Jesuit Superior: Pope “not the chief of Church” – he’s the Bishop of Rome…

Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Jesuits, said in an interview Monday that Pope Francis consciously calls himself the Bishop of Rome, instead of using grander titles.    

“Very frequently we forget that the pope is not the chief of the Church, he’s the Bishop of Rome,” Fr. Sosa told EWTN in an interview Oct. 15.

“As the bishop of Rome, he has another service to do to the Church, that is, to try to [bring about] the communion of the whole Church.”

By convoking the youth synod, taking place in Rome Oct. 3-28, Francis is exercising his role as pope by bringing together a group “of his own peers” to make a “contribution to the communion of the whole Church,” Sosa said.

“Fr. Sosa is certainly correct to say that the pope is the Bishop of Rome, but it would be a mistake to infer from that title that the Holy Father is merely ‘first among equals,’” Chad Pecknold, Associate Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America, told CNA.

Pecknold told CNA that popes often and correctly speak of their “brother bishops,” but that the Petrine office is unique.

The pope “holds an office of supreme authority over every bishop in communion with him, and of course over the faithful too. It isn’t a charism of dominance but of paternal care – the popes traditionally use the title ‘servant of the servants of God.’”

Sosa said that because Pope Francis feels each bishop is responsible for his local church, this synod, in which Church leaders come together to discuss and decide church affairs, is an expression of dialogue and communion between all of the bishops.

Pecknold agreed that the world’s bishops are each truly invested with the authority to govern, teach, and minister to their own dioceses. But a bishop’s ministry must always be done in union with the pope, who, he said, “is the visible center of communion for the universal Church.”

“The worldwide college of bishops exists in what the Church calls ‘hierarchical communion’ with each other and with the head, the pope. When the we talk about authority of the college of bishops to teach or lead, the Church is always careful to emphasize that this is only possible in union with the pope, who is the head of the college,” Pecknold explained.

In his interview, Sosa also explained that the collaborative work of the synod is a work of discernment, something he said was very important to Pope Francis. The Jesuit superior said that although the concept of discernment is a key feature of Jesuit spirituality, the act of listening to the Spirit has been a part of the Church’s for a long time.
“Discernment is the way that this communion [of the universal Church] can be made and how the Church will find the structure to reflect a Church that is open to that synodality,” Sosa continued.

“Because the Church is supposed to be governed not by men but by the Spirit. So [the Synod of Bishops] is not a kind of parliament, where you have to have a majority or minority, but we all together try to listen to the Spirit. And that’s what discernment teaches us to do.”

In comments to journalists Oct. 16, Cardinal Louis Sako I, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, echoed this point: “The synod is not a political parliament, is a synod of fathers, teachers,” he said. “What can we give, what can we offer the young, the faithful?”

The Synod of Bishops, which was established by Pope St. Paul VI following Vatican Council II, was created to continue the collaborative effects of the council fathers.

The Code of Canon Law defines it as a work of “collaborative assistance” to the pope’s ministry, and stresses that it exists to “foster unity” among the bishops, including with the pope. It also states that the synod is itself a creation of papal authority, deriving its legitimacy not from the bishops attending but from the pope who called them to the session. Whether a synod session’s conclusions are deliberative or consultative is explicitly up to the pope, who decides how much of his own authority to delegate to it.

In this sense, Pecknold told CNA, it functions nothing like a parliament.

“Parliaments are political, legislative bodies,” he said.

“The Synod of Bishops exists to foster unity and to give the pope the benefit of their counsel. In that sense, their job isn’t to pass this resolution or block that one – it is to work together to advise the pope as best they can, and that is a work of communion and service, not confrontation.”  Source

Comment:

Pope Francis DID emphasise, right from the beginning, from his words on election delivered from the Vatican balcony, that he was Bishop of Rome… He has, it seems, sought to play down his papal role.  So,  the question has to be… does it matter?  Shouldn’t we applaud his humility in shying away from all things Petrine?  

Francis “Canonises” Pope Paul VI

Pope Francis has canonized Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Oscar Romero and five other saints.

This morning in St. Peter’s Square, before a crowd of about 70,000 people, Pope Francis presided over Holy Mass for the canonization of the saints while the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment is underway in the Vatican, Oct. 3-28, 2018.

