English College in Rome: Supporting “Gay Culture” Is No Barrier to Ordination…

Our England Correspondent writes…

In our January 2019 (Issue #109) edition [available to download from our archives on the Newsletter page of our website),  and on this blog here, we published an email exchange between the Editor and an un-named seminarian at the Venerable English College in Rome (VEC) on the subject of the seminarian’s public support for “the gay culture” on social media outlets.  

Editor wrote to him expressing concern for the screen shots [and other material] she’d received from a concerned English reader, showing him, for example, ‘liking’ a “gay” club in Bristol on Facebook. The club’s blasphemous name is ‘OMG’ – a common abbreviation for Oh My God – with the ‘g’ showing horns and a halo above…demonic. The seminarian also advertised the fact that he was on a [gay] “Pride” committee, while on Twitter he appears to support “gay marriage”.

Initially, he replied to say that he now accepted the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. At around the same time, a veritable tsunami of homosexual scandals involving homosexually active seminarians, priests and bishops hit the headlines [click here] and even Pope Francis was quoted as saying, behind closed doors to the Italian Bishops gathered for their plenary assembly, that it was necessary to “put the brakes” on “welcoming too many homosexuals” into seminaries. 

Editor, therefore, wrote to the English seminarian again, quoting the Vatican Instruction ‘Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders’. She highlighted the following key part of that document: The Church cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders, those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture. [Emphasis added]

Editor now asked the seminarian to reconsider his position, promising to maintain anonymity at that time – hoping that he would realise that proceeding to ordination was the wrong thing to do. When he failed to reply to that request, she wrote to the authorities in the VEC: Monsignor Philip Whitmore, Archdiocese of Westminster, seminary rector; Fr John Flynn, Diocese of Salford, vice-rector; Fr John Metcalfe, Diocese of Hallam, Pastoral Director; Fr James McAuley, Diocese of Portsmouth, Academic Tutor; Fr Anthony Doe, Archdiocese of Westminster, Spiritual Director. This, in order to make sure that they were aware of the line of communication with the seminarian, and to remind them of the Church’s criteria for the discernment of vocations with regards to varying levels of homosexual tendency. No replies were received from any of those concerned. The seminarian – Alexander Balzanella – was later ordained deacon, and is now proceeding towards ordination to the priesthood…

From the website of the Archdiocese of Westminster – 30/08/2019

Bishop Alan Hopes of East Anglia ordained Alexander Balzanella to the diaconate on Sunday 14th July at the Church of Our Lady of Snows Chapel in Villa Palazolla, just outside Rome. Alex is a Westminster seminarian studying at the Venerable English College (VEC) in Rome…(Rome ordination for Deacon Alex, published on the website of the Diocese of Westminster).  

Of course, homosexual priests, or those who support “the gay culture” are no longer making headline news anywhere, apparently welcomed as such by hierarchy and laity alike. However, we believe that, in the interests of transparency, for the sake of those few remaining Catholics who seek to avoid such influences over themselves and their children, we are now duty-bound to reveal the identity of the seminarian-now-deacon whom we reported back in 2019 for his public support of the “gay culture”. For senior churchmen, keeping the rules these days seems restricted to keeping the “Covid-19” rules – not the Church’s rules on admission to seminaries and certainly not the rules put in place by God – the Ten Commandments, the moral law.

Contrary, therefore, to what our enemies will claim, identifying this new deacon will not be to his detriment at all. If anything, we can look forward to writing a few lines of introduction to the new Bishop, if not Cardinal, Balzanella. Reflect…   Taken from Catholic Truth newsletter, July 2020, Issue No. 118, p.12

Comment from Editor…

As linked in the introduction above, we previously discussed this scandal in November, 2018 here

At that time, I asked bloggers to refrain from speculating as to the identity of the then seminarian, now deacon.  In this conversation, I would ask that the House rule prohibiting personal remarks be honoured, and that we all stick to the key issue which is the flouting, by bishops and senior seminary staff, of the Church’s directive on admission to seminaries: they are expected to  refuse admission to anyone who supports the so-called “gay culture. (Vatican). 

Alexander Balzanella supported the “gay culture” during his seminary training at the Venerable English College in Rome.  If his superiors did not know about this, which is unlikely, it was drawn to their attention through the Catholic Truth correspondence.  Yet, in defiance of the Church’s prohibition on admitting to seminary and to Holy Orders those known to support the “gay culture”, he was ordained to the diaconate in the Diocese of Westminster. 

