Priest’s Open Letter To UK Bishops…

Father David Marsden SCJ has kindly granted permission for us to publish his powerful Open Letter to the Bishops of the UK on the subject of seminary formation…
Father was forced to resign from St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth  and, two years on, he has now been fired from St. Mary’s College, Oscott (Birmingham, England).  Read on to find out why…

Dear Bishops,

Like countless faithful Catholics around the world, I am sure many of you have been shocked and sickened by the recent scandals committed by the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Further suffering is being inflicted by the silence of other cardinals and bishops who knew about his behavior and said nothing — and indeed continue to say nothing. In light of the explosive report by Archbishop Viganò, it becomes even more apparent that the homosexual cabal operating in the Catholic Church exists at the very highest level and even incriminates Pope Francis himself.

I hope and pray that the action of the Holy Spirit is now beginning to purify the hierarchy by exposing the evil committed by homosexual clergy around the world. I feel it is my duty to now inform you and faithful Catholics that the homosexual collective within the hierarchy which enabled McCarrick to function in an unobstructed manner is still alive and well today in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Towards the end of May 2018, I was dismissed from my post as formation tutor at St. Mary’s College, Oscott by the rector, Canon David Oakley. The reason for this was that I recommended that an openly gay seminarian discontinue the program of formation. Clearly, as an openly gay man, there was no hope of him being ordained. David Oakely informed me that his bishop was “adamant” that his student was staying in formation and that this was not how he and a number of bishops interpreted the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

In light of the McCarrick scandal and the Viganò report, it has become very clear that cardinals, bishops and senior clergy from around the world are still openly dissenting against the Church’s teaching that prohibits the entrance into seminary formation of men with a homosexual orientation. This is the root cause of the most pressing scandal of our times. In fact, it is destroying the priesthood from within.

Apparently, the policy in Oscott appears to be if a candidate is not “acting out” his homosexual tendencies at the moment or behaving in an inappropriately “camp” way, then he is free to follow the formation program and move towards holy orders. The rector will not dismiss a candidate from the seminary who admits to being “gay” out of fear that his bishop will not agree with his decision. The problem, therefore, quietly continues.

This approach is clearly ignoring the Church’s teaching on this vital issue, yet for some strange reason, bishops are still not being made accountable for disregarding this important instruction. Whilst the teaching is clear, the practice in so many dioceses is deeply compromised. Can I make a huge plea that something be done about this widespread abuse?

I can also state that two of the spiritual directors in the seminary are very compromised on the issue of homosexuality — one individual admitting to me his own gender identity is very confused and the other openly stated that homosexual priests are a good idea as they are better able to minister effectively to homosexual Catholics! Neither would adhere to Church’s teaching and acknowledge that a key part of their role as spiritual contained the “duty to dissuade (a homosexual person) in conscience from proceeding towards ordination.”

I am writing to you all with a petition to act and take the necessary steps to reform the three remaining seminaries in England. The orthodox and heterosexual seminarians deserve a seminary free from a gay subculture and free from academic and formation staff who are homosexual themselves.

For the sake of brevity, I will summarise my findings from the year I spent working in the seminary:

1. The problem begins at St. Luke’s Institute in Manchester where a number of seminarians are asked to undergo a psychological assessment as part of the selection policy. The director of the institute, Fr. Gerard Fieldhouse-Byrne, has some very strange views on homosexuality himself and seems happy to admit homosexual men into the formation program. This is a problem that the bishop of Salford needs to address.

2. Canon David Oakley is prepared to admit homosexual men into his seminary and will not dismiss them unless their public conduct becomes unsavory. He is a compromised and cowardly man who is not prepared to make a stand and disagree with the bishops on the issue of homosexuality.

3. A number of bishops from England and Wales are happy to admit seminarians who are openly gay into the formation program and proceed towards ordination. The bishop of Menevia is one such example.

