Australian Cardinal Pell Loses Appeal

Melbourne, Australia, Aug 20, 2019 / 06:31 pm (CNA).- The conviction of Cardinal George Pell has been upheld by the Court of Appeals in Victoria. After an appellate panel announced its decision at a court proceeding Aug. 21, the cardinal was returned to prison.

“By majority (2 to 1), the Court of Appeals has dismissed Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for the commission of sexual offences. He will continue to serve his sentence of 6 years’ imprisonment. He will remain eligible to apply for parole after he has served 3 years 8 months of his sentence,” Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said in her opening remarks in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

“The offenses in respect of which Cardinal Pell was found guilty by a County Court jury were one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16, and four charges of indecent act with a child under 16. The trial lasted for five weeks. The jury deliberated for several days. The jury’s verdict was unanimous,” Ferguson noted.

“Cardinal Pell’s conviction and this appeal have attracted widespread attention, both in Australia and beyond. He is a senior figure in the Catholic Church and is internationally well known,” Ferguson noted.

“As the trial judge, Chief Judge Kidd, commented when sentencing Cardinal Pell, there has been vigorous and sometimes emotional criticism of the cardinal and he has been publicly vilified in some sections of the community.”

“There has also been strong public support for the Cardinal by others. Indeed, it is fair to say that his case has divided the community.”

Pell’s appeal was dismissed on all three grounds the defense presented. Read more at Catholic World Report

Comment:

This is very disappointing news, and pitiful to see the Cardinal in handcuffs when, more likely than not from what we know about this case, he is innocent of the charges.  A couple of the bloggers over at Catholic World Report speak for many, if not the majority, so I’ll make their comments my own… 

It seems that 2/3 of the Court of Appeals in Victoria wouldn’t recognize Justice if she came up and spat in their faces; as, given half a chance, I’m sure she would. Justice Wienberg seems to be the only one with either intellect or integrity.

And

No surprise here. They were hell-bent on conviction. Looking at what evidence that is available to the public, what was denied to the defense, and the dungeon theory of hidden proceedings and no media, this is nuts. The state of Victoria and its vaunted reputation for corruption and dogging Pell for years in search of a charge…even the OPI knew of the relentless efforts to find someone to set up the initial charge.And to think Pell went there on his own with no credible threat of extradition.  Ends…

Feel free to share your thoughts – but, in any case, let’s all  remember the Cardinal in our prayers. 

Pope Benedict’s “Court” Under Attack by Francis’ Clueless Biographer…

August 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews)

Austen Ivereigh, the British journalist and biographer of Pope Francis, has stated that the circle surrounding Pope emeritus Benedict — which he said includes the Vatican’s former doctrine head Cardinal Müller — must be brought under “control” since it is a source of “scandal and of division.”

Ivereigh made these comments in an August 10 interview to the Chilean newspaper La Tercera, in which he speaks about his upcoming book on Pope Francis, titled The Wounded Shepherd.

Speaking about those who he holds as resisting Pope Francis, Ivereigh points especially to the circle around Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, and most especially to Cardinal Gerhard Müller — the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — whom he describes as a “leader” of the opposition.

“We have to find a way to control his [Benedict’s] court, which is at this moment a source of scandal and of division,” he said.

Ivereigh singled out Cardinal Müller as one of the most senior voices of opposition against the way Pope Francis is leading the Catholic Church. He mentioned a “very vociferous and potent” group of Catholics which launches “a missile every month,” trying to “discredit him [the Pope]”.    Click here to read rest of this report on the outrageous Ivereigh.

Comment: 

“We have to find a way to control Benedict’s court…”  Outrageous!  Just who does this guy think he is? And what’s with this “Benedict’s court”?  We don’t have a “court” for Pope Benedict. If there are still people in the Vatican who cling to some Catholic beliefs, that’s great.  If they happen to be friendly with Benedict, that’s interesting but not surprising.  Pope Francis doesn’t like Catholicism.  He has made that clear.  So anyone who continues to believe in the “old Faith” better keep quiet around Papa Francis.  Hardly breaking news.   As for trying to discredit the Pope – priceless!  He’s done that all by his little Argentine self; he really doesn’t need any help in that department. 