He also proclaimed canonized saints Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano, Maria Caterina Kasper, Nazaria Ignazia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, and Nunzio Sulprizio.  To read entire report click here

Then click here to read a thoroughly documented commentary on “The Canonization Crisis” published on The Remnant website.

Comment:

I’d forgotten all about these canonisations until a fellow parishioner reminded me this morning after Mass.  We were talking about the widespread scandals of recent weeks and months, and she added that it was going to be all downhill from today.  I asked her “why today?”  She then reminded me that Pope Paul VI (pictured below with the six Protestant ministers whom he invited to help him create a new Mass, one that would be acceptable to our – increasingly – separated  Protestant brothers and sisters),  is now being rewarded for this scandal by “canonisation”.  Along with Archbishop Romero, advocate for the poor. I’m no expert on the life and times of Archbishop Oscar Romero, so this article is interesting – especially in its conclusion. 

     From left: A. Raymond George (Methodist), Ronald Jaspar (Anglican), 
Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian),
Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran),
  Eugene Brand (Lutheran),
Max Thurian (Ecumenical community of Taize).

Discussion point…

I NEVER refer to “Saint” John Paul II or “Saint” John XXIII.  Nor will I acknowledge “Saint Paul VI”.   Will you? 

“Brussels Laid Bare” – Special Offer…

The following extracts are from a letter from St Edward’s Press Ltd received this morning, offering special rates for readers who order the book Brussels Laid Bare by end of November. The offer has come too late to include in our November newsletter, but bloggers may wish to take advantage of it…

From St Edward’s Press…

In view of the recent events in Westminster and Mrs May’s Chequers [proposal], we are running an autumn offer which may be of interest to you. 

It concerns Marta Andreasen’s Brussels Laid Bare – a book that tells the inside, and chilling, story of what happened to the EU’s chief accountant when she tried to expose a 200 million euros fraud in the EU’s accounts.  We are offering this book at £2 off its cover price (£10 instead of £12 by post – it’s been selling so well we’ve recently had to order an extra print run.)

If you place your order by the end of November, we’ll also send you our two popular booklets for free: 101 Reasons Why We Should Leave The EU (2018 edition) and also Brexit Choices, a layman’s guide to Brexit and what the various options mean, including a Canada style agreement with the EU, as is currently in the news.  

This offer is not available to the general public and so is not available on our website at this price.  So, if you would like to take advantage, please phone one of the following numbers and process credit card details that way: 

Telephone:  01793 762417 (this business if run from home and so this line is not always answered). An alternative number which is manned during office hours is 01752 334950 – they will take messages for us to return your call.

If you prefer, you can write to Hugh Williams, St Edward’s Press, 20 Barra Close, Highworth, Wiltshire, SN6 7HX, UK OR email info@stedwardspress.co.uk

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Williams
www.stedwardspress.co.ukinfo@stedwardspress.co.uk

IVF: Legal Gender Selection Looming?

From the Mail Online…

Britain is a global leader in assisted reproduction. Four decades ago, it was a British team that pioneered in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, resulting in the birth of the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in July 1978.

Some six million births worldwide later, we continue to be at the forefront of reproductive science.  Source – Mail Online


Comment: 

The Mail Online report goes on to bemoan the fact that this supposed great “new knowledge” can be “harnessed for negative purposes” – citing the scandal of UK doctors caught by undercover reporters illegally providing gender selection. 

However, what’s the bet that what the Mail Online today thinks is “negative” and is rightly illegal,  tomorrow will be advertised as a wonderful advancement which must be allowed in law? 

After all, if couples are permitted to design their own babies in a test-tube, why not allow them to go the whole hog and choose a boy or a girl … or even a “they” from among the 72 or so genders now on offer… 

Gimme strength; that’s my opinion!  What’s yours?  And what about your priest?  Bishop?  They need to preach against this sort of attack on the natural order, to inform Catholics who are as ignorant about the (im)morality of these contemporary scientific “advancements” as everyone else.  

For the record, here is Catholic teaching in a short video presentation…

 

Not Me! Time For Men To Fight Back? 

