DEERFIELD, IL, April 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Approximately 100 Catholics from the United States, Latin America, and Europe attended the 2018 Catholic Family News conference in northern Illinois last weekend.
Advertised as “The Weapons of Our Warfare,” the three-day long gathering at a Hyatt Regency hotel just outside Chicago featured talks by some of the most knowledgeable laymen and clergy engaged in the battle for and preservation of the Catholic faith, including renowned Church historian Roberto de Mattei.
The conference, which focused on Pope Francis and the family, was the first hosted by Catholic Family News, a Traditional Catholic newspaper, since 2016. John Vennari, the paper’s longtime editor who managed the organization since its founding in 1994, passed away after a long battle with cancer in April of 2017.
The crisis in the family
In his opening address, editor Matt Gaspers paid homage to his predecessor, assuring his audience that the fight for Tradition will continue. Gaspers then delivered a well-sourced, detailed speech, quoting Sr. Lucia and Our Lady in an effort to contextualize attacks presently being waged against the family.
“Although it is painful to witness this terrible crisis in the Church and the family, the fact that it is occurring should come as no surprise. Our Lady told us it would happen.” The “crisis in the Church and the family share the same root cause, namely, a crisis of fatherhood.”
Gaspers made special mention of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who in March said it is “dangerous” to speak of the family as “the domestic church.”
Archbishop Paglia’s credibility is “next to nothing,” Gaspers said. He has “thoroughly dismantled the Pontifical Academy for Life and has commissioned homoerotic paintings.” The family is a patriarchal hierarchy of baptized persons whose head fills the role of teaching, governing, and sanctifying. As such, it is a reflection and microcosm of the universal Church, he said.
Gaspers also detailed how marriage and the family are “powerful weapons” that must be used in the restoration of Holy Mother Church.
True and false mercy
Traditional Franciscan priest Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea spoke about Confession, a timely topic given the implementation of Amoris Laetitia across the world and Pope Francis’ constant invocation of mercy.
Extensively quoting St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787), the patron saint of confessors, Fr. Relyea argued that there is a false sense of mercy being promoted in Rome. This sense of mercy is “twisted” and “disgusting,” he said.
Priests are “obliged to inform consciences” and to withhold absolution if the person confessing isn’t amending their life. You are “crazy” if you think you are being merciful by telling someone cohabitating in an adulterous union that they are pleasing to God, the priest said in a Brooklyn accent.
Fr. Relyea incorporated the Four Last Things — Death, Judgement, Heaven, Hell — into his remarks as well, recalling that although God shows mercy to those who fear Him, for those who abuse His mercy, He exercises justice.
The New York-born priest described the Pope’s 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia as “wicked.”
Attendee Elizabeth Yore told LifeSiteNews she went to the conference because “It is incumbent upon the laity to mount a resistance, and to continue to mount a resistance to what is going on in the Vatican, especially now given that so few Bishops and Cardinals are willing to do so.”
Internet-based Catholic radio station Magnificat Media broadcast live from the hotel as well.
Prayer cards and literature on Freemasonry and Our Lady of Good Success were given to everyone who came.
Despite heresy, the Pope is still the Pope
Three speeches at the “Weapons of Our Warfare” conference focused on the papacy.
Church historian Roberto de Mattei said “true devotion” to the Chair of St. Peter requires Catholics to speak out against “the heresies” being promoted by Pope Francis, who, despite propagating heresy, remains the pope.
Canadian Dominican priest Fr. Albert Kallio O.P. echoed de Mattei’s words. “Even if the pope is a heretic…that does not at all mean that by that very fact, ipso facto as we say in English, he would cease being pope.”
Rejecting the claim that Pope Francis has lost his office, Fr. Kallio said, “Even those who hold that a pope who is manifestly a heretic loses automatically his office [believe] that the manifestation required before the pope would lose his office takes place by a declaration declared by the authority of the Church, namely the bishops.”
It seems God is allowing “a sort of eclipse” of the Church for the moment, he concluded.
