Irish Bishop: “I am not the slightest bit concerned about making the Church strong again.” Apostasy Writ Large…

Ireland: Homily of Bishop Donal McKeown [pictured right] for Vocations Sunday Mass broadcast by RTÉ
Good Shepherd Sunday 12 May 2019

Every year in Derry Diocese, we have Mass in the local football stadium for all the children who have been confirmed during the course of the year. Last June we had a stand packed with 2,700 children and their teachers – complete with banners, hats, painted T-shirts and lots of music. For my homily, I asked whether they all remembered what the bishop had said. Not surprisingly, the answer was a resounding ‘no’! And then I told them what I remembered from all the Confirmation ceremonies – of all the children who had been photographed with me at their local Confirmation ceremonies, only one had held my hand and then given me a hug afterward. In some ways, she was the smartest child of all of them because she had a big heart and knew how to show it. This, I suggested, is what the Holy Spirit desires for each of us. And then I pointed out that this girl had Down’s Syndrome. Of course, since she was the smartest child there, we invited her down to the front – and the whole crowd stood to cheer her.

There is much discussion about the future of organized Christianity in Ireland. My own take on that is simple. I am not the slightest bit concerned about making the Church strong again. I am interested only in whether we are fit for purpose in bringing Good News to the vast numbers who are in need of mercy and healing. Jesus did not set up the Church to look after itself. The People of God exist only to seek out the lost and to offer them love and healing in Jesus’ name. Jesus was not interested in setting up groups of self-referential followers who would be concerned mainly with providing services for their own dwindling numbers. Pentecost put an end to that notion. Faith means encouraging people to have big hearts and knowing how to show it.

And there is a huge need for big hearts.

It seems increasingly clear that, in such a cultural context, Christ’s disciples are called by the Good Shepherd, not to catch up with everybody else, but to seek out the thousands who pay the price for the fragmentation, uncertainty, suicide and loneliness that seems to benefit some – but infects many with ‘an epidemic of loneliness’[1]. In his own day, Jesus’ eye fell on those who were harassed and dejected like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). Anything less than that is a betrayal of the mission that Jesus gave his disciples. That needs big hearts.

And how is Church expected to carry out that ministry? It seems to me that there are three areas.

Firstly, Jesus was concerned with building relationships, bridges not walls. One core ministry of God’s people is to build welcoming communities. The Gospels are clear that Jesus went out to lepers, gentiles and public sinners. He told them that the Father loved them where they were – but loved them too much to leave them where they were. Pope Francis calls us to be a Church that is going out from itself and to build up our unity within the Body of Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ can never prioritize lifting the drawbridge to keep people away from encountering the Good Shepherd. That needs big hearts.

Secondly, Jesus was also known as the Teacher. He spoke to His followers by proclaiming their dignity and the mercy of the Father. He spoke about sin and forgiveness, right and wrong – and our shared call to be holy as God the Father is holy. Because He was so clear in his teaching, many hated Him. The Church is called to be a place where individuals and groups can grow in uncomfortable faith together, as disciples of the Rabbi from Nazareth. That needs big hearts.

Thirdly, Jesus wanted to make the Father known and loved. One of the Gospels tells us that Jesus gathered disciples to be with Him and to go out (Mk 3:14). The first emphasis was not merely on teaching laws, though Jesus was also clear that, if anyone keeps His words, the Father and Jesus will make their home in that person (Jn 14:23). Those who hear the voice of the Good Shepherd follow His ways and not merely their own. The Gospel not only comforts the afflicted but afflicts the comfortable. That needs big hearts.

In a changing Irish Church, some people imagine that lay involvement means laity doing more ‘to help poor Father do all his jobs’. I prefer to see the Good Shepherd model of Church as one where those in leadership roles (be they ordained, consecrated or lay like the great Jean Vanier) – by proclaiming the Word, by the liturgical celebration of the mystery of faith and a prophetic way of life – form the whole people of God for their mission of bringing Good News to every hurting corner of their parish and of the world. That calls for heroism and generosity to a fault. But Jesus’ example called for nothing else. Any changes in Church structure must serve that mission and nothing else.