4. One of the spiritual directors at Oscott Seminary has admitted to being sexually attracted to young men. It is highly inappropriate that such an individual hold such a post. The rector is aware of this fact but seems unable to confront this individual. He even noted that the friends who accompany this individual for holidays each year are also homosexual. Another of the spiritual directors in the seminary thinks that homosexual priests are a great idea as they can minister to the gay Catholic community.

5. The archbishop of Birmingham and the archbishop of Westminster have both been informed of these issues and seem to prefer to ignore them. Why do we continue to have such passive and feeble-hearted clerics in such high places of leadership in the Church? Why are they afraid to speak out on topics such as homosexuality in the clergy and the toxic gender ideology sweeping through our schools?

These are not only facts but shocking allegations against the present life of the seminary in Birmingham. Action needs to be taken to address the homosexual culture in the Church’s hierarchy. Scandals like those of Theodore McCarrick and Cardinal Keith O’Brien are just waiting to happen. The normal, heterosexual students in Oscott demand that the homosexual clique in the seminary be dismissed and that the homosexual or bisexual staff members be dismissed also.

I was fired from the college for striving to uphold the Church’s teaching on homosexuality which is a grave injustice to me personally. It is extraordinary to think that I was asked by the rector to make a public oath of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church at the beginning of the academic year. It is my fidelity to that oath that has cost me my job and deprived the seminarians of the only qualified formator in the seminary.

In the summer of 2016, I was forced to resign from St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth because they were ordaining openly homosexual men to the priesthood, and two years later I have been fired from St. Mary’s College, Oscott for stating that homosexual men are not to be admitted to seminary formation and priesthood.

We are surely living through dark times for the Catholic Church. Are there any good bishops left who are brave enough to begin the wholesale reform of the priesthood that is so badly needed?

With every blessing in Christ,

Father David Marsden, S.C.J.
Former Formation Tutor

Comment:

Catholic Truth warmly commends Father Marsden for his excellent letter to the Bishops.  We pray that some, at least, actively respond to it.

What do you think… will any Bishops (even one) – pay heed?  

Jesuit Superior: Pope “not the chief of Church” – he’s the Bishop of Rome…

Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Jesuits, said in an interview Monday that Pope Francis consciously calls himself the Bishop of Rome, instead of using grander titles.    

“Very frequently we forget that the pope is not the chief of the Church, he’s the Bishop of Rome,” Fr. Sosa told EWTN in an interview Oct. 15.

“As the bishop of Rome, he has another service to do to the Church, that is, to try to [bring about] the communion of the whole Church.”

By convoking the youth synod, taking place in Rome Oct. 3-28, Francis is exercising his role as pope by bringing together a group “of his own peers” to make a “contribution to the communion of the whole Church,” Sosa said.

“Fr. Sosa is certainly correct to say that the pope is the Bishop of Rome, but it would be a mistake to infer from that title that the Holy Father is merely ‘first among equals,’” Chad Pecknold, Associate Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America, told CNA.

Pecknold told CNA that popes often and correctly speak of their “brother bishops,” but that the Petrine office is unique.

The pope “holds an office of supreme authority over every bishop in communion with him, and of course over the faithful too. It isn’t a charism of dominance but of paternal care – the popes traditionally use the title ‘servant of the servants of God.’”

Sosa said that because Pope Francis feels each bishop is responsible for his local church, this synod, in which Church leaders come together to discuss and decide church affairs, is an expression of dialogue and communion between all of the bishops.

Pecknold agreed that the world’s bishops are each truly invested with the authority to govern, teach, and minister to their own dioceses. But a bishop’s ministry must always be done in union with the pope, who, he said, “is the visible center of communion for the universal Church.”

“The worldwide college of bishops exists in what the Church calls ‘hierarchical communion’ with each other and with the head, the pope. When the we talk about authority of the college of bishops to teach or lead, the Church is always careful to emphasize that this is only possible in union with the pope, who is the head of the college,” Pecknold explained.