Arrogance personified, Austen Ivereigh came to fame as the co-founder of Catholic Voices, an organisation of lay people set up in 2010 to provide speakers on request from the media, prior to the visit to the UK of Pope Benedict.  They were there, we kept hearing, to provide competent lay people,  representatives who could explain the Church’s teaching in news broadcasts, discussions etc.  They were not officially linked to the Bishops’ Conference but the group had the Bishops’ blessing, which tells you all you need to know about the likelihood of their orthodoxy.  Indeed, it was painful watching them in action with one gaffe following another in various TV programmes.  Catastrophically, Ivereigh, along with his co-founder Jack Valero, showed unbelievable ignorance about Catholic sexual morality in a series of TV interviews following Pope Benedict’s unfortunate comments about condoms.  Read SPUC’s response – Jack Valero and Austen Ivereigh need remedial training in Catholic teaching on sexual ethics 

Then there was the much publicised case against the Daily Mail – click here to read about that sorry episode…

All in all, Ivereigh strikes me as a decidedly unsavoury character, and an opportunist.  He leapt, for example, at the opportunity to spread dissent through the creation of the Catholic Voices group,  so, opportunist or not, he has to be given credit for not missing and hitting the wall, as the saying goes. 

And his devotion to this shocker of a pontiff is something else.  He has already written one book in praise of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer  (just look at the names of those who are delighted with it…) and now he’s writing another which, judging by the title (The Wounded Shepherd) has moved Francis out of the “Great Reformer” category into victim mould.  Poor Papa Francis!  Being criticised for trying to overturn the Commandments, especially the one on adultery which is just tooooooo difficult; and his efforts to end “homophobia” are just not appreciated by those nasty, bigoted, Catholics who want to live in a museum Church…  I can just imagine it but will apologise profusely if I’m on the wrong track. Whatever, we can be certain that Ivereigh will not be joining the ranks of those of us deeply concerned about the damage which Pope Francis is doing to the Church – that’s a given. 

As for his assault on Pope Benedict, dressed up as criticism of Benedict’s “circle” or “court” – how dare he!   My advice to Ivereigh is to educate himself in the Catholic Faith so that he sees the truth about Pope Francis who is the person doing the wounding.  He is wounding the faith of countless Catholics, ordained and lay, by undermining doctrine and morality.   If he entitles his next book Francis: Worst Pope in History, I’ll feel there may be hope for him after all.  Until then, I’ll keep working on my book about Austen Ivereigh – entitled Clueless About Catholicism… 

What would your book title be, if you decided to write about Mr Ivereigh?  Keep it printable and non-actionable, please and thank you! 

Would a “Surprise” Brexit be Dishonest?

Comment: 

The determination with which the remainers continue to work  to overturn Brexit – using the excuse of a “catastrophic no deal”  – is a lesson in zeal for us all.   However, if the above short video content [dated yesterday, 15 August] is true, and the Prime Minister is acting to make sure we DO exit on 31 October, with or without the support of Parliament, is that wrong?  A lot of us, if not the entire Catholic Truth blogging community, are Brexiteers to our fingertips, but should we support Boris – “do or die” – to get us out of the EU?   

Latest Climate Change Madness – Scientists Working to Block out the Sun…

Comment:

No, this is not just a daft cartoon story – allegedly serious scientists are working on it, funded by Bill Gates.  Click here for the details.  George Orwell, eat your heart out!  

But what about democracy?  Will any of us, the hoi polloi, have a say in the matter?  Do we get to voice an opinion on what life would be like with a “blocked out” sun?  And what if that doesn’t “work” – are we heading for no sun at all?  Don’t laugh. We are living in a world where so-called scientists are refusing to admit that men cannot become women and women cannot become men.   So, stick with the programme.  ARE we heading for a world of men who are really women, women who are really men, and no sun? 

And don’t sneeze at this opportunity to express your opinion because another wee item on this morning’s news was the proposal to criminalize climate change deniers.  That’s me.  Well, I believe the climate is certainly changing but it’s not my fault.  You’ll get my drift.   So, before you are prohibited from questioning the “science”, speak your mind now, immediately, if not sooner…

“Blessed are the peacemakers”… Should Catholics Shun Hong Kong Protests ?

