Part of the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Answered, the above video is the second of our Catholic Conversation videos. Editor answers questions on the current scandals…
Part of the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Answered, the above video is the second of our Catholic Conversation videos. Editor answers questions on the current scandals…
The Catholic Truth About Us video has been amended and improved – check it out below…
Thanks to our zealous and imaginative video-master, the Catholic Truth About Us page on our website has been transformed into video format. We thought we would launch the video here as well, for the benefit of our faithful bloggers.
And we present below, our first-ever professional advertisement – again, courtesy of our talented video-master…
From La Croix International: Cardinal Müller ‘bitter and concerned’ with Church’s direction – 29 November, 2017…
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller / Alberto PizzolI / AFP
“There is a front made up of traditionalist groups as well as a number of progressives, who would like to see me lead a movement against the pope, but I will never do it.”
These were the words of Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to Massimo Franco, columnist at the Italian daily Il Corriere dela Sera, in an interview published on Sunday, November 26.
Müller, who has previously distanced himself from a series of pontifical moves, revealed that he was both bitter and concerned with the direction the Church is taking.
Insisting that he believed in “the unity of the Church”, Cardinal Müller nevertheless called on Church authorities “to listen to those who have serious questions and fair complaints”.
“We must not ignore them or, worse, humiliate them,” he emphasized.
“If not, without intending it, the risk of a slow separation may grow and lead to a schism by a section of the Catholic world that feels disoriented and disappointed,” Cardinal Müller warned.
“The history of Martin Luther’s Protestant schism 500 years ago should indicate the kind of mistakes we need to avoid,” he said.
Although he had previously harshly criticized his dismissal as the head of the Congregation for the Faith, he revealed several new aspects of this in his Corriere interview.
Pope Francis reportedly said to him that “certain people have told me anonymously that you are my enemy”.
“After forty years of service to the Church,” he lamented, “gossips are making such absurd comments, creating doubts in the mind of the pope when they would have done better to visit a psychiatrist.”
Reaffirming his loyalty to Pope Francis, Cardinal Müller claimed that the pontiff’s “real friends are not those who flatter him” but “those who assist him with the truth and with theological and human expertise”.
He had severe words for the “detractors” whom he blamed for his departure from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Refuting the notion of a plot against the pope as “an absolute exaggeration”, he admitted that significant “tensions” exist in the Church at present.
“I believe that the cardinals who expressed their doubts on Amoris Laetitia or the 62 signatories to a letter making critical comments about the pope, including some which were excessive, should be listened to and not swept aside with the back of the hand as if they were Pharisees or malcontents,” Cardinal Müller said.
What is needed is “free and frank dialogue,” he added.
Instead, he feared that people within the pope’s “magic circle” are “worried primarily about spying on perceived enemies, preventing open and balanced discussion”.
In a sign of his good faith, Cardinal Müller recently issued a public defense of Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on the family, which has crystallized the various conflicts.
“To classify all Catholics as ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’ of the pope is the greatest evil that they cause to the Church,” Cardinal Müller insisted.
“People are perplexed when they see a well-known journalist, who is also an atheist, claim to be a friend of the pope, while a Catholic bishop and cardinal like me, is defamed as an opponent of the pope.
“I don’t think that these people are in a position to give theology lessons on the primacy of the sovereign pontiff,” he said.
Compared to Benedict XVI’s pontificate, the Church now seems “weaker,” Cardinal Müller continued.
“There are fewer and fewer priests yet we are offering answers that are more organizational, political or diplomatic than theological and spiritual,” he said.
“The Church is not a political party based on power struggles. We need to discuss existential issues about life and death, the family, and religious vocations and not always ecclesiastical politics,” he added.
“Pope Francis is popular and that’s a good thing. However, people are no longer receiving the sacraments. And his popularity among those Catholics who enthusiastically quote him, unfortunately, does not change their false convictions,” the cardinal insisted.