In his interview, Sosa also explained that the collaborative work of the synod is a work of discernment, something he said was very important to Pope Francis. The Jesuit superior said that although the concept of discernment is a key feature of Jesuit spirituality, the act of listening to the Spirit has been a part of the Church’s for a long time.
“Discernment is the way that this communion [of the universal Church] can be made and how the Church will find the structure to reflect a Church that is open to that synodality,” Sosa continued.

“Because the Church is supposed to be governed not by men but by the Spirit. So [the Synod of Bishops] is not a kind of parliament, where you have to have a majority or minority, but we all together try to listen to the Spirit. And that’s what discernment teaches us to do.”

In comments to journalists Oct. 16, Cardinal Louis Sako I, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, echoed this point: “The synod is not a political parliament, is a synod of fathers, teachers,” he said. “What can we give, what can we offer the young, the faithful?”

The Synod of Bishops, which was established by Pope St. Paul VI following Vatican Council II, was created to continue the collaborative effects of the council fathers.

The Code of Canon Law defines it as a work of “collaborative assistance” to the pope’s ministry, and stresses that it exists to “foster unity” among the bishops, including with the pope. It also states that the synod is itself a creation of papal authority, deriving its legitimacy not from the bishops attending but from the pope who called them to the session. Whether a synod session’s conclusions are deliberative or consultative is explicitly up to the pope, who decides how much of his own authority to delegate to it.

In this sense, Pecknold told CNA, it functions nothing like a parliament.

“Parliaments are political, legislative bodies,” he said.

“The Synod of Bishops exists to foster unity and to give the pope the benefit of their counsel. In that sense, their job isn’t to pass this resolution or block that one – it is to work together to advise the pope as best they can, and that is a work of communion and service, not confrontation.”  Source

Comment:

Pope Francis DID emphasise, right from the beginning, from his words on election delivered from the Vatican balcony, that he was Bishop of Rome… He has, it seems, sought to play down his papal role.  So,  the question has to be… does it matter?  Shouldn’t we applaud his humility in shying away from all things Petrine?  

Francis “Canonises” Pope Paul VI

Pope Francis has canonized Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Oscar Romero and five other saints.

This morning in St. Peter’s Square, before a crowd of about 70,000 people, Pope Francis presided over Holy Mass for the canonization of the saints while the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment is underway in the Vatican, Oct. 3-28, 2018.

He also proclaimed canonized saints Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano, Maria Caterina Kasper, Nazaria Ignazia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, and Nunzio Sulprizio.  To read entire report click here

Then click here to read a thoroughly documented commentary on “The Canonization Crisis” published on The Remnant website.

Comment:

I’d forgotten all about these canonisations until a fellow parishioner reminded me this morning after Mass.  We were talking about the widespread scandals of recent weeks and months, and she added that it was going to be all downhill from today.  I asked her “why today?”  She then reminded me that Pope Paul VI (pictured below with the six Protestant ministers whom he invited to help him create a new Mass, one that would be acceptable to our – increasingly – separated  Protestant brothers and sisters),  is now being rewarded for this scandal by “canonisation”.  Along with Archbishop Romero, advocate for the poor. I’m no expert on the life and times of Archbishop Oscar Romero, so this article is interesting – especially in its conclusion. 

     From left: A. Raymond George (Methodist), Ronald Jaspar (Anglican), 
Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian),
Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran),
  Eugene Brand (Lutheran),
Max Thurian (Ecumenical community of Taize).

Discussion point…

I NEVER refer to “Saint” John Paul II or “Saint” John XXIII.  Nor will I acknowledge “Saint Paul VI”.   Will you? 

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)  

Pope Francis Doesn’t DO Catholicism

Christopher Ferrara, Fatima Center, writes:

As the homosexual priest scandal once again erupts around the world (including the revelation that fully half of the cardinals and bishops of the Netherlands are implicated in the cover-up of sexual abuse), the ex-President of the Italian Senate, Marcello Pera, was interviewed by La Fede Quotidiana concerning Pope Francis’ continuing silence in the face of Archbishop Viganò’s historic indictment of the Pope’s own role in the cover-up of homosexual corruption at the highest levels of the Church.