Manifestly, the hierarchy in Westminster (and the senior seminary staff) do not think it matters whether they ordain deacons and priests who support the “gay culture” (“Pride” events, nightclubs, “gay marriage”, whatever). 

Given the above email exchanges in the Case of Alexander Balzanella Vs the Church’s Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies…  it seems clear that no lessons at all have been learned from previous scandals in seminaries, such as those documented in the book Goodbye, Good Men by Michael S. Rose, or following the defrocking of the American Cardinal [now Mr] McCarrick in the USA. 

Instead, the homosexualisation of the priesthood continues apace. But, does it really matter?  Is it wrong to highlight the issue?  Would you want to know if your priest/deacon had a history of supporting the “gay culture”? Last but by no means least, would you want to know if your bishop ignored the Church’s criteria for seminary admission and ordination?  

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.   

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?  

Priest on Scandal of Denying The One True Religion: Outstanding Interview

Comment: 

Fr David Sherry is an Irish priest of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) who served in Scotland for a year before he was re-assigned to Canada.  We have very happy memories of him in Glasgow – indeed, one of my Great-Nephews received his First Holy Communion from Fr Sherry, with a photograph on their fridge as a permanent reminder! 

Topics for discussion in the above lengthy interview with Fr Sherry of the SSPX, include: 

1. What is the SSPX
2. Who was [Archbishop] Lefebvre
3. Was he guilty of a schismatic act when he ordained 4 bishops or was it necessary due to a state of emergency?
4. Does the Vatican allow Catholics to attend SSPX masses to fulfil their Sunday obligation?
5. Is the status of the SSPX currently canonically irregular or schismatic?
6. Will there be an agreement with the Vatican soon, in your estimation?
7. What are some of the problems with Vatican II?
8. What are your thoughts on the Pachamama ceremony in the Vatican Gardens?
9. Is the Novus Ordo valid?
10. What should a Catholic do if an SSPX chapel is not available near them?

Share your thoughts on Father’s very clear explanation of the work of the Society in the context of the current unprecedented crisis in the Church.  What possible reason can anyone offer for continuing to avoid the SSPX Masses/Sacraments in this worsening time of trial within the Church? 

For more conferences, visit the St Peter’s Hamburg blog

An American Priest on Coronavirus – His Excitement Is…Well…Infectious!

Comment:

The above short video talk struck me right away as very typical of the modern “don’t criticise… that’s negative” mentality.  Positive thinking, blah blah.  Well, we can “positive think” 24/7, but it won’t change the worrying reality of military on the streets, permission slips/letters to go out of our homes, people told to contact the police if they see a group on the street, and no cycling allowed… and these are just four things which I’ve noted myself on one “round up” of the global news on TV today about “that virus”.  Am I “criticising”?  “Being negative”?  Or simply “calling a spade a spade”? 

One other thought crossed my mind today and was confirmed when I began to read the comments on YouTube underneath the above video, and stopped short at the first one, which reads:  “I was lucky to do confession before they cancelled physical masses. Funny enough, now that streaming masses are available, I’m more motivated to do it more frequently, and make it a daily habit. Blessing in disguise?”

Is it possible that, perhaps  an unintended consequence of the rush to discourage the worship of God in Catholic churches will be the idea that – well – we don’t actually need to personally attend Mass any more?  If your parish live-streams Masses, what’s the big deal?  

Italy: Cardinal Burke Dubbed “Enemy of the Pope” – Insulted, Humiliated…

From Rorate Caeli…

Behold the Church of bridges and mercy, open and outreaching! Cardinal Burke is forced to annul a Mass in Ostuni: the parish priest had demanded the celebration be held behind closed doors as his arrival in Brindisi displeased the high levels of the diocese. The newspapers attacked him as an enemy of the Pope. The Bishop of Ostuni however, will tomorrow meet with the Valdese in church to talk about immigration.

Here we see the Church of mercy, the Church of open ports and the Church of out-reach. So open, so merciful and so out-reaching, that clandestine Masses are reserved for troublesome Cardinals. It is happening in Ostuni, Puglia as in China, where, according to the Vatican Chancellor, Sorondo, the Social Doctrine of the Church is applied.

