Instrumentum Laboris: the most shocking Vatican Document EVER?

“Will the bishops, successors of the Apostles be silent? Will the cardinals, the Pope’s advisors in the governing of the Church be silent, in the face of this political-religious manifesto which perverts the doctrine and praxis of the Mystical Body of Christ ?”

The first reactions in response to the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod were focused on its opening to married priests and the insertion of women into the sacramental orders of the Church. But the Instrumentum Laboris is something more: it’s a manifesto for liberation eco-theology which proposes a pantheist, egalitarian “cosmo-vision” , unacceptable for a Catholic. The gates of the Magisterim, as José Antonio Ureta, rightly highlighted, are being thrown wide open “to Indian Theology and Ecotheology, two Latin American derivatives of Liberation Theology. After the collapse of the USSR and the failure of “real socialism”, the advocates of Liberation Theology (LT), on the Marxist style, attributed the historic role of revolutionary force to indigenous peoples and to nature”.*

In the document, published by the Holy See on June 17, the Amazon “bursts” into the life of the Church like a “new entity” (n.2). But what is the Amazon? It is not only a physical place and a “complex biosphere” (n.10) but also “a reality full of life and wisdom” (n.5), which ascends to a conceptual paradigm and calls us to a “pastoral, ecological and synodal” conversion (n.5). In order to carry out its prophetic role, the Church must heed “the Amazon peoples” (n.7). These people are able to live in “intercommunication” with the entire cosmos (n.12), but their rights are threatened by the economic interests of the multinationals, which, as the natives of Guaviare (Colombia) say “have slashed the veins of our Mother Earth” (n.17).    Click here to read more…

Comments invited…  

Pope Francis Attacks Tradition Again 

Aboard the papal flight from Romania — Pope Francis has criticized traditionalist Catholics who seek to “safeguard the ashes” of the past, saying the global church’s centuries of tradition are not akin to a container for preserved objects but instead like roots to be drawn on for future growth.

In a press conference aboard the papal flight back to Rome after his three-day visit to Romania, he singled out Catholic “fundamentalists,” who he said have a nostalgia for “returning to the ashes.”
Ed:  reflect for a moment on the fact that here, Pope Francis is, yet again, rubbishing Catholic Tradition.  Unsurprisingly, he departs from the teachings of the truly great popes, including saints and martyrs, the Fathers of the Church who went before him.  Here’s a couple of examples…

St. Irenaeus of Lyons  “Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?” 

Pope Stephen I, to St. Cyrpian of Carthage  “Let there be no innovation; keep to what has been handed down.” 

Francis continues…

“Tradition is the guarantee of the future and not the container of the ashes,” said Francis. “Tradition is like roots [of a tree], which give us nutrition to grow,” he explained. “You will not become like the roots. You will flower, grow, give fruit. And the seeds become roots for other people.”
Ed: what a load of… Talk about never saying two words when twenty will suffice.

“The tradition of the church is always in movement,” he said. “The tradition does not safeguard the ashes.”
Ed: by “ashes” we take it that he means the teaching of the Church, God’s revelation of dogma and the moral law…

St. Augustine  “The customs of God’s people and the institutions of our ancestors are to be considered as laws. And those who throw contempt on the customs of the Church ought to be punished as those who disobey the law of God.” 

The report continues…

Francis did not specify in his remarks whom he had in mind while speaking of Catholic traditionalists. But the pontiff has come under criticism during his six-year papacy from a vocal minority of Catholics, including some cardinals, who have expressed concern that he has not been clear in enunciating some of the church’s teachings.
Ed: don’t you just love the understatement?  “Expressed concern”? We’ve got Catholics questioning whether or not he really IS a pope! Priceless.  He’s widely considered the first Protestant Pope!  It’s a tad more than a bit of concern. Trust me on this.

Francis spoke about the church’s tradition after being asked about his relationship with retired Pope Benedict XVI.
Ed:  remember him? [pictured right].  He who asked us to pray that he “would not flee for fear of the wolves” and then did a runner?

Francis repeated his frequent characterization that having Benedict live in retirement at the Vatican is for him like having a grandfather at home. Francis said that going to speak with his predecessor always gives him strength.
Ed:  hardly surprising – they’re both modernists.  Only difference, Benedict at least looked the part, Francis… well… 

“I feel the nutrition coming up through the roots, and it helps me go forward,” said Francis.
Ed:  Oh, please…

St. Vincent of Lerins   “I have often then inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways; first, by the authority of the Divine Law, and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church.”

