Part of the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Answered.
Part of the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Answered.
The Vatican Secretariat of State had specifically looked into changing the protocol, at Pope Francis’ request. As it turned out, the protocol was applied for the first time on the occasion of the visit by Argentina’s new President Mauricio Macri to the Vatican, where he attended an audience with Pope Francis on Saturday 27 February. From now on, Catholic heads of state in irregular marital unions will be able to meet the Pope along with their spouse and the latter will also be able to appear in official group photos when gifts are exchanged. Until today, in such cases, the husband or wife had to wait in another room and the Pope greeted them separately at the end of the audience.
Argentinian journalist Elisabetta Piqué was the first to announce the change in protocol in an article published by daily newspaper La Nación.
Secretariat of State sources confirmed to Vatican Insider that this change is in force as of now and applies to all Catholic heads of state on official visits to the Vatican. According to traditional protocol, only in cases of Catholic heads of state – being spiritual children of the Church – did the “regularity” of a marital state need to be take into consideration respecting Canon Law.
Argentina’s new President Mauricio Macri and his third wife, Juliana Awada, were the first to experience this change in etiquette. The decision was taken in light of something that occurred two years ago when a Latin American head of state who had married his wife in a civil ceremony met the Pope who then greeted the wife in a separate location. That was when he started thinking about changing the protocol that had been in place until then. In a statement about remarried divorces during his interview with journalists on the return flight from Mexico on 17 February, Francis said: “The key phrase used by the synod, which I’ll take up again, is ‘integrate’ in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etcetera.” The change in protocol is a small step in that direction. Source
The feeling out on the street these days is that Pope Francis will come perilously close to making one of his many errors binding on Catholics – perhaps his assurance to Protestants and atheists that they needn’t worry about salvation, no need to convert, or perhaps his confusing messages about marriage and the family (all shapes and sizes acceptable) or similar. The feeling out on the street is that this is likely to come about soon, and will provoke some major activity, either through the concerned members of the hierarchy or by direct divine intervention. This news of a change in Vatican protocol seems to support the voices on the street. IS this a significant change, or does it really not matter that much?
If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment. Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!
Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever. Enjoy!
Do you agree with the commentators who believe that Vatican permission for Communion for couples in sinful unions is “a done deal”?
Is schism inevitable? If so, what on earth are Catholics to do to keep the Faith? Do you agree with the solutions proposed by the commentators in the video?
Fr Adrian Egan (above) published a letter in the Irish Times, 30 April, in which he asserted his intention to vote YES in the same-sex marriage referendum to take place in Ireland on 22nd May. Click on the photo to read his letter, published on a new website called Priests For Yes – I mean, can it get any worse? Brazen priests boasting about their support for unnatural and immoral sexual behaviour, basing their opinions on a childish understanding of “love” and “equality”.
Then another priest, Fr Brian O’Fearraigh, announced (to his congregation at Mass) that he, too, would be voting YES. It’s not a Church matter, it’s a state matter was his crackpot defence. What was that about “diabolical disorientation”? You bet… For if the Devil isn’t working in these priests, I can’t think what’s driving them – definitely not logic, theology, scripture or even elementary knowledge of the natural moral law. Here’s the report from the Irish Examiner – brace yourself…
Fr O’Fearraigh said that his conscience is clear with regard his decision, regardless of the fact that his bishop, Bishop of Raphoe Philip Boyce, had publically declared he would be voting No.
“The reality of same-sex marriage is a reality that in no way threatens me or in no way offends me as an individual, as a priest and ultimately as a citizen of this state.”
Barry Jones, a spokesperson for StandUp4Marriage, a group advocating a No vote was speaking on the same station to Greg Hughes and said that the referendum was “a matter for every individual, it’s as simple as that, and that is a matter for him whatever way he wants to vote. It certainly sounds to me that he [Fr O Fearraigh] is misguided”.
The referendum takes place on May 22. Source – note, includes short audio clip of Fr O’Fearraigh defending his indefensible position.
We’ve had a number of threads to discuss the forthcoming referendum in Ireland. This thread is not about that. It’s about the following:
1) how come these priests have no awareness of the nature and purpose of conscience?
2) why is their Superior/Bishop not insisting that they resign from active priestly ministry? Do you think they should resign?
3) What should Catholics do if their priest publicly announces his intention to vote for same-sex marriage or otherwise publicly attacks dogma or morals? I once told a priest after Mass that if he did that again, I would publicly correct him. Should we do that, even though, I’m told, technically it’s against the law of the land. Does anyone care?
