, not whilst she was still conscious!

    I possibly found this “advice” harder to take than she did!

    That woman alone, and what I witnessed in her life, and the fact that to the end she lived with the dual consequences of being divorced and remarried, and being truly in love with her new partner, whilst carrying much personal pain, without complaint, makes me shudder at the thought eternal truths could be watered down, or that, in some way her limited integration into the life of The Church cannot be mirrored, and supported, in some way in the lives of others.

    That, as with her, would mean that Holy Communion is not an option, but some tangible involvement in the life of The Church should be possible.

    This post was prompted because today Rorate Caeli have published a response by Bishop Schneider to AL, and it is brilliant, and I would, in some way wish to echo most of what he says.

    Editor: thank you for this serious and thoughtful contribution, although your apparent acceptance of certain principles which go against the indissolubility of marriage, is worrying. I did ask others not to respond when you got round to submitting your thoughts on AL, in case we ended up going round in circles, but I will withdraw that request now, in case others do wish to comment. I am appalled at the priest who advised you not to administer the Last Rites, in the circumstances you describe. That is shocking. It makes MUCH less sense to wait until a person is UNconscious than while she was conscience, as then she is accepting the need for reconciliation, repentance etc. Anyway, perhaps others will see a reason to refuse the sacraments in that case, but I certainly can’t. Finally, as it happens, I’ve just read Bp Schneider’s commentary on AL, the official English translation approved by him and published by Voice of the Family (I posted the link earlier) and it is, as you say, brilliant. We agree on something, at last! And something that is very important, because Bp Schneider actually demolishes AL! Deo gratias!

  62. Fr. Arthur,

    On this occasion I was also touched by your comment. I was particularly annoyed by the priest who refused the Last Rites to this woman while she was still conscious. Our Lord gives us all the opportunity right up to the last breath in our body to turn to Him and be saved, no matter what our lives have been, such is His infinite mercy. It is a great pity the priest in question forgot that essential truth when it mattered most to that poor soul, assuming of course that she was prepared at that point in time to repent of the adulterous union she had entered into so many years before. You see, emotions aside, we all must deeply regret our transgressions against the divine law if we truly hope to receive mercy. As a priest you of all people will know that past as well as present mortal sins must be deeply detested and repented of. As things stood in this case, it seem this lady was ready to be reconciled to God and should have been given the opportunity to make her peace with Him and receive the great consoling Sacrament of Extreme Unction. It grieves me to learn that she was denied this merciful act. Still, Our Lord reads the heart and we may only hope that hers was true and that He Himself made up for the failing of His priest.

    I don’t think any of us, conscious as we all are of our own human weaknesses and falls, would ever deny that people get caught up in all kinds of situations in their lives that are harmful to themselves and others. Divorce and remarriage, irregular unions, etc., are amongst the most common of these tragedies. Emotions are involved and so it is never an easy thing for a priest to insist that they must be subdued in favour of the divine law. We all get emotionally involved in the troubles of family and friends, or even sometimes strangers whose plight touches us.

    But then we have to ask ourselves what was the emotional turmoil Our Blessed Lord suffered in the Garden when our sins were presented in all their ugliness before His mind, as well as the suffering He was about to endure to redeem us from them. His emotional turmoil was such that He sweated blood from every pour of His Sacred Body, and yet still He fulfilled the will of His Father and sacrificed Himself for us.

    How can we then claim that emotional considerations should take precedence in these cases of divorced and remarried couples or of those in irregular relationships, especially when those who enter into such relationships do so in the knowledge that they offend against God? Our Lord was innocent of sin but resisted all human emotion to spare Himself, yet those who do commit very serious mortal sins think that because their sin is longstanding and difficult to correct they should be dispensed from having to do penance and rectify their state. We live in times where the gravity of sin is largely forgotten. Our supernatural understanding has become so dimmed in these times that many have become blind to the gravity of mortal sin in God’s eyes.