The report continues…

Among other issues he spoke about in the half-hour press conference, the pope also made an impassioned plea for Catholics to pray for the future of the European Union, which he said has “aged” and is in danger of being “overcome by pessimism.”
Ed: it’s in danger of falling apart, and all because it was a very bad idea in the first place…

In his first remarks about the 28-member block since European parliamentary elections last week resulted in gains for populist parties across the continent, the pope lamented the appearance of what he called “new borders” across the EU and said the organization “has lost the goal of working together.”
Ed:  er…no… we just want to control our own borders and find new ways of working together. 

“Europe is not being attacked by cannons or bombs in this moment but by ideologies, ideologies that are not European, that come either from outside or that stem from small groups,” he said.
Ed:  by “small groups” he means, presumably the nation states like the UK who wish to make our own decisions, even our own laws!  Cheek of us!

After referring to the tragedy of the two World Wars, he pleaded: “Please, let’s not return to this. Let’s learn from history. Let’s not fall in the same hole.”

“I would say to believers, ‘Pray for Europe … for unity, that the Lord will give us this grace,’ ” the pope added later.

Francis had been in Romania May 31-June 2 for a visit that focused both on encouraging the country’s minority Catholic population and reaching out to the 16-million-member Romanian Orthodox Church.

Asked about his May 31 meeting with Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Daniel, Francis called him “a man of great heart, and a great scholar.”

“He is also a man of prayer,” said the pope. “It is easy to get close to Daniel because I felt that he was a brother.”
Ed: well, yeah, he’s sure to be a “brother” – he’s a non-Catholic religious leader, for goodness sake!  It’s only those pesky “traditional Catholics” who are not brothers or sisters, remember? 

Francis said that ecumenical relations between Catholics and Orthodox are built by walking together, and by jointly serving those in need. “There is already Christian unity,” he said. “Let’s not wait for the theologians to come to agreement on the Eucharist.”
Ed: Excuse me?  Is this a call to even more liturgical chaos “creativity”?

“The Eucharist is celebrated everyday with prayer, with remembrance of the blood of our martyrs, with the works of charity, and also wanting each other to be well,” he added.
Ed: “our martyrs”?  Are there schismatic “martyrs” in Heaven? 

Francis also addressed the prayer service he and Daniel hosted together, in which the two leaders both recited the Our Father prayer in each other’s presence, but separately — the pope going first in Latin, followed by the patriarch in Romanian.
Ed:  Latin?  Latin, Holy Father… Latin? You serious? You are in our [vernacular] prayers…  Worry not; you may still save your soul if you repent asap… Latin?  Whatever next! 

Some right-wing Orthodox consider it inappropriate for believers to pray with Catholics. The pope revealed that while the patriarch said the prayer in Romanian, Francis had said it again quietly in Italian. He said that from what he could see, “the majority” of the crowd gathered for the event at Bucharest’s new Orthodox Cathedral had prayed both times.
Ed:  well, there you go.  Not a wasted trip after all… Some folk said the Our Father twice! WOW!

“The people went beyond us leaders,” said Francis. “We leaders must have diplomatic balance, to ensure that we are going forward together. There are diplomatic rules that are good to safeguard, so as not to ruin the thing. But the people pray together.”
Ed:  I’m running out of sarcasm.  Help!

Making his first reference in the press conference to Catholic “fundamentalists,” the pontiff said that even some Catholics are “closed” on the issue of praying with Orthodox, thinking them schismatics.
Ed:  and you – of all the popes in history – are here to tell us we’re wrong? 

“There are Catholic groups who are a bit fundamentalist,” said the pope. “We must tolerate it, praying for them, so that the Lord and the Holy Spirit soften their hearts a bit.”
Ed: shucks thanks, Papa Francis.  I now know why the blogger who emailed me this article wrote only one word in his message – “unbelievable”!  Let me add with bells and ribbons on! 

Comments invited – needn’t be terribly polite – just printable 😀  

When is a Hate Crime NOT a Hate Crime? When it’s Anti-Catholic Hate!

LANARKSHIRE, Scotland, May 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Scottish Catholics are shocked and worried after a recent bout of vandalism in and near the city of Glasgow.

On Saturday, April 27, anti-Catholic graffiti was found spray-painted on a bus shelter outside Holy Family Catholic Church in Mossend.
[Ed: Motherwell Diocese – Bishop Toal].

