Pope Francis Entrusts China -“That Great Country” – to Our Lady…

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis Sunday entrusted China to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and asked people to pray for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the most populated country in the world.

“Dear Catholic brothers and sisters in China, I wish to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are an integral part, shares your hopes and supports you in trials,” Pope Francis said May 24 after the Regina Caeli prayer.

“It accompanies you with prayer for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel, the power of God for the salvation of whoever believes, can shine in you,” the pope said.

Pope Francis imparted a special Apostolic Blessing upon China for the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians. The Marian shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai, which is dedicated to Our Lady Help of Christians, remains closed on this feast after the Diocese of Shanghai suspended all pilgrimages for the month of May to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We entrust the pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church in that great country to the guidance and protection of our Heavenly Mother, so that they may be strong in faith and firm in fraternal union, joyful witnesses and promoters of charity and fraternal hope, and good citizens,” Pope Francis said.

“May Our Lady always guard you!” he added.

In his Regina Caeli address, the pope reflected on the words of Jesus recorded in Gospel of Matthew for the feast of the Ascension of the Lord: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

China is home to more than 10 million Catholics, with six million registered as members of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, according to official statistics.

The Holy See and the Chinese government signed a provisional agreement in 2018 on the appointment of bishops in the state-sponsored Church, the terms of which have still not been publicly released. In the wake of the deal, previously excommunicated bishops of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which is overseen by the Communist Party, were received into full communion with the Vatican.

A report published in 2020 by the U.S. China Commission found that Chinese Catholics suffered “increasing persecution” after the Vatican-China deal. It said the government was “demolishing churches, removing crosses, and continuing to detain underground clergy.” Priests and bishops have reportedly been detained or have gone into hiding.

Earlier this week, the Vatican revealed that Catholics in China were able to use the most popular Chinese state-monitored social media platform, WeChat, to livestream Pope Francis’ daily Mass during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is unclear whether Catholics in China were also able to watch the livestream of this Sunday Marian prayer for their country on WeChat due to the heavy censorship of all Chinese online media.

Pope Benedict XVI established the custom of praying for China on the Marian feast of Our Lady Help of Christians in 2007, and composed a prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan for the occasion.

Pope Francis entrusted to the intercession of Mary Help of Christians all Christian disciples and people of good will who are working for peace, dialogue between nations, service to the poor, and the custody of creation.

The pope also marked the fifth anniversary of publication of his environmental encyclical, Laudato si’. He said that he wrote Laudato si’ to “draw attention to the cry of the Earth and the poor.”

Pope Francis spoke during his Regina Caeli address via livestream video recorded in the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. However, for the first time in more than 10 weeks, people were allowed to be present in St. Peter’s Square when the pope appeared in the window to give a blessing.
Each person who entered the square was required to wear a face mask and security enforced social distancing for the people gathered outside of St. Peter’s Basilica, which reopened to the public on May 18.

After more than 5 million people around the world have been documented with COVID-19, the pope asked Our Lady Help of Christians to intercede “for the victory of humanity over every disease of the body, heart, and soul.”

“The feast of Ascension tells us that Jesus, although he ascended into Heaven to dwell gloriously on the right hand of the Father, is still and always among us for us to derive strength, perseverance, and our joy,” Pope Francis said.  Click here to read report at source...  [emphasis added].

Comment: 

One commentator-  publishing at the above source – writes: 

Pope Francis just sold out the entire Catholic Church in China to the atheist communist government and betrayed all those Chinese Catholics who were Tortured, Imprisoned and Martyred and are now still suffering even more. No other Pope since Jesus died on the Cross ever sold out the Catholic Church like PF did!  Something must be wrong with him for what he has done to the Catholic Church since becoming Pope…

