Marriage & Modernist Double-Speak…

Extracts below from Catholic Herald article entitled: Cardinal lays out plan for parishes to implement Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has issued a broad and detailed pastoral plan for parishes to implement Pope Francis’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”).

“Amoris Laetitia is a call to compassionate accompaniment in helping all to experience Christ’s love and mercy,” the Archbishop of Washington said in the 58-page pastoral plan.

The plan, “Sharing in the Joy of Love in Marriage and Family,” was posted on the archdiocesan website late on March 3. Cardinal Wuerl planned to officially introduce the document to the archdiocese with a Mass on March 4 at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle…

“Some may ask, ‘Is the teaching [on marriage] always binding?’ The answer of course is yes,” he continued. “Yet Amoris Laetitia invites us to adopt a complementary perspective and to look with a parental attitude at those families who find themselves in a position where they struggle to even understand, let alone embrace fully, the teaching because of the concrete circumstances in which they live.”

Cardinal Wuerl said his pastoral plan is “directed to parishes, priests, religious and laity” and is meant “to encourage reflection” on:

• “The richness of the Church’s perennial teaching on love, marriage, family, faith and mercy.”
• “The essential aspect of pastoral ministry, called accompaniment.”
• “Several significant themes such as the new evangelisation, the role of conscience, and the privileged place of the parish where we find and experience Christ’s way of living and loving.”  Read entire article here


So, “yes” Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage is always binding, but here’s how to get round it… is essentially what the Cardinal is saying in typical modernist double speak. After all, a competent teacher,  confronted by a student who “struggles to even understand, let alone embrace fully” a subject  puts his/her mind and skill to working out ways to explain the subject more fully, more clearly, but doesn’t change the truth to make it more palatable.  2 + 2 will never make 5, no matter how much the student (and exasperated teacher) wishes it were so. 

Check out the bullet points – closely. Notice one of the “significant themes” is the role of conscience… Code for the heresy of “your choice,  your decision”, objective truth, objective morality does not exist but even if they do, well, rules are there to be broken, as the old saying goes. However it’s dressed up, and whatever the motivation, Amoris Laetitia (AL) is all about breaking the rules.

Still,  Cardinal Wuerl is a bit behind the AL times.  Here in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, we had retreats for priests and teachers almost as AL was rolling off the press, so chop-chop over there in the USA – we’re well ahead of you on this…

Call No Modernist “Father”…

At school, we were taught to call priests “Father” because they are the father of our souls. They care for our spiritual well-being, and work for our salvation. Easy enough to understand. No problem.  Answering the Protestant criticism that the Bible says “call no man on earth your father” was/is also easy – click here to read  a very clear explanation of the correct interpretation of that biblical verse.

There are, however, priests who dislike the title, which is purely honorific – that is, it is simply a means of showing respect. It is meaningless in terms of the status, ministry, duties etc of the priest. 

When I come across priests who dislike being called “Father” or who fall into the “Call me Joe” category, I simply avoid calling them anything. I cannot bring myself to address them by their Christian names.  A deep respect for, and love of, the priesthood is instilled in Catholics and few among us wish to show disrespect for the priesthood, even if we are less than impressed with the aforementioned “Fr Joe” and his ilk.  

Lately, however, I’ve been re-considering this – more in terms of writing than speaking. Take Cardinal Marx, for example. Please. Take him. Anywhere. The German cardinal, Reinhard Marx, who is about as Catholic as Sadiq Khan has as much right to a Catholic title denoting honour and respect as Theresa May, if you ask me, which I know you didn’t… 

Anyway, what about it.  Should Catholics show respect for an individual churchman (by applying honorific titles) simply because he is ordained, no matter how much he abuses his office and betrays Christ by his words and actions?  Or, is it acceptable to say “Hi Joe” or to write about “Marx” – what do you think? 

Why Are Catholic Schools Today Giving The Wrong Message to Young People?

Young people urged to ‘change the world’ at Paisley youth Mass – click here to read more While across in Glasgow, St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch has put a stop to the high-sugar and caffeinated beverages, following calls from both teachers and experts in the UK –  click here to read about that nonsense...  


I don’t remember being made to feel obligated to “change the world” during my schooldays.  Some pressure! 

Instead, the focus was on God and on our own souls.  We were to change ourselves, not “the world”.

What about you?  Would you be hurrying to get to Catholic school these days or do you prefer the “old” model where we were brought to understand that it is holiness of life, achieved by being faithful Catholics,  that changes us… and thus, the world?   Isn’t that the message Catholic educators should be delivering? 

Disastrous Pontificate Persists – Yet No Sense of Urgency From “Opponents”…

Me? Damaging the Church? No way!