We face many challenges in making organized Irish Christianity fit for purpose. But on this Sunday, the big-hearted Good Shepherd who has sought us out sends us out. If we expect something different for the Church, perhaps we haven’t really heard today’s Gospel.  [emphases added]  Source

Comment: 

It’s a while since I’ve heard/read this reference to “organised Christianity” – it was a popular euphemism during my days as a student teacher when, clearly, it was a means of diminishing the  importance of Christ’s Church. After all, “organised Christianity” might refer to every group of Christians – from the Salvation Army to the Church of England – working in the field, so to speak.  The “field” of glorified social work, that is, posing as Christianity.  To be honest, I am lost for words to describe my thoughts about this apostate bishop who has no clue as to the nature and purpose of Christ’s Church.  I will close, then, quoting Bishop Schneider [pictured below] who warned those “shepherds of the Church” referring to the fire at Notre Dame, who are, in fact, “spiritual arsonists”. 

“God will not indefinitely and shamelessly be mocked by so many Shepherds of the Church today, through their betrayal of the Faith, their sycophantic serving of the world and their neo-pagan worship of temporal and earthly realities.  To them are addressed these words of Christ, ‘I tell you, unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’ (Lk 13:5)  Source

Well?  Which of these two “shepherds of the Church” is speaking the truth, thinkest thou?  Can’t be both of them, as one couldn’t care less about the Church and the other warns of hell-fire for those bishops who couldn’t care less about the Church…   

Ed:  I will send the link to this thread to Bishop McKeown, not that it will make a blind bit of difference – “blind” being the operative word (“..they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:14)…   

Ad Tuendam Fidem, Ad Tuendam Fidem… Wherefore Art Thou ? 

JOHN PAUL II
Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio
AD TUENDAM FIDEM,
by which certain norms are inserted
into the Code of Canon Law
and into the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches

PROTECT THE FAITH of the Catholic Church against errors arising from certain members of the Christian faithful, especially from among those dedicated to the various disciplines of sacred theology, we, whose principal duty is to confirm the brethren in the faith (Lk 22:32), consider it absolutely necessary to add to the existing texts of the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, new norms which expressly impose the obligation of upholding truths proposed in a definitive way by the Magisterium of the Church, and which also establish related canonical sanctions.

1.From the first centuries to the present day, the Church has professed the truths of her faith in Christ and the mystery of his redemption. These truths were subsequently gathered into the Symbols of the faith, today known and proclaimed in common by the faithful in the solemn and festive celebration of Mass as the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

This same Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is contained in the Profession of faith developed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,(1) which must be made by specific members of the faithful when they receive an office, that is directly or indirectly related to deeper investigation into the truths of faith and morals, or is united to a particular power in the governance of the Church.(2)

2. The Profession of faith, which appropriately begins with the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, contains three propositions or paragraphs intended to describe the truths of the Catholic faith, which the Church, in the course of time and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit “who will teach the whole truth” (Jn 16:13), has ever more deeply explored and will continue to explore.(3)

The first paragraph states: “With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.”(4) This paragraph appropriately confirms and is provided for in the Church’s universal legislation, in canon 750 of the Code of Canon Law(5) and canon 598 of the Code of the Canons of the Eastern Churches.(6)

The third paragraph states: “Moreover I adhere with submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.”(7) This paragraph has its corresponding legislative expression in canon 752 of the Code of Canon Law(8) and canon 599 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.(9)

3. The second paragraph, however, which states “I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals,”(10) has no corresponding canon in the Codes of the Catholic Church. This second paragraph of the Profession of faith is of utmost importance since it refers to truths that are necessarily connected to divine revelation. These truths, in the investigation of Catholic doctrine, illustrate the Divine Spirit’s particular inspiration for the Church’s deeper understanding of a truth concerning faith and morals, with which they are connected either for historical reasons or by a logical relationship.