Scots Priest Responds To Minnesota Bishops’ Decision To Re-open Churches…

Editor writes …

We are blessed in Scotland to have a few sound, traditional-leaning priests, including some who offer the traditional Latin Mass, across the Scottish dioceses.  One of these priests has written to the Bishops in Minnesota to thank them for their decision to re-open the churches in their dioceses in defiance of a state order.   Father is willing to have his name published – in fact, he was initially emphatic that I should do so – but I decided to withhold his name for reasons of prudence, not least because lay people who have approached the Scottish Bishops with pleas to re-open the churches, have not exactly received a sympathetic hearing. This from a reliable source: “I’ve heard, via several sources, that anyone who publicly, via social media, e-mail, letter or otherwise, dares to question the actions and decisions of the Scottish Bishops, gets subtly or at times aggressively pressured into keeping quiet. I understand that many hundreds of people have been in touch to express their deep concerns and to ask for an immediate reopening of Churches.
Thus, better not to risk any episcopal retribution just yet. The day is coming, fast enough, when we will all have to be prepared to stand up and be counted, with not even a courtesy nod to human respect.  For now, though, we give thanks that we do have some priests who are doing their best to keep the Faith alive at this trying time, and at least one who is prepared to speak out. Below, Father’s letter to the Bishops in Minnesota…

Letter from Scots Priest… 

Dear Archbishop Bernard and all Bishops in Minnesota,

Thank you, God Bless you, may the Holy Ghost continue to guide you and lead you for the benefit of the Body of Christ in Minnesota, and I believe, the world, for the feeding of the “sheep”, with the Sacraments/return to public celebration, and so again enabling souls to be nourished by the primary means of their salvation, the Sacraments.

Sadly, most of the shepherds have run from the gate with this wolf/fear driven deceit of the world, and gone along with the powers of the world. By doing so they are treating the Catholic Church and its members as an institution rather than the Body of Christ.

Sorry to be critical, but these Bishops have have failed in their duty to declare themselves for Christ in the presence of men, and so look after their flock.

The re-opening of your Catholic churches in the way you are doing is what is needed, is truly for the benefit of your flocks and, I hope and pray the world, and hopefully will bring other Bishops back to the Truth of how they should be shepherding their flocks.

God Bless you all.
Will be keeping you in my daily prayers.
[Name etc] 

Comments invited…  

Ascension Thursday: “I am with you always…” Pray for the Church, Urgently!

Comment: 

Our Lord’s final words on this earth were an exhortation to go out into the whole world, bringing souls into the Church, and a promise to be with His Church “…always, even to the consummation of the world.”  (Matt 28:20)

But who believes that any more?  Where are the bishops and priests today who believe they have a duty to seek converts to the Faith? Who actually believes that Christ’s promise to be with His Church always still holds good, given that the widespread apostasy (notably the manifest loss of faith in key dogmas such as the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament) is hiding in plain sight… How can we claim that Christ is still “with His  Church”?  

If so, why are bishops and priests so keen to spread false religions?  If you haven’t signed this petition to stop the public broadcast of the Muslim Call to Prayer,  please do so now, because this will not be a temporary measure for  Ramadan in Lockdown – this will remain as a permanent feature of life in those particular London boroughs and will likely spread from there to other parts of the UK.   No doubt about it. 

There’s no need to ask  whether or not Catholic clergy approve this – that’s a given.  Otherwise, what’s with all the ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue over years now? 

So, today, on this important Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven, let us pray especially for Holy Mother Church, so betrayed in our times by faithless religious leaders, even to the very top of the Church.  On this important Feast, then, we offer the following prayers for the Church and the Pope…

Almighty and Everlasting God, have mercy on Thy servant Francis our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation, that with Thy help he may ever desire that which is pleasing to Thee and accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

A PRAYER TO SAINT GREGORY VII, POPE AND CONFESSOR

O invincible defender of Holy Church’s freedom, Saint Gregory of great renown, by that firmness thou didst show in maintaining the Church’s rights against all her enemies, stretch forth from Heaven thy mighty arm, we beseech thee, to comfort her and defend her in the fearful battle she must ever wage with the powers of darkness. Do thou, in an especial manner, give strength in this dread conflict to the venerable Pontiff who has fallen heir not only to thy throne, but likewise to the fearlessness of thy mighty heart; obtain for him the joy of beholding his holy endeavors crowned by the triumph of the Church and the return of the lost sheep into the right path. Grant, finally, that all may understand how vain it is to strive against that faith which has always conquered and is destined always to conquer: “this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.” This is the prayer that we raise to thee with one accord; and we are confident, that, after thou hast heard our prayers on earth, thou wilt one day call us to stand with thee in Heaven, before the eternal High Priest, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.

Note:  although we are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass at this time, live-streamed Masses can be found if you search on YouTube.   

Coronavirus Cure: Should Catholics Refuse Forced or Unethical Vaccine?

