PopeWatch: Rigid

The Pope really hates “rigid” priests:


The pope also speaks of his state of mind now.

“I feel free,” he said. “Sure, I’m in a cage here at the Vatican, but not spiritually. Nothing makes me afraid.”

What bothers him, he ventured, are people with straitjacket point of views. He singled out “rigid priests, who are afraid to communicate.”

“It’s a form of fundamentalism,” the pope said. “Whenever I run into a rigid person, especially if young, I tell myself that he’s sick.” Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Statues

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


SAN ANSELMO, California, August 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic school in California has removed around 162 icons and statues in an effort to be more “inclusive” and avoid “alienating” non-Catholic students.

San Domenico School, a K-12 boarding and day school, is the oldest independent school in California. It was founded by Dominican sisters, who remain involved in its operations today. It is in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The Marin Independent Journal reported last week that parents are concerned the statues being removed is the just the latest incident that demonstrates the school’s declining Catholic identity.

“In our time here, the word ‘Catholic’ has been removed from the mission statement, sacraments were removed from the curriculum, the lower school curriculum was changed to world religions, the logo and colors were changed to be ‘less Catholic,’ and the uniform was changed to be less Catholic,” Shannon Fitzpatrick wrote in an email to school officials. The MIJ published some of her complaints.

The head of San Domenico’s board of trustees, Amy Skewes-Cox, said the school isn’t doing this because of the recent push to remove Confederate statues from public places.

There is “absolutely no connection other than it is change, and people have a hard time with change,” she said. 

“We didn’t want to further that feeling” of “alienation” non-Catholic students might have if they see statues, said Skewes-Cox. 

The statues were apparently “pitched in the basement,” according to the parent of a former student. According to the MIJ, there were 180 statues around the school. There are now only “at least 18” left.

Sister Maureen McInerney, the prioress general of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, said it “really isn’t my place” to be involved with the school’s day-to-day operations. 

“If there has been a reduction in the number of statues but there are still many statues around the campus, I think that would be fine,” she said. San Domenico is just “making an effort to be inclusive of all faiths.” 

The school, which costs anywhere from $29,850 to $58,350 annually, says its students “tend to our garden, learn interconnectedness through our ecological literacy program, and reflect on their place within the sacred community of nature.” Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Formal Correction

Cardinal Burke has outlined what a formal correction of Pope Francis might look like:


The cardinal told The Wanderer newspaper Aug. 14 that such a formal act of correction has not been invoked “for several centuries” and until now it has never been used “in a doctrinal way.”

But he said it would be “quite simple” and involve presenting on the one hand the “clear teaching of the Church” and on the other “what is actually being taught by the Roman Pontiff.” The teaching in question in particular relates to doctrinal matters published in the Pope’s 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia. 

“If there is a contradiction, the Roman Pontiff is called to conform his own teaching in obedience to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church,” the cardinal explained, adding that a “formal declaration” would be submitted to the Holy Father to which he would be “obliged to respond.”

The cardinal stressed that the dubia, five questions which he and three other cardinals (Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner) issued nearly a year ago, aimed to give the Holy Father the occasion to clarify these aspects of Church teaching.

They were issued in a “very respectful way and not in any way aggressive,” he said, but as the Pope has “chosen not to respond” to them, “so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth.”

“These are the points that are not clear in the current teachings of the Roman Pontiff; therefore, this situation must be corrected. The correction would then direct itself principally to those doctrinal points,” he said. 

The cardinal, a former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court, did not give a timeframe for the correction, but hinted at its urgency by stressing that the Church is “being torn asunder right now by confusion and division” and that unity is at stake.

“The Holy Father must be called on to exercise his office to put an end to this,” he said.

Cardinal Burke first suggested a possible formal correction of the Pope in an interview with the Register last November, saying it is “clearly quite rare” but if there was no response, then it would be a “question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.” He spoke then of “tremendous division” that is “not the way of the Church.” Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia

Pope Francis continues to let others “clarify” Amoris Laetitia, and Sandro Magister gives us the details:



“The writing is very good and fully explicates the meaning of chapter VIII. . . There are no other interpretations.” With these words Pope Francis, in a letter dated September 5 of last year, approved a note from the bishops of the region of Buenos Aires who in interpreting the postsynodal apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” admitted the possibility of Eucharistic communion for the divorced and remarried who continue to cohabit “more uxorio.”

But this was a matter of a private letter to an Argentine monsignor employed in the secretariat of that group of bishops. And even the note approved by the pope was not initially intended for publication and does not bear the names of the signers. Too little and too poorly done to clarify in a definitive way the authentic meaning – that is, attributable with certainty to its author – of “Amoris Laetitia.”

An attempt has been made in recent days by the theologian closest to the pope, the Argentine Víctor Manuel Fernández, to settle this question, with the tepid assistance of “L’Osservatore Romano.” But without success.

And it could not have been otherwise. Because the confusion is at the origin. It is within the very text of “Amoris Laetitia,” which never says fully, in a clear and incontrovertible way, what Pope Francis limits himself to hinting at.

The passage that gets closest to it is in paragraph 305:

“Because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin –which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.”

And in the connected footnote 351:

“In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, ‘I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [24 November 2013], 44: AAS 105 [2013], 1038). I would also point out that the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak’ (ibid., 47: 1039).”

As is very well known, Francis has been asked in various forms and a number of times to bring clarity on such a confused and bungled text. In particular on the part of four cardinals, to whom the pope did not want to give a response or even grant an audience.

But here comes Fernández to sermonize that the letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires is enough and then some for those who “want to know how the pope himself interprets what he has written.”

And to those who object that a letter of that sort is too little, Fernández makes his rebuttal by dusting off a precedent concerning the interpretation of Vatican Council I, when Pius IX, in 1875, clarified a controversial point by endorsing a letter from the bishops of Germany to chancellor Bismarck.

“If the pope has received a unique charism in the Church at the service of the correct interpretation of the Word of God,” Fernández writes peremptorily, “this cannot rule out his capacity to interpret the documents that he himself has written.” It does not matter how and when he does so, the important thing is that it should be known that the “war” against him is over.

“What is left after the storm:” this is the title that the pope’s trusted theologian decided to give to the essay that he published in the latest issue of “Medellín,” the theology journal of the Latin American Episcopal Council, in the run-up to Francis’s journey to Colombia in September and to Chile and Peru next January:

> El capítulo VIII de “Amoris Laetitia”: lo que queda después de la tormenta

Since the author of the article is not only very close to Jorge Mario Bergoglio but also the de facto architect of much of “Amoris Laetitia,” to such an extent that it contains entire sections of articles of his from a decade or so ago, this statement of his was immediately interpreted as inspired by the pope himself.

Whose intention would have been to clarify once and for all – through Fernández as his chosen spokesman – two things above all.

The first is that the interpretation of the Argentine bishops is also his, and is the right one.

The second is that if Francis preferred to make way for communion for the divorced and remarried not in the body of “Amoris Laetitia” but only in skimpy footnotes, it is because he wanted to do so “in a discreet manner,” because he does not consider this the center of the document, but rather the capitals “dedicated to love.”

But the question remains: what level of authority can be attributed to an article like the one that appears in the journal “Medellín,” signed by a theologian universally considered less than mediocre? Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Halting the Tides


King Canute Pope Francis called a halt to liturgical change from Vatican II for all time:


Today, Pope Francis said, “there is still work to do in this direction, in particular rediscovering the reasons for the decisions made with the liturgical reform, overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial receptions, and practices that disfigure it.” He said that this is not a question “of rethinking the reform by reviewing its choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons [for it]… [and] of internalizing its inspirational principles and of observing the discipline that governs it.”

The Supreme Pontiff insisted, “After this magisterial, and after this long journey, we can assert with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.” Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Criticisms

The Pope’s leftist agenda is drawing fire not only within the Church but from without the Church according to Sandro Magister:

In this month of August, Pope Francis has found himself facing opposition on two of the best-known points of his preaching. And opposition in an unusual form: because the critiques have not come from inside the Church, but from outside, from authoritative voices of secular opinion; and also because he has never been explicitly named in the controversy, although it is evident that the criticisms were aimed against him as well.


The first point concerns the phenomenon of migration. In recent days, a ruling from the Italian judiciary and an appeal signed by a certain number of intellectuals of the far left have compared the reception centers for immigrants sailing from Libya for Italy to “concentration camps,” and the rejection of their indiscriminate admittance to a “mass extermination” analogous to that of the Jews on the part of the Nazis.

These comparisons are not new. Frequent recourse has been made in recent times to words like “lager,” “extermination,” “holocaust” to denounce the treatment reserved for immigrants by those who do not want to accommodate them without reservation.

But this time, in conjunction with the joint decision of the Italian government and the Libyan authorities to put the brakes on the shipments of migrants carried out until now by criminal organizations at the expense of many lives, and in conjunction with the resolute support for this decision from the president of the Italian episcopal conference, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, the aberrant association of the “non-welcome” of immigrants with the extermination of the Jews has not passed by in silence, but has generated a healthy flare-up of criticisms.

Properly speaking, none of the critics has mentioned Pope Francis by name. But he too not long ago had referred to as “concentration camps” the camps for receiving immigrants in Greece and Italy.

He did so in a homily given on April 22 at the Roman basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Tiber Island, during a ceremony commemorating the “new martyrs” of the 20th and 21st centuries.

And this sally of his reinforced even more the standard storyline on Pope Francis when it comes to immigration: as a pope of unlimited welcome for all, always and at all costs.

Because it is true that Francis, in this regard, has also occasionally said the opposite. For example, during one of his inflight press conferences, on the way back from Sweden last November 1, he praised the “prudence” of leaders who put limits on accommodation, because “there is not room for all.”

Just as it is true that Cardinal Bassetti spoke with the prearranged approval of the pope – who had himself just come from a private meeting with Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni – when last August 10 he supported the hard line of the government of Rome against “those who exploit the phenomenon of migration in an inhumane manner” by organizing crossings from Libya to Italy.

But the fact remains that these correctives have not made a dent in the image of Francis that has been built up in the media, as a champion of indiscriminate accommodation. And one may wonder if this is the work of the media alone or his as well, considering the overwhelming preponderance of his appeals for welcome full stop, compared with the paltry number of his commendations of “prudence” in governing the phenomenon of migration.


The second point of the preaching of Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio that has ended up under fire from criticism has to do with his overall political vision, hostile both to globalization, in which he sees the perverse effects prevailing, and to free market policies, which he has often branded as “economy that kills.” Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Open Borders

I answer that, Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts. For the Jews were offered three opportunities of peaceful relations with foreigners. First, when foreigners passed through their land as travelers. Secondly, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is written (Exodus 22:21): “Thou shalt not molest a stranger [advenam]”; and again (Exodus 22:9): “Thou shalt not molest a stranger [peregrino].” Thirdly, when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1). The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people. Hence it was that the Law prescribed in respect of certain nations that had close relations with the Jews (viz., the Egyptians among whom they were born and educated, and the Idumeans, the children of Esau, Jacob’s brother), that they should be admitted to the fellowship of the people after the third generation; whereas others (with whom their relations had been hostile, such as the Ammonites and Moabites) were never to be admitted to citizenship; while the Amalekites, who were yet more hostile to them, and had no fellowship of kindred with them, were to be held as foes in perpetuity: for it is written (Exodus 17:16): “The war of the Lord shall be against Amalec from generation to generation.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Question 105, Article 3





The Pope is in favor of open borders as he made very clear in this statement issued yesterday:


Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Matthew 25:35-43).  The Lord entrusts to the Church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future.[1] This solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience – from departure through journey to arrival and return.  This is a great responsibility, which the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities.

