Australia: Priests Facing Jail for Refusing to Break Seal of Confession…

From Lifesitenews

CANBERRA, Australia, June 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A new law in Australia requires Catholic priests in Canberra to break the sacred seal of confession to report a child-sex abuser. The law, which has drawn fierce opposition from Archbishop Christopher Prowse of Canberra, could result in faithful priests being jailed who refuse to comply.

                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

A bill passed on June 7 by the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) extends mandatory reporting of child abuse to cover churches and church activities, including the Catholic confessional. All the political parties in the Assembly supported the measure.

A  Catholic priest cannot violate the seal of the confessional, which means that he cannot repeat what he is told by a penitent confessing his or her sins, without incurring automatic excommunication. The Catholic Church teaches that confession is a sacrament, a place of encounter between the Christian and Jesus Christ. The priest who hears the confession is merely Christ’s instrument of forgiveness.

Hitherto the confessional was exempt from ACT’s reporting laws; from March 31, 2019, priests who do not report confessions regarding child abuse to the police risk prosecution.

Archbishop Prowse slammed the new law, saying “priests are bound by a sacred vow to maintain the seal of the confession. Without that vow, who would be willing to unburden themselves of their sins, seek the wise counsel of a priest and receive the merciful forgiveness of God?”

Prowse, the archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, wrote an essay in the Canberra Times last week explaining why legislating against the seal of confession will do much harm and no good.

“First, what sexual abuser would confess to a priest if they thought they would be reported?” he asked.

Prouse explained that it is the common experience of pastors that child abusers don’t confess their crimes to either priests or police. If the seal was removed, the theoretical possibility abusers might confess and be counselled to turn themselves in would be lost.

“Second, the government itself has acknowledged [with] the [Catholic] church’s ‘Truth, Justice and Healing Council… that […] it [was] difficult to see systematic abuse of the seal of confession,” Prowse wrote. “People who attend confession are sorry for their sins, indicate resolve not to sin again and seek God’s mercy. Pedophiles carry out evil and unspeakable criminal acts. They hide their crimes; they do not self-report.”

Third, he pointed out that priests do not necessarily know the identities of people who confess to them.

Fourth, he said that such a law attacks the inviolate seal of the confessional.
Originally the ACT government invited the archbishop to meet with the Attorney General to discuss the importance of both the protection of children and the seal of the confessional. However, the legislature began to debate the new bill before this meeting could take place. The archbishop decried this loss of opportunity for dialogue, pointing out that the proposed new law threatened religious freedom.

“Religious freedom is the freedom to hold a belief and, secondly, the freedom to manifest belief in community and in public, privately and individually in worship, observance, practice and teaching,” he explained.

“The government threatens religious freedom by appointing itself an expert on religious practises and by attempting to change the sacrament of confession while delivering not improvement in the safety of children,” he continued.

The new reporting laws will require priests to report allegations or offenses related to children to the ACT Ombudsman within 30 days.

Two members of the ACT Legislative Assembly thought forcing priests to break the seal of the confessional was a step in the wrong direction.

Andrew Wall, a former student of Marist College, a school notorious in Australia for child sex abuse allegations, said that while some of the child protection measures in the new law were “overdue”, he objected to its extension to the confessional.

According to the Canberra Times, Wall said forcing priests to break the confessional seal “significantly impinges on an individual’s freedom of association, freedom of expression and freedom of individual rights.”

Vicki Dunne, the second member, pointed out that a priest who breaks the seal of confession incurs an excommunication that can be lifted only by the pope. In addition, it would undermine Catholics’ trust in the “sacred, sacramental and sacrosanct” rite.

“We need to stop and think twice before we pass legislation that requires Catholic priest to break the seal of the confession,” she had warned.

Comment: 

I have to admit, golden beaches, beautiful homes and sunny climate notwithstanding, I’ve never felt the slightest desire to visit Australia, let alone live there. Now it’s on my list of countries in which I will never set foot.  I mean, the sheer nerve of the  grand-sounding numpties at the ‘Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory’ to threaten  jail for Catholic priests who adhere to a law of the Church which is entirely rooted in and bound up in divine law, as expressed in the above image, is breathtaking.

