Archbishop-Elect Dermot Farrell of Dublin – The New Judas On The Block… 

From The Catholic Thing – Some Troubles in Dublin by Fr Gerald E. Murray

               Archbishop-Elect of Dublin,               Dermot Farrell

The Archbishop-Elect of Dublin, Dermot Farrell, gave an interview to the Irish Times soon after his appointment had been announced by the Holy See. (Click here for a transcript of the interview.)

The new archbishop declares himself in favour of women deacons and married priests. He does not find in the Scriptures an argument against the ordination of women to the priesthood. He calls the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on homosexuality merely technical. He also says he has no problem with the private blessing of rings for divorced and remarrying couples and for homosexual couples (though he finds public blessings problematic because people often misconstrue them as actual marriages).

Amid so many other troubles, the Irish Church appears to be headed for more rocky days.

Farrell’s treatment of Church teaching and practice regarding homosexuality, for example, is dismissive: “It’s a technical description. People misconstrue that then because it is technical theological language.” He considers amending this technical language, because “I think Pope Francis has discussed that (removal). It came up at the last Synod.”

Really?  Farrell is referring to this teaching of the Catechism: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (CCC 2357)

In common parlance, calling language in a document “technical” can mean that it is unintelligible or is commonly misunderstood by the uninitiated, and is there to serve some arcane or legalistic purpose. Its removal is desirable but may be difficult to do if sticklers, purists, or legalists object. Better just to ignore it and treat it as a dead letter, as in “Technically speaking that is true, but. . .”

To describe the clear, unchanging, and unchangeable teaching of the Church on the inherent immorality of homosexual acts as technical language that could, and even should, be dispensed with is plainly a rejection of that teaching.

The rejection of homosexual activity, and the homosexual lifestyle, by faithful Catholics, however,  is not a misconstruing of “technical” language found in the Catechism. Those who want the Church to embrace and bless the homosexual lifestyle object to the language of the Catechism not because it is misconstrued by clueless people who think it means that no one should engage in homosexual acts because, being intrinsically disordered, they are immoral. Rather, they object because the language is easily and correctly understood to mean just that. The problem for them is not the allegedly confusing words used, but rather the clear meaning of those words.

Archbishop Farrell, in response to a question about blessing rings for divorced and remarried couples and for same-sex couples, says:

The difficulty with blessings is that they are very often misconstrued as marriage. Priests have given these blessings in the past. I remember one colleague of mine. I had said to him – he used to have this ceremony of the blessing of rings – I said to him I don’t have a difficulty with blessing rings if you’re doing that here in the house but if you go out into the public domain, in a church, and bless rings as you see it. . .they turned up with 200 people and they saw it as a marriage. Sometimes people use that phraseology. . .you’re into confusion there. It can be misconstrued as “yes, the priest married us.” Blessings are always going to be misconstrued and that’s where the difficulty arises because once you start blessing things like that people are going to construe that as a marriage. We can’t have that sort of situation in the Church because it creates all sorts of problems in terms of our own teaching and these teachings of the church have been constant.

Leaving aside the question of blessing the rings of divorced and remarried couples, what exactly are we to understand is the meaning of blessing the wedding rings of same-sex couples, whether in private or in public? Is it a misconstrual to consider that the priest who does such a blessing approves of the relationship that the homosexual couple has entered into (which is a counterfeit, pseudo-marriage), and asks God’s favor and approval upon that relationship as symbolized by the rings?

The Modern Catholic Dictionary defines a blessing thus: “In liturgical language a blessing is a ritual ceremony by which an authorized cleric in major orders sanctifies persons or things to divine service, or invokes divine favor on what he blesses.” The dictionary’s entry on rings states: “Conferring the ring is an integral part of the marriage ceremony to signify the mutual love of husband and wife, and wearing the ring symbolizes their pledge of marital fidelity.”

The main problem with blessing wedding rings of a same-sex couple is not that people will become confused and think that the priest was actually  marrying them. No, the main problem is that a priest who does such an unholy act is giving the impression that God will favour what He has condemned. Same-sex “marriages” are not marriages in any way, shape, or form. It’s a gravely sinful relationship in which two men or two women pledge to sodomize each other. No blessing should ever be invoked by a priest upon this unnatural relationship nor upon the pirated symbols of the holy estate of marriage.