In this regard, I wish to reaffirm that “our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”.[2]

Considering the current situation, welcoming means, above all, offering broader options for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally.  This calls for a concrete commitment to increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas and for reunifying families.  At the same time, I hope that a greater number of countries will adopt private and community sponsorship programmes, and open humanitarian corridors for particularly vulnerable refugees.  Furthermore, special temporary visas should be granted to people fleeing conflicts in neighbouring countries.  Collective and arbitrary expulsions of migrants and refugees are not suitable solutions, particularly where people are returned to countries which cannot guarantee respect for human dignity and fundamental rights.[3]  Once again, I want to emphasise the importance of offering migrants and refugees adequate and dignified initial accommodation.  “More widespread programmes of welcome, already initiated in different places, seem to favour a personal encounter and allow for greater quality of service and increased guarantees of success”.[4]  The principle of the centrality of the human person, firmly stated by my beloved Predecessor, Benedict XVI,[5] obliges us to always prioritise personal safety over national security.  It is necessary, therefore, to ensure that agents in charge of border control are properly trained.  The situation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees requires that they be guaranteed personal safety and access to basic services.  For the sake of the fundamental dignity of every human person, we must strive to find alternative solutions to detention for those who enter a country without authorisation.[6]

The second verb – protecting – may be understood as a series of steps intended to defend the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status.[7]  Such protection begins in the country of origin, and consists in offering reliable and verified information before departure, and in providing safety from illegal recruitment practices.[8]  This must be ongoing, as far as possible, in the country of migration, guaranteeing them adequate consular assistance, the right to personally retain their documents of identification at all times, fair access to justice, the possibility of opening a personal bank account, and a minimum sufficient to live on.  When duly recognised and valued, the potential and skills of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are a true resource for the communities that welcome them.[9]  This is why I hope that, in countries of arrival, migrants may be offered freedom of movement, work opportunities, and access to means of communication, out of respect for their dignity.  For those who decide to return to their homeland, I want to emphasise the need to develop social and professional reintegration programmes.  The International Convention on the Rights of the Child provides a universal legal basis for the protection of underage migrants.  They must be spared any form of detention related to migratory status, and must be guaranteed regular access to primary and secondary education.  Equally, when they come of age they must be guaranteed the right to remain and to enjoy the possibility of continuing their studies.  Temporary custody or foster programmes should be provided for unaccompanied minors and minors separated from their families.[10]  The universal right to a nationality should be recognised and duly certified for all children at birth.  The statelessness which migrants and refugees sometimes fall into can easily be avoided with the adoption of “nationality legislation that is in conformity with the fundamental principles of international law”.[11]  Migratory status should not limit access to national healthcare and pension plans, nor affect the transfer of their contributions if repatriated.

Promoting essentially means a determined effort to ensure that all migrants and refugees – as well as the communities which welcome them – are empowered to achieve their potential as human beings, in all the dimensions which constitute the humanity intended by the Creator.[12]  Among these, we must recognize the true value of the religious dimension, ensuring to all foreigners in any country the freedom of religious belief and practice.   Many migrants and refugees have abilities which must be appropriately recognised and valued.  Since “work, by its nature, is meant to unite peoples”,[13] I encourage a determined effort to promote the social and professional inclusion of migrants and refugees, guaranteeing for all – including those seeking asylum – the possibility of employment, language instruction and active citizenship, together with sufficient information provided in their mother tongue.  In the case of underage migrants, their involvement in labour must be regulated to prevent exploitation and risks to their normal growth and development.  In 2006, Benedict XVI highlighted how, in the context of migration, the family is “a place and resource of the culture of life and a factor for the integration of values”.[14]  The family’s integrity must always be promoted, supporting family reunifications – including grandparents, grandchildren and siblings – independent of financial requirements.  Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities must be granted greater assistance and support.  While I recognize the praiseworthy efforts, thus far, of many countries, in terms of international cooperation and humanitarian aid, I hope that the offering of this assistance will take into account the needs (such as medical and social assistance, as well as education) of developing countries which receive a significant influx of migrants and refugees.  I also hope that local communities which are vulnerable and facing material hardship, will be included among aid beneficiaries.[15]

The final verb – integrating – concerns the opportunities for intercultural enrichment brought about by the presence of migrants and refugees.  Integration is not “an assimilation that leads migrants to suppress or to forget their own cultural identity. Rather, contact with others leads to discovering their ‘secret’, to being open to them in order to welcome their valid aspects and thus contribute to knowing each one better.  This is a lengthy process that aims to shape societies and cultures, making them more and more a reflection of the multi-faceted gifts of God to human beings”.[16]  This process can be accelerated by granting citizenship free of financial or linguistic requirements, and by offering the possibility of special legalisation to migrants who can claim a long period of residence in the country of arrival.  I reiterate the need to foster a culture of encounter in every way possible – by increasing opportunities for intercultural exchange, documenting and disseminating best practices of integration, and developing programmes to prepare local communities for integration processes.   I wish to stress the special case of people forced to abandon their country of arrival due to a humanitarian crisis.  These people must be ensured adequate assistance for repatriation and effective reintegration programmes in their home countries.

In line with her pastoral tradition, the Church is ready to commit herself to realising all the initiatives proposed above.  Yet in order to achieve the desired outcome, the contribution of political communities and civil societies is indispensable, each according to their own responsibilities. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: It’s Not Just Converts!


Friends of PopeWatch, Paul Zummo and Jay Anderson, dealt last week with the convert bashing that has become the latest line of defense by the acolytes of the current pontificate.  That some of the more ardent defenders of every jot and tittle of the current pontificate, Mark Shea that is your cue, are themselves converts, was not addressed by the convert bashers.  Of course the simple truth is that many Catholics, cradle and convert, are alarmed by Pope Francis.  Dan Hitchens at Catholic Herald points this out:

This brings me to Austen Ivereigh’s latest piece suggesting that the epicentre of current anxiety is neither priests nor the laity, neither Westerners nor Africans, but converts. Ivereigh diagnoses “convert neurosis” in a range of writers, from “elegant commentators such as Ross Douthat” all the way down to “ex-Anglicans in my own patch such as Daniel Hitchens of the Catholic Herald.” Our neurosis reveals itself in disproportionate anxiety at the state of the Church; a horror of doctrinal development beyond our favourite period of Catholic history; and a failure to trust that “the Holy Spirit guides” Pope Francis. In sum, “their baggage has distorted their hermeneutic”.

I’m wary of this kind of psychologising: it is hard, even with those we know best, to say how their psychological issues affect their opinions. And in this instance the psychoanalysis seems needless, since there are at least as many cradle Catholics who have the same worries as us converts. An obvious example is Cardinal Raymond Burke, who learnt the faith from his mother and father as a farm boy in 1950s Wisconsin. Again, there are many cradle Catholics among the theologians who have expressed concerns: for instance, Dr Joseph Shaw, the spokesman for the 45 priests and theologians. And so on.

Converts and cradle Catholics have the same worries. I’m sorry to go over this again, but it seems worthwhile, since there is a determined effort in some quarters to change the subject. The concerns are about the sacraments and about doctrine. Nothing on this earth is more beautiful and precious than the sacraments, and it is natural for Catholics to be alarmed about the abuse of them. Scarcely anything is as necessary for our happiness as sound doctrine, and it is normal for Catholics to worry that doctrine is being contradicted or confused. There have been as many saints who were relaxed about heresy as there have been saints who despised the poor.

So of course converts and cradle Catholics will be dismayed by sacramental abuses and doctrinal confusion. And it is hard not to use such terms when we read Malta’s bishops claiming that avoiding adultery may be impossible; when we hear of priests, bishops and even cardinals abandoning the Church’s practice on Communion; when papal teachings are used – without contradiction from Rome – to justify novel approaches to divorce, euthanasia and extramarital relationships. (I have chosen a few examples here out of many, which together form a pattern.)

Catholics are living through a serious – not wholly unprecedented, but serious – doctrinal crisis. We all have psychological issues; as Samuel Johnson observed, “Perhaps, if we speak with rigorous exactness, no human mind is in its right state.” But as Johnson elsewhere remarked, there is one indispensable remedy: “The mind can only repose on the stability of truth.”

A favorite tactic of the old Soviet Union was to label dissidents as insane and lock them up in insane asylums.  It surprises PopeWatch not a whit that a similar mode of looking at Catholics who dissent from FrancisChurch, is becoming popular among those who view Pope Francis as ordained by the Holy Spirit to lead us to a New Light that somehow escaped the Church for twenty centuries.



PopeWatch: Denzinger



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



The largest cross-boarder Lefeverist smuggling tunnel to date was discovered in a midnight raid earlier today by Swiss Guards.  The smugglers fled, abandoning contraband with a street value of over 3 million euros.

Smuggled goods found included pirated copies of “Teach Yourself Latin” software, DVD’s of “The Cardinal,” as well as thousands of copies of Familiaris Consortio and the Decrees of the Council of Trent.

Lead detective on the case Giovanni Verde told EOTT this morning that all of the items seized were street ready.

“From here they would have gone out and been available in the Vatican colleges and back rooms by sunrise,” noting that the tunnel terminated in a small subterranean chapel under one of the Vatican buildings.  “See how the chapel is set up ad orientem?  This is a site of a clandestine Tridentine Mass.”

Rumors have been circulating for years that undocumented Lefeverists were responsible for the countless tunnels undermining the Vatican since the early 1970’s.  According to Verde, his goal is not simply taking down the powerful Lefeverist “cartel,” but also “the numerous groups inside the Vatican supporting them.”

Verde told reporters that he has been tracking a “shadowy figure” who is considered the true leader of the cartel.

“We only know him as “Denzinger,” but he is highly respected in some circles, and his writings are quoted like the Bible. It’s not a secret in the Vatican that the recently terminated the head of the CDF, Gerhard Cardinal Muller, was an admirer of Dezinger.

“It was clear for a number of years that the Cardinal had been Denzinger’s man inside the halls of the Vatican, and now we finally have hard evidence of a conspiracy. Denzinger’s influence over the CDF and the Church will finally be broken.” Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Something to Keep in Mind


During the current Pontificate, PopeWatch has found comfort in this passage on the entry under Alexander VI at New Advent:


An impartial appreciation of the career of this extraordinary person must at once distinguish between the man and the office. “An imperfect setting”, says Dr. Pastor (op. cit., III, 475), “does not affect the intrinsic worth of the jewel, nor does the golden coin lose its value when it passes through impure hands. In so far as the priest is a public officer of a holy Church, a blameless life is expected from him, both because he is by his office the model of virtue to whom the laity look up, and because his life, when virtuous, inspires in onlookers respect for the society of which he is an ornament. But the treasures of the Church, her Divine character, her holiness, Divine revelation, the grace of God, spiritual authority, it is well known, are not dependent on the moral character of the agents and officers of the Church. The foremost of her priests cannot diminish by an iota the intrinsic value of the spiritual treasures confided to him.” There have been at all times wicked men in the ecclesiastical ranks. Our Lord foretold, as one of its severest trials, the presence in His Church not only of false brethren, but of rulers who would offend, by various forms of selfishness, both the children of the household and “those who are without”. Similarly, He compared His beloved spouse, the Church, to a threshing floor, on which fall both chaff and grain until the time of separation.


Go here to read the entire entry.


PopeWatch: Letter to the Pope








An Evangelical minister who specializes in helping Christians facing persecution writes to the Pope:


August 3, 2017

Your Holiness,

I am writing to request a meeting between Catholic and Evangelical leaders from the United States at a place and time of your choosing. Though, I’m hoping we can meet quickly.