On Monday, April 29, vandals entered St. Simon Catholic Church in Glasgow
 and attacked the sanctuary, overturning candles and a shrine to Our Lady of Częstochowa, and breaking a statue.
[Ed: Archdiocese of Glasgow – Archbishop Tartaglia]

The anti-Catholic graffiti included the timeworn sentiment “F*** the Pope.” The local police said they would meet with the local Catholic diocese.

“Enquiries are ongoing into offensive graffiti painted on boarding near to a Catholic church in Mossend, Lanarkshire (…) ,” the Lanarkshire Police Division tweeted.

“The local policing team in Bellshill will meeting with local representatives from the Diocese of Motherwell with regard to this incident.”

Police in Glasgow stated that there is no evidence the attack on St. Simon’s, the principal place of worship for the city’s Polish community, was either motivated by sectarianism or a hate crime… [emphasis added – for obvious reasons!]

Click here to read the above report in full

Comment:

Catholic churches vandalised, anti-Catholic graffiti found, including the standard “F*** the Pope”, statue broken, candles overturned … but move along,  no hate crime here, nothing to see…

You just could not make this stuff up.  If this had been the place of worship of any other religious group in Scotland, it would have  been headline news for days, and it would most certainly have been categorised as  manifest hate crime.  

Since the Scottish State effectively sanctions hate crimes against Catholics by permitting the annual Orange Parade marches – not to mention dismissing attacks on Catholic churches like those reported above as NOT being hate crimes – it seems that there is really nothing to be done about these manifestations of anti-Catholic hatred.  So, should we simply accept them in humble submission as part of our cross, something to offer up?  Or does that come under the heading of “false charity”?  Should the bishops continue to accept that we are a soft target – or should they toughen up and demand justice – not least since they have a duty to protect the Blessed Sacrament; a broken statue is one thing but desecration of Tabernacles is quite another.  Share your ideas on possible ways to resolve Scotland’s anti-Catholic culture, since, clearly ecumenism is not working.  

The Scottish Bishops support a “tolerant” & “liberal” society… Really? 

Remember this? Anti-Catholic Culture Reigns In Scotland – the press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office which featured on our blog back in June, 2017 claiming that “a culture of fear prevents people from being open about their [Catholic] faith in Scotland”?  Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, that is he is speaking on behalf of the Scottish Bishops, “highlighted testimonies from a number of young people who had experienced anti-Catholic prejudice in their school…”  Click here to refresh your memory…

Then click here to remind yourselves that a few months later, in November, 2017, we discussed more complaints from the Scottish Bishops about “hate crime” against Catholics…

So, try to get your head round this news, fresh off the printing press this very week…

EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Catholic Church in Scotland has rejected proposals for new anti-hate laws despite Catholics being disproportionately singled out for attack…The director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan, said that the current law against hate crime is adequate. “We do not believe there is a need for sectarianism to be specifically addressed and defined in hate crime legislation,” he said.  And then this jewel: “Christian communities in Scotland enjoy a positive ecumenical relationship and we are concerned that government is proposing unnecessary legislation that undermines the development of community relations between them,” he said.   Astonishingly, too, it seems the Bishops of Scotland do not wish to “risk becoming an intolerant, illiberal society.”  Click here to read the entire article Scottish bishops reject proposed hate crime laws, fear criminalization of religion

The penny has still not dropped.  Catholicism is not “tolerant” of error, heresy and sin, and it is definitely not “liberal”:  the way to life is narrow… (Matthew 7:14)

Comment:

Don’t misunderstand:  we, at Catholic Truth, are not in favour of the concept of “hate crime” (we hate it!) but our rationale differs somewhat from that of the Scottish Bishops, it would seem.  We are clear:  we must be free to preach Christ, undiluted. And that entails appearing to be intolerant and illiberal in the sense understood by our unbelieving world.  The Bishops appear to be backing away from their previous claims about anti-Catholic prejudice, in the interests of not annoying their ecumenical partners and appearing to be “liberal” and “tolerant” (of sin, error, heresy, you name it).  Given their previous statements on the subject, however, the question remains:  IS Scotland an anti-Catholic country… or not?   And if the answer is “yes”, we’d like to know exactly what the Bishops intend to do about it…   What can they do?  Ideas welcome….

Archbishop of Glasgow On “Low Level of Catholic Formation” … So What? 