The latest Brindisian newspapers present us with a very disturbing sign concerning Cardinal Leo Burke, who was politely shown the door in that sordid and humiliating way only the prevailing clericalism is capable of. “The conservative Cardinal is not welcomed by the priests”, were yesterday’s headlines in the Quotidiano di Puglia: Annulled the American high-prelate’s Mass scheduled in the Cathedral. The parish-priests had expressed embarrassment after his position against Pope Francis… 

Cardinal Burke

…This episode throws a sinister light on the increasingly political way things are run in the Church. Cardinal Leo Burke is not impeded canonically; he travels the world for conferences and moments of spirituality; he celebrates Masses, is involved in pastoral activities; he leads moments of prayer between the United States (where he was recently for the March for Life) and Italy. He was even a guest recently for the Nuova BQ Day. The idea that a priest, supported certainly by a bishop, can close the doors on him, is an indication of how grave the situation not only in the Church has become, but also of the restricted freedom those men of the Church, that the mainstream doesn’t like, are subjected to, because they are considered enemies. Is this the communion they want to impose by dint of dialogue? Are these the shepherds with the odour of the sheep and a knife between their teeth?   Click here for the entire “must-read” report.

Comments invited…

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USA: Pro-Abortion Politician Inspired By Pope Francis – God Help America! 

From the Remnant Newspaper (writing about the Democrat opposition candidate to Donald Trump in the forthcoming election in the USA,  Mr Bernie Sanders…)

Every now and again, Sanders the cold-blooded dictator peeks out from behind the philanthropic old socialist veneer, and in those moments he sounds like this:

“The idea that women in this country should not be able to control their own bodies is beyond belief. They have that constitutional right. So if you’re asking me, would I ever appoint a Supreme Court justice who does not believe in defending Roe versus Wade, who does not believe that a woman has the right to control her own body, I will never do that.” (Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls)

It’s also hitting the news that Sanders is considering a list of potential executive orders to unilaterally enact on Day 1, should he win the election. Chief among these is to reverse Trump’s Mexico City policy while forcing Americans to fund providers of “abortion counseling” such as, obviously, Planned Parenthood.

The list of executive orders also includes gems like directing the Justice Department to legalize marijuana and declaring climate change a national emergency.

Feeling the Bern yet, America? He’s the Dems’ lead on the way to the primaries, and guess who inspires him?

You see how these two men just really care about poor people? Such humility and humanity, heading right out to those peripheries to help the marginalized! That must be why this rabid pro-abort is a big fan of Pope Francis… They’ve got a lot in common!

And I guess the “sick and corrupt society” Sanders mentions is you and me, right? With our obnoxious love of unborn babies and God-fearing methods of policing ourselves through Christian values and such.

Maybe there’s only one response for now: TRUMP 2020!   Source – The Remnant Newspaper

Comment:

No Catholic could, in good conscience, vote for Bernie Sanders – could they? 

Modern Catholics Discuss Liturgical Abuses in New Mass – You Just Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up…Honest!

Comment: 

This group takes too long to get into the discussion (at least five minutes) but once they get going, it’s very interesting indeed to hear them objecting to some of the very things which were defended and promoted by fellow-parishioners when some of us were doing the complaining.  It’s also interesting to see how the standards have shifted (mostly in a downward direction).  In the end, it dawns on Catholics who are truly thinking it all through, that there is no option but to move on to the traditional Mass – back to the future…  It seems clear that the growth is to be found where the traditional Latin Mass is being offered, so pray for the trio in the video. They obviously mean well.  I liked them as people – so much so that, but for the geography, I’d invite them out for Haggis and Neeps 😀

Anyway, in summary, below are the 15 things which the group in the video argue need to stop happening… or not;  there is some disagreement within the group which offers food for thought, not least because, notably, it is the priest [“Richard” or “Rich” as he seems to introduce himself] who does the disagreeing.  

Clapping (applause)

2 Too many Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

3 Receiving from the Chalice (“cup”) when sick

4 Leaving seats at sign of peace to “share the peace” with people across the church

5 Socialising before (and after) Mass

6 Phone ringing 

7 Not donating

8 Leaving Mass early

9 Bad preaching (lack of “fire”, not inspiring or nourishing)  [worryingly, the priest in the video is open to laity, including women, preaching.)

10 Receiving Holy Communion in mortal sin

11 Dressing inappropriately – not dressing up for Mass

12 No sanctus bells 

13 Genuflecting to the altar when the Tabernacle is somewhere else

14 I couldn’t hear anything specific, but the conversation went on to discuss baptism/use of “lemonade” type jug  (If I’ve missed something, tell me in the comments…) 

15. Holding hands during Our Father

My own predominant  thought listening to the conversation was that any hope for the future in that diocese lies with the laity, as represented by the two lads on the video not the clergy, as represented by the [very nice and doubtless well-meaning]  priest in the video –  a manifestly modernist priest but one who likes Cardinal Ratzinger!  How much more confusing can this mess get! 