I speak for many Evangelicals when I say that we have looked upon your appointment with great gratitude to God and with great optimism for the new spirit that you have brought to the Catholic Church. Your commitment to the poor and to pastoral ministry and your efforts to build bridges and to spread the doctrine of mercy around the world have been a light and hope to us all.

As you know more than most, all of this has also come at a time of historic Christian persecution in more places than perhaps at any time in Christian history. Together, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical Christians throughout the entire world have shared – as you’ve said – “an ecumenism of blood.”

It’s in this moment of ongoing persecution, political division and global conflict that we have also witnessed efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals. We think it would be of great benefit to sit together and to discuss these things. Then, when we disagree we can do it within the context of friendship. Though, I’m sure we will find once again that we agree far more than we disagree, and we can work together with diligence on those areas of agreement.

I have to confess what prompted this request were articles published in the La Cattolica Civilitas recently and in the New York Times.  

We feel like this conversation is an urgent one, and I will bring a half dozen or so of our denominational heads and significantly influential Evangelicals for our time together.

We would also like to use the time to meet with various other high level officials throughout the Vatican to find ways in which we can cooperate on matters of great concern to us all, especially as it relates to refugees, the poor and the persecuted.  

I might add that when God put it on my heart to write you directly, I immediately reached out to a mutual friend of ours. He has recounted to me the warm experiences that he’s had with you, and they are what prompted me to write you, knowing that you would receive this letter in kindred spirits. 

With all the respect in the world and with love for Christ’s Church and every corner of it, I’ll earnestly await your reply.


Rev. Johnnie Moore Continue Reading

PopeWatch: Bishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas



Bishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas, vice president of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference, speaks on the dire situation in Venezuela:



The representative of the bishops’ conference also addressed the Vatican-facilitated dialogue process that took place in Venezuela between the government and the opposition in 2016.

The bishop denounced the result, which, in his view, was “a feigned dialogue on the part of the government without any result.”

“Whenever this government has been at a disadvantage, it has asked to dialogue; but it is always the same script: dialogue is used to gain time and advance in the hegemonic project of totalitarianism and greater power of domination,” Bishop Azuaje stated.

“The Holy See has always been aware of what is happening in the country. Both Pope Francis and the Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, are well informed of the country’s problems. They have always been willing to mediate, and we thank them for that. But experiences teach. The failed dialogue from October to December has taught that governments like this should have something more than goodwill,” he said categorically.


He also explained that the Vatican “has reminded the government that to return to the table, they must meet what was agreed in October of last year, and recorded by Cardinal Parolin in the letter addressed to President Maduro on December 1, 2016.”

This agreement states that the government must commit to “setting an electoral calendar, the release of political prisoners, the opening of a humanitarian channel to let food and medicines enter the country, and return power to the National Assembly.”


In the bishop’s view, the real solution involves a “total change of government through general elections,” perhaps beginning with a “possible transitional national government.”

However, he noted that “we can not forget justice” because “there has been a lot of corruption and violence” and “those responsible for this can not be left uninvestigated.”

Regardless of how the political situation in Venezuela ends, however, Catholics must live and react to the crisis facing the country.

“A Catholic in the circumstances in which we live must be a permanent promoter of the common good, solidarity, and justice,” the bishop advised. “It is not a time of adornment, but of going to the essential, to what gives meaning to life.”

“We know that nothing will be easy when working for the good of the community, but Christians have a fundamental belief that the power of the Holy Spirit not only animates us, but enlightens us in walking the narrow way. It offers us challenges, but it gives us its strength, ” Bishop Azuaje said.

“I want to go to the extreme of saying that a Catholic can not bend to exclusionary policies, much less the voracious corruption that exists in the country, nor raise his hand to strike the dignity of anyone,” he added.

“A committed Catholic should demand justice and work for the people with the sole interest of developing processes that lead to greater human development,” the bishop urged. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Venezuela


Events are quickly coming to a head in Venezuela, as Father de Souza at Crux tells us:


The Holy See declared itself on Friday against the brutal regime of Nicolas Maduro, capping an extraordinary few months of masterful maneuvering by the bishops of Venezuela. They have preserved the integrity of the Church’s witness in the face of a tyrant that has starved his people and refused to permit foreign aid to help them.

The statement of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State calls on Maduro to abandon his plans to hold a “constituent assembly” to rewrite the constitution in his favour. It calls again for human rights to be respected, and refers to earlier calls for political prisoners to be released and new elections to be held – which, presumably and hopefully – would lead to the end of Maduro’s regime.

Venezuela has been plunged into a lethal crisis by a communist government that has doubled down on totalitarian measures to tighten its grip on power. The collapse of petro-communism in Venezuela is now more severe than the Great Depression in the United States, or the economic decline of Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

But it’s wrong to blame falling oil prices, which in any case have recently stabilized. There are no other petro-states in which the citizenry is without food or toilet paper, fleeing as refugees without papers because the government no longer has the capacity to print passports.

Venezuela has descended rapidly into starvation poverty because during the boom years the regime of Hugo Chavez ran up record debts to plug the holes in its failed, corrupt economic policies. Now under his successor, Nicolas Maduro, there is nothing left in the exchequer and little new borrowing to be had. The economic catastrophe has undermined the regime’s support, which is why Maduro has resorted to lethal violence, rampant thuggery and totalitarian measures to change the constitution to preserve his hold on power.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s vote for Maduro’s new constituent assembly – boycotted by the opposition – the government seized opposition leaders and continued its killing of protesters in the streets. The Venezuelan bishops stood with the opposition, and with the protesters. Indeed, one extraordinary photo shows Venezuelan priests facing armed government forces in the streets, pleading for them to allow medical care for a young man they had shot. The government forces let him die.

The country’s bishops made clear by name the cause of Venezuela’s agony, tweeting on Sunday a prayer to “free our homeland from the claws of communism and socialism.” It is not a matter of a clumsy bureaucracy, or of squabbling factions, or unfortunate economic shocks; Venezuela has been brought low by a failed ideology.

The Venezuelan Church now stands squarely in solidarity with the opposition and the people in the streets against the Maduro regime. In the weeks ahead, we might hope for something like the happy ending of the People Power revolution of 1986 in the Philippines, when the Filipino Church was at the forefront of the protests that brought down the regime of Ferdinand Marcos.

However matters play out in Venezuela, the leading bishops of the country have ensured that the Church’s witness will not be ambiguous. Even a few months ago, the role of the Church was confusing in Venezuela, with the astonishing phenomenon of Maduro repeatedly insisting that the bishops drop their opposition to him out of obedience to Pope Francis, who called repeatedly for dialogue but would not clearly criticize the Maduro regime, as he did yesterday.

Defenders of the previous papal strategy considered it an attempt to keep the lines of communication open, preserving the capacity of the Church to act as a mediator. Critics of the strategy thought it foolish to call for dialogue as between the predator and his prey, when the only path ahead for Venezuela was for Maduro and his socialist/communist regime to go. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Beanies



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


It was announced today that the Swiss Guard’s uniform will be changed to a more modern hipster look.

Pontifical Swiss Guard Commandant Daniel Anrig told Guards gathered at the annual When Do We Get To See Some Action Jamboree that the traditional “uniform” worn by the Knights will be replaced so as to be more appealing to millennials.

Instead of the well-known European Renaissance-style uniform, the average member of the Swiss Guard will be wearing a pair of skinny jeans, a beanie, and a leather jacket “no matter how hot the temperature gets in Rome,” Anrig said. Anrig did not specify whether swords would be replaced with scarfs or whether they would be replaced with pens in case “the muse strikes and gives them the inspiration to write the next Infinite Jest.”

“I have decided that the time is right for a modernization of the Swiss Guard Uniform,” Anrig said. “From now on, along with skinny jeans, beanies, and leather jackets, the preferred dress for the Guard will include v-necks or flannel shirts, vintage sneakers, bow ties, and black squared frames for glasses whether Guards wear prescription glasses or not.”

Swiss Guard David Adank told EOTT via a shrug of the shoulders this morning that, though a little bit nervous and hesitant about the change, he welcomes it with open, sarcastic arms.

“Whatever,” Adank went on to say before departing to an undisclosed coffee shop.

Another member of the Swiss Guard, Toby Caspari, told EOTT that he was worried that he would be expelled from the Guard since he struggles growing a proper mustache.

“I guess it’s the mandatory mustache that I’m most afraid of,” Caspari said. “I’ve never really been able to grow one, and all everyone’s talking about is what type of “stache wax” to use. Whatever, maybe I’ll use a fake. I trust the commandant’s judgment. I think skinny jeans really helps to show a striking, imitative image of Christ because he was kind of a hipster in his own way. He too didn’t care what people thought. But at the same time, he wanted people to notice him, but at the same time not notice him, if you know what I’m saying. You know what I’m saying? Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Sheer Incompetence



George Weigel at The Catholic Report notes that the powers that be at the Vatican are not noted for their competence:


On occasion, however, that can be a journey through the looking glass and into Wonderland.

Last month, Civilta Cattolicà featured an article co-authored by its editor-in-chief, Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, and Pastor Marcelo Figueroa, who edits the Argentine edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. The article purported to analyze a startling “ecumenism of hate” in the United States, forged by ultra-conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants, and creepy-dangerous for its indulgence in a new Manicheanism that distorts the Gospel and divides everything in the world into rigid and narrowly-defined categories of good and evil. This bizarre screed generated weeks of controversy in the blogosphere, during which Father Spadaro tweeted that the article’s critics were “haters” whose vitriol confirmed the article’s hypothesis – a Trumpian outburst ill-becoming a paladin of “dialogue.”

My friends and colleagues R.R. Reno, Robert Royal, and Fr. Raymond de Souza have ably replied to the comprehensive inanities of the Spadaro/Figueroa article: its ill-informed misrepresentation of American religious history; its surreal descriptions of 21st-century American Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism; its obsessions with marginal figures in contemporary American religious life like R.J. Rushdoony and Michael Voris; its misreading of the dynamics of religiously-informed public moral argument in American politics; and its weird description of the premises of current Vatican diplomacy, which will give comfort to the likes of Vladimir Putin, Raul Castro, and Nicolas Maduro. Those who care to sift through this intellectual dumpster can consult Dr. Reno’s article, Dr. Royal’s, and Fr. De Souza’s. The questions I’d like to raise here involve Civilta Cattolicà’s relationship to its putative overseers in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

What kind of vetting did this misbegotten article get? Were any knowledgeable experts on U.S. Catholicism or American evangelical Protestantism  consulted on what the overseers must have known would be an incendiary piece? Does the Spadaro/Figueroa article really represent the views of the Secretariat of State about today’s debates at the intersection of religion and politics in the United States? If the answer to the last is “Yes,” then what does the Secretariat of State make of the American situation as described by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christoph Pierre, in his addresses to the U.S. bishops – a description that bears no resemblance to the wasteland of madcap pseudo-theology and hatred described by Spadaro and Figueroa? If the answer is “No,” then why was the Spadaro/Figueroa article cleared for publication? Continue Reading





The Spadaro-Figueroa American Catholic conservative bashing article came out two weeks ago, go here to read about it, but suddenly today it receives coverage all over the secular press.  Is this merely an example of how slow the mainstream media generally is to cover Catholic news, or is this a ramping up of the Pope’s war, and let us be honest that is precisely the term that should be used, against American Catholic conservatives?  Go here to look at some of the stories published today.  The New York Times article is driving the coverage, and why did they suddenly decide to cover this now?  For the present, American Catholic conservatives should assume that our enemies in the Vatican are working hand in glove with our domestic enemies.


PopeWatch: Padre Pio


Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge.  Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register reminds us of just how far we have fallen:


The decision to have the notorious abortionist Emma Bonino speak about immigration in an Italian church last week drew widespread condemnation.

But it also led some to argue, including the local Caritas representative who sponsored her talk, that Bonino’s atrocious abortion record, of which she has never repented, could be set aside to focus on this other aspect of Catholic Social Teaching. 

Yet effectively sidelining the gravity of abortion in favor of bringing a radical secularist to form a common front on immigration perhaps signifies how much the West, and some in the Church, have become numb to abortion and the gravity of the sin.

St. Padre Pio, for example, believed abortion was not just the murder of an innocent human being, but also a true suicide.

In a now famous story, Father Pellegrino Funicelli, who assisted Padre Pio for many years, once confronted the saint on the sin, asking him:

“Today you denied absolution to a woman because she had voluntarily undergone an abortion. Why have you been so rigorous with this poor unfortunate?” (Padre Pio would sometimes refuse to give absolution to a penitent if they showed insufficient contrition; often they would return and he’d give absolution if they were sincere).

Padre Pio responded: “The day that people lose their horror for abortion will be the most terrible day for humanity. Abortion is not only a homicide but also a suicide. Shouldn’t we have the courage to manifest our faith before those who commit two crimes within one act?

“Suicide?,” asked Father Pellegrino.

“The suicide of the human race will be understood by those who will see the earth populated by the elderly and depopulated of children: burnt as a desert,” Padre Pio replied.

Bonino, who boasts of performing more than 10,000 abortions in 1975, vacuuming the unborn child from the womb with a bicycle pump and putting the mangled remains into a glass jar, ironically noted in her talk the population decline in Italy. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Clear Sighted Atheist



Some atheists see more clearly these days than many Catholics:



An atheist philosopher friend of Benedict XVI has strongly criticized Pope Francis, accusing the Holy Father of not preaching the Gospel but politics, fomenting schism, and issuing secularist statements aimed at destroying the West.

In a fiery interview published July 10 in Mattino di Napoli, Marcello Pera, who co-wrote the famous 2005 book Without Roots with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said he cannot understand the Pope who, he said, goes beyond the bounds of “rational comprehension.”

A philosophy professor, member of Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, and a former president of the Italian Senate, Pera said he believes the reason why the Pope calls for unlimited immigration is because he “hates the West” and is seeking to do all he can “to destroy it.”

He added that he does not like the Pope’s magisterium, saying it is “not the Gospel, only politics,” and that Francis is “little or not at all interested in Christianity as doctrine, in its theological aspect.”

“His statements appear to be based on Scripture,” he said, but “actually they are strongly secularist.”

Immigration has become a highly sensitive topic in Italy in recent months as thousands of refugees arrive every month, mostly from north Africa, placing considerable strain on local communities and services. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Triumvirate


Sandro Magister tells us of three men who are the closest to the Pope:


The classic communist parties had their “organic intellectuals.” But Pope Francis has them, too. Their names are Antonio Spadaro, Marcelo Figueroa, Víctor Manuel Fernández.

The first is an Italian and a Jesuit, director of “La Civiltà Cattolica.” The others are Argentine, and the latter is not even Catholic but a Presbyterian pastor, and in spite of this Francis has put him at the head of the Buenos Aires edition of “L’Osservatore Romano.”

Spadaro has turned “La Civiltà Cattolica” into the organ of Casa Santa Marta, meaning of the pope. And together with Figueroa he put his name to an article in the latest issue of the magazine that slammed into the United States like a hurricane, because it accused both Catholic and Protestant conservative circles of acting in that country “with a logic not different from that which inspires Islamic fundamentalism,” none less than that of Osama bin Laden and the Caliphate.

And on what are these Catholics and Protestants supposed to have come together to fight as “neo-Crusaders”? On “issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, religious education in the schools,” in other words, on “a particular form of defense of religious freedom.” With the result – according to the two authors of the article – of fomenting an “ecumenism of hatred,” nostalgia for “a state with theocratic features.” The exact opposite of the ecumenism of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a pope “of inclusion, peace, encounter.”

The trouble is that the defense of life, of the family, of religious freedom have been at the forefront of the American Catholic Church’s agenda for more than a decade. It therefore could not help but react at seeing that “believers are attacked by their co-religionists merely for fighting for what their Churches have always held to be true.”

The highest-level protest came from the archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, who rejected the article by Spadaro and Figueroa as “an exercise in dumbing down and inadequate.” But other comments have been much harsher and have had an easy time pointing out a series of colossal historical and logical blunders in the article.

Any other magazine would have tossed out such an article, the Canadian Raymond J. de Souza for example wrote on “Crux,” the most important and balanced website of Catholic information in the United States.

But at Santa Marta, on Francis’s desk, it didn’t end up that way, and on the contrary the article by Spadaro and Figueroa was passed with full marks and made an even bigger splash in that it was correctly interpreted by everyone as expressive not only of the pope’s thoughts but also of his management style: in this case, an attack of unprecedented forcefulness on the “Ratzingerian” leadership of the Catholic Church in the United States, launched through middlemen.

In the doctrinal camp Fr. Spadaro is fairly nonchalant, theorizing that “in theology 2 + 2 can make 5,” and is infallible in prognosticating Bergoglio’s revolutions big and small. But among the counselors and confidants is one who is even closer to the pope than he is. And it is none other than the Argentine Víctor Manuel Fernández, a theologian whose first and revealing work was, in 1995, a volume entitled: “Heal me with your mouth. The art of kissing.”

It comes as no surprise that after this debut and after his other no less questionable literary productions Rome would veto Fernández’s appointment as rector of the Universidad Católica Argentina, only to have to bend, in 2009, to the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires, who fought tooth and nail to get the nulla osta for the promotion of his protege.

In 2013, just after he was elected pope, Bergoglio even made Fernández an archbishop. And since then this figure has almost spent more time in Rome than in Argentina, swamped as he is with acting as counselor and ghostwriter for his friend the pope.

Whole paragraphs of chapter eight of “Amoris Laetitia,” the document of Pope Francis that has most shaken the Church, have been found to have been copied wholesale from articles by Fernández of a decade ago. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Humor?



Father Z has an interesting anecdote about the Pope:


It seems that the site Messa in latino picked up on an anecdote recounted by a French site Benoit etmoi.  Here’s my translation from the French, which seems to be the original of the anecdote.  I’m cutting out the first part, just to get at the core of the anecdote itself.   Mind you, we are dealing with something that happened recently, after this spring or early summers traditional round of diocesan ordinations to the priesthood.  However, we are also dealing with something that it second hand at best.

A group of young priests from the same diocese, who were just ordained, made a pilgrimage together to Rome. They were not traditionalists, but young priests of today, white shirt with discreet collar, [in some European countries you will see during the summer priests in a white clerical shirt with “tab” collar] classic, pious, normal, very happy with the gift of Christ they had just received. Naturally, they asked and obtained (the chance) to have dinner at Santa Marta and to be presented to the Pope, and also to concelebrate with him at Mass the next day.

They arrived at Santa Marta at the designated time, and went to the place indicated. A secretary pointed them out to the Pope who was approaching. The Pope: “Where are you from?” They, proudly: “Of the Diocese of X”.  And he, with a sour expression [avec la mine des mauvais jours]: “Ah, X, there are still many priests there. That means that there is a problem, a problem of discernment.” And he continues his journey.

The young priests, dismayed, looked at each other, conferred, and left without eating.  And the next day, they spared themselves the concelebration at Santa Marta.

Okay… what to do with this.  And, mind you, I’m doing this here because I’ve had a lot of requests.

It could be that these young men mistook the Pope’s expression.  Some people’s default face isn’t always cheerful looking.

It could be that these young men mistook the Pope’s words.  There could be a language difference.

However, since there were a few of them, they probably were not all mistaken in their interpretation and it drove them to leave and not come back.

Popes kid around with seminarians and priests.  John Paul II sure did.  Here is one of my own anecdotes with John Paul.  I’ve never told this one here before.

Since my seminary in Rome was named after JPII, we seminarians were often called to serve his Masses.  Hence, I had quite a few opportunities as a seminarian and as a deacon.  I was a deacon often enough that the Holy Father got to know me.  One day, as deacon, I brought the thurible into the small sacristy tucked away near the altar of the Pietà (they laid our our dalmatics, etc., on the altar beneath the Pietà – that wasn’t cool or anything…) for the Pope, as celebrant, to “charge”.  As I approached he said in Italian, “You again!”  As I held it up he said, “Which seminary are you from?”  Of course he knew.  He asked every time.  “The John Paul the Second International Seminary, Your Holiness.”  With clearly mock dismay, he almost bellowed, “Terribile! Terribile!”  Everyone was amused, including myself.  Then he became very grave.  Leaning in almost nose to nose, he repeatedly pounded me hard on the chest with his finger and said, punctuating every word, “Tu… deve essere serio.  You… have to be serious.”  “Serio” means “serious”, but also “focused, earnest”.

That experience was a little frightening, to be frank.  First, that was the POPE.  Also, that was Pope Wojtyla.  It is a bit cliché to speak of what it felt like when he came into a room, but I guarantee you he was like no one else I’ve seen.  Seeing him come in or meeting him briefly is one thing.  Having him pound you repeatedly on the chest nose to nose is another.

Clearly the saint was trying in an extremely personal moment to inspire a man to something more than mediocrity.  After all, my seminary had his name.  Ergo, we reflected him, in a way.  We had to live up to that.

Let’s just say that I have not forgotten that moment.

It could be that Pope Francis was trying to do something similar with these young priests, but missed the mark. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Debt



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


Total catechism student loan debt in the U.S. has officially topped $1.8 hundred dollars.

In March, the Francis administration announced a series of changes to the Free Application For Federal Catechism Aid (FAFCA), the form for prospective catechists applying for church financial aid.

This measure was taken in the hopes of making the burden of learning the fundamentals of Catholicism more manageable. EOTT has found in a recent study that cradle Catholics ages 30 to 55 owe nearly as much money on past catechism classes as do converts to Catholicism even after years of payments, and that loan payments have become a major portion of their monthly expenses, crippling many households.

Head RCIA financial aid expert Devin Bolero recently told EOTT that more than 37% of borrowers are graduating with debt that can take them days if not weeks to pay off, significantly impacting their lives.

“I found that new Catholics who graduate with catechism debt are about 17% more likely to wait an extra week to pay off their debt before getting married and having kids,” Bolero said. “It’s an issue the USCCB seriously needs to look into.”

Bolero estimates that America’s catechism student loan debt is growing at a rapid rate, rising nearly $2 every week. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Memory Lane


Father Z takes a trip down Memory Lane:


Here is something to ponder.  HERE

On this day in 2013 I posted:

Over at First Things I saw a piece called Five Myths About Pope Francis by William Doino Jr.

What are those myths?

1. “Francis is the anti-Benedict.”
2. “Francis is Not a Cultural Warrior.”
3. “Francis is a ‘Social Justice’ Pope.”
4. “Francis Will Be More Charitable Toward Dissenters.”
5. “Francis Loves the World.”

I think it would be interesting to reread the article in question and see how things are going now…. with some perspective. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Summorum Pontificum


Summorum Pontificum bye bye?


 Sources inside the Vatican suggest that Pope Francis aims to end Pope Benedict XVI’s universal permission for priests to say the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), also known as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. While the course of action would be in tune with Pope Francis’ repeatedly expressed disdain for the TLM especially among young people, there has been no open discussion of it to date.

Sources in Rome told LifeSite last week that liberal prelates inside the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith were overheard discussing a plan ascribed to the Pope to do away with Pope Benedict’s famous document that gave priests freedom to offer the ancient rite of the Mass.

Catholic traditionalists have just celebrated the tenth anniversary of the document, Summorum Pontificum. Pope Benedict XVI issued it in 2007, giving all Latin Rite priests permission to offer the TLM without seeking permission of their bishops, undoing a restriction placed on priests after the Second Vatican Council.

The motu proprio outraged liberal bishops as it stripped them of the power to forbid the TLM, as many did. Previously priests needed their bishop’s permission to offer the TLM. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: An Authoritative Churchman


Sandro Magister publishes this from a source he describes as “an authoritative Churchman”:





by ***

On July 13, 2017 Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, spoke for four hours in two conferences and a question-and-answer session at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland.

The Austrian cardinal spoke in the context of the event “Let’s Talk Family: Let’s Be Family,” which is part of a series of assemblies organized in preparation for the world meeting of families (1), under the direction of the dicastery for the laity, family, and life, which will be held in Dublin from August 21 to 28, 2018.

After reading the reporting on the event offered by the main specialized media outlets (2), I cannot help but note that when it comes to the “dubia” submitted to the pope by four cardinals, everyone is answering them except for him; and that in this way to the chaotic chorus of the most disparate comments and interpretations of “Amoris Laetitia” – which do anything but clarify for the faithful and confessors the problems raised by the document – there has been added a new voice, or better, a new fog.

This because the arguments offered by the archbishop of Vienna – at least according to how they have been reported by the most reliable media – are anything but convincing. Let’s take a look at the main ones. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Hostility


Good news:


On the heels of one controversial Vatican article alleging an “ecumenism of hate” between conservative Evangelicals and Catholics in America, another potential eyebrow-raiser emerged Saturday claiming that the “main obstacle” to implementing Pope Francis’s vision is “closure, if not hostility” from “a good part of the clergy, at levels both high and low.”

The term “high and low” suggests the author had in mind clergy ranging from senior bishops to ordinary parish priests.

“The clergy is holding the people back, who should instead be accompanied in this extraordinary moment,” said the article by Italian Father Giulio Cirignano, a native of Florence and a longtime Scripture scholar at the Theological Faculty of Central Italy.

The piece appeared in the weekend edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, under the headline of “The Conversion Asked by Pope Francis: Habit is not Fidelity.”

It comes a little over a week after the publication of an essay by Italian Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro and Argentine Protestant Marcelo Figueroa, two close friends of Pope Francis, in the Jesuit-edited journal La Civilità Cattolica. In it, Spadaro and Figueroa described what they see was a “Manichean vision” underlying growing closeness in America between Evangelicals and “Catholic Integralists.”

Cirignano’s piece didn’t focus on the United States, and appeared to be more concerned with Italian realities, though he didn’t specify which country or region he was addressing.

“The main obstacle that stands in the way of the conversion that Pope Francis wants to bring to the Church is constituted, in some measure, by the attitude of a good part of the clergy, at levels high and low … an attitude, at times, of closure if not hostility,” Cirignano wrote. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Down Argentine Way





Pope Francis is still popular in Argentina, but not quite as popular as he used to be:


More than four years since his election, although most Argentinians, Catholic and non-Catholic, still celebrate Pope Francis’ style and message as a blessing, enthusiasm has dimmed in some sectors of the population. A poll published in the mass-circulation Clarin newspaper in March last year suggested that his popularity had dipped to its lowest point, of 75 per cent. A recent poll taken in Buenos Aires and its province lifted the figure to 82 per cent. However, this was still lower than the approval ratings of well over 90 per cent that he enjoyed in the first months after his election.

The fact that a global spiritual leader is a fellow countryman was always bound to be a refreshing experience, as well as a source of genuine pride, for a country that previously counted football stars – Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi – as its most popular international exports.

Francis’ many admirers see a reassuring familiarity in the humility that characterised Jorge Bergoglio’s years as their archbishop and his devotion to the poor and those on the “peripheries”. They have warmed to his readiness to reform the Church and to open up the discussion of controversial issues. However, he also faces criticism.

Politically conservative and traditionalist Argentinian Catholics see him as too radical and as unsound in theology. Over dinner in fashionable restaurants, they whisper about his reliance on instinct and charisma, like his childhood political idols, General Juan Perón and his wife, Evita. Social media is sometimes excoriating.

More measured doubts are aired in conservative parishes or in informal conversations at which government officials or business executives are present. Occasionally, a sceptical journalist or politician gingerly advances their views in public, as did Elisa Carrio, a conservative Catholic ally of the current centre-Right government of President Mauricio Macri.

After Milagro Sala, an indigenous community activist in northern Argentina, was arrested last year on charges of fraud, extortion and illicit association, Carrio described Francis’ gift of a rosary to her as a “grave error of judgement”. As Jose Maria Poirier, editor of the Catholic magazine Criterio, commented: “The waters are rather divided. There seems to be two perceptions of the Pope Francis: an international, and a national one – and they are very different.”

Concern that Pope Francis is being unwittingly drawn into Argentina’s politics as the nation gears up for mid-term congressional elections in October recently led Jorge Lugones, Jesuit bishop of the densely populated Buenos Aires diocese of Lomas de Zamora, to lament that Francis “was so valued and loved around the world yet so questioned in his own country”. Continue Reading

PopeWatch: Let God Sort ‘Em Out


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


VATICAN––The Vatican this morning is announcing that every pope that has ever lived, including ones still living, is to be canonized by the end of the year, sources are confirming.

The news comes just a week after John XXIII and John Paul II were canonized, and a day after it was announced that Paul VI was to be beatified later this year.

A Vatican insider told EOTT today that Pope Francis awoke earlier this morning shouting, “Canonize them all! Canonize them all!”

“He woke up in hysterics, telling everyone he passed that he wanted to canonize all the popes who came before him,” the insider said. “He said that by knocking out all the popes at once, that it would give him time to focus all his energy on the Church Militant.”

Speaking from his grave this morning, Pope Alexander VI, known by many historians to be the worst pope of all time, said that he couldn’t believe the news when he heard it. “Get the hell out of here! Oops, sorry about that. But seriously?”

Although the date of the canonizations has yet to be announced, Vatican officials said that since the requirement for miracles had been waived, they hope to canonize everyone by November. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Dictatorship of the Zeitgeist


There has been a lot written about the message sent by the Pope Emeritus in regard to the funeral of Cardinal Meissner.  Archbishop Georg Gänswein, former personal secretary of the Pope Emeritus, has denied that the statement was in way aimed at Pope Francis.  Here is a translation of the entire statement.  You be the judge:


In this hour, when the Church of Cologne and believers further afield take their leave of Cardinal Joachim Meissner, I am with them in my heart and thoughts and am pleased to accede to Cardinal Woelki’s wish and address a word of reflection to them.

When I heard last Wednesday by telephone of the death of Cardinal Meissner, I could not believe it at first. We had spoken to each other the previous day. From the way he spoke he was grateful to be on holiday now, after he had taken part the Sunday before (25th June) in the beatification of Bishop Teofilius Maturlionis in Vilnius. His love for the neighbouring Churches in the East, which had suffered persecution under Communism, as well as gratitude for endurance in suffering during that time left a lifelong mark on him. So it was certainly no accident that the last visit of his life was made to a confessor of the faith.

What struck me particularly in the last conversations with the Cardinal, now gone home, was the natural cheerfulness, the inner peace and the assurance he had found. We know that it was hard for him, the passionate shepherd and pastor of souls, to leave his office, and this precisely at a time when the Church had a pressing need for shepherds who would oppose the dictatorship of the zeitgeist, fully resolved to act and think from a faith standpoint. Yet I have been all the more impressed that in this last period of his life he learned to let go, and live increasingly from the conviction that the Lord does not leave his Church, even if at times the ship is almost filled to the point of shipwreck.

There were two things which in this final period allowed him to be increasingly happy and assured:

– The first was that he often related to me that what filled him with deep joy was to experience, in the Sacrament of Penance, how young people, above all young men, came to experience the mercy of forgiveness, the gift, in effect to have found life, which only God can give them.

– The second, which again and again touched and made him happy, was the perceptible increase in Eucharistic adoration. This was the central theme for him at World Youth Day in Cologne – that there was adoration, a silence, in which the Lord alone speaks to hearts. Some pastoral and liturgical authorities were of the opinion that such a silence in contemplation of the Lord with such a huge number of people could achieve nothing. A few were also of the opinion that Eucharistic adoration as such has been overtaken, because the Lord wanted to be received in the Eucharistic bread and not be looked at. Yet the fact that a person cannot eat this bread as just some sort of nourishment, and that to “receive” the Lord in the Eucharistic Sacrament includes all the dimensions of our existence – that receiving has to be worship, something which has in the meantime become increasingly clearer. So the period of Eucharistic adoration at the Cologne World Youth Day became an interior event that has remained unforgettable, and not only to the Cardinal. This moment for him was subsequently always present internally and a great light for him.

When on the last morning Cardinal Meissner did not appear for Mass, he was found dead in his room. The breviary had slipped from his hands: he died while praying, his face on the Lord, in conversation with the Lord. The art of dying, which was given to him, again demonstrated how he had lived: with his face towards the Lord and in conversation with him. So we may confidently entrust his soul to the goodness of God.

Lord, we thank you for the witness of this your servant, Joachim. Let him now intercede for the Church of Cologne and for the whole world.

Requiescat in pace!


PopeWatch: Sorondo

“Yesterday I asked him whether Our Lord had more than one nature. He said: ‘Just as many as you say, Father.’ Then again I asked him: ‘Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said ‘It’s going to rain’, would that be bound to happen?’ ‘Oh, yes, Father.’ ‘But supposing it didn’t?’ He thought a moment and said, “I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.’”

Rex Mottram on Papal Infallibilty




Well, according to the head of the Pontifical Academy of Science there is no human activity that is not subject to the Pope:



– The head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences has again inferred that denial of the controversial concept of manmade climate change equates to flat earth mentality.

“From the scientific point of view, the sentence that the earth is warmed by human activity is as true as the sentence: The earth is round!” said Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo.

The archbishop has been a consistent and zealous promoter of manmade climate change as a non-negotiable Church issue, despite the status of care for the environment as a prudential matter.  

Climate change ideology continues to be contested as a ploy perpetrated with manipulated data by the left to enact environmental regulations and taxes.

Even so, Archbishop Sorondo dismissed deniers of climate change in a recent Vatican Radio interview as “a small, negligible minority.”

The interview conducted in German contained the headline: “Vatican: ‘Climate change is a fact,’” and centered on reception of Pope Francis’ eco-encyclical Laudato Si’ two years after its release.

Archbishop Sorondo went on in the interview to say that human-affected climate change was considered science. He added that the pope not only has the right but also the duty to rely on science in addition to doctrine and philosophy in seeking out truth.

If the pope expresses himself on such a subject, then this was not arbitrary, he said, as the pope’s words are not restricted to the area of ​​”doctrine of faith and morals.” 

The pope makes use of the truths of science or philosophy to not only explain to man how to get to heaven, said the archbishop, but also what he must do on earth. 

All human activities have to do with ethics, the Argentinean archbishop said, so they are already within the jurisdiction of the pope.

Archbishop Sorondo is a close adviser to Pope Francis and the Chancellor of both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. He has repeatedly welcomed pro-abortion and population control advocates to the Vatican for conferences under the pretext of the climate issue.

Last month, just before President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would pull out of the controversial Paris Climate Agreement, the archbishop likened climate ideology skeptics to flat-earthers as well.

Withdrawal from the Paris accord “would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific,” he said.

“Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round,” Archbishop Sorondo stated. “It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.”

He has also repeatedly made the claim that those who don’t subscribe to the manmade climate change theory are in some way subsidized by the oil industry. He did so again in the Vatican Radio interview. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Dan Brown


Carl Olsen at The Catholic World Report gives his look at the Spadaro and Figueroa diatribe which appeared in La Civilta Cattolica :


My good friend Sandra Miesel, with whom I co-authored The Da Vinci Hoax years ago, was fond of starting out her talks about the mega-selling novel The Da Vinci Code by saying: “Dan Brown does get some things right: London is in England, Paris is in France, and Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian painter.” That quote came to mind over the weekend, while I was Facebooking with Dr. Chad C. Pecknold, who teaches systematic theology at Catholic University of America, about the recent essay “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A Surprising Ecumenism” by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., and Marcelo Figueroa. Spadaro, who is editor of La Civiltà Cattolica (which published the piece) and is a close confidant and advisor to Pope Francis; Figueroa is “a Protestant and a close friend of Pope Francis” and editor of the Argentinian edition of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Dr. Pecknold flatly stated that the two authors “have written an incendiary diatribe against an almost Dan-Brown-level caricature of the kind of politics they disdain.” And he is, I think, quite correct in that assessment. Recall how Brown’s novel was not and is not famous because of great writing or fascinating, current-day characters but because of audacious claims, clumsy but appealing conspiracy theories, and a veneer of sophistication. (For much more on that, see my March 2005 article “The ‘It’s Just Fiction” Doctrine’”.) Spadaro/Figueroa’s essay isn’t fiction, of course—which only makes its errors, dubious claims, hyperbolic criticisms, and hypocritical double standards all the more appalling. While several other authors—including Dr. Samuel Gregg here at CWR—have written some excellent responses, I want to highlight a few points I think are notable and worthy of consideration.

Spadaro/Figueroa’s essay seeks to impress with an air of learnedness, but sloppiness undermines it from the start. For example:

The term “evangelical fundamentalist” can today be assimilated to the “evangelical right” or “theoconservatism” and has its origins in the years 1910-1915. In that period a South Californian millionaire, Lyman Stewart, published the 12-volume work The Fundamentals. The author wanted to respond to the threat of modernist ideas of the time. He summarized the thought of authors whose doctrinal support he appreciated. He exemplified the moral, social, collective and individual aspects of the evangelical faith. His admirers include many politicians and even two recent presidents: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

No, Stewart did not “summarize” the thoughts of authors; he didn’t even edit the 12-volume sets of books. They were edited by A. C. Dixon and Reuben Archer Torrey, and consisted of 90 essays written by 64 authors from across a fairly wide spectrum of Protestantism—Calvinist, Methodist, Baptist, Anglican, etc.— including scholars who taught at Ivy League schools. The term “fundamentalist” was coined a few years later, and the break between what we now call “Fundamentalism” and “Evangelicalism” was both protracted and complicated, eluding broad strokes or simple explanations. What is important here, however, is that the “fundamentals” in question consisted of the following: the inerrancy of Scripture, the Virgin birth of Christ, substitutional atonement, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the authenticity of miracles, and the second coming of Christ. There were also essays against Catholicism, socialism, Mormonism, evolutionism, and other belief systems.

The essays marked a significant line in the cultural and religious sands of the time, which were characterized by a combination of progressive politics, technocratic aspiration, bureaucratic growth, eugenics, racism (not only against blacks, but also Catholic immigrants), the social gospel, forms of Darwinism, and, in the realm of theology, the flood of historical-critical methodologies (mostly coming from Germany). It’s important to note that most of the radical politics and racial eugenics of that time flowed from liberal Protestants or former Protestants; put another way, the “social gospel” of the time reflected a use of religion for a very “this world” type of political project. All this to say that Spadaro/Figueroa don’t seem to understand that politics in the U.S. have always, in many and often bewildering ways, been shot through with forms of Christian rhetoric and appeal, and that seeking to isolate any one form and make it the Rosetta Stone for understanding American politics is doomed to be simplistic and sophistic. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: A Telling Incident


PopeWatch finds this incident from 2013 absolutely chilling:


The first step of Müller’s Calvary was a disconcerting episode in the middle of 2013. The cardinal was celebrating Mass in the church attached to the congregation palace, for a group of German students and scholars. His secretary joined him at the altar: “The pope wants to speak to you.” “Did you tell him I am celebrating Mass?” asked Müller. “Yes,” said the secretary, “but he says he does not mind—he wants to talk to you all the same.” The cardinal went to the sacristy. The pope, in a very bad mood, gave him some orders and a dossier concerning one of his friends, a cardinal. (This is a very delicate matter. I have sought an explanation of this incident from the official channels. Until the explanation comes, if it ever comes, I cannot give further details.) Obviously, Mūller was flabbergasted. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Pope Emeritus


It appears that the Pope Emeritus has sent out a commentary regarding the disastrous course of his successor:


Given his inability to travel, the usually silent retired Pope delivered the message in writing, and had it read aloud in the Cologne Cathedral by his personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who also serves as Prefect of the Papal Household for Pope Francis.

In the text, Benedict said that Cardinal Meisner “found it difficult to leave his post, especially at a time in which the Church stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination.”

What moved me all the more, Benedict said, was that, “in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”

Notably, Cardinal Meisner was one of the four cardinals who presented a series of questions, or “dubia,” to Pope Francis last September, asking him to clarify five serious doctrinal doubts proceeding from his 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) concerning Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, the indissolubility of marriage, and the proper role of conscience.

The other three prelates who submitted the questions to the Pope were Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; Carlo Caffarra, archbishop emeritus of Bologna; and Walter Brandmüller, president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.

When Pope Francis failed to respond to the dubia, the four cardinals published their questions publicly last November. Continue Reading


The Pope Hates US



Lots of reaction to that anti-American article in La Civilta Cattolica article.  Go here to read about it.  First, from Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture:


With a harsh denunciation of American conservatism, published in the semi-official Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica, the Vatican has plunged headlong into a partisan debate in a society that it clearly does not understand, potentially alienating (or should I say, further alienating) the Americans most inclined to favor the influence of the Church.


Why? Why this bitter attack on the natural allies of traditional Catholic teachings? Is it because the most influential figures at the Vatican today actually want to move away from those traditional teachings, and form a new alliance with modernity?

The authors of the essay claim to embrace ecumenism, but they have nothing but disdain for the coalition formed by Catholics and Evangelical Protestants in the United States. They scold American conservatives for seeing world events as a struggle of good against evil, yet they clearly convey the impression that they see American conservativism as an evil influence that must be defeated.

While they are quick to pronounce judgment on American politicians, the two authors betray an appalling ignorance of the American scene. The authors toss Presidents Nixon (a Quaker), Reagan, Bush, and Trump into the same religious classification, suggesting that they were all motivated by “fundamentalist” principles. An ordinary American, reading this account, would be surprised to see the authors’ preoccupation with the late Rev. Rousas Rushdoony and the Church Militant web site: hardly major figures in the formation of American public opinion. The essay is written from the perspective of people who draw their information about America from left-wing journals rather than from practical experience.

Go here to read the rest.   Samuel Gregg at Catholic World Report gives his opinion on the piece:

This brings me to a very odd article that recently appeared in La Civiltà Cattolica: the Italian Jesuit periodical published twice a month and which enjoys a quasi-official status inasmuch as the Vatican’s Secretariat of State exercises oversight over the articles it publishes. Entitled “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A Surprising Ecumenism,” its authors Father Antonio Spadaro SJ (Civiltà Cattolica’s Editor-in-chief) and Rev. Marcelo Figueroa (a Presbyterian pastor who is Editor-in-chief of L’Osservatore Romano’s Argentinean edition), make various assertions about specific political and religious trends in the United States: claims which are, at best, tenuous and certainly badly informed.

Consider, for instance, the authors’ analogy between the theological outlook of particular strands of American Evangelicalism and ISIS. As far as I am aware, American self-described fundamentalists are not destroying 2000 year-old architectural treasures, decapitating Muslims, crucifying Middle Eastern Christians, promoting vile anti-Semitic literature, or slaughtering octogenarian French priests. Another questionable contention made in the article is that the Holy Roman Empire was constituted as an effort to realize the Kingdom of God on earth. This particular analysis will come as news to serious historians of that complicated political entity which became, as the saying goes, neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire.

Various links are also made between climate change skepticism, the faith of white southern Christians (comments which, if applied to other racial groups, would be denounced by some as verging on bigotry), and apocalyptic thinking among some American Evangelicals. Taken together, it is claimed, these things reflect and help fuel a Manichean view of the world on the United States’ part. Then there is the article’s peculiar association of the heresy of the Prosperity Gospel with recent efforts to protect religious liberty in America.

No doubt, Evangelical scholars and others will highlight the many problems characterizing the article’s grasp of the history of Evangelical Christianity and fundamentalism in America. One agnostic friend of mine who happens to be a leading historian of American Evangelicalism at a prestigious secular university described the article’s take on this subject to me as “laughably ignorant.” I also suspect Rev. Figueroa and Father Spadaro are oblivious, for instance, to many Evangelicals’ embrace of natural law thinking in recent decades: something that, by definition, immunizes any serious Christian from fideist tendencies. But two particular claims made by the authors require a more detailed response.

Go here to read the rest.  Next, Father Z:


By now you may have seen the attack on Americans – conservative Americans and traditional Catholic Americans – in what some people consider a semi-official publication of the Holy See Civiltà Cattolica (now aka Inciviltà cattolica).  The title in English: “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism”

“Integralism” is perhaps not used as much in these USA as it is in Europe.  This term is a dog whistle.  In somewhat broad terms, it can be used generically for the position that one’s religious beliefs should dictate their politics and social involvement.  However, “integralism” developed in a specific context of conflict between Catholicism and modernity in Europe.  In France and Italy, the haters of Catholic tradition often refer to anyone who wants traditional worship as being “intégriste”.  It is flung like an insult.  For a quick and fascinating lesson on “integralism”, and what Spadaro is calling conservative Americans, head over to the Wikipedia article.  HERE Wiki is perfect as a source, but it gives you a rapid entry point.

The Holy See’s newspaper, the increasingly irrelevant L’Osservatore Romano, reprinted the anti-American attack with the title: “Ecumenism of Hate”

Again, this term “integralism” is a dog whistle: the troops are being called up to launch their own campaign of intolerant repression of anyone who might stand in the way of their agenda.

The vicious attack piece is penned by Fr Antonio Spadaro, the Jesuit editor of Inciviltà cattolica.  Fr. Spadaro is so interested in the life and works of Pier Vittorio Tondelli that he created his own website about him (HERE).

The co-author of the article, with the Jesuit who is dedicated to the study of Tondelli, is Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian pastor, who is the editor of the Argentinian edition of L’Osservatore Romano.  He once had a TV show in Argentina with the future-Pope Francis and a rabbi. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Deadbeat


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


The mother of local deadbeat Anthony Green confirmed to friends and family today that the sweet, pretty girl that sits behind her at Mass on Sundays would be “just perfect” for her son.

Tamara Green, mother of four, excitedly told those gathered at their weekly bingo night that the “adorable thing” is just what her son needed to get his life on track.

“When I first saw her, I definitely thought she could be the one I’ve been praying for to whip him into shape,” Tamara Green said as she mumbled a quick prayer to St. Raphael. “He’s been out sowing his wild oats—such a typical boy—but I’d like it if he would settle down and raise a nice little Catholic family. When I spotted her volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul Village on Tuesday, I just knew she was his match made in heaven. My son never volunteers, so she’d be a great influence on him. I just have to devise a creative little meetup since I know I would never be able to get him to go to Mass and see for himself.”

Tamara Green also said that she was hopeful that God was calling the “precious little angel” to work tirelessly for the rest of her life tending to Anthony, and in doing so, giving up her dreams of possibly becoming a nun or marrying an honest and respectable man of God.

“The thing is, God calls all of us to carry our cross, and I truly believe that Anthony is the cross this girl might need. He’ll give her the opportunity to strengthen her patience, just as she’ll sanctify him by getting him to stop playing video games, to get a job, start attending Mass, and getting him to stop leaving crumbs all over his bedroom.”

At press time, family and friends are concerned for the well-being of the girl in question, and are quietly saying a prayer to St. Raphael to not let Tamara Green’s prayers be answered.

Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Bizarre


Two of the Pope’s allies, Antonio Spadaro S.J., Editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica and Marcelo Figueroa, Presbyterian pastor, Editor-in-chief of the Argentinean edition of L’Osservatore Romano, have launched a bizarre, spittle-flecked attack in the Vatican organ  La Civiltà Cattolica  on everyone to the right of Barack Obama in the United States:


Appealing to the values of fundamentalism, a strange form of surprising ecumenism is developing between Evangelical fundamentalists and Catholic Integralists brought together by the same desire for religious influence in the political sphere.

Some who profess themselves to be Catholic express themselves in ways that until recently were unknown in their tradition and using tones much closer to Evangelicals. They are defined as value voters as far as attracting electoral mass support is concerned. There is a well-defined world of ecumenical convergence between sectors that are paradoxically competitors when it comes to confessional belonging. This meeting over shared objectives happens around such themes as abortion, same-sex marriage, religious education in schools and other matters generally considered moral or tied to values. Both Evangelical and Catholic Integralists condemn traditional ecumenism and yet promote an ecumenism of conflict that unites them in the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state.

However, the most dangerous prospect for this strange ecumenism is attributable to its xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations. The word “ecumenism” transforms into a paradox, into an “ecumenism of hate.” Intolerance is a celestial mark of purism. Reductionism is the exegetical methodology. Ultra-literalism is its hermeneutical key.

Clearly there is an enormous difference between these concepts and the ecumenism employed by Pope Francis with various Christian bodies and other religious confessions. His is an ecumenism that moves under the urge of inclusion, peace, encounter and bridges. This presence of opposing ecumenisms – and their contrasting perceptions of the faith and visions of the world where religions have irreconcilable roles – is perhaps the least known and most dramatic aspect of the spread of Integralist fundamentalism. Here we can understand why the pontiff is so committed to working against “walls” and any kind of “war of religion.” Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Melinda Gates


Melinda Gates and her husband Bill Gates are rabidly pro-contraception.  Melinda Gates, raised as a Catholic, believes that Pope Francis will change the teaching of the Church on contraception.  With this Pope nothing would surprise PopeWatch.  What is interesting in regard to Gates is the attitude of the Order of nuns who taught her as a child:

However, what interests me here about Mrs Gates’s campaign, launched at a recent conference in Berlin, is that she appears to be supported by the nuns of the Ursuline Academy of Dallas where she received her education. It seems the nuns contacted her after her conference speech by a phone call to her hotel room to say: “We’re all for you. We know this is a difficult issue to speak on, but we absolutely believe that you’re living under Catholic values.” Mrs Gates found this support “just so heartening”.

A formal statement was then issued by the president of the Ursuline Academy, Sister Margaret Ann Moser, which said that the nuns “are proud of Melinda French Gates, her dedication to social justice, her compassion for the undeserved and the great work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.” The president added that “Melinda Gates leads from her conscience and acts on her beliefs as a concerned citizen of our world”. She emphasised that “the mission of the Ursuline Academy of Dallas is to educate young women for such leadership.”

Sister Moser also said that the Ursuline order is committed “to the social and doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church”. While recognising that “Melinda’s beliefs on birth control are different from those of the Catholic Church”, the Sisters “respect her right to speak from her research and experience of the world we live in”. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: No Greater Love


Pope Francis has decreed a new path to sainthood:


The Letter creates a new category – a facti species in technical language – called, oblatio vitae, and distinguishes it from the facti species of martyrdom, by five (5) criteria:

a) The free and voluntary offering of one’s life, and heroic acceptance propter caritatem of a certain and soon-to-come death;

b) A nexus – i.e. close relation – between the offering of one’s life and the premature death of the one who offers it;

c) The exercise, at least in ordinary degree, of the Christian virtues before the subject’s offering of his or her life and, afterward, perseverance in those virtues unto death;

d) The existence of fama sanctitatis – i.e. the reputation for holiness – on the part of the subject, and of signs [in confirmation thereof], at least after death;

e) The necessity, for beatification, of a miracle, one that occurred after the death of the Servant of God, and by said Servant’s intercession.

The oblatio vitae of the Servant of God, in order that it be valid and efficacious for beatification, must respond to all of the aforementioned criteria. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: A Mother’s Thanks



Deliver them that are led to death: and those that are drawn to death forbear not to deliver.

Proverbs 24: 11





The parents of Charlie Gard thanked U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis for supporting their legal battle to keep their 11-month-old son alive.

The European Court of Human Rights effectively handed Gard a death sentence June 27, when it ruled the terminally-ill baby should be pulled off life-support. Gard’s parents want to take their son to the U.S. for experimental treatment of his rare genetic disorder, but the courts have repeatedly denied such a request.

Trump and Pope Francis have both spoken out in support of the parents. Connie Yates, Gard’s mother, told BBC Monday that their words “turned it into an international issue.” Yates added that their support has been the “single biggest factor” in ensuring Gard remains on life-support. (RELATED: Media Downplays Trump Tweet Offering To Help Terminally-Ill Baby)

The parents of Charlie Gard thanked U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis for supporting their legal battle to keep their 11-month-old son alive.

The European Court of Human Rights effectively handed Gard a death sentence June 27, when it ruled the terminally-ill baby should be pulled off life-support. Gard’s parents want to take their son to the U.S. for experimental treatment of his rare genetic disorder, but the courts have repeatedly denied such a request.

Trump and Pope Francis have both spoken out in support of the parents. Connie Yates, Gard’s mother, told BBC Monday that their words “turned it into an international issue.” Yates added that their support has been the “single biggest factor” in ensuring Gard remains on life-support. (RELATED: Media Downplays Trump Tweet Offering To Help Terminally-Ill Baby)


Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Muller


Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge.  Cardinal Muller is not going quietly into retirement:


Cardinal Gerhard Müller has sharply criticized Pope Francis for the “unacceptable” way in which the pontiff recently dismissed him as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF).

“On the very last day of my mandate as CDF prefect, the pope informed me within one minute of his decision not to prolong me. He did not give a reason – just as he gave no reason for dismissing three highly competent members of the CDF a few months earlier,” the 69-year-old cardinal told the Bavarian daily Passauer Neue Presse.

“I cannot accept this way of doing things. As a bishop, one cannot treat people in this way,” he said in the interview, which was published on July 6th.

“I have said this before – the Church’s social teaching must also be applied to the way employees are treated here in the Vatican,” he added.

Pope Francis told Cardinal Müller in a private meeting at the Vatican on June 30th that his mandate as doctrinal chief would not be renewed. The five-year term officially came to an end on July 2nd.

Müller told the Passauer Neue Presse that the recently deceased Cardinal Joachim Meisner, one of the four cardinals to publicly challenge the pope on issues concerning marriage and divorce, was “particularly upset” to hear of Francis’ decision.

The former CDF prefect said he spoke to the 83-year-old Meisner about his dismissal in a long telephone conversation on the evening of July 4th.

“It moved and hurt him personally. He thought it would harm the Church,” said Müller.

“That naturally speaks for me – but it’s a fact – that was the way he expressed it,” he added

The two cardinals spoke at 8:30 pm and Meisner died unexpectedly in his sleep later that night. Müller learned of the death early next morning from the parish priest in the town Bad Füssing, the Bavarian thermal spa resort where Meisner was on holiday.

Cardinal Müller said during their phone call Meisner had expressed deep concern over the current situation of the Church, particularly “about the quarreling, disputes and discussions which were standing in the way of church unity and the truth”. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Box Office



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


It’s been three years since Benedict’s colossal battle with the Roman Curia devastated Vatican City. The loss of spiritual life and collateral damage left many Catholics feeling angry and helpless about the Church hierarchy, including corruption-fighting Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. Convinced that members of the hierarchy surrounding Benedict is now a threat to Holy Mother Church, Bergoglio embarks on a personal vendetta to end their reign at the Vatican, while the conniving Walter Kasper launches his own crusade against ‘God’s Rottweiler’.

Benedict v Francis: Dawn of Mercy is out and reviews for the latest movie from DC/Vatican Cinematic Universe are not impressive.

Although the film, which currently has only a 29 percent rating on Catholic movie review site Decent Films, has been universally panned by critics, it’s opening weekend brought in an estimated $70.1 dollars in the Vatican alone.

The superpapal showdown, which cost nearly $1,000 dollars to make, is DC/Vatican Cinematic Universe studio’s bid to kick-start a Catholic movie universe to rival the protestant’s massively successful movie empire that has produced multi-hundred dollar cash cows, God Is Not Dead, God Is Not Dead 2, and the upcoming film, God is Still Not Dead.

But although critics have panned the movie, audiences have given the film a 65 percent rating, which suggests that many moviegoers don’t necessarily agree with critics.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” one viewer told EOTT after seeing the movie. “I mean, some weird choices, that’s for sure, like how Benedict and Francis stop fighting once they find out they both love Jesus. Francis has Benedict on the ground, you know, cause Benedict’s old, and before he delivers the final blow, Benedict calls out to Jesus for mercy, and Francis is all like, ‘WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME! WHY DID YOU SAY JESUS!’ and they realize they both love Jesus and stop fighting.”

Another viewer told EOTT that the movie was decent until the tension really began to pick up toward the latter half of the film.

“Yeah, that’s when it started getting pretty interesting. The bad guy Walter Kasper unleashes this monster he calls Synod, and both Benedict and Francis have to fight together to defeat it.

Benedict v Francis is the fourth biggest opening for a comic book adaptation, behind three protestant films, The Reformers, Ex-Catholic-Men, and The Dark Night of the Soul Rises. Continue Reading


Pope and President on Charlie Gard


Pope Francis and President Trump are gearing up to help Charlie Gard:


And now, the Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesu, also colloquially dubbed the “Pope’s Hospital,” has offered to take in the terminally-ill 10-month-old boy.

The president of the hospital, Mariella Enoc, told CNN she had asked doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital “to verify whether the health conditions exist to possibly transfer Charlie to our hospital.”

Charlie has been at the centre of a lengthy legal battle involving his parents, who want to take him to the US for experimental therapy, and doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

A family spokesman said: “The White House has been in talks with Charlie’s family, GOSH, the UK Government, the Department of Health and the American doctor who wants to treat Charlie.

“President Trump has a very good understanding of the whole case and he did not make an off-the-cuff tweet.”


Go here to read the rest.  This is so heartening.  Rumors are that the Pope wants to issue Vatican passports to Charlie and his parents and the Trump administration is making plain to the UK government that the US wants Charlie to receive the treatment that his parents wish him to make.  Go Pope!  Go President!


PopeWatch: Lavender Mafia


The Lavender Mafia are in a mood for celebration at the Vatican, based upon this story that broke in papers around the globe yesterday:



Vatican police raided a drug-fueled gay sex party at a top priest’s apartment near the city, according to an Italian newspaper report.

The apartment’s occupant, who was not named by police, serves as a secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, a personal adviser to Pope Francis.

The apartment belongs to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith — the branch that reviews appeals from clergy found guilty of sexual abuse of minors, according to Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, which first published the explosive report.

Police raided the apartment in June after neighbors complained of unusual behavior among frequent nighttime visitors.

Police arrested the priest and hospitalized him to detox him from the drugs he had ingested, according to the newspaper.

He was taken in for questioning, presumably on drugs charges, as gay sex is legal in Vatican City.

He’s currently in retreat at a convent in Italy, according to the report.


Coccopalmerio’s aide was reportedly under consideration for promotion to bishop. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Exit Cardinal Muller


The Jesuit takeover of the Catholic Church continues as Claire Chretien of Lifesite News advises us:


July 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – “A number of cardinals” asked Pope Francis to fire Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the head of the Vatican’s doctrine office, “because he had on several occasions publicly disagreed with or distanced himself from the pope’s positions,” particularly as related to the exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

This information comes from America, a Jesuit magazine. As a magazine run by the Pope’s own religious order, America has enjoyed special access since Francis’ election in 2013. They published a famous interview with Pope Francis in 2013, and have since grown significantly.

The cardinals seem to have gotten their wish, because on June 30, it was announced that 69-year-old Müller would be removed from his job on July 2, the end of his five-year term as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

On July 1, Pope Francis named a 73-year-old Jesuit, Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, to head the CDF. Ladaria Ferrer was previously Secretary of the CDF. He is also heading the pope’s commission on women deacons. 

Müller spoke to German media about his dismissal. 

“It doesn’t bother me,” Müller told Allgemeine Zeitung as translated by Rorate Caeli. “Everyone has to retire at some point.”

Müller confirmed that he disagreed with Pope Francis for firing three priests from the CDF.  

“There were competent people,” he said. This comment is consistent with a more vague one that Müller made in a May 2017 interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo.  

In May, Müller told Arroyo, “I am in favor of a better treatment of our officials in the Holy See because we cannot only speak about the social doctrine and we must also respect it.”

Müller denied to Allgemeine Zeitung that he and Pope Francis had “differences” and disagreements over the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. During his time as head of the CDF, Müller maintained that Amoris Laetitia must be interpreted through the lens of previous doctrine and therefore can’t be used to change Church practice and thus undermine its teaching.

Müller said the four dubia cardinals asking Pope Francis for clarity on whether Amoris Laetitia is aligned with Catholic morality raised “legitimate questions.” He also criticized them and maintained that Amoris Laetitia was consistent with the Catholic faith so therefore no “fraternal correction” of Pope Francis would be necessary.

Nevertheless, he has been a voice for Catholic orthodoxy as bishops’ conferences and high-ranking Vatican cardinals have called for the divorced and “remarried” to be admitted to Holy Communion contrary to Catholic teaching on adultery, the sacraments, scandal, and sacrilege.

The appointment of Ladaria Ferrer is “destined to have far-reaching consequences, not the least of which is to ensure that the C.D.F. and its prefect are rowing with and not against the pope on key issues, including the interpretation of ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ synodality and cooperation with the commission for the protection of minors,” America offered in its analysis

“Ladaria Ferrer, though a competent theologian, is a low-key appointment who is never going to rock the boat, or cause any embarrassment to the Pope,” observed Father Alexander Lucie-Smith at the UK Catholic Herald. “His appointment means the virtual neutralisation for the foreseeable future of the CDF as a possible hotbed of opposition” to the pope’s agenda. Continue Reading


Pope-President Alliance on Charlie Gard


If we can help little , as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.

After a statement by what was formerly the Pontifical Academy for Life, go here to read it, which basically defended the sentencing to death of the infant by the European courts, Pope Francis apparently, to his great credit, personally intervened:

Pope Francis has backed Charlie Gard’s parents’ desire to “accompany and care” for their sick baby boy “to the end”, saying he hopes their wishes will not be ignored.

The pope weighed in on the situation as Charlie’s parents spend their last days with him after being given more time before his life support is turned off.

The 10-month-old, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, has been at the centre of a lengthy legal battle that has made headlines around the world.

A statement issued by the Vatican today on Pope Francis’ behalf was in stark contrast to a controversial one issued just days ago by his Pontifical Academy for Life.

Continue Reading


PopeWatch: UberMass



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


Uber has announced plans to begin offering Mass deliveries beginning early next year.

Attempting to expand beyond the borders of ridesharing and food delivery, Uber will launch its UberMass service in Grand Rapids, Michigan before expanding to other cities later in the year.

According to listings on a number of job recruiting websites, UberMass is advertising for a number of “priest jobs” not only ranging from saying Mass, but to hearing confessions and giving last rites, showing that the company is serious about reaching everyone “where they’re at.”

“There’s a lot of momentum in the organization behind UberMass, and we think the market is ripe for Mass delivery,” said UberMass general manager Simon Patel at a launch event in New York on Wednesday. “As numbers has proven, Mass attendance have been plummeting for some time now. We think that can be fixed. Catholics will simply go to the app, order a priest, and one will be dropped off to them. Easy as that, they fulfil their Sunday obligation.”

Patel said that for an extra charge, UberMass customers will also be able to purchase add-ons such as a guitarist to play hymns during the Mass, a friendly usher to greet them in their own home, as well as a sick parishioner to come and sit directly next to them on the couch.

Uber is also considering a UberMassShare option which would be cheaper, and would allow others around the neighborhood to join in the Mass and to split the cost.

“All this will be available to our customers so that they no longer need to leave the comfort of their homes to experience the beauty of Mass. Depending on the success of our new venture, we’re also considering UberConfession as well as UberXtremeUnction.” Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Ordinary Magisterium



Father Z brings us the news that the Vatican is ginning up attacks on the Four Cardinals who asked for clarification in regard to Amoris Laetitia:


A few days ago Vatican Insider, at La Stampa, run by the ultimate Italian weather vane Andrea Tornielli, supplied a piece against the Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia (and against anyone who agrees that more clarity is needed) by one Thomas Walford.  Walford’s piece has the feeling of a collaborative effort in papolatry.  Of course it was published simultaneously in Italian and in English… because that happens all the time.  Right?

Today, Sandro Magister at Settimo Cielo supplied a piece which analyzes the Vatican Insider project.  It is published anonymously.  The reason for anonymity is that the writer is a cleric (I had a text this morning saying who it is), and in the present lib-dominated environment of mercy a cleric who writes like will be crushed like a bug.

A good question (itself a response to Walford) is in the piece’s title: “If it were so easy to resolve the dubia, then why hasn’t the Pope responded?”

In a nutshell, Walford proposed (inter alia) that virtually anything that the Pope says in his ordinary Magisterium, he says with the aid of the Holy Spirit, and that it must be accepted by the faithful.

Anonymous Cleric (my title for him) responds (my rapid translation – surely Magister’s own will soon be available):

B)  The arguments of the formal order refer to some affirmations of the Magisterium about the Petrine primacy and reach the conclusion that “Pope Francis – being the beneficiary of the charisma of the Holy Spirit, which helps him also in the ordinary Magisterium (as St. John Paul II taught) – legitimately made reception of holy Communion possible on the part of the divorced and remarried whose cases have been carefully considered.

I will try to respond to these arguments, beginning with the second series, on account of the fact that they are logically decisive: in fact, if all the acts of the Magisterium were always clear and perfect and enjoyed – for the mere fact that they were pronounced by the Pontiff – infallibility (without considering, for example, the tone of the document, the circumstances in which it was pronounced, the fact that a teaching could be relatively new or repeated, etc. etc.), or if every “flatus vocis” [mere, insignificant word] of the Roman Pontiff ought to be considered dogma and should require, always and in any case, the internal assent of the faithful, the question would be closed from the get-go.

In reality, the Magisterium of the Church certainly constitutes a unique body (containing that which the Church proposes to us for belief), of which, nevertheless, not all affirmations have the same value; in other words, not all the pronouncements – even if authentically proposed – require the same level of assent. The “dubia” of the Cardinals serve also to clarify what weight there can be in an answer in the course of the interview on an airplane and in a private letter to some bishops (indicated by Mr. Walford as if they were definitive interpretations), neither published in the Acta Apostolica Sedis. Certainly both were pronouncements of the Pope, but, as Lumen gentium 25 affirms, the level of adhesion must be deduced “from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.”

Let’s ask ourselves, by way of an example: “Do the papal interviews on an airplane or do private letters of a Pontiff require – in and of themselves – the same level of assent as the teaching on contraception proposed by documents such as Casti connubi, Humanae vitae, Familiaris consortio, etc. or can one entertain some uncertainties in the face of the aforementioned interviews or letters”? The response to this is given by the Magisterium itself, beginning with the instruction Donum veritatis in 1990 “On the ecclesial vocation of the theologian”, which is also cited by Mr. Walford:

It can happen, however, that a theologian may, according to the case, raise questions regarding the timeliness, the form, or even the contents of magisterial interventions. Here the theologian will need, first of all, to assess accurately the authoritativeness of the interventions which becomes clear from the nature of the documents, the insistence with which a teaching is repeated, and the very way in which it is expressed. […]

In any case there should never be a diminishment of that fundamental openness loyally to accept the teaching of the Magisterium as is fitting for every believer by reason of the obedience of faith. The theologian will strive then to understand this teaching in its contents, arguments, and purposes. This will mean an intense and patient reflection on his part and a readiness, if need be, to revise his own opinions and examine the objections which his colleagues might offer him. If, despite a loyal effort on the theologian’s part, the difficulties persist, the theologian has the duty to make known to the Magisterial authorities the problems raised by the teaching in itself, in the arguments proposed to justify it, or even in the manner in which it is presented. He should do this in an evangelical spirit and with a profound desire to resolve the difficulties. His objections could then contribute to real progress and provide a stimulus to the Magisterium to propose the teaching of the Church in greater depth and with a clearer presentation of the arguments.

Moreover, Pope Francis, at §2 of Amoris laetitia, writes:

“The complexity of the issues that arose revealed the need for continued open discussion of a number of doctrinal, moral, spiritual, and pastoral questions. The thinking of pastors and theologians, if faithful to the Church, honest, realistic and creative, will help us to achieve greater clarity.”

Continue Reading


PopeWatch: Pontifical Academy for Death


Sandro Magister gives us the details as to why the Pontifical Academy for Life should be renamed:

At the Pontifical Academy for Life, the first big uproar was over the appointment of the Anglican moral theologian Nigel Biggar, a supporter of abortion until “18 weeks after conception.”

Asked to comment by Vatican Insider, Archbishop Paglia tried to justify the appointment by asserting that Biggar – apart from words he exchanged in 2011 with the staunchly pro-abortion philosopher Peter Singer – “has never written anything on the issue of abortion” and that on the end of life “he has a position absolutely in keeping with the Catholic one.”

But it didn’t take much to discover that neither statement corresponds to the truth, and that Biggar has expressed his liberal positions on abortion in a 2015 article for the “Journal of Medical Ethics,” and on euthanasia in his 2004 book “Aiming To Kill. The Ethics of Suicide and Euthanasia.”

Then it was noted that other new members of the academy are rather far from the Church’s positions:

– Katarina Le Blanc of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, who uses stem cells taken from human embryos fertilized in vitro;
– Japanese Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka, who in spite of his fame for producing pluripotent stem cells artificially has by no means rules out continued research on the use of embryonic stem cells, and explains why in an article in the scientific journal “Cell & Stem Cell.”
– the Israeli Jew Avraham Steinberg, who admits in some cases abortion and the destruction of embryos for scientific use;
– Maurizio Chiodi, a leading Italian moral theologian, who in his book “Ethics of life” makes allowances for artificial procreation, if it is supported by an “intention of fertility.” Continue Reading