Would Australia dare to interfere with – and legislate against – any other religion, as it has outlawed a sacrosanct tenet of Catholicism?  It is, of course, a stupid and unworkable law, as outlined in the Church’s response above but it is revealing of the bigotry and nastiness of the Australian lawmakers that they would even think of passing such an evil law … the weather may be sunny over there in Aussie-land but they can keep it.   I’ll not be visiting Australia – ever.  What about you?  

Informed Choice: Should Catholics Campaign For Televised Abortions? 

 From Herald Scotland…

The Catholic Church has opened a “pro-life office” in Scotland to co-ordinate a campaign against abortion in a move described by pro-choice campaigners as a “backlash” after the Republic of Ireland voted to overturn a ban.

One of the country’s most senior Catholic clerics, Archbishop Leo Cushley (pictured below), cut the ribbon at the campaign hub in Edinburgh three days after the referendum in the Republic which delivered a landslide victory for the repeal side , by 66.4 per cent to 33.6 per cent…

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Herald, Archbishop Cushley said the new pro-life office at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh would aim to build a “democratic consensus” around “legislative change” in Scotland, where it is legal to end a pregnancy during the first 24 weeks...

Archbishop Cushley said: “One of the many lessons of the recent referendum in Ireland is that those of us who seek to promote a culture of life have a distance to go in terms of winning over hearts and minds to the pro-life cause and that, really, is one of the key tasks of our new pro-life office.
  Source – Herald Scotland

Comment:

If  people see the reality of abortion – if they see the “products” of abortion – arms, legs, heads, various organs – lying in dishes in what has been, for that baby boy or girl, a death camp, the pro-lifers will soon “win over hearts and minds”.  Until then, the pro-life organisations will go on paying for premises and glossy brochures (not to mention salaries) that make not one jot of difference to those same hearts and minds.   

Various operations have been televised – click here for a list – so why not abortions?

Instead of worrying about presentation and not upsetting anyone, the pro-life activists must come to realise that it is ONLY by upsetting the pro-abortion lobby and the wider public that they will have any chance of ending the State-sanctioned murder of the unborn  in the UK.

Just think of the publicity, the headlines, the TV interviews, the radio discussions, if, instead of announcing a new office, Archbishop Cushley had announced the launching of an important and very serious campaign to give women genuine choice by allowing us all to see abortions being performed. Tact and Diplomacy hasn’t worked, and it won’t work now.  In fact, it never works. Just ask Pontius Pilate…

 

Pentecost Sunday: Vatican Prohibition On Communion in the hand Enforced

Click on photo to view video clip…

On Pentecost Sunday several priests refused to give Holy Communion in the hand in Vatican St Peter’s Basilica. 

They put Holy Communion as it should be on the tongue.
[Ed: except in one case where the choir member refused to accept the priest’s insistence on the tongue, pointing to his cupped hand.]

Twitter-User CatholicSat explained (May 25) that there was an increasing number of abuses over the recent months.

Therefore priests have been reminded again that Communion in the hand is prohibited in the Vatican. 

Comment: 

Should the priest have refused to give in to the choir member who insisted on receiving Communion in the hand? 

13 May: Feast of Our Lady of Fatima!

“The Message of Fatima
imposes an obligation on the Church”.… Pope John Paul II

FAQ…  from the Fatima Center website

1. What is a “consecration”?

A: It is a ceremony by which a person, group of persons, or thing is set apart as sacred and dedicated to the service of God or another sacred purpose.

2. What is meant by “the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”?
A: At Fatima, on July 13, 1917, Our Lady told Sister Lucy that “God is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Communions of reparation and for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart … In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

Our Lady’s request is very simple: Russia—the fount of so much evil in the 20th Century—must be set apart and made sacred by its consecration to the Mother of God.

3. Why is it necessary to consecrate Russia in particular?
A: Because God wills it. As Our Lady told Sister Lucy at Fatima: “Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation …”

And as Sister Lucy disclosed in her published memoirs and letters, Our Lord Himself confided to her that He would not convert Russia unless the consecration were done, “Because I want My whole Church to recognize that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that it may extend its cult later on, and put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.”

Sister Lucy has explained that because Russia is a well-defined territory, the conversion of Russia after its consecration to the Immaculate Heart would be undeniable proof that the conversion resulted from the consecration and nothing else. The establishment in the world of devotion to the Immaculate Heart would thus be confirmed by God Himself in the most dramatic manner.  Read rest of the Frequently Asked Questions about the Consecration of Russia here

Click here to view all the Catholic Truth videos on our website

Are Catholics Naïve About The Media?