Christopher Ferrara, a lawyer and prolific Catholic writer, delivered a strongly worded speech emphatically urging Catholics not only to put forth the Church’s perennial teachings but to expose the problematic teachings coming from Pope Francis.
Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Ferrara said “the most effective opposition to what has to be seen now as the most wayward pontificate in the history of the papacy will have to come from the upper hierarchy.”
Such an opposition would come in the form of a public statement made by a significant number of Cardinals that would declare Pope Francis is “in error, that he’s attempting to impose error upon the Church, that his effort to pass off these errors as ‘authentic magisterium’ is a fraud…and that the faithful cannot follow this pope in his errors,” Ferrara said.
Young Catholics need Tradition
Another talk particularly relevant to events taking place in the Church was that which was given by 21-year-old Alexandra Reis, Catholic Family News’ youth correspondent.
“What can the youth do to fight the devil?” Reis rhetorically asked. Not staying updated with every piece of world news and constantly attending protests, she argued. Rather, they can fight the devil by fulfilling their daily duties of state.
If you want “real penance” and if you want to truly change the world, she said, try doing dirty dishes, try “getting out of bed right when your alarm goes off in the morning. Offer that up to Our Lady. Mary wants us to offer sacrifices to her heart.”
Reis told LifeSiteNews that today’s youth aren’t being taught about the virtues of purity and modesty. Millenials view religion “as a cross” and rebel against “simple acts.” In truth, “it is through the little things that we convert the world.”
Other weapons of our warfare
Louis Tofari, owner of Romanitas Press, a publishing company that helps Catholics learn about the Roman Mass, delivered a talk on the liturgy.
Tofari told LifeSiteNews that the Roman Mass “needs to be used to convert souls to Christianity and to restore the Social Reign of Christ the King.”
Another fascinating topic covered at the conference was the life of Fr. Augustus Tolton, a former slave born in the mid 1800s who was ordained a priest in Rome because no seminary in the United States would accept him due to being African American.
Catholic Family News’ web editor Brendan Young pleaded with Catholics to consecrate themselves to the Blessed Mother during a thoughtful address about St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Militia Immaculata.
Dr. Andrew Childs from St. Mary’s Academy and College in St. Mary’s, Kansas gave an insightful lecture on music while Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X discussed the Traditional Latin Mass. Source (Ed: visit the Catholic Family News website if you are interested in purchasing any of the talks in CD-format.)
If – in your opinion – Pope Francis is not the worst ever pope in the history of the Church, tell us who you would nominate for that title.
V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia. Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, For he whom you did merit to bear, alleluia,
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia. Has risen as he said, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
From the Editor…
As well as being the usual facility to exchange Easter greetings, we might use this thread to discuss what on earth Pope Francis makes of Easter, since, apparently, according to recent reports, he thinks unrepentant souls just “disappear” – they don’t end up in Hell. What on EARTH is he celebrating this weekend, if there is no Hell? Why Good Friday? Why the need for the Saviour? What IS Christian salvation if not salvation from the eternal punishment of Hell?Read the following report, taken from the Rorate Caeli website which will leave you wishing, as it leaves me wishing that Papa Francis would “disappear” – like, yesterday!
From Rorate Caeli…
“THERE IS NO HELL” — new Francis revelation to atheist journalist just in time for Good Friday
In another informal interview with Italian atheist journalist (and founder of liberal newspaper Repubblica) Eugenio Scalfari, published today, Pope Francis reveals that “hell does not exist”.
His exact words below (full interview behind paywall here, most important excerpt below):
Title of the interview: “It is an honor for me to be called revolutionary.”
Excerpt on hell:
[Scalfari:] Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?