Below, the text of the Pastoral Letter sent from the Archbishop of Glasgow to be read in all parishes tomorrow, Sunday, 3rd March, 2019.  Underneath the Pastoral Letter, is the text of the ad clerum – that is his letter to priests – on the same subject.  Compare the two – and weep!

ARCHDIOCESE OF GLASGOW
Curial Offices, 196 Clyde Street Glasgow, G1 4JY
E-mail: archbishop@rcag.org.uk / http://www.rcag.org.uk          

Pastoral Letter for Sunday 3rd March 2019

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are approaching the time when, each year, young Catholics make First Confession and receive First Holy Communion.

It is incumbent upon the whole community to pray for these children, to support them in their journey of faith and to show them good example of Catholic faith, practice and discipline in the celebration and reception of the Sacraments.

I call especially upon the parents and guardians of these young Catholics to be mindful of the promises they made when they presented their child for baptism. The Church considers you as “the first and best teachers of your children in the ways of faith”. There is no doubt that the influence of parents, siblings and family is central to the faith formation of children. So, please, pray with your children, accompany them to Sunday Mass and be a good example to them of practising Catholics. Please cooperate with your Parish Priest, with our teachers in Catholic schools, with Parish Catechists and with all who are currently preparing your children.

The Sacraments are Sacraments of Christ, of the Church and of faith. Our faith teaches us that the Sacraments confer grace when they are received with the right disposition. When we go to Confession, our sins are truly forgiven through the grace of Jesus Christ. When we receive Holy Communion, we are nourished by the true Body and Blood of Christ. When we receive the Sacraments, the Lord deepens our belonging to his Church.

Please help your children to receive the Sacraments with faith, devotion and reverence. Let your families and friends rejoice with you. Let your enjoyment always be worthy of the “holy things” that you and your children have received.

I hope and pray that this Season of the Sacraments for your children will bring us all an increase of faith and of the immense joy of profound encounter with Jesus Christ our Lord. May Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for children and families, and bring them to Jesus.

Yours devotedly in Christ,

Most Reverend Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow

18th February 2019

Dear Monsignor, Canon, Father,
Dear Rev. Deacon

Ad Clerum Letter on Preparation for the Sacraments

As you know, I have written a short Pastoral Letter on the Season of First Confession and First Holy Communion addressed to parish communities and especially to the parents and guardians of the boys and girls they have presented for these Sacraments. My letter to them encouraged them to prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments. Finally, I wished them and their family holy joy in this Season of the Sacraments.

With this Ad Clerum letter, I wish to address a few words to you. I want to express my support for you in your attempts to prepare the children and their families for the Sacraments. We all know that in this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality, good preparation for the Sacraments is both rather challenging and very necessary. It is such a joy and such a consolation for priests and deacons when children and their families respond to our promptings with sincere faith and regular practice.

At the same time, my dear brothers, you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances andometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in.

I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them. They are the ones who above all need the love and encouragement of their Priest and Shepherd.

I have always taken the following as a pastoral rule of thumb in discerning the threshold for the reception of the Sacraments. If the child is baptised, is a pupil at a Catholic school, if the parents request the Sacraments for their child, and if the child sincerely wants to receive the Sacraments, I believe that the minimum threshold for reception of the Sacraments has been reached. This minimum threshold is not to place an obstacle to the grace of the Sacraments (cf. Council of Trent, Decree on the Sacraments in General, Can 6).

Of course, we want more, and that is why we invite parents and candidates to engage in various initiatives. The Sacraments are Sacraments of faith (Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Liturgy, 59), and we want as much faith as possible to welcome the encounter with Christ, which is the core of the sacramental event.

These are our neediest brothers and sisters. Jesus died for them. He loves them. He reaches out to them through you. I do not wish to supplant your pastoral judgment. You are there on the spot and you know your people as the Good Shepherd does. Please consider carefully what you are asking them to do. Please do not place unnecessary obstacles or hurdles in their way. Please give the child and the grace of the Sacrament the benefit of the doubt, for Jesus Christ alone is the Saviour, and we are the priests and servants of his mysteries of grace.