“It seems to me that the Pope does not intend to give a response, or perhaps thinks that others will respond, a dilatory tactic that, instead of promoting serenity and clarity contributes to general disconcert and confusion,” said Pera. “[I]t seems to be the same thing that happened with the Dubia of the cardinals,” Pera continued.

Respecting the attempts to demonize Viganò, Pera observes that he has “the sensation that the Pope trusts in that wing of the press that is always and everywhere favorable. He knew that he would be defended a priori by certain important journalists” who would be willing to shoot the messenger by way of character assassination. But, Pera rightly observes, “I am not interested in the motives that have driven Viganò but only in whether his allegations are true or not.”

Pera is also a renowned philosopher whose work focuses on the problems of cultural relativism, the post-modern denial of objective reality and “deconstructionism,” which reduces all truth claims to mere interpretations rather than statements of objective fact. Hence Pera knows whereof he speaks when he says that in his view Francis is symptomatic of the crisis of a “tragic and alarming diminution of the Christian conscience in Europe. Bergoglio substitutes for catholicity a secular humanism. From this step a schism can arise.”

Asked whether he knows the “Pope Emeritus” well, Pera replied that he does but that “I have not spoken to him in a long time.” As to whether he thinks Benedict is worried about the state of the Church under this pontificate, Pera answered simply: “I imagine so.”

Last July, Pera voiced even stronger criticism of the current occupant of the Chair of Peter. Concerning Francis’ insistence on “welcoming” unlimited numbers of Muslim immigrants into Italy, most of them military age males not helpless “refugees,” Pera told Il Mattino: “I do not understand this Pope. What he says is beyond all rational comprehension. Why does he insist on total acceptance? The Pope does it because he detests the West, aspires to destroy it and does everything to achieve this end…”
What Francis preaches, says Pera, “is not the Gospel but only politics. Francis is little or not at all interested in Christianity as a doctrine, on the theological aspect. […] His statements seem based on Scripture, in reality they are strongly secularist.” It is hard to dispute that opinion given the many indications that we have a Pope who doesn’t “do” Catholicism. As for example his recent refusal to give an Apostolic Benediction to a crowd of young people in Palermo because their number included “other Christians and religious traditions and even some agnostics.” Instead, the Vicar of Christ, refusing to mention Christ, invoked a generic “Lord God” for the intention of “blessing the seeds of disquiet in their souls” because “they want to make a better world” as “searchers for goodness and happiness” and travelers on “the road to dialogue and encounter with the other.”

A Vicar of Christ who studiously refrains from mentioning the light of Christ to those in need of it for their salvation, lest anyone in the audience be offended. What sort of Pope is this? One the likes of which the Church has never seen before, not even in the midst of the ecclesial tumult of the past 50 years.   Source

Comments invited…  

Edinburgh Social Services Accuse SSPX of being Sect – Parents fighting to prevent children being taken into care… 

Saints Margaret & Leonard, SSPX chapel, Edinburgh...

The following email from an Edinburgh reader arrived in my inbox this morning, and after due consultation, I have been granted permission to publish it: the names of the parents have been withheld. 

Email from Edward (not his real name)

Can I ask you all to pray for [names withheld] who attend the SSPX chapel in Edinburgh? They have a meeting tomorrow with the Social Services who are trying to take their children into care. Apparently when one of the children walked into a tree and grazed herself someone reported them to the Social Services who accused [the child’s father] of causing the cut.

They are now bringing the SSPX into the case claiming that [the parents] belong to a sect which is not recognised by the Catholic Church and “which holds many contentious points of view, including anti-Semitism and holocaust denial, among many other things.” The Social Work Manager claims that the children are “being exposed to controversial views preached at the church.”

[The father] has often complained to St. Mary’s school in Leith about certain things being taught in the school which were contrary to Catholic teaching and is obviously regarded as a troublemaker. I suspect that it is the school who have contacted the Social Services.