Archbishop Farrell says: “I don’t have a difficulty with blessing rings.” If that’s true, what he does have is a more fundamental difficulty: God has warned shepherds who mislead their flocks into paths of sin and error that they will be held accountable. Let us pray that the new Archbishop of Dublin will forswear his comments and reaffirm the Church’s actual teaching and practice.  Click here to read at source

Comment:

There’s really nothing left for me to say – except pray for poor Ireland.  As if it’s not due a break.  From my trip to Dublin at the time of the abortion referendum I have one memory which will be forever fixed in my mind and it is this:  handing out our leaflets and engaging with the few members of the public who didn’t tell us to blankety blank off, I met one woman who expressed herself heart-broken about the state of the Church in Ireland, that it had come to this – a referendum on murdering the unborn. She told me that she had daughters who were going to vote in favour of legalising abortion, and her tears fell. My heart went out to her. Catholics have been very badly served by the clergy in Ireland.  And after the abortion and then the same-sex “marriage” votes, the Pope is still not satisfied; the people of Ireland need yet another bad bishop – and one who is not afraid to publicly display his fake Catholicism.

As I intimated at the beginning of this short comment – there’s really nothing left for me to say.  Over to you… 

Muslim, Not Catholic, Parents Fight LGBT Indoctrination in Schools…

 

 


Sky News broadcast a segment on the “culture clash” in UK classrooms this morning, focusing on
the fact that the protest against the sympathetic portrayal of LGBT issues/same-sex “families” which began in Birmingham has now spread across England. Click here to read the Sky News report, and see small video clips. 

These good Muslim parents can expect no help from Catholics, sadly, because, according to a report emailed to Catholic Truth by one of our watchful readers south  of the border, the Bishops of England (with one exception) have welcomed the Government’s shocking new sex-education law which sees parental rights as the prime educators of their children over-ruled by Head Teachers.  Click here to read all about this disgraceful partnership with LGBT activists into which the Bishops have effectively entered. 

We know that not all parents are in a position to home-school – that’s understandable.  However, what possible excuse can any Catholic parent offer for standing on the sidelines as these ever new and ever worsening laws are passed which are clearly aimed at brainwashing children with the LGBT message that sexuality has nothing to do with morality, that the natural  moral law applies only to theft and killing, not to sexual activity – how can any Catholic parent sit back and allow their children to be told that families can be made up of two mummies and/or two daddies, and that God really doesn’t care as long as everybody is happy and “loves” everybody else. 

Apart from home-schooling, what can parents actually DO – should they be standing shoulder-to-shoulder beside the Muslim parents outside of schools and if not, why not.  And if not what SHOULD they be doing, because, clearly, they should be doing something to stop this brainwashing of innocent primary school children, which is effectively grooming them for a lifetime of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes as “acts of grave depravity”  adding that “Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (# 2357)

What right-minded parent, then, stands by while their children are being taught that “acts of grave depravity” can be approved, and more, that these acts of depravity must be tolerated and respected? 

For centuries, Catholic children were taught the general Christian rule of treating our neighbour as we would each wish to be treated ourselves. That “golden rule” applies to every person in creation no matter how badly they may behave.  We treat everyone with courtesy and respect, as human beings; but that does not, emphatically, mean that we may approve their behaviour. We can easily see that with regard to criminal behaviour, but it applies, also, to all behaviour which offends God, whether or not it is breaking a human or national law.  So, to repeat – what possible excuse can any Catholic parent offer to excuse their silence on the LGBT dominance in schools? 

Congratulations to the informed Muslim parents for taking counter-cultural action to protect their children.  But “congratulations” is not a sentiment that we may legitimately offer to Catholic parents today who are, in the main, going along with every immorality in the book.  So, what message SHOULD we sent to Catholic parents right now?  Printable suggestions only, please and thank you! 

Pope Changes Teaching On Death Penalty – Exceeds Papal Authority…

From Rorate Caeli… 

What was black is now white: Pope “changes Catechism” to declare death penalty “inadmissible in all cases”.

The Church was wrong in a major issue literally of life and death.

Is the Pope a kind of “Prophet”, as the “First President” of the Mormons, receiving new teachings that contradict completely teachings that the Magisterium had taught since Apostolic Times?

That is what seems to come from the “alteration” of the Catechism of the Catholic Church of 1992 promoted by the current Pope and published today:

The Supreme Pontiff Francis, in an audience granted on May 11, 2018, to the undersigned Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has approved the following new text of the n. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ordering its translation in the various languages and inserted in all editions of the mentioned Catechism:

The death penalty

2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

_______________________

[1] Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.