4. Moved therefore by this need, and after careful deliberation, we have decided to overcome this lacuna in the universal law in the following way:

A) Canon 750 of the Code of Canon Law will now consist of two paragraphs; the first will present the text of the existing canon; the second will contain a new text. Thus, canon 750, in its complete form, will read:

Canon 750 – § 1. Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. All are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines.
§ 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Canon 1371, n. 1 of the Code of Canon Law, consequently, will receive an appropriate reference to canon 750 § 2, so that it will now read:

Canon 1371 – The following are to be punished with a just penalty:

a person who, apart from the case mentioned in canon 1364 § 1, teaches a doctrine condemned by the Roman Pontiff, or by an Ecumenical Council, or obstinately rejects the teachings mentioned in canon 750 § 2 or in canon 752 and, when warned by the Apostolic See or by the Ordinary, does not retract;

a person who in any other way does not obey the lawful command or prohibition of the Apostolic See or the Ordinary or Superior and, after being warned, persists in disobedience.

B) Canon 598 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches will now have two paragraphs: the first will present the text of the existing canon and the second will contain a new text. Thus canon 598, in its complete form, will read as follows:

Canon 598 – § 1. Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. All Christian faithful are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines.

§ 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Canon 1436 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, consequently, will receive an appropriate reference to canon 598 § 2, so that it will now read:

Canon 1436 – § 1. Whoever denies a truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or who calls into doubt, or who totally repudiates the Christian faith, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished as a heretic or an apostate with a major excommunication; a cleric moreover can be punished with other penalties, not excluding deposition.
§ 2. In addition to these cases, whoever obstinately rejects a teaching that the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising the authentic Magisterium, have set forth to be held definitively, or who affirms what they have condemned as erroneous, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished with an appropriate penalty.

5. We order that everything decreed by us in this Apostolic Letter, given motu proprio, be established and ratified, and we prescribe that the insertions listed above be introduced into the universal legislation of the Catholic Church, that is, into the Code of Canon Law and into the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.

 

Given in Rome, at St Peter’s, on 18 May, in the year 1998, the twentieth of our Pontificate.
JOHN PAUL II

Read document at source here, including footnotes. 

 

 

Comment:

Here we have a clear sign that Pope John Paul II wished Canon Law to be enforced against dissenters, heretics and apostates.  The above Motu Proprio spells it out clearly:  reject Catholic truths and you set yourself against the teaching of the Catholic Church – we are, one and all, to avoid any contrary doctrines.  Yet, Pope John Paul II himself did not apply it.  Odd. 

So, what happened?  Why was it never invoked?  Or, did I miss it?  Whatever, is there any offender (or a million) at the present time, to whom, one might think, the penalties might be applied, which Pope John Paul II inserted to strengthen Canon Law against dissenters, heretics and apostates?  Only asking, not least because Ad tuendam fidem seems to have disappeared into thin air, which is why we ask:  Ad tuendam fidem, Ad tuendam fidem… wherefore art thou, Romeo, Ad tuendam fidem ?   

Scots Bishops Favour Atheist Schools

Peter-KearneyA SENIOR Scottish Catholic Church figure has called for schools with an atheist ideology to be set up if demand from parents exists.

 The church’s official spokesman Peter Kearney said “secular humanist” schools may be needed to satisfy society’s desire to cater for all beliefs.

 Writing in today’s Herald Mr Kearney also called for an expansion of faith-based schools, claiming there was a “scream for conformity” within Scottish education.

 Criticising those who have described denominational schools as “educational apartheid”, he accused detractors of faith within education of “trashing the principle of plurality” and undermining freedom of belief.

 Mr Kearney added: “Why should tax-paying parents who follow a secular humanist belief system be denied the opportunity to have their children educated in accordance with their beliefs?

 “If demand exists and secular humanist schools were to be managed and regulated in accordance with national guidance and practice, as Catholic schools are, then good luck to them.”  