It is now necessary to go beyond the notion of a Church as a “country hospital”, Cardinal Müller said, citing an expression popularized by Pope Francis.
He said, instead, that the world needs a “Silicon Valley” Church.
“We need to become the Steve Jobs of the faith and transmit a powerful vision in terms of moral and cultural values,” the cardinal claimed. [Emphases added] Source – La Croix International
Is the Cardinal over-egging the crisis? Or do you agree that we are in danger of schism?
“[Earlier this week, we marked] the 54th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. There’s really not much left to be written about this – all you need to know, frankly, is easily found by visiting a local parish. But it is a good opportunity to look at the numbers since the Council’s close in 1965. It’s also very interesting to look at them in comparison to Pope Venerable Pius XII, which we [also] provide…
As numbers don’t lie, the three charts [post-Vatican II] show the undeniable slow death of the Church. It also shows the so-called “Francis Effect” has had zero effect on Sunday Mass attendance.
[Then we have] a glimpse of what the Church was. The numbers of Pius XII, the pontiff preceding the Council, are [below the post-Vatican II charts]. And they are equally as staggering in a good way as the post-Council numbers are devastatingly bad.”
Click here to check out the stats for yourself and then tell us if you think Vatican II was about the worst idea any pope ever had, in the entire history of Christendom. Recommended answer: “yes”!
Illicit Consecration revealed by Rorate going on in Brazil at this moment
French blog Riposte Catholique mentions today that the Consecration of Fr. Jean-Michel Faure (a former member of the Society of Saint Pius X) by Bishop Richard Williamson (expelled from the same Society in 2012) was to have been kept secret – until Rorate revealed it to the world in a worldwide exclusive text, forcing the hand of those involved who had to admit it would take place.
Why was it kept secret? Probably because those involved wished to present the event as a fait accompli. As Riposte Catholique also informs, the Nunciature in Brazil informed those involved of the canonical penalties that will be applied as a consequence of the act.
The act is taking place right now in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, exactly as Rorate had revealed (thanks to our very reliable sources, as our readers can now verify by themselves).
A Spanish-language blog of the so-called “Resistance” (former members and associates of the SSPX, that left that Society due to the contacts with the Holy See) is covering the ongoing event and posting images, such as the one below. Source
There can be no justification for what Bishop Williamson is doing today, beyond the need to keep himself in the headlines. Quoting himself on his website banner doesn’t seem to have cut the mustard, so something had to be done, I suppose. Still, a schismatic act, when there is no state of emergency to meet the conditions in Canon Law, means automatic excommunication. The only good thing that may come of this, is that some, at least, of the SSPX faithful who followed this arrogant rebel in his daft “resistance” (to nothing) movement may now come to their senses. That’s what I think – what about you?
Update: the illicit consecration did take place, so the penalty of automatic excommunication applies.
I stopped subscribing to the Church Militant TV videos when they announced their papolatrist policy. Haven’t given them a single thought since.
Then today a reader emailed to alert me to the above video in which – from around the 33rd to 47th minute – Michael Voris and his two colleagues launch into one of the most savage and untruthful assaults on the SSPX that I have ever witnessed (and I’ve witnessed some corkers, believe me.) Seems some Cardinals in Rome told Voris that the SSPX is definitely in schism, in fact, one said: “It is beyond doubt that they are in schism” and that’s good enough for Michael. It might have been Cardinal Kasper, for all we know, but hey, who cares? A Cardinal said it and it’s what the ignorant Mr Voris wants to hear, so that’s just fine and dandy. He threw into the mix Pope Benedict’s comment in Summorum Pontificum (SP) to the effect that the Society does not exercise legitimate ministry in the Church and threw up his hands, fait accompli. No in depth examination of the issues whatsoever. An unnamed Cardinal’s opinion, other unnamed Cardinals in the background, and a statement from Pope Benedict taken out of context. Voris clearly doesn’t DO serious research…
Earlier in the video, the mantra was to the effect that we must all lament the “reactionary” Catholic media who, while they may correctly diagnose the crisis, use the wrong methodology to correct it – naughty to mock and ridicule the Modernists… However, it’s perfectly in order to mock and ridicule the “reactionary” Catholics who frequent SSPX chapels or even simply support them. One of the most striking pieces of mockery is when Voris laughs at the expulsion of Bishop Williamson from the Society of St Pius X, saying that he was expelled for “disobedience” and expressed the view that this is ironic (less politely, take note). He hasn’t noticed, apparently, that no Modernist bishops have been given as much as a disciplinary rap on the knuckles for their scandalous disobedience, let alone been expelled from the Church. In fact, wasn’t one of them appointed to lead the recent Synod on the Family? The one who doesn’t want any of us to call adultery “adultery”? No mocking now. He’s in communion with the Pope and Church – unlike the SSPX. This, folks, is the level of “intellect” with which we are dealing over at Church Militant TV.