Share your thoughts – politely!  I’ll be posting the link to this thread on their YouTube channel, below the above video, to be precise., so don’t be too hard on these good souls, who are all far too young to have been taught the Faith properly.  They are typical New Catholics tailor made for the New Mass, the New Liturgy, the New Sacraments, the New Catechism, the New Rosary, the New Evangelisation, the New Morality, the New Politically Correct  Pontiff, the New Canonisations, the New Commandments (minus idolatry and adultery) … and the New – you name it.    

Pope Benedict: NO! To Married Priests – Shock Horror from “Vatican Experts”…

From the BBC website (emphasis added)…

Retired Pope Benedict XVI has issued a defence of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church as his successor considers easing a ban on married men serving as priests.

Pope Benedict made the appeal in a book co-authored with Cardinal Robert Sarah.

It comes in response to a proposal to allow married men to be ordained as priests in the Amazon region.

Pope Benedict, who retired in 2013, said he could not remain silent on the issue.

In the book, Pope Benedict says celibacy, a centuries-old tradition within the Church, has “great significance” because it allows priests to focus on their duties.

The 92-year-old says “it doesn’t seem possible to realise both vocations [priesthood and marriage] simultaneously”.

It is rare for Pope Benedict, who was the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years, to intervene in clerical matters.

The Vatican is yet to comment on the book, which was previewed in part by French newspaper Le Figaro before its full publication on Monday.

Vatican commentators have reacted with surprise to Benedict’s intervention, suggesting it breaks with convention.

“Benedict XVI is really not breaking his silence because he (and his entourage) never felt bound to that promise. But this is a serious breach,” Massimo Faggioli, a historian and theologian at Villanova University, tweeted.

The comments by Pope Benedict were described as “incredible” by Joshua McElwee, a journalist for the National Catholic Reporter… Twitter post by @joshjmac…

As I digest this, I’m realizing how incredible it is. A former pope speaking in public about something his successor is currently in the process of considering.  (118 7:17 PM – Jan 12, 2020) …

For many, celibacy is a key part of being a Catholic priest. A priest is supposed to be married to God and not be distracted by what some consider to be worldly concerns like a wife or a family.

For traditionalists, this is about the direction in which Pope Francis is taking the Church.

Some critics regard the idea of allowing married priests in the Amazon as a pretext to abolishing celibacy as a requirement altogether….
Click here to read entire BBC Report 

Comment: 

It’s downright hilarious to read the shocked comments of the alleged “Vatican experts/commentators” who speak of a “serious breach” and describe as “incredible” the fact that the previous Pope, Benedict XVI, should actually speak out to defend Catholic Tradition, in this case, the traditional teaching on celibacy.  Talk about “diabolical disorientation” – writ large!  Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! 

Far from keeping silence and “obeying” this horrendous pope, Benedict should have spoken out a long time ago.  In fact, of course, he should not have resigned/abdicated in the first place.  He, as much as Pope Francis, will be called to account for the scandals, indeed the near destruction of the Church in human terms, in these times.  Both before and AFTER his resignation/abdication.  Better late than never, however, he is to be congratulated on this occasion.  Agreed? 

England: Synod To Discuss Women Priests…Inching Closer to Open Schism? 

One of our English bloggers emailed this report from Gloria TV

I then checked out the website of the Diocese of Liverpool to find out more about their Synod 2020

If the Gloria TV analysis is correct, then somebody needs to remind Archbishop McMahon that he has no authority whatsoever to “make decisions” about the ordination of women – he must uphold the Church’s prohibition.  But what if he doesn’t do that?  IS the Church in England – certainly in the Diocese of Liverpool – heading for a complete break with the Catholic Church, given that male-only ordination is a teaching which the Church has absolutely no authority to change?

The address from the Archbishop in the short video clip below, plus the comments from the priests and lay leaders reveals nothing new.  They talk for around 7 minutes and say nothing.  It’s all the usual generic posturing.  Buzz words abound, but nothing concrete is said.  They all want everyone to know they are “called and gifted by God” but don’t give any concrete examples about what they are all called and gifted to do. One of the priests mentions “catechising stuff” in passing but – again – without defining what that means.  Still, we all know what it most certainly does NOT mean – it doesn’t mean teaching the Faith entire and true; that Christ founded only one  Church to be the Ark of Salvation and that is the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.   Below, the short video clip portrays the usual mix of confused but well-meaning laity and the totally clueless young priests, God help them.  No disrespect intended just, what they term these days, “speaking truth to power”…  😀 

Comments invited…