USA Election: Pro-Life Priest Forced To Resign From Trump Advisory Boards…

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Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone has resigned from advisory positions in the reelection campaign of President Donald Trump. The priest withdrew at the direction of Church authorities, he told CNA Friday.

“I’ve been requested by the competent ecclesiastical authority not to have an official title/position on the advisory boards. So, as a priest in good standing, I’ve followed that request,” Pavone told CNA July 24, in response to questions about his role in the Trump campaign.

In January, Pavone was appointed co-chair of the Pro-Life Voices for Trump coalition, and in April was announced as a member of the Catholics for Trump advisory board; the priest headlined that month an online kickoff event for the Trump Catholic group. Both groups are organized as part of the Trump campaign. Pavone was also a co-chair of the Trump pro-life coalition in 2016.

Pavone’s role in a political campaign was unusual for a priest. Members of the clergy require permission to “have an active part in political parties,” according to the Church’s canon law.

In April, Pavone told CNA that he did not believe himself to need permission for campaign involvement because he considered Trump’s reelection to be a matter of urgency. “I’m not going to ask anybody’s permission to go scream that the house is on fire,” he said at the time.

But on Friday, Pavone said that he had “been asking for permission to serve on these advisory boards” when he was “requested” to resign from them.

Pavone did not indicate what authorities had directed him to resign from the Trump campaign. In 2005 Pavone was incardinated in the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, when he transferred to that diocese from the Archdiocese of New York with plans to begin a pro-life religious order of priests. Those plans did not materialize, and Pavone found himself at odds with Bishop Patrick Zurek, soon after the bishop was installed in 2008.

In 2011, the dispute between Pavone and Zurek became public, after the priest was recalled to the diocese and suspended by the bishop. Pavone appealed to the Vatican, and the suspension was eventually lifted in 2012.

In April, the priest told CNA that his relationship with Zurek remained rocky, describing communication with his bishop as “dysfunctional,” and saying that he was in the process of transferring to a new diocese.

The Diocese of Amarillo has not responded to repeated requests from CNA for clarity about Pavone’s political activity or ecclesiastical status, including requests to clarify whether he has faculties to minister publicly as a priest.

Pavone told CNA Friday that he remains incardinated in the Amarillo diocese, “but my transfer has been canonically completed to a different bishop who has good will toward me and my work.” He declined to name that diocese, saying that “the announcement of what diocese I’m in now is up to the same ecclesiastical authority to make.”

While Pavone is no longer part of the Catholics for Trump coalition, the group drew attention on Friday when it announced that author and YouTube commenter Taylor Marshall would join the Catholics for Trump advisory board.

Pavone’s role in the 2016 Trump campaign sparked considerable controversy in the Church. Ahead of the election the priest filmed a video at the Priests for Life headquarters, urging support for Trump. The video was filmed with the body of an aborted baby laid before Pavone on what appeared to be an altar.

Soon after video’s release, Zurek said he would open an investigation into the incident, calling it “against the dignity of human life” and “a desecration of the altar,” and adding that “the action and presentation of Father Pavone in this video is not consistent with the beliefs of the Catholic Church.”

While the diocese has not announced the results of that investigation, Pavone claims that he has been “cleared of the past complaints/investigations/disciplinary actions by the bishop of Amarillo. That chapter is closed.”

Pavone said that while he will no longer occupy a position in the Trump campaign “nothing has changed in my advocacy for the president, given that the Democrats do indeed pose a grave threat to ‘the rights of the Church’ and ‘the common good,’ a point I’ll be making constantly between now and November 3.”

“Any cleric who doesn’t see that point has his head in the sand or in a Democrat echo chamber,” the priest added.

Pavone is not the only priest in recent U.S. history to make headlines for involvement in an election.

In 2008, Chicago priest Fr. Michael Pfleger drew attention for appearing as part of a “People of Faith for Obama” coalition during then-Senator Barack Obama’s primary battle against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Pfleger’s bishop, Cardinal Francis George, said at the time that “while a priest must speak to political issues that are also moral, he may not endorse candidates nor engage in partisan campaigning.”      Source

Comment: 

Is a priest who is promoting the pro-life message, and encouraging Catholics to vote for a candidate who will protect the unborn, the kind of political involvement [of clergy] prohibited in Canon Law?  

China Imposes Totalitarian Rule on Hong Kong: Goal To World Governance Closer?

Hong Kong police have arrested more than 180 protesters on the first day of life under the controversial national security laws imposed by Beijing, as China confirmed that some suspects could be extradited to the mainland under the new rules.

The city’s police force said the arrests were for offences including some under the new laws. On the 23rd anniversary of the handover from Britain to China, crowds defied a ban on protests and gathered on the streets of the busy shopping district Causeway Bay, where there were large numbers of riot police.

“Liberate Hong Kong!”, “Oppose the black police,” many shouted, in a reference to corruption. Some held up black placards emblazoned with the message: “Oppose the bad national security law.”

A Twitter user reported that veteran pro-democracy lawmaker Lee Cheuk Yan was dragged down from a podium by police, who also pepper-sprayed dozens of journalists at the scene.

