October Synod: Is Schism Inevitable?

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?

Priest On ‘The Francis Effect’…

Father Linus Clovis is addressing a group of pro-lifers on May 8, 2015, meeting to discuss the crisis in the Church ahead of the forthcoming Synod on the Family.   It is refreshing to see a priest speaking out without apology, sourcing Tradition to defend his objective criticisms of the state of the Church and the Pope at this time.  Father Clovis, we are pleased to record, has been on the Catholic Truth newsletter mailing list for a number of years. We’ve never met or corresponded with him but we have made a note on our “to do” list to contact him with our congratulations on “coming out” to speak clearly in the context of “The Francis Effect” – that is, the disastrous effect on the Church of many of the current pontiff’s utterances and actions.

Thanks to Gloria TV for help in making this video available on our blog – and for their outstanding work in the Catholic media during the current crisis in the Church. . .

Please Sign Our Open Letter…Now!

OpenLetterstand-upThe 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.

Comment

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!

Apostasy in the Vatican – No Question…

VaticanROME, March 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This weekend the Vatican formally hosted one of Britain’s most virulently pro-abortion and pro-homosexual writers, as well as the head of an American organization promoting female ordination, at an officially sanctioned event inside Vatican City walls. Organizers spoke to Vatican Radio as well as the secular press, praising the new atmosphere within the Church’s leadership that made the conference possible.

As part of the Vatican’s official observance of International Women’s Day, this Sunday saw two events, one brought in from outside and the other organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture. The latter conference has come under public criticism for its “ham-fisted,” “tone-deaf,” “uncatholic,” and feminist-inspired approach to “Women’s Cultures.”

The presence of the outside-organized event held inside the Vatican is being forthrightly hailed by organizers and the secular media as feminist victory over the traditional stance of the Church. Among the organizers and speakers were Deborah Rose-Milavec, one of the US’s most prominent agitators for female ordination, and Tina Beattie, a British feminist academic notorious for her advocacy for abortion, homosexual relations, and “gay marriage,” and who once compared the Catholic Mass to homosexual sex. [Emphasis added by Editor CT]

Beattie is the Director of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing at the University of Roehampton in London. Her extreme and anti-Catholic positions on abortion and sexuality prompted Bishop Declan Lang of the English Diocese of Clifton to cancel a scheduled lecture in 2012. She continues to write regularly for the UK’s far-left Catholic magazine The Tablet.

The organizer of the “storytelling event,” Voices of Faith, told the New York Times that holding the seminar on Vatican soil was a “hard-fought victory.” Chantal Götz of the Swiss Fidel Götz Foundation, said, “It becomes all the more symbolic when it’s inside the Vatican. It’s a step ahead.”

Götz suggested that the conference participants could form a “de facto think tank” for the pope. “If the pope needs advice, there are women who can provide it,” she said.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Götz highlighted the presence at the conference of a nun who works with women in the parts of the Middle East under threat from the Islamist supremacist group ISIS. She did not, however, mention the presence of Tina Beattie or Deborah Rose-Milavec, and the interviewer did not bring up the presence among the seminar’s speakers of Gudrun Sailer, who has worked for the German section of Vatican Radio since 2003.

Deborah Rose-Milavec, a member of the Voices of Faith advisory board and head of the US group FutureChurch, which campaigns mainly for “women priests,” echoed the suggestion that the seminar could help develop policy for the Church.

On the website of Voices of Faith, Rose-Milavec said the seminar “could be a key agent in providing Pope Francis and others in leadership with both the vision and tools necessary to carry out his desire for a more incisive female presence in the Church.”

“This would benefit all men and women but particularly women who are poor and powerless and who have been left behind economically, socially and politically,” she added.

Despite the single-issue focus of Rose-Milavec’s group, Goetz denied that the seminar aimed at “changing Church policy or doctrine.” To Vatican Radio she said, “We want just to highlight the different experiences of Catholic women and …put more focus on what they are doing for the poor and marginalized.”

“Pope Francis is saying we [women] should take more initiative in general on things and this is what we are trying to do.” “We are proud,” she said, that the seminar was invited to be held within the Vatican.

Joshua McElwee, a journalist with the far-left US paper National Catholic Reporter, said the meeting “saw a remarkably open and frank discussion among women about the limits on their participation in church structures.”

McElwee noted that it “may have been the first such public conversation ever to take place at the center of the Catholic hierarchy.” Using language comparable to that of the feminist “womenpriests” movement, he said the topics discussed included “the need for the church to practice what it preaches about full equality between men and women, to include women in every level of decision-making, and to use inclusive language in its worship.”

