V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia. Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, For he whom you did merit to bear, alleluia,
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia. Has risen as he said, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
From the Editor…
As well as being the usual facility to exchange Easter greetings, we might use this thread to discuss what on earth Pope Francis makes of Easter, since, apparently, according to recent reports, he thinks unrepentant souls just “disappear” – they don’t end up in Hell. What on EARTH is he celebrating this weekend, if there is no Hell? Why Good Friday? Why the need for the Saviour? What IS Christian salvation if not salvation from the eternal punishment of Hell?Read the following report, taken from the Rorate Caeli website which will leave you wishing, as it leaves me wishing that Papa Francis would “disappear” – like, yesterday!
From Rorate Caeli…
“THERE IS NO HELL” — new Francis revelation to atheist journalist just in time for Good Friday
In another informal interview with Italian atheist journalist (and founder of liberal newspaper Repubblica) Eugenio Scalfari, published today, Pope Francis reveals that “hell does not exist”.
His exact words below (full interview behind paywall here, most important excerpt below):
Title of the interview: “It is an honor for me to be called revolutionary.”
Excerpt on hell:
[Scalfari:] Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?
[Francis:] “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.” Source – Rorate Caeli
Was Pope Francis misquoted? Before you answer that, read this Catholic World Report including the following comment underneath: “I can’t believe people have not caught on yet. It is likely that Pope Francis told Scalfari that there was no hell. The fact that he said at other places and times that their IS a hell does not matter. What the Pope says changes from time to time. If Scalfari found it a stumbling block to believe in hell, then the Pope would have no trouble telling him there is no hell. The Pope was “accompanying” Scalfari, trying to move him closer to the church. If this involved the POPE denying or altering doctrine, then so be it. When Scalfari is ready to accept the idea of hell, the Pope will re-introduce it. It will appear again. What we just saw was the Pope’s idea of how to lead someone into the church. You deny or alter doctrine, if necessary. Then, when the person has accepted the fundamentals, you move the goalposts again, hell re-appears, and Voila! Now, the critical thing is that the POPE is endorsing this approach. Truth is situationally relative for the Pope, and he will say whatever he needs to say to get to his goal. He is flexible. Doctrine does not matter. So Germans want to give communion to divorced and remarried and bless gay marriage. Who cares? Not the Pope. So maybe Jesus did not rise from the dead. Who cares? Not the Pope.”
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves,’ says Scots delegate to Vatican youth synod By James Farrell
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons,’ according to Scotland’s representative to a global Vatican meeting of young people. Sean Deighan, 23, a youth worker for Glasgow Archdiocese, will be one of 300 young representatives to attend the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and VocationalDiscernment to be held in Rome from March 19 to 24.
The meeting is being held ahead of a Synod of Bishops in October that will focus on youth.
“I didn’t realise it was such a select group [attending the meeting] and it’s a great privilege,” Mr Deighan said. “I hope that my voice will be heard and by extension I hope the representative voice of all young people in Scotland will be heard. I’m optimistic that real results will materialise from the pre-synodal meeting. I think what needs to be addressed is that young people are leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons.
“They are leaving the Church because of what they think the Church is and not the reality. If we want to pursue the new evangelisation authentically then we need to present the Church authentically and young people need to see that.” “When young people see the Church being presented authentically, it’s attractive,” Mr Deighan said. “We have never had to dress things up or use false pretences to get people in the Church. It has always been the reality of the Church’s message which they are attracted to.”
At the Angelus on Sunday February 18, Pope Francis called on young people from around the world to take part in the preparatory work of the upcoming synod. “I strongly desire that all young people might be the protagonists of this preparation,” Pope Francis said. “And so they will be able to contribute online through linguistic groups moderated by other young people.”
The Pope was referring to an initiative promoted by the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, under the direction of its general secretary, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldiserri. Young people have been invited to join a Facebook group through the Synod website, http://www.synod2018.va, and from March 12 will have the opportunity to send questions to Pope Francis for the Synod on the group page.
“Pope Francis insisted on showing great concern for the ‘distant’—the young people of the ‘peripheries,’ those who are not part of our network of Catholics faithful,” Cardinal Baldisseri said in conversation with the Vatican website.