A friend rang me last night to say he’d attended a Summorum Pontificum Traditional Mass and found himself chatting afterwards with a couple who were not husband and wife, but “partners” …   My friend was downhearted, dispirited that even the better priests seem to be willing to tolerate such scandals. 

Then this from The American Conservative “The president of the German Bishops’ Conference has declared that, in his view, Catholic priests can conduct blessing ceremonies for homosexual couples.”

The list of scandalous words and actions from this current shocking pope, or tolerated by him, grows day and daily. Too much to list here – and anyway, would, more likely than not, be out of date before I press the “publish” button on this page. 

There is no lack of evidence that Pope Francis is a danger to Catholic Faith and Morals.  Quite the reverse – there’s an abundance of evidence. Even as I type this, a report has come in questioning the pope’s integrity – would he blatantly impart falsehoods, we have to ask? Click here to answer that for yourself. 

The question is, why are the supposedly concerned bishops who allegedly oppose him remaining silent – such as Cardinal Burke and the Captain and Crew of the Lifeboat SSPX?  Why no sense of urgency? Why have they all gone to ground? 

It’s one thing to pick one’s fights, but not to fight at all?  Take a few minutes to view the short video in the News section of the Dici website here.  Who, on this earth, would ever imagine that the Church is suffering the worst crisis ever in its entire history, watching that broadcast?  Lovely reports, sure, but there’s been nothing about any attempt to fight as members of the Church Militant, under our banner as Soldiers of Christ,  in any of the recent videos posted on Dici  in January, which I’ve viewed with surprise and disappointment.  This latest one, linked above, dated 2nd February, is no different. Plenty of devotional content, suggesting the danger of becoming so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly use.  

What should the supposed opponents of this dreadful pontificate be doing, in addition to prayer. Concrete action, surely – but what, precisely? 

Comments invited… 

Vatican Betrayal of Chinese Faithful…Recognises Fake Government “Church”

CHINA, January 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In what appears to be a capitulation to China’s communist regime, the Vatican has allegedly asked legitimate bishops to step down from their post in order to make way for the installation of new, illegitimate bishops, hand-picked by the government.

The Vatican has asked Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian to retire in order to allow a state-sanctioned and excommunicated bishop to take his place while “another Vatican-appointed bishop was asked to downgrade himself as the assistant of an illicit bishop,” according to a report in AsiaNews.  

Bishop Zhuang was secretly ordained with Vatican approval in 2006.  The Chinese government wants to replace Zhuang with excommunicated Bishop Huang Bingzhang, who is a member of the National People’s Congress.  Huang was previously excommunicated because he was ordained without Vatican approval.

“A letter dated 26 October demanded the 88-year-old bishop to resign to give way to the excommunicated bishop, whom the Holy See is going to recognize,” the AsiaNews report continued.  “Bishop Zhuang at that time refused to obey and rather ‘carry His Cross’ for being disobedience [sic].”

The news comes six months after Cardinal Joseph Zen, the first Cardinal from China and a key adviser to Pope Benedict XVI regarding China-Vatican relations, denounced a Vatican agreement with the Chinese atheistic Communist government. The Cardinal indirectly accused Pope Francis of backing a “fake” church in China. 

Cardinal Joseph Zen


“But the whole thing is fake. They [the Vatican] are giving decisive power to the government … how can the initiative of choosing bishops be given to an atheistic government? Incredible. Incredible,” he said at that time. 

Regarding the surprising demands of the Vatican as it acquiesces to the communist Chinese government, one underground priest told AsiaNews, “We of course feel hard to accept but do we have the rights to oppose the Vatican?” He added that if things actually go this way, “I may consider to quit and leave my priesthood.”

For the most part, the genuine Catholic Church in China operates underground while the government runs the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, a counterfeit church of communist-approved and monitored clerics. Bishops and priests of the underground church, which have been loyal to the pope and not the communist government, have faced imprisonment for their loyalty to the successor of Peter. 

Last year, Cardinal Zen, the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong and China’s highest-ranking prelate, pleaded with the Vatican not to “sell out” China’s Catholics by striking a deal with the Communist government, which seeks nothing less than “total surrender.”  

In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, Zen said he had been urged to speak out by Catholics who lack the freedom to speak for themselves. 

Zen said that a Vatican deal with the Chinese government would damage the Church’s credibility. After all, if the Chinese government can appoint bishops, other governments could expect to do so as well. 

“We are very much worried because it seems that the Vatican is going to make a very bad agreement with China,Zen told LifeSiteNews. “And I can understand that the pope is really naive … He doesn’t know the Chinese communists. But unfortunately the people around him are not good at all. They have very wrong ideas. And I’m afraid that they may sell out our underground Church. That would be very sad.”

