Honduras Exodus: Christian Charity Or Firm Political Solution Required?

From Zenit…

The Bishops of Honduras are concerned about the serious migration crisis of thousands of Hondurans who are leaving the country. The caravan now has arrived in Mexico, and the US government has announced retaliation and forbidden their entry.

In a statement also sent to Fides News Agency, the Episcopal Conference of Honduras defines the mobilization of so many people a “human tragedy” and expresses pain and concern for the delicate situation created.

“It is a shocking reality, caused by the current situation in our country, which forces a multitude to leave what little it has, venturing without any certainty for the migration route to the United States, with the desire to reach the promised land, the ‘American dream’, which allows them to solve their economic problems and improve their living conditions, for them and their families and, in many cases, to ensure the long-awaited physical security”, reads the document.

The Bishops, therefore, ask the Honduran government to intervene as soon as possible and stop the country’s crisis, a crisis never seen in the history of the Central American nation. “It is the duty of the Honduran State to provide its citizens with the means to satisfy their basic needs, such as decent, stable and well-paid work, health, education and housing, and when these conditions do not exist, people are forced to live in tragedy and many of them hope to undertake a path that leads to development and improvement, finding themselves in the shameful and painful need to leave their families, their friends, their community, their culture, their environment, and their land”, emphasizes the declaration.

“We were deaf to the cries of their rights and blind to see that reality. The news of this caravan is the massive form of thousands of people, mostly young people, who go with the hope of obtaining sufficient resources to transform Honduras”, the text continues.

Pope Francis: ““welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants”.

In conclusion, the Bishops thank the neighboring countries for the reception and the aid provided towards Hondurans, reminding everyone of the Pope’s request: “welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants”.

In the last hours, according to local information, the group of the caravan increases, now there are more than 7 thousand, but also the tension on the border with the United States increases, after the insistent warnings of the American President himself. The caravan of the migrants has also created some social tension in Mexico: a group of Mexicans, in fact, welcomed them by providing them with help, while other Mexicans do not agree with the so-called “arrogance” with which they want to enter the United States.  Source – Zenit…

Comment: 

Are the bishops correct in placing the responsibility for the material well-being of its citizens on the Honduran State? And what next, now that these economic migrants are heading for the American border in their thousands: should they be welcomed with open arms (and all those who are likely to follow) – is that Christian charity? Or is the American President right to warn against illegal entry into the U.S.A?  Is it uncharitable to enforce immigration laws against poor people seeking a better deal in this world? How do we, as Catholics, know what is right in this situation? 

Not Me! Time For Men To Fight Back? 

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

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

SSPX Puzzling Response to Abuse Crisis

From The Remnant

On September 15, an article quietly appeared on the Society of St. Pius X website which acknowledged, for the first time, what some are calling the Scandal of the Century—new and devastating revelations of the full extent of the clerical sex crisis which has been rocking the Church for decades.

Though this article commented in depth on the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, oddly enough it makes no mention of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s bombshell 11-page testimony which in many ways stole the thunder of the Pennsylvania report, and I can’t figure out why they omitted this.

On the Vatican’s reaction to the revelations in Pennsylvania, the Society report quotes Greg Burke’s defense of Francis, claiming that, “Victims should know that the Pope is on their side.”

To my knowledge, the author of this Society brief is among only a handful who still take the affidavits and assurances of the Vatican’s damage control agent, Greg Burke, at all seriously.

The Society report is useful since it collates the reactions of others to this biggest crisis since the promulgation of the New Mass. For example, it mentions that “in the US, over 140 theologians, educators and lay directors called for all the American bishops to resign” in an open letter of provocation. But then it also highlights Pope Francis’ (the “Sovereign Pontiff”) words in his Letter to the People of God:

“In his letter, the successor of Peter considered that one of the sources of these ‘ecclesial wounds’ is a ‘peculiar way of understanding the Church’s authority.’ ‘Clericalism’, he accused, ‘supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today,’ such as ‘the thirst for power and possessions’ and spiritual corruption.’” (Whether or not the SSPX concurs with this papal diversionary tactic is not obvious to the reader.)
The report moves on into the general reaction to the Pope’s letter, citing the issues raised by journalist Aldo Maria Valli, LifeSiteNews, unavox.it, and Carlos Esteban, a Spanish journalist. But the report does not here add any of its own critique, which I find frustrating since the Society should be in a position to hold a hard line on this. Confusion and ambiguity are tools of the Vatican. Let’s not do that.

In the final section, entitled: The Hypocrisy of the World and the Statistical Reality, the Society report states: “The fact that men invested with the priestly dignity could have committed such acts is indeed a shame.” And then moves on to suggest that much of this is the work of anti-Catholic media:

“The media attacks the Church furiously while pretending to forget that these cases, as scandalous as they may be, are only a tiny minority compared to the abuse committed by adults on children in schools, sports activities, or stepfamilies, not to mention the shady circles of fashion, the show business and the media.”

The report then lists stats which appear to show a higher number of abuse cases in families and among peers than those which originate from priests and religious. No doubt, this may be the case. But what is the Society report getting at?

