Trump & Jerusalem: A Moral Move, A Politically Smart & Valuable Move…

Comment:

Well, do you agree that in publicly recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and moving the U.S.A. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,  President Donald Trump has made a “moral move, a politically smart move and a politically valuable move” – or is he making things worse in the region?   After listening to the potted history on the video, doesn’t it seem odd that the media seem to be united in criticising Trump for this “moral, smart and valuable move”? Or, is it actually the case that no matter what he does, Trump will be criticised… A case of his not being able to do right for doing wrong?

Concern Over Pope Francis Grows: Schism Looms – Cardinals MUST Act!

From One Peter Five…

Pope’s Letter on Argentinian Communion Guidelines for Remarried Given Official Status

A letter from Pope Francis praising episcopal guidelines that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion in some cases while living in a state of objective grave sin has now been added to the official acts of the Apostolic See, conferring official status on what was formerly considered by many to be merely private communication — and raising the stakes on the Amoris Laetitia debate significantly.

Of the guidelines issued by the bishops of the Buenos Aires region that would open “the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist” in “complex circumstances” where “limitations that lessen the responsibility and guilt” of couples who will not make the commitment to “live in continence” despite living in an objectively adulterous situation, the pope said in his letter that “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”

In August of this year, this letter was added to the Vatican website as a papal document available for public reference. Concerns were raised that what had previously been viewed as only private correspondence — and thus, completely outside the realm of papal magisterium — was being given the appearance of an official papal act.

Others were quick to point out that the presence of such a letter on the Vatican website, while troubling in itself, did not grant the document any status, but only publicity. The concern, as I speculated at the time, was that the letter seemed likely therefore to find its way into the Acta Apostolicae Sedis  (AAS) — the journal of the official acts of the Apostolic See. Such a move would confer an official, and at least quasi-authoritative status to the document, in as much as the AAS “contains all the principal decrees, encyclical letters, decisions of Roman congregations, and notices of ecclesiastical appointments. The contents are to be considered promulgated when published, and effective three months from date of issue.”

As Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti reported yesterday, the addition of the letter to the AAS has now been confirmed*:

[T]he “private” letter of Pope Francis to the Argentine bishops was published in the October 2016 edition of Acta Apostolicae Sedis, after they had issued directives for the application of chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia (the chapter with the famous footnotes on giving communion to the divorced and remarried). Directives which, as has been noted and emphasized here, are anything but clear.
The publication of this letter in the Acta is accompanied by a brief note from the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, together with an official rescript from a papal audience in June 2017, announcing that the Pope himself wanted the two documents — the guidelines and the letter — published on the website of Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

The announcement can only serve to further fuel the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the controversial apostolic exhortation as well as the Pope’s way of doing things, which yet again appears to be a far cry from the clarity and straightforwardness that many of the faithful would expect [from the Holy Father]. He has given no response to the dubia Cardinals, no response to the letters, petitions and other initiatives written by scholars, theologians, and ordinary faithful people who have been confused by the deliberate ambiguity of the document. Yet, at the same time, he has given a veneer of officiality to one letter sent to one member of one bishops’ conference.

To what end? To obligate all to give religiosum obsequium [religious assent] to a magisterium expressed in oblique and ambiguous forms, or to respond without committing himself in a direct response which would express the mind of the Pope in an unequivocal manner to the doubtful and perplexed? One is given the feeling that the only thing this does is cause the simple believer annoyance with the Pope’s comportment, which may be defined as a “pretext” in the worst sense of that term.

You can view only the relevant section of the October 2016 edition of the AAS here (Spanish/Latin PDF). (The full edition is available here, but a word of caution – it’s a huge PDF document at nearly 1,200 pages and with a 300MB file size.)

Some outlets are already reporting that the presence of the Buenos Aires letter in the AAS elevates it to the level of “authentic Magisterium,” which would therefore require the aforementioned religious assent of mind and will (cf. Lumen Gentium 25). Others are not so sure. We asked for an assessment from Dr. John Joy, co-Founder and President of the St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies and a specialist in Magisterial authority. “It means that it is an official act of the pope,” Joy said, “rather than an act of the pope as a private person. So it cannot be dismissed as a merely private endorsement of their implementation of AL. It is an official endorsement. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the letter to the Argentine bishops is itself magisterial” and thus requiring religious submission of will and intellect. Such a requirement, Joy said, would only apply if the document intended to teach on matters of faith and morals.

Inasmuch as the letter was in praise of pastoral guidelines that were anything but concrete, this seems unlikely.