While our site statistics show we have fairly regular visits from both China and Hong Kong, it strikes me that we’ve never discussed the current volatile situation in Hong Kong.  While the news media in the UK restricts itself to reporting, narrowly, on “the protests”, a quick Google search reveals that Catholics are actively participating in this action. 

Are they right to do so, albeit that they are calling for a peaceful solution?  Is participating in the street protests an appropriate way to achieve this aim?  Watching police in riot gear, ready for physical battle, brings to mind Christ’s teaching that “peacemakers” are blessed by God.  Are the Catholics of Hong Kong failing to heed Christ’s exhortation – or are they right to participate, actively, in the protests?  Is there another, better way, to achieve a peaceful solution?   

USA: Dramatic Loss of Belief in Real Presence – What About UK Catholics? 

Transubstantiation – the idea that during Mass, the bread and wine used for Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ – is central to the Catholic faith. Indeed, the Catholic Church teaches that “the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’”

But a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most self-described Catholics don’t believe this core teaching. In fact, nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) say they personally believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”

In addition to asking Catholics what they believe about the Eucharist, the new survey also included a question that tested whether Catholics know what the church teaches on the subject. Most Catholics who believe that the bread and wine are symbolic do not know that the church holds that transubstantiation occurs. Overall, 43% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and also that this reflects the position of the church. Still, one-in-five Catholics (22%) reject the idea of transubstantiation, even though they know about the church’s teaching.

The vast majority of those who believe that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ – 28% of all Catholics – do know that this is what the church teaches. A small share of Catholics (3%) profess to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist despite not knowing the church’s teaching on transubstantiation.

About six-in-ten (63%) of the most observant Catholics — those who attend Mass at least once a week — accept the church’s teaching about transubstantiation. Still, even among this most observant group of Catholics, roughly one-third (37%) don’t believe that the Communion bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ (including 23% who don’t know the church’s teaching and 14% who know the church’s teaching but don’t believe it). And among Catholics who do not attend Mass weekly, large majorities say they believe the bread and wine are symbolic and do not actually become the body and blood of Jesus   Click here to read more...

Comment: 

This latest research (which confirms previous similar studies in the USA) reveals lots of things, notably the failure to teach the Faith in Catholic schools and pulpits.  This failure is every bit as true here in the UK as it is – manifestly so – in the USA. 

Catholics who reject the dogma of Transubstantiation show ignorance of Sacred Scripture because it was Christ Himself who said:  “For My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink….”  (John 6:56)  He did not even mention “symbols” of His Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity.  He gave us Himself as real food and real drink to sustain us on our spiritual journey and, from the very beginning, this was the belief of all Christians.  

How can this state of affairs be put right, then?  You can’t force someone to believe something but maybe somebody in authority should tell unbelieving Catholics that they are not free to reject any dogma of the Faith and still call themselves Catholics.  That might be a start?  

Since none of us is above temptation, we ought to frequently reflect on the glorious miracle that is Transubstantiation.  Feel free, then, not only to offer your comments on the Pew Center Research findings – especially as it relates to the UK – but post, as well, meditations on the Real Presence, quotes from the saints, favourite hymns and prayers, all with the aim of deepening our awareness and understanding of this wonderful gift from God, which, all too often, as we approach for Holy Communion, we may tend to take for granted.  Do we actually treat the Blessed Sacrament as a mere symbol?  Worth thinking about…  

Is The SSPX Now Fully Regularized?

Pope Francis has fully regularized the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), James Bogle, the ex-president of Una Voce International, told Gloria.tv (video below: see link – Ed)

Bogle stressed that the SSPX and the sacraments administrated by them, including marriages and confessions, have been formally recognized by Francis. The Society is also allowed to ordain to the priesthood whomever they see fit.

Francis further appointed SSPX Bishop Bernard Fellay as a judge at the Rota Romana, the highest appellate tribunal of the Church, thus recognizing his authority.

“I don’t see how much more regular you can get than that,” Bogle concludes. He acknowledges, however, that there are a lot of intolerant bishops who still treat the SSPX as if it were irregular.

To them, Bogle answers that those who do not like the integration of the SSPX “better have the argument with Pope Francis.”   Click here to read more and view video

Comments invited…