He remarked that while the topic of “women’s ordination” was “only discussed tangentially,” nevertheless the speakers “addressed the jarring lack of women in ministry in the church and in leadership positions in the Catholic hierarchy.” He quotes Vatican Radio’s Gudrun Sailer, who said, “It’s about recognizing, realizing that excluding women from the church [does] not conform to the Gospel. It’s not what the Gospel wants.”

The internal event, sponsored by the Vatican’s own Pontifical Council for Culture, while having a less radical agenda, was still criticized for kow-towing to feminist paradigms. Critics expressed concern that the agenda for the meeting contained the jargon-heavy language of academic feminism but little that would mark this officially sponsored Vatican event as Catholic. Topics included, “Between equality and difference: the quest for an equilibrium,” “‘Generativity’ as a symbolic code,” “The female body: between culture and biology,” and “Women and religion: flight or new forms of participation in the life of the Church?” None of the materials for either conference contained a single reference to the Virgin Mary or the female saints or doctors of the Church.

After pulling a video promoting the event in early February that was blasted on Twitter by hundreds of viewers from all sides of the Catholic political divide, the Council posted a photo of a headless, legless and armless statue, bound with ropes. When criticized again for this photo, which many compared with the pornographic film 50 Shades of Grey, the Council posted a note saying that although they acknowledged the criticisms, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi had personally decided the photo would stay. The photo, and the note, have since been removed.

The ongoing close partnership between certain factions within the Vatican and the extreme and blatantly anti-Catholic feminist left has been raising controversy for decades. Some have responded to this latest salvo by saying the Catholic Church is flatly acting against its own interests with its ongoing flirtation with heavily secularist, and politically-charged leftist feminist agenda.

International Women’s Day, a holiday started by the Soviet revolutionaries in the early 20th century, has become an annual showcase for atheistic political feminism in many transnational organizations like the UN and the EU.

Deborah Gyapong, a widely read Canadian freelance Catholic journalist and blogger, spoke to LifeSiteNews of the “partisan agenda” of this weekend’s dual conferences, asking what it had to do with the Catholic religion.

Gyapong said that “even to talk about ‘gender equality’ is to import alien, Marxist inspired ideas into the conversation.” “It means that these views are calling the shots of the conversation, or to use another metaphor, establishing the playing field,” she said.

Gyapong added that while the motive “may have been dialog and inviting diverse points of view,” the lack of balance created a message that these key issues are up for grabs in the Church. She asked where the “clear and articulate” voices defending the Church’s teaching were.

“Would the Vatican hold a conference on the Trinity and invite people who say they are Catholics but who deny there are three Persons in one God?” Gyapong asked. “Women who see the hierarchy merely in terms of power relations and clericalism are unlikely to be less clericalist were they put into positions of power.”

“There are some beautiful, faithful, holy women religious, women theologians, women bioethicists who are not whining and complaining about gender equity,” she added. “As a journalist who has regular contact with cardinals and archbishops, I have never felt marginalized or treated with disrespect.”

The Vatican’s weekend in Rome with the feminists contrasted sharply with the message of Cardinal Raymond Burke who was in the UK at a conference sponsored by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. In a speech in Chester, Cardinal Burke said the time is coming for believing Catholics to be ready to emulate the early Christian martyrs in their defense of marriage and the sanctity of human life.

He warned, “Even within the Church, there are those who would obscure the truth of the indissolubility of marriage in the name of mercy, who condone the violation of the conjugal union by means of contraception in the name of pastoral understanding, and who, in the name of tolerance, remain silent about the attack on the very integrity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”   Source

Comment:

Is there anyone within the Vatican walls, who is not an apostate?  Doesn’t look like it. The silence is deafening, so an awful lot of priests and prelates are complicit in the scandalous downward spiral which this shocking conference represents. Comments invited – but take a very deep breath first…

Is There A “Man-Crisis” In The Church?

From the New Emangelization website…

CardinalBurkesmallRecently, I had the great honor to have an audience with His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to discuss the state of Catholic men in the United States.

Here is the full transcript:

Matthew James Christoff of the New Emangelization Project:  Your Eminence, we are delighted and blessed to be here with you. Today, we are here to talk about the state of Catholic men in the United States and how we might draw more men into the New Evangelization. Maybe to start, how would Your Eminence describe the state of men in the Catholic Church today?