Under fire in this shallow interview are several American publications, classed as “reactionary” and considered dangerous because they are supportive of the SSPX – The Remnant, Angelus Press, Catholic Family News.
The whole thing is shallow and unimpressive. A real giveaway is the description of “reactionary” Catholics guilty of “idolising the Latin Mass.” That says it all, really.
This totally biased and ignorant conversation about the SSPX prompted me to break my self-imposed rule of ignoring the Voris video club, in the hope that we can help readers who may be influenced by the false information peddled in the above film. I was disgusted at the dishonesty of the CMTV staff – and the number of them. Clearly, cash is not a problem over at CMTV – just knowledge of the Catholic Faith and the ability to recognise real schism when they see it.
So, thanks to the reader who alerted me to this unconscionable and utterly dishonest conversation. It confirms my own view that Michael Voris and his staff at Church Militant TV are a major part of the problem in the Church today. They are not even remotely part of the solution. You won’t hear the truth about the crisis in the Church from them. If you currently subscribe to their videos, I recommend you unsubscribe. Like yesterday…
Catholic Truth followed up a tip-off, published by a visitor to our blog, that the Archbishop of Glasgow had announced to his priests that if Part Two of the Synod on the Family continued in the same scandalous vein as the first part, then he wouldn’t be [remaining] as Archbishop of Glasgow. We checked around and found priests in Glasgow willing to confirm that our blog informant was on the button. Thus, it appears to be the case that the Archbishop of Glasgow, to his credit, is prepared to resign rather than go along with the shocking “pastoral” care proposed by the Kasper Camp. We are now delighted to report that another Archbishop has shown himself to have sufficient backbone to speak out very publicly on (quote) “the current crisis in the Church”. Below, is his Open Letter, taken from the Rorate Caeli website …
RORATE EXCLUSIVE: Open letter by Archbishop on the crisis in the Church ‘It is difficult to believe that Pope Benedict XVI freely renounced his ministry as successor of Peter.’ ‘I am forced to resort to this public means of expression because I fear that any other method would be greeted by a brick wall of silence and disregard.’ ‘… increasingly evident that the Vatican through the Secretariat of State has taken the course of political correctness.’
Rorate Caeli has obtained an exclusive copy of the English version of a rare open letter from an Archbishop on the crisis of the Church.
The letter, written by His Excellency Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, hopefully will serve as a much-needed wake-up call to Catholics who have buried their heads in the sand for far too long.
Let us pray more of his brother bishops will have the faith — and the backbone — to stand up and be heard before there’s nothing left to defend.
Reflections on some current problems of the crisis of the Catholic Church
I had the experience of living with priests who were in Stalinist prisons and camps and who nevertheless remained faithful to the Church. During the time of persecution they fulfilled with love their priestly duty in preaching Catholic doctrine thereby leading a dignified life in the imitation of Christ, their heavenly Master.