With the greatest respect and esteem for your priestly and diaconal service,

Yours always in Christ,

Most Rev. Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow

Comment: 

Well, doesn’t that take the proverbial biscuit?  In essence, Archbishop Tartaglia tells parents to practise the Faith, show good example to their children as they prepare for First Confession and First Holy Communion,  only to tell his priests not to expect too much, and by too much, he means ignore the fact that they’re lapsed. Just let the children receive the Sacraments and get back to your golf.  Honestly, it really does take the biscuit. But don’t take my word for it – let’s examine what, precisely, the Archbishop of Glasgow is saying to his priests in the above ad clerum…  

In paragraph one, he mentions his Pastoral Letter acknowledging that he is encouraging parents to do what he later (in his ad clerum) admits they just cannot do, which is to “prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments… ” [para 1]

He describes “this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality” [para 2] without mentioning the part he and his priests have played in creating and perpetuating this apathy, indifference and superficiality. Think, for example, of the many dissenters given platforms in Glasgow – even to the point of having a female Anglican vicar speak in the Jesuit church, St Aloysius College only a few weeks ago. 

The entirety of paragraph three is a damning indictment of the Catholic Church in Scotland, and the Archdiocese of Glasgow in particular: “…you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances and low level of Catholic formation sometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in. ” [para 3 – emphasis added].  Who, pray, is to blame for the fact that children are now coming forward for the Sacraments, from homes where the parent(s) have not, themselves, been adequately taught the Faith? As he laments this scandal, the same Archbishop is allowing the Scottish Catholic Education Department to push homosexual/transgender propaganda in Catholic schools.  Is the Archbishop really that incapable of joining up the dots?

In paragraph four,  the blindness becomes even more apparent: “I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them.”   Talk about missing the point!  The whole reason why these families are faithless is because of negligent priests in pulpits and teachers in schools – overseen by “liberal” bishops; it is precisely because nobody has been remotely demanding with them.  Can he really not see that?  And as for this nonsense about contemporary culture – Muslims, Jews and Hindus live, move and have their being in the very same contemporary culture and they can be picked out on any street as they, literally, wear their religion for all the world to see. So, don’t gimme “contemporary culture” – gimme instead, an open admission of negligent hierarchy, clergy and allegedly Catholic teachers.  

The rest of the Archbishop’s letter to priests can be summed up thus:  don’t bother your heads if the parents are not practising; don’t put obstacles in their way – if they want their child to dress up in a pretty Communion dress, kilt or nice suit, and have their “special day”, don’t go and be a spoil-sport by talking about off-putting things like Commandments (to keep holy the Sabbath) or Church laws (like regular Confession, Sunday Mass etc)  

Left unsaid in the ad clerum:  do you really want to have to say you had no First Communicants this year?  Think of the field day Catholic Truth would have with that little nugget… 

 

Consider:  what SHOULD priests do when presented with non-practising families;  child is baptised and attends Catholic school – should they be permitted to make First Confession, Communion and, later, Confirmation?  Does it make sense to be confirmed in a Faith you know little to nothing about and don’t actually practise – except when weddings and funerals come around?  Let’s hear it…     

Pope Francis: stick with the new Mass… 

Pope Francis, while he says “we must rediscover the reality of the Sacred Liturgy” also warns against “[looking]  back to nostalgic past tendencies or [wishing] to impose them again…”   Loosely translated, this seems to be saying, stick with the new Mass, and don’t hanker after the old…

So, it’s maybe time to remind ourselves of what, precisely, he means by “nostalgic past tendencies” and what precisely, he doesn’t want to “impose again”.  Take the few minutes necessary to watch the short video below and then share your answers to the two questions below…

Questions…

Since the liturgy of the Church is directed to God, to offer Him true worship / adoration, do you think He finds the Novus Ordo Missae acceptable and pleasing – does it achieve that central aim ?

How, in God’s eyes, do you think the Novus Ordo Missae compares to the Traditional Latin Mass (see video below)…

“When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.” – St. John Chrysostom (Bishop & Doctor of the Church).

Sermon: “Poor Quality Catholicism” – A Traditional Priest Hits Home… 

A reader in England alerted me to this sermon, available online, so thank you, John. 

Fr Sebastian Wall SSPX

Father Sebastian Wall (pictured left) is a priest of the Society of St Pius X;  he is the Society Prior in Scotland, serving the SSPX churches in Glasgow and Edinburgh but he also supplies at the Gateshead church fairly regularly.  Click on the image, or click the link below, to hear him preach a hard-hitting sermon in which he offers some specific examples of “poor quality Catholicism” – I saw myself in there.  Maybe you will, as well (not see ME, cheeky! You know what I mean…)  Share your thoughts – what part of this excellent sermon hit home with you

To hear the sermon, click here