Dr. Joy pointed out that adding the letter to the AAS could, in fact, damage the credibility of Amoris Laetitia by potentially removing the possibility that it could be interpreted in an orthodox way through establishing, via its publication in the official acts of the Apostolic See, that the unorthodox interpretation is the official one.
Marco Tosatti says that even some who have been ideological supporters of the pope are allegedly losing patience with his brashness:

And further, if what we have learned from two different sources is true, this annoyance extends to the Vatican. A cardinal of great renown, a former diplomat, who has served an impressive career at the head of Congregations and in high offices in the Secretariat of State, is said to have reproved the Pope for his actions [as Pope], saying to him essentially, “We elected you to make reforms, not to smash everything.” News of this conversation — if it can be called a conversation — has spread through the Vatican, because it took place at a high decibel level, which carried through the fragile barrier of the doors and walls. The cardinal in question was one of those who supported the candidacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the conclave of 2013.

It would not be the first time such dissent has been reported from within the pope’s own camp. In March, The London Times reported that some of the cardinals who helped to elect Francis wanted Francis to step down out of fear that his agenda might cause a schism “more disastrous” than the one wrought by Martin Luther, and that the Church could consequently be “shattered as an institution”. That story indicated that at least some of the group had an interest in replacing the pope with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who heads up the aforementioned Secretariat of State.

Earlier this week, we also told you about a new book, The Dictator Pope, which alleges that many cardinals who helped elect Francis are experiencing “buyer’s remorse,” in part because Francis “is not the democratic, liberal ruler that the cardinals thought they were electing in 2013, but a papal tyrant the like of whom has not been seen for many centuries.”

It seems difficult to believe that just over a year ago, we were attempting to ascertain the veracity of the papal letter to the Argentinian bishops — which had been called into question nearly immediately after its publication — and we now learn that it was only the following month that it became an official act of the Apostolic See.

As reported in The Dictator Pope, the English Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor told journalist Paul Valley in 2013, “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” Every day, we receive new evidence that this might have been a significant understatement.   Source – One Peter Five…

* Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino

Comment: 

Discussing this development after Mass today, one of our bloggers twisted my arm to post this thread because, he argued, next to the new Mass, this is the single biggest catastrophe to afflict the post-Vatican II Church.  Explain why you do, or do not agree…

2018 Marks 100 Years of Catholic Schools in Scotland But… What’s The Point?

From the Scottish Catholic Observer…  24 November, 2017…  

Challenge those who attack Catholic schools, Archbishop says

Archbishop Tartaglia said celebrations of the centenary of Catholic education in Scotland should include a robust defence of Catholic schools
The Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia is encouraging Catholics to get involved in upcoming celebrations to mark 100 years of state Catholic education in Scotland—and to challenge those who attack Catholic schools.

In a letter to headteachers and members of clergy from across Scotland, the archbishop described the centenary as an ‘opportunity to rejoice’ over the successes of Scotland’s Catholic schools and education. “2018 serves as an ­opportunity to rejoice in the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils who have attended Catholic schools in the last 100 years,” he said. “It is a chance to mark publicly the ways in which Catholic schools are not just good for Catholics, but good for Scotland.”

Negative voices

He spoke of the ‘positive contribution of Catholic schools’ to society in Scotland, which he described as being ‘well documented.’

“The continuing support of the Scottish Government and all of the main political parties is encouraging for the future of denominational schools,” he said. “However, while this is a time to reflect and thank God for 100 years of serving our local communities, we cannot be complacent that there is universal support for Catholic schools.

“We need to ensure that we continue to challenge the negative voices which exert pressure in the media and in the political arena, suggesting that there is no place for Faith schools in the public provision of education in a modern Scotland.

“What better way to do this than by marking this centenary as a celebration of the distinctive nature of our schools and by telling the story of the people and communities who have benefited from Catholic education in Scotland.”

Archbishop Tartaglia invited parishes, families, schools and communities across the country to ‘consider the ways that they can add to this story,’ as he revealed that a planning group has been set up to look at ­possible activities and coordinate events for the anniversary celebrations.

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has authorised the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) to ‘propose plans’ to be used in the centenary year that mark the education partnership between Church and state.

Contribution

In his letter, the Archbishop asked that headteachers and priests let parish councils, parent and pupil councils, pastoral planning teams and associated schools’ groups know about the SCES planning group.

“I encourage you to begin a discussion of how your local parish community can support and contribute to the events of this year,” he said, adding that SCES is welcoming submissions of archive material of local school history, stories and photographs of parishioners.