The anachronistic boldness in this decision is astounding: what is merely a modern view of a secularized Europe becomes a completely new teaching, without even the consideration that the current situation of the world will remain the same for all time — as if the secular European present of stable peace would remain forever the same, as if what was common in the past and since the dawn of time would never be possible anymore. The boldness of a personal opinion becoming a completely new and unprecedented “teaching” of the Church.

If such a certain doctrine of the Church (of the possibility of the death penalty at least in some situations), affirmed by Christ Himself in Scripture — when, confronted by Pilate who affirmed his right to inflict capital punishment, told him, “You would have no authority over Me if it were not given to you from above”, affirming that it is a power granted to the State in its authority, even if, as all governmental powers, it can be exercised illegitimately and unjustly — can be changed, then anything can be changed. A “development” of doctrine may bring about anything: from the end of the “intrinsic disordered” nature of homosexuality to the priestly ordination of women, from the possibility of contraception in “some” cases to the acceptance of the Lutheran understanding of the Real Presence in the Eucharist as a possible interpretation of what the Church has always believed — and so on.

The current Pope has far exceeded his authority: his authority is to guard and protect the doctrine that was received from Christ and the Apostles, not to alter it according to his personal views. [Ed: emphasis added]

We are reaping the rewards of an unchecked hyper-clericalism: the same hyper-clericalism that allowed for abuses of people like Theodore McCarrick to go ignored and unpunished and now allows for the recklessness of the alteration of established doctrine received from Christ and the Apostles.  Ends.

Update: If it were possible to have an even more ridiculous excuse for this change, it comes from the “Letter to Bishops” by Cardinal Ladaria, the CDF prefect:

10. The new formulation of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church desires to give energy to a movement towards a decisive commitment to favor a mentality that recognizes the dignity of every human life and, in respectful dialogue with civil authorities, to encourage the creation of conditions that allow for the elimination of the death penalty where it is still in effect.

That is absolutely ridiculous, and a shameful and pathetic excuse: the Catechism is not a lobbying tool to modify laws: it is supposed to be a collection of the everlasting teachings of the Church.  Source – Rorate Caeli

Comment: 

What should happen now?  Is there anything that the rest of the upper hierarchy can do?  What about Catholics in the USA and other countries where the death penalty is permitted – are they now duty bound to work for its elimination?  Do they commit a sin if they refuse to do so and, instead, adhere to the traditional belief that the State is permitted to use the death penalty in certain cases? If it’s a sin, at what level? Venial? Mortal? What then?  And what about other teachings in the Catechism? Do we watch, even more closely, for this Pope’s personal opinion on this or that issue, in order to prepare ourselves for the next new teaching?  

Pope Francis Wishes To Change Teaching On Capital Punishment…

Speaking in Rome on October 11th, 2017 (55th anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II), at a conference promoting the ‘New Evangelization’, Pope Francis made known his will for the Catechism of the Catholic Church to be revised so as to condemn capital punishment as absolutely immoral in principle. He declared the death penalty to be “in itself contrary to the Gospel” (“in sé stessa contraria al Vangelo”). Source

The Pope’s attack on traditional teaching is not going unchallenged, however;  below, extracts from a very interesting analysis from the Society of St Pius X, District of the U.S.A.  Read entire article here

Capital Punishment and Contemporary Catholicism

On April 20, 2017, Ledell Lee, convicted of the brutal murder of his neighbor, Mrs. Debra Reese, was executed in Arkansas, the state’s first execution since 2005. When asked what his wishes were for his last meal, Lee declined a meal but said he wished to receive Holy Communion before execution. He made no public statement before death, but his request to receive the Sacraments was indicative of a desire to die in a state of grace, at peace with God.

Before Lee’s execution, Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, and the Catholic Mobilizing Network, which describes its mission as “Ending the death penalty. Promoting restorative justice,” all wrote to the governor of Arkansas asking that Lee’s sentence be commuted to life imprisonment.

Opposition to the Death Penalty

These Catholic bishops and activists are not alone in their opposition to the death penalty. In June of 2016, Pope Francis sent a video message of support to the 6th World Congress against the Death Penalty in which he said: 

“Nowadays the death penalty is unacceptable, however grave the crime of the convicted person. It is an offence to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person; it likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his merciful justice.”