Comment:

Nobody trusts the media today – apparently opinion polls show that journalists and politicians are neck and neck in sharing the public’s dismal opinion about their integrity.  Yet, generally speaking Catholics seem to believe whatever they are told, judging by recent high profile controversies. The Catholic hierarchy generally go along with the popular view, as fed to us via the media. Is this naiveté or charity?

 

Orthodox Vs Traditional Faith…

 

Catholics will please God by holding to true beliefs and correct moral norms.   The Mass you attend is secondary…

Editor, Catholic Truth writes…

I keep finding myself in conversations with diocesan Catholics – defined simply as those who attend the new Mass  – who consider that being orthodox in doctrine and morals is the most important thing today, not which Mass we attend.  The point is always made that, for those brought up in the new Mass, with no alternative, it’s all they have, and therefore, surely the most important thing is to be wholly orthodox, stick to right beliefs and moral norms.  When I ask if they go along with ecumenical events, I get a variety of responses tolerant of through to positive about ecumenical activities. To date, I’ve never met with an outright denunciation of ecumenism. 

Ditto, these Catholics seldom denounce the false apparitions at Medjugorje, instead focusing on the adherents in their circles who have experienced “conversions” and vocations, including priestly ordinations.  All wonderful people. 

I’m told too, that “traditionalists” need to stop talking so much about the Mass and focus on God more.  Don’t go on the “attack” in conversation with diocesan Catholics right away, to ask if X attends the old or new Mass – speak about God first.

My answers to the above have not been successful in changing hearts and minds Help!

Francis: “the most wayward pontificate in the history of the papacy” – Lawyer…

DEERFIELD, IL, April 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Approximately 100 Catholics from the United States, Latin America, and Europe attended the 2018 Catholic Family News conference in northern Illinois last weekend.

Advertised as “The Weapons of Our Warfare,” the three-day long gathering at a Hyatt Regency hotel just outside Chicago featured talks by some of the most knowledgeable laymen and clergy engaged in the battle for and preservation of the Catholic faith, including renowned Church historian Roberto de Mattei.

The conference, which focused on Pope Francis and the family, was the first hosted by Catholic Family News, a Traditional Catholic newspaper, since 2016. John Vennari, the paper’s longtime editor who managed the organization since its founding in 1994, passed away after a long battle with cancer in April of 2017.

The crisis in the family

In his opening address, editor Matt Gaspers paid homage to his predecessor, assuring his audience that the fight for Tradition will continue. Gaspers then delivered a well-sourced, detailed speech, quoting Sr. Lucia and Our Lady in an effort to contextualize attacks presently being waged against the family.

“Although it is painful to witness this terrible crisis in the Church and the family, the fact that it is occurring should come as no surprise. Our Lady told us it would happen.” The “crisis in the Church and the family share the same root cause, namely, a crisis of fatherhood.”

Gaspers made special mention of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who in March said it is “dangerous” to speak of the family as “the domestic church.”

Archbishop Paglia’s credibility is “next to nothing,” Gaspers said. He has “thoroughly dismantled the Pontifical Academy for Life and has commissioned homoerotic paintings.” The family is a patriarchal hierarchy of baptized persons whose head fills the role of teaching, governing, and sanctifying. As such, it is a reflection and microcosm of the universal Church, he said.

Gaspers also detailed how marriage and the family are “powerful weapons” that must be used in the restoration of Holy Mother Church.

True and false mercy

Traditional Franciscan priest Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea spoke about Confession, a timely topic given the implementation of Amoris Laetitia across the world and Pope Francis’ constant invocation of mercy.

Extensively quoting St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787), the patron saint of confessors, Fr. Relyea argued that there is a false sense of mercy being promoted in Rome. This sense of mercy is “twisted” and “disgusting,” he said.

Priests are “obliged to inform consciences” and to withhold absolution if the person confessing isn’t amending their life. You are “crazy” if you think you are being merciful by telling someone cohabitating in an adulterous union that they are pleasing to God, the priest said in a Brooklyn accent.

Fr. Relyea incorporated the Four Last Things — Death, Judgement, Heaven, Hell — into his remarks as well, recalling that although God shows mercy to those who fear Him, for those who abuse His mercy, He exercises justice.