SCES have revealed a number of national events will take place across all of Scotland’s eight dioceses in 2018, while other celebrations will be organised at a diocesan and local level.

The launch of the centenary celebrations will take place in February next year, when a specially commissioned icon of ‘Jesus Our Teacher,’ created to mark the 100th anniversary, will begin its tour across the country, starting in Galloway Diocese.

Glasgow Archdiocese will mark Catholic Education Week, which runs from January 28 to February 2, with a high schools’ Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, while a Catholic Education Week dinner will take place at the city’s Central Hotel on February 2.

On March 3 a Catholic education open forum will take place in Argyll and the Isles Diocese and in April a ‘Leadership of Catholic Schools Conference’ will take place in Salamanca.

The Caritas Award ceremony will be on June 7 next year in Glasgow, a highlight in the year for Catholic schools, and a school pilgrimage along the St Andrew’s Way will take place from June 14-15.

Parents will have the opportunity to come together in August for the National Parent Gathering in Paisley and a planned pilgrimage to Rome led by Archbishop Tartaglia is on the cards for October 15-19. Open to all associated with Catholic Education in Scotland, prices cost £850 per person.

Also in October, the European Catholic Committee (CEEC) will visit Scotland and the Scottish Parliament will also mark the centenary.

For the first time, a second Catholic Education Week will be held in November, including a National Teachers’ Mass in Glasgow and a spiritual retreat for teachers.   [Emphases added]   Source – Scottish Catholic Observer

Comment:

Not a whisper in the above report about the reason why Catholic schools were built in the first place; not a hint of why the 1918 Education Act was necessary. The generic language used to describe Catholic education masks the fact that Catholic schools were built for the key purpose of teaching the Catholic religion, imparting the Catholic Faith, across the subjects of the curriculum – and have manifestly failed to do so since the introduction of content-free programmes of religious (non) education, and other novelties which have polluted Catholicism.   Informed Catholic parents in Scotland have now taken this “rule of thumb” (interweaving the Faith into all subjects) into home-schooling, given that the Catholic schools see their mission as excelling in “the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils” (see above, paragraph 2) and not, as originally, to see to it that students’ world-view is rooted in their Catholic Faith.  Even the image used in the Scottish Catholic Observer report has a pupil studying a Bible – not a Catechism.  Below, some  examples of the kind of material available to Catholic schools by using a sound Catechism – such as the excellent Baltimore series…

Hence, Catholic schools, like non-denominational schools, are now committed to catering for secular values – despite protestations to the contrary. Hence, as we have reported in our newsletter, we find “safe spaces” in Scottish Catholic schools for “LGBT pupils” with gender-neutral pupils, uniforms and language soon to follow, as the instances of such in England indicate.  Click here to read a previous post on this subject. 

 

Teachers who have taught in both sectors, say they see little difference between Catholic and non-denominational schools these days.  So, is the centenary of state Catholic schools in Scotland really anything to celebrate? Should we not, rather, be mourning the passing of true and traditional Catholic education?

Is The Christian Institute Anti-Catholic?

From the website of The Christian Institute…

In 1523 London could number its citizens by the thousands, its crimes by the hundreds and its places of worship by the scores.

Men and women wandered past the religious institutions which held them in superstition and fear. They had no knowledge of the word of God which was withheld from them in Latin by the Church.

Just 15 years later, the Bible was being distributed in English to churches across the land. God’s word would be freely accessible to every man, woman and child who could read or be read to.

This revolutionary change was the focus of our third Autumn Lecture last night, brought to us by Brian Edwards, author and former president of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC).

Edwards explained that the English Bible we read today can largely be credited to the work of one man, used by God – William Tyndale.

Reformation minded

Tyndale was probably born in Gloucestershire in 1491. By 1506, he was studying at Magdalen College, Oxford, before being ordained into the priesthood of the Church of England.

Concerned with the theology of his Oxford colleagues, he is thought to have transferred to Cambridge around 1519. Here he was among a score of upcoming reformers who were discussing the ideas of the Reformation and the work of a certain German monk by the name of Martin Luther.

In 1521, he crossed swords with a local friar who, following a heated debate, exclaimed: ‘we’d be better off without God’s law than the law of the Pope’.

Tyndale replied: “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than you!”
Thus began Tyndale’s life’s work – translating the Bible into the language of the common people.

Exile

This at a time when it was forbidden for a person to read the Bible in English without a priest’s permission and people were burned at the stake for teaching others the Lord’s Prayer in English.