On Wednesday afternoon Hong Kong police made their first arrest since the law came into force. Police said on Twitter that a man was arrested for holding a Hong Kong independence flag in a protest, which it said violated the new law.  Read more here

Comment: 

Mention China’s goal of dominating the world through authoritarian force, and wait to be accused of being a conspiracy theorist.  Well, China wasted no time in imposing its totalitarian rule on Hong Kong – and remember, this is not a country that “merely”  imprisons dissenters;  they are first tortured – and are lucky if they escape with their lives.

In the UK parliament today, Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary, was upbraided by the opposition for the British Government’s policy of putting trade with China above vital issues of national security and human rights. Pigeons are coming home to roost now – as they will, not only in the UK but across the world, if politicians and people alike don’t wake up and smell the danger of listening to a word that comes from the evil Chinese Communist Government and its partner in crime, the World Health Organisation.  Note the desperation of the WHO to stop the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, warning of a second wave. Do you hear that noise?  It’s an alarm bell which should be ringing in your head and the heads of anyone with ears to hear, to cite the Gospel (e.g. Matt 11:15).

And what might Pope Francis be thinking now about his scandalous relationship with China, complicit in their evil anti-religion policies.  No question mark there, because it seems clear enough that he supports that regime.  He may issue a superficial expression of “concern” about the “disturbances” on the streets of Hong Kong but not, I suspect, much more.  Whatever, his support for the Chinese Communist regime is a source of monumental scandal.  That is a fact. 

What we are witnessing in Hong Kong is chilling.  Not just for the people of Hong Kong, God help them, but for the rest of the world, including the UK.   Or is that thought to be classified as a “conspiracy theory”?     

Marxism Failed – that’s the good news… 

Comment: 

Why, given that it always creates totalitarian states, does Marxism continue to draw the young – because it does attract the young. 

That, to continue from the headline, is the bad news…

I know of students who are committed to studying Marx and who identify themselves as Socialists.  What’s the draw? 

Our Lady appeared at Fatima precisely to warn against the spread of Communism, yet we have bishops (and now a Pope) who are implicitly, if not explicitly singing from the same Marxist hymn sheet – er… to coin a phrase.   Why? 

What can we say  – in a few short words, a soundbite, almost –  to draw them closer to a realization that it is Christ – not Marx – who is the answer to all the problems and mysteries of life… 

Share  your thoughts…   

19/6: Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart! 

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus…

n 1673, a French Visitandine (Visitation) nun named Margaret Mary Alacoque had a private revelation of Jesus, in which he asked the Church to honour his Most Sacred Heart.

In particular, Jesus gave to St. Margaret Mary 12 specific promises made to all who venerated and promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary, “Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love … I promise you that My Heart shall expand Itself to shed in abundance the influence of Its Divine Love upon those who shall thus honour It, and cause It to be honoured.”

The entire purpose of this devotion is to draw a person closer to the heart of Christ. If a person spreads devotion to the Sacred Heart, it is natural for him or her to be closer to God. The moment that this devotion is observed in a superstitious manner, neglecting the need to live a virtuous life, all bets are off and Jesus’ promises are null and void.

Jesus wants us to rest on his heart, like St. John, and the Sacred Heart devotion is an opportunity for us to encounter him more than just on Sundays and to deepen our love of him.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart Devotion

I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
I will establish peace in their homes.
I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
Sinners will find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
I will bless every place in which an image of my heart is exposed and honoured.
I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.  Source

Comment: 

In the past, we’ve discussed the 12 Promises of Our Lord to all who venerate and promote devotion to His Sacred Heart.  We’ve compared “favourites”, so to speak.  I’ve probably quoted a very close friend of mine who told me that it was only when she read the above promises and undertook to spread this devotion in her own home, and wherever possible outside, that she experienced a change in herself which she attributes to Christ’s promise that lukewarm souls shall become fervent.  She certainly became fervent:  she changed from being a lukewarm Sunday Catholic to being devoted to the Faith and fervent in many areas of Catholic life – not least in her active support for Catholic Truth. 

So, share your thoughts about the 12 Promises, as well as posting your favourite prayers and hymns – all to honour the Sacred Heart of Jesus on this lovely Feast.   A very happy Feast day to one and all !  

11 June: Happy Feast of Corpus Christi…

                             
Panis angelicus
Bread of Angels 

fit panis hominum;
Is bread for all mankind;
dat panis coelicus
that bread of Heaven

figuris terminum;
ends symbols

o res mirabilis!
O wonder! Miracle! 

Manducat Dominum
This Body of the Lord will nourish

pauper, pauper
even the poorest
servus et humilis.
and most lowly servants

pauper, pauper
even the poorest

servus et humilis.
and most lowly servants

Comment: 

Discuss relevant issues, such as the denial of Communion on the tongue to an elderly woman at the Fatima Shrine, reported on 9 June, at Lifesitenews.  Then,  as always on devotional threads, share your own favourite hymns, prayers, stories and experiences of associated miracles. 

A very happy Feast of Corpus Christi to all our readers and bloggers.   

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 😀 

Lent – Time To Prepare For Death… 

Comment: 

I remember as a young person hearing the priest exhort us to make a good Lent because “for someone in this congregation it will be their last Lent.”  And he was always right. 