I completed my priestly studies in an underground Seminary in the Soviet Union. I was ordained a priest secretly during the night by a pious bishop who himself suffered for the sake of the faith. In the first year of my priesthood I had the experience of being expelled from Tadzhikistan by the KGB.
Subsequently, during my thirty-year stay in Kazakhstan, I served 10 years as priest, caring for faithful people in 81 localities. Then I served 20 years as bishop, initially as bishop of five states in Central Asia with a total area of around four million square kilometers.
In my ministry as a bishop I had contact with Pope Saint John Paul II, with many bishops, priests and faithful in different countries and under different circumstances. I was member of some assemblies of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican which covered themes such as “Asia” and “The Eucharist”.
This experience as well as others give me the basis to express my opinion on the current crisis of the Catholic Church. These are my convictions and they are dictated by my love of the Church and by the desire for her authentic renewal in Christ. I am forced to resort to this public means of expression because I fear that any other method would be greeted by a brick wall of silence and disregard.
I am aware of possible reactions to my open letter. But at the same time the voice of my conscience will not allow me to remain silent, while the work of God is being slandered. Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church and showed us in word and deed how one should fulfill the will of God. The apostles to whom He bestowed authority in the Church, fulfilled with zeal the duty entrusted to them, suffering for the sake of the truth which had to be preached, since they “obeyed God rather than men”.
Unfortunately in our days it is increasingly evident that the Vatican through the Secretariat of State has taken the course of political correctness. Some Nuncios have become propagators of liberalism and modernism. They have acquired expertise in the principle “sub secreto Pontificio”, by which one manipulates and silences the mouths of the bishops. And that what the Nuncio tells them appears as it would be almost certainly the wish of the Pope. With such methods one separates the bishops from one another to the effect that the bishops of a country can no longer speak with one voice in the spirit of Christ and His Church in defending faith and morals. This means that, in order not to fall into disfavour with the Nuncio some bishops accept their recommendations, which are sometimes based on nothing other than on their own words. Instead of zealously spreading the faith, courageously preaching the doctrine of Christ, standing firm in the defense of truth and of morals, the meetings of the Bishops’ Conferences often deal with issues which are foreign to the nature of the duties of the successors of the apostles.
One can observe at all levels of the Church an obvious decrease of the “sacrum”. The “spirit of the world” feeds the shepherds. The sinners give the Church the instructions for how she has to serve them. In their embarrassment the Pastors are silent on the current problems and abandon the sheep while they are feeding themselves. The world is tempted by the devil and opposes the doctrine of Christ. Nevertheless the Pastors are obliged to teach the whole truth about God and men “in season and out”.
However, during the reign of the last holy Popes one could observe in the Church the greatest disorder concerning the purity of the doctrine and the sacredness of the liturgy, in which Jesus Christ is not paid the visible honour which he is due. In not a few Bishop’s Conferences the best bishops are “persona non grata”. Where are apologists of our days, who would announce to men in a clear and comprehensible manner the threat of the risk of loss of faith and salvation?
In our days the voice of the majority of the bishops rather resembles the silence of the lambs in the face of furious wolves, the faithful are left like defenseless sheep. Christ was recognized by men as one who spoke and worked, as one, who had power and this power He bestowed upon His apostles. In today’s world the bishops must liberate themselves from all worldly bonds and – after they have done penance – convert to Christ so that strengthened by the Holy Spirit they may announce Christ as the one and only Saviour. Ultimately one must give account to God for all that was done and for all what wasn’t done.
In my opinion the weak voice of many bishops is a consequence of the fact, that in the process of the appointment of new bishops the candidates are insufficiently examined with regard to their doubtless steadfastness and fearlessness in the defense of the faith, with regard to their fidelity to the centuries-old traditions of the Church and their personal piety. In the issue of the appointment of new bishops and even cardinals it is becoming increasingly apparent that sometimes preference is given to those who share a particular ideology or to some groupings which are alien to the Church and which have commissioned the appointment of a particular candidate. Furthermore it appears that sometimes consideration is given also to the favour of the mass media which usually makes a mockery of holy candidates painting a negative picture of them, whereas the candidates who in a lesser degree own the spirit of Christ are praised as open and modern. On the other side the candidates who excel in apostolic zeal, have courage in proclaiming the doctrine of Christ and show love for all that is holy and sacred, are deliberately eliminated.