“They don’t have much public voice, the underground,” Zen explained. “People who come from China to see me, they all say, ‘please, you must raise your voice. We cannot say anything’ because they have no freedom to talk. So I keep talking, but it seems that they [the Holy See] don’t listen. They don’t like to listen.”

Some Holy See officials “consider the underground, the faithful,” to be “troublemakers,” he said. And the pope has a strong desire for unity and peace but is “rather naive” about the nature of the Chinese government. [Emphasis added]

The news also comes amid reports of Christian churches being demolished in China while clerics and other faithful are being jailed for their associations with churches not sanctioned by the state. 

In what amounts to a crackdown on “Western” religions UCANews reports “Authorities in China demolished a large church in the city of Linfen, Shanxi province on Jan. 9, despite efforts by worshippers to halt the demolition and who were then pressured to remain silent, according to witnesses.” This was the third Christian church to be demolished or closed in China in two weeks.

More than 1,500 Catholic and Protestant churches in China’s Zhejiang province “have been targeted for demolition or cross removals in recent years, sources have said in a campaign against churches not coming under state control,” according to the UCANews report.  “Chinese authorities are increasingly using property regulations to remove crosses and demolish churches.”

Beginning last year, religious freedom and public worship became severely restricted in China, where the government has “physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups,” according to a 2017 U.S. State Department report.  

The only priest of the Lishui Diocese, also in Zhejiang province, went missing shortly after Christmas when government officials abruptly took him away.   

Father Lu Danhua, ordained a priest of the underground church in 2016, was taken away by officials of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) for “‘re-educating’ on new religious regulations coming into effect Feb. 1 and that he would return after obtaining a permit to be a priest,” according to another UCANews report.

The Catholic cleric “remains missing and calls to his mobile phone have not been answered.”   Source


In honour of the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians (May 24), Pope Benedict XVI composed the following prayer in 2008. He asked that it be recited every year on May 24, and that May 24 be designated a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, as an act of solidarity and solicitude with her persecuted Catholics.

“Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title “Help of Christians,” the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection. Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens. When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously co-operated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary, standing beside your Son, Who died that we might live. From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith and choose to follow in His footsteps by taking up His Cross. Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter. Grant that your children may discern at all times, even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence. Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus. In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high, offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love. Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built. Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!”

Note:  The constitution of the Chinese government guarantees its citizens “religious freedom.” However, since the Chinese Government views religion as a threat to its power, it restricts religious activities to only government-sanctioned organizations and registered places of worship. Those religious groups that do not submit to the government guidelines and are not willing to allow a secular and government agency to dictate its religious activities face severe consequences: surprise raids, heavy fines, imprisonment, and torture. Even to this day, the Chinese Government considers the part of the Catholic Church that is still underground [i.e., those in communion with Rome and the Holy Father rather than being controlled by the State] illegal. Thus, Holy Mass, catechism classes, baptism and other religious services for many Catholics that are still underground must be conducted in private homes and in secret with risks of exorbitant fines, imprisonment, house arrest, physical tortures, and labour camp internment.

Comments invited… 

Does God Speak To Us In Dreams?

There’s a very good reason why we are often advised to “sleep on it” when faced with a decision. It’s possible to wake up with an entirely different mindset, glad that we didn’t act, as initially planned, since now we have a fresh perspective after a good night’s sleep. Add to the benefit of “sleeping on it” in terms of decision-making, it’s sometimes true that ideas come to us during sleep.  Against this backdrop, then, I found this article in the Scottish Catholic Observer by Father John Bollan very interesting – here’s a short extract, where he speaks of his forthcoming holiday and the need to step back from the noise and the fuss of everyday life. Prayer is, of course, the principal way in which a priest should slough off the cares of life, restoring balance and perspective. Our recently acquired ‘sleeping St Joseph’ statue is a reminder that sleep is also a door, not only to physical refreshment but also to that space wherein God can speak to us in dreams.”

The key question is that contained in the headline: does God speak to us in dreams? Any examples you’d like to share?

Note:  whether or not we agree with this young priest’s comments is not the purpose of this thread. If, like moi, you are green with envy about his holiday destination, having just survived the horrendous snow and ice that hit us in Scotland (and, indeed, across the UK) over the past couple of weeks, say nothing!  As you will see if you read his column, he’s quite stressed out enough without having the Catholic Truth Blogging Experience (CTBE) sometimes doled out, in true charity, of course, to the clergy.  On this occasion, we’re cutting him some slack.  What fascinated me about his column is precisely what is outlined here – the truth that God speaks to us, enlightens us, even as we sleep. Something we’ve never discussed before but which is fascinating… Yes?  No?