Certainly, the obvious time of year to examine our sinful ways has to be the penitential season of Lent which begins today, Ash Wednesday.  The clue is in those sobering words which the priest says as he places the ashes on our forehead:  “Remember, soul, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.”

Trying to find something imaginative to post here, I visited a site listing one hundred possible Lenten penances, every one of which began with the words “Give up…”  Chocolate was on that list.   Can you believe it? 

Seriously, small sacrifices are, of course, important,  but is there another angle?   All ideas welcome…  

Reminder:  we always close to blog to comments for the duration of Holy Week. 

Coronavirus Connected To Fatima?

From Rorate Caeli – What does a Catholic bishop do when government orders the end of gatherings in times of Coronavirus? This:

Northern Italy is in a state of semi-lockdown due to the spread of the current most dangerous strain of the Coronavirus, as large public gatherings have been forbidden for several days in most of the regions — including Lombardy, Veneto, Liguria, Piedmont, CEmilia-Romagna.

Since some of the local “ordinanze” (decrees) include the prohibition of “religious” gatherings, and getting ahead of the public authorities, several dioceses in the region have suspended religious activities.

Now, as the very high death toll in a few days (over 50 so far, in only a week) in the Islamic Shia center of Qom, in Iran, has shown, religious gatherings can indeed lead to widespread infection and high mortality rates. But what if there is a way to keep the worship of God while complying with public demands to avoid contagion?

The Bishop of Pavia, in Lombardy, Corrado Sanguineti, shows that is possible. His pastoral letter on the matter is a lesson in common sense, and in particular we call your attention to this paragraph:

While unfortunately having to suspend the celebration of the Holy Masses until further notice, I order that Churches remain open, for the personal prayer of the faithful, and I ask that, even on weekdays, priests celebrate daily Mass, behind closed doors, praying in the name of the whole community, signaling with the sound of the bells that the Eucharist is being offered for the living and the dead: even if we cannot celebrate publicly, the liturgical prayer must not fail, which for us priests is a daily appointment of life and is an inexhaustible source of grace for all the people of God. Priests must keep in touch with the faithful, and must not fail to continue their presence among the sick and the elderly in homes and welcoming structures.

Of course, private daily Masses “without the people” are a traditional practice, and well known to Traditional Catholics, but not very common among large numbers of clergy raised with the Novus Ordo, so the reminder is necessary.   Ends

Comment: 

There’s another very interesting article on the subject of the Coronavirus over at Rorate Caeli – well worth reading right through, but for now, here’s an extract from the close of the piece, where the author links the miracle of the Archangel St Michael in ending that plague with the apparition of the same Archangel at Fatima…

Pope Gregory I was canonized, proclaimed Doctor of the Church and went down in history known as the “Great”. After his death the Romans  began calling the Hadrian Mausoleum “Castel Sant’Angelo” and, in remembrance of the miracle, placed at the top of the castle, the statue of St. Michael, head of the heavenly militia, in the act of sheathing his sword. Still today in the Capitoline Museum a circular stone with foot-prints is kept, which according to tradition, had been left by the Archangel when he stood to declare the end of the plague. Also Cardinal Cesare Baronio (1538-1697), considered one of the greatest historians of the Church for the rigor of his research, confirms the apparition of the Angel on top of the castle. (Odorico Ranaldi, Annali ecclesiastici tratti da quelli del cardinal Baronio, anno 590, Appresso Vitale Mascardi, Roma 1643, pp. 175-176).

We note only that if the Angel, thanks to the appeal of St. Gregory, sheathed his sword, it means that it had been first drawn to punish the sins of the Roman people. The Angels in fact are the executors of divine punishments on people, as the dramatic vision of the Third Secret of Fatima reminds us, by calling us to repentance: “an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’”

Is the spread of the Coronavirus related in some way to the vision of the Third Secret? The future will tell us. However the appeal to penance remains of prime urgency for our age and the prime remedy to guarantee our salvation, in time and eternity. The words of St. Gregory the Great must resound again in our hearts: “What will we say of the terrible events of which we are witnesses if not that they are predictions of a future wrath? Think then dearest brothers, with extreme care to that day, correct your lives, change your habits, defeat with all your might the temptations of evil, punish with tears, sins committed” (Omelia prima sui Vangeli, in Il Tempo di Natale nella Roma di Gregorio Magno, Acqua Pia Antica Marcia, Roma 2008, pp. 176-177).

It is these words, not the dream of Amazzonia felix, that today are needed in the Church which appears the way St. Gregory described it in his times: “A very old ship, horrifically gashed; waves and rotted planks getting in everywhere; shaken everyday by a violent tempest, foreshadowing a shipwreck (Registrum I, 4 ad Ioann. episcop. Constantinop.)”. But way back then Divine Providence called forth a helmsman, who, as St. Pius X states: “amid the raging waves was able not only to dock in the harbor, but also secure the ship from future storms” (Enciclica Jucunda sane del 12 marzo 1904)Ends.

So… Is the Catholic response to the Coronavirus simply prayer and penance?  Really?  Why?