To my thinking, for even just one Catholic priest to abuse a child or engage in homosexual acts is infinitely worse than for a hundred pagans who don’t know better to do something similar. And the fact that so many dioceses have lost lawsuits and had to pay out millions of dollars is itself proof that this problem cannot be dismissed as mostly the concoction of Catholic-bashing media.  Click here to read entire Remnant article…

Comment:

Since the SSPX holds claim to being the “lifeboat” sent by God to see us through this horrendous time of crisis and scandal, surely the Society Superiors, bishops and priests should be right at the forefront of exposing and correcting everything to do with this crisis? Providing the Traditional Latin Mass and sacraments is crucially important, of course, but nobody, absolutely nobody can remain silent – or appear to makes excuses for – any aspect of this crisis, least of all the homosexual activities of priests, including the sexual abuse of children and young people.  I’m afraid my own first thoughts on reading the above Remnant report was not just “too little, too late” but “not remotely enough, and FAR too late.”

Or am I over-stating the case?  Is the Society right to have maintained silence, and remain non-confrontational in the face of the increasing horror at the questions being raised about Pope Francis’ response(s)  to abuse cases – what he knew, what actions he took/did not take, denials, etc.  Surely Catholics have a right to expect a tad more in the way of leadership from the Society, if it really is a Heaven-sent “lifeboat”?   Surely, certainly for anyone wielding moral authority,  it is itself a form of abuse to fail to call to account all concerned – and that publicly.   Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)  

English Bishop to Pope Francis on Child Abuse: Accountability & Supervision Required For Priests… 

Letter of Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth (pictured below)
to His Holiness Pope Francis

22nd August 2018

Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
Vatican City


Most Holy Father,


I am writing in the light of the terrible scandals of the abuse of minors by clergy revealed by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. To these can be added the scandals in Chile, Australia, Ireland and now here in England too, in light of the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse. Clerical sex abuse seems to be a world-wide phenomenon in the Church. As a Catholic and a Bishop, these revelations fill me with deep sorrow and shame. I pray for the healing of the poor victims. I pray for the forgiveness of the perpetrators. I pray too for myself, and for all our clergy and people, that by our penance we will grow in holiness.

I wanted to make a constructive suggestion. Would it be possible to call an Extraordinary Synod on the Life and Ministry of Clergy? The Synod might begin with a ‘congress,’ attended by the bishops but formed of laity and others expert in the clergy abuse scandals and in the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable. The fruits of this could then be taken forward into a Synod of Bishops proper. I suggest the Synod be devoted to the identity of being a priest/bishop, to devising guidance on life-style and supports for celibacy, to proposing a rule of life for priests/bishops and to establishing appropriate forms of priestly/episcopal accountability and supervision. Canon Law could then be revised in the light of the outcomes and each Diocese be required to apply it by developing its own Directory for Clergy.

As a Bishop, I seem to have few tools to facilitate the day to day management of clergy. For example, when I was a seminary formator, we spent several years devising a balanced system of annual assessments and scrutiny, based on Pastores Dabo Vobis, to help an individual student take responsibility for his formation. By contrast, once ordained, priests/bishops have few formal ongoing assessments or ministerial supervision. It ought to be possible to devise mechanisms to help bishops in their responsibilities towards clergy and to help clergy realise they are not ‘lone operatives’ but ministers accountable to the direction and leadership of the diocese – nihil sine episcopo.

Most Holy Father, please be assured of my prayers for you in your daunting ministry. I look forward to meeting you soon for the Ad Limina.

In Corde Iesu

+Philip

Bishop of Portsmouth

Read report appending the above letter here

Comment

Bishop Egan’s initiative is to be warmly welcomed.  At last a prelate showing the need for practical steps to end this scandal of clerical sexual abuse of young people.  Will the Pope take up his suggestion though?  And what sorts of “mechanism” and “rule of life” would YOU like to see adopted for priests?  How might priests react to the introduction of measures of accountability and supervision, having become used to the kind of laxity we have seen in the seminaries (none left in Scotland, as a result) and in their priestly lifestyle.  They seem to be a law unto themselves at the moment.  How might they react to restrictions being imposed on them now? Is it too late? Or,  as the saying goes, is it never too late?  

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven,      pray for us! 

Morality: Cohen Plea – What SHOULD Trump Do Now? 

Comment: 

Well, the knives are out for The Donald, no question about it – at least, judging by the reporting of the Michael Cohen guilty plea here in the UK, with reporters and presenters hardly able to conceal their delight at the possibility that President Trump will find himself either impeached in the near future, or in prison after he has left office. You could almost hear the champagne corks popping in the TV news studios today…

I may be wide of the mark here, and for goodness sake don’t take what I’m about to say as justification for either extra-marital affairs or ‘hush’ payments, but I can imagine a businessman like Trump thinking nothing of paying off some female blackmailers for the sake of avoiding the predictable publicity their stories, true or false, would bring – a distraction, to put it mildly, during a campaign to win the presidential election. After all, his reputation was not exactly squeaky clean, was it?  So, assuming the payments were made from his personal bank account, I’m not sure they’re as significant as his enemies are implying. But then, I could be wrong. Bound to happen some day.  What do you think – is Donald Trump implicated in criminal activity as a result of the Cohen guilty plea, and if so, what is the right thing, the moral thing, for him to do now – resign? Apologise and move on? What, then?  

Preaching “Hate Speech”…

Part of the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Answered,

Preaching “Hate Speech” is the first of our Catholic Conversation videos which will be posted from time to time, with commentary on a variety of topics, presented in interview format.  In the above video, Patricia McKeever, Editor is interviewed.     

Is the UK no longer free? 

The treatment of Tommy Robinson, coupled with the contrived outrage over Boris Johnson’s ‘burka’ remarks this week, do beg the question: is Tucker Carlson right to question whether, in fact, the UK really is a free land?   And why are the Catholic bishops not asking the same question? 

Comments invited…