The latest video in our series Thinking Through Catholic Truth…
The latest video in our series Thinking Through Catholic Truth…
Our American blogger, RCA Victor, alerted me to the following Open Letter from the Lepanto Institute to the Bishops of the United States of America, asking them to ban an organisation of dangerous priests. This Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP) sounds uncomfortably like the Association of (Anything But) Catholic Priests in Ireland, so the case made in this Open Letter applies equally to the Bishops of Ireland. But will any of these Bishops act to protect the people in their dioceses? Not likely.
The key question here, though, apart from the obvious question about the Bishops lack of integrity, lack of care for both the dissident priests and the faithful whom they are poisoning with their anti-Catholic ambitions, is, why don’t these faithless priests just leave? “Believe or be gone!” is our message to them – and we’ll be sending the link to this thread to the leaders of each of these associations, and to each of the Bishops’ Conferences, to make sure they get the message.
Open Letter to the Bishops of the USA from the Lepanto Institute…
Dear Eminences and Excellencies,
Since last November, the Lepanto Institute has been investigating and reporting on the actions and goals of an organization of priests called the Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP). What we have discovered is that this organization of priests, which claims to be “the largest association of priests in the United States,” is:
promoting women’s ordination to the diaconate (with eyes on the priestly ordination of women),
and a host of other heterodox positions.
In addition to this, we found that the AUSCP is acting in concert with heretical and condemned entities, such as New Ways Ministry, Dignity USA, FutureChurch, and the International Church Reform Network (ICRN). AUSCP was even instrumental in helping the dissident Fr. Helmut Schuller find a speaking venue, contravening the expressed wishes of Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop Chaput, and Archbishop Vigneron, who banned him from speaking in their respective dioceses.
Two weeks ago, I personally went to Albuquerque, NM to observe the AUSCP as it held its annual assembly there. In addition to the common sight of these priests wearing rainbow pins on their lanyards and seeing the plethora of pro-homosexual literature proliferating the exhibition hall, I was able to sit in on a keynote address delivered by Fr. Richard Rohr, who denied the inerrancy of Scripture, denied the infallibility of the Pope, and claimed that Christianity was a “religion of white privilege.”
Your Eminences and Excellencies, the AUSCP is an organization which poses a clear and present danger to the faith and to the faithful. I bring this information to your attention because they are a growing threat to the faith and to your flock, and their members are likely already present in your diocese. If you examine this organization on your own, I am confident you will see that this is an organization that should be banned and membership forbidden.
Please know that we pray sincerely and earnestly for all of you every day.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
President, Lepanto Institute
Cardinal Müller’s words…
“One group of German bishops, with their president [i.e., of the German Bishops’ Conference] in the lead, see themselves as trendsetters of the Catholic Church on the march into modernity. They consider the secularization and de-Christianization of Europe as an irreversible development. For this reason the New Evangelization—the program of John Paul II and Benedict XVI—is in their view a battle against the objective course of history, resembling Don Quixote’s battle against the windmills. They are seeking for the Church a niche where it can survive in peace. Therefore all the doctrines of the faith that are opposed to the “mainstream,” the societal consensus, must be reformed.
One consequence of this is the demand for Holy Communion even for people without the Catholic faith and also for those Catholics who are not in a state of sanctifying grace. Also on the agenda are: a blessing for homosexual couples, intercommunion with Protestants, relativizing the indissolubility of sacramental marriage, the introduction of viri probati and with it the abolition of priestly celibacy, approval for sexual relations before and outside of marriage. These are their goals, and to reach them they are willing to accept even the division of the bishops’ conference.
The faithful who take Catholic doctrine seriously are branded as conservative and pushed out of the Church, and exposed to the defamation campaign of the liberal and anti-Catholic media.
To many bishops, the truth of revelation and of the Catholic profession of faith is just one more variable in intra-ecclesial power politics. Some of them cite individual agreements with Pope Francis and think that his statements in interviews with journalists and public figures who are far from Catholic offer justification even for “watering down” defined, infallible truths of the faith (= dogmas). All told, we are dealing with a blatant process of Protestantising.
Ecumenism, in contrast, has as its goal the full unity of all Christians, which is already sacramentally realized in the Catholic Church. The worldliness of the episcopate and clergy in the 16th century was the cause of the division of Christianity, which is diametrically opposed to the will of Christ, the founder of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The disease of that era is now supposedly the medicine with which the division is to be overcome. The ignorance of the Catholic faith at that time was catastrophic, especially among the bishops and popes, who devoted themselves more to politics and power than to witnessing to the truth of Christ.
Today, for many people, being accepted by the media is more important than the truth, for which we must also suffer. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom for Christ in Rome, the center of power in their day. They were not celebrated by the rulers of this world as heroes, but rather mocked like Christ on the Cross. We must never forget the martyrological dimension of the Petrine ministry and of the episcopal office.” Read entire report here
Is the Church in Germany really much different from the rest of the world? Isn’t the attitude of the German Bishops, as outlined by Cardinal Müller above, exactly what we are witnessing everywhere else, to a greater or lesser extent?
Discuss any issues arising from this important Feast – perhaps the role of Peter – Francis – as Supreme Pontiff?
As well as discussion on relevant key issues, though, such an important Feast must be celebrated with the usual mix of Feast day greetings, favourite prayers, hymns, jokes and stories – enjoy!
A very happy Feast of SS Peter & Paul to one and all!