Comment: 

A reader emailed over the weekend to express concerns about the possibility of a vaccine being produced using material from aborted babies, and she included the following extract from an email reply from an SSPX priest, to an enquiry about this subject [note: she was not the immediate recipient of the email from the priest, but a friend forwarded it to her, and she sent it on to me…]:

“…Voluntarily using a vaccine made from aborted babies is a material, remote cooperation in an abortion. The principle of double effect shows that this is a grave sin…”    [A priest of the Society of St Pius X – SSPX]

On those grounds, then, that we would be co-operating in abortion, Catholics should, surely, refuse the vaccine if it has been made using material from aborted babies. 

There are other issues, too, arising from the possibility of the Government requiring or forcing us to have the vaccine…

The following extract from The New American examines this issue. While referring to America, its thesis is also applicable to the UK:

Conditioning, Then Control

A first step toward implementing a vaccine-based ID scheme is conditioning people to accept the idea that they will need to prove their vaccination and health status before being allowed by government to engage in any activities that, heretofore, were exercised without restriction by a free people. This is perfect for the age of COVID-19, when mainstream media organs and government “experts” have worked overtime to instill extreme levels of fear into the American people, forcing them into what amounts to house arrest to fight the “war” on the virus. Now, to regain freedom, it has been suggested that people will need to prove that they have gained immunity to the virus. To this end, Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a key member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, admitted that the federal government is considering forcing citizens to use coronavirus immunity cards.
“You know, that’s possible,” Fauci told CNN. “I mean, it’s one of those things that we talk about when we want to make sure that we know who the vulnerable people are and [are] not,” he continued. “This is something that’s being discussed. I think it might actually have some merit, under certain circumstances.”   Click here to read entire article 

Share your thoughts about whether or not you would (a) accept a vaccine made from material taken from aborted babies, despite clear Catholic teaching about the immorality of doing so and (b) whether or not you would refuse a forced vaccine – that is, if the Government requires us to take the vaccine and/or decides to link having the vaccine with our freedom to engage in previously unrestricted activities.  

Finally, if there are statements from any UK bishops – or from Pope  Francis – on the concerns surrounding the ethics of a Coronavirus vaccine, please let us know in the comments below.  So far, the US Bishop in the video above seems to be the only one expressing concerns on the record – in other words, he seems to be the only Bishop proclaiming Catholic morality in the matter of the proposed vaccination programme.  If that changes, let’s record it for posterity.  Not that posterity has ever done anything for us 😀 

Are We Morally Bound To Obey Coronavirus Restrictions / Laws? 

Comment:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the duty of citizens towards the authorities in civil society:

The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” “We must obey God rather than men”:
When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.
  (# 2242)

The question here, therefore, is this:  are the Governments of the UK overstepping their authority by requiring us to accept some very serious restrictions on our personal liberty, in the name of “saving lives” – when by all accounts, the majority of those who become infected with Covid-19 recover from it? A relative of mine believes he had the virus back in January;  he was sure it was simply flu, but because it was the worst-ever flu attack he’d ever experienced, he decided to visit his doctor.  He said the doctor asked him “a strange question” – had he been in China recently!  The answer was “no” and that is where that conversation ended.  This relative – who is very elderly, in his 80s – made a full recovery.  

There is concern, therefore, that perhaps the lockdown restrictions are not only unnecessary (who quarantines the healthy?) but also too stringently enforced. The full force of the law…Really?  People stopped in the street, or pulled over in their car by the police, and asked to explain why they are outside of their home, destination etc.  Do we have to answer? Should we pay any fines imposed?  Is this a conscience issue, or would we be doing wrong to flout the State?  

Protesting the lockdown: at least the re-education camps won’t be overcrowded! 

Protestors at Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park
At last there is news today of hundreds of protesters in London objecting to the “new abnormal” and carrying signs  such as “this is not about a virus, it’s about control”. Click here to read the report… Not everyone is so easily fooled, then.  On social media, however, the reaction was predictable, with the protesters labelled “insane”.  None of the commentators seemed to realise the irony, probably because they don’t know, or have forgotten that this is the same tactic used by totalitarian regimes to quell dissent:  “insanity” sees off the temptation to protest, with the few who persist being sent off to “re-education” camps to get them thinking in tune with Government policy.  Since the lockdown began, most people have been programmed and conditioned to accept that “Government Knows Best” and so the unthinking condemnation of the protesters was really predictable after all these weeks of brainwashing.  It made me think of my telephone conversation only last night, when a long-lost cousin contacted me out of the blue to check on my well-being.  More on that shortly. Firstly, though, another telephone call to provide a little light relief – this one made me laugh heartily…