[Francis:] “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.” Source – Rorate Caeli
Was Pope Francis misquoted? Before you answer that, read this Catholic World Report including the following comment underneath: “I can’t believe people have not caught on yet. It is likely that Pope Francis told Scalfari that there was no hell. The fact that he said at other places and times that their IS a hell does not matter. What the Pope says changes from time to time. If Scalfari found it a stumbling block to believe in hell, then the Pope would have no trouble telling him there is no hell. The Pope was “accompanying” Scalfari, trying to move him closer to the church. If this involved the POPE denying or altering doctrine, then so be it. When Scalfari is ready to accept the idea of hell, the Pope will re-introduce it. It will appear again. What we just saw was the Pope’s idea of how to lead someone into the church. You deny or alter doctrine, if necessary. Then, when the person has accepted the fundamentals, you move the goalposts again, hell re-appears, and Voila! Now, the critical thing is that the POPE is endorsing this approach. Truth is situationally relative for the Pope, and he will say whatever he needs to say to get to his goal. He is flexible. Doctrine does not matter. So Germans want to give communion to divorced and remarried and bless gay marriage. Who cares? Not the Pope. So maybe Jesus did not rise from the dead. Who cares? Not the Pope.”
Pope Francis’ history of causing mayhem in the Church is neatly, and painfully amusingly, summed up in the above video. Select your own “favourite” and tell us why, in your view, it is so bad – that is, if you can , in fact, “select” from the scandals of which we are reminded in that satirical “interview”.
Discussing the question of Pope Francis’ possible heresy in the context of Amoris Laetitia, Fr Gleize, SSPX, writes…
To use the words of Saint Pius X himself from the encyclical Pascendi, the proponents of the new moral theology proceed with such refined skill that they easily take advantage of unwary minds. They promote heresy while giving the appearance of remaining Catholic.
“Promoting heresy”: this corresponds to the theological note that Archbishop Lefebvre believed he had to use in order to characterize the harmfulness of the Novus Ordo Missae .
“This rite in itself does not profess the Catholic Faith as clearly as the old Ordo Missae and consequently it may promote heresy….What is astonishing is that an Ordo Missae that smacks of Protestantism and therefore favenshaeresim [is promoting heresy] could be promulgated by the Roman Curia.” (Mgr Lefebvre et le Saint-Office”, Itinéraires 233 – May 1979, p. 146-1-47).
Without prejudice to any better opinion, we willingly had recourse to it in order to describe the major problem posed today for the conscience of Catholics by the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia.
Fr. Gleize’s precise distinction will surprise more than one. In short, it seems that Pope Francis cannot be considered heretical, since none of the ambiguous statements in Amorislaetitia constitute “a rejection or contradiction of a truth that is not only revealed but also proposed as such by an infallible act of the ecclesiastical Magisterium.”
However, in the popular use of the word “heretical,” one who acts and talks in such a way that he encourages evil and favors heresy is considered heretical. “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck!” The popular expression is not a precise theological judgment; it is rather a common way of designating persons or ideas at odds with the deposit of faith.
The theological expression which can be properly applied to Pope Francis instead of “heretical” is favens haeresim or “promoting heresy.”
That does not change that the fact that the Holy Father is ambiguous in his declarations, refusing to clarify them, and – far from correcting evil- promotes it by practical disposition. It is what Fr. Gleize calls “the scandal of praxis.” Click here to read entire article
There’s really nothing new in the above article, nothing that we haven’t already discussed and concluded on this blog in past discussions, but since repetition is the mother of education, and with continued questioning of the status of Pope Francis, I thought it might be worthwhile revising the key points. Which part of the article do you find most useful – the commentary on the dubia? The definitions? The conclusion? What then?
I’ve had a number of telephone conversations recently, today included, with very worried Catholics who are either losing the Faith themselves or who know others who are losing the Faith, because of the scandalous things Pope Francis is saying and doing. Some of these people made the mistake of “investigating” (i.e. searching online) for answers and, needless to say, some of them are now toying with all the wrong “answers” – notably sedevacantism.