    One single mortal sin committed by our first parents Adam and Eve was sufficient to close the gates of heaven to all mankind and required that the Son of God become incarnate and suffer the most horrendous death to redeem us in justice and re-open those gates. “You were bought at a great price,” said St. Paul, and yet we now find ourselves in the tragic situation today where mortal sins are not only committed with regularity but often with no sign of remorse or willingness to do what it takes to put matters right. Everyone wants the crown but no one wants the cross by which it is won.

    This is how the Church has always viewed matters of morality. It is not sufficient that people regret sinful unions while seeking at the same time to excuse their continuation on the grounds of emotional bonds. That’s not supernatural sorrow, it is self pity.

    God, as we know, is all merciful, and yet He does not dispense any soul from the obligation upon repentance of amending their lives, however hard it may be. His grace is always there to help us through.

    Too many people are inclined to forget that God has foreseen all the arguments and all the emotional human turmoil, and yet does not dispense anyone from His divine law in these moral matters. The choice is always clear, especially at the outset of these relationships. We choose God and His Commandments or we choose ourselves and our passions. It has always been the same choice for human beings and it always will be, no matter what mortal sin we are tempted to. Do we choose God or ourselves? That’s why grace is so important and why those in long term irregular unions become, in many cases, hardened in their sin, seeking to excuse rather than rectify their offences against God.

    In fine, none of us is without sympathy for the situations others get themselves into, often through weakness and/or emotional instability. Nevertheless, Our human sympathy must never be permitted to obscure, much less trump, the divine law of God. I think we would unanimously accept that we are not more charitable than God, nor more merciful, nor more understanding and sympathetic to human miseries. But is it the case today that some within the Church, who seek to play down the ugliness of mortal sin and the offence it represents before the divine majesty, think themselves more just than God? It seems from recent noises emanating from Rome and elsewhere that there is a definite tendency in this direction. The Church has not been wrong all these past centuries when insisting upon the divine law, despite what some today insinuate. A doctrine of mercy without justice is simply an invitation to licensciousness. Martin Luther was the first to preach it.

    • Athanasius,

      Well said.

      And here’s some very encouraging news for us here Glaswegians. Father Mark Morris of the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish, spoke out clearly, in his homily, to correct the errors in AL on the Sunday following the release of the document on Friday 8th April. Then, wait for this, instead of thanking God for sending them a faithful priest, around half a dozen parishioners walked out. When he gave the same homily in the Sacred Heart parish in Bridgeton, one person walked out at the end. Pseudo-Catholics, Catholics in name only.

      I’m told that Father wrote about this on Twitter, so it’s out there in the public domain, but I’m not on Twitter and can’t find it when I Google,so If anyone else is a Twitterati, please post a link so we can at least read the posts even if those of us, like moi, who refuse to become Twits, can’t comment!

      I think it’s very good news, though, and hope that other priests follow his courageous example. It really shouldn’t take courage to defend the Faith but it does for priests who risk being labelled “difficult” when the Catholics in name only start lodging complaints about them.

      That’s why we need more and more priests to follow Father Morris’s example – there’s safety in numbers – and we need the bishops to speak out clearly on this. Who remembers the mystery blogger who came on here to tell us that Archbishop Tartaglia had told a meeting of priests that if the synod continued in the same vein that it has begun, he “may not be archbishop any more”? Well, the prelates who have already spoken out are saying that AL is even worse than the original submissions, so let Archbishop Tartaglia speak out now, without apology.

      Bishop Robson’s tweets, if you recall, contained links to critical analyses of AL, but while that serves a purpose, it is not enough. He needs to say that he AGREES with those analyses and he needs to speak out clearly, to prevent the further growth in numbers of Catholics in name only in his diocese.

      We need the bishops to speak out. We need the priests to speak out. NOW!

      Father Morris has our support and admiration 500%. I’m sure I can speak for all of us here, when I say that. A minority of his parishioners don’t appreciate his words, his fidelity to the Faith. That’s because they’re not really Catholics at all. They are, how can I put it… oh yes… Catholics in name only.