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke:  I think there has been a great confusion with regard to the specific vocation of men in marriage and of men in general in the Church during the past 50 years or so. It’s due to a number of factors, but the radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized.

Unfortunately, the radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church, leading the Church to constantly address women’s issues at the expense of addressing critical issues important to men; the importance of the father, whether in the union of marriage or not; the importance of a father to children; the importance of fatherhood for priests; the critical impact of a manly character; the emphasis on the particular gifts that God gives to men for the good of the whole society.

The goodness and importance of men became very obscured, and for all practical purposes, were not emphasized at all. This is despite the fact that it was a long tradition in the Church, especially through the devotion of St. Joseph, to stress the manly character of the man who sacrifices his life for the sake of the home, who prepares with chivalry to defend his wife and his children and who works to provide the livelihood for the family. So much of this tradition of heralding the heroic nature of manhood has been lost in the Church today.

All of those virtuous characteristics of the male sex are very important for a child to observe as they grow up and mature. The healthy relationship with the father helps the child to prepare to move from the intimate love of the mother, building a discipline so that the child can avoid excessive self‑love. This ensures that the child is able to identify himself or herself properly as a person in relationship with others; this is critical for both boys and girls.

A child’s relationship with their father is key to a child’s self‑identification, which takes places when we are growing up. We need that very close and affirming relationship with the mother, but at the same time, it is the relationship with the father, which is of its nature more distant but not less loving, which disciplines our lives. It teaches a child to lead a selfless life, ready to embrace whatever sacrifices are necessary to be true to God and to one another.

I recall in the mid-1970’s, young men telling me that they were, in a certain way, frightened by marriage because of the radicalizing and self-focused attitudes of women that were emerging at that time. These young men were concerned that entering a marriage would simply not work because of a constant and insistent demanding of rights for women. These divisions between women and men have gotten worse since then.

Everyone understands that women have and can be abused by men. Men who abuse women are not true men, but false men who have violated their own manly character by being abusive to women.

The crisis between man and woman has been made much worse by a complete collapse of catechesis in the Church. Young men grew up without proper instruction with regard to their faith and to the knowledge of their vocation. Young men were not being taught that they are made in the image of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These young men were not taught to know all those virtues that are necessary in order to be a man and to fulfill the particular gifts of being male.  Read entire transcript here

Comment

Is Cardinal Burke correct  – IS there a “man-crisis” in the Church?  If so, what, if anything, can we do about it?

Pope: It’s Great To See The Church In Turmoil (paraphrasing… slightly)

PopeFrancispensivecroppedVatican City, Dec 7, 2014 / 11:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an interview with the Argentine daily “La Nacion” published Sunday, Pope Francis spoke on a variety of topics, giving specific attention to the ongoing reform of the Roman Curia, and some of the resistance he’s facing. “I am not worried. It all seems normal to me; if there were no difference of opinions, that wouldn’t be normal,” the Pope told Elisabetta Piqué in an interview published in La Nacion Dec. 7.

“Resistance is now evident. And that is a good sign for me, getting the resistance out into the open, no stealthy mumbling when there is disagreement. It’s healthy to get things out into the open, it’s very healthy.”

With topics ranging from his health to future travels and birthday plans, the Roman Pontiff spent most of the 50 minute interview talking about his plan of reform for the Roman Curia, which he said will be an ongoing process that extends beyond the projected finish date of 2015. The Bishop of Rome revealed that he had no expectations regarding the “cleansing process” of the Curia before starting, because “I expected to go back to Buenos Aires.” “After that, well, I don´t know. You see, God is good to me, he’s bestowed on me a healthy dose of unawareness. I just do what I have to do.”

Pope Francis responded to the fact that nearly 21 months after he was elected to as Bishop of Rome, differing opinions are beginning to surface more clearly regarding some of the changes he is implementing. However, the Roman Pontiff said that facing resistance isn’t something to be afraid of, because “to me, resistance means different points of view, not something dirty.” Resistance, he said, “is connected to some decisions I may occasionally take, I will concede that. Of course, some decisions are more of the economic type, and others are more pastoral.”

The Roman Pontiff also addressed comments suggesting that the “honeymoon is over” due to divisions that surfaced during the Synod on the Family held in October, saying that the issue was not so much the Pope as it was differing pastoral positions. This is evident and can be clearly seen by looking at the widespread enthusiasm with which his final speech was accepted, he said.