A Nuncio once told me: “It’s a pity that the Pope [John Paul II] does not participate personally in the appointment of the bishops. The Pope tried to change something in the Roman Curia, however he has not succeeded. He becomes older and things resume their usual former course”.
At the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, I wrote a letter to him in which I begged him to appoint holy bishops. I reported to him the story of a German layman who in the face of the degradation of the Church in his country after the Second Vatican Council, remained faithful to Christ and gathered young people for adoration and prayer. This man had been close to death and when he learned about the election of the new Pope he said: “When Pope Benedict will use his pontificate solely for the purpose to appoint worthy, good and faithful bishops, he will have fulfilled his task”.
Unfortunately, it is obvious that, Pope Benedict XVI has often not succeeded in this issue. It is difficult to believe that Pope Benedict XVI freely renounced his ministry as successor of Peter. Pope Benedict XVI was the head of the Church, his entourage however has barely translated his teachings into life, bypassed them often in silence or has rather obstructed his initiatives for an authentic reform of the Church, of the liturgy, of the manner to administer Holy Communion. In view of a great secrecy in the Vatican for many bishops it was realistically impossible to help the Pope in his duty as head and governor of the whole Church.
It will not be superfluous to remind my brothers in the episcopacy of an affirmation made by an Italian masonic lodge from the year 1820: “Our work is a work of a hundred years. Let us leave the elder people and let us go to the youth. The seminarians will become priests with our liberal ideas. We shall not flatter ourselves with false hopes. We will not make the Pope a Freemason. However liberal bishops, who will work in the entourage of the Pope, will propose to him in the task of governing the Church such thoughts and ideas which are advantageous for us and the Pope will implement them into life”. This intention of the Freemasons is being implemented more and more openly, not only thanks to the declared enemies of the Church but with the connivance of false witnesses who occupy some high hierarchical office in the Church. It is not without reason that Blessed Paul VI said: “The spirit of Satan penetrated through a crack inside the Church”. I think that this crack has become in our days quite wide and the devil uses all forces in order to subvert the Church of Christ. To avoid this, it is necessary to return to the precise and clear proclamation of the Gospel on all levels of ecclesiastical ministry, for the Church possesses all power and grace which Christ gave to her: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore, and teach all nations. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and I am with you always unto the end of the world” (Mt 28, 18-20), “the truth will set you free” (John 8, 32) and “let your word be Yes, yes; No, no: for whatsoever is more than these comes of evil” (Mt 5, 37). The Church cannot adapt herself to the spirit of this world, but must transform the world to the spirit of Christ.
It is obvious that in the Vatican there is a tendency to give in more and more to the noise of the mass media. It is not infrequent that in the name of an incomprehensible quiet and calm the best sons and servants are sacrificed in order to appease the mass media. The enemies of the Church however don’t hand over their faithful servants even when their actions are evidently bad.
When we wish to remain faithful to Christ in word and deed, He Himself will find the means to transform the hearts and souls of men and the world as well will be changed at the appropriate time.
In times of the crisis of the Church God has often used for her true renewal the sacrifices, the tears and the prayers of those children and servants of the Church who in the eyes of the world and of the ecclesiastical bureaucracy were considered insignificant or were persecuted and marginalized because of their fidelity to Christ. I believe that in our difficult time this law of Christ is being realized and that the Church will renew herself thanks to the faithful inner renewal of each of us.
January 1st 2015, Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
+ Jan Pawel Lenga
Are there likely to be many more bishops with backbone coming forward now, folks? Tell us your thoughts.