Please pray that all will go well for them tomorrow. Ends

In a subsequent email, “Edward” disclosed the fact that the Archbishop has shown himself to have “no problem with the SSPX” and so those involved in trying to help the parents are confident that he will agree to help the family by explaining that the Society is not a sect, and that anyone regularly attending the chapel will affirm that the allegations of anti-Semitism, holocaust-denial and the like in preaching at the chapel, are totally without foundation.  

Note: the dual purpose of this thread…

1)    to seek prayers for this family, for all the spiritual sustenance necessary to withstand this intrusive attack on their family life, with the attendant anxiety and worry.  

2)   to highlight the dangers for parents of pupils in the Catholic education system, if they seek to question any materials or content which they consider is contrary to Catholic  teaching. No “dialogue”, no “parental involvement” allowed here…

On the contrary, “Liberal tyranny” is alive and well and working hard here in Scotland, for all the world to see.  From the sinister Government Named Person Scheme, a spy in every home, for every child, before and after birth, until the child’s 18th birthday, to the equally sinister persecution by pseudo-experts of parents who dare to insist on an authentic Catholic education for the children they have chosen to send to a Catholic school.  At least, in this case, it seems that the Archbishop is seeking to be fair and there has been  a move to put the family in touch with a Canon Lawyer, so we must give all credit to the archdiocese on this occasion. Let’s pray that they are minded to help this family to achieve justice. 

Finally…

Pray for this family – and share your thoughts on the sheer audacity of that person or persons who think nothing of lying, blatantly, in order to undermine parental rights, Catholic family life, and the reputation of the priestly Society of Saint Pius X.   

Archbishop Chaput to Pope: Cancel Youth Synod – Fix Bishops Instead!

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is asking Pope Francis to call off the Synod of Bishops on young people this October to focus instead on the life of the bishops.

“I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the upcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic,” the archbishop said at an Aug. 30 conference at Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, according to a report by the website LifeSiteNews.

In its place, the archbishop suggested that the pope “begin making plans for a synod on the life of bishops,” the archbishop said.

Ken Gavin, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, confirmed the archbishop sent the letter to the pope, but he offered no additional comments.

The archbishop gave his comments about canceling the synod during a panel discussion called the “Cardinals’ Forum,” sponsored by the Cardinal John Foley Chair of Social Communications and Homiletics and the Cardinal John Krol Chair of Moral Theology, both at the seminary.

The archbishop, who is set to participate in the synod on youth, was one of three panelists speaking on the topic “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment,” the theme of the Oct. 3-28 synod in Rome.

Hundreds of bishops and young people representing youth from across the globe will engage in discussions at that meeting and typically, the pope attends some synod conferences. After the gathering’s conclusion, the bishops make recommendations to advise the pope as he formulates pastoral policy to address the specific issues discussed.
Pope Francis had previously confirmed Archbishop Chaput, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as one of only five American bishops to attend the synod, all of whom were elected by their peers in the USCCB.

The other church leaders planning to attend are: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president; Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, USCCB vice president; Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, a member of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.

Calls for reform in the Catholic hierarchy have risen throughout the summer as the clergy sexual abuse scandal has intensified, with bishops across the globe coming under scrutiny for their potential role in covering up cases of abuse of children and young adults.

And confidence in the credibility of Catholic bishops has been eroding in the wake of allegations against the former Washington Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the Pennsylvania grand jury report on 70 years of clergy child sexual abuse in the state and the explosive letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former U.S. papal nuncio, alleging the cover-up of Archbishop McCarrick’s abuse by bishops in the United States and in the Vatican.

In an Aug. 30 letter to the pope, Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns asked for an extraordinary synod to address issues in the latest Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis.

“The current crisis of sexual abuse by clergy, the cover-up by leaders in the church and the lack of fidelity of some have caused great harm,” the letter said. It suggests that this synod should include topics such as “the care and the safeguard of children and the vulnerable, outreach to victims, the identity and lifestyle of the clergy, the importance of healthy human formation within the presbyterate/religious community, etc.”  Source


Comments invited…