In all honestly, I have scant patience with some of these people (and said so) because they apparently failed to notice the modernism of each of Pope Francis’ predecessors. Pope Francis did not appear out of the blue – each of the post-Vatican II popes prepared the path for him to take the Church by storm, so it is irksome to see the new “converts” to the battle against modernism turn the fight into a battle against Christ’s Church. Significantly, some of these new “converts” are relatively recent “converts” from their novus ordo parishes to the SSPX. It is, therefore, twice as concerning to see them risking their souls by entertaining the “anti-pope”, “anti-Christ”, sedevacantist false “answers” to the current scandalous pontificate. Instead of doing their duty as Soldiers of Christ in the battle against modernism, they become part of the problem, not part of the solution.
In these contacts with worried Catholics, I’ve given as much Church history as it is possible to squeeze into a couple of hours of conversation and I’ve quoted St Vincent de Lerins, in order to demonstrate the correct Catholic response to a bad pope, which is to resist his errors and cling to “antiquity” – that is, to Catholic Tradition – while never doubting that Christ has kept His promise to be with His Church until the end of time. Christ assured us that the gates of Hell will never prevail. He made no promise that the gates of Hell will never attack the Church, just that they will never prevail. I get the feeling, though, that there’s always something more to say, which is where you lot come into the frame…
Explain – in as few words as possible – how youwould advise those Catholic who are sorely tempted to abandon the Church and go it alone – Catholicism to go, so to speak. Provide the links to articles or videos that you think will help, and, of course, pray for all Catholics who are tempted to doubt at this time. I plan to send the link to this thread to all those online readers who have contacted me in recent times, in the hope that they find it helpful.
Finally, please pray for Pope Francis who will one day be held to account by God, and made to pay for his dereliction of duty, for the scandal he is causing and for the souls which may be lost because of his false teaching. His beloved God of Surprises is, as things stand, more likely to have a few shocks than surprises in store for him at his Judgment, so we do need to pray very hard indeed – and urgently – for the conversion of Pope Francis.
According to Stanze Vaticane, the blog for the Italian TV channel TGCom24, Card. Gerhard Ludwig Müller has ejected any correction of Pope Francis concerning those explosive sections of Amoris Laetitia (especially Chapter 8, ¶¶ 302-305) which prompted the four cardinals to present
their dubia to Pope Francis. Those passages of Amoris clearly open the door to Holy Communion for the divorced and “remarried” in “certain cases” — as bishop after bishop is now declaring — while appearing to reduce exceptionless negative precepts of the natural law (including “Thou shalt not commit adultery”) to “general rules” and mere “objective ideals” rather than divine commands from which no one can claim an exemption.
But Müller’s choice of words is very curious. As reported by Stanze Vaticane, during an interview with TGCom 24 (translations mine), Müller stated:
“Everyone, above all the cardinals of the Roman Church [sic], have the right to write a letter to the Pope. I was astonished, however, that this became public, almost constraining the Pope to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. I do not like this. Also, a possible fraternal correction of the Pope seems to me very far off. It is not possible at this moment because it does not involve a danger to the faith as Saint Thomas has said. We are very far from a correction and I say that it harms the Church to discuss these things publicly.
“Amoris Laetitia is very clear in its doctrine, and we can make out the whole doctrine of the Church on matrimony, all the doctrine of the Church in 2000 years of history. Pope Francis asks for discernment of the situation of those persons who live in an irregular union, that is, not according to the doctrine of the Church on matrimony, and he asks for aid of these persons to find a path for a new integration in the Church according to the conditions of the Sacraments, of the Christian message on matrimony. But I do not see any contraposition: on the one hand we have the cleardoctrine on matrimony, and on the other the obligation of the Church to concern herself with these persons in difficulty.”
First of all, why is Müller “astonished” that the dubia became public? The four cardinals state clearly in their accompanying letter that while their dubia were first submitted privately to Francis, “The Holy Father has decided not to respond. We have interpreted hissovereign decision as an invitation to continue the reflection, and the discussion, calmly and with respect. And so we are informing the entire people of God about our initiative, offering all of the documentation.”