In regards to media buzz during the synod due to comments by Cardinal Raymond Burke suggesting that the Church is like “a ship without a rudder,” the Pope said that “those expressions strike me as odd.” “I am not aware of anybody using them. The media quote them,” he said, admitting that “until I can ask the people involved ‘have you said this?’ I will have brotherly doubts.”   CardinalBurkesmall

The Bishop of Rome also addressed the appointment of Cardinal Burke as Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, following his six years serving as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Announced shortly after the synod, the decision has drawn speculation from all sides, with many contributing the move to the cardinal’s comments during the synod as well as his staunchly conservative viewpoints on Church doctrine.

Pope Francis said that sometime before the synod Cardinal Burke had asked what he would be doing, since his position as prefect of the Signatura was not confirmed. The Roman Pontiff responded by asking for some time while the Council of Nine cardinals assisting him in Church reform thought about their legal restructuring. “I told him nothing had been done about it yet and that it was being considered. After that the issue of the Order of Malta cropped up and we needed a smart American who would know how to get around and I thought of him for that position,” the Pope said. “I suggested this to him long before the synod,” he continued, explaining that he wanted the announcement to be made after the synod was over so that the cardinal could participate in the discussions. As chaplain of Malta Cardinal Burke would not have been able to be present, he explained. “He thanked me in very good terms and accepted my offer, I even think he liked it. Because he is a man that gets around a lot, he does a lot of travelling and would surely be busy there. It is therefore not true that I removed him because of how he had behaved in the synod.”

The Roman Pontiff also spoke of the continuing reform of the Roman Curia, saying that it’s a slow process and “We’re tackling it little by little.” Pope Francis referred to the restructuring of the Institute for Religious Works, also called the Vatican Bank. He said that it is “operating beautifully” and that they did “quite a good job there.” He revealed that when he was elected Pope he had been planning to retire, and that once he moved to the Vatican he had to start his plans again from scratch, and that everything was new for him. “From the start I said to myself: ‘Jorge, don’t change, just keep on being yourself, because to change at your age would be to make a fool of yourself.’” “That´s why I’ve always kept on doing what I used to do in Buenos Aires. Perhaps even making my old mistakes. But I prefer it like this, to be myself.”  Source

Comment

I have to admit, I wouldn’t know where to begin to comment on the above.  So, let’s hear it – what do YOU think of this latest papal interview? 

Cardinal Burke – Latest & Greatest Victim of the Dreaded “Francis Effect”?

Cardinal Burke

As the impeccable prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura, [Cardinal Burke] is on the verge of being demoted to the purely honorary role of “patron” of an order of knighthood. At the behest of Pope Francis by Sandro Magister  

VATICAN CITY, September 17, 2014 – The “revolution” of Pope Francis in ecclesiastical governance is not losing its driving thrust. And so, as happens in every self-respecting revolution, the heads continue to roll for churchmen seen as deserving this metaphorical guillotine. In his first months as bishop of Rome, pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities among the most “Ratzingerian” of the Roman curia. Another whose fate appears to be sealed is the Spanish archbishop of Opus Dei Celso Morga Iruzubieta, secretary of the congregation for the clergy, destined to leave Rome for an Iberian diocese not of the first rank. But now an even more eminent decapitation seems to be on the way. The next victim would in fact be the United States cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who from being prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura would not be promoted – as some are fantasizing in the blogosphere – to the difficult but prestigious see of Chicago, but rather demoted to the pompous – but ecclesiastically very modest – title of “cardinal patron” of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing the current head, Paolo Sardi, who recently turned 80.

If confirmed, Burke’s exile would be even more drastic than the one inflicted on Cardinal Piacenza, who, transferred from the important congregation for the clergy to the marginal apostolic penitentiary, nevertheless remained in the leadership of a curial dicastery. With the shakeup on the way, Burke would instead be completely removed from the curia and employed in a purely honorary position without any influence on the governance of the universal Church. This would be a move that seems to have no precedent. In the past, in fact, the title of “cardinalis patronus” of the knights of Malta, in existence since 1961, like the previous one of Grand Prior of Rome, has always been assigned to the highest ranking cardinals as an extra position in addition to the main one. This is what was done with cardinals Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro (appointed Grand Prior in 1896 while remaining secretary of state), Gaetano Bisleti (at the same time prefect of the congregation for Catholic education), Gennaro Granito Pignatelli (cardinal dean and bishop of Albano), Nicola Canali (governor of Vatican City), Paolo Giobbe (leader of the apostolic dataria), Paul-Pierre Philippe (until the age of 75 also prefect of the congregation for the Oriental Churches), Sebastiano Baggio (removed from the congregation for bishops but kept on as governor of Vatican City and camerlengo), Pio Laghi (until the age of 77 also prefect of the congregation for Catholic education).