Watching the blatantly false allegations being levelled against the American Judge (now Justice) Brett Kavanaugh, there is a growing awareness that many men, young and old,  live in fear of being falsely accused of sexual misconduct;  mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters  and aunts are, likewise, increasingly concerned for their sons, grandsons, husbands,  brothers and nephews.  Arguably, the damage being inflicted by the Me  Too movement is a price that is too high to pay for exposing what is often nothing more than sexual nuisance.  The claim that women should always be believed and that men, simply by virtue of being men, are obviously guilty whether formally charged and convicted or not, is contrary to elementary common sense, and, of course, natural justice. We don’t apply such illogical nonsense to any other alleged crime.

A “Not Me” movement to enable men to protest this new [lack of] standard,  is, surely, well overdue.  Take a look at the information in the video above to discover just SOME of the damning, highly relevant, facts that were withheld about Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine  Blasey Ford, in the recent U.S. Senate Hearings where she was treated like a heroine and he was metaphorically lynched.  Yet, her claims about the alleged sexual assault are about as credible as her claim to be afraid of flying, as the video above reveals – big time.  A movement where men are free to signal their disapproval of this new standard of justice – i.e. this now socially accepted INjustice –  where men are automatically believed to be guilty once accused – would be a  welcome antitode to the poisonous Me Too movement.  Or, perhaps you disagree? 

Youth Synod: Pope Trashes Tradition

Vatican City, Oct 3, 2018 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis began the Synod on young people Oct. 3 with a homily calling for the Holy Spirit to renew hope and dynamism in the Church.

Hope can “broaden our horizons, expand our hearts and transform those frames of mind that today paralyze, separate and alienate us from young people,” said Pope Francis.

The Synod of Bishops commenced its fifteenth ordinary general session with Pope Francis asking to begin the assembly “anointed by hope.”

“Hope challenges us, moves us and shatters that conformism which says, ‘it’s always been done like this,’” he continued.

In a historic first, two bishops from mainland China are participating in the Synod of Bishops due to the Holy See’s provisional agreement with China on the appointment of bishops in September.

One of the bishops at the synod, Bishop Giuseppe Guo Jincai of Chengde, was among the seven bishops recognized by the Vatican on Sept. 22.

“The communion of the entire Episcopate with the Successor of Peter is yet more visible thanks to their presence,” the pope said as he welcomed the delegates from China.

The Synod of Bishops is taking place over three weeks from October 3-28 and will focus on the themes of young people, the faith, and vocational discernment.

“Hope asks us to get up and look directly into the eyes of young people and see their situations,” said Pope Francis, “This same hope asks us to make efforts to reverse situations of uncertainty, exclusion and violence, to which our young people are exposed.”

More than 300 participants are gathered in Rome, including clerics and religious, as well as 49 auditors, among them 36 young people from five continents.\

“May the Spirit give us the grace to be a memory that is diligent, living and effective, that does not allow itself from one generation to the next to be extinguished or crushed by the prophets of doom and misfortune, by our own shortcomings, mistakes and sins,” Pope Francis prayed.

“Rather may it be a memory capable of enkindling our hearts and of discerning the ways of the Spirit,” he continued. “With this attitude of docile listening to the voice of the Spirit, we have gathered from all parts of the world.”

“The Holy Spirit will be the first to preserve, to keep alive and relevant, the memory of the Lord in the heart of his disciples. It is the Spirit who ensures that the richness and beauty of the Gospel will be a source of constant joy and freshness,” he said.   Source – Catholic News Agency

Comment:
“Hope challenges us, moves us and shatters that conformism which says, ‘it’s always been done like this,’” [said Pope Francis]  

What’s that, if not trashing Tradition?  Look at what happens when we STOP doing what has always been done… confusion, chaos and scandal by the bucketful.

I get the feeling that young people are going to be short-changed by this Synod, to put it mildly.  What do you think?  Will they come away from it, excited that they face the challenge of changing themselves, the challenge of holiness… or will they leave in a rebellious spirit, determined to change Christ’s Church, to fashion it in a way that allows them to live in conformity to the spirit of the world – totally opposed to the Holy Spirit, which Pope Francis invokes so freely to justify his calls to challenge Tradition, to, effectively, challenge Christ, Himself?