The key question MUST be asked and answered: is it possible for a Catholic priest to “disagree” with God’s natural moral order and undermine the Church by handing over guardianship of God’s objective moral law to the State? Is that possible? And still remain in a position of influence over the Catholic people, to feed them stones instead of bread? What does Canon Law have to say on the matter?
Forget what the Church has always practiced! Baptize anyone who asks.
by Christopher A. Ferrara
May 1, 2015
Another day, another novelty from the lips of Francis. This time, in remarks following the ordination of new priests, he declared: “Do not ever refuse Baptism to anyone who asks! (my emphasis)”
Never refuse Baptism? Under any circumstances? That is hardly what the Church always taught before Francis. For example, in a 1980 Instruction on Infant Baptism, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that “infant Baptism must be governed by two great principles, the second of which is subordinate to the first.” The first great principle, of course, is that “Baptism, which is necessary for salvation, is the sign and the means of God’s prevenient love, which frees us from original sin and communicates to us a share in divine life…”
But the second great principle, which Francis would apparently ignore, is that: “Assurances must be given that the gift thus granted can grow by an authentic education in the faith and Christian life, in order to fulfill the true meaning of the sacrament.” Accordingly, “if these assurances are not really serious there can be grounds for delaying the sacrament; and if they are certainly non-existent the sacrament should even be refused.”
As the Instruction further teaches: “In fact the Church can only accede to the desire of these parents if they give an assurance that, once the child is baptized, it will be given the benefit of the Christian upbringing required by the sacrament. The Church must have a well-founded hope that the Baptism will bear fruit.” If sincere assurances are given, then, naturally, “the priest cannot refuse to celebrate the sacrament without delay…” But if, on the other hand, “they are insufficient, it will be prudent to delay Baptism.”
Take, for example, a “gay couple” that has no intention of raising their immorally acquired child in the Christian faith but rather in their own version of it, which includes the “right” of homosexual “couples” to live in an adulterous union based on the practice of sodomy, call it a “marriage,” and adopt children — all in violation of the Church’s infallible teaching on faith and morals.
Vatican Insider reports Francis’ remark as “words that may be interpreted to rebut priests who refuse to baptize children of same-sex couples…” It would be hard to deny that interpretation in the face of his use of the word “never” without qualification. Never means never, unless one adds a qualifier, and none was added here. But this would seem to be in line with the thematic ambiguity Francis has been cultivating for the past two years, always tending in a liberalizing direction, however. Call it guided ambiguity.
Worse, Francis did not limit his remark to the case of infants, where the urgency of Baptism would militate in favor of the sacrament, but rather included those who ask for it themselves, meaning adults. Is there to be no process of discernment by the priest in this regard? Is he to baptize even someone who openly “disagrees” with fundamental teachings on faith and morals? That would be a sacrilege. Indeed, not a few have presented themselves for Baptism in defiance of the Church precisely in order to legitimate their own errors or immoral “lifestyles,” as if the sacrament were some kind of entitlement instead of a gift of the Blood of Christ.
Yet again one has the impression that Francis simply says whatever he wishes and does whatever he pleases with little or no regard for what came before him in the Church if he deems it unnecessary. As he declared in the interview with Civiltà Cattolica that so delighted the liberal media: “The Church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules.”
Really? Which rules are those? The process of discerning fitness for Baptism, according to the perennial teaching of the Church, appears to be one of them. According to Francis. Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us!
The on-going scandal of Mgr Basil Loftus’ columns in both the Catholic Times and Scottish Catholic Observer is worsening. He is increasingly blatant in his attacks on Catholic Faith and Morals and is personally nasty in his remarks about orthodox prelates – Cardinal Burke is one victim. In response to readers’ concerns, we have composed an Open Letter to the two Bishops with responsibility for this priest, since they have ignored our private letters. Please click here to read this letter, and to sign.
Whether or not you disapprove of the work of Catholic Truth is irrelevant. Take this opportunity to join us in publicly defending the Faith against the increasingly ferocious attacks by Mgr Loftus in the Catholic print media. Thank you – God bless.
Please send the link to our Open Letter far and wide. We must do our best to gather as many signatures as possible.
Monsignor Loftus has been allowed free rein in the so called Catholic newspapers, where, if a letter of concern or criticism is published at all, he is given the right to reply, often right there on the same page, same edition, so that, instead of correcting his errors, the editor is allowing him to reinforce them by responding (with baloney) to his critics. He uses bullying tactics (two priests threatened with legal action for their temerity in daring to criticise his writings) so it’s time the bishops – who have ignored all concerns expressed to date – were brought to account for their negligence and forced to take action without any further delay. We will send our letter with signatures appended in due course. Let’s make sure that there are just too many signatures for them to ignore. Over to you!