The New York-born priest described the Pope’s 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia as “wicked.”

Christian fraternity

In between speeches, conference attendees went to morning Mass, enjoyed evening refreshments, and frequented the vendor area, where Loreto Publications and the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation of Texas —  among other apostolates — sold books, missals, veils, and audio CD’s.

The Francis papacy as well as the “Catholic Church: Where are you heading?” symposium held in Rome on April 7th (the same day of the conference) were common topics of conversation among guests.

Attendee Elizabeth Yore told LifeSiteNews she went to the conference because “It is incumbent upon the laity to mount a resistance, and to continue to mount a resistance to what is going on in the Vatican, especially now given that so few Bishops and Cardinals are willing to do so.”

Internet-based Catholic radio station Magnificat Media broadcast live from the hotel as well.

Prayer cards and literature on Freemasonry and Our Lady of Good Success were given to everyone who came.

Despite heresy, the Pope is still the Pope

Three speeches at the “Weapons of Our Warfare” conference focused on the papacy.

Church historian Roberto de Mattei said “true devotion” to the Chair of St. Peter requires Catholics to speak out against “the heresies” being promoted by Pope Francis, who, despite propagating heresy, remains the pope.

Canadian Dominican priest Fr. Albert Kallio O.P. echoed de Mattei’s words. “Even if the pope is a heretic…that does not at all mean that by that very fact, ipso facto as we say in English, he would cease being pope.”

Rejecting the claim that Pope Francis has lost his office, Fr. Kallio said, “Even those who hold that a pope who is manifestly a heretic loses automatically his office [believe] that the manifestation required before the pope would lose his office takes place by a declaration declared by the authority of the Church, namely the bishops.”

It seems God is allowing “a sort of eclipse” of the Church for the moment, he concluded.

Christopher Ferrara, a lawyer and prolific Catholic writer, delivered a strongly worded speech emphatically urging Catholics not only to put forth the Church’s perennial teachings but to expose the problematic teachings coming from Pope Francis.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Ferrara said “the most effective opposition to what has to be seen now as the most wayward pontificate in the history of the papacy will have to come from the upper hierarchy.”

Such an opposition would come in the form of a public statement made by a significant number of Cardinals that would declare Pope Francis is “in error, that he’s attempting to impose error upon the Church, that his effort to pass off these errors as ‘authentic magisterium’ is a fraud…and that the faithful cannot follow this pope in his errors,” Ferrara said.

Young Catholics need Tradition

Another talk particularly relevant to events taking place in the Church was that which was given by 21-year-old Alexandra Reis, Catholic Family News’ youth correspondent.

“What can the youth do to fight the devil?” Reis rhetorically asked. Not staying updated with every piece of world news and constantly attending protests, she argued. Rather, they can fight the devil by fulfilling their daily duties of state.

If you want “real penance” and if you want to truly change the world, she said, try doing dirty dishes, try “getting out of bed right when your alarm goes off in the morning. Offer that up to Our Lady. Mary wants us to offer sacrifices to her heart.”

Reis told LifeSiteNews that today’s youth aren’t being taught about the virtues of purity and modesty. Millenials view religion “as a cross” and rebel against “simple acts.” In truth, “it is through the little things that we convert the world.”

Other weapons of our warfare

Louis Tofari, owner of Romanitas Press, a publishing company that helps Catholics learn about the Roman Mass, delivered a talk on the liturgy.

Tofari told LifeSiteNews that the Roman Mass “needs to be used to convert souls to Christianity and to restore the Social Reign of Christ the King.”

Another fascinating topic covered at the conference was the life of Fr. Augustus Tolton, a former slave born in the mid 1800s who was ordained a priest in Rome because no seminary in the United States would accept him due to being African American.

Catholic Family News’ web editor Brendan Young pleaded with Catholics to consecrate themselves to the Blessed Mother during a thoughtful address about St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Militia Immaculata.

Dr. Andrew Childs from St. Mary’s Academy and College in St. Mary’s, Kansas gave an insightful lecture on music while Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X discussed the Traditional Latin Mass.  Source
(Ed: visit the Catholic Family News website if you are interested in purchasing any of the talks in CD-format.)

Comment: 

If – in your opinion – Pope Francis is not the worst ever pope in the history of the Church, tell us who you would nominate for that title.