That is their right as cardinals, and indeed it is the right of any member of the faithful:
“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” (Canon 212, § 3)
Secondly, why is a “possible fraternal correction” deemed “very far off” — meaning that there is a potential for one — when Müller says at one and the same time that Amoris presents the Catholic doctrine on matrimony and that there is no opposition to that doctrine in the call for “discernment” of the situation of people in “irregular unions”? If Amoris were really so clear, and there were really no contradiction between Catholic doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage and Francis’ call for “discernment,” Müller would say simply that a correction of Francis is unnecessary. He would not say a correction is “not possible at this moment…”
I am afraid Müller’s statement falls into the category of so much of what has come out of the Vatican over the past fifty years: artfully worded doubletalk that tries to have it both ways.
Now let us be serious. Cardinal Müller knows very well that Amoris is not only problematic, but a veritable H-bomb targeted on the foundations of Christian life. As the four cardinals note in their presentation to a stonily silent Francis, different bishops interpret Amoris differently — some pro, some con — regarding the admission of public adulterers in “second marriages” to the sacraments (in “certain cases”) without a prior amendment of life. Müller also knows well that Francis has sided with the pro faction. In his letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires regarding their “guidelines” for the “implementation” of Amoris, Francis declared there is “no other interpretation” of Amoris than their guidelines, which provide as follows:
“If it is acknowledged that, in a concrete case, there are limitations that mitigate responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), especially when a person believes he/she would incur a subsequent fault by harming the children of the new union, Amoris laetitia offers the possibility of having access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist (cf. footnotes 336 and 351).”
Accordingly, the four cardinals rightly note with alarm (while Francis stays silent) that interpreters of Amoris “come to different conclusions… due to divergent ways of understanding the Christian moral life.” Thus, as they conclude:
“In this sense, what is at stake in Amoris Laetitia is not only the question of whether or not the divorced who have entered into a new union can — under certain circumstances — be readmitted to the sacraments.
“Rather, the interpretation of the document also implies different, contrasting approaches to the Christian way of life. Thus, while the first question of the dubia concerns a practical question regarding the divorced and civilly remarried, the other four questions touch on fundamental issues of the Christian life.”
Indeed, the fifth question presented asks the Roman Pontiff, of all people, if following Amoris “does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, n.56, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?” In short: Is Francis — the Pope — authorizing departures from the natural law?
Müller knows all of this. And he knows the whole Catholic world is in turmoil following the publication of Amoris, as some dioceses now regard as “mercy” what others still regard as a mortal sin: the reception of Holy Communion while living in adultery. There is no way he cannot know what is happening. Yet he has chosen to put on a blindfold in order to be able to say that a correction of Francis “is not possible at this moment because it does not involve a danger to the faith…”
Really? If not now, when? After thousands and perhaps millions of souls have put their eternal salvation at risk by receiving Holy Communion while engaging in adulterous sexual relations? After the already weakened faith in Holy Matrimony is completely destroyed in many by the spectacle of people who are not married being treated as if they were? After the very concept of mortal sin is de facto abolished by the subversive notion, promoted by Francis in Amoris (¶ 303), that conscience can properly counsel the continuation of gravely sinful conduct as “what for now [!] is the most generous response which can be given to God… while yet not fully the objective ideal”?
What a sad day for the Church when the very head of its doctrinal congregation blinds himself to what is perhaps, as Bishop Athanasius Schneider has observed, the greatest doctrinal crisis since the Arian heresy. How sad as well that, in contrast to the four cardinals who confront the crisis with eyes wide open, we must say of Müller what Our Lord said of the Pharisees: “Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.” (Matt 15:14)
Can you explain Cardinal Müller’s assertion that: “…a possible fraternal correction of the Pope seems to me very far off. It is not possible at this moment because it does not involve a danger to the faith…”
I read those words with a sense of incredulity. Given that most of us can see the elephant in the room (even those who are late to the circus) and can, moreover, see it hurtling around the the room causing havoc, how can Cardinal Müller deny the fact that great danger to the Faith has already been caused by Amoris Laetitia. What’s wrong with him? No rudeness, mind, folks, keep the heid. Nobody’s asking you to say it with flowers, just don’t be rude 😀