Two separate cases are those of Cardinal Giacomo Violardo, who succeeded the 89-year-old Giobbe as patron at the age of 71, two months after receiving the scarlet at the end of long service in the curia, and of the outgoing Sardi, appointed pro-patron in 2009 at the age of 75 and made cardinal in 2010 after having been for many years the head of the office that writes pontifical documents. Above all, Sardi’s retirement would not be a compulsory act, since the age limit of 80 does not apply to positions outside of the curia. And in fact, with the exception of Paulo Giobbe, all of the aforementioned cardinal patrons went on to a better life “durante munere.”

Burke is 66 years old, and therefore still in his ecclesiastical prime. Ordained a priest by Paul VI in 1975, he worked at the apostolic signatura as an ordinary priest with John Paul II, who made him bishop of his native diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1993. It was again pope Karol Wojtyla who in 2003 promoted him as archbishop of the prestigious see, once cardinalate, of St. Louis, Missouri. Benedict XVI called him back to Rome in 2008, and made him a cardinal in 2010. With a very devout personality, he is also recognized as having the rare virtue of never having struck any deals to obtain ecclesiastical promotions or benefices. In the liturgical and theological camp, he is very close to the sensibilities of Joseph Ratzinger.

He has celebrated a number of times according to the ancient rite, even donning the “cappa magna,” as do cardinals George Pell and Antonio Cañizares Llovera, without being punished for this by Pope Francis. A great expert in canon law, and appointed to the apostolic signatura for this reason, he is not afraid to follow it to the most uncomfortable consequences. Like when, to the tune of articles of the Code – number 915 to be precise – he upheld the impossibility of giving communion to those politicians who stubbornly and publicly uphold the right to abortion, bringing the rebukes of two colleagues in the United States valued by Pope Francis, Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston and Donald Wuerl of Washington.  (emphasis added)

Free in his judgments, he has been among the very few to make critical remarks on “Evangelii Gaudium,” pointing out that in his view it is orientational but not truly magisterial. And in view of the upcoming synod of bishops, he has repeatedly taken a stand against the ideas of Cardinal Walter Kasper – well known to be in the good graces of Pope Francis – in favor of communion for the divorced and remarried. The dicastery headed by Burke, eminently technical, recently accepted an appeal from the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate against a provision issued for them by the congregation for religious. A courageous move on the part of Burke, situated within the context of the punitive action undertaken by the Vatican congregation against one of the most substantial realities of Catholic traditionalism, an action that Pope Francis endorsed by approving in specific form the congregation’s decision to prevent the Friars of the Immaculate from celebrating the Mass according to the “Tridentine” rite.  (emphasis added)

It is only with this kind of pontifical approval, in fact, that a decree of the curia can overturn standing law, in this case the motu proprio of Benedict XVI “Summorum Pontificum.” It is difficult to identify among these episodes the ones that may have have had the greatest influence on the fate of Cardinal Burke. But it is easy to predict that his definitive downgrading will provoke both a tumultuous reaction within the traditionalist world, where Burke is seen as a hero, and a corresponding wave of jubilation in the opposite camp, where he is instead considered a bogeyman.

On the latter side it can be recalled that the “liberal” Catholic commentator Michael Sean Winters, in the “National Catholic Reporter” of November 26, 2013, had called for the head of Cardinal Burke as a member of the congregation for bishops, because of the nefarious influence, according to him, that he was exercising over episcopal appointments in the United States. On December 16, in effect, Pope Francis humiliated Burke by crossing him off from among the members of the congregation. To the hosannas of “liberal” Catholicism, not only in the United States. The pope certainly did not do so out of obedience to the wishes of the “National Catholic Reporter.” But now he seems right at the point of giving the go-ahead for the second and more grave demotion of one of the most untarnished personalities the Vatican curia knows.   Source

Comment

Those who remember the way Cardinal Burke caved in to the “liberal” bullies in Westminster by withdrawing at the last minute from his speaking engagement at the London Conference hosted by the orthodox group Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, will be pleased to recall the details above of his later fearless confronting of the “liberal” elite. He is now paying the price, of course, if the reports of his “demotion” are, in fact, true.   We welcome your thoughts on this latest bombshell from Rome.