What then does the Church teach about capital punishment? Is it permitted, and under what circumstances?

The Catechism of the Council of Trent tells us:

“Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thou shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives”
(Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, 1566, Part III, 5, n. 4.).

This contrasts starkly with Pope Francis’s words, “The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” has absolute value and applies both to the innocent and to the guilty” (Message to the 6th World Congress against the Death Penalty).

St. Thomas Aquinas gives two main reasons for the use of capital punishment. One is the common good:

Now every individual person is related to the entire society as a part to the whole. Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and healthful that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good, since ‘a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump’ (1 Cor. 5:6).”
(Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 64, art. 2)

His other consideration is the good of the criminal.

“They…have at that critical point of death the opportunity to be converted to God through repentance. And if they are so obstinate that even at the point of death their heart does not draw back from malice, it is possible to make a quite probable judgment that they would never come away from evil” 
(Summa contra gentiles, Book III, chapter 146).

The Good of the Criminal
 
On July 26, 2017, Ronald Phillips, convicted of the particularly horrible murder of a child, was executed in Ohio. The day of his execution, he reportedly spent several hours with a spiritual adviser and took time to read the Bible. Just before death, he made his first public expression of regret since his incarceration, asking forgiveness of his victim’s family. He had previously unsuccessfully sought clemency on grounds of his youth at the time (he was 19) and his difficult childhood.

While some claim that the death penalty puts an end to the possibility of the criminal repenting later on, St. Thomas does not admit this objection.

“The fact that the evil ones, as long as they live, can be corrected from their errors does not prohibit that they may be justly executed, for the danger which threatens from their way of life is greater and more certain than the good which may be expected from their improvement.”

Both Phillips’s case and that of Ledell Lee illustrate St. Thomas’s point: imminent death brings home to the criminal the gravity of his crime and leads him to repentance. Samuel Johnson was the author of the oft-quoted aphorism to the effect that nothing concentrates the mind like a sentence of hanging. Of course, in Samuel Johnson’s day, executions were carried out rather more promptly than they are in the United States nowadays: a criminal can languish for decades on death row, and it is said that nearly a quarter of death row inmates die of natural causes while waiting for execution or appealing their sentences.

The Church has been careful to emphasize the need for due process and true justice. Innocent III said:

The secular power can without mortal sin carry out a sentence of death, provided it proceeds in imposing the penalty not from hatred but with judgment, not carelessly but with due solicitude.”

Whether due process is consistently available in the American criminal justice system is a matter of debate. By all accounts it is in desperate need of reform. One high-profile (and well-informed, thanks to his own sojourn in the United States’ jail system) commentator on this issue was newspaper publisher Conrad Black, who has among other issues emphasized the need to address the huge number of inmates in the prison system and the high rate of recidivism, partly due (in his opinion) to a culture in which convicts become dependent on the system. 

The Catholic Understanding of Death

[F]or the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next?…For the non-believer, on the other hand, to deprive a man of his life is to end his existence. What a horrible act!”

Does the death penalty deprive the criminal of hope? Of hope for the things of this world, certainly. But there are many instances of dying criminals who have discovered grounds for hope: a certain thief once hoped, “Remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.”

In Conclusion…

From what the Catechism of the Council of Trent tells us, in combination with the teachings of many Popes and sainted theologians, it seems that while the necessity and suitability of capital punishment in a given situation remains a prudential decision for the public authorities, it is clear that traditional Catholic teachings permit the death penalty under certain conditions. One could argue that the rallying of modern Catholicism against capital punishment is at least in part due to the influence of what Scalia calls “the post-Freudian secularist,” inclined to diminish the moral responsibility of the criminal and seemingly blind to the possibility of expiation for sin and life after death.

The fifteenth-century French poet François Villon, a ne’er-do-well who frequently fell afoul of the law, composed his most famous work, The Ballad of the Hanged, in jail the night before he was to be executed. It is an entirely supernatural plea to Christ and Our Lady for mercy on his soul and to his fellowman for pity and prayers. His final stanza is remarkable for its humility and its hope:

Prince Jesus, who has command of all,                                
Do not let Hell gain lordship over us:
With it let us have no dealings.
Men, there is no mockery here;
Pray God that He will absolve us all.

Comments invited…

IS Pope Francis right to seek to “revise” Catholic teaching on the Death Penalty?