The intervention by Mr Kearney comes on the back of a push by parents in Glasgow for the country’s first Muslim school, a plan supported by the Catholic Church.  

The vast majority of Scotland’s schools are non-denominational but the Education (Scotland) Act 1918 gave the go-ahead to separate denominational state schools, all but four of which are Catholic.  

Although there are huge localised differences around the role of faith within the non-denominational sector, most schools are culturally Christian. Religious education in all Scots schools is also compulsory and again leans towards the Christian tradition, with emphasis on major festivals such as Christmas and the New Testament. Non-denominational schools with a multi-ethnic mix often invite representatives of other faith groups in for religious observance.  

Mr Kearney added: “From Australia and Canada to England and Wales diverse and varied societies seem perfectly comfortable with a diverse and varied education system.

“Schools can reflect the plurality of beliefs in society or ignore that reality and impose a single belief system on all, removing choice in this way, would be the height of intolerance.

“There is no reason why the Scottish education system shouldn’t flourish by increasing the diversity which Gaelic, Catholic, music and Jewish schools already bring to the sector.”

Professor Bob Davis, one of Scotland’s leading educationalists and an expert in the role of faith in schools, backed the calls for a more diverse system.

 The former head of Glasgow University’s school of education said: “We can in Scotland have a successful combination of locally-rooted and governed schools that are nonetheless still open to more diversity of world view and philosophy that is currently experienced.  

“It can be seen as an invitation to all kinds of groups, faith and non-faith, other churches and organisations which have distinctive philosophical approaches to education. This could be in full collaboration with local authorities and non-governmental bodies to diversify our system.  

“We are a small enough country to do this within the state system.”  

But vice-chair of the Scottish Secular Society Robert Canning said “champions of faith schooling” were merely seeking “the choice to use other people’s taxes…to promote a religion to their children”. 

He added: “Those who do not wish their taxes to be used for the promotion of religion get no choice in the matter, while members of belief groups without sufficient numbers to gain their own schools are denied the choices they would prefer. The Scottish Secular Society support choice in the raising of children but hold that the state education system cannot be expected to supply whatever some parents might choose, while denying others.  

“If all schools were neutral on religion and atheism, promoting and opposing neither, they could all reflect cultural diversity by accepting all pupils on equal terms. Whereas some want a diversity of schools, the Scottish Secular Society want schools of diversity.” Source

Comment:

Now, don’t gimme “this isn’t the Bishops calling for atheist schools, this is Peter Kearney, the official spokesman…”  Official smokescreen, in other words.  If you think, for a nano-second, that Peter Kearney would be advocating schools for atheists if the Bishops didn’t want him to do so, then our blogger Leo knows of a bridge for sale in Dublin that might interest you. In fact, I could probably get you a good deal on the Forth Road Bridge myself, come to think of it.  In the unlikely event that I’m wrong about this, all the Bishops have to do is contact us here at Catholic Truth and we will put in a correction. Gladly. However, don’t hold your breath, folks.

The front page headline in The Herald reads very differently from the online headline which is linked here.  If you bought the paper on 29th December, 2015, the front page headline screaming at you reads: Catholic Church in call to set up schools for atheists: (sub-heading): Senior figure says all beliefs and none should be catered for in education. Billed as an “Exclusive” the report is attributed to Catholic journalist, Gerry Braiden.  This is no stitch-up folks.  This is what the Bishops think, and too bad about the First Commandment and those silly old catechism answers, including: “God made me to know, love and serve Him in this world, so that I may be happy with Him forever in the next.”  Nope.  If a body wants to deny God, that body must be given our help to teach their children the atheistic world view. We’ve come a long way, in Scotland,  from “outside the Catholic Church no salvation”. We’ve reached Destination Nihilism – because that’s where relativism leads; we’ve played the ecumenism game now for years, where everything is true, relative to what the individual wants to believe. Now we don’t know right from wrong, and hey presto, we’re keen to pay for atheists to raise their children to hate, not love, God.  