So, where was I?  Oh yes, my beloved cousin rang for a chat and, after a short walk down Memory Lane, we discussed the lockdown – and came to entirely different conclusions.  Without raising our voices or falling out, we ended up agreeing to disagree, as the saying goes – a popular saying brought into play when you know that a punch will see the cops at your door 😀  My cousin is an offline relative, so he won’t know that he’s featuring on this blog  – at least I hope not, because he’s got other cousins who are legal eagles 😀 

On every point, more or less, we disagreed.  He’s lapsed, so the Fatima relevance is lost on him – as it is lost, actually, on many, if not most, practising Catholics; goodness only knows why they think Our Lady came to warn about the spread of Communism if it were not going to happen, and now that it is happening, not to recognise it, but that’s life, I suppose… Nowt so queer as folk, as they say in Yorkshire.  Like the majority of the UK population, my aforementioned and highly esteemed cousin is of the opinion that the Government knows best, and it is our duty to behave and do what we’re told.  We had a fairly lengthy conversation, and finished with a couple of jokes, including this one which I’d never heard before, so I’ll finish with this… “The virus arrived in  Glasgow and spread all over the place, to every part of Glasgow; Springburn, Balornock, Cathcart, Rutherglen, Barmulloch…” and lots of other places, with one exception:  Bearsden.  Why not Bearsden? (where all the posh folk live) … Because it hadn’t been invited!  And on that cheerful note, we hung up. 

Comment: 

Share your experiences of conversations about the lockdown with others, neighbours, friends and family – are they all of one mind, or do any of them dissent from the “new normal”?  And please pray for my cousin – he’s not concerned about “being saved”, so let us, we, ourselves, be concerned for him…     

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!  

Faithless Scots Bishops to keep churches closed until AT LEAST 2021…

Correction:  with apologies, the headline here is misleading.  The churches are not to remain “closed” until 2021, but won’t fully reopen until a vaccine or treatment has been found, which the Bishops believe will be at least 2021 – see the article below. Special thanks to commentator Margo, for highlighting this error. 
____________________________________________________

A working group has been set up to deal with the impact coronavirus has had on the Catholic community in Scotland.
 
Parish life for Scotland’s Catholic communities is not expected to return to normal until 2021, according to the church.

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has formed a Covid-19 working group to look at how best to meet long-term pastoral needs during the pandemic.

It will aim to ensure the church is prepared for extended measures on the operation of parishes and dioceses.  Activities within parishes are expected to have some form of restriction until next year, the conference said.

Bishop Brian McGee, chairman of the group, said: “After our public masses stopped and our churches closed with almost no warning, the immediate response from our priests and parishioners across Scotland was both impressive and uplifting.

“With great ingenuity and creativity, online masses and devotions were made available throughout the country every day.

“Through this and other action, many vulnerable and lonely people continue to be supported in safe ways.

“While it will be wonderful when our parishes can reopen, we recognise that parish life cannot quickly return to normal until a vaccine or a treatment is available.

“We do not expect this to happen until at least 2021.

“This means that even when churches reopen, parish activities will still be greatly restricted, our pastoral working group hopes to identify and publicise advice or resources to help dioceses and parishes face fresh challenges in a safe manner.”

Early figures indicate high numbers of viewers are watching and downloading masses and devotions online, according to the conference. Source – The Sunday Post

Comment:

This is totally disgraceful, and manifest evidence of the lack of divine and Catholic Faith in these bishops. How insulting to effectively tell God that we have no need of him now.  [Maybe] we’ll be back fully next year.  I have no words to describe the pity I feel for them, the contempt with which their faithlessness is being viewed in Heaven.   Nobody needs a Theology Degree to know that this decision cannot possibly be pleasing to God. I won’t say any more at this point, in order to leave those  of you with greater minds than mine, and probably lots more patience than I possess, to add your thoughts.

St Andrew, Patron  Saint of Scotland, pray for us!

St Margaret, Queen of Scotland, pray for us!  

St John Ogilvie, pray for us! 

Our Lady of Aberdeen, pray for us!