“The participants will be able to ask questions, propose ideas and therefore act as intermediaries between the ecclesial institution that derives from the people of God and secular society. The experience that will be proposed to them will consist in getting to know the Church better, discovering what we are more deeply.”
At the end of the youth meeting representatives will approve a document, the result of the work of the entire week, which will express their point of view on the reality of youth in the Church and present their expectations, their doubts and their hopes. This document will then help guide reflections at the synod in October. Source – SCO
I know it’s been a while, but when I was a schoolgirl we were taught about the Faith, that we were Catholics and should be knowledgeable and be able to explain it to those we met outside of school, friends etc. and later, in the workplace, colleagues. There was no mention of, let alone emphasis on, the fact that we were “young Catholics”, a separate type of Catholic from everyone else. We didn’t have “special” Masses for the young, etc. That’s the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass, with which I grew up – it cannot be manipulated into a performance tailored to particular groups. We were simply Catholics. This contemporary emphasis on reaching out to the young as if they ARE a different type of Catholic has led to a great deal of muddled thinking, beginning with this…
Those young people identified in the above SCO report, are not leaving the Church because they are young. They are leaving it – as the author writes – for all the wrong reasons, and that is because, there ISno “right reason” to leave Christ and His Church. Someone needs to clarify for those youngsters who say they believe in Jesus, admire Jesus etc. but just don’t like the Church or “institutionalised religion” that, like love and marriage, as the old song goes, you can’t have one without the other. Christ cannot be separated from His Church – that’s the way HE has arranged things.
Think of your favourite quotes from Scripture and from saints, to drive home this message to the young. Plenty read this blog, I’m told, so how would YOU convince them that, not only is there no right reason to leave Christ’s Church, but there is no “wrong” reason either – leaving the Church for any reason means that they are risking damnation – spelt out, they are risking suffering Hell fire for all eternity. Not cool. Convince them to begin their journey to the fullness of the Faith which they have manifestly not been taught and which, if they truly knew it, would love it and never dream of leaving it. What’s the first thing you would advise a young person seeking the Faith in its fullness to do… where’s the best place to begin that journey?
Marta Rodriguez got a new job in May of 2017, perhaps a job she never expected to have, in a place she never expected to work.
Marta, a consecrated women in Regnum Christi, is the new (actually, the first) director of the office of women’s issues in the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. It is a new dicastery, created by Pope Francis in 2016, and its prefect is Cardinal Kevin Farrell.
And all Marta has to do is help the Church understand women and their appropriate contribution to the world, what it means to be a woman in the world today, and where women are going in the future…
“This assignment indicates a call from the Church, which for me is a call from God,” Marta said. “I feel very small for this mission, but I sense an interior certainty that God has prepared my heart for this new service he has called me to. Since 2000, I’ve worked continually on women’s issues, both in studies and in action on various projects, one of the most important of which was to help in the founding of the Institute for Higher Women’s Studies in 2003. This institute was born in order to promote the feminine genius, which John Paul II asked for.
“I believe that one of the great challenges for modern women is to discover what it means to be a woman. Once a woman discovers who she is, she ends up discovering the feminine richness; she can contribute to the cultural world and the ecclesial world with much more dedication, much more bravery, much more freedom.”
Is this another example of the Church being led by the world? What is meant by “women’s issues”? Notice the mention of women contributing to the “cultural” and “ecclesial” world – what about the “home”?
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 areportin 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 AsiaNewsreportcontinued. “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 aVatican agreementwith 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 exclusiveinterviewwith 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” religionsUCANews 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 theUCANews 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 toanother UCANews report.
The Catholic cleric “remains missing and calls to his mobile phone have not been answered.” Source
PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH IN CHINA
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. www.cardinalkungfoundation.org
Translation of text of the above interview follows…
I am Father Paul Morgan, ordained by Bishop Lefebvre at Ecône in 1988. After that, I was 4 years in the district house in London as an assistant. Following this, I was the 1st Superior of the Society of St. Pius X in the Philippines for 4 years, until 1996. Then 2 years as a school principal at St Mary’s School in England and then 5 years as a prior at Post Falls in Idaho, USA. And then 12 years as district superior of Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia, until 2015. Then sabbatical year at Montgardin, which I had asked for. And then 2016-2017, Prior in Vancouver, Canada.
Right now, I am outside the Society, since I resigned on August 9 of this year  because of the marriage affair.
The Marriage Affair…
It seemed to me, it always seems to me, that it is an essential compromise to accept the principle that priests representing modern dioceses come to us, in the bastions of Tradition, to receive the promises of the bride and groom. Even if in practice we are a little restricted in such things, we have accepted the principle. And that’s why, in concrete terms, I wrote my letter of resignation.
Timing of resignation…
I think there were many of us, quite a few priests and superiors themselves, who had reacted against the new way of doing things, even before the 2012 chapter. There were many of us in Albano in 2011 to say to Bishop Fellay, very respectfully, that these steps should not be continued in order to reach an agreement with modernist Rome. So, we have already done a great deal in the Society, among ourselves, with the superiors to denounce and oppose these approaches. For example, in 2012, the district of Great Britain was ready, in its entirety, to break away if they made a false agreement with modernist Rome. So it is not just this year that we have begun to react, but we have already for years.
Why no public reaction…
I think the manifesto, the statement of the 7 deans and superiors of friendly communities in France, was very, very well put. So publicly, that was already explained. And I can also say that I have done things in order and according to the rules, by sending a manifesto signed by several priests from Canada to Bishop Fellay and to Menzingen, explaining quite simply, the serious problems with these new directives for receiving marriage vows. So right away we talked about it on the Internet, so it became public, etc.. So, I chose to do things that way. Now, I speak more publicly, since I’ve had a little time to organize myself – and we left Canada with a suitcase in our hands, not knowing where to go because we never thought of being alone, on the outside like that.
What prospects for the 2018 General Chapter?
Unfortunately, I do not have much hope in the general chapter next year. It seems to me that with the change of minds that has been taking place for several years now – so that we think that Rome is now kind, Rome loves us, we can make an agreement or do more good saying inside the Church, as if we were outside the Church until now, it’s unbelievable, isn’t it – so I don’t have much hope. And we can see that good priests like the 7 deans, for example, who have made a very good document – and a special hello to Father de la Rocque in exile in the Philippines, a country that I like very much but which is still in exile – we see what happens to priests who denounce problems respectfully and rightly: we punish them! So I think the superiors in the chapter will simply do what Menzingen tells them to do.
What about your apostolate?
At the moment, I have no official apostolate. I am in contact with a lot of priests, in France and abroad, as well as with the faithful, encouraging and supporting them. Aslo with priests who have left [the SSPX] already a few months or a few years ago, for reasons that are in the end quite similar.
It is very encouraging to see the strong religious communities in France, religious men and women. I am in contact with them but I understand that this is a difficult situation for these communities, which may be at risk of sanctions if they show themselves too publicly in agreement with priests like myself.
Nevertheless, we celebrate Mass, we pray, we visit confreres, we have been able to preach a retreat already, we have made visits on the right and on the left. I get a lot of invitations from other countries to come and help. But at the moment, for rather practical matters we have to organise ourselves before embarking on any future activities. But I think, it seems to me that in June-July 2018, we are going to shoot into action. I think there will be more positive reactions in the coming year.
In connection with the bishops consecrated by Bishop Williamson?
Yes, if need be, of course, since we need bishops for Sacred orders and confirmations. Consecrating bishops in this emergency, as Archishop Lefebvre himself had said, can be repeated. This is not something reserved exclusively for Archbishop Lefebvre. And yes, we are quite willing to collaborate with the faithful, with faithful Catholics.
I conclude by saying that we always have hope in the Good Lord. I think of Archbishop Lefebvre who was alone. He resigned some the Holy Ghost Fathers so as not to have any part in the destruction of his congregation. So priests like him and certainly many others, did this for important reasons. Let us try to make contacts, to gather together in order to help other priests who, for the moment, remain within the Society, hoping to organize something to help them as also [to help] the sound faithful. There’s a lot of work to be done. We have hope.
And then, finally, Our Lady of Fatima spoke about diabolic disorientations. It seems to me that what is happening here is an example, right here in 2017, [an example] of this confusion of mind. So, as Archbishop Lefebvre said, we must remain faithfully, we must keep the principles of the fight for the faith, the good fight and then, if we have to suffer by doing this, God’s Holy will must be done. Source
Statement from Canada on Fr Morgan’s departure from the SSPX here
What on earth does “shoot into action” [in June-July, 2018] mean? Is Fr Morgan intent on acting to divide, further, the SSPX faithful?
This is very disappointing coming from a former Superior of the SSPX GB district. Very disappointing indeed.
I could write a book about Fr Morgan and it would be less than flattering but I would ask all bloggers who choose to comment on this subject to be restrained and stick to the issues. Please avoid any temptation to personal criticism of Father Morgan, or citing examples of what we considered to be lack of pastoral care affecting the Scottish faithful during his years as Superior in the UK; instead, stick to the facts relating to his decision to resign from the Society, apparently unaware that he is now part and parcel of the very diabolical disorientation to which he refers in the above interview.
Might his reference to “shooting into action” next summer be interpreted as a “plans afoot” to further divide the Society or is there another more innocent explanation?
Pope Francis made headlines recently for his championing of the Rohingya. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it is one that Muslim refugees from Myanmar use to designate themselves. The term is rejected by the Buddhists of Myanmar, as it suggests that the Muslims are native to their country, a claim they deny, insisting that they are intruders from neighboring Bangladesh.
While in Myanmar, the Pope avoided use of the term, but readily adopted it once he had crossed into Bangladesh to meet the Rohingya of the refugee camps. For this supposedact of courage, the Pope was lauded for his shunning of diplomacy in favor of plain-speaking and justice. Apparently, it did not occur to the adulatory media that courage in this matter was only possible while the Pope was in Myanmar, where he carefully avoided its use. He was in no danger among the Rohingya.
Wearing a Yankees’ cap at Fenway Park requires courage. Wearing one at Yankee stadium makes you one of the gang.
While aboard his jet during his return trip to Rome, the Pope, as is his habit, addressed the international press corps that travels with him, chronicling his acts of courage. He explained he did not use the word Rohingya in public addresses in Myanmar because, “They already knew what I thought.” The “they” he is referring to are presumably the political and religious leaders of Myanmar, whom the Pope supposes are so familiar withhis views that he need not spell them out. But, as St. Thomas More reminded the court that tried him, the maxim of the law is “Tacet consentire” — silence implies consent.
In any event, once among the Rohingya and safely out of Myanmar, the Pope was bold enough to break his silence and pronounce the term. The Pope told the press corps, “I wept. I tried to do it in a way that couldn’t be seen.” Not to presume too much, but we might suggest to the Holy Father that to keep his weeping secret, it would be best not to announce it to the media. Reporters are terribly indiscreet and very likely to, well, report.
The Pope said he wept over the suffering of the Rohingya, whom he credits as being the blameless victims of persecution, based on their self-declaration and anecdotal accounts. In an astounding act of presumption, the Pope then appropriated the right to speak in the name of their alleged persecutors:
“In the name of all those who have persecuted you, who have harmed you, in the face of the world’s indifference, I ask for your forgiveness.”
Did the Buddhists of Myanmar commission the Pope to speak for them? Did they admit wrongdoing and confess their guilt and express a desire to seek forgiveness through the agency of the Pope? If not, why should Francis speak in their name? Indeed, why should he presume to speak in anyone else’s name unless he has permission to do so?
But the Pope not only takes upon himself the unwarranted ambassadorial role of speaking for the alleged miscreants of Myanmar, he goes on to apologize in the name of the whole world. Whatever may be happening along the borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar apparently imposes a moral obligation on the rest of mankind, an obligation we have failed to meet by our “indifference.” The Pope, then, believes it incumbent upon him to acknowledge our failure to the Rohingya and ask that they forgive us.
We might express some skepticism about the probable success of the Pope’s plea, as Muslims have not been notable for their readiness to forgive those who slight them or their religion. Mohammed was not known for his willingness to turn the other cheek, and “Live and let live” is not an attitude that informs the spirit of the Koran.
As for our supposedly sinful “indifference,” just what are we — the world — morally compelled to do, in the Pope’s estimation? We are not eyewitnesses to what is taking place. We cannot tell which stories are true, which are fabricated, whose claims are legally or historically justified and who initiated violence in particular instances. In short, the “world” — you and I — are in the dark about what is going on in this part of the world. And we are under no obligation to become informed.
Are we obliged to patrol the streets of our own cities, righting wrongs, like a superhero? The idea is absurd. How much more absurd is the notion that we must be engaged in conflicts in distant lands, deciding whose claim to justice is the more credible? And even should we become so engaged, what precisely does the Pope propose that we do? Mountcrusades for Rohingya Rights?
A moment’s reflection on this Theater of the Absurd that the Pope scripted in his most recent and entirely unnecessary papal trip should make plain to anyone with common sense that nothing the Pope said or did has any connection to the governance of the Catholic Church and the safeguarding of its doctrine, which is the Pope’s designated job. Why Myanmar and Bangladesh? The Catholic populations in these countries is marginal (about 1 percent in Myanmar; about 0.2 percent in Bangladesh). This dispute is between Muslims and Buddhists, neither of which acknowledge the authority of the Roman Pontiff in any area of life. Why should the Pope travel to the far reaches of the non-Christian world to insert himself in a regional dispute where he exercises neither jurisdiction nor acknowledged moral authority?
Both Buddhists and Muslims reject Christ and the claims of the Catholic Church. Indeed, for Muslims, the Pope is an infidel, leader of the Dar-Al-Harb – the world of war that must be conquered for allah. But the Pope has steadfastly refused to acknowledge theincompatibility of Islam and Christianity and is ever intent on showing compassion for Muslims. If only Francis were as eager to show compassion for members of his own persecuted Church in Muslim nations, or even Europeans maimed and killed in Paris and London to the cry of “allahu akbar!”
But the plight of the Rohingya draws the Pope halfway around the world, where he weeps and apologizes for all of us for the sufferings of a group of Muslim refugees to whom we have supposedly shown a sinful “indifference.” When will the Pope weep for us? When will he weep for Catholics who have been victims of doctrinal confusion and contradiction? When will he cry over the destruction of our liturgy? When will he tear his robes and lament the hideous perversion of his own clergy and the criminal cover-ups of his own bishops? When will he turn a tearful eye to Europe, bereft of Faith, its culture in tatters, Muslim rape gangs roaming the streets of its cities, mosques replacing churches, the bells of the Angelus being drowned out by the cry of “allahu akbar,” calling ever-multiplying numbers of Muslims to prayer – in Rome, in Paris, in Berlin, in Madrid, in Brussels, in London?
We need no apologies from the Pope in the name of supposed oppressors of the Rohingya. We are not edified by his hidden tears, later broadcast to the media, that he shed in Bangladesh. We need no empty words of condemnation or “sorrow” about the atrocities that have become a regular feature of modern life.
How wonderful it would be if useless words were no longer spoken by the Pope. How wonderful it would be if the Pope were to say: “I know little about climate change or environmental science or international economics. I cannot intervene and decide who is right and wrong in the many armed conflicts that perpetually erupt around the world, nor is it my duty to do so. I have no advice to give Buddhists or Muslims except this: turn to Christ and His Church. In our doctrine is truth. In our Lord is peace. In our worship is love. Come inside. Be with us and be saved.”
If the Pope were to do this, how many souls might be drawn to the Church? If the Pope were to use his power for the purpose intended by Our Lord, to strengthen his brothers and sisters in the Faith, the crisis in the Church would end. The Holy Father is the most powerful person on God’s Earth, but only as the Vicar of Christ, not as the vicar of the environment, or the vicar of economic equality, or the vicar of immigration, or, Heaven help us, the vicar of allah!
If the Pope really wants peace, for the Rohingya as well as for the rest of us, he has it in his power to bring it about: He can consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, along with his bishops. Were he to do this, there would be an end to much weeping, both public and private. Source – Fatima Center
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 hugePDF 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
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…