As if the above news report weren’t shocker enough for one day, the same reader who handed me (in person, shaking his head) the above Herald Scotland report, also gave me the bulletin from St Aloysius Jesuit church in Glasgow, dated Sunday 27 December, 2015, in which the following notice is published:

Christmas Mass in Arabic…

The Syrian Orthodox community will be celebrating a Christmas Mass in Arabic in our church on Thursday, 31st December, at 4.00 pm.  Catholics are welcome to come to this Mass, but unfortunately we are not in full communion with this church. END.

I emailed the PP, Fr Tim Curtis SJ, to ask if it would be possible to advertise the Masses (in Latin) of the SSPX, Sundays, 9.45 am, at St Andrew’s church in Renfrew Street, a short walk from St Aloysius, adding that I thought it would be fair enough to note that the SSPX is in an “irregular canonical situation” while yet being in full communion with Rome, which, as he told his congregation, the Syrian Orthodox most certainly ain’t.  If I receive a reply, I will pick myself up from the floor, dust myself down, and report back here…   The-Passion-Mel-Gibson

Anyway, two remarks of Our Lord came to mind as I read both of the above items – the stark warning:  “If  you deny Me in the presence of men, I will deny YOU in the presence of My Father in Heaven…”  And Our Lord’s sorrowful plea:  “When the Son of Man comes, will He find any Faith on earth?”

Sweet Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us…  

Pope Calls For Less Rigid Church (Again)

PopeFrancispensivecroppedPope Francis called on the Catholic church on Tuesday to stop clinging to conservatism and fundamentalism as a defensive response to the problems it is facing, and said the church ought to be “bruised, hurting and dirty” instead of obsessed with money and power.

The sweeping remarks before an audience of Italian bishops at a conference in Florence were a stark reminder of the way in which Pope Francis is trying to shake up a church that in many ways is losing relevance around the world, and continues to be battered by allegations of financial mismanagement and greed at the heart of the Vatican.

“Before the problems of the church it is not useful to search for solutions in conservatism or fundamentalism, in the restoration of obsolete conduct and forms that no longer have the capacity of being significant culturally,” the pope said.

“Christian doctrine is not a closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts, interrogatives. But it is alive, knows being unsettled … it does not have a rigid face, it has a body that moves and grows, it has a soft flesh: it is called Jesus Christ.”

The comments come at a critical juncture for Francis. Last month, a high-level group of bishops from around the world met at the Vatican and engaged in a vigorous debate over how the church ought to respond to changes in the modern family, including the prevalence of divorce.

While Francis has cast himself as a reformer who is seeking to portray the church as a less rigid and less dogmatic institution, which stands with people who live on the margins of society, there are factions in the church that are vigorously resisting his plea for the church to be more flexible and open. Click here to read more 

Comment

The Pope is saying, in effect, “don’t search for solutions to the Church’s problems in Catholic Tradition” – or am I misinterpreting his words?  If that is what he IS saying, what’s the alternative? As I see it, the key problem today is the apostasy – widespread loss of divine and Catholic Faith.  So, if the solution is not to restore Catholic Tradition where it has been lost, where DO we search for a solution to the Church’s problems?

Catholic Education Week Scotland – More Bluff, Bluster & Baloney…

Image

From 23rd February to the 1st March 2014 Scotland’s   Catholic schools and parishes will celebrate how they support children and young   people to ensure that they are “Shining the Light of Faith” in   their daily lives.  This theme has been inspired by the first Encyclical of Pope   Francis: ‘Lumen Fidei’ (The Light of Faith).

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said: “During   Catholic Education Week, we can all do that little but more to “shine the  light of faith” in our lives. In doing so, not only do we respond  positively to our own vocation, we become lights for our young people, our hope  for the future”. 

To read Archbishop Tartaglia’s message for Education Sunday please click here.

The above report is taken from the website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow