2

PopeWatch: Twitter and Beep

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

 

Pope Francis took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to chastise some in the priesthood and the laity who use their cell phones to take pictures during Masses, saying they should focus on God instead.

“The priest does not say ‘lift up your cell phones to take pictures’ during the Mass,” Francis tweeted to almost 15 million Twitter followers just before he consecrated the Body and Blood of Christ. “He says ‘lift up your hearts.’”

A short time later, Pope Francis could visibly be seen regularly checking his post to see how many likes and retweets he was receiving, with an assistant holding his phone to show him as he distributed communion.

“It makes me very sad when I celebrate Mass here in the piazza or in the basilica and I see so many cell phones held up. The Mass is not a show. I know it sometimes seems like one with all the guitars and balloons and other crap we allow, but it’s not. so remember, no cell phones!”

Francis later went on to take a minute during the announcements to tweet, “Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…”

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch called the Vatican to ask the Pope for comment.  PopeWatch was put on hold, but the Pope never picked up.  Instead PopeWatch received this text:  Gringo, stop bothering me!  Il Papa.

PopeWatch will not go away forever Holiness, but will be on Thanksgiving hiatus until November 27, 2017.

6

PopeWatch: Arms Race

It is always distressing to see how factually challenged the Pope tends to be.  For example:

 

Indeed, the escalation of the arms race continues unabated and the price of modernizing and developing weaponry, not only nuclear weapons, represents a considerable expense for nations. As a result, the real priorities facing our human family, such as the fight against poverty, the promotion of peace, the undertaking of educational, ecological and healthcare projects, and the development of human rights, are relegated to second place.

 

Go here to read the rest.  There is no arms race.  In the US the money spent on arms is dwarfed by social spending.  European nations spend next to nothing on their military compared to social spending.  As is often the case the Pope is shadow boxing with phantoms that exist only in his mind.

5

PopeWatch: Shhh!

Wow, twice in a week where PopeWatch agrees with the Pope:

 

On Wednesday, Pope Francis called out the common habit of chatting with people around you before Mass, stressing that this is a time for silent prayer, when we prepare our hearts for an encounter with the Lord.

“When we go to Mass, maybe we arrive five minutes before, and we start to chit-chat with those in front of us,” the Pope said Nov. 15. However, “it is not a moment for chit-chat.”

“It is a moment of silence for preparing ourselves for dialogue, a time for the heart to collect itself in order to prepare for the encounter with Jesus,” he said, adding that “silence is so important.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Silence is usually golden, but at Mass it is priceless

0

PopeWatch: Emptied of Content

Edward Pentin interviews Cardinal Burke at the National Catholic Register.  PopeWatch was struck by this statement of the Cardinal:

 

 

Over and above the moral debate, the sense of the ecclesial sacramental practice is increasingly eroding in the Church, especially when it comes to the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. The decisive criterion for admission to the sacraments has always been the coherence of a person’s way of life with the teachings of Jesus. If instead the decisive criterion were now to become the absence of a person’s subjective culpability — as some interpreters of Amoris Laetitia have suggested — would this not change the very nature of the sacraments? In fact, the sacraments are not private encounters with God, nor are they means of social integration into a community. Rather, they are visible and effective signs of our incorporation into Christ and his Church, in and by which the Church publicly professes and actuates her faith. Thus, by turning a person’s subjective diminished culpability or lack of culpability into the decisive criterion for the admission to the sacraments, one would endanger the very regula fidei, the rule of faith, which the sacraments proclaim and actuate not only by words, but also by visible gestures. How could the Church continue to be the universal sacrament of salvation if the meaning of the sacraments were to be emptied of its content?

Go here to read the rest.  Catholicism Lite is a religion which masquerades as Catholicism but only has surface similarities.  Recall the mode of operation  of the Left:

 

1. Target a respected institution 2. Kill & clean it 3. Wear it as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

 

 

 

13

PopeWatch: Sins

Catholic prelates in Germany are doing their worst to make Martin Luther seem a champion of orthodoxy by comparison:

 

According to the chairman of the Catholic bishops’ conference of Germany, the death of Jesus Christ was not a redemptive act of God to liberate human beings from the bondage of sin and open the gates of heaven. The Archbishop of Freiburg, Robert Zollitsch, known for his liberal views, publicly denied the fundamental Christian dogma of the sacrificial nature of Christ’s death in a recent interview with a German television station.

Zollitsch said that Christ “did not die for the sins of the people as if God had provided a sacrificial offering, like a scapegoat.”

Instead, Jesus had offered only “solidarity” with the poor and suffering. Zollitsch said “that is this great perspective, this tremendous solidarity.”

The interviewer asked, “You would now no longer describe it in such a way that God gave his own son, because we humans were so sinful? You would no longer describe it like this?”

Monsignor Zollitsch responded, “No.”

Go here to read the rest.  As that noted philosopher Homer Simpson once said:  “This isn’t America!  This isn’t even Mexico!”  This isn’t Catholicism, this isn’t even Protestantism.  The Archbishop has zoomed beyond Christianity entirely and transformed the death of Christ on the Cross into some cheap political statement.  And so we go, down the primrose path, in the Age of Francis.

10

PopeWatch: Father Perozich

A sign of the wretched times we are living in as Catholics:

 

An outspoken pro-life priest whose bishop banned him from writing bulletin columns is about to retire to Hawaii.

Father Richard Perozich received much attention from the pro-life movement just before the 2016 election when fliers were stuffed in his parish’s bulletins explaining the Democratic Party’s official support for intrinsic evils like abortion. The fliers warned Catholics they put their souls at risk by voting for Democrats. The Diocese of San Diego decried the fliers, which Perozich hadn’t authorized. 

Then, Perozich wrote a bulletin column defending Church teaching on moral issues. He also opined on matters of prudential judgment within Catholic teaching. This led his bishop, Bishop Robert McElroy, to order Perozich to limit his bulletins to “calendaring events.” 

“Bishop McElroy was very gracious in granting” me permission to retire, Perozich, who is nearly 66, told LifeSiteNews.

But Perozich was well-known to the Catholic faithful in the Diocese of San Diego for years before that incident. In his 25 years as a priest, he worked with the diocesan advisory board on Natural Family Planning, started a Courage chapter for people with same-sex attraction seeking chastity, did prison ministry, worked on ecumenical and interfaith efforts, and learned Spanish. 

The “most satisfying” part of being a priest was when Perozich could be “used as an instrument to draw someone to the Lord,” he said. The “best part of being a priest is when one of your people tell me that something I did or said brought you closer to Jesus. Sometimes it can be something I said in a homily, in Confession, [or] in counseling.”

In 2014, Perozich announced to his parish that he was not going to attend a convocation of priests because the speaker was Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, who has said sodomy can express Christ’s “self-gift.”

Radcliffe “shouldn’t even be given a forum to speak because of his previous expressions on sexual issues and marriage and homosexuality,” said Perozich. “So if you’re going to do that, regardless of who’s going to speak, I’m not going to go.” 

He said he didn’t receive any pushback from the diocese for refusing to go.

“As a Christian, I need top-notch people who are real clear in the fullness of the Catholic faith to be my teachers and to express things,” he said. “I didn’t start a protest for other priests not to go, I didn’t tell anyone else not to go – I just told my parishioners that I wasn’t going.”

Changing language means changing meaning

Perozich said he’s always hopeful about the future, but “realistically,” it doesn’t seem that there will be doctrinal clarity any time soon in the Church.

“I don’t see much ability for that to happen because people are asking for changing of language in the Church,” he explained. “For example, our bishop asked that one of the things in the catechism be changed regarding homosexuality” because calling it “disordered” is “a philosophical term and people misunderstand it as a psychological term.”

“You really can’t change those things because they’ll change the meaning,” said Perozich. And the whole purpose of changing language about actions like same-sex activity is so “that you can indeed change the meaning, change the morality.”

The trend of clergy promoting homosexuality doesn’t seem likely to change, Perozich said. 

 

Go here to read the rest.  The heterodox are placed in charge and the orthodox are forced out.  God help us all.

3

PopeWatch: Butter or Margarine

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Despite efforts to figure whether they were in a Catholic or Protestant service, local parishioners were left baffled after an “animated” man wearing vestments put on a head mic and began pacing back and forth as he delivered his sermon.

“The man looked like a priest and I was quite certain I was in a Catholic Church,” said longtime parishioner Joyce Parlin who had no clue as to what the hell was going on. “But he kept pacing back and forth, ending each statement with a ‘can I get an amen?’ No one was exactly sure what he was asking for. I overheard one gentleman respond, ‘yes, I suppose,’ but the priest or pastor or whatever he was kept desperately asking if he could get more amens.”

Parlin went on to add that the priest or pastor or whatever the heck he was continually used words like “fellowship” and “ministry” during his sermon, words, Parlin admitted, she had never heard before.

“He also used the phrase ‘saved by the Blood of the Lamb,’ which I suppose is some sort of Christian take on the TV show ‘Saved by the Bell.’ Hell, I don’t know.”

At press time, the band has begun singing praise a worship as beach balls are being thrown to and fro, confirming that the event is a Life Teen Mass.

 

Go here to read the comments.   PopeWatch called the Pope for comment, but when he answered he was either speaking in tongues or gargling and PopeWatch was unable to understand him.

3

PopeWatch: Pietro De Marco

 

 

 

Sandro Magister publishes a post by Pietro De Marco, one of the signatories of the Correctio who explains how the “spirit of Vatican II” is the source of the attempt by Pope Francis to transform the Church:

THE HERETICAL BACKGROUND OF MUCH OF TODAY’S PASTORAL PRACTICE

by Pietro De Marco

What convinced me to sign the “Correctio” is its doctrinal core, meaning the clarification of the “false and heretical propositions propagated in the Church” even by Pope Francis. The propositions under censure in fact have the value of going to the heart of intellectual opinions and attitudes of theological-dogmatic significance that for decades have been spread in the intellectual Catholic “koinè.”

Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio participates spontaneously in this “koinè.” It is a result of what is currently called the “spirit of the Council,” meaning of the Council as constructed by the intelligentsia on the sidelines and asserted over the subsequent years. Whole generations, in particular those that are now growing old, have been impregnated with it and are still acting as its representatives with no self-criticism, as if the Church had not gone through more than half a century of travail on account of the errors and perverse effects induced precisely by that “spirit.”

With the current pontificate, a “conciliar” vision made of few formulas, mostly dismissive of that which is the essence of Catholicism – reason and institution, dogma and liturgy, sacraments and morality – is spreading and imposing itself as the public opinion of the Church, sure of the pope’s personal support, brimming with certainty, without discernment of the implications and not without conceit or disdain against those who are opposed to it: in fact, just like every ideology works.

In effect, one grasps an argumentary and rhetorical aspect of this not only of the pontiff’s opinings, but also in official documents like “Amoris Laetitia.” Thus, by way of example, the distinction between regular and irregular is taken as “artificial and exterior”; the age-old judgment on Protestantism is attributed to “fear and prejudice about the other’s faith”; respect for tradition means “keeping in mothballs, like a coating against parasites”; the age-old legitimization of the death penalty on the part of the Church is traced back to the “preoccupation to hold on to power and wealth”; and so on. A dismissive attitude and typical “grassroots” rhetoric, in addition to the anticlerical repertoire, that infested the 1960’s and ‘70’s (I have a detailed and abundant memory of this, between Florence and Bologna) from which the militant conciliar “momentum” never freed itself, but which were in decline until the election of Bergoglio as pope paradoxically re-legitimized them at the very top.

Premises and effects of this culture are indeed expressed in the propositions defined as “false and heretical” by the “Correctio.” Such propositions must be understood as implicit assumptions, or as major premises, of what that “conciliar” vision has for years consistently affirmed or proposed for belief, and implements on the so-called pastoral terrain. When word and practice are brought to their objective premise of a doctrinal nature, their erosive and destructive power appears. These are, in fact, the doctrinal chasms that for decades have made it possible for pastoral practice to drift along on formulas that are liberating, approachable, generous, accompanied by reassurances for the faithful relative to their “evangelical” foundation: a foundation that is taken as self-evident, given the conformity of Jesus, a Jesus weak and “sinful,” to the human as ordinarily experienced.

In the face of all this, the “Correctio” is like a little “Pascendi,” the anti-modernist encyclical of one hundred and ten years ago, but however – and dramatically – does not come from a pontiff but is addressed to him as a censure.

*

It has been pointedly noted how, precisely in the “critical” theological and pastoral cultures that accompany the action of the pope, always aimed at downgrading canon law, unprecedented attention is now being paid to norms. Why? Because the pastoral sensibility, devoid of any theological rationale, has become a pursuit of reduction, of exoneration.  The pastoral concerns that guide clergies and episcopates today consist in seeking to guarantee a sort of egalitarian treatment for the faithful, to gratify them with a public recognition of equal rights of which access to the Eucharist is only the tip of the iceberg, no matter what their situation with regard to moral theology and canon law.  Not many seem to realize this, not even the pope, but the pastoral practice of mercy today runs, particularly in the urban and secularized societies of the whole world, in the petit bourgeois “existential peripheries” more than in the “favelas,” precisely the perverse machinery of the hypertrophy of individual rights.

 

Go here to read the rest.

3

PopeWatch: Not a Show!

 

 

PopeWatch completely agrees with the Pope:

 

And furthering his comments on how, too often, the Mass is lived in a superficial way, Pope Francis remarked on the fact that the priest who celebrates says “Lift up your hearts” not “Lift up your cellphones  to take a photo!”

“This is a bad thing” he said, “It makes me very sad when I celebrate Mass here in the Square or in the Basilica and I see many cellphones raised. And it’s not only the faithful, but also many priests and bishops. Please! Mass is not a show!” 

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

9

PopeWatch: Stamp

 Is the Pope Catholic?  Remember when that was an adage to indicate the affirmative of a statement?
Antonio Socci:“The Vatican in a complete mess with its celebration of Luther the Heretic in the place of Our Lady.  Never-ending shame in the dark age of Bergoglio.
November 1, 2017
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own”. (John 19,25-27).
 
 
This is one of the most fundamental moments in the Life of Jesus, the very apex of His redeeming mission. Mary is there and right next to Her is John. From that moment on Mary is the Mother of all those who are to come into the Church: Mater Ecclesiæ, as Paul VI called Her at the closure of the Second Vatican Council.
 
However,  Holy Mother Church, to commemorate the event of the 95 theses nailed by Martin Luther to the great door of the Wittenberg Church 500 years ago, thought well about issuing a fine stamp, through the Vatican Post Office. It is described like this in the official presentation:
“It depicts Jesus Crucified in the foreground on a gold, timeless background showing Wittenberg city. In an attitude of penance, on their knees respectively on the left and the right of the the Cross, Martin Luther holds a Bible, source and purpose of his doctrine, while Philip Melanchthon, theologian and a friend of Martin Luther’s, one of the most important protagonists of the Reformation, holds in his hand the Augsburg Confession, Confessio Augustuana, the first official exposition of the principles of Protestantism  which were drawn up by him.
Go here to read the rest at Rorate Caeli.  The Church is being led by fools and worse.
4

PopeWatch: Father Z

When Father Z is on a role, he is on a role:

 

Coyote, Wile E., (aka Michael Sean Winters… indelibly dubbed by Robbie George as the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left) and the National Schismatic Reporter, has fulfilled his duty as a cadre of the New catholic Red Guards today, by piling on with others in a “struggle” against Fr. Thomas Weinandy.

Here is a taste:

Hypocrisy marks DiNardo‘s inadequate response to Weinandy [Translation: Card. DiNaro is a hypocrite because he does hurt Weinandy as much as Comrade Coyote would.]

I am not sure which is worse, the fact that Capuchin Fr. Tom Weinandy, a former director of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, could pen such a ridiculously presumptuous letter to the pope, or that the current leadership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops could respond in such a thoroughly inadequate way [See? He’s attacking DiNardo.  He has already recently criticized the bishops – because he can criticize in his role as New catholic Red Guards cadre – because he doesn’t like the USCCB fall meeting agenda… as if they asked him.]

Mgsr. John Strynkowski, Weinandy’s predecessor at the doctrinal committee, has already published a striking response to Weinandy’s letter, with a point-by-point rebuttal. I need not repeat Strynkowski’s arguments and I most definitely wish to associate myself with them. [Strynkowski accompanied Chicago’s Archbishop Cupich as a theologian to the Synod on the Family.]

Still, I have some other concerns. Weinandy did not merely object to this or that thing Pope Francis has said or done; the whole tone of his letter, his choice of words, showed a lack of respect and humility that was appalling[And yet here we are reading Comrade Coyote remark that Card. DiNardo is a hypocrite and the USCCB is inadequate. But! The “tone” of Weinandy’s letter was lacking in respect. Go read the letter and see for yourselves.]

[…]

Weinandy and his ilk fret about all those faithful Catholics who are scandalized by Francis. Bosh. Francis is probably the most popular pope in history, [Jesus said it’s all about “popularity”] maybe not at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, [the cadre whistles and points at yet another place for the Left to attack] but in most areas where loyal Catholics [“loyal”… no, you don’t want to go against Mao Thought… believe me!] warm to the pope’s refreshing pleas for more mercy and less judgment. [Just like the mercy and lack of judgment Comrade Coyote is now showing to Fr. Weinandy.] Most conservative Catholics love this pope. There are opponents, to be sure, and they are well-funded and very noisy, but they are a sliver of the population.  [See Fr. Hunwicke’s reaction to this.  Priceless!]

[…]

Not once does DiNardo distinguish between Weinandy’s malicious ranting and the Holy Father’s magisterial teaching. [He’s already accused DiNardo of being a hypocrite.  Now comes the implication if not being “loyal” enough.] Indeed, the word magisterium does not appear even once in the statement. [COMRADE COYOTE ladies and gents!  From that perennial defender of the MAGISTERIUM the National Schismatic Reporter.] A Jewish friend, upon reading DiNardo’s statement, observed, “I thought your church was hierarchical.”  [Because the Fishwrap, which used to want popular election of bishops when JP2 and B16 were Popes, is not all about being “hierarchical”.  ]

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for civility and dialogue.  [This from Mr. Venom himself!  HERE.  Be sure to go to that link!]

[…]

It almost writes itself as self-parody.

Some time ago I was given a poster from the Cultural Revolution in 1966, when it was really getting underway.   Given the times we are now living in, I just had it framed and I’ve put it on a wall, to remind me of the violence that Catholics are up against from the liberal Left.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Catholic Leftists posing as utramontanists is akin to Catholic politicians who claim to be good Catholics while voting for abortion:  both nauseating and completely unconvincing.

3

PopeWatch: Veneration

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

 

Protestants from across the globe flocked to Wittenberg, Germany Tuesday to venerate a statue of Martin Luther in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Many in the Lutheran and Lutheran-leaning community including pastor of Torrential Downpour Church Morgan Kremin attended ceremonies that started with a morning veneration of the statue of Martin Luther located near All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg and concluded with a collection to help fund the building of several new mega-churches.

“Could the money have gone to the poor–yes,” Kremin admitted to EOTT. “But it’s important that we build these churches so that everyone, be they rich or poor, can come to worship the Lord, even though praying to Jesus is no different in a large church than it is in a home, or even though we know that, for the most part, the homeless don’t actually ever come to our church, and that asking our people, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet, to spend their hard-earned income on exorbitant churches is one of the issues we had with the Catholic Church during the Reformation. But the fact remains that building large things and paying for ridiculous salaries cost money. There’s no way around it.”

Kremin went on to clarify, saying that it wasn’t at all like the selling of indulgences since the selling of indulgences meant that people were essentially paying for their salvation, while what Kremin was saying was that being a true Christian and therefore being saved is contingent on Christian’s paying for such expenditures.

“Totally different.”

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment, but was told that the Pope was busy polishing his statue of Luther and couldn’t come to the phone.

 

16

PopeWatch: War

Pope Francis used an American military cemetery in Italy for his no war theme:

 

 

“No more, Lord, no more (war)” that shatters dreams and destroys lives, bringing a cold, cruel winter instead of some sought-after spring, Pope Francis said looking out at the people gathered for an outdoor Mass at a U.S. war memorial and cemetery.

“This is the fruit of war: death,” he said, as the bright Italian sun lowered in the sky on the feast of All Souls, Nov. 2.

On a day the church offers special prayers for the faithful departed with the hope of their meeting God in heaven, “here in this place, we pray in a special way for these young people,” he said, gesturing toward the rows of thousands of graves.

Christian hope can spring from great pain and suffering, he said, but it can also “make us look to heaven and say, ‘I believe in my Lord, the redeemer, but stop, Lord,” please, no more war, he said.

“With war, you lose everything,” he said.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Of course the Pope is wrong in his final sentence.  By being defeated by the US and its Allies in World War II, Italy cast off Mussolini and gained democracy.  By becoming part of Nato, Italy has had the longest period of peace for the peninsula since the time of Cato the Elder.  On a personal note, PopeWatch hopes that the Pope will not use a US military cemetery again for one of his historically ignorant pacifist screeds.  These are places of honor, and the brave men whose bodies rest there for their resurrection are not props for the Pope to use in his pacifist morality play.

 

 

 

3

PopeWatch: Cardinal Sarah

Sandro Magister notes that the Pope’s recent slap down of Cardinal Sarah indicates how the Pope operates:

 

The letter with which Francis recently contradicted and humiliated Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the congregation for divine worship, is the latest proof of how this pope exercises his magisterium.

When Francis wants to introduce innovations, he never does so in clear and distinct words. He prefers to open discussions, to set “processes” in motion, within which the innovations are gradually affirmed.

The most glaring example is “Amoris Laetitia,” for which contrasting interpretations and applications are in fact given, with entire episcopates lining up on one or the other side.

And when he is asked for clarification, he refuses. As in the case of the five “dubia” submitted to him by four cardinals, not deemed worthy of so much as a reply.

But when a cardinal like Sarah, an authority by role and responsibilities, weighs in to give a papal motu proprio on the liturgy the only interpretation he sees as correct and therefore to be implemented by the congregation of which he is prefect, Francis does not remain silent but reacts with harshness, in defense of those passages of the motu prorio – which in effect are anything but clear – that contain the liberalizations dear to him.

This is just what has happened in recent days.

Let’s recapitulate. On September 9 Francis publishes the motu proprio “Magnum Principium” concerning the adaptations and translations into contemporary languages of the liturgical texts of the Latin Church.

In defining the role of the congregation for divine worship concerning the adaptations and translations of the liturgical texts prepared by the national episcopal conferences and submitted for the approval of the Holy See, the motu proprio distinguishes between “recognitio” and “confirmatio,” between review and confirmation.

But the distinction is by no means explained with clarity. And in fact, two sides took shape immediately among the experts.

There are those who maintain that the “recognitio,” meaning the advance review by Rome, concerns only the adaptations, while for the translations the Holy See need give simply a “confirmatio,” its approval.

And there are those who instead maintain that on the translations as well Rome must carry out a careful review, before approving them.

In effect, this is what was done before and it is why various new translations of the missals have had a troubled life – like those of the United States, Great Britain, and Ireland – or are still waiting for approval from Rome: like those of France, Italy, and Germany.

In particular, the new translation of the missal in German was an object of criticism by Benedict XVI himself, who in 2012 wrote a letter to his fellow countrymen bishops to convince them to translate with more fidelity the words of Jesus at the last supper, at the moment of consecration:

> Vatican Diary / “For many” or “for all”? The right answer is the first

Getting back to the motu proprio “Magnum Principium,” it must be noted that when this was drafted it was kept in the dark from Cardinal Sarah, prefect of a dicastery whose middle management has long been rowing against him.

On September 30, Sarah wrote to Pope Francis a letter of thanks accompanied by a detailed “Commentaire”, aimed at a correct interpretation and application of the motu proprio, one that was rather restrictive concerning its multi-purpose formulations.

In Sarah’s judgment, “recognitio” and “confirmatio” are in reality “synonymous” or in any case “interchangeable at the level of responsibility of the Holy See,” whose task of reviewing translations before approving them remains intact.

A couple of weeks later the cardinal’s “Commentaire” appeared on various websites, leading to the conclusion – given the position of the author of the “Commentaire” – that in Rome the congregation for divine worship would act according to its guidelines.

And this greatly irritated Pope Francis, who on October 15 signed a letter harshly repudiating Cardinal Sarah.

A letter in which the pope assigns the national episcopal conferences the liberty and authority to decide on translations themselves, on the sole condition of the final “confirmatio” from the Vatican congregation.

And in any case – the pope writes – without any “spirit of ‘imposition’ on the episcopal conferences of a given translation made by the dicastery” in Rome, even for “significant” liturgical texts like the “sacramental formulas, the Credo, the Pater noster.”

The conclusion of the pope’s letter to the cardinal is barbed with venom:

“Considering that the ‘Commentaire’ in question has been published on a number of websites, and erroneously attributed to your person, I graciously ask you to see to it that this response of mine be released on the same sites as well as being sent to all the Episcopal Conferences, to the Members and Advisors of this Dicastery.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  The mode of operation is abundantly clear by now:  Church liberals get a papal embrace and papal support.  Everyone else gets the back of the papal hand.

18

PopeWatch: Fr. Weinandy’s Letter to Pope Francis

I’m going to cite a post from the Deus ex Machina blog commenting on a letter by Fr. Thomas Weinandy to Pope Francis.   There is nothing I can add to the analysis of S. Armaticus, other than to point out that his (?) viewpoint is probably quite traditional…There’s a picture of Archbishop Marcel LeFebvre on the web page.   However, even given that, I find nothing to fault in the analysis of Fr. Weinandy and S. Armaticus.

Go here for the full post.

7

PopeWatch: Magisterium

Ed Feser at Catholic World Report describes the damage being done to the magisterium by attempts to paint the statement of Pope Francis that capital punishment is intrinsically wrong as a development of doctrine:

 

In fact, the opposite is the case. You cannot reinforce people’s confidence in the papal Magisterium unless you first make it clear exactly what are the scope and limits of that Magisterium. When well-meaning theologians like Prof. Fastiggi tie themselves in logical knots in order to avoid having to admit that a pope might have misspoken or made a mistake when not speaking ex cathedra – despite the fact that the Church herself has always acknowledged that this can happen! – they reinforce the slander that Catholics are committed to what I have called the Crude Protestant Caricature of papal authority.

In particular, they give (however unintentionally) the false impression that popes can reinvent doctrine at will and simply stipulate, by dictatorial fiat, that the novelties they are teaching are “scriptural” and “traditional.” They thereby make a laughingstock of Catholic claims to have preserved the deposit of faith whole and undefiled. And they thereby undermine confidence in the papal Magisterium. Non-Catholics are liable to conclude that Catholic claims about the papacy are a kind of Orwellian sophistry. Some Catholics are liable to conclude this too, and to lose their faith as a result – whereas if they were reassured instead that the Church does not require them to deny the obvious, their faith will be saved.

Here is the bottom line: In order to defend the suggestion that a pope could teach that capital punishment is always and intrinsically immoral, you have to maintain that the Church has for 2000 years been teaching grave moral error. Indeed, you have to say that the Church has for all that time been defending, as a matter of moral doctrine, a species of murder. You also have to say either that Scripture teaches moral error and that the Church has for 2000 years been wrong to claim otherwise; or you have to say that Scripture does not teach moral error but that the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, all previous popes, and indeed the Church in general for 2000 years, have misunderstood Scripture.

How on earth Prof. Fastiggi could seriously think that defending those propositions is remotely conducive to upholding people’s confidence in the papal Magisterium, I have no idea.

Go here to read the rest.  All good Catholics wish to support the Pope.  However when such support involves accepting lies and erasing out of memory 2000 years of Catholic history,  such support comes at too dear a price.  May God forgive Pope Francis for recklessly forcing faithful Catholics to stand against their Pope.

2

PopeWatch: Luther

Sandro Magister reminds us that the cheers that the Pope is giving to Martin Luther was not always his opinion:

 

 

October 31 marks precisely five hundred years since the symbolic beginning of the Protestant Reformation. And on the part of the highest officials of the Catholic Church, the celebrations so far have been practically a one-way street: a chorus of praise for Martin Luther. “A medicine for the Church,” Pope Francis said of him in taking stock of his ecumenical journey in Sweden exactly one year ago.

“L’Osservatore Romano,” however, or “La Civiltà Cattolica” have been cautious not to republish what Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote about Luther and Calvin before he was elected pope.

Only one of his texts on the Protestant Reformation has been preserved, from about thirty years ago. But it was republished in 2014 with a preface by the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, director of “La Civiltà Cattolica” and one of Pope Francis’s closest confidants, without the slightest disclaimer of the crushing anti-Protestant invectives contained in it.

When the text came back to light, in fact, the eminent Protestant theologian Paolo Ricca, a Waldensian, expressed his consternation in an editorial for the magazine “Riforma”:

“I ask myself how it is possible to have still today, or even thirty years ago, such a deformed, distorted, mistaken, and substantially false view of the Protestant Reformation. It is a view with which it is impossible to begin a dialogue, or even an argument, it is so far and divergent from reality.”

Going so far as to doubt whether the anniversary of the Reformation could be celebrated together with the current pope.

“One thing is certain: on the basis of such a view, an ecumenical celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, in 2017, appears to be literally impossible.”

However, as is well known, Pope Francis has succeeded and then some in retying the threads of dialogue and in establishing in public opinion the image of a Catholic Church friendlier than ever with Luther and grateful for what he did.

Naturally, setting aside entirely that text of his. Which it could be useful to read and is linked here:

> Luther At the Stake. No, At the Altars. The Double Vision of the Jesuit Pope

*

But this censure of the anti-Lutheran Bergoglio is not the only one of this season of ecumenism. To it can be added another: on an author who is among the most prominent writers for “L’Osservatore Romano,” Marco Vannini, a renowned expert on theology and mysticism, especially that of Germany, and a scholar of Luther.

Vannini published a book this year that says right from the title what side he takes: “Against Luther and the false Gospel.”

Vannini calls himself “perhaps heretical but Roman Catholic,” although in an article in 2004, under the reign of pope Karol Wojtyla, “La Civiltà Cattolica” adjudged that he “excludes transcendence, suppresses the essential truths of Christianity, and by way of Neoplatonism inexorably arrives at a modern Gnosticism.”

The fact remains that with Pope Francis he has become a regular writer for “L’Osservatore Romano.”

But not this time. Not even one line on his erudite book against Luther. Curiously, it was noted in Italy only by the magazine “Il Regno,” an authoritative voice of progressive Catholicism, with an interview of the author.

 

Go here to read the rest.  In this papacy friends of the Faith are treated as enemies and enemies of the Faith are treated as friends.

19

PopeWatch: Islam

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch notes that Pope Francis often seems to be much more friendly to adherents of Islam than he is to traditional Catholics:

Before anyone starts accusing Lifesite of “attacking the Pope” for presenting this video and article, let me provide context. Also, I must add that the opinions expressed in the video are those of Robert Spencer. They do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.

However,  Spencer is no “Islamophobe” or hater of Muslims or of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church. Wikipedia explains that Spencer “is a member of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, the Eastern Catholic Antiochian Greek Catholic counterpart of the ancient Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.” 

More than that, however, he has become one of the foremost experts on Islam in the English-speaking world. Therefore, what Robert Spencer has to say in relation to Islam should at least be given serious consideration.

Robert Spencer presents well-researched, verifiable facts to help readers and listeners learn the truth about the great danger of Islamic jihadists and Sharia Law to the world. There is incredible ignorance and naivete about this in the West. Spencer has been attempting, at great risk to his own personal safety, to remedy that lack of public awareness on rapidly expanding, diabolical Islamist Jihadism.

In the case of this video, Spencer calmly presents legitimate concerns about what he believes would be the logical implications or real world perceptions by Islamists of Pope Francis’ statements and actions regarding Islam and the unchecked massive invasion of Islamist young men into non-Islamic nations. Given how deeply he is immersed every day in reporting on Islamist mass slaughters, violations of women and children and many other Jihadist depravities, it is no wonder that Spencer can seem rather harsh or blunt when discussing the pope and Islamism.

 

 

 

 

Go here to read the rest.  None of this is surprising.  The Pope is in favor of mass immigration of Islam into the West.  A realistic assessment of Islam would sink this policy.  Thus we have a Pope who lies about Islam practically every time he deigns to discuss the subject.  Catholics have a right to expect better of the Vicar iof Christ.

 

2

PopeWatch: Regrets, They Had a Few

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

 

Just days after actor Mark Wahlberg statement that he regretted portraying a porn star in Boogie Nights, fellow Catholic actor Kevin James announced today that he hopes God wouldn’t hold the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop against him.

James told EOTT this afternoon that he hopes “that God is not a movie fan and also forgiving” because he says he’s made some “poor choices” over the years. Among those movies James listed were, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Zookeeper, and Hitch.

“People make bad decisions in life,” James said. “But in my case, these bad decisions are continually aired on TV. It’s hard to come to terms with it. The money helps, I guess.”

He added that the bad decisions of his past sometimes makes it easier when speaking to at-risk youth,  as he is able to show them what lies ahead if they don’t turn their lives around.

“It’s kinda like that show Scared Straight, you know? But instead of having convicts scare the crap out of kids, it’s me showing young actors what could happen to their lives if they make the mistakes and bad decisions I made. I can only hope that this’ll be good enough to make amends with God.

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch has been unable to confirm or deny the rumor that Mel Gibson will fund a Crusade, and wear sack cloth for the rest of his life, against bad movies in atonement for The Beaver.

11

PopeWatch: Life

Hattip to Amanda Servello.  Joe Gallagher at Crisis reports that the powers that be at the Vatican are attempting to transform what it means to be pro-life:

 

Fair is foul and foul is fair at the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV). Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the PAV, recently redefined the term “life” for the Catholic Church, stating that the PAV will now refocus its pro-life mission to include issues of migration, arms control, poverty and the environment. He suggested that to be authentically pro-life is to be pro-life in every way and everywhere. That is true, if we correctly understand the term pro-life. Correctly understood, it means defending innocent human life from targeted destruction from the moment of conception until natural death at all stages of development in every time, place and culture.

We should be extremely wary of accepting any new definition of “life.” The traditional definition only includes the issues of abortion, euthanasia, and bioethical concerns pertaining to embryonic stem cell research, cloning, IVF, etc. It excludes the death penalty, which involves those who are guilty of grotesque crimes such as murder and rape. The convicted may be put to death in rare cases as a matter of justice only after due process and especially if they remain a danger to society, which is in line with Catholic teaching despite Pope Francis’s recent statement that capital punishment always violates the Gospel. It excludes war, which may be waged after discernment for just cause, and killing in self-defense. But it also excludes the new areas of focus of the PAV. I am not suggesting that these issues are not constituent of the mission of the Church, or that they do not impinge on issues relating to human life, but they are not issues related to the Church’s traditional pro-life mission. There are other councils, institutes, academies, etc., wherein such issues should rightly be the focus, but to include them in the PAV is suspect.

This move to redefine “life” is highly disturbing for many in the Church suspicious of Pope Francis, his advisors and appointees, who believe that John Paul II’s original motive for the PAV outlined in his motu proprio Vitae Mysterium to spread the traditional “Gospel of Life” with “the specific task to study and provide information and training about the principal problems of law and biomedicine pertaining to the promotion and protection of life” is being undermined by those hell-bent on reforming Catholicism from within. It doesn’t help that Paglia is also Grand Chancellor of the recently and controversially renamed John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences (which is now to be guided by Amoris Laetitia) who has expressed support for admitting the divorced and remarried to Communion, approved a controversial sex-education program in Spain entitled “The Meeting Point: Project for Affective and Sexual Formation,” commissioned and appeared in a mural on the façade of the cathedral church of the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Ameli that many describe as homoerotic, and, according to some critics, has equivocated on defending the Church’s position on same-sex relationships.

 

Go here to read the rest.  This attempt to transform the meaning of life calls to mind this quotation from 1984:

 

By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron—they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

 

 

5

PopeWatch: Apostasy

Father John Hunwicke reminds us of these prophetic words of Pope Paul VI three decades ago:

 

In 1977, Blessed Paul VI, on the sixtieth anniversary of the last Fatima Apparition, said this: “The tail of the Devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church, even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the Faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church”.

I know some of you chaps out there sometimes feel a bit dubious about Blessed Papa Montini, but, really, faced with words of such prophetic discernment, how can you maintain your reservations? Come on!

By the way: have you yet read Cardinal Burke‘s very fine Buckfast Address on …  Apostasy? If not, you jolly well ought to get on with it …

Apostasy is a word we ought to be more willing to do business with. The beginning of the Catholic Revival in the Church of England is commonly dated to 1833, when  blessed John Keble preached a sermon on “National Apostasy“! Very Patrimonial! Immensely Prophetic!

 

Go here to read the comments.  Always remember that after the night of Satan there is the dawn of Christ.

11

PopeWatch: Editor of Christ

Sandro Magister tells us about the latest stage in the Pope’s ongoing effort to correct Christ:

 

 

In the important newspaper “la Repubblica” of which he is the founder, Eugenio Scalfari, an undisputed authority of Italian secular thought, last October 9 returned to speaking in the following terms about what he sees as a “revolution” of this pontificate, in comments by Francis that are derived from his frequents conversations with him:

“Pope Francis has abolished the places where souls were supposed to go after death: hell, purgatory, heaven. The idea he holds is that souls dominated by evil and unrepentant cease to exist, while those that have been redeemed from evil will be taken up into beatitude, contemplating God.”

Observing immediately afterward:

“The universal judgment that is in the tradition of the Church therefore becomes devoid of meaning. It remains a simple pretext that has given rise to splendid paintings in the history of art. Nothing other than this.”

It is seriously doubtful that Pope Francis really wants to get rid of the “last things” in the terms described by Scalfari.

There is in his preaching, however, something that tends toward a practical overshadowing of the final judgment and of the opposite destinies of blessed and damned.

*

On Wednesday, October 11, at the general audience in Saint Peter’s Square, Francis said that such a judgment is not to be feared, because “at the end of our history there is the merciful Jesus,” and therefore “everything will be saved. Everything.”

In the text distributed to the journalists accredited to the Holy See, this last word, “everything,” was emphasized in boldface.

*

At another general audience a few months ago, on Wednesday, August 23, Francis gave for the end of history an image that is entirely and only comforting: that of “an immense tent, where God will welcome all mankind so as to dwell with them definitively.”

An image that is not his own but is taken from chapter 21 of Revelation, but from which Francis was careful not to cite the following words of Jesus:

“The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

*

And again, in commenting during the Angelus of Sunday, October 15 on the parable of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22: 1-14) that was read at all the Masses on that day, Francis carefully avoided citing the most unsettling parts.

Both that in which “the king became indignant, sent his troops, had those murderers killed and their city burned.”

And that in which, having seen “one man who was not wearing the wedding garment,” the king ordered his servants: “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the darkness; there shall be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth.”

*

On the previous Sunday, October 8, another parable, that of the murderous vine dressers (Matthew 21:33-43), had undergone the same selective treatment.

In commenting on the parable during the Angelus, the pope left out what the owner of the vineyard does to those farmers who killed the servants and finally the son: “He will put those wretches to a miserable death.” Much less did he cite the concluding words of Jesus, referring to himself as the “cornerstone”: “He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on any one, it will crush him.”

Instead, Pope Francis insisted on defending God from the accusation of being vindictive, almost as if wanting to mitigate the excesses of “justice” detected in the parable:

“It is here that the great news of Christianity is found: a God who, in spite of being disappointed by our mistakes and our sins, does not go back on his word, does not stop, and above all does not avenge himself! Brothers and sisters, God does not avenge himself! God loves, he does not avenge himself, he waits for us to forgive us, to embrace us.”

*

In the homily for the feast of Pentecost, last June 4, Francis argued, as he often does, against “those who judge.” And in citing the words of the risen Jesus to the apostles and implicitly to their successors in the Church (John 20:22-23), he intentionally cut them off halfway through:

“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive, they will be forgiven.”

Omitting the following:

“Those you do not forgive, they will not be forgiven.”

And the fact that the truncation was deliberate is proven by its repititon. Because Francis had made the exact same deletion of the words of Jesus on the previous April 23, at the Regina Coeli of the first Sunday after Easter.

*

Last May 12 as well, while visiting Fatima, Francis showed that he wanted to set Jesus free from his reputation as an inflexible judge at the end of time. And to do this he warned against the following false image of Mary:

“A Mary of our own making: one who restrains the arm of a vengeful God; one sweeter than Jesus the ruthless judge.”

*

It must be added that the liberty with which Pope Francis cuts and stitches up the words of Sacred Scripture does not concern only the universal judgment. Deafening, for example, is the silence in which he has always shrouded Jesus’ condemnation of adultery (Matthew 19:2-11 and parallel passages).

In a surprising coincidence, this condemnation was contained in the Gospel passage that was read in all the churches of the world precisely on the Sunday of the beginning of the second session of the synod of bishops on the family, October 4, 2015. But neither in the homily nor at the Angelus on that day did Pope Francis make the slightest reference to it.

Nor did he make any reference to it at the Angelus of Sunday February 12, 2017, when that condemnation was once again read in all the churches.

Not only that. The words of Jesus against adultery also do not appear in the two hundred pages of the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.”

Just as no appearance is made in it by the terrible words of condemnation of homosexuality written by the apostle Paul in the first chapter of the Letter to the Romans.

A first chapter that was also read – another coincidence – at the weekday Masses of the second week of the synod of 2015. To tell the truth, those words are not included in the missal. But in any case, neither the pope nor anyone else ever cited them while discussions were being held at the synod about changing the paradigms of judgment on homosexuality:

“Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romani 1, 26-32).

*

Moreover, at times Pope Francis even takes the liberty of rewriting the words of Sacred Scripture as he sees fit.

For example, in the morning homily at Santa Marta on September 4, 2014, at a certain point the pope attributed to Saint Paul these “scandalous” words: “I boast only of my sins.” And he concluded by inviting the faithful present to “boast” of their own sins, in that they have been forgiven from the cross by Jesus.

But in none of Paul’s letters can such an expression be found. The apostle instead says of himself: “If it is necessary to boast, I will boast of my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 11:30), after having listed all the hardships of his life – the imprisonments, the floggings, the shipwrecks.

Or: “About myself I will not boast, except of my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 12:5). Or again: “He said to me: ‘My grace is enough for you; strength is in fact made fully manifest in weakness.’ I will therefore gladly boast of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9), with more references to the outrages, persecutions, anguish he has suffered.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Pope Francis seems to view himself not as the Vicar of Christ but rather as the Editor of Christ.

11

Pope Watch–Rebuke to Cardinal Sarah

I don’t want to poach on Don McCleary’s turf, but  the following shouldn’t be passed up.   It’s from Whispers in the Loggia, a blog by Rocco Palmo that relates inside happenings in the Church hierarchy.   This is from his post 22nd October, 2017.

“In an extraordinary rebuke to one of his own Curial cardinals, the Pope has aimed to ‘explain simply, and hopefully clearly… some errors’ in his Worship chief’s understanding of Magnum Principium, his recent motu proprio on liturgical translations, indicating the new norms granting enhanced oversight to bishops’ conferences as a fresh development – and, most pointedly, declaring several key pieces of the operative rules in 2001’s Liturgiam authenticam ‘abrogated./

A year since Francis’ last open clash with his top liturgical aide, a personal letter from the pontiff to the CDW prefect Cardinal Robert Sarah (above, ad orientem), dated 15 October, was published this morning by the Italian outlet La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana and subsequently confirmed by the Holy See Press Office, then placed on the Italian homepage of Vatican Radio. (Ironically enough, even as this Ordinary Sunday takes precedence, today marks the feast of St John Paul II, under whose authority LA was promulgated.)

Noting that a lengthy, widely-circulated commentary published under Sarah’s signature earlier this month stated that LA remains ‘the authoritative text concerning liturgical translations,’ the Pope responded by relating that paragraphs 79-84 of the 2001 norms – those which deal precisely with the requirement for a vernacular rendering’s recognitio by Rome – were now abolished, going on to note that Magnum no longer upholds that translations must conform on all points with the norms of Liturgiam authenticam, as was the case in the past.’ “

See here for the  rest.   I am a great admirer of Cardinal Sarah, and I don’t know what to say about this.

6

PopeWatch: Ed Feser

 

 

 

Philosopher Ed Feser recently authored a defense of traditional Church teaching on capital punishment, By Man Shall His Blood be Shed:  A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment.

At Catholic World Report he takes a look at the recent comments of Pope Francis condemning capital punishment:

 

 

 

There simply is no way to make an absolute condemnation of capital punishment consistent with past scriptural and papal teaching. The only way out of the mess is for Pope Francis to issue a clarification that reaffirms traditional teaching.

Scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and all popes before Pope Francis have consistently taught that capital punishment can in some circumstances be legitimate. In some recent remarks, Pope Francis appeared to suggest that this traditional teaching ought to be overturned, and that capital punishment is always and intrinsically wrong. In a recent article in Catholic Herald, I analyzed the pope’s remarks, noting that some of them do indeed appear to propose such a reversal, though others seem to point in the opposite direction.

I also noted that if this is what the pope is proposing – and it is not certain that it is – then he would be flirting with doctrinal error, something that is possible when a pope is not speaking ex cathedra, though it is extremely rare. For the legitimacy in principle of capital punishment is an irreformable or unchangeable teaching of the Church. Joseph Bessette and I assemble what we claim to be conclusive evidence to this effect in our recent book By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment. (A few of the salient points are briefly summarized in an earlier Catholic World Report article of ours.)

The pope’s remarks have been controversial. For example, theologian Eduardo Echeverria has noted some of the problems with them in an article at Catholic World Report, as has P. J. Smith at First Things. But the pope also has some defenders. Interestingly, however, it turns out that they do not agree on why or how the pope’s remarks are defensible.

On Twitter, Catholic journalist Austen Ivereigh responded to my Catholic Herald piece with the remark: “This betrays a hugely deficient understanding of development of doctrine. It doesn’t even quote relevant parts of pope speech on topic [sic].” Ivereigh does not explain exactly what is deficient (“hugely” or otherwise) about my understanding of the development of doctrine (though of course, he could hardly have done so in a mere tweet). I quoted a number of key magisterial texts which illustrate how the Church teaches that a genuine “development of doctrine” can never be a reversal or overturning of doctrine. How Ivereigh would reconcile these texts with an overturning of traditional teaching on capital punishment, we are not told.

However, the “relevant parts” of the pope’s speech to which Ivereigh thinks I paid insufficient attention include, I would speculate, papal remarks like:

Here we are not in any way contradicting past teaching, for the defence of the dignity of human life from the first moment of conception to natural death has been taught by the Church consistently and authoritatively.

Ivereigh’s idea, perhaps, is this: The Church has always taught the dignity of human life, and the pope’s proposal is that this dignity absolutely rules out capital punishment under any circumstances. There is no contradiction between the claim that human life has dignity and the claim that capital punishment is always wrong, so that to draw the latter conclusion from the former is a genuine development of doctrine and not a contradiction of it.

But if this is Ivereigh’s reasoning, it is fallacious. For a genuine “development of doctrine” has to take account of the entire body of the Church’s traditional teaching, not just some part of it considered in isolation. For example, in hammering out the doctrine of the Trinity, the Church considered both the truth that there is only one God and the truth that the divine Persons are distinct. The Trinitarian conception of God is precisely a reconciliation of these ideas. Hence if the Church were to deny the distinctness of the Persons in the name of respecting the teaching that there is only one God, this would not be a “development” of past teaching but a rejection of it. It would be a matter of pitting one part of the deposit of faith against another, rather than preserving the whole. Indeed, the very term “heresy” derives from the Greek word hairesis, which means the “choosing” or “taking” of one part of orthodox doctrine while rejecting other parts.

Similarly, while the Church has always affirmed the dignity of human life, she has also always taught that an offender guilty of the gravest crimes can in some cases legitimately be executed. That these truths are perfectly compatible is obvious when we remember that there is a crucial moral distinction between the innocent and the guilty. Thus did Pope Pius XII teach that a murderer has, by virtue of his crime, “deprived himself of the right to live.” Thus did even Pope St. John Paul II, who was no fan of capital punishment, explicitly reaffirm even in the 1997 revision of the Catechism he promulgated that “the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty” under certain conditions. Thus did even he qualify his claims about the dignity of human life in Evangelium Vitae, teaching that “the commandment ‘You shall not kill’ has absolute value when it refers to the innocent person.” Such qualifications are necessary if we are to do justice to the whole of the deposit of faith.

(I am not, by the way – and contrary to what some critics of my Catholic Herald piece seem to think – suggesting that capital punishment is as central to Catholic doctrine as the Trinity is. That is not the point of the analogy. I am merely using Trinitarianism as an illustration of how a genuine development of doctrine works.) Continue Reading

14

PopeWatch: Free Nations

The Pope doesn’t think much of loyalty to one’s country:

“The State cannot be conceived of as the sole and exclusive guardian of the common good,” the Pope told participants in a workshop organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, “not allowing intermediate bodies of civil society to express, in freedom, their full potential.”

“This would this be a violation of the principle of subsidiarity which, combined with that of solidarity, constitutes a cornerstone of the social doctrine of the Church,” he said.

“The challenge here,” Francis added, “is how to bring individual rights into accord with the common good.”

“I think the position of civil society is to ‘pull’ the State and the market forward so they will rethink their raison-d’être and their way of working,” he said.

Last February, the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that the Holy See is concerned over growing populist and nationalist movements, both in Europe and in the United States, adding that many of them “are born of fear, which is not a good counsellor.”

The Cardinal also recalled comments by Pope Francis, saying that “there is a risk of history repeating itself.”

In March, Pope Francis addressed more than 20 European heads of state, calling solidarity “the most effective antidote to modern forms of populism,” while denouncing nationalism as a new strain of selfishness.

In his speech, the Pope advocated a stronger, consolidated Europe against the rising tide of populist movements.

The pontiff contrasted solidarity, which draw us “closer to our neighbors,” with populism, which is “the fruit of a selfishness that hems people in and prevents them from overcoming and ‘looking beyond’ their own narrow vision.”

“There is a need to start thinking once again as Europeans,” Francis said, “so as to avert the opposite dangers of a dreary uniformity or the triumph of particularisms.” Continue Reading

3

PopeWatch: Pope as Cruel and Unusual Punishment

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Two prisoners in Bologna, Italy escaped during their lunch with Pope Francis yesterday, reportedly fleeing back to their jail cells after what they called a “harrowing experience.”

The two inmates, who are serving time at a social reintegration facility in Castelfranco Emilia, told EOTT that, though the few bites of lasagna they ate before ditching the lunch were amazing, they just “couldn’t stomach” another minute listening to His Holiness apologize for everything the Church has ever done.

“Don’t get me wrong, it is quite an experience to meet the Pope,” said inmate Giovanni Rotunda. “But he kept bowing to me and asking me to pray for him. By the tenth time I was really beginning to miss the prison food.”

Fellow inmate Dominic Bapideeboopi told EOTT that Pope Francis spent nearly half an hour explaining why the death penalty was contrary to Church teaching.

“I’m like, ‘Dude, let me eat.’ Of course I didn’t say that out loud, but the thing is is that I was just trying to have a pleasant afternoon, and to be honest, I’m a prisoner and I still believe in the death penalty! For goodness sakes, between all the praying for him, apologies on behalf of the Church, his near constant request to wash my feet, I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

That’s when, Bapideeboopi said, he and Rotunda looked at each other and nodded.

“That was all it took. We knew we just had maybe another hour or two there, but life is short—and we’d rather be spending our time in jail trying not to get shanked than being spiritually shanked by odd catechesis, if you know what I’m saying.” Continue Reading

2

PopeWatch: Luther

Father Z brings us this unsurprising news:

One of Pope Francis’ favorites of the Italian bishops, personally raised by the pontifical hand to power in the episcopal conference, Bp. Nunzio Galantino, gave a talk at my old school, the Pontifical Lateran University (“The Pope’s University”) for their LutherFest2017, sponsored by the theology faculty.

I read in Il Timone

“I’ve deployed against all the papists, against the Pope and indulgences but only by preaching the word of God.  And when I was sleeping the word of God was working such things that the Pope is now fallen.”  [Bp.] Nunzio Galantino, Secretary General of the Italian Episcopate, read at full voice this passage from Luther which for 5 centuries was considered offensive to Catholics.  “The reform started by Martin Luther 500 years ago was an event of the Holy Spirit“, the bishop affirmed while speaking at the Pontifical Lateran University to a conference promoted by the Pope’s school to celebrate the anniversary.

“The Reform”, Galantino underscored, “responds to the truth expressed in the formula ecclesia semper reformanda.”  “It was the same Luther,” the Secretary of the CI reminded, “who didn’t consider himself the author of the Reform, writing: “while I was sleeping, God was reforming the Church.”  “Even today,” the prelate commented, “the Church needs a reform.  And today, too, it can be fulfilled by God alone.”

[…]

One thing I’ll agree on with Galantino is that the Church is in need of a reform.

Go here to read the comments.

 

5

PopeWatch: Vice

Father Gerald Murray at The Catholic Thing reminds us how the Pope is attempting to change doctrine.

 

The claim was widely made during the two Synods on the Family that the innovation of allowing persons living in adulterous second unions to receive Holy Communion, as proposed by Cardinal Kasper and others, was not a change in doctrine, but simply in discipline. I did not believe this to be true then (or now) and, apparently, neither did many of the supporters of this innovation.

The first evidence of that was the seemingly universal refusal to identify these unions as adulterous in fidelity to Christ’s words: “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” (Lk 16:18) Instead of adulterous these sinful relationships were called “irregular” unions. This tactic reduces Christ’s teaching to the level of a regulation. The use of scare quotes further diminished the stature of Christ’s teaching by casting doubt on whether we should really consider these unions to be irregular at all.

A conference on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was recently held at Boston College. Further evidence of the rejection of Christ’s plain teaching on marriage, divorce and adultery is found in the reported comments of two speakers: Professor Cathleen Kaveny and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J.

Kaveny used curious language to describe Our Lord’s teaching on marital fidelity: “Jesus clearly disfavored adultery.” No, Jesus forbade adultery. One can disfavor things that are good in themselves, but simply do not appeal to one for a variety of reasons. One can never claim as good and right something that God has clearly forbidden.

Kaveny continued: ”It’s clear that he rejects divorce and remarriage as contrary to the original will of God. But nothing in Jesus’ words or conduct demand that the sin involved in divorce and remarriage must be conceptualized as a sin that continues indefinitely, without the possibility of effective repentance.”

Well, the original will of God remains in force unless God himself has indicated otherwise. Jesus clearly reaffirmed the prohibition of divorce and remarriage, harkening back to God’s original plan for man and woman as revealed in the Book of Genesis.

Understanding the sin involved in divorce and remarriage requires making distinctions. The responsibility for the break-up of marital life falls upon one or both parties, depending upon each one’s degree of culpability. The obtaining of a civil divorce is likewise to be evaluated as to the motives and responsibilities involved: is a divorce sought to free one to enter a new union, or is it sought to obtain legal protection of the financial and other interests of the offended spouse and children?

The decision to enter into an adulterous second union, however, is a public violation of the nature of indissoluble Christian marriage, and of one’s wedding vows. It involves the sin of adultery and the public scandal of living in opposition to Christ’s commandments.

 

Go here to read the rest.The stealth change of doctrine that the Pope is seeking to implement in regard to adulterous unions is becoming less stealthy each day.  Alexander Pope aptly described how this papacy operates over three centuries ago:

 

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

 

13

PopeWatch: Francis v. Newman

P.J. Smith notes at First Things how the Pope’s view of development of doctrine clashes with that of Newman:

 

 

These remarks provide an interesting window into how the pope thinks about doctrine, and about his relationship to doctrine. Such windows have been hard to come by since Amoris laetitia was issued in the spring of 2016. Francis has so far refused to answer the dubia submitted by some cardinals about Amoris laetitia. And, while Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the secretary of state, and Gerhard Cardinal Müller, formerly prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, have called for dialogue in the wake of the filial correction released a few weeks ago, it is unlikely that Francis would participate personally in such a process. The speech to the Catechism conference may be, for now, the clearest vision we get from Francis about the developments he favors.

Perhaps showing how closely he follows the debates that have exploded over his various pronouncements, Francis devoted some time in his remarks to demonstrating that his new position on the death penalty is part of a “harmonious development” of doctrine. Francis explains that, when the Church’s traditional doctrine is “clearly contrary” to a “new understanding of Christian truth,” we have a duty to “cease to defend” that doctrine. Francis argues that, today, we understand that any taking of human life is contrary to the dignity of life, and therefore we can now say that it is contrary to the Gospel. The argument is simple enough, but its implications are profound.

How profound? For that we need to turn to Bl. John Henry Newman. The pope’s remarks come just a couple of days after Newman’s feast. It is a little surprising that Francis did not mention Newman, since Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine has long been the locus classicus for an orthodox discussion of the development of doctrine. Or maybe not so surprising. In the Essay, Newman identifies several “notes” (he does not go so far as to call them “tests”) of an authentic development of doctrine. Among these notes is “conservative action” upon a doctrine’s past. Newman writes that a true development “is an addition which illustrates, not obscures, corroborates, not corrects, the body of thought from which it proceeds; and this is its characteristic as contrasted with a corruption.” In other words, Newman tells us that an authentic development will never result in black becoming white or up down.

When Francis talks about doctrine becoming “clearly contrary” to a “new understanding of Christian truth,” it seems that he rejects Newman’s notion that a development of doctrine is conservative of the doctrine’s past. He seems to believe that authentic developments can correct, not corroborate, the body of thought from which they proceed. Perhaps this approach reflects the principle articulated in Evangelii gaudium, the programmatic exhortation he issued in 2013: “Realities are more important than ideas.” Recall that Francis taught that “angelic forms of purity,” “objectives more ideal than real,” and “ethical systems bereft of kindness” were all “means of masking reality.” One could, therefore, read Francis’s theory of development as an implementation of this principle. Realities can change, and therefore the idea can become contrary to the reality. Under these circumstances, the idea—especially if it is an objective more ideal than real—gives way.

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, among his many other services to the Church, clarified the concept of development of doctrine as opposed to corruptions of doctrine that occasionally fasten on the Church and are shed off by the Church over time.

Newman posited seven notes, I would call them tests, for determining whether something is a development of doctrine or a corruption.

1.  Preservation of Type

2.  Continuity of Principles

3.  Power of Assimilation

4.  Logical Sequence

5.  Anticipation of Its Future

6.  Conservative Action upon Its Past

7.  Chronic Vigour

Each of these notes are explained by Newman in detail.  The concepts aren’t simple either in theory or in application, at least to PopeWatch, but Newman does a first rate job of explaining them.  The note that has always fascinated PopeWatch is number six, no doubt because PopeWatch has always found history fascinating, and the history of the Church especially so.

Newman is quite clear that under the Sixth Note a Development of Doctrine does not reverse what has gone before:

A true development, then, may be described as one which is conservative of the course of antecedent developments being really those antecedents and something besides them: it is an addition which illustrates, not obscures, corroborates, not corrects, the body of thought from which it proceeds; and this is its characteristic as contrasted with a corruption.

As developments which are preceded by definite indications have a fair presumption in their favour, so those which do but contradict and reverse the course of doctrine which has been developed before them, and out of which they spring, are certainly corrupt; for a corruption is a development in that very stage in which it ceases to illustrate, and begins to disturb, the acquisitions gained in its previous history.

Go here to read more about Newman’s seven notes regarding development of doctrine.

42

PopeWatch: Ed Feser

Ed Feser, who has recently written a book on the traditional Catholic teaching on the death penalty, By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed:  A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment, looks at the current attempt by Pope Francis to reverse Church teaching:

 

“The Church teaches that scripture is divinely inspired, that it cannot teach error where matters of faith and morals are concerned, and that it must always be interpreted in the way the Church traditionally has understood it. But many passages of scripture clearly teach that capital punishment is legitimate, and have always been interpreted by the Church as teaching this,” he said. 

Both the Old and New Testaments indicate that the death penalty can be legitimate. For instance, Genesis 9:6 states: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.” Or again, St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans teaches that the state “does not bear the sword in vain (but) is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.”

Feser said previous popes have “consistently” reaffirmed the legitimacy of capital punishment and have “insisted that accepting its legitimacy is a requirement of Catholic orthodoxy.”

One such pope would be Pius XII, who in 1955 defended the authority of the State to punish crimes, even with the death penalty. He argued that capital punishment is morally defensible in every age and culture because “the coercive power of legitimate human authority” is based on “the sources of revelation and traditional doctrine.”  

“Even Pope St. John Paul II taught that capital punishment is not always and absolutely wrong,” said Feser. 

St. Thomas Aquinas, in his classic defense of capital punishment in the Summa Theologica, argued that “if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and advantageous that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good.” 

The Catholic professor said the Church also has “always taught that popes are obligated to preserve traditional teaching and never to contradict it.” 

“When Pope Francis says that capital punishment is ‘in itself contrary to the Gospel,’ and ‘inadmissible … no matter how serious the crime,’ he seems to be contradicting traditional teaching,” he said.

“If that is what he is doing, then he is flirting with doctrinal error, which is possible when a pope is not speaking ex cathedra, even though it is extremely rare. There are only a handful of cases in Church history of popes who are possibly guilty of this, the best known cases being those of Pope Honorius and Pope John XXII,” he added.

Feser said that if Pope Francis is reversing past teaching on capital punishment, then he is “implicitly saying that every previous pope and scripture itself were wrong.”

“This would completely undermine the authority of the Church, and of Pope Francis himself. For if the Church could be that wrong for that long about something that serious, why trust anything else she says? And if all previous popes have been so badly mistaken, why should we think Pope Francis is right?” he said.  Continue Reading

60

Is “No One Is Condemned Forever” Perversely Compassionate, According To St. Augustine ?

In his masterpiece, City Of God, St. Augustine devotes seven entire chapters of Book XXI to this subject, as stated at the beginning of Chapter 17: “Of Those Who Fantasize That No Men Shall Be Punished Eternally.”

It was as if St. Augustine got an advance copy of the papal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, and read its proclamation that: ”No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel! Here I am not speaking only of the divorced and remarried, but of everyone, in whatever situation they find themselves.” (Para. 297).

This discussion assumes – particularly since it has not been denied or clarified in response to responsible questions and reasonable doubts – that Amoris Laetitia teaches that there is no eternal punishment for sin, for any sin, of any kind, in any situation. Should the questions be addressed and the doubts dissolved, and the words of Jesus and the constant teaching of the Church for about two millennia be affirmed (that indeed, a person can go to Hell forever), then the following discussion can be shredded and  thrown into the bin.

Tender-Hearted Christians

St. Augustine begins with a reference to “tender-hearted Christians”:

“I must now, I see, enter the lists of amicable controversy with those tender-hearted Christians who decline to believe that any, or that all of those whom the infallibly just Judge may pronounce worthy of the punishment of hell, shall suffer eternally, and who suppose that they shall be delivered after a fixed term of punishment, longer or shorter according to the amount of each man’s sin.” (Chapter 17; Book XXI, City Of God; henceforth in the form “17:XXI”)

Mercy For The Devils In Hell ?

If no sinner will be condemned forever, St. Augustine wonders why this will not apply to the fallen angels:

“Which opinion, if it is good and true because it is merciful, will be so much the better and truer in proportion as it becomes more merciful. Let, then, this fountain of mercy be extended, and flow forth even to the lost angels, and let them also be set free, at least after as many and long ages as seem fit! Why does this stream of mercy flow to all the human race, and dry up as soon as it reaches the angelic? And yet they dare not extend their pity further, and propose the deliverance of the devil himself. Or if anyone is bold enough to do so, he does indeed put to shame their charity, but is himself convicted of error that is more unsightly, and a wresting of God’s truth that is more perverse, in proportion as his clemency of sentiment seems to be greater.” (17:XXI)

It Is In Sinners’ Interest To Deny an Eternal Hell

St. Augustine notes that there are some whose opinions he has heard, who live a bad life, who profess that God’s mercy will be their salvation:

“There are others, again, with whose opinions I have become acquainted in conversation, who, though they seem to reverence the holy Scriptures, are yet of reprehensible life, and who accordingly, in their own interest, attribute to God a still greater compassion towards men. For they acknowledge that it is truly predicted in the divine word that the wicked and unbelieving are worthy of punishment, but they assert that, when the judgment comes, mercy will prevail.” (18:XXI)

Conjectures, Absurdity & Arguing Against God

St. Augustine, again and again, makes the point that those who would rely on total, encompassing-all-sin, divine mercy, while denying endless punishment, are simply making absurd arguments. For example:

“ . . . Or is perhaps the sentence of God, which is to be pronounced on wicked men and angels alike, to be true in the case of the angels, false in that of men? Plainly it will be so if the conjectures of men are to weigh more than the word of God. But because this is absurd, they who desire to be rid of eternal punishment ought to abstain from arguing against God, and rather, while yet there is opportunity, obey the divine commands. . . . And to say in one and the same sense, life eternal shall be endless, punishment eternal shall come to an end, is the height of absurdity. Wherefore, as the eternal life of the saints shall be endless, so too the eternal punishment of those who are doomed to it shall have no end.” (23:XXI)

Asserted By No One Sound In The Faith

St. Augustine sees that some proclaiming that divine mercy trumps divine justice “attempt to invalidate the words of God,” not to proclaim the extent of His mercy, but “in their own interest . . .under the guise of greater tenderness of sprit.” (24:XXI). He wonders how far those who promote these errors will go:

“Or will there, perhaps, be someone hardy enough to affirm that even the holy angels will make common cause with holy men (then become the equals of God’s angels), and will intercede for the guilty, both men and angels, that mercy may spare them the punishment which truth has pronounced them to deserve? But this has been asserted by no one sound in the faith; nor will be. Otherwise there is no reason why the Church should not even now pray for the devil and his angels, since God her Master has ordered her to pray for her enemies. The reason, then, which prevents the Church from now praying for the wicked angels, whom she knows to be her enemies, is the identical reason which shall prevent her, however perfected in holiness, from praying at the last judgment for those men who are to be punished in eternal fire.” (24:XXI)

God’s Words Are Truth, Not An Empty Threat

St. Augustine says that these declarations about mercy are contradicted by the clear words of Jesus and of Holy Scripture:
“As for those who find an empty threat rather than a truth in such passages as these: “Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire; and These shall go away into eternal punishment” [Mt 25: 41,46]; “They shall be tormented for ever and ever” [Rev 20:10]; and “Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, [Is 66:24] — such persons, I say, are most emphatically and abundantly refuted, not by me so much as by the divine Scripture itself.” (24:XXI)

Later in this Chapter 24, St. Augustine refers to those who deny that some sinners will be subject to eternal punishment as “perversely compassionate.” (24:XXI).

It Is Error To Say God Will Condemn No One

In discussing Romans 11: 32 – “For God has concluded all in unbelief, that He may have mercy upon all” – St. Augustine says that this statement of St. Paul “ . . . does not mean that He will condemn no one . . . “ (18:XXXI)

Conclusion

The false position on mercy has come be called the “universalist heresy,” the heresy that all persons will be saved due to God’s mercy, and that a God who is merciful will not condemn anyone to an eternal hell. If the words “No one is condemned forever” stand as written and promulgated, without change or explanation, then they are a statement of the universalist heresy.

3

PopeWatch: Knights

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Two months after ditching their ostrich-plume chapeaus, the Knights of Columbus continue their rebranding efforts by announcing the organization shall be henceforth known as the “Knights of Indigenous Peoples.”

“This change distances us from that conquistador Columbus,” said Eric Jenkins, Commander of Assembly #4251 and one of nearly two-dozen millennial members nationwide.  “Everyone knows he was a racist.”

“We’re not caving into social pressure,” explained 4th Degree Knight Lawrence Reddy.  “We’re simply kowtowing to social justice.  Maybe one day they’ll shelf the trigger word ‘knight,’ too.  Gives me the willies.”

In addition to continuing their traditional work of high-pressure insurance sales and slinging cheap beer at fish fry’s, the Knights of Indigenous People will now also form honor guards for half-naked tribal women presenting the gifts at papal Masses.

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch contacted the Vatican for comment but was told that the Pope was still recovering from his Day of the Race celebration.

22

PopeWatch: Death Penalty

“Consistency with Scripture and longstanding Catholic tradition is important for the grounding of many current teachings of the Catholic Church; for example, those regarding abortion, contraception, the permanence of marriage and the ineligibility of women for priestly ordination. If the tradition on capital punishment had been reversed, serious questions would be raised regarding other doctrines.”

Avery Cardinal Dulles, 2004

 

Showing the contempt for prior Church teaching that has been the hallmark of this kidney stone of a pontificate, Pope Francis has stated that the death penalty is contrary to the Gospel:

 

Pope Francis has issued his strongest statement yet against the death penalty, calling it “contrary to the Gospel.” He said he would like the Catechism of the Catholic Church to change according to a “new understanding of Christian truth,” saying that only a “partial vision can think of ‘the deposit of faith’ as something static.”

The Pope made his comments in an October 11 speech to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, which gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of the Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by Pope St. John Paul II. 

“The death penalty is an inhumane measure that humiliates, in any way it is pursued, human dignity,” said Pope Francis.

“It is, of itself, contrary to the Gospel, because it is freely decided to suppress a human life that is always sacred,” he added. “In the final analysis, God alone is the true judge and guarantor.”

The Catholic Church, following the Bible and the fathers and doctors of the Church, including St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as Pope Pius XII, has always viewed capital punishment as a legitimate form of protection of the public from immediate danger and as a legitimate punishment for serious crimes. 

Pope Francis has gone beyond the position held by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who, while opposing capital punishment, never held that it was, in itself, intrinsically evil. 

St. Thomas Aquinas, in his classic defense of capital punishment in the Summa Theologica, argued that “if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and advantageous that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good.” 

Pope Pius XII defended in 1955 the authority of the State to punish crimes, even with the death penalty. He argued that capital punishment is morally defensible in every age and culture because “the coercive power of legitimate human authority” is based on “the sources of revelation and traditional doctrine.” 

Both the Old and New Testaments indicate that the death penalty can be legitimate. For instance, Genesis 9:6 states: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.” Or again, St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans teaches that the state “does not bear the sword in vain [but] is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the death penalty is morally permissible.  Continue Reading

10

PopeWatch: Pontifical Academy for Life

Perhaps it should be renamed The Former Pontifical Academy for Life:

 

The first gathering of Pope Francis’ now overhauled Pontifical Academy for Life did not ease pro-life concerns over its future as the Vatican’s stated new focus for the PAV will turn from abortion and bioethics to include immigration and the environment.

Some are saying the Academy has “lost its way,” that the changes made by the pope “differ drastically” from its founding by Pope Saint John Paul II, or are an “attack” on the pro-life Academy’s mandate. 

They question as well an apparent new prioritization of the temporal.

“It’s obvious that being ‘pro-life’ means, even for the academy, to rethink the semantic value of the term life, which cannot be reduced to a perspective that is uniquely bioethical,” Academy president, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, said at a press conference.

“If we must be pro-life, we must be always, in every way, and everywhere pro-life,” he continued, according to a C-FAM report, citing Pope Francis.

Paglia also said there were no plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae next year. 

Rather, the Academy is opening “new frontiers for debate,” he said, mentioning in particular the environment, immigration, and arms control. Continue Reading

1

PopeWatch: Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai

The ongoing sell out of faithful Chinese Catholics goes on apace at the Vatican:

 

 

A senior archbishop known for his strong opposition to the Communist regime in China has been removed from a key post in the Vatican by Pope Francis. The move is the latest in a series of overtures Pope Francis has made in recent years to seek resumption of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the Chinese regime, which has always rejected the Pope’s authority to appoint Catholic bishops in Mainland China.

Pope Francis made the surprise announcement on Sept. 28 that Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide) at the Vatican, will be reassigned to Athens, Greece to serve as the Vatican’s papal nuncio (diplomat). The 67-year-old Archbishop from Hong Kong, who has been the highest-ranking official of Chinese origin in the Vatican, has no prior diplomatic experience.

As the French newspaper La Croix noted, Archbishop Hon has been one of the most senior bishops opposed to Pope Francis’ policy of rapprochement with the Chinese regime. His position at the Vatican’s Propaganda Fide, where he served for seven years since being appointed there by previous Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, was a powerful post as that put him second-in-command in the Vatican body that directly governs Vatican’s missionary works.

The Vatican and the People’s Republic of China have had no diplomatic relations since 1951, as the Chinese Communist Party insisted from the very beginning of its rule that all bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in mainland China should be appointed by itself so as to maintain control. Instead, a regime-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) was created to supposedly represent Catholics in China, yet the CPCA has never been recognized by the Vatican.

Since Pope Francis was elected in 2013, however, he has made numerous overtures to open diplomatic relations, such as a Papal flight over China in 2014, and an announcement in February of this year that an agreement over the issue of the power to appoint Bishops has been reached with Beijing, among other events.

Go here to read the rest.  For this Pope there are no enemies on the Left, and no friends who are not on the Left.

9

PopeWatch: Homilies

If one wishes to understand this Pope, it is a good idea to look at his homilies.  He often “wings” them rather than reading from a prepared text.  Thus in his homilies we get the pure and unadulterated Francis.  Case in point this extract from a homily last month:

 

“This (is the) healthy realism of the Catholic Church: the Church never teaches us ‘or this or that.’ That is not Catholic. The Church says to us: ‘this and that.’ ‘Strive for perfectionism: reconcile with your brother.  Do not insult him. Love him. And if there is a problem, at the very least settle your differences so that war doesn’t break out.’ This (is) the healthy realism of Catholicism. It is not Catholic (to say) ‘or this or nothing:’ This is not Catholic, this is heretical.  Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal, He frees us from the chains of the laws’ rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well.  He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us.” Continue Reading

2

PopeWatch: Christopher Columbus

On May 27, 2017 when visiting Genoa, Pope Francis mentioned and praised Christopher Columbus.  Ironically it was in the context of attempting to convince Italians to accept mass illegal immigration from Islamic countries, something that would have appalled Columbus:

 

And thank you, Luca, for your restlessness. Genoa is a port city, which historically has received many ships and has produced great navigators! To be a disciple it takes the same navigator’s heart: horizon and courage. If you have no horizon, or prospect, and are unable to look at what is under your nose, you will never be a good missionary. If you do not have courage, you will never be one. It is the virtue of the navigator: they know how to read the horizon, to go, and they have the courage to go. Let us think of the great navigators of the fifteenth century, many set out from here. You have the opportunity to know everything with new techniques, but these techniques of information very often make us fall into a trap: because instead of being informed we are saturated, and when you are saturated your horizon draws in, until you have a wall in front of you, and you lose the capacity to look to the horizon. Be careful: always watch for what they are selling you! Also what they are selling you in the media. Contemplation, the capacity to contemplate the horizon, of making your own judgement, not eating what they serve you on a plate. This is a challenge: it is a challenge that I think should lead us to prayer, to say to the Lord, “Lord, I ask you a favour: please, never stop challenging me”. Challenges to our horizon which require courage. Are you Genoese? Navigator: horizon and courage. And to all Genoese, I say: onwards! That prayer I offered to you: “Lord, I ask you a favour, challenge me today”. Yes, “Jesus, please, come, trouble me, give me the courage to be able to answer to the challenge and to You”. I like this Jesus Who bothers, Who troubles: because He is the living Jesus, Who moves within you with the Holy Spirit. And how good it is to see a boy or a girl let themselves be moved by Jesus; and the young person who does not allow his or her mouth to be closed easily, who learns not to stay with a closed mouth, who is not happy with simplistic answers, who seeks the truth, who looks for the profound, who sets out at large, who goes ahead, onwards. And who has the courage to ask questions about the truth and many things. We must learn to challenge the present. A healthy spiritual life generates lively young people, who when faced with some things that are offered nowadays by this culture – “normal”, they say, it may be, I don’t know – ask themselves, “Is this normal, or is this not normal?”. The courage to seek the truth. Is it normal that every day that sense of indifference increases? I don’t care what happens to others: indifference with friends, neighbours, in our neighbourhood, at work, in school… Is it normal – as Francesca invites us to ask – that many of our peers, migrants or from distant, difficult countries, bloodied by selfishness that leads to death, that they live in our cities in truly difficult situations? Is this normal? Is it normal that the Mediterranean has become a cemetery? Is this normal? Is it normal that many, many countries – and I am not saying Italy, because Italy is very generous – is it normal that many countries are closing their doors to these people who are wounded and flee from hunger, from war, these exploited people, who come in search of a little security … is it normal? This question: is this normal? If it is not normal, I must get involved to make sure it doesn’t happen. My dear, this takes courage, it takes courage.

Returning to navigators, Christopher Columbus, whom they say was one of yours – but we know, but many like him or he himself perhaps departed from here – of him they say, “This crazy man wants to arrive here going from there”. But he had reasoned on the “normality” of certain things and faced a great challenge: he had courage. Is it normal that, faced with the pain of others, our attitude is to close the doors? If it is not normal, get involved. Challenging the present is having the courage to say, “There are things that seem normal but they are not normal”. And you, this you must think: these are not things willed by God, and they must not be willed by us! And say this with force! This is Jesus: untimely, Who breaks up our systems, our plans. It is Jesus Who sows in our hearts the restlessness to ask this question. And this is good: this is very good! Continue Reading

23

PopeWatch: Pope Issues Apology for Lepanto

 

 

Well this comes as little surprise:

 

The Pope at the Vatican today issued an apology for the victory of the Holy League at Lepanto on October 7, 1571.  “All those poor Turks were seeking to do was to get to Italy.  How much better if our predecessor Pius V had organized a grand reception for them, meeting the Turkish forces with open arms and Christian charity and humility.  Why the whole course of human history may well have been changed for the better.”  The Pope also lamented the attribution of the victory of Lepanto to the intercession of the Virgin Mary.  “The Blessed Virgin always stands for peace and mercy, and not for war and what Man calls victory.  Our predecessor no doubt had his heart in the right place, but what he did by proclaiming the feast day of Our Lady of Victory was near blasphemy.”  The Pope then proclaimed that October 7 would henceforth be the feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Defeat on which day Catholics will say rosaries in reparation for the many non-ecumenical sins Catholics have been guilty of in waging wars of aggression against the followers of the Religion of Peace. Continue Reading

10

PopeWatch: Separated at Birth

Jonathan Last at The Weekly Standard reminds of the similarities between The Pope and The Donald:

 

I used to think of Francis as the David Souter of Rome. But the deeper we get into his papacy, the clearer it is that he’s incredibly similar to President Trump. Francis doesn’t read, or seem overly concerned with policy or theology. He’s dismissive of long-standing traditions and established theological “experts” and instead wants the Church to be more populist. He’s prone to speaking off-the-cuff and without the pieties of formality. He likes to bully his subordinates instead of building consensus. He has a knack for searching out hot-button issues where he can sow division rather than building consensus. He has an incredibly healthy sense of his own executive acumen. Continue Reading

13

PopeWatch: Cafeteria Catholics

Father Z takes on the accusation that orthodox critics of Pope Francis are cafeteria Catholics:

 

First, Jesuit Thomas Reese wrote (at the horrid RNS), about how more conservative Catholics are now “cafeteria Catholics” because they disagree with Pope Francis.  But there are some problems with his argument.

More Catholic than the pope

[…]

Four cardinals (two of whom have recently gone to their eternal reward) criticized the pope publicly in 2016 by issuing what they called a “dubia,” asking the pope to clarify what they considered his straying from the true faith. [No.  They did not criticize the Pope.  They asked, rather humbly, for clarifications of what he really means to teach.] Last month, several dozen theologians accused the pope of spreading heresy.  [No. The Correctio Filialis does not accuse the Pope of spreading heresy.  It states that the Pope has caused confusion through negligence.  That’s not nothing, but it isn’t a direct accusation of here, as Reese falsely claimed.]

[…]

These criticisms of Pope Francis put progressive Catholics in an awkward position. Progressives are big fans of Francis, but it would be somewhat hypocritical of them to suddenly become papal absolutists when they clearly had disagreements with Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. On the other hand, conservatives who are now critical of Francis accused progressives of being “cafeteria Catholics” when they disagreed with John Paul or Benedict. [No.  When they disagree with the CHURCH’s teaching, such as on the issue of the ordination of women or contraception, etc.]

All I can say is, “Welcome to the cafeteria.”  [Um… no.  Some of us don’t want to be in the cafeteria at all and we refuse to enter.]

The truth is all Catholics are cafeteria Catholics. [No.  We don’t accept the premise.]  Conservative Catholics were quite willing to ignore John Paul’s and Benedict’s strong statements on justice and peace, [No.  That’s not the case.] and progressive Catholics are happy to ignore Francis’ opposition to women priests.

Disagreeing with the pope was not welcomed during the papacies of John Paul and Benedict. [Does he seriously think that FRANCIS welcomes disagreement?!?] Bishops, priests, theologians, and Catholic publications were expected to unreservedly cheer any statement that came out of Rome. [For those of you who don’t know, Reese was sacked as editor of Jesuit-run America because of its increasingly heterodoxy.  He is still grinding his axe.] Priests were silenced, [that’s happening now] seminary professors were removed, and magazine editors were fired if they strayed from the party line. The open debate that occurred during the Second Vatican Council was closed down. [Pure fantasy.] Candidates for the episcopacy were chosen based on loyalty to Rome rather than on intelligence or pastoral abilities. [B as in B. S as in S.  How insulting.]

[…]

Enough of that.  All he is trying to do is justify liberal dissent.  We are unconvinced.

Continue Reading

2

PopeWatch: Valeria Fedeli

 

Sadly, this is no surprise:

 

When a book bearing the Pope’s name, Learning to Learn: Reflections on Education Issues (“Imparare ad imparare. Riflessioni sui temi dell’educazione”), appeared in bookstores last Thursday, it bore the preface by Fedeli, sparking a wave of criticism by Catholics and pro-family groups. One local media outlet noted that the choice for preface-writer seemed “almost a provocation.”

When Fedeli was appointed Education Minister last December, the Italian pro-family group Generazione Famiglia called the decision a “declaration of war” against the traditional family and the right of children to have a mother and a father.

In recent years, Fedeli has been “undoubtedly the most tenacious and ideological supporter of the manipulation of school programs at every level according to the dictates of gender theories,” the organization declared. Continue Reading

3

PopeWatch: Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Catholics parishioners across the U.S. protested during the Our Father Sunday in defiance of Pope Francis, who said that parishioners who kneel during the “Lord’s Prayer” should be denied communion.

Many parishioners sat, kneeled, or stayed inside restrooms during the recitation of the Our Father, with some pastors encouraging parishioners to express themselves.

Demonstrations began Sunday when nearly two dozen parishioners of Our Lady of Good Counsel parish took a knee. Other laymen who chose to remain standing locked arms, as opposed to holding hands.

Seattle parishioners announced they would not participate in the anthem as a city, saying, “We will no longer stand for the crappy catechesis in this country. Out of love for our Church, and in honor of Christ’s sacrifice made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic religious instructions. We remain committed in continuing to work towards better homilies and for better motu proprios.” Continue Reading

10

PopeWatch: Fear

Father Z explains why more priests and clerics do not speak out about this mad pontificate:

 

My friend Fr. Ray Blake, PP of Brighton, has a stupendous post today about FEAR.   HERE  He was asked to sign the Correctio Filialis and he writes openly about his fear of reprisals if he does so.

He is right to be afraid.  The question is, how shall we move forward, intelligently, and do the right thing even though we are in peril?

Here is some of Fr. Blake’s piece with my usual additions.

To Sign or Not to Sign

I have been asked to sign the Filial Correction, I signed the letter of the 45 academics and pastors last year, and almost immediately found Cardinal Nichols’ tanks parked on my lawn to inform me of his displeasure, which was quite mild unlike other lay signatories, who were sacked from their jobs in Catholic institutions for their pains, Dr. Josef Seifertis being the most high profile. I admit it, I am afraid to sign and I know other priests who share my fear. Many of those who might have signed have in the last four years have a certain fear about their place in the Church.

Rome and those surrounding the Pontiff have certainly become more vicious in defending him, never ever engaging in intellectual arguments, merely attacking like ravenous wolves or child bullies those who pose questions. The climate is bad throughout the Church, in Rome it is positively toxic. [I can attest that this is true.  Rome is like… a WWI field full of trenches with creeping yellow gas.] Under Francis the Vatican has become a place of fear and arbitrary oppression, there was a public glimpse of that in the sacking of Cdl Mueller by the Pope, and earlier in the dismissal of a couple of priests from the CDF and amongst laymen of Libero Milone, former Auditor General and many others. It is not just in theology that 2+2=5, or whatever number the Pope chooses that day, it extends to morality and ordinary human decency, ultimately it is a serious attack on the rationality of the Catholic faith and intellectual rigour. [In the name of being “pastoral” and “compassionate”.]

The abusive attacks on any one who asks legitimate filial questions or even of people like Cardinal Burke and the other “Dubia Cardinas” or even Cdls Sarah or Mueller  by the likes Austen Ivereigh, Rosica or Spadaro [Wile E., Beans, etc.] merely echo the statements of the notoriously immoderate Cardinal Madriaga the senior member of the Pope’s Council of Nine or the shocking insults always aimed at faithful Catholics by the Pope himself. Let us not even go to the shenanigans and manipulation surrounding the Synod on the Family

The men who rule the Church are not even in the worldly sense good, as the former Prefect of the CDF has said “power has become more important than truth”. It would be easy to dwell on the gay chem-sex parties hosted in the Vatican City itself and the advancement of those with a gay agenda, which produces apparently no reaction, not even a dismissal. In the matter of financial mismanagement and corruption, there appears to be window dressing masking inaction, John Allen seems to think this is the big issue above others. In fact, maybe because Francis centralises and 2+2 = whatever he decides, many of those in Rome suggest things have never been worse, a ‘kingdom of brigands’ as one former Nuncio described it.

Dioceses are not Rome but they do reflect Rome, Cardinals and bishops intimidate clergy and others who are faithful, if Francis has done anything it is to highlight a deep rift in the Church, marked by the quite extraordinary rise of an Ultramontane/Liberal faction against those who are faithful. Many bishops, who are often chosen for not for fidelity to Christ nor depth of learning nor moral fibre, not even their pastoral abilities but for their admin skills are quite happy to side with that faction which has power at the moment, moving Vicar of Bray-like from convinced Wojtylaians to Ratzingerians to Bergoglianians.

[…]

Read the rest over there. Continue Reading

17

Pope Francis Responds (?) to Criticisms of Amoris Laetitia

In an interview from La Civilta Cattolica quoted in the blog Whispers in the Loggia, Pope Francis says, as I near as I understand, that we have to go beyond theology and Thomism–they’re not that useful nowadays.    He also says that the morality of Amoris Laetitia is Thomist.  (Is there a contradiction here?)   I don’t see that, but then I’m not a theologian nor a philosopher.   Here’s the quote–judge for yourself.

Fr. Vicente Durán Casas stands to ask another question: “Holy Father, again thank you for your visit. I teach philosophy and I would like to know, and I speak for my teaching colleagues in theology too, what do you expect from philosophical and theological reflection in a country such as ours and in the Church generally?”

[Pope:] To start, I’d say let’s not have laboratory reflection. We’ve seen what damage occurred when the great and brilliant Thomist scholastics deteriorated, falling down, down, down to a manualistic scholasticism without life, mere ideas that transformed into a casuistic pastoral approach. At least, in our day we were formed that way… I’d say it was quite ridiculous how, to explain metaphysical continuity, the philosopher Losada spoke of puncta inflata [Ed. “an inflated point”]… To demonstrate some ideas, things got ridiculous. He was a good philosopher, but decadent, he didn’t become famous…

So, philosophy not in a laboratory, but in life, in dialogue with reality. In dialogue with reality, philosophers will find the three transcendentals that constitute unity, but they will have a real name. Recall the words of our great writer Dostoyevsky. Like him we must reflect on which beauty will save us, on goodness, on truth. Benedict XVI spoke of truth as an encounter, that is to say no longer a classification, but a road. Always in dialogue with reality, for you cannot do philosophy with a logarithmic table. Besides, nobody uses them anymore.

The same is true for theology, but this does not mean to corrupt theology, depriving it of its purity. Quite the opposite. The theology of Jesus was the most real thing of all; it began with reality and rose up to the Father. It began with a seed, a parable, a fact… and explained them. Jesus wanted to make a deep theology and the great reality is the Lord. I like to repeat that to be a good theologian, together with study you have to be dedicated, awake and seize hold of reality; and you need to reflect on all of this on your knees.

A man who does not pray, a woman who does not pray, cannot be a theologian. They might be a living form of Denzinger, they might know every possible existing doctrine, but they’ll not be doing theology. They’ll be a compendium or a manual containing everything. But today it is a matter of how you express God, how you tell who God is, how you show the Spirit, the wounds of Christ, the mystery of Christ, starting with the Letter to the Philippians 2:7…. How you explain these mysteries and keep explaining them, and how you are teaching the encounter that is grace. As when you read Paul in the Letter to the Romans where there’s the entire mystery of grace and you want to explain it.

I’ll use this question to say something else that I believe should be said out of justice, and also out of charity. In fact I hear many comments – they are respectable for they come from children of God, but wrong – concerning the post-synod apostolic exhortation. To understand Amoris Laetitia you need to read it from the start to the end. Beginning with the first chapter, and to continue to the second and then on … and reflect. And read what was said in the Synod.

A second thing: some maintain that there is no Catholic morality underlying Amoris Laetitia, or at least, no sure morality. I want to repeat clearly that the morality of Amoris Laetitia is Thomist, the morality of the great Thomas. You can speak of it with a great theologian, one of the best today and one of the most mature, Cardinal Schönborn.

I want to say this so that you can help those who believe that morality is purely casuistic. Help them understand that the great Thomas possesses the greatest richness, which is still able to inspire us today. But on your knees, always on your knees….

3

PopeWatch: Negative Stereotypes

The Pope is concerned that people simply do not want illegal aliens colonizing their homelands:

 

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday launched a two-year education campaign about the plight of migrants to counteract mounting anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. and Europe, urging the world: “Don’t be afraid!”

Francis posed for selfies, shook hands, kissed babies and hugged migrants at the end of his weekly general audience, teaching by example that “others” are not to be feared but embraced.

The campaign, spearheaded by the Vatican’s Caritas charity, encourages people to meet with migrants and listen to their stories, rather than treat them as statistics clouded by negative stereotypes. Continue Reading

11

PopeWatch: Debate?

Some fanboys and girls of the Pope are taking the Filial Correction of the Pope as a joke.  It is not:

 

To resolve the impasse between Pope Francis and those who have grave reservations about his teaching, Cardinal Gerhard Müller has proposed that one solution to this “serious situation” could be for the Holy Father to appoint a group of cardinals that would begin a “theological disputation” with his critics.

In comments to the Register Sept. 26, the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said such an initiative could be conducted with “some prominent representatives” of the dubia, as well as the filial correction which was made public on Sunday.

Cardinal Müller said a theological disputation, a formalized method of debate designed to uncover and establish truths in theology, would be specifically about “the different and sometimes controversial interpretations of some statements in Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia” — Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family.

The Church needs “more dialogue and reciprocal confidence” rather than “polarization and polemics,” he continued, adding that the Successor of St. Peter “deserves full respect for his person and divine mandate, and on the other hand his honest critics deserve a convincing answer.”

“We must avoid a new schism and separations from the one Catholic Church, whose permanent principle and foundation of its unity and communion in Jesus Christ is the current pope, Francis, and all bishops in full communion with him,” he said. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Why No Cardinals

Why did no cardinals sign the petition for filial correction of the Pope?  Apparently that was by design:

 

 

After the release of the historic ‘filial correction’ to the Pope on the weekend, many concerned Catholics have wondered why no Cardinals attached their name.

Cardinal Raymond Burke in particular has been very public about a coming “formal correction” from cardinals after Pope Francis failed to respond to their call to clarify Amoris Laetitia.

So why didn’t he or others sign this “filial correction”?

The basic answer is that the scholars and pastors behind the initiative chose not to ask any cardinals to join them.

“We wanted this to be an independent initiative,” spokesman Dr. Joseph Shaw told LifeSiteNews. “We made the decision not to include the Cardinals.”

Shaw wishes to squelch any rumours – he has seen some on social media – that there were prelates working behind the scenes. “We want to make it absolutely clear that Cardinal Burke is not behind this initiative,” he said.

The primary reason for not asking the cardinals to sign the document was prudence. “It’s not practical to expect any Cardinal to sign any document of this nature,” said Shaw, “because it comes too close to the person of the Pope.”

Shaw, a Fellow of St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford University, contrasted the 25-page Correction to the short dubia sent to Pope Francis by Cardinals Brandmüller, Burke, Caffara and Meisner in 2016. Shaw praised the dubia letter for its “simplicity” and expressions of fidelity to the Pope. He explained that a Cardinal would not readily sign off on a theological document as complex and serious as the Filial Correction written by anyone but himself.

“The more senior [churchmen] are, the more careful they will want to be with the wording,” said Shaw. “They will want brevity.”

READ MORE: Over 60 scholars correct Pope Francis for ‘propagating heresies’

In Shaw’s view, theologians and pastors have more freedom than prelates to lay out the arguments against Amoris Laetitia and its problems. Meanwhile, the way the Filial Correction is set out “should be helpful to a wide variety of Catholics.”

Of course, the document was originally meant for an audience of one. The Filial Correction was sent to Rome six weeks ago and, Shaw told LifeSiteNews, was handed to Pope Francis personally in Casa Santa Marta. The signers received no answer.

“If Pope Francis had responded, we would have entered into another kind of conversation,” said Shaw. “So now we are including the Catholic faithful.”

Shaw knows the media is interested in who signed and how many signed, but he says that the number of signers of the Fraternal Correction is not the point. The important issue is the arguments presented. That is why the signers are all scholars or pastors.

“The way the Church develops things is in accordance with [theological] arguments,” Shaw explained. “There is development because the leading arguments have prevailed.”  He pointed out that people argued over the dogma of the Immaculate Conception for centuries. “It’s very important that the arguments be made,” Shaw stressed.

The Filial Correction was written by a core group from among the signatories who showed it to other scholars and pastors for their comments and contributions. It was revised many times before it was signed and sent. Continue Reading

9

PopeWatch: Filial Correction

Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register brings us the latest development in this bizarre ponitificate:

 

 

A group of clergy and lay scholars from around the world have taken the very rare step of presenting Pope Francis with a formal filial correction, accusing him of propagating heresies concerning marriage, the moral life, and reception of the sacraments.

Entitled Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis, meaning ‘A Filial Correction Concerning the Propagation of Heresies,’ the 25 page letter was delivered to the Holy Father at his Santa Marta residence on Aug. 11.

The Pope has so far not responded to the initiative, whose 62 signatories include the German intellectual Martin Mosebach, former president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, and the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay (he learned of the document only after it had been delivered to the Pope and signed it on behalf of the Society).

The letter begins by saying that with “profound grief but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself” the signatories feel “compelled” to take this action “on account of the propagation of heresies.”

They cite in particular Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia, and “other words, deeds and omissions.”

They accuse the Pope of upholding seven heretical positions about “marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments” which, they say, has “caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.”

The clergy and scholars “respectfully insist” that Pope Francis condemn the heresies that he has directly or indirectly upheld, and that he teach the truth of the Catholic faith in its integrity.

The filial correction, the first to be made of a reigning Pontiff since Pope John XXII was admonished in 1333, is divided into three main parts. Continue Reading