Tyndale fled England. In 1524 he travelled to Hamburg and then to Cologne, and by 1525 he was starting to print the New Testament in English, before copies were smuggled back to England on German merchant ships.

Amidst barrels of grain were thousands of English New Testaments, available for the price of a load of hay.

Lasting influence

Skilled in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and several other languages, the accuracy of Tyndale’s rendering has been commended by experts.

But he aimed to communicate the Gospel, not just translate, and in the foreword to his New Testament, he urged readers to repent and trust in Christ for themselves.

Medieval historian Ian Mortimer describes Tyndale as, “the only writer in the English language more influential than Shakespeare”. Many of his phrases remain in language today and he introduced new terms including “scapegoat” and “Exodus”.

By 1530, his translation of the Pentateuch had arrived in England. But King Henry declared that Tyndale’s books should be burned and punishment doled out to owners. Tyndale was a hunted man, constantly on the lookout for King Henry’s agents.

Martyred

Early in the summer of 1535, Tyndale was betrayed by his friend Henry Phillips who invited him to lunch and then ambushed him. He was imprisoned outside Brussels for a year, accused of heresy.

In September 1536, William Tyndale, England’s greatest Bible translator was chained to a stake, partially strangled and then burned.

His final words are said to have been: ‘Lord, open the King of England’s eyes’.

God’s word for all

Tyndale’s prayer was answered in that a short time later the Great Bible – based on the work of Tyndale – was presented to Henry VIII and approved for distribution to churches across England.

Brian Edwards concluded: “Tyndale’s legacy is in the pages of every English Bible you ever pick up”.   Source – Christian Institute

Comment:

The above article from the Christian Institute website is classic Protestant Propaganda.  Click here to read an academic rebuttal of the Protestant view of the Bible, which was butchered, literally, by the Protestant revolutionaries in the Middle Ages. Far from upholding the Scriptures as the Word of God, the “reformers” removed those books which, a cynic might say, were too Catholic for them – notably, books which contain the roots of Catholic doctrines (e.g. Purgatory – Maccabees).   See short (2 minutes) video clip below..

Share your thoughts on the blatant propaganda published by the Christian Institute, which is an organisation respected for its work in addressing political correctness in the moral sphere. It has led the fight against the Named Person Scheme in Scotland. Thus,  Catholics, myself included, have supported its work – but this might prove to be  a game-changer.  Or perhaps you disagree?  Speak your mind! 

The Morality of Driverless Cars…

Comment:

Today, the Westminster Chancellor reveals his budget. He is expected to prioritise investment in driverless cars.  Reportedly, these will be on the road by 2021.

Should a Catholic buy a driverless car? Check out the short, 4 minutes video clip to consider some of the ethical and moral issues involved.  Would you buy one?  Take the passenger seat?  Me? I’d sooner walk…

The Tyranny of Transgenderism…

Comment:

More and more, day and daily, it is becoming clear that the sheer madness of “transgenderism” is taking hold in our society, and that anyone who questions it, or does not conform to this new and dangerous ideology, will be punished.

And, yet again, we are not being led by our shepherds; priests and bishops remain silent in the face of this onslaught of evil.  How many more teachers, like Joshua Sutcliffe, will have to walk on egg-shells in classrooms, not permitted to identify “boys and girls” but pretend that a boy or a girl in front of him is their “preferred” gender – or risk losing their teaching post.   The lunatics really are running the asylum.

Is there anything we can do?  All suggestions welcome…

The Sexual Culture of Politicians Vs The Sexual Culture Of The People…

It’s fascinating to listen to the news broadcasters taking some very high moral ground this week, as they report lurid stories of  alleged sexual abuse of both men and women by Members of Parliament.  Everyone agrees that this is shock-horror stuff, posture amazement, and insist that it must stop.  It’s almost like watching one of the old interviews with Mary Whitehouse

Whatever happened to the whole “let’s ditch morality” thing, and “no more hang-ups about sex” – whatever happened to sexual freedom and liberalism? 

Comment:

Will it be possible to change the culture in Westminster, but not in the rest of the country? Should we really expect the politicians to live by a higher standard of sexual morality than that taken for granted in the wider (very) sexually permissive society, UK-wide?

Oh, and wouldn’t this be the ideal time for the Bishops to be speaking out – sort of “We [or, more accurately, God] told you that sexual permissiveness brings nothing but misery”  – wouldn’t that be something for the population of the UK to hear and ponder?