      • Editor,

        That’s fantastic news about Father Morris. What a great priest. I do hope others follow his example but I won’t be holding my breath. There’s not a lot of evidence of heroism in the clergy these days, most seem to be laying low about AL, which is all the more reason to be thanking God for Father Morris. Count me in on that 500% support and admiration, definitely!

        • Thank you for that, Michaela – I hope and pray that other priests/bishops DO follow Fr Morris’s example, and that they do so without delay. One lives and one hopes, as one lives and one breathes.. Doesn’t one? 😀

          • One does indeed. I’ve been wonderiñg if anything was said in the ‘new’ ICKSP and FSSP parishes in Shrewsbury and Lancaster, or by some of the ‘traditionalist’ priests in England (e.g. the Oratorians) that come up for praise from time to time on this blog.

      • Bravo Father Morris! If only there were more priests with his faith and courage. Too many are going along with this pope and will do until the bishops speak out. They are career priests so will always follow the line of their bishop, IMHO.

  63. Well I think Fr. Morris is a hero. It is so difficult to find a way through this awful modernist maze, and, to hear a faithful priest like Fr. Morris speak out, is sooo heartening. Thank you Father and God bless you.

    • Christina,

      It will, indeed, be interesting to learn what the ICKSP and FSSP parish priests say about AL – it would be hugely disappointing if they remain silent. The time has come for the clergy to stand up and speak out. If they don’t, it will be a scandal.

      Helen,

      The news of Fr Morris’s homilies on the subject of AL is, indeed, heartening. I’ve not been able to trace the Twitter feed in which he is apparently taken to task by critics, so if anyone can post a link to it, that would be of interest.

      • Editor,
        I wonder if Fr.Morris has/would consider contributing here. HE doesn’t keep silent.

        Come to think of it, the words “One of the ways of participating in another’s sin is BY SILENCE” come to mind.

        • Gerontius,

          Father Morris has NOT kept silent. That’s the point. It would be great if he contributed here, but the fact that he speaks out in his own parish is not to be under-estimated. Very few do and so the laity is left thinking there is nothing wrong, and that folks like us are agin the pope for the sake of it.

          there’s a very interesting article this morning on the blog, One Peter Five – it concludes with this exhortation:

          “Each individual cardinal, as well as each bishop and each priest is now called to preserve in his field of authority the Catholic Sacramental Order and to confess it publicly. If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order.” Read source – AL will split the Church

          • Editor,

            Yes a very interesting article indeed and gratifying to know that the 1P5 article was written by a German lady, Frau Maike Hickson.

            “Each individual cardinal, as well as each bishop and each priest is now called to preserve in his field of authority the Catholic Sacramental Order and to confess it publicly. If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order.

            By the way, some the comments agreeing with her are ferocious!

            These lyrics from the Simon & Garfunkel hit song “The Sound Of Silence”
            (Released: 1964) seem somewhat appropriate.

            People hearing without listening, People writing songs that voices never share. And no one dare. Disturb the sound of silence.

            Again – The words, “One of the ways of participating in another’s sin is BY SILENCE” come to mind.

          • Editor,

            I agree. It would be great if he contributed to the blog but it shows more courage to speak out in a parish where you cannot hide behind a username. God bless him!

            • Petrus,

              Well said. Father Morris has been subject to lots of criticism in his parish – I know that from lay people who are involved in his parish; yet he won’t back down. He still preaches the Faith, whole and entire. He’s such a gentle person, but clearly a very strong character with very strong faith. If only we had more like him in Glasgow. If only.

              • Editor, the problem is that some of Fathers critics might try to cause trouble for him. I remember a few years ago there was a Jesuit PP in Lerwick who gave a sermon explaining why women could never become priests (and before anyone asks, no he didn’t use our dear Editor as an example.) This angered some of his parishioners who complained to the Bishop of Aberdeen, who went by the name of Conti, and the priest was removed from the parish and ended up going to stay at the Jesuit House in Edinburgh.

  64. Editor

    I agree that Fr. Morris is one of those oasis in the desert kinds of priest. He is faithful to Our Lord and the Church, and he defends the truth no matter what. When you spoke of those who left the church following Father’s criticism of AL, I was reminded of the Gospel account of those who abandoned Our Lord when He spoke of the necessity of eating His body and drinking His blood for salvation. Fr. Morris is in very good company, God bless him.