CANBERRA, Australia, June 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A new law in Australia requires Catholic priests in Canberra to break the sacred seal of confession to report a child-sex abuser. The law, which has drawn fierce opposition from Archbishop Christopher Prowse of Canberra, could result in faithful priests being jailed who refuse to comply.
A bill passed on June 7 by the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) extends mandatory reporting of child abuse to cover churches and church activities, including the Catholic confessional. All the political parties in the Assembly supported the measure.
A Catholic priest cannot violate the seal of the confessional, which means that he cannot repeat what he is told by a penitent confessing his or her sins, without incurring automatic excommunication. The Catholic Church teaches that confession is a sacrament, a place of encounter between the Christian and Jesus Christ. The priest who hears the confession is merely Christ’s instrument of forgiveness.
Hitherto the confessional was exempt from ACT’s reporting laws; from March 31, 2019, priests who do not report confessions regarding child abuse to the police risk prosecution.
Archbishop Prowse slammed the new law, saying “priests are bound by a sacred vow to maintain the seal of the confession. Without that vow, who would be willing to unburden themselves of their sins, seek the wise counsel of a priest and receive the merciful forgiveness of God?”
Prowse, the archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, wrote an essay in the Canberra Times last week explaining why legislating against the seal of confession will do much harm and no good.
“First, what sexual abuser would confess to a priest if they thought they would be reported?” he asked.
Prouse explained that it is the common experience of pastors that child abusers don’t confess their crimes to either priests or police. If the seal was removed, the theoretical possibility abusers might confess and be counselled to turn themselves in would be lost.
“Second, the government itself has acknowledged [with] the [Catholic] church’s ‘Truth, Justice and Healing Council… that […] it [was] difficult to see systematic abuse of the seal of confession,” Prowse wrote. “People who attend confession are sorry for their sins, indicate resolve not to sin again and seek God’s mercy. Pedophiles carry out evil and unspeakable criminal acts. They hide their crimes; they do not self-report.”
Third, he pointed out that priests do not necessarily know the identities of people who confess to them.
Fourth, he said that such a law attacks the inviolate seal of the confessional.
Originally the ACT government invited the archbishop to meet with the Attorney General to discuss the importance of both the protection of children and the seal of the confessional. However, the legislature began to debate the new bill before this meeting could take place. The archbishop decried this loss of opportunity for dialogue, pointing out that the proposed new law threatened religious freedom.
“Religious freedom is the freedom to hold a belief and, secondly, the freedom to manifest belief in community and in public, privately and individually in worship, observance, practice and teaching,” he explained.
“The government threatens religious freedom by appointing itself an expert on religious practises and by attempting to change the sacrament of confession while delivering not improvement in the safety of children,” he continued.
The new reporting laws will require priests to report allegations or offenses related to children to the ACT Ombudsman within 30 days.
Two members of the ACT Legislative Assembly thought forcing priests to break the seal of the confessional was a step in the wrong direction.
Andrew Wall, a former student of Marist College, a school notorious in Australia for child sex abuse allegations, said that while some of the child protection measures in the new law were “overdue”, he objected to its extension to the confessional.
According to the Canberra Times, Wall said forcing priests to break the confessional seal “significantly impinges on an individual’s freedom of association, freedom of expression and freedom of individual rights.”
Vicki Dunne, the second member, pointed out that a priest who breaks the seal of confession incurs an excommunication that can be lifted only by the pope. In addition, it would undermine Catholics’ trust in the “sacred, sacramental and sacrosanct” rite.
“We need to stop and think twice before we pass legislation that requires Catholic priest to break the seal of the confession,” she had warned.
I have to admit, golden beaches, beautiful homes and sunny climate notwithstanding, I’ve never felt the slightest desire to visit Australia, let alone live there. Now it’s on my list of countries in which I will never set foot. I mean, the sheer nerve of the grand-sounding numpties at the ‘Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory’ to threaten jail for Catholic priests who adhere to a law of the Church which is entirely rooted in and bound up in divine law, as expressed in the above image, is breathtaking.
Would Australia dare to interfere with – and legislate against – any other religion, as it has outlawed a sacrosanct tenet of Catholicism? It is, of course, a stupid and unworkable law, as outlined in the Church’s response above but it is revealing of the bigotry and nastiness of the Australian lawmakers that they would even think of passing such an evil law … the weather may be sunny over there in Aussie-land but they can keep it. I’ll not be visiting Australia – ever. What about you?
A small group of us will be in Ireland for a couple of days later this week, leafleting in support of the pro-life campaign in the forthcoming abortion referendum.
News updates will be posted on this thread, and any statistics on abortion in the UK that you think will help us when we speak to Irish people on the streets of Dublin on Thursday and Friday, will be most welcome. Please post as many facts as you can find – we need to be well equipped to convince the “undecided” as, sadly, the humanity of the unborn child doesn’t seem to be sufficient in the face of the propaganda about the woman’s alleged right to choose. We WILL do our best to counter this argument, since it’s not HER body that the choice is about, but about the body – and soul – of the unborn baby. Our excellent little leaflet highlights this fact, that the child being destroyed by abortion was destined for eternal life, known by God from all eternity.
Above all, please pray for our trip – we’ll only be there on Thursday all day and then on Friday, the day of the referendum, so time is short. We have organised 3,000 leaflets to distribute so we will be very busy during the two days.
Our leaflet includes some details about Gianna Care – a practical pro-life group – so please spread this website around, send it to your friends and relatives in Ireland, for them to use in campaigning to save the 8th amendment of the Irish Constitution which protects the right to life of the unborn child.