    • Athanasius,

      Here is a discussion on Twitter – see how Fr M holds his own brilliantly against the sedevacantis novusordowatch bunch (of loonies!)

      I’m puzzled at the above link – it’s not the way it opened for me when I received it by email. Not sure what is going on but there is an excellent exchange between Fr M and the NOW bunch and he wins, hands down. It must be in there somewhere…

      • Editor

        Twitter frustrates me because I don’t like it or use it as a medium for communication or exchange. I do wish people would stop using it.

        You’re right, though, Fr. Morris silences his critics with just a few short but pointed remarks. Well done Fr. Morris.

  65. Editor,

    We need the bishops to speak out. We need the priests to speak out. NOW!

    In fact, those who don’t speak out will inevitably find themselves caught between a rock (Francis – pun intended) and a hard place, i.e. the laity who will surely start demanding the sort of “mercy” called for by their “extenuating sexual circumstances,” and who, if they fail to receive said “mercy,” will certainly go caterwauling as far up the hierarchy as they can go.

    So one way or another, the clerical silence will be rewarded! And with an entirely different sort of “mercy.”

    • I took a few minutes to post a comment on 1P5 here this morning.
      Seems people are still agonising over how to keep the Faith in the face of AL, so I mentioned (yet again) abandoning the novus ordo Mass for the traditional Mass, preferably in SSPX chapels…

      It’s an interesting article because the person quoted “John” is frustrated at all the talk of “hardline” preaching about marriage, his rationale being that it’s too late now. I paraphrase of course, but worth a read.

  66. I took a few minutes to post a comment on 1P5 here this morning.

    Seems people are still agonising over how to keep the Faith in the face of AL, so I mentioned (yet again) abandoning the novus ordo Mass for the traditional Mass, preferably in SSPX chapels…

    It’s an interesting article because the blogger quoted in the article (“John”) is frustrated at all the talk of “hardline” preaching about marriage, his rationale being that it’s too late now. I paraphrase of course, but worth a read.

  67. Quito ” And those who should speak out will remain silent” Thats where we are now,and Akita to follow

  68. Archbishop Forte has in fact revealed a “behind the scenes” [moment] from the Synod: “If we speak explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried,” said Archbishop Forte, reporting a joke of Pope Francis, “you do not know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly, do it in a way that the premises are there, then I will draw out the conclusions.

    http://www.onepeterfive.com/pope-speaking-plainly-communion-divorced-messy/

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Thank you for that link to the OnePeterFive (IP5) blog item on Archbishop Forte, which I read yesterday, without raising an eyebrow, I have to say. We know that the entire Synod process was shrouded in deceit and double-dealing, so no big surprise there, really – although shocking.

      And now, at last, we have the neo-Catholics wakening up, laughably to the point where they, like people who have just realised it’s time for breakfast, announce, with due solemnity, that “it’s time for a Catholic resistance movement.”

      Breaking News, Mr Smeaton & Company – we’ve had a Catholic resistance movement since the dawn of Vatican II, made up of those Catholics, ordained (think SSPX) and lay (think The Remnant, Catholic Family News and other traditional groups, ourselves, the smallest cog in the wheel, included, albeit a fair bit later in the day, since 1999 to be precise.)

      Still, it’s never TOO late, as the saying goes, so welcome aboard to all those Catholics for whom Papa Francis is a step too far down the Modernist route trod by the post-Vatican II popes. Click here to reach the IP5 report

  69. Here’s something just arrived in my inbox – to be honest, I’ve not had time to read it myself, but looks very interesting given that the headline is Cardinal Burke on Martyrdom for the Faith in our times. I’m guessing (hoping!) that he means the kind of martyrdom that doesn’t involve blood-shedding. I never like it when people describe me as a devout Catholic but I do own up to being a VERY devout coward…

    This thread is now too lengthy, so we continue to discuss AL
    here

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